Tuesday, January 29

Insane in the Rain

A lot of people that I passed on campus today looked down and withdrawn. It might be because they were sitting outside on a cloudy, chilly day.

I've been thinking about goals, and inspiration. I think that new mix CDs might be the answer. Fitnessjournal.org will create a map that tracks your fitness progress: your runs will be logged as if you were traveling across the U.S. The whole U.S. is a long way to go, though. It's 2,247 miles between my house here and the house I will move to in April. Somehow that doesn't seem like a good goal for me right now, although I suppose I could try to run that this year... don't think I could before April, though. I like the general concept, though. Perhaps I could try to "run" to Las Vegas--that's 277 miles.

My new GPS has been helping a little bit. I tried to make my out-and-back run on Sunday a full 14 miles, which meant adding a little bit at the end to make up for the dead end I hit at my turnaround point: I could only turn around, climb a cliff, or start swimming. Even though Sunday's run was by all accounts a disaster (with obstacles as diverse as big hills, high winds, mounds of seaweed, and pouring rain resulting in a very slow overall pace), it still felt good.

I started from my apartment, and headed toward the state beach by the most direct route. The road is not my favorite to run on, because a busy, high-speed stretch of it lacks a sidewalk, and the bike lane is not really wide enough to feel safe. It's also difficult because, starting from my elevation of about 140 feet, it rises to 700 feet before dropping off toward the ocean, with a very steady incline and decline--just one massive hill. The descent to the ocean is difficult, since it's over two miles of going downhill, and hard to maintain a good form. All the same, I was in a great mood by the time I crossed the Pacific Coast Highway and headed down the path to the beach--the ocean, whipped by the high winds and lit by the pre-storm sky, was a strange greenish color, and the breaking waves were thick and hit the beach heavily. It was absolutely beautiful, and the beach was almost deserted.

Mainly because it was beginning to rain. Egged on by my GPS, I ran along the beach, until I hit the dead end at 6.93 miles from home. Turning back, I realized that the rain had probably only seemed light because I was running away from the wind. Heading back upwind, however, the rain was colder and harder. Crossing the PCH and facing two miles of uphill, my resolve was definitely wavering, and the main thing that prevented me from taking out my cell phone and calling for help was a reluctance to expose it to the decidedly heavier rainfall.

My GPS again was a source of inspiration. I'd pick a sign a few hundred yard away, telling myself that I'd at least run to there before stopping. I did take a few walking breaks on the way up the hill, but they were quite short: walking is no bonus in the rain. I wanted to get home.

As I reached the curve in the road at the base of the hill, I decided to go a little extra distance--the rain had slowed to a drizzle, and a run this miserable should not be 13.9 miles. It should at least be 14. There were patches of sunshine around the city that I could see; perhaps one would come to me. I passed the turn toward home, and headed down a small hill... only to be met by an absolute downpour.

I cut my extension short, and headed for home... realizing as I did so that I'd locked myself out of the apartment. Luckily, my roommate was home. It was embarrassing, though, to have to be let in, water pouring off me in rivulets, having to explain what I'd been up to. Even though I took off shoes, socks, and hat by the door, there was still a long puddle that followed my path through the kitchen and living room. Even after wringing out each piece of clothing over the tub, puddles of water formed under where I hung them up to dry. Even my heart rate monitor, which is primarily plastic, with a 1" strip of elastic that goes around the back, was dripping wet, forming a little puddle of its own.

The kicker is, after I came out of the shower, the sun had come out. The rain stopped, and the rest of the afternoon was sunny. I had been out through nearly the entire rainstorm.

The insanity of it is, though, that I'm really proud of my accomplishment. It makes me want to run more.

And a nice part is that my shoes look much better for it, although I did get a little sand in them.

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Monday, January 28

Warmer weather

It's the last week of January. The ten day forecast has all the highs at least 40.
Things are somewhat looking up. But I still need a wee bit of help with running motivation.

Friday, January 25

Wow factor???

So I was looking over classified ads just now when one caught my eye: High-profile talent agency needs five-star Receptionist with the wow factor!

Wow factor? Looks like another way of saying ugly women need not apply. Is that sexist? Or is it just how things are done in their countries?

Here's the rest of the ad ---
Receptionist is needed to be the face of the company at this high-profile talent agency. The agency represents actors and actresses, and so you need to deal with the odd celeb coming in and out!

They need someone exceptionally capable as it gets very busy, and you will also be covering agents' assistants from time to time so you need the flexibility to step into other people's shoes. This will start off as holiday cover and ad hoc support but could really grow! The Reception side will cover all the front of house, meeting and greeting, administration, and generally being a fantastic multi-tasker!

If you can offer commitment there is the chance to move up further down the line, and its a great buzzy place to work with lovely offices! You will need to be articulate, have perfect spoken English and a stylish manner wouldn't go amiss!

Salary is starting at £17K apply now for this great opportunity.


If mileage included walking, I'd be doing pretty good. On days when I teach, I walk at least two miles back and forth to class, probably a little more. And I do more wlaking on top of that. I really rarely drive my car.
My legs feel tired.
But as it is, I'm not running very much right now.
And with the weather as cold as it is, I don't feel bad for not running either.
I'll begin again soon.
But then, I don't have any running goals right now. I hope your running is going well.

Tuesday, January 22

Identity, Whitman and the Weather Mark

An interesting thought came in the comments to the last post:

If you include “runner” when defining yourself, then skipping runs is a personal failure that adds to your depression.
Accepting as a moot point that being "burnt out" and being depressed may not be precisely the same thing (one can definitely be a symptom of the the other), I'm curious about the question of self-identification.

I usually think of myself as a runner, but my other physical activities also define me. In fact, sailing and yoga have much stronger impacts on my mood. At least part of that is simply that being in and on the water calms me in a way that has very little to do with what I've actually been doing. It's easier to think of myself as a runner than as a sailor or a a devotee of yoga, perhaps because I've run, off and on, for years longer than I've sailed or done yoga, but also because I tend to think of running as less skill-based--I can be a slow runner and yet be a runner.

My coworkers seem to identify me as a runner. When I see them after an extended absence, they ask if I'm still running. This is a reflection not of my conversation, which is far more likely to include stories of my latest exploits on the high seas (or Newport Harbor) than tales of my latest runs, but rather an indication that people remember my fund-raising efforts more than all other conversations put together. (Several years in a row, I ran in the Revlon Run-Walk for Women, raising money to help fight breast and ovarian cancer.) I do identify myself as someone working to end cancer.

Which is all to say that I don't necessarily feel that it's a failure to miss a run. Often my mileage is less than I would like at the end of a week, but to have run more would have meant lifting fewer weights, doing fewer yoga sessions, or spending less time on the water. I only feel like I've failed if I've skipped my running for a bad reason, or no reason at all.

I feel a little bit bad that I didn't run this holiday weekend, for instance. I went on a short, two-mile run once I got to Las Vegas on Thursday evening, instead of doing a long run here Thursday morning. That particular decision was inspired by the realization that a long run would have me finishing my roadtrip well after dark, and the road from L.A. to Vegas is not known for its sensible drivers--I'd rather drive in the day with fewer drivers, with a lower proportion of drunk and crazy drivers. (It was a wise decision--Today, I left along with the rest of the three-day weekend partiers, and had a few white-knuckle moments.) Still, missing a long run because of bad planning isn't very satisfactory.

But I don't know. Missing runs, lately, has made me actually MISS them--I look at my log book and want to write in more miles. I look at my new, mud-bespattered and blood-stained shoes and wonder what disaster could have befallen them if I'd taken them out today. I do miss it when I don't get out there.

It's a little like when I graduated from college and decided to take some time off before grad school--many people warned me that I would never get back to it. It's always possible that if I stop running this week, I won't run again for weeks and weeks. I did go to grad school. I've always returned to running. Maybe it is a personal failure to be an inconsistent runner... it certainly doesn't do much for PRs. It is, however, the kind of runner I have been since the age of ten.

To bring in a sailing metaphor, sometimes sticking to the training plan you've laid out for yourself is like trying to sail directly into the wind: it's just not working for whatever reasons, whether they're scheduling conflicts or inspiration. Once you've pointed your bow directly into the wind for too long, if that wind is too strong, not only will you not be moving forward, but you'll start drifting backwards. To keep control and to make progress toward your upwind goal, you have to fall off a little--point the boat 45 degrees off the wind and pull in the sails. And then, after some amount of time or distance, you tack the boat 90 degrees, to 45 degrees off the wind in the other direction.

Zig-zagging along might look like a waste of time and energy. Sometimes, though, it's the only way to make any progress: to aim away from the goal for a little while. There are also times when you find that, in order to keep your momentum (and thus maximum control over the boat), you have to actually steer directly at the obstacle that you very much hope not to hit, until you can safely tack away from it.

I am a runner. I am not always a runner.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself.
I am not the first:

The pure contralto sings in the organ loft;
The carpenter dresses his plank—the tongue of his foreplane whistles its wild ascending lisp;
The married and unmarried children ride home to their Thanksgiving dinner;
The pilot seizes the king-pin—he heaves down with a strong arm;
The mate stands braced in the whale-boat—lance and harpoon are ready;
The duck-shooter walks by silent and cautious stretches;
The deacons are ordain’d with cross’d hands at the altar;
The spinning-girl retreats and advances to the hum of the big wheel;
The farmer stops by the bars, as he walks on a First-day loafe, and looks at the oats and rye;
The lunatic is carried at last to the asylum, a confirm’d case,
(He will never sleep any more as he did in the cot in his mother’s bed-room;)
The jour printer with gray head and gaunt jaws works at his case,
He turns his quid of tobacco, while his eyes blurr with the manuscript;
The malform’d limbs are tied to the surgeon's table,
What is removed drops horribly in a pail;
The quadroon girl is sold at the auction-stand—the drunkard nods by the bar-room stove;
The machinist rolls up his sleeves—the policeman travels his beat—the gate-keeper marks who pass;
The young fellow drives the express-wagon—(I love him, though I do not know him;)
The half-breed straps on his light boots to complete in the race;
The western turkey-shooting draws old and young—some lean on their rifles, some sit on logs,
Out from the crowd steps the marksman, takes his position, levels his piece;
The groups of newly-come immigrants cover the wharf or levee;
As the woolly-pates hoe in the sugar-field, the overseer views them from his saddle;
The bugle calls in the ball-room, the gentlemen run for their partners, the dancers bow to each other;
The youth lies awake in the cedar-roof’d garret, and harks to the musical rain;
The Wolverine sets traps on the creek that helps fill the Huron;
The squaw, wrapt in her yellow-hemm’d cloth, is offering moccasins and bead-bags for sale;
The connoisseur peers along the exhibition-gallery with half-shut eyes bent sideways;
As the deck-hands make fast the steamboat, the plank is thrown for the shore-going passengers;
The young sister holds out the skein, while the elder sister winds it off in a ball, and stops now and then for the knots;
The one-year wife is recovering and happy, having a week ago borne her first child;
The clean-hair’d Yankee girl works with her sewing-machine, or in the factory or mill;
The nine months’ gone is in the parturition chamber, her faintness and pains are advancing;
The paving-man leans on his two-handed rammer—the reporter’s lead flies swiftly over the note-book—the sign-painter is lettering with red and gold;
The canal boy trots on the tow-path—the book-keeper counts at his desk—the shoemaker waxes his thread;
The conductor beats time for the band, and all the performers follow him;
The child is baptized—the convert is making his first professions;
The regatta is spread on the bay—the race is begun--how the white sails sparkle!
The drover, watching his drove, sings out to them that would stray;
The pedler sweats with his pack on his back, (the purchaser higgling about the odd cent;)
The camera and plate are prepared, the lady must sit for her daguerreotype;
The bride unrumples her white dress, the minute-hand of the clock moves slowly;
The opium-eater reclines with rigid head and just-open’d lips;
The prostitute draggles her shawl, her bonnet bobs on her tipsy and pimpled neck;
The crowd laugh at her blackguard oaths, the men jeer and wink to each other;
(Miserable! I do not laugh at your oaths, nor jeer you;)
The President, holding a cabinet council, is surrounded by the Great Secretaries;
On the piazza walk three matrons stately and friendly with twined arms;
The crew of the fish-smack pack repeated layers of halibut in the hold;
The Missourian crosses the plains, toting his wares and his cattle;
As the fare-collector goes through the train, he gives notice by the jingling of loose change;
The floor-men are laying the floor—the tinners are tinning the roof—the masons are calling for mortar;
In single file, each shouldering his hod, pass onward the laborers;
Seasons pursuing each other, the indescribable crowd is gather’d—it is the Fourth of
Seventh month
—(What salutes of cannon and small arms!)
Seasons pursuing each other, the plougher ploughs, the mower mows, and the winter-grain falls in the ground;
Off on the lakes the pike-fisher watches and waits by the hole in the frozen surface;
The stumps stand thick round the clearing, the squatter strikes deep with his axe;
Flatboatmen make fast, towards dusk, near the cottonwood or pekan-trees;
Coon-seekers go through the regions of the Red river, or through those drain’d by the Tennessee, or through those of the Arkansaw;
Torches shine in the dark that hangs on the Chattahoochee or Altamahaw;
Patriarchs sit at supper with sons and grandsons and great-grandsons around them;
In walls of adobie, in canvas tents, rest hunters and trappers after their day’s sport;
The city sleeps, and the country sleeps;
The living sleep for their time, the dead sleep for their time;
The old husband sleeps by his wife, and the young husband sleeps by his wife;
And these one and all tend inward to me, and I tend outward to them;
And such as it is to be of these, more or less, I am.

--from Leaves of Grass

Monday, January 21

Burned out?

I'm feeling just a little burned out on running right now. I'm not sure if it's just the weather or what.

Any advice?

Friday, January 18

Too cold

My initial plan with teaching this class was that I would get up early run a few miles and then get on campus well before class started at 9. However, I've just been happy so far to get up in time to wash and walk to the class building, which is on the other side of campus from where I live downtown.

Today I couldn't sleep. After taking a long time to initially fall asleep, tossing and turning a bit in bed at least until midnight, I woke up just before 5. Well, I thought maybe I'd go run.

First I decided to walk out and pick up a newspaper from a box a block away from my house. On the way back, I decided that it's just too cold to go running. Now, it's not that cold and if I got dressed and bundled up I'd be fine.

But I'm not training for anything right now. So, I'll wait until later in the day when it's a wee bit more reasonable before running.

With Monday's long run, I've already increased my mileage more than I should have over last week's total. D'oh!

I need to get in a routine soon for this class and it hasn't happened yet.

Thursday, January 17

One cent

Here's a quick thought for today.

I was hungry today and out in the middle of nowhere, actually the western border or Republic.

Anyhow, I go through the Burger King drivethrough. I was thinking about McDonald's because of their "dollar is looking good" double cheeseburger commercials. But I prefer Burger King and their marquee said that had $1 double cheeseburgers.

As I looked at their menu, I noticed that cheeseburgers were 99 cents. And double cheeseburgers were 100 cents.

I thought about mentioning that to the girl working the drive through. But I did not.

Monday, January 14

18 miles

Hopefully now that I'm teaching I can get in a better routine. Today was a bit crazy.
After the first day of class, I went running with Jim Evans. Jim wanted to do 20 miles.
I didn't run 20 miles last week. And I don't think I ran 20 miles the week before.

Sometimes when Jim and I run and I'm feeling slow, Jim runs circles around me. I don't like that.

The plan for today was we'd go out on the Frisco Highline Trail to the 9-mile mark at which point I would turn around. Jim would keep going to the 10-mile mark and then turnaround. I figured he'd catch me at some point.

But when I reached the 2 mile mark and I couldn't see him behind me, I figured that wouldn't happen unless I started walking. Once I did that, he appeared in the horizon.

I might have run back to meet him except my legs were tired. Very tired.

I always tend to fade way too soon, though, so today I did try to run a bit harder. On the way back, I felt tired in my legs, but I wanted to push harder. After 10 miles, I found that no matter how hard I ran, and I tried to run hard, I couldn't run so hard that I felt pain anywhere except my legs.

I must work on running harder.

Saturday, January 12

Quote of the day

"I always loved running. I wasn't very good at it, but I loved it because it was something you could do all by yourself, all under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs." - Jesse Owens.

I'm reading Jeremy Schaap's book "Triumph: The Untold story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics." I'm also reading several other books at the same time but this one's good. It helps keep me motivated to run.


Some get it

Ready ready ready ready ... ready to run -- Dixie Chicks, Ready to Run

There's a big reason why I (rslight) sometimes like to wear a race shirt in public (aside from occasionally getting behind on laundry). I enjoy wearing a medal the day after a marathon or half in the city I ran it in.
The great majority of the public couldn't care less about running. However, periodically you'll pass another runner, and there's a wonderful quick moment when you see that spark of recognition on his or her face. They get it. They understand the effort. They've felt the passion.

Take Sunday, for example. I was on the fifth mile of my 14-mile run at Springfield's Nathanael Greene Park when I passed a man and woman meandering along a trail. The man looked up and excitedly asked, "When's the next race?"
I was extremely flattered. He had identified me as a runner! And not only that. A runner with a purpose!
It was so unlike those middle school years when my peers told me I should stay in the classroom because I "totally sucked" on the track.
I proudly told him I was training for the Little Rock Marathon. It turned out this guy has done, like, 28 marathons. As if he couldn't help himself, he went about a mile with me, answering some questions I had about various races. He insisted that Disney Marathon is the best.
He mentioned he ran Boston Marathon twice. I told him I intend to qualify for Boston. (Eventually.) He told me I should find a flat course for a qualification attempt. He said it a bit confidentially, as if that is a big secret.
While reminding me about the apparently awesome size of the Little Rock medal, he suddenly tensed up. "Wait," he said. "Where did my wife go?"

Friday, January 11

Blood, sweat, tears and ...

I set a goal to read 50 books this year. So far, I've read four. Or finished four. I've got a couple of books I started last year that I want to complete this year and they'll count. Especially Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand.
I just finished reading Flight by Sherman Alexie. Book number Four. I'm almost treating this reading business like a job, although I need to do more writing as well, especially writing that I could get paid for.
Anyhow, on page 2 of Flight there was a passage that really grabbed me:

Yes, there used to be a band called Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Isn't that the most amazing name for a rock band you ever heard? When it comes right down to it, everything in the world is about blood, sweat and tears. So that name is perfect. No, it's almost perfect. The perfect name would be Blood, Sweat, Tears & Come, but I wonder if people would buy a CD by a band named so graphically.

Thursday, January 10

not exactly inspirational

Well, yesterday was my best day since returning to Southern California. I dragged myself off to the gym for a yoga class, and it felt so good to be moving again, I decided to do a nice long run today, armed with the idea that it would help me toward my goal of running the L.A. marathon again, and that it's a waste of the beautiful weather not to go running.

Since my roommates weren't around and there was no one to run with, I called K in Texas, to tell him my planned route and estimated time of return. Just in case.

The route was basically from my house to the Pacific Coast Highway and back, going around the back bay. A nice 15 miles or so, easy pace. Just out to be out. By the time I reached the back bay, though, one of my new shoes didn't feel quite right. I stopped and retied it, and went on. A few miles later, I stopped again to retie the shoe. Something was not right in the toebox, but I didn't know what exactly was happening and was so close to the midpoint of the loop that it didn't really make sense to turn back. By then, though, I knew that the rest of the run would not be very comfortable. I went a few more miles, and made it almost to the end of the loop, where there's a small but steep hill. I stopped to retie the shoe once more, hoping to make it more comfortable. I pulled my foot out of the shoe to see if anything was in there, and was about to put the shoe back on, when I noticed that the sock had a bloody stain on it.

I knew right then, that if I took off that sock, I wouldn't keep running. But I took it off--what on earth could be happening to my toes? One of the little ones was just covered in blood and pus--very disgusting. I put the sock and shoe back on, then noticed that the shoe itself had a blood stain. Ew.

Long story short, I limped slowly back home. Unfortunately, since I'd been sweaty while running, I was pretty well chilled by the time I returned to find I'd missed some calls from K, who was actually already trying to contact my neighbor to check on me. Luckily, he didn't get her before I called him.

I cleaned off my foot, though, and the crazy thing is that despite all the goo on my BRAND NEW SHOE, the origin of said goo is unclear. I can't tell where any blood might have come from at all, and suspect that there's a broken blister between my toes where the skin is thin enough not to show it. So everything looks fine... except the shoes I've worn twice now, which have dried mud and blood on them.

All that, and then, feeling like crap, when I called in to my tutoring job, it turned out I had been downsized but they hadn't actually bothered to tell me that they had combined my class with another and didn't need me anymore.

Wednesday, January 9

Inspiration, part two

I've been thinking a lot about R's post on inspiration.

Could I inspire her to run? I don't know. I hope so. But what could I say.

But also, it's reminded me of that book, The Life of Pi.

I love the way it starts off with the guy saying that he'll tell the writer a story that will make him believe in God. I need to read that again.
I remember running once and getting into a rhythm, which is how poems come sometime. Or try to come.
And I remember lines something to the effect of I am running the race that will make you believe in God.
I don't know. That poems hasn't really been written yet. It's barely a fragment.

But perhaps the answer is to dream about running, fantasize about running. If that doesn't make it happen, well, it's OK not to run sometimes. I tend to be pretty driven. And I have to remind myself that sometimes it's OK to take a break.
Perhaps you body or your soul is telling you something. If you don't have to run, maybe you don't have to. Take some time and go sailing. We don't talk about sailing that much on this blog, but it's a lot of fun and a good workout too. Or so I've been read to believe by reading your posts on some other blog.

You could also take some of the time that you would spend running, and instead spend it baking. Baking bread or baking cookies. And then send some to people. Your mother and father. Your sister. Your fiance.
Or perhaps to me, since it was my idea.

So I don't know if this is pretty inspiring or not. I guess I'll see if those cookies ever arrive.

And baking cookies for yourself might also inspire you to run because you'll want to burn off the calories. And that's inspirational too!

Tuesday, January 8


We talk a lot about running on this blog. But I haven't been running all that much lately. In fact, I ran more on my recent vacation on treadmills and over snow than I have since returning to Southern California--despite weather that should be encouraging (or at least less discouraging). My brand-new shoes are really nice, too... but other than the mud I got on them the other day, still sparkly white.

Any advice on getting out of the funk?



I got yelled at today. And not just me. Rslight as well.

We went out to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. There was a big sign plopped right in front of the entrance gate that said "Road Closed." But we figured it was OK to run.

So we went out for the super hilly 5-mile loop. It was great fun, but I kept wondering how serious the "road closed" sign was.

Well as we completed the loop this park ranger wanted to have a word with us. WHAT DID YOU THINK THAT SIGN MEANT? He said. Or something like that. I forget his exact words. I just thought he seemed a bit silly.

We said we thought it meant closed for cars but not necessarily pedestrians. After all, I'd paid for a year's pass on Saturday. I wanted to use it. I didn't say that because he didn't ask.

Anyhow, it was a great hilly workout. (It would have been better if I'd had breakfast.) Next time I think I'll check at the front desk, especially if there's a road closed sign.

But all in all, a good start to the day. Even with the screaming.

Monday, January 7

Running again

I went running today for the first time since that little cold knocked me on my butt last week.

And I went running with a plan. The one 5K I know I want to do this spring if the route 66 5K which goes by my apartment, almost.
So today I ran the course. Out the door and down the hill to Route 66. Up the big hill to Broadway and then back down the hill to Kansas Expressway. Then I ran all the way up the hill again and on home.

For an easy workout, it was pretty tough thanks to that hill. I'll be back there to do hill repeats later. But I'm going to do well in that race. I just know it. I'm going to plan for it. And then I'm going to work the plan.

Quote of the day

"I've never let anyone talk me into not believing in myself."
-Muhammad Ali

Saturday, January 5

Sweat it out

Earlier this week, I felt a cold coming on. So I went running. I thought I'd sweat it out.
Apparently the opposite happened. During the run, my right calf got real tight. I thought it would loosen up if I kept running.
Wrong again.
The next day I was so sore, I walked with a little bit of a limp. Sigh.
At least I had the flexibility to rest. Now it seems that this cold is almost gone.
But the sweat it out approach didn't work this time. I think it's worked in the past.
Has it ever worked for you?

Friday, January 4

Mardi Gras Marathon

I'm flying to New Orleans out of Fayetteville on February 22 and returning the evening of the 24th after the marathon. My hotel is .6 miles from the Superdome. I'm going alone for now, but would let someone share my room (no charge). This would also be an opportunity to beat Jim in '08.

One month

I just realized that today is Jan. 4. As in Jan. 4, a month after Dec. 4, my last day working for the newspaper.

I'm feeling a little sick today. (sniffle) I went running on Tuesday and my calf got real tight. I thought maybe it was something about how I was running. No, my body was just alerting me that it was about to get real dehydrated. But I think I'm kicking this cold.

Back to the significance of today. Before I realized that this was the fourth, I talked to someone about a freelance writing opportunity. I got new photos taken. I don't often get my picture taken. Not the greatest photos, mind you. BUT THEY ARE PASSPORT PHOTOS!!! I need to get my passport renewed if I'm going to do any real travelling. I'm excited about the prospect of that.

But first things first, I have to renew my passport.

I don't think my body wants to run today. I want to rest some more and hydrate so I can get rid of this cold. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel bunches better.

But today was a good day. Make that today was another good day.

Hotter than Chicago

"Even hotter" was the headline of a sidebar story in the most recent Runners' World.
The Twin Cities marathon was the subject.

They interviewed a guy who is usually a 4-hour marathoner who ran 5:11 in Minneaopolis-St. Paul.

I'd like to think of myself as a 4-hour marathoner. I'd like to think that's what I'd trained to run in ideal conditions last October. But as we all know, the weather was far from ideal.

Still, I'm reminded of the Route 66 5K from last year. RSlight asked me if I was aiming at getting under 25 minutes. In truth, I was. But at the same time, I felt like I'd already done that.

Kind of like the whole 23 minute 5K thing right now. My PR is from June - 23:20. But I feel like I ought to be able to go out and run a 22 minute 5K right now. Then again, out to be don't mean it is.

But we'll see what happens whenever I run my next 5K.

Wednesday, January 2


Today's run brought home this truth. Poorer parts of town have more dogs and more "private property: no trespassing" signs than richer parts of town.

I'm also starting to think that no matter how cold it is, for the first 50 minutes or so, it doesn't really matter. After that, however, my fingers start to go. Everything else stays fine, but the fingers just get completely frozen.