Another PR 
I ran the Freedom to Liberty race this morning in 35:12; a PR for four miles, besting the 36:36 I put up a while ago through the neighborhood. I didn't expect a PR today but I did it. There were no markers on the course so I don't have splits.

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PR 
On this Memorial Day, I ran a 5K with the goal of finishing in under 28:00, which would be a personal record.

I aced it and finished in 26:54 by my watch.

Mile 1: 8:32
Mile 2: 17:13
Mile 3: 26:02

pace: 8:40

I also had the honor of meeting Mr. Rick DeRenzis today; brief bio here:

http://www.tortoiseharerace.org.

Take time today to remember the fallen as well as the families and friends of those gave all.

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Roy Halladay 
It's Saturday night and the first game of the Stanley Cup finals and, like many Philadelphia sports fans, I am watching the Flyers play the Blackhawks. Like many fans, I turned off the Phillies game around 8:15 and switched to NBC to watch hockey. As I watched an hockey exciting game with my neighbor, little did I know what was going on in Florida. At 21:22 a friend of mine in California calls me and asks if I'm watching the Phillies game; of course not, I'm watching the Flyers. He informs me that Roy Halladay is one out away from a perfect game. Sure enough, I turn on the game and catch the last 45 seconds of it. Incredible.

I wonder how many bars in Extended Metro Philadelphia turned off a Flyers game in the Stanley Cup finals to watch baseball.

I am completely stunned.

Here is the bottom of the ninth inning with the Phillies broadcasters:



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Broad Street Run 
Well, I did it and, it was one of the most difficult yet rewarding single events I have ever done.

First the bad:

I set a pre-race goal of 99 minutes which is a 9:54 pace. I finished in 1:41:16, a 10:07 pace. I started off too slow. I hit mile one around 10:30 and then mile two in just over 20. By mile four I was at 40 even and then made miles five and six in under 50 and 60 respectively thus, getting my pace to where I wanted. Then, the stomach cramps that had been slightly nagging me since mile one, took their toll and I slowed some. I was hoping for a nice burst from four to seven and hit mile seven around 68 and try to stretch a gain to a sub 10 minute pace. But, it didn't happen and once I hit seven around 71 I knew that the 99 wouldn't be seen. While I wanted to hit mile one slow, I think I was too slow. Ideally, I wanted to hit the first mile around 9:45 but it wasn't to be. Additionally, the weather (humid, sticky, about 80 at 9:00 am) did not help. I also botched the pre-run fuel. I ate a banana about 6:45 am (race started at 8:30 am, my corral started close to 9) and that was it. I had a small cup of coffee around 6:15 am too but I think I should have eaten something else (like half a PowerBar) around 7:45 am or so. I carried Shot Blocks with me but they did nothing. Lastly, I think pre-run jitters gave me six hours sleep. I awoke at 4:00 am and never fell back asleep.
Tired. Hot. Hungry. But...

The good:

I finished and I did not walk or stop! I had no pains anywhere either. Post-race, I'm a little sore here there but during the run, nothing flared up. I did not need any potty stops. Although I grabbed water at about five stations, the heat made me sweat it out. I voided at 8:30 am and did not pee again until 12:15 pm. I chugged about 16 oz of Gatorade at the end and then a 16 oz of water and it was an hour after that I finally had to go.

The Mrs. and I efficiently used mass transit to get to the start and then back to hotel when we were done. We had no problems getting to race or getting back to the hotel.

Even though this was very challenging, I will likely try a half-marathon in the fall.

What I learned:

Don't break the routine. Eat a little something close to run time just like I do when I do long runs during training. Sleep: not sure how to fix this. We stayed in a hotel and I don't always sleep as well in a hotel bed as I do my own. Don't be afraid to bolt out of the gate and hit that first mile a little fast. If the pace is too fast, I can still slow it down and get into a good stride.

Races like this use a corral system. You are assigned a corral based on your own estimated completion time. I played it conservative and filled in my time as 1:45 even though I expected to be below 1:40. Next time, I will subtract five minutes instead of adding five. If I start in a "faster" corral maybe we'll all get off the start quicker and instead of weaving and dodging, maybe I can hit mile one at the 9:45 pace I want. With so many people, weaving and dodging isn't avoidable but I need to manage the first mile better.

The weather, although not ideal by any means, could have been worse.

The Race:

Organized. Fun. Recommended. Philadelphia is a great city and, in all my years, never thought I'd actually run down Broad St. from Olney to the Navy Yard. I didn't count the water stops but they said there were nine. The city opened up fire hydrants at every mile or so past two and I ran through most of them. Kudos to volunteers and the first responders who stood by waiting to assist as well as the Philadelphia police.

Channel 6 news story on the run: [Link]

That being said, I'm glad it's over. I feel pretty good.

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It's a Long Way to the Top 


One of my favorite AC/DC songs. Oh, and by the way, the late Bon Scott is the lead singer of AC/DC. Period.

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Tom 


Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson. You're probably rolling in your grave now as we are under leadership of many princes who are "unfit to be the ruler of a free people." Luckily, we still have elections.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane 


...and speaking of April Fool's Day, the woman at 3:47 may be the biggest fool of all.

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Petition to Redistribute GPA's 


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In a picture: Bush vs. Obama 
In a picture: Bush vs. Obama on Twitpic

Click image for full-sized picture.

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Incompetence Factor 
I started re-reading Animal Farm and ran across this:

"The pessimists failed to allow for the stupidity and incompetence factor among people who would run the totalitarian states."

- Russell Baker, from the preface

He, of course, was talking about the Soviet Union but this quote can be applied to America today. Democrats got their wish and annexed another segment of the population into perpetual dependency. Even without being a totalitarian state (yet), the people see only the promise of another handout but cannot see the "incompetence factor" within it.

Businesses, of course, are subject to this factor too. However, when a business fails or misleads or hurts someone or is just plainly run by stupidity and incompetence, mechanisms exist to combat this. People stop buying their products. Government shuts them down or legislates them out of business. Government is meant as the fallback, not as a the primary. Once government is primary in some venue, no fallback exists anymore. Dependence is assured and with dependence comes power, not from the consent of the governed as intended by our Founding Fathers but rather from those giving the handouts. Perhaps we can rewrite Baker's quote:

"The pessimists failed to allow for the stupidity and incompetence factor among the voters who would chose their leaders."

Forty-five years and running we've been doing this - voting for leaders who promise handouts and entitlements. Authoritarian control (listen to Rep. John Dingell admit it) can fall under the guise of good intentions and the voters suckers buy it every time. Once we get our handout from the government, they own us and when they eventually display their stupidity and incompetence, we cry like the dependent little brats we've become.

Existing entitlement programs like Society Security and Medicaid are broken due to mismanagement and due to leeches sucking the system dry. The incompetence factor comes into to play when those in congress cannot say 'no' to another group who wants part of it. Then, who suffers? Those the system was meant to help.

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Handouts. To paraphrase a famous line, eventually we will run out of other peoples' money. Actually, we already have but let's continue to tax and spend and flush money away. Idiots.

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Violence 
Funny how these stories just didn't get the coverage that recent stories about assumed conservatives acting in anger about this health care handout do.

via Instapundit:

REMEMBERING WHEN G.O.P. Offices Were Vandalized: An apparent mob of vandals attacked the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters, causing minor smoke damage, breaking windows and leaving vulgar messages, police said. I dont remember a national panic over this, or over the bullet-riddled Bush/Cheney headquarters.

Then there was this episode. And, of course, this: A group of protesters stormed and then ransacked a Bush-Cheney headquarters building in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, according to Local 6 News.

But those represented the righteous indignation of oppressed lefties, rather than the dangerous violence of nasty righties.


Remember the media outcry from these events? Me neither.

How about this Vietnam Vet's home being vandalized? Didn't hear about that one, either. Or this one, either: "Mary Landrieu: I'll Punch Bush, 'Literally'". Classy. Somehow, this didn't seem to be big news either.

Media bias? Nah.

And let's not forget who makes up a majority of protesters at G20 summits or who commits ecoterrorism. Hint: if they vote, they weren't voting Bush/Cheney or McCain/Palin, that's for sure.

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The Plan 
Week two is in the bag: I'm following Hal Higdon's 15-K training plan for the 10 mile run I am doing in May. I've followed the schedule almost to the letter except that I have switched days for certain things just because of my schedule. But I have done everything on the list and nothing more and nothing less.

I bought a new pair of running shoes to coincide with this training, too; Asics Gel Foundation 8. The ITBand pain has all but disappeared. I did a few weeks of physical therapy and have some exercises I do to stretch that thing out. I was wearing a Cho-Pat knee strap too but my past few runs have been sans Cho-Pat and I haven't had a problem. Granted, the training regimen, at this point, calls for less miles than I was running before, but I want to do this right and not just complete the 10 miler, but do it in a respectable time and without injury.

Back to the shoes: it's too early to say if I have found the right running shoe for me but I really dig these Asics. I've tried Saucony and Brooks but I wasn't totally convinced either of their motion-control shoes were best for me. Once I put about 100 miles or so on the Asics, I'll know if I've found what's right for me. Since I need wide shoes, my choices are limited because only a few makes offer wides.

So far, so good. The weather seems to be getting better and running season is in full bloom.

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