So this past Sunday, I was one of the 19,455 finishers of the NYC Half Marathon.  The weather was decent, cold in the morning, body temp kept you warm during the race, followed again by cold after the finish.

Course Map – NYC Half Marathon 2015

During my last (and first) half, I had multiple hurdles to overcome and I paid the price physically.  Quite a learning experience.
– No sleep at all the night before. Not done on purpose.
– Not enough training for proper distance:  most of my training runs were 5-10k. Not enough to prepare for 13.1M
– Not enough training on hills. The run was in DE. I was unfamiliar with the course and not expecting so many hills.
– Didn’t eat properly afterwards.
As a result, I became extremely sick after I got home, which I contribute mainly to shock on my system.

I prepared much better on this run
– Training runs ranged from 5k to 13M.
– Ran at least 5x’s per week; sometimes twice in the same day.
– Ate properly before and after the race.
– I was already familiar with the course, so I knew there were only a few hills [1 big hill] at the early miles in Central Park. Central Park was, as expected, the toughest part – especially the wall in the northwest wall. After the park, it’s all downhill or level.

One somewhat unavoidable preparation mistake, that had a big affect on this race… was that I only trained on a treadmill.
This is due to the heavy snow this winter.  The roads just didn’t have space for running – for pretty much the entire winter.
Treadmills absorb a hell of a lot of impact.  So my ankles, knees, hips, shoulders – you name the body part…became accustomed to that reduced impact.
Once I hit the road, the jarring of the solid, unforgiving pavement caused my left knee to go out around the 8th mile; which reverberated to my hip; which then caused my right knee to join the left, most likely due to overcompensating.

I finished with a good time, but it could have been greatly improved if my knee held out. I needed to stop a few times and slow down at others. Frustrating.

Other than that, energy levels were huge.  Loved it.


NYC 1/2 Marathon Playlist Complete

Motivation during the run.

AC/DC: Thunderstruck
Animals as Leaders: Do Not Go Gently
Bad Brains: Into the Future
Bad Brains: I Against I
Bad Brains: At the Movies
Boston: Foreplay/Long Time
Breakdown: Bronx Bull
Burn: Out of Time
Chicago: 25 or 6 to 4
Cro-Mags: Can You Feel?
Cro-Mags: Pressure Drop
Cro-Mags: We Gotta Know
Cro-Mags: Death Camps
Dearly Beloved: Enduro
Deftones: Swerve City
Deftones: Gauze
Deftones: Rocket Skates
Deftones: Hole in the Earth
Deftones: Lifter
Emiliana Torrini: Speed of Dark
Enjoy: Song #5
Suicidal Tendencies: You Can’t Bring Me Down
Quicksand: Backward
Quicksand: Divorce
Quicksand: Thorn in My Side
Leeway: Foot the Bill
Karnivool: Goliath
Karnivool: Set Fire to the Hive
Alice in Chains: Them Bones
Year of the Rabbit: Rabbit Hole
Faith No More: From out of Nowhere
Faith No More: Zombie Eaters
Fishbone: No Fear
Fishbone: Sunless Saturday
Janes Addiction: Irresistible Force
Janes Addiction: Mountain Song
Sparta: While Oceana Sleeps
Smashing Pumpkins: Bleeding the Orchid
Fugazi: Margin Walker
Handsome: Needles
Handsome: Lead Bellied
Incubus: A Crow to the Left of Murder
Incubus: Megalomaniac
Into Another: Mutate Me
Iron Maiden: Murders in the Rue Morgue

Strava GPS Tracker

As with this and future reviews, I’ll never go by a star-rating system, as I find them too subjective and people tend to pay attention to the # of stars as opposed to the content of the review.  My basic format: brief write-up/opinion/how it relates to my needs; followed by pros and cons.

This review relates to the Strava app used in conjunction with iPhone & Android.

I’m with a huge segment of the “mobile community” that’s addicted to gadgets and they stats they produce. I typically run and ride alone, therefore the main person I’m competing with is myself.  Although I enjoy being part of an online-community whose stats can be compared in friendly competition, I’m going to start this review with the biggest cons coming out of the Strava-sphere:

PEOPLE CHEAT!  I’ve run and ridden in Central Park countless times. People in the Strava community have times clocked at over 60MPH.  It’s just not possible – not even in a car.  I don’t want to know how it’s done.  I don’t care.  I just choose to bypass the whole “competing with the online community” aspect  of the app.
People ride a little too reckless in order to beat their stats. Personally, I’m OK with this, as I myself am extremely alert and usually ride at similar speeds.  But most pedestrians just don’t pay attention. NYC in particular is a bad place for this: 1st level of obliviousness to their surroundings goes to American tourists. 2nd (higher) level goes to foreign tourists. God bless them, but they have NO idea what’s going on around them, let alone the awareness to notice a bike coming at them at 20-30MPH.
– This isn’t a con for me, but I’ve heard many accuse [apps of this nature] of taking the soul/enjoyment out of riding.  To be fair, I can see how this applies. Going back to Con#2, when all your focused on is building stats/beating records, it can easily take the enjoyment out of the ride. I’ve fallen victim to this, but I’m OK with it since my major reason behind cycling is to improve fitness.  However to keep the fun aspect in tact, I try to separate the two; allowing for riding segments where I just sit back and take it easy.

– Can be used for either running or riding. I do both, however I have so much time & mileage invested in my Nike+ app, I only use Strava for riding.


– The web interface is very well-done; easy to navigate. I love seeing my stats. Love competing with myself.

Works great with iPhone and Android. I just throw a simple device-mount on my handlebars and it’s smooth sailing from there. GPS links up right away in both city and the burbs. Interface on mobile apps is equally impressive. Interactive maps, achievement trophies, etc

– I love this aspect:  as you pass certain segments during your ride, it automatically places you in the running with others who’ve ridden that segment. You get to see where you place in comparison – and you always have the opportunity to move into that #1 position.

It’s definitely worth using if the above appeals to you.  The good FAR outweighs the bad. And motivation to improve your stats will always result in better fitness; better health — as long as you ride carefully.

All of the above applies to the FREE VERSION. CLICK HERE to see what the PREMIUM (paid) VERSION offers.

Strava Main Page
Supported GPS Devices




Looking forward to training for the NYC HALF!!
After not being picked in the lottery a few years prior, I’m finally in.

I wasn’t happy with my finish-time in the last Half I did.  Although, other factors [excuses] weighed heavily on that outcome.  I got ZERO sleep the night before. Nerves. And I’ll be quite honest – didn’t train properly.
2015 will be done correctly!

I plan on testing out the NIKE+ App Coach for 13.1.  I’ve been an addict of Nike+ since 2010 but have never used the coaching feature. We’ll see how it goes… A review will follow.


NYRR MIDNIGHT RUN 2014 – Central Park


From NYRR’s site:
Kick off the New Year at the Midnight Run! Join the fun and celebrate with dancing (starting at 10:00 p.m.) and a 15-minute fireworks show. With a countdown to midnight beginning at 11:59 p.m., the four-mile unscored run will begin on the stroke of midnight, as will a spectacular fireworks display to light up the night and the start of 2015.

Click here for registration and race info.

I’ve never had the chance to participate in this run – mainly because I steer clear of Manhattan altogether on New Year’s Eve. But I’ve run Central Park countless times – late at night too.  This run is probably a blast.

Course Map: