Former 2:24 marathoner, now in my late 40s and hoping to maximally flatten the curve of my slide into senescence and mediocrity • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Friday, April 29, 2016

Welcome back to absurdity theater: getting close to an endgame with Kim Duclos

In the unlikely event you are reading this post and are not yet aware of the mindless, supernaturally persistent, and fundamentally diseased and cowardly bird thanamed Kimberly Duclos that has been pecking and honking at me for over two years now, do your due diligence and visit this page. Don't skim, read; if you're into this crap, you need to be all in. Then check out this post from a couple weeks ago and the comments beneath, where the same creature, whose given name is Kim Duclos, makes multiple appearances as "Beth.Proal."

All set? Do you have the picture of an obsessive, bitter, pathological burned-out husk of a human being who blames people for her own problems, lies freely under oath -- in fact, she once bragged to her then-roommate, "I lie because it gets me what I want" -- and would be quite likely to spew wild fictions when the truth would save or improve her life simply because lying is practically all that she has ever known?

OK, then.

A twelve-miler that would have ended in a search party ten years ago

Well, probably not a search party, but a decent amount of frustration and embarrassment in my head to complement the scratches and scrapes on my legs.

In running, as in other realms, technology moves in apparent small jumps that, summed together, amount to major leaps in how we do things. Until I stop to consider the differences between running in the 1980s when I got started and running in the age of untold numbers of gadgets and add-ons, I think that my experiences now are the same as they were when I was 15 (and I'm probably about as fast, but on the wrong end of the bell performance curve now). In fact, the complexion of even a typical training run is incalculably different from what it was during the Reagan administration.

I have explained -- okay, boasted, sometimes -- that when I was in high school in the mid- to late 1980s, long before Garmins or any sort of non-scrambled GPS signal and long, long before smartphones, I had creative ways of measuring runs that couldn't be driven with a motor vehicle or a bicycle fitted with one of the then-state-of-the-art digital devices for keeping track of speed and distance. Many of the trails I ran on back then in Concord and Canterbury, N.H. were included on my grandfather's USGS topographical maps (he worked for the N.H. Fish & Game Department for most of his adult life) as dotted lines, so when I would run on these, I would take a length of soldering wire, bend it along the trail on the map, straighten it out, and hold it against the scale of miles to get a solid distance estimate. Hey, that was pretty resourceful back in the day. (This was about a dozen years before I developed Komenometry, which I will describe in due time.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The 2004 U.S. 50K Road Championships

(This originally appeared somewhere a long time ago.)

I was up at 5:30 on race morning, two hours before gun time, a half-hour earlier than planned, and later than all of my teammates. I have found that I sleep very well in hotel rooms once I get around to trying. I shoveled back a few ibuprofen and the coffee Ben had generously fetched from across the street, collected my gear, and wandered outside. It was cold (below 40 degrees), but this was unquestionably preferable to the nastyhot conditions I'd been dealing with daily for three months.

We drove the two miles to the elementary school serving as the event's home base, collected our numbers, and glanced over the list of entrants. This roster was only 45 strong, but included one surprising name -- Mike Dudley, a one-time 2:14 guy who'd run just over 2:20 at Detroit last year and had apparently moved to Georgia. His credentials made him the prohibitive favorite; Dave had run 2:57:00+ in 2001 but was shooting for around 6:40's today, Eric only planned to run about half of the race and at half steam, and Ben (second at the National Trail Marathon Championship last month) and I were looking to run 6:00 pace, or 3:06:25. (I had toyed over the past week with the thought of a sub-three but after seeing the course I knew this would take a 2:55 effort and I wasn't ready to provide one.) Most in attendance appeared to be typical ultrafolks in no hurry to do anything other than seek a sturdy weekend challenge by taking part in a roving buffet that would surely last into the early afternoon.


I arranged five 16-ounce bottles of double-strength Gatorade on the grass near the start, planning to grab one after each loop, and downed a sixth during a brief warm-up. Dudley had pronounced himself "washed up" before the start, but at the starter's cry of "Go!" he quickly settled in behind Ben and I, who nominally led a group of about seven people through what might have been last year's one-mile mark in exactly six minutes. I was surprised even this many people came along for the ride. By the time we'd reached the halfway point of the first loop, Ben, Mike and I were alone and clipping along at just under 6:00 pace. An "official" golf cart would take us through the first loop before pulling off the course; I'm not sure what purpose this served, but it was all the help we'd get. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A little-known bit of wisdom: Sociopaths suck

I thought -- well, naively sort of hoped -- that a March 14 court appearance with a former running client named Kimberly Duclos, a one-time near-national-class marathoner turned world-class degenerate, would put a stop to two years of ongoing, obsessive, malignant behavior from her.

But alas, this hasn't happened. I won't go into full details yet because some of this is resting in the hands of my lawyer(s), but I'm under no obligation to keep the story as whole under wraps. A number of you have already asked for and received the salient details by e-mail as it is, so this will just cut out the middleman for everyone else.

Never underestimate the power of raw malice coupled to delusional thinking, served with a dollop of resentment, self-loathing, and blaming other people for one's own failings, all of it washed down with several cocktails of alcohol and psychological projection. True sociopaths such as Kim Duclos are no more discouraged by everyday hindrances to their foul misdeeds than are hungry termites by cries of, "Get off my wood, you bastards!" But termites are cheaper to deal with.

Anyway, start here. This is a story in progress, using a very tenuous definition of "progress."