Thursday, December 29, 2005


Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
It is with great sadness that I have to report to you, fellow runners, that I have uncovered a great injustice. For a long time some of the more cynical among us have wondered about the truth about one of our own. I'm referring to Jeff - he who runs 2700 miles a year, drives across two states just to loan his car to virtual strangers so they don't have to take the monorail back to their hotels after running a marathon, and occasionally dons his super hero costume to fight for truth, justice, and the American Way. Can a guy like that be real? What is he hiding? Well, I've finally uncovered the truth. For reasons known only to Jeff, he has been doctoring photos from Vegas and posting them to his website. Here is exhibit A; Jeff's doctored photo.


Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
The truth comes out. Here are the real elite runners from Vegas.


I did it - once around, 3.7 miles, 29 minutes, 47 seconds. Going back for another tonight.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ship's Log 12/28/05

I ran around the lake again last night, or I should say I ran three miles around the lake and took a short cut instead of finishing it... again.... Tonight; I run the whole thing, even if my foot falls off or something even worse happens.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hi Everybody!

Last week was a quiet one for me as far as blog comments go. I get my comments at emails and rarely go back and look at my actual posts after I've made them. I didn't get an comments at all last week while of vacation. I figured everybody was probably busy with the holidays and didn't have time for blogging, or, I don't know, nobody liked me anymore. Anyway, I got to work this morning and found that our trusty spam filter has been neatly removing all blog comments from my inbox. THANKS spam filter! HELLO everybody else!

Running; starting to dig it again. I woke up this morning and one of the first thoughts that popped up was, "Today, I get to run!" This elicited a feeling not unlike what I imagine makes dogs yip and bite at the air. I didn't do that but I might have if the baby hadn't been asleep.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

Thomas Runner
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to runners young and old and everywhere!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Vegas Trivia

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Can you name the mystery man who was a competitor in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship and also was there at the Vegas Marathon finish line?

My cuz picked him out of the crowd.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A post actually about running

Ran my favorite lake run last night - 3.7 miles. My muscles and cardio felt great. The joints and ligaments were a bit creaky today, however. I guess there is something to this recover stuff after all.

New target: Year-to-Year 5k fun run on 12/31 - See you there

Runners who Rock

Mark tagged me to complete a post about three runners who rock. According to Mark I rock for having completed the Vegas Marathon and helped the group get our shirts designed and produced. Thanks Mark! I'm still pretty excited about having run a marathon. I have a secret cigar box stashed that has little tokens and mementos that mean a lot to me - my dog tags, my badge, the bracelet I wore in the hospital when my son was born - that sort of thing. Now my box has some bling as well. Vegas Baby!

Runners who rock; thats an easy one and hard one at the same time. My father (not a blogger) ran marathons throughout my childhood, thereby letting me grow up knowing I could too. I never had an doubt that I could finish my own marathon. Thanks Dad! My wife, on the other hand, gets credit for getting me up and running in my adult life. If I didn't have her healthy influence in my life I probably wouldn't be sitting at the keyboard now. Thanks babe!

Three runner/blogger people to whom I am indebted; Danny Farkas, for running his first marathon a few weeks ahead of me with such enthusiasm and attention. It was fun to watch him ahead of my own big day. Thanks Danny! Partyrunner and Drew share as spot as my virtual training buddies leading up to Vegas. Many a dark training day I might not have made it out there had it not been for the fact that I would then have to admit my lameness online. Thanks guys! Last but not least is another team - two guys who seem incapable of not replying to every comment and who get up and run even when they don't want to and so help me do the same - Jon in Michigan and Flatman in Texas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Meme Post; Nothing Running Related Here

Riona tagged me and Brit. Thought I'd do my duty before Brit snarfed up Keith and 'Talia...

Write 5 random facts about yourself, and then list the names of 5 people whom you in turn infect. Also, leave a post to these people letting them know they have been infected.

1. I have three ear lobes. Its true - on one the right, and two on the left.

2. I speak three languages

3. I used to be a cop

4. I am mildly dyslexic but love to read.

5. I'm tone deaf, can't carry a tune in a bucket, or get the hang of the 1, 2, 3, 4 thing when dancing but when I'm alone in the car, I sing it out loudly - never in front of other people.

I also tag Partyrunner, and LJ, who because she refuses to have her own blog, is hereby directed to make her post as a comment somewhere

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Reasons to run

I feel pretty good today - completely recovered from running a marathon last Sunday. I worked a half day, did some Christmas shopping, and visited the pottery studio. After that I cut, split and hauled five loads of firewood. I have five foot lengths in the shed that I cut up throughout the winter instead of having to do all the work in the summer. The stairs are five up, a landing and then twelve more. Each load is in a four foot long tub that when filled is about all I can manage to hold in my arms and still walk up the stairs. I did five loads and quit because of lack of light, not because I broke a sweat or was even remotely tired.

So that’s one good reason to keep running. Last winter, five loads would have made me very tired. Like Drew, I want to keep up with my kids, and hopefully my grandkids. I don't want to live my life in a state of weakness where something as simple as swinging a splitting maul or walking up a flight of stairs makes me tired. Eventually I will die, but as the quote on Will's site goes, "Death catches us all, but when he catches up with me, that bastard is going to be sweaty and out of breath."

Friday, December 09, 2005


Part of me wants to wake up tomorrow, put on the gear, hydrate, dig out the iPod, and set out in search of my next 26.2. Another part of me wants to go out to the pottery studio and fire the pots I was out there last throwing. Still another wants to get to work on the room under (de)construction. About the only thing agreed upon at this point is a full night's sleep.

Race report Rehash

Well, I ran a marathon on Sunday. Today is Friday. This morning I came outside, walked down the 17 stairs to the street, got the paper, and came back up them without remembering what I did on Sunday. I’m feeling pretty good. If this keeps up, I might even start running again (get nuts!).

I’m still walking around with my medal in my jacket pocket. I keep the ribbon tightly folded over the medal like a tri-corner folded flag and usually have it between thumb and forefinger while walking from one place to another. Make any mention of the race and I’m sure to pull it out to show you.

Super Jeff
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Jeff documenting the action

Today I feel pretty much like normal. Yesterday I felt a sort of a disappointment I couldn’t really pin down. I think I trained really hard, for many moons, ran and incredibly long and hard race, and then had a lot of people make a big deal about it. It was exciting and gratifying, but then we all went back to business as usual and I think I was unconsciously feeling like, “Hey, remember the big deal??”

As for the actual race report I never go around to finishing; nothing all that eventful occurred before about mile 18. I was running strong, feeling great, and getting about 30 seconds lower per mile than I had expected. Brooks ran up and introduced himself. We ran together briefly but then I lost him again.

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Action shot

At mile 17 I caught up with the pit crew. I wasn’t feeling as chipper as I had at mile 7. I still had 9.2 miles to go to get finished. They would be a looonnnnggg nine miles. At mile 18, I saw Super Jeff who asked me if I needed anything. Thanks Jeff!

Right about the same time, Drew materialized on my left and introduced himself. He was wearing a gray sleeveless shirt. We only spoke briefly as he was looking for his family who were at supposed to be coming up any step now. Its funny how your mental images of people build up based on the words they write. I imagined him as being skinnier and shorter but he actually looked sort muscle bound. Was there an East coast accent there too? Hard to tell when you only exchange a few words and are in a mental state where complex tasks like simple addition and subtraction are becoming more difficult.

Wheelchair Competitors
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
As we were passing one of the wheelchair guys on a hill, lots of people were cheering for him and yelling out things like, "Way to go William!" and "Hang in there William!" I didn't hear anyone saying squat when he flew by us on the downhill.

I ran on by myself, down into the long straight downhill. I hit all the hydration stations but, nevertheless, became increasingly thirsty and tired. Picking ‘em up and putting ‘em down was turning into a chore. I turned my iPod on for the first time, hoping to distract myself with NPR podcasts. I had purposefully stocked many hours of my favorite podcasts for just such an eventuality and then back filled the rest of the drive with music files incased all my podcasts somehow turned out to be stinkers. Unfortunately, the stupid thing would only play the same five gangsta rap tracks, which weren’t helping me any. No matter whether I chose shuffle mode or advance to next track, all I got was obscenities and misogyny. At about mile 22 I turned the stupid thing off. I’m still mad at it and it is currently still grounded (jammed in the bottom of my gym bag). Without the iPod, which I used successfully throughout my training, I was stuck alone with my own thoughts.

Despite taking Goo every 45 minutes and Gatorade every other water stop, I must have been starting to dip down into low blood by this time. At about mile 23 I missed the hydration all together when my hand dropped three cups handed to me before I could clamp down on them. I ran on in disgust. Apparently there were Taiko drums somewhere in this stretch – Taiko drums are huge and were used by the feudal era Japanese like a telegraph and to direct the movement of military units on the battlefield. I love Taiko drums but I didn’t even hear them that day.

Reeelly Early in Vegas
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
It looks a lot cooler in real life - the desert at dawn.

As we came through the Frank Sinatra underpass and made our final turn to start towards the Mandalay Bay and the finish line, I made my fatal mistake. I looked up, saw the casino, and thought to myself, “Oh good, I only have to run to there.” Have you ever driven across the desert, looking at the mountains in the distance that never seem to get any closer, no matter how far you drive? That’s what was happening as I slowly trudged towards the big green casino. I couldn’t do it. I stopped and walked. Suddenly Drew was at my side again, encouraging me to start running again. I did and ran ahead of him, but eventually stopped and walked again until he caught up with me. This happened several times, I lost count. The last time I looked up and saw him about 15 feet ahead of me. I started running again and saw the course veering to the right and towards the oh so delicious finish line. I ran by Drew, slapping him on the back and trying to say something encouraging that probably came out sounding like “HAMMINAAAARRRGGh” I never saw him again, heard anyone cheering for me, or was aware of anything besides the process of picking up one foot and then the other. Drew’s time was within seconds of mine so I know he must have been with me the rest of the way but I had the mental capacity of a grapefruit by then. Keith had to come get me and lead me out of the enclosure and over to the support crew. Steve peeled an orange for me. After I sat and ate it I felt immediately better. Within 30 minutes I had my brain back but the body was shot.

I was so happy and grateful just to be able to stand or sit still. I was hugging everybody. At the time I remember thinking, “I hope Partyrunner and her sis don’t think I’m a freak!” but all seemed to go well.

Afterwards pizza-beer-sleep-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz the end.

Keith and my Ear
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Marathon Recap

The Start
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.

I’ll try to keep my race report short. A lot of the observations I had have already been reported by my brother and sister bloggers who ran Vegas.

My stats according to the Forerunner:

Time run:
Distance Traveled:
26.33 (including running out into the bushes a couple of times)

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Calories burned: 4539

Other Stats:
Most number of buffet visits in one 24 hour period: 3
# beers drank b4 run: too many
After racing: too many

Yellow, Orange, Red, in steady progression
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.

I don't know
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.

Mile Times:

Mile 1 – 7:48 Mile 11 – 9:10 Mile 21 – 9:07

Mile 2 – 12:23 (!!) Mile 12 – 8:55 Mile 22 – 8:49

Mile 3 – 9:28 Mile 13 – 9:14 Mile 23 – 9:09

Mile 4 – 9:53 Mile 14 – 8:55 Mile 24 – 9:52

Mile 5 – 9:56 Mile 15 – 8:47 Mile 25 – 10:12

Mile 6 – 11:00 Mile 16 – 8:48 Mile 26 – 10:21

Mile 7 – 9:25 Mile 17 – 8:51 Mile .2 – 1.33

Mile 8 – 8:36 Mile 18 – 9:41 .

Mile 9 – 8:45 Mile 19 – 8:59 .

Mile 10 – 8:43 Mile 20 – 9:13 .

All in all it was an awesome experience – one of a handful I’ve had in life so far I’d say – definitely in the top five hardest things I’ve ever done. We got in Thursday night and left Monday afternoon. Thursday night we were alone – no kid, no friends, no family, aloooonnnnneeee. It was very nice because it happens so rarely. Friday and Saturday we had plenty of time to sample the attractions of Vegas. I think I got my fill of that town for a good long time. Despite all the last minute plan changes Saturday, we got to have a nice meal and meet with the blog people and then get to bed by nine. I slept from about 10 to 4 and amazingly didn’t stress too much. By the time I got to the lobby at 4:20, Jeff the super trooper had already been waiting for me there a half hour. He had the traffic figured out and deposited me at Mandalay by 4:30. I mostly sat inside for next hour drinking complimentary warm water.

Pursued by the little people
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.

Pursued by the Little People:
I had just stolen a golden head from one of their temples and they were trying to stick me with poison darts.

To the woman who told me not to peek while she and I peed behind some construction equipment at about mile 4; I didn’t

To the five women who were walking with their arms interlocked at mile 5; please let me know what marathons you will be obstructing in the future so I can not run them.

Checking my pace
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Did this a lot... I think this was around mile 18 and I think thats DREW behind me.

Mile 13???
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
When was it we ran under the boom arm photographer. I tried not to have my tongue hanging out.

Goo makes me want to hurl and yet gives me the energy to keep going - its a love/hate thing...

As the others have already attested, the run itself was amazing. I think they should have done a better job of organizing the start. Maybe instead of telling us how cool it was to have been an Olympian competitor, the announcer could have spent more time telling the walkers to get to the back and the faster runners to the front. Nevertheless, by the time the first runners were away, I was finding a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye – just for being allowed to be involved in something so cool – an emotion that revived itself regularly between the start and about mile 18.

Stay Tuned - Real race report to follow...

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
At this point (mile 7), I loved the whole world.

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
She was so cute with her orange ribbons and her blogger shirt.

Get it off me!
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
I think Black Beard the Pirate may be immediately to the left of 'Talia.

I think at this point she is getting goo and Advil. I'm not sure.

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.

The Thank You Post

Training for and then running my first marathon was a lot of things, and I'll talk more about that in my next post, but first I'd like to try to try to express my gratitude to the people who helped me get there.

My wife and family made a lot of sacrifices so that I could train and come to the event. Thank you baby.

I still can't quite comprehend how generous two people can be. Jeff and smsmh drove to Vegas from San Diego, not to run the race, but just to help us runners. Thats an incredibly long way to come, both in time and money. They took us to dinner the night before the race, picked me up in the morning at my hotel and drove me to the race, and then ferried family members to different way points throughout the race. After I finished, I was driven to food and then deposited at my hotel within hobbling distance of the hot tub. Thanks guys! It was hard, but would have been incredibly harder without your support.

All the RBFers that gave me advice and support along the way made things so much easier as well. At about mile 24, I hit the wall big time. Suddenly, Drew was there, encouraging me to dig deeper and keep running. I stopped and walked briefly a couple of times after that and I'm not sure I could have ran in the last mile if he hadn't have been there to keep me going.

Thanks to Riona for blogcasting the event. I felt so special!

Signs of Life

Hello Everyone! Just a quick note to say that we're alive and kicking. I'm sitting in the wireless lounge at the Vegas convention center right now with Keith, 'Talia and Brit. I'll right a lot more about yesterday soon. It was one of the most exciting days of my life so far and I still have a lot of thoughts buzzing around in my head that need time to settle into something coherent.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Scott's done! 4:10:19

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 04:05:47 (chiptime) @ Final time (unofficial):
powered by Devine Racing.

PartyRunner's FINISHED! 4:02:03!!!!!!!!!


LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 03:52:12 (chiptime) @ 40K mark:
powered by Devine Racing.

10AM: Into the final mile!

PartyRunner's 40K split: 3:49:18

Overall results

1 STEPHEN KIOGORA 02:11:56 5:01 KEN
2 TITUS MUNJI 02:13:19 5:05 KEN
3 TEKESTE KEBEDE 02:14:36 5:08 ETH
4 GIMMA TOLA 02:14:49 5:08 ETH
5 ARAYA HAREGOT 02:15:29 5:10 ETH


3 DOROTA GRUCA 02:32:14 5:48 POL
4 NUTA OLARU 02:32:37 5:49 ROM
5 IRINA SAFAROVA 02:33:34 5:51 RUS

Where are they now?

They're just coming up on mile 23, which means that they're rounding out to run up the back of the strip. Home stretch!

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 03:21:45 (chiptime) @ 35K mark:
powered by Devine Racing.

Burning question

Soon they'll be crossing the finish line. Tears, joy, triumph. Which should it be?

  • Gatorade?

  • That protein-based recovery drink thingie?

  • Beer?

  • Shots?

PartyRunner 35K 03:20:16

She's running a really nice, consistent pace.

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 02:53:27 (chiptime) @ 30K mark:
powered by Devine Racing.

Partyrunner 30K: 02:52:04

The girl is 75% of the way home.

Delighted I'm still in the LV Marathon system. Admire my splits.

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 02:24:49 (chiptime) @ 25K mark:
powered by Devine Racing.

PartyRunner 25K split: 02:23:05

Half marathon update:

Scott's pace is now 9:45. Woo-hooo! This puts him on time for 4:15:38, ETA: 10:27.

PartyRunner's heading for 4:01:24 and an ETA of 10:12.

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 02:03:17 (chiptime) @ Halfway:
powered by Devine Racing.

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 01:56:52 (chiptime) @ 20K mark:
powered by Devine Racing.

Yay! PartyRunner made the half: 02:00:42

This blogcasting is very exciting for me.

Here I sit at the computer, my knitting in my lap, the world's largest cup of tea in front of me, yet all the time I'm secretly pretending I'm Melissa Rivers at the Oscars.

Go Scott

Them stats below indicate that Scott's picked up his pace too, and is on track for 4:22:54, and an ETA of 10:22.

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 01:33:28 (chiptime) @ 15K mark:
powered by Devine Racing.

PartyRunner 15K splits

5K 00:34: 42
10K NA
15K 1:45:21

She's picked up the pace from her 5K split and on track for a 4:01:01 marathon and a 10:01 AM finish.

Current top 5 men: all from Kenya.

1 TITUS MUNJI 01:08:26 5:13 KEN
2 STEPHEN KIOGORA 01:08:26 5:13 KEN
3 LABAN CHEGE 01:08:26 5:13 KEN
4 GIMMA TOLA 01:08:26 5:13 ETH
5 GILBERT KOECH 01:08:26 5:13 KEN

Man. Here's a blog link to a really interesting series of articles about the Kenyan Kalenjin runners. They really are supermen.

We're almost live here!

Photo courtesy Mr. Jeff and his magical phone device.

Things I could do with Scott's blog if I was a bad person, or thought I could actually get away with it #1: Change his picture.

5K split for PartyRunner: 31:42

On track for a 4:27 marathon. Woo-hoo!

LV Marathon Update

SCOTT DENNIS, 00:35:41 (chiptime) @ 5K mark:
powered by Devine Racing.

Filler. A look back on our heroes

The tracking map's not updating with 5K splits right now, so let's take this time to look back over Scott's marathon training year, shall we?

I *love* having access to someone's blog. Mwuahahahahahah!

Scott's official training schedule started on August 1. Back then his long run was 8.2 miles, well under a third of what he's doing today. And he was just beginning to discover the evils of cotton socks.

Around the same time, August 4, PartyRunner announced her plans for Vegas in a manner after my own heart: by deciding what she'll wear for the post-race party (a slinky turquoise number).

Not too far away now.

6:19 - passing Harrah's on the strip.

PartyRunner and Scott are just passing Harrah's right now.

6:22 Now they're passing Westward Ho, which might just be the name of my next Halloween costume.

They're off!

News from Jeff is that it's in the low 30s in Vegas and really windy.

Jeff headed out to pick up Scott and shuttle him to the start. The plan is to take Brit and Natalia to mile 7, wait for the runners, and then head on to mile 18 where Brit and Natalia will wait, and Jeff will cycle on to 20.

We're watching!