First run in 3.5 weeks. I was cleared yesterday by my doctor to resume training. I got shots in my leg and after some sprints yesterday and 3 miles today, I feel pretty good. Not going to push it too hard. And I’m taking at least one rest day (from running) after each workout. Physical therapy will be ongoing at this point. Just so happy to be back, praise God. #413strong #trainingrun #morningrun #running #instarunning #nycinstarunner #runner #irun #sauconyride #runningshoes #runnerproblems
These miles won’t run themselves. 4 miler for my #4for40 quest. Ran in my new #brookspureflow2. Review? Sure, why not.
If you come from a more built up shoe, you will feel like you are running on air with these. If you are coming from the #brookspureconnect, then that’s not going to be the case. @nyles_gee said these are going to offer more cushioning, and they do. So in that regard I guess they are on the money. But what I love so much about the Connect, is that you feel ‘connected’ to the road. In the Flow you will feel a definite, and I’m guessing deliberate, barrier between you and the pavement. The Connect’s sole is meant to not be there. Your foot is wrapped in a soft, sock-like upper. The Flow has a more constructed upper that rests on top of the sole, giving it a less unified feel. There was noticeable movement in the toe box with each foot strike. I know why I got these and I will use them for their intended purpose. Maybe after they’re broken in I’ll grow to like them more. Thank goodness these weren’t meant to be a replacement to my precious Connects. If my feelings towards the Flow remain unchanged, it’s going to strengthen my preference for shorter races.
#trainingrun #morningrun #running #instarunning #nycinstarunners #runnerd #runningshoes
This is really happening, the Mak is marathon training. Had to get these bad boys for my long runs. I’m currently doing my #trainingrun in #brookspureconnect but I felt (reaffirmed by @nyles_gee) that I need more cushioning as I up the miles. I have a 10 miler on Saturday so I’m going to break these in during my short runs thus week. #brookspureflow2 #runningshoes #brooks #running #instarunning #runner #irun
Mile 20 memories
My day started as most do, to a cacophony of alarms, noisy neighbors, and teens bustling. But this day was unlike any other day. It was marathon Sunday. Of course the marathon has been taking place in NYC for umpteen years, but this year would be the first year that I would be on the sidelines cheering and supporting. I have come to know some pretty awesome people in the past several months. We call ourselves the NYCInstaRunners.
We all live in or close to NYC, we’re all on Instagram, and we all run. Our name fits us I think. A number of us were running the marathon this year and so I was personally vested. But before there would be any cheering, there was the small matter of knocking out 9 miles for my weekly long run. I’m actually training for my first marathon. But that’s a different story (told here: http://4for40.tumblr.com). I don’t often do 9 milers so getting ready for this one I had no predetermined route. It just so happened that the location I had planned on being during the marathon, was a perfect 4.5 miles from home. It was obvious where my 9 miler would take me.
One hour, 14 minutes and 26 seconds (1112 kcal) later, it was time to get into full marathon support mode. I laid out the 2 blank foam boards that I had gotten the night before, and enlisted my daughters to help me create some posters. 2 boards, 2 sides, that’s 4 messages. I had everything ready but my mind drew blank. My creative juices just weren’t flowing. Some of the things I came up with were simply appalling, even offensive. I took a few minutes to relax and let myself come down from the high my run had created. It was only then that I got the ideas for 3 out of the 4 posters. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t manage to muster a fourth. Probably for the best since it was starting to get late. My wife was in charge of tracking the runners with the available marathon app. Her job was to make sure we didn’t miss anyone. I got to hand it to my daughters; they were really pouring their all into making these posters. Everything was sailing along smoothly then my wife blurts out from the room, “Rafael started!!”
I panicked for a split second, but then remembered that he had 20 miles to go before he’d be at our post. Clearly we had time. You don’t know how long it’s going to take to make marathon posters until you attempt to make marathon posters. We knew what we wanted to put on them, but the tweaking and editing took time. Lots of time. Meanwhile, Rafael is passing checkpoints at breakneck speeds. We were quickly running out of time and my tension was building and starting to affect my mood. I really tried to remain positive. But when I saw that Rafael was already at the 20k mark and I hadn’t left my apartment, I nearly lost it. All I kept thinking was that, I have his Gu. Under some duress, the kids managed to put the finishing touches on the posters. Leaving the apartment, everyone we were tracking had started and Rafael was at mile 15. There was nothing else I could do but hope and pray that we’d get there in time.
When we got to 138th Street and 3rd Ave the website tracker (which was more detailed than the app) put Rafael at mile 20. If that was accurate, it would place him right around the corner. It was literally a couple minutes from time we got there to when we saw Raf’s bright yellow shirt making the bend. We made it just in time! We gave him hugs, high fives, and of course his Gu. We’d later learn that the huge smile on his face was masking severe hip pains that he had been experiencing. So we got Raf, and now we could situate ourselves and check to see who’d be next. It was Stalina. But she was quite a ways back which gave us some time to get into full cheer mode for all the other runners passing by. We even became a mini med station when I administered Biofreeze to some complete strangers who were clearly in despair. One lady, who was clutching her calf, was grateful to the point of tears as she rolled down her compression sleeve to allow me to rub on the treatment. I don’t know if she made it to the finish, but I will never forget the look of gratitude on her face. Likewise, the gentleman who sat at my feet rubbing his ankle while shaking his head. His friend stood over him looking down at him, but saying nothing. When I offered him the Biofreeze he smiled and said, “I’ll try anything”.
Stalina could not be missed. As if she had coordinated with Raf, she too had a bright yellow shirt with her name bold on the front. She skipped towards us, waving and smiling. I had never seen anyone else at mile 20 looking so happy. She was giddy. She was in the zone. So much so that she barely had time to high five us and wave goodbye. Stalina is our “happiest runner” award winner. “Who’s next?” I asked. “Zachah and Helena”, Del said. Throughout the entire time we were tracking them, this duo seemed joined at the hip. Del even questioned whether the app was giving us accurate information since they had identical times for every split.
Well it was no mistake. Coming around the corner from 138th onto Morris, joined at the hips, were Helena and Zachah. When we got their attention they almost caused a wreck trying to weave their way to us. Zachah had to be Helena’s eyes because Helena’s plan was seemingly to just go for it. They didn’t’ want Gu, nor bananas, or anything else we had in our sideline Bodega. They just wanted to say hi and be on their way. It was as cold as you could imagine a November morning to be. Seeing their joy and elation really made Del and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was then it really soaked in why we were out there. Or so we thought, keep reading.
Johanna was the next contestant on “The Mile is Right”, come on down. We looked into the crowd but we could not spot her. “Check again Del, are you sure she hasn’t passed”, I told her. She assured me she hadn’t. Then out of nowhere she appears, right in front us. She didn’t give me enough time to get to my camera, but we gave her hugs, Gu, and a banana. We wished her farewell and watched her disappear back into the crowd. I was tempted to chase her down and get her picture, but officer Wontstopstaringatus made me feel like I’d end up on the evening news if I dared cross his tape. I remember her face though. She was smiling, but clearly in a bit of distress. I’m just glad we had the banana when she asked for it because that’s all Del and I had been feeding on as we stood at our post.
Tuhina wasn’t that far behind Johanna. She came gracefully around the corner spotting us immediately. She smiled and waved the whole way to us. We gave her hugs and Gu and encouraged her not to stay too long. Tuhina didn’t say much, but we could tell that by that point in the race she was in need of us. In much the same way that we were in need of her. All of our runners for that matter. I see supporters in a different light after Sunday. As Del and I yelled the names of people’s shirt, we could tell that it was the only thing keeping them going. Some would throw their hands in the air; others offered a much more subdued thumbs up. Some people said thank you verbally, others with a simple smile in our direction. A few walkers would look at us like they wanted to switch places. And then there were the infirmed. Mile 20 took its toll and some runners were reduced to hobbling. What we noticed though, was that no one was giving up. Every one we saw come around that bend, went on. We don’t know how much further, but they carried their weary selves past our post and out of sight.
Speaking of out of sight, we still had one more runner to go. Alexie had been bringing up the rear the entire time. But he was moving. It wasn’t until he got to mile 20 on the app but didn’t show up to where we stationed that we began to worry. We waited and waited and started to fear the worst. There was a medical tent at mile 20 and I was about to make my over to it to check if he was in there. No sooner had that thought crossed my mind that Del shouted, “Alexie!!”
He was walking, but started to jog when he heard her. A combination of grinning and grimacing came over him as him made his way gingerly to us. Alexie was in no rush. He stopped for pictures. He chatted a bit. We gave him some Gu and then told him to GO!! Alexie seemed to be content to just hang out with us but that was not going to happen. After hours of being at our post, our last runner took off and out of sight. What do now? I guess since that was it we could pack it up and go to the finish to reconvene.
By now the crowd of runners was much less dense. We saw an older lady walking really slowly kicking the cups that had piled up on the curbside. I thought she was delusional. She was sifting through the trash looking for something. We didn’t know what it was until we saw her reach down and pick up a half of a banana. The refueling area around the corner was beginning to close up shop and they were all out of fruit. She was about to eat the banana from the trash before Del and I stopped her. She hesitated at first, insisting it was fine and that we should save our banana in case someone else needed it. I fought back a tear. That moment was when it really soaked in why were there. She finally did take our banana and dropped the one she had found on the floor. Then she said, “I’ll share it with the others” and that’s when the tear I was fighting back fell down my cheek. Del and I had gathered our things and were going to leave. After that we just looked at each other, and put our things down, and without saying it – agreed to stay. We stayed there at the corner of 138th and Morris as the remaining runners passed us by, cheering for everyone by name, or by description. It wasn’t until we saw the sweeper vehicles coming that we decided to pack it up. We were exhausted and decided to go home and warm up, and EAT, instead of going to the finish. Next year, by God’s grace, I will make my way around that same corner just after mile 20. I don’t know who will be there, but trust me I will make them know just how much I appreciate them being there.
My idea of hot/cold therapy. After running 9 miles yesterday morning, I went straight to mile 20 where I stood for 6hrs. Finally got to ice my problem leg this morning before work while sipping some coffee. #latergram #coffeetime #coffee #CafeBustelo #ice #postrun #trainingrun #4for40