Monday, June 26, 2006

Cancel the account, please.

In order to post about that AOL scam, I went running yesterday. You see, I feel guilty posting to my running blog, when I'm not running. So in the warm, humid, and wet weather yesterday, I went out for a run.

Although I don't think I'll be doing any fall marathons, I haven't fully accepted that yet. So even though I haven't run all week, I did a "long run" yesterday. I ran 6 miles, and it actually felt pretty good. My legs were tight in the last mile, but I felt good about myself all day after that. (Even as I stuffed myself with eggplant parmsagnia later that night!)

So now, about that AOL scam. I'm not sure if all of you saw this, but it was on all the radio stations here in New York. I know it was eventually on MSNBC and, so it did get across the country. This guy called AOL to cancel his account, and taped the conversation. After 15 minutes of computer prompting and being on hold, he got 6 minutes where the customer service rep basically abused him. He remained polite - because he was taping the call - and the result is hilarious.

Anway, on the CNN piece they mentioned his blog, and that he was from the Bronx. I checked out the blog, and left him a comment, with a little cheer for the Bronx. A couple of minutes later we were corresponding by email. First I was thinking, "How crazy is it, that I just saw this guy on, and now I'm having an email conversation with him." Then it turns out, that he lives literally 1 minute away from me. Kind of cool. Bronx in 'da house!

In other news, the surgery residents graduated last week.

There's a tradition that they rip on the attendings (staff doctors) every year. It was only a couple of years ago, that I was giving this presentation for my class. Now that I am on staff in the same hospital, I must admit that I was a little nervous. Fortunately, they took it easy on me for my first year, and were actually quite nice. They were a good group, and I hope to keep in touch with many of them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The weekend

I guess I'm always busy these days, but I did promise the details. So in brief, this was my weekend:

Saturday I got up early to make some quick rounds at the hospital, and then head over to synagague. Or so I thought. As I was getting dressed, I got paged that there was someone who needed an operation. I got to the hospital, and was able to get that patient to the OR pretty quickly. Before I even started I had a second case lined up, and while I was doing that one I got a third. By the time I was done with all of those, and finished rounding, it was late in the afternoon. I got a few hours of rest in the afternoon, and then by nighttime I had another case. This one didn't get started until midnight, and I didn't end up going to sleep until after 4:00.

So needless to say I was pretty tired for the race on Sunday morning. I thought about not going, but I had already signed up for it, and I wanted to get in another race. So at 6:45 I dragged myself out of bed. I logged in on the computer, and made some calls to the hospital, and then headed out to the race.

The race was packed - 4,537 finishers. It was also pretty hot - officially 78 degress at race time. I was glad I wasn't trying to actually race this one. I was thinking of it more as an everyday kind of run, with the added advantage of carrying a chip across a finish line one more time.

They had some lady running calisthenics before the race. There weren't too many takers for that. My camera phone didn't capture it well, but check out the view from Central Park. Pretty awesome, isn't it?

So I started the race off really slow. Instead of passing people, I was letting them pass me. Since I'd run so little in the past month I thought I'd have to stop a few times during the 5 miles. But actually, I felt pretty good. I mean it was hot and humid, and not easy, but I didn't feel out of gas at all. I just kept going. In fact, I think I naturally sped up over the course of the 5 miles. Not really on purpose, but I think that tends to happen when I'm in a race environment. My Garmin didn't record the last mile properly, but it's clear that I had progressively negative splits. In fact, when I got to the last mile, I had enough in me to really speed it up. I thought I heard my name towards the end, and really sprinted the last few hundred yards.

I ended up with a net time of 45:40, or a 9:08 mile. Considering that my PR is 44:27, and I didn't even try that hard this race, I'm pretty happy with that performance. My quads have been aching today, but that kind of feels good as well.

This was my 9th NYRR race this year, so I now have guaranteed acceptance for the 2007 NYC Marathon. (If I want it.)

I like how the bibs are individualized these days. My first posterboard had mostly identical looking bibs.

I mentioned in an earlier post that this was the first race I ran, six years ago. Turns out it was exactly six years ago. Cool.

Anyway, after the race I headed home to shower, and then headed out to New Jersey for the wedding. Man it was far! The wedding was really nice, and I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while. The only crazy thing was that the ceremony was outside. It was about a million degrees outside, and people were melting. I felt silly that I had taken my suit to the drycleaners for this wedding, and it didn't even last 10 minutes. Everybody had their jacket off, and we were all sweating like crazy.

They gave out fans, which had the wedding program printed out on them. Cute - and useful - idea!

Okay it wasn't a million degrees. But it was pretty close! This was taken on the way from the wedding.

After the wedding I went back to the hospital for one more operation. Than some more rounds, and a few more new consults. By the time I got home I was thoroughly exhausted.

I've only sort of caught up on my rest. Tonight was game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I wasn't cheering for any particular team, but it was pretty full of excitement from start to finish. I'm usually a traditionalist, and I was initially skeptical of all the rule changes. However, with the exception of the enormous amount of power play goals, I think the game has really improved. Tonight was a good example.

So that was it. The last few weeks have been kind of crazy for me, and I'm looking forward to getting back to a more normal routine. Hopefully that will include a little more running as well.

New: I just wanted to add that this August 27th will be the first NYC Half Marathon. It starts in Central Park, goes through Times Square, and ends downtown. The registration opens Wednesday at noon, and it will probably sell out pretty quickly. I don't think I'll be ready for it, but for anyone interested in making a running trip to NYC, this might be a good idea.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I did the race, and I went to the wedding, and oh yeah, I did 5 operations this weekend. So far...

Details to follow (on the first two items) when I'm not so tired.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The thing is...

The problem with me not blogging is not so much that I haven't had time to blog, it's more a problem that I haven't had time (read: self motivation) to run! That's really the problem.

So anyway, in order to be "allowed" to post today, I ran two miles this morning. I also ran 2 on Sunday. While it doesn't feel like a marathon, it does feel like more than "just 2 miles". It's amazing how long it takes to build up to a distance, and then how fast it goes away.

I registered a while back for a 5 mile race this Sunday. It's actually the first race I ever ran, back in 2000. (Back then it was a 5K.) So I was actually looking forward to the race. Also, when I broke my 5K PR I thought that my 5M PR was relatively weak, and that I could break it this race. Well, so much for that.

As it turns out, I've barely been running. Also, I had to move around my call schedule, so now I'm on call for both my group and the Emergency Room, on both Saturday and Sunday. And to make matters worse I'm supposed to go to a wedding in New Jersey at 11 am!

So I'm not sure I'll even make this race. If I do I definitely won't be setting and PR's; I'm probably not even going to run the whole thing straight. My main motivation will be to a) get another run in, and b) finish my 9th NYRR race of the year. That will give me automatic acceptance to next year's NYC marathon. (And I've got a long time to worry about whether I'll be able to run it or not.)

So that's my running story. In other news work is building up, which is good. (Professionally that is. It sucks for my leisure time.) I've been working on a website for work. Since I'm kind of teaching myself how to do that, it's taking a while.

I've also had to make two trips home (i.e. my parents' home) in the last couple of weeks. I travelled to Toronto two different ways. The first was with Air Canada, and they sucked! I try not to fly with them. Initially my flight was booked as a United flight, but apparently that's just a trick, and it was an Air Canada flight. The night flight got cancelled, and because I couldn't find my passport I couldn't get on the right morning flight. (I got on the next flight with a birth certificate.) The commute took 21 hours total. One good thing is that I had a nice evening. I met some friends in the airport that were supposed to be on the same flight. We all got cancelled and put on the same flight the next day, so they invited me back to their place that night, rather than me going back and forth to the Bronx.

The second trip I flew with JetBlue, and they were awesome as usual. Unfortunately they don't fly to Toronto. I flew to Buffalo, rented a car, and drove to Toronto. In the end it was cheaper, took less time (5 hours door to door), and was way more pleasant. I love JetBlue.

Toronto was nice. I spent time with my family. I saw all my brothers, my nephews, and my niece, which is not too common. I also met up with some old friends I hadn't seen in a while.

My nephews not cooperating for the picture.

(I got a lot of other cute pictures, but not all the people involved consented to being "on the web". There's still this strong paranoia about that. Maybe I'm just naive, but I'm not sure what people can really do with these pictures. But anyway...)

Like usual, there was a Jewish holiday involved, and like usual, that involved lots of eating. (Not running and eating a lot, is a combination that's not really working for me.) Check out Mom's cheesecake.

It tastes as good as it looks.

That's it for now...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fading away...

So I haven't posted in two weeks. (Miss me?) Unfortunately, I've only run once in those two weeks. And even that was two miles. Pathetic...

I was also away with my family this weekend. So when I got back there were 75 posts to catch up on! This blogging thing - both writing and reading - is getting tough!

It's just that I've gotten busier with both work and non-work things lately. Unfortunately, I don't see that changing in the next week or so. Tonight I'm on call, and I don't feel like going out. Maybe if I can finish early tomorrow I can try and get a quick run in.