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!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wow...that was the most difficult thing EVER! Chicago Marathon 2010


The day had finally come where all of the training over the past couple of months was ready to pay off.  All of the hot days running through the forest preserve and around and around the campus at work was going to be all worth it.  10-10-10 was here and I was all ready to kick its ass...or was I?

Yes I may have followed most of the Higdon training.  When I say most, I did all but one of the weekend longs runs (missed one of the 10 milers) including the 20 mile run which completed in the rain.  I will admit I did not get all of the runs during the week in.  I normally got two of the runs in, sometimes including the longer run in the middle, sometimes not.  Whenever I hit a new distance during the long run on Saturday morning at Old School Forest Preserve, I was able to own it.  I was able to confidently start, push through, and finish each distance.  So what happened at 10-10-10? It was too much.  I am looking back at how I felt in the morning, and I lost all confidence.  I started sweating pretty bad by mile 1, and it was downhill from there! I quickly started thinking of my sodium levels, and how hot it was going to get.  I wondered if I started out too fast.  I wondered if I could keep up with my pace group.  I wondered if there was going to be enough water and gatorade. I wondered if my friends and family would be enough to support me.  In all of this wondering, it's like I forgot how to run and what I had learned in training.  The event was simply bigger than I had imagined.  45,000 people registered for the event, most of them showed up all ready to do the crazy thing I was going to do.  Probably in better shape, better trained, and better mindset than me.  I took myself out of the game before it even started!

I kept up with my pace group (Michele, Kim, Dani, and Bob) for the first 6 or so miles.  At that point something just didn't feel "right".  I just was not my normal running self.  I was hardly enjoying myself or the scenery, I was too wound up in the race.  Making sure I get to each aid station and properly hydrate.  From the sounds of the weather report, it was definitely going to get hot later on in the race, so I made sure to get enough hydration at every stop.  And so I did.  With each stop I just felt like I was getting heavier and heavier.  And to be honest, I was also feeling a little sick from it.  I had trained with these two things all summer, why pick a day like today to make me feel like this? Must have been the nerves!

I saw Potter and Tina early, and was glad to see my first familiar faces.  I was hoping if I would see these types of faces throughout the day, I would be good to go through the next stop.  Soon after I saw Alicia and Barb, which I was happy to see.  Gave them a couple of high fives on the side and moved on.  I had lost my pace group by then.  Then I saw Diana and Noel, and even gave them a big sweaty hug before moving on from them.  Somewhere there I somehow passed my pace group and they caught up to me.  I was shocked as I thought they left me behind which I was totally ok with.  I hit the 10.5 mile aid station, and I was already tired.  I even texted Jaz that hoping she would relay it to my friends and they would give me an extra boost when I saw them.


Seeing Alicia at around mile 6

13.1 could not come soon enough.  I actually got there in 2:50, which was about what I had hoped.  If I could keep this type of pace the remainder of the race, I would be in good shape.  I saw my two brothers and nephew first.  I was so happy to see them and glad they came down to support me.  I told them it was hard and I was getting tired, but like good supporters do, they pushed me forward.  Then I saw my friends Erick, Abby, Mike, Tracy, and Joe who had signs and their kids along with my wife and her parents.  I had my two godchildren there and I was so happy to see them.  I always said part of the reason I want to get more healthy is so that I could be a good example for them, and there they were witnessing it!  I stopped and talked a little bit dried off what I could and put on some sunscreen.  I heard the second half of the race was less in the shade than the first half, so I wanted to make sure I was prepared.  I kissed my wife a few times.  At this point, I honestly wasn't sure if I would see her again.  That is how crappy I felt.  Erick and Joe ran a little bit with me to get my momentum up again.  It did help as it carried me through the next couple of miles.


Sunscreen at 13.1


My goddaughter Haley and her brother Aiden sporting Team Jao bibs - CUTE!

Mile 15...oh man.  It was like a brick wall hit me.  I had taken all the aid station stops and endurolytes and shot bloks that I had used all summer, and for some reason it just was NOT sitting right.  It basically felt like I had to vomit.  I knew if I threw up, I would be out, so I just tried going with more water than gatorade for a little bit.

Mile 17 came and yet another person from my pace group comes from behind me.  I was shocked as I figured they were all ahead of me.  By this time I was walking and he asked me what was up.  I totally didn't feel right and I told him that I was feeling a little sick.  My brothers pop up again with my nephew.  Tony is first and says he wanted to pray with me, and I told him please do!  I needed his spiritual guidance to push me through.  He said his prayer which I thought at the moment was very heartfelt I even heard a quiver in his voice because he knew I was having a hard time.  Jun was there next and I wanted to collapse right there and have them take me home.  I looked at my nephew Eli, and knew I could not and would not let him down.  Jun asked me, "you got this?" I told him "I WILL get this" We turned the corner to find nothing but sunshine.  Not an ounce of shade in sight.  The guy from my pace group ended up losing me, I was a snail.  One of the things he did tell me was if I needed to stop, go to the aid station and they can drive me back to the finish.  It was the first time I thought that this journey would end on the sourest of endings.  With a DNF next to my name.  I could not let that happen.  I needed something to push me.

MIle 18 came, and there was my college friend Christine.  Without going into all the details, Christine has shown me an incredible amount of courage and strength in the time I have known her.  Somehow she always is able to have a smile on her face when life sometimes gives her a crappy hand.  Clearly, today I (and 45,000 other people) were dealt a crappy hand with the weather, which was at this point was considered threat level red (one level away from canceling the race).  She yelled out "There's Tito Joey!" and then echoed by her son "Go Tito Joey!" I told her I didn't know how I could finish this race, but she kept insisting that I finish it.  She had the accel gel that we had talked about before and I took it there on the spot.  Downed some water with it, and knew in about 3 minutes I was going to get going again.  I hugged her for her support and started off on my way again.

3 minutes came and I felt a slight burst in energy, so I was ready to run again.  Mile 19 came and oh feet start cramping.  With every step it feels like I'm getting stabbed on the balls of my feet.  I have to walk. I was closing in on 10K left.  I am just so close and I am already at my goal time of 5:30.  Dear God...I am still so far away to start walking now.  I gather up the courage to try to run...cramp again.  It's a cruel cycle.  Here's when things get a little fuzzy...

Mile 20 comes, pain is still there.  I am thinking of quitting, but I know it's not an option at some point I run across Abby's sister Donna, who had a sign for me.  And even had me hold it up for a picture as I rested for a bit by her.  I told her I was having a rough time and I just don't know how to finish this thing.  She pushed me back out there to finish it because I was just so close.


Donna finds me, and asks me to hold up her sign. At that point, it felt heavy! LOL

Christine somehow found me again. Had I been that slow that she was able to catch me with a stroller? Yelling "Go Tito Joey!" With her son.  I don't remember if I stopped, but I definitely made sure he saw me because he was clearly excited to look for me, even though he wasn't 100% sure of what I looked like.  I had only met him once before as a baby.  That gave me a quick smile.

Chinatown.  I don't know which mile this is, but I always hear that this was the homestretch for the marathon.  I had almost all but given up on running the remainder of the distance. I was exhausted both mentally and physically, felt sick to my stomach, and I doubted every step.  But then something even worse happened.  Police cars were coming from behind telling all walkers to move to the sidewalks so runners could get through.  And runners should maintain a 14min/mi pace.  This scared me more than injuries or threats of dehydration could not compare to.  I ran the risk of getting swept off the course?! Hell no I'm not! I HAD to finish! I did something desperate that I never tried before and asked for a pain reliever at an aid station.  At this point, what more could I do to my body that would make it worse? I started negotiating with my body with a run 6min/walk 2min pace.  Soon enough the pain started to go away and I was actually running nicely.  Miles 22-24 just felt like forever, but I knew I was almost there.  I needed one more push...Mylene.

Pretty much everyone knows I ran the marathon for my dad.  He died in 1997 of a heartattack.  I decided to run the marathon and raise funds for the American Heart Association in his honor.  This week, my cousin who is not that much older than me had been diagnosed a heartattack.  When I heard news of it, I went to go see her as soon as I was allowed.  We cried together with her husband in the hospital room when I realized that everything had come together for me for this marathon.  For her.  And she told me she would be at mile 26 waiting for me.

Mile 25 ended and I was waiting to see my cousin.  But first Erick and Joe popped up to finish the race with me.  I was so relieved.  I needed someone to take away this pain.  I hear my name "JOEY!" from the left, and there is Mylene.  With her camera and open arms.  I hugged her so tight and told her I loved her.  It was that moment of the race that made the whole day for me.  It didn't matter that I was about to come in pretty close to last in this whole race.  What mattered is that I was about to cross the finish line at 26.2 miles to prove to my friends, family, and father that I care about them.  So much in fact I would put my body through sweaty, bloody, close to dehydration hell to prove to them that I want to be healthy enough for them.  It was at THAT moment I knew that somehow, I had already crossed the finish line when I lined up at the start.  I felt right.  I was ready and to end it off, I had my two boys to guide me home.


Finding my cousin Mylene. The most memorable moment of the race

The medicine had worn off and the pain in my feet returned.  I was so close.  I stayed with Erick and Joe's pace.  I just wanted to finish this race the way I started it...running.  We turned the last corner, and they exited stage left because spectators were not allowed through the finish line.  I saw it.  I looked to the left and saw Abby with my godson.  I knew it was time to finish this thing.

I stepped on the finish line, and instantly looked up to my dad.  I told him, "sorry it took so long Pa...I had to remember why I was doing this."  The reason was right there on the course the whole time.  Some people run for fun, some people run for a cause, others run to win.  On 10-10-10 I ran for my right to live a dream.  It didn't matter what place I came in, I made a statement.  If you have a dream, you have to work hard to get it.  I wanted to finish a marathon.  This 270 pound non-typical runner body finished a marathon in 6 hours and 49 minutes, and yes since you asked, it was a personal record.  It is definitely a distant second to being the most difficult thing I had to endure, but I hope that it will open just as many eyes.

Thank you for everyone who has supported me this year.  It has been an unbelievable journey but it was only unbelievable because you were there with me.


Pa...that was for you!


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Chicago Marathon - ONE WEEK! Reflection...

1 week away - 17 weeks of training - 2 years of fantasizing - 30 years of disbelief.  Let's go through each of those phases starting with the largest.

30 years of disbelief.  Since I was a kid, I declared I would never run for leisure.  Basketball was my thing when I was a kid and always will be, and I always thought that if I was going to do anything from a cardiovascular standpoint, it would have to be basketball.  No questions asked.  And a marathon? No chance! Not only does that require running, but running for a very long distance.  I question driving that far much less using my feet as the mode of transportation.  People who trained and completed marathons were not real.  They were people that would only be seen on a 2 dimensional screen or newspaper.  I would never know someone who would even attempt this...


2 years of fantasizing.  My goals in life shifted.  After years of playing basketball casually, the reality kicked in.  I get hurt all the time playing it.  Ankle sprain, back injury, concussion, pulled hamstring, etc.  Another reality kicked in.  I am dangerously out of shape.  I had issues with blood pressure as well as panic attacks, even sometimes chest pains.  Time for a change, time for someone new...time to run?! Couch to 5K program is introduced into my life.  Got addicted QUICK! Signed up for multiple races, soon enough bumped up to 10Ks.  Loved running, loved the feeling of finishing a race, PRing, a new distance.  How far could I go? 26.2? Man, that would be great.  I don't have that kind of patience.  I am not fit enough for something like that.  I've seen some of the fast runners at the races I've done, they definitely have the drive to run a marathon.  It just amazes me.  Maybe someday...


17 weeks of training.  Friends have done it.  Family has done it.  Tens of thousands of people have done it.  Why can't I be one of those?  What makes me incapable of even attempting a marathon.  I couldn't come up with even one good excuse.  Midnight on February 1st comes...SUBMIT! Officially registered for the 2010 Chicago Marathon.  Training starts in July and I meet one of the strongest groups of runners I had ever met.  I'm not just talking about technique...I'm talking about heart and support.  Saturday morning after Saturday morning I find myself listening and talking to complete strangers.  Some of them like me running their first marathon, others running their 20th.  I now KNOW people who have done this.  I find strength in them.  I find support in them.  I'm also finding support in my fund raising.  With my dad not here to see me in person, I had to make sure he heard me.  As of today, I've raised over $2000 in donations for the American Heart Association.  I couldn't believe I could raise that much!  Just more motivation for me.


1 week away.  I've never believed in myself more than I do right now.  The past 17 weeks, 2 years, 30 years have led me to today.  I've run as far as 20 miles.  Ask 16 year old Joey if he ever would run that far.  He would say "hell no!" and then proceed to eat his Wendy's frosty with fries (man those are good).  Running has taught me what inner strength really is.  At any given moment, you can look inside yourself and find it, especially when you are running for hours on end!  But with enough patience, faith, and practice, you find that your inner strength is ENDLESS!  I've seen people amaze me everyday.  I've read stories that make me yearn for greatness.  I've heard people say that I am inspiration.  Not yet folks...I got one week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy 4th Anniversary, Jaz!


Me and Jaz

Four years ago on August 26, 2006, I married my best friend.  Through countless of hours used on calling cards, overage minutes on cell phones, dialpad, video chat, emails, and IMs there was always something very special between me and Jaz.  Pure happiness.  I genuinely want to make her happy everyday.  I want her to smile and laugh and even cry with me.  It's definitely something I did not understand when we just started dating when I was 20, or even something I grew to understand through the six years we dated.  And I'm sure even now I still don't fully grasp it.  But I do know that I have seen love in her eyes since the first time we met.  And here we are, just a mere four years later, and I still want her to be happy.  I know relatively speaking, we've had it easy, and once we have children (NO ANNOUNCEMENTS YET) our love will grow even more.  But until we cross that bridge, I am not sure I fully understand that either.  So I am ok with not understanding it long as I am not understanding it with her.

I love you Jaz!

Monday, August 16, 2010

15 miles...oh..dear...God

I decided to opt for the written post as opposed to the VLOG for this week's training update.

Saturday came.  I hadn't run in 10 days prior to the 15 miler.  The week prior, I felt like I may have tweaked my knee and/or achilles again.  They were just tightening up on me.  Plus Jaz and I were going to Florida for vacation, so I decided to take a little break, probably thru the weekend.  The weekend comes and goes, and they haven't healed completely.  So I extend it till when we get back...still tight.  Decided to just wait until all felt better.  And that day came on the Friday before the 15 miler.  Oh dear.  So here I am on Saturday, carrying some extra vacation Florida weight, not run a mile in 10 days, drank a lot of vacation Diet Cokes and Smoothies w/rum in it.  I knew that the run was going to be much more difficult than it should be.  And I was right.

Right away, my right knee was tight.  I normally don't worry too much about any nagging tightness because I know they normally work themselves out through the run.  And I was right.  4 miles in, and I felt looser, but my calves still felt tighter than I would like.  Now I drank water and gatorade the day before on Friday, but I found out later that maybe I needed to start hydrating even before then.  We hit the 1/2 way mark at about 8 miles and I was already fatigued.  The site coordinator was there too, and he even asked if I was ok.  I must have also LOOKED bad as I felt.  Oh yeah...and there were like A MILLION mosquitos out in the forest.  I was falling back considerably from our pace group.  Luckily, one of the group leaders decided to hang back with me.  For a bit I thought I was getting dehydrated, but I was ok.  At the 10 mile hydration stop was when thing started going downhill fast.  I almost cramped about 6 or 7 times.  So I had to stretch and walk each time.  It would almost happen one after the other.  Cramp....stretch....walk....start to run....cramp....repeat.  It SUCKED! By then a couple of other runners decided to walk with us as well.  Tim, Kim, and Michelle saved me that day.  I just couldn't go on, but they pushed me to finish.  In fact, they made it bearable.  They told stories and we laughed a lot.  So it was a good time in spite of the constant cramping and swarms of mosquitos.  Then finally after 3 hours and 45 minutes, we were done.  15 more miles on my shoes and 133 mosquito bites on my back, legs, and arms.

One of the faster runners in our pace group made this for me.  Isn't she sweet? Thanks Lisa!


Lesson: WATER WATER WATER! I need to shed some more weight so it will be easier on my joints, knees, ankles, achilles, etc. I am going to concentrate on my diet this week.  No junk food, no pop, good carbs and lean proteins.  And some strength training is necessary.  I have been majorly slacking in that department, and I think it is time for me to pick that up again.

Thank you again to Michelle, Tim, and Kim!  Without you I wouldn't have made it out of the forest and would have succumb to the mosquito villages.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am humbled...

I sent my first emails out to my friends and family about supporting me for this marathon on March 17th of this year. I sent that out one day after the 13 year anniversary that my dad passed away. My initial goal to raise for the American Heart Association was $1500. Now here I am a little over 4 months later, and we have not only reached this goal, but exceeded it! I absolutely cannot believe the kindness and generosity my friends and family has displayed, and I wanted a chance to thank all of you who have supported me with these donations. What is crazy is that I know that there are still other donations coming in. I still have over 2 months to collect donations. If you are one of those who still want to donate, please visit my donation site:

Thank you all so much!

  • Aiden Vigan
  • Annie Pardilla
  • Arthur Cacayuran
  • Berdee Atanante
  • Bert & Rose Aguinaldo
  • Brian Schuch
  • Chi Li
  • Concepcion Jasmin
  • Diane Zimmerman
  • Eileen Luciano
  • Freddy Oldenburg
  • Haley Vigan
  • Heather Kelley
  • James Luciano
  • Jason and Siou Pugsley
  • Jaymie Miguel
  • Jean Gavina
  • Jeffery Heath
  • Ken Litchfield
  • Kristina Marinas
  • Lourdes Rabara
  • Maria Austria
  • Maria Victoria (Baba)Jasmin
  • Maria& Ferdinand Gueco
  • Michael Potter
  • Michele Yanong
  • Remedios Jao
  • Rick Manis
  • Robert Mills
  • Roberta Fuery
  • Rodger Decilio
  • Rodolfo Jao
  • Rowena Cera
  • Salavador Gueco
  • Samuel Paschka
  • Sharon Del Pilar-Feldman
  • Steve Manio

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The New Tumang - Elijah!

Welcome to the world Elijah!  Congrats to Erick, Abby, and little Annie for their new addition to the family!  And thank you for trusting me to be Elijah's Ninong!  I am so honored!

We went to see the new Tumang today.  On the way to the hospital I got an email from my boss to work on something since I am on-call.  What timing!  We stopped by my mom's so I could work for a bit, but as soon as I was done we were out the door!  Luckily we still got there with 15 minutes left in visiting hours!  I'm sure Jaz didn't appreciate the fast driving, but I had to see my godson!!

Here are some more pictures from today: Joe's Shutterfly Site



Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Stages" performing at House of Blues!

I found out a couple weeks back that the singing group I used to sing with back 10 years ago (really has it been that long?) was asked to perform at show at the House of Blues.  Our group was called Stages.  Of course I was excited but then learned that the show was supposed to happen while Jaz and I were planning to go to Hawaii for vacation.  I was sad to turn down the offer, but I knew the guys would be just fine without me.

Well it turned out we are not going to Hawaii but Florida instead, and decided to cut our trip a little shorter.  So now I can make the show! I'm not sure of all the details yet to be honest, but House of Blues?  Pretty big deal to me.  I never performed in anything like that venue before, unless you count my Air Guitar performance at the United Center! Haha.  We will also be graced with quite a few talented artists around Chicago as well as Sway Penala who was from Season 5 of American Idol, but more well known as a member of Drop N Harmony in the Asian community back in the day. Those dudes can SANG!!

Here are the details about the show:



...and to give you an idea of what we sound like now....


Hope to see you there!

Congrats to Marisol and Marvin!


Here's the link to all 100+ pictures from their wedding: Joe's Shutterfly Site

Marvin and Marisol

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Training on vacation

It is week 6 of the 18 week marathon training program for this year's Chicago Marathon.  It also is the week that I had to really prove to myself how serious I really am with this training since I went to the Wisconsin Dells with my family all week.  I have yet to actually run all three runs during the week that I am supposed to be running up until now.  I normally get in one of the two 3 mile runs in, and then the longish run in as well, and then of course the long run during the weekend with the CARA group training.  This week I could have easily blown off the runs during the week and just been ready for the long run this weekend since it was a cutback week of 7 miles.  With the motivation of my two brothers, I have completed two of the three runs during the week and looking to finally hit that third run also tomorrow (later today).

It has been pretty humid here in the Dells, but I took it as an opportunity to get some heat training in too.  You never know what kind of weather will hit on October 10th this year!  I also took the opportunity to do a little bit of hill training today during my 5 mile run.  Just before the end of mile 2, I hit various levels of inclines and declines for the remainder of the distance.  Being back home, I normally just hit the same flat land.  This was a little tougher for me and I found myself huffing and puffing more than usual.  Again, I don't know what the conditions will be come race day, so I gotta have some different kinds of training out there as well.  We do our fair amount of steady incline/decline runs during our weekly long runs with CARA, but nothing like some of the hills I hit today.  It was hard work but also a nice change of pace too.  I kept thinking about my ankles and my achilles through these inclines, and it seemed to hold up, not pushing too hard off it.  I still do my proper stretching and extra cold shower after each run to cool off the body.  In addition we have been hitting the water parks everyday so I get a little more "swimming" in as well as a nice little hot tub session every now and again.  The sleeping has suffered a bit, and I just don't feel well rested in the morning.  It might be because of the small, not entirely comfortable bed we have been sleeping in the past few nights.  Also that night we hit the casino till 3:30 in the morning probably didn't help much either!  I know it definitely did not help my pocket!

Tomorrow (again, later today) I plan on running 3 miles, some of it with my oldest brother to finish strong this week to get into the 7 mile run on Saturday.  I can't believe I'll be a 1/3 of the way through this marathon training.  I will admit I am worried about next week's mileage of 3/6/3 during the week then 12mi long run on Saturday (GASP).  Remember, the mileage of the long run scheduled for next week is what did my achilles in a few months back.  I've been waiting for this distance for some time, so I can't wait to hit and then move on and up!

I plan on getting a VLOG out there again soon.  There are about 5 people who like them, so I gotta keep them happy! :)

Happy training!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blogging from above

No I didn't die.  I am currently on a flight to Vegas for my cousin Rodell's wedding.  I am pretty excited about getting to see all of my relatives that I have not seen in a while. Obviously all of Rodell's brothers and sisters will be there.  I don't even know the last time I saw all NINE brothers and sisters together.  It must have been one of their weddings or something.  I have no idea who got married last...too many to keep up with!  I haven't seen Rodney, Rodger, or Jun in it seems like forever! It will be a great family reunion with TONS of pictures.  I brought my 75-300mm lens so I should get better than usual shots of the wedding.  When I am so far the normal lens doesn't help a lot.  I'd like to buy a new camera body, as this one just doesn't do all I would like, but that will have to wait until I strike it a little rich.

Chloe gave Jaz and I some good luck smurfs for our trip.  Legend has it that when Chloe had these smurfs in her bag at school, she got 100% on her test.  I like to think it was just that she was smart enough to earn that 100%, but I guess that lesson will have to be taught a little later on in life.  I will still bring them with me when I hit the tables, because quite honestly, I can use all the help I can get!

Now onto the important task at hand for the year: The Marathon!  Training has been going pretty well.  Take a look at the past couple of posts, I have some VLOGs up on youtube talking about some of the training, trials, and tribulations.  This weekend would mark the end of week 4 of the marathon training.  I will admit, I have not been doing as good with the runs I am supposed to be during the week as I had hoped.  I have only been doing two of the scheduled three runs during the week.  According to the schedule, I am supposed to run each day Tuesday-Thursday with varying and progressively increasing short runs and then Saturday I do my progressively increasing long runs (which I have been running with CARA).  This week was kind of screwy because of the vacation we had scheduled to Vegas.  I originally was going to run my long run as scheduled in Vegas on Saturday.  After checking the weather was going to be over 100 degrees, I quickly changed my mind.  I ended up running the long run today of 9 miles.  Problem is that I had a pretty good 3 mile run yesterday as well. Normally the long run is preceded by a rest day.  Since it was "only" 9 miles, I figured I could tough it out, and I did.  This run did make me want to scrap my Polar HRM and footpod though.  It just appears that the Polar is making me "faster" than I really think I am.  I am pretty sure it has to do with the fact my laces are diagonal on my new Asics Nimbus.  (Oh I didn't even take a picture of my new shoes!  Remind me to do that!)  Again...gotta strike it a little rich to score a Garmin. :)

The CARA group runs have been very helpful and motivating.  My normal pace is about 12 minutes per mile, but the slowest pace at the group is 11:30, so I have been running with that pace group.  It hasn't been so bad running a little faster, but I guess we will see what happens when we really turn up he mileage around 15 miles and such.  I'm dreading it, and looking forward to it at the same time.  I should really get that third run during the week, maybe that will help me out even more during the long runs.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


I will be the first to admit, I jumped on the bandwagon this year.  I started watching after the Olympics because I was so intrigued by USA Hockey.  I finally had the opportunity to watch the Blackhawks after years of being off of television.  I gotta admit, I jumped in on the right time! This championship means so much more to so many loyal fans of the Hawks, so my hat goes off to you all who have stuck with the Hawks all of these years!

Now who can give me a ride on Friday to the parade?! Haha...


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Day 1 of my marathon training - VLOG style

So I decided to give video blogging a try.  I'll get the hang of it sooner or later, and try to not look around so much while talking.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

On the other side of the finish line

Last week I did something I had never done at a race.  I watched.  Since my Achilles tendon was giving me problems a few weeks back, I decided to withdraw from the Soldier Field 10 mile race as well as the North Shore 1/2 Marathon.  It was definitely one of the hardest things to do, but after a lot of contemplation and asking for advice from various runners, I made my decision.  I did want to see how the Soldier Field 10 mile was all about so I went to watch it.



I went inside of the stadium and was just mesmerized by the entire setup of the race!  This shot above was a little over-exposed, but it is the winner of the race, finished a little over 50 minutes!  There was a sudden urge of jealously that overtook my mind.  I just wanted to be out there with all of the runners, but it wasn't my time.  I had run two 10 mile runs over the past month, so I know I was, at very least, capable of running this distance.  But to get to actually run a race would have been a great accomplishment.  I kept having to tell myself that this year is about the marathon, so this race was just supposed to be a stepping stone.  You can tell it was tearing me apart, so I decided to participate in the race in another way.  As a supportive spectator


I walked over to the 9 1/2 mile marker and started shouting out to passing runners clapping, cheering them on to push through the last 1/2 mile.  Some smiled, others hollered back, and some even waved.  In my last race at the Shamrock Shuffle, the crowd carried me through the last mile or so.  It was just so loud and I was giving high-fives to all of those lined up against the street.  I have to admit, being able to give them that support really does give me a new respect for all spectators of races.  


I saw my friend Rikki when he was passing the 9 1/2 mile marker.  So I walked over to the runner's exit from the field to meet up with him.  We had been meaning to run this race together, but he is just way too fast for me.  I wouldn't have been able to keep up with him at all!  I believe he finished just over 1 1/2 hours.

I also met up with my friend Christine (@cjleee) for a short period, although I didn't get a picture with her.  She has been one of my best motivators over this past few months and continue to push me through my Marathon training.  She is truly awesome!


While talking to Rikki, something happened that I have yet to witness in a race before.  They deemed the road conditions as EXTREME and suspended the race! I couldn't believe it! I sent a quick tweet to Fleet Feet to see what was going on, and sure enough that was the case.  I came to find out later that mile 7 was up to 94 degrees.  I would have to agree, that definitely falls under EXTREME conditions!


After meeting with Rikki I finally met some of the runner people I have been talking to on Twitter and DailyMile.  They of course wanted to take a picture with the EAS notification flag showing off the EXTREME conditions.  Don't they look like superheroes in this picture?

IMG_4450.JPGScreen shot 2010-06-06 at 2.13.22 AM.JPG

One of the funnier moments in the meet up was @mollyconway signing autographs.  She was the face of this year's Soldier Field 10 mile participant guide.  So of course some of the other runners had to get her John Hancock


We all ended up walking over to a tavern to have a post-run meal.  I was surrounded by nutritional meals like egg whites and wheat toast while I scarfed down a Reuben sandwich, which came out FIRST may I add. HAHA.  It was great listening to all of the discussions of running and stories of injuries and a few personal stories come out here and there.  This was my first ever "TWEET-UP", so I did more of the observing then the actual participating, like I normally would.  It's funny being introduced to people as my twitter name, which is actually making me think I may change my twitter name from @deekindotnet.


Updating TwitterMust update Twitter!

And yet another funny observation.  I know that I do it more often then some people I know, but I felt right at home when I saw people checking their phones, or updating their twitter status or something like that.  HAHA.  Now I know there are more people like me and I don't feel as bad!  We were actually concerned about a fellow Twitter/DailyMile runner who had not made it out to the tweetup: @JHeath.  He has had bad knee ITBS problems the past few weeks and he did not finish the Soldier Field 10 Mile like he wanted to.  Hope you feel better bud!

Overall it was probably one of the most fun I have had at any race.  Because of the people I cheered on and the people I met.  Definitely a great experience. I can't wait to get out there and run again!

If you would like to see ALL of the pictures I took at this day, check out my Shutterfly Album