8/30/09

Hood to Coast (the afterthought)

Let your running lead you to your diet. Bill Rodgers, Olympic marathoner

There is something to be said about a team. There is something to be said about camaraderie and teamwork that many people would never feel when they don't join a team.

Teamwork, camaraderie and self-fish less is something that was experienced from the get go about this Hood to Coast team and in retrospect you really sense these aspects about these people - teammates, friends and moments in life.

Time is of the essence.

Life is experienced, moments are shared and people's daily thoughts, movements and memories are joined into one event.
In retrospect, I have been with many relay teams, each one having a different meaning. Some are far more competitive, while others are just for fun. Day relays are different than full throttle 24 hour relays.

When I take a vacation, I usually take a vacation for the fun of it. Usually this vacation revolves somewhat around a marathon or some capabilities around running.
The Hood to Coast was an investment in relaxing, as I have gone through the craziness in my life prior to this weekend, I needed it. It was a time with teammates and running. It was to experience Oregon and the "mother of all running relays". It was a time of exhaustion, presence and perseverance. But most importantly, it was a test.

A test amongst learning about one self and really searching about what other's have. You learn a whole lot about yourself while grinding up a mountain side and wanting to stop and walk up a "hill" that the elevation charts strike as running up 700 ft. But there was a stance of time, teamwork and togetherness that brought me to the summit and fighting through the pain and agony. Teamwork pushes you a little more to the edge than just running a good race or running for yourself. Teamwork has a high far greater than any kind of adrenaline that you reach when running alone or before, during and after a marathon.

There is no I in team.

Breaking things down, this Hood to Coast team was different than the Reach the Beach team. Reach the beach had members that was in it for the experience, for the fun and for the excitement. Hood to Coast was about business, fun, camaraderie and enjoyment. There is a difference with the element of all wanting to reach a goal, element of all wanting to push yourself to the limits of what you normally would never see or even do for yourself (or ever want to do), but with other people, it brings a more additive factor.

It was a good feeling and the rewards were far greater than anything else. The road along the way was a test. Riding in a van with others, their personalities, no sleep and patience. It was different. Far different than the usual self of going to a marathon by oneself and being in charge of oneself. Togetherness pays a price, where working along with others is an absolute must.

The reward: breaking the flyer's record or tying this average time of 7:44 pace per mile. Experiences with other people and sharing one moments that would last a lifetime. A reality of one's self confidence, persistence and preserverence....determination and life lessons.

That was learned in this Hood to Coast Relay team...an amazing experience.

8/29/09

Dinner

"I often lose motivation, but it's something I accept as normal." Bill Rodgers, Olympic marathoner

So...I had been cultivating a gift to my fellow Hood to Coast teammates as I had created T-shirts with each person's last names to signify our team.

Where? I bought the shirts in Chinatown...what kind of shirts?

"I love NY colored T-shirts" as I had bargained for them and also bargened for the stensils as well...

It was really a heartwarming gift as I became true to each and every teammate. You become mixed as it's wonderful to do this great event, but at the same time you lack sleep, tired muscles and all that...where tempers fly.

It's all good before the race, this is why it's great comraderie.

So last year during the reach the beach relay, I gave out white bandana's, and this year...I'm giving out I love NY t-shirts!

Excellent! (Well, at least I will have more room in my bag now going home)

8/28/09

Arrival to Portland

"Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I'm content with what I can do and if I'm completely satisfied with my pace, distance, and form as a runner. It's only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards. "John "The Penguin" Bingham

Beginning to end of the day, we woke up pretty early to meet up at Penn station (JT, DL and JM) to take the train to Newark Airport. We arrived pretty early as everyone else mingled in and then got our tickets. Mozied on over to the train and it was on it's way.

We arrived at Newark airport, where JT already wanted to put in her baggage and JM followed her. DL and I stuck together as we went through security...which was also weird since we both got stopped at the scanner booths. (Ok, maybe the powdered gatorade that was stuck in a plastic baggie in a bottled plastic biking bottle may have looked bad, although that was not the problem...the problem was my stick. Yes, I have heard that they had quite some issues of carrying it onto the plane because sometimes it looks like a baton. Although I have never really had a problem bringing it on from place to place in my marathons. My sister had when she had first bought hers....

So, what happened? I had to check in my baggage. What a way to start out this trip. I had a choice where I could have just threw it out, but I just paid the fee of baggage ($15).

I had to go back into the scanning section, get all scanned in again and roll...I had heard from one of my Run2Remember teammates (EE) that her
Boyfriend was doing the same running event, his name was Brian also...so, I'm looking all over for this blond haired guy named brian and asking some people that may have ran before or looks like a runner.


As we added one more teammate at the airplane, JF, I whisper to some of my own teammates if that guy looks like him...or does that guy? I mean really now EE, a little more description here...

As we were boarding the plane, I was lucky to have only asked one person before and then finally found the guy after two tries...asking first if he was doing Hood to Coast and then asking about his start time. He asked me if I was running the NYC marathon and asked me if I was heading the Run to Remember team...after that I was like....YES! Found my man! (Ok, I was so not hitting on your man EE)

The airplane trip was not bad. As JT, DL and I were all in a row....us Asians together. The airplane ride was not so bad as we finally desended to Portland, Oregon....ok, I can't believe we are doing this now! This is awesome!
We get our bags, decide that we would go to the hotel and check in...since we were all starving and famished, we decided to abort our first plan of staying at the airport in lieu of other teammates coming in: RB and DM.

We bought our light rail tickets and made our way towards the light rail...as JM was taking a picture outside, the doors closed on her without warning, she flipped thinking the car was leaving...but really the conductor was doing something to the doors as she tapped the window and freaked! I thought that too, as I was on the inside and tried to hit like an emergency button...but before I could do anything the doors opened again....which was a funny moment.

We arrived at our hotel, got food at a local mall food court and met up with ST and LR, who arrived earlier in the morning. Then we called to see if DM and) had arrived. They called us when they did and we were wondering and had a semi- fiasco of wondering if one of our drivers: JM had to go back to the airport to sign papers. RB said she did not since another teammate had to go the next morning anyways and she could go then...so we strolled around the city of Portland seeing all we could see in the short time. We chatted with a local who told us what to see and do in our short time and went to the square, the famous bookstore and then the microbrew where JF was trying out all the different microbrews as DL and I knew what we wanted. (I seriously thought that the bartender was going to kill us!)

We went back as planned to the hotel, leaving the brewery/local bar as it was still bright out and us (kids) were little tipsy! Yes, we are all lightweights...

Dinner...well that's next!

8/26/09

It’s getting dark out there…

When in doubt, when in fear, be aggressive. Commit yourself and never look back. Unknown

Decided to take the Alzheimer’s Run to Remember crew (EE, MM, CM, TA, RB, LC, JR RM…anyone else I missed?) to the trails to get them off the hard surfaces of the road and continue on with their training. The only thing last night, we started out pretty late and the sun is starting to go down pretty early now a days.

I was lucky to have RB house the water/Gatorade from last week’s run and I had picked up the ice at a local grocery store to keep it chill. But these are usually the chores of the other coach, JL…who is currently enjoying his honeymoon. Times are tough a bit here, but I am keeping with all the craziness of doing everything. I have become appreciative of what JL does and always have….

As everyone showed up, we had to go to a nearby map to show everyone what the route was…which looked really long as you traced the route, but really was just 6 miles. We started up on the trails as some of the trails was hit by the large storm that passed through knocking out 100 or more trees in Central Park. We rerouted a little, but made our way to Engineers Gate. Some took the other way back as it soon became dark. While the larger of the group headed back where they came from. I waited for all to turn around and soon chased the group back to the start...but the trails became too dark and I went to the lite central park streets to chase them down worrying like a mother if the kids went to the lite area...

I was the first to come back...and was worried that the group had gone on the trails and anything could happen. Worried...until they finally showed up one by one and only knew that we needed to change up our time to make practice earlier...

When in doubt...keep things safe...go to the light to assure your footing and stay safe!

8/16/09

Boston - wedding

Before a race, I focus on my goal and the hard training I've done. It motivates me to let it all out that day. For me, races are the celebration of my training. Dan Browne, 2007 National Champion in the 5-K and 20-K

So after the arrival in Boston, I checked in and left CW, my pledge fraternity brother. Yes, I can easily say that he is one of my closer pals where he endured my fraternity life, my architecture life and sometimes my running life.

I quickly changed to go to the wedding reception, where again, bad luck would arrive (the train was out of service as I got on, so we had to take the next one...upon arrival, I had to walk from Davis square to the Tufts chapel...where it was a brutal humid day...mind you I don't do well in humidity and I sweat a lot!

The church was not much better as I was completely soaked and the fans were on for a short while...then our reverend (the advisor of our fraternity) turned them off during service. It was good seeing a different crew of friends, my brother's, that I have abandoned for 3+ years. I had been a ghost in our fraternity after school, which is weird because when I was in school I would give 100% of my efforts to it.

The thing with that has never changed. I try to go or no go, I won't half ass things where I have learned that you are all in or out completely. This is what I am now, with my running and hopefully that would never change...

It was a good service and I got to catch up with all of my college buddies and found out what they were up to and how things were. It was a wedding and some things really don't change. I couldn't believe that the class below ours (pretty much all of these guys were married...and none of our class were at all). It's quite funny though, but tells the difference between people and how they are.

Waking up this morning from the hangover (or rather dehydration of the lack of water balance to alcohol that I had drank) I walked over to the duck/swan pond in the Boston Park...these are my reflections of my life right now...

My life is in pure chaos. I can't figure myself out in the long run where I try to keep myself occupied, take on different things where I am living the single life. Why? I don't know, but something has got to give if I am to be in a relationship with someone and I do know that.

Upon reflection of the momentous wedding reception and just looking at the pure beauty of things, it's a commitment issue that I seem to have. I can't commit to anything...just things that I am certain about, 100% confident in and being able to survive. That is why I have running...maybe I am even running away from my fears? What are these fears? I don't exactly know...

But, my life is slowly getting back together as I have my job back, my living situation is stable and my other jobs...well, we are just awaiting for November 1st to finally have a full life back and less commitments towards running and veer them towards something else...

Paula Radcliff - 2012

"Winning isn't everything. Wanting to is." CATFISH HUNTER

Tearful Radcliffe looks to 2012 Paula Radcliffe has not ruled out one last attempt at Olympic glory in four years' time after finishing 23rd in Sunday's marathon in Beijing.
The 34-year-old was in tears as she crossed the finish line at the Bird's Nest Stadium after a gutsy performance.
"It's not the end," she said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed for 2012.
"Maybe the Olympics won't happen for me, but I can do it in 2012 if my body holds together. I guess that is what I need now, a bit of luck."
Team-mate Mara Yamauchi was the leading Briton as she came home sixth in a race won by Romania's Constantina Tomescu.
Radcliffe's preparations for the 26.2 mile race were far from ideal as she valiantly sought a return to competition after suffering injury in May.
Having battled battled back from a stress fracture to her leg to compete, Radcliffe started well but faded and briefly stopped two miles from home with cramp.
The world record holder admitted she was not in the right shape coming to Beijing but pointed to 38-year-old winner Tomescu as her inspiration to compete at the London Games.
"I was trying to achieve the impossible I guess," she added. "The amount of running I've done coming in wasn't enough.
"But I didn't do all that work for nothing. It's just really frustrating.
"I knew I was pushing it coming in with three-and-a-half weeks of running. You can't take shortcuts in the marathon and I guess I learned that today.
"Fingers crossed for 2012. Look at Constantina - how old is she? [38] Maybe I can do that. I know in London I will have all that support."
Having only confirmed her participation days before the marathon, Radcliffe was determined not to repeat her performance in Athens four years ago where she dropped out after suffering from dehydration.
The Bedford athlete started comfortably enough as she kept pace with the early pace setters.
But she started to tire just after the halfway mark as Tomescu hit the front and stretched the field with a burst that was to see her through to the end.
Radcliffe battled to stay in contention, but she had no response to the breakaway pack and she appeared visibly shattered.
"I would have walked because it was something that was actually ok walking. I haven't made the injury worse.
"If I felt I was doing some serious damage I would have stopped. It's horrible when you have to drop out, especially when it's the Olympic Games. So many people have worked so hard to get me here.
"I wanted to finish. It was really frustrating because I felt really comfortable. I could talk and tell (husband) Gary what was wrong. "My calf was just so bad I had to stretch it. The pain felt like it was coming up from my
foot. Early in the race I had this weird feeling that someone was kicking my foot away while I was running."

8/15/09

What could go wrong?

There is no "Y" in running. Believe in the run. Nike ad

I woke up this morning feeling like death...this is the first morning in two weeks that there was not a dog that had woken me up at 6am or earlier in the morning to go out for a walk...wheew!

But last night I came home late due to an unexpected deadline and getting things ready to go out early Monday morning...I had plans with my laundry, but that had to be deferred to the end of this weekend..due to me going to Boston this morning as well...hence me.waking up so early.

I had not packed at all and I needed to gather my things quickly, shower and move on...

Ok, out the door with the question of Run or not run in Boston? Uh! This is going to be such a low mileage weekend due to this wedding and trying to catch up with sleep...so, the answer?

Pack lightly and ditch running for a weekend and come back to do laundry...and then maybe a run...scary right? I know, it's a weird thing!

Anyways, walk towards 3rd and 51st to catch the E train and move towards the turnstilles...what do I find? Nothing! What the hell, I have been trying to go through for the longest time, sliding my card in THIS TURNSTILLE!

Ok, so I go to the ticket counter and the lady said that my card is invalid...WHAT? Seriously? I just used it yesterday I told her. I had about $20 on the card...

So she gives me this form and so on where I have to send in my card and have to get a new card...uh! Ok, fine...

So make my way towards the E train and what do I find...guys telling everyone who can't read the signs that there were no E trains...great...

So I make my way toward the 456 train and had to commute to 42nd street, cross town with the shuttle and make my ways by 123 (or taking the ACE, but didn't want to risk it) down towards 34th street where my fraternity brother was waiting for me...uh! What a shit show!

On to the bus to Boston...

And...no running...

8/13/09

Which Jacket?


This one is for you Pean...

Ok...so which one this year? Yellow or Blue? I'm guessing BLUE!

Geez...that was a tough one huh? Who's going to be picking this mustard Yellow jacket? Surely
you can see this person in the park on a wintery day...



Badwater Ultramarathon: 135 miles in 130-degree heat

By Ashley Fantz

CNN

DEATH VALLEY, California (CNN) -- Today, you get a call from a friend. They need a favor. Would you mind spending your vacation time this summer in Death Valley, a desert where temperatures hover around 130 degrees?

Would you be OK with sleeping in a van, if you get to sleep at all, for three days, because you'll be working your tail off spraying runners down with water, dunking them in ice and keeping track of everything that goes in (and -- yes -- out) of their body every 15 minutes so they don't die running 135 miles in the hardest footrace on the planet?

"Yeah, man, it's Badwater. You don't turn down a chance to be at Badwater," Mark Paterson said, adjusting his visor as sweat soaked his face.

He pulls at his shirt, trying to create some air, pointlessly. It was 4 p.m. and 126 degrees in a Death Valley village called Furnace Creek, what whoever coined the phrase, 'Hell on earth' had in mind.

"You get that call and you do what's right," Paterson said. "You make sure your runner gets the ultimate bragging right, maybe the biggest big deal of all, the event that makes everyone else go, 'Badwater? Oh, no, man, you did not just do that!' "

Paterson was right. The Adventurecorps Badwater Ultramarathon is infamous in endurance sports circles. It is the running equivalent of summiting Everest, the ultimate test of mental fortitude, a hippy communion with the desert of epic highs and lows (literally -- the race starts at 280 feet below sea level, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, covers three mountain ranges for descents and ascents totaling 9,000 feet and ends halfway up Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States).

For all the nonsweaters out there -- consider how long it takes to drive from Baltimore to New York. Now imagine running that distance...without sleep...with 10,000 blow dryers pointed at you the entire time.

All that for a belt buckle?

You apply to Badwater the way you apply to Harvard. Runners from across the world try to wow a finicky race jury by submitting awesome scores (provable race finishing times from at least two 100-mile events) and an essay conveying they have the stamina to tackle such a gnarly challenge. Gnarly meaning blisters that turn feet into pizza; dehydration that can lead to organ and brain damage, heat stroke and hyponatremia; a salt imbalance that makes extremities swell like sausages. For good measure, let's throw in heat and sleep-deprivation induced hallucinations.

The entry fee is $795 (steep, sure, but an eight-person medical team, insurance, supplies and logistics to stage a monster event in the middle of nowhere ain't cheap). Crews aren't paid.

The prize at the race often called Satan's Fun Run, should one finish in less than 48 hours, is a thick silver belt buckle.

"To talk about the buckle is to miss the point," said Marshall Ulrich, a 58-year-old endurance sensei who has done Badwater more than a dozen times and has summited Everest. Notorious for having his toenails surgically removed -- toenails fall off anyway when you're an endurance runner -- Marshall is, contrary to what most people assume, not a machine.

He started running when he was 28, after his doctor told him to get off his butt and lower his blood pressure or expect an early grave.

"You run Badwater because there's something in you that wants to get out there, in the middle of nowhere, and think about something. It's a way of freeing yourself, getting back to what I really believe people are supposed to be doing instead of relying so much on a bunch of material crap that only makes us weaker. We are built to run, to cover great distance, for survival sake."

Slightly less extreme, the women's winner of Badwater, two years in a row, is Jamie Donaldson, a middle school math teacher from Colorado. A lawyer, politician, small business owner, real estate agent and a college student ran Badwater this year, and its overall winner, coming in at 23:39:18, was Marcos Farinazzo, a 40-year-old hospital worker from Brazil.

The oldest runner this year was 67-year-old Arthur Webb, who has finished 10 consecutive Badwaters. Race officials using walkie-talkies (there's no cell service in Death Valley) counted him out at mile 17 where he cramped and jumped in a pool to cool down.

Time, ice and a few massages later, Webb was on the course again, not stopping until he crossed the finish line more than 40 hours later.

Good crew, good race -- probably

"First, you gotta have your hydration log. How much has your runner had to drink, how much do they need," Paterson said.

"Endurolytes, quarters of peanut butter sandwiches, something fizzy for when they start having digestion issues -- 'cause they're gonna have 'em -- your various tapes and bandages for the feet, Neosporin, Preparation H, animal cookies," he said. "We jump out of that van every quarter mile with two buckets. I got my bucket of water and ice with a straight block of ice and a bucket of ice and sports drink. The runner gets every other one, you rotate."

The grossest but most necessary job?

Badwater began when ultra athlete Al Arnold crossed Death Valley in 1977. The second Badwater-to-Whitney "crossing" was completed in 1981, by Jay Birmingham. The race became an official, organized footrace in 1987 with five runners.

"You have to check if their urine is clear, so you better be looking at that, and they better be going often," Paterson said.

As the race wore on, its 60-hour course limit blurring the days, plastic cups labeled with runners' names who'd suffered serious dehydration began dotting a hotel room that served as Badwater's medical center. They looked filled with varying concentrations of apple juice, one redder than the next.

Paterson's runner Tim Kjenstad, a 51-year-old California firefighter, has run Badwater before, but this year, sacked by severe dehydration and bodily functions that don't need to be mentioned, he had to DNF (the dreaded initials for Did Not Finish) at mile 44.

"Nobody can say that running 135 miles in the desert is healthy," said Dr. Lisa Stranc Bliss, the head of the medical staff, who herself has run Badwater. "But I'm not going to say it isn't one of the most incredible experiences of your life."

Beyond the physical, there's an emotional bond forged between crew members and runners that military types call "embracing the suck."

The wife of a Brazilian runner, Cas Camara, who came in dead last far past the 60-hour mark, screamed and cried and begged her husband, who had fallen to the ground, his body seemingly wasted, to get up, get up and finish.

Members of a Navajo tribe and an entire family, tiny kids included, packed into a van to follow one runner. When Arnold Begay reached his breaking point, two of the men lifted him to his feet and a woman cupped his face and sang to him. He went on.

Some crewers ran 80 kilometers, completely anonymously, just to keep their runner on a specific pace. Many were exhausted from running their own ultramarathons only weeks before. Badwater's past champ, Hungarian Akos Konya crewed for 19-year-old Arizona college student Nick Hollon who made history as the event's youngest ever competitor.

"Nick emailed me and said how would you like to help me," explained Konya, hovering over his runner Nick Hollon at mile 72. Hollon was in pain. The teen's feet were chewed and he was about to take a needle to his blisters.

Konya, skinny and fast as a Greyhound, put his hand on Hollon's shoulder. He seemed shocked by the question -- Why would you go through Badwater to help out a kid you barely know?

"Why would I not help him do this? He asked me. I don't understand why you would say no."

BADWATER FACTS

  • 135 miles through Death Valley, California
  • Start: 280 feet below sea level
  • Finish: 8,300 feet on Mount Whitney
  • Race time limit: 60 hours, 48-hour cut-off to get a belt buckle
  • Course pavement exceeds 200 degrees F, same temp used to slow cook a pot roast
  • Dangers: Heat stroke, organ failure, hallucinations, huge blisters, severe dehydration

8/12/09

Team for Kids & Running Friends

"For me running is about freedom. I find that the freer I feel, the faster I am." Jennifer Beals, Actress

So after the whole daily wake up with the dog, the cycle of work and after work festivities, I made my way up towards the Team for Kids practice. Then, afterwards my Flyer team of selected "cool kids" would meet up for a picnic.

The day was somewhat cloudy as it looked as though the rain was going to actually come down. The practice for Team for Kids as a light one as I took on the 10 minute mile group. I talked the whole entire way with this yoga instructor, who wanted advice on the marathon and how things were.

It was good and simple. I was asked what the difference between the Alzheimer's group and the Team for Kids group and how different they were. They are.

I am more of a supporting cast role in the Team for Kids group, although the size of the group is much larger in Team for Kids, it's nice to have that large group dynamic where you don't feel like you are wasting your time. My alzheimer's group though is really nice because JL and I are heading the whole entire thing. We are in charge and it is our first year doing this entire thing. It is great to have the same sort of ratio of people that come to our Tuesday night practices, though we hope that more people would come to our Weekend practices as well, were we hope to teach people a little more and those are the longer runs.

But after Team for Kids brough on a different dynamic. After trying to find my friends at a second location due to the weather and non-picnic atmosphere in a bar, I finally saw some of my closest friends.

I got there late as everyone had a drink in them already. It was great seeing everyone there as we are all united by our running group. Many would say that we are very much a click within the running organization. The Monday group run has definitely allowed us to see each other weekly as most of us are regulars. I veer down the table as I see each person talking with one another in various conversations that are going on. It was nice to see how much of a group dynamic our group really functions as a whole and how lucky I was to be part of this group. I was the young one actually in the group as most of them are in their 30's. Allowing me to be part of the group, as two people: me and ES are the young guns... It's nice though because sometimes people talk down upon you as you are younger, less mature and so on and so forth. I am lucky to have some great friends to look up to, talk to about different situations and really broaden my life around because all of these people I look up to. Each one of us has gone through our own struggles in life, although we are united in one aspect: Running and how that turned into friendships.

I leave the bar knowing that I have such great friends. Those who are interested in my life and those who really care about how I am doing on a daily cycle. I will probably have these friends for life, knowing that they will be there through the thick and thin and hopefully for the better!

8/11/09

No alz practice...

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Theodore Roosevelt

It's quite amazing that you can't seem to get out in time for work when you really need to...but this week since there is a JC meeting, so I thought I could take my time. I was planning on doing laundry, but without prevail on the dog sitting side, I wasn't going to make it and I didn't know any other laundry places in the area, which I newly moved into my new spot.

Anyways, I went back to my place contimplating on running. Running after last month's 365 mile month has burnt me out big time. A rest day seemed so perfect in many ways.

But what was a runner to do when you are always constantly thinking about running so often and frequently? It's crazy!

I was lost. I was confuzed, but not depressed like marathon depression...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

8/10/09

ING: runnING

Running has never failed to give me great results, and that's why I keep coming back for more! Sasha Azevedo, American Actress, Athlete, and Model

In short, walking up early in the morning due to yet again the dog waking up at 4:30 am in the morning... the morning light and sun wasn't even up!

So I told him to go back to bed...and what did he do? Well he showed me! (He's a little on the uneasy side due to allowing him to chew so much crap outside and playing with so much crap inside...bad dog!)

Anyways, cleaned up his stuff after we went out and went back to bed...my routine has been like this for a week already as I need more sleep to recoup!

I finally wake up again from the dog/alarm and get ready for work. Work is work as it is a normal day (just getting back into things is sort of hard)

But after work, I quickly tried to take out the dog, then run to the ING job, but I needed my uniform. I went home, snatched it and went to the cafe.

Uh! I was absolutely SOAKED! It was such a humid day that when you stepped out of the door you basically are breathing a wall of humid air. As always we had split up into different groups as I lead the faster longer session. There was a military guy who sprung ahead from the get-go and I was also left with a very fast paced gal. Some others had stayed with us, although the pace of the usual run was a whole lot quicker and ended our run at the cafe.

The usual raffle prizes and fruit was given out as I had won the weekly prize of a duffle/satchel bag...weird?

Yes, very weird.

8/9/09

Seeing Grandma...

"Runners just do it. They run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first." Author Unknown

Yes, I am quite the evil child where I was suppose and planned to see my grandmother yesterday after the team championships, although afterwards at the team picnic, I was asked by good friend flyers and couple, ST and JH to go to a Yankees vs BoSox game...how can I resist?

Anyways, since I went to the Yankees game, I needed to see my grandmother and also pick up a few supplies for the Hood to Coast relay that I had packed up and shipped back home...(Running reflective vest and I love NY shirt)

So as I was done with the Alzheimer's group run, I headed off to the bus terminal to be shipped off to Jersey to see my cousin, my grandmother and aunt/uncle...

Upon my arrival, I hung out with my cousin and his wife early on in the day, watched their wedding video, where they thought it was hilarious to see me shaking as I gave my speach...ha! I was pretty funny and really should have relaxed a little bit more....but what is done is done.

After we went over to see my grandma, where she was having some issues with her feet due to the fact of high blood sugar levels, her kidneys had faultered somewhat and now the inbalance of water is swelling up her legs...she is very unhappy and the days of tiredness and unease has really brought her to being very unhappy.

I saw her, as her sight is getting worse as well. She only recognizes voices now and it was totally sad to see her in that condition.

The worst part was this. My cousin was sitting next to his wife and my gandmother, my grandmother does not recognize his wife since she was newly introduced into the family within the past year. She asked my cousin who she was, where his response was that she was his wife. Then my grandmother asked if she was married...and my cousin said yes. Then she asked where my grandfather was...and we both looked at each other and did not know how to answer that question since my grandfather had recently passed away not long ago this past year.

We stayed a little while as my grandma wanted us to leave...then my grandma went back to bed as she was restless and we left shortly after.

It's just a sad disease as it realy toiuches the heart and the amazement of my struggles as I want to do justice to find a cure...

Soon after, I left going back to NYC...

Fox in the Park

"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face." Gatorade ad

So, the dog woke me up at 4:30 am in the morning, I was thinking that this dog has no sense of time or orientation. The sun was not even up and the dog was waking me up...I told the dog to wake me up in half an hour when it was 5...and it did. Took the dog out, did the various chores and strolled back out. I needed to get my running stuff at my apartment and I had a little time to spare by the time I returned home.

I got home, changed and left...I went to Columbus Circle to see if anyone would show up at the park for the run with my Alzheimer's team. I carried my Run 2 Remember Shirt because I knew that a member from Maryland, MF, would be coming this morning.

I saw a familiarity of him as I entered, although with New York you really can not tell, I just stood at Columbus Circle. There he asked people questions wondering what things are what and he finally found me.

I chat with him and then EE came around with Jeff (who was hung over...) and Meghann, also came late.

The designed run was around 6 miles and we all went on the trails (excluding Jeff, who was bag watching.) We all started pretty slow and maintained pace at a 10 minute mile. Not a big deal, it was Mike Fox's first time in Central Park and we wanted to make him feel as comfortable as possible, it was a good group run as we went up towards 102nd street and passed Mary Whitenburg, some other fast paced runners like KC, a good friend who is superbly fast and barely made it to women's nationals...

The run allowed all of the runners to chat, have a good time and really enjoy themselves. We were shocked that so few had shown up, although it was a Sunday morning and looked like it was going to rain. We ran around the trails, hooked back up and finished where Jeff had changed locations (maybe due to the out-loud reader) we dropped of Meghann, who was smiling and happy after a run and I wanted to show MF the end of the marathon, which situated in entering the park, exiting the park and finishing up on 59th street and back into the park past Columbus Circle...

It was a nice loop that we took as we took him to the 72nd street transverse and through to Strawberry Fields, where we were unsure if the song from the Beatles came before or after the name of the fields placement in Central Park. (Word has it from winkipedia that the fields were named after the song near the placement of Lennon's murder)

We finished and I again showed MF the 59th street bridge as he came to my apartment to use my shower...after that...a visit to Grandma's....

8/3/09

ING pace group

After the soggy run, went straight home, took off my shoes, changed my shirt and quickly went to my part time ING pace group job.



My shorts were still soggy and that is never a good thing!



Arrived as the AC of the ING cafe was cold! Ok, we need to get a move on people!



The groups made it way to the park as I took on the longer mileage, but slower group. I had to make sure that everyone was still there...but where did everyone go? I was in conversation with a regular runner when the group of guys who were in back of me one of the fell back...so I had to wait...but where was he? Oh great!



Anyways, I waited and waited, backpeddling and just waited? What the heck? Ok, I need to catch up to the rest of the pack here...



So, I sprinted back and caught up to the group, we went around and as we started to finish up, we found the other guy. Ok, where were you buddy?



We finished our run and the night was over at the ING cafe!