Ahh! Finally at the airport with everything in tact and about one and a half hours early and now time to blog. Blogging away on my old reports way back from earlier this month…oh man! This is bad, way back to my Fairfield half which was my race that I had done about a month before…which was the only race that I had raced just before the Nike Half…
Anyways, leaving the office with the newsletter finally done with many prompts to JM who spend endless hours and gave up her time for clean laundry and packing…so hopefully she will be clean rather than the joke of me sitting next to her. She has to smell for the entire 5 hour flight to San Francisco a smelly Asian kid who will be sitting next to her. Gosh, I hate that sometimes.
Anyways, left the office today and finally getting in a small vacation. This should be exciting, although running my 4th marathon for the year? My legs will definitely tell me if I can do this or not, but I am taking a month off from running. Yes, you heard it folks, after this marathon a complete month…then an all out blowout session of intense training. We’re gonna try to gun for this sub 3, but this will be tricky with the amount of marathons, the spread out period of 2 months in between for each and just the respect for a sub 3. Each marathon I have done this year has been intense.
Austin – Rolling hills and the fact of conserving the amount of energy to get ready for Boston.
Boston – The hype, the prestige and the ambiance, was all it took to enjoy the first Boston experience that you will always cherish. The fact that I had a Personal Best (PB) that day was just icing on the cake.
Colorado – ALTITUDE! Enough said. It kicked my ass with a Personal worst (PW).
I really don’t know what to expect from San Francisco, just the earliest wake up call for a marathon EVER. We start at 5:30 in the morning and I should end at 8:30 to 9am. Crazy huh? I would think so…it will be a long day after that, since I fly out the same day and return back in NY at midnight, having to go to work with a meeting on Monday.
And up next…ING Hartford…October 11…should be interesting, but first the time off and the enjoyment of flying off on Virgin America to San Francisco!
Ahh! What to pack! What to pack! Ok, I left everything to the last minute, but that is when it all comes together anyways. I should be good at this by now right? I mean this is the 4th marathon that you have done this year, flying out to Austin, Texas; busing out to Boston, MA and then flying out again to Denver, Colorado…Now, packing your bags, you have the choice of taking your backpack or travel bag….packing heavy is always the problem, which in your case I like to bring more things rather than less, and the weight just increases as I carry the super camera, little camera, and sometimes the laptop. YIKES!
But packing up has always been the difficulty, how many GU’s do you take along? Will they allow you to bring the GU’s on the plane? Eh! Just pack them up…it’s always difficult when you travel to a marathon…just make sure you have a shirt, shorts, GU, socks, Sneakers and your timing device…all check! Wheew! You can go naked the rest of the time…
Through snow, sleet, rain and sweat, the four would religiously continue to maintain a threshold where Monday nights as their holy day of running. These three people whom I cherish have given me many goals, aspirations and life learned lessons. These three people are my inspiration to push harder and reach many of my goals in my runs. The founders of the Monday night group run from day one.
I owe all of my PR’s and my marathon dreams of Boston Qualifying to all three, JM, JG and DG. As we finish brunch and laugh about some good times, we recollect many new experiences and talk. We chat about the Monday night group in changes we propose and different items we would like to work out.
Then, as we are about to leave, they present me with a gift. A birthday present from when I was away and while we were all gone through the summer there was never a good time to present the present with everyone there.
What did they give me?
Ahh! Hot and steamy! The morning started off with a lightning storm with rain…a summer rain shower that really just poured. I wasn’t sure if this race would have happened if the lightning had continued the whole entire time. I made it to the subway and it was late…Filled and packed with runners as it pulled in and then pulled out with even more runners and with each stop it filled and filled with runners. It was hilarious actually, but when we all got to 86th Street on the 6 train, we all filed out. Same as all races, but the NIKE Half always draws a crowd like the marathon. Surpassingly there was 16,000 runners out there, which is HUGE! I had to find my baggage bus, while I recollected that it was such a good idea while waiting for the train to put on my running shoes. Ahh virgin running shoes ready to get broken in on a half marathon…yes, I am crazy for doing this…but I have no choice what so ever…and they actually are not virgin running shoes since I ran about a mile in them at the Underwear Run…but that is only a mile! Anyways, they will be fine and I rather break them in now than break them in during the San Francisco marathon in a week. Anyways, after going back and forth looking at people with bags and people filing into Engineers gate, I finally follow a person with a low number…it was actually really crazy where they split up the baggage busses where 0 – 10’s were south and 10-whatever is in the north.
I passed a bunch of flyers as I was frantically running from north to south to north to south again…and finally getting to my baggage bus. I tie the knot on top and give the baggage to the person. As I walk through engineers gate, I notice that I have my shorts on! SHIT! I have two shorts on…oh dear, this is going to be trouble. I wonder if I can get a bag and stash it somewhere in the woods in Central Park…hmm tons and tons of things go through my mind as I am swindling a way to carry my shorts the whole way through, to strapping it to my waist as well.
So many different options, but no real solutions. I wandered around to find that AP was there, who tapped me on the shoulder and passed me during the Boston marathon and never looked back…good friend and good teammate. I was not going to be running with him since he had his eyes on running a 1:23…big difference and especially just thinking of taking it easy on game day decision. I wasn’t really feeling the prowess of gunning for it as I had wanted to. The air was muggy, the humidity was up and it was as if the air was a thick blanket just never moving…it was just heavy. I wander and see AC, who ran the Urbanatholon with PBJ and I, she was volunteering for her volunteer credit for the marathon. She had a BAG! Wheew, I was saved, so I asked her if I could stash my shorts in her bag and get it back another time…when will be that time? I have no clue.
I chatted with her for a while and then returned to my racing position. The star spangled banner was sung and then the race seemed like after that point it was moving…I quickly took off my throw away shirt as I had not expected the race to begin like that…wheew! That was fast, but in actuality the crowd stopped and then settled again. The gun went off soon after and that was the official start.
People from Niketown that I had knew was running was all around me, so I was comfortable…but I still feel that I went out way too fast. I was following the crowd and felt ok. My twinges in my tight calve was irking me a little and I had that wrapped as well to just keep the stability there. The wrap was annoying a little due to me not feeling comfortable with it being there, but I soon had bigger problems as I ran in the stagnant air of Central Park and the rolling hills. It was extremely tough since the last races that I had done was about a month ago and have not raced much during the summer months due to injury and hating running in the very hot humidity and hotness. By mile one already, I know that I am going out too fast and in my mind the thoughts of not completing the race is in my head. I don’t know sometimes what is going through my head as I simply had that kind of effect during the Colorado marathon. The sense of negativity in some ways where I just have to get over that hump and just dig deep is a huge factor going into next weeks marathon. The psychological idea for a marathon is to keep comfortable and I am not doing that for the first mile, where maybe I am going out too fast? The dry heat I can handle since I can adapt to my surroundings in some ways (I’m like a camelian I guess…where I can try to keep my cool in the intense heat, but when it’s severely cold, I shiver and my lips turn blue.) But by the time I had hit 5 miles at a 6:30 pace, I knew I didn’t have it in me for the day and I was just wanting one thing: to finish the race. I BONKED and I knew it, so now my race game plan will change and now I just needed to keep my race pace for the marathon. Just get comfortable and not care about anyone else in the race. I saw AC as I went by the starting line, she cheered…before that I saw SD, ED and LK…I tossed water over my head and kept my body cool, it was hot and when I know I have too much water on me like this, it was going to be a long journey. I see the gal that I had started with pass me by down cat hill.
I try to keep up with her as I follow her short shorts, but soon after she is gone. As I round into mile 7 out of the park, I soon run with another Nike folk, he’s friends with my good friend Chang, but he’s Balboa…I don’t know what that means, maybe Rocky Balboa? Anyways, into Time Square where you first pass Carnegie Hall, then the big billboards of the Square and then just pure enjoyment of the different bands, people and pure satisfaction. For the 3rd year that I have done this, this was the first time I had actually enjoyed the race for what it is. I may not be doing this race next year due to the lottery factor, the price and the choice of time in my racing schedule. As I rounded up Times Square and went down 42nd street toward the west side highway, I picked up speed or at least for the moments of being in Times Square and taking pictures. There was a GU station right before heading into the West Side Highway, I grabbed about 4 GU’s and really just needed the most 2…I hoarded them into my small pouch in the back of my shorts and the extra load seemed and must have looked like I pooped in my pants. OPPS!
Anyway, headed down the west side highway in many factors this was home to me. I ran this every Monday as we hit 14th street and had about 3 miles left to go. I was just keeping pace, just continue to run and have fun with this race. As I passed Canal Street I knew I had about a mile to go. The 1:30 pace group had passed me and he screamed out to his group, “WE ARE BEHIND, 1 second…pick up the pace!” The time was 1:22 and we were behind? That means a 8 minute mile for the remaining time? How can this be? I talked out loud to another runner on the side of me…little did I know that he was right and at the end I cut it real close. It wasn’t too bad of a time since I knew I had BONKED, but it was about my average time. Nothing too bad to compete with and it was good to have that confidence into next weeks race. We shall see what happens with the marathon…this was only the half!
Heading my way up towards Niketown to get my bib number and print on my shirt to escape the madness of the Friday and weekend rush. I also was going to meet up with JM for the Nike group runs. So got my bib, shirt and headed over to the group run area, I found that I had a little time to go up and print my shirt. I print my shirt every year with different sayings such as “Crazy Asian” or “Crazy Bandana”, but what this year? I was going to go with my old nickname with, “trakmaniak” but that has long been forgotten, so I went with a saying that I always have. Not my usual quotation which is by William Shakespeare, “love all, hate none and trust a few” but with something that is deep within my heart and a saying that is incorporated with at least a marathon a year that drives me to succeed in a marathon. The saying, is from my purple band that I carry on my wrist, it’s the Alzheimer’s bracelet that says, “a reason to hope.” A reason to hope was too many words, so I knocked it down to “reason to hope.”
This may be the last time I do the Nike Half marathon, which I was lucky to get into each and every year since it has started. I will truly enjoy it this year where I really never wanted to get in, but only put my name in the hat due to the chances that I had and the fact of hitting your head when you had the chance to sign up. SO I signed up, but didn’t want to get in due to the fact that I had a marathon the very next week. Stupid right?
Anyway, I was late to the group run and they had left, now I had to sprint and catch up with them. They were a large group so I though I could finally find where they were going, but lost them. They were not to be found, but I spotted a group that was crossing towards the Great Lawn…nope not them, it was the Road Runners group. Gosh, so many groups now, due to the training of the New York City marathon that it’s so hard to keep up. I finally catch them on the west side as they were running around. I try to catch up with JM, but she is no where to be found. I see the Flyers group and signal to them as I continue on, not joining them at all. I continue on and still feel as though I am going the right way, but really uncertain. I finally see JM as she is slightly struggling and putting her hand on her hip. Bad sign! I have seen this when she was injured before and I hope it is the other thing that usually annoys her which is side stitches. I talk to her as she does not turn back and thinks it’s another person. I say something like, “I hope it’s side stitches or something like I hope your not holding your side to what I think it is…” She acknowledges and finally acknowledges me that I had said those things. She tells me that she hopes it is not what I think it is either and we push on. I see Chang who also is a good friend running in the park and he passes us. My leg is twinging and I don’t want to push it more than I need to saving it up for my half marathon and my marathon. We finish up with the group stretch and then finally make it back over to Niketown. I tell JM that I will meet up with her afterwards for the guest speaker and I was to go shopping around Niketown in search of spending $100 and saving $20…I’m a sucker for that and JM knows it. She tells me during the run that there are soo many nice things there and I was to go nuts. She was right. I ended up getting a bunch of things and then headed over to the speaker series to acquire our passes to the VIP tent, socks and advice from two people that run times that we will never achieve in a lifetime. Overall, it was a good night. Busy but good.
OK, so your probably reading this right now saying, “oh dear, the Nelly song, but no…” I went to join up with the long training group this morning again waking up at sub-7 am, which was brutal due to waking up the day before at round that time as well. My game plan, to run 16 miles today in due to getting ready for my marathon in San Francisco, which I have yet to complete a 20 between my Steamboat Springs Marathon and the San Fran one which is two months apart. I am completely not ready for this marathon in due because I have taken some time off in June and have been hampered by the tightness of my lower calf which I have had all year long.
But never prevail, I don’t listen to myself, but I will. I am planning on taking some time off after San Francisco, which will be good for recovery and for my legs.
But back with Rockefeller State Park…I leave my apartment to meet up with GW for a ride up. On my way up from the subway, I meet up with T. Now, T works for Urban Athletics and I also see him coaching people in the park. We talk about running, coaching and different aspirations as I make it up to 86th Street. There GW is awaiting with the LAMinator, JS and I were to go into GW’s car. We are securely in and ready to rumble…but GW decides to take the wrong turn into a one way street to keep the excitement up early in the morning. Boy that was a rush, so we make it to Rockefeller State Park SAFELY. As everyone is there we start out the different groups and routes based on distance and times. We roll out with JS, MT, Naomi and I take the lead with a quick pace. The Laminator soon joins as JS slowly backpedals toward the slower groups (later I found that he had stomach problems, which we all get!) We ran, it was hot, and sweat was everywhere. Shorts were soaked, ran the longer distance around the park and basically got lost and never followed GW’s route. Naomi wanted to head back not knowing that MT, the Laminator and I were marathon training and doing 16 miles. We headed back to the parking lot to ensure that Naomi would make it back ok, then dropped her off, quickly got lost again and rerouted ourselves to a similar trail that we had first gotten on and completed 14 miles. We went on to complete 15 miles because went back to where we stashed water and finished strong with the lasting hill.
In all the run was great, painful, but great. The 15 miles that we ran was challenging and I had to test my legs out to see how the distance felt without doing a 20. I should be ok, but the marathon distance will be challenging and we shall see where my legs are at with racing the Nike Half in next weekends race.
Oh and afterwards, yeah went home to do laundry and a crazy person took out my laundry because they wanted two laundry machines next to one another when clearly there was 3 other empty machines…arg! So stupid…and the lady I found out was in my building!!!
So...I see a bunch of my teammates already in their underwear and decided to strip down. They were surprised to see the bright HOT pink, but really they didn't put it past them to really see who it was from....ME! Yes, I always tend to do these things.
As we were running, The Kail was running with PS, who was video taping, which got me in his tape...I went ahead a little and I could hear a person in back of me saying GO Flyers! I wondered who it was, as I looked back and saw two gals come along side of me...she was Asian...and saw that it was a good friend of mine, KC, who did amazingly well trying to qualify for the women's national marathon qualifiers in Boston, but missed it by 43 seconds...that must be frustrating.
So waking up at 5:40 is no piece of cake, especially when the founder of the group runs on Wednesday mornings Davey was away. RD opted to take charge and JS was not going to go due to a concert the night before, I was stuck in a dilemma where I did not want my poor friend to run alone. I was late though as I have been from the beginning of each of these Wednesday morning runs. I couldn’t get up this gosh darn early and make it about half a mile to the start. It was difficult…especially when you have not much motivation to go towards…but this time I wanted to make sure that RD was ok.
So I made it to the starting point with about 10 minutes have passed. I start to chase. I love chasing actually where it gets my tempo run to pace. I caught up with RD and __, I ran with RD and we caught up to talking since both of our business lives really are busy all the time. We barely know each other, although we started to e-mail each other once we found out that both of us were doing the Hartford Marathon. RD was a newbie and I love talking to newbie’s…When you run more than 2 marathons, sometimes the “experience” loses the type of flavor of anticipation and “lack of experience” that newbie’s have. Although its not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. Their enthusiasm is amazing, the effort is uncanny and you just plain old forget the feeling that they have. The antsy feeling of how a marathon feels like, the questions, the uncertainty…you’ll never get that back again.
It’s the best hearing all of that because it brings you back to when you were a newbie and how you felt. You have so many different questions, so many different expectations… but all you can do is just answer the newbie’s questions and just tell them to have fun and enjoy the show. Don’t care about your time and smile…a marathon is not for everyone and sometimes you get bit by the bug…well I did at least!
Anyways, it was very moist today…way too humid to run and it was just the beginning of the day. I was drenched by the time I had gotten home and my stomach was not feeling too great. I woke up way too early and needed a shower. After my shower, I headed back to bed for a quick nap before heading off to work…my usual Wednesday morning cycles now…
“Going running?” my project officer just whizzed into the elevator as I waited for him to get into the elevators. He asked if I was coming back into the office, I said of course I was, my stuff is still at my desk…
“Do you pay rent”…my project officer asked me if I did that.
I couldn’t believe he asked me that…could you believe that? He stated that the big boss had asked him that one night and it upset him, so he said it jokingly. He ended up staying the whole night that night.
I, on the other hand, use the office a little too much, from newsletters to studying. It’s my niche of a spot to just do work and my time at home is my relaxation time. I need it so at home I can gather my thoughts and have a different place for sleep, relaxation and calmness. You work where you work, you play where you play and you sleep where you sleep.
I thought my PM was serious, like he had said if you work later the lights are on longer, the computer is on longer and well your suppose to be doing work. I often come back to the office after my Monday group runs and just answer some e-mails, do some things work related stuff and sometimes get ahead…but most of the time I’m either preparing for the next newsletter or doing something running related.
I knew he was joking, although everyone from my office is intrigued about my running habits. It’s quite interesting and nice to hear my co-workers stand behind me and just feel intrigued about how they are interested in my life.
“So, when is your next marathon?” “Where is the next destination?”
But anyways, I went on my run…led the Monday night crew with AE and divided up into two groups. We did the usual loop course around Battery Park, it was a very fast group that came tonight, ended in the little park to stretch out. Hopefully stretches will become more and more accustomed to the Flyer tradition.
No more injury! Well, I am injured and wish I am 100%...gosh when were those days?
Hmm…why do I wake up so damn early to take pictures of my teammates? I wonder that too sometimes, when I can get 8 hours of sleep, a nice relaxing weekend…and no running involved? Yeah, people that truly know me know that this is never true. I for once have to say that I should take time off from running, I should listen to my own self and really completely get away and put it off for a month. Maybe I will listen to myself…till after the marathon….with exceptions of course.
I do it because I really like to do it. I was born with a camera in my hand. I always had a fascination of an eye for cameras and taking pictures. I do it because I love the moment that is framed and you will never get back again. Time is timeless and in pictures you capture that time. It’s like your message in a bottle, history that is made and that has gone by. Every minute passes you by and every second is lost…I take pictures because it captures the moment in time that you will never get back in your life or you will forget.
Many friends I have gone to the beach with this weekend asked me why I would not just put down my camera and just run my race in a marathon. Just get it over with and define the glory, rather than the pictures. My camera is my moment in time where I will never get back again. I take pictures for the club because people like the running moments that enraptures them running in that particular race. I do marathons because I am intrigued by the moment, the place and the experience. Nothing else matters to me. Yes, it would be great to break a 3 hour marathon. I don’t think I can do it, not this year, maybe…but if I don’t then I don’t. I’m not too worried about it….Hopefully it will come eventually.
I have much respect for the distance and as much as everyone should, running a marathon is no piece of cake. Running consistently is not an easy chore. To be able to run a sub 3 hour marathon, you have to train, have to run well and have to be 100%. Well I am not either of these for my next marathon and I sound like a hypocrite for even doing the next 2 weeks of my training for the San Francisco marathon, but it’s another state! If it was any other person that I was taking to, I would say, don’t do the marathon. But who am I kidding, you never listen to yourself!
Pictures are worth a thousand words – it’s everywhere and I don’t know where that came from. But you can image and see something interesting within one picture. One frame of a shutter, one thought could mean one thought to one person, but another thought to the next. The human’s eye to the brain has a very unique thought process.
So why do I get like 5 hours of sleep during the weekend and wake up super early for my team…because I really enjoy it. I do it to do and maybe that’s crazy for some people, but I have to get my 6 miler in as well, so might as well kill two birds with one stone and do things that people enjoy. People can see and people to truly love…pictures!
Started my morning off pretty right, since I was “co” coordinator and since JM was not coming, I figured to get to the destination early. Ok who am I kidding, I am always late, always confused and always trying to get things right. OK…in actuality, I really wanted to go to Macy’s and buy a pair of pants since all of my dress pants have that weird frill in the back where it scrapes against the pavement…yeah I’m one of those pant draggers… but anyways, I arrived thinking that we had to meet at 9:27 instead of thinking correctly that it was 10:27 that the train had left. I went over to the NJ transit side and was so certain that it was Long Beach instead of Long Branch… so I asked the teller where I can get the Long Beach tickets…she stated that there was not Long Beach, there was only Long Branch. This could not be…I was confused…thinking ok…let me call up JM and see…was I wrong? Was she wrong…was I in the right place? As confused as I was, I finally figured it out.
I was so stupid. I went into the wrong place and crossed over to the Long Island side, now thinking correctly Long Beach was in Long Island and that was where we wanted to go to. Duh!
Anyways, I was a bit early, so I figured I would go over to Duane Reade and buy some grub, snacks and suntan lotion. I did that and decided to go and buy my ticket as well, I saw that the line I was standing in wasn’t moving too quickly and there were lines that were moving a whole lot faster. I wondered when people were going to get there, the 10:03 train called, there was a mass exodus for the gate and boy did it crowd up fast! People with umbrellas, beach chairs and all that were just rolling with activity. It was absolutely nuts…then my first friend called…wheew at least I can hang out with someone! Runner26 was online but it took me forever to find her, then JS, then Landmarks…so all of us were there that we knew of…we scrambled for the train…it was the last call and we ran…good thing we were runners.
I tried to look for an empty standing room place, Landmarks just told me to get on…so I jumped into the next one…Then I receive a phone call from JM. She tells me that she is on the train as well, wheew, really? I thought she was going to catch it from Brooklyn. I told her that the train was absolutely packed and there was no way possible that we could meet. I call out the numbers to the train cab that we were in and to look for us, but I like zero hope in finding where she was. She asks me if there was a guy in a green hat and a blue shirt…I look around and well there was a guy in a green hat and a blue shirt right next to us. I was like…what the coincidences are in that…I walk down the isle and there she was just sitting in a seat! Holly cow…what are the chances in that? Anyways, she came over to stand with us as we chatted about almost anything from running, life and travel.
We finally arrived at Long Beach where everyone got out, the train took us straight over. We decided to get lunch before hand, everyone went to get healthy and natural stuff at the Pita Grill, while I wandered over to Burger King and got my Triple stacker with three stacks of patty’s, bacon and sauce, French Fries and Hi-C as a drink…yes, very bad for me…I know. So finally we got to the beach…FINALLY! We decided to get a spot where people could find us, right next to the big large mound near the Life guards…hey, it was entertainment and free music that they were listening to.
The funny thing was that we each took out our magazines which involved 6 months back loggin, for some, to read…and this was the only time to read all of it…it was hilarious though, each and every one of us are subscribed to Runners World and we all took out our running magazines to read. Are we running dorks? I mean seriously now! But it was hilarious though…I’ll just write a blog about just that!
I was suppose to go running on the sandy beaches, the waves just splashing up in your face and cooling you down. I didn’t. The crowds were way too massive and I got quite the workout by itself just trying to keep my footing against the waves. The sun definitely drained us all as we road back by train…in all we got a free ride on the train to and from the city.
There is nothing like spending time with some Flyers, and great friends rather than running buddies to pass the weekend sun on the beach with. They are a great crew and I like spending time with each and every one of them.
“Brian Hsia will be admiring the building that he built while doing the NYC marathon”
Well, at least one of the two have been clearly accomplished and the second one will certainly not be even close to being accomplished unless I purposely decide to win the lottery and buy a lot of land along the NYC marathon route. Either that or make a small model along the way of the marathon and have my friends have this along side of them so my splendors of accomplishing my 20 year superlative be accomplished.
Simple truth, I have always known that I was a fast runner. During my soccer days of growing up, I had always been the one to run for the ball. I always used my speed for a clear advantage over skill. In intermediate school during our battle in field day, I had always been NUMBER 2…to a much faster kid in our grade. CC had been my arch rival when growing up. We had been friends, but still we had been arch nemesis’s always battling it out to the finish. My competitive nature has always gotten the best of me, but I was always second. I was lucky though that we had been on the same team in our first grade class where we clearly beat out all the other classes in the team’s event of our “4X1,” But I have always been the runner up, until CC left and moved out of our small town.
I stuck with soccer and never developed myself into a cross country runner. During high school I joined track during the spring time as a freshman and was placed under some X events in the 100 meter dash. The X events were those who were not even deemed to be scored and never had a chance against the faster runners who went on to run in the quarters, semi’s and finals. I stuck with it and later on developed myself to being stronger and faster. As fall seasons came about and JR year started, the varsity level of soccer deemed too challenging for me as the coach simply came up to me and said that I would be a bench warmer. I did not want to be a bench warmer for soccer and simply gave it up and joined the cross country team to get ready for the track seasons. I was never a long distance runner and only had small bursts of speed. The track coach got me to stay on during the winter time to enhance my technique even further and help my teammates.
During my Junior year in high school my teammates of mainly people within my grade had developed a strong bond from our first two years. The comradery had developed to a true winning team and we had a good chance to being one of the best teams in our county. The key players had only to win some key points and with a few people and the team support of a few points here and there, it would be a close race with other teams that have won in the past.
Sprinting was my thing and over the past two years of development, I had changed from being a “X” runner to being a runner up in our league to being in contention of league, county and section champion. But that didn’t develop over night and the clear determination of staying after practice to develop form, technique and pure enjoyment of the sport. The working hard attitude in accomplishing a certain goal was in the far reaches of what I would be able to accomplish.
First the 100 comes the goals of PRing, correct form, working hard during practices and pushing to be the top. Then came winning league, county and section. Then after those came around only in my final two years came confidence in believing in yourself and knowing that you are good. Knowing the factors of being at your best and running races and knowing that you are favored to getting into the finals, when you can just sprint for 75 meters and turn everything off to maintain energy. But I knew that I have worked from being that X runner to where I was at and knowing the factor of self individualism of the sport. When joking around with your friend at one minute before the race to knodding your head and relaxing when the ref said, “Your Marks”….Set…..
Everything goes clear, and your mind goes blank….then you hear the crack of the gun go off and your body just explodes.
You react as others react just slightly slower than you and your feet just run like hell, but your form stays within motion. You run down the strip, the lane in which you are enclosed and the line becomes closer and closer as every second, every millisecond counts. It defines you from getting a PR to losing the race, anything can happen.
The 100 meter dash was what I had worked hard for all my high school career. Our coach would always give us a packet at the end of the year on the history of our track tradition, the history of where you rank amongst the long list of people ahead of you and their times that rank higher than you. As each year passed I climbed the latter of reaching the pinnacle of one goal. One goal of having the school record standing at 11.1 seconds…and that final year as I rose up into captaincy, I climbed that latter of understanding
Runners on the other hand have tenacious passion, commitment that will run any race to try to win and inspiration. They try to push their limits to any level and enhance our abilities, health and intellect with a purpose. We run to run in a community of people to enhance our knowledge in the sport, to enhance ourselves and to help others within our sport as well. We have the social aspect, the fitness aspect, the knowledgeable aspect and the self concerned aspect that makes runners, runners.
But what is it that make runners the true being that we are? I do believe that we run with purpose, we have passion and we have commitment. This is the reason why we run in all different kinds of weather, this is the reason why we run marathons, half marathons or even pesky run your heart out 5K’s. But we run with the passion that we are thinking we will get our personal record (PR) and we run with that mentality of always trying to do our best. That’s what makes us a runner. But this should not define us differently than a “jogger”…I would say that we all have our off days or a recover days where we are “jogging” in a not your usual pace deal. Why differentiate the difference of jogging and running. I would say that we jog to jog and some people they like the terminology of a jogger, but racers and runners, I can see why we don’t like being called joggers because jogging is a generic term of a “stroll” and no one likes to be demoted…especially runners!
Being group leader though takes time. You have to be very cautious about the people in back of you, the consistency of staying in back so that no one is left behind…no matter what pace it is. I am not meaning to say that there are slow runners, I’m just saying that you have to be cautions and responsible for people that are involved in the group run. You are the leader, you have to be the person that hangs…but it’s your responsibility for the rest of the people in the group. I have a whole lot of respect for group leaders and am trying to learn what they do each and every week…they sacrifice their runs for everyone else ahead of them. People ahead really don’t know what is going on, we just usually run in a group and those people who want to run ahead could run ahead, which I usually do. I mean I usually get a good workout on Monday group runs due to CD, who keeps me on pace and I use it as a tempo run.
But I have a whole lot of respect for our group leaders. I know the sacrifices that they give toward other people. It’s amazing and more and more people want to be a group leader. It’s strange because there is the “power” that you have where you get to meet people and have ownership of “your” run, but really you are sacrificing a whole lot more than that, your sacrificing: time, practice, and training. You have to endure the cold, heat, wind, rain…anything that Mother Nature brings to you. Regular runners have the choice to go out; running leaders have to be out there to see if people are out there because of the responsibility.
Anyways, we rounded out usual Monday group run from 14th to Battery Park down across the Staten Island ferry and over and out to the South Street Seaport Pier…there you can see all the 4 different waterfalls in motion. 2 in Brooklyn, 1 in Manhattan and one on Staten Island…the group stayed there a little while and then headed over to Jerry’s Ale house where we got the most greasiest food ever and the bartender screamed out our names…it was a great night…
That reminds me, I have to stretch now…
I have been taking the week or rather two weeks off to heal. My left Achilles or rather calf muscle has been really tight and has bothered me for a year now and since I have time in between, I gave my legs a rest since I have probably ran about 1,000 + miles for this half of the year. It’s been good though and in the past 3 months I really recognized that running is not everything. Although I have also realized that running is a huge part of my life and I need to share that with someone in order to have a sane relationship with someone.
But anyways, back to the whole meeting up with the family. My family usually meets all together whenever my sister is in town. But yes, I got out of bed and went straight to the bus station where I JUST MISSED THE BUS! Arg! Sucks.
Ahh!! All the time...I go home there is something that I seem to get in trouble about...we seemed to get lunch with the family and then went back into the city again to meet up with friends...the July 4th fireworks were going on tonight and I met up with AD and SM who were in town from Denver...SM accompanied AD back from Colorado as AD found a job in Boston for next year.
Alright...so the plan was to get some food and go down towards the waterfront in Brooklyn. Althought it was clearly going to rain or cloudy with wind. As I met up with AD and SM in Union Square, I needed to go home and change & collect my things for the night.
Well a new group run started on the east side, which was initiated by Davey. Davey had great plans to start up an early starting east side running group that started at 6am in the morning. Man, the only excuse that I would have is that it started out too early, but the conveniencey factor and how I got to Yoga each Wednesday…didn’t cut it really. This was geared for tempo runs, where I should be getting use to the fact of running so early in the morning for marathons and especially for the next in coming marathon of San Francisco, which starts so damn early.
Anyways, JS and RD were there and we rounded out a good 6 person first virgin run. If they were not there, I would have been still snoozing in my bed due to the fact of me just liking to run after work…and getting more sleep. I am usually not a morning person to run in the mornings even though all races are in the mornings, but it’s a pain to get up and out of the door.
So, the tempo run was good, we stopped at the Manhattan Bridge after starting at the east track…it’s a short spirited tempo run that gets people in gear of what they want. Davey has been stricken with the leadership roll in sacrificing his time for the Monday pace groupings, meanwhile I am allowed to do my tempo runs with CD and have that fast output…and later on during Wednesdays it’s the opposite for me, where these days are more for resting…yoga and other work.
But in all, it was a good run of a good 5 miles.
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 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 located here: (http://www.nyrr.org/about/50_videos/index.asp) 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.
The Japan Day 5-Miler started the celebration, kicking off the many short races that the NYRR holds during the summertime. The celebration continued with a 5:30am wake-up call of a FREE scored race to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. This 5-mile race was capped at 5,000 runners although, due to the rain, only 1,800 crazy runners showed up to race (52 of them Flyers). The Mini 10K ended the weeklong celebration, bringing prestigious, world-renown runners to Central Park, including the three Women’s Marathon athletes representing the U.S. in Beijing: Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Blake Russell. The NYRR strives to make New York City one of the best running cities in the world—and this week there was no doubt.
It’s unbelievable to think that the NYRR has grown from around 40 members to more than 45,000 in just 50 years. And that races once run around Yankee Stadium in the Bronx have evolved to almost-weekly races in Central Park, not to mention one of the largest marathons in the world on the first Sunday in November.
The NYRR has come a long way since 1958, so let’s take a quick look at our great running club through the decades in these excerpts from the NYRR’s Celebrating 50 Years of Running:
Founded in 1958, the NYRR elected Olympian Ted Corbitt as its first president. Races drew small but dedicated fields of competitors; the concept of “recreational” running did not yet exist.
NYRR races remained tiny by today’s standards; a field of 100 was rare. Virtually no women took part, though NYRR always welcomed them. In 1962, the first Bob Preston 5-Mile took place—11 laps around Yankee Stadium. The winner was Pete McArdle, the namesake of an NYRR 15K cross country race now held annually in Van Cortlandt Park.
This decade of tremendous growth saw Fred Lebow co-founding the NYC Marathon in 1970 and taking the race to the streets in 1976 with 2,090 runners, including an elite international field. Women became a force: The first “Mini” took place in 1972, the same year that female NYC Marathon entrants held a sit-down strike to protest the inequality of a separate women’s start.
Lebow invited the world’s best to New York for the Fifth Avenue Mile (founded in 1981), the NYC Marathon, the Mini, and other NYRR events. Champions here became famous the world over, and the victories of repeat winners like Alberto Salazar and Grete Waitz are now the stuff of legends.
Lebow, in remission from cancer, finished the 1992 NYC Marathon alongside nine-time champion Grete Waitz. Allan Steinfeld became NYRR’s president and the marathon race director after Lebow’s death in 1994, the same year that Tegla Loroupe and German Silva won the marathon (both repeated in 1995).
Races in this decade have featured the world’s best in thrilling down-to-the-wire duels. Mary Wittenberg helped inaugurate the NYC Half-Marathon Presented by NIKE; the race has brought tens of thousands (including superstar Haile Gebrselassie) to Manhattan’s streets.
The NYRR is breaking down the 50 Greatest Moments in NYRR History by posting short videos chronicling our sport’s past to their website every day: http://www.nyrr.org/about/50_videos/index.asp. World records, famous races, and runners from all over the world have brought unforgettable moments to NYC. From marathons to 1-milers, each clip is an inspiration and may even motivate you to strive for your own greatness.