37 years old
freelance photographer
running coach
Sunny Southern Cali, US of A


by Danny Dreyer

by Joe Friel
& Gordon Byrn

by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel


by Chuck Klosterman

by Haruki Murakami




2/1/09 Surf City Run HALF MARATHON
2/8/09 Chinatown Firecracker Run 5k and 10k
2/14/09 Tour de Palm Springs 55 MILE RIDE
3/14/09 Pasadena Triathlon REVERSE POOL SPRINT
4/4/09 Oceanside 70.3 HALF IRONMAN
5/3/09 Cinco de Mayo Run for the Cure HALF MARATHON
8/1/09 Vineman Full FULL IRONMAN
11/1/09 New York Marathon MARATHON
2/3/08 Surf City Run HALF MARATHON
2/9/08 Tour de Palm Springs CENTURY RIDE
2/10/08 Chinatown Firecracker Run 5k and 10k
3/08/08 Pasadena Triathlon REVERSE POOL SPRINT
4/19/08 Rage in the Sage HALF IRONMAN
5/25/08 IM Brasil FULL IRONMAN
140.6 BABY!!!
7/20/08 Strawberry Fields Triathlon OLYMPIC
2/4/07 Pacific Shoreline HALF MARATHON
3/31/07 Oceanside 70.3 HALF IRONMAN
6/3/07 Danskin All Ladies Tri SPRINT
6/24/07 Breath of Life Tri OLYMPIC
7/12/07 Playa Del Run #2 AQUATHLON
7/22/07 Vineman 70.3 HALF IRONMAN
8/9/07 Playa Del Run #3 AQUATHLON
8/19/07 Hansen Dam Tri SPRINT
10/7/07 People Powered Ride METRIC CENTURY FUN RIDE
11/4/07 New York Marathon MARATHON

Lance NotStrong
Steve in a Speedo?! Gross!!
This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called danskin all ladies triathlon '07. Make your own badge here.



Sunday, November 18, 2007


ok, so from my mom i inherited my infamous "death stare" and from my dad, the inability to tell a quick story. it used to drive me crazy as a kid on road trips or at family dinners. we'd roll our eyes and tell him, "get to the point already!!" to which he would reply "listen, when i'm done, you're gonna have the whole story. there won't be any questions" but of course we always had questions, most often "what the hell took you so long??" so again, you've been warned. THIS POST IS LONG. THIS POST IS TWO WEEKS LATE. you can read it or not. i don't care. it's my blog for me to look back on when i finally become an ironman. does anybody actually read this thing anyway?? and there really shouldn't be any questions once i'm done. and then we'll get right back to regularly scheduled short posts about crotch itch and cool gear and of course the retarded love life....

map courtesy of
i had my traditional pre-race sushi dinner with three of my close buddies, Wellington, my host and dear friend from my college days at NYU, Doug, my best friend from high school, and Ron who made it through Art Center with me. my plan was to try to be as lite as possible. this time, i wouldn't be carrying a camera or cell phone or any combination thereof (i seriously used to carry that crap). in training, i replaced my water bottle belt with a hand-held water bottle strap that has one small pocket for an i.d and keys and some money, that's it. i had hidden all my food in the bushes for all my long runs which posed a problem for race day. how the hell was i going to get my food?? that's were the boys come in.... and the meeting would convene. i handed them all baggies with Clifbloks, potato chips, and powdered gatorade that i'd want at different points on the course. the baggies included a copy of my proposed pace chart so they'd know when to expect me as well as spectator signs for them to hold so i'd be able to find them. Doug lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, so he would see me first at mile 10.5 in Williamsburg where his brothers live. he was to wait on the left hand side of the street at Bedford and N. 4th. Ron's in Sunnyside, Queens, so i'd see him later at mile 15. He was to wait on the right hand side of the street just before i entered the infamous Queensboro Bridge. lastly, Wellington would be my Manhattanite waiting at mile 19, now back on the left side of the street just past the water station. he'd then hop over to mile 23 in case i was in trouble. they looked at me like i was insane. then Doug asked something like, "you gettin' paid for this???" as he politely excused himself to suck on a cancer stick outside the restaurant. i swear, i have the best friends ever!!!! it's always been really difficult for me to ask for help from my friends. i have no idea why, because i know that they would be there for me in a second, but it's still hard for me to ask. they may not be into this whole marathon and triathlon thing, but my friends will TOTALLY HAVE MY BACK when the shit goes down. this was going to have everything to do with whether i was to have a good run or not.

cool pace wristband
great, now i'm cross-eyed....
before i left L.A., i typed out a pace chart and put it in this really cool dryfit wristband that i got as a freebie from Nike at the Honolulu Marathon expo last year. i have never been so obsessive about my pace, but i knew that if i was going to have any shot at running a p.r., i was gonna have to be on top of my pace as the New York marathon is not a flat, fast or p.r. type of course. my general plan was to run/walk a 6:1 ratio for the first 16 miles until i came off the Queensboro Bridge. then i'd assess my legs and my pace and probably adjust to straight running with short walk breaks through the water stops. anyone reading this who says your'e not a marathoner if you walk can SUCK IT. i was trained by Jeff Galloway himself, elite runner and proponent of the run/walk method, and that's just how i roll. 26.2 miles is 26.2 miles however you get there, and you're probably the same wanker who says only an ironman is considered a triathlon. considering the elevation chart and my memories of the two previous times i'd run this mother, i typed my chart up in microsoft excel using a formula that would add all cumulative miles as i entered them until the total time at the bottom was what i wanted. i would start out with an 11 minute mile to warm up and get up and over the Verazano-Narrows Bridge. there'd be some flat miles in Queens where i could pick it up to 9:45 and 9:30. i'd give myself an extra 2 minutes to get over the Queensboro Bridge as it is a mile long uphill. then i remembered how i felt the last time as i came UP 5th Ave. for miles 22 and 23. i asked myself for the first time ever, "why do you keep doing these friggin' marathons?" yep, better give myself 3 extra minutes per mile through that little pocket of hell. ok, guess i better run that first mile in 10:30 now. and just in case, i typed up a whole extra column that would give me a slowest possible pace of around 5 hours. i'm really hoping that my days of anything longer than a 5 hour mary are behind me, but you never know. and so it went as i entered and re entered the per mile times until it came out to 4:36. yeah, i'd be so happy with 4:36. 4:36 it is. then i resized the thing down so it would fit in the little plastic pocket around my abnormally small wrists. shit, i'd be lucky no to go blind trying to read the damned thing. and finally, i decided if by mile 10 when i got to Doug, if i wasn't on pace, i'd just throw him the bracelet. fuck it, i was gonna have fun no matter what!!!!

my view from Wellington's apartment on 14th st.

got up at 5am on race morning even though the gun doesn't go off until 10am. the daylight savings change the night before helped with an extra hour of sleep since i still couldn't get off of L.A. time. so technically, it was 3am for me. ate my oatmeal breakfast and was out the door to the subway. while waiting on the platform, you could feel everyone's nerves, the stares from others as they checked out your shoes, your bag contents or your runner number. then there was the one lady who was so afraid she wasn't on the right train that she got up and checked the wall map a hundred times but was too intimidated to ask anyone else where to go. and she was right!!!! just as our next stop shoulda been Whitehall/Ferry, the conductor announced that this train was going to the Brooklyn Bridge. whoops!! we all scurried to get off, and as i passed the next car, i could see some runners who were still seated. i crammed my foot in the door as it was closing and yelled "this train isn't going to the ferry!!" everyone ran for the door as i held it open. unfortunately, not every car got the warning, and as we stood on the platform waiting for the next N train, we watched as the next few cars carried unsuspecting marathoners to the Brooklyn Bridge rather than the Staten Island Ferry. Damn, sure hope they made it on time.....

you may have heard people joke about the New York marathon that there are two events, getting to the race and then actually running the race. to add insult to injury, there was construction happening on the one and only bridge into Staten Island, so everyone was advised to take the ferry. in previous years, i've always taken this route, but with just a few other racers to avoid the crowds taking shuttle buses and cabs across the bridge. this year was a huge cluster fuck of 38,000 people all scrambling to get on the ferry and get over to the island. somehow i was able to find fellow tri club members, Summer and Brian, to make the ferry ride over with. this being there first New York Marathon, they were a little dazed by the whole production and happy to find someone who knew how it all worked. i had warned them that given all the time it takes to actually start the race, the breakfast they ate before they left their hotel wouldn't be enough to fuel them for the run. i brought an extra Uncrustable and a bottle of FRS which fueled me perfectly, and managed to get a good poo in at the relatively clean ferry bathrooms. sorry to gross you out here, but i have a superstition about pooing before a race. if i don't get a quality poo in on race morning, i might as well go back to bed. but i've got it down to a science now:

pre-race sushi dinner
morning breakfast of organic oatmeal
chocolate soy milk (CANNOT DO DAIRY!!)
a bottle of FRS 30 minutes before the gun goes off



once we got to Fort Wadsworth where the start was, we had about an hour 'til the race. usually plenty of time to find a place to lay down and warm up 'til the very last second before you have to drop off your personal belongings bag to the UPS trucks. again, with all the shuttle changes and whatnot, it all felt screwy. Summer's wave start was in a totally different direction than mine or Brian's. she stopped to go to the bathroom and Brian waited for her, but i could tell it was beginning to get crowded at the bag drop off, so we parted ways to accomplish our various tasks thinking we'd all meet up at a certain tent again. the whole staging of the start was different from what i ever remembered, and everyone got pinned in this fenced off area trying to drop off there bags and then exit back out the same way they came in. really lame planning on the race director's part. it didn't help that people panicked and started pushing and shoving. i kinda lose my shit in these situations, not by going along with the flow of panic, but by going off on the super negative people around me who can't do anything but complain incessantly about everything. but i didn't go off, didn't even flash anyone my death stare. i simply got inside my head, trying to tune the whining out, and meditated on the image of me PASSING ALL THEIR TIRED-FROM-COMPLAINING ASSES ALL OVER THAT COURSE!!!!

by the time i made it out of the cluster fuck of whiners, there was no time to waste. i went back to our agreed meet up spot but figured that Summer and Brian figured the same thing i did: "love ya, mean it. gotta run...." and so off i went to try to catch up with the orange wave women's start. got in just in time as we were ushered onto the bridge and heading towards the start line. the National Anthem was pretty lackluster, and then there was a moment of silence for Ryan Shay. there were lots of Notre Dame logos and "RS" written on people's arms, and one woman was handing out black armbands two wear in remembrance. i would be thinking of him a lot today for sure. just then the cannon went off, and the elites were heading out from the opposite lanes of the bridge. THERE IS NOTHING MORE EXCITING THAN THIS MOMENT!! ok, so i haven't experienced the start of an ironman yet, but so far this is it. you can feel the bridge vibrating from the weight of all the runners as everyone surges forward to the timing mats. Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" is playing and EVERYONE is singing along and doing radio city rockette kicks. holy crap, i'm about to run my 3rd New York Marathon, AND AWAY WE GO!!

while the race boasts that the course goes through all 5 boroughs, you start in Staten Island and then immediately leave. there's a reason for this, and even my dearest friend, Def Stef, a Stagnant Island native transplanted to L.A., will tell you there's nothing to see here. after all, it's where they bring all of NYC's trash. no, wait, one redeeming contribution to hip hop came from Staten Island. WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NUTTIN' TO FUCK WIT. nuff said...... i've heard people talk about their experience of this race with frustration that there are just so many runners that it never thins out. you're always jocking for position and trying to negotiate your way through thousands of runners. i always felt jealous of this description, jealous that i was such a slow runner that it DID actually thin out in the back. in fact, by the time i hit 5th Ave. last time, it felt as though we were the walking wounded coming home from battle. this time was different though as i crossed the timing mat just 4 minutes after the cannon. the crowd was electric as we looked to the view of Manhattan to the northwest. people from all over the world, Canada, BRASIL, Mexico, England, Venezuela, Italia, Deutschland, Kenya, Belgique, Ireland, Morocco, and the list went on....oh and lest we forget VIVE LA FRANCE (more on that later). the cotumes, oh the costumes. Sponge Bob Squarepants, Elvis, Statue of Liberty, the Star Wars Crew, and The Hot Dog Heads (WTF??) i felt good and just tried to maintain an easy pace to warm up. 6 minutes in, my watch beeped for my first walk break, and i struggled to move out of the way of everyone. hey, at least if i'm gonna take walk breaks, i'm not gonna be the wanker who just comes to a halt right in the middle of 38,000+ runners (and more on that later). i'm feeling good, the weather is perfect at about 50 degrees, and IT IS ON!!! mile 1 and i'm already a minute faster than pace, but i feel like i'm going SUPER EASY!!! along the bridge, so far i'm just taking in the excitement of my fellow runners around me, but coming off that bridge into Brooklyn, it's just magical!!

there's a real sense of borough pride at this race, each one trying to outdo and outcheer the others. going up 4th Ave., your sights are set ahead on the Williamsburg Savings Bank tower, the tallest building in Brooklyn. Passing djs blasting my favorite salsa and merengue songs, i had the best songs and beats stuck in my head for the rest of the day!! The Korean church orchestra all dressed in their sunday best played "God Bless America." everyone wants to show off to the French runners "Vive La France!!! Allez Allez la France!!!" ok, cool, you speak French. i get it. the NYFD all come out with their trucks and the ladders extended across the course with their firehouse flags flying. Then as i got to the bank at mile 8, the crowds became so thick at the Brooklyn Academy of Music that they flowed out into the course and crammed us into narrow chutes. another walk break, and i moved to the left of the road where out of nowhere my friend Miranda appeared with her boyfriend Cameron!!! they couldn't make it to the sushi dinner, and i didn't get the chance to tell her what i'd be wearing or find out where she'd be standing, so they just walked out to the street from there apartment in Fort Greene. with 38,000+ runners, WHAT ARE THE ODDS?? "hug, kiss, love ya, mean it, gotta run!!!"

leaving Fort Greene, i head into one of my favorite parts of the course, the rows of brownstones that line the uphill Lafayette Ave. in Clinton Hill. even though they lived in nearby Brooklyn Heights, this spot always reminds me of The Cosby Show, and i imagine that Cliff Huxtable, wearing one of his wacky sweaters and holding little Rudy's hand, is gonna be standing out in front handing me water, but alas, Bill Cosby never appears. i'm ahead of pace by about 3 minutes and flying by people as we head up Lafayette, but i really feel like i'm holding back!!! has it been so long since i've run a marathon that i just don't know what my new pace is?? am i going too fast and gonna pay for it later?? i guess i just have to go for it and listen to my body, but so far my body is sayin' we're just fine!!! moving along on the downhill of Lafayette, the crowds are so friggin' thick. i don't mean the cheering crowds, but the runners!! it's difficult to get around people. i'm doing more lateral side to side pivoting like i'm in a tennis match not a marathon, and everyone keeps cutting me off and forcing me to come to a jutting stop on the downhill. i can't keep this up or i'm gonna be in serious pain. watch your step, monica. no more jutting. you gotta float. you gotta float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!!!

next is the Hassidic neighborhood of South Williamsburg. all the kids come out and giggle while they hand out hard candy as their more serious parents, dressed in traditional Hassidic fur hats and long coats, stand curbside. coming up on mile 10, i'm starting to warm up and decide to peel off my under layer and ear warmers to give to Doug. and there he is with his brothers!!! i grab for the baggie, and shove a handful of potato chips in my mouth as they tell me i look great, i'm keeping a good pace and that the 4:15 pace group passed just ahead of me. yeah, they'll slip away, but i'm still ahead of pace and feeling good. "hug, kiss, love ya, mean it, gotta run!!!!" yeah, i'm feeling great, and I'M DEFINITELY KEEPING THE PACE BRACELET!!! leaving Brooklyn out of Greenpoint and going over the Pulaski Bridge, the kids of the Sikh Community cheer us on to the halfway point at the crest of the bridge, the 2nd of the five we'll cross today. as i head up the quarter mile incline i quickly check in with myself and my hill form. stay upright, baby steps, quick turnover, knees not too high, yeah, i'm good, let's get ready to fly....

Queens is just a short visit, about 3 miles, pretty flat before the Queensboro Bridge, so i need to pick it up here. I'm still ahead of pace, but i'm gonna pick it up because i feel like i can, and we'll just see how i do at mile 22-24. the crowds are ok, but thinning compared to Crooklyn. not much to see here except more HAWT firefighters. just gotta pick it up a bit and do these miles at the faster pace i had planned. i'm still taking the walk breaks when i see a woman holding a huge Brasilian flag and others wearing green and yellow face paint. i turn around and show them my starter's shirt, and they all give me a huge cheer. that's when it dawned on me for the first time the whole day. shit, this is nothing compared to what your about to do next year... THIS IS A WARM UP FOR IRONMAN BABY!!! coming up on the Queensboro Bridge and there's RoRo and Shayla waiting patiently, but they don't see me at all. as i grab for the bag i see that Ron has made his own addition to it...CANDY CORN!!!! YESSS!!!! in the days after halloween, i kept craving candy corn and making everyone stop at every Duane Reade we passed looking for leftover bags of it, but to no avail. "hug, kiss, love ya, mean it, ok take my picture, gotta run!!!" the candy corn was just the boost i needed for what was to come.....

this friggin' bridge gets its own chapter of designation. if you aren't in pain yet, if you're not respecting the distance, the Queensboro Bridge will PUT.A.HURT.ON.YOU. the view of Manhattan is ominous, and suddenly the cheering of the crowds is gone, and you're entering a darkened underbelly as everything becomes eerily quiet. there's a med stop halfway on the bridge, and it's filling up with runners desperate to find something left in their legs. rubbing, stretching, icing, grunting, anything to get going again. "don't look over there," i say to myself, "you're fine. baby steps, quick turnover, you know how to do this." the crowd of runners is still thick but mostly slowing down now. i'm reduced to doing some some sort of speed skating side-to-side move to negotiate around these fools. i've lost more time than i planned for on the bridge, and i know that once i get to the crest, it's time to fly again, and then on to MY FAVORITE PART OF THE ENTIRE DAY.......

coming off the bridge at 59th st. is a left hand turn lined with hay bales. it always makes me laugh when i see them, as if we're gonna be going so fast we might crash!!! coming around the turn that eerie silence on the bridge becomes drowned out by the throngs of spectators lining 1st Ave. the road widens for the first time and I.AM.A.FRIGGIN'.ROCKSTAR!!! there is nothing, NOTHING like the sounds along 1st Ave. the crowds are now 10 people deep and it feels as though the entire city has come to a complete halt. i also laugh at all the drunk people, i mean DRUUUUNK!!! bar after bar the boozers spill out from every door. "VIVA LA FRANCE!!! ALLEZ ALLEZ FRANCE!" so the boozers speak French too. ok, i get it. i'm approaching mile 17 now and feeling pretty damned good. the i.t. band is slightly irritated, but nothing too serious. i decide i'm gonna stick with the 6:1 ratio 'til mile 18 and then pick it up as best i can. 1st ave. is a series of rollers. if i pace it right and use the few downhills and some gravity to preserve my legs, i'm golden. i'm now a minute ahead of pace, not bad. i think no matter what happens now, i'm cruising for a p.r. but no time for false confidence. there's still two more bridges....

checking my pace..... and stuffing my face at mile 19

Wellington showed up just when i needed him at mile 19. i could tell from the white deposits on my tights that I NEEDED SALT!!! the potato chips did the trick, and i was off again. "hug, kiss, love ya,mean it, ok take my picture, see you at 23!!!!

the Williams Ave. Bridge into The Bronx isn't so bad as far as incline, but it's got a strange metal grate pattern. they try to cover it with carpet, but by mile 20, you're sensitive to EVERYTHING, and you can feel that grate as clear as if you were running it barefoot. it's kinda torture, but i'm still a minute ahead of pace, and all is good in the world. my right qaud and adductor are starting to give signs that they might seize at about the point on the course where they did at the New Orleans marathon. and by seize, I MEAN SEIZE. i literally stopped right in the middle of an intersection where a cop was yelling at me to keep it moving cuz i was blocking traffic. no matter how loud my brain was yelling at my leg to move, it wasn't going anywhere. "ok, it's not that bad, you're just freaking out. WALK BREAKS ARE DEFINITELY OVER. MOVE IT, LADY!!"

i've always felt that The Bronx gets no respect at this race. as soon as you run in, you run out, but in that one short mile THE BRONX REPRESENTS!!! people yelling "you're in the bronx, baby!!! the best borough of all!!" it's kinda the same as my general love for the underdog, my love for The Bronx. little kids putting out their arms for high fives, little old ladies in their lawn chairs, reggae bands and da kind, irey smells that go along with that. it was a short visit, but i loved it....oh and more "VIVE LA FRANCE!!! ALLEZ ALLEZ LA FRANCE!!" see, they even know french in Da Bronx....ok, i get it....and now i'm right at pace.


coming off the Madison Ave. Bridge back into Manhattan, and i'm pretty sure now that even if i walked, i'm gonna p.r. now i'm in Harlem and i'm hearing some awesome salsa music!!! i wanna dance, so i stop to show off a few moves with this sweet old man and THE CROWD GOES NUTS!!! i hear people talk about not revealing yourself on race day at ironman, but i think i just did, and i'm still on pace, so what the hell. i won't be pulling that in Brasil for sure. coming around Marcus Garvey Park, i feel the history of this neighborhood, the jazz, the poetry, and i'm charged!!! the gospel singers just lift me up and propel me down the road. i'm still on pace, and i've got a little left for the hard part to come.


going down 5th Ave., Central Park appears on the right and the crowds are insane. again, we're getting pushed into narrow chutes where i have to bob and weave around the hot dog heads and the French people. it's now the hellish uphill climb, and the pain is starting to set in. i'm now getting a little negative, a little bitchy, and my first victims are the French. if i hear "Vive La France!!" one more time, or if one more Frenchie cuts me off, someone is going to get worse than the death stare. it's not a threat, but i'm just sayin'....

the uphill along 5th Ave. went better than expected, so much better that i forget to find Wellington at mile 23. poor guy waited too long before he realized we missed each other and wasn't able to make it to the finish line. i'm still on pace, and i suddenly realize that i'm not going to need the extra 3 minutes per mile that i alloted for the home stretch. HOLY CRAP, I'M EVEN GONNA BEAT MY GOAL PACE!!!! just then, i hit east 75th where Ryan Shay had collapsed near the boat house. i got more emotional than i would have expected and started to cry. not to get too schmaltzy here, but i really did feel his spirit, at least the spirit of going for it, always striving to improve, going for a dream and following through with it and the empowerment we get from doing all of this. it is so very real and alive in all of us who do this, and i'm not exaggerating when i say that marathon and triathlon have saved my life. now into the park for some more rollers as the crowd starts yelling "2 more miles!! you can do it!!" again, i just thought,"this is nothing now. you got ironman ahead. BRING IT HOME!!!" coming around the south end of the park and around Columbus Circle, i started to read the signs. first, "1200 meters to go" and then "half mile to go", and i just started to BOOK IT. back into the park for a few hundred yards, AND I CAN SEE THE FINISH LINE NOW. "don't forget to look up!! get a good picture of this!!!!"

the victory subway ride




i feel you're pain, brother....




Blogger Allez said...

That sounds like an awesome race! I've never been to NYC, you really get to see it all! Potato chips running? I might have to give that a try. Way to go on the PR!

November 19, 2007 at 7:34 AM

Blogger IronJenny said...

What a great post!

Great job on your NYC p.r.!

You are a runner after my own heart. You will LOVE Brasil!


November 19, 2007 at 11:06 AM


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