check-in

Team Spot Check-In: Taeya Konishi Schoge

1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved? 

I started to run at the end of 2009 because a friend wanted to race a 5k which I've never ran that far at once and seemed way too far.  Started one mile at a time and in 2010 I learned about NYRR and signed up for a couple of races.  At the races I kept noticing the cool singlets that NBR folks were wearing.  I eventually googled NBR, as I was looking to join a team to hopefully learn something about running, but took awhile to join since I thought NBR was too fast for me.  I also noticed Anna McCusker at races and she inspired me and thought to myself "I want to be as fast as she is one day".  It was around the 2010 NYC Marathon that Asics put together a group run at Sports Authority which I signed up for.  I went to that alone, but I left that event making a friend, Marynella, who was so nice and convinced me to join the team.  My first NBR run was Tuesday Night Tempo with Katie Winther and Brian Cicero.  I can't remember the exact workout but we were running around the track and thought I was going to die.  I've been with NBR since Oct. 2010.

2. How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the world a good NBR long run story.

Training is going ok, some weeks are great and others aren't. I wish I had more dedicated time for training, but since my son was born, priority shifted and constantly I have to coordinate with my husband's busy schedule to find time to run.  Sometimes my job also takes over my time away from training so I have to be flexible/realistic with my goals.  I would love to run more, but I have to be creative with my runs such as instead of dedicating a day for tempo run and another for a long run, most of the time I end up combining them and keeps me in check.  I don't have a really good long run story, but a few years ago I ran the Tokyo marathon and a guy in full on Godzilla costume beat me. We crossed the finish somewhere in the 3:05 range so I was amazed not only with him, but I was also puzzled when I picked up my bag that some guys were already changed in their regular clothes and having a smoke...these smokers also beat me. 

3. Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard (er)?

I lived closer to Just South and then moved closer to McCarren that I used to go to the morning runs on a regular basis, but now living further away sometimes I join the Thursday morning or evening track or SFR.  I am inspired by many of the NBR members who are out there at races giving their very best and how dedicated they are to their training and find time to volunteer.

4. What does it mean to be chose by your peers for a coveted NBR  marathon team spot? 

I am so honored to represent NBR at this year's marathon, we are such an awesome team!!   

5. What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the nite before?

I am probably going to eat onigiri (Japanese rice balls).  The night before I am going to have rice with grilled salmon. 

6. What inspires and motivates you to run this year's NYC marathon?

The NYC Marathon is one of the more exciting courses that I have run. There is an enormous energy from the crowds that line the many diverse neighborhoods the course winds through.  And of course I LOVE passing through the best water station of the entire course, Mile 12; it rejuvenates me :) 

7. In your head, what celebrity do you think you most resemble when you're running?

Sorry can't think of one, probably some cartoon character?

Team Spot Check-In: Angela Ortiz

1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved?

I started running/racing in 2010 after I admitted to a friend that I had been a runner in high school, and he dared me to run a 4 miler in Central park with him. The race felt awful, as it was my first race in 10 years or so, but I guess I kind of liked it because I kept signing up for more. At each race I'd see more and more NBR singlets in the crowd, and the people wearing them looked like a fun bunch. So I joined the google group and bought a singlet. But I was overwhelmed with the amount of options for runs, at first. I had no idea what a tempo run was. I hadn’t done a track workout in a decade. So, my first run with NBR was actually a race, the 2011 Coogan’s (Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks) 5K. I passed Jen Daniels in mile 1 and she offered encouragement (“Nice job NBR!”). She continued to offer encouragement when she easily cruised past me a few minutes later in mile 2. Despite feeling like I was running backwards, I remember thinking, mid-race, about how nice it felt to be part of a team, finally.

2. How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the world a good NBR long run story.

Marathon training has been going well so far (knock on wood)! We’re six weeks out so there is still some work to do, but I’m feeling pretty good at this stage. I spent the bulk of the late spring/summer working on shorter distances, so I came into this training cycle with a fair amount of fitness and strength that I can, hopefully, harness into a decent marathon build-up. I’m only doing a ten week training cycle for NYC, which I’ve never done before - so we’ll see how it pans out. 

I did 2x4 miles at marathon pace this week and I was surprised that it felt really, really good, despite the higher mileage and harder workouts I’ve been doing in the last few weeks. I’m optimistic that the shorter training cycle will keep me from burning out as we get closer to the race, which has happened to me before when I’ve started training too far out. The marathon mindset is sometimes difficult to wrap your head around; you just have to accept that you’re going to be running everything on tired legs and it’s going to be a difficult task to just stay focused. But those things are easier to accept when you feel like you’ve just started training and you’re already six weeks out!

I don’t really have any great long run stories because my long runs these days tend to just be 789,478,586.4 loops of Prospect Park. It’s hilly, it’s convenient, there are water fountains, and there’s no jumping on and off sidewalks or dodging traffic, just strollers and cute kids on wobbly bikes. I just think about the workout and the loops don’t bother me too much. Plus, the ninth time you pass the same group of folks on a park bench they start shouting encouraging things at you (at least that’s what I hear in my tired stupor) - so there’s a convenient built in cheering section.

3. Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard (er)?

Because of my wonky schedule and my Just South location, I can't usually make it up to runs at McCarren. I have been known to occasionally crash a Wednesday morning Just South run, and during the summer, the Second Friday donut run was definitely a favorite. 

I see Lauren Perkins working hard in Prospect Park every day. She seems to set goals and go for them without making excuses, and that’s motivating. But I admire anyone who I see consistently working smart and working hard. I like stories about people who set their sights high and make sacrifices in order to get themselves there. I’m a fan of anyone I see getting out and gutting it out every day, doesn’t matter if you’re “fast” or not. I’m sure this describes a lot of people on NBR whose stories I don’t have the privilege of knowing, but it’s awesome to see people on the team giving it their best at races. Anyone who puts on their shoes every day and grinds it out is inspiring to me.

4. What does it mean to be chosen by your peers for a coveted NBR  marathon team spot?

It’s humbling! It’s a privilege to represent NBR and to be part of a team that does great things within themselves and within the community at large. 

5. What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the night before?

The night before is always chicken and rice or sometimes chicken noodle soup and bread. After the race, I generally crave a burger and a beer.

6. What inspires and motivates you to run this year's NYC marathon?

I’ve run NYC only once before and I felt like it was time to give it another shot. My race in 2013 was transformative in a way. I experienced that day as a full-on journey from start to finish; running by my neighborhood in south Brooklyn, up past McCarren and the best water table on the course (big ups to mile 12!), over the bridges into Manhattan where more friends were waiting on 1st and 5th aves. It was kind of like “This Is Your Life” but with sweat and blisters, and the big reveal at the end is that you aren’t going to die when you push yourself really hard.
 
NYC marathon day is hands-down my absolute favorite day in the city, so much support and kindness on display in a city that can sometimes be a challenge to live in. I just wanted to be a part of that this year.

7. In your head, what celebrity do you think you most resemble when you're running?

I feel like I should look like Jenny Simpson, but in reality it’s probably more like Phoebe from Friends.
 

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Team Spot Check-in: Greg Doerk

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1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved? 
 
I moved here from California in fall 2015 after a long hiatus from running.  By Spring 2016 I was hoping to recover some speed and make some friends, so a running club seemed like a good idea.  After looking at several clubs online, I showed up at the Saturday morning bridge run – a bit out of the way since I live just outside NYC on Long Island.  Still, I couldn’t have found a better club so I haven’t looked back.
 
2. How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the world a good NBR long run story. 
 
It is going reasonably well.  I had been focused on triathlons for a while, so I was doing a lot of cross-training, and increasing my weekly running mileage has turned out to be harder than I remember.  The Narwhals long runs on Saturday mornings have been crucial to helping me here. 
 
Actually I have been joining Narwhals runs since last year.  I remember the first time I ran through Summer Streets on a Narwhals run; on another run through Queens on a blazing hot day, a playground with a spray shower near the turnaround was a godsend!
 
This doesn’t count as a marathon training story or a long run story per se, but the Lake Wawayanda Ragnar relay was unforgettable.  Doing it with NBR folks turned 3 days of non-stop rain into a great experience – and props to Chris Wheeler for bringing us pizza even though he was too injured to run.  
 
3. Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard (er)?
 
I am attending Narwhals regularly, and I go to Thursday night track as much as possible.  Track is great for getting my speed up, though the post-race routine of pizza and beer are also helpful motivators ;-)
 
It’s hard to say which NBR members particularly help me train harder, since I’m sure I’ll be leaving some out.  I can say that trying my best to keep up with Carlos, Etienne, and Sean certainly makes me faster, while others like Quang (“Q”) motivate me by the example of their dedication.
 
4. What does it mean to be chose by your peers for a coveted NBR marathon team spot? 
 
Honestly, it’s a huge honor! I love training with NBR and the NYC marathon is one of the most exciting events of the year for NYC.  NBR has helped me make friends, adjust to life on the east coast, and get in the best shape I have been in for years, so I think there is a lot than I can (and should) give back. 
 
5. What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the nite before? 

After the race, I will eat all of the food.  >2600 calories is pretty much carte blanche… The night before, I won’t be too creative or adventurous so likely pasta with chicken and tomato sauce – which I will be eating the whole week.  I’ll probably skip the single beer I usually have with dinner on the night before.

6. What inspires and motivates you to run this year's NYC marathon?
 
I tried to run a marathon almost a decade ago, but I got a stress fracture.  Since then, I’ve been pretty nervous about trying it again on my own, but I feel that it is something I can definitely accomplish with NBR.  Plus having a group of people in NBR who are so motivated is the best peer pressure one can have, especially when many are training alongside you for the NYC marathon, or Chicago.
 
7. In your head, what celebrity do you think you most resemble when you're running?
 
When I’m running hard, I usually doubt that I look my best.  So while I’d like to think I would resemble Ryan Gosling or similar, I feel more like Zach Galifianakis.
 

Team Spot Check-In: Nate Diaz

1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved? 

Coming from Colorado, it took me a while to get used to the idea of running in the city. I work with Lauren (Tarte) and knew she was a runner. I asked her if she knew of any good clubs and she recommended NBR and Max's Wednesday night form run, calling it her "gateway drug". I went to my first Wednesday night run late last summer and have been hooked on NBR ever since.  

2. How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the world a good NBR long run story. 

Training is really kicking my butt. I hate the Williamsburg Bridge hill workout at Tuesday Night Tempo, but I'm starting to see the results. It's getting to the point in the season where it's hard to maintain a social life outside of training. Fortunately, with NBR you have a lot of people in a similar boat who understand your crazy early bedtime and need to always be eating.

Last Saturday may have been the best day of running in my life! I ran up to meet Saturday Narwhals for their run through the amazingness that is Summer Streets to Team Champs. Quang (Ton), Vito (Aiuto), Emily (Hafner), and Greg (Doerk) dragged me to 16 miles. We made it to Central Park in time to catch the end of the men's race, grab a quick coffee, and cheer for the women. Afterwards, Logan (Yu), James (Gray-King), Danielle (Sussingham) and I leisurely Citibike'd back through Summer Streets. I then bumped into Ricardo on the subway home. He helped get me started on the second run of my double. Then, after a quick lunch and shower, it was back to the tiki party to celebrate the awesome performances at Team Champs.

3. Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard (er)?

My training with NBR revolves around attendance at runs featuring food. Emma and Kalli's Donut Run is a favorite. Thursday Night Track (and post-track pizza & beer) is the workout I attend most often; I can't count the number of times Jose, Madeline, Logan or Ken have encouraged or pushed me when I've felt like quitting. Recently, Becca and Anna finally prevailed on me to join them and Michael and Sean for tacos and the #PMREVOLUTION at Tuesday Night Tempo. I also have really enjoyed the monthly volunteering NBR does at the food pantry. 

For speed workouts I've been lucky to run with and pushed by a strong group of mostly women, who are way faster than me. Becca (Ades) before she re-found her speed, the late Anne (Barry) before she moved to Texas, Madeline (Hanley), Sophie (Tholstrup), Tom (Essex), and of course Quang "Q" Ton.

Bev (Walley) has been my Just South buddy since the beginning, keeping me going when I was just getting back into running.

4. What does it mean to be chose by your peers for a coveted NBR  marathon team spot? 

It's very exciting!  It took me a while to get involved in the running community in NYC but I'm glad that I found the great people of NBR. I'm so happy to have the chance to train and race alongside (and behind) all of you. It's humbling to be part of such an inspiring, knowledgeable, friendly and supportive team.

5. What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the nite before? 

All of the food! Doughnuts, beer, ice cream - come to think of it, that's not much different from how I'm eating now…

The night before the marathon you'll find me with a bag of Trader Joe's Honey Wheat Pretzels Sticks in one hand, bottle of water in the other.

6. What inspires and motivates you to run this year's NYC marathon?

Those days when it's hard to get of bed or leave the office knowing that I'm going to have to put the running shoes on, it makes it so much easier knowing that there's a group of (crazy) people ready to pound out the miles with me. Seeing the hard work and dedication everyone on this team puts into running is very inspiring. Having your teammate hurting right next to you and yet still pushing you for just one more lap, one more hill, one more mile, or one more doughnut is incredible motivation. I can't wait to see everyone on Staten Island and at mile 12 on race day! 

7. In your head, what celebrity do you think you most resemble when you're running?

I imagine when I run, I look like if you were to combine Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Robin Williams from his Live on Broadway special. You'd be left with one awkward, sweaty-ass man.
 

Team Spot Check-in: Aldo Ceresa

NBR: Tell us a little bit about how you came to be a part of NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved?

AC: My first NBR run was in April, 2015. I’d started running in 2013, and remembered dodging herds of NBR bridge runners on several Saturday mornings while running with my girlfriend at the time. After we broke up, I was looking for some motivation to increase my running game, as well as a way to reintroduce some social aspect into running. NBR has provided both of these in spades.

NBR: How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the NBR world a good long run story.

AC: I only started doing races late last year, and have never run a marathon, so I’ve nothing to compare it to, really. However, I just posted my first week of 50+ miles, and logged my first 20-miler while visiting family in Michigan. It was great to survey neighborhoods I’ve known since childhood and to revisit my old high school grounds, though sadly the track was fenced off. Having grown up as a not particularly athletic kid, it felt triumphant, somehow. Anyway, temps were in the 80s, and I had to stop for Gatorade three times, but I didn’t feel completely destroyed afterwards. Hooray! Besides adding some longer runs, I’ve also been mixing in cycling and strength training a good bit. Monday night plyo has been an essential ingredient in this. More skipping and squatting and lunging and conga lines, please!

NBR: Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard(er)?

AC: I’ve been a regular on Monday nights and Saturday bridge runs since I first started running with the team, but often add Doves, Tuesday night tempo, Thursday night track workouts, and weekend long runs as my schedule allows. NBR has no shortage of talented, hardworking people. Some folks who’ve been particularly helpful and inspiring to me include Tom Virzi, Russell Wight, Quang Ton, Drew Reynolds, Jeff Skaar, Jessica Boucher, and Nancy Lin. Of course there are many others as well.

NBR: What does it mean to be chosen by your peers for a coveted NBR marathon team spot?

AC: As a relative NBR newcomer with no marathon experience, I was surprised when I got the word from Logan that I’d been awarded a team spot. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity, and appreciate all the work that goes into all the great things the club does. I look forward to running with friends and teammates, and to greeting the NBR cheer squad at Mile 12. Volunteering at the water table last year was a great experience, and the spirit of camaraderie that pervaded throughout the day’s events cemented my own relationship with the group, I think. It will be fun to see the table from the other side this time around!

NBR: What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the night before?

AC: I’m sure I’ll do some serious carb-loading the day before. Salt bagels. Maybe some cinnamon cranberry walnut bread from the Northside Bakery while I’m at it. I expect I’ll have to wait a bit before I begin to replenish afterward, but hope to be ready for pizza and beer by the time the party kicks in on Sunday night.


NBR: What is your running spirit animal and why?

AC: Hmm…What animal is it that gets a late start, but once it gets going, revels in in its newfound ability, and can’t imagine how it managed even to breathe before this discovery was made? Some kind of formerly pent up horse, or maybe an antelope set loose upon an open prairie after a comfortable but unfulfilled life at a petting zoo? Yeah, one of those…

Team Spot Check-in: Russell Wight

NBR: Tell us a little bit about how you came to be part of  NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved?


RW: My first NBR run was back in January 2012. It was a Wednesday night run. I was fairly off and on for the first two years, however. I only really started getting serious when I did the 9+1 in 2014 and doing races and stuff. I became a Monday night run leader in October 2014. 

NBR: How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the NBR world a good long run story.


RW: I’ve been doing a lot of strength training the last month or so. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to transition into more running. I’ve followed the Hanson’s training plans for my last few big races. My favorite workouts are the long tempo runs. I really feel that those runs help to get you focused on running a steady pace for a long time. 

NBR: Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard(er)?


RW: I lead the Monday night run, so that’s my jam. I also do Tom’s Plyo workout Monday nights. Aside from that, I bounce around a lot, doing the Saturday or Sunday long run, Wednesday night run, and Thursday track

NBR: What does it mean to be chosen by your peers for a coveted NBR Marathon Team Spot?

RW: It’s pretty awesome. I know there’s a lot of people who have worked really hard to contribute to NBR over these years, and it’s really wonderful to be chosen to represent NBR in the greatest race ever! My goal this year is to run under 4 hours.. I’ve run two marathons already, and in both races I hit the wall pretty hard. I’m hoping to use the lessons from those races to put together a great race and give everything I’ve got. 

NBR: What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the night before?

RW: I’m a fan of barbecue - you may see at Mable’s smokehouse right after the race. As for the night before - I’ve done Thai Curry the last few big races, and surprisingly it’s worked well. And I’m pretty sure that I do Peter Pan donuts both before and after the race. (It’s carbs, right?) 

NBR: What is your running spirit animal and why?

RW: Hmmm, not entirely sure. 

Team Spot Check-in: Jeffrey Skaar

photo by Vincent Wai Him Hui

photo by Vincent Wai Him Hui

NBR: Tell us a little bit about how you came to be part of NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved?

JS: The story of my running origins in general and with NBR are part of the ongoing TNT series, for anyone to find on the Google group. My first run was a Wednesday Night Road Run in 2013, when I discovered what I now consider the first rule of NBR: subtract at least 15 seconds from the pace that anyone says they are going to run. I have been a regular with WNRR ever since, and I became a run leader in 2015.

NBR: How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the NBR world a good long run story.

JS: Um…. can I plead the 5th? Those of you that know me know that I’m not so good with training plans. I will get mileage in, but I won’t track or plan it incessantly. I have never keep a training log, and I don’t plan on starting. Also, I’m not so good at varying paces. Is this limiting my ceiling? Definitely. However, for me, running is a release. If I tracked it incessantly, I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much. With that in mind, what workouts really help? Anything with hills. All my favorite routes have them, and I know I’m in shape when I feel good running a route that includes something like Union St. Even better - trails, although they are in short supply. So far this year, my best training run was a race (Finger Lakes 25K). As far as my overall training, the spring season was a painful slog, but lately some bounce has been returning to my step. Apart from the oppressive heat, I’m feeling pretty good.

NBR: Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard(er)?

JS: Since I’m not a morning person and I work from home, I run screaming from the house every night. WNRR, TNT…sometimes plyo or track. If it is a night NBR workout, I’ve been there. I try to get my distance in with Narwhals or SFR. If I can couple a Narwhals workout with the Bridge Run, even better. Inspiring NBR members? Where to start. There are too many to list, but it starts with anyone volunteering in any position (even if it isn’t training specific). It’s also great to watch everyone throw themselves into a goal - whether it’s the new runner that goes from a first NBR run at the back of the pack to throwing down fast times in races or established runners seeking bulletproof BQs. Finally, we have our fair share of speed merchants that seem so agonizingly close at the start of a run/race and end up being specks in the distance, way ahead.

NBR: What does it mean to be chosen by your peers for a coveted NBR Marathon Team Spot?

JS: There are so many people in NBR that give so much of their time to the team. I’m extremely honored to have been chosen for an NBR team spot. I hope to contribute to returning the favor by working the water table again next year.

NBR: What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the night before?

JS: I can’t eat immediately after long runs, so I’ll do my best to choke down a protein bar after finishing. After that, I likely won’t be able to eat for a few hours. However, by the after party, I’ll be eating anything and everything in sight. Also, beer and whisky. The night(s) before will probably be some simple pasta.

NBR: What is your running spirit animal and why?

JS: Mountain Goat. Quick, but not the fastest. Likes hills and trails. Stubborn as hell.