Archive for June, 2006

Weird

June 14, 2006

Just got the following random spam message on MSN:

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[16:58] xandoran001@hotmail.com: so..$(RANDCHARS)..
what did I do last night?
hm..

http://$(RANDCHARS).hornymatches.com/9dbd4982/75effc93/

I dont know..I just drank..thats all..luv u muah!

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CS majors will probably find that funnier than most.

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Marathon Update

June 7, 2006

Over 22,000 runners, and over 4,000 were part of Team in Training. Wow…

Also, for those of you who are interested in the actual race, here’s a virtual tour of the course.

6:11:36

June 7, 2006

My marathon time, ladies and gentlemen. And no, I don’t intend to improve on that anytime soon. Ask me in ten years, and the memories might have worn off enough for me to attempt it again. Seriously though, I’m glad I did it, if only to prove to myself that I could. I now have bragging rights as the first (and probably last) Fifadra to run a marathon. I mean, we’re not a particularly athletic clan (Kalps and Jigs being the two oddities, of course).

Mom and I got there Friday evening, and didn’t do too much that night. The next day, we went to the Expo at the San Diego Convention Center. I gotta tell ya, that place was BIG! Anyway, I sat through a couple of talks about the race, which proved pretty helpful in terms of learning things I could do to survive. ;For example, we were told to consume a packet of salt before the race, and a packet halfway through. And I mean an actual packet, like the kind they have at Mickey D’s. Also, drink enough water, but not too much. But the best piece of advice? “Start slow, then taper off from there.” Rest assured, I took that advice to heart. ;

There were several ;pacing teams that were running in the marathon. These were designated runners who would be running the marathon at a specific pace. They would actually be timing themselves as they ran, and speed up or slow down accordingly to finish in a specific time. The point of this is that if people had a target time or pace for the marathon, they could run with the pacing team. The slowest one was the 5:30 team (i.e., finishing in 5 1/2 hours), so that’s who I ran with. I figured that would be a good way ;to help my time, and make sure I finished early enough to check out of the hotel. ;I was told that, for my first marathon, the 5:30 pace would be too tough to match, but I did keep up with them for the first half of the race. After that, better sense prevailed, and I sloooowed down.

The run itself was ok. Fortunately, the weather cooperated greatly. The forecast had been for a sunny day (~75 deg), which would have made running quite uncomfortable. But it ended up being overcast for most of the race, and there was also a nice occasional breeze.

Probably the most noticeable thing about the marathon was the number of people who were affiliated with training programs, specifically Team in Training . There were literally thousands of “TnT” members there (out of over 21,000 runners total), from chapters all over the country. It’s actually a good idea to be part of a program like that, because not only do you have people to train with (which helps stay motivated), but you have people to run the marathon with, which makes it more tolerable. But the biggest bonus is the sheer number of spectators who specifically cheer on the TnT runners. There were so many screaming people holding up signs and wearing TnT attire, it was like a sea of purple and green. Plus there were the TnT coaches (who literally had a tag pinned to their shirt saying “Coach”) who ran alongside the runners from time to time, cheering them on. ;Very impressive actually, if a tad annoying to everyone else. ;Just kidding…

Coolest moment of the marathon? During one of the Expo talks, one of the speakers mentioned the concept of a Marathon Moment. Keep in mind, this “Moment” isn’t when a runner finishes. Instead, it’s that one singular moment when they realise that they will, in fact, finish the 26.2 miles. Kind of like an epiphany. ;That moment can come anytime during the race, and for me, it came when I saw the finish line. I had been going at a nice, steady snail’s pace till then, with the occasional frequent walk. But as soon as I saw the balloons, I decided enough was enough, and I sprinted. I just went at near top speed, dodged and weaved through the runners ahead of me, and ran across the line in a (metaphorical) blaze of glory. It seems I still had gas in the tank. It was just a problem of the wheels falling off.

After some initial difficulty finding the bus back to the hotel (during which time, Roshni displayed her mysterious, yet effective, information gathering skills), I showered and we headed out. We left San Diego at 4:25pm. We got home ;at 12:30am. I was ;slightly worried towards the end, because I could feel my body start to protest about the lack of sleep (I didn’t get too many winks the previous night for obvious reasons), and I was definitely driving aggressively to get back ;home sooner, but we made it back in one piece. ;I then slept for three hours, before leaving to catch a 6:50am flight out of San Francisco. Good times.

More on my trip later. A very interesting experience…