Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Official Bieber Fever Blog

It has been 11 days since my last entry into the Marathon Blog. Since that time, nothing has happened. Really ... I have very little to write about. So, I'll put in some stuff about running and rant about a couple of things. That should get the ole creative juices flowing.

First, the running bit. I ran an 8 miler at 8:00/mile pace in Palo Cedro last Saturday. If you did not know this, Palo Cedro is the home of such world-renowned events as "The Honey Bee Festival" and landmarks such as "Citizen's Utilities" and "Holiday Market". Weeds and scrubby oaks grow nicely during 110 degree July days in Palo Cedro. Palo Cedro kind of sucks in many ways, but it is home of a sort. I really do love the place and the memories it conjures up.

Speaking of memories, I was present when Ray Hursey cracked this sign at North Cow Creek School with a bat and split it in half. I guess he was pissed because he was not one of the "Best Students in Shasta County"? Well, I was, and it didn't do much for me. I didn't even get the satisfaction of whacking a sign with an aluminum bat. Anyway, I've waited some 30 or so years to rat him out, so here it is. Ray, you are officially outed ... fear not ... the statute of limitations has run.

During that run, I thought a lot about people and places in Palo Cedro, and it did distract me from my usual musings on theology, jiu jitsu, and people who have irked me recently. On that last subject, the guy that had me irked on this run was the crazy fundamentalist preacher with a congregation of a whopping 50 people who plans on burning a Koran. Hint to everyone - these types go away if they are ignored ... says the guy cluttering up his blog with the same damn thing.

Then my ire turned to a group in Britain who plan to burn an American flag in protest of the crazy fundamentalist preacher guy. Listen, Britain, U.K., England or whatever the hell you are calling yourselves nowadays, we've kicked your ass in two wars and we've only recently (since 1814 or so) decided we can tolerate you despite your toothy looking royalty and obvious lack of dentistry. Hands off of Old Glory!!!

Note: I do know the difference between Britain, UK & England. Just having fun you lovers of geography! And also, notice my argument against generalization by use of another generalization. Do not think I have not made note of my own hypocrisy.

Anyway, does it make sense to burn the symbol of our entire country because one crazy decides to burn a Koran? That's kind of like slapping a nearby puppy just because your spouse made you mad. No matter how therapeutic a baby canine beat down might be, it just shouldn't be done. Maybe try a cat instead? They are bit more challenging because they are quick and, even if you do hit them, they can give a sh*t.

Moving on ... I had the third leg of the Whiskeytown Relay on Sunday. I was fully expecting God to strike me down for skipping church, but instead I ran at 7:00/mile pace. I'm thinking there is some kind of trick He's playing on me. Oh wait, that trick was that 4 miler at Lema Ranch when I almost died! Maybe God is paying it forward for me. I dare not guess.

Has anyone ever noticed this kid?

Well, he now lives at my house. My boy, the Pseudo-Bieber, has exactly the same hair-do. He denies it though. Our conversation this morning went something like.

Abusive Father: Hey, Bieber, you're late for school.

Pseudo-Bieber: Dad, it's not a Bieber hair cut. I comb my hair forward but to the opposite side.

Father Who Thinks This Move Is Motivated By Girls: Ummm ... yeah ...

I dropped the Pseudo-Bieber off at school this morning. One of his female classmates immediately noticed him, pointed at him and laughed. I'm guessing she just got an up close and personal experience of Bieber Fever.

This Saturday's long run is a 9 miler. Ipod playlist tracks of note are:

Wasted Sunsets by Deep Purple: Admitted ... I spent many hours as a teen rewinding this song in my car after an extended round of Redding's favorite past time - drinking keg beer out of plastic glasses in remote locations overgrown with Manzanita and containing the debris dumped from the pickup beds of Redding's finest citizens. Ah good times ... I was a bad kid, really, but I never got caught.

You Got Lucky by Tom Petty: Remember the lyrics? "You got lucky babe, when I found you." I hereby dedicate this song to some girl who looks like my wife but is not. Inside joke right at ya, Stacy!

The Trees by Rush: A song about maple trees complaining to oaks that they are being crowded out of the sunlight by said oaks. The trees argue so much that by the end of the song they are all "kept equal, by hatchet, ax, and saw." Moral to the story? None, really. I construe this warning to apply only to trees, and Canadian trees specifically.

Have a great week, everyone. May you never be subjected to Bieber fever in your own home.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Naked Greeks & Pink Floyd

Greetings to everyone! I'll start with a synopsis of last Saturday's long run of 4 miles. If you recall, last week was a taper week. Supposedly, it meant rest, more time with the kids, warm comforting romantic thoughts of getting away with the wife and the like. Instead, it meant that I did way too much work-related worrying, not enough jiu jitsu, not enough drinking and not enough running. So, was I excited to run my 4 miles? Yes!

Then it sucked. Oh boy, did it suck.

I now have a loathing of Lema Ranch which no amount of Maker's Mark can erase. It was 66 degrees when I left my comfortable abode in Shingletown and, by the time I finished running Lema's asphalt paths around weed patches and assorted murky lakes, it was 93 degrees. When such extremes occur I typically rely on some music to set me straight. Well, that Pina Colada song didn't do the trick ... it just pissed me off. How dare that guy sing about Pina Colada's when I'm needing a drink and trying to avoid stumbling into a patch of star thistle. You know, these frickin stupid weeds:

That concludes my rundown (pun intended) of last Saturday's debacle. Needless to say, I finished this run only to be late in picking up my wife from Sun Oaks. Did I mention the gastrointestinal issue I had on my run? Imagine that potty stop ... well, don't actually. My reward? A disapproving look. At least she didn't hit me.

I ran five miles on Monday, and it was much, much better. During that run, I was thinking about how good it will be to run a marathon again. I'll get a medal, the universal esteem and respect of my children and wife (yeah, right), and I'll probably even finish it strong.

One thing that occurred to me in my confident state during that run was that the first marathon didn't turn out so good for a certain Greek named Phiddipides. If you've ever wondered why a marathon is precisely 26.2 miles it is because that is the distance that poor Phiddipides had to run from the Plain of Marathon to Athens. Phiddipides ran to Athens to provide the good news of a victory against the Persian invader at Marathon.

Ah, Athens ... the same people that made Socrates drink poison and die just because he asked too many annoying questions and had bad breath. Seems like the Athenians could deserve some late news ... or at least inaccurate news like the Record Searchlight provides. Back to the story ...

Phiddipides ran his ass off in his sandals all the way to Athens and blurted out his good news only to die immediately thereafter. Yes ... like certain 4 milers, marathons can kill. I've often wondered why Phiddipides ran himself to death to give good news. Seems like good news could wait a bit. Why not stop at a couple of taverns on the way to Athens? You could ogle a couple of greek girls, brag about how you killed at least 20 of the invading Persians and drink some brew.

Phiddipides: Hey baby, bet you five drachma you can't guess what I've got under my toga?

Disgusted Greek Girl: Shaved legs?

Phiddipides: Nah, come on baby you know that's for those tour de france guys ... guess again.

You could while away the whole day playing that game in a tavern. Trust me, I've tried it. Seems like the bad news like "The Persians are coming to kill us all!" should induce a bit of haste. But no, Phiddipides foolishly sprints forward to die to bring tidings of great joy (Christmas reference intended).

Take a look at this classic painting of Phiddipides delivering the good news to Athens:

A couple of questions 'cause I'm confused:

1) What the hell happened to Phidippides' clothes? Why are the Athenians clothed? Is this some kind of Greek messenger thing? In modern day Greek messaging, is nudity required if you send a fax but you must be clothed to receive the same fax?

2) Why aren't the people happier? You'd think they'd show a bit more joy in getting to avoid that whole unpleasant killing and rape thing that the Persians liked to bestow upon the Greeks.

3) If not happy, they look surprised. Is that because Phidippides feels it necessary to demonstrate naked yoga moves while giving out the good news?

4) Is Phidippides about to get groped by that chick that is reaching for him? I think, Yes. Is that guy in the brown toga on the left leaning back so he can get a better look at Phidipides' ass? Once again ... it looks that way.

As all of this relates to me, I'm not sure if I should be thinking about getting naked prior to finishing my marathon at the Sundial Bridge? If I go all-Phidippides, will some lady try to grab my bum? In Redding, no, its straight to jail. In Chico, my chances are fair. In San Francisco, I'm a lock for a bit of tushy grabbing.

I think I need a palate cleanser. Kids, avert your eyes, because this picture has each of the Pink Floyd albums painted on the naked backside of an attractive woman.

Men, can you sense that disturbing image of Phiddipides leaving your mind? Good. Glad I could be of help and my favorite is the one painted black with the Dark Side of the Moon album cover painted on. Second place goes to the girl on her left. You are clever if you have noticed my brunette theme. Doesn't that feel nice to be called clever in a blog?

This week's long run is a 7.5 miler. I will be lacing up my shoes to a pretty good playlist. Notable mentions are:

Mother by Danzig: Kind of a weird vibe I get from Danzig. The lead singer is one hugely muscled dude emoting all over the place about his mama. I don't know whether to respect him or slap him. Generally, heavy metal conjures images of guys with greasy and/or heavily hair sprayed locks with about as much muscle as is necessary to lift a joint or perhaps (on good days) a light beer.

1973 by James Blunt: James, in 1973 I was 5 years old. Even I didn't dance in night clubs with beautiful models at age 5. You certainly did not because you were not yet born. What gives?

Here's hoping that all of you enjoy your weekend. Tomorrow is September 11, 2010, so spend some time in prayer. While at it, pray for me on my run. If the ghost of the 4 miler returns for this 7.5 miler it will probably end up in me doing some naked yoga a la Phiddipides ... and that can't be pretty.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

On How Runner's Save the Rest of You

On the strange weather front. I went from running in 90 degree weather to taking last Saturday's long run of 7.5 miles four days later in the cold and rain. It was 50 degrees when I launched in Shingletown for a trail run.

The run went fine, and, as promised, I did wolf down thirteen beers at the barbecue which followed. And, yes, I know it sounds juvenile to count the beers you've consumed, but I'm in training, so I do what I want. This also explains why I ran my last marathon at 192 lbs. I'm at 202 lbs now, so I've got some beer drinking ... I mean ... training to do.

The point was made to me that the excessive beer drinking cannot count as carbo-loading because it occurred post-run. I can't refute such logic, so I'll use my attorney-wits (the California State Bar provides these as a "reward" for enduring their hellishly foolish bar exam). I therefore fall back on my counter-argument that I meant that the carbs were intended to replenish those used during the run. That extra beer (the 13th) was for the effort it took to spank a naughty kid and tie my shoes immediately before the run. That was exhausting.

Also, Dad, you may send the "watch out for becoming an alcoholic" warning by text.

On a serious note, the song highlight of this run was Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon". Kids, Billy Joel is a middle-aged singer popular in the 70's and early 80's. He's most noted for having super-buggy eyes and marrying a super-model (Christie Brinkley). I guess his lusty stare must have finally spooked her because she dumped him several years ago. Anyway, the song is about Marines in the Vietnam War. That led me to thinking about the people I left behind when I left CBC Port Hueneme. Here's the emblem for the Fighting Seabees:

I was a JAG at CBC Port Hueneme and not a Seabee, so I can't claim the "We Build, We Fight!" motto. I suppose the JAG motto would be "You Fight, We Prosecute". It is also true that the "fighting Seabee" didn't intimidate many of the Japanese soldiers during the Pacific Campaign of WWII. However, I've got to admit that a bee holding a machine gun is more interesting than the "Rising Sun" the Japanese carried into battle. Come on, Japan! Couldn't you put a Samurai on your battle flag - or maybe a picture of a shot of Sake. Here's Japan's boring flag:

Anyway, I digress.

I do want to inform the public of the many benefits runners provide to you. For one, you may have heard about the wildfire started by a golfer who caused a spark when he hit a rock with his club. Well, runners don't start wildfires.

Runner #1: Hey, lets go, we've got 7 miles to cover before we go to the barbecue and get drunk!

Runner #2: Be right with you, just going to kindle a fire before we get started.

Runners also habitually look along the side of the road as they jog. This means that we discover dead bodies and the like - a worthy public service. It is also well known that there is a worldwide quota on the wearing of track suits. Put another way, if Al Davis and all the runners in the world don't wear the track suits, it means some of you will have to. As for the skimpy running shorts we wear, they are super-sexy and the envy of all the people I train with at Team Quest. Just ask them, and they will tell you how they highlight my muscled thighs and sculpted calves. Just ask ...

Lastly, what better way to demonstrate your public service as a runner than to solve the world's food shortage crisis by being so damn skinny (myself excluded). This formerly beautiful girl did her part for you as part of her marathon training:

And, to show that it isn't just the women doing their part, the men participate too:

The downside is that runners, as a rule, tend to distract drivers with their strange appearance (see the picture of the shameless guy above). I imagine this leads to traffic accidents, accidental choking by children in the back seats of cars and the like. In high school we had a girl who would bawl like a baby during her mile event at the track meets. Dammit, Heather, if it bothers you so much take up bowling! WTF, who the hell said you could cry! What do you really expect from a runner? Don't tell me you think the guy in the picture above isn't going to cry like a baby when he's done running.

Moving on ... this Saturday's run is a wussy run. Low on the mileage (4 to be exact) because this is a taper week. Two weeks, I increase mileage and on the third week, I tool it down. Marathon training in a nutshell folks.

Because the run is so short, my Ipod playlist is rather short. The only song of note is "The Pina Colada Song" ... you know "Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain..." What a bunch of cheesy sh*t, and Rupert Holmes should be shot for being so damn pathetic that he had to write a song that with each verse screams out "I'm not a man!"

So, on this week where almost everything sucked, I'm hoping that "The Pina Colada" song will remind me that not all is bad. Mr. Holmes turned in his man card after he wrote that song. Mine is still comfortably in that tiny girly little pocket they make for the skimpy running shorts.