Showing posts with label Running 2008. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Running 2008. Show all posts

Friday, June 01, 2018

San Diego Marathon Back in the Day

Another running nostalgia post as I recall the last marathon I ever ran ten years ago.  Additional material here and here. I continue to lope along three times a week, at roughly 3 miles an outing. I'm grateful to be able to do that little. Happy June!




After a marathon moving experience, I left for San Diego on Friday in search of the real thing. As the San Gabriel Team lacked a "sweeper," I'd volunteered for the job. Thus I had to enter the race as a participant, station myself toward the back and sweep along our runners and walkers, making sure they passed the cut-off points and crossed the finish line. I drove down with TNT mentors Ernesto and CJ. In the car, we had a long spirited discussion on international monetary policy, the existence of God, and driving while drunk.

As marathons go, San Diego was deceptively difficult. On the map, it appears you're running a pleasant course around Balboa Park, downtown, around Mission Bay, and finishing aboard the USMC Recruit Depot in Point Loma. However there were a number of long inclines and declines coupled with several miles on a slanted freeway that aggravated old running injuries. In the latter miles, IT bands, hamstrings, and calf pulls would be refreshed, feeling just as painful as the day on which they occurred.


Sunday arrived with an overcast sky. Our team milled around the start area. Pictures were snapped, trash bags worn to ward off the morning chill, and Port-a-Potties visited again and again. Steaks dropped by for a chat before setting off to run a sub-five hour race. Teammate Gordie had been the featured speaker the previous night at our send-off dinner. A cancer survivor, he was treated  like a rock star by other TNTers except Gordie was coherent and didn't smash anything.

6:30 AM. Crack! A cheer. The race had begun! We advanced 14 feet then stopped. Then a few more feet and stopped. Then walked. Then stopped. Seventeen minutes later, we crossed the start mat. NOW the race began.

Mile One: Lots of laughs and fun. There were many people dressed as Elvis, including CJ. These running Elvi hoped to set a record for the most Elvis-garbed runners in a marathon. (How did they do? I can't say.) In addition, a woman ran with an artificial leg, several men ran with large American or MIA flags, and a blind woman with a shirt that read "China Gal," speed-walked without a guide, tapping like mad against the curb.

Mile Two: We passed over the 163 Freeway and started south along the east side of Balboa Park. Nice and downhill. I ran ahead, marking the position and disposition of teammates.

Mile Three: Still east of the park. A man jumped into a sumac bush to urinate, but found the bush already taken. These are the gritty set-backs that must be overcome for a successful marathon.

Mile Four: Coaches Katie and Kate said 'hi' and 'bye' as everyone was doing Okay.

Mile Five: Downtown. We passed a Hooters where two desperate men were already lined up at 7:30 in the morning.

Mile Six: More loping back and forth between groups. Several of our injured had cautiously begun running.

Mile Seven: A long uphill climb on Broadway.  Coach Alfredo arrived to capture the moment in digital pictures. Away from the camera, I stopped to use a Port-a-Potty. The smell was most dire.

Mile Eight: We're on the 163 Freeway, heading north and uphill on slanted concrete. Aches and pains crop up. A man in a red Super Man cape tore up a hill as if pursued by a kryptonite dog, leaped a chain-link fence in several bounds, and disappeared behind a tree.

Mile Nine: Adios cloud cover. The sun emerged and the temperature rose instantly. Worse, it felt humid. We came upon TNT drag cheerleaders. There's nothing like screaming men with beards, wearing make-up and short dresses, to energize the weary.

Mile 10: We passed beneath University Avenue. There was a strange phenomena: locals strolling along the freeway. Apparently, the novelty of walking on a freeway was too rich to ignore. What fun San Diegans have!

Mile 11: Downhill. Huzzah!

Mile 12: Off the stinking freeway and west on Friars Road. To our left stretched a colossal mall. It was layered with smaller malls within the mother mall as well as satellite malls across the street. Truly, we were running through shopping Valhalla. Cut-off time loomed close.

Mile 13: Anna, Liz and several others picked up the pace. Other teammates nursed more serious hurts. They vowed to run again another day and stopped at the half-marathon. Coach Pete cheered us on, offering encouragement as well as an odd snack consisting of wheat thins floating in a pan of hot dog water. The encouragement was appreciated

Mile 14: I almost missed the cut-off. This would've have resulted in my appearing weak and foolish. Virginia and Stacy stood on a curb with a bag of Oreos. I took one and it disintegrated from the heat like a cookie dandelion.

Mile 15: We were now on the east side of Mission Bay, running north through parks and suburbs. Natasha had fallen behind her group of Sanchez and the sibling duo of Whitney and Kingsley. Her IT injury was acting up and she walked along, having been joined by a runner named Stu. Stu had completed ten marathons, five San Diego marathons, and had tickets to Pat Benatar that evening.

Mile 16: Hobbling to a curb, the woman with the artificial leg sat down. I caught up with Kirsten and Sonia, battling pain and fatigue, but determined to press on.

Mile 17: Heading back toward Natasha, I found she'd ditched Stu. We set out to pass the mile 19.4 cut-off. Miss this one and you were bussed to the finish area, given a half-marathon medal and sent on your jolly way. Our team manager, Tiffani, met us, wished us well, and successfully hit up several children for contributions to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Mile 18: Despite IT pain, Natasha kept up a brisk pace. She remarked that her first name spelled backwards was "Ah Satan." True. But I felt it was the marathon talking.

Mile 19. We made the cut-off. Stopping in a medical tent, Natasha had ice wrapped around her IT band with yards of packing tape. It unraveled within a mile as we headed up a steep bridge. In the far distance, downtown San Diego shimmered in the haze. Rapid tapping. We turned as China Gal sped past, cane arcing from curb to pavement like a metronome.

Mile 20: Sea World was nearby. I'd been running and walking since early morning. I fantasized about dynamite fishing and Shamu.

Mile 21: Coach Sharla  showed up somewhere around here. It was getting into the afternoon. We turned onto a dirt road, curving along some tidal inlet that smelled like dead sea lions. Trucks were dismantling water stations. Did I mention this was a rock 'n roll marathon with bands every mile? They were striking their gear. In fact, there was no shade and we sensed it had also been packed up.

Mile 22: Coaches Karla and Alfredo met us with ice for Natasha's head. As I was an unpaid volunteer, it was felt ice would be wasted on me.

Mile 23: All around, runners hobbled and limped. We walked by a water station that had everything but water.  A street sweeping machine gobbled up the flattened cups, chasing us under a freeway and out again into the sun. Without question, we were at the butt end of the marathon.

Mile 24: Bleak concrete overpasses; scraggly bushes. We passed China Gal, tapping along, locked into pace.

Mile 25: Jets roared overhead from San Diego International Airport. To our left, we passed the Marine base where I went through boot camp 36 years ago. I wasn't in a nostalgic mood. Natasha's IT band hurt so much she was biting a piece of wood to keep from yelling. China Gal tapped past.

Mile 26: We're on the base. The end is near. Natasha vowed that no matter what happened, she wasn't finishing behind China Gal. We started running and passed that tapping machine.

Mile .2: But China Gal was a Terminator and would not quit. Tapping sounded from behind like the clock the crocodile swallowed in Peter Pan. We passed a guy with a "I Wish I Weren't Here" tee-shirt. We passed two chick in grass skirts. We crossed the finish line in seven hours and twenty-eight minutes.

But our adventures continued. The finish area was practically deserted, covered with trash and looking like the parking lot of a rock concert. We got our medals then tried to figure a way to reach the UPS trucks where our gear was stored. There was no crowd to follow, just wide open areas surrounded by fences and garbage. I climbed over a metal barrier near the trucks. Natasha and I tried dismantling the barrier, despite the fact there was an opening about twenty feet away. Eventually we spotted the opening, got our gear, stumbled over to the TNT sign-out area and called it a marathon.

That night there was celebration and drinking. (For some, a good deal of drinking.) Many first timers walked with the "marathon shuffle," a post-race gait that makes 28-year-olds look like doddering wrecks. CJ finished as Elvis and Ernesto finished despite a bum hamstring. Teammate Chris ran a phenomenal race, crossing the mat in 3:43. (On the 2008 highlight video, he's pumping up the crowd at 2:37.) Nevertheless, all who persevered and finished the marathon/half-marathon were exceptional.

Well done, Team.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Nostalgic Race Report: Eugene Marathon

(In honor of my last and best running accomplishment, I repost this race report from May, 2008.)


Light shifted subtly over the Willamette River. You sensed God working the sliders on his heavenly lighting board, blending shade and tone while sipping coffee from an immense mug. As marathon day began in Eugene, temperatures hung around the low 40s. I was reluctant to leave the warmth of our rented Rav. But MDW (My Darling Wife) pointed out that no man ever raced crouched over a hot air vent. So it was out into the cold near Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. MDW vowed to meet me at mile 18. There I'd planned to leave my water belt: a symbolic act to "lighten the load" for the arduous last miles where head games are mandatory. Meanwhile, I lined up behind other shivering runners at a Port-O-Potty.

Back in January, around the time I began training for this race, the wife of a friend died battling leukemia. I asked Peter if he'd mind my dedicating the marathon to Rosina. He and the kids were cool, but I had forgotten to bring anything. Fortunately, MDW grabbed some art supplies and cobbled together a fine inscription for me to wear. As I ran that day, spectators called out Rosina's name, encouraging me to keep going for her. In those moments, it seemed Rosina was present but just out of sight, as if she'd gone to fetch something from the car.

As to the course, imagine a drawing of a bolo tie such as gentlemen might wear in a square dance. Now imagine that same bolo tie drawn by an angry man. This will give you an idea of the route's shape. The opening miles led out from the campus, up a hill, down another, then into a park area where the metal tips would be if it really were a bolo tie. Doubling back to the U of O campus, the course led up another long hill, down to the Willamette River and across. Instead of a turquoise clasp, Autzen Stadium provided the center piece around which the race swirled, looping along bike paths around the Willamette. Tree-lined and tranquil, the river flowed under quaint foot bridges. The finish line was just outside the stadium where you could purchase bolo ties and other treasured souvenirs.






Finally, we go. Despite last-minute wavering, my goal was to break four hours. That meant a pace of 9:10, 49 seconds per mile less than my previous best in Phoenix. Since January 2007, my only marathon had been an extended walk in Chicago. The night before, I'd phoned coaches Jimmy and Kate for a little advice. They told me many useful, savvy things that I promptly forgot. But what I recalled was to stay on pace and save something for the end.

The first mile led uphill. I ran way too slow (9:40). I wanted to sob like a weepy old man, but didn't.

Mile 2: Mostly downhill.

Mile 3: More downhill. Now I was almost a minute ahead of pace. Cool.

Miles 4 and 5: Running the dangling string section of the bolo tie. Ate some yummy goo.

Mile 6: Doubling back to campus through Amazon Park. Still slightly ahead of pace.

Mile 7: Up a long hill. I slowed again, keeping my heart beat even. Runners blasted by, huffing and puffing. I smugly watched them pass.

Miles 8 & 9: Back through the campus, then across the Willamette on a foot bridge. At one point, I thought my legs were buckling. But it was only the bridge wobbling from impacting runner feet. Still, I hurried across.

Mile 10: On the bike trails along the river; more yummy goo with double caffeine.

Mile 11: We'd been running mixed in with a half-marathon. Now the half-marathoners veered off to finish their race. I remarked to a woman next to me, "I thought they'd never leave."

Mile 12: MDW surprised me at 12. I was still ahead of pace, feeling great. Perhaps I'd made too much of this marathon business? We confirmed our date for 18.

Mile 13.1: Half-way assessment. I was at 1:56:52, about an 8:55 pace. A little brisk, but no strain. Figuring I could hold it a bit longer, I decided to press on.

Mile 14: I encountered the Clopper. A lean man in his 60s with short, silvery hair, he slapped the ground loudly with every stride like a farm horse walking on cobblestones. Whock-whock-whock-whock! The sound grated. I sped past. But since I was walking a minute every seven minutes, there was no escape. I'd prepare to run again when I'd hear whock-whock-whock coming up behind.

Mile 15: What was on the menu? Surprise, it was another double-caffeine goo! (Damn the Clopper!)

Mile 16: Holding steady two and three minutes ahead of pace. I was looking at a solid finish. I uped my run/walk ratio to 8x1.

Mile 17: Something happened here but I can't remember.

Mile 18: MDW took my water belt after I washed down the last of my salt.

Mile 19: I finally ditched the Clopper. Hurray! Oh, God, hurray! First little twinges of leg pain.

Mile 20: Back across the Willamette. We're now running on the south side bike trails. I was still ahead, 3:00:06, but my pace had dropped to 9:00. My legs were beginning to feel a tad thick.

Mile 21: Now began the Track of Broken Dreams, better known as the last miles of a marathon. I dropped a full minute.

Mile 22: Dropped another minute. The same effort took tons of energy. My calves felt like iron knots. The four-hour pace group leader, whom I hadn't seen all day, breezed past with several runners in tow.

Mile 23: Leaking seconds badly, I dropped intervals and ran. All around, marathoners were breaking down: a young, bearded guy fast-hobbled on an injured foot; a husky Asian man cramped out in pain; a girl in tangerine shorts ran backwards to ease the ache; a guy in a floppy hat staggered off the trail and heaved a great spray of liquid. He heaved again and again. Meanwhile, sunlight shone through the trees and the Willamette flowed serenely.

Mile 24: For the moment, I'd plugged the time leakage and was almost exactly on pace, but fading fast. My hip flexors felt as light as a parking structure. Walking at a water station, I ate jelly beans and realized I enjoyed walking. Forcing myself to run, I focused on a large man in a red T-Shirt and passed him.

Mile 25: On pace, but maintaining the effort brought a bonus hurt. A side stitch arrived as I passed a balding runner in a blue and gold singlet. His feet quickened as he tried to catch me. Pretending I was in the Olympics staving off a Kenyan, I moved ahead to the next runner.

Mile 26: Reaching the shadow of Autzen Stadium, I was roughly on pace, but gassed. MDW waved and cheered. All the blood in my upper body had migrated to my legs. Woozy and light-headed, I lumbered along on auto pilot.

Mile .2: An orange snow fence lined the final kilometer. On the race clock ahead, red LED numbers inched into the four-hour district. I tried recalling how many seconds had passed before I crossed the start mat. However calculations were oafish folly as I lacked blood north of my waist.

I made it by six seconds: 3:59:53.

MDW helped me to a curb where I sat and stared at nothing for several minutes. I was fortunate to have reached my goal. Nevertheless, I finished what I set out to do. Plus, I honored Rosina and pumped money into the Eugene economy so they might purchase yet more commemorative bolo ties.

It's been two days since the marathon, we're back home and life proceeds. We have to move in a few weeks. And there's still the TNT Summer Team and preparing them for their first marathon. Oh yeah, and finding a job. And jury duty.

But today I'll rest and eat pizza and think about running another marathon in a few months.

That'll be fun.



(Start line photo by Rick Russell. All others by MDW Joy.)

Originally posted May 6, 2008 as Tales from Eugene. In the seven years since this race I've had a knee operation, shoulder operation, operation on my nose for skin cancer, operation for prostate cancer, and put on sixty pounds. But that day, I was gold.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Up the Coast and On the Couch

After years of traveling east to Phoenix, the axis of family Christmas has shifted to the Pacific Northwest. Some family members are returning to old haunts, others have always lived there, while a few are newly landed. Whatever the case, it will be a Christmas with the most McCanns around in, oh, say 37 years. I'll drive up on Sunday, visit cousins in Oregon, then on to Washington, moving from near Olympia to outside Tacoma to Seattle. A few thousand miles there and back again.

No running for another month. This self-imposed ban will be an attempt to jump start my knee past the "almost healed" state its been in since mid-October. Lots of pool running, I'm thinking, but not with much enthusiasm.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Time on My Feet

Ran 50 minutes yesterday, the most since early Sept. Some knee soreness but not much, and no pain this morning. I've been using the dirt horse trails at Griffith Park, the dust tamped down from last week's rains, locomoting at a modest 1:2 run/walk ratio. I'm happy to be able to do any sustained exercise.

Writing daily. I'm stalled again on my projects three, but I'll untrack and finish them. Today, I loath their every clause, comma and contraction. But that will change, I'm thinking, once they're completed.

And now I've completed my post.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nowhere for the Holidays

As far as running goes, at least. After zipping around close to 15 pain-free miles on Saturday, my knee is now sore after a 3.5 mile Monday run on dirt trails. Ice, ice, stinking ice.

Big fat downpour at the end of track practice last night.

Two of our walkers, Larry and Kim, are looking strong. Both have overcome injury, lost a lot of weight, and are pressing ahead to complete 26.2. I recall their shaky confidence back in August. Seeing them grow in strength and ability makes coaching a blast. Each season I'm privileged to observe the human spirit in action as TNTers face and overcome limitations.

Plus, I have a blog where I can publicly grumble about mine.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chi Run Refresher

Met with local chi running instructor Kathy this morning for a refresher course. Since my Oct. workshop, I've been nursing my knees and gradually growing stronger. She was a big help in pointing out little areas where I hold tension. Like t'ai chi, this running style collapses when tightness is present - which blocks chi flow.

Lunch today with former TNT coach Katie. She's also looking for work. I'm hoping she gets a job soon and hires me. How's that for taking charge of my fate?

Still writing on a bunch of projects, though I've fallen off the last two weeks. Time to recommit, get these things finished so I can goof off in style.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Marathon Scratched and Other Thoughts

Ash and smoke ended the inaugural Pasadena Marathon. Winds are dying down, but the air still smells like a fireplace. We've got the windows shut, but the burning scent seeps in.

Off to visit my pal Dale tonight. Dale was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2007. Near death, he successfully battled back, returned to work, and readjusted his priorities, realizing family and friends were more important than the many business deals that previously occupied his life. Now cancer has not only returned, but spread to liver and bones. Doctors are giving him three months. Maybe so. Dale's going through the grief process, but still determined to fight. Several of us visit on Sundays just to call him names and let him know he's remembered and loved as Dale enters the ring for what may be his last round.

For a man to struggle back, learn priceless lessons, then be terminally decked seems most unfair. There's a blog I read occasionally called The Anchoress. Its author lost a brother to illness and wrote on the painful troika of death, suffering, and dignity. Her conclusions allude to a subtle spiritual weaving between dying and comforters, an exchange of graces, a transfer of blessings, including humility, charity, and the self-awareness that our actions count because we're all on borrowed time.

I tend to miss the subtle. I usually want someone to be responsible for my loss so I have an object to focus pain, anger and bitterness upon.

Lost marathons, burned homes, and death rank differently on the hierarchy of hurt, irretrievable in degree. Loss would seem to be the norm in life. Our response allows us opportunities to deepen and grow. And if loss is inevitable, then what we have is all the more precious. If nothing else, I hope to remember that today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chi Running Class

Last Sunday I gave chi running a try. This system uses gravity and the strong muscles of the psoas to propel you forward rather than relying solely on quads and calves. Next day, I went out for a run but only made it a mile and a half before my knee grew sore. I backed off and walked, but it appears more cross-training lies in my future.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kiley Runs Up Mt. Baldy


Congrats to TNT Fall Coach Kiley for tackling the Mt. Baldy Run To the Top. Starting in the Angeles National Forest at 6,000 feet, this eight-mile race gains 4K worth of altitude, finishing atop 10,023-foot Mount Baldy. Third highest mountain in Southern California, MDW and I have hiked up there and found the trail tough enough without race pressure. (We could've used some pressure as we missed the last ski lift down to the parking lot and had to hike the additional miles. Dusk fell and we hustled along in the fading light, not wanting to wander downslope in the dark. We just made it.)

In any event, props to Kiley. If I wore a large enough hat, I'd tip it in his direction, then lend it to the mountain for modesty's sake.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Aw, Nut Bunnies!

Some uninspired running by the U.S. Dathan Ritzenheim and Ryan Hall finished 9 and 10 in the Olympic Marathon. The Africans started hot, on a 2:05 pace. (Samuel Wanjiru, the winning Kenyan, broke a 24-year Olympic marathon record by three minutes.) Hall, Ritzenheim and teammate Brian Sell hung back, then hung back further, then crept up a little, then crossed the finish line behind the three medalists and five other guys.

I think I would've preferred seeing someone crash and burn, picking off runners, trying to win, then playing it so cool they freeze themselves out of contention. You're left with the sense that our marathoners are either thoroughly outclassed or didn't try.

Better luck in 2012.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Been There, Broke That

American marathon ace Deena Kastor broke a foot two miles into last Sunday's Olympic Marathon. In 2006, I experienced something similar. Granted, the Santa Anita 5K and the Olympics aren't often mentioned in the same breath, but I can emphasize with the feelings that accompany a goal-wrecking injury. The interview here is a bit long. Besides marathoners (and those who enjoy a good wall fountain), the clip should interest anyone wishing to hone a winning attitude. In any case, all the best to Deena Kastor. I know she'll return in championship form.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Western States Smoked Out

Due to wildfires burning all over northern California, the Western States 100 has been cancelled. All 2008 entrants are automatically enrolled next year, including Jimmy Freeman. As mentioned, Jimmy's been chasing the goal of completing this super-tough hundred-mile course for several years and it must be a stinging disappointment. (I know how I'd have felt if they'd cancelled Eugene the day before.)

Still, Jimmy is an optimist. After cursing and kicking things for a time, he'll find a silver lining.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Heat Casualties at the Rose Bowl

So cried a pedestrian today at the Rose Bowl. And sure enough, an older man had collapsed in the 90 degree heat, laying crumpled on the asphalt. I believe he may have been participating in a Senior Olympic Events and faded from the heat.

In addition to the Senior Olympics, a Run Like A Girl five-mile race crowded onto the trails above the Rose Bowl. TNT Coach Karla observed another heat casualty as a running girl dropped at the finish line.

As to the non-collapsing runners, Ernesto nursed a sore hamstring and only ran two, while I put in six to make up for skipping yesterday due to high temperatures. In any case, the last few days haven't been good for strenuous outdoor activity.

As to the old guy, a squad car zoomed up and almost flattened a departing cyclist, whose attention was focused on the injured man. The rider had to dump her bike at the last second to avoid becoming a grill stain. A fire truck and an ambulance arrived, lights flashing. Loading the old guy on a back board, paramedics took him to the hospital.

A very eventful morning.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reflections on an Ugly Eight Miles

This really stinks. My carefully considered thoughts after an eight-mile run yesterday. Temperatures were in the 90s well into late afternoon. I slowed way down, walked when necessary, and finished without heat exhaustion.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tick-Tick-Tick

Only a matter of hours until we sign the papers that sell our house and buy a condo. There is so much STUFF to still pack-lose-store.

Yesterday evening was our team's final track practice. As a farewell surprise, Coach Katie divided us up for a 200 meter relay race. We used her daughter's dolls as batons. (Bizarre, even by Los Angeles' standards.) Off we ran with the lead swinging back and forth. When my turn came, I had a 15-yard cushion as I bolted with maximum effort. This blazing start flooded my system with lactic acid (by-product of sudden strenuous exercise). Like an old watch, I wound down as my opponent gained. He caught me just as we handed off. Fortunately, our anchor was the fastest guy on either team. After trailing briefly, he kicked in the jets and won, thus saving me from being the oaf who blew a lead and lost it for our side.

Having already logged three miles at practice, I was sagging. That was the fastest I'd run in many years, recalling high school memories of my brief track career as a 400 meter fellow. Nostalgia aside, I'll be glad to resume less-speedy marathon training.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sundry Notes

Breaking four hours took me 17 months, a torn calf, and a scrubbed marathon.

Each of my four marathons has finished in a different hour:

1. Honolulu 2005: 6.01

2. Phoenix 2007: 4.21

3. Chicago 2007: 5:48 (Unofficial)

4. Eugene 2008: 3.59

Don't look for "2" anytime soon, and I hope you don't see "7."

Post-marathon recovery has been slow. Following an ice bath Sunday, I felt fine. But Monday we drove two-hours to Portland, followed by a two-hour flight to LA, then a 35-minute drive home. The next day my quads were testy and sore. However, walks and the foam roller have struck soreness a telling blow.

The Summer Team runs 20 miles tomorrow. I'll be out there assistant coaching, but not running. I see my role more as a "go get 'em"-type guy. At least for another week.

My next goal is to run a 3:45 marathon and qualify for Boston. That means I'll need an 8:36 per mile pace. Which, in turn, requires pruning 34 seconds from my current pace. This can be done if I'm patient; more importantly, if I'm patient and unemployed. Work has ruined more peoples' running dreams. Sure, it pays, but look at the hit your training takes. Balancing full-time employment with marathoning requires careful thought.

Don't be hasty. Ha-hooom.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Going Up

In Eugene, Sunday's temperature is now forecast in the low 70s. I'm going to ask the weather to stop. The mercury has climbed high enough. Let's not sully a fine marathon with excessive heat as was done with certain other races.

A few notes:

A brief four-mile run today wraps-up my marathon training, begun in late January.

April marked the third consecutive month of 100 + mileage. This was a large amount of running for me, aided by steady, persistent unemployment. Sunday will tell whether greater mileage equals faster times.

My goal is to break FOUR HOURS! There. I've used large attention-getting letters. As race day approaches, my nerves have been gnawing on me like rats in a town house made of peanut butter. I've caught myself telling other runners how stressed I've been over moving, thus advancing an alibi for failure. Enough! No! I commit to breaking FOUR HOURS!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Boston Marathon Tidbits

Very successful indeed, as Coach Kate, bib #15941, broke the three-hour and twenty-minute mark at Boston - twenty minutes faster than her previous best marathon time. Beau Jimmy ran alongside in the 50 degree weather. As the bulk of marathons are completed between 3:30 and 5:00 hours, Kate has stepped into the upper ranks of those who dare 26.2.

Speaking of which, the U.S. Womens' Olympic Trials were held yesterday in Boston. Congratulations to top three finishers Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Blake Russell who will represent America this summer in Beijing.


Who Dares, Wins!

Who Gets Up Last From A Restaurant Table, Pays!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Featured Post

John P. McCann Sizzle Page

'Twas suggested I post a few episodes of my work in a pleasant spot. I've chosen here. Sadly, not everything I've written has y...