5/31/08

Happy Birthday to Me!

"The great thing about athletics is that it's like poker sometimes: you know what's in your hand and it may be a load of rubbish, but you've got to keep up the front." Sebastian Coe

Ok…went out last night and met Shell, one of AD’s friends. We went to a local bar that most of the ladies there had just seen the movie, Sex in the City, which were wearing NYC outing wear from dresses to skirts to hats, etc. AD and Shell told me that it was so not usual for the attire around the woods there. They are use to the hoodie, jeans and casual wear that was unusual for that night. I felt like I was in NYC again, but it was all good. Had two beers and walked home, meeting some people from AD’s school work and walked home a bit and saw the amazing stars.

It’s my birthday, Happy Birthday to me!!

Went to bed and it was freezing up here. Heading to Steamboat tomorrow to pick up our race packets and ready to go. Umm…no…the altitude will definitely effect my time and in some ways no time goal, just finish with a good time and be careful with your health. The altitude is definitely effecting my breathing and it’s insane how unhealthy I feel. I feel like I had just smoked a pack of cigarettes or how unhealthy I am with shortness of breath. Very scary.

So the rest of my birthday…was as follows. As I update my blog, my friend AD got ready. We quickly set out a plan to go get breakfast and pack up lunch (PB& J’s – AD’s favorite) and pack the car for our Steamboat Springs trip.

We packed up pretty quickly and set out to a local bookstore/café to get some morning grub. Sat outside as we ate breakfast (as many people had called me to wish me Happy Birthday) and Shell came over to grab a cup of coffee, but we already grabbed one for her. Shell was wondering what we were up to, but we chatted and made our ways back to her place to pick her stuff up and then rolled on out to Steamboat Springs.

The travel to Steamboat was AMAZING. The scenery, the landscape, the nature and most importantly the company, just makes the trip so much smoother. As I took many pictures on the way, I tease to AD why she is leaving this beautiful place. I knew why only because she loves her family and wants to be closer to them. But this place was an athlete’s paradise. People bike, hike, climb, run, and that is only during the summer time…the winter is entirely different with skiing, snowshoeing, running etc…it’s amazing! But so far away from the usual east coast persona that we are all use to.

Anyways, we make our way to Steamboat Springs, picked up our packets at a sports store, which was the smallest expo that I have ever been to. Pick up bibs, go inside pick up your bag and pick up your shirt. It was almost like any other NYRR race that you go for your regular weekend race. There were many questions that I had about the course, about time chips, GU on the course and about baggage. It was such a small race that there was no time chips, whenever you come in is when you come in, the baggage is what you bring and the course was not defined enough only a cartoon, and GU was given at most aide stations (but it wasn’t GU, it was some Stinger honey.) But the course was still undefined and I was wondering where the race ended. We went to the grocery afterwards, got our usual regimen stuff as Shell and AD were doing the 10K as well.

Then headed around town to pick up some cowboy gear of hats and cowboy boots, but only looked. Shell was deciding on getting a flashy cowboy belt, but was unsure if she wanted it with a big old buckle. We toured around town and then headed toward our Motel…yes, Motel 8 baby! (but wanted to go to this other motel with this rabbit and long ears – Rabbit ears?) But yes, our motel had a pool and after the fact that we got everything out of the car, we sat outside next to the pool to get some sun. It was just so strange the fact of us being in our swimsuits and the mountains still had snow on top of it. After our layout in the sun, which Shell knew about everyone we went to, we went to dinner and I ordered my special of 2 meals (one to eat there and one to take out.)

Our waiter was horrible, which we couldn’t even get some bread and didn’t get our salads right. We were quite annoyed, but we ate, laughed and enjoyed ourselves. Walked around a little more around town and then headed back to our motel. Some showered (yes, Shell you showered too) and got ready for bed…but surpassingly I was out before Shell and AD were out and I was mumbling stuff to a point where AD had to knock me so I won’t be “mumbling or moaning?”. Anyways, I kept waking up every half an hour just because I was nervous. The marathon is a huge feat, no matter how many you do and I was really fearing how the altitude would feat against me. I mean I only did 4-5 miles the day before and was exhausted. So…time will only tell…wake up the next morning and we will see what will happen.

5/30/08

Exhausted?

"I go to train, then I go to perform," he said. "I'm not sure. If I run fast enough in training, I may worry about it, but not right now." Usain Bolt

I woke up in the morning where BS went to work as she showed me where the keys were. I went out to go out for a run. Not expecting a long distance run, but just to get use to the altitude. Man, it was such a beautiful morning to run as I went out of her complex and saw the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It was like I was in heaven and I truly enjoyed the scenery to run with. I didn’t even get out of her complex when the altitude hit me, I felt a little out of breath and went on only trying to get use to the altitude. I ran 2-3 miles outside of BS’s neighborhood of Aurora and turned around at a golf course and headed back. I found on the way a penny, nickel and a dime…(no quarter though) on the streets.

Quickly got dressed and showered and got a ride to go by electric rail and into Denver Downtown. I had a few places that I wanted to go to such as the Art Museum designed by Daniel Libeskind, walked down the 16th Street (street) mall, the Denver Mint, went to the outer circles of the city to go to the oldest restaurant which had gamey food and went into a brewery for a beer. AD came to pick me up and we picked up my stuff at BS’s place and then headed into the hills.

Man, it was beautiful seeing the scenic drive and the amazing backwoods mountains of where AD actually lives. 4 years she had lived out here and I have only visited once, which I wished I could have seen the snow on these mountains though, but AD is heading back to Boston coming next year, which means more traveling to Boston next year. (not that the 3 times in a month had killed my spirits of Boston, but a little time out for Boston is purely needed.)

5/29/08

Charlie Horse II

AHHH!!! Waking up this morning to a Charlie horse right behind your knee is not good on your not so good leg. Soreness that has set in and again my legs are telling me that there is still that lactic acid that has built its way into my system for quite the long times. I had been lucky that I had not cramped up during any races so far and only reluctant, but I may be destined to get a deep tissue massage for the lactic acid build up from all the previous marathons. I had been resting my legs and resting my body lately. I have not been running much which usually I am at it 100%. I am trying to rest, make room for other things in my life other than running, and I am guessing my body is only reacting to this weakness of mine that it is taking any kind of opportunity it can to attack! No only joking. I am guessing that yoga had stretched my muscled out last night and then my muscles relaxed, then tightened in the night.

I was pretty proud of myself for doing a headstand against the wall last night in yoga with your whole forearms down. I was stuck though getting down and muscled my way down, dropping the block on my head and then dropping my legs to the ground. It was a good yoga session and only hope that picking yoga over running last night will do me good. Not sure if I will run in Denver, maybe just a few miles tomorrow just to get use to the altitude and see how my body is effected by this.

Flying out to Denver tonight, as I packed up all of my things bringing plenty of GU due to the race being so small and the marathon capped at 500, where there are currently 419 registrants, 33 of them are in my age group and the returning 7 time reigning champion running a 2:30 is untouchable.

But reaching in to my GU shoebox, I can see one of my GU’s had totally exploded and all of my other GU’s were stuck to it. I have a whole lot of GU in my shoebox only to hope to finish them off before they expire. But I don’t think that will happen due to some favors that I dislike: Caramel and Chocolate GU…

Depending on how I feel that day, I figure I will come sometime in a 3:20, which will get me somewhere between 20th place or even 12th…if I run a 3:10 then I will get in the top 10 places, but we’ll see how that figures out. Altitude will definitely effect me and the race course goes from 8,000 ft to 6,000 ft. A 2,000 foot drop during the course as the altitude chart states, although one of the most scenic marathons in 1996 as Runners World praised.

I am looking very forward to see my friend AD, who’s father ran Vermont with me and she was more of the distance running in high school running in states for cross country. Deemed the runner that I am, I have never gotten that status in high school because I always ran against the state winner in the 100 & 200 meter dash and our 4X1 team never made it either. Although I will bring a little “History of Brian” into the mixes after this marathon while I take some time off from running.



5/28/08

Mile High…

Arrived in Denver last night, where on my flight in I had some lovely conversations with worldly two worldly travelers. E and L both came from Georgia (country) and Turkey as well. But I had arrived late and AD’s friend, BS had come to pick me up. I was amazed already about the people that lived in Colorado. These people are just so fit as they support all Sporting gear. What do I mean by this? While waiting, I saw people sporting an Asics bag…you barely see this happen anywhere except for them being runners. A guy got out sporting a Boston marathon shirt…all in the matter of minutes that I was waiting.

Scary!

Anyways, went home, got some McD’s for dinner and then went to bed.

Running or Yoga…

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” Mahatma Gandhi
Two tough choices to make…but after all this was my day for Yoga, but I have not ran much since the half marathon last Sunday. Monday was just about a 3 mile run and that’s no big deal, but it’s countdown to the third marathon this year as Steamboat comes closer and closer. It’s in the final week and I am constantly checking the website, more on the lines of seeing what to do afterwards, which I have found a sweet place with natural hot springs…I mean where do you get that after a marathon?

A fabulous display of masonry architecture divides the creek into cells where the water temperature is controlled by adjusting rustic style gates.

The largest hot pool is approximately 19'x 16' and is kept at a temperature of +/- 104 degrees fahrenheit. The next pool down is slightly smaller and cooler. The cool (creek) pool is larger than both of the other cells put together. It offers a comfortable contrast to the hot pools and sports warm spots due to geothermal venting in various places. The masonry walls were constructed to create 5 waterfalls. In addition a small private pool was created for Watsu; warm water massages. Most recently a beautiful stone stream house, a warm changing area, and picnic area have been added.
And well…it’s about 5 days till my marathon…and well…I chose Yoga tonight. Nice calm, peaceful, yoga to stretch out my muscles and really keep my muscles loose.

5/26/08

A day of chores…

Coming back from a weekend spent in Boston after a rough ride back home by the bolt bus last night…

Ok, after the race I got cleaned up, packed all my things and headed to the deli with TJL and HF. TJL is one of my good friends from high school, who is what I like to say is part of the Big 8 (4 gals, 4 guys from High School that we all were connected through running) So we went to the Deli, bought sandwiches and sat on the lawn with Baxter, their dog. We ate chatted and I met up with HM’s father who chatted some more and then it was time for me to leave to the North Station. TJL had told me that since she had lived in Boston, this was the most times she had ever been to North Station, never the less gone by T too. So we said our good-byes and I went into line for the Bolt Bus.

The guy checked our tickets and said that the bus will be delayed for a while. As the guy checked out a gal’s ticket, she picked up her cell phone and flashed it at him. This bolt bus is awesome in the ways where you don’t have to print out your ticket and they just send you a text message to your phone. I told her that it was amazing that the company did this and I could have done the same, but made sure just in case that I had my paper copy. We chatted a bit and I had asked her if she had ran this morning since she was stretching in line. Only runners would stretch while they are stagnant in a place like a line. She told me that she had. I was like which race did you do and she relied, “oh, I thought you meant in general, so she had not ran in any of the races this morning in Boston.” We chatted a bit more and then it was finally ready to go onto the bus. I was in a separate corral as I got onto the bus first and then she came into the bus afterwards and I invited her to sit down next to me, so we chatted some more, broke out our laptops and worked a bit, chatted, worked…

As we got out of Boston and were on I-84, the bus driver I guess did not see the van next to us and he merged right into the van. We felt the push on the right side and it was just not good. We waited on the bus for a while, the cops came and then we exited in Vernon, CT as well and waited a little more while the cops collected even our information. In all, we were late by 2 hours and finally got onto the road again and made it into NYC by 9:15 pm. Walked home, cooked and went to bed at around 11pm as I had woken up at 6am and was exhausted. I think I'm a little sick of Beantown...3 times in about a month...wheew!

So this morning, woke up at 7am and did a bunch of chores: Laundry, grocery shopping, cut my hair and also ran…but I was missing one thing…my foot pod. I must have misplaced or lost my pedometer while I was packing up or somewhere along the way of changing after the race.

I had my friend look for it at her apartment, thinking that her dog had swallowed it and was in the veterinary office never going to speak to me again (which she was not picking up her phone)…until she had called back in the late night. But yes, my imagination runs wild as I made my way toward Paragon Sports to check out the price on that thing. Thinking it was only $30…I was like ok, I’ll just buy another one…BOY was I wrong! Try adding another $100 bucks!

I had a small dinner with my folks as well down in Little Italy…dinner was good, conversation was good as well…still have not told them about my running Tattoo yet though…

Overall a very productive day…but still a lost pedometer…which I need for my marathon this weekend…I’ll give JM a ring to borrow her’s.

Run to Remember…

"The miler knows that in just over 4 minutes the pain of severe effort will subside, but the marathoner must be able to tolerate pain and fatigue for over two hours." Buddy Edelen

Happy Memorial Day!!!

I always thought that this would be a great race for the Alzheimer’s team to do since the title of the race has something with remembrance, but this race is to honor those police officers that have lost their lives in the line of fire. I got word of this race from DM who had done the race last year and was gearing up to doing this race again this year…also my friend TJL also a high school runner and grade school friends was going to do the 5 miler, so I geared up to doing the half marathon.

I thought that it was going to be an easy race, so that’s why I had scheduled it on Memorial day. I wanted to go away, but seriously, Boston 3 times in a month’s duration was a little too much. But it was ok, I had run the Boston marathon and this was a completely different race which brought you to a different area. In my mind I was going to “take it easy” where simply I have another marathon in a week, so killing myself was just plain stupid.

Woke up early at 6 on a Sunday during vacation is just weird. I don’t know what I am thinking sometimes when I sign up for some of these races. I always think in hind sight, why am I getting up this early? Who would do something like this? Only runners. As TJL and I headed out of her apartment, and saw some other runners walking as well toward the T. We grabbed a bagel before and saw other runners on the T with banana’s…boy I needed my race food.

As each stop came, we saw more and more runners join the subway circle…it was just like NYC where all you see if runners in the morning. But I was in Boston…We got of the T, as all the runners did at North Station and decided to walk. We had a fine time and TJL actually had an ingenious idea. We were talking about port potties when she decided to go and use one of the hotel bathrooms that was close by the race start.

I went as well…into the glamorous bathroom it was. As I got off the toilet (ok ok, Number 2) I heard a flushing. I was like man! I didn’t hear anyone come into the bathroom or even the guy next to me must really have this loud toilet…little did I know it was my own toilet flushing with an automatic sensor, so when you got off your ass, the toilet flushes and I didn’t notice it was my own toilet.

So we start going towards the race, leave out bags within the expo center and then go back outside. TJL wishes me luck as I do the same for her. Her race starts out 15 minutes later than mine, so I cram in with the rest of the people and hope for the best. I see my friend, DM from my team, who was going to break her time in the half and she was the one that had told me about this race. 9’s, 8:30’s, 8’s…ok…7:30 is a good place to start, but this is almost to the very front of the pack.

As the national anthem played the sun shined as the morning air got hotter and humid. I was near the front of the pack where I usually don’t like to be due to the fact of going out too quickly. As the horn went off and the race began, I saw the leader up ahead. I didn’t know what to expect as the day got hotter though. During the first mile, I felt good and was on pace for a PR. Everyone says that right? But by mile 2, cramps started enhancing and it took me a while to get them out. By mile 4, I felt as though those bananas that I had seen on the subway would have really helped. By mile 6 near the half way point, I wanted to shoot myself for picking a half marathon on Memorial Day weekend and not picking the 5 miler instead. I really did not enjoy memorial drive and Boston and it’s many bridges across the Charles River proved to me that Boston is a very hilly city. The mentality of this race I was not in the right mind set and it got to me on the early miles. I didn’t want to completely quit, but really felt like I was looking for an easy race when I got quite the challenging course. I see a gal run right by me as I was nothing, a spec of dust which late on I would see that she was the 4th or 5th female that finished. I had a whole lot of respect for her and I was not even going to try to catch her or rally. As the course went on, I felt my legs just feel restless and trying to get over that point where your legs just move on their own.

Mentally I was conservative though thinking in my mind at first that I could get a PR and break my time (which should happen within the year, but maybe not).

Secondly, I started getting those damn blisters again that I always get in the same place whenever I do a Marathon. I had talked to the Mizzuno representatives at the expo (knowing that I need to by a new pair of racing shoes) and was questioning why my shoes are causing blisters. They didn’t know why either, but my shoes are just causing a lot of friction causing the blisters to happen EVER marathon I do.

Thirdly, I was being conservative because mentally I’m prepared for this next marathon even though it’s for fun and I have to overcome the boundaries of altitude and really do not know what will come about that factor in a marathon. Let’s test out my body even more going from sea level to mile high city of 8,000 ft where the start is and then where the finish is completed is at 6,000…a drop of 2,000 ft along the 26.2 mile course.

The race continued, I saw JK, one of my Alzheimer’s teammates whom allowed me to stay at his place, along the course as he shouted my name. At mile 10, I didn’t know how I was going to be ready for the marathons when I could not even complete this marathon at a decent pace and by North Station, I knew that I had about a mile to go. I could get through this I saw the bridge that went up and then went down…but boy did I underestimate that long stretch. It was long and hard to get through but I crossed the finish line with a decent time. Sub 1:30 which was a good indication for me that I’ll do ok for the marathon and taught me a lesson of going out too fast, not eating enough carbohydrates before the run and must eat that banana.

TJL and I met up and I supposedly lost my distance pod somewhere along the way. We got slurppies from 7 eleven, cheered people on and I looked for DM, but could not find her. We cheered people on as we walked towards the subway to go home. I later on found that I had came in 56th place which was excellent, but it was a very lonely race course in front of me. I am unsure if I will do this race again, and only feel that I will do this to visit my friends in Boston and maybe next year do the 5 miler. But then again, would I rather run or would I rather sleep and relax during Memorial Day weekend?

5/25/08

Bolt Busing

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory." Arthur Golden

Ok…so I get up really early to pack up and get ready to leave for Boston. I leave my apartment thinking I had everything when OH! I forgot the gift that I was suppose to give to TJL. Opps! Anyways, moving on, I get to where my Bolt bus was suppose to pick me up where people are waiting and there is already a bus waiting, but that one is bound for Philadelphia. I get on and switch seats with a couple that was sitting separately. I find that some of my friends are on the bus as well, MR and EP. EP is also a flyer who is friends with DM who I knew was suppose to run this race and actually I got notice from her about this race since she had ran it last year. As we ride on and I try to catch up on my blogs from the previous week, I also talk to the person sitting next to me. He has the same name as I do, later did I find out and we talked about this being his first half marathon. He stated that he will be doing the London marathon next year and was excited about it. I told him some advice on marathon and even half marathons or running in general. I think runners like to give advice to other runners, especially younger runners which I don’t think I am at all advanced to give advice to, but I think any input is something rather than nothing. You can take it or leave it as I always say, but most runners would take the advice though…

Got to Boston and met up with TJL, got a little lost but found our ways at the Boston Stock Exchange across from the Seaport Hotel, which I was just in last weekend for SH and JH wedding. We took the silver line toward the expo, but walked around a bit afterwards trying to time our travels for a different route and finally said to walk from South Station.

We made it back to the TJL’s place where HF had a BBQ going. We chilled, drank a beer and had a great conversation with his friends. IT was a good start to a Memorial Day weekend. The rest of the night, watched the Boston Celtics play ball on TV.

5/24/08

No Yoga…

"Mind is everything: muscle - pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind." Paavo Nurmi
As I found myself looming in the office while everyone else got out at 4:30pm, the frustrations of how I was on a new project and how my PM was ultimately busy. I finally met up with him at 4:30 and finally made the changes that he had wanted. Stayed after to make sure that all was well with everything that needed to be sent out and by this time, Yoga was out of the question. I needed a release and went to a wine bar to find that it was an exhausting week…I’m so ready for this weekend to begin and finally begin a little stress relief continuation after memorial day weekend as I fly out to Colorado on Thursday evening.

5/23/08

Sore

"Hunker down, keep your eyes fixed ahead, and run like hell. " Paul Spangler, advice to Sister Marion Irvine before a race.

125 Years old for the Brooklyn Bridge!!!


Waking up mid morning with a cramp in your leg, a Charlie Horse is not the greatest signs of how your legs feel, but yes, I think my legs are acting up. I feel that since I have slowed down on my running and the mileage has ever so decreased my legs are getting back at me for every mile I have run. Although it seems as it is the opposite effects where when I am in training, I feel great, fine and fantastic. Although when I am off and resting my legs they start to cramp up, start to break down and start to feel a little sore.

Anyways, since the Charlie horse, I left work for my regular 12 mile run for my weekly base run. There are some things about NYC that you sometimes take for granted. I make my way up toward the Engineers Gate where I find the usual suspects: ES, DL, BR, LL and SS. These are all front runners of our team and I wanted to test my legs a little to see if I was ready for this weekends half marathon.

As the group usually warms up together and chats, I did the same, started out slow and then as we neared Harlem Hill, I started up my run. I wanted to see if any of the group would follow and see if any of these front runners would catch and ring me back in. No movement, so I continued and went. I found myself running almost the entire loop by myself and it was lonely, but a good lonely. I needed this because in some marathons you get a pack of 100 runners running your pace (Boston) and in some marathons your all left alone by yourself. You need to get use to this matter and keep your head straight and focused.

I stretched afterwards and awaited for the remainder for the group at the end. I found my Charlie horse and the lactic acid build up a little more free flowing and a release to cleanse the body. More stretching needed to be done as I could go to Yoga tomorrow night.

5/22/08

Meeting

"If the hill has its own name, then it's probably a pretty tough hill." Marty Stern

Ah! Ok, so no running tonight or yoga due to our monthly Flyer meeting. Ahh! A good 3-4 hours of more political aspects of running festivities, not the strongest suits of how I look at running, but there is a certain power placement that I have and are given by my running club that needs to be taken seriously. Well to look at it on the good sides, at least this is near my apartment.

5/21/08

Newsletter...

"Don't attack a hill from the very bottom - it's bigger than you are!" Harry Groves, Penn State coach

No running or speedwork today due to working on the newsletter for my running club. Receiving the articles in from JM, making all the layouts, and having a quick turn around back to JM before she goes away on her vacation. Then after that she comes back on Monday night, make changes on Tuesday and then I fly out to Colorado for a marathon and most importantly visiting my friend AD.

Do you have a running-related tattoo?


Yes, a generic one (e.g., a winged foot)
Yes, and it's distance- or event-specific (e.g., "26.2")
No, but I've thought about getting one
Not in this lifetime
I'll get one if you will.




5/20/08

Who’s trucking? DAMN!

"The marathon can humble you." Bill Rodgers

The regular Monday night crew was out on a great night out for running, although it was a bit chilly. The wind was the problem as it could have blown anyone away. As I had felt good that night by not running at all during the weekend, so the first pier that I had seen that is usually open or not, I went. CD was talking to JG as he was recalling the weekend race, the Healthy Kidney 10K, as I did not go to that race and was SH and JH’s wedding in Boston.

It was peaceful, the wind blowing in your face and the sun shining. Really could not ask for a better running theme than that. I always wonder why runners listen to music while they run, where you can not hear the wind whirling and there is just a sense of speed that is also accustomed to that.


As the pack had passed me by, I tried to catch ground. I stuck with my regular route with the piers as CD waited for me as he rounded around the piers as well. We rolled and talked about the weekend races, his girlfriend, EB and about running. We tried to catch up with the group but only caught up to them at the half way point, where we caught up with the back of the pack. The front of the pack was no where to be seen. We kept rolling abandoning the piers at the end and making it our destiny to catch up with the front of the pack. We would have caught them by now and usually we do, but for some reason they were absolutely rolling tonight.

As we were about ¾ of a way done, we finally saw the group. JG and JM were about 30 meters away from the front pack and we had seen that they were booking. This is the reason why they had been rolling. We worked our way to catch up with JG and JM and then we picked it up to reel in the front group. CD had a whole lot of energy left and I could barely pick up my pace to catch them. As we caught up, we told them that they had been booking. We finished strong as I always do, but was very impressed that the boys were making every effort to increase the speed and roll with the new gal, J.

I was amazed as J had increased the speed of our running group and boy was she driving the bus. It will be interesting to find out if some people use the Monday night groups as a tempo run now.

PLAN:

Running a negative-split race is all about energy management. The slower the early miles, the more fat you burn relative to glycogen, thus saving your primary energy source for later. Additionally, easing into a race gives your body time to process any lactic-acid buildup, thus delaying fatigue. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that you spend a smaller percentage of the race tired or in pain.

5/19/08

Cheers!

"Running is my meditation, mind flush, cosmic telephone, mood elevator and spiritual communion." Lorraine Moller

A no running weekend yet again this weekend due to a special ceremony, A WEDDING! In my head I was thinking over and over again that if I had raced on Saturday, I could have made it to the ceremony on time in Boston…but it would have been tight and scrambling. But that would have been bad. See…ST and JH or rather now SH and JH got married this weekend. Two fellow Flyers, whom I run with on occasion…

Ok….ST or rather SH now, is one of my great friends on the team where in the past year, we spoke about her wedding. I guess this is how I made it onto their list of invites, which included only a handful of Flyers to the wedding. I was lucky! But yes, we are very close and I always see SH on my Thursday night runs and sometimes my Saturday morning runs. It’s great to see the couple run together though, really brings out their persona and boy were they happy. They make the perfect couple and it’s great to see them so loving, cherishing and to be honored to be invited to their wedding. It was marvelous!

But yes, to the happy couple…SH and JH, you guys are the best.

OK…so on a tangent and slightly closely related to the weekend. I did not run, which helps me recuperate from my injury. But it seems that if I don’t run, then everything hurts. If I do run then noting hurts…strange? I don’t know why? Is it the time that just starts breaking down your difficulties…where if you don’t stop, then everything is in motion and just continues. But I find that it is good to recoup…and it’s good to be injured free…but does that take a long time? I think after the Streamboat marathon, I will gladly take some times off and try to recoup and remain injured free…

But on the side note, Chill?, LH and others were represented within the group that went to Boston. Chill I did not know, but had heard her name from SH. She told me that she reads my blog during work and I was so surprised. How many people out there do read my blog? I wonder sometimes, I wish I can just see how many people are out there reading about my life and find it interesting…I would love to read about your life or see who is out there that reads this stuff? I find it interesting though to read other people’s blogs and read about how they view things in life.

Congratulations again SH and JH!

5/18/08

Robbed…

"To describe the agony of the marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind." Jerome Drayton

I feel as though I am robbed after pumping gas at the gas station. My gosh, went to Boston by my own car and spurted out $50 bucks to fill up the tank. My have times have changed or I have been living in the city too long. Thank goodness for mass transit and the world that I live in where I can run everywhere and anywhere I choose to within this small island called Manhattan. Ahh! The luxuries, but high cost of living and rent!

Ok…off of my soap box….

5/16/08

Brian runs on Dunkin’

"The marathon, you see, is my benchmark. It is the status symbol in my community, the running community." Dr. George Sheehan

BZZZ! BAM! Ok…I got one, but the other one was bugging me all night long. Damn Mosquitos in my room. My roommates leave the light on during the night and that’s how they get in! ARG! Oh well…it was bugging me all night long and I guess they love my blood. On the other points, I think I was peeing coffee this morning. MAN! Was I running…for the first time on a Friday none of the less, I was up and at ‘em! Seriously, the coffee in the morning was way too much…3 coffees. Seriously! There is a thing for free, but still I just went way overboard yesterday with the gimme.

Ok…so besides passing by a guy pissing close to the Louis Vuitton store, on 5th Avenue none of the less, and in broad daylight… “at least go into a small street dude!” I was thinking in my head. BUT the rain came down this morning…

I was still bugging by noon, when I ate my lunch and just CRASHED…then came the package.

My running shoes came in today. These are for training for the second half of marathon training programs…ie: Summer marathon and fall marathon longer distances as soon as June 1st runs around. Rounding up shoes left and right…

STICKING WITH THE ASICS 1120 - Old school or “classics”…I have all the colors, but unfortunately for this round only the Red Chili pepper and gray was available for my size. Boo…no switching colors anymore.

5/15/08

Dunki Doh Doooh’s

"The five S's of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit." Ken Doherty

AS my good friend D always says, Dunky Doh Dooh’s…

OK…So today was a small free Ice coffee at Dunkin Donuts, but that was from 10am to 10pm…and I never leave my office. So this was very inconvenient for me to even go out and get something. Plus, I don’t even drink coffee! So…it wasn’t too serious that I don’t get free coffee…or was it.

Ok…so after my softball game at 5:30pm, or rather at 6:30pm…which I sucked by the way and struck out, and hit two fly balls out into center field. BOO! But yes, I had left early and found myself running with the Thursday night group. The guys are fun and the group is growing to being a larger group. The usual suspects were out, group leaders, PB&C and JG were out with JM, SS, ES, LK, DL and many more…oh and the Laminator, who now becomes my arch nemesis due to his asian-esk, fast speed and well, the bandana. That’s what breaks it. He is also my size…hard to say who exactly is faster, he is faster in the short distances, and I have him by a mile in a marathon (which will soon change because he will get closer to my time)…but I am not worried. I wish him the best of luck in beating me and it’s all friendly competition. I KIDD…yes, I have been demoted from the asianesk bounds of our team…There are many…

DL, me, the Laminator, KM, JH…those are only the few that are the quick speedy Asians…

So, ran the usual loop, ES was on board with me as I picked it up and a few times bursted some speed while I went up Harlem hill to catch up with TD and a little burst of speed to catch up with SS later on. Then while the group was getting water, I felt good, went with DL and ES as we chatted.

So after the run, I ran another 4 looper with AC, another flyer and ran to the west side. I continued on toward my office…but as I went down, I had this great idea in my head to stop by any Dunki Doh Dooh’s to get one of these free Iced coffees…I did…at 32nd Street…then drank that quickly. Continued on…found one at 23rd street…went in…got another one and carried it as I ran down to my office…So changed quickly, drank my second one and was like…hmm…maybe I can get a 3rd on my way home…but this was 9:30pm and it closes in 30 minutes. No problem…walk down to 7th street and 14th…and got another iced coffee…3 small cups of Iced Coffees for a person that doesn’t even drink any coffee in general…in about 45 minutes span?

Yeah…called up my sister and the coffee went straight to my head…I was talking fast…oh man…I’m going to be up all night aren’t I?

OK….Coffee has no effect on me…well…we’ll see about that!
I feel my heart exploding!

5/14/08

You've won...a Cockroach!

"I don't go looking for hills, but when I come to one, I run it." Jack Mahurin

So what is up with the cockroaches? My gosh, NYC has so many cockroaches that it’s incredible…

So what happened on Saturday, yeah it continues. I went to Yoga pretty late and ring the bell, walk up the stairs and open the door. As I open the door, everyone cheers and claps and all that good stuff. I was like, did I win a prize? It sure did feel like it. But little did I know they were relieved that I was a guy. A GUY! They pointed at the cup and they said, can you kill it. It’s fast, it’s disgusting! Haha…I was laughing. This reminded me of Saturday though and I was like, well this one is alive!

So I take my shoe, WHAM! DAMN it moved….WHAM!…ok got it.

Poor Roach, but I had to do it. The ladies made me do it. Sorry!

As I swept it into the duster and flushed it down the drain, I had to quickly get dressed and ready. They ladies waited for me and this yoga class I surely needed. I haven’t ran since last Thursday? Wow…Has it been that long? Maybe it was Friday morning?

So yes, I got right to it and Yoga just relieves me to bits. It’s an intense workout, and man! I wonder how these ladies are all so flexible. They are so far above me. Trying to do a headstand, handstand, blocks between my knees and doing all of these ab workouts…uh! Utterly a mess for me…but sweating like crazy! Water dripping on my mat and it was good, intense stretching.

As I went for a headstand, my leg cramped up as I was up in the air…oh dear…gotta get down. I got down, my leg (the one with tight calves) yes, it was intense, but felt really good.

Get all that lactic acid relieved and feeling the burn. See doesn’t hurt anymore. My legs seriously need to get a relief of all that lactic acid.

So the session ended…

…with a bow your head and surrender yourself…

Namaste!


I came out a winner, but the roach a pure loser in a tranquil environment....pretty crazy!

5/10/08

No run weekend…

"We need to keep breaking down the myths about what women can't do. It hasn't been that long since women were first allowed to run the marathon in the Olympics. It's important to keep expressing ourselves physically." Ann Bancroft, first woman to reach the North Pole

Nice weather both days this weekend and NO RUNNING. I never did this in a long time…not since I had started training for my first marathon. Very scary, but I tried to keep busy again with regular normal people work…Chores – Laundry, grocery shopping and catching up on work.

Work? Yes, NYFlyers work and I’m still ending up not finished with all the work that still needs to be done. I still have to get things done for the next newsletter, things that I had backtracked and put off, many of things.

But this is funny…going back to the laundry mat, a women waves me down and she is across the street. I turn to her signaling that I will be there. I wait for a car to pass and then cross the street. She asks me if I could take out a dead cockroach that is in the back seat of her car and her little son is FREAKING OUT!

Ok…no big deal, she gave me some paper and then I took it out and threw it out in the trashcan…She offered me money, but I could not take her money. Her little boy should learn how to be a man and kill bugs…but I understand…Cockroaches in NYC are disgusting, HUGE and fast buggers.

But I did my deed of the day…

5/8/08

Can I laugh?

"Running hills breaks up your rhythm and forces your muscles to adapt to new stresses. The result? You become stronger." Eamonn Coghlan
Watching two gals battle it out for a taxi cab, a gal tripping over the curb in her sandles and moving on…come on! This was my morning here…was I allowed to laugh? I mean we are in the public here and I even do some funny stuff that other people may laugh about, but am I allowed to laugh at these things? I think it’s hilarious and coming from me, I laugh at almost anything (except when I am serious… and I know when to be serious…)

But this is how my morning started…seriously? Can I laugh just a little?

Oh and my sister got her Doctorate degree…in her own words, “they just give these Doctorate degrees to anybody! I mean I got one!”

5/7/08

PISSED!

"The mile has a classic symmetry. It's a play in four acts."John Landy

PISSED! I don’t get very pissed very often but at the time, I was super pissed. I had so many different things I could have been doing: Yoga, being social with my running friends celebrating Siete de Mayo (ok…we runners are strange and like to be different than the usual cinco de Mayo, so we celebrated Siete de Mayo to be different) being with some Boston people from my team as well at another bar…UH! But I chose to be with my companies softball team…which, I did not play. That’s the more frustrating part. I was so pissed off by the fact that I was out there and made it out there, we were down 13 to 3 already in the 2nd inning of play, the sun was going down and other issues…I was so frustrated that I needed to go for a run…so I was in Central Park already and did so. I really wasn’t planning on running since Wednesdays were my days off and I was going to meet up with people for some drinks after the game… but when frustrations hit the wall, I need a release…

I ran around Central Park and was soaked by the end of it…I did a Fly by at the dinner that everyone was at, but felt that I should not stay since I did not sign up for the event…but I was pissed. I must have been flying around Central Park though and when you get me going…anger turns into a release to exercise and then I’m back again. It’s no big deal really…just softball…the only problem was that I had wasted my time and could have been more productive for myself. Whatever! What’s done is done and move on…

5/6/08

Marathon for the Alzheimer’s Team

"If you feel bad at 10 miles, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 26 miles, you're abnormal." Rob de Castella

No speed work today for me. I went to my monthly Alzheimer’s meeting to explain to some people about the training program that we are trying to set up with for the organization. We unfortunately did not gain the free bibs that we had wanted for the NYC Marathon for this year. We are trying to replicate and piggy back on the way of how the Boston chapter did things with my experiences with them from the Boston Marathon this year. I mean it’s quite impressive $230,000 donated for the cause and the people who had amazing personalities and amazing goals both running and fundraising. But we’re striving to get this off the ground and hopefully we can work things out to getting this thing to work. I was able to meet up with one of our members (of 5) who is actually faster than I in the marathon and I am quite impressed. Maybe it is him who should be teaching other’s or even me about how to run a marathon.

5/5/08

When Pigs Fly...

"I lean with the hill. I know I'm doing it right if it feels like I'm going to fall on my fact, but don't." Ed Eyestone

Absolutely amazing story that was heard from the Flying Pig marathon...see below. First Monday where the group went to Chelsea Piers to go out for our First Monday family dinner. I say family dinner again because it's a great time to chat with people that usually I don't get to run with. I found that one of JM's co-workers (AM) is a Tri-athlete who could have competed in the Beijing Olympics…which I find amazing all together. To make it at that kind of level is absolutely amazing and I am in awe. I get the usual a Pier 11 burger I think? I scarf it down like it’s my job and then chat with people about how they are doing and find out how they are feeling about running of course. You find out different things about people and how they are feeling. Some may feel pretty down and out, while others are really excited about the upcoming events. It’s a mixed group, some are injured, trying to get back into things and some are just carefree. It’s good. But sometimes when you feel this way and talking to others it’s a bad thing because your down and out while the other person is on cloud 9. We all go our separate ways as we go home…I follow JG and DG as they show me where JG was staring up at an apartment the weekend before when he was on Cloud 9 and had PRed…

Rescuers Running Race Help Save Runner's Life
Firefighter, Paramedics Running To Honor Fallen Comrades
Reported by Laura Borchers
CINCINNATI -- If there's such a thing as a good time and place to have a heart attack, a Cincinnati man probably had one of the better ones during the Flying Pig Marathon Sunday.

Bobby Edwards, 55, was running near mile marker 10 when he collapsed and stopped breathing.
But only steps behind him were a group of firefighters and paramedics who were also running in the marathon.

Patrick Conrey was running in firefighter turnout gear with a group of Cincinnati firefighters and paramedics to raise money for the families of Oscar Armstrong, Robin Broxterman and Brian Schira, all firefighters who died in the line of duty.

That goal quickly took a back seat as the group came upon Edwards.

"We rendered aid to him. We found a man who was unresponsive," Conrey said.

"We roll him over and realize he's not breathing enough, he's in anagonal respiration. We checked a pulse, there's no pulse, so we rendered CPR," Cincinnati firefighter Kory McDonald said.

The group performed CPR until an ambulance arrived, aid that was critical to Edwards' future.

"Time is muscle. If nothing is done, what quality of life are you going to bring back?" McDonald said.
After Edwards was safely on his way to University Hospital, the firefighters went back to running -- and finishing -- the marathon.

"Today is definitely something special. Just Pat coming up here doing what he did for Oscar Armstrong and Capt. Broxeterman's kids. That's special itself, then for us to help someone firsthand in the marathon, it's a good thing," McDonald said.

"Today is one of those days I will take to my grave," Conrey said.

Edwards is expected to make a full recovery.

5/4/08

Broad Street 10 Mile Run…

Martin Lel on Robert Cherriot: "Aiy, that man Robert. Aiy, he is so good, my friend he is so good, I saw it in the training. He trained, my friend, he trained!...and to run like a champion, you must train like a champion"

Ok…”why am I waking up this early again?”

That’s exactly what i say before every running event. But this time around it was my friend, NH, who said that when I had woken him up on a Sunday morning. Knocking on his girlfriend’s, LS, door to wake him up and coming right out and saying that. He was in his running gear and tennis shoes, I was like your wearing those? He told me that it offers more stability.

Sure. I’ll go with that. No worries, I mean I wasn’t the one that was running in that.

We leave LS and her apartment, we would meet up later on along the race where we would stop and take a picture I promised her.

NH and I walked about 5 blocks over, saw a guy in the park sleeping in his sleeping bag and the night before it rained a tad. But I noticed the guy in the park and felt bad. I was lucky that I had such great friends whom allow me to crash on their couches the night before races. LS and NH are the greatest in Philly and my Boston peeps as well…

So back to the race, we got a free ride on the subway by showing our bibs. We waited for the next subway to come and it was PACKED. It was quite funny because all the people that were waiting for the subway were runners. We packed into the subway like sardines and made it out. There it was sort of still early where there were runners all around the area, but we were looking for our baggage bus. So we walked by like every bus and noticed that we had passed it…so we walked back. We dropped off our clothes and it was still a bit chilly, but bared what we had on. We passed by (LK) who was waiting to remover her clothing into her bus. We passed on by and started our way to the start.

I was amazed, there was about 10,000 people out there running and certainly I was not happy about my number. This was the largest 5 digit number that I had EVER and it was strictly based on when you had registered. That or if you were a very special case of an elite person.

So we stretched and awaited. We actually ran into an old friend whom we had met through JG during the Philadelphia marathon. R gave us a few pointers about the race and we were ready to roll.

The race started and we were at te 8 minute mile marker. We stated out slowly, but we wanted to make it at an even 8 mile pace. No faster, no slower. NH had not trained much for this event, but it was a 10 miler and his longest run was a 10K. I had told him tat I was going to stick with him the entire race and would not be disappointed or strained to run any faster. It was a little chilly, although it warmed up as we ran the race. The crowd was exciting, the course was flat and the scenery was good. I had asked my friend about the places in Philadelphia as we ran past different places.

From north Philly heading in toward city hall and then back out toward the stadiums and navy yards and that was 10 miles. 5 miles was at City Hall and we would meet up with LS near the concert hall on Broad Street. Ok…the whole race was on Broad street, so it’s the cross streets that you have to name…or a certain building. We hit the first mile at a minute slower than we wanted. It was ok, we could totally make that up…the course was totally flat and we were weaving back and forth. Ok…we’re getting better throughout the race and by mile 3 we were rolling on 8 minute to sub 8 minute miles. We would make it to the finish line by 1:20 (8 X 10 = 80 – 60 = 1hour & 20.)

We rounded the half way point with 8 minute miles and we had made up the time that we had lost in the first half of the race. We saw LS at around mile 6 and stopped to take a picture. NH was rolling and wanted to just roll on by, but I stopped and he came back to take a picture with LS. At that point, I think NH was on the roll, but after that point when he stopped, I think he was done. We rolled on for 2 more miles and at mile 8 he was beat. We talked throughout the whole race and at that point in time he had told me to just shut up. I tried to lighten the mood, tried to get him water and he just told me to shut up. Haha…yeah but this has happened before with JM, so I just quit and rolled on. NH was hurting though and I pushed him with encouraging words. I was proud and knew that he had a last push in him. The race rolled up hill for about a half a mile at the end and then the navy yards. That was it, only about a quarter of a mile left and I told him to pick it up…we sprinted at the end and the race was over.

In the end, it was a good race for NH and I was proud of him for finishing. We made our way past the food, picked up our baggage’s and the PREZELS! Ahh philly prezels.

We rode the subway back and I had yogurt all over my mouth as NH signaled to me to wipe my mouth…I am quite the ridiculous eater.
In the end, I guess I had crossed the starting line before NH and he had beat me by one second. Quite ironic huh? He still gloats the fact that he had won against me. Alright, I’ll give it to him…what next NH, a half marathon? Marathon even?

5/3/08

Traveling weekend…

"If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." Emil Zatopek

Get up at 5:00am on a Saturday morning to catch a train down to DC is not fun at all. But what you got to do is what you have to do. And missing the Brooklyn Half, well I really wasn’t thinking about that at all since it was a good friend who had been going through some rough times and just being at the wedding was what I wanted to do. SL was getting married and a couple of years ago she had helped me sew all of my racing t-shirts into one blanket. (see space blanket)

So the only way that I could make the morning 10am wedding was to either sleep in DC or take the first train out to Washington DC…This was also my first time taking the Amtrak, which I was very impressed with. The leg room was good and the seat was pretty much better than an airplane seat. I was able to do my work or catch up on some blogging events, sleep, change into my suit all in the span of time that it took to go to DC.

So, I traveled with my bag and my duffle bag, which was a whole lot of stuff. I have a pretty good sense of the metro in DC, so I’m pretty well versed in where I was going. I made it to the wedding on-time and stashed my bags in the groom’s room, which I saw the groom, whom I had worked with and told him my blessings.

The wedding was beautiful inside and the place where the reception was also very had everything in order. The day was perfect, sunny, warm and the bride, SF was beautiful.

So after the wedding…back to Chinatown to take a bus to Philly, where I was going to meet up with some friends, NH and LS, to run the Broad Street 10 miler with them.

Made it to the bus station in time and caught it to make it into Philly by 7:30 pm…

Oh…it was a long day.


Read about Boston Marathon Part II.

5/1/08

Follow the Leader...

"Hills are the only beneficial type of resistance training for a runner." Arthur Lydiard

I have serious issues when it comes down to people passing me...especially when I am running alone...

I have serious issues when it comes down to people passing me...especially when I am running alone... So…Short run for me today due to going to a Tribeca Film (since it's Tribeca Film Festival weeks) Short meaning not the usual Thursday night run which usually entails a 12-14 miler, so I did the usual 6.8 or 7.8 mile downtown loop which resides next to the west side with a strong breeze due to the storm coming in. There was a light drizzle and cargo ships were being pulled by tugboats on the Hudson river.

As I did my piers at a leisurely jogging pace, I was going to take it easy today. I resided on this long stretch where construction was occurring to liven up the west side as they were imputing trees and park grounds. There was this kid (as I mean kid, he’s a whole lot younger than I was, maybe by 2 or 3 years) goes zooming by. I was like…ok, I’ll pick up the pace. Little did I know that he was going to run 6:30 min/miles and go pretty much close to the half way points. I followed him till he turned, thinking in my head...

why am I doing this? What is wrong with me and I need to just stop!” ok…I like challenges and I usually don’t like getting passed. My legs were definitely feeling the exhaustion and the strange part is…is that I can sustain a pretty good pace of a 6:45, but at 6:30 I feel that I can’t sustain the pace…it’s rough!

In my mind, I’m like ok, the kid is gone, now you can go and stop and stretch to catch your breathe…then as I make it to the corner where I want to stop, I keep going and my mind tells me…Nope! You can’t stop, you must keep going!

Ok…so I go the usual route, come back on the piers, where finally my mind speaks to my body telling it to slow down and keep to a regular jogging pace…after all, that was the main goal here to do that from the start! Legs were definitely feeling the burn, although in my mind there is only one goal now…and it’s a tough goal to reach…nine seconds…just :09 seconds.

I do hope to break that in the ING Hartford Marathon, but seriously...the question is:

Do I have it in me?

The marathon is a huge task to run, especially when you have to run under a 6:51 minute per mile pace and sustain…sustaining is the key and we’ll see how the summer wraps up in some hardcore training and a stronger mind set to break this goal.

The Boston Marathon blog...Part I

Spring has Sprung…

"The clock isn't slower; you're just faster." ADIDAS
Not Edited:

Spring has sprung in Central Park. The saying, “April showers bring May flowers” may be true as the magnolias, tulips and daffodils come into full bloom. That means stripping out of the tights and running jacket, putting away the gloves and hats and pulling out the shorts and singlet’s to show plenty of skin for the summer time. `

Spring is one of the best season for a runner, you can choose to schedule your run at any part of the day. Cool mornings, warmer days and cool down nights are conditioned to appease to any runner, whether you like it cold or hot.

Watch out, although the temperatures do not seem too hot, the sun can still emit those harsh radiant rays, so make sure you protect yourself with some sun tan lotion of any grade to protect your winterish skin.

For many runners, spring is the starting line for many Marathons or shorter races. As some gear up after hibernation, many others have been training during the long, but not as brutal winter. Many female Flyers took charge to pace for the MORE Marathon, while the male portion of our club “manned” the liquid station. Congratulations to all that had participated for our organization!

As I gear up towards my first Boston Marathon, I seek advice from all the veteran marathon runners that have previously run this race. Each marathon is different. If you have done a marathon in different states or different countries or even the same marathon year after year, each one differs from weather, people, experience, shape that you are in. The “experience” you get the days leading up to the marathon never leaves you. The excitement or nervousness, the night before (which I always seem to get no matter how many I do) is enchanting, but the race is overwhelming. You are literally running 26.2 miles and for some runners, they are on their feet for 3+ hours. It’s an accomplishment to finish, no matter what time you get. And if it’s your first? You will never forget your first marathon moments and the feeling of accomplishment, joy and feeling like you can do anything in the world. Congratulations to all Boston Qualifiers!

Although to some runners, the marathon distance is not for everybody and may choose that the half marathon, 10K or even a 5K is the right race for them. No matter what the race, I bid you good luck and good fortune in pursuing your goals, Personal Records and dreams. Never let anyone doubt you and never let you doubt yourself.

Dreams can come true.

Edited:

Spring has sprung in Central Park. The saying, “April showers bring May flowers” may be true, as the magnolias, tulips, and daffodils come into full bloom. That means stripping out of the tights and running jacket, putting away the gloves and hats, and pulling out the shorts and singlets in preparation to show plenty of summertime skin.

Spring is one of the best seasons for a runner. You can choose to schedule your run at any part of the day. Cool mornings, warmer days, and cooled-down night conditions should appeal to any runner, whether you like it cold or hot.

But watch out—although the temperatures may not seem too hot, the sun can still emit those harsh rays, so make sure you protect yourself with some sunscreen (of any grade) to shield your winterish skin.

For many runners, spring is the starting line for races of all distances. As some gear up after hibernation, many others have been training during the long, but not as brutal, winter. Many female Flyers took charge to pace for the More Marathon, while the rest of our club “manned” the liquids station. Congratulations to all that participated on behalf of our organization!

“I ran the Boston Marathon!” That saying has a special meaning to all marathon runners, including me, since I just completed my first Boston Marathon last month.

It is, for some, a lifetime goal and dream to run the Newton Hills and infamous “Heartbreak Hill.” What they don’t know, however, is that when I was running miles 17-21 on those infamous hills, I was thinking just the opposite, telling myself, “I’d rather be sitting down somewhere and enjoying ice cream...”

There is something special about the Boston Marathon that makes it so unique. Be it Heartbreak Hill, the qualification times of all the runners around you, the history, the crowds, or just that it takes place on Patriot’s Day. There is an amazing energy and excitement that makes it such a special day. Congratulations to all the Boston Qualifiers and finishers!

The Women’s Marathon Olympic Trials were held the day before the race and also did not disappoint. It was exciting to see Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson run several laps around the spectators, passing us three or four times in their pursuit through the streets of Boston. Magdalena Lewy Boulet made a bold move, leading the race until the 20th mile or so, and causing the crowd to question, “Who is she? Who is number 43?” (Deena would see to it that she didn’t lead the whole race, though.) And hats off to Joan Benoit Samuelson who, in her last Olympic Trials at age 50, accomplished her goal to break 2:50 with a time of 2:49:08…Amazing!

Of course, the marathon distance is not the right race for everybody. Some of us are gearing up for goal half-marathons, 10Ks, and even 5Ks. No matter what the race, I bid you good luck and good fortune in pursuing your goals, new personal records, and dreams. Never let anyone doubt you and never let you doubt yourself.

Dreams can come true.