December 25, 2009

May Peace Be With You

His words are simple
Love and peace for everyone
When do we begin?

A star shines brightly
pointing to a path of peace
the road less traveled

All you need is love
Waiting on the world to change
Someday at Christmas

November 15, 2009

BattleField Report

Chickamauga Battlefield Half-Marathon. The plan was followed, although I strayed from the plans a few times, for the most part, the long runs, intervals run, and maintenance runs, paid off well.

At the beginning of the half-marathon I found two of my fellow runner friends who had about the same pace I wanted, I wanted to stick with them and come in close to their finish.

The unexpected cannon boomed for the start the race, giving me an extra shot of adrenaline I didn't need. As always the start in the pack was slow, too slow, I need to get going. I stuck behind my "pace" friends for about half a mile, but I needed to run, so I took advantage of a sharp turn and shot past them, thinking they'd catch up later on. I felt strong and I needed to go, but how long could this feeling last? I knew it would catch up to me and I'd have to slow down, but when? I reached that at mile 10, which I finished in under an 8 min/mile pace.

I finished the Half-Marathon with room to spare. With the problems I had been having for the past year, I had only wanted to meet last years Half-Marathon time, but finished with 3+ minutes faster than my best finish last year. My pace buddies? They came in a couple of minutes after me, so I never got that far ahead of them.

All things fell together harmoniously. The course was relatively flat, the weather was perfect (for running), and a great bunch of friends to share this experience. The friends, the great fall weather and the after race food (rice & beans and banana pudding) reminded me of the things I love about the south. Looking forward to the next one already.

Here is another perspective on this race: THE EXTRA MILE: Racing brings barriers to overcome, walls to break through

October 5, 2009

Poor Pitiful Me

The training has been going well, however at much much slower pace than the last couple of years, as I don't want injure myself again. I keep my Battlefield Plan updated with my actual training and the number of weekly miles.

The abductor strain is still giving me problems and always feels tight. My physical therapist said it is because when the tendon heals, it becomes less elastic, something about the grain or muscle fibers healing differently from the way it was. She described a fix for that, but it sounded more painful than the injury, so I will just live with it.

Last week was supposed to be a step-down week for me, and then on to a nine mile long run this week. So I decided to combine my 5 mile long run last week, and the nine miler this week so I could use Montgomery Half-Marathon as one of my training runs.

The day after I signed up I got sick, was down for two and half days and couldn't keep any food in me. By Thursday night, I was severely dehydrated and my head felt like it was going to explode. I had been to the clinic twice with no improvement, the first time the antibiotic they gave me made me feel worse. On Friday morning and I was certain I wouldn't be able to make the half-marathon. All I wanted to do was sleep. I crawled out of bed about noon on Friday and was feeling better, but very weak. I was hungry, which is a great feeling, although my head was still felt like it was in a vice. I started with chicken rice soup and worked up from there to sandwiches, chips, veggies, and Clif Bars.

By Friday evening I was better yet, but still didn't think I could do the half-marathon. I went and picked up my race packet anyway. By Saturday morning, my stomach was still not quite right, but I went ahead and headed out for the race, still not sure if I'd run. With the excitement of the crowd, fellow runners, and running buddies all around me, I was pumped and ready to go. I finished in a respectable time, although slower than past halfers, I was happy to finish. I ran for the first ten miles, took about a half mile walk break, then running for the last 2.5 miles. The route was great, the weather was good, the only hard part was a hill going up towards the State capitol at mile 11. I finishing in 1:58:18.

The bug had forced me to take a three day break from running. I felt weaker than before any previous half-marathon, I hadn't been training to complete for this long of a race yet, and I wasn't able to load up on carbs in the days before the race, so, considering the circumstances, my finish time is not so bad.


September 16, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling...

Today was another rainy day calling me out to play. A steady warm rain which fueled my urges.

"Go Run" a voice shouted in my head. "No", I said, I need to rest. "Just go slow, a nice easy one. Go out and enjoy it", the voice urged.

I gave in to the voices in my head. What a wonderful run it was, on my suburban running tracks. Almost idyllic.

I wasn't the only one enjoying this rain.

I pass a young military man dressed in the new style Battle Dress Uniform, crisp clean high and tight haircut. A blond baby girl with chubby cheeks asleep on his shoulder, her face turned out for the world to see, I think; "what a great picture that would make".

A half mile later I'm passed by a couple of giggling girls on a motorized scooter, the both wave, smile and yell "Hi" as they pass.

Later I turn into one of the newer sections of the neighborhood, and there is more kids out playing in the rain. Two girls, I see often when I'm out running on this street, are out splashing in a huge puddle, acting like they don't see me, but then just I pass, they turn towards me, bend down and scoop water up with their hands to splash on me. I give them a big smile letting them know I approve of their mischief.

I go by the lake and couple of teenagers are out fishing in one of the many ponds.

About a mile later I pass two older women out for a power walk, we exchange Hi's and "love this weather" salutations. I pass them again about mile later and they cheer me on like I'm in a race.

I finish the run in the park where I placed a bottle of water earlier. There is a graying black Labrador retriever playing tennis ball fetch with his owner.

Remember, all this happened in the rain.

Kindred spirits.


September 11, 2009

Bridge to Court Square

I'm getting attention from Running is Funny. I've been getting kind lazy about updating my blog, so I thought I better post and use the shout-out to my benefit.

I'm reposting one of my better running posts from a few years back (April 2007)

Last night we had a run to commemorate the restoration of a famous Montgomery landmark. This run was mainly a event for local high school and youth sports teams to have some fun and publicize the reopening of the roundabout around this fountain. Since the whole city was invited to participate, and the running club I belong to was managing the course and timing, I went to help and participate.

I didn't mind all the pre-teen and teenage kids in the race, I usually have no problem running faster than them. I didn't mind the police and fire academies having teams, I can whip past them in the last half. I usually come in about the same time as the first female finisher, and that doesn't phase me, I've only been a runner in the last half of this life, so far, and being as fast as the fastest girls is good for me, I'm a very small guy.

Last night there was a small teenage girl that was ahead of me for the first half of the race. She made me feel really old. She ran the whole race in jeans, and barefoot. She came in a little behind me, and didn't even break a sweat, while sweat was dripping off of me.

I'm glad she got one of the awards, she deserved it.

Maybe I need to start learning how to play shuffleboard.

August 7, 2009

Battlefield Plan

I will be slowly be building my mileage for Chickamauga Battlefield Half-Marathon, November 14. There are 14 weeks between now and race day.

Chickamauga Battlefield Plan of Attack

No, this isn't anal, it's good planning.

July 31, 2009

Porno Wine

This classic work of art (1895 bicycle advertisement) is now considered "pornography" in Alabama, and the wine that uses this label is now banned.


P.S. Sales of the wine haved boomed. What could be better than free advertising courtesy of Alabama law makers who have nothing better to do than to judge whether artwork is pornography

July 29, 2009

We're Pregnant

So I get excited phone from a familiar female voice.

Caller: "Hi, it's {{cell phone garble}}"

Me: "hang on a second" (I go turn off the music I have playing because I didn't quite understand who I was talking to"

Caller: "Guess what?"

Me: What?

Caller: "we're pregnant!"

My brain's internal search engine is still trying to identify the voice.

Me: "That's great, if it's good for you"
Caller: "Yeah, we're excited" (that did it, now I recognize my daughter-in-law Kelley's voice)

Grandchild number three on the way.

July 23, 2009

Mellencamp Intermezzo

just another day
watching girls walk by on street
that's alright with me

Bonus: Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)

(The last line of my previous haiku become first line of this one, its called a daisy chain, feel free to participate, inspired by Mad)

July 12, 2009

On the Eight Day

Not much to tell. My weekend "long" run was a slow three miles (don't snicker) at the popular Shakespeare park near my home. I still have problems, but they don't seem to be as bad or last as long as they did back in June. Today I did a cross-training day at the gym with weights, elliptical sprints and slow two mile jog on a treadmill (too humid today to be outside). All seems to be well (I am knocking on wood). Other than that, today turned into a nice boring Sunday, and now it is threatening to rain, I will probably for a walk in it. Don't worry, I'll be wearing my special anti-lightning hat, it's worked every time (so far).

revolving planet
mixing air and swirling clouds
just another day

July 10, 2009

Literary Canine Blogging - Sawtelles and Enzo

As soon as I read the first synopsis of Oprah's book club pick The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, I was interested. The story of the development of a fictional breed of dog, and it's effect on complex family relationships and history, started having a strange and familiar pattern as I approached the last third of the novel. It is a familiar tale retold in a new setting.

It is not light reading, and demands attention even as detailed dog training sessions make you want to skip ahead to more interesting parts. The pace of the book changes from a slow drag to rapid sprint, with much mystery and suspicion. The interactions and bonds between humans and dogs are inspiring, and not too over dramatic to be unbelievable. I have heard many complain about the ending, but the ending is more like what happens in real life than most novels present. It is a dark tragic tale, with moments of light and hope, and a meaningful ending that can be interpreted many different ways. I don't like to give spoilers, so that's all I'm going to say. Those who've already read it will know what I mean. It was a long book and took me over month to complete, as I've been I little overwhelmed with life, work and play, since the beginning of the year, and couldn't devote much attention to finishing this novel, and the sometimes slow pace of the story at times had me pushing it away frequently.

How would I rate it? I don't know, yet. I think I need to read it again before I know if I like it. Many stories I read, like The Road, are much better the second time, I think because I'm able to pick up details which were overlooked the first time.

I did finally get to this book, and I highly recommend it, even after only one reading. The character of Enzo, and the voice in his head, will stay with you long after you've finished this book. Heart-wrenching and uplifting story of family, love and loyalty, it is a well-crafted story from the point of view of a human's best friend.

“The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and--best of all--the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach to us about being human. I loved this book.”
-- Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants


July 5, 2009

My Return

This post marks my return to blogging and my return to running after an injury.

I'm not supposed to be running yet. I have been walking two to four miles every day since my last day of running on June 23. My injury doesn't seem to be getting better, in fact it the first couple of weeks of rest, it felt worse. I have two different diagnosis from two physical therapists, two different ways to rehab. No one is certain, so I guess the next step would be an MRI, many of my friends have suggested it. I'm not going to do that. I'm tired of wasting all this time and having no better results than self treatment.

I know this is a stubborn injury, it takes long time to heal, it might be a stress fracture, so I will just deal with it. I will return to running with a smaller stride, slower pace, and quit being so frustrated with everyone's different opinion, even the experts, who poke around but still are only guessing.

Day 1: I'm out with my Saturday Morning running buddies, I intended to only walk, but the urge to run was so great that I did one mile at a very slow 10 minute pace. It felt great. I get home, it's still early, the weather is great, so I do another slow mile. Good news, the running didn't aggravate my abductor strain, I didn't feel any soreness at all. The usual tightness and soreness are still there, but it didn't make it worse.

Day 2: I wake up and I feel better than I have in a long time. I think the easy running actually helped. I go out for my morning walk and the urge to run hits me again. Don't worry, I'm taking it real easy, small steps, slow pace. I do 12 minutes and I feel the pain starting to come back, but after resting, stretching and icing the tendon, it doesn't feel as bad as it did six weeks ago, so I count my blessings. I'm also doing all the exercises the therapists recommend, and they hurt more than the run, especially the alternating one foot bridges. No more running until Tuesday.

So we'll see how it goes, and you can track my progress here.....

Off topic: Did you hear Michael Jackson has named his next concert tour after my blog, This is it? I'm so honored. I don't care the price, I'm going, it's the least I could do for this honor. However, I'm having trouble finding the dates and locations, every time I do a search I get a bunch of tabloid articles about him dying. What some journalists will do for a little attention is perverse. Can anyone help?


June 1, 2009


stick your right leg out
and you shake it all about
hokey pokey man

my left leg stays in
it is not allowed to play
time out is not fun

May 9, 2009

Pathetic Apathy

laying on pavement
slow raise of hand to passers
must survive this mood

May 8, 2009

Star Trek-a-lot

In honor of the new Star Trek movie, I give you the Monty Python version:

May 1, 2009

May Day

tap tappity click
labor of cubicle slut
easy on payday

April 30, 2009

Are We There Yet?

vapid virus vane
which way will witless wonder
poisonous panic

April 27, 2009

Fret Killer

Do yourself a favor. Go to Fret Killer's channel on youtube if you want to be entertained. Awesome guitar playing on covers of classic folk, pop, and blues music.

April 22, 2009

Mad World - Again

Because I just love this video:

March 24, 2009

Westful Reek

couch becomes routine
books and magazines scatter
overrated sloth

March 22, 2009


cool cloudy morning
ideal day for a long run
waiting room boredom

one two three four five
voices in my head screaming
do it do it now

March 21, 2009

Pirate Buffet

nibbling on sponge cake
watching the sun bake tourists

(Facebook quizzes are so far off the mark it's ridiculous, if I'm any song of his, it's the I-95 song. Do you know that one?)

Jack Johnson with Dave Mathews cover Jimmy Buffet
- It's as good as a snickerdoodle cookie.

March 20, 2009

"I gotta roll, can't stand still..."

weekend without fix
I fall to pieces again
black dog sits on lap

(Image scraped from :Living with a Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone )

March 19, 2009


pounding no pavement
end of a long five year run
exercise idle

March 18, 2009

Energy Drain

the day is very bright
filling air with wasted sun
faux light lamenter

March 17, 2009

Green Day

three day rain blessing
our view grows lush and scenic
landscape green on gray

March 16, 2009

Grain of Sand

beauty of the world
delusion of human mind
good mental defect

March 15, 2009

Dreary Goodness

wet wonderful day
showers from a higher source
true love from above

March 14, 2009


I run in the rain
nature showers me with love
gets me hot and wet

March 12, 2009

Lemon Aid

when life gives lemons
put the fruit in the freezer
hard yellow ammo

January 20, 2009


"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

- Excerpt of Inauguration Speech Of President Barack Obama

January 1, 2009

Happy New Haiku

the year has begun
smell of change twitches my nose
I need a shower

the sun is rising
prospects of hope and progress
to fill a big hole

now is the right time
to start off on the right foot
and make a left turn

do you know the way?
turns won't be clearly defined
San Jose is there

chocolate and beer
healthy foods with a bad rap
my way to start year

(Inspired by: Mad)