Week 7

Total Miles – 33.1

Run 25 – 1/25/21 – Treadmill Return of the Pain – It was frigidly cold today and I decided to not risk further exposure to Mother Nature and headed to the gym for my easy 60 minute run . I also needed to check what the treadmills at the gym had as max inclination just in case the snow on Tuesday actually falls and I need to do my hill repeats on the treadmill.

First of all, I hate running with a mask, once you start sweating up a storm, even the Under Armour one I purchased gets so soaked, it is hard to breath. You are pulling in your own sweat, it’s disgusting! I hate running on the treadmill and then running on it with a mask. Yet, you must adhere.

Before I even laced up my shoes today, I iced my ailing right arch, because it was tender and it just plain HURT. So when I started my slow trot on the treadmill I knew what was coming before it started. It began as a small discomfort, that ended up turning into slight constant pain with every strike. Not enough to change my strike or to slow me down, but enough for me to notice and be mentally affected. To the point where I have to think, what will my hill repeats be like. This is not the shoe, since unlike the original shoe that started this, I don’t feel the stab.

I told my coach and he wants me to see a doctor, which I will. I made the appointment for Thursday. We will see what he says. I will not stop running in the meantime.

The run on the treadmill was what it always is, interminable. It never ends. Even with a good book in my ear. It never ENDS.

Run 26 Hills – Run 27 Easy – Run 28 Longest Run in a Year – I will be honest and say I did not write at all, all week. Except for Monday’s run. This is a recap of the week. Starting with:

Wednesday Hills #26 – I could not run on the road, so I had to take my hills to the treadmill. Part of the reason for running Monday’s run, other than the cold, in the gym was to see how high I could set the treadmill, 15. So hills consisted of 40 second sprints 6 times. Before that, 4 30 second sprints on flat ground to get loose and then capping it all off, with 10 minutes of Half Marathon pace. Sandwich that in between a 25 minute warm up and a 10 minute cool down and it was a hell of a workout. Not treadmill fun! Yet, went rather quick except for the bookends, because of all the changing up of paces.

I went back to wearing the Brooks for this run, to see if I could abate the pain in my arches and that worked. For some reason the Brooks don’t cause the same pain as everything else. I have the new New Balance ready to go for the next easy run. Anyway, the hills were murderous. Running so fast, at a 7:47 pace for 40 seconds with an incline of 8 was not easy. Doable, but no easy. By the 5th go around, I feared not staying on pace but pushed on. On the 6th run, I honestly felt myself slipping but pushed on and somehow sped up enough to stay on the treadmill and not show up in someone’s YouTube video falling off the treadmill like an idiot. The one thing the treadmill does do, is force you to keep that pace. The act of changing speeds or elevation is the act of giving up, and it is much harder to do when you have to press a button to do it.

After the hills came 20 minutes of interminable treadmill hell. The 10 minutes at half marathon pace never ended. After the fast pace of the changes between the sprints and the hills, staying at that pace for 10 minutes was both hard and monotonous at the same time. Follow that up by 10 minutes at easy pace and the last 20 minutes felt 10 times longer than the first 40.

Friday #27 – Easy Run on new shoes. They feel utterly different to the Asics and Brooks, and they hug my feet in such a way to say I got you. Yet, the toe box felt wide and loose. I feared that I would be in pain quick with these shoes, since I felt them on my right foot. Yet, I just felt them and nothing else. While I did feel a tinge of pain a couple of times it never remained. I was able to put on dress shoes after and nothing of note happened. I did my usual home loop for 55 minutes and nothing eventful, except the lack of pain but definitely some pressure.

The doctor on Thursday advice me that I would not do any real further damage, it would just take that much longer to heal. So, we push on!

Saturday #28 – Long Run, actually my longest run in a year when I was training for the canceled NJ Marathon. Again, I relied on the Brooks since pain and Brooks are not synonymous. I create a 15 mile loop, hoping that 15 would be enough to cover the 2hrs and 20 minutes I needed. I went from Mount Vernon, to The Bronx and Baychester Ave. I took this all the way past Co-op city and into Pelham Park. Did you know that Pelham Park is actually the biggest park in the city. The running trails in and around it are hilly and well paved. It was really a joy to run them. From there, I cut back up to New Rochelle and then back to Mount Vernon. Quite the loop!

Here’s the issue with that loop though. The last 3 miles were all up hill. It did not matter that it was a balmy 20 degrees outside. I sweated through the cold and my energy was completely depleted with the hills. My pace went from a steady 9:30 give or take. To a 10:1X. I felt it as I slowed. I felt it as the hills took a number on me. I thankfully did not lose the fight and other than stopping for lights. I never stopped because I could no longer go.

Next week is suppose to be an easy week, that will be made difficult by the Nor’Easter that is incoming on Monday which will make all my runs be done at the gym with the exception of maybe Saturday, which I will do in Central Park.

Week 6

Total Miles. 27.26

Run 21 – 1/19/21 – Almost Skipped – Still being in Puerto Rico, I messaged my coach to let him know that I would not be doing the run on Monday, the heat and the excesses in food and alcohol were not conducive to running 60 minutes that day. He said he needed me to run. That missing the run would not be good for my training. So, I should attempt at least 30-45 minutes at an easy pace. My girlfriend, said I will do it with you. So we did a quick out and back on the same trail I did my long run, but avoiding the actual roads. It was a refreshing and much needed stretch out.

This is one of the things the coaching is shining in. Keeping me accountable of the things I am suppose to do.

Run 22 – 1/20/21 – Tempo + Stride – Oh my god, what a few days of excessive drinking and eating does to training is scary. This was my first run after my trip and it was so difficult. The plan was extensive. 25 minute warm up, some sprints to further warm up, followed by 2×10 minutes at Half Marathon pace with some cool downs.

Everything went well until the second of the 2 Half Marathon pace. Towards the end of the first push, I felt the wheels falling off the vehicle. But I kept pushing, I persisted. Halfway through the second one though, I could not push any further. I paused the watch and came to a stop. The plan was to just grab a breather and then kick it off again. But I could not take off again, hitting pause on the watch was pausing myself. I lost the mental war right there and then. Allowing my brain to dictate me pausing and my body followed suit. I wound up skipping the remainder of the Half Marathon pace and finishing the rest of the cool downs.

Stopping cannot be an option. Stopping is letting the mind take ownership of the process. I think I did well taking into account the circumstances. The abuse I put my body through over the last week. I have one more getaway that will interrupt, I hope it’s not as jarring as this one. We shall see.

Shoes update. This was my second run with the ASICS and they are still good. I also just ordered the New Balance and they have shipped. Looking forward to three different shoes at once and continued easing of my arches.

Run 23 – 1/22/21 – Easy New Route – I figured let’s start changing things up in my neighborhood. Doing the same route over and over again gets monotonous and does not really inspire. I struggled the last run due to the trip so a change of scenery does you good. I headed as if I was going to New Rochelle, and when I got to the edge of it, I took New Rochelle Road to head into Bronxville. This was a HUGE and I do mean HUGE hill. Not only did the hill never seem to end, but there was no where to really run. When this happens I like to run against traffic to see the cars as they come towards me. Mental note, you cannot do this at dusk or dawn.

It was a 50 minute run that turned out to be about 5.4 miles. I finished and touched some common grounds but the first 2/3’s of the loop were new. I think I will continue to experiment with heading in different directions to try and change it up.

Run 24 – 1/23/21 – Long Run / Fast Finish – It was cold today, oh so cold today. I have been running with a great bladder my mother recommended. It’s easy to carry on your back and has pockets not only for my gels, but also, my phone and other sundries. My water kept freezing!

This is when I start treating my long runs as race days. I do all the same things that I would do on race day. Wake up the same, do the same morning routine, try to eat the same things the night before and so forth. Add to that, running with my water bladder full to the brim. The plan is to only stop for Gatorade on race day. Never for water. I’m also having a nice oatmeal in the morning an hour or so before run time along with a large cup of coffee. I did all this today. Took my GU Energy Gel before the start and headed out. The moment that wintry chill hit my face, I regretted being out on the road. But, I gritted my teeth and continued to walk my .25 miles before starting my run.

I had a plan, I created a route. Yet, it was so cold and my haste was so present, that I forgot to set the route. I noticed about a 1/2 mile in, where I paused and checked to see if I could add the route to the present run. I could not, so I just kept going, running calculations in my head of what I would need to do to fit 12/13 miles. The decision was simple do an out and back up the Bronx River trail. The issue with that is that I know the trail so well that it becomes a burden. I know exactly how much time is left at any given time and my mind will play tricks on me. Add to that, that it is also and up and down affair the entire way. There are almost no sections where you can run without it been simply rolling hills.

Like I started earlier, on top of it, I could drink little water, as it kept freezing. Over and over again I had to play with the hose to break up the ice and be able to drink. Add to that, that apparently I am still NOT healed from the arch and the cold apparently made me feel it more and it was not a fun run.

Lastly, I had to end the run in a fast finish, and that fast finish started, you guessed it, on a freaking HILL. The idea is that after running 110 minutes, you hit the accelerator and push to a Half Marathon pace for the final 10 minutes. I will admit that I could not do it. I was able to push to about 8:25/8:30 pace. With your legs being jello, and being dehydrated from a lack of water, because it kept freezing. It was a hard end. Yet, I finished. With discomfort in my arches and a tickle in my throat from the lack of water and the frigid air. But it was done! Here’s to hoping next week it’s just a tad bit warmer as I tackle, 2hrs20min.

Week 5 – Road to Carmel

Total Miles – 26.87

Today starts a strange week since I am traveling. The team at XPlora modified my schedule accordingly since I will be going to Puerto Rico for an extended weekend. I was scheduled for a 2 hour long run and that will just not fly in that Puerto Rican heat. I learned my lesson when I did something similar in Miami a couple of years back. You have to be used to that heat.

Run 17 – 1/11/21 – Back to it, today, I ran with little to no pain or discomfort on my right arch. So it was a good day.  I wound up running at lunch and on the clock.  I did not have much time in my schedule to fit in the 55 minutes I was slated to run.  I opted to do it simple.  So I did a semi loop, that takes me to Bronx River Trail and back.  The Trail parts are an out and back affair, but I start and end in different places.  Always loop when you can loop!

Being on a time crunch sucks, because I knew I had the lunch hour and the meeting awaiting was not going to take itself.  Luckily, the person I had the meeting with was understanding.  Other than experiencing no pain, there was nothing to today.  It ended with the now common strides, which I am beginning to enjoy.  They play a mental game to push you to get ready to go hard when the tank is seemingly near empty.  

Run 18 – 1/13/21 – Semi Long / Half Marathon Pace – Because of my trip to PR this week, and not wanting to run extended miles in PR, a real long run just does not scream Caribbean getaway weekend.  I had to pick up Martha to do our COVID tests before the trip.  Thankfully it was negative and the place Martha selected to do the test was an in/out affair.  The moment I dropped her off at home, I suited up, and headed out.  The semi long run was 75 minutes, so I figured about 8 miles.  I decided to do what I did a couple of weeks ago and loop Central Park which is 6 miles, plus the mile from her house to Central Park and back was the perfect distance.  Remember what I said about loops.  Well, to do this specific loop I have to undertake the massive Morningside Mountain, it’s a mountain NOT a hill.  Last time I did it at the end and it hurt.  Today I decided let me tackle it at the start. Guess what STILL HURT!  It’s no fun regardless how you do it.  Today it crossed my mind to not do it at all, but then no loop! 

Once I got into Central Park the idea was to wish upon wish that the Half Marathon pace moments did not come in any of the big hills.  And thankfully neither did, but they both finished with them so it was a false sense of hope.  I will say my mind was not ready for the midweek long run and as I was tackling it I was thinking wait, I have to run again tomorrow.  This sucks!  

The two points when you have to push for 8 minutes at Half Marathon pace, about a solid 8:00 minute pace. You question, Can I push? Then after I push and slow down.  You kind of think, I am done?  My body is shot and I don’t want to do that again.  

It was 29 Easy, 8 hard, 20 Easy, 8 Hard, 10 Easy.  

When I slowed down the first time, I hit the brakes too hard.  Meaning it was about a couple of minutes before I stabilized my pace.  Just dreading as I made my way up the East Side of Central Park when I would have to speed up again.  When I did, everything was against me, the willingness and my mind.  The body was yelling too.  Yet I took off too fast and had to work to bring the pace back down.  Working hard to bring the pace down.  It’s like I was just complaining and now I seem to be running too fast and can’t figure out how to slow down, without feeling like I am coming to a screeching halt.  

The run ended on the lower flat side of Morningside and was I happy for that.  While the Arch no longer HURTS., I still felt discomfort damn near the whole run.  Yet no pain.  I’ll take it as still healing.  I get the Asics tomorrow so I hope that I can do my short run with those if they come in on time.  

Run 19 – 1/14/21 – Today was a final easy run before I head out for the weekend.  The shoes I have been waiting for got in today.  Bright and early in the morning.   I got a brand new last years model of the ASICS GT2000 8.  This year’s model are the 9’s.  

Funny story, I went into the ASICS store in the city, right before the pandemic started to buy these.  I had done my research and knew that these were the shoes I wanted and needed.  They are the most closely resembled the shoe that I have been using for over the decade, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS line.  (Go To Shoe).  When I got to the ASICS store the sales person fitted me.  Had me run on the treadmill, had me stand on the thingy that measured whatever and said.  Yes, the GT2000 would be good BUT, the Kayano’s offer more support, more this, more that.  All for only an extra $40.  In other words, he upsold me heavily.  I went in with an idea and left with another.  I bought the Kayano’s and honestly was not overly happy with them, I felt like they wore out so quick, I barely got 300 miles out of them.  

Fast forward to last week. I speak rather consistently with Sal Aguirre.  A Mexican dude I met while he lived in my hometown in the Dominican Republic.  Anyway, I was telling him my show woes, and he said, dude I never buy this year’s model and I swear by the GT2000’s but also use other brands.  The GT’s being what I have the most of.  I was going to buy the GT2000 9 but found a great deal on Zappos for the 8’s.  Those are the shoes I ran with today. 

I will say that I did not feel discomfort or pain in my arch at any point in the run today.  I did after, but I think that is a product of having an area that is still sort of raw and healing.  During today’s 45 minute run, no pain, no discomfort.  They felt stiff the first 10 minutes or so, but that is to be expected.  I am sure they will continue to mold themselves to my foot.  Also, they have a cloud like sense to them.  They feel very squishy while still feeling supportive.  An extremely good blend.  

On the run end, my body was extremely sore after yesterday’s  semi long run.  By mid run though, the roughness went away and it was an uneventful loop.  Great final run before the trip.  Now I wait to get my credit from RoadRunners and I will also get the New Balance 860v11… So I will be running with three different brands.  A nice change of pace.

Run 20 – 1/16/21 – Long Run Puerto Rico – Today I will say I almost died and that is not me overreacting.  I have been training in very cold weather.  Usually when I run a warm day is the low 40s.  I came  to Isabela, Puerto Rico for a long extended weekend and had to do a long run.  Of course I spoke to my coach and as you probably already read he had me do a semi long run midweek.  So that this weekend I had a short long run.  By short long run, we are talking about a whopping 8 miles in this heat and sun.  

I told myself I would wake up early and run.  Yet, I did not leave until about 8am.  The sun was already out and the heat was gradually increasing.  I started at an easy 10m pace and even that was a struggle as the heat started to press.  I guess, you get accustomed and acclimated.  I was far from acclimated!  

The view though was amazing! VERY AMAZING.  They have a trail that hugs the ocean and all you see is the waves splashing on the water.  Yet, you still get drowned out by the heat.  By mile 4 the turn around point in my out and back venture.  I could no longer properly breathe,  I was shuffling.   This lead to me pausing and cursing at mile 6.  Where I berated myself for stopping with 2 miles to go.  I again stopped at close to 7 miles and here I thought long and hard about walking the rest of the way back.  Yet, I chided myself and soldiered on! At mile 7.7 I hit a massive hill, right when I knew the end was over the bend.  I paused, composed myself and attempted to finish strong.   

Now the positives, I had no pain to speak off.  I started the run with a tinge in my left knee as always, but it quickly disappeared.  My arches never screamed or yelled at me either.  So winning all around.  


Week 4 – Road to Carmel

Total Mileage – 20.83

Run 13 – 1/4/21 – Start of an Easy Week – Lucky number 13, and the start of what is suppose to be an easy week. Today was an easy 45. Not much to it than a basic loop around the neighborhood. I did have to stop almost immediately, my tight shoes again causing pain in the arches of my feet. Once I loosened up, so did the pain. Before I run again, I must completely re-lace both my running shoes.

The loop I tried is somewhere in the vicinity of 4.x miles. Since it called for 45 minutes, I opted for the loop, but it fell short of expectations and had to divert a couple of times to try to add mileage. A good rule of thumb should be, if it says 45 minutes, find something that has close to 5 miles.

Run 14 – 1/14/21 – Pain – Pain is a good motivator to do nothing. When I started this training I had just bought a pair of Brooks GTS 21’s that seemed to be fitting the bill rather well. Upon starting the training I pondered the idea of getting a second pair so that I can alternate between two pairs of shoes. Great idea right. I rapidly decided GTS 21’s are very comfy let me get a second pair! This will be perfect! I go and buy the same shoes in a different color. At first, I avoided long runs with them since I needed to break them in before I put them through the torture. After 3 or 4 runs, I decide to up the mileage on the shoes fast so that I can simply alternate between the two shoes. So I went gung-ho on the new shoes and wore them religious. Then! PAIN! I had felt the pain in arch before, the slight discomfort, but figured they would just get settled in. Last week after my Friday run, I really felt it. After the long run even more. I told myself is the way I am tightening them. I spoke about re-lacing, that this was helping. Yet, the pain was still there.

On this run, I ran with discomfort and/or pain the entire time. To the point were, when I finished, I could not put my weight on the foot. Mind you today had strides of 1 minute at 5k pace with 90 seconds of rest. Somehow, I did that without crying or stopping. Yet, when I was done and cooled down. I realized I had made a mistake of gigantic proportions.

I am taking a couple of days off, no training! Stay off my feet. The act of walking hurts the arch on my right foot. I called the company I use to buy the sneakers and started a return process. Now, I am thinking about using other sneaker brands to supplement. Instead of the same exact sneakers. I opted not to decide right away and will await a week to decide. For now, I just hope I can quickly run without that pain.

It makes no sense though, same brand, same model, same size. Yet different feeling!

Run 15 – 1/8/21 – Skipped – Skipped, letting the arch on my right foot heal. The pain after my last run persevered and after talking to my coach I avoided all working out for a couple of days to make sure I could do my long run.

Run 16 – 1/9/21 – Pain but… – After my Run 14 I needed a break due to the pain on my right arch. I returned the shoes that caused the pain, and today when I put on the exact same shoes but in a different color. I knew that things would be alright the moment I put them on. After two days of icing my foot, all I had left was a dull faint discomfort and these shoes were not pressing anything.

I did a reverse route similar to a recent long run, starting on the Bronx River Trail and then coming up California Road. The hills to get to California Road were murderous, but I did not seem to slow down much as I tackled them. By around mile 6 I started feeling a small throb on my right arch. To the point were I felt at times that I was changing my strike. I had to mentally try to correct it, knowing if I continued to modify I would wind up hurting something else. When I did not modify, I definitely did feel the arch. I felt it but it did not hurt. It was like someone pushing in with their thumb hard. Whereas Wednesday when I felt it. It felt like someone was pushing in with a knife hard. Big difference.

I have decided to change shoes. After speaking to my coach and a friend, I will try a three shoe approach. I will eventually purchase a pair of Asics GT2000 and a pair of New Balance 860’s. Let’s see how that ball rolls. I will continue to ice my arch.

Week 3 – Road to Carmel Marathon

Total Mileage – 26.82

Run 9 – 12-28-20 – Today was an easy run with strides at the end. I had never done strides before I started training with Javier and Xplora. The idea is that you do a 5k pace for 30 sec, followed by a trot. In this case to the end the run.

I started with a slight dull ache in the inside section of my left knee. That never really went away. I will blame it on me wearing shorts in 35 degree weather and never warming up. My body though felt real heavy. It’s amazing how Saturday, my natural easy pace came out as a 9:09 pace and today, I barely broke 10! But my legs felt like two lead weights holding me down. As I ran, I really wondered, how in the world I would be able to do strides at the end. How when my body felt so bogged down would I be able to speed up to sub 5k pace.

The body is an amazing thing though, because I was able to push and in that push also went the dull knee ache like it was never there. Oddly that first 30 second push, I had to slow myself down. Let’s see how the rest of week goes. I’m hiking as well this afternoon. So my legs will be extra mush at the end of the day.

Run 10 – 12/30/20 – 800m 5k Pace X6 – Today was going to be a hard day. 5K pace which is sub 7:10, and repeating that 6 times after having warmed up for nearly 2 miles.

I told myself, just do it in the gym. It forces you to keep the pace. You set the speed on the treadmill and just stay there, don’t dare slow down. When I got to Blink Fitness, there was a line to get in, by the time I parked and walked to the entrance the line had already grown. I said FUCK it, and left. That was a sign. It was about 30 degrees not terribly cold and I had told myself that I would try Van Cortlandt Track. So, I went back home to grab my sweater, hat and gloves and off to the track.

The track turned out to be sort of like packed dirt for like half and asphalt the other half. The packed dirt I am guessing is easier on the knees. Do note though that there were patches of mud that should be avoided so going after some heavy rain or a big thaw is not a good idea. I also had the great idea again of running in shorts. Way too cold for that.

The 2 mile warm up was not bad, but, the pushing to 5k for such extended periods of time HURT. Like the first one was fine, the second a little harder. The third time around, it was a struggle to keep the pace. By the 4th round, I doubted I could keep that pace for the whole 1/2 mile. It was a struggle to push. Like David Goggins says in Can’t Hurt Me, when you feel like you can’t go any further, you’ve only gone 40%. You have another 60% if you push. Well, I pushed, and while I felt like I could not do anything more, like I could not push not an iota more. I still did and I finished! It’s a mind vs body fight. My mind is telling me that I can’t, but my body knows best, it’s not giving me signs of anything. Just pick a point and push to that point! Check, rinse, repeat!

The cool down felt amazing, except it was freezing like literally freezing and my gloved hands hurt from the cold. Yet, I was done! Workouts like that help push you to do better! They push you to know that what you thought impossible before you laced up your shoes is possible and look! You just did it!

Run 11 – 1/1/21 – New Year’s Easy Run – The day started, not quite hungover, but not quite right either. It was a long night waiting to say adieu to 2020. I knew I had to run, so getting up and dusted off was a must. A quick easy pace 50 minutes.

I will say running on no sleep is never fun, the body does not react the same way, with the same preciseness. I opted to stay as close to a 10 minute pace as possible. Ended with 9:44 with a nice loop around the neighborhood. Even better, there were many people out and about, so I was not alone.

It’s always nice to see people running. Not sure why seeing other people run makes me happy but it does!

Nothing specific. A slight dull discomfort in the same place. Left outer knee this time. Last time was inner. I did roll it out the moment I got home and that felt painful yet wonderful. Let’s kick 2021’s butt. I did 695.1 miles in 2020, Let’s break 800 in 2021. Life is nothing but goals and I am planning to do 2 marathons and a Triathlon so, why the fuck not!

Run 12 – 1/2/21 – Long Run 95 Minutes – I think the shoelaces in my new sneakers were too tight. After the last easy run, I got a really bad pain like if I was wearing the wrong shoes. I walked and lived it with for the whole time and the beginning of the run. I had to unlace my shoes and re-lace them, to loosen them up. After almost 10 miles for the long run I can say that it worked.

Today, I ran the first couple of miles with my girlfriend in the city. She was hoping to do 4 miles to my 10, so we started off in west Harlem and ran down to the North Western side of Central Park on 110th Street. I don’t know if you have run Central Park, but the hill on 110th on the west side is the worst hill in the entire Park. A full loop of the park is 6 miles. The Upper loop is like 1.4 miles, but like I said it is the hilliest part of the park. I wound up doing the hill on 110th TWICE. I went into the Park with Martha, did the hell of an upper loop, she exited, and I continued to loop the entirety of the park.

One thing I will say about running in the park, it is never boring. You always have something to see, always have something to distract your mind as you tug away at the miles. The worst thing to do though which I did as I was traversing the southern most part of the park is look at the street signs. The miles don’t pass when you are seeing. 6601 – 6602 – 6300 – 6301- 6302 – 6400. DON’T DO that. Instead, let your eyes wonder. Do some people watching, do some scenery gazing. As you are running south on the west side of the park, partake of the skyline over the park. It’s a sight to see, how a metropolis and such a huge park coexist. As you head north on the east side of the park try not to think of the end. Try not to think I just have to get to 110th, that’s how you start looking at street signs. NYRR has a training series that does 12 and 18 miles in the park in preparation for the Marathon. The 12 mile run is 2 loops and the 18 mile is 3 loops. So, yesterday I just told myself. It’s just 1 loop, and it’s almost over. Run Roddy Run!

As I exited the park on 110th I had a decision to make. Retrace my steps back to my girlfriends house on the east side of Morning Side Park or take the West side and go for the loop. Sorry, I will choose the loop every time, but the elevation was murder! It was just as high as the highest point in Central Park, with the exception that before getting there you brought it back down to 0 ft before climbing back up. In other words, a terrible idea to end a long run.

I was in pain the whole run. The left knee is starting to be of concern. It’s not pain, but discomfort. Yet, I have been running with discomfort for two years now. It just moves around. I’m really taking advantage of my day off today (Sunday) and relishing that this coming week is an easy week consisting of all easy runs ending with a 105 minute long run.

Lastly, I decided that my backup to NYC Marathon being cancelled this fall will be the Savannah Marathon in Georgia on Nov 6 or San Antonio in Dec. A backup plan against COVID.

First 2 Weeks – Road to Carmel Marathon

Total Mileage – 38.87

Run 1 – 12/14/20 – Easy Run – Today was my first run en route to the Carmel Marathon. I woke up right at 6am and did not hit the snooze button, not because I did not want to sleep more, but because the day calls for sleet/rain/snow that supposedly starts at 7AM. So I wanted to make sure Day 1 was in the books. Now it is.

This new phase and this new marathon is being done using a coach, Javier from XPlora, in the Dominican Republic. The hope being that with proper coaching I can somehow break the 4 hour barrier.

It was drizzling when I left this morning and that drizzle almost kept me at home. I checked the weather on the way out and it said it would continue doing so the remainder of the morning with actual rain/snow starting at 7am. So I put on a hoodie and went. I was going to try the new shoes today, but figured I should wait, not knowing how bad the weather would be.

The run was uneventful, with about 15/20 minutes left I started feeling pain on the inside back part of my left knee. I ran with it the rest of the way. I told myself I need to roll out as soon as I get home and I did.

50 minutes at an easy pace. I use to think easy pace was a 9:15-9:30 pace. The new coach says I need to run slower. So the new easy pace is a 10 flat. We will see how that goes. I have been practicing for a couple of weeks now. I was able to do 5.03 miles in that time of a modified hilly loop or a 10:02 pace. The great thing about that pace is that thus far, I always feel like I can keep running.

Day 1 in the bag, and since I am paying for coaching and this week is about to turn messy. Let me reach out to my coach to modify the week around the snow.

Run 212/15/20 – From the very get go I knew it was going to be a hard run. The idea of holding and 8 minute pace for that long put doubts in my head. So I think I had lost before I even left. Not sure how the 5k will work later this week.

Maybe its the fact of going in circles that kills you. Doing the circles in around the lake sounded like a good idea when I got there, but waiting to get to a certain place just does not make much sense.

Run 3 – 12/18/20 – It snowed quite a bit yesterday and the day before, so I have not ran in two full days because of it. Today, I will run at the gym and it was the first but will definitely not be the last I run on the treadmill. The winters could be tough. I will try and run outside as much as possible, but the treadmill will have to do at times.

The run was an easy one, with strides at the end. I have seen that in different apps but have never really done them. Basically you run slow and just push to 5k pace in 30 second intervals. Nice and quick. I have a 5k test tomorrow and it was nice to see that I can speed up to that without much pain. Can I really hold that for three miles. Tomorrow will be the indication of that.

Today’s run also was done with the mask on the whole time. I need to see about getting a better running mask for when I have to run in the gym. What I am using is too tight and actually feels like it cuts circulation.

Run 4 – 12/19/20 – 5k Test – For this run, I needed to do a 5k test to make sure that I was running at the adequate pace. I was afraid of undertaking this, since the other day, during run 2 I had so many struggles pushing. Having had a big snow storm the other day, the only logical way of doing this was to head to Central Park.

It started with a 15 minute warm up that consisted of 9 minutes at an easy pace. Then 4 rounds of 30 minute at 5k pace and 1 minute super easy. Called Strides. It really does help to ease out the muscles.

Then the 5k test, I came out of the gate WAY too quick. WAY too quick. I started at a sub 7 pace, even though I knew I would not be able to uphold the pace. I then had to slow down and stopped the watch at the 72 street pass, between the horses and the snow. It was the safest thing to do, at least that is what my mind told me to do.

After that, it was just pushing. I have no explanations if not to say that it was hard, but I am guessing it was suppose to be hard. Central Park is not the right place to undertake runs like this. The hills, oh the hills, are long and violent and the downhills somehow are not any better.

I wound up finishing the test in 22:53, a descent showing.

With the result of this test, all my times dropped and now I am training more in line with what I think are my capabilities as a runner. This whole week will be a gym week, so we will see how this all goes. I think I will wear the disposable masks which may be better in the long run for what I want to do.

Run 5 – 12/21/20 – Easy run but on the treadmill which adds a certain overall difficulty to the equation. I had not slept well the night before and running for 50 minutes made things rather difficult specially on the fucking treadmill.

The first treadmill was skipping so I had to change machines mid stride. The second machine was better but the never ending monotony of running at the exact same pace for a such a long time makes the whole process rather boring and difficult. I will have to run again on the treadmill soon and not only run, but also do sprints of about a 1/2 mile each while I am at it.

Run 6 – 12/23/20 – 800m at 5k Times 5 – Again this was done at the gym, but I am recollecting it 3 days later. It was the first time I did not wear a mask at the gym. I tried, but running at a 5k pace for a mile with a mask is not easy. Also, my 5k pace was dropped precipitously after the 5k test so it’s even harder to keep tabs on it. Instead of the mask I wore the chin strap, and brought it up if anyone was walking by and during my breaks.

I had to do this 5 times, the first 3 times were hard but doable. 800m is about .5 miles. The last 2 times, I felt like stopping the treadmill as I got close. I take it that if I was running on the road, this is where the drop in speed would happen. The moment in which you give up and let go. The great thing about doing this on the treadmill is that all you have to do is nothing. DO NOT TOUCH the speed controls and ride it through.

Next week, I will try going to Van Cortlandt park for this and see how that goes in the very big running track. Since I also feel that doing it in the track by my house makes it hard by it being so small. Going circles in the track or having to traverse narrow bridges in the park make for a poor experience.

Run 7 – 12/25/20 – Missed – I did not run this run. I went to mom’s house for Christmas with the clothes to run it, but, I could not. It was 100% chance of rain and it did not disappoint. First missed run!

Run 8 – 12/26/20 – First Real Long Run – 80 Min – Just like my 5k pace dropped, so did my easy pace. Supposedly I can go as fast as 9:09 pace. Yet, while I did just that, having done the run at a 9:10 pace. I think this was too fast. I felt like I should have done it slower. I seemed to hit zone 3 quite often and that is not the way it should be. I should have never touched Zone 3 and stayed in Zone 1/2. I tried a different route today, one that included some long arduous climbs. Yet, I still get the pace. I’m guessing that those 3’s are the hills!

Other than that, it was an uneventful run. I started listening to Ready Player 2. Not sure how I am enjoying it , but I enjoy the cadence of Whil Wheaton’s voice doing the narration.

The end of the loop I did is California Road a long 2 mile stint. When I use to do my daily drive from work to home. I use to see this road and say damn, look at that hill, imagine running it. I eventually got to bike it a few times which added to the desire to run it. Not sure if it’s long run material. But definitely enjoyed the run. It was solitary with few souls running as well and the few I did see were seemingly concentrated on their task!

Why I Run!

This was written 12/13/20, as I started my road to Carmel Marathon 2021

It’s late and I am trying to quantify why I run. What’s the drive to lace up my shoes and take to the pavement one foot strike after another. The thought has percolated through my brain and ideas have come and gone, some great yet, some mediocre, yet none written. Tomorrow I start the training to what is in actuality my third marathon. I would say fourth since I ran over 20 miles in Chicago in 2016, but while that has a seeded reason in why I run, a marathon in the end it was not, even if I did get to cross the finish line and have a post run brew.

Many of the roads leading to the answer to this question stem from my mother. It turns out she started running in the mid-90’s and none of us were any the wiser. I know I was a teenager, living in exile in the Dominican Republic, but you would think I would have still noticed or cared. Yet I did not! I feel every day like a terrible son for not knowing or showing support. I did not show support either as she started traveling to run, and doing this crazy thing called marathoning over and over again. Today though, I understand so much more. Eventually back then, I did get involved and I did make sure to wait for her at indicated locations when I could to cheer her on. In her last marathon in 2016, her first and for now her last since a terrible car accident in 2015, I ran over 20 miles following her and my sister Annie all over Chicago. Doing the last few miles with them and even crossing the finish line.

Here’s the thing, I look back at Chicago and while I could see my mother was in dire pain. That every step was excruciating, she moved on. She struck her feet on the pavement and kept moving forward. Staying ahead of the pace vehicle, to make sure she completed the course within the preset limits. I don’t remember the pain when I think about it. I remember the fortitude, the drive, the sheer will it takes to cross that finish line when your body is at odds with your mind. That weekend in Chicago, my mother took me from a person that occasionally ran a few miles here and there. A person that does a charity 5k here and there. To someone that trained to run a half and RAN IT! Before I even took to the road for that half, I had also decided that I would do a Marathon. Scary when you cross the finish line for the half and think, wait, I have to do this all over again for a marathon. My mother reminded me when I told her, that training makes all the difference.

Why else do I run. I have read many books that delve from running with god, to running for health, to running for mental well being and so forth. Every running book I read shines a bit of light into a piece of why I run. I run, not because I want to race and be great. I run not because I need something to do to work out. I run, because running has become a part of who I am. It has become a matter of self. I do not see a life in which I don’t lace up and run. By that same coin, I am a goal driven person, and while I remember finishing the 2019 NYC Marathon and thinking never again, I will never again run a marathon. I will stick to the half, such a good distance, challenging but doable. I lied to myself. My goal driven approach will not let me run half of anything. Full or bust!

So, I run because even though, I may not be as fit as I want to be, or as good as I want to be. I am a runner. As a runner, I need goals. Those goals today are races where I have to push myself. In that pushing, I do have conversations with a higher power. In my case a catholic god, or some semblance of what that might be. In that pushing, it works towards mental health. When you are doing a long run and just taking one step after another for 3 hours, you can’t but not think and put the pieces of your life’s puzzle together. The inspiration for all this being my mother who never gives up, and continues to train to this day to once again at some point run 26.2 miles! Who ran, for years upon years without the support she deserved from us, her family.

I run, to run. Roddy Logic at it’s quintessential best. One step at a time, RodGic!

The road to Carmel Marathon in Indiana starts now! I’m keeping a personal journal of my road. This is also the first time I pay someone to train me, hopefully helping me breaking the 4 hour barrier, but at the very least, helping me finish this training healthy and have attainable goals and plans to cross that finish line strong, and not nearly dead as I did in 2019. Thank you XPlora!

Bull Hill Loop – Mt Taurus

(This post was written in Feb 2018, and published 3 years later)

I have been constantly going up and down Bull Hill for years now.  It’s always an up and back affair that is quickly done.  Similar to other quick area hikes like Lamb’s Hill or Anthony’s Nose.  Today I opted for the loop and it was spectacular.  The up to Bull Hill aka Mt Taurus is always quick.  It’s  a straight up climb to one of my favorite views in the Hudson Valley, more than any other in the area including Breakneck, with the added benefit of being a lot less crowded.

I left thinking the loop was going to be 5.9 miles.  It turned out to be more like 5.5 but I will not complain since it was still a great hike that offered enough elevation to rival some of the easier Catskill hikes and the distance to boot.

The first 2 miles of this hike is all climb, with pretty much no chance to take a breather.  It’s an abuse on the mind and soul knowing there is absolutely no respite from beginning to that 2 mile mark.  Along the way you hit the old quarry, followed quickly by a money shot overlooking the quaint town of Cold Spring with West Point anchoring the picturesque view across the Hudson.  Then more climb and it just gets harder and harder.  Until you come to the big boulder I THOUGHT., and this is again thought! was the best view in Bull Hill and it still may be.  It has competition a little further up.  I was not stopping today.  I took in the sight, walked a little more and took in the sight from the other rock up and to the right of the amazing boulder.


I kept climbing.  So I guess I never hit the top of Bull, cause I was still going up until I reached a huge boulder that said NYC Money Shot.  It was a clear day and I could faintly see not only NYC but also the Tappan Zee bridge.  You keep going even more and now you start descending and POW a Northern View with views of the Newburgh Beacon Bridge and the Northern end of Dutchess County.


That was all for the money shots, yet the rest of the hike was still amazing.  You ran into an abandon complex next to a babbling brook I later learned was called Breakneck Brook.  You then follow the brook to the melodic sounds of that amazing burbling water.  There is something peaceful about that sound that negates the rest of the world.   You run into another  abandoned estate and some circle thing I have no idea what it was.  More descending and I reached my car again.



It’s always a dab of fresh air when you revisit a hike you have done over and over again and see it with new eyes, discover there is so much more to it than you ever thought.  My favorite hike just became my even MORE favorite hike, I doubt there is anything that battles Bull Hill in the area.  It gives you a bit of everything, the only one that comes close is Popolopen Torne.

Sugarloaf Mountain – Nothing Sweet Here, Just COLD SWEAT!

I actually started writing this quite a while ago and never finished.  2018 has not been a hiking year for me.   It has been a running year as I have been dedicating myself to doing the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon in D.C.  The mountain is seemingly calling me and not to do a measly 4-5 mile hike in the Hudson Valley, I need a gruesome, blood sweat and tears hike in the Catskills, the Adirondacks or The Whites.  I think next week I will venture into the whites to redo some of those trails.

In sum here is what I wrote a while ago,. no modification just what I found in this draft.  Excuse typos and errors, I will not correct this draft:

“Hiking is a difficult venture.  You go out and play a game against an imposing mountain.  The mountain says, I am too difficult for you young one, go hike a hill, or a nice flat park.  I am mountain, you are weak, turn around now!  So it would be safe to say then that hiking a mountain in winter is doubly as hard.  Part of what hiking gives me is that peace with nature, that battle against the imposing behemoth.  It’s David and Goliath, every bagged peak is a won battle against a never ending ridge.

This hike I did under a sheet of ice with a friend.  Ever since I took him on my last mental health hike, he wanted to do another but in winter, to battle the elements and add that extra level of difficulty to the hike.   I told him fine, but you need special equipment, get these micro spikes and if there is too much snow we cancel, because then you would also need to invest in snow shoes.  So we pick what seemed a perfect weekend, there was 1-2 inches of snow over a sheet of ice at the beginning of the hike and 3-4 at the summit, again, under a sheet of even thicker ice.”

That being said., or rehashed from 8 months ago.  I ran into someone the other day with whom I spoke of this hike and the terrors this hike in-viewed in this person has brought me back to finish this post.  Writing about such an endeavor so many months later, can get hazy.  I actually have not spoken to Hector in a while and will reach out to him soon to discuss this and hopefully after my marathon, get back on a trail with him, just not in winter.

I will say that back then I debated how honest to be with my story , you see, I had told Hector get these very specific spikes or better.  Katoohla’s to be exact and he went on and got some cheap 30 dollar spikes from Amazon.  I will say this, never skimp on devices that can save your life.

Please remember I am remembering from 8 months ago and we tend to recollect  the best of things, never the worst.  The morning started weird, first with Hector not having the right socks, and us scrounging at the beginning to find an open store.  Thankfully, we were close to a ski town and found a place.   Then, I noticed the spikes and I said, Hector I said these or better.  He said, these will be fine.  They probably could be, for a stroll in an icy park, no to tackle Sugarloaf Mountain, a very difficult hike without the elements, sitting at 3800′ this is not a stroll in the woods.  In this moment, and I did not tell Hector this, or maybe I did, but I thought to myself.  This is a bad idea, this is a bad and ominous start.

But we headed on, and it looked easy and simple.  Look at the beauty of this beginning:


It looks simple and welcoming, and Hector looked happy, growling at the mountain he was about to defeat, even if the end left him a bit scarred.


It did not stay as such.  As we start walking and the snow starts getting deeper and the temperatures slowly start to dip as we climb one of Hector’s spikes is left behind.  The spike literally got caught in the ice and decice to leave Hector’s shoe.  Again not a good sign.  He cannot seem to get a good hang of them on his shoes.  But we keep moving, continually adjusting the maladjusted spikes.


And the climb is difficult but quick, but the climb is not what I fear since what goes up must come down.  The descents are always so much harder than the climbs in this type of weather.  The descent is when sure footing becomes such a critical part and Hector’s spikes have a vendetta against his boots.  Before we discuss the descent though, look at the beauty of the top!


But then comes the treachery of the descent.  The descent was ICE and more ICE and then more ICE.  Combined with a couple of straight down climbs that are difficult without the sheets of ice.  In this descent down I have seen Hector go past me, not once but twice.  TWICE., to the point where I am grabbing my phone and thinking, fuck, I’m gonna be one of those calls.  What am I to do with this man if he breaks something in one of these falls.  Thank god Hector is built like an OX.

Then we reach the place we spent an hour considering the ideas, plans and circumstances that led us to this point in our lives.  On the side of a mountain on a seemingly 90 degree drop in a thick sheet of ice.  With Hector’s spikes being nothing more than set decorations.  After some crazy ideas that involve jumping from a ledge to a tree and shimmying down.  I tell Hector look, let me get down, cause while treacherous I can see a way down, but it requires sure footing and trusty spikes that can actually grab on.  I say something like,  once I am down, we will have a better vantage point in which to figure out a way down for you.  As I slowly make my way, I hear you know what I’m gonna try this way… Let’s just say when I got down, Hector was next to me, he went the Wile E. Coyote route and jumped from the ledge to the tree.

After this the rest of the way was, let’s just say a slow impending feel of death adventure down a seemingly harmless beautiful mountain intent on killing my friend Hector.

Look ICE:


The ice is not your friend though…  Sorry about this pic friend:


Blood is a beautiful motivator to be careful as fuck!

Anyways, we made it down.  The mountain DID NOT KILL HECTOR… Yet oddly enough he wants to tackle that fickle bitch again but with proper gear.  Proper gear is of such paramount importance.  Gear, Layers and pack like if you are gonna get lost and spend the night.

I remember it took us 9 hours for what should have been a 3-4 hour hike.  The burger I had after was among the best of my life.  The beer never tasted so delicious.

Until next time., I will continue my tackling of these Catskill beasts the moment I finish this freaking hell of a marathon.  Until next year when I tackle the last marathon I will ever do, NYC.

See the rest of the pics of Sugarloaf CLICK HERE FOR ICE AND SNOW, BUT NO DEATH


Hunter Mountain – It’s the Climb

Like many people, when I think Hunter Mountain, I think ski slopes.  Unlike other people when I think ski slopes, I do not envision myself swooshing down a mountain.  The simple fact is that Dominicans don’t ski, or at the very least this Dominican will never ski.  The only Dominican I have ever known that ski’ed broke his leg twice doing so.  We are warm blooded and caribbean, it’s just not in our nature.     Hunter Mountain though has the distinction of being the second tallest peak in the Catskills.  There are two different ways to get up to it, a short brutal way and a long not brutal way.  I chose, a short 5 mile up and back route, that was BRUTAL.   Yes, I do feel the need to yell that.

Here’s why.  Up until now most hikes are a combination of climbs followed by a reprieve, then more climbing.  Hunter though, was just climb.  You start off easy enough, with two huge pillars welcoming you into this beautiful mountain.  You start the hike off following a beautiful stream and crossing over a nice wooden bridge followed by a small old dam.  Sounds peachy, right. After the dam though, you climb, you climb until you reach the top with the only reprieve being when you stop to breathe.

On this particular climb, on this particular day, the moment I hit 3500′, the trail turned into an icy and snowy mess.  I was hoping to not bring out the microspikes but, better safe than sorry, when it’s all climb and you run into this:



As I climbed in this ice and snow, I asked myself, how the hell is this going to be going down?  Microspikes or not, ice is ice.  I stopped and reconsidered a couple of times, turn around or not.  I persevered though, even if I doubted myself the whole way up.  Sometimes I do idiotic things, but this did not feel like one.  This felt right.

Am I glad I did.  Once you get to the top of Hunter, you are immediately greeted with a huge fire tower, a building and not sure what that was but a semi sitting area.  The wind up here was brutal though, I literally had to hold my phone with two hands at all times in order for it to NOT fly away.  As I climbed the fire tower the wind got worst and worst, at one point I decided I needed to forget about everything else and just at all times when I move, hold on to multiple places.  While the top of the fire tower was locked.  Oh my god, I did not have to get to the top to see these beautiful views.





The last picture are the slopes for hunter mountain or the ski side of the mountain.  I love how the slopes look like fingers from afar.  At this point though the wind and the cold were killing me.  I mean, it was a cold day to begin with, at 4000+ feet, the wind made it nearly unbearable.  So much so, I almost considered putting on another layer of clothing.  Instead, I departed the top of the mountain and took a roundabout way to get to this amazing little view on the other side of Hunter.


After the view, I decided to concentrate on coming down the mountain.  The first 500ft of so of descent were ice and snow covered so all my concentration and attention went on footing.  Once I passed the 3500′ mark, I took off my spikes and it was a rapid descent to the bottom.

In the end though, it was a quick 5 mile hike that included two miles of the hardest ascents I have done in the Catskills, not because it was difficult, but because it was incessant.

I left the hike wanting a bit more though, so I opted to stop for a bite at a local restaurant and hit Kaaterskill Falls as a quick 2-3 mile add on.  I attacked it from two places.  I did the new trails that cover the top of the falls and the traditional trails from Haines Falls.

Kaaterskill, even in its dry times is a sight to see, so the whole side trip was worth it just to awe at it.  On a day like today, there were very few people there, so enjoying it in tranquility, without the usual crowds was great.


“While people are struggling unhappily in the cities against the cruel authorities, a waterfall happily and cheerfully flows in the nature; there is happiness only if there is freedom!” (Mehmet Murat Ildan)

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