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Posts Tagged ‘New York Road Runners’

2014 or Bust

November 3, 2013 3 comments

The 2013 ING NYC Marathon came and went. And needless to say, I was jealous. But then again my jealousy began the moment I entered the Marathon Health Expo at the Javitz Center earlier this week.

The NYRR organization welcomes all the participants to the Marathon Health Expo.

The NYRR organization welcomes all the participants to the Marathon Health Expo.

I should have ran in my first marathon today. What would have been three years in the making has to be put on hold until next year. The final chapter in my 100 pound weight loss is to run in the NYC Marathon. Unfortunately, two congenital hip conditions postponed those aspirations. Two years and two hip surgeries later I am healthy and ready to begin my journey.

I have come a long way to just stop and permanently end this dream. Truth be told the NYC Marathon has been my obsession since 2010. And no medical condition or any obstacle will come in my way. I have overcome a lot before undergoing two hip surgeries, so what is one more year…right? Patience is a virtue. And my body is a temple.

At the start of the new year I will begin my training. I am giving myself 10 months to prepare for the race. Through the grace of God and the support of my family and friends, this destiny I will share with them. My glory will be there glory.

I race not to finish first or last. I race because I am happy and able. I do not take one thing for granted.

With that said between now and next years NYC Marathon be prepared for blog entries about my training and some surprise entries.

By the way if you are wondering how I am sure about running in the 2014 NYC Marathon well let me give you a crash course on guaranteed acceptance:

  1. 9+1 — A member of the New York Road Runner’s (NYRR) organization must participate in 9 NYRR qualified events and volunteer in one event in one calendar year.
  2. Joining an NYRR sponsored charity.
  3. Entering the general lottery. Registration for the general application process will take place on December 2, 2013. Winners are generally notified late spring.
  4. Winning one of 44 spots in an NYRR contest. I entered the contest earlier this afternoon. 22 winners will be notified on November 5, 2013. And on November 22, 2013 another 22 winners will be notified.

I immediately crossed item #1 off my list. There is no way I am joining NYRR in 2014. The chances I win either #3 or #4 are slim. I would be surprised if I won either. My best bet is to join a charity. Ideally I would like to join a charity that supports our military.

My off season started after the Rock N Roll 10K last month. But that does not mean I am not working out.

My goal...my motivation. 2014 or Bust!

My goal…my motivation. 2014 or Bust!

A Personal Best

July 14, 2013 6 comments

More than 30 hours have passed since I participated in the MLB All Star 5K Run. And while I am sore all over, I feel great. After having hip surgery last December, I re-joined the competitive realm of running.

The MLB All Star 5K Run was a treat.

As I made my way to my assigned “heat”, I noticed the stage was filled with baseball greats and representatives from the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Club. Mascots from the baseball world greeted runners with high fives and photo opportunities. Sadly, I did not get the opportunity to get a photo opp with Mr. Met. Oh well there is always Citi Field.

Prior to the horn, a young girl was chosen to sing the National Anthem. The girl had a beautiful voice; however, she was nervous. She stumbled. Despite that she continued. As she continued to be nervous, all of us (runners), joined in the singing. We helped her through it. After she sang, “…And the home of the brave”, we all cheered her on. She did a great job. And that is one moment I will never forget.

Once John Franco blew the horn, we were underway. I crossed the start line and ran with the crowd. Getting out of the gate I felt great. After one mile I ran a surprising 7:55.

With one mile down I felt motivated to keep up the pace. Unfortunately, that was short lived. With humidity rising, my lungs began to tighten. I was short on breath. Nevertheless, I continued. My biggest mistake, similar to any of my previous races, I did too much too soon. I am in a race and not in a sprint. Hopefully, I will eventually pace myself as I train for the NYC Marathon in 2014.

Struggling and wanting to stop, I carried on. What motivated me to go on was the long road I took to get to the present. I did not have two hip surgeries to prematurely end this 5K. Then as I continued I began to observe the crowd. They were there to root for their runner. That motivated me to continue on.

After reaching the final mile I smiled and proceeded to the finish line. Funny when you hear people cheering that makes you want to finish on top. And once again as I saw the finish line up ahead, I gather whatever adrenaline I had left and crossed the finish line. I thanked the heavens for allowing me to not only run but to complete the race.

Unofficially I completed the race with a new personal best of 25:30. I was proud of the results…unofficially. I met up with my father and brother, both of whom have supported me from the very beginning. With sweat running down my face and my shirt drenched in my sweat I high fived both of them. And began to stretch. Now that was the way to celebrate. Stretching has been a key cog since my second surgery.

Later that day, I logged on to the NYRR website and found my official results. I officially finished the race with a time of 25:34. That’s right I set a new personal best. I beat my old personal best by 31 seconds, which was set last September at the Tunnel to Towers event.

Here are the results:

– Out of 4,754 runners, I finished 1,151st.

– Out of 2,434 men, I finished 876th.

– Between the ages of 30 and 34 a total of  500 men completed the race. I finished 207th.

Overall that was not too shabby. Thoughts?

Heading into the event I expected to complete the race between 26 and 28 minutes. To set a new personal best my first race back is a humbling and amazing accomplishment.

I am already looking forward to my next race. Damon Runyon 5K you have been put on notice. Unlike last year, I will complete the race.

For those wondering, I woke up sore from head to toe. But I still managed to get to the gym this morning and do some cardio. Afterwards, I stretched like never before. It was all fun.

I Am Ready

July 12, 2013 2 comments

It has been close to ten months since I last ran competitively. That road has taken me from the highest of highs. However, I cannot say I have seen “the lowest of lows”.

Since I last ran the Rock N Roll : New York 10K in October, I had my second and final arthroscopic hip surgery. The recovery had some setbacks. But those setbacks were expected.

After my second surgery I began planning the races I wanted to participate in 2013. Three of the races I considered were three races I participated in 2012. My first 2012 race was the Damon Runyon 5K race at Yankee Stadium. Due to embarrassing circumstances, I did not complete the race. I did, however, receive my medal. The medal is nice but I have it hidden. I did not deserve it. After discovering why I did not complete the race, I promised myself to race the event in 2013. That race is scheduled for August 12. I will be there.

The second race I vowed to participate is the Tunnel to Towers 5K. This is by far a race that I am passionate about. I am running for our first responders and men and women serving our country. Many of whom do not return the same. By raising money I am helping their families. I am helping wounded veterans. I am doing my best to give back. This race is not about medals or recognition. It’s about giving back. And I am doing just that. This race will be penned onto my calendar each year. Rain or shine I will participate in this event.

If you want to help in this cause, donations could be made at the following link, http://www.t2trun.org//campaign/display/profile.do?campaignId=15986. I am on a mission to raise $1,000 by August 1. I am almost there. Can you help?

In October I am registered to once again participate in the Rock N Roll 10K at Prospect Park. This race is a race for me to enjoy. There is no back story to it. Similar to the Tunnel to Towers, this race will penned onto my calendar each year.

However, I am scheduled to race in my first 5K of the year tomorrow. In 2012, the New York Mets were awarded the All-Star Game. I am a big Mets fan. However, what made me excited about the All Star Game were the festivities leading up to the midsummer classic. One of the festivities is a 5K race benefiting a charity. This year the charity benefits Superstorm Sandy relief. As a proud New Jerseyan, my home state was decimated after Sandy. I helped out in every way possible last year. I am humbled and proud for the cause.

This race will also be my first competitive race since last October’s 10K in Prospect Park. Am I nervous? I am not as nervous as I am excited. Physically I feel great. While I am not at a 100%, my body is more than ready. I have been preparing for this since Dr. Bryan Kelly cleared me to return to the gym.

I cannot wait. My running gear is ready. I am about to buy some songs of iTunes for my iPod. Now where did I place my Garmin watch?

While I search for the watch, please wish me luck. It’s (almost) go time!

Stay tuned for my final results tomorrow.

Jorge

 

Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Here I am almost one week removed from Hurricane Sandy. While this Superstorm cannot compare to the likes of Hurricane’s Andrew and Katrina, Sandy certainly rocked the foundation off of New York City and New Jersey. Never would I have imagined that a hurricane could travel with such ferocious velocity up north. This may be my ignorance but I have always associated hurricane’s as storms in warmer southern climate.

Never say never, I suppose. In the days after Sandy, New Yorkers and New Jerseyans have seen images of areas hard hit. From the devastation in Breezy Point, Queens to the destruction of my youth down the Jersey Shore. Those images will forever be etched in my head for a very long time.

Breezy Point, Queens lost 110 ten homes due to Hurricane Sandy. A six-alarm fire was reported in the area the night Sandy’s fury affected the metro area. Unfortunately due to flood waters, first responders were unable to get through to contain the fire. By 11 PM, the water had receded enough where responders can get to the fire. But at that point it was too late. The fire had quickly spread. And after hour the media speculated as to how many homes were engulfed. On Tuesday, it was discovered 110 homes were destroyed by the fire. As of this writing, there were no reports of casualties, just minor injuries.

Breezy Point, Queens/A Fire destroyed 110 Homes

New Jersey was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. If you lived along the coast, the area along the Jersey coast would be devastated. First there were reports that pieces of the Atlantic City boardwalk was ripped apart from the strong gusting winds. At that point, I thought the only damage the shore would sustain would be minor damage with pieces of the boardwalk ripped off. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, I saw aerial shots of Seaside Heights. I could not believe what I had witnessed. The mainstay of Seaside Heights was its amusement park along the boardwalk/pier which sat on top of the Atlantic Ocean.

Once Sandy had left the area, videos came in. The next image hit me hard. The roller coaster which sat above the ocean was now floating in the Atlantic Ocean. While the shore is associated as a summer destination, during the off peak months the area is inhabited with long time residents year round. Unfortunately, they were told that the shore area was severely affected and there was significant damage.

Seaside Heights

Seaside Heights, NJ – The site of where the amusement park used to be.

I am a lifelong New Jersey resident. And if you ask anyone who knows me well, they will tell you how passionate I am about my home state. New Jersey is part of my identity. I have a lot of pride. Whether I am supporting my beloved New Jersey Devils or driving along the New Jersey highways, I love my home state. While I do remember the Jersey Shore and its points from my youth, my heart completely crushed when I visited Hoboken yesterday.

It was a cool Saturday afternoon. I had just left the barber shop. Instead of heading straight home, I opted to walk into Hoboken for the first time in a week. I knew the town was hit hard. I have seen the news reports, and I do have friends who ultimately evacuated. But I wanted to see the damage.

The first thing I discovered as I walked through the Jersey City/Hoboken border were the puddles of water. But as I walked into Hoboken, I saw area residents draining water from their residence with a sump pump. I then smelled an odor that was not fresh. The water more than likely was sewage which seeped in during the storm. The flood waters caused many area residents to throw away many personal belongings. The image of piles of peoples lives crushed me. The area reminded me of  scene straight out of a movie.

Hoboken Debris

Hoboken Residents Cleaning Up in The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

As I walked further into town, I noticed how my frown was turning upside down. I noticed that residents were for the most part optimistic and upbeat despite the damage. Some were out and about walking their dogs. Others were helping their fellow neighbors. Merchants were providing residents with free hot meals. Outside of all the bad I have seen or heard about following Hurricane Sandy; I have seen the good in people following this storm.

A Local Merchant Giving Hamburgers to Hoboken Residents

A Local Merchant Giving Hamburgers to Hoboken Residents

There is still good left in this world. And I will pray for those who are displaced in the New York and New Jersey area.

This morning I visited my gym in New York City. The gym I frequent in Hoboken was temporarily closed due to damage from Sandy. Knowing that I traveled to the gym I visit during the week in NYC. After arriving in New York City, I noticed runners all over the area. For some reason I forgot today was Marathon Sunday. But due to the storm and overwhelming pressure, the City of New York decided to cancel the annual event.

As a runner, I was happy for the cancellation. But I do believe the cancellation was three days overdue. The city canceled the event on Friday, two days shy of the event. If you have followed me since day one, you all know my initial intention was to run in the 2012 event. But my hip condition forced me to delay my intention. Had I joined this years marathon class, I would have opted out. There was no way I could have participated in good conscience.

The starting line of the NYC Marathon began in Staten Island. One of the hard hit areas in the five boroughs of New York City was Staten Island. Not far from the start line, at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, are areas with no power. Bodies being found in homes. Residents were without food and warm shelter. That’s just some of the issues I had with the city and the New York Road Runners Club in the days after Sandy.

But after my workout, I walked to the finish line in Central Park. I discovered the athletes who traveled from near and afar came into Central Park and held their own run.

Runners Partaking in Their Own Race

Runners Partaking in Their Own Race in Central Park

 

While I commend each runner for doing so, I commend those who wore their running gear into Staten Island to volunteer and provide residents with hot meals and helped with the recovery.

I leave you with this…
– If you want to help with the recovery, please visit your local charitable organization and donate non-perishable foods, blankets, diapers, clothes, etc.

– To make a donation to the American Red Cross please visit their website.

– To make a donation to the American Red Cross through a text message please text REDCROSS “90999” to give a $10 donation.

– By phone you can call : 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

– In New Jersey an organization called the Ergo Group are mass producing special t-shirts with proceeds going to helping “Restore The Shore”. To buy the shirt please visit their website.

If there are non-profit organizations in the NY area who are producing merchandise with funds going to NYC, I will update the blog.

Please help.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Week That Was

As another week has come to an end I must share with you the insights to my life, in particular health.

Heading into Monday, I ran on an emotional high as I ran the equivalent of a 5K in 28+ minutes. If you were to tell me if that would be my best for a while I would have been content. But as I soon would find out 28 minutes was just the beginning.

The next day (Sunday) I met up with Mitch for my weekly personal training session. On this day we were doing two things. The very first item on the agenda were measurements. He took down the measurements, unfortunately, I do not have the measurements in front of me. But rest assured I will hound them from Mitch and dedicate the results in a future entry. After the measurements, we focused on a lower body workout. Compared to an upper body workout my lower body is my strongest area.

Mitch had me working with the leg press, lunges and squats. I broke into a sweat during each workout and set. The most challenging workout that day were lunges. Why are lunges challenging? Well there is a form and technique to lunges. Plus it’s also a matter of balancing. Unfortunately one of my biggest weaknesses in staying fit is maintaining a good core system. Lunges are challenging but they can also be fun. When I have my core at a strong level they will be fun.

As for the week itself, well I had my six months consultation with Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday. After meeting with Dr. Kelly he was once again impressed and surprised at my recovery. His amazement came in the form of what I did over the weekend. Running the equivalent to a 5K six months after hip surgery is not common. Let me rephrase that, considering the amount of inflammation in my labrum, running in six months seemed to be out of the question. But without tooting my own horn, and I am not, I defied those odds. And as I have written in previous entries, I thank Dr. Kelly, Jeremy, his assistant, and of course my physical therapist, Jeremy Crow and Amanda Wohl for their time and support in getting me back into shape.

That was the good news, the bad news, we discussed the options of my left hip. Dr. Kelly mentioned some numbers and jargon at both Jeremy’s and while I had no idea what they were saying, I knew it was not good. And to my dismay his comments confirmed my concerns but at the same time they were not too bad. He did say surgery is inevitable, the inflammation in my left hip may not be in bad condition. To me that sounds like a plus.

But with all that said, I scheduled the surgery. On December 17, I am going under the knife. Quite frankly I am not concerned nor afraid. I have been there and done that. For the interim I plan on dealing with the discomfort of having an abnormal femoral head. At some point this summer I will request the hip injection. The injection will buy me time as I would like to run at least two 5K races.

Despite the news I left his office with my head high and with a smile. I am feeling great and healthy.

On Wednesday I debated as to whether visiting the gym or going for an impromptu run in Central Park. Okay in hindsight I do not think the run would have been an impromptu. The day before I read on twitter through the New York Road Runners official page June sixth would be “National Running Day”. In a way I had motivation to partake in national running day.

By the end of the day I decided to go for a run instead of going to the gym. I changed into my workout clothes and left the office for my very first run along Central Park Drive. I was excited and elated all in one. In a way I was about to fulfill an item off my “bucket list”.

As I arrived to the stretch of road on East 59th Street, I had no expectations. To top that since I decided to run at the last minute I forgot my Garmin watch. I decided to use the timer on my pedometer to time my journey. I figured the run would end quickly since I have never completed a task of that nature. I hit the button on my pedometer, the clock was ticking, and I was now off.

The difference between Central Park and the track is the elevation. Running through Central Park Drive I realized there a number uphill peaks. As I ran uphill I realized I needed to pace myself and slow down a bit. It took me some time to adjust and continue  through my run. Halfway through I did not feel exhausted. But I was concerned about my time. My pedometer was fastened on my shorts – I had no intention on stopping or slowing down to check my time.

Running along unfamiliar areas in Central Park allowed me to take in the sights. Tourists taking pictures. Runners running in opposite directions. Skaters and cyclists trying to beat one another. But then I started to take in the sights of the park itself. I discovered some new areas. I found a wooded area with a pond. The minute I saw that I told myself to visit the area and photograph the serene setting.

I then entered areas I was familiar with. I ran across the NYC Marathon finish line, albeit the opposite way. I imagined how I would react to completing the marathon. Yes that sounded cheesy but my biggest dream is to complete the marathon. It will happen but until then running in Central Park will be my inspiration.

I was nearing my end. All of a sudden a shot of adrenaline kicked in. As I approached the finish line I had to fight back my emotions. The time soon became irrelevant. I was overcome with joy and emotion. I overcame weight issues by 2009. In 2011 I had hip surgery. Six months later I ran Central Park Drive.

I crossed the finish line. As I slowed down and made a complete stop, I stopped the pedometer. In 57 minutes and 16 seconds I ran the course of Central Park Drive. At that point I had no idea the distance. In due time I would calculate the mileage, at that time I wanted to enjoy the moment.

After stretching I walked back to the office. As I walked back I held my head high. Smiling from ear to ear, I knew nothing nor anyone could take what I had accomplished away from me.

I arrived at the office. Instead of quickly gathering my belongings I turned my computer on. I logged on to mapmyrun.com to track my run. After calculating the distance it turns out I ran the equivalent of a 10K (6.23 miles). I was in awe. The completion of the run was great but seeing the distance was the icing on the cake.

6.23 miles anyone?

Now that I have that out of the way, I am exhausted. But quite frankly I am still elated days after the run. I cannot wait to do it again. Wanna join?

Have a great one folks.

 

My First Race Revealed

March 3, 2011 3 comments

Where Am I Running?

Since creating “runjorgerun”, my thoughts have been set on running the 2012 NYC Marathon. However, while I looked to the future, I never thought about the present. Sure I am in training mode. However, the winter days toppled by less than favorable weather has forced me to train in the warm confines of the treadmill. It’s not ideal but as the saying goes, “it’s better than nothing”!

As we enter a new month, I will see sunnier days. Spring means an eternal outlook on life and the renaissance of a new me. Sure I lost weight. And sure I am in the best shape of my life. But now I have to take my training to the next level. To get in the best shape come November 2012, I need to plan for the present. At the moment I am making progress. But I refuse to be complacent. As someone close to me said, “do not worry about the others, go out there and have fun.” And that is my intention. The training will be arduous and at times grueling, but through hell or high water I will persevere this challenge like no other.

Earlier this week, by fate, I happened to have logged on to my twitter page and in my timeline was a tweet from the New York Road Runners (NYRR) that promoted their upcoming American Heart Association 3 mile Wall Street Run on May 17th. On their website, the NYRR’s offered other races prior to this one in May, but some were too soon for me to even consider, I decided with enough preparation and training between now and May 17th, I will tackle the 3 mile challenge.

Running has been a huge motivation for me in recent months. And what makes the event far more special is the added benefit I am running in an event and for an organization I deeply care about. Being healthy and active has changed my perspective on life. And what better way to promote the American Heart Association than to participate in a 3 mile race. Participating in this race is the right thing to do and I could not be any happier.

As a first time runner I know my weaknesses can only be turned into a strength. It’s only a matter of time until I break out and with my best pair of running shoes, the world will see the transition I made from 250 pound Jorge, to agile and healthy Jorge.

For more information on the 3 mile run please click here.

Run Jorge Run!

NYC Marathon or Bust!

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

To get to the 2012 NYC Marathon, I endured a transition of epic proportions. In 2008, I weighed 250 pounds, and at the time recovering from a debilitating ankle injury. Upon receiving clearance, later that year, from my podiatrist and physical therapist, I changed my daily habits.

Working out and eating better allowed me to drop 100 pounds by September 2009. However, while humbled, I realized my final chapter would not be complete without a  challenge. Thinking of ways to prove to myself the weight loss will stay off, I decided to jot down ideas that will test my endurance and cardiovascular training. Then by fate on the treadmill, while struggling, I found my answer. RUNNING! By struggling I knew running would be the answer and challenge I desired.

At first I really did not think running was the best solution considering my long history with ankle issues and my constant struggles just to keep up on a treadmill. But after taking it slow and easy, I began to build enough strength in my lungs to sustain, 15 minutes then 30 minutes then 45 minutes and now an hour. Not only was I able to last longer but I was able to increase the speed from 3.5 to 4.5 to 5 and now 6.5. This is exactly the push I needed to tackle the marathon.

The road to the 2012 NYC Marathon has taken me to sights I never would have imagined had it not been for the support of those close to me. Without their motivation I would not have my sights set on the grandest marathon event in the world.

While I have 21 months until I arrive at the starting line in Staten Island, the time I have now will be devoted to training and raising money to one of the charitable partners associated with the New York Road Runners (NYRR). By raising money for a charity associated with the NYRR, I will gain a guaranteed spot in 2012.  This blog will chronicle my goals (both personally and through the charity I eventually select), experiences with other runners (novice to experience), and information I have attained from research.

The road to the finish line starts now. The final chapter is in the beginning stages. Will there be a happy ending? Time will tell. But I am a fighter. I will not give up until I cross the finish line in Central Park, 26.2 miles later!