Saturday, April 28, 2018

emergence

i'm a rock in the ocean
and you, you are the tide
you know i am going nowhere
i'm just waiting here for the water to rise

-trifonic. good enough

nothing more to read here than a statement of intention.
run a sub 2:45 marathon as a 45 year old at cal international
the vibrations have been strong lately
the tide rising
rhythm
momentum
the glimpse of flow


Friday, January 26, 2018

lance


"excuse me, sir. can you move through the chute, we are expecting mr. armstrong any moment"
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i remember passing lance just after the 10K mark. i was running about 2:47 pace at that point, still warming up and i moved over to the left when i saw the teardrop shape throng of wannabes aping the yellow clad bumble bee squatting and grunting his way down the road. these were the salad days of the digital cameras and pre selfie. certainly no stick. seems these cucks were just hoping to get in the paper the next day. 80-100 runners aping a cyclist, trying not to be anonymous in a large marathon crowd. what a waste of all that prep letting an inexperienced cyclist dictate your race strategy for the day. the spectacle of celebrity.
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two night before i was with family and friends at alibi bar, a former jail turned watering hole, and a drink shows up in front of the closest thing to a sister in law i have and brought by a waiter asking if she'd like to make a new friend. waiter nods over to the private table where 7x has formed a bronado and has decided to a make a run at the local ladies. beesh, not missing a beat says "no thanks. i've got plenty of friends. besides, i'd never fuck a retiree"
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i had run a hard 60K trail race at peterson ridge the weekend before, and was only in boston to watch my friend, meghan, compete in the us olympic trials the day before. i signed up because i was heavy into western states training that year and where better to get a long run that monday. beesh lived on the course so we got to see her run by a few times from the comfort of the roof deck. it was disappointing to see the course changed from traditional route to more criterium style racing, but the volume of folks already in town to run the marathon made it a dream for the ladies participating. meghan honored uta pippig well that day along with being one of the oldest participants in the trials. 
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i didn't have to catch the early bus to hopkinton. beesh worked at boston childrens and knew all the routes to get to the start about 30-45 minutes before the gun so i could avoid the 4 hour wait sitting in the grass in hopkinton. during the drive up, she sees lights and sirens on the highway and pulls over to the side to see 4 staties on motos, followed by a unmarked cruiser with lights, a black van with LIVESTRONG on the side, another unmarked cruiser and 4 more moto staties going 90 mph towards the starting line area. full police escort. i would have rather seen the RD get that kind of treatment, not the cyclist. 
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not long after passing the ape train, i started picking it up and ended up running 2:41 with a 1:18 second half split. my board shorts had 5 pockets and an 11 inch inseam. i got lectured by a race official at the finish line about wearing my bib on my shorts instead of the front of my shirt. later, turns out my photo was in the boston globe as many times as lance that year. 
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no less than 200 photographers were at the finish line waiting for lance to come striding down boylston st. one of the volunteers in the chute handed me a bottle of water and threw her chin at the throng and said "whoar all these greasties waitin for? they think dunkees showing up with da chocolats with the jimmies on top? haven't seen a group up like this since jawny kelly ran his final finish in nointy too. kehd was ehty fowar". i gave that woman a big hug for making my day, said my goodbyes and i haven't been back since. 
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lance ran 2:51 and announced his return to professional cycling 4 months later. he rode in two more tours, never winning again and was given a lifetime ban for doping in 2013 and officially stripped of all his titles.

Friday, January 19, 2018

stotan


"the thoughtful reader, having read this far, and noted the various factors that are considered the steps, or paving stones, to success, might well say 'but what about the sacrifices I must make!' or, 'what sacrifices are called for in achieving the goals you have set before me'!
the answer is simple: 'there are no sacrifices'. 'you do not have to sacrifice anything at all.'

no ambitious person: no person who has set his sights on some goal above the average or normal attainment: no dedicated person: no one willing to work, and anxious to achieve, ever considers the 'way' he has determined upon: the path he is resolved to travel: the work and suffering he sees ahead of him, and which he encounters, ever thinks of all, or any of this as a...sacrifice.

when a man goes to night school every night in the week and studies all the weekend: when a man in sport trains, or practices, three times a day, and all the weekend, never does he feel he's making a sacrifice. It is only the mediocre, half-cocked, the spectator, or the playboy who 'assumes' that a sacrifice is being made: has been made: must be made.

the dedicated man: the ambitious person: the determined to succeed...will, in the judgement of these lesser types: those destined to mediocrity: to nonentity say, you the ambitious one: the resolved to succeed one: you, whose only 'god' is success in something: sometime: somewhere, you will be adjudged 'mad' and the lesser ones will affirm and agree--they couldn't make the necessary 'sacrifice'.

so: that is how we know them! those who would achieve: who see the way to achievement clearly, or dimly, 'sacrifice' will be the one word they never mention...because they have no consciousness of making any 'sacrifice ' at all.

accept it this way. for everyone who will 'go along with you': be in tune with you: support you, you must expect to find one hundred who will be critical of you. tell you the 'sacrifices' they see are not worth it.

this fact in itself makes for a certain isolation. if you are not prepared to endure (i would say 'enjoy') this separation, then believe me--you have not passed the chief test that places you in the category of the great, but has placed you in the category of those who miss out being truly great by a meter or a mile.


summed up: finally and irrevocably--those destined to be truly great never envisage anything they may do as resulting from personal sacrifice. they just do. "

-percy cerutty. 1951

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

meet me in the woods

i took a little journey to the unknown
and i come back changed, i can feel it in my bones
i fucked with the forces that our eyes can't see
now the darkness got a hold on me
holy darkness got a hold on me

how long, baby, have i been away?
oh, it feels like ages though you say it's only days

lord huron | meet me in the woods

Monday, October 24, 2016

summer of george

sitting on the back deck of the track shack, the plans were hatched over a heaping pot of red beans and rice and a few too many bottles of high life. running journal and a road atlas. everyone was lean as fuck and antsy. we were looking to test that summer base work out with some harder efforts while keeping the house rule of not waking up to an alarm or run fast in the heat of the day. that summer, we spent as much time thinking up alias names to race under as we did tapering. we always took advantage of the race day sign up because cash was always scraped together last minute. the mileage was high as everyone was enjoying the volume that the trails offered, but conscious of the need to turn the legs over. a few uninspired attempts at running daytime tempo's brought about the house rules concerning effort, but we needed an outlet for this growing fitness. discussions were brief and the rules were simple.

-races had to take place at night
-they couldn't be more than a 3 hour drive from brevard
-nothing longer than 10k 
-shirtless, no kits. 
-aliases for most of us, proper names for those capable of cash money.
-post race grub always at huddle house 

everyone was training for a fall marathon and were coming off of being counselors at brevard running camp, so that first trip entailed 6 guys in a station wagon hopping over the mountain to  crazy 8's. soon after, we hit pigeon forge, maggie valley and finished at midnight flight. 4 races in a quick 5 weeks while running 90 miles per week. the house was fast. i remember a few pr's coming out of those races, some prize money and a few comped post race hotel rooms. the game of finding new events without amending the original rules mellowed the cheetahs out while respecting the trials of miles necessary to build that foundation for those bigger pictures we all saw in our mind. nobody gave too much of a fuck and it was fun. everyone ran well, plus with all of us racing we didn't have to worry about an eager housemate half stepping us on those sunday long runs. everyone was sore and tired, so we built into the longer sessions slowly and finished strong. ego's were checked but accountability and stoke from the weekly fitness checks were high.

that summer was endless and never to be authentically repeated. a few years later when the shack got condemned by the county, guys moved on. a few got jobs. one of them wifed up and it was never the same afterwards. sure, a few of us still traveled to races and trained together but everyone was more focused. during the summer of george we had shared everything, including a schedule and a common goal. side jobs never were anything that would interfere with what we were doing. seasonal girls were abundant and enthusiastic it was some of the most effortless running i have ever done. it was pure freedom. no dogma. no designations. just running. the south is good for that. races are abundant and creative. no better place to be a road whore in the summer months.

to the cajun cannon, wild bill, randy, subcommandante inspector marcos, abstract & breece d'j pancake: long live the summer of george.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

horn lane

leaving was a helluva thing.

i wasn't solo this time as the blonde was in the car behind me ferrying the birds of bedlam and the orange and white kitty who loved to ride in cars. it rained for 36 straight hours and i was questioning the decision to go. it was hard to tell if the western appalachian mountains were crying or try to wash me clean. i was burnt out and jaded. the blonde was in need of a professional home and we had expanded her job search to include places that appealed to our lifestyle but also a compassionate take on her chosen profession. i was sad to leave a place i had left and returned to so many times, but you always know it'll be there to come back to if it didn't work out. it needed a commitment. something beyond moving far enough away that your folks can't just pop in on you at any time. 2,683.6 miles seemed like a nice round number. i was seeking authenticity and simplicity. eugene had a few desirables and that professional home for the blonde. i just wanted to drink good coffee, ride my bike and run with folks who took the task seriously, but not themselves. i was shocked at how easy it was to go. i think we thought about it for about 20 minutes. we both gave notice and flew out to find a place to live and three weeks later were on the road.

photo by gtach

10 years later to the day, i think about how much has happened and while i still think of myself as a western north carolina native, it's not hard to pass for an oregonian. we did come 2 hours east after 4 winters in eugene and have found bend to suit our recreation a skosh more, but the community i was welcomed into in a very short period of time in eugene are some of the most quality friendships that i have ever had and the experiences that i have had because of them have shaped me in an abiding way. the blonde found that professional home and left a confident therapist who could easily stand on her own in her field.

i'll never forget that little rainy rental on horn lane. the minimalist kitchen. the two pairs of ds trainers that always seemed to be a bit damp. that paved path on the river and the first weeks of speed work on the bark with LB, Bili, Tbag, lc, OD and Ticer. the smile that the blonde and i greeted each other with at the end of each day silently said that we had truly found our home in that community. i'm grateful we took the chance.

Monday, November 30, 2015

merlin

“The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”   T.H.White