I wish I knew how to quit you [running blog edition]

In honor of this week’s historic SCOTUS decision, I’m cheekily tying in to a heart wrenching scene from the wonderfully powerful Brokeback Mountain to make the blockbuster, much awaited announcement that I’m picking up the mantle once again and blogging for the people. Did that sound as pretentious as I had intended? There’s no way to declare that you are returning to writing a blog that nobody asked for and hardly anybody reads (thanks Mom!) without sounding a little (lot) self aggrandizing, so I figured I’d go all the way.

I’d planned to pause from the blog for a few months while Awesome Wife Kelly and I made some life transitions. We left NYC, our home for 15 years, traveled around a bit and have just now started to settle down in California. A long, laborious and often wonderful process that got me away from running and certainly away from writing.

During the hiatus I spent some time thinking about the blog. When I started writing I had no goals except to get some of the thoughts crowding my head on to (virtual) paper. I suspected I’d have about zero voluntary readers and get lots of complaints from Awesome Wife Kelly, my family and closest friends who would be required to read my drivel (quizzes at the end of every post). However, after months of writing and dozens of posts, you do start to ask yourself if this is a good time investment. I mean, why not just use this time to run more? Or why not just keep a much simpler and more time efficient journal for myself?  In short – why bother?

The truth is that I really enjoy writing this blog. Indeed, given the total absence of any external reward for maintaining it, there’s no reason to continue the blog except out of a desire to keep running and keep writing. So there you go. I’m back and will be for the foreseeable future.

A few highlights from my time away:

  • I got to spend some time in California wine country. AWK and I made meticulous notes of our roaming, ramblings and tastings throughout Sonoma, with highlights including Ridge, Rafanelli, Imagery and Loxton. Obviously Russian River Brewery is a must for anybody in that part of the world and we also hit Bear Republic, which feels more like a local pub than an iconic brewery. Lest ye be deceived, I am not an oenophile and don’t pretend to be, so I will write no more on this topic
  • Sonoma
  • My time off enabled some great international travel, with Japan as a major highlight. Such a wonderful, odd (to an uninformed American) and fascinating place. Daily runs around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo are a great way to experience running culture in another country
Sumo mismatch

This does not seem like a fair fight.

  • Through the most hectic periods I tried to run 2-3 times per week at 3-6 miles per. This obviously didn’t prepare me for the next race, but hopefully has kept my baseline fitness in a place where I can pick up quickly and get back at it. This relative indolence is one of the major factors leading to the blog hiatus. I mean, if I’m not running, there’s not much to write about

And a few highlights from the blog posts of Christmas future:

  • Metabolic Efficiency Training: I join a fad running movement with a fad running diet to match!
  • Product reviews: Olivers Apparel, the Garmin 225 and Epic Bars
  • Training: For better, and worse, California is a very hot and hilly place to run
  • Rants: On why the people running the Los Feliz city council should be stripped of their jobs for crimes against running
  • Upcoming races: So much to say here

So there you go. All well here and happy to be back on the horse. Hopefully you’ll join once again for the ride.

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Light on her feet

Congratulations to Megan Gold Lermer on the triumphant finish of her second half marathon today!  She runs as well as she dances! Meganfinal

And she has amazing fans!!

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Things you need to know about me

  • I was incredibly slow growing up. Like tortoise and hare slow, but only if the tortoise was so slow that the hare stopped mid-race, doubled back to make fun of the tortoise, then took a nap, and still won the race by 30 minutes
  • I was so slow that I had to choose sports where I wouldn’t have to run – and when you reflect on the fact that wrestling involves getting beat up by sweaty dudes wearing spandex, you start to recognize how much I loathed running. Otherwise I’d end up with sarcastic nicknames inspired by my (lack of) speed: hence, to this day, members of my sixth grade baseball call me “Dashing Dave”
  • In my early 20s I realized that lifting weights was a silly thing for me to be doing – the chances seemed really remote that I’d become trapped under a 200 pound rock that I desperately needed to lift off my body, lest I be crushed
  • Running, however, seemed like a better way to maintain my weight (while eating a diet primarily centered around bacon cheeseburgers and IPAs) and establish some level of fitness
  • I hated running at first. Then it got easier. As it got easier I hated running less. Then I got bored. It was just the same thing over and over and over again. So I decided I’d either have to quit running or get more serious about it and set some goals. That’s how I decided to run my first marathon
  • Since then I’ve run 10 marathons and 3 ultras (kind of)
  • I’m pretty serious about my running, but I don’t take it seriously. I meticulously plan my training and almost never miss a run. I have goals for distance and pace and I work hard to achieve them. I also eat terribly and frequently drink too much the night before runs. So yeah, I’m pretty serious but don’t take it seriously
  • I’m a mediocre to mediocre-plus runner. My marathon PR is 3:19, better than some and worse than some. When you consider the literally thousands of hours I’ve spent running (and the thousands of more spent thinking about running) over the last ten years, it doesn’t seem very impressive

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  • I believe that running is fundamentally personal. What’s good for some is great for others and pretty poor for still others
  • Most importantly, I believe that running is fun. Sure it can be about competition
  • and health and myriad other things. But at the end of the day I run because I have fun running
  • Lastly: I’m married to Awesome Wife Kelly – she kicks ass