Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

This has been a tough running year for me.  Actually, the entire last 9 months has been tough.

About 2 years ago I was in really good running shape and I was getting close to reaching my College times. But recently I have regressed.

One of the problems is that I have been running on the treadmill more.

My son was born in April and since then, I have been doing only treadmill during the week.  On the weekends, I have been trying to get outside but sometimes the weather in the Spring is just horrible.

I’ve noticed that my treadmill time is usually about 10-20 seconds faster per mile than when I run outside.

For example, if you can run 3 miles in 21:00 minutes on a treadmill, then you should run around 21:30-22:00 minutes outside.

But although the treadmill helps for running outside, the muscles used are completely different.

Today I did a Father’s Day race in NYC just to see what type of shape I am in and I ran horrible.  Probably my worst time in 5 years.

The first mile felt okay, but then after that I died out.

Using the treadmill just doesn’t use the muscles as much.  If I want to get back into outdoor running shape, I am going to need to run outside more.

But, there is a weird flip side to this argument.

I think the treadmill might be better for bodybuilding.

A) The treadmill is less impact, by a lot.  I can run hard on the treadmill all the time without getting super sore.

B) If might be better for bodybuilding.  This year I have been sprinting and jumping pretty good (basketball) and I think it might be because I’m not running outside so much.

So who knows? Is the treadmill the cardio of the future?  I still like going outside to run.  It’s better for a tan, sprinting and also it’s nice to be outside.

I think from this point forward I am going to force myself to get outside more.  There are several good races in the Fall that I would love to run.

How is everyone else doing?

-John

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What a crappy day today in NYC.  It was around 38 degrees and raining out when I woke up and in the afternoon it was just clowdy out and cold.

Also, the bad part of winter hasn’t really started yet.  I better not get used to these 38 degree days because its going to get a lot colder out in the next several weeks.

Most New York’ers like to complain about the winter and everyone says they are looking to move down South, but I actually try to embrace the winter.

Winter is good for you.

Most importantly, the winter gives you something to look forward to.  I appreciate having different seasons in NYC and experiencing different seasons makes nice weather just that much more enjoyable.

I remember several years ago traveling to California to visit a friend in March and it was 75 degrees out and sunny in Santa Monica.  Although it felt great compared to the freezing cold weather I had just left in Brooklyn, I noticed something weird.

The people were not excited.

When you are used to beautiful weather all year-round, your mood doesn’t change much.

When the first 70 degree days of the year appear in May and June in NYC, almost everyone goes outside.  The streets are packed and the mood is extremely upbeat.  It almost makes this crappy weather tolerable.

If I lived in Aruba year-round, I wouldn’t appreciate having a nice day.

Cold weather is also good for bodybuilding.  Since I know that I dont have to take my shirt off for several months, it is the perfect time to lift heavy and eat extra calories.

As the weather improves I will start to cut down, but now that it is 39 degrees out and raining, I am going to bench press heavy weights and eat steaks all day long.

Crappy weather is good.

It is a good time to lift heavy

It is a good time to study for exams

It is a good time to work on a side business

Sometimes you need some bad to appreciate the good and I am ready to embrace the horrible weather that is coming.

-John

To be fair, I have lived in Brooklyn for  over 34 years and only 2 years in Staten Island. My only break was for 6 months in Albany, NY during college and In my early 30’s I spent 2 years in the Rockaways, Queens.

stateni-sland

(South Beach, Staten Island)

Although I have lived in 4 different area’s, I am officially “FROM” Brooklyn. Not be confused with the tens of thousands of people who moved to Brooklyn in the last 10 years.  I was born in Brooklyn, went to public school in Brooklyn and I got married in Brooklyn.

I am not a transplant, I am FROM Brooklyn.

brooklyn

Although I’ve never hung out much in Staten Island prior to moving here, I’ve been to the Island hundreds of times growing up, because one side of my family lives on the South shore.  My experience growing up was several weekends a year to visit relatives, many trips to the Staten Island mall and in my mid 20’s I went to graduate school in Staten Island (St John’s)

So let’s get down to the comparison:

People:  Edge Brooklyn.  In my opinion, the people are a lot more humble and approachable in Brooklyn (except the hipsters).  Brooklyn has a much higher density and diverse population, so growing up in Brooklyn you are forced to interact with other people.  Some people in Staten Island are very nice, but overall they seem to be very wary of strangers.  Many people moved to Staten Island to  “get away” from the rest of the city, and it’s no surprise that Staten Island has the highest gun ownership in NYC.

Commute: Staten Island.  The people in Staten Island complain about the commute, but they don’t know how good they have it.  The traffic in Brooklyn is BAD and getting worse.  Driving downtown or anywhere near the Barclays center is a nightmare, Coney Island is getting worse and parking across the borough is becoming nonexistent.  If you work in Staten Island you can park almost anywhere., meanwhile,  Brooklyn is slowly turning into Manhattan.

In Staten Island, the only time it gets bad is if you live out on the South Shore and have to commute to Brooklyn or Manhattan.  But with that being said, the train to the ferry is the best deal in all of NYC.  My wife picks me up and drives me to the ferry for work, so I commute to Manhattan everyday for FREE (Minus gas, insurance and repairs)

Gyms:  Staten Island has a huge gym culture and so does parts of Brooklyn.  I would probably call this a tie.  Staten Island on average has more bodybuilders and power lifters, but Brooklyn has more gyms.  In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where I grow up, they have 5 or 6 gyms in walking distance from my house, in Staten Island most people have to drive.

Parks: The parks in Staten Island parks are extremely underrated.  Clove lake park, Silver lake park and South Beach are all great areas.  Further out, Great Kills Park and Wolfe’s Pond Park are also great and so are the trails on the green belt and Todt Hill.  Brooklyn has Prospect Park and Coney Island of course, but again, parking can be difficult and they have become super touristy.  To be fair, Prospect Park is my favorite park in NYC, but Staten Island has many more options.  Staten Island Wins.

Bars/Restaurants: Staten island has really good pizza/Italian food, but the borough loses on every other category.  For bars, Staten Island has maybe 10-15 decent places, but they mostly attract a neighborhood crowd.  In Brooklyn you get the neighborhood crowd and also a little bit of a tourist crowd.  Brooklyn has more business turnover, so there are always new places to try.   Brooklyn wins food and bars by a long shot.

Price: Staten Island is generally less expensive, but historically the homes have not appreciated  in value like they have in Brooklyn.  This is a tie. Prices are lower, but if you buy something, it doesn’t go up as much (historically).

Overall winner: It’s hard to say, since they are both very different.  If you are just moving to NYC from out-of-state and you end up in Staten Island, you will probably be disappointed.  Staten Island doesn’t have the culture or diversity as the other boroughs and its generally more of a suburb than an urban city.

But if you are already familiar with NYC and you know the places that you like, Staten Island can work for you.  For myself, my commute to Manhattan is a breeze compared to when I lived in Brooklyn and it’s also a 10-minute bus ride to my parents house in Bay Ridge. I  also found a gym that I like and there are several parks that I use for my cardio.

So overall, if you are between ages 18-28, I would not recommend living in  Staten Island.  Brooklyn has more bars, restaurants, diversity and population.  If you are more established or raising a family, I would consider giving Staten Island a chance.  I’m not leaving.

-John

I’m sad to admit it, but my season is over.  My legs are killing me, I’m burnt out from all of the cardio and I am starting to loosen up on my diet.

Tomorrow I am reluctantly doing a 5-mile race in Brooklyn and then its over.

This summer was really good for me, probably my 2nd or 3rd best shape ever, but I still  could have been a little bit better.

20160715_065110

2 things stood in my way:

A) I had an accident in late July and ended up in the hospital with stitches.  This completely killed my training right at the peak time.  I missed about 10 days of diet, cardio and heavy lifting.

Screenshot_2016-07-17-13-15-22

B) I got married in early August:  Of course I am glad that I got married, but it killed about 2 weeks of hard training.

Overall, a really good year, but It still could have been a little bit better.

There are a couple of things I need to change for 2017:

A) I need to get back into serious heavy lifting.  My body just doesn’t respond as well without the heavy-duty lifting.  I miss the solid dense muscle that I have built up in the past.

B) Less long-distance running, more sprinting.   I ran pretty hard for 8 months straight and now I am so burnt out that it hurts to walk.  I want to train for a sprinting race next year.  I haven’t run a sprinting race since I was 18-years old.

C) Less Pizza:  My diet is usually pretty good, but when I moved from Queens to Staten Island I started eating a ton of pizza.

Tomorrow I am going to run one of my favorite 5-mile races.  I am not expecting any type of good time since my training has been going horrible.  After the race, I am ready to shut down my season and slowly start my winter bulk up.

Full review of the race coming soon!

-John

Check out my new book! Only $2.99 or free with amazon prime!

I realized that I have been blogging for a while and I haven’t really given any background information about myself.

My name is John, but I go by my nick name J.A.  I am originally from Brooklyn, NY and I have lived there for over 30 years before recently moving to Staten Island.

I first started working out with weights in High School and I haven’t stopped ever since.  I also started running in High School, including 2 years of High School track and field and one year in College.

My track and field career ended with me winning the City University Outdoor Long Jump in 1998. (Division 3, no big deal).

After retiring from track and field, I became interested in power lifting and have since competed in over 20 competitions.

So what do I do now?

I consider myself a mix between a power lifter, runner and amateur bodybuilding.  Really it depends on what mood I am in.  But most recently I have been focusing on amateur bodybuilding and I pride myself on being able to build a natural 6-pack every summer.

jabeer

Ripped abs

I hope you enjoy my site.  I have a book out on amazon.com, The Automatic 6-pack, and a second book coming out in early 2017.

I am also a big fan of traveling.  In the last several years I have been to the following:

  • Mardi Gras
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Preakness
  • Estonia
  • Sweden
  • Ireland (St Patrick’s Day)
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Niagara Falls
  • Key West, Florida
  • Vancouver

And much more….

I hope you enjoy my website.  Besides a second book coming out, I would “love” to hold my own race in the near time future.

Thanks!

John

I forgot how hard winter running in NYC is, BUT I am going to force myself to stay active outside this season.

Going to try to stick to a plan of 2 days during the week, and possibly both weekends days.  I like running on the weekends because I can get some daylight time in.

What is everyone else doing this winter?