Uncommitted Co-Conspirator

Will I become active, or remain passive? Alive, or dormant? Static, or kinetic? Dynamic, or inert? Participant, or voyeur? Agonized chrysalis, or comfortably numb larva? Mumbling to myself semi-publicly as I decide whether to commit to the insanity that is the Mardi Gras Marathon.

My Photo
Location: Oklahoma City

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hello? (Hello?) (Hello?)

...is there anybody out there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Where is everyone?
Adolph-wherehave you been for four weeks? I hope you were not run over by the train of destiny.
JR-to where has your journey led you lately?

Despite a slap in the head from a nasty sinus infection, Cindy remains committed to go to Austin and to finish with an official time. As for me, I did 24 miles yesterday in three laps of 10, 9 and 5 miles with two, 10-minute breaks in a total time of 4 hours, 50 minutes. Based thereon I project a time at Austin of under 5 hours, 30 minutes.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

No longer uncommitted

I am registered (and certifiable).

Running music revisited

Lyrics aren't that important for running music in my world. It's nice if they're upbeat, or at least not suicidal, but if the tempo is in the right zone it'll work. Some of the most ridiculous words are the most entertaining. Case in point is Grillz, by Nelly, which, I gotta say, rocks my run when it comes on (which is alot). Hip hop, when the meter is right, is some of the best:

Rob a jewelry store and tell em make me a grill
uh, uh
Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom rows gold
Yo we bout to start an epedimic wit dis one
Ya'll know what dis is so so def

Got 30 down at da bottom, 30 mo at da top
All invisible set, In little ice cube blocks
If i could call it a drink, Call it a smile on da rocks
If i could call out a price, Lets say i call out alot
I got like platinum and white gold's, Traditional glod's
Im changin grillz errday, Like gin change clothes
I might be grilled out nicely (Oh)
In my white Tee (Oh)
Or a south beach (Oh)
In my wife beat (Oh)
vive usteded, You can tell when they cut it
You see my grand mama hate it
But my lil' mama love it
Cuz when I
Open up ya mouth ya grill gleamin
Eyes stay lo from da chifin
I got a grill i call penny candy
You know what dat mean
It look like now or later, gum drops, jeally beans
I wouldnt leave it fo nutin, Only a crazy man would
So if ya catch me in ya city, Some where out in ya hood
Just say.....

Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
Let me see ya grill
(Let me see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Rob da jewelry store and tell em make me a grill)
Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
I want to see your grill
(You wanna see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom rows gold)

[Paul Wall]
What it do baby
Its da ice man paul wall
I got my mouth lookin somethin like a disco ball
I got da diamonds and da ice all hand set
I might cause a cold front if i take a deep breath
My teeth gleaming like im chewin on aluminum foil
Smilein showin off my diamonds sippin on some potin ore
I put my money where my mouth is and bought a grill
20 carrots 30 stacks better know im so fo reel
My motivation is from 30 pointers V VS to frontigin my mouth
P sippin similize obsessed
I got da wrist wear and neck wear dats captivatin
But its what smiles dat got these arms lookin spectatin
My mouth piece simply sertified a total package
Open up my mouth and you see mo carrots than a salad
My teeth are mind blowin givin everybody chillz
Call me George foreman cuz im sellin everybody grillz

Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
Let me see ya grill
(Let me see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Rob da jewelry store and tell em make me a grill)
Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
I want to see your grill
(You wanna see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom rows gold)

Gipp got dem yellows, got dem purples, got dem reds
Lights gon head and make you woozie in ya head
You can catch me in my 2 short drop
Mob got colors like a fruit loop box

Dis what it do when da lou
Ice grill country grammer
Where da hustle's move bricks
and da gangsta's bang hamma's
Where i got em you can spot them
On da top in da bottom
Gotta bill in my mouth like im Hillery rottom

I ain't dissin no body but lets bring it to da lite
Yeah was da first wit my mouth bright white
Yeah ho came focus out they eyesight blurry
Tippin on some fo's you can see my mouth gurry

I got fo different sets its a fabolous thang
1 white, 1 yellow, like fabolous chain
and da otha set is same got my name in da mold
Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom rows gold

Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
Let me see ya grill
(Let me see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Rob da jewelry store and tell em make me a grill)
Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
I want to see your grill
(You wanna see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom rows gold)

Boy how you get grill that way and
How much did you pay
Every time i see you
Tha first thing im gon say is.....

Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
Let me see ya grill
(Let me see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Rob da jewelry store and tell em make me a grill)
Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
I want to see your grill
(You wanna see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom rows gold)

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Sure, all this training can be a pain. But to me, it's been worth it, so far. I feel fit, notwithstanding the occasional knee and back pain.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Checking in

I've been reminded that I haven't blogged in awhile. Mainly, it's because I have nothing very enlightening to blog about.
Scratch that. Too negative.
Hello tribe. I'm pretty satisfied with the progress of my training. My latest endurance run (walk/run, ala Galloway) was 20 miles, at a pace of just over 12 minutes/mile. Thus, I am fairly confident that I can finish at Austin, although I still look forward to the marathon itself with some trepidation.
Notwithstanding, the experience as a whole will be one to remember. I just checked the freestyle site. Over 30 bands are scheduled to entertain us (that's more than a band per mile!), and in a town like Austin, that's sure to mean we will be entertained. Strained, in great pain, but entertained.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Good Fortune

As I enjoyed a midday run today I started musing on how lucky I am to live where the climate provides days like today for running. It was 50 and sunny with a light southerly breeze; a perfect day for a fast six miles.
Then it occurred to me that I'm lucky in so many ways. Let me share a few of them.
I have a job that allows me the flexibility to run in the middle of the day, and I live in a community where I can afford to live near enough to work that it is practicable. Not only that, but I am also blessed with a beautiful, intelligent and interesting partner with whom to share my progress and our beautiful, intelligent and interesting children to keep us company.

Friday, November 11, 2005

We salute you.

On this Veterans' Day, we, the civilians, salute you, Dan, Adolph, and the countless thousands of others who have given of themselves to protect our rights, among them the right to engage in the very debate in the midst of which we find ourselves.

I sincerely thank you.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Strunk and White

Until a year or two ago, my kids and I read together each night. E. B. White's children's novels were among our favorites. White is also coauthor of The Elements of Style. While it may not be as famous as Charlotte's Web, Elements has surely been far more influential, at least among writers great and small. It is so widely known and used in college writing courses that professors and users often refer to it simply as "Strunk and White."

This morning I heard (story linked in the title, above) that there are now illustrated and musical versions of Elements. The story stimulated me to get out my copy of the entertaining and concise style manual.

William Strunk, Jr., a professor at Cornell, wrote and privately printed the original version as a text for his English Composition course. White was Strunk's student in 1919. Macmillan Publishing Company commissioned her to revise it in 1957, and again in 1972 and 1979.

In the introduction to the Third Edition, White pays tribute to Professor Strunk. His approach to writing emphasized that less is better. "Omit needless words" is Rule 17 in the book, and one into which Strunk "really put his heart and soul," according to White. Because he practiced what he preached, the professor sometimes found he ran out of material before the class period had ended. He solved this predicament by the "simple trick" of repeating himself.

White's recollections of her mentor make me wish I had known him. Here's a sample:

[Strunk's] Rule 11 was "make definite assertions." That was Will all over. He scorned the vague, the tame, the colorless, the irresolute. He felt it was worse to be irresolute than to be wrong. I remember a day in class when he leaned far forward, in his characteristic pose-the pose of a man about to impart a secret-and croaked, "If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud!" This comical piece of advice struck me as sound at the time, and I still respect it. Why compound ignorance with inaudibility? Why run and hide?

I recommend Strunk and White highly, for both its entertainment and its educational value. Its tenets are timeless. I have made several revisions to this post because of them.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Mary finishes 4th in division at Duke City Half

In an amazing display of guts and stamina, Mary Ford of Edmond, Oklahoma took 4th place in her division in Sunday's Duke City Half Marathon in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Amy Ross of Monument, Colorado, turned in a stellar performance as well, finishing 33rd in division and 208th over all, ignoring a crippling blister. Cindy Shirley, showing great fortitude, finished mid-pack despite a blister, recent facial surgery and a severe interruption in her training regimen. Tribal members Dan Ross and Tim Melton (who bravely proceeded in the face of the death of his walkman batteries at mile 5) also competed, each finishing in their respective divisions.
Notably absent at the starting line was tribal co-chief Adolph Holston.

The race was quite well-supported and the course was laid out nicely, with elevation rising a mere 20 feet from start to the mid-race turnaround. The weather could not have been more favorable. Race conditions were surpassed in quality only by the company of fellow tribe members, participants and non-participant alike, throughout the weekend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Back to the Big Easy

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Mardi Gras Marathon to Host Major Hurricane Katrina Relief Fundraiser!
In an unprecedented move to assist with the rebuilding of New Orleans, the 41st running of the Mardi Gras Marathon and Half Marathon will donate all net proceeds to a special Hurricane Katrina Fund called “Back to the Big Easy”. This fund will give ALL NET PROCEEDS from the Mardi Gras Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K to local charities based in the city to help with the Big Easy recovery efforts.

This year’s event scheduled for Sunday, February 5, 2006 will be the first major sporting event back in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina brought the Crescent City to its knees on that dark Monday morning in August.

Premier Event Management, the marathon’s production team, as well as the New Orleans Track Club, owners of the Mardi Gras Marathon, are excited about this opportunity to give something back to the city that has given so much to our lives and the lives of our children. “The city of New Orleans with its famous coffee and beignets, Jazz Music and beautiful architecture will be back like never before”, states race director Bill Burke a native of New Orleans for the last 49 years. “New Orleans has been called the city that care forgot! But we will never forget this city, its culture, its people or its place in the fabric of this country. Through the running of this event we hope to show the world that the Big Easy is Back”.

How can you help? By registering to run or walk in the 2006 Mardi Gras Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K, you will be giving to those who now have so little. Each participant will receive a long sleeve 2006 Mardi Gras Marathon –“Back to the Big Easy” T-shirt and our commemorative Back to the Big Easy Finisher’s Medal.

Even non-participants can help! Each individual that contributes $50.00 to our “Back to the Big Easy Fund” will receive by mail our special “2006 Back to the Big Easy” long sleeve commemorative T-shirt and a big thank you from the Crescent City.

Currently, Premier Event Management is working with both state and local tourism and police officials on the 2006 race course, host hotels and post event party area. “We understand fully the logistical issues we face for 2006, but at the same time we recognize we have an opportunity to make a real difference in the rebirth of this city and its tourism industry with the running of this marathon”.

For information on sponsorship, volunteering or registration for the 2006 Mardi Gras Marathon and our “Back to the Big Easy Fund”, please contact Bill Burke at Premier Event Management 504-454-6561 office, 504-628-3155 cell, or send your email to billpemusa@yahoo.com . And stay in touch with the latest updates from the Mardi Gras Marathon at our official web site www.mardigrasmarathon.com.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

High Anxiety

Cindy signed us up some time ago for the Duke City Half Marathon on October 23d, so there's no backing out now. Even a "mere" 13.1 miles seems like a long way to run to this old fart. Makes me kind of anxious. I thought I'd better extend myself a bit in anticipation of attempting such a thing, so today I did a 12-mile course with a 10-minute break at Cindy's house (mile 9). I ran the first 6 and about half of the last 6, and finished in 2 hours 16 minutes plus, including the 10- minute break. This gives me a level of confidence that I can finish Duke City fast enough to register an official time.
In fact, I have a goal. I perused the web site (click on the title of this blog to get to it) and discovered that last year the only Okie who ran the half was 61-year-old Betsy Henderson from Enid, who posted a time of 2:31:27. That's my time to beat. Betsy, if you dare to show up again this year, watch out, 'cause I'm gunnin' fer ya.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ornery, scandalous and evil

summertime and the livin's easy
and bradley's on the microphone with ras m.g.
all the people in the dance will agree
that we're well qualified to represent the lbg
me and louie, run to the party dance to the riddim it gets

me and my girl we got this relationship
i love her so bad but
she treats me like
on lock down like a penetentury
she spreads her lovin
all over and when she gets home theres none left for me

oh take this
veil from off my eyes
my burning sun will some day rise
what am i gonna
be doin for a wife say i'm gonna play with myself
show them how we've come
off the shelf
so what

evil i've come to tell you that shes evil
most definately
evil ornery scandalous and evil
most definately
the tension is getting hotter
i'd like to hold her head underwater

me and my girl, we've got a relationship
me and my girl, we got a
mmhmm my girl
we got a relationship
oh and my girl
(we got a relationship)

take a tip, take a tip, take a tip from me
bradley's on the microphone with ras m.g.
all the people in the dance
will agree that we're well qualified
to represent the lbc
me la la louie
everybody run to the riddim it gets harder

summertime and the livins

-Sublime, doin' time

I referred to this song in a previous post. I heard part of it during a run, but couldn't locate the title of it. All I remembered was the incorporation of the Gershwin tune, Summertime. So, anyway, I heard it again today and remembered enough of the lyrics to google it, and that's the one I meant. Cool song to run to. Kind of a sweet love song, don't you think? (Does anyone here know what "the lbc" is?)

The other addition to my running music list from today's radio selections is an oldie (by my kids' standards, anyway; I have pants that are older), don't dream it's over, by crowded house. I dig it cuz it gots a beat I can really get down with, dave. Really. It even has a good running lyric (kind of):

Now I'm walking again to the beat of a drum
And I'm counting the steps
to the door of your heart
Only shadows ahead barely clearing the roof
Get to know the feeling of liberation and relief

Oh yeah, I also ran my 6-mile course in under an hour today for the first time in a number of years. Goodie for me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


This morning my run coincided with the KRXO "Classic Nine at Nine" (yes, I got around kinda late today) salute to 1972. That year spanned my freshman and sophomore years in high school. It was the year of my first serious love affair and my first car. I learned much about girls, drugs and earning a wage in 1972, savoring the good (man, it was good) and mostly ignoring the bad.
I must've missed the first song. I switched over during Jackson Browne's "Doctor My Eyes," a great slow running song (watch out for the hold after the last vocal line in the chorus). Next was "Tumbling Dice" from Exile on Main Street, the greatest Stones album ever IMO.
Then came "Listen to the Music." Here we segue into a flash-forward to 1974. The afore-mentioned first car was a '63 Pontiac Catalina coupe, a gift from my dad on my 16th birthday, by virtue of which I learned to change oil and fix brakes and the superior handling characteristics of radial versus bias-ply tires. At our school, those Seniors of us with surplus graduation credits and jobs started school with "zero hour" at 7 am, then got out at 11 to go to work. The pre-zero-hour committee met regularly in my car, where we listened to bootlegged Doobie Brothers 8-tracks and answered for all time the question, "How stoned can six guys get by smoking three chubby doobs simultaneously (clockwise, please) in an unventilated, 9.5 cubic foot enclosure?"
Back to 1972. After The Doobies came Rod Stewart (in his prime) with "Stay With Me," Eric Clapton and the true version of "Layla," Elton John (also in his prime), "Tiny Dancer," "Get It On (Bang the Gong)," and "Black Dog" by, of course, Led Zepplin (released in '71 but "topped the charts" in '72).
Damn, that was a good year.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Thor Avenged

Thor Scheefer went skate boarding
in Broomfield one summer day.
He found a six-foot rattlesnake
lying in his way.

He didn't know quite what to do
on finding that big rattler
so he called the CSPCA
and became a rattler tattler.

The snake was a recidivist,
he'd scared others in the town,
so once the snake was captured
he had to be put down.

Sheefer became racked with guilt
when the rattler was no more
especially once he found out
the snake's name was also Thor.

Thor (the snake) has a nephew
who lives on the Womack spread;
the other day that young snake learned
his Uncle Thor was dead.

Thor's nephew's a mere infant;
his name is Bobby Don.
Although he's just a baby,
he's tougher than he lets on.

"Vengeance!" thought the baby snake.
"I must avenge my kin!"
And evil thoughts of homicide
filled up his scaly skin.

One of the Womacks spied Bobby Don
just as he thought that thought.
The man reached down to grab the snake-
alas, he, himself, was caught.

Bobby Don bit hard and deep
between the man's thumb and finger
right into an artery
so he wouldn't likely linger.

They started for the hospital
but had a flat along the way.
The flat, it proved, was fatal-
he died from the delay.

Bobby Don might feel guilty,
if snakes could feel guilt,
for killing the young Womack man
with a fang sunk to the hilt.

You see, there's a small irony
I'll now impart to you-
the snake-bit man named Womack
was named Bobby Don, too.

  • Read the Article
  • Monday, August 01, 2005

    The journey continues...

    Come along

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    Running music

    There's some music that's conducive to running and some that just isn't. Since I rotate through radio stations for my running music, I'm constantly making decisions to accept or reject songs, and I've got a subconscious checklist I use. Generally, I like music that's in 4/4 time (or easily convertible thereinto), and within a certain tempo range that allows me to take one step per beat while breathing out on the first three beats and in on the fourth per measure. Of course, there's some music that I'll go ahead and keep on for aesthetic or sentimental reasons even though it's too fast (Allman Bro's, The Breeze ) or too slow, or has a weird time signature (Eric Clapton, Layla, acoustic version) or some combination (Pink Floyd). I get through these songs by concentrating on breathing and putting my lower body on cruise control, hoping to pump up my red blood cells with O2.
    Some of the music that falls within my preferences really pushes the pace. Hall and Oates type stuff, lots of rock and roll music across all forms thereof; I think of some of my favorite girl singers, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, Rickie Lee Jones. Sometimes this music sounds kind of slow, simply because it's written in quarter notes, but when you run with it you're working hard.
    Right now, my favorite running songs are those that are in a medium to slow rock beat that allows for a slow, loping pace. Of course, I won't set any time records, and I sometimes get passed by other casual runners (whom I suspect are running shorter distances, at least I like to think so), but running to these songs makes me feel like I could go on all day long. I can think of many examples: Back in the USSR, Queen's A Thing Called Love, and La Grange by ZZ Top. Although I'm not familiar enough to recall the titles, this favored tempo range is fairly common on the country stations. I heard a hip-hop/techno/reggae number recently that was great. I don't know the title, but it borrowed it's basic chord structure and some of the lyrics from George Gershwin's classic, Summertime. Other music from closer to the present century: Staind, Outside (although it's almost TOO slow), and 7 Mary 3's Cumbersome (really downer lyrics, though). Today's nominee for my current all-time favorite running song is Who Are You by, who else, The Who (AHH WHO THE #@+! ARE YOU!?!).
    That's the music I like to run to. What about you?

    Small rewards

    My shirt collars had been getting a little snug. I can now button them comfortably. Also, these pants were once a little too big, then they fit just right, then they got so tight the button was in danger every time I wore them.
    They fit perfectly again.
    I'm makin' progress.

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    What it would take

    If one considers what it will take to complete a marathon next year, one eventually realizes that it means one will need to run, walk or otherwise motivate oneself, that is, keep oneself in motion, for upwards of five hours. If I undertake such an undertaking, I would prefer to spend as little of that time on hands and knees as possible.
    I have not studied Galloway extensively, but what I recall from the training charts in his book is that the various workout schedules incorporate a long workout once a week, which get longer and longer, gradually building one up to the ability to go for the requisite number of hours. So this weekend I decided to do a long run. I did eight miles-a two-mile walk/run then six running. Total time, 1:27:40. I completed it intact and with no vomiting, although every piece of clothing I wore was soaked with perspiration. I started at 8:15 Sunday morning; it's amazing the difference that 20 degrees F. or so can make.
    Feeling pretty good about myself, I was enjoying a cup on the front porch, allowing the evaporative cooling process to proceed, when Cindy called, having just finished her nine-mile workout.
    Wow. I'm impressed, sweetie.

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    Sauna run

    Decided I ought to run today. I didn't get it done early, and won't have time late, so it was either do it during the day or not at all.
    One might question the wisdom of running in mid-afternoon in late July in Oklahoma. But heck, I did it all the time when I was several years younger. And several pounds lighter. It's like getting a run and a sauna all at once.
    My route is a six-mile loop that starts just east of my house at 47th and Walker here in Okie City. The distance is estimated based on twelve city blocks to the mile. I go south 35 blocks plus west 3 plus north 34 equals 72 divided by 12 equals 6 miles, roughly.
    My best time before today was about 1:03 flat. I start by walking a block, then running one, twice, then walking one, running two, for the first mile, then running the rest of the way (although today, that was not to be). I don't have an I-Pod, just an FM radio with 10 presets through which I rotate, so I listen to everything the corporate owner of Oklahoma City's radio stations has to offer, which is just about everything except decent new music. I can almost always find something I can pace either my step or my breathing to.
    Mile one: 11 and a half minutes. Mile two: finished at 21 minutes, Man, it's hot. Mile 3: 31 minutes. mile 4: It's REALLY hot. Walked two blocks, hit the 4-mile mark at 42:30. The Stones, Can't Always Get What You Want, then Black Water got me through. Walked from 25th to 26th, then again up the hill from Lee to Shartel on 30th, in mile 5, and was helped along by some Led Zepplin and Rhythm of the Rain (the Dan Fogelberg cover). By the time I started mile 6 I was really dragging. ZZ Top and some country tunes with the right pace helped me keep running for 7 out of 12 blocks. Final time? 1:04:45. Well, that seems like bullshit. Some of my mile calculations are off. Well, it was a good sweaty workout, anyway.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005


    rhu·barb (rbärb)n.
    1. Any of several plants of the genus Rheum, especially R. rhabarbarum, having long green or reddish acidic leafstalks that are edible when sweetened and cooked. Also called pie plant.
    2. The dried, bitter-tasting rhizome and roots of Rheum palmatum or R. officinale of eastern Asia, used as a laxative.
    3. Informal. A quarrel, fight, or heated discussion.

    Cindy ate some burgers
    with cheese from in a can
    and olive paste and pasta
    and then we went and ran.

    But she left out a detail
    and I have a suggestion
    perhaps it was the rhubarb pie
    that wasted her digestion.

    Rhubarb pie with ice cream.
    Yes, you heard me right.
    Between our feasts on Sunday
    and late the prior night.

    It's hardly any wonder
    her tummy turned to stone.
    And now she says her sister, Jane,
    is dried out as a bone.

    She told her, "Get some K-Y.
    You need some lubrication."
    So then I checked the comments
    for others' ruminations.

    "My thoughts are yours, dear Cindy,"
    Adolph told the burger queen.
    "Your thoughts are mine; its just as though
    you'd seen them on a screen."

    So then, away to Adolph's blog
    I took myself apace
    to see the words of wisdom
    lately written in that space.

    It seems big chief LaToya
    thought he'd go running while it's cool
    in the early hours of morning
    'stead of acting like a fool

    or a mad dog or an Englishman
    out in the noonday sun:
    "I'll go out at 3 A.M.
    for an early morning run.

    "This idea really shines,"
    the big man told himself.
    But when the clock rang out the hour
    he knocked it off the shelf.

    A quick look 'round the other blogs
    to see if there's a little
    info or entertainment there,
    a whit, a jot, a tittle...

    Amy's knees are painless,
    Molly's in a slump,
    Dan is still misunderstood,
    A silent, blogless chump.

    (Sorry, Dan, I had to stretch
    to make that last one rhyme.
    You see, I am no poet.
    My verses aren't sublime.)

    Well, this has gone on far too long.
    I hope I've not offended.
    Regardless, I am out of here;
    It's time this train wreck ended.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005


    I've been tapped to be "jailed" on July 27th for one of those MDA fundraising deals. It would really be embarrassing not to raise some fairly decent cash, so in a shameless effort to avoid utter humiliation I'm making this plea to you, my fellow tribesmen and tribeswomen, to click on the link and contribute generously.
    As you may have read on Cindy's blog (I'm assuming someone, somewhere will read this someday), her and my training is progressing well. We did the six mile double-loop in her neighborhood again last night. We're consistently doing ten-minute miles for the second half now. I've dropped several pounds, and am feeling pretty good with minimal aching in my knees. It's all good.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    On Being in a Tribe

    i hear the drums.
    my tribe is on the move.

    some of you i love
    some i know
    some i have never seen
    yet we are all as one on this passage.

    the drums say
    that as we grow stronger
    by ourselves and as a tribe
    the struggle goes on.

    keep faith, my brothers and sisters.
    never give up the fight.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    A little corn

    Chicken Delight
    By Michael Berg, Feedstore owner and poet

    Since little chicks they played and frolicked
    during happy days of spring,
    They shed their downy feathers,
    became strong in leg and wing.

    They played the serious funny games
    that little chickens do,
    Hopscotch, leapfrog, catch a bug,
    chase me and I'll chase you.

    Games are played to achieve an end
    and leapfrog became a disguise,
    Her motto was trust while his was lust,
    And she got a pullet-zer prize.


    Thursday, June 09, 2005


    I would venture to guess that Cindy and I aren't the only tribe members who listen to Michael Feldman's Whad'ya Know. He also has a web site, where you can answer one quiz question every day. They even award prizes. Yes, you could win the Big Kielbasa.
    This week the "things (you should have learned in school had you been paying attention)" question relates to the history of the modern marathon.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Lessons learned

    I vaguely recall reading that there is benefit in warming up, beyond mere stretching, before a run. Having been a 10-K runner in my former life, however, I had never really tried it, other than jogging a few yards before a race. It just seemed unnecessary.
    This past Monday, after resolving to run a full three miles and then succumbing to unbearable muscle pain in her calves part way, my lover and running partner immersed herself in data on exercise and running physiology. She came away with a few hypotheses.
    It takes 45 minutes of exercise, she learned, for the leg muscles to flush the lactic acid buildup they start to develop when one begins to run. This time period is fairly consistent among all runners. Also, the fat-burning that results from running really kicks in to high gear after 45 minutes. Cindy concluded that she might be able to conquer her leg muscle pain by warming up with 45 minutes of walking with some slow jogging mixed in before she began a run of several miles.
    I figured, if I'm going to continue to entertain this idea of running the insanely long distances encompassed in a marathon, full and/or half, I'm going to have to find a way to increase my distance and, necessarily, the time spent running. Cindy's idea sounded like a step in that direction. Plus, if the thing about fat is correct, increasing the total workout from 45 to 90 minutes might really help us shed our extra kilos.
    So, last night we did our 3-mile course twice. After stretching, we mostly walked it the first time, with a few short, easy runs mixed in. Then we ran it the second time. It felt very comfortable throughout the second half, and Cindy made it all the way. She reported nothing approaching the calf pain she had after a mile or less the night before, without the warm-up.

    Oh, yeah, I also corrected the typo in my title. Thanks, honey.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Reluctant Paratrooper

    Cool. I'm a butterfly. (Right.) But I've had a dog, I've known dogs well: You're no dog, Cindy.

    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,
    Pant in my direction, but don't slobber on me.

    NO LICK. Not until after a shower, anyway.

    We'll do the 3-mile again tonight. I/we still haven't been able to hit the every-other-day run schedule on anything like a regular basis. But I've also done 3 resistance workouts and am starting to be able to feel, if not exactly see, some results.

    Albakwerkway, eh? Thirteen point something miles in the rarefied air? Sounds kinda painful. (Not really, Mary-that's just barely a double ten K, right?) On the other hand, the fat air back down here on the plains might really taste sweet afterwards

    /"Well, you jumped, didn't you?"
    "Yeah, a little, at first."

    Friday, May 27, 2005


    Wouldn't it be nice if getting in shape were as easy as getting a hair cut? One could merely go to the gym and request "a little off the back and sides, please."
    Ah, well.
    It is the morning after my first resistance training session (first in many moons, that is). In addition to the generalized soreness one expects at such times, there's a spot above my right elbow where it feels like someone whacked me with a rubber mallet. Guess I need to lighten my weights a bit.

    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    The chrysalis

    Adolph's poetic post today on the pain of change was, dare I say it without being thought gay, not that there's anything wrong with that, lovely.
    I keep intending to dust off my free weights. Thirty minutes of lifting three times a week isn't really that onerous, and an upper-body workout makes a great off-day counterpoint to regular running. It just hurts so damn much. Which, of course, is part of the point so eloquently made by our leader on this physio-spiritual journey to N.O. The good side is that visible results come quickly. This I resolve: Iron shall be pumped.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Wishful thinking

    After we ran on Saturday Cindy said something about running again. An alarmed voice in my head said, "Again? YOU RAN ALREADY!"
    "Calm down," I answered myself. "Remember? This is only the beginning."
    Now I remember that pain of walking down stairs the day after The First Run. We go again last night, on the 3-mile loop around Cindy's new neighborhood. I'm nowhere near experiencing that endorphine-induced oblivion/euphoria I remember from the days when I was lean and mean. "No pain, no gain" just doesn't really help much.
    I get on the scales. Wow, I lost 18 pounds and we've only run twice! Whee! This'll be a snap!
    What? What's "calibrate" mean? Crap.

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    Tribal lore

    Having been welcomed into the tribe I looked over the musings of some of my fellows. There is much to learn from them. First, it is clear that Cindy's right-these are really some cool folks (I take back the qualifier, "purportedly").
    Second, it's twenty-six point two miles?!? Jebus. Thanks, Amy. Did you know that:At the 1908 Olympic Games in London, the marathon distance was changed to 26 miles to cover the ground from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium, with 385 yards added on so the race could finish in front of royal family's viewing box. This added two miles to the course, and is the origin of the Marathon tradition of shouting "God save the Queen!" (or other words relating to the Queen) as mile post 24 is passed.
    Third, it's OK to bitch about things that don't have any obvious connection to working out, such as "drivers" who drive in the left lane of a multi-lane, limited access highway while not actively passing (usually while chatting on cell phones). Most legislation is superfluous, if not actually counterproductive; but I heard of a law that actually makes some sense. Alas, it was vetoed by the lesser shrub:http://www.wftv.com/news/4513509/detail.html

    I used to be a runner.

    Back in the 80's and early '90's I called myself a runner in good conscience. I ran 10-20 miles per week fairly religiously, and had several official sub-45-minute 10 k times. Then, one Saturday in May, '97, as I dragged a hose across my yard, I realized I couldn't extend my left leg past about 172 degrees. It turned out I had been running without an anterior cruciate ligament for months. I knew exactly when it had torn through; it cracked loudly one day on the tennis court, and I went to the ground and couldn't finish the set. Running on that unstable knee and the cumulative trauma of years of hard-surface running had shredded my medial meniscus, and a loose flap of it caught in a notch somewhere preventing full extension of my left lower extremity.
    In June, '97, Friday the 13th, Dr. Carlan Yates shaved the underside of my kneecap and the head of my tibia and built me a new ACL using a strip of my patellar ligament, a couple of pieces of bone and two titanium screws. Dr. Yates told me I am a knee abuser; the kind of athlete who ignores it when my body tries to tell me there's something wrong. He never exactly told me to stop running. He just said that I would not likely make it out of this life with the knees I was born with if I didn't find a way to exercise that didn't traumatize my knees like running obviously did.
    So I stopped.
    I rode a bicycle for a year or so, which I enjoyed almost as much as running. But then I found various excuses not to ride and now, the better part of a decade later, I find myself sedentary, and 20 pounds north of ideal.
    So a few weeks ago, my partner Cindy (http://cindysslouch.blogspot.com/)
    tells me about this idea her brother Dan and his good friend Adolph have to go to New Orleans next year and run a marathon. Would I be interested?
    Would I be interested in a trip to the big easy? Did the pope (at the time) mumble? Hell yes. I was there once. I definitely want to go back. I'll party and watch all of you guys do your macho thing. How many miles is a marathon, again, anyway?
    So Cindy starts talking about training. Not doing any, but talking a lot about it. And I start thinking it would be a good time to do something about my flabby ass. And so I think, maybe I could train with Cindy, and not hurt myself as long as I take it easy and slow it down or stop if I hurt myself. You know, listen to my body this time. And the more I think about it and the more we talk about it the better I feel about it, just talking and thinking about it. So this weekend we did three easy miles on Saturday, and on Sunday we "cross-trained" in roller blades on the new trails at the Oklahoma River.
    And so I'm thinking, I'll be doing the training anyway, and I'll be there with all these purportedly cool runners, maybe my middle-aged knees can take one more race. It'd be something to do there (as though it were necessary to find something more than Chez Paul's and Bourbon Street). WTF, maybe I'll do it.

    But I'm not committed.