While We Are On Politics.....

Check out the new feature at washingtonpost.com: Political Browser. Perfect for political junkies, it's a view to the stories around the web considered most noteworthy by the staff of the Post (whether those stories are WP stories or not).

I discovered Political Browser via the Publishing 2.0 blog - see washingtonpost.com’s Political Browser Uses the News Judgment of Journalists to Filter the Political Web



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Chicago Marathon - Runner Tracking

If you are interested in tracking me (or any other runner) as I progress through the Chicago Marathon, you can sign up here.

Here's what you'll get (according to the official Chicago Marathon website):
Spectators can electronically track multiple runners along the race course by receiving real-time updates via e-mail or text message throughout the race. Updates will be received as runners cross the 10K, halfway (13.1 miles) and 30K checkpoints, as well as the finish line.


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Weekly Training Update - 2 Weeks To Go

Here's the week 15 training update:

Week 15 target mileage: 35 miles
Week 15 actual mileage: 28 miles

Target cumulative miles through last week: 585 miles
Actual cumulative miles through last week: 561.8 miles
Variance: (23.15) miles

Training miles to go: 41

Last week was ok. I had a great couple of runs in the middle of the week (including Wednesday's new PR) but somehow ran out of steam at the end of the week. Torrential rain knocked me off my game Friday morning (I couldn't run my typical 3 mile warmup in Central Park before doing strength training) and the hard session with my trainer Friday left me sore and achy going into Sunday's long-ish run; the run was supposed to be 15 miles but I went out assuming I'd only do 11. Conditions were gross - warm and humid - and it was one of those runs where every step was a chore. I've not gone back yet to look over the full training program, but I have the sense that my good training weeks (such as last week) are often followed by so-so weeks.

In any case, I've got fewer than two weeks to go until the big day. We're close enough to race day that I can begin to obsessively check the weather forecast for race day (currently expecting lows in the low 30's and highs in the mid 50's - pretty good if that's how it turns out).

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Latest Thoughts On The Election

I've believed for a long time that John McCain would win the election in November, assuming that people would have a hard time voting for Obama given a variety of factors (mostly having to do with apparent lack of experience and race). Please note - I'm not saying that I wanted McCain to win, just that I've felt he would.

Given recent events (Sarah Palin's disastrous Katie Couric interview (see Part I and Part II) and economic turmoil), I'm starting to think it could be impossible for McCain to win. I was therefore interested to see this chart from the intrade prediction market in a Paul Krugman blog post today: Politics of Crisis. I'm not sure I buy his point that Paulson's decision to let Lehman Brothers fail 'may have delivered the White House to Obama', but the fact remains that it's been a tough couple of weeks for the McCain campaign. As context for Krugmans, point, check out the excellent article on Lehman in today's Wall Street Journal: Lehman Triggered Global Cash Crunch.

On the intrade web site, you can see that McCain is down 25% in the past two weeks while Obama is up a similar amount.



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Chicago Marathon Media Information

A few of you have asked if the race will be televised. Below is some information I recently received. I'll also post details soon on how you can get updates via email on the progress of specific race participants.

2008 Broadcast Information
Whether you are in Chicago or across the world, you can catch live action of the 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on TV, radio and/or the Web. Check out exclusive coverage from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon’s broadcast partners:

*All times are Central

Universal SportsNBC 5 Chicago
NBC 5 News coverage begins at 6 a.m. followed by live on-air and on-line coverage of the 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, 7 to 11 a.m.

The Score Sportsradio 670 AM
On race day, The Score Sportsradio 670 AM will bring you all the race action live from 7 to 11 a.m. Prior to race day, Bank of America Chicago Marathon preview shows will air on The Score Sportsradio 670 AM on Saturday, September 27, from 7 to 8 a.m. and Saturday, October 4, from 7 to 8 a.m.

Universal Sports
Watch the Bank of America Chicago Marathon live Webcast from 7 to 11 a.m. and on-demand at universalsports.com. The race Webcast will be available to entire world.

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Background On The Chicago Marathon

From Runner's World Magazine, A Brief Chat With Carey Pinkowski (director of the race).

Flying To New York Via The Expressway Visual

From Jeppesen/New York Times 9/26/08


I did a lot of traveling early in my career, flying often between New York City and Chicago. I distinctly remember the sharp left turn described in this New York Times article about pilots and Shea Stadium (To Pilots, Shea Is Less Ballpark Than Landmark). Truth be told, the big left turn is a bit scary as it's a sharp turn at low altitude; if you're sitting on the left hand side of the plane and can see the airport, you wonder how the plane will manage to get lined up in time to land.

Preview David Cook's New Single at PopEater

American Idol David Cook's new single - Light On - gets released on iTunes next Tuesday. In the meantime you can check it out on PopEater. Enjoy!

A New Central Park PR

GREAT run in Central Park this morning, aided by perfect conditions - clear skies, light breeze, and cool temperatures (55 degrees). I set a new personal record for the loop - 47 minutes, 20 seconds (7.83 minutes/mile). Fastest mile was 7:36, slowest was 8:09. I was particularly pleased with my pace for the miles which included the two toughest hills (when running counterclockwise) - Cat Hill on the east side and the hill in the northwest corner of the park - both were just slightly above 8 minutes/mile.

More Politics: Foreign Policy

A couple of years ago we published a book by George Friedman, founder of a private intelligence service called Stratfor. Leading up to Friday night's presidential debate, Stratfor is running a series of articles

The first article, The New President and the Global Landscape, was posted yesterday. It's a great overview of the range of issues the next president will face, how they are interrelated, and what options the President will have to address them. Definitely worth a read.

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Not Exactly What You Expect To Find In A Sports Column

In his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column on ESPN.com, Gregg Easterbrook writes about the recent financial news. I've included a couple of the relevant passages; you can find more at the column link above. Overall, thoroughly depressing stuff, and I have to say I don't have much (any?) hope that either of the current candidates for president are going to bring fundamental change to this situation.

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Last week, TMQ asked why no one was paying attention to the fact that the national debt ceiling was quietly raised by $800 billion during the summer. Well, toss that column: The White House just asked the national debt ceiling be raised another $700 billion, for the proposed financial-sector bailout. If that happens, in 2008 alone, $1.5 trillion will have been added to the national debt: every penny borrowed from your children and their children. Stated in today's dollars, in 1979 the entire national debt was $1.5 trillion. George W. Bush and Congress have in a single year added an amount equal to the entire national debt one generation ago. And the year's not over!

It took the United States 209 years, from the founding of the republic till 1998, to compile the first $5 trillion in national debt. In the decade since, $6 trillion in debt has been added. This means the United States has borrowed more money in the past decade than in all our previous history combined. Almost all the borrowing has been under the direction of George W. Bush -- at this point Bush makes Kenneth Lay seem like a paragon of fiscal caution. Democrats deserve ample blame, too. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leaders of the Senate and House, have never met a bailout they didn't like: Harry and Nancy just can't wait to spend your children's money. Six trillion dollars borrowed in a single decade and $1.5 trillion borrowed in 2008 alone. Charles Ponzi would be embarrassed.

If you borrowed, borrowed, borrowed, you could afford to live high for a while -- then there would be a reckoning. Hmmm … that sounds a little like what many Americans did with gimmick mortgages in 2005 and 2006. They were only imitating their political leadership! Why is it both parties in Washington think the United States can borrow, borrow, borrow without a reckoning ever coming? Bush, Reid and Pelosi seem poised to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowed public money to political insiders on Wall Street and in banking, whose bonuses will now be tax-subsidized. The capitalist maxim is, "She who reaps the gains also bears the losses." Now Washington wants those who reaped the gains to shift the losses to those who lived humbly. The young will pay and pay for these cynical ploys to insure the luxury of the powerful old. Why aren't the young outraged?

TMQ's pal Isabel Sawhill, among the leading public-policy economists of our day, says Washington does indeed need to intervene in the financial system -- the harm to the average person of letting credit markets freeze would be greater, she thinks, than the harm caused by more public debt. Fair enough. But it doesn't inspire confidence that on Sept. 12, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the financial system had been fixed and "under no circumstances" would there be further bailouts; on Friday, Paulson said the system was collapsing and another $700 billion was needed. Suddenly Paulson is insisting the country has no choice other than immediately to hand over $700 billion to Wall Street fat cats, with barely any debate or even explanation of the plan. Why should anyone believe this guy, when just one week previously he said no further bailouts would occur? It seems clear Paulson had no idea what he was talking about then, while if the problem is really as bad as Paulson says now, his past delay in facing the problem has made the cost far higher. With such a poor track record, why is the treasury secretary suddenly viewed as a superbrilliant genius whose marching orders must be followed?

It is not public intervention that is objectionable. University of Chicago Nobel Prize winner Gary Becker, among the top conservative economists, just said, "I have reluctantly concluded that substantial intervention was justified." Rather it is size of the bailout, and the hurry-up-give-the-money-don't-stop-to-think aspect, that are troubling. Much of the $700 billion will flow to investment-community friends of Paulson, Bush and other administration figures. Average Americans who behaved irresponsibly by signing gimmick mortgages may get some taxpayer aid from the Paulson proposal, and maybe they should get none. But in the end, average Americans will still be liable for most of what they owe -- that is, will still be held responsible for their actions. Wealthy, politically connected insiders who run banks and companies such as American International Group will be exempt for responsibility for their actions, and will stuff taxpayer-subsidized millions into their pockets.

On Sunday, Paulson called the self-serving actions of top Wall Street figures "inexcusable" -- yet the plan is not only to excuse them, but to shower them with free money. Paulson said Wall Street pay levels were "excessive," but should be discussed later, after the bailout is done. Now is the moment of maximum leverage! Once they are holding the public's money and laughing about how easily they got it, financial executives will have no incentive to compromise on pay. Here's an idea: Any company that participates in the bailout agrees to limit its top-tier executives to the federal minimum wage. That is, after all, the amount Washington says is enough to live on. Meanwhile, of the two jokers who drove Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the ground, one was paid $19.8 million in 2007, the other $14 million; each will get nearly $5 million in taxpayer-funded "retirement" bennies.

Yet there's scant outrage. Maybe this is because in an era of fiscal irresponsibility by both parties, everybody wants a bailout. Wall Street, bankers, homeowners who lied on their mortgage applications, Detroit automakers, farmers -- gimme, gimme, gimme! Rather than asking whether the $700 billion giveaway is too large or being structured in a way that benefits the rich, numerous members of Congress are instead demanding more bailouts be appended: for seniors (see below), cities, states, more "stimulus" checks, you name it. Give money to whoever will fund my re-election! The money is being forcibly extracted from the pockets of our children and their children. Every dollar borrowed today by the irresponsible old of Washington will subtract two dollars from future economic growth, leaving our children and their children a legacy of stagnation.

The 1980 Chrysler bailout, which was nationally debated for months before happening, cost $3.2 billion, in present-value dollars, and was financed by revenue rather than by borrowing. Here is the borrowing that's happened in 2008 alone, with precious little public debate:

• $29 billion to bail out Bear Stearns.

• $40 billion in the first mortgage-holder bailout.

• $80 billion for an additional year of Iraq war operations. (Another $150-$200 billion in war costs such as future veterans' disability benefits were incurred but not funded.)

• Up to $85 billion to bail out AIG.

• $153 billion to households for "economic stimulus."

• $200 billion, and possibly more, to bail out Fannie and Freddie.

• $290 billion in farm subsidies, despite agricultural prices and grains profits being at record highs.

• $700 billion general bailout of securities backed by bad debt. (The International Monetary Fund estimates this figure will rise to at least $1 trillion.)

That comes to $1.6 trillion, explaining the debt-ceiling rise, and does not include roughly $300 billion in essentially interest-free cash issued to banks by the Federal Reserve on an emergency basis, which may or may not be repaid, but which in any case make all existing money somewhat less valuable. Why is the debt aspect of the splurge barely being remarked on by the mainstream media and by politicians? Why are the young not furious? And about that $700 billion about to the shoveled to the Wall Street elite -- in 2007, George W. Bush vetoed an increase of $7 billion per year in health care spending for the poor, saying the country couldn't afford it.


And on a related note:
Yet Another Federal Giveaway: Here's another giveaway on which the media have been silent. Tossed into last summer's bailout bill for people behind on their mortgages -- many of them freely signed something-for-nothing gimmick loans, and don't deserve subsidies any more than Wall Street does -- is a tax favor for senior citizens. The break allows seniors to deduct their property taxes, even if they have paid off their homes and thus do not itemize deductions because they no longer have any mortgage interest to declare. The senior citizens' lobby has long wanted retirees exempt from the property taxes everybody else must pay, even though seniors are, as a group, the best-off American demographic. Property taxes are deducted on Schedule A, where home mortgage interest is deducted; those who lack home mortgage interest generally benefit by not filing Schedule A, instead claiming the standard deduction. Now seniors can claim the standard deduction and write off their property taxes, while people below age 65 can do only one or the other. This new tax favor quietly slipped into the summertime bill helps only those seniors who have paid off their homes, which in most cases will be well-to-do retirees. Not only is this yet another favor for the well-off at the expense of the average -- the new handout has nothing to do with the distressed-mortgage problem the bill was supposedly about. The seniors receiving the new handout don't have mortgage problems, because they don't have mortgages! The summertime bill was simply another gimme, gimme, gimme situation. Congress was giving away money borrowed from future generations, and well-off seniors wanted to grab some.

The Experience of a Lifetime

I was initially disappointed to learn that the Chicago Marathon bans headphones during the race as I have always run with music and find it's a great motivational boost. Now that I know for sure my friend Chris and I will be running together I wouldn't be using an ipod in any case, though this article from the New York Times has a good perspective on the topic.

According to Mary Wittenberg, who is in charge of the New York Road Runners:
"Our overwhelming concern is safety, but I think somebody is crazy to wear an iPod at this marathon for other reasons,” she said. “You want every single sense tuned in to the experience of running the race of a lifetime."


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Cool Video

Check out this video shot on the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera. Amazing quality for video shot with a digital SL; almost makes me want to be a Canon owner.

Of course, I'd still have to work on my creative skills.....

Weekly Training Update - 3 Weeks To Go

Here's the week 14 training update:

Week 14 target mileage: 45 miles
Week 14 actual mileage: 46.7 miles

Target cumulative miles through last week: 550 miles
Actual cumulative miles through last week: 536.7 miles
Variance: (16.2) miles

Training miles to go: 76

Last week was terrific. Somehow I rediscovered the joy of training (after a day off last Tuesday I went to bed excited about my run the next morning!) and almost all of my typical aches and pains disappeared. The only physical concern at this point is a nagging groin injury; it's mostly just sore when I get started running each morning, but I am slightly concerned about it.

I also hit some milestones last week, including most miles ever in a week (46.7) and longest run ever - both in terms of distance (22.05 miles) and time (3 hours, 36+ minutes).

I feel ready to go and super-excited for the race!

The Hay Is In The Barn - Let The Taper Begin!!!!!

Just finished the last long run of my training program. 22.06 miles at a pace of 9:49 per mile - in case you are wondering I was out running for 3 hours and 36 minutes. I would like for the time to have been a bit better but I receognize that it's been a long training week; including last Sunday's Queens half-marathon, I've run nearly 60 miles in the last 8 days.

I'm definitely looking forward to a day off.

Now I'm Qualified.....

....for the 2009 NYC Marathon. With 9 races (including 5 half-marathons!) completed this year, all that was lacking was my volunteer duty. I worked the Long Training Run (a 20 mile run for people in training for this year's marathon) on Saturday; despite a crazy early start (I had to be in the park at 102nd Street on the east side at 6AM) it was actually a pretty enjoyable experience, aided by the fact that I saw three friends running while I was working the race.

With the receipt of the note below, I'm officially in for 2009!
Dear ANDREW

On behalf of New York Road Runners, I want to thank you for volunteering at the Long Training Run # 2. NYRR and the 2342 finishers could not have put on the event without you.

Be sure to save this email as a confirmation of your attendance.

If you volunteered in order to earn entry into next year’s ING New York City Marathon (along with completing nine qualifying races and being an NYRR member as of January 31, 2008, and remaining in good standing) we will update your record.

Please send any comments about your volunteer experience to vols@nyrr.org. We hope your experience was a positive one and that you will volunteer again in the nearfuture.

Regards

NYRR
vols@nyrr.org




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It Could Have Been Much Worse

Many of you have asked how our family in Houston fared in the aftermath of Ike. Fortunately everyone is ok.

The first picture below is one I've seen a lot around the web and is part of a set of photos in the Boston Globe's Big Picture series on the hurricane (The Short - But Eventful - Life of Ike). The shot is of the one house left standing in a part of Gilchrist, Texas.

The second picture is an aerial shot of the neighborhood (Pirate's Beach)where my in-laws have a house. The house seems to have come out ok, though it will be some time before anyone can get down to Galveston to see exactly what happened. Here's what my father-in-law said:
Here is a confirming satellite photo of Gull Cottage immediately after Ike. Our house is on the second street in from the highway, the sixth one to the right of the roundabout, with the vacant lot next door. The black spot is the stairwell and the pergola seems to be missing from the deck. Looks like a bit of sand on the driveway too. Our yard mowing service checked in today by phone (they stayed at Pirates' Beach during the hurricane!) and said the house looked good on a cursory inspection from the street. About six feet of water were under the house at the hurricane's worst.


Amazingly, only 37 miles separates Pirates Beach, where there seems to have been relatively little damage, from Gilchrist, where just the one house is left standing (you can see the details on this map)

Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images via The Big Picture.



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I Want To Be Like This When I Am 89

With the full race report still to come, an additional tidbit from the NYRR Queens Half-marathon: I finished the race in 1:56:44 - not my fastest time and not my slowest time.

Would you believe an 89 (!) year-old finished in 1:48:06? That is amazing. How cool would it be to not only make it to 89 years old but to run a half-marathon at an 8:15 minutes/mile pace?

I wonder what his secret is....

News From My Former Boss....

In Portfolio Magazine: Book Leave.

More Dean Karnazes

Dean Karnazes is unbelievable (I first wrote about him at And I Thought It Was A Big Deal To Run A Marathon).

Here's a short piece from Runners's World (How Did Dean Do?)on his latest gig: an attempt to break the record for most miles on a treadmill in 48 consecutive hours. He didn't get the record but did manage to finish 211(!!!!) miles (short of the record by 2 miles).

I'm reading and enjoying Karnazes' latest book: 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!, in which Karnazes tells the story of running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Aside from being a great story about how he pulled off the 50 in 50, there are plenty of good running tips - for marathoners and non-marathoners. Check it out!

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NYT On Too Much Training

Good article by Gina Kolata: When Training Backfires: Hard Work That’s Too Hard.

Super Run Today....

Had a great run this morning; I'm loving the return of cool fall temperatures and running at dawn in Central Park.

Ran 8.66 miles this morning at an overall pace of 8:19 per mile. I was very close to a PR for the 6 mile park loop but since I missed marking a split on my stopwatch I can't be sure if I did or didn't. In any case, I did run today's route a full 6 minutes faster than I ran it a week ago, which I think counts as great progress.

While running I was thinking about this article from Runner's World magazine: Think Fast. Great insights on the mental aspects of running.

More on Ambient Intimacy

I first heard of the concept of ambient intimacy back in May. In the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Clive Thompson writes about the Brave New World Of Digital Intimacy. I found the article to be a thoughtful look at the possibilities and challenges of connecting with others online.

Nature In New York City

We're always excited to see hawks flying around New York City. I really enjoyed this recent article from New York Magazine on a pair of red-tailed hawks who set up a nest in Riverside Park: The Hudsons.

Weekly Training Update - 4 Weeks To Go

Here's the week 13 training update:

Week 13 target mileage: 42 miles
Week 13 actual mileage: 37.4 miles

Target cumulative miles through last week: 505 miles
Actual cumulative miles through last week: 487.1 miles
Variance: (17.9) miles

Training miles to go: 121

Just four weeks to go until race day and one more week of training before the taper begins. In anticipation of the Queens Half-Marathon on Sunday I skipped one run (let's call it a mini-taper), leaving me five miles short of the week's target mileage. Over the past two weeks I've not felt great - either mentally or physically - and have had the sense that all the miles are taking their toll. The good news is the race went well and I'm feeling better. I'm optimistic about this week's training, which includes a 22 mile run on Saturday (which will be my longest run yet).

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Queens Half Is In The Bag

Really tough conditions today - unusually warm and humid.

I'm pretty happy with my time: 1:56:47 - just under 9 minutes per mile.

Much more later.

Waiting For The Start With Jordi

Coming and Going

Just got in a cab to begin the journey out to Queens fir today's half-
marathon. It's 4:30.

While I am headed out to run 13.1 miles, last night's revelers are
just spilling out of the bars on Amsterdam Avenue.

Not Long Until The 'Hay Is In The Barn"....

Very helpful post over at Runner's Lounge yesterday: Tapering: The hay's in the barn. Only ten days remain before I begin my taper.

One of the bloggers over at Runner's Lounge (Tom, a regular participant in the Chicago Marathon) recently left a comment on a post of mine. In the comment, he says:
Thanks for leaving a comment and glad you get some benefit from Runners' Lounge.

Seems like you made the right decision to skip the workout. And glad you had a good 20+ mile run.

You'll do great at Chicago. I love running Chicago and have run it many years. I can be of any help, let me know.

Keep up the good running and posting!


Nice to have the support out there!

I Forgot To Mention....

....that I crossed the 1,000 mile mark last week. The total for the year so far is 1,044 miles.

A few years ago I set out to run a thousand miles but ramped up too quickly and hurt myself to the point I had to abandon the goal. Nice to finally reach it....and then some.

More Fun From The Daily Show

If You Have 10 Minutes....

....and you are interested in photography, check out this New York Times slideshow about photographing the recent political conventions.

I came across the slideshow on my new favorite photography blog: Vincent Laforet's appropriately titled Vincent Laforet's Blog. And yes, Laforet is the guy with the fantastic Beijing Olympics photos......

Weekly Training Update, 5 Weeks To Go

Here's the week 12 training update:

Week 12 target mileage: 45 miles
Week 12 actual mileage: 43.3 miles

Target cumulative miles through last week: 463 miles
Actual cumulative miles through last week: 449.6 miles
Variance: (13.4) miles

Training miles to go: 163

As I mentioned earlier today, last week was really tough - probably the hardest week yet. For the first time I feel like I'm getting sick of following a schedule, so thank goodness the end is in sight. This week is a fallback week and will include a half-marathon on Sunday, so that should help ease the monotony just a bit. Only two more full training weeks to go before the eagerly anticipated taper begins. I've been collecting some new running books and reading a lot about what to do in the final weeks and days before (and after) the race.

I'm also very happy that we once again have weather that at least approximates fall on the temperature and humidity front.

More Cool Weather Stuff

With so much interesting weather these days, I've been looking a lot at weather web sites. A couple of new ones to me (via Lifehacker): Stormpulse and Umbrella Today?.

Also, over at The Big Picture, there's a great picture series of hurricanes as seen from space orbit. One of my favorites is this one:

Photo via The Big Picture.

A New Record - Just Barely

After a lot of deliberation, I decided yesterday to head out for the long run I had scheduled for last weekend. First, some background: The last long run I did was my best yet - fast and comfortable on a hilly course. Since then, though, virtually everything has felt like a struggle. Running last week in the city was particularly difficult given the return of warm and steamy weather. Figuring I might be overly run-down, I debated whether it might be to my advantage to skip this long run. On the plus side it would be a good break - mentally and physically. On the minus side, I felt I'd be opening a slippery slope to skipping future workouts and that I'd be putting a ton of pressure on myself to successfully complete the long run that's due two weeks from now (a 22-miler!). I also thought that I'd be making a bad situation worse if I haven't given myself enough recovery time along the way.

In the end I decided to postpone a day - which meant missing a short workout scheduled for one of the weekend days - and set out early yesterday morning. The weather has cooled a bit and the humidity is way down. I mapped out a route in the park that gave me about a tenth of a mile more than my longest run yet (hence, the new record): three loops of the park plus an extra lower loop. Total distance: 20.865 miles. I was really pleased to have finished the distance though the time was nothing special - 10:12 per mile, with the later miles much slower than the early ones.

Mrs. Longest Run Gets Inspiration



Mrs. LR has decided to take up running. Very cool!

You Can See Target From Outer Space



If you click through to the full screen view on the map above (the approximate route for next weekend's Queens Half-Marathon) and switch to Satellite View, you can see Target (quite clearly) from outer space. Wacky.

I'll be running this race next weekend with my good friend Jordi, who is coming up to NYC with some of his family for the race and a Yankees game.

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Waiting To Get Rained On

With the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna, tomorrow's 20 mile run will be put off at least a day if not cancelled outright (which might be an ok thing as I'm feeling pretty worn out).

During hurricane season I like to geek out at the National Hurricane Center Website and particularly enjoy reading the detailed overviews written by the forecasters; here's the discussion on Hurricane Ike. Reading it makes me want to learn more about weather forecasting. The overviews are updated every 6 hours at 5 and 11.

Video From The Daily Show

I loved these segments from Jon Stewart's Daily Show on Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Denver. Laughed out loud each time I watched them. There's a lot of great lines, so listen carefully!!



Photography.....

Fascinating article in Newsweek by Vincent Laforet (some terrific NYC shots here - go to Index --> Perspectives --> Summer In The City) on shooting events from above at the Olympics.

Also....I went out on a ski boat with some neighbors a couple of days ago and got some cool waterskiing photos. You can see them on flickr at Waterskiing On Candlewood Lake.

Weekly Training Update - 6 Weeks To Go

Here's the week 11 training update:

Week 11 target mileage: 42 miles
Week 11 actual mileage: 35.8 miles

Target cumulative miles through last week: 418 miles
Actual cumulative miles through last week: 406.2 miles
Variance: (11.8) miles

Training miles to go: 208

Last week was totally brutal, especially the medium-long run on Saturday where my pace was almost 11 minutes per mile. Week 10 was so good that the struggles last week were pretty surprising. On reflection, though, I think there are a bunch of reasons the week was tough: the psychology of being on vacation, irregular eating habits (more wine, desserts, and rich food than is typical), irregular sleep habits, the strong pull of other fun activities, the boredom of running basically the same route for two straight weeks, and most significantly, coming off a 45 mile week where I averaged just over 9 minutes per mile for the entire week (fast for me).

The off-day yesterday seems to have helped as I ran 7 miles this morning and was reasonably comfortable. Another 20-mile run looms at the end of the week.....

Fantastic Delicious Amazing Pie


We've been on a blueberry picking binge, making two trips to Ellsworth Hill Orchard & Berry Farm to pick the best blueberries I've ever eaten. I've made a bunch of blueberry jam (about 30 jars) and a Slab Pie (pictured above). The recipe is from Martha Stewart and can be made with fruits other than blueberries. It's easy and it's fantastic!