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Showing posts from October, 2015

President Rubio?

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When Marco Rubio scored his attack hit against former mentor Jeb Bush in the recent Republican debate, he may have been signalling that he was running against the old families of both parties.  For a long time observers and commentators have worried that the presidential election of the world's first democracy might end up being a slug-fest between two names who have come up before - Bush v Clinton.  What would it say about the nature of the American democracy if its two parties' best options were to produce the wife and son/brother of former presidents?  Well, Hillary may be sleeping easier at the moment as she continues to sail through the Democratic campaign, but Jeb Bush has never been a front-runner in the Republican one and the hot money is already gathering around Marco Rubio.

Rubio does well in debates, and his put-down of Jeb Bush - "someone convinced you attacking me is going to help you" - was further evidence that, unlike the senior politico, he can actual…

Dick Collins 50M

Wow! It's been a long time since I have done a race recap.

In 2013, Dick Collins was my first 50 mile trail race. I had no idea how to pace myself. I just said that I was going to "walk every hill". I finished just under 10 hours and I was very proud of that time. Last year, I was in pretty good shape and I ran it again, knocking about a half an hour off my time, and finishing in 9:29. This year, I was not in pretty good shape. I had been running about 15 - 30 miles a week and doing 1 or 2 days of HIIT training. I was not watching what I ate and I had been spending long hours at work and getting not enough sleep every day.

My expectations of myself were pretty low. I just wanted to get under 11 hours, which would mean basically I could run a minute and a half per mile slower (or walk more) than last year and I would still be okay. There was a friend of mine who ran last year and we ended up finishing together (hand in hand across the finish line!) and he was also running t…

It's a Wild Ride

It's 4:49 a.m. My alarm goes off and I hop off of the couch, where I have been sitting and reading. I wash my breakfast dishes, grab my lunch and use the bathroom one last time and then I put on my helmet and grab my bike and my backpack and walk out the door.

It's about 2 miles from my house to the train station. Luckily, in the morning, it's mostly downhill. I put on my bike light, hike up one leg of my pants and start pedaling. You never know what you are going to see on the streets of Oakland at 5 a.m. There are not too many cars, which is good because that means I can buzz through most of the intersections without slowing down too much. There are sometimes people, but they are mostly like me, heading to work in the dark of the night.

Except for one corner which is near the train station. This corner is a bit different that the others. Women hang around in short skirts; men in trucks slow to a crawl as they pass. It's usually pretty quiet though; I pedal through with…

Lessons for Cameron from Denis Healey's "Greatness"

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David Cameron could be forgiven if he enters the Tory Conference week thinking about his place in history.  This, after all, is a man who doesn’t have to win another election, since he’s given himself a final term firewall against any future electoral catastrophes.  Not only that, but he’s been able to witness Big Bad Jezza Corbyn’s utter catastrophe of a party conference over the past week, with possibly only a few hours off to mull over the deteriorating quality of western foreign policy (currently sub-contracted out to the country formerly known as the Soviet Union).

Corbyn is a delight in many ways.  He’s not quite as different as a party leader as some hopefuls are suggesting, admittedly.  George Lansbury and Michael Foot were also bizarre lefty true-believers with a lofty disdain for practical politics, and both proved electorally disastrous for the Labour party, albeit from a better intellectual vantage point than the fuzzy minded Corbyn.  But Corbyn is the first of that mould t…

Looking Back: September

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September! Back to school days and leaf raking days; new pencils and old friend days; putting on pants and jelly making days. Early sunset nights and late sunrise days. Soup days and boot days. Crisp air and fog days.... What does September mean to you?

Running: I clocked just over 100 miles this month, which is better than last month! However, I did not get the same amount of hiking in, so the total "time on feet" was less. Instead, I have been focusing more on my strength training, and am doing a twice a week strength training regime rather than so much running. This month's totals were 45 miles of hiking, 53 miles of biking and 9 strength training sessions.

Reading: This was a good reading month quantity-wise, but only so/so quality-wise. I ended up reading 9 books and two half books (couldn't finish/had to put down)! My favorites were these four:

Farewell to the East End: The Last Days of the East End Midwives
Americanah
Station Eleven
This is the Story of a Happy Marr…