Thursday, June 30, 2005

My dogs are barking again

4? mi.401 mins.home <-> Fisherman's Wharf10-11 min./mi.

Yesterday's jog was yet another step on the path of getting me running again. I just hope it wasn't a step backwards.

It was the kind of misty day that makes California's Central Coast a runner's paradise. Life is heavenly when you're running through a cloud. So what if you calves and shins start to hurt after 20 minutes? I got to my halfway point and turned around. 15 minutes or so later I ran into a colleague who was out walking her three little dogs.

They were so cute, I wanted to pick them up and bite off their little brown ears. So I stopped. And I walked the rest of the way with my colleage and her dogs. And it was nice. And sometimes it's okay to lose out on the last 10 minutes of a run. I hope.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

rich in blisters

10-12 mi.2:01 hrs.Home <-> Pebble Beachchoppy

So. It was Monday. I went through the weekend without running at all. I was bad. Very bad.

It was time to test myself. I would run for two hours (with a little stretch break in between.)

And guess what? I did. And it wasn't that hard. Or so I thought until I took off my shoes. I had two blisters: a dime-size one on the tip of my second toe, and a quarter-sized doozy on the base of my foot.

I might be a poor performer, but I have 35ยข worth of blisters.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Big Hairy Engine That Could

5.1 mi.56:30Home to Point to Asilomar to PG High School11:04 mins./mi.

The road back will be long and filled with panting.

It was hot. It was unpleasant. I huffed and puffed the entire way. And I included a little hill at the end of the run. But I did it. And I'll do it again in a couple of days. The aches and pains are subsiding again, the honeydew comfort of a post-run high has me calm and I'm beginning to remember just why I started doing this crazy running thing in the first place.

So. I'll run 10 miles or so on Sunday, ramping my way up to the official start of my training for New York. And I'm beginning to get excited.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It feels like the first time

4?42 mins. Home - LP - Fishermans Wharf R/T11ish min./mi.

Two weeks had passed since I last ran. Two weeks since I laced up my shoes. Two weeks since I donned the special padded socks.

But last week, I gained admission to the New York City Marathon, and if I'm going to run in the presence of such luminaries as Chelle and Derek not to mention The Donald, P-Diddy, J-Lo and, hopefully, the surviving members of the Wu-Tang Clan, then I better get my, um, stuff together.

It's time, once again, to get serious. And this morning's run was a reminder of how difficult that might be. So much hurt in so little time. First, on the short downhill five blocks from my apartment to the ocean, it was my left knee. By a half mile or so, I was huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf at the Hormel abatoir. My heart screamed for attention, my lungs grasped for air like a rockclimber's hand hanging from a precipice.

I stopped to stretch halfway through. Turning around, my legs felt leaden. A half hour passed and I had no relief from the cario-pulmonary pummeling I was taking. Would I ever warm up? Didn't I run 10-12 relatively easy miles earlier this month?

Apaprently not. It was bad until the end. Pain, my old pal, how I've missed ya. It's nice to have you back.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Start Spreading the Cheese!

I am officially out of my running funk.

What has saved me? What has inspired me?

Was it a newfound appreciation for the health benefits of running? A rememberance of what it is about a good jaunt that gives me a better sense of self worth? A craving for pain?


I won the lottery. I am in entrant into the 2005 ING NYC Marathon! And, knowing my appetite, I'm sure I can eat the Big Apple and wash it down with a shot of caramel sauce.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Oh sickness, leave me

I am now on day 7 of the Disneyland Cold. To all who come to this happy place, says Walt, Ah-Choo!

The cold, or virus, or whatever it is, has basically made me weak and tired and achey, which, come to think of it, is kind of like running. I think I am on the mend and will hopefully be able to run tomorrow morning. It is less than six weeks to San Francisco, and maybe 13 miles will be a test, depending on how much I've slacked.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The flabbiest place on Earth

My four-day sojourn to SoCal is over, and besides getting further out of shape, I've also picked up a cold. I wonder where that could have happened?

Was it Santa Barbara, with its beautiful beaches and well-dressed college students? Probably not. How about Los Angeles? No, I spent all my time there in my car, sitting in traffic. It's hard to catch a cold when you're entobed in galvanized steel moving at 3 m.p.h. down the 405.

I wonder... Maybe... Could it have been at Disneyland? No... I mean, Disneyland is filled with happy children, wiping their little noses, touching metal railings, getting on and off rides on little boats travelling in greenish-brown water. Then, I touch the same railings and get that water splashed on me before eating a Mickey-shaped waffle. I'm sure Disneyland isn't a gigantic petri dish with little, five-year-old vectors running around. I'm positive.

It's a small world after all and I'm a big target, especially if you're a microbe.

Speaking of circuses, and small worlds, and whatnot, this week's Carnival of The Runners is here. Checkitout, yo.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Shinsplints Reunion Tour

3ish28 minsalong Santa Barbara beachuh dunnuh

The Shinsplints are back together again! And they're on tour through Southern California.

Yes, The Longest Mile has learned that this painful duo are moving through socal right above Jon Segal's ankles. Will their painkiller addiction defeat them once more. Only time will tell.

Friday, June 03, 2005

discipline (or lack thereof)

I need a chart.

I can't express the importance of having a chart fully enough.

A chart is filled with runs and days. You look at the day, you do the run, you cross it off. If you don't do the run, the chart stares at you in empty, googly-eyed reproach:

"You jerk," the chart says. "You didn't do the run. Now this "5" will stay here forever, like a scarlet number, a blank spot on your tubby soul."

No chart. No run. No discipline. No sub-two-hour half marathon.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Searching for answers

10-13?2+ hoursHome to Bird Rock (Pebble Beach) to Lovers Point10-11 min. miles

One of the things that's so appealing about running is its simplicity. When grappling with life's other complications, in an age where even television plot-lines feature Pyncheonian permutations of character and story, the trance-like comfort of putting one foot in front of the other is intoxicating.

So it was that last night, in the face of a general feeling of unease about the many facets of life in the postmodern age, I went out for a run of undetermined length. Since the marathon, I haven't run for more than an hour at once, and there was a good chance that this run would be quite a bit longer than that.

Hoping for zen-like clarity, I stripped myself of all but the necessarry gear. No fanny pack, no water or Gu, no ipod, no cell phone: just a house key, shorts, shirt, shoes and socks, and went out the door around 7:15 p.m. as the sun was turning yellow in the sky. The first 40 minutes was hard, the rest was pretty easy. Highlights included the crashing of the waves the thunk of pavement and wood board and the crunching of dirt, sand and gravel under foot.

For two hours, peace. For two hours, clarity. For two hours, my mind focused mostly on breathing and running. And when it was done, what insights had I gained? What truth to guide my life? None, except the knowledge that I can still run a half marathon.

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