Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hills

Hills are my friend. No, hills will kill me! That was the basic content of my self-conversation this morning as I ran a new route. It was up and down all the way. It was a really nice neighbourhood -- lots of oak trees. If we have the right weather this fall, it will be a beautiful route to run in October. See the route by clicking here.

This was actually the most profitable run of my life. :) I found a one-dollar bill on the road. Wahoo!!

Bob

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer Running

I like running and I like running in the early morning. I really liked running this winter and saw my times improve. All of a sudden, though, I slowed up. It's one thing to do that with intention. But, I didn't decide to slow down -- I just did. Up to May or early June, I could count on regularly getting in a daily 4-6 mile run that was between 07:20 and 07:40 minutes per mile; sometimes 07:10-07:15 if I felt extra good. Now, 07:40 mpm is a good run with 07:45-07:59 being the norm.

My first thought was that it was just age suddenly catching up with me. I really didn't get serious about running until 3 years ago. I was 49 and needed to lose weight and get in decent physical shape -- too much family medical history to risk any other state of being. So, now I'm 52. But I don't think age-related slowness comes on suddenly. That just doesn't make sense.

My definitely non-professional opinion is that it must be the humidity. For the last several weeks, early morning temps have been 62-75. That's not too bad (I prefer about 50). However, the humidity in Short Pump has been 90-96%. Five minutes after finishing any run, there is not a single dry spot on my body or clothes. That pretty well correlates with my slower times.

So, I endure this for a season and look forward to Fall and speedier times. Now, if that doesn't happen, it's back to the drawing board.

Bob

"First Lady of CBS News"

Not running related at all. But still random thoughts.

First Lady of CBS News ready to work
By GLENN GARVIN
Miami Herald
PASADENA, Calif.
(Click here for the full Miami Herald/Mercury News article.)

SNIPPET OF THE ARTICLE:

``We heard from many people that the news is just too depressing,'' Couric said. ``Now, obviously, we can't sugarcoat what's going on in the world, but there are cases where I believe we can be a little more solution-oriented.''

Oh, and, a few less shouting heads, please.

Viewers ``didn't feel that the country was as polarized as was being illustrated in the media in the various forms of news they were watching. One woman in Minneapolis said, `Whatever happened to critical thinking?' '' Couric said.

``Some people felt as if the media in general had abdicated its role of really talking about facts and information rather than just points of view. They also wanted more civil discourse. You know, they want more thinking and less spewing, as one man said.''

END OF ARTICLE SNIPPET

BOB'S COMMENTS

I'm not a Katie Couric fan -- not a naysayer, either. I guess I'm somewhat neutral. However, in a Miami Herald interview, published by Mercury News, in which she talks about CBS News' process of finding out what people think about the current state of news broadcasting, Couric has made two points with which I agree:

1. News media focus on the negative and ignore the good (at least, that's how I interpret her first statement).

... and ...

2. I detest the shouting matches that CNN seems to have started several years ago with its Crossfire program and which many news shows have adopted -- that seems to be all I can catch on Fox News and MSNBC. Rather than providing an environment for exploring (key word) opposing perspectives on the news, it seems to lead to shallow opinion-sharing, staunch defensiveness, and denigration of other points of view ("Aw, come on ... how can you possibly say that?!" type of statements). Some networks seem to go out of their way to find news people with the loudest, most obnoxious voices to deliver the news -- even when they are the only one on the set.

Now, can Katie Couric deliver the solution-oriented, critically thought out news that she says is needed? That remains to be seen. She has a huge barrier to cross with her background on fluff-news (morning "news" talk shows). Charlie Gibson has the same barrier in his move from Good Morning America to ABC Nightly News (not sure if that's the right name).

It would be great if Couric can pull this off. I guess we'll see in the Fall.

Bob

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Free!

I ran 4.5 miles this morning in just under 35 minutes. While doing that, I both contemplated and exercised my unalienable rights:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Life: This is one of the reasons I started running 3 years ago. At that point, I was technically obese (BMI of just over 30) and, with family history of high BP, high cholesterol, Type II diabetes, and heart disease, I wanted to do what I could to extend both the quality and length of my life.

Liberty: OK, this is stretching it a bit, but I am free to choose whether or not to do something about my health. So, today I chose to do something positive about it -- I ran. But, at least where I live, I'm also simply free to run without worrying about harrassment from some petty, tyrannical government official. Working with and around folks who live in some 140 countries around the world, I don't take that freedom for granted as much as I might under other circumstances.

Pursuit of Happiness: I like the fact that the founding fathers recognized and stated that Happiness is not the right but the pursuit of Happiness is. There are lots of ways to be happy. I'm grateful to be a part of a family in which I'm happy. While I would be glad to get rid of some of the facets of my job, I am involved in something that has eternal significance and that brings a great deal of satisfaction, which is at least one part of happiness. In a physical and mental sense, running is another way that I pursue happiness -- good health, relief of stress, the chance to think through stuff are all contributors to happiness.

Wouldn't it be great if every government recognized those rights? All men (read, humans) are created equal and so deserve to enjoy those rights.

Bob
...even young people tire and drop out ... but those who wait upon God get fresh strength ... they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind. Isaiah 40:30-31 (The Message)