6/30/08

Teaching…back to basics…

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity." MICHAEL JOHNSON

So late in the day, I receive an e-mail from one of my good friends and teammates, NK who’s friend leads a beginner level run for Jack Rabbit Sports. Since the guy was sick or rather busy, he needed a filler to substitute for his leadership. Since it was for money and running was a pre-requisite for me, as well as a good way to lead me into a teacher sort of role, I welcomed it.

I wanted to start teaching for the people in my regular Monday night sessions, although Davey wants to establish back the group pace and group as a whole to then break it off into trying out my lesions. Although it seems as though many people are in favor of this and it may start out sooner than later.

So I went down to the YMCA where this group had met up and introduced myself to many of the beginner runners. There was also an intermediate running crew as well and you never seemed to go back to your basics until you actually are trying to teach people the basics of running. It’s quite unique in that sense.

The lesion for the day, one and a half of jogging and then one minute and a half for walking. I was a little peculiar about this, but I am guessing that these people are very much starters for running. They were, they did not have a goal, they just wanted to run to get into shape, get back into things as though you are riding on a bicycle, but the whole goal that they wanted was to run as a group of people which helps them along in a sense and the motivation factor or getting out there to run.

These runners or rather joggers were good though, they were disciplined and I tried to help them along as much as possible, giving each one individual coaching on form and how to run. I even gave out some medical advice on what to do at the end of the session.

It was short and I truthfully enjoyed it. I wish I could get a group of people so tightly knit to teach and have fun with and enjoy the benefits of reaching their goals. It’s fun to teach and to gain that kind of respect level of just sharing your knowledge.

Although as I told many of those joggers, as much as I teach you as a runner, any runner can give advice to another runner, you don’t need to be a coach to give good advice. As a runner though, it’s up to you to either incorporate it or not. If things fit, then you use it. If things feel awkward, then don’t. Simple as that.

I ended up running back to my group run afterwards and ran the group in. Taking the week pretty easy as I round up my 2 week of non-running days, I was not too disciplined through.

6/29/08

Suppose to….

It was sunny today, then cloudy, then rain and then thunderstorms hit. Sheets of rain throughout the day and wind…never forget the wind. Torrential downpour was one word to describe it, where sheets of rain just come down in blankets…people race from street corners to anything that shields the rain. It’s quite funny when you are looking from above and see people running in the streets.

But yes, I was supposed to have a good old running date with one of my old high school friends. A friend whom I have not seeing in such a long time and occasionally run into in the streets…well not literally run into, but I had often saw her in the periods of time. CC was on my track team, although she was younger than I and I was one of those bullied senior kids. No kidding. I grew close to her group of friends and we had known each other from then on. I lost touch after high school and hadn’t caught up since then.

Little did I find that she ran marathons and she also was a huge lifeguard competitor in college. Probably did a Triathlon here or there and is probably going to wreck me in our run tonight. It is confirmed, we are going to give it a go since it seems to have cleared up…hopefully it won’t rain on us, but it will be good to go out for a light run…hopefully she won’t be hustling and bustling down on me…but after that we’ll have some good cold beers waiting for us…and a sunset to cap off the night with some good old catching up to do.

CC and I had met up at her apartment, which was one of those luxury condo’s that I may have designed. I awaited, looking around as if I was studying the apartment complex and then CC texts me, my bag buzzes and I try to find where my cell phone is within my bag…it’s bad…I search and in no time CC is there before I could reach my cell phone.

I drop off my things in her apartment and we finally are off to our run. CC is literally right next to the west side highway. So we went over and I let her lead. The paths were jammed packed with people trying to make their ways towards something. Totally forgot, well not really, but today was the Gay Pride Parade.

One of the more unique events in NYC and one of the more unique parades in NYC, the Gay Pride Parade was very unique. A day before the Gay Pride race sponsored by the Front Runners took place in the Park. One of the many summer heat waved races that should occur earlier in the morning, but is later in the morning.

Anyways, I was not there, I was on Fire Island.

So back to the run…we literally were intrigued about what we had seen. Masses of people were coming to the west side park to do something, which later on we saw that there was this huge rave concert on one of the piers.

So we run, we laugh and we try to find out what had happened in the past say…5-7 years due to the last time we had seen each other was in high school. We literally see a women’s ass. Like a BUTT…her but was showing literally out from her skirt. It was as though she was wearing chaps with only the butt showing. It was quite the scene, but we ran right by…this was a weird run. We finally made it past the masses and seriously there was such a huge high population of African American people that blocked the pathways at one point…where were they all going? What is going on here?

We did my usual 6 mile loop and I had told her about joining up with my running club. She was fast and I was impressed due to the fact that I have not seen her run this fast in high school. I knew that CC ran in high school cause she was in my track team, although it seemed as though she didn’t like to run. We were rolling through and I was quite impressed with her.

After our run, I had brought over some beers and we went up to her roof garden to check enjoys the wonderful sunset and amazing views. I was quite impressed and it was good to catch up with CC.



Oh and I nearly forgot...this week or rather I'm late at this by 2 days is the TRIALS for the US Olympic Track and Field team...it's really a do or die system where you have to endure the long duration of regular heats and trials...brings me back to my high school days, but these are the PRO's...damn...these guys are fast!

To make it to this level, you gotta be good. This year they are bringing it back to good old tracktown USA where it all starts and where track was put on the map in America...well, to some they think very highly of this place due to one person who brought up the hype and it's excitement in running. Pre...or Prefontaine. If you don't know who Steve Prefontaine is...then you should really not be reading my blog. Ok...maybe not that stict, but he was one of the best runners in the sport of track and field, but yes, Pre was like some of the greats in Track and Field: Carl Lewis, Gale Devers, Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene...all great olympic athletes... I would include Marion Jones, but she obviously recently had been busted for enhancement drug use. Very sad.


But this year in some odd reason or sort of way, I am more interested in the longer events. I use to be very much into the sprints all the time since I was a sprinter. Maybe seeing it first hand and knowing a whole lot of the long distance runners names and doing marathons has brought such interest in the longer events. I mean seriously...who is interested in the mile? I use to say to myself....opps!

6/28/08

A foggy Fire Island…

The boss invited my old team out to his home in Fire Island. After a long week, I needed this time to get away and think a little. Woke up at 6 and met up with my 3 coworkers at 7…got out to Fire Island at 9 and went straight to the beach. The beach was amazingly foggy and we all laid out hoping to catch some rays. By 11am I went out for a run and since I was out on the beach, I enjoy a good beach and sand run.

I set out thinking that I just love and enjoy a good run on the beach, even though I was taking off from running for two weeks, this is one of my exceptions like the Monday group runs that I do as well. The run was actually a good thing/bad thing, my Achilles still is slightly injured which needed a good stretch during the run, but good in a ways where the soft sand and pounding really refines the leg muscles to work out the leg. The low impact and water resistance allows the leg to smother into the sand and it also gives me quite a good pedicure on the side.

During the run though I see kids go into the cold water and then run away from it as the waves chase them. It puts a smile on my face whenever that happens and rather reminds me of the old days where my sister and I use to do this as well. But I smiled. The beach was filled with beachgoers: people laying out in the sand, people in the water, people playing volleyball. I ran by all of that…then I hit the long fog ahead of me and I kept running…there were a few people here and there that passed or I had passed, but in all I kept on trucking. I reached a point where I was just exhausted and then stopped.

Plopped my butt into the sand on top (although the water had reached me at that point…) and then thought…A whole lot has happened in my life, this week especially and I am sorry for some of the things that I have done, but my mind was made up and I had to move on. That’s what life is in my world, you think about things and you live…or try to live it up and try to do the best thing for you and for those around you. You have to be a little selfish in life and this is my time to be selfish a little. I looked over at my arm as the wind blew my hairs of my arms. The hairs had been glistened with the mist of water that rose as my legs splashed around as the waves came onto the beach. It was amazing how these droplets of water had misted and stayed on my arms. It was unique. I then dived into the ocean and then started my way back…

I huffed and puffed back to the group where I saw my old project manager. Overall it was a great day. Nice and relaxing day after a long week. I needed the chill, relaxation of the sounds of the sea, the smell of the ocean and the taste of the sea…

6/27/08

I’m stupid! - not Elite !

"If I can survive war, layoffs, disappointments, and all the misfortunes life brings, I can go out for a run." DOUG WIDOWSKI

Ok…so I looked and was going to submit my “elite status” for the ING Hartford marathon…yeah, that was not the case. I looked it up and it was rather SEEDED time…not Elite. I guess I am not elite…I run a mere 3 and will try to go under. GRR! No hotel accommodations, no free ticket in, no free transportation…oh well…

I booked my hotel after the fact of being so stupid. Good thing though, better that it was sooner rather than later. But seeded is better than being in the back…so I can finally go and conquer my time that I want. I will see how training goes and first comes first…I have to gear up for the NYC half as well as the San Francisco Marathon which will be tough to see which one I will run fast and with one for fun. Pretty much I will run the half and pace myself through the full.

But yes, the stupidity….Eh! Good thing it’s Friday…hanging out for Happy Hour somewhere with the Flyer Crew…that’s all for now…

6/26/08

New racing shoes…

"No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life's most rewarding experiences. My times become slower and slower, but the experience of the race is unchanged: each race a drama, each race a challenge, each race stretching me in one way or another, and each race telling me more about myself and others." DR. GEORGE SHEEHAN

I have been in search for new racing running shoes, which I have been checking out since Memorial Day weekend. The problem with my racing shoes now is that I get blisters every single time I run a marathon. Every other distance below that is ok. See it’s weird, during a marathon I get the start of a blister forming at mile 10…which I can feel forming. In a half marathon, I can feel the forming, but the race is done and no blisters. Strange? Yes, I feel that it is weird…

It’s like my shoes know that I am running a marathon and there is more friction that occurs during that. It’s very weird…so to reduce costs, reduce the chance of friction in forming and to get new shoes…

I stuck with the Mizuno’s as a brand, knowing that the shoe was great in lightness. I had to change my marathon running shoes last year from Nike’s (yes, usually never run in Nike’s but still it was the first pair in which I loved and they were light at the time). So I changed to Mizuno’s and now I have stuck with them.

So…new shoe? Stayed with the same type as well, just the next generation since it was a good fit…although I went down in a half a size to see if my feet would be better “fit” so that my sneakers will not cause that much friction and hopefully no more blisters.

But of course, we’ll see when they come in first.

6/25/08

Please tell us what inspires you.

"The one thing that I really appreciate about being a runner is the incredible friendships and camaraderie that we, as runners, share. Although it will always be a cutthroat competition for every spot on every team, our companionship transcends these competitive rivalries." JEN RHINES

Ok…so I had time to kill before meeting up with some friends in an “outing” picnic and friends get together… was amazing. Everyone over there were Flyers as we invited our group of peeps…strangely enough I was lucky to be invited within this group. But before I even go into the night, I had some time to kill before…so I get in my inbox an inquiry to join up with a sponsored club. See this is different from your regular generic team due to the fact hopefully that I can do this and be allowed to do this. But let’s not jump ahead of things here, we’ll see first if I get in. So the brand is called, “Bear Naked”…I know right? It really suits the bill here and really suits me as a person to represent them as a running team or even as a product.

Me? Come now, if you don’t know me by now, you should not even be reading this blog, the fact that my history, who I am…is all about nakedness. So the brand would be perfect for me…but really though Bare Naked (looking at their product for a quick short second) is a natural foods with bare essentials and keeps things interesting which adds dark chocolate for all those sweet toothed people out there…

So…I fill out the application, produce all the numbers and races that I will be doing for the rest of the year and now I only have to wait and see…and oh…man I’m late to the picnic!

Ok…so I arrive late to the festivities and look at the huge amount of people that show up for this event. Everyone is there, well almost everyone was there and it was good seeing everyone since many people don’t run in races every so often or meet up in group runs. There were the regular people whom I had seen, but still it was good to see them and everyone else as well. It’s so nice seeing people and I needed it. I never really knew anyone until I knew JM who brought me to group runs and from there on in, I kept getting to know more and more people and in some ways I don’t think I would be at the same place right now if it wasn’t for that.

I don’t think I would have even been in my position right now for my running club, but really that has taken a toll on things as well…Secretary, team captain, alternate for group leader…lots of things….or too many things. I’m a little burnt, although I’m geared up for another 6 more months.

I guess I was very intrigued by the fact that one of the survey questions asked:
Please tell us what inspires you.

My answer:
Running with your own free will with your own dreams and personal records.
The ability to have such a high level of competitors within the great city of New York.
The ability to run with memories, dreams and ambitions. I run with a camera for the Alzheimer’s Association in one marathon a year because my grandmother has Alzheimer’s.
To look at your wrist when times are tough in a marathon and recollect what you are running for.

6/24/08

Tuesday. Tie-ups… the break…

"The thought of later in the day having to explain to myself why I didn't run that morning is enough to get me out the door." LINDA JOHNSON

Ok…well running or rather not running has made me think more and thinking is a bad sign. I have been busy. Work, running, girl, life…all had been working well until now…but I was way too busy to realize the facts that I have been pressured and cornered all along. I felt that way. I am a free spirit that needs nothing right now and in a ways I am not being fair to the girl. She has given me everything and what have I given her? Running. All of my events were running events which I had planned before her were abouts…Races to weddings to marathons…all had been events in which I had been solo. It was good being solo and in some ways, I felt trapped, confused, in a strange place and pressured. It’s not the girls fault, just that I felt that I needed to be in this place and this time…I needed to be there, where? THERE…oh geez! I’m confused, worried, anxious, AHHH! I can’t take it anymore.

I don’t like pressure and job, life and time were all against me. I needed to be my own. Be one again and have all my own responsibilities to be my own. I was responsible for myself and I need to get away. But there were many more issues that I needed to get off my chest as well and I didn’t want to be responsible. I’m not built that way and I guess I think way too much when I don’t run.

Running is my passage for peace, tranquility and the light. An escape from everything and peacefulness. It’s the passive side of me that I miss all the time and everything feels as one.

I broke up with the girl. I needed to figure things out on my own and in reality, I need to find my own self first. The time is still not right in which I thought it was…but I will always have running to be there whenever I need it.

Maybe I was looking way too into my horoscope when I was in Denver…

Here is what InStyle Magazine gave for a forecast of what Gemini folk are really like_ Thanks BS

“What we love: you’re witty, curious and up on the latest trends, not to mention a brilliant communicator. On the other hand: with so many varied interests, follow-through is not always your strong suit. Stellar style you choose clothes in classic shapes and styles but continually reinvent your look by wearing them with statement pieces from your vast collection of accessories. Love personality: ever independent, you’re slow to settle down…and even when you do, you never give up the hobbies you love. Wise partners know that the way to win your heart is by stimulating your mind.”

6/20/08

Lookie Lookie…

"Everything I know about life, I learned it from running." Ruben Toledo Rosado, Everyday Runner

So...guess what I had received in the mail today? It came from Colorado and ahhh!!! I had expected to get something in the mail, although I didn’t know what I had won for my infamous winning second in my age group. It’s not that I deserved to have one anything anyways due to the fact that this marathon was the personal worst that I had done in a marathon and with the time, it was ok due to the fact that I just wanted to quit right then and there after mile 1. That’s probably the worst feeling where you know you have 25 more miles ahead of you and you just want to stop.

Mind you I had not trained that hard for this marathon and my legs had been tired due to the amount of training that I had done for Boston. I had not done any long miles for the month of May and purely it was unexpected that I would place. I was surprised!

Not only did I get something large…but I GOT WOOL SOCKS! RUNNING WOOL SOCKS! Kick ass…and what else? It was a micro fleece sweater! Sweet, right in time for winter…but had put it on…it was very light weight and it’s pretty perfect for the end of summer/Fall…pretty psyched though it was an amazing award gift and I was just amazed that I had gotten it.

6/18/08

Savasana_

"To keep from decaying, to be a winner, the athlete must accept pain - not only accept it, but look for it, live with it, learn not to fear it." Dr. George Sheehan

Yes…Yoga is back again and even better I have my Yoga instructor, Julianna, was back from her trip. Wheew…that was a good thing. I really could not get use to the other instructor, and to say the least, I really could not get use to the fact of how she spoke, how she directed thing, she really was into the good form, which is not such a bad thing and I had pretty bad form comparable to a beginner.

Anyways, it was nice to hear J’s voice again, as soothing as it is, it’s right for Yoga and I have really been fond of how inner breathe and inner peace I have felt with that. None of my co-workers was there tonight as it was a smaller group. K was there though as she was talking about some kind of bridal shower, stripping pole and her Canadia trip…weird.

Anyways, the workout was good and it was soothing. I needed that after a long week still ahead of me and I had had two meetings for my jobs already this week. It’s going to be ok…job is getting more stressful and feeling the pressure, Yoga is key.

So we went through a very intense workout that rallied with some head stands. As I was doing my headstand against the wall, my necklace seemed to have been caught against my chin and well…pop! Off that went. I had to later reattach it.

Then Savasana…ahh! Savasana is what I had forgot was the word for the just lying down. I didn’t fall asleep this time around, but it really felt good to relax and just think about nothing. It was nice…really nice.

After Yoga was done…back to work…either work work or NY Flyer work – Newsletter.

6/17/08

Number 300 - General Flyer Meeting

"Running makes my life whole." Julie Frodyman, runner

NY Flyer General meeting tonight, where we had some guest speakers: GW started off with his marathon training program. A year has gone by and he has definitely made changes to last years marathon training program to boost up for the New York City marathon. Of course, many NYers are going to be doing the New York City Marathon due to it’s vicinity and excitement…so of course as a New York team, you will cater towards the larger percentage of people doing this race.

Next followed EB who is a yoga instructor and a member of the NY Flyers who had multiple classes geared toward runners…she told us the in’s and out’s of Yoga and ever presence it puts on the non-running aspect in our lives. But of course, she knows what Yoga does for her running…it’s amazing…why else do you think I do it?

Last…was MB…who is a chiropractor and very much spoke really fast to get everything he wanted in...but in all…I listened to everyone, had to be there due to the position that I was in for the flyers. It was informative, good and a good way to socialize as well with the team.

In all…a good night.

6/16/08

Tornado winds…

"When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race." Jay Foonberg, 72 year old runner
Ok…after being so enthralled about the playoff in golf today during the work day, Tiger Woods…absolutely amazing. Is he even human? I am just lucky to even be in the same decade to see this player play his game…but hats off to him…he has my vote as one of THE BEST. Jordan, Gretzey…is there any more that is at the pinnacle of their sport in our lifetime am able to see…

Monday’s group run was canceled due to the preparation of a huge rain storm, thunderstorm, tornado winds and hail? Oh geez, it’s going to be one of those days huh? I had to get some sort of running in due to the long stretch of non-running events or rather running events, but non-running factors of these running, but in actuality – non-running, events that my running club is doing…and being on the board is sometimes no fun times…but you have to deal and just move on. But this week is going to be tight for running and I just have to deal…

So I needed a run today and was banking on going out with the group run, but since it was canceled, I was going to go out with JM…but since she was booked at work, I had to go out and left work at around 6:45…a little earlier than the regular group runs. I made my ways toward the downtown region, did my usual piers and passed the winter garden. Right there, the winds started to pick up…hardcore. You can hear the rustling of the ships flags the wind was blowing as if a tornado was starting. In the background you can see the lightening start to strike in the clouds, the winds picked up like crazy and all you can do is just run faster and hope you can beat out the rain. I rounded my ways around the bottom half of the lower loop. There I can see what was ahead of me, or rather where I had been since lower Manhattan was the spots where it was sunny. I tried to make my ways back, but it was no hope…it started to pelt.

Winds gusted some pretty cool breezes as I made my way back. I tried to go faster, but it was not the time to go faster…the rain had started to come down slightly, the pelting of the face of cold drops did effect me, but only for a while and all I can say is in my mind is to just get use to this if any conditions are like this during a marathon. You have to get ready for any kind of weather during a marathon…and running in the rain…is no fun, but still training is training. I truck it through and make it to my destination, all I am saying in my mind as I pass someone along the bike trail is that if you are out running at this time, you are crazy…as am I, but still that’s a whole nother story.

I make it back to where I have begun only ending at the usual group run’s corner, pass on by and make it back to work. There I realize that since I am slightly wet already, that I can stay a little longer outside. I had with me my jump rope in which I had wanted to get use to using different muscles in my legs and start strengthening up my coordination, leg turn over, leg strength and other such uses. It’s different and a different regimen that changes up my legs to the usual stride, usual leg muscles and usual…practice. Different is key and having that difference is a good factor in your life.

But how about Tiger Woods...

6/15/08

Father’s Day Special....

"Running changed my life as it will change yours, just give it a chance. Once you get that blood moving, it's show time!" Wilfredo Melendez, U.S. Soldier

No celebrating Father's Day for me with my Dad....

Wake up on Sunday morning telling myself what am I doing up? Actually, I was really excited about this race for some reason or another. It was a points race and I was a captain and had not gone to too many races due to conflicts of interest (there I can name two races that were conflicts with other races) but that’s the name of the game in running and racing…you just have to keep things interesting and do your own thing sometimes. I mean don’t get me wrong here, I love having that team aspect of things in life, and this year was suppose to have more of a concentration of a team aspect in racing. But the NYRR races are just so monotonous and repetitive that sometimes you look elsewhere for other races.

But this was the Father’s day 5 mile race and I was hoping not to be relied upon for these shorter races. Longer distances are fine for me, which I usually am not the scored person either, which I highly allow myself in being the “average” runner. But today, it was a small team out there and I had to put on my boxing gloves to battle it out. I have had an exceptionally low number as well and now I’m hovering in the triple digits bib wise. I knew I was going to be close to the top in my team and knowing that even scared me more, which I was in the first coral, meaning I would go out fast, also questioning the factors of me sustaining the pace in which I wanted to do for that duration of time.

You see for a 5 mile race, I should average my pace per mile to being a good solid 6:20-6:25…I did not. Although the air was thick and the lungs could not really adjust due to the humidity, it plaid a major roll in my time and my mind. The temperatures were not just humid, it was hot and that factor alone made it very difficult to run in…

So the gun goes off, the race begins and I am off running. I don’t know how long I can sustain a pace for as I had just ran a marathon about two weeks ago, but still have not had my rest days in to slowly come back from space…meaning I had the 50th run on the Wednesday I came back, the Need for Speed at a grueling pace and now a week after…this race. Mile one comes around as I see Runner26 and glanced in a hopefully good glance at her (In recent races, whenever she had run the opposite way in cheering, I would be in such a focused state or I would not notice her until the last possible minute and always give her a horrible looking (mean) glance) So I hoped that it was ok when I looked at you this time around.

My legs were definitely feeling it as I rounded out mile 2 and by this time I was gasping for air. Mile 3 turned and I can hold on to this position although I felt as though I was dying of heat, humidity? I had no clue…all I knew was that when you usually take cups from the water station, you don’t take 5 cups at one time…which I had done since I saw the guys ahead of me take 5 cups as well. I slowly poured them on top of me as I became soaked with water, sweat and heaviness. I sometimes always wonder if the weight of the water has a huge effect on your running style…especially during marathons.

My legs were getting sore as I felt as though I had gone out too fast and could have really slowed down the pace to a level of gaining negative splits. I always wonder the psychological effects of how well your body can adapt to that speed, time and mileage. But this si where I was totally done, my brain wanted to collapse and I just did not want to be a statistic in heat stroke or sitting on the side…I was not letting this be the first time out…
But it hurt…I decided I needed to slow down and really care about my body, my health and reach an all time low. Mentally I have not been that tough during races. Colorado was a key element for that as I struggled to survive that race. Mentally for this race as well I had to truck it and work it out to just get it done. I completed the race, but with a sub-par time and had let my teammates down, but still struggled to survive to being a 5th member of my team. I banged it out and this race was done…I stuck around chatting with all the rest of my NY Flyer crew…So much to do, so little time…

6/13/08

Friday the 13th…

"It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys." Emil Zatopek

So what is suppose to be one of those days where spooks and mysteries rank supreme, it is a day of unlucky 13’s…because it is Friday the Thirteenth. Although I take the unlucky 13 as a pure sign of good luck…I am a person of true optimism, where you have to look at things half full…well not really. I look at things half empty due to the fact that I don’t want to get my hopes up…but, you have to know when to take things to heart, take things seriously and take things in a right minded way. I always try to laugh at the mystery of unluckiness, try to laugh all the time to make people happy and well there is another side of me that people do not see very often though. My serious side and my not so good side…I think I am bi-polar in some sense, but who is not? I look at only my sign as the blame for this due to the twins of the Gemini order…but the pureness of the unlucky 13…well, I just will put a 13.1 and make that a half…thank you very much… Bad luck is always on the corner…but sometimes you just have to shrug it off and move on…

13? Yes, TIGFF (Thank God it’s Flyer Friday) was on today at the Boat Basin where I met up with many old faces and friends. When you are always running with people you usually never get to talk to some other people and well…you lost touch. Sometimes it’s bad, other times it’s alright, but we have to move on and that’s life. Flyer Socials are something where people get to see you all dressed up, different attire from your usual “running gear” that people usually see you in…especially runners. We always are intrigued of how different a person looks whenever they are “cleaned up.” It’s just so interesting. The most interesting fact of all is that when you are running, you only speak about other stuff…when you are socializing and drinking amongst runners, you tend to talk about running and running events…just very weird.

6/11/08

A different kind of Yoga…

"Life (and running) is not all about time but about our experiences along the way." Jen Rhines
So my Yoga instructor was out today, which I still knew and still wanted to go to Yoga due to just wanting to stretch out. I had just recently ran a marathon for gosh sakes and I needed to stretch out and my legs were telling it to me the night before when again I had woken up to a Charlie horse. I think it’s the lactic acid that is telling me to stretch everything out. Knowing that my usual Yoga instructor was good, my friend K had told me that this absentee instructor was just as good…but it wasn’t her, it was the Tuesday night instructor who taught Ashtanga. With this teacher, she teaches you the correct positions and like to be hands on with her students. I had been completely inflexible and my coordination and balance was completely off, where I was just messing up on every type of move there was. I was like, am I really that bad?

Ashtanga was also taught a whole lot faster and I really could not keep up with the moves and positions in that kind of pace. I was so sweating by the end of the class period and I was pretty pooped. During our, _____ session, or what I like to call nap session, I was completely out and had what I think fell asleep and snored…opps! I was completely relaxed and I guess in my mind was done. I awoke from my own snore I think and completely didn’t have a clue about this.

I didn’t like her too much, due to how she elongates her words and how she spoke and taught. I mean I have nothing against her, although I am so use to my other yoga instructor and how she speaks. Its just so soothing to the body and soothing to the soul. I never knew how a different instructor can be so different in teaching Yoga, which is my total relaxing time and becoming one. (with Buddha!)

Anyways, it was great, but tiring. In the end, I can’t wait till next week for my Yoga instructor to come back.

6/9/08

How sweet it is…

"I've always taken the philosophy that you have to dream a little in this sport. If you stay in your comfort zone, you're not going to do anything special." Deena Kastor

The yuck of yesterday’s usual Monday night run was not too fun due to the usual suspects not being there (JM, JG, JS, CD, LK, JM, etc…) They had all expressed in e-mail that they were tired from the Need for Speed relay that had occurred the day before and just wasn’t feeling it due to the smothering heat. They were right…I wasn’t really feeling it either when I had woken up with tired legs, which the last leg had brought on for me (heat and being in a van for the entire day to wait for the final leg of 5.7 or so miles was not too fun, but at least I was allowed to finish, unlike other Flyer teams out there who their last leg was forced to sit it out and not be able to finish up. (to go all that way and not be able to run your leg is not really that great of a feeling…just an extra hour and the conditions of the last leg was not so bad…well there was a storm coming in as well…)
I came home, cooked my lunch for the next working day and at dinner…sweating along the entire way. Then sat down and wrote some stuff for the newsletter and was passing out while I was doing that. The heat, the exhaustion, the long day, it was only 8:30pm…and I was ready for bed. 9pm rolls around and I am set for bed and out…completely OUT. The heat, the early wake up, the sun, the muscles…it was quite the day before.

So wake up all refreshed, dripping in sweat due to my thing against AC units and dry air blowing on me for the night, it was how I was raised I think. So waking up in my own pool of sweat and moist air around me, I knew I was not going to run today. I was just going to bring my clothes in just to taunt me for the Monday night group. I was planning on bailing, but wore my running clothes into work and then changed out of my shirt due to how sweaty I get from walking. Dri-fit is always good when you are walking to work due to the quick drying action and just comfort level. .

Walk into work and this smothering heat just bellows right in front of me like a back draft The AC units were not working during the weekend heat and was all cooped inside the office like a sauna. I was not really a happy camper though they fixed the problem to a little level where the blowers were not really working properly throughout the day, but it got back to a comfortable level.

Davey’s e-mail and relies were going back and forth and it seemed as thought there was not going to be a run…many confirmed from the Need for Speed that they all needed rest and they all got a glimpse of the hardships of running in this smothering heat, but I didn’t want Davey to run alone and I got word from JG that Davey was going out. With his recent toe injury and the smothering heat, I wouldn’t want anyone to run alone.

I arrived outside at 5:50ish and already JA, DG, two new gals and then Jewels showed. We started off slow, or I did for that matter running with Jewels. Stebo was out there as well but not in his running garb. He said goodbye to us and wished us well.

Jules and I chatted and then took a turn into the small children’s playground along the west side with water spurting up everywhere on the west side. It was nice and refreshing, although there was huge pools of water. I should have known due to the puddle jumper that she was that she was going in. The group ran around and knowing how Davey was hurt, I cared for him. He was going out fast and the two ladies were pushing. He stopped at the 2.5 mile marker before the winter garden and I took over. I made sure we had the right amount of stops for water and we needed them. We took our time and never really pushed. I chatted with the two new gals trying to sell our Monday night group run with the usual antics of how great this group really is….and we really didn’t have the usual suspects out there running tonight.

We finished up and I dispersed from the group once Davey got a hand of them…it wasn’t till the very last leg where I ran my pace and finished a little stronger. I was impressed to find that Stebo was out there still and he had handed me infused water with electrolytes....mmm...flavored water, Hot Day...really all you needed to be done with a run and have that. THANKS STEBO! There really are times where I don't think this Monday night crew will get any better and it does...DG got everyone ice cream as well, although I did not budge. I went back to work...but this is such an amazing group!

6/8/08

Need for Speed…

"I think some of the most celebrated moments in human achievement should be those times when everything is going against a person and they are down in the dumps but they simply choose to get up. That's real greatness!" Ryan Hall

Well at least I am getting better at waking up in the morning. Waking up early on Sunday was a clear breeze. I had a bunch of stuff in the freezer (water bottles) and got some apples, bananas and put everything into my bag for the day. This was going to be quite the long day and the preparation that had to be quite on…well packing up everything the night before so you won’t leave your sneakers at home is what I had feared. I was not running for a while so I had to just put on my flip flops and go from there. So it was quite hot leaving since the humidity levels were rough…but the fastest way to get from my place to 37th street on the west side…far west side was only to walk in the morning. I could have taken the subway, but it was far faster to just keep moving and walk.

I made it to the van place where I met up with PD and SS. We had to make quite the detour route since CM was suppose to meet up with us there, but couldn’t so we drove downtown and picked her up. The entire schedule of pick ups was now backwards as we went from downtown to uptown…LO and JD were next in the van and then NC and CD was finally last as we made him run from spot to spot all around town.

We finally made it up to Bear Mountain. Same as last year, but this year it was a whole lot warmer. I remembered that last year I had my warm ups and was a bit chilled before my run at the second leg. This year, the captain PD decided to give me a little more rest…I don’t know why. He said it was because I had a marathon last week, but last year was the same scenario…week before need for speed, marathon! Haha…he claims that we will be on curfew, no alcoholic beverages and a strict training schedule for next year’s team. But yes, no second leg for me since they changed up the distances and JD was doing the shorter second leg this year.

We met up with all the flyer groups there. White was still there and we saw Runner26 from the Diamonds as their van just left. Runner26 was running the first leg and white was next at 8:15. White had all of the good folk there and they were making a sign to put on their van as we arrived. As they got ready to leave, the van left first with JG driving. ES was at the starting line as I got a picture of him on hand. Then we see team black pull up and they were ready to rock and roll as we got head to head with them. We both stated at 8:45 and we would meet up with the other teams as we did last year…although we had no clue the heat and the huge messes that lied ahead.

Leg 1: Our Captain PD led off with the first leg which he seems to do three years in a row. He was the lucky one in the group, even though he had one of the hardest legs, he still had to stop and walk…which got all of us all scared because he’s one of those super runners that you have great respect for. It was too early for me to tell, but I was just enjoying the show since my leg was the last leg of the 50 miles…43 miles still to go, but the “goat trail” was done at least. We were in 9th place after this first leg…

Leg 2: JD took over for me in this leg as he is geared more of a man of short races and since this leg has changed from a long leg to a shorter leg, he was the man to take the task. I had done leg 2 last year and the steep hill on the incline is tough, dirt paths and loose footing does not allow you to get anywhere close to your full stride and keeping in task of being aware of the direction arrows. Yup, that’s the difficult part. This leg proves that you have to be alert and lost of runners including JD got lost…but deemed to be come out alive with a 9th overall time. We caught up with all the rest of the Flyer teams as we chatted along, awaiting for our own turns to start up as each member came in, we cheered for them to come in and then the longer leg 3 comes into play…as we cheer them on as they return into the trails. We now were in 3rd place overall.

Leg 3: SS was a former flyer who went over the CPTC, our arch nemesis although they just get a bad rep because of their cocky orange and swooshing Nike corporate sponsorship…I only kid around…since I almost joined the team from the very beginning. CPTC is like the Yankees or the Dark side…the team tends to get all the young, better runners out there in NYC and it’s just amazing to see their runners pushing themselves to the very limits. We can’t even compare to Nike CPTC, since they are far better runners than we are and they are just superior…not that we don’t want to be superior, we just are a good running club. So on with SS…9.3 miles is not such a big deal for this runner, I have only met him once and with his running attitude and goals, they far exceed my own. A sub-3 marathoner, he gets my vote anytime in the longer legs and knowing what was ahead of him, he could handle that with no problem. Although as we awaited for him at the next rest stop, we waited….and waited…and waited. It was not like him to exceed 1 hour and 10 minutes for that matter. A 15K for him would be more of an hour to 1:20 if the heat was affecting him that badly. But after 1:20 to 1:30 we started getting worried. As some Flyer teams had already come in, we knew definitely something was wrong or he had gotten lost. We contacted the officials, we screamed, we hollered…we were worried. We didn’t care about the race anymore and really just wanted to make sure that SS was alright…we really did have high expectations coming into this race, since we had won 1st in our co-ed open group last year and wanted to repeat, since all of us were a competitive group, we would say that we did not care, but we did…but had 3 newbie’s to our team. SS finally came in on the other side and we heard from him that he had run 15 miles and had gotten lost in the mix. He missed the finish and took a turn, and ended up finding the next legs official whom thought that he was in the 4th leg and directed him up toward the 4th leg’s finish…SS circled many times around and came out the other way…after 6 plus miles in the brutal heat. He came in 80th place overall, and dropped our team down to 32nd place…but that really did not matter, we just cared that he was ok.

Leg 4: LO was waiting…waiting…waiting and now she was finally running as our van passed her as she climbed the slope of the hill….2.9 miles for her, but that was not it, she had to still do leg 8 which passes off to me for the finale. But LO said afterwards that the heat was tough…4 legs down, 5 more to go! We now had a goal and that was to slowly climb back into the rankings and see if we can get back into contingency. LO’s results…12th overall in that leg, we climbed from 32nd to 24th…slowly climbing back.

Leg 5: CD, my Monday night training partner and open teammate, took the next leg. This leg with open field of blacktop that runs on the highway for most of the part and then by bike trail is hardly covered at all with shade…we saw an ambulance on the side of the highway and saw that they were taking a person out from the bike path. This only meant that a runner was down and we knew from that…it was not worth it to work so hard to come back than to rather be safe. As we waited for any of the flyers to show, all three teams of the Flyers laid out on the grass in the shade. IT was like a huge social gathering. CD came in first out of all the Flyers as he is a spectacular runner (knowing that since I run with him and he keeps me in gear) His states: 7th overall and bringing us back from 24th to 13th overall…back into the van and off we go!

Leg 6: JD and CM headed out on this leg. Good thing JD went with CM since she had stopped in yesterdays race in the Mini due to the heat. She also had asthma and with the effects of the heat it looked really bad. JD is a good man for doing that as he felt good to run some more and we were all glad he did so due to safety reasons…afterwards he was glad that it was over and couldn’t imagine why he did that. This leg went through the cemetery in which my grandfather was buried at. CM had this leg last year and in last year’s race I was thinking about him due to his recent passing. I guess I told the whole van as well, because PD had remembered it and if I did that leg, I would have run up to his grave and prayed a little…but deep down he was in my thoughts when I ran or at least when we passed by this grave on the hill. I get many of my characteristics from him, as I had found out when he passed…but one thing remains different. He was an alcoholic and I remain pretty sober most of the because of him. Its discipline and I guess that is the reason why I do the whole staying dry before a serious marathon. As CM came in, she went straight to the ambulance and NC was now off. I slowly put on my clothes a little at a time as legs became closer to mine. Overall CM came in 8th overall, bringing us closer to 11th…with 3 more legs to go. CM did well from how she had described the hard leg with no shade as she had to walk a couple of times…she stated it was bad…hot. But she’s a competitor and she takes things seriously. I knew deep down she wanted it more than I did…she always does.

Leg 7: NC was a fierce competitor when she runs, she runs. We had no worries what so ever that she would do poorly, although the heat did have some effect coming from mid day and the air was thick. She told us that she would take a little longer than expected, although she finished in her regular old fashioned time, with a blazing run and placing 5th overall and bringing out team back into single digits at number 9…each runner tried to catch more runners than the next…with 2 more legs to go, we had no clue where we were in the standings.

Leg 8: LO again ran…and ran well. Her leg was short as I awaited to go, driving to the final destination spot and getting ready. All my teammates were on my shoulders as they said, “bring it home”…and I needed to bring out my A game. LO was worried that she was going to screw things up, but she had ran already and she had brought her A game while running two legs…did a perfect job. As people came out of the woods, I saw one team with a guy that had just left…a team that had a gal leave and at that point I just wanted to go. Knowing the fact that I had to put the wrist band on my leg, that would take time. I had PD go toward the curb with the water bottle so I can put on the chip without fumbling with the water bottle. Here we go…LO emerges from the woods and I await at the tent. She scans the chip and then hands me the band…

Leg 9: OK…so game time! Not many people get to see my game face and when it comes down to my own races, I usually don’t put my “serious” face on or game face to a level where it only comes out in true competition. I mean, many saw this during my old track days when I was VERY serious about the team and about how well we performed. When it comes down to it, I become emerged in the whole aspect of team and how well we do. So on with the race. I put on the chip on my leg and am off. PD hands me the water bottle and I am off trying to catch the two that had left before me. They had been at least 10 minutes ahead of me and I knew I could not catch them on the first mile and it was a 5 mile race. The air was thick and my muscles were warm already (which is not necessarily a good thing sometimes) and they felt tired. I was rolling though and in my mind wanted to bring this race to an end on a good note. Our team had worked very hard to come back and it rested on my shoulders to bring the chip to the finish line. The race was hot and my mouth got dry very quickly. Dump-age of water was to cool my body and my water bottle in my hand quickly got annoying as it swooshed around. I usually don’t get bothered by carrying things, but water bottles in hand are sometimes the most annoying things due to the swooshing of water up and around. My legs were moving and all I can think about is just finishing. This race seemed to be just like the deadly Chicago marathon, although I had cloud cover and wondered if I ran in mid-day, it probably would have matched that effects. Humidity was just a killer, as I poured water in my mouth and then on my head…the water was getting hotter as though a kid was pissing on you (not that I know…) but it got to being like a warm shower. My water bottle was getting low and I had to conserve my water till the water station…which I saw was coming ahead. I saw the gal ahead as she turned the curb at mile 2 and then screamed out to the water people that I wanted a water bottle instead of the cup version that they had given out…also available was these small Gatorade bottles as well…but I needed just water so I can pour over my head. I said thank you to the volunteers as much as we were running in this heat, they had been out all day in the heat and I felt for them.

Skimmering across the park, I remembered us passing this last year as I was sitting in the van all done. Funny how when you are running and other people are sitting in the van are just waiting for you, you just feel like you want to be sitting in the van as well, but as you are sitting in the van you want to just run….interesting?

As I see the gal ahead of me, I also see the guy. The gal looks back as she had been walking…but seeing me she starts running once again. Am I that bad looking? Kidding…but I pass her on the dime and push on. I see the guy just head as I catch him and then push on as well. They must have seen my water bottle as they must have thought to themselves to do the same thing, but I didn’t see it in their hands. (some people just don’t like carrying things in their hands, or even on their backs…I get use to it and it doesn’t bother me much…ie Boston with my camera in my hand the whole way)

The streets slowly turn into a city-like atmosphere as a volunteer and police officer tell me one way…then I hear something from them…I didn’t want to get lost so I stop and shout back. They tell me that at the T-stop ahead, take a right….I am thankful that they shouted back, but still it should have been marked. The sidewalks ahead are flat, although you see many runners walking. I passed 2 and then I soon passed 2-3 more all walking and looking back at me and seeing how I had been running. I wanted to walk as well, but wanted to finish this race. 5.7 miles that’s all. At mile 3-4, I was done and I could feel the heat and strain it had been on my body. I am stubborn as well though and push on. Keeping at my pace at a 7 minute mile, I move. I pass this one kid who had been battling it out with me for a bit…looking back and starting up and walking as I see him from the distance. I wonder if it will be a battle to the finish line with him. I pass him at mile 5 and he asks how much more for this race. I truthfully answer .7 more since I like a good competition and if I was to ask, I would have wanted an honest answer.

I stayed consistent and knew that he was on my tail. Could he keep up? Could he pass me? Does he have a better kick in the end as I do? I was a sprinter in High School and I rely on my kick…hell I can run 100 meters in 11 seconds…the school record at the time and even if I want to run that again, I think I can do a reasonable 11.5 seconds 100…

I ask a police officer how much longer till the end, he answers me in this jokingly manner 10 miles…yeah 10 miles my ass! JERK! I hate you! Why can you not answer me with a serious matter, I just ran like 5.5 miles and you can’t even say like a block away…

Litterally it was a block away where I run down this pretty busy road and then turn and could see the finish line. It just sucked because I saw all these cars at the traffic light and I wanted to go…I nearly got run over by a car! But quickly escaped and turned it on….

I finished. Exhausted, but finished…STRONG as my teammates were there and we capped the day with a strong…very strong finish in our minds. We could have been in the top 3, but we got the worst of things and came out even stronger in our minds because we proved to ourselves that we were the better team out there….

There is always next year…maybe without the heat…maybe without the lost time…but we came out strong.

6/7/08

Mini…

"What counts in battle is what you do once the pain sets in." John Short, South African Coach

Woke up quite early to catch the Marathon Mini this morning, where this was an all women’s race. I stayed over SN’s place, which made it easier for me to catch since it was on the east side and half way to the chores that I had to do before. So…I had to pick up AD’s bag from GW’s apartment complex due to Tuesday’s debauchery of me being too weak to carry the rest of the load back home.

So as I ran through the park my contacts must have been off and the left eye was out of place, so I was probably going diagonal and looking like quite the drunk when I was running. Usually when it is a long morning (marathons especially) I can’t seem to get my contacts in place. I pass GW along the way and he asks me how I am going to carry my bag…or rather AD’s bag. I tell him that I am going to put it on my shoulders! Went to GW’s 89th street apartment complex and went to the bathroom before hand to assess my problem at hand with my contacts. After that was done, I had to get AD’s bag. I got it from the doorman and it seemed heavier than I had assumed it was. Since I had only the handle straps, it was hard to handle with another duffle bag coming back from the airport.

How was I going to carry AD’s bag and run with it to the starting line and take pictures of all the ladies? Hmm…ok…we can do this. So I start off and it was 7:45am. The race started at 9am and I had a good hour before, but I wanted to take some people’s pictures beforehand. I had to go…so I went at a leisure pace and it was heavy the bag. What was I thinking? Seriously I should have brought it back the first time…but I grueled it out. I decided to enter back into the park at Engineers gate and then head to the reservoir to make a loop since it was the easiest way to get from one point (east) of the park to the other side (west). I trekked…and it was a beautiful morning, but the bag was heavy. I felt like throwing it into the reservoir….no I’m kidding AD.

But I trekked for .5 miles then stopped to walk the rest of the way of the reservoir. I filled up my water bottle and then I trekked some more and made up my mind from that point right off of the reservoir I was going to run with the bag again. I ran…and decided to do another .5 but really whatever came last of making it to 72nd street. It was not so bad, but I practiced my chi running so I didn’t want to injure myself, since I had to run that next day in the 50 mile relay in the Need for Speed relay.

Ok…got my place at 72nd and saw a group of guys…ok 2 guys from our team – my Monday night training partner and teammate tomorrow, CD and Captain for our team tomorrow PD, whom was on his bike. We joked around and then the women’s race started. We saw all the elite women roll on by and CD awaits till his gal, EB rolls on by. I take or try to take pictures of all the ladies on our team, although this is tough due to the fact that there are about 4,000 ladies heading your way. CD and I skidded our ways the transverse, along with AD’s heavy bag and then settled in on the east side to watch the women once again. I got ontop of my usual stump and took pictures once again as I pearched above everyone else. I kind of felt really bad for the people behind me, although I just continued to perch. We met up with JG and we cheered on…GAME ON! GOOD JOB! KEEP IT MOVING! FINISH STRONG! Although, as a runner I do hate when people tell me that there is so little to go…GOOD JOB, almost there…umm no! Not almost there. It’s as though they are taunting you when they say “almost there…” I hate that. I also hate when people say last hill….and then they lie and that is not the last hill you climb. UH! Especially during the marathon…but yes, took photos of the female elites and flyers and then JG and I met up with all the rest of the ladies where they had stopped…JG and I met up with all of the Flyer ladies, chatted about the race and about the next race at hand: Need for Speed tomorrow. As we left, Runner26, JG, JM and JS…we parted our ways and JG, JM and I headed down towards Union Square…Awaiting tomorrow’s race.

6/5/08

The Climbers…

During the day I bit the bullet and decided to go buy my lost cause item which I had lost from Race to Remember. Boy, will I remember this now, never to miss place my foot pod and keep it in tact of my shoe after a race until I get home. I was stupid to take it off after the race, where I must have misplaced it or it must have falled out of my bag along the way. Stupid! Anyways, better to take care of it now rather and be more cautious about in the end…But there was a GPS one that came out recently, that wraps around your arm…I was tempted to buy it, although it was expensive and I was kicking myself for losing the item…althought like the Garmins, the GPS does not work that well in the city due to the taller buildings. I went with the replacement of the footpod item due to my bidding that I did on E-bay and lost. The maximum that I would have bid on a 2 year old item was $75 + $10 shipping and handling…I would have rather get a new item if I was to pay more…Ready for the run now…

So like all usual Thursdays I traveled my way up from work onto 8th avenue and then into the park to meet up with my weekly Thursday group run folk at Engineers Gate. Little did I know that earlier in the day, the famous French climber Alain Robert, whom is known to scale well known buildings around the world had decided to do a stunt again right across from the port authority building, where the new New York Times building is. The unique design of the building’s façade allows the climber to go up the building with ease and it was only time where someone would have the idea to do something like this.

Built by, Renzo Piano, the building was built just recently in 2007 where the unique façade of the building allows sunlight to penetrate through just slightly. It is offset from the building and is built with a unique kind of structure.

Well, I strolled my way up towards 23rd street then 34th street when I noticed a large amount
of traffic. I didn’t know what was going on. I whizzed by cars and traffic as I made it up towards 42nd to find that there was another man trying to simulate the same climb and police and fire trucks all worried about the devil dare person. I didn’t try to stop and only found my way to continue, but some of the police tape was in the way. Large crowds assembled as I had tried to bypass traffic. At first I thought I saw this other guy on the other side climbing or committing suicide. That’s New York for you. Life is not that bad, sorry, but later on I found that it was a climber on the New York Times building and I was like oh ok….

I strolled on to make it to my group run which I had told everyone about this adventure. I couldn’t believe it. It was just so strange to me, but really not…living in New York, things like this do not phase you in the least bit.

NEW YORK -- Like a bolt out of nowhere, Usain Bolt is now the world's fastest man.
The Jamaican sprinter, who doesn't even consider the 100 meters his best race, set the world record Saturday night with a time of 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix, .02 seconds faster than the old record held by his countryman, Asafa Powell.

Bolt was using the 100 for "speed work" and to avoid having to run the more grueling 400, when, suddenly, he ran the world's second-fastest time last month at 9.76. Even then, he said he wasn't sure if he would give up the 400 meters for the 100 for the Beijing Olympics.
Hard to imagine he has any choice now.
Unfurling his lanky frame -- listed at 6-foot-4, but probably more like 6-5 and, either way, considered too tall for this kind of speed work -- he created a big-time gap between himself and Tyson Gay at about the halfway point, then routed him to the finish line.

Gay, the best sprinter in America, finished in 9.85.

Within moments of crossing the finish line, the 21-year-old from Kingston was hoisting the Jamaican flag and a crowd with hundreds of Jamaican fans was going wild.

"Just coming here, knowing a lot of Jamaicans were here giving me their support, it meant a lot," Bolt said. "I just wanted to give them what they wanted."

But who could have expected this?

Bolt has long been considered one of his country's top, up-and-coming sprinters, but his height and running style seemed to make him much more fit for the 200 and 400.
Like so many who compete in the 100, Bolt had lots of work to do with his push out of the blocks. He doesn't consider himself a true pro at that. And after a bad false start by the field -- the second gun didn't go off until the runners were 20 meters down the track -- this simply didn't seem like a night for world records.
Usain Bolt's mad dash at the Reebok Grand Prix marked the second time the 100-meter record has been broken in the last year. Here's a full look at the record-setting progression since 1996.

But it was.

"He ran a perfect race," Gay said. "I've got to take my hat off to him."

"An awesome athlete," said Shawn Crawford, who finished sixth and witnessed history from two lanes inside of Bolt. "The time shows it."

This marked the first time the record had been set in the United States since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, when Donovan Bailey ran a 9.84.

A lot is often said about Olympic trials in the United States -- that given the depth of the roster, it can be an even better meet than the actual Olympics. But face it, the highlight of the pre-Olympic calendar could now be Jamaican nationals at the end of June, when Bolt and Powell should square off. Powell, who set the mark of 9.74 last September in Italy, is overcoming a chest injury but is expected to be healthy soon.

Also at Jamaican nationals will be Veronica Campbell-Brown, who won the women's 100 on Saturday in 10.91, the fastest time of 2008.

The fastest time ever, though, now belongs to Bolt, and it made a prophet out of Gay, who predicted that with himself, Bolt and Powell lining up against each other over these next few months, the record could go down, down, down.

The conditions were right.

The start of the meet was delayed by an hour because of threatening storms in the area. Then, about halfway through, a brief thunderstorm hit, cooling the track and leaving it with just the faintest sheen of glistening moisture before the last, and most-anticipated, race of the night. The tailwind was measured at 1.7 meters-per-second, .3 under the limit at which a record can be set.

After his victory, Bolt paraded around with the Jamaican flag, accepted a hug from Gay, then went off to do interviews. Race organizers, knowing they'd get a big Jamaican fanbase out at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island, had scheduled a post-meet reggae concert for the crowd of about 6,000.

And what a perfect choice that was on this history making night.
Date Sprinter Time
May '08 Usain Bolt, Jamaica 9.72
Sept. '07 Asafa Powell. Jamaica 9.74
June '05 Asafa Powell, Jamaica 9.77*
June '99 Maurice Greene, USA 9.79
July'96 Donovan Bailey, Canada 9.84
* -- Tied himself two more times

6/4/08

50 Years of NYRR

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi


New York Road Runners was established 50 years ago on June 4, 1958, by a small group of 40-some runners met at Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx and founded New York Road Runners. In our 50th-anniversary year, NYRR is one of the world’s premier running organizations, with more than 45,000 members, a year-round calendar of races including the famed ING New York City Marathon

A salute to the New York Road Runners (NYRR) as it turns 50 and what better way to celebrate this momentous occasion having a week long celebration of races earlier in the month of June.

The Japan Day 5 Miler started the celebration kicking off the many short races that the NYRR has during the summer time. The celebration continues with a 5:30 am wake up call of a FREE scored race to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Scary that this 5 mile race was capped at 3.000 runners, although due to the rain only 1,800 crazy runners showed up to race (36 of them Flyers). The Mini 10K ended the week long celebration as it brought prestigious world renown runners and the three marathon ladies heading toward Beijing: Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, & Blake Russell. The NYRR strives for New York City to being one of the best running cities in America.
It’s scary to think that 50 years ago, the NYRR grew from 40 members to more than 45,000. Where races ran around Yankee Stadium in the Bronx changed to weekly races in Central Park, the NYRR host one of the largest marathons in the world on the first Sunday in November.

NYRR has gone a long way in the 50 years, we’ll break it down by decade to know the artifacts of our great running club that we all belong to…

Decade – 1950’s
Founded in 1958, NYRR elected Olympian Ted Corbitt, known as "the father of long distance running," as its first or third president. No one really knows, but we will confirm this. Early on these NYRR races peered to not have 4,000 recreational runners running on a Saturday morning, these runners were dedicated competitors.

Decade – 1960’s
NYRR’s races remained small by today’s standards. Fields of even 100 people was rare that competed in these races. Not many women took part in these races, though NYRR always welcomed ladies in their races to compete. In 1962, the first Bob Preston 5 Mile took place – 11 laps around Yankee Stadium. The winner was Pete McArdle, the namesake of the NYRR 15K cross country race now held annually in Van Cortland Park.

Decade – 1970’s
The Golden Era of NYRR where the club saw tremendous growth. Fred Lebow, who co-founding the New York City Marathon in 1970, took the New York City marathon out of Central Park and into the streets trying to hit all the five boroughs in 1976 with 2,090 runners and attracting an elite international field.
The first “Mini” took place in 1972, where women became known as a force to run. That same year, female New York City Marathon entrants held a sit-down strike to protest the inequality of a separate women’s start.

Decade – 1980’s
The Fred Lebow Era continues as he invited the world’s best to New York for the Fifth Avenue Mile (which was founded in 1981), the New York City Marathon, the Mini, along with other NYRR races. Champions that won in New York became famous around the world and New York became a stepping stone for world class athletes. Victories of repeat winners like Alberto Salazar and Grete Waitz created running legend for themselves.

Decade – 1990’s
As the Lebow Era fizzled, the NYRR remained strong. Fred Lebow, in remission from cancer, finished the 1992 New York City Marathon alongside nine-time champion Grete Waitz. Allan Steinfeld became NYRR’s president and NYC marathon race director after Fred Lebow’s death in 1994. That same year, Tegla Loroupe of Kenya and Mexico’s Derman Silva won the marathon (both repeated in 1995). Running quickly became a recreational sport, which firmly established among fitness-conscious adults, NYRR focused on expanding programs for youth and families.

Decade – 2000’s
The decade that we all run and make history, races have featured some of the best runners in the world, with thrilling down-to-the-wire duels and exciting live action in the park. Mary Wittenberg, succeeded as president and CEO in 2005, helped inaugurate the NYC Half-Marathon Presented by NIKE. This race brought a different kind of “marathon” feeling as it brought tens of thousands (including superstar Haile Gebrselassie) to Manhattan’s streets. The NYRR Foundation also delivers running to nearly 50,000 children per week in New York City and around the world.

The Videos
The NYRR is breaking down the 50 greatest moments in NYRR history. World records, famous races and runners from all over the world have brought some great moments to the New York City area. Marathons to one milers, each has an inspiration of it’s own as these 5 minute clips will inspire you to run better and strive a little bit better for a personal record.

Each business day for the next 50 days the NYRR will post a short film on their
website of the 50 greatest moments in NYRR history. Wondering which 50 greatest moments will be deem the top and make it to the top 10 Greatest Moments in NYRR History? Vote for your single greatest moment on August 3rd and we’ll try to publicize the top 50 greatest moments in the next issue.

Here’s to another 50 more years of greatness NYRR, see you in 2058!

6/3/08

See you later Rocky Mountain High…

"It is horrible, yet fascinating, this struggle between a set purpose and an utterly exhausted frame." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

So today I say good bye to the altitude, good bye to the depletion of air that I had felt and good bye to the exhausted feeling I would get when I did some kind of activity. I really would love to train in altitude, although the getting use to the feeling of exhaustion is a long process. I already am struggling at sea level to get my times down and to conquer my dreams of one day getting below a sub 3, but that will have to wait for another marathon.

There are very different marathons out there and this past one being very different from all the rest I have done. This one was extremely small, 315 runners and no crowd support, altitude, water every 3 miles. Even through I did poorly and recorded my personal worst (PW) as most of the other runners would say, I believe I had learned a whole lot from these races in strengthening your mind and body. Altitude proved a point and having to just figure things out in a race and not allowing your body to stop…that’s the tough part. Proving to myself that not all personal worst is a bad thing at all, where I recorded 2nd in my age group and was placed in the top 30 overall.

BS got up early to drive me to the airport this morning as I fly back to NYC and celebrate that I am no longer in altitude. I still have to pick up my race bib for the 50 year anniversary race of the NYRR, which I will race tomorrow at 5:30am. Only the crazies will be out that early tomorrow morning, although I have heard that the 3.000 participants that have signed up for the race is already capped, I am guessing because it is a free race and the race is scored as well, but no T-shirt! Quite the easy sell for runners.

6/2/08

Quads…Hamstrings…and calves are sore!

"Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness." Dostoyevsky

Woke up at 5:30 am in the morning only to hear the rustles of AD getting ready for work, which I had been already starting to have a natural waking session due to my jet lag or lack there of from my usual waking up for work.

AD by the way had gotten 3rd in her age group of 25-29 year olds and really had not trained for this event. She’s just a natural runner, who I love going on small runs with her whenever I am home. She’s just amazing and has that natural ability of running capabilities…it was one of the major reasons why I ran longer distances in the first place and she had done the Boston Marathon, not once…but twice! So she has a better feel for that than I do…

Anyways, everything is sore this morning as it always is, but it’s not that bad of a soreness with the hurting feet and the stairs that go with it. Though there is soreness in my quads, hamstrings and calves that I do feel this morning due to the very difficult course of extra pounding of the down hills and my lungs feel like the second lung capacity of marathon breathing has decreased and gone back to the regular breathing style. It’s very weird. As AD leaves, I am left alone to either go back to bed or write in my blog. I chill for a while and then open the door and start writing in my blog to catch up. The sun is glistening and it soon warms up as I write on the porch and try to recall all that happened yesterday in the LONG day. I quickly try to clean up and then enter in my blog entries, respond to e-mails and then get US open tickets, which took forever. Then I grab my friends bike in her garage, pump the front wheel up and make my way toward the school and stopping by the bank for a little while.

I made it up toward her school with her bike and some of the hills were killer with my screaming thighs and my breathing was again saying that you are in ALTITUDE. Why are you dong this to your body?

I meet up with Shell and AD as they get their kids ready to go into the talent show. I think it’s absolutely so funny even going into her school due to the facts that the kids are all little and some of the venues that the talent show brought were so cute. It brought me back a little and really said that you have to have a little fun in life. I mean with kids you can have a little fun with because they are the most adorable things. I mean they can speak to you and ask questions to you in a manner where they are being educated and ask and say the dandiest things. In the corporate world, people just go straight ahead and they don’t ask even the simplest of questions that a small kid would ask. So to AD, thanks for bringing me back to when I was little…

When AD was done with school, I met up with her at her home to finally bring me back to downtown Denver and drop me off with BS where I first began when I came to Denver. I am traveling back tomorrow to a non-altitude place. Vacation is ending and what a weekend it was. Thanks AD and Shell…it was a good weekend.

Thanks BS for taking me to the airport….what a day…

6/1/08

Steamboat SPRINGS!

"The human body can do so much. Then the heart and spirit must take over." Sohn Kee-chung

So after the race, quickly got into the racing medical tent to get some attention to my beautiful blisters, which I am always getting at all the marathons that I do, due to my running shoes that I have had for about a year now…but I only use them for racing and they are about 200 miles in. So, now I have to switch my training shoes (2 pairs) and my racing shoes as well…Oh brother!

But quickly get band-aides for my blisters and quickly see AD and Shell waiting for me. I re-hydrate with water and Gatorade and walk over to get a picture with them and move on to claim my baggage. We make it back to the hotel, I quickly jump in to the pool and try to work my legs out a little to make sure that some blood was flowing to them, got into our room, took a shower, packed up and quickly got out into AD’s car. We rolled out to the Springs (getting a little lost along the way, but we made it alright)…took some poses with some MOOSE (ok, they were ELK AD!) and finally made it to the Springs which was up on this dirt path road and the views were amazing.

The heat was turning up and I was ready for these springs. They turned up to being a little warm….hot in some areas, but REALLY good for my legs. My soreness was starting to settle in and I felt I needed to walk around a bit. The Springs was smaller and more intimate than I had imagined, which I saw pictures of these vast pools, but didn’t think it was going to be as hot as it was. But really it felt so good just to relax and be in one area and NOT RUN! Amazing huh? After a marathon is pretty much the only time that I do not want to run…like really do not want to run. So we stay at the beautiful springs for quite a while…taking pictures, relaxing in the sun, in and out of the water and converstationalizing with different people that ran the full, half or 10K races. It was an amazing atmosphere and just beautiful.

When we were about to leave, AD and Shell come over to me and told me to go to this other body of water. Here they didn’t tell me how cold the water was, but I didn’t think it was that bad. The first step was not bad at all, second step eh…not bad, and the third step: ICE cold water! AHHH! It was cold, but I had skipped my ice bath and really threw my legs into the water. Oh what a feeling that was. After the longs sensations of warm water and self massaging of my legs, to throw them into an ice cold water sensation was a true body shock.

We left Steamboat Springs and made it back to Edwards (near Vail)…we dropped off Shell and then went to AD’s elementary school where we would get updates on the results of our race. Stayed for a few hours (sharpening pencils & responding to e-mails) and made it back to cook for AD…relaxed and went to bed…what a day!

Altitude 1, Brian 0

"Be prepared to fail as much time to succeed"Tony Blair

Woke up in the morning before the actual alarm set off, but during the night, Shell’s cell went off when someone texted her (her cell has many different sounds) so I was up and at it at midnight. I got up and looked around, said something and no one moved. I then went back to bed and then got back up again wondering why no one had gotten up. It was surely a strange night.

Got up early, did some stretching and ate my breakfast meal – Bagel, banana are the usual tools for my marathon regimen…put a bagel in my bag, changed and ready to go. AD scrapped frost off of the window of the car and I was getting even scared of what was out there on the mountains. It was cold, so I prepared with some throw away t-shirts and my winter gear. As I got dropped off and the road closures were in effect, AD and Shell said her good lucks to me and I was on my way. I met up with a guy on the street and he told me that he could not sleep either. Nervousness really set in and I was wondering if I was ready for this. We got onto the marathon bus and I sat next to this guy from Boulder, Colorado we struck up a conversation as I was wearing my Boston marathon jacket and he had told met that he had done this race two years ago doing the same thing that I had done – Boston and then this marathon with his very impressive times, especially with is age. The bus seemed to be taking us out longer than expected, we passed the half way point thinking it was the marathon drop off, but it was only half…HALF? On my gosh, where are we going? The views were amazing and that is all that could keep me calm. OK, I have done this before, 26.2 miles, all marathons are the same distance, but vary from conditions.

As we consistently see the hills go up and down and how the bus could not even make its way up one climb, I knew I was going to be in for a long one. We get out of the bus as we see people line up for the port-o-potties. The scenery is absolutely amazing, almost like a scene from a movie, but you would not even guess it is a marathon start. No time chip poles and only a dusted white chalk line that says start. It was out of this world as I kept saying to myself, where am I? It was beautiful though and I got stretching some more, ate my second banana and everyone else was in shorts. I thought they were crazy! I slowly took off my pants to get acclimated with the weather and everyone else went to baggage claim to drop off their bags. I had my singlet on, but I wore a t-shirt over to wait till I got warmer to take it off. Colorado weather is strange as the valleys are vast and the sun is higher, so the temperatures heat up very quickly. My breath did not acclimate to the altitude yet and as race was about to begin there was a 30 second moment of silence…then BANG!

The race began…I was afraid to go out too quickly, but felt that I was ok. Sal (the guy I was talking to on the bus) was ahead of me and as I passed him, he quickly passed me back asking how I was doing. I answered that the altitude was killing me and I felt very weak. My mind was all over the place from temperature gauging on how I was feeling to my legs feeling tired already to my lungs just not controlled and feeling that it was out of breath. My body responding to my mind saying ‘what are you doing? Why are you running at this speed and then legs responding as well after that feeling weak and trying to push on. I have never felt this way in ANY race and it was very poor to have this feeling especially in a marathon of running 26.2 miles to feel in the first mile that you are tired. I didn’t know if I should quit or stop and let my legs rest or go on. I quickly turned to my alternative which was pictures. I took out my camera for the first 5 miles to keep my mind occupied until my body got adjusted. Little to find that the first half of the race was rolling hills and the hills were hills that I would do at regular sea level minus the ALTITUDE. My legs still did not adjust and I was thinking, I am good at hills, I can do this. But still I went up slowly as people passed. I quickly threw all my expectations, my hopes out the window and pushed on. I was just thinking now to survive…and how to survive this race. I take pictures and there is this one women that asked if I wanted a picture taken of myself. I refuse because I don’t want anyone to spend their energies on me. These were my pictures and I didn’t need a picture of myself…especially in this race where this was brutal and I was only trying to survive.

As the large drops of down hills helped to get acclimated, where drops in altitude went from 8,000 ft to 7,000 ft in about 3 miles, it was about mile 7 where my lungs had adjusted, but my body was hurting from the 7 miles that I had done before. As I stroll along some people strike conversations with me and ask if I am from New York since I am wearing my NYFlyer singlet on. I tossed the t-shirt at mile 3 feeling my hands a little cold, but my body telling me that it was time. I talk with him for a while and keep huffing and puffing and tell him that the ALTITUDE is killing me. He tells me that all of these races are small and that he is from around here and that he one day would like to do the NYC marathon. He drops off at the port-o-potties and I am left alone again, although I see this other couple running side by side next to each other. They were chatting, not thinking anything of it and I am struggling. Man o man, it reminds me of the practices I have with my teammates where I am just chatting up a storm and not struggling at all. I felt the other side now.

I plug on and at the half way mark I take a picture of where I am and my surroundings. The guy that was chatting before veered off to pee on the side of the road and never caught up to the gal until later. He asks me if I want a picture, again I said no, but he insisted saying that it’s a shame that you get all these pictures of other people and you don’t get pictures of yourself. He takes two pictures where I am eternally grateful and he pushes on. In my mind, I am just saying to myself, where does these people get this energy? My tactics of the race had changed to a “fun run” where I had to enjoy myself and enjoy my surroundings. It was beautiful, but somehow the change between doing a marathon of running 26.2 miles and looking at scenery and enjoying the peacefulness of the mountains, dandelions and lakes with a perfect reflection of the white capped mountains of snow still on top really didn’t fit the picture of enjoyment. But still I had tried to make the most out of it as I was trying to push sub 8’s, knowing that my 7:15 starting pace did not work out. Half way point as the guy who took my picture said to me 1:41. I looked at my watch as well and saw that if I push a 1:41 starting off half, what is the second half going to be? I usually get slower and have a 1:28 half at sea level…boy, my mind started to wander and say was I in for a 2 hour second half?

All my mind could think about is to stop and walk a little bit. I see people walk along the way and my mind kept saying to me that it was ok. I had never stopped during a marathon and this was not the marathon to do so. I had to keep pushing on and in my mind there was one pacer that had stuck with me. CD was my usual Monday night running partner and since he was not here with me, I had another person who was silent and did not have stompage of feet, a loud huff and puff or was annoying. He stuck to the same pace as I did or close behind and kept me company the whole way through the marathon…and that person was my shadow. I know, I’m crazy, delirious at this point nad just wanted to get the race over with. You hear footsteps in back of you, but maybe they are your own and you see no one in back of you. This was FAR different from Boston which altitude definitely took me and won, but there was no crowd support at all until the end and you had to just push through. Water was every 3 miles, where GU was offered as well and if you had a GU problem, such as I did, where it spilled all over my hands…you were stuck with sticky hands the rest of the way…unless you lick it up and then in my case wipe your hands on your bandana…

At mile 16, I felt that this was still going to be quite the longs way out, so I stopped near the river and peed myself. I was on the cusps of peeing or not and in my mind I had not been accustomed to holding my bathroom breaks until after the race, but this race was different and I knew that I was going to take longer. I was in between the second lady and third lady and felt ok with that. I knew coming in that the ladies times were somewhere at a 3:30 range, so I knew that I would finish around there and had not contested to that…all I wanted to do was just finish, not mattering about place, not mattering about time. Not mattering at all…just finishing.

The 3rd lady and I battled it out for quite some time, back and forth we took turns leading and opening up a lead and not bothering each other or getting in each others backs. It was good…until the hill…The hill in an open vast valley KICKED MY BUTT. Literally I have never gone up a hill that slow before, but I had not more energy and just tried to put one foot in front of the other. I was done and my body could not respond….it was mile 22 or 24…it was all the same. I just wanted to get into town and have this all done and over with. As we veered toward town and saw more cars coming through, a 3rd place woman was ahead of me and she was holding strong.

1 mile to go and still the town streets were still a little whiles away and then she started to pick it up. I tried to respond and my legs were done, dead and had to rest, until the final quarter. Support for her was amazing but she kept telling them that her legs were shot. My legs responded after seeing that it was only a few strides away and I needed to go at this point. I passed her and sprinted toward the end only to congratulate her for finishing 2nd2nd? Yes, I was in between the gal that was chatting and her…and that was an accomplishment by itself. I look up at the clock…3:31.20 something and I was ok with that. I was done and finished with this marathon. It was tough and altitude got me on the first round, but I stuck it through and finished without stopping. Mind over matter…but this one took the cake in all other marathons that I have done.

Thanks for running the 2008 Steamboat Marathon.

Results for Brian Hsia:

You placed 37th out of 315 finishers in a time of 3:31:24 for a pace of 8:04 per mile.

Out of 184 men you finished 36th. The winning time for men was 2:36:02.

For 25 to 29 year old men you were 2nd out of 23 finishers. The winning time for your age and sex was 2:41:56.