Friday, May 30, 2008

Every day is a race

"They never tell you ahead of time how impossibly difficult it's going to be."
- Frazzled mother, speaking to Keri Russel about her child

That quote is from the wonderful Waitress, which I watched today. Of course, I watched it in pieces, like the pie Keri Russel serves so well. Breaks today, as they do almost every day I'm home with Kate, came in small portions.
The girls did not nap in the afternoon. At all. Jayden napped for maybe a half an hour. I corralled them in the morning, when Kate went to work out, and then I got my turn to blast off some energy, thereby decreasing my chances of getting too frustrated simply because we won't have the strength for it.

Every day is a joy these days, and yet, every day, more and more, at the end, when Jayden finally gets sent to bed with Dr. Seuss or something similar, I feel completely drained.
Those who say kids make you younger were so very, very wrong. They were laughably wrong. I feel 50 right now. And the kind of 50 who smoked and drank every day rather than ran and ate brussel sprouts three times a day. I am 36.

I feel as I do after a hard race, like the kind I ran Monday, or just climbed a mountain, although the weariness is even worse in a way because those are renewing, no matter how exhausting. A day like today with the kids, as rewarding as it is, is not renewing. It pecks away at your sanity and greedily sucks the very last drops of your reserves with the large straw Daniel Day Lewis shouted about in "There Will Be Blood."
My kids do indeed drink my milkshake.

It's worth it, as I'd much rather spend my energy every day rather than keep it in my gut. And the payoff is huge. Tax breaks. Someone to invite over at Christmas when you're 85. And all the smiles and love you can handle.

But as I look over that quote from the movie I watched in pieces today, I can only think of one word in response.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Too little....

Too late?

I think so. I don't think this even gets me a sniff of the top 18. If I hadn't played like such a friggin' donkey the two or three other times I had a nice stack close to the final table, this would probably get me a seat.
As it was, I was determined not to donk off my stack and play my game. That meant playing tight, patient poker, and it paid off tonight.
I think I have to win next week for a shot. Ah, well, it was fun regardless. As they say, you like the service, but you come back for the overlay.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The race of our lives

As excited as I was to start this year's Bolder/Boulder, part of me wondered why.
I was looking forward to this year's 10K in Bolder, one of the nation's biggest 10K races, all winter. It was one of the main reasons I kept up my miles through temperatures that occasionally froze the snot in my nose.
But after Thursday, when hundreds of homes were destroyed about 10 miles from my home, all I could think of was, "What's the friggin' point?"
Really, part of the reason I run these races and climb mountains is a need to challenge myself. The Bolder/Boulder, in a sense, is a fabricated way to see how mentally tough I am.
It's also a lot of fun, so don't think I'm a monk who needs to sit and whip himself an hour a day to remain pure. I truly enjoy it.
But after Thursday, I'm not sure I need a challenge. We all have one now around here.
My home was fine, but Thursday was one of toughest days I've had on the job, seeing all those heartbroken people going through their destroyed homes, many of them in shock (including me). I was so drained by the time I got home, I just held Jayden on my lap, then spent an hour on the computer and went to bed.
I've rethought that, however. Maybe a challenge is only part of the reason I run a race. I also think it's because it's who I am.
I am a runner and a climber and a father and a poker player and sometimes a writer. I can't lose sight of that. In fact, when we face times like this, when it seems like we'll never get back to normal, it's more important to never let go of who you are. It's the only stability we've got.
So I ran Monday, and folks, it was tough. The Bolder/Boulder is also one of the tougher races in Colorado. Mile two has a long, gradual hill, and that hill leads to mile 3, which is one long, steep hill. Mile four features several small hills and one huge, super-steep hill. Then it's all downhill from there. Well, except for the ski run that leads into the University of Colorado's stadium at the end.
I really struggled at times. I had to walk twice just to grab a breath. I allowed myself only 10 seconds before I kicked it back into gear. I'm still not sure if that's a good plan. Probably not. But I was able to run much faster after the quick stop. I never felt great the whole day. The girls didn't allow me to sleep much Sunday night, which was frustrating, but I had to roll out of bed at 4:45 a.m. to make it out to Boulder for the 7 a.m. start the early, elite waves require. It will be nice to actually run a race on some sleep. I just hope that's this year.
Still, my splits were better than I thought. I think I started way too fast, which is very easy to do in that race because the first mile is downhill, and the first mile is always easy. I ran 7:15 the first mile, 7:40 the second, and then the hills hit. But it wasn't terrible, averaging 8-minute miles over the next two, which was the plan. Still, I would have liked to have been faster on mile 5, when it's downhill again, with only 7:49, and I ran pretty slow that last mile, on mile 6, when I ran only 8:05. I was pretty tired by then, which frustrates me. Didn't I just run a half marathon three weeks ago?
But I did run 48:33, which was almost 50 seconds faster than my best time last year, and an overall personal record for a 10K, which was nice to set on a tough course. My pace was 7:49 per mile.
I do feel pretty good today after the race. It was cold and rainy by the time I finished, so I filled out a bogus credit card application and got a free towel, which I wrapped around my shoulders.
I know my pain during the race was inconsequential to what those Windsor residents are feeling as I type this.
I hope they can get back to who they are soon.
I thought about them as I finished.
This run was for them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stunned silence

In Colorado here, we worry as much about tornadoes as much as we do hurricanes or earthquakes or maybe nuclear war.
So the mile-wide tornado that just tore through our neighbors yesterday didn't so much as destroy homes, although it did that, and flattened cars, although it did that too. It also stunned us, just completely reduced us to blinking, silent journalists as we worked on one of the stories of the century.
Yes, I'm fine, and yes, the family is fine, and yes, even our home is, thankfully, OK. A few miles down the road, people were not so fortunate, and that's what I covered this afteroon. I am completely, totally drained. I really don't even know what to feel.
I was a reporter in Kansas for a number of years, and I covered a few tornadoes that demolished homes, but I've never seen the kind of complete devastation I saw today. I've seen a home or two destroyed, but this was block after block after block of crushed homes.
I've said this before, but I'm always amazed at how generous people are during these events. All I had to do was show up with a notepad and people told me their stories. I really think they wanted to this time. I'd like to think it seemed to help. All I could do was sit there, take notes and shake my head.
I'm sorry, I said, and cursed how hollow it sounded, even if it was sincere.
You can check out over coverage today on our Web site. But as of right now, I'm going to go home.
And I'm going to hug my kids.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A birthday built for two

Here's some highlights from the girls birthday party, which I'm assuming you'd much rather have than a bunch of whining about how much I suck at poker.

One hand at a time

As the music from "One Day At A Time," you know, the comedy with the single mother, plumber with the porn-star mustache who probably would be sued for sexual harassment today and wild daughters, I'm thinking about two hands I played yesterday.
Both of them poorly.

#1 - In the Bodog tournament series, which has gone about as poorly as I could have hoped, I'm dealt A-K sooted. I"m fourth to act. The third to act, a guy that's been hounding me all night and doesn't strike me as a very good player, raises 3xs the big blind.
I have nearly 10,000 chips. He's probably the only guy who has more chips than me in the whole tournament (I know I'm at least third or fourth). There are 16 left. The points and the cash (at least the $11 in tournament dollars) is near. I could coast to both if I wanted. The blinds are 200/400 with a small ante.
When he raises, I think about it for a bit, and I shove.
He quickly calls me with K-K. I do not suck out, despite getting a flush and straight draw on the turn, because that never fucking happens and I go home.
Later, my suspicions were true, because he was, in a word, terrible. He had a monster stack at that point and yet managed to bleed all his chips before the top 5 and that juicy $109 in tournament dollars. He just woke up with a monster.
Still, he raised in early position, he was the chip leader, and I didn't have much to gain by putting my whole tournament on the line.

#2 - I'm playing a cash game, .25/.50, and I'm dealt K-K in middle position. A guy UTG who has a nearly full stack raises to $2. Everyone folds to me and I re-raise to $6. Everyone folds.
He thinks for a second and re-raises me to $13.
He has A-A. Every single time someone does that at that level, a small re-raise, he has A-A. Usually a re-pop pre-flop at these levels almost always mean a huge pair or, at worst, A-K. Maybe A-Q or less if he's a shorty. And a small re-pop pre-flop (I just like to say that now) means Aces. Always.
So I call to set mine. It's not that much more.
The flop comes all low cards. He pushes. I call.
He shows A-A. I do not suck out because that never fucking happens, and I lose a big pot.

Yes, both of these hands were coolers. But they were also dumb plays by me.
In both these hands, I let emotions rule the way I played them. And this is what I mean by taking it one hand at a time.

In the first hand, I knew the guy wasn't very good, and I was quite sick of him raising my big blind with his small blind every single time it got to me. I didn't call in those situations because I didn't think 8-2os were hands worth defending. I also knew that if I waited, I'd get an opportunity to burn him. I suppose a re-steal at times would have been warranted, but it's harder to do that with weak players because they will call you with something like K-9 and think they're golden.
But when any player raises you in early position, and he has you covered, and your M is awesome, that's not the time to take a huge stand and put all your chips on the line. Instead of examining that one hand for what it was, I was tired of him and I thought he was terrible, so I pushed.
Emotions, not good play, ruled my game.

In the second hand, instead of listening to myself, I simply couldn't believe that the guy had Aces over my Kings AGAIN. See, in the last two weeks, despite a decent run at the cash tables, I've run K-K into A-A four times. Four times. It has, as you can imagine, cost me a bunch of money. I haven't always been stacked, but I have more than I should have been.
I refused to listen to reason and instead just said the odds and justice or whatever would not give me K-K against A-A again.
Emotions, not good reasoning, ruled my play.

I was so pissed, I put myself to the test. I went back to the cash tables after a short break. I was determined to fight the tilt bubbling inside me.
And I won $30 back and then hit up Razz and even finished up $20 there as well.

I took my hands one individual hand at a time there. I ignored past history and just listened to what each hand was telling me.
Maybe the hard lesson Tuesday will eventually pay off.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Andie and Allie

One year ago today, Kate delivered twins.
My girls are 1.
We were cleaning and blowing up balloons and getting gift bags together for all the minnows who will be tromping through our house. Today we'll be picking up cake and ice cream and thawing and throwing chicken on the grill.
"All this work," Mom said, "and they won't even know it's for them."
This party is not for the girls.
It's for us.
We survived.

Here's a column I wrote for the paper I write for, the Greeley Tribune, that ran in my Tuesday slot. Or you can just skip to the picture below:

Some would have called me anal before the girls were born.
I preferred the term “organized.”
No matter what you called me, one thing was certain. I did not like the unexpected. I loathed it, in fact. I preferred to plan out my life as if it were a to-do list.
So when our ultrasound technician said to us that we were having twins, I was in immediate denial. Our technician assumed we knew, of course. Who doesn’t know they’re having twins at 21 weeks?
“Please tell me you’re kidding,” I said to her.
She wasn’t kidding.
I took the news about as well as someone who doesn’t like surprises can take it, meaning when Kate’s doctor came in to confirm the news, she was initially more concerned about me.
Once Kate, our toddler, Jayden, and I celebrated that night with a dinner that mainly consisted of me staring blankly into the menu and saying “Huh?” a lot to our waitress, our lives melted into the kind of chaos that you normally see in a “Family Circus” cartoon. You know, the ones that feature the mother in her bathroom with a boiling pot on the stove, laundry, four crying kids, the dog with a dish in his mouth, and an electrician at the door.
The twins hadn’t even arrived yet, and we had to move Jayden to the smaller bedroom, paint his room red and blue, paint the girls’ room pink, gather a whole lot of dresses and pink onesies and get another one of everything, including another swing, another crib and another stroller, this one built for two.
When they were born, we learned what the term “sacrifice” really means. I sacrificed my time in the mountains. We sacrificed friendships, some of which have never recovered. We sacrificed sleep, some special time with Jayden and, at times, our sanity.
Most of the time, we felt like single parents, constantly feeding and changing and carting a baby around.
Kate and I learned to work together, much more than the vows say you will, and yet we had two periods where we fought every day, long and hard. The problem, of course, is that there was too much work to go around.
Any infant is hard. But parents usually can take shifts for midnight feedings, diaper changes and making sure the little one doesn’t crawl off the staircase. Shifts don’t exist when you have twins.
When you’re raising infant twins, when one parent takes a break, any kind at all, the other pays for it dearly.
So now we find ourselves breathing a sigh of relief come Saturday. The twins will turn 1. Every parent I have talked to who went through what we went through has assured me that it gets easier after the first year.
I’m hopeful because the first year was not easy. In fact, it was the hardest thing Kate and I have ever done. In fact, it still is.
But it’s changed me. I’m more relaxed now. It’s not a cliché. I mean, you have to be.
When you have a day like I did three months ago, when Allie had a poop that exploded out of her diaper and went all over the kitchen floor, and Andie was doing everything in her power to play in it, and Kate was at Target, well, you learn that little surprises like that aren’t really problems. They’re funny.
Every day, like that day, holds something unexpected. Some still call me anal. I still prefer the term “organized.” My to-do lists are still there. But the day doesn’t always follow them. And I have learned that’s OK.
I have learned to not only deal with the unexpected, I have learned to embrace it.
I embrace it every day, in fact, when I crawl out of bed, pick up one of the girls and hold her high above my head, completely aware of just how lucky I am that chance found its way into my heart.

And here they are one year later, toasting their birthday. I, too, will drink to that::

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Once a mother...

Mom's in town for the next three days, and today she's watching Jayden.
It's a little blustery outside and a tad cold, though it's really not too bad. The wind lately has been awful, infecting our softball games (I've purposely pitched it right at the batter because the wind carries it away from him and back over the plate), pushing me around when I try to run and even causing some damage to fences, trees and a few rooftops.
So a bit of a breeze is fine.
I have on a short-sleeved shirt and I'm about to head out the door.
Mom looks me over.
"Don't you need a JACKET? It's COLD out there."

I smirk at her.

I am 36.

The jacket stayed in the closet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Putting the Cowboys to bed

I was playing well and looking for a profitable night at the cash tables last night on Bodog when I was dealt K-K UTG.
I raised 5xs the BB to $2.50. I prefer to raise this amount because I don't want a bunch of callers ruining my top pair. You would think that this would be a red flag to other players at the table, but you'd be wrong. I get called by hands like Q-10 more often than you think.
Anyway, I did get one caller, and then the guy on the button raises to $10.
At these levels, pre-flop re-raises are rare, so they always mean something.
I chose to call because I had a player behind me yet to act. If he shoved, my thinking is I could fold, given that both of them had full stacks, as did I.
He just calls.

The flop is all unders, one suit, clubs, and the re-raiser insta-pushes.

Given that he just pushed rather than went for a bet, I put him on Q-Q. Lately I've been very successful sniffing out overbets and figuring that they usually mean my opponent has a hand but not a great hand. In other words, he doesn't have a set or a flush here, and given his re-raise, he probably had a high pocket pair. So I thought he'd value bet with A-A.
OK, so I was wrong, he did have A-A. I did have the Kc for extra outs just in case, but he of course had the Ac, and me and the third player both got stacked.

Yes, I realize:
• I was calling, not jamming myself
• It was a suited board
• The odds were not good
Maybe I'm just a donkey.

And so here is my problem. Harrington in his Vol. I cash game book says to never fold K-K. I have folded K-K before, preflop, and been right. I consider great laydowns a key reason why I'm a winning player. Recently I've lost a lot of money three times in the last two months when I've had K-K and the other guy had A-A.

Three other times that night I saw someone lose their stack pre-flop when he had K-K and the other person had A-A.

I'm starting to believe Harrington is wrong. I'm starting to believe there are times you need to lay down K-K pre-flop. All three times I had a good feeling that the other person had A-A but I refused to believe it because folding K-K pre-flop is so weak. I have saved money in the past folding K-K pre-flop.
I realize poker is situational, but what do you all think about this? And does anyone fold in my above situation?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Samatha Fox

I used to have a thing for Samantha Fox.
I fell hard for her for at least a couple weeks - hell, maybe even a month - when I caught her video on "Friday Night Videos."
You remember that show, right? Oh you do so. Don't be coy. Back in 1983 it was the only way I could catch music videos because my parents refused to spring for cable. Cable, back then, was a luxury enjoyed by only the most spoiled of my friends. I still remember the guy who had a ColecoVision.
It was the raddest show on TV. ZZ Top and the car and those chicks! Def Leppard's "Photograph!" That three-part interview with David Lee Roth in bed when shamed and insulted Quiet Riot! And the awesome cartoon introduction and...OK I'll stop.
Problem was, it was on late, like midnight, and our house by then was usually freakin' cold because my parents also believed saving money meant turning the heat down to, I think, 45 degrees because we were asleep and therefore didn't need the warmth. So I'd use this little space heater, which would inevitably put me to sleep, probably because of all the gases it emitted to heat the room.
Fox's video for "Touch Me," one of my favorite early 80s songs, was on last, probably because it wasn't that much of a hit, and I remember watching a slit of the beginning out of my sand-soaked eyes, and when she appeared, I bolted right up.
So today it suddenly occurred to me that I could watch her video RIGHT NOW on YouTube, and the 12-year-old in me stabbed me in the liver and demanded I sneak a peek.
And I went to the video.
And I was laughing hysterically about a third of the way through.
It held up about as well as the mullet I wore my senior year in high school.
I mean, she's still a hottie...and I still like the song.....but....

Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Into the wild, maybe

I just finished watching "Into the Wild," and though I liked the book better, it provoked the same thoughts I had when I was reading the masterpiece by one of my heroes, Jon Krakauer.

I think everyone, ultimately, wants to be free of the shackles of this world. The quest for money, the drive for nice things, the need for comfort. Security, many times, means the cash to make us feel safe rather than love, protection or faith in who we are.

One of the big reasons I visit the peaks so many times every summer is because every trip whittles the goal down to a very basic sense of struggle and survival. You are hungry, so you eat. You are cold, so you throw on another layer. You are tired, but you push on, until you reach your goal, and then you feel so good about pushing through the elements and your own exhaustion to achieve such a simple yet worthwhile goal. I run for the very same reasons.

This is why being a parent of the youngsters I have, and to the degree that I have them, continues to challenge me more mentally than physically. There's no endgame. There's no standing on the peak. But there is plenty of exhaustion. There is frustration. There is always a struggle.

Today the plumber came and stung us with a $175 bill because Jayden yesterday dropped plastic forks down the drain and jammed up the garbage disposal. I suppose it could have been much worse. But that's not what I needed today after he had a good half-hour meltdown as thanks for taking him to see baby farm animals and then driving him to a park to see herons and egrets nesting in the trees. The meltdown was because I refused to take him to a playground.

The real reason for the meltdown, though, was not a plastic slide. It was that exhaustion gets to Jayden, too, and so does hunger. I often wonder how hard having the twins is on him. I think more than we realize since he's such a good big brother. I forget to credit him for that.

I finally got some food down him after a lot of talk and, I'm sorry to say, a little yelling. The meltdowns chip at my sanity, and I can only take so much.

Then again, after the fourth time I put him down for his much-needed nap, he looked at me and said "Iluvudaddy." He wasn't answering me. He was telling me something from his heart.

I still desire my freedom from the boundaries that life and, mostly, my kids chain to me every day. Yet I also give into them, willingly and without regret.

The tough part about being a parent is there is no summit. But that's also what makes it worth it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The internal debate

Man, I'm running hot at the cash games lat -

Internal voice: What are you doing?

What do you mean?

Internal voice: "I'm running hot?"

Um, well, this IS a poker blog. Sorta.

Internal voice: Yea, and...wait a minute. You were going to write a BRAG POST weren't you?


Internal voice: Are you NUTS? Write about how your full house lost to a full house at the Bodonkey! Write about how your Razz hands sucked in the Skillz. Write about how sore you are after your good half marathon race! Write about your girls' poop! Anything but a BRAG POST!

But I whine all the time! I wanna write about how good I am!

Internal voice: Fine. Can I kiss your bankroll good-bye before you post?
Look, you're really not that good, OK? Write about why you THINK you're running well but don't just brag. No one cares, and you're inviting the doom switch.

OK, three reasons why I'm running well:
1. Bodog players continue to be horrible. They call way too much, meaning Overbets work wonderfully.
2. I can put players on a hand now, and I'm not afraid to put all my money in the middle to act on them. Patterns have emerged: Paired boards are ripe for picking off bluffs or weak hands, top pairs are transparent, and not many players know how to control a pot.
3. I'm not afraid. I have a sense of calm, even if I lose a lot of money in a night, because I know, eventually, I'll win it back.

And one question:

I'm reading Harrington's cash game books, and as you can probably tell by my style, I'm a Harrington follower. But early on in his first volume, he advocates controlling the pot when you have a pair by checking the turn and betting the river, even with a draw.
I disagree. I much prefer to bet all turns to make players pay to see the river and then check the river if I still have top pair. It does leave me with a decision sometimes, but I've been able to sniff out bluffs more often than not lately.
What do you all think?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A half marathon, but a full dose of effort

If you looked at a manual that gave you tips on how to run the race of your life, I seriously doubt “Get Up at 3:45 a.m., then bus out to remote field and freeze for an hour” would make the top 10.
Probably not even the top 20.
Yet there I was today, shivering in the 6 a.m. air, with a helpful breeze slathering us in chill, as we waited for the start of the Colorado half marathon. The race started at 7 a.m., but the “luxury” buses (meaning “not school buses”) took us up the Poudre Canyon at 5:45 a.m., I guess, to make sure we all got there on time.
We were the last bus to leave and we still waited an hour. It got so bad I had to slip on my Superman/Superhero/Ghey Under Armor tights and try to keep busy by walking around. I wore a hat, gloves and two tech shirts along with the tights. I wore the same outfits at times during the dead of winter, when the temperatures struggled to scrape above single-digits. Yet, in May, I was shivering like a baby penguin.
I also used the potty - a vital part of race preparation, for obvious reasons - and lingered in the port-a-potty because it felt so damn good to be out of the breeze and frosty air. It’s probably the only time I’ve ever wanted to stay in a port-a-potty after the deed was done. Again, for obvious reasons.
The race did eventually start, after all 1,200 of us became like bees in a hive and huddled together, and it took all of a mile to realize I had made a huge mistake by leaving the tights on and checking my shorts. I had stripped my top layer, the hat and gloves, and I was still a little warm.
Crap. Crap crap crap. How long is a half marathon? 13 miles?
Crap. I’m screwed.
Only I wasn’t because despite the fact that my legs felt like they belonged on a cadaver, thanks to the cold I whined about above, I was doing pretty well. My goal for this race was to run faster than an 8:30-per-mile pace, with outside hopes of hitting above 8:15. It was a lofty goal, given that it would mean hard running for one hour and 45 minutes. But I also thought it was attainable.
A good portion of the course is downhill, like the first third, and I was breezing along and feeling pretty good. I probably should start out slower, I thought, but I knew I could finish the race, so I decided to run as hard as I could and see how it went.
My iPod Shuffle, stuffed with speed metal, the occasional inspirational song (”Stronger” by Kayne West) and a cheesy ballad or two, kept me moving.
The first real challenge came at Bagel Hill, around mile 5, a steep hill, but at the bottom my running partner was there with a Gatorade mix and some much-needed encouragement. It’s funny how just a little cheering from a good friend can really lift your spirits.
I’d need it again around mile 10, when she showed up again, this time with more Gatorade. After a pretty uneventful race, I was beginning to crash. My bones hurt, my legs didn’t want to move and I had a hard time finding any kind of rhythm, despite the fact that running like a robot is more crucial than ever when you’re that tired.
She got me to the last mile, when I found another friend, an older woman who is basically a studette. She was planning to run a marathon in six days. I ran with her the last mile and pulled ahead in the last few moments.
I crossed the line in 1:49:57.
The pace was 8:24-per mile.
And stopping felt really, really good.
I finished around 245th out of 1,200. Not bad.
I went home, fixed some Tyson chicken tacos (and I managed to ignore the fact that the “Now with 10 percent more chicken!” was considered a good marketing gimmick from Tyson officials) and took a long, hot shower.
I’m sitting at the computer now, with my right leg in a pretty bad mood, something Advil hasn’t even soothed. It’s not injured. I think its feelings are hurt.
It can’t understand why I’ve sacrificed its comfort for the health of my spirit. Someday, when I know myself, I’ll explain it to him.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The day before

The day before a big race is always filled with butterflies.
I didn't think I'd get this way. A half marathon just might be my favorite race. Really, the pressure is off. I want a good time, something below an 8:30-per-mile pace, maybe even faster. But it's 13.1 miles. No one really asks what my time was when I tell them I finished one, save for my hardcore running buddies.
The time doesn't define the race.
Yet I've thought about it a lot today. I think that's part of the preparation. I know it's going to be tough and that eventually I'll be in a lot of pain. I also know I'm excited about it. Half marathons are fun.
Running is still new to me. It's only been three years. I rarely feel this way before a mountain, even one that's considered dangerous by some. That's so old hat.
A part of me, I guess, still wonders if I can do it. I always love to doubt myself.
I'll be up at 3:45 a.m. tomorrow to prove myself wrong.

Friday, May 02, 2008

My kid is napping, so....

A few random thoughts:

1. The wind sounds like it's blowing 853 mph outside today. If today were the half marathon, I don't know if I could finish the race.
Well, yeah, I could, but it would probably be on my hands and knees by the finish.
Plus it's about 40 degrees today. That's understandable. It's only May 2. I mean, I wouldn't expect the weather to get warm by then. Gotta be at least July before that fucking happens.

2. I'm reading Heartsick right now and absolutely love it. I'm finally reading books again after spending too much time playing video games. I used to love to read before I started writing for a newspaper, and there were far too many days that I'd be so burned out on writing when I got home that I didn't want anything to do with the written word. I've discovered the joy of reading again. Maybe that will help me resist the temptation to buy an X-Box 360.

3. Cripes, that wind is strong.

4. Should I have known that my opponent, while playing $50 NL on Bodog, called my $4 raise with 5-2 os when the 2 came on the turn on a 10-2-7 rainbow flop and he raised me $10. Was I dumb to jam with my K-K in that spot?
Other than that, the move to that level has gone well for the most part. I am a lot more aggressive than I used to be, so the variance is wilder, but that's OK, I really need to improve.

5. I'm listening to the Ante Up! podcasts while I run my 10 miles or so on Sundays or while playing and I'm really liking it. Our own Columbo is a part of it and does a great job with his hand puzzles.

And no, unlike some of my other recent posts, this was not a paid ad.