As many of our NYC Marathoners scatter to find their “Plan B” race, we’ll keep you posted on all the results. This weekend, Ralph Toussie traveled to the Delaware & Lehigh Heritage race for his marathon debut. Ralph ran the challenging course in 3:56:09. Ralph is a City Coach newbie, but a veteran of our Red Hook track program.
I recently sent you a string of messages over the course of a few days that went like this in chronological order:
I’m Going to Run a Marathon!…..I’m Still Going to Run a Marathon…I’m Not Going to Run a Marathon….____BLANK____
That message string will be completed at the end of this e-mail. As you probably all know, Hurricane Sandy devastated the east coast last week. Many of us experienced a halt in our daily routines because transportation, electricity, and supplies were scarce next to none. Others suffered with loss of life or homes. We still have ongoing issues and the recovery effort is becoming more urgent. No doubt, the sum of events that followed Hurricane Sandy created a roller coaster media storm. The city was divided and emotions were high on many issues, especially concerning the NYC Marathon.
If you had asked me ten days ago, I’d have told you that I’d spend “Marathon Sunday” cheering for my friends and teammates, and then walk home to compile the results for the annual congratulatory blog post and tell you how proud I was of our runners. Hurricane Sandy changed just about everything – the city was (and remains) devastated, the race was cancelled, and the city was divided (and in many cases angry). But one thing didn’t change; I remain proud to be part of a wonderful community of athletes.
There are a few things that I love. Among them are my job, my athletes and my city. Every year I look forward to watching my friends, colleagues, clients, and an additional 40,000 or so runners as they race the NYC Marathon. And because so much of my life revolves around these things, I’m the first to admit that I live in a strange little world and that perhaps my priorities are a little skewed at times. Despite my athlete-centric perspective, and despite the fact that I am very happy for the aforementioned friends, clients, team members and others who will get to run the marathon on Sunday, I disagree with the decision to hold the race.
Last weekend, the Ohio chapter of CCMS decided if a marathon is fun, a double marathon on trails would be twice as much fun. As such, Kevin Motsch partook in the Run With Scissors Double Marathon, and made (relatively) short work of it. Despite an unscheduled detour off the course for a few miles, Kevin finished second. Congratulations Mr. Motsch
If the race goes on as planned, with no alterations to the course, here’s some guidance as to how to best manage it.
The start is the hardest part of the NYC course as you climb the Verrazano. If you’re lucky enough to start near the front, be careful not to go out too fast. In fact, if you race well it should be your slowest mile of the day because of the elevation gain. If you’re starting toward the back, you may be tempted to weave around folks to make good time up the hill. Resist this temptation at all costs. Make sure that you run 1.0 miles in the first mile – no more! Wasting energy trying to get around other runners will certainly bite you in the butt later. It may be frustrating to shuffle for the first mile, but the good news is you’ll still have 25+ miles to make up any lost time. (Yes – I just said that 25 to go is a good thing.) After you reach the top of the bridge, you’ll have a fast, downhill mile. Once again, don’t waste energy by attacking the hill to aggressively. Lean into the hill gently and relax.
It’s been a while since our last trivia question. This one will likely take a little research, but it’ll be worth it, as the first person with the correct response will be awarded a nifty City Coach T-shirt. Here you go.
Who is Greta Varchi and what has she done that no woman in an Ironman has ever done? Get to Googling everyone.
I recently stumbled upon a blog written by a prominent celebrity trainer. In it, she lamented the overly sexualized and suggestive images of some women in the fitness industry.
“If their goals included becoming porn stars, then congrats they succeeded! But as a reputable fitness expert who has worked my ass off to be an inspiring and motivating positive role model for women, girls, daughters and moms I find it to be reprehensible and demeaning to women in our industry and women in general. It’s also unnecessary. Jillian Michaels doesn’t pose like that…Jane Fonda would have NEVER reduced herself. And they are all UBER successful and super talented!”
Sarana joined the City Coach staff in 2012. She holds a BS degree in Exercise Science, MS degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition, and is a USA Track an Field Level I Certified Coach. She is also a track and field coach at the Nightingale-Bamford School and volunteer assistant coach at Columbia University.
From 2006-11, she was one of the most dominant pentathletes/heptathletes in the Northeast. She received All-ECAC honors as an indoor pentathlete in 2008-09. She was All-NEC for indoor high jump, long jump, 55m high hurdles and 4x400m and All-New England for the pentathalon for three straight years (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09).
A few weeks ago, this of a little girl learning to ride a bike got a lot of attention because she was hating every minute of it. Her father (seemingly innocently enough) tried to encourage her, but she wanted nothing more than to leave the bike out in the rain to rust. I’m the first to admit that I watched that video, chuckled at that video, and shared that video.
Recently, Daniel Coyle (author of Lance Armstrong’s War, The Secret Race, and The Talent Code) shared a video of another 4-year old, and contrasted not only the approach of the two riders, but of the two fathers. Note how the dad in this video is mostly quiet, and let’s the kid control his own situation.
According to Coyle, “the larger point is, kids are smart. You can’t con them. To take on challenges they need to be in control. They need to be given the room and motivation to encounter the challenge honestly, and a parent’s role is to help create the conditions where that can happen — then to step back.” Honestly, that sentence works just as well if you replace “parent” with “coach”. I’ve come to realize that sometimes an athlete needs to be given some latitude in order to do what he/she wants. I can’t tell an athlete what their goals should be, and while there are times when an athlete needs to be removed from their comfort zone in order to excel, pushing them too hard in that direction – even with the best of intentions – can be counterproductive.
Anyway, I dare you to watch this video and not smile as you see and hear how much this kid is loving the ride – even when he wipes out.