Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas...

I don't want to come off sounding like scrooge but is it just me or is anyone else fed up with the insanity that seems to grip the nation from November until early January? Houses with more lights on them then a Las Vegas casino, D list stars on TV touting the latest food, gadget or Christmas must haves. Parents are hassled into spending huge sums of money on presents for their kids that usually only last a week at most until a third are are broke, a third will never be used again, and a third will be used to beat there siblings into submission... It all seems very far removed from the idea of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
I’m not a getting on my high horse here and I’m not an overly religious person, but it seems like the whole thing has been stolen, repackaged and sold back to us as a festival of eating, dinking and spending too much. Aren’t we forgetting the original Christmas message?
I work with a Muslim and he say's he decorates the house with a tree and tinsel and buys presents for their kids at Christmas just so they are not left out. It is no longer a religious festival; it is an orgy of consumerism and over indulgence.
I’m not against having a good time and enjoying the festive season but Christmas to me has become an ugly selfish time of year. We are bombarded with advertising to spend, spend, and spend some more. Look around at the money that gets spent each year on presents and decorations and food. The retail economy relies on Christmas each year and when you have spent your fill and they have made a tidy profit, they try to sell you whatever is left slightly cheaper in the January sales.
We are forever harping on about falling standards in Children’s behavior and attitudes, but is it any wonder when the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ our lord has been turned into this obscene corporate, celebrity endorsed spend fest - I shall from this day forward refer to it as “Cashmas”. Well, not really but you get my point...

Personally I think that the whole commercial thing has gone way too far. Christmas used to be a time spent with family and friends. We’d of course exchange a few gifts but we would have put some thought into it and it was about giving someone something that you thought they would appreciate. These days Christmas is nothing more than a massive shopping exercise where stressed out shoppers tear up and down the high street laden with carrier bags full of pre-packaged and impersonal gift sets. The shelves of the high street retailers are packed with boxes of identical bath sets and useless overpriced gadgets.
It’s a kind of weird two-sided feeding frenzy with the high street shops on one side keen to unload all this junk and make as much profit as possible. On the other side we have hoards of manic shoppers eager to spend whatever is left in their bank account or credit card.

Just a thought…

Why not for a change instead of splashing out at Wal-Mart and Target and the like; go into your local Salvation Army branch or Help the Aged charity shops and pick up a few gifts there instead? Spread the word to your friends and make this year a charitable Christmas! Instead of lining the pockets of some fat cat or inflating the share prices of some big brand name you will be spreading a bit of Christmas cheer to someone who really needs it. After all, that is what this is about isn’t it? That's why I can say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays...

To all my blogging friends out there, have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There's not much to blog about these days. I'm sure you don't want to hear me whine about how cold or windy or rainy or snowy it is. There are many more places that are three times as bad so I'm not going to complain one bit about getting my lazy arse out the door to run. Speaking of running, all is going well and I actually feel like I have a bit of a spring in my step even though I haven't done any speedwork for awhile now. 7:10 miles are feeling quite easy nowadays at around a HR of 145-149 although most of my runs are done quite slower than that, normally around 7:20-7:40.

A shout out to my good bud Mike Henry who had a top 13 finish at the Tecumseh Trail Marathon. He could have easily ran a 3:0X something on a road course.

This weekend is the H.U.F.F. 50k trail race. One of these years I may do the whole 50k (It's really closer to 32.2 miles verified several times over, the first loop is 10.6 then 2 x 10.8) but for now I'm just a fan and/or spectator and/or 1 loop fun runner. I'm a total wimp when it comes to trail running especially when the weather is crappy. I can run trails when the ground is packed and groomed no problem, but my glass ankles don't like running on unpredictable terrain. I have run this course many, many, many times and have a PB for the 10.6 mile loop of 1:06, of course that was back when I was actually running fast. One of these years I need to convince Lucho to come out here to obliterate the course record (Mark Godale - 3:26). The course is practically flat compared to what he runs on every day. We've had a few "superstars" show up, Brandon Sybrowsky, Courtney Campbell, Mark Godale just to name a few... I didn't recognize any "big" names on the confirmed entrants list so I couldn't even make a guess on the top 5.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another solid week of easy running. I was still able to get outside and run 4 days out of the 7 but the temps are dropping and the weather is getting nasty,(suck it up princess!!) I'm still undecided on which marathon to run this spring/summer. These aren't "major" marathons and more than likely won't sell out anytime soon so I have some time to make that decision. I think I'm going to rule out Cleveland just because the other two are much more convenient as far as logistics go. So either 5/2 at Cincinnati... ...which could screw up my chances at running fast at the Indy Mini the following weekend, or 6/5 at Sunburst in South Bend...
...which is the last place I ran a sub 3 marathon back in 2001, and also gives me an extra 4 weeks to train (which may or may not be a good thing.) As of today, I have ~19 weeks to Cincinnati and 24 to Sunburst.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I figure it's about time for an update. Running is going fantastic... All efforts are easy at best, keeping HR on the low side(125 - 145), way below MAF. There were a couple of time over the last week were I threw in some strides just to let the legs feel fast, if only for 10-20 seconds. Even though the weather is getting much colder, I've still only been on the t'mill one time so far. The plan through the winter is to gradually build my base from 50 miles per week to 75-80 by the middle of February then begin marathon specific training for a late May or Early June race. I'll need to sit down here soon and jot down some running goals for the upcoming year to keep the fire going. This year I wasn't very successful in any of my goals coming to fruition. The one highlight of the year would be my overall win running a 17:36 5k on a slightly long course. As always, I'll most likely run the Fanny Freezer 5k in February as the first race of the new year. Tenatively, the rest of the year will be as follows:

Nutra Run 20k - Mid March
Indy Mini Half Marathon - May 8th

Marathon In here somewhere...

Firecracker 4m - July 3rd
Runners On Parade 5k - July 10th
Harlan Days 10k - August 7th
Parlor City Trot 10m - September 4th
Fort-4-Fitness Half Marathon - September 25th

I'd also like to jump in a race or two that I've never done to mix it up a bit.