Year of the Dragon

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How cool is performing a double sword routine for chinese new year – year of the dragon. And I’m the guy to do it. As a person with a bit of stage fright, these performances always get me nervous. Good thing I did this routine last year for a kungfu tournament, so it should go a little better tomorrow. Only about a minute of spotlight, no problem mon.

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Who doesn’t think martial arts is cool? As soon as I saw Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and Game of Death at age 6, it amazed me. As a teen, I saw Jackie Chan films like Drunken Master, Jet Li films like Fist of Legend, and as many Shaw Bros as I could get my hands on. I couldn’t get enough. Tiger, Crane, Mantis, Eagle, Monkey, Snake… staffs, spears, swords, kwandos, chain whips, hook swords, 3 section staffs… So much choreography, movements, poses, weapons, techniques, variations; this is indeed art. After collecting so many kungfu videos, I figured maybe its time to be a kungfu man myself, why watch.

Why watch? Great question. How can you want to do something and watch someone else do it? Its like watching someone take the job you wanted, eat the meal you wanted, the chance/opportunity you wanted, the girl you wanted, the life you wanted, etc. You have to take what you can out of life before the opportunity is gone.

Minus coffee, plus one mile

Another ordinary week followed by an ordinary weekend in January. It snowed a few inches Friday night. It wasn’tt going to be a smiple run session. Saturday was too soon, so I just stayed home. By the end of the night, I totally forgot to have coffee, which I never go a day without. Sunday came and it was 20 something degrees out. I gave it a shot and attempted another 14 miles like last week. I chose wisely.

I stepped outaide and the roads were still full of snow, ice and slush. Running downhill without sliding wasn’t too difficult in my old messed up sneakers. Its a nice experience to run during winter, especially with the snowy scenery. Actually, the snow kept my speed under control so my pace was steady throughout. As I tuned myself out from the world, I felt at peace while running. There was hardly anyone outside, just me and the trees. By mile 10, I felt great, like I could run forever. And if I feel like running forever, then why don’t I, at least 15 miles, why not.

I reached the mile 13 crossroads, one direction was 1 mile home, the other was 2 miles. So I made a left. Yes, the 2. Mostly uphill, but who cares, I could run forever right. Mission accomplished! I did 15 during the month of 14, but how did I pull this off? Did I do something differently than last week? No, it can’t be … coffee! My morning tradition, could it be that coffee was holding me back from my goal. And so I quit coffee just like that. I’ve been coffee sober for almost a week now, who needs the acid anyway. Green tea isn’t so bad.

15 miles down, time to rest now…

The day of 14

The last few weeks made me question myself. It seemed like I may actually be going backwards. But then I thought, why the hell am I focused on speed when distance is the priority. Perhaps the reason I take so many walk breaks during a run session is because I’m running faster than I should be. Last year, I could run 2 hours straight during my Brooklyn Half marathon training, without taking breaks. Its time to experiment and change the approach by going back to basics.

Twas a cold 3-day weekend, and the warmest day was Martin Luther King day; below 32F and windy, brr. But there are no excuses, I must at least give it my best. I immediately felt the freezing cold and just decided to jog a wee bit slower, kind of like last year’s training. And behold, mile 10 felt like mile 2, yessss. I knew in my soul that this day was going to be the day of 14. 

14 miles in 2:18; with a fastest lap of 8.19min/mile. You know what this means; there’s no turning back. February is the month of 15. I gladly accept the challenge.

14 miles down, time to rest now…

January – the quest for 14 miles

Happy new year! 2012 is here and there is a new years resolution to stick to; to  run the NYC marathon. My goal is to become comfortable jogging 20 miles by October. With 10 months left, perhaps I can gradually add 0.75 miles more per month on my long runs (current farthest is 13.5). Since my last post, I’ve kept the promise to jog at least a half marathon distance every weekend. However, my performance is suffering a bit. Just to put it in perspective:

Dec20: 13.5 miles took 2:10
Dec26: 13.1 miles took 2:10
Jan01: 13.1 miles took 2:08
Jan07: 13.1 miles took 2:12

Confusing right. Why don’t I get better? Should there be 2 weeks in between these long runs? Would it help to have a mini run in the middle of the week? Should I go back to potatoes instead of oatmeal as a pre-run meal? Am I losing resolve? Is it the cold weather to blame? There are many variables and questions. Regardless of my speed and performance, I need to reach 14 miles by month’s end. Why does it get harder every weekend? I think my training method and nutrition choices need an adjustment in order to ascend to the next level.

Bad news: I didnt pass the lottery drawing for the NYC half marathon in March. How nice it would have been to jog through Time Square, oh well, maybe next year.

Good news: The future is always full of surprizes.