3/31/09

Runners Crazy?

"Knowing that you can run 20 miles is a big breakthrough mentally, when it comes to tackling the marathon distance." JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON

I guess they weren't in the mood for Smeggs.

According to a story in The Salt Lake Tribune
, a carload of customers reacted poorly when they tried early Sunday morning to order from the dinner menu at a Salt Lake City McDonald's drive-through, only to learn that the restaurant had switched to breakfast fare:

Two men got out of the car, and one pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of the trunk, police said. He fired once or twice into the drive-though window ...

Which brings us to this week's Big Question: Are runners more sane than the general population?

If that question sounds familiar, it's because it is an echo of last Wednesday's post,
Runners: More Attractive Than Most?

The "More Attractive" post was, I admit, a bit tongue-in-cheek. At best, it was mere idle speculation. But this time, I'm actually sort of serious. The first reaction I had upon reading the McDonald's/breakfast menu/shotgun story was: "That's nuts. People are crazy."

My second reaction, though, was: "I bet no one in that car was a runner."

Seriously. Think about it. How many runners do you imagine are capable of something this insane? Pretty few, I'd wager.

Maybe it's because people who are less prone to violence and crime are more likely to become runners in the first place. But I'd bet good money that even among the population of existing runners -- i.e., us -- any violent or criminal tendencies that do exist are kept in check simply because we run.

Just consider how many times your mood has improved after lacing up and logging a few miles. The effect still amazes me, after all these years: A day that begins full of stress, angst, and gritted teeth can turn downright blissful after a good run.

Maybe judges should sentence minor miscreants to running, instead of lock-up.
I'm not saying the gun-wielding folks at that drive-through would become upstanding citizens overnight, if only they'd sign up for a 5-K. But you know what? It'd probably be a step in the right direction.

At the very least, maybe the next time they learn that McDonald's is only serving breakfast, they'd shrug, order some hotcakes, and move on.

I believe that all marathon runners have something kookie with themselves...we all are crazy! If you think about it, we challenge our bodies to the very fullest by training so hard and running a marathon of 26.2 miles...more than our bodies can take...well in the least amount of time...going for a personal record of pushing ourselves to the fullest...and "best" as we call it.

Are we insane? Are we a little crazy...

I speak for myself. I am a little crazy....okok, very crazy, that's why I am nicknamed:

crazyasian...or Crazy Bandana...

I'd do things for dares. I am a little crazy and push myself to a painful aspect of narsistic love of pain...crazy...

yes...mr. crazy himself...

3/30/09

Cramped

"The way I see it, you have to view running time not as extra or wasted time, but as important, productive contemplation time." FRED LEBOW

Wow...

Lots of people at the usual Monday Night group, where everyone from DL, JG and ES were there! Awesome! DG joined in after his operation, so that was reassuring and CD was back from his honneymoon. ES and DL ran ahead, as CD wand I did our usual Monday Group Piers workout.

Wow was it windy...i'm guessing that this was the reason why it was so cold as many, I included were in shorts, although we wore long sleeves as well on top.

This morning as I was going to work the pain from my foot still hurt. It really feels as though I have either a pinched nerve, a stress fracture or something weird that has some shooting pain as I put pressure on it. It all started on Thursday of last week I think when I was going to the subway to Jersey...I thought it was just an uncomfortableness with my walking shoes instead of sneakers...

Anyways, I ran with it as the pain subsided a little. The more uncomfortable part was that I gainned a cramp. I think it was from running the pace with CD and the wind blowing straight at us, and my body not getting enought oxygen. So therefore the cramp...as I tried to hold it, stretch it out and even breath more deeply into it...allowing more oxygen into my body.

I had forgotten how painful it was to actually run with a cramp on the side. Aweful feeling...absolutely effecting me while I ran...

Although I was pretty much hyperventalating from the pace that we were moving at with CD as he told me all about his wedding and his honeymoon. Gosh, to wedding experiences...is the gods telling me something?

Anyways, as we went back on the piers the second time, the cramp finally released and I was back into running, although CD had a cramp in his hammy which slowed him down in the end.

As we were the last to show up at the end, which is really weird lately since we usually show up att he same amount of time before...the gals must be getting faster or something...

But yes, good old conversation afterwards with the entire group as it seemed like it was the first of the monthe for the monday group runs...

That's next week...

we (DG, JG and I walked on 14th street almost past 5th avenue and I was due back to my office...I should have just gone home...but it was good to just chat...haven't seen these boys in a long time...)

3/29/09

"20" things about me - marathon style

"Years ago, women sat in kitchens drinking coffee and discussing life. Today, they cover the same topics while they run." JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON

"20" things about me - marathon style

1. Number of marathons you have run: Thirteen (13)

2. Where was your first marathon? Marine Corps Marathon (Washington DC) on October 29, 2006

3. Favorite Marathon course: Toss up between NYC and Boston...NYC of course, I think it comes down to the difficulty and home town flair, home town advantage, emotion, heart and joy.

4. Most memorable race: They are all memorable since I can remember them every step of the way with my pictures.

5. PR? 3:00:09 – Boston marathon on Monday, April 21, 2008 PW? 3:31 – Steamboat marathon on June 1, 2008 and altitude sucks!

6. Ever run in a costume? Nope, but wait till this year in NYC marathon.

7. The only running shoes for me: Asics for training (1120, 1120, 1130 & Speedstar 3)Mizuno’s for racing (Wave Elixir 2, 3, & 4) Have fun in Nike (10/2 – Armstrong style)

8. Ever injured? Who hasn’t? Nothing serious...Plantar fasciitis, IT Band, tight calves, Achilles tendonitis

9. Hot or cold weather runner? Both, I can run in extreme hot and extreme cold for training, although for racing a cool 50-70 degree overcast with a little bit of sun over rain.

10. Morning or evening runs? Evening runner during the weekdays, Morning runner during the weekends...strange huh?

11. What is your Motivation? My grandmother’s fight against the Alzheimer’s disease. The moments of time that is captured by pictures with friends, teammates and the spirit of the race. Running to relax and get away from the world for that moment of time...

12. Ever DNF? Nope. Not even walked.

13. Marathon I'd like to forget: Hmm...Close, but none. 2009 Miami Marathon, only because my camera stopped working since I may forget that race, literally...

14. Favorite post race nosh: Race or run? I would say burgers and beer in the evening runs, but a glass of chocolate milk or shake would be nice after a race.

15. Galloway or Higdon? I had to look both of these methods up...so, I put neither, since I had no clue about either of them!

16. Flat course or hills: I like both, I just don’t like courses that are just flat or just hills. I rather go hills for Flat...I hate straight aways...

17. Back, Middle, or Front of the pack? Close to the front of the pack runner I guess. Always push myself with other people around me and hate to run right behind people...

18. Run alone or with a partner: Mostly a lone wolf...but love the support when people run my pace and challenge me. I can run with others as well...

19. Ever win your age group? Not in a marathon....but in the JFK 5K I won in my age group...

20. Favorite post marathon indulgence: I would like to say after my NYC marathon in 2007, a tuna melt and Chocolate milkshake...with some great friends.

I love making faces at the camera man!
classic having fun at the finishline...I can't believe they took sequential photes!

3/28/09

Cousin's Wedding...

"Commitment to the body machine. It was as critical as the commitment to the goal itself." RICHARD CHRISTIAN MATHESON, "Third Wind"

So totally off the subject of running, I took this weekend off (supposingly the last long run before Boston?) Anyways, I may do that this weekend instead...or taper early, which is weird for me since I really don't taper.

So this weekends festivities were reserved for family gatherings and made sure by my cousin that I did not have any marathons that weekend since after all he picked me as his Best Man.

Weird? I thought so, but family is everything in our family and in the Chinese heritage, so I wasn't that surprised.

The wedding was a marathon though and taking drinks...yeah, had a headache by dinner time and didn't eat much since the food was pretty bland, plus I just ate a whole lot of stuff beforehand. Taking pictures, talking to relatives and making sure that my grandma was ok...yeah, also running back and forth to make sure my cousin got everything he needed...

All good...it was their day, their night. Cried a little when the realization of my cousin was getting married..and also the realization that my grandfather was there in spirit.

Here's to the happy couple...

Oh yeah, I was shaking like a leaf when I gave the speech...

Here it is:

Let me say that I am deeply honored by being chosen as the BEST man to speak at your wedding ceremony. I had about a year to prepare for this, or rather my whole life, I promise to be concise.

Jay and Raph, you guys are my cousin’s best friends and both of you guys could have been speaking here today, but when my cousin and I were little, we had a pact. We promised each other, when we were little that we would be each other’s best man. I really didn’t think he was going to honor that pact as we grew older and look where I am now, speaking in front of you all.

Ever since we were little, my sister and I have been calling Eric, Gua Gua, which in Chinese translates into Big Brother and he IS a big brother to us.

For me, Eric was a role model. I basically copied everything he did. When he parted his hair in high school, I followed. When he wanted to study architecture, I did the same. Truthfully, I didn’t even know what architecture was.

From the many memories that we have had, from playing sports to hide and go seek in my grandma’s basement, we always had a great time. We had the most immense imaginations. There was never a dull moment when we were around each other.

Like all kids, we would get into trouble a lot. Since Gua Gua was the eldest of the three, he was the one to take the blame. Or rather, he always automatically got blamed for everything we did.

For instance, the bullet hole story.
When we were little, we decided to go into a shopping cart right outside my grandmother’s house. We brought the shopping cart up to the crest of the hill and then slid down and crashed right into our grandfather’s shed. We used a broom for a braking mechanism that would slow us down. We did this multiple times, each time we wanted to go faster and faster, so we decided to toss the broomstick aside. Well, as we crashed into the shed, the shopping cart flipped over on its side. All of a sudden, we hear my sister crying and her head was full of blood. My cousin and I look at each other and in my head, I was thinking, OH YOU ARE SO DEAD!

Gua gua, I think it is safe to say that we now grown up and since you are now married, we will be responsible for our own actions.

Now come the best thing…Lesley.

From the first time I had met you at our families restaurant there was a small glisten in my cousin’s eye. Something was different about the way my cousin acted around you.

Lesley, you have a very friendly personality, but the one thing that really got me was how comfortable you were around my family and the comfort that you guys both have together. You guys are very open around each other and share many more interesting qualities that other relationships won’t even get into.

Lesley, I never knew anyone to adapt to a family so quickly and with such ease.

If you know Gua Gua, family is one of the most important thing in his life (besides cars, the Yankees, shoes and the Love of Disney...my gosh, I have never seen two people that love Disney as much as these two.) Eric would stop on the dime for anyone in this room. When you both decided to leave your homes and live together, we all knew that both of you two were serious about each other.

On the behalf of our family, let me be the very first person to induct you into our family Lesley. Congratulations! You have passed the test…although you know what you’re getting yourself into right?

Now, may you all raise your glasses. Here is to the new married couple, Boogie and Boog’s…oh wait…

Here is to the new married couple, Mr and Mrs. Eric and Lesley Kam. Congratulations!

3/27/09

Egg, bacon and milk run...

"Consistency requires discipline. Force yourself out the door." BOB GLOVER and SHELLY-LYNN FLORENCE GLOVER, The Competitive Runner's Handbook
Ok...
So I wake up at my cousin's place since this weekend is an all weekend stay for my cousin's wedding and we had the rehearsal dinner last night. I followed my cousin and his fiancée back to their place and slept on the couch. Weird thing was that I woke up in the middle of the night and totally switched sides...like reversal on the couch.

Anyways, I decided to make the married little couple some breakfast and recalled a ShopRite as we turned in last night...about a couple of blocks away...well...it was about a mile..

So, my cousin wakes up, I told him that I was going out and I confirm directions with him. I trek my way outside and it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside. Absolutely gorgeous, like the first days of spring!

So...I wind my way through and finally get around to the grocery store. Buy my items of eggs, bacon, croissant dough and milk...

Although, I am pretty skilled in carrying a bag while running, carrying a shopping bag? With eggs? This was never done before...I have always done this with a book bag, but never regular shopping bags.

So I take turns as I switch the bag handle from one right to left and vice versa. Finally I make it back to their apartment, slightly getting a little lost, but total mileage back and forth...3 miles. Yeah, that's the longest run I probably will have all week!

All good in the end...

3/26/09

Run to Yankee Stadium...

"Through running I experience my own epiphany, a manifestation of the essential nature of who I am, the man I want to be." MATTHEW SHAFNER

It's a day off from work right? Gosh. I got up early anyways having a plan of attack for the day. I was to go to Yankee stadium, since the single season tickets went on sale this week on Tuesday, I was thinking they had to have some tickets, right?

So I headed up, while seeing other people go to work as I glided my way up 1st avenue where the 59th street bridge came down from Long Island City...that's the last 10 miles of the NYC marathon...crazy. It's such a huge difference from marathon sunday to a regular daily day throughout the whole year...I guess you notice it a whole lot differently when you are a marathon runner I guess...

Went across the willis bridge into the bronx and tried to find my way around...but got lost slightly. I had to ask a person for directions, but after that all was well.

As I made my way up towards the stadium, well...I saw that there was a line already...great! Ok, I saw that I was pretty close to the front...about 18 people ahead of me...not going to take long at all...

I call my sister to keep occupied, since I was suppose to go to dim sum with the family after I got the tickets...after I found out that each person took like 30 minutes each and there were only like 3 booths open...it sucked! Each person took so long trying to find tickets in pairs...no luck at all.

I finally got some (three(3)) tickets...2 of them random in the bleachers and one paired in the bleachers...all together I didn't break the bank (less than $100...)

So as I waited to get in, I brought clothes to change into, which was really reluctant since it was getting colder and colder.

I took the subway back. Missed the dim sum and packed my clothes up. Showered and was out the door for the family wedding weekend...

Although along the way towards the subway, I feel this weird twing in my foot. . It was along the upper toe region, which was weird, since I have never encountered this before...I thought it had to deal with the type of shoe I was wearing...although this could be part of a stress fracture....

As I was getting onto the bus though and ready to pay, the bus driver's cashier decided to not work, so therefore we had to wait for a mechanic and I had to stand there...I called my cousin, since the wedding rehearsal was at 4 and I wasn't sure it I was going to make it in time...
In the end...it's going to be quite the long family weekend...should be fun!


Home
New stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets.

by Paul Goldberger




The Mets’ new home echoes the famous entrance of the Dodgers’ Ebbets Field. The new Yankee Stadium’s grandiosity is tempered by the energy of its urban setting.

In 1921, Colonel Jacob Ruppert, the co-owner of the New York Yankees, needed to get his team out from under the thumb of the New York Giants, his landlords at the Polo Grounds, in Harlem, and build his own stadium. Having looked at a plot occupied by an orphan asylum in upper Manhattan, some land in Long Island City, and an area on the West Side, over the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks, he settled on the Bronx. Just across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, he erected the largest and grandest stadium in baseball. Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1923, was a haughty structure designed to give the game a feeling of permanence lacking in earlier, scrappier ballparks, like Fenway Park, in Boston, Wrigley Field, in Chicago, and Ebbets Field, in Brooklyn. Unlike the builders of older ballparks, Ruppert didn’t have to contort the stadium to fit the lines of city streets. The stadium could spread out and lift high; it was the first ballpark to have three full tiers of seats. Nestled beside elevated subway tracks and across from the playgrounds and basketball courts of Macombs Dam Park, Yankee Stadium rose above its surroundings.

There is nothing so revolutionary in Yankee Stadium’s replacement, which opens just to the north, across 161st Street, on April 3rd, when the Yankees host the Chicago Cubs for an exhibition game. (The first regular-season game is on April 16th, against the Cleveland Indians.) The new Yankee Stadium, designed by the architectural firm HOK Sport, is effectively an attempt to atone for the brutal 1973 renovation of Ruppert’s building, which removed the historic ambience without adding much in the way of modern amenities. HOK has reincarnated the old stadium, but with clearer sight lines, luxury suites, plenty of places to eat, and, finally, sufficient bathroom facilities. It has tried hard, very hard, to make us think of its predecessor, with sumptuous architectural effects that have the self-important air of a new courthouse built to look as if it had been there since William Howard Taft was President. When you first go in, you find yourself in the so-called Great Hall, an enormous space covered with a translucent roof, and from there you move into the concourses and toward the seats. Lest you forget that you are there not only to watch a baseball game but also to soak up the stadium’s noble lineage, there’s a reproduction of the famous scalloped frieze that adorned the old stadium’s upper deck. Outside, there is a façade of limestone, granite, and cast stone, with high, narrow arched openings and entry portals that seem designed for the ceremonial arrival of the Pope, Queen Elizabeth, or at least George Steinbrenner.

Also about to open is the New York Mets’ new home—the first time that two major-league stadiums have opened in the same city at the same time. Citi Field, which people are already calling TARP Field, or Bailout Park, opens on March 29th, with a college game. (The Mets play an exhibition game there on April 3rd and their first regular-season game on April 13th.) Like the new Yankee Stadium, Citi Field is right next door to its predecessor and was designed by HOK Sport. The firm has pretty much cornered the market in sports facilities in recent years; in 1992, it designed the most influential ballpark of modern times, Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles insisted that the new park have the ambience of an old-fashioned one and feel connected to the city, and HOK, scrapping an earlier design, obliged. Camden Yards launched a generation of so-called retro-classic ballparks, a style to which both of New York’s new stadiums conform, even though they look vastly different from each other.

The previous home of the Mets, Shea Stadium, opened in 1964, at a time when architects seemed to think that their mission was to purge baseball fields of asymmetry, idiosyncrasy, and anything that seemed remotely related to a park’s surroundings, and to offer up instead gigantic doughnuts of concrete that looked like highway interchanges. (Other notable examples of the genre sprang up in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.) Citi Field is pleasanter in every way than the harsh stadium it replaces. The park has a casual feel, with warm red brick inside, lots of amenities, great sight lines, and a layout that’s easy to navigate. There are forty-two thousand seats, fifteen thousand fewer than Shea had, all a calm dark green and arranged in somewhat irregular tiers, bringing you much closer to the field than before. The complex has an energetic composition of brick façades, and dark-gray steel elements, which are said to have been designed with the great steel arch of Hell Gate Bridge in mind, and give the place a feel that is as much industrial as retro.

As for the retro-classic side of Citi Field, the Mets, having no ancient ballpark of their own to evoke, have appropriated someone else’s. The architects, whose Camden Yards design incorporated features of several historic ballparks, have here wrapped an imitation of the façade of the much mourned Ebbets Field around the southern corner of the new structure, and the old Brooklyn stadium likewise inspired the form of the entry rotunda. The Mets treat the National League’s New York history as if it were abandoned property, which, in a way, it is. But does that mean it is there for the taking? True, the identity of the Mets—whose colors combine the blue of the Dodgers and the orange of the Giants—has thrived on a magpie element, but there’s something a bit dishonest about naming the rotunda for Jackie Robinson, who never wore a Mets uniform. A pastiche of the Dodgers’ former field in Brooklyn pasted onto the façade of a different team’s twenty-first-century ballpark in Queens is less a historical tribute than it is an act of make-believe.

Historically, ballparks have been urban places, gardens in the middle of the city. The greatest of them—Wrigley, Ebbets, Fenway, Forbes Field, Shibe Park—emerged out of the form and shape of their cities. Fenway has the Green Monster, the thirty-seven-foot wall that compensates for the truncation of left field; at Griffith Stadium, in Washington, D.C., the center-field wall was notched inward because the owners of houses next to the stadium refused to sell. Ballparks weren’t the same because the urban places they belonged to weren’t the same. One football gridiron is identical to another, but a baseball field, once you get beyond the diamond, is not—which is part of the reason that even the ugliest ones are loved so fiercely by the fans and become such repositories of civic feeling. A baseball outfield, technically, has no outer limits, just as a baseball game has no set time to end. The outfield stops where the stadium’s builders decide it will stop. Urban ballparks had façades in front, to fit in with neighboring buildings, but were usually left low and open in the outfield, which had the effect of weaving the park into the neighborhood, so that, from the right place, you might catch an enticing glimpse of the green paradise within.

At the old Yankee Stadium, that place was from the elevated tracks of the Lexington Avenue subway, and one nice feature of the new stadium is that that, too, has been re-created. There is a break between the right-field stands and the scoreboard, and you can see the trains sliding by. The new stadium feels more tightly woven into the fabric of the city than the old one did. (It will feel even more so once a Metro-North station opens there, later this year, and once the city finally makes good on its obligation to replace the Macombs Dam Park facilities lost in construction of the new stadium with parkland on and around the site of the previous one.) If you approach it by driving along Jerome Avenue, you see a couple of the Bronx’s finest Art Deco apartment houses across the street from the west façade, and you get a hint of the subtle counterpoint that once existed between a baseball park and an urban setting. The stadium is bigger and more imposing than everything around it, of course, but it seems to grow out of its surroundings, and this somehow rescues the building from its own pomposity. In a way, the apartment houses on Jerome Avenue, the jumble of storefronts and bars under the elevated tracks on River Avenue, and the constant presence of street life shape the stadium as much as its designers have.

At Citi Field, conversely, the Ebbets Field façade, stuck in the middle of acres of parking (as Shea was), seems more like a theme park than it would if it were in the middle of the city. HOK has tried to make the stadium feel more urban by placing a long brick building, containing the Mets’ offices, just beyond right field, along 126th Street, where it faces a favela of auto-body shops in Willets Point. But, since the site is defined mainly by expressways and parking lots, the architects are fighting a losing battle. It’s a pity that the Mets didn’t build on the far West Side of Manhattan, where Colonel Ruppert first thought of putting Yankee Stadium, ninety years ago, and where the Jets recently tried to build a football stadium. A football stadium doesn’t need to be in the middle of a city, but a baseball park, smaller and used much more often, does.

A stadium is a stage set as sure as anything on Broadway, and it determines the tone of the dramas within. Citi Field suggests a team that wants to be liked, even to the point of claiming some history that isn’t its own. Yankee Stadium, however, reflects an organization that is in the business of being admired, and is built to serve as a backdrop for the image of the Yankees, at once connected to the city and rising grandly above it. ♦

3/25/09

26.2 days to the Boston Marathon...

"The mind is always selling the body." JOHN LANDY

Meaning what?

  • That's about 4 weeks out right?
  • Hmm...Done with my long runs.

Not much running this weekend due to my cousin getting married, although maybe we'll see if I can get a few miles here and there. It would be nice to practice on my run on what exactly I would say in the "best man" speech, but basically I have most of it already written out about a year ago....

Just need to fine tune it a little tonight, as I choose to do that instead of running...and a little work on the marathon training program as well...although I really didn't get around to both of these...

No work tomorrow, so I hope to be running up to Yankee stadium to see if they have any more tickets available for this year's season...for tickets...we'll see...

3/24/09

All Aboard!

"When you run in places you visit, you encounter things you'd never see otherwise." TOM BROKAW

The New Jersey Transit schedule below is for the free train, from NYC Penn Station to Long Branch Station, on race day morning. All participants, and spectators, are welcome to ride this train, from any station along the route which has a time listed. Just show up and get on!

NJ Transit - NJ Marathon Train # 8209

STATION NAME - TIME

Depart New York Penn Station 5:00 am
Newark Penn Station 5:15 am
Newark Int'l Airport
--------
North Elizabeth
--------
Elizabeth 5:23 am
Linden 5:28 am
Rahway 5:31 am
Avenue
--------
Woodbridge 5:38 am
Perth Amboy 5:43 am
South Amboy 5:47 am
Aberdeen-Matawan 5:55 am
Hazlet 5:58 am
Middletown 6:04 am
Red Bank 6:10 am
Little Silver 6:14 am
Monmouth Park
--------
Arrive Long Branch Station
6:25 am
It's scary to say that I am training for two marathons at one time...funny that you get TWO different marathon streams of e-mails, but i'm use to it I guess. The pressure is there though, after committing myself to a 3:10 pacer in the New Jersey Marathon, I better show up for this race, since people are depending on me. It's a scary pressure of just the marathon by itself, although when you add people depending on you for the entry of the Boston Marathon...that's the pressure!
We'll see how we do and how we feel after the Boston Marathon...

3/22/09

Colon Cancer Races and Winning the Raffle!

"What is the source of my success? I think it's a combination of consistency and balance." MARK ALLEN

Ok...

So last night I came back from my cousin's bachelor party at 2am in the morning! Gosh, I wake up only because I love taking pictures for my team...true?

Anyways, there were 2 races going on and I wasn't sure if BC was going to be out taking pictures or not. Many of my teammates come out for this race, so I was sure to see people from the team.

Anyways...I trudged up towards Central Park any way I can get up there...I mean I left pretty late, where the race started at 9am, so I left my home at 8:50, so it would take at least 20 minutes to run a 4 miler right? Oh geez, I forgot to factor in my speed...anyways, I got there just in time to see the first place runner come in followed by TT...and I met up with JW, another fellow blogger.

Anyways, I tried to snap a few other flyers although there were not many of them there...scary how this race was all sold out...

Anyways, I see PBJ and some other fellow flyers out getting ready at baggage claim. I wonder why they are so nonchalant, when it is 9:50 and the race starts at 10...well...they told me that it started at 10:15...so I took a few snaps of pictures of those who I knew and had flyer shirts on...

Then went to a stump where the light pole was to snap those at the "starting line"...this is really impossible because of the crowds, so therefore, it is far easier if you take pictures later on in the race when everyone streams out...

So, I snap away and see BC after everyone goes by...he's in my territory...so we walk together across 72nd street transverse...then he leaves me to my territory and he goes up stream to the upper east and west sides...while I take pictures on the west 72nd street area.

Anyways, I talk to Sam, who is MT's hubby, as MT goes round and round...we are on the Hood to Coast team...later on this year...

So, all the team members finish up, and I head on up to Urban Athletics for the Flyers sale after race party. Weird, there was a random raffle going around, so I entered, thinking nothing of it and everyone was getting free shit...socks, bags, watches...gosh, I hated everyone...then the last prize was $100 for shoes...

Then...my name was called...wow! That is so cool!!!

I only stayed because PBJ was there and I was staying up on the east side to watch the NCAA basketball games with closer peeps...

Wow...luck of the draw.

Anyways, so I had to choose a shoe then and there...and I needed a new racing shoe anyways, since all of my training shoes will change after the Boston marathon...so why not my racing shoes as well. I think it was about this time that I changed shoes as well...scary but true...one year....that is nuts huh? All my racing in one year with one pair of shoes...

So, I got the Mizuno Wave Elixir's...same shoe as my regular racing shoe, just an upgrade. I was going to get the Asic DS trainers which I had wanted from the very beginning, although I felt more comfort in my Mizuno's...

The rest of the day I went to GW’s to work on the marathon program a little and then went to the bars to meet up with a few people.

3/21/09

Social hour at the Park!

"My philosophy on running is, I don't dwell on it, I do it." JOAN SAMUELSON

Alright...regular Saturday morning where I usually run up to the park and then was going to just circle around to the top end and come back down towards the bottom and call it a day...never the less, seeing teammates of mine really squanders my plans of getting back early and having plans.

Well...I saw DG talking to KK and TB...I surprise attack TB as she tells me after I jump on her that the wave numbers are out...she tells me that she is in the first wave of the Boston Marathon as she is super giddy about it.

Also she tells me that Tiffany's is spelled with a Y's instead of “ies...”

So I changed it...ok TIFFANY!!!!

I ask her about the jackets and the colors of the Boston Marathon apparel...she states to me that it isn't so bad...I care to differ about that as it SCREAMS out BOSTON MARATHONER!!!

Kidding, but yes, it is very noticeable and the yellow is VERY YELLOW!

Anyways, as TB and KK leave I talk to DG for a little while (about 10 minutes maybe) and then try to catch up to TB and KK...but I couldn't, so I was determined to...I pas a bunch of flyers in the park and continue...then my plans change on mileage as I add a 5 miler in...finally I see TB and KK...I slow down my pace and I guess speed up there's a little as KK tells TB that they are at marathon pace....

Anyways...it's always a good time seeing people in the park! Very exciting...broke off with KK and TB on the lower side of Central Park and then ran home.

Nothing much too exciting after that...ended up running home, completing a 17.5 mile run and going to Jersey afterwards for my cousin's bachelor party of dinner and bowling...which I banged up my leg pretty bad playing bumper bowling...how? Don't ask...so now there is a bruise right on the side of the bone.

Anyways...returned home at 2am in the morning...uh! Got to get up early for the 4 and 15K runs....at least they are early and I'm not running....

3/19/09

Flyers Meeting

"If you want to achieve a high goal, you're going to have to take some chances." ALBERTO SALAZAR

So after receiving my pictures on Capstone Photography from the New Bedford race this weekend, It was pretty funny to find that JK was right behind me on my tail when I had put in the final burst to pacing him...actually he was pacing me, so I had no problem with that...but was very surprised to find how close he was up behind me...which was good...since he was keeping on my tail on the final 200 meters of the race.

Our friend BS, well she came in about 3 minutes earlier and was probably well rested by the time we had came in. But yes, I think I could have hung with her....

After work I treked uptown to the first executive board meeting for the year for the new board. I only went because I had chosen to stay on board with volunteering with the club in helping out GW in the marathon training program.

After work I treked uptown to the first executive board meeting for the year for the new board. I only went because I had chosen to stay on board with volunteering with the club in helping out GW in the marathon training program.

It was a good meeting and I got to see DG, where we chatted afterwards about his surgury and how he was doing. In all...the NCAA brackets are done and set in stone...we'll see how this flyer brackets will do!

3/18/09

Bolt Bus to Boston...

"Experienced runners learn to respect the changing needs of their bodies. That's the wisdom that comes with time, and - for good or bad - with age." FRED LEBOW

Well...

It took about 50 tires to actually sign up for transportation to go to Boston for the Boston Marathon. Well, I guess the Bolt Bus schedules only come out like a month before the actual date of departure.

So the day that I would like to leave is on the 17th...but thinking that late afternoon or night would be best...then I finally was able to get on and see that the $1 bus fare for that day was in the early morning at 9am and 8am...

So thinking, I can take off on that day, since I have a few days which I can spare along the way here and there. So I tried to book it...for the 9am bus...bus some glitch happened and I was really frustrated!!!

Ahhh!!! So I signed in again and then when I finally signed in...it was gone! Ahhh!!! What happened? I finally said screw it and signed in for the 8am bus...a tad bit earlier than I actually wanted to get in at...

Ok, what am I going to do on that friday?

I finally got my whole fare to being $11 for the entire trip...that is awesome! Now I can spend that extra $20 somewhere else, such as buying some kind of appearal item or something like that...

Anyways, Boston Marathon....here we come!

Boston Apparel

"Some running should be different mentally just the way it is different physically. On my easy runs, I may use the time to relax and let my mind wander, but I never do that in hard workouts or races." GRETE WAITZ

Yup! The "varsity jackets" are out! Well, to some people this is the pinicle of all marathons, so we joke around saying that you have earned you "varsity jacket" as you go through the ranks in High School to earn your varsity letter and jacket.

Anyways, the BAA sent out an apparel e-mail with Adidas, where they show just the Adidas items that are out...though that was last week...

Then this week as well they sent out another apparel e-mail having more items on the list and well...

I have came to restrict myself....

- I am very content with my regular jacket from last year, so - no jacket this year...
- I may get a pullover of some kind, which takes over from the jacket...
- a beanie for my head during the winter time...I have been meaning to get another winter hat, so this comes in perfect time...
- a lifer T-shirt...umm...yeah, why not!- ok, I have to see what the other "brands" have in store for Boston gear...

That's it for now...

3/17/09

BAA numbers out…

"Running is my sunshine." JOAN TWINE

I got an e-mail from one of my Alzheimer's teammates telling me that the BAA just recently put out our bib numbers.

What number am I?

Well, last year I had put in my 3:03 time and had gotten the number of 3, ___.

So this year I had put my Philadelphia marathon time of 3:00:43 and my number is....

2,909

Weird huh? Actually I didn't think I was going to be that high, well, last year I came in the 1,000 mark for place which I understand now about the numberage...but wow, thought that there were more sub 3ers in the world than that!

Anyways, all good. This one is all about fun anyways as I am a pacer for JK...so, I really don't necessarily need a number!

It's always good to have though, since you feel special and all....

It's the Boston Marathon for GOSH SAKES!

Boston Marathon History:
The First Boston MarathonAfter experiencing the spirit and majesty of the Olympic Marathon, B.A.A. member and inaugural US Olympic Team Manager John Graham was inspired to organize and conduct a marathon in the Boston area. With the assistance of Boston businessman Herbert H. Holton, various routes were considered, before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from Metcalf's Mill in Ashland to the Irvington Oval in Boston was eventually selected. On April 19, 1897, John J. McDermott of New York, emerged from a 15-member starting field and captured the first B.A.A. Marathon in 2:55:10, and, in the process, forever secured his name in sports history.

In 1924, the B.A.A. moved the starting line from Ashland to Hopkinton. In 1927, the Boston Marathon course was lengthened to the full distance of 26 miles, 385 yards to conform to Olympic standards.

The Marathon DistanceThe 1896 Olympic marathon distance of 24.8 miles was based on the distance run, according to famous Greek legend, in which the Greek foot-soldier Pheidippides was sent from the plains of Marathon to Athens with the news of the astounding victory over a superior Persian army. Exhausted as he approached the leaders of the City of Athens, he staggered and gasped, "Rejoice! We Conquer!" and then collapsed.

The marathon distance was later changed as a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London. That year, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria wanted the marathon race to begin at Windsor Castle outside the city so that the Royal family could view the start. The distance between the castle and the Olympic Stadium in London proved to be 26 miles. Organizers added extra yards to the finish around a track, 385 to be exact, so the runners would finish in front of the king and queen's royal box. Every Olympic marathon run since the 1908 Games has been a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards.

On a Monday: The Patriots' Day RaceFrom 1897-1968, the Boston Marathon was held on Patriots' Day, April 19, a holiday commemorating the start of the Revolutionary War and recognized only in Massachusetts and Maine. The lone exception was when the 19th fell on Sunday. In those years, the race was held the following day (Monday the 20th). However, in 1969, the holiday was officially moved to the third Monday in April. The 2004 race will mark the 36th consecutive year the race has been held on a Monday. The last non-Monday champion was current Runner's World editor Amby Burfoot, who posted a time of 2:22:17 on Friday, April 19, 1968.

Women Run to the FrontRoberta Gibb was the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon in 1966. Gibb, who did not run with an official race number during any of the three years (1966-68) that she was the first female finisher, hid in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Katherine Switzer did not clearly identify herself as a female on the race application and was issued a bib number. B.A.A. officials tried unsuccessfully to physically remove Switzer from the race once she was identified as a woman entrant. At the time of Switzer's run, the Amateur Athletics Union (A.A.U.) had yet to formally accept participation of women in long distance running. When the A.A.U. permitted its sanctioned marathons (including Boston) to allow women entry in the fall of 1971, Nina Kuscsik's 1972 B.A.A. victory the following spring made her the first official champion. Eight women started that race and all eight finished.
First to Sponsor the Wheelchair DivisionThe Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition when it officially recognized Bob Hall in 1975. With a time of two hours, 58 minutes, he collected on a promise by then Race Director Will Cloney that if he finished in less than three hours, he would receive an official B.A.A. Finisher's Certificate. American wheelchair competitors Jean Driscoll and Jim Knaub helped to further establish and popularize the division.


Olympic Champions at BostonThree-time defending women's champion Fatuma Roba became the fourth person to win the Olympic Games Marathon and the B.A.A. Boston Marathon when she posted a 2:26:23 to win the 1997 Boston Marathon. Roba, who won the 1996 Olympic Marathon, joined fellow-women's champions Joan Benoit, who won Boston in 1979 and 1983, before adding the 1984 Olympic Games title; and Rosa Mota (POR), who won a trio of Boston crowns (1987, 1988, and 1990), while adding the 1988 Olympic title. Gelindo Bordin (ITA) is the only male to win the Olympic (1988) and Boston (1990) titles.

3/16/09

Worried about E...

"Success does not come to the most righteous and rigorously disciplined but to those who continue running." AMBY BURFOOT

Ok, usual Monday group run tonight was a bit on the warm end, but a bit on the cool end. So deciding what to wear was hard. I decided to be conservative and wear pants instead of shorts....but later thought differently. I also had a vest, sleeves and an Ireland GREEN t-shirt.

GO GREEN! That's for you AD as we were on the warm steps of the Sam Adam's brewery as she told me about the "GO GREEN" T-shirt she should have bought at Target...


Double meaning...yes am...yes!

Anyways, my Achilles got all torn up from the straps that the New Bedford people gave to us...uh...such a buggen to have these sharp edges...sort of like those slap on bracelets that they had back in the day that they found out had cut the kids wrists...

Anyways, back to the run. We started out slow and CW was on his honeymoon, so it was just me and E tonight. E told me that he had been hurtin' lately with a recent fall that he had pulled some kind of bodily muscle near his ribs? I don't know, although I recall him telling me on a pervious run that he had not fallen in a long time and in the past 3 weeks prior to that he had fallen 3 times...

Very crazy! Anyways, he told me that he went to the doctor and the doctor told him to go to see a cardiologist.

I remember my last time I had been in the cardiologist office was because I had been having these faint dizzy spells. The cardiologist hooked me up to an EKG machine and I also had a sonogram of my heart to see the flows and motions of my heart...pretty cool.

The outcome: yes, I have a heart murmur. One of my heart valves suck in and then push out…the flap is actually sucking too much over or is not covering enough. Weird huh? I got scared when the whole Ryan Shay thing came about because I am a runner with a heart condition. I mean it’s scary since we all rely on our hearts so much and things like this happen…do we have to get our hearts check out? We push and push and push ourselves to the very limits and we don’t ever know when to say when…

It’s really scary to find that we are the ones that are exercising…caring for our bodies and over obsess about our bodies a little too much where people who really don’t care about their bodies and don’t exercise are the ones that are not injured, no desires, may live longer than us and benefit in having more time…

Guess these are the things we deal with when we have “fun”…

Anyways, we run on the piers, run along the west side, when E tells me to go ahead...I do what I am told...but in my head I am thinking, wait a minute, should I turn back? should I not leave him? He told me that he was going slower, but should I run with him? I was really confuzed and I was really thinking of turning back at the winter garden...but didn't. I kept my eye out for E...but really didn't see a tall lengthy guy behind me...so when I passed the others I told them to look out for him...then at the end when I was rounding out my piers and waiting at the light, I see E...wheew! I am relieved...

I sprint on back and leave him in the dust as he tells me that he was ok...eh! a little worried that's all!

3/15/09

New Bedford Half Marathon

"To exercise at or near capacity is the best way I know of reaching a true introspective state. If you do it right, it can open all kinds of inner doors." AL OERTER

I awaited for JK to come to pick me up. AD was awake and ready to take out the dog. I knew how much AD wanted to go to the race this morning, although she had a ton of stuff to do for her classes and I understood. It was a bit chilly, but we were ready to go…I said my good bye to AD and got picked up by JK and headed to get two more people…

It was quite different driving to a race than the NYC setup of getting into a subway and heading up to Central Park. It was different. As you head down the highway we saw B that we ran with two weeks ago. We lead to park near the high school and got out and went to registration. There it was like a marathon set up with your name on a list and you had to go find your number and tell the people to get your packet. Interesting huh? We finally got things together and saw Coach Rich, who gave us a few pointers and what not. We headed back to the car to put on our clothes where the weather was testing us to see what we would wear. If I had a singlet, I would have worn it, although I just got the new Alzheimer’s singlet that Bill Rodgers signed.

Nah, we’ll go long sleeved with shorts and we’ll be fine with that. The game plan was to follow JK and pace him. This will be a good test run for the Boston marathon and get him to be comfortable with me next to him. We’ll give it a go. We did a slight warm up of about 1.5 to 2 mile warm up and then headed down to the start. It was a bit crowded, but it was not as large as a NYRR race. oK…ready to rumble. JK and I saw the rest of the crew of guys and we stopped to take a picture. Then we headed up front…as the race sounded to start, I noticed that there was no chip mat on the ground. WHAT? We were a bits a way from the start, but maybe by 10 seconds…ahh gun time. That’s what makes a huge difference in what your final time is, but not by much.

We headed around people, weaving a little bit, but really wanted to test out JK. It was the start and I wanted to get away from the pack of people that surrounded us, so we cautiously dashed in front to get away from the crowds. By mile 3 it was all good and pretty spread out. There were hills coming and going in the first few miles as that made the distance a little longer, but pretty much evened out in the end with a flat course.

The special thing: I got to see the HOYTS LIVE! It was amazing and I took a picture of them. I never got to see the HOYT’s live since I was always in front of them, this time around, it was inspiring. The inspiration that one father has for his son and the amazing inspiration that he brings to many. He really is a competitor. Ironman’s and Marathons, it’s such an amazing feat to bring your son along. TEAM HOYT.

We separated ourselves pretty much along the way with the hills and checking up on JK. We worked well together where we focused a lot and was a little less chatty. It was ok, I needed to make him comfortable and see if I was going out too fast or if he was. I told him at mile 3 that he can lead the 9 miles and I’ll bring him home on the last mile. It was a good combination most of the way through as JK was leading most of the miles. He did well…when we were faltering a little, I took lead and we ran pretty much side by side next to one another. Water stations was a big deal and there were cramming, although I made sure that he was well adequate with water, so most of the stations I grabbed 2 cups. One for me to dose over my head and the other I offered to JK. Most of the time JK refused, then I can get a splash of water in my mouth, but as a pacer, I felt it was good to make sure that who you are pacing doesn’t get crammed into these water stations.

We veered around near the beach areas and brought it home with 4 more miles to go…I tried to keep the encouragement flowing as the tougher miles were rough. I had a whole lot of steam left as I think I had been going at 75%...it felt good though and in the end it’s not always about yourself, it’s teamwork. Dreams are made from other’s and to have another’s person’s goal yours…that’s a more important matter.

We had one more mile to go and we brutally went up the hill that we warmed up on. It was comforting to know that the end was near and know where I was in the end. JK warned me the finish line was a turn back or rather J like course…As we saw Coach Rich, he told us ¼ of a mile down hill and ¼ of a mile to the finish line. I finally let my body go down the hill as JK followed. I told JK to push to the end and finish strong as I went and left him to finish my own race. It was good and the feeling of accomplishment of pacing and feeling good about the pace was comfortable. We made a good team and I told him that the big picture is the Boston Marathon.

This was just warm up…

We made our ways to the end as we chatted it up with B and her parents and then headed on up to Coach Rich. We then went to the school to get some fish sandwiches, fish chowda and ice cream…I had two cups! Oh it was amazing!

3/14/09

The Samuel Adams Brewery…

"Our sport becomes not just what we do but an integral symbol-on all levels-of who we are." GLORIA AVERBUCH
Getting up in the morning not knowing exactly where you are is a scary thing. Although waking up with TJL’s dog near you, is a scary thing. No kidding. Baxter was not at all scary in the morning but rather cute as I saw him wondering at first where I was. I recalled that I was in AD’s place soon after a split second, although it takes you quite a while to regulate your balances. 8:30am…wow, that was sleeping in for me. Runners tend to sleep early and get up early…we are conditioned by races or training runs to rise before the sun or try to beat out the heat in the summer time. But today was different; I was trying to relax after a long week.

I slowly type on my blackberry with the rest of the night that happened during my trip over to AD’s place. Stunning huh? A day after and you tend to recall all the facts of what was said and what was recalled in your memory…called a brain? You get the bits and pieces and throw in a few misconceptions here and there…fact or fiction, you recall what was said and what moves and pushes through from mind to paper.

Anyways, as AD woke up, we decided to go on our own run this morning rather than get pulled along with her running club…since PP was not in town either. They, AD and PP, run together and it’s quite comforting to hear how well this full cycle friendship is going…high school friends, college friends, friends of friends…it’s amazing how small this world really is.

Anyways, so AD and I decide to go on a run after I give logistics of my New Bedford Half wake up tomorrow and the Samuel Adam’s brewery tour times that we had planned on going earlier in the week. It’s absolutely amazing how plans get pushed through and it’s amazing how AD is so appeasing to my requests. Although we had gotten ready to run before as I always enjoyed a good run with AD.

We decided to do her 4 mile route, as we discussed about how SR is doing…taking out TJL’s dog and other facts on catching up. It’s been a while and we love catching up on old things, also talking about old things and just having a chill grand old time. AD slowly turns to singing as an option of conversation…umm…weird! Kidding, she’s always very sporadic all the time. That’s AD for you…how many years have I known her? Ahh…it’s wonderful knowing someone in and out and that’s how I knew most of my high school friends.

Anyways, it was good catching up. We quickly ate breakfast, showered and changed and then we were off to the brewery. We waited a while, although it was a beautiful day. As AD and I chatted while we waited for the tour to begin, she stated this about me…we were on the topic of relationships and she knows so much about me…she described my relationships in simple terms on my realizations if I am with the right female…In simple terms, she knows how I operate with the pickiness of what I look for in a gal.

“piss off the can, that’s a two month relationship with you” “shit off the can, that’s a long term relationship realization with you

I would hate to say it, but seriously that is really true in many ways. I couldn’t believe how AD was true to those words and how I was. It scared me a bit and realized how I function as a person.

The rest of the day was amazing. We got to go inside to see the Samuel Adam’s Brewery. It was so much fun where we learned about the nature of how their beer was developed and brewed. Hops, barley, water and yeast is what makes beer…beer! We got to taste about two pints of beer at the end and get a small drinking glass as well…all for FREE. The tour was absolutely FREE!

We stayed there for a while as we tasted three different kinds of beer. Then I was thoroughly kind of buzzed. We then went shopping and ate some “snack” food…it was a very fun day…very fun!

In the end…beer, burritos and best friend…that’s all one needs in life.

3/13/09

Friday the 13th - A New York Minute

"The essential thing in life is not so much conquering as fighting well." BARON DE COUBERTIN, Founder of the Modern Olympic Games

As I layed restless on AD's couch in Somerville, MA in the wee hours of the night...it's because my mind was racing, rather than the comfort of the hospitality and the comfort of the couch...

I started thinking about the comparisons of how NYC is.

Let me first explain that I came into Boston after work today and sat next to an Assie gal, visiting her boyfriend...of course all the good looking ones are taken...amazing accent and amazing lookin'...she was a lawyer and only lived in NYC for about 4-6 months. She is enjoying living in NYC and asked her what she would perfer to life, NYC or Boston, her reply was NYC...just more things to do...

I finally arrived in Boston after an exhausting trip on the Bolt Bus, where some of my Alzheimer's teammates tease me by having some bad experiences by bus...yes, my trips to and fro Boston have been experiences...but I survive and it and didn't know what to expect on Friday the 13th.

So...getting back on topic of living in NYC or Boston, AD's roommate was moving out to buy a new apartment. Our other high school friend, TJL just recently bought a new apartment with HF, her boy, in Somerville like literally 3 blocks away from AD.

As AD told me about her roommate situation, she had been surprised about my reaction. I was not phased because, as I told AD we are at an age where we make decisions for ourselves...it is a bit "selfish" but we have to look at our own investments.

We are adults now, and we have to live by our actions. People in Boston grow up faster, it's more family oriented. People in NYC date more and we have more of a professional life....

Which brings me to the NYC minute...

I felt as though living in Boston and being in boston the time goes by a little slower. It may be that your enjoyment of time slows down. In NYC, the time just flys by you. Even though you wake up early, the time always seems like it just goes by so quickly. There is not enought time to do anything in NYC and everyone wants thing so quickly. I guess I am more accustommed to this fast pace environment or maybe it's just the fact of just always doing something.

Whenever I am home in the suburbs, I am LAZY as HELL! I seem to relax more and be at ease. When I am in the city, it's do this, do that...gotta finish this, finish that...never a dull moment.

3/12/09

4 up,..4 down...

"Sustained motivation is essential to achieving your potential." GRETE WAITZ

Not my usual Thursday night runs, although similar. I had a captains meeting tonight for the NYF. It was colder than I had expected due to the fact of sticking my hand out of the office window...but being outside, well that was a different story...and the wind and sun almost going down. I ran up 8th avenue almost at a moderately slow pace. My legs were feeling slightly tired from last night's "easy" workout. I seemed to make it up to the park ok, as…the wind chill continued to drop. As I was veering towards the bend near the reservoir, I see some familiar legs. Well, the joke was basically that her legs and skin are so reflectively white that she can be spotted from anywhere...I usually see Pean running the other way...so it was awkward seeing her run the same way as I was...and from a far, I didn't even know it was her.

Pean has an amazing look to her. Her short body and long legs make her an excellent runner. Her legs are amazingly muscular as you can always see the definitions in her calves as well. We still remain friends and knock on each other from time to time. She pulls along the side as I scream at her telling her that she should not be running...she really shouldn't due to her lung/health clears up...but runners will be runners. We are stubborn.

I pull up right beside her and told her again that she shouldn't be running...something in her quad or hammy was wrong, but that didn’t put her back. I tell her that I could spot her from a mile away with her bright shining legs...she laughs it off and says...that was a good one...like she hadn't heard that before...yes, making me feel stupid.

Ok...so we ran together as her hair flip flopped...yes, I have a thing for perfect pony tails and gals that run with pony tails...ahhh! I told her that her ponytail was turning me on...she laughed, knowing the story...

Ahh...anyways, we part as I say hello to the Thursday crew and she is bound home...I say hello to PBJ and AH, who I haven't seen in a while....just passing through I told them...I also pass by LFG and DG as they were on their way towards the group run.

I run the opposite way of where I was suppose to go, while I run across park, DL sees me and screams that I was going the wrong way...good thing! We walk to DM's place near the park...

Captain's meeting....all the various captains and bloggers were there (LK, Runner26, and other peeps) all captains that are good friends of mine.

After the meeting was over...I decided to run home of course...DL calls this garbage miles...opposed to quality miles? What's what? Geez, calling these miles garbage miles gosh, still running a mile!

I make it back ok, as I recall eating chill and drinking beer before my run...smart Brian...smart!

3/11/09

An "Easy" 10...

"Free your mind, and your feet will follow." KEVIN NELSON, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration


Leaving work and after my teleconference call that I had with my Alzheimer's team, which they had met Bill Rodgers, I was deciding if I had wanted to run or not.

First thing is first though. Went to Trader Joes to pick up a few items for the captians meeting that will happen tomorrow night...so, that was also a factor involved. I had my glasses on, felt exhausted from work and was definitely leaning towards no...

BUT, then came the factoring point of when will I get my base training then, since tomorrow night I will be missing the longer portion of my long base run.

So, it was a warm night, but it was 9 o clock by the time I got home. I quickly ate a banana and changed. 9:22...out the door. Wow, only in NYC can you leave the door at that hour and not eat dinner yet. Well, maybe you would say, only I would be doing that...and be crazy to do that as well.

As I was leaving my apartment building, I had forgotten my reflector and I'd tag...opps! IKm not going back for it. But as I left the front doors, it was rather frightening of what I was thinking.

"what if this was your last run?" Do you run every run like it was your very last?

As I ran some more and got to the east side, I thought more and more about the question from Running Lounge on what defines you as a "runner" it could be at any moment, any item purchased and any thought.

I thought a bit, thinking would it be a material item or would it be an experience, a joy? A pure release?

I would say, my first moment in actually feeling that I was a runner would be when a runner gets their first personal goal. Running is all about personal goals. Yes, it is nice to beat someone in a race. It is nice when you have that cometition, since we all have that competitive edge, but it's one joy when they reach their own goal in running. May it be at any distance or any kind of exercise. May it only be for 5 minutes of running on the tred mill, you have accomplished your goal...that's when you feel like you are a runner.

Anyways, moving on...as I moved at an easy 7:30 pace, I figured to go do an "easy" 10 miles. Now, this is my usual friday day lop of running at the bottom of manhattan.

The great part about running at night is seeing the Manhattan Bridge & Brooklyn Bridge with all the glistening lights and true beauty. Don't get me wrong, the moon light shimmering on the hudson and east side was amazing as well. Just pure true beauty and tranquility.

I round out the Fulton Fishmarket, South Street Seaport, and Staten Island Ferry. Halfway point...

Time to crank up the "easy" 7:30 to. sub 7 pace...let's see how quick I can go...but still maintain a good distance. I kept my head focused on the lights that alligned the boardwalk. The pure beauty, it was nice and cool as the temperature was definitely not an issue. Maintain form, maintain focus. I wanted to see the easibility for this weekend and still keep in mind the recovery factor.

Ok...feeling good at the moment, I had to resist the piers as they were tempting me. Maintain. Composure.

Ok...breath was definitely taking over. Legs felt fine. Maintain pace. Glancing at my watch as it kept pace. Oh man...faultering...feeling it. Mind...over matter...

I ended up striding and maintaining a good pace. Once I left the boardwalk on the west side, I knew one of my faulters in reaching that SUB 6:53 pace in a marathon...MY MIND. It breaks down, faulters and thinks thoughts of failure.

Dancing in the Rain: Another of our Inspirational Life Stories

It was a normal, busy morning, about 8:30 when, George, an elderly gentleman, well into his 80's, arrived at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, England, to have stitches removed from his thumb.

George told me that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:15 am. I weighed him and took his blood pressure and invited him take a seat in the waiting area, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On examination, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the Doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked George if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. George told me no, but that he needed to go to St Christopher’s Nursing Home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a little late. George replied that she no longer knew who he was and that she had not recognized him in five years.


I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'
I had to hold back tears as George left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.' True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, And will not be.


The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. 'Life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to Dance in the Rain.'

3/9/09

Getting signatures...

"It's my own space, my own time, when I'm just out there letting my thoughts go. It's a part of my day like eating, and it's one of my favorite parts." LOUISE KENT

Well...it was a regular monday night run with all of the runners that usually come. Although, Rocketman will not show up due to his surgery that he will be having next week. He is in such good spirits as in his words, the surgery is minor. Minor! What surgery is minor...so, it's a simple running away from Runningman as the fast crew did piers and had to catch up to the crew. As we caught up, we did piers on the way back and basically hustle and bustle to get ahead. JG and ES were there as the fast crew and I had left them to go faster. They caught up and skipped one pier...as I screamed at them to join me...but really I never gave up my speed to be there in the end to allow people to do a simple chore...

So ES was chasing me, I slowed a tad, and he finally caught me in the end. It was good to keep him on his toes and allow him to gain the confidence that he will need for Boston...he will get to 3:10...that's what he is gunning for.

In the end, we got many things done before Rocketman came in with LG....
Ahh we'll miss you for the next few weeks Rocketman...good luck!

I walked him to the subway as we chatted about the new Flyer board...all good on my end. I'm ok...I joined GW to volunteering to put together the marathon program...who knows, I also may be a coach for Team for Kids as well!!!

Ahh another monday down....

3/8/09

Breakfast at Tiffany's...

"In running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions." GLENN CUNNINGHAM, American runner in the 1930s

I would say Breakfast at Tiffany's, but really I didn't have breakfast at Tiffany's. Two weeks ago during the Cherry Tree run in Brooklyn, I had lent TB my Flyers jacket. I had yet to receive it back because she was in the process of moving apartments and so this weekend would be the perfect times to pick it up...also see her spankin new apartment. As architects (which we both are) we should appreciate each other's accompaniment and talk about this other than running…though, it always turns up to being just about running. So...after some breakfast, baking these really DRY cookies and some clean up, I decided to run up and get my jacket....because Chivalry is not DEAD! Which all ladies say that now days I guess because men don't treat ladies the way they should be treated...anyways, I was brought up with simple manners and I guess that is chivalrous. So...up 2nd avenue all the way from 18th to 119th streets...that’s 101 blocks and approximately 5 miles each way. Since I was just trying out my legs this week after a long layover the 10 mile trek was an absolute wrecking ball for disaster. This really was an enjoyable long weekend for running.

I entered Tiff’s place, which was a very modern, sheik place compared to the Spanish Harlem architecture and rubble outside. The architecture was super modern as I walk by the lobby area and then walk right into Tiff’s apartment…umm what just happened here? I just went from super modern to super contemporary and classical architecture. Man o man, Tiff is super classical as she was brought up from Norte Dame…which doesn’t say much, but it’s her architecture. Her apartment did have a country cozy feel to it though which was very nice and not as cold and slick like modernist are. I hear a beeping noise from her smoke detector…BEEP…BEEP…every minute or two…gosh that’s annoying! I decided to try to help her with her problem, although the paint cover was on and I pulled that right off. Then I pulled the smoke detector right off as well…opps! She was giving me the tour to her apartment and I am ruining her apartment! Great one B…

I continually laugh at all the jokes Tiff brings out as I try to put the damn smoke detector back on. Opps! Missed it…damn it…arg! Not high enough! My neck hurts! I give up! Ok…taking a break as I continue the tour around her apartment. 15-20 minutes later I give it another go…FINALLY! After a few pushing of the button to see if the smoke detector works and blasts of beeping…uh it was back on the ceiling…but the damn beeping was still going on! I really didn’t solve anything…it was a service blink and I guess it needed servicing. Oh wellz! I tried!

As we sit and chat over Gatorade and about the Boston Marathon…a whole hour passes us by…as we also punch list her apartment as architects do with all the little things that we can really see what the contractor or other architect was thinking in usable space to specifying out certain countertops to cabinets…we are very TYPE A people….and very meticulous about everything.

As my time came to an end, I said goodbye to Tiff as I had to leave to meet up with a good friend at a coffee shop…

Ahh…that was a fun 10 mile run to and fro Tiff’s place…


The Beginning of a Boston Tradition

A lot has changed for the Boston Marathon since its first run in the spring of 1897. Today, what is certainly the oldest and most revered marathon in the country, perhaps the world, began as an ambitious vision by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) founders, after witnessing the first-of-its-kind race at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

The BAA officials designed the current course to match the original in Greece: a 25-mile hilly route culminating at a stadium, or the closest thing to a stadium that Boston had at the time, the 220-yard Irvington Street Oval.

At exactly 12:19 p.m., 18 men leaped from the starting line in front of Metcalf's Mill in Ashland (since 1924, the race has begun at Hopkinton Green). The starting official had no gun; he simply shouted "Go!" to start the BAA marathon.

In the early years, runners endured the narrow and dusty dirt roads winding their way to Boston. Today, of course, the roads are wide and paved.

Since the beginning of the Marathon, the starting line has been in flux, dictated by an often-repositioned finish line. In the marathon's third year, the BAA moved the finish line in front of its old clubhouse on the corner of Boylston and Exeter streets, site of the expanded portion of the Boston Public Library.

The starting line was pushed backward along Pleasant Street and onto High Street, where it rested on the Boston and Albany railroad bridge. The 22-foot wide bridge was more than adequate to handle the 17 starters that year.

By 1907, the bridge could not accommodate the 124 runners. Repairs that year closed the bridge, so the starting point was moved again, onto Union Street at Steven's Corner.

In 1924, the course was lengthened to 26 miles, 385 yards. With that change, the start left Ashland forever, moving up the road and across the town border into Hopkinton.

Next up...The Boston Marathon Course...

3/7/09

What long run?

"My basic philosophy can be summed up by an expression we use in Norwegian: hurry slowly. Get there, but be patient." GRETE WAITZ, Run Your First Marathon

So…not having run the whole entire week, my long run totals have been pretty much the same number as what the temperature was as the week started off. COLD and windy with the temperature wind chill to being somewhat in the single digits, let’s make that 3 degrees.

Although, calming myself down to not run and as the week got warmer I was not able to make it up to what the temperature of today was. I was astonished to have been able to sleep in this morning only to find that I had nothing revolving around my plate for this weekend. It felt really good, relaxing and really nice to just relax. I headed out late to Central Park to find myself in shorts, sleeves (just in case it was cold) and t-shirt. I’m brining back the bandana as well since it was a whole lot warmer and I didn’t need to ear warmers to fend against the cold.

I went up towards 89th street and found NJ already done with his run for the day. He told me that SR and PBJ were out running the loop. I asked him how many miles he had done, since he was in the 2009 challenge and we chatted about that, knowing we both take it way too seriously and ES basically told us to CALM DOWN.

Yes, we have to seriously back off this challenge or one of us will seriously get hurt or break down and not finish the rest of the season. That seriously would not be good…so we are in a pact as he asked me how my leg was doing and I asked him about his taper. He’s doing the National Marathon in DC. I quickly was back on the road and wondered why there was such as spectacle at the NYRR headquarters.

As I headed down clockwise, I knew I was going to run into SR and PBJ…I just didn’t know when. The birds have been chirping, it was a typical spring day and it was BEAUTIFUL! Sun shining, a little too hot, but it was amazing outside. I rounded the bottom half and went towards the reservoir, but didn’t quite make it to there. I saw SR and PBJ coming along and switched the directions that I was running.  SR...I haven't seen you in such a long time, where she hibernates, just like DL.  So, SR updated me on her new boy and how she was in the ritz and have moved into a higher tier of status and lifestyle...because of her new boy. The boy does not like to run with SR due to the fact that he does not have Running Etiquite.  Although, what is running etiquite?  Seriously, I ask and SR tells me all these little things that I guess I take for granted and I already possess...or do I?  It was rather funny though our running ended on the short end and we stretched a while and enjoyed the nice weather.  It was beautiful!

As they left, I decided to do another lap to see who else was in the park.  I found no one...weird huh?  I love the park on the weekend...but today was just ridiculous!!!  There was so many people: walkers, runners, bikers, people in carriages...all of the above.  It was crazy and really packed.  I finished up, thirsty as hell, but before then I met up with RS and JB...two roommates of my ex-SP's college friends who were both architects.  I knew them well, since whenever I went up to Troy to visit SP, I would see them all the time.  RS passed me on his bike and JB is running her first half marathon.

As I went into the NYRR, I remembered that they had a water fountain...this may have been the reason why there were so many people before as I saw NJ...but the run back home...it was good...in all a great day...and a long run.  Chill...long run...and my legs are back!

ADRENALINE RUSH Runners and vehicles share the same patch of asphalt near Central Park at Columbus Circle.

By CHRISTOPHER PERCY COLLIER
Published: November 5, 2008


JEAN KNAACK couldn’t keep a lid on it. While on a six-mile run near her home in Maryland, she raised her water bottle and expelled its contents onto the passenger-side window of a car.

Ms. Knaack, a 115-pound runner, had been jogging on the sidewalk when the vehicle had come within inches of hitting her. The driver had blindly pulled out of an adjacent parking lot, and Ms. Knaack responded with the aggressive squirt, coupled with a few choice expletives.

She did not anticipate what happened next.

The driver pulled the rest of the way out of the parking lot and into the street, whipped around in an intersection, got out of the car, and confronted her. Amid of flurry of profanities, the motorist threatened to strike her with a beer bottle. “The fact that he was so specific really scared me,” she said. “My heart rate shot sky high. I felt like I was going to pass out.”
Even though Ms. Knaack was a seasoned runner — she’s the executive director of the Road Runners Club of America — and is knowledgeable about proper training technique and nutrition, she never got the memo on what do when an angry or negligent motorist takes a workout sideways. That’s because there really isn’t one.

While road rage between cyclists and motorists has drawn some attention lately, adversity has long existed between runners and motorists “on a low level,” says Brent Ayer, the head running coach at Hood College in Frederick, Md., who, years back, was pelted with a jelly doughnut while running.

Not that it’s always the driver’s fault. “I watch runners cut through intersections, cross in the middle of the street, and crowd cars,” Mr. Ayer said. “We are not entirely blameless.”
An estimated 41 million Americans are counted as runners, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, and public roads are often their best option. Wooded trails isolate runners, and treadmills are considered poor training tools if used exclusively in preparation for a road race. Running around a track gets tedious.

But the thing about roads, of course, is that they also contain automobiles, driven, presumably, by any one of the nation’s more than 202 million licensed drivers. And most runners don’t have the good luck of participants in last Sunday’s New York City Marathon, for whom police officers conveniently banned cars.

Runner gripes typically revolve around drivers going too fast or not paying close enough attention. Donna Kidder of Raleigh, N.C., gets particularly perturbed with “motorists who are chatting on a mobile phone and unaware of their surroundings, or drivers with their hands at 2 and 10 on the steering wheel, eyes focused directly in front of them, thinking they are driving safely, when in fact, they never see what is around them.”

Other runners view the cause for many of these clashes as a result of a potentially flawed system — or perhaps a simple a lack of awareness. “Runners are encouraged to run on the left side of the road, against traffic,” said Sue Davies, a marathoner who has logged hundreds of miles in Connecticut as a member of Stony Corners Running Team, “but about 90 percent of the time drivers taking a right turn don’t bother to look right. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had drivers almost plow people down in our running group.”

Drivers honk their horns. Runners yell back. Obscene hand gestures occasionally go up. Usually, it ends there. But there are times when these seemingly minor altercations escalate.
In July, a jogger exercising in Stuart, Fla., was hit by a motorist driving a van. The driver then, for unknown reasons, proceeded to chase the runner while holding, in official police parlance, a foreign object.

In September, a runner in Annapolis, Md., was hit by a motorist, which brought about a yelling and a pushing match.

Police officers responded to an incident in April in Morris Plains, N.J., that began when a driver entered a crosswalk and blocked a jogger’s path. The runner retaliated, slamming his fist on the hood of the car, which prompted the driver to try to pin the runner against a parked car. The runner then reportedly struck the driver with his iPod — at which point the motorist reached into the back seat and pulled out a golf club.

It is a fact of physiology that adrenaline levels spike during exercise. But there is little research related to whether this elevated state predisposes athletes to aggressive outbursts if provoked. Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise who received a Ph.D. in physiology, suggested that that is unlikely. After all, “individuals are choosing between fight or flight,” he said.

What is more, Steven Stosny of Germantown, Md., who developed a course on road rage that is used to help rehabilitate criminal offenders, sees a potentially alarming pitfall specific to runners who harbor the misperception that exercise relieves anger.

It’s O.K. to run as a way of getting extra energy out, but it won’t take away the resentment,” Dr. Stosny said. “You will still have these negative feelings, and you won’t feel any less anger.”

“If an obnoxious event happens and you’re already 60 percent aroused, you may end up throwing something at a driver,” Dr. Stosny said. “What you should really be thinking about is how healthy it is for you to be running.”

Such advice may be helpful in considering when (or when not) to exercise. But what’s a runner to do when a driver pulls out unexpectedly? “The startle response is neutral,” Dr. Stosny said. “It clears your thoughts and perceptions. We train people to see it as free Starbucks. You’re already pumping adrenaline and, with more energy, you’ll run even more efficiently.”

Kay Porter, a sports psychologist and runner who has worked with scores of United States Olympic athletes, suggested that such roadside disputes arise out of an almost instantaneous defense mechanism. “Fear is a very vulnerable response and people don’t want to feel vulnerable, so it’s converted to anger,” Dr. Porter said. “And, as a runner, in general, you’re totally vulnerable.”

Dr. Stosny noted that heads butt between runners and drivers because both think “it’s my road.”

Changing this mind-set, for most runners, simply requires acknowledging the right for both parties to use public roads. “You have to remember the driver is another person,” said Dr. Stosny, which is sometimes forgotten because of the enclosed nature of most vehicles.

Naturally, drivers have a different perspective than runners. Bonnie Sesolak, development director with the National Motorists Association, a drivers’ rights group based in Madison, Wis., with 7,500 members, recalls a few close calls herself while driving to work on rural roads before the sun comes up.

“Runners are sometimes really hard to see,” she said, “especially if they are not wearing bright clothing.”

She also noted that it is often the driver who gets the bad rap when bodily harm is incurred, even if the runner is the one who was not fully attentive because of using headphones or some other distraction. “When an accident happens, it is usually the driver who is seen at fault,” she said. Runners “have to realize that personal safety is their own responsibility,” she said.

Of course, there are times when runners are glad drivers are around.

On one January day, Mr. Ayer of Hood College went out on what he thought would be an hour’s run near dusk. He was underdressed and gradually realized that he was lost.

“I was wandering around in near dark, tempting hypothermia.” Eventually, he spotted the headlights of an approaching motorist. In distress, he flagged the driver down. There was no verbal joust or physical struggle. He was simply offered a ride home.