Tuesday, January 31

Watching CMT

Watching CMT this morning, I had a thought: Who knew that Gretchen and Garth were country names? Not me.

Watching CMT on recent mornings, I've been disgusted by an ad for a product that gives you rippling abs with just a "90 second workout" everyday. One, it sounds too good to be true. But two, 90 seconds a day. The concept of a 90 second workout just doesn't sound right to me.

Then at the Y this morning, I saw lots of commercials for amazing diet pills on the television. Yeah. Amazing diet pills. That disgusts me too.

Sunday, January 29

Does this make me look fat?

Today, I had a taste for Mongolian Barbecue. I first had it on vacation when there was a HuHot right across from the motel where my family stayed in Sioux City, Iowa.

I've had Mongolian barbecue a couple of times since then but it's not measured up to my experience at HuHot.

As I recall, HuHot only or mainly served Mongolian barbecue and it was goooood. There's no place quite like that where I live now. So to get Mongolian Barbecue, I had to go to a Chinese Buffet.

Today's had a pretty good Mongolian Barbecue operation.

But I also found that I am way too judgmental to eat frequently at a Chinese Buffet. One thought keeps popping into my head while I'm there.

That thought: These people are fat.

I've never had a woman ask me, "Does this make me look fat?" I've often thought about how I might answer. "Yes, baby. Fat and sexy." Maybe. Maybe not.

But another possiblity is to take the woman to a Chinese buffet.

"Hey, baby. Remember asking me the other night if that dress made you look fat. Stop and look around. You're the skinniest, sexiest, best-looking woman in this place. Don't ever worry about how you look. Just be yourself and be happy."

That I think is a good plan. I recommend it to you. But if you or your wife is plumper than the average Chinese buffet patron, that might not be the pest plan. Then again, maybe it's just what you need to do.

In fact, maybe in the middle of your meal, you stand up and say something like this:

"People. Stop. Put down your forks. We have all let ourselves go. This is ridiculous. Our obesity is threatening our lives. Ask yourself, can you run 40 meters in 4 minutes. When was the last time you touched your toes or looked at your knees while you were standing up? We must be doing something wrong. Here we are at a Chinese buffet and Chinese people don't look like us. I don't know what you're going to do, but as for me and my family, we're going on a diet."

Then sit back down, finish your meal. And try to leave peacefully. That is, if nobody throws their food at you and rips you limb from limb. I'm thinking I'd be able to outrun 'em.

Plugged in to the Matrix

I saw something I found a bit odd today as I was driving.

I saw two people, a man and a woman. They were a couple presumably, running side by side at what I could tell was the same pace.

They were each plugged in to their own personal Ipod.

Just strange, I tell you. I would think part of the fun of running with someone is the joy of getting to talk to them as you go.

Saturday, January 28

No such thing as a rainy day

This may sound sad, but on Friday night I went to sleep around 9 o'clock. It is sad in a way.

But anyway, today, on Saturday, I got up around 5:30 or so, wastead some time, checked the internet to see what the weather was like and then headed out the door to go running around 7. Actually I checked the weather to gauge the temperature. One thing I could tell just by looking out my skylight or listening. It was raining.

I love running in the rain, although it had been many months since I'd had the chance. And a summer rain is one thing, but a cold freezing January rain would be a completely different issue. Fortunately, the temperature was in the mid-40s and I headed out the door.

I tell you, it's so much better than running in place in the shower. Partly because there's the whole slipping and falling thing and the shower nozzle only has such a limited spray...

But really, I love to be wet. The rain started and stopped several times while I was out there. I remember several years ago a friend of mine told me how runners love running in the rain and your body just work better. He even said that cars run better in the rain. At the time I thought he was crazy. But now that I've gotten out and had some fairly long runs in the rain, I agree completely. Well, I'm not sure about the cars, but I love running in the rain.

It's kind of like that Tiger Woods commerical where he says, "there's no such thing as rainy day." I don't know what he was trying to sell, but I know the feeling.

It's as if you don't sweat when the rains coming down.

Friday, January 27

An African proverb for your feet

I would provide some commentary about the following story. However, the story stands on its own. Here goes:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up and knows it must run faster than the fastest lion.

Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up and knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle.

It does not matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun comes up, you better start running.

Don't you just love that story? Doesn't it make you feel like lacing up your shoes and starting to run?

Do I have a cigarette?

So today I'm walking home from work. It's dark out but that's no big problem. Anyhow, as I'm leaving the parking lot at work, a guy calls out to me. I turn and say, huh?

He asks Do you have a cigarette?

I shout back no.

As he gets a little closer, he explains that he just got out of jail and he didn't know if I had a cigarette or not.

Really, the jail is just a few blocks north of where I work.

A few steps later I heard him ask some guy outside a club if he had 50 cents so he could make a phone call.

I did not turn around to see if he got it. I just started walking faster.

Usually walking home from work is a lot less stressful than it was today.

Thursday, January 26

Comments, comments, comments

I've made changes to the blog so that people should be able to comment without having a blogger account.

Everytime I turn off the word verification tool though I get spam so, sdkl, it stays.

I'd prefer people not post anonymously, but do what you feel like.

Now I'm going to sleep so I can get up in the morning and have a good run.

Comment on whatever you like. No matter how old the post is, I'll get your comment.


Take it easy

Well, I've been stressing out a bit lately with work-related stuff. All of a sudden, a song popped in my head today. Of course, as it always is, it was only a portion of a song.

I went and found the lyrics and was surprised at how well it fits in with the overall theme of this blog.

Here we go:

Well, I’m running down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on
My mind,
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me,
One says she’s a friend of mine
Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
And take it easy
Well, I’m a standing on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
And such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
Gonna save me
We may lose and we may win though
We will never be here again
So open up, I’m climbin’ in,
So take it easy
Well I’m running down the road trying to loosen
My load, got a world of trouble on my mind
Lookin’ for a lover who won’t blow my
Cover, she’s so hard to find
Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own
Wheels make you crazy
Come on baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
Gonna save me, oh oh oh
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy

Wednesday, January 25

Black Folks Grocery Store Bible Trivia

I interrupt all this talk about running to talk about Hebrew Names.

Here's a sentence if you want to stay focused on marathon training: pancakes are a good source of carbohydrates.

OK, here's what I learned today and trust me you don't want to know how. It would bore you.

Jemima is a Hebrew name meaning dove. Jemima was actually Job's first daughter born after his trials were over.

Now I don't know if you learn something new everyday, but I'm betting you didn't already know that.

Jemima is a perfectly good, beautiful name. But thanks to the syrup lady, I can promise you that you're also not going to meet too many black women called Jemima.

Permission to walk

A friend of mine says that when she runs alone, she gives herself permission to walk and pushes herself a little bit harder.

I decided to do that on my little six mile run this morning. I had a pretty good run, for the most part, but it still seemed like I went pretty slow.

Oh well. Baby steps. I know that I am getting faster. And I feel it too.

Tuesday, January 24

Pillow talk

So, my neck was feeling much better today. The sushi worked. Although the stress is still there.

I completely rested today. No running at all.

And I'm going to sleep soon so I can get up and have a good hard run early in the morning.

But here's the thing about sleep. I'm still not sure that I'm sleeping right or not resting my head funny. Maybe I need new pillows. But do you remember the last time you went shopping for pillows? I do. And they had pillows for people who sleep on their backs, pillows for people who sleep on their stomachs and pillows for people who sleep on their sides. That leaves me out! I'm a person who rolls around a lot when I sleep.

Why aren't there any pillows that are a combination of all three?

Monday, January 23

self-medicating with sushi

My neck has been hurting me lately.

Maybe it's because I ran about 10 miles on both Friday and Sunday. That's 20 miles in 3 days.

Maybe it's because I threw some pretty intense weight lifting and cross training into the mix on Saturday.

Maybe it's because I've been stressing about all sorts of things.

Maybe it's because I've been sleeping funny.

Anyhow, I decided that the answer to my problems, partially at least, had to be to relax more. And while sitting at home here I thought to myself, what could be more relaxing than a nice meal. And sushi came to mind.

So I walked down to the nearest sushi restaurant. I love the cosmopolitan diverse metropolis I live in.

Anyhow, as I ate the food, I felt the tight muscles in my neck loosen up a bit. I remembered how the last time I'd been in that restaurant, it was because I was incredibly congested and I thought some wasabi would really hit the spot.

And tonight, as I enjoyed my sushi, I thought, "This is good."

Sunday, January 22

Bigger than the bus

I remember when I was in high school, I looked at a Notre Dame media guide. I thought it was surprising that the star running back Jerome Bettis was smaller than me. Or at least shorter than me.

Someone told me a few years later that Bettis was actually pretty huge.

Ah, I was a Notre Dame fan and I've definitely always been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. What a great game today, even if one of his touchdowns was called back.



What fourth amendment?

There's an old saying, you're not really paranoid if people are out to get you.

It has a corrolary: you're not really paranoid if you grew up as a black man in America.

Really, it's sad but true. I think things are changing, but unfortunately, the experiences that shaped me when I was growing up and my parents before me are already done.

Now I'm not going to write about how I get a little nervous when I hear helicopters while I'm running (I mean, my life isn't like that scene in the movie Grand Canyon.) But I do sometimes get nervous running around here in my city that's nearly 90 percent white.

So today I'm running down a relatively uncrowded street when a white pickup truck just stops in the middle of the road. Then it goes into reverse. I notice this.

The truck pulls even with me and ...

I'm slightly tempted to do acliffhanger ending here like my friend the reacher did recently.

But no, I'll just tell you, it was a friend of mine in the pick up truck. Who? Click here.

See. No worries. It's a good thing running keeps me from getting too worried about things.

Boy am I slow

Usually when I post about how slow I am, I'm talking about running.

However, today's newspaper reminded me of how slow I can be mentally.

On the front page of the sports section, there was a big article headlined, "A boy named Bilyeu."

It was about a self-described country boy who plays basketball for Missouri State. Young Mr. Bilyeu is a country music fan. The big photo is not of Mr. Bilyeu playing basketball, but of him in his dorm room with a large poster of Johnny Cash behind him.

Yet, it wasn't until I got back from today's run (about 10 miles) that I looked down at the paper and thought, "Oh, that's a play on that song title.

Now if you're looking for something from this post to apply to your workout, check out these quotes about Mr. Bilyeu:

"He just comes to work, every day," teammate Blake Ahearn said. "Nobody competes any harder."

Added coach Barry Hinson: "People love him because he's relentless."

Saturday, January 21

Books, books, books!

I just finished Gary Mack's book Mind Gym a couple of days ago. It was great and I recommend to anyone who wants to improve the mental aspect of their workouts.

Now, I'm reading another book about sports psychology.

But one of my goals for the new year is to read at least six athlete biographies/memoirs this year. I've got several around the apartment right now:

Pound for Pound : A Biography of Sugar Ray Robinson by Herb Boyd and Ray Robinson

It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins

"... And a credit to his race;": The hard life and times of Joseph Louis Barrow, a.k.a. Joe Louis by Gerald Astor

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes

Determined to win : the overcoming spirit of Jean Driscoll by Jean Driscoll, with Janet and Geoff Benge.

The Tao of Yao: Insights from Basketball's Brightest Big Man by Oliver Clyde Chin

I just picked up The Tao of Yao at the library today and it looked like it might be fun. We'll see. Do you have any recommendations on good biographies of athletes? Let me know.

Booker T and the M.G.s

I may have said this before but I'm moved to say it again.

By far the non-running highlight of my trip to Memphis was my trip to the Stax Museum.

Right now I'm sitting here at my computer listening Green Onions by Booker T and the M.G.s. Here's some trivia for you.

M.G.s stands for Memphis Group. Now, this does bring up punctuation issues. But it's Saturday morning and I don't particularly want to think about that.

Marathon Badonkadonk

I have a confession to make.

At one point during the half-marathon I ran in December, I noticed I was running behind a woman with a nice round badonkadonk. Not too big, not too small. A perfect shape. And it seemed a good pace to maintain, just a few steps behind her. She stopped to stretch after a couple of miles and I kept going, remembering one of the beautiful things on the course that I'd seen.

Now you may be familiar with Trace Adkins' current hit song "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk." It closes with the lines: "That's it, right there boys, that's why we do what we do
It ain't for the money, it ain't for the glory, it ain't for the free whiskey
It's for the badonkadonk."

Well, I'm not a country music star. I wasn't running in a half-marathon in order to see nice marathon booty. That was not my intention at all and I'm a little ashamed to be sharing this story with you.

But what I've since learned is that a lot of marathon runners talk to each other during the race. Back in December, most of my runs had been on my own and I hadn't done much talking with other runners but that will be a goal for the future.

Anyhow, in my last post I'd promised something a little lighter so people could stop worrying that I'm all depressed. There you go. My embarassing marathon badonkadonk tale.

Wednesday, January 18

No worries

Everybody seems to be worrying about me.

This morning I walked into the Y and the girl behind the counter expressed her concern as I worked with my semi-frozen fingers to take off my gloves and get out my Y card.

"How far do you run to get here every morning?" she asked.

I explained that I live about a block from the Y so the distance varies every day.

She responded that she was a bit concerned because everyday I come in covered in frost.

No worries I said. Today's run was a new route, a variation on an old one and I probably covered about five and a half miles.

The reason I tell you about the girl at the Y's concern is because it meshes with a theme of blog comments I've been getting recently. (Not comments posted to the blog, but things said in conversation or in personal e-mails.)

People are concerned. Some of the blog posts lately have been depressing and sad.

I'm sorry about that. I don't mean to be a downer. I don't even mean to write sad posts, but just about things that are going on in my life. Mainly in my running and the mental preparation for the June 3 marathon.

But I'll keep this feedback in mind. And I promise you a fun post coming up witha title something like "Marathon Badonkadonk "

Monday, January 16

Dr. King

Back on Friday, I'd promised to write more about Dr. King. But I changed my mind, OK. That's life.

So as not to completely renege on my promise, here's a cool link with what lots of columnists around the country had to say about King.


While I was watching the Steelers beat the Colts - maybe before the game got underway - Haile Gebrselassie broke the world record in the half-marathon.

Wow. Click there for more information.

Meanwhile, my next big race, the Little Rock Half-Marathon is fast approaching.

I've got three goals.

1) Have a good time running.
2) Run this race faster than I ran the St. Jude Half-Marathon.
3) Run this race in under two hours.

We'll see how it all goes.

Sunday, January 15

Remember the Glory Road Titans

I hate crying at the movies.

Tonight I saw Glory Road. It was like watching a movie about my dreams, my broken dreams that did not come true.

I remember the summers, going out in the backyard and shooting basketball shots all day. A coach said that the great players took 200 shots every day. I tried to take 400. On the driveway. Off the driveway. Behind the baseline. Left-handed. Eyes-closed.

Yeah. But the movie wasn't about me. It was about Texas Western, a school in El Paso, a cosmopolitan town in west Texas. Now that's an oxymoron if there ever was one.

But the other thing about Glory Road. It was essentially Remember the Titans on a basketball court. Here's your assignment: watch those two movies back to back and compare the coaches.

In one movie, the coach is black. In the other, the coach is white. They've both got to deal with the problem and issue of race and they both wind up doing it in vastly different ways.

Maybe in a future post, I'll write about the way that made more sense to me. Here's a hint though - football and basketball are both team games, but football is definitely more of a team game than basketball is.

Friday, January 13

Martin Luther King, Jr.

This nation marks our nation's annual observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

While checking my e-mail this morning, I came across an interesting article: "What would Martin Read?

You've now got the link. I'll write more about all this later on this weekend.

Thursday, January 12

Let me be brave

One of the best things to happen in my town last year was the opening of a new independent movie theatre - the Moxie. Murderball was the first movie I saw there, an amazing documentary about the U.S. Quadriplegic rugby team. It's too late to see this movie at the Moxie, but I recommend getting the dvd. I also recommend getting to the Moxie as soon as you can. I digress.

Elite level quadriplegic rugby players are a lot like elite athletes in other sports. They’ve got pretty big egos. But a lot of people don't understand just what quadriplegic rugby players do and who they are.

There was a pretty funny scene in the movie where the players where talking about their families. One guy was at a family gathering when a relative explained that he was training and practicing so that he could go to the Special Olympics. The rugby players made some politically incorrect comments about athletes who compete in the Special Olympics. They made it clear: they were training for the paralympics. Big difference.

Anyhow, I recently came across the Special Olympics Athlete Oath. It was so moving, I decided to write it down and tape it to my computer.

Here it is: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

I suppose in some way, training for a marathon is a bit like training for the Special Olympics. In a lot of ways, just getting to the starting line is winning. Finishing is even another level of winning. But deciding to train, that's another important step of the process.

I'd have to finish in darn near two hours to come in first place. But winning has a lot of different meanings. For me, just to finish will be a form of winning. I'll be doing something, overcoming a challenge, that most people wouldn't even dream of trying.

Tuesday, January 10

Cowardly decisions

I was just at the Well Fed Head for their book club. After the discussion (of the forgettable book that you don't want me to mention) on my way out of the store, I stopped briefly by the poetry section.

I saw a book that whispered intently and repeatedly, "buy me. buy me. you never know when you'll see me again."

This was the new edition of Poets from the North of Ireland. I also saw an attractive copy of The Redress of Poetry by Seamus Heaney. But that's poetry criticism. And I'm not so much a fan of poetry criticism as I am of poetry, the thing itself.

This Poets from the North of Ireland book had the unusual find in a used bookstore that you might not ever see again in your life quality that some books sometimes have. It's like the book Thirty-three Minnesota Poets from Nodin Press that I bought at the Well Fed Head over a year ago. Surely it was a small press run.

So anyhow, I just got home, opened up the book and found a poem that fits in with the whole theme of this blog.

I'll share it with you.

On the Waterfront by Michael Foley

There's no such thing as a life
that wasn't meant for the person who has it.
- Louis Simpson

We think our loved ones pull us under
So unfairly
Interfering with demands that end our
High hopes early.
I could have been a contender.
It was you Charlie.

We're always handed loaded dice
In this vale of woe.
It's not your night, kid. We're going for the price.
How well we know
Charlie's unignorable advice.
- But is it so?

Could Terry have taken Wilson apart
As he thought?
Did he really have the heart
For a title shot
-Or were we biased from the start
By a strong crude plot?

You should never blame an outcome
On conditions
Or people. When you end up a bum
Breeding pigeons
Accept the fault's your own dumb
Cowardly decisions.

Well, there it is. And I'm hoping these minor aches and pains I feel in my legs are really minor sorts of things. I hope I run hard and run smart. I hope I don't make cowardly decisions. If I don't complete this marathon on June 3 in South Bend, it won't be anybody's fault but my own.

Monday, January 9

Somebody's chasing me

When I was in Memphis, my friend Marlon told me he wouldn't go running unless someone was chasing him. The more I think about it, that's why I started running.

There was someone chasing me. It was a person about my height, although a little chubbier and with a little less energy. He slouches. He's got a bad attitude.

He always thinks about the things he can't do. He complaints about his knees.

He's got a middle aged spread. People don't notice it too much because he's getting older all the time. And heck, he's tall so it's just part of that svelte look that upwardly mobile professionals get when they spend so much time at the office and not so much taking care of themselves.

Heck, it's a bit self-centered to focus on yourself when there's so much work to be done.

This guy that's chasing me, he realizes it's important to be serious and take care of serious business and write important things.

This guy that's chasing me, I see him when I look in the mirror.

But I realize, if I run just fast enough, he won't catch up.

Thursday, January 5

A poem about "movement toward the barely possible"

Here's one of my favorite poems. I think it creates some nice images that mesh with the whole idea of running long distances and pushing yourself to your limits. Isn't it all about, as the poem says, movement toward the barely possible.

Letting the Puma Go by Stephen Dunn

I'll make a perfect body, said God,
and invent ways to make it fail.
- lines removed from the poem

He liked to watch the big cats.
He liked their beautiful contempt,
yet imagined how they might change
and love him
and stretch out near his feet
if he were to let them go.
And of course he wanted to let them go,
grateful for the iron bars, the lock.
He'd heard the tiger succeeds
only once in twenty hunts -
the fragile are that attuned
and that fast -
and was confused again about God,
the god who presided here.
He'd watch the tigers at feeding time,
then turn to the black panther,
its languid fierce pacing, and know
it was possible not to care
if the handsome got everything.
Except for the lions.
Hadn't the lions over the years
become their names, like the famous?
But he could spend half an afternoon
with those outfielders,
the pumas, cheetahs, leopards.
So this is excellence, he imagined:
movement toward the barely possible,
the puma's dream
of running down a hummingbird
on a grassy plain.
And then he'd let the puma go;
just before closing time
he'd wish-open its cage
and follow it into the suddenly
uncalm streets,
telling all the children it was his.

Notre Dame rant

Why did Charlie Weis whine?

I've been ambivalent to Notre Dame's new football coach all year. He's been winning with a junior quarterback who started both his freshman year and sophomore years. Brady Quinn didn't set all kinds of records this year after starting from zero. He was a veteran quarterback who had experience in Tyrone Willingham's fairly complicated offense. He wasn't chopped liver.

But no. For almost every sports commentator in the world, Charlie Weis was the second coming of Knute Rockne. Well, he's the coach now and I'm interested to see what he can do.

But my opinion of him went down a few notches this week.

First, he insisted that the Ohio State defense wasn't that much better than teams Notre Dame had already faced. The announcer of Monday's game said that Weis declared that Tennessee had one of the best defenses in the country. Tennessee. What was Weis smoking?

If your defense can't find a way to a winning season or even a win over Vanderbilt, you aren't one of the best defenses in the country.

And then he whined during and after the game about the phantom fumble that safety Tom Zbikowski picked up in the third quarter. As the headline in the Chicago Tribune read: "Weis cites nullified fumble return as game's key play."

Please. As Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said, the Buckeyes had over 600 yards of offense.

Please. Everybody says Weis is a great offensive mind. Wonderful.

Could someone please remind the world that defense wins championships.

I remember in Tyrone Willingham's first season, there was a game when a couple of calls didn't go the team's way. Afterwards Willingham said that he wouldn't complain about the officials. His program wouldn't be built on that type of whining. He was too dignified for that sort of thing.

Now there's a new coach. And he makes excuses for losing. He whines about the officials.

I guess I should be excited that he cares so much. I wish he wasn't so in love with his own genius. The Oregon Ducks had a point. Notre Dame didn't beat any team that was special this year. They hit Michigan, Tennessee, Purdue and every other team they beat on down years.

I support my alma mater. I support Coach Weis. But I wish he wouldn't whine.


Tuesday, January 3

Mind Gym

In the last two weeks of 2005, I read two books about training for a marathon: Marathon! by Jeff Galloway and Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield.

They were and I'll say definitely the next best thing to running when stuck in an airport or on a plane.

Now, however, I'm reading a book that's much better. I recommend it to you.

It's called Mind Gym by Gary Mack .

At times, it reads like some Oprah/Dr. Phil self-help book. And it seems to have lots of sports cliches near the end of each chapter. You know, like: "People who succeed aren't afraid to fail. Failure can be a better teacher than winning."

Hokey, right?

But there are some pretty good chapters as well.

The best so far has been the chapter on sex, drugs and partying. The title in the book is "fatal distractions." This is something I've been thinking about for quite a bit. I read a lot in that chapter about people who put sports and training above partying and supposedly having a good time. It makes a lot of sense to me.

And that chapter ended with Knute Rockne's rule: Drink the first, sip the second, refuse the third.

I'll probably start rereading this book as soon as I finish it. Look for more info.

Sunday, January 1

No sir!

Well, I put in my New Year's Day 10-mile run.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature must have been near 70. It was wonderful.

At one point I was running down Weller Street and after exchanging hellos a man wearing a Drury University hat said, "You're not going to run like that all year are you?"

In response I held my hands out from my body and shrugged. It's the sort of thing where I had absolutely no idea what the question was supposed to mean.

Thus the shrug, international sign for: I don't know. I don't know how to respond to that. What the hell sort of question is that?

I mean was he saying that there was something wrong with the way I was running.

Anyhow, I had a Big Smith song running through my head for most of the 2 hours I was out there running. I'd heard it once in concert but something about where I was standing in the back of the Outland Ballroom, all I really remember was the chorus: "No sir, no sir. Something something sir. No sir, no sir." And then you repeat that a couple of times.

Now, I'd only heard that song once and I had no idea what the lyrics are. And on its face, the words, "no sir, no sir, something something sir" aren't but so inspirational. I mean, it was an anthem in concert and everybody in the crowd - well not everybody, I'd have to count out the people who were smoking or doing their own thing, but lots of people - were chanting the chorus and stomping their feet.

But what was that song about. Why were the words "no sir" running through my head as I was running. How could I make this work?

That's where the right brain creativity that is unleashed during a run comes in.

The song going through my head became: "No sir, no sir! Don't turn back, sir."
Alternating with: "No sir, no sir! Don't stop now, sir!"

So I got back home and decided to see if the lyrics were on the internet anywhere. Yes.

Now I've found the lyrics. But unfortunately, I'm too tired to figure out what the song is about. And the chorus isn't quite "No sir, No sir, Something something sir."
It's just, "No sir."

Go figure. I'm sure Jody will explain everything.

Anyhow, the next time someone asks me if I'll be running "like that" all year, maybe I'll just answer "No sir, no sir. I'll be running faster and better later on in the year."