The Coogans Blues and Shamrocks 5K Race in Washington Heights capped off my week with an exclamation point!
Earlier this week I ‘connected’ with someone online – only to find out that, not only did I already know who she was, but had great admiration and respect for her. We are going to ‘run for margaritas’ which I’m really looking forward to. Its a small world people, and I like it.
Tuesday night we had speed series led by Josh aka SS in Central Park. Other runners in attendance… ROLE CALL: Erika, Eissa, Elyssa, Erin, Amy, Anna, and Matt. We did 4, mile repeats (which means, run 1 mile at almost full capacity, 2 minute break, do it all over again) and they were brutal! We have a pretty fast group I might add.
Thursday was swimming with coach Todd down in Battery Park. He came up with a new drill that we aptly named ‘Triple Homicides.’ Without getting too detailed, its a chase drill where we do 3 sprint laps, 30 second break, repeat times 10. Ive never thought of the possibility of having a heart seizure in a pool before until doing these ‘Triple Homicides’. Yeah I said it again, I really love the name we gave them, makes me feel tough especially relaying it to friends the next day. Example: “Good morning Baker, how was your night?” “Oh it was fine I guess, just did some Triple Homicides, like 10 of em, it was nothing really… just another Thursday”
I took the day off Friday because my friend Lisa (Jim’s wife) asked me to be a speaker at career day. She is teacher up at Wagner Middle on the Upper East Side. I arrived at 9 sharp to a welcome breakfast in the cafeteria. There were probably 40 volunteers and after looking at the schedule it seemed they had managed to get just about all walks of careers… lawyers, news anchors, dentists, singers and more. I happened to be paired up with Phil, who was a comedian! Sweet! I love to laugh, really who doesn’t? We each did 15 minutes, with him opening the show. It was a lot of fun and the kids were very receptive and asked some very great questions. All in all Id say that in 10-20 years time roughly 30% of the kids I talked to will be buying Rolex watches. Seriously though, I really hope some of the creative ones learned that there are great careers in the arts. Perhaps they will want to be photographers or graphic designers some day? I did touch on triathlons briefly but no one seemed to care.
The event was over just after lunch and with my whole day free I figured “What a perfect time to have lunch with one of my friends!” What did I learn today? Nearly all of my friends have 9-5 jobs, therefore I ended up eating by myself. Fine.
Based on the amazing sunshine that was blanketing the city I decided to go for a bike ride. I stopped for Nino’s Pizza and to pick up my race number along the way. My ride was followed up by an afternoon nap.
That night Erika (her royal tallness) and I went to Cassellula to have wine and cheese as she “needed alcohol”. She suggested we sneak into a movie with mini bottles of booze but I was feeling the cheese thing instead. It was really fun, we tried a bunch of what I dub ‘stinky cheeses’ that were paired with items like roasted garlic and pear butter. We also polished off a bottle of wine, 2 dessert wines, Baked Alaska and a Chocolate German Cake in which they poured fresh cream. Yes, it was amazing!
Saturday night I rocked out a bit of my traditional pre-race routine. I stayed in and watched horror movies, bad ones! For dinner I made my shrimp scampi, BUT, I altered the recipe slightly on a whim and may have made the best scampi ever! Seriously. I had a few beers to carbo-load and was tempted to get some ice cream but opted out due to the fact that I was basically in my PJs. In bed just after 11 and had a solid nights sleep.
(wow, it took a page of text just to get to my race. sorry readers.)
Woke up at 6:45 and juiced up with the Bustelo. I was out the door on my bike to meet Jim and Ed of the ‘Dad Posse’ at 7:30. We arrived in the Heights around 8:15 and had loads of time to spare before the race. It was quite beautiful out and as long as you stood in the blazing sunshine it felt awesome.
10 minutes prior we all made our way up to our respective corrals. I stood around all the club team racers (who were psyched as this was the first club points race of the season.)
As I glanced to my right who do I see? Robert and Antonio! Its like clockwork man, we always run into each other in the corrals. We hung out and chatted about the course, our times, Garmin satellites, you know, runner stuff.
As the gun went off there was an immediate bottle neck! It turns out a woman in front had fallen causing a pile up for a hot second. She jumped back up and everything was back on course (literally, ha). I jumped in behind Robert as he was clearing a good path through the crowds.
Mile 1, 6 flat. My goal was to be sub 6 the whole time and this was a clear sign that my goal would be hard to achieve. Shortly after that I lost Robert in the crowds and just started trying to catch my pace.
Holy cow were there hills! 1 1/2 miles in there is this mega descent where I was practicing my new downhill technique. Basically you barrel down the hill with huge strides, almost like a prance. Yes, I was prancing. I started laughing out loud though because I then realized at the turn around we would have to run UP this monster hill. Whoa momma.
As we turned I started to pick up my pace (thanks to SS and the Hill Digger workout we did a few Tuesdays ago. Thanx!) and was cruising up the hill. It might have been a solid half mile incline, I don’t know, but it was painful.
At mile 2, 2 1/4 it all started back downhill to the finish! We were all blazing down the hill anticipating the finish. Did I mention there were bands all over? Bagpipes, Salsa, Blues… it was great! I have a sore spot in my heart for bagpipes so that really got my spirits up.
I sprinted at the end – just barely – and made it through the finish at 18:15! I was kind of upset as I wanted to break the 6 minute barrier in a NYRR race and didn’t think I had done it. You do know I went to Art College right? Yeah, no math. Later on Robert would clarify that I had indeed met my goal! I was very excited.
While waiting for my friends I bumped into Lam! Nice to finally meet you Lam! Then, Robert and Antonio popped over for a chat before they took off to run home.
Jim, Ed and I rode our bikes down to the Columbia University area to find coffee before parting ways.
Everyone had a great race today AND it was perfect spring weather for it! Congrats to all the runners!
My new post race treat is the Naked Superfood drink. (see below) Its really great, like someone took a garden and stuck it in a blender!