Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting to Know The Laminator:
20 Questions About Me, Part I

1. Have you always run 6 minute miles? What pace were you running when you started?
Hmmm…this is hard to answer. It’s similar to the question How fast do you run? But for a basis of comparison, according to my running log, during my first month of running, I would average 7:30-7:40 for 6-8 mile runs and 7:00 for tempo workouts of 4-5 miles. I think I probably run about 30 sec/mile faster now as compared to then.

2. You mentioned thinking about learning to swim! Are you considering triathlons in your near future?
Most definitely! In fact, the first agenda this winter is to sign up for swimming classes. Little known fact about me is that I have this ridiculous phobia of water. Don’t know why, but just the thought of hitting the pool is causing me to hyperventilate! Yep, need to get over that and learn how to swim if I hope to ever tri-. So yes, if I am able to make friends with the water this winter, I will take a plunge into some triathlons. Fingers crossed!

3. What recovery steps do you take post LR or post race? Or do you say forget it and have a beer?
In general, I will stretch for a bit after a long run or race to cooldown. Like most people, sometimes I am more diligent with this than at other times but it really depends on how sore I feel. Sometimes I will do a cooldown mile too if the race effort was particularly grueling. Then I hit the Jamba Juice for my favorite reward drink – a Strawberry Wild with extra vitamins and then I hit the showers. Beers are out for me except on rare occasions or after marathons…then it’s a must!

4. Sounds silly, but is that you in the "about me" picture?
No, it isn’t but in my mind, I’m ALWAYS running like that guy…so that’s why he’s me!

5. How about some inspiration for slower, older runners?
Believe it or not, sometimes I feel slow and old too! This happens particularly when I’m running around the park at the same time as track practice for NYU. It’s quite distracting when I’m huffing and puffing around on my tempo workouts and these collegiate younglings are passing me by while joking with each other. During those times, I try to remind myself that for who I am and where I’m at, I’m pretty damn fast and pretty damn good, and there’s probably someone out there running slower than me who thinks I’m inspiring and pretty fast too! Speed and age is relative my friend!

6. What is the best post-marathon meal you've ever eaten?
This turned out to be a difficult question for me because I’m usually too hungry and too tired to even care what I eat post-marathon so it’s generally whatever is most convenient or whatever I get my hands on. The most memorable though was the meal I shared with my Hawaiian friend in Vegas last year right after the Las Vegas Marathon where she BQ’d for the first time! We went to the Mirage, hit up the C.P.K. (California Pizza Kitchen) and ordered up a giant Hawaiian pizza and some German beer in the biggest beer glass they had! I believe FL’s exact words were “Oh. My. God. This beer is as big as my head!” Classic. For dessert, we brought some champagne and clinked glasses in a hot tub right inside our hotel room! Yeah, those were some good times! I still wonder whether we were more drunk that night from the champagne or the post-marathon BQ runner’s high.

7. How do you juggle being a doctor and running? How many times a week do you run?
Well, I don’t have a choice since both activities are so vitally important to me. I actually think I perform better professionally when I run than when I don’t, so I fit it in when I can. I try and get in 5 runs a week when I’m in active training. Sometimes this calls for early morning wake up calls at 3 or 4 AM, other times it requires me to run in total darkness at 8 or 9 PM. It’s absolute craziness sometimes since I rarely know my work schedule too far ahead of time (especially when I’m covering the hospital on-call). But at the end of the day, miraculously, everything gets done, patients are well cared for, and I somehow fit my run in. Just don’t ask me how many hours of sleep I get as a result of this work/run schedule.

8. What do you do with your finishing medals? What's your whole finishing medal philosphy?
I don’t really pontificate on the significance of medals because for me, it is really just a cheap piece of metal that commemorates a particular marathon or race. I already have a personal way of commemorating my achievement in a long distance race. It’s called a race report. In it, I record EVERYTHING that happens (usually mile-by-mile) so I can remember them a month, a year, or even a decade later. Having said that though, I do give all my marathon medals to my mom who arranges them in a stand in the family patio. Basically after every marathon, I donate my medal to her and she displays them proudly. From my point of view, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

9. Do you have an all time favorite place to run?
So far, my favorite run is the 20 mile San Francisco run from the Ferry Terminal through the Embacadero and the Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge. I have run there three times over the past 2 years and it never gets old. I love how you can run through town, leave the city over this massive bridge, enjoy the San Fran skyline from the Marin side before retracing your steps back to the start. There are even some steep hills to practice pacing on. It’s a shame I don’t live in northern California or else I would run this course every day! Yeah, it’s really that good…

10. Did you run in high school? Track, Cross country?
No, but I wish I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t “find” running until after medical school, towards the end of pediatric residency. I still wonder at times if I would have been a good high school runner if I knew about running way back when and what kind of runner I would be today if things would have turned out differently. Would I still be chasing PRs today or would I have been too burnt out to even care somewhere along the way?


Anonymous said...

I loved reading all the Q and A's. You are awesome Lam!

Irish Cream said...

FUN!! This was such a great idea, Lam! I can't wait to read the next installment! :)

GeorgiaSnail said...

RE: #1 & #4, thanks for taking my question, you inspire this Snail....

Anonymous said...

i <3 reading q & a stuff. can't wait for part 2!

Spike said...

so strange, I had always thought it was a pict of you...the things one assumes.

great post, I am also going to take swim lessons over the next few months.

Running and living said...

Fun post!
In terms of swimming...I had a water phobia, too, until 2 summers ago when I said enough is enough, and tough myself to swim side stroke (head above water). Then pretty recently I started teaching myself free style, using on line videos and books. It's HARD. I am in great shape, but I die out there. Swimming is so much about skill. But, I can say that I am finally getting comfortable in the water, and over my water phobia. I think you are going to be amazing in triathlons - biking is easy (though time consuming), and you have running in the bank, so once you master swimming, the sky is the limit. Good luck!

Morgan said...

Lam I feel so much closer to you now! It's like you gave us a little peak inside your brain! Yay! Love the Q & A, can't wait to read more. Let me know how the swimming goes, I suck at water... Flail if you will.

sRod said...

You know my thoughts on most of these already (particularly the medals), but thanks for sharing!

I have the same feelings about high school track/cross country. Granted, I was in no shape in HS to do either, but I wish I knew I would enjoy it as much as I do.

Looking forward to the next 10!

J said...

Can't wait for the next 10! I don't think you would have been burned out from track or XC in college or HS. I think it would have added to your love of running!

Vava said...

Very good post!

Susan said...

About eating after a marathon...everyone always thinks you should be starving, but I rarely get hungry until later in the day. I usually have to convince myself to eat one of those post-race bananas!

Anonymous said...

Swimming is great-- I swam almost every day in college and I loved it. Don't be afraid of the water, once you learn how to navigate you'll be fine. Fun idea for a post!

B.o.B. said...

Good questions! Your favorite spot to run sounds gorgeous. And hot tub, beer, and pizza post run? Sign me up!

The Happy Runner said...

LOVED reading this!!

X-Country2 said...

Great idea! I always wondered abotu teh profile pic.

NY Wolve said...

Great list! I love running in SF too. Running from SoMa through Embarcadero, Marina and then back over the hills. What a run!

Thanks for the feedback on my blog -- your medical perspective is always appreciated.

Jamie said...

such a good idea. love the 1st 10 and looking forward to the next 10!

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