Friday, December 31, 2010

Safari West

We have some friends in town and yesterday we all went to a place called Safari West in Sonoma County. We originally were supposed to sleep in their luxury tents but as it happened, the night before a tree collapsed on a tent killing someone. So - we made the decision to cancel our overnight. But it was still a really cool place and the kids enjoyed it a lot. Afterwards we went to the Russian River Brew Pub for dinner. Russian River is home to some of my favorite beers including Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. Suffice to say, I was in Heaven.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


So for the first time in five years of living in SF we did the tourist thing: Alcatraz, trolley car, crab for lunch, soup at Boudin and Chinatown. It was a fantastic day and I really regret not checking out Alcatraz earlier in the game.

San Francisco - what an incredibly beautiful City. I try hard not to take it for granted.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon


So for the first time in five years of living in SF we did the tourist thing: Alcatraz, trolley car, crab for lunch, soup at Boudin and Chinatown. It was a fantastic day and I really regret not checking out Alcatraz earlier in the game.

San Francisco - what an incredibly beautiful City. I try hard not to take it for granted.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Monday, December 27, 2010

That Time of the Year Again: Top 10 Albums of 2010

I'm in a music (sharing) "group" with a bunch of dudes; we've been going on for a few years now. We calls ourselves RTP and that's all y'all need to know about that. Some of these guys I know and some I have never met, but I feel like we are all good friends and I'm indebted to them for turning me on to so much good stuff (amidst, of course, the occasional clunkers). I'm the old dude in the group and I feel that by keeping me dialed into the contemporary music scene, these guys have helped keep me young - more so than anyone else in my life (including my kids. They just age me). So thanks RTP boys, for all the musical hook ups. Your respective tastes in music - and friendships - are greatly appreciated.

And so, without further ado, my top ten albums of the year.

10. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Fantasy.

Yeah, it's good. Undeniably good. And it's one of those rare records that is getting better with each respective listen. And I love the cameos. That said, not sure it's deserving of the "10" that Pitchfork gave it, or some of the many other accolades, but there's no denying the fact that though Kanye might indeed me the mother of all strokes, he is one hell of a talent.

9. Linkin Park: A Thousand Suns

Linkin Park is my dirty, little secret. I'm way too old to be listening to these guys. I get it - they are a bit of a joke. But - I really don't care. They rock and their music has gotten me through many a run. This album got panned by the critics - I suspect it won't be making too many top ten lists, but it's not NEARLY as bad as its reviews. It too gets better the more you listen and even if it doesn't measure with their earlier stuff, they are trying something different by making an album (versus most bands today that look for a few hits while the rest is filler), which I think deserves respect. So- rock on Linkin Park.

8. Girl Talk: All Day

Another band (uh, actually not exactly. More appropriate word I guess would be DJ) that can do absolutely no wrong in my book. Also might just be the greatest running music ever. This one's a free download. Too lazy to find the link but shouldn't be hard to find. If you don't already have this one, get it pronto.

7. The Bird and the Bee: Interpreting the Music of Hall & Oates

Yes, you read that title correctly. Hall & Oates. The absolute antithesis of the previous three groups. But good lord - it's incredibly listenable, particularly when having a glass of wine, catching up with a good buddy on my deck on a hot summer day (looking at you, Rob). If like me you are a child of the 80's, you have to give this one a listen. Go ahead - don't be ashamed.

6. Jamey Johnson: The Guitar Song

The only genre I could care less about is country, short of the occasional Johnny Cash. Until this came along. I never heard of this dude before this year. But holy epic, batman.This guy is freaking unreal. It's a double album and I keep finding these incredible gems. If you want a taste of this one, go to iTunes and dowload Poor Man Blues. If you hate it, I'll happily refund you the .99 cents.

5. Cee Lo Green: The Lady Killer

It's got a little bit of everything. A bit of funk. A touch of r&b. Some rap. And a whole heck of a lot of fun. Still need to listen to see if it stands up to the test of time but again ... a lot of fun.

4. LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening

What more can I really say about this? Like the next three, it's destined to be a classic. Doesn't seem to get at all old, and has gotten me through MANY a run. The fact that this is four on my list is pretty arbitrary; could just as easily be three, two or maybe even one.

3. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today

Another dude I never heard of before this year. Still not sure exactly who he is and it's even harder to describe his music but man, it's just incredibly captivating and listenable. The more I listen, the more I think that it is pretty close to perfect start to finish.I also agree with Pitchfork that Round and Round is the best song of the year. Again, take the .99 cent risk and at minimum, download that song. The rest of the album is nearly as good.

2. Arcade Fire: Suburbs

For the record, unlike many other indie music fans, I'm not an Arcade Fire acolyte. I like them fine enough but felt that if anything, they were/are a tad overrated. And while the fanfare around this was a bit much, they sure did deliver an incredibly powerful and at times poignant album. A classic. And in my opinion, Rococo is the second best song of the year.

1.Broken Bells: Broken Bells

I guess an argument can be made that this was a 2009 album (which is when it leaked) but no matter; it was absolutely my "go to" album of the year. I honestly may have listened to it over a 100 times - and it never grew old. It's beyond solid, start to finish and I suspect that in 2011, I'll have listened to it yet another 100 times. That's how good this one is in my opinion. Always liked the Shins and always liked Danger Mouse; together, they form an unbeatable combination.

So there you have it. Thoughts? Miss anything that is glaringly obvious?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And We Are Back

Got back late last night (after 15 hours of travel) from the DR. Sorry for not posting much, but needed to get off the grid. Suffice to say, we and our friends the Berlent's all had a great time. You know you've had a good time when a week seems to pass by in a day. All of our kids got along great as did the wives -- all good. Git in some running with Todd, quite a bit of swimming and a lot of hanging out and cerveza drinking. There might even have been a bit of oggling at the many topless women on the beach but alas, we will save that story for another day. So, all good. Read Tim Ferriss' new book, the Four Hour Body, which is highly recommended, finished the Hunger Games trilogy and am about halfway into Keith Richard's bio, which is fantastic. So, that's the week that was; I miss the warmth (and of course, our friends) already. Hope we make this an annual thing (though not to the Dominican Republic - too damn far from California).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dominican Republic

Greetings from the Dominican Republic. All good here except for a relatively minor stomach bug (the Girl). More later - and happy holidays, all.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Well, I Did It

I am officially signed up for a 100 mile race. Really not sure what I've gotten myself into, but at least I'll be in it with my main boys Todd and Payro. Understatement to say that it's going to be epic.

Also found out that I got into this one via the lottery. So my 2011 season is shaping up to look like 50k in March, 50 miler in April, 100 miler in July, a little rest/swimming in the middle, and North Face again to close things out.

A long way of saying .... there's a lot of running in my future. Before I start the season though I intend to go to every doctor in my world - deep physical, my cancer doc, etc - and make sure that all systems truly are "go" health wise.

But once I am done with 100 miler - presuming that I finish, which is a big "if" I might be done with ultrarunning for a while.

So - that's my story and I am sticking to it. For now, at least.

Monday, December 13, 2010

100 Miler?

Well, I am on the verge of pulling the trigger on the Big One - the only major milestone that's still open on my endurance resume. The mystical 100 mile run. I'm looking very hard at Vermont, which I believe is July 16 and 17th (that's right - two days> I will be very fortunate if I finish this in less than 24 hours). Payro is in and by all accounts, my man Todd is sitting here right with me on the fence. It would be spectacular good fun to do my first hundo with two of my closest friends and as it turns out, The Wife and Kids will be in the near vicinity and will be able to come out and hopefully crew, so it seems as if the stars are in alignment on this one. Unless someone offers a good reason why I shouldn't do this (aside from the obvious - that it's um, a 100 mile run), I'm going to pull the trigger in 24 hours.

Running friends on the East Coast - Gail, Neil (especially you, Neil), et al be forewarned; you might get called into pacing duty!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Race Day Photos

Somewhat cool pictures from the big race. Now that the pain has receded, I have to say that this one was a lot fun. I'll remember North Face fondly and will likely/hopefully be back next year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Music and Books

I will write a more detailed post on this in the near future, but if you are looking for a good book(s) this holiday season, I highly recommend The Wave, by Susan Casey, which is a great yarn about, uh, waves. And surfing. It's an absorbing, fast read and Casey, author of The Devil's Teeth, an equally engrossing book about great white sharks, is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The other book that I am about a quarter of the way through is the Keith Richards bio, which is also absolutely terrific.

We are getting set to head out of town in a few weeks and I'm in the market for one or two other book; anyone have a recommendation?

In terms of music, lots of good stuff out there currently, including Fitz & The Tantrums (where did this band ever come from?), the new Kanye (which is good but not as good as the reviews it has been getting), Cee Lo Green, the new Girl Talk (which is a free download) and Warpaint. As soon as I have the time, I will also write my annual top ten album list for 2010.

In other, unrelated news: I cannot stop eating.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And That's a Wrap

The best line of the day comes form my friend Amy, who said that I look like a homeless person with a medal in the below picture. That had me laughing all day. Pretty fair statement; I look pretty bad in that picture, but it's a good reflection of how I felt.

So, my 2010 running season is a wrap and generally speaking I feel pretty good about it. Three ultras in total, two of which were inside a week of one another. Four races inside of 30 days. And with the exception of my knee injury, which came from a freak fall, I did this all while managing to avoid injury. Props and deep thanks to Coach Phil for his all-around fine work.

In regards to my last two races, the Quad and North Face, I have to say that I am pretty pleased. I finished both in relatively decent times and the just the fact that I was able to complete North Face six days after the Quad speaks to my overall fitness. This was an experiment of sorts that I probably won't repeat though; I'm getting too old to take on back-to-back races like that. I think you need at least a few weeks to recover from one of those efforts let alone two.

I haven't said much about North Face but in a nutshell, it was hard (6500 feet of climbs, most of which came at the end), epic (rain and cold, which was the theme of the Fall) and fun. The end.

So, it's a wrap. I am going to enjoy the holidays, indulge a bit, get some swimming in and then will resume running in earnest early next year. Right now, the schedule is a bit of a blank slate, with the exception of the American River 50 miler which I am running with my boy Todd. Beyond that, I am open to suggestions.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

North Face 50k

So, the North Face 50k is in the books. Finished in 6:40 which all things (all things being that I did a beast of a race in the Quad just seven days ago) considered isn't that bad. I'll write a more detailed report in a day or two but in the interim, I think these post race pictures pretty much tell the story.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Best Race Bag Ever

Editors note: North Face is a client.

But that said, this has got to be the best race bag ever. Contents include drywick North Face shirt; socks; drip off bag; race water bottle; Gu and Nuun tabs and personalized race number, which I really love.

Well done North Face.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Interesting British Style Beer

This is an interesting beer that comes courtesy of my beer of the month club. It's called Cold Hop by Boulder Beer Company and it is pretty darn good.

I'm liking this beer club. It's exposed me to some fine (and not so fine) regional beers that I'd ordinarily never know about. Hit me if you're interested in learning how to join. Suffice to say, i have no financial stake whatsoever. Just think it's interesting and a good value.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Person of the Year

One of my favorite parlor games is trying to guess who's going to win sundry "Person of the Year" awards. Earlier today, Drew Brees of the Saint's was chosen as the 2010 Sportsman of the Year. He was among my top three guesses, along with Coach K and LeBron James (for mostly the wrong reasons). I think Coach K should have gotten it but Brees is a good and fair choice.

So, on to the next - Times Magazine's Person of the Year. My guess is either Mark Zuckerberg, Julian Assange of Wikileaks or dare I say - Sarah Palin. I'm giving the nod to Zuckerberg.

Let's hear what you all have to say -- anyone else in the mix that I might be forgetting?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quad Dipsea

So, the 2010 Quad Dipsea is in the books. And for the first time in a while, I'm pretty stoked with my race result. Finished in 6:14; a 34 minute improvement versus last year (editor's note: I had no business being out there last year - I was completely undertrained).

This year, my strategy was to have a good solid race while leaving something in the tank for the North Face 50 next week. I think I accomplished my mission, through my legs are pretty thrashed.

My strategy was to power the uphills (and with 9200 feet of climbing over 29 miles, there are a lot of uphills) and run the downhills hard. My first two legs went fair - had some congestion in my chest that I was dealing with - but my third went great. And the fourth, as always, was a grind. I debated going for sub six similar to my boy Payro (who had an AWESOME race, going 5:53) but in the end (middle, actually) decided to take my foot off the throttle and aim for sub 6:20 instead.

So, I'm stoked, especially considering how incredibly tough this course is. It is literally one gigantic, endless climb and descent (there are no flat sections).

Anyway, one down, one to go.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Long Time No Post

Just realized it has been a while since my last post; things have been pretty hectic building up to Thanksgiving. We had a real nice day yesterday; a Turkey Trot run in the morning (10k for me; mile for The Girl, 1 mile and 5k for the Boy and 5k for the Wife). It was a final tune up for tomorrow's Quad Dipsea and I only hope that tomorrow goes a bit better. My chest was congested and I felt like crap. I also messed the poorly-marked course up and ended up falling a little shy of 10k. Anyway, tomorrow is the biggie. WIll send a report post-race.

In the meantime, hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I am thankful for many things in life, including each and every one of you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Swim Meet Weekend

We spent a good majority of the weekend - Saturday and Sunday - at an at times wet and cold swim meet in Oakland. Didn't matter much to the Little Girl though; not much gets between that girl and the water. Boy does she like to swim. And she's getting pretty darn good too. She swam eight races and probably would have done more if she was allowed. Im learning that it Ian easy being a swim parent but the reward - watching your kid do something they love, and seeing it build their self confidence in the process - is well worth the time investment. Anyway, here she is swimming 50 free. Go Little Girl, Go.

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bar Mitzvah

Hard to believe that two years from yesterday my baby boy will have his bar mitzvah. In the Jewish religion that marks his passage into manhood.

Well, I don't care what anyone says. Damn kid will always be my little boy. But pretty soon I'll be his old - really old - man.

Regardless, I'm really looking forward to November 17, 2012.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Monday, November 15, 2010


So, November marks an annual fundraising effort called "Movember" which is designed to heighten awareness of men's cancer. For reasons I can't explain growing facial hair (beard, mustache, goatee) is part of the effort. And for reasons I really can't explain, I got talked into participating by a colleague and three of us are giving it a shot.

Without further ado, here's what mine looks like 15 days into it. It's a big, fuzzy, itchy mess.

December 1 cannot come soon enough.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, November 12, 2010

So Long, Marty


So, my man Marty has been voted off the Island. What a bummer, most especially for my kids (our daughters are best friends). Our friendship aside, I thought Marty was the most interesting character this season and by far the smartest. I think what got him in the end is he played the game a bit too aggressively and was at times a bit unyielding in his position(s). Oh well, though, that's how the Survivor cookie crumbles. I would not be surprised if we see him back in another season.

The one thing that really galled me though were Jane's words at the end. She crossed a big line by bringing his family into it. Regardless of what anyone might feel about Marty, I can tell you this based on fact: he is an amazing dad - honestly, one of the best I know - and his three children (and his Wife for that matter) are awesome. I hope I do half as good a job as Marty at raising my own kids.

Jane is a raving idiot - truly - who has no understanding that it would be a privilege for her to be invited to the Piambo household.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Man Harry

I was reminded by his partner David that today marks the 18th anniversary of the passing of my good friend Harry Brian Binder. Some of you might remember that I wrote about Brian two years ago; you can check it out here.

Eighteen years. Wow. I cannot wrap my head around that. It seems like yesterday that I was hanging out with him, David and Todd in New York. Such a great dude and I miss him a ton. I often wonder what he'd be like as an old man like me? Bald as a stone I bet; he was already on that path. He's probably so mad at me right now for saying that; sorry Harry.

One thing that would never change though, despite the passage of time: his radiant smile, goofy sense of humor and his one-of-a-kind personality. He was one amazing dude and he left this world far too early. And the world was a heck of a better place with him in it.

Hope you are looking down on us Harry. Because there's lot of folks that continue to look up to you.

You left an amazing legacy, amigo and you will always be missed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wet and Dirty at Muir Beach Trail Run

Yesterday was the Muir Beach 33k Trail Run. Might have been the most epic run I have ever done, due entirely to weather conditions.

While watching the news last night, I learned that it was the rainiest November 7th in area history. It was coming down absolutely sideways when I woke up, but after much contemplation, I went out to the race anyway. I figured that's what us runners do; we run, regardless of conditions. But man, was it brutal: torrential rain - I was soaked through on the first mile - gale force winds and ankle high mud. And that is on top of the hills; I think the course featured about 5,000 feet of climbing. The most treacherous part was the last two mile descent down into Muir Beach. Due to trail work, that area of the course literally slid out and it took all my concentration not to fall. I was successful, though others around me were far less so. Lucky no one was severely injured; it was that gnarly. I have never been so dirty in my life and have the pictures to prove it (will post some later).

Like all epic adventures though, in retrospect it was actually was a lot of fun and it was an experience I won't soon forget. I actually ran pretty well, too. I took it out very conservatively given the conditions and started at the back of the pack, but no one passed me all day. I picked it up during the middle miles and was happy about how my legs responded, especially considering that I am coming off a big block of training. I am definitely responding well to my training and look forward to seeing how my two big races go later this month. I have two hard ultras on back to back weekends. Should be interesting.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Confetti at world series

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

And a Few More Pictures from the Parade

Giants World Series Parade

Wow - the parade today was literally off the hook. After much consideration I let the kids miss school to be part of it; I think it's something they will remember for the rest of their lives. I will post more pictures later tonight, but in the interim attached is a video of the two heroes of the day: Tim Lincecum and series MVP Edgar Renteria.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tim Lincecum brings World Series championship to San Francisco - Joe Posnanski

This article says it all. Wow - what a run with this team and the author is correct; I've never seen an entire City get behind a team quite like this. And this is one of the more likeable teams of all-time. What a World Series. I'll go so far to say that in certain respects, it was even more enjoyable than if the Yankees won. Can't wait until the parade tomorrow. Now here is the million dollar question: do I let the kids miss school for the parade? Anyone out there have an opinion on this one?

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Today's Run

This is a test; want to see if this little experiment works. In the event it does, attached is a map of today's two hour run up the Dipsea trail. This is my 7th two hour run over the past ten days and boy am I cooked. I have one last one tomorrow and then a big race next week -- and then taper time. Think this block of training is working though; I definitely feel stronger and more fit.

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Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spook Run

In the spirit of Halloween i went on a run today through Muir Woods that was pretty spooky. It had the full effect: mist, fog and complete and utter silence. It was also incredibly beautiful and I was glad to be one of very few people out there today.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, October 29, 2010

Run Through Sausalito

Went for (another) two hour run today through Sausalito. I think Sausalito is very underrated. It's known as a bit of a tourist destination, which is true, but it boasts some of the best views the area has to offer. Today's run took me through the pier area, which back in the day was a cannery region. Note the Marin Fruit sign - that's an original cannery building.

I went through the pier to Cavallo Point, a fancy new luxury hotel that sits literally at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The other photos are of sundry views, each of which is unique in it's own right. I've said this multiple times to the point where I'm sure it's getting old, but this is one spectacularly beautiful part of the world.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Los Gigantes!

You are probably getting tired of all these baseball posts. I suspect they are getting to be a bit too much, so will try to limit them moving forward. But, this one is not so much about baseball as it is about the City of San Francisco. This might sound strange but you tend to learn a lot about a locale when their hometown team is performing on a national stage and I have to say that San Francisco is really rising to the occasion. The entire town - and I mean entire - is rallying around the Giants and it's created a very real sense of community. This is a hardcore baseball town and they get full props. These past few weeks have been a cool thing to experience and the overall experience reminds me when we lived in Chicago and the Cubs last made the playoffs.

Anyway, it's a very cool thing. I'm enjoying it greatly - more so than I would if the Yankees were in the Series (that would be torture) and I'm really happy for this town. Here is to hoping they win the whole thing. And I think it just might happen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Big Block of Training

I'm in one of the bigger and more interesting blocks of training that I have done in a while, courtesy of Coach Phil. Starting Friday of last week, for four consecutive days, I did 2 hours of running. Two days were on the road; two on the trail. Total for the four days was 51 miles. I get three days of rest (not rest per se, but active recovery including swimming and weightlifting) and then this Friday I do the same thing over again. The week following that I have a 33km run - and then I start my taper. The challenge is that I have two very big (read: hard) races on back-to-back weekends: the Quad Dipsea (considered by many to be one of the more challenging ultra's in the country) followed the next week by the North Face 50k, which I think might even be harder. Will be very interesting to see how/if my body recovers following the Quad.

And then to top things off, Todd and I just signed up for the American River 50 miler. Fortunately, that one is in May so we have some time to prepare. Should be an interesting next few months though, running wise.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

World Series

Well, my Yankees season has come to a conclusion. I should be bummed out and to an extent I am but the fact of the matter is we lost to the better team. I can live with that. And I picked a good year for my test to puke out because now I can full on get into the Giants. They've long been our second team - we go to a ton of games each year - and they are a fun group of misfits and cast offs. It's easy to rally around these guys. And lastly, the entire region is caught up in Giant's fever. I haven't seen anything quite like this since the Cubs made the playoffs when we lived in Chicago. The whole town is into this and as I noted previously, San Francisco is a *very* underrated baseball town. I think they are going to have their hands full against a loaded Ranger's squad, but they strike me as a team of destiny. Regardless of how it shakes out, I'll most certainly be in their corner. Go Giants!

Sent from my iPad

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, October 22, 2010

Run to Work Day

I ran to work today for the first time in a long while - trying to get ready for my final two big races. It was all good until I got caught in a freaking monsoon. But before the rain started coming down I was able to catch an amazing sunrise over the Golden Gate bridge. These pictures don't nearly do it justice. I'm not terribly religious but this sight really made me believe in a higher power.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yet ANOTHER Interesting Thyroid Cancer article

This article comes courtesy of today's New York Times. This touches on a subject that that I have been contemplating for, oh, about four years now; is thyroid cancer caused by the environment, or by faulty genetics?

As is noted in the article, I'll likely never know the answer, though my own personal conclusion is that mine was caused by excessive exposure to radiation. I had a ton of dental work when I was a kid - a ton being an understatement - and at that point in time they didn't protect the neck area with a lead collar during X-rays.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Interesting Article on Thyroid Cancer

This is an interesting article on thyroid cancer and the effects radiation are having on the public-at-large. Thanks to my brother Neil for sending it to me.

This is a subject that pisses me off. People don't realize how dangerous we are for about a week after radioactive iodine treatment. We belong in the hospital. It's easiest for us; it's safest for the public. But as noted, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has eased requirements and as a result, very few states have the facilities to hold patients for the requisite amount of time.

The other issues is that doctor's are to blame here, not patients. In my experience, my original endo was very cavalier about the effects of radiation on others (and on my family for that matter). I took matters into my own hands and decided not to stay at a hotel, for fear of putting others at risk. Instead, I moved my family out of the house for a week.

Anyway, I think the issue here is very real and I am glad it is being surfaced. I sincerely hope the NRC takes notice. The public should NOT be at risk.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yankees and Michigan

Between these two teams, I have contemplated quitting sports more than once. They can both be so good (from a historical perspective, certainly) and yet so maddeningly frustrating (see: Saturday's Michigan-Iowa game and tonight's Yankees playoff). I don't know why I get so caught up emotionally in both these teams - I will write it off to genetics (hi dad!), but sometimes I think my life would be better off if didn't care so damn much.

Anyway, tomorrow is showtime for the Yankees, but I am starting to think the Ranger's might be the better squad. We will know soon enough.

In other news, thought my training was going to hit a roadblock, but I saw my doctor this afternoon and my throat thing is not strep. So, just a minor setback and in a few days I can get back to business.

That's all for now.

Go Yankees.

Go Blue.

Grateful Dead ... Sneakers?

Not exactly sure how I feel about these sneakers on a personal level, but I got a strange feeling that Jerry Garcia might have just done a full rotation in his grave.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Country Music

As most of you know, music, along with running, swimming technology and I guess my kids, is one of my passions in life. I listen to pretty much every genre of music .. except for country. Until now that is. I recently picked up a copy of Jamey Johnson's critically lauded new album, The Guitar Song. And holy freaking cow is it .. country ... and ... good. I can't get enough of it, actually. It's a double album so by definition some songs fall flat, but others are just classic. If you want to see for yourself, buy Poor Man's Blues on itunes and let me know what you think.

All of this doesn't necessarily mean that I am going to delve further into the genre, but man, I suspect this one is going to be in my rotation for while.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So, you all watching this season of Survivor? If so, what do you think of our friend Marty? I think he's playing an amazingly smart game, though it will be interesting to see how his new tribe mates take to him in the coming weeks. I stand by my prediction that he is going to go far - very far - and I think there is a better than decent chance that he outright wins. He clearly gets strategy and I think he's the smartest player out there - by far. Unless of course there's someone flying under the radar, which could always be the case.

I've always enjoyed Survivor but I have to say that it's definitely that much more enjoyable and interesting when you know oneof the contestants.

Anyway, go Marty, go.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Posterous App

This is a test of the new Posterous iPhone app, which just came out today. If posting is this easy I am going to be pretty stoked. In typical Posterous fashion, this app appears to be exceptionally well designed and intuitive to use.

On the subject of cool apps, I downloaded the Instagram app yesterday, which I'd define as social photo sharing. I haven't put it to full use yet but based on what I see so far it's one of the more interesting apps I've seen in some time.

Posted via email from Tech Dork

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Two Day Swim Meet

I'm super proud of the Little Girl. She swam eight - eight - events over two days, including a 200 IM., which is pretty hardcore for an eight year old. Three events were new for her (200 IM, 100 back and 100 free) and she did great in each. She also scored personal bests in each of the others. And some of those times were pretty impressive. What I love about this kid though is that she's hardcore when the gun goes off and she gives it her all, but she's zen about everything else. She doesn't really care or get too hung up on where she finishes place wise and she's an excellent teammate who's always rooting for her buddies. Like her brother, she's a terrific kid. And watching her swim really gives me great joy.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pictures from the Trail

Great day, today. We had a swim meet (more on this tomorrow after the second day is complete), Michigan game (that kind of sucked actually) am then a great two hour run in absolutely perfect weather. These are a few pictures from the trail. This is the course Wiley and I will be doing in early December as part of the North Face 50k.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Sometimes Kids to the Most Amazing Things

Yesterday was the Little Boy's second cross country meet. I couldn't make it during work, but apparently he didn't listen to my advice. He went out too fast; apparently we was leading for the first half, but faded a bit towards the finish, finishing 11th (out of 50+). Not such a bad effort at all, and once he figures out race strategy he's going to be real good. But it's not what he did during the race that impressed me. It was what he did after, something The Wife was witness to.

Apparently, each kid received a ribbon after finishing. But because the 6th graders ran last, they ran short and the Little Boy was among the last to get a ribbon. Apparently a kid who finished towards the end of the pack was really bummed out that he didn't get one. The Little Boy overheard him and without hesitating, walked up to him and gave him his. As a parent, you can't imagine how much joy that gave me; far more than the race itself. And I shared that with him as well.

Offering up your ribbon to another kid. THAT is what sportsmanship is all about.

Way to go Little Boy. You might have your moments, but boy is your dad proud of you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Hunger Games

So, the Little Boy and the Wife have both been reading a trilogy called the Hunger Games. The Wife has not been unable to put it down for two straights weeks; she just finished the third. At their insistence I took the first book - The Hunger Games - on the plane with me to Chicago -- and I was unable to put it down. I have about 20 pages to go which I will knock off tonight. I'm not really sure how to describe this. The reviews on Amazon, which you can read here, articulate what it is all about pretty well. A review I read today calls it a satire on reality TV and war. I think the satire might be lost on a teen but it kind of makes sense.

It is pretty violent - more so than I'd like for the Little Boy - but man is it captivating.

Anyone else out there read any of these (I presume you can't stop at one)? Neil, which one are you on? If you are in the market for a fun, incredibly difficult to put down book that you can easily knock off in a weekend, this is the one, without question.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sweet Home, Chicago

Greetings from not-so-sunny Chicago. This is my first trip here in about 1.5 years and it has been far too long. This is the greatest time of year to be in Chicago; early fall, when the wind is just starting to blow, the weather is still navigable and halloween decorations are starting to make their annual short-lived but much welcomed appearance.

I went for a six mile run last night alongside the lakefront, and it served as a great reminder of everything I love about this great City. WIll try to post pictures tonight.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Go Giants

And I am not talking the football team, either. Those of you who know me know I am the biggest Yankees fan ever (except possibly my son). But that being said, these are pretty exciting days herein San Francisco. People are going absolutely crazy about the Giants and it's pretty exciting. Reminds me of when the Cub's made the playoffs a few years ago. I think the Giant's might be my NL team, considering I don't have one. The Giants are a gritty team, have great pitching and play ball the right way. They are also good role models for the Little Boy.

My dream scenario? A Yankees-Giants world series. if for no other reason than to save me the time and expense of a cross-country flight. No doubt who I'd be rooting for in that scenario.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Tis the busy season in professional and collegiate sports. The big thing right now in our household has been the Yankees late season swoon. The Little Boy and I are on the verge of a full on freakout, despite the fact that the Yankees are almost assured of a playoff spot. Incredible how their pitching has utterly failed them - including our one constant, Mariano Rivera. The problem with the Yanks as I see it is that after CC, we have a significant drop off. Hughes has faltered during the backstretch (probably due to too many innings) and Burnett has been an utter bust. I think our season is going to come down to whether Pettite regains his mid season form. Not feeling all that good right now; hopefully they will quickly get it together.

In regards to football, my Michigan squad is without question as exciting as hell. I think Denard Robinson is - and will remain - the most exciting player in college football. However, the problem is that games are won and lost based on defense, and ours is non-existent. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the back end of the season unfolds. Regardless of how we do over the long haul, however, I think we are seeing enough snapshots of the future to say that Coach Rodriguez has bought himself more time. Deservedly so, too, in my opinion.

And lastly, my Jets. They looked awesome these past two weeks and it's nice to see Sanchez starting to develop. They are a good, aggressive team, but I confess to not loving their style. I didn't think their decision to star in Hard Knocks was a wise one (though the show certainly was interesting) and I'm not enormously impressed by their bluster, or in the case of Braylon Edwards, their off the field behavior. They've set the bar pretty high for themselves; it will be interesting to see if they can deliver.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two Interesting Beers

I received my beer of the month shipment on Friday. Included were two interesting ones from Coney Island Brewing; a Freaktoberfest IPA and an Albino Python white lager brewed with spices. Both are pretty good though I think the colors might be their most interesting part. Never seem a beer quite at color as the IPA - it's a near blood red, which I guess is the intended effect based on the name. The Albino color is pretty interesting as well.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

That Time of the Year

Well, it's nearly that time of the year again. The one in which difficult decisions need to be made. Decisions such as - witch or pirate??

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Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Meet the Toughest Little Dude of All Time

Everyone in our little community here, meet E. To protect his privacy, I'm not going to share his full name. Let's just call him E.

E, who as you can see on the basis of this picture, has got to be one of the cutest kids on the planet. He is also the son of one of my dearest friends from college.

Let me tell you a little about E. He is seven years old. He has two brothers. He loves school, to the extent of course that little kids like school. He loves roughhousing with his brother. He also loves sports, most especially tennis and baseball. In the world of Southern California, where he lives, E is what they would call a gnarly little grom.

He's not gnarly in a bad way mind you.

E is gnarly in that he's one tough little Kid - tough doesn't begin to describe it, actually - who's endured more hardship in life than most adults. While he's a normal little Kid who like to do normal Kid things, unfortunately, there's something slightly abnormal about Little E. Sadly, it's his heart.

Of course, it's not what is in E's heart in a metaphorical sense; he's one of the sweetest, kindest kids you would ever know.

It is what's in his heart in a literal sense; he has some congenital issues that have necessitated multiple open heart surgeries.

We're certain that E is going to be ok over the long haul, but he's recently coming off yet another surgery and is having a hard time at the moment. And so with his mom's permission, I am telling his story and asking that you all say a little prayer for E, and throw some good vibes his way.

Without getting all spiritual and new-agey, I believe good vibes work and right now, E can use them. So could his mom. And so could I, because as I said this is one beautiful little Kid and it's not fair that any child - let alone a kid like this, has to suffer.

So, we're thinking of you E. I think I've learned more from you, Little Man, than I have from any other seven year old on the planet. Hell, for that matter I think I've learned more from you than from any damn adult.

So keep on keeping on Little Man. You are an inspiration to many. Can't wait to get word from your mom that you're back on the baseball diamond.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Todd's Race Report

Following is a guest report from Todd, a recap of his 50 mile run from this past weekend. I promise you don't need to be a runner to enjoy this one!

Congrats again, Todd. Hope you are recovering well.


So Sunday was the “Ocean to Sound 50 Mile Relay”. For those of you who don’t know, this is 25+ year old 8-person relay race that traverses the entire width of Long Island starting at Jones Beach (the Ocean) and ending in Oyster Bay (the Sound). I was one of 3 individuals who ran the relay as an “individual” this year, completing all 50 miles solo. Let me start by stating that while I ran all 8 legs, I was not alone for a single moment of what ended up being 9 hours and 55 minutes of arduous running. I was supported by an amazing group of 5 colleagues from Cantor who all chipped in and ran with me for various legs/distances of between 6 and 18 miles. So a big “thank you!” to Alex, Bobby, Avi, Jim and Brian. I could not have completed this endeavor without your support and encouragement. Words cannot begin to express my gratitude.

LEG 1 – 6 miles
I pushed off from Jones Beach at 7:00am with my first running partner, Alex. After a quick jog along the boardwalk, the bulk of leg-1 followed the bike path from the Jones Beach Amphitheatre along the Wantagh Causeway. We had beautiful views of the ocean at sunrise and there was lots of horn-blowing and cheers from all of the other race crews. I was feeling great and we were sticking to a planned 10-minute/mile pace, but what struck me right away was the heat. It was not yet 8:00am yet it was already pushing 70 degrees. My heart rate was running higher than I would have liked and I knew it was going to be a long day.
Leg 1 – 1:04 (10:42 mm)

Leg 2 – 6 miles
The second leg traversed a very flat course thru the streets of Massapequa. The Nassau County Auxiliary Police were out in force and really did an amazing job of controlling traffic for the runners. During the entire 50 miles, I did not have to stop for traffic a single time – pretty amazing. Leg 2 was fairly uneventful although I continued to be concerned about the heat. The first elite runners (who started an hour after we did) began to pass us. Watching these guys go by running 6 minute/miles was exciting but also a bit disheartening. I couldn’t help think about how they were going to be done in a few hours, and I still had a long slog ahead of me.
Leg 2 – 1:03 (10:36mm)

Leg 3 – 6.3 miles
I swapped out Alex for Bobby and we headed off for the start of leg 3 which was mostly on paved bike path through Bethpage State Park. We had a bit of shade and it was really nice to be off of the streets and away from cars. This was one of Bobby’s longest runs, so we eased back into a nice, leisurely pace. The course traversed out of the park and along the Beth Page Golf Course (home of the U.S. Open). As I watched the golfers enjoying themselves, I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be so much nicer playing golf than running 50 miles?” But then I remembered that I don’t pay golf, so on we pressed.
Leg 3- 1:10 (11:12mm)

Leg 4 – 5.8 miles
After a quick bathroom break and a little chicken soup, I headed out on leg 4 with Avi. Avi is training for the NYC Marathon and would be running the next three legs with me. Avi had fresh legs and was excited to finally be running after waiting around for the last hour or so. I needed to dial him back from an initial 9 minute/mile pace. I was starting to feel the heat and my heart rate was now high enough that if I didn’t start to bring it down, I could easily end up in trouble. I began to really focus on my breathing, nutrition and Avi and I started to walk the uphills.
Leg 4 – 1:07 (11:35mm)

Leg 5 – 5.7 miles
The pain begins. While I was still feeling relatively good physically at this point, the middle of leg 5 is where my mind started to play games. I was 25 miles in and only ½ way done. The sun was still rising along with the temperature and my heart rate. Avi was great at helping get me back into a better frame of mind and I figured if I could just get done with this leg, it would be 5 down and 3 to go. I would grab some food at the next rest stop and try to get some of my energy back. So at the end of leg 5 I proceeded to have two more cups of chicken soup. My stomach did not like it one bit. I was conflicted with the choice of trying to hold down the food I knew I needed or throwing up so I could feel better. I opted for the former and just took some time to relax and let my stomach settle down before heading out on the next leg.
Leg 5 – 1:09 (12:09mm)

Leg 6 – 6.5 miles
The wheels come off… So the vim and vigor Avi started with on leg 4 were now gone. The heat was really beginning to take its toll on us both. We were now in the thick of the mid-day sun and the temperature was pushing 80 degrees. The course traversed up into Huntington and we had beautiful views of Huntington Harbor to help take our minds off the pain. The course continued up into Lloyd Harbor and down and across into Cold Spring Harbor. My friend, Micky happened to be driving by with his daughters and a few words of encouragement and a friendly face gave me enough energy to complete the steep downhill on Snake Hill road to the end of the leg. I was completely shot at this point. I met up with my crew and proceeded to lay flat on my back as I began to contemplate how I was going to run another 13 miles.
Leg 6 – 1:30 (13:56mm)

Leg 7 – 7 miles
I managed to get myself off the pavement, but the despair was really starting to set in as Jim and I started out on leg 7 (the toughest leg of the race). Jim had been waiting since the middle of leg 3 to run and I felt horrible that I was so incapable of running a decent pace with him. In fact, I was barely capable of running. But true to form, Jim was ever the optimist. He somehow helped pull me out of the doldrums and aside from walking the uphills, we managed to keep a fairly steady pace for the next 7 miles. When I wanted to walk, Jim would give me a minute and then get me running again. My quads were throbbing, but Jim kept me thinking about just finishing leg 7 and only having 1 more leg to go. While I certainly wasn’t seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I realized that I was definitely going to finish. It was going to be painful, but I was confident that I would emerge victorious at the end of the day.
Leg 7 – 1:34 (13:30mm)

Leg 8 – 6.4 miles
Brian was waiting for me at the start of leg 8 with his wife and two sons. He looked fresh and ready to go. I felt like garbage. I only had 6.4 miles to go, but it seemed like an insurmountable distance. We hit the 1 mile marker into leg 8, but the race coordinators had incorrectly marked it as mile 2. I had a brief moment euphoria as I thought we had just knocked down two of my last 6 miles, but the joy was quickly destroyed a mile later as we passed a second “mile 2” sign. I managed to choke down a Hammer Gel with caffeine which gave me a bit of a boost. We were in the home stretch. With about 3 miles to go, an officer from the Oyster Bay Police Dept. found out that I was running all 50 miles and proceeded to give us a police escort for the next 3 miles. I’m still not sure if he was protecting us from the passing traffic or waiting for me to pass out. In either case, I appreciated the thought and knowing he was behind us gave me a little extra motivation to keep running. As we entered downtown Oyster Bay, I knew the finish line was just a few tenths of a mile away. As we approached, I began to hear the encouraging cheers of my wife, Liza and I could see my two older children waiting to run last 50 yards to the finish with me. As we all crossed the finish line together, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment for what I had just achieved, but those feelings were eclipsed by the appreciation I felt for the 5 friends who had stood by me for the last 10 hours and the family that had supported me through months of training. In my mind, they were the real winners of the day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Group Vote

Ok, I am in the market for a casual watch for weekends. I am on the fence with this one; not sure if I really like it or not. So, I will put it up to you all to decide. Thumbs up or down?

Group Vote

Ok, I am putting this out to the wisdom of this crowd, because I am on the fence. Inquiring minds want to know -- cool, or not cool?


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Random Stuff

First and foremost: congrats to my boy Toddie B for finishing his first - and maybe last? (though I doubt it) - 50 miler. Todd has been bitten hard by the ultra running bug and he's knee deep in it now, which stokes me to no end. Race report please, Todd.

In other news, action packed weekend that included a day of temple and fasting for Yom Kippur; a soccer game yesterday; fall baseball game today; a short run and much more. I have to say that there's nothing better than fall weekends. Especially when Michigan is on a winning streak (though I hasten add that yesterday's win was a Pyrrhic victory at best; we looked absolutely terrible in beating U Mass, which just so happens to be my brother Scott's alma mater).

Anyway, all that being said, the highlight of my weekend is getting set to happen in t-minus 13 minute: the debut of Boardwalk Empire on HBO. I've been waiting for this show for months and am hoping it doesn't disappoint.

Anyone else check it out and of so, what did you think?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


So, if you happen to watch Survivor, or even if you don't -- you should -- as our family friend Marty is a contestant this season.

He's a really good dude and based on tonight's episode, I think he's going to play an excellent game. I've long been a fan of the show - I've pretty much watched every season -- but it's a heck of a lot more fun when you know someone in it. This is a first for me and reality shows, which now that I think about it is kind of amazing given how exactly how many reality shows I watch.

Anyway, I expect that this will not be my last post on this subject. Best of luck Marty. This season promises to be a ton of fun.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Parrots of Telegraph Hill

One of the coolest things in San Francisco is the famous parrots of Telegraph Hill. There are literally hundreds of these feral parrots that live within a few block radius. One of their favorite areas is literally right next to my gym. After a swim late yesterday afternoon I took the little Girl to check them out and she was utterly fascinated. Unfortunately, they are hard to capture on video as they like to fly high, although on occasion I have seen them on lower lying branches. But as you'll note, you sure can hear them; they make an absolute racket.

Download now or watch on posterous
IMG_0955.MOV (1929 KB)

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Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A New Trend in Running?

Two weeks ago if you will remember was the Skinnyman 50k, a race that was put on by Todd and myself. Unbenownst to us, we have been on a trend.

On Thursday, I was invited to participate in the third annual RLJ 50k/30k run. This is a run put on by a bunch of buddies, that has grown to about 25 runners. The race founders rent a house in Stinson Beach and everyone meets up there first for coffee, comraderie and to review the race maps. We all walked outside -- and started running. Afterwards, we all met up at the house for beers and bbq. Theiur were also t-shirts and beer mugs for all participants.

So, basically the same concept as Skinnyman, only slightly larger in size.

After years of running assorted organized trail and road races, I am loving these new, unsupported types of race. I think they particularly embody the spirit of trail running.

In regards to the running itself, I felt absolutely ... horrible. Not sure what was up - could have been I am not fully recovered from my 50k two weeks ago, but man did I feel lousy, in every sense of the word. It was hot, too, which could have been a factor.

Regardless, it was fun being out there with Coach Phil. I'm hoping that I can find a similar type of "race" some time soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

L'shana Tova

To all of you reading this -- Jewish or not, I want to wish you a L'shana tova - a happy New Year. May the upcoming year bering you and your respective families peace, health and happiness.

And with that, off I go to synogogue.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. My how time flies when you are having fun.

14 years. Damn. That is one long ass period of time. How she puts up with me is beyond my comprehension but perhaps she sees something in me that others don't.

All that aside, I couldn't be happier nor could I ask for a better Wife. Those of you who know me know that I oftentimes give her a hard time, sometimes even on these here pages. We have a bit of a schtick between the two of us but if you hang out with us long enough you grow to understand it. It's kind of inexplicable but it seems to work for us.

I could go on but I don't want to give her a big head. She's a great woman, a terrific Wife and an even better mom and those of you who know me know that I'd be lost without her.

So - Happy Anniversary, Wife. I look forward to the next 14. Though after that (28?!), you might get traded in for a younger model.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Go Blue

After two consecutive years of what have amounted to complete and utter debacles of a football season(s), it was a bit harder than usual to get excited for college football season this year. For maybe the first time in my life as a Michigan fan, I feared the worst.

And so, it was with some measure of trepidation - but also, as usual, excitement, that I watched the kickoff of our 2010 season. And man, what a kickoff it was. I was trying hard not to get too excited because it's one game and we went through this drill last year. But wow -- we had a new look to us and our quarterback was beyond description. That might be the best Michigan QB performance I have ever seen, and e've had a few decent QB's (read Tom Brady, Jim Harbaugh, Elvis Grbac, Chad Henne) come through the program.

Notre Dame should be an even better test, so I will try to remain calm. But let's just say that I speak for a lot of people when I say that let's hope Saturday is a harbinger of things to come.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crazy Week

Sorry I haven't blogged too much this week. I had my bosses in from out of town, which always keeps me on my heels.

Although I try to reserve my tech posting for, I can't help but make mention of the big Apple announcement yesterday. My assessments:

- the new iPods are cool but I am squared away in that department so will not buy. If I were to buy one though, it would most certainly be the Nano, though I do wonder how a touch screen will work while running, in the gym, etc. I like where they went there.

-- iPad 4.2 software STOKES me greatly but it's disappointing that it won't be available until November. iPad needs 4.0 software - most especially folders -- NOW.

-- the new social iTunes, Ping, is intriguing, and full of possibilities, but as of now it's a bit rudimentary and limited. It would be far more interesting if it linked to Facebook. I have to imagine we'll see that functionality in the not so distant future.

-- and last but not least, Apple TV. This one I ordered, but only because it is very affordable at $99.00. If it was any more expensive I would have passed. I was very disappointed that it wasn't built on iOS platform and app capable. That was a letdown, as was the rental only model -- and the fact that their only content partners thus far are ABC and FOX. I can't wait to compare Apple TV against Google TV (disclosure; client), which comes out later this fall.

Anyway, that is my high-level take. Nice announcement, but nothing that I'd categorize as earth shattering.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Making Lemonade

So, as previously noted, Saturday's Skinnyman 50k was a big success.

Me, Todd, Phil and a dude named Berkeley Dave pushed off at 6 am on the nose. We kept the pace easy and tried hard not to let 29 year-old Berkelely Dave - who is a heck of a fast runner - grind us into fairy dust.

We generally felt good for the first 12 miles, except for Coach Phil, who was dealing with some GI issues that wouldn't allow him to take in liquids. He suffered in silence, as his nature, and took it out at his own pace. Coach Phil is a tough dude.

The first 12 miles of this run were interesting; they featured four pretty significant climbs that probably totaled about 3500 feet of climbing. That's a bit much for the front end of an ultra marathon, and it's inevitable that climbing like that will catch up to one on the back end of the course. And even though we generally felt pretty good, Todd and I ended up power hiking a majority of the big climbs, which was a strategy that I think served us well in the end.

Our crews - The Wife, Little Boy, Little Girl and Todd's wife Liza were amazing, and there is no way we could have done this without their support. They provided support at three critical junctions: Tennessee Valley, Pantoll (two times) and of course, the finish line.

I generally felt good throughout the entire race -- for the first time in a long while I could say that I was adequately prepared - though my feet really took a beating - and I mean beating - due in all likelihood to the downhills. At one point I had stop to bandage my toes, and I noted that my left sock was pretty bloody.

Todd's fitness was pretty high too; I was really impressed with his strength all day, especially considering that he wasn't able to train for these types of hills (and downhills too for that matter, which I think in the end took a far worse toll on us at the end of the day) back home in Long Island.

The only part where things got ridiculously hard was the last push from Stinson Beach back up to Pantoll. That was a relentless and seemingly never ending 3.5 mile push, but we got through it relatively intact.

Once we got back up to Pantoll for the second time (mile 27), the Little Boy joined us for the last push, which was mostly downhill. Having him out there was spectacularly meaningful for me, and I think for him too. It was pretty cool listening to a 10 year old talk non-stop words of encouragement to the two of us. I genuinely think he gets it, and he's going to be a heck of a runner one day. Actually, he's already pretty darn impressive. I hope he continues to enjoy running as much as he seemed to on Saturday.

So long short, we finished and all things considered, we finished pretty darn strong. There wasn't any minute during which either of us seemed to be in a crisis, which made for a more enjoyable experience. Our finish time was 6:50, which was about what I expected for a course this tough, but truth is if we wanted to, I think we could have gone faster. We were much more about enjoying the day and taking in the sites -- and boy, difficulty aside, this course was stunningly beautiful.

To use a tired cliche, I think Todd and I (by the way, Dave and Phil decided to turn it into a long training run and both turned around at Pantoll. I think their respective mileage was somewhere around 25-28 for the day, which is still incredible)did a great job of turning lemons into lemonade.

It bothered neither of us in the slightest that we weren't running an "official" race. I'd go so far as to say we enjoyed this manner of a run even more. It was great being out there all day with one of my best friends - on his birthday nonetheless - and it definitely goes down as a top highlight in my running career.

In fact, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And I just might, because Todd and I think Skinnyman needs to be an annual event. That's something that's under discussion; more later.

Finally, another round of mad props to our most awesome crew. Without them, this event would never have happened. You guys helped make this a day that Todd and I will never forget.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Skinnyman 50k is a Success!

The Skinnyman 50k was everything I thought I would be and more. It was beyond epic. Todd and I (and our friends Phil and Berkeley Dave) had a great time. Todd and I ran super strong the entire way through. This was the first race I've trained properly in a long while and it showed. For once, I didn't suffer like a dog. Anyway much more later but for now a few pictures of me and Todd and our fantastic crew. Huge props to the Wife and Liza for their support. We could not have done it without them.

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Posted via email from Howard Solomon