Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Irene's Soggy Aftermath

Last Saturday, the rumblings started about this tropical system that was approaching the Island. Even though I was up early, I didn't make it to my group run on time at 6am. Started running by myself from Escambrón towards Old San Juan at 6:30am. Caught up with our 4-1 Galloway group in La Princesa and ran with them back to Escambrón. I finished up my 6 miles by running to the Condado end of Puente Dos Hermanos and back to Luis Muñoz Rivera Park. There were tons of people out and about the streets of San Juan, mostly running, but also cyclists and walkers. Many runners were getting ready for this Sunday's Sabrina 16-mile race.

On Sunday morning, I had a round of golf set up with friends that was almost cancelled. But we decided to go out even though the entire island was under a tropical storm warning, and later in the day under a hurricane warning. We got our 18 holes in before noon without a problem, and hunkered down for the rest of the day waiting for Irene. I was to run alongside my wife on her first 5K late that afternoon, but the event was postponed due to the expectation of deteriorating weather conditions. The weather was just right for running though, as the rains hadn't started by race time, but logistically it would've been a nightmare for the organizesr.

The island has been close to 72 hours under the effects of this storm, both directly and by its tail. And it has rained continuously and intensely for most of this 3-day period. Running and fundraising have taken a back seat for a couple of days. Hopefully, I can get a quick run later today or tomorrow morning, weather permitting. I know that races and marathons are typically not cancelled due to rain, but this has been ridiculous. Downpours have been thick. And certainly, it's not the same to run through a shower in the middle of a run (which actually happened last week and it was niiiiice), than to step out of your house into a storm for a drenching run.

On the fundraising front, I hit my LIVESTRONG goal for the 2011 Chicago Marathon last Saturday morning. I wish to extend my gratitude to my donors and let them know that every dollar counts - together, we are improving the lives of people affected by cancer. My original goal was $990, a product of the marathon's date (9-october-2011). With a little more than a month left until race day, I've decided to double my goal to $1,980. I truly believe with everyone's help the new goal can be reached. I will be playing in my high school's alumni golf tournament this weekend, and I am planning to do some outreach and networking.

Irene will certainly mark the beginning for my final push to Chicago, on both the training and fundraising fronts.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Busy...but on track

It was a busy week and weekend, and it won't get any easier with classes starting full time this week. The change from summer to school mode will require early morning discipline on my part if I want to get my work in before daily craziness ensues.

I ran my latest long run two Saturdays ago. Since I really hadn't completed 18 miles running, I decided if I made it to 18 miles this time without problems, I would consider going for 21 miles (distance per training schedule) depending on how I felt. Well...18 were more than enough that morning which started with a wake up buzz at 2am and by 3am we were already on the road. It was a windy morning which is quite unusual for that time of day. All bars and clubs in Condado were still packed with people after looping the lagoon twice. At around mile 14, I separated from my group and went back to our starting point (pictured above) and finished the last 2 miles circling the Ocean Park track. My right knee held up quite nicely but my body was beat up. A post-run dip in the beach made things a bit better.

Had a therapy, exercise and stretching session early last week, and got in both my mid week runs. Ran a tempo 6-mile run with 1-minute intervals of 8:30 pace followed by 2 minutes at 10:30 pace. Yesterday ran a 5K along Ramirez de Arellano Avenue in Guaynabo benefiting Team Jochi. Jochi García is a teenage triathlete who is helping raise cancer awareness through his racing and training. His father is a cancer survivor. More than 100 runners and walkers came out to support him and take part of the event. Clocked 28'09" matching my best time for a 5K but this route has more hills and is generally more difficult. Afterwards, I ran an additional 3 miles at an easy pace with a couple of friends.

My fundraising efforts have continued and I have surpassed the halfway point to my goal of $990. Thanks to all that have taken the time (and $$$) to support the cause. If you wish to contribute to Team LIVESTRONG benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation, you can do so at my personal fundraising page:

The Chicago Marathon LIVESTRONG team is more than 150 runners deep and has a fundraising goal of $150,000. So far, we've surpassed the $100,000 mark, and are looking forward to reaching our goal.

If you or someone you care about are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, know that the Lance Armstrong Foundation offers free, confidential, one-on-one support to anyone affected by cancer. Call 866.673.7205 or fill out the online intake form at:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Help all around

After coming back from our Aguadilla and Isabela tour, I went for a short run early Sunday morning and coincidentally bumped into Padre Orlando Torres as he was leaving for his morning run. We ran almost 4 miles together, then I finished 2 more and change. It was a very nice coincidence, we caught up on each other's current events...and it all happened on the 6-year anniversary of him baptizing my first child. Just plain odd. Padre Orlando is one of the highest ranking Jesuit priests in The Society of Jesus and is based out of Rome. He's in Puerto Rico for his annual vacation.

Early in the week I started my fundraising campaign for Team LIVESTRONG and the Lance Armstrong Foundation via email and Facebook. I'm very pleased with the initial results as I have already passed my midway point to my goal of raising $990. Thanks to all that are supporting my cause and I'll be sure to honor your loved ones who battled cancer.

If interested in supporting my running of the Chicago Marathon for Team LIVESTRONG, you can do so at:

Yesterday I went in for my first therapy session for my IT Band with Dr. César Gómez at San Francisco Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation. Also threw in some leg stretching and strengthening exercises. Will try doing therapy (ultrasound, massage and electro) sessions 3 times a week for the next couple of months leading to race day. I see no other way of getting through the rest of training, long runs and the marathon itself without my knee becoming a major impediment.

Tomorrow we have a 21-mile run on schedule starting at 3 (freaking!) AM.