Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chicago Marathon - 7 days to go

In exactly 1 week from the time that I just wrote this sentence, my "sentence" will be over.  If the stress is what's at root with my belly, then the Chicago Marathon will have been over and hopefully the build-up as well.  One could argue that perhaps I shouldn't be doing these countdowns and buildups, as they can only add to it, but I kinda like it too. 

My weight this morning was 157.1  -  I would have liked it to be lower, but I have 3 days to try and get my weight down to the 152-154 range.  Afterwards, I will have another 3 days to gain back those 3-5 pounds with carbo loading.

Karen did a half-marathon in sunny Bay Ridge this morning, and afterwards we went to the Sands Point Preserve celebration with David & Kayla.

I may run later on.  3-5 miles at best only though.

Next week, I won't run more than 15 miles before the Marathon.

It's all coming to a head now.

The weather forecast is now predicting a low of 35 and a high of 56.  So, not only is it not going to be hot, it's going to be cold now.  Not the worst option, and I guess I can't have everything, so I will just need to make due with what I'm given. That's all.  One thing for sure.....I will be camping out at the Hospitality Suite until 7am.  No need to freeze my coconuts any longer than I have to!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chicago Marathon - 8 days to go

Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.  In other words, if you are that afraid to give up the good, it's because you respect the good.  And if you respect the good that much, then chances are that you will even respect the opportunity to go for, and get, the great.  So go for it!

On my way to picking up Matt & Steffie this morning, I stopped in Central Park, and did a full loop plus a little more.  7.1 miles in all.  It felt great to run through the greatest place to run through in the world.  Central Park is the only place where you can run with thousands of people, and it's not even due to a race, but just because.  My only regret?  Not being able to run with Karen.  I miss those "pre-twinkie" days where she and I would just go and do a run without worry or timing or anything else.  But we'll get back there one day.  I know it.

The weather was cool and overcast, and I pray that this is the kind of weather that we get in Chicago. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 9 days to go

The Weather Stations keep flip flopping between rain and no rain, but one thing seems to be encouraging and that is the threat of 70's temperatures and above, seem to be diminishing - at least for now anyway.

My upper tummy and esophagus are still bothering me.  It's got to be my nerves, but I feel okay ( I think ) .   I may contact Karen's doc for a checkup early next week.  I will also need to start focusing on my Marathon checklist as well, to eliminate as much last minute stress over what I have vs. what I need at the last minute as well.

I decided not to run today either.  But will do so tomorrow. In Central Park, too.  :-)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 10 days to go

As the title suggests, 'anything is possible', and why not?  Despite never having run a 3:24:58 in my life, I have lopped off as much as 45 minutes off from one marathon to the next.  And yeah, I know what you're saying.  Things do get a lot harder as one gets better, and so shaving off time does not continue to be as easy. 

I took the day off today.  And so, I must watch my carb intake for now.

Anything Is Possible.   I certainly hope so.  I certainly do.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 11 days to go.

Now, I have nothing against the great and fabulous city of Chicago, but my little, skinniest-of-margin chance to get a Boston Qualifying time, may be best had in a flat course like Chicago.  Of course, and as I experienced 2 years ago (  ), Chicago is not as easy as it may seem with no-thanks from Mother Nature.    Right now the forecast is calling for showers, with a low of 50 and a high of 62.  The showers part suck a little, but I will take those temperatures anyday!!!

Chicago Countdown - 12 days to go

The streets. The hot streets of 'cago.  Or, "Me 'Cago En La Leche", as my father would say.  Tonight, I went to Schreiber High and ran 6.55 miles, or exactly 1/4 of the Marathon in a pace of 7:55 per mile.  To achieve this, I had to Usain Bolt-myself around the Mile 4 mark, and it wasn't easy, but it felt good.  And it felt equally good that I was feeling okay after the run.  I even stretched, and still got home before dark.  My tummy is getting better, and I think this is just nerves that's left, that's all.

I'm keeping my logs short for now, until more interesting things come along.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 13 days to go.

Ahh, Monday. Monday.  Back to work and still not 100%, but feeling better.  Slowly but surely.
I didn't run tonight on account of having Karen run instead.   With 13 days to go, the forecast for SuperMarathon Sunday in Chicago is too volatile yet.  I will need to wait until about a week prior before I start posting a/o panicking.
Been taking Dexilant for my tummy and it's helping.  My weight is down too despite the lack of working out.  Down to 157.5 and probably in part due to my stress.   Easy there, tiger. Easy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 14 days to go.

Today was another step in the foward direction.  Karen and I took the babies to Eisenhower State Park.  Where we played with the babies, and took turns running 1/2 mile half loops.  After a while, Karen convinced me that it would take forever to get our miles in, and with her agreeing to push the stroller, we ran together.  In all, I did 5 miles.  

Then we got home, I called Steffie & Matt to see how they were doing, and despite my stomach still hurting, I went out and ran by myself through Sands Point.  Another 5 miles.  I got home and feel a little better.  Bottom line?  I need to distance myself from this negative physical force bullshit as quickly as possible.

Early at the park Doug asked me how I was doing.  I said:
The "demons" of Chicago have reared their ugly heads once again.  Long range forcast for super-marathon sunday is getting worse by the minute - now expected to be 890, and this cold has broken me in half - drained me - I just went from Superman (last week with my 22.5 miler run) to Superman with Kryptonite.  Meh :-( !!

To that , my bro responded with:
"BULLSHIT!!! Fuck that noise! G.I.F.D!  That's code for GET IT FUCKIN' DONE!  Middle finger on one hand...metal horns on the other! GO!
The force is strong within didn't get all those medals by fucking around! Ya got them by running the ground into itself! \m/  Kick the crap out of that cold and kickthe crap out of Chicago! Fuck'em both!!!"

I love my brother.  Hard evidence of why we're best friends for 35 years strong now.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 15

Still sick, but battling.  Ran with Karen in Sands Point today.  Pushing a stroller no less.  Whas a masochist.  I did 8 miles.  Got home and felt like dying.  My upper stomach is killing me.  Feels like the non-existent ulcer I had last summer while dealing with the death of my mother, that mother fucker VanEckert, my mother fucking useless lawyers, and the stress with about to become a Dad again (to twins, no less).  Life is a lot simpler these days, so this should go away soon hopefully.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chicago Countdown-16

I worked from home today, and thankful to be home.  The cold has been kicking me a new one and today was the worst yet.  With all the opportunities I had to run from the house today, and with the weather as nice as it was just not meant to be.  So much in fact, that I had to cancel my pickup with Steffie and Matt, which killed me.  But the whole family here is sick, and I can't get them sick either.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicago Countdown-17

Well I just learned today that application to the Boston Marathon began early. In fact, it started at the beginning of last week.

I found this out when I went to seek information about qualifying under a charity.  Highly doubting, that the Boston Marathon will be available past this week (much less by October 8th), I will be shooting for the 2014 Marathon then.  30 years after my first ever Marathon?  Sound poignant, no?

Anyway, I've been somewhat a recluse to my team's website, so I am working on updates to it.

In other 'Blogrunner' news, everyone (including even our nanny), is sick.  My wife, who normally needs a Mack Truck to run her over to stay home from work is the worst of us all.  I've been combatting it pretty well, but I can't lose sight of the fact that I need to be healthy for my Chicago Marathon in the 17 days from now.

Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 18

A much safer, less superstitious banner...I hope.

I've been feeling sick all day today.  I took my hour of lunch and drove to a park, where I just put my chair go and sleep.    Karen sounded worse than me on the phone.

I decided to go and run today, figuring that 5 miles on Schreiber's High School Track would help, and it did.   To play it safe, I came home and went to bed at 9pm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 19

Boy, did this banner photo on FB ever cause a commotion!  Take a look....

I call it the "Bonnie Diablotribe"
Anyway, she might have a point, but I don't need to court any disastrous things in my life, as I have already had done so several times in the last 9 years and even before that.

I ran 5 miles on my treadmill at home tonight.  The weather outside was absolutely miserable.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicago Countdown - 20

This is the way I should have felt yesterday after my 22.5 mile run.  And yet...Nothing.  I felt great. No soreness.  How odd.  Almost terrifyingly so.

I decided to still play it safe and take today off.  Rest up a bit, and try not to eat too much either.

Later today I got my Chicago Marathon Confirmation Packet.  Woohoo!!!!!! 

Wave 1 Corral C was about as good as I could have hoped for 30 minutes earlier means lower temperatures---Thank God-Though I would have preferred if this thing had kicked off at 7am.  After dealing with near nineties for my last Chicago....anything but that again....PLEASE!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Dissection of Long Island-Nassau Shore 2 Shore!!!

Shortly after I moved to Port Washington on Thanksgiving Eve, 2011,  I excitedly put together a myriad of routes to run through the area.  Some where simple, others complicated, but all seemed realistically doable.  All except one.

It looks so crazy, that it doesn't even fit on the page.  Hold up.  Let me zoom it in a little...
There.  How's that?

According to Runningahead.Com, the distance would be a little over 21 miles, and that's taking the shortest of all possible ways. 

Running from the Long Island Sound all the way to the Atlantic Ocean......WTF?????

But yet there it was.  Staring me right in the face.  Never having knowing to back down from a challenge, however how insane, looking at this was tough to digest.  It was just hours after I had just finished throwing down a personal best for a 10k run over what some would argue, the most challenging course in all of Long Island.

When I had first put this route together, I had made sure to make my course go through only "safe" neighborhoods.  Of course, it's not an out-and-back, meaning if Karen would not be able to pick me up, then I would be shlepping it thru Manhattan to get back to Port Washington.

Not to offend anyone, but I was going to call this course  From Filet Mignon & Lobster to Hot Dogs & Tuna Fish, as my co-worker once dubbed the differences between the North and South Shores of Long Island.  Instead, I just call it "Nassau Shore 2 Shore".

For this monstrous run, I went packin'.   First I took a B6 and again washed it down with a 20oz Red Bull.  I will tell you, that I didn't want to drink another Red Bull, because I'm hyper enough.  But I promised myself no more energy drinks or vitamins until the Chicago Marathon. 

I sprayed SPF50 sunscreen all over me, and used the zinc oxide all over my face (which you will see on the photos below).

I then took my fuel belt, consisting of 5 GU'senergy gels (3 Roctanes),  which I would take 30 minutes into my run, and then take another one every 45 minutes.  I didn't take any liquids, because my course took me through many places where I can stop and buy Gatorade, water, etc.  So, I took $40 cash.  

I bought my Amex card, in case I got into trouble.
I bought my Drivers License, in case I got into real trouble.
I bought my Medical Insurance Card, in case I got into real, real trouble.

And of course....I took my iPhone with me (for emergencies and posterity!)

It was about 11:15 AM when I finally left the house.  It was about 65 outside.  A picture-perfect day.

I was feeling nervous and excited, and suddenly, any possible fatigue I might have endured from the previous day's race, were already a distant memory. 

In fact, I was feeling in a rather exhibitionist mood.  And with Karen wanting to know, out of concern probably, regarding where I was and my status, that I thought to use Facebook as my posting center.

Karen was very very supportive of me.  Not only did she agree to come meet me, but while she was at the gym, she rooted me on the moment I took off.
Mile 1 - Right by Mr. Suds Car Wash!


Mile 2 - on Main Street, right before the LIRR train station.

I stopped at Let There Be Bagels, a nice place, but always crowded, and directly across the street from the Nassau Knolls Cemetery.  I needed liquids now, and got a Gatorade at around the 2.8 mile mark.
Mile 3 - In the "Salem" section of Port Washington, along the Boulevard.

Mile 4 - Passing by Country Club Drive on my left, and Flower Hill Park on my right.

Mile 5 - The Americana Manhasset Mall, just past Northern Boulevard.  It's where the rich women to the rich immoral and cheated-on bankers go to shop when the husband isn't looking.  It's also one of the last uphills in the entire course.
Close to Mile 6 - and this sign North Hills, which means no more uphills from here on out!  Also, my buddy Doug finally starts to chime in!
About 6.5 miles from the start, and at the Long Island Expressway
Mile 7 - Running Amok thru Albertson, and feeling pretty damn good about it too, though my Gatorade is getting warm...

Mile 8 - Somewhere towards the end of Herricks Road in Mineola.   A short while later I would almost make the mistake of turning onto Hempstead Turnpike instead of Hempstead Avenue later on!

Mile 9 - Anyone bold enough to name their restaurant, "Bacala", is quite alright in my book!

At this point, the sun was beating on me a little, but I was still feeling OK.  Keep in mind that I would pause my watch everytime I stopped to post to FB, which was at least 1 time per mile.
Mile 9.8 - Just started going down Nassau Boulevard in the Village of Garden City.
Mile 10.  Garden City was much nicer than I had originally expected it to be.  Large houses, big front yards, nice wide street (Nassau Boulevard).  A very "majestic" looking place to live.  And as I posted above, it did remind me of Forest Hills Gardens in some ways.
Just a short while later, I would be stopping at a 7-11 to get another Gatorade, and a banana.

First time for everything....I had to stop running as a result of an upcoming LIRR train.  I really felt like a machine at this point.  As I waited my turn, along with other cars, for the train to leave the station and for the gates to come back up.
Mile 11 - Halfway through tearing Long Island in Half!!!
Mile 12 - Past Franklin Square, and now passing by Echo Park in West Hempstead.  Very pretty neighborhood even if the pool in the large park was totally drained (though I think they have a large indoor pool based on the structure I saw).
Mile 13 - Finally forking right onto Hempstead AVENUE.  There was a McDonalds going in the opposite direction, but didn't need it, as I had gotten my salt packets at the 7-11 back in Garden City and had already taken 2.
Mile 13.5 - Just passed the entrance to the Southern State.  Roads were a little tricky as there were 4 on & off ramps - Had to be focused for the lights.  Over a half-marathon done and passing through Malverne now.
Mile 14. - Malverne High School in the backdrop.  There was a football game going on.
Mile 15 - Entering my "old neck of the woods" area, as I lived in Hewlett for 2 years.  I'm definitely in the South shore now!  And zinc oxide face is showing up quite a bit here!  Also take note of the check-in places I've been using on Facebook..LOL...Adult Thursday's?  hahahaha!
My sister Vanessa worked at an italian restuarant here.  And yeah, I said that I was "Rockin' thru Rockville Center with Karen Rose at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel" ROFL!!!!
 Crossing Sunrise Highway, and then veering right and sharp right onto Merrick is not an ez thing to do, even if you know where to go.  Vigilance to the road and its traffic was once again necessary.

"Frankly, I'm driving this steak right down this Lon Guy Land's throat!!!"  What can I say?  I was thinking of that Honeymooners' episode where Ralph suspects Alice is cheating on him, and waits behind his fire escape window holding that "gigolos" white glove. LOL.   As you can see, I'm losing my mind already.  Seriously, I was actually laughing out loud at some points around here.

At this point, I made a right turn off of Merrick Road and onto Lincoln Road, which seemed the poorest of all areas that I ran through...and it was still a nice looking place if somewhat desolate. I went for a little while and up in the distance, there was Mile 16 and Long Beach Road.

Mile 16 - Gatorade break and a stick of Colby Jack cheese did quite nicely here at the Hess Rest stop on the corner of Lincoln and Long Beach.
Hey (J)uan (C)arlos!!  Bumba Bumba.

And the silly posts during my run kept right on coming.  My iPhone was still at about 50%!
Mile 17 - And as Doug would say "Corre Por El Torre!".  In Oceanside
Mile 18 - And you GOTTA read what I wrote here.  I've absolutely lost my mind...but have travelled pretty far thus far in doing so.  The fact that here I was on Long Beach Road, after starting at my house in the North Shore felt unbelievable!
Mile 19 - For some reason I feel like I looked like Bill Bob Thornton here.   Peter's Clam Bar behind me...Mmmmm Yummy!  
The sun was uber-bright by now, and the effects of the sun were starting to finally hit.  I was contemplating re-applying my SPF stick on my face, but chose against it in the end (though I should have applied even if I didn't get burned).  I was getting tired and logic was fleeting, but still showing smiles, as you can plainly see above.
I was handling my run as if I were a pair of shears/scissors slicing my way down Long Island and cutting it in half!
On Austin Boulevard in Island Park
Mile 20 actually, and perhaps the funniest thing about this photo had to be the fact that my tongue was completely red from the Gatorade!  (I had posted 19, but I had forgotten to unpause Garmin a few times by now, so I went by Google Maps from this point onward).
Mile 21 - And ya gotta love that tongue! Crossing the bridge into Long Beach!!!

You mean that I can't take a cool dip yet??
Doesn't this picture give you like an Angus Young feel?

Hey wait?!  No mention of MANGANO here?  Whoa!!!
I can now see the boardwalk up ahead, and was running pretty hard towards it, with an incredibly happy smile on my face.  I had just completed my 22nd mile, and was about to text Karen, but not before having my toes touch that Atlantic surf.  When all of a sudden my phone rang.  It was Karen.  I answered it, and she mentioned that she was on "East Broadway and Long Beach Road".  I said, "I just passed East Broadway and Long Beach Road!!"  Then she says, "I see you!"  I turned around and saw her waving.  YAY!
I run back to her, get her the babies and the stroller out of the car (all the while I had totally forgotten to stop my watch, perhaps why my last mile was 16 minutes long, lol)
Then I pushed the double stroller up to the boardwalk.  Karen followed behind.  She thought I was totally nuts.  Especially that I still had the energy to do this, after running 22+ miles. 

We didn't stop there though.  We wanted to take the kids to the beach (their first real beach ever), and so we went down the ramp again and through to the sand.  I had to pull the stroller backwards.  We found a spot just a few feet on the other side of the boardwalk you see above, and from there I ran to get my feet wet.  I came back and then decided to go back again for the full splashdown.
Final comments from my friends/family:
Eat the bones!!! LMFAO!!! from my short story called "The Wait" with Nathan & Reginald! LMFAOOO!!!!!
So, Mission Accomplished.  I ran 22.5 miles and left Long Island looking like this:
Because the rest SUNK after I tore it up! :)
More stats..... 
And as you can see below... I ran 62.5 miles for the week (season long high), 32.7 miles in 30 hours, 346 miles since August 1st, and am only about 31 miles from breaking my record for most miles in September.  Doing well, machine, doing well so far....