Long Runs Suck

September 10, 2012
“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.”  Forest Gump, 1994
My wife and a few other friends I know are training for their first long race.  Some are doing half marathons and some are doing the full marathon.  But in either case this is their first exposure to training for a real race.  I thought since I’ve strayed a bit in the past from the running “theme” (ok, I’ve strayed a lot) I would write one that might actually have some good tips in it from my perspective.  For sure I am still a Novice runner and I still run mainly to try to work off the pizza from last night.  But I have gone through this once for a marathon and am about in the middle of training for my second.  The training has been totally different both times so we’ll ultimately see what works and what doesn’t.
What Doesn’t Work: Tripping and falling.  One thing I can tell you that doesn’t work – running on the streets of Westminster in London where they have these 12″ x 12″ square cement pieces that aren’t necessarily aligned.  Digger.  Can you say digger?  Yes, last week I took a face plant.  Well, it was more of an elbow and knee plant thankfully but still a digger nonetheless.  Expletive.  That was my reaction.  Then I got up and kept on running.  I went about a half a mile and realized my super expensive over the ear headphones and iPod were probably laying back where I was just laying.  So I turned around and came to the spot of the fall.  No iPod.  No headphones.  I look over at the cleaning truck parked along the street and the guy who is sitting in the car with his window down holds out his arm with iPod and headphones in hand.  He says “the gentleman that just passed said if that chap who fell comes back make sure you hand him these.”  Two thumbs up for London hospitality!
What Works:  Sticking to the Sunday Long Runs.  Hal Higdon (my mentor and nemesis) says “don’t cheat the long run”.  What he means is this is the most important aspect of getting yourself to the finish line of the race.  In my first time around as a marathoner I stuck to his program verbatim.  This time around, not so much.  I’ve done things this time around that would make Hal hang his head in disgust.  Things like telling myself instead of doing 8 miles this Wednesday I’ll just do 4 miles one day and 4 another.  Seems like a fair trade-off.  And instead of running 14 this week maybe I’ll just run 10 and walk 4.  I think he’d ultimately be ok with this if he knew what a lump I was but it seems like “cheating” anyway.
There are going to be times where you just have to cheat because your body isn’t up to it.  Let me tell you about one of those times.  Yesterday and when I was supposed to run 17 miles (which turned into 16 with a bit of walking in the middle).  NOTE: Skip this next paragraph if you are squeamish.
What Doesn’t Work:  Road kill.  This Sunday I decided to try to imitate everything I would do during the marathon and then run my 17 miles.  This includes the normal runner body glide stuff, the taping and the meal.  I usually eat a banana and a bagel with peanut butter and away I go.  So this time I eat the banana and toast up some wheat toast.  I spread a little of the good for you Organic Peanut Butter my wife had purchased and take a bite.  Alarm, alarm!  Waving arms like Danger Will Robinson!!  Puking is about to happen.  Here’s what I can tell you.  There had to be a rat or a mouse or something dead that had been mixed in with that stuff about halfway down the jar.  My wife laughs at me but guess what.  We’ve been eating the top half of the jar for the past month without a problem.  So who’s laughing now.   And I can tell you my stomach is still not laughing.  It made for the longest 16 miles in my life.  Literally came to puking about 5 times on the route given the road kill between Jones Bridge and Holcomb Bridge.  I’m sending that jar back in with a scathing letter that is for sure.  If they say I can have a few free jars I’m sending those back too with another letter.
What Works:  Water belts.  Long runs make you thirsty.  So go buy yourself one of those fancy water belts.  They are heavy and bulky but they work.  They don’t make you look pretty though.  In my case it kind of looks like I have two of them on.  But they do work.  And fill two of the four bottles with Gatorade or whatever you plan to drink on race day.
What Works:  Motivational sayings.  I’ve seen things people use like “Just Do It” or “Keep Moving” or “This is for so and so” to keep themselves going.  I’ve found a new one that plan to use “Suck It Up Princess”.  In the end finishing is 90% mental if you’ve done even half the training.  So this is to combat that left brained nay sayer and works for me.

Running Update:  I’m more than half way through training.  Just an 18, 19 and 20 miler ahead (with some “shorter” weeks in between).  With all the traveling of late including a trip to Peru this week it is tough.  I’ll be talking to Mr. Treadmill to avoid the kidnappers.  That’s a shame because the weather is sunny and a high of 66 low of 61 each day.  I did consider putting on that fake stache and staying on the main roads.  But then I saw that they border Columbia so I’m not wanting to say hello to any little friends this week.  Treadmill it is.

Only 31 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Chewbacca the Hairy Potter

August 2, 2012

What do you call Chewbacca when he is working with clay? Hairy Potter.

And what if Chewbacca were a runner? Shoebacca.

You know who I mean. My favorite fuzzy Star Wars character who sounds a bit like Rocky Balboa or Ryan Lochte. Lately I have been thinking he ran marathons on the side.

Quotes like the one in the picture or maybe “Rarrrawww Awwrrr” were common. Han and Luke always knew what he was trying to say but maybe Han and Luke were wrong. Maybe what Chewbacca was trying to say was “I ran 10 this morning and my thighs are rrrraaaawww.” Or maybe Chewbacca was trying to say “I mapped my run and given they don’t have any water on this next planet I need to bring my gatrrrraaaarriiid”. Who knows. I’m thinking maybe Chewie was a runner!

And if he was, then he and I are a lot alike. We both are clydesdales (200lb runners). We both tend to mumble (he’s worse than I am). We both have hairy eyebrows when not trimmed. In my case this has only been since the gray hairs have arrived. “Would you like me to trim your eyebrows?” is always a question I get asked at the barbershop these days. That never used to happen. But I’m glad it happens now. Without it I’d be like Uncle Sam pointing his finger saying “I want you!” with my think gray brow hair sticking out. Also, Chewbacca and I both have a good sense of humor. So I’m thinking maybe Chewie was trying to tell jokes? “Why did the chicken cross the school yard? To get to the other sliiiiiiidddddeee.” Good one, Chewie (and very well timed given school is almost back in session)! Imagine if you will Chewbacca wearing a number pinned to his furry chest and running a marathon. Yep, another resemblence to yours truly.

So why do I bring up Star Wars and Chewbacca when we haven’t had one of those movies in years? Well, this coming weekend we are going to a Braves game and guess what night it is? Star Wars night! But really it is because ever since we found out it was going to be Star Wars night I can’t stop texting my wife and the people we are going with Chewbacca pictures and Chewbacca jokes and fake Chewbacca quotes. He has to be the best character ever invented who never said anything anyone understood. And if you try this for yourself you’ll find you crack yourself up. Go ahead and just start to imitate Chewbacca for a moment yourself….I’ll wait……..

See? It is pretty darn funny isn’t? Who doesn’t like to imitate this guy! Raarrawww Urrawww Waaaaaaa. That’s good stuff right there!

Running Update: If Chewbacca had run this past week when I did he would have had a shaggy wet mess worse than that hairy back guy Tim I had to guard back in high school in basketball. If Tim tried to back me down toward the rim I would just let him take the layup. That little voice inside my head would say “Avoid the back!”.

Wednesday of this past week I was about a half mile into a six mile run and down came a lot of rain. My evil left brain said “Turn this ship around. Let’s head on home. It’s raining.” Jeff Galloway wrote a great article about this and how your left brain is out to get you. “Your left brain doesn’t want you to run 26.2 miles. It doesn’t want you to run 13.1. It doesn’t want you to run a 10k. It doesn’t even want to do a 5k. Your left brain is perfectly content watching football.” – Jeff G.

I so agree with this. Even during short four mile runs I can hear ‘ol lefty whispering alternatives to keeping going or shortening things up. But somehow runners figure out a way to just try and ignore this guy. Turn up the iPod. Play tricks with your head. Whatever works. WWCD? He’d grab the left brain by the throat and say “Arrrgghhhrawwww” and then keep on going.

Only 32 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Mr. Whippy and the Flake

July 10, 2012

Mr. Whippy and the Flake are not alternative lifestyle 1950s neighbors to Dick Van Dyke.  They are also not the names of the iceberg characters in Elf.  Mr. Whippy is a swirly ice cream cone and the Flake is the kit-kat like cocoa stick that is stuffed into it.  And it not only makes for a jazzy blog title it is one of the best ice cream cones around.

This past week my family and I took a vacation in Europe.  I know these blogs are supposed to have some running theme running through them so I’ll give that a go.  But mostly I thought I’d capture some of the signature highlights of the week.

“Sign Boy” – do you ever wonder who those people are that stand for hours at the airport with various names on signs on them?  What if they really just had nothing else to do and decided “today, I’ll make a sign that says Wilson and go stand around the airport for a few hours to kill some time”.  Well, that was me.  Sign boy.  But I was official.  Legit.  My sign read “Welcome to London, [my last name] Family!”.  Of course I did get to the airport a bit earlier than planned so it was kind of like being the loser Wilson sign boy as I stood there for a couple of hours with it.  But I did meet some nice red-coated bus drivers.  Maybe that will come in handy someday.  Not.  And I learned that the way they kill time is to make fun of the stupid Americans who look lost coming through the tunnel.  I shouldn’t have joined in but I couldn’t help myself.  We bonded over this fun.  Next life, tour bus driver.  Finally, my family arrives and the adventure begins.

“Fish and Chips” – what do you think of when you think London or the UK?  Big Ben?  Parliament?  London Eye?  I think of Fish and Chips.  And guess what meal I encourage my son to partake in that first night.  Yep.  These things are so big they fold over either end of the plate as they sit on top of a pile of hand cut french fries.  He ate about a quarter of it.  It was Friday so what it reminded me of was good old Wisconsin and their famous Friday Night Fish Fry just a bit bigger and 4000 miles away.

“Moko.  Rhymes with Cocoa.” – we took a Eurostar train over to Paris from London.  It only takes about 2 1/2 hours to get there door to door.  I have many, many things to say about Paris (“a different breed of rude” was one Londoner’s description of the local Paris folks).  I’d say it was about 75/25 rude to not rude in my opinion including the gray-haired mustache wearing Frenchie waitor who took about 15 minutes to finally arrive at our table and then only doing so reluctantly.  He fit the mold.  Two top things from Paris on my list.  First, let me tell you that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.  That is just plain stupid.  But no Mona Lisa means let’s do what a Parisian would do.  We stop and buy a bottle of wine and go sit in the park on a sunny day under the Eiffel Tower.  Some of you probably saw those posts on Facebook.  It really was as good as it looked.  So the Louvre actually did me a favor.  Second top thing from Paris was the first full day we were there.  Under sunny skies and given our kids are now old enough to try just about anything we went on a guided Paris Segway tour.  We pretty much saw all the sights over about 3 hours riding around and stopping here and there to hear our New Zealand guide named Moko (“It rhymes with cocoa” he tell us.  What?) describe the Paris sights.  He did say he’d been there awhile so maybe he did know something but who cared.  He was a very funny Spicoli kind of guy and made for a great day.  We didn’t get run over and only hit (bumped) one person.  I won’t say who did it but it wasn’t me.  We just zipped away quickly.  No time for jail or lawsuits.  Toughen up kid.

“Rachel McAdams is Stalking Us” – I sometimes think I am a celebrity magnet (in my own mind).  I run into all sorts of top athletes, models, actors.  Tiger Woods, John Madden, Miss World (Venezuela), Bart Starr, Don Majkowski, Ned Beatty (queue the music) and many more.  This trip it was Rachel McAdams (star from Wedding Crashers, The Notebook, Mean Girls, Sherlock Holmes, Midnight in Paris, etc.).  The first night of the fish fry we happened upon her shooting a scene for next year’s movie About Time.  We were like 10 feet away and pretty much just walked right on into the scene, almost.  We stayed to watch it and then went off to eat.  So then a week later and half way across town and as we’re walking to the park up Abbey Road, guess who’s shooting another scene?  She was shooting it right on the famous Abbey Road cross walk and again we just randomly walked right on up again.  We even took a picture in the road minutes before Action!  We talk to the security guy for a while and he says all the major films were trying to finish things up before the Olympic madness comes to town.  He has the job.  He’s done War Horse, Batman and after this shoot Fast and Furious 6.  He said one of his most amazing moments was when he was doing security and he was down in the man-made bunkers in War Horse.  When he looked over the edge all he sees are the thousands of extras (Germans) coming his way.  “It kind of freaked me out” was his comment in his best northern England accent.  It is amazing how many people it took to set up the one Rachel cross walk scene that takes less than a minute.  When they were done we walked on over and this time walked right on by her, inches away.  She looked at me.  I looked at her.  And then we walked on.  She’s probably blogging or tweeting about it right now as we speak.

Running Update:  There are a million more stories from this trip but no one reads pages of blogs.  A page maybe.  Pages no.  I even wrote up short notes on our iPad to try to remind myself of all the things we saw and did and it covers four pages.  I’ll have to save those stories for later.  As for running, this was week 1 of the Savannah Marathon training.  I’d say it kicked off in style with my first run being down the Champs-Elysees (pronounced Chomp E Lee Say I’m told).  Then my second run being within a short distance of Roland Garros.  And a fifth (of five) being down Abbey Road again.  I am still recovering a bit from surgery but the running has begun; just not in earnest as yet.  Slow and steady.

It was a great trip and I highly recommend it to anyone.  When your kids are 14 and 12 and you can kind of quarantine them from cell phones, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, etc. for a week and actually talk to each other there is nothing better.

Only 33 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

June 9, 2012

I was fortunate enough to be in London for one of this past weekend’s parties celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  I figured I’d write a bit about it for posterity.  All Hail the Queen!

I arrived on Tuesday, June 5th.  This was the final day of the weekend’s four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration and the grand finale “Thanksgiving” celebration.  I was completely zonked from flying across the pond all night but decided I had to at least see a bit of the pomp and circumstance.  So I made my way to Hyde Park figuring there had to be something going on.  I was right.

The park was filled with local vendors selling “Happy Sausage”. Strawberries and Cream and Back Bacon Sticks among other things.  There was a big stage and four monster big screens showing the concert that was underway.  All of the acts were local UK stars and were awesome.  I made my way to the middle of the park and had the thought that since I’m so close to Buckingham Palace why don’t I just walk on over and wave to Elizabeth.  As I’m walking out of one of the pathways there were hundreds coming in the opposite direction.  They obviously knew something I didn’t know.  There were many dressed from head to toe in the Union Jack flag and others just carrying commemorative flags and others with fake Kate or William or Harry faces on the backside of their heads.  I asked someone why they weren’t headed to the palace.  After a long pause and a few odd looks at their friends I’m told “Mate, there is no possible way to get anywhere near the palace.”  Ok, I’m a stupid American.  I’m naive.  There were literally millions in the “mall” which is like London’s version of Magnolia Lane at Augusta.  I turn around.

When I get back to the park I find that they are going to show the entire procession and views of all the horses, military, fly overs with WWII planes and such on the screens.  If they were looking at this as a practice session for the Olympics they are ready.  Everything seemed to go without a hitch.   I got a kick out of all the ceremonial carriages accompanied by all the horses and guards.  I really wish we had Royals.  I guess we’ll just adopt William and Kate since they are from Cambridge and go with that.

I walked around and took some pictures of the crowd (below) including many who had a full-blown picnic going on with Champagne, cheese, crackers, sausage and flags.

Walking back from the event to the hotel I find a couple of guys that look like true Londoners and force them to let me take a picture with me.  You can see they are very happy to do so from the look on their faces.  I think one is thinking “Bloody Hell, why did I wear this outfit today.  Americans can spot me from blocks away.”   And the other is thinking “Bugger.  I need a nap.”.  I’m thinking “Why is the guy on my right grabbing my arse? Stop it!”

Running Update:  So sad.  No running to speak of.  I’m in week 3 of recovery from Sports Hernia surgery.  It really does stink to be over here in London and not being able to run around and see some sights while doing so.  Instead, I walk.  And walk.  Today I walked more than two hours through the fancy shmancy neighborhoods near Regents Park.  It is actually amazing what you see when you slow down and walk.  Goats in some school’s yard taking care of the grass.  Figaro old school cars along with the Maseratis, BMWs and Mercedes in virtually everyone’s drive.  Kids playing cricket in the park in their matching white pants and white sweaters.   And dogs.  Lots of people with dogs.  And no leashes.  What is amazing is not one dog seemed out of control or came over trying to maul me.  They just marched right along with their owners.  I literally saw 20+ different dogs like that.  Running begins again in earnest later this month and I’ll write again after my family joins me to bounce around London and Paris for a week.  Cheers!

Still Only 34 Months and 26.2 Miles to go…

P.S.  Here are a few more shots I took from the Jubilee and one I love that I just found on the Internet that shows the Queen really does have a sense of humor.  I should send her my blog.


Mirror Ball to Titletown USA!

May 24, 2012

Yes, once again I am ahead of the pop culture curve.  In March of this year when I was in India I met the company that owns rights to the “Dancing with the Stars” TV show.  I had told them they had picked a winner in my boy Donald Driver (Packer wide-receiver; future hall of famer).

So guess what?  Donald wins!  His award?  The prestigious Mirror Ball trophy.  It is a replica of a dancing mirror ball on a trophy stand.  But the prestige of being winner of this coveted prize is…priceless.  We did watch the last few episodes this past week.  And yes, we’re a bit biased being from Wisconsin and all.  But Donald was good!!  And when he pulled off the free-lance Cowboy Troy country dance it was Katy Bar the Door!  (an American phrase meaning “get ready for trouble”).  I thought it was Katy By the Door but what do I know.  Anyway, bringing in Cowboy Troy was genius.

Donald is the Packers slot receiver.  He is the guy that goes up the middle, turns left, catches the ball and then gets pummelled.  He then pumps his hand in his patented first down move, goes back to the huddle and then does it again.  In Green Bay and Cheesehead land in general Donald is an icon.  Between his smile and personality on and off the field he can’t go wrong.  And now he’s a Mirror Baller (#mirrorballer).  Untouchable.

I had forgotten about Cowboy Troy up until this.  But I think the song he picked was “I Play Chicken With The Train” by Cowboy Troy.  I’ve attached that video below for your viewing pleasure.  He is on my playlist and very run-able.  He is kind of  hip hopster turned country to cash in.  But in the end, who cares.  He sounds good and that song is catchy.  Go check it out.  And if you want more go check out The Lacs (on iTunes) while you’re at it.  Same kind of stuff.

Thank god I didn’t watch “Dancing with the Stars” entire season.  The America’s Funniest Home Video guy is the host and tells all the same corny jokes.  I’m surprised he doesn’t say something like “…and here are some videos of talking dogs dancing while doing the moon walk on the trampoline”.   That is how I picture him.  I just can’t take him serious.  And his guest host is someone from the 1999 “Wild On!” show.  I knew I remembered her.  She’s also tough to take serious but I cut her more slack for some reason.

I’ve also attached a little clip of Aaron and Clay who were filmed rooting for Donald as well.  Those guys crack me up.  I see more State Farm in both of their future.  Add one Mirror Baller to the mix of the State Farm ads.  Maybe Donald dancing around the locker room or something.  If you gave me a few minutes I’d come up with several tu-tu type ads worth showing.  There is even a Discount Double Check move by Clay in here.  That never gets old.

Running Update:  On the bench again.  I had open Sports Hernia surgery last week.  So it’s two weeks of walking up and down the hills of Cambridge, a week or two of gym bike and then back in the saddle.  Next race – London 10K on July 8th.

Still Only 35 Months and 26.2 Miles to go…”

Aaron and Clay (no, not the two in the picture but in the clip):

Cowboy Troy:

http://www.cmt.com/videos/cowboy-troy/43648/i-play-chicken-with-the-train.jhtml


Only 12 More Days of School

May 7, 2012

Leave it to the uncluttered minds of my kids to get me thinking.  We have this whiteboard on our wall as you enter our house from the garage and it is fair game for a “posting” of any sort.  It’s kind of like a poor man’s Facebook status update.

So, one of my kids posts “Only 12 More Days of School” on it the other day.  And then they subsequently updated it each day with a reduction in the days (we’re now down to 10).  I don’t think there is anything that odd with that but what got me thinking was what did we do before Facebook and Twitter to let the world know what we’re thinking?  I mean if it’s in my brain it should theoretically be told to the rest of the world.  Right?  What was the first thing that came into my mind when I read their “post” on our whiteboard?  How many more days until retirement.  I figure I’ve got about 10 more years in me if all goes well. Well, I accidentally multiply 365 x 10 and come up with 36,500 in my head.  (That MBA really paid off.)  I put a status “post” of my own on our whiteboard with this number up in the corner saying “Only 36,500 More Days of Work”.

I bet I walked around depressed for at least a day or two.  But then a miracle happened.  My mathematically savvy wife (no MBA required) fixes my “post” and puts 3,650.  It was like someone had shaved, I don’t know, 5 or 6 years off my working tenure.  And THEN she makes it even better!  She says even that number isn’t right.  You need to subtract weekends and holidays.  So really it’s like 2,400 days remaining.  I wanted to buy her a new dress or something I was so happy.  She knew she had made my day!  So what do I buy her?  Romantic me buys her a juicer instead.  (Her choice.)

Why a juicer?  Because we are suckers for those Netflix documentaries that tell us how our current eating habits are going to kill us all and we should really just be posting things on our whiteboards like “Only 1,000 Days Left of Life Because of the Processed Pepper Jack Cheez-Its I Just Ate” or “Only 1,000 Days Left Because the fat Australian Guy in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Says So”.

That juicer has been sitting on our kitchen table in its orginal packaging, unopened for at least two weeks.  It’s like it is evil or something.  You have to give it room when you walk by and not get too close.  We kind of look at it once in a while or maybe talk about how “next week” we’re going to juice.  It does feel good to know that pretty soon we’ll actually open that thing and add those days back to our “post”.  The ironic thing is we may get days back on our lives, but we’ll have to keep working longer to pay for what one neighbor says takes like $100 worth of strawberries to fill a glass and make a juice shake out of one of these things.  That may actually be ok if I can lose about one bowling ball ahead of this year’s marathon.  (They use 16 lb bowling balls as the analogy for weight lost in the film; the trucker guy in the film lost like 10 of ’em.  How hard can one little bowling ball be?  Time to head to Costco and load up on the strawberry bins!)

Running Update:  If I do end up kicking the bucket early, I want heaven to be a bit like Nashville.  Every where we turned there were unbelievable bands, open air bars and lots of fun to be had.  I’ve never been anywhere like it to be honest.   I suppose you need to like country music but truly they played a bit of everything and played everything about as good as you can play it.  We’re already talking about next year’s Nashville Country Music Marathon/Half-Marathon and several of us have already ordered our curled edge straw cowboy hats with puka-beads to get ready.  We all did the half not the full marathon which was a wise choice given the heat, the hills and the too much fun.  None of us did too bad actually all things considered (including a 1:39:00 run by Ironman; hint: that’s not me)!  It is a great race with 30,000+ runners and several celebrities including Sheryl Crow.  The only negative is the hills.  But other than that, perfect.

Whiteboard post “Only 35 Months and 26.2 Miles to go…”


Yesterday Came Suddenly

April 17, 2012

Can you believe it has been 46 years since The Beatles released “Yesterday” as a single?  Of course I was only one at the time but it seems like just yesterday to me as well.

On this most recent journey (to use the Brits terminology), I was lucky enough to stay in an area that was only about a mile away from Abbey Road and the famous Abbey Road Studios.  I was in a hotel in a part of town called Maide Vale.  That particular area isn’t so nice.  One begger UK lady came up to me last night and said “Excuse me sir, would you have fifty P to spare?”.  I normally just keep on walking and shake my head no.  But this time, I had to stop and look at her strangely and ask her what she was talking about?  (I need to look up UK currency here soon.  I have a ton of 50 Ps in my pocket I bet.  They all look like quarters to me.)

But you don’t have to run far to get away from this part of town and into the brown stones and pubs and very historic and renovated old homes.  About a mile away from the hotel and I’m passing by the Abbey Road Studios.   This recording studio has been around for a long time and is most famous for The Beatles.  But it also was home to Pink Floyd, The Hollies and Badfinger (now, that is a good band name).  When you run by it has a white stucco column fence in front that is completely covered by decent looking graffiti they allow with people’s names, short tributes to their beloved Beatles and quotes from various songs (all you need is love, you know).  They paint over it monthly but obviously they keep on coming because today it was covered.  If you’ll notice in the picture above, the zebra type walkway across Abbey Road is still there and supposedly where fans come to honor their Beatles.  It is also the same zebra walkway on the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s famous sock only album cover picture.  I honored them by listening to The Beatles “One” album while running across the street on this walkway on my way back to the hotel.  If you think about that, it is pretty cool to be listening to all their #1 hits while running in London by their famous Abbey Road Studios.  Unplanned, but true story, the song “Yesterday” was actually playing as I ran by on the way back to home.  I’ll call that one of my top 5 runs of the past couple years.

The only other item of note while here in London thus far was the Fish and Chips.  I capitalize these as they are almost a national treasure.  It seems kind of funny to ask a concierge “where can I get good Fish and Chips around here?”.  But is actually the right question to ask since I guess you CAN screw them up I’m told.  He sent me to some place called The Salt House which is an old pub in between the hotel and Abbey Road Studios.  Fantasic.  Brilliant.  Those are the adjectives I’ll use to describe my Fish and Chips.  And on top of it I got to meet an elderly “regular” who was about 80 years old and his pub going wiener dog that actually sits there up on its butt pawing at the air with both front legs as we eat our meal.  And he must be a “regular” too as the waiter came over with an actual dog water dish that was served when our food came.  Everyone is welcome at The Salt House.

Running Update:  Besides my Abbey Road running adventure I’ve been regularly “training” for the upcoming Nashville Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon the last weekend of April.  I’ll be honest and say I haven’t followed Hal’s program to the T like I did last year with the marathon training.  But mostly, that is because life has become extremely busy with travel and such.  I fit in 5-7 miles here and there and scatter in 3 mile runs in between.  This weekend I will do 10 miles but that is about it.  Let’s hope race day adrenaline and the country bands at each mile marker just move me along.  I’ll write about the event and Nashville next month.

Only 36 months and 26.2 miles to go…