Random Thursday

Question edition.

I’m thinking of a quick summer getaway, where should I go? Unfortunately, the hubby can’t leave the US. Maybe another Philly trip? T

Which NYRR races should I register for? I still need to register for 5 more races.

Why can’t I bring myself to run with one of my running groups?

How/when did I gain so much weight? 😉 A couple of my suits are kind of tight.

(Not a question) I’m really excited to run my first race since March. It feels like it has been such a long time since the NYC Half.

Is this summer going to be super hot?

I’m becoming bored with gin, what should be my new go to liquor? Tequila?

Where have I been? Trail running is kinda fun.

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United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 6

Planned mileage: 21.5 (+40min tempo)

Completed mileage: 11 miles

Looks like I was pretty far away from my goal. 

From last week’s update, I mentioned that I was having some back issues with a couple of my training run. Thus, I decided to dial it back a little bit lot to recover. Also, work was quite intense this week. The program that I direct will soon start accepting applications for next year’s cohort so there’s a lot of planning that I have to do. Also, the spring semester has started for the course that I teach. My procrastinating ass had to get all the crap ready for the course (lectures, syllabi, rosters, etc.). Basically, I finished all of that stuff at 11:00 pm on Saturday night for a Sunday class. Lol, at an email that I received from a student a few days before the class. 

I don’t see your course on blackboard. If you can look into that problem that would be great.

I do not know if I should be impressed by the student’s initiative to reach out before our first class or annoyed by the student’s presumption that I would use Blackboard for my course. 

Ok, let’s get into this thing. 

Oh, one more thing: there’s like 1.5 months left until the UnitedNYCHalf. I really need to decide if I’m going to do this thing or not. Well, I guess it is up to my body. 

I made a couple of changes from my previous week:

  1. Obviously, I did not run as much. 
  2. I decided to skip some of my near-daily stretches, especially glute extensions. 
  3. Since I have a full-time desk job (and probably slouch way too much), I started doing quick stretches every 60 – 90 minutes in my office.

Hopefully, these changes were not made in vain. 

Monday:

Planned: 50min X-train

Completed: Rest

Tuesday:

Planned: 4.5mi

Completed: 4.5mi, stretching, strength training

This was a very tough one, and I felt quite defeated afterward. I did this run on a treadmill and had to walk multiple times. I pretty much had to walk every 0.5 miles. 

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I even adjusted Crunch Fitness-FiDi’s motivation wall. 

Wednesday:

Planned: Interval 8X400m

Completed: Not a damn thing

There was way too much work that I had to complete between Monday and Tuesday so there was no way that I could fit in this run. 

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: A few sprints

I had planned to combine Wednesday’s and Thursday’s run by doing the interval workout and following it with the 3-mile run. Once again work got in the way. No, wait. TV AND work got in the way. While working on some stuff for work, I stayed up watching Ken Burns’ documentary about the Vietnam War. 

Around 8pm, I decided to put on my running clothes and do the intervals (at the minimal) before finishing work. Everything went wrong with this run. 

  1. It was super windy and cold along the Hudson River, and I really needed another layer.
  2. Both my phone and Apple Watch died, so I could not really keep track of my times for the intervals. Lately, I’ve been noticing that my iPhone has been dying a lot. 
  3. I packed the dumb tights that always seem to fall down when I run. After the third or fourth interval, I became so annoyed with constantly pulling up my tights while running. At that point, I pretty was over it. One, two, three strikes, and I was out. 

Thursday, Friday, Saturday:

Planned: 3m, Rest, and 9mi

Completed: Nothing. 

In my defense, I did plan to do some weight training on Friday. But I decided to go hang out with a friend in Hell’s Kitchen, which actually became a little bit of a shitshow. However, what is a Friday night in NYC without some fuckshit?

Rise bar was not playing around with its drink prep on Friday night.

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Sunday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 6.2mi

Although my long run for this week was supposed to be 9mi, I thought that it would be better to do the 6.2mi instead. Since I have been having back issues and did not want to risk fucking it up more, I did a very easy run on the treadmill. I pretty much alternated between a very, very slow mile and a very slow mile. It did feel nice to finally complete a planned run. 

Well, that’s my ho-hum week of “training”. 

Goals for the week:

  • Let’s complete a full week of planned training activities. 
  • A few posts ago, I mentioned that I joined a couple of running clubs. I really want to try to do a run with Harlem Runs on either Monday or Wednesday. Fingers crossed. 

Have y’all seen either (or both) documentary about the Fyre Festival? I’m sorry, but how do we live in a country where someone can defraud folks multiple times and only receive six years in prison? Whereas, we have folks serving DECADES for minor drug offenses. Hell, the Billy creep was defrauding people while he was out on bail for his OTHER CHARGES of fraud. Don’t most people try NOT to commit crimes while on bail?

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Did you like the Netflix or Hulu version more?

 

Food Pic of the Week

Ok, this the Food Pic of the Week is not from a restaurant, but it’s from my beer club’s annual cookie bake-off. No, I did not enter this year. I’m still a little salty for coming in 3rd place a few years back. Fuckin’ haters. Actually, I’ll explain the bullshit. 

The first place winner was a goddamn pastry chef, who should not have been allowed to compete. The second place guy made shortbread. Ummmmm, I thought it was a cookie bake-off, not a goddamn cake bakeoff. You see, I should have gotten first place with my “aconbay ocolatechay ipchay” cookies. #fuckers.

Anyhoo, these were my favorite “cookies” – peanut butter and chocolate macarons. 

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The baker won second place. 😦 What a minute, how did he get so many votes, when there were quite a few cookies on the plate? I know that I had about three of them before voting. Perhaps, the baker put out more cookies before the second round of voting. 

Food Pic for the Week II

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A big bowl of spicy pork ramen from Mentoku (9th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets).

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I do not think that I have ever seen french fries feature on a menu at a ramen restaurant. I guess that you have to have something for the kids.

Oh random. Last night, I came up with a new drink, called “shamlabu” . . . I think that’s how I spell it. The Shamlabu is a frozen drink that contains vodka, tequila, pear nectar (I have no idea why we have pear nectar in the apt), passion fruit margarita mix, ground pepper, honey, coffee beans, and sriracha.

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For inventing this drink, I was pretty parodying the somewhat pretentiousness of adult beverages in many NYC establishments.  Some of these crazy bars and restaurants have drinks that are 18 bucks and are made with 90 damn random ingredients, which takes about 20 minutes to make. Ninety is a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.  Last night, five of us when to a restaurant where all of the drinks had about 8 ingredients in them. The damn appetizers arrived to the table before the drinks. I was already in a crappy mood, because of a rough day in the office. In my opinion, an alcoholic beverage should not have more than 4 ingredients in it . . . including the ice. Hell even some bartenders are referring to themselves as “mixologists”

Why are we still afraid to talk about race?

This will be a quickie post, but I wanted to express myself in a longer format.

Today, I went to a workshop/seminar titled, “Power, Privilege, and Oppression”, which is part of a series dedicated to building a socially conscious community. Going into the workshop/seminar, I did not think that my eyes would be open any further or that I would be even more “woke” than I was before the event. For example, I did not think there was a term for discrimination against particular body types. See how bad I am? I forgot the damn term, but it was an “ism”. This was an event designed to start dialogues about issues surrounding identity and inclusion between faculty, staff, and students. I believe there were about 18-21 people in the group; however, it was purposely meant to be smaller group.

A few things that I took away from this workshop/seminar:

  1. I was one of two black men in the group (the other black person was a freshman), and there were no black women in attendance. I was actually a little shocked with this lack of turnout, as women usually make up the majority of these types of events. The participants were predominately white, which is not a big surprise at this institution. I just was a little shocked that there weren’t more people of color in attendance, even for a 2hr, 10:30 AM, Friday seminar during a wintery mix storm.
  2. The first question asked by the moderator was something like: what do you think the most prevalent issue that involves identity and inclusion? Person 1 said gender. Person 2 said sexual orientation. Next, there was a noticeable moment of silence. Then, I said “clearly race“. Mentioning race seemed to get the conversation started, but it was like everyone was afraid to say race. It seemed like everyone was thinking that  “I know that this is an issue in the US but I do not want to be the one to bring it up.” To be completely honest, I was a bit hesitant to say it too. Mainly because, sometimes when people of color talk about these types of issues, we are seen as being “too sensitive”. The words “get over it” comes to mind as a typical response. Although this was a workshop about identity and inclusion, there was a sense that a problem does not exist if it is not spoken about.
  3. I chuckled to myself, because this group wanted to start a student council to further address these issues. So, I asked the facilitator if the participants in the program that I direct could join and she (I think that moderator used “she”, “her”, and “hers” pronouns) said that it was open only to “actual” undergrad and graduate students. To be clear, my program is a postbac program for underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Let me get this straight, you had this TWO-HOUR workshop on identity and inclusion but you are EXCLUDING a particular student population?!!!

I may expand on these thoughts at a later time.

Rants and Raves

Rants: Why do people congregate the front of the bus instead of walking toward the back? It gives the impression that there are no seats at the back of the bus.

Another public transportation rant: Why do people try to sneak on the bus without paying the fare and get pissy when the bus driver kick them off?

Rave: I’m so excited for the start of fall TV – Empire, Law and Order SVU, Blackish, (maybe) Star, This is Us, and The Middle. 

Rant: Speaking of fall line ups, what is with the cast of “Dancing with the Stars” (one of my not so secret guilty pleasures? Did ABC use too much money for last year’s cast? From this season, I only recognize the actor from Malcolm in the Middle, Nick Lachey, and Deborah Gibson (or does she go by Debbie, now?). 

I am still a little annoyed that the blonde girl from Glee, who used to be a backup dancer for Beyonce, was on last season’s cast. 

Rave: I’m really enjoying the Ken Burns documentary about the Vietnam War. Actually, “enjoying” may be the wrong word for it. Watching this documentary and witnessing some of the events that are going on in the world today make me think that we really have not learn from our past mistakes. 

Rants: If you are against players in the NFL kneeling, then stop watching the games and more importantly stop bitching about it. Everyone has different ways and reasons for both protesting and showing patriotism to his/her country. I’m just going to leave it at that. 

Rave/Rant: Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a tuition-free college program that should benefit the middle and lower classes in New York. I thought this was a great idea when I read about it back in January. Actually, I think that still is a good idea. One, education is a good thing. Two, college enrollment is up, which means I will get assigned more classes and more classes means more cash for me. However, I have noticed thatITmeme there are a lot more students academically, compared to those from last semester. Last week, I administered my first exam and the scores were very low for both of my sections. The scores were so low that I am going to administer a make-up exam and take the average of the two exams (I rarely do this). I think the average was around a 52 for this exam; whereas, the average was around 69% last semester. I model my exams from the previous semester’s exams, so last week’s exam was not super difficult. Also, I provide a sample exam, which is the exam from the previous semester. I do think that some adjustments may need to be made for this college program. Now, it seems students are going to 2- or 4-year colleges just because they can. My City of New York (CUNY) school is more of a community college type of school, so many of my students are coming from high schools with lower standards for academic achievement. This may lead to even more unprepared students coming into the college, not doing well in their coursework, and then dropping out. The point is to get students into AND have them complete college with a degree. Another thing that may happen is something similar to what is going on in various public school. Administration may start asking educators to skew or inflate grades to keep enrollment up, so schools will receive money from the city and the state. 

Here are a few questions that were missed by many students. Keep in mind that I’m teaching a Biology 101 laboratory course. Honestly, these would be questions asked on a test for students in a 6th grade biology class. 

In the metric system, the _ is the correct unit for volume. 

A) ounce, B) meter, C) liter, D) pint

The _ of a microscope  is used to carry the instrument from point A to point B. 

A) arm, B) diaphragm, C) nosepiece, D) stage

From the acids and bases laboratory exercise, acetic acid [CH3COOH] can best be described as a _. 

A) strong acid, B) weak acid, C) strong base, D) weak base

C’mon! For the last question, two of the answer choices had the word “acid” in the question. 

Rave: Two of my favorite holidays are around the corner. That would be Halloween and Thanksgiving. I like Christmas, but there is too much to do and I do not even have kids. Although I do love watching Christmas movies from my childhood.

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Rave: Two fun reunions. In October, I will meet some old friends from high school in Philly. They will be going to the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull concert. I’m still on the fence if I will pay money to see him in concert (I’ll see how much tickets are on Stubhub, closer to the date). It will be nice to hangout because I have not been to Virginia since Thanksgiving. Reunion 2: Three of my classmates from my comparative ecology study abroad program will be visiting New York. It may be nice to hang out . . . IF they keep the kid talk to a minimum.