Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sporadically boring

My updates of late have been neither consistent nor interesting, but I feel the need to chime in every so often to let anyone who may still be visiting this space to know that I am indeed alive and - for the most part - well.

As of tonight, all my projects are thankfully complete and I should be able to afford myself a few moments of much-needed breathing room now that I am done dealing with an uncooperative agent, wanna-be triathlete, overly confident African transport, potential state champion and a gaggle of horribly-spoken 16-year-old high school girls. All of my encounters with the aforementioned folks are documented somewhere in cyberspace, and if you look in the proper places, you'll be able to entertain yourself with the product of my toils. Except for the agent that is - that exchange will remain exclusive to myself and one Mr. Douglas.

Anyway, there is some potentially exciting news to report, which I haven't given any mention to previously. About 6-7 weeks back I submitted my resume to the University of Michigan for a web-editing position in the Big Blue's athletic department for It sounded pretty cool, so I figured what the hell. Well, I hadn't heard so much as a peep about the job until my current boss asked me last week if UM had given me a call. Honestly, I had forgot that I even applied, but whatdya know this past Friday I recieved a call in the middle of lunch from one of the Wolverine's associate AD's, who conducted an initial interview with me on the spot. I imagine it went pretty well, as I had another phone interview with a few more folks on Monday morning and this afternoon I got a call saying that I'm one of the finalists for the position. To make a long story short, the University is flying me out to Ann Arbor a week from today to get up close and personal. This whole series of events has spun me around about 4-1/2 times. It's exciting and confusing at the same time. If all goes well a week from today, I may have some big decisions to make at the end of next week. It would be a helluva opportunity should it end up presenting itself.

Other than that, life continues to move along at a steady pace of 20 mph on the bike. Next week I'll happily slow things down a little bit and attempt two-legged forward mobility yet again. I'm uber-pumped to get going - motivation is through the roof after 8 weeks of relative rest and non weight-bearing activity. As accustomed as I've become to the wonders of padded spandex, I've got a major itch to rock the split-legged shorts yet again. It will be a slow, gradual and assuredly patient transition back to normalcy though, believe me.

That's it for tonight. I'm going to bed before midnight while I have the rare chance to do so. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

I was on a mission to win races, not just place in them.
- Bill Rodgers

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Late night, might as well write

OK, a couple days later than orignally anticipated, but I've made my not-so-triumphant return. The Sox are down 9-0 in the ninth to Oakland right now, continuing their dismal month of August, and once again keeping me at work till the wee hours of the morning without providing even a single freakin' run to get excited over. This is ridiculous - bring on Pats' season.

Speaking of which, and granted it's still only preseason, they looked goooooooood the other night against the 'Skins. Things seem to be clicking early on, which might scare some people, but not this guy. I'm not one to complain when things are going well and Bill Belichick is calling the shots. Sorry, Willie.

Onto things of a more personal nature, I'm still biking like a Tour de France wanna-be, yellow jersey and all. Totaling about 30-50 miles a day, six days a week, which is plenty enough time spent in the saddle. I'm having delusions of completing a century ride with my Stonehill buds sometime in October. Speaking of said buds, we had a nice lil rendezvous at la casa de Reino over the weekend, complete with Wiffle ball, grilled delicacies, fire pit and overly-Cuervoed Margueritas. Good times, good times.

Alrighty, it's now 1:22, the Sox farmhands have blown another one and I'm heading home. Looks like lots of rain is in the forecast so perhaps I'll have more to say tomorrow. The big countdown is now officially under a week. Take it easy all.

Quote of the day:

When you see someone running that well, it’s motivating. He shows the hard work, discipline, and sacrifice it takes to be successful. He’s showing the other young guys that you need to go out there and get it, instead of waiting and talking. Success isn’t just going to be handed to you.
- Abdi Abdirhamen on Matt Tegenkamp

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Token update

Still alive, just very busy with work and all the other wacky shit I've involved myself in lately. With a few projects now a fading image in my rearview mirror and a couple days off from work on the horizon, I should get around to a more meaty update sometime between now and Sunday. Until then, sit tight, or loose, whichever is more comfortable. As always, take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Nordy: You know what I can't stand?

Jim (from the back of the room): Midgets?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Midnight magic...or not

Well, the clock just struck midnight here at the Sports Desk, the Sox are still idling along and quite honestly, I have nothing to do until they inevitably blow another one to these bungholes from the Bronx.

But alas, I digress. Onto more productive, enjoyable endeavors such as this past weekend. I headed up to the Granite State with my good pals Bergie, Pat Long the Elder and Campbell for the soupy one's debut triathlon, a half-Ironman on the shores of scenic Lake Winnipesaukee. My junior-year roommate finished 438 out of 1400 in a total time of 5:31:25, well under goal time of 5:45. He finished up the 1/2 marathon in 1:40 dead-on, a good 20 seconds per mile faster than his planned upon 8-minute pace. Even more amazing, the 1.2 mile swim and 56-mile bike were the longest he's ever gone in either discipline. It was awesome to watch him power through it. I was inspired, to say the least.

The rest of the weekend consisted of a little camping and a bit of good-natured debauchery. After setting up shop at the base of Gunstock, Campbell rested his weary bones while Patrick, Bergs and I took off on an undulating endeavor around the aformentioned lake that eneded with an unrelenting 5K climb that I don't wish to repeat anytime soon. Sans shower, the four of us spent a good few hours at a local watering hole, leisurely finishing our dinner and assuredly annoying the hell out of the unfortunate waitress assigned to our table with our off-the-wall requests. She was a trooper, however, and eventually turned the Pats' game for us. Suffice to say, she was tipped well.

In other personally exciting news, I actually ran a little bit today while cheering for my friend the workout whore. It probably totalled two minutes worth of 30-second snippets of ridiculously slow jogging, but it at least resembled running and didn't seem to cause any ill effects. To those of you concerned that this will spark a premature outburst of my inherited obsessiveness, fear not. That'll be it until the 5-10 minute test run on Sept. 6 before my followup with Dr. Stevenson. I'm not gonna lie though, it was a helluva thrill, albeit a brief one.

And guess what? With two outs in the top of the ninth the Yanks just tied the game at 5-5. Given the cumulative ass kicking we've taken the last three games I shouldn't be surprised, but this is getting ridiculous. Take it easy.

Quote of the weekend:

Side boob!
- Campbell, who else

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

And that was before I even took into account the fact that I'm the only guy on the desk tonight reading copy.

I've got nothing to complain about, really, but there is a lot on my plate in the coming week, including a few late shifts on the desk, a couple interviews for the people at this fine organization, a fresh running column, two high school cross country previews and a partridge in a pair tree. If I get my ass in gear and stay on top of things, I should be fine.

Speaking of my ass and gears, I biked 50 miles today - which is the furthest I've ever propelled two wheels with my own legs. It was an exhilerating - not to mention mildly exhausting - experience, to say the least.

And lastly, let me reiterate how much I hate dealing with agents. Sorry Jerry Maguire, but when I finally run some times worthy enough of a big pay day, I'll handle the media requests myself.

That is all. Until next time, take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Here you are, representing an organization that is no doubt paying [this woman] thousands just to show up, and [this clown] acts like you're trying to interview Dubya bedside for The Nation.
- A wise editor I do work for

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ready, aim, fire

Bullet points, again. Sorry, my creative juices haven't been flowing lately - deal with it.

* 21 days (as of tomorrow) until I try to run again. Follow-up with Dr. Stevenson is on Friday, September 8th and he told me to run for 5-10 minutes and see how things feel. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a highly-visible countdown on my bedroom wall. I'm healing pretty well, I believe - it doesn't hurt to walk downhill or down stairs anymore - but then again I haven't run worth a lick in 5 weeks now, so who the hell knows for sure.

* On to one of my favorite topics, that being the weather. I hope I'm not jinxing anything by saying it's been beeeee-u-t-fullllll lately. 70's to mid-80's all day and 50-60 at night. Nearly perfect. And ff one more person complains to me again that it's starting to feel like fall, I'm gonna knock 'em out.

* My good buddy Bergie turned 25 today. Congratulations you crotchety old bastard.

* Speaking of Bergie, I'm heading up to the great state of NH this weekend with he and Crazy Man Campbell for the loco one's first half-Ironman on Sunday morning. The archaic one and I will serve as an unofficial support crew/cheering squad for the fittest man currently residing on the South Shore.

* Quick recap of last week's cross-training endeavors: 6 days on the bike, totaling 201.5 miles with two long rides of 41 and a short day of 20. Two water runs at Walden totaling just under three hours of aerobic effort and three days of upper body/abdominal/core strengthening. Quads are thoroughly trashed but seem to be coming around in the early days of this week. The massage on Monday seems to have helped flush some of the shit out of 'em.

* Read this article. Sounded way too familiar to me.

* I'm sure most of you have seen the TV commerical for the new movie "Invincible" by now. At first glance, it looks like a blatant rip-off of "Prefontaine", right down to the soundtrack. Apparently, Mark Wahlberg is the new Jared Leto.

* My beloved Sox are really pissing me off. What else is new, I know. We know the bullpen blows, but here's my latest gripe: either the starting pitching sucks from the outset (ie. Beckett last night) or someone throws a relative gem (ie. Schilling tonight) but he doesn't get an iota of run support from his offensive-minded mates. Sorry boys, but two runs ain't gonna cut it against the best team in baseball.

* Did I mention I can lace 'em back up again in 21 days. For those of you concerned with how this will affect my relationship with Celine - no worries, we're already talking about it.

That'll do it for tonight. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Everything now is step-by-step.
- Stefano Baldini

Friday, August 11, 2006

Training wheels

For any interested parties, I began posting my training (well cross-training) log again over on athleticore. It requires a free registration, but believe me it's five minutes well spent. There's a plethora of training logs worth glancing at, including almost all the Hanson's guys and gals and lots of local studs and studesses such as Terry Shea, Carly Graytock, Mark LaRosa, Matt and Brett Ely, A-Ten, my boy Driscoll and a handful of his QU teammates just to name a few.

As for my own training this week, in a nutshell: six days on the road bike, anywhere between 20-45 miles; two, maybe three days of water running at 80-90 minutes per session; and an abs/upper/core routine on M-W-F. Also, I've thrown judicious amounts of stretching into the mix in order to keep me limber.

That's all for now. Time for a quick shower and then it's off to the motherland to visit some friends. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

The four things that determine success in almost anything - it doesn't have to be distance running but it certainly applies - are, number one, you have to have to have some ability. Number two, you've got to have motivation to use that ability from within, not somebody else yelling at you that you've got to do this because you're talented. You've got to want to do it. If you've got the greatest VO2 Max and the best economy but your lifetime goal is to be a concert pianist, sorry, you're not going to be a great runner. Number three, you've got to have the opportunity to do it, which we pretty much leave to our school system in this country, with a very very weak club system in the developmental years. Fourth you've got to have good direction, which means coaching or a teacher or some plan to follow. And if you have all those things and they're all positive, then we're going to be good.
- Dr. Jack Daniels

Thursday, August 10, 2006

For starters...

More to come later, hopefully, but congrats to Ben Schmeckpeper for running away with today's....

Quote of the day:

I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to running hard; knowing that you're about to kick your own ass is a strange feeling.
- Ben Shmeckpeper

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Curiosity quencher

OK, to fend off the many curious inquiries as to how and where I met "Celine", what she looks like, etc.

I met this fine, sleek, black specimen on Saturday, July 29th at a rather odd location just off Main St. in Worcester. I'll be honest, it was love at first sight - I couldn't keep myself off her. Without hesitation, I brought her home, immediately jumped on her and starting riding her for hours on end. Man, it certainly did feel great to get the heartrate up and sweat again. She satisfies my innermost primal urges, you could say - for 90 minutes, two hours or longer if I so choose, but you know how it is - sometimes you just need to take a break and re-charge.

Sorry for the graphic images, but given my recent heartbreak, I was looking to fill the large void left in my life as quickly as possible. I'm happy to say that Celine has provided me that. For the time being, she's there whenever I need her, and it's comforting to say the least.

For all you curious pervs out there, Celine's measurements are 54 cm, 18 lbs, Shimano 105 shifters and components, an ALX 298 wheelset and a compact geometry that will make your head spin. She's one of the hottest-looking Specialized road bikes I've ever laid my eyes on.

That's right, I was talking about my new bike. And some of you thought I actually had a real girlfriend. Now THAT's funny.

Quote of the day:

Trials never end, of course. Unhappiness and misfortune are bound to occur as long as people live, but there is a feeling now, that was not here before, and it is not just on the surface of things, but penetrates all the way through: We've won it. It's going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things.
- Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Monday, August 07, 2006

Slow ride, take it easy

Sorry I haven't updated in a few days. Between busy nights at work and riding, er, I mean spending time with Celine whenever I have the chance, I just haven't had the time. Fortunately, work will be easing up this week and I'll have the opportunity to keep ya'll posted as to what I've been up to, when I'm not sweating profusely and breathing heavily that is. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

When I’m running, I run on my own terms and do as much as I feel I need to do on a given day. With painting, I have the same control; I dictate what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it. The way that you become great at both of them is by being willing to do what’s necessary to take it to the next level when other people aren’t.
- Anthony Famiglietti

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bang bang

More bullet points. It's just easier this way.

* Although I've never met him, Corrado Giambalvo is the man. And he's got one of the coolest names, like, ever.

* Big double-date tomorrow as I'm taking Celine out to Braintree to hang out with Bergie and Natalie for a couple hours. Afterwards, Bergs and I will head over to Reino's place for a guys night at the bar while the girls spend some time with one other, discussing whatever it is that sleek, well-equiped girls like to discuss.

* Cross-training is now in full swing. Celine has been great about keeping me company five or six times a week for an hour or two at a time, which has been a huge help and should keep my fitness level in the "respectable" range while the stress fracture heals. I've also developed a thrice-weekly strengthening/stretching routine to address and correct the core weaknesses which likely played a hand in said stress fracture. My midsection was rather sore in a few suspect spots this morning, so I think I hit the right muscle groups. Lastly, I started on a three-to-four-time-a-week water running schedule with the aid of a handy belt on loan from this guy's wife. The same guy with the generous wife has also been gracious enough to let me use his pool on occasion, which is greatly appreciated. I also started making use of more natural bodies of water this evening with a 90-some-odd minute aqua jog in beautiful Walden Pond, where I had the luxury of company in the form of an also-banged-up Carly Graytock and Brett Ely, which made this otherwise painstakingly boring form of rehab that much more enjoyable for all of us.

* Walk-off wins for my also banged-up, but still beloved Red Sox are becoming a way of life. I'm OK with that, as long as we're winning.

* I interviewed Kevin Sullivan the other day for mensracing. I thought the conversation went pretty well, so keep an eye out for it over the next few days. He and I unfortunately have a lot in common, like nasty achilles injuries and pelvic stress fractures.

* Temps finally dipped below 90 today. Thank-you, Jesus! Thank-you, Tom Cruise! Tom Cruise, used your witchcraft to get the fire off me!
- Yes, you've probably heard that something similar to that on TV recently. Go see the movie.

That's all I got. One down in the ninth and Sox trailing by a run. Manny at the plate. Let's see if he can expound upon tonight's Bullet Point # 4. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

I fight every day. But who said a fight has to be tongue and feet? You fight by showing you can overcome.
- Mookie Wilson

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Updated Quote of the Day

Not to discredit my earlier QOTD, but I like this one better. It rings so true.

When you have a passion for running, you have a passion for running. It's very difficult to do anything else.
- Julia Stamps

Viva El Papi!

A few random tidbits worth mentioning:

* I don't care if he doesn't get another hit from now until October and the Red Sox lose their remaining 58 games. Give David Ortiz the AL MVP trophy right now.

* The whole Floyd fiasco finds me dumbfounded. I don't know if he's clean. I don't know if he's dirty. I don't know what to think. I'll leave it at that for now.

* Descending a hill on a bike at close to 40 mph makes for one hell of an adrenaline rush. A tad dangerous, but if it wasn't dangerous, it wouldn't be fun. Right?

* Holy humidity Batman! What a wacky weather pattern we've gone through this summer. Rain, rain, rain, rain, nice, hot, hot, hot, hot, nice, hot, hot, rain, hot, hot, hot. Great Willard Scott this is ridiculous!

* I saw Dr. Stevenson, the orthopedic at St. V's on Friday morning. Aside from him telling me I run too much and no good coach would ever allow me to run more than 50 miles in a week (I stuck up for you Kevin, no worries), he said it will take at least 6-8 more weeks for the stress fracture to heal before I even begin to think about running. From my own research into pelvic stress fractures, and given that I've already got two weeks of no running under my belt, that sounds about right. He gave me the green light to cross-train as I see fit as long as it's not weight bearing and doesn't cause me any pain. During an otherwise grim visit, this provided a small ray of encouragement. Regardless, I'm getting a second opinion.

That's it for now. Too hard to think when it's 95 degrees with equal humidity. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

Basically, you gotta do what you gotta do. The guy had to make a pitch at the time. You don't want to get the bases loaded and have a hitter like Manny coming up afterwards. So, like I say, you just gotta be ready. I just try to put a good swing on the ball. That's about it.
- David Ortiz