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..
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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!