Thursday, October 25, 2012

Road ID discount!

(I know this is a shameless plug. . . . I've been meaning to get one of these for a long time, and maybe you should, too!)

Now I can be like Karno!
Hey Everyone,

I just ordered one of the best products ever. It's called a Road ID - perhaps you've heard of it. If you haven't, go to their website and check it out. Road ID is a great product that could save your life someday.

When I ordered, they gave me a coupon that I could pass along to my friends. Here's the coupon number:

Coupon Number: ThanksPaul18923790

The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order placed by 11/25/2012. To order, simply go to or click the link below:

If you prefer, you can call them at 800-345-6336.

You can thank me later,

Paul Mastin

Oh by the way, their website is awesome, the customer service is outstanding, and the owners are very smart and good looking. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Now I've gone and done it.

I finally got around to registering for a race!  In the 4 1/2 years or so that I've been running, I've said all along that having a race on the calendar is often the only thing that gets me out the door to run, at least with any consistency.  So now I have a target race: The Isle du Bois 50K on December 8.  This is the race I ran last December 6 days after having run White Rock.  It's only 6 weeks out, which doesn't give me a lot of time, but I figure I can get some good miles in, with a couple of long runs, and maybe run a decent race.

Last year I ran that race on tired legs and finished in 7:17.  Earlier this year I ran another 50K without much training and finished in 7:41.  A few weeks before White Rock last year, I ran Rockledge Rumble in 6:50.  Granted, IDB is actually 54K, so it's hard to compare with other races.  Maybe on fresher legs, I can beat last year's 7:17.  Break 7 hours?  Maybe.

So now it's out there for all the world to know.  Or at least the three of you who will read this post.  I'm officially in training mode, now!  Isle du Bois, here I come!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I hate trail litter

I almost said I hate trail litterers, but I don't.  By the grace of God, I love my fellow man.

GU packs and the like on the trail irritate me, but I'm willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I understand that even a conscientious runner, who pockets his empties, might inadvertently leave one behind if it works its way out of his pocket as he runs.  It can happen.

Beer cans and cups on the trail make me angry.  When you pick up your 24 pack of Busch at the Chevron, why not pick up a trash bag, too?  Is it really that hard to put your beer cans in a trash bag and haul them out at the end of your little redneck soiree?

But the attitude behind this hypothetical conversation really boils my blood:
Turd face: Hey, I got me this couple a bags a trash, and my curb-side trash can is full.  Trash pick up ain't for 3 more days.  I dunno what I'm goin' ta do.
Butt wipe: Don't worry, throw it in the back a mah truck an' we'll haul it off.
Turd face: Where we goin' ta haul it to?
Butt wipe: Thar's some trails right over there behind our neighborhood.  We kin jes drive up the trail a ways, then toss all this trash out tha truck.
Turd face: Thanks, pal, yer a genius!
I wish I had a way to track these bozos down.  My preferred punishment would be a hefty fine, preferably payable as a donation to a trail conservation group, then several Saturdays of community service cleaning up the trails, to be served on days of major NASCAR races.  I will permit them to TiVo the race, but I'll be sure and tell them who won before they get home.

Random picture of trash.  Not my trails, but could be.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Longest Race, by Ed Ayres

One of the great joys of running, especially an all-day event like an ultramarathon, is falling into step with someone and spending the time running together to learn about each other, hear about their racing experiences, and share a bit of life together.  I have found that you can learn more about someone and forge deeper friendships by running on a trial for a couple of hours than you can by sitting next to someone at work every day for a year.

Ayres, running strong.
Ed Ayers has run a few races (quite a few, actually, more than half a century's worth), and reading his new book, The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance, must be a bit like the experience of sharing the trail with him for a few hours.  The framework of the book is a race report of his 2001 JFK 50 Mile endurance run, at which he set the course record for his age group.  He offers details of the course, the race itself, and his experiences that day, but The Longest Race is much more than a race report.

Woven among the mile markers and aid stations of the race are Ayres's reflections on running, the environment, and the human condition.  Ayers has been running longer than most of us have been alive.  He's run some of the great races, road marathons, trail runs, and ultras, and run with some of the great runners.  He was a co-founder of Running Times magazine, shaping opinions and publishing pioneering articles at the dawning of the modern running movement.  Here you'll find some of his distilled wisdom about running, born not of trendiness or the latest thing, but from his accumulated knowledge and experience.  He's also worked in the environmentalist movement, and offers his insights on the future of life on earth.  "Maybe the whole premise of modern society--build a great industrial civilization so that people can live better lives--was backward.  Maybe the only way it could work was by building great fitness as individual people, so we can have a more livable civilization."

To Ayres, running is an allegory for life, and life is an allegory for running.  I like his broader application of the running adage, "Listen to your body."  Ayres writes, "If you pay close attention to what your internal signals are telling you, they heighten your chances of actually doing what you dream of doing."  We learn more about ourselves when we run, and by paying attention to what we learn, especially what we learn training for and running in an ultramarathon, we can learn more about civilization and its sustainability.  Pick up this thoughtful, reflective book and you will be inspired to run and rewarded with insights on life.

You can also keep up with Ayres at his blog,, from which the above picture was shamelessly swiped.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy.