How to be faster...

So...little tricks of the trade on how to increase your mental capacity and have a little leg strengthening...

Yesterday was a rather productive day, it basically involved getting my chores done very quickly:
_laundry at 6am
_cleaning the living area
_exchanging wet clothes into the dryer at the laundry mat for my roommate
_trader joes (some groceries)

Ok...so at trader joes, I got like 5 boxes of Chocolate Soy Milk (the largest jug) and some groceries, putting these in my backpack and carrying it from TJ's west side to my apartment on the upper east side (2 miles)

Oh man! Killer! Really killer...I almost didn't make it home ok, as I wondered how much weight I was carrying...

When I got home...

25 lbs!

Jeez! That is just crazy! Absolutely crazy...but I guess that's where my strength comes into play...
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UN assembly

Take care of yourself. Eat well, rest, train hard and smart, make time to think and breathe. Be intentional with your time.

Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

All week the dignitaries from different countries are in New York, which makes running and getting around a hassle.

This morning my daily commute to the factory was disrupted by steel fencing...arg! I asked the police officer how to get around, he told me that it was best to run on 2nd Avenue...WTF! It was 6am in the morning and the UN is staked out like a police station...seriously, if someone was going to get through, it would have had to happen overhead or by the river because they got that b#tch tied up tight!

I made my way to 2nd avenue and then turned as a cop/black car/sirens passed me by...wow! That's been happening all week long!

Anyways, very slow run this morning into work as my legs were tired from the 27 miler I did on Tuesday? What am I crazy? When is this doubler that I have...WHAT! Next weekend? Someone has got to show me how to taper properly...
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It just hits you...

This past week, I have been pretty much out of commission due to well, say some stomach issues.

Monday's run consisted of pretty much the worst run that I have ever had due to...well...the runs. Everyone has a bad workout, everyone has some bad days, and yes...even I have some harsh outlooks...I am human you know?

I have been off work this entire week and well...I have regained my sleep, regained a little of my sanity and maybe regained a little too much depression...everything is hitting me a little too much lately...but I am trying to stay afloat...take it one day at a time here...that's all...

Ideally, I'm in search of a good job to re-establish myself into doing something that I ultimately enjoy. Coaching...yes, indeed I very much enjoy that from the first runner to the very last...I don't mind it at all...and running is suppose to be for fun...it shouldn't matter much if you are the "last" because everything ultimately falls on yourself...

There is a goal at hand here and that is ultimately up to you as a person and as a runner. You set goals out for yourself to accomplish and you keep raising for the sky to reach those goals...

But...what happens if there is no goals? What happens if you maybe afraid to reach higher goals out there for yourself? Ultimately there are higher goals out there, but what happens if you are looking at other things in life?

Questions...I'm still looking for answers...I'm still searching...

Life is complicated, yet simple, elegant and interesting...

Stop thinking, just do it...enjoy it and live it up...
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Running continuously over 50 or 100 miles may not be good for the heart: Study

31 August 2010

In 2009, a study was conducted in UK by Liverpool John Moores University and the Countess of Chester Hospital to assess the effects of running in ultra-endurance races. Typically aimed at super-fit and experienced athletes, these races are held over distances exceeding 50 miles (80 kilometres). The conclusions suggest that some damage is likely to occur to the heart muscle of competitors, while 12 percent of the study group showed signs of significant cardiac damage.

Commenting on the reasons for the research, Professor John Somauroo of the Countess of Chester Hospital said, "Previous studies into the effects of ultra-endurance exercise examined changes to the shape and function of the heart, and also changes in sensitive markers of cardiac damage including use of the cardiac Troponin I blood test. However, they did not look at electrical changes to an athlete's ECG, and whether there was any correlation between these and cardiac Troponin I. Because hospitals commonly use cardiac Troponin I in combination with ECGs to diagnose heart conditions, including heart attacks, this was deemed a useful and potentially enlightening study."

The study recruited 45 runners at the arduous Lakeland race in the north of England. This 50- and 100-mile (80- and 160-kilometre) event takes competitors over very difficult terrain with many hill sections. The 2009 event was further complicated by thunderstorms and driving rain. All the selected runners had trained specifically for this race, had been running marathons and ultra-marathons for over 2 years and had no known heart problems. Due to the extreme conditions and difficulty of the terrain, only 25 of the 45 runners completed the course (16 did the 50-mile course, and nine the 100-mile course) - and some of these collapsed at the finish.
Ranging in age from 24 to 62, they had blood tests taken for cardiac Troponin I, and ECGs were performed before and after the race:

• Of the 50-mile competitors, the average completion time was 15 hours, with an average weight loss of 2kg

• Of the 100-mile competitors, the average completion time was 36 hours, with an average weight loss of 3kg

• The cardiac Troponin I levels rose significantly in 21 of the 25 runners, and in three it was high enough to suggest significant cardiac damage

The ECGs at the start of the race displayed the typical features of an athletic heart, with the slow heart rate and electrical changes commonly seen in athletes. At the finish, there were significant electrical changes in over 50 percent of the ECGs, and in some there were bizarre electrical changes not commonly seen in normal ECGs, either at rest or during exercise. However, the changes in cardiac Troponin I did not correlate with specific electrical changes on the ECGs. Further data, to be presented at EUROECHO later this year, will show that baseline heart function was normal, but there was a 6 percent drop in heart function at the finish, which may also be relevant. Whether these changes reflect undiagnosed cardiac conditions was undetermined.

Professor Somauroo summarised the results, "This study suggests that running continuously over 50 or 100 miles may not be good for the heart. 96 percent of the finishers developed a significant increase in cardiac Troponin I, which can be an indicator of heart muscle damage - and 12 percent showed signs suggestive of significant cardiac damage. They also developed significant electrical changes on their ECGs and, in some cases, quite bizarre changes. However, there was no proven correlation between the changes in cardiac Troponin I and the ECG changes."



Seeking runners in the New York City area for a PAID study!

Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about. PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

Seeking runners in the New York City area for a PAID study!


International design and innovation firm IDEO (www.ideo.com) is seeking runners in the greater New York City area for individual interviews September 16th or 17th. Interviews will take place in your home and will last approximately 1.5 hours. Photo and video will be used for our internal use only and you will receive $150 for your time.

We are interested in speaking with you if you fit any of the following:
• You are a trainer or coach who works regularly with new and novice runners
• You are a new runner who will only purchase technical gear for running and has had running analysis done or worked with a podiatrist
• You are someone who runs to get to/from work
• You are someone who very visibly and intentionally “dresses” for running
• You are someone who dresses uniquely for races and competitions
• You are someone who modifies their athletic clothing or shoes
• You are someone who is experiencing a running injury that’s stopped them from running
• You are a barefoot runner or someone who only runs wearing Vibrams
• You are someone who practices parkour or “free” running or teaches others
• You are a wellness or holistic fitness coach
• You are a high school track - sprint runner (We must have parental permission if you are under 18 yrs old)

If interested, please respond to Maria at mnorelli@ideo.com with the following information:

Which of the profiles above do you fit and why (please be detailed)?


How often do you run?

Why do you run?

What other fitness activities are you involved in?

My answers:

Hey Maria,

I recently saw or was passed along this message by Craigslist and am interested in your interview process...

Let's see, the list that fits me are the following:

• You are a coach who works regularly with new and novice runners

I currently coach for Team for Kids (NYRR Youth Services) and a NYRR Official Charity that I started up called: The Alzheimer's Associaiton (Run to Remember)

• You are someone who runs to get to/from work

I use to run to and from work from 60th street and 1st to 13th and 8th, totaling about 3.5 miles one way and back totaling 6-7 miles, each day (given one or two days off, for days of rest)

I got laid off from my architecture job and recently got employed by a friend (started up his t-shirt business called: Out of Pring Clothing - www.outofprintclothing.com), where the factory is located at Sunset Park, Brooklyn...exactly 10 miles away from my house. I run to work, ride the subway back home.

• You are someone who very visibly and intentionally “dresses” for running

People say that I am "flashy" when I run. I usually am identified by my bandanna (of any color) in practices and my American flag bandanna during races. I also maybe wearing a compression leg sleeve on my left side during competitions, but that's on occasion because of some achilies injuries...also my right leg has a large tattoo...

• You are someone who dresses uniquely for races and competitions

I occasionally dress up for special races. many of my team members from the NY Flyers would know me for my "speedo, underwear or skirt" running during special occasional runs: Natica Underwear run, Scotland 5 Miler and Boston's Santa Speedo Run. I am pretty secure with my body...and when I came back from Hawaii, I uniquely acquired a Tahitian look with a sarong for guys called the Lava Lava.

• You are someone who modifies their athletic clothing or shoes

You sometimes need to when you are running in the snow for seasonal changes. During the winter time, many runners put screws in their older shoes for traction on the snow. This is pretty much not unique.

• You are a barefoot runner or someone who only runs wearing Vibrams

I believe that wearing Vibrams is only good for strengthening. yes, i believe in minimalism running, although with the big boom of the book born to run, I believe that when he says run barefoot, he means run on softer surfaces and trails...roads and hard surfaces are not really great for running.

• You are someone who practices park our or “free” running or teaches others

what is "free" running? and what is park?

• You are a high school track - sprint runner (We must have parental permission if you are under 18 yrs old)

I am not in high school, although when I was in high school I was a sprinter...that later on turned into a marathon runner...

Which of the profiles above do you fit and why (please be detailed)?

Name - Brian Hsia
Phone - 914.417.1141
Location - 60th and 1st (Manhattan)
Occupation - Post-Architect, now unemployed: Coaching for two teams, part time work with NYRR and factory shipper
Age - 29

How often do you run?

Saturday - Wednesday. It really varies from season to season. During the NYC Marathon or Fall Season, the schedule goes to coaching other people and your legs run from Saturday to Wednesday or monday-wednesday (sometimes Thursday) with Friday rest and then the Weekends back to back long runs. When it is your time to coach beginner runners, your training has to change from yourself to others. You need to understand that the winter/spring season is for yourself, but when you are a coach the season belongs to others for practices only.

I run to work to get my fitness in and get my stride/own workout. So on Monday's and Wednesday's I can run a total of about 16-20 miles for the day.

Why do you run?

I run because it's a huge stress reliever. Especially in a large city like NYC and the NY minute, stress can build up and people's tensions can be so tight that you can go crazy. Running is the only time where you are free from a cell phone, internet, people and your thoughts are your own. You can simply turn off your brain and be by yourself, listening to the wind at your ears and enjoy the sights and nature around you.

What other fitness activities are you involved in?

Not many other activities, especially when your coaching career takes over. I use to play Ultimate Frisbee, try to swim and bike (which are my next things to get into for a triathlon)



Going into work today, I decided to not run and let my legs rest another full day because last night I ran a pretty fast 10 miler...without any luggage...a full 30 seconds pace per mile faster than my usual pace to work as I gear up for my doubler.

So...I took the first subway that came and it was the Q...yup, that means that I had to transfer somewhere, as I really don't pay too much attention to which train it actually was because the sign inside said it was a N train...but the speaker said it was a Q...oh well...ride it out, which I did and ended up in Prospect Park and had to venture my way back to Atlantic/Pacific and walk the transverse...missing my subway and waiting...


This is why I run instead of taking the subways, you never do get lost when you run...well, that's not true either.
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Massage school?

Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.
Hal Higdon

Heading into labor day weekend, well...the only thing about that was a busy week that I had before. I started my week with treks to the Swedish Massage Institute in an Open House trial, which intrigued me. The ideas of learning about the muscles and going back to school is one of my options...or maybe one of my fall backs, but there are a lot of negatives involved with this as well: no coaching for two years (longer runs would be cut) for TFK which is on Saturday's. My schedule would be shot, completely and I will be working like a dog once again...my ideal workplace? Working for the NYRR and gaining knowledge and having a type of working environment to succeed in every aspect to work alongside of running and developing the office style of running.

I thought about this long and hard where I even lost sleep because of it and woke up at like 4am one day...uh! It's crazy!

We shall see what my future brings...
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