team spots

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: 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.