Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bridge over troubled water

On Sunday, Loren and I went for a bike ride over in NJ. To do this, we ride over the George Washington bridge, something thousands of runners, walkers, and cyclists do every weekend. Riding over the bridge is just that, a bridge, a bridge to great escapes and adventures. A beautiful view of the Palisades and of the Manhattan skyline. As we rode over, I noticed striped of rainbow crepe paper hanging on the bridge, I noticed it but really didn't think very much of it and soon forgot about it.
This morning, I went out on my own over the bridge. The paper was still hanging from bridge and it suddenly hit me like a punch to the stomach. It was there for Tyler Clementi.
As I continued to ride over the span, I noticed a new sign (3 of them actually). They weren't there over the weekend.

Ok, at this point, I nearly burst into tears (damn PMS).
You'd have to live under a rock to not have seen all the publicity about bulling in schools and the recent suicides of all these young LGTB kids. While it's great that it's getting publicity, this really isn't anything new. Queer kids have been killing themselves at much higher rates than their straight peers for a long long time. It's just now that it's getting some real attention. Bullying and name calling is nothing new either. I clearly remember the first time someone called me "dyke" to my face. I'm sure it never occurred to this person that I would hold that memory some 25 years later, but I do. When I heard he had dropped dead before reaching 40, that's the first thing I thought of. Who wants to be remembered for that?
While I think I got through my teen years relatively unscathed from actions like that (even surviving catholic HS) a lot of my friends have some real horror stories. A lot of kids today have horror stories, some so bad they feel they have no other way out other than to kill themselves.
I started this blog to be about my training and racing and that kind of thing, but for now, I'm stepping on my soapbox. I'm asking everyone reading this to please make a donation to The Trevor Project or donate $20 to GLSEN to give all schools a Safe Space. Skip the Starbucks this week and help a kid out.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I ain't missing you

Holy crap?!?!?! Where I have I been?
Actually, I've been all over the place. Really! With a lot of time on my hands, Loren and I went on an epic trip. I think I've mentioned before my extremely geeky hobby of hitting the high point of every state. Yes, total nerd alert. Now the thing about this hobby is the USA actually has very cool and varying landscapes. I knew I needed a break from running and training, so why not go climb some high mountains?
From Sept 4th until Oct 6th, we did 8 high points, all of them in the west. The high points we did were:
Mt Wheeler NM 13,161'
Black Mesa, OK 4973' (this was 8 miles which we ran. Totally beautiful running)
Mt Sunflower KS 4039'
Panorama Point NE 5424'
Mt Elbert CO 14433' (while in CO we also did La Plata which is 14336' which is actually tougher than Elbert)
Flew back east, ran Philly distance run. And ran it slowly since I didn't train for it at all. Then back west!
Kings Peak UT 13528' (this is also close to a 28 mile hike so it was a 3 day back pack)
Mt Whitney CA 14494' The highest point in the lower 48!
Boundary Peak NV 13143'
We spent so much time above 9000' by the time we got to Whitney we were totally acclimated and had no trouble with altitude sickness the entire trip (minus a few minutes of feeling like I was going to hurl after Wheeler). I think we hiked close to 100 miles and went up and down 10s of thousands of feet.
Interested in what some of this looks like?
this album shows the first part of our trip, as well as some other high points we've done.
this one shows CA and NV.
I now have done 23 high points and Loren has done 28.

I didn't run for 3 weeks. What a great break. Today I got back on the horse. Well, yesterday I got back on the bike for an easy ride then this morning I ran an easy 4.
After following the marathonpalooza that was 101010 yesterday along with following the Kona Ironman on Sat, I got a little excited about training again. I am so glad I'm taking this training cycle off, it's letting my body and mind rest.
I'm starting to think about my next big training push: Boston in April and Lake Placid Ironman in July. I plan to spend the next couple of month with low running milage, like 20-25 miles a week with more focus on swimming, cycling and core strength. I want to go into these races strong.
Now that the heat of summer is finally gone being outside should be more fun.
Until we're under a foot of snow.