Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘running’

ING NYC Marathon

Image

Twelve more days until the NYC Marathon. And in celebration I am going to post daily quotes from the 1977 “Complete Book of Running by James E. Fixx. The first book I owned as a Junior High School beginning miler. Reading it today is a refreshing and simple look back into the uncomplicated days of running.

“Of course runners feel better; become thinner; probably live longer; have a better sex life, and drink and smoke less than their sedentary companions, but they are also likely to acquire a “high” from running, increased their self-esteem, be better able to cope with pressure and tension, feel surges of joy, discover that apparently insoluble problems dissolve, and even achieve, however temporary, a state of serenity that carries over into their daily lives.”

Thank you Jim Fixx.

Read Full Post »

When I am not actively running, I think about running. The toughest part about being in my NM hideaway is all the chores I have, like table making, fence building and weed pulling, not to mention my pretty extreme isolation. So to remedy almost all of things I bring you my first Desert Functional Fitness  video:

Read Full Post »

Before I left New York for Michigan I picked two books to take with me, Deep Survial by Laurence Gonzales and Running the Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano. Being here for a few days now I have to laugh at the perfect combination of my choice.

It is not exactly deep survival driving 814 miles with dogs to spend a few charged holidays with the family, but the trip  requires some risk management.  Deep Survival is far more extreme,  it looks at who lives, who dies and why,  in various outdoor adrenalin induced adventures. For anyone who loves to read about the wilderness, adventure and life altering decisions it is a fascinating read.

Next I am into the first 100 pages of Running the Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano who were University of Colorado running teammates. You may have read reviews that it is unlike any other running book and it is. It is self-help, motivation, spiritual guidance, deep reflection all rolled into one. But what stands out is the runners common thread to reject the idea of living a normal or average life. It  talks about one’s biggest fear being wasted potential. Wow this book is for me, especially right now in my cross roads of mid-life but always wanting more.

I have always had the philosophy, the fear, and the determination to not have regrets on my deathbed. Growing up, my father  talked about how much he hated his job. We would get in discussions of,  “Why do something that you hate so much?”  I vowed then to never be in that position, that I would never do something that would make me profoundly unhappy. He said he did it,  “because of you kids”  to support us and send us to college. I must be really selfish because there is no way I would “waste” my life doing something that I hated, maybe that is why I also vowed to never have kids.  I am not sure why he hated his job but what was tough to see is how it affected his entire life.   I learned some big lessons from those talks, mostly I never want to feel like I perceived  he felt.

For me not having a family of my own is my best choice, I can do what I want and I have. I traveled all over the world, almost all of it paid for by an arts organization, the government, or another country’s cultural department. I have lived  in mountain huts, beach shacks, super deluxe houses, monster apartments and single rooms.  I gave talks and had exhibitions worldwide. I am a tenured professor and I am the chairman of a university department.  I have a second home in another state that I get to go to in the summer. I am making the best choices for me, for who I am. That looks great on the checklist of accomplishments but it is no big deal to anyone who has some passion and a little persistence. It is time for something more.  Enters “Running the Edge.”

Running the Edge is about more, better, and never settling, in ones’ running, education, career, friendships, family, and passion. Running, that is easy to never settle to always chase a new PR. Education that is easy too I love to learn and constantly take new classes.  Career is not so clear. I am an artist, I am  a professor. I am not totally keen on where I teach and I want to make it a better and more competitive department with stronger students and better studios. Or is it that I want to move to a place with stronger students and better studios?  Or maybe I want to leave all together and do something new and different or take the risk of only making art? Or maybe as a money job, I don’t “work” in art anymore and I work in physiology, exercise testing? Then at the end of the day I can go to my studio and make art without having to dump the frustration of teaching art to people I believe are less motivated than they should be? Not making the decisions is passive and I find myself passively waiting for a new opportunity to come through the email to point me in a new direction. Wow that is hard to admit, if I had a friend doing that I would scold them up and down to get their ass out there and make a change and tell them how pathetic they are for not being pro-active. Hilary, you are pathetic, get your ass out there and make a decision to change what you feel is not the very best.

Now I feel better.  I am eager to continue reading Running the Edge. I love the stories that are recounted by  Goucher and Catalano, they make perfect sense to me, the risk and the reward.   What a great end of year reading to move into the better, faster, stronger, smarter me next year. Just the planning of it gets me excited.

So this year in talking with my dad who retired over 10 years ago but immediately went right back to work as a part-timer at the very same job he hated tells me, “Sure I still get mad at my job and I work more hours that I should, but it gives me something to do, some place to go, it keeps me active and thinking and engaging with people.” I will still wonder why that place is not what I would think of as more appealing but maybe it is what is appealing to him, plus it is not my life, it is his.   Now the job is on his terms and he is calling the shots. That is where we all need to be, calling our own shots, making everything what we want it to be and doing what we want to do.

Happy New Year to all the Distance Mavens and here is enjoying a relentless pursuit of excellence in everything.

Read Full Post »

Awesome New Mexico Stone Casita for Rent

Lost baby calf on my front steps

Want to wake up to this? A baby calf found it’s way to my Abiquiu, NM house. My friends and current tenants Laura and Hondo took this photo from the front window.

This post nothing to do with running or art unless I tell you how awesome it is to train at 6200 ft.  and you could do that for the next six months from my house in NM. You would get so strong, then on the weekends you could snowshoe up to 13,161 ft for the added aerobic bonus.

I am posting because my rural stone house will be available from Dec. 1 to May 20 (approx). Here is the ad in Craiglists. Only $500 a month, now that is a super deal.

Abiquiu Stone House

Read Full Post »

If you think I am sitting at outdoor cafes along the Canal Grande seeping wine or drinking espresso you are dearly mistaken. In the last 6 nights I have not eaten at a restaurant, only once had espresso, and have only had one glass of wine at a cake party last night.

You must think I am crazy to not partake in all kinds of extravagance in Italy, but Venice does not seem extravagant in behavior, in art and history yes.
Last night the party, made by Tuey, one of the Guggenheim interns who works at the American Pavilion, started at 6:30pm near a church. The entire square was completely empty. Tuey made a cake, named “Patrick” and we all sang Happy Birthday. The party was very well represented with friends from Norway, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Australia, Japan, the US and my personal favorite Canada. I am sure I am leaving someone out.  At 9:00pm we went to a bar to listen to a band. The bar was filled with the young fun people of Venice. Because I live in Lido, kind of like Brooklyn to Manhattan, I went home at 11:00. (Or maybe because I am old and I hate being tired in the morning) The boat I came on had stopped running so I had to walk to the other side of Venice. There was no one on the streets as I navigated the narrow passageways. I got to the vaporetto and waited 17 minutes to get my boat to Lido, another 15-20 minute ride. I realized today that it already seems normal to take a boat to work. I had not even noticed that there are no cars or bikes in Venice, but clearly one sees the canals filled with boats moving people, fruit, furniture, everything that the island needs.

On a typical day I am up at 7:30 and out the door at 8:30 to be walk around to see anything that is open. Today I saw an amazing video exhibition by Lech Majewski called the Bruegel suite at Chiesa di San Lio, the Church of San Lio. The video used paintings of Bruegel with real like actors in period dress performing events up to and including Christ’s crucifixion. Just thinking about Bruegel and crucifixion you can you imagine how intense this is. And being shown in a church in an alter piece format it is pretty hard to top.

I also visited the first market, the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frai, one of the largest churches in Venice, completed in 1440. It has a treasure trove of art from Titian including his tomb, Bellini and Donatello. Next door is the Scoula Grande di San Rocco completely decorated by Tintoretto who spent 23 years filling the interior with depictions of the saint and his heavenly consorts. This is the most spectacular thing I have seen.

Lech Majewski

San Roco

The other excitement, a man asked me for my autograph today. It told him I am not the artist and he said, “I know but YOU are the runner on the tank.” Yes, I really like giving my autograph.

Read Full Post »

Adirondack Nancy

Marathon Euphoria!

Yesterday was a real treat. I rode the 6:45am Amtrak  to D.C. to surprise my friend Nancy who was running the Marine Corp Marathon for the second time.

You may recall me telling you about Nancy last year. The short version is, Nancy is a serious hiker, a real outdoors adventurer but she had never run. She has friends, me being one of them, who always talk about running. So she decided she wanted to know what running a marathon is all about. This is one trait I  love about Nancy – her fearless curiosity.   She found an on-line program and told no one, not even her husband. She trained in total secrecy, made her hotel plans, and then only told her husband a little more than a month before the marathon. She emailed me on her way home from D.C. telling me of her great success and all the fun she had.  In our first conversation after the marathon she was already saying, “next year.”

So this year I made a secret plan to cheer Nancy. We had been emailing quite a bit. She started doing track workouts in Lake Placid, about a 40 mile drive  from her home. She gave up hiking to run more miles. Her tallies  are hugely impressive:30 weeks training, 169 miles of hiking, 15 high peaks, 610 miles of running. Nancy sent me an email one week before the marathon telling me she was going on “a little backpack” How can any backpack, especially in the ‘Adirondacks be little?

Because no one knew I would be in D.C.,  I had to make a good plan to see her. I looked at her time last year, 5:24  and estimated a faster run 5:00. I made three hand painted signs. Once in D.C. I ran directly to mile 16, and waited. It only took about 15 minutes and there was Nancy. She saw my sign “Nancy Morrill is a Star” and shrieked with joy, we had a very quick hug and I yelled to her, “go, go.” I crossed the mall and caught the above photo of her at mile 19. She was simply jubilant and just motoring along.

We had one more brief greeting before I jumped on the Metro to the finish. I ran down to mile 26, my phone dying so I could not  track her but she kept tight to her pace. The road was packed with people, and like clockwork, there she was. I was screaming to her, trying to send energy because there is a seriously steep uphill at the end. It goes straight up and is rather cruel.

I did not know if I would see her again but I thought it would be really nice to actually talk. I had no idea where she was staying or what exit she would leave the athlete village, so I just picked the most crowded exit and sat myself there. I figured I would wait 30 minutes and see if she comes by. If not, I would go to Chinatown and get a hopefully non exploding bus back to NYC. Thirty minutes passed and there were a lot of people so I gave it a few more minutes and guess what? Nancy came walking down the road. Holy Cow! What an exciting moment. I was so thrilled to see her, to congratulate her, and give her a big hug. I had not seen Nancy in 2 years. The day could not have been more perfect.

Nancy’s marathon was  magnificent! She ran 32 minutes faster this year, a 4:52 and was 20th out of 90 in the 60-64 age group, that’s 65.7% AG. I do not know anyone who has taken over 30 minutes off their time in just one year. She was just amazing.

So will next year be a Boston Marathon Qualifier, is only another 7  minutes? No, next year is all hiking, her number one passion. Rumor has is it, her plans include some big mountain in Nepal.

more photos will hopefully follow

Read Full Post »

Williamsburg Hipster

In woke up this morning at 5am, after being at a dinner party until midnight, wondering why I god’s earth did I think it would be fun to sprint back and forth over the Williamsburg Bridge at the crack of dawn. I text my always ready for an adventure  32 year old running buddy, “David, doesn’t sleeping in sound good?” I immediately get the reply, “race, then go back to bed.” darn

The first annual Bolt the Billyburg, is a 2.75 race beginning in Brooklyn at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge, run up, over and down, then back up over and down. But it starts in Brooklyn so I ran over the bridge to get there, a nice warm up. The race was super well organized by Mikal Cook, Rouge Runners Production. It was Mikal’s first time organizing a race and he did an awesome job. He has to be a runner to do this so well, though I know nothing about him. It was a small very friendly group, everything was like clock-work. Afterward we went to PIPS- Art and Table Tennis Space and  received cool t-shirts, the winner and slowest guy got a hoodie and there was PBR and water.  At 8:00am I would sleep the rest of the day if I drank  beer  so I stayed with water.

I am confident that I was the oldest runner. After all, Billyburg is the home of the young hipster set. But don’t let my grey hair fool you, I can kick the ass of many under 35 year old dudes, and I did. Yea, grandma got respect at the end, boys coming up saying how I blew by them, a PT telling me what good form I had as I came down the final 200 meters at 5:30 pace. That is not a fast pace if your only running 200 meters  but after running 2.75 miles up from 0 elevation to 400 twice, back to 0 then 400 again, I was moving. Here is how it looked:

Bolted the Billy

We started in two waves and I went in the second. I spotted who my competition would be. David tells me I could win the women’s race, my main concern: Do not get beat by the pink skort. I let pink skort go in the first wave and I would chase her down, and I did. But thinking our waves were 1 minute apartment, I was wrong, I did not push quite as hard as I should have. Pink skort beat me by 6 seconds! Crap.  Oh but it was a fun. The race was two hours ago and my lungs are still burning.  For almost 3/4th mile  you climb, then the fast downhill, and another almost mile climb. David came in second and I came in second. The winning guy ran 16:??, David ran 18:?? I ran 20:43, averaging a 7:30 pace overall, the last guy coming in around 24:00.

At the beer and cheer  I met a girl from my hood who I made a running date with, then David and I tucked our butts back in and walked briskly back over the bridge to Manhattan.

Lastly, today is October 15th. I have just one more run to do today and I will have completed 50 runs in 50 days!! Woo Hoo

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 996 other followers

%d bloggers like this: