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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bring Your "A" Game. but Prepare With Your "B" Game

Hey all -- keepin' it short for the Oscars tonight.  However, I'd like to share a little running wisdom.

Several of the talented runners I've known throughout the years had grown beyond the limitation of only training for and running one marathon per year, and developed the technique known as running an "A" marathon and a "B" marathon.  This means that, in light of what training requires, the "B" marathon would come first, during which less effort would be put forth, and then the "A" marathon, at which time they'd be gunning for PR's.

Today, I found myself doing the "B"-side of my own personal singles.  An upstart organization known as NYC RUNS, which seems to be somewhat competing with NYRR to organize the best road races in NYC and beyond.  As luck would have it, they planned a marathon in Central Park in February.  Having been one of those runners displaced in November, I figure, what the heck, maybe this could be the next best thing.

Still, my sights were already set on running the Buffalo Marathon during Memorial Day weekend.  So what else could I do but treat this new marathon a kind of training run.

Most training programs will have one final long run of 22 or 23 miles before the tapering begins, with the rational that if you can do that, 26 should be no problem.  That may be true, but I think it's far better to actually go the distance at some point in your training so you can take stock of your strengths and weaknesses.  Maybe go out a little slower, maybe hydrate a little more, maybe wait a little longer before taking the GU, etc.  All of these issues can be explored in much greater detail with an additional 26.2 on an actual race course!

So for all marathoners who don't already do this, I encourage finding a race to bring your "B" game to -- as it can only make your "A" game that much more "A"!  Or better yet, you may be pleasantly surprised that your "B" game is better than you expected, and only a little tweaking is needed for the "A"!

That's all -- let's see if DDL wins for "Lincoln!"

Monday, February 18, 2013

Neighbors and Friends!

Near and Far

Hey All.

No, that was not an allusion to Celine Dion's song from "Titanic."  It describes where some of my best friends are.

Someone I know from down south recently gave a "shout out" to Facebook because it's allowed so many people to reconnect after years, or even decades, apart.  I join in that shout-out, as it's worked wonders for me as well.  Just in the last year or so:

(A) A friend from way up north discovered the joys of running (as did the rest of this friend's family).  Since then, we've given each other non-stop encouragement, and it's only made us faster and stronger!  :)

(B) A friend from down south took to blogging for self-expression, and for strength through difficult times.  Being able to sympathize, we traded stories.  :(  :)

(C) Several friends from out east:

    (1)  Continued to welcome me as part of the family;  :)
    (2)  Reminded me that they really are my family; and   :)
    (3)  Always seem to have a poker game going; and  :)
    (4)  Apparently share the same goal of self-improvement, and shared that goal !  (Competitors?  Not exactly . . . .)   :D

(D)  A friend out west always gives me a laugh and some good words, time permitting; and  :)

(E)  A friend right here in town resurfaced after much time, and not a moment too soon.  :)

(DISCLAIMER -- THE ABOVE LIST IS NOT ALL-ENCOMPASSING, AND ONLY INCLUDES A FEW EXAMPLES -- pleeeeeeeease, peeps, don't feel slighted if you're not mentioned up here -- sheesh!)

And I owe it all to the phenomenon of social networking.  Since I'm far less outgoing than I appear, I can honestly say that I've had some of the deepest, tightest, and most fulfilling friendships out here in the FB/Twitterverse/blogosphere!

(ummm, Dave . . . not the best choice of words - ya knowwwwwww?)

Yeah, prolly not, LOL!

But I still mean it.  We can't all light up a room in real life, as some of us are just naturally quiet and reticent.  Not everybody just naturally makes friends with everyone they see.  I, for one, give thanks for this 21st Century innovation, as it's allowed many of us to come out of our shells and be ourselves without getting pushed to the side or playing second fiddle.  Even in spite of the backlash types, who question social networking's very existence, because "they" never needed it, I see it only as an absolute good.

And so it should be with "all you lot out 'dere."  This blog has attracted a broader audience since its inception, but all the guys out there who are afraid to assert themselves, afraid to succeed, and trapped into playing a role that someone else cast them in, I haven't forgotten you.


Night all!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tougher To Be Barry.

Hey peeps, just one more for Sunday night.

Since I made myself crack up so much doing my Johnny Cash/Barry White voices, I thought I'd kind of add a riff on this topic.

Yes, I did mention that I expect to spend this Valentine's Day like Johnny Cash, and not like Barry White -- but what if I wanted a transfer?  An upgrade?  A change of plans?  Hmmmm . . . .

It seems to be a lot easier to handle it like Johnny.  Gloom and doom, cursing the earth, raging at the gods and mourning over one's lot in life is sinfully easy.  It requires no effort, and very little thought.  For all intents and purposes, it's based on reacting, and not acting.  It may have sold Cash some records, but it's an unpleasant and monotonous way to live.

But to handle it like Barry?  That takes guts.  Courage.  Gojones.

Anybody can bemoan lost love, but not everybody can go out and pluck new love right off the tree.  Anyone  can complain about what they don't have, but very few of us can go out and get what we don't have, so we have it.  Anyone can scowl, sneer, and sing the blues -- but it takes a damn good man to smile, shimmy, shake, and show off the "moves like Jagger" to look remotely inviting and attractive.  You don

So to all my Men In Black out there (no not Wil Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, that's different), see if you can make parole out of your own personal San Quentins, stop hiding them funny cigarettes in your guitar, and start gettin' your disco groooooove on, fo' sho'.

Me personally?  Anything can happen, but yours truly is actually getting optimistic about "love in the air."  I won't be crushed or defeated if I don't find it, but sometimes the L-D can send you something special from above.  Just wait for it, and rolllllll with it, behbeh.


This post is dedicated to the memory of Johnny Cash and Barry White, and to the continued efforts of all my buds out there to find that sweet, special, sensuous honey.  

Peace . . . .

Saturday, February 9, 2013

V-Day with Johnny Cash and Barry White!

Black Thursday?

Hi All.

Missed ya last week, due to the Super Bowl.  And as great as that game was, I still owe you a Double Portion.  So here goes.  :)

This coming Thursday is a very confusing day.  It apparently originated as a saint's day in the Catholic Church, but it has now become an annual boon to the greeting card industry, the florist industry, and sometimes the jewelry industry.  It may have an underlying theme of celebrating the passion and the beauty of romantic love, but others have made into yet another obligatory gift-giving holiday, even for those who are not significant others -- not to say they're insignificant, of course, but they're not as significant as spouses or partners, if that makes any sense.

When I was younger, all the single people I knew would jokingly label Valentine's Day as "Black [insert day of week that February 14th fell on here].  Well, since I happen to be in that category this year, looks like I'll be reviving that old tradition.

I will most likely be wearing all black to work, even to Court appearances.  If anyone asks, I'll smile and do my best Johnny Cash concert introduction for them.  I may even do a parody of Folsom Prison Blues specifically for unattached gentlemen such as myself.  I can still have some fun with it, after all, even if it is Black Thursday.

However, a very good friend of mine recently cautioned me that I might be taking the occasion a bit too far.  Holidays like this sometimes deceive us into believing that the grass is somehow greener in someone else's front yard.  Well, my friend is certainly right -- just because other people may have a more traditional reason to celebrate Valentine's Day, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're winning something over those that don't have that reason to celebrate.  It also doesn't necessarily mean that they're so much happier than those that aren't celebrating either.  And more importantly, there's nothing that says next year won't be different.

As is often the case, my good friend is very wise.  This year, I may be marking February 14th as Johnny Cash, but next year I may be marking it as Barry White.  And for those of you who have heard my impressions of both fallen stars, you'll see that they're actually quite similar -- who knew?  Still, it'd be interesting to spend one year as a Man in Black, and another year as a guru of loooooooove, behbeh.  Oh yeah.

So for those of you celebrating Valentine's Day in the traditional manner, I wish you what the late Heavy D referred to as, "nothin' but love."  And for those of us who won't be, let's just remember that our time will come.  Maybe not on that date specifically, but usually when we've got our mind on other things and just acting naturally, it'll just happen.  And that's a proven fact that any deceased singer can attest to!

Have a nice weekend, all!