Wednesday, January 30, 2013

RACE REPORT: Manhattan Half - Over Weight/Tired/Cold/Late = Over.

RACE #: 198
Race Name: The 5 Boro Series: Manhattan Half
Distance: 13.1m (Half-Marathon)
Location: Central Park, NY
Date/Time:  January 27, 2013 @ 8:00am
Weather: 17 deg, 60% hum, 17mph, Fair.
Finish Time:  1:47:47
Pace:  8:14 pr/ml
Overall Placement: 1305 out of 4881 - top 26.7%
Gender Placement:  1063 out of 2947 - top 36.1%
Age Group (45-49) Placement: 113 out of 352 - top 32.1%
Forest Park Runners Placement:  1st Place out of 3
Against Previous Races of Same Distance:  13th out of 39.
Course RecordYES!
Personal Record:  NO.

Hey everybody, I’m b-a-a-a-a-c-k!  And more than I want to be too.   Need to lose some weight, and need to stop saying that I need to lose some weight and actually do it. 

The other day I posted on Facebook that I was 6 pounds overweight, and took a lot of heat from my non-runner friends who think that it’s a silly thing to whine about.  But let me tell you, for every pound that I am over 157, that equates to slower times.  When I train, I don’t give a fuck typically how slow or fast I run, but when I race?  That’s another story.  I “tipped the scales” at about 165 the morning of the Manhattan Half Marathon this past Sunday (1/27/2013).  At a 5’ 8” frame that’s not bad, but as a runner, it sucks….the speed out of me.   I probably could have paced out at 7:30 instead of 8 and change.

Also, and as it was my first race since the Thanksgiving Trot, I did several things wrong.  Yes people, as much as I toot my own horn when I do this right, I will be the first to body slam myself when I screw up.

Screw up #1 – Leave for your race ontime.
Manhattan is a jungle when it comes to parking.  So unless you are looking to forklift a small treasure chest of cash to a parking garage, prepare to play musical parking chairs.  Even on Sunday when the Avenues aren’t metered.    So...What the fuck happened, you say?  I had to run to starting line, and despite my elite corral status, I wound up starting all the way back.  Zig zagging around the 12-minute milers, was no HOV lane for sure!      

Screw Up #2 – Slim down.
Duh.  But I already belly-flopped in the beginning about this one.

Screw Up #3 – Overtrain?
Ummm…Let’s see, I have run over 230 miles since January 2 leading up to the race.   A beast of the road.  I’ve already shattered several personal endurance records this month so far, without, fortunately, shattering my body (262 miles as I write this now- new record for a single month-woot!!)  However, how can you do well, when you work out too much or….

Screw Up #4 – Not sleep enough.
This was beyond my control….to a degree.  As a critical engineer at a fortune 120 company, you need to do whatever must be done to make sure your business floats, and floats correctly.  That said, I worked from 8am Thursday until 7:30am the next day.  And even then, I stuck a 10 mile run in between.  Hence, MACHINE.  However, machines need to rest, and instead of catching up on z’s on Saturday, I did not.

Screw Up #5 – Wardrobe Malfunction.
Yeah so, I got this cool new iPod Nano (7th gen) with Bluetooth.  So between that and my JF3 Jaybird wireless Bluetooth headphones, all looked well…..Until about a mile into the race.  The music suddenly stopped, and when I reached over to my left shoulder, the armband was GONE.   The sucker fell off.  I looked behind me at the thousand or so, runners that I had just aggressively passed.  They were stampeding towards me (someone play the sounds from a typical Pamplonian Running of the Bulls, please).  I knew now that I had to run back to get my investment.  Turned out the Bluetooth had a better signal then I thought.   I ran back about a city block to find my tiny but expensive investment laying precariously  on the ground.  It was a miracle no one stepped on it.    The “event” cost me a minute.

Screw Up # 6 – All this mileage, but few hills. 
No excuse!  Even on a treadmill, one can always up the angle of ascent.  Bah, I suck! 

See?  I can be self-deprecating when necessary!

Despite all these challenges, I clocked my first mile in 8:46.  Rather than to belabor how I shaved off time, did this and that and the other I will just say that I was able to finish up in a time of 1:47:47. 

Oh, and it was fucking cold as hell outside too.  17 degrees at race start, but when I first left my home it was 8 with a wind chill making it feel like “1”.

Interestingly, and with all the races I did last year (33), this was the first NYRR, scored event in Manhattan since the August 4th team championships. 
No real medal, but I did get a cyber one though, lol.

My next race with NYRR will be Coogan’s.  Can’t wait! J

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Spooky "Cottages" - Explained, Perhaps

After the rancid and scary reaction I had when running to the end of Kings Point yesterday, I decided to look for answers online.

Within moments, I found a very interesting article in the New York Times. It was dated August 26, 2007, a full five and half years ago.  The widow who lives alone, would now be 86.

Link & Article below (and a debt of gratitude to Bruce Lambert who wrote the article)

August 26, 2007

Amid Family’s Quarrels, a Home Worthy of Gatsby Begins to Crumble

KINGS POINT, N.Y. — For more than half a century, Marjorie Brickman Kern has lived in the main mansion at the Point, the grand estate on Long Island’s Gold Coast that is believed by some to have inspired the fictional West Egg home of “The Great Gatsby.” 

The Point sits atop a 20-foot cliff in the village of Kings Point overlooking Long Island Sound, where sailboats glide through a panorama of bridges and lighthouses against the backdrop of the Connecticut shore and the Manhattan skyline.

The stucco mansion, one of nine homes across the estate’s 21 acres, is filled with arched doorways, marble fireplaces, Oriental carpets, crystal chandeliers, genteel furniture and photographs of celebrated visitors like Eleanor Roosevelt, John V. Lindsay, Woody Allen and Sarah Ferguson.

These days, Mrs. Kern, an 81-year-old widow, lives alone amid floors rotted in places and some paneless windows. Parts of the grounds — which include a vineyard, a lily pond, a clay tennis court, a horse paddock, a squash court, a gym, a greenhouse and formal gardens — are neglected and overgrown.

In legal documents and interviews, Mrs. Kern and one of her sons, Russell H. Handler, accuse her other son, F. John Handler, of costing her up to $16 million by tricking her into selling him her 22 percent share of the estate and foisting $1.7 million of his debt onto her. She said she had “opacity in my vitreous — in other words, I can’t see” and was unaware that she had signed the sales contract in 2002. “If I had known,” she said in an interview, “I would not have entertained the idea.”

Russell Handler, 58, said that his mother’s credit card, savings, checking and brokerage accounts were depleted and that he had spent thousands of dollars on household repairs and staples for her. He and his mother filed lawsuits this month accusing his brother of defrauding their mother and facilitating the government’s seizure of a $98,000 bank account, which Russell had set up mainly for her, to pay off tax liens that he said John owed.

John Handler, 56, said Mrs. Kern willingly sold him her share of the property, and he accused his brother — whom he called “delusional” — of running up more than $30,000 in charges on their mother’s credit card for his own benefit.

“He’s coming to her rescue? It’s absurd,” said the younger brother, a lawyer, who lives with his two daughters in a new brick home at the edge of the cliff, separated from Mrs. Kern’s mansion by a sloping lawn and a pool that is lined with one million white and blue marble tiles. “I wish my brother well,” he added. “I just don’t want to have anything to do with him and the madness that seems to surround him.”

The current skirmish is just the latest in a series of fights, shifting alliances and travails that seem to 
have cursed the family, and the Point, for decades.

Russell and John Handler, along with both their wives and several of the estate’s tenants, have battled cancer. John Handler’s wife, Jennifer, who was the principal pianist for the Long Island Philharmonic and heir to a real estate fortune, was found dead last year in an indoor pool at the estate; the police declared it an accident. Jennifer’s mother, Jean Eley, was killed when her car hit a tree near here in 1998. This year, John Handler nearly died from toxic sepsis and lost all his fingers and toes.

The paradox of the place is that it was envisioned as a family compound where succeeding generations could live together. Mrs. Kern’s father, the late Herman Brickman, a high-powered labor arbitrator and sportsman, created an ownership cooperative in the late 1970s to make his vision a reality. But instead of drawing his descendants closer, the Point has torn them apart.

“It was rather idyllic, but a fool’s paradise as it turned out,” Mrs. Kern said in a recent interview. A decade ago, in an earlier stage of the family feud, she told The New York Times, “My father’s intent was that we all live in great harmony in a beautiful setting,” but then “avarice and greed took over.” Earlier, other relatives accused her and John Handler of those same motives.

Touring the grounds where he grew up fishing and hunting and working on the property, Russell Handler mused, “As families disagree, a dream is lost.”

“We expected to live here the rest of our lives,” he said. “Now this place has basically gone to ruin. Do you think this is what my grandfather envisioned?”

Today, the cooperative is more like a business than a family compound, with all but two of the nine residences rented to outsiders.

In the early 1980s, shortly before Herman Brickman died, control of the estate was transferred to John Handler and Mrs. Kern, cutting out her two brothers, Lionel and Richard Brickman, and their children. A dispute over the legitimacy of that transfer was settled by giving 26 percent to Richard’s branch of the family. Then he wanted to sell that portion, provoking a new round of litigation.

A 1996 court decision found that John Handler ran the estate in a “baronial” manner, keeping few records and ignoring the minority shareholders. The judge directed that the cooperative be dissolved. John Handler and Mrs. Kern, arguing that they were trying to preserve the estate, appealed and won. After more legal wrangling, the losing side sold its share to John in 2004.
Now the alliances have shifted.

Russell Handler, a former banking and yacht company executive who lives in Maine, said the current clash began last year when Mrs. Kern tried to arrange a transfer of her shares to a trust for his son, David, and was surprised to learn that she no longer owned the property.

The 2002 sales contract acknowledged setting a below-market price of $500,000 for her shares, which Russell Handler said prompted a gift tax of $1.7 million for her on the shares’ estimated value of $12 million. The contract required John Handler to pay that gift tax for her, but he did not, causing state and federal governments to seize her assets, including her Social Security payments, said her lawyer, Steven H. Sewell.

John Handler, however, said that no gift tax was due and that the liens on the property originated from another tax dispute. “We filed the tax return,” he said, “and everything that was supposed to be done was done.”

The turmoil echoes the “Gatsby” theme of intrigue and betrayal beneath the facade of wealth and society, a tale set in the Jazz Age when Kings Point boasted of tycoons and celebrities like Walter Chrysler, W. R. Grace, Oscar Hammerstein and George M. Cohan.

The Point is on a private road off Gatsby Lane, a name apparently chosen by a developer, at the tip of the peninsula where Manhasset Bay meets Long Island Sound, a location matching the West Egg area that F. Scott Fitzgerald described in “The Great Gatsby,” said John Handler, the official village historian of Kings Point. The mansion in the book was even bigger than the one where his mother lives, John Handler said. He and others say that Fitzgerald, who once lived in Great Neck, probably attended parties at the Point held by Richard Church, who bought the estate in the early 1900s from the family of John Alsop King Jr., for whom Kings Point is named.
Mr. Brickman bought the place around 1950.

Mrs. Kern, a diminutive woman with Champagne-colored hair and thick glasses, is adept at wordplay and fondly remembers happier days, including her stints as the self-styled Queen of Green, lecturing on herbs and other plants at botanical gardens and on radio and television.

Though many relatives remembered Mrs. Kern as a tough adversary in previous disputes, she grew teary about recent travails. “I regret all the dissension,” she said.

At times, Mrs. Kern seemed as torn as her family. Despite the litigation, she said positive things about both sons, though she evaded answering questions about how often John visited or invited her to his home on the other side of the pool.

But in a document giving Russell power of attorney, Mrs. Kern said, “Over the past several years I have been taken advantage of by my son F. John Handler, particularly involving the loss of money and other property and the incurrence of major tax and other liabilities, leaving me without resources with which to remedy any of the same or to care for myself adequately.” The statement added that “these matters are too difficult and painful for me.”

While Mrs. Kern reveled in the Point’s storied history, she was pensive about the future. “It’s easy to live in the past,” she said. “Where do we go from here — that’s what worries me.”
Correction to the article above...
An article on Aug. 26 about the Point, an estate on Long Island's Gold Coast that is the subject of a bitter family dispute, misidentified the location where Jennifer Handler, the wife of F. John Handler, one of the owners, was found dead last year. It was an indoor pool, not the white-and-blue marble outdoor pool. 

Because of an editing error, the article referred incorrectly to the transfer of the estate to Mr. Handler and his mother, Marjorie Brickman Kern. The transfer occurred shortly before the death of Mrs. Kern's father, Herman Brickman, in 1981, and was not in fact part of his will.


To me the most telling of this entire story above was the heavy amount of misfortune that this poor family has had to endure.  Let me pick apart the paragraph below:

"Russell and John Handler, along with both their wives and several of the estate’s tenants, have battled cancer." 
I know that cancer is a leading killer, but these odds are ridiculous.  What was the common denominator here?  Perhaps this area that they all live in?

"John Handler’s wife, Jennifer, who was the principal pianist for the Long Island Philharmonic and heir to a real estate fortune, was found dead last year in an indoor pool at the estate; the police declared it an accident."
Frightening.  And makes you wonder, again, about this place that gave me the creeps!!!

"Jennifer’s mother, Jean Eley, was killed when her car hit a tree near here in 1998." 
Didn't I say that these trees looked evil?

"This year, John Handler nearly died from toxic sepsis and lost all his fingers and toes."

That is horrifying to say the least.

Something was DEFINITELY not right about this area!  My instincts served me well to turn around and not continue running north to the end.  Hopefully, I did not run too far in, to take anything bad back with me.....

And now, I just found the ULTIMATE news.  If everything that I wrote wasn't creepy enough....John Handler was found DEAD in his estate, shortly after this article was written in 2008.

See article below....

'Great Gatsby' mansion in Kings Point sells

Kings Point Estate listed for $39,500,000
Photo credit: Handout
The Kings Point estate said to have been the inspiration for the West Egg mansion in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” has sold, according to a news release by the real estate firm that listed the property.
The price has not yet been made public. Neither has the name of the buyer.
John Handler last owned the home, known as the Brickman estate. Handler was found dead there in 2008;...


And the buyer isn't even named.  Interesting and ominous again.

A Great Day for A Great Neck (Long Run, that is)

After doing the impossible, and posting up to First Place on the International 1500 Mile Club (still known there as "Blogrunner", which hosts members from all over the world, I came down with a bit of the flu bug myself, that had previously impacted David, and Kayla.  I didn't burn up, but the worst seem to have taken hold Friday morning, and by Friday evening, there was no chance that I was going to go to the gym to hammer out 8 or 10 miles.

There are nearly 400 participants on this board off of

On Saturday, Karen dropped off her car to Nut Just Lube, and she came running home (or did actually 5 miles.  Nice job, K!).  As for me, I had just gotten a sorely needed pair of sneaks the day before, and was feeling markedly better, though I wasn't sure if I was cleared of my sickness, and felt I needed to adrenalize to help get rid of whatever I still might have.  I didn't think I would get to 60 miles again for the 3rd consecutive weeks.  And, perhaps, that was the right attitude to take.

Nice to know you can always find Large Booty.  Especially in Port Washington. Umm, my wife, she ehhh, didn't just read this, did she?
I did another long run, down Plandome, and onto Northern Boulevard, Port Blvd, and back to Schreiber High were I finished doing loops until I needed to pick up Karen's car.   Being that I'm on a town-eating quest (more on that at the end of this blog), I decided to snap up some photos of the missing signs.

Machine hungers for signs.  Signs of signs, that is!

Sit Alex, Sit.  Good Dog.
Finally after my loops through Schreiber were over.  I had recorded 12 miles.  Not bad for someone who just 24 hours later, felt like dog poop.

Well, that was Saturday.
Sunday however, was a day to remember.  Inaugural runs are hard to forget.  Anytime you run someplace that you haven't been to before?  That's an inaugural run.  In truth, the last few miles, I actually did run.  That was back in 2005, but really not since I moved from Bellerose, and it was nice to see places I hadn't seen in EIGHT years.  Wow.

The goal was to do an ENTIRE loop of neck containing Thomaston, Great Neck, Kings Point,  Saddle Rock, Harbor Hills, Great Neck Estates and Kensington.

Like all North Shore necks, it was hilly.  Also, I had a southerly head wind hitting me as I charged north up Shore Road.

 So, I parked the car at Equinox.  A great place, IMHO, to park and run.  You come out of your car and you are dressed to run.  Even if someone from Equinox, sees you running out of their parking lot, you're not getting towed.  Why?  Because there are so many gym members who usually do go for a run, then come back and stretch at the gym.
This was the first town, I laid legs upon.

This was an abandoned oil station/refinery.  It was right up on Shore Road.

Finally, I was in the Village of Great Neck.  This would be short-lived.  My goal was to motor my way as fast as possible to the tippy-tip of Kings Point.  I was curious to see what it looked like.

How funny, that I could see the neck (across Manhasset Bay) that I run down so often.
Unfortunately, running hard and taking photos, mostly as I ran (great camera focus on the new iPhone 5, btw) , I "Must of Got Lost", as J Geils said. Apparently, I was supposed to make a hard right to continue staying on Shore.  Instead I went with the curve and wound up on Hicks.  To make matters worse, I didn't even notice this until I was at least 3/4s of a mile in, and then got lost again looping around Hayden (not to be confused with Mark Hayden from OLQM) Avenue.
Stupid mistake.  Just remember...Do not hire Alex to be your tour guide.  Hahahaha.
Pretty soon however, it was evidently clear that the houses got larger and larger.  The roads seemed more manicured than Sands Point, the town for which you'd have to compare Kings Point to, but I also wondered if that's just perception because this was the first time I ran through here and my "WOW" factor was in full-blitz, or perhaps because these towns were settled decades before the Port Washington neck was settled.

A barn?  Pretty damn expensive one, I bet.

Not only the front of the houses were getting ridiculously large, but this photo below, is that of someone's back yard.  They built a bridge on their property!

 Littered with wall-to-wall mansions, this private and intimate view of Kings Point,  made me feel that much poorer as I ran through it.  And to think, I thought I was somewhat narcissistic.  Why, running through here made me feel like the Ghetto-boy of Manorhaven instantly lowering property values around me as I run past these leviathans of adobe.

Here's a tip:  If you're going to run through a mostly-residential neighborhood, and fear the possibility of a pee-pee urge to overcome you, run through nice neighborhoods.  Nice neighborhoods have a lot of construction going on at all times, and these construction workers need a place to take a whizz or a dump.  And usually, on Fridays when the construction crew leaves for the weekend, they do not take the port-o-sans with them!   You can go and relieve yourself, take some toilet paper to blow your nose, make snot rags for the rest of the journey, etal, and not have to worry about holding it in, knocking on a strangers' door, or the worst outcome; peeing in the bushes and getting caught by the Great Neck police (gray squad cars, in case you're wondering) and being issued a citation.  Well then again, entering a port-o-sans, is probably trespassing as well.  So, just be careful out there!!!

See the port-o-sans?  It's in green and dwarfed by one of the SMALLER mansions in Kings Point. Here, look below...

There it is.....AHHHHHHHH

Add caption

I was still heading north and had just made a right off of Split Rock (below) when I saw water at the end of a down hill slope.

 What I didn't realize is that there is a sizeable lake towards the north end of the Kings Point neck.  Look at that house ahead.  Who lives there?  The Carringtons? JR Ewing?  Ohhh, how I date myself!
Perhaps the most telling part of this entire new adventure comes now.
So here I am, within STRIKING distance, of the top of the neck.
I'm positive, and charged with excitement.  My smile of knowing I will be conquering another neck is from growing from ear to ear. 

Then suddenly I come to a sign a few hundred yards south of the fork for Gatsby Lane.
It said NO TRESPASSING.  That was odd.  Did they mean no trespassing on the property?  I figured that going on anyone's property without prior approval from the owner is trespassing, so what was this sign for really?  Was it that the road had become private? I saw a sign miles south that said that, but not again.

I kept running and saw more signs saying the same thing.  One actually had been written underneath that said , "NO PICTURES, NO VIDEO".  It was ominous.  These signs were everywhere and it was getting  alarming.

Then I came up to the fork itself. Gatsby Lane.  Someone had written in sharpie, "VIDEO CAMERAS ON"

I then looked, ahead.  Not down Gatsby, but further down Kings Point Road, since that is in fact the road, that takes me to the very end of the neck.  In a few words, Disturbing.  Disquieting.  Unnerving.  And perhaps, evil. 

The road suddenly changed to a dirt road, but that wasn't all.  Where once I was passing mansion after mansion, suddenly, I was passing what looked to be wooden cottages.  And they weren't well kept at all.  Even just writing this now, hours later, a chill is coursing through my body over it.  I had to run downhill the last 1/4 mile to get here, and I felt like I had left the wonderful .00001 percent of the filthy rich, and had just entered something evil.

I started noticing the trees looked not only dead, but weird as well.  And perhaps the oddest thing of all, was that despite the tremendous chop I could see ahead of the waters breaking onto the edge of the neck, and the Gale Force winds that the weathermen had warned me of, and that I had to displeasure to experience....there was no wind here.  No wind sound.  I felt as if I were in a vacuum.

New chills ran up my spine now as I stopped.  I was too afraid to even take more photos of these cottages that looked like as if they were owned by witches, or worse.  And there was NO WAY that I was going to go down that dirt road that turned to the right and out of site from the main paved road, regardless of what the map (below) suggests.

This was supposed to be a long run, but I quickly turned around and BOOKED my way out of there as fast as I could.  I kept looking back every 30 seconds or so as I did, worrying whether something or some entity was giving me pursuit.  I really had lost it, at least mentally, and vowed to myself
Between the warning/trespassing

On my way back south, I tried to find the 1 photo of the cottage that I was GONE.
Totally freaked out, I posted it as such on Facebook and didn't stop to take many more photos for awhile.

I realize that to some I may have seemed silly.  But I have excellent instincts, and to go from a mood of joy and happiness, to one that is filled with verboden, and fear, just like that?  Uh-uh.  I believe in science, but I'm not taking any chances, just to play it safe.  Let someone else find out what's around that bend.  Not me!

I finally cooled off and saw an awesome view off of Kings Point Road, on Lighthouse Road...
 This photo doesn't do justice, but you can easily make out City Island, of the Bronx, in the distance.

 I didn't waste anytime in heading back and before long I was back in Great Neck.

 And with that came Northern Boulevard, found at the base of Great Neck Road.

I made a left onto Northern, where I would proceed to Tain (not Taint, lol) Drive

Peter Luger's Steakhous just ahead of the Tain Drive & Northern Boulevard intersection

 The sun was at a great angle now.  All my photos looked golden.

And as I ran down Tain Drive, I noticed two things.  Karen's friend Jeff (and his family) were not home, and....what a gorgeous view of this tree-lined street....even with no leaves on..

It is definitely not easy to take one's own photo when running.

But it can be fun!

These damn acorns, of whatever they call 'em.  I kept having to run around them , so as not to step on them  and straining my ankle.
 Finally, I was in the town of Great Neck, passing the train station and all the hullaboo of the stores and commercial traffic that goes along with it.

The Squire theatre....Yeah, I've been here before too.

Finally, I was in the "homestretch" and running down Beverly Drive. This is the entrance to it, and to Thomaston (see the little guard shack on the right?  That's their own police force.  How cute.)

As I ran down Beverly, then onto Gilchrist, then Grace, I finally came upon this wooden overpass (over the LIRR train tracks that is).  I realized I had done this way back in the day.  I also realized I didn't even have a mile left before I was back in the car.   The sun had already set, and the cold air was whipping in.  I could feel it.  As I could feel a shiver.  However, a shiver from the cold somehow felt better than the shiver I got while running near Gatsby.

I finally made it to my car at Equinox.  The next challenge? To get to the Rite Aid on Shore Rd, in Manorhaven before the pharmacy closed.  I had about 30 minutes to go.

Well, I got there in about 20, but there was an obnoxious man who seemed to have a million items that he not only wanted to pay for at the drug counter, but was actually complaining and INSULTING the people behind the counter as well.  He kept looking back at us, as if to get acceptance for his behavior.  I gave him jack-shit.  I needed to get our stuff, and get the hell out of there.  I was freezing, and hungry, and in a desperate need for a hot shower.

While waiting in line, I finally glanced at my watch.  Interestingly, despite how pleased I was with the distance, when I got home the distance turned out to be even longer.  16.2 miles to be exact.  This makes sense as I fumbled a few times, turning on & off the watch, whenever I had to stop to take a photo.

Well, after this run, I hit 60+ miles for a 3rd consecutive week.  I've already broken the most miles in a January month ever, and now that I've run 19 consecutive days, I'm just 3 days shy.

And as for the town-eating quest.....I also decided that if I could maintain pace into February, that I would go for it.  And at this point, I'm on pace for over 3200 miles this year.  That's DOUBLE of last year, and that was my record-setting year.  I don't know if I can keep it up for an entire year, but it will be fun to see how far I go.  In the meantime, you might have seen some changes to my blog photo above.  Yes.  I've decided to re-enact my virtual coast-to-coast trip across America.  I've already done 184 miles (an average of over 9 miles per day, wow).  I think that puts me in Pennsylvania already, right?

Anyway, you'll see more info on that, but for now....stay strong my friends....And go running!