Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 20

Miles to run as of beginning of Monday, 11/26: 204.36

Miles run on 11/26: 199.06

The good news is that I ran just enough today to bring me a tad over 1812 miles, which means I have just under 200 miles left. The bad news is that I once again sort of accidentally ran less than I needed to, which happens occasionally if I don't take exactly my normal route home. I'm starting to feel like it's been too long since my last long run, too. Hopefully I'll get one of those done this coming weekend.

Miles to run as of beginning of Tuesday, 11/27: 199.06

Fundraising link!

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 19

Miles to run as of beginning of Sunday, 11/25: 210.92

Miles run on 11/25: 6.56

Union Square loop up to 34th Street. These can be frustrating at times, particularly since it's now the holiday season and everyone and their mom wants to go to Macy's. You'd think I'd learn my lesson and just run up to 35th Street. Oh, well. I also ran all the way over to 8th Avenue, which is unusual as I usually only go to 7th. What can I say? I guess I was feeling like a daredevil.

Also, it's downright chilly these days. Thank goodness I have so many flavors of dri-fit so I can do layers like you would not believe.

Miles to run as of beginning of Monday, 11/26: 204.36

Fundraising link!

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 18

Miles to run as of beginning of Saturday, 11/24: 217.79

Miles run on 11/24: 6.87

This was a lazy Union Square loop. Even though I've generally been hitting each day's target since Thanksgiving, they've mostly been lazy, aimless, daydreaming (or nightdreaming, I suppose) runs. I need to shape up and start working out with some direction so I don't fall into bad habits. Not that my current habits are the best, but still.

Miles to run as of beginning of Sunday, 11/25: 210.92

Fundraising link!

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 17

Miles to run as of beginning of Friday, 11/23: 223.26

Miles run on 11/23: 5.47

Another run home. This one fell just slightly short of my daily 5.5 mile quota but I'll take it. Afterward, I went out with some friends but that mostly consisted of second dinner. Or first dinner, in my case. Did I mention I brought almost an entire pumpkin pie home from Dallas? My brother made it, it was amazing and I ate the whole thing in like two days. Don't judge.

Miles to run as of beginning of Saturday, 11/24: 217.79

And I almost forgot, but here's the fundraising link!

Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 16

This week hasn't been my best posting week, but I intend to get better in the next few days. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and that you all have many things for which to be thankful. I certainly do. Here's a link to my CrowdRise fundraiser:

$180 until my fundraising goal is met and 223.26 miles until my 2012 miles in 2012 goal is met. We're getting to the home stretch.

Miles to run as of beginning of Thursday, 11/22: 224.46

Miles run on 11/22: 1.2

I spent the day either with my fam or traveling, and though I'd hoped to get home early enough to do more, I only managed to run with Phoebe for her evening walk around 11:30pm.

Miles to run as of beginning of Friday, 11/23: 223.26

I almost forgot to mention that I did my best to get at least a mile in today because I plan to do the Runner's World holiday Runstreak. This means I intend to run every day between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. This is a good way to keep yourself honest, if you're worried about fitness or weight gain over the holidays.

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 15

Miles to run as of beginning of Wednesday, 11/21: 224.46

Miles run on 11/21: 0

Yeah, yeah. I'd hoped to get some miles in either before work or during lunch, but since I had to leave early to catch a flight, I couldn't really take a long lunch and I was just too lazy to get up before work.

Miles to run as of beginning of THANKSGIVING: 224.46

Fundraising link!

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 14

Miles to run as of beginning of Tuesday, 11/20: 227.87

Miles run on 11/20: 3.41

So, there was another date this day too, only it was swing dancing. I'd like to point out that the only way I've been able to keep up my miles this year is by running to and from places I need to be anyway. This means I've made more efficient decisions with my time management, however it also means many, many of my miles this year have been "junk miles."

Anyway, the running I got done on Tuesday was an accomplishment, if I may say so. I had to meet my friend Michelle to give her a set of keys for Phoebe care since I planned to jet home for a quick Thanksgiving trip. But I didn't finish at work until 6:45! And I was supposed to be at the swing club by 8:30! So this is what happened:

1. Ran from work to a hardware store near Michelle's place on the Upper East Side
2. Discover hardware store had already closed
3. Wandered (half ran, half walked) around looking for somewhere else to have a spare set of keys made. Failed.
4. Cabbed it to Home Depot, as I was running out of time and knew they'd be open
5. Ran from Home Depot back to the UES to meet Michelle at her gym
6. Cabbed it to the swing club, made it by 8:31

It was a little crazy, but in the end I was able to run (not enough to hit the daily 5.5, but I had to take what I could get), get keys to Michelle, and arrive at the swing club mostly on time.

Miles to run as of beginning of Wednesday, 11/21: 224.46

Fundraising link!

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 13

Miles to run as of beginning of Monday, 11/19: 230.94

Miles run on 11/19: 3.07

This whole week has been sort of crazy. I had dinner date on Monday and then planned to meet my friend Gretchen in Newark, where she was flying in. It was a very quick visit, but completely worth it since I haven't seen her in almost two years. Long story short, after the dinner date (which was also a running date, as it turns out), I ran to Penn Station to catch a train to Newark.

Miles to run as of beginning of Tuesday, 11/20: 227.87

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 12

Miles to run as of beginning of Sunday, 11/18: 236.06

Miles run on 11/18: 5.75

These miles were pretty easy and done on the way to and from watching the Twilight movie with Vicky. Don't judge too much. It was surprisingly watchable considering I've read none of the books and seen none of the other movies. Also, the hype about Taylor Lautner is completely justified.

Miles to run as of beginning of Monday, 11/19: 230.94

Fundraising link!

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 11

Miles to run as of beginning of Saturday, 11/17: 273.89

Miles run on 11/17: 37.2 (60k)

And change, actually, because I had to run from my apartment to the subway and then from the subway to NYRR headquarters, where they were handing out bibs.

It's been a long time since I did a proper race report, so I intend to do that for the 60k. But I'll at least say that I set a PR by about an hour and a half. The last time I did this race (in 2010), it took me a little bit over 8 hours. This year, I finished in 6:36:19.

Hooray for PRs. And hooray for two beers going a lot farther after 37.2 miles than they normall would!

Miles to run as of beginning of Sunday, 11/18: 236.69

Psst....Here's the fundraising link:

Consider donating! I only have $230 until I reach my goal.

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 10

Miles to run as of beginning of Friday, 11/16: 273.89

Miles run on 11/16: 0

I concluded this mini-taper with a rest day. Initially, I'd intended to run the day prior to the 60k in order to have the day after off but I changed my mind. It was probably for the best, because I was more rested for the race on Saturday, despite the fact that I stayed up way too late trying to synch my iPhone with my music collection. I really wanted my music for the race, but alas.

Miles to run as of beginning of Saturday, 11/17: 273.89

Fundraising Link:

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 9

Miles to run as of beginning of Thursday, 11/15: 277.46

Miles run on 11/15: 3.57

Since I ran around Manhattan last weekend and I knew I had the 60k coming up, I decided not to push my luck by running too much. After work, I sauntered over to Rockefeller Plaza, walked around for a little bit and appreciated the 80-foot Christmas tree that they're currently setting up, and then began an abbreviated run home.

Miles to run as of beginning of Friday, 11/16: 273.89

Fundraising Link:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 8

I haven't decided if the best place for my fundraising link is at the beginning or the end of the post but I'm starting to think I might put it in both places. Here it is for now:

Miles to run as of beginning of Wednesday, 11/14: 287.12

Miles run on 11/14: 9.66

This was a combo day, as most high-ish mileage weekdays are. I ran 4.36 miles at lunchtime just under 9 minutes per mile. I figured I would take it easy, except for the last half mile or so when I took it up a few notches.

I also ran home from work. Well, almost home. I got to 1st and Houston and decided to stop at Whole Foods first because I needed to get bread. Even though I stopped a little bit short, it still came out to 5.3 miles.

Miles to run as of beginning of Thursday, 11/15: 277.46

I won't post the link again, because it seems silly. But it's there at the top if you want to take a look and/or chip in. Remember, I'm always looking for running buddies.

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 7

Miles to run as of beginning of Tuesday, 11/13: 287.12

Miles run on Tuesday, 11/13: 0

That's right. A big fat 0. The first one since 10/31 (Correction: since 10/30) and as well-deserved as anything can be in this challenge. Until next time!

Miles to run as of beginning of Wednesday, 11/14: 287.12

Funraising link:

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 6

Miles to go as of beginning of Monday, 11/12: 323.06

Miles run on Monday, 11/12: 35*

I added the star because the actual number adds up to 35.94, but that seems like a little bit too much, all things considered. And no, it's not a mistake. On Monday, I ran (almost) around the entire perimeter of Manhattan. I know, I know, almost. I had a date at 7 and, after pushing the limits of my anxiety over that, finally peeled off the East River path at about 6:40 (I still ran home, just not along the river) knowing I was already going to be massively late. I therefore ran all the way around Manhattan except for the little part between the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge. I'm not sure if I can rightfully claim it as having run around Manhattan, but I'm saying it anyway. I certainly did the distance due to a lot of backtracking. but I suppose it's not entirely true. Here are the maps:

My phone died on the West Side, where this path stops. But about 10 blocks later (which I'm not even counting in the total) I met up with Amortya, who had his phone and therefore had data (which he was kind enough to let me use) for the next 8.74 miles:

Amortya finished this segment well before I did, so I imagine my pace was slightly slower than 11 minutes per mile. I felt bad for Morty because, by that point, I was not in tip-top shape and had slowed down significantly over the course of the whole things. We parted at 14th street, at which point I knew I'd be able to remember my route well enough to map it manually on MapMyRun. So here's that part:

Yes, my navigation skills were sloppy and there were parts of the run (up after Dyckman Park) where I wasn't quite at water's edge. But I think I was at least 92% successful in this venture. It should be noted that this was inspired by a run and subsequent blog post done by Robert Reese. You can find that summary here.

I didn't walk, but there were definitely points when I had to stop and assess which direction/path to take next. I also stopped a number of times to take pictures!

The Williamsburg Bridge, about a mile from my starting point

An overlook point around 81st street and the East River
Around the 160's on the East
Slightly further north (maybe not quite 170's)
Betcha didn't know there's a boathouse up there
More boathouse
I had no idea, but Columbia's fields are way up there!
The most north point on Manhattan
Sweet Jesus, come get me!
And that's when I started being concerned about not having enough power left to coordinate with Amortya so I quit with the pictures. As I mentioned before, I had to backtrack some because many parts of the path were closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. It was disheartening at times, but I guess I still made my way around so it wasn't terrible.

So that's a pretty great way to get my mile numbers up. And oh, hey! Here's the link for my fundraiser. Less than $500 to goal!

Miles to go as of beginning of Tuesday, 11/13: 287.12

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 5

The fundraising link!

Miles to run as of beginning of Sunday, 11/11: 330.69

Miles run on Sunday, 11/11: 7.63

Today was yet another day of action. I met with another group of runners dressed in orange to go to Staten Island and help clean up, much as we did last week. This week, I told Amortya to come along and he did. He was a really good sport about the whole thing considering I forgot to tell him about the fact that we'd be running to our destination.

Amortya just found out he'd be running 8 miles. In jeans.
We hopped on the ferry and made our way over. This time around, it took a lot less confused organizing and planning before we had a pretty good sense of what everyone would be doing. Half of the group went to Midland Beach and half went to Oakwood. The Midland crowd had a 6 mile run while the Oakwood group had closer to 8 miles to run.

Lady Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry

Getting ready to head out on the run

The run wasn't terrible. We stuck with the Midland group for the first five or so miles. During this time, I met and was able to chat with someone who's also doing the 60k next weekend. I forgot to exchange email addresses with her, but hopefully I'll run into her next weekend. Also, Tom Cavanagh was on the run with us though no one knew exactly who he was until well after the two groups had split up. Also, also, I got to meet and talk to a number of runners from Terrier Tri, which is a triathlon club here in the city.

Once we arrived in Oakwood, we headed down to the Guyon Avenue Rescue, which was based in the local VFW. Our first task was to canvass residents living in the area to make sure that they had everything they needed. For the most part, they did. But there was a lot of anger about the fact that they didn't have power back yet. Completely justified, since it's been two weeks and getting really cold.

Canvassing the neighborhood
We began walking back to the VFW when we encountered an elderly gentleman heading the same way. We learned that he needed some help clearing debris out from his yard, so we grabbed supplies and walked back toward his house. We'd also gotten a request to deliver a meal on the same street, which I volunteered to do. Wouldn't you know that the "house" I was supposed to deliver to was an apartment complex? I had to knock and ring doorbells just to ask where the recipient lived. I had some success, but it was 20-30 minutes before I returned to Frank's house to help out.

Frank wondered why it took the marathon to bring everyone together. Good question, Frank.
Our last assignment was to help a number of residents on one particular street clear branches out from behind their houses. The yard was probably knee high with this debris and it took about 20 people to really make a dent in clearing it.

This was the toughest task of the day
We called it a day after clearing most (but not all) of the branches away. Morty and I walked back and found my friend Vicky, who also volunteered. We all headed back to the city and had a delicious dinner.

On the Staten Island train
Miles to run as of the beginning of Monday, 11/12: 323.06

Also, happy Veterans' Day to all who risk their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day!

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 4

Miles to go as of beginning of Saturday, 11/10: 346.38

Miles run on Saturday, 11/10: 15.69

I had really hoped to make this a longer run than it was, but alas. Even though I started late and didn't run as far as I'd hoped, 15 miles is not too shabby. Even better, MapMyRun claims I did it at a sub-9 minute pace, finishing in a few seconds over 2 hours and 20 minutes.Check it out:

Find more Run in New York, NY

One nice thing about longish runs is that I get to see lots of scenic parts of my favorite city. These are some pictures I took along the way.

Empire State Building from the east side

A beautiful view from the Manhattan Bridge
It was a nice run. I even ran a couple of slightly sub-8 miles along the west side because I got into a race with a middle-aged man in a Lululemon shirt. Word to the wise: Do not underestimate a dude in a Lululemon shirt. I mean, I still won our fake race, but he did not make it easy.

Miles to run as of Sunday, 11/11: 330.69

Let me know (via this blog, twitter, email, text, etc) if you ever want to join in on a day's run (or join the fundraising team). I'd love the company. Plus, the more people who are involved, the better this effort will be.

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 3

Happy Sunday! I have three challenge days to post all in one evening, so here goes. But first, let me provide the link to my fundraiser.

Miles to go as of beginning of Friday, 11/9: 349.19

I ran less than I'd hoped on Friday mostly due to the fact that I procrastinated too much. Procrastinating is a terrible habit that I've always had but sometimes it's worse than others. On Friday, I should have done a short run at lunchtime, but I didn't because I knew I'd probably leave work early enough to do it then. Wrong. I wasted time until the absolute moment when I needed to leave in order to have enough time. As luck would have it, it was at that precise moment that something work-related actually did happen. By the time I'd handled that, I barely had time to take the subway home, walk Phoebe, and get back uptown for the movies and dinner with Jeremy and Monica. In the end, all I did was run home from the theatre.

Miles run on Friday, 11/9: 2.81

Miles to go as of beginning of Saturday, 11/10: 346.38

Friday, November 9, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 2

First things first. Here's the fundraiser link!

Miles to go as of beginning of Thursday, 11/8: 356.74

Miles run on 11/8: 7.55

This 7.55 miles truly was speedwork, as I did half mile repeats at a 3:29min/half mile pace and alternated with half miles at a 5 min/half mile pace. The last half mile I did at 3:22. It should be noted that these half mile repeats should be done with less time between (maybe alternating fast half miles with slow quarter miles) but I was interested in boosting the overall miles total. The extra .05 was to finish strong.

Miles to go as of beginning of Friday, 11/9: 349.19

Let me know (via this blog, twitter, email, text, etc) if you ever want to join in on a day's run (or join the fundraising team). I'd love the company. Plus, the more people who are involved, the better this effort will be.

Special Thanks to Amortya, Sharon, Jeremy and Vicky for donating!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 1

Since the challenge started yesterday, I may be posting two days today. Here's where we stand:

Miles to go as of beginning of Wednesday, 11/7: 366.59

Miles run on 11/7: 9.85

The total for 11/7 was broken up in two parts. I ran 4.3 miles at lunchtime at a fast-ish pace of 8:13 minutes/mile with some sprints at the end. This took place at my gym (the Sheraton fitness center), which I typically use when I want some speed in my workout.

The second 5.55 were done on my run home, which was probably a mistake in retrospect as it took me over an hour to do during the nor'easter we had yesterday. Lesson learned.

Miles to go as of beginning of Thursday, 11/8: 356.74

Let me know (via this blog, twitter, email, text, etc) if you ever want to join in on a day's run. I'd love the company. Plus, the more people who are involved, the better this effort will be. Here's the fundraiser link.

Now With Purpose: 2012 in 2012 for Sandy Relief + Resources

As you may have read previously, I've spent the year trying to run 2012 miles in 2012. It began as a simple goal, but has now gained real purpose for me. Recovery from Superstorm Sandy is going to take time, energy and resources.

I've therefore decided to finish my goal and dedicate it to helping raise funds and awareness for recovery. I created a CrowdRise fundraiser, which you can find here:

My goal is to raise $1000.00 between now and December 31st. I've got the first $250 covered, but I'll need help with the rest.

More Resources:

Over the last few days, I've had a few people ask me how to help. Here are some ways to do that (now augmented by this challenge):

1. Help me raise the last $750 by donating to the challenge through CrowdRise. The money is going to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. Here's a description of its recovery efforts:

"One hundred percent of donations are being dispersed to relief efforts and organizations. The City is currently identifying immediate aid needs, including food, water and hygiene supplies, as well as long-term relief and restoration efforts."

2. Join my team! Fundraise or just run with me! By the time the new year rolls around, you'll be all warmed up to tackle your resolutions.

3. If you'd rather, give to a different organization like the Red Cross

4. Donate your time. Believe me, someone somewhere needs your help. For info on opportunities, like the New York Runners in Support of Staten Island and Sandy Volunteer Opportunities Facebook pages. You can also register with New York Cares, which posts Sandy projects frequently. I also mentioned the Bowery Mission, which is a shelter on the Lower East Side. Here's a list of their current needs.

As much as I tend to disagree with OWS, they are organizing and executing some great work out in Brooklyn. Text @occupysandy to 23559 for those updates.

I'm certain there are many more opportunities out there, but this is a good start. I'll keep you updated with my Sandy Relief Challenge progress here.

It's not lost on me that this activism is mostly new, on my part. As I mentioned in my previous post, this served as my wakeup call. For now, I'll be focusing on Sandy Relief, but you better believe I'll be looking for ways to contribute after relief efforts have been completed.

Runners helping out in Staten Island

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weekend of Action

Last week and this weekend were eye-openers. It's a shame it took something as huge and disastrous as Sandy to make me realize I should be doing more. But now that I've realized it, I'd like to do as much as possible to aid in recovery.

This weekend, I was able to help out in a few ways. I was able to do this with people I care about and also witnessed many breathtaking displays of goodwill.


I spent Saturday with my friend Sharon and Chris helping out in my neighborhood. We brought MREs (meals ready to eat) to disabled residents of high-rise project buildings who hadn't been able to leave their apartments for close to a week.


In the morning, Sharon and I headed to the Staten Island Ferry terminal with backpacks full of supplies. We joined a large group (1200) of runners and all boarded the ferry with the intent of running supplies into various locations on Staten Island as well as lending a hand wherever it was necessary. 

We delivered our loads of supplies to a temporary shelter that was located in a high school. After spending some time there assisting in organizing donations, we headed to the East Shore to help with clean up. Once there, we saw devastation that was unreal. There were foundations washed clear of the houses that once sat on them, homes completely destroyed, and pieces of lives strewn all over. It's bad.

We left Staten Island in the afternoon so Sharon could catch a train back to where she was staying in Connecticut. I had one more thing I wanted to do for the weekend, which was to make and give food to help those at the Bowery Mission, a shelter that is located only blocks from my apartment. Friends Russ and Sunshine were kind enough to give me a ride to Costco for supplies.

Jeremy then met us at my apartment, where we spent a few hours assembling 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Once done, we dropped them off at the shelter, where it looked like they'd probably begin handing them out right away.

It was a good weekend, but I'm well aware that recovery is going to take many months. That's where my next idea comes in. Stay tuned for my next post...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Let's Go!

The ING NYC Marathon has been cancelled. Not worth discussing too much, now that it's done. Ultimately, it's the best thing. This frees up an entire weekend to make a difference. So, what do you say? Let's make something happen.


I'll try to add more later.


I've written more than once about my belief that there are few things that inspire the human spirit more than running. In fact, I just wrote a letter to my Grandpa last week saying that I believed running brings people together in all the good ways and none of the bad ones that disasters do. Even as I wrote that letter with the knowledge that Sandy could make her way to the east coast within a matter of days, I never imagined that running could, in fact, compound the bad ways that disasters impact us.

Yet two days before the NYC Marathon, that's the scenario with which we're all faced. The entire east coast, including my beloved New York City, is still reeling from the devastation brought by Sandy. I've spent Monday through today working 12-15 hour days dealing with my company's particular issues and was therefore well insulated on Monday and even Tuesday from the state of things. By Tuesday evening, it was dreadfully clear how badly this entire region and all its residents are impacted. I expected that NYRR would have no choice but to cancel simply because destruction would make the race all but impossible to hold.

To my surprise, they announced on Wednesday that the race would go on. As the days have passed, outrage over this decision has grown and I can see why. I can see why holding this race seems frivolous and selfish in light of the hardships being faced by millions. Many make the argument that the resources being used to stage the marathon would be better spent on recovery efforts. It's difficult for me to see how they're wrong.

At the same time, I also believe that the decision to either hold or cancel the marathon is a symbolic one. Whether it happens or doesn't happen, recovery will span months or years. I can see two options here.

1. Let's not have the race, lose the economic boon it brings, have millions do nothing on Sunday and a few thousand do everything they can to help.

2. Let's have the race, bring a spirit of resilience to millions on Sunday, maybe even inspire them so that a few thousand becomes a few hundred thousand who do everything they can to help.

In word and thought, I've professed my belief in running as a healer and something that inspires in ways that can't be measured. For the first and possibly most significant time ever, that belief is being put to the test. It's time to walk the walk.

If this race is held, I'll run it and believe with everything in me that, when all is said and done, it inspires and creates enough good to truly help everyone who's been impacted. Whether or not it should be held is something I can't stop struggling with. My heart hurts for everything about the storm, my city, this region, the people who lost their lives, homes, everything and yes, however trivially you might think it, the spirit that we have to lose or gain with the marathon.

But I'll put that aside and struggle with myself internally while externally doing everything I can to help. If you can help, please do.

Psalm 7:3-5