I just got back from Austin, TX and I've been inspired to kick off my blog again. Over the last year its seen the grave on more than one occasion, mainly because it was loosing its luster and its very reason for being in existence. Its hard to maintain a training journal when one doesn't actually train anymore. However, over the last month between NYC Marathon week and especially last week at The Running Event in Austin TX many people, some I know well, some I don't know at all told me that they were disappointed in the lack of posting. Some people told me I went from the Favorites toolbar to the deleted bin. And what was most interesting was to hear that it was nothing to do with the running part, it was to do with the music part combined with the struggles of someone who is in constant pain and working full time to get out the door. On Wednesday 2 people came up and told me that they needed the blog to keep them up to date on new music, or different music. There was no mention of running. So after some thought I decided to get back on to daily posting. Maybe every other day during busy periods but at least consistency.
So where to start? Well, I race cyclocross these days and I'm awful at it even though it should be right up my ally. All out bike riding on a cross country course does not equate to all out running on a cross country course. For one, there is no skill in running, nor is there the need to output lots of power. I loose ground on all technical sections and the stop-start nature of the game serves to frustrate me and coming out of every corner I have to watch powerful dudes (less fit too) pull away because my skinny arse cannot push the pedals hard enough. I have crashed in every race and think I broke a bone in my hand because its been three weeks since I landed on it and the pain hasn't subsided. On the flip side, cross is one of the most inviting and cultish sports I've been part of. The guys and gals love it, they live it, and they are hardcore about the scene. Cross Running can learn a LOT from Cyclocross. The courses are challenging, and where in running they avoid too many bends or ditches in cyclocross they seek them out. They have beer sponsors that pop up tents along the most technical parts of the course and allow fans a few pints and the opportunity to see the odd crash. The last time (maybe the only time) we had something like this was Jonseys Ditch at the 2007 national xc in Boulder. Pete Julian decided he was not going to avoid the dodgy and very muddy ditch and reassured by Jonsey he kept it in. Some athletes complained. Coaches were "concerned" about injuries. However, nowhere on the course could you find more people cheering and embracing the joy of cross running then right at the ditch. I have always maintained that Cross Running is too soft and not in the muddy sense. Coaches want to protect athletes and courses are becoming more and more like road races. Flat and firm. Cyclocross is the opposite. They want courses that are unique so that Cross Specialists have their moment to dominate. I would love to put on a race in Providence that was technical, muddy, and had atmosphere in the form of music and a beer tent. It would never work of course but maybe a collaboration with a cyclocross race? That might work. Here is some sketchy video I took at Gloucester this year.
The following night myself, coxy and mylene went to see Interpol at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights. The venue is really beautiful, one of those classic theaters with tight seating and ornate decoration. I am typically not a fan of these venues for shows that I want to dance at but I was close to the front and the people around me were jumping and singing so it was all good. The show was very good but still my least favorite of the 5 Interpol gigs I've been to this year. An Interpol show is always fantastic but one has to be the worst and for me it was this show. The all seater definitely takes something away and the night before Wolf Parade had so much energy that this show seemed a little subdued. I compare it to Interpol up in Rochester NYC at the start of the tour and it was a completely different atmosphere. We were treated to all the great songs and it was still a fantastic and very uplifting show.
The race was wonderful. Haile Geb had his issues but didn't take away from a great day. The womens race was better than the mens in terms of drama. Flannigan had an incredible debut to finish 2nd but I was most excited about my landlord Kim Smith grabbing 5th after a pitstop that cost her 30-40 seconds. She would have undoubtedly challenged for top 3. She is disappointed and fired up so expect to see her on a rostrum at a major very soon. It was great to be in NYC catching up with lots of friends. We had a blast the night before the race taking the show to a dodgy karaoke bar and getting well oiled. My good friend from Drogheda ran and to see him embrace the event made me very happy. He did what all positive people do, took advantage of everything good about the NYC Marathon. High fiving the spectators, chatting with strangers, and embracing the culture of marathon running and the energy of the city. Hopefully we'll see Yogi back next year with some of the other members of the lads fc.
So thats the NYC buzz and thats all for now. I need a separate post to discuss the good times in Austin, TX. Some fantastic stuff happened down there.
Great to be back!