Monday, July 28, 2008

2 For the Price of One

Oops, I never got around to posting my blog last weekend.
So, this week is:
double the pleasure...............
double the fun.................
for 1 week only............
2 for the price of one (ugh!!!)

My running has gone well the past 2 weeks; otherwise know as Training Weeks #15 and #14 for the NY marathon.

Week #15 I got in 3 runs for 19.99 miles; you'd think I'd get in that last 1/100th of a mile to make it a nice round number. Actually, I don't like even mileage. If I'm scheduled for 7 miles, I'll run 7.05 or 7.2. Yeah, I'm kooky :) Week #14 I got in 4 runs for 23.07 miles. Woo Hoo!!

Now that I'm starting to up my mileage, I'm doing more runs at the Oakland Park "Jog Park". The lap around my neighborhood is only 1/2 mile and has no shade. The park has a number of shade trees; although it was much "thicker" before Hurricane Wilma came through in '05. The lap is supposed to be 1 mile, but according to my Garmin it's really only 0.88 miles. That explains why my pre-Garmin run times were always much better there. Either way, it's fewer laps than running around the island.

I really hate that it is called a "jog park". That is so 1980's. This is the 00's; we're runners. So I've thought of 2 other names, either I'll call it "the OP" or "Gravelocity". Give me some feedback on which one you like best.

The OP/Gravelocity is ok for runs up to say 7 or 8 miles. But for my longer runs, I have been doing beach runs on A1A. Training for San Diego by myself was tough; it was too easy to blow off a long run or not put in the full miles. And I paid for that at mile 17 of my 1st marathon. I knew that for NY, which is a more hilly course, that I would need to train with others. So I joined the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Road Runners (GFLRR). The past 2 Saturdays, I ran my long run with the club. The Saturday run starts at the running store, we go over the Sunrise Blvd. bridge, head to A1A, and go south to the 17th street causeway bridge (the highest bridge in Broward County). Then we turn around and go back to the running store.

The nice thing about GFLRR is that they also have Sunday morning long runs starting at the Deerfield Beach pier. Once karate cadidate classes resume (in a couple weeks) on Saturday mornings, I'll have to switch my long runs to Sundays.

Next Saturday the GFLRR is having a 5k at Birch State Park. This will be my 1st 5k (running) in several years. At last year's Komen, I was nursing my calf injury and walked the event. The 5k is more of a fun run, but I'm going to try to beat my PR of 26:30.

Last week I only got in 3 classes; all "A" day curriculum. No "B" classes . This week I got in 4 classes; 2 "A" days, 1 "B" day and Friday night's class which is normally an "A" day but this week was changed to a candidate class (instead of candidate class on Saturday). It's been a while since I got in 4 classes and it felt good!

Last Saturday was Black Belt Spectacular. 37 people from 4 of the dojos got their belts; seven 2nd degrees and 29 1st degrees. Sensei Scaccia was awesome getting his 5th degree. It was a spectacular show; heavy on the XMA (extreme martial arts).

When I started at the dojo 7 years ago, black belt testing was done in the dojo. The candidates performed all of their stuff; katas, weapon, self-defense, individual creative kumites, board breaking, stomach punches. But the dojo was growing and soon became too small for testing. So it was moved to a school gymnasium. Here is where it changed from testing, to a "Spectacular" event. The actual "black belt testing" was held at the dojo during "Power Week". During my BB cycle, we had our exam on Monday night (forms), Wednesday night (sparring), Friday (self-defense, board breaking, stomach punching). Saturday was the group 4 mile run filled with pushups, jumping jacks and other things thrown into the run. It was an exhausting week!!

The Spectacular was 2 weeks after Power Week. We got to perform our holds and grabs and kicking skills, and did a group kata. The creative kumites were not individual anymore. I was fortunate that there were only 2 adult ladies in my cycle, myself and Amber. So I only had to perform with one other person whereas the 4 guys in my cycle had to perform as a quartet. Amber and I put together an awesome kumite (if I do say so myself).

With a larger venue, more people could attend. Demonstrations were added to the show. They increased the energy level, motivated current students and inspired non-students to join. With the addition of dojo's in Lighthouse Point, Coconut Creek and Boca Raton, the # of candidates got larger and the school gym wasn't large enough. It moved first to Westminster Academy for a few shows and then moved to it's current location, Parker Playhouse which holds almost 1,000 people. We've been told that it will probably only be held at the Playhouse for 2 or 3 more times before a larger venue is needed again.

As with anything, there are some good things and some bad things with the growth in the venue size as well as the number of candidates. The good is the addition of new demos and skits (XMA, MMA, jui jitsu) and definitely more comfortable seating for the spectators. The bad is that the show is getting so large that fewer people are allowed to perform, the candidates have less time to perform and the focus seems to be moving away from the candidates.

During our karate classes the week after the Spectacular show, all the students are asked what they liked best about the show. Inevitably what is mentioned is the high kicking, explosive demonstrations and skits. Most of which the majority of us cannot participate in. What is not mentioned are the candidates who just put in many months of hard work.

Oh well. Sorry for my rant. As I get closer to my 2nd degree I guess I'm starting to analyze things too much. Thinking about the fact of how much time and effort I will have to expend, and still not be one of the chosen few, not able to participate in future Spectaculars, and just be a "filler person" in the monthly demos. What is the pupose of getting my 2nd degree? Hmmmm....................................

Take care, Dani

PS: I passed my Louisiana MPJE law exam!! Woo Hoo!!! Next state, Nebraska. Exam set for August 20th. And, I just found out that 3 more states now require out-of-state (mail order) pharmacies to have a Pharmacist on staff be licensed in thier state. So, after Nebraska comes Tennessee and Arkansas and then I'll have to do Virginia, Oregon and Arizona. By the end of this year I will be licensed in 9 states. Wow.......that's a lot of renewal fees!!!


  1. You are amazing. I like the OP or central park south (CPS). Smaller dojo testing rocks. Great job with all your training and as for why second degree, keep saying CANI. Gotta fly now...

  2. Hey there,
    I just found your blog through Twitter courtesy of Tim Wilson's blog. I'm a pharmacist (and runner) in Ohio. Why are you licensed in so many states?
    I look forward to reading through your blog. I took some education in karate (chito-ryu) while in college and loved it. Too bad I did not keep up with it.