Saturday, July 27, 2013


I draw a weekly sports cartoon called Guts Without Glory, which (as of this writing) runs in about 10 newspapers around the country. No, I won't retire on the income ;-)

I do my best to sneak in a running-related cartoon from time to time. I usually forget to post them here, but thought I'd post this week's offering, since it's somewhat autobiographical (I just made the runner a woman instead of a man in this case.)

Perhaps you can relate?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Two Wheels

We're slowly getting settled into our new home here in Spokane. As has been the case in a lot of the Northwest this summer, it's been hot and sunny nearly ever day since we've moved here. As we've driven around the area (and walked on the Centennial Trail next to the Spokane River,) I've noticed just how many serious cyclists there are in the area. Yes, there's a very strong cycling community in Western WA, but given the population of the Spokane area, it seems as if it's an even larger group here, per-capita, anyway. There are two or three cycling clubs, and most of the riders I've seen appear to be pretty hard-core. I've also noticed that there's a large number of middle-aged (i.e. gray haired) men in amazing shape riding expensive bikes.

Given my ongoing, and repeated, running injury episodes, and the inspiration of the many riders in my demographic, I think it's (past) time to once again dust off my trusty Fuji and start pedaling.

We live close to the Centennial Trail, so I have no logistical excuses (I still don't like sharing the road with cars,) and I desperately need to get some cardio fitness back. I have been faithfully lifting weights for several months, so my strength is good, but I've done little more than take frequent walks w/my wife and dog for my "endurance" activity. Yes, my guns are bigger...but so is my gut.

I have no goals when it comes to speed, and I probably won't be seeking any club memberships anytime soon, but a few leisurely bike rides per week will definitely do me good.

Monday, July 15, 2013

3 And Out...Again

My daughter Natalie is going into her freshman year of high school. Shortly after we moved into our new home in Spokane Valley, WA, I tracked down the Central Valley HS girls cross-country coach via email and got the scoop on when and where the girls are meeting to train during the summer. Since then, I've been Natalie's chauffeur every weekday morning, as they run at 8:00am sharp. Witnessing these girls already getting serious about the upcoming season got me itching to get back out there myself. I haven't run since March due to a hamstring injury (with the exception of a 1.7 mile fun run at my youngest daughter's elementary school in early June.) So last Thursday, since Natalie had to miss the morning run with the girls, I decided to head out with her and Apollo.

I managed a slow (9:30/mile) three mile slog with Apollo—both of us out of shape—and felt the hamstring just a little. That would have been acceptable, except that the hamstring hurt much worse later in the day. In fact, it felt just like it did when it first sidelined me a few months ago.


I'll have to be content with being a cheerleader for Natalie for the time being.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Relocation. Defintely NOT Vacation

I didn't realize that it's been over a month since I posted here. Moving across the state has been a major event, and MUCH more work than I even anticipated. After being in our previous house for 16 years, we (okay, mostly I) managed to accumulate WAY too much junk. Not quite to the level of Hoarders, but even after three big trips to the dump, we had far too many possessions to transport across the state.

If I ever get this bad, shoot me quickly.

But we made it.

And I'm sitting here in my new office in our new complete and utter disarray. It'll take us a few weeks (months? never?) to get fully unpacked and settled in.

But we're enjoying our new location. Summer here in Spokane is definitely summer by the classic definition, as opposed to Western Washington, where it can be hit-and-miss. We'll also have a distinct winter here, complete with plenty of snow and below-freezing temperatures.

So what is my training status amidst all the chaos? Well, it's on life support. I set up my workout area in the garage last week (we have a 3-car garage now, so there's a nice space for all my gear) and have done a couple of weight workouts. My oldest daughter Natalie, who will be going into high school, has started running with the Central Valley HS girls' cross-country team. They're meeting 5 mornings per week. She's about to get into the shape of her life, whether she's ready for it or not!

Seeing the approaching XC season has me itching to run again, despite my 15 lb. weight gain (mostly muscle...I'm pretty sure, anyway.) I've enjoyed running with Natalie in the past and I'd like to again, but the reality is that my days of being faster than her are probably coming to a close, unless I can resume training the way I'm accustomed to (and how I'd like to), including speed work.

We live in a quiet neighborhood, so there are lots of good areas to run. Lots of hills, too. I'm thinking that I'll be going out for some short, slow jogs sooner than later.

Speaking of which, how are the long-term injuries? My hamstring still speaks up every once in a while if I do something that stresses it. My more recent injury — a muscle (or tendon) pull on the top of my right foot — is more troublesome. I pulled that while falling out of my office chair a few weeks ago (don't ask) and I've felt it ever since.

So I'm still the same old injury prone 40-something guy I've long been. I've just relocated my old, aching body 312 miles further east now, that's all.

Never. Moving. Again.