Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NYC In Pictures - Official Time 4:09:52

The wait on Staten Island

Elite women make their way to the start line - that's half of Paula exiting the frame on right.

Looking down Central Park West after the race.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

I Finished NYC!

Unofficial time 4:09 and change. Not a PR but I'm very happy with it. It's been 22 months since my last marathon (Disney Jan 2008), so that's pretty good for me. I also accomplished a goal of not stopping at all during the run, not even through water stops - an emotional goal but a goal nonetheless. I ran through side stitches and slight cramps. I was smoking through the the first half at below 4:00 pace, but the 2nd half was another story. When will I ever learn?!

Waiting for my flight from Newark now.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Day Before NYC

9:00 AM

Just got back from an easy final 2-miler to Central Park and back. It was awesome. The city is so alive and vibrant. Central Park was brimming with activity, all hustle and bustle. The streets were wet, it was cool low 60's, and the trees were awash in yellows and reds. The baricades and signs were all up for tomorrow, volunteers were going through their checks, people were running all over the place. It looked busier than some real races I've run. I ran through the finish line, visions of glory and all that ...

1:00 PM

For 37,000+ runners, the Expo was expertly run. Free shuttles from Midtown to the Javits Convention Center. Walk right in - zero wait to pick up your bib. Asics is the main sponsor, good looking LS tech shirt this year. All the major brands were there, as well as Goose:

7:50 PM

I'm carbed up and rested. Settling in for Tex - OK St kickoff in 10 mins. Alarm is set for 5:00 am tomorrow. Have to make the 6:15 Staten Island ferry.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Back in NYC!

477 miles of training later, I'm finally back in NYC! That's about 80 miles short of plan, but I've been perfect the last 2 months and I feel great.

Flew up today and while I was putting my bag in the overhead, the lady behind asked if I was going up for the marathon. She said I "looked like I was" - hey, that's a good sign! Then the guy who ended up in my row asked if I was running the marathon too. He said "I looked like a runner" - another good sign! I'm feeling good vibes all over.

I took the train in from Newark to New York Penn Station, then the subway to my hotel in Midtown. Took a few minutes to get used to the faster pace in NYC. Subway back down to Chinatown for dinner, and bought some bakery items back for snacks. I've semi-consciously started to carb up. One hour past dinner and 2 of my 3 snacks are gone already! I've also been drinking lots of water.

Tomorrow's a day to take it easy. Happy Halloween to everyone!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back In The Saddle Again

I left Singapore a week ago after one last night/morning on the town, carrying a Japan Airlines barf bag (still unused, for the family units reading this) in one pocket and some leftover Singapore dollars in another. I worked hard, played hard, didn't run as much, but when I did, that was hard too. My last run took me around MacRitchie Resevoir, and that kicked my butt. Built in 1868, the 8 mile trail run pulled me deep into a tropical jungle, which was hot, humid, steamy, and sucked the energy out of me as I sweated bullets.

In a little under 24 hours, I was back in Dallas on Sunday afternoon. I slept most of the way and recharged what I could. Monday morning I was back at work. Major bummer.

Tuesday morning I resumed my training with an early morning run around the neighborhood. It was surreal in reverse, going from the raw jungle to well manicured lawns and lush flower beds.

By Wednesday I was in St Louis, but I missed my run due to a late night at work. Maybe next time. We have a new client there and I expect to be dropping in more frequently over time. Combined with lots of rain this past week in Dallas, my training schedule took a hit before it even started.

I made up for it this weekend by running my 3rd consecutive Tour de Fleurs 20K, this time sans Susan, who I ran with last year but was holed up in Oklahoma this year. I finished in 1:52 for an 8:57/mile pace. Good enough for a training run. This morning I did another 13.5 miles to make up for missed runs in the week. That's almost back-to-back halfs, and I'm tired tonight.

One more pic from my reunion below. That gnarly bunch I mentioned in the last post - who was I kidding? You couldn't get cleaner cut than that in squeaky clean Singapore. Even back in 1978 we didn't look so menacing in 9th grade.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Marathon Training Update From Singapore

10 weeks and 255 miles have passed since my last post. I'm mostly on plan give or take a few runs.

Last Thursday I ran 6 miles in Plano, flew 13 hours to Narita then 6 hours to Singapore. Landed Sat morning past midnight, woke up and ran 9 more. I'm here for a week to drop in on my folks. I'm also here for my 30th and first high school reunion, last Saturday night. We had about 150 of 500 show up, and I hadn't seen just about all of them since leaving for the States in 1980. It was surreal, emotional at times, and overall a much more rewarding experience than I expected. Most had done very well for themselves, and it was good to see success develop from the group of misfits we were.

I've been catching up with old friends since then, sharing some good local food and a few beers along the way. I've known this gnarly bunch below since 1st grade! When I get back to Dallas, I'm going to dig out my 6th grade picture and scare the crap out of their wives and kids.

This morning I woke up at 3:45 am local time and the night was over. I missed my long run (17 miles) last Sunday due to circumstances beyond my control, similar to the diagram above. I packed 2 GUs, $5, and headed out to see how long I could run. I've been running shirtless since I started training and today and here was no different, almost a necessity. It was dark of course at 4:15 am, 78F, 89% humidity. You start sweating buckets immediately.

I plowed a path to the main Orchard Road shopping district 4 miles away, now deserted but usually packed:

I like running in large cities through areas that are normally bustling, but wide open when I get there in the early hours of the morning.
I ran south, eventually reaching the Padang, which is Singapore's version of the National Mall in DC. I stood in the middle, stared at the stars above, and marveled at how in this crowded city of 4.6 million, there wasn't a soul within a mile radius of where I stood. I've felt this way in an early winter morning run through a freshly snow covered and mostly deserted Central Park in NYC, looking back at the Chicago skyline from the shore of Lake Michigan as the city wakes up, and standing alone at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking at the Washington Monument across the darkness. These are the simple moments I enjoy and we can experience only because we run.

From the Padang, I made a quick trip to the Merlion, mythical half lion half fish, and then turned around to head back. Total trip, 12.5 miles, 9:05 pace.

I'll try to get a few more runs in this week. I start work tonight, working US hours from the local office here, i.e. I'll be "in" from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am SST or 8:00 am to 5:00 pm CST. Sad but true.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Calm Before The Storm

Tomorrow morning I plan to get up early and have one last, long, slow, purpose-less run. Next week I begin 18 weeks of training for NYC, and the pressure will be on to run and run right. Even though I want to train right, I'm not pushing for a PR as I understand NYC is not the place for that. Maybe Austin or Houston in 2010?

Unlike past marathon pursuits, I'm swamped at work this time and I don't expect to be chronicling much of this one, but I wanted to record this moment as I'm about to step up to the starting line for this tortuous journey. I've been base building since April 1, and I've dropped 11 lbs to a svelte (for me) 154. I haven't been this light since college. The magic this time was cutting down on portion sizes, especially at dinner. I've long eaten right, next to no fried stuff, no junk food, no donuts, lots of cottage cheese, a ton of cottage cheese, no ice cream, no burgers, no fries, no onion rings, no cold beers unless it's more than 90 degrees out, no Captain-and-Cokes except nights and weekends, no milkshakes, no key lime pies, no tiramisu, no cake ... well, except this one, my first cake this year, for my babies, who are babies no more, because two days ago they officially became ... TEENAGERS!!! Happy Birthday S&S!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Base Runner

It rained buckets last night. Windy too. I could see our trees in the backyard struggling mightily and noisily to stay grounded. Today's run is going to suck, I thought to myself, and went back to sleep.

At 6:30, half an hour after my alarm went off, I got up and looked outside. It was barely drizzling, quiet, overcast, with low gray clouds drifting slowly across the sky. It was just beginning to brighten.

Since starting back up in April, I've run a couple three times a week, 4 miles each time. Long(er) run on the weekend, maybe 5 or 6 miles. Last weekend I busted out and did 12. I planned to do it again this weekend.

I set out just before 7:00 and headed south, carrying $20 and 1 GU.

At mile 3.83, I ran alongside a wooden fenced-in backyard and heard a dog barking inside. If you know dogs, there's barking, and then there's barking - you know when something doesn't sound right. I peeked between the fence cracks and saw a German Shepard running back and forth, and a Chocolate Lab hanging onto the side of the pool with only 2 front paws out on the deck. I went to the front of the house and saw lights on inside; how could they not hear what was going on? On the other side of the house, the fence gate wasn't locked, but I wasn't sure about the German Shepard. I rang the doorbell. No answer. Maybe they left early. I knocked. A normal looking lady in a black dress answered.

"I think your dog fell into the pool"

She disappeared quickly and then I heard the barking stop. I went back to the fence and saw both dogs running along. Our Daisy fell into our pool once and it was not a good thing. That Lab owes today to you Daisy.

At mile 5, it starting raining. Then pouring. Instead of making for a crappy run, it was awesome! I sped up and clicked of the next few miles no problem. Running in the rain, I always remember back to Tampa, running in an exhilarating downpour.

I also spit less when it rains.

I never used to spit when running, until I ran this 20K with Susan. 5 minutes into my first run with her, she lets out a nice-sized dollop. It reminded me of the thing glass blowers start with to blow giant vases. 6 minutes into my first run with her, she mutters an apology and something about growing up on a farm. Ever since, I've had uncontrollable urges to spit while running.

Somewhere past mile 7, S&S&S drove by on their way out. They offered to give me a ride out of the rain but this was too much fun to give up! I got a bottle of water, took my GU, and moved on.

Google Maps had measured it at 12.2 miles using the highway, but at 11.19 miles, I met up with S&S&S at my destination - the 2009 Dallas Arthritis Walk. We've known Emily Z since she and our 7-th graders were in kindergarten. She has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and we've attended this walk the past few years. It's now an annual ritual and we're happy to support her - she was even the "Walk Hero" this year!

12 miles last week, 11 this week. I think my base is coming back.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Washington DC

Alas I did not get to run last Monday morning in DC. Some serious libations the previous night at an unmarked establishment near Dupont Circle put a dent in those plans. I had to look up my credit card receipt later to figure out where we had been. Highly recommended though!

Nevertheless, the next day, Sam and her buddies visited DC's finest monuments, recreating routes I had run several times before, usually in the pre-dawn hours, usually alone. Actually, always alone. More than once, I thought back to times when I ran past the White House, or ran down the Mall, or stood at the Lincoln, and had to share all that space with literally only 2 or 3 other sorry souls. Not this Easter Monday morning ...

Sam and I at the WH

Clarie, Max, and Sam

One of my favorites ... anyone know who / where this is?

Visiting Abe

I see this ... I think MCM ... I feel pain!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baltimore and Volleyball

We're in Baltimore this weekend, Sam and I. That's her sports name. We're at the Northeast Qualifier volleyball tournament playing at the 13's level. It's a great fun time for the girls, going out of town, staying in a hotel, hanging out with the team ... like an all-expense paid vacation. Which it is.

Sam and Max flirting with the boundaries of Coach K's list of approved food items.

Max (Libero #4) with Sam on her right.

These girls are super-fit!

I finally started running a week ago. It was a killer. Started on April 1 with 4 miles. Had to run-walk some of it. Signed up for NYC too on April 1. $187 big ones. That was a killer too - not sure which one hurt more.

At least that got me ready for running in Baltimore. Went with M. to the Inner Harbor, passing Camden Yards along the way. What a nice place to run and the weather was beautiful.

It rained today, so we ran on the treadmill at the hotel. We might get to run outside one more time, and then on Monday I'll be in DC. Can't wait to get out on the Mall for old time's sake.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Fatted The Run

I had no business trying to run 6 miles today. When Tiger Woods says something like "I fatted the ball into the water", that's how I felt, like I fatted out a run today. Barely.

Running has taken such a back seat that my stamina is nowhere near what it used to be. In the past 5 weeks, I've been to Detroit, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Houston, Austin, Nashville, and Pittsburgh again. Short in and out trips, but still. I've only eeked out a run every weekend or so, and I haven't been keeping up with your blogs. I'm sorry.

I'll get back eventually. There's something waiting at the end of the year that I can't miss, won't miss.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Steel Town

While Steeler fans were whipping themselves into a frenzy down in Tampa, I was on a flight to Pittsburgh (for work). I caught the coin toss on radio moments after getting into a cab, followed by the opening kickoff, and the first score. More action was caught on the lobby TV while 3 of the world's slowest travelers attempted to check in. Two of them (the male ones), left together apparently sharing one room - a sad and cruel reality of today's business travel that I have never experienced first-hand and hope to avoid like the plague.

I turned on the TV in my room to continue the game, drew the curtains, and found myself staring at an eerily empty Three Rivers Stadium, lit up like a Christmas tree, the surrounding area completely desolate.

I caught a clearer view this morning and traced a path from my hotel across the river to the stadium. After work, I decided to make the run while it was still warm, i.e. 30's, before it turns cold tomorrow (20's).

There will be a victory parade downtown tomorrow at noon, ending one block from my hotel. They expect more than 250,000 crazies from the Steeler Nation. Not tonight though.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Masthead!

Check it out ... thanks Susan!

I did my part to stimulate the economy. Holiday discount still available from the Masthead Factory!

I ran 4 miles today for the first time in 2 weeks. It was too frigid to go out last weekend, and work has been keeping me too busy. But at least I got a new masthead :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I can't let this day pass without posting something, even if this is a running blog, and I've barely been making it lately as a weekend-warrior-runner.

Much more than my running, I can't wait for America to get back on track. It's time to reverse course and make it better for the generation behind us.

"Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."
- President Barack H. Obama