Saturday, November 29, 2008

Philadelphia Marathon 2008

Philadelphia Marathon
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

I have been in a long term relationship with the Philadelphila Marathon, having completed this 26.2 mile race for the past five years. It was a below freezing start, and some water stops were icy. I ran without music or GPS watch. It took about 2 hours for me to complete the first half, which was not so bad. However, my lack of training showed in the second half as I had to walk intermittently to deal with my cramps. My finish time was about 4:25.
The post-race recovery was a lot easier this time. After I got my clothes, I walked over to Trader Joe's to do some grocery shopping, walked to Dan's house to do more painting, and ended the day at an early Thanksgiving dinner and Chris'.
I already ran twice five days after the marathon. First was a short run to Rite Aid to buy masking tapes, and yesterday's run was 5 mile run on the treadmill in 40 minutes.
I am looking to sign up for a spring 2009 marathon.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rally for Equality

Rally for Equality
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

Gay Rights Supporters Protest Ban

Published: November 15, 2008
Filed at 4:01 p.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- Gay rights supporters in the first state to allow same-sex couples to exchange wedding vows gathered Saturday to protest the California vote that banned gay marriage there and to urge supporters not to quit the fight for the right to wed.

Crowds gathered near public buildings in small communities and major cities including New York, San Francisco and Chicago to vent their frustrations, celebrate gay relationships and renew calls for change.

''Civil marriages are a civil right, and we're going to keep fighting until we get the rights we deserve as American citizens,'' Karen Amico said in Philadelphia, holding up a sign reading ''Don't Spread H8''.

''We are the American family, we live next door to you, we teach your children, we take care of your elderly,'' said Heather Baker a special education teacher from Boston who addressed the crowd at Boston's City Hall Plaza. ''We need equal rights across the country.''

Massachusetts and Connecticut, which began same sex weddings this past week, are the only two states that allow gay marriage. All 30 states that have voted on gay marriage have enacted bans.

Protests following the vote on Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, have sometimes been angry and even violent, and demonstrators have targeted faiths that supported the ban, including the Mormon church.

However, representatives of Join the Impact, which organized Saturday's demonstrations, asked supporters to be respectful and refrain from attacking other groups during the rallies.

The mood in Boston was generally upbeat, with attendees dancing and signing to the song ''Respect.'' Signs cast the fight for gay marriage as the new civil rights movement, including one that read ''Gay is the new black.''

But anger over the ban and its backers was evident at the protests.

One sign in Chicago read: ''Catholic Fascists Stay Out of Politics.''

''I just found out that my state doesn't really think I'm a person,'' said Rose Aplustill, 21, a Boston University student from Los Osos, Calif., who was one of thousands at the Boston rally.

Planning for the nationwide protests was started by a Seattle blogger, Amy Balliett, just days after the California vote, which took away gay marriage rights that had been granted by the state's high court.

The idea rapidly spread online and Join the Impact predicted that Saturday's protests would involve tens of thousands of people in hundreds of communities.

In North Dakota, where voters in 2004 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, low-key protests were held Saturday in Grand Forks and Fargo, where people lined a bridge carrying signs and flags.

''It's been very peaceful,'' said Josh Boschee, who helped organize the Fargo protest.

In Chicago, Keith Smith, 42, a postal worker, and his partner, Terry Romo, 34, a Wal-Mart store manager, had photos of their wedding ceremony which they held even though gay marriage is not legal in Illinois.

''We're not going to wait for no law,'' Smith said. ''But time's going to be on our side and it's going to change.''

Quick trip to NYC

An Enduring Vision - A benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

Another black tie affair!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Invisalign Completed

It took about 10 months and about 20 visits to the dentist, and I finally completed the Invisalign teeth straightening treatment. I still have to wear retainer trays at night, but I no longer have to wear trays during the day. My teeth are still not perfectly aligned but the improvement is evident. It was not easy, it was not cheap either but I am glad I did it.


Confessions of a Lane Five Swimmer - Part 5

It was such an ego booster whenever fast Lane 5 people skipped practice, which allowed me to keep pace with everyone in the lane for all 90 minutes.

This was my workout yesterday:

10 x 50 drill (25 high elbow / 25 fingertip drag)
8 x 50 stroke count reduction (1-4; 5-8)
6 x 50 IM by 25
4 x 50 build
2 x 50 sprint
100 easy

Main set
200 race pace
100 easy
100 race
100 easy
2 x 50 race
50 easy

Lane 5 wasn't able to complete the repeat of the main set, so we did about 2000 yards. That was about 500 yards less than a fast Lane 5 workout, so I went to the gym after leaving the pool.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Philadelphia Marathon two weeks away

Philadelphia Marathon Shoes
Six miles into my long run today, I became alive! My strides became even, my footsteps were light, my posture was upright, and my head was clear. I was planning on walking across the Falls Bridge, but there was no reason to slow down. Kelly Drive never seemed prettier. Before I knew it, I reached the famed Boathouse Row and felt ready for the Philadelphia marathon.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ben Franklin Bridge 10k

Bridge 10k
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

This was my slowest 10k race, but also the most satisfying. Dan and I crossed the finish line together, barely under one hour. Professor Mark won among our group. It was also Donald T's first race ever.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Confessions of a Lane Five Swimmer - Part 4

From Gay Sex and Advanced Calculus

I am struggling to keep up in Lane 5. I do well with strokes but usually fall behind during distance freestyle sets. There is hope: I am starting to discover a way to add more power to my pull. Many people cross over, but it seems like I have the opposite problem. I need to put my hand further out, and up to set up for the pull. I tried this new technique today and got some encouraging results. Stay tuned.


Ben Franklin Bridge 10k

Bridge 10k
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

This was my slowest 10k race, but also the most satisfying. Dan and I crossed the finish line together, barely under one hour. Professor Mark won among our group. It was also Donald T's first race ever.

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