Wednesday, November 29, 2006

35's Must Go

35 lbs, originally uploaded by reflexblue.

Along with the American pennies, there are some things that are just as useless: the 35-pound weight plate. Most weight racks are designed to hold plates that are either 5 lbs, 10 lbs, 25 lbs, or 45 lbs. There is no room for the 35 lb plates. If gym owners stock their facilities with 35 lb plates, all the plates start to get out of orders. People start to mix up plates on the storage racks. Five's get mixed up with 10's. 25's get mixed up with 45's so that the 35's can occupy a spot.
Hey ... Ho
35's Must Go!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Matthew Izzo: JC Penny Shopper?

I caught style guru Matthew Izzo with his pants down on Sunday. He was using a raggy old towel with a JC Penny label.

Yep, it's shocking!

Matthew Izzo owns a handful of eponymous designer boutiques in Center City Philadelphia. His stores project a certain image only a few can afford. If I show up, I'd be mistaken for a Chinese dry cleaner.

He's fabulous and I'm not.

I see Matthew Izzo around the gayborhood regularly. My building is also between two of stores, so I usually see him dashing by. We don't have anything to do with each other but we work out at the same gym and happen to be at the same bars a few times.

He's fabulous and I'm not.

But why in the name of Matthew Izzo would Matthew Izzo drying himself off using a filthy aqua green towel from JC Penny??? I want my Matthew Izzo to wipe his fabulousness on a luxurious Egyptian cotton towel. Is that too much to ask?

He's fabulous and I'm not. Let's keep it that way.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

8 Weeks to Marathon No. 12

It was a case of diminishing returns. The trade-off for running three marathons in two months was the increasing time it took to complete each marathon. I feel like I can do 45 minutes faster than my last finish, given proper training and rest. I am shooting for a 3 hour 35 minutes finish. I'm training with a heart rate monitor and a GPS device to track miles and pace.

My next marathon is eight weeks away. That's usually not enough time to train, but it should be enough for me to return to form. I won't pile up a lot of mileage, but I should be abe to condition my body for a faster run.

I will follow this program:
Week 8 (Nov 20-26): 5 miles
Week 7 (Nov 27-Dec 3): 10 miles
Week 6 (Dec 4-10): 15 miles
Week 5 (Dec 11-17): 25 miles
Week 4 (Dec 18-24): 30 miles
Week 3 (Dec 25-31): 15 miles
Week 2 (Jan 1-7): 10 miles
Week 1 (Jan 8-14): 26.2 mile race

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

2006 Philadelphia Marathon

2006 Philadelphia Marathon
I'm quaified to join Marathon Maniacs. I ran another marathon today, my third in two months and second in eight days.
I approached today's race as a fun run. I had done it twice before, and I trained on parts of the course every week. Wearing a brand new type of running shoes (Stability Control) would also add another layer of complexity.
I started out doing an 8:0 pace and quickly settled to a 9:00 pace when I felt that my strides were not as easy as they should. I held the 9:00 pace for about 10 miles and slipped a little bit by mid-way (2 hours 11 minutes). I think the official clock was off though, because my final time was 4 hours and 12 minutes, or that I was 11 minutes faster on my second half. That was far away from the truth. I stopped to talk to an injured runner (Matt from South Jersey). I had about five one-minute walk. I had a beer at around Mile 21.
Anway, according to the offical result, I had a negative split, and that was the first time I ever achieved that rare feast. It was a difficult run, but fun nonetheless.

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Flip Turns: Confessions of a Wannable Swimmer; Part 8

Midterm elections and a out-of-town marathon forced me to miss a week of swim practices. I returned to the pool last week and was treated to a lession on flip turns on Tuesday. I struggled. I flipped but I didn't turn. My head got stuck in the water and my feet were up in the air.
The Thursday practice went a lot better for me. Coach T. gave me a personalized workout. I did a lot of 50s with freestyling one way and breaststroking on the way back. I probably swam for about 2,000 yards total. After the workout, Coach T. said that I needed to slow down my strokes and kept on working to breath on my left side.
Now that my fall racing circuit is over I'm hoping to make some Sunday swim practices. I probably will try to swim on my own once a week at my gym.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Last Compact Discs

It was like attending a funeral of an ex-lover. It stirred up some bittersweet memories and a lot of guilt. That pretty much summed up my impromptu trip to the Tower Records store closing sale after my swim practice tonight. Back in the 90s, Tower Records and I used to be tight. As a suburban boy, I regularly made weekend trips to Philadelphia to buy import maxi-singles at the Tower Records store on South Street. I even had a date there!

That was before I discovered, and Best Buy. Once I switched over to iTunes, I abruptlly broke up with Tower Records. Even after I moved back to the city, living three blocks away from the Chestnut TR store, I never went inside. Until tonight. As I saw the store closing signs, I knew I had to come in to pay my last respect, and to buy my last compact discs.

My purchase
Jocelyn Enriquez - All My Life
Highlights from Les Miserables - Broadway Original Cast Recording
Let's Dance! The Best of Ballroom Fox Trots and Waltzes
Highlights from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard - American Premiere Recording
All Shook Up - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Marathons No. 1 to 10

10. Richmond Marathon, 11-November-2006; 3:50:58
9. Baltimore Marathon, 14-October-2006; 3:39:27
8. Chicago Gay Games Marathon, 22-July-2006; 3:43:53
7. Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon (Ohio), 07-May-2006; 3:48:02
6. Spirit of St. Louis Marathon, 09-April-2006; 4:17:50
5. Philadelphia Marathon, 20-November-2005; 4:25:29
4. Mount Desert Island Marathon (Maine), 16-October-2005; 4:15:31
3.Delaware Marathon, 15-May-2005, 4:45:05
2. New Jersey Marathon, 17-April-2005; 4:42:24
1. Philadelphia Marathon, 21-November-2004, 4:59:02

I'm just getting started.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Here's to Liberty PA

Tears rolled down my eyes as one Democratic candidate after another ermerged victoriously last night. I had been at Bump many times but never had I seen such a happy group of people enthusiastically watched the returns on CNN. Some of these people devoted the past two years of their lives to get rid of the hateful Santorum. Last night was their night. It was an honor for me just to be in the same room sharing the raw emotions with them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy Election Day

I started my shift at 6 AM this morning with a signage project on both sides of Broad Streets between Walnut and South Streets. I also checked in with 7 polling locations during this run. At 10 AM, I did another door knob project, but I was sent to a business district without any residential houses. I hung these signs on cars, bicyles, newspaper boxes, trees, and whereever I could fit.
My 14-hour shift is half way done!

Vote Democratic Today!

Originally uploaded by reflexblue.
We decorated Philadelphia door knobs with these signs as a reminder to vote Democratic today! It took me about 2 hours to hit all houses in my assigned zone, which was the progressive Queen Village. I've waited two years for these elections! It's time we take charge and do some harm reductions.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ben Franklin Bridge Challenge 10K

After walking the 5K race yesterday, I put my tender feet and new haircut to a test today during the Ben Franklin Bridge Challenge 10K. The temperature was about 40F. I wore thermal tights and headwear, two sets of gloves, and four layers of various technical shirts. After a mile I started to get hot. Once the brige part was over, I took off two layers of shirts and put away my gloves and headwear to run the last three miles.
It was a good run. I wanted to run a marathon pace, and I did that for the first half of the 10K. Once one of my triathlon friends caught up with me, I slightly increased my pace. The running part was supposed to be my strong hold, and I wasn't going to slip. I finished at around 49 minutes, which was good enough for me. I could run a 10K at 45 minutes at my best, but speed wasn't the main concern today. I wanted to make sure that my ailing body could still run.
The best thing about the run was the company I was with: three hot gay triathletes! We made a quick exit from Camden after the race to to a hot gay swimmer for brunch at the Italian Market. What a day!

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Governor Ed Rendell Loves the Gays

I suprised some gay bar patrons last night by announcing to them that Governor Ed Rendell was on his way. Along with Liberty PA staff and volunteers, I handed out campaign stickers and signs in advance of the governor's appearance. I myself had more stickers on me than a merchandise on clearance at Macy's. I was working it, smiling, flirting, and shaking my ass while reminding people to vote on Tuesday. I was on my feet for about 4 hours. I couldn't have sat down; my jeans were too tight and low hanging. If I sat down, my crack would show and the jean would tear apart at the crotch area. It was an exhausting night, and also the most fun I'd had at gay bars in a long time.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dash for Democracy

Dump Santorum!
I joined the good folks from Bucks for Progress to participate in the inaugural Dash for Democracyâ„¢ 5K Run/Walk. We were Dog Catcher Santorums, chasing after Scooby-Doo! We took our time walking and performing street theater. It took us nearly an hour to complete the beautiful 5K course. The police escorts were right behind us, and the volunteers were happy to see us, the last of the walkers, crossing the finish line.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Confessions of a Wannabe Swimmer, Part 7

Concerns for my beloved swim coach's health overshadowed practices the past week. Jim and I are on the steering committee of Team Philadelphia prior to my association with the Philadelphia FINS Aquatics Club. I got to know him more at the Chicago Gay Games this summer.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Giving Threesome a Tri

Sunday, June 24, 2007

7am Olympic Race

Already signed up! This will be a fun break from marathon races I'll run in 2007.

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This trick has lots of treats!

Gay Sex & Advanced Calculus
Originally uploaded by reflexblue.
I'm so full of myself that I'm surprised my head hasn't exploded yet. While everyone was desperately looking for a Halloween costume last week, I didn't really bother. Except for one year that I went in drag, I was not a Holloween kind of queen. I hadn't thought about it too much until someone questioned my ambivalence toward dressing up for Halloween. I thought about it for a a little bit, and it suddenly hit me: I was already living in a fantasy world. In any given day, I could be Nerdy Anh, Bossy Anh, Dancing Anh, Marathon Anh, Soccer Anh, and of course, Openly Gay Anh! Why bother being someone else?