Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Original Marathon Race Report

I came about an amusing race report by Pheidippides on the Complete Running Network that I wanted to pass along. See the Marathon Race Report from 490 BC.

This leads me to one of my running pet peeves. When you mention that you're running a marathon, some smart guy always mentions that the person, Pheidippides, who started the marathon, died at the end. They always seem to find themselves to be so clever and somehow better for being so smart as to not work so hard to run a marathon because of this superior knowledge. That, or you get people like Laura's manager who told her she wasn't a runner unless she could run faster than some random celebrities.

My guess is Pheidippides didn't stretch before or after (definitely not after), ingest any Clif Shots or take sodium tablets to balance his salt. He probably wasn't drinking Gatorade to keep his electrolytes up. My guess is that he also didn't carbo-load two nights before the run.

Just a guess....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One Year Down, Two to Go

Today marks a full year that I've been tracking my runs. More importantly, it represents exactly one-third of the way to May 18, 2010 which is the last day that I have to complete my run across the US from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. I've been tracking my progress on the upper-right corner of the blog.

I drove about 7 hours today so I had some time to reflect on what the last year meant to me in terms of running. I've had plenty of great running highs (and lows) and at the end of the day, I'm eternally grateful that I started this sport in the first place. After all, after losing more than 75 pounds from this sport, it's tough not to understand why I run.

But the biggest part of my year was the New Orleans Marathon. It was the pinnacle and celebration of my training and hard work. It was an accomplishment that I'll remember forever and I couldn't be happier to have completed something that I absolutely never thought I could do. (To see the progress, click here.)

OK, that's the reflection on the last year part. Here's the looking forward part. I have run around 850 miles since I started (May 18, 2007) and I'm a little shy of exactly one third of the way to Los Angeles. My knee is feeling better and the weather is getting warmer, so I'm excited to get back out on the roads to enjoy myself and this great sport.

For heaven's sake, I'm almost in St. Louis. I've run the equivalent of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to St. Louis, Missouri. That's a ridiculous amount of miles and I'm very proud I've done it. But now it's time to run the remaining 69% and land in LA by the time I graduate from law school: two years from now--May 18, 2010.

Here I come, road! I hope you're ready!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spectators during routine runs and being a celebrity

I went on a nice 6-mile run this morning to try to get rid of some of the guilt of drinking a lot yesterday and the upcoming drinking tomorrow to celebrate the end of finals and my first year of law school. Woo hoo!

Anyway, since it's a nice day, there were a lot of people out cleaning their cars, walking, running, biking. I always enjoy these days because when people see you running it's almost like you're in a race and they're watching. I pretend that they're saying things like "look how fast he's running" or "wow, did you see how adeptly he made that turn and trounced up that hill?". I know they're not, but I can pretend.

During the winter in NH when it was in the single digits or negatives with wind chill, people gave me some seriously weird looks and I was positive I knew what was in their head. They thought I was nuts. Heck, I was nuts.

Speaking of that, as I was passing a girl (somewhere in the 18-25 range), she said "hi, Greg.". Odd, as I have no idea who she is. I'm not the most social homeowner and I'm sure that I've never introduced myself to her before. And yet she knew my name.

Now I'm used to the celebrity that I get from having this blog. People typically stop me when I'm having dinner with friends to ask for the autograph of the man behind PhillytoLAonFoot. So, I've gotten used to it--it's the tough part of being a celebrity, but Brad Pitt will tell you that it's not all bad. Besides, I always have a tough time trying to figure out if I should capitalize the "to" and "on" in the web site address. You know--the tough stuff celebrities deal with.

So, it could be that. Or, more likely neighbors happened to be outside and wanted to know the name of the crazy person who was running in subzero temperatures so that they'd get my name right when they wrote up the papers for the loony bin. Yeah, that's probably it.

Oh, and on a related subject, the knee is definitely starting to feel better. It tends to have a little soreness 2-3 miles into a run, but if I stop for a second and start back up, I'm generally fine. I'll figure it out someday....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Applefest Half-Marathon sign up

I just signed up for the Applefest Half-Marathon on October 4 in Hollis, NH. It should be a nice race, and a number of friends from law school said they'd run it and train for it with me which is why I signed up.

This was the first race I signed up for after the New Orleans Marathon. I had initially thought about the Chicago Marathon which Maddy, Charlie and Irish Blue (among others) signed up for. However, I've recently gone through a bout of new problems (diminishing--the problems, not my knee) and I wasn't confident that I'd be able to run the race before registration closes (which is soon if it hasn't happened already).

My big beef with the Applefest race is their absolutely maniacal rules for headphones. In the signup, you have to agree that if race personnel sees you with headphones on the course, you will be pulled off the course. I get that it's done for insurance purposes, but why get so crazy about it? Oh well...

Progress - 5/8/08 (Pocahontas, IL)

I'm 847 miles in and just north of Pocahontas, IL on Rt. 70 toward St. Louis. At this point, I have 69% of my trip left and with just slightly less than one-third of the time to completion (May 18, 2010). I'm a bit behind, but not much. With my knee feeling a bit better and the summer weather coming, I think I can make it up.

Pocahontas was named after the the famous Native American who saved John Smith's life. It was originally named Hickory Grove and later, Amity before changing its name in 1850 (thanks Wikipedia).

Country singer Gretchen Wilson was born and raised in beautiful Pocahontas.