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23 September 2013 @ 07:19 am
I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. I got more aggressive at work and started making progress on something that means a lot to me. I always wanted a career that didn't feel like a chore on long days and while that's completely unavoidable, on most days it's not a chore at all.

I also decided to make friends. I asked out a girl that I met a month ago, a sister of my friend's sister. I was really intimidated at first because she's the most talented singer I've ever heard and she happens to be model gorgeous. Lucky for me she thought I was cute and adores my sister so I had enough credit to say yes to. We had an 8 hour long date Friday night: dinner drinks movie music cuddles. It was the best. I went ahead and said that I wanted to see her again but it was left open. The next day I said I had some work to do and suggested we do some work together. She showed up at my place a few hours later and we went to my coffee shop to work for about an hour or so. That led to sushi, a walk, video games, tv, cuddles, late night dinner, cuddles, deciding to spend the night, more cuddles, and waking up in the morning and talking for another couple of hours.

I then did a scavenger hunt for a festival to which I already have tickets. I went with my good friend Jacob who is my kindred animal spirit. We both got tattoos in an attempt to get tickets #funfunfunfest. so dumb. no regrets. Life is about embracing the fun and dumb and risk.

I strongly feel that a single person shouldn't be the reason another person snaps out of their funk but all of this started by me choosing to snap out of my funk. And I'm reaping the reward.
18 September 2013 @ 10:36 pm
I have a date Friday. The smallest thing made me so optimistic in life.
16 September 2013 @ 11:49 pm
you at least have yourself. Maybe that is the point of all of this. Maybe I should be OK with going home to my apartment alone and sitting. Maybe I should get rid of the constant need to be in contact with another human. That urgency is what made me rush into the things that get me in trouble.

I feel 19 again and I really don't fucking like it.
02 January 2013 @ 01:03 am
1. How many miles/km did you run this year?
2243 miles

2. What were your highest/lowest weekly mileage results?
2 miles lowest
71 miles highest

3. What was your best mileage month?

4. What was your longest run?

5. How many races did you enter in 2012? What were your best and worst race performances?
Best- Big Bend 50k - 4:26:44 4th place
New Orleans Marathon - 2:59:57
NISD 5k - 17:18
NYRR 4 mile - 22:25 - 7th overall 1st age group
Join the Voices 5 miler - 28:15 Super competitive group
Ted Corbitt Classic 15k - 54:55 14/4000 CPTC first team

Worst Race
6 hour trail marathon ugh

6. Do you have a favorite/memorable run from this year?
I had a windy tempo progression along the Hudson with my group. It was dark and we were blinded by cars and finished fast and strong. It was super cold and I felt like I was helping out my teammates out a lot.

Every run with Cyn.

7. What was the craziest weather or other type of adverse conditions you endured on a run in 2012?
Going for a run post Sandy was pretty crazy.

8. What were your goals for 2012? Did you achieve them?
50k finish healthy - check
lots of miles - check
new PR for the marathon - check
be healthy and happy - check

9. What are your goals for 2012?
Get to starting line of Boston healthy and race hard
Race a fun indoor track
PR for the Half Marathon
Stay healthy and happy
24 December 2012 @ 04:28 pm
This sport is selfish. It's no more selfish than any other sport with dedicated athletes except the solitude. I think it's why runners make great friends. I am completely accepting of a friend being completely selfish as long as they are honest about it. I give them a pass because some day, I'll want that pass back.

It's selfish to dictate schedules. It's selfish to go to bed early. It's selfish to knowingly not be able to give 100% at work. It's selfish to emotionally drain yourself to the point where you have less to give others. My initial thought about any schedule change is, "How will this affect my runs?"

Even my own sister's wedding scheduling is some what at the mercy of my Spring marathon race schedule.

Even my own best friend visiting from out of state makes me think "I hope we don't drink too much so that I can still get in quality workouts."

And maybe why it's even more selfish than other sports is, I can perceive it and practice it with the same enthusiasm, dedication, and obsession as an Olympian. Just a week left in 2012 and I've averaged an hour of running every day. Factor in the time to get ready, cool down, shower, stretch and the probably extra 100 hours spent doing weights and other supporting exercises and it's even more.

And I'm not even paid for doing this.

I'm not even remotely close to getting paid to do this.

I'm in that buffer zone between sub elite and regular guy. If it's not a super competitive race I have a chance of taking my age group. In my last 3 NYC races I finished in the top 1% of competitors.

And I am leagues away from the top of the field.

And the guy that finishes last probably spends the same amount of energy towards this sport. We all do it.

But maybe the reason why I can love my family the way I do, the reason why I have a 7+ year stable relationship, the reason why I have a promising career, is because I am 100% selfish for 2 hours a day.

yah. I'll stick with that.
30 October 2012 @ 10:52 pm
This stuff means a lot to me.
08 October 2012 @ 03:32 pm
I wish I could have this one back. I don’t mean the day, but rather the months of preparation. I realize now that I’m at a level where just running is not enough. I missed out on proper training for the course itself. That’s the only part that went wrong about yesterday. The course was 955 feet net downhill but when you think about the amount of elevation gained throughout, the marathon was 2600 ft downhill according to my watch.

I did a few things in good preparation. I handled the Rails to Trails section really well. Running the bridle path prepared me for that. I ended all of my long runs on really big hills and I was strong for that. What I didn’t do was plan the middle miles of major downhill and THEN run uphill. I was not ready for that.

The drive to PA is gorgeous. I loved that it was a nice road trip with Steph and just talking and enjoying the day. Scranton is a cool little town and everything felt great. Dinner was good, I didn’t over eat, we watched football and laid in bed all evening. This day, alone by itself was just lovely.

But here was my race day.

Sunday morning was perfect as well. I actually slept the whole night, got ready, met my TX friend and got on the bus. The race was perfectly planned and executed. It’s a very small marathon. Race director just emailed us and said 3,000 registered but 2,000 crossed the finish line. I toed the line at the front and we took off. The first mile had a HUGE downhill. It felt uncomfortable. 150 ft lost right away and then basically regained half of it on the next mile. When you look at the whole elevation chart, these little uphills are lost in the scope of the downhills and don’t really show up on a map. First mile is 6:31.

At this point I had a huge stomach cramp type thing. I ate something about 40 min before the race and I shouldn’t have. I felt uncomfortable every time I took nutrition and almost puked at one point. I just prayed that it would settle as time went on. I was half correct. The next few miles were 6:25-6:42. I was shocked every time we had a decent uphill and we slowed down. I thought the uphills didn’t come until the last 10k but there were plenty small hills in the beginning.

I adjusted my expectations from the very beginning. My effort level was a little too much for the 6:40s I was running and it was discouraging. I definitely had negative thoughts early on. I stopped and walked to drink some water at the halfway mark. 1:27 for the first half.

We flattened out and I hit a huge high. I felt really good finally and I started to think “OK This is good. 1:27 first half, 1:27 second half and that’s 2:54, I’ll take it.” 6:39 17th mile. Then 6:49, 6:46. Mile 21 was 6:59. I still felt like I was moving OK and could hold on to the end. I waited for a second high to come and it didn’t. We hit some very steep short hills and for the first time I realized it. My quads were done. I didn’t have any reaction left. Mile 22 and 23 were 7:20 and 7:18. I tried to keep it going but I realized I wasn’t going to PR. When I realized that, something just kind of turned off. I thought, if I’m not going to PR, why feel like death? Why kill myself?

This is the only part I’m not proud of. If I had pushed a little harder I would have gotten 4th in my age group and won an award. But who cares about that. I’ve always stated that the beautiful thing about running is that you do it for yourself and your own glory. But now that I’ve improved a lot I change my line of thinking? Shame on me. I shouldn’t have quit on myself.

But at the same time, if my legs could have moved faster I would have. As I walked I realized, for the first time at mile 24 I felt great. My mind was not in a dark, dark place. I wasn’t wheezing. I wasn’t whimpering. Some guys asked “Are you going to be OK?” I replied “I actually feel great, I just can’t go any faster.” Lots of people were passing me at this point. I told them all “Good work!” I was honestly impressed by their ability to march up the hills.

Mile 24 was 9:51. Mile 25 was 11:22. Mile 26 was 9:55. The hills were ridonk. I was amazed. The last 0.2 was downhill and I thought, “I can definitely sprint and at least look cool in this last bit.” A guy next to me needed help on the picking it up so I said “Come on Buddy let’s go!” We finished looking cool. We finished going 5:25 pace. Pretty fun!

The thing I had to accept is, I can’t PR every time. This was the first time in my life I didn’t PR on a road race. I have to accept a 3:09 is damn good considering my last 3 miles were pitiful. If I had maintained the 7:20 pace I would have run a 3:02 or thereabouts. IF. IF. IF. If your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle. The bottom line is, I didn’t have anything else.

Today my quads are shot. I had to walk down a ramp today and it felt horrible!

Plan for the future

Boston is now 6 months away. The course is very similar to this. Lots of downhills in the beginning followed by Heartbreak Hill. I will do all my long runs on the big loops of Central Park. I think this will be enough training in that aspect. I need to work on shorter stuff for the next 2 months and maybe shoot for a half in January. I kind of felt like this marathon was rushed a little.

So in summary, I got to spend a beautiful weekend with Steph and run an great course that killed me and I learned a lot. I just have to accept that I will have years of work to get the times I want but the clock can’t be the only reason to run. That’s a horrible way to run.
25 August 2012 @ 02:22 am
I've run 110 miles in the past 11 days. My calf has had a few days of being irritated but typically by morning it's completely fine. Well after this week's tempo run I knew it was a little more than tweaked. I got in some easy miles today but I realized I shouldn't run tomorrow. I have to remind myself that shouldn't run is better than can't run. I have 20 miles with the last 4 at MP scheduled for Sunday and that's going to be hard enough as it is. I'd rather have 130 miles in two weeks with an awesome 20 miler than 140 miles with an injury. I'm saying this so I make myself stick to it.

It's 2:19. I haven't really even tried to sleep because I'm not even yawning. Well, actually when I typed yawning I yawned. But that's because it's the most contagious thing in the world.

Stephanie works nights the next month. I think that will actually be kind of productive for my first month of work. I can have my own night schedule. I can get to bed early and wake up early. I'll probably sleep until noon tomorrow. Let's hope that Czech beer I drank earlier and the two advils I just popped cure my leg. I don't see why I won't feel better by Sunday.
11 July 2012 @ 03:29 pm
I’ve loved people beyond a love of myself. I’ve loved myself more than others. Both left me wanting more. But I’ve loved people just for people being people. Absent of sex, absent of future, absent of logic, I have loved. I have looked deep into a woman’s eyes and known with all of my being, all my heart, and all I have ever known that she was a beautiful person and worthy of the deepest admiration, respect, and love. In this knowledge, I sat. Perhaps over a dinner or a coffee, I relished the fact that I was in the presence of a beautiful person. The same extends to men, worthy of admiration, respect, and love. I promise that I have learned more, experienced more, and lived more than men who pursued with less than honorable intentions. I’m accustomed to people perhaps thinking that I was content with my status because it was easy or I was scared. There was no “deal to seal”, no rejection to face. But by the same token, because I have known so many people who inspire me and harvest my affection, I have been far more vulnerable. There is nothing scarier than having someone see who you really are and the impending acceptance/rejection. Having no end is a tough thing for some people to accept.

Perhaps this is why I can love running. I can love it for the relationships I have formed. I can love it for the lessons it has taught me. I can love it because I can look at the marathon with admiration, respect, and love. And most of all, I can approach it with no end game. I have nothing to conquer here. I have no pursuit of bragging rights. I just want to enjoy sitting in the presence of something great. Maybe some of that greatness will rub off.
03 July 2012 @ 11:22 pm
I can hear everything so clearly. The sound of my feet hitting the ground gives me feedback on my status. It’s definitely a recovery day but I’ve been louder, sloppier, more tired. I’m probably exactly where I should be. I try not to look at my watch on days like this, knowing it’s dangerous to care too much. A spot check tells me I’m at 8:15 which is surprising. Despite my stiffness I guess my cadence is robotic at this point.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes me on a day like this. Sometimes the point of run is to set yourself up to run well the next day. It’s actually a source of pride for me. Watching me prod along the East Drive you’d never think I’m a racer. A guy passes me breathing hard and probably happy to be the passer. That’s fine. I’m in no rush tonight.
It’s incredibly clear and quiet. I can hear cars driving up Central Park West but it could easily be confused with wind. It’s the type of sound that could be coming from a mile away or 100 meters. It’s definitely distant from the expected aggressive Manhattan.
I hear my breathing and glance at my watch. Three seconds to complete and in/out cycle. Then my science brain takes over. That’s twenty breaths per minute. 1200 breaths per hour. What’s the volume of my lungs? How much of that volume am I using? What percent of the air is carbon dioxide compared to my exhaled breath? How many extra tons of C02 have I generated by running versus sitting? Am I the cause of global warming? Maybe I’ll do the calculations later but for now I’m excited that something interesting occupied me for a few minutes.
I rarely look up. In Texas there is rarely anything to look up at. For some reason I do, and realize gigantic building surround me. I see the CNN tower off in front of me and it informs that it’s 9:29 and 82 degrees. The air feels good on my naked skin. A pair of guys are cruising towards me with runner bodies at probably low 7 pace. They make it look easy. For a moment, I feel like Adam and Eve realizing they are naked. There is too much separation in this sport. It’s just too quantifiable. I don’t care if I shouldn’t be shirtless.
I hear wheels behind me. It’s become a game: Name The Vehicle. I’m going to guess skateboard. Not a longboard but a good old skateboard. The guy passes on my right on a downhill and I’m correct. The next one I guess road bike with a guy in tights. I’m half right. The guy is clipped in and going hard but looks more like this is his routine to get home more so than a guy going prone with his aero-helmet.
In the glow and serenity of the evenly spaced streetlights, I plod on. Who knows what series of thoughts and events have strung through my head or how many unresolved scenarios pop in and out. But for now, I am content. I just want to soak up the cycle of the stretching and collapsing of my shadow every fifty meters as I pass under streetlights, giving me a quick visual of myself, reminding me that I am actually running.