31 August 2012

I Run!

I can't believe I'm doing it, but I'm running! My entire life I hated running. Well... I guess I didn't hate it as a kid. I remember from the age range of about 10-12 there was this kid on my block that was really fast and I was the only one that was able to catch him (sometimes), so I know I ran at SOME point. But those runs were just short bursts anyway.

But I remember in high school, before I started, I was trying to start my high school career out right and doing extracurriculars in the preceding summer. Not only was I taking Russian and Electronics classes AHEAD of time (yes, I took summer school to get AHEAD. I am a nerd.) — I went to a technical high school that taught us drafting and electronics and we had to learn Russian — but I also decided I would try joining the track team. I had absolutely NO sports skills whatsoever. My parents never forced me to play any sports like most of my friends and I thought that was awesome (now I wish they had), so I wasn't about to join a school team where I could show off my LACK of skill. So instead I thought, "well everyone can run." Or something equally dumb. I think I went to two meets. I remember stretching beforehand and I remember we had to run around the school's grounds. I was dead so quickly. I remember feeling like I was going to throw up.

But NOW! Now I'm doing it!! A couple of months ago my friend posted on facebook that he was doing the NY Giant Run of Champions 5K that ended on the field at Giants Stadium! You got to run into the endzone!! THIS I needed to do. At first I though, "Eh, I'll just jog/mostly walk it, just so I can get to the field." But my friend suggested I try one of the couch-to-5K programs that are so popular these days. So of course I looked for an "app for that" and I found the 5K Runner (which, by the way, I HIGHLY recommend). It starts you off really slowly and in a way that is doable, doing like 4 sets of running like a minute or two followed by a minute or two walk. Which is great because at first three minutes felt awful and impossible. But by the time I got to the Giants run, I was running like 10 minutes straight, followed by a 3 minute walk and then another 5 minutes (not exactly this I'm sure, it was a few months ago)! Here's my results from that:

NY Giants Run of Champions 5K
I did it in 38 minutes!! I still can't believe it. But the best part? I haven't stopped! I decided I was going to do this thing! I've signed up for a 5K every month since then (except July). This week alone I did TWO! Last Sunday I ran the Color Run — the happiest 5K on the planet! It was amazing, you get hit with coloured powder as you run and at the end there's basically a giant rave of people dancing and throwing MORE colour at each other!

Here's me hamming it up, mostly green.
It was a great time. Then last night I did a 4-mile NYRR Back to Football Run! It was a run in Central Park to celebrate the return of football season! It was great! And I'm proud to say I didn't really walk very much at all. We stopped a couple of times at the beginning but not very long at all and from about the start of mile 3 to the end of 4 I only stopped for a few seconds to drink water. My pace was slightly slower than the Giants 5K but I definitely felt better for this one:

NYRR Back to Football Run
I still haven't technically finished the 5K program. I struggled with the 25 minute run mark, but a week or two ago I ran those 25 minutes, then added 5 more! Very soon I should be able to run a 5K without stopping! I can't wait!

Next month I'm visiting a friend in New Hampshire and I'll be doing my second Warrior Dash! It's a 5K in the mud with obstacles! I did one a couple years ago and the obstacles were fun but the running was so horrible for me. This time it should be much better. Then I've got a 5K on the boardwalk at Coney Island to raise money to help walruses in October and the Race to the Finish 5K in November (runs part of the NY Marathon course... the END part). I think for December I'll do the Jingle Bell Jog. :) Signing up for races keeps me from slacking off in between. 

Yay for running!!

PS One other app that really helped me get this running thing going, that I would be remiss not to mention, is the Zombies Run app. This app is so cool and so entertaining, I really push anyone who wants to run or who already does to check it out. It's not cheap, but it's worth it! Happy running!

23 August 2012


I just found out a friend of mine has passed. I don't know what happened. I can't claim that we were the best of friends as I haven't seen him in over two years, but I really liked him and I actually recently was thinking that I needed to reconnect with him. I am completely shocked and I can't really process this. He was such a sweet, funny guy. I missed him already and now I will miss him always. I'm just so glad I actually DID get to know him. Here's how we met:

I used to see Frank on the Staten Island train all the time. (There's one train, it goes down one side of the island and ends at the SI Ferry which is how most Staten Islanders get to their Manhattan jobs.) At first he just reminded me a lot of another friend of mine, which may be why I had this strange feeling that he was a comic book fan. I remember once at the ferry terminal I dropped a printout of a Marvel handbook I was editing and he was the one that picked it up for me and I remember wondering if he looked at it. I saw him a few times a month but never talked to him. I just remember feeling that we would be friends if we knew each other. I don't know why, I just knew it.

Then one day at the New York Comic Con (might've been the first one, I can't remember), I'm working the Marvel booth and I look over and see him talking to Brian Michael Bendis. Worlds colliding! I went over to Brian and said to him "I see this guy on my train all the time!" Frank looks at me and says "You're the comic book girl!! That's what I call you in my head!" Brian tells me Frank is a member of his message board, of which I also belong.

Later, I'm talking to Brian and he has this whole idea that there was going to be some romance here. I said he's crazy and just then Frank walks back over to the booth and says hello. "What are you doing here still?" "I work at Marvel." "Oh shit! I thought you just liked comics, I had no idea!" Then he mentions how he either just got from or was going to Jamaica with his fiancée. We talk a little more and he leaves and I turn to Brian and say "see??" (I later met his fiancée, she's a sweet, lovely woman who I imagine is a mess right now. I hope she gets through this ok.)

What followed after that were a series of train rides where we got to know each other. Talked about Bendis message board gossip, Staten Island gossip, his art, my job, our mutual friends, all the stuff you talk about with a new friend. I went to one of his art shows in Manhattan. I remember seeing him at a Halloween show on Staten Island. I was dressed as V (for Vendetta) and he was the first person to guess it was me. He had an art show on Staten Island, from which I bought one of his paintings (so glad I did that). I really liked being his friend.

Eventually he bought a house in a different part of Staten Island and I didn't see him on the train anymore. We communicated a little bit via various internet means. Then I moved to Queens and we were even further separated. It's one of those things where you always think there will be time to reconnect. There isn't. I am so crushed by this. The reality of "I will never see this person again" is just so... heartbreaking.

Everyone goes through their daily lives and sees the same people there every day, it's so rare you see someone and take note and just KNOW that you would be friends if you met. That we actually DID become friends is so amazing and I am so happy for that.

I will always miss him.

Frank drew this robot version of me.