A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Sunny Wednesday Coffee Musings

☕☕Sunny Wednesday Coffee Musings☕☕



I want to send a shout out to Bob Orazem.

He got into a cycling accident last week and broke a lot of ribs in the process. He's okay and recovering.

He's been a fixture in Staten Island sports here and I see him cycling in Great Kills Park a lot.

Bob, get recovered quickly. Gotta see you back in the saddle soon!

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I developed a frame for the Navesink Swim 2 days ago and it was finally approved last night. It looks quite good. The only small fault is that the date is on the frame. If you want a frame to be reused for several years it helps to take the date off.

It's on my profile picture now.

If anyone is swimming Navesink you can definitely use the frame. All you have to do is type in "Navesink" and it should come up. :-)

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Park Pub after tonight's club run. Yeah, I'll be there.

Dive bars...no nonsense, no fluff, cheap beverages, good food. Can't get better than that!

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If 26.2 beer is the thing now, they should diversify their brews and expand out to the different distances.

I would figure 13.1 beer would be the brand that Utah accepts, with only half the alcohol content as the 26.2.

The 3.1 would be the non-alcoholic brand of beer. I figure those 5k runners who drink it would keep their speed up without the alcohol to slow them down.

On the other end of the spectrum, the 50 and the 62 beers would be the heavier "craft beers" with the higher alcohol content. The runners who do those distances would need the extra alcohol to numb the pain over the long distance.

And the 100 beer? A stout beer with an ultra high alcohol content. Those ultrarunners need a quick-acting concoction when they hallucinate at 3 in the morning.

Then there's the special Yoshiko Jo 530 beer that is only out for this time of year. I figure it would be a really potent 100 proof beer for those who actually start thinking running for 10 days straight might actually be a sane thing to do. 🤣

Love ya Yoshiko! Congrats on the 10 day 530 mile achievement!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday Breezyday Coffee Musings

Tuesday Breezyday Coffee Musings


Just got back from a nice 8 mile run in Clove Lakes Park.

Shout out to Margaret J Marrano who was also running in the park. Glad you took advantage of the cooler day today.

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Well, they managed to take a finish line picture of me at the President's Cup 5K race on Sunday. The pic is shown below.


What a sorry, sorry picture of me. 🤣

Looks like I have the thousand yards stare there. Damn, man...lol.

It could be worse. I could be bleeding out of my eyes and foaming at the mouth. 🙃

Anyway, they haven't linked the bib numbers to the pics, so doing a automatic "search" won't work. You'll need to search manually if you did the race; that is, peruse through all the photos to see if you're there.

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My season, believe it or not has started. This is the "final approach" for Ironman Ireland.

This Sunday (5/26) is the 2.4 mile Navesink Swim.

I am so looking forward to this!

I'm in the best swimming shape in at least a decade. I think it's time to flaunt it in competition. 😁

Let me know who else is joining me for a nice swim!

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The following week is the #RVRR Training Run. I'm running 34.6 miles but I've decided to be very cautious just 3 weeks before Ironman and join the 10:30 pace group.
I normally take part in the 9:30 pace group.
I do not want to jeopardize my chances at Ironman. At least I know I'll recover quickly with the slower pace.

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Last race before Ironman is the New Milford 5K. It's only 1 week before Ironman so again I'll keep it a bit slower in this race.
It's a Master's Men Championship, so I'll be slated for the 40s team only. Sorry Robert Tona (50s men's captain), it's still a week before my 50th birthday. Yeah, the timing sucks, but at least you know you'll have me on your team after this race. Charles Wellman (40s men's captain), I'll be registering for New Milford today, so write me in for that race.
I'll be on both the 40s and 50s team come the autumn racing season.

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I might try my hands in a fall marathon. Wineglass looks like a possibility. So is Steamtown.
One race I don't want to do is Philly. Call it "course fatigue." I've done it too many times.
It's about time I try a different course.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Friday Mid-May Coffee Musings - Century Rides and Social Media

Friday Mid-May Coffee Musings





Got the dark roast this morning. Black, of course.

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Is it a sin that I never watched one episode of Game of Thrones?
Just putting it out there. Haters gonna hate. 🙃

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This is a long post. Sorry. Better make an extra large cup of coffee for this one! 😁

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I got the century ride done. Kept it strong at 19.1MPH, and that was with an outer jacket that kept me around 18.5MPH for the first 50 miles.

The winds picked up in the last 50 miles, and I managed to bring the average pace to 19.1MPH.

Yep, that's a win. 😁

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I have a little over a week till the 2.4 mile Navesink Swim

And a little panic is setting in. With my new lower weight, will the newest wetsuit fit me right?

And if not, will my old wetsuit fit?

I like the new wetsuit. It's so easy to take on and off, and I don't have that damnable detachable zipper that the old one had.

Then again, maybe the reason why the old one was so hard to get off was because I gained weight in the first place. 🤔

Looks like I have another task to do this weekend.

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This Tim Horton's Dark Roast is putting hair on my chest. Woohoo!

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I have President's Cup 5K this Sunday. It's my small contribution to my club's open men's team.

Shhh...just don't tell anyone I run 5k races. People might think I'm lightning fast or something. 🙃

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With all this Ironman and triathlon training, I have to keep my eyes on that other monster on my schedule, UTMB.

Just like the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in 2013, I'm hoping that Ironman training will carry me through this race.

The goal for mountain races is to get very small (lose weight) and get very strong.

That's exactly what Ironman training did in 2013. I got down to 175 pounds by Western States and the cycling really developed my climbing legs for the mountains.

I'm 0 for 2 on this course. This time I'm aiming for that finish line.

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Social media has its uses but people really have to be careful with it.
There are people literally hooked to "likes" and "retweets" on the various platforms. And it seems like the more extreme they get, the more they get rewarded with "likes" and "retweets."

It's creating a mob mentality on both sides of the political spectrum. Not good.
I'm not going to get into politics here. But several years ago, I was starting to go down that road.

Then I saw what was happening. And I stopped.

I made an uneasy pact with these platforms. Basically I would stay connected, but use it in a *positive* sense.

I would just post about my coaching and fitness. That was it.

The rest of my life is off limits to these platforms.

And it's been working. I needed to stay connected to the world, so I needed the platforms to a certain extent.

Otherwise I would have disconnected off these platforms years ago.

I'm just glad that I can contribute positively to this platform. Health and fitness are huge positives, and I'm glad to have that ability to help others in these fields.
And I'll consider it another win here. 😁

Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday Coffee Musings - Ironman Ireland Run Course, Cold May Day

Monday Coffee Musings

It's the middle of May, and I still have a jacket on.

I must be in Canada. Or Iceland. ❄️😬❄️


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Trust me, it's tough to get going on dreary days like these. It's days like these that I'm glad I start the day with a workout. It definitely counteracts the "blahs" of the day.

The coffee afterward seals the deal.

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I want congratulate those who raced this weekend. MayApple, Dirty German, Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 24 hour, Broad Street 10 miler. Even a half marathon in Geneva, Switzerland. Great job to everyone.

Oh, and the "10 Day" people up in Northern NJ? They're still at it.
These are not the easiest of days to keep running either.

I hope the kitchen there dispenses strong cups of coffee today; they're going to need it or they will be sleepwalking that 1 mile loop!

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I'll be looking at the marathon portion of Ironman Ireland this week. I'll post pictures of the run course this week.

From what I see, it's quite flat...and much easier than that crazy bike course.

It will also be spectator friendly, so that might play well into my hands. Four laps through downtown Youghal. With lots of pubs there. That should help create a "spirited" crowd!

A sub 4 hour marathon is possible, I think. After my two 15 mile runs this weekend, it's very likely.

There are pubs near the finish line. So a celebratory birthday Guinness is possible minutes after I finish! 😁

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I am scheduled to ride a century this week. I'm still in a debate at where and when to go. The rest of my schedule is in flux until I nail this down.

The two most likely options are Northern NJ on Wednesday (with maybe a stop to see those 10 Day runners) or the Palisades on Thursday.

The weather will most likely decide this date I think.

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One last, disjointed musing. When someone places a sad post on FB, do you hold the sad emoji down a split second longer than usual to make sure that's what appears?

I've had a couple of occasions where a "ha ha" emoji was posted instead.
Imagine posting a "haha" emoji on a death of a relative of a friend. It's happened to me twice. 😬

What ensues is probably the fastest scramble to correct that mistake. And perhaps a curse word or two. 🤣

So now I hold that sucker down for a second or two longer just to make sure the sad emoji is the only one that appears! 😁

Make the most of a crappy day friends!

Friday, May 10, 2019

TGIF Coffee Musings

TGIF Coffee Musings


A little over 6 weeks to my Ironman in Ireland.

The training is going extremely well, and I still think I can improve even more these last remaining weeks if I play this right. 😁

I have a couple of long runs on Saturday and Sunday. I'll try to maintain a 8:15-8:30 on both. My goal is to be at least under a 9 minute pace when I get off the bike in the Ironman.

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As for the trip itself, the focus starts to shift from general things like airplane, transportation, and lodging to the minute details of the trip. Some questions that are going through my mind:

Is my bike case going to survive another trip?
How is Air Canada with luggage?

What type of medical travel insurance to get for the trip? (narrowed that down to two possibilities)

Is my triathlon gear adequate? What do I need? New goggles? New tri top? Swimsuit?

Does my bike need a good tune-up before the race? Who to bring it to if it needs one?

Travel in Ireland? What buses to take? Rental car? Can I actually drive a manual shift with my left hand?!!! 😬

Things to see in Ireland? Guinness brewery? Blarney Stone? Waterford Glass Factory? When do I go see these sights?

How and when to get to the Ironman venue?

Will my credit and debit cards work there? Who do I call to activate them?
Phone cards? Should I get one that extends to my UTMB in France in August or should I buy two separate SIM cards for each trip?

(because I need to post my FB musings over Irish coffee there, right? 😉)
Lots of other details rearing their ugly heads too. The list is long and tedious but hopefully this list will be taken care of when it's time to go.

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A friend and great runner Yoshiko Jo is running for 10 consecutive days on a certified 1 mile loop in Northern NJ.

Even I find that unfathomable.

A few years ago I tried my hand (or feet) on that course for the 3 day race. Yep, 72 consecutive hours.

And it was tough doing just that. It's not easy to get up from a rest after a 50 mile run and try for another 50.

At some point, it's going to hurt. Severely.

I wound up running 200 miles in that race, perhaps the only 200 miles I'll ever do in one event.

Three days is a long time. I can't fathom adding 7 more days. Ouch!
Anyway, Yoshiko finished her first day with 56 miles. 9 days to go.
On track for 560 miles? Yikes!

Good luck the rest of the way Yoshiko. A lot of people will be following your progress! 😁

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Hump Day Coffee Musings - Iodine

Happy Hump Day people!






One of the people I was coaching was asking me about these coffee breaks I take frequently.

I'll try to keep the answer short. 😁

(it's a bit long. I failed 🤣)

Just about all of early this year, last year, and maybe even earlier than that, I've been lethargic for the majority of the day. I was trying to figure out why.

It got to the point where I couldn't finish half my tasks of the day. I was behind on a lot of things.

Maybe it was old age creeping on me and this is normal? But there were most other people my age handling work and family better than I was.

Maybe it was my training? No...even in my slow days I was still very lethargic.

I needed to get about the source of this. In the meantime I had to go to the coffeeshops to make myself focus on my work. I couldn't work at home because I would start to tire and fall asleep.

Still, I had to get in two, maybe three small naps in during the day. And that was on top of a good number hours of normal sleep at night.

One of the people I coached had an iron deficiency. I was wondering if that might be the case.

I bought iron supplements. After two weeks, I felt no change at all. It wasn't an iron deficiency.

Multivitamins weren't helping either. So I was at a loss.

Then two weeks ago, my parents bought iodine after hearing that some people might have an iodine deficiency.

Iodine is key to thyroid function, which is the main regulator of overall metabolism in the body.

Most people here don't have an iodine deficiency, so long as they used the iodized salt and eat seafood.

I don't use iodized salt.

And I don't eat seafood.

Hmmm...maybe?

It's worth a shot. So two weeks ago I started taking a couple of drops of Lugol's solution per day.







OMG, what a difference!

Except for normal bouts of tiredness after a training session, I've been energetic all day every day! I feel like I just emerged out of a fog.

And right on time for my peak training period! I've run a marathon 10 days ago, hiked a 50K this past weekend, rode 60 miles at 21MPH yesterday, and I feel fine this morning!

I was worried about a "Placebo Effect" but I did tell from the iron supplements that nothing was happening, so I can safely rule it out.

I'll still be at coffee shops though for the time being. I kind of like the focus here on getting my tasks done, with or without the iodine.

Anyway, with 6.5 weeks to go before my Ironman race, I'm glad I got this problem solved. I'm actually looking forward to the peak training coming up; I think I can handle it now.

And I can also handle what the rest of life has to offer. 😁

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tuesday Coffee Musings - Ironman Canada Back to Penticton?

Tuesday Coffee Musings


Just came out of the JCC here after finishing up the triathlon swim program. I figure I get a little bit of work done at the coffee shop before going down the road to the park to ride long today. A little caffeine goes a long way.

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I'm seriously thinking of doing Ironman Canada when it moves back to Penticton next year. That was my first ever Ironman in 1996 and went back in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

Those times were BF (Before Facebook), when AOL and Usenet ruled the social media. I was part of a large global group called Rec.Sport.Triathlon. And I still have the old cycling uniform.

We were 60 people strong those days.

And it was a Grand Reunion every year, a time I always looked forward to as part of a larger triathlon community.

And some of the old friends who were part of the phenomenon expressed interest in going next year.

Apparently Ironman and the city of Penticton made an agreement to move the race back from Whistler to do this.

I just hope that they bring the old legendary course back. The tough Richter Pass, the grinding Yellow Lake climb. It all has to be there.

Remaking this course into loops would be a deal breaker. No thanks. But I think they won't do that, at least not on the bike.

Maybe apparently after all these years we can come back home again. Crossing my fingers; I hope so!

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Remember when I said that I can't make friends as a rear sweep because of the nature of that position?

I was proven wrong.

The woman that I mentioned saw me as the sweep approaching and ran away in this year's race? Well, apparently we have a couple of mutual friends and that helped us connect as FB friends on Facebook. Thanks Jacky! She's going to the Dirty German race this weekend too, so she turns out to be an amazing runner, running two Ultras in two weeks! I want to wish her the best of luck there!
Those friends I know who are going to Dirty German? Say hi to her when you're there. She looks to be a very positive and friendly person with a lot of spirit!
It truly is a small world, the trail running community. 😁
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I will be taking steps to become a certified personal trainer in the next couple of months. I figure I already have the knowledge. I'm a certified triathlon coach; I might as well expand it to the general fitness area too.
I will mostly be an independent trainer, having no attachments to any gym (although I might work loosely out of the JCC if the planets align right). I'll mostly be making house calls instead. The independence eliminates all sorts of business complications between any gym and my business.
And it also eliminates any "sales quotas" these gyms impose on their trainers. My clients are always my priority.
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6.5 weeks till my 50th birthday; 6.5 weeks till Ironman Ireland. It's crunch time! Time to ride long in the park! Have a great day!!! 😁