Monday, November 27, 2006

Why is there a hole in my brain?

I volunteered for an MRI study at Baylor College of Medicine, where they give you a couple bucks and a copy of the structural data for your brain. It was an interesting experience, I've never had an MRI before.

They said they didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but even I can see that there's a big hole in my brain! What's up with that?!?!

Okay, I do study neurobiology myself, so I know there's supposed to be some fluid filled ventricles that run through the brain, so I guess it's normal to see. So, maybe there's supposed to be a hole there, but then what's up with the 'lack of hole' on the other side? There's either too much hole on one side, or not enough hole on the other side. Something ain't wright. And is it me or does it look like the right side is trying to take over some territory from the left side? And is my skull supposed to be so lumpy? The side view shows there's a big lump on the top of my head too.

And I think I can feel that there's something a little more 'holey' on the left side. Or maybe it feels a little less 'holey' on the right side. And sometimes I don't remember people's names and sometimes I can't remember some of the details about the things I learned in colege. Occasionelly I seem to have some trouble with abstraktergedanke. And one time I was watching something on televisiona nd during the comercial I started changing channels and I totlaly forgot what I was watching and I coundn't find it again. Now that I'm thinking of it, it was Smallville. Maybe I'm okay.

Listening to: Cat Stevens - Miles From Nowhere ('cause I'll drink to you, my baby)


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Jell-O Turkey - Jell-O Turkey - Jell-O Turkey

People seemed to like the Jello Turkey last year, so here you go. Enjoy.

I may post something soon. Times are rough with my running. I've got a bit of a pain in my quadricep ever since San Antonio. It's not too bad, but I've cut back on my running. I'm not sure I'll be able to get another 20+ miler in. I ran Saturday, an easy 6 miles, and it was okay. The best thing was that my buddy Robby Sabban, race director extraordinaire for the Seabrook Marathon, heard me complaining about not finding a hat to replace my NYCM hat, so he tracked one down for me that says "San Antonio Road Runners." Thanks Robby!

Incidentally, the Seabrook Marathon has added another half marathon on Saturday so you can have that option too. You can even run the half on Saturday and either another half or the full on Sunday and get a third medal, kind of like the Goofy Race at Disney. There's lots of cool stuff in the goodie bag, like a running hat, and trail running socks, and of course there's a shirt (a tech shirt) - all you need to bring is your shoes and a pair of shorts or something.

I suckered a couple of the people I work with into running the relay with me, and they've been training too. I still have to rope one more carcass into running or else I may have to run 2 legs.

Listening to: Beck - Nausea (I eat alone in the desert; With skulls for my pets)


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

San Antonio Marathon - 4:29:06

Here we are at the start, from left to right, there's me, Holden, Phyllis, Tonia, and Rex, chilling out before the start, talking trash, guaranteeing crazy crazy things.

I did many things wrong the morning before the race, including not giving myself enough time to get to the start, not bringing enough money for parking ($10!), not having any suitable food before the race, not having any gels or anything to bring, and forgetting my watch. I got there only 20 minutes or so before the start, but it was enough time to find my buddy Holden, and my other buddies Phyllis, Rex, Tonia and Bart, and chit chat a bit.

I liked the San Antonio course. The first part is around about the downtown area that squiggles around for about 4 miles before heading South. Some people don't like it when there's a lot of turns, but I do, it keeps things interesting. The majority of the course is South of downtown and passes by the missions. The scenery is nice and a lot of it is much like the bayous of Houston.

I ran the splits of a veteran marathoner, with almost even pace for the two halves (2:14:25 for the 1st half and 2:14:42 for the 2nd half), and since I was telling people I wanted to run around 4:30, it seems as though I'm pretty freaking awesome. If you'd like to believe that then skip down to where it says "Overall, it was a great time".

The truth is, I wanted to run a 4:20, and I had two major problems slowing me down, one in each half of the race. In the first half, I had some issues with my stomach and had a lot of trouble finding my rhythm for the first 11 miles. Perhaps it was the Powerade and the candybar that I grabbed at a convenience store. I eventually got over it and felt better, and the splits from the race do show that I had a section in the middle where I was running about 30 seconds per mile faster than the beginning or the end.

In the second half, about mile 22 or 23, I ran out of gas and crashed. I'd muster up some gumption to run again, and about a quarter to a half mile later, I'd walk. When my heart rate slowed down again, I'd do it all over again. The problem, I think, was just plain-old lack of fitness. I hadn't run anything longer than the Houston Half Marathon since the last marathon, and I think I should have. Perhaps my problems could have been masked a little better if I had brought my own gels, but I was relying on those from the water stations, and they were not always available when I needed them.

Overall, it was a great time. I'd like to do this race again. And for the next race, I know what I can do better: prepare food and money for the morning before, bring my own gels and maybe water, and run some more long runs.

The Sunmart 50K is only 3 and a half weeks away already. It seems very short. I'd like to do another long run before then, maybe 20-22 miles, and it would have to be next week.

Above is the gang from the CLFC, chilling out by the finish line with their aches and their pains and their medals.

Listening to: The Killers - When You Were Young (Can we climb this mountain? I don't know; Higher now than ever before, I know we can make it if we take it slow.)

Rock on please.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

San Antonio Expo

It's impossible to not get excited in this environment. Race numbers, chips, tee-shirts, the smell of determination fills the air.

At the expo, I found some free copies of Inside Texas Running, and I picked one up, happy to see it was the issue with my race report from my little run with Dean. I wandered around a little and, low and behold, I stumbled on some free copies of Inside Texas Running, and I picked one up, or accidentally two. Later on, I grabbed another. I chatted a little with Roger Soler and told him I registered for the TMC, and mentioned my concerns about Dean's run qualifying for the TMC. The conversation was a little confusing, so I don't know if it's going to count or not. Dean told me they would send a finisher's certificate, but I'm not sure if it will certify what I need it to certify. I'm starting to believe that, by the end of the season, I'm going to have to run 6.

I was trying to find a hat that says San Antonio Marathon, but never found one. My hat from the NYCM isn't even blue anymore, it's in pretty bad shape.

The tee-shirt for the marathoners is beautiful, my favorite race shirt ever. It's dark green with a tan and brown depiction of the missions on the front and it says:

marathon of the americas

And on the back, nothing. No collage of tiny logos, it's very nice. Usually, I wind up wearing a race shirt when it's the last clean thing in my closet, but this one I like.

So far, San Antonio Rocks! I'll have to come back just to waste time and check out the restaurants and stuff. Downtown is very cool, and there's music audible at every block. Every so often, the crowds reveal a person, maybe a man or a woman, young or old, but they all share the same look of purpose, and, of course, the same little grey bag, with the same complement of coupons and raceday goodies.

Well, I've got about an hour and a half until spaghetti-o'clock with a small group from the CLFC.

Listening to: some guy in some bar - You May Be Right (I've been stranded in the combat zone, I walked through Bedford-Sty alone.)


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dean v. Lance

This morning was the last group run, a little 8 miler, as we taper. It was the first time back with the group since my last marathon, and it occurred to me, some people that promised me hugs, didn't pay up (Brenda, Vicki, am I forgetting somebody?).

Anyway, next Sunday, I'll run marathon #2 out of 5 for the Texas Marathon Challenge in San Antonio!!!

Set your VCRs. Tomorrow (Sunday), NBC, 12:30-1:30 PM, NYCM highlight show. Lance Armstrong is trying to break 3 hours supposedly, although, if he's like me, maybe he has an easy public goal and a challenging private goal. Incidentally, my goal for San Antonio is to finish in ten and a half hours. My old buddy Dean Karnazes, finishing up his 50 marathons in 50 days. I would like to see how fast he can run it after all this. Can he beat Lance? (I think he can)

I wish I was there. I was there last year, injured. Perhaps someday, I'll make a triumphant return to NY, and I'll win it.

Listening to: Nirvana - Stay Away (?)

btw, Pay up!