Monday, July 4, 2005

Stephanie the Runner!

Having had the kids this weekend, I took myself the kids and my then girlfriend Ileana to Long Beach for the Firecracker 4K run.  I had gotten a registration form for this race while running the Long Beach City Manager's 10miler on Memorial Day.  I decided that it would be fun to try out an all-boardwalk run.

The resulting pace of 7:33 for this 4k (2.4854) mile run was as fastest this year, and fastest since my Norway run last October.  And that's even conservative by today's standards, but remembering that I had been out of commission as recent as march 26th with a broken leg, the fact alone that I was already running in my 6th race in as many weeks was a miracle of miracles.  I was still not 40 year (5 days shy), and doing my very best to be a thirty-something.

Despite a very hot,  humid and windy start to this day, I did very well. The sun was in my eyes on the way out, and I wished I had sunglasses. Back then, I wasn't as well-prepared as I am now (this article written - Feb. 27, 2012!)

The best part of this race however, wasn't me and of my continued comeback.  It was that Steffie was about to run in her first race ever.  I didn't even know that they had kiddie races until I got there, and I tried to see about getting Matthew to run, but he refused to do it.  Stephanie agreed, and that was before I noticed she had rubber aqua socks on.  Afterwards, I told her she didn't have to do it, but I think she did to make me happy. "Awwwwww"

The Pee Wee Race had a lot of little runners.  I was amazed by the number.  It almost looked as packed as the regular race that preceeded it.  I made sure I had Steffie line-up front.  When the horn blew, she started running.  It was so cute!  I could not help but root madly for her, like a silly boy.

The course was and out-and-back for her, much like it was for me, but instead of 4km it was more like 400 meters (about a 1/4 of a mile).  She did not win, but she did win my heart again.  It was wonderful to see her run in those cute pink plastic aqua shoes.  Afterwards, I took a ton of photos.

We finished the day taking in the sun on the beach but all in all it was a very memorable day.  Pictures below.

My race number.

My darling little Steffie!

Sister and Brotherly love.

Matt and his cheesy love.

Gettin' ready to run!


I couldn't get Matt to run, even after I slapped a running number on him!!!  :)

Daddy, am I going to be okay?

No wonder I didn't run so fast.  Rubber Aqua Shoes!!!

Steffie & a proud Daddy!

I don't know for the life of me what happened to my backpack...

At the starting line.

On the front line!

Steffie is running towards the finish line!!!

Almost there!!!!!

Yay!  I got a medal!!!! :-)

Matt gets a medal too (even though he didn't run)

Chillun on the Long Beach Boardwalk bench.

It was a bright day outside.

Exhausted after a hard-run on the wood!

Still have the belly!

I ran barechested.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Ice Man Cometh.

My first race of the Marathon year. I wake up. It's 5am. It's beyond frigid outside. The radio on my nighttable woke me at the moment the weather was on. 3 degrees was the reading, and with the added wind gust of about 20 miles per hour, well, just imagine.

Last week I sat at my new desk in Manhattan for MCI on 51st & Lex. I noticed a SuperRunner's shop inside of Grand Central Station. I went in, and had purchased several items. Two were going to be very handy today.... The turtle and the gator. Take a look:

My turtle hat, my gator ski mask. I bought both, and to tell you the truth, I look like a criminal! It would come in handy today though because between that, and this:

my Asics GoreTex wind-breaker jacket that I purchased the year before, and,

my winter long leg tights, I was prepared for the cold. But was I?

The biting cold made it's way through me as I left my car at the municipal lot under the "7" train in Long Island City. I usually park here to avoid the nightmare of finding parking in Manhattan. This morning, I parked my car near the Sunnyside Movie Theatre where I'd had seen Jaws a long, very long, time ago. It was ominously gray, and void of life to the point that I was nearly surprised to see the "7" actually come.

About 40 minutes, and two trains later, I get off at 86th & Lex, and made my way over to the park. More runners, I noticed, are making their way to the park too. 'Good. I'm not the only psycho.' I thought to myself.

I went into the Port-O-San for one final pee, and for all the toilet paper that I could muster to take with me. When it's cold out, my sinuses go haywire, and it makes it real tough to breathe with all those snots in my nose!

The race started, and the little warmth I had from being huddled with a bunch of shivering peeps, had soon dissipated. I could not believe how cold I felt, even with all my armament!

The run was going well, despite the trapped sweat becoming increasingly apprarent, and irritating. And then, it was time to wipe my nose of all the mucus. When I did, I was about to shove the tissue under the waist of my spandex pants, when I noticed what was on that tissue...."WHOA!! BLOOD!!!!"

Apparently, it had gotten so cold, that my blood vessels in my nose had broken, and blood had been flowing freely down my nose. Unfortunately, I have no gruesome visuals, but a musical nut that I am, perhaps this album cover can give you the gist of it...

I had read somewhere that if you keep wiping a bloody nose, that one thing for sure would happen. It would keep bleeding. I wasn't sure what to do. Run with my head up? What if I trip? Or get dizzy? Then what. Mother Nature however had the perfect answer. Freeze it. Within minutes all the sticky stuff coming out of my nose had frozen. I must have looked like a maniac when I crossed that finish line that day. I don't even remember how many people got even close to me, but I do remember one great moment in the train afterwards.

So I get back on the 6 train heading southbound. I don't have an available seat (incredible. even on a Saturday morning) so I am standing. People are looking at me, and I realize what they are looking at. My frozen blood. Insane turned to morbose soon however, as the warmth in the train, thawed out my "nosicles" to the point that they start breaking off and falling onto the train floor. Blood and mucus in ice form breaking on the floor. At this point, I felt like a real tough dude! No one was going to mess with me!!

Welcome to the first completed race of your comeback New York City Marathon year, Alex.