I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane–I’ll be back Monday night

So Friday dark and early the pig and I will leave for Ottawa to run The Army Run on Sunday (I’m doing the half marathon, the pig will be ordering room service).  Great time to rob my place if you ever wanted (but trust me, you don’t want to). This of course assumes that the Canadian customs officials are not readers of this blog (if they are then it will be a very short trip to a very dark holding cell).

Somebody needs to learn about how to pack lightly (and yes, I know one of you is laughing at this)

Somebody needs to learn about how to pack lightly (and yes, I know @50statecanuck is laughing at this given my own packing skills) Yes, my luggage is from the TWA era. I am about as fast in keeping up with luggage trends as I am at running.

I did decide to taper this week, but not quite as much as I normally would.  On Tuesday I cranked out the fastest 10K for me in the last 9 years (yes, I am unclear on the whole tapering concept).  It almost was enough to give me visions of taking a stab at my PR (2:02:32 if you are curious (set in 2004)).  However the weather is screaming sleep in and come up with some lame excuse of why you didn’t run the race (or lie and say I ran the race and join the pig in a nice breakfast).  It is not PR weather for someone like me who like 45 deg F and cloudy.

Unapproved weather

Unapproved weather. Oh and the wind gusts are going to be 25 MPH just to make it a little more fun.  I am actually traveling for this.

Of course I say I won’t go full-out, but given the race day adrenaline and the fact I my standard race strategy is to run like an idiot, I will probably go out too fast .  Then I will blow up around mile 7 (or whatever that translates into km) and hang on the rest of the race (for those who are thinking about trying mental visualization, don’t do what I just did).  Hopefully I can come in with a time that is somewhere in between the two half marathons I have done this year.

Win-Lose-or-Draw I am looking forward to my visit to Ottawa and meeting the denizens thereof. Also looking forward to touring Ottawa with @50statecanuck as well as the @AbbyAndThePig meeting.  The local Ottawa police are probably not looking forward to Abby and the Pig meeting quite so much.

Canadian Trivia

The US and Canada (or Britain to more precise) almost went to war over a pig.  The Oregon treaty was supposed to clarify the border between the US and Canada, but there was still some question about the San Juan Island.  In June of 1859  Lyman Cutlar, an American farmer who had moved on San Juan Island found a  pig eating his potatoes. Cutlar  shot the pig, killing it. Well the pig was owned by Charles Griffin, who was employed by the Hudson Bay Company.  Cutlar said he would pay 10 bucks to Griffin to pay for the pig but Griffin wanted 100 (remember this is 1859).  Cutlar said, “screw that– the pig was on my property eating my potatoes” (or the 1859 equivalent).  Griffin went to the British authorities who promptly threatened to arrest Cutlar. American settlers then requested the US military to get involved and about 70 soldiers were sent to the island.  The British countered with three warships and eventually there were over 2500 soldiers and 5 warships involved between the two sides.  The Governor of Vancouver ordered the British Rear Admiral leading the British troops to attack the Americans.  Rear Admiral Baynes was smart enough not to engage the US in a 3rd war over the shooting of a pig (“Remember The Pig”, really is not much of a war rally cry). After some negotiation, the both sides to joint occupation of the island, and eventually in 1872 an international commission awarded the island to the US (once again irking the Canadian population about how Britain screwed them).

Now it is time to go make my own Canadian history (and hope my pig does not start another international incident).   Wish me luck on both fronts as I remind myself to live in the moment at least for one weekend.

Later,

Marsden

Running Lonely In Black and White

The internet is a strange and occasionally wonderful place (I like to think I contribute to both).  About a month and a half ago I was doing research on places to visit in Ottawa while I was in town for the Army Run.  High on my list was the National Gallery of Canada.  On their website they were having a contest  for black and white illustrations of the Bluebeard story. I semi jokingly tweeted about entering the contest.  I actually received a couple of “you should totally do that” responses (note I could say that I was planning on trying out for the Yankees and I might receive a similar response). I responded to the tweets with “I’d think about it”. Then I promptly didn’t do anything for about a month  I busily planned my artwork. Labor Day rolled around and I had plenty of time to kill because I have no social life I knew my window of opportunity had arrived. I put together 4 pieces but only one really spoke to me.  Then I had the idea of doing a close-up of one of the paintings I didn’t like as much instead of showing the full piece.

The famed number 2

The famed number 2 @50statecanuck would like you to know she considers this to be her painting

This is the full piece.  Looks better as a close up

This is the full piece. Looks better as a close up

The funny thing about #2 was that I almost didn’t paint it.  I had a black paint version of #2 and I was thinking that white would have a nice negative image quality to it.  Luckily the art store was open on Labor day.  I wrote about my art in a blog piece and in the original published version I expressed my thought that #4 was the best of the lot.

This is probably the one I am going with

#4

Well, @50statecanuck informed me that I shouldn’t share my preferences with the audience lest I taint the results (and really who wants tainted results).  Not realizing my egregious violation of on-line voting rules in a blog, I took out the part about my preference before I was tossed in blog-jail.  OK, that’s BS.  I figured it didn’t matter since I was the one who was doing the submitting to the contest, I could choose whatever I wanted (or rig the vote since I am that type of person in real life). The voting was intense (@goobermonkey78 voted over 850 times for #4 and if I still lived in Chicago or Texas that might have won the day).   In the end number 2 squeaked out a 6-5 victory over number 4.  I received more comments on that blog posting than any of my running ones (oh hush, I know what you are thinking).

I then realized I had a problem (and not just because the voting didn’t go my way).  Given the deadline of the contest, and how long it could take for the National Gallery of Canada to get back to me on if the accepted the piece, (IE didn’t care that I didn’t follow the rules) I would not have time to turn in a real illustration and would be screwed if they rejected my original piece.   Illustrations aren’t really my forte, but a local friend of my urged me to put something together to submit that would actually not break any of the rules. I did think that #2 (the painting, not the pencil) could make a decent drawing (unlike #4 which was  3-dimensional).  A another trip to the art store and 75 bucks later and I had various black paper, and oil pastels and pencils to try to recreate #2.  I used the oil pastels on a plain black paper and the texture of the paper somewhat recreated the texture I had created in the acrylic paint.  I used the same trick to zoom in on a few strands of hair and here is what I submitted:

My submission (not the MMA kind)

My submission (not the MMA kind).

Monday I found the piece was actually accepted and can be found at their on-line gallery. A couple of notes (other than I have no clue if they actually rejected any piece.  I would think that if a major art museum says, “hey put something in our collection” I wouldn’t be one of 60 people to take them up on the offer, but who knows).

1. Thanks for indulging my blog posts on art.  I know this isn’t a running related post (other than showing where running can lead you) so thanks for reading.

2. Thanks for your feedback and voting on the pieces (even though on some level I ignored the vote entirely). Your encouragement pushed me to try this and in the end I had a piece of art accepted by a big league art museum.  I have to admit it is cool to be part of even the on-line National Gallery of Canada.  Now I can be part of Canadian trivia.

Later,

Marsden

This One is For the Guys

This post is for the guys.

Hey, it’s just us guys, so feel free grab a beer, to kick back in the recliner, and curse at sports teams all you want.  Since it is just us guys here, I want to talk about breast cancer.

GET BACK HERE

I know, I know–next month is the pink month and you will be bombarded with everything pink including the NFL.  Many males will look at the statistics of getting breast cancer (1.3 in 100,000) and completely tune it out.  Well, I’m here to tell you not to. Although rare in men, overall breast cancer is more fatal in men than in women.  Why?  Because men don’t think it happen to them so by the time they do anything about it, it is too late.

I become surprising close to being one of those stats

It was one year ago when I was in bed and I turned on my right side and felt a big lump in my breast. “What the hell” I thought.  I’m a dude.  This can’t happen to a dude–even a total wimpy dude like me.  It was the Friday before Labor Day and in a panic I set an appointment with my Doctor for the following Tuesday.  Needless to say it was not the most fun I have ever had over a three-day weekend.

When I went to the doctor and he didn’t seem overly concerned, but to be cautious sent me to get an ultrasound.  So two days later I went to a place that specialized in breast ultrasounds and when I got there they asked me when my wife was coming.  *sigh*

They started the ultrasound and I knew something was wrong when the tech felt the need to let the senior tech look at the ultrasound.  The senior tech took one look and rushed out to get the doctor to look at it.  I really started to worry when the doctor looked at the ultrasound, flinched, and calmly said she if it was OK with me, she was going to contact my primary physician to see if we could do a biopsy.  Next thing I know I am in a room with 5 women staring at me like I am exhibit A while they performed the biopsy.  I was stupid enough to watch the monitor while they jammed the biopsy needle in me to get samples.

Don't do this at home.

Don’t do this at home.  Pretend most of the picture is solid muscle.

After the biopsy the doctor said she was recommending a mammogram.

BECAUSE MY DAY DIDN’T SUCK ENOUGH

All I will say is that if there are any women who have had a mammogram still reading this, I now understand why “And don’t breathe” isn’t funny.  At the end of it all the doctor said not to worry, they would let me know the results.

So I went home and did what I do best–I worried.  It turns out it isn’t easy to get interpretations of breast ultrasounds on the web, but I found a Canadian web site that showed ultrasounds of various types of tumors (thank you Canada).  I narrowed it down to two options.  Given the size of my lump (later described as lemon sized (I don’t look at lemons the same way again)) one option was benign, the other was near fatal.  Both were incredibility rare (literally 1 in a million (and why did I have to use those odds for something like a tumor as opposed to something like putting together a decent blog post)).

I made the decision not to tell my parents or brother and waited for the biopsy results (and you think I about bad about sharing stuff with my blog readers).  After about a week, I worked myself into a sufficient frenzy and called to ask WTF what was taking so long for my results.  After being put on hold for a while, they finally came back and told me that the results were being sent out to Johns Hopkins for a second opinion. For those not in the US, Johns Hopkins is one of the leading hospitals in US for cancer treatment.

It did not make me feel better to hear this information

I’ll spare you the details of the next 5 days, but eventually the news came and it was good news– I had myofibroblastoma and I would get to have surgery to remove it.

Funny what qualifies as good news

When I met with the surgeon to discuss my surgery, I remember asking how soon I could run after the surgery.  It struck me as odd thing that I would wonder about that since I was only running 5-8 miles a week and it really wasn’t a big part of my life.  I started to run a bit more after the surgery.

Then I got hit by a car, but you know about that(Why the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler)

Which somehow led to me wanting to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler which now is leading me up to Marine Corps Marathon and maybe even a 24 HR race.  I can say so far this year is an improvement over last.

So what is the point of all of this?

OK guys, breast cancer isn’t the most likely of things to happen to you, but take the 10 seconds or so to do a self exam every so often.  Or ask your significant other to feel your massive pecs.  Ask them to be super handsies about it.  Hopefully it leads somewhere a lot more fun than an operating table.

Later,

Marsden

 

10 things Friday

I was tagged on Twitter a couple of weeks back for a 10 things about you list. I was just going to ignore it, but since Friday is my day to share, why not go ahead and throw out a few more facts about myself. As usual I am ignoring the rules, so if you are the law-abiding sort, you probably don’t read this blog in the first place.  So here we go:

10. Because I am basically blind without my contacts or glasses. I travel with a spare pair of contacts for even an overnight trip.
4. Generally speaking I prefer milk to dark chocolate.
7. Everyone, in my opinion should go for broke in a race at least once in a while. It doesn’t work out most of the time, but it always shows you your limits.
3. My introvert alarm bells are going off now that I am going to meet a bunch of followers in the coming weeks. I need to find the snooze button for that particular alarm.
5. I lost a ping-pong game to NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon when he played college basketball at University of Houston.
9. I met both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. It was not a giant leap for either man.
2. I feel little to no sense of accomplishment about anything I get done. I am either on to the next thing or beating myself up over the last thing.
6. I don’t tolerate bullies well and have been known to assist Karma even when I am not the person involved.
8. My T-ball team went undefeated 2 years in a row.
1. I have 5 scars on my body (knee, elbow, thigh, lower lip, chest)

The expo for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.  Has nothing to do with this post, but has that stopped me before?

The expo for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. Has nothing to do with this post, but has that stopped me before?

Later,

Marsden

Inspiration and Other Thoughts

 

As part of Active Life DC “Ask the Blogger” series, I have been fortunate enough to be one of the DC area bloggers asked to take part.  One of the questions was “where do you look for inspiration to run” My answer is the paragraph below.

My blog readers and Twitter followers help push me through the hard times.  When I was unmotivated after I hurt myself during a half marathon in June, they provided encouragement while I couldn’t run, and celebrated when I finally was able to run again.”

I know this isn’t the world’s easiest blog to read (and not just because of the typos).  I can be moody, somewhat hard on myself (yes, I sense some of you are screaming “SOMEWHAT??!!!?!” Don’t scream, your neighbors will think you are disturbed) and then I turn around and toss off a light humor line (and I provided examples twice in one paragraph).  This blog can be a roller coaster complete with ridiculous pictures in the middle.

Solar Powered Pig is Practicing Throwdowns for @AbbyAndThePig meeting next week

Solar Powered Pig is practicing throwdowns for @AbbyAndThePig meeting next week.  Yes the sidewalk needs weeding. Feel free to come by and take care of it.

But I do thank you for sticking with my blog (and especially those you who actually read this for the blog and not the pig pics).  Although I claim I only do this blog for my amusement, I do find the support here and on Twitter inspiring. I have said this before, but it bears repeating– thanks.

In other news, my prep for the Army Run is going well, but the long-term forecast  for the race (high of 78 deg F ) is less than amusing.  I don’t do well in warm weather races (see my Philly half if you need an example) and picked this race at partially because I thought it would be cooler than DC area races.  I am reminding myself that I wasn’t going to PR in the first place and I still should be able to do better than Philly (and if I don’t, run for it because this blog will be dripping in self loathing).  The weather might not be so bad if it was a 7:00 AM start, but the race starts at 9:30 AM and with 10K people racing it will take me a while to even get to the start line. This makes a noon finish certainly possible (note to self, put sunscreen on packing list even though it makes you look like an ill ghost (which I guess all ghosts are ill since being ghosts they are dead)). I just sidetracked myself again didn’t I? Oh, yeah the weather. Let’s hope the long-term forecast is crap and the high is something like 55 F.  Yes, I know some of you are worried about another blogger, @50statecanuck  who will be running the race who doesn’t like cooler temps.  Her race will be over in an instant and she can go inside some warm building.  I am going to be out in the elements for 2 1/2 hours so worry about me (or if you are going to worry about her, do it on her blog (and once you go to her blog you will see her dog Abby and end up forgetting about the weather for either of us)).

Canadian Trivia:

Parliament Hill in Ottawa brings in approximately 3 million visitors each year.  This is about the same as the US Capitol attracts.

Later,

Marsden

 

Are you are real runner? My 2nd Definative Quiz

There is some controversy in the running community about who is or isn’t a real runner.  After hours of intensive study, I distilled years of research, years of personal experience, and years of making stuff up into the definitive quiz to determine if you are a real runner or not.  So after a few months, I thought I would do the 2nd definitive quiz.  Honestly some of you tried to cheat last time, so after your summer training, I am giving you a 2nd chance.

The quiz is a combination of multiple choice questions.  Keep track of your answers, hold your breath, and hope for the best.  No cheating– so don’t go checking the scoring at the bottom to put yourself in the real runner category.

 

1. When someone passes you on a run you think…

A. We all have different abilities and I am just running at my own pace.

B. I am going to speed up and catch them.

C. If wasn’t on the slower part of my fartlek I would so smoke them.

D. I’m too busy looking at my Garmin to notice if anyone passes me.

2. My favorite place to run is

A. On the trail

B. On the road

C. On the beach

D. Earth

3. I have missed the following events for running a race.

A. My cousin’s graduation, but come on, I have other cousins.

B. OK, I didn’t pick up my daughter from school, but she should have been smart enough to go to the track where I was doing speed work.

C. If my former finance really knew me, she would not have picked my fall goal race day for a wedding.

D. There are no events other than running.

4. Would you consider having your family crew for you at Badwater?

A. No, I would let them vacation somewhere else.

B. Sure, what teenage girl doesn’t want to hang out in Death Valley?

C. Hell, yes and the dog too!

D. Why do you think I had a family in the first place?

Give yourself 1 point for each A, 2 points for each B, 3 points for each C and 4 points for each D.

No cheating or this guy will come after you

No cheating or this guy will come after you

0-3 You didn’t answer all the questions.  This is because you thought the entire quiz was dumb or you have serious test anxiety.  In any case, you are a real runner.

4-7 Be proud of yourself.  You are a real runner.

8-11 Be proud of yourself.  You are a real runner.  The friends you have left might think you are a tad scary at times, but what do they know?

12-16 You are a real runner.  However I would recommend that you take the piece of paper you wrote down all the answers and burn it in case it comes up in a court case.

17 and above- You better be a real runner because you cheated on this test and you are going to have some speed work inducing tridents thrown at you.

Hope you enjoyed the quiz.

Canadian Trivia

In 1982 the British Parliament  passed the Canada Act which finally (in concert with the Constitution Act passed by Canada’s Parliament and approval by the Queen of England) made it so Canada could officially change its own Constitution without the OK by the British Parliament.

Later,

Marsden

To taper or Not To Taper-What is the answer?

The Army Run is a scant two weeks away, and I am trying to figure out if I should taper for the race or not. Typically for a half marathon I would do a one week taper and I have found that works fairly well in balancing what qualifies as fitness in my world with letting my legs have a reduced workload (which they appreciate).

Pretty Picture.

Pretty Picture to break up an otherwise less pretty blog post

I started training for The Army run in July after my knee injury break from running. The plan I mapped out started slowly with a long run of 2.5 miles and ramped up to 10. Then I went and did a wondrously stupid thing and ran a 6 HR race. Although I had to stop running for a week and a half after that race, it allowed me to be more aggressive with my long runs and this week my plan has 13 miles. Now I would typically do a taper and my long run the week before a race would be in the 6-7 mile range. However the Army Run really isn’t a goal race for me. Originally when I signed up for the race, (pre knee injury) I was hoping for a 2 HR half. That goal was before I trashed my knee in June. Now I am not even expecting it to be my best half of they year. Now I would like to do well at MCM but my original goal time for that equally got shot when I hurt my knee. So if I don’t taper it will help my marathon time, but risks me laying an egg in front of friends in Ottawa. If I do taper, it would help me in a couple of weeks but hurts my marathon training.
So basically I am going to be disappointed by my results in both races and it boils down to how to best manage my disappointment.

Whoop.

What this really means I really have to do is adjust my attitude for both races.  There is virtually nothing I can do to change my results in two weeks other than not to do anything stupid (posting blog entries like this withstanding). I should just accept I have done what I could do, race what I can race, and enjoy the experience.

If you have been reading this blog for more than a couple of posts, you know this isn’t my strong point.  However past performance doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t change.  This time last year I would have laughed if you told me I would run a 6 hour race this year, so things can change.  The bigger question for me is will I change my attitude. Can I enjoy the journey even if the destination is not where I planed?

All of that and I still don’t have an answer to tapering.  I’m leaning yes.

Canadian Trivia

The trophy for winning Canadian Football league playoffs in the Grey Cup.  The Grey Cup was commissioned by Earl Grey in 1909 and was originally intended for senior amateur hockey, but someone beat him to the punch and he then decided it be presented to the champ of Canadian Football, Grey Cup was first won by a team from University of Toronto (wonder if they call themselves UT?).  One US team, the Baltimore Stallions, won the Grey Cup (CFL expansion into the US was less than a success). There is a team in Ottawa but they will not be playing a home game while I am up there.  They are an expansion club and have about as much a chance of winning the Grey Cup as I do of winning the Army Run,

 

Later,

Marsden

Bluebeard In Black and White (and read all over?)

So I am running the Army Run Half Marathon in Ottawa, Ontario in less than 3 weeks.  Since I never been to Ottawa (and haven’t been to Canada since I was 10), I researched places that I would want to visit while I was in town (one of them hopefully being the finish line).  One of the places I on my must see list is the National Gallery of Canada (and since I am going to Canada I guess I should also say Musée des beaux-arts du Canada).  I like art and the architecture of the building is stunning (well if you like modern architecture).  I did some further research on their website and I saw they have a contest: Bluebeard in Black and White . Basically they are looking for art submissions on the Bluebeard story (which I will summarize as Boy meets Girl, Boy Abuses Girl, Boy is about to kill Girl and is instead killed by the Girl’s brothers (cheery stuff)).  I thought it would be cool to enter the contest since they will accept entries from the public (and as much as EVERYONE would prefer it not be that way, I do still qualify as part of the public).  I have done some artwork in the past (and yes, I still owe you the story of how a piece of my artwork ended up in the Houston Museum of Modern Art for a bit (no it wasn’t on the bathroom wall))

So I am going to submit something this week to the contest.  Now technically it is supposed to be an illustration, but since I can’t draw worth a darn (or as you are about to see paint worth a darn) I am going to stretch the rules a bit (read cheat).

If anyone wants to let me know which of these 4 you think I should submit, let me know the usual ways (comments, twitter, email, or sending thoughts through the universe).  I will let you know if they actually do anything with my submission, or if this prevents me from entering the country once they see my artwork.

more pics 003

The idea behind this one is negative imagery. Bluebeard appears to be a wonderful host while wooing the two daughters, but behind the surface, it is purely black and evil.

 

By this point you probably sense a theme

By this point you probably sense a theme.  This represents Bluebeard’s hair and the dark contrast between him and his wife.

Art is not just some guys name

Art is not just some guys name.  I was trying to depict the brothers (the light part on the left) entering to save their sister from Bluebeard (represented by the darkness on the left).  FYI the painting really doesn’t look like this.  It is an effect of taking the picture on a sunny day on my porch.

This is probably the one I am going with

This represent the mixing of the lives of Bluebeard and his wife and the chaos that ensues.

Canadian Trivia

While I am staying in Ottawa I will be staying at the Lord Elgin hotel (OK, where I am staying isn’t trivia, we are getting to the trivia part). Lord Elgin was governor general of Canada 1847-54.  During his time as governor general he allowed the Rebellion Losses Bill to be passed in 1849 (this bill provided money to some people that lost property in rioting/rebellion).  This caused the  vehement Tory opposition (they thought it favored French Canadians too much).   After Elgin gave the bill his OK, he was attacked by  mobs and the Parliament buildings in Montréal were burned (no idea if these caused a Rebellion Losses Bill II). He survived the crisis and is most noted for his efforts to bring responsible government to Canada.  This gets you a hotel named after you that Running Lonely can stay at.

Later,

Marsden

End of Month #Garminizing

So Sunday was the end of the month, and unlike many runners who check their mileage religiously, I don’t bother until the last couple of days of the month (and hurray for ending on a Sunday).

Garmin and my Monster Knee Brace.  This pic is a great example of why more people don't read this blog

Garmin and my Monster Knee Brace. This pic is a great example of why more people don’t read this blog

On Thursday I was having a great race pace run— well it was great until I heard my knee crack at mile 2.  By crack, I could hear it over my headphones and the GW Parkway traffic I was running next to (for those outside the DC area, it is heavy traffic thoroughfare).  So I did the smart thing and stopped.  Took inventory of my leg, and determined I didn’t tear anything (or at least it didn’t hurt badly).  Started to do my race walking practice heading back home and even was able to throw in a 1/4 mile of running, but I could tell my knee wasn’t 100%.  It was depressing because I had just started to make some progress in pace and distance and now I was starting to worry that I was going to have to take time off (because we all know I ALWAYS look on the bright side (if you are new to the this blog, I pretty much NEVER look at the bright side.  In fact there are usually dark shadows in my version of the bright side)).

Well fortunately my knee held in for a 5 miler on Saturday which brings me to the point of this post (yes, my post sometime have points (some even bonus points)).

So Sunday I look at my monthly stats on how far I have run.  Now when I started running, we kept track of our mileage on stone tablets, and you really had to hope that you didn’t cross up which tablet you were supposed to be chiseling on (and how often do you see chiseling in a running blog).  Then came tracking via pen and paper and after that Excel or other spreadsheets.  Honestly, I never really tracked my mileage, but Garmin does that for you, so of course I become obsessed with the stats.

I joked on Twitter that I was going for a “9.42 mile run “.  Then I had to explain that it would make an even hundred for the month (and in reality I only needed 8.32, but 9.42 sounded funnier).  Now typically I don’t get too hung up over monthly mileage, but I have only done a hundred a couple of times, so I wanted to make sure I got over a 100.

I put on my hydration pack and did a warm up run over to Crystal City where I start on the Mount Vernon Trail (and take all my Crystal City pre-run photos that are my Instagram account).  It was a warm and humid day, but the run went well until around mile 7 when my left ankle seized up (I have issues with my Peroneal tendon among other ankle issues).  Then the right ankle seized up with the same problem.  Well that brought me to a dead stop. I hobbled over to the grass and fell on the grass.  After about 15 minutes of massaging the areas and drinking water like it was the last drops on earth, I tentatively got up and was able to walk a few feet without pain.  I then stepped it up to a slow run and plodded my way back home.

103.09 miles for the month.  Hum, wonder if I should have done a extra .01 to make it 100 miles plus a 5K? Or maybe .91 to make it an even 104, or 6.91 to make it an even 110…

Later,

Marsden

 

 

Bang Bang

I have seen a few odd things in my 30+ years running races (including my reflection), but I have to admit the start of the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler last April probably tops all of it.

The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is a big race and if you are in the back of the corrals, you have a ton of people to weave in and out of for the first mile or two of the race. I had read about this in advance and got there early so when the corrals opened I could get near the front.  So when the corrals opened 45 minutes before the race, I was ready and got a spot in the 2nd row of people.

The only problem with this strategy was that it was below 40 degrees, the sun wasn’t even really up yet. I was in shorts and freezing my ass off.  Now the person who was in front of me must have been freezing her ass off as well because she started semi-jogging in place.  No biggie, except for the fact that her ass was jamming into my crotch with each step.

I paused at first because I honestly struggled with how you don’t notice your butt is hitting the crotch of the 6′ 2″ tall dude behind you.  After a couple of minutes, it actually turned into amusing just how utterly oblivious this person was.

Pre-race. No unicorn selfie this time.

Pre-race. No unicorn selfie this time.  No crotch shot either.

So you might wonder why I didn’t say anything.  First it was cold and having someone near helped keep me warmer (get your mind out of the gutter (OK, should have said that two paragraphs ago)).  The other, well look at the URL you are on and that should give you an idea.

To answer the next obvious set of questions: No, I did not ask her out. No, I did not buy her breakfast. Yes, she was faster than me.

Canadian trivia:

The person given credit for founding the sport of basketball, James Naismith, was Canadian.

Quebec passed the “Padlock Law” in 1936 which allowed the Quebec government to close down any place used for “subversive activity” (fortunately this blog wasn’t around then). The law was abused for over 20 years to close establishments that the ruling political party didn’t like.

Later,

Marsden