Friday, January 12, 2018

No Words/ Sin Palabras

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Monday, December 04, 2017

C o m m e n t a r y




it - 

No sweet tweet to twit no wit

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Bike Ride: Cedar Creek Park to Jones Beach to Tobay Beach and back

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I'm off work all week, and took advantage of this relatively warm November day to go for a bike ride.

I went with my street bum outfit, that is, biking clothing gear underneath, but a heavy cotton sweat shirt, and cargo pants, to build air resistance and thus a good work out.

I rode my Raleigh R700 aluminum frame, instead of the Mongoose IBOC Comp mountain bike.

From Cedar Creek Park heading south along the Wantagh Bike Path to Jones Beach I rode against the wind. From Zachs Bay/Jones Beach to Tobay Beach, and I had the wind on my back.

Returning from Tobay Beach to Zachs Bay I faced the strong wind that I crouched and rode on the granny chainring.

Relief started from Jones Beach returning to Cedar Creek Park with the wind on my back. I still manage to sweat a lot regardless of how cold or windy it is outside.

The wind, always the wind. Although the terrain is flat, the ever changing, whimsical wind will always provide a challenge. And that's why I always return, not knowing what to expect.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Post Race Review - BROOKLYN Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Sunday, October 15, 2017

Let's start from the end. I was trashed by this distance, by this event. My body was demolished as I had nothing in my legs. I had no spring in my thighs, and strangely, calves were sore even before the race began. My lungs and torso were sore. I don't know what happened. 

This was my worst sports outing ever, followed close by the recent Cow Harbor 10 km distance event. Although that performance I could justify by the post symptoms of a cold a few days earlier. Is my body shutting down past the 5 km threshold? Is the recent biking on the hills of the north shore of Long Island taking away energy, instead of adding conditioning? 

I am baffled. Perhaps I should ask the doctor, who recently conducted the annual physical check-up, to look closely at the blood and urine results. 

I could come up with the typical, cliches - Everyone has a bad day; Today wasn't your day; At least you completed the Half Marathon; There's always the next one, etc. But the cliches leave me with the same questions. What happened? Was it the humidity? Was it the race start time of 7:00 a.m. (although, I've been running recently as early as 4:45 a.m.) Was it that I am sitting too much in the office or in the car while driving to the various construction job sites in Long Island? 

According to the statistics for this race, the 5 km and 10 km pace were very consistent with prior results. Starting from mile 7, the wheels fell off. Actually, the wheels fell off before that, but I paid the price trying to remain running at a steady pace. 

I tried all the tricks in book, specially the run-walk-run approach, which usually one loses time during the walking portion, and makes it up by running faster overall. This didn't work. Much less during the last miles inside Prospect Park's famous hills. 

The challenge of a Half Marathon is more mental and distribution of internal energy. The mind was telling my body what to do, but the body was not responding at all. I tried to feed off the drumming of the local high school marching bands - Nothing. I tried to feed off the encouraging posters that I read along the way - Nothing. I tried to perk up when I saw Asian drums pound in a steady, repetitive beat - Nothing. I tried to react to the cheers of total strangers on a Saturday morning in Brooklyn - Nothing. I tried to feed off the excitement and energy of other runners - Blank.  I had nothing, and when I walked instead of running, I walked in pain, with lungs and torso hurting, bruised ego, and hunched over back - signs of a defeated person. 

Usually, I am very alert of my surroundings, and in the state of mind that I was in, I never noticed my friend Bob Murphy pass me. I only knew this when he called me from the Finish Line  while I was still "running". I huffed and puffed answering the cell phone, and told him that I was not there yet. Once at the Finish Line area, I literally laid on a cardboard box, looking at the sky and asking again and again, as I gulped a cold Gatorade drink - what happened? 

Well, the "fun" was not over for me. After Bob and I took some photos around the Grand Army Plaza, Bob took the subway back home. By coincidence, he bumped into my brother in the same subway car. In the mean time, I was walking along Flatbush Avenue, walking the wrong way. I knew this when I saw the Barclays Center, when I should've been walking south. I went back along Flatbush Avenue, with the Finisher's Medal still around my neck, walked, and walked, and walked, and got more blisters on my feet due to the wet, sweaty socks, than running/walking the Half Marathon. 

I was getting curling cramps where I didn't know I had muscles. I had to stop and stretch on Flatbush Avenue right outside a place that sold wigs and hair extensions. People looked at me strangely. I was fascinated being in the neighborhood, which most times I would pass by in a car. That's the beauty of running, or in this case, walking, when one sees people, buildings, at a closer distance, even when in pain. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brooklyn Air BnB Half Marathon 2017 - Photos

2017 Brooklyn Air Bnb Half Marathon - After thoughts, observations

2017 Brooklyn Air Bnb Half Marathon - After thoughts, observations

Impatient, I woke up Saturday morning at 3:30 a.m. Went downstairs, and in a short time I was able to take care of "business" twice before heading out on the road. I didn't drink coffee before the race, and I have noticed that this reduces the number of times I have to stand on long line for the portable sanitary stations, which helps in avoiding waiting with large crowds signed up for this event. 

I am not sure if not drinking coffee reduces the effects of my performance, but most days when I go out for a run, I usually drink water and on an empty stomach. 

I left the house at 4:40 a.m. and took Sunrise Highway West straight onto the Belt Parkway. I went towards the Coney Island neighborhood and found parking right away on the street, near West 22nd and Mermaid Avenue. Most other runners lined up into the public parking lots. I guess I saved something like $25. Other than runners heading to the train station, Coney Island was already awake, eclectic, interesting, and open to all.

I walked towards the train station, and I asked this Spanish speaking woman collecting empty plastic bottles if I was heading to the right direction. She mumbled something I presumed to be a "yes". When I saw other runners boarding the "Q" train, then I knew everything was going as per plan, though I was cutting it real close to be in my corral, Wave 1, Letter K, on time. When the "Q" train arrived at the platform, there were some people getting ready to disembark. Others, like a homeless set-up with a tent, and some young drunkards, were definitely not getting off this stop. Good thing I didn't leave the house later than 4:40 a.m., which would've been worse, and more stressful. And who needs stress? 

My assigned corral was "full", so I was sent to the next corral behind. This really didn't matter as the runner's time is measured with a time chip, net, between Start and Finish. Wave 1 started at 7:00 a.m., after a few announcements from the sponsors and race organizers. The clock for my timing began 24 minutes from the Start Time. 

Runners were everywhere, shape, size, color, etc. The beginning pace was slightly slow, even as we ran inside Prospect Park for an entire loop. I am very appreciative of all the volunteers taking part of this event. Once we exited Prospect Park onto Ocean Avenue South, the field of runners spread open. 

There were street performers of all different musical genres, all uplifting. There were cheering from organized groups, local residents, family relatives. The most memorable was the pure joy emanating from a woman holding onto her walker, cheering us as we ran past her. Her joy was transparent and contagious. There were political signs that read: You are running more efficient than our government, or, Run like Trump runs from investigations, or, Impeach Trump, and a poster of Trump as The Joker with thick red lipstick saying - I thought this was going to be easy. Other posters read - Worst Parade Ever. 

I ran about nine miles without hydrating, and then at mile 10 I began consuming Gatorade mixed with water. My legs were getting tired. The beauty of a Half Marathon, that it requires physical conditioning and mental discipline to spread your strength for the duration of the run.

Although this year's time was slower than last year, I was able to sprint through the Finish Line. I managed to take photos, before, during and after the race. I managed to get a full bottle of Gatorade that I gulped in one shot. The day was getting overcast and slightly cooler, which doesn't help if one is soaked in sweat. I didn't stay for the After Race Party, and went back to my car. A local neighbor saw the Finisher's Medal hang from my neck and congratulated me. I clearly responded thank you. 

Leaving the neighborhood to take the Belt Parkway wasn't easy, as many of my fellow runners were still going at it. Thanks Coney Island, Prospect Park and Brooklyn.  Written 05202017

Sunday, April 09, 2017

On the road to the 2017 Brooklyn AirBnB Half Marathon

On the road to the 2017 Brooklyn AirBnB Half Marathon

Yesterday, Saturday morning, April 8th, 2017, I resumed running for the first half marathon of the year. A few weeks ago, I participated in the Kings Park 15 kilometer Run, which is very challenging for the steep hills, and the low temperatures as well, that restrains the free breathing. I left the house around 5:00 a.m., wearing a long sleeve cycling jersey to carry a water bottle in the back pocket. Sunrise wasn't until 6:20 a.m., and I wasn't going to wait until then to hit the road.

I ran on Merrick Road westbound, Oceanside Blvd south, Mott Street west, Austin Blvd south onto Long Beach Road, all the way to the boardwalk. Along the way, I see things, places, faces, cars, and the sun breaking the horizontal plane. I see people getting their coffee from the local bodega, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and I am thirsting of the same java cup. But, I was on a mission, to build up endurance for the half marathon.

I did every psychological trick in the book - think of distance in small increments, don't think of the distance, go at a slower pace, get distracted by the surroundings and the views. Once I arrived on the Long Beach boardwalk, I stopped to take some photographs as evidence of this endeavor. I also drank most of the water bottle. I returned back home literally on the same path, with the goal to not stop once. I didn't fulfill this target as I stopped a few times to catch my breathe, and to lower the heart rate. I wasn't upset for stopping, but I  do hope that by  May I can run the half marathon without stopping.

One nagging symptom, a reminder from one of last year's half marathon, was not to tighten the shoe laces to tight, as the feet either swell, or the foot  unintentionally pushes forward with nowhere to go.
The closer I got home, I couldn't wait to taste that cup of coffee in the kitchen. I finished running approximately 12.5 miles in 2 hours and a few minutes (I  don't carry a stop watch or a chronometer), including time along the way walking. As I finished training for the half marathon, questions of completing an Olympic Distance Triathlon traveled through my mind if I could complete one in decent time. I guess I should sign up to find out.

More to run . . . .

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Great South Bay 5.5 Swim, Long Island

The 2017 Cross Bay Swim will be held on Friday, July 14. The Swim Committee has been preparing for the event, and we know that many of you are already in training. We are all excited for another stunningly beautiful and inspiring swim across the Great South Bay.
2016 was a memorable Swim, with three teenagers finishing at the top of the list in near record time. Conditions were nearly ideal that day, but navigating over 5.5 miles in open water creates a challenge under the best of conditions.

So many of our Swim alumni are accomplished athletes.  Conor Hartnett, Jonathon (Herc) Maier, and Rich Wilde have conquered the English Channel, the king of open water swims. This past fall, committee member Rob Roos ran the NYC Marathon for the third time.  
2016 was a record breaking year for donations, with our participants raising over $80,000 for our charities. The three top fundraisers alone donated over $20,000! 
This year marks 90 years since the first Cross Bay Swim.  Our swimmers now come from all over the country to enjoy the pleasures of Fire Island and the South Shore. We thank our many contributors, volunteers and supporters for helping maintain this wonderful tradition on the Great South Bay.

Applications for this year's Swim will be posted on our website on or about April 1. As before, we limit the event to 100 swimmers. Admissions are accepted based on postmark date and time.
Announcements and news are posted on our Facebook page,
We hope that you will mark your calendars and make plans to join us on July 14 for another memorable event.

See you then!
The Fischer Family and the Swim Committee