5/31/09

Tale of two cities...

"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own, sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction." William James, philosopher

Woke up early for game time. Ended up that PP was not running, the race that AD and her were planning on running for about a month or so. I was planning to watch them both and not spend alone time in NYC during my birthday and take pictures...but plans changed. She offered that I should run in her place...

A half marathon...hmm....I couldn't resist! I did so, and well thought about a game plan due to the facts that I was running a marathon next week in South Dakota. AD had never ran a half marathon before and her training has been alright, though she said was not too great since her life has been busy. Since this year was all about helping other's it would be a great time to pace AD and run with her on her half. She was an excellent pace runner though and went to states in High School, which to this day I highly regret due to my admissions to college...

But, anyways the race was going to be hilly and my body was pretty tired from the Friday night. The day of shopping with the gals on Saturday was great as well and I guess, I figured when the race was going to start, I would be ok.

The race start the director of the BAA and course director for the Boston Marathon was there because this race was in honor for this gal. She had ran the Boston marathon of 26.2 feet instead of miles due to her condition. It was inspiring though as the director's wife was due and he was there to support! Now that is amazing!

The race started off and we were on our way. We started off pretty slow, but steady...this was AD's plan as she likes to "hunt" down people. 9:30 first mile, as I was pretty exhausted...I don't know why? Maybe it was the heat or humidity, maybe it was because of the miles on Friday? But man! I was beat! Huffing and puffing up and down the hills, we got on track with a comfortable pace of 8:30's... And kept that steady...I was following AD, but man was it an up and down ride. I couldn't believe it was an out and back, where the course you saw and the hills that you are going down, are the hills that you are going up later on...KILLER!

The heartbreak hill was the highlight of the race...I guess...but, after heartbreak, there was a loop where you wrap around and that had some MAJOR hills afterwards...the pace was good...8:30 pace and where I guess I was joking around giving PP who now handled the camera job and gave her a big sweaty hug...it must have been awful, but it was the spur of the moment thing...and she stayed on the way back...so I gave her a kiss on the cheek on the way back....

Then we rolled back the way we came. Rolled into a portopotty since I did not make sure I went in the beginning and then caught up to AD...I was keeping myself occupied as I did something really horrible and I feel bad now. I was slolome skiing between the cones, in and out as I guess I was maybe annoying AD...though she told me that it was awful for the guy in back trying very hard. Opps! Sorry guy!

I wanted to splash AD since it was hot, but didn't want to ruin her experience, so I flung water into the air thinking "if it came from the sky, then she can't yell at me!"...but it totally missed her...

She kicked it up at the end and did very well for the first half that she ran...so it was amazing!

Went to brunch afterwards and dropped me off at the bus station...

I was lucky to get an earlier BOLT bus back into NYC since Obama is in town and traffic will be bad...get home, drop off my things and shower...head to Professor Thoms to meet up with my friends...for a drink or two of celebration of MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Tale of two cities: Boston and New York...

5/30/09

Running Club

"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools." Spanish proverb

Everyone seemed to be out on a beautiful Saturday along the Charles River. As I was suppose to or rather I was planning on going to meet with my Alzheimer's teammates though that would require me to run to Watertown at 6 in the morning...

Anyways, I stayed in and met up with my friends at their running club party BBQ. Where I knew no one and felt socially awkward just going into someone's house, but made my way to the back and saw my friends...wheew PP and AD. We went to go eat burritos in Davis square and then decided to go to the Mall! Wow, haven't gone to the mall in a whole while especially now that I live in the city...crazy! Whole new experience!

We left the mall pretty late as the girls got their items that they had wanted...I think swim wear? Anyways, they are getting ready for the Splash and Dash race, the after party at the pool, which somehow they had roped me in with that race.

We stopped by the grocery store as we hoped to make dinner and made pasta, brachetta, and salad. It was good! PP stayed over as I worked a little before heading to bed and we fought on who would get the couch, air mattress or floor...I got off the air mattress to the couch and PP went from floor to air mattress, as I told her that after she got on, she would go back to the floor...

She did...and no one was on the air mattress...wake up early tomorrow for the Heartbreak Hill Half!

5/29/09

In Boston...

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." Mark Twain

So, I left in the very early morning on Friday at 8am in the morning...had plans to stroll around in Boston, which ended up alright.

I took some pictures of

Water spurting out of a fountain and then decided to go elsewhere since my friend AD was getting out of work. I was going to surprise her and just wait at her doorstep outside of her house (not like I have not done that before when we were home) but decided to give her a call instead, since she sometimes works late, even though it was a Friday...so I headed back to my hotel, got into my running gear headed out from downtown Boston to Somerville, played everything from memory and a sense of direction from the map sense of things.

It was hot and I headed out along the Charles River, which I crossed to the other side. I passed by Central Square and made my ways toward Harvard Yard...where this is where I got a little lost...I kept checking up on my blackberry directions to see if I was going in the right direction...and then finally made it when AD gave me a call in the last leg.

AD and I chatted outside of her apartment and we are very much particularly close. Ever since what, we were 5 years old we have known each other and have grew closer though track, running and everyday life.

AD then drove me back as she was heading towards SC's place (SC is one of my HS friends who I stayed at her apartment (along with PP, who is friends with DS, a college friend and HS friends with PP) a whole circle of friendships, that weirdly came about.

Anyways, I got dinner, watched a movie and yada yada yada...

5/28/09

Run too much?

"Give up TV, and you'll be amazed at how much time you have to run." Kees Tuinzing, runner and publisher

I had brought my running gear to work as in all Thursday's my usual routine would be to usually hike up to Central Park to meet up with the Thursday night crew...although for some reason, it did not work out the way that I had envisioned it.

Maybe it was the dampened rain, or the Grey skies, or the over-training and excessive mileage that I had been pulling to win this "challenge" that I never imagined to take it so seriously until I noticed how many miles I had been running in the early months of January thru March...or maybe I am learning to "taper"...

Anyways, I left work a bit on the dull side of things, maybe even thinking that work has brought me down a little...not having much to do to keep me busy and occupied.

Coaching for the Alzheimer's has definitely kept me busy in terms of setting up things and organizing items before the Association takes over pre-gala...so, that has definitely kept me busy in terms of where my mind has been.

I stopped by Jack Rabbit's where they were having a "sale" where some of the proceeds were going to Breast Cancer and they had this cyclist at the window spinning their wheels for 3 hours at a time (8 all together) going all day and all night spinning 3,000 miles for some kind of research...I praised them! Now, what happens if they put a treadmill there and put runners up on that storefront?

Anyways, I bought myself a white foam roller and two LED lights for Hood to Coast. Ahh! I had to pass on an adidas T-shirt, which I felt that all I need now are shorts...I have way too many dri_fit shirts...

I went home, got into my gear and convinced myself to either run the east side or run the usual downtown loop. I needed to be pushed out the door as once you sit down or lay down on your bed...it's all over! (This is the reason why I bring my clothes to work so you will go do your workout without having that chance to relax at home)

It was a muggy, semi-cool night as I set out at 8pm where there was still light in the sky. I rolled, feeling comfortable, seeking the sights along the east side water and viewing the nice atmosphere of the bridges (Manhattan and Brooklyn). It was beautiful, but this was not my first time seeing this as I always love that opportunity to think how lucky we are to live in NYC and see all that we do see when we run.

I made my ways around the bend to Staten Island and saw what the fisherman were catching...some caught like 4 feet fish! It was amazing! I felt good, very relaxed as I was not pushing it, just move, go with the flow and chill...let the wave ride and just move with it. I started thinking about how coaching was going, what moods I have been at and just life. I started to think about different things and how those things don't bother me when I run...everything seems so simple, so resolved when I run...all that is bothersome, vanish. All my thoughts are gone. Sometimes I ponder things, other times it is a blank feeling of nothingness that only occur in the moment. As I went down one pier, I see there was a chair...with some articles of clothing, though, there was no one around. I wonder what this chair is doing here? I look on both sides of the piers, only to see the water swells...alright! Whatever..move on, push on.

I move on as I see some guys on the west side kissing one another...no big deal...it's NY and well, the West side piers are "known" for that for some reason...

I end my runs with some sprints down 18th street as my legs feel good...a good 10 miler and pushing me over the hump...the hump of 900 miles this whole year thus far...

5/27/09

New Balance T-Shirt Contest...

"Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time." Michael Sargent, M.D.

So, I have been using this web agent called Flotracker recently because this offers the coaches of the Alzheimer's team to monitor there teammates and look at the weekly mileage that they are running. This helps facilitate the needs for both runner and coaches because it allows the runner to see the progress that they are doing with other perks: shoe monitoring, how other teammates are doing, maps of different weekly routes, race updates and of course the most important thing from the site is ability to upload the training schedule, meetings, races and group runs...this is great!

Anyways, searching other aspects in the site is where I combine two passions in my life: design and running.

New Balance had a T-shirt logo contest which allowed runners to make their own T-shirt and there were about 80 or so different T-shirt designs....there were no real requirements, although the theme was: "made in America" opposed to their other logo from last year, which was "Love/hate"

I thought that I had till the end of the week, but I had guessed wrong. I basically had an idea of one design which quickly changed to another...and then I inputted both of them in...

Hell, they are a whole lot simplistic than any of the other ones, which my whole concept would be "if you were a runner, would you wear some of these gaudy designs?".

Seriously here people, you have to think of who is going to be wearing these shirts here...simplicity is key, but over design is overkill...like something else that is over killed in one of the NY flyer's apparel...which I hope to design as well for this year's NYC marathon...

Well, let me know what you think...really. Criticize the hell out of it...one can not learn unless you learn from criticism.

5/24/09

Alzheimer's meeting

"The idea that the harder you work, the better you're going to be is just garbage. The greatest improvement is made by the man or woman who works most intelligently."Bill Bowerman, running coach

After the late night at the BBQ last night at TB's I stayed later just to make sure that everything was all cleaned up, since well...it has been crazy! TB and I just chilled after talking about life, running and all of the other things with the crazy architecture life. I was sure she wanted to get rid of me as I had been there the night before!

Anyways, I woke up this morning late as I needed to just sleep in and went to the office to get some work done. I had taken Friday off and wanted to get a good set in for memorial day as AJ was in LA doing his marathon...how quickly the tides are turning as his marathons are gearing up and mine are slowing down. There is no need for me to be running so much and those 200+ miles each month are slowly dwindling as NYC marathon Training is taking up most of my time. I decided to go home to run as the heat was a major factor of killerness...

As I decided to do my usual lower loop, I figured that 10 would be sufficient. But boy was it hot! It was getting hotter and hotter and people were grilling on the side and having fun...the humidity was the main factor as I was just sweating a pool of water on my back...ok, I need a drink of water here...I pulled over to the side to get a swig on the west side...

I had to be done with this run by 8pm...which I was going to meet up with JL, who recently got back from his vacation and wanted to meet up with me today, rather than tomorrow...all good, since the sooner the better.

The meeting, this has been the third time in which we have met. The very first was in the same location at Sunburnt Cafe, where we were discussing the very beginnings of power point and how or rather what we were going to be submitting to the NYRR Foundation to get us into being an official charity group. Little did we know...

Now, the third time in which we were meeting (the second time was right before the JR committee meeting when we got word that we were an official charity group) where everything is done paper less and over the communications of e-mail.

But wow, does JL has the whole organizational skills down to a T. I unleashed the marathon training program, which we deliberated that the Newbie schedule would be the very best schedule for newbie marathoners. I use the term Newbie due to the fact that I don't believe in Intermediate or Advanced runners. Runners can learn anything and everything from other people. Each person is designed differently, where something a newbie runner gives advice to another newbie runner, may not be the same advice or what the coach follows themselves...so, runners basically take in everything and all the advice they can, but use only what works for themselves. But newbie runners refers to a freshly non-marathon runner running a marathon for the first time. I get inspired by these people because you never get that feeling back again...you always remember your first marathon and you will always grow and learn. Although I believe that for some it is a lifetime experience, or it is something you can cross off your list...but for other's it brings great joy in running and fitness and friendships.

Anyways, we decided on a whole lot of different things as planning for this event is a hard task. Since we are not paid, we volunteer our time. Since running is a huge thing in our lives, we don't mind putting in the time, although we can not give up our lives. We scheduled a group run every week. May it be with a race or regular run, we shall always have either one week of training together as a group...this will probably increase but allows the coaches to have a flexible schedule (especially on the weekends).

The organizational part is tough so far, but coming along. We are having a pretty good handle on this as we dispersed...we have a lot to do, and one month to do it...as June 24 stares us in the face for the Kick off meeting.

Memorial Day BBQ

"Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get." Joe Catalano, running coach

So? Where was the BBQ?

TB had a great BBQ as I was late because I was looking for the lighter fluid. Getting the grill to start was a little tough, but we got it working after a while. I got there pretty late, although got confirmation from TB that we were going to start grilling at 4...so I had time before then. Although, when I got to TB's place almost everyone was there already and then many said oh, the chef has arrived. Ok, I didn't know I had to arrive early! Opps!

TB and I totally forgot that we were to make our own burgers, choppin onions and inputting seasoning...it was the usual, although a little pressurous when you are tying to manage a grill at the same time, although it all worked out in the end because you needed to get the grill started.

So! I made the burgers, seasoned them and by the time I was done, all good to go for grilling...though the next time I think TB will take over! I didn't mind at all though as I love to cook for other people...it's the satisfaction of other people that you get pride over and it's nice that they are happy people and stuffed! Haha!

But most of the day I was grillin as my clothes just smelled like a grill....MB thought it was a new scent of mine as she stated, "you can smell but you can't take a bite out of."

After all were fed, my duties were done as I got out the marshmallow's, graham crackers and chocolate to make s mores! Ahh pure success!

After, MB and I had a very interesting conversation about marathonning, our NY Flyers team and her job/government...it was great! Very educational, very stimulating and very nice to have an intelligent conversation. When I thought we were done with the grilling, TB informs me that we had all of the corn that we had bought...

Opps! I quickly throw on a few corn on the cob stalks as I wanted to BBQ corn! Ahh! How many people want corn, I asked? Ok, I just threw on like 6 stalks and tried to keep the fire going...by this point it was a slow moving low heat affair and it was going to take a little longer than expected.

The night died down when people started leaving...little by little until a smaller group formed...then TB and I were the last to be there and I made sure everything else was in order before I had left....

In all...the day went quickly, the night was fun, the BBQ was great...good food, good company, great place and in all a great BBQ to start the holiday weekend...

5/23/09

Got Licensed?

Ok, so my plan this morning was to wake up early (6:30am, leave the door by 7am) to go out to run, although as I realized that I had misplaced my license since it was not to be found in my wallet, I decided to look for it in the morning. I had thought that I had placed it somewhere in my running wallet (the siete de Mayo event that the NY flyers had) but it was not there...ok, start freaking out. I had remembered then that I had it when I volunteered for that bone marrow volunteering sometime when I had met up with J and James for LP...but that was two weeks ago...ok, last week I went into bars...I remember not using it for the first or even the second...though the third? Did I? Man I think I was lucky that I never had to use it...because it was not in my wallet!

Anyways, looked everywhere, and was turning my room inside out...looked here, looked there....ok, I give up and I was going to give up in my run as well!

Then, I found it. It was clipped next to my business cards...which now I guess I remember using my license the second bar that I had gone to last week...ok, yes I do remember now.

Anyways, I do remember giving LR a business card after she has signed my book.

Anyways, I went out for a run afterwards...but had to cut it short where my original run was suppose to be the lower loop starting from east to west...so I decided to do a 6-8 mile run from east to Staten Island ferry and back.

I had to be sure I made it back to my apartment by 8:30...where I would take a shower and quickly dress to get out for my First Aide and CPR training in Brooklyn.

CPR and First Aide? Yes, I need these to complete my certification to be a Marathon Coach. Might as well get this thing done sooner than later and as quickly as possible...

Q to Brooklyn was eventful, although trying to find the place was weird because it was a house...all these dummies on the ground (baby and adult)
Ok...sat down and made conversation before the class started with this gal, M from Cornell, who needed certification for her summer camp in Oregon...then I went on about running, marathon coaching and Hood to Coast...

Anyways, class started and we learned about First Aide, CPR (with Babies and Adults) and more first aid...then a self assessment test and then certification! Awesome! Now, I'm a certified coach!
Sweet deal...now bring on the clients!

5/22/09

Last day of Jury Duty...

"Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get." Joe Catalano, running coach

No running today as I had to go grocery shopping and serve for my Jury Duty...last day! Uh, I was also trying out a new internet service called FloTracker, which I am on the cusps of using for my Alzheimer's teammates.

This new system will allow a team grouping effort, like facebook in which allows the coaches to monitor the members that put up their mileage and cab track how they are doing with the program. No worries what so ever though, but we shall see how it goes as I test it for a while on my own.

I quickly go to Jury Duty as it is my last day...and we only try two cases. unbelievable! Anyways that makes it a shorter day, where I quickly buy some grub for TB's party tomorrow and then head on up to her place.

Though, it was sad to say that it was the "Very last time" I would see these people, though probably not due to how much of a bond we all got to know one another during these 4 weeks. We all were like co-workers and although we didn't really like some of the cases, it broke up the day pretty well...allowing us to get out of the office and endure other people for the second half of the day. (Though we did come within an incident of not having enough people for the very last vote due to the fact that there are 2 people whom NEVER voted...I mean one of them voted for one case, though I could not vote because I was not there and it was a come-back case). It was crazy! We barely got the needed amount and passed...good thing because some people were going to rip off their necks! It was insane though, why would you come every single day and NOT vote? Seriously!

Anyways, off of my soap box, I went to TB's place to set up her grill for tomorrow's BBQ for her...then marination of my chicken and then what I didn't know was food shopping with TB.

It was a good night, a full day and I did not run...oh well, get up early to run tomorrow instead!

The Alzheimer's Project

"I have loved the feel of the green grass under my feet, and the sound of the running stream by my side, and the face of the field has often comforted me more than the faces of men." John Burroughs, philosopher


First and foremost, thank you J for taping THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT for me to watch tonight because I did not have HBO…

I learned a whole lot tonight. Not just something about the disease of Alzheimer’s or not about the disease that I run against. But it brought me great inspiration. I have felt in the past few days that I have been way over my head on this project. The project of helping out and volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association in the New York City Marathon to help new runners and train them for the New York City Marathon.

I had felt irritated over the fact that the organization was all about money raised, this and that and how they wanted to bring in a celebrity to help promote the cause (everything revolves around money). I know all of this is important, although I have seen this guiding light from another stand point. (I know that from the other standpoint, the other things are important and this is what makes a balanced team work)

I have always seen this from a coach’s perspective in training. You don’t see the other parts of things where you want to train your team to start efficiently and effectively. You want each and every individual to start the running program and finish the marathon race. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM…this is where it gets tricky.

I found out tonight that there is more than just the cause. There is more than just money that is involved or that lack there of. There is more than just the true passion of running and there is more than just the cause of helping others succeed.

The real reason is a combination of all these things and the greater good. This year I have set out to accomplish one goal to help others, which so far has been ok. I have learned more in every instance, more about myself, others and how much more difficult it is to help others than to help yourself in any running event. I have set out to accomplish this goal THREE (3) years ago and this year, it had finally happened…many thanks to MM and JL for their hard work and getting us to this point. How can I back down now? Seriously…I can’t and never had any intentions to do so…because the cause was too great and the emotions were too strong.

Tonight, I have learned to cry. Learned that within life (I had always though you would learn from your daily mistakes) you would always never stop learning and grow every single day within life. Although, I have been mistaken, where the Alzheimer’s disease reverses your train of thoughts and presents itself in reversing the age process. You literally turn back into a child. The reverse roles from parenthood to child has reversed it’s roles. The views of things are far different when the disease embodies your nature and your family is affected.

So why do I do this? My grandmother. My family and my heritage…I fear the worst…I fear that any other relative from having this horrible disease and view the pains and hardships that we are going through now will strike again on another family member. I fear that even I may have this disease one day and hope that by then we will find a cure.

5/21/09

What? Not waving at me?

"Running is a statement to society. It is saying 'no' to always being on call, to sacrificing our daily runs for others' needs. When we run we are doing something for ourselves." Phoebe Jones, runner

I plan to run today due to the facts that I will be not running tomorrow because JG had requested that I come on over to watch The Alzheimer's Project (that he had taped on his DVR) tomorrow (which are my usual running days)

So, I planned on running 10 miles doing my usual 10 mile downtown east to west lower loop of manhattan. Although during Jury Duty, I receive a text message from the one, the only: ST or SH, I don't know what to call them anymore, just really confused when it comes to the whole married names and all.

So, she wanted me to run up to Central Park for the group run and run with her. Ok, I usually don't take requests, but it was a nice day out and I was game for a long run (since I did not do my 20 miler this weekend and did not complete my doubler, then I could always make it up with this run). Anyways, - ran up to 42nd street from the east side making it up past Grand Central. Ok, this is runner's suicide when it comes to not at all smooth runs. I do it for the adventure as people think it is insane...which it is, although I like the challenges of it. I run across 42nd towards 5th avenue and make my ways up 5th avenue (again another suicide street during rush hour)...I make it up to the park in 30 minutes and run the opposite direction. I thought I could make some good timing, but was behind on mileage and couldn't make up another 6 miles to make it 3 up, 6 loop before, 6 loop with ST and 3 back = 18.

Anyways, I go the opposite direction (clockwise) and try to make it up to the whole loop. Ah! disappointment sets in when I reach the west side of the reservior by 6:45...uh! I had to turn into the trail loop and make it around to the east side at engineers. There, I see ST and come from behind (which startled her) as I gave her a big sweaty hug-opps! Oh well, it was hot, a bit dry as it was a nice warm day.

ST and I had a lengthy conversation as we always do whenever we run together, the pace continues to get faster and faster as I can not imagine her not being "in shape" It really boggles my mind where she keeps up with the pace and even strings along a great fast pace to run with.
We always chat, laugh and have fun whenever we run together as we try to do it more often, although not as often as we frequently have been. Still kind of scary that she told me about her engagement during a run...ha ha!

Anyways, she told me about her life plans (which she may need an individual coach for the NYC marathon) I told her that I would always be on board with that as she told me that she had just got accepted to Boston General Hospital and will be leaving NYC in a year...NOOO!
Anyways, here comes the kicker...we were walking down 72nd street towards the east side and I'm wondering where her work is. She tells me that it's the last stop right before you go over the Charles River before MIT...oh, I know that...that has some kind of initials or something...BKM? I had no clue.

ST laughed...she said well, the stop was called Charles River/BGH...as in Boston General Hospital...umm...was I suppose to know that? Seriously, do you think I listen to all the words that are coming out of your mouth...I'm just trying to keep up with you!
Anyways, it was a typical Brian moment...

Then, a person comes down the street as I thought it was NC. She waves and I have not seen NC in a while (I think I only saw the short brown pony tail in the back). But anyways, I was like, "Hey! How are you doing?"...then she stopped and she answered me...then asked ST how she was doing...ok, when she stopped I saw that she was taller than NC and it wasn't ST...
In my mind I am thinking, ST, move on, this girl is not NC...but then it was a short conversation and stop and we moved on...ST then asked me how I knew her. I was like, I totally didn't, I thought she was NC and though she was waving at me! Then I put two and two together where ST was a surgeon and the gal was ACTUALLY WAVING AT HER!

Ok, I felt like a dush! What a night, what a night.

As I ran home, I stopped at a stop light and a couple stood near me...not next to me...the female indicated that she smelt a stench. Ok, I shot off and thinking in my mind...do I smell again?

Gosh!

5/20/09

AHA Wall St

"Running gives me a sense of controlling my life. I like the finiteness of runs, the fact that I have a clear beginning and end. I set a goal and I achieve it. A good run makes you feel sort of holy." Nancy Gerstein, runner

Ok, maybe I am just way too into running, although I try not to believe that I am.

Even though I was not running in the race today, I felt as though I had to go down. I had to go see my Alzheimer's teammate, MM run and maybe catch some of my very few team members run as well.
Not many people do this run because it starts at 6:30 pm on a Tuesday near Memorial day and the course is very narrow. I had done this race 2 years ago and felt as though the race was just narrow going in between the streets, yet it was neat running through the financial district. So yes, it was an experience.

I arrived early and just sat around enjoying the sunshine and putting together different marathon equations to make for a beginner marathoner. This is difficult since it has been so long since I have been a "beginner" although I still feel that I am a beginner at the marathon distance. I have yet to follow a training schedule and yet to really train correctly. Should I learn to learn? Yes. I really need to start being disciplined and not run as many miles as I do...or am I just an ultra runner?

Anyways, I rolled around trying to find people in the beginning, saw LR & talked with him for a while, then made my way to the start. It was very interesting because I was not running yet I was all aound the starting line where the runner were, I spotted ES (as she always spots me first) then YP & AH and then JM, who always has her pigtails in place.

The race was off and I made my way towards another street parallel, so I can watch the runners pass by. Saw the front runners, then the large pack behind as everyone was wizzing past. I was just standing on the side as runners came within inches just whizzing by. That's rude, maybe I would have done the same though. I wait till the very last runners are there and see the walkers.

Then, I sprint across again to get to the finish line to see all of the runners come in...although I was already late and the first guy had already came in. Then as each runner came in, there were larger and larger amounts of people all tunneling through a small passageway. Very bad...very bad!

Though the beauty of the sunset and lady libery in the background was amazing!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

5/19/09

Do I smell?

"I have loved the feel of the green grass under my feet, and the sound of the running stream by my side, and the face of the field has often comforted me more than the faces of men." John Burroughs, philosopher

I walked to Jury Duty, again this is my last week, sat down in a sunny spot in the park. Only to find that there were two people sitting besides me. I sat down for about 5 minutes and the one on the right moves away to another bench (shaded area)...then the one on the left moves as well to another bench (shaded area)

GREAT! What? DO I SMELL or something?

No, they were just getting way too hot from the sun and moved to a shaded area. But it got me thinking!

Anyways, getting down to business...Do you think wearing running shoes with a pair of black dress pants is weird?

I mean I don't! I feel that it's my sense of style...running style and business style.

5/16/09

Healthy Kidney 10K

Waking up pretty charged but feeling wiry due to a Charlie Horse last night in the back of my left calf/knee. My leg felt tight. I was ok though, but was troubled due to the tightness factor. It was ok, I was in the Red Corral due to the big names out there.

I put on my gear, get out the door with my new racing shoes...not sure if it was a good idea today to be racing in a 10K to race in new shoes. Anyways, headed to the subway and had on quite the accessory package with my BRIGHT yellow Boston Marathon Jacket and RED foot sleeve for compression.

Arrived with time to spare as I stretched everything out. There were many teams out there. I saw ES who I had seen in the last race that I was in. She spotted me as she told me that I was easy to spot...then came along other flyers, CS and JJ.

I had to put my bags in and escape from the madness...shoot out to the starting line and warmed up on the side. There I shot past Runner26, who said hello and I saw her again as she past my corral. I was not very use to this, going in the RED corral, but it was ok, this made sure that I didn't shoot out too quickly and reassured that I save myself with a negative split which I had intended for.

As the announcements went on, I saw other flyers and friends pass by me. Man, catching some bad odor near me as it stunk of runner clothes that stank from sweat and usual cleaning that never leaves. Ok time to concentrate, national anthem played and then the horn.

We were off and it was not much of a wait or time delay from being a different color. This may actually play well with my head a little as I could negative split and two do well to have confidence into my next big race...the race started out quickly as I had not been in races since NJ. Legs were a little weird, but I felt ok. Breathing came about quickly as I saw KM out there ahead of me. He had been training for this race. I passed him as the rain started. "Just like the New Jersey Marathon!"

Then came the hills as I saw ST, who I usually do train with and never usually see at races anymore. I waited, then saw DR there as well, as I have yet to see him at races as well..."Flyer power" as I recall him saying. Ok, so there was a mini slowdown and I didn't like it much. I passed and saw EF, who usually is ahead by a whole lot. ES was also near as there was a bunch of Flyers all around. Hills approaching...gosh, better get ready. I saw a grouping of President (JM) treasurer (DG), and ex-president (CM) as I can hear them say, "what's he running in this race for?"...wait, was I suppose to rest? Oh yeah, I never rest...

I didn't like the slowdown and shot ahead, I quickly put water over my head as I do in all marathons and the rain just started to pour more. In my mind all I could think about is how we runners run in all conditions, in all weathers and all natures.

I swerved in between people to relieve myself from traffic. Ok, good for now, but still surged ahead as the hills equipped me to go on ahead. Usually people do not like the hills as they have spent all of their energies just surging ahead in the beginning...ahh so much race to go!

I climb, as I always love hills because I was a sprinter. I pass people, still ahead, though getting tired. Up the back stretch and continuing to roll up the "last hill".

I pass the half mat, although unsure really what my time was. Ok, now it's a test of time as I know I usually NEVER negative split. - say NEVER because I am a pretty consistent runner, although usually get caught up in the hype and go out hard and fast in the beginning. Ok I usually get caught up in the movement around me (hence the blue coral is my own killer)

The second half:
I always dead the second half because you always feel drained from the first and because of the hills. Muscles were getting weak as I had ran a 12 miler the day before. But yes, my breathing was short and not really relaxed, my legs were fine, my body was in it, although my lungs were just not there. These are the restrictions I have. I tried to calm myself down and work on my stride and breathing. The long straight away stretch was always a killer to me as I had to work on this. Again I see the three: DG, JM and CM, as I waved to them. It's reassuring to see familiar faces and wished that they were closer to the finish line as I surged again. I kept on my pace as relaxed as possible, but could only wish that this race was over. 10K...why did I not sign up for a 5 miler?

I tried to surge in the last mile and pretty much saw people passing. I let them go, I only start sprinting at the very end...the starting corral fences started rolling past, then came the starting line and then I geared it up as I saw the large amounts of people on each side...fight! Fight it out!

Wheew! Finished as I was gasping for air. I felt good though as nothing really hurt and injured free.

TB was there volunteering as she rubbed my back afterwards...uh! I was wet and soggy! Found out after looking at my watch that I had PRed...but really wasn't sure. I have to check my records, but I am pretty confident that I have never done a sub 40 for a 10K!

Met up with Ping afterwards as we left the park together.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

5/15/09

De-colorization

"There's nothing quite like the feeling you get from knowing you're in good physical condition. I wake up alert and singing in the morning, ready to go." Stan Gerstein, runner

After a long day at Jury Duty, I headed up to the Flyer Marathon Training Program after a long day of meetings. It was still early out as I went to the NYRR to retrieve my number for this saturday's race. I got to NYRR and it was the wrong place to get my number...go two blocks down and cross over where all the runners are outside or hanging around. Went upstairs, retrieved my number and was shocked to find that I was not BLUE! Ok, not really shocked due to this race being a points race as well as running some pretty slower times this year. So, yes, not really that shocked in that notion of things. It would be ok anyways, run my race and not fall into the pits of going out too fast as I had when I did Coogan's in the winter. Wheew! Ok, I had been demoted once before for the Team Championship race...maybe they are getting a quota on each team having a certain number of people in a certain color? Would that be fair? I mean I'm not even in the top 5 to 10 people on my team...so that gives me a good buffer zone on this.

Anyways, it will be ok. I had joked around with many of my teammates that I wanted to collect all the different colors anyways...so this will be my second time in RED! Hmm...mighty goes fine with the team colors anyways!

So...afterwards? Well, that's tomorrow....
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

5/14/09

Walkin' in the rain...

So...after I had left the NY Flyer's Marathon training program (MTP)...I walked home with Ping (the newest edition to our large Asian family of flyers or shall I say honorary Asian)

Well, we walked and talked about how the club is and how the men's team has proved everything last year, but this year since we are running with the big boys, we should take it easy. We chatted as he veared off on the west side and I continued down and continued to go down...as the rain started to pour and I continued to refuse to go into the subway and stay dry.

It really was a nice time and night to walk. Yes, I drank, yet again this week, as it all started last night by going to S's restaurant/bar at Five Points on Great Jones. S was the person I had met up with from the Jersey Marathon and we actually had a great time and great conversation...anyways, walking in the rain was very calming, soothing actually almost like running for me.

Running is a time where you don't think. You just move, go with things and just feel. Feel the air blow past you, feel the movements around you as though everything is moving in slow motion.

Do you feel this way? Maybe I am the only one out there who feels this way...

5/13/09

Chinese Checkers

"Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run." MONTE DAVIS

Day off from running today as it usually is on Tuesdays, my off days. During lunch the usual case of steamed buns for $1.60 for two is quite the deal as I walk to the courts for Jury Duty...

I usually stop on by the park where I have been usually doing. There are Elder Chinese men just crowding around other's playing Chinese Checkers...how do you play? I have no clue, but I observe anyways just on curiosity...some groups have large formations of people, others have a single member...it was very intresting to see how thye play and the interactions of people. Very interesting...

5/12/09

Eye for an eye?

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ARISTOTLE

Jury duty comes and goes, as one person to the next is either inditied and sent to trial, or left alone...it prepares you to think what kind of person you are? The Justice system is bound into many people, which questions you to look at things in a ways where do you appreciate the justice system or not. Basically, it goes along the lines of how Amarabi thought from the beginning of the Justice system...an Eye for an Eye?

An Eye for an Eye brings about the cause and effect of events for a person to deliberate. Now, in all equality, it brings to the table of what fair is fair? Do you believe in an eye for an eye? Do you believe in retaliation?

You may say this as is just as a statement, although would you ever change your answer when this effects you in the end...if something ever happens to your loved ones or family/friends?

5/7/09

Welcome back...

"After a week of the contained chaos that is my job, I need some solitary running time. On Sundays, I can unwind and reconnect with the natural world." LINDA JONES

So, return back from jury duty and decided today I need to come back for a run. I have taken 3 days off and felt fine.

Today is the day that I break in my new shoes...off with the old and in with the new! I decided to head on up to the park up 2nd ave, which is my usual weekend run up. Along the way, I am unsure if it was just purely a Thursday or what seemed like a Saturday. It was such a beautiful day, although there was a difference...a weird different feeling. As I went up in the 20's some cabbie honked at me because it was my opportunity to go across the street crossing. He honked and looked at me...my reactions were quick as I laid him the middle finger and said F off! Then there were just people on the sidewalks just everywhere...what was up with today?

As I finally made it to the park, I saw that it was just me and PBJ. AH was there, although she had some questions about her heart monitor. I knew a few things about this and told her what I had known. She set out with asfault green and we went on our ways as well. We also met up with JJ who recently did Boston and he chatted with us. PBJ was planning on going to the Siete de Mayo events set up by the Flyers, where I went straight out from the run as I ran around the reservoir...although puddle jumping and bouncing off of the curb to escape the puddles were quite fun as well...

I finally made it to the second to last spot as I had a card for JS, who recently got surgery. (Hopefully he is not reading this today since I have yet to give it to him...)

But yes, walked with DR and DM up to the next stop as I just got some other people to sign and was off again. Ran back home as the new shoes were a little different than I had though. Maybe these will be good for the longer run days.

5/6/09

The man sitting

So...since I got pooped on yesterday, I am now making it over to the better park and today was a gorgeous day. I always seem to go around in the chinatown region and tend to digress in memories as I stroll around.

Memories of my grandfather when I met up with my aunt from Holland and parent in Chinatown. My parents needed to go buy some vegetables, they left with me and my grandparents at the car...

My grandfather needed to go to the bathroom and he just bolted. Great! Was I suppose to go after him or was I suppose to stay with my grandmother? I stayed with my grandmother, at least my grandfather knew his way around (or so I had thought)...when my parents returned my grandfather was still gone...ok, my dad and I was to now go look for him. We were lucky as my grandfather was lost and we saw him going back and forth through the streets. It was cute...although scary at times to think about and it was probably the last impressionable memory I have of him.

I walk through the same steets and keep recollecting those memories whenever I am down there. It's just a moment, a memory...a thing to hold onto...

I walk to my usual park and sit down. I start to eat and start to analyse the people around me. There is an elder man sitting down, not even doing anything but staring into space. Space... He put's his hands over his face and looks as though he is in misery as well, but calm and proper. With thoughts of my grandfather and thoughts of just getting into the elderly ages of life...what is life? How do you live it up? What has that man seen in his days of life...how was he when he was younger?

Questions...questions of life...

5/5/09

Pooped on!

Ok, so Tuesday it started raining and I had been going to Jury duty which I usually eat ouside in the park to enjoy the nice weather...but today was different and I opted to get noodle soup to go with the cold weather and rainy aspect.

I sat in a different park as I ate my noodles on a bench with a bag resting in between me and the cold wet bench. I saw all these pigions around and didn't want to get pooped on, so I finished early...and when I got up...

I had seen that my bag had gotten POOPED on by a pigion! Gross! Not only in one spot, but two: the strap and the bag! Arg!

Well there is a theory going around that if you do get pooped on by a bird or something that it's good luck...yeah! Great good luck to me...whatever people, I don't think it's at all good luck!

On the forefront of things, I am getting over the disappointment factor of how I had done in New Jersey and really digress on how difficult it really was as a pacer.

One more down...35 something to go?

5/4/09

Sleep!

Ok, so after the chilliness of the outdoors after the marathon had ended I stayed at the finish line to shake some hands of the people that came up behind me as I had felt bad. Some started to cramp up and my legs were pretty weak as well...but I had seen my friends (PBJ and Lam) as they had waited for me and they were done with their half marathon. I was freezing and was glad that they had soup, but I was horrified to hear that we had to make it about 1/2 mile back to the hotel to get dry clothes!

Anyways, I was pretty much shivering and had to go to the bathroom, change and then was ok...wheew! Lam and PBJ were very understanding... as we made our ways out and make it to the restaurant to get some grub for lunch.

We ate, then made it out to the train platform. Maybe we were not communicative or maybe it was people around us that we were helping, but they were pretty awkward. We met this guy who tumbled during the race, kept going and finished. He was the very extreme runner where he did ultra's and what not. We also met up with S, who turned up was her first marathon.

Man, can we all remember our first marathons. We entered the train and was on our way home. Lam and I switched chairs, where I wanted to take a nap back home, but S was right there and well we got to talking, though the entire train ride, which was very fascinating! We exchanged info and maybe she's even reading this blog today!

Anyways, walked home after I got out...got home and was pooped!

Showered, did food shopping and took a small nap as I crawled into bed...

Monday's group

Didn't run with the Monday night group, but made my way out to get some signatures...it was good chatting with the group...no running, must take rest!

I ended up, doing the Marathon Training Program for the Flyers, as me and GW are Co-directors.

5/3/09

NJ marathon

"Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow." HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Waking up after you go to bed at 12:30am is not fun when you have to get up at 4am in the morning...do I ever sleep? Sometimes I think not. I am use to this though, maybe that is the trick to the way I run marathons...I don't usually get a whole lot of sleep before a marathon. I tend to wake up a lot due to the hype. Although, scared and nervous today due to the fact that I have to pace a few people here and there...just have to bust out even splits throughout the whole race...

Wake up at 4am, rush around getting things somewhat together, due to the packing I did last night, but that is ok, brushing my teeth and just checking...then out the door in 20 minutes.

I walked from my apartment to Penn station which is about 30 minutes, though walking at 4am where the last few drunkards are out and a bag fully sprayed of throw up on the street really reaked and I so wanted to be up at this hour. Although I made it to pen station in time and the gates were still closed. Something about the atmosphere of late nighters awaiting to get on the train to sleep and the mix of marathon runners is somewhat funny.

But the gates opened and I made my way to find the platform, although questioned if I wanted to buy a ticket beforehand. I just checked out the price and figured that I would take my time after the race. No big rush!

Anyways, I made my ways up the train and found a seat. I had thought that I would sit by myself, but gave the other two fellow bloggers a call (PBJ and The Lam). I talked to them and they were staying in their seats and I would just find them at the start...but later they were kicked out of their seats and had to move up in the train...so they sat near me...I searched for the bathroom as (yes, I had yet been able to poop that morning, which was pretty weird, because usually my body adapts to the nervousness)

So I found the bathroom which was on the first car and the flusher was not rally working...(Ok, I had to somewhat push my poop down the drain) little TMI and enough about Poop...

So, the train ride was somewhat longer than expected due to the drawer bridge and delaying the train...the when we finally arrived, the train was blocking the crossing where the runners had to go through. Wonderful! We are definitely late. So Lam, PBJ and I decided to go to a restaurant before heading into the lions den of the pick up and drop off area.

Ok, as we walked to the hotel place for drop off, it started to slightly rain. Great! There was only one other time where I have ran in a marathon in the rain and it really was not fun (that was OBX).

I needed to find DG who had all of my pace stuff and it was a shocker to see how crowded it was. Great! I am totally late and I hate being rushed...at least I had the knowledge to actually put my running gear on, on the train.

I got my pace shirt, got a HUGE sign that said 3:10 pacer, got another flag that said 3:10 pacer...oh man...and also a bib on the back of me! It was terrific...really, I mean you can see that I was a pacer from a mile away! So I had to make it to the front of the line as I saw other pace groups out there...5:30, 4:00, 3:45, 3:20, 3:15...ok we were all in the front...so I plopped myself in there as well. Little by little my group started to form as they had knew me by name from the website, although I was clueless about them and their own running experiences.

They told me little about themselves and it was tough but the race was about to begin. The anthem, the song and dance, and then the wheelchairs were gone...

Then the wait...then the gun and we were off. Boy, this is really crowded and it was really hard to get my gait going and try to find the specific pace for the first mile...a tad slow and very off...my mentality was to try to make that mile up and then coast at even splits...ok, task two at mike two...ahead...wow, by a minute...way off as I felt bad for the group as I went from slow to fast. Opps, let's try to reach a consistancy here...mile 3 and 4 I was still ahead by a minute and it took me till mile 6 to finally get pretty close to below a minute...why is that bad? I mean it's a minute, gosh I got some looks. I felt bad in which I had gotten a group ahead of me going at a steady pace, they continued as I tried to slow it sown and get some even splits going. The course was somewhat very flat, very straight and some turns here and there. It was definitely quiet as you can hear other's run along side of you.

The rainy weather brought a cool feeling and there were relay drop off zones along the course...maintain pace, keep with the schedule and keep looking at the pace chart..gosh! Why did I make it so small...it was so hard to read as your hand goes up and down as you run and it is hard to keep track of which mile you are actually on...gosh! The group ahead of me, well I started them and they went ahead of me by a little bit. My thoughts with them was that I needed to maintain a 3:10 pace and sustain that. Anyone ahead of me could run ahead and be ahead, anyone behind me...well your banking on those :59 seconds to Boston.

Ahead...ahead....ahead...as I slowly brought the minute negative to a more reasonable pace...I was right on at the half, so I hear, but there was another half to go...my legs? Well, they felt fine and ok. I tried to maintain pace although I was slightly adding on time...ok, need to maintain pace...as the miles continued the group got smaller and smaller...wait what happened to my group? By mile 22 or so, checked the time with the bracelet and which mile we were on...oh great...we were ahead and needed to make up time...by :40 seconds...

Really bad...how do you make up 40 seconds? 4 miles to go and two guys were still with me. I relay the message that they either have to get ahead of me and ensure that you get in, or you will be behind...and I will try to maintain...

The pace felt weird though as I felt I was really pushing a faster time. What happened here? Are my legs getting tired? Was Boston finally catching up to me? I pushed...one of the two people left as he wanted to go ahead to wrap up his time, I slowly passed the masses of others who were in my pace team before that went ahead...the other young gun stayed with me...then surged ahead within the last two miles...while the one that surged quickly slowed and I passed him.

It was a long 2 miles although it was a circle and I had to push. I wanted to make my goal time that I had set out for the day...:59 seconds from 3:10...

I pushed as I was still holding my little flag...why was I still holding this? Well...I remained holding the flag till the end and finally stopped at the benchmarker of something that resembled the finishline...ok, this so was not the finishline as someone had indicated after I had fully STOPPED...great! Needed to rev up the engines for 200 meters or so...

I finally made it in time as I had checked the clock.

I was disappointed though in the end and stayed till some other people from my group finished...

Disappointed...yes...

I know the feelings that people get when they do not get into the prestigious Boston.

I know the feelings of how people needed me to lead them the way to their goal...

Did I do a good enough job? I don't know...and I am a little disappointed on the fact that I could not keep pace. I felt as though I was all over the charts...was I consistant? I don't know...tried...tried...tried...

5/2/09

Somers Track Meet

So...every year on the first weekend in May, my high school holds a track meet. Somers Invitational Lions Club meet...sometimes whenever I am not busy, I tend to do it, where this year since I was "free" and didn't have anything on Saturday (since Broad Street was out of the question due to the NJ marathon)

I chose to help out (if I get paid or not, unsure) but eh, it was all good because I enjoy that stuff!

It was good to see some older teachers that were still there or had retired, but still were part of the Lions Club. Mr S was my sister's violin teacher and my family got to know him pretty well due to my sister trying to be a prodigy Asian gal in the violin...see my parents pretty much wanted us to excel in many things and have the opportunities to be very versatile in many different aspects of life: sports, music, arts, vocal, education, culture, etc...

So I had to say hello, since I had seen him and well, there were other family members who were part of the Lions Club: Mr T and Mr L (father of TJL, who lives in Boston). So, it was very good seeing family members that I have not seen in a while...and most people would say that their parents just LOVE me...is it true? I have no idea, but my parents told me to respect anyone and say hello to person I recognize, where I would have a conversation as well when not just saying hello...weird? I think not!

Anyways, l had a job to sort of be in charge of things that come into the booth of cards and made sure that we record most things that come in...scoring was distributed, giving out shirts and awards were another person...we ran quite the relaxed ship...which we had fun and had a good nice relaxing time over.

It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed that aspect of having some breaks, although in the end it was a pure mad house! It was crazy! Although the meet ended pretty early and was pretty well runned.
In the end, I was on the train by 6, back home in NYC by 7:30pm and back to my apartment by 8pm...eat dinner and chill a little and go to bed by 9pm.

Ok...ready for the Marathon tomorrow? As best as I can be!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

5/1/09

Homeward bound...

"Life is complicated. Running is simple. Is it any wonder that people like to run?" KEVIN NELSON, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration

First Friday day off again...well at least it is spring time and we can at least enjoy the weather!

Although today there were clouds and a chance of showers...great! Wonderful!

I went to my office to get a few items out, since I am away from my office for 4 weeks ish due to Jury Duty...so, I am responsible for the daily effects of my projects.

Ok, so after jury duty yesterday, I needed jet out and go back home...although it was raining!

So...what to do? I was planning after I got to the train station to run home for 3 miles...although I needed a bathroom to change...ok, after I eat my items...I had an hour ride home and I could possibly wait till the end of the train ride to change.

Ok so that was my plan of attack, when I saw AM...who was walking on the platform, she saw me and I saw her and she came into the same cabin as I was at, sat in the seat in front of me and we embraced in seeing each other. It has been a while and it was good to catch up and see her. He relatively went on the same bus together back in High School and I had no problems with anyone from our high school, so it was good.

Since she was going in the direction of my home, she offered me a ride, so plans to run 3 miles home was changed.

Boy, maybe I need to wake up early tomorrow to run since I didn't run all week long except for Monday...that's like 4-5 days! Ok...calm down here...I will be fine, your legs are rested and should be good to go for the marathon...

Home was relaxing and I can honestly say that I am an absolute laziest person when at home...I can clearly say that anywhere outside of the city, I absolutely am SO LAZY! It feels so good too!

Got all my mail & got my sleep as I went to bed early (maybe I should wake up early tomorrow to run...ok, maybe I just stayed in bed after multiple alarm clock flarings)