Archive for October, 2013

Central Park

Posted: October 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

I travel to New York City regularly to meet with Polo Ralph Lauren on Madison Avenue.  I normally take the 6:40 a.m. Acela from Providence to Penn Station and walk the 30 blocks to the PRL office for a 10:30 a.m. meeting.  I prefer to walk the 30 blocks rather than take a cab because I can walk faster than most cabs can travel through the congestion.  But it also wakes me up to the uniqueness of NYC.  I hear languages I cannot recognize and have encounters that are just so unique to New York.  It’s the perfect beginning to a promising several days.

The PRL office is located at 5th and Madison is a great location to spend my time.  It’s near Central Park, Niketown is there, and I have my selection of healthy restaurants.  Polo travel normally reserves a room at the Helmsley Park Lane on Central Park South just across from Central Park.

I left my hotel at 6:00 a.m. and entered Central Park one minute later in complete darkness.  I was astonished by the volume of runners and cyclists I immediately encountered.  There was a group of at least 40 runners approaching from the opposite direction and they were clearly in the middle of an intense tempo run.  I was so tempted to turn around as soon as the last runner passed and hop on the caboose.  But I was less than a minute into my run and wasn’t nearly warmed up enough…I am also on the road to recovering from the Achilles tendonitis from my 12,000 mile motorcycle journey.

So I settled into a comfortable pace and immediately had two runners pass me.  I couldn’t control my competitiveness and began to gain ground on them.  While I know this wasn’t the best choice, my heart smiled because I was so thankful the competitive fire still burns within me.  Once I overtook them, I tried to maintain a pace just fast enough to maintain that slight advantage.  Like a pilot searching for the perfect altitude with no turbulence, I was doing the same with my pace.

The atmosphere was so exciting.  Cyclists were whizzing by in groups of 20+, messenger bags bouncing off their backs, red lights flashing from beneath their seast, freewheels humming like quiet chain saws, all fully engaged in lively conversation.  Although it was still quite dark, the street lights providing ample illumination to see others and a clear vision of the road.

Running in Central Park is something every runner should experience.  The range of runners and cyclists is as wide as the park itself.  While there are plenty of solo runners completely lost in their thoughts and struggle to climb the next hill, most runners are socializing with one another or part of a much larger group…the perfect start to the day.

As the end of my run was nearing, a helicopter was circling overhead.  It reminded me of the 1982 NYC Marathon when Alberto Salazar was attempting to win his 3rd consecutive NYC Marathon.  He was engaged in a fierce battle with Rodolfo Gomez from Mexico in the closing miles.  As they entered Central Park a helicopter stirred up some dirt and dust, this afforded Alberto a cloud of cover to separate himself from Rodolfo and create a gap that Rodolfo wasn’t able to bridge.  Alberto’s official winning time was 2:09:29.  This was one of the greatest marathon finishes in history!


Running With A Purpose!

Posted: October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

This past May I supported Cheryl Cleary in her Providence Marathon effort…3rd place overall in 3:08:11 (7:11 pace).  I thought that I couldn’t be more proud of her…until this past weekend.  Cheryl had the race of a lifetime when she won the USATF-NE 30K Championship in 2:01:05 (6:30 pace).

Cheryl works as hard as any runner I have known and she performs better on race day than anyone.  Congratulations Cheryl, once again, I’m so proud of you!

 What it Takes to Win a USATF-NE CHAMPIONSHIP

Cheryl Cleary of Central Mass Striders (CMS) has more than 15 years of running under her belt, but not until recently did she start running her all-time best. This past weekend, for example, at the Nahant 30k, she took the women’s title in the USATF-NE Grand Prix race, setting a major PR in the process and breaking the course record. Her time of 2:01:05, a 6:30 per mile pace over the course of more than 18.5 miles, is impressive in itself — but what may be most impressive is that Cheryl will be turning 40 in January and has four kids.

Cheryl Cleary of CMS about to taste victory at the Nahant 30 - Photo by Krissy Kozlosky

Cheryl Cleary of CMS about to taste victory at the Nahant 30k – Photo by Krissy Kozlosky

So, what has been the key to her success? We got the inside scoop from Cheryl herself. Here’s what she had to say.

On her…Recent Racing Successes 

  • “Winning the USATF-NE Grand Prix Nahant 30k was the greatest moment in my running career to date. After 15+ years of running, my training has jumped to a new level since I decided to accept coaching from Kevin Beck in June. I’ve done everything he has told me to with adjustments along the way and his brilliance and specificity in workouts has obviously done the trick. My goal this summer was to break 18 in a certified 5k, which I did at Canal Diggers 5k, running 17:40 to win and take the course record there in early September. I’ve also set PRs in the 5 mile and 10K. Coming up next is the Hartford Half Marathon and Manchester Marathon.”

…Training and Diet

  • “I’ll be 40 years old in January and have four kids ages 7, 5, 3 and 23 months. A lot of my training is on my treadmill with long runs done outside with my training partner Arthur Besse. We’ve hammered out 18 milers with the last 12 around 6:45 per mile pace average, sometimes bringing the final two miles down to under 6:30 pace. I also do two other quality speed sessions per week. In my opinion, the biggest key to my recent success and ability to stay injury free is diet. I don’t eat anything special but have made changes in the direction of ‘clean eating.’ It helps in recovery and I include a lot of raw foods in my diet each day like nuts and avocados and lots of grilled chicken.”

…Pack Racing with the Guys

  • “During the Nahant 30k, I joked with a group of guys around mile eight that I was running with, and said ‘so, you guys going to help pace me to win this?’ (I was in third place at the time but could see the two ladies in front of me slowing). I heard some chuckles, but it was those guys that led the way for me, and I thank them dearly. Working together in a race is key and I do not wear a watch but run by feel in races. By mile 15, the group broke up but I managed to catch Justin Soucy of Gate City Striders with a couple miles to go and he talked me through to the finish, keeping me relaxed as I envisioned the feeling of what was about to be mine. It was extremely emotional to capture the victory. A Grand Prix race. All that I have worked for, one moment.”

We congratulate Cheryl on her well-deserved victory and wish her the best of luck in her upcoming races, including the Manchester City Marathon on November 3rd, the final race in the 2013 USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix series.

Change Of Pace

Posted: October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

I was reading PAVED (one of the most unique and inspirational bicycling magazines) last evening just before falling asleep and was inspired to break from my routine.  The article I was reading featured several riders embarking on a unique ride through Yellowstone National Park in April.

Yellowstone is one of my favorite flyfishing destinations so I was intrigued by their journey.  I have encountered snow in Yellowstone during the month of July so I knew their journey would involve a lot of ‘cross type riding.  I am now interested in taking a similar journey through Yellowstone in April, long before the throngs of RV’s filled with tourists clog the roads.  It might be the perfect journey at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon.

I suddenly felt the urge to be on my bike even though it was 10:00 p.m.  I came downstairs and invited Lori to join me on this abrupt ride through the night.  I pulled my Specialized mountain bike out of the basement and attached my NiteRider Lumina 650 headlight and comparable flashing red lights on the rear.  I pumped up the tires and was gone within 15 minutes.

It was certainly different riding at night, even though I have run and cycled this route hundreds of times.  I only encountered one person who was walking his dog.  I slowed my pace to comment on how wonderful the night was and how this was the perfect time to be outside enjoying the evening.  He readily agreed and wished me an enjoyable ride.

The only sound I heard was the constant humming of the Ritchey Megabite World Championship Series knobby tires and my occasional breathing on this extremely hilly course.  Most of the houses I passed had televisions on and I couldn’t help but think how inactive we have become, not that people should necessarily be out running and biking this late at night.  But I certainly don’t think it’s such a bad idea.

I love New England, particularly this time of year.  Just a few hours earlier I rode these same roads on my Harley and enjoyed the vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow of the changing leaves.  Now I could only imagine how they looked.  I approached the Grafton Town Green at 11:30 p.m. and could see the Gazebo and the lighted church steeples.  I felt like I was the only person on earth and it changed by perspective on so many things.

During the day, we are one of many.  But when you seek to do things somewhat differently, your experience and perspective can change dramatically.  It’s important to break from your routine and do something memorable, it will recharge your enthusiasm for living.