Sunday, June 30, 2013

Damn straight

I might not be the same
But that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal
Damn right I support it
- Macklemore

I heard this song on the radio in San Diego last week and fell in love with it. It's really a good one. So I never woulda thought that June could be worse than April when my foot was broken, but it was. With work travel, dead cat, and vacation the month just got away from me. I only ran 6 days, including today (3), for a total of 17.4 miles. Ugh. I'm 227.5 YTD. The goal is in jeopardy and I need to get off my arse. Back at it in July!!! Damn straight.

Friday, June 28, 2013

What's My Scene?

And another thing
I've been wondering lately
Oh, baby, tell me
Where have you been?
-Hoodoo Guns
I went on a tour of the homes of crappy American beers.  I was Milwaukee short of the trifecta.  First I went to St. Louis (didn’t run or visit the casino) and then Denver (ran once).  I only ran for 2 miles because it was hot, at altitude, and I just didn’t feel like doing much.  Here’s a list of other things that have happened since the marathon
  • I ran one mile on a treadmill in St. Louis (different trip, did visit the casino)
  • Aaron Hernandez got himself arrested.  You would think if you signed a contract paying you $8 million per year you could wake up each morning and decide “not gonna kill anyone today”.  But, of course, Bill Belichek saw this coming and planned ahead by signing Little Baby Jesus to be his backup quarterback tight end. 
  • Runs of 2 and 3 miles outside in Houston
  • I went to Supercuts and got a lower-case bad haircut.  But more importantly, while I was there, they announced on the radio that Twinkies were returning to the shelves.  A cheer erupted.  I exaggerate not.  Erupted.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This is looking like a contest
Of who can act like they care less
- Taylor Swift

I got out for a run this morning after I dropped J at football conditioning camp. I chatted with a mom who was there yesterday and asked me about Js football experience. I said he played pop Warner the last two years and she said "oh, the wolves?" And I said yeah. And she goes, "my sons team played them twice last year and annihilated them." Huh. Really? So wanting to avoid a pissing contest along the lines of "my son is better than your son" I left and went for a run. Because my son is so much better anyway, it's not worth the argument. It was probably 88 degrees and I ran along this empty wash filled with homes that belonged to either ground squirrels or rattle snakes. The thought of the latter was enough to keep me moving for awhile but I tired out and walked back. It's damn hot here. 3 miles.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I was almost in need of a defibrillator
I don't know what went wrong
I had to shake it off
But I got stuck
- MirAnda Lambert, Fine Tune

I don't even like this song, but the lyrics resonated as I was gasping and sweating on the treadmill this evening. I was hungry and thirsty and tired etc etc. but kinda impressed with myself that I managed to go after a day in the orafice. I managed only two miles before I packed it in. I am reminded that consistency is the most important thing in running. And if you keep at it, it always gets better.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A bad week

When I got home from Denver last Thursday, I realized my cat and office mate was sick, so I took him to the vet. After a long night he died. This really threw me into a funk, I really loved the little guy and he was good company. So, I couldn't make myself leave the house until this past Thursday when I made the ill-fated decision to run outside. At noon. After over a week off. It really wasn't too bad starting off but it deteriorated rapidly. I went three but only ran about half of it. Today I went to the gym and managed 2.5 on the dreadmill before sitting poolside and getting caught up on my reading (I'm several issues behind on People Magazine). So anyway, it's summer and I'm resigned to indoor workouts for the next couple months. Sigh.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm glad you asked

Yeah it's all alright
It's all alright
I got nothin left inside of my chest
But it's all alright
- Fun.

Out of breath? You ask. Why yes, I am. I just went for a run in Colorado and as usual, the hills and altitude killed me. I think I went about 4 miles and it was a beautiful breezy evening. I watched the sun set and admired the horses in the pastures. The downhill parts were enjoyable, the uphills not so much, but I walked when it felt like my lungs would explode. I didn't physically run over the weekend except when I was chasing trollys to watch Bad Haircut and Ran Dumb Thoughts conquer the San Diego Marathon. Or something like that. I ran in spirit, which is a lot less painful. Awesome job guys.

Marathon Post #3

The good times we knew
I'd tell you about them baby
But you were there, you were with me, too
-Tom Cochrane

I felt strong through about mile 19.  At that point I was really tired.  And my legs were really, really tired.  But this was OK.  I knew that there would be some pain, I just didn’t want to have anything like heat exhaustion (thank you, San Diego, 64 degrees was perfect), or have one of my internal organs explode.  So I continued on and entered the “deal-making” section of the race.  If I run 200 steps, then I can walk 100.  Etc.  Then came the highway.  Around mile 20 the route was uphill along the highway.  For as far as the eye could see.  And then again.  And again.  I stuck to the plan (twist my arm) and walked the uphill.

At some point after the highway, I went passed a medic tent where they had tongue depressors with a glob of something on them.  Luckily I heard someone say it was Vaseline.  Miles before, when I had passed the previous station of this kind, I had no idea what they were passing out.  I thought it was some sort of bulk food.  I was OK, since I never take food unless I can identify it, but I’m pretty sure if you take a tongue depressor from a medic and then eat the Vaseline off of it, they pull you off the course.  Or else you pull yourself off the course.  Anyway, it reminded me of The Flaming Lips song “She Don’t Use Jelly” about this girl who puts Vaseline on toast.  And a guy who blows his nose in magazines.  For a short moment, it made me laugh.

I struggled in these miles in the 20’s, which is not surprising, since they were an entirely new experience for me.  Somewhere after mile marker 25, I started my finishing kick.  By that, I mean that I knew that I had to finish this thing running and even though my feet hurt and my knees weren’t really interested in bending, I found a way to run.  It was a mostly straight-legged run, but I ran the rest of the way in.  Marathon completed.  Liver still functioning.  All goals accomplished.

Today I was driving and I had the thought “I can’t believe I really ran a marathon.”  So glad I did this.  But now I’m done.  I’m not doing another marathon.  The 26.2 brings my yearly total up to 297.  And now it is time to rest.  But first we should review what we learned
  • Marathons are possible
  • Apple is out to get me and makes sure that their products malfunction whenever I need them most
  • If you are in line for a port-a-john and the National Anthem starts playing – it isn’t disrespectful to go pee when it’s your turn
  • It is possible to carbo-overload
  • Just because something is on a stick doesn’t mean it is a popsicle

Marathon Post #2

I can hear your motor humming so I’m covering some ground
Ooh, baby, you let me down
-Joel Plaskett
Off to part 2 of the marathon.  Through downtown and then up along the bay.  We ran through the party tunnel – and by that I mean there was about 100 yards of covered road as we ran under some roadway that had neon lights and industrial music.  It made me laugh a little.  It was at this point that I passed the 4:40 pace group.  I didn’t really think I would run a 4:40, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be slow and steady today.  I planned to walk through all the water stations and uphill sections, but when I ran, to cover some ground.  So when I passed the 4:40 group, I knew I would see them again.

At about mile 10, I could see the really fast people who were heading back as they passed mile 17.  I was really glad I wasn’t trying to run as fast as they were, but I did really want to be done with 17 miles.  I slogged ahead, vaguely aware of a little leg pain, but it seemed like it was going to be fine.

The route continued through a park by the bay.  It was really great scenery to run near, but the path narrowed and I felt like I didn’t have all the space I needed.  And I was running behind Adrian Monk.  For anyone that hasn’t seen the show, he is the defective detective.  He has about 1000 phobias and compulsions.  The guy in front of me kept touching the lightposts as he ran by them.  I don’t think he felt compelled to, because he didn’t get them all.  I think that was the part that was the most distracting.  If you are going to do something weird, you have to commit to it.  What was special about the ones he was touching?  I just had to move away from him.  It was about at this point that the 4:40 crowd dropped me.  Unceremoniously.  All of a sudden they were gone and almost immediately not visible.  Oh well.

I kept running and met up with the public-transit experts who had made their way to the Starbucks around mile 17.  I stopped, enjoyed a few pretzels, some water, and dropped off my iPod.  Why would I do that?  I don’t know if it has a defective battery, or if the earlier fall was a problem, or what, but my iPod was letting me down.  On this section of the run I had especially enjoyed Pushmonkey (Sorry), The Loved Ones (Jane), The Watchmen (Brighter Hell), and The Bouncing Souls (True Believers).  But from now on it was just me and my thoughts.  And I was heading into uncharted territory as my longest successful training run was 17 miles.  But I felt pretty good and was confident I could find a way to get to the finish line. But I was also pretty sure it wasn’t going to be easy.

Marathon Post #1

I don't feel too steady on my feet
I feel hollow I feel weak
Passion fruit and holy bread
Fill my guts and ease my head
Through the early morning sun
I can see her here she comes
-The Stone Roses

San Diego 2013. An adventure in marathoning. How to document? I think I will organize this the same way that the race fans experienced it. And by race fans, I mean the only two that I know. I saw our fans at mile 5.5, 17, and the finish line. So what follows will be the story of the first part of the race.

The morning started with two really good decisions. First, I decided not to eat the cream cheese glob that was jammed in the center of my 7-11 bagel. Second, we took a cab to the start line. We were planning to walk, since there would be so many street closures, but when we saw the cab sitting right outside the hotel, it was clear there was only one thing to do.

With 30 minutes to go before race time, I decided I had plenty of time to stand in the port-a-john line - which turned out to be not true. I listened to the National Anthem in line, dealt with a line cutter trying to refuse another line cutter, and barely made it out before the race started. And so, with no time to survey the landscape, I did not go to my correct corral and just jumped in wherever I could (which turned out to be in front of where I was supposed to be). And so, I did not see Ran Dumb Thoughts until the race was over.

Despite all that confusion, the race started well. Until about mile 1.5, when I fell down. That's right. I fell down. There was about a 1 inch lip of concrete that I didn't see. I'm not sure why I wasn't picking my feet up high enough to clear it anyway, but down I went. I hopped back up and realized I was OK with a very minor cut on my right hand, a very minor scrape on my right knee, a small scratch on my iPod, and a huge amount of embarrassment. This would be the perfect time to quit - except that I am not Chris Bosh or any member of the Ottawa Senators (yes, that means you Radek Bonk) - and so my goal was not to find a reason to quit.

So I continued on. Around mile 4, "This is Letting Go" by Rise Against came on and I felt invincible. I ran through Petco Park and then through the part of downtown that we had explored over the weekend. I felt really good. About the time that "Hysteria" by Def Leppard was ending (that's right - there's always a place for a hair band or two on the playlist), I saw the fans and had a quick conversation. We were off to a really good start. I felt good, hadn't had any dead leg problems, and the playlist was perfect. I really enjoyed hearing The Stone Roses (She Bangs The Drums), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Hysterical), and Better Than Ezra (Wallflower). All good.