Next up in our NBR Team Spot Check-In Series is Miguel Rivera. Miguel and his wife Christina are indoctrinating (err, introducing) their two boys to the NBR lifestyle early, and are a big reason why we hope to have a kid’s race at this year’s track meet. Miguel can be found at a variety of NBR runs throughout the week, so be sure to wish him luck as he trains for his first marathon!
NBR: Generally, how is your marathon training going? Any good long run stories? Any ugly long run stories?
Miguel: My marathon training is going well. If I have any good stories during my marathon training is when I accidentally did 22 miles on a SFR. My intention was just to do 17 at an 8 min pace with Ben but as I was crossing the Pulaski Bridge into queens my pace started to pick up. I was in a great rhythm, and felt great. I was running with Joel for a little while before I found myself alone. I was to far ahead of the 8 mm group and in sight of the 7mm group which was fine since I was using them for directions. Suddenly I lost them. I saw them turn so I turned but then nothing. I kept going with no sign of them until I saw some runners ahead and went to follow. Turns out it was not our group of runners and I added a couple of mile to my run before I got on the Triboro. I found Ben, Allison and Miriam on Randalls Island and we did the rest of the run together until we got back on the Triboro. Miriam picked up the pace crossing the bridge and I tried in vain to keep up. I lost her on the Queens side of the bridge and Ben and Allison were still crossing. With no one to follow I retraced my steps getting there and added some additional miles. With my GPS not catching since 10.5 miles I had no idea how many miles so I just kept running. Made it back to the bins tired but pleased. As for ugly, I try to listen to my body when on my runs as to not let things get to ugly. I ran a SFR back when I started my marathon training. It was an out and back to central park. I was running with Eduardo at a nice slow pace but something was off. I was out a month earlier in the year with ITBS and since then I have been slowly building strength and flexibility in order not to be out for any length of time. We were reaching Central Park when I told Eduardo that something was off. There was no pain or anything but it wasn’t right. I got to the park and felt the same way so I bid my farewell and separated from the group and walked to the train. The next day at a Nite Owl run I felt the same thing during warm up and decided to skip the run and just go home. I decided then that I would really have to get into a consistent training plan the would build up mileage.
NBR: What NBR runs have you been attending regularly to prep for the marathon? Have any NBR members really been inspiring you to train hard(er?)
Miguel: I love NBR runs. I try to make it to all the runs that fit into my training runs which are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the Sunday. Tuesday night tempo is one of my favorites. This was my first NBR run with the group so I’m a bit sentimental with it. Katie and Brian are great. I run the Wednesday road run with John and Evan and do some the Thursday night track workout as well as Sunday Funday Runday. I get encouragement from all NBR members especially the leaders. I take everything from my runs with me. When I race I take the advice I get and try to apply them. Whether it’s Charlie slapping me on the back pushing me just a bit faster to race reports from really good runners that convey how much work it takes to run a marathon. I hear Rodrigo’s advice on using the downhills during the race and Linda and Jen Daniels voice in my head as I near the finish line to “finish strong” and “all the way through.” Katie Winther doesn’t know this but a piece of advice that really resonated with me was something she said during her marathon spot interview. She said that one of her coaches told her that “the will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” I tend to do things on the fly without much preparation. Most of the time it turns out well but it could have been so much better if I prepared. I am preparing for this race. I did think that running some nite owl runs and some SFR would be enough to get through it and it probably would have been. But I want to run this at a decent time and I have high expectations. I read some reports from some really good runners and I know how much I need to work in order to reach my goals. Winging it won’t do. I ill be prepared.
I wouldn’t be able to prepare for this race if it wasn’t for my number one NBR member, my wife Cristina. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be running in the first place. She has this tunnel vision and focus when it comes to reaching a goal that is admirable. I try to follow her example. She is my number one fan and supporter.
NBR: Is this your first marathon? What does running a marathon mean to you?
Miguel: My first run was a mile run. I ran the mile because I wanted to know what the big deal was. In March 2011 Cristina had given birth to our son Antonio. Two months later she was running her first half marathon. At the time I didn’t really have an appreciation for what it meant to run all those miles. I figured I would run this one mile as fast as I could to prove that it was no big deal. I ran the mile in 9 minutes. I got home and collapsed on the floor with a new found appreciation for what Crisitna was doing. I still didn’t consistently run but one day I took a run out to Fort Greene park and back totaling 3.89 miles at about a 9:30 pace. That was my long run. I was happy with my run and remember coming home telling Cristina “I don’t know how you run 8-13 miles.” I still wasn’t consistently running and didn’t really get into any regulars running until a month or so before the Bed-Sty 10K in October. Here was a race that was going on it’s 30th year and passed right through the heart of my neighborhood and I never heard of it. I ran it and at the end met a real life NBRer for the first time, Eduardo. Here I was proud of my fast 8:30 something pace and this kid was just killing it. I had a long way to go. So I kept running. I ran longer and/ faster and now, after spending so much time training, I’m doing a freaking marathon! I will have my mom, my sisters, and brother and the rest of my family there looking out for me. I will have Cristina and the kids providing doughnuts maybe. This marathon to me would show what can be done when you don’t quit. I could have quit after that one mile but I didn’t. I wanted to get better. 26.2 miles better.
NBR: How does it feel to be asked to represent NBR as a team spot awardee?
Miguel: Honored, empowered. I won this spot instead of my fellow runners who are just as deserving and maybe more so. There are so many individuals who volunteer their time, who open their homes to host social event. Who put so much effort in making this club such a fun success. I am overjoyed to think that I have given something to this club that made me somehow deserve this spot. My pleasure, my appreciation in being chosen will never be diminished. Thank you
NBR: If you were to run the marathon in a costume, what would it be and why?
Miguel: I might be a pirate or some superhero. When I visited my paternal grandmother she always gave me grief about my earring. She didn’t say that I looked like some criminal or something she always said that I looked like a pirate, which technically is, a criminal. Damn gran ma. Anyway she always told us about a pirate we had in the family in Puerto Rico and we never paid any mind. Turns out she was telling the truth and indeed we had a pirate ancestor. The pirate Cofresi. As for the superhero costume, it would probably be something my son picks out. He likes wearing costumes and has many that he wears throughout the year.
“Thanks, Miguel. You’re already an NBR superhero-Dad!”
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