Wednesday, November 19, 2014

temperature check

(the song stuck in my head the entire race.)

saturday, nov. 15, 2015
grand ridge half marathon

this time was different.

my last experience at grand ridge ~ a dim, dreary, exhausted slog a year ago ~ was not fun. from the moment i arrived to the moment i crossed the finish line, i just wanted to be done. looking back, it's not so much that the experience was's that my attitude sucked.


today, as noted, was different. bright, sunny, and cold. cold as a new york city winter. colder than the siberian (not-so-permanent) permafrost. but not as cold as the internet reaction to kim kardashian's butt.

still, it was cold.
mile 3-ish. i was warm.
(photo courtesy of takao suzuki)

the starting area was in the shade until a few minutes before the start, and runners milling about shivered and kvetched on frozen ground.

by 9 a.m., however, the sun rose high enough over tree and hill to blast the north side of I-90 ~ the difference was spectacular. cold-weather gear-related note: black running attire heats up quickly in sunlight. metabolic-physiology note: running generates heat, as well.

aside from knocking a few minutes off last year's time, my goals this day were modest:

  1. finish
  2. have fun
  3. don't fall down a lot

these are not audacious goals, i realize, but achieving them is always better than not. falling on the frozen trail would've been particularly noisome ~ not too different from tumbling on broken concrete. it would've made for some interesting road rash, though.

according to the nice folks at evergreen trail runs, there's about 2000 feet of elevation over the half marathon course. it seemed like more, but that's probably because there isn't a lot of flat ground at grand ridge. you're either running uphill or downhill most of the time. plus, there's a lot of avoiding other runners heading out-and-back on singletrack trail, which adds to the illusion of extra effort. 

no, come to think of it, it wasn't an illusion. in the name of good trail running etiquette, i spent a lot of time sidestepping and smiling and saying "thank you" and "nice job." i'm polite that way.

sidebar: as it's only a half-hour from our house, why don't i run grand ridge more often? aside from the fact that discovery park is three minutes away, i mean.


in conclusion, i did finish, i did have fun, and i did improve on last year's time (sort of). late in the race i saw my friend kira walking up the hill, and since i hadn't seen her in months we walked and chatted for a few minutes. yes, it was a race, but it's not like the digression cost me a spot on the podium.

so, on a technicality, two minutes slower than last year. but who's counting?



42/249 (overall)
3/15 (M 50-59)

Friday, November 07, 2014

general weirdness

"gentlemen, i wash my hands of this weirdness."
"i have no sympathy for any of you feculent maggots, and no more patience to pretend otherwise."

~ captain jack sparrow


for eight years, republicans endorsed every act of piracy committed by the bush administration.

it got so bad that americans would've elected a tree stump, it seemed, rather than tolerate more years of national humiliation and depredation. instead, in a brief moment of clarity, we elected a brilliant, charming, steady constitutional law professor from illinois. and for a few shining moments it seemed the pendulum might swing back and away from our self-inflicted calamity.

that didn't *quite* happen.

time and again the brilliant law professor, self-cast as conciliator-in-chief, extended a hand across the aisle to work with the loyal opposition (if by "loyal opposition" you mean "ravening band of hard-right zombies still in search of brains amongst themselves or their constituents").

each time, he pulled back a stump.

and yet he tried. well beyond the point that a reasonable person might say, "bite me once, shame on you. bite me dozens of times, sod off you rabid obstructionist anti-american faux-christian cretins." 

or, you know, words to that effect. because he's a diplomat and i'm not.

but he didn't do that. he just. kept. reaching. even as the opposition kept gnawing. their stated goal: to thwart every initiative, every attempt to govern, every exhortation to do the jobs for which legislators are elected.

time passed, stuff happened. and despite the efforts of the zombies, the pendulum did swing. wars were (mostly) concluded. broad-scale healthcare was implemented (sort of). the economy recovered (for some people) and the stock market soared (for rich people). 

and, as they adorably do every 15 minutes or so, americans forgot the past.

they forgot how long it took to dig out from under the pile of crap heaped on us by the last republican administration. and that, actually, we're still digging.

they forgot the last time the GOP was in charge, america tortured helpless prisoners.

they forgot that the GOP hates women. and gays. and minorities. and poor people. and healthcare. and the environment.

they forgot that for the past 6 years republicans did everything they could to stall the economy and shut down the government...including actually shutting down the government.

and so, because americans have a tragicomically short attention span, in november, 2014, they put the GOP back in charge of congress.

{steps back, takes a deep breath, considers options}

or, maybe i'm wrong. 

maybe american voters are extremely bright. maybe electing 31 GOP governors and handing the united states senate over to republicans was done intentionally and with great premeditation. because things worked out so well the last time these folks were in charge, i imagine.

at this juncture, i'm extremely content to let you decide. because for the next year at least...i'll be over here trying to wash off the incredulity.


“Take a look at this: gas under $3 a gallon. Unemployment under 6%. Stock market breaking records every day. No wonder the guy is so unpopular.”

~ david letterman