Thursday, June 30, 2011

Train is now part of my life - Day 15 Metra to Work

Now taking public transportation is part of my life.  At least while the weather is good it will be the norm.  I will drive only once a week to haul food/uniforms, but other than that it is a great way to be sure to get in at least 4 miles running/walking and saving the earth a little and money on gas. 

Tomorrow back home for four days with wife and kids.  Life is good.  When I get back it will be hard work then off to Ft. Custer, MI for our Annual Training. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Up to day 11 taking the train

Life taking the train is getting pretty routine.  I am taking my car home tonight because I need to haul clothes and food back and forth so I will be ready next week.  I had a great running week, and all the 4 X miles added on via running to and from the train station pads the milage, even though I keep the pace very slow so I'm not a sweaty mess when I get to work. 

I still want a bike and about to break down and buy one, so I can go totally green, but for now the train is a good money saver and a good way to be sure to stay healthy. 

I've been working a lot lately; as we get closer to our two weeks out in the "woods" (we stay the night in barracks rooms, so it is not that big of a deal), at Ft. Custer. 

Not many running events planned for the next few months, so I will be leaning on Hash runs to fill in my need to keep busy, but I will probably work in a few shorter races before I run the North Coast 24 Hour in September and then the Chicago Marathon in October.  After that it will be cold as heck and doubt that I will want to do any running; wonder if I will even hash? 

Battle Assembly weekend, so it will be lots of fun, wish I could follow Western States 100, but after work I'll check it out. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day Seven taking the train

Back from a great one week vacation in San Jose/Santa Cruz.  We spent three days right on beach, at a Hotel called Beach Street Inn and boy was it nice.  The kids had so much fun doing even the simple things like playing in the sand.  We did spend some time at the Board Walk letting the kids ride the ride and play the arcade games. 

I didn't get much running in, and in fact I suffered a pretty bad back injury.  I'm moving slowly and actually only walking fast for my "work-outs".  I haven't gone to the doctor and just trying to tough it out.  It really happened on 14 Jun and now it still feels as bad as the first day, but maybe it will get better in just a few more days? 

Took the train the first two days back at work, so that puts me at 7 for the year.  I didn't go for the Hash run even though it is a day off, which tells you I'm really not myself. 

Finished another book from the Amazon Vine Program.

Maybe I'm a little too critical, but this story bored me. It did keep my interest, but not my passion. Thayer does a good job of painting a nice picture and a way of making you feel for her characters, but you could easily see around each corner.

This story of loss how you deal with it seemed to feel like a soap opera. As a parent I felt for Carley as she went through the loss of her husband while taking care of her two young daughters. The story takes you on a journey of dealing with in-laws on a small island where everyone knows all your business. Thayer takes you on a journey into finding love in the shadows of a husband that recently died. All this happens under the watchful eyes of young children and how they learn to love the new man in their life.

The icing on the cake is the acceptance of the new love and the fact that the children take to the new stepfather. But wait that is not all; a close friend dies giving birth and with the loss of the main characters friend she finds out that the baby will be hers, which makes the family even more complete......oh and in the final pages of the book the new stepfather finds out that his wife is pregnant making for a big happy family; how trite.

I would recommend this book to a female reader, which I am not. I probably should have picked up a different book to start reading. I doubt Thayer was looking for the male audience.

On the Ultra front, Tony is out of the season bad injury.  How a simple run can change your life.  Western States will be very interesting next weekend.   I have Army Reserve weekend during the WS100 but I will be checking out this link during the incredible 15 hours that the leaders will be running. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 5 Taking the Train

All three days this week I took the train making it commute number 5 using the train.  It is fun to be green and I get a little extra exercise.  I'm going to try to make sure I keep up and make it to my goal of 50 train commutes this year.  I'm also scouting out my bicycle, but what I really like is going to put me back about $600. 

Struggling with my identity, and thinking about moving back to being a marathoner/hash runner.  I just don't seem to have the drive nor the time to really commit to being an ultra-runner anymore, furthermore, the last two races seemed like more of a pain in the ass than something fun to do.  Maybe my narcissism has run out, or I have really realized that no one cares if you can run 5 miles or marathon, or can really even comprehend running 50 or 100 miles.  I guess I'm at a point in my life that I've done that and check the block, at least while I'm living here with the bad weather that makes running ultra distances a real pain in the butt. 

I still have more than enough to still be defined as a marathoner.  I will continue to hit those and a few trail 50K/50 milers in order to get off the road and into something more beautiful, but 100K/Mile will be thing of the past.  As for Hash Running, that will probably define me while I am here at Chicago.  I've made some good friend and really enjoy learning the city through this quality running organization! 

I have also been reading a lot; here is the review I recently wrote concerning The Long Jouney Home:
I should not be surprised by the writing genius of the Mother of one of my favorite writers, Augusten Burroughs.  Mrs. Robison weaves a story that captures your imagination immediately.  Her prose can only be described as pure art.  She explains that her real passion has always been painting more than writing and it is interesting that she defines herself as a writer, but had to work to be a painter. 

Throughout the book, her painting proved to define what was happening in her life.  I could not help but to fall in love with her story and keep longing for her happiness.  Throughout her life there seemed to be so many challenges that most of us escape, and your heart goes out to her and her love of her children. 
She explains her love of her husband and how she tried desperately to make it work for over a decade, despite incredible abuse and challenges that surround anyone with a drinking problem.  Her family life did not stop with simple drinking problems from her husband.  She endured infidelity, violence and his own mental illness that ended up threatening her life.  All these stress pushed her over the edge into her own mental illness that landed her in a state mental hospital.  The journey through the hospital can be defined as horrific. 

Through all of this she finds a way to love and to slowly discover who she really is, and with that she is better able to love her family.  This book continued to follow her life and the incredible roller-coaster that it turned out to be.  Her challenges in love, were beautifully explained, and how love is about the relationship and not the gender of the person. 

Throughout her life she was haunted by her homosexual feeling, but in her wise years came to deal with those feeling and better express who she really is inside.  This book enables one to feel closer to anyone with a mental illness because you will have a firm understanding of what they go through.  It is hard to be prejudice or look down at someone with mental illness after reading this book.  In fact, this book is refreshing because it is a triumphant story of success against all odds. 

She finds love and art through all the pain that is a part of life; her marriage, hurtful words by her son, dealing with a stroke and her internal mental illness are all struggles that she struggles with then defeats.  It is incredible how brilliant her family (even her abusive first husband) is throughout all the challenges.  They are all a work of art and I mean that in the very best of terms!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day Number Three Commuting//KM100 DNF 38.9 Miles

had a fun time up at KM 100, even though I dropped from the 62 mile race at 38.9 miles.  To be honest it was hot, and I was struggling, I couldn't seem to be able to take down food and most of all after ten hours it was not fun and I just didnt want to spend the next 10 hours walking it in, for what another award and pride.  It is true I have not been training enough and I signed long ago when I was training double what I am now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Taper before KM100 - Goal time 17 hours 59 minutes/National Runnnig Day/Communte Number One

Celebrate National Running Day

It has been some time since I've posted.  I just have not been running or racing like I have in the recent past and it will probably show in my race performace this weekend yet I still love the challenge and love to get out there and push the body.  I cannot wait to push myself to a 62 mile finish.  This is an out and back course, so it will not be easy to quit, which is exactly what I need.  I'm a little pissed that it is scheduled to rain, but what the heck. 

One thing I did today is take the train, which is good for the enviroment and saves me a few bucks along the way!  I would love to think I will do that 50 times this year, but that is probably lofty dreaming.  At least it may motivate me to post some thoughts and my training.  The other great thing about taking the train is that it forces me to almost four miles of running/walking with my pack.  It is just about a mile to the train station from where I live and to my job, so both ways it is almost 4 miles; good for the body as well as the earth!