Monday, September 30, 2013


Nothing is the same
Everything is a better change
Sometimes I see silence in your eyes
So let it all crash down
- Tim McIlraith, For Fiona

After sitting in a day-long mind-numbing meeting at Big Company headquarters, it was wonderful to get outside for a run in the gorgeous cool air with puffy white clouds floating overhead. I made the mistake of going through a door at work, and was subsequently escorted back to my meeting room by security. This despite the fact that I had a company issued badge and was signed in at security for the week. I mean, I get the importance of security, but sheesh. I had a background check, drug test and rectal exam before they even allowed my presence here, and it appears I still can't be trusted. Thanks, Big Company Security Guy!! 3 miles down, infinity to go.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


So I tell myself, I tell myself it's wrong.
There's a point we pass from which we can't return.
I felt the cold rain of the coming storm.
-Rise Against

4.5 today - which brings the 2013 total to 380.5. 

I waited until the rain stopped before I started today's run.  I realized that the humidity didn't stop at the same time as the rain, and so conditions were less than ideal.  When the rain came back towards the end of my run, I thought "this is a little better" and then the rain immediately stopped.  Which proves that Zeus was making it rain just to mess with me.  Maybe I should stop reading the Percy Jackson books...
All these buckets of rain
I've heard enough about it
You say that I lie
- Airborne Toxic Event, Changing

For many years of running in my neighborhood, I've gone by this little vase carved into the sidewalk. It has a little straw coming out the side of it. And every time I went by, I'd wonder why some kid would have taken the time to carve a little vase into the wet concrete years ago. And then one day on a particularly enlightened run, it hit me. Oh. It's a bong. It's funny how something you once took as a symbol of beauty can turn out to be just a mind fuck. 3 miles today.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Break wind

That wind is callin my name
And I won't break
Or I'll never get on
- Blind Pilot, Half Moon

The wind was angry today, my friends. It was a gorgeous day and I took to the mountain around 9. Thanks goddess for fall and cooler temps, but there was a small wind on the mountain that kicked up mini dustdevils. I kept my hat low and forged through it, grateful I didn't wear my weighted vest today. About 3/4 mile in I passed a guy in a wide-brim sunhat stretching. He stayed behind me, but at one point came charging past me. He sounded like a panicked elephant with his giant hiking boots, and he was holding his fanny pack to keep it from jiggling. And he had a phone or something in it that he was listening to someone talking with no headphones. When he started walking I passed him again, but right away he came pounding past me again, running furiously up this rocky slope that really isn't runnable. And he charged past this family with two kids scrambling to get out of the way. At first I thought he was just an ahole, but then I realized he must be doing some type of jihadist training. So the next time I passed him I tried to memorize his features for my interview with the police later. He was sotting down, still listening to the speaker and he wouldn't meet my eyes. His shirt said RELAX - nice cover buddy, but you didn't fool me. So that's 4.5 for the day, 6.5 for the week. Not my best week.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I've Got A Lot To Say - Woah

He's in love with rock n roll, woah
He's in love with getting stoned, woah
He's in love with Janie Jones, woah
He don't like his boring job, no
-The Clash

This song makes me think of David Allan Coe.  Because, he, like the Clash, furthered race relations through his music?  Not so much.  Because he sings that song about writing the perfect country song.  And this song, Janie Jones, pretty much sums up the punk scene of the 70s and 80s.  Let's check in with our protagonist.  He likes his music, partying, and his girlfriend.  But he doesn't really care for his job.  And we get to shout "woah" at the end of each line.  What's not to like?

I decided to take a hiatus from blogging these last couple of weeks.   As interesting as it is to write about how hot it is and how my run didn't go as well as planned, it was starting to seem a little trite.  So I tried something a little different.  I ate a lot of mashed potatoes until I gained 12 pounds.  And by "ate a lot of mashed potatoes", I mean "bought a weighted vest".  Free shipping - wouldn't think you could get that on something designed to be heavy.  Anyway, I ran 3 miles today with my 12 pound friend and didn't mind that I was going slowly. 

But the really good news is that it didn't interfere with the mind-wandering that I tend to enjoy while I run.  I was thinking about my recent post about Boston Pizza which made me think of another Canadian restaurant institution, Swiss Chalet.  Which is a chicken joint.  And not decorated like a Chalet - some of them are stuck on the side of a sister restaurant called Harvey's where they sell crappy hamburgers.  Which is how you can tell I'm not Canadian.  They love those burgers.  And they love the gravy at Swiss Chalet.  And they don't call it gravy.  Which reminds me of my favorite Swiss Chalet story - and I wasn't even there.  My friend was heading home after a night on the town and is waiting at the streetcar stop.  He has $2 in his pocket which is enough to ride the streetcar home.  Except that he looks across the street and sees a Swiss Chalet.  And if you knew this friend, you would know that he would have absolutely no regrets about his decision to use his $2 to purchase a pint of gravy and drink it on the walk home.  Sorry - Chalet sauce, not gravy. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Raise the Jolly Roger

They want to know if he's still got it,
They say rap's changed,
They want to know how I feel about it...

Still D.R.E (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Dr. Dre

I am a little out of practice, but here it goes. Today I crossed the 500 mile (804km) barrier somewhere on Cape Cod to. No medal ceremony, no cheers, no push ups highlighted today's journey past the proverbial Gatsby green light that 500 miles (804km) represented.  I don't remember much of where I ran but rather the people I ran with and for. Shout out to the 2 (3.2 metric) better bloggers here for making it fun and inspired.

Also, I have recently appointed myself as unspoken company DJ. So what I do now is build playlists to give upper middle aged to bona fide senior citizens unfettered joy and a spring in their step. Obviously, the burden of my coolness/nerd balance makes this uncomfortably easy. It's my thorny crown.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Now the door's locked
and I find that
the dizzy madness
is bleeding through
- BTE, Absolutely Still

630 came a bit too early this morning, so I shut off my alarm. I started this post in my mind with a quote from Extraordinary - "All I wanna do is get up early in the morning" but thankfully I looked it up and I had the words wrong. I can't bring that kind of shame to this site with all the BTE fans that read my witty commentary. So I did get up at 7 and was on the mountain by 730. Thank goodness fall has brought some milder morning temps, because I couldn't stomach the thought of sweating it out in the treadmill today. So I got my 4.5 miles in, and then went and got ASU colors on my toenails to bring luck to my Devils in the grand finale of my guilt-free day on the couch watching college football with my boy. Speaking of which, one of the primary reasons I watch Oregon football is their awesome uniforms, but today they look like neon bananas. Also they are playing like neon bananas. What's up with that?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cowboy Ugly American

So down, down, down
like a ball of flames,
to the rotten core filling up with names
of hypocrites
what a massive list,
don't exclude yourself from it.
-Chuck Ragan

Some catching up.  On Sunday I ran 4.5 miles.  It kinda sucked.  I wanted to run 6, but - oh, nevermind.  Anyway, after my run I caught a flight to Dallas.  There were a couple of people on the flight who fit the following profile: by themselves, decked out in Cowboys gear, clearly on their way to the Sunday Night game.  And for one quick second I thought "that's weird, flying to another city, by yourself, to go to a football game".  And then I remembered.  Me too.  But my case was different - I was going for work (and I wasn't wearing one shred of Cowboys gear - I was wearing my Eli Manning jersey).  OK - I don't have one of those either.

Before the game I ate at Boston's, which is the US version of a Canadian restaurant named Boston Pizza.  I'm not making that up.  There really is a Canadian-based restaurant chain named after a US city (not particularly known for it's pizza) that has been so successful that they started a US version of it.  This is either the weirdest thing ever - or just the restaurant equivalent of me.  Except that it is sort of lame.  Hey - no adding your own punchline here.

At the game, I sat near the top of the stadium and it was like being in the world's greatest sports bar.  I sat with a bunch of other people watching a game on a ginormous TV.  On punts and kickoffs I could watch the field - but other than that the 160-foot TV was much better.  So here's the thing - I don't like the Cowboys.  But, of course, my nemesis Eli threw 3 terrible picks and made sure the Cowboys won. 

Then today I ran 3 miles.  Still not waking up early.  Still struggling.  362.5 for the year.


So if you see those so-called demons
Don't bother sayin I said hi
- Dan Adriano, of peace, quiet and monsters

I knew this week would be tough being in NY the whole week in meetings, but we ended today at 530 so I was able to hit the 100 sq foot "gym" at the Holiday Inn for 3 miles. Oddly enough, it felt like I was running downhill the whole time. Now I'm off to Carmine's in Times Square which supposedly has occasional celebrity guests. My last Hoo-rah in NY.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Just the other day I felt
We could be everything
- BTE, Porcelain

I got up on the mountain at about 7 this morning and it was a gorgeous, cool and rainy morning. I did a lot of good running, and focused on picking my feet up so as to avoid the disaster that befell me the other day. One of my friends the other night suggested that perhaps it's time for me to give up trail running since I have such weak ankles, but that thought has never occurred to me. And of course it's ridiculous. The mountain is church. The mountain is beauty. It's solace and healing and celebration and grace. And peace.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ima let you finish

Where are you
And I'm so sorry
I cannot sleep
I cannot dream tonight
- blink 182, miss you

I hereby declare this the greatest song of all time. No disrespect to Kanye, as I do agree that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. But this song just settles in and sticks. I put it on repeat as loud as I could stand for my entire 3 mile workout at the gym this afternoon, which wasn't bad btw, and it just bounced around in my head like a dolphin in a net and made me feel ok. I had my alarm set for 6am this morning intending to take advantage of the cloud cover and relatively cooler temps, but it was not to be. Then I had a bowling date with one of my mentee kids. I swear the last time I went bowling they had these scoring tables with overhead projectors. Now it's all new fangled electronics that an 8 year old figured out faster than I. But I schooled her in bowling. First game I whipped her 78-76. See, I took bowling in college and learned all the strategies and techniques. Don't never tell me my college education wasn't worth it.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Resolutions, resolutions, a little too much sin
I want to play some Al Green records and spend more time with Tim
I want to get out in the sunshine and take some of it in
Take it slow
-Dave Hause

I keep resolving to get up early and run, but it just doesn't work.  This sounds like a clear no fault situation.  For whatever reason, but clearly not my fault, getting up early isn't working.  And so that means I have to jam a run in some other time during the day.  During the hot, hot day.  (You would miss the heat reference if it wasn't here).  Since I didn't have much time to fit in my run, I decided to do the mile challenge.  And after .3 miles of running hard, I was pretty winded.  Awesome.  Anyway - I made it all the way through my 1 mile and my time was not awful, but it could be better.  I was a little bit faster than the 50th percentile for my age.  I hope that is the 50th percentile of runners and not of everyone, but I won't look any closer.

So in the spirit of speeding things up, I will add this version ( of Resolutions to the playlist, but not this one (  Good for Dave for experimenting, but as much as I love the folk music he sings, it's his inner punk that makes it work. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cry in the Sun

With a hand to your head
You sigh out loud
As a memory rushes over
And buries you
 - BTE, Cry in the Sun
There's another line in that song, "when the devil beats his wife," that my dad always used to say when it was raining and the sun was out.  I never understood that line, and I still don't today.  Anyway, I was a little reluctant to try the mountain this morning given that it was supposed to be 88 degrees at 6am, but I decided to go for it.  I had a lot to do today and my day always goes better when I've had a chance to seek solace on the mountain, especially when I'm rewarded by deadly snakes and deer.  So I went up and it really wasn't too bad heat-wise, there was a decent breeze blowing.  I ran more than I have the past couple times, and it's motivating to race the sun to the top. I beat the sun by quite a bit this morning, and was running down thinking I'm gonna run the whole way down today, and see how far I can get before the sun hits me.  I was feeling alright.  And then it happened.  The sun hit me.  The devil beat his wife.  I felt my toe catch going down a good slope, and I flailed for what felt like three minutes, thinking wow that was a close one, I almost lost it, that would have been painful.  Except then I was sprawled out sliding face first down the mountain, my bra filling up with sand and rocks.  It wasn't my usual kind of fall, where I bounce back up quickly to save face with anyone who may be around.  No.  I laid on the ground stunned after this one, and got up very slowly.  I was covered in dirt, road rash and pasty blood.  Good times on the mountain, people!  I hobbled down, and even ran some of the rest of the way, and soaked my wounds when I got home.  Now my body aches in that old lady kind of way and I have a painful bruise near where my foot broke before.  Counting myself lucky.  4.5 for today, mark it down. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tempo Run

We cruised along at half speed
But then we shifted gears
We ran like vampires from a thousand burning suns
-Rise Against

As I understand it, there is a thing called a tempo run.  You run at a comfortable pace at the beginning and end of your run, but at a faster pace in the middle.  So I tried it.  On the treadmill.  It wasn't awful.  It helped to break up the monotony of the treadmill (that and the episode of Property Brothers that was playing in the gym).  I don't think my top speed approached that of vampires running from a thousand burning suns.  It was more like the Hulk jogging to his yoga class. Which might sound like nonsense, but just consider yourself lucky.  I've been trying to win the New Yorker cartoon contest.  Or I should say, I've been trying to get the judges to recognize the true winner.  So questions about what Hulk would say in a yoga class have been filling my head. 

My 3 miles today brings me up to 354 for the year.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Doubly blessed

Remarkably, I was not recalcitrant to get out of bed at 6 am this morning. I woke to the beautiful sound of rolling thunder, and it was a perfect day for an early mountain run. I ran more than I did yesterday but it was still tough. About a half mile from the top, I saw a biker pulled over and looking in the brush. She pointed out to me a black rattlesnake that had been on the path! I don't think I've ever seen a rattlesnake in the wild, and from what she said, this black one was a rare sight and more poisonous than other rattlers. We watched it for awhile until it disappeared, and I felt so lucky to have seen it. 
I got to the top along with the sun and then ran a lot of the way down.  About a mile from the trail head a deer leapt across the trail right in front of me. It was amazing. I think I startled him with all my huffing and puffing. He stopped a way off the trail and just stared at me and I could see he had a small rack (keep your minds out of the gutter please). Two very cool and rare sights on the trail this morning!  What a beautiful and perfect way to start my day.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Pray for Tucson
Pray for me
Pray these roads lead home and won't take us too far
- Dave Hause, Pray for Tucson

The stars were aligned and I managed to get up and go run the mountain this morning at 6:30. Well, there wasn't much running that went on but you know what I mean. It was a beautiful morning with a tiny bit of crispness in the air. Thank god fall is here at last. I really struggled and even thought about turning around on the way up, but I kept pushing and made it through. I was cursing myself for forgetting to grab something to eat before I went. But I made it to the top before the sun did. The sun was bright on the way down though, and I was out of water. Fortunately my hat acts as a sundial and rotates to keep the sun off of my face.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Long road

We all walk the long road
Cannot stay
All the precious moments
Cannot stay
- Pearl Jam, Long Road

I did manage to haul myself to the gym this morning and push through my 3 mile workout, which is a decent start to September. I did 46 miles last month, which wasn't as good as I hoped. I think I'm around 340 for the year, I have it written down somewhere. So 500 is definitely doable. Consistency is the key to making it down that road. Consistency and being gentle with myself when I fall down.

My State of Grace Is Gone

Oh, I for one may not shy,
Away from the fact that I'm sick,
And too tired to stand this
-Hot Water Music

Today's post will be brought to you by Grumpy Old Bastard.  Here's the deal.  I, as a convicted (but reformed) jaywalker, obey the laws around crossing the street.  I expect the same of all of you - especially you Green Camry.  I know you had a Whole Foods emergency.  Maybe they were running out of grass-fed, free-range lettuce.  Or something like that.  But just don't try to run over me on your way to get there. 

And another thing.  If you park your car across the sidewalk - you are only giving people three options.  I'm not running into the street (on a matter of principle), I'm unable to do a cool parkour move over your car, and so I have to run into your yard.  And sometimes egregiously and gratuitously.  I think this is fair - it's not like I'm going to burn down your house.  That would be my friend Randy's response.  But he is a documented serial escalator - it's why we both love and fear him.  Anyway - the blocking of the sidewalk is just so selfish - there are plenty of spots on the street, just park there.  And speaking of selfish Texans - Johnny, don't be such a jackass.  You've got the brains of Favre and the arm of Tebow.  Neither of those is a compliment. 

Wow - I don't know where all that came from.  Oh yeah - it was hot and I ran 5 miles.