team spot

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: Chris Ithurburn

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? 

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CI: I was introduced to NBR by my wife Erika as she was following the Google group for some time before we ever showed up for a workout.  We had started to run as a way to spend time together as she trained for the NYC Half. I wasn't really focused on any training and only really did a couple of 5k's and triathlons for fun. I eventually signed up to do the SF Rock n' Roll Half with her family and decided I needed to get serious about training.  I first tried out Thursday Night Track in November 2015 and really enjoyed the committed group of regulars that I would get to know very well (Caitlin Shu, Jenn Herr, Jose LaSalle, Sean Laude, Ken Allen among others).

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. 

CI: The training has its ebbs and flows.  Some weeks I enjoy pushing myself, but it can be a mental struggle sometimes to focus on each workout.  That said, I'm not really following a strict plan so I tend to pick workouts based on my schedule.  The longer Tempo workouts tend to pay the most dividends in my training so I can push myself beyond what I thought capable.

As for long run story, my first real long run was a Narwhals 11 miler back in April. I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep up, knowing who was running, and really appreciated Karina Christiansen holding back and making sure I didn't die on the course.   

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

CI: Well I just started as a run leader for MNER (yay Anna, Caitlin, Colin, Russel and Seth!), so that has been my go to for running from work and joining up.  Thursday Night Track is the best to test your speed, then pizza and beer afterwards. The members I regularly run with are Q, Nate Diaz, Carly Lissak, Maddie Hanley, and Lauren Tarte during Track/Tempo workouts because they are all faster than me and really push me harder than I could ever do myself.  For long runs, I have to thank Mary Harvey for the hours of company and all of the pep talks to keep me confident and sane about doing my first marathon.

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

CI: I am truly honored to represent our club and am humbled by all of the work that goes into making NBR AMAZING!

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

CI: For the night before: I will probably make a huge vat of pasta carbonara.  For after? I had joked with Pete Schwinge that we should go to Peter Luger after the marathon, but that could be the best/worst idea ever.

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

CI:  Well I have never run a marathon before - so there is that. This is the hometown race.  I have really enjoyed watching and volunteering at the water table in years past. Based on where I was going for my training, I felt that I should do it at least once, possibly for the only time. 

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

CI: Paul Rudd?

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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.