Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Is Wal-Mart Green?

"It makes scant difference whether Wal-Mart starts stocking organic food or not, because the real problem is the imperative to ship products all over the world, sell them in vast, downtown-destroying complexes, and push prices so low that neither workers nor responsible suppliers can prosper. (In fact, Wal-Mart's decision to sell organic food will almost certainly mean the final consolidation of the industry into the hands of a few huge growers that ship their produce across thousands of miles -- not to mention that the people ringing up the organic groceries will still make below-poverty wages and taxpayers will still be footing the bill for their health care. There's something gross about buying a healthy carrot from a sick company.)"

~Bill McKibben, Hype vs. Hope, Mother Jones Magazine

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Good Day to Rumble

Man, what a race. It was about 45 degrees at the start, which was freezing while waiting for the race to start but was perfect racing weather. At first my legs felt like lead because I was so cold, but I eventually warmed up.

Since I did a marathon two weeks ago I didn't have any goals for this race - just finish and have a good time. I half-heartedly used my watch but didn't obsess - just eat, drink, and be merry (and keep walking). Turns out I had a GREAT, GREAT race. I've done this race three years in a row and this was my fastest time ever - by 39 minutes! That's right, I beat my fastest time on this course by 39:39, and I walked my second fastest 50k time ever (although I don't trust my 50k PR, I think the course was short). I broke 13:00 per mile (12:57) which makes me very happy because this is a very rugged course with lots of ups and downs.

So tonight I'm on cloud nine. And I don't feel sore at all, just tired!

It was a great day, and I saw a lot of good friends at the race (I got hugged at all three aid stations, which is always nice!). And my race number was 69, which got me lots of ribald comments, especially at the aid station staffed by the Harley riders. And as I was finishing they announced me as the first racewalker (there wasn't a racewalking division) and mentioned I was a member of the club (North Texas Trail Runners). I got a nice marble finishers award and a custom-made ale (Mud and Guts Ale) specifically for finishers of this race (for the expiration date, it says "Drink Before Western States").

So yes, a good day, a great day. Now I'm going to drink some Shiner Hefeweizen (if you're from Texas, you'll know), watch a movie and drift off to sleep.

Distance: 50 km
Time: 6:42:08
Pace: 12:57

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Are you ready to Rumble?

Rockledge Rumble 50k, that is. I wasn't planning to do this race, but at the last minute I changed my mind and registered last night. As long as it didn't fill up before I registered, I'll be out on the trails Saturday morning for a nice little walk in the woods.

I know Ed will be there, and Susan was considering it. Anyone else? Hope to see you there - it's a great race!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things that make me feel.....

Donald Rumsfeld's resignation.

Change in leadership of the house (and possibly Senate); I'm not a huge "capital-D" Democrat, but of the two national parties the Democrats most reflect my priorities.

Six states had minimum wage increases on the ballot; all six passed.

It appears that Arizona will defeat the anti-Gay marriage proposition.

All of the anti-choice measures were defeated.

So many states approved anti-Gay marriage or anti-Civil Union measures (WTF! Why do you care if homosexuals have civil unions. Butt out!).

Arizona adopted English as an "Official Language" (they should receive the Failure to Face Reality Award!).

That in Texas not a single Democrat running for National or State-wide office received more than 39% of the vote.

Oh well, all in all the results are good and hopefully we will have a new national dialog and new priorities.

I was researching new quotes for my e-mail signature and developed a nice list that I feel summarize my social and political views. So, for what it's worth:

"Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris."
~Edward Abbey
"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."
~Ansel Adams
"We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered. A nation can flounder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy."
~Dr. Martin Luther King
"The essence of the problem is about consumption, recognizing that a society that consumes one-third of the world's resources is unsustainable. This level of consumption requires constant intervention into other people's lands. That's what's going on."
~Winona LaDuke
"Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners."
~ Edward Abbey
"The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun."
~Ralph Nader
"Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress."
~John Clapham
"Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it."
~Henry David Thoreau
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death."
~Rachel Carson
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed."
~Mahatma Gandhi
"In today's integrated world economy ... eradicating poverty may contribute as much to U.S. security as eradicating terrorism."
~Lester R. Brown
"Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat."
~William Sloane Coffin Jr.
"Take any group of nice people on a trip; if five bad things happen to them in a row, they will end up as cannibals."
~Edward Luttwak
"Civilization is tissue thin."
~Iris Chang

You HAVE to Watch This

All runners and walkers, you have to see this trailer for a new documentary about the marathon (it follows three "ordinary" runners and two elite runners training for the Chicago Marathon).

I'll be honest, I've got tears in my eyes remembering the challenges and the satisfactions of my marathons and ultramarathons. It's really awesome!