Finished BSIM

April 30th, 2006

hell-n-back-smallThis morning I took part in the 21st running of the Big Sur International Marathon (results online), and I did suprisingly well! My final chip time was 3:48 (about 8:45 min/miles) though it took me over 2.5 min just to reach the starting line after the gun shot off! So my official time was 3:51, placing 508 overall out of nearly 3,000. My longest training run had only been 2 hours long for 14 miles, so I had no serious plans to attain a sub 4 hour run, but luckily I was able to! One shocker was that I was just trying to keep up with this 17 yo female runner, while a guy the same age finished in 3:21! Quite impressive for high schoolers. I was actually perhaps in my running prime at this age though, running XC in high school just before I was diagnosed with cancer. For the next time, I’ll train harder (with at least one 20+ mile training run) and be sure to bring a small camera in effort to finish under 3:30 and have my own pictures to remember it by.

Update: Monday morning – it feels like every muscle in my legs took a serious beating yesterday! (mostly quads, hammies, glutes, calves and knees)
Update: Official photos are now online at, see mine here.
Update: the Monterey Herald newspaper has a photo slideshow online.

To walk or not to walk? – that is the question! Past Olympic marathoner and present nationally renowned running coach Jeff Galloway recommends taking walking breaks during a long run simply because “If you use a muscle continuously, it fatigues rapidly,” he states. Walking just a minute gives the muscles a chance to “revive” themselves to continue running again. I personally have always thought that walking was “giving in” during a run, and so I’d only ever slow down to a slow jog. During the marathon though, I did do some speedwalking in some of the aid stations and a couple times in the Carmel Highlands to help give me enough energy to start actually “running” again. I had thought I could just “sprint” the last 2.2 miles, but that was an error! Perhaps I might have had more energy if I walked some?

Dean Karnazes, perhaps the fittest man alive, ran a marathon warmup down to the starting line (instead of taking the bus) and then ran the official BSIM in a time of 3:33. I fortunately did get to run along side him from mile 10-11 up Hurricane Point, perhaps the most challenging part of the race! Meeting up with Dean on the course was great. The day before I had heard him speak at the expo, bought his book Ultramarathonman, got it signed and chatted with him a bit. He is really a down-to-earth guy simply living a life that is inspirational.

Visit with Jano

April 24th, 2006

While I was studying abroad in Norway during the Fall 2004 semester, I became very good friends with Jano Sunderlik from Slovakia. It was faith that brought us together and the enjoyment of each others company by which we became friends. We both attended the catholic mass every Sunday in Kristiansand, and with Jano’s help we never missed a mass celebration – even when we were traveling in Oslo together. We last saw each other in December 2004 when I saw him off to his train back home but kept it touch briefly via email. I promised that if he ever made it to the states though, that we would meet up for sure!

Since last August, Jano has been teaching mathematics in New York city, and just last week he made a trip out here to California with some friends also teaching there in the schools. I got to meet up with him in San Francisco on Thursday night for dinner at Pier 39, then I took Jano and his friends for a quick tour driving over the Golden Gate bridge, down famous Lombard street, and over to see the Palace of Fine Arts. On Friday morning, we drove down to Monterey where I showed them a few quick sites around the city – including San Carlos Cathedral, our City Hall, and Sunset Avenue along the coast. It was great meeting up again after nearly a year and a half! Thanks for coming to the states Jano – now I’ll try to return the favor! (Will post some pics as they become available.)

Remember to LIVESTRONG

April 23rd, 2006

I just found this quote about what it means to LIVESTRONG. I’m glad I found it, because I often forget. Quote copied below. I also just found out that LIVESTRONG Day is May 17th, with the purpose to mobilize cancer survivors, caregivers and those involved in the cancer survivor community across the country. Our goal is to to raise awareness and bring attention to the issues cancer survivors face which often go unaddressed..

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Animal Friends Rescue

April 23rd, 2006

Do you happen to live in the Monterey area and love animals? Then be sure to check out the Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) based out of Pacific Grove. AFRP serves as a fostering agency to match up abandoned cats and dogs with loving people who can share in the joy of life with these animals. They have a great website of information, particularly if you’d like to adopt a cat or dog, or simply provide support to the agency via fulling their wishlist, volunteering, fostering a pet or donating support in any number of ways. I wish I lived where I could at least foster a dog here in Monterey, but I’m in an apartment with no yard unfortunately. I am willing to take the dogs out for a run though to get some exercise, particularly those dogs in foster homes awaiting adoption. Fights Cancer

April 16th, 2006

At age 22, Jacqueline Young was diagnosed with an advanced state of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Three years later, she is now thankfully in remission and raising funds to help find a cure for cancer while also instilling hope to those who are battling it. From the Young website, you can purchase a “PHUK Cancer” T-shirt in any one of a great number of styles to show your support — with 1/2 of the proceeds going to fund research at the Stanford Cancer Center. The message itself is a bit of a an attention grabber — but also a challenging response for those braving through the effects of cancer in their lives. New discoveries are made everyday in cancer research, and hopefully someday soon we can safely regard “cancer” as some tragedy of the past.

As a cancer survivor myself, I can definitely relate to the challenges of dealing with cancer. I remember always feeling drained of energy during chemotherapy treatments and the day when I received one of my favorite “Get Well” cards. The card simply had a cut-out sign which read, “I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!” I wore it a lot. =)

UNO Alumni NUCIA article

April 13th, 2006

I was just quoted in an article of the Spring 2006 issue of the UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha) Alumni magazine speaking about the NUCIA program there where I studied Information Assurance under the Computer Science curriculum. Dr. Blaine Burnham has really setup a great program there in Omaha, and I’m very proud to have been a part of it (as one of the first actually)! I coincidentally met Blaine when he first moved to Omaha and was living in the dorms with his wife and us other students. We struck up a conversation in the cafeteria and found we had a similiar interest in computer security… and things just took off from there! Actual interview responses below…

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April 11th, 2006

Our team “I Left My Wallet in San Francisco” finish 5th in our division (open mixed) and in 35th place overall with a time of 28 hrs 23 mins to finish the 199 mile course. The 2006 Race Results are now online to examine for yourself. Once I get my camera back (which I Left in San Francisco) I’ll post my pics online, but here’s some others:

Team Dean Karnazes with Jim Joe Green of The North Face finished near the end with a total time of nearly 34 hours – but then again, this was only 2 men instead of 12 running the 199 mile relay! Luckily I did get to meet Dean out on the course at one of the exchanges late Saturday night, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures. It was a great fun weekend adventure, we had a team full of great runners, and we all got to make a few new friends. Also, I should say that the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company team should have definitely won any “Team Spirit” award for so regularly cheering on all the runners in the race! Giving out free chocolate was a highlight of the event as well!

April 16th: Ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes story on plans to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.

V for Vendetta

April 6th, 2006

I just saw the movie V for Vendetta tonight with my friend Ephraim, and I must say that even though I never read the comic it is “an incredible film!” (though I’m sure Tsotsi is too – but that will have to wait for another night) The film is incredibly provocative, touching of topics such as 9-11 and the War on Terror but also includes artistic citations to many other influential books and films (1984, Count of Monte Cristo, etc) that certainly help to invoke the same sense of fear and helplessness of living in a totalitarian dysutopian future.

The Wachowski brothers should be given credit for once again so skillfully mastering a juxtaposition of references to so many ideas from philosophy, religion, history, and sci-fi along with a compelling story-line and great action in this film — the exact same combination that made The Matrix such a success. “V” is definitely one of those films that will make you think –which are the ones I love the most — and it is executed especially well, with a good flair for art and suspense. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. To steal a line from the film, “Artists use lies to show the truth” (this movie is full of great quotes too by-the-way) and so the dual question arises about V’s means… do the ends justify the means? is there a time and purpose for “terrorism”? is revolution considered terrorism?

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Mud Run and 14-miler Training

April 2nd, 2006

I just found out that I placed in the top 10 of this years Big Sur Mud Run! Check the April 1st results here. This was my first race in over a year for sure, but even with the rugged terrain, a few muddy obstacles, and wearing 10lb water-logged shoes… I managed to scrounge up a 7:41 min/mile pace for the 5 miles. My friends on Team “Cybercorps” took 11th place in the mixed teams with a 12 min/mile pace. Great job Rafe, Buddy, Mario, Binh and Julia!

The Relay One thing I should have posted about sooner, is that I signed up to run The Relay with the team “I Left My Wallet in San Francisco” out of San Mateo. I just found out about the 199 mile relay a couple weeks ago (well past the registration deadline) but found a team that needed a runner, and so I’m in! So today I intended to make the 2hr drive up from Monterey to go meetup and run with some of my teammates — unfortunately I overslept to get there on time. =( So instead, I went on my own along the trail to Ft. Ord for a 14 mile run out-and-back.

I reached 2nd Ave (where the Mud Run took place yesterday) almost exactly 1 hour into my run, and then made it back exactly 1 hour later (within 1-2 minutes) for 8.5 min/miles. The trail only has a few sections of off-pavement opportunities, so I’m a little worn out (right knee tight and right glute still sore for the past few months, but shins and left arch feeling ok). And to think, I’ve only got 4 weeks to go until the Big Sur Marathon! I’m not quite in the condition where I wanted to be training wise (running 7 min/miles like in my half-marathon 2 years ago) since I’ve had to take a few off-days with school/weather, but at a good pace I think my body may be able to hold up for 26 miles… maybe?!