The increasingly parochial observations of a casual runner in his fifties. Was "serious" about "the sport" until personal and sociocultural inevitabilities prevailed.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

"You have to be fucking kidding me!"

I ran for 58 minutes one town over in Louisville today -- well, 61 after a couple of surprisingly snappy strides -- after helping a friend who lives there square away some wireless printer/firewall/network issues. I was tired; I've been allocating my energies to an unusual variety of vocational and other projects since coming back from Massachusetts, and my after-work-hours life hasn't been at all relaxing. In addition to feeling the weight of my days, I was also sore -- my legs just felt beat up, the bones and gristle more than the muscles, that kind of deep moaning that feels more flu-like than exercise-induced. I just felt ancient and worn out. It didn't help that much of the run was on concrete paths and sidewalks, that I don't care for the the new shoes I was wearing, and that I could feel my infamous left ankle complaining just a tiny bit. I didn't push, but still felt beat regardless of how much I kept easing off the gas.

OK. You get it. Annoying day, crappy run. I could have said as much and moved on, or just not said it and waited for a nice workout to say anything at all,

Ten years of intermittent blogging: My first 10 blog posts ever

In August 2004, I had just been sentenced to Florida because I had a girlfriend who grew up near Fort Lauderdale and was re-enrolling at Florida Atlantic University full-time. I hated the place -- my introduction was four nearby hurricanes in about five weeks (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne) and of course South Florida is a comprehensive outrageous mess of ingtravaginal running conditions, overcrowding, insanely rude drivers, cultural barrenness and giddy corruption. But may companion during my just-under-two years in Plantation and Boca Raton made the overall experience tolerable and even pleasant -- and moreover, uniquely memorable.

Anyway, I was one of the first halfway decent runners with a personal Web site and also one of the first to blog. I emphasized from the outset that the blog was not just about running (this didn't stop the merry asshole who goes by "Carnivore 69" elsewhere for panning the blog because he didn't like what he called my "political agenda") and I like to think this gave it a more rollicking flavor. Hence the name -- "The Pungent Aftertaste of Cognitive Emesis."

The fuccanankel I broke on a trail in July 2012 finally seems to be fully cooperating, so I can now train rather than jog; this renaissance will dovetail nicely with the podcasting project Lize Brittin and I have been scheming about for a while and are currently nudging toward genuine fruition. And I have often claimed that I would return to blogging about running if I thought my running was worth mentioning in any way. I'll get to that in a few days, so for now, here's what I had to say when I still had one or two okay races left in me as an open-division runner who was hot off the racing streak in his life in the Bay Area -- I had no idea I'd be sidelined by a sports hernia for most of the summer of 2005 and then, after moving again in March 2006, more or less lose interest in racing altogether. Right up 'til now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I have been told by a number of people I respect that my Boston Marathon race report is the most enjoyable thing I've ever written. When I restructured my Web site a dozen or so years ago, I stripped it of a lot of me-me-me stuff, such as race reports and training logs, because I wanted a site that included only things that might benefit other runners at some level. Apparently, this report can and has, so I am returning it to the Internet at large.


Got a revolution behind my eyes
We got to get up and organize
Got a revolution behind my eyes
We got to get up and organize

My experience at the 2001 Boston Athletic Association Marathon cannot, in fact, be aptly summed up by the lyrics of the Lo-Fidelity All-Stars club anthem "Battle Flag," but since I like the song I will impose its besmirched couplets upon my race nonetheless.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

About, by committee

Since it's been so long since I've blogged specifically about running, a fair number of the people who manage to find this place may know little about me. Rather than produce a brand-new set of facts and suppositions about myself, I've opted to post things I wrote about me at various life stages for various purposes. This mini-bio comes, I believe, from the middle of 2001.

When I was about seven, I jogged a quarter mile around the block with my mother. This was during the running boom of the mid-1970's and my mom - her copy of Dr. Kenneth Cooper's "Aerobics" stashed somewhere in the house - was temporarily aboard.

When I was in fourth grade I ran, for the first time, the 600 yards that was part of the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. I got a cramp and had to stop and walk. (At some future point I scored well enough in all six events to earn a badge.)

By the time I was fourteen I had played organized soccer and was occasionally in shape. I might say I was a runner in inclination and inspiration even if I was not a particularly gifted one: I usually finished at or near the top of the gym class in events like the 600 yards and the 1 1/2 mile run not because I was intrinsically fast, but because I was one of the few who took these endeavors seriously.

Monday, April 27, 2015

This is not what it looks like

(Half) Marathon of the Palm
Beaches, Dec. 2005.
This blog will deal largely with my own feats and failings as I return to serious racing for the first time in the lifespan of a standard canine. It is not my first such blog. I jumped on board with these self-indulgent projects way back in August 2004, when I started "Cognitive Emesis." I kept this going for about a year and a half before nuking it out of general frustration with how my own running was going, but then quickly decided to join Alison Wade's slate of blogs and gave that one, which exists as a zombie at the Wayback Machine, the same name as the current one. That one only lasted about six months, as I had lapsed into being an inactive competitor and nothing to say about running that wasn't bitchy.
Finally, in mid-2006, I joined a friend in creating "The Chimpanzee Refuge," a science-related blog that actually earned me pocket change here and there when it was housed on Science Blogs along with about 70 other similarly themed shout-spots.We pulled that one out the parent domain in mid-2009 and stuck it at Chimp Refuge dot Com. I'm now the only one contributing to it, and I contribute sparingly.
Since about 2009, I'd say, Facebook has more or less killed my already moribund blogging. Research conducted by the nonprofit institute of me has demonstrated that people don't like to click on links in Facebook posts unless it's obvious the reward will be immediate (e.g., pets and animals doing entertaining things). So for years I've written long-winded status updates that are nothing more than blog posts that never made it to a blog, because I wanted people to actually read them.
In any event, that's the run-down on my history. The blog itself looks very plain right now and I have no intention whatsoever in beautifying it. I don't even like this template, but it's here to stay.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

So anyway, it's been a while

The Groton (Mass.) 10K was held today, thus marking the eighth anniversary of the last time I put together a serious, wire-to-wire competitive effort in a running race (I wasn't fit, but I at least tried hard and put together a 33:40).

I half-assed a few road races in 2008, including a marathon, acting in most of them as a pacer for a masters friend for part or all of the distance. I have DNFed some track races and jogged through a couple of 5Ks under cover of aliases.