Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Still kickin'

No, this blog hasn't completely shit the bucket yet. It's on life support and I reckon it will hang on till the end of the year, at least. I vaguely remember Kemibe posting something about the inevitable downfall of undertaking such an endeavor, but since he's terminated any evidence of said claim, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Anyway, not much excitement to speak of since the last posting, unless you count working 64 hours in a given week exciting. Actually, it kinda was. The adrenaline rush of finishing up at one job and rushing to the other provided small moments of excitement, but by Sunday I was pretty wiped. On the running side of things, my planned down week fell in nicely with the unplanned temporary spike in work hours, so no real trouble to speak of there. And just as well, because it allowed me to take care of some minor Achilles niggles earlier in the week, which as of right now thankfully aren't presenting me any further problems.

Kevin has helped me map out a rough plan for the next few weeks which should bring me into the new year in pretty good shape. Hopefully by then I'll be able to piggyback some of my workouts off of Ryan and his Boston Marathon cronies as I get ready for the New Bedford 1/2 Marathon on March 18. That's the working plan as of right now and I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Lastly, I'm off to Denver for the weekend to kill some vacation time, visit old pals Oscar and Carrie and make good use of a $133 Travelocity VIP round-trip special. It will be my first trip to the land of the Rockies and I'm very much looking forward to it. With any luck, I'll keep a journal and post it here when I get back. Keep your fingers crossed and it just might happen.

Best of luck to my New Balance teammates out in San Fran this coming weekend at Club Nats, as well as former Chieftain cross country teammates Sean and Dianna who are heading up from sunny San Diego.

And that'll do it for me. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

The fire is still there. That's the only reason I'm coming back.
- Jason Lunn


corrado giambalvo said...

mario, speaking of fire, before torching your interesting blog, you may want to consider working on your "publishing" pace... you don't have to race and perform everyday... it is ok to just "be." No?

All the best for your training plans. And, nice to indirectly see Kemibe at work. All the best to him too.

Gwytherrrrrrrrr said...

the boot is off! Getting the MRI results today! ...there is a glimmer of a chance that the Christmas run, although it may be only like 10 min, may still be happening!!! Fingers crossed! Have a great vacation!!
Katie "Close to Not Being Broken Anymore" Gwyth ;)

kemibe said...

The theory of evolution

Of the runner with an online presence, that is.

I used to think that becoming more reserved over the years about discussing my running in detail on the Web was a reflection of my sometimes mercurial and brooding personality. However, I no longer believe this. I've discovered that most runners who maintain Web sites -- and thanks to the expense-free, technically basic nature of blogging, the number of runners who do is growing rapidly -- follow the same general career arc, albeit at different rates and to different degrees. The general scheme is this (please excuse the sexist pronoun choice):

1. Having recently discovered the joys of HTML or Blogger, it is imperative for the runner with a new Web page to litter his site with as much detail as possible (e.g., training logs, racing goals, planned races, photos, race reports) and to call attention to same by seeding links on as many other sites as time and reason permit.

2. With these items flung Webward for all to consider, the runner is naturally thirsty for feedback, and to this end prominently places E-MAIL ME! links on his home page, spambots be damned.

3. After a "honeymoon period" of variable length, the runner encounters his first injury or crappy race, and is dimly and disconsolately aware of the obligation to share the details thereof with his faithful readers, however few or many in number and regardless of the level of perceived moral support.

4. Having drawn precisely the sort of attention he has expressly invited, and realizing that he is not always up to the task of informing or regaling his readers, the runner -- now palpably gun-shy -- begins to seek ways of gracefully wriggling out of the responsibility of serving up daily, or at least regular, training and race reports.

5. In extreme cases, the runner will simply dismantle his entire site, sometimes with fair warning, sometimes with no warning at all. More commonly, he will simply fail to update his site, assuming that people will eventually lose interest if not regularly provided with fresh content.

6. Final resolution typically occurs when the runner, committed at some level to using the Internet for a combination of recreational and vocational purposes, continues to maintain a Web site, but with a greatly reduced emphasis on personal plans and exploits. Depending on the person's relationship to, and enthusiasm for, the sport and activity of running in general, this may mean an effective fade to black, a site that is actually an improvement over the solipsistic version, or something in between.

Those who are especially brave, ambitious, and misguided will see fit to equip their sites with message boards. This is a categorically bad idea, because not only does it provide the ideal medium for people who don't know you to pester you -- sometimes anonymously -- for details about your running (something they're especially apt to do if you've demonstrated a flamboyant or vulgar streak), but it means you'll spend a fair amount of time dealing with utter dreck: e-mails from people who want posts modified or deleted (their own or others'), explosively confrontational posts that straddle the ineffable line between legal free expression and illicit hate speech, and worms that randomly but tenaciously seek and aim to destroy bulletin-board software, most types of which come packaged with various security flaws. I dealt with fewer of these headaches than do most forum admins during the four years I hosted a message board -- and only one and a half or two of those years were, by my standards, busy ones -- and I still grew tired of it. (This advisory doesn't apply to anonymous hosts such as Kilgore or to the Johnsons of Letsrun.com fame, whose very raison d'etre is their message board, with front-page news a low-priority item and talk of their own running nonexistent.)

Throughout the course of my rocky relationship with the World Wide Web, I've developed close ties with a number of runners -- notably Pete Pfitzinger, who coached me through a couple of marathons (or at least marathon attempts), but also several other wise confidants. So I reached a juncture at some ill-defined point in the past couple of years at which I felt there was little to be gained by posting my training logs online, or even getting into much personal discussion, period. Regardless of how unaccomplished a runner may be, or how small his Web readership is, posting training logs and race reports does nothing but invite scrutiny. Of course, that's the idea. But I think most people would, at least after a while, rather not hear from the chorus. (An exception is found in runners who post only their training logs, rendering them out of the reach of hectoring or querulous input from well-meaning snapperheads.) Again, maybe I'm drawing too much on my own experience, but as a willing participant in various imbroglios who has apparently developed a reputation within the inconsequential running community as something of a loose cannon, I am not particularly sensitive, just lovably scornful.

By the way, this entry did not stem entirely or even chiefly from my own evolution, which at times has tottered down one of many paths toward Web extinction. However, I don't want to name the people who provided the inspiration for this analysis, because something tells me they don't want or need the spotlight aimed their way.