Back in Action!

It’s been a while since I posted. But unlike my last major blogging hiatus, this time I didn’t break any bones, nor did I spend the entire summer crutching around Portland and playing up my “wounded bird” status to gain sympathy, romance and customized crutch coozies.

This time my hiatus can be blamed on writing fatigue. As a full-time freelancer covering such hot-button issues as “How to MacGUver Your Own Energy Gel” and “What Premium Rush Gets Wrong About Bike Messengers,” the last thing I wanted to do in my leisure time was use up words and sentences and phrases and paragraphs on anything that would only be read by my mom and people who googled “adult goldendoodle” (no disrespect to this blog’s core audience). So, I let myself go, so to speak. I put off updating, and I kept putting it off until it felt like there was no way to steer this runaway lazy-train back onto the tracks.

But now that I work a non-writing job, naturally, I miss writing. I’ve tried so many weird running gizmos and power snacks lately; the urge to weigh in runs deep. Without a repository for the complicated feelings and emotions generated by “pickle-flavored energy drinks” and “performance runderwear,” I feel restless and creatively stifled. So I’m back and will be posting on the regs, as they say. You’re welcome. Or I’m sorry. Now where did I leave off again?

Ah, yes. The Garmin Marathon. At last post, I was committing the classic marathoner’s gaffe known as “going out too fast and crumbling into a broken, asthmatic heap at Mile 20.” If the race had been a half-marathon, I could have won the thing (slight exaggeration). But since the official Garmin Marathon distance consisted of one half-marathon with a second half-marathon as a chaser, my overall performance was underwhelming at best. I guess that’s what happens when you procrastinate on training and expect everything to come together in a last-minute power montage. Apparently that only works for underdog boxers and wisecracking teens who move to towns where everyone is mysteriously obsessed with karate.

The next thing that went awry in my running universe was that I pulled out of the Newport Marathon after a sustained mystery illness and the startling realization that the back-to-back-marathon move is a bad idea. Maybe not for everyone—I’m sure there are plenty of Dean Karnazeses (Karnazi?) out there who just ran five new marathons in the amount of time it took me to get to the end of this sentence. But I’m not that guy. I need a two-month marathon refractory period from here on out.

Not following through on Newport was hard for multiple reasons, the first one being that I’ve never quit anything that big before. It’s hard for me to just walk away from something once I’m committed. I’ve run a marathon with a cracked rib. I’ve ridden my bike across the country alone when my buddy deserted on the first day. I’ve been TALKING ON A SIDEKICK PHONE since 2007, for Christ’s sake. But I didn’t even show up at the starting line for Newport, and it’s taken months for me to reach any kind of peace with the decision.

So the summer got off to a rough start. Then, in late June, things started to turn around. I got a job as a web producer for Runner’s World. Runner’s… World…? Let’s see, where have we heard those word together…? Right. In virtually every single blog entry I’ve written since time immemorial. It’s only my favorite magazine. I keep a cache of back issues on my person at all times in case I need to swear on a stack of something.

Needless to say, I was very stoked. In July, Lydia and I packed up our lives and moved to Emmaus, Pennsylvania, site of Rodale’s vast health-media empire and last summer’s internship at Bicycling magazine.

Lyd enrolled in nursing school, and I started my new job. Together we settled into the whole Lehigh Valley lifestyle, which involves a great deal of highway-driving, beer-purchase confusion, bicycling on nigh-vertical roads and pronunciation of H20 as “wooder.” Ours is a quiet life with two pets and a startlingly regular habit of sustaining Wii-based shoulder injuries. Seriously, we need to get out more. If you live anywhere in the general East Coast area, please accept our applications for the position of “friend.”

In conclusion (whew!), allow me to present some of the only public evidence of my work at Runner’s World: “5 Steps to the Perfect Snot Rocket.” I neither wrote nor edited this video—it comes courtesy of the hilarious Mark Remy—but I think you’ll recognize me by my trademark classiness. And as an allergies-sufferer and pioneer of the genre-defining nasal-evacuation technique known as the “Double-Barrel No-Handser,” I’ve never been so right for a role. Even when the cameras AREN’T rolling, my snot-rocket game is top shelf.

But please witness this demonstration of the basics, and start following this blog again for regular updates. Coming next week: reviews of the aforementioned pickle-flavored energy drink!

Yep. Looking dignified on the RW homepage. Click to go to the video!