Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Watch What Happens Live - Arbitrary Marathon Goals


Skylar: "So, maybe we could go out for coffee sometime?"
Will: "All right, yeah, or maybe we could just get together and eat a bunch of caramels." Skylar: "What do you mean?"
Will: "Well, when you think about it it's just as arbitrary as drinking coffee."

I booked my flight, and I have my official race code to enter the 2012 New York City Marathon. Yep, it's a secret password and includes iris scanning technology and fingerprint analysis that allows myself and myself alone to enter. If I do not raise the expected amount for Covenant House as required, then the entry will self-destruct.

Damn, I'm excited. I already have three 20 milers under my belt, one of them progressively faster, finally a couple 40 mile weeks, feeling strong now, and I'm looking to make a brand new New York themed playlist.

Once I finish New York - which is not a given, since stronger, faster, and more prepared runners than I have DNF'ed plenty - but if I finish, I will have completed 3 of the world's 5 major marathons. Boston, Chicago, New York.  Just a hop across the pond to run Berlin and London, and Bamn! got the 5 majors done.  (Here's a list of folks who have completed all 5 majors)

This is much more reachable than doing 50 in 50 states, but then again, there are a slew of other accomplishments I can think of just as arbitrary.  (Here's a list of folks who have done 50 marathons in 50 states)

How about running a marathon in all major brands of shoes?  Asics, Saucony, Nike, Brooks, New Balance, Mizuno, yep, I'd do one marathon in them all, and then do at least a half marathon in some Newtons. (sorry, no list available)

Or maybe I could run a marathon in every emotional state as described by Wikipedia?  Or one while committing all of the seven deadly sins?  (they'd close the course on me while running in Sloth mode, of course, I'd hog all the post race-swag during Gluttony mode, but I'd probably PR during my Wrath phase)

Or I could run one marathon while listening to the entire soundtrack of Led Zeppelin, then another while listening to The White Stripes, and finally one to the tunes of Justin Bieber?

I personally would prefer to run a marathon in every city associated with Grateful Dead's Song Truckin, ("Chicago, New York, Detroit,  and it's all the same street") which means I just need to do Houston and Buffalo. No, I'm not counting New Orleans, since the song warns to stay away from there.

A marathon dressed as each of snow whites Dwarfs?

A post and pre-op gender reassignment marathon?

A marathon for all of those who died during the U.S invasion of Grenada?

It all starts to sounds like some drinking game made up by Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live.

Still, all of these are noble goals to shoot for, all excuses to simply stick out a carrot and make us continually chase the dragon down. Even if we get there, we'll find something new.

And afterwards I can go for coffee, or, I can just go out for Caramels, because when you think about it, its just as arbitrary as a cup of coffee.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chasing The Dragon

I started this blog after hearing all about how I needed an "author platform"  Yes, I was starting to feel quite inferior. So, I threw one up.

Yep, I threw it up and it looked like word barf.  But as the various thoughts came forth and it started to define itself,  I've found that writing about running has come nearly as natural as running itself.

But, I've also tried to mix in thoughts of  writing,  book and movie reviews, and once in a while a blurb about my own novels.

 I'm thinking that some of these post bore those who are interested primarily in the running. They are kind of like those songs in concerts that make everyone sit down and stop dancing.  The audience doesn't mind it, but they're really waiting it out until the next number.  Thus I'm holding them back a bit.

So, I don't think the current blog title really fits for me anymore. The writing stuff and book reviews have slowed to a sprinkle.

So, a slight name change for this domain, a switch in word orders, and adding..

"Chasing the Dragon."

Chasing The Dragon is the analogy drug users refer to when they are always chasing their next high, looking for it to live up to their experiences from memory but never quite getting there. It becomes a case of diminishing returns, always seeking the highs of yesteryear but never finding them, yet instead of giving up, the chase becomes more desperate and frenetic. This chase for this mythical experience persist into eternity. It is certainly something I know quite a bit about. (link)

When I think about why I run, it's to get high, pure and simple.  It's for the buzz. The feeling of a new kind of blood coarsing through my veins, feeling more alive, more free. The high can be running away from rage or stress or frustration, or it can be to accentuate joys, but the number one purpose I run is to transcend my body for a while, to become something larger than life but also outside of my life.  During the run, the atoms spinning in my head are rearranged, my emotions get boiled into something more pure, and my spirit feels unencumbered by my body as a cage. 

It certainly doesnt' happen every time, but I know if it doesn't happen on today's run, then the High of the run will happen sometime soon.

Sometimes this high is due to an accomplishment, sometimes it's due to the beauty of where I'm running, but largely it's due to the internal chemical combinations going on inside me, and the spiritual, mental, and emotional benefits.
In this sense, I'm still 'Chasing the Dragon', except in the case of running rather than in drug addiction, once in a while, I actually catch the monster, throw a lasso around his neck, and go for a sweet ride for an hour or three.

When running and marathon training is at its peak, you don't experience anything in your life without it being reflected in your training, and your training bleeds into every other area as well. It becomes the musical soundtrack of your existence, so running is part of most anything I experience, especially as  the NYCM gets closer.

Still,  I'm still gonna have to 'literary-ize' the place from time to time, but will  try to chronicle and focus on my attempts at Chasing the Dragon, with more posts pertinent to those who are chasing their own dragons as well.






Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Syndrome E - The Novel

Syndrome E
-It's been a hit in France, it's being made into a movie, and is being called 'Seven' meets 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.'  I got a chance to review this book which has recently been translated to English and released exactly a week ago.


A vintage movie connoisseur answers an ad and buys some rare movies, and after watching the clip, goes blind. Thus begins Syndrome E, and the novel explodes from this point, tracing the effects on a single persons Eyes to other areas of the world. Subliminal messages of horror are slowly revealed in the clip, and strange deaths where the eyes have been removed, the skulls sawed open, and the bodies buried to hide decomposition are connected to the movie clip.

Yes, larger world implications begin and end through the complexities of one's eyes.

Syndrome E is a smart horror story, yet can also be considered a piece of dark, literary crime fiction.  
While the easy comparison is to the horror movie, 'The Ring', I hardly think this gives the story justice as the novel is much more complex.  Two detectives investigating are battling with their own personal instabilities, a backdrop of science and the nature of the human mind guides the novel, and some accurate historical fiction is sprinkled in.

Yes, the story of CIA 'MK-Ultra experiments' referenced in the novel is based on historical fact, as is the reference to a horror movie made so real that the director was called in to testify to prove nobody was actually murdered during the shooting of his impalement scenes. Google 'MK-Ultra' and then `Cannibal Holocaust'

The novels greatness is in its exploration inward into the human mind, and its larger implications to the world at large.  The origins of mass killings and genocides derive from the sensory impact images have upon our eyes and our brains, yet it is told through the inner world of two individuals who have a personal stake in the outcome.

The ending of the novel - meaning when the 'suspect' is apprehended -  was a bit unsatisfying but interesting in the mea culpa explanations, but this was made up for in the final paragraph. An unresolved question dangles before your eyes, and the last sentence has continued to play on in my head, long after the credits roll and the kindle is closed.

Let's hope the movie does this incredible novel justice.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Vacation Running

A vacation isn't a vacation if I don't bring my running shoes and let my running soul poke around. Yep, I like to experience anyplace I visit in the throes of an intoxicating run.

My family has a place up north Michigan on Torch Lake, a lake so blue and gorgeous and clear you'd think I was exaggerating if I put all my sentimental wordy might into describing it.   The area is full of great country roads separating small villages. Farms and wildlife dot the landscape, and a chain of lakes runs right through it.

Torch Lake Blue

Of course, I've run the area many times, and done everything from a 4 miler to a 20 miler over the familiar routes and monstrous hills which are too steep for snow plows but perfect for the one Llama who lives on one of the local farms. As much as I try to avoid the reference, I always feel like Forrest Gump on the roads where I just run on forever and just because. The air is cleaner, or maybe the lightness is from my vacation eyes, because I'm always energized by the open roads, clean lake-blown air, and farm country stretching before me. When looking up the quarter mile stretch of a hill, I know at  at the summit I'll be catching the blue of the lake in the horizon.
One of the locals
The roads always seem new to me compared to the suburbia sidewalks  I'm used to


Still, each time I like to adventure somewhere I've never been, and this time it was off-road down a four wheel drive track.  Do Not Trespass/Private Property signs warn against folks like me who would stray from the roads, but in between the signs I found a dirt route and veered off. Off-piste, as they'd say in ski country.  The green growth had been padded down into two tiretrack trails, and I ran down one, rolling over hills, between evergreens, and came upon a small fenced bee hive farm, is all I can call it. Drawer-like contraptions had tiny dots buzzing around them, just as oblivious as I as to why they were there but still happy to be moving.   (I learned later that farms use these hives to help pollinate their plants.) I saw at least 3 deer doing some wicked Fartlek-ing, and I was eager to join the Herd.
Bees make the world go around

 Part of me said to turn back. Yes, this road was much less traveled, so I  moved on, and it did make all the difference, since , the evergreens opened up into vast land, freshly mowed for hay perhaps, and the ground was smooth, the trail gone,and the short dry grass crunched with each stride. My legs moved in unison, just a motorized two-legged human darting over the landscape and feeling groovy. Hay silos and farmhouses looked on, until I finally came to some telephone poles, a clear sign I'd bumped back into the road and human life, so I turned back the way i came.

Funny to think I'm running in this country as part of my training for a metallic run through the NYCM in November.

It was a most memorable Torch Lake run, 70 degrees but with a slight breeze and so no real need for water stops, no watch on my wrist for my ego to worry about pace, and  my endorphin level in my blood was at a .27 and well over the legal limit. Off-roadin and running free and easy, putting aside my fear of farmers with shotguns, hillbillies with banjos, and not a sign of a human anywhere.  I was, for a moment, the biblical Adam, the only man on earth, running the the farmland of Eden.
country road

The best runs are often when the beauty of your insides are matched by the beauty of the outsides.


Friday, August 10, 2012

12 Tips For Spectating A Marathon


Yes, I’m watching the Olympics, part of the day and much of the night.  Love Usain Bolt, love seeing the local Hansons jersey on a marathoner (even if it was only for a short while) and since watching the woman’s Olympic trials from a treadmill, I’ve become a bigger fan of spectating the marathon. Its just ‘neat’ to watch an Olympian run an event that I have trained for, but (and some will certainly disagree)  I think there is as much distance between 3:17 PR-Marathoning Me and 2:08 PR-Marathoning Olympian as there is between regular-me and regular-Orangutan.  There’s some comparisons, sure, but the differences are vast and we don’t really speak the same language and aren’t really the same species.

Watching on TV, I wish they’d show the back of the pack a little more. I tend to read a book or something else while watching since the TV just can’t capture the anxiety and energy..

But watching a marathon live is much different.

I’ve rarely been a spectator during a marathon, and when I am, it’s usually after I’ve finished and I’m walking backwards into the course to give the finishers some positive Vibes. I feel it’s my duty to give back a little.

Here’s a truth I believe after watching my wife complete a half marathon:.  It’s harder to be a spectator on marathon day than it is to run the race.

When you’re not running, but just trying to navigate the massive crowd to find someone, and  hope that they will actually see you when you finally do see them, you’re always wondering where they are.  Are they injured, are they hurt, do they need support? Your imagination goes to all sorts of things that have gone wrong and you wont’ to be there to help them.

You could be looking all over the course yet they are not even there since they are off to the hospital.

You could be waiting for them to come in at a 8 min/mile pace but somehow missed them because they had the race of their life and flew by much quicker. Bamn, how do you feel now? You missed them because you didn’t have faith they were capable. Or, you could bail out and leave when they were moving along at a 10 min mile pace, and needing to see you but your impatience got the better of you.

You feel  powerless to do anything about your predicament in the crowd, but while you are doing the actual running you are in complete control.  Good or bad.

Of course, with all this anxiety, it just makes the final rush when you do see them kinda sweet.

12 Tips On How to Be A Good Spectator:

I’ve seen tons of tips for spectators out there, and of course still feel obliged to give my own.  But first, I should say, it's incredible just for someone to get up early on a weekend and show up.  So lets start with that and then get more specific.

1. Of course, never say “Almost there.” Or “Come on, Not Far To Go.” Or any similar interpretation.  Never, no matter what. The right to free speech does not mean you can yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, nor can you say these terrible words.  Unless you can spit across the finish line, you are never almost there.
Satan comes in many forms

2. But do be specific if you want about the distance. I’m cool with that. “You’ve got a 10k to go. You can do this!” Something like that.

Or:

3. If there’s only one or two turns until the finish, say that.  For example, “one more turn and your home!”  “Just around that bend is the finish” When you’re a runner and can’t see the finish and your head is full of crazy mush and can’t compute, this is essential and incredibly heartwarming.

4. And at these moments. Feel free to scream. To yell. To jump up and down.  "2 miles, 2 miles to the end. 2. 2 miles to go!.  There is no tomorrow!! There is no tomorrow!!". It would be impossible to show too much enthusiasm. Fake it even, fake it better than Meg Ryan or Elaine from Seinfeld or a hurt soccer player. Just because my face doesn’t acknowledge you, my brain and my spirit does. So try not to be offended of I don’t show my appreciation. I will remember you hours, days, and even years later.

 5. I love signs.  But make them semi – original. No, they don’t have to be totally original, but “Run Forest Run” for example is way out of date.  Keep swimming, keep swimming, keep swimming” is new enough to me I still love it.  And for some reason, cuss words on a sign work great for me while marathoning.  Maybe the visceral nature of the event calls for them. A good sign burns deep into my memory.
Poor Aunt Beth
Perfect!!  God comes in many forms as well.

6. If I’m walking, don’t talk to me.  Don’t. Not sure how others feel, but don’t say “come on, you can do it, let's keep it up.” At that point, no I can’t. And this holds true if you are a runner and running by. I know its well-intended, but a hand on my shoulder as you are running by me if I’m walking mocks me. In fact, I feel a bit nauseous as I write this so I am gonna go throw up.

Okay, I'm better now. But in summary, if I’m walking, treat me like I’m invisible. Because I am, mostly. Disappeared.  And I promise (not) to respond to other walkers in kind. Forward is a pace.

7. Calling out my race number, I love that.  Say dat!

8. Being specific or unique is much appreciated. In the Free Press marathon, where first time marathoners had green colored bibs to reveal their virgin status, spectators give special love and support, with comments like  Way to go greenie!!” Loved this.

If you’re there for a specific spectator, something unique to them is always nice.  I remember the day after watching “Gladiator” and my wife calling me “Maximus!  Maximus!” during a half-marathon.  Yep, corny as it sounds it made the testosterone boil and bubble, and I was on my way to a PR and 2nd in my age group

9. Holding out a hand for a high five. Love it.

10. Offering things out is great. Even if you aren’t in an aid station.  And know that I have mentally picked the person many yards in advance of who I’m gonna swipe some refreshments from. So thanks for staying still.

(This situation holds true no longer, but is worth mentioning: Back when we needed to take our chip off our shoe,  thanks kindly to those who didn’t make me bend down but instead cut it off for me.)

11, If you are a priest and a spectator (don’t laugh, I seen them)  yes, please do say a prayer out loud for me, since I’m screaming them in my head anyways. There are not atheists at mile 22, so whatever your religion is, I am praying to your god too.

12. If you are the volunteer at the end of a marathon handing out medals, you are like a divine angel, so please forgive me for what I may say or do. Think of yourselves as a dentist who is taking someones wisdom teeth out. I’m under the influence of a heavy drug, so whatever I say or do should be confidential.  So far over 13 marathons, I’ve resisted the urge to give you a sweaty embrace and soak you in that weird marathoning mojo slime all over me.  This won’t last forever. One of you is gonna get slimed.

 *And I’m off, on a six day vacation.  But in the meantime, The Jade Rabbit for kindle is holding it’s pace at .99 cents until a few hours after Sundays Mens Olympic Marathon when the  winner (Meb!?)  has a flag draped over his back.  This is the time most of us regular orangutan marathoners are fighting over the post race swag, wearing a generic medal or maybe a metallic space blanket, and looking for our loved ones who have given us such cool support not only on race day, but for many miles in the making.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Like Having My Ashes Scattered Before I'm Passed

Why getting here is easier than getting a book published.
 Imagine you want to run a marathon, but to do so, you first need to put in endless miles over a year of training until, if you are lucky, you get the attention of an agent who comes to watch a snippet of your running at the track.. Not your full long run, just a snippet. This agent is the gatekeeper and decides if you will gain entry into an actual marathon.  In fact, during every bit of your training, you need to be prepared that  you may never actually set foot on an official marathon course.

 No, your entry qualifications aren't objective and based on time, such as with a Boston Qualifier where you know exactly what you need to do to get to the start. You simply can't run unless the marathon gatekeepers deem you worthy.  And unless they give you permission and you receive their backing, you are completely shut out.  You are shut out along with 98% of the population who have put in months of training

 Well, that's what the publishing world was like, until this new electronic age and ebooks have outsold paperback copies, and it has unleashed a whole new world of artistic freedom.

 Publishing has never been more accessible, but when you don't have the backing of cover artists, editors, marketers, proof-readers, and the corporate logo of a publishing house, you have to work your ass off.  And the only way you'll survive, is if you really want it.

 Indie authors such as myself have to wave our flag high and scream pretty loud to get noticed, which, of course, also means we can be a bit more annoying and smell like spam, but also it means if we believe in our work we can get noticed.(Check out this article on 5 reasons I read Indie Authors)  I have read many indie authors through Goodreads, and can attest there are countless Gems out there, that glisten just as grand and actually sparkle a bit more unique.


 The only feedback, the 'data' from our watches and Garmins and GPS's, to further the running analogy, is the reviews we receive. So, yes, each morning  I check for reviews, same way I'll check my watch with every click of a mile on a long run. 

 Once in a while I will get the feedback of my book being "the worst I've ever read" or that "the author clearly knows nothing about running a marathon."  Other times I will get the just as negative but interesting comment such as:    "This book moved slowly and then there was a disturbing scene very near the end of the book. I'm sorry I spent the whole day reading it."   

 There are other thoughts, such as theses recent comments about Stray  "I really loved this book! It is NOT just about dogs. It is about people, and life, and how we are all connected to one another. It will make you sad, happy, and hopeful, all at once."

 This makes me happy, of course, and is Crack for my ego. Yes, I hear it loud and clear when I someone writes my "writing style was beautiful and lyrical"," that The Jade Rabbit was the best fictional book I've read in a long time, and posts like the most recent review  where the novel inspired someone to run a half-marathon.

 Through being self-promoting (such as I am being right now) I was able to catch the attention of The Kindle Book Review, who have some street cred with the publishing industry.  I waited in anticipation after they agreed to review Stray, and then saw my final finishing time 
  
"An excellent read, very touching. A journey in which you almost feel you are part of whilst reading the book. This book will definitely reach out and touch you and may even make you shed a few tears along the way."   Read the full review here:  

 Unlike running, writing  inherently suggests a second party to be interested in your work, someone to find it appealing and engaging.  But if there wasn't the same entirely personal satisfaction in writing, and you become overly attached to reviews, either positive or negative, then you're clearly in trouble. No, we are not as God-like as our Dogs think we are, yet we also shouldn't take it personal when our cats ignore us.

 
 Writing by itself is something I fully enjoy, and even moreso is something I probably need, as my wife will explain, I can hardly put together an intelligible audible sentence. Yes, like my slowing legs, the writing process is slow, but I feel like if I keep writing and never stop, I'll do it to my old age. And even though none of my novels are true, that doesn't mean they didn't happen, and bits of me have been torn out and sprinkled on every page.

 It's like having my ashes scattered before I'm passed.

 As writing blogger Chuck Wendig writes in his post on living the creative life 

 *Creativity does not live in a cave inside your head. That shit’s gotta come out and play.
* Murder  Self-Doubt in its bed while it sleeps.
*Failure is an instructional manual written in scar tissue
 
Sandwiched in between the Woman's Olympic Marathon on August 5th, and the Men's Olympic Marathon on August 12th, The Jade Rabbit will be .99 Cents on Kindle  Because, how else are you going to spend your time. 
I love to see a Hanson Jersey, even if it's only for the first 5k of an Olympic marathon





Sunday, August 5, 2012

3rd Annual Sweat Your Thorns Off Virtual 5k


I signed up for my first virtual 5k through the blog, The Boring Runner.  I’ve seen a handful of these virtual races, where a group of folks sign up and agree to run a race in different areas.  Not sure why I signed up now.

Maybe it’s because Adam at The Boring Runner seems like a fast, dedicated runner, and a funny as hell dude.  In fact, he likes to make lot of jokes where he rubs peanut butter on his feet and has his dog lick it off writes hilarious passages and then does a strikethrough.  He seems like the kind of guy I would greet at my front door with a shotgun if he ever said he would love to date my daughters some day.

His Virtual race was pretty flexible, with a nod and a wink if you run it on Sunday instead of Saturday, so I was all in since I was taking Saturday off.  But then I figured, I am doing at least a 5k on Sunday during a trip to the Toledo zoo.

My first quarter mile was about a 20 minute mile pace through the parking lot. I started just fine, happy to get my legs stretched after an hour’s drive, and was pretty sure I could make it to the finish.

Oh no! Forgot something! And my pace picked up drastically to a frantic 7:30 per mile pace when I had to run back to the car since I forget my Detroit Zoo membership card, which allowed for 50% off the price of admission.  I passed many other participants at this point, who clearly hadn’t tapered adequately, and I returned to the zoo’s main gates slightly out of breath with my wife and kids waiting there for me and cheering me on.

The first mile ended with an uphill as we walked up a bridge, and then I continued on my 20 minute per mile pace.

Yes, my 5k was tremendous.  The Toledo Zoo was second to San Diego but still an incredible place. Here's some of the great crowd support you'll find:




At about 2 miles in, I stopped for some much needed aid of a turkey sandwich, coleslaw, and of course nibbling on my kids French fries.

I finished the 5k strong, and down the final stretch, other participants were whining like little 6 and 8 year olds (my own kids) but all of us felt it was an incredible event. I finished in 5 hours, 22 minutes, and 4 seconds.

*On Sunday, I ran 10 hilly miles, 9 of  them at 7:50 pace, which will probably help a bit more with my Ing NYCM training, but it was certainly not as exciting as Saturday’s 5k

Thanks to Adam at The Boring Runner for putting this on.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

How am I going to deal with getting slower?

Last Sunday, I ran the Chicago Rock N Roll half marathon. I’m not going to say I raced a half marathon, since I didn’t go into it looking for a race, I went in looking to run fast, yes, but since it was only 35 days after running a full marathon, and 12 days after a 20 miler, I started slow to test my legs and see where they were at.

They felt pretty good, so I proceeded to kick out each mile, to speed up, to get into that zone where I felt I was kicking ass, where my everything was being tapped into, and the only way to get by was to tell myself this pain was temporary, that the highs I was sucking in with each breath made the effort worth it, and I cruised to the end with a 1:39 and pretty darn happy with the result. In fact, I looked at the marathon foto shots, and yes, I see exhilaration and determination.    

So, a pretty fast marathon has become a 1:39.

A 1:39 was the half marathon split I hit just 2 years ago en-route to a full marathon time of 3:20.

A 1:35 was the half marathon splits of many of my marathons completed in the last decade.

And a 1:30 is my half-marathon PR. 

And now I’m happy at 1:39.

Even adjusting a few minutes  for the 80 degrees heat, it’s clear I’ve slowed. My regular running pace has moved from 8 minute miles to  8:15’s. My mile intervals have moved from the high 6:50’s to the 7:20 area.

I realize that time is relative, that there are many faster runners who would be disappointed to run even my fastest times, and other runners would love to be able to kick out a 1:39 half.  But all I can think of is the poem we talked about in 9th grade English class:



To An Athlete Dying Young
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

I know part of it is my ego making me even worry about this crap. In fact, it is perhaps my ego even writing this right now, trying to remind folks what I once could run.   Yes, that ego even rears it’s ugly head when I write down my DailyMile training log and put in something like 6 miles at 51 minutes.  Oh shit, everyone’s gonna laugh at you.

When I was a huge, gross drunk pig in college (and I was) I felt so nasty about myself once in a while I’d drunkenly say "you know, in High School, I was a varsity miler as a freshman and ran a 4:30 mile as a sophomore."  Yep, that was my ego trying to fight against the gross pig I had become. (and besides, everybody has run a 4:30 mile in high school).

But it's more than ego. Much more and much deeper, because but I also fully believe that I tap into the deepest parts of myself during the longer, faster runs.  Its only when my legs are fresh and I can run uninjured and unencumbered by the effects of the last training that I can reap all the benefits of making the endorphins and spiritual lubricants move through me. In other words, the faster I run, the better the dope.

I do feel my legs can be just as fast, that I still have it in me, but the problem is, injury looms larger, and recovery times takes twice as long.

If I really wanted to work harder, I am sure i could speed up my recovery time. I could take up yoga, add some more stretching, throw in ice baths, sacrifice a goat to the gods, and improve my diet.  But, I'm just not all up for all of that just yet.

So, how am I going to deal with getting slower? Well, today I’m not a gross pig. At least not usually, I’m still oiling the wheel and truckin that rig hard.  And I’m going to realize that the highs are just as high, that the psycho-spiritual-mental-emotional benefits are all there, even if they are more fleeting, and I'm going to be grateful instead of pissin and moaning how Youth is Wasted on The Young.

Yes, this sounds good.

And, I need to listen to my own thoughts, when I wrote "They Have Age Groups For A Reason"

While I was running the Chicago Rock N Roll half marathon, I saw a sign that stuck with me.


And that day isn't coming anytime soon, for I've got Miles To Go Before I Sleep, and I do Not Plan to Go Gentle Into That Good Night,

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 







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