“Don’t stop believin’…”

“Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin'”
–“Don’t Stop Believin'”, Journey

I had one of those days last week during our speed workout on Tuesday evening… it was cold (though not as cold as it was last night) and I just felt overall bummed out about my day at work. I took it all out at practice, and not with my running but with my complaining. I really don’t know how Coach B deals with us, namely me. We were running our version of Yasso 800s, “Coach B 1-milers” around the lower loop of Central Park and all I could do was whine about this, and about that, the distance, the workout, the cold, the hunger pains… Coach B said something snide, I honestly don’t remember it anymore, and asked if that would mean he would make it into my blog. Seeing that I don’t remember what the comment was, I can’t even give him credit for it, but what I can give him credit for is a later conversation we had. We were talking about whether or not we would continue training after the Miami marathon and before the NYC Half.

C: “Brian, I want to shave 5 seconds off my half time. Do you think that is possible with a month of training before March?”
B: “Uh, yeah, that is easy. 5 seconds?”
C: “Oh, duh. No, I mean 5 minutes. I’d like to run it in under 2 hours.”
B: “You’ll need speed work. It’s definitely possible, it just means your pace needs to be faster.”
C: “Wow, Coach, thanks. I didn’t realize that trying to run faster meant a faster pace…”

To be fair, this was at the end of practice and I think we (me) had tired out our Coach.

Even during the taper, it seems like I’ve spent quite a bit of time running. I haven’t met Josh at work in a while, so I attempted to do so last week on Wednesday and Thursday. Due to the colder temperatures, I need to prepare in the morning by giving him an extra coat to take to work with him for me to wear after the run. Since the Path train route from Jersey City to Hoboken is not running yet due to Hurricane Sandy, Josh has been taking the Light Rail. He’s been trying to get adjusted to the new schedule, timing with our apartment shuttle, and having to wait outside instead of underground in the warmth. Before I leave for my runs, I need to find out what time Light Rail he’s planning on taking, and the first day, I sprinted the last mile to make it on time, only to learn that Josh was wrong about the schedule and that I was seven minutes early! Well, I definitely learned my lesson to check on the times myself and that running in the cold to then commute home is not fun.

This past weekend, in addition to working on Saturday, we enjoyed quite a full couple of days. After work on Saturday, we finally went to our Christmas / Hanukkah dinner at riverpark, a Tom Colicchio restaurant. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with Tom’s restaurants with my all-time favorites being Craftbar and Colicchio & Sons. Not that I am a food connoisseur or anything, but I just felt like riverpark did not live up the expectations I normally have for Tom Colicchio restaurants. The food wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing. For our cocktails, we had a Dark and Stormy, which was pretty good and tasted like there was real ginger in it and the Copper Canyon, which was lemon-verbana infused tequila with grapefruit and orange bitters. I typically stay away from drinking a couple weeks leading up to my races, but I’m glad I made the exception. We started our meal with the Kobacha Custard & Crab Fondue and a small order of the Squid Ink Chitarra. The fondue was pretty tasty, but the pasta dish tasted like there was too much lemon for our taste. Our entrees were the Merluza and Beef Ribeye and Brisket. Josh really enjoyed his Merluza (a flaky, white fish, same texture as cod), but I felt like my beef dish was just okay. Finally, we shared the Chocolate Souffle Cake, which was also just okay. Overall, I am glad we went to try the restaurant but I was slightly disappointed. However, this doesn’t change my overall impression of Tom’s restaurants and I very much look forward to trying Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton.

Josh and I finally ran together after a couple weeks. I was able to sneak in a couple miles after a morning at a hot bikram yoga class at Surya Yoga and before my long run the next day and Josh was also able to complete a couple himself despite not running in a month or so. We usually start out together and end separately because I’ll usually go longer and slightly faster. However, as I see other couples run together, it makes me think I should try to be accommodating. In no way, am I “fast” but perhaps, I should learn to pace better? It doesn’t work out as well when I am trying to increase distance since we try to finish up around the same time, but maybe something to try when I am in my running lull between races.

Statue of Liberty in the background

I didn’t sleep well at all on Sunday night. I woke up every 20 minutes the last two hours before my alarm was supposed to go off. When I finally woke up, I started coughing and had a big headache. Scared that I was getting sick, I drank a cup of Emergen-C with my breakfast before heading out for our last long run before Miami. Monday was also when it started getting colder. The temperatures were hovering around 32 when I met the team. Fortunately for me, we agreed to meet at the ferry terminal on 39th Street and the West Side Highway, so I was literally just an eight-minute ferry ride away, but the team had to travel a little ways to meet up. Even though it was hard to get started, it was really gorgeous run down to the Staten Island ferry along the Hudson and back.

Since I wasn’t feeling well, I cancelled my dinner plans and ended up cooking at home… so begins my carb-loading! Before Hurricane Sandy hit, I made bibimbap for the first time to kick-off carb-loading in anticipation of the NYCM. For the Philadelphia marathon, I think I just ate a lot of pasta since I didn’t have a whole lot of time to prepare for that one. This time, I tried making bibimbap again and was really glad we stopped at the Korean grocery store the other night and picked up Gochujang sauce, a Korean red-chili pepper-based condiment. While, I don’t think it came out as well this time, it was still pretty yummy. In case you’re interested, my version of bibimbap includes brown rice, grass-fed lean ground beef, spinach, mushroom, bean sprouts, carrots, daikon, zucchini, pepper, and normally, I’d include an egg, but I forgot this time.

Glad to be finally inside and warm!

Last night, in 16 degree temperatures (wind chill in the single digits), we completed our last speed workout before Miami. I am surprised that I am still not freezing. Sprinting in the cold was not fun and I am not sure it was even less fun for Coach B to be standing in the cold waiting for us. I promise to try to bring back some warmer weather from Miami. In the mean time, I am looking forward to my couple days of tapering, pedicure tonight, and massage tomorrow.

I imagine the next time I post will be after the marathon, however, if you’re interested in tracking me during the race, visit this page on Sunday morning and enter in my bib number: 3667. The official marathon start is at 6:15 AM but I imagine with the corrals I won’t be starting until shortly after. Keep my teammates and I in your thoughts!

And that’s all for now… have a good evening!

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