Sunday, July 30, 2006

Let's all spike up!

5 miles on the Seabrook Trails. I brought my water, even though it's a short run, but I think it was a good idea.

So, here's another disappointing news story for runners.
Gatlin faces prospect of life ban
Gatlin Test Sparks Furious Debate

Do the people really care if they're doped up or not? World class cheater Ben Johnson says...
"The spectators don't care," said Canadian Johnson, now 44, who ran 9.79secs in Seoul. "The sponsors probably don't care ... all they want to see is the world's fastest man.

"That's the way life is, and people have to come to terms with that and live with it and just enjoy track and field."

Should we shrug it off and assume they're all doped up, like the baseball fans do? Are we on the same road that the bodybuilding competitions have taken, where they have a "drug-free" division, and an "open" division within the same competition.

It's even more disturbing because it seems to me that it shouldn't be that difficult to avoid detection. What percentage of people are stupid enough to get caught? Landis got caught because his testosterone spike was actually during the Tour de France, on the day of his big comeback, when any fool would know he would be tested that day. Gatlin's test was right after a relay race in April.

And the future seems grim, as the drugs get better, and they're designed specifically for performance enhancement, and to avoid detection. And the future holds the possibility for gene doping, where muscles can be genetically manipulated in a way that is impossible to detect from a urine sample or even a blood sample (only by muscle biopsy would you be able to tell).

Why fight it? Let's all spike up! I'll inject you if you inject me. (That's another thing I think is funny. Canseco says he knows about all the steroid use because he was giving all the butt injections. What is it about steroid use that people no longer think that the butt injection is a personal matter?)

Listening to: Professor Longhair - Hey Now Baby (You run around telling people, baby, that I was your clown.)


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Catching up on my running.

A couple responses to comments on the redpill/bluepill stuff:

Barbara: You don't really believe that. Are you suggesting there's no greater meaning to life?

anonymous: Fuck you.

Well, my last post was probably the closest I came to offending anyone this week, and I did have a small jab in there for the righties. I had dialed it down a bit, and I probably should have left it out altogether. I think it detracted from my attempt to frame your personal hero's journey as a primitive instinct.

Anyway, lots of running to discuss, most of it a struggle. 2 laps on the bridge, where it was brutally hot in one direction and bearable in the other direction. 5 miles around my neighborhood on friday, which I don't remember all that much, oh yes, now I remember, I got up real late and the sun was way up already and it was very hot and I was miserable.

This morning brought 12 good miles out of 16. It's a bit troubling, that I occasionally have so much difficulty going just over half the goal distance. My left foot complains a little, most of all when I'm just walking, and not so much when I'm running.

The highlight was breakfast at Los Ramirez, where I had the Omlette de Pollo, and for lunch I had Pizza Hut, and for dinner, probably something worse.

Listening to: Paco de Lucia - Entre Dos Aguas


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Will you take the blue pill, or the red pill?

5 miles in the rain this morning. My shoes got wet, but actually, they haven't been dry since I bought them.

But I'm stuck on another topic, and I know I promised to offend people, but I'm not feeling too offensive today, maybe tomorrow.

I've been reading some books that are pretty amazing, and very much out of the norm for a science oriented bloke like myself. But my background is in psychology, so maybe its not all that surprising. And this is one of the things that always leads me back to my belief in the commonality of all people, and I can't help but think, if we appreciated that fact a little better, we wouldn't be so quick to blow each other up. But maybe I'm being naïve, and I just don't appreciate the value of a good barrel of oil.

Anyway, there are a number of books by a dude named Joseph Campbell, who studied what's best described as "comparative mythology." You might have seen him on PBS with some great interviews with Bill Moyers, that get aired every once in a while. He likes to convey the myths of different cultures and show how their passage through the sociological grapevine has revealed the similarites of our minds and souls.

The Hero's Journey is the best example, as it describes the character's passage to a fundamentally different world, where he obtains a prized object or a piece of knowledge, and returns to his own world, where his peeps can reap the benefits of his gift.

First, there's the call to adventure, where the idea is planted, which the hero sometimes refuses... initially. King Arthur spots a deer and feels the urge to chase him. Gautama, the future Buddha, comes across the four sights and seeks to overcome the ills of the world.

The first threshold is essentially the point of no return. People love to examine the pop culture analogies to these themes, like when Neo has to decide whether he will take the blue pill, or the red pill, and Luke Skywalker escaping the storm troopers on Mos Eisley.

The hero is tested, usually three times. Gautama was assaulted by rocks and burning coals and boiling mud as he sat under the Bo tree in the quest for enlightenment. Luke almost got squashed in that trash compactor thing.

Of course, there is the realization of the task. There may be a practical gain, like when Prometheus steals the flame. Or it may be an expansion of consiousness, or a transcendence to another form, and sometimes a deification of the hero.

And the hero returns to the world and gives the gift. Fire. Enlightenment. Forgiveness - everlasting life. Inspiration.

Obviously I recommend the books, especially The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and the Bill Moyers interviews are very good, and they're on DVD. But I think its interesting to think about your own story. I think it's a very personal thing, so I don't expect people to answer these questions in comments, but you might like to think about it for yourself.

What was/is your call to adventure?
Where is the threshold, beyond which you are fully committed?
What are the tests?
How will your task be realized?
What will be the gift you bring back for the world?

It's kind of silly, but the marathon is a similar call to adventure for me, and maybe you too. So maybe you have that one, but you don't have to have just one. You're an exceptional person! You can pursue two calls or three calls or four. I have three.

Listening to: John Mayer - Home Life (And I will go to my grave; With the love that I gave; Not just some melody line; On a radio wave.)

Okay, Keith tired now. Too much bloggy, need sleepy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Some minor foot pain - Damn you Snack Crackers!

No snack cracker indiscretion goes unpunished. And not just by Bill and J.D. It's always accompanied by a warning from my left foot, that if I run too much and get too fat, it's going to be painful. If you just started reading my blog, I ran half of the NYCM and limped half of the NYCM because of some foot pain, which I thought was a subluxated cuboid bone. I no longer think it's that, but it's not a typical runner's injury, and seems to show up when weekly mileage + weight >= 225. This equation has been determined empirically over the last year and a half and has held up to experimentation even better than Shröedinger.

And right now, I weigh about 180, and run about 45 miles per week, so I'm pushing the envelope a bit. Damn you Snack Crackers! They should be banned. Nobody puts crank in a vending machine, but I have to deal with the snack crackers, right down the hallway, and just 85 cents. And you should see me, digging through my pockets, finding a nickel here and a dime there, shaking down my friends, "spare a quarter, buddy. I'm good for it. This is the last time, I swear it. I gots the ~shakes~."

Listening to: Rage Against the Machine - Calm Like a Bomb (I be walkin god like a dog; My narrative fearless; Word war returns to burn; Like Baldwin home from Paris, Uh.)

Keith out.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Turning an old leaf back over...

My weekend : Run, eat, sleep, eat, sleep, sleep, run, eat, blog, sleep, eat, sleep.

I'm currently on step 9 - blog.

My 16 miles Saturday morning went better than expected. There was 7 or 8 people that started together at 4:30, and we ran about 11 miles through the neighborhoods around the park and extended our run along a long straightaway up Red Bluff Road to Bay Area Blvd. Several people mentioned how strange it was running on that leg of the route, because it was very dark, and there was a fine mist coming off the prairie to the side of the road. Headlights from the occasional car would light the way and reveal the silhouettes of the other runners as they approach, and when they flew by and said good morning, we'd all try to reach a consensus on 'who was it?'

And after our 11 miles, we were back at the park to meet the main group on their 5 miler. We got there in time to hear Coach Rick mention to the newbies that adaptation to training takes 6 weeks, and then things will get better, so if they were thinking of quitting, they should just invest 4 more weeks and decide then. However, I took it to mean that, in 4 weeks, I can quit. But I ran the final 5, and complained for most of it.

This morning I was pretty sore, but I feel better now after 5 easy miles on the trails. I didn't want to run this morning. I even said so, out loud, to nobody. "I don't wanna." And after I got to the trails I sat in my car and said it again, "don't wanna go." But I fell for the old "just run 2 miles" trick, and it was enough to loosen up so I could cruise through the planned 5 miles. And it was a good thing I did, because right after I started I got to see the former star of Knots Landing, our very own Broadway Joe Carey.

So, I trained well this week, with a strong run on the bridge on Thursday, and a good long run, and 46 miles total, capping off 22 weeks of consistent training.

But I'm in a blogging slump, it's been three days since my last post. And on top of it, I've lost my edge. I used to post all kinds of crazy stuff, back when nobody read it. :) I used to say that if nobody was going to visit my site, I was going to have to go "porno" and post a pee-cam or something. Bill's right, I have gotten soft. A year ago, I would have eaten that bird!

Okay, this week... I promise to do something stupid. I know I've said it before, but I mean it this time. This time it will stick! I will post something offensive, or I will eat something that's innappropriate, or I will give way too much information about something. I promise.

Listening to: Beck - Satan Gave Me a Taco (I opened up a taco stand, just to smell the smell.)


Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Bridge

Back on the bridge for two laps this morning. I think there were 10 people out there this time - the marathon buzz is beginning.

I felt pretty good and probably ran the bridge faster than I ever have, but no watch, so my greatness will have to remain in my own mind for the time being. It's pleasant in here. I'm much faster. You should come visit my brain for a while, you're invited!

Listening to: Lyle Lovett - In My Own Mind (I live where I can breathe; Ain't nothin' but a cool breeze.)


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What would you do?

After my run this morning, I found a little baby mourning dove sitting in the grass, doing nothing. He was way too young to be out of his nest, and hardly went anywhere when he tried to flap his wings. I saw what might have been his nest, but it was like 30 feet up in the tree.

I briefly considered keeping him and raising him as my own. I figured many ways in which that could work, where I could name him Keith Jr., and dress him up with a little baseball hat. And I could sign him up for various activities, and tell the organizers, "don't you treat him any different!" There was a grown mourning dove, on a nearby power line looking on, so I figured it wouldn't be quite fair.

I did move him to the bushes, where I hope he'll be a little safer. It wouldn't do for him to be sitting out in the middle of the lawn, especially considering that he was kind of hard to see, and the lawn maintainance guys were firing up their riding mowers at that very minute.

||: 5 miles. Hot. Must get up earlier. :||

Listening to: Weezer - No One Else (...when I'm away, she puts the make-up on the shelf.)


Monday, July 17, 2006

It won't get much hotter.

I try not to complain about the heat too much. says it didn't get below 81 degrees last night. I hope everyone takes some solace in the fact that it doesn't get much worse than it is right now. And in just another couple weeks, we can say that the summer is half over.

I got up too late, and ran in the sun. 5 miles, starting out around 150 bpm, but by the end, I had trouble keeping it under 160.

Listening to: 50 Cent - PIMP (...put my other ho's down, you get your ass beat.)


Sunday, July 16, 2006

...starting tomorrow. :)

Anutter fitteen miles yesterday morning. It was warmer than last week in the rain, but bearable. Starting at 4:30 AM helps. I was tired at the end, but felt okay overall. Yesterday afternoon, however, the stiffness set it and I was hobbling around a bit.

This morning brought five easy miles down on the trails. It was warm and sunny, and a pretty nice morning. There were a lot of runners out there, including some dudes I think are with the On the Run team, and a man and a woman who I chatted with one time, and that one guy that reads my blog - Hi Runner!

I'll be back up to 5 milers this week, and probably next week, and now our long run will get bumped up to 16. I've been feeling better since I cut back my mileage, and I'm ready to get back to it. Now that I think about it, I guess I haven't been slacking all that much, I still ran 41 miles this week, so that's not too bad. I have been slacking with my diet, however. I haven't gained any weight, but I was losing weight, and now it's been about the same for 3-4 weeks. I guess I'll start keeping track of that stuff for a couple weeks, until I get back on track. My running streak is going well, but the Jack-in-the-Box thing and the snack cracker thing is embarassing. So, I'll focus more on that too, starting tomorrow.

Listening to: 5,6,7,8's - Fruit Bubble Love (?)


Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm registered - The Endurance 50 - Texas

You may have heard about crazy old Dean Karnazes, and the crazy old North Face Endurance 50, i.e. running 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states. Well, to do so, he's running 8 official marathons on their official day, but they are recreating 42 more, just so he can do it, and they let regular old peeps like you and me register for them and run them too.

The Texas leg of the race is on October 10, and is run on the course for the White Rock Marathon. The timing is perfect for the Texas Marathon Challenge, as it is about one month before San Antonio, and it's a lot closer than Marathon2Marathon.

I emailed Roger Soler, the guy that coordinates the TMC, to see if this race would qualify, and he said :
yes,,that will be fine!!!


And since three exclamation points is legally binding in every state of the union, I signed up. (not sure what the two commas mean)

So, it seems like a really unique race, and I'm very excited about it. And a little bit terrified. They don't close down the whole city like they do on a normal marathon, where I could shuffle along and drag my butt in anytime before sundown. Everybody runs together, with a police escort in the front, and a sag-wagon in the back, and I have to keep pace, or else!

On a normal day, I could never keep up with the dude who ran 100 miles to the start of the Napa Valley Marathon, and then ran a 3:15. But he's holding back for us mid-packers, and says he'll run between 4:30 and 5:00 (of course, I've never done that either).

So, I'm all hopped up, right now. I'm signed up for two marathons, one month apart, with the first less than 3 months away, and some additional pressure to run on pace. It's exciting. My stress-free, racing-free, running life is getting very interesting...

Listening to: Faith No More - As the Worm Turns (One day you're thinking that maybe you're feeling better; And you're probably an OK person, if only you had a job...)


Oh yeah, 4 miles, 157 bpm, 10:30 m/m.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Upcoming posts

Ran two laps on the bridge. Chatted with some peeps.

I've got too many blog posts swimming around in the old noodle, and not enough time to get them all down and out. I still owe the world a good crazy meltdown post where I call various people "A-holes" and rant about turning 30. I've also been kicking around a list of the top ten songs by people that can be considered half-man/half-woman.

When I have time, tonight or maybe tomorrow, I'll post about a certain little footrace I intend to run (another marathon before San Antonio), and I'm very excited about it. I'm also a little bit intimidated by it, but what can I say? This is my hobby, why should I play conservatively?

Listening to: Beck - Missing (I prayed heaven today; Would bring its hammer down on me; And pound you out of my head; I can't think with you in it)


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

4 miles at 152 bpm.

So I found my HRM and ran an easy 4 miles this morning. I left way too late, around 7:15, and it was warmish and I had trouble keeping my heartrate down.

I ran 4 miles in 42:17 at 152 bpm, which is around 74% HRR. I have to figure out how to set the netLink thing back up, so I can graph everything.

And here's a song for Jamoosh. I typically don't like country music either, but I think, regardless of the genre, you have to respect the artists who take it to the edge, and compromise nothing.

Listening to: Townes Van Zandt - Dead Flowers (When you're sitting back, in your rose pink cadillac, making bets on Kentucky Derby days. I'll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon, and another girl to take my pain away.)


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

2 X 4 miles with 23 hours recovery

Maybe cutting mileage doesn't necessarily mean things will be easier. I think I just go faster. Maybe I should dig out my HRM to make sure I run easy for a while.

Listening to: Björk - Joga (All that no-one sees, You see, What's inside of me. Every nerve that hurts, You heal, Deep inside of me.)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

20 weeks in the bag...

I went back and read my post titled 10 weeks in the bag..., and it's funny to see the exact same issues remaining (occasional foot pain, concerns about the impending summer, occasional struggles with the 'whybothers,' and those sweet sweet Cheez-Its).

It occurred to me that 20 weeks might be a good point to abandon the streak and the moderate miles each day for a more traditional marathon training plan with semi-long runs and rest days and whatnot. I'm not quite ready to do it yet though.

And even if I did change my training plan in that way, I think I would still run everyday. Maybe 2 miles one day, 8 miles the next, and such, not so much so I can keep my streak alive, but just so I have a consistent schedule. Getting up early, running as the sun rises, warm shower, fresh fruit and yogurt... My routine is good for my soul.

Maybe I'll go for 26 weeks, that would be 6 months, and that should prove my point, especially considering that I have no point. Based on recent poll results, I've decided to cut back for a week or two, and also I will hide a weasel in my shorts. I'll run 4 milers this week and probably 5 milers for the two following weeks, then we'll try 6 milers again.

Listening to: The Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger (Devil and the deep blue sea behind me. Vanish in the air you'll never find me.)


Oh yeah, I ran 4 miles on the trails this morning. I walked a bit, in the guilt-free afterglow of a nice long run.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Very scary email :(

Did anyone else get this email???

Good morning humans,
I am emailing to inform you that I have figured out what you mean when you say "(at)" and "(dot)," and now I have all of your email addresses.

Very scary.

Listening to: Buena Vista Social Club - El Cuarto de Tula (Ay mama, ¿qué pasó? ¡Ay, mamá! ¿qué pasó?)

15.5 miles, and I felt good.

Got up real early. Ran a long way. Ate a lot. Took a nap.

Judging by some of the blogs I've read this morning, I'm probably the only one that enjoyed the conditions this morning. You all should have come down to Clear Lake. It was warm for the first 5.5 miles, but when we got to the Kemah boardwalk, it started pouring, and all along the boardwalk there were streams of water shedding off the rooves. And it rained steadily until I was finished running, and running in the rain is infinitely more enjoyable than running in the muggy heat. I wish it would rain for every long run.

I felt like I had something to prove after my dismal experience last week on Clearwater Beach. I'm glad to know that I can still manage a strong 15 miler.

There are a lot of new faces at the club, and I'm making an effort to remember names. I've noticed that a lot of times, when someone is introduced to me, I don't even listen to their name. I can't remember a name that was told to me just 10 seconds earlier. I tried to pay attention today.

I learned of an option for another October Texas marathon this morning, that I'm pretty excited about. We've been looking for a good October marathon, for our run at the TMC, and nobody wanted to take the 9 hour drive all the way to the Marathon2Marathon, although that sounds like a cool race too.

Listening to: The String Cheese Incident - No Woman, No Cry (Everything's gonna be alright.)


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back on the bridge

Two laps on el bridgio, and it was nice to have some peeps to run with for a change. It's always strange to see that there are other people who get up at an unreasonable hour and meet under a bridge to run around in circles.

So, I posted how I've been feeling rundown and have cut back a little, but I'm still up in the air on what I should do, so I'll leave it up to you. What do you think I should do? Cut back and get my legs back, or press on and wait for them to return?

What should I do?
Cut back for a week or two.
Press on.
Quit running altogether and get back to my competitive eating.
Write a dozen book reports.
Hide a weasel in my shorts.
Do my laundry in the dark (and use a recommended bleach)
Take my hamster to the beach.
Watch the gong show.
Staple bagels to my face.
Other. (please specify in comments)
Free polls from

Listening to: The White Stripes - The Union Forever (What would I like to have been? Everything you hate.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

4 milers for a while, maybe.

I'm going to cut back to 4 milers for a few days, and maybe back to 5 milers next week. I need a bit of a break, to get back into my rhythm, and get my confidence back.

I think it's early enough. It hurts to do it, but it looks like San Antonio will be my first marathon of the season, and that's still a little more than 4 months away. I think my base is good enough to absorb a week or so of cutback time.

I'll probably change my mind tomorrow, and start back with 6 milers. I'm on the verge of changing my mind right now. Maybe I just need to stick with it and let my body adapt to the new level. Okay, my mind is changed. I'll get back to it tomorrow.

Listening to: Ben Folds - Give Judy my Notice (I knew if I made it easy for you. You'd settle for me. Yeah, eventually.)


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I suck.

Okay, lets get caught up with all my running.

I ran 6 miles on Saturday around my Mom's house and I don't remember anything about it, so I guess it was fine.

Sunday, I got up extra early and drove down to Clearwater Beach and ran my long run down there. It was pretty nice out, but warm as always. I ran a couple miles right on the hard packed sand right by the water, which was beautiful. After about 8 miles, and after I went over the Sand Key bridge, the wheels came off, and I felt drained and frustrated. I struggled to walk and run the last bit.

Monday brought 6 more miles back here in Houston, and I felt good.

But today was awful. I slept in and didn't get started until after 9:00. I ran down on the trails and found myself without energy and without motivation after about 2.5 miles. I walked a bit, and ran some more, and walked some more. I'm counting it as 4 miles, since that's about as far as I actually ran.

In general, things are still a bit rough, since my last bump in mileage. A couple times a week, I feel good, and 6 miles floats by without effort, but it's still a struggle much of the time. And Sunday's long run, and today's run are frustrating me. I've been at 6 miles per day for 3 weeks now, and I should be mostly adjusted to it by now, but I feel drained much of the time, even when I'm not running. Right now, I'm trying to gmap my route for Sunday's run, because I don't know the distance, and my internet connection is so slow, that I think I might actually die from it.

I think I need to get back to simplifying my life. Remember when I was going to do that? and I was going to give up television and stuff like that. I think I need to do that. There are a few frustrations I can do without.

Listening to: Live - Lakini's Juice (I rushed the lady's room, took the water from the toilet, washed her feet and blessed her name)

I'm looking forward to getting caught up on all your blogs.
Keith out. Way out.