Saturday, November 5, 2016

What do you think about while running?

In the beginning, it was “What am I doing” to “I am going to die” to “This really hurts” to “I can’t breath” Now it’s like “Am I going to fast” “Am I going to slow” “When do I need to have my Gu” “100, 99, 98, 97” “1-2-3 1-2-3” “Nothing”
When I am finally thinking of nothing during a run, that is when I am calm. The Zen-like trance really helps me focus for the rest of the day or clear my mind from the happenings of the day.
Mind you don’t completely zone out because of traffic, but enough to clear your mind.
I usually don’t get then in the pool or when I ride the bike outdoors. In the pool, I am working on drills, elbows high and don’t drown. Biking outdoors, I am scanning for cars.
When I bike indoors, depending on the workout, I am looking at my bike computer for power and time and wanting to get it over with. But if I am just spinning for hours, I can get lost as well.
Whatever you think about during a workout, remember that you are lucky to be able to do this. People in parts of the world are running for reasons that we can not fathom.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

How to Breathe While Running

Whether you’re training for your first 5K or pounding the pavement for another 26.2 bumper sticker, one thing all runners have in common is oxygen. Breathing in and out is as natural as, well, breathing. When you go for a walk, you don’t actively think about taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide; it just happens.

So why does breathing feel more complicated when those legs get pumping? In the days when even a slow jog can leave you panting like a dog, your internal dialogue says you must be doing something wrong.

Turns out, you may be right.

Breathing Basics for More Efficient Running

Before you can get to the heart of better breathing, you should first understand why oxygen is so important not only to a runner’s lungs, but also to a runner’s muscles.
“Your muscles need oxygen in order to fire,” says Bill Bishop, head coach and founder of Chicago’s Bishop Racing, who helps athletes achieve their competitive goals in running, swimming, cycling, and multi-sports. Your heart pumps blood, circulating it around the body and once oxygen enters the lungs, it passes through alveoli and into the blood, where it’s transported to muscle cells for use in cellular respiration, he explains.

The harder you run, the more oxygen your muscles need, says Bishop. Going harder or faster may feel like a far-off goal, especially if you’re more focused on simply not passing out. But the good news is that no matter what your running goals may be, breathing better can get you there.

2 Schools of Thought on Breathing During Running

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to breathing and running: natural breathing and rhythmic breathing. Natural breathing is just as it sounds — breathing in a way that comes naturally to you.

“A lot of new runners have a tendency to overthink it and get so analytical about their breathing patterns that they don’t actually just relax and breathe,” says Bishop, who says this can lead to hyperventilating.

Rhythmic breathing, on the other hand, relies on your natural inhales and exhales as a guide for foot strikes. “The most common breathing rhythm of the well-trained runners I’ve tested is a 2-2 rhythm, which means they take two steps while breathing in — one right foot step and one left foot step — and two steps breathing out,” says running coach Jack Daniels, Ph.D., associate professor at A. T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, and two-time Olympic medalist in the modern pentathlon.

Another effective  rhythm is the five count (3-2) breath, says Beachbody’s fitness and nutrition content manager Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S. “The goal here is to avoid beginning each exhalation on the same foot,” he says, adding that when you breathe out, your diaphragm and the muscles around it relax, reducing core stability. “If you begin each exhalation on the same foot, you’ll concentrate the impact forces on one side of your body; if you begin each exhalation on a different foot, as you will with the 3-2 rhythm, you’ll distribute those forces equally between both sides of your body, reducing your overall risk of injury.

The Best Breathing Style for You

While there are benefits to both styles of breathing, you won’t know what works best for you until you give it a whirl.

“Runners may think they are most comfortable with one method without ever trying another method,” says Albert Rizzo, M.D., senior medical advisor to the American Lung Association and section chief at the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in Newark, Delaware. “There may be advantages to looking into different styles of rhythmic running rather than running without ever pacing yourself.”

While there are benefits to both styles of breathing, there’s one common recommendation for all types of exercise breathing: Practice making your muscular diaphragm your primary breathing muscle, instead of your chest and neck muscles, which tend to be shallow and inefficient.

4 Tips for Optimal Breathing for Running, and Beyond

Whether natural or rhythmic is right for you, follow this expert advice to see results that leave you breathing a sigh of relief:

  • Don’t Overdo It: If you’re new to running, going out too hard and fast can set you back before you really get started. If you feel as though you can’t catch your breath, slow down and walk it out. If you’re really laboring, Rizzo recommends “pursed-lip breathing,” where your breathe in through the nose as if smelling the roses and then out through pursed lips as if blowing out birthday candles. “This technique can often get you back into control and start to get rid of some of that panic setting in.”
  • Nose vs. Mouth: Studies at the University of Arizona show breathing through your mouth when running may be easiest for beginner runners, especially, when compared to breathing through only your nose or using both your nose and mouth. (However, if you suffer from asthma or you are running in colder climates, Rizzo says nose breathing can help filter, warm, and moisturize the air to make for easier breathing all around.)
  • Change the Rhythm: Instead of a 2-2 or a 3-2 pace with rhythmic breathing, experiment with other patterns based on your workout and what feels best for your body. Daniels says, “A slow rhythm 4-4, for instance, allows for larger breaths but fewer of them per minute. Keep it nice and steady.”
  • Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable: Like any new form of exercise, it takes a while for the body to feel OK. “For newer runners, the first part of your runs are probably going to feel crappy,” Bishop says with a laugh. “Having a good handle on your breathing allows you to feel the least crappy in the phase when your body needs to get juiced up and ready to go. Sure enough, things will come around, and you’ll feel good at some point.”

Do You Suffer From Side Stitches?

Side stitches are often a stabbing pain beneath your rib cage or along your side that comes during running and exercising. If you are familiar with the sudden side stitch, you’re not alone: 70 percent of runners experienced this pain at least once during the 2014 year surveyed, according to research published in the New Zealand Journal of Medicine.

While scientists have explored the reasons for the side stitch and found a number of potential causes — including excess gas and digestive issues, restriction of blood flow, and an imbalance of electrolytes — the jury is still out on the precise reason for this exercise-induced discomfort.

To get relief, Bishop recommends easing the pain by either contracting your abdominals (try a bicycle crunch, for instance) or shift to short-fast inhales and longer exhales until the pain passes. Another option: Slow your pace, try applying firm pressure with your fingertips into the sore spot, and just wait it out.

Written by Carrie Anton

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Blueberry Cove 13.1 Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

I’ve never been to Maine in my entire life, but kept hearing that you can get lobster everywhere.  So after Irene told me that she was going to do Ironman Maryland and include Timberman 70.3 as a training race, I decided to look at taking vacation in the most Eastern State of the Continential Union.  For months I kept thinking about lobster!
blueberry-cove-half-marathon-bib-pick-upIn between the lobster dreams, I planned the trip to include landmarks and things to do; whale watching, shops, museums, tours, and learn to catch lobster!  However the scene where Forrest Gump runs one ocean then to another ocean, he runs to a lighthouse and turns around to run across the country again got me into running and eventually helping others.  Thank God for Google, with the words, “Forrest Gump Landmarks”  I found the Marshall Point Light, Port Clyde, ME.
It looked not to far from civilization based on Google Maps, so I listed it as a destination spot to visit.  Then I felt like running, so I Googled “Half Marathons in Maine.”  Well it turns out that the the Blueberry Cove 13.1 was near the lighthouse, and even better yet.  It happened to be the following weekend after Timberman 70.3.
So excited, I turned to Zachary and asked if he would like to do a Half Marathon, and he said, “Sure.”  We began to train building up slowly adding a few 10 milers.  I felt confident going into the race and Zachary was at a running camp the week before so he also had enough miles to finish strong.  I expected based on this training that he would probably finish about 1:45 and I was using this race as a build race for the Suffolk County Half Marathon at the end of October.
As we drove to the race start, we saw some early starters.  The race allowed for walkers to start before the official start to give them time to complete the course.  We cheered them on as we passed.
blueberry-cover-half-marathon-bibs-2016We arrived at the course located at the 4H Camp & Learning Centers at Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove with our basic bibs cutout of a bolt of cloth and marked by hand with a blue Sharpee that we picked up the day before.  114 for me and 115 for Zachary!  Surprisingly we found a parking stop near the camp area.  Both Zachary and I did our things with the portapottys, then we walked down to the official start was on Hartsneck Rd.  The race director, thanked us for coming out letting us know that the race fees give kids a chance to attend the camp at no charge.  There were about 200 participants towing the start line.
blueberry-cove-half-marathon-bib-startZachary started near the front of the group and I heading towards the middle of the pack. Irene and Elijah stood around 100 yards down the road to take pictures of us.  My plan was to come in around 2 hours and 15 minutes by doing a 10 minute run at 10:00 pace and a 1 minute walk.  However the cooler than Long Island Temps and drier humidity had me arrive at the first mile marker that was created from a lobster trap buoy in 8:30.  It felt really good so I pushed on until my watch buzzed to remind me to walk, and so I did.  I repeated that
pattern throughout the race even forcing myself to still walk even though I felt strong.
I started running with someone who has done the race many times and we chatted for a little bit about the weather, where we were from.  The basic stuff you talk about, then with a moment of silence, I started to pull away.  about 10 minutes later, my alarm buzzed to walk and so I walked, and he came up with some words of encouragement and I told him I was doing a run/walk for this race and he said, “Great!  Keep it up!” and he passed me.  I later passed him and we did that a few times.
Right around mile 5, I saw someone that looked like Zachary about 200 yards away, but I stayed to the run/walk method as planned.  When I walked, the Zachary look-a-like moved away, when I ran, the Zachary look-a-like was being reeled in.  I was thinking, “I hope that is not Zachary.”   At Mile 6, I recognized the shirt and steps and thought, “I hope he’s not injured because cross country season is next week.”
Around mile 7, I yelled for water, and Zachary looked over his right should as we made the right towards the water.  Even though he looked at me, he did not notice it was me.  He was totally zoned out.
Around mile 7.5, he was coming back from the Marshall Point Light House (Forrest Gump) is then we noticed me coming towards him.  I think at that point he was a little surprised to see his old man so close to him.  I made a counter clockwise movement around turn around point as a volunteer said to go around the cone on the floor.  You can see the Lighthouse on the left.  I said thanks to the volunteer and head towards the finish.  I felt strong!
blueberry-cover-half-marathon-marshall-point-lighthouse-forrest-gump-turnFor several miles, I was holding back thinking I should not pass Zachary.  I wanted him to cross the finish line in front of me, at least his first.  However, I kept reeling in Zachary. For a few minutes, I thought about what was I going to say when I catch up.  Should I ask what is wrong, but knowing him he would not respond to that question, especially as his Dad will pass him in something that he is much faster than him.  At mile 8.25 I pulled up to his right shoulder.  I saw his face grimacing, and I said, “Keep up the great work.  See you in a few minutes!”   And just like that, I passed him.  I did not know what to think because I really don’t want to win or having bragging rights, but I knew this would probably be that last time  I would ever pass him in anything.    I looked back at an emotionless face and I was not sure what to think.  He’s very hard on himself at each race.
My thoughts then returned back to my time watch time and doing the mental math in my head, I knew I was going to cross the finish line under 2:00.  Something that I have been trying to do for 8 years, and I was not expecting to do it until the end of October where I would run the Suffolk County Half Marathon, which is a flat course).
I still kept doing the walk when the alarm beeped, and when the alarm said to run, I did!  I finally make the left on the the dirt road leading back to the camp.  I yelled to Irene who was very confused to see me come in before our son, “Zachary is about 5 minutes behind me.”  There were 2 chutes, one for runners and one for walker.  I moved towards the left chute and raise my arms as the clocked flipped to 01:56:51.  I beat last years Half Marathon time by over 8 minutes!
blueberry-cove-half-marathon-finishThe volunteers handing me my medallion and I walked back to Irene to wait for Zachary.  You can still see Zachary’s non-emotional face and stride as he ran to the finish.  I know he was not happy, and I knew to give him space after a race because I don’t know if he had a good race or bad until minutes later.   So I let him wander around as Irene asked where did Zachary go.  I told her to leave him alone and be patient.  He has the same straight line movements to avoid us at every race, and these moments of time have reduced as he has gotten older.  He think he puts a lot of pressure on himself.
blueberry-cove-half-marathon-blueberry-pie-eatingblueberry-cove-half-marathon-brunch-buffet-after-raceAfter a about 20 minutes we walked down to the water to unwind and laugh.  Then back up to the mess hall where a brunch buffet awaited for us!  During this time, Zachary opened up to let me know he was disappointed with his race, and I reminded him, this is the longest run and he should be proud.  We got to do this race together and have some famous Wild Blueberry Pie. 
blueberry-cove-half-marathon-blueberry-pieThis race is one of my favorites.  There is something about a small unique race that big city races do not have.  It feels intimate that you can relax and enjoy every mile without getting caught up in worrying about getting to the start, finding a place to eat, finding your family afterwards and all the crazy logistical challenges.  Yes,  I still love big races like NYC which I have friend running in November.
The more experiences the better, and I am so grateful to having to share this with my son. As much as I get personal satisfaction with achieving my goals.  I find it more important to have memories with my family and friends.

At the end, I finished 48th Overall, 4th in my age group and Zachary finished with 2;00:32, 57th Overall and 3rd in his age group.  Next stop, Ironman Maryland for Irene!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

PTSD Awareness Push Up Challenge Day 17

You can't hire someone to do your Push-Ups for you.
You must do them Yourself. 
~ Jim Rohn

Monday, May 16, 2016

Long Distance Triathlon 140.6 and the Hydration During the Course

Beachbody Performance has a product for your Pre-Workout in Energize, a Post-Workout in Recover, and a overnight support product in Recharge.  Many Long Distance Triathletes have asked, what about DURING.  

Click here to read more about what happened.

Click here to learn more about Hydrate for during your workout!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Coach Noah Announces Beachbody Performance Becomes an Official Sports Nutrition Supplement a Long Distance Triathlon Company

Noah Lam, an Independent Team Beachbody Diamond Coach, 12 time marathon finisher and 1 time Ironman finisher, is happy to announce that Beachbody, one of the world's leading providers of fitness programs and nutrition products, has signed an agreement for its Beachbody Performance brand to become the Official Sports Nutrition Supplement of the Famous Long Distance North American Series beginning in 2016.

The Beachbody Performance Nutrition line was developed by Harvard-trained scientists led by Nima Alamdari, PhD, an exercise physiology and nutrition scientist and Beachbody's Executive Director of Scientific Affairs. The company adds that its 'ground-breaking line of products offers specific ergogenic ingredients needed for every phase of an endurance athlete's training and competition.'

The Beachbody Performance Nutrition line includes:

Beachbody Performance Energize, a pre-workout formula designed to help sustain energy and reduce training-induced muscle acidosis and fatigue, featuring clinically-tested levels of key performance ingredients, including quercetin and beta-alanine.
Beachbody Performance Recover, a post-workout recovery protein shake that helps the recovery process after training with a blend of protein and branched-chain amino acids and a clinically-tested level of pomegranate extract to help reduce training-induced muscle soreness.
Beachbody Performance Recharge, a unique night-time formula combining slow-release protein and branched-chain amino, plus phytonutrients such tart cherry powder that 'help improve recovery and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from intense training.

All of the formulas are NSF-certified for Sport which confirms that products do not contain any of the 180+ substances banned by major athletic organizations and confirms that the contents of the supplement match what is printed on the label.  Furthermore, Beachbody Performance products do not contain any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

"I've seen first-hand how Beachbody Performance has helped elite and professional athletes improve their endurance and recovery, and I'm excited to see what we can do for the triathlon community," says Dr Marcus Elliott, MD, a Harvard-trained physician, founder of the athlete performance training centre P3 Peak Performance Project, and Chair of Beachbody's Science Advisory Board.

"Team Beachbody has improve my family's life and I am excited to play a role in this partnership with Triathlon Athletes.  Looking forward to enhancing the performance of all Triathletes." said Noah Lam, Independent Team Beachbody Coach.

"Beachbody Performance Hydrate has not upset my stomach like other products." said, Irene Lam, training for a Long Distance Triathlon in Maryland, October 2016.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How I Reacted Made Me Money When My 10-Year-Old Son Almost Made Me Late for a Meeting.

Who else knows the feeling of being halfway to the schools only to have to turn around with the following from your child, “Oh no!” I say, “What happened?” 
“I forgot my violin.”

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Running Streak Day 102 at Avalon Park and Found Cartas Al Cielo Letters to Heaven

Today, the boys wanted to hike, so I decided on a trail that I have not done in a while at a different section of Avalon Park.  We parked off of the Shep Jones Road and started to run on a semi-muddy root filled hilly path around the grounds.  We found this metallic sphere that seemed out of place in the park.   As we approached the 4 foot diameter sphere, there was a slot and it turned out to be an opening that we can drop a note to Heaven.

Cielo, the Spanish word for ‘sky,’ can also mean “heaven” or “paradise.” Alicia Framis’ Cartas al Cielo is a participatory sculpture that serves as a vessel of communication with those who have no earthbound address.

Park visitors are encouraged to send missives to those with no earthly address via this poetic postbox, and so we took the postcards that were provided and used the little pencils to write a letter.

It's always fun to run with the boys, and the adventures lead us to something new!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Running Streak Day 100 Up in Albany

Today, I celebrated my 100 day of my Running Streak in our State Capitol of New York right after a meeting for State University of New York Purchasing for the Medical Centers from around the State.  It was great to meet all of the Top Procurement Officers!  I ran around the top of the Empire State Plaza and around the Capital Building.

Help End Hunger at

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Running Streak Day 88 at the Dog Park

Day 88 for the running streak, I decided the bring the dog to the dog park.  So I let the boys hand out with her in the fenced section, and I went out to get my mile in.  Came back and decided to walk back to the lake with everyone.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Running Streak Day 60 in a Blizzard to Streak Out Hunger for Island Harvest

Started the day with cleaning off the rest of the snow on the driveway, clear off Irene's car so she can go to work. Looks like we got about 15 inches total. Then cleared off my car so I can clear out my Dad's driveway, but when we got there, his neighbor helped him. We got some egg sandwiches, grab the sleds, dropped the boys off at the hill and I was going to join them after my run. The run was super slippery and I found Minnesauke Elementary School. Got a call about 16 minutes later, "My feet are too cold." Ran back to the car, and picked up the boys. No more sledding as per their request. Well, I will clear off my desk, put out some invites to my next event. Do some laundry. When Irene gets home do a 90 minute walk as per Coach Danielle. Stay warm and safe everyone!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Running Streak Day 59 in a Blizzard to Streak Out Hunger for Island Harvest

Our Mission to End Hunger continues to Day 59 of the Running Streak in 29 degree, 33 mph winds of NNE, 6-12 inches of snow Blizzard Weather!  We felt like Rocky in Rocky 4!

It took longer to get dressed!

Everyday millions of people go hungry, and today 300,000 neighbors on Long Island went hungry last night, some did not have heat.  So I want to reach out to you and build awareness around this issue and work to End Hunger!

Join the Team to #streakouthunger.  And yes, you can keep your clothes on!

Thanks for your Support! 

Stay Safe!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Running Streak Day 52 to Streak Out Hunger for Island Harvest

Today is Day 52 of the Running Streak.  Lately, Saturday's have been my day to get in more than a mile, because I drop my boys off at their Track Practice and I do my own run.  I really wish I could workout with them, but the space is limited, I gave up my spot for their teammates.

Today I zigzagged around the Stony Brook University Campus and planned on a 5 mile run.  Typically, I would run the outside loop, but I wanted to explore and towards the end of my run I found The Umbilic Torus.  It was created by sculptor and mathematician, Dr. Helaman Ferguson. I beleive the Scupture was commissioned by Jim and Marilyn Simons who established the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics.   Jim Simons is know for Renaissance Technologies, a leading hedge fund located near the University.   

This Umblic Torus is an impressive 24 foot, 10 ton bronze sculpture sitting in the middle of the campus.  Unless you are a math or physics student, you would never know this thing was here.  My engineering background in me find it a fascinating object and should be seen.  I figure an episode of Doctor Who should be shot here! 

NY Tri Expo is Shaping up Pretty Good

I am so excited to be part of the NY Tri Expo 2016 on March 19, 2016.  The cool thing is that it will be held at CitiField, where the New York Mets Play their Baseball.  It would have been cool to be at Yankees Stadium, but that is for another Steering Committee.

When my Iron Fit Endurance teammate, Hilary Topper asked me to be part of the steering committee, I was honored to participate.  As an entrepreneur, I love getting an insiders peek into the back office of businesses and productions.  The inner workings of how things operate is fascinating, a least for me. I've always attended expos, and see people running it scurrying around making sure everything runs as planned and seamless.  That is very interesting to me!

I will be there as a Moderator for two of the workshops, "Do You Really Need a Coach?" and "The Half and Full Ironman Experience"   

Matt Dixon, uber triathlete, coach and the author of "The Well-Built Triathlete" and many books will be the Key Note Speaker.  

In addition Matt Long, amazing triathlete and author of "The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete"  will be receiving an Award.  Read his amazing story!
If you see me, please stop by and say hello!
To register visit and use Promo Code RunNoah1NYTE to Save $10

By the way the sponsors and exhibitors have been really generous, check out what will you will get with your admission!

Admission includes:
  • Swag bag worth more than $100
  • Triathlon Expo
  • Swim, Bike, Run, Nutrition and Race Workshops
  • Raffles & Games
  • Parking
Stay Tuned as I share some amazing exhibitors at the show and release the final workshop schedule.  From new to experienced triathlete will find value!

*Please note that some links on my website are affiliate links where the company pays me a little bit to share their company offerings.  These links do not cost you anything additional to use them and what they pay me helps me cover the costs of this website so I can continue to share my adventures. Thanks for your support!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Running Streak Day 51 to Streak Out Hunger for Island Harvest

Today is another Day for the Running Streak.  Around the Block, then I waited for Irene to come home so she can do here workouts for Ironman Maryland as written by her Coach.

She had a brisk walk of 1 mile schedule, and I got my running gear again and walked pretty fast along the same route.  Walking fast is not easy!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Running Streak Day 50 to Streak Out Hunger for Island Harvest

Wow, how time flies!!!  I have reached Day 50 of the Running Streak.  Today, I had the privilege to run with my son. As soon as I got home, he's says, I going to go run with you. Today we talked about what he learned in school and talked about winter track and swimming.  It went by fast as we did our loop in 9:38.  

I am so amazed with the generosity of people to help me end hunger.  So please join my Team of Streakers to #streakouthunger or make a donation at

I never thought I would be doing a streak, but it's been fun so far and my legs seem strong.   In addition to this challenge, I am working to drop down to 165lbs. So, I have been more careful with what I am eating and portion control.  Using the 21 Day Fix Containers to guide my daily nutrition along with Shakeology, the progress towards 165lbs has been good.  I am down to 184 from 187 at the start of the 2016.

*Please note that some links on my website are affiliate links where the company pays me a little bit to share their company offerings.  These links do not cost you anything additional to use them and what they pay me helps me cover the costs of this website so I can continue to share my adventures. Thanks for your support! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Feeling like a Hero at the 2015 New York City Marathon at least to my Son

After talking to my coach early on in 2014, I decided to skip my New York City Marathon run with Irene and to save my legs for Ironman Arizona.  While it was disappointing not running with Irene, I got to stand on the roads to cheer on about 50,000 runners.  It was the smart thing to do, but is training for a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.1 mile run, a smart thing?

My 2014 race season came to a close, with about 200 yards left to go at the Ironman Arizona 2014 finish line and I took a picture with my daughter and youngest son, the moment was very emotional.  I remember thinking, “Wow, my Ironman journey is about to end.”   And with that, I ran towards to finish line, anticipating Mike Reilly’s famous statement. "Noah Lam, New York. You're an Ironman, Noah.  Congratulations!"  

Over the next month I took my time to recover and I planned my 2015 season.  Being smart, I quickly added the appropriate bunch of races for training that would lead up to my 3rd NYC Marathon.  Being a very optimistic person, I did not think I would get the Post-Ironman Blues, and after having a very disappointing Manhattan Half Marathon in January 2015.  I decided to clear my schedule and emailed the race directors that I would not be racing their course.

A lot of it had to do with, what else is next.  There was a big void.  My Ironman training was a part time job, taking up at least 5-10 hours of preparation, 15-20 hours of swimming, biking and running, and don’t forget hours of talking and think about it.  When my “training schedule” from my Coach disappeared, I had to find something else to fill my time.  I also felt like I did not spend enough time with the family.

As I mulled thought my thoughts and feelings for a few months, I eventually began to re-engage my focus on to the New York City Marathon, and this time I really wanted the kids to be part of it more.  So I added some races that I could do with the kids, and I entered the Smith Point Triathlon as an individual, and the kids in the High School Relay Division, which they are the current champions!

While training for a marathon is easier on the schedule compared to Ironman Training.  By no means is it easier.  I found myself pushing harder than ever to hit my goals.

Some of my goals at the beginning of my training this 2015 for my 12th Marathon and 3rd New York City Marathon were:
  1. Training injury free.
  2. No bathroom breaks during the race.
  3. Run the entire 26.2 miles without walking.
  4. Run a sub 3:45 marathon

When I started running in 2008, I remember getting stitches then shin splints, and eventually feeling my hip being pained all the time to eventually spraining my ankle a month before the 2008 NYC Marathon. And ever since then, I have always been running hurt.  The injuries lessened as I lost the weight, improved with my running form, added more core and strength training from P90X, fueled better with cleaner foods.  So I rested and recovered more this year, easing off the throttle when needed, and had Dr. Jimmy Gucciardi work on my knots to keep the angry muscles at bay.  I have to say I have felt the strongest and fastest ever.  So Training Injury Free, for the most part is a Yes.  

In my first marathon, I think I stopped along the course and took a break at the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Somewhere in Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx.  That added at least 5-10 minutes to my time.  Being more experienced and my body getting use to holding it in and sweating instead of peeing…  I can say, I did not stop for any Bathroom Breaks for the 2015 New York City Marathon Edition!

Now here comes some clarity for Noah Lam.

Prior to doing the Suffolk County Half Marathon, I realized that I could not sustain the 8:34/mile pace to hit a 3 hour and 45 minute time, but based on my speed work fartleks, mile repeats and tempo runs, I was ready to do a sub 2:00 Half Marathon.  But during that race it was hotter than I liked and I fell short of that goal, and even though it was a Personal Record for the Half Marathon Distance, I felt so disappointed and discouraged.  

Speaking to Coach Danielle, she said, “You can’t dictate the pace.”  As much as I pushed, you never know what the day will bring and so I recast my goals to a 4:00 to 4:15 marathon which seemed like a more realistic.  I continued to push myself and I was excited to see improvements as the weeks counted down towards the marathon.

Then I headed into the NYRR NYC Marathon 18 mile Tune Up in August, excited to see what I can do.  And during the middle the race, I got nervous as my quads cramped up for the first time ever during a  run.  And I finally came to grips that I will do my best regardless what the 5 boroughs brings me on November 1st.

Day of the Race...

The first Sunday of November arrived and my friend Wolfgang waited outside of my house at 3:30am and handed over his washed Team for Kids Running Hat that he lent me for the race.  He is the one of the most kindest and generous person I know.  He made my NYC Marathon experience so much better and it was his first marathon ever.

Wolfgang and I got on the TFK bus and I fell asleep for a much needed power nap. I awoke as the bus stopped near the entrance of Fort Wadsworth.  Everyone started to exit off the bus, but I had to relieve my bladder, and walk to the back of the bus.  As I started to go, the bus began to move.  Yikes!  The bus driver started to yell at me as I got off the bus with me just smiling on my way to security into the Starting Village.

The next few hours were a blur as so many people said hello to me as I prepared my mind for the hours ahead.  I even got to see Jada, a Cactus Buddy from Ironman Arizona, and Jordan who works for a vendor that we buy from and a bunch of Facebook friends.  Even saw Asteria and Sid, my running mentors/coaches.  It’s always interesting to match 2D images with a real life person!  We chatted and did our warm ups

Before I knew it, I was standing on the foot of the northbound lane of one of the longest bridges in the world, listening to the National Anthem, and right around 10:15am the cannon shot made everyone move forward towards the timing chip gate and off I went.

So far I have been on all the sections of the Bridge, my first year I was on  the southbound upper deck.  The next year, I was on the southbound lower deck, This year, on the northbound upper deck, All with everyone finally merging around mile 4 in Brooklyn on 4th Avenue.

I felt good going over the bridge, I stay in the fast lane of the road, even though I was not going that fast.  I did have to weave around a couple of runners, but overall it was a good pace to mile 1.

I did my best to manage my pace and keeping my excitement under wraps so that I would not burn my legs out faster than I should.  The overcast sky keep the temps at a temperature that was acceptable for me to hit a goal of 4:15 to 4:30.

When I first did the marathon, I felt left behind as the faster people separated from me.  Even with running with Irene the next year, it was wide open and the crowds thinned.  With this year, I have to say, it’s an incredible feat to maintain the excitement and cheering crowds for all 26.2 miles even for the slower runners.  

This is my 12th marathon, and you typically never get this many people screaming your name.  I even purposely ran down the middle so that I people would not be able to read my name on my shirt.  But some how, I would hear someone yell my name.  And it was definitely appreciated it!  There is nothing like a stranger screaming for you like he’s your best friend!

Up  through Brooklyn on 4th Avenue, you can see runners and spectators for miles.  I noticed the northbound lane started to get really congested as the lower deck green bibs merged with my upper deck orange bibs, so I decide to hop over to the southbound lane, and Coach Vinny ran with me for about a ½ mile.  What can I say about Coach Skinny Vinny, such an inspiration!  

Then we headed towards my favorite spot on the course by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where the road narrows and the crowds get really close.  It’s very uplifting and it does make you want to run faster.  But a mental note kept me in check as I glanced at my watch looking for the pace that was expected.

We get into the industrial section of Queens and when I did it, I remember being baron, but not in 2015!  There were spectators all throughout the course.  Up and over the Pulaski Bridge and past the Citibank glass building with the 57th Street Bridge and 1st Avenue awaiting with the roaring wall of cheering.

As you come off the 57th Street Bridge, the crowd must have been 6-7 people deep cheering like thunder, it puts a spring in your step. and you come around to 1st Avenue with both sides filled with spectators.  And I looked for Irene and the boys with Ray and Annie around mile 18, unfortunately, I was running faster than expected, and they decided to get something to eat, and when they came out, the tracking app showed that I passed them.  I did see a few friends along the route, but it would be cool to have seen my family.

But around that part of the race, I felt the sun shine on my shoulders and I knew that my weakness in warm weather was about to hit.  I eventually started to slow and my Achilles and Groin started to flare up, and I started to walk.  I knew that my goal of 4:15 was in jeopardy.  So I, jogged as much as I could and limit my I entered the Bronx.

The Bronx is just a plain cool borough.  My favorite part were these drummers that pound away on these huge sets of drums.  As they were there smashing away, I could feel the reverberation in my chest. Boom… Boom… Boom…  However, I walked a little more as I headed back to Manhattan.  

I was hoping to see Irene, and in Harlem, I picked up the pace and when I did, I saw them on the left.  My feet guided me over to them and I slapped everyone’s hand for High 5’s    Then I saw Zachary towards the end of the group.  Seeing him woot wooting for his Dad was something he has done before but this time was different.  I felt like a Hero to him.  He did not care that I was not going to hit my time goal.  The little curve of his smile meant so much to me.  I wanted to stay there and just talk to him, but everyone kept cheering to GO!

By this time, I was numb to anyone yelling my name and I apologize if I did not acknowledge your support, but it was surprising that people could still read my name from the middle of the street.  But after 26.2 miles of hearing my Noah hundreds of times, I was not sure where it was coming from anymore.  What a difference from 2008!

Along Central Park South, I smiled when I saw the family again before heading towards the finish line chute.  As I looked up at the timing clock which showed the elapsed time for each of the waves.  I knew that I was nowhere near my original goal of 3:45, but I felt complete.  I did my best for with what I have.

I received my medallion and heat shield.  Then grabbed my nutrition bag and drank the recovery drink.  I was in a fog as I walked towards Cherry Hill to the Team for Kids Finish Line Area.  It was nice to talk to my friends, Jackie and other TFK members.  It was finally time to get back to my family.
I walked over to Broadway and gave Irene a Kiss and was so happy to see Zachary’s smile as he waved a big red AirBnB hand.  All I know is that he will be the first Lam Child to run a marathon with me and most likely do an Ironman as well.

So what is in store for 2016?  The plan is to lose 20 lbs to get down to 165 which will help me get faster, do more races with the kids and build my businesses so that I can spend more quality time with my family.  

More importantly I made sure I did not sign up for big races so that I can be the super Sherpa for Irene, as she trains for Ironman Maryland 2016, and train with her!  My ‘A’ Race will be the Blueberry Cove 13.1, which I will be doing with Zachary, his first half marathon.

It’s a struggle between reaching the top and never feeling that it was enough.  And setting a goal and not hitting feels far worse.  Whenever I hit a goal, I downplay it saying I could have done better.  I should have done this or that.  Then what was to be an incredible accomplishment becomes a disappointment.  While it can provide fire to the next endevour, I realized that true happiness is here and in the present to be enjoyed and shared because you can never get it back.  Happiness is now and not in the future.

There is an open invite for anyone who want to swim, bike, run, stretch, P90X3, 21 Day Fix, Hammer and Chisel, the new 22 Minute Hard Corps or anything else with us.  Let us know!