Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Congratulations to my niece on her modelling debut. For those that want to see Lindsey's site, click here.

Pain Relief Free

No Bextra, no Advil, no anything. Just the sweet, sweet pain of throbbing hamstrings and stinging ITBs. Yes, both hamstrings and both ITBs. I haven't been pain relief free for months. This is what it feels like.

Yesterday, when I tried to run, I couldn't. I tried altering my gait. I tried going slow. Neither worked. I turned around and walked back to the gym. It was very sad. As I walked, I realized that the only way I'd be running Boston pain free was to not run until April 18th. So that's what I'm going to do. Boston will be a very slow marathon for me. That's ok. I'll just enjoy the sites and sounds. Maybe the Sports Guy will be on his front lawn with his buddies BBQing. If so, maybe I'll stop for some ribs.

One piece of good news is that I found a Bally's Sports Club right next to Grand Central. It has a pool. I'm guessing I won't have any run-ins with the Romanian mafia at this pool.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Sorry for the poor picture. I figured you'd rather have a picture of my own personal Nirvana versus an image I found on Mizuno's site. As I didn't have the one of the nice cameras with me, I had to use my camera phone, which is normally reserved for the subway alone.

Well, I ran yesterday. The third time in the past 2 1/2 weeks. Very very tight at first, even a little painful. I ran at 8 minute pace for four miles. At the end, I was euphoric. That runner's high never lets me down. However, I knew the true test was yet to come. How would I feel after a night of sleep, a night of muscles tightening without the pain relief of one Bextra and two Advil. Well, this morning has provided mixed reviews. Sharp pain followed by no pain at all. We'll see how this evening's run goes.

On to the Nirvanas. They are Mizuno's answer to the immensely popular Asics Gel Kayanos. I've run in Kayanos for the past five years or so and have loved every minute of them. Well, aside from the IXs. I didn't like the IXs very much. Too much non-mesh material on the upper. Well, Asics decided to mess with a good thing and fundamentally changed what the Kayanos are in its latest release, the XIs. Asics went for a more light-weight, cushioned design and cut down on the stability aspects of the shoe. As you can tell from reading about all of my injury woes, I need stability. So I went to my shoe guy and he introduced me to the Nirvanas. It was love at first feel.

The Nirvanas have the cushioned stability feel of the Kayanos, with a little bit more arch, and with the wide toe box of many Sauconys. Plus all that mesh. I love mesh. The only test now is to see how they hold up. My Kayanos have been great shoes. Good for at least 500 miles. If the Nirvanas can do the same, I won't be going back to Asics any time soon.

Looks like I've found a shoe to do Comrades in next year. Now if I can just convince Liz that going to South Africa next June is a good idea.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Damaged Goods

My right leg looks the same. This is what happens when you're a runner, you're injured, and you'll do anything to stay on your feet so you can run the grand-daddy of them all, Boston.

Yesterday, I went to one of my doctors. He has many stainless steel instruments of torture. One of them looks like a bicycle handlebar. He proceeded to dig this handlebar into the side of each of my legs. So much so that I could hear and feel it grinding into my bones. Yes, a small tear escaped my right eye. Liz almost cried when I showed her.

The theory is that by bruising the injured part of the body, that it will activate the healing process, thereby healing the original injury as well. It worked for me last fall. Whatever, I'm desperate at this point.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


It appears that my training for the next 3 1/2 weeks will consist of a week of running followed by a week of rest and so on. My hamstrings and both ITBs are flaring up. No speed records will be broken for me April 18th. I'll be spending a lot of time nursing my wounds. Fudgsicles and cherry chocolate chunk ice cream with chocolate sauce should do the trick.

I received my bib number for Boston yesterday. I'm 4027 and will be in the 4th corral, an enviable starting position if I was racing. As it is, I'll just try not to get in anyone's way. I've never run in a race with more than 5000 people, so a race with 20,000 should be quite the experience. As the date draws closer, I'll post a link where you can track me online as I race. I predict starting out in the low 7s, miles 10 through 20 being in the 8s, and back to the mid 7s to finish off the race. Around a 3:25 finish time. I wish it could have been different, but my body just wouldn't cooperate. I'm going to need to look at my training, maybe get a coach to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Squeezer

I wish I could have gotten a better angle at this shot, but the subway was shoulder to shoulder and I didn't want to make it too obvious.

The bottom line is that this older Eastern European man is the Master Squeezer. He took one look at how crowded the subway was and made his way towards two teenage boys, whose shoulders you can see. At the time, these two kids were talking to each other and there might have been three inches of space between them. The old guy turns around and butt first, just squeezed between them. The kids gave him looks that I wish I had on film. In response, he just put his head down and ignored them. Another NY subway moment.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Evil Stairs

Oh that I lived in a single story home and didn't have to take the subway. Stairs have been the bane of my existence for the past two days. I really shouldn't have run in my racing flats. I forgot about the pounding that my quads and calves take when I wear shoes that have less heel on them. Here's to hoping that my run today in my new Nirvanas takes some of this stiffness away. Either that or I'm going to be eating a lot of bananas this week.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Faking It

I faked my first race today. This entire week I haven't run, I've eaten nothing but junk food, I've taken back up my Diet Coke habit, I averaged four hours of sleep a night, and to top it off, I need to hold onto the railings going up and down stairs because my right leg cannot support me. To that end, I ran a half-mary in 1:32:24 (7:03 pace) today. I was expecting much much worse.

Although five minutes slower than my personal best at that distance, it is also the second fastest half I've ever run and I went into the race expecting to run 1:35 plus. All in all, not a bad race. I don't think I could fake a marathon though. My body was done at about the 7 mile mark. Seeing Liz and Zane at mile 9 gave me the charge I needed to finish strong.

I made two critical mistakes though. I ran my first mile at 6:12 to clear myself of traffic. Horrible idea. I was dead the rest of the race and was never comfortable. Mistake #2, I wore my racing flats. The two blisters on the bottoms of each of my big toes are still cursing at me. It's hard for me to break old habits. You race, you wear the fast shoes.

Speaking of shoes, I just returned from my shoe guy. I bought the new Mizuno Nirvanas for Boston. I'll write a review of them after I run in them for a week. It turns out my shoe guy is also a homeopath. He gave me this ruta stuff. Some herb that helps the ligaments. We'll see if ruta, Bextra, and my upcoming cortisone shot can get me through Boston. I have a feeling that something is seriously wrong with my right leg. The entire leg hurts, not just the ITB. I'm going to have a MRI after Boston and will likely need to take a few months off. It'll be back to the pool.

Friday, March 18, 2005


It's been a while. Here's the first of many pictures that I'll be sharing of our little Florida jaunt. Short story - we had a great time with our good friends and exceptional hosts the Wheelers. BBQ, Florida discounts at Disney, poker with one of the more entertaining Long Islanders I've ever met, all you can eat bacon, and of course El Tornado and Little D. It was a very good week. Now I just need to catch up on my sleep. A vacation from my vacation. I'll post more pics and tell more mini-stories in the coming days.

Now, back to our regular programming, running. I ran once. My leg is still very very sore. I have a race tomorrow, the Brooklyn 1/2 Marathon. How I fare there will determine how I approach the remainder of my training. Whether I just get through it or put in some serious miles. My thinking today is that I'm just going to have to get through it. I need some serious time off. Bad news for my weight, good news for my sleep time.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Except much more ferocious.

And yes, my 10:30 was pushed back an hour and I have some spare time.

Left Turn

A slight deviation from my recent rantings. I have a lot of time to read on the train. One of my favorite magazines is The Atlantic Monthly. This month's issue had a fascinating article on Talk Radio, specifically looking at The John Ziegler Show, a non-syndicated conservative talk show based out of L.A. Make sure to click on the highlighted words/phrases for the sidebar commentary.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Ok, maybe I have a bad attitude. Maybe I'm an elitist marathoning snob. Maybe I think that because I pay Crunch membership dues on top of my Bally's dues that I have rights that the Bally's only crowd doesn't have. Maybe, but probably not. More likely it is the location of the Bally's closest to my home, the hour of the day, and the poor management of the facility. Whatever it is, it just isn't working. Thankfully I only go to that gym about once a month. I feel sorry for Liz who goes to that gym much more frequently.

It just irritates me to no end that there aren't enough treadmills, that there is a 30 minute limit, and a sign-up sheet that people seem to sign the day before. To top it off, there isn't a single person running on any of the treadmills. They are walking. At an average of about 2.3mph. Here, I want to get in a brisk 7 mile tempo run and I'm waiting on people that do 1 mile a day, three times a week. I mean, what is even the point? You could burn those three miles worth of calories going to the grocery store or Costco. Don't take up precious real estate that isn't going to do you a lick of good.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I Don't Have Leprosy

It turns out that the city was looking for a water main near the South Ferry. The surveyors missed their target by oh, 15 feet or so and instead of locating the water main they were looking for, they drilled right into the 4/5 subway tunnel. Why am I telling you this? Because I am two stops up from where they were drilling and had to wait 30 minutes for the debris to be cleaned up so a train could get through.

This is what it looked like when the first train finally appeared. As you can tell, there's no way I'm getting on that train. I couldn't even get to the platform. There were lines outside of the gates. All during rush hour. Yep, the city and the MTA have got it going on. (Notice that I'm no longer capitalizing 'city'. It's pissed me off too much lately for me to take pride in it.)

Wait, it gets better. You might be asking why I did not walk to another subway line. Well, it was 15 degrees, the wind was blowing at roughly 30mph, and it was snowing/sleeting. To top things off, it was 40 degrees in the morning and I was wearing my spring coat and hadn't brought my earmuffs. I would have waited in that station all night.

I've noticed that I do a lot of complaining on this little blog of mine. Apologies. It's just this damn winter. Will it ever end?? I can't wait to go to Florida next week. My pasty white skin might blind a few Floridians, but then again, most Floridians are from the NE and are used to pale, ghostly people.

On the bright side, I've run the past two days. A slow six on Monday and a fast seven yesterday. And my leg hasn't fallen off yet. The hamstring twinges once in a while, but I've passed the wake up in the morning and get out of bed without falling down test. Dr. Silverman and Bextra get an A+ in my book.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Running this morning
The legs functioning smoothly
Dare I say comeback?

p.s. Get well dad. I want you on the roads again soon.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Old Man Winter

It's March 4th. It's 15 degrees and it's snowed three times in the past week. I didn't come to New York to trudge through the snow on my way to the train platform. (I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the MTA for raising the fares by 11%. $230 a month to freeze out on the platform. What am I doing here again??)

I've tried everything to appease the weather gods. I've said nice things about them. I've offered oranges to my butsudan. I've donated more to my church. I even attended a Wiccan ceremony in Bronx River Park. To no avail.

So, this is supposed to be about running or humorous pictures on the subway. I saw some interesting things on the subway earlier in the week, but my camera phone just wasn't quick enough. I won't describe the sights because I'm sure I'll see them again. And I can't talk about running because guess what? I'm still not running. And Chris, I will never join the dark side and become a cyclist. Daredevil motorcyclist maybe, but cyclist with spandex everything and funny shades, no way.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


The subway has been so crazy lately that I haven't been able to get any good shots without getting in a fight. Believe me, I was taking a huge risk here by taking this picture. I hope you all appreciate what could have happened to my face had I been caught. That Blair Witch photo of me to the left would have been replaced by a photo of Leatherface.

No comment on my continued stationary bike misery.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Million Dollar Wound

I now know how Forrest Gump felt when he was shot in the buttocks.

Yesterday was the first day in what is going to be a very long week. No running. It pains me just to write it. I looked at my two options (cycling and swimming), looked up all of the Crunches in Manhattan, and discovered that only one has a pool and it is on 10th Ave and 42nd St. Way, way, way out of the way. I sighed, put my goggles away, and packed my bag with normal gym clothes. Yes, it was time to ride the stationary bike.

OrigamiI now know why every treadmill, every stairmaster, and every elliptical trainer in the entire gym can have a person using them and yet not a single person is riding one of those stationary bikes. Let's just say that I had to make friends with this little guy here last night.

I stretched, I lifted, and then I made my way over to the stationary bike. Punching in 60 minutes and seeing that I was still only going to burn 600 calories was more than frustrating. I burn 600 calories running in 35 minutes. At twenty minutes, I was ready to get off, but the calorie counter prevented me. I did want to eat dinner. At forty minutes, I was through. The only thing that kept me on the bike was the American Poker Championship. Phil Ivey was making a major move and I had to see it through. Hopefully, there's something good on today as well.

Crotch GuardToday, I am prepared. I'm going to be using this wonderful product. Sorry about the poor quality of the image. It's the best I could find. It's a product that apparently cyclists use to prevent saddle soreness. Crotch Guard, you have a new customer.