10/31/09

One Season to Remember...

"Every serious marathoner should do Boston, to experience the close to a million spectators, the three generations of families out cheering, the little kids handing you water or orange slices. The whole city really appreciates the runners." Neil Weygandt, who had finished 41 straight Boston Marathons as of 2007

To our Alzheimer's Run to Remember team...this will never be forgotten as an incredible year...why am I crying?

Thank you Jeff LeBlanc for an amazing season...an amazing tribute...and amazing video (cheezy but good) as he stayed up till 5am last night to do this...

Thank You!

10/30/09

TKF - final finalle

So...after the long day of chatting it up with runners and starting their whole New York City Marathon experience, I finally left and went along to round my rounds at the Marathon expo.

Little did I know that there wasn't much that I had liked and didn't really want to buy anything...crazy?

Yes...well that was short lived when I had to go to this Team For Kids dinner "last hara!" Celebration...at the armory...GW was there when I arrived and slowly but surely each of them showed up. It really is a great experience seeing all of them...giddy, as this day finally arrives and all of them are in great spirits!

They said their final speeches as all the coaches were brought up and they went over the course...I even got a little nervous as they spoke of the marathon course...the marathon is such a huge distance that you have to respect the mileage and even experienced runners get nervous!

So...all of the kids are ready to rock and roll as the start looms and the race is not a dream anymore, but soon will become reality...all the hard work and the rest is just the party in the end!

Good luck!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Running LATE

Uh! So much going on these final days of wrapping everything up for the NYC marathon that I have been running...literally to everywhere and running late...which is usually not like me.

I had to take the subway to my volunteering at the Expo this morning as I was 30 minutes off from schedule...

Everyone is looking at me weird on the way, maybe due to my mohawk that I did last night? Gosh! What's wrong with you?

WHO ARE YOU STARING AT?

Ok...so I got off the subway at 34th and RAN to the EXPO...uh...lots of running going on before the race...lots of running!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

10/29/09

10/28/09

Yesterday...slip!

Ok, so yesterday when I was walking to the subway station from my apartment...there was a slight drizzle in the air and I didn't want to run to work having a wet and soggy day...

So, subway it is! Walked along 1st to 59th street and towards 2nd avenue where there is a little fruit stand in the corner. I was walking towards the ACE subway station on 53rd and Lex...and...well...

I wasn't really looking at the ground and maybe looking at my blackberry where all of a sudden...my feet just slip from the soles of my sneakers...

I skid...whooaa!

What the hell?

Low and behold, there was a whole banana on the floor and I had stepped on it...and skidded and almost fell on my butt!

Wow...I am more stable while running than being careful and walking...

What a day to start off the morning...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

10/27/09

The Human Body Is Built for Distance

Published: October 26, 2009

Does running a marathon push the body further than it is meant to go?

The conventional wisdom is that distance running leads to debilitating wear and tear, especially on the joints. But that hasn’t stopped runners from flocking to starting lines in record numbers.

Last year in the United States,425,000 marathoners crossed the finish line, an increase of 20 percent from the beginning of the decade, Running USA says. Next week about 40,000 people will take part in the New York City Marathon. Injury rates have also climbed, with some studies reporting that 90 percent of those who train for the 26.2-mile race sustain injuries in the process.

But now a best-selling book has reframed the debate about the wisdom of distance running. In “Born to Run” (Knopf), Christopher McDougall, an avid runner who had been vexed by injuries, explores the world of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, a tribe known for running extraordinary distances in nothing but thin-soled sandals.

Mr. McDougall makes the case that running isn’t inherently risky. Instead, he argues that the commercialization of urban marathons encourages overzealous training, while the promotion of high-tech shoes has led to poor running form and a rash of injuries.

“The sense of distance running being crazy is something new to late-20th-century America,” Mr. McDougall told me. “It’s only recently that running has become associated with pain and injury.”

The scientific evidence supports the notion that humans evolved to be runners. In a 2007 paper in the journal Sports Medicine, Daniel E. Lieberman, a Harvard evolutionary biologist, and Dennis M. Bramble, a biologist at the University of Utah, wrote that several characteristics unique to humans suggested endurance running played an important role in our evolution.

Most mammals can sprint faster than humans — having four legs gives them the advantage. But when it comes to long distances, humans can outrun almost any animal. Because we cool by sweating rather than panting, we can stay cool at speeds and distances that would overheat other animals. On a hot day, the two scientists wrote, a human could even outrun a horse in a 26.2-mile marathon.

Why would evolution favor the distance runner? The prevailing theory is that endurance running allowed primitive humans to incorporate meat into their diet. They may have watched the sky for scavenging birds and then run long distances to reach a fresh kill and steal the meat from whatever animal was there first.

Other research suggests that before the development of slingshots or bows, early hunters engaged in persistence hunting, chasing an animal for hours until it overheated, making it easy to kill at close range. A 2006 report in the journal Current Anthropology documents persistence hunting among modern hunter-gatherers, including the Bushmen in Africa.

“Ancient humans exploited the fact that humans are good runners in the heat,” Dr. Bramble said. “We have such a great cooling system” — many sweat glands, little body hair.

There is other evidence that evolution favored endurance running. A study in The Journal of Experimental Biology last February showed that the short toes of the human foot allowed for more efficient running, compared with longer-toed animals. Increasing toe length as little as 20 percent doubles the mechanical work of the foot. Even the fact that the big toe is straight, rather than to the side, suggests that our feet evolved for running.

“The big toe is lined up with the rest, not divergent, the way you see with apes and our closest nonrunning relatives,” Dr. Bramble said. “It’s the main push-off in running: the last thing to leave the ground is that big toe.”

Springlike ligaments and tendons in the feet and legs are crucial for running. (Our close relatives the chimpanzee and the ape don’t have them.) A narrow waist and a midsection that can turn allow us to swing our arms and prevent us from zigzagging on the trail. Humans also have a far more developed sense of balance, an advantage that keeps the head stable as we run. And most humans can store about 20 miles’ worth of glycogen in their muscles.

And the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the human body, is primarily engaged only during running. “Your butt is a running muscle; you barely use it when you walk,” Dr. Lieberman said. “There are so many features in our bodies from our heads to our toes that make us good at running.”

So if we’re born to run, why are runners so often injured? A combination of factors is likely to play a role, experts say. Exercise early in life can affect the development of tendons and muscles, but many people don’t start running until adulthood, so their bodies may not be as well developed for distance. Running on only artificial surfaces and in high-tech shoes can change the biomechanics of running, increasing the risks of injury.

What’s the solution? Slower, easier training over a long period would most likely help; so would brief walk breaks, which mimic the behavior of the persistence hunter. And running on a variety of surfaces and in simpler shoes with less cushioning can restore natural running form.

Mr. McDougall says that while researching his book, he corrected his form and stopped using thickly cushioned shoes. He has run without injury for three years.

Rain...

Well, better have rain now than this weekend, right?

I didn't run this morning as I went on the subway...almost killing myself and slipping down some stairs because I was getting people back on e-mail...

opps! Yeah, I need to stay on top of things before the marathon so I will be ok...

So that's the reason why I didn't run this morning because it was raining and I didn't want to get into work all wet!

Also I was really confused if it was raining or not...heard the rain drops, but didn't see rain...only confirmed it when I looked out of my living room's large window...

All good...live it up and catch up on blogging on the way to work!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

10/26/09

The Boston Marathon

114th Boston Marathon

Dear Brian W. Hsia,

This is to notify you that your entry into the 114th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 19, 2010has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.

In early April 2010, an official Number Pick-up Card and extensive information regarding the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and related race week activities will be mailed to you via US Postal Service first class mail.

Note that bib numbers will not be distributed on Race Day.

We look forward to seeing you in April! Best of luck in your training!

Sincerely,

Boston Athletic Association

10/25/09

Halloween early for TFK

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.

Jesse Owens, American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist

So...e-mails have been flying around and words have been exchanged that today's Poland Spring marathon kick off - 5 miler was going to be quite the event for Team for Kids's members. We were all told to dress up in some kind of green, although some people came as other team members.

Oh so funny as this crew really takes the key in finding a good time together...this group just connects together where many people are really great friends and have found friendships through running...

So what was I?

I was told to be Becky, as Ren was Paige as we would cross dress accordingly to make quite the scene!

Becky was the yoga instructor, who had injured herself and was tied to the hip with another team member...now I was told to complete the package!

Anyways, woke up at 5:45 before my alarm as I had been waking up way too early recently. It's just that maybe there is way too many things on my mind and responsibilities that I feel that I need to take care of...but anyways, I hope to be able to sleep in after this marathon is over...

Anyways, work up early and arrived into the park early with my running skirt, sports bra and wig (although wore my wig when I got into central park)

People probably though I was crazy for running in a skirt! Anyways, it was pretty warm and I was thankful for that. I waited at cherry hill for quite a while...I was there at 7am. So...I waited...then more and more people showed up in costumes and then it was one large Halloween party!

Once everyone showed up, the crowd was getting really just quite a hilarious act as everyone had some sort of costume on.

The coaches had a meeting, then the kids went out on a run and stretching began, where everyone took a good part of the stretching and introductions of who was who...oh it was absolutely hilarious! Really they did quite the great job in introducing all the coaches and impersonating all the coaches as one large joke!

Oh they are funny!

The whole entire morning was full of laughter as we went to the starting line...and what a riot we all were and must have looked like to everyone that was running...since we were just frolicking along and just having a grand old time!

Oh it was a whole lot of fun as these guys really take it to another level...it's so great...what fun I am having this year...as many of them start to buckle down and get nervous for the marathon...

It's finally here folks!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Nap?

"The runner's greatest asset, apart from essential fitness of body, is a cool and calculating brain allied to confidence and courage." Franz Stampfl, running coach and author

Think I need a nap...

10/23/09

Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?

The best way to predict the future is to create it. Stephen Covey, author

Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?

Every weekend during this fall marathon season, long after most runners have completed the 26.2-mile course — and very likely after many have showered, changed and headed for a meal — a group of stragglers crosses the finish line.

The New York City Marathon finish line. The race officially ends after six and a half hours, but runners are scored through 8:40.

of those slower runners, claiming that late is better than never, receive a finisher’s medal just like every other participant. Having traversed the same route as the fleeter-footed runners — perhaps in twice the amount of time — they get to call themselves marathoners.

And it’s driving some hard-core runners crazy.

“It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours,” said Adrienne Wald, 54, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984. “It used to be that running a marathon was worth something — there used to be a pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it’s, ‘How low is the bar?’ ”

Tens of thousands of runners are training for marathons this time of year. As the fields continue to grow — primarily by adding slower runners — so has the intensity of the debate over how quickly an able-bodied runner should finish the once-elite event that is now an activity for the masses.

Purists believe that running a marathon should be just that — running the entire course at a relatively fast clip. They point out that a six-hour marathoner is simply participating in the event, not racing in it. Slow runners have disrespected the distance, they say, and have ruined the marathon’s mystique.

Slower marathoners believe that covering the 26.2 miles is the crux of the accomplishment, no matter the pace. They say that marathons inspire people to get off their couches, if only to cross off an item on the Things to Do Before I Die list. And besides, slow runners are what drive the marathon business, they say.

John Bingham, a runner who is known as the Penguin, is often credited with starting the slow-running movement, in the 1990s. “I have had people say that I’ve ruined the sport of running, but what I’ve been trying to do is promote the activity of running to an entire generation of people,” he said. “What’s wrong with that?”

Bingham added: “The complainers are just a bunch of ornery, grumpy people who want the marathon all to themselves and don’t want the slower runners. But too bad. The sport is fueled and funded by people like me.”

Trends show that marathon finishers are getting slower and slower — and more prevalent — according to Running USA, a nonprofit organization that tracks trends in distance running. From 1980 to 2008, the number of marathon finishers in the United States increased to 425,000 from 143,000.

In 1980, the median finishing time for male runners in United States marathons was 3 hours 32 minutes 17 seconds, a pace of about eight minutes per mile. In 2008, the median finishing time was 4:16, a pace of 9:46. For women, that time in 1980 was 4:03:39. Last year, it was 4:43:32.

In a debate on the Web site slowtwitch.com, someone posting as Record10 Carbon wrote that more than half of the people at a marathon are just overweight and “trying to get a shirt and medal ... looking to one day tell a story about the saga and the suffering of their 11 minute pace ‘race.’ ”

In response, someone wrote: “Being a participant isn’t bad. Yes, there should be a cutoff on some events. But, what that cutoff is can be a raging debate.”

Race directors often struggle to find the right cut-off time, when water stations are closed, roads open to vehicles and volunteers abandon the course. Some directors, however, avoid that problem.

Runners in the Honolulu Marathon have no limits. Race rules state, “All runners will be permitted to finish, regardless of their time.”

Last year, 44 percent of the field for that event finished in more than six hours — with some marathoners stopping for lunch along the course.

“For every race director, there’s a very fine line between putting on a community event and putting on a race,” said Chris Burch, race director for the Des Moines Marathon, which stays open for seven hours. Last year, it stayed open for eight hours, but Burch found that only 4 percent of the participants needed more than seven hours to finish. In the end, that extra hour was not worth it, he said, because of the costs of keeping the course open.

It is a huge budget item because you have to pay municipal services, like police, fire or trash, and volunteers have to stay longer,” he said. “But it’s not a simple decision. Those back-of-the-pack runners are income for the event, too, and they’re just as important for everyone. There’s a feeling of ‘I paid as much money as the other people to enter, so I should be treated the same.’ ”

At the Marine Corps Marathon, runners must keep a pace of 14 minutes per mile or risk being booted from the event near the 20-mile mark. A bus looms there, waiting to pick up those who fail to cross the 14th Street Bridge before it reopens to traffic. Those who choose to continue on the open course do so at their own risk, taking to the sidewalks or dodging traffic.

At the Berlin Marathon, where the cut-off time is 6:15, the “slow police” are notorious for lurking at the back of the pack. “If runners aren’t able to finish in the time we put in our information book, we ask them to leave the course and find their way to their hotel, or get in the bus,” the race director Mark Milde said.

The New York City Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 1, will have a field of about 40,000. Last year, about 21 percent of the field finished in more than five hours. The race officially ends after 6:30, though runners are scored through 8:40, when the timing system is finally carted off, said the race director Mary Wittenberg.

Longtime marathoners like Julia Given, a 46-year-old marketing director from Charlottesville, Va., still find ways to differentiate the “serious runners” from those at the back of the pack.

“If you’re wearing a marathon T-shirt, that doesn’t mean much anymore,” Given said on the eve of this month’s Baltimore Marathon, where vendors were selling products that celebrate slower runners. One sticker said: “I’m slow. I know. Get over it.”

“I always ask those people, ‘What was your time?’ If it’s six hours or more, I say, ‘Oh great, that’s fine, but you didn’t really run it,’ ” said Givens, who finished the Baltimore race in 4:05:52. “The mystique of the marathon still exists. It’s the mystique of the fast marathon.”

Another Boston...

Yup...

another boston...

114th Boston Marathon
Dear Brian:

Your entry for the 114th Boston Marathon has been received. Entry verification and acceptance can take four to five weeks depending on how quickly we receive the official results from your qualifying marathon. Please make note of your Submission ID #: 20012403.

Signed up with my Miami Marathon time...

Wig, Human race pick up, sports bra, alz...

Fitness is like the blade of a knife; you want to sharpen it without ruining the blade. Sally Jenkins, The Washington Post

Ok, so...after work, I went in that order to finally get a jist of time I had to compete everything in...in the hour and a half that I had...

I was going to go up to Ricky's in the 50's and 8th ave, but that quickly turned as I saw one on 20th street and made a detour in...I didn't purchase the wig thinking of what Paige's hair actually was...

Anyways...it's a Hazel Brown, as the package said: Seductress on it!

Anyways, tomorrow I will purchase it, as I quickly changed gears to go towards midtown and get my bib/shirt/ and other stuff at Niketown, although they were extremely slow...

I finally got my items and went inside to niketown to find a green sports bra...but found nothing...just a red one which I purchased in two different sizes and found that it was like buying a box of condoms or tampons...

Awkward!

Anyways, went straight to my alzheimer's event showcasing the director of Run for your Life, about the founder of the race, Mr. Fred Lebow. We had a LOW turnout, which I was not impressed about...but clearly I could get over.

9 days let till this marathon and in some ways the hype, the work, the emotion and energy is what keeps me going. In short, the meeting was successful, team members are tired and excited at the same time and only can wait till these 9 days are finally over...but this is the week that they have been waiting for!

Anyways, on the way home as I walked home from the Alzheimer's Chapter, I clearly got a little emotional.

In many ways, my life has been consumed by the training of 2 charity teams, private coaching, and the ING pace group that I have been juggling everything with my primary job. That said it would be nice to breath a little and finally get a little alone time, although as the consumption has consumed my entire life, I thought to myself...what is my life going to be like after this marathon?

I got seriously depressed in thinking about what my life was like even before this...besides the usual running here and there and everywhere...

I do not know exactly where this will take me, although down the road I know that I have made great friends and good people that will continue to run...these are the clear joys and happinesses that allows us to continue to move on.

Of course there are other projects, books and things to do alone...but do I want to do that? I clearly love the group aspect of things and love people...

It will be hard...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Toby Tanser's Tips...

It is amazing how much you can progress week after week, month after month, year after year if you allow for gradual training increases. Bob Glover, The Runner's Handbook

10/22/09

Marathon Pace Perfect

Nonrunners cannot see how they can afford the time to run every day. But runners cannot imagine getting through a single day without it. Kevin Nelson, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration


Marathon Pace Perfect

Pete Pfitzinger on how to set, learn and maintain your optimal marathon pace
To run your best marathon, you need to set a challenging but realistic goal and prepare meticulously. Regardless of your goal and training ethic, however, a key requirement for optimal marathon performance is optimal pacing.

There are several possible marathon pacing strategies, but only two with a reasonable likelihood of leading to a personal best performance. The classic strategy for failure is to start too hard and hope you will get away with it. If you are still trying that approach, good luck! At the other end of the spectrum, starting slowly with the expectation that you will feel great and make up for lost time during the second half rarely leads to disaster but is also unlikely to lead to your best race. Although “negative splits” may make you look good as you pass other runners during the latter stages of the marathon, you can only partially make up the deficit incurred from running more slowly during the first half of the race.

The two marathon pacing strategies that are most often successful are 1) running even splits throughout the race; and 2) slowing a few seconds per mile as the race progresses. While running even splits will come close to using your aerobic system and glycogen stores most efficiently, it may not be the optimal pacing strategy because your body’s physiology changes during the marathon.

Your optimal marathon race pace (MRP) is slightly slower than your lactate threshold pace. As your slow-twitch muscle fibers fatigue during the marathon, your body begins to recruit less economical fast-twitch fibers, so your lactate threshold occurs at a slightly slower pace. Unless you are a world-class marathoner, it makes sense to plan for this reduction in economy and to pace yourself accordingly.

For most marathoners in the 2:30 to 4:00 range, the most effective pacing strategy is to run the first half of the marathon about one to three minutes faster than the second half. Using this approach, you will find that you still need to increase your effort moderately during the second half of the race to maintain your pace just below your lactate threshold.

Of course, you also need to adjust your pacing based on the hill profile of the course. If you are fast enough to line up near the front of the pack at the ING New York City Marathon, you may be alarmed to find you run the first mile 10 to 15 seconds slower than your planned MRP, but will be back on target after you run down the other side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. If you are further back at the start of most major marathons, your pacing will likely be erratic during the first few miles as you weave your way through the congestion.

Getting used to Marathon Race Pace

The best way to get used to your MRP is to train at MRP. For most marathoners, I recommend one or two runs of 12 to 15 miles (usually during a longer run) at MRP during the last eight weeks before your marathon. These runs are the most specific marathon preparation that you will do. The intention is to stress your body in a similar way to the marathon, but to limit the duration so your required recovery time is held to a few days. Make sure that you have had a couple of recovery days before an MRP long run, and schedule at least two easy days afterward as well.

During these runs, use the first few miles to warm up, then finish the run with the prescribed number of miles at MRP. In addition to the physiological and psychological benefits these runs provide, they are an excellent chance to practice drinking and taking energy gels at race pace. Runs of six to eight miles at MRP are another useful element of your marathon preparation. As a final reminder not to accidentally start too fast, run a few miles at MRP about four days before your marathon.

Tune-up races are another opportunity to get used to your MRP, with the advantage that you have a measured course, plenty of aid stations, and other people to run with. Be careful, however, to limit yourself to MRP. A half marathon at MRP is an outstanding workout that should only require a few days’ recovery, while races of 8K to 10 miles at MRP can replace tempo runs during some weeks of your marathon preparation and generally require only minimal recovery.

Race Day Tactics

On race day, try to adhere closely to your pacing plan, yet maintain a degree of flexibility due to the weather, how you feel, and the pacing of other runners. Learn your planned splits (writing them on your hand is useful if you get confused later in the race) so you can monitor your progress along the way. If the weather is hot, you will need to run conservatively (and drink more) during the first half and can expect a greater decrement in performance as the race progresses. With correct pacing on a hot and/or humid day, however, you will find that although your finish time is slower than you would have liked, your finishing place is much better than expected.

There is a large psychological and small drafting advantage to running in a group, so you should adjust your pace moderately, if necessary, to stay with other runners. When you are running into a headwind, the drafting advantage becomes significant, so conserve energy by “tucking in behind.” When you get out of the headwind you can then pick your pace back up to MRP. If you are feeling strong during the last few miles of the marathon, pick up your effort based on how you feel with the confidence that you have paced yourself wisely.

TFK- almost last practice...

Everything changed the day I understood that if I was to become a runner, I would have to run with the body I had. John Bingham, The Courage to Start
So running up to practice it was somewhat of an adventure...

My morning commute also attested to some objects flying into my eyes, as that was not fun in the morning...

Also checking the weather for marathon Sunday's forecast...ok, 10 days away...which does not look too good right now, but anything can happen!

So! Arrive up at practice and I chat with Jacs, just about how excited they are...it's always great to hear about their experience and the whole bit because they are excited, which starts to get you excited and then well...it's just pure excitement!

Anyways, I don't think they will ever understand that I am living their experience through their eyes...you always remember your first and you relive your experience through the newbies eyes...

speed work today was quarter's around the reservoir, although I was a group leader, I quickly found myself distracted while they were telling us the route (opps!), by two lovely ladies...

And well...one of the quarters turned out to being a sprint for a 1/2 mile...Sorry Jacs, I must have killed you on that one!

Anyways...completed two of the three sprint workouts and my group had nothing to do with me anymore...they should rest, it's all good!

So, finally got this costume thing that these "kids" are setting up for at the Poland Spring race...well, got my bottom part, an orange running skirt...

The sports bra and wig will come later...oh dear me!

Anyways...after todays workout, I followed the East siders: Claudia (pace nazi), V, Jac, Blondie & the Dimitrator...well some of us, went to go get pumpkin pie as FINALLY, I get invited to join the cool kids for "brunch"...

They are a great group of friends. Really, it's the people that make this whole experience worthwhile and every person that I have ran with...with Team for Kids has made my time worthwhile to run with all of these people...

They will do wonderfully on race day and they are amazing people.

I am just wondering if they even knew who they were or what they did before they joined TFK and before training / running in a marathon...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

2 cents down, 2 cents up...

I pretty much know how to train, but I need to pay more attention to smaller details, like recovering better, and to the signs my body gives, whether it's fatigued or ready for more mileage on a given week. Deena Kastor, American record holder in the marathon (2:19:36)
So what do I mean about the title? Ever find pennies just laying on the floor or on the streets oif New York? Well maybe that's why people say that the streets are like gold in the United States...

Pennies? Is it worthless now a days? Anyways, I was on my way to work this morning and I found TWO pennies going to work...then on the way up to my various events after work, I found two more pennies...

So...I'm up 4 cents!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

10/21/09

Pain in the back...

I always run alone, away from phones and stress. Running is a major part of my life because it keeps me sane. Michael Roux, Jr., Executive Chef, Le Gavroche, London

Ok, usual run to my office in the morning as the 3 miler must have looked ridiculious!

My friend left a few items at my place as I was suppose to return it to her. The items was a sweater and a book and other objects, although the damn book kept jabbing into my back and caused a huge bruise mark...wtf?

Anyways...there was no hot water at work today, but luckily it was a very warm day, so a semi-cold shower was ok...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thump, ruffle, crunch!

There is nothing quite so gentle, deep, and irrational as our running—and nothing quite so savage, and so wild. Bernd Heinrich, Why We Run: A Natural History

Ok, so these were the sounds in which I was running on my way to work this morning as I brought a little more items to eat and put in my snack drawer. OK, I eat a whole lot (what are munchies? I consistantly eat from breakfast to lunch...is that good? I have no clue!)

Anyways, a big bag of tortilla blue chips and some other goodies like dried fruit, nuts and so on and so forth. All of this just rustled in my bag on the way to work as this clearly made my bag full and heavy. I am betting that my nag weighed about 5-7 pounds extra...

Anyways, also on the way to work this morning was another lady runner...wow, is it wrong that I was analysing her gait? How she moved when she ran? Anyways, I had to part with her for about 3 blocks into my run and it is always good to see other runners out there...

So work was work as my alzheimer's team had to finalize some stuff for marathon Sunday....gosh, just 12 more days left!

What to do!

Anyways, after work I worked my way up to Central Park as we had many of our Alzheimer's team there...it was rather sad as many wanted a group run during the weekend and wanted us to continue these group runs even after the marathon ends. Yes, that would highly be ideal, although we shall see who actually comes to these events...plus I am guessing that it will be after the winter time.

It was sad though "about to see everyone" leave and they have gone oh so far! It was amazing to see all the runners accomplish their goals and wanting more...

They will be back...it's always really exciting to see what their bodies and performances can do...it's amazing!

So after running with TA for the entire loop, it was a good run and I learn a bunch from other runners and talk things through....

Yes, I ran again after my Alzheimer's group totaling my run today to being 18 miles! I know...ST called me up as I had to make up lost time with her, since I have been so busy...so we met at 8ish...we did a loop and caught up ay a grueling pace as she ran me into the ground. I sped up at the end and put every lasting energy that I had in my body into the end...it was tough, and I was tired...

My body hates me right now...

Anyways, I called ST a preying manthis, in her gait and how she swings her arms...

It was hilarious!

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10/18/09

Gma

Spirit has fifty times the strength and staying power of brawn and muscle. Anonymous

So...arriving in New Jersey by bus was a rather pleasant experience.

My cousin, who is like a brother to me and rather a person I look up to always...(They always say that I end up copying the things that they want to accomplish and he always states that I do things better: marathons, running, tattoos, architecture, etc...)

But anyways, I arrived and we went to Costco to buy some food items for myself, then headed straight to my grandma's place to visit.

It's been about a month since I had seen my grandma and well, this was sort of the reason why this weekend is a family weekend. My grandma is the one that has the Alzheimer's disease. She is the one I deeply care about and have worked hard for...I am guessing that since we (my sister and I) were little, we would visit my grandma first and then visit my cousin. Hence being a little closer to both my grandfather and grandmother on my mother's side.

So...this weekend is my grandfather's passing, one year ago. The weekend was in a very large anticipation of grief...and hardship. I can remember the hardships that went through my mind and what emotions I had endured during this...and not really caring about anything in the world, but family...

Family always comes first...and I do know that, although I guess this is why I also run...to represent things and to run away...run away from life, run away from fears and run away from all my emotions that I seem to be relieved over when all is done and through...

So, after a late night of watching the Yankee game and taking small naps in between, I finally went to bed along with my cousin after the 12th inning.

I woke up the this morning at 7, which was really great because I got to sleep in...yes, sleeping in is at 7am than usual weekend mornings. We left their place at 8ish as I had seen my grandma in the morning as well and my parents. I usually don't get to see my parents that often due to them working and my work conflicts with them having off as well, especially with all of these running jobs.

It was good seeing them though and well...we headed up toward the New Rochelle area to see my grandpa. I have been extremely fortunate though in my life to experience both of my grandparents up to about 4-6 years ago when my first grandpa (father's side) passed from Cancer (although he had endured two strokes before hand).
Then last year, my other grandpa (mother's side) had just recently passed, so that was rather sad. I had been on the uneasy side of things where it was very tough to deal with it mentally. There is just something different when you see someone deteriorate so rapidly that it is rather scary. He also had cancer, although he had massive strokes beforehand (which may have been a blessing in disguise) although we still miss him deeply.

I think mentally this is probably the hardest thing to see in one's lifetime is to see a person take their last breathe. We, as a humans, take life for granted and see people we love each and every day so haphazardly...we never appreciate the great qualities in a person's life and we always fall into these emotions or fears or questions. Our minds and ego's just take the best of us...

I was never the man that my grandfather was and never really will be. I had changed and look at things very differently now. Both my grandfather's did many things for other's. It was their personalities to care for others before they cared about themselves.

I have had a new outlook on life this year to do just that and it was my absolute graciousness that I was able to help so many people...and get to know so many people.

It really has put a deep honor in saying that I have these genes and that in all aspects of helping others, I would say to myself, my grandfather's would do the same...
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10/17/09

Taper worm

Running is the classical road to self-consciousness, self-awareness and self-reliance. Independence is the outstanding characteristic of a runner. He learns the harsh reality of his physical and spiritual limitations when he runs. He learns that personal commitment, sacrifice and determination are his only means to betterment. Runners get promoted only through self-conquest. Noel Coward, English playwright, composer, and actor

So as I was going to go food shopping, I stopped by the Union Square Subway station to take a few pictures of all the miles or mile themes that this year's marathon represents.I am copying
Jac's blog which discribes all of the 26 miles in the NYC marathongoing through all of the boroughs and just portray's the New Balance's "Love/Hate" mark eting plan of last year...

Mile:

1: HELLO STARTING LINE. GOODBYE DOUBT.

2: HELLO BROOKLYN. GOODBYE FEAR.

3. HELLO SPECTATORS.GOODBYE NERVES.

4. HELLO LITTLE WATER CUPS. GOODBYE ANXIETY.

5. HELLO SUNSET PARK. GOODBYE UNCERTAINTY.

6. HELLO HEADWIND. GOODBYE GOOD ENOUGH.
7. HELLO COLD. GOODBYE CYNICISM.

8. HELLO WARM NUMBNESS. GOODBYE PAIN.

9. HELLO DON’T STOP NOW. GOODBYE ARROGANCE.

10. HELLO POUNDING HEART. GOODBYE OVERCONFIDENCE.

11. HELLO WILLIAMSBURG HIPSTERS. GOODBYE GIVING UP.

12. HELLO LITTLE POLAND. GOODBYE THE EASY WAY OUT.
13. HELLO HALFWAY POINT. GOODBYE OBSTACLES.

14. HELLO QUEENS. GOODBYE PESSIMISM.

15. HELLO ROOSEVELT ISLAND. GOODBYE COMFORT ZONE.

16. HELLO MANHATTAN. GOODBYE APATHY.


17. HELLO FIRST AVENUE CROWDS. GOODBYE CRAMPING.

18. HELLO DAUNTING HILLS. GOODBYE COASTING.
19. HELLO WALL. GOODBYE EGO.
20. HELLO THE BRONX. GOODBYE STRUGGLE.
21. HELLO MADISON AVE. GOODBYE DEMONS.

22. HELLO CENTRAL PARK. GOODBYE WEAKNESS.

23. HELLO ADORING FANS. GOODBYE PREVIOUS BEST.
24. HELLO BEAUTIFUL DOWN HILL. GOODBYE LIMITATIONS.
25. HELLO ALMOST THERE. GOODBYE DISBELIEF.
26. HELLO FINISH LINE. GOODBYE OLD ME..2 HELLO NEW YORK. GOODBYE GIVING UP!


Anyways...about 10 pictures later...and 13 bags of pasta from Trader Joe's...I come back to my apartment and leave right away to go to New Jersey for a family weekend...a very somber weekend...

Oh, so I get this e-mail from one of our runners asking these questions about corals.

Then she mentioned something about having the Taper Worm.

My reaction...what a great way to express the last few weeks of training as a "taper worm" because it truly sucks!

Anyways, that's the real reason for the topic...

Taper worm..

Last 10 miles

People begin running for any number of motives, but we stick to it for one basic reason-to find out who we really are. George Sheehan, M.D.

So...today?

You know when it's finally coming close when you endure the last 10 miles of the marathon.

It's pretty sad, although with all good things there are greater things.

I am amazed by the people who have taken this journey...those who stuck it out to the end and am going to endure one of the biggest parties in a one day event.

MF got in this morning to leave his bag at my place to shower after the run. We also decided to do the 59th street bridge, out and back before the group had left, although we were late and the group had already formed...Jeff had already called me twice and we finally rocked and rolled. I ran back into my apartment because I had to get something I had left for LC, who has a VIP special privileges due to her recent pregnancy.

Anyways, sprinted back to catch them all and finally made it!

It was nice to see everyone so early in the morning and just so happy...BUT it was so cold! And we were running with this other group, who charged people to run the last 10 miles! I couldn't believe it! That is just crazy!

Anyways, we went up to the Willis Ave bridge and did the whole stairs up and then over the bridge and then a little on the 138th street...BUT what is the deal here? Is there a change in the marathon due to the Long Island City political scheme? What is the deal?

Anyways, we continued on the old course and continued on. I waited for JL as he was taking up the rear...as the party was in the back! I kept going up and back from front to back to make sure that all groups were taken care of. I told the group to watch out for the ugly 5th avenue incline as we passed that, RM said "oh this hill wasn't so bad!" Ok, RM say that to me on Marathon Sunday!

Anyways, there were more people in the park lately since it is 2 weeks away...as we rounded out at mile 25 of the marathon course and went towards 59th street, incline and led the first group in towards the end...I can clearly see all of the marathon signs all around Columbus Circle and we finished up at Tavern on the Green.

We finished and I pulled out the three bottles of Gatorade that I had in my bag, that I had been carrying the entire time...I guess I am not done with my sherpa duties from last weekend.

We wait up till the party in the back came in and then the cold finally rushed us (MF and I back to my apartment)

The end is near...last 10 miles as these kids are ready to rock and roll!

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10/16/09

Cold...

The cold has finally seeped into my bones as I still go out in the morning with shorts, t-shirt and my arm warmers...What? It's above freezing right?

Yes, definitely! But, anyhow...I almost got ran over by a car trying to skid over streets and lanes...I should have looked as I was cutting across car lanes and what not, but well...

Yeah, I need to be a little more careful about this!

Got to work and then cut out after work to get a VIP sticker for one of my alzheimer's teammates, since she recently had a baby...so she gets special treatment.

I didn't make it up in time, although RH, who handles all the charity programs left it for me and I raced on home to get my laundry done...uh! Stay at home night, family weekend...
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Days till the NYC marathon?

Running is "focusing" for me. In my profession we might talk about it as body prayer; a sort of emptying of the mind. That's probably why I prefer running in the wilds rather than in the city.

Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church, New York City


Get excited folks...here we go!

10/15/09

Cold and Rain

Ok, it clearly is getting colder by the day...what is up with this weather!



Yes, for the past few years it has been warm and we have been spoiled...it was 45 degrees when I woke up this morning, cloudy and such...though I still ran!



Got to work ok, but had my gloves and it was quite cold...



The whole entire day I was wondering if my private speed work class was going to happen...my original team of two had cancelled, and I had three others that wanted to join...



But the cold, wet rain was coming down and I didn't want them to get sick or injured this close to the marathon...so cancellation it is!



So what did I decide to do? Run in the rain back on home...it was very therapeutic, although very cold...the rain was like ice pellets coming down, it was shearing through your body, but you warmed up, as I galloped at my pace, elongating my stride and making the most out of it, although happy when it was over as I arrived home...



What a relief!

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Running Celebs in NYC marathon

Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them;a desire, a dream, a vision. Muhammad Ali


The Stars Will Be Out at the NYC Marathon

Peter Vigneron

The marathon is still 26.2 miles, even when you're rich and famous. This immutable fact hasn't deterred a gaggle of bold-faced names from announcing they'll run this year's ING New York City Marathon on November 1.

Here's a brief rundown of celebrities who plan to run New York, and the causes they're supporting.


Edward Norton
has recruited both magicianDavid Blaine and singer Alanis Morissette to run in support of the Maasi Wilderness Conservation Trust and has been posting updates on his marathon training on Twitter. Norton hasn't had the easiest time getting in shape; his shins are finding the experience somewhat disagreeable, but he remains committed to running. Along with Blaine and Morissette, Norton will be joined by three Kenyan men from the Maasai tribe, all of whom are involved with the Trust's efforts to promote land conservation in western Kenya. (Photo, from left: Samson Parashina, Edward Norton, Parashi Ntanin, Andrew Wolff, Martin Sunte, Luca Belpietro. Courtesy Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.)

Former ER star Anthony Edwards headlines the celebrity contingent from another Kenya-based charity, Toby Tanser's Shoe4Africa organization, as he helps raise money for a planned children's hospital in the northwestern city of Eldoret. Eldoret sits at nearly 7,000 feet elevation above the Great Rift Valley and is rightly known as the epicenter of Kenyan marathoning. Top New York entrants Martin Lel, James Kwambai and Paul Tergat all hail from the area. Tony-award winning actress Sarah Jones and Mercy starJames LeGros have also committed to run for Shoe4Africa.

Kenya doesn't have a monopoly on the celebrity charity market, though. Christopher Reeve's son Matthew Reeves will run for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which raises money for spinal cord injury research.

Olympic gold medal-winning speed skater
Dan Jansen has signed on with ING Run for Something Betterto promote children's exercise, as has former hockey star Pat LaFontaine. Radio host Peter Sagal (Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me) is raising money for the Healthy Schools Campaign. Reality TV stars Brennan Swain,Ryan Sutter and Ian Rosenberger will run with actor Donal Logue and Pitchmen host Anthony Sullivanfor Grassroots Soccer, an organization that uses soccer to teach children and young adults about AIDS.

There will even be a touch of royalty passing through the five boroughs: Dutch Prince Pieter Christiaan Michiel plans to run for the World Wildlife Fund.

On a final note(!), musician Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes will run New York as well. Fraiture plays bass for the band, which is was formed in New York in 1999. He'll be raising money for the New York Road Runners Team For Kids charity, which promotes exercise among children and young adults.