Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why run a marathon?

When people hear that I have run several marathons, they consistently ask, "Why would you do that?" It's a decent question. I wonder the same thing when I see trapeze artists, high-rise window washers and attorneys at work. So, here's the list.

Why run a marathon?

1. It's difficult.
2. It's a true test of your discipline. You can't cheat. To do it correctly, it takes at least six months of training to prepare. By "training," this means running shorter runs several times a week and gradually ramped-up long runs(I preferred Sundays.) By long run, some prefer to run the full distance before a race, some run up to 20 miles.
3. There's a whole strange and wonderful community built around running.
4. It's just you, your body, your mind, and the road. (And your mp3 player, if you're me. Some prefer the solitude of their environment.)
5. There's real peace out there. (Not just the chemical thing that happens around Mile 14 for me, but that's pretty fantastic too.)
6. It forces you to get outside and see the world.
7. If you travel, it's a really unique way to sight see.
8. You start to see food as fuel, and (hopefully) get smart about what you're tossing down your gullet.
9. It's a cheap hobby. Some decent shoes(go to a store where they know what they're talking about), some moisture-wicking gear, mp3 player(optional), watch with a timer(GPS running watches available for gearheads) and a target marathon. Typical marathon entry fees will cost between $75-150. Of course, if you choose to run one out of your area, add travel cost. When all is said and done, it could likely cost you less than that gym membership you never use.
10. It's inspiring. No joke. For all three experiences, there were points in my training where I wanted to quit, but I persisted. There are points where you are in pain, but you go on. I have called on what I learned about myself on the road when times get tough.

Feeling inspired? Here's a great place to start with free training tools, as well as great videos and articles. Runner's World: Beginners.

Photo gracias: Flickr user jjan9.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seven Things You Don't Know About Me.

So, I've been tagged by Lauren Vargas, Linda Jacobson, and Lauren Turner to take part in the Seven Things You Don't Know About Me blogging fun. Geoff Livingston originally tagged Lauren Vargas and my bud Richie Escovedo. This idea is a great representation of why I love the social Interwebs. Here goes:

1. For several years, I played guitar in a heavy metal band, Cain. Don't try to look us up or buy our stuff on iTunes because your search will be fruitless. We weren't the big hair variety, either, we were more of the Pantera/Metallica ilk. I still listen to metal regularly and go to the occasional show. I also still play guitar, but more of the Zeppelin/blues speed now(I'm old!).
2. My wife and I give out informal Parent of the Year awards. My most recent Father of the Year honor came when we got home late from an event. I told my kids(3&5) to be quiet because I thought I heard monkeys upstairs. The 3 yr old ended up crying and not sleeping much that
night, afraid of the monkeys in our house.
3. I write all the time. I've written four full length novels(one I'm finalizing to try to sell). I wrote a play, The Mercy Street Boys, that was produced by a local theater in 2001. I've always had more story ideas than time. I hope to balance that ratio someday. I also write non-fiction. I'm currently working on a non-fiction book with a friend centered on the relationship between love and self-respect.
4. I'd list my favorite kinds of music as rock, jazz and opera. Wait, what was that last one? Yup. Opera. I attended a performance about 8 years ago just from curiosity and found out I really like it. My favorite is Puccini's Turandot. Nessun Dorma is one of the most beautiful things ever written, in my opinion. Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez is a close second, but that's not opera, and I'm getting off topic.
5. I played ice hockey, badly, for a few seasons recently. I am a rabid hockey fan and thought my love for the game would translate. The NHL players make it look easy. Skating is hard enough. Trying to play hockey and skate for me, near impossible.
6. I've run three marathons. My favorite, so far, being New York. Running through that great city was amazing. The countless people lining the streets in every neighborhood was amazing. And, of course, finishing in Central Park is nice.
7. Despite my love of all things literary, I read everything Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk write. One of my fav recent blog posts references Palahniuk's Fight Club.

I hereby tag these friends: Leo Bottary, Dan Keeney, Chelsea Moser, Rob Barra, Jenn Schooley,
Patrick Evans, and Simon Salt.

The rules(courtesy of Vedo):
  • Link your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged
    (Hat tip to Beth Harte for the rules.)
Photo gracias: Flickr user no vacancy.
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