Saturday, August 23, 2008
Beijing Birthday Blog
That is what I looked like on my Birthday in Beijing.
Gold, silver and bronze had just been handed out moments earlier to Korea, Cuba and USA baseball teams. I had to see what it felt like. One of the Korean players had left the bouquet behind, so it's one of those you see on NBC all the time. Here is up-close of what a silver medal looks like, as I took a pic of it while talking to Pedro Luis Lazo, who has four medals now.
I wanted to get my picture taken on the podium because I set another PR on an Olympic venue again before the gold medal baseball game today, and because I was was celebrating what proved to be a truly memorable birthday. I ran 35 laps around Field 3, and at 3.5 laps per mile that equates to an Olympic 10-Miler. I started at 4:39 exactly according to the two security guards below and my watch, and I finished at exactly 6 because that was start time of Korea vs. Cuba. I ran it in 1:21, 15 minutes faster than my Colon Cancer 15K (9.3 miles) time, so I am destroying PRs at this point, largely because I am running on the world's fastest/flattest surface -- perfect warning track clay of a Major League-caliber baseball field. I had run 47 laps (Olympic Half Marathon) three days earlier, in 1:56, and Half PR had been 2:12.
I feel incredibly good in my seven training runs here in Beijing. I am going to be so ready for the New York City Marathon on November 2. I have to get back to some reality of hills when I return Tuesday to Upper West Side and Central Park. But I at least did the Great Wall hill repeats so hey, bring it on! I have to again say what B.S. the media show about Beijing air pollution was...it filled time more than smog filled air. If that's because Beijing citizens aren't driving as much, because factories shut down, because of those rockets blasted up into the atmosphere that break up the water crystals above the clouds...whatever the reason...I don't ever remember having better air to breathe for marathon training. I didn't even use my Breathe Right Strip for the 47 laps (Half). I used it for the 35 (10-Miler).
More pictures...and be sure to see new Giant Panda video added in previous post!
One of my 35 laps in the second run. It takes 3.5 laps around the field to make a mile.
Friends always...my two buddies who are security guards for Field 3 at the Wukesong Sports Complex. They would cheer me on, count down the final laps, bring over bottles of water. They were like the best raceday volunteers ever -- always with a huge smile on their faces. Afterwards we all tried to get the pronunciation of each other's names down-pat. I have gradually learned quite a bit about Mandarin and the meaning of characters in Chinese lettering. It would take a long, long time to become fluent.
High light towers...pitching mound dirt from Petco Park in San Diego...soil conditioner brought in from a (literally) slow boat to China from America...and so on. What a field.
One World One Dream...
After putting iceback from dugout onto my right knee, I snapped this shot and then headed over to Field 1 and changed back into my clothes (in "medal" picture above) to work the Korea-Cuba game.