Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The 2006 Under Armour Baltimore Marathon

The October 14 Baltimore Marathon is going to be my least expensive marathon this year. I'll use it as a training run in preparation for the the New York or Richmond marathon in November. It will also be my 9th marathon and 8th state.

Registration: $70
Transportation: $80
Hotel: $180
Incidental expenses: $50
Completing my 9th marathon: priceless

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cai Luong

I was all about jazz in January, R&B in February, showtunes in March, and 128 BPM vocal remixes in April. May is Asian Heritage Month, so naturally, I return to my favorite form of Vietnamese musical, cai luong.

There are about a dozen full-length cai luong productions on my iTunes, but I pretty much stick to two, "Doi Co Luu" and "Mua Thu La Bay".

"Doi Co Luu" is about a Vietnamese woman who may or may not murder her husband around the 1930s. The 90-minute production covers 19 years. Each scene is three hanky tear jerker.

"Mua Thu La Bay" is based on a popular Hong Kong film. It's a story of an artchitectural student who meets a beautiful girl who has an heart condition. MTLB means 'autumn leaves fly' so the girl's gone 40 minutes into the musical. The rest of the production is fine, but I often just listen to the first half which is conveniently separated in a different mp3.

June's around the corner, and it is Gay Pride Month. I'm not ready to part ways with cai luong yet. All these dramatic plot twists, multi-octave divas, and tragic circumstances are Vietnamese gay boys' best friends!

How I Get Ready for the Summer

When I don't have a lot going on, it's easy to focus on what I do best: exercising. Between 3-hour commute and 9-hour workday, I make time to exercise. Whether it involves weight lifting, running or playing soccer, I do it all. I've added to my excercise repertoire: swimming with the FINS, volleyball, yoga.

Why? Excercising for me is a way of life. It's therapeutic. It's spiritual. It's social. Most of all, it gives me definitive results. Summer is here, and damn it, I look good!

Here is by exercise log from the past six weeks.

Week of April 17 to April 23
Monday: chest / triceps
Tuesday: indoor hill / speed run (3 miles / 30 minutes)
Wednesday: shoulders
Thursday: An evening slow half-marathon (2 hours 15 minutes)
Friday: None (Going to Deep Creek)
Saturday: Hiking in Swallow Falls State Park, MD
Sunday: 8-mile run along the hilly course of Stocklager Road in the morning; gym in the evening (chest / triceps)

Week of April 24 to April 30
Monday: 5-mile run from CC to Floyd Hall, back on Spruce St.; evening: legs / abs
Tuesday: 8-mile run from CC to John Kelly statue
Wednesday: shoulders / 30-minute run on treadmill (3.5 miles) / 20-lap swim
Thursday: off (Dining Out for Life)
Friday: Chest/Tri; 24-minute run on treadmill (3.1 miles); 20-lap swim
Saturday: 10-mile run to Kelly Drive; 30-lap swim
Sunday: abs; deltoids (front & lateral raise, rowing, pull-ups, pull-ins); 40-lap swim

Week of May 1 to May 7
Monday: off
Tuesday: chest
Wednesday: Volleyball
Thursday: FINS
Friday: Off (Saint of 9/11 Phila. premiere)
Saturday: Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky
Sunday: Flying Pig Matharon

Week of May 8 to May 14
Monday: Off
Tuesday: FINS
Wednesday shoulders, abs (morning)
Thursday: chest, abs (morning); couldn’t go to swim since train killed a man near Glenside
Friday: abs, biceps (morning)
Saturday: Bicycling to Kelly Drive to meet with the Frontrunners, running about 1 mile. Playing soccer with the Falcons; hanging out with Eric at the Dad Vail Regatta.

Week of May 15 to May 21
Monday: morning - chests; evening - 5K (23:02 minutes); shoulders, abs
Tuesday: morning – biceps; evening - FINS
Wednesday: morning - 5K (25:00 minutes); evening: chests, abs
Thursday: Morning - Deltoids
Friday: none
Saturday: yoga
Sunday: Capitol Hill 10K Classic

Week of May 22 to May 28
Monday: None
Tuesday: FINS
Wednesday: chest (morning); shoulders (evening)
Thursday: FINS --- Start taking Myoplex Deluxe and other EAS products
Friday: chest (morning); shoulders/back; abs (evening)
Saturday: run 13 miles (City to River Loop; 3 miles on Kelly Drive with the Front Runners
Sunday: 20 minutes of rowing; average pace = 2:40 minutes per 500 meters

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Spring Fling 10K

I finally ran a 10K race as I took part in the DC Front Runners Spring Fling weekend. The DC chapter is a lot larger and more structured than the Philly chapter. They have five times as many active members who pay annual dues and regularly show for runs. The social activities were fun as I got re-acquainted with some old faces and met a bunch of new faces.

The race itself was uneventful. I had a modest goal of finishing under 50 minutes, which I did.

Capitol Hill Classic (10K)
Washington DC
Sunday May 21, 2006
Bib 1652

Gun Time = 48:38
Net Time = 47:50
Pace = 7:42
Men = 346 out of 1152
Male 30-34 = 72 out of 233

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Cincinnati Incident

Something happened to me in Cincinnati on May 7th while I was running the Flying Pig Marathon. I have not discussed this with anyone. I tried to brush it aside as a silly incident, but I've found myself pondering about it the past two weeks.

I was running the marathon by myself, around mile 15 or so, at a decent pace. A fresh-legged relay runner caught up to me and started a conversation. Middle-of-the-pack runners are friendly and usually welcome small talks, or any distractions, during the 26.2 mile course. So I exchanged pleasantries with this runner, who was running a relay with members of his church. The conversation stopped for a little while we climbed a small hill. Once we reached the top of the hill, here was the conversation:

Church-going runner: "How do you fit four fags on a bar stool?"
Anh: "Excuse me?"
Church-going runner: "Faggots are gays ... queers ... sinners... How do you fit four FAGGOTS on a bar stool? "
Anh: "I heard you the first time... I'm gay."

With that, I kicked it up a knot and sprinted. I never looked back. I actually finished with a personal marathon record.

While everyone in my life knows that I'm gay, I don't make it a regular practice to come out to strangers. I'm still a little shaken thinking about the incident. Is it socially acceptable to tell gay jokes the way people tell fat jokes or blonde jokes? If I laugh at blonde jokes, am I a hypocrite if I get upset at gay jokes?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

x3: May 29

Monday, May 08, 2006

When Pigs Fly

Wee! Wee! Wee! Even in my wildest dream, I would not think I would be able to run a sub four-hour marathon. I accomplished the impossible yesterday in Cincinnati in the Flying Pig Marathon. My chip time was 3:48, which was 27 minutes faster than my previous best set in Maine last year.

I lined up with the 4:10 group. After a crowded first mile, I used a few hills (and bridges) to gain ground. I figured I'd slow down later so I need to build a time cushion. I didn't really talk to too many people. I passed the 4:00 pace girl by around Mile 10. More hills, more people I left behind. I wanted to reach the half-way mark under 2 hours and the 20-mile mark under 3 hours. Mission accomplished. My body somehow managed to carry me. My quads were a little tight, but they didn't slow me down a bit. I caught up with the 3:50 pacer around Mile 20. We exchanged positions a few times, and I finally broke away from him at the last mile.

Old Spice Endurance Formula sponsored a last-mile award, thus there was a chip sensor at Mile 25.2. Who would have thought that after running 25.2 miles, I could run the last mile in 7 minutes and 27 seconds? I even took time at Mile 26 to wear my piggy noise!

The impossible happened when I crossed the finishing line, seeing the clock showing 3:49. Oink! Oink! I even had a beer with my marathon buddy Betsy to celebrate.

That was my 7th marathon. The next one is 10 weeks away!

6.8 Miles --- 1:02:00
12.0 Miles --- 1:47:34
13.1 Miles --- 1:56:53
19.3 Miles --- 2:51:08
25.2 Miles --- 3:42:12
26.2 Miles --- 3:49:39

Bib: 869
Chip Time: 3:48:02
Pace: 0:08:42 per mile

Overall: 939 out of 4172 marathon finishers
Male: 768 out of 2461 male marathon finishers
Male 30-34: 110 out of 260 in age group