Just back from a short visit to NYC where my brother lives. He is fortunate to rent a place very close to Central Park, which provides a better training backdrop in the centre of any other major city. And while we missed out on watching the NYC marathon, we were fortunate to catch a few post-race running store sales.
Here's an edited photo of the view from the reservoir in Central Park where we ran during our visit.
As I was approaching the 39km or so mark, a guy rode by in a Polar outfit .. none other than Mike, smiling, telling me that I looked great. Hmmm, I wasn't thinking quite the same.
But I crossed the line about 15 minutes later in 3:22 and was more than happy to stop moving. My girlfriend was already relaxing in the finishing zone.
It's been an odd year in which I have raced just one triathlon - a half iron - and one in which I've done a lot of running races. The way I see it, it was a good break and also a chance to recharged myself as I've signed up for Ironman Canada 2009.
Time now to get back on the bike - even if that is more mountain than road and more in the garage than outside. Time in the saddle is time in the saddle and I'm keen to recapture and surpass the cycling form that I had now more than a year ago.
As for the Victoria marathon .. next year is the 30th edition and I can't say enough good things about both the course and the organization.
Seeing the efforts made by so many Olympic athletes is something that I find inspiring. Here's an anecdote written about Ryan Cochrane who won the bronze medal in the 1500m swim. He led the race at various times - it was a very impressive performance.
The 19-year-old from Victoria who, in the final two laps of the 30-length torture test that is the 1,500 metres, was running on fumes
trying to stay ahead of Russian Yuriy Prilukov, found enough gas to get to the wall in third place, just behind one of the legends of
Australian swimming, Grant Hackett.
That was some Olympic debut, and more than anyone expected, even considering his coach Randy Bennett's story about the day he first knew the kid was going to be good. Cochrane was a 13-year-old and acting like one at training one day, Bennett said: "Give me 8,000 metres." That's 160 lengths.
A while later, he checked back and said, "Had enough?"
Cochrane kept swimming, and when he was done, he dragged himself out of pool, flipped his coach the finger and wordlessly hit the showers.
"He's stubborn," said Bennett. "That's what makes him great."