Marathon runners crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge

On Running #2

I’m not sure when it happened – but I crossed a line somewhere along the way, and became a morning person. I’d regularly find myself sitting by the window, waiting for the sun to come up, watching the steam rise from my coffee, letting the quiet and the wakefulness and the possibility of the day course through me. And then… I would go running. On one of those mornings this Summer, I was about six weeks into a marathon training plan, and halfway into an eleven mile run along the Potomac River. On some runs, I just listen to my own ideas. I think about what I see, or I think about myself and assess what’s going on in my life. But on …

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on 15,000 Steps

It was only three or four steps to get to the bathroom when I woke up, late, Sunday morning. The grey light trying to force its way in through the blinds, the cat looping acrobatically beneath my drowsy gait. Since Christmas, I’ve been wearing a FitBit Force on my wrist, tracking every move I make with it’s fancy digital pedometer and accelerometer and altimeter and estimated calorie-burn computer and alarm clock and sleep timer. A trip to the bathroom in the morning becomes a matter of consequence, a record of competition. The conservation of my physique is now the ward of a few megabytes, transferred via low-energy Bluetooth. The gadget comes programmed to push me towards 10,000 steps as a …

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Australia from Four Cameras – (1 of 4)

It’s the biggest question I face when I get ready to take a trip – which cameras are coming along?  For my trip to Australia, I ended up packing four cameras, four lenses, and 38GB of memory cards. Each camera served its own unique purpose, and I gave all of them almost equal use. Olympus FE-170 This camera was put to market in 2006, making it the oldest of my crew. I found it on eBay for under $100 back in 2007, so you could probably put 50 cents in a vending machine to get one today. It’s a small 6 megapixel point and shoot, with 38-114mm (equivalent) zoom. By today’s standards, it is very limited in image quality, but it …

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on the Boston Bombing

A week before the Boston Marathon bombing, I was volunteering at a ten mile race in Washington D.C.  I spent the morning at the finish line of the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, giving medals to the elated finishers of the race. Thousands of people ran the circuit around the Tidal Basin, past the blooming trees, enjoying the Spring sun as it rose over the river.  There was no notion of danger, no way I could conceive of the violence that would rattle a similar event just a week later in a city not too far away. There is no way to prepare for such madness, no avenue of avoidance to strictly follow. Ugliness exists, and it struck Boston.  My deepest …

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on the Marine Corps Marathon

I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, and despite not having trained for it, I finished with a time of about 5:46, a 13:13 mile pace. It was quite difficult at times but I persevered. The mistake I made in training was attempting to run a normal short-distance pace for longer runs – I burned myself out by trying to do 8 minute miles when I should have been doing 10 or 11 minutes. If I put in a long run every weekend of 10-13 miles, at a 10-11 pace, I think I could bring down my finishing time significantly for next year’s race. My original plan for the marathon (if you could even call it a plan …

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On Running

Two years ago, I was not a runner.  I wasn’t even close.  A mile was a huffing and puffing punishment for me.  This week I registered for the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon, and I hope to complete it.  Since I first hit a treadmill about 15 months ago, I’ve run in 3 races and racked up a score of training miles.  In a few days I’ll be finishing my second half marathon, and a 10 mile race the week after that.  The satisfaction I get from running is having achieved something that previously seemed impossible.  The physical benefits are great, but the pride from kicking a goal in the ass is why I keep going.  

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