Monday, January 10, 2011

Moved back "home"

This Blog will now be hosted on Please go to to continue to follow my blog! Thanks!!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year Resolutions

This is the first year in a real long time I didn't have any resolutions going into the new year.  I know there are a lot of things I can improve on, but these holidays seemed to have snuck up on me without really thinking about resolutions.  I blame it on the trip to San Francisco during Christmas time.  So as I am writing this blog, I will think up some resolutions for 2011.  I want to make them realistic, so if they don't seem like a stretch, sorry! I want to meet my goals, low expectations baby!

  1. Blog more regularly.  I am totally stealing this from Abby (Mrs. Tummy's Blog).  So by definition if I blog twice a month, than I have fulfilled this resolution :)
  2. Be a better example. Ok, this one is quite vague.  I have always been in the mindset that no one is looking at me.  When I was younger I always used the excuse that someone else should be doing the work, because I am don't know enough myself because, hey...I was young.  With nieces and nephews and godchildren running around, I want to become a better person for them.  So when they are ready to ask me a difficult question, I can answer them, and not just defer to someone else
  3. Actually lose weight this year.  You would think training for a marathon would help you lose weight.  Yeah, not so much.  My body composition probably changed a good amount in 2010, but man I was a very very hungry man in 2010.  Especially on Saturday afternoons after our long runs.  mmm..Five Guys
  4. Run a 1/2 marathon in 2:30 ~ 11:30/mi.  After my horrific marathon debut last year in the Chicago Marathon 10.10.10, I want to really improve my chances of running another marathon someday.  If I continue running like I run now, I don't see myself ever really wanting to run a marathon.  If I can get my 1/2 marathon time down, I'll feel more comfortable tackling a marathon again.  Last year I had no idea what I was getting myself into, when
  5. Read a book each month.  Now this is probably one of my more aggressive resolutions.  I know, I know...reading one book a month shouldn't really be THAT big of a deal, but seriously, I never read.  I really want to change that
  6. Take a photography class.  I missed out on a Groupon for 2 photography classes, so if that comes around again, I am totally taking it! I love pictures they can tell such good stories.  I may never be as good as Mike (unscene media) or Chris (chris and oliver cinema), but I just want to be better.
  7. Learn more about Chicago.  In the marathon last year I was thinking it would be much more interesting if I knew more history around the spots I was running past.  I admittedly have never been great with directions, and I had only heard about most of the neighborhoods of Chicago I ran through.  I've lived in the suburbs of Chicago for so long, it feels like I should know more about the city

So how/where do I start off?

I liked my picture of the week idea I had last year.  I need to bring that back.  But if I take better pictures (from taking a class), I'll want to blog more about them! Two birds.

I started a book on running last year, that I just never got around to finish.  Now it's been so long, so I'll have to start over.  I told Jaz about wanting to read more and she said we should take 1 hour a day to read.  That means one less hour on the that possible?

I've started doing some speed work this winter hopefully increasing my speed in the long run (haha, pun not intended).  I got into the NY 1/2 marathon in March, so I think that will be a good indicator on whether or not my speed work actually works.

At work we have a health program called Virgin Healthmiles.  It is basically a rewards program for activities logged to their site.  You can log steps using a proprietary pedometer and you can also log workouts using a Polar Heart Rate Monitor.  When you hit certain levels in health miles, than you get a reward, and each level up you get more money.  For instance, Level 2 you get $50, Level 3 you get $75, etc.  Well my company is issuing a challenge to its employees.  Whoever can lose the most weight or weight %, will win additional prizes up $150.  It's  a 3 month challenge, so I will definitely hit the ground running.  Not only will it be healthy, it will be wealthy (yikes that was bad).

I think that's a good start, don't you?

So what are your resolutions for 2011?


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Looking back at 2010

It's that time of the year we can look back and reflect on how life is right now, and how we got where we are.  If it was a good year, then we look back and smile at our accomplishments.  If it was a bad year, we look forward for midnight to strike on New Years to start off with a clean slate.  However we look at it, it can be a positive thing.  Let's take a look at MY 2010:

2010 Chicago Marathon

Obviously this year brought an entire new challenge to me that I conquered - the marathon.  I may not have done the best I could, but I completed it.  That is something that I would have never done 5 years ago.  I guess I haven't really blogged about it since the marathon, but I had a "what now" feeling for a couple weeks after the marathon.  Right after the race, I was upset with my performance because the heat was so bad. I almost didn't even want to talk about it.  A couple weeks past and I had some more conversations about it, I just started to realize the real meaning of the marathon for me.  It means something different to everyone, but to me, it meant that hard, hard work can get you to your goal.  It wasn't pretty, but it got done.  I sit here tonight looking back and I still can't believe I finished it, but I know it is now possible.  Along with the marathon I was able to raise over $2500 in donations for the American Heart Association.  I could not believe the generosity of all of my friends and family that contributed and allowed me to hit my goal.  Simply amazing!

Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and everyone became a fan of them instantly.  I will absolutely admit that I did not watch the Blackhawks until last year.  I watched probably 15 games throughout the year and then talk to my buddy Erick about the games as to prove my fanhood.  We even had a conversation where he wanted me to name 20 players on the team.  I think I named 22.  And then after I learned most everyone's names and numbers, they go ahead and trade/let go of half the team.  So I gotta start all over again.  Whenever a game is on TV I try to at least try to watch a little bit of  the game if not the whole game.  The game just goes by so fast! Even if they are not doing as well right now, it is still fun.

"The Decision" - Lebron James giving all of the NBA the biggest tease of all time.  He ends up going to the Heat along with Wade and Bosh and now is part of one of the most hated teams in the league.  Everyone loves to see them lose and it STILL looks empty in their arena.  That town doesn't deserve those many all-stars.  Sooner or later they will win an NBA championship, and everyone will just say, "took you long enough" and not comment on what a great team they are.  Even in this season, they will eventually pick it up and go on some crazy streak, but no one will care.  I love to see good basketball, but if they win it, it will just seem cheap.  Like those dudes at pickup games who missed on purpose so they can play on the same team, yeah, they are those guys.



Took it pretty easy this year with sports cards, but did pull the most expensive card I've ever gotten, and of course, it was from a sport I know NOTHING about - baseball.  When I got a Stephen Strasburg Bowman Gold Refractor, I did not think much of it.  Maybe like a $50 card or something? Right? NOPE! I sold it for $750! This was even before he ever threw a major league pitch! Turns out he was out for the season after a few great starts and had (or is going to have) Tommy John surgery.  Glad I sold!!


Elijah's Baptism

2010 made me a godfather again thanks to my friends Erick and Abby.  Becoming a godfather or a "ninong" to their son Elijah shows me that they trust me as a friend and a person with their child.  I felt the same way when Mike and Tracy made me ninong of their first born Haley.  It really is quite an honor and I even explicitly put my name in the running for both of their kids, haha.  I try to live a life that my godchildren (and one day my own kids) can look up to.  I guess that is why I am so proud to be chosen by my friends to be their kids' godfather.  Maybe it was just my persistence..haha


The kids

It was a year of growing for my family.  After being out of work for almost a year my brother finally was able to land a job downtown and was able to move to an apartment in Chicago.  I can tell the new bounce in his step after he got the job and I was so happy for him too.  It's hard to see when a family member is going through a rough time and there isn't anything I could do.  Once he got the job I thanked God for it! And speaking of God, my oldest niece Chloe had her first reconciliation this year.  I swear I was older than her when I had my first one.  I was a proud uncle that day because over the past couple of years I have tried to solidify my faith.  I will admit it's a work in progress, but I know I have got to start somewhere! And seeing my niece go through one of her sacraments just gave me more faith.  We took trips together to Las Vegas for a cousin's wedding as well as our yearly Wisconsin Dells trip.  I remember loving seeing my family on these types of trips, I hope my nieces and nephews feel the same way!


Marisol and Marvin's wedding

My friends from college Marisol and Marvin got married this year and had a baby boy.  Yeah, I did nothing this year compared to them!  I have yet to meet their little man but I know when we meet him we'll fall in love with him.  They are just another reminder that we are at that age of growing up when everyone around us is having kids (some their second kid).  Yeah I know I kids for us yet.  Just like everything in life, when it's meant to be, it will happen.

Still working on Jaz's driving.  We started earlier this year (maybe in the spring) and Jaz has occasional professional driving lessons.  I think she is ready with the exception of parallel parking.  It should be interesting with the snow coming in soon.  Time to teach some evasive maneuvers.


House of Blues

Performing at the House of WOW! I could not believe I was there when it happened, and I can't believe it now.  We did one song with Sway Penala - These are the Times (Dru Hill).  It was surreal and we were able to see some really good talent that night.  It was just like it was 2000 and we were doing showcases again, except some of us are married and I had work the next morning (j/k I took the day off)


Central Park

This year, Jaz and I went to New York, Las Vegas, Wisconsin Dells, Florida, and will be going to San Francisco later this year.  I also went down to Birmingham once for work.  This was easily the most we have ever travelled in a year.  We figured since we are still on our own and without any children, we might as well get some traveling in!  We got to see so much this year like Times Square and Disney World and the Las Vegas strip and water parks and Harry Potter land. Racked up some nice Frequent Flyer Miles..too bad we might have to get felt up next time we fly.

I'm sure I missed a TON, but this is what just came to mind.  It's been a wonderful year and I can't wait to close it just like I began this year.  With hopes of a very good year for me and the ones that I love.

How was your year?

Saturday, October 30, 2010


100 degree fever and I'm not sweating a drop.  I think i am dehydrated..oh my god this sucks...

also threw up when i got home from our group run...mussed nt goddaughter's birthday party, missed going to the bulls game tonight.  it's always this time of year. Last year i got the flu around the same time.

can't even hold down bread...God help me...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Marathon pictures

One of the great things that running has done for me is introduce me to a great running community.  Here are some more pictures from this monumental weekend in my life!


At the Marathon Expo at McCormick Place.  This is where the dry heaving began


@suegelber @jen_ni_fer @runningcouple @chanthana @deekindotnet at the Expo


I liked Isis's watch!


Deep thoughts with Chanthana


Craziness at the Nike section of the Expo


Night in the city.  Just across the street from the start line


Me and Jaz in the city


I'm ready...I think


And the 38,000 are off!


Umm...Go Team!?


Me at 13.1 miles.  Drying off and slowly dying


Applying some sunscreen.  I forgot I didn't put any at the start


Aww..."Team Jao" I love these kids!


Making sure I hit up my neck! In reality I was just stalling!


After the race, just glad to NOT be on my feet!


Me and my cousin Nina! It was her second marathon!


Me, Jaz, my two brothers and my nephew


Me and Jaz's parents


My medal and my name at Niketown


At the huge wall name thing at Niketown


Liz and Chanthana...speedy ladies!


Jenna and Isis


Connie (@MarathonMissFit) and Lee


It's Jen! In real life!


Some more of my twitter "runnerd" crew!


As Chanthana said "Asians Gone Wild" Haha


Finally was able to put on this sticker! Yeah I did!