Wednesday, July 28, 2010

200 And Counting

My 200th marathon was on the 24th of July  in Salt Lake City.  

Other than the heat, the altitude, the mountains, and the relentless quad-busting downhills, it was a pretty easy marathon.  (Insert that little smiley emoticon thing here.) 
What hit me as I started though, wasn't the toughness of the course.  It was the amazing journey that started at the high school track one day back in 1994, doing two miles with my Tater Kater and finding out that if I ran slowly, I could get through two miles without stopping.  It continued, through my first 10K, my first River Bank Run, and my first marathon in Chicago in October 1995.  
Running marathons has opened up the world for me.  It has taken me to every state, to every continent, to places that many people will never visit.  Marathons aren't just about running.  It's more than that.  It's the ability to set a goal, make a plan, and follow it through to completion.   
If you're training for your first marathon, you're on the way to an amazing life!  If you've done one already, you already know.  You can do ANYTHING!
20000 Miles! 

I was just updating my website at a little bit ago when I realized that sometime in June I went over 20,000 LIFETIME MILES!  WOW!  I know that some people do that in only a few years, but for a kid who grew up with asthma and didn't really start running until only about 17 years ago, I'm pretty geeked about that.  My big goal is to run the circumferenc of the earth, which is 24,902 miles.  About 3 more years I'll have that DONE! 
Don't forget to set some goals, make some plans, and SIGN UP FOR SOMETHING! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Short Career as a Professional Nude Model

An encore posting from 22 February 2006  Interesting day yesterday.  Went to renew my license plate and get the renewal date moved to my birthday rather than my (soon to be ex-) wife's birthday.  Decided to renew my drivers license while I was there too.  "Oh... we can't do that because your license is Arizona."  OK, in 2001 I got a speeding ticket there, but try to locate a cancelled check from 5 years ago.  Called Arizona and waited on hold for 35 minutes, only to find out I needed to call the county court where I got the ticket.  Only on hold for 10 minutes there.  Found out that it was cleared up long ago and they just needed to notify the state people.  Still, I have to send $10 to Arizona to fix the problem.  Pretty cheap.
So, a couple hours later I get a call--from an Arizona area code!  What now?  It was Michelle Donati from Rose & Allyn Public Relations.  She had also just sent me an e-mail, which I pulled up and read while we were talking.  Seems they're doing an ad campaign and wanted to use a picture from my website.  Yes, you guessed it--the picture of me naked at the South Pole!
Excerpt from Michelle's e-mail:
"Our intern, Haley, stumbled across your website late
last week and our boss is interested in using one of
your photographs for an upcoming company

We are willing to monetarily compensate/sponsor you
for permission to use this image.

We will show you the final ad before it goes to print
and will send you the published ad once complete.

We've looked for stock photos that convey the same
 but unfortunately, we didn't find any that
worked as well.

The clincher is...our boss is a procrastinator and our
ad is due tomorrow (Wednesday, February 22) we'd

need your permission by then. I can overnight you a
check or money order.

I assure you that this is real and that we're a legit
"Just what the hell kind of message are you trying to convey here?"  I asked her.  Seems they're targeting lobbyists or something, with the idea "There's no such thing as too much exposure." 
So, Michelle offers to pay me $250 to use my picture, and I send her the high-resolution copy I have on my computer.    You probably know I have a "Life List" in my computer.  Being a professional nude model wasn't on it.  But what the heck.
Really.  I don't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My 200th Marathon?

Leave it to old friends to get you involved in stuff.  My Saturday morning started out with an 8 mile run.  I went short that morning, because at 12:30, I was off to the First Centennial Vytautas Aid Society Marathon.  Yes, the shirt said 26.2 on it.  It conveniently omitted, however, the unit of measurement.  Which was "blocks."  Now, the good news was there were four air-conditioned aid stations.  The bad news--you had to pay for your own aid.  The good news--it was beer.
The Vytautas Hall is one of the "West Side" halls in Grand Rapids.  Lithuanian Catholics for the most part.  We have quite a few halls on the West Side--several Polish halls (Kosciuszko Hall served as race HQ for the first GR Marthon back in 2004, incidentally)  One of my best friends, Mary Kamsickas, invited me to their "marathon."  "Having you there would help legitimize the event."  Maybe I'm flattered.  Maybe some people have an interesting definition of "legitimate." 
Barto Funeral Home ("See you at the End") provided sandwiches and water.  It was a good time.  Oh--and I won!  Mary was the women's winner.  And her brother John won the wheel chair division.  Not bad for a sunny July Saturday.  Hope I'm around for the Second Centenial in another 100 years.