No. 13

Rounding the Corner onto 59th Street [Photos: Anwar Ragep]

Number thirteen is done and dusted. It was a very difficult race for me and I’m relieved to have it in the books. I don’t consider myself to be an overly superstitious kind of guy, but for some reason the idea of marathon number 13 was a mental monkey on my back from the day that I registered. I think this was partially because last year went so well and I knew that it would be unlikely to have such a good experience twice in a row.

Training went as well as it ever has. No major injuries or illness. When I started the taper portion of my program, I was feeling like I may actually beat my course PR this year. About a week before the race, when I saw the forecast, my mind changed. I feel like I’m fastest in high 40s/low 50s. It was looking like this race was going to be about 20 degrees hotter than that, plus super humid. Heat is one thing, but humidity is another thing entirely. When sweat can’t evaporate, it doesn’t cool you down.

The morning of the race went very smoothly. I made it to the start village without a hitch and met up with some friends who were starting in my same corral. We were all cautiously optimistic that perhaps the overcast conditions would make the temperature less of a factor. But by the time we lined up on the Verrazzano, the sun was blazing down and it was almost 70 degrees already. From that moment, I knew it was going to be a tough one. I paced the first half of the race with one of my friends from high school, who in amazing marathoner. We were clipping along at about a 7:30 until around mile 15 (right before the Pulaski Bridge), when I had to pull off to fix my shoe (which was tied too tight and causing increasingly sharp pain on the top of my foot). I told my friend not to wait for me.

By the time that I was coming off of the Queensboro, I knew I was going to have to slow down if I was going to finish. The temperature had hit mid 70’s and the air was like soup. I was drenched in sweat, but still overheating. So I just parked it in second gear and slugged it out for the last 10 miles.

It was awesome to see so many friends cheering along the course. I saw Britt and her mom (who flew in from Florida to watch the race, so cool!) cheering in two different spots along the way. My friend Anwar was with them both times. Thanks for the great photos, Anwar! I can truly say that the support of the crowd is really what kept me going for the second half of the race. I have never seen so many people who were walking, collapsing and/or being attended to by paramedics in any race that I have run in the past.

Aaaanyway, I’ve got #14 coming up in a few weeks. Its a flat course in Palm Beach. Gonna try to get a BQ now that I’m old and my qualie time just got 10 minutes easier. Wish me luck!

Fall Camp-Hike-Fish Photo Dump

Britt Enjoying Some Autumnal Blue Hour Views at Little Pond

A couple of years back, we scored some very decent camping gear through a Burton promo. Britt decided that it was time to finally actually put it to use. She booked a campsite a the Little Pond Campground, a short drive from our house in the Catskills. We opted for one of the “primitive” sites (means that you can’t just pull up and camp next to the car) mainly because it was the only option available on the last weekend of its operating season. The campground was a good way to ease back into “real” camping. It was only a half-mile walk to the camp site from the parking lot. So it was very easy to bring a wheeled cooler, bundle of fire wood, etc.. The campground also had hot showers and flushing toilets. We didn’t take advantage of the showers, since we only stayed one night. But the plumbed bathrooms were a nice amenity.

In the morning, we broke camp, sat in the truck for 30 minutes to let a rain squall blow through, then hiked the Little Pond trail with Lola. The leaves were intense. The rest of this post is a mix of photos from camping, hiking and fishing over the course of that weekend. The handheld shots were this (for camping) or this (for fishing). The aerial shots were with a DJI Mini drone. Enjoy!Continue reading

Fall Foliage Mornings With Droney

My commute upstate from NYC took about an hour longer that usual last night. I couldn’t figure out why until Britt reminded me that there was a three day weekend for a lot of people. Separately, it is getting darn close to peak leaf peeping season in our part of the Catskills. I woke up to this on Friday morning. Wild how much it has changed even from last weekend. I feel spoiled to be right in the middle of it all!Continue reading

October 2020 Playlist

I traditionally struggle to put together a strong playlist for October. There are several reasons for that. One is that there isn’t a lot of new music being released as summer is winding down. Another is that I’m generally insanely busy with work. Even though this is another relatively short playlist, I’m into it more than the October iterations of yore. I dropped in a couple of clutch throwback tracks. Chemical Brothers will always remind me of autumn. I have a vivid memory from my early years as an NYer- blown away by the dramatic colors of changing leaves. I was still a student at the time, but had managed to get my hands on my first real German built sports sedan. It was late evening and I was driving solo, going through the gears, whipping around on some country back-roads in LI with the sunroof open and heat blasting. The musty smell of damp leaves on the ground mixed with someone’s fireplace smoke had my heart racing. The soundtrack was Chemical Brothers’ “Star Guitar” turned up to 11 on the custom sound system I had built (I was into that sort of thing back then). In the rearview mirror I could see leaves flying up in the air behind the car, like some scene out of a Batman movie. As my current-day self, it seems super corny when I reflect on the experience (as with many other experiences I had as a twenty-something year old boy). But that fall evening I felt a very Zen moment that has stuck with me all of these years.

Get your own autumn vibes right here:

September 2019 Playlist

I included a couple of Ras G tracks on here, in memoriam. The rest is all what I feel to be some good sounds for the transition from summer to fall. The rock is not really ‘in your face.’ The instrumental-ish stuff is not straight ambient, but still 100% mood. Still vibing on summer, but acknowledging shorter days and colder temps lie ahead.