Number 100

All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” -Gene Fowler
“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” -Gene Fowler

flickr photo by ::: Billie / PartsnPieces :::

Sure, I’ve been busy. But the other reason it’s taken me so long to write this my 100th blog post is ego. I thought I had to put together a long-winded, serious piece on why I took up writing a blog and where the experience has taken me since I started puttering around with blogging about a year ago. After all, among the 100 posts I’ve written-a paltry amount compared to many, if not most, other bloggers-I’ve reviewed television programming, provided a running commentary on a vacation I was enjoying, posted some pictures I’m proud of, detailed my exploits as a newly-minted distance runner, and showed off my baking abilities. I’ve used the Pixel Pusher blog to develop my creative writing abilities, and in turn it has allowed me to connect to a small, but passionate readership.

But who wants to read about that?

Instead I would like to thank all of those who have visited and read my posts, and I hope I can continue to entertain and inform you. I close out this milestone post with a hope to find more frequently interesting topics about which to write, and a couple of links below to articles from a travel website,,  illustrated by my very own travel photos. Clicking on the photos on the page takes you to a larger version on my flickr photostream.

Click here for Olympic Sculpture Park review, and here for Elliott Bay Book Company article paired with my photography.


Marathon Training

I’m planning to attend tomorrow’s informational meeting for the San Francisco Marathon Training Program. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm at the Potrero Hill Sports Basement. This time last year I was contemplating whether or not to sign up for one of the marathon training programs as I was getting ready for the SFM, and I decided not to. By January I had developed training habits which might not be recognized by other runners, but they were working for me. I was afraid an actual training program would change too much of my routine and would undercut my motivation and ability to run 26.2. A year later and a little wiser, I recognize the possible benefits of engaging in a supervised training program, and that’s why I’m going to tomorrow’s meeting. My hope is the program has a coaching component so I can get tips on things like nutrition, stretching, and how to improve my running and speed. If the program merely revolves around getting a group of people together to run, I’m afraid I’ll have to pass. Motivation to run isn’t my concern right now, but learning how to do it better is.

For more information on The Official San Francisco Marathon and Half Marathon Training Program, click here.

Update: The meeting was well attended, and many of the attendees were first-time marathoners and half-marathoners. The presenters were enthusiastic, encouraging, and had a lot of good information about the programs offered. I’d would love to sign up for the 18-week program, but the price tag scares me off. After all, why pay for something you’ve been doing for free, right? Of course, that discounts all of the coaching and camaraderie a program like this offers, so I may have to get over my money issues and sign up.

What kind of supervised training have you done?

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Running Into The New Year

What does this picture have to do with running?
What does this picture have to do with running?

2009 has officially begun, and as day two draws to a close here on the West Coast I bet folks are still sticking to the resolutions they made for the new year. I didn’t make any concrete resolutions myself (which means no one will ever know whether or not I’ve kept them), but in 2009 I would like to continue my running, eat better, get more sleep, and cultivate a healthier lifestyle. I’m definitely cheating by not quantifying those goals with a resolution, but I can’t imagine keeping some sort of sleep log to make sure I’m putting in more zzzzzs.

As for the running, I was hoping to get in a few miles on New Year’s Day to bring in the new year on the right foot. I even moderated the New Year’s Eve drinking the night before so I would feel good the next morning and would be motivated to hit the pavement. But a mid-morning lethargy washed over me as I sat around drinking coffee with my family and dearest friends with whom we spend each New Year’s. Instead of putting in some miles, a group of us headed out in the early afternoon for a couple of sets of “tennis”. So, I got the heart rate up a little bit having a blast with my friends chasing tennis balls around the court, but I missed the opportunity to run in the new year.

Today I didn’t have anything else going on, so I was able to put in my first run of 2009, which I hope is not a harbinger of things to come. This was one of those struggle days when one can’t wait for the run to be over. Tired legs, gusty, capricious winds, sharing sidewalks with jumpy pedestrians, and the guy who almost rolled me up onto the hood of his car all made for an unappealing run. I’m glad it was only six miles, although I’m sure I could have gutted out another mile or two if that’s what the schedule called for. Some days are just going to be tough like that, though, and I’m already looking forward to putting today’s experience behind me and having a good run tomorrow.

In fact I started the healing process as soon as I got back home. I noticed the wind had scattered a whole bunch of vivid yellow ginkgo leaves on the rain-soaked sidewalk outside of my apartment. I ran inside, grabbed my camera, then ran back out and snapped some pictures including the one above. And that’s one of the things I like most about this whole running and fitness gig–seeing and experiencing moments as fleeting as the windswept randomness of leaves on a city sidewalk each time I go out for a run. Sure there’s time in the day for a little television or work on the computer, but I believe it’s important to get outside if you can and see what’s happening in the community around you as you streak past.

Oh, and as for some more concrete running resolutions, I’ll sit down in the next few weeks and plan out which marathons I’d like to enter in 2009. Until then, you can check out my profile on dailymile to see the one goal I have set for myself this year.

What are your 2009 fitness goal or goals? Leave a note in comments.

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