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Surf City USA and the Magic Pavement

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Went down to Huntington Beach Sunday morning for the Surf City USA Marathon and Half Marathon annual. The one thing I love about this run is that its easy. We park at Hoag hospital, it takes us 15 minutes to get there, no traffic. Take the buses to the run, no long lines. Hit the bathroom, wait for the run to start and just run / jog / walk the coastal PCH street. I wasn’t sore last year and I’m not that sore this year. No traveling expenses, not much traffic leaving the parking lot and no long drive home. Compared to the other ones, it’s just a simple go run, have fun, and go study after the run.

Mom and I just talked about a bunch of stuff during the run. You would be surprised how easy a half can be if you find someone to go with and talk to them. A couple miles into the race and you didn’t notice time going by. Surf City is a perfect reason to walk and enjoy the scenery, which is exactly what we did. A lot of people think you have to go all out and run these like crazy and be sore as all get up afterward and that’s the furthest from the truth. I mean, by all means test your endurance, I do it as well but it’s not a requirement!

Not much to say about the run because it’s just a nice, easy run. Everything about this run that I’ve seen so far is easy. And you can even get back in time for a Super Bowl binge of chips, dip, and beer. It’s practically a no-brainer! I’ll definitely be doing it next year for the Legacy club status.

I will add that there were two cool things along the way. One, a 71 year old man who had hip surgery 10 weeks prior, was walking a half marathon not even 2 1/2 months after surgery. So, if that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is! Secondly, a girl from my biochemistry class recognized me, how cool is that? Not to mention, out of the 20,000 runners what are the odds we even see each other without making an effort?

Hope everyone is doing well, keep the fitness up, keep thinking about health and eating mildly okay during the week! Keep training!

Categories: 1/2 Marathon

Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Final Information

January 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Confirm Registration

Final Information Email
Final Info Website
Final Information
Parking Information

Relay Final Information
Relay Parking Information

Course Map

La Quinta Inn Hotels (within 10 miles of half-marathon start line)
Travelodge (in Tempe, AZ)

Information for the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon to make it easier for people registered to find and look up the information. I might put up a few places for hotels that we’ll look up so people can find the inexpensive hotels in the area as well.

This will be the last run of the year for me and it will be the first run of the year for my mom for the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon series. It will be the first time my mom is getting the achievement Desert Double Down, it will be my second time and it will be my first time getting the Rock Legend. I’m very excited for this accomplishment because it has been far from easy.

Good luck and congratulations to all the runners! We hope this helps you.

The Desert Double Down 2011

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Las Vegas
Arizona

I actually finished the Desert Double Down 2011 for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Heavy Medal Series almost 9 months ago at the start of the year. If you finish the two desert runs they have in Las Vegas and Arizona (pheonix, tempe, and Scottsdale) then you get an extra medal for completing them. Probably just another way to get people to sign up for both of the runs. It worked for me because I ended up doing it. These runs were pretty good. Las Vegas was beautiful because you run/walk right on the strip and then you make a loop and come back on the strip. It was pretty cold when we were there, a lot of my body was numb most of the time. The run is going to be at night this year so it should be even that much more spectacular. Hopefully the road construction is finished as well so it won’t take as long to drive home, maybe I’ll just fly down there?

Arizona was a great run. It’s really flat, not much of any hills. Huge straightaways makes it easy to keep a steady pace as long as you can keep your mind occupied. I remember I met up with a pacer and ran with her almost the whole way, another mile or two if I could have kept up might have been enough to hit the sub 2:40:00 run. I went down with my friend Chris for this one and came right back up the next day.

Honestly, I thought I was going to have more to say for this one but it’s pretty straight forward. I was ecstatic when I got my best time but a little disappointed that it was 40 seconds off the time I wanted. I probably won’t be able to do Arizona depending on whether or not I’m going to do the 13.1 series. If I don’t do the series I’ll probably make my way back to Arizona, not really for the double down but to see what kind of time I can get on a flat course like that.

Triple Crown Finisher 2011

September 3, 2011 2 comments

Carlsbad
La Jolla
San Diego

I just finished the Triple Crown for the year two-thousand eleven and it was a great experience. This series was really filled with milestones. The Carlsbad run finished up my first time running 39.3 miles in three weeks (~ 40 miles). The second week of which I got my best time so far, 2:40:00, just barely missed the 2:30:00 region. I also met a really nice runner who I saw throughout the series one way or another. La Jolla, conquering the biggest hills and the biggest hill I’ve seen yet, with one of them 2 miles up a roughly 45% grade and getting my best time to this day 2:33:00. I met a nice runner there too who pushed me to keep going and keep a good pace, if it wasn’t for him I’m not even sure I would have made sub 2:40:00. San Diego, the milestone would have been better to talk about if I actually made the 2:18:00 pace but things happen and you have to roll with it. I did however get my best 10k split time, well really it was my best 6 mile split time (1 hour or 1:00:00, roughly 10 minutes per mile), the 10k was pretty terrible because of the bathroom break (roughly 1:20:00 at that point, 20 minutes for .4 miles). Also stressing the fact that I wasn’t tired so the likelihood of me keeping a 10 min pace could have been pretty high.

Technically, these were all in San Diego or extremely close to San Diego so the last name should be more like Downtown San Diego, I just didn’t want to write AFC. The event staff are pretty strict for this series so whatever it says on the website and stuff they mean it, especially for La Jolla. To me, I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t see there reasoning but that’s how they run the show.

After you get through the event staff it’s all uphill from there (could mean literally, San Diego has some hilly courses, which I didn’t know San Diego had until then). The courses are beautiful, it’s all beachfront. It’s worth the wait, it’s worth the money. I thought I would have more to say but that’s pretty much it. Lot of milestones, beautiful courses, a great time, well worth it. Not sure if I’ll do it again next year, going to try and cut back a lot. Out of all of them this one would be a good one to do though but I might be selective and only choose local.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Wake up calls, gas money, driving me there and back to the convention and to the run the next day, figuring out where the runs are at 5:00 AM before work. It all made this possible and I am grateful. Thank you and woohoo! I’m a  Triple Crown Finisher!

[As a side note, only sign up for the series if you can do a sub 3:00:00 because at least one of the runs if not all of them require a time better than 3 hours.]

Categories: 1/2 Marathon, Triple Crown

Running in America’s Finest City

September 2, 2011 1 comment

Finished up my finals for biostastics, worked two days, and went into the half marathon with a little preparation. I went over what to do to get to the course and things to look out for, I made sure I went through the final course packet, highlighted things and put things in red that are really important. I passed out early and got as much ready as I needed to before bed. I honestly can’t remember if I just got ready that morning. My mom woke me up at 3:00AM, 5 minutes before my alarms went off, made me a shake, and I ran out the door to get to the half marathon. I typed in balboa park in the GPS on my phone and it took me to the best spot in the run to park. It took about 20 minutes to get up this steep hill but it was well worth the wait. The main thing about driving to San Diego is that every station goes fuzzy but you can get a little of 98.7, it starts getting really fuzzy the more downtown you get.

I hopped on the bus and again they are really strict for some reason at this marathon series for having your bib and such. Waited about an hour at the start line and it didn’t seem like there were any corrals when the gun went off because people just ran when they had the chance. I kept a 10 minute mile pace for about 6 miles which is the best that I’ve had yet. Even better I didn’t feel tired at all but I had to stop at the bathroom which took 15 minutes off my time and another 15 minutes of walking to recover (5 minutes added to 3 miles).

I actually met up with one of the people I saw in Carls Bad, she was running and said Hi. I felt bad because I veered off to go to the bathroom without saying anything, I was holding it for 2 miles, there are no words to describe. There wasn’t much that stood out in the course. We got lucky again, it was overcast up until the 11th mile as it usually seems to be. We were walking uphill for about a mile and then I noticed at the end of the uphill we were going uphill for about 2 1/2 miles. I didn’t even know it was on the course, no one said anything, I didn’t overhear anything. Except for running through a rental car lot near the airport the run wasn’t that bad, beachfront again or bay front, either way it was a beautiful course.

It would have been nice to finish the Triple Crown series with a sub 2:20:00 but it will happen eventually, then I just have to trim 20 minutes from my time to get my goal time. I think I ended with a 2:45:00 and I assumed that I added 30 minutes of unnecessary and avoidable actions for my next run so I think if I kept up with my pace I could have had around a 2:18:00, which is great, it’s nice to know I’m running sub 2:20:00 even though it’s not technically official.

Debating whether or not I should shoot for running a sub 2:20:00 for the Disneyland half marathon or at least run for time to see where I’m at. But it’s Disneyland? How can you pass up the sightseeing, out of all the runs? I might default to walking with Tina and my mom. This one will be a doozy, it’s a 3:30:00 finish time.

[Ordered the pictures over a week ago and they still haven’t arrived, a proof for now.]

[Not sure how San Diego got the trademark for America’s Finest City.]

Categories: 1/2 Marathon, Triple Crown

Catching up on Sleep in Chicago

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment

To those who haven’t heard, I did end up missing the Chicago event. This was the fifth week of biostats, I had done three weeks of school every week day and then working every weekend, I had a half marathon and flew out to Providence the weekend before, got sick for two days after and still had residual. I flew down Saturday. I was so busy with school I didn’t even have time to book a room. I was just going to sleep in the airport again. I called Mohammad and he helped me for two hours to get a hotel in the airport. I went down to the bus checkin and got lucky because the bus arrived a minute after I showed up (come around every two hours). So, my phone by then was almost dead and I forgot my charger.

Getting to the hotel was something else too. We were on the freeway and some car slid into the shuttle bus so we pulled to the side of the road for an hour. When we were sitting there we saw someone do a 180 too. So, I checked into the hotel and talked with Mohammad about getting on the CTA because I didn’t remember the exact street I had to get off on and I wanted to know which place to meet him at. I asked the front desk for a charger and they couldn’t find one. Did all that, went to the room, showered, watched some tv and went to bed. Starting to see why? I woke up and it said 7 o’clock but I had to wake up at about 5 oclock for the shuttle to take me to O’hare catch the CTA to Jackson street. Mega fail unless I could run a 2 hour half, which I’m just short of.

I went to get continental breakfast, might as well right? I asked the front desk for a charger and of course they had one this time in the lost and found that I could use. If I had it last night I could have remembered to set an alarm because a wake-up call would have been too convenient to remember to do. Went on the internet in a community room for it and heard on the radio the Chicago half marathon was going on. That’s a little jab right there.

I packed up, checked out of the room, charged my phone, caught the shuttle to O’hare and took the CTA to Jackson St. to meet up with Mohammad from Pre-Med Hell. It was nice to finally meet him. He took me around Chicago for a few hours, we couldn’t do much because my flight was at 3:00PM but we walked around a little bit. It’s made me realize that I need to spend a few more days in Chicago the next time I go down, maybe a week next time or at least a good weekend.

Took the train back to O’hare, took O’hare back to Vegas with people who must have been going to some crazy party because they were the loudest people I’ve seen in an airplane and made it back at night and passed out from the trip. Everyone that heard I overslept thought I overslept a little bit and still made it to the run and I’m like, nah, I missed the whole run haha. So, pretty expensive trip to miss everything but I reasoned that it gave me the rest I needed to finish up biostats strong. I felt really good from the sleep I got. I had over 350 pts that week, possible borderline grade, and it in fact worked. I got the grade I needed, so I believe it was for the better. There were a lot of things going against me to not wake up in the morning. Of course, it would have been nice to catch up on sleep under different circumstances.

When it comes down to it, school must take priority so I don’t feel bad about the money essentially gone down the drain. I signed up for the New Years Eve run anyway and I’ll still reach my goals to finish the series as well as my ultimate goal, medical school.

[It was a nice hotel to sleep in by the way, the Executive Suite Plaza, something to that effect if anyone wants to sleep a few days there. The non-smoking section is actually non-smoking.]

[That picture right there is probably worth $75.00 so please enjoy it! It’s a picture of a stainless steal? bean that’s in the middle of a park in Chicago. It sounds kind of dumb but it’s actually pretty neat.]

Family Reunion in the Cape and the Providence Half

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

I wanted to do enough events this year to be able to get the Rock Legend heavy medal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll series but I could only do it if most of them were during the summer and winter off-season. One of the runs was on August 7, 2011, it was the inaugural Providence half marathon in Rhodes Island. I wanted to see if my mom wanted to go and it turned into a family reunion for the whole family, everyone was coming down not just immediate and extended but people we haven’t seen in years upon years.

Months and months down the road, the semesters grew harder for school and it was too much too handle so I had to drop, early in the semester, before the W mark, my biostatistics course. So, in order to stay on a reasonable track for graduation I had to take biostats in the summer which was right in the middle of going down to the family reunion. And of course the reunion was the weekend before and my mom nor I had the money for two tickets to Providence and back so I could go to the reunion, come back, and then go back for the half marathon.

So, I drove everyone to the airport after a four hour lab exam, they left for the week and I met up with them after a lecture exam the week after. I flew down that Thursday night and was there in the morning. I’m starting to get used to these 40 hour days that I’ve been doing. Everyone was pretty much gone by then, just a few people that we’ve seen over the years. They have nice beach front property in the cape (cape cod, sub-sect in Massachusetts).  The Boston airport charged too much for their internet but their Dunkin Donuts had a great croissant sandwich.

Spent some time touring, a lot of relaxing, spending some time with friends (putting faces to names that I’ve heard for a long time) and then we went to the Providence half in the morning on Sunday. It was great because it was hot all weekend and then it rained before the half, it rained during the entire time we ran, and it rained afterward. It rained when we were getting our bibs for the race just a little bit so we tried to cover ourselves and when we were putting on our bibs and RFID tags. We even put safety pins on our tags because we were scared they would fall off during the race. It poured the entire time we were waiting to take off in the race.

My little cousin Rebecca ran/walk it with us and she did a great job especially for her first half, in tennis shoes, in the pouring rain. I’m not sure if I would have been excited about it my first time in the rain especially at that age. She wasn’t at first and it took her a minute to do the first couple of miles but she did really well afterward. It took her 38 minutes to do the first two miles and she picked it up to 15 min miles and then 14 min miles. By the time we hit the third or fourth mile our shirts were soaked, our pants were soaked, our shoes were a pool of water, they must have weighed 15 lbs heavier than they were dry.

After the 8th or 9th mile I had to run ahead because the sag bus was trailing us by a few hundred yards back so I ran ahead to make sure that I beat the time we needed to get the finishers medal and continue the heavy medal series. Truth is, my mom and I should have just stayed with her because she finished with just enough time to get a medal and everything so we would have been fine. I beat her by 10-15 minutes. My mom was on the lower end, 10-12 minutes, roughly. I met up with an OR nurse for the last three miles and she said she probably wouldn’t do Providence again, I wonder why? But after this one she wasn’t going to do any for a while because it was just a tough race to beat (finish). She was nice though, she was visiting her grand kids, the whole nine yards, lives in California.

On the way home we went through the Cheesecake factory to get to the parking lot, not sure if they appreciated when runners going through their restaurant. The parking lot was huge for the run, I wouldn’t doubt they accommodated most of the runners with that one parking lot (I think it was Sears). Sat on the rental car seats, soaked them. Went back to the hotel with my little cousin saying she would never do one again. After we showered and warmed up she let out a little murmur of, let’s do one again. I think she’ll enjoy local runs better in sunny ville California with running shoes.

All in all the run was pretty great. The rain yeah, it could have been better but then again with the humidity of the East coast and how hot it could have really been, the rain was a cool alternative. It wasn’t all that cold, it only was a little cold near the end most likely from our immune systems taking a beating. And of course, it’s always something to talk about. “You’re telling me you paid all that money to go run for four hours in the rain?” It was a great experience to hvae, rain or shine. 

[What’s funny though is if you go on the RnR Providence home page, you notice that the runners are happy and cheering to the finish and it appears sunny. But, if you look at it, you can see that it’s raining and at the very least overcast, because I’m sure there idea is who wants to register for a run in the rain? At that point, I can just run for free haha.]

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