A Bad Case of the “I Don’t Want To” and other topics

Update I ran my 14 mile course from the house to Columbia Terrace, to Broadway, to McClure where I picked up the Boredom course (close to mile 1), did the Boredom (10 miles of it) then back. Total time: 2:24; footing was excellent; it was seasonably cold (high 27 when I left) and somewhat windy (also seasonable). The sweat froze my stocking hat. 🙂 My pace was reasonably steady. The run was easy for the first 5-6 miles, tough from about 7-10, and not that bad toward the end.

My right leg cramped a bit (behind the knee) at times toward the end, and I got grumpy.

But oddly enough; well, I am glad that I did it. I’ve missed doing these.

Athletics: McNaughton Park Trail 50-100-150 Ok, fess up time. A year ago (14 months, really), I signed up for the McNaughton 100 miler. I figured that a year would be enough time for me to get ready.

A couple of bad performances and a reality check showed me that was wrong; I was a physical mess and unable to hold 8:30 minute miles for even a 5K!

So I decided to rebuild for all of fall 2008.

That part has worked, up to now.

But it has taken time and, where I’ve worked up to 20 running miles and 20 walking miles per week (roughly), that McNaughton race looms (second weekend of April).

Of course, I am not remotely close to being ready, though the 100 miler does feature a 12 noon start on Friday (which would give you 52 hours to finish).

I was considering that option. But to even have a shot at that, I need to get off my arse and do some “slow 20s”. But the fact is: I don’t want to.

This is what my training currently looks like:

Monday: 4000 yard swim, 3 mile walk
Tuesday: 7 mile run, 3 walk, yoga
Wednesday: 4000 yard swim, 3 mile walk
Thursday: 7 mile run, 3 walk, yoga
Friday: 4000 yard swim
Saturday: 10 mile run (95-97 minutes)
Sunday: 10 mile walk (or 5 run, 5 walk, etc)

And I’d need to boost that. But the desire to do so just isn’t there.

So, in reaction, I haven’t decided on what to do. My options are these:

1. Not do McNaughton at all but volunteer and get in some laps on my own.
2. Drop to the 50 mile and do what I did last year (30 on Saturday, 20 on Sunday)
3. Do 50 except don’t officially drop from the 100; that way I get to keep all of the cool 100 mile gear. The penalty is that I don’t get the 50 mile finisher’s trinket (as I needed another one)
4. Show up for the early start with gear, pillows and station wagon in hand; do what I can, nap/sleep, do what I can, nap/sleep, etc. and see what the total is when the course closes 52 hours later.

Anyway, what I do know is that I am going to get in some miles when I get off of this computer. 🙂


Science and Politics Here is a nice article on Stephen Chu:

WASHINGTON — Steven Chu, the new secretary of energy, said Wednesday that solving the world’s energy and environment problems would require Nobel-level breakthroughs in three areas: electric batteries, solar power and the development of new crops that can be turned into fuel. […]

He addressed topics that included global warming, renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, the use of coal and a proposed repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Dr. Chu said a “revolution” in science and technology would be required if the world is to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and curb the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases linked to global warming.

Solar technology, he said, will have to get five times better than it is today, and scientists will need to find new types of plants that require little energy to grow and that can be converted to clean and cheap alternatives to fossil fuels.

Dr. Chu, who once called coal “a nightmare” in the way it is currently used, said the United States must also lead the world in finding a way to burn the fuel cleanly, because other countries with big coal reserves, like India and China, will not turn away from coal.

But Dr. Chu said such developments were not impossible.


He said that while President Obama and Congressional Democratic leaders had endorsed a so-called cap-and-trade system to control global warming pollutants, there were alternatives that could emerge, including a tax on carbon emissions or a modified version of cap-and-trade.

Dr. Chu said reaching agreement on legislation to combat climate change would be difficult in the current recession because any scheme to regulate greenhouse gas emissions would probably cause energy prices to rise and drive manufacturing jobs to countries where energy is cheaper.

“The concern about cap-and-trade in today’s economic climate,” Dr. Chu said, “is that a lot of money might flow to developing countries in a way that might not be completely politically sellable.”

But, he said, he supports putting a price on carbon emissions to begin to address climate change.

The Energy Department is involved with efforts as varied as developing nuclear weapons and sequencing the human genome. Dr. Chu said the department’s nuclear weapons program, which the White House is considering moving to the Defense Department, should be more tightly coupled to science in critical tasks like safeguarding nuclear materials and detecting nuclear proliferation.

Personally, I think it is great that we have ultra smart, competent people in charge of areas such as these! 🙂

Political Rant

Watch a Republican get smacked down. Debbie Wasserman Schultz does the honor.

Bob Cesca: writes an amusing editorial about how the Republicans in Congress are acting. Here is a highlight:

The historical record of far-right ridiculousness has been well-documented here and throughout the blogosphere.

Who can forget Michelle Malkin’s inspired cheerleader skit? Or when Rush Limbaugh mocked a guy’s Parkinson’s Disease tremors. What about John Boehner’s public sobbing jags? Pat Robertson insisting he could leg-press 2,000 pounds. Sarah Palin’s turkey geeker photo op. George W. Bush telling us that Iraq is a “peeance freeance.” Remember when Bill O’Reilly shouted down the son of a 9/11 victim? Already, we’re talking about a mélange of weirdness and upside-down logic suitable for the ages, and that’s all prior to January 20, 2009.

But I don’t think we ever anticipated that the presidency of Barack Obama would, among other things, send the far-right into a freakazoid display of shockingly deranged conniptions and outright crazy talk — their manic hyperdrive engines, fueled by Rush Limbaugh’s gesticulating arm flab, blasting them out of their political Mos Eisley cantina scene and expelling them a thousand parsecs beyond the zero barrier of insanity.

Here is where the article really gets funny:

They’re screaming about fear-mongering, even though we had eight years of this.

Fear Mongering: Republicans today:

Republicans yesterday: surf to the link to reread President Bush’s “we risk a mushroom cloud if we don’t invade Iraq” speech.

They’re honest to God screaming about fascism, even though we had eight years of this and this and this.

Republicans about fascism:

I dunno about you, but I blame Jonah Goldberg for Friday’s exchange between dueling wingnuts Laura Ingraham and Glenn Beck — in which Ingraham came off looking really sane in comparison:

Beck: We are really, truly, stepping beyond socialism and we’re starting to look at fascism. We are putting business and government together!

Ingraham: Glenn, you’re throwing a lot of terms around, and I’m going to play devil’s advocate, because this is fair and balanced. Now, moving from socialism to communism, that’s, that’s a pretty big leap — socialism, obviously, the economic system, communism the political system. How are we right now moving toward state ownership of all, for instance, heavy industry?

Beck: Let me first of all just explain first what happened in Nazi Germany. It was National — Socialism. We’re talking now about nationalizing the banks, and socialized programs. National. Socialism.

At first in Nazi Germany, everybody was so panicked, they were so freaked. Remember — don’t take anytime to think about it, we’ve just got to do, do, do. At first all the big companies and the big capitalists in Germany said, ‘Oh thank goodness there’s a savior! OK, great! We’ll do that, yes!’ It didn’t take too long before — like here in America, now Goldman Sachs. They’ve started to see the writing on the wall and went, ‘Whoa, whoa whoa! You guys are getting out of control here. What are you guys doing?’ And they couldn’t get out of it fast enough.

Republicans not too long ago:

Moments ago in the House debate on the electoral vote, Congressman David Dreier squealed that the objection to Ohio’s electoral vote emboldens the enemy while our country is at war.

The one issue that I take with this rant is the title: I don’t think that President Obama did anything to drive these people insane; they were always that way. Remember what you are seeing, save a handful of Republican Senators, is the remnants after their big party purge. They ran off all but the wingnuttiest of the wingnuts.


February 14, 2009 - Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Democrats, economy, obama, Personal Issues, politics, politics/social, republicans, running, science, training, ultra, walking


  1. Ollie,

    My advice is to listen to yourself rather than others (Yes, I know that’s contradictory). Do what you want to do. Don’t do stuff because you think you have to do it.

    I think I’m getting old enough that I think more and more about the “end” of my athletic career. That time will come for all of us. So, I’ve decided that I’m just going to do things my way, like Andy said in his e-mail, and I’m going to have fun. I can still work very hard and have fun, but I no longer really care what others think about my training or my race results or any of that.

    My training is my free time; it’s how I choose to spend the small amount of spare time in my life. I’m going to make it as enjoyable as possible. The same is true of my races.

    Comment by Damon | February 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Damon. I guess what I was really asking was “do I have time to get minimally trained in order to finish this 100 in a “staged” fashion or was I just deluding myself.

    I have decided to try; I figure I can do something like (40 miles in 12 hours, nap 6, 40 in 12, nap 6 and still have 16 hours left to finish the final 20 (or 30) miles.

    That appears to be realistic, provided I can make myself do a few 20s and 30s between now and then.

    Comment by blueollie | February 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. I saw your responses on the lists, clarifying your question. But, I decided to focus on what I read in your subject line – “I don’t want to”. To me, your choice of that subject line said more than your clarifications did. I’ve been in the situation you’re in – a big race coming up and not enough time to be where I want to be. It’s a tough call. My snowshoe marathon in a few weeks will be like that and I’m expecting a death march. But, I see value in a death march at this point in my WS training, so I’m OK with that. It serves a valuable purpose.

    Also, in your reply above, you talk about making yourself do the requisite work for the race. If you have to make yourself do it, it implies to me that the fun is missing.

    Like I said, it’s your call, your career, your race. I still suggest doing what you want to do.

    I wrote about 4 responses to the ESOB list and ended up throwing all of them away. I’m actually working on a comment to your post and something tangentially related to Andy’s recent comments about my training methods right now.

    Comment by Damon | February 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. I suppose my situation is this:

    1. I am enjoying what I am doing now.
    2. But I want to finish McNaughton one last time (this is the last year of the race)
    3. So, if my going away from what I am enjoying gives me a realistic chance of finishing McNaughton, great! But if it is hopeless, then I don’t want to bother.

    Actually, this weekend’s training was more fun than I remembered; I really enjoyed it. But I am not kidding myself; I won’t be in the condition that I was in when I got that one (and only) sub 24.

    Comment by blueollie | February 16, 2009 | Reply

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