Saturday, July 24, 2010

Voo Would Go

Our little running community lost a dear friend, one year ago today.

I never met
Voo IRL, but I really enjoyed having him around. He & I trained at just about the same pace [except he ran a LOT further than me] and we had the same running philosophy - or lack thereof.

I run as best as I can every day and try to do better than the day before. If I do - great; if not - no big deal.Is this wrong?

Yes. But it's about the same thing I do.

We always wanted to do a race together ... for ONE reason only ... can you imagine the race pic??? The Caveman and The Surfer!!! Giant, dark, dreadlocked Joe and little, vanilla, rabbit-haired Randy

One day shortly after his passing, I woke up to a nasty, rainy hurricane-ishly downpouring morning. I had 8 miles on my Distance Run training schedule. Normally, I'd just wait until the rain calmed a bit before I went, but I feared a) it wouldn't calm and b) when it did, it would be too late to get D'Girls ready for a cookout we were going to in PA

Three words kept echoing in my head "Voo would go" You see, surfers have an expression "
Eddie would go" that means HTFU and do it.

So I left the house at 6AM in a continuous and torrential downpour; I was soaked at 1/4 mile.

Later that day, D'Wife was talking to one of our church friends, who told her, "I saw Randy running in the rain this morning ... The street was pretty flooded, but he didn't seem to mind. I think he was actually smiling ... He's nuts, you know?"

Voo was with me that morning, and we were having a blast. In fact he's with me ANY TIME things get challenging or dicey.

Voo The Fuck Up

Friday, July 23, 2010

Midnight Madness 2010 - Epilogue

Subject: Midnight Madness Results are up

Look at Aggie breaking into the top 100!!!

My best on that course is about 64 minutes, so maybe we make it close next year, huh, Miss A???

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

Ha ha ha

Look at that... They made a mistake on my age...

Well, Randy, like good wine I am only expecting to be better next year... Is 64 minutes your time biking the 8 miles or running? Haha, I promised some trash talking...

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

Yeah that number looks way high … Makes me wonder if they even count laps correctly

64 minutes was JUST running, a long time ago. Last year I ran the course [starting late, as we all know], THEN biked it in about 2 hours for BOTH!!!

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

Well, if it is said in [...] then it must be true... I want hard facts and a head-to-head competition...

And Jen knows that I would rather puke from heat exhaustion than let you beat me :-)

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

I am a small, [relatively] hairless mammal with a high metabolism = heat doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I kinda like it. I used to live in Florida way back when, so I’m okay with humidity, too. Hey Jen, how long was my A/C out for???

Sadly, I lack a real killer instinct … I’m a little too surfy for hardcore competitions; so you just run ahead and be my pace bunny, how’s that??? If I slip up and happen to drop the hammer with 400 yards to go = Ooops!!! my bad

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

LMAO - do I need to separate you two?? I am already looking forward to the grudge match next year!!

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

“She started it!!!” LOL

No need for a “Grudge Match” per se … Aggie already beat “me” in May; I would sure HOPE she wouldn’t lose to a little old man like myself … We’ll have to come up with something in the interim, just to make sure she’s on top of her game

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

Ha ha, I'm not too concerned. I am working on my aerodynamics (I noted Randy's advantage of being hairless) and am not at all buying his lack of killer instinct.

I will approach it like other competitions in the past, with dedication and unyielding training discipline. If that fails, I'll also be prepared to kick an ankle of any "small, [relatively] hairless mammal" who tries to "drop the hammer with 400 yards to go " Ha ha ha, kidding, of course...

Randy, I'm always up for a challenge!!! Make me an offer I can't refuse. Maybe the Philly 1/2 marathon in September?

Re: Midnight Madness Results are up

Unyielding discipline … nope, that’s NOT me … I totally yield and have no discipline = I just run whenever I can, as far as I have time for

“Maybe the Philly 1/2 marathon in September?” D’Wife and I will be focused on bike training for MS150 which happens the weekend after The Distance Run

As JenO knows, a tough part of scheduling races for me is that D’Wife works Sundays; if I can find someone to take care of Mariel [our 10 year-old] for the day, or half a day, the Ben Franklin Bridge 10K or Philly Half in November might work?

No rush to fill up the calendar just yet

Apparently you finished before me last year, too [subtract my 10-minute late start and we’d have finished together-ish] …

Did we not meet then? I’m sure I would’ve remembered you!!!


THIS is the part of racing that I love … and that I miss most. It’s not the training, which is just an extension of my morning Zen-finding workout; it’s not the pre-race prep rituals, which are curious manifestations of my rampant OCD and unbridled superstitions; nor is it the medals [the “shiny things” as my friend Genie calls them].

I love talking the smack … It’s a combination of friendly competition + subconscious self-motivation + a little bit a creative writing practice, which bring a lot of fun to the journey of training and anticipation of a big race.

Doe and I had some EPIC conversations that I’m sure anyone who was on the distro would have been rolling in their offices in laughter while reading. And guess what? We usually performed better than we expected of ourselves; let the best runner win [the Head-to-Head Series on the road is tied with his win against me at Broad Street 10M last year while I took the 10K from him in 2008; his 10M time is only about 5 minutes ahead of my v2.0 PR]

So when are Aggie & I gonna actually "throw down???" I’m not sure, but a year is FAR too long to wait … October maybe???

There’s a brew pub down in AC that I’ve always wanted to visit, and it’s only a little ways from the finish line …

Tun Tavern, conveniently located directly across the street from the Atlantic City convention center, started as Philadelphia’s first brew house in 1685 built by Samuel Carpenter. After relocating to the East Coast’s little city of sin, they have established themselves as one of the premier brewers in this area providing diners and drinkers alike with over 10 brews brewed on the premises

“Beer connoisseurs and drunks alike can enjoy everything from their specialty Tunfest Lager, a “rich malty amber brewed strong to celebrate the seasons harvest”, or the Crimson Ale, a highly drinkable and tasty brew with a hint of dark malt to add some flavor, as well as a brandywine style bev with “sweet malty-ness followed by generous hoppy-ness, aptly named the Freedom Ale, ‘cause ain’t no way an American brewery’s not gonna have the word freedom on the menu somewhere."

“There’s nothing like a local place to makes you feel special, so if you reside within one hour of Atlantic City, stop in and sign up for their VIP Program which gives you the opportunity to take advantage of sweet deals and preferred seating, although keg stands are still against the rules… so it’s a good thing you brought your beer bong.”

(Article courtesy of Change Up Magazine)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Local Warming (Rewind)

Our air conditioner is fixed after almost a week without. A switch failed, that’s all [only $200 and it’s going on our gas bill since D’Wife called the utility company, instead of the H/C guy we used a couple weeks ago]. Thank goodness the whole condenser coil didn’t need to be replaced, as the first guy feared might happen

So, how did we survive a week which saw a Heat Index here in Atco, NJ of 107° at noon Tuesday??? [Baker, CA (in Death Valley, USA) was only 106°; Winslow, AZ had a Heat Index of merely 100°]

Hot weather + A/C-less houses don’t bother me; I tolerate heat well. One of the benefits of being a small, hairless mammal, I s’pose.

Plus, I had a bit of insight on how to help D’Family deal with it that I learned from my kid-hood.

[Please forgive the following bit of self-plagiarism]

We never had A/C when I was a kid … neither in Connecticut, nor when we first moved to New Jersey. We had an “open the front screen door, open the back screen door, open all the windows, and hope for the best” summer cooling policy. There was one big grey metal window fan we brought South with us; along with its air circulation responsibilities, it also served as a “how far will you put your finger through the hole in the screen?” benchmark.

Put your stuff away, make your bed first thing in the morning, keep the dishes out of the sink, and clean the countertops, Mom said, and we’d have comfortable summer.

She added an important corollary: “A tidy house is a cool house”

Sure; that makes sense. Who needs a lot of clutter when you’re hanging out with your friends? We should keep everything [snacks, sodas and juices] available and within easy reach.

Then, Mom took it a step further, in her own nutty-as-squirrel-shit way, to explain the thermodynamics behind the wisdom of keeping a clean house, especially during the Summer.

“Heat” she revealed to us, “Is reflective. It bounces off flat surfaces. This is okay, when you have one big flat plane, like at the beach. It comes down from the sun in a straight line and Bang-zoom! it bounces right away. Further inland, when you have clouds or haze, it bounces back again, which sucks. But, when you’re inside, and you have GI Joes and Hot Wheels and model airplane parts and books and crap all lying around, that is quite a collection of tiny flat surfaces. The Heat can bing and bang around all day, rattling around in little nooks and crannies, trying and failing to escape, thus warming up the whole damn house.”

Substitute the word “heat” for “radar” and it sounds like my Mom discovered the nugget behind Stealth technology, i.e., y’all should minimize reflective surfaces.

However, the drive to put things away, as tidily as possible; referencing and cross-referencing (on note cards or just committing to memory), must certainly been a contributing factor to kick-start my OCD.

That’s partly sensible


Oh yeah ... The beer[s] of choice during this unfortunate episode? Victory Whirlwind Wit; Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen and Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat

Could this be the line-up for the next Lawnmower Beer Championship 3-Way Dance???

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I Miss The Gayborhood.

It was 20 years ago this weekend that I moved back to Jersey, after living in Philly for nearly a decade.

"There’s something funny and joyful about a place where people don’t pretend that the real world is anything all that important, where cleverness, artistry and merriment is applauded. It’s not that you can’t join the club if you’re not gay; you can’t join the club if you’re not funny."

I guess I made the cut somehow.

Apparently, though, a lot has changed since I lived there

"... it has been branded 'Midtown Village,' an official name that snuffs out the area’s unofficial nature. There’s a new wine bar and a new cocktail bar; there are two upscale Mexican restaurants. None of them is distinctively gay, or straight. The block caters to foodies and drinkers of all stripes. On my last Saturday night there, transvestites were nowhere amidst straight men with striped shirts on couple dates with women in black stilettos. But the biggest blow? Last week, a store around the corner, P.H.A.G. (sound it out), announced it is closing. Philadelphia Home Art Garden store will move its operations online."


It's the "cleverness, artistry and merriment" that I miss the most ... there's not much of that down here in Farm Country. These are NOT the most ... how do I say it? ... Appreciative ... people in the world when it comes to things "creative."

Maybe THAT has something to do with why I don't draw anymore ... there's no audience for it??? I certainly never thought that my work was very good from a technical / skill standpoint, but it WAS entertaining, if nothing else.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

First Half Results

Run: 324.0 Miles; 46:19:09
Bike: 85.5 Miles; 9:44:00

Okay, not too bad, although June itself was THE SUCK!!!

Wait … Let me re-phrase. The last two WEEKS of June, were THE SUCK. I was cruising along nicely with my 2nd biggest week of the year [23½ miles] and a new v2.0 5K PR [23:36] and was on pace to pop a 3rd 70+ mile month in a row

Well, we all know what happened next