Thursday, November 30

Winter Wonderland

Well, the snow is really coming down here in Missouri. I just walked home from work and it was pretty cool. Except for the fact that we're not prepared for snow here, my footprints were the only ones in the snow that was accumulating and it hadn't been plowed all day. It was pretty funky powder and tough going in places.

But I always much prefer snow to ice.

Sadly though my decision has been made not to go to Memphis for the St. Jude Half-Marathon. This year, I am the cause to be despaired of. I won't be there no matter how much fun and how inspirational just being there for the race would be.

Now the question is: will I run in Arizona? At this point I don't know. I'm going to fly to Arizona not drive and I'll pack some wiggle room into my departure date.

My foot has continued feeling strange. I'm definitely taking time off after Jan. 14. But will I continue training so that I'll be able to run the race? If I continue training will I be able to run the race?

I guess my time goal may be out the window now but after walking home I definitely felt good. I think inactivity breeds weakness and feeling sorry for myself and I don't want to do that.

Time off

I think I may take some time off from running.

My foot hurt yesterday. It hurts today. Continuing to run isn't going to help it get better. It's a lingering injury and I can only think of one way for it to get better. If I run, I'm going to try to run and train as hard as I can with appropriate rest and recovery days mixed in.

It's funny. I look at my calendar, which is like a hanging running log, and I don't have days when I don't run. I have days when I rest. That's the way it is. Some days are running and training days. Some days are rest days.

It's snowy and dreary here and I don't think I could make it to Memphis for the half-marathon anyhow. Looking at the Weather Channel website it just doesn't look good.

I guess I will have to make a decision on whether or not to go to Arizona. Right now I'm leaning against it, but I don't know.

I remember someone once told me that with every workout you've got a little to gain and a lot to lose. That a lot to lose had to do with getting injured.

I suppose I am definitely injured right now no matter how much I don't like to think of myself that way.

I guess the bottomline is I just need to really rest. And relax. Even if I'm not traveling to Memphis this weekend.

Monday, November 27

Thought for the week

I was leafing through the fall issue of the Syracuse University Magazine and found a fascinating article about John D. Caputo, a philosopher of religion who teaches at my alma mater. Caputo is the author of a popular book called On Religion.

The story starts with a quote from Caputo from the book:
Religion is for lovers, for men and women of passion, for real people with a passion for something other than taking profits, people who believe in something, who hope like mad in something, who love something with a love that surpasses understanding.

Sunday, November 26

Pain is weakness leaving the body

I did 20 miles today. Never know what's going to happen when you decide to run 20 miles. Or run and walk 20 miles as happened today.

Near the end of the run, a young girl passed me. She was wearing a Willard High School track shirt so I think it's safe to assume she's in high school. And based on how she passed my twice quickly around the 3 mile marker, she was probably only doing 6 miles.

So I was able to read that witty saying on the back of her shirt: Pain is weakness leaving the body.

That became my mantra for a few minutes as I followed her and the woman riding the bicycle next to her. Yeah, I felt pain today. Weakness leaving the body. I thought about how in a marathon, you truly get what you train for.

20 miles this weekend.
The St. Jude Half Marathon next weekend. Patron saint of hopeless causes and a reminder that I'm not so bad off after all.
18 miles the next weekend. 18 hard, tough miles.
My brother gets married the following weekend.
The Christmas holiday the next weekend and I'll be in northern Indiana, trying to decide if I can carve out a good 3 hour run in a very cold place.
And then the following weekend, hopefully I'll fit in one last 20 mile run.
And then the taper.

That's my plan. We'll see if I can stick to it.

I saw a t-shirt yesterday at breakfast that was going through my head for a while.

For those about to rock, we salute you.

Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon - Jan. 14, 2007

Saturday, November 25

New Year's Eve Race

Are you looking for a race to do on New Year's Eve? While surfing the internet today, I found an interesting listing. However, I don't recommend it.
Take a look:

The "Any Old Tom, Rick and Barry Can Do It" Fat Ass 50k (Certified - not the race, just the participants)

From: Mendon Ponds Park Beach Parking Lot.
Run the GRTC New Year's Day Loop 4 times. No fees, no T-shirts, no aid.
Contact: Rick Cronise, 585-924-7936 or email.

Are you game? Are you crazy?

Thursday, November 23

Turkey Trot - Wow

Today I ran the Turkey Trot, a local 5K. I didn't really plan to run the race hard, but just to pace my little brother from big brothers big sisters. I thought we'd run a bit and walk a bit and have a relaxing time.

Boy was I wrong.

My little brother decided to run almost the whole race. He ran the first two miles non-stop. And after a couple of short walk breaks, he finished the race in a very respectable time. I was shocked. He finished the race faster this year than I did last year when it was my first 5K.

A couple of months ago he ran a 5K with me and it was a real low key affair. After the race I asked him what he was thinking during the race and he said he was just thinking about finishing. Today, during one of his brief walk breaks, I asked him what he was thinking, and he said he was thinking about all the people passing him and how he was about to smoke them.

And, for the most part, he was right. It will be interesting to see what he decides to do and if he sticks with the running.

Wednesday, November 22

20 miles this weekend

Well, I'm definitely planning on running 20 miles this weekend. We had a Thanksgiving feast at work today and I'm stocking up on my fat stores. And I'll probably be eating lots tomorrow.

Sigh. I don't really feel like I'm training all that well for the marathon, but whatever. I shouldn't take myself too seriously anyhow. I run to have fun. It's about joy, right?

Anyways, while on the subject of food, I wanted to introduce you to one of my new favorite websites: The New Farm.

And there's a fascinating article I can't wait to read when I have more time on our food chain.

Sunday, November 19

Quote of the Day

I just read a great article from Runners' World (don't know how old it is) about Lance Armstrong's New York City marathon run. It was really nice because it included some of the tips that his pacers gave him while he was running. Thus it's linked so if I want to go back and re-read it I can.

I enjoyed this quote: "Although, right now, I feel that I'll never want to do this again, I do reserve the right to change my mind in a few months. This was a very special day, and I'll never forget it."

Particularly because it reminded me of this Frank Shorter quote:"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming."

Frank Shorter. I thought it reminded me of an Emil Zatopek quote, but I guess I was wrong. I can't google the Zatopek quote I was trying to remember so I must have been conflating it with something else.

Congrats - They got their kicks on Route 66

Congrats to my friend Mark Schiefelbein who completed his first marathon on Sunday in Tulsa.

Congrats to my friend Jim Evans who completed his third marathon on Sunday in Tulsa.

Jim finished first in 4:18 among runners from Republic, MO. Just like me in the Sunburst Marathon. And like I did in my marathon in South Bend, Jim also finished last among runners from Republic.

Mark ran a little faster(3:38) and had a respectable showing, fourth, among runners from Springfield, MO.

Saturday, November 18

Red Wine boosts endurance

Well, I don't know if I'm going to change the nutrition plan I use for training for my next marathon, but.....

The Washington Post reports that red wine among many other things boosts endurance. I'll drink to that.

From the Manifesto of the Selfish

Some recent discussion in the comments has led me thinking of howI don't necessarily have the words or knowledge to always respond as I would like when friends are hurting. And then, I just know so little.

So anyhow, I thought I'd share this short poem from by Stephen Dunn:

From the Manifesto of the Selfish

Because altruists are the least sexy
people on earth, unable
to say "I want" without embarassment,

we need to take from them everything
they give,
then ask for more,

this is how we excite them, and because
it's exciting
to see them the least bit excited

once again we'll be doing something
for ourselves,
who have no problem taking pleasure,

always desirous and so pleased to be
pleased, we who above all
can be trusted to keep the balance.

Friday, November 17

More inspiration

Or if you want more inspiration for your marathon adventure, click here and there the stories.

Inspirational video

I just watched an inspirational video from the New York City marathon website.

It's OK. I don't know how to post it here (yet, or even if that's possible) but follow the link and it's worth the time to watch - especially if you're getting ready to run a marathon soon.

Thursday, November 16

Closed on Thanksgiving

So I stopped in the Y tonight to get some running in. As I swiped my card, I noticed a little flier saying that the Y would be closed on Thanksgiving.

I had my iPod in but I decided to joke around with the desk guy. "This doesn't make any sense at all," I said. "How in the world can you guys close on Thanksgiving?"

"I don't know," he replied. "It doesn't make sense to me either."

It was dry humor, but with a comeback like that, I wasn't sure what to think at all. I didn't really feel like saying, but I was joking. I just walked up stairs and headed to the treadmill.

Quote of the day

I don't have much to say, but it's time for a new post.

Read a fascinating story about Bart Yasso today.

I found this great quote as well:

"I'm always excited to go to a race because I get to meet new people," he said. "Runners are a good breed. If you run, you're part of this nomadic country club -- wherever you go, you're accepted.

"It has nothing to do with how fast you run or how far you run. There is no standard that says you can't be in this club. All you have to do is run."

Monday, November 13

Doctor's visit

So I went to the doctor today. I'm not sure what I learned.

I don't think my doctor is a big proponent of marathon running, but hey I've run one. I ought to be able to run another.

My foot has less pain than it had before, but I've been cutting back a bit on the miles. Perhaps the pain comes partially from the fact that I have flat feet. Maybe that gives me some biomechanical disadvantages or something like that.

As the doctor observed, I'm not limping. I don't have a stress fracture. Probably some sort of minor strain or tendinitis. All that running creates a lot of pounding, he said. I don't know. Perhaps I should have run 20 miles this weekend. I would have been in a bit more pain.

Oh well. I'm getting better and stronger. And I believe the best is yet to come.

Sunday, November 12

The next marathon

I'd been thinking that after the Rock'n'Roll Arizona Marathon in Phoenix in two months, I'd take some extended time off without even thinking of planning another race.

However, there's a race close to my birthday that may have captured my imagination. It's actually a bit of a long story, but if all goes well, I'll write a lot more about it in the coming weeks and months.

More on Lance

I just read a fairly interesting story from the St. Paul Pioneer Press on what a couple of Minnesota ultramarathoners think about Lance Armstrong's statement that the marathon was the toughest physical thing he'd ever done.

It's an OK column, nothing spectacular. Here's the best excerpt:

In fact, Armstrong said the difficulty of running 26.2 miles was worse than his toughest day in the mountains during the Tour de France.

Hard to believe, but here's one reason: At a pace of about 6:52 a mile, the marathon is a beast.

Another: The marathon is a beast at any pace.

The article also mentions how one runner had a stress fracture that almost forced her to drop out of the Twin Cities Marathon. Stress fracture? Could that be what my nagging foot injury is? Will I find out at tomorrow's doctor's appointment? For some reason, I doubt it. But we'll see.

Saturday, November 11

Tough run at the nature center

Today I went out to the nature center. It's got two of the longest hills I know about and the "long trail" is about two miles. My plan initially was to do five loops. A tough, tough workout and I almost completed it.

My cell phone rang in the middle of the last lap and I had to take the call. More about that later, possibly.

Anyhow, it's great that sometimes poems I wrote fall into my head now and they help me keep going.

Today it was this excerpt from this this poem:

I want to be a part of a big love,
a love supreme,
so call me the train
Coltrane, saxophonic winds blowing down the track,
coming and coming and coming in sheets of sound
and sounds, the overwhelming guttural, primal sounds
and I want to be at one with someone or somebody
but I hear a voice calling me Miles
and I know that I'm
miles and miles and miles from home
and I'm trying to get back in the black,
in the money, making sketches of Spain
with crayons and selling them
for a ticket to the seance,
to the big dance
because I'm trying to find some kind of Fame!
I want to live forever, I want to learn how to fly...

Someday I'll memorize that whole poem.

I also had a snippet of what may be a song going through my head: what I am is what I am so what am I to you.

I'm also working on a new slam poem. It will play off a question that someone asked me: Why would you want to do something like that? Something like that being of course, running a marathon. That poem is still coming together and I think it's going to be good.

Thursday, November 9

Feeling groovy

OK. I went running tonight and I felt great. It was a short, intense run on a treadmill, but I felt great.

Maybe it's mental. We'll see. If I call the doctor's office tomorrow and cancel the appointment, then obviously I'll take a sharp turn for the worse. But I'm optimistic. I'm feeling great. I'm feeling groovy.

I'm hopeful about lots of things.

Why don't I share part of a poem? Here's an excerpt from Mary Oliver's Wild Geese (the book was on my desk here at home):

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Doctor's appointment

Well, Imade a doctor's appointment for Monday. That's (reminder to me - the day before my mother's birthday) two months before the marathon in Phoenix.

Hopefully it will be like taking the car to the mechanic. Well, it used to make this sound. Well my foot used to hurt right here.

But there's only one way to find out. The worst possible scenario is that the doctor will say, that's interesting. I don't know what to tell you. Sigh. In four days we'll know for sure.

Let's pray for the bets.

Passion vs. discipline

What have I been thinking about lately? Passion vs. discipline.

It's somewhat related to my job and the job of any person who is in the public eye.

This story in the LA Times explores the issues a bit in its own way. It's about UCLA football coach Karl Dorrell.

Some fans say he doesn't show enough emotion. This puzzles him and it puzzles me.

It puzzles his wife. She said: "I don't see him as dull and boring. I see him doing his job."

It puzzles friends. Another quote from the story: "If UCLA was winning national championships, people would look at Karl Dorrell as this extremely disciplined, poised coach," says Michael Young, a supporter and former college teammate. "But when you're not winning, it looks like you don't care."

Another quote from his wife: "He doesn't need to show off to anyone," she says. "He just goes about his business."

I guess part of my job is showing off, although I don't think it has to be. I think vision should be a big part. Showing people things they wouldn't see otherwise. I don't want to be like Molly Ivins or Ann Coulter. I don't want to scream that people who disagree with me are crazy. I don't think that's a good way to go about things.

Tuesday, November 7

Trying to trust in the slow work of God

I've been thinking I need to simplify my life. The first step would be selling 20 books to the used book store. Get rid of clothes I don't wear and that don't fit anymore. That sort of thing.

So I came across a book today called The Day Awaits: The Notre Dame Book of Prayers. It seemed like a prime candidate to be sold or given away to someone else. Notre Dame is, after all, the source of more bad memories than good ones.
But there's got to be a way to focus on the good. And maybe I'll change the bad memories. Memory is a funny thing anyhow. Eyewitnesses are unreliable.

But anyway, I was flipping through this prayer book, confirming my decision to take it down to the Well Fed Head when I saw the last prayer in the book. I read it and realized it could almost be a marathon training prayer. Thus I share it with you.

From Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are all, quite naturally, impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way
to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that is made by passing through
some stages of instability-
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually –
let them grow.
Let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on,
as though you could be today
what time (that is to say, grace and
circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.


Sunday, November 5

Watching Lance

Hello friends --- there's an eyewitness account of Lance Armstrong's New York Marathon experience over at the ready room. Check it out.

A comparison

So I came back downstairs to the computer to check the race. It must be almost over.

Here's my favorite update so far:
11:43 a.m.: The men’s race is a pack of nine, led by Marilson Gomes dos Santos and Yego in the front. Also present are Kiogora, Negussie, Tergat, Ramaala, and Nyariki. They don’t look like they’re working very hard.

They don't look like they're working very hard. That's what people said about me when I ran my marathon. Of course, these elite runners in New York are running about twice as fast as I was. C'est la vie.

I'm becoming a faster, stronger, better runner. Providing my foot heals up. I'm definitely heading to the hills on Wednesday after the election and getting some miles in. This not running stuff is hard. I don't know how the rest of the population does it.

I wake up, the race begins

So I slept through my alarm today. I woke up figuring the race would be over. But I come down to my computer and learn that it had only just started. Who knew?

I want to run this race someday, but even more so I want to live in New York City.

Tons of interesting stories on the internet this morning. I'm not linking to all of them. That's why you have Google News too.

But this one caught my eye in the Journal News about all the people you meet.

Also there's tons of interesting trivia and a historic picture show over at the at the Marathon website. Not only that, but they're posting mile by mile updates.

Saturday, November 4

More Dean Karnazes

As I've written before, I'm a Dean Karnazes fan. Why?

I think it can be summed up in the headline on this Charity Gordon column: Caution - Too much comfort in life may lead to misery.

That just about says it all.

Tomorrow he completes his 50 marathons in 50 days with the New York City Marathon. Can you feel the excitement.

Tape delayed race broadcast

So I've learned today that the New York City marathon will be on tv tomorrow. NBC.
Except it will be tape delayed so it will be on at the same time as the football games.

No matter. I'll watch the race. How much will I race? Depends on how good the tv coverage is?

I've made this commitment to myself not to run until Wednesday. I'm praying it will help my foot heal from this nagging phantom injury. I'm taking lots of advil and I'm praying.

Jan. 14 will be here in almost two months. Fortunately, I think my time goal is modest and I can do it. I've just got to return to training with a strong focus.

Friday, November 3


An intriguing headline in the New York Times: Everything you know about marathons is wrong.

Everything I know?

I don't even think I really know that much. And quickly looking through the article, it's a bit technical for me, but interesting reading nonetheless.

More NYC marathon madness

There's a good article in the New York Sun Wall Street execs and the marathon. Nothing all that surprising, but it did make me think.

Especially since I'm taking a few days to not run and to take advil.

Sometimes I dream a bit about being a Wall Street exec like Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair. Or a corporate lawyer.

Sometimes I just dream about being more organized. My marathon training is a bit like the rest of my life right now, pretty disorganized and unstructured although not completely a mess. Sigh.

Hopefully this weeklong break will help my foot heal better.

Lance Armstrong and the wall

Fascinating article about Lance Armstrong and his training for the New York City Marathon.

He's averaging 6 minute miles on his long runs but he hasn't gotten in a long run yet longer than 16 miles. Which leads to the question, is he properly trained?

I'd be incredibly nervous and insecure if I had done a long run at least 16 miles. But then, perhaps I'm just nervous and insecure all the time.

Anyhow, is the purpose of the long run physical or mental? Doing the Tour de France has probably helped him a lot with the mental aspects, but is he ready to run 26.2 miles?

We'll soon see. I'm excited to learn how he does. As the article says, Nike has definitely made him into a big media event.

Thursday, November 2

Quote of the Day

The New York City Marathon excitement continues. I just read a fascinating story
in the New York Times about all the technology some marathoners use.

One person, who I agree with, lamented how people use headphones in big races. Here's what he said: “When I see someone wearing headphones in the New York City Marathon, I feel sorry for them,” Mr. Solarz said. “They don’t even know what they are missing. The hoots, the hollers, all the bands, the excitement. When else can a skinny white guy wearing little shorts run in Harlem and get cheers?”

In your mind, not your legs

I'm definitely excited about this weekend's New York Marathon. Here's a link to a story that was in the Washington Post.

It focuses on Kenya's Paul Tergat who won last year in a sprint to the finish with South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala.

The article is chock full of great quotes, especially the kicker at the end. A reporter asked Tergat about speed work and how it prepares one for a finishing kick.

Tergat responded:
"It's not mainly about the finish. It's how you are going to arrive there. If it is to come to a sprint finish, whether you win or whether you lose it is in your mind, not your legs."

Dean Karnazes

I keep reading articles about Dean Karnazes and his quest to run 50 marathons in 50 days. Just amazing.

There's A marathon a day keeps runner hard at play

And then Local runner joins hero for marathon .

I think Karnazes is a hero. I hope all the running goes well for him. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his book, Ultra Marathon Man.

When I read it, I though a marathon seemed fairly ultra in itself and I was impressed by his training. I remember thinking, if he can go for 20 miles as a simple, everyday training run, then I can surely do one or two more.

Not running and not reading horoscopes

OK, my plan for not running until after election day continues. It's tough.

And then I read my horoscope today: A pain in your body is most certainly related to your emotions. You might try asking that body part why it needs attention.

That's got to be one of the stupidest things I've read in my horoscope. I keep wanting to just stop reading horoscopes altogether. Or make my own horoscope for everyday. Today is going to be a great day.

Or maybe a fill in the blank page-a-day calendar would be good: "Today will be a great day for ______.

Wednesday, November 1

A week off from running

Last night at a halloween party, I talked with someone about my nagging foot injury. It's not so bad that I can't run, but it's not going away. The lady I was talking to recommended ibuprofen, two tablets with each meal and then two tablets before going to sleep.

So I'm going to try that for the next week and see how that affects my foot.

I'll also use the next week to see how much of a beard I can grow. And then on the day after the election I'll go running again and I'll either shave the beard completely off, buy a beard and mustache trimmer or trim it to a goatee. The goatee is what's most likely to happen, but we'll see.

In the meantime, I suppose I'll go looking this weekend for a sports bar broadcasting the New York Marathon. HA! I wonder what the chances of that are anywhere.

By the way, here's something interesting. A coincidence if you will. Here's a story on the race that, I assure you, I did not write.