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New York; Entry One

Every so often, if you are watching for it, you have one of those perfect days.

I awoke well rested after a solid night of sleep ready to tackle the day. Boston Marathon training is in full swing and I had 6 miles of easy running to do. First things first… some Cafe Bustelo.

As I set off from Engineers Gate I noted how great the weather was for running. Sunny, zero wind, with a temperature of 40-45 degrees. Perfection. Coming at me from a distance was a familiar face. It was my old friend Sebastian, cruising by with a shout out and a wave. Then up ahead I was passing another runner who then said, “Hey Baker!” It was my friend Juan! We ran together for a few miles discussing all things triathlon. I think I may have even convinced him to join The Battalion secretly! It was great catching up with him. I said goodbye to him at the bottom of Harlem Hill and not ten paces later the next runner I was passing says, “Baker!” It was Nelson, one of my athletes (also Battalion member). He and I ran together catching up. My friend Elizabeth happened to run by us shouting a familiar, “Heeeeey Baker!” I said goodbye to Nelson and pressed on, wondering who else I might run into.

Next up for fun activities was ice skating.

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I cleaned myself up with a shower then jumped on a Citibike to meet Dougie and 2 of his kids, Haley and Madison, for skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park. I love going to Wollman Rink. So much so that sometimes I just go by myself and skate for an hour.

Conditions were also perfect for ice skating and it wasn’t too crowded. The four of us were having quite a fun time. I have to apologize to Maddie though, every time I skated by and yelled out to her she became distracted and fell. Twenty minutes into skating I was coming around a turn and I see my old friend Colette skating with one of her sons, Edward! I gave her a big hug, what are the odds? It was so fun catching up with her. Strangely enough, the last time her and I were ice skating together was in the same location during my ‘Ice Skate Birthday Party’ in 2008!

Beyond_Defeat_CB_CBPlease excuse my strange expression, it was bright out.

Abbe picked me up just after noon and we headed to the Upper West Side for some lunch at Cafe Tallulah. I needed to recharge after my mini triathlon… run, bike, ice skate.

After lunch we headed to the Museum of Natural History where a new exhibit was on display. TITANOSAUR! It is the largest dinosaur ever discovered and we were super excited to get a look at it. Susan, a fellow Battalion teammate and friend, was equally interested so she linked up with us. The Natural History Museum on a Saturday at 2PM is no easy place to navigate. I know the layout pretty well though and was able to quickly navigate us up to the main attraction.

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The Titanosaurus was pretty cool. It is a massive sauropod weighing in at 70 tons (12 elephants). As we stood there gazing and taking pictures in the midst of the hundreds of museum-goers, my best friends Todd and Ila (along with one of their kids, Keenan) pop up out of nowhere! We were all crazy excited to see each other and also totally baffled on the odds of this happening! They were in the city for the night to go to my brother Jeff’s going away party. They were going to surprise us at the actual event later that night. Seriously! What are the odds?! After showing the Keen-bean around a little longer we all made our way out to go freshen up for the night. Susan, Abbe and I had a glass of wine and then traversed across the Park.

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Jeff and Ali’s going away party started with dinner at Maya. Here is what made that fun… aside from guacamole. Our table happened to be Me, Abbe, Susan, Brian, Phyllis, Todd, Ila and Keenan, a very fun crowd. I had heard that my extended family was also there, so I crept through the restaurant before stumbling upon Uncle Bill, Morgan, Uncle John, Aunt Margie, Cat and Gillian! Our friends Josh and Rachel and Ahern and Lauren were there as well, what a crew!

At Pony Bar, where the party was happening, it got even better. I don’t know if I can name all the guests as there were so many… it was great seeing everyone. We took over a better part of the whole bar and sent off Jeff and Allison in true NY style.

I fell asleep with happy dreams of the team long run that was to take place in the morning…

And that, was one of those perfect days.

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