12/31/09

Bridge runners

Recognize your victories. Joan Benoit Samuelson

Deanna invited me on what was called the Bridge Runners (a form of NIKE group) that goes around to different locations in the city to run across bridges to another borough or state. They make the most out of their runs as they express the good times and good scenery of what the city has to offer. The island has many bridges that secluded us from the rest of the world...

It was a warmer night though, which was good. I arrived way too early as Ming and I checked up on the other place (as they switched locations for the holidays) it's nice because you try to expand your running connections any way you can...but this was serious business...I think.

Ming and I returned to the other place as we saw all the other people awaiting to go...I think we were mainly waiting for one person...so we jogged over to the Brooklyn Bridge and started speedwork right there...fast, slow, fast, slow...till we got to the other side...then I showed Deanna how to stride, be comfortable and deccelerate....not many people can do this (or maybe lots of people can do this and I just don't know)

The idea is basically resting, while running and continuing your average marathon pace by increasing you stride width when tired. So, you recover to a level when you need it.

We continued around a park, strolled around a hill (up and down...) And then somehow made it around to the Manhattan Bridge...where we started again...5 lampposts, rest...5 more....rest...ok, let's go up to 10 lampposts...

I knew Deanna liked challenges and she seemed to keep up...so increased the number and didn't really count the lampposts that were out...it was tough and I was on and off recovering as I went out fast and was really surprised about her potential as a runner.

It scared me at first...thinking about it as I walked to the subway to work, really - you are training a gal that has the potential to become really good...I mean close as much as beating me good. I realized yesterday on the run that Deanna has a high tolerance for pain...she plays Lacross for god sakes!

Anyways...after the manhattan bridge, there was one of the leaders that insisted since it was the last bridge run for the year to do the Williamsburg Bridge...I have never done this bridge before and went off at the gates just pulling ahead because I loved hills...I awaited half way through to giving D a few more pointers, but yes...interestingly enough it was fun!

Anyways, there was a mishap afterwards with C and PBJ, whom got lost and continued on and got yelled at by the leader guys...which sent D furious!

Anyways...the night was nice. It was very...very tough and we shall see if we ever do that again. Went back with D to her work place and we discussed about ultra running...

Last run of the year to cap off 2009!
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12/29/09

COLD!

From the moment I ran through the tunnel into the Olympic stadium I knew that the Olympics wasn't everything I wanted but it was everything I needed. Meaning that I had dreamt of winning for so long but by losing I would develop a whole lot of character and my running career would have a lot different direction compared to if I had won. Ryan Hall on his 2008 Olympic Marathon performance

Ok...temperatures reaching sub 30 degrees...maybe even sub 20 degree weather and the wind chill...

Forget about it...it probably was in the single digits today and tonight.

I had to cancel my Speedwork classes that I had been putting on for C and Jeanne (whom I gave as a pro-bono job for the charity group Right Rides.).

Hey it was a good cause and I had no clue what I was getting myself into...like I didn't know what I was getting myself into by signing up for all these coaching speedwork classes in the DEAD of WINTER!

The weather has really been "depressing" and it really is daunting on my attitude...how the hell am I going to be running and training HARD in the weather?

I have no clue...seriously...I don't know how I am going to break the Barrier with this weather...

Anyways...I checked into Jack Rabbits last night having one goal in mind...to get some rubber bands. Give me about this length as I told the helper to yard out the amount I wanted...

I need to strengthen my calves and Achilles as these are the main problems with my conditioning habits...5 feet of the regular flat rubber and 7 feet of the tubing...I figured to get the tubing to strengthen up my arms as well to gain resistance.

Anyways...back to the cold, I don't know how runners do it either...we are crazy to follow our regimens and training schedules that sometime we just put our heads down and go out the door. The breathe, the wind and the cold just seeps in...till we warm up after a mile and then are ok...until the next strong wind blows!
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Empty office

You train best where you are the happiest. Frank Shorter, American distance runner and Olympic gold-medalist

Well...I had forgotten that yesterday was a day where the office was DEAD...

It was rather really nice to just play around in the office and do some work in peace and quiet. Really nice actually.

Mind you today is a rather different story, where some people are back in the office...

Ahh!!! good day in the office this week...I love when it is quiet!
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Last run for 2009

So...I have yet to total my amount of runs, mileage and demographics of 2009...

But I made a deal with my body that I would totally relax and take some time off.

Today's Monday Group run was an exception, where I had to lead the group and make sure that everyone was ok. Granted we had JA there, but it's always good to have two leaders there, granted everyone that shows up is a veteran and knows the route.

It's cold out there and I had thought that I had put on enough clothes...the cold just doesn't get you...it's the wind that really kills you...we waited for the group to formulate...

6:55pm...ok people...seriously? Was it only me and C out tonight? Little by little people start to peep out of the woodwork...T...then D...then the two gals: A and J (regulars) and then JA...small group...

This happens every year when winter rolls around...the group starts to thin out and then when spring rolls around...the groups start to get larger...

This is what stinks about training for Boston though...the hard winter training...only when Spring rolls around, Boston usually brings out the very best...those primed and conditioned during the cold, winter months...

The group run started and did it's regular 6 mile loop...I started out fast, then when I hit battery park city, I started to slow down, did some running drills, felt some twinges and wait for the rest...I wanted to see if JA was bringing in the gals (sometimes they are super fast and sometimes they love taking their time...) So I wanted to stay with them to see if they were alright...once I got word that JA and T were pretty close to them...I sped up to see the speedy gals, D & C...

They must have taken a break or something because I seriously caught up to them. I rounded out the back as we lead up to the straight away and zoomed up...

I loved this part...why?

D takes this part so quickly that it's amazing what she can do...I await as she will soon be able to kick my butt in time and speed...I really love it when the speedy guys come out for this run...but add in the mix of gals? Ooo eye candy!

Ok...fine! She's a great friend and I respect really good gal runners...it makes running fast interesting...ok?

So, the back nine or straight away, she just rips it apart as I go up to her and ask her:

"Do you have anywhere important to go to?"

She replies:

"No...why?"

I reply:

"Oh, because you're going so damn fast!"

Then her reply was asking me:

"Well, do you have anywhere to go to? Cause your speeding up!"

Oh she got me good...as we sped up and left C out there...D was absolutely kicking...seriously, she was moving as I was about 75 to 80 percent of my speed on a training run...boy do I miss that when CD was out here kicking my butt every damn monday group run.

Anyways...group run ended...D was burning sh#t up and I ended up doing a little sprint drills afterwards while waiting for the rest...

All good...last run for the year...well, so I would think...I think I may have this speedwork class tomorrow and coach D on Wednesday on these bridge runner runs...

Oh boy! Guess I am back and in action...
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12/28/09

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12/27/09

Bus...

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

So...from now until the New Year...

NO RUNNING!

Well...I still have to do the Monday Group run, but as far as that is concerned...no other running activities after that.

I need to give my legs a rest, although I know that I have another marathon soon...which does not help at all...

Properly trained? Nope, but the chances of me grasping the sub 3 mark in Phoenix is pretty darn slim.
Anyways, I'm on the bus to go to New Jersey to see my Grandmother today, as my family is getting together for her Birthday...

I get teary eyed whenever things are spoken about that involves family and grandparents...I feel guilty in many ways whenever I do speak of my grandma because I don't get to see her that often...

My parents came to pick me up as I started walking towards this chinese store...and meet them half way, but really didn't make it that far...they drove me to the restaurant where I sat at the bar and just waited for my cousin, aunt and uncle and my grandmother to arrive.

It just feels good seeing my grandmother at times. It brings you back in life where you were young and didn't care much...that was then...about 20 years ago, probably when I was 8 years old...it's tough to think about...what is 10 years? What do we become in 20 years...

Many things change and it's scary...very scary.

My grandmother has this thing where she just continues to just eat...anything that is in front of her she will eat. At least she eats right? Some alzheimer's patience don't even eat and that's the bad stage...

But yes, it's been a while and yes, this is why I run, this is why I am still here in NY and this is why in many ways I fight...so hard and accomplishments are made...

After lunch was over, I tried to make the long trip back across the river on the LOCAL bus...uh and lincoln tunnel traffic from all the people coming back from Christmas travel...it was a rough commute back, but it was all worth my while because I got to see my grandmother...
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Holiday Season

Christmas is not the very big holiday for my family as my parents own a Chinese/Japanese Restaurant in Rockland County, so they work and provide services to the non-Christmas celebrating families.

So...this year, same as all years, I celebrated Christmas by going to Midnight Mass with a friend, who came in from Boston, who I met from the Boston Marathon Expo.

It was really nice spending time as we walked to the church, where I found that had Christmas Carols at 11pm and service at midnight. Although, as we strolled up to the church, everything looked closed and empty, we asked the homeless guys outside if there was service, they explained to us that the church was closed...these were the guys who we fed the day before the NYC marathon due to the excess amount of food we had at the Alzheimer's Run to Remember dinner.

So, we tried another church that I had in mind along Park Avenue, low and prevail...it was open!

Ahh! Good thing! Service was alright as usually I enjoy the priest/reverend's message about the year. But it was a bit disappointing as he did not really bring promise to the upcoming year and new hope...

Oh well! Christmas day followed as we walked around to various sites: Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, St Patrick's Cathedral...it was nice...but cold and crowded. What was up with all the strollers in high density places? Gosh it take so much damn room!

I cooked that night as I had wanted to try to make some interesting sushi (kiwi?, jalapeno peppers?)

Anyways, it turned out pretty darn good...but the Image results for jalapeno peppers, were a little too HOT!

The next day? Rain! But we went out in it...even better we walked from my place all the way down to SoHo for her Rice to Riches...then took the subway back home due to the cold, wetness that we were feeling...I hate umbrella's, so I was stubborn enough to stay outside and was soaked...

Uhh! Stayed in and good to go...long vacation soon ending...one more day of enjoyment!
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12/23/09

Frigid...

Anything is possible, but you have to believe and you have to fight. Lance Armstrong

Each and every morning, as the cold winter's blast bone chilling air right into my face, I ask myself...

Why do I live here?

Seriously? The cold is insationable (sp?). The feeling you get is horrendous. The mood that you are in stinks afterwards...

All for...

The 4 seasons?

Yes, I guess so...another day another tomorrow...good thing Christmas is around the corner though...

Oh and to all the readers that were grossed out yesterday...this morning as I walked to the subway, in the subway station...they literally cleaned up that shit!

12/22/09

COLD!

Ok...so where is she?

I had been waiting in the time warner building since 6pm?

Yes, that was stupid on my call to not go home when I had the chance to do so and drop off my things when the E train came through...stupid!

Anyways, I was buying my time, catching up on my blogging and stories that I had wrapped up in my head...though it was nice to hear the christmas music and bright lights, I was in my running tights in the mall...right next to sephora (a women's fragrance and make up store)...yeah, wonder why I am single, right?

Anyways...the temperature outside was 34 degrees and I was not looking forward to that. It's not just the temperature, it's the fact of the wind combination. The wind just really kills you.

Anyways, so 6:45 finally rolls around and I finally get a phone call...about time! No, just kidding...As we went outside, oh the chilly wind...bitterness started sinking in...

Why?

Long day I guess...but we did a lap and discussed strategy. The rules of running and I was harsh...or bitter at the same time.

Anyways, we did a regular speedwork drill that involved hills, form, speed and well, I surprised C by taping her a few times to see for herself her form and running ways...

There is only so much you can actually tell a person, then they must understand themselves the ways in which you are teaching them...it's more like lead by example.

Anyways, C ran really well and got comfortable with things. She is progressing and she once she understands the ways of running she will do well...

She has the heart, determination and rigor...later on this will all pay off!

Although, is there an even bigger thing she is going for? She's joining the marathon maniacs and she wants to do the 50 states...something has got to give!
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Human Poop...

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

Ok, so not to be grossed out or anything...it's what the title says it is, so skip this post if you are disgusted...

I was disgusted this morning as I had seen this at the 53rd Street and Lex Subway Station.

REALLY?

Gosh, well this really doesn't disgust me because it brings up a huge topic in some senses of NYC. I have seen Homeless people actually taking part in the act, on the streets, inbetween cars...just watch out now when and where you step!

But seriously, you are a runner, you have been in some situations where you just have to go...maybe not #2, but certainly I have heard instances where guys just pee all around Central Park, let alone some ladies as well!

So...these are the adventures of the subway series, going to work, rathr than running...since it's cold outside!
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12/21/09

Monday night crew

This is what really matters: running. This is where I know where I am. Steve Jones, former marathon world record holder

So the regular monday night crew was out in a moderate full force last night. We had about 8 people who showed up, as I would have to say that it's a good amount of people for a cold winter night.

Attendance for group runs have really dwindled in numbers for our club, as we try to fix this...although the monday downtown group has kept a good Attendance (maybe due to the e-mails that go out, maybe because of the first monday run/bar social hour?)

Anyways, I have taken the reigns in DG's absence. It's hard to have that kind of commitment as group leader and for 2-3 years rocketman has done a great job.

The run was great, cold and windy. Although the gals were really tearing it up. I took it easy as I talked with PB&J.

It's been a while since I had been there as well, since I had all of these personal things to do: 60K, awards committee, hawaii marathon...let alone that I had been away for marathon pace leading with the ING cafe during the summer. So being back and getting back into it was very different.

After the run though, I decided to bring over some holiday cookies to rocketman and Jman.
Ended up talking to the Jman and C for quite a while, seeing there place with a newly installed kitchen and just chatted! After that, I needed to exchange cookies with Jos, as we had talked about baking earlier in the week...

Anyways...had trouble finding her apartment (I know, how difficult is it to find an apartment when you always dropped her off at her place during the summer) but that was light out! Anyways, I got all dishevelled (sp?) but finally found my place...

Then I walked home...and called it a night!
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12/17/09

Black is back...

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

Only in NYC does people wear all black...I was not the same, although unlike people, I try to wear a little color in my wardrobe...

No running today as I gear up into my winter running routine...longer runs during the winter time, quality over quantity, and get out there while it's warmer, rather than freeze to death.

I do apologize to all the pictures that I had placed on my facebook...yes, it was mean that I had posted them when it was FREEZING here...now I understand...

I should have ran this morning due to the fact that I am waiting for the subway right now and I had missed the other one due to this lady blocking the stairway path for me to run down...but that is alright...we'll make due...it's cold outside, especially when the wind blows!

12/15/09

Time to say goodbye to paridise...

I used to run to school, 10k every day. Haile Gebrselassi

Aloha also means goodbye...

My short time in Hawaii was well spent. Good times with my sister as always where we act up like little children and she makes me smile and laugh a whole lot. Times have been difficult for me and in the end family is always there.

As my sister dropped me off at the airport early because she had to go off to work for a bit, I had to keep my emotions from getting to me. It was such a good time that I had spent here...time alone, time with family, and time just to think things through.

It's been a good year, a tough year and a very dramatic year filled with good and bad emotions. Times are tough right now and things just have to be...will be.

As I await in the airport, I write in my blog of the good times that I had this entire week and a day...

Very...very good times!
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12/12/09

Honolulu's 10 ways to get photographed...

They say you can't run away from your troubles. I say that you can. John Bingham, The Courage to Start

Action Sports International Event Photography



1.) Please Take a Number - Wear your race number high in the center of your chest. We use the numbers to identify your photos. Also, remember to wear your number on a layer of clothes that we can see.

2.) Read a Map - Review our course shot locations on the aforementioned link and be sure to look for our photography teams wearing blue vests.

3.) Rub the Curb - When you approach our photography locations, move to one side of the road (don't run right down the middle).

4.) Smile - Smile, yell or wave at our photographers - they love it!

5.) Do a Shot Before You Race - Be sure to get your pre-race commemorative photo by visiting our various corral locations (photographers in the blue vests) at the start staging areas between 7.00am-9.00am.

6.) Do a Shot After You Race - After you finish, grab your medal and get your commemorative medal photo by visiting our candid stations. Commemorate your accomplishment!

7.) Celebrate - Don't Watch Your Watch - As you finish, put your hands in the air, or give a high-five to your running mate - DO NOT block your number by looking down at your watch. Let you chip record your accurate time.

8.) Don't Tailgate - At our photo locations and at the finish, don't run right behind someone else. Run in your own space (if you can). That way, you'll get a cleaner shot and really showcase your finish.

9.) Run a 5 minute mile pace like Ryan Hall.

10.) Have Fun!

12/10/09

Running on the beach, expo and hiking...

I run with my head, my heart and my guts, because physically, I don't think I've got a great deal of talent or ability. I started at the bottom and worked up. Steve Jones, former marathon world record holder

So again having trouble waking up later and later as I wake up pretty early in the morning at 3 to 5am. I'm never going to get the hang of this...as I am so tired by 7-9pm...exhausted even!

Anyways, what did I do today? I ran! I ran pretty freely as I had gotten out of my sister's apartment by 9am...started running, got a little lost as I was turned into a circle and ended up at the convention center...turned my way around as I really did not know which way was which and oriented myself from the beach and the mountain ranges...then continued east as I passed by a small school and ended up at the Zoo. I took off my shoes and ran a little on the beach barefoot on the sand...ok, this should be fun!

I stopped, looked at the surfers and watched the water, the waves and the sand with small crabs walking so fast you can barely see them.

I got up again and started my trek back home, running with my shoes in hand and running in the sand (boy, my calves are going to hate me tomorrow!) As I made it back to Waikiki beach, I linger around, drop my shoes and take a dip into the nice ocean.

Oh that feels nice!

There are amazing looking women EVERYWHERE! My gosh, everyone in like string bikini's! Ok, need to go home and wash up...After I got my socks and shoes back on, I quickly made it back to my sister's apartment and changed clothes, ate some lunch and then was out again...to the expo.

The expo was pretty close as it was about (4-5) long blocks...clocking in about a mile away. I walked and arrived shortly after seeing all these Japanese tourist around. These people did not look like they had ran a marathon before. They didn't even look athletic! I asked the information booth person (who was Japanese) since I did not bring my mailing slip, where I should go?

She looked at me blankly and said, "expo? Yes, through those doors...ok! Fine!". I went through and saw more and more Japanese people...oh my gosh, this is such a weird experience!

Ok, go through a security check area of the marathon slips, they point me to a wall where I had my number but I had to still fill something out to bring to the bib person...then after I got my bib and chip I went to check my timing chip...

Oh gosh, it had my age wrong...it indicated that I was 10 years old! Ok, so now I had to go to trouble shooting and get this resolved...I chatted with the lady asking her about using a D-tag or using the Championship one time use timing chip.

Anyways, on with the expo, where I looked into the goodie bag and there was no shirt? How can this be? They told me that I would receive this later on as a finisher's shirt...ok? Still that's stupid!

Anyways, walk through all the nike stuff as it was totally geared up towards the race...actually we better get a nike shirt in the end because it's sponsored by Nike!!! Anyways, I doubt it! Then I walk out of all the Nike stuff and boom! Japan world...my gosh everything was catered towards the japanese...seriously, there really was not at all anything great and got a few food samples here and there, but nope...boring!

Anyways...left there with chili in my hand and a drink...I walked back and stopped by a shoe store...with a sale...then got back to my sister's apartment to wait for her.

As she came back, we went to the east side of the island to hike up to the top and just enjoyed each other's company. We chatted and I told her about my day and how people did not look like they were athletically fit to being a runner...well, some do not look like they don't even know how to run at all...ok, I have seen every kind of runner body, yes some people are small, skinny and built...but there are other builts as well...these Japanese people didn't look at all fit!!!

Anyways, watched the sunset and walked down...it was amazing scenery. We then had dinner at a brewery and then got ice cream, which I had seen a flavor called "sweet corn?" Gosh I needed to try that out!

Then back home, where I almost pass out on the way back...

Night!
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12/9/09

Sun tan (burnt)

Running changed my life and brought it into balance. I now feel as though my entire essence, body, and soul is centered. Donna Isaacson, Casting director

Ok, first day away in Hawaii, what do I do?

I wake up at 3am in the morning still on my usual work day schedule where I would wake up at 6am, but on the weekends usually wake up at 8am. So, I e-mail people back, wait for my sister to wake up at 5am or 6am for her run...may I remind you that 6am is 11am back east...so we go out for a simple 3 mile loop which was her usual run. It's absolutely beautiful outside and I stopped to take some pictures of the sunrise...absolutely amazing.

As my sister went to work, I went to wikiki beach and layed outside...I slathered suntan lotion on my front side, shoulders and face...but the back...opps!

So yeah, missed that, swept through the market place and found some cool things, although it's going to have to wait, cause I got some time and I will be back.

Anyways, headed home to await for my sister to come back to work and then she took me up to an adventurous sight up on top of the mountain range overlooking the city...absolutely amazing...

Got some food at Costco and ate at home...it was a whole lot of fun...what a day!
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12/8/09

Salt Lake City to Hawaii

I didn't want to run Boston to prove anything. I just fell in love with the marathon. Roberta Gibb on running the Boston Marathon

Ok...long trip 5 hours on the plane, but we're going to make it over there!

So quick turnover or lay over, grab a quick bite to eat and then off once again. It's not the first time I had been in Salt Lake City this year...I stopped by when I went to South Dakota this year and boy that was an eye opener!

Anyways, got onto the plane and to my surprise I got a runner sitting next to me...ok, she wasn't a marathon runner, although she came from San Jose and we talked for a good amount or portion of the flight to Hawaii...she was going down for her grandmother's 90th birthday, whom use to live in Hawaii. Anyways, we chatted all about running stuff, living on the coast and everything on top of that until I became sleepy and had to pass out...so I started reading not to be rude or anything while talking.

Anyways, finally make it after a 7 hour flight (due to delays from de-icing from Utah's bad weather) it was warm! Oh what a difference coming from Utah's 19 degree weather, now Hawaii's 70 degree weather and humid...

Oh dear...thinking about the marathon!!! It's going to be hot!
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Original Hawaiian food

This is not about instant gratification. You have to work hard for it, sweat for it, give up sleeping in on Sunday mornings. Lauren Fessenden, marathoner

Wow...as soon as I got off the plane, I awaited for my sister to arrive. I was still famished from the time differential and it was 10 or 11pm back home and I hadn't eaten dinner yet...

My sister took me to this true Hawaiian place, a little run down local place which serves true hawaiian meals. It was so good!

The service was fast and the food was spectacular! We pretty much tried a little bit of this and a little bit of that...many of the locals also went into the joint as my sister looked to see what the true locals did with their meals...

I had forgotten how much my sister made me laugh, her actions are just so funny...it's quite hilarious and I guess that's what makes my family work. I have become more serious in many ways due to the seriousness of NYC and I guess the chill factor of how she is really impresses me.

Anyways, after eating all the good eats of local food, we ventured into a local supermarket and walked a round a bit. Oh man, it was just so weird seeing many of the local people from Hawaiian to Japanese, to polonesian to many mixes...the diversity really threw me off as the whole asian culture of a "melting pot" or mixed asian race really got to me...

We went back to her place and by this time I was thoroughly exhausted...passed out!
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Good bye NYC, Aloha Hawaii

For me, running is a lifestyle and an art. I'm more interested in the magic of it than the mechanics. Lorraine Moller, Olympic marathon bronze-medalist
Got home from a flyers event last night, I hadn't packed at all for this, so got a few things set here and there, threw things into my bag and kept the more important items and contemplated on other items to bring as well...

Ok, running stuff...more running stuff and well...beach stuff...underwear socks, and CAMERA! Oh wait...two camera's!

Ok, I'm all set!

So, showered, got ready for bed and set my alarm for 3:30am. Ok, all set, ready to go!

Figured that if I have everything all set, get up at 3:30, leave by 4am and walk down to Grand Central, while stopping by the bank, I should get there early...but it only took me about 25 minutes to get down and go to the bank and got to the bus stop by 4am...so had to wait for 45 minutes!

Anyways, walked around then sat down on the steps to one building and replied to many e-mails that I had to pass the time. The bus finally came on time and got to Newark Airport by 5:30am...not out of the woods yet, got my ticket and went through security with a breeze with my bag! Awesome!

Anyways, got to the terminal with an hour to spare...

Ok...now I'm just waiting...
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12/5/09

Dwell on the positive, but have controlled, passionate anger. Pat Tyson, running coach
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