Sunday, 11 April 2010


Twelve years ago I walked away, partly by choice, from a career that I'd grown weary of, partly due to work-related injury. I gave it up for a new adventure that paid half of what my wife and I'd been used to, in an effort to have and experience something different. At the beginning of this year I had finally worked my way back up the pay scale to what I was taking home in 1998! Three months later, the axe fell there, tossing me into the jobless mix of uncertainty, frustration, raised blood pressure, frantic budget trimming, and a forced lowering of life expectations. Turns out, it would not stay that way for long. 

To say that I have been blown away by the support I have gotten from my sweetheart wife, family, friends, Goon Squad members, other runners, bloggers, Facebookers, Twitterers, Daily Milers, Just Finishers, and bike shop and radio colleagues, would be an understatement. To bless you all would take too much space here. You know who you are.  You were the much-needed padding in the walls I've been bouncing off of for three weeks. 

Thankfully, the pinball action has subsided, as I've been welcomed back into the radio fold, on a fill-in basis, at a time when there are lots of open holes. I was even offered the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a budding new business, from a Twitter friend I've been following for months. Unfortunately, current time constraints don't allow me to give the time he needs to make it work. His trust and kindness will be long-remembered and appreciated warmly.  

If you've been here before you'll know I was going, at the end of this month, to Trieste and Prague, to run marathons in both places on back-to-back weekends in May.  That trip has been scrapped, but, as "they" say, you can't keep an old marathoner down. I am one click away from signing up for the San Francisco Marathon in July. It'll be my fourth running of the SFM. My rule has been to not run any one marathon more than three times but...rules are meant to be broken. I am viewing it as my hometown marathon madness re-entry event. I am hoping to hear soon that at least a couple of local friends will be doing it, too. 

Shortly after I'd committed to running Trieste, I agreed to run the Athens Classic Marathon in...well, Greece! I have a dear friend there, whom I have never met in person, who inspires with every workout she posts on line. We've chatted for months, and, at one point she invited me to come over and run with her. I accepted. It's not til October 31st so, despite my job loss, I was not prepared to cancel. I figured I'd give it time. Then, last week I decided to take a chance that work and finances would soon stabilize and sign up for it. Turns out, the day before, it sold out. I thought I was out of luck. However, within hours of emailing my friend, she'd spoken with her running club members about me and emailed me back. They're going to let me sign up as one of them. Could these people be more amazing? You do the math. 

So. It would appear...the sharp edges of involuntary unemployment are being where they are barely painful...right now. I am thrilled to be back in the full mix of life. Reinventing, again. 

Gotta run!

Friday, 2 April 2010


It's been a pretty intense couple of weeks.

Losing my job, mine and my wife's health insurance, filling out Cobra forms and unemployment insurance paperwork, dumping out of the LA Marathon, canceling my marathon trips to Trieste and Prague, applying for jobs, interviewing, waiting for severance payments, reestablishing my ties with radio friends and my former newsroom career, coming up with a budget based on jobless bennies and fill-in work, selling my Darth Vadar bike (to pad the checkbook), and trying to stay sane...has had me bouncing off walls. I would like to think things are beginning to calm down. I'd also like to think that some of the patience and focus I've learned while running long distance has helped. However, this is one marathon I'd like to see end very soon.

In an effort to regain some semblance of control, I have been trying to work out at the gym and run. I have needed to just pull my head out...and make stuff work. Today I slipped on my VFF's for the first time since I injured myself in them two months ago. They felt great. I wanted to run farther than the five I put in this morning, but realized it would be clever of me to pace myself. Hurt is something I'd rather not feel again anytime soon.

Last Saturday I did an awesome 10 miler in a park I'd all but forgotten my Beasts. Hard, but welcome.

I have been itching to find a spring marathon, but have yet to pull the trigger on one. Still in a holding pattern, waiting to see how the job thing pans out. I know myself though. I will probably take the leap here soon, and will plan on bailing out if I have to work instead.

In another step toward sanity I have started working on my running book. Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions about what you'd like to hear about when it comes my marathon adventures. I kicked the whole writing process off last weekend with a visit to San Francisco's Caffe Trieste.

I have been going here for about 30 years. They've always had the best latte in town. It's a comfy, well-worn, welcoming spot, known for the opera music on the jukebox, live opera on the weekends, and its varied clientele. Many books have been at least partially written here. Many poets, artists, actors, activists, movie directors and producers, singers, politicians have lined up at the coffee counter here...then sat, unhurried, for hours, debating what's wrong with the world and how to fix it. My hope in starting the book here was that I could possibly absorb some of the talent those folks left behind in the walls. Time will tell.

I'm also fond of the grilled ham and cheese.

Gotta run!