Saturday, July 2, 2011


"Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos."
Don Kardong

I'm writing this as I'm winging my way at 35,000 feet back from Boston. Had a great trip visiting my family and wearing my grandson out trying to prove to him who had more energy and endurance. Of course, he has the advantage of a mid-day nap, a somewhat perfectly balanced diet, 10 hours of sleep at night, and a whole array of these cool nutritious snack things. I, on the other hand, am lucky to get 6 hours sleep at night (self-induced by my attraction to reading, TV, and computer technology at night, and getting up basically at 4;30 every morning), a poorly balanced diet heavily tilted towards carbohydrates in the form of pasta, and having a history of 64 years of life behind me. I think I kept up pretty good, though I did have moments of mental thoughts of "Good Grief, slow down". I did try to put a dent into his diet thing though with a trip to the Italian Ice Cream store. You know what? We both sure enjoyed vanilla ice cream mixed with peanut butter (hey, carbohydrates, fat, AND protein - perfect!!)

Another total joy was doing the Inaugural Boston Athletic Association 10k with my son, Michael. We did a half marathon a couple of years ago and had a blast. This one was just as blastful. Because we knew we weren't going to "race" and also because of an ill-timed per-race porta-john visit, we began in the very back of the pack...I mean THE VERY BACK! The race began in three waves, each about 4 minutes apart (still haven't really figured out why - there were only 3000 in the race) and we were so far back, we heard the volunteers basically saying "Ok,that's it" as we crossed the starting line. I don't want to give a "race report" because those are usually pretty boring, but let it be said that the second half of the race is basically the last 3 miles of the Boston Marathon course. For those of you who know me, this is like sacred ground to me. And because my endurance is several levels below marathon condition these days, when we went under the Citgo Sign (one mile to go) I was able to very accurately relive those wonderful late marathon feelings after only 5 miles of running instead of 25! In other words, I generally felt like crap! Finishing time was not important (that's what you say when your time is a little foreign to times of past races...ok, it was 1:03), but we had such a grand time laughing and talking most of the way that it was a perfect run. After the race, we got the obligatory Gatorade and bagel, found a patch of grass in the Public Garden and rehashed the race, wondering how we got hammered by the Kenyans. Actually, I had the leader in my sites at 5 miles - of course he was on the other side of the street and I was only at 2+ miles but I'm sure he felt me pushing him! Michael & I decided next year we would skip the running and just come get the Gatorade and bagel and come sit in the grass.

One of the funniest moments of the race was just as we passed 4 miles. Now, most of you know how I feel about this minimalist shoe craze going on. Not crazy about the way it's buffaloed it's way into the running scene, but that's fodder for a future RWA. Anyway, here we are, just flying past spectators like they're standing still, when we catch up to this guy CARRYING his Vibram Five Finger shoes and running completely barefoot. So, I saddleup next to this guy and said "I have to ask you...does completely barefoot actually feel better than the Vibrams or...well...what the heck's going on?". So he says "I just LOVE (his inflection, not mine) these shoes, but I haven't run many long runs in them and I got a bad blister on my little toe, so I took them off". Long runs? We're at mile 4! How long a run is long? OK, I wondered how bad must his feet feel wearing the Vibrams that the best option is actually running barefoot in the streets of Boston. I told him to cut the toes of the shoes off and maybe it'll feel better. Hey, maybe real shoes would feel better. Just a thought. As I say, give me the technology, and some rubber between me and the Mother Road.

Finally, on Sunday, I got a call from John Gordon. If you remember from a couple of posts ago, John was going for his 50th state. Well, he made it, finishing Kona. A big congratulations to John. He said it got hot the last 6 miles. Yeah, yeah, John, but no matter how bad it was, the finish line was still in Hawaii!! Now, I just have to keep hammering about the fact that he hasn't done a marathon in Washington DC. Of course, his excellent comeback is "It's not a state!". You win, for now.

Ok folks, about to put wheels down and I'm getting a scary look from the flight attendant. Better close here. I'll see you on the hot Birmingham roads - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"

1 comment:

brennda said...

Dear Al,
Today I run for the first time with a group in Boise,ID. By the way...I MISS YA'LL!! :-)
1- They do long runs on Sat ...I mean everyone, and at 7:00 a.m ...AWESOME weather...ZERO humidity!! I don't know if I am going to say the same thing in winter.
2- Run the foothills, and according to my new runner pals...the easy ones; THEY WERE scary...I had to go barefoot to go downhill. Still FUN!!

3- Please, say hello to Kent specially!

My deepest regards to all & I'll keep in touch!
Hope to see you in Boise, ID.