Supreme Court Edging Towards Overturning Voting Rights Act

A case of every silver lining having a dark cloud seems to have emerged today in arguments given at the Supreme court.

Antonin_Scalia,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait

Justice Antonin Scalia

The silver lining is the fact that the same ominous tone came out from more liberal media sources last year when the court was going through arguments about the affordable health care act. And all that fretting was for naught, as Chief Justice Roberts decided to join the 4 liberal judges in upholding the constitutionality of the AHCA.   (For links this article is based on, Click here.)

But that silver lining seems to not be much of a lining, not this day anyway.  Yesterday’s silver lining seems to be non-existent in this case today. The voices that we have heard are speaking in the usual ways.  Justice Scalia disparaged section 5 of the 1965 voting rights act, calling it a perpetuation of racial entitlements.

Justice Sotomayor, in response to the claim by Shelby county that the act is itself unjust  and that they have changed said that there are still 240 discriminatory laws on the books in Shelby county, pointing to an obvious need to uphold the voting rights act.

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Justice Elena Kagan

Justice Elena Kagan stated that while the first generation issues may have been resolved, and that the original aim of ensuring African Americans voting has been met, there are other more insidious forms of discrimination in use, such as voter I.D. laws and gerrymandering.

But the two votes that could potentially swing either way are looking like they are leaning towards getting rid of section 5.  The swing vote of Justice Kennedy seems to be leaning towards de-legitimizing  the voting rights act according to what I have heard.  The same for Justice Roberts who makes the potential swing vote list only because of his support of the AHCA last year.

The questions that seem to be most persistent against the voting rights act involve fairness towards the states that section 5 holds sway over.  Both justices Scalia and Roberts were overt in their questioning of both political and social motivation in the congressional vote for the voting rights act back in 2006, and both seemed to be pointing in the general direction of doubt as to the actual need for a voting rights act.

And while the Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli did a very good job as far as I could tell arguing the governments case, I am not so sure that he could have done a good enough job to overcome the prejudices of the justices against the law itself to keep section 5 alive for much longer.  I’m not sure anyone could have, given the anti-section 5 fervor that seems to exist amongst the more conservative judges on the court, done a better job.

Stay tuned, more news here as it happens.

Bill Of Rights? We Don’t Need No Stinking Bill Of Rights!

Actually we do, but listening to certain people talk around Washington, I wonder whether there are people around on the right who actually believe that.

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Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being “pushed to an extreme”; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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In normal times, the following would be a fairly innocuous statement:  I am for the 14th amendment.  It is after all part of the bill of rights. But these times are anything but normal.  So divisive are the politics of this day and age, that basic freedoms and simple concepts placed within the the bill of rights, are somehow deemed Un-American, or at the very least improper,  because of the power of the media to sway minds by making cases that would seem absurd in normal circumstances.  As if simply by making a case for questioning the Bill of Rights, it somehow validates the questioning, makes it plausible.

When Sens. John McCain and Jeff Sessions join a chorus of idiots in calling for hearings into whether we should get rid of even a portion, even a single sentence of the 14th amendment of OUR bill of rights, he sent a sign to all the freedom haters of America.  A sign that says, if we don’t like our freedoms, lets just have a hearing and see if it’s OK to get rid of the ones we don’t like. 

It’s really only one sentence they say, one little sentence.  We’ll change it so people who aren’t born here who have children here won’t be allowed citizenship, they say.  Do you want to know what a great many Americans say?

LEAVE THE BILL OF RIGHTS ALONE.

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I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

Abraham Lincoln

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Viddy of the day:  Thom Hartmann talking about Immigration.

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Tuesday’s links:

United States Vs. Wong Kim Ark

Republicans want review of birthright citizenship

Whither the 14th amendment?

Forer effect 

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If you change one sentence of it, you can change another sentence, to deal with a pesky problem in the prevailing political winds in the future. And of such actions is oppression born.  Do we want those who come after us to think we, any of us, thought it fair, or good or right, to tear out freedoms from one of our most important documents, and the one that actually guarantees our freedoms, no less? Let’s look at the actual problem here.

Children being born on our shores, by mothers who are not citizens.  Illegal immigration is an issue, but you want to fight about this particular bit? Seriously?  Those infants are…what? A threat to our way of life? In what way? What are the grounds upon which you are actually going to alter the Bill of Rights? How deeply will you affect Illegal immigration by denying a child citizenship? I see no realistic effect on Illegal immigration.  Or do you think a few words will stop people from coming across the border when fear of death itself does little to stop them now?

Please.  George Bush’s tax cuts are more of an existential threat to the populace than Juan and Esmerelda’s baby(to pull two Spanish sounding names out at random) is.   Sens. Kyl, McCain, Graham and Sessions attack on the worthiness of the first sentence of the 14th amendment is seriously a much greater threat to our freedom than any Honduran trying to have a baby in Texas.  Or Arizona.  Or… wait… I see a pattern, and maybe just a little bit of funny.

These children are being born in red states to parents who would, when they become citizens in all likelihood vote democratic, remembering how they were treated by those self serving right wingers, and those children would in time do the same, just like generations of Latino immigrants have before.  These Republicans are trying to keep them out to keep their strongholds for future generations of Republicans, so they can stay Republican strongholds, by any means necessary. 

Ya know, they might vote for you more often if you were just nicer to them,  worked with them, and stopped calling them wetbacks and other epithets.  Srsly.

These right wingers really don’t have to go changing the Bill of Rights just to save their political hides, or score political points.  They could just try to pass proper immigration reform legislation, hell they might like to try proposing it.  T’would be nice.   But then again, they like kinda stupid crap. Proof?

Think about this, they created (out of thin air, flag burning never being a serious threat to America, ever)  the waste of space that was the flag burning amendment, trying to make it look like they’re patriotic while doing the bidding of their corporate masters(that is, perhaps, why most of them bear a passing resemblance to Quasimodo) and hold power through fear, and steal freedom in the name of profits.   Or the defense of marriage act, partly because they… well… because they’re scared of gay people.  Probably afraid they’ll catch it (that’s just how they think, the bozos) and become gay themselves, I guess.  Bunch of stinking Anti-American right wing homophobes.

Oh, and one other thing back on point.  Amending the constitution takes a super-majority in both houses and then ratification by 3/4 of the states. Do you seriously think, with the nation as bitterly divided on this subject as on any other, that any attempt to alter the 14th amendment will succeed with those requirements needing to be met? 

Not gonna happen.  Buenas noches, America.

Time

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.       

Pink Floyd; Dark Side of the moon,  Time       

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Time, the great equalizer.  The one thing we cannot outrun, cannot defeat.  The clock always wins, and yet we try to fight.  That’s what people do.  There are countless products out that take advantage of our fear of time, and it’s effects.  Anti-Aging cream, and all such similar products play on our fear of time, and aging.  There are countless things we say and do that point to our knowledge of, and fear of time, which is borne out in our fear of death.  We have created for ourselves the cute but in the end silly delusion of life after death to fight it, to make the passage of time, and death’s inexorable decree more palatable.  Death loses it’s sting when we have a world beyond to go to.       

But, consciousness of time is consciousness of life.  We spend our time, waste our time, bide our time.  Time is money.  There is time for every purpose under heaven, so the saying goes.  There are a thousand different sayings and the like similar enough that show that time is man’s greatest obsession, and properly so.  There never seems to be enough of it, and what time we do have seems to go by so fast, it is sometimes hard to make enough time for all the people in our lives.        

It’s tough to take time to appreciate everyone, and everything people in our lives do.  On certain occasions, we take time and put it aside, so we can give thanks for all they do.  There are numerous days for it.  Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, Labor Day.        

Today.       

It is Memorial Day here in the States.  A day by which we remember and commemorate the fallen soldiers of this great nations wars, to commemorate those who gave us all of their time on this earth to make sure that freedom would not utterly pass into extinction.   To those who fell, we salute you.       

       

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Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines…       

Pink Floyd; Dark Side of the moon,  Time       

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Today, this memorial day, I ran a 4 mile race here on Staten Island.  The aptly titled 4 mile Memorial day race.        

We got to the race near Midland beach, my wife and I, some 40 minutes early, at 8:20 am.  We walked around, caught a little sun,  chatted a bit, did the things husband and wife do in public at the beach, talk, walk, smile, enjoy the time together, catch some sun, relax, take a few pictures.  Had fun for those 25 or so minutes, but it was time to get ready for the race so I put my race number on, 458, along with the shirt that I ran in, an orange under armor type shirt, took off my denim shorts, under which I had my running shorts on.        

I was ready.  No warm-up necessary, no stretch necessary.  I’m ready.  A wee bit nervous, like a race horse in the gate, waiting to get started, chomping at the bit.  I could have burned some excess energy if I had wanted to by running warm-up like some of the more fit people, but the weather wasn’t right for it.  It was too warm, at least 75 degrees near race start, and there was no way I was going to burn it unnecessarily with temps looking to get near 90 during the day with no cloud cover.        

The wife and I walked up to the race start line, as close as we could get, hoping to get far enough up front to get a decent quick start.   I ended up WAY too far out.        

Didn’t know that at the time.         

As the race started on Father Capodanno Boulevard, the crowd didn’t move.  It continued to not move for at least 10 seconds.  I was antsy, wanting to BOLT and burn some rubber.  The crowd, wanting to do the same, sensed movement and began to applaud and yell.  I started to walk with the rest of the crowd and I looked around for a lane to actually run.  There were people who seemed happy to just be walking.  It took 25 or 30 seconds to get to the start line.  And the crowd would not open up.  I hadn’t realized I was surrounded by walkers and slower runners.  After almost a full minute of walking and fits and starts, I made a beeline for the outside of the pack.  I finally found a lane.       

And flew.       

Suddenly, after that first minute, I had open space. I began to push, and began to put slow people in my rear view mirror.  A lot of them.  But seeing how I didn’t want to push myself too hard too early, I started to say to myself  “slow..even..pace..”  each word spoken with every other landing of my right foot.  Setting my pace, and linking breath to movement.  Curiously, the stride pace I set was in fact fast.         

Very fast.  And yet I hit the first mile marker at 8:30.  An 8:30 m/m pace?  Much of that had to do with the slow start, and I felt the need to push harder, so I did.  This part of the run, mile 2, is the only piece of the run with any appreciable shade, and I used it.        

And I flew, faster than before.  Pushed with everything I had.  Passed people who I thought I had no business passing.  I was getting to the people who I was hoping to start with, and I was passing them.  Easily.  I was thinking I was moving too fast, but I wasn’t about to take my foot off of the gas.       

Made the turn off of Father Cap. Blvd. and onto the boardwalk, and hit the second mile marker at 15:00.  I had cut my pace from an 8:30 m/m to a 7:30, and run the second mile in 6:30.  The sun though, was out, there was no shade, and the running got harder.       

I hit the first of 2 water stations, and grabbed some water.  Didn’t drink it.  Took off my hat and poured it on my head.  The shock of cold water on my head felt wonderful.  Gave me energy I knew I would not have gotten from drinking the water.  And let me mention that I was perhaps the only person I saw out there wearing a hat running.  Needed one today, with that blazing sun beating down the way it was.  It helped.       

I started seeing people who were stopping, the sun and heat beating the hell out of everyone.  The heat started to affect me as well.  It was hard work running in the sun, and I was starting to feel overheated, and took a little bit of a break.  No stop, not even a serious slowdown, just a short 10 stride pace slackening.  Made it easier for the next bit of running.  The beach on my right shimmered in the heat, as did the asphalt in front of me.  I can see ahead of me the mile three marker, but it looks like it is too far away.  Or is it me?        

Ya, actually it is.  I close the distance of what seems like half a mile, but was actually around 2/10ths of a mile, in the blink of an eye.  Hit the marker at 21:05.  Nice.  First mile in 8:30, the next 2 miles in 12:35.        

Zoom.        

But I was pushing too hard, and had to take the foot off of the gas.  I tried to push, but started to slow down.  The heat was catching up with me, and I was starting to really feel it.  After a half a mile of slowly slowing down, I got a stitch on my right side, and slowed it down even more for a bit.        

run rhino, run

 

Got some funny looks when I did my stitch “cure”, which involves slowing down, putting pressure on the stitch, and breath out forcefully with every other step.  I did that for a while, and it got rid of the stitch in about 40 strides, but I kept it slow for some extra strides, just to make sure I was OK, and turned the afterburners back on.       

With about 3/10ths of a mile to go, I got my wind back, and the speed returned. The finish line is in sight.  Full speed ahead.  There were a few people I had kept up with, even when I was slowing down, who I had my eye on, who I wanted to pass.  Here I found the speed to pass them.  Some guy with his number on his back and a white shirt, who I could not catch for half a mile I found the energy to catch and pass.        

One more person in my sights with the finish line looming.  Woman, fast woman, wearing yellow, NYPD something on her shirt.  And she was hauling ass.  So was I.  I caught her with about 25 yards to go.        

Nice.       

Finish time 27:48.  a 6:57 m/m pace.  Ran the last mile in 6:43 even with the slow down.  Ran the last 3 miles in a 6:26 pace, after that first mile at 8:30.       

Good run.       

I had a good time.  My wife and I met up, took more pics, talked some more, smiled, celebrated, ate, drank all the water we could find, sank our toes in the water and sand at the beach.  The race was fun, so was hanging out with my wife, more so perhaps than the race itself.        

She made the moment complete.  Without her to celebrate with afterwards, this would not have been as much fun.  Thanks hon!       

Time well spent.

Anagram: Can’t Stop To Save My Soul/ Postman Covets Outlays

      

     I’m looking for work, and there are job openings out there, but no one calls back.  It happens, and I will find something, that isn’t the issue, it seems that the more I look the less I see out there on the job front.  My wife is now helping me do this, and in fact sent in some resumes to a few places that I probably normally wouldn’t have.  Places in new jersey, jobs where the job description is close to but doesn’t really match my skills.  Maybe I should have been looking there in the first place, but I tell you I am not enamored of the thought of going back to working on 800px-Xerox_stand_in_Mumbaicopy machines.

     Which is why I’m so happy that on Monday I’m going to be going to be looking into training in other fields, so I can have a career and not just a McJob.  Don’t get me wrong, any work that pays the bills is fine by me, but just the thought of going back to those benightedly useless tree killing pieces of shit that do no good for anyone anywhere, and make it possible for the people who work them to just barely make ends meet, makes me wretch. 

    A lot of good people waste their lives working in offices, and I’ll be damned if I stick around and do that for the rest of my life.  My wife deserves better from me.  The World deserves better from me.  I deserve better from myself. 

     That said, I’ll go back to it if I have no choice.  Temporarily though, not permanently.  I’ll gladly break rocks in the sweltering heat and the frozen tundra for the rest of my life before contemplating working in a copy center as my main source of income.  Better to die burnt and blistered on a God forsaken rock shoveling shit than go back to that. 

   Just filled with happiness today, ain’t I?  :-)

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800px-serengeti_lion_running_saturated     I’ve been filling time until I can get myself work again.  Running more, much more.  Eating more, much more.  Starting fights online, if you read my previous post you know what I’m talking about.  The running is perhaps the easiest for me to do.  Sure I beat the hell out of my feet and my legs, but so what? I also make myself stronger.  I now run longer distances, much longer than I used to.  Time was when the most i would do, absolute maximum would be 40 miles in a week, and this year I hadn’t hit 30 miles a week up until last month.  Been racking up the mileage this month though.  Been working in 2 and 3 day blocks, with one day off in between.  Just finished a 2 day block where I ran 26 miles in those 2 days, and the previous 3 day block, I ran 32 miles.  58 miles in my last 5 run days.  This time 2 months ago, I would be lucky to have run 25 miles in that time.  

     And I took today off and I’ll have Saturday off, so it’s looking like tomorrow may well be another very long run.  Might go 3 hours, just to see if I can do it.  That would be, if I have my times correct, 22 miles tomorrow.  We’ll see. 

    But that’s OK.  I have been taking cold baths afterwards to heal up faster and I tell you it works wonders on my legs.  No worries. And I am actually gaining weight because I am hungry as hell after these long runs, and I eat like a damn pig. 

    The fights online are almost as addictive as the running and eating are.  I actually registered with the newspaper the Kansas city star just to fight with people.  I saw an article there on Jimmy Carter bringing up the race card, and there were these people saying he’s an idiot and he has no idea what he’s talking about and Obama got all these white votes therefore there is no racism.  That kind of happiness.

    

      A short aside.    

    I will not say every bit of anger at the current administration is race based.  It clearly isn’t, but the undercurrent is there, and it isn’t inconsequential.  Witch doctor photos, the birthers, Rush Limbaugh’s racist rants, these things are part of the discussion, and they are racist.  Denial of racism doesn’t make racism go away, it just covers it up for those who want it covered up.  And what happens when you fight on the side that has this as a weapon in it’s arsenal is you get pegged with the tag  “racist” yourself, like it or not, true or not, because you stand with those who are racist. 

     Back to the fighting.

    I don’t mind if you think he’s an idiot.  It’s a free country, speak your piece.  Now the other stuff I have an issue with, so I went out of my way to register with this newspaper just to mess with these people.  I walked in and picked on quite a number of people.  They called me moron, they hated me something fierce.  I didn’t mind.  Let’em yammer, ain’t no skin off my ass.  They were yelling about Van Jones and Professor Gates.  Peripheral issues at best, I thought, and told them so.  They called me more names.  LOL says I.  Old issues say I.  If you can’t see inherent racism in white people yelling about black people (Jones and Gates) who have nothing to do with the main issue (Jimmy Carter, the alleged idiot, talking about how there’s still hate in America), then you are blind.

       They didn’t respond to that last bit.  Gave’em something to chew on, and I don’t think they liked the taste of it, either.

     If you are going to hate, Own it, be it, Live it.  Don’t run in fear from the truth your own emotions confront you with.

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      That’s about it for me, except the quotes.  Later!hagakure

Today’s nuggets, by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Via wikiquote:  It is not good to settle into a set of opinions. It is a mistake to put forth effort and obtain some understanding and then stop at that. At first putting forth great effort to be sure that you have grasped the basics, then practicing so that they may come to fruition is something that will never stop for your whole lifetime. Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, “This is not enough.”

By just one single word martial valor can be made apparent. In peaceful times words show one’s bravery. In troubled times, too, one knows that by a single word his strength or cowardice can be seen. This single word is the flower of one’s heart. It is not something said simply with one’s mouth.  A warrior should not say something fainthearted even casually. He should set his mind to this beforehand. Even in trifling matters the depths of one’s heart can be seen.

Anagram: A Frantic Fourth/ For Hurt Fanatic

     running_hare  This blog is gonna be a long and detailed account of the race I ran yesterday on the fourth of July. The Race is a five miler, and the first ½ is up hill.  A very steep hill.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  The race never begins at the start of the race.

     It usually starts long before with race prep and training.  That would be everything from making sure you’ve done everything right, from hill running, tempo runs, fartlek and the like, to being out in elements similar to those you will face, to knowing the actual course.  There’s probably a bunch of stuff that I’m missing, but you get the general idea.

    It ends usually with making sure you don’t train hard, if at all the day before the race to make sure you have energy to burn the day of the race, and make sure you are well rested before the race, by catching up on your sleep. 

    I have all of this done.  I made Friday a run free day to rest up, I got a good nights sleep on Thursday night into Friday, which I have heard is the right thing to do, since sleep can sometimes be hard to come by the night of a big race.  Rest is rest, take it where you can.

    I have everything ready.  I get up on time, maybe a minute before the alarm is set to go off.  I slept less than well, tossing and turning, but sleep is sleep, you rest when and how you can. 4 good hours of sleep is better than none at all. I have the clothes I am going to run in ready to go.  All the training I could have done I have done. Did the hill work, the speed work.  It’s  looking good.  

    Watch a viddy on running.

     

    I leave the house with my wife. I have everything.  Get to the race, pick up the race shirt, get up to the starting line.  Kiss my wife, tell her I Rhinolove her, she says she loves me and she’s proud of me, wishes me luck, and takes a few pics of me in the crowd at the race start. 

      Go.

      The early going is fine.  No worries, the first few hundred yards are downhill, but I know it gets tricky after that, and I’m ready for it.  I’ve trained for it.  Make the right hand turn, and the sun hits me.  Hotter than I was expecting, it was only 64 degrees when I left the house, this feels warmer, but nothing drastic, nothing out of the ordinary. I get on with the business of running.

    I have no Ipod on, no music player of any type, but i have a song in my head whose meter I know by heart, a pace song.  And if you know anything about me from my previous blogs you know who it was.  Metallica.  The song I chose, and i could have chosen dozens that would have fit the bill was the song “Frantic” off of St. Anger.  I like the song, and it has a fast feel to it, something you can stride quick to.

   And stride quick I do, but not quick enough, or my stride isn’t long enough.  I hit the first mile at about a 7:55 pace.  But that has as much to do with running through and in a crowd as anything else.  I’m not worried.  I hit the first water stop, grab a drink, make sure I don’t grab the first cup handed, let someone else grab that one.  I take a swig and immediately start to choke on it.  There is an art to drinking out of a paper cup while running, which I forgot and didn’t do.  Grab the cup, hand on top of the cup and pinch the cup so there is a little spout and drink from that.  I didn’t do that and end up choking on H2O.  I drop back a little further, but not much. 

    The sun is beginning to beat down, and I’m keeping the pace song in my head. 

     Frantic tic tic tic tic tic tic tock. step step step step step step step.

       Between mile marker one and two is the hilliest part of the race.  I handle it well, passing a number of people on the hardest part of the race.  I’m pretty happy about that.  But that saps my strength for the up and down running in silver lake itself.   I hit mile two, beat but still going, at 15:50.  Not pushing hard.

    I’m slower than I want to be.  I’m thirsty, due to not getting enough water prior to the park, with no water stops in the park.  The sun is beating my ass.  I should have worn a hat.  I usually wear a hat but decided to forgo it because it was really nice out.  Mistake. NUTS!

   I do not however make the mistake of pushing too hard here in the park.  I’m not doing badly, but I’ve been better, and I want to conserve my strength for a final push later on.  But i find my stride lengthening, no worries.  This tells me that I will pick up some speed, and make up some time before the mile three marker. 

        Frantic tic tic tic tic tic tic tock. step step step step step step step.

    More hill, more sun, and after what feels like forever I finally get out of the park.  Hit the three mile marker at 23:55.  7:58…. Son of a Bitch.

    Annoyed.  This is the motivation that gets me really busting my ass.  And just in time.  The Big Downhill.  I Live on top of a hill, I know how to FLY down these things.  I’ve seen people shorten their stride running down hill, trying to control it.  Not me.  I widen my stride as far as I can, and make it less of a run and more of a controlled fall down the hill. For ½ a second I get away from the metallica and the police song walking on the moon jumps into my head.  One lyric in particular, over and over, not because of the beat either.

     “I hope My legs don’t break”

    I giggle, snort, spit, snarl and push for all that I’m worth.  The bottom of the hill comes up and there is a slight rise before a second longer and more gradual downhill.  I slow up and shorten up my stride a bit, can’t maintain that pace on the short uphill, so I don’t try.   Now I’m huffing and puffing, but I don’t care.  I stick myself to the center of the street.  Ignore the water, ignore the crowds.  Head down.  push, Push PUSH.

    There is a crowd ahead of me, and another behind, but no runners close by.  I feel alone on the road.  And I like it.  Hit Mile 4.  I ignore the person calling out the time.  Time is the enemy now, the more I know the less good it is.  Stare at the center double yellow line, run on it.  It’s mine.

   And then I hit a wall.  The sun, and lack of water i guess caught up with me.  I had to stop. So I do what i think will work.  Count to ten and restart.

   It amazingly works.  I ha541px-49-aspetti_di_vita_quotidiana%2C_vomito%2CTaccuino_Sanitatis%2C_Cave energy again.  I run through a garden hose sprinkler some guy has set up on the course.  I yell to him “PICK IT UP” he obliges, and I run through.  The temperature difference between the water and my body was vast.  It was so cold it hurt. I yelled loud.  “DAMN THAT WAS NICE”  I didn’t really mean the last 3 words.  Pain isn’t nice.

    But it gives me strength. I’m pushing again, hard, everything I have.  For the next ½ mile or so things go smooth.  And fast, but as I get to the entrance to the park where the finish line is, my stomach starts to bother me, but I am motoring.  Striding hard and long.  The hell with my stomach.

     Frantic tic tic tic tic tic tic tock. step step step step step step step.

   I see a runner I know who isn’t running, cheering people on, he notices me, and I him.  Give him a yell.   “Bill, How you doing?” He yells back, “Yer running fast, mike” or something like that and gives me a high five.  Some lady who i don’t know, who has some dogs with her (one in a baby carriage) gives me high five and says “go runner”

    Sounds good to me. she could have said you smell like chickens asshole and I wouldn’t have cared.  It was starting to catch up with me, my legs were feeling it for the first time all race, and my stomach is getting real bad.  There is only a few hundred yards to go and I have to stop again.

   Dammit.  I do the  same ten count I did before.  Then I bolt, hoping I won’t heave everywhere before the race is over.

    Make it down the final stretch, pushing as hard as i can to go as fast as I can.  Finish. The crowd is cheering, I am feeling ill, but strong enough to get to the chute to hand off my tag that will tell my time.

    I look around for my wife… where is she? Walk around for a second, see her and realize i left my stopwatch running. Shit. Stop the watch.  Time 39:16.45

   Maybe take 6 seconds off.  39:10.  Dammit, at least 30 seconds slower than I had wanted to be.  Busted my ass and I was slow. Double dammit.

    Walk around with the wife, take a few pics, rub my aching left hamstring. drink a LOT of water, eat a hot dog or two. Start feeling better.  Wife says she is proud of me.

    I love that woman.  I feel like crap and she’s there to support me. 

     Nothing felt better than that.800px-serengeti_lion_running_saturated

     The times are posted a little while later.  I am looking at the numbers, looking at the 39:00 finishes.  I’m not there.  WTF?  I start to get angry, thinking maybe they didn’t record my time.  Then I look on the previous page, and there I am.  38:30.46, a 7:42.09 m/m pace.  After running the first 3 miles at an 8:00 pace, i was able to whittle 18 seconds per mile off of the average.  Call it a 7:17 for the last 2 miles… with 2 stops. NICE.

     That 38:30 felt like a victory.  No, it was a victory.   I busted my ass, fought through my mistakes and blunders, pushed hard to the point where I was ready to collapse, and made it through to tell the tale.  Very nice indeed.

     Frantic tic tic tic tic tic tic tock.