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, December 15, 2017

An amalgam of weak excuses and rationalizations

The title of this post has nothing to do with the state of my current running; I'm not doing a lot, but on the other hand I don't care enough to make excuses for this or rationalize it in any way. I may have one more race to report on erelong, but if I wouldn't bookmark this shithole in anticipation of such a thing.

"An amalgam of weak excuses and rationalizations" is the title of the page I had on an older version of my personal page. At some point I decided to streamline the place and ditch a lot of material I judged to be of little to no interest to anyone else. As usual I missed the mark on this, because I'm sometimes told to this day that one of the main reasons people ever bothered with, other than the now-long-defunct message board, was the race reports. A lot of this was surely schadenfreude-driven, because after shitty races I would often do on dolorously and at disgusting length about my insufficiencies and inadequacies, and would sometimes use these as a springboard to indicting everything I could think of about distance running in general. On the other hand, some people said they found them useful and -- I hate to say it but I'm just the messenger -- inspirational.

Thanks to a combination of recalling this input, recently reading some well-crafted marathon reports from other people, and paying for a website that really adds to value to anything anymore, I decided to post those reports again. This page includes write-ups of 11 completed marathons and one DNF, at Boston in  2003. It does not include the last marathon I raced, which was the 2005 Disney Marathon. I fared well there, especially in relation to the shape I was in (second in 2:28:31), but although I think I have a write-up of that one somewhere, it is such a shitty event, held one of the worst and most worthless cities in American and maybe the world, that I think I will leave that one out.

In other news, I have a few pieces lined up for MotivRunning. The first one is about the eight to ten most common mistakes people make in training for and racing marathons. It should be good because I'm consulting three of the best, most eager minds I can think of. What with the holidays and associated bullshit fully in play, I'm not sure when I'll finish it. I'm actually looking forward to a few weeks of very little writing about, and editing accounts about, non-fictional themes and events.

I am probably running about 35 to 40 miles a week. My knee has been fine for almost four months now; I miss very few days outright, but also have a lot of days that are nothing more than jaunts around the neighborhood just to keep ennui and neurochemical disarray at bay. I am also a regular at the Runners Roost Boulder Wednesday night fun-run.

Overall, even though the one race effort I put in this year was shamefully slow and should have led not only to my immediate removal from running but my literal execution, it has been a remarkable year. I lost my streak of 200+ days in mid-July when I fucked up my right meniscus, and right before that a flare-up of my left ankle knocked me out of a track race. But in some respects, missing five weeks and coming back at least as healthy (if not fitter) than before was more instructive and rewarding than having cruised through 2017 uninterrupted by injury, because this has been the first calendar year in a long time that I haven't responded to personal setbacks in any number of overtly maladaptive ways (e.g., boozing, taking a long and pointless trip across the country, or otherwise creating a lot of stress for people who don't deserve it). I found an unexpected niche in the writing and editing world that, while laden with irritating aspects, almost always teaches me something about the world that I didn't knew previously.

I also have some coaching news to report and will defer this to a separate post. It seems that in spite of being systematically vilified by an increasingly hapless and moronic -- but somewhat more recondite these days, this shit from late November notwithstanding -- basket case, my relationships in the world of advising runner-people only grow more interesting and rewarding over time, and I virtually never initiate these. Apparently, I can lapse into fits of utter bitterness and personal cynicism about running as a hobby and a sport as long as I never actually let on that I occasionally feel this way.


  1. Ugg...just marathons. I wanted to see the writeup of Gilmanton when you missed the start by 7 minutes and still broke 16.... or something like that...legend has it.