Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Marathon Training Update

I'm over 250 miles into my training, but have 600 more miles to go including MCM. These days, I've been having difficulty getting and staying motivated and I find it tough to get myself out of the house for most runs. The weekend runs are a bit easier and are more critical to my training, so I just get up and do it. And, I always feel so good on my long runs that I don't have much trouble getting started. It is the midweek workouts that bore the crap out of me. 4 miles here, 8 miles there...5:30AM on a Wednesday or 6PM on a Thursday just isn't inspiring or exciting. I'm also having trouble with my diet, or whatever you can call it. I can't figure out what I should really be eating and when and I seem to be stuck around 175 lbs. Yes, that is my goal weight, so I should be happy, but I was hoping that I could drop some more weight through this training program. Another 10 pounds would make a big difference in my speed and endurance and would help a great deal in meeting my marathon goal. And, as if motivation and food aren't enough to complain about, I'm still a bit sore from my long run this past Sunday. My left foot didn't feel that great afterwards, nor did my knees, but I can't tell if this is just soreness from hard training or a larger issue. My knees are fine, I think. They usually get sore at the end of a long run and only at the end of the long runs and they usually feel fine by the time I go for my next run. But, the pain in my left foot is similar to the pain I had last November, which ultimately required a visit to the podiatrist, prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, and ten days off from running. My training plan can accomodate a layoff like that, particularly since I am in a "rest" week at the moment, but I'd prefer to not go back to a doctor if I can help it. Foot feels better today, but I should go for a 4 mile run this evening. I think I'll take it easy, maybe a light jog to test the foot, and we'll see what happens. If it hurts, I'll go see a doctor.

Book Review: Ultramarathon Man

Maybe this will become a regular part of the blog. If I ever have an audience larger than three people, it might even be worthwhile to someone. In any case, I recently finished reading "Ultramarathon Man" by Dean Karnazes. Dean is well-known for running ridiculously long distances on his own, but the more non-Dean reading I've done, the more I realized that Dean is just a marketing machine who happens to run a lot. Not to take anything away from the guy. He did run a marathon at the South Pole, completed Western States a few times, and has run a 200 mile relay race by himself several times. But, other people have done crazier stuff, even crazier than his new hype-laden event, the Endurance 50.

In any case, so Dean wrote a book. And, he really did write this himself because it is not very well written. He could have used a better editor, but at least you can hear his real voice...the egotistical, overly happy with himself tone that comes right through on every page. Most of the book is rather boring, but it is such a quick read that it didn't bother me enough to put it down. The descriptions of his physical ailments, particularly how he felt at his worst moments during several of his adventures was the most interesting part. I can't imagine I'll ever run Western States, so maybe Dean's retelling of his first time is the closest I'll come to understanding what it is like to run up and down mountains in the middle of the night, pushing yourself a point where you almost go blind and begin to urinate blood. Nice stuff, right?

In the end, it is good toilet or airplane reading. Pick it up at the library, but definitely do not bother buying it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

iPod Saga, Part Four

Given that I hadn't heard anything, I figured I'd just ship the iPod back. Really, what else can I do at this point anyways? I believe I am on the right side of this dispute and having been the first party to register the issue with Paypal, I think I am in good shape as far as getting a favorable resolution. So, as a show of good faith and an effort to keep things moving, the iPod got packaged up and dropped off at the neighborhood Kinko/FedEx joint.

Oddly enough, on the same day that happens, I get this email from the lovely Dena:

Hello David,

I have spoken with my supervisor and we are going to
go ahead and send you out your replacement despite the
buyer dispute. However, we cannot send you a
replacement until we have received the defective iPod.
You should have already received an RMA# (DS062806)
and a return shipping label via email. Please package
the defective item securely and attach the return
shipping label to the outside of the box. Once we
receive the defective iPod, we will issue you a
replacement. Once you receive the replacement, please
remove the buyer dispute so that we can receive
payment for the item. Please let me know if there is
anything else that I can help you with.

Thank you,

She needed to talk to her supervisor about this? I'll be keeping an eye on the FedEx tracking information and sending her a reminder email when it looks like my package has been received by them. The sad part is that all I wanted is this kind of response, really. Just work through the dispute, resolve it quickly, and I'll be happy to close it. I'm not looking to hold them over a barrel here, but I don't understand why they never chose to communicate with me through Paypal.