May 27, 2007

I am steam powered

Warning: Long post.

Got out just a little too late for comfort for today's run. I brought along the ipod, determined to catch up on some of the Phedips I haven't listened to yet, some of the early ones. In one of the podcasts, Steve Runner covers the topic of bad drivers - a subject which he returns to on numerous occasions - and this really resonates with me. I really hate the permission-granting system the 50 states have set up by mutual agreement that permits dangerous drivers to be on the road. The system is too permissive initially, granting licenses to people who really didn't earn them, and overly forgiving. Licenses need to be suspended, keys taken away, vehicles impounded. Laws to encourage the use of mass transit need to be strengthened and current driving laws need to be enforced. Driving is a privilege, not a right, assholes. Further boosting my convictions in this forum is a recent study by the GMAC that shows where the nation's worst drivers are. The article (pops) has some rather alarming assertions which definitely check out against my past experience and internal bullshit-o-meter.

But enough of that topic.

Today's run was a complete 180 from Wednesday's run, in that my legs felt fine - rather good in fact - but my lungs turned traitor. I really wish these body parts would make up their minds! I knew it would be hard, though. The weather has gotten hot, edging into my 80 degree limit. Yesterday would have been worse; it was humid and while I ran errands I was having a very hard time with my lungs, coughing constantly, bringing up a lot of junk, and struggling against mild asthma. Running was out of the question - yeah, it was that bad.

I would have liked to have been out for my run a couple of hours earlier, but the need for some good sleep trumped all, so I got out about noon. It is mercifully much drier today, so my asthma didn't kick in, but I was coughing up a hell of a lot of phlegm. No blood spots, though, so that's OK. And, actually, it's thinner phlegm than normal, so that's a GOOD thing.

Five miles, lots of walking. This wasn't a training run so much as a chest clearance exercise. The second half of the run was better than the first - longer stretches of running, shorter periods of walking - but I still felt like crap and had a hard time keeping my wind up.

I realized partway through the run that not only do I need sunshine to run, but like a steam engine, I need fire and steam - fuel and water. If one of those is lacking, I'm going to lack oomph. Yeah, I know that goes for everybody, but it's interesting that as a complex machine, it's not just a simple equation. The fuel has to be fed in at the right time and in the right quantities, the water has to be steadily administered, the pressure in the boiler wants to be high, but not so high as to blow out other moving parts. There come questions of maintenance, lubrication, timing, and traction. I just learned that real steam engines, when dealing with grades they couldn't handle well, had a device that sprayed small quantities of sand onto the track just ahead of the driving wheels (the big ones). This gave them just enough traction that - if they had the steam up - they could handle the incline. What I need to do is figure out what my sand is - what will keep my big wheels from slipping on the tough days.

The run took about an hour, though it felt much longer. I had taken an Endurolyte before the run, anticipating the electrolyte loss, but only took plain water with me. That maybe was a mistake, though I didn't experience stomach issues or cramping at all. Still, felt like shit by the time I got home. After a shower and a quart of Crystal Light On the Go Hydration (pops) in Berry Splash flavor. It has added electrolytes, but isn't sweet like my HEED, which I think makes it a good post-run drink.

There's a 5-mile run benefitting CF in Sayville on June 29th. I'd love to go, but I'm supposed to be on the first day of a charity motorcycle ride (pops) that day. (If you'd like to donate to one of the two causes in my name, you'll find me under the same handle I use here.) It would easily be possible for me to skip that first day, go do the run, and join up with the group in Ottawa the next evening, or even meet them along their route mid-day. This would disappoint the organizers, however, as they like to have that "must have" group picture at the beginning of the ride.

WARNING: Cranky rant follows.

To be perfectly honest, I have a lot of mixed feelings about the ride - not about the causes we raise money for, those are great and worthy and close to my heart - but just the endless posturing by some of the riders. Yeah, you ride a motorcycle, that's great, but your personality...maybe not so much. The nonstop posing drives me nuts - meaning its all, "we're bad, we're bikers, look at our big replacement penises with their big engines and big shiny paint." It would be one thing if they could back that up with, oh, a consideration for safety, driving ability, stamina, rules of the road, experience, or even just an honest admission that they may not, in fact, be "the shit", but these guys... Black leather and a bike don't make you a biker. $20,000 dollars and 2,000 miles doesn't make you a biker. Talking loud, drinking hard, and ogling the waitress doesn't make you a biker. I am not going to define myself as a biker, but ... well, come talk to me when you have a long trip under your belt that didn't include 90% interstates. I will respect you when your toolkit is not the one that came with your bike, but the one you built up over time because you've learned how to fix your machine yourself on the road (within reasonable expectations). I'll call you to see if you want to ride with me on any given weekend if I've seen that you ride well, confidently, safely, and don't need to use your mount as an anchor for your manhood. I stay out of discussions debating the superiority of one brand over another; it is useless comparing apples and oranges. I don't like Harley riders who constantly wear the Harley badge, but I won't hold that against you, if you meet the other expectations. (In fact, there's a lot to be said for the boldness of a rider who takes any Harley on a long, off-interstate trip, when clearly other brands are more purpose-built.) In short, there are a lot of guys on these group trips that need to learn what a big ol' steaming cup of STFU tastes like.

I will say, though, that one of the organizers is one of the most experienced riders I've ever met, is fully a Harley guy, but backs it up with knowledge, calm demeanor, good attitude, moderation in all things, and has a keen grip on where his skills can take him and where they can't. THAT particular rider, as well as his SO and his son, I have come to respect and admire deeply. There's one other rider who I didn't get along with at first, but who is growing on me. Yeah, I'm worried about this trip. We have a lot of new riders and more riders than ever, on a trip that, while not involving a lot of mileage, will involve a lot of backroads and twisties. What this group does not have is a formal road captain setup, and they need it. One or two people - not the ride organizers - are designated as the road captains and when everyone's on the bikes, those guys are in charge. When everyone's off the bikes, the organizers are in charge. This means we have dedicated kitten-herders, for lack of a better phrase.

The trip I'm talking about is NOT the first trip I'll be taking this summer, the one to Alaska. No, the Alaska trip is a small group of dedicated bikers, all of whom have learned the lessons in the past - sometimes the hard way - and for a couple of the riders, this will be their last epic trip. This is the trip I'm actually preparing for - the second trip will be an epilogue to my summer fun. I am afraid that after 25 days on the road with the Alaska group - going all the way to Denali at the Artic Circle and back - that I will be too impatient with the squeemishness I will undoubtedly encounter in the charity riders. Don't want to ride in the rain, don't want to ride on dirt, don't want to camp, don't want to go more than 50 miles without a break, blah blah blah. Well, we'll see if I change my tune. I certainly HOPE I change my tune; I'm currently in the process of alienating myself from the group and that has got to be reversed. It is important to keep this little charity thing going and keep participating; it's good for the industry I work in.

Let me wrap this up by returning it to running. When I did the charity ride in the past, I was the only rider who got any exercise on a regular basis and most certainly the only one who got up early to put in some miles by foot before packing up and putting in miles on the bike. By contrast, in the small Alaska group, there's an awareness that one must be IN SHAPE to really ride distance and a few have been working on that. There's also another runner! I look foward to a few runs with him. Undoubtedly, he is faster than I, so we may do most running separately, but just having anothe runner keeps me from being the odd man out.

May 25, 2007

West Side Highway again

The weather's getting hot. Today is on the edge of bad and is certainly too hot to run this afternoon. Well, I got out on Wednesday after work, at least, and did 3.75 miles, according to gmaps pedometer, along the Westside Highway, from 54th street to 20th street and back. I aim to extend that Wednesday run by about a quarter mile or so every week. Eventually, the Wednesday evening runs may turn into my weekly long runs. On the other hand, it IS getting hot. Long runs may have to move to weekend mornings again.

The run itself was amazingly good. My lungs really cooperated - only two coughing fits. I walked only twice. Well, one was a stretch stop, actually; my leg muscles were extremely tight. Something about my chair where I'm working is being unhelpful in that regard. I was able to stretch out enough to run despite the pain and just like clockwork, my leg muscles started to loosen up and feel better as I passed the 3-mile point. 3/4 of a mile were pretty good; nice pace, felt strong.

Once again, I want to highlight how amazing my Adrenaline 7's are. I even went and bought a second pair yesterday so I can start breaking them in (and have shoes to change into at work instead of wearing my motorcycle boots all day).

It is Fleet Week and we have a couple of ships in town, though not an amazing amount of them. Mostly I see Navy walking around (esp on the WSH where their ships are docked), but I've seen a couple of Marines and took the time to thank them for their service. I also saw a rarity: a skinny Marine.

May 19, 2007


Let me tell you about the dream I had last night. Yes, I'll get comfy on this couch over here whilst you go get your stenopad and pencil, Dr. F. Thanks.

I don't talk a lot about my health problems outside strictly running-related issues of shin splints, runners knee, lung issues. But I do have a host of things to manage and continue to run in spite of them. Last week, for instance, I spent the entire week battling my CF-related GI issues as well as a continual low-grade bout with gout. I'm thankful it didn't turn into full-blown attack and I think the three runs I put in while in Bermuda helped prevent that.

I also have insomnia from time to time and will find even eight hours of sleep to be unrestful. So things have been going lately. My point in bringing all this up is that sometimes they all vortex down into a single moment that is a real make-or-break thing. That was this morning.

I didn't sleep well last night, but I do have the other problems I mentioned under control again, so what sleep I got was restful enough. I had an unusually vivid and memorable dream. In this dream, my CF had apparently progressed to the point that I needed a lung transplant. One moment I was going along as I usually do, with my impaired lungs, the next I'm waking up on the operating table (?) with fresh lungs. My chest had been cut open rather like opening up barn doors and somehow that was a good sign. Even better, I was immediately raring to go - I could BREATHE AGAIN! I was able to do this and that, run, jump, sprint, bicycle - all of it. This is in line with reality, actually. After recovery, many transplant recipients experience this second life.

But the key thing - the terrifying thing - was that the moment I realized what had happened, I felt the clock ticking again. I've written before, briefly, about this ticking clock I always hear in the background of my life, the countdown that I can't see, but can only hear, the countdown to my death. It isn't an electronic 24 sound, nor a pendulum tick sound, but rather the slow ka-chunk of a large digital display physically changing. The sound is close and monotonous, but I can never read the display. The clock would look, however, a lot like the clock displays above finish lines. Coincidence?

And in the dream, the realization that the clock was once again ticking on a shortened life - that transplant has merely reset that clock upwards by an average of five years - meant that I was still ... I don't know; not free. It was chilling. It was a clear reminder that even with my CF lungs, I can extend the countdown clock indefinitely through diligence and care, through therapy and exercise; but after the transplant, there's not as much I can do to extend the ticking countdown.

The dream was a sign.

I had gone to bed late last night intending to skip this morning's Healthy Kidney 10K, because it was going to be raining. So I hadn't set an alarm. But I woke up at 6:15 on the button all by myself, bathed in sweat and freezing my ass off. Yes, I literally woke up in a cold sweat. I couldn't get back to sleep. That, too, was a sign; I got up. It wasn't currently raining and the light didn't look right for rain. Even NY1 was saying the rain would hold off 'til afternoon. Weather was mid-50's, overcast - perfect for running.

So I ate some yogurt, brushed my teeth and hair, packed a bag and went to the race. On the way there, met an older couple (60s) who were in town to run this as the third of their nine qualifiers for the 2008 NY Marathon. Neat.

As I stripped off extra layers and put my bag in the corral, I kept hearing one of the announcers posting the time until the race would begin - and he kept announcing it every minute. Another damn countdown. I wasn't particularly focused on the dream I'd had, but maybe it helped motivate me today; and the countdown I was hearing was only half-welcome.

The race went OK. The start was extremely slow for me, especially since I stopped right after the starting line to use a porta-john. I thought I could hold off; but no dice. I immediately felt better. :)

Mile 1: Slow and steady, some walking, left calf and thigh particularly tight.
Mile 2: Left muscles getting tighter and painful. More walking and hoping the muscles eventually loosen up or else this race is really gonna suck. Lungs, however, cooperating nicely.
Mile 3: Ouch. More walking; just can't seem to stretch out the muscles and my left leg feels like a stump, though my right is working well.
Mile 4: Shortly after I cross the 5K marker and finish the major hill, I get going again pretty well. at 3.25 miles, I pass Larry the Lighthouse. This is a good sign, since usually if I'm behind him, he beats me and this time I figure we'll end up playing tag for the rest of the race. He is accompanied this race by Wendy the Windmill, and they are talking. Maybe they have taken the recent Reebok ads seriously. At 3.5 miles, the pain is fading and I'm settling into a good pace. Feels nice! Started passing people. Not just playing tag, but actually putting them behind me for good. THAT felt great.
Mile 5: My only continuous mile, but real smooth and pleasant. Managed to run right through a bad coughing fit because it came while I was headed down Cat Hill. Passed the fifth mile marker and gave myself permission to walk one more time if necessary.
Mile 6: Walked a little bit on the last big uphill, but only for a coughing fit. Thereafter, the rest of the run was steady and well-paced.
Mile 6.2: Wondered why 10K races aren't marked in kilometers. Struggled to maintain pace here, on the uphill finish, and didn't have the energy for a finishing kick; but kept my pace and finished well.

Results: satisfactory. Negative splits: First half 37:34; second half 32:38 (and the restroom break was about two minutes, so I really did run a stronger second half). Overall 1:10:12. My second worst 10K, but without that bathroom break, might have been only my 3rd worst. [My worst 10K was actually the Scotland Run a few weeks back, so this is an improvement.] The weather was perfect and I think that helped. As my benchmark race of spring, it helps me see I have a long way to go before I'm ready for November 4th.

Incidentally, the Central Park 10K record was broken by two seconds today. Neat. $20,000 bonus to that guy - Dathan Ritzenhein - he handily defeated my favorite, Craig Motram. And he donated his actual first-place purse of $7,500 to the Healthy Kidney foundation. This was my third year in a row running this race and the winners have done that every year.

I did see my doc before the race and he thinks my left orthotic needs adjustment. He's right, but I don't have time right now, nor the money. It will have to wait until August, at which point I'll probably want to go into physical therapy even as a preventative measure. We'll see.

So the clock wasn't too loud this time and I may have added a bit to the countdown. This run was an improvement in many ways and I especially needed to break the 10K barrier. I feel I can start to get my long runs up in distance now.

May 17, 2007


Swim, bike, run...that's what makes a triathlon. And for the first time, yesterday, I had the chance to do all three in one workout. Kinda. :)

I was done teaching a little early, so I indulged in renting a scooter from the local livery place so I could zip around the island a little bit. About an hour of aimless riding in, I came across a charming little beach with a marked section of the Rail Trail next to it, so I decide to navigate back to the hotel, change into running clothes, and come back to that spot.

Riding the scooter was a hoot. So much easier than riding a full motorcycle, yet so much twitchier, too. I don't like the automatic transmission on those things, but it is easy to use. I saw all parts of Bermuda in just a couple hours of riding. Best of all, they don't require a driver's license! Of course, driving on the left side of the road takes some getting used to...

Once I got back to Shelley Park, I headed out for a run on the Rail Trail. This thing is very hilly and has more kinds of terrain than I can count. I can see why people buy trail shoes for trail running - way too easy to twist an ankle on random terrain. Still, I gamely attacked it and was really enjoying myself. The trail ended abruptly and I was confused...I know the trail is longer than what I'd run (and as it turns out, I'm right...but not accessible from where I was). I turned around and went back to the beach park, which made the trail run just shy of two miles. A brief, but very intense, workout. I didn't have time to run the route twice, but I did have time to take off my shoes and go wading in the ocean a little bit. The water was very warm and ultra clear. Truly a pleasure.

I can't recommend Bermuda highly enough. It was just one of the best placest I've been. Not too touristy, and not too third-world. (Which I wouldn't expect of a British colony anyway). I've experienced the Bahamas and Virgin Islands with throngs of little kids swarming the tourists to beg change from them. No thanks. Bermuda is a dignified place for the most part, and quite beautiful in all corners.

I did take pictures! When I get the photo CD back, I'll post them here.

May 15, 2007

Bermuda run #2

I went out a bit too hard. Realize that for me, "too hard" means a 9 minute mile. :/ Still, with the wind at my back and my feet appreciating the Adrenaline 7's again, I had a good first mile. Then the goodness ended and I was back to the old run-walk-run thing. I went a smidgen shorter than the first run here in Bermuda, but it was still about three miles, I think, and I went in a different direction at the far end of the out-and-back.

Coming back was a real bitch. The air was dryer and for some reason, my lungs were having a harder time. My legs, too, were tired, probably from standing and walking in dress shoes all day. Still, it was a decent run and it was nice to see other runners out on the same stretch of sidewalk. I haven't done two days in a row in such a long time.

The sidewalks here are very narrow, usually with only room for two people and often only room enough for one. That's if there even is a sidewalk; many of the roads are bordered simply by high walls. I've noticed many runners in the street and the small cars, mini-buses, and scooters seem to avoid them just fine. Still, I think I'll stick to sidewalks for now, as the reverse direction of traffic still confuses me at intersections and that's enough of a handicap.

There are restrictions on engine sizes here, which explains the uniform small scale of motor transportation and cute little engine noises they all make. In fact, Sunday was the very first time anything over the limit was allowed - a tour group came off a cruise ship with their regularly sized motorcycle (heavyweight category: 600cc and up) for a quick tour of the island. The event made the front page of the paper.

I found out from one of the guys I'm teaching that gas price is skyhigh here. What we pay for a gallon in the US, they pay PER LITER. It costs this guy over a hundred dollars to fill his small tank. That explains the overwhelming numbers of scooters and single-cylinder motorcycles here - can't afford to get around any other way. In fact, there are so many scooters, they outnumber four-wheeled vehicles and much of the available parking is striped for and reserved for scooters. And the people here dress pretty nice, leading to a common riding costume of 3/4 or full-face helmet, puffy nylon jacket, no gloves, khakis or slacks (jeans are rare), and dress shoes. When I commute on my Sportster in NY, I am in the minority on a medium-sized engine bike. Here, I would be in the majority, but on an oversized (and illegal) bike.

Will try to get some pictures on my next run, which I'll do Wednesday. Going to take today off and maybe just go do some light weights this evening.

May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Bermuda run

I mentioned in the last post how I wouldn't have time to run this weekend, but I did manage to get in a 3-mile-ish (maybe 3.5) after a good rainstorm that swept through shortly after I got to the hotel.

I'm in Bermuda for the first time in my life. The flight here was pleasant - the plane was a nearly empty 737 - and was only two hours. The storm came up and lasted a while, but I got outside around six o'clock and started out along Front street. From what I saw on the taxi drive over and on my run, this island is really clean. In fact, a banner over Front Street announces that May is cleaning up month. Getting ready for the tourist season, i suppose, though if the tourists are smart, they'll get here now. Services are not overburdened and the weather is in the 70's, even if they have humidity to match.

The run itself was a major improvement over my last several runs. Maybe it's the change of venue, the cleaner air, the change of scenery, or just that my legs wanted to be moving after three days of flights and teaching, but I really felt pretty good. Even my lungs cooperated to a good degree and my walk breaks were few and ultra-short - and those were due to my low level of conditioning right now and the fact that this island has very few flat spots. It's really all hills around here.

The building are quaint, but built to last. All the roofs are painted white and moulded with ridges. One of the ridges, sort of camouflaged in, is like a berm or snow-dam that channels the rainwater into pipes that lead into underground cisterns.

Part of the reason the run felt good, I'm convinced, are these new Adrenaline 7's. This MoGo stuff may be more than just marketing bullshit. These shoes feel fantastic!

I'm staying in the Hamilton Princess Fairmont hotel. Nice place! I spent way too much on dinner downstairs, but the food was first rate and there really wasn't another choice - I have yet to see a fast food restaurant or even many restaurants at all. And certainly nothing open on a Sunday. Anyway, here's the view from my room. The colors aren't nearly what they really are. The sea is so blue here.

Finally, it was Mother's Day. As it happens, as I was leaving the restaurant, I invited a group of women to sit at my table, since I was leaving and the place had gotten crowded. We chatted while I waited for my check and it turns out one of them is the sister of a woman who works where I'll be teaching for the next three days. Small world, huh? Anyway, here's the card I sent my mom. Kinda corny, but she liked it.

May 9, 2007

And with the flick of a switch....

it is suddenly summer. Up 'til three days ago, it was spring, just barely out of winter. Hey, we had frost warnings north of the city two mornings ago.

But today, it hit 81 degrees. I, of course, didn't run in the morning, nor did I wait until sunset when things would be cooler. No, I ran right after work - didn't even go home first - right at 5, when it was still hot and humid.

This run was definitely in two acts. I only went three miles along the West Side Highway, but it was a challenge. Yes, there was walking, yes, there was coughing. A lot of coughing. The first mile and a half was terrible, but at least my legs were a little better. I am incredibly tight these days, and I'm working on loosening up again, but it was a struggle today.

Coming back, though, I found myself going half a mile at a stretch without too much discomfort. I was drinking a lot of fluid, though, and sweating like a turkey the day before Thanksgiving, so maybe it's wise I didn't (couldn't) overdo it. Still, the heat felt like an excuse for the walking, rather than a cause.

Wound up the run in pretty good shape and I think it won't take too long to acclimate to the hotter days, but I'd still rather run in the cool of the morning.

Finally, I wore my new Adrenaline 7s for the first time. They are really a nice shoe! My feet feel cushioned and controlled, but not constricted. The shoes have a little rebound to them and I don't think there will be a long break-in at all. Hopefully, this pair will last for a while - I like them a lot.

Going to shoot for four miles Friday morning - won't have time to run at all this weekend.

May 7, 2007

Walking And Coughing

That's going to be the new title of my blog, 'cuz that's about all I seem to do lately. It sure describes yesterday's long run to a t. Oh, sorry, that should be say it describes yesterday's "long" "run" to a t. Didja see the finger quotes I did there?

If you think I'm sounding a bit off my feed, then two points to you for perception. I am a bit disgruntled, as running goes. I spent four of five miles yesterday coughing my head off, bringing up all kinds of junk, some of it green, some green with red spots, and some of it brown. Worse, the legs just would not cooperate. I ended up walking half the distance, roughly, due to shin splints, not lungs! Yeah, shin splints are back. Guess I need to get the calf stretcher thingie out again and nip this in the bud.

Yesterday wasn't all bad. I did a straight-out route to the Verazanno and up to the 95th street R station; a route that took me along a couple miles of the Belt parkway, which was shut down (eastbound) for the 5 borough bike tour. Thousands of bikes went by as I jogged/walked toward the bridge and it was really great to see so many people out enjoying the damn-near-perfect weather. (Being solar-powered didn't seem to help me any yesterday, though.)

Though the bike tour ends in Staten Island, the Verazanno Bridge can be a formidible obstacle to finishing the ride comfortably. Why they would put the single highest, steepest, and longest hill of the route at the end is beyond me, but there it is. "There it is" being the operable phrase for a number of cyclists who decided to join me at the 95th street station rather than go all the way to Staten Island. The conversation were varied, and the reasons for stopping in Brooklyn even more, but all were variations on the same theme: "So I'm lookin' at that beautiful bitch of a bridge and I'm thinkin': no fuckin' way." One of the guys I chatted with on the train had tackled the ride with zero training. I mean he hadn't even been on a bike in over a year. "I got off the couch and onto the bike. My quads are killing me."

Still, it's a 42 mile ride and I think with a smidgen of training, that would be a good cross-training workout. I plan to do it next year. First things first, though: time to start my own cycling to work thing again. I am planning to start on Wednesday.

As for my pitiful running scene, I'm bummed, but I can't stay bummed. I got two good ego strokes today, one for design, one for teaching, and I guess two out of three ain't bad.


May 3, 2007

half-marathon considerations

Did a short run this morning. Got up at 5 and managed to slowly wake up enough to put in 2 miles before 6. They were not the greatest miles and I was coughing up so much junk. By the end of the run I was feeling pretty warmed up, though, and could have gone longer if I hadn't run out of time. I've got to find a way to wake up faster if I want to be putting in 4 miles in the mornings. I have to start my regular morning routine at 6 if I'm to get to work on time, so there's only the very early morning option.

I'm debating whether to sign up for the NYC Half-Marathon. I ran it last year and had my issues with the route and setup. I am pissed that it's now lottery entry and that there's no way for an average Joe (who isn't going to fundraise) to earn a guaranteed entry slot. It's hideously early because that's the only way to avoid the heat of August and getting to the baggage trucks at the end is (was) the biggest pain in the ass.

I don't want to come off as sounding picky or elitist, here. I feel the race setup was deeply flawed. But for all that, the run itself was a good one for me and I'd do it again.

But then there's the entry fee. I don't mind the $5 it takes just to apply for the entry lotto, but if I get accepted, it's $65. Yikes. That's a lot of money for a route I can run myself any day of the week. Maybe I should let it go and be content with the other half-marathons I have access to here. I have until the 16th to decide.

I do need to get signed up for Healthy Kidney 10K, though - very important.