Saturday, May 30, 2009

Marathon Man - Week Four!

Cool!  Week four is under my belt. Had a nice group run on the American River Bike Trail today and got my schedule for June. They are hoping to see the beginners running 85 minutes by the end of the month. Hah, imagine. Today's run was 45 minutes, so perhaps it's possible.

The week's runs have gone well. My legs are feeling it all the most.  Fortunately next week's Saturday run will be followed by the Run Clinic. Also this month is the Nutrition Clinic. The clinics are half-hour to hour presentations on a topic to help us do what we're doing better.

When I first started this I thought I'd give it a month to see if I'd stick with before talking it up and trying to raise money and actually commit to running a marathon. I'm glad I didn't wait.  This is doable.

It's all good.

Again, if you're just joining us, this is all about me running the CowTown Marathon this October as a fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Details can be found here.  You can make donations here.

Posted via email from Lee's posterous

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Prop. 8 Stands

The California Supreme Court had to uphold Prop. 8. Courts shouldn't overthrow elections. (In California or Florida) For the advocates of gay marriage, the solution is the same know as it was before - Organize, Agitate and Educate!

This issue is best decided in the legislature or at the ballot.  The margin of victory for Prop. 8 was slim. The proponents should be on every state-wide ballot until they win, which will happen soon. 

 Paul Krugman recently wrote (on another issue) "California, it has long been claimed, is where the future happens first. But is that still true? If it is, God help America." And I would sadly agree. We aren't leading the nation (if we ever did).

Posted via email from Lee's posterous

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Marathon Man - Week Three

I just returned from the group run. On the way back I was thinking about my goals for this process - what do I want to get out of training for a marathon. This is what I came up with:

1) Get in shape and develop exercise habits I can maintain after the marathon.
2) Raise some money for a good cause.
3) Finish the marathon.

The goal review came up because I overslept this morning  and so I jammed to get out of the house and to the meeting spot. I was about 15 minutes late getting there. I checked in and did my 40 minutes and came home. So, no consequence to being late. But also, no consequence to doing the 40 minutes there as opposed to here.  That's of some importance because the group run next week is a 45 minute drive from home. 

So far the value point in the Team in Training has been the training schedule. I think it's different for most of the other runners in the group. Statistically, I'm an outlier. I'm pretty sure I'm the oldest runner and only one of two men in the group.  And when I say I'm the oldest, I'm older by 20-30 years in most cases.  Others in the group are getting a social benefit which I think is part of the design.  I'm not. I'm the cranky old man.

What I'm still hoping for, and the reason I'll still attend the group runs, is some direction on the ancillary parts of the training, learning how to warm-up properly, stretching, etc. So far it's not so much of an issue because I'm really not stressing myself. Which is, in and of itself, progress and a testament to the training schedule. I mean, I just ran (albeit slowly) 40 minutes and I'm no worse for the wear. 

So, I'll keep going to the group runs and maybe I'll become a smarter runner.

Fortunately I have other resources, friends and colleagues who are runners who, this week, have provided advice on stretching, pain management and even vitamins.

It's all good.

Again, if you're just joining us, this is all about me running the CowTown Marathon this October as a fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Details can be found here.  You can make donations here.

Posted via email from Lee's posterous

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Internet and Connections.

I've had a lot of fun in the past few months connecting with old friends from my yout(h) in Ohio on Facebook. I was singing the praises of FB to The Sister. She said she was in touch with pretty much everyone from back then that she wanted to be, save one female friend. The issue with tracking down female friends is that they get married and take their husbands name and become hard to find. (I know, not always.)

I have one friend from the old days who serves both as memory and bridge. He lived in the hometown until five or so years ago and kept up with folks I haven't seen in 35 years. He was my first stop when I decided to track down the friend for The Sister. My friend didn't know who the sister's friend had married, but did know the sister's friend's sister. (this would all be much easier if I used names, but this is the internet and ....) Fortunately the Sister's friend's sister had a unique last name and I was able to Google, er track, her down.

Now there's the question of the email to the friend's sister. (My friend is done in the story, so from now on, the friend will refer to The Sister's friend - the target of our investigation.) My goal is to a) get through the spam filter and b) not have the email forwarded to the police. Plus, I could have the wrong person.

But to keep this from dragging on, the email worked, people responded and now my sister has the email address of a long lost friend from childhood.

Here's the neighborhood. We lived in the white house in the lower left side of the map, they lived in the white house opposite it, next to the empty lot (now Raney Playground).

Posted via email from Lee's posterous

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Marathon Man - The problem is all inside my head.

Just got back from the 3rd group run.

The Team in Training participants meet twice a week as a group. On Wednesdays there's a workout time, followed by an 'educational' session of some sort.  The run on Wednesday was at McKinley park. McKinley is a popular park for runners and walkers, so it's already busy. Add 40 Team in Training folks and it's down right crowded. What was interesting to me was how much having all those people around threw me off. I couldn't find a pace that was comfortable.  I was surrounded by people who were faster (most were much faster) and people walking their dogs  and everything in between. Also, I'd asked one of the trainers for some tips. I was (and am) concerned that I was looping along with absolutely no idea of the right way to train. The trainer proceeded to point out all the ways that various passers-by were doing it wrong and suggested a few things to avoid. So, add self-conscious to my list of concerns.  All in all, a bad run. My take-a-way was that I needed to figure this out because the point of the whole exercise is to run a Marathon. In a large group. And there won't be a n00b division, so I'll be in a mix again. 

Today was better. We ran along the river (well, on the levee above the river). After Wednesday I'd decided to work on my own pacing and ignore my fellow runners. And it worked fine. I had a comfortable run. In fact I probably could have pushed it a bit more, which I'll try tomorrow. I think it would have been much harder to keep at it if I'd had two bad runs in a row. It's nice to have a success. I can tuck this away and whip it out next time I'm discouraged.

It was also 'gear up' week. Got some socks and a shirt at the last day of the REI sale and picked up shoes at Fleet Feet. The shoes were definitely not on sale. Oddly, (Alanis Morisette would say ironically) the $130 shoes were thought by staff to be better than the $100 shoes. Who'd a thunk it. I was happy to learn at the Friday Marathoners' lunch that a Timex Ironman watch was a good way to go and would only run me $35 or so. I just want you to know that I'm investing in this process too.

Again, if you're just joining us, this is all about me running the CowTown Marathon this October as a fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Details can be found here.  You can make donations here.

Posted via email from Lee's posterous

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Marathon Man - The Welcome

Today was the first day of the real Team in Training experience. We all met at a local Junior College and had our first 'run'. Many ran, many walked. I walked. A journey of 26 some miles begins with - a walk.

Afterwards we, probably 50-100 people,  gathered and introduced ourselves. At first everyone clapped after someone gave their three sentence statement on why they were running but a coach discouraged that. "You really don't want to clap after someone says they're running because their mom died of Leukemia."

And there was a lot of that.

It's not really a random sampling, but everyone had a cancer story. It was a very depressing 45 minutes. There was a Lymphoma survivor who was going to run his first marathon. There was the woman who had been running for many years but probably wouldn't this year because she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago. And people were running for the aunts and uncles and friends and co-workers who had been diagnosed with some form of cancer.

After the meet and greet we all received our official TNT tee-shirt (I can quit now?) and training manual and a schedule. I'm off to the races.

If you're just joining us, details can be found here.

Posted via email from Lee's posterous

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Last Laugh

Arnold Schwarzenegger succeeded Gray Davis as governor of California after a recall election, against Davis, in 2003. Schwarzenegger's approval rating right now is inverse to his approval rating when he came into office. (33% approval, 55% disapproval).
Gray Davis only lasted 10 months into his 2nd term. No one has seriously talked about recalling Arnold, of course. The citizenry probably realizes the folly of that step.
There are fundamental flaws in how California is governed, caps on income, but none on expenses, minority control of the legislative budget process, the majority party is funded by state unions (which have made being a prison guard a very lucrative job). And we keep electing actors to various state positions.
Conditions have worsened since various angry-mob reactions to government were passed, starting (of course) with Prop. 13, term limits and the recall. Thoughtful, deliberative democracy (the one that lives only in my imagination) isn't really on the agenda.
Being an elected official in Sacramento is an act of self-aggrandizement rather than one of leadership.
Gray Davis is now an 'of counsel' at an LA law firm and will be the keynote speaker at his alma mater's (Columbia) graduation ceremony this year.

Posted via email from Lee's posterous

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Verdict is in and I wasn't there

I had mentioned that I got called for jury duty and asked to be excused after the judge said it'd be a four week trial. Well, the verdict is in and it was closer to a six week trial.

Of course, I understand my potential inconvenience pales in comparison to that suffered by the victim in the case. But jeez, I'm glad I'm not out 6 weeks of income.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Marathon Man

I've signed up with Team in Training to run the CowTown Marathon on October 4th.

Some Background.

I've never been much of a runner. But a little over 10 years ago I started a regular jogging routine to try and get back into shape. I also joined Weight Watchers. I was fairly successful, dropping 30 lbs and getting closer to my target weight. But two years ago I developed plantar fasciitis and am well on my way back up.

One of the things that was helpful when I was trying to lose weight was to involve my friends by posting my progress.

These days I have lunch every Friday with a friend who has run marathons for years. He started later in life (i.e., isn't a punk kid) and got his start by participating in a Team in Training event. That got me thinking about a way I could combine exercise with peerpressure support.

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to sign up with Team in Training.

I Want Some Good To Come Of It, Besides My Good Health.

Many of you may know that my sister is fighting lung cancer right now. I've seen first hand the day-to-day issues that someone with cancer has to deal with. My sister has been pretty lucky - she has insurance, she has a cadre of friends who help out and her family has been supportive. But, as the saying goes, there are a lot of people who are less fortunate.

Team in Training supports research, which is all well and good, but they also have a support component for patients.

So, Team in Training is going to train me. And you're going to support me, by supporting them. Please click on this link and pledge some money for a good cause. Thanks.

Sorry, was that too subtle?

Please click on this link and pledge some money for a good cause