Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Never Give Into The Rat Race. Even A Little Is A Lot!

Normally, I would never waste my time (or yours) to write about a 2 mile run, unless it was an oddball race of some kind.

I had promised myself that I would go for a run during lunch, but I also had needed to get the oil changed in my car as well. As a compromise, I found a High School track near the Jiffy Lube on Hempstead Turnpike, that would take care of both necessities.

However, life is complicated, and to make a long story short, I just didn't have enough time to do the run that I wanted to do. Also, I knew that I would not have a chance after work either, which would mean a 'goose egg' for the day.

There are plenty of us (and we know who we are, don't we?) that would just forego the run altogether and try again the next day. My instincts did not want the 'goose egg' however I knew that the most I would get would be 1-2 miles at best.

The oil change 'only' took 10 minutes. Well it was more like 15, which may have cost me nearly 2 miles right there.

But I didn't let that stand in my way, and drove the 5 blocks or so to the Island Trees High School in Plainedge, NY.

There was a girl's soccer team practicing there, but I paid them and their coach no mind, and figured that if I wasn't supposed to be there, that it would take the coach a good two laps to get me off the track, since I had my MP3 player on. But, that didn't happen, and I was able to get 2 miles done.

Moral of the story? If you want something bad enough, you will get it.

Wednesday was a busy day at work, but I would not let it get in my path, and I executed nonetheless. Shoot, 2 miles wasn't what I had hoped for, but in cases like these, even a little is a lot. It proves determination, and helps build character and confidence. And those are two traits that are priceless.

Photos from the mini-jaunt:







Tito "Tres" Puentes

OK. I know. The great latin orchestra leader does not have an 's' at the end of his last name. It's a play on words to describe my 10 mile run this afternoon.

I took the day off to go to handle some personal shit, and after coming home and helping Karen and the twinkies, we all went to Randall's Island.

(David chillaxin' at Randall's Island)
I did about a mile and 1/2, and stopped to help feed the twinkies at the park before bidding farewell to them and taking off in an eastwardly direction. None other than running up the staircase and ramp of the RFK (Triboro) bridge, and running over it. I must say, it's a creepy run to a certain extent. No guard rail on the Randall's side, and a nice 200 foot plunge into Hellgate and the East River. Not good for people with vertigo. Not good for for runners who don't pay attention to the narrow lanes either, as a couple of cyclists whizzed by me. Good thing I had my radar up and at full attention (no, not that radar, lol).

Crossed over the bridge, and made my way to the Greek diner in Astoria on the corner of 31st Street, where I took a quick bio break and continued on. I decided to take a direct approach, by going south on 31st Street all the way to Northern Boulevard.

All along the way was the overhead el, with the "R" train "R"oaring overhead. Of course, there was the occassional nimrod driver, who thought he had the right to make a right onto the street I was crossing, when I had the right of way, and blasted his horn at me. Ahem... nothing that like a good 'fuck you' and middle finger up in the air to return my love back to the ignoramus behind the wheel.

The weather was very delightful. Again, nothing like a hurricane to pass on by to remove all of the 'schmutz' in the air. The skies were a bright blue, and the sunset was equally stunning, as I made my way west down Northern Boulevard in search of the Queensboro Bridge. New buildings and traffic patterns had me run a little bit more, but trust me considering the alternative, running in traffic, it was not an option.

The Queensboro Bridge was abuzz with runners, walkers, dog walkers, and cyclists. Always a challenge, but I felt fresh as I went up the long and ardous hill. As I looked down, I saw Roosevelt Island, and wondered why I haven't done a training run there yet. So, stay tuned.

Ran off the bridge and made my way to the East River Esplenade just beyond York and 60th. I ran north as far as I could, realizing that the Esplenade would be closed for construction, but was unaware that there was no outlet detour in sight, so I had to run back south to 71st after arriving at the 78th St. impasse. I ran up York, re-entered back to the riverwalk at 81st, and finished my trek all the way home. Three bridges were crossed, or as they say in Spanish, "Tres Puentes" (hence, the title) In all, I did 10 miles. Not bad for a Tuesday! So far, 16 for the week with 5 days left.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reminiscing @ Randall's

How long has it been since I ran over the Ward Island bridge and into Ward & Randall's Island?
I decided it was time to hike east this time. I've been staying away from Central Park, giving it a rest for a while to make sure trees are not going to fall on me from the aftermath of 'Irene'.

As I ran over it, I saw a security guard and when asked he mentioned that the bridge would be closed at 8:30pm. It was barely past 7, so I knew I had time for some heavy asphalt and trail crunching.

My feet flew forward as I lurched down the narrow but runner friendly bridge, begging the most important question that all runners ask of themselves when they get to the Randall's side of the bridge...DO I TURN LEFT OR RIGHT?

I turned left and headed for the nut house. Literally. There is a psychiatric ward (and yes, okay, I will be more sensitive, and retract my nutty statement) about a mile in as you go north along the west side of the island. I turned around at that point, and ran back on a nice gravel trail. Trail running helps to save your knees as it absorbs a good amount of impact, but you still need to be careful on uneven terrain, and always look for the odd item that left unseen, could mean a trip to your local orthopedist.

It was nice running at Randall/Ward, if only for a couple of miles. I went back over the bridge and repeated my previous run of heading south to 79th and back along the Esplenade. A far cry from the Bronx Half Marathon that was cancelled due to Irene (and no refunds either, hmmpff) but 6 miles is not a bad start to the week.

More views of the bridge...
(Manhattan on the right. Citicorp Building in L.I.C. on the left and in the distance)


(Some buildings in Astoria on the left. Also, nothing says 'New York' like a touch of grafiti across the green steel crossing Hellgate!!).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

SUNY Farmingdale - Under Construction... As Were My Legs

The first real run since I did those 23 "EASY" (Yeah, umm, right) miles days earlier. I'm glad that I went when I did, because I finished just moments before a deluge of rain came down. It was the start of what would become Hurricane Irene, a category 1 storm about the size of Europe, and it was already giving us a sneak preview.

I wasted no time since it was my lunch hour in getting myself prepped. I actually went to the john while at work and did a quick, under-the-clothes change, so that while in my car, I pulled a "Superman", ripping off my business casual motif, to reveal my true self; brooks sneaks, skimpy shorts, and a tek t. Life just doesn't get any better than this!

When I arrived, I noticed that the stands for the track were under construction. Yet I wasn't going to turn around and quit either.

Noticing the very large tract of land that SUNY had, I decided to do the next best thing. Run on the grass around the perimeter of the track. Grass running make you strong, I feel, because you have to lift your calves to clear the blades. And if you don't you will feel like you're wearing lead boots as you drag your feet across it. Either way, you are guaranteed a good workout. Caution however, for running on grass is one of the most dangerous forms of running too. Lots of things hidden in that grass. Unseen objects, holes, uneven surfaces, all make for easy injury.


I did 3 miles, or 3 loops around the entire campus area. I kept seeing that track, and wishing I could get in. Then I saw a construction worker, and had to ask. I needed to know if there was a way I could get in, seeing now how I saw a couple of soccer players in the field that was surrounded by the track itself.
To my delight, he showed me an alternate entrance.

It required me to crawl under a fence, but heck, it was worth it. I ran another 2 miles on the track, and it was sweet.


Then, and like I said, I just barely made it out alive before the rains came!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Guts. No Glory. The NYRR Long Training Run.

I've done this run 3 years in a row. First time, I didn't do all 20. Second year, I quit half-way, then got a second wind, and decided to finish it. Last year, I never stopped after each completed loop. This year, my hamstring was in question.

But I did it anyway.

Not having run since the 12th, I decided that I had nursed my hamstring long enough. It was time to test my repairwork, if you will, and test my resolve. Back in 2004, when my odyssey in running came back (and for good), I decided that I was no longer going to hold back from living anymore. As Andy DuFrames, character in my beloved Shawshank Redemption movie once quoted, "You either get busy living, or you get busy dying." I had decided that I would going to learn as if I were to live forever, but live as if I was going to die tomorrow.

I hated having to not be able to run for yet another week worth of maladies, ailments, injuries, and yet I knew I was going to have a suckass time if I did the race. Nonetheless, I laced up this morning at 6:30am. I was running late as it was, thus I had to run all the way to baggage and back to the start, with a bag on me most of the way.

I wasn't even sure how much of this run I was going to even be able to complete. The training run is hosted twice annually by Road Runners. I had already missed the first one due to illness, and now I was wondering whether I could even do the expected minimum of 6 miles, forget 20.

The dew point was extremely high. It felt like I was running through a bowl of condensed New England Clam Chowder. It was so bad early on, that as the day wore on the temps went up, but it felt better because the humidity cut back a bit.

Running from home to the baggage area, and then to the start was 1.4 miles. Typically, I would've included this as a separate run, but I never stopped running. I literally chucked my bag over the fence to the number corresponding to my bib, without stopping, and to the starting line. And good thing I did too, because the last corral started flight. I just ran right into the group that had just started.

The Long Training Run is done completely in Central Park and is run in a counter-clockwise fashion.
It starts on East Drive near 102nd Street and head north around the northern end of the park. The course consists of four loops of varying distances:


Loop 1: 6 Mile Loop – Continue south on West Drive around the southern end of park to East Drive. Continue north on East Drive. Turn west/left onto the 102nd Street Transverse.

Loop 2: 5 Mile Loop - Start on the 102nd Street Transverse and head west. Turn left/south onto West Drive and continue around the southern end of the park to East Drive. Continue north on East Drive. Turn left/west onto the 102nd Street Transverse.

Loop 3: 5 Mile Loop - same as Loop 2

Loop 4: 4 Mile Loop - Start on the 102nd Street Transverse and head west. Turn left/south onto West Drive, left/east onto the 72nd Street Transverse, left/north onto East Drive, and left/west onto the 102nd Street Transverse to the finish.

Truthfully, I didn't know how long my hamstring would last, so being in the slowest (10+ minute pacers) seemed fine by me. Gone, was the showboating at the East River Track. Today, I would use nothing but pure logic, and continual internal body checks. And to do that for 20 miles is no easy feet (feat, haha) let me tell you.

As we headed over Harlem Hill, and back down the west side, I noticed how tightly packed our group was. It was such, that I dared not zig or zag. I felt like a male version of Mary Decker Slaney, because there was nothing but Zola Budd's all around me. If you are too young to know what I mean by this, send me a comment/email, and I'll explain.

In the meantime, my right hamstring was holding up rather well. I made sure not to overstride, especially on up and down hill areas. I was running a lot slower than I normally did, but I really didn't care about time this time, like I have in years past. I just needed a good long run, that's all.

The first 3 miles went rather well, and the "tiger" was beginning to talk to me, asking me to ditch this group at the first loop's end to try to catch up with the 9:30 pacers during the second loop. Thankfully, that feeling would not last too long. Who knows, if I would've re-aggravated my injury.

No, what happened instead was that while I felt I could do another loop, I actually started lagging behind a little. The lack of aerobic exercise over the last few weeks, coupled with the swampy bayou-like weather in the Big Apple made for a lackluster feeling. Still, I went ahead, or rather drudged ahead, and was completing my second loop.

The second loop was the least interesting of all loops. I was literally zoning out, forgetting to take off my sunglasses when it got dark in some areas. Along with the fact that by Mile 9, I was running by myself on and off (the pack had disintegrated a little), it was a very surreal feel. Was I running, or was I sleeping thinking about running?

One thing about the way NYRR measures a mile. No matter how many angles you cut, their mile is never just a mile. Every mile mark flag I passed through had an extra .02, .03 or even .04. Then again, I wasn't even paying attention to the road as much as i was to my body, thus I'm sure my angle-cutting methods were not too sharp.

The end of each loop puts you on the 102nd Street transverse. There are bathrooms and water and snack stops provided for the runners. I never once had to go to the bathroom, a feat that for me is normal, and for Karen, my wife, simply amazing. However, the Gatorade and GelPack stops were not missed. I just kept wondering when the Bananas and the Pretzel Bags would start getting handed out. I needed to make sure I had as many electrolytes as possible in me, since the heat and humidity were forcing me to drink cups of water at nearly every stop. That was another thing, the water stops. Typically, I would coast right by, but this time, I stopped. Hell, this was a training run not a race so time was not a factor anyway.

I was feeling tired and was dying to run over to my bag at the checkpoint and gulp down a Red Bull and two gel packs. I finally did so at the end of the 2nd loop. Red Bull (Diet) actually makes you crash, but I figured I would take it half-way to avoid crashing until the end. Smart move!

Not sure if it was the Red Bull, or the Pretzels (finally) or the Gatorade, but the electrolytes reinvaded my body, and the cramping that had started curling my toes in my left foot went away. Good sign. Plus, I started feeling good about possibly completing 16 miles. A nice long run.
Entering into my third lap, I also started wondering if this would be the time where my hamstring would start giving way. Then I hit Mile 12. Then 13. And 14. But it never happened and alas, though I was drained, I was still running, and was ready to do my fourth and final lap. Emotionally, I was way high, even if physically I was at the other end of the elevator cord.

The fourth lap, I started finding myself running with less people. I thought it was because I was running faster, but the opposite was true. Just ahead was a truck. It was removing the Mile 17 marker just as I was approaching it. 'Man, that's pretty deflating.', I thought. Yet, I turned around and saw plenty others behind me, so I definitely wasn't the last runner. That was about the second and last time that my EGO got a hold of me during the run, if only for a moment.

Funny thing was that soon after passing the 19th Mile Marker, my Garmin buzzzed about a quarter mile after to tell me that I had reached my 20th mile. Just north of the 90th street entrance, my LEFT hamstring started tightening. Wow. I felt like I was running a marathon now! Obviously, it was from fatigue though as I slowed to a walk, got water spritzed as I was massaging my left leg (no jokes, please) and then started up again. I was going to make it to the finish line, but it would be tough. I remember the lady at baggage in the morning telling me that the baggage area was closing at 11am.

It was now 10:57am and I just made a left onto the transverse. Finished! But still had to make my way to baggage so I kept jogging, or hobbling, as by now my quads and calves were talking now as well. Seemed like everything went to pot EXCEPT for my right hammy. Amazing!

I made it to baggage at 10:59. Not a second too soon, Mr. Bond.

After I got my bag, I actually started jogging home with it. Between the distance I jogged in each direction and added mileage due to my uneconomical routes while running, I completed 23 1/4 miles. Easily the longest run of the year for me.

I came home and took an ice bath. Ouch. But necessary.

**FOOTNOTE: As of today, Monday, August 22, I am sore when I stand up, sit down, but other than that, I'm feeling fine. May do a light run tomorrow. I don't think I'm doing Chicago in 7 weeks for several reasons, but I'm on target for my 7th consecutive (and 10th overall) New York City Marathon in 11 weeks.

Looking forward to it. :-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

I beat Hicham! And then, payback.

First of all you might be asking, "Who the hell is Hicham?" Not to stereotype but no, I win at outdoor chess against a rabbi.


Hicham El Guerrouj of Berkane, Morocco holds the current records for 1,500 metres and the mile. He broke the world record set by Noureddine Morceli in Rome on July 7, 1999. The time was 3:43.13.

Okay keep that little nugget in your head. For now.

Tonight, I decided I needed to change pace a bit, so it was time to try something new. Having run along the East River Esplenade a few times now, including some "monster" runs. It was during those 20+ monsters where while running along the lower east side, I spotted a nice quarter-mile oval track right along the river. It's tucked between 6th and 10th street, and East of the FDR.



I had a doctor's appointment tonight to get a pertussis booster and flu shot, to protect my babies, and decided to run from there on down. I actually had run from 86th street down to my doc's office on 56th and then continued trekking south, with innoculations in tow and all too.






(plenty of activity tonight. low dew point. hooray!)

(nothing beats running along the water!)

(even the FDR looked surrealistically nice!)


It's always a nice feeling when you run along somewhere that's new. Even though my Garmin had died (due to the owner forgetting to charge it previously, duh), I had my iPhone with my various GPS charting tools. A comfort to provide when going to new places.


I finally made it to the East River Track. I decided that I was going to take it nice n' easy as I figured I could do 12 miles. Karen was being extra nice staying home with the twinkies and affording me this added trip.

I did in fact start slow, and then the rise of the tiger came from within me. I had wanted to just do a nice and easy run, but the weather was amazing, and even with all of the 'potions' circulating through my arterial subway system, I was getting charged for something else. Perfection is impossibility but striving for perfection is not. I wanted to do the best that I could, which in the end is what counts, and being on an oval track, you have to be a track star, right?

Without wasting another minute, I started turning the jets on, to see what I could do under desirable conditions. I would do a lap fast followed by a recovery lap, and so on. When you are 46, Interval training is even more intense than a Tempo workout, because in Tempo, you are sustaining a desired fast speed, but you are not sprinting. In Interval, you are exploding for a short period, then recovery, then exploding, then recovery....you get the point.

I was beginning to feel really strong now. And I decided to see what it would be like if I decided to show off to the rest of the people in the track. Goodbye sanity, hello Ego Trip.

I lined up at numbers. Of course, with lanes 1 thru 8, I chose #1. :-)
After my self-spoken, "On your mark, get set.....gooooooo!"
With my GPS still tracking me, I blasted out. The goal? To see how fast I could do an 1/8 of a mile.
My legs were felt like well oiled efficient cannons. Movement was fluid, more so than I could've imagined. For that 1/8 of a mile, I didn't feel like a 46 year old. Heck, I didn't even feel like the guy who just ran 200+ races in the last 7 years either. I felt like a kid, with lots of energy.
There were a few people in jogging in the other lanes. I just blasted right by.
When I came to the end, I slowed down the way a track star does at the Millrose games, with a gangly-like poise.
I looked at my watch. 27.5 seconds.

What???

I looked again. I wanted to make sure that my tracking device didn't malfunction. I looked at the other intervals, and they seemed fine. Then I looked again to this interval. Indeed it was 27.5 seconds. Which, when you convert to that of a mile, the result would have been 3 minutes and 40 seconds!!!

Remember what I said about Hicham? There are numbers that a runner never forgets. For me those numbers include 2:03:58, which is the time that Haile Gebreselassie ran the Berlin Marathon enroute to a World Record, and then there's Hicham and his 3:43 Mile. Now, if I can find a way to string those 1/8th performances eight consecutive times!

Of course, all a pipe dream. But still, a nice dream to have nonetheless.

At this point, the logic side began to rise back to the surface and it spoke.
'Alex, don't overdo this. You didn't really stretch too well, and you don't need an injury to blemish what is a memorable night of running for you'.

But did I listen?

For the next mile, I did listen. I ran nice and slow around the oval, letting everyone and everything pass me by. I was enjoying my music all the while, and the cool breeze and low humidity was something else.

But then the tiger began to rise again.

Sometimes, a tiger can protect. Other times, it can kill.

Tonight proved deadly.

As I took off in fast flight again, I didn't know if I could outdo my previous heat. Sometimes a little doubt in yourself is all it takes to open the door to........POP.

My hamstring.

The right leg, and about a third of the way up to be exact.

S-H-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-T!!!!!!

I immediately stopped and walked off the track. The self-generated applause from my fictional audience soon turned into laughter, and shouts of "Old man! Who did you think you were foolin'?" Oh, the humiliation!

I hobbled my way to the bench. And sat down. I grabbed my hammy, and held it tight for a few minutes.

Then, as if I thought I were the second coming or something, I stood up to see if I really hurt myself, by taking myself back onto the track to try once again to see if I could even jog, let alone run or sprint.

"Houston, we have a problem."

I immediately texted Karen, letting her know what happened. Told her I was going to have to shut down the Gonzo running operations for awhile. Extremely deflated, I hobbled my way out of the park and over the FDR overpass. Initially, I had planned to take the bus/subway home, but if there's one thing runners should learn from this blog, is that you don't waste a moment in reducing the inflammation of a strained or pulled hamstring. Every minute is really crucial. I had gotten on a bus, because where I was (the Bowery) was not exactly a nice place, but hopped off and jumped (not literally) into a cab.

Got home, immediately applied ice & ACE banadaged my area of discontent. I would do this for the next few days.

Would I be able to heal in time for the New York Road Runner's Long Training Run next Sunday?

Time heals all wounds, but would it be enough time?

I finished up the week with 28.5 miles. Obviously, I did nothing on Saturday or Sunday, but it didn't matter, as I was taking care of two little babies and Matt and Steffie came over too. My life's a full boat now, so quiet moments of self-reflecting (defeating) how dumb I was for not heeding to logic are much more fleeting






Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I think I found a new route....

...and that's to Babies R' Us. All I have to do is leave my house and run 4 miles, and voila. There I am at the Babies R' Us at Union Square for Pampers or whatever it is I need.

The weather was very balmy, and warm, but at least there was a little bit of a wind. Took some photos on the way down.







Also, I wasn't the only one running down Park Avenue either. There was a young woman, who ran in front of me, and looked back. First rule of running, is never to look back. And that's not because of someone gaining on you, it's because of the person with a small wheeled luggage directly in front of you, to slam into, like she did. Really now. Am I that much to look at?? LOL.

Another run tonight means I've run 5 of my last 6 days. When I get back to work, I will schedule time to run during lunch.

Back to the Reservoir

....for light speed and practice on soft ground.
That was my run for Monday night. A great place to run, as you're surrounded by runners, and runners only.



As for my babies, they are doing great. Double fed them earlier today and think I got the hang of it. Can't wait for them to get older, but having been down this road three times already, this stage is a magical one that doesn't last too long, so I will relish every moment of it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

21 miles in 3 days.

Let me make it abundantly clear when I say that under any normal condition, doing 21 miles in 3 days, is nothing to me. I’ve logged nearly 10,000 miles over the last 7 years.
However, when your wife has given birth to twins, anytime you can sneak in a run, is a good time. For the next few months, it’s going to be all about the “sneaking” in more than about the “sneakers”.

Yesterday, I decided to do some bridge work, and ran to Queens over the Ed Koch bridge. It was great getting to Queens, like an emotional victory after having been sick for awhile. I knelt down and nearly kissed the sidewalk (but not really, I’m not that na├»ve). It was nearly dark by the time I headed back into Manhattan, and with bikers whooshing by me, it was a little unnerving, but it went well.

Running up along 1st was more of an obstacle course, with all of the Friday night restaurant goers milling about.

At the end, another nice run. This time of 9 miles.

Tonight, I ran along the Esplenade, and did an out and back too. Only 4 miles, but it was extremely rewarding and sad at the same time. Rewarding because it helped me break the 20 mile mark for the week, but sad, because as I passed by PS. 158 on 77th and York on my way down, I saw a piece of cardboard standing up on its end along the front steps of the school. It made no difference to me, until I ran past it, and notice a pair of male adult legs and barefeet sticking out of it.

There are people you will see who will panhandle for money. Some of them are indeed your poor and underprivileged, but for everyone of those, there are at least 3 others doing the same thing, that really are just trying to scam you. Just take a look at them. Brand new sneakers, designer pants, brand new “New Era” baseball caps. You know the type.

This person was not one of those people.

When it is raining outside, if you are outside sleeping barefoot on the stoop of a public building, you really are in need. When you are laying behind a piece of cardboard, instead of panhandling to the masses, because you are too weak or ashamed to do so, then you really are in need.

As I ran to my turnaround destination, I felt enough was enough. This is supposed to be a great country, but yet we are always depending on our government to take care of our own. What ever happened to common decency, and kinship among others, especially the needy?

On my way back, I stopped to pull out whatever I had in my shoepocket. Typically this is the money I keep as an emergency, in case I am thirsty, or whatever. But clearly this person needed it more than me. As I came to this man, I stopped and said, “Excuse me.”

He pulled up from his makeshift cardboard divider that separated his personal life from this cruel harsh life, and looked at me. By my accounts, he couldn’t have been older than 30, 35.

“Look, I know it’s not much, but you need this more than I do. Please try to get some food or drink with this.” I told him.

“God bless you” he told me.

“No. May God bless you.” , I mentioned to him.

As I ran back home, I felt like this run tonight was worth one of the best runs ever. It was meaningful. I had helped someone, and it felt great. No, I didn’t find “God” either. He’s been inside of me all along. I just decided that it was about time, that I opened my doors, and start to help those less fortunate than me.

However, that was unlike the rat, that ran across my path on the Esplenade heading back.
21 miles. I’m stronger, faster, and better today than I’ve ever been.
Our team ran in the Team Championships this morning, and I wanted to salute everyone, Pauline, Bonnie, Andrea, Nike and Margaret (who came in 2nd place in her age group!), and KJ, Sean, Alan and Jack as well for rounding us all up to a respectable show!

Tomorrow will be another day. And another run!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting Stronger.

After a month of insanity both physically and emotionally, it was great to hear that my little boy is out of the ICU. Digestive systems are not always fully developed at 37 weeks, so it was not surprising that someone had to stay a little longer at the hospital.

David was released today and he's home with Mommy Karen, Baby Kayla, and me. :-)

Seeing them together today, has brought a wonderful feeling over my body. one I haven't felt since the day before I learned of my mom's untimely death.

Meanwhile, and in the right here and right now, my children are doing wonderfully, while my wife is on the mend and doing well herself.

And as for me, I hit the road yesterday, and did 8 miles at Central Park. To tell you the truth, a runner never loses his run, and a run never loses his runner. It was nice to be out there last night, and will need to do it again real soon. Perhaps, I'll run along the East River Esplanade tonight or tomorrow.

I'm getting stronger. New York City Marathon, here I come!