Friday, January 1, 2021

Arbitrary Lines

I don't race to beat other people. I race with other people. I enjoy the sport and I enjoy the community. Running keeps me fit and I keep fit that so I could run. Homo sapiens are animals that live in herds, Running together. Running to escape predators and running together to hunt. I run better and faster when I'm with other people because I can be part of a herd. I finished my first marathon in 1993 in 4 hours and 11 minutes. To this day I tell people that the first marathons the easiest because your only goal is to really finish and you don't know remember how much it hurts. After I finished,I read somewhere that for hours divides the survivors from the runners. 

So.....

On March 26th 2000, I finished a marathon on a flat as a pancake course that was 26 loops around some soccer fields on Randall's Island in 3 hours and 58 minutes. The internet was still a baby and I wrote this

ringrunner

Mar 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM
to
In 1979 I ran my first NYC Marathon, I was a 17 year old high school
senior (now you have to be 18 to run the race) and collapsed on the
59Th St. Bridge. My entire training philosophy consisted of one simple
statement: If I can walk away from a 13 mile training run, I can run a
marathon and drop dead at the end. I did not know you were supposed to
take liquids or any thing about pacing. I stopped running.
In November of 1991 I was driving to my fiancées apt in Park Slope and
got stuck in a huge traffic jam. I could not cross 4Th Ave. I was
crazed, not because I could not get to where I wanted to go, but
because, suddenly I realized there was something I needed to finish -
The New York City Marathon. I decided that I would get back in shape
and DO IT. After I moved in with my wife, I joined the Prospect Park
Track Club, and started running.
The first race I entered was the Sheraton Bagel 10K, in January of
1993. When I got home, I got a phone call from a person I had not yet
met - The Vice President of The Prospect Park Track Club,(now I am Vice
President). This blew my mind, this guys not even related to me and he
cares HOW I DID?! I knew then that I had found a niche for myself in
the running community of Prospect Park.
In November of 1993, I got on the bus in front of Raintrees and tried
it again. This time I DID IT. I finished the NYC Marathon. Once I
got to Central Park I ran on will power alone. I decided that as long
as I was conscience I would run. I crossed the finish line if front of
Tavern on the Green and collapsed. I was in heaven. My father said
that all possible emotions were visible in my face on the finish line
photo. (He should know; he was the one who picked me up at the medical
station at the foot of the 59Th St. Bridge.)
Then I read something that really pissed me off. It said that 4 hours
divides the marathon runners from the marathon survivors. And here is
me with the greatest athletic accomplishment of my live, a 4:48
Marathon. I was livid. How could any body say that I did not just do
the greatest thing that could be done? I finished a marathon.
Well, I turned that rage into a goal. (A goal so great, that I was once
referred to as Mike “sub 4 or else” Ring) I will break 4. In the
next 7 years I ran 12 marathons, I finished 7 of them, as for the other
5, they landed me in the medical tent or an ambulance. I went to speed
workouts. I ran so many long runs, that it became silly. I read
books. I learned how my body works. That all helped me a little.
So today I reported the following race result to the Prospect Park
Track Club. “On Sunday morning, March 26, 2000, Michael "sub 4 or else”
Ring achieved his goal of 8 years, a personal best, in finishing 4th in
his age group (under 50) and completed the Sri Chinmoy Marathon on
Randals Island in 3:58:04.” It can be noted that I never would have
done this without the support and encouragement of my wife, Stephanie
and the members Prospect Park Track Club.
As I type this The Academy Awards is on TV. I used to look at the
faces of the winners and say “Wow, wouldn’t that be neat”, now I can
say, “I know how they feel”.
Michael Ring

I've done a lot of running since 2000. I also got involved in organizing running races. It's pretty much boilerplate policy that race course is to stay open until the last runner who crossed the starting line passes at a 15 minute per mile pace. I'm not saying I approve of this but it is the way it is. Water stations get broken down, Finish Line clocks get put on the floor. People want to go home. People who are going slower than a 15 minute per mile pace are considered walking. Since recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome I finished races in 20 or 22 minutes per mile and people told me I walked a good race. I hated hearing it but I couldn't argue with them. My achilles guides were walking.

A little over a year ago I saw a my hand surgeon for the last time. I had five little surgeries to improve the function in my hands. That was done. He asked me what was next and I told him now I want to start to run faster. He told me he knew the guy who can do that. Who would assemble the team to make that happen. I went to see one of the top sports doctors at New York University Hospital. He got me into ankle-foot Orthotics that keep me from tripping over my own toes and referred me to the Sports Performance Center at the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation. I got to see a physical therapist who didn't treat me like I was frail. I told them that I finished the New York City marathon in 2017 and 9 hours and 45 minutes and that my goal was to bring that time down to 6 hours so I can qualify for Boston as a Mobility impaired athlete. They told me I should put more weight on the bars when I work out and challenged me to run faster. 

I also realized that getting rid of my excess weight was becoming an eminently important activity. I was gaining weight before I got GBS, but I had gotten huge as a result of my time in the hospital and then my extended time of inactivity. I couldn't run cuz I was too fat and I got fat because I wasn't running. So, I saw a weight loss specialist doctor. I was put on teeny doses of some medications but I think it was becoming self-aware of my eating habits actually help me lose over 60 pounds. I honestly didn't think that I couldn't eat 3 Bagels at a time. I'm putting this here because this morning I had my first bagel in about a year. It was really good. Worth the wait! In other words Bagels and pancakes and half a box of cereal every evening we're not worth the weight. I've been running and doing all my walking in these fancy ankle-foot Orthotics. I can put more effort into moving forward and not worry about tripping over my toes.

On November 1st I ran the virtual New York City marathon in 8 and 1/2 hours and I plan on shaving an hour of that time this spring. This morning I had an ambitious plan. I wanted to run around the 3.33 mile Loop of Prospect Park in 50 minutes or less. The fastest I ran a 5k was 53 minutes back in the early fall.

This morning race was supposed to be virtual. But not so much. A few of us clumped up and ran together. so, yeah, Conditions were pretty good, I was in a small herd, the weather was perfect and I wasn't really under any pressure. Strava says I ran 3.39 miles in 48 minutes and 40 seconds. That's a 14:19 minute per mile pace. But I don't trust Strava. Look at how it mangled my run yesterday. and THIS My Timex said I ran 48:53 and I know it's 3.33 miles. So that's still sub 15 minutes mile.
Photo description:  my stopwatch showing a time of 48:53
Photo description: 
my stopwatch showing a time of 48:53

So a few things you should know......
  • I am completely prepared to prepare for a goal that is for now beyond the horizon
  • If this race wasn't virtual no one would have been thinking of taking that finish line down before I got there.
  • If you refer to me as a walker I am now going to correct you
  • I am crying now.
 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

1%!

Image description: a crowded  pre-covid subway car

This year 1% of the United States population died of Covid. 

I found this random picture of a crowded subway car taken in 2018. It's probably about a hundred people. So, statistically one of them has died this year of covid-19.

Luckily (and I only attribute this to luck)  I did not lose anyone close to me. But I know plenty of people that have gotten sick and a few people that have gotten very very sick. I've completely lost track of how many people I know that have lost their parents or aunts and uncles. And I've also lost track of how many people I would consider acquaintances that have died.

By any measure things are still getting worse. More people are getting infected, hospitalized and dying everyday. And in the United States we're doing worse at controlling that then in the rest of the industrialized world.  "The land of the free"  is not the place to fight a pandemic. With everyone looking out for themselves it's hard to fight a Public Health crisis.

So if you decide to go with personal choice in the debate about masks and vaccines, shut up!  It's not about you, it's about a public healrh crisis, a pandemic. And to all those people who say I'm going to listen to my doctor and he said no;  find out why they said no. Because it's very easy to say no. No is safe. A doctor is always safe when they tell you to make up your own mind and do what you think you should do. In the extremely unlikely event that you incur an injury from the vaccine my doctor won't get sued if they told you either not to do it or to make up your own mind. But if you don't get the vaccine and get and give it to your elderly relatives and they die you cannot sue your doctor.

During World War II people who said that they would do their own thing what considered cowards or draft Dodgers or war profiteers. World War II was a few years long.  We've already lost more Americans than we did in World War II because people are doing their own thing. Be a patriot; wear a mask, stay socially distant (that means you might not go to that party) and unless there's real science that says you should not get vaccinated – get vaccinated.


Friday, November 27, 2020

Fuck YOU, Donald Trump Fuck YOU

Just after Trump sent people to murder police officers and to their own deaths his son posted this video

 





So here's the full audio of Trump's conversation with the secretary of state of Georgia. I can't dispute the legality of it because I'm not a lawyer but I am a human being so I can dispute the humanity. Or just simply how can anyone not see that Trump is batshit crazy. Just confusing himself with the nation and not caring about right and wrong only himself.  I challenge anybody to tell me that what he's doing is good or right




The only thing Trump is accomplishing is making his followers distrust our democracy. Everybody but them knows that he never wanted to be president but now we has to stay president in order to stay on top of his game. He might not be prosecuted as a private citizen but a lot of the information is going to come out. 

At this point all he's doing is making democracy look bad. This is what our enemies want

 

There are many reasons is bad that Donald Trump retweeted this. Never mind that it's a photoshopped fake ad. Nevermind that is reproducing the hateful stereotype that Biden is frail. What really pisses me off is that it reproduces The Stereotype that using a wheelchair is a sign of weakness. I use one of those for about a year and I hated it but it was a tool. I wasn't confined to a wheelchair. It was not a prison. It allowed me to escape my prison of indoor confinement. It allowed me to go out and do stuff.. So double FUCK YOU to Donald Trump. That shit and his supporters have done so much to destroy the lives of the disabled. People are disabled. It's not the end of the world. Who knows what illness is Trump has. The fact that he hides them makes other disabled people look bad



A long long time ago there was a giant apartment complex called The Trump buildings. They were kind of on the edge between Brighton Beach and Coney Island. I knew I had full people that live there. They weren't the goldplated buildings of Donald Trump. They were the affordable housing created by his father, Fred. According to my sources, Fred used to show up at the staff holiday parties and shake everyone's hand and give everyone an envelope. When it was time for the senior Trump to step down, the staff in these buildings (who could afford it) quit. They walked away saying, "I ain't working for that putz."

If you don't believe me you might not believe the New York Times either.







To all the people who believe in Donald Trump, here's the real question: If he were to take out his schlong and takes a wiz all over the stage at the next debate, will you still have a reason to support him?


I am really sick of people who defend the right to be an ass hole, by saying they don't want to be politically correct. There is nothing wrong with being politically correct if it means not hurting other people's feelings. I am one of the first people to acknowledge that I am not politically correct, but at the same time I acknowledge that I might be an ass hole, but I'm not running for President.

Let me try to get this out of my mouth. I don't have a problem with people being ass holes, I have a problem with people thinking that an ass hole should be President. I'm not really worried about Donald Trump becoming president. I really think that when people go to the polls and actually vote they will pull the knob for someone else. I am bothered that there is a large chunk of people who continue to support a man who lies just to stir up the hate. He didn't see any Muslims celebrating in the streets of Jersey City on September 11, 2001. It didn't happen. If it did we'd all be looking at the videos. The New York City area was in chaos, no one knew at that time that this was an attack by religious fanatics. Let alone what religion they were. I don't really care that Donald Trump wants to keep repeating this, what bothers me is that people are starting to believe it.
GIF
It's clearly a pattern with Donald Trump that if your reporter and don't make him look good he personally attacks you Then he denies you and your media outlet his interviews. Since people are only watching the news to see what kind of stupid thing he's gonna do, the networks are afraid to offend him.  Which means they're afraid to call him out on his lies. He didn't like the what Megyn Kelly asked him questions, so he said some pretty nasty things about her. It blew my mind how her bosses let this go.

And now Donald Trump is making fun of another reporter that would backup his story.

Thanks Gothamist
This really bothers me a lot. You see, the guy on the right has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits flexibility in his arms. I have acute motor axonal neuropathy. And while I've been bragging about how I've been walking further and doing better in the gym, the damage to the nerves in my hands is much more serious. My hands and wrists are showing severe signs of atrophy, like Serge Kovaleski. If the axonal damage in my hands doesn't reverse soon I will look a lot like more like Serge.

When you choose a president, choose a role model. Choose a person that you want to be your leader.
It saddens me that people are choosing a leader as nasty as Donald Trump.

Yeah, look to the right. Who is your role model? Do you want to live in a country that is led by a man who mocks the disabled? Who encourages people who disagree with them to be roughed up?

Misee Harris
They say people choose leaders who emulate what they think is best in themselves.Is this who you want to be? A thug? Who at his best makes fun of people and at his worst has been beat up.

I'm sorry. I usually enjoy having political conversations with people I don't agree with. Often, I find the people who are most passionate about politics even if they disagree with me have Something interesting to say. Because while we disagree on how we want the country to get better, we both agree we want the country to get better.

But not now, these are political conversations.  The people who support Trump don't support him because they want the country to get better. They just want someone to represent them in the White House. They want someone to represent their inner thug, their inner asshole.



What I'm trying to say is that Donald Trump's popularity really frightens me. It's one thing for a politician to lie so that they get a little extra money were to cover up a mistake they might've made. But Donald Trump is making up stuff to change the agenda of the American public. He saying stuff about Mexicans and Muslims that just isn't true but people start repeating it like it's true.

People, it's not okay to mock the disabled.

People aren't crossing the borders to figure out how to rape your daughters.

Refugees are going through a more strenuous vetting process than your wives.

One faith is no worse than any other religious people when it comes to doing stupid stuff.

People, if you want to know what happens when a potential leader makes stuff up about other people in order to generate hate, look to Germany in 1928.


Friday, November 20, 2020

I Don't Want This

 

TELL IT TO THE RAIN

I don't know about this commercial. I guess the insurance company is trying to present the super cool guy who's half motorcycle and half man. But he's just a bully.

There is a 30-minute rule on the treadmill for a reason. Sometimes you have to share.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Best team building exercise ever

For 6 days before election day.  I worked as a poll worker at the early voting site at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. (then I took a day off to run the New York City Marathon and then worked election day.) There were a large handful of early voting sites in Brooklyn to put the Barclays Center was new and is  newy iconic.  If something can be new and iconic at the same time. So there was usually a media truck outside and a lot of people are giving us free food. The Barclays PR department set up a photoshoot in New York Magazine. Here is the digital EditionBelow is the segment with my picture. And the obvious typos were not my fault.




But don't just look at my picture and my story. Look at everyone. I'm actually enjoying looking at everyone because these are the people I worked with. I was there for 6 days in a row.  Some of them were there for as many days and a few just for a couple of days. But I got to chat with almost everybody.

It was a really great experience being with them. I couldn't tell if they were there for the money or there to be patriotic. Some people might have had advanced degrees others might not have graduated high school. We weren't allowed to talk about politics. But we all had at least one thing in common.....Oh, We had ONE thing in common.  We were all citizens of Kings County. We were all equal.  

We all got there early in the morning and stayed until we were all done. 

We all shared the free food.

We all took Joy when we encountered a first-time voter. Whether they were 18 or 81. 

This was the best team building exercise I ever participated in. And now I feel like I am that much more a teammate with everybody else I see you in the street.

It shouldn't have to be a requirement but participating this way in democracy  would solve so many problems





 


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Field notes on voting [early] with a disability

Signs on a fence
including a sign with
the universal disability
symbol and the word vote
I'm throwing together the following notes as advice and observations on voting in New York City with a disability. I'm doing this as a response because people have been asking me what's going on. I'm not posting this as an official poll worker or as an official of the Board of Elections or any other agency. Just a person with a disability who's been a poll worker on the Monday through Wednesday  up early voting in Brooklyn.

If you have an absentee ballot you can drop it off at any Board of Elections office or any early voting site or any voting site in New York City. But if you do not have a ballot and want to vote [early] you must go to the [early] voting site for voting site assigned to your address that can be found hereYou do not have to wait on line if you were dropping off an absentee ballot

There's no need to show up before the polls open. You'll just wait on line. On Thursday the polls open at 10 a.m. And Friday Saturday Sunday at 7 am. That might change check here.

If you have a disability that makes it hard for you to wait online you do not have to wait on line. Go right to the door with the accessibility sign on it or go in the door when people are dropping off their absentee ballot. It is a violation of HIPAA for a election worker to ask you about your disability. So if you say your disability prevents you from waiting online you don't have to wait on line. (If someone lies about a being disabled so they can get to the front of the line that's their problem)

Pets are not allowed into polling places. Service animals are! Don't hesitate to bring your service animal.  Poll workers are not allowed to ask people if their dogs are service animals. That would be a violation of HIPAA. It pisses me off when people just bring their pets in assuming we're not going to ask them about them. One can ask someone where their service animal was trained without violating HIPAA. It might embarrass the pet owner into leaving or just shame them a little.

Every poll site has at least one ballot marking device (BMD),  and multiple privacy boots that can accommodate a  wheelchair or just a chair so people can sit. If you think you need to sit you should just ask any poll worker and we will gladly bring you over to that. A ballot marking device is an electronic machine that will scan and help you mark your ballot. You can use a touchscreen,  mouse, foot pedal or sip-and-puff device. It also will translate your ballot into  a limited number of languages.  It will also read the ballot back to you. So it's very helpful for people with visual, manual dexterity or other mobility issues.

However, I have found that it creates extra problems for people not used to using a computer. It's not very intuitive if you are a first-time user of the device and some of the poll workers who have been "trained"  but are not exactly that sensitive to the needs of a disabled just bring people over to it to  it don't think they're doing them a favor. Not so much.

Remember, the BMD is used to mark a ballot, like a pen, it is not the voting machine; you still have to feed your marked ballot into the scanning voting machine.  After you feed your marked ballot into the voting machine, you have voted. 

This is the official Board of election web page regarding accessibility and the ballot marking device. 

This is the training video as poll workers are given about the ballot marking device. When I work on Election Day I happen to work where I vote. So I get my ballot as soon as the poll opens and make sure the BMD is working.  Some election days I'm the only person to use it. But that doesn't matter.



Also, You don't have to have disability to use the ballot marking device or the accessible privacy booth. You can use it if you just feel like sitting we're figuring out how a new machine works.  The more people that use these things the more likely they are to be available.Sadly, I hear that at some polling places the ballot marking devices are not setup properly and no one knows how to help people use them or direct people towards them.

As a poll worker I was required to enter into the employee entrance of the facility where we were working. It is accessible. There is an elevator and a staircase. But for no reason at all there was a sand bag on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. I need to hold the rail to walk down stairs and this  was an impediment to me. On the second day it occurred to me to mention this to someone who looked like a boss at the facility. His first answer was isn't there another side you can walk down.  Instead of ripping his head off and telling him that I should  be able to walk down any side of the staircase I wanted to I just mentioned that there was one on the other side also. An hour later he actually found me and told me he removed them both.

So voters! Don't let anything stop you from voting. 

If you think there's a problem at the poll site ask to speak to the supervisor or coordinator. At every early voting site there are professional Board of Elections staff there to help. And at every election day site there is a coordinator.  It's their job to help you vote and I sincerely believe the vast majority of them are passionate about their jobs. But if things don't work out, or you think it took an unreasonable amount of effort to make things work out I would encourage you to file a HAVA complaint form. 

Finally, keep in mind that the Board of Elections is way over its head in the job it has to get done in 2020. They were not built for this.  Not built for this perfect storm have a pandemic and potential Federal voter suppression.  I'm not saying they should be forgiven for every mistake I'm just saying knowing they are overwhelmed might make it easier for you to deal with them/us.  So far I think the job has been performed pretty well!

I wrote this as a board member of Disabled in Action of Greater New York and a Co-coordinator of the downstate chapter of ADAPT

Monday, October 19, 2020

I got my flu shot!

I had Guillain-Barre syndrome.  My immune system got confused and decided to attack my motor nerves. It usually happens after an event which gets your immune system going.  Something like a virus, a bacterial infection,  surgeries where they leave stuff in you, pregnancy or a vaccine.  There is some evidence now that covid-19 is a trigger for GBS. My GBS was triggered by food poisoning,  the doctors found evidence of the campylobacter bacteria in me. And I had the worst stomach bug of my life a week before my GBS happened

GBS is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune sounds like a misnomer it should be called disorder immune. Because you are immune system usually works correctly automatically. But when you have an autoimmune condition your immune system attacks and destroys parts of your body you need.  Guillain-Barre syndrome is when your immune system decides to attack the sheaths that cover the nerves. It affects about one in 100,000 people in the United States.  I actually have a variant of Guillain-Barre syndrome called acute motor axonal neuropathy. My immune system also attacked my motor nerves themselves. Sheaths heal slowly,  axons not so much. So I have permanent damage.

But I'm not really posting about myself today. The past two paragraphs were just a little background. But I did mention that one of the triggers for Guillain-Barre syndrome is a vaccine. Because I am really really not wanting a relapse., if a vaccine can trigger GBS I was really wondering if I should get one. So a couple of years ago after getting GBS I did my own research. I also talked to my neurologist and my general practitioner. They all told me the same thing I found on the Guillain-Barre syndrome Foundation website. If a vaccine didn't trigger your GBS the first time, it's not likely to trigger a relapse. In fact if you're going to get a relapse it's going to be from the same thing that triggered it in the first place. So I make sure my chicken is cooked. And I also want to stay healthy and I don't want the flu. So I get the vaccine as directed by my doctor every year.


In fact, last year I got the flu shot at the hospital where I was volunteering. They were requiring it
for all staff. I was volunteering at that hospital because I used to be a patient. With my volunteer ID I got online to get the shot.  When I got into the big room they handed me a tablet for me to fill out a form.  It's a common form and you have to fill it out no matter where you get the flu vaccine. It looks like this. (The form doesn't say you shouldn't get the flu shot if you've had GBS. It says you should talk to your doctor because there's no room to indicate that if your  GPS was triggered by a vaccine you shouldn't get another GPS. This also applies to about one in a million people)

It's a list of things that you really think you should check no to every one of them. But item number 4 says, " do you have a history of  Guillain Barre syndrome?"...   I checked yes and the nurse's aide who was going to give the shot told me I was exempt I could wear a mask if I wanted to work in the hospital but I didn't need to get the shot. I told her I didn't want to be exempt I didn't want the flu. She called the supervising nurse, who repeated the same thing. I said no I talked to my neurologist and my family doctor and I told her what I learned about GBS and the flu shot. She took a big swallow and looked at me and asked when I had GBS? I looked her right in the eye without looking at her name tag and called her by name. And said in June of 2014 when I was here and paralyzed and you were my nurse.  She put the shot right into my tattoo, without hesitation

Today I went to my local pharmacy to get the flu vaccine. It was a paper form and I circled yes  for that same question. I was prepared for a little fight. But I got the opposite. But it was my turn on the pharmacist called my name and called me into the little private corner. She looked at my form and ask me one question. Did a vaccine trigger your GBS? Nope, it was bad chicken.  Then she just asked me which are my one of the shot in. I rolled up my sleeve and showed her my tattoo. "That's great but I'm sorry I'll have to cover it with a Band-Aid"


And she said that with an Eastern European accent. Which really got me thinking about this anti-vaccine movement and how it's being encouraged by Russian trolls

You know something, the vaccine isn't supposed to be perfect. It's supposed to reduce the likelihood of you getting the flu and it supposed to make the flu less severe then if you would not have taken the shot.

 It stops an epidemic, also. 

Show to the people who blurt out it's a personal decision. No!  It should be an informed decision based on facts and it affects more than yourself it's a  decision that affects everybody around you. Send a personal decision to wash your hands after using the bathroom if you work in a restaurant.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

More than a race report for the VIRTUAL Superfund Super Run 2020

Back in the late spring of 2014 I spent a significant amount of time in NYU Langone Hospital.  When I was there I was  suffering from Quadrophenia.  I couldn't move my arms or legs but I was able to move my hips and shoulders and neck. The first chunk of time I was there underwent five days of plasmapheresis.  I had my carotid artery opened up so they can run a tube down to my heart and filter out my immune system. It was quite unpleasant. then,I had IVIG infusions which meant I basically laid there and had a day-long injection.   Then I went back to rehab because they thought that would stop  my immune system from attacking my motor nerves. But it didn't. So I went back there, even more paralyzed and they wound up giving me an off-label non FDA-approved chemotherapy. That honestly sounds a lot more scary than it was. The only negative side effect if you can even call this negative was that all the hair fell off my feet. It didn't grow back. It either works or my immune system was done attacking my motor nerves.

Too me this is ancient history now.  I literally laid there passively while the greatest teams of doctors in the world did their battle with Guillain-Barre syndrome.  But I'm bringing this up now please that's all happened to me while I was on the Upper Floor of a building on 1st Avenue in Manhattan. The whole time I had a great view of the East River and Queens and Brooklyn.  I looked out there a lot and I quickly noticed some big towers going up that I didn't know anything about. It turned out it was the beginning of the replacement for the Koskosco Bridge, connecting Brooklyn and Queens on the highway known as the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.  I said to myself and I'm sure out loud, "When they finish that thing I'm going to run over it". 

 Today I did. 


This morning I went live on Facebook and with a lot more emotion basic said what I wrote above.  I was kind of wondering why I didn't have any comments but just now I noticed the audio didn't come out at all.  But I do remember saying that it's a good thing they put a bike path and a recreation Lane on that new bridge otherwise I would have had to have stopped traffic


But I did take some pictures. You cannot see it in the picture I took with my puny camera phone it from the bridge you can see NYU langone


At this point you might be  wondering about the title of this blog post.  Yeah there was a virtual race.  Even before it was virtual it was an alley cat race. I didn't know what that meant but it was erased from the Newton Creek to the Gowanus Canal. Choose your fastest route. I figured since I wasn't going to win and it was virtual anyway and I was doing it alone I can do it my way. It was an excuse to start on the other side of the Newton Creek and cross the Koskosco Bridge.  And since I wasn't interested in dealing with lots of intersections I didn't go in a straight line I hugged the water line from Greenpoint to Williamsburg to Vinegar Hill through Brooklyn Bridge Park and then I went straight up Union Street.



Pretty excited about this run is an understatement. Not just that I did it but that I was able to do it that fast. I was wearing my new carbon fiber ankle-foot Orthotics and covered over 11 miles in under 16 minutes per mile.  The mobility impaired standard for qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 6 hours.  That 13 minutes 40 seconds per mile.  I'm on my way.  Training for marathons and ultra-marathons help me prepare for this terrible disease.  I'm okay with goals and it just beyond the horizon.  I think running 11 and a half miles within 10% of my Marathon goal pace means dawn is coming

I'm still getting used to them and I'm going to get faster. I also have to break them in. I guess you don't really break in carbon fiber, so I guess they have to break me in.  Lots of rubbing. It didn't hurt much but I kind of lost track of where all the blood was coming from when I took a shower.

Along my route I saw some things

 I also watch them built in buildings while riding an accessory ride vehicles to physical therapy. They're done now and Domino Park is beautiful.


Did get to see the most amazing graffiti. If I was into Valentine's Day cards this would be the cover.

It was on the sidewalk right under the Williamsburg Bridge.


Across the street from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in a playground where they would be to handball courts who's six guys were playing/ practicing what could only be described as bicycle polo. I think it was just a workout because they will all aiming at the same net and if the goalie had to leave the nearest person on a bike would just roll into that spot. But it was pretty intense.


Along the run I did pause to see all those iconic views have the New York City skyline and the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. I didn't take a picture. You can buy a postcard or Google it. But towards the end of my run I did stop to take a picture of the finish line. Lavender Lake and the Gowanus Canal.




Friday, September 4, 2020

Looking good is good, but.....


I'll admit I was getting chunky before GPS but I gained a lot of weight being completely inactive and on steroids. In the past 9 months I went from 228 to 173 lbs.  I don't need blood pressure medication anymore and I don't need the CPAP machine anymore.

And I can run now

And I can reach the Holy Grail

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