3 Eastern Runners

I really cannot get a handle on my blog theme issues.  HA!  Back to the ocean!

I have started Week 4 of TNT training, and it has been very slow, base building.  It’s given me a lot of time to research hydration, pace, form, etc.  We’ve done intervals, and have not missed a day.

Bear with me when I say I have been WAY behind on my blogging.  I really LOVE Twitter.  I have a Governor story (still in the works), an LA Marathon story, and have been following great sites in a much quicker way than blogging.

However, something stopped me short today.  I got another donation to my TNT training/LLS this morning, and it was to a blogger who I’ve tried to follow in bloglines, but doesn’t show up on my RSS feed.  He survived prostate cancer, and ran Boston for the 10th time this year (WITH a diagnosis).  He also donated to my LLS fundraising effort, which was how I found him.

As I was eating dinner, I realized how many cool bloggers I follow… and I use the term *blogcrush* because I enjoy how people write…and how their love of their sport comes through.  I’m done with sarcasm, unless it’s about me, written by me.  I’m not reading many blogs that offend other people. 

I’ve been reading these three bloggers for a while (Love2Run when I get a feed).  I have no idea how I stumbled upon them, but I think Andrew (DowneastRunning) was first, then I started venturing around and found Eric (sonriserunning).  I absolutely have nothing in common with them.  They are real runners, I’m a 50 year old starting in the sport.  With as much as they run, you’d think their faces would look like shoe leather, but hey…that’s only if they lived in the California sun.  They live in Maine or Canada or someplace in the upper side of the country.  They take videos in their run in the snow.  The snow!

  • Love2RunCanada If I get a cancer diagnosis, God forbid, I will be milking it for all I can.  This guy ran Boston this year…for the 10th time.  A true hero.  I am completely blown away by this.  And, he has the coolest scar.
  • DowneastRunning His kids listen to the radio.  And read.  Really.  I started following  him last year when he was training for the PEI Marathon.  And I thought.  Marathon.  Huh.  What’s that?  I was soon to catch the bug
  • SonriseRunning What is it about this guy I like? That he’s a single parent, like me?  No.  There’s tons of those.  The title of his blog tells me a Christian but he doesn’t shove it down your throat.  Cool.  I think it’s his tenacity.  Short, quick posts about very long runs.

My reader is 56 blog posts full.  I read all of you.  I do.  I so appreciate race reports, and when you read mine.  I’m going right there, right now.  Let me just go Twitter a bit.  🙂

PS-on the up swing of the roller coaster…i hope.  it was a good news day



Let me tell you a little story about Quantum Link, and 1988.  There was something “new” out.  It was a disk, and you could put it into your computer, and it would make that wonky internet sound, and you would automatically be connected to people all over the country.  I went to some of the first AA meetings online, and it was like a kid in a candy shop.  You could sit at your computer and be automatically connected to someone.


I met someone who lived in New York.  Eventually, we talked online.  He was in a band, an old band.  I, of course, did not believe him…so, I sauntered on down to the corner “Used Records” store, and I looked it up.  There he was, in his 70’s ensemble.  I think his name was “Sproket” or “Stellar” or something.  We all had made up names back then.  There were no “real” names used.  I finally met some of the AA people in person…and I really understood that who you are online is sometimes WORLDS apart from how I perceive you in person.


Fast forward to today, 20+ years later.  The internet has taken these random connections and has sped up relationships.  I have a few friends who have met their spouses online.  Every summer, 6 of us get together…we met on the Weight Watcher’s Message boards in 2003.  We have our own blog, and we all check in daily.  It’s taken us a lot of time to trust, and tell the truth, but these are secure relationships.

Last season, I blogged on the Dodgers’ Blue Notes live blog.  My boss blogged during the games.  It would be very easy for him to find Ms. V on many websites, because that’s normally how I post.  This is the reason that you will never find me bashing him on my blog.  He may read it.  He may not.  But, I need to know that whatever I write is saved in cyberspace forever…and if I blog on my site at school, then I know that the Superintendent can read it also.  I know this, because it’s happened to others.  My only saving grace is that on my evaluations, my boss commended me for blogging with other teachers, and for teaching kids how to make their own blogs and do the same.

I am, however, a really crappy internet communicator.  Time and time again, I have pissed people off.  One group completely split up because of something one of us said, then we all chimed in, and by the time women from California to New Hampshire, and all in between had given their opinions, a group of 13 was chopped into two.  It wasn’t in real time:  it happened over a period of days.  It’s just the way we operate now.

I come across poorly on message boards.   I really have a way of saying something inflamatory, and then little by little people speak their opinions, and by the end of it, I feel ridiculous…because perhaps I typed something quick as I go out the door, or I’m feeling crappy, or I say something insensitive…and by the time you sit down to your computer to read it, it is something completely different, or you’re in a funky mood.  By that time, maybe I feel differently.  Maybe I forgot.  But I always, always feel bad if I say something random and it didn’t come across the way I intended it.

I don’t BCC anymore.  I forward.  You can BCC something, and if that person doesn’t know you’re BCCing, they can reply “all”, and suddenly you are in trouble.  That has not happened to me personally, but I have been on the receiving end of someone gossiping about me, and I accidentally got the email.  Relationships have ended.

Someone recently asked runners to send in questions to be answered in a column or something.  I asked a question…not realizing it would be on a podcast…and not really caring…until I was alerted that it WAS on there, and the folks were making fun of it.  It’s okay.  Apologies all around, and yet the snark continued about kittens and rainbows, and a conversation that you might have with your buddy about “that asshole”, suddenly becomes public.  People were blocked, Relationships were ended. 

When I speak of relationships, I’m not talking about flesh and blood…unless of course, you take next step to take the time to share pictures, make phone calls, plan a face to face meeting…  The relationships are all online, but they are relationships nonetheless.  A place where I could anonymously post a thought, becomes a target or a joke.  That’s the thing I don’t get:  I can say whatever I want…I just need to remember that I have to be open to however people respond.

I recently ran the River City Half Marathon.  Because of Athlinks, I knew of another runner who was running it.  I greatly admire him.  I saw him at the race.  Pre-race, I see him, and I go up to him, and shake his hand, and tell him I read his blog.  He looks shocked.  He says, “Um, this is my wife.”  I say hello, and good luck, and read his race report with pleasure, because I was there too.  The girls I am running with laugh and laugh, because we imagine he thinks I’ve been stalking him.  I haven’t.  I just read the blog.

Twitter is my new fascination.  I love that I can automatic updates on the things I follow:  The Dodgers, Pete Carroll and the NFL Draft, The Modesto Bee, etc.  I learned of the TNT training from right here online.  I like the relative anonymity as I follow Eddie Izzard, Lance Armstrong, John Mayer.  However, if, on your blog, you have a widget that says, “Follow Me on Twitter”, you are essentially letting the internet community know that you are tweeting, and that your 140 characters are out there for everyone to see, and that you are essentially INVITING people to connect.

Somehow due to a tweet connection, perhaps you can share too much information, or suddenly, you are more connected with someone than you want to be.  This happened to me when I went on Facebook.  It was too much.  The person I left in third grade, I really WANT to leave in third grade.  Facebook didn’t work for me, because it was way too intimate. 

I think this is always interesting.  I have a blog that some people in my small hometown read.  I am always aware of this when I write.  Perhaps someone will send a piece of it to an ex-relative, or to a friend of a friend, and by the time it gets to Michigan, 5 people have commented on it. My ex husband will have information that has been filtered to him by other people.  And, I’m aware of this when I write.

Am I that important?  No.  No I’m not.  But the perception you may have of me or my internet skills would be taken only from what I type, edit and re-edit on my blog.  I’m not an internet stalker (what is that?), but when you go on my blog, and my sitereader says someone from Ames, Iowa was on it for 8 minutes, then I wonder…where is Ames, Iowa…and I may go to Google, and look at your town, the makeup, etc.  If you are getting the link from Iowa State University, it will tell me that either a student, teacher or staff member was reading my blog…and it’s all very curious to me.  The funny thing is, I always am reading someone’s blog as I go to lunch, and while you think I’ve been perusing for 38 minutes, I actually just forgot to click the big red X…so site counters don’t always tell the picture either.

I love the internet.  Everyone who knows me, knows that I am CONNECTED (capitals intended).  But, it’s not who I am.  Not completely.  It’s who I am as a writer, my inner thoughts disseminated, chewed up and spit out for your consumption.  Or not. 

I don’t write this blog to be connected; it’s a byproduct of writing.  I have learned so much from people who blog….particularly teachers and runners.  I would not be running today were it not for the kind advice and help from the runners who blog.  However, I never confuse my blogging with my flesh and blood folks. 

It’s not 1988, after all.



Nourishment for the Spirit.*

***Thank you BILLY for this YOUTUBE reminder!!!***


Words are food. 

They feed the spirits of the despairing and downhearted. 

They create happiness. 

They generate love.  They alter the nature of reality.

Therefore, be generous with your words. 

Tell the people you love,

and even the people who are strangers within your gates,

 the wonderful things you feel about them,

because when it comes to nourishing words,

the world is full of souls that are starving.

Thank you for your kind words on my race report yesterday.

*From 365 Days of Love, by Daphne Rose Kingma


Props to Bloggers: TIART

For Runner’s Lounge TIART, something I don’t usually participate in…just read everyone else’s reponses…the topic today is Blogging & Running, how and why?

First of all, I used to teach PE & Health, so I started my blog two years ago as a vehicle to teach students how to blog their Health projects and final exams.  I was transferred the next year, and then to a full time PE job, then High School English, and along the way, the blog just went with me. 

Forward to Halloween 2007, when Kim says to me “I’d like to run…do you run?”  I had done the Couch to 5K program with my Jr. High students that previous Spring, and so I said, sure…and we started the C25K training. 

My first 5K in 25 years, was in January 2008.  I kept blogging, talking about school, my kids, my soon-to-be-but-never-finished divorce, and everything under the sun.  I think I started posting on other teachers’ blogs, but then found my first runner’s blog.  The poor guy…I think I pestered him about so many things.

When I finally started to use Bloglines, my blog reading changed.  I could find the blogs I wanted quickly, and could see automatic updates. 

Why do I blog?  Because I’m a crazy, self-centered, all about me runner…I need answers, and you all provide them.  What is a BQ?  I had no idea.  (No one would tell me, I just had to keep reading to figure it out).  What about food?  Garmins?  Shoes?  Going to the bathroom during a run?  Races? 

Bloggers provided me with all these answers:  Not official running sites.  Friendly folks sitting at home or work willing to dish out some answers.  Not only that:  When I had the most self-doubt, I had runner/bloggers lending support, quotes, advice.  I started using Runner’s World Training Log, and blogging about it, helps me keep accountable.

This Sunday I run my the River City Half Marathon in Sacramento/Folsom.  I couldn’t have gotten here on my own.  I thank the veterans out there who gave me advice all along the way. 

Sidenote:  Last night~10:02 pace; 3 miles.  My fastest ever.  Tonight:  2 miles, and our training is finished.

Five new blogs.

My new favorite blogs:

1.  If you love baseball:

The Cardboard Gods

Spring, let’s face it, is a time to pray. You want to get excited about new beginnings, but you also want to hold back a little, temper your enthusiasm, acknowledge that life has a way of bringing you ever-new forms of pain and woe.

2.  If you love cool stuff for your electronic world:

Geeky Gadgets

Check out this cool clock.  I really really want this.


3.  If you love dogs:

For the Love Of Dog Blog


(Chet, my wonderfully, stupid but loyal lab.)

From treating dog arthritis, to the recalls of dog foods…I love this site.

A German lawmaker proposed on Monday a novel and high-tech way of dealing with the menace of dog poo on the streets: DNA testing to identify the canine culprit and fine its owner.

4.  If you love photography:

The Fresno Bee There

Almost daily, I’m changing my wallpaper.


5.  Lastly, one of my new favorite runners:

Annadel Runner

Not very wordy, but killer race reports.  Humilty + Talent.

Even though I’d run three marathons before, I’ve never trained for one and never ran one well so I was looking to exorcise some demons in my backyard marathon. My training cycle has me peaking for a mid-May marathon, but I felt my training so far prepared me reasonably well for this one.



either. or.

I had to choose between Facebook, which is such a time suck, (thank you Glenn) and this anonymous-ish type of interneting known as the blog.  I wrote about trying to quit Facebook, and then not.

Then I realized…I’m so freaking co-dependent, I found myself trying to stay up on top of everyone’s status and *friending* people, and their photos, and the 25 kajillion quizzes, flowers, hearts that go back and forth.  What’s worse, is that if you accepted someone’s *flowers*, then Facebook gives you an “opportunity” to give flowers to every one of your friends, and it’s just one big clusterf**k of circular giving.

I sort of ranted on my sweet niece’s fiancee’s page about Obama and his foreclosure thingy, and then I realized the poor guy has to eat every holiday dinner with me for the next 30 years.  It’s one thing to rant in the blogosphere, and another when you’ve got a name and a face to go with that rant.  I simply adore these two, and know they forgive me…but still.

Over the weekend, I learned of a good friend who met her old college boyfriend on Facebook again, they’ve hooked up, and are sort of *together*, in a creepy, internet kind of way.  There’s only one problem:  2 kids and a marriage that she says is bad…now.  No, Facebook didn’t do that.  Too much time on your hands, and a bad attitude did that.  Boredom in a marriage, grass is greener…that sort of thing.

So, it was either Facebook, or WordPress and blogging (which I really enjoy).  I deactivated my account, and am happily back in the world of semi-anonymity.  I missed my bloggers on Bloglines, because I didn’t have time to read any running or teaching blogs, much less comment on them.

I’ve been sick.  Haven’t run since Thursday, and am on a massive antibiotic, because…after all, I’m training for a Half Marathon. 

I choose you, blogging world.  Facebook, maybe you’re more of a vacation-type friend.  Until then, I will yammer on about my trials trying to find another teaching job.

As of last week, I was let go, in the most odd type of way…More on that later.

I don’t think they get the concept…

Friday night.

We start with something positive.  A friend of mine gave me sets of novels.  I was really excited, because finally, I can give my students some real books.  Today we were reading Holes, a book I assumed my juniors and seniors have read.  They hadn’t.  My first argument of the day started when junior starting texting in his pocket.  He saw me see him.  He did it again.  I told him to put his cell phone on my desk.  He wouldn’t.  I had to call my cop monitor to escort him out.

At the end of the period, students always write for FMOF (four minutes of formulation).  This came from one of my coolest kids.

This book that we are reading its really interresting and I can’t wait to see what happens at the end because I also want to see the movie.  I want to thank you Mrs. V for bringing us this book to read and for teaching at our school and also for putting up with the crap and attitude that some students give you.  Thank you.  [sic]

I will tell you that it made my day.  Simple pleasures.

Now, on to what this post is about.  Two of my favorite bloggers, Nitmos & Razzdoodle have decided to go on a little blogging hiatus.  Claiming work and life and other flights of fancy, they are taking a break.  Okay.  I get it.  Sometimes, you are just burnt out.  Running, blogging, living.  Oh yeah, and having a family and a job.

I just don’t think they get the concept.  They’re not responsible to blog just so that I will get up and run.  They’re not responsible to keep me motivated, or inspire me.  However, I will tell you, that just starting to read them when I was a new runner, was like being a new kid coming to a new school, and all the cool kids not only invite you, but include you in the big party.

That’s how blogging runners are for me.  I get to read you anonymously, and I get to understand things like PF, what 26.2 means, training plans, etc.  I get to learn about Runner’s World and food, and Hammer Gel…all without ever leaving my home.  These two guys in particular always had me reading, laughing and learning. 

So, a shout out to the two of you.  When you come back, remember we read you.  I know you do it for yourselves, and you need to cut back.  I get that.  Just know that just when I thought I couldn’t do it, I got the encouragement I needed.  Even if you didn’t mean to give it.