Friday, 8 May 2009


This post is NOT about anything related to Jeff Galloway, the brilliant theories and/or practice of the run/walk method, speed, or the lack thereof, or even the magical powers of the Mars bar (okay, that last bit's a lie!). It's about keeping the 12 in 12 challenge fresh and inviting. It's about organics. It's about change.

First off, I will admit to being a massive fan of the city of Portland, Oregon. I love the place. Have been there twice to run the October marathon, which has to be one of the best run runs on the planet. The course is interesting, except for the ugly (IMHO) out-n-back into the industrial area. There's always lots of live music and cheering support. It's famous for its post-race food for runners, for good reason. There's so much of it they even have enough to satisfy the back-of-the-packers, as the event winds down. Believe me, that's where I finish, and I've wobbled away both times with more than enough to eat.

The Northwest Portland Hostel is where I've stayed both times. Recently remodeled and expanded, it's comfortable, inexpensive, with friendly, helpful staff. It's also right in the middle of an area of the city bursting with great places to eat, drink, shop, stroll, people-watch, and just hang out. If PDX is on your travel plans anytime soon, set aside at least half of one of your days there, to just chill at Powell's Bookstore. It is, simply, an amazing place. They let you take books or magazines into the coffeeshop and sit there and read them...all freakin' day, if you want. They certainly HOPE you end up buying them, but it's not a requirement.

Initially I was planning on running Portland again this year, as part of the 12 in 12. But, there's been an easterly shift. Way east. We're talking Rochester, New York, and its' marathon on September 13th.

Here's how it played out.

For some reason, months ago, Laura and Karoline found my blog and started following it, as they trained for their Paris Marathon reunion. When I noticed they were following my musings, I started following theirs. In short they kicked butt "over there", thanks, in no small part, I am led to believe, with my full support, to the Mars bars they consumed at that critical 17 mile point. Since then we have been communicating on a regular basis, via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and the DailyMile.

Heard first from Karoline, who gets to live in Trieste (in THE Italy!). There's a marathon there that she does not want to run alone, so I am working some smoke-and-mirrors magic tricks with my checkbook and credit cards in an effort to get myself there next May.

As if that's not enough, found out via Facebook, that Laura went to the same small liberal arts college as my stepdaugther. That would not normally be anything amazing, but the school in question is in the middle of Ohio, and my stepdaughter was a California girl at the time she picked her college. Then, while catching up on Laura's blog just yesterday morning, discovered that she's pulled the trigger and signed up for Rochester Marathon in September. On the blog she suggested I consider it.

My knee-jerk reaction was that there's no way I could afford to do that, thinking airfares alone would be prohibitive. For fun, though, did some research on the world wide webby thingy and found Delta's fares to ROC are less than Southwest's to Portland!! Who knew? That was all I needed.

I have wanted to visit Rochester for years. Really. Ever since reading somewhere that it had been voted one of the best cities in the country in which to live...or something like that. Now I'm going. Looking forward to handing Laura her Mars bar supply for the marathon, pre-race hugs and post race high-fives. It's gonna be great. I am totally jazzed about running along the Erie Canal.

Thanks, Laura for the inspiration.

Gotta run!


Karoline said...

I agree. The Paris marathon was a success because of your support AND the Mars bar!! I'll have to try your smoke and mirrors trick to get to Rochester to run with you folks!! I'm so excited for you! Good call on the excellent change in plans!

rUntoNamAste said...

So jealous that you get to meet blogger Laura. I heard she's an AMAZING chic not to mention a phenomenal runner. Go Rochester!

Alisa said...

Awesome! Upstate NY is so beautiful in the fall. If you have time to check out the Finger Lakes- DO. They will not disappoint. For a Cali girl that loves the wine of NorCal, they had some good offerings in the FingerLakes as well as beautiful farm country intermixed with vineyards!

Alisa said...

P.S. What's your August marathon?

Laura said...

AND (enter Laura, stage left) this short post can not possibly do justice to the THRILLED SENSATION I have about the prospects of running with THE 12 in 12 man!!! I said it on DailyMile, and I now say it here "my goal of running with you at some point in my life will be realized on September 13th"

AND - rUntoNamAste - If I am NOT mistaken, you have already MET me in Paris - or have you already forgotten our midnight meal? (but I blush at your compliments.)

AND - Kari, I will read up on smoke and mirrors - who knows, they may just work.

FURTHERMORE - all are welcome to join us - FingerLakes, Erie Canal, you name it, we'll do it!!!

RoadBunner said...

Sounds like a great change of plans. I agree with Alisa, upstate NY is beautiful!!

Michael B said...

alisa - thanks for the comments. i actually have NO august i've done so many so far this year i am ahead of the game, in terms of doing 12 in 12 months...although you never know, i may find something to run that month afterall. watch this space. cheers.

Laura said...

You know, I just have to add - this marathon experience has been amazing in many ways. The whole original plan of running Paris was quite amazing when you think that Kari and I hadn't seen eachother in over 18 years (we were exchange students from the United States to Belgium and had lost contact when we returned in 1991.) The fact that our first reunion would be the running of the Paris Marathon (with 5 other former exchange students in tow as cheerleaders) was enough for the "OH MY GOSH THAT'S AMAZING" factor. BUT to add to the entire story - the meeting of new people and friends (virtually or otherwise) along the way via blogger has been truly inspirational. Kari and I had the opportunity to meet two fellow bloggers in Paris and now, with this EASTERLY change in your 12 in 12 schedule, I will be able to add this story to my list of "OH MY GOSH THAT'S AMAZING" elements to this journey. It's really cool how small the world is (due to the world wide webby thingy....)

Stay tuned, this is going to be a great journey!!!

Bad Hippie said...

You go, Michael! Head a little bit farther from your daughter's former campus, and you'll find mine. :)

I hope to meet you in Trieste next year...(Bad Hippie)

Michael B said...

hey, bad hippie...karoline says i should folo you and i'd like to but i can't find you. where do i go???

Bad Hippie said...

Kari's trying to get me to blog more, I guess!

I'm on the daily mile, too...Kari's friend "Sue."