Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A pretty cool way to send a resume

This is something I tried recently after reading so many HR folks and recruiters say that you need to stand out from the crowd with your resume.

In think it stands out.  What do you think?

Check it out.

Here is the raw link in case the video doesn't work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e5mM3EO_RE

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Latest News


Wonder what I've been up to?

Well actually, I moved to my own hosted blog.

Why don't you come by Purpose Driven Life and see for yourself!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

New York marathon 2009

Question : How do you effectively manage 43,000 people?
Answer : You ask the organizers of the NYC marathon how they did it!

I could not imagine running in this sea of people until I was actually a part of it...and the funny thing is, I didn't realize the magnitude of it all until I saw the event aerial photos afterward. Sure there were several wave starts and many corrals, nothing new there, but the experience on the ground was no different than any other high participation marathon I've run (Boston, Ottawa, Vancouver, San Diego, Disney). But  looking purely at the numbers, these pale in comparison to the NYC marathon, so the NYC organizers must have got something right.

Not being familiar with the big apple public transit system, I was a bit apprehensive about getting to the start via subway and then taking the ferry to Staten Island. There was no need to worry, though. I walked 3 blocks from my hotel and paid my subway fare just in time to catch a train direct to the ferry terminal. At the terminal, there was a crowd going in and I had some time so I skipped across the street to the McDonalds to grab a coffee and bagel. The runners were being corraled right onto the boat and it went smoothly as ferries were coming and going like clockwork - the wait for the coffee (as a flustered new McD employee learned how to operate the cash register) was the longest one of the entire day... The sky was overcast on the ferry ride over but I still managed to take a few pics of the skyline and statue of Liberty (as any self-respecting tourist should). Once on the other side, the choice was to wait indoors at the terminal or hop a quick busride to the athlete's village. I waited a few minutes to use the pocelain toilets knowing that portapotties would be the only choice from this point on. In hindsight, I should have just gone ahead and taken the bus right away...there was a ridiculously long line for a dirty toilet that had no paper - 'nuff said. The minute I stepped outside of the terminal there were literally several dozen clean and empty portapotties just waiting to be used. The same thing at the other end of the busride as well. Now you know.

A short walk to the athlete's village just in time to catch a glimpse of a couple elites making their way to their VIP area. For the rest of us mortals, each wave had their own "village" where they could wait for their corrals to be called. Each village had bagels, coffee, and other stuff - I realized my stop at McDs was not necessary, but I wish there were bananas, though. I found a piece of realestate and proceeded with my pre-race routine. Within 30 minutes I was ready and my corral was being summoned so I dropped off my bag and headed over to the start - no waiting here either. On my way I had one last (nervous) pee - it was more opportunistic than anything because the line was so short. Afterward, I quickly found the spot where my corral joined the wave. All this time I thought I was in G corral but it turns out I was in C, just a couple of groups behind the elites! What a thrill! I actually saw them get ready and make their way to the start just ahead of me...then we started to move forward and up onto the Triborough bridge to await the start gun. I snapped a few pics and waved at the folks in the other wave below the bridge. The exitement was starting to emanate from the crowd around me. And just like that, we were off, sort of. I tried not to go out too fast but there were many who wanted to weave through the mass to get ahead. I even saw one fellow lose his footing and fall as others tried to avoid causing a pile up. I found my pace and some room within about two minutes of starting and then I settled in to enjoy the sites. I was right on my plan. It was lining up to be an "A" race for me.

I had not really studied the course map that much but I knew there were 5 bridges so I used those as my reference points. I was finding we were doing a lot of downhill running so I tried not to go too fast. At one point, I asked a fellow next to me when the uphills would start and he said; "are you kidding me?" "Maybe I should have spent a bit more time on my course prep", was my thought after that. Anyway, within about ten minutes, we headed up the Pulaski bridge and I was feeling strong. I was still on a 3:15 marathon pace, but the quarter mile climb did not go unnoticed by my legs.

By the time I got past the Quensboro bridge, my pace had slowed down and I was in the 3:20 finish time range.  The climb up the bridge slowed me down and I was careful not to abuse my legs too much on the steep descent on the other side, but I think the damage was done already.  The most amazing thing about crossing this bridge is that you can actually hear the cheering of the crowd on the Manhattan side.  I didn't even realize until after the race, that there were actually runners on both levels of the bridge!

For my run up Manhattan's East side, I had to concentrate on maintaining my pace.  There were some uphills and downhills but I have to say I didn't really notice much other than trying to keep my time.  But I could feel it getting slower and my mental calculations were getting more and more difficult.  I was definitely fatigued (but not nearly as much as I would be soon enough...

Crossing the Willis avenue bridge into the Bronx was not too bad but I had no juice left and saw the 3:30 pace bunny go by me.  I resolved to keep up with him but he seemed so fresh on his feet and also his pace looked so much faster than mine that it was hard to keep up. By the time we crossed the Madison Avevue bridge, my hopes of requalifying for Boston in 3:20 were pretty much quashed so I decided to just run the rest of the course as best I could.  I have to say it was the crowds that kep me going all the way down Fifth Avenue but it seemed to take forever to get to the Central Park entrance.  It was a mild incline the whole way and I took a couple of walk breaks to get there.  The 3:30 pacer pulled ahead and I couldn't keep up.

Once we veered into the Park, I had a newfound drive and tried to pick up the pace one more time for the last 3 miles.  I tried but I was really running on rubber legs by then.  I know I wasn't alone in this predicament because I passed quite a few people along the way.  When I finally veered the last corner near the intersection of Central Park South and Central Park West, the crowd was deafening and just pushed me up the chute to the finish.  I was done in 3:37 and I was literally done...

After crossing the line, we walked for what seemed like miles to get to our gear trucks.  This was probably a good thing because I got to rehydrate and take a couple of salt packets while cooling off.  Once I reached my desgnated truck, I got my gear in no time flat and ditched my runners to put on my trusty flip flops.  What a relief!  I then walked out of the park onto Central Park West and dicovered I was literally 100 feet from my hotel! I couldn't have planned it better than that.  I promptly grabbed a shower and met up with some friends for a well-deserved drink and dinner.

I was disppointed for not meeting my goal time, but I have to say that this was my best marathon experience ever!  It literally went without a hitch from start to finish and I learned an important lesson along the way.  I should have done more hill training in my preperation for this race. 

For those of you who are contemplating the NYC marathon, I highly recommend it!

Keep on running!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My offer for the busy person

If you would like a FREE access pass to my GET MORE DONE webinar, simply make a minimum $50 donation at www.bit.ly/PatrickTNT and leave me a message asking to send you an invitation.

Thanks for your support!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Fall 2010 Marathon lineup

Alright so this year, I decided to do 2 back-to-back marathons again, but not at 6 or 10 day interval like I've done before...can you say Glycogen depletion? I learned my lesson (although it sure was fun to challenge myself like that...) so this time I will be running Montreal as my last long run before my taper 3 weeks before the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront marathon.

My Montreal run will actually be an initial 10k reeeeeeaaaaallly slow, followed by a 32 km at a decent clip. Last year, I ran Montreal a couple of months before running NYC marathon and I shouldn't have been running that distance that early in my training for NYC so I did a 10km slow, 20k at my target race pace and then the final 12 km slow again. It was ok but I had overtrained by the time NYC came around and was dealing with a nagging knee problem. Doc said I had been doing too much mileage - I've been averaging over 2000 km a year for the last few years, so maybe he's right. Anyway, long story short, I've revised my running training to run no more than 3 days a week and have been doing so since last fall. Knee problem solved. I also cross-train 2 days a week for a total of 5 workouts per week. This is the FURST training plan and you can find a sample of it that I put together for a friend of mine in the post called Training Jiha, If you're interested.

Ok, so back to my Fall marathons. Over the next few months I'll be posting my training stories below. Previously, I used to do weekly recaps, but they were just too much work to maintain and plus I felt guilty if I didn't write anything in a particular week.

And in case you didn't notice, I am running these in support of Blood cancer research, so if you'd like to support me in this, I would definitely be grateful for your encouragement. Here is the link to make a secure donation online or if you prefer to make a snailmail or fax donation, you can download the form here.

Thanks for your support and please and share with your friends!


Week ending 6 Jun - still in pre-training but I have to build up to 15km Long Run distance for when my training plan starts so I ran 12 km LSD last week, did some threshold intervals on Wednesday (1 mi warmup, 4 x 400m intervals at 10mph 2% incline with 400m recovery jogs, 1 mi cooldown = 4 mi total) it was tough and I was sucking wind big time on the intervals but it's funny how good you feel afterward...On Saturday I did my 15 km long run without any difficulty but I averaged an 11 min/mi pace which is much slower than I will have to do during my training so I need to do more intervals and core training to get my speed up...

Week ending 13 Jun - First week of training. I was a bit sore on Monday so I walked for 45 min. On Tuesday I did T-intervals (1 mi warmup, 4 x 800m intervals at 8.5 mph 2% incline with 1 minute recoveries + cooldown = 4 mi total). I was supposed to do 3 x 1 mi intervals at 9.2 mph but there was no way I could keep that pace so I scaled it back. Taking time off from roadrunning all winter and running in snowshoes has caused me to lose a lot of speed. It's really disconcerting! Oh well, the health is good, no injuries, so it's all good. I'll just keep at it.  On Sunday I ran 8 miles cross-country.  It was a hoot but I was supposed to do 13 miles (I should have run Saturday morning when it was cooler, but instead I ran late afternoon the next day after a brunch and mowing the lawn.  I down almost a litre of Gatorade on that run, so it was hot - even in the woods! Lessons learned.

Week ending 20 Jun - Tuesday I did T-intervals (1 mi warmup, 4 x 800m intervals at 10 mph with 1 minute recoveries + cooldown = 4 mi total).  I didn't incline this time because I wanted to see if I could maintain the prescribed pace for the entire interval, which I could but I did hold the bars every once in a while.  My HR went as high as 163 bpm which is 92% of my max and I was in that zone for almost half of the entire workout, but it quickly dropped back down to below 120 bpm during the minute recoveries, which is a good thing and in keeping with Jack Daniels method as well.  Thursday was ladders;  I started out to warm-up for a mile at 5.5 mph and then 1 mi @ 6.5 mph, then 1 mi @ 7.5 mph, then 1 mi @ 8.1 mph, then 1 mi @ 6.5 mph, 1 mi @ 7.5 mph, and a short cool down to bring the total to 10k.  Overall a great run and a good change of pace for treadmill running.  12 mile long run on Saturday morning (2 min/mi slower than my target pace).

Week ending 27 Jun - Tuesday was a new level of intervals for me - I had to change treadmills, to use the older kind you often find in physiotherapy clinics, so that I could crank it past 10 mph.  I also had 2 machines going simultaneously - one at my interval pace and the other at my recovery pace - it's just easier that way rather than fiddling with the speed settings all the time...So here is my workout : 1 mi warmup, 1200m @9.9 mph (200m recovery), 1000m @10 mph (200m rec.), 800m @10.1 mph (200m rec.), 600m @10.3 mph, 1 mi cooldown.  This was intense and it took everything for me to keep those paces but I did it!  I also got a few strange looks hopping from treadmill to treadmill, but hey, my gym is pretty dead these days and I think I keep the staff amused so they don't complain that my workouts are longer than the posted limits of 20 minutes per machine.....he, he.  Wednesday was crosstraining day so I did 45 minutes of spinning and worked up quite a sweat.  I'm feeling tightness in my calves from Tuesday's intervals so Thursday is probably going to be interesting...Well it actually went really well!  I ran a 5 mile tempo run up and down then mountain with a 1 mile warmup/cooldown. Sunday I ran 16 miles and it was HOT! I ran out of water so I cut my run short. My pace was not fast (again) but I felt okay. I made sure not to overexert myself or get dehydrated - slow and steady was the order of the day...

Week ending 4 Jul - Tuesday I was still a bit sore from my weekend run so I decided to work through lunch on my fundraising campaign .  On Wednesday I did some killer intervals (5 x 1000m @ 10mph with 400m RI). It was brutal but I managed with 0% elevation - I should be running on the treadmill at 2% all the time...On Thursday I ran instead of cross-training because it was my last day of work for the week and I wanted to run the mountain.  It was a beautiful 1st of July so I did a 1 mile warmup and 5 mile tempo run followed by a 1 mile cooldown.  It was a gorgeous run! I will have to bring my camera one day to snap pics of the cityscapes I get from up there...Sunday was a 17 mile jaunt.  I was tired even before I left.  My legs probably didn't fully recover from 2 back to back days of running during the week. I was really tired when I got home and fell asleep while watching Toy Story with my kids...

Week ending 11 Jul - Monday and Thursday were cross-training days.  On Monday, I cycled for 45 mins and Thursday I mixed it up by embedding some core strength exercises between 2 twenty minute sessions of biking and rowing.  Tuesday, I ran some intervals (3 x 1600m in 6:12 with 1 min rest between. I couldn't maintain the pace for more than 400m without 5 second breather before continuing. Total 6miles) and Friday I managed to squeeze in some tempo intervals at the track in between thundershowers (5km).  Sunday was a clawback long run to build back some strength so I inserted 4 tempo bursts and some hill sprints just to keep it interesting.  The first was a 20 minute burst about a half hour into the run.  The second was a 10 min burst at 1.5 hours in and the third and fourth were 5 mins. each and 5 minutes apart.  At the end I did 10 x 10-second sprints up a hill to shock my fast twitch muscles a bit (I always love these because you pick up some great speed but for not long enough to produce lactic acid.  Total run distance on Sunday as 16 miles.  All told a great week!

Week ending 18 Jul  - I have to say it was a strange week for running given the odd weather and the upcoming summer vacation.  I started out by planning to do a Tempo run on the mountain on Tuesday. But the skies opened up yet again as I was making my way up University St. to the mountain trailhead. While an avid runner, I'm not hardcore enough to run in a torrential downpour in my road shoes on slopping wet mountain trails, so I ducked into the Royal Vic hospial and ran up 1000 stairs instead. (I did 12 x 84 stairs). I think that qualifies as hill training...then on Thursday, my Tempo run 1 mi warmup + 3 mi @ 7min/mi pace (with 30 second water break each mile) + cool down = 5 miles in 41 mins flat. Glad that's done!  No cross-training this week, I was too busy woking on my new blog launch.  Saturday was a write off and Sunday, I tried to get up at 5 am but I was just too tired, so I opted to do a water running session in the afternoon instead.  After an hour with the Aquajogger, my whole body was fatigued.  That was a great workout!

Week ending 25 Jul -

Friday, April 23, 2010

Please support this Crusade!

You know the old saying; "Time heals all wounds"? Well, that's not always true....When it comes to diseases like cancer, time is our worst enemy. The time you have the disease without it being diagnosed or the amount of time it takes before getting treatment can both be fatal. And the time it takes for us to find a cure, means more and more people are diagnosed and dying every day.

No my friends, time does not heal this wound....How many people do you know who have blood cancers? Several I'm sure, probably even somebody in your family.....

We have to act now so that we could beat this disease. I'm running marathons until we do!

Please support me in my crusade...my legs will thank you for it but not nearly as much as those who are currently suffering with the disease and the ones who are diagnosed every 35 minutes. Tic toc....

Time is of the essence, so please share this video with your friends, family, mailing lists, you name it. The more people who see this video the better. We want to create awareness and a call to action.

If you can donate, fine, but if not, you still can do your part. Pledge to pass this on, share your story below, blog about it, touch someone's heart to embark on their own crusade, hold a bake sale. It doesn't matter really....Anything you do will bring us one day closer to a cure and that's what matters!

So don't delay, share this video and take action to make a difference today! (if you can make a donation, it is greatly appreciated. http://bit.ly/PatrickTNT)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

'Twas the season...

I am so a creature of habit, it's not even funny...After the NYC marathon, I resumed a regular workout routine but I didn't do any runs longer than 10km. It certainly felt refreshing to sleep in on weekends for a change! Then came the holidays...I tried not to eat too much but 10 straight days of parties, rich foods, alcohol...it is not my regular routine so I shouldn't be surprised that I put on a few pounds.

Now that I am back to work, the routine workouts at the gym have resumed. For example today I did an embedded circuit training workout and tried to pick up at the level I left off, but lo and behold...fitness levels reduce amazingly fast. I decided not to push it too much so I did a 1.5 mile warmup run followed by my exercise sets with no rest and then a cool down. I was supposed to do a 2 mile warmup and a 2 mile cooldown, but after the circuit, my legs were really tired so I ended it there.

This winter, I won't be doing my long runs outside as much but I will be snowshoe running - if you haven't tried this, I can assure you that I have never sucked wind so much as I do when I'm running with snowshoes. This is a really intense exercise so I definitely will not be out for 3+ hours on Sunday mornings to get a great workout in.

That said, these are more cardio than endurance workouts so I will have to do a few long runs every now and then and I will resume to more rugular long runs once I've decided what my next marathon will be.

A few years ago, I gave myself a head start on weight loss by doing the first two weeks of the South Beach diet. It really worked but the first week is really restrictive and difficult to prepare meals when there are three other people living in the house - not on the diet. Now that I have a belt notch to tighten, I will be applying some of the principles from the South Beach Diet such as good fats, bad fats, good carbs, bad carbs, and the use of the glycemic index of foods. I came across this eating habits adjustment strategy video and website that pretty much sums it up so I'm sharing it here. I'll report back in exactly 2 weeks with my results.