Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another great interview, and getting back to Uncle Fester

I could take a few lessons from ShirleyPerly and her blog The Humble Triathlete. She just posted an excellent interview with me. It’s well worth checking out. I sure enjoyed the interview. She’s interesting and fun and asks great questions. And you’ve still got time to post a comment and be eligible for a free copy of Trizophrenia. Because this particular blog entry is titled – and now we’re getting to the part where I can take a few lessons from her – “Creator of Frazz Giveaway.”

I could use such a lesson, and maybe eventually I’ll remember to write the header after I write the blog entry. I’m easily distracted, and this past Friday I wrote the title “Uncle Fester Runs a Marathon” and then spent a little too much time on Catch-22 and decided I wasn’t going to be able to share my race photos without going on longer than a blog ought to (another thing I have trouble with). So back to Uncle Fester.

I mentioned I don’t photograph well when I’m running. See for yourself. Link here to my Grand Rapids Marathon photos from Action Sports Images. These not only continue the trend, they may retire the trophy. For even more fun, compare them to the relative supermodels in the photos from the finish of the New York Marathon. I don’t know what it is, but it’s always this way. Action Sports Images is blameless. Given that I signed up for the race spontaneously, and with supremely casual run training in the six weeks since racing Ironman Louisville, I was asking for disaster well beyond bad photos. Here is a glimpse of how my mind was working less than two weeks before the race. Be warned, it’s no prettier than my photos:

1) I'll be speaking on Saturday at a book event in Grand Rapids
2) Patty and her sister and mother are attending a concert in GR Saturday evening, so we're staying overnight.
3) Oh, hey, my friends Brian and Jenna are racing the GR half-marathon on Sunday.
4) Maybe I should race it, too.
5) Sheesh! The entry fee is $93 at this point. Forget it.
6) Oh, look, it's only another $11 to enter the full marathon
7) ...

It turned out better than I deserved. I finished safely within that vast range between impressive and embarrassing. I felt good throughout the race except in the final mile and a half, and even then I felt what seemed to be the right level of bad. My first- and second-half splits were dead even, which is incredibly promising. And the 3:43 I posted is only 13 minutes off a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon, which I know I can find if I take drastic measures like, you know, actually training. So now I’m looking at a Michigan winter of serious run training for another attempt in the spring. Maybe I half knew that during the race. That might explain the photos.

And keeping up my end of the conversations with those who were lucky enough to get through whatever wall GoogleBlog or whatever is putting up:

Mollie makes fun of my photo, specifically the wheel I’m using as a prop: “… you’ll rack up more miles if you sit on the seat of the bike instead of leaning against the wheel.” A good point. That photo is on the “about the author” page of Trizophrenia, too, and has prompted the question of how much Zipp paid me to lean on their wheel. Put it this way: They’re willing to double it in my next book. Or triple it. Same difference. I just like the wheels, and it beat putting on a wetsuit for the photo shoot.

Ellen celebrates her first triumph in guessing Caulfield’s Halloween book, and her first time carving pumpkins without a local newspaper handy. “I can read the important parts (Frazz and very little else) online, but nothing beats a newspaper for catching the pumpkin carving mess,” she writes. I appreciate her priorities, and I miss my daily newspapers, too. And I’ll be on the lookout for tips on how to get pumpkin guts out of your laptop computer.

Finally, Steve finds he has to correct me again. Not only do I not know my algorithm from my logarithm, I called him an actuary when he is, in fact, a computer programmer. I fault my mnemonic skills – they both rhyme with “herd.” Yow. Did I make that joke? Lucky for me, Steve is cool enough to prove it inaccurate, and even better, cool enough to forgive me even if it were true.


ShirleyPerly said...

Thanks for the shout-out! I enjoyed reading your answers as much as coming up with the questions.

And for the record, I don't think you look anything like Uncle Fester. Congrats on a nice evenly paced marathon!

Scott said...

Given all that you do (triathlon training, writing Frazz, eating, sleeping) and that there are only 24 hours in a day, how do you manage it all? Any tips for the rest of us?


Good luck with the blog. You're motivating me to be better about mine.