Nov 9 2010

the boy who cried marathon

Way back in August – which seems like a lifetime ago – I wrote about my lifelong dream to collect all of the world’s songs to feature the syllabic crutch of doo-doo-doo’s and compile them into a box set.  The Doo-Doo Box Set, I called it.  Many offered potential songs for inclusion in The Doo-Doo Box Set, which is shaping up to be no doubt the finest box set of its kind.  But one song in particular stood out.

M—–l posted a link to “The Hotrod Song,” which surprised me because I had never before heard of the song.  And to make matters even more strange, the lyrics of the song eerily paralleled many events of my own life.  Unfortunately, you’ll just have to take my word for it – as the song in question seems to have disappeared – but I swear to God there was even a couplet about me “run[ning] a marathon/but that will never be.”  Oddly enough, I was training for a marathon at that very time.  It was all very creepy, but obviously this mysterious song was about some other Hotrod, because I was totally running that marathon.

Until today.  I’ve been far too busy over the past couple of months to train, and this morning I officially bailed on the Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon for the second year in a row.  I’d be disappointed if I wasn’t so scared.  Maybe that song was about me after all.  And how did it know I wouldn’t follow through?  How did it know??!?!

Aug 30 2010

week one

I’m gonna keep this short, because my fantasy football season starts in about half an hour and I’ve got some last minute cramming to do.  I’ve got scores to settle with Dabysan and Cap’n Crunch.  In other news: I never thought I’d say this, but I wish I could still link to Cap’n Crunch.  I miss his incoherent rambling.  I always enjoyed trying to decipher his prose.  It made me feel like a spy.

Week One
Miles Run: 8 miles
Long Run: 3 miles
Average Pace: 11:30

Aug 23 2010

prologue, week three

This week was sort of a step backward, and under other circumstances I might focus on that.  But I’m trying out this thing I heard about in which I don’t always and automatically look for the worst in any given situation.  I think it’s called “Optimus Prime.”  So the bright side is that I didn’t do any two-mile runs this week.  And not only that, but I ran more slowly – which is good because….  uh….  Hmmm.  It’s good because….  Oh, I know!  It’s good because I’m less likely to get injured if I’m barely moving faster than a brisk walk!  Man, this rules.  Optimus Prime is the BEST!!!

This, by the way, is the last week of the prologue.  The official training season kicked off Saturday with a breakfast.  Which I skipped.  This bodes well.  If I didn’t know any better, I might assume I don’t really want to run a marathon after all.  We’ll see how the first scheduled group run goes this coming Saturday.  I’d say somebody should start a pool on whether or not I’m going to make it out, but who would bet that I actually do?

Prologue, Week Three
Miles Run: 6 miles
Long Run: 3 miles
Average Pace: 11:25

Aug 15 2010

prologue, week two

I realize this weekly post is scheduled for Mondays, but I have other things on tap for tomorrow and I don’t want this getting in the way.  I didn’t exactly set the world on fire this week, but I did get a boost of some much needed inspiration and motivation courtesy of M-Dashes and Homebody.  And Mr. Dashes taught me a valuable lesson about running my mouth which I won’t forget for at least another week or two.  And, of course, many thanks to everybody else who called me out as well.  I’m not especially proud of these numbers either, but at least they’re not zeroes across the board.

Prologue, Week Two
Miles Run: 7 miles
Long Run: 3 miles
Average Pace: 11:15

Aug 9 2010

prologue, week one

This is like déjà vu all over again.

Now see… this is what I was talking about when I mentioned accountability.  A whole week has gone by and nobody – NOBODY – has hounded me about running.  And now I have to write this shameful post.  I’m deeply ashamed – so ashamed that I thought about lying.  That seemed wrong, though, so I thought next about going for a run when I got home from work this evening and pretending it happened yesterday.  Then I remembered that according to my schedule, Mondays are rest days.  And I certainly wouldn’t want to throw off my schedule.  And also that bit about lying again.  So I’m coming clean.  See what you’ve done?  I blame you; this is all your fault.  Unless somebody starts hounding me – and soon – next week I start in with the lies.

Prologue, Week One
Miles Run: 0 miles
Long Run: 0 miles
Average Pace: N/A

Aug 2 2010

philippides is a stubborn fool

There was a small change at recently .  You probably didn’t notice, so I’ll just tell you.  One of the links over there on the left used to say “Marine Corps Marathon.”  Now it says “Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon.”  I officially signed up a little over a week ago.  Let’s hope I make it further than six miles this time ’round.

Whoa.  Déjà vu.

I didn’t make a big deal out of my latest failed attempt to run a marathon.  It was all part of the plan, but I’ll be the first to admit that the plan was ill-conceived.  After last year’s disappointment, I didn’t want to advertise my participation in this crazy endeavor and not follow through.  Again.  I was going to wait until I had a half-marathon under my belt – or at least a ten-miler – before I shot my mouth off.  What I failed to consider was the small matter of accountability.

I did okay through the spring.  I wasn’t setting a blistering pace, but at least I was getting out there.  That all went to hell after my trip out to Lake Tahoe.  A combination of post-ride letdown, work malaise, and general poor spirits has resulted in one, two… eight weeks since my last run.  The problem obviously stems from the fact that I had nobody to whom I had to answer over the past two months.  Oh sure, you could say, what about all those cancer patients you went on about back in May?  And you’d be right to a point.  But I never said I wasn’t a complete fraud when it came to my primary responsibility with this year’s spring cycle team.  If left to my own devices, lazy Saturday mornings are a perfectly acceptable remedy for whatever little tribulations the week brings.

So that’s what this is for.  The Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is in January.  The official training starts mid-September, so I’ve got about six weeks to get ready to train.  Again.  And this time I’m taking a page out of Dabysan’s book.  Over the past few weeks, he’s been posting an abbreviated version of his running log as a weekly Facebook status update.  I figure I’ve got a month and a half to get my statistics to a point where I’m not too ashamed for my mom to see them, so I’ll be doing the same here until training starts officially – after which I’ll be posting both places.  And who knows?  I might even get a decent story or two out of the experience.

Week Zero
Miles Run: 0 miles
Long Run: 0 miles
Average Pace: N/A

Oct 2 2009

i am not a badass

I realized today that it’s been a while since I’ve bitched and moaned about my bum leg.  So here’s the latest….

I’ve been off the crutches for five or six weeks now, and it’s been about as long since I’d been to physical therapy.  A combination of vacations (both mine, and my PT) and a busy work schedule kept me away for all of September.  I was hoping that this morning’s appointment would be my last.  And it was.  So that’s the good news.  Unfortunately, however, I still have some lingering pain.  And as of a week ago I still had a visible knot on my ankle above the focal point of that pain.  That knot is scar tissue and it will dissipate if I massage the muscle (which I have been instructed to do), but I’m not yet ready to start training for that marathon.  That’s the bad news.

I’ve been cleared to jog short distances on soft surfaces like grass or a treadmill, but I need to avoid hills and overuse for at least another month.  There’s no way I can reasonably expect to run a marathon in January if I don’t start training until November.  I’m a little disappointed, but not a lot.  I kind of had an inkling this was coming when I was still limping around a couple of weeks ago.  And I’ve decided I should be in Venice for Carnivale when I go to Italy next spring, so not traveling to Phoenix a couple weeks prior is kind of a load off.  Not to mention that the Marine Corps Marathon is the one I really wanted to run anyway.  I’ll get it next year.

I’d say I’m ashamed to have let Bernadette down, but really it’s her own fault for believing in me in the first place.

Sep 12 2009

mad as hatters

This morning was the official kick-off for the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon training season.  There was no actual running involved (I’m still two or three weeks away from that), so I was able to attend.  The festivities started at about nine o’clock in Rosslyn.  I got to the Metro a little after eight.  I wasn’t expecting it to be crowded.

It seems there was a protest in DC this morning.  A bunch of uninformed and/or stupid people descended upon the National Mall for an astroturf rally organized and promoted by Glenn Beck and the Fox “News” Channel.  You might think that sharing my train ride with these mouth-breathers annoyed or angered me.  Well, you’d be wrong.  I learned a few things this morning.  For example, I’d thought this ridiculous “Tea Party” movement was an attempt to evoke the rebellious spirit of some of this country’s more radical founding fathers.  It isn’t.  “TEA” is an acronym, you see.  It  stands for “Taxes Enrage Americans.”  I never would have known, but yeah – now that they mention it, paying taxes is balls.  I also learned a lot about “Obamunism.”  One guy was just nuts about it.  I know he spoke truth to power because the woman sitting in front of me said he really “hit the nail on the head there.”

I wish I could remember all of the other witty signs I saw.  I thought about taking a few pictures, but then decided that these people – these patriots – would want to shy away from the attention.  All they want is to be left alone and to point out that Barack Obama is history’s greatest monster.  I admired the succintness of the sign that advocated “Deport Obama” but I have to admit my favorite was the one that (presumably) read: “I can’t wait for Cuban style [health] care.  Yippee!!!”  “Health” was spelled incorrectly.

Aug 26 2009

philippides had the right idea, take two

There was a small change at this afternoon.  You probably didn’t notice, so I’ll just tell you.  One of the links over there on the left used to say “Marine Corps Marathon.”  Now it says “Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon.”  I officially signed up this morning.  Let’s hope I make it further than six miles this time ’round.

My ankle has been much better lately.  I started using only one crutch last week, and now I’m skipping the crutches altogether when hobbling around the office.  This afternoon I walked five or six blocks for chinese food without the crutches.  That may not seem like much, but it’s the longest I’ve walked unaided in well over a month.  And best of all, my leg wasn’t screaming at me all afternoon.  I’m beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel – and just in time for the Autumn of Hotrod.

Official training begins September 19, but my physical therapist says I should be able to start running again earlier than that.  I sure hope so.  I never thought I’d say it, but I’m looking forward to running again.  Oh, and that link I mentioned?  It goes to my fundraising page.  Feel free to check it out if curing cancer is something you might be into.

Jul 27 2009

zero miles

Well, that was short-lived….

I had an appointment with an orthopedist/physical therapist this morning.  She spent two hours poking and prodding every square inch of my right leg below the knee and I spent two hours wincing and grimacing and trying not to cry like a little girl.  Her diagnosis was that I have a high ankle sprain or a stress fracture, and probably a stress fracture because that’s all she talked about for the last forty minutes.  There’s really no way to know for sure without an MRI (stress fractures often don’t show up on x-rays) but really it’s moot at this point.  In either case, I’m not going to be able to run for at least four to six more weeks.  So no Marine Corps Marathon.

I’m pretty bummed.  Not only am I going to miss the Marine Corps, but I’ll also have to give up on the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach that I was going to run with Daby and CarrieNation and Emma and a few other people.  I joked a lot in the month leading up to the start of training about not following through, but this was something I really did want to do.  What gets me the most is the timing of my injury.  I was just starting to feel good about running again, and I was gaining confidence that I could actually run twenty-six point two miles every time I got out.  That – if anything – is the silver lining.  Signing up for the marathon was a means to an end: I wanted to start running again.  As much as I love being out on the bike – and I think it’s fairly obvious that’s something I enjoy quite a bit – there’s nothing quite like running.  I remember now that I’ve missed it.  It had been a long time, but I missed it.

So now I’m weighing my options.  I can switch over to the next marathon season, which won’t interfere with a cycle event.  The Walt Disney World Marathon is the first week of January.  The training will probably start in September, so – knock wood – I should be healthy.  But that’s an additional $2,000 of fundraising, which doesn’t bother me per se, but will mean I’ll probably have to alter my plans for next year.  I want to do the Tahoe ride in the spring, and we’re adding a ride in Solvang, California for the fall season.  My second century was in Solvang, and I’ve been dying to get back there for four years.  If I do a marathon in January, the fundraising – not to mention the constant training for over a year – will be a bit much.  Plus – and this is no small thing – I’d really been looking forward to a local event and having the support of my friends along the way and at the finish.  The Marine Corps Marathon will be there next year, but there’s much to be said for following through before I lose too much momentum.  I just don’t know.

Man, what a depressing post this turned out to be.  I sincerely apologize to both my readers.  I didn’t mean for it to turn out this way.  I’ll try to make it up to you starting now: Your taste in music is terrible!  Pie is the best and brownies suck!  I’m the best at Scrabble!  Daby and Jodi are stupid!  Hmmm, I think I might just feel a little better.