On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snowpocalypse 2010

I'm alive, I'm tired, and I'm not in New York.  And I won't be in New York until Thursday.  It's a veritable snowsaster.

O'Hare was more calm than I expected when I got there at 8am this morning.  It was beginning to get rowdy around 3pm when I left.  I had been waiting to try to get onto a 2pm flight standby (I was 54th in the standby line - yes, you read that right).  They canceled the 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm flights simultaneously, and I took that as my cue to leave the airport.  And buy myself some bubble bath.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

Before she got on her evening flight to Philly, I was seriously considering driving back with Susan today.

I actually saw a woman running in the airport.  Just as I thought to myself, "Good idea? or terrible idea?" I realized that she was racing to catch a flight.

And you know what the worst part is?  I can't even do Mark Remy's Chicago run because I'm at the airport.  LAME.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Do you know what it's like to be tortured?

I don't, not really.  Not like these wax figures at the Museum of the Inquisition in Lima.

But still, I feel like I'm being tortured right now.  I haven't run this entire Christmas holiday.

Just maybe a week or so ago, I got an email from a friend asking if I knew anything about stabilicers.  Ha ha ha! I said.  I've never been in a position where I couldn't run because of snow or ice!

Serves you right, Tracy.  Idiot.

Promptly thereafter, I left for my Christmas holiday with my family in Chicago.  Wouldn't you know, I didn't even bring any indoor running clothes - that's how confident I was that I would be running outside every day while I was home.  I mean, I love cold weather running!  It's Chicago! In December! What could possibly go wrong?  And then, this whole weekend, a combination of snow, ice, sickness, and family parties have conspired to keep me indoors.

I did run.  Once this weekend.  I ran on the treadmill.  It was miserable.  I hated every second of it.  I emailed a friend afterwards and said, "Given the choice of running on a treadmill or not running, I should skip the run - every time."  It was that bad.

And then, to add insult to injury, Snowmageddon 2010 hit the east coast and I got trapped in Chicago.  I'm still here right now, losing faith that my plane will be taking off as scheduled.  I should have been back in New York a full day ago.  And counting....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy holidays!

It's Christmas Eve!!  And you're reading a running blog?  Go out, take advantage of last minute sales, eat some more holiday cookies, spend time with your family!  Actually, given that list of choices, I think I will go read some running blogs, too.  I'm over the shopping, the excessive food, and (frankly) some members of my family already.  (Just kidding, family!)  I think I'll go running instead.

I'm celebrating and traveling over the next few days - and, of course, running (it's basically a holiday tradition around here).  In the meantime, I'd suggest you check out Sara's blog, in which she is spending the next few days (the last days of the year) counting down the top 10 moments in running this year.  Sara is a journalist.  She recently wrote this article, in fact, as part of a series for Smart Money (the article is intended for lay people, so chance are good it won't tell you anything you don't already know - but it's interesting nonetheless).

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to head out for a run.  Watch for black ice if you're about to do the same.

And - happy holidays.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ted Corbitt 15k race report

Yeah, I did it.  I ran another race this weekend.  After swearing them off, I spontaneously registered on Saturday for Sunday's 15k.  For a few reasons: a bunch of people were going out to brunch after, and I wanted to; I was afraid I would sleep in this weekend instead of running; and I wanted to see where my fitness was.  I had no real goals for the race besides some vague notion of "giving it my all," whatever that means.

But first, a midnight freak out.  What to wear to the race?  The weather was predicted to be 30-32, overcast, with little to no wind.  I've been running for more than a decade, but all of a sudden my mind went blank.  I know my cut-off for shorts is ~40 degrees, but what happens below that?  That's freezing!  I should be wearing pants.  And a jacket.  And a long sleeved shirt.  And a buff.  And gloves.  And an ear cover.  And... and... and...  Runner's World's Dress the Runner site wasn't helping at all.  I realized: it was anxiety!  Good old fashioned race anxiety!

There has never, ever been a good picture
of me in running clothes.
As you can see, I decided on: a hat, ear coverings, a buff around my neck, a long sleeved t-shirt, a short sleeved t-shirt, a jacket, and my skapri (skirt over capris).  I lost the gloves, the ear covering, and the buff about a mile in.  Otherwise I was fine - like I knew I would be.

These two women, on the other hand, are lovely.
At the start, I met up with my friends Sara and Lauren.  It was good company at the start.

How did the race itself go?  A few things:

  • I hate Central Park.  Seriously.  I'm bored of it, and the hills are okay in training and sucky in races.  My splits were uneven - go figure, the slower splits corresponded with the miles with the worst hills.
  • A 15k is 9.3m, not 9.6m.  I don't need to tell you this, because you know this.  So do I.  However, at about mile 8, shortly after I'd given up on any time goal, I realized that my addled mind had decided that the race was 9.6m.  This was annoying, because...
  • I came amazingly, painfully, desperately close to a sub-10 minute mile.  My official finish was 1:34:01, for a 10:06 average.  I could easily have taken a minute off my time by not walking Cat Hill th second time around.

OMG was the race actually 9.42m??  Call the USATF!
Just kidding.
I know I should be happy, and ultimately I am.  But so close.  It's one thing if you take a race easy and aren't satisfied with how you did.  But I was trying this time.  Just not hard enough.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I have a race report from the 15k I did on Sunday almost ready, but in the meantime, here is a follow-up to the Hellebuyck doping scandal that you should read if you haven't already.  Is that messed up, or what?

Or how about Boston maybe adjusting their qualifying standards in wake of this year's registration nuttiness?

And then, after you've read that, do me a favor and go over to Sarah's blog and leave a comment.  She has offered to donate $1 per comment to charity.

And now, since I'm traveling home for the holidays today and can't be bothered to write anything of substance, I offer instead a random picture of me with Ice-T on the day they filmed Law & Order: SVU on my block.

He's obviously done this before. I look way too excited.
And also like I'd just spent the past 36 hours chained to my
desk, writing a conference paper.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Je tiens l'affaire!*

I've discovered the secret to running faster!

Would you like to know it?  I'll share it with you!

Here it is:


Yeah.  After a decade of running, it turns out that the key to running faster is, well, running faster.

I know I don't push myself hard enough when it comes to running.  I like to run for the sake of running.  I like to be outside and to break a sweat and to, well, run.  But I'd like to run faster.  Over the past couple of weeks I've discovered that I could run faster by just doing it.

Yeah.  For me, it's that simple.  You see, I'm slow - but I'm also lazy.

I've been reading too many race reports where people fought actual physical symptoms like wanting to vomit during their races.  I don't have that.  Instead, I have feelings like tired, whiny-tired, and I-really-want-to-stop-waaaah-whiny-tired.

That no longer goes.  I will push myself from now on.  I will try harder.  No more long walk breaks mid-run.  No more holding onto the pace in my pace runs for a mile and pretending like that's something.  No more making excuses to avoid speedwork ("but it's so pretty out! why stay at the track when I can run along a river").  There's a time and a place for an easy run, but that's not every day, week-in and week-out.

Sometimes, the most obvious solution is the best solution.  Tomorrow I'll show you how I put this into action.

*For those of you non-Egyptophiles, "je tiens l'affaire" is what Jean-François Champollion said on 14 September 1822 when he discovered the missing key to the decipherment of hieroglyphs.  The French Champollion was in a race against a Britisher, Thomas Young, to become the first to translate the ancient Egyptian language.  The legend is that he stayed up all hours, for weeks on end, attempting to crack the code and to understand the language.  When he finally put it together, he rushed into his brother's office, shouted, "Je tiens l'affaire!" (roughly, "I've got it!") and promptly passed out, spending the next several days in bed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'd like to thank the Academy...

It's an honor to just be tagged!  The Angry Runner is doing one of those question things.  She tagged me.  I'm so flattered.  Without further ado, the LONGEST POST EVER:

1.  Name one movie you'd never watch again even if someone paid you.
Here's the thing: I have a crummy memory, especially for bad movies.  There are some that I'd prefer not to see again: like the Blair Witch Project, because it made me motion sick.  Or Maid in Manhattan, which I've seen way too many times thanks to repetitive cable.

However, I have a memory somewhere between that of a goldfish and a gnat, so I'm going to say "(500) Days of Summer" since I just saw a preview for it that reminded me how much I hated it.  I know that most of you are going to say "Oh, I thought it was so cute!" but you're wrong.  It was overly twee, super cliché, and most of all hugely problematic, even down to the stupid parentheses in the title.  The one promising, strong female lead in a romantic comedy turned out the same as all other women at the end: of course all she wanted out of life was to be married!  What else might a woman want out of life?

While I'm telling you how much I hated movies you liked, I also thought Juno was stupid.  Because real teen pregnancy doesn't involve looking adorable the whole time, having the support of your family and friends (minus one 2-minute scene where you complain, for like a second), and then heading off into the sunset with your babydaddy-cum-boyfriend once the birth and adoption have become nothing more than a fond memory for you.

Either one of those movies or "2 Girls 1 Cup."  Do viral internet videos count?  (NB: if you are not already familiar with this internet "sensation," do NOT I repeat DO NOT watch it.  Seriously.  I am NOT joking.  Do NOT watch it. And don't be mad at me if you do watch it and are upset after.)

2.  Name 5 fictional characters you want to have dinner with.  And TELL ME WHY.
I had a lot of trouble with this question, and I don't stand behind my answers entirely.

     1.  The Angry Runner herself.  Because I don't believe she actually exists in real life, and she seems supercool.
     2.  Sebastian Valmont in Cruel Intentions.  Because he's played by Ryan Phillippe, and his character is a total cad so he'd probably try to sleep with me, and Ryan Phillippe's superhot.  Actually, I'm kind of tempted to name Ryan Phillippe's characters in other movies as my #3-5.  Come on - he was hot in Gosford Park, right? And Stop-Loss?  Did I mention Stop-Loss?
     3.  Ed Harris' character in the Third Miracle (movie, not book).  Because he had such an interesting job. And seemed like an interesting person, too.
     4.  Nemtynakht, the protagonist from the ancient Egyptian tale of the Eloquent Peasant.  The story is boring as all get-out, but I love the bad-guy way that Nemtynakht rolls.
     5.  Good King Wenceslas.  For his funny name and the fact that he seems like a nice guy.  And also, he talks funny, so it would be nice to have someone there to say things like, "Hither page and stand by me, if thou knowst be telling/yonder peasant who is he" when he means "Come here/give me the 411 on that dude."  Plus, he could bring the flesh and the wine.

3.  Give me a race on your "must do" list.
Pikes Peak.  I don't really have any desire to do the full - the downhill sounds like sheer hell.  But I want to do the Ascent, badly.

4.  Any races you've done that you will never ever do again?  Why?
I'm still not over this year's Chicago Marathon.  There are other fall races with better courses, better corral organization, and less volatile weather.  But I wouldn't say never.  Honestly, there haven't been any races yet that I would absolutely say I wouldn't do ever again.  There have been a bunch that I'm indifferent toward.  Maybe the NYC Half Marathon, because $90 is too high of a price to pay to run around Central Park and anyway, I did it last year.

5.  Cake vs. Pie: Your pick?

I'm what some would call a glutton.  I like food, and lots of it.  This is part of the reason why I run - because I would be a crazy fatty if I didn't.  (Oh, also I love it, but I would be crazy fat if I didn't run.)  I'm not as keen on desserts as I am on meat, so understand that while I'm eating the cake-pie I'm secretly wishing I had a giant steak in front of me instead.  I don't like pecan pie, but other than that, bring it on.

6.  Last meal - what would it be? AND YOU ARE ON DEATH ROW SO MAKE IT CREATIVE.
This is tricky.  As you probably know, you can request whatever you want, but you'll get what they have on hand.  You ask for crab legs; you get fish sticks.  Etcetera.  But I would guess that the gist of the question is what I would want, not what I would get.  I'm in a raunchy mood and I'm kind of tempted to say something gross like asparagus and beets in case it ends up being true that one does, um, void themselves upon being electrocuted.

Honestly, I'm more wondering what I did to end up on death row.

But, I would want barbecue ribs (WET not dry), macaroni bechamel (as in, the Egyptian street food - macaroni, bechamel, and ground water buffalo), freshly made guacamole, McDonald's cheeseburgers, some charcuterie, a bottle of Moscato, and some Dairy Queen blizzards: banana split, french silk pie, and banana cream pie.  And also thin mint.  Never mind that thin mint is a seasonal flavor - I'm on death row, they can make a thin mint blizzard for me, dammit.

7.  Favorite book to movie adaptation ever? Least favorite?
Okay, this is a tough one.  On one hand, I'm a huge fan of the movie Rules of Attraction, and the book is terrible terrible terrible.  I also really love Cruel Intentions (although, if you haven't read Les Liasons Dangereuses, GO and read it NOW - epistolary fiction at its finest).  But, that said, Silence of the Lambs is my favorite movie of all time, and the book isn't very good.  So, best book to movie adaptation.

Btw: I have it on good authority (from someone who's been there) that there is a REAL LIFE ANIMATRONIC Anthony Hopkins/Hannibal Lecter mannequin that SPEAKS in the Behavioral Sciences section of the FBI headquarters at Quantico.  And they actually did film the movie largely at Quantico.  I must see that someday.

Worst?  Too many to choose from.

Are you seriously still reading?  You're almost at the end.  Unfortunately, as we've gone over before, I am where memes go to die.  So I'm not going to tag anyone. Plus, the Angry Runner tagged my current favorite running bloggers.  If you have a burning desire to answer questions I put forth, let me know and I'll write questions for you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I don't have anything to say.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that those of you who know me in real life will find that absolutely impossible to believe.

But it's true.

I'm completely inundated at work; truly one of those hellish periods that luckily only come around, oh, once a semester.  I'm having enough trouble keeping on top of my work and running.  I absolutely can't come up with anything interesting to say about running for the time being.

Let me put it this way: my last issue of Running Times has been sitting, untouched and unread, in a stack of magazines and unimportant junk mail for more than two weeks.  And you know how much I love me some Running Times.

Point being: I'll be back in a few days when I have something to say again.

I'm okay.

But until then, you'll have to keep waiting.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blah blah blah, yeah it's cold or something

I showed this cartoon to my friend Wendy and she didn't think it was funny. I explained to her: it's about sleeping
inside a dead deer for warmth, which is inherently funny, and then it also involves a dance-off: also funny.
She still didn't get it, and I'm forced to concede that one of my closest friends has no sense of humor.  Source.

About a week or so ago, as most of you know, the east coast was hit with a cold front.  Nothing inappropriate for December, but it felt much worse than it was after a relatively mild fall.  Today's supposed to be in the 20s.  It even snowed a little last night.

Suddenly last week, my twitter feed was on high alert.  Everyone and their mother had some comment on running tights, on long socks that would keep your ankles warm, on fleecy hats that could accommodate headphones.

I don't know; maybe I naturally run hotter than most people, but I don't really make that big of a deal of cold weather clothes.  I can't stand to have my head fully covered by a hat in the winter, for instance (odd, since I wear hats all summer).  Usually the most clothing I'll wear is a lightweight long sleeved t-shirt under a running jacket.  When I first started running, cold weather meant an extra cotton sweatshirt.  Slowly I transitioned to expensive technical gear.  It was huge for me when I bought my very first pair of running tights.  Ten years later, I still have them.  I just wore them Saturday, in fact.  They're Asics.

Running in the cold is awesome because you can't lollygag.  Stop for more than a moment to walk and you'll be cold.  You have to keep running to keep warm.  Plus, the runner's smug is in full effect.  Running in the cold is just badass.  "Yeah, it's cold out," you can tell your coworkers.  "I cut my 7m run down to 5m because the wind kept blasting the snow into my face."

Speaking of feeling smug, I'm going to go out running now.  This is the worst time of year at work, and I need at least that little bit of my day to go right.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Jersey?

When I lived in Philly a few years ago, I had an amazing apartment in an excellent location right near Rittenhouse Square.  How I loved that apartment!  Until - until - they put in a new bar on my block and simultaneously banned smoking in bars.  Suddenly, every weekend, I would sit in my living room and hear the sounds of drunken idiots yelling at each other as they overtook the sidewalk to smoke.  Invariably these drunken idiots all had south Jersey accents.

Moving to New York didn't do anything to help my feelings for people from New Jersey.  However, I had an experience this weekend that may have.

On Saturday, I was due for a longer run.  It'd been three weeks since I last ran a marathon - time to get myself in gear.  Somehow, unbelievably, I managed to con a friend into taking the train down from Connecticut to run in the city with me.  (Okay, it's not really a con so much as a promise that I'll go up to Stamford later to do a long run or two with him as he prepares for his first marathon.)

I had canceled plans at the last minute last weekend to run over the GWB with my friend Mike, so this weekend, I suggested that Aron and I do the same.  We were aiming for about 10m, so we figured we'd cross over, see what was in New Jersey, and then turn around and make up mileage along the Hudson River if we needed to.
Aron with the GWB in the background
Well.  Well.  Well.  We didn't need to make up any miles in Manhattan at the end of the run.  In fact, as it turns out, we could have run for miles and miles.  Those of you who already know that I ended up in the Palisades are probably laughing at my naivete.

How gorgeous!  How lovely!  Running downhill from the GWB, we followed a road down to a park at the base of the river.  From there, we admired the view for a bit, and then we found some stairs.  What else to do besides climb them?

Between stopping to take photographs, stairs,
and the fact that I'm lazy, one of our miles
took us a whopping 28 minutes.

Let me tell you the best part of the run: Aron asked me if I'd lost weight since the last time he saw me, over the summer.  I don't really have any idea if I have or not, but I do know that Aron is now my new best friend for saying that, and also I will never wear any other pants to run besides the ones I was wearing today.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WARNING: Viewer discretion advised

I told you I would and I did: I ran yesterday.  And it was amazing.  In fact, I just might do it again today and tomorrow, it was so nice.

The part of Manhattan where I run (just south of the George Washington Bridge along the Hudson River) is lovely.  Because my schedule has some flexibility, I tend not to run during times of day when it's crowded with commuters or other exercisers, so it's a very peaceful and serene place to run.

My running path yesterday afternoon.
Inviting, don't you think?
Except for one thing: Rats.  Literal rats.

Usually this is no big deal.  It's hard to tell a scurrying squirrel apart from a rat in the bushes.  However, there is one thing that sets the squirrels apart from the rats, and that is that rats are evidently stupid.  I'm basing that on the sheer number of rats I see looking something like this:

If you think this rat is gross, you should see the ones
in the subway.
Squirrels know how to cross the path.  Squirrels instinctively avoid people.  Rats, they'll cross in front of you.  And - worse for them - they don't seem to get that bike wheels will kill them.

There are fewer of them, now that the weather has turned cold (and also now that there are fewer bikes out on the path - which reminds me: cyclists, seriously? Man up. Get some cold weather gear, a balaclava, some good gloves, and keep on riding).  During the summer, I'm not sure there was a single run wherein I didn't see at least one dead rat.  To the credit of the park service, often the dead rats I see when I head out on my run are gone by the time I head back.  I think they have a group of employees whose sole job it must be to pick up dead rats.

Pretty gross, no?  Still, I'd take a rat any day over a roach.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I haven't run in two weeks.

I could give you all sorts of excuses: I'm getting over the marathons! It's that point in the semester where I'm not even sleeping, let alone eating!  It's too cold for shorts, but I couldn't find my tights!

Truth be told, I've wanted to run, but I just haven't.  And I've been okay with that.

But that ends today.  Today, I'm going running.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Now it's officially Christmas time

A friend of mine asked me the other day what my Christmas traditions were.

I realized: I have none.  Literally none.  My family has some, but me, the adult Tracy, has no traditions that are independent of my childhood.

So I got a Christmas tree.  And I decorated it.  With race medals.  It still needs lights, but it's a start.  And it's something to do with all of my medals!

Don't make fun of me.  I happen to know for fact that I am not the only Christmas running dork out there.

I might have been raised in the UCC, but I'm equal opportunity when it comes to celebrating holidays, especially those associated with food.  Here's a photo from a latke party I went to over the weekend.  Would you believe that I'd never had a latke before?

I didn't run this past weekend.  That may - MAY - have been related to the fact that I left Brooklyn (where the latke party was being held) at a reasonable hour Saturday night.  I remember dozing off on the subway, but I don't remember how I got my sleeping bag down from a high shelf before collapsing into it on the couch.  I'm sure I was just tired and not drunk, but the bottles of wine on the table suggest that the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is your partner a runner? Does it matter?

Yesterday morning, I was indulging one of my favorite Sunday/Monday traditions and was reading the NYTimes' wedding announcements.  As someone who really doesn't care for marriage or weddings, I have no idea why I do this.  A few times I've seen people I know (that's what happens when you go to a snooty college for undergrad), but mostly it's just voyeuristic pleasure.

The lead story this week caught my attention: it celebrated the marriage of two competitive runners.  He was All-American at Stanford; she was All-American at Yale, an Olympian (10k in Athens), and took 3rd in Chicago in 2007.

This got me thinking: Is it important to you that you date/marry a runner?  Or is it enough that they just understand that you run?  Would you want your partner to be someone that you could actually run with?  Lots of questions, I know, but I'm genuinely curious.

For the most part, the men I've dated have been supportive non-runners.  One boyfriend ran a marathon, sort of.  He did all of his training on the treadmill at the gym after work and had a miserable race.  Another boyfriend was actively not supportive, cajoling me to turn my alarm off in the mornings and skip my runs (that wasn't the only way in which he was annoying, and how that lasted four years is one of life's mysteries).  One of my good friends/training partners often runs with her husband - in fact, I've run with her husband a few times.  None of my boyfriends have ever been that supportive.

So I guess, for me, I would say that it's important that my partner be supportive.  I'd love someone that I could run with, but day-in/day-out that might get kind of old.  Or worse: competitive.

Of course, I'm still looking forward to the Times' announcement that features one of these:

Actually, no, I'm not.  I don't see the appeal to getting married mid-race. At all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Also? You look really weird.

I've decided to take a stand on barefoot running.

I think barefoot runners are largely self-righteous douchebags.  Not all of them by any means, but many of them.  I'm basing that mostly on my understanding of the Runner's World web forum on barefoot running - clearly a representative sample.  Also?  The Springsteen song (Born to Run) gets on my nerves, and it reminds me of barefoot runners because of the book of the same name and all.

That's my stand on barefoot runners.  What's my stance on barefoot running itself?

Now, for the record, I'm sort of the Brian Fellow of running physiology.  In other words, I have no educated basis at all for what I'm about to say.  Remember: I didn't even learn how to stretch until a few months ago.

I read Born to Run and I bought it, hook line and sinker.  I was moved.  I imagined myself as a persistence hunter, running and running and running.  I bored my friends with TOTALLY AWESOME facts about how our lungs don't get compressed as we run, you see, so we can breathe independently of our footstrike and run forever if we need to.  I own Vibrams, Nike Frees, MBTs, Vivo Barefoot, Kigos.  I get the barefoot thing and I think there's something to it.

I also believe that it is possible to be injured by too much shoe.  Getting fitted for running shoes isn't rocket science, but there is something to it.  I tried to push my beloved Asics on to a running friend years ago, and she started getting cramps in her side - above the waist - every time she wore them.  Something was pulling on something and it gave her an abdominal muscle cramp.  So shoe fit isn't rocket science - worse, it's magic.

Personally, I'm enough of a conspiracy theorist to even see Nike as basically a big drug company, luring us in with more and more expensive shoes and convincing us we need the best there is.  "Oh, you like that offering?  We have this other shoe, over here... even softer... yet more stable... and in better colors... only $20 more...  Just follow me into this dark, loud store over here under the 'Niketown' sign..."

Now.  That said.  We're starting to see an anti-barefoot backlash.  People are getting injured from doing too much too soon.  People are getting injured from not paying attention and switching from one form to the other - barefoot shoes today, cushioned tomorrow, etc.  Your form is different from barefoot to shod. Go back and forth and you're confusing yourself.

Running is the stuff of repetition.  It's inherently monotonous.  We learn muscle memory through running, again and again.  One foot in front of the other until it becomes rote.

I probably have at least a dozen pictures of me at DQ.
Also?  I might have millions of years of evolution suggesting that I should be running barefoot, but I have hundred of years of devolution suggesting that I should sit my butt down in a nice cushy chair and eat Dairy Queen.  A million years ago, a runner wouldn't have carried around the extra pounds I have going on.  Or the lethargy.  Or the sedentary desk job.  Or the red meat whenever I want it which is frankly too often.  A million years ago, a runner wouldn't have gotten massively peeved if she couldn't get a seat on the subway for TWO WHOLE stops of her commute - that's like 6 minutes of standing!

What's next in the back-to-nature movement?  I really hope it's the squat toilet.  I cannot tell you how much I would love to see the Turkish Toilet installed throughout America.

Friday, December 3, 2010

True Facts about Tracy

True Facts for your Friday:

  • I don't eat olives, sauerkraut, white chocolate, or sweet potatoes;
  • I have my wisdom teeth in a plastic jar on a bookshelf in my living room (near my medals, actually);
  • I spent one of the best summers of my life working as a cocktail waitress at a Hawaiian bar;
  • I'm addicted to my iPhone - or to a smart phone, anyway (I'm considering abandoning crappy AT&T to get a Droid);
  • I'm afraid of the dark.

What what, you say?  You don't eat olives, Tracy?

Yeah, it's true: I'm scared of the dark.  I'm okay in very well lit areas or when I'm with other people, but on my own - pretty much terrified.  So I don't run in the dark.  That works well all summer, when I can go running at 7pm and be fine.  But yesterday, I put my running clothes on and went outside.  Between taking out the garbage and a short phone call, it was dark before I could run.  And it was only 5pm.

One of the greatest things about running in my neighborhood is that it's empty.  Not congested.
One of the worst thing about running in my neighborhood is that it's empty.  Desolate.

How worried should I be?  Years of working as a rape crisis advocate and buying into the whole Katie Roiphe, blue-light argument have convinced me that I am at risk when I do something stupid like run in a lightly trafficked area by myself in the dark.

But what about when that means that I'm not going running?

How worried should I be?  I'm not worried about cars.  The path I run on is car-free.  I'm worried about my safety.  Running with my phone visible means that I'm a target; having my phone put away means I can't access it in a rush if something happens.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flying Monkey Marathon redux

I'm back to it.  This race is still on my mind.
Specifically: how I was weaseled by a weasel.

As you may remember, ages ago I made a bet with a friend of mine.  I wanted to do the Flying Monkey Marathon but, with a race this small, I was concerned about being last.  Ian bet me that he would be last.  I was game.

But then, my plans changed and I was out.  Ian was out, too (because he's a wuss), so the bet was just off and I wouldn't be doing the race and that was that.  Right?  Well...  No.  Of course, as you know,  I got a last minute ticket and was good to go race morning.

Ian, his brother, and I all lined up at the start.  Ian's plan was to run the first 7 or so with his brother and then meet up with him for the last 7 or 8.  If I could stay with his brother, then I'd get Ian's company, too.  I didn't think I'd be able to keep up with him, but once we started running we fell into a pleasant camaraderie and were fairly well matched.  Ian's brother was undertrained (by a lot) whereas I was experienced - but slow and tired.

For a while we rolled along (and that's all you can do on a course this hilly, just go with it).  I was in good spirits - we were going slowly enough that I could just talk... and talk... and talk..., and Ian's brother is interesting and engaging and (most importantly) was willing to listen to me blather on.  We hit a few rough spots, and his knee started bothering him pretty badly.  I was happy to take it easy for him.  I could have maybe picked it up a little bit in there, but I wanted the company more than I wanted to finish a few minutes faster.

We met up with Ian again around 18 and our party kept moving on.  I hadn't been watching the time, but when we hit the 23m marker, I looked down at my watch: 5:30.  Drat.  I'd been hoping to break 6 hours (and I think I would have with no problem if I'd left Ian's brother behind).  I said something aloud, jokingly, about how we needed sub-10 minute miles for the last few to break 6 hours.

Well.  With that, Ian's brother took off.  I don't know how else to describe it.  He just took off.  No real warning, just a massive burst of speed.  And he kept it up!  He dropped his pace by nearly 4 minutes per mile for the last 3.2 and finished in 6:02.

On one hand: seriously, you weasel. For real? After we all just went through, you ditch me?

On the other hand: it's a race. As in, every man for himself.  And he rocked the finish.

On the (hm, okay, go with it) third hand: I was jealous. That kind of mind-over-body determination? I don't have it. Can it be learned? I sure hope.

Honestly? I was just impressed.  This was a bastard of a first marathon, and to do it undertrained? Insane. To do it undertrained and blast out sub-10 minute miles on crazy hills for your last 3 miles after averaging closer to 14 for the rest of the race and dealing with debilitating knee pain?  DUDE.

Still, I feel like I have unfinished business with this race.  Partly because I was definitely holding myself back at points for Ian's brother, partly because I had such a rough go of it between Chicago and NYCM and I wasn't prepared to do this race except as a lark.  Like I tweeted my imaginary friend Angry, "there's no glory in a 6 hour marathon finish, even if there is a 3500 ft elevation change."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Do you save your medals?
Your bibs?
Your mylar blankets?

Why or why not?

I've recently come to the conclusion that I have too much crap from races, crap that doesn't really mean anything to me.  I don't save bibs, except for special races (I have Mt. Washington and the ESBRU on my wall at work).  I don't save blankets, unless I'm planning a Halloween costume and need them for that.
The medals from my first five marathons are stuck in this tin.

My favorite bibs are taped to a bookshelf
in my office. Right above a shirtless picture
of Frank Shorter. So I like me some eye
candy, you have a problem with that?
Okay, so I came to this conclusion abruptly when the coat rack I'd been sticking my medals on sort of maybe started coming out of the wall from the weight.  I didn't know that you couldn't just slap one of those up anywhere into the drywall and expect it to hold pounds and pounds of weight.  I've since learned that the word "studs" can mean more than just my mother's passe way of referring to hot guys.

My last few medals are stuck on the rack
where I hang my keys next to the door.
So I moved my medals to hang on a bookshelf.  It's a cheap bookshelf that I got from IKEA, and in addition to books and medals it also houses my printer.  Every time I print anything the bookshelf jiggles a little, which rattles the medals and freaks out my cat and dog.

Here are all the rest. On a corner of a bookshelf.
The best medal I ever got was years ago from the Philly Distance Run, and I don't have it any more.  The medal came off of its lanyard and could be used as a keyring; how ingenious is that?

I'm considering getting rid of some medals.  None of the marathon medals, mind you, but maybe some of the medals for lesser races?  On one hand, each represents an accomplishment of some sort.  But on the other hand, I'm not at the point where I really need a reminder that I finished a 5m race.  I think running is cool, but I don't think that I'm a winner just for getting to the finish line.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I swear - like, totally pinkie swear - that I'm not training for anything.  Starting... today.  It's actually pretty liberating to not feel like I have any obligation to any running schedule or calendar.  Predictably, I want to run now more than I have in the past few months.  I also took a kick-ass spin class last week and started doing the Bar Method this past weekend.  But that's, like, boring and not running.  So I'll keep it to myself.  (Do you really want to read me talk about ab exercises?  Loud music in a sweaty spin studio?  Because I don't want to write about these things.  And there will not be pictures.)

FINE.  Okay.  Stop giving me that look.  YES, I did register for the Egyptian Marathon.  After that: nothing.  I swear.  How could I resist?  After filling out the online form, I received this confirmation:

I love Egypt.  And I guess I have to figure out how to do an international bank transfer before the date line passes me by.

The start and finish?  Here:

But I'm not really training for it.  I'll have to do a couple of long runs between now and my early-January departure, but it's going to be a fun run.  (Notwithstanding the dream I had the other morning wherein I floated through next year's NYCM in 3-something.  The dream only got less plausible and more pleasantly surreal from there.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Prospect Park Turkey Trot 5m

Last year, when I ran this race, I was ecstatic that I was running sub-11 minute miles.  This year, sub-10 minute miles.  If I continue to improve at this pace, I will beat the world record in only 6 short years.

Okay, maybe that's not happening.  But I'm glad to see that, although my marathon times might not be where I'd like them, at least I'm improving somewhat, somehow, at some distance.

Short recap: the race is five miles in Prospect Park.  They gave participants arm warmers (nice touch).  The course is fairly standard slightly rolling hills, with one notable exception: a giant, mile-long hill (mile 3 of the race).  The grade isn't too bad, but it just goes on and on.  It starts subtly, and (if you're me), you don't realize that you're in the middle of the hill and you can see how much it continues.  There was one point where I turned to the woman next to me and said, "I feel like I'm running in place!"  It just never seems to stop.  But then it does, there's a nice downhill, and you're almost done.

In case you're someone who's into statistics.
I'm not disappointed with my performance; in fact, I'm quite pleased.  However, I do wish that I'd warmed up some before the race.  I could tell from how sluggish I felt and how low my heart rate was for the first mile that I was working harder than I needed to (for slower return).  That first mile in particular should have been faster.

Immediately after the race, I got in a rental car to drive down to Thanksgiving in Philadelphia.  I have to say, the open road (well, the mostly open Jersey Turnpike) was the perfect complement to running hard.  I love driving and I miss being able to do it regularly.  I like to say that I'm an "assertive" driver, although I've heard at least one passenger suggest "aggressive" instead.  Whatever.  People are too passive as drivers these days.  I think it comes from everyone driving cars with automatic transmissions - what's that all about?  You don't feel like you're actually a part of the car the same way you do with a standard.  When you drive stick, it's like you and the car become one.  And it's awesome.  I could go on, but I'll save the rest for my car blog and go back to running talk.  (NB: I don't have a car blog.)

Open road tolling: Rod Blagojevich's gift to IL drivers.
The medal, and I think this is ingenious, is exactly the same medal as last year but on a different lanyard. I wore it in the car on the way down, and when I got to dinner, my host asked what I won.  I had to explain that I didn't technically win anything, besides a smug feeling.  He then asked if it was sort of like a summer day camper getting a medal for "best god's eye."  Sadly, yes.  Except it was "best" nothing.  I told the smart ass to get back in the kitchen.  (NB: No, I didn't.  I smiled and laughed politely and appreciated the delicious food and gracious hospitality.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I can't do it.

I've been trying to write a race report to cover the Flying Monkey Marathon, and I just can't.

It was just a fun race.  I loved it.  I hope to do it again next year.  Will that suffice?

Actually, I don't feel much like writing about running at all right now.  Chances are good that it'll get better over the weekend; maybe it won't.

So, instead of a race report, I offer you a picture of me holding a turkey from Thanksgiving a few years ago.  (I think it's actually a Christmas turkey.  I don't remember.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I chose going out for drinks and sushi with a friend I haven't seen in a while last night over writing up a race report.  So you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the stunning details of the Flying Monkey Marathon.  My report tomorrow morning can be a Thanksgiving weekend gift to you.  Until then...

One of the (many) post-marathon "congratulations now buy some stuff" emails I've gotten from the NYRR since the marathon ended:

While it's true that my riesling has to suffer the indignity of being served in a tumbler I borrowed from a monastery (instead of fine, Tiffany China), I think I'm good.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I may have kind of sort of lied to you.

Shortly after writing Friday's post, in which I said I wasn't doing the Flying Monkey Marathon (I wrote the post Thursday night), I decided to check flights just one last time.

Plane ticket, itinerary that worked for me: $230. The cheapest I'd seen it for all the months I'd been checking. Travelocity hooked me up with a cheap rental car and a cheap room at the local Hyatt and I was headed to Nashville Saturday afternoon. After all, as my sister told me (several times), "You should be spending your money on experiences, not objects." It's like she knew about the Anthropologie jacket I bought last week that I was feeling kind of guilty about (it's cute, though, right?).

So I ran the race.

Let me start with this:

There are things I read in running blogs so often that I've started to see them as almost cliche.  These include:
-"I dug deep"
-"I gutted it out"
-"I checked in with my body to see if I could hold this pace" (when one's body responds ("my legs said yes, or I think so") is when I convulse in a fit of giggles)

I find these things to be cliche mostly because I don't do them. I have none of what you might call "grit." I have a tenacity that defies all logic and a dogged persistence, but I AM NOT A TALENTED  RUNNER.

And, I was in a rut. If you read my Chicago report, you know where this origins of this rut started.  New York was a high point, but I underperformed - or, more accurately, I performed exactly where my training would put me, which is not where I want to be. I'm disappointed with my running lately.

So why did I do this race? Well, like the race director said when I emailed him (on Wednesday), explaining my rut and bowing out of the race, "I have always found Monkey to break the funk.  Criminy :("

And it did end my rut. It was beautiful. It was torturous. It was a race you run not for time, but for the pure and unadulterated love of running. It's just you, a gorgeous park, other like-minded people running for the joy of it, and beer at the end.  A race you run to remember how good it feels when it's just you and the road, even if the road beats you up a little (or a lot). A race... I'll stop now, before I devolve into cliche (too late?).  But it was amazing and awesome and satisfying and well worth the trip.

So, marathon #8 is done.  And I'm technically qualified to join the Marathon Maniacs at the bronze level if I'm so inclined.

Tomorrow: the race itself.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm not in Nashville right now...

Yep, still in NYC.  (Did you hear that, potential blog stalkers?  You will not find my apartment empty this weekend.)  I'm disappointed that I'm not running the Flying Monkey, but I made the decision weeks ago without admitting it when I didn't buy a plane ticket in a timely manner.  I was so burnt out after Chicago that the thought of a third fall marathon was deathly.  Now that I feel like I'm actually physically up to it, the logical part of my brain has pointed out that $400 for a plane ticket, $100 for a car rental, and $200 for a hotel room may not be the best way to spend my meager earnings.

Plus, I can't afford the time spent at a weekend away right now.  Work has kicked into high gear and I've been averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep a night since the marathon.  Even with some sad attempts to catch up on sleep on the weekends, I'm still feeling rather First Fig.

So... what to do with myself, now that I'm not training?  Well, there are several other "marathons" I've decided I will participate in:

1.  Marathon eating.  I can become a stunt eater.  You know, someone who eats really gross stuff just to get attention.  Who am I kidding?  I really just want an excuse to eat a McRushmore.

What is wrong with me that this looks good to me?
2.  Jersey Shore marathon.  Time to catch up on all of the delicious antics of those crazy gorilla juiceheads.
I kind of think Pauly D is hot.
Sad, but true.
3.  Marathon Grill at 17th & Sansom, my old favorite restaurant.  I'll be back in Philly next week and I'll have to go there.  Might I recommend you try one of their salads, if you're ever in Philly?

4.  Four Loko Marathon.  I'm thinking some sort of hour-of-power, but with Four Loko.  Who's in?
That's my Senator! Quick, drink up, before it's banned!
5.  Oh, who are we kidding.  I might run the Egyptian Marathon in January, or I might join my friend Aron and train for the Ocean Drive Marathon in March, and I've already staked my reputation (ahem, for what it's worth) on a fresh new bet against my friend Ian for next year's Flying Monkey in November.  And while we're at it, I do have guaranteed entry in the NYCM for next year.

And the cycle of marathons continues.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Skyrise Chicago Sears or Willis or Something Tower Climb

On Sunday of this past weekend, I climbed the Sears Willis Tower.  I have trouble calling it by its new name.  
Let's pretend it says "Sears Tower," okay?
As you remember... because I keep repeating myself over and over again... because I'm proud of my little brother, I was doing this stair climb to accompany my brother.  He's recently lost 80lbs (HOLLA!) in large part due to some serious hours spent on the stairmill.  He flew to New York to stand in Brooklyn and hold a sign while I ran the marathon and we didn't even make it to Shake Shack after; I can climb the Sears Tower with him.
Who's Doug?
Somehow he conned me and two of his closest friends into doing it with him.
We bought a copy of this picture.
It's so delightfully fake.
I didn't train, at all.  My office is on the 4th floor at work, and I haven't taken the stairs in months.  I haven't been to the gym since the summer, and I don't even do any non-running cross-training.  Heck, I haven't even run up a hill since Mt. Washington.  I wasn't prepared.  Oh, sure, I told myself.  Your marathon glory will carry you up 103 flights of stairs.  Because that's how these things work, obviously.
Where is that glory? This is how I looked
from flights 2-103.
It was hard.  Like, really hard. I don't know how else to describe it.  A hot stairwell, full of sweaty people, and it just goes up and up and up.  I was dizzy and tired and I held my brother back.  He had trained to rock this race, and instead he had to give me 2100 stairs' worth of pep talks to coax me up another flight.

Of course, the reason to make it up to the top is for The Ledge.  The Ledge: a terrifying glass box that juts out from the side of the building and purports to be structurally sound and weight bearing, against all visual odds.  It's just freaky.  Seriously freaky.

First, I tried to scoot out on my butt.  That was scary.  Okay, what about on my back?

Still kind of scary.  I don't like to fly, though, either.  

I never got comfortable with it, but I did get to the point where I could stand out there, for team photos at least:

This is a real photo.  Not edited.
I wish I had more adjectives to use to describe this one, but (like Sarah pointed out), I'm over-raced right now and it's all a blur.  This race was disturbing.  But worth it.  That said, this is a race that will not make it onto my calendar again next year.  Let the more intrepid have it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It Gets Better

Tomorrow I'll bring you a recap of my latest, ridiculous stair climbing adventure, but in the meantime watch this video.

I know that the whole "It gets better" campaign is starting to feel like an inundation, but when you watch a touching video like this it really hits home.  Put together by the Front Runners New York.

And then go donate your time or money to the Trevor Project, if you're so inclined.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Post marathon running notes

Although I didn't really feel like my body needed it (or deserved it), I took four days off from running after that marathon.  On Friday, in Chicago, I did a quick 3m with my dad.  At least it felt quick; I'm not wearing my Garmin for the next few months, so I can't say for sure.  It actually felt kind of like I was floating.  Very, very easy miles.

On Saturday, I did just over 6m with my sister.  On Sunday she and I did 5m.  (Yes, with my sister.  Even though she's almost twice as fast as I am, she's big into doubles these days, so she squeezed in a recovery run with me.)  Those two runs were a little harder, but still nice.  It started raining about 4m into our Saturday run, which was refreshing (although cold).

My sister stopped to use the "bathroom" three times during that run.  We were on a well-traveled multi-use path in a very suburban area (the Prairie Path, if you're in/near Chitown) - she was mere feet from people's backyards.  Pretty weird.  The third time, just as she was about to drop her Nike shorts, I pointed out to her that she was quite literally in front of the door to the local Historical Museum.  With a bathroom inside.  Fewer than 10ft away.

She did take my suggestion of using the public bathroom, but the last thing she said as she ran through the door was, "Well, at least this gives you something to put in your blog!"

I would rather be able to report that my sister had learned sphincter control.  She wants me to share this (very disturbing) article about what the author calls "The Tao of Poo."  You've been warned.  NB: my sister was not about to win an Ironman during our 6m jaunt.  If there's cash on the line, I'm much more likely to say anything goes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Totally self-serving bonus post

Kelly tagged me in some sort of thing in which people who have blogs cajole other people who have blogs into answering questions.  I don't really understand these things, but it's 2am and my cab to the airport will be here in 4 hours - so I'm not sleeping tonight, anyway.

Kelly, I'll answer your questions because I'm totally flattered to have been invited (and I'm also vain and narcissistic), but I have to warn you: I am where memes go to die.  I don't tag people.  So anyone who might be reading this, if you want to do something like it, pretend I tagged you.

Her questions and my answers:

1.  Favorite restaurant and why?  Lately my favorite restaurant is Ricardo Steakhouse in East Harlem because it's not very expensive, it's absolutely delicious, and they used to have a painting - an OIL PAINTING - of a na'vi on the wall.  It's like the artist said to himself, "I have this great idea for a painting, but I can't decide if it belongs on the side of a van or on a canvas.  Wait... I don't have a van."

Runner-up: the revolving restaurant at the top of the Grand Hyatt in Cairo.  Yum.

2.  What's at the top of your Christmas/Hanukkah list?  An 11" Macbook Air.  No contest.  That bitch is hot.  Are you paying attention, Santa?

3.  If you were given a free trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Well, let's see now.  This question is tricky.  Just as some people try to run marathons in every state, I'm angling to join the traveler's century club.  Actually I'd probably not join, but I'd love to qualify.  I think I'm at 19 countries, some of which were just layovers (they count); I have my work cut out for me.  So, you see, there are lots of places I'd like to visit but haven't yet: southeast Asia, Finland, India, China.  I could go with a cop-out and say something like, "I'd get an around the world ticket!", but truthfully, I don't want that.  I could also say Egypt or Sweden (my two favorite countries, places I've been multiple times, and places I'm less inclined to use my limited travel budget toward since they don't get me an additional country).
Read this book!  It's really good!
But, if it's a free trip, I'd have to go with an atoll of some sort, either the Maldives or maybe Kiribati.  1) I can't afford to go there with my current salary, so free is good, and 2) there's a substantial chance that global warming will wipe them both off the map, and soon.  Maybe Kiribati, since they have cargo cults and that's awesome.  Anyone up for taking an imaginary free trip with me?

4.  Who is your favorite person in the whole world?  Ah-ha!  She didn't specify dead or alive, so I get to cheat and name Franklin Pierce.  My favorite president.

5.  What do you like most about blogging?  As dorky as this is, I've actually met a few seriously cool people through twitter and my blog (like Kelly, for instance!).  Other than that, I like procrastinating?  Sad but true.

Any other questions for me while I'm completely off-topic?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's next?

YES, YES, YES there is a good and proper break in my future, one in which I will not only take time off from running, but I will feel no guilt about it.  In other words: my proposed trip to Egypt for the month of January is looking more and more likely.  That's three weeks without gym access.  I will use this time to think about what I get out of running, what I want out of running, and how I can make these two mesh.  

Hint: fewer races, and actually racing the ones I sign up for.

I'm also going to consider the marathon itself, and whether it's something I should continue to do or not.  I love running marathons.  I love identifying as a marathoner, and I love long distances.  But, let's face facts here: I suck at them.  I'm really, really truly not a good marathon runner.  Not right now, anyway.

I might consider focusing more on the Fun Size Marathon - you might know it by its old name, the "half marathon."  It's easier to fit a 10 or 13m long run into my schedule and I want to stick to a distance where I can have a strategy that moves beyond "just finish the race."

Because that's the thing, ultimately: seven marathons in, it's no longer enough to just finish.  Before I got sick, I was to the point where I could race the marathon.  Yes, this is only my third post-sickness marathon (and only the second one I've been remotely prepared for), but mentally I want to be racing and not just finishing.  I want to be walking backwards down stairs the next day instead of feeling, you know, a touch sore but nothing too bad.

I'm still registered for that small race in Tennessee, the Flying Monkey.  I still haven't officially taken it off the table.  I am prepared for it and registered for it, and eeking it out would earn me marathon maniac status (at the bronze level) - although at this point, I'm not sure that's something I even want anymore.  The Flying Monkey, though, is out of my hands: right now, direct flights are prohibitively expensive (upwards of $400) and connecting flights are terribly inconvenient (no affordable options leave Sunday evening, and the Monday morning options don't get me back to NYC in time for work).

Also?  This totally happened in front of my office yesterday.  An ambulance blew up and they evacuated our building because of it.

I'm on hiatus tomorrow, traveling to Chicago to climb the Sears Tower with my brother.  Maybe Monday, too.  I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jesus Take the Wheel

Ryan Hall is now being coached by G-d.  Or something.  The language is a little awkward.

Seriously; read that.  What does it even mean?

I'm not knocking religion, but it sounds from his blog like Ryan Hall doesn't have a training plan any more.  He's letting the lord tell him what to do.

On a second read, it sounds more like what he's saying is that he's not going to commit his training plan to paper.  He'll still have a training plan (and he is a world-class athlete; I'm sure he could create a world-class training plan with no problem).  But he'll take it day-by-day, which allows flexibility.  Honestly, that doesn't sound unreasonable.

But I'll be very curious to see if this works for him or not.  Maybe I'm just jealous - I do a version of this training plan every day, wherein I listen to my instinct tell me what I should run that day.  My instinct isn't exactly what you would call "tough."

Also?  What a surprise.  I'm rethinking my marathon retirement, already.  And so is Haile Gebrselassie!  From twitter:

I'm still game for that reality show, though.