Saturday, September 29, 2012

Some Days They Impound Your Vehicle, Some They Don't

Arg. My car's in an impound lot in northern New Jersey. It's not registered, though I did what the California DMV told me to do, only it turns out that they don't know what they're talking about, and it's really hard to get a license (a pre-requisite for registration) in PA in a timely fashion--four forms of ID/proof of residence are required. So going low 70's on the Interstate with the flow of traffic pretty much screwed me. Luckily the only friend I've made in Swarthmore was headed to the same race I was going to, so she picked me up. We were late for our respective races, but still got to do a pretty 7.7 mile loop. Exhausting and aggravating. (I'm not talking about the running.) And I haven't even begun the real process of resolving it. Damn.

On a positive note, here's a nice essay on marathoning from the NYT. They link to a good New Yorker article from right before Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time about a dentist who went to great lengths to "run" a sub-3:00 marathon in every state. There was also a decent article about coach Alberto Salazar from a July issue, though it's gated.

"All that I am, I am because of my mind.” --Paavo Nurmi

UPDATE: It actually requires five forms of ID to get a license in PA. I highly doubt that undocumented immigrants cause enough vehicular problems to justify inconveniencing the entire population to this degree. Also, I am screwed, because to register the car in PA, I need a tracing of the VIN by a mechanic or notary. How the hell do I do that while it's impounded in NJ?

UPDATE: MFS brings it to my attention that the tracing shouldn't be that difficult--it only has to be done by a mechanic/notorized if you can't physically do the tracing. So I do still have to take the second trip to NJ, but I won't have to pay a mechanic/notary once I'm there, or maybe I could get the tow place to do it and mail it to me? Also, Pennsylvania DMVs are closed on Mondays, so I'm not getting my license right now. I guess I could go to NJ to get the tracing today, but I'm not sure I'm up for it, plus I don't have a car.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hiker Dog

George is getting ready for his first long-distance hike.

Kenya: Good times were had.

But maybe not between me and my ex-landlord.

These are a couple messages I received in the month or two before leaving, mostly based on the fact that the landlord never got rid of the POS car in the backyard, and thought he had permission to remove the water tank that was part of our system and use it as his own house, harming our supply and pressure. I had the audacity to disagree (and to be honest, was a jerk and embarrassed him in front of some workers he had hired) but even my more polite housemates thought he was off his rocker.

"In order to maintain our cordial relationship, I  suggest that we avoid physical contact. It means therefore that frome end month you please do deposit my house-rent in my account - Equity bank kkg branch ac. No  [redacted] name [redacted]. Hopefully you will never be bothered by me and see my ugly face until you go back to the US. Thanks and may God bless us. Amen."

"Honestly i am  disappointed with you Professor Garret and once again i kindly request you to mature and avoid confrontation with me a black african elder! In my ignorance, i thought Respect is supposed to be reciprocal. The way you act seems to suggest that you are no better than a flibbertigibbet! Will you please stick to our tenancy agreement and wise remembering that i am neither a nincompoop nor an idiot as your innuendos about my charecter reveal!!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Wasatch Splits

Clearly I spent to long in the aid stations. That's what barfing will do to you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The seven coolest canyons in the world, a list by a friend that I made back on my Big City Mountaineers trip in '09 or '10 or whenever it was.

Another Wasatch Photo

by Lori Burlison

Monday, September 17, 2012

Imma Do This

Or rather, I'm going to try and sign up next year.

Barkley: Charlie Engle Youtubes
Barkley: Runners World
Barkley: Dave Harper 2007 Report
Barkley: Matt Mahoney Results and Reports
Barkley: Believer Mag
Barkley: Before and After Photos

Also, I have a short break in October. What should I do with it? My thoughts are either to go to Ontario and hang out at my grandma's cabin, hike Vermont's Long Trail, or try and bag the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks. George will be coming along. Which of them will leave me the least sad and disappointed about living east of the Rockies? Suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wasatch Photos

 Mile 53:

I wasn't crying
God this feels good
I can totally stand on my own two feet

Pretend to be happy!

Alright, let's go!
The finish:
This one's for you, Ben.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Garmin Sucks

Dammit. I wore my Garmin for the first ~60 miles of the race, starting with a freshly charged battery, and it seemed to last around 16 hours before shutting itself off from running out of juice. I turned it on to recharge it today, and presto, no data from the race. Stupid POS.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Wasatch 100 (brief, more later)

I finished the Wasatch 100 yesterday in 29:48. As I've done every other time, I ran the first 50 quite strong, in around 12 hours, then bonked pretty hard, recovered when the sun came up, and finished strong. The bonking this time was caused by non-stop vomiting and dry-heaving from mile 53 to 65 or 70 or so. Seriously, I puked at miles 25 and 50, and then could not keep anything down starting at 53 and the jostling of running was making me burp and gag, so I had to walk a lot, and I spent a lot of time at aid stations lying down or trying to at least get ginger ale or soup broth in me. The mile 75 aid station was indoors at Brighton Ski Lodge, so after a lot of ginger ale and a few hash browns there, things started to get better. We ran the last 13 quite hard. I expected them all to be downhill, but the course didn't finish climbing until there were 4 or 5 miles left. With 7 left I didn't think I had it in under 30, but Paul and I really killed the last 5--I was running up on these banked switchbacks with my arms out like an airplane, probably doing 8:00 miles for part of it. Good stuff.

Huge thanks to Ashley and Paul for pacing me. I absolutely could not have done it without the both of them.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


A little early, but from 5AM mountain time on Friday to hopefully no more than 30 hours later, I'll be running the Wasatch 100 in Utah. I'll be bib number 38, and you'll be able to follow live results at

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Paul Ryan is a liar

In addition to lying about how his budget plan would balance the budget, Paul Ryan lied about how fast he runs. He said he ran a sub-3 hour marathon, and he hasn't even run a sub-4 hour marathon.

That's basically all there is to the story. The real research was done by Runner's World, but the Atlantic has a pretty thoughtful questioning of why someone would lie about something that's totally unnecessary to lie about and so easy to objectively fact check, as does the New Yorker.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Philly after 8 days

Went into Philly last night, hung out with MRB and MJ and drank good beer at a dog-friendly bar, and today went running along the river. Good stuff. Only I never liked driving into SF from Berkeley because I didn't know my way around, and I feel the same way about Philly. (Should I have moved to Philly instead of Swat and commuted? I hate commuting, but living in the suburbs maybe isn't so great either.)

I managed to offload my concert tickets for today, but I'm going in on Sunday so I can see Pearl Jam and Run DMC.

I'm rolling my IT band for the first time ever, and I'm finding it extremely painful. I mean, holy crap that thing hurts. But I'm told it gets better (after how long?), and hopefully it will make some lingering knee pain go away. I managed to find two friends to pace me for Wasatch, so I'm all set. Thanks PC and AL!

Swarthmore the school is turning out to be awesome. Swarthmore the place to live is turning out to be humid, small, without a place to buy alcohol, and perhaps slightly less awesome. We'll see.