After the Disney marathon, this wolf went into hibernation mode. Besides, running outside kinda sucked due to the constant snow/ice storms and freezing weather. I don’t mind some snow/ice on the roads and at least 25F temperatures, but in NYC, my minimum conditions weren’t met most of the time. It was kinda like…
With the extra free time, I decided to return to the kung-fu Wednesday night madness and even started the Mt. Rainier weight training program (getting diesel now). I still manage to run 2x per week: one long run on the weekend, and one 10K with 5 pounds in my backpack (makes such a difference on hills, wow). It’s been almost 2 months since my last post, so I’ll just mention the highlights.
OFF TO THE RACES:
Fred Lebow Manhattan Half @ Central Park
January 26th, 2014. 8:00AM and 17 degrees. 4073 finishers.
Results: 9:15 pace, 2083th place, ~49% percentile, (F)
This race consisted of 2 Central Park laps. This was perhaps the coldest temperature I’ve dared to run in; 17F with negative wind chill. Would I do it again, hellz no! My polar vortex armor consisted of my snow hat, balaclava just in case, gloves, tights with my hiking pants over them, double socks, 4 long sleeve layers (all tech shirts) with a fifth jacket layer around my waist just in case. When it comes to taking the trains in NYC, it almost always fails when you need it most. Let’s just say that the only way to get to the race at a reasonable time (15 minutes late) was to run for 2 miles from the train stop to the start line at Central Park. I didn’t get to stretch or even pee. After watching the last of the runners pass the start line, I finally arrived at the start line with 2 miles behind me already and started my first “race mile” with a bathroom break. The last thing you want to do in this temperature is to expose the only warm parts you have left on your body to the cold, and then you have to re-adjust the shirt layers, ugh, I lost several minutes here. My Garmin wasn’t syncing with the satellites, and never did. If you were thirsty, then you had to drink frozen water or Gatorade slush (yea, it was that cold). Just when everything sucked, I tried to seek out the positive to keep me from just quitting and going home. After 2 hours, I finally found the one positive thing… the freakin finish line!
Chinese New Year: The Year of the Horse
After 6+ months, I stepped into the kung-fu temple; a public school cafeteria in Chinatown. After months of marathon training, the butterfly kicks and front hand springs became a bit harder to execute. Completing the double saber routine knocked the wind out of me (2 years ago).
I can’t remember all of the moves for most of the non-weapon routines either! How can I possibly perform for the Chinese New Years Demo? Well, I worked with a few masters on a Wednesday night to refresh my memory for one of the routines. With 2 days left, and a jacked up lower back from too many kip-ups, I rehearsed the movements in my mind. The show was a success as usual. We all did our thing. There was lion dancing, lock-technique demonstrations, tai-chi, sword slashing, staff twirling, spear thrusting, chain whipping, and let’s not forget punches, palms, kicks, and flips. With just 3 days of practice, I pulled it off, well, most of it. I kinda forgot 20% of the routine and just closed it early. To the untrained eye, I didn’t make a mistake, but the masters knew exactly where I messed up, haha.
I’ll attempt the crazy staff routine next year, which will require much more than 3 days of practice.
Random Snowstorm Run Session
There are times in life where you have a dumb idea and it actually works out well. After getting hammered with polar vortexes and going a week straight without running, I made up my mind to run during the upcoming weekend, no matter what. Just my luck, the clouds decided to unleash another big snowstorm, surprise surprise. To make a dumb idea dumber, I chose the unpaved Flushing park 10K route. The snow was falling from the sky in bulk and piled up quickly and high. Here was a first, I ran outside with hiking boots and goggles.
After the first mile, the snow kept punching me in the face and made me want to quit and head back. But I’m glad I didn’t. After a few minutes, the winds calmed down. It was just me, alone, surrounded by nature painted white. Meadow lake was completely frozen with a layer of snow on top, as if you could just walk across it. A few megapixels could not capture the view. The return trip was epic. The snow was quite high, like a foot. It was like being in the Rocky IV movie when Rocky was running in Russia. Bringing the knees past the waistline for 2 miles was enough to knock me out.
I’ve been watching more TV than usual, winter does that to people. This winter brings new seasons for Walking Dead, Vikings, and Game of Thrones. Also, Black Sails is a new show that is turning out to be good as well (only 8 episodes though). And I managed to watch all 3 seasons of American Horror Story; good series.
Ever since I finished Grand Theft Auto V, I turned to cell phone gaming and entertainment. My patience and determination is paying off in Candy Crush Saga; currently at level 275. Other addictive honorable mentions are: Kingdom Rush – Frontiers (tower-defense strategy), and Beastie Bay (Simcity+Pokemon). As for movies, the Lego Movie was awesome and worth seeing at least once, even if you’re an adult.
For 2 years straight, I’ve tried to enter the NYC Half marathon race via the lottery and failed. Well, this year I’m in! It’s one of the only time where they shut down Times Square just for runners. It’s on next weekend!