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F*%K THAT, Friday!

Last night (having beers with Abbe and Claire) an idea came to mind… if a blog is so full of race reports and serious triathlon stuff, shouldn’t it also have some fun rants about life to add balance to it’s content? Totally! I give you, ‘F*%K THAT, Friday!’ a commentary on stupid and annoying things that may have happened during the week. If you have a blog, feel free to post your own! 1. Why are there so many people on Park Avenue hailing cabs, making my skateboard commute all the more challenging? Oh right, the Subway was broken today! F*%K THAT! 2. I lost one toenail due to Ironman and now, the one next to it is falling off thanks to Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon 2 weeks ago! F*%K THAT! 3. How come every time I go into my local bodega the price of Half-n-Half fluctuates by a few dollars?! F*%K THAT! 4. Why is there a hurricane blocking me from getting to my Dominican Republic vacation tomorrow?! Not cool Sandy. F*%K... read more

Free Yourself from the Numbers

With each passing day I gain the new friendship of a runner or triathlete. Since my first race, the NYC Mary in 2008, my life has taken quite a turn and I love it. I honestly don’t know what I did with my time before training for Ironmans and Marathons? Look! I used to run in PANTS! As my athletic endeavors became more challenging I found myself absorbed in the science behind it all. I hired a fantastic coach, learned about nutrition, heart rate, cadence, pace strategy and aerobic thresholds. This helped me tremendously! I saw improvements in my times and felt great about my training regimen. I had a sort of revelation the other day though, watching my twitter feed and everyone talking about their runs, bikes or swims and the mileage and pace associated with each one. (Funny how all my friends now are athletes says the kid who went to art school.) I got kind of turned off by the whole thing, the science of it all. Even I was guilty of over analyzing my training. I had forgotten that at it’s core, the reason I run, or racing in triathlons, is that it’s fun. No matter what pace you hit, how even your heart rate was, or how many miles you put in, at the end you still feel great and probably really enjoyed yourself. You just forgot because you were too focused on numbers. I set out to do a little test 2 weeks ago during the Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon. I was going to run naked (without my precious Garmin) and prove that it doesn’t matter. I raced my heart out and came within 5 seconds of a PR I set in 2010! I wasn’t looking at my wrist every 30 seconds, I was focused on how I felt and how fast my legs were turning over. It was very ‘freeing,’ similar to turning off your cell phone during a vacation. The New York City Marathon is in 2 weeks and I am running that bad boy Garminless. I invite anyone interested to try it! Obviously first time marathon runners or people out to BQ might not apply, but everyone else, what have you got to lose? Who’s with me?! Anyone want to make any Garminless predictions for my time? My course PR for New York is... read more

085 Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Mary – 1:20:53

The mighty Grete Waitz (for those of you that don’t know) was a rock star of a woman, winning the NYC Mary 9 times. Whaaaaa?! She is also from Norway and based on a recent DNA test I found out I am primarily Norwegian. Perhaps a distant relative? One could only wish for a relative like her. I digress… this Half Mary is in her honor and takes place in The Central Park. Since completing Ironman in August a huge weight was lifted in my training both physically and mentally. My ‘A’ races (Boston as well) for the season are over. I’m racing NYC Marathon, but I always do that simply because it’s so much fun! Therefore, I’m not stressin’. That brings us up to speed on our discussion on Grete’s Gallop. To race, or just run, THAT is the question. Abbe told me to race it and seeing how the Mary is 3 weeks out thats more than enough time to recover for it. Also, I secretly can never just ‘run’ a race no matter what I tell myself beforehand. Now I was nervous. I started thinking about my latest Marathon PR and how I achieved it. Perhaps I could use that same strategy? This strategy (used in the Kentucky Derby Marathon) was simply to throw all pacing rules out the window and run as fast as I could the whole time. The day before the race was actually quite relaxing. Abbe and I went to the Met (I now live a stones throw from it) and checked out the Warhol exhibit. We hit the Member’s Lounge for a few drinks and then headed back to the apartment for a nice home cooked race meal. In bed by 11! “Baker, good god man why so late?” The race started at 10:30, who ever heard of that? RACE DAY I had a strange dream about my father during the night that was really vivid. He ‘visited me’ and brought me a keepsake. It kind of affected m a lot and I decided to hone in on it while racing. Had some coffee and really just counted down the hours until I had to leave! Abbe left earlier as she was volunteering. You can read all about her wild experience here. A quick 10 minute jog got me over to the Start Corrals. I saw Erica Sara finishing up her 20 miler and ran with her for a hot second.... read more

Fall in New York… Run.

This weekend (for me) was not the end of Summer, but the start of what looks to be an amazing Fall. I had a manly steak dinner with my second youngest brother Jeff Friday night at Keen’s Steakhouse, one of the oldest in New York City. In fact, it has Peter Luger’s beat by merely one year. He is getting married this weekend so I was just making sure he didn’t have cold feet. Kidding… Saturday morning I rode my bike up to 168th and Broadway where I met Josh (aka Speedy Sasquatch) and his crew. He was hosting a 20 mile training run in the Pallisades, the same Pallisades where the Ironman run took place, and needed bike support.  It turns out my friend Allen was biking too so we got to hang out all morning and catch up! We had a blast riding up and down the Pallisades handing out water to the 15 or so runners. They were a great group and all of them are gong to kill the NYC Mary! Here a few shots of the gang as they ran. Nice to meet all of you! I was secretly jealous that I wasn’t running. So, Sunday morning I set out on a long run. My goal was to just maintain a 150 heart rate and see where that leads. It was gorgeous out and I was really having a blast. Around the Park and down the West Side path to the Battery. Even ran (ha!) into my friend Sebastien doing his long run. I haven’t ran further than 14 miles since Ironman in August and the NYC Mary is like 6 weeks away or something so this was a necessary workout. I was so thrilled because I ran 7:30’s flat with a 150 heart rate! I used to be more of an 8:00-7:50 per mile with a 150 heart rate, which means I am improving overall! Thanks Coach, it worked! I bumped into Erica Sara at the end of my run and had a fun chat before realizing I was late for brunch at the Waldorf! Booked it home and had 15 minutes to shower and get dressed to make the brunch. Did I pull it off? Hell yes! I even dressed in a suit. Fall is here and with it, Marathon... read more

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