Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Ball!

I am still on the mend, but I ran my second straight day, pain free. I did 4 miles in just over 9 minutes per mile, and then was able to do another 2.5 miles on the oval later on. But the big news of the day wasn't me.....

....Matthew's first day in little league training camp!

A long drive to Rockland county, but Ily and I went there to see Matthew's first day. Along with Mike (his step-dad) and the other parents, I helped coach the kids there, plus I shamelessly filmed Matt too.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rehab's coming along.

Yesterday it was several hours on the elliptical and the stairmaster. Today it was my first run in a couple of weeks. I've been moving slowly, painfully so. I'm trying to keep my aerobic activity up, and my weight down, during this unwanted cutback on road mileage. So far, it is working.

I went jogging today with Bonnie and the rest of the Forest Park Road Runner's crew on this cold morning. I still have a cold, so extra layers were in order today.

The other day I went to see "Under The Same Moon" and tonight we saw "Run Fat Boy Run"
Reviews on both:

Under The Same Moon

This was a touching, heartwearming movie about an all too common plight for

migrant parents who do illegal work in the United States to provide for their sons and daughters left behind. Finally, a movie that puts the human side of the illegal immigrant, and the self-sacrifice that many put themselves through for the sake of their children. There were some very funny moments in the movie, but there were even more touching moments, especially towards the end, when little Carlitos comes to grip with what's actually going on. The film is not without it's flaws however, and one wonders why the mother made (or did not make), some of her decisions. Overall I would at least recommend this movie as a rental. It was worthwhile watching.

RATING: 6 out of 10 GONZOS
Run Fat Boy, Run!
I was excited about this movie for one obvious reason: Marathon. However, the race was only a small part of a movie that really was about a man who left his pregnant bride to be at the altar, only to be seething with jealousy 5 years later, when she winds up with someone a bit higher on the food chain than him. Of course, if you are like me, and LOVE stories about the underdog taking on a weatlhy, all-controlling, know-it-all banker stereotypes, then you will enjoy this film, despite it's many flaws. If you are not a runner, you'll learn what 'hitting the wall' means, but you probably won't learn much more than that. It's a bit unrealistic. Scratch that. It's highly unrealistic. However, comedies and reality are usually separated by a long leash anyway, so I won't fault it too much. The movie was fairly funny, but it did have several uneven moments, and the whole race preparation thing was very unrealistic (at least I thought so anyway). I would have given the movie a 4, but Thandie Newton is a babe.
Rating: 5 out of 10 Gonzos

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Much Needed Day Off.

Battling a cold, and still recovering from a podiatrist' diagnosis befitting that of an Evil Knievel hospital chart, I had a day off today. No work. No emails. No voicemails. Just relaxing.
And the gym.

The pool at LA Fitness is still broken. It will be for at least 2 more weeks. The men's and women's locker rooms next to the pool is also closed. Good thing I'm not a swimmer.
I thought that at very least the parking lot would be empty, so parking would be easy and quick. Wrong. Even at a quarter to 11 in the morning, the LA Fitness parking lot was as bad as any other day.

Today, was a fat-burning session day. That meant keeping my heart rate to 60% of my max heart rate, or about 110 beats per minute. Of course, this meant going frustratingly slow, and not burning as many calories, or as quickly as I would like to have.

I've been weighing under 160 now since Wednesday. The weight has been coming off gradually, but it is coming off. At the beginning of last week, I was 161.

Today, I did about 2 hours on the elliptical and 20 on the stair master. That stair master really makes me sweat. Then I got on a machine that works the calf muscle. I finished off with 200 leg curls (for my hammys).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

200 Posts Strong!

When I first started doing this blog, I really had no idea where it would take me. I figured it would be a useful tool to help coach me for future races, look back, etc. I had absolutely no idea however, that a year later, I would be submitting my bicentennial post. And here I am. Doh.

I went to my physical therapist again yesterday. My leg meanwhile has been feeling great. I was invited to run with the club last night, but I already had a prior committment to see "Under The Same Moon" (review below). The weather was nice too, 55F and sunny. Well, there will be more days. It was probably a good thing I didn't run either. Everyone in my office is getting a cough here, or a wheeze there, and I've been feeling a bit under the weather myself.

My weigh-in today was 159.4 and that marks 2 days in a row where I am under 160. The weight is coming off slow, but this is the right way. It's a major disruption to me to have to enter in calories for everything I eat, but when I do this, I focus on my intake, and I lose weight.

I will be skipping this weekend's Scotland Run race, opting instead to run with the club on Sunday a/o Saturday. In other club news, I just received a copy of the flyer for the race that we will be hosting in May. It looks good!

If anyone is interested in running a great race for a great cause (Memorial Sloan Kettering), then you should not pass this opportunity! Again, this is a 4-mile race that takes you through Forest Park. You'll run on the roads, you'll run on trails, and you'll start and finish on a beautifully-constructed oval track. I love that, because it's got a real olympic feel to it. Well, I won't shamelessly plug anymore, but it really is a unique race, I ran it last year, and it was well worth it!

I'll be going to the gym again tonight. Ho-Hum. I'm just killing to run the streets right now.
Patience. Patience. Ugh.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Physical Therapy Begins.

I went to my physical therapist for the first time today. Within minutes they were strapping a device around my leg, sending electical currents throughout the area to stimulate the increase of blood flow there, to help aid the recovery process.

After that, they took me to their "gym", and did all kinds of funny things as instructed. At one point, I called my therapist "Oscar Goldman". He got the reference right away and told me that he will consider giving me a bionic leg if I fail my tests.

This evening I went to LA Fitness and spent about 50 minutes on the elliptical machine. A member of my club, Bonnie, had given me a great idea about pool running, but the pipes handling the flow of water to the pool at my gym, had rusted and burst......Makes me glad I hadn't used the pool in quite awhile. Still, the half the lockers were closed, so I was inconvenienced a bit, having to bring my transpack in tow with me.

I finished the gym with an Extreme Body 50 milk shake drink. What a wonder drink this stuff is. 50 grams of protein, only 250 calories, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 23 vitamins, many of them 100% of the daily value. They are pricey (at $4 per pop), but worth the returns.

My next appointment for therapy is Wednesday. Let's see how that goes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Venture to Walk and Don't Run

After much convincing on my part, I finally got Ileana to come with me and join our running group. She is not a runner. Not yet, anyway. No walkers showed up this morning, so I stayed behind and walked with her. Frankly, I don't know why I did this. She has never wanted to be in shape, and hasn't even used her gym membership once this year. I guess I am just trying to see if we are compatible at ANYTHING. And I did not want to give her a reason to complain about yet another thing. Of course, being on the "injured reserve" list didn't hurt either, as walking turned out to be much better for me than even a light jog.

The walk was fast and brisk, but the impact was minimal, so therefore, it turned out to be a good day. We went a little over 3 miles, and got a good aerobic workout on this nice, sunny day. Knowing how far the members were going to run, and how long it would take for them to come back to the meeting place, we turned back and almost ran into them blocks from the finish.
There she met Brenda and Carol, Andy (short for Andrea), Tom, Marguerite (from at the beginning of the run), Lori who wizzed by us in Forest Park, Bonnie, and Jack, who was dressed in shorts and a tank top!!!!

Tomorrow begins my gym regimen. My doctor told me that I should not run for about a month. Okay, I'll listen. Tomorrow night, I'll be at the gym. And starting Tuesday it will be lunch and dinner. I might not be able to run, but I will do stretching exercises to strengthen my calf muscles (which the doctor also said). I know I'm sounding a bit angry (and really it's towards myself for not hearing my body better), but I will be damned if I remain sedentary. I am currently 159.8 right now, and I need to get stronger too. Walking in the pool, hamstring curls, abs, torso rotators, bench press, elliptical, you name it. I am going to be in the best shape of my life by the time my Long Island Half Marathon rolls around. There is NOTHING that I am going to let interfere in the way of my training.

Last night, I bought a 2 month supply of Biotin to help metabolise carbs, protein and fat. I also started taking Viactiv Calcium supplements twice daily. I think they were made for women, but what the hell, they taste great. Then, of all the vitamins I've seen, the most potent ones are the Centrum Silver Chewables. And between that and my potassium supplements, I should be well loaded for now.

Sleeping. I've been averaging 6.5 hours of sleep per night. That's going to change. Starting tonight, 8 hours and not a REM-sleeping second less.

"Ain't no stopping us now" is playing as I write this. I'm pumped!

RICE = Rest Icing Compression Elevation. For treatment of my injury.
ELMO = Eat Less More Often. For better metabolism, and keeping weight gain off.
ALEX = Achieving Lustful EXcellence. (Okay, I made that one up...Doh!)

Regarding RICE, here's an article taking from the sportsmedicine website:
The R.I.C.E. Method of Acute Injury Treatment Includes:
Rest: Resting is
important immediately after injury for two reasons. First, rest is vital to
protect the injured muscle, tendon, ligament or other tissue from further
injury. Second, your body needs to rest so it has the energy it needs to heal
itself most effectively.
Ice: Use ice bags, cold packs or even a bag of
frozen peas wrapped in a thin towel to provide cold to the injured area. Cold
can provide short-term pain relief. It also limits swelling by reducing blood
flow to the injured area. Keep in mind, though, that you should never leave ice
on an injury for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer exposure can damage
your skin. The best rule is to apply cold compresses for 15 minutes and then
leave them off for at least 20 minutes. (Read The Proper
Use of ICE
Compression: Compression limits swelling, which slows down
healing. Some people notice pain relief from compression as well. An easy way to
compress the area of the injury is to wrap an ACE bandage over it. If you feel
throbbing, or if the wrap just feels too tight, remove the bandage and re-wrap
the area so the bandage is a little looser.
Elevation: Elevating an injury
reduces swelling. It's most effective when the injured area is raised above the
level of the heart. For example, if you injure an ankle, try lying on your bed
with your foot propped on one or two pillows.
After a day or two of
R.I.C.E., many sprains, strains or other injuries will begin to heal. But if
your pain or swelling does not decrease after 48 hours, make an appointment to
see your primary care physician or go to the emergency room, depending upon the
severity of your symptoms.
Once the healing process has begun, very light
massage may improve the function of forming scar tissue, cut healing time and
reduce the possibility of injury recurrence.
Gentle stretching can be begun
once all swelling has subsided. Try to work the entire range of motion of the
injured joint or muscle, but be extremely careful not to force a stretch, or you
risk re-injury to the area. Keep in mind that a stretch should never cause pain.
For proper stretching technique, review Flexibility
Heat may be helpful once the injury moves out of the acute
phase and swelling and bleeding has stopped. Moist heat will increase blood
supply to the damaged area and promote healing.
Finally, after the injury
has healed, strengthening exercises can be begun. Start with easy weights and
use good form. See Strengthening

I read an article last night about the potential ill effects that can be caused by breathing in the fumes from a bag of microwave popped buttered popcorn. Apparently studies show that diacetyl, a naturally occurring element in burning butter, is sprayed in a flourocarbon base onto the inside lining of the plastic coating of the popcorn bag. Advice? STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING INVOLVING PLASTIC AND MICROWAVES! According to the study, people have come down with "popcorn" lung. Inflamed bronchial tubes, shortness of breath, and even cancer. Nasty stuff. Staw away from it. Play it safe, and just go for the air-popped popcorn. I used to eat microwave buttery popcorn for many years, until a couple of years ago. God help me.

The NYRR club announced that due to "concerns from the Brooklyn community" the Brooklyn Half Marathon is being pushed back from Saturday, April 26th to Saturday May 3rd (Good catch, DebbieJRT !!!!). So, if someone had registered to run in that race, plus the Long Island Half Marathon on Sunday, May 4th, then you are essentially looking at a marathon's worth of running that weekend. Truthfully, it is something that I would have definitely tried, prior to this injury. At this point, it will be lucky if I could do one, let alone both. I am registered for the LI Marathon (which I will be downscaling to a half), so it looks like I'll be missing another Grand Prix this year....Oh Well.....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blogrunner Is Blogbroken.

That's what I feel right now.
I went to my orthopedist today, because as I've been mentioning on and off during my previous blogs, that I've had a minor pain in my left leg.
Well, it was not so minor.
The doctor calls it Multiple Fatigue Fractures......I just call it plain bad genetics.
Why, oh Why!
He showed me my x-ray. I could see the new bone forming up and down the interior part of my leg, above the tibia, but well below the knee. Doc says that I should refrain from any high-impact exercises for a month. The means no running. Of course, I countered, and he did say that inevitably it will be up to me to know when to say when.
I've got a follow-up appointment with him in mid-April, and even have a visit for physical therapy next Monday. I definitely don't need PT, but he referred me to a running coach (Joe Colleen) who I should see. Unfortunately, the PT office cannot let me see him until I go through the motions and get an eval first.

What do I think about all of this?

Well for one, I think that the health care system in the United States is right up there with blackmail, and extortion and other fun white-collar crimes. I'm joking of course, but I am so fed up of this system where one has to make 18 co-pays to different people to get to where you need to get to. While I was waiting in the office today, Forbes magazine talked about hospitals. 1 out of every 200 patients that stay 1 or more nights in a hospital DIE. 100,000 people a year die unecessarily in hospitals due to hospital infection. That's more than AIDS, breat cancer, and automobile accident-related deaths per year, combined. In fact, 5 times as many people die in hospitals as a result of negligence than those who have no health care at all. So, instead of our presidential candidates barking about health care for everyone, they should also focus on fixing the quality of care everyone would be getting as well.

Secondly, I know that I'm not 100%, and I know I needed to rest my leg (hence the absence from exercise this week), but I also don't think that it's as bad as he said. I took a look the x-rays too. It wasn't bad. I might not be a doctor, but we both have the same eyes. Perhaps, it might be time for an second opinion. He mentioned that I needed to stretch more (always has been an issue with me), and the I needed to do exercises to strengthen my calf. On that note, I don't know what else I can do, other than take a leave of absence from my work, and run across America like Forrest Gump. My calf is like a cannon. There's just no room left for more muscle, and I'm not saying this to be cute either. Perhaps, if I weighed less, than my impact would be less. However, losing weight also usually means losing bone mass as well. That's opposite of what I want know isn't it?

Thirdly, I know I screwed up by doing 5 races so far. From here on out, I will not do more than one speed race (10k or less) per month. My heart's always stronger than my brain. So my willpower is always trumping my sense of reason. Dangerous and heroic.

What's the next steps for the Blogrunner who has been faced with his kryptonite (bad left tibia) again?

1. Limit my runs to just twice a week for the next month.
2. Cancel all my races until the Long Island Marathon.
3. Change my Long Island Marathon into a Long Island Half-Marathon. Forget the competition, and focus more on the post race picnic that the Forest Park Road Runners will be holding.
4. Go to the gym 3 times a week, but do ZERO footstrike-impacts (need to see if I can do the stairmaster).
5. Keep a CLOSE eye on my caloric intake, especially now that my workouts are going to be reduced.
6. Take calcium supplements, and get protein shakes/meal replacements to help with the restoration process.
7. Spend 30 minutes a day massaging the afflicted area.

Truthfully, my leg really does feel fine. This is why I need a second opinion, because either it's not as bad as they say it is, or this is almost like a repeat of 2005. That year, I went all the way, completely fracturing my leg at my lower interior tibia (ouch). It hurt, and got worse as I ran a half-marathon (Brooklyn) with it, and then that horrible race in Randall's (Sulfer Stink) Island.

UGH. I hate this shit.

My blogs will continue however, for better or worse. At least I have no stress fractures on my fingers.... :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fred LeBow Movie Premiere. The Countdown Has Begun!


The much-anticipated documentary film, "Run For Your Life" is about Fred LeBow's, the man
who founded the 5-boro New York City Marathon, which in many people's opinion is the greatest Marathon event ever put together. The movie dates are out! It will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival Sunday, April 27th at 3:30pm.

Below is a film preview of "Run For Your Life". Even if you are not into running, Fred LeBow's life was so interesting, that you will be compelled to go and see this movie. The following is a direct synopsis taken from from the filmmaker's website promoting the film:
The Story: One of the most influential and unlikely American icons, Fred
Lebow fled his orthodox home in war-torn Europe and found his calling when he
brought together a ragtag group of runners for the first NYC Marathon in Central
Park. In 1976, Lebow took the race through all five boroughs, bringing a divided
city together and sparking a worldwide fitness boom. Lebow lived for the NYC
Marathon yet only ran the five borough race once, in a race against the odds.
From Emmy-nominated filmmaker Judd Ehrlich comes this remarkable story of how
one man ran for his life and inspired millions to do the same.

And now the preview:

The film's producers are Flatbush Pictures. They are a non-profit picture company responsible for producing a wonderful assortment of movies including documentaries like, "MAYOR OF THE WEST SIDE", recently nominated for a 2007 Emmy Award for Best Documentary by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The current blogsite advertising the Fred Lebow story is:

To learn more about Flatbush pictures' goto:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Pats

Yes. These are the prestigious photographs taken of me, having fun with my GF on St. Patty's Day. As you can see, I am Mr. Green. What I am not sure was whether or not, these pictures were taken of me before the Guinness Extra Dark Stout was consumed, before the Jack Daniels was imbibed, or after the Corned beef was digested. All I know is that it was a four leaf clover day for me!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Diet....Round 3

How pathetic, right? Already my third attempt and we're only in March? However, I'd like to look at it from the angle that I won't quit until I get what I want.....even if I continue to screw up along the way....

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. Holidays for me (like I'm sure it is for most of you) are difficult. Yes, I will be having corned beef and potatoes. That's the bi-product of having a GF who is all-to-eager to cook. And she's one helluva cook too. It's like a ying-yang. On one hand, I should curse her prowess in the kitchen, and yet on the other, I'm thinking of building an effigy of her to worship when it comes to food.



I must buy foods that are consistent with health.

Eating pizza once a week as a reward for my training is good. Three times a week is not good.
Having a nutritious snack is good. Snickers Bars? Ugh.
Eating 5 times a day is better than 3 times a day....Provided I'm not socking down 600 calories per sitting.

I recently read the April '08 issue of Runner's World and saw a pretty compelling formula for weight reduction that I might use. I already know how many calories I should be consuming
per day (and how I've been breaking that rule, ugh), but here's another way of calcluating it.

[1] Multiply your goal weight by 10.
I am 162 pounds right now. So, 1620.

[2] Add 20 percent of that number if you sit at a desk all day; 50 percent if you're moderately active; or 70 percent if you're moving all day.
I am a voice systems engineer. Computer jockey, in other words. Looks like 20 percent for me.
That makes it 1944.

[3] Add the number of calories burned during your workouts.
And for that see this table below:

In my case, my training average is usually around 9 min per mile avg, and nearly an hour average, so let's go with 700 calories. That makes my new total 2644.

[4] Reduce the total by 15 percent.
That makes my final total 2247.

Interesting. In my club my total calories was much less. I think it was about 1900 or so calories that I could consume per day.

I am currently 162 pounds. I would like to go down to 150 pounds. Can I do this? Should I do this? I happen to be about 5'7" in height, so one might say that I'm not obese. However, my stomach has always been my problem. I have a belly. It's not tremendous, but it's there. AMA states that at my height a male should weigh no more than 160.

My problem has always been that when I reduce in weight that I increase a tendency to be injured or feel listless. I think it might be because I'm probably reducing the amount of nutrients that I still need, when I reduce my caloric intake. Also, and recently, I've noticed a great, positiveresponse to my body taking on high doses of protein (combined with some carbs) within an hour of my workout. So, I am thinking that perhaps, when I reduce calories, I am also reducing protein intake as well, which is not a good thing to my body's ability to repair, especially after a strenous workout. In the past, my primary (natural) sources of protein usually involve meats. Meats are not necessarily high in calories, but sometimes they can be high in cholesterol. Recently, I had my blood checked and my numbers came back borderline high. The count was 213 overall , however my doc told me not to worry too much because my HDL portion of that was 48, which is good.

So where the hell am I going with all this?

Diets are a pain in the ass. That's where I am going with all this. Diets are a pain in the ass because it requires a constant monitor of this or that or the other. It's almost as much a drain on my brain as it is in my stomach. So the question much do I really want this?

One way to keep a track of all of this is to revisit . This website is unsurpassed for keeping a track of not only calories, but all other items as well (carbs, protein, etc) and best of all its FREE.

The latest tally:

I've also exercised off 700 calories today as well. So, if you add that to my net target of 1946, that's 2646, and I've eaten only 2306. Net loss=340 calories.

3500 calories = 1 pound of weight. In order to lose 2 pounds this week (starting tomorrow), I will need to eat 7000 calories less than my target. My target (without exercise) in one week is 13,622 calories. That means I would only be able to eat about 946 calories per day. Ugh. However, if I can exercise off 700 calories a day, then I can go up to 1646 calories per day. It's still a lot less than what I am use to, but I think it is doable.

Doable after tomorrow St. Patty's day event, that is.....

My first meeting..

This morning I attended my first meeting held by the Forest Park Road Runners Club. Between the runs and the meets, it's all helping me to be more of a morning person.LOL!

Anyway, the meeting went great, as Jack spoke about the club, the new club team rule changes that the NYRRs have done this year, and our participation in this year's highly awaited Forest Park 4 Mile race, which will be held on May 18th this year. Not because I'm a member or anything, but it's a great race. It's one of the only races in New York City that combines all ground surfaces (asphalt, track, trail, etc). About the only negative of being in the club, is that I will probably be helping out instead of actually running the course. If anyone reading this lives in the area and is interested, just send me a comment with your email, and I'll be happy to forward you this information. This year should be the best race yet!

I met a lot of new people today at the meeting which took place in the clubhouse just outside of Victory field. They brought bagels, spreads, coffee and juice. Everyone seems real nice and I think this club will be a great fit to my normal running regimen. I also met the lady in charge of recording our results. LOL. She mentioned she was happy to finally meet me. Apparently, I had advised New York Road Runners that I was in the been in the FPRR since January, and ran several races, but only recently did I realize, "Hey, where's the runs, where's the newsletter, etc etc?" Apparently, my check never got sent as I found it scattered among my other stuff a few weeks ago. Well, I'm in the club now, and I'm really looking forward to run well on behalf of them now as well as myself.

We also talked about a group outing for the upcoming Fred Lebow movie that's going to play at the Tribeca Film Festival. Later on in the meeting, they raffled off unopened bottles from the club party they held a month ago....and I won a bottle! Another new member, Brenda, had also won a bottle too. I actually ran with them today, and they are pretty good runners! Bonnie had brought in shirts and headbands and I bought one.

As for my run, I could have ran the 6 mile course, but opted for the smaller 4 miler instead. My shin is still in pain, so I've been icing it. I'm going to call Dr. Parisi in the morning and have it checked out.

As for running the Long Island Marathon, I don't feel ready. Also, the Brooklyn Half Marathon, the week earlier, is a club points race. So, I may change my marathon into a half, and add the Brooklyn the week before.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

There Will Be Laughter.

Perhaps I am just overtired, and perhaps this is why I just can't stop laughing right now.
Every so often I go on YouTube in search of comedy. I cracked up when I saw this. It is a spoof on There Will Be Blood.

Every time I see this and I think of the title "There Will Be Brown", I just start laughing.
I think I am losing it! Oh well, going to bed now. Goodnight everybody.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Still on the fence about tomorrow...

I'm still not sure whether or not to race tomorrow. Sure, if I run then that would be one less race to qualify for the Marathon next year. And yes, I did already hand over a non-refundable, non-transferrable fee of $17 dollars. Yet, it's going to be miserable tomorrow morning, I'm going to have to get there by no later than 6:30am (5am wakeup call), because I have no time today to get my running number. I have to get my kids tonight....etc etc.... lots of excuses, right? Perhaps the best excuse of all is that my left leg is still acting up a bit, and I would rather do a long run, then to do a short explosive one in the slippery road.....Okay, I think I've just made up my mind and I'm going to blow the NYRR8000 off. There's just too many reasons not to run tomorrow, and I am all too familliar that's there's a fine line between competitiveness and blindness. Perhaps my compromise might be to just run with my club both days. Sunday is my first club meeting. I'm actually pretty excited about it. That, and the *bagel* I will probably consume (oh, brother).

My Garmin 305 came with a heart monitor, which I have not used. Until today. Everything's okay, but I am going to use it to see my heart rates at various speeds. If it is true that fat burning is your primary source of fuel when your heart is at 60% of it's max rate, then I need to know what means to me in terms of my speed. The equation for heart max rate is 220 - current age. So my max heart rate is 178. 60% of 178 is 106. Even when I am running slow, I think my rate is at about 120. However, this might have answered the question of why it is I sweat like a pig when I'm using the Stairmaster, which does not require my body to go into overdrive.

I'm going to go to SUNY Farmingdale's track (hoping that it was completed-last year it was under construction), but if not there then I'll just head over to LA Fitness. I'll come back here then to post my progress and prognosis.

Meantime, the Tribeca Film Festival is rapidly approaching. Last year, I just meandered around there, but this year I have a bonafide reason to attend. "Run For Your Life" is a documentary about the life of Fred Lebow, arguably still the heart and soul of the New York Road Runner's Club. Without him, there would be no 5-borough NYC Marathon. I already saw a preview and it looks fantastic as well as ... funny? This might turn out to be a group outing with the Forest Park Road Runner's club, as I found out about this from them on email earler today.

Nothing from You Tube that I can post here just yet, but here's the link to the site and
to the movie preview. The premiere is slated to be held at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

In other entertainment news:
"Seventeen concert dates on the Van Halen tour are being rescheduled so that Eddie Van Halen, who is currently under doctors' care, can continue medical tests to define a course of treatment," ├╝ber-promoter Live Nation said in a statement. "The tour will resume on April 19."
Ugghh! Looks like I'll be having extra time to enjoy my corned beef, cabbage, mashed, and Guiness (though I might be leaning on Killean's this year to suffice my quest for Irish suds).
I had great tickets for that concert too. Hopefully, it does get rescheduled, and it's not on a date where I can't go... Else......ebay anyone? My seats are the first section off the floor, dead center, 2nd row!!! Well, at least there's always Billy Joel at Shea this summer. In the meantime, I offer the nastiest picture I can find of Eddie and offer these words...... Eddie, if you fell off the wagon because of your ex's tell-all book, then please get back on. We need you onstage!! Get well soon!

Lastly, it looks as if the NYRR's club has come up with an easy way for it's members (like me) to volunteer for a race. As we all learned last month, we must now volunteer to help out at a race, (in addition to the 9 NYRR, qualifier completed races) in order to gain acceptance at next year's NYC Marathon. I have to say, they've created an excellent API online for this:

La Vie En Rose Starring:Marion Cottiard

This movie was good.

Okay. Let me give you a more descriptive review. This is the true life story of Edith Piaf (Piaf means 'Little Sparrow' in French) and how she grew up in terrible conditions but yet somehow became the toast of Paris. Her voice and her melodies may not suit contemporary tastes, but to the French, she was Elvis back in the 40's. I really liked this movie as the story was well crafted, albeit it did bounce around the timeline a little too liberally. Her acting was fantastic, so I can see easily why she edged Ellen Page in Juno for the Academy Award for Best Actress. I still cling to the fact that Jodie Foster's role in The Brave One, was great, but I also have to admit that there was a bumper crop of fine performances this year, and she might very well have been the 3rd best of the year in the Actress category. Don't worry about the subtitles, this movie is very visually well told, and will have you glued to your chair even after the credits appear. As for foreign films, I still don't understand why The Diving Bell and The Butterfly did so well. Both were French movies, but I must say, this movie was so much better in just about every cat.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Gonzos

And I said to my friend Serge Gilodi, when climbing the last few yards of Mijas Mountain in Spain, back in the summer of '82...... "Viva La France!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Direct TV can't even add....

See if you can spot what is wrong with this picture......
Several days ago I wrote to the Direct TV customer service department. I told them what was wrong with this advertisment, and had asked them to pass my message along IMMEDIATELY to their advertising department.
If you look above, Direct TV is offering up to 64 games to watch the NCAA tournament. Problem is, that there aren't 64 games in the tournament.

I first noticed this error not on their website, but on the TV. The picture you see above is the same advertising that they have shown on TV about 100 times. "64 games!" "Watch all 64 games!" They exclaim this point over and over, and then show the text "64 games" in such a size, that you would have to be legally blind not to see it. I guess they must think, our brain is not able to comprehend the fact that they are telling us that we can actually see 64 games in the tournament, so they drill it into our heads. As if our brains were small enough to fit inside of the same Coca Cola bottle cap that theirs do.

If Direct TV had someone who could even do 2nd grade math, then they would know that there are only 63 games in the tournament. And if these people truly gave a shit about sports in general, then they would know the number of games in a single-elimination, non-by, tournament, will always be one less than the number of teams involved. For example, if the tournament only consisted of 2 teams, you'd have 1 game. You'd also have a pretty stupid tournament too. Just right for the aptitude of say a company like Direct TV to carry. If you had 8 teams, then you would have 7 games.

Here, let me break it down even better (in case you are from Direct TV and want to learn something better than what time the clock on the office wall reads.... )

The NCAA tournament consists of 64 teams that are paired up.

64 teams in round 1 facing off = 32 games
32 teams in round 2 facing off = 16 more games
16 teams in the sweet sixteen = 8 more games
8 teams in the semis = 4 more games
4 teams in the final four = 2 more games
2 teams in the national championship = 1 final game

NOW DO THE MATH by adding up all the games...... 32+16+8+4+2+1 = 63

63 GAMES. NOT 64 GAMES. 63.

As typical, I got an automated response. And also as typical no one has given me a REAL reply.

Direct TV = Lousy Customer Service.

But that's okay. Because now I just point and laugh at the TV, and know that I will never give my money to a company that can't even add to 64. Even my 7 year old boy can add to 64.

Direct TV = Incompetency.

Okay, my bashing it over for now... As for my training this week. It absolutely sucks. We have had a slew of issues at work this week, and I literally took my first lunch since Sunday. I was up last night till 1:30 in the morning, and it looks like I am going to be too tired to even go to the gym tonight. Between that, and the fact my race is at 7:30 in the morning that morning, the weather is going to be miserable, I haven't ran since Sunday, and that my left leg is still an issue, I think I am going to cancel. Bah.

Even if I don't cancel, I have to get my number, and since the race is Saturday, how am I going to get my number when I also have to get my kids this Friday? There's so much going on right now, I'm getting tired just writing all of this. LOL.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hand Socks & Dog Fights


Today was much colder than what was advertised. Even without the wind, the cold temps made it feel colder than last week. The wind was far stronger today than at Coogan's, and the only solace was the body warmth from the initial line up.

I decided not to drive in and take the subway instead.

I wound up getting to the park over an hour early, so I gave myself some time to warm up, and do some easy jogs. Today was a complete workout. Besides the race, I must have either jogged and or walked a total of 5 additional miles. The benefits of not bringing your car.

Pictures of Central Park in the Late Winter:

I looked around for members of my team. I think I saw Jose (based on photos I saw from the FPRR website) but we were all in a hurry. I had just come back to the baggage area for the 3rd time to get my GU packs. I don't know how the volunteer didn't mark me as suspicious for doing this!


The nice thing about doing the 15K is the start time. The gun went off at 10:15am. Most often, races usually begin at 8am, but as there was a 4-mile race before this (with another 2600+ runners), I was able to sleep late today. Sleeping late = 7am.

As always it seems, I thought was well prepared. But yet, as always, I forgot two things (one of them I didn't even realize until I got to the front door of my home...can you guess what it was?) The thing I forgot was to bring my gloves. My hands were frozen numb. "Manos de Piedra", Spanish translation for "Hands of Stone", famously branded by a long-time welterweight legend Roberto Duran, my hands felt like they were about to be frostbitten. Warmer temps my ass (oh, and speaking of ass...remind me to tell you's pretty funny).

I looked in my transpack. No gloves. But I did find something else. Embarrasing as it was, I had no choice but to choose comfort over vanity. Swallowing my pride, I eagerly slid my tube socks, one over each of my hands. Ahhh...

I had my bagel and chocolate milk at around 7:30, but needed to get something more to drink, so I bought a Gatorade for $3.00 (okay Dad, tell me you love NY again...). Hey, the water was the same price, so why not get some 'electrolytes' for free? As it was, I think it was a good choice in the end. There was not one Gatorade stop anywhere along the course.

The course. So it was nearly two main loops (not full loops-it didn't include Harlem Hill) counter clockwise around Central Park. The sun was our friend, but the wind hit us hard from the west. The first time we went up Cat Hill, I was energized, so it didn't phase me much, but the second time around was definitely a thinking-man's moment. I was nearly feeling nauseous, but held on, and went on to get my second wind.

Along the course, there was a runner (#176) who really helped me. We wound up changing leads several times. It was some dog fight. She even bumped into me at one point as we went downhill along the westside after mile 7. But I had my sights on a New York Flier (#11706), who had passed me sometime back. It was a photo finish. I stormed past him in the final yards. Another dog fight. Woof. LOL. Turns out he still had a much better time than me, probably because he was lined up far behind me. To me, one of the most enjoyable reasons to race is for the sake of competition. I don't know if I ever will be a champion (although I will keep working harder and harder), but I do know that there are self-imposed battles out there on the field, which for me, makes it a lot of fun. I have just as much fun losing, as I do winning. For example, when I finished my race, I immediately headed over to the results booth. Having just joined my club, I wanted to see how I did within my group. Not having seen anyone in front of me, made me feel like, "Wow. Was I the first Forest Park Road Runner finisher?" There's good and bad to this. The good is obvious. It means you are the best at something. The bad? Nowhere to improve! I actually like being the underdog.

And so, when I got home, and saw that Jose Tacuri smoked my butt, as I knew he would/should, I was actually happy. Happy, because it gives me determination to do better next time. And most importantly, I think it's a good attitude to foster, as it's all in the name of fun. Meantime, and if you are reading this, Jose, you are an awesome runner. Too bad you live in the Bronx, because I'd love to know what your regimen is! Congratulations for a great outing today!

When I finished my run, I was winded. I quickly renewed though, and made my wind through the masses to find a very interesting exhibit. A giant colon. It was built by someone to illustrate cancer inside of the colon. You basically walk inside the colon and see the different stages of polyps along the route. I happen to think this is a very effective educational piece, because it is somewhat humorous that someone built a replica of a colon large enough for a person to walk through. Once inside, I yelled out, "now I know where my bagels going". A bunch of other colon-ists laughed inside with me. A laughing colon. Hah! Anyway, I think we raised a lot of money for this good cause today. Between all three races, I believe there were over 8000 contributors!

Here's a picture of me right before I go into the colon.

I'm pictured right in front of an asshole....I've always wanted to see that in print....

Fortunately, my final results were not as shitty. I shattered my previous 15K run by nearly 5 full minutes, some 3 years ago. Still, I feel I could have done a lot better. My training, and this is a pun intended, has been feeling constipated as of late. I'm making marginal improvements, but I want to make more improvements. My left leg never hurts outright, but it always feels like the black sheep of my family of limbs, and I'm seriously considering seeing a doc, and getting an MRI. Sometimes, I feel like I hold back because of my leg. Although, I didn't today during the last 100 yards. Also, am I too heavy? I'm 161. I can't starve myself, because doing that would destory muscle tissue. Somehow, I need to get MORE nutrients in LESS calories and, here's the biggest obstacle of all: FEEL LESS HUNGRY!

So, this completes my 6th qualifying race for the 2009 NYC Marathon. My results (intervals, overall placement, etc) can be found at this link here:
NY Colon Cancer Challenge Results

Next Saturday is the NYRR8000, and then the Scotland Run 10K on the 30th. After that, all I have to do is to volunteer in one NYRR sanctioned road race, and I'm good to go (my 2008 NYC Marathon is the 9th qualifier). Speaking of qualifying, my group is looking for assistance for the May 16th Forest park run. I might forego running this race, and opt instead to help out. I have my kids this weekend, but perhaps I could help out at the start/finish, this way I could bring my kids along, and keep them out of trouble.

On a non-running note, I played catch with Matthew yesterday morning, after my inaugural group run with the team. Matthew has a good eye for hitting, but he needs practice in all areas, specifically his fielding. He needs to improve his spatial skills to interpret fly balls, and he needs to work with his glove better. If I have time today, I may take him outside for a quick catch.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Inaugural Run with the Forest Park Road Runners!


I’m writing this in MS Word right now, because the blogger servers which have always been very reliable are down right now.

This morning I got up early not to race, or to train as I normally do, but to do something special and that was to enjoy my first training run with my new group the Forest Park Road Runners Club.

As their website confirms, The Forest Park Road Runners club is a Queens-based running club that has been in existence for twenty-eight years. Like most good clubs, FPRR has additionally taken the responsibility in being committed to raise money for good causes, and even sponsors a series of 1 mile races and a 4 mile race, for the benefit of cancer research, to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

This morning, after having my obligatory toasted buttered egg bagel at the Baker’s Dozen Bagels shop on Lefferts, I headed over to meet the club. They generally meet on Woodhaven, near the park house (about a block from the Myrtle Av. intersection).

I finally got to meet Bonnie, Tom (not Brogan, another Tom), and Jack (who I met along with Maggie at Club Night). There were some others there, and truthfully, I’ll have to remember all the names pretty soon.

We started running north through Forest Park. The weather seemed more like London weather than anything else. A little less humid would’ve been perfect for me, but it was a good day for running just the same. Along the course, another runner, Laurie (or Lori?) met up with us, and I did my best to keep up with her.

It’s funny how this sport can bring every day strangers together, and how within seconds we can easily talk to one another. Like, I’ve always said, runners are a special type of people. We instantly find kinship with one another for the common good of life.

Today, we only ran 4 miles, since there is a race tomorrow. Jack is running the 15k, and I think Bonnie is running the 4-miler. I’ve run the Colon Cancer 4-miler twice before. I did it in 31 minutes flat in 2005, and 30:20 in 2007 (7:35pace). Since I’m trying to up my single-day long runs, I’ve decided to do this as a 15k. I’ve only run a 15k once before, the Al Gordon 15K in 2005. My time was 1:22:15 (8:51pace). But even with all these numbers, in the end, I’m basically running for the apples and the bagels. I love food. My downfall. LOL.

The blogger service is still unavailable. Wow. Was it something I did? That’s the catholic guilt talking. Drilled into me by Sister Maria Goretti of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs.

A couple of days ago, I registered for the NYC Half-Marathon sponsored by Nike. Last year, it was weird. I thought I was entering the lottery, and instead, I was accepted right on the spot. This year however, I am in the lottery. Wish me luck.

Actually, there is a great organization called Team For Kids. ( )
The organization is made up of runners around the world who raise funds for children that get little or no physical education after school. So far more than 25,000 children in needy areas around the main cities in the US (and in South Africa) have benefited from this program, which is organized by the New York Road Runners Foundation.

The other reason why I am promoting them on my blog, besides the obvious good, is that if you join the Team for Kids, you will get guaranteed entry into the ING New York City Marathon 2008 and the NYC Half-Marathon Present by NIKE. To learn more or to register just click on the link above. Even if you don’t need to gain entry into either race, but still want to involve yourself in a worthy cause, then you should still check it out.

So.....I just checked out the Forest Park Road Runners website ( )), and noticed the updated newsletter with a mention of me!!! Thanks guys!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Club Night.

Yesterday, the New York Road Runner's had their annual "Club Night" party. It was hosted in the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton on 54th & 6th Avenue.

The tickets were a little steep $72 per head, but having skipped it for three years in a row, I figured I was overdue to partake in some fun.

My day at work was very productive, and I was even given 1/2 day off for all the hard work that I had been putting in. In a time when job loyalty is hard to find, and when a good boss is even more challenging then that, I am blessed to have a good boss and a good job.

First place I went to after going into Manhattan was to the club itself on 89th street. I had to get my running number for this Sunday's Colon Cancer Challenge Race. I've done great in years past with this 4 miler, but I am taking it a step further this year, opting for the longer 15k (9.3 miles) instead.

After getting my running number, we still had some time to kill before the party. Plus, the special rates at the parking garage did not take into effect until 5:30pm, so we spent a little while in the gift shop of the Guggenheim Museum, right around the corner from Road Runners.

The weather had gotten considerably colder as the winds kicked up, and I was only to happy to finish my long walk from the garage and into the Hilton. I would later find out that Hilton was giving out parking vouchers to all of us. That sucked. The only reason why I parked elsewhere was because the person at Hilton who answered the phone mentioned that parking was offsite, and was $30. Oh well, at least I got my exercise for the day.

The grand ballroom was on the third floor. Scores of runners, all decked out in dark suits and short dresses were already there. By the time we were allowed to actually enter the ballroom, there were already about 1000 of us strong. Wow.

While we waited along with everyone else, I enjoyed a few glasses of McWilliams, a nice Shiraz from South Eastern Australia. There were several tables with cheese, crackers, apples and grapes. There were also several waitors walking around with hot plates too. It was nice.

When we finally did get inside the ballroom, I was shocked to see how massive it was. There were 80 tables (each sitting 10), and a large dancing floor in the middle. Up in front was a stage with steps going up on either side. The stage was easily 100 feet long. Behind the stage was a large projector screen, and on it was a dazzling video of runners from various "road runner" events that have taken place last year. The ballroom had a promenade that wrapped around the entire area, and the ceiling was easily 25 feet high. It was pretty spectacular.

We were sat down at table 68. The centerpiece was a vase with white lillies (for you ladies interested in these shinanigans). Every table belonged to one road club or another. Their were placards on each showing the name of the group. New York Harriers, West Side Track Club, Nike Athletics, you name it. They were all there and in force. My table's group name was Open Seating (I am such an ass) .

Anyway, it was interesting to see a nice little desert plate for each of us, and in front of that our first course for the evening. Salad. No sooner did we get comfortable, but a group of ladies sat down to my left. They all work at Long Island Jewish hospital they told me, and the lady to my immediate left was telling me about her upcoming race at the New York City Marathon. Grace went on to tell me how much fun the Disney maraton in Orlando was, plus the Tunnel to Tower race in Manhattan. Two people in two weeks have now told me about this race. My interest is peaking.

Another couple, sat down next to me. I got the guy's name as Oscar but forgot his wife's name. Anyway, Oscar (Uruguayan) and his wife (Dominican) have 4 children, live in Ossining, and were pretty happy to make it to the event. Apparently, they were late because of some babysitting issues, but were very friendly and outwardly and we talked a lot about running. As the night went on though, they seemed to be having a lot of fun too. With each other. I have to give them a lot of credit, I've never seen public displays of physical affection like that from even two single people, let alone a married couple with 4 kids. Twice, they excused themselves from the table.....I can only imagine where they actually went!

Dinner was served and it was a nice glazed chicken with vegetables and new potatoes. It tasted very good. NYRR began to present the awards and it was very cool. All of the nominees already had medals given to them at the registration booth outside of the ballroom, but now the winner was getting a glass beveled trophy. Awesome.

First awards went to the running clubs by age category, and then to the individuals. I noticed that the Taconic Track Club ran away with a lot of the awards. Worku Beyu in the meantime, easily won the Men's Open category.

I had wanted to meet the President of the Forest Park Road Runners club, Jack Berger. So with the fact that the table said "Open", I made my way back out, and found that he was sitting at table 69. I went back in, and went to the table asking for him. Lo and behold, he was sitting down now at our table! Anyway, I met Jack, who introduced me to Tom (Brogan) and Maggie. I think joining this club is going to be fun. They have runs on Saturday & Sunday morning at 8am, rain or shine. I will be running tomorrow in the monsoon with them, and I pledge to leave my Walkman (see how old I am, that I still call my iPod a Walkman?) behind. Although, I will surely train with one when I am alone, and also when I race, I won't have one in a group run. It's just antisocial.

The awards portion of the show was pretty nice, even if it was expectedly a little bit long. With all the age categories it's only natural. I actually like that they give out so many awards.

Toshiko (Toshi) D’Elia, age 78, who had won 24 Runner of the Year awards since the first Club Night, in 1980, won again last night. It's nice to know that someone 78 years young can win an award for a feat of athleticism!

Here are all of the winners from last night's event. Congratulations!
Club Night Award Winners

Fred Lebow Runners of the Year
Women - Alemtsehay Misganaw
Won: Coogan's, Run As One, Healthy Kidney

Men - Demesse Tefera

Overall Winner: Race To Deliver 4 miles - 18:49 4:42 pace.
Healthy Kidney - 4:35 pace

Men 12-14
Nathan MillerAge Cat. Wins:
adidas Run for the Parks
Fred Lebow Cross Country

Kieran Newcomb
Age Cat. Wins:
Continental Airlines 5th Avenue Mile (4:57 pace)
Norway Run (8th Overall)
Harry Murphy Cross Country Run
Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff
NYRR Holiday 4 Miler

Men 15-19
Carlos David Roa
Age Cat. Wins:
Run As One TGL Classic
NYRR Team Champs - Men
Continental Avenue 5th Ave. (4:42 pace)
Race To Deliver
Joe Kleinerman 10k
NYRR Holiday 4-Mile

Men 20-29
Worku Beyi
Age Cat. Wins:
Run As One TGL Classic
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Prostate (4:37 pace)

Men 30-39
Joel Martinez-Delon
Overall Winner:
NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix: Manhattan
Age Cat. Wins:
Run As One TGL Classic
Norwegian Festival Grete's Great Gallop

Men 40-44
Paul Thompson
Overall Winner:
NYRR Pete McArdle XC Classic
Age Cat. Wins:
NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake - Men
Healthy Kidney 10K
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer
Joe Kleinerman 10K

Men 45-49
Piotr Karasiewicz
Age Cat. Wins:
New York Colon Cancer Challenge
Scotland Run 10K
NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix:Brooklyn
adidas Run for the Parks 4M
Run as One TGL Classic
NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake - Men
Healthy Kidney 10K
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer
Henry Isola XC Classic
Race To Deliver
NYRR Hot Chocolate 15K
Joe Kleinerman 10K
NYRR Holiday 4-Mile

Men 50-54
Steve Calidonna Age Cat. Wins:
Run as One TGL Classic
Healthy Kidney 10K
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer
NYRR Team Champs - Men
Fitness Games - 4M - Men
NYRR Fred Lebow Cross Country 5K

Alan S. RubenAge Cat. Wins:
Run as One TGL Classic
Healthy Kidney 10K
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer
NYRR Team Champs - Men
Fitness Games - 4M - Men
NYRR Fred Lebow Cross Country 5K

Men 55-59
Paul C. Mascali
Age Cat. Wins:
NYRR Gridiron Classic
NYRR Half Marathon Grand Prix:Bronx
Al Gordon Snowflake - Men
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer
NYC Half-Marathon Presented by Nike
Norwegian Festival Grete's Great Gallop
Joe Kleinerman 10K

Men 60-64
Julio A Aguirre
Age Cat. Wins:
NYRR Fred Lebow Classic
NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix:Manhattan
NYRR Half Marathon Grand Prix:Bronx
Al Gordon Snowflake - Men
NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix:Brooklyn
Run as One TGL Classic
Healthy Kidney 10K
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer
Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run
NYRR Team Champs - Men
Henry Isola XC Classic
Fitness Games 4M - Men
NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix:Queens
ING NYC Marathon Tune-Up
NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix:Staten Island
Kurt Steiner Cross Country
NYRR Pete McArdle XC Classic
NYRR Hot Chocolate 15K
Joe Kleinerman 10K

Men 65-69
Sidney Howard
Thomas C Maile

Men 70-74
Witold Bialokur
Age Cat. Wins:
Al Gordon Snowflake - Men
Scotland Run 10K
Run as One TGL Classic
Japan Day
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer
NYRR Team Champs - Men
Fitness Games 4M - Men
NYRR Fred Lebow Cross Country 5K
NYRR Pete McArdle XC Classic
NYRR Hot Chocolate 15K

Men 75-79
Kenneth J Jones
Age Cat. Wins:
NYRR Fred Lebow Classic
NYRR Gridiron Classic
New York Colon Cancer Challenge
Scotland Run 10K
adidas Run for the Parks 4M
New York Junior League Mother's Day
WABC Father's Day Fight Against Cancer

Men 80-89
Sab S Koide Age Cat. Wins:
Sab ran in 30 races in 2007.
He came in first place 25 times.
He came in second 5 times.

Men 2-3 Slices
Alex Gonzalez Pizza Parlor Wins:
Alex has eaten pizza 74 times in 2007.
Alex has eaten 2 slices or more in over 65 individual seatings.
Once ate a slice in 17 seconds.
"If the manholes were made of pizza, the sewer would be a paradise."

NYRR Club Foundation winners Tyto Moore & Shamel Victoria

Women 12-14
Elizabeth Briasco

Women 15-19
Ivette Mejia

Women 20-29
Atalelech Ketema

Women 30-39
Rondi Davies

Women 40-44
Fiona Bayly
Deborah Gaebler

Women 45-49
Gordon Bakoulis
Cindy Pomeroy

Women 50-54
Sharon Vos

Women 55-59
Kathryn Martin

Women 60-64
Sylvie Kimche

Women 65-69
Zofia Turosz

Women 70-74
Ginette Bedard
Women 75-79
Toshiko K D'Elia

Women 80+
Joan Rowland

50th Anniversary Champions' Circle Awards

It's interesting to note, that I happen to know Julio Aguirre, now in the men's 60-64 category pretty well. Here is a man who didn't even start running until much later in life. He never knew what a gift he had until he began racing. On January 26, 1992, he did his first race with the New York Road Runner's Club. It was a 5k, and his pace was 7:10. He was 45 years old. And that was one of his worst times ever.

In the span of 16+ years Julio has run in more than 387 races. In those races, he has finished in third place 49 times, came in second 82 times, and has outright won his age category 267 times. If there was a Babe Ruth of Modern Running for Senior Runners, the statue would be bearing his name.

I had the wonderful fortune of meeting Julio a few times while I had worked for the then MCI Corporation in Manhattan. Besides being a track star, Julio held a modest position working at the Super Runners Shop right inside of Grand Central Station. I had been there a few times in 2005, and in search of winter gear. I didn't even know who he was until much afterwards when someone told me, but I always remembered how friendly he was with me and how much I learned from him about running. He also mentioned that he used to never stretch, how he ate whatever he wanted, and ultimately, how he had suffered a heart attack, and was told he should never run again. That was several years ago. Last night, that heart attack must have been the furthest thing from his mind.

A maverick among runners, Julio sported a WHITE suit. And like most of us of Spanish & Latin descent, he was doing a pretty good job on the dance floor as well. Julio might not be a computer junkie like I am, so he may never see this article. But if he should stumble across this little snipit, all I can say is that Julio, for all the naysayers out there that tell me I am too old, or too fat or too anything, I just think of your love for the sport, and your dedication, and I say IT CAN BE DONE!

For a full list of Julio Aguirre's accomplishments, click here --> or just go to, select "Results", and under the NYRR History, enter in his first and last name.

The Achilles Track Club, is a special club of physically challenge individuals who compete in races. It goes without saying the incredible fortitude and courage they exude on and off the race courses, as they overcome their impediments in ways that I don't even think I could relate.

This year the Achilles Athlete of the Year Daniel Trush suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm 10 years ago at age 12. He was in a coma for over a month. Confined to a wheel chair for 2 years. Last year he completed the ING New York City Marathon in 7:46:12.

The Blogrunner Cometh!

At the table.

Jack Berger, President of the Forest Park Road Runners Club. Let's Go Club!

Big Production!