Monday, March 7, 2016

2016 Los Angeles Marathon (26.2 miles)

official time 3:30

“Hurt is a great teacher, maybe the greatest of all.”
― Pat Conroy, My Reading Life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2015 San Francisco Marathon (26.2 miles)

The San Francisco marathon is now in the books. A wonderful and unforgettable experience. The highlights and random thoughts during the run:

At mile 11 while running down through the Presidio watching the sunrise along the Pacific Ocean—Wow… How do you make yourself worthy of the love she gave to you. You can't. You're not.
At mile 15 while running on JFK Drive, I nearly stepped on what appeared to be somekind of rodent or maybe a squirrel or a chipmunk--  It's gotta be a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk. In a perfect world there would be a disease called Chipmunkiosis, a beautiful chronic diagnosis. 
At mile 18 while climbing up Golden Gate Park I began to experience intense nausea and cramps. Marching to the side of the road I puked. Several runners looked on but they kept on running. The thought came – At some point in life someone has probably seen me and thought "Well... at least I'm not that guy." This is that moment. 
At mile 23, I hit the wall... The cumulative result of puking, dehydration, and depleting my glycogen stores. The 3:30 pacing team passed me –  What am I doing here? why am I doing this? 
The last 3 miles... Seemingly the longest 5K of my life, a stretch filled with flashbacks of things that passed; October 31, 2013-October 31, 2104. Almost like a mirage—Is that the Ghost from Taiwan?   No.   No it's not.
After the finish line – goodbye is the hardest thing that i could do. Wish I'd had the strength to prove you wrong...


Monday, July 13, 2015

Fifteen miles into a long run, I arrived at the Rose Bowl stadium to complete two laps tagging along several of the Pasadena Pacers runners. Halfway into the first lap a bald chubby man strides pass me and yells, "Weak sauce!" I begin to chuckle as he runs beyond me. He then turns around and says, "Remember me Doc?!"

This man had been my patient 18 months ago in the cardiac care unit. I had treated him for a nasty anterior MI that required two drug eluding stents. Adding insult to injury, the hospital course had been complicated by an ischemic stroke. Barely recognizable... he'd gone from morbid obesity to 'chubby status,' having lost well over 100 pounds in the span of 1.5 years. He flexed his right arm and made a waveform with his hands to demonstrate how the deficits from his lacunar stroke had resolved. I was bewildered; an obese man sprinting and grinning, haha. He gave me a hug, thanked me, and said I looked gaunt... We had a good laugh and talked for another half mile.

Once he appeared fatigued and over exerted, I gave him a tap in the back and sprinted away, "Hey! you don't look like Peter Griffith anymore. I expect to see you here three times a week! " 

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Wishing i could adopt this kid...but i figure his Mama is like my Mama...
If it is important to you, you will find a way. 
 If not, you'll find an excuse.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

last day

Cleaned out my locker.
Turned in my pager.
Returned my 'resident physician' badge.
Gave back my white coat.
Got a fancy diploma.
Taught an intern how to manage and work up an acute splenic infarct.
Walked out of the hospital quietly...
   Holding in my hands a miniature 'The Flash' doll--a treasured gift.
          Thinking most of all...on how things end. How memories last forever.
                  Starkly reminded how the most meaningful part of all happened October 31, 2013-October 31, 2104, precisely.
                        Prayed to Him, 'take me to a place where doors are open, a lovely little place where no one is broken."
                              How I ended somewhere on 34th street, I don't know, but
                                   Instead I ran 15 miles in Santa Monica; running as if fleeing from a ghost from Taiwan
                                        Running--meditating in motion                                         
                                                 Meditating on Neruda's Sonnet XVII, on why its true; why i still believe in it.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Fathers Day Run" (Half Marathon 13.1 miles); Van Nuys, CA

 PR 1:37

Cherishing the memory of my old man on this special day.
Sometimes the most humble, unprivileged man can give his children the priceless most treasured inheritance imaginable.
Thank you Dad... Porque a pesar de todo lo que paso sigo adelante.

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."     - Mark Twain!fathers-day-results-62115/ctmo

Monday, June 15, 2015

My last "overnight call" of residency

Residency is arguably the hardest and most unforgettable phase of someone's medical career:

...the exhaustion...the bonds you create with your fellow trainees...the drama...the way your skin gets thicker...the blunders...the procedures...the tears no one gets to see...the skills...your first needle stick injury...the chaos...the patient you publish into a case report...the miracles...the facial hair phase of my career...the tragedies...families who will love you forever...families who want to crucify you...
The precision...wearing scrubs (aka pajamas) on most days...eating, sleeping, and showering in the hospital...the confusion...the patient who thinks they're in love with you...the patient who blames you for everything...the youngest patient you've lost...the centenarian that never seems to die...being reprimanded for charting "condition at discharge: Alive, but without my permission."...
The patient you wish you'd never seen...the double Facepalm when the Fail is so strong, one Facepalm is not enough...losing your faith in humanity and having it restored...losing the love of your life...realizing that no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.

They say life is dramatically better as an Attending physician, we'll see about that.
As I look into the future, all I think about these days is October 31, 2015.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

found this gem

“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
"One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine...and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.” 
"And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth."
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

-Kahlil Gibram

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

on trail running

Figuratively speaking, all of us have mountains to climb. I've been running up them summits many times ever since that certain solid fragrance left to Santa Monica and beyond...I'd like to think I'm done climbing those kind of mountains but I find some degree of comfort in knowing that some mountains are meant to be climbed.  As you ascend and descend each peak you come to the stark realization that mountains are so unforgiving.

I'm a sucker for punishment, i don't know, but the devil on my shoulder says, "the perfect place to fight your demons is running up a mountain." You'd think that when you're alone, the monsters in your head would come to say "Hello," but this is not true... In most instances you're a victim of your own mind. There is never a dull moment up there; there are no distractions, rattlesnakes will keep you vigilant. It's true what they say-- the best views come after the hardest climbs.
Without realizing it, I've been training for my next marathon.
What fuels the fire inside us?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

subconjunctival hemorrhages

The most beautiful brutality I have ever seen has taken place inside a boxing ring.
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've been put to sleep in the past, and by the very same token, I've brought others to their knees. I'm neither proud or ashamed of it. I admire the courage and grit of the pugilist and I can watch or partake in a match with reverence and humility, but as to why people rejoice in the suffering of another human being is beyond me... It is true that in the heat of the moment one can become numb or unperturbed to pain inflicted upon others, but still there is nothing noble in being superior to your opponent. At one time, in my search of something higher, I thought boxing could help me in some twisted way. For a very long time, I've associated boxing to the realm of redemption or second chances and with defeating opponents to prove ones worth, which is probably why I've felt strangely attracted to it. But I was mistaken. 

First, true nobility lies only in being superior to your former self, and secondly, you can't redeem your past inside a boxing ring. Besides, it must look ridiculous to have a doctor counsel you on healthy lifestyle habits with subconjunctival hemorrhages and cuts above his eyebrow.