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Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Entry on New Blog 12/16

You know the drill. Contact me or leave a comment if you want the new address.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Entry on New Blog 12/13

New entry posted on secret location blog. Email me or leave a comment for new address. Those who should not have my new address know who they are.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Warmth and Comfort

So I seem to have developed a fairly consistent routine again. I am finding myself able to wake up in the morning and get in a workout. Also, I am getting to the gym at lunch to do some much needed strength training. Its amazing how much you lose when you don’t use it. I am not exactly week, but I can see it in my body and the weights that I am able to lift, that strength training sessions have been long overdue.

Most of my workouts have been indoors. I’ve been using the warmth and comfort of my basement to as a crutch to getting them in. I can just space out and watch TV while a run or bike. So far it has been working out nicely, although this morning, I think I may go outdoors for my run. It has been a while since I saw Prospect Park before sunrise. I guess I’ll see what is on TV first. I’ll report back here later.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New Post Added

To new blog location - 12/6/07 5:35am

Sunday, December 02, 2007

New Post Added

A new post has been added to the secret location. Contact me for details

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Last Entry – A New Beginning

This will be my last entry for this blog. The time has come for me to move on and start anew. It has come to the point where I can no longer write what I want to say for fear that those who should not be viewing it will see it. I’ve censored myself enough, and I’ve had enough of that.

If you would like to know my new blog address, please send me an email or leave a comment on this entry. I hope my long time readers will reach out to me for the new address.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lobster Pot Pie at Michael Mina, Las Vegas

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Enjoying a Guiness at JFK

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn 5:30am

NYC Marathon 2007

It was a long day. Where do I even begin with it? I suppose I should start with waking up an hour too early, since the only clock in my house that I forget to set back was my watch which serves and my alarm. When I woke, I had a migraine headache and felt like shit. I considered just rolling over and going back to sleep. I wasn’t even sure if I could to the full distance of the marathon and at this moment I was wondering what the point was of going if I wasn’t sure I could go the distance. The fact that I awoke feeling terrible was an affirmation that I should stay in bed. I got up though and after some Excedrin and a bowl of cereal I started to feel better and got on with the process of getting ready. I hadn’t packed the night before and I needed to get moving if I was to make the bus to the marathon start.

I was already 5 minutes late by the time I finally left my house. I had to walk about a half mile to get to the bus and I was halfway there when I realized I forgot my HR monitor strap at home. I ran back to get it, but was now very late for the bus. I tried to call Larry to tell the bus organizer I was coming and not to leave without me, but my cell phone crapped out. Fortunately, my wife was amenable to driving me to the bus location. I just made it. The bus doors were about to close just as I got out of my car.

The ride to the start was quick and uneventful. The sun was just starting to peak over the horizon and we walked into the Marathon Village. All of the runners were separated into three color groups; Orange, Green and Blue. Larry and I made our way to the Blue staging area. It was definitely the low rent area. Where the orange and green had lots of grass to sit down upon, the blue area was mostly paved asphalt with a few patches of grass which served as parking lot medians. We staked a claim on a small patch of grass and began the business of waiting the 4 hours before the start.

I don’t know what the organizers were thinking in regards to staging the luggage trucks. Thousands upon thousands of runners had to make their way in and out of a narrow gap to get to and from the trucks. It took over an hour to move about 50 yards necessary for reaching your truck and getting back out. It was the biggest cluster fuck I’ve ever seen at a race. I think Mary Wittenburg of the NYRR is going to get a lot of email complaining about the situation. It was a very dangerous situation and I am glad no one yelled at “Bomb” otherwise there would have been a lot of dead or maimed marathoners from trying to get away.

Larry and I did finally make it out of there and we headed to the start. Even this was poorly organized. In past years it was possible to just walk onto the highway leading up to the Verrazano Bridge, but this year we almost didn’t get out of the village when the gun went off. In any event, I was happy to be running. Running over the VZ is always a thrill. This year for some reason the bridge wasn’t bouncing to the cadence of the runners. That was such an odd feeling. They must have done something to the bridge to eliminate that. In any event we set out at a leisurely 9 minute mile pace. I was feeling ok at first and felt like I could hold the pace for the entire race.

When I started to approach the 6 mile mark, I began the lookout for my family. I grossly overestimated the time that I would arrive (I thought it was at the 4 mile mark) and hoped my wife and kids would still be there. I was afraid that they would have thought they missed me and would have gone home. When I passed the block where I expected, but didn’t see them, I felt very depressed. I was looking forward to seeing them and giving my kids a hug. To my surprise they were just 2 blocks further down the course and I was very surprised and extremely happy to see them.

The race was pretty uneventful for the next 7 – 8 miles. I slapped a lot of kids hands as I ran by and took in the pleasure of running in one of the world’s largest marathons (is it the largest?). Just before the 59th Street Bridge our friend Willy had jumped into the race to run the final 11 miles with us. We were both supposed to run home with Larry along with several other friends, but that was not to be. By the time I got off the bridge I began to fade fast. My 9 minute miles turned into 10’s, followed by 11’s, 12’s, 13’s, 14’s and finally 16 minutes for the last two miles.

The last 10 miles up First Avenue, into the Bronx and back to the finish were torture. The thing I hated most about it was that I couldn’t predict what my next mile would be. There is something comforting in being able to predict your splits. It gives you an idea how much time you have left and how long the suffering will last. With each mile coming slower than the previous, I had no idea how long it would eventually take me. All I knew was that I was going to finish it, even if I had to crawl across the finish line.

The entire race was the complete opposite of last year’s. In 2006, I ran with Larry until the 59th Street Bridge when I told him I was too cold and needed to speed up. I had left him and passed 1000’s and 1000’s of runners as I started to run 7:30’s. This year, Larry left me on the 59th Street Bridge and 1000’s and 1000’s of runners passed me to the finish line. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling over the way this was turning out. On the one hand, I figured a measure of pride for even doing the race since I only did two small runs and two bike workouts in the past 1.5 months. I am completely detrained and probably should not have chosen to do a marathon as my first real run after recovering from injury. I think I should be proud of the fact that I was even able to do it. On the other hand I was feeling a bit embarrassed. This marathon was going to be my personal worst by far. It was hard to stomach the fact that I once ran 3:13 in a marathon and had aspirations of breaking 3 hours. I was like all those newbie marathoners who went out too fast and had to walk to the finish. It’s not right that our physiology takes us a long time to build up fitness, but becomes so totally detrained in such a short period of time.

After doing my death shuffle across the finish line, I was faced with an even larger and slower moving crowd to claim my baggage. It took over an hour to finally make my way to the UPS Truck that held my bag. I was feeling horribly nauseous and just wanted to lie down. I considered faking a collapse onto the ground so I could have the medics rush me out of the crowd. I was pretty close to doing that in fact, possibly not even because I was faking. After I finally got my bag, I sat on the ground to change into some dry clothes. As I’ve said before, the post race food at the NYC Marathon is without a doubt the worst you will encounter. Nothing would even be better so you don’t wind up carrying a bag of junk.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Me and Larry Waiting for Marathon Start

Me and Larry waiting for marathon start


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tomorrow is Marathon Day

Tomorrow I am doing the NYC Marathon. I am as unprepared for this race as when I walked into a Calculus exam in college, having not studied or understanding any of the subject matter. I think I got 10 out of a hundred. I am hoping though that I will get more than 10 miles and my marathon grade will be a full 26.2. I think I am only doing this race, because I don’t want to sit out of my third NYC Marathon because of shin splints. Also, this marathon will make my 3rd consecutive year and my 4th NYC Marathon in total. I’d like to get to the point where I have enough NYC Marathons under my belt so that I do not have to worry about qualifying for it each year.

To get over the shin splints I think I’ve only ran about 3 times in the past 1.5 months. I am praying that the weather will be much warmer tomorrow with a lot less wind. I will be running this marathon slow which means the cold and wind will make it torturous.

This year I intend to run the total race with my friend Larry. It is his intention to run the 12 miles home after the marathon in celebration of his 25th consecutive running and his 50th birthday. I told him I would do this run with him, but I suppose I’ll have to see how I feel after the marathon. I already don’t think I am being smart by running a marathon off of no training and a painful shin, but if I feel somewhat ok, I think I’ll make the day into an ultramarathon. I know what my coach will say about this last statement – That I am questioning whether I can even do 26.2, but here I am talking about making it an ultra. I just like to keep my options open and by thinking of making it an ultra, 26.2 miles will be relatively easy. I am just being optimistic.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crossed the Line

I crossed a line this past Sunday. There was a NYRR race scheduled, a Marathon Qualifier which I needed to do if I am to get 9 races and I completely blew it off. I sat in my darkened living room at 5:30am and knew that if I didn’t get going I would miss the race and gone would be the opportunity to guarantee entry into the 2008 marathon. It was the first time that I purposely said screw it, I don’t need to do this. I crossed the line to the dark side.

Several hours later, after the sun came up and revealed a beautiful day, I got annoyed at myself for letting that happen. So for the first time in months, I dusted off my bike trainer and road in my basement for 2 hours. It wasn’t much, but at least it was something. I could tell by my elevated HR, compared to the effort I was putting in, that I’ve gotten completely out of shape in the month since I injured my leg and decided to take a training vacation. It was so depressing, it almost made me stop. But stopping would not be a way to get back in shape.

Yesterday, I went to the NYSC for the first time since joining over a month ago to do some strength training exercises. I used to be a regular in the club and a couple of the personal trainers recognized me and made a big deal about saying hello. I did an easy workout since I didn’t want to push too hard. I knew if I did, I’d be suffering pretty badly from DOMS the next day. It will take a few trips to the gym before my body gets used to it. After working out, I once again was feeling depressed as I realized how much strength I’ve lost over the past few months. You would think I am a virtual cripple by the way I am describing how weak I feel compared to when I was really in shape. I wish the workout had rejuvenated me and gave me a positive feeling. I guess I’ll start feeling better as the tightness in my waistband lessens and I start getting back in shape.

So far since I crossed the line, I am doing ok. For the first time in months, I woke up early enough to do a morning workout - One hour on the trainer. I easily kept my HR in the aerobic and my mind occupied by playing online poker and Full Tilt poker.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Take It Back

I guess I shouldn't have felt so bad in regards to my previous post. My friend went ahead and got a matching offer for the person I offered the job to. He accepted the counter. Oh well.

Feeling Pretty Low

I am feeling like a piece of shit right now. I just screwed a friend of mine, someone I’ve been close to for over 13 years. Granted I did not intentionally set out to screw him, but that is the end result none the less. I used to work at the company where my friend is now. When I left that company, I went to their biggest competitor. There was a programmer there who I would have liked to hire at my new job, but I didn’t since I knew it would screw my friend.

Recently though, I was led to believe that this programmer was no longer reporting to my friend. I decided that if that was the case, then I had no reason not to pursue him. It wasn’t until I finished negotiations with this person, that he stated that my friend would be very pissed off when he told him. Evidently my friend was still responsible for the area in which this programmer worked. I was surprised and dismayed when I heard this. Needless to say my friend called me this morning to tell me what a low thing I did. I couldn’t argue with him. I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t speak to me again.

One of the things that were going through my mind when I decided to go after this programmer was how it would reflect badly on the manager to whom I thought he was reporting. I felt that my friend was somehow put in a lesser position by not directly managing the team the team that this programmer was a part of and by taking the programmer it would show what would happen by not trusting in my friend’s ability to run this team. Basically, to get the programmer, I had to make an offer that he would be foolish to turn down. Otherwise I don’t think there would have been any way in hell that he would have come over to me. My friend is a great manager, extremely competent, hard working and one of the best people you could ever know. I am deeply saddened to know that I may have ruined this friendship or somehow this will reflect badly on him.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I am thinking of getting hypnosis. My drive to maintain any sort of exercise routine is seriously waning. I recognize what is happening to me. I fear I am at the start of a downward spiral to becoming out of shape and overweight again. I don’t want it to happen, but I am almost helpless in my effort to fight it. I have been through this before and know the signs. I am thinking that hypnosis can help me get back on course.

I supposed I am just depressed and frustrated that I can’t run. Everything was going so well and then my leg suddenly fails me. All I feel like doing is running. I really don’t have a desire to bike and swim right now. I went for a ride yesterday and within 30 minutes I was getting pretty bored. Granted I was just going around Prospect Park for the billionth time, but usually I can stay focused for more than 30 minutes. All I managed to ride was a total of 17 miles. Pathetic. To top it off, I am so out of bike shape, that they way I struggled to do those miles was even further depressing. I’ve got to get out of this state of mind. Hypnosis may be the key.


Friday, October 19, 2007

My Mistress

For the longest time Ironman was my mistress. She would give back to me as much as I put into her. It was a great relationship. One that I found fulfilling and rewarding. Lately though, I’ve decided to try out a new girl. Her name is Ultrarunning. She is a lot harder on the body than Ironman and I am afraid she has broken me down. My left leg is toast. Shin splints have gotten so bad that it is now painful to just walk around. Going up and down stairs is a killer.

I ignored this herpes sore of a problem for as long as I could. I decided that the problem has gone far enough when I found myself grimacing within the first half mile of a run the other night. I can’t stand this problem. It is just something that won’t go away. Just like herpes. Maybe I can get rid of the problem through amputation. I participated in a spirited discussion the other night about whether a below the knee amputee has an unfair advantage over someone with a full leg. The reason being that the artificial leg is lighter and more aerodynamic. If I go that route, I will be sure to keep my leg and not lose it like the fellow in one of my recent blog postings.

I suppose I should start riding my bike and swimming more often. I just can’t get myself to go. I fear that I am starting to get fat and lazy again. My clothes are starting to get tight on me. Now that I can’t run, I just want to stuff my face while sitting on the couch and watching TV. That’s such an easy thing to do. It’s amazing how I have resisted that lure for so long.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It Comes Back to You

Many years ago my wife and I (girlfriend at the time), rode our bikes from Miami Beach to Key West and back. On the trip back to Miami, I stopped on the side of the road to take a piss. When I looked down, I found an addressed envelope that must have been blown out of a car or something. I picked it up and later mailed it to the recipient when I returned home to NY. If I hadn’t stopped at that exact spot it most likely would have dissolved away by the elements. I sent it anonymously with a little note stating where I found it.

Well today I received a letter at work containing an envelope with a banking receipt that I had lost. I remember coming home and thinking I lost it, but I didn’t give it much thought and quickly forgot about it. Until today when it showed up in my mailbox, with a note attached telling me where it was found.

I guess there is such a thing as Karma.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


So I volunteered for the first time at a race. I chose a long one in the 6 Hour-60th Birthday Run in Sunken Meadow State Park. I afraid it would be awful and boring just hanging around for 6+ hours to help out, but I actually had a decent time of it. There were plenty of volunteers so my responsibilities were very light. About all I did was direct the runners on the trail during the first two loops, and even that was well marked by an arrow on the ground. I mostly read my book (The Road, by Cormac McCarthy) and would encourage the runners when they passed my way. The only other thing I did was to help move some picnic tables and to load some equipment into a truck. The toughest part of the day was trying to stay warm early in the race. I was starting to get very cold just sitting around.

After the runners passed me a couple of times, I headed back to the race start/finish area and ran into some friends from my office. They were there to check out the scene and we chatted for a while and watched the runners go by. After chatting for a while, I saw my friends Larry and Willie come by and I quickly changed into my running gear to do a few loops with them. This would be my first run in two weeks and my first test to see if my leg was healed. The first loop I did with them was at a nice and easy pace. However on the second loop, Willie started to run on a flat section of the course as if he had an angry mob with torches chasing him. Larry and I asked him what he thought he was doing when he finally slowed down. It was definitely too fast of a pace for my first comeback run. Fortunately after that little burst of speed, we settled down to a more civilized pace. After running 4 loops we took a bathroom break and I had to decide if I wanted to go any further. I felt some twinges in my leg, but I went out for one more loop. I wanted to run at least 10 miles today. My leg was a little sore afterwards, but nothing really too bad. I am not sure if I’ll run tomorrow. Other than my leg, I felt pretty decent and felt like running 6 hours. It was frustrating to have to stop.

While I was cooling down I hung around the people timing the race. We were commenting on the leaders and I would call out the times to my fellow Hammer Nutrition athlete Byron Lane. Byron was running several minutes behind the leader and I would let him know how much time he had to make up. After a while of hanging around the timing mats, I grabbed my camera to take pictures of the people I knew in the race. I got some good shots of Larry and Willie. Here are all of the pictures.

During the time I was running, I couldn’t help think about “The Road”. For some reason I felt fortunate to be running along a road that was green on all sides of me as opposed to a barren, ashy, burnt up landscape as described in the book. I couldn’t imagine living in a world as described in “The Road” and counted myself as fortunate for not being in such a situation. What would have been the point in living in such a situation? Hopefully we won’t have a nuclear war anytime soon. If you ever read the book or have read it already, you wouldn’t have to guess what I would have done while I had two bullets left in my gun. It would have been the most merciful thing to do.

Anyway, the day was as pleasant as it was long. Everyone was appreciated for the help I provided and I got my Service Requirement Form for the Vermont 100 Miler filled out. At least that is out of the way. Now I just have to hope my leg gets healthy enough to run in it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Road, The Mold and PT

The Road

So I am reading this book called “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. It was recommended by my friend Todd. I don’t think I’ve read a more horrible book. It’s not the writing that’s bad, it’s the story. It’s about a father and son making their way through a post apocalyptic world and their struggle to survive. It’s thoroughly depressing and definitely not something that I should be reading. I don’t know if I should put it down or continue through what I am sure is to be a brutal ending. Just reading the pages is enough for me to want to down a Xanax and run for the anti-depressants.

The Mold

My wife and I own a condo in which we rent out. Our tenants had a leak underneath the kitchen sink and didn’t notice it until the floors were ruined and mold had set into the sheetrock and other areas. I had to have a company that specializes in mold remediation come in to remove the toxic material. Fortunately it was regular mold and not the black mold that everyone is in fear of.

Anyway, we spent over $1,500 to have the moldy floor and sheetrock removed and carted away. However that is not what the company we hired did. Instead of hauling the debris away and properly disposing it, they drove 3 blocks away from the condo and dumped it next to a fire hydrant where I guess they hoped NYC Sanitation would cart it away. Little did the employees of this company know, that the fire hydrant they dumped this stuff happened to be across the street from the house in which my family lives. At first we just thought some inconsiderate bastard had dumped some household trash. It wasn’t until the next morning that my wife passed it and realized that she was looking at the flooring that was removed from our condo. Needless to say we were a bit pissed off.

I called up the company and the representative that I arranged the mold removal with said that he was in shock when I told him what happened. Supposedly, the workers who dumped the debris are to be fired. He sounded sincerely contrite, but I’ve become a skeptic in my old age. I guess I’ll never really know whether this was standard operating procedure or just a one time case of workers being lazy. They had to travel back to Long Island to dump the stuff and I guess they didn’t want to make the trip from Brooklyn.

Physical Therapy

I started physical therapy on my leg this week. It has been going well and my leg is starting to feel better. I’ve been so bummed out about not being able to run. It’s been two weeks since my last run and 3 weeks since I’ve injured it. I think it is finally well enough for me to attempt my first easy run tomorrow. I’ll do it at some point in the day that I will be volunteering at the Sunken Meadow 6 hour run. I really wanted to be doing this race, but I guess it is just as well that I am not doing it. I want to do the Vermont 100 miler next summer and part of the requirement to do that race is to volunteer for 8 hours or longer at another ultra event. I guess everything happens for a reason.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Webby Connect Conference

I am on my way back home from another business trip. I spent the week at the Webby Award’s Webby Connect Conference listening to all that is new, exciting and the future of the Internet. It was held at the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point. The hotel and conference were excellent and I am very glad I went. The conference covered a variety of topics and had many good speakers. The 3 keynote speakers included Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney and Vinton Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet.

I arrived early enough on the first day to get a swim in the ocean. It was great to be back in the Pacific on yet another trip to the Left Coast. I used my wetsuit, although I probably could have gotten away without it. The water was clear and a cool 67 degrees. I could even see fish swimming along the bottom. I only swam for a half hour. My leg injury was bothering me when I kicked and I didn’t want to aggravate it.

The conference was a joyful mixture of compelling content mixed with pleasurable activities. During the first day of the conference, the sessions ended early. As part of the conference, it was arranged with the hotel for everyone to take surf lessons. Unfortunately, the wave weren’t conducive to surfing, we all wet Boogy Boarding instead. It was a lot of fun. I spent almost 3 hours in the ocean, comfortably in my own wetsuit. Everyone else had to borrow a wetsuit from the hotel. After Boogy Boarding, I then went to the hotel’s lap pool and swam around 2000 yards.

The activities for the next night of the conference included dinner followed by an open bar and a Trivia contest. Everyone was broken up into teams of 4 and we played to win a Wii, Ipod and other great prizes. Our team didn’t win anything though, but it was still a lot of fun. That was about it. The conference ended around 12:30pm the next day and then it was time to zip over to the airport. I had an uneventful trip home. While flying I entertained myself with a great book I am reading called “Busting Vegas”. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

End of the World

I found this on the Internet. Pretty funny.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just Another Entry

So the other day I am walking to the subway after work and I pass the Subway sandwich shop where I will occasionally get lunch. Normally it is hustling and bustling, but today the windows were closed and a sign was out in front saying that it has been closed down by the Board of Health. That makes me feel so good as I just ate there the other day. I wonder how many roach bits I consumed.

I also took a ride in a taxi that has been outfitted with the GPS device that all the cabbies have been complaining about. I have to say the thing is great. You have a small computer screen in the back of the car that shows exactly where you are. It also has a TV that plays channel 7 all day long. You can get sports scores, restaurant and hotel reviews. You can also get a check on the weather and pay by credit card if you want.

This morning I took a private taxi to JFK. I am on a business trip once again. The ride to the airport was awful. I had a female driver and her driving made me sick. She would speed up when she saw a yellow light, only to stop short when it turned red. All the stop and going made me nauseous.

Yesterday I went to the doctor to have my leg checked out. It was the quickest $200 that I’ve ever spent. The doctor spent all of 5 minutes with me. Unfortunately, he didn’t take my insurance. I did get an x-ray though. The doc says I have excellent bones. My diagnosis is most likely a slightly torn adductor muscle with the prescription for recovery being about 3 weeks rest and physical therapy. The worse part about being injured is not being able run while I am away. I’ve gotten to enjoy my wandering around while running in other cities.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cheating the System

Today was the ING NYC Marathon Tune-Up. An 18 miler around Central Park. I had some qualms about doing the race since my left leg was bothering me, but I decided to give it a shot. I probably shouldn’t have done the race since not only was my leg bothering me, but I also have a slightly pulled muscle in the left side of my back. I did that yesterday when I ran the 5th Avenue Mile.
I woke up at 5am to eat breakfast and then drove into the city. Miraculously I found a parking spot close to the start within a few minutes after pulling off of the FDR Drive. I even had time for a quick nap in my car before the race started. As I started to jog easily to the starting line, my leg felt a little stiff and my shin was hurting a bit. My shin pain always seems to flare up worse than usual after I take a couple of days off.

I started out the race feeling ok, definitely not great. I know I went out too fast and my leg was a bit painful. To compensate, I kind of just zoned out and ran. There were many runners around me but I put up a wall of space around me such that I didn’t see or hear anything except for the double while line passing beneath my feet. I was comfortable in this zone and ran like this for one complete loop though the park.

At the start of the second loop, Jay a fellow member of AGTC caught up to me (we met and spoke at the start) and we started chatting while we ran. This pulled me out of my reverie and got me thinking more about my pace and leg. It was probably just as well though as I noticed my leg was progressively starting to bother me more. I told Jay to go ahead since I could tell my pace would soon be slowing down considerably. By the time I got to approximately 8 miles I knew it was all over. I stopped to walk and began to look for a place to cut through the park so I could get back to the east side. I wandered around for a few minutes to rest and saw that I couldn’t cross where I was since a lake was in my way. I then continued south doing a slow trot hoping I was closer to the 72nd Street Transverse than I was to the 102nd. It was disconcerting seeing so many runners pass me as I was struggling along at such a slow pace. As it turned out I was only a few hundred yards from 72nd.

Once I was at the 72nd Street Transverse I decided to continue around the bottom of the park instead of cutting across. I did this for two reasons. The first was I started to feel a little better and the second and more important reason was I didn’t want to tempt myself into cutting the loop short by going across 72nd. I figured if I could continue at a slow pace, perhaps I could finish the race and get my Qualifier (I only have 3 of the required 9 for the NYC Marathon). By the time I got back around to 72nd on the east side I knew I was really done. I didn’t even think about continuing on and exited the park. I went to a cash machine and then grabbed a cab back uptown to my car. As I watched the streets go by I knew I made the right decision. It would have been very painful just to walk the distance back.

On the way home in my car, I realized why I had regrets about not finishing Lake Placid earlier this year. I know because while sitting in my car, I started to feel regrets about quitting the 18 miler. The reason for the regret is because after I stopped racing, I know longer felt any pain or discomfit. I was feeling ok, which gave me the illusion that if I kept going I could have finished it. If I am feeling ok now, shouldn’t I have been able to go on? Realizing this I quickly came to grips with the fact that sometimes stopping in a race is the correct decision. The ghosts that haunted me about stopping have been exorcised from my mind.

I also learned something else about myself today. I know I will never cheat in a race or when it comes to qualifying for the marathon. I was giving thought to how bad it would be to register for a race and have someone else run with my chip so I can be scored and get a NYC Marathon Qualifier. I never seriously considered it, but the thought did cross my mind. Today I could have sat in my car or in the park for a while and then made my way back onto the course and cross the finish line. It would have been easy to do. I know now that no matter how easy it may be to cheat like that, I won’t do it. I need to earn my place to the starting line and if quitting today means I won’t have enough qualifiers for next year’s marathon, then so be it. Better I make it there by earning that right than to get there by cheating the system.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

September 29, 2007 Observations

While walking home from the dry cleaners today, loaded down with a ton of clean laundry, I walked past an obese woman with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth. This is unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence, but what was remarkable about this woman was the t-shirt she was wearing. Written on it was Health Walk to find a cure for Diabetes (or something to that effect). I found it kind of ironic that she could wear such a shirt given her current state and appearance.

I also observed several kids stop next to my neighbor’s house to admire freshly poured concrete. My neighbor just had his sidewalk redone and the wet cement seemed to draw the kids in like a very powerful magnet lifting a load of metal. You could see the desire to write their names in the cement in their eyes. Who actually doesn’t think about writing their name in freshly poured cement? I suppose the desire comes from knowing that the mark you leave behind has some permanence. It is not every day that cement is poured and when it is, it will most likely be there long after we are gone.

Perhaps the most important and happiest observation I made today came when I watched my son play goalie during his soccer game. The kid has so much heart. He is always smiling when he plays any sport. The most poignant moment for me came when the ball was hit towards the goal and my son dove for it, grabbed it and rolled over. As I was watching this play unfold I was saying in my mind “dive for it”. That is just what he did. It is exactly what I would have done. I was struck at how I was watching a mirror of myself out on that field. This moment in time resonated inside me and I suddenly felt all choked up. It made me think about how much our personalities are due to genetics as opposed to the environment in which we are raised.