Monday, January 28, 2013

My race buddy

Since 2008, most of my races have been planned and completed with my friend Leo.  His story is one that has inspired me, along with a few others. 

Leo and I met in 2005 when I moved into the apartment next to him.  We didnt become friends until midway through 2006, and at that point I was already training for the 2006 NYC Marathon.  As time went on, Leo and I started hanging out more and going out drinking in NYC.  Back in 2006, the bars still allowed people to smoke in them.  I have never been a smoker, but Leo was.  He was smoking about a pack or so a day.  He would light up with me sitting next to him and used to get so angry.  Here I was, thinking I was trying to be healthy, and then my friend was just smoking right next to me.  There was a point where I finally had it and told him that if he wants to continue to hang out, he would have to stop smoking around me.  Eventually, he did.

As time went on, Leo would see me do a whole bunch of races and eventually asked me if I would help him start to train for a race.  We started small, but we made a goal for him to race the Baltimore Half Marathon in 2008.  In order to do that, he would have to completely give up smoking.  But time kept going and Leo would put the miles in and eventually we made it down to Baltimore for the half.  I was so proud of him.  He went from a smoker to now a runner.  He was so happy that he finished and of course we had the 4 hour drive back up to NY to discuss each and every mile. 

Leo then went big time in 2010 and did the NYC Marathon himself.  I didnt want to do it that year because I was getting married too close to the race and would be on my honeymoon 2-3 weeks before so I couldnt properly train for it.  So he trained for it by himself.  He did great and enjoyed it the whole time.  I was there on 1st Ave cheering him on and then after the marathon having post race dinner. 

Since 2008, Leo and I have done races together pretty much every year.  Every year we pick races we want to do and sign up together.  Most of the time, its me picking an A race and having Leo agree to it and then having to plan some B and C races around that A race.

A list of some of the races we have done together:
Nike Human Race 2008
Nike Human Race 2008
NYC Half Marathon, 2009, 2010, 2012
NYC Triathlon 2011, 2012
Philadelphia Marathon 2011
Long Branch Triathlon- 2011
HITS Triathlon Hunter Mountain 2012
Jersey Man Triathlon 2012
Amica Triathlon 2011
NYC Marathon 2012- were supposed to do together but it was cancelled

NYC Triathlon 2011

HITS Triathlon Hunter Mountain 2012

During the season, Leo and I often train together.  Even though we are different speeds, we start and end at the same spots and have also joined the same running team.  Leo has also embraced my hill workouts which have been known to be quite difficult.  Its on these workouts where we tend to get into plenty of arguments.  They either stem from me wanting Leo to push himself harder and him wanting me to shut up, or from either one of us pissing the other off for some reason.  While many of us have "work wives", I consider Leo my "training wife".  We fight, bicker, annoy each other just like a married couple does.  But we're allowed.  He was the best man at my wedding so I guess its what friends do. 

Philly Marathon 2011

We each have our own separate races we do, Boston for me, San Antonio or Long Beach for him, but we always do our big races together.  This year our main focus will be the Rev3 Maine 70.3  Come September of this year, I'm sure Ill be trying to convince Leo to step up and do a full Ironman in 2014.  That'll be one hill training fight that will be interesting to listen to.  I'm not sure who will win that argument, but it will definitely be interesting and fun to see who wins.

Having Leo do the same races as me is such a benefit.  This way I'm not traveling to races alone and I have someone to help push me.  He's come a far way from those days as a smoker, but I'm glad I have someone who has gone through the same pain as me over the past few years.

1 comment:

  1. It has been quite a ride, pleasurable and painful with you my training husband :) and I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks for the kind words and pushing me to get better the past few years. I look forward to doing more races with you and raising the bar each year... next up Maine Half Ironman!