1/31/09

Awards gala...


"I'm not sure that I can describe what has been called the "runner's high," but like poetry and beauty, I know it when I experience it." MATTHEW SHAFNER

The time has come to finally switch reigns. As I get ready for the gala and a quick shower, I have yet to take a nap after my 22 miler. Opps! How will I ever make it through the night! I change into my tux, not my kilt though this year, I wanted to try something different where I would have a vest and attempt to have a mohawk...or european mohawk like Beckham. Oh yes, and the original bowtie...don't forget that, since I had practiced about two weeks before just to learn this new trick of the trade. I left my apartment to go to Rocketman's and J will meet us there as well. I was early although I started to blog about my past blogs just to catch up and whenever I have down time to catch up. I had remembered to get a thank you card that was returned to me to give to the Nelson's(which I had failed to give to them) but returned to my apartment and came back to see that rocketman was waiting for me in the lobby and J soon came after. We took a cab, strolled in with other Flyers..and the rest of the night...drinking, eating and dancing!
Awards: Although I had been nominated for marathoner of the year, the awards committee had taken my advice to award this to...Michael Hirsch. His 2:45 marathon PR was far superior to my 3:00:09 (which was strikingly the second fastest marathon time for the guys) I was honored, although little peaved, but knew it was the right thing to do.

The award that I really had been waiting for was the President's award given to James from SS...she really did not think at all that she was going to receive an award and she was completely surprised. Ahh!! The known factor of keeping a secret from james was tough, because most of my friends know that I can't keep secrets!

Anyways, it was a tough decision to make but I had to give the decision to CW, whom ihad aged out of my age group. Was I deserving? I don't know, hard to say because I had the second best time in the marathon and CW only runs short races...how do you compare a long distance runner to a short distance specialist?

Other minor difficulties, TB knew that she deserved Most Improved, but was not chosen...I tried to explain to her that it was hard to chose just one person. As I, she was upset because well it's an honor...but James told me that deep down you don't need an award or plaque telling yourself that you did well...you yourself know deep down that you did well this year and have accomplished enough.

In all...it was a great night...absolutely great night!

Umm...yes, as well of two photos of me...one photo I had mooned the entire club with my pink underwear and the flyers logo on my butt...

The second I am in my pink underwear with The Kail as we posed in underwear at the lovely event...

Saturday Social Hour…

"The advice I have for beginners is the same philosophy that I have for runners of all levels of experience and ability - consistency, a sane approach, moderation and making your running an enjoyable, rather than dreaded, part of your life." BILL RODGERS', Lifetime Running Plan


So thinking I was going to go up to the park, run a loop and come back down to get ready for the Awards Gala tonight. I end up seeing GW at Engineers Gate, IJ not too far along from there, LH running a few laps around, while I had seen her. Continuing on towards the bottom of the park, I see TB and MF running together, I run back with them for a little while and then continue running counter clockwise.

Then a guy just sits in the back of me as if I was pacing him in a race. Sitting, is what I like to call a person who runs the same pace as you do, but really drafts next to you or in back of you. As a runner, this is annoying because a person’s footsteps can be very loud and for me, I usually like to run my pace and not get annoyed when I run. He comes up next to me and he just sits there…then I ask him how he is doing…ends up, that it was Andres (or whatever his name was, from the plane trip coming back with me to Miami with the girl that ran the Half Marathon) but I couldn’t believe it was him. Since he had told me he was from Long Island and that he only ran in central park on Sunday’s I couldn’t believe it…what are the chances right?

Anyways, he was busting my ass and I had already ran 8 miles as we pounded out Harlem Hill. I was lucky to have ran into MT, who I haven’t seen in a while and tapped her on the shoulder. I told Andres, to go on ahead and I didn’t want to slow him down. I told him that I was going to stop at Engineers Gate and then he got my drift. He went the other way, as I chatted with MT…It was good because I never really got to know MT that well and she’s going to be with us and her husband to the Hood to Coast Trip. We ran into someone from Oregon or washington that was writing an article about the Ryan Shay case and she was wondering where he had fallen. We bring her to the spot and told her to check out the benches...which she was looking for the quote that I still can not find.

We strolled down to the bottom of Central Park and then back up towards Engineers Gate again to NYRR where she was picking up her number for the race tomorrow. Crazy!

Anyways, by that time, I had see that I was at mile 16…I had to run home! I ended up running home and chilling out…boy, I had not expected to run 20 miles today…and the awards gala is tonight!

1/30/09

Catching "kara"

"You were born to run. Maybe not that fast, maybe not that far, maybe not as efficiently as others. But to get up and move, to fire up that entire energy-producing, oxygen-delivering, bone-strengthening process we call running." FLORENCE GRIFFITH JOYNER and JON HANC, Running For Dummies

Last night I was suppose to go see Kara Gaucher and Bernard Lagat, but due to lasting secretary transitioning...I had to cut that from the schedule.

I was bummed a little, but had to just move on. I thought about where the HELL my long sleeve Boston shirt is though...which I can not find at all.

I went out for a run this morning to clear my mind from it. All I could think about was the constant of where I had put it...but if that was all I really cared about right now, life is pretty good.

I tried to forget about it, and by that time I got to underneath the brooklyn bridge. I had really been just taking it easy and not really thinking too much about my running as I had to ease back into my pace...but wait...I spot this female runner with tights, brown pony tail and fliece vest. She was moving...

Ok, no one trains really that hard, especially for a lady(not saying I don't respect you lasies out there...) I thought about my chances to see if it was Kara...she fit the description pretty well from the backside. All these things come running through my head, such as if I do catch up to her, where to I get a pen to have her autograph? I start searching the ground for a pen that someone lost. I am thinking, where does she sign if I do get a pen? On some apparel or my skin? That would make no sense at all. So I finally think about if it was her, to first confirm it was her, then if I was running along side of her to go into a duane reade and buy a sharpie or something...then get her to sign on this free keychain I had receive last year at the Boston Marathon... since after all, Kara will be at the boston marathon this year. Anyways, I passed the staten Island Ferry Terminal and low and behold, she was gone...I had thought that she had taken a turn and I was out of luck.

I continued to my usual route and when I turned to the boardwalk out looking at the statue of liberty, I had found her once again.
I pushed and as she rounded, I followed..but seriously I checked out my watch and my "slow recovery run" turned into actual race pace. I was determined though and as I went by the little alcove with the wooden bridge (the bridge was closed and she took the low road, as I took the high point to see her at her side...- finally found that it was not her...


Uh! All this time. So I caught up and then basically could have wized by her, but bravely spoke out and probably thought I was a dope! My lips werwe frozen and I slured a little, but I asked her if she usually runs at this pace and if she was training for anything? A person does not run that fast just for fun..

What I found was that her name was Hanna and she was originally from Portland, living in the Soho region. She was not on a team and ran in college...but runs recreationally for fun. She doesn't do more than 6 miles. As we ran next to each other we chatted and I complimented on her pace. I told her that I thought she was Kara and told her that I had thought she was warming up for the milrose games later on tonight...

Anyways, she turned off in lower manhattan as I quickly turned from speedy to a recreational pace...then thought to myself to just run....run quick and fast to continue the speed that I was going at...

By the end when I reached the streets to do my sprint workouts and final avenue runs. I was exhausted from running with her. I barely made it back....

Ahhh!! It was a good trip, hopefully I will meet up with Hanna again...but unfortunately it was not Kara...

1/29/09

Thursday Ten mile toppler...‏

"Every time I have a personal or work problem, I go for a run." FRED LEBOW

I have off this whole entire week, which means I was on vacation and could relax and run and do whatever I needed to gain my sanity back.

I needed a long run to clear my head out. Running to me makes me feel like I am on cloud 9. There is a certain levels of completeness whenever I do run. This feeling of nothing-ness, where you have nothing around you that will make you do wrong. A feeling of control, a feeling that for that time you will not be disrupted by: cell phone, a computer, or any other communication device.

We are in a world of technology, and rarely get this chance to shut everything off. Running is my time, and I guess that is my selfishness.

I decided to run from east to west to east again doing my normal friday runs that I have now been doing so often. It was a good run, fast, long (just the right distance) and flat. It had snowed a little on Wednesday, where I needed another day of rest in between to recover. Slowly recovery and stretching, that is the key to getting back.

I decided to do more than the expected, where I would go out on piers...but here is the kicker...I made it throught the icy conditions of the first three piers, rounding the lst one, I can see maybe that I would fall...or at least skid into the rail. I feel a slight slip, but hold my arm out to catch the rail since I had thought I was going straight in...thinking ok, let's not topple over into the hudson...or let"s not skid into the rail and go straight over the top over the rail.

I am thinking...oh shit! Then, all of a sudden, wham! I just fall straight down. My sneakers did not catch and the side of my shoe or forces were pretty much forced me to slide downward. I fall hard and it REALLY HURT!

I saw that there was a guy right near me and it must have been pretty funny to him. But I got up, and laughed it off...it was pretty funny, but it HURT a whole lot! I couldn't believe it. I continue on and slightly have a limp and bruise on my hip bone and elbow...ouch that hurt...

Continue on...trying not to think of my stupidity and aches...

1/27/09

Getting out the lactic acid...‏

"I put it in historical perspective. This is our heritage; our evolutionary gift, dating back to our days as hunters and gatherers." STU MITTLEMAN

Usually you are suppose to take a few days off for rest after the marathon. Now for me, I usually like to run 2 days after a marathon to take out all the lactic acid out of my legs that makes the legs feel like they are stiff and heavy. To do this, I usually like to run for about 30 minutes to relieve the muscles from the pain.

My route? Yes, I was going to go on the east side and run that route, but I decided to stay with the roads and streets. I went down 2nd ave where at a stop light I find a runner coming up right on the side of me. SHE, yes I do like my snow bunnies during the winter time, went and I followed. I was not stalking her, I was going at the same relaxed pace that I had wanted to and she was going on hers. I went down to houstin street and we parted, then met back up on canal...weird huh?

I then decided to take canal street across to the west side and then went up towards 14th or rather up to 23rd street...then back across again...

Taking my time, the muscles are shot and achie, but they should recover in time...

Everything is in moderation...each body is different and I know my own...which is why I needed to run today.

31 days to make Amy H go to the Gala...

"Running is defined as the fastest means for an animal to move on foot." Wikipedia.com

So I tried to get Amy Hoffman (one of the dearest sweetest gals) also on my reach the beach team this year, to go to the NY FLYERS awards gala...but by day 28...with 4 days left...it didn't happen...
Day one of 31 days in asking you (amy h) different ways of going to the awards gala:
Day 1 - So you signing up for the awards gala?
Day 2 - a reason to buy a nice formal dress…
Day 3 – Another use your old wedding dresses?
Day 4 - When else do you see runners all dressed up other than running gear?
Day 5 - Hey, we're the Flyers, we have a good time...
Day 6 - A reunion of everyone from our Reach the Beach team...
Day 7 – Is Yan going?
Day 8 - so, if Yan is not going...you will have a flyer event without Yan...what a relief! I am kidding though!
Day 9 – Where else do you get to go to a black tie event?
Day 10 – Good food, good conversation, good friends, good drinks…it’s got everything!
Day 11 – It’s a running event. BUT your not running!
Day 12 – Oh god Amy! 20 more reasons to go to the awards gala? You serious? I’ll keep truckin’
Day 13 – Instead of running shoes, you can go in a nice pair of heels…
Day 14 – Trade dri-fit for silk or satin or whatever dresses are made of…
Day 15 – Do you wear your jewelry when you run? See, this is a good time to bring out the bling!
Day 16 – What else do you have to do that night? Wash your hair? Do laundry? Have other friends?
Day 17 – Running consumes us once in a while. Ok Ok, all the time! Why not be with people who embrace our addictiveness?
Day 18 – Ok, yes, you have a life. I don’t. The day 17 only applies to me.
Day 19 – Did you make any New Year resolutions amy? If one of your new year’s resolutions was to try something different, why not go to the awards party. That is different? I think this awards party can facilitate any new year’s resolution.
Day 20 – Change is around the corner Amy, Are you changing with the times? Change with the running community and come out to the Awards Gala…
Day 21 – in the spirit of President Obama, , I think the President wants to you go to the awards party…
Day 22 - why run with friends in the cold, at the awards gala you're in a warm space and a warm environment...oh did I say alcohol as well?
Day 23 - It's Friday meaning you have a week to go to get your dress, heels or whatever...or you can reuse your old dresses...wheew! What? 7 more to go? Home stretch, here we go! (these better be good...)

Day 24 – Totally going to drop the ball on these 31 days for Amy Hoffman to go to the Awards Party due to my absence…thought we have 7 days to get your primed and ready to sign up and go go go!
If you don’t know which hair style to come in, wear any hair style…we’re use to seeing you run with your hat, so letting the hair loose would be different

Day 25 – Instead of being cold running the Manhattan Half, you could think of other ways to celebrate with running friends like going to the awards party!!! At least it’s warmer…a whole lot warmer.
Day 26 – In the spirit of Chinese New Year, Gong Hay Fat Choy (meaning Happy New Year!), it’s the year of the Ox, or cow…I’m not BULL sh*tin’ yea amy, it’s going to be a good time…

Day 27 – I finally caught up, you still have 4 more days to decide…if you still don’t have anything to wear…we’re all runners, we appreciate you coming in a tech t-shirt and shorts and running shoes…whatever! Seriously…you could have just came back from a work out and no one would care.

Day 28 – Still don’t see your name listed on the people who will be attending the awards gala…am I getting any closer?

In the spirit of today being Wednesday (hump day) unsure if you are still single or not Amy, but if you are…Here it goes: you’re a lovely lady…very chill…who knows, you may get lucky that night!




By GINA KOLATA
Published: September 26, 2008



It’s the fall marathon season, as runners around the world know all too well, and as the training miles pile up, countless runners are feeling unexpected aches and pains — and desperation. Will they recover in time to continue training and run 26.2 miles? Should they try to run through the pain to stay on schedule? Or would it be better to just give up on the marathon?

From Injury to the Olympics, Radcliffe Shares How She Made It Back (September 27, 2008)

Well, injured runners, I feel your pain. I am one of you, the anxious masses of aspiring marathoners who are finding out that the journey to the start line may be more painful than the run to the finish.

I am entered in the New York City Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 2, and in my moments of pain and panic I knew I would never be ready. But I tried just about any remedy that might relieve the pain in my right forefoot, which has been screaming with each step since Sept. 8.
I wanted to run through it, but even though I can tolerate pain, this was something else. Excruciating.


What to do? Giving up on the marathon was never an appealing option. So I entered the world of injured but determined runners.

My marathon plans began in July 2007, when I found a distance running coach, Tom Fleming, who won the New York City Marathon twice, in 1973 and 1975. And I found friends to run with.
A year ago, I ran in a half-marathon in Philadelphia and loved it. As soon as registration for the New York marathon opened, I signed up. So did my son and so did my friend and running partner, Jennifer Davis, who has run more than two dozen marathons and races beyond 26.2 miles, including a 100-mile race last winter, which she won. She entered the New York race so we could run together, and she said she would keep me on pace.


Her commitment only added to the desperation factor when I was injured and could not run.
So I sent an e-mail message to Chris Martin, a triathlete who lives in Lawrenceville, N.J. Earlier this year, he sustained a stress fracture in his shin and could not run for three months. Three months later, he had a personal best in an Ironman triathlon.


How did he do it? Pool running, he said, which maintained the running “feel,” along with intense workouts on an elliptical cross-trainer to maintain cardiovascular fitness. In pool running, the athlete wears a flotation belt to remain upright and runs for an hour or more in the deep end of a pool.

He cautioned that “it is really easy to slack and barely get a decent workout.” He wore a heart-rate monitor in the pool to measure his effort, recognizing that heart rates are about 15 percent lower in the water. That is because the heart does not have to work as hard against gravity to pump blood. And he typically ran for at least an hour at a time.

Martin, though, is not entirely won over. “The bottom line is that the water running and training on the elliptical running machines were stopgap measures to limit the damage to my running fitness,” he wrote.

Dr. Alan Garber, a professor of medicine and economics at Stanford University, tried a similar routine. His injury was torn ligaments in his ankle, sustained when he stumbled on a tree root while running down a steep hill.

Garber entertained himself in the pool by listening to music and recorded books on his iPod, including the entire unabridged version of “War and Peace.” When he got back on the road, he said, he could run, but his quadriceps were weak when he ran downhill. Still, he prevailed, running the Big Sur International Marathon just four months after his injury.

“My time (3:26) was only one minute slower than the year before,” he wrote in an e-mail message.

So I joined a gym (my third) solely for its pool. Jen belongs to that gym, too. She and I began pool running, jumping into the pool with our running clothes and shoes on just after doing the elliptical.

“I’m determined to get you ready for that marathon,” Jen said.

She proposed a trifecta — as soon as I can run, I’ll go as far as I can with her, then we will hop on the ellipticals and work out long enough to attain two and a half hours of training. Then we will plunge into the pool and run there.

But after two weeks my foot was getting worse. I rode 100 kilometers (or about 62 miles) on my road bike Sunday. On Monday, I could walk only on the side of my foot. On Monday night, I could walk only on my heel.

On Tuesday, I gave up and saw an orthopedist, Dr. John Kennedy at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

He gave me the bad news. The bike ride was really bad for the injury. And the injury, he says, is a serious stress fracture, a hairline crack in a metatarsal bone of my foot. Even under the best scenario, I’m out for at least a few more weeks — the only exercise allowed is swimming, not even pool running, not even the elliptical.

In the meantime, I’ve deployed yet another weapon in my fight against marathon-training pain: a portable ultrasound machine that is supposed to speed bone healing by 40 percent.
Even if that works, the New York marathon is no longer within reach.


But there is a marathon in Jacksonville, Fla., at the end of December. Jen said she would run it with me.

1/26/09

Happy Chinese New Year!

"Exercise is done against one's wishes and maintained only because the alternative is worse." GEORGE SHEEHAN

To cut things short, we awoke pretty early since NC and I didn’t hit it out of the town in South Beach and just chilled on the patio instead. It was nice, just getting to know NC a little better where we had some talks on the patio and talks on the beach…We woke up early, tried to tidy up for MD by cleaning her towels, bed sheets and vacuumed the floors. We left the apartment and drove MD’s car to the airport where NC would leave first and I had totally forgotten that my flight was later in the day…promising my parents that I would be back for Chinese New Year dinner with the family. Boy, did I get in trouble!

Leaving Miami on a Monday was CRAZY. All the ships sailed back on Monday so everything was booked up. I tried to switch into NC’s flight, but oh well…without avail, I could not. I strolled around the airport a few times and tired to answer as many e-mails as possible. I kept busy.

I spotted a crew of people who probably just did the marathon or half marathon. They are young and well, there was a bunch of people. I talk to a couple who had just completed their first marathon…both of them did it. Wow, quite an accomplishment. Although, they were not bit by the bug, they had told me that they would never do a marathon again. I mean it’s right …it’s a hit or miss and marathons are not for everyone. Although I still stand by my point, I believe anyone can do a marathon if they put their heart into it.

I enter the plane and there is another person who comes in to congratulate the couple. He had just done the marathon himself and I congratulate him. He asks me a bunch of questions and we end up sitting in back of one another. JG ended up hearing all about my Coach Brian side of things and I offered advise…although believe that I am a giver in advise, but a total hypocrite in any advice that I dish out…well sometimes. Every runner is different and I regurgitate what I read and know what is right, so my body and as a different runner, I believe that I give the “average” runner’s advice to people. I believe that as a runner you can take any advice and ask as many questions as possible to things to learn. It really is up to you to take it and try it or leave it or not use it, if it does not work for you.

Anyways, there was a couple on the side of me that had done the half marathon. The guy next to me talks to me and both are from Long Island. Well, let’s call him Andres, since I had forgot his name. Andres and I talk about the marathon/half marathon, he’s quite accomplished since he had qualified to get into Boston, and wants to do better as in 2:45 better…which is an amazing time. He’s part of an elite club which probably takes running to another level and he’s trying to accomplish a whole lot. I talk to him and the gal next to him (seems like she is his girlfriend) get’s into a fight with him. She says why does he have to talk about running all the time. She’s quite a good runner as well as she just ran the half marathon in a great time. I settle down and let them duke it out as I didn’t want to get in any part with them. It was a weird time to sit next to a couple (runners) and not talk about running and not engage in a conversation. But once we flew off, we were at it again. I knew something was up with the couple and I tried to engage in a conversation with Noelle (which is the girls name).

In the end, it was a weird plane trip, but alright. I had to jet off after the plane trip. I said my goodbyes and had a good conversation with JG in inviting him to the group run on Monday nights. Hopefully he will come and join as a member. It’s always great to have some new members in our club. I had to race from the airport, to air train, to subway, to port authority bus terminal, to bus, to Jersey to my grandmother’s place.

Ahh! Chinese New Year and Gong Hay Fat Choy!

Family and it was good to be back home to see the family. Grandmother was good as she had recognized me. Cousin and I talked while I had eaten dinner and the rest of the family was done with dinner (they didn’t wait for me, and I didn’t expect them to)

It was good to be back home…Happy Chinese New Year!

1/25/09

Miami Marathon - Part II

"To me, the runner's high is a sensational reaction to a great run! It's an exhilarating feeling of satisfaction and achievement." SASHA AZEVEDO

13 more miles to go and I seem to be on pace, the second half seems to be a little more promising although it was not that much of a piece of cake. I had though that going over the causeways and bridges were over, but I stand corrected. We hoped onto a bridge with gretes (I think this is what kills your feet after a while of so many bridges you go over and these gretes are pointy, so they just prickle your feet) when you have ran 13.1 miles already they are not fun. I now understand why the NYC marathon puts carpeting over the Willis Avenue Bridge, and I could sure use the carpeting now.

I see that there is a wheelchair competitor that just went over the bridge, although is it a wheelchair competitor? He had no legs and was on a “board” …at first I had thought that it was one of the volunteers just going down the “bridge” with his skateboard (Actually when I was little, my cousin and I use to roll down our huge street on skateboards thinking we were lugist…boy we were stupid…really!) But no, it was a handicap racer who had pads on his hands and was doing this whole entire marathon with his arms…DAMN! I really shouldn’t complain now. I scream out, “Go ACHILIES!” that is amazing and brings to wonder if you would continue this sport even though you had something like that go against you…It takes a whole lot to come back like that.

I stroll on, trying to keep pace and going in and out of developments and residential communities. The water stations are pretty bare here and they are not excited, the crowd support is just as bare due to everyone doing the half marathon. Keep trucking…that’s all I tell myself. In this whole time I keep thinking different things such as, “damn, I forgot to pack up my sandals in my bag…I usually pack up sandals for after the race…what happened there?

At mile 16, I see MD or rather hear MD first. I love MD’s family, where MR. D ran the Vermont City Marathon with me (as it was his first marathon, and probably his last) and that was back two May’s ago in 2007. I didn’t expect to see Meggie there because she told me that she was going to be at Mile 20, so this was very unexpected. All I could say to her when I saw her was, “MY CAMERA BROKE!” I was upset and she knew that. All she could say was, “Oh man! I forgot to bring my camera!” it was ok…I just like taking photos with people that I stay with and it brings a little more personable experience to the whole trip. I stop, take a picture and go again…in a way it’s a stop and go, but it’s exciting for me.

There was the Chicago incident, where it was my first marathon that I had decided to do this since in college I had perfected this whole take a picture by myself of me and another person…(I took a picture at a different setting and event with my entire Architecture class) it came our pretty cool as a collage and a challenge – which I was thinking of doing this year with different people from my running club. Anyways, the whole Chicago thing failed with Kimmy (AD’s roommate from freshman year – which I was going to stay at her place, although my sister tagged along and then I got a hotel instead) so no stopping…but meggie was creative. I kept strolling along as the miles kept coming. Mile 16 was tough as I could feel my legs finally feeling some exhaustion. It may have been the amount of miles that I had done to prepare myself for this race, or just the speed that I had been going at, but the fun had finally ended and started to keep pushing.

At mile 18 or so, I get really confused when we enter a town square, there are cones on one side and I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to go right or left…no one directed me which was strange and I spent a little more energy getting confused. I went right and later on found that we circled around. The little town had a coffee place, where people just sat outside and drank their coffee, tea and at their morning bagel or eggs…it was cute and some cheered the marathoners on. It was like the Tour De France where people are just chilling and having an event for that city that it goes through…

Although being on the other side was a different story. It was nearing mile 20 and your long miles at that pace for me was rather grueling. The people cheered, it brought a smile to my face and at one point I even said to them, “Do you mind me coming over and having breakfast with you?”…Again, I was having fun with it and I wished I had my camera to snap that photo of people just chilling with a morning meal.
I left that with a smile and knew that I had been enduring more and more pain since the breakage point will follow…Mile 20, everyone dies at Mile 20…that’s when you hit the “wall”…although I have felt it coming, I had to stay focused and just keep going.

Mile 20 brought a rather unpleasant experience where there was a water stop. The people giving the water stop were African American KIDS…I say that lightly because they were teenagers or even young adults, but sure did act like kids. I was not happy. These kids decided that it was funny to basically move back and forth while giving out water. They would even go as far as moving the water (when you grab it) out of the way so it’s like a “not fast enough” move. I was lucky to get water from those who were not playing around, although I really was unhappy with the people they had chosen to “volunteer” for the job and play around like that…especially at mile 20 where losing your concentration like that can and will falter the remaining 6 miles left…and those are a long 6 miles. I told this to NC and she said, what you didn’t do anything? She suggested that I should have spit my water or even throw my water back at them…In hindsight, I really should have.

Anyways, mile 22 came on quickly as I can hear Meggie again screaming out my name. She got other people to join her as I strolled along side. She had come up with a plan to take a picture with her camera phone as I came back to mile 24…Uh!!! At that point, I had been flirting with danger. I have been on the brinks of getting my time and I knew that I was close and as close as my PR…:09 seconds…I would be devastated if it came down to the point where it was less than nine seconds…but at least it would be a PR right? We strolled out to another causeway and it was getting hot. All can see was this large causeway bump up from the flatness that we had…it was mile 22…would the officials be that cruel and make us go up that causeway? I can see bikers go up, and runners come back from their expenditure, although they wouldn’t be that cruel for us to do that, would they? I see cones out there on the causeway…oh my we are going up….but securely, we did not and we rounded below the causeway to make a U-turn and on our ways back. At Mile 24, I can see my time has elapsed. It was close, but I would have to literally run 6:30’s to the finish line and endure such pain…there would be no give up point. I rounded the corner where Meggie’s friend was as she had told me that Meggie was around the corner. She had been practicing for the shot as I quickly got in…and then got out. Then all I can hear in the background afterwards is…”GO BRIAN!! GO!!!” My gosh, it probably lasted for about an mile away as I had motivation to keep going…and going hard. I wanted to keep stride, knew I was close…and get as close as possible. I can see other runners done as they helped somewhat and crowds started for form with motivation. How close was the finish line? Where is the damn finish line? I see a struggling runner as another gal starts to motivate him again. He was so close and he had stopped…I scream on the top of my lungs to help him back on his feat, screaming, “let’s go, your there, KEEP GOING! LET’S GO!” Like a drill sergeant…it worked. He started again, but I was afraid that I had expended too much energy by doing that. I could feel that I have some left in me, and I was going to be close…keep going…open your stride and keep the last mile going as fast as you can. I tried…putting the last of the effects into it…going faster and faster as I could to do so.

Now we rounded downtown area and it was nice…but where was the damn finish line? There was another bridge as that was a pain in the butt because it was a hill…and at that moment…the legs were feeling nothing. Absolutely nothing. I came down the bridge and made a turn…the finish was near…time to gear up the last churn of energy that I had left…Started and saw that there was another turn…more people…turn and then I can see the end…the end was near, but not near enough…it was about a half a mile and I put everything else in there…open your stride, keep that gate going and put it all in…you almost have it…
I sprint or put all of what is left that I had within that moment…passing a time chip matt about 10 feet where the finish line actually was, was like a tease…what is this…and then I finally finish and put one hand up in the air to signal to my grandfather that he had teased me and I was thinking of him.

This race was for you gong gong, I was thinking of you.

I stop my stopwatch…but really don’t know exactly what time I had, since in the beginning, I had to restart my watch and my mile markers were off…all because of my heart monitor being off…it was bad.

I douse water on my head as literally I took a shower and the medal people come to congratulate me. I am a little disappointed though, angry at my camera for not working and just thinking, if I didn’t have the memories in pictures, at least I wanted to go sub-3. It was either or for me and I was disappointed. I kind of knew that I didn’t get the time that I had wanted, but really didn’t fess up to the disappointment of what time I actually got.

I went through the food tents and got some food…was confused afterwards on where the baggage was…which was poorly placed and had to ask the info booth people. I walked slowly, gingerly and had to go through the many half marathoners to get my bag as they had formed a wall, line after line to emerge and get their bags. Ours was simpler as I was in the front of the pack and had to ask a volunteer to get mine…since no one was really working our side.

I stripped down and basically was hurting…called my parents, called my sister and called JM, who awaited my phone call. She broke it to me about my time. I was guessing that some people in NYC who were not doing the Manhattan Half in the 20 below weather was tracking me…JG also tracked me and before I knew it, the times were up on the web. E-mails already sent out. Gosh they are quick!
I tried to turn on my camera after all said and done…and guess what…

It started up again…;like nothing happened and I was dreaming the whole thing. I couldn’t believe it!
Every marathon has it’s story…guess that made it even better…
And Pictures are up...here you go!

The Miami Marathon - Part I

"For me, running is a lifestyle and an art. I'm more interested in the magic of it than the mechanics." LORRAINE MOLLER

I awoke at 4am in the morning not even woken up by the alarm that I had set up. I am guessing that this was because I was anxious to just race again. I have not raced since october in the ING Hartford marathon and that was the last race I really took as a serious race. Anyways, NC woke up, we quickly changed and gotten ready, stretched a little and then ate our respectable meals (bagel and two banana's). MD woke up as well as she was going to take us to the starting line. I was amazed that MD even offered to take us to the marathon start.

We made our way to the start as MD showed us around the "good parts" of downtown miami. But made it without a scratch and NC and I got out of the car and quickly made our way towards the port-o-potty line. The runners on our line were not taking the same amount of spaces as the other line next to us...NC and I wanted to change this as we slowly moved the line over.

I told NC that as runners, we are very ridged people. "We" usually go by the book of what our training schedules tell us to do. Well, some of us. Other "mavericks" like to do whatever we like to mess up the system or like to do whatever we feel like doing on a particular day. Anyways, I made my deposit into the port-o-potty and we then moved onto the clothing drop off area.

It was amazing about the masses of people and about 3,000 marathon runners were there and about 13,000 runners all together. As we finished up with the clothing drop off, I saw a penny heads up...I picked it up and felt something special in the air. NC knew about the penny as her sarcasm brough great laughter when she asked me if I had found a dead rabbit on the side of the road, would I take the rabbit's foot for good luck? I know, it's grusome, but it was funny as of people finding superstitions and the luck of anything to keep hopes alive. We saw a bunch of Rez dogs (including uptown girl) & the marlin's mascot as we strolled to the starting corrals. Although, we had to pass by the port-o-potty lines that formed on the sides of each starting corrals and wheew! Were they smelly! That would wake you up in the morning.

NC took a cup of water and only wanted a swig to wetten her tongue and mouth. Although when she wanted to pour the rest out, she accidentally got her foot and now had a wet sneaker! We moved around in the corral towards the 3:10 group...we were in corral C and we wondered who was in A and B? There were a ton of people ahead of us and the race took a while to start. NC had warned me that the ideal conditions of this race was not really great for her, she had been battling a cold and stomach bug in the past few days and the conditions of heat and humidity did not forge well...it was not her forte as well as the course conditions of it being flat. Flat courses did not sit well with me, but the heat/humidity was better temperatures than being cold!

As finally the flare guns and air horn sounded the race start, the song of Will Smith's "Miami" came on to start off the day...ahh! Miami! Here we go!

NC shot out of the starting line so quickly that it was tough to keep up with her. I snapped some photos as the night was amongst us and the clear hues of color were amazing to see. I caught up to NC and we ran together for a while. The causeway was the first thing to tackle as we enjoyed it because we are hill runners. I said good luck to NC as I knew I wanted to pick up the pace. She reciprocated in a good luck to me as well and then I left. We could see the cruise ship boats on the right as we ran by, there were about 4-5 that were docked as the lights glowed in the water. It was beautiful and it felt as though we were not even running at all. I followed another runner who resembled one of the members of another team that was a great distance runner...she clearly resembled her...We came off the causeway and I felt really good...had a great pace going and really felt that I was going to have a great day. I thought about a whole lot of things, there was a coast guard boat patrolling on the causeway which reminded me of MD. I thought about my grandfather, who had just recently passed. - actually got really choked up when I thought of him. But I pushed on.

It was about mile 4-5 where we turned the bend to South Beach where my camera just decided to just take voice recordings...ok this was weird. I have never encountered this before and had thought ok, my camera is acting funny due to marathon #2 in Outer Banks marathon where my camera had gotten extremely wet due to the downpouring rain and malfunctioned a little bit...but since then it has been ok. I just recently went to a water station, but did not get any water on my camera...and the only thing that I could have thought of was...was my grandfather...or the battery.

My focus was not on my running anymore but was mostly focused on how to fix my camera. I turned it on, then off again...still just on voice recording. Then switched batteries, hmm still, then it wouldn't turn off...ok, then I would have to take out the battery to turn off the camera. I banged my camera against my hand...arg! I was missing the sunrise right over South Beach...how can my camera do this to me. I still ran and ran and ran...not missing a step, although still focusing on my camera.

I was missing South Beach all together!!! Oh man! I turned my focus back to running as we left South Beach and thought of ALL THE PEOPLE that want me to just do a race and just focus on my running in a marathon...to see how I would do. I would have to do that now...focus on my running and just do it. I knew what half marathon time I would have to pull to get my respectable time. We slowly went around some areas and I then thought I had seen NC in front of me...how can this be? When I was fiddling around with my camera, did she pass me? I speed up and slowly caught up...nope it was not her. I then thought about which people to think about at every mile as another fellow blogger (THE LAM) had done during the NYC marathon.

As we went onward towards the Pubix mile, there were people that had these noise makers that sounded like geese. There was a lone rider cheerer and my reaction at first was, what the hell was that?

I was next to this guy, later I found out his name was Stewart, where we ran pretty much the same pace and we chatted after this incident. After the lone cheerer, there were many spectators with these noise makers and all of them together it sounded REALLY funny. Seriously! I was like, "what the hell was that?" in a very loud fashion so I can chat and talk to stewart, next to me.

We then crossed many beautiful places across bridges where the sky and clouds were picture perfect...yes, I was beating myself over not having my camera. We strolled through a toll bridge (how many marathons or halves do you do that goes through a toll booth?) Which said: change/receipts...I went next to Stewart and said that I wanted a receipt with that...cracking jokes and just having fun. (he had no reaction to that comment) I hoped he could carry me through the longer miles as I knew I could hopefully keep pace. But, he told me that he was hoping to do anywhere close to a 1:28 in the half...I told him that I was bummed that he was not going to be pacing me through the entire marathon and that I could bring him to a 1:28, which we were on pace for...but I guess I had the time wrong. I had gone through some of the sections pretty quickly and for a second there I though I had lost Stewart...he was on my tail a little, and then when I got to the more cheering sections, I had spead up. Funny how I can do that when people cheer me on...I get excited (not excited like I pee in my pants, but just plain old excited.) At this point I had conservatively started to take down some Gels that I had prepared myself for taking throughout the race. I have been learning to understand the importance of taking Gel's, although still I have yet to understand the concept of how to go under 3 hours...The crowd support was great in this last area where we came back into the city and then I heard from behind, "Good Luck! Go get that goal...you'll do it!" It was Stewart screaming at me since he was behind and I screamed back that he could get his goal as well...although he finished with a 1:30 in the scoring times...

Now, it was alone time as the half and full marathoners split. I see the people ahead of me and behind me. It is not the matter of beating the person ahead of you or behind you...it is a matter of concentration and running your race. Every man for themselves at this point and we still have 13 more miles to go...half way there...crossing the half time with a 1:30 clock time...I was about pace, but a little over...

1/24/09

Early wake up...‏

"A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more." STEVE PREFONTAINE

Choosing to take the subway over the cab on a Saturday morning lead me to wake up extra early for the longer commute. (NC and I had been planning to take the cab together, although NC lived up in the upper east side and I would have had to take the subway to her place, then walk over...that would have been stupid and wasting a whole slew of money).

So in these economic times, I had woken up at 3:35 am to rest assure myself that I will have plenty of time to catch my plane to Miami. So all week I had been counting back to reassure myself with plenty of time. Plane flight is at 8:15ish, count back an hour or so for buffer time and having to be there early, subway delay time (weekends) and signing into the airport/air train...walking across 14th street from the east side to the west side...yup, I factored all of that in already.

I had packed all my bags, layer all of my clothes out for the next day and ate dinner...going to bed rather late (at midnight) since I am just use to going to bed late now. I was nervous and it just gets to me these marathons...

Woke up, groggy and discombobulated, brushed my teeth and made sure I had everything...some reason I always think I have left something out. I left my apartment at 10 to 4am (I was ahead of schedule), as I walked across 14th I remembered how hard it was to think at this early in the morning...ever since college, I had always gone home from studio at this time trying to not pull all nighters for work... I was in better time than I had though and everything was running so smoothly...as I went into the subway entrance, the entrance was not working...the L train must have repairs again this weekend (good thing I had opted to walk across). Had to go another entrance, as I tried out a metro card that I had found on the floor to see if it had worked...

Score! It was an unlimited card...wow, I had been lucky! (There are times when I just see a metro card in the streets and find that some are cash cards...if a metro card is displaced about a few blocks away from the subway then you may have a winner, if it is close to the subway, more than most, the card does not have anything in there...but you will never know...and your card can be lost anytime as well...so what comes around may go around.)

As I went into the subway I hear a subway coming, nope! It was the other side...wasn't that lucky. The subway finally came at 4:30am (which I was still early since I had factored in about a 30-45 minute waiting on the platform time...then the 1 hour to 1-1:30 commute to JFK airport...but I was early. - didn't factor in the subway being on the local line though, so we shall see what time I arrive at Howard beach station...should be still ok. Ok...nap time until I get off the subway. Maybe my brain will start to function then...

5:20: off the subway and awaiting the air train to arrive...boy I am way ahead of schedule. Before you know it, I am at the airport even before NC would even enter the cab, or when she had planned on taking the cab.

5:22 air train comes. Arrive at terminal 2 (Delta airlines) Yes, I know, I should be flying Jet blue or something else, but currently have a Delta airlines credit card, which I get skymiles from) 5:35 get off air train, check in and through the respectable security...done by 5:50... Great! Put on my contacts and walk around the terminals for about half an hour...call up the other NC who I was suppose to stay with because her flight was at 6:15...we chatted and she calmed me about the course. She asked me if it was my A race...I was like A race? What's an A race? It's your A game race for serious!

I opted not to really answer that, due to the amount of training that I had done in the month of December and starting back really late in November...my usual 3 month training session was cut really down to a month and a half of serious training.

6:30...sitting and waiting...take a nap until NC gets here...she's probably in a cab right now. Wake me up at 7:30...alight?

8:00 met up with NC as we chatted...it's going to be one weekend with her as she told me that she was "sick" and has stomach issues...yeah, like that will slow her down. She's absolutely amazing and probably will do fine. She told me that this was not her choice of running weather as she would rather choose cold over hot. Guess I am different. I can last through both I guess...checked in and sit in my seat by 8am....

Miami, here we come!

The flight down there I sat next to a lady barber, who does triathlons (which I had asked her about because I saw that she had a triathlon magazine). She was going on a cruise, single, 49 year old women who talked about hair and the barber business for the entire airplane ride. I didn't mind at all as we engaged in conversation about our lives and so on...we arrived to Miami earlier than expected and MD (AD's sister from high school who is re known in my blog) had came to pick us up...we went straight to the expo and was very intrigued by the antique show happening right next door...but it was somewhat small...little disorganized and not well planned as in space for people to move around in.

We packed up and went back to MD's place after giving a person our parking ticket, going to the grocery store and finally arriving at MD's apartment...it was amazing!

AD predicted right as one of the first words out of my mouth was, "why do I live in NYC?". She had a beautiful view, amazing apartment and comfortable living quarters...

We at on her patio as the sun beamed on our skin. It felt nice as we were enjoying June weather in January...our bodies did not understand the concept.

MD had to bring her dog over to a friends place, as NC and I just chilled on the beach...distressing from the NYC environment to Miami beaches and soft sand...it was a good feeling...

We collected our things after MD was done, went back, changed and was out the door once again to experience a Miami meal.

The food was perfect, the conversation and momentous occasions (besides the table next to us who were hooterring and hollering) it was nice and elegant.

Came back home...ate my second dinner and unpacked our race gear as we are ready for bed to call it a night.

Wish us luck...we'll use anything we can.

1/23/09

Pure nervousness…

"I loved the feeling of freedom in running, the fresh air, the feeling that the only person I'm competing with is me." WILMA RUDOLPH


I took down last year’s shirts on my wall as it captured the entire wall…about 24-28 races all together and I hang each and every race shirt up. So the bibs, yes they get a place as the shirts are sent to “the factory” to be made into a shirt blanket.

Unsure if I have told anyone this, but I have been trying to make a shirt blanket for myself from 2007’s year of shirts and my father had seen that I had been doing this…or preparing myself for this. He told me that since our Aunt owns a factory, she is slowing down due to the economy and is looking for work. I told her that tons of runners would be interested in getting their race shirts made into blankets…but for how much. Usual blanket places make their blankets for at least $350 to $400 a pop…I told him, but I think we can make it to about $300…We’ll see…my aunt is expecting to see one of my friend’s blankets that she made for me this weekend…and if things goes well…Well, we shall see if anyone on the blogging world wants their shirts to be made into a blanket…

Check out this blog post…

Anyways, so all my race shirts are never worn and the bibs that I had raced in them are put on the racing shirt…now here is the exception. I had told myself that no race shirts will be worn…well, now I have to make an exception, since the tech shirts that I had received are now going to be worn. I have 20 cotton shirts from 2008 and about 6-8 tech shirts…since they have an even number, I am ok with not cutting up my technical shirts.

But here is the kicker. The race bibs…what do you do with your race bibs?

I string up all my race bibs as the first race that I had was 8506…yes a large number for NYRR races, but not my largest number. My largest number was in the Chicago Marathon in 2007, yes the heat waved fun run of a marathon, where I had to be stuck in the back of the pack in back of all the seeded numbers.

Why?

Because I was stupid and forgot to submit my qualifying time to get a seeded number, the number: 10970. (Still not bad with about 30,000 people in the race…so I made out ok.)
The lowest number that I had received…double digit category and in a marathon, none of the less…

The number of 46 in the Hartford Marathon.

So…string up last year’s bib numbers and on with a fresh new set of bibs…here we go 2009!

On the side note: Flying out tomorrow for the Miami Marathon. Boy am I getting really nerveous about everything. I don’t know why, but I just get this way before every marathon. I calm down when I am actually there, but I get nervous right before when I am in NYC. Weird huh? I kind of get it though…when I am there I get all excited and forget about the pressures and just have fun with it…

Here we go…Miami, here I come!

1/22/09

Do you remember your NYRR number?

"I can't imagine living and not running." PAULA RADCLIFFE

Ok…so I signed up for the first quarter of my races for the year at the NYRR website today during “work”. (I am currently on vacation at work, but had to catch up on my work since the 4 day switch…) Anyways, it sort of is nice, but at the same time it’s a pain in the butt since people are coming to me and requesting I do this and that, and I keep telling them, that I am only in for work because I need to catch up.

Work is rough and I was warned by this beforehand.

On the NYRR side, I was deeply regretted that I was not accepted into the NYRR Empire State Building Run-Up this year. I had to write them a letter asking JC if I had been accepted:

Hi, my name is BH and I had signed up for the Empire State building Run-up. I am part of the New York Flyers and many of my team members have been notified about their qualification or rejection status. I have yet to receive anything from the NYRR about my status for this race.

If you can please check upon this and inform me if I have or have not been chosen that would be great.

I have confirmation that my application was sent on December 1st at 11:56pm.

Thanks.

Her response:

Hi
You were not accepted

Makes me feel so good inside, a little frustrated even due to the fact that last year I had to miss the Milrose Games and the Empire State Building run up due to the FLU. Damn it!

Anyways, I ask if you remember your NYRR number due to the amount of races that you always sign up for. I think I do, but I always take out my card just in case for number verification. Scary how many races you sign up for and you automatically remember this number due to the amount of times you input it in, like applying for college applications and having to put your social security number for every single form.

Anyways…further note, it maybe good that I was not accepted since I will be doing my Miami Marathon this weekend. Oh boy, I am getting a little anxious, a little scared and a little weird out by the whole thing. I still get this way in every marathon I do…it’s very weird and I am scared of even the distance of the race. Weird huh? It’s this anxiety that you get when you are just about to go on a rollercoaster I think…very scary.

I watched the video of the course. It sure did look amazing. Sure looked fun, LONG and actually longer than my usual marathons that I do. We shall see what I get, as I had just checked out the mileage that I had ran last month and that surprised me.

No pressure. Stay calm and enjoy the ride…

1/20/09

"You catch those boys!"

"Fitness is a stage you pass through on the way to becoming a runner." GEORGE SHEEHAN

Pretty picture perfect night to run, although it was on the cold end side. I went to the office after awards gala shopping with JM. It was a whole lot of fun and lately we have been hanging out and having some very great memories and moments in NYC that we wouldn't really be experiencing.

It started to snow as we walked from the lower east side to union square. I went to work, doing various things like catching up on my blog, listening to Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech and of course, working on THE LAST newsletter that I shall be doing.

I didn't have to wait very long until 7 rolled around and pretty much made it out in the somewhat cold weather. CW was there with his co-worker that he had been talking about with me on our runs, who will be also doing the Miami marathon.

CW and I bursted ahead of the group as his co-worker tried to stay up with us. We were doing the piers as always and the sights were amazing. I had see the iceburgish ice pieces in the water the morning of, but the snowfall during the day and the moonlight in the glistening water was an amazing sight.

We were definitely slipping as we ran on top of the unshoveled snow in some parts and we probably ran more than we actually don because of the slippage factor.

The roads were not plowed much, but staying on the bike path and the going on the usual route, made it quite the exciting night...well...watch out for injuries of course! I told CW to bring his YAK tracks as they probably do in Colorado when they run in the snow and ice for grippage.

We made it around with no avail, coming back with CW's co-worker and taking it easy, which meant no piers. We did our usual sprint in the end as she tried to keep up. There was a person in the street who yelled out at us, saying...

"You go runners..."

Then seeing the gal run after us, saying

"You catch those boys!"

Anyways...in all it was a good run and a gorgeous night.

1/19/09

I have a dream...

"Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing." GEORGE SHEEHAN


"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.


But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.


Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,

"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

It’s great to have a day off from work today and not think much of what the day is used for (which I did often when I was a kid). Although, this year there is much more significance in the day that Martin Luther King Jr’s birth would mean for the greater cause. Does anyone else think that it is very weird that Mr. President Elect (for the last time) Barack Hussian Obama will be elected into office the day after Mr. Martin Luther King spoke on the steps in Washington DC for a dream? A dream that all men are created equal, a passion for his dream to become reality, where there is finally some change in a string of presidents within the United States from a white to an African American to being President?

Also weirdness that I have heard that Lincoln’s Bicentennial is this year and I have heard that:

“President-Elect Obama will be sworn into office on January 20, 2009. Most Presidents state their oath of office using a special Bible, for example their personal family bible. But this President-Elect has decided to use the exact bible that President Abraham Lincoln used when he became President. Barack Obama has identified Lincoln as the one President from the past he admires the most, and is taking great pride and honor in having the ability to use the same bible that is part of the collection at the Library of Congress in his inauguration.”

President Elect Obama idolizes past President Mr. Abraham Lincoln, honors him in every way and symbolizes truth, justice and hope. Many believe that Obama is a god or super hero, although his charisma, character and hope brings a new meaning to the United States. Let him prove what he hopes to bring is true, let him work and do diligence and not be corrupt in the political society of the US government and bring back hope and true meaning of freedom that the United States symbolizes.

On this day, I awoke in having an agenda; not running this weekend was a good feeling to my legs which are eager, but still roughened by the long two year’s before. I have asked a whole lot from these legs and they had gotten rest. I awoke with an agenda to do a double and run in the morning and evening. Morning run had to be before meeting up with JM and I knew that. I awoke early, went to the east side and it was beautiful. The sun was just peering out the sky and the trees were shaken with snow and it was a true winter wonderland. It was amazing the path, but that had not been plowed or even touched in some areas…which was good and bad. The good thing was the true feeling of going through snow, the bad thing: slippage. The whole eastside was like this until you got under the FDR and Chinatown area. Cute snow bunny gals passed me by: of course I had to look…but, it was straight training. Ease ability and injury free running as that was the first and foremost important thing today. I had to run a little faster, but stayed on track. Passed the Staten Island ferry and though to myself, let’s do the whole thing…but minus the piers. I went around to Battery Park, as I had checked this out on Friday. The plane was no more lingering in the water and the police and TV productions were gone. I pushed on staying on the bike path rather than going anywhere close to the piers and boardwalk, it was good to because I didn’t need the snow and slippage factor.

As I entered back into the city, I usually do a little speedwork. Since the roads were clear and not many people were on the sidewalks, I would race, keeping my rotation of speed/tempo in tact in running the avenues. Sprint, stop, sprint, stop…a van was going back and forth, as I had a head start from the red lights, but I made it back to my house with an empty tank of gas in my legs (which I usually go all out in the last one…but there was no response from my legs)…

It was a good run…needed to catch up with James. A quick trip to TJ’s and chores and then shower…then, dim sum with James...

1/18/09

Working on Sunday...

"The most important message I stress to beginners is to learn to love the sport. Like other endeavors, if running is not undertaken properly, it can be difficult and discouraging." CLIFF HELD

On my return yesterday, I chose to watch tv instead of doing my laundry. One particular show on MTV had disturbed me on the running sense...on the show: real world - Brooklyn, I was rather disturbed about how the group of dancers in the NYC conservatory used the Boston Marathon jackets as a uniform. Uniform? To all those runners who one day will get to run the Boston marathon, to all those runneres who strive for that "jacket" which to me symbolizes something like getting a Varsity Jacket in high school...but I was frustrated by this because does this mean that all of these people made it to the Boston Marathon? Did all of these dancers know the true symbolism that reflected in this and really took it to runners?

Uh...maybe all of them did run the bosoton marathon, but really? All of them had the uniform on like it was a routine uniform...

Anyways, really disturbed as a runner and super frustrated.

So...in the morning I had decided all night not to run in the morning to go up to the armory by subway and not run for the weekend. I would run tomorrow instead. I left in the morning and made it to the armory little later than expected due to subway trafficing and construction. The same job, the same old entering data...but for two meets, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Although I was with company that I never knew before. I had met JM, who was the mom of, MH, who had ran for Suffern in the same year that I had ran, and graduatied the same year as I had as well.

I found out that she had ran distance, made it to states and won...quite prestigious. I had never made it to states. She went to james madison and switched into albany...maybe this is where I had seen her also, but she knew my friend RJ, who went to Albany from our school and also did track.

We chatted, and work was not so rough...

After the day was over, I left...was stopped by brutal subway traffic again on the 123 trains and went home to do laundry...and dinner...chores tomorrow in grocery shopping..

1/17/09

Visiting grandma

"Keep your dream in front of you. Never let it go regardless of how farfetched it might seem." HAL HIGDON, Marathoning A to Z

Woke up saturday morning rather early to go to jersey to accomplish three things: visiting my parents and grandma, getting tux fitted for my cousin's wedding in march, which I am the best man for...so I had to clear out my running schedule for this special event (he definately made sure that I would not sign up for any marathons during his wedding) and bowling...a random sport in which my cousin and I take very seriously...

Anyways, it was seriously really cold in the morning...colder than yesterday, which is hard to believe when I got out the door. Got to the subway and expected to wait for a while which I factored into my travel time. Although, the subway was waiting for me right when I got there, the bus was there right when I got there and I was early by an hour. I called my parents to pick me up, there I would have a bit of time to catch up with them before they left for work at the restaurant. They left and I sat with my grandma talking to her from time to time as she had asked who I was for about r consecutive times...it's bad, but this was a good day. I then studied the pictures on the coffee table...they were pictures of my other cousins who had gotten married already that both of my grandparents were at. It saddens me a little now that my grandfather has passed that he and my other grandfather will not be there for the genuine tea ceremonys...and tears started rolling down my eyes when I even though about my grandma not making it. It's scary, sad...but that is life. As my grandma slowly slumpped into a slumber, I just stared at her. Just thinking all of the things in my mind with her in my life. Making the moments and the memories that are with me.

My cousin came in, as he woke up my grandma, he talked to her a bit and then we were on our way to the tux's...which I had bought a special surprise for the awards gala.

My cousin and I did other chores and then went to go bowl. Mind you that my cousin said he never wins on the first game, so I had to prove him correct and win...I took the first two games and let him win the second...ok...not really, but 2 of 3 usually wins against the both of us. I think I am up something like 3-1 or 4-2...something like that with a margin of 2 games...

power vs percision...

After that I left to go home and back into the city...

1/16/09

Do I really like running or like the pain?

"Running is my meditation, mind flush, cosmic telephone, mood elevator, and spiritual communion." LORRAINE MOLLER
I decided to toughen it out in this blistering cold weather and decided to run at least it was sunny out and I had my Friday’s off...but not today, since I had to go to a meeting in Brooklyn. I calculated that since I went in early, I was able to go early and the sun was still shining. I left the office at around 3:30 with the same running attire, but ditched the vest for a running jacket. It was cold and for the first time, my legs felt the weather. There was an even crazier runner out there with shorts. I decided to take the same route as last weeks Wednesday’s run, which was up to 23rd street and then cut to the Westside...but this time it was colder! As I crossed over to Chelsea Piers, I didn't see the time and temperature, but knew it from the bone chilling cold. I went to the west side along the Hudson and basically admired the Hudson for what it was...scary how a day before there was people that were saved from the miracle of a plane that landed when a flock of birds killed both of the engines...
Literally, it was really great that the pilot was able to land the plane: 1) With no ferries, water taxi's or any other transportation going across.
2) No ice in the water
3) Temperature of the water was not freezing like today
4) Any kind of other disruptions in the water would have toppled over the plane and spin it out of control.
5) Any other explanation that you may bring…

Anyways, the NYC emergency units were quick on the scene to save these people. It really was none of their times to die...and they were lucky. Anyways, saw the coast guard boats around and snapped a shot.

Then headed down towards Battery Park, where the plane was supposed to be. The whole area was swarmed with cops and news crews just wanting a peek at the airplane when they had pulled it out. There as a crane on a barge that was out, but all you could see was the wing or tail end of the plane peaking up from the side of the wall. That's it, that's as close as you could get...and I took my hands out to take the picture and by the time I had put them back in. It was numb. That is how cold it was! It was freezing and I had contemplated on even going into the winter garden to warm my hands up...but there was another snow bunny that passed me, then I passed her.

I was going to ask her if she was training for a marathon.

Why? Why would you be out in the cold like I, if you were not crazy as I? I say that only because I should not even be out there in the cold and was only out there to complete my training runs because I had not been out on Thursday or can not be out tomorrow due to family obligations. I was just about to, but somewhere she turned course and I was left alone…again.

I stuck through, went through the cold winds, fought through the bitterness and stinging chills. It was painfully cold. I rounded out to the Staten Island Ferry...in my mind I was thinking of blog posting names for this, coming up with "a perfect 10" and something else positive. How that changed when I rounded out the island to "when can I be done" or "have I tortured myself enough?"

By the end, I think the title is fitting. This I keep thinking is true though…Do I really enjoy the pain? Running marathons is all about pain and how much you can endure. How much pain can you take…really though…do I really like running as much as I say I do…or is it just a reason to endure such pain? I contemplated this as I came back. My hands were frozen. I tried to sprint on back, increasing my speed as the circulation was running through my veins. My head was nearly frozen as the wind blew through my sweaty hat. It was FREEZING and the wind just hustled and bustled…my face was frozen as my cheeks were pretty much numb…Again, I rounded out the piers…why? I don’t know why…again I feel that I love pain and the wind really coming at me like needles and icicles just piercing at my skin.

At one point, I didn’t even feel the cold anymore, but felt it as the wind blew on it. Freezer burn…absolute frozen frost as you can definitely feel the cold burning sensations of just pure COLD on your skin. It hurt…it stung.

I sprinted on home, come into the office as my boss was leaving. He asked me if I just had ran, I told him that it was cold out there and I was frozen. A co-worked walks on by, looks at me as she said that my whole face was red. I take off everything and strip down nearly to a t-shirt and my tights. My frozen body was nearly defrosting and everything started to sting, hurt with great pain and fire in my cheeks as though I had been in the direct sun just burning from the heat. It was freezer burn…it was bad. All I could do was just waddle my chair back and forth as I can increase my circulation and help the process. I couldn’t move much though, it hurt really bad…but probably I felt so ALIVE. I know, I’m sick…I need help…really.

I finally came down to the conclusion. I am crazy. I am sick…I have a few loose screws in my head and I think I enjoy the pain of running. Pure passion of pain.