Saturday, March 30, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Fortunately, one of my students who rarely talks raised her hand and explained that she had worked before law school at a consulting firm that advised clients on these types of back office software suites. She was much clearer, than either the book or my jet lag addled brain, why the judge in her view was simply wrong as the likely post-acquisition effects of the merger and even answered a number of questions from other students.
Beyond being grateful for her presence and lucidity, it got me thinking that while most students now work for a year or two before law school, it's not clear to me they work at the positions most helpful to their future legal studies. It also has me more sympathetic to the Northwestern Law approach that at least two years of meaningful work is a virtual prerequisite for admission ala business school.
Warning, most common side effects may include two different forms of stomach distress. Jews debate whether matzoh stuffs you up or gives you the runs. Consult your doctor, spouse, or significant other before disposing all bread products in the house before Passover begins. Some patients on the Passover diet also may develop the uncontrollable urge to eat flourless chocolate cake or watch The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, The Greatest Story Ever Told, or the Easter bunny episode of South Park.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
I found Phil entirely by accident since it turns out there are two Metro exits at the Coliseum. We wound our way with his wife through a seemingly endless series of twists and turns for the runners and assorted supporters. We were relieved that the 80,000 5K fun runners were on the other side of the Coliseum and apparently on another course because we never saw them again. By the time we approached the start line the race had begun a few minutes before but there was no crowd ahead of us and no bunching like so many US mega-marathons.
I was extremely nervous not having walk/run more than about 4-5 miles since wrecking my knee in the Chicago marathon in October. Moreover I had only walk/run outside a couple of times since then and Rome was all hard pavement with a healthy (or not) dose of cobble stones thrown into the mix.
In the end I was thrilled with the day. We started at the Coliseum, ran past the Forum, the Victor Emmanuel monument, the Circus Maximus, past the pyramid and into some more modern neighborhoods (including where Roberto Begnini lives (according to my cab driver to the airport). We were mostly running south away from the historic center. Phil was kind enough to stay at my pace for the first 15 minutes and took off when I took my first walking break. Overall, I did a 3:2 run/walk ratio which was my most aggressive pace of my rehab phase. Luckily no real issues the whole way.
People around me had a nice mellow vibe, walking, chatting, taking pictures. One guy even gave his camera to a stranger and then backed up so the guy could shoot a video of him running. Since I wasn't doing the whole race and didn't particularly care about my time, I got into the spirit and took a picture of the lesser known but impressive St Paul's Basilica with a military band playing away in the plaza.
We meandered south for a while, crossed the river turned north, crossed the river again and headed north past the Jewish ghetto and the Rome synagogue. I hit 12K which was my original goal and felt good enough to keep going. At 15K and an hour 48 minutes I called it a day, directly across the river from the Italian Supreme Court, Corte di Cassazzione). Probably could have done half but any further would have been pushing it and taking me away from my hotel and my wife whom I had promised to meet around noon. On the quick walk home, saw a few of the elite women and better male runners as they looped back through the Piazza Navona a few Ks from the finish line.
All in all, a pretty good day and a major psychological, if not physical, breakthrough on my road to recovery. See everyone next time at the finish line!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
This one's for Max. Poor Spencer and Ted have heard and lived the saga, but here goes: I am still SO psyched from Roma. 20 miles max weekly training? Rowing instead? PF for 3 plus years? Ha! Yes I was scared. Yes I got emotional at breakfast on the day, and during the race. But yes, I DID IT! And that was even with my and many other runners' Garmins reading 26.75 miles for the course.
Where to begin?
I LOVED the carb loading with Spencer and Ted and the Entourage. I loved the Expo. My feet hurt from walking too much the day before, but I loved that too. I missed Ted at the START, but loved literally strolling on to the course with Spencer and chuckling up to the START line, desecrating various monuments on our way, and then, boom, we were off. Laying down a 10.30 mile pace and giggling to ourselves and saying, we are back, in Rome! After 2-3 k I bid Spencer good luck for his planned run, and dialled it to 9.15s, laughing and slapping kids' hands and enjoying the awesome views of the sights. After 7 miles I was settling at 8.45s and this worried me...too quick...I did not want to deathmarch from 10 as I had in training, so tried to slow down...but couldn't get the rhythm right...so I stuck at 8.45s and giggled some more.
At the Half I was 2.02 and a little voice I have not heard in three years said...negative split, DO IT. So down to 8.30-8.40s and the ego just said, you will crash out but try it. But it was comfortable so I stayed. A nasty hill around 16 made me try out my mantra "love hills love hills" and I waited for the legs to fold. All good though. As we closed on 20 miles and got back into some heart stoppingly beautiful sights, the cobbles started to get to me, and the hips and ITBs tightened up. Here we go I thought, ah well, it was fun while it lasted...but the pace was still there, so I sped up a bit more, and then a voice I haven't heard since Chicago and Boston came along and said to me to put the hammer down at 22. No way was I listening to that! I didn't have the training and I had promised R_ I would drop out rather than risk a return to PF. But I felt strong and was closing on the main sights, so I held firm and dug in, and dialed down to 8.30s.
At the Piazza Navona the architecture and crowds and sun made me literally burst into tears for a minute, but with a huge grin on my face. Via del Corso is NOT FLAT, don't let people tell you otherwise. It is straight, yes, but has horrid potholes and cobblestones.... but by now I knew I could finish, and that was staggering to me, truly staggering, so I dug in some more. Flying past the Trevi Fountain up a narrow crowdlined street I did some math and realised I would be under 4, maybe 3.56 A little voice said, ease off, but then another voice said, no, hold on, and maybe catch Ted and cross the line together!! That was never going to happen, but I held anyway.
From 23-25 around the Vittoro and the Palatine and Circo Massimo my feet were pulverised on the cobbles, but I held. As we got to the Ultimo Kilometro sign though at 41.2k, my Garmin read 26 miles, and so uh oh, something was not right. Suddenly my sub4 was in jeopardy, a sub4 I had never even contemplated at the Start....but did not want snatched from me so close to the end!! I gunned it and hung on, and finished in 3.59.18, my third slowest marathon of the 16 I've done, but as the FINISH line video shows, I was far far far from disappointed. I started laughing uncontrollably and hugging everyone near me, and laughing and laughing and laughing all the way to the sweet medal lady, who got yet another massive hug from a finisher she probably could have done without.
So there it is, I think I did 3.56 for 26.2 and the race was too long, a fact confirmed by many runners since on blogs and at airports and particularly via Ted...but do I care? NO. I AM BACK! And my splits say I ran every 5k faster than the previous 5k. I am in heaven. An official 3.59 I will take, yes sir.
A walk to the hotel at Barbarini, with a coffee at a gelateria on the way, a lie down, an amazing dinner at the club that night with the Antitrust Marathoners, a great conference the next day, a tiring flight home that night, and then two busy days in London, but my legs feel good, the fatigue is dealable, the memory is strong, the withdrawal from goodtimes bonding with Spencer and Ted is strong too...but the hope is also strong that all is well physically and I can now train properly for something cool this autumn.
Thank you guys for encouraging me through the blog and in person! Ted, well done on an amazing run yourself, and I will challenge you for the Italian Energy Sponsored Antitrust Marathon Belt some time. Spencer you rock for your 15k, the return is happening for you too! And Max my man, good luck with your tri's and cycles and bid for sub3, I will be cheering you on!!!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Yes, that's the Coliseum in the background, and the Palatine hill to our left. From there we made our way to the Pantheon for coffee, and so Spencer could stop at the hotel.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Fingers crossed for the crowd running in Rome tomorrow, wishing I was there, and hoping to hear great tales of running, sightseeing, and discussing competition and consumer policy in the way only Antitrust Marathoners can. I look forward to reading the transcripts when published, but I hope to hear the low-down long before. Viva la competition.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
Apart from that, I am struck that the signatories on this letter by and large are from schools that are fairly insulated from the economic struggles facing law schools. Perhaps that is good; they are able to see things clearly while the rest of us hide our heads in the sand.
Beyond that, the letter does nothing but to add a long but distinguished list of names (anybody recall the early bar scene from Top Gun?) to a discussion that has been repeated many times over in the past year or two.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Sunday, March 3, 2013
This is the second time in this training cycle I've done a long run followed the next day by a short race. This is not what I would usually do. I have usually followed a long run with a non-running recovery day in the pool or on the bike. I have to say, that while the race results have not been great (10-15 seconds/mile slower than what I think I could do on fresh legs), they have not proven to be as foolish as I though they were going to be. Usually, after a 15-20 miler, there are things that hurt enough so that running the next day, or at least running hard seems like a bad idea. I'm not going to say that I didn't feel that way this morning, or several weeks ago when I did the same thing. On the other hand, both times I felt better after the race than I had going into it. Fewer things hurt, and I was looser. Not sure what's going on, but I always find training paradoxes interesting, and this certainly is one.
Sometime around age 6 my mother started dropping me off downtown at lunch-time. Dad cut out of work and we'd run together. I think the reason was a combination of my being the first-born-son; my being a sensitive kid without an athletic bone in my body; and Dad's needing to get back in shape. Dad, bless him, never missed a chance to tell me I was "a natural runner." He could not have been more wrong, but the idea became part of my self-identity.
Sometime in that first year I ran my first 10K. Back in those days, in Anchorage, it was 10K or nothing. Nobody was running shorter and if anybody was running longer I didn't know about it. Within a year or two my brother S__ and sister S__ started joining us. In contrast with me they were naturally athletic. Among other trivial statistics, sister S__ was faster over the 10K distance, at that age, than had been a family friend who went on to become a four-time Olympic skier, and brother S__ had one race written up in Runner's World as a notable effort for a six-year-old. (53' and change, if I remember correctly.) In contrast, I was just a skinny kid who was able to run but not able to run fast.
We raced the Pepsi 10K every year. There were others, but I don't recall their names. It seems as if we ran about three 10Ks every summer or thereabouts. One time the local high school, Robert Service (which we all attended several years later), hosted a race. It started at the school, proceeded down the bike trail along Abbott Road, turned right -- North -- to follow Lake Otis, and ended at Campbell Creek Park. I crossed the line in 43' and change. Wow, was I disappointed to learn that the course had been badly measured, and the race was actually about 5 1/2 miles. I don't clearly recall how fast I actually was and the internet, which knows everything else about me, does not reach back that far. Something around 48' sounds about right. Sister S__, I know, was at least a couple of minutes faster.
Dad succeeded in getting his fitness back. I was about 11, and he 41, when he took me along the Powerline Trail all the way to Powerline Pass and back, approximately a 16-miler in Chugach State Park. I have not done that run since. I really should when I go home this summer.
Life proceeded to get in the way. I never really quit running; I would guess not a year of my life has gone by that I did not run at least a few times. I was on my school cross country and track teams, but I found it easier to be a goofball and to lose than to try hard and nonetheless to lose. But I did not quit even after my parents stopped having any say. I remember, for example, getting home from watching Forrest Gump with my buddy P__ one summer in college and going out for a late-evening six-miler. (In an Anchorage summer it is not at all unpleasant to be on the blacktop at 11 p.m.) I remember more than once drinking too much and running myself sober.
In college and law school I seemed to run primarily when I was unhappy. I ran while clerking in Boise because I was lonely. After moving to DC I ran to be social; my house-mate J__ talked me in to my first marathon, my first ironman, and my first 50-miler. Other people chat well over beer. I chat much better over sweat.
Off shortly to see if I can replicate Ted's 18-miler. It's a little chilly and windy and the flurries are coming down occasionally, which is probably ideal.
UPDATE: Oh my goodness. No specifics, but I do find lists of races being run in Anchorage in those days. The Clinkerdagger 10K was another regular one. (Clinkerdagger, Bickerstaff and Pett's -- or Clink's for short -- was a local restaurant of some note.