12/6/11

Two stars for Alzheimer's...a hit or miss...

I have gone high and low for this cause and it feels as though my fortunes is endless. My sorrows go out to the families that hang in the dear vengeance of heroics. I ask for nothing and felt as though I have given everything. it's in my nature of what I have learned in my fraternity days...keep giving and ask for nothing in return as a slogan...

the direct terms is: "Give, expecting nothing thereof"

So I do...if these two e-mails reach the persons we hope to have them in our team next year...or any other part of our team...

To Pat Summitt's son:

Dear Tyler Summitt,
I recently found out about your mother’s illness when an alumnus/Olympian of the Tennessee women’s basketball player named Kara Lawson and her husband Damien Barling wanted to run in this years NYC marathon. Damien actually ran the NYC marathon with our team, while Kara ran in the 5K the day before.
I wanted to reach out to you to first Congratulate your mother for her infamous achievement in being named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, as well as reach out to you to ask you if you would ever want to run in the New York City marathon to honor your mother, you will always have a place on our team for next year or any other following year thereafter. Your mother is a true inspiration with her continuation to adhere to the utmost difficulties ahead, although together we can fight and help find a cure for the future of this disease.

Good luck with your upcoming season and hope to talk to you soon

To Lauren Miller (Seth Rogen's Wife)

Dear Lauren Miller,

I recently found out about your families crisis with Alzheimer's through the interview with Larry King Live that you and Seth pronounced a fighting battle against this disease. You both should be well commended for your large strife against this cause and dedication to help fight this disease.


I wanted to reach out to you to first wish you well in your event and how fitting it is of a great actor husband like Seth Rogan to upstage this great event for a great cause in your Hilarity for Charity. I applaud both of you for taking a huge stand and together we hope to fight another day to make this cause renowned.


We hope that together we can fight and help find a cure for the future of this disease.



To my dearest Grandmother...I keep fighting for a cause that i wish i was able to speak with you candidly for 8 years. I wish I had those 8 years back and at least wish that I could share my accomplishments with. thank you for allowing me to rise up and be a better person and the person that I am today. To that I am grateful for.

11/18/11

the feeling

There is always this feeling you get whenever you do one of these crazy races. Sometimes you can go off to bed fine, while other times you feel this anxious queasy feeling of awkwardness...it's a crazy feeling.

Anyways, going to start off this week with what I'll be doing is probably one of the hardest things I have done in my running career!

Hmm...back to back races. One ultra, one marathon race...It is what it is...

Tired now...take sleep over anything! We'll see how we do tomorrow!
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11/16/11

It's a wrap!

So...marathon season is over and that means my busy season is done. My three jobs are terminated as I still hold onto one.

Still looking around the nyrr job listings, so if anything comes about on the full time scale, I hope to snag it, but it would be interesting to see the entire crew all in one room as we are getting ready for a move come after Thanksgiving.

Both of my teams did well on Marathon Sunday as many were able to get around their ailments and move to grasp their witts and move past what their bodies were telling them...it's interesting the marathon as most found it very difficult of a race. It is a hard race to swallow, but in the end everyone is slightly happy.

I have realized how much experience some coaches have compared to newbie runners, how we make it look so easy in the end, but it's a very difficult race...and it's understandably so...it never occurred to me though, but times move on...life moves on...and yet another chapter closes...a new one begins next year.

Till then...
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10/23/11

A better place...

I can honestly say that looking back at the past year, what a year it has been...a year of choices and a year of screams and tears. Hardship is somewhat compensated in many ways to better one self. To say the least, I have overcome many strifes and understand the life cycles of society...

One's life happens in many manners of a cycle. I believe that man will never be completely happy where your job, money, family and love is separated where two of the three or one link is missing.

To me now...all I can say today is that I feel lucky. I can say that I am better as a person as I realize so much more...I can say that I have a loving family...life...job is now good and better understandings and well...

Love...love is a tough one...love is never complete, although I believe that you first need to love oneself before you actually love another. I can say that I am true and honest with myself that I am ok, stable and understand oneself. I can say that I am trying to understand love more...but understand to live life...live the moments and take every last bit and live the moment.

Stop to take the moment and understand how and where you are today...say that you are lucky and understand how far you have come...what you life for and what you live with...what your roots are and what you have become. Understand how lucky you are to be you...how right now, everything seems great and perfect...and know that you live life...to live life.

Know this...happiness is...what you tend to pursue...know that right at this moment...

You...are happy.
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Take the time...

There are some things that are funny in life where you just have to take the time to just stop.

Funny how I say that now, but little did I really know how I always said that to others, especially first time marathoners...to stop, look around and take in that moment that exists in your life...look around you and take a deep breathe...stop to think...stop to imagine and really realize what you are doing.

I take the moment now, literally on Park Avenue after taking the time to wander my way across town to take a picture of the Empire State Building of it being Purple and symbolizing the brute of the Alzheimer's Disease and the memory walk it is preserved in today. Today...what is that...

Today only people observe the essence of what this disease stands for...but little do they know how each and every day we stand for it...we stand for the right that we exist, we speak forth for this disease and we speak in numbers...

I am glad that this day is observed, although I feel that every day should be observed...why?

Why is it hard that people suclude themselves in manners where they are shameful to say that this disease exists...why is it the fact of nature that we don't care for this as we think this is an elderly disease...

Why...
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10/14/11

Pace Day

So...
2 marathons in 4 weeks...

let's go back even more...
2 marathons and 1 ultra marathon in 6 weeks

So after this...
3 marathons in 6 weeks...
Or
3 marathons and 1 ultra marathon in 8 weeks...

Crazy?

Yes, and to be sure of it, I am really nervous about this one even though I am not going by time...well really not the case because I am going for TIME, but really not my own time perse!

I have been really busy with my nyrr job and newly being "promoted" to the Cross Country Director, which really doesn't mean much...but same job and more responsibility...working everyday, which is good! But I have remained with my other jobs for coaching and other responsibilities in getting things out...

It's just been crazy and this is my first time in which I actually get to write.

I recently had gone to the pacer's dinner, which was very interesting. Me being from out of town was pretty much new as well to this marathon team of "family" pacers and group...it was very weird, but interestingly cool at the same time. Very well set up, very cool and honored to be with these people and with all in the room, combined we have completed more than 1,000 marathons...and I bet that is even more! One guy alone is at 200!

Anyways, it was honoring...and pretty neat! I had to find a hot spot though to send in my work for my tfk job for this 20 miler this weekend as well...but venturing around Baltimore is well...grim.

Anyways, I should really be heading to bed now! Wish me luck, I'll need it. Hopefully my legs will allow me to finish tomorrow...and the next day!

My clothes all set up, ready to go!
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10/7/11

Brooks - PURE PROJECT!



Costume

Ok. So the big news today and yesterday that I had been trying to write is that I bit the bullet and bought my costume that I will be wearing for the nyc marathon.

Yes, it may be a bit expensive and might cost a pair of shoes, but why do I do this stuff? I have no idea?

I think it's fun to torcher myself...not just by running a marathon, but by running in a costume as well! Uh! What am I thinking?

Well...that's the news of the day...
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9/11/11

3 TFK Coaches

QThis morning I woke up super early to go to Team for Kids practice. I wasn't scheduled, although I had asked because I needed the money so they put me on. I ran with group 2, and had a good time, we ran pretty fast though as our group got really spread out, but group 2 always has the ladies in it. So I don't mind at all...it was a regular day and I did 2 laps of 5.5 miles each. Then I waited till the bag watcher came back from the bathroom and then we quickly ran out of water.

We then refilled all of the water jugs...twice and by that time, I needed to go!

I raced back to my apartment, showered and then put all of my items into my bag.
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9/10/11

Time to tell

So this weekend is another race...not for myself, although you would say why not?

This race has more pressure than any of my marathons put together. It's funny...I'm racing this race for a friend, a teammate, a collegue and a person who wants it more than anything else in the world.

VC is a Team for Kids Coach who has served many in running marathons. He was also in my pace group during the New Jersey marathon the year before I had even met him...so this is kind of weird that I will be pacing him again. Year after year, he picks a marathon and always writes: Going to Boston...I think he puts a whole lot of pressure on himself after writing that and showcases that to the world.

I don't know...it's interesting though as he is always in great shape. His half marathon time is absolutely amazing as sometimes he even beats me with his time (although, he loves the half marathon opposed to the full marathon, which is my forte')

Anyways, we are geared up towards the Lehigh Valley Marathon where we are gunning for a time of a 3:04:59.

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9/9/11

Summer Streets

So waking up really early to get to Team for Kids at 6am...I decided to one up on the fact that I had to wake up early anyways and woke up at 3:30 am to do some mileage before my run. B. Tr
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Asian Car trip

1) Eating Ramen
2) Asian Supermarket
3) Red Bean
4) Camera - documentary of the trip
5) Lightning and hard rain
6) Ping pong paddle
7) Scranton drive by (wrong turn - damn technology)
8) Karaoke (sing along)
9) Talking about China (a race and entrance exam)
10) Math (in a conversation)
11) Violins
12) Crazy asian girls (Korean)
13) House Husband
14) Lovely Potato Buns
15) Bird/squirrel killer
16) Wake up call - clerk, we need our room!
17) Marco likes carpets
18) Big Daddy
19) Marco combing his hair - marco you don't have any hair.
20) Jac likes to go all night long
21) Buffalo wings
22) Kino's balls of meat
23) I'm so hungry - MC
24) Marco talking to Iris Cooper (badwater champion) in jacousi

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Over the river, and through the woods...

Ok, so I told my cousin that I was going to visit him and I didn't want to break my promise...It would have been either Friday or Sunday that I was going to visit, but with little preparations...I chose Sunday instead.

I looked up directions on how to actually walk to New Jersey and then placed my directions on an e-mail form (sending it to my cousin...not even thinking about it). My cousin wrote back to me asking if I was kidding that I was actually going to "run" to his house. I totally was suppose to not e-mail him, but to myself! Opps! It was suppose to be a surprise that I was suppose to run there.

In all of my life, I never really ran to my cousins/uncle's/grandma's place. I always took the bus which took 15 minutes from the Port Authority...this was a real challenge! I love challenges!

Really though, since I needed a long run, I mapped it out to being about 15 miles and that I could do.

I started late on Sunday at about 10:55 am, really late, where the sun was shining and it was pretty hot for a September morning, it was Labor Day, but still it was pretty warm.

I headed on up, past Central Park and up towards the West side on St. Nicholas. I rode my butt up towards the Washington Bridge. I quickly bought my juice drink of mango puree that I have been using in my linger runs and it digests well...

I HATE THE WASHINGTON BRIDGE! Really I do because of the height issue...not good with vertigo on bridges!

Anyways, so I got through that and treked on. This is where the tricky parts begin. I followed bikers along the palisades parkway and ran up to East Clinton Road...whereever that is as I saw that my cousin left me an e-mail asking where I was or if I was going to make it in time for lunch...

I had to quickly call him back and I told him that I was in Jersey and on my way. Wrong mistake! He quickly said, "YOU REALLY RAN HERE?"

Like that was a surprise? I think I can run anywhere now that I did 100 miles! Seriously!

Anyways, so I got lost a little and tried to find my way, but really wasn't sure if I was going the right way or not and I was already at 14 miles...when map quest said that it would only take 15 miles to get to my destination (which I found that it's probably another 5 totalling out 20 miles all together)

So...I called my cousin, he wanted me to
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9/4/11

Late night, early morning

After watching the movie Up in the air, with George Clooney, I was emersed by the fact of just the plot and how the main characters had lay off people...uh! And I guess the whole fact of nature of being alone in the world...it's a lifestyle.

Anyways, I went to bed at 2am and had to get up at 6:30 am for my Alzheimer's R2R team. I had to take them on a mini 3 bridges run, where we had a wide variety of runners. This year's team is diverse in time and expectations, when you have only one coach out there it makes it extremely difficult to keep an eye on the slower runners and the way faster runners.

I needed to keep an eye on the slower runners since they were the ones that needed me the most. I had told the faster crew to go ahead and later we would meet up...but we never did met up, once by one the slower folk dropped (kidding!) They stuck with it, they were great troupers and they completed the farthest they have ever gone! I'm so proud of them and it was a hot day...

So...it was good...but my legs hurt after. All this running has taken a toll on my legs, we'll see...

Took the rest of the day off and went to the US Open with my friend NH and LS...and SC!
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9/3/11

Friday night workout

So...usually I don't run on a Friday night, especially right before a holiday weekend? Impossible! Seriously now!

Actually I was going to put on my running shoes and head out for a run really earlier in the day to visit my cousin and see the new "house" or shall I say his new house, but really in actuality, it was my grandma's old house, just renovated and all...

Scary to say...

I still have yet set my foot into those doors with the new renovation, maybe I am too scared to? Maybe it's too nostalgic...I know, move on...but there is always a little part of me that sets myself from saying...why?

Anyways, we'll get back to those moments when I actually do go running to my cousin's home on Sunday morning for my long run. But today was just a regular 6 mile run...usually 8 miles home to Central Park and then back.

I went later in the day because I had been busy with a bunch of work and had to get everything done in time. Set everything up before the holiday hits. I strolled into Central Park also wanting to try out some new shoes that are suppose to be "faster" and boy did I need to go faster today.

Seriously, it's next weekend where I will be pacing my buddy from Team for Kids in his 4th or 5th attempt in trying to qualify for Boston. He at the same time wants to qualify with a 3:05 time, which is about my average time, although with this new recent 100 ultra marathon that I have recently done, getting back into marathon shape is not coming back too quickly, let alone getting my leg strength back...

Every day when I tried to run last week was a very difficult task in trying to regain my speed portion and mileage...everything felt so long!

I needed to quicken up my step and needed to get my speed...it was quite embarrassing, although reasonably understandable! But it's me and I am sort of freaking out where I need to pace my friend (for the last 6 miles) in his marathon.

Anyways, I get into Central Park and really am going at a moderate pace where I am unsure if I could sustain for 6 miles...it was a moderately cool day, but if you are working hard, you could feel the heat just itching and biting at you.

I ramp up the hill and low and behold, I see one of my old High School track/running buddies, JT.

JT was a great runner back in High School, where he did the mile? Or shall I say distance races and I was a sprinter, so I didn't exactly know him too well. We knew who he was because he was one of the standouts in the county that ran really well both cross country and track, but we got to really know him because he went to Senior prom with one of my high school friends and they dated.

JT and I would always find each other randomly anywhere in nyc...it was funny that way, but like today, we would randomly see each other, chat and catch up and then go on our merry ways.

So, I haven't seen him in a while and we talked about running, jobs and family, also some old times that we had shared...it was good! I didn't really expect him to run along side of me the entire way around and thought he would cut off at Engineers gate at 90th street, but it was good. At first I was going to continue to go fast, but he actually pushed me (with a backpack on his back) and I was relieved in the end to find that we were pushing a good 7:30 pace. I asked him why had he not yet been in the running scenes yet in nyc as he would be amazing, although he take competition to the next level. Either way, it was really great to see JT as I dropped him off at the next pass at Engineers Gate.

I quickly got water and went back the other way to find EG, one of my Alzheimer's R2R teammates and wanted to check in on her. I like to do that as a coach. Then soon after, quickly made my way back home to see what else I had left in my legs.

Fun times with JT though, really fun times when we run together. He looked as though nothing really phased him as he just strolled along (always having a really nice running stride!)

Good run in the end...awesome conversation that I would have never expected!
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8/31/11

A real change of plans...

Yes...the hurricane of Irene came and gone and I was stuck in a mess.

Come Friday night, I was left with a decision to make, which was to go or not go to Boston. When things finally cleared and a path was pushed aside...my decision was clear...I was to go of course!

This was TJL here we were talking about and a lifetime friend who I have grown up with...for 23 years (which puts us way back when we were say 7 - sounds about right...that we have grown up together)

Scary but true...I have played soccer together, we have grown up together and we ran track and field together...we were friends when we went off to college and now that she resides in Boston, when I did some races...she was there for me.

So I should be there for her on her special day.

I was packing my bags at midnight and almost done, when...I received my first e-mail of my departure trip being cancelled. Ok, I can deal with that...I kind of made already alternative plans and if I can get to Boston in the morning that would be fine...

Later on..another buzz...I look at it and uh! Cancelation of my departure...they cancelled my whole entire trip! This is what I was unprepared for...I prepared myself to be stuck in Boston, but not even getting to go was a huge disappointment! Uh...how am I suppose to get out of the city? Seriously! What!

I was purely stuck and really tore up inside...I quickly cancelled all of my plans and uh! Sulked...this was a huge disappointment and really got my mood down! Sucks!

I was really torn apart...
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8/30/11

SONY - 20 sentences or less

Why do you run in 20 sentences or less...

1) I started running in high school as a sprinter and grown to being an ultra marathon runner.

2) I followed in my sister’s footsteps in running my first marathon, as it was her goal to run all 50 marathons in all 50 states.

3) She has given up, but I have not and one day, I will succeed.

4) My sister and I meet up each year in one state, one city in the country to run a marathon “together” (we have ran thus far: The Marine Corps, Outer Banks, Chicago, Hawaii and Big Sur Marathons – Big Sur was the first time we actually ran together for the entire way.

5) I run to hear the wind blow between my ears, to feel free and find my body relaxing in the environment around me.

6) I run to coach two different charity groups: The Alzheimer’s Associaiton and New York Road Runners: Team for Kids.

7) I coach and inspire teachers to be coaches as they inspire students to run track and field and cross country and inspire our youth to develop running into their lives.

8) My running mantra: As a runner, you learn something new every single day.

9) Every runner is different; every person’s body is unique. From beginner to expert, one learns and matures throughout the long process of training for a marathon.

10) A person goes through a life-changing experience while enduring a marathon, from the extreme highs — to the extreme lows.

11) But, in the end, a runner should enjoy the experience and take great pride in his or her transformation, and how they accomplished the unthinkable.

12) I currently run for 6 different running teams: The New York Flyers (local team) Powered By Dim Sum (A fun NY Team), Team for Kids (NY Charity Team), The Alzheimer’s Association – Run to Remember (NY Charity Team), Brooks Inspired Daily Program (Sponsored Team) and now, SONY (as a sponsor team)

13) I run for a greater meaning in my heart and soul, which is highly connected to my grandmother who recently passed away from the Alzheimer’s Disease.

14) I co-founded an official charity team for the NYC marathon 2 years ago, which raised more than ½ a million dollars for the alzheimer’s disease to coach about 140 runners (both beginners and advanced runners – more so beginners)

15) I recently completed my first 100 mile ultra marathon in 17 hours 51 minutes and 37 seconds to just complete the race, but ended up getting 1st place thinking I was in 3rd place overall.

16) What helped in the later stages of the race was the tunes and sing along in the darkness from my Sony Walkman.

8/29/11

Wow...that's you?

So...giving out various post cards at the Bronx Half last week allowed me to joke around since the race and other races that weekend had been canceled.

One person came up to me and said...wow! That's you huh in the flesh! I guess they saw me in the Long Training. Run photo and they recognized me from my bandanna wearing aspects...

I mean seeing a person in a photo and then seeing them in person is quite shocking I guess...

But I thought that was a kick!

Oh well..
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Wow...that's you?

So...giving out various post cards at the Bronx Half last week allowed me to joke around since the race and other races that weekend had been canceled.

One person came up to me and said...wow! That's you huh in the flesh! I guess they saw me in the Long Training. Run photo and they recognized me from my bandanna wearing aspects...

I mean seeing a person in a photo and then seeing them in person is quite shocking I guess...

But I thought that was a kick!

Oh well..
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8/25/11

Split Times

My split times between first and second place by 10 minutes...pretty amazing for a first timer...

8/24/11

The day after

I literally went to the bathroom after I finished the race. I was exhausted and tired and couldn't believe that I had gotten 3rd place in my first 100 miler Ultra marathon...seriously in between these 3-5 accomplished elite runners and what I call "gods" of running, it's absolutely amazing!Really, these guys have gone to the race they call Badwater. This is my ultimate goal as a runner, a little insanity, but still it's one of those things you want to do in your life as a "runner". Almost a bucket list for runners...

Anyways, I met up with Sam (the race director) in the bathroom and said to him that I had finished. He couldn't believe it...he asked me which race I was actually doing the 24 hour race of 100 miler? I told him that I was doing the 100 miler and that I completed it. I told him that I was fighting off Iris (the swiss miss) and that I got 3rd place.

He was astonished a bit...even baffled. He told me that I might have won the 100 miler race. I was like...no way...seriously, no way...I got 3rd, because the other two guys were leading the entire way (at least 8 miles ahead of me)...no way I got 1st place...I saw them coming back about 4 miles on the switch back...ON THE LAST 12 MILES!

It was literally impossible!


I then walked over and he was really determined that I had won. He said that the first guy Valdimir, had not come in yet and he confirmed this with his family walking over. I was like...umm...no....seriously...

Then I knew that Iris was about a mile away from me as she came whizzing in. She crossed the finish line...in 2nd place...as then now I was in first place...

No seriously guys...seriously!

Sam then said that he could then "unofficially" officially confirm that I was the first one in and that I had officially won the race...

I couldn't believe it. Really, I couldn't believe it at all. I was in utter shock. It really didn't sink in much. I'm not very ecstatic really because in some sort of way I felt as though I didn't play the game right. See, I did, but not really. I played the smarter game which was let these guys battle it out so hard (supposing ly these two guys were two returning champions - one of them in the Summer and one of them during the winter) that they were trying to go sub 15 hours on this race...and they both were "hungry" for the win against each other. I was just lucky enough to spoil the riches and let both of them inplode on each other and take the "win" from both of them in the end...

See the first two guys in the race led the race for the entire 3 laps (75 miles) of the race.


So...it was the last lap that I had actually beaten them (actually it was the last 12 miles that I had beaten them...one dropped at 7 miles to go and the other...3 miles to go. I never really noticed both of them because it was dark out (3 or 4 am) and I had thought they were other competitors just walking...and I knew these guys would not be walking in the last lap (let alone the final 12 miles! - these guys are more hard core than I am!)

Anyways...

After the "first" place guy (Valdimir) came "in" in 3rd place and then my race buddy Kay came in 4th place and finally, the 2nd guy, came in 5th place overall...It finally hit me that I "won"...

The rain started coming down right after I finished the race, I tried to save everyone's stuff by putting it in more center to the tent. Uh! Then tried to save other people's sneakers from the rain as people had their items out all over...

I donno, I almost killed myself by doing that, but I had a hard time going to the car and actually getting my items to take a shower. Even that was tough!


Think soreness after a marathon times 4! Seriously...

I had to wait for the crew afterwards and kept myself occupied by congratulating other runners as they came in. I even tried to volunteer to go up to the midway station to help out other runners...I needed to keep busy, because they were going to be a while and their estimated time of arrival was 2 pm...that's 10 hours from when I had finished. (Which I had though was going to be faster, but they were not going to go any faster!). But no worries, I was no longer out there as I was pretty much distraught. I really couldn't comprehend anything at that point and kept busy by just lying on the park picnic table, switching the car parking spot a few times, eating and just talking to people...10 hours went by pretty quickly! Take their time...as both jackies hated me for finishing so early and they had to go back out there to finish their 4 and final lap...they couldn't believe I had one and they found out from others that I had one the race as other people saw that I had passed the two front guys!

Uh! Still in awe! Still can not comprehend that I not only just wanted to finish my first 100 miler. But in the end, I just wanted to get 3rd place and fought for it...but in reality, I had won the race! Let alone against such amazing competition from amazing accomplished, "elite" ultra runners!

I am humbled! Lucky and still amazed of their accomplishments...the top 5 people has such amazing running resume's, to be even mentioned in the same sentence is just baffling!

This was truthfully a run to remember!
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8/23/11

A Race to Remember - Part III

Start of the second half of the race was difficult. 2 of the 4 laps were complete, daylight still lingered and it was about 7-8 pm...I didn't know what to expect with the night time legs ahead of me, but my legs kept up pretty well and felt ok or better than my Bear Mountain Race, where I had actually felt my legs were done! I felt fine and could still go...which is always a great sign...I could only imagine a hard course with major hills...seriously!

I was lucky...I knew what was coming up ahead of me and it's an entirely flat course...which is good and bad. You only work one type of muscle, but really it's an easy course...tale of two evils.

So the 3rd lap was rather pretty tame. The PBJ's were replaced by grilled cheese sandwiches, which were delishious! I would be certain that I had used my juice purees and filled it up all the way with ice filled to the top, then the juice. I made sure that I wouldn't drink it till the middle of the lap leg and urged myself to portion out my juice...I needed half for the second half of the 12.5 miles till I got to the other half way point where I would refill. Crazy system huh?

I also found a system with my aide stations. At every aid station, I would take one or two slices of watermelon...eat one there and one on the road. I would take one PBJ or grilled cheese sandwich with me. By the first two laps, I ate it early on and needed some chomps in my later stages before I reached any of the aide stations to make it without faltering to nutrition issues.
So I changed the system to carrying my grilled cheese sandwiches to about 3 miles or half way into the leg to eat. I would walk away from each aid station finishing my watermelon slice and tossing it into the woods for recycling...or rather compost.

Oh and before I headed into lap 1.5, I facebooked onto my cell phone and turned off my cell after I had messaged. I also did this half way, which I had forgotten to mention. I took off my camera and carrier at the half way point as well...lighter load!

So...made it to the first aid station after starting up the second half. I recalled when running with Kat that she said she felt more comfortable running with someone during the nighttime shifts. I knew she was coming in back of me right before a water station before the aid station as she needed to fill up. I talked to her telling her that I would wait at the turn around aide station at 12.5 + 50...to run with her at night...since we would be safe till then due to some light in the sky.

So I sped ahead oh her after we chatted and discussed and we were ok with it. As I got into the half way point of the aid station at 12.5, I waited. I wasn't taking this race too seriously and just wanted to finish, really had no experience at night running and just waited for Kat wanting to know that she was ok in her running abilities as this lap she was without her pacer. I waited a while and then sat down on the chair as I had everything in gear. She then popped in and had to go to the bathroom and do her things and told me then on...to go! Uh! Really?

Anyways, up to her! I then went and could see that the other female, Iris was on our tails as she came in with her husband flying in. I had about 800 meters on her as they were running together. Great...oh well...see if she can catch me.

I turned on my head lamp and started the nighttime running portion of the race and tried to catch some good tunes on my SONY walkman. Tried to tune out a whole lot of the race...I was about half way to the aid station when all of a sudden my head lamp dies...what! No light! I would be whizzing by people asking if they had a spare batteries on them or what not for my head lamp, I really didn't want to get DQed or anything but just improvised and ran with it. I had my back blinker on, so that was ok, but it was actually easier to see at night without the head lamp, due to always running side by side to see where the end portions of the trail was. I reached the half way aid station and asked if they had any double a batteries for my head lamp...they looked and then a person sauntered to his car to look for batteries and finally gave them to me..so I had light! Wheew! I was good for a while...

As I went along, I would slowly sing in and out. I could understand people saying that they hallucinate while running for this amount of time...night time hits and all you see is runners lights and blackness...gosh, it's pretty darn dangerous! I would find that at night I saw a REAL snake as well...oh my gosh! Good thing I had my light on as I passed it without a whim...I luckily told the next runner (Jackie O) as she came by and she was frightened...I later found out it was a gardner snake and had no affliction towards this.

But as I made it back and about 3 mile left, my light would go out again...even with the new batteries and an unknown (which was probably the reason!) Arg...went to the bathroom and did my fill up of juice...got a pbj and saw the rest of the crew at home base.

I chatted a while and quickly changed my top to my Alzheimer's singlet...this one's for grandma!

I was lucky to ask if anyone had an extra headlamp or batteries as Jim had one! Awesome! Oh you are a lifesaver! Seriously...I found it hard to get it working at first and then figured it out...then I was off...

Only to have Iris's husband "taunt" me a little with his two fingers pointing to his eyes and then later at my body...he said "she's gunning for you"...

I knew exactly what he was talking about and all along I have the greatest respect for Iris as she had the history and experience to catch me. I said to him, "if she wants me, she can have me, but she just has to work for it to claim that prize of 3rd place"

All along I had thought I was in 3rd place and really looking at the numbers, I was in 2nd place starting that last lap. But I was calculating how much of a lead I really had. I had probably about 400 meters in front of her as I started the last lap and she was coming for me. I could see her on the way out and saw her as I crossed the bridge...calculating when she would pass me.

So I had 6 miles to get up to the aid station and was just thinking keep my place...just keep my place! My competitive edge came out of me and I knew what I needed to do. I calculated that about a 9:30 last lap average would do the trick as I was not even sure if I could do that...she was probably going to go 9:45 or 10 min miles for the last lap as I calculated her speed with my own, but she was coming for me.

I needed to remain focused and I had to just keep what I was doing. By this point, I was running on dead legs and marco was trying to keep up with me as his lamp was bobblng up and down. In my mind all I could think was for marco not to shine his light onto the ground in front of me as my shadow was in the way...it was disruptive and all I could do was just focus...marco was trying to keep up as well, but I slowly got rid of him as he was jinkering around with all of his items...I needed to focus. I got to the aid station at 7 and was in and out...I got all of my essentials as I said to the helpers and awesome people that "I got the swiss miss gunning after me". She was...

I needed to keep pace as I always though that that first 7 miles was the most difficult because you are starting up your lap and the others go by pretty quickly due to the fact that the mileage is shorter and also you are going back to home base rather than starting it.

I looked behind...nothing...I could see some light, but wasn't really sure if that was her or not. I quickly kept plotting along and somehow reached the half way point...everything hurt, but I was running on pure adrenaline right now and needed to be quick. I had thought I lost time during that point and quickly filled up my juices and was in and out.

I saw the race director there as I told him that I was almost done. I told him if he could drive my drop bags back as I would be done.

Iris's husband was also there as he kidded around and I told him that she would be shortly there as well...she was gunning for me. I was in and out of there so fast that I didn't even pick up my PBJ that I left on the table...oh would that hurt me in the end? I didn't exactly know!

I would leave and right across the bridge about 400 meters away to the half way, would see Iris...damn, she was moving and gunning. I needed to push. I think she underestimated me as this was my first ultra over 50 miles and she didn't think I could move as most people would tire out.
I had luck on my side...

As I pushed through, I would see other people and their lights pass me by. It was nice to see other people and it was nice to see my friends along the way. I was gunning.

I reached the second aid station only to go in and out, getting food and then thanking them for all they have done. It was my last time seeing them and I wanted to be sure to thank them for their work...as they were psyched that I was gunning for 3rd place...

I quickly reached my friend Kino with about 4 miles to go and quickly said hello...he muttered something back, but I couldn't hear. I looked back...no one thus far. I was somewhat safe, but not really.
I looked at my watch...low battery punched two times and then...DEAD! What! Come on, it's 17 hours into the race and you are suppose to go 20 hours! Come on! I was relying on my watch to see what pace I was going...ok, now I need to go completely by feel...good thing I knew that!

I needed to push these last few miles out...I was tired! I saw the bucket of water at the water station as I was almost there...I saw the bridge that was about 3 miles away...I finally saw across the way, home base...and boy was that a relief! Seriously that 2 miles left was tough...relieving, but still tough to say the least that you needed to complete that out and back to get those last two miles in...I wanted to swim across that canal!

I quickly got to thinking in my head to keep rolling. I kept looking back to see if anyone was in back of me...keep rolling...keep going...I literally had to talk to myself at the very end...oh what a relief. I didn't see Iris coming in at all and I was safe...a mile left and over that bridge...I could saunter in, but I needed to run...run it all the way in as I didn't know if Iris had a kick. I don't think most ultra's do have a kick to the finish, but I was DONE! Oh joyous day...seriously...I completed my task! 100 miles!

Done!
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8/21/11

The race - A race of a lifetime - Part II

The race went off and we quickly made our way down one mile to the draw bridge that we hear about...

This drawbridge can either go up or down and could make or break you in this race...kidding, but it could slow you down. It does go up randomly at different points of time when a boat comes by, so if you see a boat passing you...better speed up to beat the boat across!
As we crossed the bridge, we all thought we were all screwed as we went under a ladder! Bad luck!Anyways, I went out with another coach GT and we chatted a bit - back and forth we talked about our styles and members of our team...really took it easy as I saw all the faster people go ahead of me. Gosh though, it was hot! Seriously did not expect the heat to be that bad as I was sweating up a storm (but I'm a heat runner and in the moment, I usually prevail! Think Chicago 2007...brutal weather running in humidity and 92 degree weather!)

So we went on...I didn't know the course well, so what I had heard was that it was on

a completely toe path (or bridal, cinder, small stoned path) whichever one you want to call it. It was really hot and we made it to the first aid station, 7 miles in. I witnessed that there was one elite runner called the "Swiss Miss" which was on the running skirt that she had worn. something along the lines of "beware of the Swiss Miss" pretty evil stuff, but she had the resume to back up her game (we looked her up last night because she passed by our room to say hello to Kino (as he knows everyone!)

She was a person that I should stick next to or ahead of. She was on this run/walk program which I had seen called the Galloway method. Sure she was not doing this for the entire time. I found that she does a very fast run and fast walk only during the day as she kept up with our paced run. I needed to get ahead of her so I ditched GT at the aid station as she was along side of us. She's the national champion ultra women's masters runner in Canada...she's an elite and a god who went to Badwater (not just once but 3 consecutive times!) So the name of the game was to always be in front of her the entire time of the race...

So...I couldn't just stay and wait at the aide station...I needed to go and so I did, I felt bad, but GT understood. I ran by myself enjoying the scenery around me...I headed up to the next aid station 6 miles ahead...I made a mental note of all the bridges and mileage markers that surrounded me from home base or from one aid station to the next...seriously there were a whole lot of bridges about a mile away from each other so it would keep us company for mile markers (really for the canal as it started pretty much from the bridge - add one or two miles and you have your distance away from the start!)
I could feel some chaffing between my legs caused by the shorts and some sweat/salt and friction. This could be a major disaster
So...made it up to the next aid station and then got my items (mixed in ice with a fruit puree mix) pbJ's and then was out of there...

I saw a gal (Kat) that was waiting and thought it was interesting that she picked me up...and started to run along side and talked to me...we chatted the entire way back (about life, running, jobs and just about anything). She gave me some salt pills and said to take them because it was my first marathon and I was sure to be cramping up...maybe if she did not give me those, I would have bonked or cramped up as well...who knows! She asked about my life, job and charity groups, where I mentioned my two groups: The Alzheimer's Association and Team for Kids. She thought both were honorable and wanted more incite to what I believed in with my Alzheimer's connection...my grandmother. We both talked about who we truthfully ran for...mine for my grandparents, her for her po? Or her grandparents as well...she told me in the end, she wanted me to think about them when the going got tough and I did...

She ditched me in the end (before taking a few pictures) at the turn around because she had another friend pace her for laps 2 and 4...and they were quickly in and out. It was great talking to her as we were going at a pretty decent pace. (One marathon done, 3 more to go).

I took my time as I went to the bathroom, rubbed a lot of salt off of my skin and poured my juice for round 2. I replaced my Brooks singlet with my SONY singlet since now I need to represent both teams and affiliations. I wasn't too far behind. I passed Kat and her pacer and took a picture before I finally left them. At each aid station, I would see them coming in behind, just as I left, they would be coming in...I would tip my water bottle to them and say my good lucks and went from aid station to the next...

I would also check out my competition along the way as I was wondering how the leads were doing...

As I came in for the next leg, I spotted the first guy (who had won the winter BoB and came back to regain the summer, who everyone (marco) was talking about) this guy - Valdimir - was the course record holder for Badwater...seriously! He was pretty much 4 miles in the next lap whenever he had passed me, which really meant he was 8-9 miles ahead of me since I still had to go out and back to actually catch them...I would see them on the out and back and then just stroll along. I was getting bored a bit and decided why not take a picture of each and every person I had passed...and the afternoon was dawning, so this would pretty much be my last time taking pictures during the race. So on the way back from the second lap, I did so and when I finally made it back to base camp, I had almost taken a picture of every single person and told the race director that he should be lucky that I did so!

Then after that lap, again...went to the bathroom and rubbed all the excess salt from my skin...almost sundown and into the night...time to take the head lamp, but not wear it yet...gathered a few items for the nighttime and still maintained my SONY singlet on as I changed shoes. Got my SONY walk man going for the nighttime shifts. Kat had given me advice to change shoes after 50 miles as she told me that the spongi-ness of your shoes gives way after 50 miles and takes at least a day or two to refresh from itself.

Got my drink, Headlamp, PBJ and new shoes...a fresh 50 awaits...here goes the second half...

8/20/11

Horiscope - A race of a lifetime - Part I

This is crazy, but true...

The day before the race, as we were waiting to switch rooms in our hotel, I was reading the paper and read my horiscope, it said:

"If you are on the verge of announcing a new endeavor, this might be the perfect day to get it off the launching pad. In fact, the results could exceed your expectations."

I thought this was funny, because in my mind for this trip, my expectations for the race was only one thing:

Finish the race and get that belt buckle...and just have a better experience than my 50 miler in Bear Mountain.

I had a side (internal) goal as well which was to hopefully on a good day the very best get a time goal of 16 hours, but if I could get somewhere between 16 and sub 20 hours, that would be awesome! A bit ambitious for a beginner runner, but the course was flat and I had to have a good race, but was going into the unknown of running past the 51 mile marker!

That day's events flown by as we prepared and went to the social gathering to meet all those who have done this race before...either the 50, the 24 hour or the 100 and even those who have DNFed. We all chatted, gathered and met...it was very chill and different in the Ultra community, different from the competitiveness of the marathon world. There was no packet pickup (that occurred on the day of the race) and then we went to dinner.

We all joked around at Marco's expense, some with balls of meat (that he swore that everyone should get and eat that was on the menu) but he chose not to get it this time...all in all, we had a great time sitting, chatting and laughing...not a fear in the world. It hit me when my sister called me to wish me luck. Then after that we noticed when the sun went down to symbolize where we would be the next day and put our fears in place that we were actually going to do this thing!

We went to bed and quickly awoke the next morning all geared up. There is something that you feel on race day that makes you riled up or having that aura around you. I had a slight twinge in my stomach from the night before and feared it would carry over to the race. I ate some breakfast thinking it would clear my stomach (maybe it was the puree of juice that I had brought that effected me?) I was questioning if I should even use it during the race and if it would cause any complications and stomach issues. But I packed it and was. Ready to go!

We packed out things in the car and marco tried to kill us on the way there (as he made all these hard turns) and my stomach was seriously in knots...these guys keep on talking about the race...as Choi sauce and I were getting nervous...wait, why was she getting nervous? She actually did 93 miles 3 weeks ago and knows the feeling of an ultra marathon...so really I was the only one in the boat of the unknown! Anyways, we got out of the car with our things and drop bags galore!

Uhh! The scene already was a little chaotic where we actually were safe and had a tent with one of the locals...Jimbo had honored us with his helping skills and I was honored to be in the presence of Kino as he knew everyone and got us a tent.

I found a corner to place my items for this long journey and looked around. We got our items and our bibs and quickly attached it to our shorts/jerseys...we were prepared already and now it was just preparing for the essentials: water, Gu and any other thing that you needed. We dropped off our drop bags and waited for the Race Directors instructions...quick pee and then about 8-10 minutes before 10am, everyone went to the starting line...super chill...seriously this was the world of Ultra's. Then the gun went off and everyone began...no one was in a real rush, although the first few guys were...since they wanted to get out quicker and they could finish quicker, but I had no real rush, I just wanted to finish...

8/19/11

The day before...less than 24 hours!

So...

The day started by an alarm clock and so much sunshine!

My gosh, by 9 am it was so hot. Really hot!

This is ridiculous the fact that the race starts at 10am. I con not believe that, where the heat will be ridiculous just penetrating at our skins...take it easy and really take your time. Hydrate and go out on the slow go.


I started to clear my mind, and slowly people started to wake up one by one...

We changed rooms and unpacked our things.

Went to meet up with people and by that time it was lunchtime...buffalo wings...uh!
We chatted and talked to prior runners who have completed this race...those who are trying to complete the 100 and the whole speal.

We went back to the hotel, chilled...separated all of our stuff into our bags and then took a nap until we went to the starting line to meet all the other runners.

When we went over to the starting line...uh! Started to get a little anxious...nervous!

Then we headed to dinner at this italian place and we all enjoyed our time. Though we all knew the race was around the corner...
We headed back to the hotel, got visited by some super ultra runners (who had done badwater) and then they were gone...

End of the day...final preparations and then...the big day tomorrow...

Wish me luck!

Lockport

So after sometime, we finally made it to Lockport, NY (near Buffalo.

I left my apartment on Thursday at around 4pm, after a run with GW at 1:30pm...it was hot and he was on a tempo run as I didn't want to try to keep up. I wanted to do a lighter run, which I let him go ahead. It was hot and mid-day, so after him going 7 min miles, we stopped at the water fountain and he said he was done with tempo and was going to go a moderate pace with me.

We rounded up Central Park, just talking and as we finished our run, he was real considerate and wished me luck...said, "no matter what happens, know you're a great runner. Just finish the race and that will beat all expectations" (or something along those lines)

I thought about that, but he knows me way too well to know that I have been ramping up for this race. I don't really want to say it, although I put pressure on myself. I want to do well accordingly and I have goals (and they come at levels) Example - New Hampshire and Maine Marathons (back to back) where just completing both back to back was one thing, but going back to back with both BQing at the same time was my goal. Reachable? I don't exactly know.

Same here...running 100 miles is going into unknown territory, I have no clue what to expect after 50 miles. To many of these guys who have done this, they know the effects and know themselves as runners...it's quite amazing!

Anyways, I left with a pack on my back with all of my running essentials. Literally all of my running gear, minus the technical clothing that I had in my room, I was pretty much carrying. Scary, but true...I had nothing left in my room + gear + food!

I went straight to the bus terminal - port authority where I asked a guy which bus it was to this asian market (I was told to meet up over there with the gang I was going with).

Needless to say, I saw this guy pointing at me and he was one of the crew that came in front Long Island (MC) and we talked until we arrived at the marketplace...ate dinner and then finally met up with the other two Kino and JC...all of these guys were huge running fanatics, they are pretty hard core runners and have done ultra's or timed races than I...(Which evidently, we pretty much all started our ultra extravaganza together, at the knickerbocker 60 two years ago!)

But all of these guys are maniacs as well and they do their fair share of crazyness with races and especially ultra's. So the experience level was pretty much on their side as I was the unexperienced one with one 50 miler in my belt.

No worries, we toured the asian supermarket, got some supplies and then pretty much were on our way.

We got rocked around with a huge rainstorm that came done (as MC likes to put it, god was taking pictures of us) because of the lightning!

Then the rest of the ride was prety much fun...we all were pretty personable with great personalities and our conversations usually entitled running...wow, this is the running community!

Anyhow, made it to Lockport, NY and waited a while for the bell clerk to wake up at 2:30 am to get our room...finally fell asleep at 3ish and woke up with 6 hours...sun is beaming and HOT..uh...24 hours!
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Bags are packed

Yes...spent most of the night packing up my things for this 100 miler that I have no clue what I am putting myself in and through...

What am I thinking? Why am I doing this?

I have no clue, but I am confident that I can get this done...scared, but confident.

As I packed my clothes, I am bringing the mere essentials, T-shirt tech for backpack wearing, singlet for spi belt wearing and probably occasional non-t-shirt wearing at all...we shall see about that! It is very unconventional that an ultra doesn't wear a shirt, although I am not really the realm of a person who is an ultra runner at all...even a runner for that matter!

As I packed all of my essentials, shoes, shorts, tech gear, food, gels/blocks and socks...uh! There is way too much to bring. Seriously, think what you bring for a marathon and times that by 4!

It's crazy! 2 pairs of shoes, foam roller, stick...seriously I was bringing my whole running essentials or apparel or altilery...

Well...we shall see!
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8/17/11

Rough work

This morning I started my workout to attain miles. Yes, I was a little sore this morning from the run that I did on Monday night, but why?

I think it could have been the rest that was speaking, as I felt great on my "effortless" run yesterday...

This morning I had a set course in mind which was to go out from the east to west side of 57th street (didn't even get as far as Park Avenue until I changed the course around!). I knew that and my course in mind quickly changed to a "when the lights changed" route...I went downtown instead of uptown and was totally engaged in time. Well, effort was not much of the case as to just making a few lights, yelling at some cars and swerving in between tourists.

As I passed my old workplace I wondered about all of my co-workers that I use to work with and how they were doing. How some of them I had been close with and talked to with my certain situations. I was a hard worker, but if only I had the drive as I had with running into what my passion was...uh!
That's the frustrating thing!

But yes, I continued, all the way passed the world trade center site, down past or near the staten island ferry and down near water street, in through chinatown and up...park avenue almost with summer streets (prior to last weekends events)

Anyhow, made it all the way into midtown and spotted GW where, we chatted out on the streets (I was going to see him later in the day, but he wanted to discuss about some various items)...

When home and almost got hit by a car because I was trying to be more aware of this delivery food guy in back of me, but this car comes out of no where and stops inches away from me! Uh! Really!

Anyhow...made it home...Alzheimer's practice later on today...
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8/11/11

Perfect day

Wow...today you really couldn't ask for a better day to run.

I decided to get some supplies for the trip coming up and much needed stuff too...so I needed a run as well and what better ways to combine the two together!

Everything is quite an adventure when you really don't know where you are heading sometimes and I decided to just take my chances and head up.

I was suppose to go all the way up to Washington Bridge as that was my primary goal...but things ended up differently. I went up 1st avenue to check up the sights of where exactly we wanted to place our spectators and check out the areas where it bares out...more like 100th and up...definitely by 96th and above.

So inward and outward...kept on going as the river comes closer to the nose area of manhattan and shoots up on the west side...went as far as 145th and malcom X boulavard, but then hit a dead end a little more north...back tracking time...

Wait! Let me see if the items I needed was in a grocery store nearby as I passed that before I hit the dead end area...

I went inside and found the product that I needed. (It's more like the Goya and spanish neighborhoods that have this product and pretty hard to get the exact thing I needed in the grocery stores nearby my apartment.

So...got the product and bought $20 worth of different flavors. I have tried two of the 4 different kinds...

I quickly ended my trip as I needed to handle the bags and took the subway back home.
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Rock and Roll - Providence Half Marathon

As we run, we become. Amby Burfoot, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

After racing yesterday in Central Park in the Club Championship, 5 miles was not the crazy factor of fatigue. I teamed up with LC's friends to head up to Providence, RI for the night. We traveled up during the night as we left NYC at 8pm, finally getting to Providence at 12am (stopping in New Haven for dinner).

We quickly got everything set for the next day and went to bed shortly after...only to get up 4 hours later to get parking and pre-registration/getting our bibs at the solutions desk. It was raining...hard! We quickly went into Panera Bread and got breakfast until it was time to get to the starting line. I had to drop by the drop bags, and went to the start.

Early in the morning I had thought twice about bringing out my sony headphones during the race. It was downpouring and I didn't want to disrupt anything knowing it was waterproof and all, but still chose not to risk it. I had my SONY gear on and ready to go!

At the starting line, met up with JC from the flyers as her sister and boyfriend were from the Harriers (they also ran yesterday as well)

The race start was awaiting for the police to move something, so starting on time was out of the question...it actually took like 15 minutes later and it was raining...HARD!

The race finally started and it was HILLY! Oh my gosh, I totally knew Providence was up


on a hill although these Rock and Roll races usually are pretty easy since they like getting first timers out there and just having fun. This was a very difficult course as it goes from up hill to down hill and puddles draining down into the streets...it was like crossing streams it was coming down that hard! So, rain in the eyes was not a very good thing either as I was concentrating more on the fact of finishing the race than actually enjoying the scenery...but it was beautiful though, if it was sunny, it would have been hot. So the rain was nice, but disrupting and it would constantly go right into your eyes. Bands played along the course, but they too found refuge in these small tents that the race directors provided, some changed locations to seek shelter under a bridge.


It was tough though as you would encounter puddles of water when the streets would go downhill and the intersections where the roads would flatten out, there was hills...inclines and straightaways...rough! But then it all evened out in the end and zigzagged through back and forth at the very end...

I was tired of the rain at the end and just wanted to finish...so slowly I tried to catch people in the end. Quickly one by one in the last 3 miles of the race, I caught up to some people I had my eyes set on...

It was a tough finish as I saved a little in the end not knowing what to expect at the last turn...and low and behold, it was a hill...in the last 100 meters! Come on!

But yes, I passed a gal in the last 400 meters and I thought she was going to catch up to me...slowly gathered myself and put on the boosters!

In the end, they called out my name and they called out the sponsorship as well...my white SONY shirt did it's justice.

I was frozen after the race...waiting for everyone else to finish, I tried to warm myself back up, but the slight wind conditions and already soaked with rain, I was loosing body heat and my fingers all wrinkled up...it was pretty bad...

So bad that I had to change into my wet clothes and also get a cup of HOT CHOCOLATE!!

In AUGUST!

It was nuts!

We waited till the very end pretty much and it downpoured...first LC came in at 2:08 and then LC's friends: D and E.

Overall...a good weekend to get out of NYC and a good weekend to just get back into racing mode.

8/6/11

Team Champs

Yes, it's been a while since I had last wrote, although I have time now, as I awaite for my ride to go to Providence, RI tonight to do the Rock and Roll half tomorrow.

Today, woke up early to stop by team for kids practice to make sure they had the routes correct. Their practice started at 7am, so coaches had to be there at 6:30, which really meant that I had to leave the house by 6:15...uh! Not happy waking up this morning.

Anyways, stopped by and soon enough I was gone again...this time head

ing up to the 102 transverse where the team championships were starting for the men at 8am and for the females at 9am. It's always a great event because it brings the teams together and you don't get to see many people during the year...so this race is for all! Plus if you are not on a team, you really don't do the event, so it weeds out the other people.

At first, I saw my teammates and joked around a bit, saw the TFK crew pass by and then was on my way to the start.

I was nervous. I haven't really run since June and when you are out of "race" mode...it's just very strange...I mean when you are in marathon training, for me (with two teams) your pace isn't exactly #1...so, racing is usually off the table.

But yes, during the start of the race I had experienced somewhat doubtful thoughts. I was tired from waking up early and hadn't really just run a race for myself...so, yes, feeling selfish a little for racing!

Anyways, the start of the race I was in the yellow corral and didn't feel like moving up when they cut the ropes and people started filing closer. I stayed behind, but moved as well...then the start!

Bang! The race starts and for a good moment, I am moving! I felt good...no water stops at water stations...doing ok!

Then, at about half way at the bottom loop you feel the tireness set in...the pace of your running drops as you get a little tired, then you just want to hang onto dear life. I knew the rest of the course well and tried to go up cat hill with efficiency...then knew I would pretty much bomb the straight away, but did ok...then the last 1/2 mile to go...

The finish was right at the corner of 102nd street transverse and it seemed closer than usual, so I knew the finish line...the flyer's ladies would be cheering, so about that time, I could make my move...

I was gearing at marathon pace as I was comfortable or going a little on cruise, where I felt I could push it more, but chose not to...it's an interesting feeling. I knew I had to make my move and I did, right in front of the flyers ladies and sprinted towards the finish...only to find that I just finished a second below sub 31.

I was really weezing afterwards trying to catch my breathe. It was a very tough day to breathe and the humidity was just incredible...

I was glad to finish as we strolled over to the ladies that were still cheering and now getting ready to go...I changed back into my TFK gear and coached for a bit, getting in my cool down run to the southern pump house and then back...

Overall, the day was great! Still wondering how my alzheimer's team did. Coached a little with TFK and shared and saw some Flyer friends that I have not seen in a while.

Now off to providence for the rock and roll half!

7/26/11

Life back together

I can honestly say that there has been a certain pressure that I place on myself all the time whenever the tough gets going or whenever I get nervous over anything...

Yes, I am human.

But, I'm slowly recovering in a society that has it's up's and downs and now I can breath easier and laugh...

Just laugh.

Honestly, thank you all for sticking with me through the rough patches of my life.

I can hear the music, listen to others and well go by an earful ring of joy.

Life is not that difficult, it has it's ups and downs and seriously can be sunnier on a sunny day.

We can't have it all, but as one person who knows themselves, you need to be with yourself first and understand yourself, until you further your own future...
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7/15/11

Sony Walkman



Hey you know those old Sony walkmans that you use to own....fess up! before the digital age kicked in like 20 years ago? wow...20 years ago!

Before Ipods and ipads, shuffles and what not....damn!

So I received my sony walkman on friday only to find myself fiddling around with the control buttons and finding the ways to just input music into it.

Ok, done with that...I'll test it out tomorrow on my long run to practice with Team for Kids...

Let you know how it goes!

7/14/11

My life...

My life has been a rollercoaster this week...wait was it this week or last week that I have been waking up at 4:30 am and helping out with the NYRR in giving a running tour around NYC to physical education teachers?

Yeah, see it has been such a long week that my body is so drained from all of the heartache and tough spots, I couldn't even go to practice yesterday! My body is telling me something. Mental breakdowns of jobs and pressure from the parents don't exactly help. Losing your best friend (hopefully not for life) and the constant motions of memories and future prospects not being future prospects any longer. The act of improvement and growth is killed with one swing of the ax...it's bitter.

Resentment, joy, anger, hope, promise...life! That's what we go through, but we grow as we keep living.

I have had a rough couple of weeks, I am unsure if I can push my body to it's limits and sink into a whirlwind.

Right now, I don't know what's good, what's great and what is sideways anymore?

Confusion is setting in and well...the stability and mindset of every day work is finally setting in for me. I don't have a 9-5 job like everyone else...I wasn't use to that. Also I think everything within the last year has majorly effected my mindset of things and how I viewed work. Getting back on track now is the hard part...

But I'm trying at least...
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6/30/11

50 days

Well...I finally signed up! Yes, this is correct folks, 50 days in counting....and I've been ramping up, just wait till this weekends run where I'll try to do my very best to keep my mind off of things...

We'll see how early I do get up, but hopefully it won't be a boring ride...
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Bag watch

Wheew...

Ok, bagwatch this afternoon while the team (alzheimer's) goes out for a run. These are the moments in which I can finally catch up...

I have been finally trying to get time to concentrate to get a job...two days in a row...two different job applications, one virtual interview set up...both running jobs.

We'll just see!
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6/18/11

So-NY

So, I applyed to one of those Active Team associations for sponsorship that you receive in your e-mails all the time on May 23...not thinking anything really much out of it.

On June 17th, I received notice that I was honored to join the team! How cool is this?

Seriously, not many people get the chance to be sponsored much as an athlete and none of the less enjoy what they do!

Should be fun! Challenging and exciting...see updates on what kinds of different play I get!
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6/15/11

Early morning commute

Let's see...waking up and catching the first train out of here has some sort of pressure, where I wake up too early and have to wait in Grand Central for a bit, when it opens...ridiculous!

In the past week, all of my charity groups have started and what for me is called my busy season. How did I ever do these jobs when I was working baffles my mind in saying that I was over busy...

Who knows?

I just know this...my mind works better when it is overloaded and challenged, than now. I function so much better, although I can say that I probably did over do things.

Now? I'm waking up every week at this early morning rise to basically get a full's day of work in before some people even wake up!

Crazy right?

Yeah, I would have to say so!

Yesterday at Ichan stadium, I worked yet another day with the kids...the last meet of the season. Now back to being a seasonal worker.

Oh well...just get by...just get by! I need to seriously think about what I need to do here and still apply myself. I do know this though, that when...if I get a job back again, seriousness is of the essence. Uh! It's been crazy!

Going forward, I'm trying to clear my name a bit and clearing my head of just getting back into things. I felt sort of a disconnect when I worked at the factory and not getting together with friends or what not...and now I am sort of back.

It was hard...life is hard...

Anyways, catching a nap!
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6/8/11

So much earlier...

I didn't know how early it really was...

This morning I guess I was afraid or got it in my head that I was going to miss my alarm.

I never knew that Grand Central opened up at 5:15...am! I arrived at 5:05 and had to be waiting for them to open the gates.

Really? Geez! I guess I am way too early

I couldn't believe the crowd awaiting to get in...I guess it's those who party late last night, kids mostly as I await my individual training session in Pelham...every Wednesday mornings...

Oh well, better earlier than later I guess.

I wondered why everything seemed out of place this morning!
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5/26/11

Life

I find life harder and harder to understand. As I walk through the city tonight, I find myself more confused as ever. What are we actually here for? Why are we here on earth?

What do we look forward to? What makes us really happy?

I can honestly say that I have not been myself recently. I have not been the happy go lucky person that I have been...I find myself harder and harder to be myself and the character of who I am.

I have found that I do not look forward to things, to not be excited, to feel that I am undeserving of anything exciting.

I am numb...

I seem as though I can not snap myself out of it...I want to, I know I need to, but often resent why?

Why are things so hard?

What do I really want?

Who and what have I become?

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5/12/11

Sunday April 17 - Into Boston...

So...woke up super early to come to Boston on Friday to volunteer as I have done 3 years before at the expo.

Volunteered to help with the Adidas merchandise as everyone appreciated...well...they wanted me to come back the next day! I told them that I was, but not a whole while on my feet! It was fun and they were just impressed how I worked I guess...

Went straight to Davis Square, where Amy lived and met up with her for dinner...and unexpectingly SC came out as well! Wow, when did SC ever have time?

We ate our burrito's and caught up a bit, as SC always let's me stay at her place for the night before the Boston Marathon.

Tomorrow, going to the expo to meet up with the Alzheimer's team!
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5/10/11

Long Days: Track meets & Coaching Seminars

"Saying you don't have enough time is a bad reason to not run. There's always time for a run."

Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary

So, update on my hamstring: Still hurting and sensitive to the touch. It actually feels pretty annoying and feels as though I have very weak muscles around that point...also feels as though there are pins and needles sometimes around that area.

But anyways, what's up with my day?

I start my day going back to NYRR because I figure that I don't have the participant ribbons for all the students and also pick up another pack of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ones.

On my own today at the track meet, I find that I am stuck with a ton of things that I need to lug up to Northern Manhattan...although, find that in my subway car, there is a fight that is started between two guys and one guy in the other car...so when the subway stopped, they ran to the other side to argue/start a fight with the other group all along the whole subway station stop...

Finally! One great day to start and stop a meet with the entire meet to go on! It was awesome and great!

The meet went on, as I tried to get all the kids to stay in line, giving them ribbons and scoring at the same time...busy day...seriously busy day!

After the meet, went back to the NYRR to get ready for the coaching clinic as well as the meet the next day. Although getting ready for the coaching clinic was all I had time to do because I needed to shoot an e-mail out to all of the relays that had qualified for tomorrow's meet...ahhh! Hectic!

Anyways, coaching clinic went alright, but on the way there was daunting again...the damn subways were delayed because of a passenger and I had to lug my bag back up to take the 6 train downtown and then over and around.

After all the chaos and getting the coaching clinic done, I was done for the day...well, almost! I needed to input a few items and send out a few things before my day was done...shifting 11 hour days is a tough one...part time work? More like full time, but I'll get my days off later on in the week...
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5/4/11

B2B2B

Boston To Big Sur To Boston...

Seriously? No, we're not talking about just talking marathons, we're talking about my lifestyle now.

Today, after coming back from the Boston Marathon 2 weeks ago and landing back from Big Sur just yesterday morning, I'm going back to Boston for the day. It's pretty much a grueling schedule...a long week ahead, maybe promising, but we shall see...

Let's just hope I have options, but if these options are true, there might be a change.

We'll have to wait and see...
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4/30/11

The Expo

So...whenever I am with my sister, we have a great time together as we, just chill out.

Seriously, we never fight and it's always a good time where we don't pressure one another to do anything...

So on the way from San Jose to Monteray, we chat...catch up and well she tells me about her day and night before I had arrived (since she had gotten in the night before).

So...we finally make it to Moneray, park and try to look for the expo...where we have a hard time going one place to another. Then finally find it to find our bibs, the guy that plays the piano playing in the foyer area and then get our bibs...then tickets to the bus...then tickets to the after party (where...out of the blue, we hear our names being called. First my name and then her's). Which is weird right?

I mean usually whenever I hear my name being called, I know that person...but here...it took a while and similarly that it was my sister being called as well. The face I sort of recognized, although before I could guess, the person formally introduced himself to us...it was JM. Who we have been keeping in touch with only over facebook, that he has been keeping in shape and doing marathons/trithlons. But it was weird being called out and being reunited with a fellow high school mate (he was in my sister's grade, but just an acquaintance...)

Anyways, we caught up a bit and then split, wishing each other well in the race. He was doing the same as I with the B2B challenge, as he was going to try to do better in Big Sur than in Boston.

We went around the expo, my sister was looking for a running skirt and I went around to find some sunscreen at the Birkenstock booth, where I had to try on a pair to get sunscreen. I did...and received sunscreen and then we were out of the expo and onto getting free socks!

Here is a video taken with my sister and I about our free socks!

After that, we went to find our hotel, which we had a little bit of trouble finding, but finally made it there...got in, strolled around town and found that there were wine tasting places...(Which we would have to wait till tomorrow after the race to try out)

Then...we were in search of some food...dinner and pasta/italian places. We found a place, only to find that many have been reserved until 8:45...no way! We found a place with chef side seating, where we actually found amusement in that as we again messed around with the video camera that I had boughten.

We ate...then we quickly got home as chilly as the night was and then slowly got ready for tomorrow's early wake up call and marathon...
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To Big Sur

Ok, so getting up way early in the morning at 3am. Getting to the airport by 4:30 and sitting in the airport for a good 2 hours before my flight out to Utah...

Uh! This will be a long day!

Finally on the airplane after a slight nap on the seats...I had observed that there was a huge asian population getting into the airport as I taxied to the terminal. And it was a HUGE asian group...

As I got onto the plane, I saw that the HUGE asian population was going onto my plane. Great! I found my seat...and there had a been a guy already sitting down in the middle, ok...all good.

As the plane took off, I found these little antics about the asian man that was funny:

1) While eating the double cookie that they gave, the asian man at it like a sandwich...usually people would eat one at a time.

2) He consistently asked for hot water to be filled in his water jar.

3) After finishing the cookies, his wrappers and tissue he crinkled neatly and folded the seams into a small ball...not ball, but a little pillow cushion like item.

4) He kept on pointing and requesting things, but I thought it was a typical thing to do when you don't know the language...

5) He didn't know that there was a request button for the stewardest to come over on top of him....

Anyways, enough about poking fun at my culture, I arrived alright in Utah...had a two hour lay over and bought 4 cheese burgers at Burger King instead of a Cinnibun.

Then waited for my next flight out, but helped an elderly women off the conveyer belt walkways as her "walking cart" was off the walkway and she was still on it...holding a cup of something and backing up...stuck!

Got onto the plane from Utah to San Jose and met up with my sister to go straight to the expo in Moneray.

The expo...wait till you hear about this...
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4/29/11

Respects...

Today, I had a day off from work as I was thinking about going back home to gather all of my architecture stuff to start applying back to architecture firms again...it has been a year off from that world, and I need a little stabilization in my life.

This past year has been a whirlwind, as my head has constantly been just everywhere. Seriously, the amount of years that I have lost in my life is just breathtaking and I will never get that back.

I have been in search for a "dream job" which now I am uncertain that I would have been comfortable with. My question to myself is, what is happiness...I have seemed to have lost that in my life and I have been very confused about where my life structure seems to be heading.

My mind as a whole has been jumbled to a point where I don't know what's up or down. I am constantly confused, and disoriented. I can't seem to find comfort in anything and days seem to go by as I am still in search for my life...or what desires I have for my life.

There is a time and a place where you have to go back to your roots and start over.

Anyways...since I am going to be going up to Westchester, I thought it would have been extremely appropriate to go to visit my grandparents who have passed.

I had been planning already to go to go 2 weeks ago before the Boston Marathon, as my whole family went out before Easter...supposingly it's this whole Chinese tradition to go pay your respects at the cemeteries the weekend before Easter or around that time.

I bought my ticket up, knew my way around the area, since Need for Speed Relay had been around that area as well and we actually drove past my Grandfather's grave, which I wanted to get out to pay my respects to...but that's another story...

As I headed from the train station, I knew that the trains were an hour apart from each other, since I had to run, I knew it was about a mile away...around the town a little and up a hill. As I geared up the hill (I only had one contact in this morning due to my eye causing some trouble) and thought I had seen a truck coming down the hill...with something attached to the back...but it was on the other side of the road...

I thought I had been seeing things and stopped, when I saw that there was another SUV on the other side swerve to the side, the truck came whizzing down not knowing that the trailing thing (which was a portopotty) was on the other lane...it nearly hit the SUV and the car in back of it...

Fragments came off on the SUV and / or the Portopotty and the truck finally stopped at the end of the road where there was a stop light...

The guy in the SUV was pissed, I had to continue on my run up to see my grandparents...

As I entered Kensico Cemetery, there was a silence that sweeps the scene...a silence...pure serenity.

I made my way up to see my grandfather (my dad's dad) to pay my respects...I had a little trouble lighting the incents, but it got there...bowed 3 times and laid some stones on the head stone.

Then I made my way towards my other grandparents...my grandmother that had recently passed away and had the Alzheimer's Disease and my grandfather who I absolutely adored. I had trouble lighting the incents on this side and payed my respects knowing that they are together and will never be forgotten...I stayed there a while...then finally had to go and catch the train back.
As I went back to the train station, I could see now that the police was now involved and the guy with the SUV had called in.

I guess his car got scratched...

I waited for the train...and now, I am to go home...

Those who will never be forgotten...
Grandma Kam- November 13, 1926 - February 10, 2011

Grandpa Kam- June 10, 1925 - October 19, 2008

Grandpa Hsia
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