Monday, February 28, 2005

A Troubling 10

DistanceTimeRoutePace
10 MILES1:49.12My house - rec trail - along Asilomar - to my parents10:55 per mile


I could be in trouble.
Less than 2 months remain before D-Day and I had trouble running 10 miles. O.K., I did run in it in under 11 minutes per mile pace, but I was exhausted by the time I finished. Could I have run two more miles? Maybe, but I gotta tell you, that even if I felt this tired after 12 miles, I'm still in trouble.
The other point against me is that I ran up only one hill. Granted, it came at mile 9 but I know there will be plenty more at Big Sur.
I could blame part of my fatigue on my rumbling stomach. Around 8 miles, I got hungry. Normally, even if I haven't eaten, I don't feel hungry. But my stomach was growling and with each passing step, I just wanted to stop and find some way to fill it. When I did reach my parents house, I probably did the wrong thing by gording myself with Doritos and cookies. But it felt good.
Back to the run. The other problem I experienced was a groin strain. I have a weak right groin but it doesn't usually affect my running. Today, around mile 6, it really started hurting. To the point that I had to stop and try and stretch it out. Miraculously, the pain went away and I finished up the last 4 miles. But I am concerned about it.

Well, that's about all the complaints I can muster up today. I'm sure there will be more Wednesday when I ran 12 miles. Stay tuned, as always.

By the way, WHERE'S SEGAL? This guy posts like there is no tomorrow. Did he go home to Minnesota? Did he go on a binge of junk food and beer? Is he that depressed that Randy Moss got traded to the Raiders?

Faster. Stronger. Better. Drunker.

DistanceTimeRoutePace
7.0 mi.69:17 Home to Lovers Pt. to Window on the Bay9:54 mins./mi.


Thank goodness for off-weeks. My marathon training schedule calls for alternating weekends of long runs and faster, shorter runs. This weekend was short and fast. Oh, and I had a quick run on Saturday, too. (Ha! Insert rim-shot here.)

Anyway, on Saturday I set a goal for myself. Run seven miles in under 70 minutes. I wasn't going to let anyone stand in the way of my success, not even the small tourist child I ran over on the Cannery Row section of the recreation trail. She was in my way. What was I supposed to do?

Running the rec trail on a weekend afternoon is as difficult as any obstacle course Sgt. Slaughter ever set up for his troops. There are these four-person rental "bikes" that take up the whole width of the path, going as slow as Louie Anderson leaving a Chinese buffet. There are entire eight-person families, all walking abreast, taking up both lanes of the path. There are sightseers, standing still taking pictures of the pretty ocean. And then there are mysterious yellow blurs that pass by so fast you can only feel the wind and the radiation from their $3,000 titanium road bikes.

It's a miracle I haven't killed or been killed already.

Anyway, after my run was out of the way, I had plenty of time to prepare for Oscar night (read, go to the liquor store and buy some wine.) I paid respects to big loser Sideways by getting blotto on cheap red wine. That's good for my training, huh?

Friday, February 25, 2005

A scary drive

DistanceTimeRoutePace
6.0 mi.55:48 mins.treadmill9:18 mins./mi.


Two months to go, and I'm on the home stretch. After a fast run on the treadmill last night, I was feeling good. The aches and pains that whined to me when I got up Thursday morning were history, replaced by the bouyant feeling of a good run and a satisfing dinner of Chinese leftovers.

Then this morning came. An assignment took me down the Big Sur coast, tracing the course of the Big Sur Marathon. Normally, a drive down to Big Sur on company time is something to be savored, especially when it's done on company time.

Not today.

With each click of the odometer, I got more nervous. By the time I was 14 miles or so down the coast, I had nearly worked myself into a conniption. I arrived at the base of hurricane point, and though it was a cloudless day, the roadway itself seemed to stretch to heights that were hardly visibile. As I downshifted to make my ascent, I had a chilling wonder: If my normally nimble Subaru needs help climbing ths hill, than how will this not-so-nimble newspaper reporter make the 500-foot climb on race day, after running 10 miles AND THEN run 14 more treacherous clicks to Carmel.

I thought I was ready. I can run 18 miles. I look good in my spandex tights. I hardly chafe anymore. My nipples have permanent scabs on them. But after seeing the course again, I'm glad I still have two months to talk myself out of this, or at least run some more hills.



Thursday, February 24, 2005

G'day mate, I did 8

DistanceTimeRoutePace
8 miles1:22.12My parents house to lovers and back10:16 per mile


Fear crept into my head eary this morning around 4 a.m. The Marathon is two months away. I cannot lag anymore. I am confident (I know I say this all the time) but I realize that I have to put in some serious runs over the next 8 weeks. Time is running out.

That said, Thursday's are my worst days to run. My wife has school all day and then works all night. Doesn't leave much time to get out there. But I swindled my parents into watching Alexandra and escaped for a little 8 miler.

It was a good run, perhaps my best 8 miles to date. Yes, I struggled a bit in the first four miles, but found a good rhythm and finished strong, nearly sprinting back to my parents over the last half mile.

I am going to get in a 10 miler either Saturday or Sunday. That will give me 26 miles for the week. Not bad. Starting next week, I shoot for 30 plus in the whole week. The time is now. I am ready.

Minutiae on his mind.

In his new Monterey Herald running column, Kenny explains how he occupies his mind during his runs. I'll tell you one thing: he's not compiling baseball statistics.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Running is still hard

DistanceTimeRoutePace
12 mi.2:12:07Home to Monterey Bay Aquarium to PG High R/T11 min./mi.


Maybe it was the two glasses of Chardonnay the night before. Maybe-

Hey! You, there with the mouse, in front of the monitor. Yeah, you. I see you giggling. Wipe that smirk off your face. What's your problem? Well, what's wrong with drinking Chardonnay? What? Men can drink white wine. It was refreshing. Hey buddy, I think you're projecting.

Well, anyway, as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted. Maybe it was the two glasses of wine that the run so hard. Maybe I hadn't been drinking enough water or eaten enough carb on Tuesday. Maybe my legs are just tired. But this morning's run was a struggle all the way.

When I say struggle, that's what I mean. It was hard to get out of bed. It was hard to get dressed. Once I started running, my legs hurt immediately. Little pains shooting from my feet to my knees, like I was being poked with little pins by nasty little elves. I felt like Garagamel under attack by the Smurfs. (Brainy, Greedy, Handy, I'm looking in your direction.) And the breathing, huff, puff, huff, puff, I just don't get it.

As I warmed up, the little pains went away, and were replaced by dull aches in my achilles tendons, calves, quads, hips, hamstrings and those little muscles on the front of my shins. Great!

In two hours of running, I was tempted to quit four or five times. I know there are supposed to be bad days and this is probably one of them. Still, when I have a day like this, where a 12-mile oceanside run in perfect weather is a constant struggle, it makes me worry about that big number, 26.2, that hovers little more than two months in the distance.

Yikes!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

What does it mean to run?

DistanceTimeRoutePace
Who cares?27:31 mins.circuitous/serpentinenot sure


It means getting up out of bed at least a half early.

It means showing up to work late, but being awake when you get there.

It means popping Advil like Rush popped Vicodin or Orville Redenbacher pops corn.

It means not getting winded when you walk up stairs.

It means jiggling less and less by the day.

It means limping a little when you get up from your computer.

It means drinking yogurt.

It means you have to pay attention to the weather.

It means that at least once a day, your sinuses will be cleared.

It means peeing behind bushes.

It means drinking liquids that look like radiator fluid and eating a viscous substance that looks like shoe polish mixed with tooth paste.

It means enjoying nature in the sun or the rain.

It means rolling a deodorant stick of Vaseline on your thighs and putting Band-Aids on your nipples.

It means wearing tights even if you're not a drag queen.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Segal's doing 18, I'm doing 8 (but I'm okay with that)

DistanceTimeRoutePace
8 miles1:30.10My house, rec trail, to my parents11:16


After a horrific showing Friday, I was determined to get in a minimum 10 miles. But once again, my legs decided not to cooperate. Instead, they acted like two anchors nestled under coral reef. They didn't want to move, they didn't want to run. Further more, I didn't lube up correctly today. I usually use vasiline on my inner thighs so they won't rub together. But I obviously didn't use enough because I was constantly "adjusting". Lets leave it at that.

Anyways, I stopped a few times, and was passed up by a fairly overweight female jogger. Pride can be a hard thing to succumb to, and after a half mile of trying to keep pace with her, I fell back into my own measly 11:16 pace.

The two week hiatus certainly has put some damage in my training. But I am determined to get on track, and in a hurry. I will hit 10 on Wednesday and shoot for 12 on Saturday. Then, hopefully, make a push for 14 next week. Segal, bless him, is continuing to cruise through this. I am proud of him and feel that I can make a great showing in the next few weeks to get closer to where he is at. Ultimately, I probably will never be at the same level, but that does not concern me. 26.2 miles. That is the number. What else is there to say?

Fear and loathing on the rec trail

DistanceTimeRoutePace
7.0 mi.71:48 mins.Home to Window on the Bay10:15 mions./mi.


I had a great run today before I heard the news. That's one of the things about running with an MP3 player instead of a radio. You don't hear NPR on an iPod.

I remember the firsy Hunter Thompson piece I ever read. I must have been a seventh grader, because I didn't know what acid was. The article was in Rolling Stone, it was about the writer's trip to a polo match and it was incomprehensible to me. I had no idea what to make of it, I was only 12, and I was amazed that the author, if his account was to be believed, wasn't in prison. I thought the story must have been some kind of joke.

Years later, I've read most, if not everything, that the man ever wrote, never knowing what was true or not. Eventually, I decided that it didn't matter what was true, that it was more important to enjoy the ride and find the delightful and inspiring bits of profound insight that hit between Thompson's over-the-top, bizarre and sometimes dangerous antics.

Anyway, I always assumed that he would die of a drug overdose, or in an explosives accident of some sort, or have a heart attack. I remember reading an early story he wrote about Hemingway, about how it's impossible for an American writer to live, that this country chews up its writers. I don't know.

It's hard for me to believe that someone who apparently, if his writing is to be believed, lived with so much energy, someone who had the courage to live in a way that most of us could never consider and someone who could rage against hypocracy and injustice and still have the ability to smile under his sneer, would take his own life. In a time with so many rich targets for his strange art, maybe he just got tired of raging.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Great 18

DistanceTimeRoutePace
TOTAL 18?3:23:48Home to Pebble Beach Golf Links11 something ish?


I ran for three and a half hours in a row on Saturday. Aren't I special? More on Monday, including all of the details about the pain. But I'm at Kinko's and this stuff's costing $.40 a minute.

So tune in from work, and waste your employer's time.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Two weeks way too many

DistanceTimeRoutePace
4ish miles41:06Lovers halfway to Asilomar, turn around and backJust over 10


I blame my job and a little golf tournament I cover every year for putting my training on hold. It had been nearly two weeks since my last run - remember? 10 good, 2 bad total 12 - so I made myself get out and do something.

Of course, time constraints today also put a cramp in my training. I wanted to do 8 miles but I had to settle for 4. Well, let me tell you, never let two weeks pass you by.

This is what it felt like. After just a mile, my legs felt as if I Jon's dead, bloated body was tied around them, holding me back. They were so tired, that I thought I was going to quit after 2 miles. The image of Jon didn't help matters either.

Well, I would go on but its shower time. I'm going out tomorrow, hopefully.

Where's Kenny?

Where's Kenny?

Is he playing golf?
Is he playing poker?
Is he playing basketball?

Is he actually training?

Tune in later and find out.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Knocking on heaven's door.

I have a new running column in The Herald. It's about one of everyone's favorite subjects: death. Clicking on it will grant you eternal life, like Roman gods. Just kidding.

Hitting the right notes.

DistanceTimeRoutePace
Not SureDon't KnowThis, I can tell you, but isn't it a little more appealing to leave something to the imagination?Couldn't say.


I had a great fulfilling run today. But I forgot to hit my watch. And since I got out of bed late and was already late to work, I didn't drive out my route, so I don't know how long I ran. But I think I ran a little more than an hour.

My route was a hill-intensive one, with three big climbs. At the top of the biggest, I raised my arms and grunted in triumph. I felt like Rocky.

But the biggest development of today's run had little to do with my legs. It had more to do with my ears. I've ditched the radio and the soothing, nasal voices of NPR's Morning Edition in ifavor of an MP3 player. What an amazing device. Listen to a bunch of music, (like 1,000 songs) no commericials, small enough to fit in the old radio armband.

I was skeptical of these things for a long time. I have a friend who deemed the iPod a "$300 disposable Walkman." But as I was running today, listening to old Michael Jackson ("Wanna be Starting Somethin'"), I unconsciously let out a falsetto "yeah, yeah!" along with the gloved one. People, who had gathered around a sedan in a neighborhood driveway, looked at me like I was crazy. I knew the gadget was made for me.

By the way, what the heck are the lyrics to "Wanna be Starting Something"? Is it really "You can hide in a river? (yeah yeah) It's too low to get under?" I can't make anything out after that. Michael was funky before he got weird. Now, the only place he'll be jamming on to is jail. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Did I bonk?

DistanceTimeRoutePace
122:13:58Home to Monterey Bay Aquarium to PG High R/T11:10 mins./mi.


Well, I'm back now, officially. I woke up, got out of nbed, put on the tights and went for a longish run.

The first four miles were huffy, and I wondered if I was runnning too fast. Then I got that familiar feeling. No. Not indigestion. The feeling that my body was working well, breathe in, breathe out, look at the pretty colors, hear the pretty ocean, wow, I wish I was listening to Dark Side of the Moon and eating a big bowl of Capn' Crunch w/ Crunchberries, etc. etc. That familiar feeling. I felt good.

At the end of Mile 6, I turned around and headed back. As I was gliding along Oceanview Blvd., a little woman, middle agedish, passed me. She was trucking, and I felt a little less the man, although I did yell, "You go, girl," as she passed by. As the fast runner became a white speck in the distance, I saw her pass another woman, a lady in black who seemed to be running at about my pace.

Maybe it was the endorphins. Maybe it was my pride. But my guess is that the testosterone made me do it. I decided that I was going to catch the woman, pass her, and keep on running.

So I ran faster. As Emeril would say, I kicked it up a notch. At first, she didn't seem to be getting closer, so I ran even faster. About a mile later, puffing like an asthmatic at a cigar convention, I caught her. Score one for men!

Victory, right? Wrong.

I asked the visibly startled lady (a tourist with an English accent) how fast she was running. She remarked that she was running slowly, about a 10 min./ mile pace. The she informed me that since I was running faster than her, I should go on ahead. (Dissed by a 50-year-old.)

That go-on-ahead plan worked for about 4 minutes until I was completely pooped. The woman in black passed me again, and ran off into the distance, as a hobbled at a slow, slow run, (think 12:30/mi pace) back to my apartment.

So much for pride. Pride goeth before a fall.




Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Back from a weak week. (Or Jon goes Commando.)

DistanceTimeRoutePace
4.038:30 mins.Dreadmilla wildly variable 9:37 mins./mi.


From a training standpoint, the last seven or eight days have pretty much been a disaster. I gorged myself at the free food tables of the media tent at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. I only ran 9.5 miles all week. And I topped the week off with a weekend-long Valentines Day binge of gourmet eats, with a lunch that included tempura-fried artichoke hearts and a dinner that centered on homemade fetucinni Alfredo washed down with a magnum of the gas station's finest chmpagne.

But were my fitness wishes and marathon dreams buried under a dozen donuts? A cavalcade of cold cuts? A passel of pastries. I think not. Ladies and gentlmen, the fat man rises again!

It was raining hard when I woke up this morning. And I didn't feel like running in the rain. So, in the dark, I packed my gym bag and headed off to the gym. I did four miles on the treadmill, varying speeds from 11 min.-mile to 7.5 min.-mile pace. I worked up a good sweat and breathed good n heavy until I was almost seeing double. Ah, sweet penance, the purification of pain. I would have run longer, but I want to do a dozen tomorrow, an I wouldn't want to overexert myself.

So, I got off the treadmill and went downstairs to do my faux-yoga stretching, then headed to the lockerroom to shower and change for work. The shower went without incident (as they generally do.) Then I went to brush my teeth. I got out my toilet kit. No brush. Very well, I'll use the ol' finger technique. Rub, brush, what's the difference?

But it turned out my toothbrush wasn't the only thing I forgot to bring to the gym. After rubbing my teeth, I went back to the locker to chang.

Undershirt?
check
Socks?
check
Pants?
check
Sweater?
check.
Shoes?
check
Boxer shorts?
...
Boxer shorts?

Uh-oh. I had no underwear. I was already late for work. So I did what any good man would do. I hiked up my wool-blend dress pants and soldiered on to work. Of course, I managed to get a pair later, but for a while, I was free and I was loving it!



Sunday, February 13, 2005

It is over, thank the heavens, it is over

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am finally concluded today. I have been stationed there, reporting about golf for the past six days. I love golf, and I love the Monterey Peninsula. But I sure as hell did not love being out there for six straight days.

Not to be too whiny, but it gets to you. Anyways, that said, I can look forward to getting back to training, which, I must admit, I miss.

The good news is I didn't gain any weight this week. The bad news is I think I will be a bit out of shape. Sorry, I really didn't have much time to post. And didn't have much to post about.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Pebble Beach cooks bring their A-game, like Phil Mickelson

I really wanted to run today. But I pushed the snooze button, like 14 times, and it was raining outside. But I've been walking up and down hills at the golf tournament, and maybe that's enough to compensate for me eating like an entire developing country. Is free food fat-free? Calorie free? Or will I pay a price for my gluttony?

Because gluttony is the only way to describe this. The golf tournament is almost over, but the chefs seem to just be getting warmed up. Fruit and yogurt at breakfast, and a delicious clam chowder at lunch.

Here's what I ate:

Breakfast:

1 cup strawberry yogurt
1 slice pinapple
2 strawberry slices
2 chunks mango
1 banana
1 cup grapfruit juice (fresh)
(healthy huh?)
1 chocolate glazed donut

Lunch:

1 scoop smoked-salmon pasta salad
1 slice sea bass w/spinach
1 scoop roasted red potatoes
2 Cokes®
2 bowls über delicious clam chowder
1 oatmeal cookie
1 brownie wedge

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I'm fired.

I didn't run today. Who needs to run when they spend the day chasing after The Donald at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Not me.

If you're going to walk as much as I did today, you need fuel. It's a good thing that there's a free media food tent. Here's complete, breakfast-to-dinner coverage courtesy of The Longest Meal:

Breakfast:
One donut with cocoanut frosting.
One bottle of Minute Maid pink grapefruit cocktail.

Snack:
One bottle water.
One banana.
(You can't be bad all the time.)

Lunch:
Two scoops Southwestern-esque pasta salad with mayo, tomato, pasta, corn and sausage.
One turkey sandwich on white. Three slices turkey, three slices tomato, two mayo packets.
Two dill pickles.
Two oatmeal cookies.
A diet coke.

I feel lighter already.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Longest Meal

DistanceTimeRoutePace
6.5?1:11:26 hrs. 11 mins./mi.


I really wanted to run 12 miles today. I really wanted to get out of bed at 6 a.m. But you know what Mick said about getting what you want. You can't. (Which is sort of funny, considering that if anyone got nearly everything they wanted in life, it's probably Mick Jagger. I mean, fame, fortune, lips like that without collagen injections? The only thing he can't seem to get is, well, satisfaction.)

Anyway, I hit the snooze button, like, five times. That normally wouldn't be a problem. I'd just lollygag into work a bit late, then work a little later, and so on and so forth. But it's AT&T Week and that means there's a bowl full of pastries in the media tent waiting for me, and a morning staff huddle to coordinate coverage and get our eat on. So I can't be late.

So, this week, in honor of the free food in The Pebble Beach Pro-Am media tent, I am renaming the blog The Longest Meal. Because when reporters cover a golf course, we REALLY cover the golf course.

("Will he really flog the same joke all week?" you ask. You bet I will.)

Now, here's the list of everything I ate at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: (Whoever thought Ma Bell was a good cook?)

Breakfast:
One sweet muffin of indeterminate origin with powdered sugar.
One chocolate glazed donut.
One glass fresh grapefruit juice.
Two Bottles Dasani® Brand bottled water. Dasani® is a registered trademark of the Coca-Cola® Corporation.

Lunch:
Two slices of meat, theoretically veal, simmered in a tomato sauce.
Two slices of whole wheat bread, to create a sandwich out of one of the slices of theoretical veal.
Two scoops of salad Niçoise.
Two scoops roasted paprika potatoes.
One chocolate-chip cookie.
One oatmeal raisin cookie.
One brownie wedge.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Golf puts a hole in my plans

Welcome, dear friends, to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It features celebrities acting like golfers, golfers acting like, well, golfers, and gophers acting like writers. And it features Kenny, writing more stories in a day than the number of miles he can run in a week. And it features the most important person in my universe: me.

Ah, AT&T week. The many-splendored pleasures of the media food tent. I'm not sure if I'll run at all this week, but I'll eat a marathon every day. I am, after all, in training.

Life is a buffet, we are merely plates. Here's a list of what I ate today:

Breakfast: (Unfortunately, I got to the tent a half hour early.)

Two glasses grapefruit juice.
Two blueberry muffins.
Two foil packets, butter.
One French donut. (After Kenny pressured me into it.)

Lunch:

One bottle of water.
One bowl of Thai-esque soup.
One scoop Japanese-esque soba noodle and grilled chicken salad.
One scoop Southern-esque macaroni salad.
One custom turkey sandwich (three slices turkey, 2 mayo packets, two slices cheese, sprouts (healthy), tomato on a French roll.)
One half dill pickle.
One fudgey brownie.

Oh crud, someone just brought pizza to the office.

Hey, are you gonna finish that?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bittersweet 16

DistanceTimeRoutePace
16?3:07:20Lovers Pt. to Fort Ord11:34 mins/mi.


I ran 16 miles on Sunday. Or at least I think I ran 16 miles. The truth is, I really don't know exactly how far I ran. I'm pretty sure it was about 16 miles, though.

I took off from Pacific Grove and headed north. Soon, I was past the rocks and the crashing surf of PG, and 12 minutes later Cannery Row's crowds of gawking tourists and Fisherman's Wharf were in my sweaty wake.

I kept running.

Turning from Monterey Harbor, I hit a quiet, tree-shaded stretch of the trail inland of the dunes of Del Monte Beach. It was flat, and kind of gloomy. Since it was Sunday, Monterey's handful of homeless were gathered around there to receive a weekly meal served by a local charity.

As I ran past the line of men and women getting their food, I felt strange, actually guilty. This probably seems stupid, but I felt it was almost disrespectful to be out burning, like, 3,000 calories for my own health and self-edification, while these folks, some of whom were rail-thin, stood in line to get a little something to eat.

I can't really transition out of that to the rest of my post without sounding callous, but I'll try.

I kept running.

As oxygen deprivation sucked all the guilt out, I continued on my way. I popped open a GU packet and squeezed the viscous fluid into my mouth. Mmmmmmm... Guuuuuuuu. Then a started a horseshoe-shaped climb to the top of the dunes. At the top, I was pleased. I was up higher than Seaside's Embassy Suites Hotel, and the hill didn't get me winded.

Now was snaking along, parallel to Hwy. 1. Jogging north, I passed Del Monte Beach, passed the stunt-kite flyers, the colorful fabric flapping in the sea-breeze. Near Sand City, the trail abruptly ended, or so it seemed. I asked a bearded man on a recumbent bike where the path was. Since we were both traveling over a highway overpass, I couldn't hear him. So I asked the only other jogger I saw in miles. She told me the path wound around the backside of Circuit City and other stores before heading out to the dunes again.

So much for running getting me closer to nature, I thought as I dodged abandoned shopping carts and dumpsters.

I kept running.

Soon, I was back on the dunes. Rolling hills, ice plant, the highway and a quarry, then the abandoned wastes of Fort Ord. I was the only jogger left, road-bikes swathed in spandex were my momentary companions as they whizzed by, looking like spacemen in their helmets and wrap-around sunglasses. I was a long way from PG.

When my watch said I was out for 95 minutes or so, I turned around and headed back. As I re-entered familiar surroundings, I was comfortable in the knowledge that I would finish the run. I was also uncomfortable. My hips and knees felt creaky, and my legs were tight. In the last four miles, there were times I wished I wasn't running anymore, and times I thought I could run forever. There were times I couldn't remember a time before I started the run. I shortened my stride then lengthened it, slowed down and sped up.

I kept running.

As I passed the aquarium, I was relieved. Only a mile left, and all on dirt. I caught the sight of my blue Subaru in the distance and knew it was almost over. I got to the corner, my route finished, and....

I kept running.

No I didn't. What do you think I am, crazy? I already ran 16 miles! I stopped. I was done. I was glad. I even cried a little. What the heck is wrong with me?

I've stretched four times since then, and my legs are still sore, my hips still a bit creaky. I'm pretty confident that I could run the marathon next weekend if I had to, but I'm thankful that I can wait a few months.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

10 good, 2 very painful

DistanceTimeRoutePace
12 miles2:20.14My parents, up to middle school to high school around Asilomar to Lovers along Rec trail past wharf past Embassy down Del Monte up La Salle to my houseFirst 10 miles: 10:55 per mile. Last 2 miles: 15 minutes per mile. Total: 11:45 per mile


My legs lack any real substance to even describe how they feel. Needless to say, I am completely tired, exhausted and a bit awestruck.

BUT I DID IT. 12 Miles. I could have cheated, as my wife again showed up at the nine mile mark asking me if I needed to stop. I waved her off this time, but by mile 11 I was begging for her to return. She didn't and though I walked more than I ran in the final 2 miles, I finished nonetheless.

But now I am paying for it. And I have to work in about 50 minutes. The price you pay when you put yourself on the hook. No word yet on Segal's attempt for 16. Hope it went well for him.

I really felt good the first 10 miles. That, I think is getting easier. But now AT&T is this week, and I'll be working 11 hour days from Tuesday through Sunday. Not a lot of time to get some runs in. I'll figure something out.

What the hell. I did 12. One more mile and I'm halfway there.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Four out the door.

DistanceTimeRoutePace
4.2?45:03 mins.Downtwon PG (Home) up Forest Hill R/T11:15 ish


My dental troubles almost behind me, I got out the door for a quick run this morning. A little more than four miles, including one large-ish sort of hill. Nice, sunny weather, a crisp temperature. An opportunity to don the tights.

Like the kids used to say, it's all good, yo.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A little frustrated, a little sorry

DistanceTimeRoutePace
8.5 miles1:39.55My house in Seaside, along rec trail, lovers point almost to PG golf course, cut up 17 mile to my parents house11:45 per mile


First off, I'm sorry. I haven't posted my last two runs. For that, 20 lashes with a wet noodle.
However, one word sums up my latest run - PATHETIC

Yep, I was tired, it was hot, my legs felt heavy. I stopped a half dozen times. I was going for 10, my calf started to ache. Nothing serious, I belive, but nonetheless, I opted for 8.5

Saturday, I go for 12. This is the big one. A lot will be told after Saturday. Wish me the best.

Put the root down.

I have a new column online, where I discuss how running has spilled over into other areas of my life. It also contains a fascinating glimpse into the world of newsroom chicanery. Or something like that.

Okay, I know this isn't a dentistry blog. But I had a root canal today. The left side of my face is numb. I look and talk like Dick Cheney.

While the Endontist was working on my tooth (basically drilling into my gums to take out the nerve at the tooth's root, hence the name root canal) the song "Love Shack" was on the intercom. In the middle of an animated discussion with the dental assistant, the doctor, a ramrod-straight ex-military man, paused to sing along with Fred Schneider.

"Funky shack," he said, bobbing his head. "Funky little shack."

Now onto the running. I didn't run this morning, due to the root canal. I hope to run this evening at the gym. I have to run 5 miles, and I'll try to do them on an incline.

On Saturday, I run 16 miles. I'm looking for a training partner to run with, so if you're in Monterey County and want to run, like, an 11:30 pace, email me. Sweet.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

This just in!!!

The dentist hurts more. Kenny ran nine this afternoon. Apparently, it was a hard nine. I'll try to prod him into posting.

Easy dozen.

DistanceTimeRoutePace
12.12:11:48 hrs.HOME to Aquarium to PG High R/T 10:54 mins./mi.


I guess I'll be going back to the massage therapist, because today, after a three-day break and an extremely painful massage, my legs felt fresh though my brain wished it was still in bed.

Today's run took the standard route, down a hill, along the coastal flats, up a hill, then down, across and up again. It was a lovely morning, and my legs felt loose and happy the entire way.

While my legs were great, I wish I could say the same thing about my mouth. After three trips to the dentist in as many weeks, my mouth is hurting more than ever. I probably need a root canal, I guess.

So, what's more painful: massage or dentistry? I'll tell you after my appointment today.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Massage is a relaxing and pleasurable experience. (And other lies they tell you when you're in training for a marathon.)

My leg hurt. It was a dull, thumping pain, coming every time I jogged a step, going down from my hip, through my butt, and down to my heel. It wasn't that bad, and I could run through it, but I didn't want it sticking around for 26.2 miles.

Some had suggested that I get a massage. Pay to have someone rub down my body for an hour, while I listened to Enya? It sounded like a good idea to me.

I'd had a massage before. I had just graduated college. I was on a cruise with my parents. I wanted to go out into the world of post-college unemployment with a nice tan, a rum hangover and a relaxed back. A comely young lass with an indistinct Eastern European accent took care of me. Her magical hands snaking their way through the forest of hair on my back, kneading my 200+ pounds of dough made me forget that most newspapers in the continental United States didn't answer my e-mails, return my calls or pay attention to my hunger strike.

So you'll understand that I was looking forward to the massage.

I had no idea what I was getting into. Apparently, theraputic sports massage is different than realxing cruise-ship massage. Apparently, theraputic sports massage is code for EXTREME PAIN RUBDOWN.

She didn't use her hands. She used her elbows. She pushed them into my muscles. Deep into them.

"Is this tender?" she asked, pushing her fist somewhere near my spleen.

"Aauugh!" I replied

"Your muscles are so tight." she said, digging her elbow into my spine. "You need more massage."

"Auuggh!" I replied.

"Do you feel the burning?" she asked. "That means the blood is getting to the muscle."

This morning, I can tell that something got to the muscle, because all of my muscles are sore. Every time I move or sit, I discover a new area. I don't mean to whine, but I'm black and blue like a grape. But I'm loose like a noodle.

And I've made another appointment for next week.

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