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"

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Part one of two.

You know how these things work. My friend Mary has asked me 11 questions. And then I have to say 11 random things about myself. The random things will have to wait until tomorrow or maybe next week (crazy meetings keeping me crazy busy), but in the meantime, I've answered her questions. This post is completely self-indulgent - more so than usual, even.

1. Other sports you’ve played in your life, whether in high school, middle school, or college.
Hockey, for two brief seasons in an adult league. First I was in a women's D-league, then I moved up to a coed C/D-league (because the town I was in at that point didn't have a D-league). My career was completely unmemorable/unpromising and no one cried any tears when it was cut short.

2. Best race ever.
Mount Washington, I guess? Someday I'd like to do Pikes Peak.

3. How many times have you been in love?
Three and one half times. I think. But then I doubt myself. Twice? Once? Three times? What is love, anyway? I'm ruled by logic and reason. (And sometimes hormones.)

4. Pen or pencil. And why?
Smencils and a Namiki Vanishing Point. (It's a retractable fountain pen.) And occasionally a nice Lamy Studio fountain pen. But mostly this one. That's some hot pen action right there, right?

5. Dream job.
Something in a museum. Preferably a museum basement. Me and old stuff. Like this:

6. Complete this sentence: “I feel most comfortable while…”

Answering internet memes Hm... Being sarcastic Hmm...
This is a hard question, Mary. According to google, comfortable means "providing physical ease and relaxation." Is it kind of perversely counter-intuitive to call running comfortable? I like reading. I like it a lot. Wherever, whenever - reading makes me comfortable. Final answer.

7. Fav food. If I know you well enough, I may or may not make it for you, because I’m a decent cook/baker.
Whatever Mary wants to cook for me. Seriously. I've had her apple cobbler. I want more.

Alternately, I mean, duh: Dairy Queen. And red meat.

The worst food I've ever had. Mystery meat on an Egyptian train.
8. Guilty pleasure.
Life is too short for guilty pleasures. Things that commonly come up on these lists I do without shame. I subscribe to US Weekly, I eat ice cream on the regular, and I've seen Britney Spears in concert twice. As an adult. Going with other adults.

9. Biggest pet peeve. Or you can have multiple. Pet peeves. 

10. If you could change ONE thing about yourself or your life, what would it be and why?
Oh, gosh. I'm not comfortable with this question. There are a million things I'd change, but then at the same time I'm happy with myself, so nothing.

11. Pre-race ritual.
Should I have one? I don't. Like, not at all. No special foods, no laying out the clothes, no cup of coffee. Sometimes I pin my bib on in advance, sometimes I pin it on while walking to the start. This could possibly have to do with my tendency to not race very hard - races aren't that nerve wracking for me because I'm not as worried about my performance.


  1. You entered the link to misophonia wrong (You added a '.' at the end.) I never knew about you and hockey.

  2. Thanks, Aron! I think I fixed it now.

  3. I was really hoping that your pre-race ritual would involve a PB sandwich in one hand and a dead mouse in a bag in the other.

  4. THANK YOU FOR THIS: "Life is too short for guilty pleasures."

    I think guilt should be saved for true moral trespasses (not that I'll dictate what anyone's morals should be beyond try not to actually kill people, steal or be a total asshole). Saying "oh my Dairy Queen/velveeta/ trashy TV habit is so awful" ise just a half-hearted attempt to look contrite for the simple and perhaps lowbrow enjoyments we all have.