5k race, 35:31 (11:29)

i’m running along just a few hundred meters into the race when i see him up ahead. silver hair, lean physique, dark tan, million-mile legs, no socks, old skechers. it has to be Don Freaking Winkley.

plus, the back of his shirt says Don Freaking Winkley, which is sort of a giveaway. but still.

longtime readers will recall i have seen him a few times over my six years in corpus christi at the gym. he was one of my heroes when i first dipped my toes into ultramarathons. he was always doing insanely long races. sometimes he’d win, sometimes he’d burst into flames. but he was amazing and crazy and fearless. and still is. and here he is.

he’s 73 now and still running stupid long distances, so i guess this 5k is just goofing off for him. meaning that while i am already in total aerobic debt, i’m able to keep a few meters behind him as he chats with a friend.

it’s an out and back course, so as he goes along he’s getting an endless series of greetings and waves from the other runners. local legend. i get a few MOVE OVER YOU MORONs, which i assume is a form of admiration.

at the turn, he’s still there. i’m just a little back, sitting on his shoulder. he’s wearing the 2005 spartathlon shirt, a 150-mile race in greece. i’m wearing some 10k trail run shirt from west of austin. oh, well. i’m holding my own.

we keep that same position, him leading the way, me comfortably drafting, until the Hill of Death at about 2.7 or so. i suck it up, figuring this is my chance. i turn on the jets and watched as he pulls away. i probably need to read the instructions on my jets more closely.

and then it’s over. i’m ok with my time, considering i was giving up running forever a few days earlier. someone asks him how he did. “oh, i was just pretending to run,” he replies. i totally bought it.

my mind races. he’s just a few feet away, chatting with someone, and then he starts to walk away. i can catch up with him and introduce myself at last.

what to say? how i had torn open ultrarunning each month to see the latest installment of his race across america? his crazy australia jaunt with jesse riley? the six-day sri chinmoy runs? trans gaulle? tennessee? how i’d almost met him once at the gary cross 6-day in sierra vista till the logistics didn’t work? how i’ve been a fan forever? like 30 years forever?

i found out at the recent race where i rediscovered willie that sometimes you just have to put aside the shyness and do it. i walk up to him.

and then keep walking.

maybe it’s better to keep your heroes at a distance. maybe they should serve alcohol at the finish. maybe i suck.

but for the record, i was within striking distance of running legend Don Freaking Winkley for almost an entire race.

bring on the spartathlon, Don Freaking Winkley. bring it on.

wings of texas 5k
3.1, 35:31 (11:29)
cole park (2 hills), 7 a.m., 66 4n
11:01, 11:31, 12:01
176, 0.80
ernie pook

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he gave her a roomful of chippendale

that nobody sits in
— the prophet joni mitchell

sorta race tomorrow. hill of death three times? what the.

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3.1 miles, 36:18 (11:43)


facebook analyzed my posts from the past few weeks and came to this conclusion. apparently i am leaving mo for marcia, i am a sucker for perfect pizza, and i enjoy painting eggs. i suppose you can’t question science.

which brings me to J.H. McLean’s Volcanic Oil Pain Relieving Linament. day 2 of no pain. this, after a couple of months of constant suffering. this stuff is a magic elixer.

i felt strong through the whole thing again. ernie pook on the turtle loop. kinda crazy. at the start of the week i was giving it up forever. today i’m pointing to saturday race. nuts.

i guess it’s like the old running maxim: “chick rain bacon give.”

never question science.

3.1 miles, 36:18 (11:43)
2 p.m., whale, 90 8n
11:21, 11:54, 11:55
176, 0.78
ernie pook

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2 miles, 23:49 (11:53)

so i figured what the hell.

i ditched the clown shoes and dragged out ernie pook (the third-generation piranhas), went to the jackalope and ran. no padding, no sole, no support or control. just 4 1/2 ounces of man i can’t believe these things still smell this bad.

and maybe that was the secret.

that slightly greater leg extension from a faster pace seems to take the pain away from the knee. maybe a bit more of a heel strike and roll? longer stride? underwear gnomes? pain couldn’t stand the stench?  i’m not sure, but i ran 2 miles and it didn’t hurt. like, really didn’t hurt.

maybe it just took a day for the J.H. McLean’s Volcanic Oil Pain Relieving Linament to kick in? possibly. maybe a fluke? could be. either way is ok by me. 2 miles of pinching myself. only 2 miles because it’s harder than you would think to run while pinching yourself.

i guess we’ll see. but maybe the key to running is that i need to be running. this stuff is simpler than you would think.

thanks, ernie pook.

2 miles, 23:49 (11:53)
2 p.m., jackalope, 88 7n
11:49, 11:58
177, 0.76

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3.1 miles, 46:16 (14:56)

so it’s come to this.

i was thinking today about the old days and how some guys would do Really Bad Things to their bodies in the name of training. one of those things was DMSO.

 DMSO was a horse linament that you could buy at the feed store. it was said to have magical healing power, and a lot of runners swore by it. drug testing was a bit more lax in those days, as was common sense about allowing your body to absorb stuff you didn’t understand. oh, those wacky ’70s.

fast forward 30 years, and here i was staring at the Dr. J.H. McLean’s Volcanic Oil Pain Relieving Linament i had just  bought for mo in an effort to kill her in her sleep. 

LINAMENT! it had to be a sign. you never know.

So i doused my left knee and waited. and waited. to be exact, i waited till the brady bunch was over. priorities, you know. i had a hunch this group would somehow form a family. and then i went out to run.

except i didn’t, because it still hurts. a lot. horses much have a much higher threshold of pain than me. or possibly i need to be spurred a bit. 

it was an ok stroll with a little jogging thrown in. the first sub-80 day in about 12 years. sad to have wasted it.

bottom line: although this stuff smells just horrid, it appears to not solve my problem, the problem being that my knee has no cartilage and i will never run again.

so tomorrow we try the Great Tempo Only Experiment of 2016. maybe after a swig of the Dr. J.H. McLean’s Volcanic Oil Pain Relieving Linament. because you never know.

even when you do. 

3.1 miles, 46:16 (14:56)
2 p.m., whale, 79-9n
14:57, 24:54, 15:06
144, 0.75

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12 days off 

i guess i’m done with this whole running thing.

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6.2 miles, 1:28.42 (14:17)

can you get arrested for wearing a shirt with an elf saying “bite me”? i was about to find out.

i was rummaging through the shirt box looking for a victim when i saw it. the christmas shirt. it was from a race a couple years back. demonic looking elf. i had vowed last year to wear it every day from thanksgiving to chirstmas or something like that. not sure. too much eggnog. not really. i hate eggnog. maybe rum GU. nah, i hate rum. maybe a 1554 and the lost gonzo band. anyhow, mo objected because of the clause that didn’t allow washing of said shirt for the duration. end result: a christmas fist fight, resulting in the elf offering his colorful commentary in sharpee. i never wore it again. end of story.


i wanted to wear it because it’s white and tech material, but i wondered if it’s legal to say “bite me” on the sidewalk along the G-rated beach. chamber of commerce, you know. but i figured what are the odds of getting caught. off season, too hot for people to be out, whatever. an adventure.

it was an ok run. today was day 1 of the Selena 10k Mi Tío Boni Marathon Diez y Deis Dime Box Siesta Fiesta Extravaganza (Now With Lanolin) ©, so i was sort of excited in that i’m not really excited at all kind of way. miles is miles. but as i came up on the turn, i saw him: a bicycle cop.

he rode by slowly in the opposite direction, looking at the shirt. which i figured was a normal curious reaction. and then he turned around. i plotted my alternatives. swim for it. political immunity. sprint. t-mobile. but then i realized it had to be a coincidence. he rode by slowly. then he stopped.

i ran by him nervously. he was pretending to talk on his cell phone, clearly calling in SWAT. no, you moron. he’s just talking on the phone. ditch the 16-year-old hippie paranoia. just run. all is well.

then he came by AGAIN. got just in front of me. and stopped again. pulled out phone again.

i was a goner for sure. confess? turn myself in? self-tasing? i weighed my options and did what i had to do. i took off the shirt and stuffed it in the front of my shorts. answering krg’s question from a couple days ago.

he never came by again, certain proof i thwarted his arrest plot. the rest of the run was the usual uneventful heat stroke. still a 10k. good step toward dime box.

was he really after me? the naysayer would say it was all a coincidence. actually, the naysayer would just say nay. to which i would say: bite me. bidi bidi bom bom.

6.2 miles, 1:28.42 (14:17-134)
selena 10k, 1 p.m., 90-9n
12:47, 13:48, 15:28, 14:18, 14:55, 14:54, 2:33
152, 0.74
hokey pokey 20

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