Winter wonderland

Uh...seriously, I need to get better at waking up during the winter time and just doing what needs to be done.

I struggled to just go out as I was online and questioned the factor of doing a long run. Motivation...seriously not there.

So I eventually bit the bullet and set a time limit on how long I was actually going to run.

Maybe my questioning came from the cold...winter...

Or maybe it was because of the major storm that we just had yesterday called a northester named NEMO, which dropped about 6-9 inches in the city and 2-3 feet in Boston....crazy!

But the sun finally came out and that got me going slightly as I dragged my body into my running gear. It didn't seem that cold, as I put on my stuff and left. Simple...let's route around the bottom of Manhattan and back around. I didn't need to venture into Central Park today for a long run, but I don't think I would have lasted if I did that and schemed my way to doing less mileage. The essence of picking a longer route is that you are choosing to finish it...or really, you have no choice but to finish, since you are so far out.

So I first dropped off a DVD that I watched last night and then started my usual route going down 1st ave past the UN building and over to the East side...and boy did I have to trek through some snow, wet piles and slosh...it was at the moment of crossing at about 20th street near the circle line, where I went straight into the water of slosh and ice....oh crap!

My foot then was submerged and it was a no go from there on in...I started feeling my sock, cold and wet drag against my skin and no sooner than 2-3 miles in...I started feeling a blister forming. (Mind you that this is basically about 5 miles into the actual run) which was not good at all!

I carried on, past the Brooklyn Bridge, the seaport and across the Staten Island Ferry...the sun was shining and I went past some difficult areas to go around in the snow as I off-road ed...but you make with what comes with you.

Through Battery City where a guy yelled at me to say hello that was on the ferry to the a Statue of Liberty...he was a worker and was friendly...I donno! The wind was miserable though, right into your face and some winter glitter along with it. It was ok...

So almost home, by this point my mind was set to just make it home and cut across 57th street or 59th...I would be ok with ending up with 12 miles today. My legs were not hurting, but it was really the uncomfortably of the blister.

Then...as I was going up the West Side Highway, I see two familiar faces that I haven't seen in a while. Jos and Jon, whom I had always ran with from the downtown group and I since our crew had broken up because of different schedules and different things...

Ahh, our crew...the old flyer downtown crew. How I miss those years, which were very good years and much support in my life.

Anyways, I flagged down Jos and gave her a hug, so good to see her as it has been a while, since my busy schedule with coaching and my world turning around in the past 2-3 years...it has been crazy!

They told me that they couldn't chat too long as they were late and they just came from Central Park which was beautiful and was a winter wonderland...they told me to go! So I was convinced. They told me that they were doing Paris, as I shooed them off.

So...basically, changed my thoughts. I would venture up to Central Park, but would I go all the way around? Nah...ok, I decided to go midway and go all the way up to 72nd street (where I saw all of these kids sledding down the hill and having so much fun!) By that point, all I wanted to do was get home...not because of the snow, the cold...but because of my blister. I could have ran another 6-8 miles to complete my 20 miles...but the hunger (no water) and blister was getting to me.

Up to 72nd street, cross into Central Park, make my way around the lower loop and then done...

But right when I entered Central Park, no joke! It was beautiful! Seriously a winter wonderland where everyone was out enjoying the beautiful sunny weather, the fresh snow and the pure beauty of nature. It was outstanding!

I made my way around the lower loop just seeing everyone so happy and just taking pictures...decided to take a few pictures of my own.

Almost home!

I finished up running a total of 15 miles...not bad for a person who had a blister at mile 5...

Also, I have been practicing my stair climbing as last week really scared me with the whole Kelly Ripa fiasco, so my regular boston or rather marathon training had to wait.

It was a nice winter wonderland today...pretty perfect day out!

Pictures, soon to follow.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Last 10 minutes of Kelly Ripa show!

Now, here is the last 10 minutes of the LIVE with Kelly and Michael show where it shows a whole video montage of Kelly's decision to run for Team for Kids to her before actions, during (live footage of what I was wearing and capturing her every step) and video after of her celebration and her HUGGING ME!  oh that was pretty cool...actually showed it both ways, where I was hugging her and the video on top of my head, and then a video of me hugging her!  it was amazing!

so cool....such an awesome experience, such an amazing event and such a thrill....




Kelly Ripa calls me a "zen guru"...and...she got my last name correct!  that was pretty amazing!

in her words, she said about me....

"He kept on telling me, "to keep breathing and you can do it kelly, control your breathing, you can do it!"  & in my mind i kept saying, "can't do it, can't do it, can you....carry me up!"

ha, she was strong, competitive...and she really did great on her first try...seriously, 18:13 is a great time overall...

Kelly Rippa's show and her TFK shannanogans!

Black snake?  maybe when kelly saw that I was asian, she was like...oh my gosh....this whole chinese new year thing is going insane...ha!  that is very funny....

ESBRU - With Kelly Rippa

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the cool thing?  I got to run up with Kelly Rippa...how cool is that?

It was a race to the top - well, to the 86th floor, anyway.
People from around the world took part in a vertical race - up 86 flights of stairs at the Empire State Building. That's a total of 1,576 steps, starting at the lobby and finishing at the observation deck.
The annual Empire State Building Run-up was held Wednesday night.
More than 600 people took part in the event, including some world-class elite athletes.
The run-up used to be held during the day before being switched to evening hours last year to allow more participation. The event is put on by the New York Road Runners, which also puts on the annual New York City Marathon.
Like the marathon, start times were staggered. The elite men and woman started before the general field, and participants in the general field were released one at a time several seconds apart to avoid crowding.
The Empire State Building race is among the more high-profile tower climbs in the world. Participants came from around the United States, as well as countries including Belgium, Japan and Papua New Guinea.


my times?

I think i need a new watch...well, i definitely do when racing as my times for the charleston marathon are somewhat on target, but not exactly...well right.

my official race pace was a 7:00 pace per mile.

here is what my watch gave me...

Avg Pace

I lingered...i went out way too fast by surging with the first female and didn't really pace myself correctly for the last 3 miles...i slowed down.  Uh!  awful!  I'm pleased with the pacing remarks that I coach so definantly on...i preach this...

Anyways, it's the practice that matters...how consistent you really can get.


Charleston Marathon Race recap

I haven't done recaps in a while, so now that the new year started, I'll be writing more in my blog.
The morning started where I had woken up at a decent hour. I really couldn't sleep at all as I woke up multiple amounts of times: 2am, 4am and 6am (before my alarm) and then I finally got out of bed at 6:30. The race started pretty late at 8, so I didn't really need to get out until 7ish...where Betty Boop lived relatively close to the start.

In all race mornings, I ask myself the question, "why do I sign up for these races?" Seriously, why do we? We need to wake up so early and I guess, I'm not a "go getter" kind of person...not until I get to the starting line at least.

Got everything on: Brooks singlet, brooks shorts, brooks arm warmers, and brooks duel colored shoes: The Pure Connects. Yes, I wear two different colors, same brand shoes, but since I have seen the multi colored Nike track shoes for the 800 meters, I wanted to bring some element of branding to our sponsor. I was selected into the Brooks Inspired Daily Program this year for the 3rd year, as I am graciously appreciative because of the hard selection across the nation. I pretty much got in because I am a coach for two different charity groups for the NYC marathon and also work for the NYRR as a creative assistant manager. One of those charity groups: The Alzheimer's Association; team called -
Run to Remember, I have co-founded and have been a coach for 5 years.

The morning was cold (not much colder than waking up in NY) around this time, although it was a bit chilly. I was surprised for a southern state, although recently across the nation the colder states that have expected cold weather were getting warmer temperatures than the warmer states who had received colder temperatures than these warmer states. Funny that!

I wasn't sure if the race would offer baggage and needed to check that, so Betty Boop waited for me to make sure that it was ok, until I returned with the ok that they would have bag check. The bib didn't have a baggage bib! Ok...for my work for the NYRR, I am in charge of all race bibs for all NYRR events, so being a stickler about these things for my race, I notice!

Anyways, after finding this information, I went back outside to tell Betty Boop as she would return later to pick me up and I would be able to leave my after clothes in my baggage bag. Also my cell phone would be essential as well to give her a call afterwards.

I wedged myself behind a column of the school near the gym and stretched, eating my onion bagel (not ideal of a food to eat due to the amount of acid - having your body process this is not so good, because of the stomach gas, but I guessed I was an ultra runner and my stomach is better than most, so I chanced it). Usually the preferable cinnamon raisin or even plain would do. I stretched while I ate and then tried to locate my co-worker Daphne M. She was in town after deciding last minute to run the half marathon because she had grew up in Charleston and her parents still lived there. She found me and we chatted a bit until finally realizing it was time to get our bags in place and go to the starting line.

I had my throw away shirt on, the sun was nice, although it was windy and chilly still, but pretty ideal temperatures for running.

The race started with the national anthem (which sounded like Coroniel Sanders) was singing and then shortly the race began. I wished Daph, good luck and I was on my way. I needed to start out strong, but not too fast. I had seen that the pace group for the 3:15 was out very fast in front of me for a pace of 7 min per mile for the first mile. Then I heard one of the pace leaders saying, "oh, that was the first mile?" Yeah, you are in charge of a group of people and when you begin so quickly out in front, it really doesn't do much good. Although semi better to be a little out front than behind and needing to catch up. I glided by them and forged to the front finding a comfortable pace.
I took a few pictures, as I always do in the beginning, rather than the end when I am tired, and a guy later found out his name is: (____) next to me asked if I was part of the Brooks ID Program (guess with all of my Brooks gear, I would ask as well). He was part of the same program, as I took a picture of him and he was in for the Half. He later stayed to see me finish and we chatted a bit as he found out how I was part of the program and I found out he was chosen because he worked at a shoe store...so I took a picture of him, and he took a picture of me and we also took a picture together, as I told him that I would post it on the Brooks facebook page!.

I continued on as I didn't want to have him chase me as he described some of his injuries in the past, so he let me go. I quickly darted to be on pace as I took a few pictures of the course. One guy asked me how easy I looked while taking pictures, as I quickly responded "it's easier in the early stages, although we'll see how many pictures I take at mile 20," his response, "that's when the real race begins!"

The course was relatively flat, and we rounded points of downtown, through the nice avenues where I had roamed the night before. It was nice and beautiful and then we went out into the outer areas.

At mile 7 or 8, I started feeling it. Wow, this was really early to feel tired. Need to get into the groove. I tucked behind a group, although they slowed, so I passed them to just feel a good pace. Another guy followed and we stayed together for about a mile or two...I spotted a youngster, a mere boy running in the race at a great pace. I asked him what age he was running at and he told me that he was 15! 15! Damn! Seriously, absolutely amazing. I had thoughts of how your kids can apply for college and how your child can put on their application that they have done a half or full marathon...that would set a person apart from all the rest! Seriously...(Yes, folks, this is what I think about during a marathon!)
Anyways, moving on. The full marathon quickly separated from the half marathon at mile 10 or so, and that really separated the competition. This is what separated the men with the mice, (yes, I actually said that in my mind!). Seriously, where do I come up with these things!

I was slowing down as I could really feel just my body tire from the lack of training, but I moved on. I got passed by one guy and I wanted to stick with him. We were pretty deserted as I the only thing I could think about at that point was as if I was running in the desert...It was getting hot out now and the sun was finally piercing our skin. No one was around cheering, just you and the sparkling road (the road had glimpses of glass and speckles that shined as you passed and the sun just shined on it). That's all I could think about. I saw that a few runners had already passed...the front runners were way out in front as they were on their way back to join the half marathoners and I couldn't catch them...seriously, where were they taking us?

We ended up going out on this curved road, where most of us just cut the tangents and then got to this point of this yachting dock, we went out...and literally had to turn around at the dock...what? What kind of race was this? Then back out to where we left the half marathoners...you literally could see what place you were at and I saw that there was only one female ahead of me.
All I could here behind me were these guys that were jibbering away and in my mind I was thinking, gosh, these guys really are relaxed. They could go so much faster and they are just chatting away, while I am struggling....gosh, I need to hold them off. Ok, mile 11, just hold on till the half marathon mark...then you can quickly add 3 more miles and then you'll be at mile 16...I was seriously hurting...and struggling to keep pace.

When we were reunited with the half folks, the directions and folks that volunteered at these vital points were non-concerning. I had to scream ahead to ask which direction we were to go to and the traffic ahead while merging with the first time half marathoners as they cheered us on, although didn't provide much room for us to run around. It really would have been nice if the race directors offered our own lane or had a separation, because we had to zig zag through the crowd. It would be not that far as the jibber-jabber group behind me caught up and frollicked ahead, and as we again split off between the full marathon and half, I stuck with the group, continuing to pace myself and in hopes to try to get a sub 3. The guys slowed down and I forged ahead and they formed a group behind me. I quickly saw that a group had formed of 3-8 people and a female runner quickly jumped ahead. She was about 30 meters ahead and I made the decision to go ahead and catch up to her...I caught up and then passed her telling her that literally the girl in front of her was the first female. She wasn't that far behind and I quickly felt a real nice groove. I chatted to her that she was rolling and I was rooting for her, since she had an extra gear and she was rolling.

She said I was just moving!

I told her, "I just wanted to see this (these two gals - meaning her and the person ahead of her) unfold!"

As I let her go and said she could catch her, I surged ahead...catching up to the first female. She actually tried to draft off of me, although sort of failed because she couldn't keep up. She asked if she could, and I knew what she was doing, so I didn't mind, although in the back of my mind, I could only think what the other gal was thinking...(Hopefully not thinking that I was helping the other gal!)
After I surged ahead and lost her, I could hear girl chatter behind, both ladies were running side by side with each other. I didn't care, all I would do is just keep running.

I really felt good and the miles kept coming. 16, 17...then I could hear the crowd just cheering, I now felt the lady that I dropped very much earlier who I rooted on, right on my back. It's ok, I totally embraced this moment. I would help her and allow her to piggy back on me and go, push and surge as much as I could (as I wanted to push for a sub 3) as much as I could. We worked together as actually she worked off of me. I would guide her through some mazes of the course and keep pushing as much as I had in me...18...19...20...21...22...23...

Ok, by mile 23, we were moving as I couldn't keep the pace that I was pushing. I felt as though I didn't know if I was pushing her too hard, but I wanted to see her win and go forth to do so. I told her to keep going as she passed me, we only had 3 more miles to go, although those were the tougher miles to go through and from mile 18-23, we were powering through 6:45 min miles. I have done what I needed to do, to help her in any way I could in straightening her path along the not so great paths of clearly defining the course route...

I can honestly say that I did see one guy fall of course during this time and when I passed, I told a spectator or was it a volunteer for the event to close up the gap of confusion...
But all I could remember is basically trying to hold on. We winded our ways, made some turns here and there and basically made it to some portions where the end was near. We went to some parks and riversides...and then went along a long stretch...and we were almost done! Left turn...into a town center...no finish line...

Ok, so we need to make yet another left and soon enough the finish line will be there...

Ok...sprinting, surging to the so called finish line...and...where could it be? Seriously? I mean all of this surging and sprinting is making me feel tired...plus I can hear the guy in back of me...oh gosh, hold on!

Keep moving! Uh...

Then one more push, turning right now and I can see something!

Sprint some more and the final surge!

Done! Finished...

Race is over and I could finally relax. I saw that the first female had crossed the line about 800 meters in front of me...and I congratulated her at the finish, although she was surrounded by video camera guys and so on...

Oh well! Another state down, another Boston Qualifier in the books.