Frank Oz, Jim Henson and Rowlf the Dog, 1960s.
Two other things about the run yesterday: that was the first significant amount of time we had spent in Oakland. It felt an awful lot like my first 24 hours in New Orleans, in that I felt comfortable and at home and we were looking up apartments on Craigslist within three hours of arriving.
And the city is so incredibly diverse, in a way that Napa obviously is not. Running all across town, the races and ethnicities represented by both runners and on-lookers was just so diverse and joyful. Oakland suffers from many of the same post-industrial afflictions present in all the great cities (see: my hometown of Baltimore and longtime adopted home of New Orleans), but it’s got pride, and pride is one of the elements of unity. Above all, I think people benefit from being around folks of different colors and cultures and ethnicities, which could make it a very attractive place to move to from our stopping-point here in Napa.
First half-marathon was a huge success. I was hoping to finish at a seven minute mile pace, with a dream of maybe even breaking an hour and a half — which I considered absolute best-case scenario. As I crossed the finish line, I checked the Map My Run app on my phone, which said I finished at 1:30:10, just 10 seconds off my best-case scenario! As it turns out, I had started the app early, and I actually finished at 1:29:53, seven seconds better than I could have hoped. (In fact, I finished with the race clock at exactly 1:30:00, but because I didn’t cross the starting line until 0:00:07, I broke my dream time by seven seconds.) That put me in the top 10 percent for my age group, top five percent for men, and top three percent overall.
The distance was obviously greater than any of my training runs, and the pace faster, so I’m not exactly sure how I did it. And I’ve never really understood people who park out on marathon routes to cheer on strangers, but my god it’s the best thing ever when you’re running. And while the Oakland Marathon route finished with a quarter-mile climb, all those people cheering you on as you finish is perhaps the most positive, energizing thing I’ve ever experienced. I was lucky enough to be pretty much alone as I approached the finish line, so it really felt like everyone was there to support me.
For my next race, I’m going to do the final week of training a little differently. I ran twice in that last week, both super-easy, in addition to two “stretch and strengthen” days. And I ate, a lot. I finished yesterday a full ten pounds heavier than I’ve been since before harvest started last summer, though some of that probably has to do with the bottomless brunch buffet and several beers I consumed after the race.
Now, time to find the next one. #BetterEveryDay
It’s not easy being green…
But green’s the color of spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like a mountain
Or important like a river
Or tall like a tree
When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder why wonder
I am green, and it’ll do fine
It’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be
I truly believe this is one of the saddest, most perfect and most beautiful songs ever.
have you seen the Big Bird version from the memorial service for Jim Henson? A perfect sad song made even sadder.
Also, the fact that the Muppets have so much heart is, I think, why I love them so much. Rare is the children’s franchise with such sad and serious songs.
Seems like it’s time again for that twice-weekly thing where I just can’t shake these thoughts of what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-with-my-life.
The last few years have been tumultuous: first I was drifting on a makeshift raft in New Orleans, freelancing and making so very little money that every decision turned into a terrible one in terms of physical and financial health; then I went to New York for money and opportunity and ended up getting pulled under water by a riptide; and now I’ve got myself afloat again but can only see miles upon miles of empty sea, with no indication of the correct route to get back to port to make a life again.
What I’m saying is, I want a career and a life and just enough money to get (and stay) out of debt and kids who play soccer in the front yard and a city that I love to call home and really be a part of and work towards making better every day. And I have no idea how to get any of those.
from tonight’s True Detective. perfect pick.
fingers walk the darkness down, mind is on the midnight. gather up the gold you found, you fool it’s only moonlight. if you stop to take it home your hands will turn to butter, better leave this dream alone. try to find another
salvation sat and crossed herself and called the devil partner. wisdom burned upon a shelf, who’ll kill the raging cancer. seal the river at its mouth, take the water prisoner. Fill the skies with screams and cries; bathe in fiery answers
This is song is my everything. It is my 2014 Spring anthem. It is early Spring here in Carolina (the Southern one is the true Carolina), and I went for a long drive down a country two-lane highway that was all spanish moss, oak trees, derelict mansions, and barren cotton fields while listening to this song on repeat.
Despite the calamities of my mind, sometimes life ain’t so bad.
Didn’t watch True Detective but: Always Reblog Townes Van Zandt. What a great song.
I’ll be joining Eater as a restaurant critic and a data guy! Am humbled to be working with other new hires like steakmaster Nick Solares, jack-of-all trades Robert Sietsema, and national restaurant editor Bill Addison. Am also stoked to say I’ll continue filling The Price Hike & The Bad Deal with great content, both original and from around the web. I’m very grateful to all of who’ve read The Hike & The Deal over the past three years! You’re the BEST!
HUGE and awesome news!
Photos from my carneros run yesterday. Slower than I wanted: 12 miles at a 7:23 pace, well off my 7 min target. But beautiful as always, and if I actually hydrate and eat well ahead of time my pace should be much better for next weekend’s Oakland Half-Marathon.