Saturday, April 30, 2011

Man vs. Computer: Round 3

There's a fresh skiff of snow on the ground. The high today might reach 40 degrees. I'm still feeling the effects of Thursday's terrible 17 mile run. It's not the best start to my day. Someone or some thing has to pay.

If you recall, not too long ago I decided to strike a blow for all of human-kind by negating the depressing results of the Man vs. Computer contest on Jeopardy by challenging my own computer to a five mile run. You can read about this lopsided event at Short story even shorter: I won.

This morning I decided to give Mac (my Macbook) an opportunity for redemption. I challenged Mac to a bench press contest. Knowing that, when purchased, Mac was touted to be lighter, faster and more powerful than previous versions, I was a tad worried. 

I was open. I would have considered an alternative lift. I would have even competed on the weight machine. But Mac seemed much more comfortable on the free weight bench so we went with that. We started extremely light (10 lbs) and that was it! Game over! I'd show you the picture of me triumphantly holding my ten pounds overhead (yeah that's 4.5359237 kilograms, baby!), but it's probably best I don't publicly humiliate Mac. I need him for work.

So Round 3 is in the books and the results are in: Humans win again!!!

You're welcome. It's the least I can do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dr. Wittenberg Leaves Me For Dead!

If you read my last post, you are aware that I have been fighting a severe case of the shpilkes. Shpilkes is characterized by a nervous energy or anxiety that can cast a gloomy cloud over any day. The person that could have cured me was Mary Wittenberg, head Honchette at the New York Road Runners. Dr. Wittemberg held my life in her hands.

I love the New York Marathon. I ran it in 1993, 94 (on my birthday) and 98. It's a great event, loads of fun and an awesome reason to pack up and head for New York City. It would have been easy, Dr. Mary; draw my name in today's lottery, let me run the NYC Marathon (on my 60th birthday) and I would have been cured. But, NOOOOO! Couldn't do it, could you?

So, I am left searching for a fall marathon. Shouldn't be too tough, there are plenty.

In the meantime, Dr. Wittenberg, I WLL COME BACK from the dead. And next year, there'll be no lottery for this fellow: no opportunity for you to cast me aside on your electronic whim. NO Dr. Wittenberg, next year I WILL QUALIFY for your race.

Better go for a run! Got some training to do!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Need a Shpilkes Cure: Where's Doctor Mary Wittenberg?

It's an open and shut diagnosis, I have the shpilkes. I learned about shpilkes from my wife, Linda, who spent a previous lifetime (she called it a lifetime, not me) married to a Jewish man (and from what she has told me, his previousness had little or nothing to do with him being Jewish).

You don't have to be Jewish to have the shpilkes, just like you don't have to be South of the border to get Montezuma's revenge. In fact, anyone can truly get either and while I'm not asserting that they go together, they certainly could.

According to the plethora of online dictionaries, shpilkes is basically nervous energy - anxiety. Frankly, I think that nervous energy is one of those things that could be good OR bad. Unfortunately, my nervous energy is not in anticipation or pre-arousal of some wonderful upcoming event. It is also not some in-born ancestral reaction to a fight or flight type of experience. In fact, lately, my nervous energy would choose to neither fight or flight. My nervous energy does not feel good and my shpilketic friends tell me that most real cases of the shpilkes are not very pleasant.

At this point you're probably concerned for my welfare. You may be feeling empathy - or even sympathy. More than either of these, however, you may be getting nervous about the potential for shpilkes entering into your world.

In the interest of science and shpilke prevention, I am going to sacrifice my own pride and privacy needs, pull out my chart, and share my symptoms with you. It is my hope that by sharing, we all may become more educated and maybe, just maybe, shpilkes can be prevented. If my experience can help just one person, it will be worthwhile. My symptoms:

1. My daily pre-run ritual is to stress over where to go, when to go, how far to go and then I get mad at myself for not making a decision.

2. I need new shoes and I am not one bit excited about getting them.

3. I haven't stretched in weeks (oh wait, sorry - I don't stretch anyway - never mind).

4. I recorded three hours of the Boston Marathon, watched it in ONE hour and almost consciously DELETED the recording when I finished!

5. I haven't pontificated on my RunSpittle blog in ages.

6. I'm uninspired watching a Flotrack Workout Wednesday video of Maggie Vessey in those skimpy, tight, bunhugger shorts (well okay, maybe a bit inspired - I guess that feeling I'm having is inspiration).

7. I went to and didn't even get pissed about the juvenile idiots posting their ridiculously stupid hater posts.

8. I can't seem to pick a fall marathon (This one really bothers me because I need the goal; the objective so that my training can have focus. The problem is that I am waiting to see if I get into the New York Marathon and that seems to be blocking my ability to see other marathons clearly).

WAIT!!!!!! As Alexander Graham Bell said, "Watson, come here!" (or maybe that was Sherlock Holmes). Either way, I have found it! I know the cure!!!!

On Wednesday April 27, 2011, the New York Road Runners will have their lottery for participation in this year's New York City Marathon on November 6 (which just happens to be my 60th birthday). If Mary Wittenberg would just pull my name out of the hat, my shpilkes just might be cured. I ran New York in 1993, '94 and '98 and have been dying to get back. And what could be better than returning for a birthday run? A 60th birthday run? Instant shpilke cure!

So, it is clear. Mary Wittenberg, NYRR Head Guru, possesses the miracle cure to my condition. A single, solitary entry nod from her, and all is well again. I need Mary to race through the jungle, like in those Tarzan movies, carrying the magic elixir delivering me from my shpilkian death bed.

Then again, maybe not. I can't really decide if that would do it and am way too stressed out to even think about it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A "Brief" Memo to Nike...

Saturday it was 80 degrees, this morning's run, it was 16. It's springtime in Colorado. So just when I thought it was safe to store my winter gear until the fall, I was breaking out the tights and jacket this morning. The tights are the issue.... oh the tights.

I'm a loyal consumer. I bought my first pair of Nike Waffle Trainers back in the mid 70's. Other than a few short escapades with a great pair of Tiger Oboris and Brooks flats for racing, I have been extremely faithful. Find me on any run and I will be branded in sartorial splendor as a dedicated Swoosher. Shoes: swoosh; socks, yep; shorts, you bet; top, arm warmers, hat - check, check, check. Outside of some technical gear from the latest races and the jackets obtained at those same contests, I am swoosh-boy. I have never asked for anything in return and have never complained about my "contract" with Nike. As stated, I am loyal.

So, back to the tights. I own two pairs of Nike tights. I don't wear them. I suppose I could give them away, send them back, take them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. It's not that they aren't nice or don't fit or are some hideous color. I don't wear them because they don't take care of me. In fact, if I were an Adidas, or Asics, or Brooks, or Mizuno guy I wouldn't wear theirs either. I wear Pearl Izumi tights.

The reason is simple: Pearl Izumi was wise enough to insert a brief into their tights. Everyone has them in shorts - no brainer, right? But what about tights? Doesn't anyone know that Daddy still needs to keep the package in a ....... well...... package?

Sure, I could wear shorts underneath, but that is SOOOOO 80's AND kills the smoothness of my rear end view. And since most of my shorts are longer than the average, it would not only look terrible, but would feel like I was carrying a load in my britches. Not good.

So, hey Nike...... (or anyone else), what's the deal? What about me, what about MY needs? Let's jump into today's world and help a guy out, briefly of course.

Running Bucket List? Yeah, I've Still Got One.

June has arrived and the weather has made a change to FABULOUS. Moisture and chilly was much of May (sounded like Yoda said that), but the w...