Monday, January 31, 2011
And remember folks, registration for the Chicago Marathon begins tomorrow February 1st! First come, first served until they hit their ceiling which is something above 40,000. I expect to run the Hamptons Marathon on September 24th but may register for Chicago as a low cost option in case I change my mind and wish to be jostled by thousands of faster and slower runners for the first several miles.
Of course, my usual treadmill run consists primarily of a decidedly dissonant combination of "things I do to distract myself from any contemplation of the time elapsed or distance run" and "things I do to parse and analyze time and distance data in every imaginable way while running." Thus, I'm often a particularly schizophrenic combination of assiduously looking away from the display (I find that duct tape works very well, though the gym manager isn't happy when he sees me walking in with a roll), and assiduously peeking then performing long division in my head to obtain net pace, calories per hour, calories per minute, and calories per mile. And no, rounding to the nearest tenth is not acceptable.
It's not "obsessive-compulsive." It's "intensely curious."
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Spencer was looking for a small, but interesting, race . . . .
Saturday, January 29, 2011
"The race is still ON!
We don’t plan to let a few inches of snow deter us. Given the conditions, each runner is asked to carefully consider their own situation and act responsibility. The towpath is covered with 4 to 6 inches of snow, ice and slush. It is slippery and wet. Temperatures will be below freezing at the start of the race and are only forecasted to reach a high in the forties all day. Our timer ran the entire course this afternoon and it was very challenging. At the start the hard freeze tonight will make the course slippery but you may be able to run on top of the snow. Once the temperatures rise the snow will become soft and more challenging. Watch for the slush bogs especially on the lower part of the course from milepost 6 to the turn around. There are a few down tree limbs but you can maneuver around them. BE CAREFUL, if you are not accustomed to this type of course be careful not to turn your ankles in the ruts. If you like a challenge, come on out. The course is not for the faint hearted. Hats, gloves, thermal shirts, and leggings will keep you warm. Bring dry clothing for after the race. You can keep your dry clothing in your car; we also offer bag check near the start / finish, but we are not responsible for lost items."
I half thought the conditions might work to my advantage, because I do enjoy running off-road. But this was all the excuse it took to sleep in this morning, instead!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
On Tuesday, it was the first day above freezing since well before New Years Day. I did 8 miles on the lakefront path down to Navy Pier and back. Like most winter days, the path had been mostly plowed and salted. I only hope likely new mayor Emanuel keeps up this lovely tradition. However, the curve at Oak Street shown below remains a frozen tundra requiring gingerly baby steps until I could get to the clear side walk part around the corner for the final stretch heading south. Forgot how much I like winter running when its not sub zero.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The Cubs Convention is a festival of merch, kitsch, and fan geekiness where there are three days of dealers selling stuff, panels where players and management talk about stuff and take questions, and autograph sessions. The official autograph sessions are for free but have long lines but various unofficial booths have retired stars signing stuff for either charitable donations or simply fees split between the dealers and the ex-players. I passed on paid autographs from Fergie Jenkins, Dave Kingman, and Gaylord Perry and stood in line with the crowds for some current and retired Cubs players of lesser renown.
Most of the other fans/dealers had with them calendars, head shots, bats, helmets and other sports memorabilia for the players to sign which would then probably be sold on ebay or at flea markets. I had Again to Carthage. So now I have an autographed copy of a pretty good about running signed by Cubs shortstop Ivan DeJesus (from the 1980s) and current Cubs prospect Darwin Barney. The question is have I increased or decreased the value of the book?
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
I flirted with kayaking bum-hood over a few years when I paddled frequently with the Peter Pan of eastern kayakers, a 60-something man who stands straighter than most 30-year-olds, still runs the Great Falls of the Potomac, and as far as I can tell has never worked anywhere but the river. I'd cut out of work at four to catch a good river level, spend weekends on Maryland and West Virginia rivers, and occasionally travel further chasing the rain.
The closest I got to bum-hood was as a climbing bum. I learned to climb from a girlfriend in Idaho and my first new friend when I moved to D.C. was a climber. She and I, and then my roommate and others as well, followed the modern climber's progression from the gym to outdoor bolted routes to multi-pitch traditional routes, climbing rock from Mexico to Canada and New York to California. I bought a pickup with a cap just so I could keep a mattress and my climbing gear always at the ready. After one week at Camp 4 in Yosemite I thought seriously of never returning to the real world.
Now I wonder about being a running bum. I would live on rice and oatmeal, sleep in a tent or RV, and run through forests, over mountains, across rivers, along waterways, on the shoulder of lonely highways. I would read philosophy when the legs were sore, sleep when it was dark (unless the moon was bright and I could run!). I'd start out with 15 pairs of running shoes, enough to last 5 years or longer, and quit when it wasn't fun anymore.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I am definitely bringing this to the attention of the tenure committee.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
BOMF is a nonprofit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. They do not provide food or shelter, but instead provide a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. The organization consists of much more than just running: members participate in a comprehensive program that offers connections to job training, employment and housing. Those benefits are earned by maintaining 90 percent attendance at the morning runs three days a week for the six to nine month program.
I just signed up as a volunteer, have my orientation next week, and my first run with the group the following Saturday. Help spread the word about what they do if you can. It's pretty awesome and BOMF is already is a number of cities besides Chicago. If we do the Ragnar relay, I hope we can do some fund raising on their behalf.
Once in the cushioned neutral I went for a combo of cush and lightness recognizing that physics makes this a trade off. Surprisingly Underarmour made a nice mid price shoe that did the trick for my last two marathons but now they don't seem to make it (and no stores carry their other models for me to try). Pearl Izumis rubbed me the wrong way (literally).
Now I alternate between a pair of Saucony Rides and Brooks Ghosts and like them both for different reasons. Is it too much to ask for a cushioned neutral shoe that isn't tilted forward for under $100?
Sunday, January 2, 2011
In the gymnasium after the race they served bagels, cookies, bananas and coffee, as any good race should. The room was full of kids who came for the 4K, a few of whom must have run the 10K as well. Watching those kids I remembered that this was our summer family event when I was young. I ran with Dad starting at about age 6; within a few years my older sister and younger brother both had joined us. We ran many of the local 10Ks in Anchorage in the very early 1980s, Mom getting us started and cheering at the end and Dad out running, helping to keep us moving forward. Many of those races started and finished on the park strip in Anchorage, a large lawn between 9th and 10th running west to east across downtown.
Nostalgia aside, let's hope a January 1 race gets the year off on the correct foot. The big goal for the first half of the year is a marathon PR, and I have 3 months and 16 days to get ready.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Most of the days were cool but not cold with too much to do to go for a long run so I worked out at the Mandarin Oriental (hey, you don't rough it on your 20th anniversary trip). But the 29th it was sunny and close to 60 and Laura and Jordan were anxious to go shopping and to a museum that I didn't care about.
Instead, I went for a long beachfront Mediterranean run in the Barceloneta area created for the 1992 Olympics. My last run of the year and in shorts no less! Hopefully I can say the same about my first outdoor run of the year on Thursday with Ted in SF.
The next day we drove around Catalonia and the 31st was a very long travel day but we got home before 9 PM and were asleep by 10. A typical News Year's eve for the Waller-Matalon clan!
Happy New Year.