Be Watchful for Alligators

July 20, 2006

No thunderstorms on tonight’s run. That’s a good thing, because the trails I ran tonight managed to kick my tail without any extra excitement.

I realized I was in for something a bit different when I saw the sign at the trailhead saying “Be Watchful for Alligators.” Fortunately (or unfortunately, because I really wanted to see one), it was a gator-free run. Plenty of mosquitos, though!


Rainy Run

July 19, 2006

I’m on the road again this week, spending a few days in steamy Tallahassee. It’s times like this that I wonder who actually invented the suit and tie. Whoever it was, my hunch is they had never been to Tallahassee in July. Impractical or not, the corporate uniform is de rigeur for client meetings. But, I always look forward to hanging up the suit and putting on my running shoes at the end of the day.

Tonight I ran around the campus of Florida State University. Well, not actually all the way around it. It is a big school, after all. The most impressive thing about the FSU campus is probably Doak Campbell Stadium. These people really take their football seriously. It must be a pretty incredible atmosphere on Saturday afternoons in the fall.

It was 91 degrees when I started my run tonight, and by the time I finished a full-on thunderstorm was starting up. Anyway, after getting a bit lost, and a bit antsy with the lightning getting closer and the wind picking up to the point where clumps of Spanish moss were getting blown out of trees, I located my car before I was totally soaked. Not a top 5 run, but well worth the effort.

Esse Quam Videri

July 11, 2006

I have long been captivated by the motto of the state of North Carolina: “Esse quam videri” (“To be, rather than to seem”).

By contrast, some state mottos are so obviously rooted in the past that they run the risk of seeming antiquated. For example, Alabama hearkens back to the Civil War with “Audemus jura nostra defendere” (“We Dare Defend Our Rights”), while my home state of Virginia reaches back even further to the days of the American Revolution with “Sic Semper Tyrannis” (“Thus Always to Tyrants”).

While these mottos may seem dated, at least they are inspirational. Not so with states such as Indiana (“The Crossroads of America”), Tennessee (“Agriculture and Commerce”) and Utah (“Industry”).

And then there’s Michigan: (“If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you”). Not to be outdone, New Mexico boasts: “It grows as it goes”. Huh?

Back to North Carolina. More than any of the other 49 states’ mottos, North Carolina’s presents as much of an individual challenge as it does a state rallying cry. To be, rather than to seem. As society bombards us with the artificial, the superficial and the trivial, we would all do well to adopt North Carolina’s motto as our personal watchword. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying.

Stay Tuned

July 9, 2006

For the 2 or 3 of you out there who have been checking in to see what I’ve posted lately, sorry. I’ve spent a fair amount of time staring at the computer screen but haven’t come up with anything that I thought was post-worthy. I’m trying to keep this blog limited to things that I think are at least mildly interesting, so have resisted the temptation to post just for the sake of posting.

Until now.

Stay tuned and I’ll try to come up with something better soon.

Third Time’s a Charm

July 2, 2006

I officially start training for the OBX Marathon tomorrow morning. While I’ve run a couple of half-marathons, and am fairly comfortable at 10 miles, I’ve not run a marathon before. This is the third time I’ve paid the entry fee, however. The first time I was injured during training, and the second time I fell off the training wagon and realized a month before the race that it was too late to hop back on.

I’m hoping that the third time will be a charm.

Here’s a list of running quotes that I’ve pulled together. I imagine I’ll be referring to these more than once over the next few months.

“Self-conquest is the greatest of victories.”

“Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.”
~Tom Fleming

“(Scientific testing) can’t determine how the mind will tolerate pain in a race. Sometimes, I say, ‘Today I can die.'”
~Gelindo Bordin

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
~Sir Roger Bannister

“There will come a point in the race, when you alone will need to decide. You will need to make a choice. Do you really want it? You will need to decide.”
~Rolf Arands

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.”
~Bill Bowerman

“We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.”
~Emil Zatopek

“Anyone can run 20 miles. It’s the next six that count.”
~Barry Magee

“Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.”
~Steve Prefontaine

“If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didn’t run hard enough.”
~Steve Jones

“Few of us know what we are capable of doing… we have never pushed ourselves hard enough to find out.”
~Alfred A. Montapert

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”
~George Sheehan

“It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.”
~Emil Zatopek

“Men, today we die a little.”
~Emil Zatopek, at the starting line

“My life is a gift to me from my Creator. What I do with my life is my gift back to the Creator.”
~Billy Mills