Thursday, December 20, 2012

All rub no tug

I spent a good part of the day today at the doctors seeing a physical therapist.  My insurance will pay 80% of 60 visits before the end of the year after $400 deductible.  So it doesn't make sense for me to go until after New Years.  Unless the world ends tomorrow in which case I'll probably be stuck pushing a habanero cart up a flaming hill only to have it slide back down again just before I reach the molten lava spewing from the top.  Anyways....I had a hot Asian therapist and she had me lay on the table while she rubbed here and there to see where I hurt and what was tight.  I'd heard that on the flip over that's when the good stuff comes into play but she was all business....Must just be an incorrect stereotype...DAMNIT.

Once I got over my initial disappointment she had me do all sorts of bending and moving.  She measured my legs, my quads, and all sorts of things.  Then she had me walk this way and that while watching me.  After that it was a bunch of stretching and a short run on the treadmill.  She came to the conclusion that my problem isn't my knees at all....that they are merely a symptom of a weak left hip.  She said with tight hips and glutes that aren't firing properly my knees are doomed.  The plan is no running for another 2 weeks.  Absolutely no one legged squats or leg extensions....because weak quads isn't the problem so all those exercises were worthless.  Meanwhile I'll be doing lots of icing of the tender tendons to get them under control....and lots and lots of these stretches.  When the new year comes we'll start in on strengthening that left hip.  No more crooked TerribleTerry.  I guess I still could have a "happy ending" after all.

I've been involving myself a good bit in the gun control debate recently.  I've come to the conclusion, besides the fact that Americans are stupid creatures that are controlled by biological urges and emotional triggers, that we as a population do not know how to have constructive dialog.  One side shouts their position, the other side shouts theirs...then they change the wording and shout into the wind each time getting louder and more shrill....each wondering why the other side isn't convinced by their shrill media sound byte regurgitation's.  In all of the shouting there's an absence of thought.  An absence of dialectic....and instead an abundance of phatic grunts.  Dialectic, was described by the ancient philosopher Plotinus, "as the most precious part of philosophy, and the point’s a valid one; the ability to sit down with someone who disagrees with you about some important issue, discuss the matter, determine what common ground exists and where the differences of opinion lie, and either resolve the disagreement or sort out the questions of fact and value that have to be settled in order to resolve it, represents a high level of the practical wisdom that philosophy once upon a time was meant to cultivate".

It's frustrating trying to have an intelligent debate, and I suppose the medium I'm choosing, social media, is a poor one.....but that's the only medium our tribe uses to record their clicks, grunts, and guttural articulation.  Instead of getting to the meat of the discussion I find myself more often than not pointing out failed logic, inaccurate facts, or the complete absence of statistics backing up their argument.  By the time this is accomplished the person has turned to someone amongst their gathering who hears their phatic utterances and relates with them....and they go about grooming each other and preening.  Informed debate you see.....I seem to have forgotten....requires informed people.  DOH!!!!

With any debate in this country what I've found are one group who loads themselves up with scientific, peer reviewed data that the broader world has come to believe as facts.   They are then forced to match them up against another group who is armed with a select set of biased data, purchased by the company profiting most from the status quo (ignorance) and passed off as fact to a population of people who can't tell the difference and are extremely happy not to.  The people armed with facts aren't prepared for a group of people who tell half truths with pretty smiles.  The people armed with incorrect data love finding data that confirms exactly what they want to believe and are more than happy to declare it gospel no matter how absurd the story their interpretation of the data would require.

Anyways......before long I just come back to the conclusion....that we are truly fucked.  My choice is to preach to the choir, or to stand in between sheep and goats and try to lecture them in English in such a way that would allow them to understand each other.  It's just not happening. 

The argument I was just commenting on was about having armed teachers in our schools.  I offered some facts and was shouted some snippets that basically said "I'm afraid so we need to try something".   I pointed out that if we were to try something it would be best to research current locations where things are different (and gave facts) or historical examples like the old West where things were as they proposed, and use those facts to decide on a workable path.  In each case the only replies were for people to pull some wild fantasy scenario where....this one time....having a gun MIGHT have changed something.  Never mind all the facts and figures that show that the consequences of arming teachers would cause more accidents and problems than would be gained by defending against his/her fantasy scenario (or unfortunately the very real and tragic scenario last week).

The debate then trudges down the path of their uninformed scenario and it gets wilder and more clearly unworkable...and yet the person never falters.  I tried to show them data where professional armed guards in prisons...have accidents ALL THE TIME with their guns.   Statistics showing where police forget their guns laying around at local restaurants, or have them stolen from their cars....way more often than they (trained professionals) successfully shoot heavily armed men with body armor.  I mean....I've been heavily trained my entire life on getting dressed.  I have about 35 years experience doing it.  I think it's even acceptable to call myself a professional at putting clothes onto my body.  Yet somehow...with all this training....a  few times here and there....I managed to walk out of the bathroom with my fly down. 

But you can't have a dialog about potential problems if the people you're speaking with are spewing fear.  Because fear can't be confronted with facts, or statistics, or logic (especially in a society where those things aren't understood).   You can only fight fear with LOVE.....and we don't have much of that at our disposal in a nation based on, encouraged by, and enthralled with..........selfishness.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The state of things

It's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd just get grumpy and get it done.  I've had some things on my mind to post but the subjects I wanted to express were deserving of an outline and I just didn't want to do the work.  I didn't want to put down something that wasn't coherent either so I did nothing.  Plus I'm tired of the multiple blog thing.  I figure fuck it.  I'm writing how I feel.  Deal with it or go away.

1)  My dad is going to die soon.  I haven't let it hit me all that much.  I feel this anxiety building inside because I know I'll need to face it, face him, face my siblings, and I know it's going to be a real fiasco.  My sister opened the disaster by flying home.  She never went home for any weddings, my mom's chemo, brain tumor, hip replacement, or anything else.  There's potential financial gain from a will so she had to go home all dramatic like she's there for everyone.  She called me from his bedside and lectured me in front of the other siblings because I wasn't there for him, and them (and she darling). 

2)  I switched over to cycling and rode 240 miles in 4 rides.  It was a bit obsessive.  It was the last warm days and I had stuff on my mind.  One of those evenings saw an altercation with an enraged motorist.  Sometimes I just can't help myself but tickle people who can't control themselves.  I like to poke and prod them.  It's not healthy and I'm not sure why I like it so much.  This particular fellow came to a stop sign at the same time as me on a road that ran parallel to the bike path.  The cars across the path were stopped and he had nowhere to go...but insisted on pealing out and roaring up to the stopped cars blocking the path while looking me in the eye...just to be a dick.  So I sprayed my sports drink through his open car window into his face.  By the time he jumped from his car I was well on my way safely away and the dumbass threw his keys at me.  It hurt like hell but I caught them.  Taunted him appropriately with his keys....and rode off leaving him to ponder how he would now move his car off the road.....and get home.

3)  Went to the doctor for my patella tendonitis and he basically told me what I already knew and is having my go to physical therapy.  I've been online and looked high and low and have been doing all of those exercises but hopefully the PT doctor has some I should be doing and am not, or will find some I'm doing wrong or something....because it's not working and I'm starting to feel entirely too happy cycling myself silly.  He did tell me to take a month completely away from anything that irritates the tendon.  That sucks.

4)  I've been a bit of a dating machine.  I've had to resort to keeping a notebook with details about the girls because I'm a little out of control.  So I guess I'm doing it Romneystyle with my binders full of women.  I'm honest and fair with all of them.  It seems that's what dating is nowadays.  This constant swap where nobody wants to choose any so they choose all.  It sucks, I feel like I"m the evenings entertainment and nothing more, so it begins to be difficult not to treat them like the evenings entertainment.  I'm having fun but I want something real.   I had a dream last night that Lyuda and I got back together.  I miss her a lot.

5) This shooting deserves a post of it's own.  I've stated my opinions on here.  I think it was bad of me to stop.  I think people need to rage against the situation.  I silenced myself because I didn't want to sound like a zealous broken record.  Humans are selfish creatures and capitalism rewards selfishness.  Things like religion that teach altruistic behaviors, although flawed, have value.  As we've swapped real religion with the "religion of progress" we've allowed the worst of human traits to thrive.  I want things and laws limit my access to them so laws are bad....  There is no thought given in this egocentric worldview to consequences.  I want  car, but if everyone in the world drives a car traffic will suck.  I want a gun but if everyone in the world has a gun crazy people will do bad shit.  Nobody wants to give up anything even if it helps better society.  

We also dismantle every social safety net.  I don't use it so I don't want to pay for it has become the Republican creed.  It's Socialist for rich people to help anyone.  They'd rather everyone donate to causes they feel are important.  Who thinks health care for crazies are important until their child dies at the hands of one?  You end up with LiveStrong making millions and other less popular things getting nothing. 

Within a week what I'm sure we'll see is some item, that Americans can buy....that will make them all feel better about it.   After September 11th it was a flag decal for your car.  For the Iraq war it was a nice yellow "Support our troops" ribbon.  What sticker or what purchase will soothe your heartache this time.   It'll be something and it'll catch like wildfire.  10% of the profit will go to Gun Control, or Mental Health programs.  The rest will make some schmuck rich off your fear and guilt.  There's not how we inhabit our world that's the's them.  It's THOSE people.  Buy this and show your support and THIS to protect yourself against THEM.

Every post I saw that said arm the teachers I made sure to post that once the teachers and everyone were armed we could do away with the cops because the world would be safe.  It's like cashiers at the supermarket.  Who needs cashiers....or cops...if everyone can just handle their own.   Notice nobody has said anything about the fellow wearing body armor.  So not only do all the teachers need weapons....they'll need body armor too.    If everyone in the world was handed a tennis racquet soon enough you'd have all kinds of people with tennis racquet sized lumps on their skulls.  Pass out guns to an entire population and see what you me.....the utopia you're envisioning would look strangely a LOT like Somalia.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wow....I know that creep!!

I haven't told many stories here of my 2nd stint in college after a short period in Georgia and in the Virgin Islands.  I don't really have time to tell the full story today, but I saw something on the national news today that is truly disturbing.  When I arrived at West Texas A&M I was the very first scholarship runner since the school had crashed and burned due to a scandal where the president or dean or whatever embezzled millions of dollars.  The school shut down all athletics for a while, went from NCAA Div1 down to Div2, and slowly rebuilt. 

I was brought in with the hopes from my coach, the late Eric Lathrop, that I'd accomplish two things.  First that I'd be a mature presence and help coach the "summer training program" since the coach isn't legally allowed to monitor off season workouts.  I did this by basically by buying a house and having my teammates move in with me and then waking everyone up at 6am to run everyday.  The folks who didn't live with me we'd run to their house and collect them along with some local Kenyan professional runners.  

The second reason I was brought in, which goes with the news story today, was that my earlier college results would help assist the team in getting financial booster donations.  Coach took me to all the local races and we talked about how the new team was going to return the school back to nationals, etc.  Many of the additional things we did was go to dinner with local millionaires to drum up money.   On many occasions that took me to the home of Stanley Marsh.

Marsh was famous around Amarillo for the "Cadillac Ranch".  He also was a well known philanthropist who would put street signs, painted over with weird art, in peoples yards and pay them a monthly fee for using their space.  He picked poor areas of town in the hopes of beautifying them as well as giving much needed income to those homeowners.  Stan was a really weird fellow and often when trying to describe is eccentricity to others 2 stories come to mind.  Knowing Stan the way I did, having stayed in his home and spent days working around his property makes today's news quite disturbing.  It's like the warning signs were all there all the time and I saw them and dismissed them.

The first story that shows just how odd this guy is started just after a really tiring speed session.  Stan and his wife would often come to the end of the road, along with Terry Funk (former WWE wrestler) and his wife and they'd set out glasses of tea and talk to us in between each repeat then cheer us on as we started the next.  After practice they'd invite us all (clad in our shorty shorts and often shirtless) back to their house to jump in the pool.  On one occasion Stan (who was about as flamboyant as hell....but he was married so we never figured he was either closet or just a bit weird)  brought out a box filled with all kinds of spay paint.   He told us to pick a color, any color, and go around painting rocks in his yard.  He said we could all come to his house anytime, grab the box and spray rocks until our hearts content and that he'd pay us $7.50 an hour.  He said this in such a flamboyant and suggestive way it struck us all as odd.  That day we all had about an hours worth of fun running around in our shorty shorts painting rocks while him and his wife oohed and aaaahed at just how imaginative we were...WEIRD!!

The second weird Stan story is that one day he came flying into coaches office all excited telling us that we must, we just MUST! go to his house to help him celebrate.  No time to change we needed to go NOW!!  Being a huge financial supporter of the team coach often did whatever Stan asked so off we went.  We all jumped in the car (about 5 of us who happened to be there) and headed over to Stan's where his wife was proudly waiting for us in the front yard with a big bottle of champagne.  We all get 2 glasses (because to truly celebrate he said you can never have an empty hand) and he led us into his kitchen.  There standing in the kitchen was this huge camel.  He regaled us with some story of how he made an awesome business deal with some Arabian and one of the gifts he received in exchange was this lovely camel.  He was very proud of it.  He had no place else to put it so for a month that camel lived in his yard all day, and occasionally came into the kitchen at night.  WEIRD!!!

Although I always thought Stan acted a bit faggoty, and although I thought he was the most eccentric and weird old rich fellow imaginable....I NEVER got the impression he was a pedophile.  This mornings news was quite disturbing...  I go over all the meetings I ever had with Stan and nothing ever gave me the creeps or had me thinking he was capable of this.  Just Stan as a whole was weird.  Looking back now it sort of makes sense though, the hanging around dudes in shorty shorts, the invitations to come help around his place, etc.  It's horrible and on one hand I can't believe it....and on the other it really seems like I should have seen it.'s the news report I found.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dmitry's Visit

Dmitry is in town from Boston for work.  He's staying over in Gaithersburg which is about the farthest place for me to get to because of the river and lack of bridges.  So he's like 15 miles from me but I have to travel about 40 to get to him and the traffic after work crossing those bridges is horrible...but...I haven't seen him in a coule years so I braved the traffic.

He got dropped off at the Georgetown Pike/495 exit and I picked him up and we drove downtown to run.  I took him on a running monuments tour.  We started at the Lincoln Memorial and ran along the reflecting pool, checked out the WW2 memorial, then turned left and headed down and around the White house.  We finished that loop back at the Washington Monument and then continued on down the mall.  We checked out the pit where they're building the African American history museum, ran the mall passing the American history museum, Natural history museum, etc.  Then we did a big loop around the Capital building. 

Dmitry is a citizen now and wanted a photo in front of his new capital but they have it all blocked off building the stands for the inauguration so we ran around back by the visitors center and got this one.  Not as nice as the front but it'll have to do.

We then came back, peered into the windows at the botanical gardens, looked at the Native American museum, being an engineer and child of the cold war he was fascinated by the Air & Space museum and we looked in all those windows and he told me about how much as a child in the Soviet Union he'd studied and dreamed of becoming an astronaut. 

Next we ran passed all the Art Museums, the Castle, turned left passed the Holocaust museum and ran through the MLK memorial over to the Jefferson Memorial and then back to where we started.  7 miles total.

After that we drove to Gaithersburg and had dinner.  We had a good time talking about how old we are and how we both felt 24 until we were 35 and then all the sudden the wheels started coming off.  He's been trying to make a comeback to race Masters (40+) but with 2 kids now (his wife gave birth in their house on the living room floor with the paramedics last week.....) he just can't seem to get it going again.  He ran a good mile in 4:18 recently and then followed it up with a lousy 17:30 5k.  He can't know what to expect out of his body one day to the next and wakes up aching all the time.

We've both talked about how we wasted our athletic talents from 30-35 but at least I raced bicycles...he was super lazy.  Now we're wishing for those years back. 

His and Lyuda's coach, Sergei Nikolaivich Katashov just had a new baby.  Sergei had married one of his athletes when I was there the first time and they had a son.  Sveta is 40 now so they weren't expecting a second 12 years after their first.   Dmitry's mother has really bad heart disease and refuses to go to the doctors so she gets tired and dizzy easy.  He's really worried about her.  His sister and his nephew Pavlik are doing great.  Our friend Vladimir Golias, who ran in the Olympics in 88 and 92 and was living with us in Kansas City went to visit Penza and got caught with some problem with his paperwork and is stuck there.  His wife, who now lives in Oregon is trying to get his status worked out.  She got a work visa but Vladimir never updated his status from being on a student visa over to his wifes work visa or something like that.  They have a newborn so he's missing out on that.

Next we reminisced about our time, 12-15yrs ago when we were running machines.  We talked about wishing we could do it all again.  Spend 8months of our lives chasing a dream.  We remembered how we really had no stress, no responsibilities, how we'd even forget what day it was, etc.  We marveled at how much a trip like that now, living at a health spa for months in the mountains with all the massages and food and all would cost.  All sorts of funny memories were pulled from our memories.  Like me stealing a horse and riding through town and into the fountain.  How Dmitry tied the bed sheets together and snuck out of the dorms to go buy beer.  Me escaping from the Russian hospital.  Good times!!

We talked about going back to some of those places again but then our conversation drifted to kids, wives, hoped for trips to Moab mountain biking, the Grand Canyon running, etc... and we both realized those times will probably never be repeated.  Only new and different ones created.

 It sure was nice to see him again.  He's here again tonight and then heads home.  He's coming back in a few weeks and will stay the weekend.  He's really excited to go to the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space museum out by the airport so we planned that for the Saturday he's here.  I'm excited to show him some of my running spots along the Potomac and a bit more of the city.  It all makes me remember a time when everybody I loved lived within a few miles of me.  I miss having Tom, Dmitry, and everyone nearby. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Tried a week of running at the silly 180 cadence.  It feels fine for around 6:20 pace (which oddly enough is my marathon pace right now).  Anything slower it feels silly.  Still not convinced you need that cadence unless you're running fast.  Sure, maybe it's great practice for getting your hips ready for when you do run fast....but then....why not just run fast to prepare yourself to run fast.  Frustrated I guess.

I had a good week and then on my 6th day of running my knees hurt.  Maybe too much?  Not sure because I only totaled 28miles that week and I had been doing 35.  I went to physical therapy and came home to run and they felt worse.  Grrrrrr!!!!!

Got word yesterday that Mr. Anderson's systems have begun shutting down.  He's in hospice and it looks like the lights will go out any day now.  I got the call just as I was drifting off to sleep.  The first thing I thought of as I got off the phone was a bit odd, but I guess my whole life is a bit odd.  I laid there thinking about how sometimes he'd suddenly burst into song.  He'd go from quietly working on something or reading, to top of his lungs singing.  I remember breaking into a cold sweat, my movements frozen expecting a beating only to recognize one of the dozen or so songs he'd sing.  Then I thought how my entire existence with him had been like that.  A constant uneasiness.  Holding my breath waiting, trying to decode his every move to sense if his next action would be anger or something else.  I still remember every one of those silly songs he used to sing.  Thinking of them made me cry until I fell asleep.

I'm going to go ride my bike today.  I'm off work early and it's not all that cold.  I can't run and I need to do something.  I'll see what kind of things there are out there to be viewed from 2 wheels.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Turning the corner?

I had a down week last week and it was frustrating.  I had my "orthotics" pretty dialed in so I decided to permanently affix them into my shoes.  Taping them didn't work all that well and I ended up making them thicker on accident and had a bit of a setback.  I've reworked them and they seem ok now but I missed 4 days of training.

Out of frustration I hit the trails yesterday and ran 10 miles pretty hard.  I did the difficult run/CCT loop.  I normally hit the road by route 7 in around 33:30 my record was 31:26.  yesterday I went through at 29:12 but I pretty much exploded a mile later and really crawled to the finish in 1:08:12  pretty fast still for the trails.

I went back to that physical therapist and got some good treatments on my knees.  He's having me quit yoga and stretching my quads.  Stretching the hamstrings and lower back is ok.  He thinks I'm irritating the tendon stretching the quads.  He gave me some icing strategies, some new exercises, and instead of stretching I'm supposed to use the foam roller like crazy.  I'm also supposed to stop the seated leg extensions.  Instead I'm supposed to do really slow single legs squats with my other leg sticking out at different angles.

After my treatment we decided we'd get back to work on my form.  Now that I'm in pretty solid shape we figured we'd try again.  Last time there were just too many variables.  Trying to figure out shoes, orthotics, form, turnover, and get in shape all at once was frustrating the crap out of me.  He had me run 180 strides per minute.  It felt weird for a bit but I did 4 miles with him recording my form and having me try different things. My right arm/shoulder needs some work so he gave me this green band thing and some exercises to start doing.  Probably due to broken collarbone as a kid.  Mostly everything else was due to pigeon toe compensation but nothing that seemed counterproductive.

One things for sure.  A few weeks of consistent short slow runs everyday has my fitness up.   It doesn't feel like I'm doing much but the consistency is showing promise.  I need to quit with the long runs because my form falls apart, I bounce, and my knees pay the price.  I'll keep with the 180 cadence until it feels more natural.  Then I can slow it slightly to do slower runs and add miles.

Friday, November 2, 2012


  I was pretty darned sore after that treadmill effort on Monday.  Running a 20min first 3 miles and then a 16:30 didn't feel all that bad....but oooof  I sufferend on Wednesday.

Tuesday I ran 5 miles on the W&OD at 6:53 pace.  My left hip was really tight and hurting and my right calf was a little sore.  Wednesday I felt like I could barely walk.  Each time I got up from my desk at work my calf was really tight.  My hip wasn't as bad Wednesday, but that calf was horrible.

 I decided to take the day off and went to Yoga instead.  I went to Down Dog in Herndon because they offer a 1 week free trial membership.  Free sounded good so off I went in my green leisure suit.  My halloween costume was a big hit there.   I hadn't been to yoga in a long while and it didn't take long to remember exactly why I like it......holy hell the chicks!!  I met a nice girl named Kelly and set my magic carpet down right behind her.  NICE!!!   During the class I also fell in love with my teacher.  whoa!!

Thursday I did my 5 mile lunchtime run and felt horrible.  I normally do the loop anywhere from 36min - 38:30 and yesterday I ran 40:10.  Everything was tired.  That yoga was tough.  Last night I went to yoga again and Kelly met me there.  She's a cutie.  Got the same instructor, damn....married.  Last night was a killer.  I was so sore from Wednesday night that I was barely making it through the class.  Wednesday I was really working all the poses and trying really hard.  Thursday I was just hanging in there.  Even found myself doing nothing occasionally when nobody was looking.  I was TIRED!!

Today I ran the 5 mile loop again nice and easy and I still felt really horrible and heavy but my time was 36:50, so right in line with always.  My back and shoulders are just really tired from yoga.  probably my hips and things are really fatigued too and I just don't feel it.  I'll see how I feel tomorrow.  I'll either do an hour run or I'll stick to my 5's.  I'll be right on 30 miles I think for the week.  Not many miles but I can tell the consistancy is really helping.

3 minute explanation of why you should all go to Yoga.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


  I went to the office yesterday to use the gym.  Work was closed because there was some sort of weather problem in the area.  I did my core work, those damn knee exercises, and then went out to run and it was cold and I wimped out and went back up to run on the treadmill.  I figured I'd might as well make myself run 3 miles easy and at least get SOME miles in.  Get my metabolism going and whatnot.

I ran the first mile in 7:10 and it felt horribly slow and boring.  Edged it up to 6:40 and then decided the only way I'd survive on this silly machine was to go fast.  I'd wanted to run 5miles outside everyday anyways so I set myself to run 5miles.   Ran the 3rd mile in 6:10, the 4th in 5:40....tried to do the 5th in 5:10 but I had to back it down near the end and got 5:16.  Somewhere in that mile I decided to run 10k and I got the last 10k of a marathon going in my brain.  Couldn't hold the 5:20 pace and backed it off slightly....and then slightly again for 5:33 and then the .2 I sped back up to just under 5min pace.

1 = 7:10
2 = 6:40   13:50
3 = 6:10   20:00
4 = 5:40   25:40
5 = 5:16   30:56
6 = 5:33   36:29
.2 =  :59
10k =        37:28

Then I jogged 3/4 mile and walked 1/4 mile. First 3 miles in 20min and then next 3 in 16:30.....I'll take that!!  Of course...In my mind I was pulling away the last 5k in the marathon.  The crowd went crazy....  :-)

22-28th training.

Friday I took the day off because I had to get all sexied up and go to a Halloween party. 

Saturday I went to the Occaquan/Bull Run trail, parked at Hemlock overlook, and ran 5miles southeast towards Fountainhead park.  I got somewhere passed the marina and turned around.  I love that trail.  It's my favorite because each mile is clearly marked.   The terrain is really tough too.   I ran between 7:10's and 7:50's depending on how rocky and hilly the mile was. 

10miles total.

Sunday I ran 5 on the Fairfax lake trails.  I saw two hot runner chicks stretching over by the new skate park.  I hope they're regulars.  Trail was crazy packed with mountain bikers since it was so warm and the storm was coming.

Week totals.
Mon - 3 easy
Tues - 5 easy
Wed - 6 track tempo
Thurs - 5 easy
Fri- off
Sat- 10 easy
Sun - 5 easy

34 miles

Oh yeah......   Talked to my buddy Fernando Cabada  yesterday.  He recently got sponsored by Newton.  I tried talking him into sending me some and he said....

 "You're an idiot Terrible.....I send you Newton's you'll be whining on your blog for the next 6months that your calves are broken because you'll go run your Grandpa ass 80miles a week in them as soon as you get them and I'll feel responsible.   How about I send you a care package of BenGay and diapers  instead you old fuckin' geezer."

From now on Fernando, every time you race, I'm telling God that you're the Devil so he'll have Ryan Hall beat you...... bastard!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weeks training

Monday - 3 miles.  Out an back on the W&OD  super easy, felt in a funk from a weekend of eating poorly, hard work, and not running. 133hr

Tuesday - 5 miles 150hr  on the Lake Fairfax loop.  Felt great

Wednesday - 6 miles.  mile warm up and cool down with 8x 800 in 3 min with 90 second jog recovery in between.

Thursday - 5 miles.  Felt pretty tired actually.  133hr was 90 seconds slower on the route than normal.

Planning to run everyday without days off just to get my body used to it.  Thinking I'll make myself run 5miles every evening and then incorporate morning runs of 3-5miles.  That way all my runs are short and easy but my miles edge up.  I'm not much for morning runs, especially in the winter so we'll see how that works out.

I nearly got hit by a car on the way home from work yesterday on my bicycle.  A oncoming car turning left into Starbucks turned right into me and I leaned way back and grabbed a healthy handful of breaks.  I don't know how I didn't end up on their hood.  They saw me and slammed on the gas trying to make it not recognizing how fast I was coming.  I ran right up onto their car but didn't crash.  Fucker just roared away.  I should have gotten the license plate.  grrr...

Remember folks....It's my life.  I don't want to trade it for you getting your coffee 30seconds faster.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Secret Blog

I have decided to preach to the choir and have started another blog.  I want to keep this one just to running.  The new blog will be my environmental ramblings, details from my binders full of women, my childhood stuff, political BS...and whatnots.  It's going to be members only.  If you'd like to read it send me a note or comment on this post.  If you don't get a response that means you're better off not reading it.  It'll require you to login.  If you don't want to read my crap or don't want the trouble of logging in I won't be hurt not receiving a request from you.

Blog name is TerribleThinking. 

I may drop all the posts from previous blogs on there in an archive to be made into an autobiography later.  For now I'm still occasionally slogging away at my book and might start posting chapters online.  We'll see.  It's a fictional post-collapse story about a family contracted by the collection of North Eastern States that remain, to rebuild the C&O canal.

For a good brain stimulator today...and a sample of stuff you'll get on my super secret private blog....

This guy Geoffrey West is one of them smaht fellers.  He outlines how growth is measurable and how it scales.  For example you can show that one cell takes x amount of energy and lives y amount of days.   Then you can see that for every 10 to the 4th power of cells that you have the lifespan doubles due to efficiency.  Since we're all made up basically of the same cells you can then measure other things based on this theory.  Mice live 2 years, dogs 15, humans 100 etc based on this doubling.  Beyond that you can measure the other benefits and limitations size brings...for example mice sleep 15hrs a day, humans 8hrs, elephants 4hrs, and whales 2hrs a day. 

Once he establishes this he goes on to tell how you can do the same with cities.  He asks the question is New York a scaled up version of San Francisco.  Is San Fran a scaled up version of smaller city, etc.  What are the scalability of cites.  What components (cells) are necessary and how much energy do those take.  Interesting stuff.  It's a long video but really good.


First few minutes while he's setting up the biology is tough but it gets better as you go.

here's my favorite part starting around 23min in.

"Cities are the cause of the problem, and they're also the cause of the good life. They are the centers of wealth creation, creativity, innovation, and invention. They're the exciting places. They are these magnets that suck people in. And that's what's been happening. And so they are the origin of the problems, but they are the origin of the solutions."

and another spot.

"One of the bad things about open-ended growth, growing faster than exponentially, is that open-ended growth eventually leads to collapse. It leads to collapse mathematically because of something called finite times singularity. You hit something that's called a singularity, which is a technical term, and it turns out as you approach this singularity, the system, if it reaches it, will collapse. You have to avoid that singularity in order to stop collapsing. It's great on the one hand that you have this open ended growth. But if you kept going, of course, it doesn't make any sense. Eventually, you run out of resources anyway, but you would collapse. And that's what the theory says.

How do you avoid that? Well, how have we avoided it? We've avoided it by innovation. By making a major innovation that so to speak, resets the clock and you can kind of start over again with new boundary conditions. We've done that by making major discoveries or inventions, like we discover iron, we discover coal. Or we invent computers, or we invent IT. But it has to be something that really changes the cultural and economic paradigm. It kind of resets the clock and we start over again.

There's a theorem you can prove that says that if you demand continuous open growth, you have to have continuous cycles of innovation. Well, that's what people believe, and it's the way people have suggested that’s how you get out of the Malthusian paradox. This all agrees within itself but there is a huge catch."

He later describes that eventually you'd need major inovations faster and faster which isn't possible. 

Torturing Tom

I had a few weeks of torturing Tom by training in typical Terry fashion.  Thought I'd better get it in here.  I ran 52miles last week.

Monday 5 miles (7:40 pace- 133ish HR)
Tuesday 12 miles  (7:40 pace- 133ish HR)
Wednesday 4 miles  (7:40 pace- 133ish HR)
Thursday 11 miles  (7:40 pace- 133ish HR and then 4 miles at 6:05 pace)
Saturday 7miles  (7:40 pace- 133ish HR)
Sunday 13 miles (6:40 pace)

Entirely too many.  Got new shoes.  Went from Brooks Ghost/Glycerin then tried Brooks Flow, and now trying Brooks Ravenna.  The Ghost felt good but patella tendonitis was bad.  Flow made it worse but I ran with better form and stride rate.  I ran on the treadmill at PR and got a better more informed helper who spoke my language and we decided I need stability shoes instead of neutral.  Tried the Adrenaline and the Ravenna and she recommended the Ravenna because it was narrower.  It worked great for my 13mile run I didn't like it in the trails the other day.  Didn't like it on the trails but I think I just needed to tie it tighter.

 Think I'll still buy the Adrenaline online and try the narrow.  I tried on the w omen's there and it felt better than the mens.   Mens is D width and Women's B.  They sell the men's online in B width.  I'd have just bought the womens there but the color would have me looking like a fairy.

A few weeks back I had also stopped wearing my flat no drop work shoes.  They're total chick magnet shoes but I think they were adding to my patella problems.  I've looked for an equally magnetic pair with more support and lifted heal but have yet to decide on a pair.  I've been wearing my dressier black shoes instead.  I'll have to take Zoya with me for some fashion advice sometime and pick out my new brown chick magnets.

This week I've decided to lay off torturing Tom and start following his program.  It's a bit boring not doing those long runs but I keep getting injured because I'm not ready.  Had to take 3 days off this week because I was a jackass last week.  My ass and left hip hurt.  Tom's original plan was to fill me up with about 6 weeks of steady, slow, low mile days.  I'll rest my ass this week and next week plan to start pumping out a few weeks of 5mile lunch runs every day.  Start at 30ish miles a week and slowly add some miles.   Goal is to race something in March/April time frame.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The hot seat

  I just returned from a pretty productive and fun weekend in Ohio.  I took off work on Friday and scooted out of NoVa Thursday night after rush hour.  Made it to my mom's house right about midnight.  I ran over a cat about 2 miles from home.  I prepared for the type of bump you get when riding over a downed racer in a criterium but found cats, unlike humans on a bicycle, are quite squishy.  It felt like nothing more than running over a phone book.  I'm not sure how the cat enjoyed its 560lb back massage though.

I woke up friday and ordered all the wood I would need to build my mom's deck.  The deck would be 8x18 with a 2ft wrap around step.  Effectively making the deck 12x20.  I ordered all the materials and they said it would be ready for pickup in a few hours.  Meanwhile I rode over to my cousins and we took apart my motorcycle to do some repairs. 

I've been having a wierd electrical issue that sometimes I can trace to one specific connector and other times it's even farther back.  I guessed two connectors were bad somewhere in the wiring harness.  He invited his 70yr old neighbor over who enjoys working on bikes and we dug into it.  We decided eventually just to run an entirely new wire.  Once we got that working we got to the main problem I discovered last week and was anxious to fix.  My gas line was rotting.  It had been looking a bit bad and I wanted to replace it.  Then on my trip home I found myself looking down at 88mph and seeing gas actually spraying out of it with 4 hours left in my trip to Ohio.  That turned the want into a requirement.  I did the math in my head comparing the flash point of gasoline to the outside engine temperature of a motorcycle engine  and it made me feel pretty safe that I wouldn't be a flaming missile.....but seeing gas shooting out....and then running over a cat.....sure made for an anxious ride.

We got the bike all fixed up and removed a good deal of feline fur and I had to hit the road to get the wood.  While I was gone my cousin detailed and polished my motorcyle and let me borrow his truck.  I let him borrow $23k  for a few months so I guess he felt like being a nice guy.  My bike looks better after his treatment than it did when I bought it :-)

Once I got the wood the building marathon began.  I worked on that deck from about 2pm Friday to 8pm.  Got the ledger board on and the posts all set.  Then headed to Geneva on the Lake for "Thunder at the Strip".   My town is a summer resort town and it normally closes this weekend.  All the businesses board up and close down for the winter.  My friend owns a bar down there and came up with this Sturgis type motorcycle rally idea a few years ago.  Now he makes 1/3 of his yearly sales in this 4 day event.  Crazy how one good idea can take off like that.  This weekend there were 30,000 bikers in town plus all the locals.  It was quite a party.

When I got down there my friend Mike and his brother were trying to help the stage people get setup for the Warrant concert and things weren't going well.  After an entire day of screwing up he finally fired the sound guy on the spot because nothing was working.  Having worked in a production company in the Virgin Islands I had a little experience with the generator trucks and all so I said I'd take a look.  Dave and I found a few problems, one of which was a loose ground so Mike pulled his truck over there and I attached the ground wire directly to the frame of his truck.....that and taking a wire brush to a bunch of the contacts and we were in business.

The cool thing was that now because his truck was there we had the perfect place to sit and watch the concert.  As we watched the show the lead singer called up Dave and I and thanked us for saving the show and had Dave sing and pretend to play guitar while I banged on this spare set of drums.   It's funny.  I've run in track meets in Europe with thousands of people pounding on the stands.  I've run marathons with millions of people lining the course.  But I've never had thousands of people focused on me like that.  I pretty much sucked at the drum banging but the chicks seemed to dig it.  When I got back to my seat on top of the truck the girls from the "Girls Gone Wild" van came over and one by one rubbed their boobs in my face.  

They wandered off and we went back to watching and a few friends I hadn't seen in 19years hopped up with us.  It was a great time talking with them.  Sitting in the place I grew up, listening to the 80's music I grew up with, and telling stories with the guys.  What a fun night!!   Later when my friend was sitting in the same spot I had been when the boob extravaganza took place (Turns out those girls are nothing but paid strippers who just mix in the crowd and pretend to be actual college girls gone wild.  Then they try to incite normal girls to join them..) one of them came up to him grabbed him by the hand and drug him off for a bit of recreation.  All my married friends decided that it was that particular seat and went to fighting about who got to sit there next.  hahahha

The next morning I got up bright and early to run with the youth track club in my town.  The coach keeps trying to get me to finish my masters degree and come back to Geneva to teach.  He said he's retiring in 2 years and that everyone wants me to take over as the coach.  Last time I was home a few of the junior high kids told me I was all they ever hear about whenever they tell someone they're a runner and that they're from Geneva so they've always wanted to meet me and run with me.  That made my ego feel good.  

After our 6 mile jog I headed back to my moms to work on the deck.  My friend Jim and my aunt came over to help.  I worked from about 11am until about 9pm and then headed back to the lake for another concert. 

The next day I woke up and repeated the processes except this time the coach brought over about 8 of the local youth runners to help me.  That was a huge help and a lot of fun.  They said they wanted to give me the full court press to get me to move back and coach them when they got into high school.  That was cool.  We finished up the deck and steps about 2pm and again I went back down to the lake.  This time things were wrapping up and I had a 6hr ride home to look forward to.  I left about 7pm and got home around I'm dragging today... OUCH!!

I'm pretty beat up from all the manual labor but it was a fun weekend.  I now have only 2 more projects and my mom's house will be ready to sell.  I'm waiting on permits to build a retaining wall and I need to put some siding on a part of the house where my ex dad did a shitty job.  I came back to Virginia having had one of the busiest but most fun visits I've ever had.  No crazy family drama!  I loved seeing all the people I hadn't seen since high school.  We made some plans to go on a rafting trip next spring and are pretty excited for our 20 year reunion (dang I'm old) next year. 

Glad to get back to routine though.  I ran 9 miles last week........  I need to see if that darned patellar tendonitis is healed and get after it. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

running amuck

I had a really good week of running this week.  I haven't got my miles in here for a while and finally have something to report so I better get it down.

Saturday 3mile warm up, 5k race, 1mile cool down.  7miles total
Sunday 5 miles easy

Monday 6 miles easy
Tuesday 4 miles easy
Wednesday 6 miles easy
Thursday 9 miles with 2 hard
Friday- Off

Looks like about a 35- 40 mile week :-) 

Knee pain is still there but not that bad.  I've been icing like crazy and before everything hurt.  Now I have to massage around a lot with the ice to even find those tiny little spots that still hurt.  Knees still hurt first mile though. 

Yesterday I ran this loop from Colvert Mill down to Great Falls, a loop there and then back.  I ran the first part pretty normal, then around the lasso part I stopped a lot to admire the views of the Potomac, then on the same trail heading back I ran 3 minutes faster than I ran out.  Pushed a bit the last 3 miles.  Feel like when the going gets tough I resorted to overstriding.  Not enough fitness to keep the turnover going.  Plus it was muddy as hell and those Brooks Pure whatevers aren't all that great in the mud.

Oh....on my Wednesday run it was pouring ran and it stopped about half way in.  I looked up and saw an owl perched in the tree.  I shook my fist at him and he flew to another tree.   I ran the next 2 minutes looking back to make sure he wasn't following me.  Once I quit looking a huge raindrop fell from a leaf and whacked me right on the head.  It was enough to nearly send me sprawling for cover.  My reflex was to just dive right in the mud.  PTOD  (Post traumatic owl disorder).

Friday, August 17, 2012


I've had a rather pathetic week of running.  Last week I overreached.  My motivation is high though.  This faster running is helping my form and so far all of my aches are manageable.   It will come back.  This weekend I run a 5k and then I'll probably spend a few weeks getting my miles up.  Got a few races in to get myself energized, but it's time to do real work.  I'd like to be fast again, but the real goal is marathon.  No matter what the goal it takes miles.....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Track Meet

A friend of mine talked me into going to a track meet last friday.  I decided if I was going to go I might as well run the 2 mile.  My goal was to do it as a workout.  Just run 5:20 pace.  Once I got there I decided to run each distance event.  Just run a good solid effort.  Not really race, just tempo.

I got there with plenty of time and set out to run a warmup.  As I circled the track I felt so miserable and it was so hot that I felt like walking the entire time.  I decided to veer off through the neighborhoods where there was a bit more shade.  Within about 10 minutes I was totally and utterly lost.  Finally, with increasing anxiety that I would be late for my race I stopped and knocked on the door of a home where I could see people inside.  They gave me directions back to the school and I made it.  Missed out on time for stretching, bathroom, and the GU I had planned....but I made it.

Right before the race I saw the Georgetown Running Club guys.....great.....2 guys that ran the Olympic Trials.....  The race started and I immediately let those guys go.  I thought I was being smart about pace but I guess I still got swept along.  When I came around I saw 75....too fast.  I tried slowing the next lap but again was too fast.  After 6 laps of that I was pretty cooked and nearly slowed to a walk.  I recovered and jogged it in.  No need to race.   Just a workout.

In the mile I was better about judging my pace and effort.  Plus I was able to get that GU.  I didn't time my meals very well because of a weird schedule at work that day.  I ran the mile easy cheesy.  In the last lap the lead woman came up next to me, but I was already a few seconds faster than my goal and I didn't want to be "that guy" who sprints violently to not get beat by a instead I let her pass and enjoyed the much improved view.

Next up was the 400 meters.  I was cooked.  In the 2 mile, that 75 had felt so fast that I was quite certain an all out effort would get me around 60-65.  I decided to go full speed and see what I could do.  At the start I slipped (I wore spikes without actual spikes in them) and hurt my foot a bit.  As I ran I realized at that speed that spikes were necessary and I was slip sliding the entire way.  On the first curve a youngster got around me but I couldn't do anything or I'd go sliding off.  Once I got to the straight away I was able to make up some ground but then had to slow again for the curve.  In some places the track was so worn where the rubber had worn off that I was on the concrete and I was really slipping.  Then on the final straightaway I really opened up and reeled the youngster in.

I'm glad I stuck around to do those extra races.  With each race I felt better.  Not sure if it was because of the GU or if it was that the sun had gone down.  It was still horribly humid but cooler was better.  In that 400 I ended up running 55 seconds which was WAY fast for me.  Plus with spikes I could have gone even faster.   My fastest ever 400 was 52.6 , so I wonder how fast, at 37, I could get to my all time PR if I did some training.  The best part of the evening was coming off the final curve with 100m to go and feeling no hint of fatigue.  So caught up in the race and feeling so good that my acceleration made the finish line feel like it was moving to me instead of me to it.  No matter how slow I ran, or how bad my place.....if I could just replicate that feeling occasionally....I'd be addicted for life.

Saturday I took the day off, not by choice, but I had promised to help a friend and that took longer than I thought.  Then I had normal TerribleTerry behaviors to perform in the evening and didn't get my run in.  Yesterday I wanted to do a long run but bit off a bit more than I should have.  I ran 10 miles but at mile 7 my form started to fail so I drastically reduced my pace and just took my time getting home.  Lots of water stops in the last 3 miles.  Junk miles.  Should have done a route where I could have stopped as soon as my form failed.

Last night I was horribly tired and sore.  Did a nice foam roller session and ice massage.  Today I'll be lazy.  Probably just do some swimming and a nice stretching session.  I feel like a runner again.  If I can run a 55sec 400.....  surely I can run good mile with some training.  If I get to where I can run a good mile.....a good 5k is just around the corner...   and so on....and so on.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


During a run through a shady cemetery in Painesville, Ohio when I was 19 years old, the sage Tom Quade tried to express to me the importance of stretching and the problems of aging.  At the time I was probably busy hurdling headstones and sprinting off ahead to look good for some cute girl jogging....but the information wormed its way in there and clung somehow to the recesses of my brain.  Yesterday after my run I sat on the stairs recovering from a nice, hot, 5 mile run full of excitement at how well I'd ran the last few days due to my new stretching routine.  I called Tom while I stretched and it hit me......   I suppose people with kids have this hit them around my age.  What I'm talking about here is this slow realization that they, in fact, have turned into their parents.

 In my case I don't have those little bundles of joy or memories of passed down wisdom on how not to strangle them.  My teenage years weren't filled with much in the way of parental advice since I basically made my own decisions and life choices since I was around 14.  I mostly spent my teenage years trying to prove to everyone, including Tom, that I knew what I was doing, didn't need their advice, and I was going to do it my way.  No matter what the consequences.   Instead of the bits of wisdom gleaned from seeing how my parents did things, or positive input from others, I chose to learn from trial and error, and error, and error.

Finally when I went off to college, I may not have realized it yet, but I started to see the wisdom I'd absorbed during those long runs around town with Tom.  Of course I still didn't embrace the knowledge, foolishly thinking that I was superhuman and that basic things like physics and entropy didn't apply to me.  That biological adaptation, mitochondrial absorption, capillary development and all that mumbo jumbo were words that slow people learned to describe why things just didn't work for them. 

Throughout my 20's when I was a running machine and adding weekly to a bix box of medals and trophies for my basement, I didn't think about that place, and that wonderful man as the sage encyclopedia of running knowledge that I've now come to realize.  Back then I simply knew that they were my anchor.  There's this line in the movie Forest Gump when Jenny is asking Forest all about what he saw when he ran across the Unites States.  As he's describing the beauty he witnessed, she says that she wished she could have been there with him.  It's a powerful scene to me.  He turns to her and tells her.  "You were Jenny".  In his mind and in his heart she was always there.  That was Painesville, St. Claire Street, that route through the cemetery, Strawberry hill, and Tom.  They were my home, no matter where I went, who I met, what sort of crazy things I was doing.  Those places were with me.  He was with me. 

Now, having pedaled through a good portion of my 30's and having not needed to access the treasure of running memories and advice, I'm slowly beginning to pull these memories from the recesses of my brain.  Those runs where Tom dispensed advice and bemoaned his aging.  There wasn't a single muscle twinge, inflammation, ache, or injury that I was feeling that Tom hadn't already experienced and could readily, and instantly, tell me the remedy, the probable time until it healed, and the cause.  As I'm restarting my journey as a runner, I'm finding that those rules, that advice, and those apply to me.  And somehow I'm still that silly guy running up the road to look good for the cuties, and learning by trial and error, and error, and error.

As I was stretching yesterday following a rather spectacular run I remembered an analogy Tom used to use about running and age.  He compared good workouts to the perfect "PING" sound a golf club makes when you hit the perfect shot.  That feeling that goes through your body as the ball soars in a perfect arc down the fairway.  The often felt mystery of where that came from and how you could replicate it.  I remember discussing this as we ran through that cemetery just starting one of our runs together.  Him telling me how frustrating golfing was and how you'd be just about ready to quit and....PING.... you'd be hooked again for a few more futile hours.  He described how as he aged that PING came less and less frequent, and that I should enjoy the fact that I could call upon my body to PING at will.

Yesterday during my run things just worked.  The proverbial PING.  Which led me to thinking about Tom.  So there I was on the phone with him while stretching.  Those same stretches he'd taught me 17 years ago that I thought were only for old slow people.  It struck me....   Fuck....I've turned into Tom!!!!   Then I smiled.   NICE!!! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Return to routine

Right before I left for Mexico I set aside my orthotics again and bought some  low drop shoes.  I tried running 5 miles everyday while I was there and icing my knees like crazy.  Knees still hurt all the time, so bad that my runs aren't really all the much fun.  But I'm running everyday which is more than I could endure with those nasty orthotics.  Hopefully things will turn around.

I got a bit lazy mid-week while I was there.  Late nights and the heat are my excuse.  Came home yesterday and did my 5mile loop with Hunters Station hill in it.  Started overheating a bit the last mile but it went pretty good.  The few days I'd taken off had me pretty fresh. 

Something I've noticed about my knees is that days off doesn't seem to help them.  The only thing that seems to help (besides tossing the orthotics) is ice massage and lots, and lots of stretching.  John pointed out that I ran all those pain free miles in the winter while doing yoga.  So I'm inclined to think he's right and I need to increase my stretching routine.  I've added 6 new stretches to my routine.  Between that and my core work let's see if I can't get something going again.

I only had one wild night in Mexico.  I emptied my pockets except for about $80 and handed my wallet to Zoya and strolled off into the night.  It was pretty entertaining.  Some of the locals went out of their way to show me the city and try to get me drunk.  We went everywhere and I saw pretty much everything.  I turned down a good deal of offers for things I'm just not into (drugs, paying for sex, that sort of thing)  I did meet a nice girl named Wendy who seemed quite intent on sitting on my lap and staring at me even though I couldn't understand a single word of her Spanish.

There were only two times that I felt even the least bit unsafe.  First was when we first entered the slum.  They were burning some leaves to keep the bugs away and the folks who were mostly blinded by the fire reacted in fear at seeing 3 guys (one of them white) entering at 1am.  Before long we were all sitting on buckets and they were telling me stories.  It's amazing how educated some of the slum dweller children were.  They roused them out of bed (well....cardboard on the floor) because they could speak English.  The other time I got a bit scared was a bum on the main road who wouldn't leave me alone.  I'd left my tour guides and was walking to get a taxi.  I finally had to put my left forearm to his throat and push him against the wall letting him see my right fist cocked back.  I think that's the universal sign for fuck off.  He was too drunk is all, so it wasn't really that bad.

I had pretty good times with the Schaller family.  I had a bit too much exposure to Alex in the last 2 weeks between Placid and Mexico so by now I'm glad to get away from that.  Other than that the trip was pretty swell.  We kept up a pretty good pace of activities and saw and did a lot.  I think there's plans being made for a return trip someday :-)

2 videos today that make me smile.  First is a short commercial from Nike.  I have 2 co-workers I'm working on right now.  One has lost 63lbs and the other 18.  That's badass!!

The second video is the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech.  It's a bit long but a really great tribute this guy gives to his mother.  I don't remember him as a player...but of course I only sporadically watch football.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Find your greatness

I spent last week in Lake Placid. I was able to do a few pretty good runs on the JackRabbit trail and a few other cross-country ski trails. I've given up on the orthotics again. As soon as I set them aside my mileage was able to creep back up. Frustrated, but enduring. Watching the Ironman was really cool. It's probably something I should try one day, but for some reason it just doesn't capture me. I did see greatness though. John really kicked some ass.

In Placid I ran all easy runs.  5miles, 13miles, 5 miles, and 7miles.
Yesterday I bought some new shoes and headed to the track.  Some of those college guys sent me a message asking me to do a workout with them.  I had wanted to do another tempo effort at 6minute pace but they had a workout in mind.  I decided to give it a go as much as I could. 

They ran 4xmile with 1 minute recovery and then 2x1000 and 2x200.

I ran the first 2 of the miles right at 5:40, then I cut out early on the last 2 and did only 800's in 2:50.  Then the 1000's we ran at 5:20 pace, followed that up with 2x200 in 29.4 and 29.2

I was pretty happy with that.  Didn't overdue it as I think 5:40, although a reach, is still an achievable pace.  It sure did pep my spirits back up  though.  Even if it's not all that smart to be doing speedwork....and in new shoes.   It felt good....and that's what I'm doing this for.

Off to Mexico...  Let's see what sort of stories there are to be lived down there :-)

Monday, July 2, 2012


There's a variation of Aesop's fable of the Grasshopper and the ant where the ants are seen as bad.  In the fable a farmer is not sufficiently satisfied with the bountiful harvest he's collected from his own fields and stored so he sets out at night stealing the stores of his neighbors.  He's caught, turned into an ant, and forever doomed to spend his summers...and his life...storing up provisions (the life of the typical American).

During the Agrarian Revolution work, due to the primitive nature of our farming skills, became a virtue.  Later the industrial revolution, and those who were able to amass wealth from the labor of others, fostered the belief system in which hard work was held as the ultimate virtue.  As industrialism slowly turned away from the work of people and toward allowing stored sunlight to accomplish work for us (oil, coal, etc), this worldview began to run up against problems keeping everyone emplioyeed.  As our sources of stored sunlight decline, I have a distinct feeling we'll wish we'd have spent our summers leaping and jumping like the grasshopper...instead of heading out into traffic commuting to work and huddling in cubicles like ants.

At any rate....since Tom brought up our cultures inability to sit and enjoy life, I did a bit of reading today about our use of free time.  During my search I found this article.  It's worth a read.

Speaking of busy.  I finally seem to have a bit of peace from my wisdom holes.  They still hurt strangely.  It seems that my big chompers in the back of my mouth now have move to roam and have moved a bit to where my mouth doesn't seem to close as comfortably.  I'm hoping it's just my brain and I'll get used to it.  I know that I have pain back by my ear where my jaw closes.  I now know how people with TMJ suffer.  I seems to be getting better every day though....but it's been a rough week :-(

This week I finally got to run on Friday.  I did an easy 3 miles at 7:04 pace.  It was 104 degrees...ooof!!   Saturday Mike came over early with Melissa and we went to the ice rink to do the Difficult run/CCT loop. It's 9.2 miles.  My plan was to run 20minutes out and come back.  I felt so bad at 5minutes that I wanted to stop.  At 10minutes I did stop and then when Mike caught me I thought I'd go his pace for a bit.  My back was hurting, my knees, my feet....yuck.  At his pace however and with our conversation flowing before I knew it we were more than 1/2way.  So I ended up doing the entire 9miles with him.  My hips were hurting because all the fallen trees made our pace a bit too slow for me.  Normally I think he runs mid 9's but with all the walking around the trees felled by the storm we were at around 12min miles.

Sunday my hips were hurting from that run.  I got pissed off at my orthotics and did some sanding and glueing.  Then I ran 3 miles and they felt much better.  I started at Route 7 and Difficult run and went to Great Falls.  Then I stopped and stretched for 10minutes and swam (well....more or less floated and looked at high school girls in bikinis) in the river for 20.  Then I did the 3 miles back. 

3 days in a row of running.  We'll see how my orthotic adjustment goes.  So far it feels much better but my knees are still hurting. 

Fri- 3
Sat- 9
Sun- 6

The plan is 3 miles easy tonight with some icing.  Day off tomorrow with lots of motorcycling back up to Ohio.

Now go back to my link read that article grasshoppers and lets start hopping.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Everyone tune in tomorrow evening to see a fellow I used to coach run at the Olympic trials.  He got 5th at the US championships last year.....and anything can happen in the 800m....

Men 800m
Nicholas SymmondsNike / Oregon TC Elite1:43.83qualifieddeclared
Khadevis RobinsonNike1:44.03qualifieddeclared
Charles JockUniversity of California, Irvine1:44.67qualifieddeclared
Ryan MartinUniversity of California, Santa Barbara1:44.77qualifieddeclared
Tyler MulderNike / Oregon TC Elite1:44.83qualifieddeclared
Elijah GreerUniversity of Oregon1:45.06qualifieddeclared
Michael RuttNew Jersey New York Track Club1:45.20qualifieddeclared
Casimir LoxsomThe Pennsylvania State University1:45.28qualifieddeclared
Richard JonesSanta Monica Track Club1:45.56qualifieddeclared
Duane Solomon JrSaucony1:45.66qualifieddeclared
Erik SowinskiUniversity of Iowa1:45.90qualifieddeclared
Willie BrownUniversity of Akron1:45.91qualifieddeclared
Mark Wieczorek1:46.00qualifieddeclared
Rob NovakNew York Athletic Club (NYAC)1:46.01qualifieddeclared
Tevan EverettNew Jersey New York Track Club1:46.02qualifieddeclared
Brandon JohnsonAsics1:46.23qualifieddeclared
Brian GagnonNew Jersey New York Track Club1:46.40qualifieddeclared
Michael PrebleTexas A&M University1:46.43qualifieddeclared
Patrick RoachS.W.I.F.T. Racing1:46.58accepteddeclared
David PachutaUniversity of Minnesota-Twin Cities1:46.62accepteddeclared
Harun AbdaUniversity of Minnesota-Twin Cities1:46.65accepteddeclared
Liam Boylan-PettNew Jersey New York Track Club1:46.66accepteddeclared
Andrew WheatingNike / Oregon TC Elite1:46.83accepteddeclared
Joe Abbott1:46.84accepteddeclared
Tetlo Emmen1:46.95accepteddeclared
Andrew Dawson1:46.96accepteddeclared
Sharif Webb1:47.04accepteddeclared
Lance Roller JrUniversity of Virginia1:47.07accepteddeclared
Brandon ShawBrooks / Evo Track Club1:47.13accepteddeclared
Benjamin Scheetz1:47.43accepteddeclared
Christian Smith1:47.44accepteddeclared
Christian GonzalezNew Jersey New York Track Club1:47.49accepteddeclared


Last night the folks on my old cycling team had a private party for Joe Dombroski.  Last week he won the GiroBio which is the Tour of Italy for people 23yrs old and younger.  Joe raced with me as a category 4 and a few races as a category 3 before he skyrocketed to the Pro ranks.  He now races for Treck Livestrong which is Radio Shack's development team.

Before the party we had our normal Wednesday night group ride that the bike shop puts on.  It's probably the 2nd hardest group ride in the area behind the "Goon" ride down in Rock Creek Park.  29 miles with 4 sprint points, some tough hills, and one hell of a long fast section back to the finish line. 

Joseph (aka Joe, aka Dombro, aka JoDo, aka VigriniaSlim) is off for a week and suffering a bit from Jetlag having just returned from Italy so he rode the scooter.  This week since it was a private party the ride was pretty thin.  I used to think that meant less talent, but in actuality a small group means after you pull or if you have a bad spell there's not much of a peleton to sag through and then latch on to the back.  If you falter for an instant...pooof.....they're gone.  I was having a pretty bad day having devoted myself mostly to running lately.  That and the switch from 80's and mild, to 100 and humid had me in the hurt locker from the start.

Normally we have a pretty neutral roll out until the first hill, but some old fellow jumped early hoping to sag climb the hill and all he did was excite the young fellows who dumped all their testosterone into the base of the first climb.  UGGhhhhhh!!!!!!!   I was nearly dropped a dozen times in the run in to The Plains.  After winding through The Plains we do 2 loops of a flat loop with little traffic.  We have a fast slightly downhill ride into a right hand corner that's normally quite easy, but this time of year the corn in that field is high enough that you can't see if cars are coming.  Of course the youngsters don't much care about cars.....and oooof....I was nearly dropped again expecting a slowdown to actually look before blasting into the road.

In the final chase back into town I was able to jump the climb and get into a breakaway with Jared and Greg and we pretty easily pulled away from the field.  After the hill Jared jumped and Greg and I couldn't.....and then Joe came along with the scooter.  We never like to give Jared the glory of winning the very group ride that he organizes.  Plus we like to piss him I jumped behind the scooter and drafted all the way up and tried to beat Jared at the finish.  3rd of 3 in the sprint.  DOH!!!

During the party it was really great to see Joe and hear all about the race and his experiences in Europe.  In the last few months he won a few stages and places 2nd in the Tour of Gila, Won a stage and finished 4th in the Tour of California, and now just won the most prestigious U23 race and beat the current World Champion in the GiroBio.  As I stood there watching Joe soaking it all in, watched his dad smiling with pride, and saw the people who just enjoyed being in the presence of the closest thing there is, on this day, to cycling greatness....I realized that I used to be that guy.  Different sport and different circumstances...but for a time (in my mind at least) I was near the top of the field with the ability to dream as high as I wanted and with others who enjoyed the journey with me.

As I looked around however I saw Jeremiah Bishop, Jared Nieters, Bryan Burns, Dave Fuentes....and a room filled with people who all (in their disciplines) had at some point also been "The Guy" and yet here we were realizing that we were really just another fish in the pond compared to Joe.  I had this same feeling when training with Dmitry.  Some people are just on a completely different level....and yet they are so affable and casual that you'd never really know it unless you know.  Joe could blend in with any high school or college kid in America, yet here's the best cyclist since Lance Armstrong out zipping along next to me on a motor scooter smiling from ear to ear...just another one of the guys.

I'm reading a truly amazing book right now called "Shantaram".  In this book there's a section where a group of gangsters sit around and talk about suffering and happiness.  In their discussion they come to the conclusion that true happiness is not possible without suffering.  Because if you've never suffered you cannot fully recognize and appreciate happiness.  They also conclude that true happiness is relative and that your mind can control much of it.  That when you do find happiness it's important for you to find something else to struggle towards....because lottery winners and others who think they've found happiness and quit struggling and suffering end up locked in unhappiness. 

 I looked around the room and saw people who aspired to be VirginiaSlim and ended up being Jeremiah Bishop, Bryan Burns, Dave Fuentes, etc.  Each of those guys have thousands of people who look up to them and don't see any difference between them and Joe.  The same as people who run a 4hr marathon can't recognise the difference between Dmitry and myself.  Yesterday I stared at Dombro and realized how happy I am.  How running and cycling and the accomplishments I've earned in my lifetime have made me happy.  Happy enough that I can't seem to really get excited about any sort of athletic goals. But I also saw excellence and realized how far I was from it.  That makes me suffer a bit. 

Now it's time to use that. My feet and lower legs seem to be adapting slowly to the orthotics.  Soon it'll be time to start building.   No, I can't be Joe or Dmitry....but I can be TerribleTerry....and I can still find out just how fast this 37 year old body can go.  Just how much punishment I can take.  If that gets me running a 16:40 5k or a 14:40 5k I need to find happiness in my pursuit.  As those gangsters concluded...Suffering is the mirror image of happiness.  The only way happiness exists is if suffering also exists.   I can't wait to get my miles up and start suffering :-).

Funnest VirginiaSlim memory.....

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I celebrated my birthday by waking up insanely early and heading with Zoya and Margie (professional triathlete and owner of the local running store) to track practice.  Margie is coaching Z and holds a track workout on Tuesdays.  There were about a dozen people there and the track was devastatingly absent hot chicks.

We were supposed to run two miles hard and then do 8x200 meters.  I started off the 2 mile way at the back and spent lap one slowly building into it.  I wanted to slowly ramp up to 6 minute pace.  A guy got off the front pretty quickly and as the laps went by I steadily increased the pace but never did catch him.  Near the end I don't know what I was thinking.  I got really discouraged at how hard 6minute pace was feeling.  I didn't look at my watch since Margie was yelling lap splits to me.  For some reason I had it in my mind that I was doing 10 laps.  When I came through 8 it was really starting to get hard and at 9.5 I stopped.  I was discouraged and apologized to Margie for not finishing.  She said that I had and I figured she was just confused since there were so many of us running.  It wasn't until thinking it over later that evening that I realized there are only 8 laps in 2 miles and not 10.  DOH!!!!

The group did their 8x200 and that fast guy was doing his in 30-31.  I waited and just did mine in 37.  I figure 5minute pace was plenty fast enough.  They did standing full recovery.  I just kept on going and jogged 200 and did mine all easier but on less rest.  Didn't read Dad's post on no speedwork until later when I got to work.  I don't suppose I'll be doing speed speed for a while....but I think it'd be fun to go to the track now and again and do a bit.  Some 6minute paced tempo and some plyometrics just to see what cute chicks come to track practice.  Although last night's Reston runners track practice was a pretty sorry display of old and morbidly obese joggers. 

Worked all day on my birthday and then we had a BBQ and Mike and Melissa came over.  I got a bit drunk and ate cake....two things I shouldn't have.   Yesterday I called in sick and cleaned up room, worked on my motorcycle, then worked on the back patio (John and I finished it). 
I gave thought to running again Tuesday evening but I decided to rest.  Yesterday I took the day off from running because my feet were hurting.  Normally I'd just work on through it but I want to dedicate a bit of time while my mileage is low to getting used to some sort of orthotic.  Before I was doing mileage and experimenting too much.  Put in the doctor created ones in my work shoes today.  I'm wearing them around the office.  My knees and shins already feel funny and I haven't really even walked.  Just having them in my shoes while sitting seems to do something.  Well.....I'll get it figured out at some point I suppose.

Ok....I'll finish off this boring post with a TerribleTerry story....

I was dating this girl Melissa while living in Georgia.  It was during my homeless period and she lived behind the golf course where I was working.  Her uncle was the owner of Badcock (who picks that as a name) furniture store.  Most of the income of the store came from rental appliances and repossessing furniture people bought on credit.  I watched him resell the same washer like 8 times.  I swear he'd make like $2k on a $200 washing machine.  Folks be crazy!!!

Anyways, Melissa was 18 and a senior in high school.  I was 20 and a running fool.  Melissa's family had been owners of the Donald Duck orange juice company but her dad got arrested for working with the drug cartel.  They had been dropping bales of cocaine from airplanes into his orange groves and he'd pick them up and transport them somewhere.  Once he got caught the immediate family members moved up to Georgia with relatives.  So while I was dating Melissa she was sharing a bedroom, I had no bedroom.....and the 3 bedroom house was filled to the gills so privacy was at a premium. 

My birthday was a day before hers so we had been invited to a party where they were drinking this horrible Mad Dog 20/20.  It was cheap, it was grape, and it worked pretty well at getting us drunk......but it was HORRIBLE.   We spent the evening drinking and laughing while laying on the balcony of our friends apartment.  When her curfew time came we organized ourselves so that we could climb our way up the wall to attain our feet without either of us toppling over.   Then we steadied ourselves and gave great heaves at the door....but it wouldn't budge.
Hmmfffff....what to do.  I could simply climb down to the balcony beneath and then the balcony beneath and so on until the ground floor....but I was quite sure Melissa couldn't.  So we relaxed there for awhile and fell sound asleep.  Around 5am the sun started coming up and I pounded on the glass but nobody woke up.  I thought there was still a chance we could sneak Melissa home without her mom realizing she'd been out all night...Or perhaps she'd at least be lenient since it was her birthday.  Finally I climbed over to the neighbors and tried the door.  Clunk!! locked.   Climbed to the next, and the next until I found one open.  Then I slowly snuck into the house and made sure the coast was clear.   Not a single peep in the entire place.

  I left the door open and went back and collected Melissa and helped her back to the open door.  Our plan was to quickly go through the apartment and walk right on out the front door.  She peaked in to reassure herself the coast was clear....we held each other......and just as we walked into the house.......BAM!!!

On go the lights and this song is just ROARING out of the speakers.  Some old guy in a pair of boxer shorts and a wife beater tshirt is standing over a record player with his back to us.  He does a pirrouet 360 turn in a blur (apparently never sees us standing in his living room)....finishes it with a nice disco fever move and a flamboyant hand slap over his head....and turns to his left (away from us as we're standing no less than 10 feet from him) and dances his way into whatever was in the next room clapping and swinging and enjoying himself the entire way.  How he didn't see us I have no idea.  We stood there frozen for a moment, then gave each other a crazy look....and ran the hell right on out of there leaving his front door wide open.

From that day on.....sometime during my birthday... I just have to play this song!!!  Each time I do it I think of Melissa and wonder what ever happened to her and how many times she's probably shared this story....and listened to this song on her birthday.  Good times!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Extra innings

Made it one  year into the bonus.  Somehow I got it in my brain that I'd never live to see 36 years old.  When the calendar marked the 36yr anniversary of my head first slide for fresh air, I looked around and realized I was still here.  That's a good thing.  At the time I wasn't exactly sure what to make of it or what to do with my bonus time.  I suppose I'm still not exactly sure why I'm still here and what I shall do with my reprieve.

This last year went pretty well.  I cleared up a lot of things hanging over me from my marriage.  I spilled my guts into a blog.  I made another failed attempt at running.  I did a good bit of traveling.  I read a lot, enjoyed a few relationships, and saved up a lot of money.  I can really only say I came close to death a handful of times.  Driving on the wrong side of the road, cars pulling in front of my motorcycle, snakes, crocodiles..... but really the only troubling injury was the pipe blow to my elbow.  That took a really long time to heal and I feared I'd allowed permanent damage to the nerves running to my hand.  Seems to be gone now though.  So I'm pretty scar free for year 36. 

This year I did a considerable amount of reading on psychology and happiness.  Of course I still continued the studies I'd done in college on appropriate technologies and my belief in Peak Oil and the gathering evidence that our imperial decline has begun.  I even did a good deal of writing.  I wrote 4 chapters of a book about life after the "religion of progress" is cast off and replaced with another...equally foolish belief system.  I practiced writing a few zines, which is a practice writers use to tap into their subconscious.  It's stream of conscious writing.  A famous example of this is Ted Kaczynski's manifesto.  Most zines are not meant to be published, but often they hold really good points to be expounded on.  Ted thought all of his thoughts and ideas were golden and without need of he chose to cram them all into a manifesto absent structure....but strangely enough.... (as scholars are starting to realize)....replete with intricate and often prescient observations. 

That's something I suppose I'm hoping my meandering prose are providing.  Minus the use of violence as an attractant to get people to look, I hope that in the midst of my running, inner reflection, and political/environmental rants that some estimable information is getting passed.  That something in these posts moves someone to exercise, read, interact with their environment, or simply to psychologically embrace resilience....just in case the future requires these things as an antidote to an unpleasant situation....or as a practical response to the one certain predicament we all face....death.

From my reading on happiness and my self discovery I've learned something about myself.  I've realized that having a goal (even if that goal is frustrating) assists me psychologically to deal with the lack of fulfillment or the mundane.  I've also learned that running as opposed to cycling affords me the time and focus to work on areas in my life for improvement.  Whereas cycling overwhelms me.  I find that when I'm cycling I begin to spiral  out of control a bit.  My brain begins to accumulate anxiety that seemingly can only be quenched by running away.  I spend entire nights riding in the darkness trying to think up an allowable response.  I dream of an escape that would allow me to live outside of the burdens of modern industrial society all the while magically somehow awarding me with the accouterments of it that I find desirable.

 I know what you're thinking when I say having a goal helps keep me focused and productive ....well...DUH!!! but hey... a man cannot pick his afflictions and anxiety and empathy for our predicament seem to be mine.  The fact that I don't find the things most people are focused on, or productive with, as relavent to our certain (in my mind) future.. does not relieve me from the need to fit into our society and play the game.

Since goals seem to be a requirement for fulfillment, and since today is the start of year two in extra innings, I should throw some things out there. 

A few things I'd like to do in year 37 of terrible.

1) visit Glenn in Austria.  This is looking doubtful as I seem to promise myself out for vacations without planning.

2) run a respectable marathon as a base for a future goal (faster marathon or ultra)

3) Spend more time reading

4) Take guitar lessons

5) Live with less stuff and more experiences

6) Continue trying to convince people that our present is blessed and that we should enjoy it....while reminding them that our future may not that our enjoyment should come with preparation and acceptance that we may someday need to live without.

7) Reduce the incidence of violence I engage in with others.

8) Make it to 38.