Posts Tagged ‘NYC marathon’

Wow what a year! I am currently breaking tri-geek protocol with a glass of fine Riesling, as I reflect on 2012. There will be one or two more before the ball drops. 2012 was a huge year for so many reasons. I’ll start at least from the triathlete perspective.

2012 was my year of renaissance, my comeback to the sport.  I went all-in, with both feet. Joined the Endurance Nation team, and tried to string together as many “right” things to do that I am capable of. In my singular “world view”, I was shaking in my boots. I was going from zero to 70.3 after a 14 year hiatus from the sport. My “A” race was Ironman Syracuse 70.3, a half ironman event.  Goal accomplished, I overcame and adapted as the year unfolded. It was not a perfect race season, but a very good one. I worked through whatever happened, and I literally enjoyed all of it.

For my overly positive perspective, I can easily point to Endurance Nation, the EN team,and coaches Rich & Patrick for the majority of it.  Even though I am much older, certainly much slower, as compared to my glory days of my thirties, I felt more empowered, and in control of each and every event. Having the mental toolkit to deal with the actual race was a game changer for me.  The race season include several sprint tri’s, an olympic tri, Syracuse Ironman, 4 half marathons,and an assortment of 5k’s,and other mid distance running events. The one disappointment was NYC marathon which of course was canceled. Mother Nature can be a very cruel in her fury. Recovery for the people in those areas is still on going. Despite the destruction, the cancellation, The “Run Anyway” event that came together that Sunday, was inspiring, and a lifetime memory.

Race season slowed after the first week of November. I entered into a bike concentration plan that is now just ending. As you will understand further, the past month leading up to this was very stressful, and not as productive training wise as one might hope for. Despite the awe inspiring comeback year, My professional life took it in the shorts a week before Christmas. My company was sold and only half of the engineering team was offered a position in the new company. Myself and the one other remaining original founder of the company was not invited back, as well as other very talented engineers. Ying and Yang in full effect for me personally.

Not all is lost. I am starting a new technology company, and we’ll see if it sinks or swims. I am driving the bus for now. With that it leaves some uncertainly for Ironman Lake Placid, which is my “A” race for 2013. Obviously if I am not successful  I cannot afford the costs associated with the event. It is an unknown for now. In the mean time, I have a career plan, and an ironman plan in place to succeed at either or both (both is the correct answer). It is more important to succeed with the company in order to keep our land, our home, and to contribute to our bills. In that regard, triathlons take a back seat. It does mean that I will be at fewer races, which is ok as far as not distracting from the training plan for Lake Placid. I can live with that. As we are taught how to adapt to race an iron distance  endurance event, I must adapt to the abrupt change in my career as an engineer. My quest to cross the finish line as an ironman could realistically be postponed. Either way, I will continue to train,and make the best of it. After all triathlon is my play time, my stress relief.

There is a crossover from the tri world to the career world as well. The goal driven mentality, the perseverance, the stick with it till you make it mantra, all comes in handy on the real life side of things. I can assure you that I will apply all of those things within my power, and capabilities. My lively hood is at stake, and while I train for a full ironman, reality for making the distance, and making my company succeed, will never be more than a thought away.

I will be truthful, as much as I have had many great things in 2012, I am doubtful and worried about 2013. In both work and play, I am tackling two very large unknowns. In my plus column, I have the unwavering love of my wife and family, my health (a big thank you to my doctor, Dr. Lynn Cunningham), and I am blessed in so many ways. Team EN will have my back as they always do, and with any luck, 2013 will be a pivotal year, even more so than 2012.

With that I leave you in a hopeful but concerned state of mind. I wish you all a great 2013, and I hope to cross paths as our lives forge forward. Tomorrow you can find me at the Resolution Run in Syracuse, and you can be sure I have a few resolutions to carry with me throughout the year.

God bless, and may your travels this holiday season be a safe one.

Mike

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Run Anyway update/tattoo

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Running, tattoo
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For those of you unfamiliar with what “Run Anyway” event was/is, take a look at the banner pic  that exists currently on Facebook,and copied below. On top of the epic  and awesome vibe that went along with this, you have to recognize what a group of people put together in literally hours, no CEO, no operating budget. None of the usual things you would expect to make a running event that had thousands of runners participating in. Volunteer, charity or for profit, this was a huge success. The power of social media via facebook, twitter, etc shined on that day, and is an example of what good came come from it.

 

Running NYC marathon was on my bucket list of things I want to do in my lifetime, as I write this, I am still conflicted, not sure that I will ever revisit doing this race. In the world view, the humanity view, it’s just a huge marathon, and any significance beyond that is primarily an emotional response. 5 weeks have past, NYRR is still flailing about with no resolve, exceptionally poor PR and even worse communications. Marathoners do not appreciate how poorly they have handled this. People in the affected storm areas still having many difficult problems, and will feel the effects for some time.  The haters, and the threats have either gone off to some other subject or quieted down to a whisper. They do leave behind a bad impression of the big apple, and of NY’ers, which is a shame. I know many folks from down state, and have great friends from the city. Unfortunately a black eye for many of the good people there. In time the city will bounce back, it’s what they do and are known for.

On to my third topic.

The collection of artwork expressed in skin otherwise known as tattoos, that I currently have, have significant meaning in one way or another. My artwork celebrates family,  my wife, and great marriage pushing on 13 years, hunting passions, and my love of endurance sports and personal milestones that I have conquered. If you do not sport ink, or dislike tattoos, my comments won’t do much in helping you understand the significance or why some us chose to get them. I am fortunate to have talented artist Josh Payne and my other go to guy, Scot Clark (Pinpoint Tattoo) in the same county.

I originally wanted to get ink’d after finishing NYC marathon, for many personal reasons. Needless to say, that idea fell apart. As I described in earlier posts, the Run Anyway event transpire into a epic, and awesome day. It is fair to say that it uplifted those who chose to participate. Given all that, it was a life event experience that is a wonderful memory, and worthy of committing to skin. Originally I had picked Josh Payne of Ascend Gallery in Cortland , NY to do the original NYC marathon idea. I have several tattoos done by him, and wanted to go with his big graphic, new school color that he is known for. Typically I have a good idea how it will come together, I had important elements I thought should be there, but no idea how it would come together. It’s good thing to trust your artist.  We had discussed this a few times prior,and Josh was very familiar with the race and the NYC area. An initial pencil sketch gave the project a green light. Josh gave it a refinement to better fit above the ankle,and it came together literally in minutes. The elements I gave him to work with : event name, big apple, central park, storm Sandy, and a beautiful sunshiny event day. The initial drawing had a cobble stone bridge coming out of the apple as a tunnel, but did not fit the targeted body space. Josh incorporated some old school feel into this with the wrought iron gate, lettering, and busted out the surreal color on the apple. Super stoked with the tattoo, hope you enjoy.

 

 

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Still not totally “reconciled” a week after the ill fated canceled NYC marathon.

Still no resolution or word on what will be done for the 45000 runners who got little or nothing for their $250, not to mention those of us with non-refundable hotel/travel arrangements. Worse of all and more importantly, many of the storm’s victims are still without heat or power. Gas is a priceless commodity as well. That would be the negative side of the equation. Indeed, people are still suffering a huge loss in those areas. No win-win for anybody.

On the positive side, many runners donated, some traveled directly to the areas hit by the storm, and did good deeds, making a difference. The impromptu runs came together quickly thanks to the ever so connected world of social media. “Run Anyways” was an inspirational event, and I am glad to have witnessed it, and participate. More funds and donations were raised and collected there as well.

As I chose to run a solid half marathon effort, my recovery was quick, and I spent the transition week running with our weimaraners, and a few light bike trainer workouts. Even though training leading up to do the marathon certainly benefits my fitness that I can carry over, it was more run focused and endurance based.

Now that I have done a hard reset per EN protocol, I am all in with one singular focus, one goal: Cross the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid on July 28th, 2013.

37 weeks to go before the big dance.

This will be a very different season coming up. I love to do events/races. As a social athlete, I am in for the fun and excitement of the events. Over the next eight months, I will forgo many races that I might normally do. I have set my mind to follow the training plan, and not look to make exceptions to accommodate races that cause me to shift things around in the training plans, or require me to recover and not just train through them. This does not mean that I won’t do other events, but they will have to fit my training schedule, and not interfere with each week’s specific purpose. Each week from here on out, has a specific purpose, and necessary to achieve my goal.

As an Endurance Nation athlete, I have a season plan that takes me to the big day. Unlike what you may be thinking, it is not 37 weeks of ironman training. I chose to do Lake Placid, as it was designated as a EN team event, and part of the Master Season planned races. This means I will be working with the same goals as many of my fellow team mates, and draw upon the collective knowledge of the coaches and team members.

My 2013 season is broken down as follows:

  • 6 weeks of Bike Focused Plan- this includes running skills, heavy bike training no swimming. I picked this as I can make big bike fitness and time gains. Heading into winter, means cycle training indoors. Have to up my mental game.
  • 1 week reset, unstructured workouts as I feel
  • 14 weeks of Out Season Training. lot of work on getting faster, train to be faster. No swimming called for, but I will be looking for swim training/coaching on easy or rest days to improve my water skills. Weakest link, and I can drop a 2 hour ironman swim down to 1:40-1:45 maybe better than that. It will be a matter of when and where classes will be offered.
  • Mid April I will switch to 16 weeks of ironman training and begin adding endurance on top of the expected speed gains. I may attend EN training camp early June, as training on the actual course is priceless and critical to knowing where/when to execute race strategies.
  • Along with all this, I am focused on reaching reaching that 160lb weight goal, as I don’t want to haul around anymore of my fat butt than I have too.

Much of the focus will be similar to training for Ironman Syracuse 70.3. Of course it’s twice as long, and requires attention to all details. As before, Coach Rich & Patrick, my fellow EN teammates will have my back, and will guide me through the highs and lows, illnesses and or injuries should they occur. As much as I am in awe and intimidated at completing a 140.6 mile journey, I am excited for what I expect will be an epic day, and a experience that will be life changing.

So glad I waited a day to blog. Way too many conflicted thoughts, emotions, and a dozen ideas on blog titles. I’ll organize this in some order starting with arriving at Penn Station, to riding the bus home as I write this.

Continuing from my previous posting, I was contacted by my good friend Dave Figura of the Syracuse Post Standard, to do a quick phone interview about my trip to NYC for the marathon. By then the controversy was widely known, and front page news. He asked how I felt about it. As uncomfortable as it was, easy answer- “very conflicted” was my response.

Much like the impending election, people are starkly divided. “Mean Season” as I call it. It was bad enough with the hateful comments against runners, it became much worse though. The hate speech was followed by online threats of violence. Aside from claims that mobs would block the course at various points, threats of breaking legs with baseball bats, throwing bricks, tomatoes, debri, and sewage were highlights. A death threat was also made. Lot of claims that acts would be made to insure we never ran again. It had become “Mean Season” against runners who came to run in NYC. Marathoners had become scapegoats for the anger and suffering resulting from hurricane Sandy.

My wife Lee and I got into our hotel without a problem. Staying at the St James Hotel a 1/2 block away from Times Square, we could walk wherever we needed to go. We quickly noticed that midtown Manhattan appeared back to normal with the usual flurry of activity one expects to see in the big city.

Within an hour of getting in the city we made it to the Jacob Javitz Center for the expo. We were within sight of it when we learned of the race being canceled. No words to describe what I felt.

Lot of criticism to be leveled at NYRR and Mayor Bloomberg for not acting decisively on Tuesday. Yes it would have been lousy, but jerking everyone around as it was done is inexcusable, lacking in leadership and professionalism. The communication coming from (not) NYRR has been conspicuously delayed or non-existent.

The mood at the expo was as one might expect. Dejected, demoralized, sadden, would cover it. This would be on top of sympathy and compassion for the storm victims. Despite the hateful speech suggesting runners are selfish, we’re very quick to volunteer and will pay to run at a moments notice for a worthy charity.

Lee and I were here not only for the marathon, but to enjoy a mini vacation, by coming a day early, and leaving a day later. Plan ‘B’ switch to earning spousal approval units. At that point I no longer had any inspiration to run during our stay. Instead of recovering from a marathon before training for Ironman Lake Placid, I would move it up two weeks.

Lee and I would make the best of it, take in the city as best we could. We walked through Central Park on Saturday, checked out the museums, admittedly we ate very well during our stay.

Later in the day I learned of two events coming together for Sunday. One was a group to meet at the ferry terminal to run backpacks full of needed items door to door on Staten Island. The other was “Run Anyway NYC Marathon 2012” in Central Park. www.runanyway.net

To be honest, running backpacks to Staten Island was my first choice. I had brought a backpack, and it would appeal to me given my nature. Sadly I could not justify doing that given the risk assessment. I could not reasonably justify being subject to misplaced threats, bodily harm, or anger/rage while running supply drop offs in totally unfamiliar neighborhoods. A news flash Saturday morning said no unnecessary personnel, coupled with reports of random looting, violence and armed break ins. Not from the city, and not familiar with most of it. Sorry, but not only did I feel unwelcome, but threatened and at risk. Damn shame.

I decided to run with the group in Central Park on Sunday. My heart was no longer in it to do a marathon, given how I felt, it was out of the question to run four laps. Not a big fan of running that many loops anyway. In keeping best advantage of fitness/training with my ironman plans I would probably run 2 loops up tempo or 3 loops at long run pace.

We headed back to the expo late Saturday afternoon as I wanted to pick up a hydration belt for the self sufficient long run Sunday morning. We saw a lot of runners coming out with 2012 logo merchandise as we came in. Thought it was odd given the cancelation. Once inside we learned that it was 50% off, and 100% donated to the relief effort. Well done!

As I woke Sunday morning, the day ahead was still uncertain. Up until I left the hotel for Central Park, Lee and I were making the best of it and enjoying ourselves as we always do. We do travel well and it doesn’t matter much as to where here is. As to being a runner in NYC, it was a bowl of lemons and bittersweet.

As I got closer to the park, large groups appeared from all directions 10-20, even 80-100 runners in a group. Many in their country’s uniform. Reaching Columbus circle it was clear that I was witnessing a transformation, no longer a bowl of lemons. We would be intoxicated by the big apple being turned into hard cider. Lemonade? Maybe, but it was much more than that.

No way to know for sure, but there were thousands running in the park, I would say 8-10 thousand. Wolf packs, waves of 300-500 runners at a time would depart from the race finish line. Some running the park clockwise, most ran counter clockwise.The atmosphere was absolutely electric. Awe inspiring and truly epic, beyond what I had ever witnessed in a running event.

I decide to run a half marathon at an uptempo pace. I felt inspired, and mojo was at hand. The entire time was ran in a sea of runners, laughing, excited and cheerful conversation. Huge groups would stop and take pictures. The spirit of the marathon and the human spirit were both present here. No crying in your beer going on in the park. I believe with the huge groups from France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, Britain, that there are some empty villages back home. I heard many languages spoken, no clue to origin. I do know that it was excited and cheerful. I drew much energy from it and was uplifted from the experience.

I met runners from British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Oregon, Washington, Spain, and enjoyed our conversations.
With the more casual fun run feel to event, everyone was taking advantage of the camaraderie, and the beautiful sunny blue sky day

According to my fancy GPS watch, I ran my half marathon in 2:12:35. 2nd fastest this year for me. Solid up tempo pace workout. Legs feel pretty good today, and I’ll switch to ironman training this week.

Volunteers out along the course brought out their own supplies of water, bananas, etc. spectators were cheering all around the course. The event was a social media creation, no NYRR here.

We would learn later in the day that in fact a large group of runners shuttled supplies to those in need without incident. Glad that it turned out that way for the better good. I did in part help with donating sweats and a set of heavy thermal underwear. A collection site was set up near the finish line.

Regrets? Yes. Bitter sweet? Yes. Being this would have been my 10th marathon, it was not my first rodeo. Would have liked to done 26.2 miles as a old fat guy, but it is now more important for me to focus on 26.2 during Ironman Lake Placid as an old guy minus another 24 pounds.

It is uncertain whether I’ll come back to revisit the NYC marathon to complete my bucket list, especially in light of NYRR handling of the crisis, the haters, pulling up of the welcome mat. Running an epic event in Central Park gets added to my unexpected completed items list.

I am uplifted and grateful for those that put it all together on Sunday, the thousands of runners for their celebration and sharing of joy, human spirit, and love of putting one foot in front of the other. I understand that many did in fact cover the 26.2 miles! I thank each and everyone in the park that morning for a treasured memory.

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Before I try to sort out this tangled mess of thoughts in my head, I’ll start with this:

No problem or circumstance I face, or turmoil I experience compares or rises to the significance of those lost during the storm, left homeless, or left with countless difficulties in the wake of Sandy.

There, one complete thought in order.

Like many of my fellow marathoners, I started training over 16 weeks ago. To be specific, I started a week post Ironman Syracuse. Many miles, just now into my third pair of running shoes. Many solitary 2-4 hour runs with all the customary power bars and GU gels.

Since my return to running/ triathlons, I put the NYC Marathon back on my bucket list. Not to set a PR, but to run in an epic event. The largest in the world. This would be my 10th marathon Like many, I felt personally violated and affected by 9/11. I comment on it every anniversary. In my own way I feel connected to the big apple. I got in for the 2002 NYC marathon, but withdrew due to a month with the flu that September. Lost my mojo after that and stopped running until 2010.

With that said, I certainly feel for the storm victims. I am not indifferent nor uncaring. Over the years I donated to help in natural disasters. Yet I read over and over again how selfish we runners are, and that we should boycott the event. The haters and negative speech are out in full force.

The week leading up to today as I ride the bus for the next four hours had been nothing else other than stressful (please refer to opening thought for perspective). Granted not as stressful as dying or watching my home be destroyed. Never the less, everything was up in the air until yesterday afternoon.

Running the largest marathon in the world in the greatest city on the planet is not cheap. Keep in mind all of this is not refundable, not deferrable, nor redirected to charity, etc. A hotel anywhere near the race -big bucks. $700 for my stay in city. $255 race fee. Big deal on deferring to next year, I would have to cough up another $255. Seriously, $510 to run a marathon? I did get credited on train tickets to buy nonrefundable bus tickets.

The mayor has made the decision to go ahead, and yet as a paying participant I/we are made to feel unwelcome in your city, that we are selfish. No problem taking my money or dismissing the fact many of us view this as a life event, not just a run. It is estimated that 300 to 350 million dollars pour into the city for the marathon and through those running it as charity fund raising teams. NYRR is coordinating a fund with 26.2 million dollar goal for the relief effort. Does this not help the relief effort, the victims?

As I ride towards the city, I have great difficulty enjoying our mini vacation. Up until now the entire racing season has been one memorable event after another. Very uplifting and mojo was at a all time high. Right now, no mojo. I hope This perspective changes before I cross the bridge Sunday morning.

For the first time this season, I am over stressed, conflicted and not well rested for what is for me, a life bucket list item and was to be a highlight of a wonderful season. I am certain that I did the work and earned my spot on the start line, not so certain where my heart will be.

13 days and counting to race day in the big apple. This past weekend turned out very different than planned and for a whole bunch of different reasons. Originally on tap was the last morning long run (roughly 20 miles), a little hunting, projects around the house, and volunteering for Leaf Peeper Half Marathon on Sunday.

Unfortunately, my favorite Aunt had taken a turn for the worse. She had been fighting a long and painful battle with cancer. That news came on Friday. Left work early to take mom to see her, and then that got postponed as I neared Syracuse to pick her up. However, we went Saturday, as the news of my Aunt’s condition had become more dire.  Sadly she passed away on Sunday. The bright side was the long painful battle had come to an end, and that she would finally be at peace. What makes it more emotional aside from being my favorite Aunt, whom I have so many fond memories of,  is the similarities to the way my dad passed away from leukemia. As they say, “cancer sucks.” An emotional rollercoaster as these life events usually are.

My scheduling of the final long run in route to NYC obviously was changed several times, and ended up an evening run instead of a morning run. It does help to do something very physical in stressful times to calm one’s soul, and feel a little grounded. It also helps to have control of something you can come to grips with. I did choose to run the Erie Canal path from Dewitt to Chittenango, and back to get the distance in. My meals earlier in the day were not exactly the best prep for a long run, but I had to roll with it. Along with the emotional undercurrents,  I had been fighting off the flu/cold/bug whatever it is that had been going around at work. I felt it coming on during the past two weeks, and felt achy, but fought it off. Gotta love that Zicam. Needless to say, I was not 100%

Miles and miles of flat running doesn’t thrill me much, but the softer path is very welcomed for a 20 miler.  Most of the run went as planned. I eased into it slowly, keeping heart rate down, and trying not to hit the gas with a full load of powerbars, and GU gels. I mixed lava salts in my drink bottles, and that seems to do the trick. No cramping issues during the run. As advocated by Endurance Nation, I went out the first six miles 30 sec to a minute slower.

Very few people on the canal path. The further I got from Dewitt, the less I was within sight of another person. There were miles along the pathway that was just nature, and myself with my thoughts. Very calming, it brought some solace, and inner peace. With all that was going on, there were thoughts about my father, most certainly of my Aunt Joan.  Funny how I can’t remember a lot of stuff, and then remember things 40-50 some years ago with such clarity. Not only did we like/love Aunt Joan, we hung out alot with her children  (our cousins) Dorthy, Billy and Bobby. The house in Alexandria Bay, the basement with the huge black spiders, the cool rocky ridge behind their house, and  “Wolf,” their german shepard. Lots of fun memories of those times. Aunt Joan would watch me when mom would be at work while dad was at sea in the Navy. Anyways, I’ll stop rambling, you get the picture.

Around mile 11, I could feel I was not at 100%. I was running smooth (as much as I run smooth) and felt no pains or issues. However I could tell that I was working a little harder than I like at marthon/long run pace, and that the latter miles would have me earn them in a big way. Fatigue was coming on way earlier than I would have liked. Before that, I had walked 30-40 steps every mile after mile 5 to race sim the water stops. I did walk 30 steps at mile 2. As I reached mile 17, I knew the last 3 miles were not going to come easy. Referring to a prior blog post, I had my EN kit of tools to draw from. No worry, just work through it, and find what works, what doesn’t, and make the best of it. That I did. I walked more than I liked, walk a tenth of a mile, run 4 or 5 tenths. It got me to the end, and that was the best I could do given how I felt both emotionally and physically.

No excuses, I’ll have what I have come race day. during the taper, there will be some light speed work, a few short runs at goal pace, and time on the bike trainer. I’ll be out there for a long time, but I will be with 45,000-48,000 of my best friends,and I’ll have plenty to think about. Most certainly. I have much to be grateful for.

To those running at NYC marathon, good luck! Say hi if you see me, I’ll be the slow guy in the bright yellow top.

With Ironman Syracuse well behind me, as well as a summer full of memorable events, I am in a great headspace at the moment! Currently the immediate race focus is NYC marathon just 29 days away. Bucket list item, run it, cross the finish line, and enjoy it. No lofty time goal to fret over. Trust me, Ironman Lake Placid is enough to fret over, and is always in the background.

Even though all that I do or don’t do contributes to the big dance next July, I can enjoy a temporary reprieve of the high intensity focus of ironman training. No doubt I am improving upon my running and overall fitness. For the early fall it’s marathon training with time on the bike trainer, stretching, and hiking while hunting turkey & whitetail deer. I’ll blog later on the planning in route to Lake Placid, and what I may do at Ironman Syracuse 70,3 (leaning towards doing the swim or bike on a relay team)

Ran my second to last long run yesterday morning before work. One of the last few remaining critical workouts done, in the books. Dropped off my truck the evening before at work in Homer, NY. I would run a 17 mile route from our home just north of McGraw. Big hill first mile then a long set of downhills into the town of McGraw would constitute the first third of the route.

The chosen route then headed west to Polkville, then south to Blodgett Mills. From there I would head back north to the city of Cortland. I would pass miles 10-11-12 coming back to the city. Head due west again to Cortland State college, and then north again zig-zagging the city neighborhoods towards Homer.

Leaving the house at 5am that morning, it was quiet and peaceful. No wind, a balmy 51F, and a clear moonlit sky. No flashlight required. My goals: run easy, run long, and run smooth. I really enjoyed the tranquility of the early miles. First car went by around mile 5. Watching the sun come up was an added bonus. Even though it is hard sometimes to put in the hours needed for the last few long runs, this time was not so bad to get through it mentally.

The miles clicked off without incident, issues or problems, simply just doing work. My wife Lee drove by to check on me on her way to work. That was around 9.5 miles. Heading north out of Blodgett Mills, I heard a hen turkey yelping on the roost. The bird stopped yelping when I closed within 100 yards or so. Really enjoyed that.

For most of the run, everything felt fluid, in working order. I walked briefly after each mile (race rehearsal at water stops). For nutrition I slammed a GU gel at miles 4-9-13. I found myself to not be that hungry, but I did feel noticeably better each time I took a Gel. I ran with three water bottles with 250mg sodium (lava tabs) in each. No cramps or GI issues. Whoo-hoo on that!

I finished just outside of work and felt decent considering what I did for the prior 3+ hours. Took a hot shower at work, and on with the day.

Very happy with no aches or pains, or any of the little worries that always seem to crop up. One more 20ish mile long run left to do as a critical workout.

Looking forward to running in the big apple!