Sometimes I think. Sometimes those thoughts get too unwieldy to finish. Even for a blog of self-professed rambling. So I will sum up.
- Latkes are yummy. Especially when you swap up ingredients based on what you have on hand. I followed my friend Deb’s recipe but swapped out red potatoes 1 and shallots instead of onions. Wicked awesome, even though canola oil can’t get hot enough to cook them in three minutes.
- I believe in second chances. Based on my experience at Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas I am unimpressed by Competitor Group. But, things went wrong there and they admitted it. (Time will tell if they make corrections.) And I believe in bribery, too. So I took their $50 coupon code and registered for Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona for an almost reasonable price. Less shared course, much better band2, and a reputation for being “a well run” race. Plus, the whole Desert Double Down medal is a fun promo. This ought to be interesting.
- I’m moving to Buckeye! The heavy winds across the desert have brought on our desire to move on from Mesquite earlier than the normal wanderlust would push us on, so after much hemming and hawing between San Diego, Needles, Blythe, and somewhere in the valley of the sun, we settled on the latter, specifically Buckeye, for New Year’s Eve onwards for a couple of months. The difference between Mesquite and Buckeye as far as running communities is like night and day. The challenge will be to not get carried away with our race budget! Then, maybe SoCal in Marchish?
- I’m contemplating a “real” training plan. I’ve been following Coach Patrick over on Marathon Nation since he started it up, but haven’t actually subscribed to the premium stuff. My logic is that there’s soooo much info available for free and I’m pretty comfortable building my own plan that it’s just not worth the crazy price3. He’s knocking $10/month off for the holidays, so it’s got me thinking again about scheduling a proper training cycle. There’s no chance in following a proper plan for Arizona, but, you know, maybe something later in the year.
- I’ll start with books. Gabrielle over at gabsatrucker.com was clearing out her bookshelf and offering up some free running books. She was kind enough to ship me Jack Daniels‘ Daniels’ Running Formula and Joe Henderson’s Run Right Now. (Thank you Gabrielle!) As of this post, I think she still has six books left, so if you’re interested, head on over and shoot her an e-mail. If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t read Born To Run, grab that one; contrary to what the internet may claim, it’s not a barefoot running manifesto – it’s a really well told story of McDougall’s journey to Mexico, the people he met there, and the American runners he lured there. Entertaining read, even for the non runner. Digression. Point: I’m going to give Misters Daniels and Henderson a read and see what sort of plan I can build off that.
- I’ve gotten a little carried away with the virtual races and challenges. I’d sworn off the dailymile “Challenges” feature for a while, because I don’t like being so mileage-centric in my training. It makes me skip rest days, run further than I should, or just not do a “workout” but instead log “just miles” because that’s where my head is. But as the holiday neared, I found myself signing up for a bunch of them. I’m registered for the Boxing Day Half Marathon and the far less serious Exercise with a Santa Hat On challenges. The “100 miles by Christmas” seems to have vanished, which is good I think, as I was not likely to completed that without a whole slew of junk miles. I even tried creating my own challenge; חֲנֻכָּה חֲלֵנז׳ (rough transliteration of “Channukah Challenge”) to run one mile per night of Channukah4 as a way to limit my mileage this week. But I clearly did it wrong. Or my plan is incompatible with the site’s functionality. But what I’m most excited about is the Home For The Holidays Virtual 10k, put together by Robin from Westford Mommy, Ashley from Happy Healthier Bear, and Stephanie from Run for Fun. They even got sponsors! Neat. My 10k course here in Mesquite ain’t exactly “flat and fast,” but it’s something to keep me going through the weekend that I’d normally take off completely. A kid could get used to these sort of things.
- I Can Haz RSS? Although I have an “RSS Feeds” folder right on my browser toolbar, once I uninstalled the memory-and-bandwidth-vampires that are feed scrollers earlier this year, I got way out of the habit of reading things regularly. So I finally got on the bandwagon and popped all the ones that are still active in to Google Reader so I can get little notifications on my phone and keep what I’ve read in sync between devices. Neat-o-batito! I’ve even set myself up a little goal to get all the vaguely running-centric ones linked in a blogroll here on Ramblings From The Road to share these awesome people with you. And now that I’ve shared this goal with you, I need to stick to it, eh?
- Crazy People intrigue me. One of the first days I went running along Mesquite Boulevard in this fine town I came up on a guy walking along, wearing a flannel shirt that could have been anywhere from a month to half a century old, work boots, and a striped wool hat. He has scraggly salt and pepper hair down to his shoulders and a borderline santa beard and whiskers. In most parts of the country, he could be anyone’s zany uncle. Here, walking with his arms arched out to his sides like he’s mozying through the OK Corral, he puts off a slight air of crazy. As I got closer, I realized that he was shouting fairly angrily, which concerned me at first, until I realized that it was the same few choice phrases over and over. I was a bit hesitant to come up too close to him from behind, so I swung a bit wide as I passed. And slowly forgot all about him. And then yesterday – well, technically two days ago now – I came upon him again. Same outfit, same pose, and, I believe, the same phrases. I wish I had the mental capacity to remember things like this with jock brain, but they were along the lines of “I’ll shove your hippy up your ass, you longhair!” and “Don’t you fucking think that way at me!” . . . whatever the case, clearly not “with the rest of us.” Which totally shifts my initial fear to one of concern. What happened to the poor guy? Why is he wandering the streets like the love child of Clint Eastwood and Kurt Cobain? Can I help? Should I just stay clear? Does he even know I’m behind him? Does he have somewhere to go at night or does he just wander the streets of Mesquite 24/7? And yet, still, I hesitate, do nothing, and move on. I don’t like that I do this. But I do.
Bonus thought5; I made a Hanukkah playlist on Spotify. I hate Spotify more and more each day, mostly because they SUCK at streaming, but also a bit because of the limited selection. But they did pretty good on the Hanukkah songs I sought. The only one they lacked was the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert duet. But, if you’re in the mood for a proper festival of lights, get your dancin’ shoes on for a mix of klezmer, dippy-trippy-hippy-jew folk, silly Christmas-esque Hanukkah carols6, and a random hour long kabbalist lecture on the tzadikim nistarim. Without further ado: The Hanukkah MegaMix Ocho Kandelikas. Enjoy!