15 January 2012

2011 Look-Back

Is it too late in the year to have a look-back at the old year?  Never mind, just pretend this is a bi-monthly magazine that did not cover the topic early enough, i.e. late in the old year before, and now have to push it out anyway.  A quality magazine, I might add, not one of those that back-date to make it looks like the blog, uh, magazine, comes out regularly.  Just kidding, TOTA!

So what happened in my life in 2011 that I considered memorable?  Or at least the event somehow got stuck that I can recall without too much brain-wracking.  To be fair to the months of the year, below I try to list at least one event per month.  As expected, with aging and brain cells destroyed by cell phone use or other forms of radiation, for some months I could not recall anything at all.  Luckily, there were old status updates in Facebook to re-visit.  I sure could have used the Timeline feature so that I did not have to click Older Posts many times.

January - A very cold day to run, but the NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon turned out to be the PR to beat for the entire year.  I ran non-stop, no water (!), and clocked at 2:23, the record remained unbeaten for the year.

February - While vacationing in the Orlando area, I finally got to meet Bill and Tahir.  I know Bill for years as a work colleague.  After many email messages, phone calls, and text chats, we finally met.  Tahir and I went to Newtown High School (Elmhurst) together, Class of 1985, and did not know each other but that's the wonder of Facebook.  I even got a nice welcome treat from Tahir and his wife.

March - I became hooked on the Millennium Trilogy and really needed to read the last of the series, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.  Unfortunately, none of the public library systems in New York City had it soon enough.  But the local Jersey City branch has it, only catch was it was the Large Print edition.  I tore through the book (not literally) and came to appreciate large-print books more.  Ever since then, unless I have to read a particular book, I usually just pick something off the large-print shelf.

April - Ugh, St. Louis Marathon.  It was to be my first Marathon in 15 years, but because of hot weather it was cut short, for slow people like me who did not reach the half-way point at certain time.  Luckily, the trip to St. Louis was also to see TOTA and her husband.  I had the most relaxing few days of my life in a long time.

May - Being a resident of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Half Marathon is one race I definitely had to be in.  It was the Brooklyn Half that I bumped into at Coney Island in 2010.  Up until then, I did not know such a thing, i.e. half-marathon, existed.

June - Somewhere along all that running my left foot got hurt so I decided to take the whole month off.  I missed running a lot and found cycling really boring.  Technically you operate a machine so you do not use that much of your own muscle power.  Most mornings I come home not even breaking a sweat.

July - With the cost of running in official races costing so much, the Holiday Marathon series was a welcoming experience.  The locale, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, bordering Westchester, is far from convenient, but I finally made the trip, for the July 4th Run.  I missed some trail markers and only ran 4 miles, not the 6 miles intended, but it was still a good group run.

Aug - Two weeks in China.  Being not born in China and not one of those people who think greatly of the country just because some grandparent came from there, I was not that thrilled to be there, but hey, two weeks away from work is still two weeks from work.  I heard much about Shanghai Beach and finally got there, only it was not a beach but just a waterfront.

September - Thanks to my friends on DailyMile and elsewhere, I discovered the joy of gu - they really make a difference.  The body can carry only so much fuel, you need to replenish the fuel during long runs.  Energy Lab GUs and such stuff do wonders for the long-distance runner.  Speaking of long-distance, I also had my first U-haul driving experience, driving a truck from NY to Atlanta.

October - After years of living without a smartphone, I took the plunge.  It was not an iPhone, but rather an Android phone, to be exact, the Samsung Galaxy.  It sure is nice to have almost-constant access to email and such.  At a price.

November - I did not get into the NYRR Marathon via lottery but there was the Inaugural Brooklyn Marathon.  I actually did a full marathon, after a 15-year hiatus.

December - A new Personal Record!  At the Jingle Bell Jog 6K, I had a new P.R. with pace of 10:07.  Previous record was 10:22, from Coogan's Run, which was just 5K.

Sorry for the many references to running, but that's my life outside of work and family.

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