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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.

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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.

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.]

Seattle and the Dissappointing Dehydration

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

When I went to Seattle, I was in a molecular biology course for the summer. Luckily we just had an exam that Thursday so there wasn’t any new material, I could fully enjoy working and my trip to Washington. My itinerary had a layover in Salt Lake City, very nice people. The airports are finally catching on and a lot of them are allowing a certain amount of time if not unlimited WiFi access. I believe Utah gave us 45 minutes and then you just had to log back in. There are still a few of them that are charging $10.00 a day.

So, I made it to Seattle late into the night and I know they gave you the same 45 minute access because I would try and watch an episode of Scrubs and it would log me off before it finished buffering. I was making every effort at this point to pay my credit cards off as well so I slept in the airport and packed a huge lunch, well it was more of a lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner. You can get through airport security with a water bottle as long as the water bottle is empty. Then you just fill it up after the security checkpoint. Saves a lot of money because water can be expensive if there’s no McDonald’s or Burger King and even then it’s still more than it should be.

I didn’t know what security was going to do if they saw me there for that long waiting for an airplane so I tried to stay up most of the night. I made it until about 3AM was the last I remember looking at my laptop. I don’t remember setting any alarms on my phone so it was a good thing I woke up two hours later, drooling all over myself and my laptop an inch way from falling to the ground.

So, I slowly made my way to the bathroom to change and a taxi to make it to the start line. Luckily it was only about 15 bucks to get to what we thought was the start line. I walked about 500 yards from where the taxi dropped me off and the officer guarding the path to the start was quick to reassure us that you have to “go back that way about two miles.” You can only imagine people’s faces. I’m not that much of an elite runner but other runners who looked like 9:00 and 10:00 min miles were a whole lot more expressive. I started my trek there and a car that was blocking my path, the girls inside were like, “Do you need a ride?” I’m like, someone is watching over me, thank god, “Yeah” “Get in” We zoomed off to the freeway entrance, then the freeway, then a freeway off-ramp, it must have been like 2 1/2 miles and even then we cheated, we had to jump over the guard rails and run through a grass field to get to the start line festival. Those girls were funny though, they were troopers, I thanked them and they ran off (more serious runners).

I hadn’t done gear check until then but there was no way out of it this time. They were actually really helpful, we had UPS trucks take all our stuff from point A to point B. I’ve been using it ever since. Got my bib, got a banana, a roll, and some water and made my way to the start line. It looked mildly overcast like it was going to rain. Most of the start of the run is a blur. I know that I was going to be right behind the 2:30 pacers because if I caught up to them I could make a 2:20 time running at their pace. At about 6 miles in I had an overwhelming bathroom break. I tried to run a little after that and I walked the rest. I was really dehydrated and I could feel my right calf acting up again. Made the decision to stay healthy and have no injuries. Plus, I was in Seattle, Washington for the first time. The trees were huge, the green was beautiful, and the lake was amazing. So, I might as well sit back and enjoy a good time. I ended with a 3:00:00 something which wasn’t all that bad for walking the rest.

Got my shirt, got my backpack, and someone was handing out free deli sandwiches, oh my, what a delicacy after a run. I saw everyone taking these huge flight of stairs so I thought I would take it to find a cab back to the airport. I shared a cab with these two ladies that were visiting their relatives. They were very nice. They told me about some sights I had to see in Rhodes Island, they had some family down there. They got to their hotel and paid the cab fair to the hotel so all I had to do was pay the little bit back to the airport. I was really thankful because I really didn’t have the money for it. I talked with the cab driver too, he has a wife and kid and really wants to try and for the Seattle half next year but it’s hard with a kid. It’s hard enough without a kid. He didn’t even want a tip really, I still gave him a little bit.

A few drooling events later and I was back at John Wayne waiting for my brother to pick me up, crashed before I had class the next day.

[That picture shows some huge back foot pounding. I’ve been doing everything I can to have my feet more level but that picture definitely shows otherwise.]

The San Diego Half: My Anniversary Run and the Worst Cramp Yet

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

San Diego is my anniversary run. After the LA marathon 2007, we did a lot of 5k’s and 10k’s but it wasn’t until the San Diego half that I started getting back into more serious running. Well, not really all that serious, we have a lot of fun when we do them. I ran this one last year and I was planning for about two months to try and do as well as I can. I knew with the La Jolla half that I got a 2:33 which was an hour better than my first half time. I honestly had no time to train since April. I was studying constantly for my science finals, specifically my physics final. At one point, I stayed in our university library for two straight weeks studying. The San Diego half was two weeks after. I worked out every day I could after but it wasn’t enough to get my muscles ready.

I don’t remember as much about this run as I do for other runs but I remember a few things. I remember that it took me over a half an hour to go 0.2 miles on the freeway to get to the airport parking lot. Thought I was going to be late for the run but I was there 30 minutes early. My advice is that if you’re running reasonably late, don’t worry, let people through on the freeway, still be cordial because the buses (especially for the Rock n Roll Series) will run later than they say. Of course, they’re not going to tell you that. You’re not guaranteed a spot on the bus but they usually run pretty late. If you’re running extremely late then you might want to tailgate the car in front of you.

The course was pretty much the same if not the same as last year but I really just don’t remember. I remember that there was a humongous downhill that’s at least a mile down. I hauled to the base of it, I must have been going at an 8:00 or 9:00 pace. I know that I was making pretty okay time and that even when I would walk part of the mile I was still maintaining a 12:00 pace.

And now for the part that is mostly a blur. I made it to the 12 mile marker. My right calf had been contracting a little but it wasn’t anything that I was too worried about. A few hundred yards in the muscles pushed in and I tripped over myself, smashed my hands into the pavement and laid in the middle of the course with a huge cramp. Runners were running by, one of them said, “Oh, cramps are the worst…” Two people helped me off the course and I asked them not too until my cramping stopped. If runners help you off the course they’re compromising their times and I’m really thankful I had two people help me up to the sidewalk.

Someone from the medical team came running to me to see if I was okay. I liked him a lot, he was a trooper, just going with the flow. Asked if I was okay, he knew I needed potassium quick. He found a GU on the ground, “It’s not opened if you want it.” “Yeah, I’ll take it.” I waited for the EMTs to assess me, what year is it, where are you, who’s the president. “Are you gonna finish this thing?” “Hell, yeah.” They helped me up and I was on my way. Every step I took I had to stretch my right calf at the same time. If I didn’t stretch it for two steps it would get a huge aura for cramping again. On the finishing video you can actually see me limping across the finish line. Maybe I’ll upload it, it’s kind of funny now.

I walked over to medical, had them wrap my legs in ice and I guess I didn’t calm down from the finish because I started hyperventilating, getting light headed, seeing starts, almost out of body experience. So, I laid down for a while, took a Tylenol, and limped my way to the car.

I laugh now but it could have been really serious. I saw another runner who almost went to the hospital for an electrolyte imbalance, they called it off last minute. I’ve noticed on different runs that its the same part of my calf every time. I’d love to say that I learned my lesson after that but I didn’t really learn until the AFC half marathon the importance of protein, electrolytes, and water before the run. I knew that something was wrong and something I was doing had to change but I didn’t understand it until a few days ago.

Despite the injury, I still finished with my second best time (2:38:59) and I estimated I would have had under a 2:20 with how long the last mile took. The splits they gave after the race for the 5k and 10k confirmed that it could have been that if I kept it up for the last mile. They did a much better job with the bus transport to the airport this time. I heard that some babies got sick from being in the heat last time, for us it was a two hour wait in the boiling summer sun after the run. This time it was 10 minutes, much more manageable. It was hard getting on that bus though. Driving home wasn’t that bad either but my leg was on edge for a week.

Started with a Run to First Base and Ended with a Grand Slam

March 31, 2011 2 comments

I finished the 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll Series with a Grand Slam heavy medal, finishers who complete four events will receive the medal. I wish I could have come up with a catchier title but that’s all I could muster up in a few minutes. However, it does sum the event more than the other ones I was going to choose. My mom introduced me to first base, or the San Diego run, and since that run it started a wave of fitness and a myriad of events. It sparked starting this website, training for a triathlon, and signing up for fifteen runs in 2011. They say I fell in love with them, I disagree, I think it’s more than that. Hah. There are few things better than a runner’s high and there are few things worst than being upset from not running enough to get the high.

San Diego for us to be honest was the greatest thing since sliced bread for me. I was dead tired from it and that night I had a terrible sunburn and I had to write a five page paper for my human sexuality class and the next day I had to do a 45 minute presentation. The hardest part was getting up and down, I actually did very, very well on the presentation. Since the run though I’ve realized it had a lot of great music and a lot of support but I’m not really looking forward to it this year as much because of the curves in the freeway they make you run over. We were basically at 30% grade the whole time so one leg is extending and one leg isn’t, guess which muscles suffer? This time around I’m going to do a good glut workout, maybe ten or twenty minutes and then do everything else. I’m trying to think if I’ve had a worst run and I don’t think I have, some of it was due to leaving us out in the burning sun for two hours and some of it was because it was the first long distance race in a long time (more soreness, dehydration, etc). I completely understand also that they work very hard to get certain permits but the grades are ruthless.

So, I signed up for Chicago after and it was a good run but I wasn’t prepared enough for the heat and soreness. The week before I did San Francisco and I would feel my legs hurting and I would have to start walking. The heat after about an hour and a half was too much and I didn’t want to get heat exhaustion, which I may have gotten, so I walked the rest of it. Some of it had to do with waking up so early to get to the run (we’re supposed to be prepared for it but we do wake up sometimes at 4AM to get to the race at 7-7:30). I just remember the humidity was way more than California for summer and it seemed like there was no way to escape the hot weather. The course was great, it was nice seeing all the buildings. I checked the sites we were supposed to see on the way and I didn’t remember seeing half of them. Tired, much? With two events you get the 26.2 medal, I get the concept, two events of 13.1 equals 26.2 but I would rather have a 13.1 medal because it sounds like a ran a marathon when I didn’t. I’m all for getting the smaller medal because the ones who did more deserve the bigger medal.

Then, we did the Los Angeles half marathon. This one was special because it’s the inaugural event for Rock ‘n’ Roll and if we keep up with it, we may have a chance to be a Legacy runner. Though, I’m worried about what will happen when I get into medical school, may not or will not have time for it. Great course and I’m sure in the upcoming years it will have more than enough volunteers and spectators cheering us on. I don’t really remember much of the course except there was a few steep grades that we didn’t see in the course map. Another thing I remember too is sprinting the last mile and passing what seemed like two hundred people, I was amazed at how fast and how long I was able to go after already doing twelve miles. Finishing three events gave the Triple Crown medal, wasn’t as great when mine came through since my mom’s came through first.

To finish off the year, we did the Las Vegas half marathon which was even more spectacular. I just remember that next time I’m going to bring a long sleeve custom shirt because my hands were numb the whole time. We ran through the strip and then back through so we had pretty good scenery to look at. Next year they’re doing the run at night, I wonder how that’s going to work out, safety-wise. 15-25,000 people running the strip at night. And with that I got the Grand Slam medal.

I guess this post doesn’t really give off how great doing this series was. Because of it, we’ve started this site, we started logging the runs we do so we have a record, we’re getting closer to a team logo, we’re inspiring more people. I’ve done a triathlon since, I’m gearing up and training for an Olympic triathlon (hopefully in the summer), I’m doing 15 half marathons and completing 3 different series, I’m even considering doing the California Iron Man in the next few years. I’ve run 10 miles nonstop, hoping for all 13.1 this summer, I’m almost able to run a 2:30 half (which means about 5:00-5:30 marathon if I kept the same pace which is roughly two hours better than my first). I’m going to complete an event in all 50 states, eventually. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people and I’ve been to a lot of great places.

Don’t have much of an inspirational ending, I’m just a regular person who started from two squares back and trained to be a step ahead. Doing the event to me has always been insignificant in proportion to how I got there and the feeling of finishing afterward. Of course the events in themselves are great to be doing but the training it took to get there, the people met along the way, everything else that happens, are always more meaningful. Pacing throughout the entire run is more of a badge of honor than the medal at the end. Make working out and exercising fun. If it’s not, then why bother?

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