Showing posts with label TNT Summer 2008. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TNT Summer 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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Many Fine Thoughts and Prayers

for longtime Team in Training runner, David, who went in today for cancer surgery. Additional fine thoughts and prayers for his speedy recovery. Hopefully, he'll soon be dashing around the Rose Bowl again in his khaki hiking shorts.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

News From the Big "C" Front


Ten days before running the San Diego Marathon, TNT teammate Stacy got walloped with a breast cancer diagnosis. She chronicles her journey here. Stop by and lend your support to a brave gal.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

'Bye TNT '08 Marathoners


Thus endth the saga of the San Gabriel Valley Summer 2008 Team in Training. A few folk showed up yesterday for a farewell run, nursing injuries brought on by the San Diego Marathon and partying after the event. Among them were teammates who didn't think they could complete 26.2 miles and made it in style. Others who should've cruised, struggled. And a few who looked like they'd only cross the finish line in an ambulance, gritted their teeth and limped to victory. Which is all a way of saying that the marathon brings out the most surprising elements in people. Now it's time for the deck to be reshuffled. I will miss this motley bunch at the same time watching the new SGV Winter Team form.

My best wishes and prayers go out to teammates Stacy and David, both of whom were recently diagnosed with cancer. A season of running has given them good health and mental toughness. If anyone can meet this disease head-on, it's these guys. Do send them your very finest thoughts.

My first TNT coach, Jimmy Freeman, swung by practice on his way to run a crisp 22 miles. Jimmy is training for the upcoming Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. With a course winding through terrain accessible only to helicopters and animals that grew up there, Western States is an event Jimmy's hankered after for years. Finish under 24 hours and you win a coveted belt buckle that says you've gone where others have only flown over. Jimmy is not a half-way man and stands an excellent chance of success.

And now back to writing about funny insects.

Photo by Alfredo Cacho.

Monday, June 09, 2008

SD Marathon This and That

Natasha and I performed a ritual mombo around mile 21.

Running and walking around the course on my coachly duties, I covered at least 30 miles.

A common medical condition treated that day was hyponutremia or over-hydration. People drank too much water and washed out valuable salts and electrolytes.

Teammates Chris and Scott threw a victory party yesterday at their secluded Monrovia estate. I learned we have at least 3 Ph.Ds on our team. Also, two older teammates referred to me as a "punk kid." You don't get that a lot at age 55. It was rather refreshing.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

San Diego Marathon Notes

As previously noted, my marathon finishing times continue ending in different hours.

2008 San Diego: 7:28

2005 Honolulu: 6:01

2007 Chicago: 5:48

2007 Phoenix: 4:21

2008 Eugene: 3:59

17,828 runners and walkers started the marathon and 16,372 finished.

Average finishing time was 5:01:08.

Many junior high and high school cheerleaders lined the course. While most groups remained upbeat even to the bitter end, a few were sullen as if present under threat of a beating. Trying cheering under duress and see what comes out. Inspiring to others? Not a 100 percent, I'm thinking.

Teammates agreed that the latter miles of the marathon were made unneccesarily grim by the terrain — concrete freeway underpasses and smelly tidal inlets. Interestingly, the same company (Elite Racing) that hosts San Diego puts on the Phoenix Marathon. There also the crucial final miles wended through a bleak industrial district that looked like the terrain you see in movies where zombies attack. I suggested that Elite Racing worked with a psychologist who designed the courses to mirror the inner make-up of runners. They've certainly got beyond 20 miles down cold.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Staying Classy


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.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Off Again

After my big stinking move, I'm heading down to San Diego this morning for the marathon. I'll be performing various coachly duties for Team in Training and otherwise relaxing after a most stress-filled week. More upon my return.

Really digging the new place. Leaf blowers sound outside and I don't have to think about paying the admirable Mr. Kim.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Captain of the 10K

Today I was placed in charge of coaching 10K runners as SGV TNT held its annual half-marathon and 10K. Teams from all over LA, including the San Fernando Valley and South Bay, turned up as well as alumni. It was also a race against autism as that particular affliction was holding a huge rally/walk-around-the-Rose Bowl. The goal was to have our runners off the course before the walk began. This was done successfully, despite rising temperatures, thanks to good planning by staff members other than me.

I am really excited about my marathon. This time next week I hope to have my feet up on the bed as I sip water and watch bad movies in the hotel while outside the temperature hovers around 50 degrees — and stays that way for the next day.

I still have to move, but right now I'm thinking Eugene.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Run Down

Summer Team ran eight miles today. During and afterwards, there were many small injuries ranging from sore IT bands to tight calves. In fact, I've never seen so many people icing minor dings this early in a season. Coaches Katie and Kate held an injury clinic afterwards, instructing the disabled on what actions they could take. (Mostly ice and rest.)

My own training suffers from all the work being done around the house. Someone has to be here and I'm struggling to squeeze in runs when I can.

Contrary to my fine wife's opinion, I do not miss television. In fact, since she has cleaned out her old office, we've discovered a functioning TV. Of course, now it's covered in painter's plastic, but my computer plays DVDs should the urge arise. And when the urge arises, I can contemplate the fact that I sold most of them last fall.

One less thing to move.

(Note: This is the 3rd post I've ended with some reference to moving or not moving something. I'm as tired of this as you are. I promise I'll stop now.)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Rich Human Moments

Showed up for a shift manning the Team in Training booth at the LA Convention Center. Loads of folk walked around with their goodie bags as the city gears up for this Sunday's marathon. Our booth neighbor was Pacifico Beer. Guys were lining up there to get pictures taken with two hot babes in cheer-leading outfits. TNT gave out free chap stick if you signed up for more information. Somehow the Pacifico Beer line was always longer.

Yesterday, an electrician arrived to replace a few light fixtures. He was a colorful old guy and we got to talking. Turned out he'd survived the Nazis in his native Hungary. He and a group of three hundred kids were slated to be shot when the Red Army arrived. The execution was cancelled and the Germans were chased out by the Soviets, who decided to stick around Budapest for the next 45 years. Just before the Communists locked the country down, his family escaped in the middle of the night. He drifted around the world from Germany to Palestine to Canada and, finally, the U.S.

"My father spoke nine languages," he told me. "Now, my mother: she was an idiot. She only spoke eight languages."

He was very proud of his children and grandchildren. His son, when in his 20s, had been placed in charge of a telemarketing office with dozens of employees. Concerned, he went to his electrician father and said: 'I'm just a kid. How can I give orders to people in their 30s and 40s?'

As his father related: 'I said to him, think of our rabbi. He is young and yet he is in authority. That is because he has greater knowledge than others who may be older. Trust those who have promoted you. And remember that your authority does not give you the right to belittle anyone."

"That's very wise," I said.

He shrugged. "You know what my son did? He went to work the next day, called all the older employees into his office, and beat them with a stick."

We had a good laugh.

Plus he replaced my light fixtures.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

TNT Summer Team '08

First practice today for the summer Team in Training. Very exciting for me to be onboard as an assistant coach. I remember standing around on a hot August morning three years ago wondering what the heck I'd gotten myself into. Now I see other people thinking the same darn thing.

Participants ran their 5 kilometer pace assement. I hung out on the last mile and ran with many part of the way. Fascinating to see the reactions: the majority were tired but upbeat, a few curt, one or two sullen. Still, everyone made it and adjourned to a pot luck breakfast.

I have officially declared "moving" to be a form of cross-training. I carry heavy boxes up and down stairs, bend, lunge, squat, and crawl to dismantle various things around the house. Despite my weekly running miles, I'm quite sore come day's end. Perhaps the Olympics will carry "moving" as a trail sport this year.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fighting Back


Rosina just died from leukemia. While her family mourns, you can join the battle against this disease. On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society'sTeam in Training will commence their summer season. For 20 years, people have signed up with Team in Training in order to fund raise and participate in endurance events. This season particpants may choose between the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in Alaska. (There are also cycling and triathalon events at different locales.) The money raised helps smack down blood cancers. The marathon you complete will change you deeply. And, somewhere along the way, the teammates you encounter become friends.

I'll be an assistant run coach for the San Gabriel Valley Marathon Team. If you live anywhere in the LA area, head down to the Culver City Veterans Center, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230. The event begins at 9:00 AM and there are teams located all across the city. Nothing will bring Rosina back, but let her memory motivate us not to be passive in the face of cancer. We can take the initiative in this fight. We can do it as Team.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Coach

Me? It looks that way. I've agreed to be an assistant running coach for the San Gabriel Valley Team in Training. I'll find out more about my job this Friday at a meeting for mentors, captains, coaches, and commodores. (I threw in the "commodores." To my knowledge, TNT does not have a naval arm.) Hopefully, I can transmit my enjoyment of the sport to new runners.

I'll tell 'em about the injuries later.