06 September 2010

T Minus ... Holy COW, It's Iron Week!

Yes, Rev 3 Cedarpoint Iron Distance is right around the corner. Am I ready? Ha!  Are you ever truly ready to go 140.6 miles? Really?

Have I told you how much I enjoy tapering?  It's a good thing.

Last week was a blast. Wifey and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in NYC. I had to be in NYC for a concert of my music, so I surprised wifey by asking our families if they would chip in and watch the kids for the weekend. Everyone was down, so I bought a couple of plane tickets, booked a hotel, and we were off to celebrate 10 years, five kids, a mortgage, and more fun times to come. For a while there, we were averaging a kid every 1.6 years. Not bad, eh?

The wife and I are very different people in a lot of respects. She's a planner when it comes to the kids—you know, the juice boxes are ready, snacks, lunch if we're out too late, etc.

Me? If I am taking the kids out for the afternoon, I play it by ear. I am usually scrambling to find bathrooms, water fountains, and inexpensive places to feed five children. However, when it comes to an itinerary for our mini-cation, we had absolutely no prescribed agenda (other than making my concert Sunday afternoon on East 74th.)  We flew into JFK and took the Airtrain into the Jamaica Station.
Evidently, I am not from Queens.
Of course, the one thing I was concerned about was getting in some workouts. Despite how tempting it was with all the heat, I am not about to swim in the Hudson. Sorry Gotham dwellers, that is where I draw the line. I will not be running the New York City Triathlon anytime soon. I did, however, look for a hotel with a pool. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I got talked out of staying further south—we stayed on East 52nd so that we could be in the center of everything  midtown. So, I did not end up getting a swim in, but it was okay. The hotel had some treadmills. Wifey was a little concerned with me going out for a run, when really, I don't know where the heck I am going, and I would most likely get hit by a car my with my attention span. Secondly, I have the internal compass of a blind giraffe (I don't even know what this means, but the point I am trying to illustrate is that I have a lousy sense of direction in cities.) It had been a while since I've been in New York. It is almost impossible to get lost in NYC though. I mean, the city is pretty clear. It is laid out like a grid. Avenues run north-south, and streets run east-west. The only confusing thing is that 1st and 2nd avenue are on the east side, and the numbers get progressively higher from right to left—weird.

After dropping off our accoutrement at the hotel, wifey and I were famished. Despite our hope to get some good street food—you know: meat on a stick—we ended up going to a pretty good
"Mexican-y" type restaurant for burritos, beer, and margaritas. Actually, I had the beer. Wifey had the margarita. Of course, after just one, I had a nice enough buzz that I could quite possibly pass out. Shortly after that, we walked to a bike shop further uptown to see about renting a bike in the morning. I had to get out for a run in the morning, and Alaina said she would join me. Then, for some reason unbeknownst to me, Alaina talked me into getting my very first pedicure. That's right ladies and gentlemen, my nasty feet were pampered, exfoliated, rubbed down, and filed with the utmost care and precision. I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but it was pretty awesome. Can you imagine a bunch of dudes going out to a spa, drinking white zinfandel together, talking about triathlon and getting pedicures. Don't answer that. You can not see our feet in this picture, but trust me, they are in heaven.

 So after our pampering, we walked about fifteen city blocks back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. On the way there, we ran into the most amazing candy store on Planet Earth called Dylan's Candy Bar. This place was the REAL deal my friends. Three stories of candy and chocolate from around the world. A joint that would make any dentist smile from end to end. The top floor was an ice cream and candy bar. Very dangerous. We could not resist this opportunity to get a picture with the Dylan bunny. Ah, yes... that's all the wifey and I need around us, more symbols of fertility. 
We were pretty excited about dinner. We planned on going to Enio and Michaels, a restaurant in the Village, just south of Washington Square Park and NYU that is so Old School that it existed in SOHO before there was a SOHO and adamantly refuses to create a restaurant webpage, Facebook page, or any other of that frivolous stuff that has nothing to do with food. Despite a zero advertising budget, they manage to stick around while neighborhoods come and go around them, relying merely on their exceptional food, and word of mouth as their sole source economic sustenance. Imagine that. 
After dinner, we decided to take a cab back from the Village to midtown—a good three and a half miles. Well, we started walking, and never quite decided on hailing a cab. So, we walked all the way back to our hotel, Alaina's feet were killing her (good thing she had gotten that pedicure earlier in the day.) I ended my day with a 10k interval training workout in a stifling hot workout room in our hotel. It was tiny, but it did the job. 

The next morning wifey said she was going to come and run with me in Central Park. My wife never runs—unless chocolate is involved—but this morning, she threw on her shoes and went out there with me. Little did we know that the NYC Road Runners Club was going to be in the park that morning. We jumped in and just started running the course. People were amazed at how unbelievably fresh we look for mile fourteen. On the way back to the hotel, we ran into a crime fighter who is obviously really down on his luck. Apparently, crime fighting just doesn't pay what it use to. 

Later that evening, we did the Broadway thing and checked out Tony and Maria.
After the show, Alaina posed with the Statue of Liberty.

The following day was my concert at Jan Hus. What a great performance by everyone involved. The musicians were exceptional, the dancers well rehearsed and added sophisticated, intelligent choreographic essays to the music, and the space was beautiful. Here is the whole gang after the gig:

After the concert, most of us stopped and got some good eats at 
this unbelievable Italian restaurant that Alaina and I passed on the way up to the concert and thought "hey... that looks like a good place to eat."
And, boy was it ever!


Here we all are at Bella Blu 
One of the greatest parts of the whole trip—despite the obvious 10 years of marital bliss—was that I shared a concert with one of my former students who is now starting his PhD at the University of Kanas City Missouri, and another—Aaron Copland Hyzen—who studied piano and composition with me, now teaches guitar in the city, came to the concert hang and get some good eats. 
Nick Aaron and me at Jan Hus Church



On the way back from the restaurant, I told Alaina to break out the camera and take a picture of this dude. I don't know who he is, or what the heck he is doing, but it was about 100 degrees in the city that day, and this guy is just hanging out with a trench coat. I can not prove this, but somewhere inside that coat, I am sure he has a copy of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye stashed away.




Eventually, all good things must come to an end. It was time to pack up my stuff in my car and motor out of the city.


Oh, and am I stressed about Ironman? Nah, not really. I don't have any expectations, except for trying not to drown during the swim and finishing come hell on high water. 
I have been feeling a bit under the weather this week—I was totally stressing about this all summer, and sure enough, not feeling 100%. I am just trying to take things easy and hydrate as much as possible this week and relax. Pshaw... it's only an Ironman anyway. (I am kidding Ironman gods—please have mercy on my soul!!!)

Next Up: Ironman post AND a really cool review of my totally awesome new super-duper fast helmet. Thanks Lazer!

10 comments:

Kristin (Triathlon Dreams) said...

Good Luck at Cedar Point!! Im sure you will do great!!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Good luck. Should be a great race.
Nice car. Anniversary present?

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Great trip and congrats on 10 years. Can't wait to hear about Rev3.

Mark said...

Bob, I only WISH that was y car. I couldn't avoid the lure of a nice Ferrari.

RockStarTri said...

Glad you enjoyed my burg! Have a great race.

rwithrow said...

Mark
Good luck at Cedar Point, I know you'll do well. Adam has trained you well. Can't believe you drink White Zin.

Anne said...

Looking forward to meeting you at Cedar Point! Good luck and congrats on your 10 year anniversary!

Caratunk Girl said...

OMG OMG! Good luck! You are going to do awesome! I want details on the Rev3!!

alex said...

Great job buddy!!!! You looked great at the finish

The Phenomenal Woman said...

Congratulations on celebrating your 10th anniversary.

This comment has nothing to do with tri's; instead I want to compliment your wife on maintaining a slim physique - amazing after 5 kids!