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"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's that time of the month...

...when Tracy has received her new issue of Running Times and feels compelled to blog about it.  If you don't subscribe, you should.  Maybe we'd have more to talk about if we were on the same page, hmm?

Anyway, things I found interesting:

-An article on safety when running alone (p. 16).  It didn't offer anything new, per se, and it used the case of Chelsea King to set the tone.  Evidently there was an 8:30am assault in Central Park not that long ago, too, so this is relevant to me.  It's good to be vigilant, sure, and I do sometimes allow my paranoia to derail my running (it's too dark out! I live in Harlem!).  But at the same time, I could get hit by a car or die in a plane crash or be raped and murdered when I'm just out walking (and not running).  When does vigilance become paranoia, and does running make us more vulnerable?

-An article on distance runners striving to become elites (p. 45ff).  This was an interesting article, bluntly profiling the lives of four talented athletes who are training full time (one couple struggled to pay a $300 medical bill after emergency surgery, another guy makes $12/hour at a copy shop to make ends meet).  The thing about this article that bothered me, greatly, is that they only profiled one woman - and she's the wife of one of the men being profiled.  Are there not any energizing up-and-coming women that they could have featured?

-Rachel Toor writes about doing a rim-to-rim-to-rim run of the Grand Canyon (p. 63ff).  The story itself is interesting and well-written; she uses her mother's death as a framing story to give the run meaning.  But it made me want to do something crazy like that.  Maybe I just have trail fever after this past weekend!

To liven the blog entry, here's a photo of my Converse and some bullets after I just loaded the magazines for the rifle I shot last night:


  1. A writer from Running Times is currently in the process of interviewing two of my training partners for an upcoming story (my friends Tammy and Julie). Julie went from a 4:20 marathon to 2:59 in 7 years, Tammy went from 3:40 to 2:58 in two years. They are both the same age, 40, and Julie works full-time, no kids, Tammy is a stay at home mom of three young children. The story should be awesome as it does profile real women :)

  2. Yay!! But where's your story, Mandy? :) You can lower your PR by 15 minutes, right? I remember your first marathon attempt... I believe I was at the 20, waiting for you with Peter, some pop, and Madonna songs...

  3. Well I don't want to give away the entire story, but both Tammy and Julie are now trying to qualify for the Olympic trials, that is why the reporter approached them (she wanted to feature women 40+ trying to qualify for the trials). Yes I can lower my PR by 15 minutes and I plan on it, but I do not have any desire to run any faster! Just wait until next year when I try to run 8:30s for 50 miles, I am sure the media will be after me then, hahah!

  4. Ha ha, does that mean I have to work up to 8:30 so I can crew/pace for you?

  5. I wonder whether female runners are less likely to have partners who would be willing to sacrifice that much [e.g., that much potential income] by supporting full-time or practically full-time training? so it could be that there's no lack of ambitious female runners, but there are fewer of them who have the resources to to train full-time due to other gendered patterns.

  6. That's a very, very good point. I think that you're very right about the practical realities of it, and how women are more likely to give it up sooner than men do. But, at the same time, the resources aren't there for women in the same way they are for men: race purses often are greater for men, and women (since they're slower) just seem secondary. Ugh.