Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Running and Brain Tumors!!

When I am running I feel alive, that is how I can summon it all. Over the last few weekends I have been able to see some awesome and amazing views.

Ran from Redwood city to San Francisco one day just to go and have lunch there. Went to the Headlands in two consecutive weekends to re-live my Headlands 100 experience. Step out of my house and ran in the Woodside mountains a lot and this past weekend I ran from Woodside to Half Moon Bay and back. That was awesome and brutal, but awesome nevertheless.

Just recently I got an email from somebody who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and she will be having surgery. She found me through this blog and I realize that having a brain tumor and surviving it was the beginning of my new life as a runner and endurance athlete. Being able to do these runs is a blessing and knowing it is even a bigger blessing. I have learned not to take things for granted, although I have to remind myself of that.

To my new found friend in Australia, I know you will beat this tumor and you will go on. Life is a myriad of constant change, for some of us the change is drastic (brain tumor) and for others the change is so settled that they might miss it entirely. Embrace change, it is necessary and if approached wisely you will come out on the other side stronger and happier.

So for my friend Amanda undergoing brain surgery soon “Down Under”… these are the 10 top things that made my “condition” a lot more fun (literally).

1. Focus on your life, not your tumor.
2. Try to find more about the doctor rather than the details of the operation.
3. If you have the choice, have the surgery when you are the healthiest and the strongest.
4. The tumor you can’t control, surgery you can’t control, recovery?… yes you can.
5. Don’t be afraid of Change, take it as a challenge not as a handicap.
6. Stay positive no matter what, let the negativity die with the tumor. Tell people how positive you feel about your upcoming surgery.
7. Take care of yourself, exercise, be active. You cannot control the tumor growth, but you can control how you react to it. Being active will help you recover faster.
8. Make fun of your tumor; give it a funny name… Use it as an excuse when you forget to take out the garbage or pick up the milk.
9. Look for courage not sympathy.
10. Stay away from downers.

Stay strong.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I just saw this slideshow and it really hits a cord.. I have been forced to change many times, and I wish I was shown this slide show in the past.   I particularlly like #4 as we tend to focus on stopping old behaviours instead of creating new ones.   

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Say what? Kathrine Switzer all over again!!

I was driving to get an Xrays of my right foot as it is been hurting when I run quite a bit.  Last weekend, as I ran from Redwood City to San Francisco (32 miles),  I had pain from mile 2 until the end.  It was more painful if I walked, so that forced me to run more.   In any event,  I self diagnosed myself with Morton's Neuroma or a stress fracture.  I sure hope that is MN, as that is more easily treated than a stress fracture.

So anyway, as I was saying, I was driving and I was listening to NPR and they were interviewing people from Palestine as their marathon got cancelled.  It turns out that they cancelled because they (Their government) don’t want men and women to run together.  I remembered the book by Katherine Switzer describing her experience in 1968 when she ran the Boston Marathon and one of the marshals tried to kick her out of the Marathon, amazing. 

Almost half of the international runners who had signed up for this year's race in Palestine were women. Of the 551 local Palestinians registered, 266 were women, this is the type of events that will bring the country together and bring some happiness to many.  It is too bad that Hamas has decided that it is against the “culture” of the region to have men and women running alongside, but is it?

Friday, February 08, 2013

Training continues!!

Just a few months ago I had brain surgery and coming back to running has been a little slow.  It is not because of the brain surgery, but because my fitness level has decreased.  I am in the process of building up once again.  I miss the days when I could run 50K+ with no training..   I am getting there, somehow.
I also lost a dear uncle of mine.   He died unexpectedly a few weeks ago.   I traveled home to be with the family.  He was young and such an incredible human being.   Once again, I am reminded how fragile life can be and why it is important to enjoy every minute of it.  
I have been training in Huddard park with  my crossfit buddies.   We have signed for American River 50 Miles in a couple of months and looking forward to get it done.
We did a 20 mile training run this past weekend...  It was awesome.  We are doing 25 miles this weekend on the same hilly course. I am on a paleo challenge at the moment, so I am trying to find out how can I fuel myself during this long run without the use of conventional gels / bars  /coke etc.    I will report my results in a later post. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

12-30-12 Woodside 17K

Jim, Oliver, me and Jennifer before the start. 
Getting back into running has been proven to be a challenge. On December 30, the SCCF endurance team completed the Woodside trail run 17K.  I was fortunate enough to be able to do this and given that I haven’t run since last October it proved to be a challenge.   My fellow San Carlos CrossFit fellows came to run it with me.   A conversation with my wife earlier in the week made me realize once again that I just had brain surgery.   She was concerned that if I was going to do this, I needed to have someone with me at all time.  So she gave me permission to run this if I had friends with me at all times.   I con my friends into running together and we did.   It was, like always, awesome.

Jennifer Landivar, a fellow crossfiter was about to run her first trail run ever, and that was exciting.  Just the night before we exchanged text messages to give her last minute advice as what to wear and what to eat.  She was a bit nervous, but at the start of the race she was ready to charge the hills, and she did…   She finished strong, and I have a belief that she could have gone faster even though she rolled her ankle at the beginning.     

Jim and Oliver were, as always, consistent.  And I, was slow, in addition my ankle was hurting a bit.   I am not sure what is the source of the pain but it caused me to change my stride which in turn miss-aligned my form and as a consequence, my left hip and IT band started to hurt.  It is amazing how one little thing leads to bigger problems.

Huddard park in Woodside, is awesome and I enjoy running there a lot.   The first half of the run is uphill, all the way, and the second part is downhill, all the way.  It was a really a beautiful run and I was jealous of the people that were doing the longer distances.   But that is ok; I will be back soon enough.   I am looking forward to regain my running fitness and speed.    

Celebratory finish hanstand...  CrossFit rules