At this point, all in all, a good week of vacation. I didn't run quite as much as I might have hoped but I did go pretty far. And I walked a ton.
I also drove a bit in New York City and rode the subway and plenty of cabs.
More to come...
I don't run to add days to my life. I run to add life to my days.
We know it was an especially chilly day in the "Valley of the Sun" this year - the coldest in 17 years as a matter of fact. However, there are always obstacles to overcome in racing, and in life. Finding the time to train while balancing a hectic work and personal schedule can be an enormous challenge, and just making it to the starting line healthy and injury-free is a feat in itself. So whether you set a PR, or barely covered the distance on race day - you stayed the course, and crossed the finish line. And we hope you are proud of what you accomplished.
"People can't understand why a man runs. They don't see any sport in it, argue that it lacks the sight-thrill of body contact, the colour of rough conflict. Yet the conflict is there, more raw and challenging than any man versus man competition. In track it is man against himself, the cruelest of all opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies deep within him, in his ability, with brain and heart, to control and master himself and his emotions."
DUBLIN, Ireland - Lithuanian musicians, drum-beating Punjabis and West African dancers used Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday to celebrate their place in a booming Ireland that has become a land of immigrants.
One man dressed as St. Patrick in papal hat and sunglasses did the samba, while another float nearby featured "Miss Panty," Dublin's premier drag queen.
Dublin's freewheeling parade drew a half-million spectators and included Christine Quinn, the first openly gay leader of the New York City Council. Quinn is boycotting the more conservative New York parade because the organizers refuse to let gay and lesbian groups march.
A few days ago I got a rude awakening. I called up a doctor, a specialist in endurance sports, who told me bluntly: "If I were you, I wouldn't train for a marathon in Cairo."
Too late, I told him. I just ran 20 miles the other day.
For the past few months I have been running around the Egyptian capital in a desperate attempt to train for this month's Rome Marathon.
With its 20 million people and developing-world infrastructure, Cairo is one of the most heavily populated - and polluted - cities in the world. Its streets look like a sardine can full of cars, trucks and buses, along with the occasional donkey cart and horse-drawn carriage.
Sidewalks are uncommon. Broken pavement is the norm. Stray dogs are known to chase people, and men have an unpleasant way of heckling women with this awful hissing noise.
To sum it up, running is not a spectator sport in Cairo. It's more like an extreme urban adventure.
An adventure upon which I apparently should not have embarked.
In the vein of staying in shape for climbing, one of Doug McKeever’s favorite quotes is from Roger Bannister, who in 1954 ran the first sub-four minute mile. Sir Roger said, “We run not only because we think it is doing us good, but … because it helps us do other things better.”
Ultramarathons appeal to McKeever because if there is one word he especially loves, it’s “perseverance.”
“One of the values which is most important to me in life and leisure,” he writes on his Web site, “is persistence or perseverance, the ability to stick to things that are worthwhile, to finish the race, to see the battle through.”
Medical research isn't exactly brimming with hill-training studies, but I located several with impressive results. A 1977 article in the European Journal of Applied Physiology concluded that runners who followed an intense six-week program of hard uphill running enjoyed "significant improvements in training distances, anaerobic capacity, and strength." A chapter in the International Olympic Committee's 1992 book Endurance and Sport reported a study of runners who did 12 weeks of regular training, plus "hill training with 'bounce running.'" After the 12 weeks, the subjects' running economy (or how efficiently they ran) increased by an average of three percent. That's a nice increase in a running variable that's not easy to improve.
God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway,
when in fact we're slip sliding away
It's a sport so grueling that even marathoners scratch their heads in bewilderment and ask, "What? Running 26.2 miles isn't enough?"
Running a 100-mile race
Forest Park training helps runners gear up for Spirit of St. Louis Marathon weekend
St. Louis Ultra Runners
The answer: Nope, not for some people.
Extreme fatigue, black toenails, hallucinations ... that's when those people know for sure that they've met their challenge.
Recent years have seen the ballyhoo surrounding ultramarathoner and author Dean Karnazes, who once ran 350 miles virtually nonstop and recently finished 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days. But Karnazes isn't the oddity that he'd have you believe.
Gwen Heist-Hall ran her first marathon in 1997 and says she felt great at the end.
"So I thought, 'Let's see what I can do that's harder than this,' and I found it," she said.
Shirley Kane, a nurse from Anaheim, plans to run her first marathon dressed as Superwoman for her 10-month-old daughter, Emily, who has been in the hospital since August.
Emily is fighting to adapt to a newly transplanted heart and is the real superhero for having survived, Kane said. The girl has suffered from a severely thickened heart associated with Noonan syndrome, a genetic condition she was born with. She received a heart transplant in December and has since been housed in a small private room in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, enclosed by a pressure-sealed double door to stave off infection.
Kane spends five days a week at the hospital watching over Emily, but also works two 12-hour nursing shifts each week at a hospital in Downey.
Kane, 39, found the endorphin rush of marathon training helped her cope with the stress of not knowing whether her daughter would survive. She began running three days a week last fall with a group of friends.
"As my miles increased, I would think about how my heart was pounding so hard and it was so healthy and hers was so weak," she said.
As a sportsman, I accept being beaten. Everybody tries to be a winner, but only one in a race will win. It’s fun to win. But I don’t find unhappiness if I lose.