Thursday, March 20, 2008


The last two mornings have been perfect for running; 25-30 degrees and calm. Unfortunately, I haven’t run either morning. After avoiding my family’s barrage of coughing, sneezing, and just plain feeling like crap all winter, I finally came down with a cold. Usually when I have a cold, running is the only time during the day when I feel normal. However, I haven’t been sleeping well, so I’ve opted for the extra hour of sleep rather than getting up at 5 AM to run.

Yesterday I took the day completely off. In the evening I spent some time working on an exciting new assignment for Down the Backstretch. Stay tuned for more on that in the near future. I also have two new interviews lined up and another fun article due at the end of the month. So I guess you can say my general lack of motivation has lifted.

The other day I included a long passage from Again to Carthage. It continues here, with Denton thinking about what it takes to win a gold medal;

You don’t even get to play unless you have already won the genetic lottery. Then you have to win the nurture lottery, then the happenstance lottery, and then just in general be incredibly lucky in every conceivable way, and then you will have earned the right to work your ass off like most civilians could never possibly imagine. Then you might – might – get to stand up there like a dodo all teary-eyed pretending you knew the works to your anthem.

Well by God I did that. I stood up there. That is all that anyone could ever ask of a runner. You should be able to walk in grace all your days after that. Nothing else you ever do will be as difficult or frightening or as wonderful. Your life will be an

I would trade places with [Cassidy] in a hummingbird’s heartbeat. It’s the fever you live in that’s the thing. The hot pulse of it all. The rest is just knickknacks and souvenirs. What you miss is the dizzy crazy lactic-acid storm of training, racing. The ten-milers laughing the whole way with guys who are your brothers in ways beyond genetics. The thousand quarter-mile intervals in the hot sun, grabbing your knees for balance afterward and rasping for air. Consuming huge amounts of fried anything-at-all and laughing at each other because you know not a molecule of it can stick to your slippery bones. And knowing nothing in your life will ever be that wild and alive again. No quest ever again as honorable or noble.

But it’s the fever. That’s the thing. The fever that connects you to lovers and poets and rare-air mountain climbers and madmen and lost tribes.

At the time it’s happening you think you could never lose such a thing. But you can.

There’re probably a million copy-write laws that I’ve broken lately. I prefer to think of it as free advertising.

Quote of the day;

“What I mean is that someone sees a race, and they think that’s what you do. They sort of know you had to train, but they weren’t watching then, so they don’t understand how incredibly much of it there is. But to us, it’s almost the whole thing. Racing is just this little tiny ritual we go through after everything else has been done. It’s a hood ornament.” – Bruce Denton

1 comment:

rundangerously said...


found your site via john's runningonempty.

very nice blog you have here.

i read "once a runner," a few years ago. not sure when i'll jump into the "sequel." nice of you to give us a preview.

just finished "strides," by ben cheever. worth a look when you're finished w/"carthage."