Random Thoughts Thursday

I just love bottomless brunch specials. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2d44

Ack! I still need to register for (and run) three more races for guaranteed entry into 2020 TCS NYC Marathon.

Anyone got a good pre-marathon training plan? I think I would like to start training in July/August.

Has anyone used NYRR’s virtual marathon training plan?

:(, this time last year, I was boozing it up in Cancun.

I think that I wanna drop about 20 pounds by October. Word on the street is that I’m supposed to go to a conference that will be held in Honolulu so I would like to slim down a bit. But, I have been getting chubby . . . chubbier over the past couple of months.

Is a 20-week marathon training plan overdoing it? I think that I would become bored/annoyed training 5 months for a marathon. Hell, I can barely finish a 16-week training plan.

What are some cool summer jams?

I finally figured out why my pace times are always faster than my official times.

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I’ve been telling folks this. I think these resorts are using crappy, half-assed distilled booze.

This training update is brought to by OUCH!!!

Even though I have no true training goals, this week has gone ok. I managed to fit in 3  small runs. I have a general goal of alternating between 3 runs/week and 6 runs/week. So this week is my 6 run week. But, there are some foot issues that I will explain below.

General Recap:

After this upcoming week, I hope that I’ll have a decent running base so I can start adding to my workouts, e.g. mile repeats, extending my distance, hill repeats, speed work, etc.

In addition to running, I have been doing more strength workouts. I figure that I really need to start using my gym membership considering that Crunch fitness has been taking $105 out of my account every month. Actually, I think that I need to revisit this membership because I think that it is getting a little too expensive.

Speaking of my gym membership, I have a short-term goal of trying a new fitness class every week. Part of this comes from not taking full advantage of this expensive gym membership. The other part comes from listening to the Marathon Training Academy’s podcast that mentioned trying something new to restart your love of running. Last week, I checked out this class. 

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Man, this class was kind of tough. I probably should not have attended this class the day after Zumba. One, there was way too much “toe” work, which is why today’s entry is brought to you by OUCH. Second, the class does 3-week routines. Of course, last week was the third week of the routine so I looked a hot mess because everyone else had been doing the routine for the past two weeks. The instructor (and other “classmates”) said that I did very well for attending the third week of the routine. I think they were being nice. 

One thing that I noticed when attending these more technical dance fitness classes, is my mind starts to block out new moves about 30 minutes into the class. Once I learn five or six 8-counts, my brain does not feel like learning anymore. A part of this issue could be due to the class starting later in the evening. By 8pm, my mind is mentally over everything. 

Ok, it sounds like I am hating on this class, but there were a few things that I enjoyed. 

  • The instructor made us start the routine in different parts of the room. It’s funny, I thought that I had the routine down when I was on the left side of the room, but I was a hot mess (more of a hot mess) on the right and middle of the studio. 
  • The next day, my front quads were on fire, which was not fun. However, this pain demonstrated that I am working out different muscles in my legs, which ultimately should benefit my running. 
  • The class (or this routine) was a combination of jazz and afro rhythms so it was not super technical. There was a bit of adding your own style to the routine. 

Foot issues:

Ok, I have been battling a soft corn that’s in between my fourth and fifth toes on my right foot. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I’ve mentioned this issue in previous posts ( *** ), but now is the time to do something about it. I’ve finally made an appointment with a podiatrist to fix this. Based on my last visit back in Feb. 2018, I will have to have a small surgery where a portion of my toe’s bone will be shaved down so the two toes will not constantly rub together. Since Thursday’s Street Jazz class, my toe has been KILLING me and I’m starting to feel some pain in other parts of my foot. . . .definately not good if I plan to do any distance runs futher than 20 feet. ;). For the most part, post-surgery recovery should be about 3-4 weeks . . . if all goes well.

LOL @ the conversation I had with the hubby regarding this toe thing. 

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9+1 Journey for NYC 2020 Marathon: 

So far, I have completed 2 out of 9 races for next year’s NYC Marathon. As of now, I am registered for six races:

  1. Japan Run (4M) – May 12
  2. NYRR Queens 10K – Jun 15
  3. NYRR Retro 4-Miler Jul 13
  4. NYC Marathon Training Series 10 M Jul 20
  5. NYRR Team Championships Jul 27
  6. 2019 TCS NYC Marathon Nov. 3

Just gotta register for two more (technically one more, but I do not want my 9+1 to be dependent on this year’s NYC Marathon). If I get my shit together, I may have my 9 races completed before the fall, which would be a first. There is NO WAY IN HELL that I’m ever doing that midnight run on Dec. 31st. 

Let’s see what y’all are talking/writing about. 

Random Thursdays: Marathon Addition

Yeah, Yeah, I know this is a day late, but I was busy. After posting my update about the NYC Marathon ( *** ), I had some time to reflect on it and some other random things. I’m borrowing the theme of this Random Thursday update from A Tall Girl in a Small State’s blog. 

1. I would like to become a faster runner, circa my 2009 days. Can a brother get a sub 4:30 marathon, again?aA13Vqp_700b_v2 2. Surprisingly, I’ve made a full recovery from this year’s marathon. By Wednesday, I already was biking to and from work.   

3. I’m serious that I want to drop 20 pounds over the next few months. I’ve already started intermittent fasting again and beginning to put together a diet/food plan.

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4. With regards to #3, I also have created a weekly workout plan.

5. Hopefully, I can continue to run 3-4 times/week during the winter months. I want to be able to run a half marathon at a moment’s notice. That was the plan for last year, but I had a stupid back injury which prevented that plan. 

6. I think that I may run the Manhattan Half Marathon. Maybe not, running 13.1 miles in NYC during January doesn’t seem like any fun. Seeing pictures of folks with frozen eyebrows, eyelashes, mustaches, and beards still haunt me. Oh, I hope that I am selected to run the NYC Half via lottery. Perhaps, luck may happen two years in a row. 

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7. Speaking of running shit, I need to decide if I want to renew my Front Runner’s membership, join Black Men Run, or another running group.

8. Speaking of memberships, I’ve finally reached 100% of my 3 Gb limit for WordPress. Now, I have to decide if I want to upgrade my WordPress account.

9. Now that the marathon is over, I am excited to get my Friday nights and brunch Saturdays back.

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10. I still do not really understand the point of Instagram. That said, go find me at Swosei12

11. Perhaps, I should cut down on the smoking because I’ve managed to smoke more since starting this job in 2018.

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12. I kinda want to run a half or full-marathon outside of NYC. Wasn’t I supposed to run Philly’s Half Marathon?

13. I wonder if it is ok to “borrow” towels from my gym since it has increased the monthly fees from $81 to $94 bucks.

14. Why are people still wearing their Marathon medals? I get the day after or maybe even two days after. But, you are wearing the medal on Thursday?!!! C’mon!

15. Although the marathon is over, I’m excited that my next race is only a couple of weeks away.

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16. Maybe I’ll join a book club.

17. I wonder if I can squeeze in 45-60 min runs during my workday?

18. My cheap ass is still annoyed that medal engraving was $25 bucks.

19. These people are still my favorite folks from the marathon.

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20. I wonder if NYRR would ever change the route of NYC’s marathon? I guess Staten Island would still have to be the starting/staging area.

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21. One thing it did not mention in my previous post, the Michelob Ultra signs during the marathon. Even if my guts were on fire, I would never drink an ultra light beer. 

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22. We were really lucky for the nice weather during the marathon. It rained the day before and the day after the marathon. 

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23. If you are ever in the W. Village and want a no-frills, full-body massage for $35, this is the place to go. After my post-marathon massage, I want to treat myself to one every month. 

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24. Now, that I am done with this marathon, I can focus on some health issues . . . mainly the issues in my stupid pinky toe. I may have to have a portion of my bone removed/shaved down.  

25. How do you get over the post-marathon blues? Also, how do people feel about wearing finisher shirts before/during an event?

26. I have to complete only two more race to obtain guaranteed entry into 2019’s marathon. 

0.2. Hopefully, I’ll be complaining about and reflecting on next year’s marathon. 

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TCS NYC Marathon Update!!!

Let’s do this

Quick highlights:

  • Due to a foot injury during Mile 17/18, I did not meet my goal of 4:45 😦
  • This was the first NYC marathon where I ran the entire length of the Queensboro Bridge. 
  • It was the perfect day for a marathon. The previous day and the following day were really nasty and rainy. 
  • My new jock strap was AMAZING; I had no groin chaffing. 
  • This year more people called me K.O.S instead of “kos” or “cos”, compared to previous years. 

Pre-Marathon:

I was a little fearful that I would be too jet-lagged to run 26.2 miles. Actually, y’all made me fearful of being jet-lagged. I spent a week in Madrid, came back to NYC on Friday (technically Saturday; I’ll get into that with my vacation update), ran a 5K race on Saturday, then the marathon on Sunday. 

The marathon expo

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I did not really spend too much time at the expo; I’m pretty much an in and out kind of guy when it comes to being around large crowds of people. Also, I cannot stand waiting longer than 30 minutes for anything. That said, I pretty much received my bib and shirt within 20 minutes. I will say that NYRR really has its shit together when it comes to the Marathon expo. . . I just wish that it was not so far west. 

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The marathon village

Somehow NYRR assigned me a VERY low number for my bib, which meant I was in the first wave of runners. There must be a way to change your bib/wave assignment. The first issue is that last corral in Wave 1 had a predicted finish time of 3:30. Clearly, I am not at that level of running. The second issue is that you have to check your bag with your assigned corral, which means an even longer walk to pick up your bag when you finish. 

img_3546Taking the ferry to Staten Island probably is one of my favorite parts of the marathon. I guess because I rarely go to Staten Island. For some reason, I was not as chatty with my fellow marathoners on the ferry as I have been in previous years. Perhaps, this attitude was due to listening to Lana del Ray’s first album.

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I feel kind of bad because I know that I spent most of the ferry ride rolling my eyes at people. Well . . . In my defense, a pair of women were a little too damn chipper (aka annoying) for 6:00 AM. 

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But, I did manage to smile . . . somewhat (in my PJs) in the start village. 

Ok, this pissed me off a little bit. At the marathon expo, I purchased all of my Gatorade Endurance Gu’s. What do you mean they were giving them out for FREE in the start village? I could have saved $7.  

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The marathon:

Mentally, I told myself that I would run the marathon like this: a 2-mile warm-up, followed by four 6-mile runs. For this marathon, I did not take as many photos as I have done in the past, because I was running kind of strong.  

2-Mile Warm up (Staten Island and Brooklyn)

Clearly, this is one of the best parts of the marathon. Everyone is stoked and ready to tackle running through the five boroughs of NYC. 

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Instead of running with the first wave, I decided to start in the last corral of the second wave. I probably should have started with the third wave. 

First 6-mile Run (Miles 2 – 8, Brooklyn)

I was kind of killing it during this “run”. Because of my crappy training and a week vacation of eating like a pig, drinking like a fish, and smoking like a chimney, I was basically aiming to run a sub 5-hour marathon. At this point of the marathon, I was running a 4:35ish marathon, without exerting too much energy. The Bay Ridge/Sunset Park portions of the marathon probably are the most energetic because of the freshness of the crowds. 

Second 6-mile Run (Miles 8 – 14, Brooklyn and Queens)

I was still running pretty strong. My music playlist really got me through this section, because the Hasidic section of Williamsburg is really quiet compared to the other neighborhoods. This portion of the marathon was more of a snoozefest for me. The halfway point is right around the Pulaski Bridge, which takes you into Queens. Although my Apple Watch said that I hit a 2:08 half-marathon, I knew that I was running pretty fast and had plenty of energy left in my tank. After looking at my race results, my time for the halfway mark was 2:13. Clearly, I was on track for a 4:45, maybe even a sub 4:45   marathon.  

I do not understand why my Apple Watch’s GPS is always off compared to the official results. I know running to the tangent of the course makes a difference. BUT, I was manually marking the 6-mile segments. In the end, it did not matter, because the watch’s battery died somewhere around mile 19. Something that has NEVER happened before. I think that I forgot to turn off the watch’s WiFi so it spent most of the marathon searching for a wireless connection. 

Third 6-mile Run (Miles 14-20, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx) 

It was during this part where the shit hit the fan, but that will come later. My beer club volunteered at the Mile 15 fluid station, and it was quite invigorating to see them. Mainly, to shut up the haters who are always like “how can you run a marathon when you drink and smoke so much?” Bitch, it’s because I have evil on my side. That said, it was nice to see a bunch of people that you know, right before the Queensboro Bridge, which is the hardest part of the marathon for me. I would have taken a picture with them, but I did not want to stop because I was making good time. Had I known that I was going to fuck up my foot later, I would have taken a couple of shots with them. 

I was so proud of myself for running the entire length of the Queensboro Bridge, which was a first for me. I even managed to put in a few fartleks on this bridge. 

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The second memorable part of this marathon was entering Manhattan . . . for the first time. The energy of the crowds really powered me through; maybe, it gave me too much power. Somewhere around miles 17 and 18, I felt I weird pain in my right foot. It felt like someone was stabbing my right foot every time it hit the ground. This was the first time that I walked during the marathon (aside from the selfies on the Verrazano Bridge). At first, I thought it was a passing pain, but it was clear that I would have to deal with this for the remaining 7-8 miles. Then, I was crushed. At this point, the following thoughts rushed through my head: 

  1.  Hell no to a 4:45 marathon (my original goal).
  2. You must be out of your fuckin’ mind for a 4:35 marathon.
  3. Bitch, you would be lucky to finish for a sub 5:00 marathon.

At that point, I started texting and curing out the marathon on Facebook. Although this part was a struggle, I did see the free beer folks, and they remembered me from last year. 

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Since I was in pain and did not give a fuck at that point, I had three “shots” of beer with them. That probably was a mistake. 

More shit hitting the fan (no pun intending). Something else happened to me for the first time during this marathon. I was really gassy (maybe it was the beer) around mile 18. I did not want to risk sharting all over myself. I could not find a porta potty to save my life; I eventually found one around Mile 22. I was quite annoyed with NYRR over this. Throughout this marathon, there were porta potties all over the place. Since upper Manhattan and the Bronx are not as “glamorous”, as the other sections of the marathon,  NYRR kind of dropped the ball with the lack of porta potties. 

The marathon photographers always manage to catch me bitching about the marathon on Facebook. 

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Last 6-mile Run (Miles 20 – 20.2, Bronx and Manhattan)

The only thing I remember in the Bronx was how much my foot was hurting, and thinking “where the hell is a goddamn porta potty?”. 

Ok, I finally found a portapotty around Mile 22. I opened the doors to two of them. Looking at all of the poop, piss, and used tampons/pads on and around the seats, made my asshole clinch like nobody’s business. Pretty much, I was like I rather shit on myself (or in some bushes in Central Park) than to put my ass cheeks anyway near this.  Basically, I was all about finishing this thing with the pain in my foot. 

Another cool thing about this section was running through my neighborhood (around Mile 22). I probably could have gone home to take my dump. Actually, that would not have worked, because I did not have my keys. 

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For some reason, running through my neighborhood gave me an extra boost of energy. I was walking/struggling and someone was like “I see you at the bar, and you better start running”. That’s all I needed . . . at least that part. 

This is getting long and I have to pee. 

Central Park was Central Park. Basically, you are done but you are not really done. It was a very pleasant surprise to see Cat ( *** ) in the Park. Although I was almost done, I still had to walk a bit so I could not sprint to the finish. Also, I always forget about that little hill right before the finish. It’s strange that I forgot about the hill because I ran the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line, which has the same finish as the marathon, the day before the damn marathon. 

Anywho, I completed it in 5:08 so I was a little disappointed with myself. Oh well, feet smell . . . I guess. Eh, at least I did way better than last year, so I guess Operation Redemption was not too much of a failure. 

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Outside of getting a medal, this was the second best part of finishing. 

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Taking off my shoes while walking to get my bag. I was like a woman who has been clubbing all night in heels and decides to walk around the city barefoot because her feet hurt. 

Now, the best part of finishing. This is especially for Runeatralph ( *** ).

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I actually had two cigarettes back to back. These Marlboros are from Spain, and I don’t think the Europeans put that much nicotine and tar in them. 

Post-marathon, I hit up Crunch gym to do some much-needed stretching and bathing. I have to say that there was minimal chaffing this time around; my new jock strap worked wonders. 

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Another marathon first:

Since this is the first time that I’ve ever lived near Central Park, I decided to get my medal engraved. In past years, it was not worth it to wake up early and drag my sore ass from Roosevelt Island or Brooklyn to wait in a line and get my medal engraved. This year, I think it helped that my body was still on Madrid time (6 hours ahead of NYC). – I woke up around 6:30 am (thinking it was much later)  the day after the marathon. 

Am I crazy to think this? NYC Marathon medal engraving used to be free, right? Had I known that it was going to be $25 dollars, my cheap ass would not have done it. Of course, I did not know NYRR charged for this service until after waiting about 40 minutes. At that point, I figure that I might as well do it. Did I just make up that engraving was free for previous marathons? 

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Oh lol, the BF came with me get the medal engraved. Here’s a sample of our conversation after getting my medal engraved. 

BF: Kwamicito, I’m going to buy you one of these finishing jackets. 

Me: Bah, all of this shit is going to be overpriced. 

BF: [Looking a the price tag] $250!!! What the fuck?

Me: Told you. 

BF: I’ll buy you booze. 

Me: Even better than the jacket. 

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BTW, I really LOVED the design of the finishing shirts. 

Long Overdue Update

I’ve been MIA for a bit, but it was for a very good reason. I was vacationing it up in Madrid!!!! OMG, it is a great city for foodies and winos. Well, wannabe foodies and alcoholics. I think that I’ve probably gained 10 pounds. I’ll give a greater update later.

Ok, it’s finally here. The TCS NYC Marathon 2018. Actually, I’ll be glad when this is over. 

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Obviously, there will be an update about this, but the expo got me really excited for tomorrow. Today, I plan to chill on the sofa bed, do some stretches, and prepare my bags because I have an early wake-up time. Also, I think that I’m still a bit on Madrid time too. I do not think it will be too bad because I had to wake up at 6:00 AM this morning to run Abbott’s Dash to the Finish 5K. 

If you want to follow me tomorrow, check out the bib. 

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Oh, random. I do not think that I’ve mentioned this, but I have finally joined the world of Instagram. So, find my ass, Swosei12

Random Thursday & A To-Do List

Even though NYC Marathon is 9 days away, I need to get all of my marathon crap together by Saturday. Against most of you folks’ advice, I decided to go to Spain with the BF from Sunday to Friday (he’s staying until Sunday). Basically, I got three days to get my marathon sh*t together. Since I’m arriving back to NYC on Friday night, I do not want to be running all over town on Saturday (aside from jogging the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K race to the finish and picking up my marathon bib from the expo).

First, a shameless plug. Here’s my bib number if you will be watching the marathon in any of the five boroughs. Holla at your boy. 

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Crap to do before Sunday:

-Although I have not picked up my bag check bag, I want to have all my post-marathon crap that I want to check in one location of my apt. These items include a change of clothes, my tooth, cell phone adapters, cigarettes, lotion, (oh) and deodorant.

-Although I do not know what the weather will be like on Nov. 4th, I want to lay out a couple of marathon “outfits”.

-Find some disposable clothes for sitting in the cold before my marathon wave starts. Now, I wish that had not cleaned out my closet and tossed out my raggedy jeans.

-Purchase my marathon snacks, especially my GU’s and shit, hand sanitizer (so I can sterilize the seat of the portapotty if/when I need to poop before starting), and purchase a dumb book for me to read while waiting to start.

-Pray to the shipping gods that my all of my crap from Amazon arrives before Saturday. The thing that’s most important in this shipment is my external charger/battery case. 

-Make sure that the songs that are on my iPhone are actually downloaded on the phone. so I will not “stream” music and drain my battery during the marathon.  

Hmmmm, before writing this, the list in my head seemed way longer.

Random Stuff:

-Tapering is kind of fun. I wish all runs could be tapering runs. Yesterday, I really enjoyed my 3-mile run. Maybe I enjoyed because I know this training “plan” is coming to an end. Oh wait, didn’t I say that I was training to run the perimeter of Manhattan (32 miles) sometime in December?

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-After God knows after how many years, I finally joined Instagram. I kind have to use it for work (recruitment), but I decided to make a personal account. 

-I love how Harlem converts itself into Halloween mode (or as I call it Harlem-ween). 

-If anyone brings this up later, I will deny, deny, deny, but Cardi B is kind of growing on me. 

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-I keep getting facebook ads for these stupid briefs. After swiping past this the dumb AD for weeks, am kind of intrigued. Perhaps, men have to think outside of the box when it comes to underwear. Basically, the dick and nuts penis and testicles are placed in separate compartments. Eh, but I’m too cheap to drop $40 bucks on this BS. 

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-Did y’all know Bill Clinton has co-authored a trashy crime novel?

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Of course, I checked it out from the public library. I figure that this can be my traveling book for my upcoming trans-Atlantic flight. By traveling book, I mean to bring something that I SAY I will read, but it will sit in my carry-on bag for the duration of my vacation. 

I think that it may be over

Less than two weeks away from the NYC Marathon and I still have not been able toimg_3092 complete a 20-mile run. Work, life, and a slight pain in my shin have gotten in the way of my training. 

Big question:

At this point is it even worth it to attempt a 20-mile run this week?

My longest run was 18 miles, which was completed a couple of weeks ago. 

I guess this will be another marathon where I’ll run the first 13.1 miles strong and see where the rest of the marathon takes me. I really wanted to redeem myself from last year’s disastrous performance. 😦

Now changing topics:

This weekend volunteered at the Rising New York Road Runners Jamboree

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Although this volunteer event was an opportunity for me to get my +1 credit to have guaranteed 9+1 entry into next year’s marathon. Since I believe in NYRR’s concept, especially with the work that the organization does in the various NYC communities, I actually would like to get more involved with the organization.

The good: The event was pretty amazing. It was fascinating to see some amazing young runners.  This jamboree was a purely for fun competition so there were no winners or loses for the various events (55 m, 200 m, long jump, shot put, and 200 m relay). 

Also, the Armory’s track is very beautiful. I think it has been about a decade since my last visit and it still looks just as nice as it did back then. 

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The struggle: Ummmmmm, what was the point of volunteering? I was assigned to the long jump event. Basically, I did nothing but sit around for four hours. You can gauge my interest in the picture below (from NYRR’s Instagram). I’m the black guy on the bottom right corner.  

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Oh BTW, this young girl in the USA socks was amazing. She killed it in all of her events. 

Now changing topics (again):

Now, that I’ve finished this hot mess of a book. 

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I’m on to my next book. 

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That’s it for me in this random post. I guess that was not much of a training update. 

Let’s see what y’all are up to.