Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Walk before you run; Run before you run faster

I mentioned this a little bit on one of my recent DailyMile entries. It just amazes me how fast some people can run. As a teenager I could run a 10 minute mile. I absolutely HATED running back then, and just played basketball. There is a level of endurance involved in basketball, but it is definitely different than distance running. I look back now at my teenage self and I wish I could talk through time and tell past me to start running more, because when he turns 30, he will want to be faster when running races. He would probably tell me there would be no way that he would end up loving running. Somehow I would have to convince him that basketball would become secondary to running in his life. Right out of the script from LOST or Back to the Future, huh?

Anyways getting back to the topic at hand. Speed. How is it that the human body can travel at such speeds? For instance, the guy who won the Shamrock Shuffle 8K I ran in just a couple of weekends ago finished around 25 minutes! That means when I got to the start line (28 minutes after the elite group took off), he had already finished the race and finished a couple cups of water, a banana, and got his free beer. Meanwhile, I finish a couple of minutes under an hour, and I celebrated that! :)

Then I see people on DailyMile posting runs where they would average anywhere from 7-8 min/mile. Even in my best shape in high school, I never touched those kinds of speeds. Let me get across that I am not hating on these people. I am simply in awe of what they can do with what they have. And what they have is the same general anatomy as me: Two legs, two arms, brain, heart, lungs, etc. Now of course there are variations in their equipment compared to mine, and they have had years and years of training and discipline.

So I can't help but wonder what kinds of steps I need to take in order to close the gap on some of these runners. Now I am pretty I won't be getting to the 7-8 min/mi speed, but I would just love to chase my old self. 10 minute mile. Obviously with this marathon training hindering any true progress in speed, I may not get to it this year. But I think it is something I would like to pursue. Last year I was able to shave around 5 minutes off of my 5K time bringing me down to 32:32 - 10:29/mile. Just need to shave off another 30 seconds to reach that goal (assuming I still could run as fast). Maybe I'll catch you next year, "16 year old Joey". I've got my eyes on a bigger prize this year! 26.2!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LOST NOTES: Ab Aeterno

  • This episode is based around Richard. The translation for the episode title is “Ever Lasting”. It would have been funny if the episode opened just showing an eye, just like a few episodes started, and the eye was putting eyeliner on. But it ended up being a woman like Kate or something.
Current timeline - 2007
  • Episode opens with Jacob visiting Ilana after she got messed up
  • According to Jacob, Richard is supposed to know what to do next
  • Richard definitely is not a fan of Jacob any longer
  • According to Richard they are in hell and everyone is actually dead
  • Uh...who is Hurley talking to in spanish?
  • After the flashback, Richard returns to the spot that he spoke with the MIB and now wants to join Flocke
  • Isabella was the one speaking to Hurley, thanks for the quick answer!
  • I know it was just for the show that they cut Hurley’s lines when he repeated what she said, but it would’ve been funny if Hurley said “Mi amor” to Richard
  • According to Isabella it’s up to RIchard to stop MIB/Flocke from leaving the island. If not everyone goes to hell. How does she know? Is that Jacob talking through Isabella?

Richard’s Flashback - 1867 (Canary Islands)
  • He’s got long hair and some beard stubble. How does he keep so clean most of the time we see him?
  • Isabella is Richard’s wife. Seems to be very sick and coughing up blood
  • Richard travelled a half day to see this doctor who supposedly could help him, but instead he kills the doctor on accident, but it is too late when he gets back as she is dead. And then he is captured by the police, damn rough night for Ricardo!
  • Taught himself English using the Bible
  • The priest that met him in his jail cell was cold! Told him he cant be forgiven and will be going to hell
  • Became a slave and travelled on the Black Rock
  • Wow, this flashback is pretty long
  • The Black Rock crashes into the Statue, which destroys the statue
  • A few of the slaves survive who are then all killed off by the captain, what a prick
  • Five officers left after the crash - Smoke monster took care of those guys.
  • Another commercial break, and still more flashback, nice, more answers?
  • Um...eww on that wild boar eating away at that dead dude
  • Ricardo, trying to kill a boar with a splinter, really?
  • According to MIB, the island is hell, and Jacob is the devil, according to “Isabella” - Is this really the smoke monster?
  • MIB comes to the rescue with a thermos full of water, also confirms they are in hell and the only way to escape from hell is to kill the devil (Jacob, according to MIB)
  • MIB wants Richard to kill the devil who is in the foot of the statue, who supposedly took his body
  • MIB doesn’t give him a choice
  • Jacob proved to Ricardo that he is not dead by dunking him in the water, because he wants to live. Is this a test Jacob taught his people when they were dunking Sayid in the springs in the temple?
  • According to Jacob, the island keeps all evil bottled up from being released in the world, like a cork in a bottle
  • Richard asked to never die - then Jacob touches him: wish granted!
  • MIB says Richard can always come on his side whenever he wants

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shamrock Shuffle 8K

My directional skills downtown has diminished. It took me forever to get downtown from Jaz’s work because traffic was backed up from the toll on 90. Decided to “cut” around it and take Lake Shore Drive, which probably took equally as long as if I stayed on 90/94. Who am I kidding, I’ve NEVER been good with directions. Then when we finally get to the Navy Pier exit off of Lake Shore, I miss the turn to go into Navy Pier! ARGH! Finally made it in and just took a couple of pictures around the expo and Navy Pier.


Shot of the Expo at Navy Pier


Me and @duclecalor - This lady is waaaay cool!


Michael Jordan Stained Glass?

We stayed in the Affinia Hotel [thanks Roderick!] about 1.5 miles away from Grant Park which where the race was taking place. The day before the race, the weather wasn’t looking too good! It started to snow in the morning before we woke up. It wasn’t sticking a whole bunch, but there was just a little slush on the ground.




Weather reports were saying that it wouldn’t get any worse on Sunday during the race, so I hoped that was the case! Sure enough, the morning of the race I checked outside and thankfully all of the streets were clear! No snow to be found, but it was still chilly. The race was scheduled to start at 9am so I figure I could wake up early grab breakfast down in the hotel restaurant and then make my way to the race. At 6:30 Jaz and I went down to grab breakfast to find out it opened at 7am, which was the time I planned on leaving. Without eating anything I made my way over to Grant Park, jogging and walking on the way. I figured they would have bananas or something there to snack on beforehand like other races I had been to. Yeah, I was wrong. I walked around A LOT trying to figure out where everything was, chatted with @dulcecalor again at the Fleet Feet tent, went to the Congress Hotel for my CARA check-in, then walked to a field my friend Rikki was supposed to be stretching at, couldn’t find him. By the time I got to the start line, I had already gone 10,000 steps. No food, a little water, somewhat tired legs, and 8K in front of me, oh dear...






Gear check for 25,000 people


Shot of the Shamrock Shuffle! WOW!


Post-race = FREE BEER!


WOO HOO! My First Shamrock Shuffle in the books [apparently I like this pose]!

So going into this race I wanted to run it under an hour. Given the factors of no food in my system from breakfast, eating like crap the day before, and already tired legs, I immediately thought that this goal was out of the realm of possibility. Obviously there was no backing out now. I was by myself and had no one to pace with, but then as we approached the start line I started thinking of all the reasons I began running. This is the type of thing I do before all my races. I start listing out reasons in my head and why I want to be healthy: Jaz, my family, my friends, my nephews and nieces, my godchildren, and everyone I could hope to inspire to lead a better life, and of course myself. I started off on my race and felt great. Being in the presence of more thank 25,000 people was just so exhilarating! Especially when people I have never met along the streets are cheering me on. Such a high! The volunteers were great helping out with the aid stations and directing traffic. They made this race such a great experience also! I loved the run and will definitely do it again! Oh an my time? 57:50, WOO HOO!! And then I grabbed all of the bananas, water, and beer I could get my hands on.

After the race I walked back to the hotel (BIG MISTAKE). Met up with Jaz at Niketown (it was way too cold for her to wait for me at the race) and saw these beauties:


ohhh my...25th anniversary edition all-white Jordans *drool*

Then to finish off the day, went to Old Country Buffet with Mike’s family and of course my goddaughter Haley!



Ain’t she CUTE!?

A great end to a great weekend in the city!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Anxiety and running

So I’ve been running with some kind of consistency for the past two years now. I would think that I would feel comfortable whenever I knew I was going to for a run. But that is not the case. Every single time I run I think I am going to fail or I doubt my abilities. I just noticed on my Polar Heart Rate Monitor/Running watch that I have run over 250 miles since May of last year. It may not be a lot compared to a lot of other real runners, but it is more than I ever thought I could. And maybe that’s where this anxiety stems from. For 28 years I never had even a thought of trying to run for long distances. The only running I would do would be on a basketball court. Must be just force of habit to think that I cannot finish? Over the past two years, I have constantly pushed my limits with running. In 2008, my goal was to run a 5K and I was successful. In 2009, my goal was to run a 10K and maybe longer. I was able to get up to 15K in training, but couldn’t run the 15K race because of the damn H1N1 flu...grrr. And now this year...the marathon. I AM going to finish it in October. But till then before every run, a tiny part of me doubts my abilities to finish the training session. Whether it is tempo run or speed run, I am just not fully confident in myself. It is a very odd feeling. Normally I am confident in my life, but running constantly makes me question myself.

What do you think of this? Anyone have any suggestions or tips?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hundred Push-up Challenge


Last week, I asked one of my friends from DailyMile about the hundred push-up challenge he kept posting about. He linked me to the hundredpushups.com site, which is basically a six-week program that is supposed to get you strong enough to do 100 push-ups without stopping. I sent the link to a couple of my co-workers that have been or trying to start up working out. Coop and Sam accepted the challenge and last week we decided to
start off the program with the initial test. Cooper did 27, Sam did 31, and I did 35, but I don’t think I went low enough on all of mine. According to the training if you were able to do more than 25 in your initial test, you should start on week 3 in the most advanced level. So this week we did.

Monday Coop and I went to the gym at lunch to start off Week 3 Day 1 as instructed by the program. The first day for our level had us doing 5 sets: 14, 18, 14, 14, and then max (but at least 20). I got the sweet app for my iPod Touch that tracks your progress on this program. Geez, there’s an app for everything! I was able get through the first four sets pretty well. I really had to push out the last couple. When I got to the max set, I only got to 11. Then I did the last nine over a couple more mini-sets. Hah!

Today I went after work to do my push-ups. Day 2 consists of 5 sets once again: 20, 25, 15, 15, and then max (at least 25). Again, I got through the first four sets alright. The second set of 15 was a little tough, I really had to push out the last 4 or 5. Then when I got to the max set, once again I collapsed at 12. I finished off the minimum 25 over a couple of mini-sets once again.

I am feeling okay after these first two sets. Not overly sore or anything like that. I think months (if not the past 2 years) of pushups really helped me out. I want to be able to max out to the minimum in the 5th set of the workout. I will most likely repeat this week’s workout next week as well, of course around my running schedule. Wish me luck!

Running for Jerry

I have decided to not only run in the Chicago Marathon, but to fund raise for the American Heart Association in the process. Please take a look at this link: Heart Walk 2010-2011 Start! Running Team - General Donation for more information and donate what you can.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

LOST Notes - Recon

Flash Sideways 2004
  • Who was the lady that “Sawyer” [Jimmy] giggitys in the hotel room, she looks familiar
  • Code word Lefleur, of course.
  • “Sawyer” and Miles are COPS together? I guess they were more meant to be together than Sawyer and Juliet [thank God!]
  • Anthony Cooper...who is that? Sounds like I should know that name, where’s Tina when I need her?
  • Who is Miles’ girlfriend?
  • I knew Miles ended up being more than just a corpse whisperer
  • Ah Charlotte is Miles’ friend that he fixes “Sawyer” with. I still think its funny when she originally dies.
  • So as a cop “Sawyer” still let Kate go in the airport with handcuffs? Something doesn’t seem right about that
  • Damn, “Sawyer” works quick on the ladies...episode should be called Recondom
  • Looks like his dad still killed his mom and himself because of Sawyer
  • Charlie’s brother is looking for him at the department
  • How did Miles and “Sawyer” get so close?
  • Oooh, “Sawyer” busted a mirror, way to go, that’s 7 years bad luck
  • “People aren’t really gone when they die”
  • Way to go “Sawyer” could’ve had more sex with Charlotte but you kicked her out at 3am.
  • Ah, Kate ended up getting caught by “Sawyer” at the end of the episode
Current day 2007

  • Sawyer explicitly asked about Miles reiterating his importance in his life
  • Sawyer learned that Flocke is the smoke monster
  • Hydra island is the other island where everyone on the ajira flight crashed
  • Damn, Flocke laid the smackdown [literally] on Claire! What does Claire see when she looks at Flocke?
  • Uh, gross pile of smelly dead people
  • WHO THE HELL IS THIS LADY WITH THE GLASSES? That’s all we need, ANOTHER person in the story!
  • This woman is not a very good actress...did she win a contest or something? She’s got to be off’ed soon
  • Oh..guess not, she’s rolling deep
  • Flocke has mommy issues, just as Aaron now has a crazy mother too
  • Ah so “Zoe’s” crew works for Widmore
  • Something is locked up in the submarine that Sawyer asks about
  • Widmore = answers? HOPEFULLY? Guess not...
  • That’s all it took for Claire to be understanding?
  • Sawyer is a good double-double-agent
  • Sawyer’s planning on stealing the submarine, because apparently that is much easier to navigate than a plane

Friday, March 12, 2010

13 years and counting...


Herman Labay Jao (1937 - 1997)

I was a senior in high school just a couple of months from graduation. My dad had been in the hospital since Valentine’s Day 1997 in a coma from suffering a heart attack and a stroke in the matter of days. Being the youngest of four brothers and at the fragile age of 17 it was just all too much for me to handle. But I learned something extremely valuable those days and nights in the hospital. Being just a kid, I didn’t have my priorities straight when it came to my family. This was until my family was threatened with possibly losing my dad. Every day after school I would go to the hospital (which was right next to my high school) to spend time with my dad, who was unconscious and unable to talk most of the time. It was those moments of fear and silence with my dad that I remember most. Every minute with him I would fight tears so he didn’t hear or see me cry. I slipped up every now and then, but I wanted him to know I was at least trying to be strong.

There were ups and downs while he was in the hospital. One day it would seem like he was starting to snap out of it, then the next moment he would go into arrest. Worst roller coaster to be on. I came to realize that life would not be the same after this one. I knew either he would survive, but be completely different from what we knew, or he would be gone. That’s a tough realization for a 17 year old. But even at that young age, you end up having to face reality every now and then.

Every night for that month when I would leave him I said goodbye and hugged him not knowing if it was the last time. So I made sure I said it loud enough for him to hear, “I love you, Pa”. Mostly all of the nights he did not and could not respond. I knew he felt the same way too, but I just wasn’t lucky enough to hear it anymore. But as the days went on, I didn’t have to hear it...I actually felt it. And on one occasion he mustered up enough strength to actually hug me back. Obviously I was ecstatic with this action, because it meant he might recover, but once again realized that it might be his final goodbye to me. I laid in his arms crying in his chest for what felt like hours, but was probably only seconds.

My brother Tony decided to stay that night while the rest of us went home to sleep. I had gotten used to staying with my mom in her room because she was always so sad. Then around 12:30AM we got a call from my brother telling us to come back to the hospital. I knew it was time. I woke up my mom and told her we had to go back. She asked me what was going on but I just couldn’t tell her, and by my silence, she knew what it was. We rushed back to hospital once again in complete silence and fear. It was that same feeling I had on Valentine’s Day earlier that year when I found out he was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. He had just got moved to a new room that week, so I was still kind of fuzzy on where to go but found our way. Outside my cousin Jim was there. Inside my brother Tony. And now gone, my dad. We had missed him by a matter of minutes. To this day I don’t know what I would have done if I actually saw him die. I just thank God that my brother had been by his side that night. My other two brothers arrived. And there we were...our family. Much like a family stands around you when you are born, they are there by your side when you die. I don’t remember what was said in the room anymore. I just remember tears. And I remember being in disbelief that my dad was actually gone. But I quickly was reminded of that final hug he gave me, and all of my possible good-byes. And I thanked God that I was fortunate enough to tell him every day that I loved him. There was no doubt.

I don’t pretend to be all knowing about how people maintain relationships with their family, but since that day in 1997, I started to truly understand what family means. It means life and love regardless of what you do. You will always have your family, in life and in death. But to truly enjoy your family, you must appreciate them every day. I find myself thinking of my family everyday, and feeling that is not even enough. But I know that is the most I can do.

We all held each other tighter that night...and since then, we have never let go.

Another year Pa...I miss you like you couldn’t believe. I know you are looking down and smiling on us, just know that all we have ever wanted to do was make you proud. Thank you for visiting in my dreams last week. I promise to love our family as much as you do...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Capturing moments

I’m sure my friends will kill me for this...I got bored and decided to post some great pictures :)


Keep your eyes up @JoeKho


Happy Halloween!


Julie and Alice tear into dessert


Dang...everyone looks so young!


Me and @yoshi_fatlace


FOCUS friends




One of MANY drinks we’ve had together


Always a favorite....sorry guys! :)

LOST notes: Dr. Linus

Although last week’s episode had some good moments, I didn’t really have a lot to write about, so I’ll just skip that one and just post for this week’s episode.

Obviously given the name of the episode, this one is about Ben. Let’s see what we find out this episode.

Sideways 2004
  • Episode opens with Ben teaching about Elba - an island where Napoleon was exiled to. Interesitng - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elba
  • Principal Reynolds is a jerk, and also from “Real Genius”. Just like Roger Workman...both who have ties to Ben [principal and father respectively]. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! Val Kilmer will probably be in the next episode
  • Parallels between this alternate reality - Ben should lead the school
  • When did Ben’s dad take him off of the island?
  • WHOA! Alex still has connection Ben even off the island. Where’s Rosseau?
  • Alex still can confide in Ben just like a father
  • Look at Ben...back to his “old“ self. Getting other people to do work for him. He’s getting artsz to hack into the nurse’s email so he can bring down the principal
  • Ben is forced to decide between blackmailing the principal, getting his job, but also ruining Alex’s life
  • It appears that this time he picked Alex
  • Miles snitches on Ben about how he actually killed Jacob “standing over Jacob’s with a bloddy knife” Nicely played Miles. I am starting to have the feeling there is going to be more that Miles has to do
  • Ilana is supposed to protect the candidates
  • “Cheese curds”...seriously Hurley? Why not Cheeseburger?
  • Hurley seems to want to get away from the temple
  • Ben is digging his own grave. That sucks
  • According to Miles, Jacob hoped he was wrong about Ben
  • Jacob gave Richard a “gift” to stay alive and young this whole time. Although now it doesn’t seem like Richard is a big fan of Jacob anymore. What happened for him to change his mind about Jacob? Did Flocke actually get to him?
  • Richard has completely lost it and wants to kill himself. He was touched by Jacob [I wonder what his encounter was like] and anyone who was touched by him also received a gift. Obviously something different than Richard’s gift. What are the gifts everyone else received?
  • “If you change your mind, I’ll be like a mile away“
  • When did Jack become the man of faith? FINALLY Jack isn’t wrong.
  • Seeing Ben dig his own grave just seems ironic
  • MIB wants Ben to be the one in charge of the island and unlocked his foot from the lock. Crafty little devil, isn’t he?
  • Ben is sad, sad individual. What did Ilana mean when she said ”I’ll have you“?
  • UH OH..looks like Widmore has found the island!
Michael Emerson is an incredible actor.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Something new about something new

I ran on Saturday morning around my mom's neighborhood. I ended up going a total of 5 miles a little over an hour. I have started not wearing an iPod while running. Surprisingly I am not finding myself bored without the music. I find myself concentrating more on my form and posture. After Christine sent me information on Chi Running I have been trying to figure out what is the best running technique works for me. I've been incorporating some of the methods mentioned in Chi running, like leaning, swinging my arms properly, keeping lower back loose, etc. Just like I did last year, I quickly realized what I was missing over the winter months. I've been talking about running with so many people during the winter, I forgot how much I actually enjoyed it. This year, I've got a little added motivation and support group. After I signed up for the marathon at the beginning of February [dry heave], I started following some people on twitter. Some of my favorites to follow are @gargal, @runnergirl33, @awboonstra, and of course @FleetFeetChgo, and @chanthana amongst others. It's amazing how supportive internet strangers can be about running. So I send tweets to them about their training and they do the same for me. It's quite an interesting and supportive community, and it's definitely something different than what I had the past couple of years. So hopefully it all pays off, especially with the marathon coming up in October [dizziness].

Monday, March 01, 2010

My first run of 2010

March 1st is the first day I ran outside in 2010. I only ran two miles at lunch just to see how I felt after the run. I would have loved to do more, but I am always worried I won't have enough to finish or I may get injured on the first run back. Just too many worries, I know! I didn't even think about getting ready to go run at lunch. When 12pm hit, I just walked downstairs to the locker room, changed, had a quick conversation with Lisa and Ingrid in the aerobics room, and then went outside. I find if I stick around too long, I end up making excuses why I shouldn't do certain things. Running being one of them. So I figured if I just occupied myself with smaller tasks [walking downstairs, getting ready, etc] I would not realize that I was about to go running. It reminds me of Chandler on the day of his wedding to Monica [that's right, a Friends reference!] and how he was terrified to get married, so Ross took him to so small tasks like putting on his socks and just going to the church. So I always try to take that approach. Who says that you don't learn anything good from television?

Anyways, back to the run. When I went outside it was probably around 35-40 degrees out. It was a comfortable cool and I completely overdressed with the under armour hoodie. Once the crisp air hit my lungs, I knew I was ready. It's a different feel when that same crisp air enters your lungs when you're just going to or from the car. It's almost annoying then. In this situation it's a wake-up call for the task you are about to accomplish. The first 1/4 mile I started feeling my left knee click, or just tighten up. This was not what I expected since I have been having issues with my right knee for the past few weeks. I thought to myself that I just need to get through it and that my body is just not used to running right now. Sure enough by the 1/2 mile marker, I was warmed up and felt great.

Last year after having run for a few months, this "good" feeling could last a few miles. Today...probably about 3/4 mile. Ugh I'm pathetic. But I knew this was a possibility so I tried not to set my expectation too high [good thing I didn't]. The second mile I just tried to concentrate on form and my breathing. When I am good and focused on it, it doesn't feel as bad. But when my mind drifts, that's when we have issues. I droop my head, I lean a little too much, drag my feet, it's a mess. After 25 minutes I finished off the 2 miles. About 30sec slower per mile than what I would normally like, but hey, this is my first run.

Went back inside to the gym, had a good post-run stretch (per the massage therapist), got dressed, and went back to work. I was ok the rest of the day, of course a little tired from running, but I was glad I got out and did it.

Next Run: Thursday, 2-2.5 mi