Sunday, December 6, 2009

Books, Music, & Events

Since we only have approximately 17 minutes of daylight in the Frozen Tundra currently, one would think I have time for more blog entries. Not so. I seem to have even less time now than I did during the heady training days when the sun seemed never to set.

Training has been going....alright. I'd like to be getting in more hours but the Real Job has been wall-to-wall busy. It is the holiday season and there are presents to buy, the infamous Maas Xmas CD to create, and white bark pretzels to sample. I've been trying to get in 90-mins a day but far to often what I actually get in is more like zero.

Knots in my calves have returned. This is after not having any calf issues during the '09 season after dealing with such issues during all of '08. So its back to the drawing board to make sure I am getting the required deep tissue massage as well as calve strenghtening exercises to deal with them.

The right Achilles issue is still there, but I have been able to crank out long runs and my mileage has been surprisingly good.

My possible '10 events calendar (found on the right side navigation area) has been updated to include a possible Xterra triathlon event. If you find yourself in Jamestown, North Dakota on Jun 26, 2010 you might consider the XTERRA Pipestem Creek Off Road Triathlon. This event consists of a Swim of 1000 meters, Mountain Bike of 13 mi, and a Trail Run of 5 mi. Jamestown is my city of birth and where we won back-to-back cross country state titles in '77 and '78. It is to me what Hayward Field was to Steve Prefontaine. To this day I still prefer running a trail over a pounding 10-miler on asphalt.

While you are looking at the right side navigation area you may notice a new app on Pandora which allows you to see what music I am listening to. Pandora is an automated music recommendation and Internet radio service created by the Music Genome Project. Users enter a song or artist that they enjoy, and the service responds by playing selections that are musically similar. Users provide feedback on approval or disapproval of individual songs, which Pandora takes into account for future selections. While listening, users are offered the ability to buy the songs or albums at various online retailers. Very neat.

I just finished up a great book, 'Once a Runner: A Novel' by John L Parker. Quenton Cassidy is the hero, a cult object among serious distance runners. This was a read that had me flashing back to interval workouts of my youth. That raised my adrenaline levels during its accurate portrayal of races. That may even have brought a tear or two to my eye. I won't give all away but for me the book's true climax comes during one of Quenton's workouts in preparation for the BIG race, an interval session requiring 60 quarter-miles (for those of you who've done quarters workouts, no, that's not a typo). It was something I could relate to....and loved. If you have not yet had the enjoyment of this book, please make time for it. And there is a sequel, 'Again to Carthage'.

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