Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I just added my name to the Million Mile Ultra Run Results page. Basically, it's a virtual race beginning January 1997. The "race" lasts until Dec. 31, 2096. To reach 1,000,000 miles, I'd have to log 27.4 miles a day (ain't gonna happen).

Although I started logging my daily mileage at Breaking the Tape (great site for blogging runners) in August '06, I thought this might be fun as well.

Unfortunately, I only have decent stats from 2005 onward. So other than the 5 marathons I ran from 2001 to 2004, I have no entries for these years -- even though I know I logged more than 1,000 miles during each such year. Oh well.

I emailed the webmaster of a site where I used to track my miles during those years to see if they are somehow still out there somewhere. (I've long since lost the password.) If so, I'll update.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Jazz Fest, which I was only able to attend once during law school (thanks a lot, Tulane, for scheduling finals in late April/early May), looks to be a lot of fun this year.

Some of the musicians I wouldn’t mind checking out include Better than Ezra (probably my favorite band), Van Morrison (a classic), Kermit Ruffins (used to see him at Les Bons Temps Roulez on Magazine Street), Norah Jones (reminds me of my wedding), Bonnie Raitt (I like the slide guitar), Jerry Lee Lewis (cause you just gotta), T-Bone Burnett (great producer), Harry Connick, Jr. (Nell’s favorite), ZZ Top (love the beards, and how old are these guys now?), Counting Crows (not much musicial growth, still a great live band), Joss Stone (I liked those Gap ads), and Cowboy Mouth (everybody loves a 20 minute version of “Jenny Says”).

Of course, I won’t be able to make it this year either. Got a trial setting April 23rd. Oh well. At least I’ll be visiting New Orleans in less than a month.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Lake Benbrook 1/2 marathon went well. So did the 5K route we added to the end of it.

Jason and I got to the race site about 15 minutes before the start. It was a lot a more crowded than I expected.

When we made our way to the check-in table, we learned that our team captain had already picked up our race packets. Team captain? Oh, yeah... we signed up to run on Jim Newson's team. (Jim is the co-owner, along with his son James, of Fort Worth Running Company. FWRunCo is a great local running store. Highly recommended.)

So a few minutes before race start, I was walking through the mass of runners looking for Coach Jim. Luckily, he wasn't hard to find and his truck was nearby. Race number, race chip--check. Ready to go.

The airhorn sounded and the run was under way. We were at the back of the pack, and it took about 45 seconds to get to the starting line. About a quarter mile into the race, the court split; 5K runners left, 1/2 marathoners right.

We settled into a pretty moderate pace and followed the trail up and down rolling hills circling Lake Benbrook. There was one pretty tough hill around mile 5 or 6 (there weren't any mile markers on the out-and-back course). Jason and I opted to walk up it, which was a pretty smart move. We watched other runners huffing, puffing, and struggling to run the hill and easily passed them on the way down. They had really spent themselves to make the climb.

Despite a few more walk breaks and three restroom stops, we crossed the 1/2 marathon finish line in 1:57 something (not counting the 45 seconds or so we lost at the start). After a quick stop at the post-race aid station for some water, we turned around and headed back out to run the 5K course. It was an easier route--no hills--and we kept a good pace for the addendum to our 1/2 marathon.

Coming in to the finish line, we came upon a 1/2 marathoner who was struggling. She asked if we had any water. "No," I said, "but you're only about .2 miles from the finish."


"Yes, really. You've got this one in the bag."

"Oh, thank God!!!"

All in all, a good run and one of the more challenging road races in Tarrant County. Next week is an 18-20 mile long run, then a three week taper leading to the Mardi Gras marathon. Good stuff.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I'm about to get dressed for the Lake Benbrook 1/2 Marathon. Here's the actual course map from the race website:
Should be interesting.
The predicted morning showers haven't yet appeared, so I'm hoping for a dry race. Race? Well, not so much for me. Just a training run. Plus I'll be extending the course an extra 3 miles or so to get in 16 today.

At 2 pm, we're taking Mr. & Mrs. Frandog and their kiddos to the rodeo. Yip! Dip! Doo!

And then, sadly, I must work.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I love this picture from Cowtown Camera Girl. It reminds me that every run--every endeavor--has to start somewhere.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I've got to start really thinking about the Mardi Gras Marathon. The race is 4 weeks from Sunday, and I haven't run more than 14.5 miles since White Rock. This marathon will be my 9th since I started running them in 2001. It will also be my 3rd time to run 26.2 miles in New Orleans. Pretty high percentage.

I signed up for the Benbrook 1/2 Marathon this weekend, and I'm planning to add at least a 5K to the run for training purposes. It'll be fun to see people's reactions (if any) as I cross the finish line and then turn around and head back out onto the course. I've got to buckle down and put in the miles, but with the cold weather, I just haven't gotten out on many long runs.

I'm looking forward to the trip to New Orleans. We were last there in 2005 for Mardi Gras, 6 months before Katrina hit. My college/law school roommate, Kyu Chan, still lives in the Crescent City, where he is attending med school. According to him, Uptown and the Garden District are pretty much the same, and the only difference to the French Quarter is an eerie quiet once you get off Bourbon Street. But the other areas are still in very bad shape. The drive from the airport is supposed to be brutal. Hard to imagine. The marathon route will take me through mid-cities, City Park, the Quarter, the CBD, the Garden District, and Uptown.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Not feeling good today. Stomach issues. Took the day off and have spent the majority of it in bed.

I do not like being sick.

At least I'm not missing a glorious day outside. For two weeks now it has been cold and rainy/icy. Running in such conditions sucks. I realize I'm a wuss, but that's why I live in Texas. I can handle the heat. I can handle the humidity. But I hate wet, cold weather. And that's all we've been getting lately.

I actually miss the sweltering summer.

Speaking of 100 degrees, this is a quick shout to my fellow Texas runners to keep July 15 open. There's going to be a new endurance running event that night in Fort Worth. All night. Details to come....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"... Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility.It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot.There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers.But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time,there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone,that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort.In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being-- a call that asks who they are ..."
- David Blaikie (Former journalist; Athletics Historian and Statistician; Founding Member of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians; Former President of the Association of Canadian Ultrarunners)
20 degrees. That is way too cold for a Miami-born, Texas-raised, New Orleans-educated wannabe runner. The alarm sounded and was silenced in less than a second. Call me a wuss, but I don't run on mornings when the temperature has dropped below 35 degrees.

Last night, however, I did run 4.75 miles (it felt like a lot longer) in blistering cold winds (wind chill of 16 degrees). Made it up the Catalina hill without walking. 166-foot climb in 0.3 miles. Brutal.

Monday, January 15, 2007

More freezing temps. The sun is out, but the weather report says it's in the teens. Because the icy roads won't be melting any time soon, I'm staying home and working on my laptop. Probably not as productive as I would be at the office, but it's a lot nicer underneath a warm blanket in the comfort of my bedroom.

Yesterday, it was rainy and cold, so I ran another 5 miles on a treadmill at the FAC. I had the NFL playoffs to occupy my mind, but it was still pretty monotonous. I suppose I could've ventured into outside, but I don't have any rain gear. I've got gloves and hats and layers, but I don't own a rain jacket. I need to buy one. If it's warm outside, I'll run in the rain. But cold and rain is a no go.

The gym is closed today and it's brutally frigid, so I'm not sure what I'll do for exercise today. Hmmmm....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

10 miles. On a treadmill. Ugh. Boring. Freezing rain sucks.
It was cold and rainy last night as the impending ice storm made its way into North Texas. The weather report told me to expect freezing temperatures and "ice pellets" in the morning. So I didn't hesitate to call up J-ball, cancel the Saturday morning run, and pour myself a whiskey.

Of course, this morning isn't that bad at all. It's cold, but I don't see any ice or, more importantly, "ice pellets." We easily could have run. But now I'm not in the mood.

Oh well. I'll probably go for 6-7 miles later this afternoon.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

All American Kid

Popular but not plastic. Athletic but not a jock. Smart but not a brain.

You were well rounded and well liked in high school.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's been kind of nice getting back to a regular routine. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed spending a week sleeping in, eating with unbridled gluttony, sipping copious amounts of euphoira-inducing liquids, taking long naps, and generally lounging about carelessly. But I missed the gym and the trails. Not too much, but enough that it's good to be back.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Running on a cruise ship is a pain.

There's a 1/4 mile track, but it's narrow. Because there's just enough room for two people to pass, runners/walkers should ideally move along single file. Of course, they don't. Nope, instead couples waddle two and three abreast. They stop in the middle of the track. They block all traffic. They smoke cigarettes. And they don't move over unless you impolitely tell them to. (Asking politely will get you nowhere.)

But I'm not really complaining. It's hard to be upset when it's 85 degrees in December and you're staring at crystal blue Caribbean waters.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

This is pretty much how I spent the past week. I can't wait to get back to the office. Really.


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