United Airlines NYC 1/2 Marathon

I’m still a relative newcomer to barefoot running, having started the practice four years ago, a short period of time when compared to forty years running in shoes.

Over the last twelve months I’ve started racing barefoot at distances ranging from 5k to 1/2 marathon, almost ten events, and each one a memorable experience not only on account of the variety of surfaces, but also because of the reactions of my fellow participants.

On March 17th, I woke up at 5:38 AM, a few minutes before the alarm was set to ring…

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United Airlines NYC 1/2 Marathon

Random Notes from Dallas

Apologies to anyone who might be following this blog, I haven’t had time to post in a few months, having started a new job recently.  The work is interesting, my new colleagues friendly, and it’s exciting to have the chance to make a difference.  As an aside, the job requires frequent travel to Dallas, which is a change of pace from the Hudson Valley and a nice place to spend some time in the winter.  True, there have been a few cold days with rainy gray skies and temperatures in the 30s (perfect hypothermia conditions if you were wandering around outside), and sometimes the northern wind comes howling across the flat open prairie so hard it might knock you over.  But a few days later, the sun’s back out, the winds have calmed, and the temperature’s soaring into the 70s.  And the next morning I’m surprised when the car thermometer reads 24 F…

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Random Notes from Dallas

Turkey Trot 2018

On November 22, 2018 I completed the Art Van Turkey Trot Chicago 5-mile race, coming in 3rd out of 70 in my age group and 119 out of 2180 overall.  My son Philip finished #8 in his age group and my wife Sue, who ran the 5k, finished #6 in her age group.

Two small successes:  a decent performance on my part, and seeing family members running too.  Successes so small as to be practically meaningless.  Each of our runs accounting for little more than 30 minutes of effort.  Yet it occurs to me if a person could achieve small successes on a regular basis — a successful race, or contributing something small to a big project at work, or making some little observation that helped a friend or family member, or spending time on a community project — such tiny little successes could add up over time to a productive life and a permanent positive impact on the world. . . .

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Turkey Trot 2018

A Long Loop in the ‘Daks

For a long hike in the Adirondacks, a big breakfast and real espresso would provide a good start to the day, but they would also necessitate a long drive out of the way, so a good start was also a late start, with the trailhead not reached until a little before 9 AM….and it wasn’t until 10 PM that I finally straggled out, having covered 15 miles, climbed three mountains, and waded through several thousand gallons of water and mud.  This may well have been the most taxing Adirondacks hike I’ve ever undertaken, but it bagged three more peaks, leaving me at 29 out of the 46 High Peaks complete without shoes.

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A Long Loop in the ‘Daks

Dry-ember

It was December 2016 when I first heard of Drynuary, short for “Dry January,” which refers to the practice of abstaining from alcohol during the first month of the year as a strategy for reestablishing control and giving the body a break from excessive consumption during the holiday period.  It seemed like a good idea in late December, and then I remembered the idea just as I was raising a glass of Champagne at a New Year’s Day brunch…and reluctantly set down the glass, untasted.  There were times during the month when I felt as if I were marching through a vast desert, but I made it to the end without a drop of alcohol, and the experiment was deemed a success.

The next year, Drynuary started a week early, as a couple of glasses of wine at a holiday party left me feeling very poorly (although it might have been a handful of cookies that was really to blame).  Drynuary 2018 was also a success, but I resumed drinking afterwards, having become at some point a fan of local craft IPAs, while I continued to enjoy an occasional sip of Scotch or Tequila.

I’d decided to take some time off from the corporate world during 2018, and it was now possible to have a beer at lunch — something new — and sometimes I’d indulge in a second drink at dinner.  Alcohol consumption began to rise, and not always with good outcomes:  two drinks at a hotel in Mammoth Lakes left me literally staggering (possibly due to the 8,000-foot elevation), while a single beer after working on the trails back at home in New York left me groggy and unfocused (possibly I was somewhat dehydrated).  I had never made a conscious decision that more alcohol was in my best interest, and therefore the question was raised, who was in control — me, or the adult beverage industrial-marketing complex?

So it was time for another experiment, which I coined Dry-ember, short for Dry September.  As part of this experiment, while banning alcohol for the month, I’d relax some of the restrictions against sugar and processed carbs that are part of my normal diet, the strategy being not to fight battles on two fronts simultaneously….

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Dry-ember