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Picture Me Runnin'

Posted May 08 2009 11:39pm
Well, then … that was interesting, wasn’t it?

Thanks to everybody who weighed in on my little squabble last week. I knew that posting it would light a powder keg of sorts between me and the person involved, but for some reason it was hard for me to let the matter go unaddressed. However, it felt very much out of character for me to have a spat like that with someone, and even stranger still to have the whole thing play out publicly. So in an effort to drag myself out of the ditch and back onto the moral high road, I’ll probably delete that post very soon.

(Note that I said probably; it’s much easier to say “I’m taking the high road” than to actually do it. But on a related note: if you have no idea what the heck I’m talking about, or if you wanted to go back and see everyone else’s comments, you’d better hurry. I’ll give you 24 hours.)

As far as whether or not to recommend the Big Sur Marathon anymore, that’s a tough call. I respect the proposed idea of boycotting races to protest the conduct of one or more board members, but I also know (and have stated here repeatedly) that Big Sur is a one-of-a-kind marathon experience. There are certainly plenty of other events where you can spend your time and money – but if you do Big Sur, you’ll be certain that you’re getting the best the sport has to offer.

So if you ever decide to do it, have a blast. Just DON’T make any comments about the race shirt – or you’ll suffer the wrath of the board.

For today’s post, I’m moving forward by looking back: specifically, at a couple of photos from my last two races before closing the books on those events for good, and turning my focus to the races still to come.

“Can you see me now?
Move to the side a little bit so you can get a clear picture -
Can you see it?
Picture me rollin’ … “

- Tupac, “Picture Me Rollin’” (link after post)

In my Big Sur Marathon report, I mentioned that I often take pictures of the Marathon Foto people and send them to the company in hopes that they’ll purchase them. It’s clearly a ridiculous plan on my part, but it’s not too much further fetched than the idea that runners will pay $19.95 for a 5x7” photo of themselves. I'm continually amazed that race photography somehow remains a sustainable business model.

Anyway … nobody has sent me money yet, but there’s another goofy fringe benefit of my little practice: the “photos of me taking a photo” that get posted online after each event.

Here’s one from last weekend:

Obviously, this eliminates the possibility of my ever receiving an action shot that I’d fall in love with and want to purchase – but it’s not like this was going to happen anyway. And if my looking like an idiot makes one of the minimum wage photo reviewers smile sometime, I guess that’s reward enough for me.

The next picture is from the Diablo 50-miler, but allow me to set the stage a bit.

Most of us have been in this situation: barely hanging on during a tough stretch of a race, struggling through fatigue or cramping or severe heat or a giant climb that makes the thought of continued forward progress almost unbearable. Maybe you’ve slowed to a walk or slumped over to one side to compensate for pain on the other. Your confidence is shattered; if there were some place to hide away from it all, you’d gladly seek it out.

Then you glance a little further up the road or trail and see a photographer waiting to snap your picture, and you think, “Crap! Where were they earlier, when I felt better?”

You trudge along a bit, and finally say to yourself, “All right - I guess I’ll straighten up and jog a few steps so I don’t look like a complete loser.”

Sometimes, the results can be pretty sweet:

This was taken at some point on the climb to the Mt Diablo summit – I honestly have no idea where – and it was posted in a gallery shortly after the race. Special props to Calvin, who takes race photos, creates galleries, allows downloads and apparently does all of this for free - vaulting him to the top of my list of extremely cool people who I had no idea existed prior to this year (seriously, he’s right up there with Big B now).

With that, Diablo and Big Sur are in the rearview mirror. The Quicksilver 50M is this Saturday, and Western States is a mere seven weeks later. Training-wise, everything is right where I want it to be – and at this point, I just need to keep moving forward by any means necessary.

As for the musical portion of this post … it’s Tupac’s rap classic mentioned above, but since the language is completely gangsta, I’m linking to it outside my blog instead of embedding it here. Feel free to get your thug on here.

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