Tag Archive | toby tanser

Become Your Dream

There are many things that make NYC what it is: a place like no other. Some of them, like Times Square, are very obvious and it’ll be on your face on your first day here. Others, you’ll find with time, and you’ll probably stumble upon them and don’t know how you didn’t see it before.

I was just re-reading More Fire, by Toby Tanser (one big staple in any New York City Runner’s “spotted” list!) and there’s a line on the second page that stayed with me:

Talent does not ensure success; each triumph has to be earned.

I am sure you all know why this line is so powerful… Even if you train for months, you still have to go and get it. Even though we do this all the time, it is still hard. Every time. Your heart really has to be in it.

Then, walking home, I saw this

become your dream de la vega nyc

I had seen this before and knew about the artist who created the movement: James De La Vega does murals and chalk drawings in the NYC streets with aphoristic messages. But coming accross it all the time, mostly if you live in the Upper East Side is a different thing. You just walk into these things on the street ALL THE TIME.
It’s fantastic. One tiny little NYC moment that will last the whole day, which is a big deal here.
They wake you up.
And yes, we’ll have to earn it. Each one of them.
If we look past the common, we’re constantly being inspired by the city to wake up, all the time. And to earn each one of those triumphs.
—-Comment happily: you won’t be asked to create an account!

To be or not to be: A Kenyan

I am not a Kenyan, in case my race times had you confused… Just wanted to clear that out up-front! 😉 I finished reading Toby Tanser’s More Fire, and I learned a lot of stuff that is, hum, what is the word…. ground breaking!

Their Running is pretty much the OPPOSITE of all we do around here. You’ll have to read it and figure out why and what works for you but some shattering concepts I was stuck with include:

– Their Easy pace is ridiculously slow. Anyone could walk faster! 

I am on it. I like super slow runs!

– Block training: they start slow, build up, train hard, race, and pig out for a month or two after a race. They seriously stop running for weeks at a time.

I will try to stop running after my marathon, or after the ultra two weeks after the marathon, or.. oh, this might be impossible.

– Use softer surfaces, no pavement unless it is a race.


– Healthy and Minimalist approach to eating.

Can’t even dream of trying.

– Everything is done in group-mode (running, travelling, living, racing).

Hmmm, I am more into “twosome-running”, mostly to chat away! They don’t chat on runs.

– Clothes, while training: more is more; just to make sure everything is warmed up and loose.

I am the opposite, I just hate doing laundry…

– No GPS watch and no mileage tracking.

What? I have like 50 spreadsheets, with tabs, charts, formulas…

– Injury Prevention…

Can’t tell you that one, do you want Toby to strangle me?

Ok, so some stuff might not translate but the more I read the more I seemed to start making adjustments.

It really does make sense, you’ll have to check it out. I learned a lot about how to approach the sport to make it render the best results (meals type and quantity, training programs, how to pick one, attitude, shoes, crosstraining, etc.) Their mental approach is what’s most different though. This is, after all, a job for them, a way to make a career for themselves.

It is very inspiring, I would like to go there someday. I’d probably have to run all by myself though.

What kind of horse am I in? Maybe one with a Prince on it…!

So, I’ve been doing amazingly well lately, if I may say so myself… I’ve been PRing with a lot of margin, with paces that seem neck-breaking for me!! And everyone keeps asking me what am I doing differently…

I wish I could tell you… you know I would!

All I can say is that I am “running happy” (I know, I am an idiot!!), but basically I am running on dirt and dirt alone, unless there’s a road race. I am running in the VFFs once a week, which I think helps develop my legs and my form. And at least twice a week I do a strength routine: core and butt (ok, glutes!). Stretching has become my religion. I pretty much run whatever/whenever I feel like. No speedwork, just fast hill repeats on dirt twice a month, and racing. That’s about it…. All the other things I do are definitely not performance enhancers… (cupcakes-eating tournaments anyone?) so I’ll keep those to myself so you don’t laugh at me. But my pace during the week is even slower than before, and I think it makes sense not to push or stress the body too much. How that could make me faster… no clue!!!

On the other hand, things are SO good that when I think too much about it, I get scared that it could all disappear; that all would go away as fast and mysteriously as it came. So I don’t think much about it and enjoy it, from my horse. I really think it’s more of a mind adjustment, because there is really not much else tangible that I can explain this with.

Talking about running + happiness…. this past Sunday we had the Achilles Hope and Possibility race in the park. You have to go to the site and look at these pictures, you’ll be SO inspired… I always wonder if I would still run if there were all these obstacles in front of me to sort through… These people are just amazing. I decided to spectate instead of running it because my legs were still sore from the day before and I was glad I did. I run back and forth so I got a few recovery miles in the dirt.

Argentina in-da-house!


blog post photo

Prince Harry and Toby…


blog post photo

In case you want to know, Prince Harry is pretty cute. And, OMG, he’s a sweetheart, he shook EVERYBODY’s hand. I am not kidding, EVERYONE, I got tired for him!!!
blog post photo


blog post photo
I felt bad for him, this guy has SO much attention on him everywhere he goes… I can’t even imagine how horrible that must be. You would have to have an immense patience and nerves of steel…  I had never seen so much police and secret service guys in the park!
blog post photo

This is Trisha Meili, a very inspiring woman who created the race (or so I heard…). You know her, she’s the Central Park Jogger.


blog post photo

Heather Mills, former model and Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, she lost a leg a while ago and she’s a big activist. She was supposed to do the race but she had a back problem and didn’t. ;-(
blog post photo

Prince Harry takes over and blows the horn. 
blog post photo

They go. Prince Harry talking to Dick Traum, founder of the Achilles International Org.
blog post photo
blog post photo
blog post photo


I walked to the finish line and in a few minutes the first male was done!! A few random shots from the finish line:


blog post photo

blog post photo

blog post photo

blog post photo

All an all, another more than amazing day in the park. With the most inspiring people you could think of.

Then I had to go and keep freaking out about the World Cup game. The Prince went to the polo game.Nacho Figueras beat him, see? 😉


blog post photo


Oh, and Prince Harry fell off this horse (Sunday was not a good day for Englishmen playing Sports…) 


blog post photo

Well… so far, I haven’t!!!
Hold on to your horse. Ride on!