Sunday, February 22, 2009

Join Us At the Table (RRT Episode 18)

My stint as a guest on Runner's Roundtable was so successful that I have been asked to co-host from time to time on upcoming episodes. Or, to be more realistic, they needed people, even me, to help out once in awhile.

With that being said, please join Nicole, author of the blog Running Bébé , Mike, author of the blog Westy's Running , myself, and host Martin from the RunningRamblings podcast (currently on winter hiatus) on Tuesday night, February 24, 2009 at 9pm EST as we welcome Laura, author of the popular Frayed Laces blog to the Runner's Roundtable to talk about running and life in Hawaii, becoming a Marathon Maniac, and what it's like working with dolphins all day. (If you are wondering why SteveRunner isn't on the show, well, the powers that be wanted a witty and intelligent host as a change of pace, so they asked Martin to host instead.) It should be a great show and I look forward to participating. (Click on this link to join us live.)

Also, below is another video in the series, 'What are the Dogs Up To?' In this episode, Ellie Mae participates at the Rockland County Kennel Club Dog Show in Suffern, NY last Saturday. She was the only dog in her class, so won by default. Sadly, she didn't do much after that. Still, she looked like she had a lot of fun. (A friend of ours is showing her here).


video

(Notes: I'm feeling much better so I'm going to start running again. Last week, I had no energy but it is starting to pick up. As most of you know, it's still cold out but not as cold as before. Plus, more hours of sun in the afternoon, so it will give me more chances to go out for a 3-4 mile run before going home. Also, I'll be going to Best Buy sometime in the near future to get a Garmin watch. The blood is starting to flow again.)

February 25, 2009 Update: We stumbled out of the block last night, but, once we got the momentum going, the show went great. Click here if you want to listen to the Podcast or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Buying of Tickets

It's not very often that I'll write a posting on a Friday but I'm a bit ticked off and want to vent.

As you may know, I am planning a trip from Philadelphia to Kansas City with stops in between to watch baseball games at various cities along the way. This trip is planned for the week of June 14. I knew the toughest ticket to get would be for a Cubs game as they are playing their crosstown rivals the White Sox during that time. The game, I was planning to go to, was either June 16 or 17. June 16 was my preferred date as it is a night game and was somewhat easier to get to. But, I would have settled for a day game on June 17 but a little bit tougher to get to as I would have had to leave Cincinnati early in the morning to make the afternoon game.

Well, today was the first day of single game tickets for Cubs home games at Wrigley Field. And, I was ready. I signed in a half hour before the tickets went on sale and waited in the internet waiting area. And waited. And waited. For three hours. Until the screen refreshed and told me that the tickets for the June 16 were sold out. 15 minutes later the tickets for the June 17 game were sold out. Errr.

Just for the heck of it I checked stubhub.com, which is the legal way to re-sell 'extra' tickets you have for a ballgame. So, for instance, Aunt Minnie came to visit you at the last minute and was going to stay with you for a month. Well, you have to sit at home and entertain Aunt Minnie during her visit so you can't make it to the game that you bought tickets for. You put the tickets on stubhub.com and try to sell your tickets because you don't want them to go to waste.

However, they shouldn't be allowed to appear minutes after the ticket booth opened this morning!!!!!! As of this writing, there are 671 tickets available in prices ranging from $78 to $1000 per ticket on stubhub.com for the June 16 game. Or 2 to 5 times the price of the face value of the ticket. So, people are buying tickets in order to sell them.

I'm sorry but I have a big problem with ticket resellers. For Christmas one year, my wife went to one and wound up paying $140 for two $20 seats for a Sixers game. The game wasn't even sold out. She didn't know any better because she doesn't usually buy tickets.

The only thing I will say about stubhub.com is that you are at least guaranteed there is a valid ticket waiting for you. If you ask me, this situation where, tickets are available minutes after the tickets go on sale officially, is highway robbery.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Always Blame a Sibling

It's my sister's fault, really. You see, when we went to the Temple-St. Joseph's college basketball game at the Palestra last Thursday, she asked me have I been sick anytime during the winter? Her and I have an unofficial contest of who is the first to get sick after Christmas. It normally happens that both of us will, at some point, it's just a matter of when.

I answered her confidentially, no, I have been able to dodge the bullet and feel pretty healthy. I think I'll be able to make it this year without coming down with a cold.
Naturally, the next day, when I was in a meeting, I felt a sore throat coming on. But, I was talking a lot in the meeting, so not too surprising. Come Saturday, the sniffles and sneezing started. And, then the body aches. By Sunday, I was laid up in bed. I'm just beginning to get a hint of feeling better. I do want to take the time to thank the company that makes the tissue product, Puff with lotion. It has saved me a great deal of irritation.
So, needless to say, I haven't been running except for last Wednesday night with the Blue Dawgs. Bit of a stop and start year so far. But, I am not worried. To paraphrase Rocky Raccoon, 'I'll get better, better, as soon as I am able.'
(Notes: Below are some pictures I took at the Palestra, one of the great venues to watch a college basketball game. It was a great game with Temple leading by 10 points with 54 seconds left and almost losing the game at the end. St. Joseph's were down by 2 points with 6 seconds left to go and the ball. But, the last shot was no good and Temple wins by 2.
Also, one of the things for me to look forward to is a long weekend in Florida in March. I won't have a chance to see any Phillies games, as they are based on the west coast but do plan on seeing some spring training games with the Braves and Nationals who are closer to the east coast, which is where I am going.)



Monday, February 9, 2009

Losing My Mojo

I've lost my edge. I've lost my focus. I've lost my desire. I've lost my gumption. I've lost my passion. In short, I've lost my mojo. And, I don't know where it went. (And, no, I don't think Dr. Evil is holding on to it.)

You see, I haven't felt energized to go out for a run for awhile now. I'm kind of just going through the motions at the moment. I'm bored running at the lake. I'm bored running by the river. I'm looking for new places to run but nothing is jumping out saying, 'run over here!'

Oh, I'm not too worried about it. I'm pretty sure it's a temporary thing. I think a lot has to do with the weather. You see, up until two years ago, I didn't really run in the winter. I would quit in November and not take it up again until mid-February to prepare myself for the Bucks County spring series. And, then I would participate in the spring series and my times would be crap and I'd kick myself for not continue to train in the off-season.

But, this year, the weather has been particularly cold. I haven't been too anxious to test my mettle. We've had little snow, but, what we did have, stayed around and made things icy.

And, I don't seem to have the competitive drive as years past. As I stated in an earlier blog, this year is about celebrating life and not breaking records. I want to stop and smell the Ben-Gay.

Besides, I'm sure a lot of people go through this but February is a particular bad month for me. I've learned this through the years that, in February, I keep my head down and try to plow on through without making any big life decisions. For example, after I graduated from college, I lived in a studio apartment in a town called Lynn, MA, right outside of Boston. I was working in radio but only making $10,000 a year and was struggling. I was offered a job in Philadelphia for three times that but not in the field that I studied for. Well, that winter in New England was a bad one. Snow storm after snow storm was hitting the area. I couldn't take it anymore, so in February of that year, I decided to quit radio and move back to Philadelphia and take the money. One of the worse mistakes I ever made and it took years to recover from it.

I also said, in an earlier blog, that I didn't have any resolutions this year. I think that's kind of hurts me. I'm goal-driven. And, right now, I don't have any short-term goals. Just things I would like to do later in the year.

So, how do I shake off the funk? Well, the snow melting this past weekend sure did help. I can see my lawn again (and the mud the dogs track in.) And, days are getting a bit longer. And, pitchers and catchers report to camp this weekend. Sure signs of spring. And, it won't be long before we get to daylight savings time again.

I think the best way to get back my mojo back is to run that first race. And, struggle. And, have Eric and Chief beat me. Soundly. And, despite what I say about enjoying life and not worrying about times that will be my wake up call. I also think shaking things up a bit this year is called for. Not sure what that means yet. But, it's February. Can't make that decision now, can I?

(Notes: Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for my father. We received good news and he is cancer-free! He is doing a bit better every day. Again, I am very grateful for your kindness.)