Saturday, May 30, 2015

Echo Pool - My own lane: Thank You

Today, Saturday, May 30, 2015, I expected nothing but the same as yesterday. Slow swimmers in Fast Lanes.

There were 3 lanes set up for lap swimmers, and half of the pool open for fun.

I had the audacity to ask one of the polite lifeguards to make another lane for yours truly.

Before I knew it, my request was fulfilled.

I was free like a whale to swim at my pace. A woman joined me, but she kept her distance and pace. Many times, she waited for me at the wall to pass her, and then she would swim right behind me, until she sensed that I was catching up to her.

I was able to do 40 laps of freestyle, another 20 laps of a faster pace freestyle, 10 laps of breaststroke, and ended the session with another 20 laps of fast freestyle.

I felt great.

Thanks Echo Pool for today!

PS: Next Saturday is the Cedar Beach Triathlon. Barring any disasters, I should be fine to finish strong.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Echo Pool - Fast Lane: Get out of the way!!!!!

For the past few weeks, I have been going to Echo Pool, to train for an upcoming triathlon. I have gone late in the morning, mid-afternoon, and today, I went to the morning hour dedicated for swimming laps.

Okay, I go inside the pool, I see the lane set-up of all six lanes for laps.

Okay, I see people power walking in the lane, even though the sign clearly says not to.

Okay, I see many swimmers gingerly doing their laps at their pace.

I see a lane dedicated for "Fast Swimmers Only".

For weeks, and including this morning, the "Fast Lane" might as well been the slow poke lane.

And, I am okay if there's no one on the lane that's going fast.

But then, if I pass you on every other lap, why not get a hint and move to a lane that suits your pace.

I couldn't establish a steady pace, as every time, I caught up, I had to speed up and pass.

Believe me, I am as patient as I can be. But, if I am paying $7 dollars each time to end up frustrated with slow swimmers, what's my choice?

I know during the ocean swim portion of the Cedar Beach triathlon is going to be a trying experience. Not 'cause of nature's elements, but the feet, the arms, flailing everywhere.

Good grief!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Not the same the second morning in a row

4:49 a.m. read the electronic sign in the empty parking lot of the Coral House in Baldwin. I went out in the morning, to "only" cycle from Baldwin to Freeport and back, same route as yesterday. 

The sky was heavy gray, like it was going to rain. The traffic lights were red as I approached, not like yesterday when they were all green. Maybe it was a sign. 

Almost no traffic on the road, except a delivery truck or a car with hazard lights on delivering the morning paper. 

7-11 and Dunkin Donuts were open with the bright lights on. 

I did two laps: Merrick - Atlantic. 

No magic like yesterday, no euphoria, no in-the-zone feeling, no feeelings of a natural high or endorphins kicking in. This became a routine ride. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In the zone - Bike & Run

4:41 am read the electronic sign for the Coral House, on Merrick Road, Baldwin, as I zoomed by on the road bike. With the sunrise approaching, and a light wind pushing me eastward, I pedaled at this ghostly hour, when cars delivering newspapers and milk grates make their stops at the multiple, local 7-11 Convenience Stores.

Part of the triathlon plan was to train for the bike & run portion, albeit an abbreviated version of the Sprint distance event. I had to practice for the "bricks" on the T2 transition.

I biked on Merrick Road eastbound up to Henry Street in Freeport, south to Atlantic Avenue, head west to Brower Avenue in Oceanside, where this road becomes Oceanside Road. Right back onto Merrick Road, and home for a quick change of shoes to sneakers.

No wobbly legs this time; a much better transition and fast without my heart rate shooting up like last time. I ran 3.3 miles along Merrick Road westbound, Oceanside Road south, Foxhurst Road eastbound, Grand Avenue north, Merrick west, and home sweet home.

I was on a natural high for at least one hour. Coffee, and depressing news on the paper to bring me back to sad earth.

Well, I don't know anyone who was up at 4 am this morning to live what I did above.

You can't buy this feeling anywhere.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Photos - Spring morning in the kitchen

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Imagenes de Manhattan, 20 de Mayo 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

TV "Reality" Shows

In the past few days the following shows have had their "winners" announced -

American Idol (Idle)

The Voice

Dancing the Stars (stilts)


Bacholerette (really?)

And not watching, I confirmed that these results don't matter and don't affect life.

Turn off the tv, and go live!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Flat Tire or Flat Tired

Sunday morning, May 17, 2015 - I woke up at 5 am and got ready to hit the road on the bike. This is part of the cross training for the upcoming, June 6th,triathlon. Running I can do anywhere. Swimming,I have to make time to the pool. And cycling, another sport I love, comes on weekends or holidays. With sunrise earlier and improving visibility, I left the house around 530 am. I had two water bottles for hydration.

The main route was Merrick Road to Cedar Creek Park to Tobay Beach, and return on the same path. A flat course,with the only challenge is a head wind. This time, the wind pushed me as I headed eastward. I knew what to expect on the return.

The skies were gray, with a looming threat of a passing shower. But  I pedaled anyway. After the cold winter, many of the roads remain damaged and there's a lot of small stone pieces strewn all over the place. If I didn't see this, I heard the crunching of the bike tires and the gravel. That should have been a warning sign.

Everything was proceeding as normal, pedal, pedal, pedal.

One mile into the paved Wantagh Bike Path South is when I felt the front tire losing pressure. That's when I laughed at myself for being careless, and more bluntly, stupid. How could I go cycling without patch, glue and a pump? Do I think that these things don't happen?

Well, one mile in with a flat tire meant one mile out walking with clunky cycling shoes. As I had tons of energy to burn, I began jogging while rolling the bike with the right hand. I had to stop a few times as to not injure the legs doing this stupid trot. Kind people asked me if I was okay. I didn't want to bother or detract them from their own routines. I said I was fine. They meant well. They are better people than me, 'cause, selfishly, I would've kept going by. Maybe I should change for the betterment of the self.

Well, the one thing I did have that was useful was the cellphone. I called a car service to pick me up at the East Bay Diner on Merrick Road, Wantagh, and bring me home. My driver didn't want to be bothered moving the rear seat to put the bike in, until I asked.

The driver was a young person,and surprisingly, not a foreigner. Maybe he was a college student trying to earn extra dough. I didn't ask him anything,yet, I detailed everything that brought me to this point. After charging me $30 plus a $5 tip (I didn't have singles), I went inside.

I could've change into sneakers and burn energy, but I decided to save it for another day.

Instead, I decided to sit down and write this up while I was inspired, which is rare for me these days.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Savannah, Georgia, May 10 11 12 13 2015 - Thanks

Monday, May 04, 2015


I know that I am not the fastest or the slowest.
And I know that I finally enjoy swimming.
All those years of swim training at Academia de Natacion Ferretti (Guayaquil, Ecuador) left me soured with the sport.
Although I have bittersweet memories of my swim coach, who's real name I don't know, only his nickname - NARANJILLA.
Man, was he intense to the point of pushing everyone to excel, and for that I thank him.
I don't know if he's even alive, but he used to pace up and down the pool yelling at us.

Now, as I am training for the sprint triathlon, I am remembering every single detail of every stroke.
Incredible how fast one can go if the proper technique is applied. And the better the pull, the more distance is gained forward.

Swim, swim, swim. Count one lap, count forty laps, county sixty laps.
It's intoxicating.

Sunday, May 03, 2015


Sometimes I think that running and/or cycling is frivolous as I pass by people waiting for the bus to arrive. I keep thinking and thanking my ancestors, for perhaps they stood waiting for the bus so that I can go out and exercise. And I am not referring to those who take the bus in lieu of driving to work. I am referring to those who take the bus as their only choice to head/return to/from work.

As a cyclist

.....I always worry about getting hit by a car. Almost everyday there's a story of cyclist getting hit/killed by a driver. I take every possible precaution by wearing bright colored jerseys and ride very conservatively. But still, I can't see behind me, where I think the point of contact may occur. 

As I ride in front of St Christopher Church on Merrick Road, I always bless myself with the sign of the Cross, and thank God when I return home in one piece. 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Cedar Beach, Miller Place (Sprint Triathlon Site for Swim)

On Thursday, April 30th, 2015, I went to Cedar Beach to get a preview of where the June 6th, 2015, Sprint Triathlon was going to take place. I've read some post race reviews from recent years, and the water temperature and choppy waves became a concern. Well, on this day, the water was calm, andI didn't bother to check the temperature, while I don't have a wetsuit for this. I have resumed the swim training at the pool, which is not the same as swimming in the open water. The swim distance for this event is 1/2 mile or 30 laps in a pool. I am not concerned with the run portion for this event, as it appears to be along the shore, a mostly flat terrain. The cycling should be interesting with the hills I noticed as I drove to Cedar Beach. But on a bike, one has gears to manipulate.Got to keep training.

Kings Park 15 kilometer race - March 2015: Post Race Review

The soundtrack of this event, even the practice runs leading to this date is the latest, and great album/CD by SIMPLE MINDS, Big Music. All of the songs captured my mood, the surroundings of the Kings Park neighborhood.

This race was the longest distance that I have competitively completed, and I went on 3 separate weekends to run the race route, to gauge and test the hills. The most difficult and steepest hill I have ever ran was on Kohr Road. The first time I did a practice run and saw Kohr Road hill, I knew I was in trouble and that I needed to practice on hills.

The weather on race day was not the best. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. There was a constant drizzle throughout the day. Considering that this was my longest race, I started with a deliberate slow pace, and as my body warmed up, I noticed that I picked up the pace. Up hill, down hill, up hill, down hill. What goes up must go down. Mile after mile, I maintained a steady pace. The cold weather and drizzle kept my body temperature even.

I didn't bother to stop at any of the water stops, fearing a stomach contamination as in the past when I don't drink bottled water. Sometimes I pictured myself as a camel in the desert.

This race took place 2 days my step-father's birthday, and 2 years after his passing. I know he's proud of me.

Well as the race started on a downhill, and ended where it started, I knew I would have to push on the uphill and smile for the camera. There's video posted of all the finisher's crossing on Youtube. I don't look good on the outside, but inside, I was a king at Kings Park.