Monday, October 28, 2013

America's Next Sock Model & Other Musings on a Quiet Fall

I was subtly reminded over the weekend that I have fallen a bit behind on keeping up my blog ("Your blog sucks," --Meagan Nedlo.  Oh yeah, Meagan?  Well, spell check suggests I change your last name to "noodle".).  It was the kick in the pants I needed to write an entry despite not being even slightly motivated to do so.

That has really been the theme as it relates to activities other than family, work and fantasy football lately. Although, the fantasy football part is not going all that great.   That sort of lackadaisicalness or perhaps hyper-focus on what is the most important right now has had the most impact on my running and my writing.  I haven't thought much about either lately in hopes that time away will re-ignite some passions.

The most important update since my last update is that things in general are a lot better than they were. I never count my chickens (or is it eggs I should be counting?), but the health issues that plagued me since February seem to be resolving.  Monthly blood tests have shown levels nearing normal and sleep is no longer a chore.  I can't say 100% for sure that it's the new gluten-free diet that's lead to all the positive changes, but if it's not, it's one heck of a coincidence. Plus, I've really learned to love hard cider (served like beer, made like wine), and I don't miss bread all that much, so I think I'll stick with it. Cookies are tough though.  Real tough because cookies are EVERYWHERE.  Cookie dough ice cream? Out! Cookie cake?  Don't even think about it.

During my hiatus, I turned 30.  That was terrifying.  You can use your 20s as an excuse for all sorts of immature actions and naivety.  "Did I forget to pay the electric bill 4 months in a row?  Oh, 20s..."  Your 30s?  Not so much.  Plus, 30 is the age where the internet tells me bad things will start to happen to me.  My metabolism will slow down, my body will heal slower, I'll creak when I walk.  It's when a myriad of terminal and chronic diseases show up.  But regardless of all that,  my 30th birthday was pretty special.  My family and many of my closest friends came out to celebrate and I decided growing old won't be so bad with so many awesome people in my life.
With Dad, Mom and Lauren at the 30th birthday dinner

With the exception of some stubborn tendinitis in my left hamstring, running feels nearly natural again.  I've kept my promise and done only easy running since the Autism Speaks 4 Miler in early September.  It's allowed me to be completely flexible with when I run or who I run with.  I'm coaching Lauren for next week's New York City Marathon and I've been able to sneak in some runs with her here and there.  Like last year, I'm trying to ensure that Lauren's running takes priority over mine as she prepares for her big race.

Yesterday, after a beautiful long run on the Chessie Trail in Lexington, Virginia where we had traveled for Lauren's 10 year college reunion, I started thinking seriously about Boston and how I'd approach it this year.  That required some reflection on what worked and what didn't work last year.  There's a lot more that didn't work than did.  First of all, I'm not very good at coaching myself.  It's self-motivation that's my problem.  I don't lack it.  I have too much of it.  I push through workouts I shouldn't be doing and run too far and too fast on easy days.  I want to make the most of this upcoming Boston experience and it's going to take someone who's smarter than me to make that happen.  So, that's step one.

Secondly, I started training way too early.  With an 18 week training program, I was probably ready to run a great marathon in mid to late February.  Instead, I had six weeks left with which to get sick, completely flame out and run a mediocre marathon.  This year, come December, I plan to be running a little bit harder than I am now, but it will be more of a transitional phase building a base for a 12 week program that starts in 2014.
On a completely separate note, I'd like to talk about my new leg modeling career.  I was halfway through a post-work, pre-bed nightcap when I got an email from a co-worker saying her neighbor, a photographer, needed runners legs.  Flattered and not at all creeped out, I told her I was interested.  The deal was $300 to model compression socks for a very well-known sporting apparel company.  I arrived at the studio in the East Village not really sure what to expect.  I pulled on the first pair of socks and the photographer and I immediately both knew we had a problem.  My leg hair was sticking out of the tight socks and was sure to show up on camera. I didn't want to lose $300, so I asked for a razor, went into the bathroom and shaved my left calf bald.  The rest of the shoot consisted of me hanging my left foot into space to recreate various stages of running.  Now,  I only look mildly ridiculous with one half of one hairless leg.  Contrary to what I have been lead to believe by  many a hairless cyclist, I have not noticed any aerodynamic advantage.

I'm not sure if I'll be contacted for any modeling gigs, or if any photographer is interested in shooting me from the calf up (probably not), but for now I don't think I'll quit my job and/or hire an agent and move to LA.

By the way, when I'm not blogging, I'm not reading blogs either, so if you announced an engagement, pregnancy, job change, sex change, etc. on your blog recently, I missed it.  So, congratulations on getting married, being a parent, your promotion and/or your new gender.


  1. Glad to hear your health is coming good again. On the topic of an 18 week cycle for the marathon, you might want to look at it through the lens of Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning. He uses an 18 week cycle and is quite well laid out. The whole book is worth reading but grab a copy for the training schedules in the back if nothing else.

    It's interesting the comment you make about running too hard on your easy days. Rob de Castella (Boston winner) used to say that was the difference between elite athletes and also- rans. He ran hard when it required it and ran easy the days it didn't. As Lydiard used to say good training and bad training look the same on paper....

    Regards from Aaustralia.

  2. I can't remember if I explained it in the note I sent for your b-day, but those cookies I suggested were GLUTEN FREE chocolate chip. That's why I suggested them. They taste amazing! Glad to hear things are getting better for you! Tell Lauren "Hello!" for me!

  3. Will you please start blogging again? You and Jordan have snatched away a significant portion of my reading material. Let your many fans know how Boston training is going! We need more, "Mr. Lincoln, other than that business with the gun, how was the play?" analogies!