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The Chicago Runner Series

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Name: Wai Gen Yee

Age:  39

Day job:  Computer scientist

Why do you run?  Keep the weight off and to satisfy my competitive/athletic compulsions.

How long have you been running?  I started running for real after college, when I was 23 (1996).  I quit for several years and picked it up again in 2004.

What makes someone a runner?  The biggest asset for a runner is to have drive and peace of mind.  Some people consider running monotonous, but others consider it peaceful or really enjoy the satisfaction of finishing a long run.

Miles per week:  During the training season, I run up to 45 miles a week.  Off season, I generally run 15 miles per week.

Mile time:  700 - 830 minute miles, depending on the distance.

Races you’ve competed in:  Chicago Marathon:  1996, 2004, 2007-2011.  Injured this year.

Favorite running route(s):
 The bike path along the Lake is my "home" path.  I have probably run 10,000 miles on it, literally.  I enjoy running the Salt Creek trail, too.

Best run:  In 2009, I ran a 3:29 marathon.  This is a nice time because it means I broke an 8-minute mile pace.

Worst run:  The 2007 marathon.  This could also be considered my best run because it was so hard and required the most endurance, both mental and physical.  It was very, very hot, and I ended up running 10-minute miles.  Finishing that race required real determination.

Do you run with music? Why/Why not?
 No, never.  I like the simplicity of running and the music takes that away.  Music could also hurt maintaining a regular pace.  I do run with the television on when on a treadmill though, but that is because running indoors is so boring.

Top Five Running Songs:  I like to hear the Rocky theme during the marathon.  But that song makes me run too fast for a 26 mile pace.  Otherwise, just hearing the birds or the leaves or the waves on the bike path are fine with me.

Favorite Running Gadget:
 GPS watch.  It frees me from having to run on the mile-marked bike path.  It also helps make me maintain a pace.

The Treadmill-Discuss.  I run on treadmills for three reasons:  a) I have to finish my run quickly (I have a treadmill in my building) b) It is too hot/cold/dark/wet outside c) I am traveling and I do not know of a course near the hotel.  

Favorite time to run:  I love running while watching the sunrise.  But I never wake up early enough to do that!

Best pre-run meal:  For the marathon, I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a banana, and coffee.

Tips on running through a Chicago winter:  The cold is fine.  Just wear layers.  But 1) Keep your feet dry 2) Wear some kind of moisturizer to protect your skin!

Favorite temperature range:  For long runs (more than 5 miles), I like running in the low 50s.

Tips for a novice runner:  Wear sunblock. Practice good form. Stretch. And you can eat carbs again! It gets better. But not overnight. I hated running growing up. (I also hated brussel sprouts.) I thought it was monotonous and unglamourous.  But nothing seems sexier to me now than qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

Brief Bio:
I'm a computer guy from Queens.  I was introduced to Chicago by attending U of C - and now, I work for Orbitz.  I've done sports all my life and, as a kid, wanted to be shortstop for the Yankees.  (But that job is in good hands right now.)  Growing up, I played ultimate frisbee, stick ball, volleyball and fenced.  I was an All American fencer at the U of C.  I love to eat, too, so to stay trim these days - and to maintain my identity as an athlete, I run.  I also try to encourage all of my friends to run.  The next sport I want to learn in golf.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Terez-Rosenblum published on January 30, 2013 4:49 PM.

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