Richard Doron Johnson

April 29, 2007

DNF

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 1:22 pm

I am sure your asking what does DNF mean? Well it means “Did Not Finish.” This is what happened to me at the New Jersey Marathon by choice. Prior to the sound of the gun at 7:45am on April 29th I decided to not play it safe anymore and from the start run as fast as I can and see what mile I blow up at (or break down at). Normally I run a nice even pace race since I know I have 26.2 miles to go but I wanted to try something different and that is what I did. I new by mile 3 my legs were dead. It felt like I was carrying around weigths on my legs by the 5k point, but I continued on. The course is great and the temperature was pretty good but once I hit the half way point I was like another loop to go and mentally that took its toll on me. I have done a previous marathon in erie Pa that was two loops of a course to get 26.2miles and that is rough when you see 80% of the participants stopping half way through because they are done and you have to keep going. I went from having people all around me running to not having anyone within 100 meters of me in any direction. I am sure I would have kept going if I would have had some people around me to run with but at mile 20 I decided to call it an up tempo run and see if I can find another race later on. The funny part is I could have went ahead and just finished since I only had 6 miles to go but I didn’t because I wanted a better time. Once I stopped I could see the the hotel where the finish line was at and decided to head back to it. As I was walking to the hotel I started to realize the finish line was further then I had thought. After walking about 1.5miles I thought to my self “why don’t I run to the hotel because this walking stuff is taking to long.” My second thought was that the hotel looks about 2 more miles away and if I started running I might as well have just finished the race and got to the finish line at about the same time if not faster. Once I arrived at the end, just as I walked near the finish I saw three guys I had run with around mile 17 just coming across the finish line. Today was an interesting day but I am not upset because I know I could hang with the distance the speed just kicked my butt. Next time I will go back to running an even pace race until mile 20. I learned the hard way.

On a good note though I stayed in Asbury,Nj and I love this little town on the water.

I will come back here for sure because the people and the food was great. To think the peoples bed and breakfast that I stayed in last name was Johnson and they have a son named Richard Johnson too. When I first talkd to the mother about staying there she was so excited that I was staying there and had the same last name as her son. After meeting her and her husband they told me I could come back anytime since I was one of the family. I just replied “ok mom.”

April 25, 2007

4 days left

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 12:52 pm

Well, I am off to New York this afternoon to do my final preparations for the New Jersey Marathon. This week has felt great since my mileage has come down from 70 mile weeks to a 40 mile week in preparing to be strong for the race. That is my focus for the next few days so lets see how things turn out on Sunday April 29th in the late morning.

April 21, 2007

Back in the U.S.A.

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 12:43 pm

Today I traveled all day to get back to Atlanta, GA. The flight from Ecuador was actually really good so I have no complaints. I have to say I love being on the road but it was good to go across the street to Subway and get my Turkey sandwhich on Wheat bread. Now I just have to make a Smoothie! This next week is going to be a maintenance week. This means I will basically be running around doing everything I need to do for the next 3 weeks since I leave in a few days to go on the road again. Many people ask me how I do what I do and I tell them, I plan everything out when I am out running in the morning so that when I am done running all I have to do is execute the plan. Now it is that time.

April 20, 2007

Friday is my day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 11:10 pm

Yesterday before getting on the flight to Guayquil at 12 noon, we were handed the national newspaper fron Ecuador. On the front page and inside was a whole interview about the previous nights concert.

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It is a little funny because when we arrived at the hotel I noticed this is the same hotel I stayed at 6 years ago when I was here on tour with my jazz trio.

I guess I am at the part of my life when I start staying in and eating at the same hotels and restaurants that I was in during previous tours. That is a wild thought to me when you consider I am in another country.

Today we had a master class for about 2 hours in a small room in the same hall we played last night. I am pretty sure we had the most questions ever asked in a 2 hour master class this morning about what we do.

This has been a great week filled with great experiances. When I came here the first time 2001, I said I would be back because of the love I have for this country. Dreams do come true because I am back in Ecuador once again. I have had an even better experiance this time then the first travel experiance here which makes me think my next visit will be for an extended amount of time! Te amo Ecuador!

10, 2 count down

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 4:51 am

Well with exactly 10 days left to go until race day I am feeling a bit anxious to go out and race 26.2 miles. I have been training for this race since December 1st when I went to South Africa on tour with AFAR and now the day is almost here. Since arriving in Quito Ecuador my training has taken an interesting turn do to the altitude here. Training at 9266 feet is a complete experiance to itself. Even the elite runners train at a maximum of 7000 feet for about 3 months max and then 2 weeks before the race go back to sea level to tpaer thier running mileage. For me this has been an up and down experiance. This is because I know I have to slow down running at this altitude so that I can adjust and not pass out, but it really is a mental game of knowing what you need to do and doing it accordingly. I have run more hills this past week then I ever have and I only have ten days left to go to race day. Now it is time to taper so that I can feel strong for the race but anyone who races knows anything can happen on race day. You really just hope for the best and pray you did all your training correctly.

April 19, 2007

To The Mountain Top

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 11:46 pm

This morning I felt good so I decided to run to the top of the mountain called “Pichincha.”  I could see it from my hotel room and had been wondering what the view looked like from up there so at 7am I ran to the top.  Talk about a work out.  It took me 95 minutes up and back but I made it.  This was the first time I used my fuel pack (device contains gatorade in it and holds gu) since last summer.  The view was incredible and I could have thrown myself off the mountain when I realized that I did not have my camera.  Here are a few photos from room after I finished the room.  You can see the mountain in the background even though I am darker then usual.

Con Luz!

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Afte I returned to the hotel the band took off to our second workshop. It just so happened that the workshop was being held in the church we were to perfrom in later that night.  The workshop with the college and high school kids went great.  The church was unbealivable looking.  Who would have thought we would have been performing here. 
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One more with Davin Wong in the background!
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One twice!

After the workshop at 2pm they had a 4 course meal for us again and a tour of the museum.

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The courtyard in the middle.

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The exhibit was nice and short. Just the way I like it.  By 8pm we were back at the church performing our last concert in this great city of Quito.  Our last stop for the evening was a club called Pobre Diablo. Of course they had a jazz band perfroming in the club.  This was a pretty cool place and the food was pretty good too. After hanging here for about 2 hours it was time for me to go to bed.  Today was a great day and I look forward to many more days like this here in this country. 

April 18, 2007

I Love Ecuador

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 5:06 am

Often when I do interviews people ask what part of the world would I return to if I had the opportunity. Well it just so happens that I am here in that location this week.  I Love it here because if I want to to go T.G.I Fridays I can but, if I do not want to be reminded of the United States I can just go across the street and it is a whole experiance.  

My day started off at 5 30am running 5 miles to a Volcano at this extremly high altitude of 9300 feet.  Here are some different views from my hotel room of the active Volcano just 5 miles away.

Feel the smoke arising!

The city 5 minutes later!

Can you believe it clears up everyday like this!

Todays run was my hilliest, slowest five miles in years but I would rather have this pace over trying to run fast and having a heart attack.  By 9am the band was off to the University to do our first workshop. The selected  college students who we worked with were choosen to come to the United States in July 2007 for a 2 week tour to promote Ecuador. During the drive to the University we saw all kinds of peaks and valleys which you can see below. 

Side view of the Valley!

One more Once!

The band students sounded pretty good and had a lot of energy to play this wonderful music we call “JAZZ.” 

Check this guy out reading his music off a Macintosh computer.  I asked him what do you do if your battery dies in the middle of a concert? He said ” look for the sheet music.”

After the workshop we had a 4 course meal at the university that took 3 hours.  The food was great due to the school having a huge culinary department. 

Our next stop was the hall to do a sound check.  Finally we began to head back to the hotel.  We were pressed for time but I managed to get my second run of 5 miles in for the day in the 70 minutes we had to get ready for the concert. By 8 45pm the concert began and the real fun erupted.  This was a great opening show and the small audience seemed to really enjoy the band.  Well we have a few more days ahead so lets see what else this country has to offer.

April 17, 2007

Where am I

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 11:41 am

This past weekend things went like this.

1) I flew into Laguardia,NY on the April 13th at night.

2) Ran 20 miles Saturday morning at 6am.  4 miles in the park on my own, 13.1 miles during the brooklyn half marathon easy pace, and 3 miles afterwards.

3) Then I ran literally and changed clothes and took a car to at 10:30am to Newark New Jersey to play for 500 kids at the New Jersey Performing arts center at 12:30pm

4) Then back to New York to see the last performance by the Latin Jazz orchestra at JALC at 8pm.

5) Then  to a late dinner in SOHO at 11pm.

6) Sunday April 15th I went to church at 11pm in the Nor Eastern storm.

7) Then at 1:30pm off to practice some music for 2 hours in Manhattan.

8) 4pm off to the gym for a cardio workout for 1:30hr.

9) 7pm off to dinner in Brooklyn,NY at “Soda” my favorite place to eat in New York right. 

10) April 16th at 6am on Monday I ran 10 miles in the Nor Eastern rain.  The whole time I was thinking “I know if they are still holding the Boston marathon which is 26.2 miles, I can run at least 10 miles in the rain.” Man this was a trip but it felt good.  My shoes are still soaking wet 2 days later.

11) 8:15am left to go to JFK to fly to Ecuador for a week.

12) flew to Miami and the flight was delayed but I still made it with the rest of the band on the flight to Quito

13) Sat next to a very large gentleman on the flight for 4 hours and he snoared for 3 hours.

14) Arrived in one piece here in Quito Ecuador at 8:30pm for my second adventure to this lovely country.

April 13, 2007

Dockery Farm

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 11:14 am

Today has been a great experiance because we got to go to the place where blues music was born.  It is called “Dockery Farm.”  The whole tour for the past 2 weeks has been about blues music, with it concluding on a high  note with the visit at this farm.  It consist of 40 square miles or 18,000 acres.  BB King, Robert Johnson and a host of other musicians used to live on this farm and create music in their off time from working the fields. I have been very pleased to visit the farm and meet the family members who own part of it and spend a whole day with them (The Powers and their son Will). Below you will see some of the photos from our second to last day on this tour. This tour has been a highlight of my life and I will return to this beautiful part of the country relatively soon.

The Farm

Me at the Farm!

The Farm and its beauty!

 

 The Baptisim fountain for the slaves.

The “Powers” and their son, my new friend Will Powers at dinner later that night.

Dockery Farm

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 10:57 am

Today has been a great experiance because we got to go to the place where blues music was born.  It is called “Dockery Farm.”  The whole tour for the past 2 weeks has been about blues music, with it concluding on a high  note with the visit at this farm.  It consist of 40 square miles or 18,000 acres.  BB King, Robert Johnson and a host of other musicians used to live on this farm and create music in their off time from working the fields. I have been very pleased to visit the farm and meet the family members who own part of it and spend a whole day with them (The Powers and their son Will). Below you will see some of the photos from our second to last day on this tour. This tour has been a highlight of my life and I will return to this beautiful part of the country relatively soon. The Farm Me at the Farm! The Farm and its beauty!    The Baptisim fountain for the slaves. The “Powers” and their son, my new friend Will Powers at dinner later that night.

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