Friday, June 13, 2008


I got tagged not once, but twice last week. Why was I tagged twice, when some bloggers have not yet been tagged? I have no idea. Maybe both Jamie and sRod are trying to suggest that I lack the running speed necessary to get away from the tag. Maybe they both think my recent posts lack content and they’re trying to give me more interesting topics to blog about. But honestly RBFs, do you have to resort to such lengths to expose the skeletons in my running closet? I was really thinking of ignoring the tags and writing an in-depth analysis of glycogen depletion during the marathon and discuss strategies used by elite athletes to avoid the wall in their races, but since you all are so interested on how the Running Laminator got to be…well, running, I guess I’ll play the game and answer the questions.

Here are the rules:

Each player answers the 5 questions on their own blog. At the end of your post you tag 5 other people and post their names. Go to their blogs and leave a comment on their blogs telling them they've been tagged and to look at your blog for details. When they've answered the questions on their own blog, they come back to yours to tell you.

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

Ten years ago, I didn’t run. I wish I did though because if I started running back then, I would’ve turned out to be a kick-ass runner by now instead of just being somewhat average. I blame it on those few running acquaintances back then who always made running seem so not fun. They’d get up way before class and run on the treadmill late at night. They always left early at all the parties and ate healthy all day long. I mean, why would you ever want to be associated with people like that?

2. What is your best and worst race experience?

Worst: NYCM, 2005…my first marathon. I don’t think I’d ever been more beat down physicially than I was that day. Not only did I hit the wall and had to limp/walk through most of the miles after 20, I developed severe leg cramps while I was on Fifth Avenue and had to crawl, yes literally, two blocks until I was rescued by the volunteers at the medical station. They gave me a rub down and massaged my lower limbs until I was able to use them again. Three years later, I still have nightmares from the experience and would occasionally find myself awaken suddenly in the middle of the night, grabbing both of my lower legs.

Best: This one is a hard one, but if I had to choose, it’d have to the
Queens Half Marathon, 2007. (Hey, there’s a reason why I called it the Best Run Ever!) You can read my race report for the full description, but I consider that race to be a turning point in my running career. Up to that point, I had run the distance five or six times before, and had always struggled in the latter miles. I tried experimenting with taking more or less gels, more or less water/Gatorade, running with and without music, but nothing seemed to make a difference. During this race however, psychologically, something just clicked and I was able to just run, with no music, no GU on somewhat of a hilly course, and finish with a faster time than I’d ever thought I could run. Ever since then, I have become a physically stronger and mentally tougher as a runner, at least in my estimation.

3. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?

Worst: When running a marathon, expect and ignore the pain.

Best: Don’t be a running schizophrenic, listen to your body.

4. Why do you run?

Wow, there are so many reasons. First of all, I run because I can. Then I run because it is not easy to do, but is gratifying and healthy to do. I run because it is free and leads to a better environment. I run because it is a simple pleasure, and running allows me to connect with others who share a similar passion. But then, I also run because I’m by nature a competitive person. I want to be able to stare down my fellow man, and know for the most part, that he can pick the time, place, or distance, and I’ll beat him in a footrace. I run because I am an athlete. I run, therefore I am.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

I could be cheap and regale you all with the story of how I became the Laminator, because I still get ask that question on a weekly basis. (Hint: the story is recaptured
here if you haven’t already heard.) But I think I’ll share something that a large subset of those who visit my blog probably doesn’t know. Although I don’t like to talk about it much, as good as I am a runner, I’m probably as good if not better as a poker player. For the past couple of years, I play in a weekly (now semi-weekly) home tournament game with a whole bunch of friends and just this past year, I won the Player of the Year honors for being the biggest winner for 2007. No, I don’t have aspirations of going pro, and no, I’m not interested in playing in the World Series of Poker even if people were to sponsor me so don’t even ask. Poker is just a minor hobby of mine and I treat it more as a venue to hang out with friends more than anything. But I figured that as long as I’m going to be playing on a semi-consistent basis, I might as well learn to be good at it and generate some side income along the way. So that’s about all I want to say about that.

Now that I’m done with my Q&A, it’s my turn to tag. Since I was tagged by two people, I’m going to reach out and touch two people as well. So
Xenia and nyflygirl, the spotlights are on you ladies. Get busy!


Xenia said...

Oh man! I thought I was going to get away with not being tagged. Foiled again!

Note to self--never play poker with the Laminator. :)

bill carter said...

Hi Lam

Sorry my friend, but you are no average runner. You work hard it and your times definitely put you somewhere near the top. Like me, you've been chicked enough to keep the ego in check.

Poker huh?? I will admit that I love hold 'em and play quite a lot myself. We have a group that plays 12 tournamants a year and I have won the whole thing the last
2 years. I guess we doctor people take our GAMBLING pretty seriously.

Viper said...

Do you wear really big sunglasses so your friends can't read your eyes?

Any tips for a guy headed to Vegas next week?

Meg said...

Wow, it's cool to hear that after your NY experience you kept with it! You are a great runner!

nyflygirl said...

lol...your best race is my worst!! and you are way too modest-you are way above average :)

anyway, i gave in and did it :)

Nitmos said...

I was I could go back and grab my 25 year old self and say "get out there and run already! The 25-29 age group is always easier than the 30-39 year olds!!"

Good post!

sRod said...

Poker? You're right, never saw that coming!

I may have to pick your brain for something I'm working on at work. No seriously.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

I KNEW I liked you, I just didn't know HOW MUCH. You play poker too? Dang. If I weren't married... ;)

I am definitely better at poker than running. Now, how are we going to get a game up.

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