Saturday, May 10, 2008

Time To Celebrate: Results, Revelations, and Other Congratulatory Stuff

Hey All! I thought we’d start off today’s post with a little Kool & The Gang. Hit it Boys!

Welcome everyone to my party! Please feel free to grab your favorite beverage, get comfortable and be prepared to be enlightened and entertained. By now, you must be asking yourself, What’s the cause for all this hoop-la, Laminator? Well, let’s run through some possibilities…

1. Are we celebrating the fact that you ran and PR’d in the Long Branch Half Marathon last weekend? It’s a great achievement and all, but after dedicating two full posts to the race and receiving more congratulatory responses than I think I deserve, even the fat lady has sung and left the stage, so I think it’s time to move on.

2. Are we celebrating your fantastic run in the virtual 10K last night with a finishing time of 40:44? Hmmm, it’s a thought. But since my dear friend Nitmos has already cleared away the competition for me by using reverse psychology to convince everyone else that fat is good two days before the race [read his conniving plan here], and no one actually saw me cross the finish line except some electrons in a piece of plastic (referred to as Garmin in some eclectic circles), I feel slightly less deserving of any accolades that the friendly race director may bestow upon me.

3. Okay, then maybe we’re celebrating the fact that you finally found an elite running group (called the New York Flyers – what a cool name, huh?!) that had such low standards to accept you as one of its members. Now you’re getting warm. I will have more to say about this in a later post, but it’s refreshing to find that an organized running group in NYC where running fast is the norm more than an anomaly, thinks I don’t suck so bad as a runner to welcome me into its ranks. Maybe we can have a party to celebrate this achievement when I’ve actually contributed something to this collection of great runners. To start whooping and hollering a week into trial membership is a little too premature. Maybe they’ll kick me out once they discover that I have major stage fright at big races.

4. Maybe it’s for a non-running related reason then? We could celebrate the fact that you passed your final board exam (referred to in this post) and can now pass as a Board Certified Pediatric Endocrinologist (minus the whole crazy running thing because no board certified anything would in their right mind run as much as you do). Yeah, I guess we could have a party for that, but it’s more like a release of unnecessary stress than a cause of celebration for me because after all the training I’ve been through, I’m SUPPOSED to pass my boards. If I don’t pass, then what they’re essentially saying is that you’re just too dumb and shouldn’t be in this profession in the first place. So, no, can’t bring myself to celebrate that. Maybe I’ll get a Jumba Juice milkshake, but that’s about it.

Okay, we officially give up, Laminator. Besides, half your guests are already gone. So what the heck are we celebrating?

We’re HAVING A PARTY (could’ve posted another video here) because THIS (drumrolls please…) IS (drumrolls getting louder) MY (confetti coming down…wait, that’s tissue paper, not confetti…) 100TH POST!!! That’s right, people. You’ve made it to the 100th post of this silly little reformation project. It’s been a long time coming, and I can’t believe that I’ve got readers even though I don’t proofread half as well as I write, and I don’t write half as well as I run, and I run, well, not that particularly well at all. (Don’t complain, some freak of nature 49-year-old beat me in the half marathon by more than two and a half minutes!) Still, I’m honored to have so much company on my journey. Thanks everyone for taking the time to come by to read my ill-formed thoughts, laugh at my jokes, poke fun at my insecurities, and generally convince me I’m fast even though I’m not. I started this thing way back in August of last year, on my 32nd birthday, as a reminder to myself why I have to go out there everyday even when I don’t feel like it. Slowly, over the past 100 posts, it has evolved into something so much more, a conversation between like-minded friends, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes funny, and sometimes sad (I know it’s corny…but it’s true). I’m grateful to have “virtually” met so many of you runners out there, who inspire and challenge me to be better than what I thought I was capable of. And to the lurkers of my blog out there who’ve chosen to remain invisible (including some guy from Japan who’s been visiting everyday since this blog has started) I just have one thing to say...Don’t trespass if you ain’t gonna help mow the grass! Yes, you heard right. Consider yourselves warned.

As for the rest of you, who I honestly don't know why you keep coming back, I have a little present for everyone in the form of some self-revelation. Ever since you started visiting, I know there’s been something that you’ve always wondered about, at one time or another, but were afraid to ask. Now to think of it, Vanilla over at Half-Fast might have verbalized it way back when, but truth be told, who listens to that guy anyways? So now I guess it’s as good a time as any to spill the beans. What’s up with your nickname, Laminator? Is your family in the stationery business? Do you have some weird fetish involving heat and machines that maybe we shouldn't know about?

Do not be led astray, my friends. The story of how I became known as the Laminator actually started a few years back in my pediatric residency. A little known fact about me (something I’m not very proud of even though others think I should be) is that I write with pristine penmanship. The reason that is is because when I was a little kid in the early years of elementary school, I wrote my letters so slanted and in such unrecognizable fashion that my teachers would always give me the minimum passing grade whenever we had a writing assignment because no one could actually figure out what it was that I was writing. As a result, over the summer between my third and fourth grade, I was forced by my parents to practice my penmanship by writing out the alphabets for an hour a day everyday for two months. They’d review my work at the end of each session and rip up the pages and make me redo them if they were in the least bit illegitable. After that exercise, I never had a problem with my penmanship ever again.

Over the years, my penmanship has improved to the point that everyone who’s ever seen me on paper always claim that I write better than anyone they know – male or female. Again, it is a reputation that I’m not so proud of because as a doctor, messy handwritten notes and illegitable prescriptions are associated with a certain prestige and class. I’ve tried on multiple occasions in the past to “mess up” my handwriting such to fool those who’d read my notes, but even with that, everyone always knew it was me because they say that even when I write messy, I’m so damn neat about it. Let me tell you people. It is very frustrating as all bloody hell!

So, the origin of my nickname traces back to one day in the hospital when all of us residents were sitting around a table writing notes on our patients. One of my colleagues notices an error on one of the notes that I had written the previous day. “Hey L-, you need to fix this. You wrote down the wrong medication in your note. The kid got Ceftazadime yesterday, not Ceftriaxone.” “So just cross it out and put the right one in,” I told her. “No, I can’t do that.” “Why not?” “Well, for one thing, it’s YOUR note, so YOU need to fix it. Secondly, you write so neat that my chicken-scratch sticks out like a sore thumb.” Someone else then chimed in. “Seriously, L-, your notes are so perfect that they should be laminated…” And that, my friends, is how the legend of the Laminator began. That, and because my last name is Lam, makes my nickname somewhat appropriate, I guess.

There you go. I hope you enjoyed the story because I am not ever going to repeat it again. (It’s funny how many friends I have who call me by that name without knowing exactly where it came from!) Thanks again for stopping by and celebrating with me!


In other news, I ran my 10K yesterday for Nancy’s Virtual Club Run. I pushed it hard, but not so hard because I was still a little tired from my half-marathon last Sunday. I ran the big loop at Central Park and extended it a little bit to cover the distance. I once again started out too fast and let the rolling hills club me silly! Here were my splits: Mile 1 – 6:02; Mile 2 - 6:34; Mile 3 – 6:45; Mile 4 – 6:36; Mile 5 – 6:43; Mile 6 – 6:43; Last 0.2 – 1.20; Final Time – 40:44 (6:33 min/pace). Can you guess which mile time doesn’t belong (…in other words, Where’s Waldo?) I feel good about my time since I was running all by myself and still finished only 17 seconds slower than my PR. I didn’t see too much out of the ordinary out on the course today, just some guy I overheard ask his friend if he was running 6 minute miles when he was running more like 8 minute miles, and a wheelchair athlete who got squeezed and almost flew over the curb when a car and a bike were passing by him at the same time. Like I said, it was just a pretty ordinary day in the neighborhood.

I listened to Jeff and Alan’s recap of the Flying Pig Marathon as I ran this race and enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t believe they had a three-alarm fire the morning of the race and had to reroute the runners. Gosh, everyone knows how tough the last 0.2 of 26.2 is. Imagine having to do ANOTHER 0.2 on top of that?

Much thanks to our awesome virtual race director, Nancy, for galvanizing this running community and organizing yet another amazing race! Hope everyone had nice weather and a nice course for their 10K. I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s race reports.


Shilingi-Moja said...

Interesting that your first mile was your fastest. I'm exactly the opposite on most days/runs. Great time and I'm impressed that you could get so close to your PR running by yourself.

Reid said...

Congrats on the 100th post, all those things you listed, and a great race. We must have finished side by side because I had the exact same time! Way to go!

sRod said...

Congrats on post #100!! And a fantastic time on your 10k!

Laura said...

Check out nyflygirl's blog at I read it religiously and when I see Flyers running now I always think of her, and feel like an honorary Flyer :) I don't think I'm fast enough to try to join though.

Run For Life said...

That was too funny. :) Congrats on all the things you mentioned!

Jamie said...

Congrats on all your incredible accomplishments. I look forward to the next 100! And as a girl who needs to interpret certain doctor's notes on a weekly basis I appreciate when one actually has good penmenship. You are few and far between!

Nitmos said...

Since you refuse to get fat, I'll have to become faster. It would have been so much eaiser for ME the other way around.

Thanks for the back story. I was, in fact, wondering about the origins of the name. Another example of why I need a hobby.

Great race (hohum, again).

Betsy said...

I'm so glad to finally know where Laminator came from!

Vanilla said...

Congrats on #100! And thanks for the backstory on why you are the Laminator, I believe that I did wonder aloud about that in a post some time ago.

Debbie said...

Congras on your 100th post!!!

Viper said...

congrats on your 100th ... and all that other stuff. I was hoping "Laminator" was the result of something far more nefarious.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Oh my gosh, it's a huge celebration. 100 posts AND you past board certification. I'm so excited for you!! (oh yeah, and we finally got the Laminator story). Maybe I will have to have you write out some awards or something. :D

Thanks for running with us, Lam. Always a pleasure.


Non-Runner Nancy said...

or maybe that is passed. :D

P.O.M. said...

I was wondering where that name came from. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

Here's to 100 (or more) posts!

nyflygirl said...

Congrats on the century post :-)

And who are you kidding, "elite running group"? Hell, they've had me as a member for years... :-p

And you know where our priorities are too...siete de mayo was fun!! (I had the endurance for all 3 stops...hehe)

Eric said...

Forgot to mention 2 things:

1. 100 blogs....amazing!

2. That story about the last mile battle you had with the marathoner was some funny ass shit man....That is the funniest thing I have ever read on the web! I agree with your friend, he probably pulled over to the side and puked all over the curb after the turn

Christine said...

Just so you know...I drank a diet coke and ate a chocolate chip cookie at your party. Real healthy huh??

Thats so funny about the handwriting thing. When I was in engineering school my best friend (who is now starting his first year of med school) had impeccable handwriting like that. I would try so hard to write neat like him. Once he looked over at a page of my notes and said "wait..are those my notes?" It was the biggest compliment of my life!

And P.S. theres nothing more annoying than trying to read an anesthesiologists pre-op notes and having no clue what ESRD is because it sorta looks like GERD. Do they have acid spewing out their stomach...or end stage renal dz? seriously docs....get with the laminator.

Allan said...

Hey Lam. I'm happy to see that you're listening to Running with the Pack. Congrats on your stellar race times. If you hear that we'll be at the same race as one that you're planning (like NYC or Philly), drop us a note.

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