7 Minute Miles

The Pawn

Posted Sunday, November 30th, 2014 06:49 pm GMT -5 in Food at 6:49 PM

King’s Place, Miesville, MN

A Brulé Christmas

Posted Sunday, November 30th, 2014 03:42 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Concerts,Holidays at 3:42 PM

Free nosebleed seats @ Treasure Island

Bee-bow Slots

Posted Sunday, November 30th, 2014 12:12 am GMT -5 in Casinos at 12:12 AM

Aristocrat Sky Rider slots @ Treasure Island (MN)

Charlie Fixin’ to Die

Posted Saturday, November 29th, 2014 05:53 pm GMT -5 in Links,Music,Video at 5:53 PM


Posted Friday, November 28th, 2014 08:38 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:38 PM

Second floor, Calhoun Square

Chef Life

Posted Friday, November 28th, 2014 08:37 pm GMT -5 in Food at 8:37 PM

View from the bar @ Lake and Irving

Someone has a new Precious

Posted Friday, November 28th, 2014 07:50 pm GMT -5 in Family,Technology at 7:50 PM

The old lady and her iPhone 6

Cash and Prizes

Posted Friday, November 28th, 2014 01:32 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Holidays at 1:32 PM

Black Friday Bingo @ Mystic Lake

The Dishwasher

Posted Thursday, November 27th, 2014 09:54 pm GMT -5 in Family,Holidays,Pets at 9:54 PM

Louis the Weiner Dog

Nice spread

Posted Thursday, November 27th, 2014 09:53 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Holidays at 9:53 PM

Thanksgiving 2014 in St. Paul

My favorite clam dip

Posted Thursday, November 27th, 2014 05:28 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Holidays at 5:28 PM

Thanksgiving 2014 @ The Smiths

Thanksgiving 2014

Posted Thursday, November 27th, 2014 11:32 am GMT -5 in Family,Food,Holidays at 11:32 AM

Annual Kane Family Thanksgiving Breakfast @ Perkins

Southern Fried Heart Attack

Posted Thursday, November 27th, 2014 11:30 am GMT -5 in Food at 11:30 AM

Thanksgiving breakfast @ Perkins St. Paul (University Avenue)

Five Man Electrical Band

Posted Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 06:47 pm GMT -5 in Links,Music at 6:47 PM

And the sign said long-haired freaky people need not apply…

Woot Woot

Posted Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 06:47 pm GMT -5 in Business,Cars at 6:47 PM

$2.44 a gallon in Cotton, Minnesota

The Economics of Touring

Posted Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 11:02 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Links,Music at 11:02 AM

View story at Medium.com

That’s more like it

Posted Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 11:51 am GMT -5 in Casinos,Food at 11:51 AM

$3 casino deli lunch

The Price of Cheap Gas?

Posted Monday, November 24th, 2014 07:02 pm GMT -5 in Business,Links at 7:02 PM



Posted Monday, November 24th, 2014 03:16 pm GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 3:16 PM

Six o’clock – TV hour. Don’t get caught in foreign towers. Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn…

Food costs? What food costs?

Posted Monday, November 24th, 2014 01:57 pm GMT -5 in Food at 1:57 PM

$19 lunch in Tower @ Good Ol’ Days


Posted Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 08:24 pm GMT -5 in Family,Movies,Shopping at 8:24 PM

MK @ Target

Gets dark early now

Posted Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 06:32 pm GMT -5 in Running at 6:32 PM

Lakes run in the dark

Enemy Number One

Posted Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 02:56 pm GMT -5 in Food at 2:56 PM

Old Home Bermuda Onion Snack Dip

Minneapolis Mac

Posted Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 06:28 pm GMT -5 in Food at 6:28 PM

Fish and Chips

The new running shirt

Posted Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Running at 2:11 PM

Break the Stigma

Mr. Lassen

Posted Friday, November 21st, 2014 10:33 pm GMT -5 in Quotes,Television at 10:33 PM

Son, there was never a ‘C-L’…

My new favorite pasta

Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 10:20 pm GMT -5 in Food at 10:20 PM

The carbonara at Broder’s Pasta Bar, Minneapolis

Swaggie in Minneapolis

Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 09:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 9:05 PM

SK and MK @ Broder’s Pasta Bar

Thursday Night Lights

Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 07:43 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports at 7:43 PM

MK & Riptide practice, Apple Valley

Butt Burger Baby

Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 12:31 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 12:31 PM

MK @ Culver’s Eagan

Cold and pretty

Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 12:30 pm GMT -5 in Nature,Weather at 12:30 PM

Birch Point Winter Sunset

Secret Handshakes – Toqueland

Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 10:12 am GMT -5 in Food,Links at 10:12 AM


Never bet $4

Posted Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 02:12 pm GMT -5 in Casinos at 2:12 PM

Big bet, big winner

Flashback ‘Tigo Buddies

Posted Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 11:54 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,History at 11:54 PM

MK and SK @ Woodbury Zantigo (March 6, 2010)

Cold VC pizza on a cold night

Posted Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 10:06 pm GMT -5 in Food at 10:06 PM

Pizza on the point

Warming Up

Posted Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 12:36 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Food at 12:36 PM

Chicken wild rice soup, Tamarack Buffet

A Frozen Big Bay

Posted Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 09:15 am GMT -5 in Nature,Weather at 9:15 AM

Birch Point @ Lake Vermilion

Fall in the Northland

Posted Monday, November 17th, 2014 11:10 am GMT -5 in Cars,Weather at 11:10 AM

Highway 169 + blowing snow

Get It Together

Posted Sunday, November 16th, 2014 11:39 pm GMT -5 in Food,Music,Quotes at 11:39 PM

She’s the cheese and I’m the macaroni…

Jailbreak Ready

Posted Sunday, November 16th, 2014 11:08 pm GMT -5 in Links,Shopping,Technology,Television at 11:08 PM


Moderately better than a treadmill

Posted Sunday, November 16th, 2014 12:55 pm GMT -5 in Running at 12:55 PM

Eagan Community Center track (11 laps/mile)

Dinner at Spoon and Stable

Posted Saturday, November 15th, 2014 10:40 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 10:40 PM

Minnesotans always seem so proud when one of our own make it big. This usually happens somewhere else, so it’s an extra big deal when those people move back to their frozen homeland (see Garrison Keillor). The latest to join this list is another GK – the James Beard 2008 Rising Star Chef from Café Boulud, Gavin Kaysen. Originally from Bloomington (and an Academy of Holy Angels alum), Kaysen shocked the cooking world when he announced this spring he was leaving his post as executive chef after seven years and returning to Minnesota to open his own place in Minneapolis.

All the pieces fell into place over the summer, as Kaysen lured a team of all stars: Bill Summerville (wine) and Diane Yang (pastry) from La Belle Vie, Robb Jones (2013 Bartender of the Year at Saffron), Stephen Stritch as service manager (former banquet manager at the Waldorf Astoria) and Christopher Nye as chef de cuisine (Café Boulud). He found a spot in the North Loop directly across from our favorite restaurant, The Bachelor Farmer, and started working with local design firm Shea to build out his new baby. The working name was Merchant right up until the end of October, when this video announced a new name, Spoon and Stable.

The new restaurant was to begin accepting reservations on November 10th and you could sign up to be reminded via email, which I did. Online reservations would start at ten, but the golden email arrived around 9:00am and said email subscribers had a one hour head start and could call in for spots. Since the phone line was non-stop busy, I switched to concert ticket mode and started refreshing my browser. When the main website didn’t have anything listed at ten, I searched OpenTable and found the right page. Around 10:15, the select day page loaded and I picked Friday at 7:00pm, which showed availability. We were in! I forwarded the confirmation to Colleen and we were both really excited. About an hour later, however, my heart sank…

Apparently OpenTable did not have authority to book people on Friday or Saturday, as the restaurant wasn’t scheduled to officially open until Sunday. The first email from OpenTable said:

We are contacting you on behalf of Spoon and Stable in St. Paul MN. about the reservation that you have booked there.

Unfortunately there was an error in the availability published on OpenTable.com, and the time and date you booked your reservation for is not actually available for reservations. The restaurant will begin taking reservations for dates after they open on 11/16/2014. Your pending reservation will be cancelled within the next few minutes, please feel free to book again on or after 11/16/2014 when the restaurant will be opening.

We are very sorry for the mix up! This was an error on the OpenTable site and not the fault of the restaurant.

To make matters worse, OpenTable sent another email about an hour later that said “Please note that there is a typo in the email below. Spoon and Stable is located in Minneapolis, not St. Paul. We apologize for any confusion.” Meanwhile, food critics on Twitter were reporting that the restaurant was already booked through January. Argh.

I knew this was an OpenTable issue and tweeted “OpenTable just told me my Friday @spoonandstable reservation was a mistake and that they really aren’t open until 11/16.” This is when the stellar service recovery effort began – the restaurant responded to my tweet directly with “we have a solution and look forward to serving you all soon.” A few hours later, someone called me to apologize and said they will open on Friday to honor the reservation at 7:00pm. Bravo! I now liked the operation before ever stepping foot in the building.

Since I follow most of the individuals on Twitter, I discovered that Thursday was a special “pre-opening” event that included visits by people that had several other chefs in town a bit star-struck: Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and (earlier in the week) Marcus Samuelsson. Nashville to Minneapolis chef (and former Bill Summerville fried chicken and champagne cohort) Erik Anderson was there. Several other local chefs sent over care packages during the week (Heyday and Pizzeria Lola), while Marvel Bar even threw a “There Goes the Neighborhood” party for the entire Spoon and Stable staff. I love this town.

Our anticipation for Friday night was intense. We pulled up and discovered they have $5 valet in a lot right next to the building, so we gladly took that option and quickly got out of the cold. We walked in and my first impression was how small the whole place is – the stated capacity on the wall said 169, but the actual dining room section doesn’t have many tables. It’s a beautiful space, though, and we were seated at a two person table with a perfect view of the large, open kitchen. The hostess took our coats to a secret room that Colleen got to visit later in order to make a positive ID. It was so fun watching the whole operation while we there: Diane! Gavin! Bill!

Our server Mariann poured us two complementary glasses of Champagne and apologized for any difficulty we may have had with the reservation process (yet another positive service recovery checkmark). We were brought menus and ordered two items from the bar – Colleen had a glass of the house reserve white (Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2011), while I just had to order the Minnesota Monthly Drink of the Week, a Robb Jones twist on an Old Fashioned. Both were wonderful – I especially liked the roasted pineapple, which I’m sure came from the Diane side of the operation.

Colleen and I both explored a little in between courses. There is a long, candle-lit hallway behind the kitchen area that leads to the restrooms, passing by the two private dining areas along the way. The restroom I visited had a clean, modern design and the rolled up cloth washcloths were a nice touch. The bar sits in the front of the space and seemed very busy all night (it’s going to be first-come, first-serve there). Our server said that will be the best way to come back for the first few months. She also mentioned they have a special bar menu in addition to the full regular dinner menu. The Summerville “wine stall” is impressive and it was entertaining watching servers go up and down the ladder.

Wheat sourdough bread and sea salt butter were brought to the table with a very unique presentation that included a tiny burlap sack and a black granite slab. We then both selected items from the garden section of the menu. Colleen had the Fairytale Pumpkin Soup (coffee brioche, apple confit, sage – 8), while I ordered the Winter Green Salad (pears, goat cheese, pecans, sherry vinaigrette – 8). We really liked both – hers having a unique doughnut shaped crouton presentation, while mine had an excellent assortment of flavors and textures. Clean plate club for me on that course.

Next, Colleen ordered the Ravioli from the pasta section (roasted eggplant, sauce puttanesca, ricotta salata – 11/18), while I chose the Cider Glazed Chicken (fennel sausage, rutabaga, roasted carrots, thyme jus – 25). We also shared a side of Crispy Potatoes (rosemary & garlic – 7). All of the pasta selections come in two sizes and Colleen had the smaller portion. She said the roasted eggplant was delicious, but thought the pasta was just OK. My chicken dish was perfect – the quality of the chicken breast was very high and it was cooked exactly right. I liked most of the sides too – the fennel sausage, carrots and thyme jus tasted great together (Colleen liked the rutabaga – I’m just not a fan of that particular vegetable).

With Diane Yang at the helm, there was no way we were skipping dessert. I ordered the Chocolate Chiboust (hazelnut praline, banana, malted milk ice cream – 10), which rightly deserves it’s place as a website header photo – beautiful and delicious. Colleen ordered the Dessert Cheese Plate (with huckleberry compote – 15), which arrived on a beautiful antique plate with five different cheese selections and chickpea crackers. We were also presented with a small tin box at the end of the meal with two petits fours inside – a candied fruit jelly and a miniature mousse-filled creampuff.

I ordered a glass of Madeira dessert wine (NY Malmsey, Rare Wine Company – 12) and our server said Bill was the Madeira King. He stopped over to tell me more about this type of wine (which I’d never had before). I love hearing people talk about things they are passionate about, so that was fun and interesting. Still can’t get over the aroma – so different from what I usually drink.

The final check was very reasonable for this level of quality and service – about $165 with tax and tip. I thanked Chef Kaysen on the way out for opening early and told him we had a wonderful time. He seems like such a nice, down to earth person – it’s great to see people like him succeed. We were given two gifts on the way out: signed opening night menus (“Happy Cooking!”) and Rocky Road Muffins that had tags with “It was a rocky start, but we’re off!”

Indeed you are, Chef, indeed you are…

Highly Recommended

Remembering Patrick

Posted Saturday, November 15th, 2014 02:23 pm GMT -5 in Family,Friends at 2:23 PM

MK and Patrick, 6th grade @ BHMS

Signed menus from opening night

Posted Saturday, November 15th, 2014 02:05 pm GMT -5 in Food at 2:05 PM

Gavin Kaysen @ Spoon and Stable

I am monkey, ya ya ya

Posted Friday, November 14th, 2014 12:13 pm GMT -5 in Links,Movies,Music at 12:13 PM


Suburban Hype

Posted Thursday, November 13th, 2014 11:07 pm GMT -5 in Food at 11:07 PM

Checked out the Rosemount strip mall to see what all the fuss was about

The Triple Crown

Posted Thursday, November 13th, 2014 04:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Work at 4:05 PM

Three Gold Awards for CMK

The Knowledge

Posted Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 11:44 pm GMT -5 in Links,Travel at 11:44 PM


Never noticed this table

Posted Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 08:25 pm GMT -5 in History at 8:25 PM

Old maps on Birch Point

Cheap and cold

Posted Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 09:52 am GMT -5 in Cars,Shopping at 9:52 AM

$2.79/gallon gas @ Y Store

Just a light dusting

Posted Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 09:36 am GMT -5 in Cars,Weather at 9:36 AM

Not much snow so far on Birch Point

Guess I need adidas Adizeros

Posted Monday, November 10th, 2014 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 2:11 PM


The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Posted Monday, November 10th, 2014 09:36 am GMT -5 in History,Music,Quotes at 9:36 AM

Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Finally finished another one

Posted Monday, November 10th, 2014 01:47 am GMT -5 in Golf,Reading at 1:47 AM

Caddies at the Old Course are an interesting lot

The Most Admired List

Posted Monday, November 10th, 2014 12:23 am GMT -5 in Business,Work at 12:23 AM

My Top Seven:

Tokidoki Slots

Posted Sunday, November 9th, 2014 09:39 pm GMT -5 in Casinos at 9:39 PM

Free play Sunday @ Hinckley

26 of 30

Posted Saturday, November 8th, 2014 11:20 pm GMT -5 in Art,Concerts,Music at 11:20 PM

Limited edition, signed show poster from last night

Gett Off

Posted Friday, November 7th, 2014 11:55 pm GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 11:55 PM

Dudley do no wrong if Nell just let him kick it…

Post-concert bourbon sampler

Posted Friday, November 7th, 2014 11:52 pm GMT -5 in Food at 11:52 PM

Butcher and the Boar

Oh that voice

Posted Friday, November 7th, 2014 10:43 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 10:43 PM

Matt Wilson @ New Century Theater, Minneapolis

School conference book sale

Posted Thursday, November 6th, 2014 09:43 pm GMT -5 in Family,Reading,Schools at 9:43 PM

Dewey is awesome (and apparently has nine lives)

Haven’t been here in forever

Posted Thursday, November 6th, 2014 07:34 pm GMT -5 in Shopping at 7:34 PM

Nike Outlet Store @ North Branch

A Tiny Bite of the Big Apple

Posted Thursday, November 6th, 2014 12:06 am GMT -5 in Fashion,Food,Friends,Shopping,Travel at 12:06 AM

In addition to the big race, I was quite fortunate to experience a few additional things on my trip to New York (while still trying not to spend money). This trip was also a bit of an adventure for me, as I had never really had to figure out the subway system before. Both of my Delta flights were perfect – on time, window seats and great experiences with TSA Pre✓ at MSP and LGA. My one cab ride from the airport to Queens was inexpensive and quick.

I figured out the apartment situation the first night on my own, as my host Dillon had to work until 11pm. His place was really nice: smallish one bedroom on the third floor, with an elevator and balcony. It was located about two blocks from the N/Q line’s Astoria Boulevard station, which was really convenient. That train was a straight shot into Times Square, which I took on Saturday morning to head over to the race expo at the Javits Center, where I met my friends Deb and Jeff.

The expo was the same as last time: packed with people from all over the world. As I found out this week, the 2014 edition of the race was also the largest ever in the history of marathons (50,564 finishers). We walked right up to the bib areas, though, and really only had to wait in line to buy stuff. They also hand out the finisher shirts at the expo (just like Disney), so I picked mine up before buying a few five finger borough gloves for MK and SK. There were lots of other great things to buy there, but I didn’t want to burn all my cash on the first day. Stopped by the Sweaty Bands booth to look for my friend Kris, but she skipped this expo (and race).

Javits was also hosting a photography show and the huge Nikon booth was teasing me from just inside the guarded barrier. The marathon expo had a second level nearby, though, so we headed up there and found lots of interesting new booths. They handed out borough “passports” that you could get stamped to receive a free race poster. The inspiring Kathrine Switzer was there signing her book and a number of government and charity groups were handing out info.

The weather Saturday was crappy all day, with a cold, constant drizzle and relatively high winds. It wasn’t super fun walking around midtown, but we headed from Javits back to Times Square to wait in line at the TKTS booth to see if we could get discounted tickets to see Dillon’s show (he’s the sound engineer) – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. When we got up there, the guy said they only had five single seats left (for 50% off). Sold!

Once we had the tickets for the matinee, we walked over to Eighth Avenue to hit up Shake Shack for lunch. I ordered a single ShackBurger with no tomato, cheese fries and a vanilla malt. In hindsight, I don’t know if that was a great pre-race selection, but it sure tasted good (especially the bun). That place is always packed, but we didn’t have to wait too long.

After lunch, we walked up Eighth to 48th and waited outside the Walter Kerr Theater for a bit before the doors opened. Now that I think about it, we also got a drink across the street at Hurley’s Saloon and picked up some souvenirs for the girls at a tourist trap on Broadway. Once inside, we found our seats in the mezzanine and waited for the show to start. The guy sitting next to me was in town from Arkansas to run the marathon and said he was also a 2012 returnee. This was going to be his second marathon (he ran a BQ in his first at Chicago) and will retire from racing after Boston next April. So jealous. Oh yeah, he was wave one, corral A too…

The show was really fun. Jefferson Mays was outstanding, Lisa O’Hare was beautiful (and funny) and I really liked Carole Shelley as Miss Shingle. Bryce Pinkham was also very talented, turning from good to evil at the drop of a hat. The set design and lighting effects were cool and the orchestra and sound were perfect (of course). The play had two acts with an intermission and Dillon arranged to have our names at the stage door for an after show tour. We ended up actually getting escorted backstage by the other sound engineer Dave, who took us out the back exit and down the alley fire escape. Dillon let us walk out on center stage and showed us the very cramped backstage area, which was really special (thanks again, DJC!). Go see this show if you haven’t – there’s a reason it won four Tony Awards (including Best Musical).

After the show, we walked towards our dinner destination, stopping briefly at 30 Rock to watch the brave ice skaters gliding by in the rain. My pasta carbo load crosshairs were set on Alfredo’s, my old Italy EPCOT Center pals (RIP). The original restaurant is in Rome, but I’ve only known it from the Florida branch that closed on my brother’s birthday in 2007 (the New York location opened in 1977). I ordered a Caesar salad to start and (of course) had the fettuccine Alfredo. Not sure if it was my headache or the food, but it just didn’t seem the same to me, unfortunately.

After dinner, we walked up Fifth Avenue, stopping at the huge UNIQLO store to browse. They had a number of cool MoMA special edition jackets that I really wanted – Keith Haring and Andy Warhol designs for only $90! I restrained myself, though, and walked up to Tiffany & Co. to get a photo for free (no Cracker Jacks on this trip). Headed back to Queens after that and tried to rest up.

I already covered the race specifics in my other post, so I’ll jump to end of the race. I basically ended up walking all the way around the south half of Central Park and got back on the N train to Queens. Took a nice hot shower, changed and rested on the couch until Dillon got back from his Sunday afternoon performance. The local ABC affiliate re-ran the whole marathon broadcast, so I got to watch the two Kenyans battle down the stretch for their respective titles. It was a little reassuring to see the elites were also slowed down quite a bit by the conditions.

We walked a few blocks over to Chef Michael Psilakis’ Greek restaurant on Ditmars Boulevard, MP Taverna for dinner. Dillon had heard good things about it and when I saw the chef was a James Beard finalist, I was sold. My hanger steak & Greek sausage with smashed fries was delicious, as was our appetizer, yogurt dip with warm pita. Dillon ordered the spinach, feta & dill stuffed filet of sole, which he also enjoyed. We stopped in at the Sparrow Tavern on the way home for some Jameson and Laphroaig.

I attempted to sleep in a little on Monday, but was still up by nine. I packed up everything and decided to hop on the train one more time to head in to Times Square and a visit to the Cake Boss Cafe to pick up a couple gifts for Colleen. Before I left, I found an old Village Voice article that listed the top ten places to eat around Times Square. I decided the number one thing they picked sounded like a good plan and walked over to Sapporo on 49th:

Katsudon at Sapporo – This aging noodle shop has long been a haven for homesick Japanese travelers, and the ramen, gyoza, and curries are superb, but our greatest affection is for the luncheon delight katsudon, consisting of a perfectly fried pork cutlet mired in egg and onion, squirted with a vaguely sweet sauce and served over a big bowl of rice. A cup of miso soup comes alongside, making this one of the best under-$10 meals in town. 152 West 49th Street, 212-869-8972

Lunch was very good (I also added an order of Buffalo wings) and the location was perfect – the 49th Street N train station was basically right outside their door. I hopped back on the train, got my stuff and had Dillon drop me off at the airport on his way out of town. I hung out at the airport for a couple hours and arrived home that night around 8:30pm. Dillon’s suggestion to load A Dark Room on my phone was brilliant – no network connection required and it made the flight seem extra quick.

Growing up, I always preferred the West Coast (and especially LA) to New York. Living in the Midwest, I also hated how everything was so focused on the East Coast (all times Eastern, news broadcasts, New Years Eve countdowns, etc). Now that I’ve visited twice in the past two years, it’s starting to grow on me. I also realized this time just how much of New York I’ve never seen. I may not get back again for a while, but now I’d really like to (especially with the whole family). Until we meet again, Gotham…

Jonathan Rosenberg

Posted Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 01:52 pm GMT -5 in Business,Quotes at 1:52 PM

…you’ve gotta start from the beginning and make sure that you just have A’s who hire A’s…

Slowest Time Since 1995

Posted Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 04:12 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 4:12 PM


2014 New York City Marathon

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 11:30 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 11:30 PM

After the last time I tried to run New York went sideways, I wasn’t sure what would happen this time. Weather did end up playing a role again this year, but overall I just feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the race and the city.

The trip needed to happen on the cheap and I’m very thankful to my friends John and Dillon, who helped me with airfare and lodging. Dillon’s dad Tom also gave me a subway pass for the weekend and my mom snuck some extra spending money in my pocket when I left town on Friday night. I also feel extremely grateful to my immediate family – we don’t get to take many vacations these days and this chance for me to complete a major running goal is a true gift.

Heading into this week, I felt pretty good about my running readiness (even with the two week illness break in September). My yearly mileage is currently the second highest since I started keeping track and I really felt a PR might be possible. That was my A goal for this race, with a B goal of sub-4 and a C goal of finishing without getting hurt.

Option C would be the winning bet, I’m afraid.

When I read the National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for marathon day, I knew it would be tougher than normal. When I heard the wheelers would start in Brooklyn instead of Staten Island for fear of being blown over on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, I got really nervous. Turns out that part of the race was terrifying – the wind literally tossed me back and forth and nearly ripped my securely pinned bib off my chest (not to mention my hat). I read later that the reason there was no marker at mile one was because it blew off the bridge and into the water.

The weather Saturday was terrible – nearly the same wind and a constant, cold rain all day. Thankfully, the precipitation cleared out by Sunday morning, but the cold stuck around and the wind picked up. I left the Astoria Boulevard station at 5:30am, taking the N and 4 trains down to Bowling Green and the short walk to the Staten Island Ferry dock for my 6:30am assigned boarding time (made it with five minutes to spare). The waves were big and the wind was howling the whole way across. It’s really amazing how many people can fit on those boats – the police escort was nice too.

When I arrived at the St. George Ferry Terminal, I made a beeline for the waiting buses. They were nice and warm and it was great to beat the crowd and not have to wait outside any longer than necessary. The short ride over to Fort Wadsworth was quick and easy, with the driver dropping us off right in front of the security contingent. The police presence was both reassuring and frightening – you don’t see cops with automatic weapons and full riot gear at TCM.

The starting area zones had lots of great pre-race items (coffee, water, bagels, energy drinks), but it was crowded and cold and everyone basically had to wait around for two plus hours before being called to the corrals. Everything was running behind schedule too, but wave two was finally allowed in around 9:25am. It was very nice that they had extra bathrooms in the actual corrals and there were tons of Goodwill bins to discard the extra layers I purchased just for that purpose.

The canon went off for my wave and I officially made it up the bridge ramp and over the starting line at 10:15:19am. That first hill is supposed to be the biggest on the course, but I didn’t think it was too bad (other than fearing for my life each time a 50mph+ gust hit). My Garmin wasn’t very accurate all race and outright stopped measuring distance at one point, so I quit looking at it when I knew the A & B goals were shot. I held sub-nines for the first seven miles and hoped to at least stay in the nines for the rest of the race, but it was not meant to be.

I knew there were a lot of miles in Brooklyn and it seemed to never end. There were several points on this course that have very long straightaways, so you see waves of people for what seems like forever. I don’t really like that much – all my mind can think is how far I need to run to catch up. The stretches in Manhattan up First Avenue and down Fifth Avenue were similar. Brooklyn did finally turn into Queens, home of my least favorite part of the entire course. The Queensboro Bridge is just Evil. I was slowing down a few miles before that damn bridge, but it put an end to any thoughts of a decent time.

The crowds in Manhattan really were everything people say – the whole course has great support, in fact. It was also fun hearing the bands and DJs (I especially liked the Run-D.M.C. sample in Queens). The brief jaunt through the Bronx tossed a few more wonderful bridges in the mix and I was really surprised by the amount of elevation at the end of the race – it doesn’t look like much on the chart, but Fifth Avenue and Central Park hit you with gradual climbs when you least want them. And don’t get me started on the “little” bump between mile 26 and the finish. More Evil.

I’d been mentally playing a strong finish in my mind the past few weeks of training, but all I felt running past Columbus Circle and into the home stretch was pain and disappointment in my slow time (officially 4:24:14 and a 10:05 pace). I know the wind impacted every runner, but it was still a letdown to not be closer to at least my B goal. Oh well – still grateful for the experience (and to be walking around now without any major pain).

The finish line experience was interesting – I liked the recovery bag idea (everything pre-loaded) and the no bag check poncho was really nice (and an excellent way to warm back up on a cold day). The long march north was a pain, as I basically had to walk an extra three miles or so to get back to the right train station. That walk was made much more enjoyable, though, by all of the people who congratulated me on finishing the race.

Here are the splits reported by the timing mats:

  • 3M 25:11 – 8:24 pace
  • 5K 26:04 – 8:18
  • 4M 33:48 – 8:39
  • 5M 42:24 – 8:37
  • 6M 51:02 – 8:39
  • 10K 52:54 – 8:43
  • 7M 59:45 – 8:44
  • 8M 1:08:55 – 9:10
  • 9M 1:18:15 – 9:20
  • 15K 1:21:14 – 9:17
  • 10M 1:27:28 – 9:12
  • 11M 1:37:11 – 9:43
  • 12M 1:46:46 – 9:35
  • 20K 1:51:02 – 10:00
  • 13M 1:56:43 – 9:57
  • Half 1:57:52 – 10:27
  • 14M 2:06:49 – 10:04
  • 15M 2:17:40 – 10:51
  • 25K 2:23:47 – 11:28
  • 16M 2:28:29 – 10:05
  • 17M 2:39:15 – 10:46
  • 18M 2:50:11 – 10:56
  • 30K 2:57:35 – 11:33
  • 19M 3:01:57 – 12:10
  • 20M 3:13:42 – 11:46
  • 21M 3:25:43 – 12:02
  • 35K 3:34:24 – 11:37
  • 22M 3:37:04 – 10:33
  • 23M 3:48:29 – 11:25
  • 24M 4:00:04 – 11:36
  • 40K 4:09:25 – 10:57
  • 25M 4:11:03 – 11:14
  • 26M 4:22:09 – 11:07
  • Finish 4:24:14 – 9:32 (2:39:32pm)

I’ll write another post later this week about the rest of the visit (food, shopping, theater, etc) – stay tuned…

Adios for now

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 09:58 pm GMT -5 in Travel at 9:58 PM

The Big Apple

Links to NYC Results

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 04:45 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 4:45 PM


It’s Tricky

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 01:29 pm GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 1:29 PM

In New York the people talk and try to make us rhyme…

Turning Japanese

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 11:44 am GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 11:44 AM

My lunch selection for today – Sapporo on 49th (between 6th and 7th) – ordered Katsudon (#9) and Buffalo Wings (#A4)


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Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2018 Mileage: 53.8

Upcoming Races

  • Get in Gear 10K - 4/28

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Monster Jam - 4/7
  • Twins vs. Houston - 4/9
  • Supercross - 4/14
  • Twins vs. Reds - 4/27
  • Twins vs. Detroit - 5/21
  • Twins vs. Cleveland - 6/3
  • Tapemark - 6/8-10
  • Twins vs. Boston - 6/20
  • Summer X Games - 7/19-22
  • Twins vs. Cleveland - 7/30
  • Twins vs. Pittsburgh - 8/15

Upcoming Concerts

  • Cloud Cult - 4/7, Orchestra Hall
  • Trampled by Turtles - 5/4, Palace
  • Kenny Chesney - 5/5, USBS
  • Caroline Smith - 5/17, Cedar
  • I Love the 90s - 5/18, Mystic Lake
  • David Byrne - 5/17, Orpheum
  • David Byrne - 5/18, Orpheum
  • Trampled by Turtles - 7/7, Bayfront
  • Jack White - 8/6, Armory
  • Beyonce & Jay Z - 8/8, USBS
  • Pearl Jam - 8/18, Wrigley Field
  • Pearl Jam - 8/20, Wrigley Field
  • Taylor Swift - 8/31 & 9/1, USBS
  • Leon Bridges - 9/20, Palace
  • Ed Sheeran - 10/20, USBS