The next Chicago Marathon is going to be held on October 10, 2010 (or 10-10-10).  The magic number seems to be “10”.

Anyway, if you are interested in participating in this event, registration opens on February 1, 2010.

The registration ceiling for this event is supposed to be 45,000, and I read somewhere that this ceiling is hit 6 months before the event starts.   Thus if you want a good chance at making it in, you would have to register by April 10, 2010.   This means that registration ceiling is hit within 2 and a half months from registration opening!

I better make sure to sign up on registration opening day.

Here are more information regarding the Chicago Marathon:

Visit the Chicago Marathon web site for more information.

See you in Chicago!

Most runners don’t think seriously about the type of socks they wear for a run.  I’ve counted myself in the “most runners” category until most recently–which is about one to two weeks ago.

Well, one or two weeks ago I did one of my longest runs–about 8.5 miles.  Before this, most of my runs were 10K or shorter.  The 8.5 mile run I did is the longest one I’ve done for the longest time (I think 17 miles is my actual longest one, but I did this when I was in my younger high school years).

I noticed that I had developed a noticeable blister on my left foot, on the smallest toe’s outer edge.  I thought that the barely noticeable rubbing in my shoes during my short runs was not a problem, but in my long run, it has evolved to a blister!

It was then when I started to think about on-the-spot blister treatment.  I thought that I’m definitely going to get a blister on this Chicago Marathon, and I might as well look into figuring out how to treat a blister should I develop one during the 26.2-mile run. 

In my search for treatment, I saw articles about blister prevention.  In some of the articles they talk of using lubricants and such things to minimize friction on any rubbing parts.  I noticed a discussion on the use of double layer blister preventing socks.   That’s when I thought–“I don’t need lubricants, I need better socks!”

I found a pair at Essential Apparel (  It is dual layer and the reviews on it were great!  Now all I have to do is order it, break it in, and I should be good to go for the Chicago marathon.

But wait, I think I’ll need new shoes to go with that!

Last Sunday was my long run.  On my plan, I have to  run at least 8 miles.  The course I layed out happened to be 8.5 miles.  Having just come back from a cruise where the primary activity was eating, I knew I had to take the run easy.  So I did. 

Since the run was long, I decided to bring a mini-water bottle which I held in my left hand for the entire run.  I took a sip of water at about every two miles.

The pace I ran–about 9:15 per mile–I think will be my marathon pace.  At this pace, I’m not gasping for air, but am able to breath comfortably.  I was doing pretty good, even at mile 4.   Even at the 6 mile mark, I was able to run uphill (on the Union Ave freeway overpass).  However, what I found is that after mile 7, I started noticing that my legs were getting sore.  I wasn’t tired, but needed to focus more on my form to ensure that the most minute sloppy movement doesn’t cause more problems.

Within the last half mile, I was able to increase my stride and finish the 8.5 mile run strong.  I then drank what was left in my mini-water bottle.

As I finished the run, I thought to myself…”this is just less than a third of a marathon…can I do this run 2 more times?”

The pessimist in me said “my legs are sore, I don’t think I’ll last”, but the optimist in me said “hey, I think I can make the entire marathon!  I’m not even tired.  My legs are sore, but with training, it will be better.”  So I listened and leaned more towards the optimist in me.

Apple has been known to push the envelope on innovation.  Their releases of personal computers long ago (back in the 1980s) with the Apple II/IIe and especially the Macintosh were innovative for their time.  However, because they only ran on a particular platform controlled by Apple, the IBMPC compatible with Microsoft Windows operating system quickly took over.

By the 1990s, the only people that used apples were the education sectors, those with special multimedia application requirements, and the die-hard Apple fans.  Most users went on the PC/Microsoft Windows bandwagon.  Almost every electronic store you go to you will see various PC brands like Dell, HP, Compaq, Acer, ASUS, eMachine, Toshiba, and IBM.

I see the same pattern with Apple again.  This time it is with the iPhone; and this time the battle is against Google’s Android operating system which is run by many smart phone platforms.  The race is starting to heat up with the recent release and highly marketed DROID phone from Verizon.  Most recently, there has been very strong buzz around Google’s Nexus One

From what I can see, features and capabilities that the iPhone have the Android phones also have.  Right now Apple touts over 100,00 apps for the iphone, while the Android has tens of throusands; but because of its open architecture, I foresee Android applications quickly surpassing the iPhone in application count.  And from the standpoint of availability, the Android operating system is more available from more phone service providers than the iPhone, which is limited only to AT&T. 

I predict that within three years, the Android-based cell phones will completely dominate the smart phone market.  The iPhone will continue to thrive, but only for those die-hard Apple fans.  Check back in 2013!

Before I left for the cruise this week, I made a reservation for a round trip to Chicago for me and my wife.  I also reserved a rental car.  My wife and I will arrive there on 08 Oct 2010, and we will depart on 11 Oct 2010.

There is no backing down now.  I am now committed to training and doing the Chicago Marathon.

All I have to do now is make sure I get registered early enough before they meet their 1000 45,000 quota.

This is a continuing account of my training towards the Chicago Marathon.  This week was a tougher one–training-wise that is.

Almost everyone knows that when you go on a cruise, the number one activity there is eating.  Well, this week I was on a 4-day cruise on the Carnival cruise ship Paradise.  This was my first cruise, and this cruise took me and my family from the port of Long Beach, Catalina, Ensenada (Mexico), and back to Long Beach.

It was one fun cruise!  Training-wise it was a little tougher. 

On Tuesday (12 Jan 2010), I decided to give it a go by running on a treadmill for at least 3 miles.  That’s the last time I run on a treadmill.  I was able to maintain a 6.5 mph pace, but my middle toe nails took a beating and a bruising.  I had this problem long ago, but I haven’t experienced it since I began my training over a month or so ago.  I think it is because of the way my foot hits the treadmill surface at it moves past me.  When my foot lands, the force of the treadmill mat moving and my shoe landing combine to push my toes into my shoes and against its tip.  It was at this point I decided to take my running to the Sun deck of the Carnival cruise ship Paradise.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I ran on the Sun deck.  The Sun deck track is pretty short.  One lap it equivalent to about 0.1 mile.  So I had to run at least 30 laps to do my 3 miles. 

The Wednesday run was weired.  It felt like I was short of breath.  This is how I felt long ago and running at very high altitude (back in New Mexico, on one of my temporary duties in the USAF).  Nevertheless, I completed my 3-mile run.

On Thursday, I took it easy.  I was able to do 3 miles no problem.  However, the ocean was rough and as I ran, the track under me would go up and down–sometimes giving me a feeling of running downhill, and sometimes giving me a feeling of running uphill; hence, the article title of “my second hill.”

On Friday, I took a rest since the debarkation process needed us to be ready by 7:30 am.  As I write this, it is Saturday.  I’m taking a rest as well today, for tomorrow, I’m doing an 8-mile long run.

Overall, the weekk was great!  I had fun in a cruise and was still able to maintain a training program.

I just finished my long run today.  It is at least 6.5 miles, and guess what…I ran over my first hill today.  The reason this is a momentous event is that where I live it is very flat, but the route I took today got me running over a freeway overpass.  It gave me about a 1/10 mile uphill run.  I actually felt pretty good going up that hill.

The nike+ sensor/pedometer I was using said that I ran 6.97 miles for the entire route; but I know that as I as get tired my stride tends to get a bit shorter; that is why I think the run is around 6.5 miles.  So my pace is probably about 9:15 minutes/mile since it took me just about 1 hour to finish the run.

Based on this run, I think I should be able to maintain this pace for a long time.  So this might be my marathon pace. 

Next week, my long run will be 8 miles–week 10 of the 26-week training plan.  This will be a challenge since I will be on a cruise during the week.  As you know eating is the main activity on most cruises.