TIME TO RISE!

The base period has come to an end. I have to say this is the most I have ever done training wise in building my base for a season and to come out of it mentally stable and injury free is a blessing. There have been no true easy volume weeks and I pounded myself in a few of them with some hill work and some speedwork mixed in. I am looking forward to transitioning more towards a triathlon style training program than a three part running type program.
Though I would train 2-3x a day, I have had the ever watchful eyes of G to keep things in check. There have been times when things got sore, achy, and yes, with the clock time changes even downright SAD type, but we got it done. I even managed to score a few good races as prep work this month! I have been adding Nuun as my drink of choice for most of my training and it has done me well. I will be adding Odwalla to the menu come April so on the nutrition front, things are solid – but G still monitors the show with weekly weigh-ins and having me read “The Athlete’s Palate” for better cooking ideas.
I even now got to MacGyver my UBE to add cadence by hooking up the cadence sensor from one of my Polar bike computers to the UBE. Should be a good reading and value come spring when I do more UBE workouts.

The first tune-up was at the Kings Park 15k, where we had that cold, driving rain with fierce wind. Soaked and cold was the name of the day, but there was a good crowd turnout which made for a great run along with time to  see Wayne V., my Polar co-worker. I placed 14th overall and won my age group! But it was rough and put a serious heaviness to the legs with all the training plus it was a tough course. And the shivering afterwards didn’t help either. G and I however got treated by her sister Christine, who came to the race, for breakfast at their house which made for some good family warming up!
Unfortunately all that shivering made for some cramped legs so it was close from an injury standpoint on keeping things in check that next week. I decided to enter the Suffolk County Half Marathon on March 28th instead of the April 3rd half-marathon race, since I wanted to finish my base work before Easter week. This would give me a good month of training in April going into the 3 events I have planned for May and beyond.

This event is small (300+) and though it is mostly flat, is challenging in the course being an out and back type loop with no traffic and wide open roads – perfect for a gusty wind. It was windy indeed (20+ gusts) and under 40 degrees so I opted for the skinsuit under my Polar gear and Sayeville Running top. Special thanks to Brendan at the SRC (www.sayevillerunning.com) for hooking me up with his team. I’m happy to try and earn points for his group in this Long Island series of races. Great guy, great shop.
From the start it was all going to be a mental workout. The plan was to stay in a high heartrate zone and maintain it, while battling the winds. It worked. I came in 4th overall and once again, won my age group. G was chilly once again, but we got to warm up and celebrate another fun race while scoring some more hardware to boot. No soreness, no aches, everything intact (thanks to some BioFreeze after, Aquaphor before, and of course Rita’s the night before with some Nuun after for added hydration!!!) Also thanks to Melissa at IOS for the stock of Espresso gel!!!

So after 3 months, a HUGE, HUGE base has been established and I come away with 2 wins in my age group. I have physically, mentally, and spiritually created the mandate I need to carry me into this race season. This time of Lent has been very rewarding at being able to dig deep within and bring things closer to the surface for review. Now with Easter upon me, it is time to put it to use. Pro-duce. Shed a layer. Time to rise.

Side notes:
We got to tinkle with our artsy side when we were invited by a friend to her son’s lead role in “The King and I”. It was performed by students at the Frank Sinatra School of Arts and I always enjoy seeing such talented students perform at such a level. From the singing, acting, and role of the student’s orchestra, all should be marveled, applauded, and nutured since THESE kids get it. Hard work and dedication pays off. It doesn’t hurt to have Tony Bennett in the crowd either if you are an inspiring arts major. 
We got to tinker with our small back garden to by getting a table for our outdoor “chillin” and also started clearing the way for Gina’s plants. It was a great few days of warm weather before another cold and rain spell came rolling through.
I have also been one of 100 athletes from a pool of 2000 applicants to be selected to Team Odwalla. As with prior team sponsorships, I will be assisting Odwalla in their efforts to broaden their delivery of natural food bars, juices, and drinks to the community through volunteer opportunities and beyond in my racing/training. Their link has been added to the right and the entire team at www.teamodwalla.com

The best news to share comes partially from this time described above. Gina and I have sat down on a number of occasions and really spoke about preparing for the big event. Yes – here it comes folks – we have have set a date to be married!
Saturday, October 16th at 11am at Gina’s parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Astoria will be our official day. I am honored to have my long time spiritual guidance and friend Fr. Frank Hughes officiate. We have started the paperwork process, begun organizing the details we need to address all in the red folder,  and even have Amy’s Bread on board to cater (applesauce donuts anyone???)!!
It will be a small brunch-type reception with family and close friends, but we are keeping it low-key, small, and organizing every aspect of the day ourselves, though I hope to have a bball court nearby so we can hoop a bit and hand out some fun schwag!!!!

So yes – the time has come and we both are looking forward to it. Yes – she said I can race in the meantime too, so the schedule will stay the same for now. We both think of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and what we’ve been able to experience the past 10 years that we’ve know each other. We down right have nearly traveled the globe and across the U.S. together with all these races, been through 2 relocations, and together we have obtained a wealth of trust, faith, and love for one another that make us richer than any Mega Millions jackpot (but it doesn’t hurt that we still play it).

Heck, we’ve even managed to bring along our kitty Holmes from 600 miles away and get him into the new hood. One just needs to view our “portfolio” of pictures and stories along with the awards won that I firmly would not have been able to obtain or achieve without her “Ironsherpa” persona. That’s not to say we haven’t had our share of bumps, disagreements, “silence time” with one another (one thing we’ve NEVER done is shout at each other). But this has all helped in developing that solid teamwork we now have. I have composed almost a hundred journals on this website and printed them out in a book. It actually takes you back to when we first started dating! We’ve grown from co-workers, to friends, to dating, to enagement, and now marriage. This book of journals and our slide show of pictures will be on display at our wedding. I am even going to display the rough copy of my book that I have pieced together on my goal of attaining Self-Actualization. It’s an event almost 4 years in the making since our engagement, but it will be a blast indeed!!!!!!

I am sending out a mass email to all updating this event. Sure we would like to invite everyone if possible, but we want to at least extend a thank you to all who have been a part of our journey. There is no finish line for this “race”, but we know we both are winners in this one.  

AMOR VINCIT OMNIA

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