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Archive for October, 2009

Marathoner To Ironman

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Its marathon  and cross country season here in North America and this happens to be my favorite time of the year. This past week I was doing a long run in one of my favorite places in the world to run, Holmdel Park in Holmdel, NJ. For those that are not familiar with this park, it is home to the New Jersey State Cross Country Championships and it is deemed to be one of the toughest cross country courses in the U.S. It’s a pretty big park with grass, cinder, and dirt trails that wind in out of the woods with loads of hills to climb, the most famous being “The Bowl”. It was also my home course during my senior year of High School.

Holmdel Park

Holmdel Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About mid way thru my run when the runners high started to kick in, I started to think about the transformation my body and mind has gone thru over the past few years as I have gone from a marathon runner to and Ironman Athlete. It’s been 3 years since I ran my first marathon in a disappointing but respectable 2:24:28. It was the Twins Marathon which was also hosting the U.S. championship. Going into the race I believed I was easily in 2:20 shape. After coming thru the half in just under 1:09, the group I was with began to split up and I found my self in 9th place with 2 other guys. After a short chat, the three of decided we all felt good and wanted to try and break 2:17. We went from running 5:20’s comfortably to 5:00-5:10 per mile. I felt incredible, even the increased pace was easy, that is until we got to mile 21, and then it was like someone turned off the switch. I began to slow and had to be sick. I still felt like I had some strength but I just needed to get sick. After stopping and taking in fluids, I carried on, not walking or jogging, I was still running but running a good minute slower than I had been. I was pleased to hang on for 11th place and finish with a descent depute but I knew I had much more in me.

Twin Cities Marathon

Twin Cities Marathon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA Cross Country Championships

USA Cross Country Championships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There have been lots of ups and downs in my life since my first marathon, both athletically and personally but I will save that for another blog sometime. But here I am less than 2 weeks before I race Ironman Florida, which will be my 4th Ironman this year and I once again feel like a marathon runner. I am lacking a bit of speed that I had a few years ago but that could also be because I have put on a good 15 lbs of body weight since taking up Ironman racing. But I feel strong again, strong like I felt back in 2006, when every time I went out for a run, it was effortless, my body was on cruise control. This is what you are supposed to feel like when your body is in top form. All the little niggles disappear, you smash every session, you wake up everyday and don’t feel like you destroyed your body the day before, and a part of you doesn’t want to taper and race because you want to keep training like an animal because it feels so good to be in this kind of shape.

A few nights ago over dinner, family friend, who is a runner her self asked me how I do it, the Ironman that is. “Does it hurt the whole time”? “What’s the toughest part?” she asked. I tried my best to describe the feeling you have. It’s a much longer day than the marathon, you have to be patient like running a marathon but the last 10k, is just like running an open marathon. Your feet start to hurt; the pace gets tougher and tougher to hold. It all boils down to your ability to concentrate, accept the pain, and push on!

So the next day I am out doing a long brick workout, running along at 6:30 pace, and feeling great, like I could do it all day. I started to think how easy 6:30 pace should be in an Ironman, I mean I’ve run 5:30 pace for a full marathon, “No Problem” I thought, right? Wrong! Ironman FL will be my fourth attempt at trying to run sub 3 hour marathon off the bike. In my first attempt, I made it to 5k, my second I made it to 15k, and in my last attempt I made it 30k before the wheels came off. This time I am hoping to make it to 35k before it really, really starts to hurt. Who knows it could be uncomfortable as soon as I step off the bike but I am confident now that I have trained enough to be able to handle the full marathon. I am prepared to hurt, to hurt like have never hurt before and I will draw some strength from that October day when I ran my first marathon. The pain will come but I am ready to embrace it, ready to HTFU and run some guys down!

SD

P.S. Go Yankees!!!

Working On A Dream!

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

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Last Saturday night I had the opportunity to go see Bruce Springsteen in concert.  He is rapping up the final leg of his  tour which is promoting his latest album, “Working On A Dream”.  This was the 3rd time I have seen “The Boss” in concert and he and the band did not disappoint.  Bruce and The E-Street Band are playing what will be their final shows at Giants Stadium as the stadium will be torn down after the NFL Football season is over.  For those who are not familar with Giants Stadium, it is the home to the New York Football Giants and Jets.  Bruce has played over 25 shows in this stadium through out the years.  It is located in the swamps of jersey known as the Meadowlands.  Bruce and his family live just down the turnpike in Monmouth County, in fact many of my training rides go right past their estate. 

It was an absolutely perfect night for a concert with clear skies  temps in the 60s .With a big bright full moon over head my sister, brother, brother in law, and I danced the night away on the floor of Giants Stadium.  The band rocked out to many of their legendary songs such as Out In The Street, Born In The USA, Glory Days, Dancing In The Dark, Born To Run, Jersey Girl, and Thunder Road.  He also played numerous tracks off his new album, “Working On A Dream”.  Above is the video for the title track to this album.  When Bruce played this song, my brother in law Jimmy, jumping up and down with excitment must have turned to me 5 0r 6 times  and saying, “Scottie Boy, this is you, he is singing to you!!”  Infering I am  in deed “Working On A Dream”!!  I thought about this quite a bit yesterday as I was out on my long ride.  “Working On A Dream”, yes indeed that is what I was out doing, that is what  all of us at  Team TBB are doing, Day in and day out it’s work, work, work!  Yes we treat our training like a job because you must !  But is it really a job if you get up everyday and love what you are do?

It’s Kona week and I have watched over the world wide web as my fellow teammates have been training in Korea working on their dreams  while I have been home in New Jersey using them as motivation and working on my dream!  Work, lots of work is what it takes to make your dreams come true!!!  So on Saturday morning when you guys are treading water in Kailua Kona Bay, think about all the work that you have put in to get where you are at that moment.  Don’t take it for granted, embrace it!!!   You all have worked your arses off to get where you are!!  While you are out there racing your hearts out, I will be out my bike working on my dream!!!  Good Luck Guys!!! Go Team TBB!!

SD