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, May 30, 2013

Riding your bike to Yankee Stadium*

A couple of weeks ago I had tickets to see the Yankees play the Mariners. Being the dedicated athlete I am, I decided that the logical thing to do was to ride my bike to the stadium. The subway is a massive cluster on game days, and at 10 miles each way, no big deal. Somehow I even recruited company for the journey, and we plotted our course.

Heading up through Manhattan was easy, and after crossing over the Willis Bridge (and remembering fondly the marathon), we meandered north through the Bronx toward the stadium. It was easy enough to find: 161st and River is pretty much the clearest directions you can give someone in NYC (north to 161st, east to, you know, the river).

Once there, we had to park our bikes. I read one report that there was bike parking in a nearby garage. However... we asked several police, none of whom knew of any bike parking. They pointed out a couple of garages to us, but one cop finally said, "Leave it anywhere. There are so many cops around, your bike will be fine." (I actually think he was probably right.) We did find the bike parking I'd read about, but it was kind of desolate and not secured. There was one old bike chained up, no one watching the lot, and it was dark. We were both sure our bikes would be safer in a more heavily trafficked area.

Action shot: not Yankee Stadium
So we chained our bikes to a tree near the entrance to the stadium. And then the fun began. My companion had his fancypants Mumford & Sons saddle with him, so he stuck the seatpost in his bag. We gave our tickets to the agent and were promptly told that we couldn't enter with our helmets on. Our choices: lock them to our bikes (in which case they could/would be easily stolen), or pay $10 to check them.

I kind of lost it. I'd made a point of reading their policies beforehand (having been caught with a kindle, aka a prohibited recording device, last season), and helmets aren't mentioned anywhere on the website. I needed that $10 to buy myself almost an entire beer! I may have insisted on speaking to a manager and filing a formal complaint and I might maybe have gone into a tirade about it, possibly referring to the policy as extortion.

FWIW, I also lost the battle and paid $10 to check my helmet. But the Yankees won, so it was worth it.

I was fairly angry at the time, but I've mellowed since then. That said, I still think it's a crappy policy. Why prevent bike helmets? Why discourage people from riding to the stadium?

*I'm posting this basically because it's inexplicably hard to find information about riding your bike to Yankee Stadium. It should be totally doable, and yet - it's not. I promise that I'm not going all cyclist on you. I promise that I am still running, and that I will blog about running again soon. I'm leaving on Monday to go on a dig for three weeks, and then I'll begin training for MCM. (Oh, yeah, I'm going to Egypt for three weeks in June. But don't be jealous, as this is the current extended forecast for where I'll be and the director of our project emailed me to point out that there is "very little shade" on our dig site.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ladies: I need your (hair) help

This past weekend, I indulged in my twice-yearly beautification ritual, meaning I got a haircut (and highlights, but shhhhhh I'm really that light haired naturally).

I don't blow dry my hair, ever. I condition it every day. I'm not rough on it. For the past few years, I've gone to the same stylist. I'm very used to her gushing over how soft and healthy my hair is. I mean, I'm basically a Pantene commercial - except I use Garnier Fructis.

So that's why I was shocked when my new stylist told me that my hair was actually unhealthy. She pointed out that there is a line where my my hair was broken all along, midway up my head. Skeptically, I checked it out and I could clearly see the wispy, broken hairs. Suddenly I was the before scene in that Pantene commercial.

She said, "Do you where your hair in a ponytail a lot?"
Uh, yeah. You know, every time I run.

She said, "Can you wear your hair down when you run? Or just wear a headband to keep it off your face and wear the rest down?" Yeah, no. Not only is that objectively weird, but oh! the sweat!

So what should I do? What do you do?

Edit: Long-haired gentlemen or anyone else with suggestions, feel free to reply.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friends don't let friends wear Crocs.

Are you worried that the nice weather means you can't wear sweatpants anymore, and you need a new, clear way to indicate that you've given up on life? Do you fear that with the new-fangled, fancily colored and low profile running shoes that your shoes are looking too trendy?

Or maybe you were afraid that barefoot running hadn't quite jumped the shark yet? Never fear! Along come Crocs and their new minimalist running shoe to convince you that barefoot running is long dead!

As long as I can still plug all of my Disney buttons into the holes on the shoes, I'm SOLD! Just kidding. I think they're terrible.

I can think of one person I know who will love these shoes, and he just started blogging this week (so go harass him)