Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dehydration, Nike Testing, AREC Run

First let me thank Dave K. who took the wonderful pictures that I included here. Much appreciated, Dave :-)
Waking up with a dry throat usually meant that I didn’t hydrate enough the previous night, especially when I didn’t drink any alcohol. That doesn’t bode well for the day’s upcoming running workout. I’m not usually a big morning drinker but on this day I felt the need to imbibe more fluids if I was going to have a decent run. After drinking some water, plus coffee, I left home for Saturday morning’s AREC run.
Nike was supposed to send some representatives today to offer free gait analysis to the runners and when I arrived in the area, I saw that they had already fired up their two treadmills, computers, and monitors. A line of people were waiting to be analyzed. Hmmn, that last sentence sounded more like psychoanalysis which some obsessive runners probably need.  I didn’t avail myself of Nike’s services since I already knew how screwed up my gait was and my head is what requires analysis.
Instead, I did a warm up jog and after a couple of miles, I was still feeling parched so I drank more water. Friday’s potato salad binge must have caused a sodium overdose in my body which resulted to the thirsty feeling. Sodium indiscretion notwithstanding, it was time to face the music and run with the masses. In what may be the biggest group we’ve ever had, 150+ runners strong showed up to participate despite it being a long holiday weekend. Some of these runners could have gone out of town instead, but probably chose to run with our group as part of their staycation. With the number of people we had, I actually had to walk a few yards at the start because the group was so big. It was almost like being in a race. As in the previous Saturday, I started with the 10 minutes per mile pacers and resisted the urge to give chase to the 9 minute pace runners who I saw up ahead. It wouldn’t have worked anyway since I can’t start a run that fast. Just past the first half mile, I noticed someone pacing with me and I recognized Ellen F. whom I’ve known through Facebook friends but never ran or talked with before. Since the pace was comfortable, I just stayed with her and we exchanged running experience stories along the way, so much so that I was barely aware of the pace or distance that we covered. The whole way, it turned out to be a ‘steady state’, no push, cruising pace, for which my joints appreciated at the end. I was even able to tack on another mile of cool down afterwards. 

Compared to the hard, lung busting and joint damaging, chase and recover 5 miler last weekend ( ), this Saturday’s more comfortable pace was a welcome respite for my tender joints. Thanks for the good pace, Ellen, nice to get the chance to talk with you and get a good workout at the same time. That goes for the rest of AREC too, who give me the motivation to train week in and week out.
2 miles warm up, plus 6 miles with the AREC group, plus 1 mile cool down = not bad for an early Saturday morning. Is there a shrink in the house?

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol 2010 Finale

Great American Idol Finale show tonight! In my opinion, based on yesterday’s performances, it was an upset, but then again this is a popularity contest. Most of the time, if you listen closely, Lee Dewyze is off key or maybe that’s just because I have bad hearing. All I can say is that Crystal Bowersox had better performances and vocals Tuesday night. But she doesn’t have a pop idol look, so that may have been why she finished second even though it was her better voice that took her to the final two. Lee on the other hand has the looks but seems to have poor communication skills and when he sings, he appears to have no emotional connection to the songs. His face has only one expression.  If I were to choose a winner based on performance and pop idol looks though, I would have picked Siobhan Magnus. It’s too bad she was voted off several weeks ago. Just to let you know, I have not voted since Carrie Underwood won several years ago.
                What I enjoyed most about tonight’s finale were the performances of Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson. Their voices sounded great! Forget about Lady Gaga and her wardrobe changes. She is still not on the level of Christina and Janet. Just sing it, ladies. Wardrobe malfunction not required.
                Nevertheless, despite being not my choice, I congratulate Lee Dewyze for having more votes than Crystal on this night. I can only hope he gets better. Otherwise he may fade into obscurity like some other previous winners.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

The Shower Fix

               First let me tell you, I’m not a handyperson and can hardly fix things. When it comes to plumbing, you might as well write the word “STUPID” across my forehead. In recent weeks, the stream adjustment on my shower nozzle broke and I’ve been looking for a replacement shower head. I finally went to OSH Hardware Store last Thursday afternoon to look for one. What I found out was that the shower head I had was so old that they don’t make them anymore and the standard size had changed. The salesperson suggested that I go to Plumbing World which was a couple of miles away. Since it was already late and they were closed, I went first thing next morning. They didn’t have the type of shower head either and they suggested that there may be an adapter that I can connect to the tube attached to the wall in my shower, which I can put in a new standardized showerhead. Unfortunately, the one they had was not the correct size for the brand I had. So I went online when I got home to look for it and found one at the Ace Hardware Store website. After the Saturday morning AREC run, I visited the nearest store and with the help of the salesperson there, located the product I needed, which was actually cheaper then the price quoted on their website. In addition, I bought the cheapest showerhead I could find and some Teflon tape as a sealant for the attachments. When I got home, I connected everything and the new showerhead worked perfectly without any leaks. If it works for the next 20 to 30 years like the old one did, I would have gotten more than my money’s worth.
            My personal expenses for this venture: 1 week’s worth of search time, plus shower arm adapter: $4.99, showerhead: $3.79, roll of Teflon tape: $0.99. Savings: approximately $50.00 for not calling a plumber. Surprising what a little bit of resourcefulness can do. If you can please wipe the word “STUPID” off my forehead now. Thank you.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010


No, it’s not the same as shake, rattle, and roll. This has more to do with Saturday morning’s first AREC training run of the year for the Long Beach Marathon come October. After a somewhat lengthy registration process, introduction, and orientation to the training program (due to a lot of newcomers which swelled the group to over a hundred!), the marathoners set forth on their 5 mile run, while the half marathoners left for their 3 miles. Wait, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Waking up in a spacey mode which lasted throughout the morning, I got to the staging area early, said hello to Sophie, filled out my registration and waiver forms at Kate's, Emmett's, and Deb's tables, then caught a glimpse of Tam, Jamie, and Jean starting out already. Not wanting to warm up all by myself, I caught up with them and learned that they were going for 9 miles. I ran with them for one and a quarter miles then turned back to the starting area for a total of 2.5 miles as my warm up.
After the above mentioned introductions, I searched for and found the 10 minutes per mile pace group with our Aussie mate, Allison leading the way. I stayed with them through past the half mile mark when I saw Rosie up ahead, so I upped the pace slightly and gave chase. I talked to her for a few minutes so I could slow down and catch my breath. Then I saw Michael up ahead and the chase was on again. Upon catching up, I did the same thing I did with Rosie to recover. I thought I saw the 9 minutes per mile pack up ahead and in between me and them, was a woman who I had a nodding acquaintance with last year. So I gave chase again. When I caught up with her, I mentioned remembering her losing her husband on the course in one of last year’s long runs (no, losing is not a euphemism for dying, she and her husband just happened to run different paces and somehow she got separated from him during the run). So that was how the run went for the first half, with me chasing people and recovering or catching my breath when I caught them. While I was eyeing what I thought was the 9 minute pace group up ahead, I missed the turnaround point going out and coming back. Was it supposed to be Covina Street? Well, I never saw it so I didn’t turn around until I reached Nieto Street, which I knew was way past where we were supposed to turn. By that time most people I was keying on were too far to catch, but not for lack of trying. I tried to keep the pace close to my redline point the rest of the way and didn’t catch any more runners until the last two miles. The long drive to the finish lasted for about 2 ½ miles which I felt I covered at 10k race pace. Due to missing the turnaround, the run that was supposed to be 4.9 miles became 5.65 miles for me. To my astonishment, I had run the course at an average pace of 8:54 per mile. I didn’t think I still had it in me to run sub 9 minute pace. Well, it was just about 5 miles after all. For sure, I’ll be slowing it down when the distance increases and will be doing the run/walk too. But for Saturday’s run, maybe my spaciness was just another word for focused. I thank my ankles and knees for holding up to the hard paced run.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Surprise Thursday Effort and Saturday’s Marathon Training

Because I’ve been feeling drained the last couple of runs this past week, I expected the same on Thursday so I thought I’d take it easy and do a slow jaunt in the neighborhood for about 50 minutes doing the run/walk method. It started off that way, but after about 10 to 15 minutes, it became a full-fledged hard interval workout. It was still a 4 minute run with 1 minute walk technique, but I ran the 4 minute portions really hard which put me in the anaerobic zone, meaning I was gasping for breath because my oxygen intake couldn’t catch up. This was a day when I almost skipped the run and take another couple of days off because my right ankle had been hurting since the previous evening. I ventured out to see how it felt and thankfully, the ankle held up and it turned out to be a good and challenging workout.
This coming Saturday is the start of the A Running Experience Club marathon training program for the Long Beach Marathon. A much bigger group is expected because it combines our club members with an area hospital’s training group. The training program has been going on for 6 or 7 years now and it has grown from about 12 participants in the first year to about 60 last year. With the hospital group joining us, we may reach a hundred. We will finally be getting pace leaders this year, something I’ve always hoped would happen but never materialized. A few years back, I might have volunteered for it but with my injuries and inconsistent pace nowadays, I couldn’t manage anymore. I’m looking forward to running with a pack of similar paced runners though. Time to train the body to wake up at 5 A.M. again.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Neverending Polish

There was an anecdote I remember which someone said that the painters of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco will never be out of work because by the time they finish painting it from one end to the other, it is time to do it over again. I don’t remember who said it, or when, or if it’s even true.
                Something similar seems to be happening in the building I work in as far as polishing the floors are concerned. One of the housekeeper’s duties appears to be the never ending polishing of the floors. When he finishes stripping the old wax, reapplying new wax, blow drying the floor with a powerful fan which could possibly launch a small plane, then polishing the surface, it is time to move to another segment of the building. By the way, he has to apply five coats of wax and blow dry between coats. In recent months, I’ve noticed that this appeared to be an unending routine not unlike the Golden Gate Bridge painters would do. Maybe this housekeeper has the same job security as long as he survives the nasty fumes emitting from the wax and doesn’t do him in. Best of luck to him.
                In addition, when they have to polish in patient care areas, they block off areas of the unit where staff and patients are not allowed to pass through for hours. There is a consequence to this because it creates a problem with patients going to and from their rooms and it pisses them off that they couldn’t move about. It also pisses the staff off because it compromises the safety of the patients because we can’t check on them as frequently as needed. Nobody has died yet while this happened but a few years ago, a patient was able to strip the glue from her window and escape. We didn’t find out until about three hours later when the polishers finished their work and the patient was long gone. The housekeepers did a good job waxing and polishing, the patient did a good job escaping, but the staff was unable to do a good job due to the waxing.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

May’s Random Thoughts

Did I already write about this? Maybe not, but it reminded me of comment thread on Facebook a few weeks back about reusable bags. This is an experience that I had the other weekend. Although I have a lot of canvas reusable bags, I brought one of the few plastic bags I have left at home to a store to use for whatever I bought. When I presented it to the cashier at the checkstand, she threw it in the trash. I asked her why she did that and she said because it didn’t come from their store. It was hard to believe her reasoning. So I told her I was recycling it and she relented by taking my bag out of the trash and using it for the products I bought. Wow! Have you ever had a similar experience where a store wouldn’t use your bag because it didn’t have their logo?
            I was reading a magazine review of running shorts the other day and it surprised me to see shorts that cost as much as running shoes used to. Speaking of technical running clothes, remember the “wet look” fashion of the 60’s? The fabric is basically the same as today’s technical wear. The only difference is how they weave it.
Growing up in a small town, I had a somewhat sheltered life. Meaning, I wasn’t exposed to too many social activities other than those with close relatives. To add to that, I was and still am an introvert, so that didn’t help. So even though I remember a lot of my classmates in elementary and high school, there are others whom I don’t remember well or at all. Then Facebook came along and reintroduced me to them. Some connections were made through memories but some never connected at all. Sorry about that.
             Being horizontally challenged, I sometimes have difficulty getting blankets for patients when the housekeepers put them on the topmost shelf of the linen room. A few nights back, I summoned the help of the tallest nurse I could find and had to “borrow” her height to get a blanket for me. She was over 6 feet tall.
I’ve always wondered why one of the fingers on my left hand was slightly bent and it has been hurting when I try to straighten it out. That reminded me that it was a volleyball injury in my younger years when I hyperextended it and it’s now giving me pain 30 years later. Little things you used to ignore eventually catch up with you. Damn age! I couldn’t help but laugh quietly about it.
I passed by a doughnut shop on the way home from work last week and the apple fritter aromas were like siren songs beckoning my name to come closer. I covered my ears and nose and fled the scene of temptation.
Craving something salty then wanting to even it out with something sweet afterwards, I think, is the bane of people who try to watch their diet.
This is what happens when you find a topic and can’t stretch it out. You categorize them under random thoughts. Oh, well…

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mind/Body/Run Surprise

Sometimes it amazes me that I can still do it. What is it, you ask? Being able to run surprises me. I know I can still run regardless of slowness, but because I don’t know how much longer my right ankle is going to last, it surprises me that I can still start and finish a run. Not only that, during the times that my ankle holds up but the rest of my body refuses to cooperate, I still manage to finish the workout. Sometimes it’s just a matter of willing your body to do it. Take one step and then another, repeat, and soon you are on your way.
 For example, Saturday morning’s run. My legs have felt dead since I did the intervals/hill combination workout on the treadmill last Tuesday. I was putting off until the last minute to decide whether to run/walk the Palos Verdes Half Marathon on Saturday, then my training partner Cyndi emailed on Friday to ask if I wanted to run an easy six miles. We had not run together since I aggravated my ankle about four weeks ago. I jumped at the opportunity and met with her at our usual venue. While I warmed up before she arrived, my legs felt flat with nary a bounce in my stride and by the time I finished my right ankle was hurting so badly, I was limping back to my car. I stretched and hoped for the best because based on that warm up, I wasn’t sure if I could do another six miles. Cyndi arrived, we started putting one foot in front of the other, got distracted updating the last four weeks, and soon enough we approached the last two miles before my stride started to feel heavy again. But by that time, with the help of an ever patient training partner, we made it to the end and even tacked on another half mile. Amazing what the body can do if you set your mind to it. Another case of mind over matter.
 I’m not sure if I could have finished a half marathon on Saturday due to my sluggishness, but it surprised me that I completed eight miles in spite of it. So once again, any day my surprising body allows me to run, I’m thankful for. In addition, my wallet thanks me for saving the $55 entry fee by not running in Palos Verdes.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Tricks of the Patient Trade

Smokers will do whatever it takes to get their nicotine fix even when a place like a locked psych unit doesn’t allow them to do it other than during scheduled smoke breaks. Case in point: a female patient woke up at about 3 A.M., goes to the bathroom then goes back to bed. But she left the water running in the sink. I went in the room and saw a lot of baby powder spread on the floor. When I opened the bathroom door, there was a towel on the floor blocking the gap between the door and the floor. Furthermore, when I turned off the faucet, I saw leftover ashes on the sink. All telltale signs of smoking. Let me explain: baby powder to mask the smoke odor, towel on the floor to block the smell of cigarettes from wafting out to the hallway, and running water to wash the ashes down the drain. All too familiar tricks of patients in a psych hospital or inmates in jail and I’ve seen it too many times before, so it was not a surprise. This patient had the gall to deny it but then again you can’t expect any less from a habitual liar and manipulator. Minutes after I showed the nurse the evidence and left the room, the patient demanded that her room be searched for further evidence. We declined because who knows what body orifices she tucked the rest of the cigarettes and lighter in?

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

A New But Different PR

About three minutes into my run in a quiet neighborhood Thursday morning, something suddenly froze me in my tracks. Two large loose dogs were running towards me at full speed. As quickly as I stopped, they turned around but kept hanging around in the area, so I turned around myself and ran the other way while constantly glancing behind me to make sure they weren’t following. I also drew my pepper spray from my waistband and gave it a test squirt to make sure it still worked (note: I've never used it on animals or humans but I carry it for protection if the need comes up). That might be the closest in recent memory that I could have been mauled by man’s best friend. I don’t know where they came from. Someone probably forgot to close their gate and the dogs escaped. Forty minutes later in another neighborhood, another dog chased me, but this time it looked like a teacup poodle which ran beside me while constantly yapping. Thankfully, it didn’t take a nip on my ankles as I kept imploring it to go back home. Encountering three loose dogs in a day is something that doesn’t happen often and in my case never at all. The most I’ve met were two, so today I broke my personal record for loose dog encounters. For them, chasing is probably play, but to me, I’m thinking I might be a snack for them to nosh on.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Pseudo Hill Run

It wasn’t like the lung busting, quad burning, 13% or so uphill grade of Skyline Drive, or Stanley Avenue, or the shorter but steeper Hill Street. Those of course are streets in the city of Signal Hill. What I did was more like an undulating 3 to 8% grade depending on the speed of the treadmill belt. I’m talking about what turned out to be a good one hour treadmill workout I did Tuesday morning with variable speeds and hills. During the slower segments, I would raise the angle higher, while on the faster portions, I take it down to 3 or 4%. The reason why I did a treadmill run was because I wimped out from running outdoors when I saw and felt how cold and windy it was that day.
My right inner ankle was hurting more than usual after the workout because running hills don’t agree with the posterior tibialis and Achilles tendons when they are already injured. In fact, hill workouts are supposed to be avoided.
One thing I don’t pay too much attention to on the treadmill is the speed (MPH) that the console tells me, because for some reason, my perceived effort translates to a faster pace when running outdoors than on the treadmill. For example, on a good day outdoors, I may average 6.5 MPH. With a similar perceived effort on the treadmill, I can only do 5 to 5.5 MPH. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps because I set the upwards angle to at least 3%. Another thing I don’t look at is the total miles on the machine and I just rely on the amount of time I spend running.
             In any case, it was a good workout because I tried something different. It consisted of increasing and decreasing speed ladder intervals in which I changed the uphill angles manually. When I checked my logs afterwards, I was surprised to see that it had been exactly two months since I last used the treadmill. Probably about the same time I acquired the elliptical trainer.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking For a High

                Or as heroin addicts call it: chasing the dragon, but for different reasons that runners pursue their sport for a high. Heroin is a narcotic and something that numbs pain which is the nature of its high. Runners on the other hand look for their high even when their pain causes additional pain. In a way, they are both forms of addiction where your body craves for more as time goes on. For heroin addicts, the extract of the poppy plant, and for runners, the endorphins that the body produces.
                When endorphins kick in during a run, minor aches and pains magically disappear and if your body can catch up with the healing process, so much the better. But for some people like me whose injury doesn’t heal and can only get worse, the endorphin high is a welcome temporary relief even though I tend to suffer more pain when the high wears off. I wish I could bottle the stuff. I know I’m not the only one who practices this self torture in search of a high because other injured runners can easily identify with it. We are after all a bunch of endorphin junkies.
                Just like the heroin addict looking for his next fix, I crave my body’s natural drug so I can get a high off it during the times that I am able to run, because it makes the pain more bearable. My name is Noel and I’m an addict… but I get high legally.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

A Belated Mother’s Day Blog

I called my mother international long distance on the eve of mother’s day to avoid the traffic jam on the phone system. As often happens, the phone lines get very busy on special occasions and sometimes it’s hard to get through. After I greeted Mama and asked her how she was doing, she told me she can hardly walk anymore due to osteoarthritis. She still manages to putter around and take care of herself albeit more much more slowly. She said she tries to exercise her joints during the cooler times of the day since there has been a rash of electrical brownouts and water rationing where she lives. Even though she has a cane, her pride keeps her from using it when she has to go out. In spite of that though, I’m glad she still manages to join her friends in their religious group meetings, birthday celebrations, and other occasions. She is no longer able to ride jeepneys to take her to places and has to rely on more expensive tricycles to transport her. Nevertheless, the important thing is that she still goes with her friends to gallivant once in a while without confining herself in her small apartment. In fact she had a planned outing with her friends on Mother’s Day.
This reminds me of what I’ve read about in the past. Although pain reminds you of how old you are getting, it also reminds you that you are still alive.
Last February, my classmate Leonard, the doctor who visited the U.S. in December and January, stopped my Mama’s place on his was back home. Other than the osteoarthritis, he said that Mama looked well. What a great gesture! My mom got a free house call and consultation from my friend J.
Mama and I talked briefly about their evacuation from Jolo in 1974 and how her crucifix saved the family as documented by my brother in his blog consisting of Part 1 and 2: and . With this reminiscence with Mama, she mentioned that despite everything she had gone through in life, she is thankful to still be around. So am I. Thanks for being around for us all these years Mama. This brief tribute falls far short of what you deserve, but you have always been loved and appreciated all these years. With much love, Happy Mother’s day.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Questions About Arizona’s Immigration Law

As a naturalized U.S. citizen who came from an Asian country, how will Arizona’s new immigration law affect me if I lived or visited there? Right now there is only one way to identify me as an American citizen and that happens to be my passport. Certainly, I don’t carry my certificate of citizenship because I have it framed and stored somewhere and besides, it says on that piece of paper that you can’t make copies of it. Does that mean that I have to bring my passport if I go to Arizona? I don’t have to, but it would be a prudent idea to do so. After all my California ID doesn’t indicate that I’m a citizen. What about people born here? Will they have to bring their birth certificates everywhere they go in Arizona so they have proof of citizenship if they don’t have passports? At least legal aliens have green cards and legal workers have their work visas.
 What if I go out running in the streets of Arizona? Does that mean I will have to carry my passport too? Even though racial profiling isn’t allowed, I can easily be profiled because I don’t have fair skin with rounded eyes and brown/blond hair. Neither am I an African/American. God forbid that I’ll be out running on the streets of Arizona and crossed the street away from a pedestrian lane and a cop sees and stops me for jayrunning. If I get detained by the authorities until they verify my citizenship, who knows how many hours or days that will take? Will they deport me to another country? Which one because I have a Hispanic last name with Asian features?
 As a disclosure, I have to say that I have not read the contents of the Arizona law but only know from what I read in the newspapers and hear from TV news. And no, I don’t read the editorials so that does not affect my opinion. What’s next? A citizenship tracking chip imbedded in your skin like the one used for pets that can be scanned? For me, more questions than answers. Maybe I should look up the full text of the law, but then again the legalese might just confuse me more.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

A Good Enough Recovery Run

Did my ankles recover enough from Saturday’s personal half marathon? There was only one way to find out.
Starting out with tentative steps, it was a deliberately slow and easy non-stop recovery run which was even slower than my long run/walk last Saturday. Going up and down each short street that dead ended at the Los Angeles river bed, I didn’t have to deal with traffic lights. Reach the end of the block, turn around, and go to the next street. No out and back or loop courses today. It was in a neighborhood I don’t often run in but my mind was so tuned out and even though I set my watch to beep every 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking, I paid no attention to it and just made the time pass. Forty minutes, then fifty, then sixty, but I kept on going even though I try to limit recovery runs to an hour. At seventy minutes and still going, I finally checked my overall time and decided to reach 75 minutes or when I hit 7.5 miles. At 1 hour 15 minutes and 23 seconds, my GPS watch ticked 7.51 miles and I walked the rest of the quarter mile back home. It was a pretty good recovery run which didn’t stress my ankle tendons and cardiovascular system. Lesser intensity and lesser calories burned, but good enough to save my joints for another day.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

In Haste, No Edit

Ever have a burst or flow of ideas you want to post on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, that you can’t wait to share it with your friends (real or cyber-wise). In your haste you mistype a key here and there, then fail to edit it and when you press or click the enter, publish, share, or post button, your entry has a bunch of misspellings? You walk away, come back much later and cringe at the way you’ve written it. Fortunately there is a delete or edit button that you can use but by then, the damage has been done. A bunch of your friends would have seen your post already and think that you are a terrible speller. You can at least hope that your grammar was correct (I always have a problem with singulars and plurals and can’t figure out where to put the apostrophe). In the end though, who cares? It doesn’t matter because most people are forgiving and tolerant of your, theirs, and our imperfections. On that note, here are some signs seen around our condo complex the past few days- For rent: parquin on Atlantic avenue side; and: Water will be shut up off from 12 to 4 P.M for plumbing repairs :-) Oh well, even in Jeopardy!(tm) they are not strict with spelling unless the category is Spelling.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Own Private Half Marathon

The solo half marathon I planned for but didn’t finish on a dreary day last Super Bowl Sunday, February 7th (, was finally achieved on this sunny Saturday morning on an out and back flat course. In fact I exceeded 13.1 miles and finished 13.5 miles with an unbelievable 10 minutes per mile pace, on an unassisted solo long run, despite having to break stride to pick up a crisp one dollar bill left behind by someone who apparently didn’t need it. I thought my pace was about 10:30’s. Let me make it clear that this was a 4 minute run with 1 minute walk break all the way, so the 10 minute pace was darn good. The mantra was “lose yourself in the run”, which worked when the going got tougher. With 4 miles to go my stride started to get ragged, and with 2 miles left, it felt downright ugly. This is a danger zone for me because when I start losing control of my stride, that means my muscles are tired and my ankle tendons bear the brunt of my weight. Indeed, I felt sharp pains on my right inner ankle where my PTTD is in the last 4 miles but I was able to hold on and finish. Otherwise it would have been a long, limping walk back home.
There were not too many water fountains along the way and the first one I stopped by to drink from was in the office of the Camp Fire Girls (kinda like the Girl Scouts). I only knew it was there because when I was still able to train with my neighbor Katherine, we used to stop and drink there. By that time I was already past 6 ½ miles into the run. The other water fountain I knew about were full of kids playing Little League Baseball and it would have been difficult to navigate my way around the kids and their parents. I looked for the last possible water fountain I knew at a small park two miles from home but it doesn’t exist anymore. Oh well, another dehydration run.
 Oh my goodness! I just checked my post run weight and I lost 5 pounds of fluids. I started at 118.2 and ended with 113.2. I’ve never weighed that low before even when training for the marathon last year. Time to chug the Gatorade. No wonder I felt ragged towards the end.
As I finish this entry, I’ve treated myself to Chinese food for lunch, and I am continuing to rehydrate my tissues, plus ice and brace my ankles. Now I have a decision to make. Should I or should I not sign up and run the Palos Verdes Half Marathon two weeks from now?

Postscript: I diverted from the out and back course slightly on the way home because I espied a new street named Worsham at a soon to be developed piece of land called Douglas Park. So I ran on that street until a reached a roundabout (rotunda) then ran around to return to the route I was running in.

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