Sep 19

A fast race

It’s difficult to put a full day of racing, and the many weeks of training beforehand, into less than 60 seconds that you shot on a phone. So I won’t try. But this, nevertheless, was Saturday, a half Iron. That’s a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile ride and a 13.1-mile run to you and me:

The Yankee won her age group, cause she’s awesome:

Her goggles broke in the water, so she swam with one eye, and was the fifth woman out of the water. Her knee was aggravating her on the run so she wisely took it easy. What we’re saying here is that she can go faster if she needs to.

Apr 19


At the Hermann Memorial North American Championship in Texas The Yankee completed her second Ironman on Saturday. That’s a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride, followed by a marathon. Louisville in 2017, and Texas this week makes her a two-time Ironman!

Here are a few highlights of her day:

It was warm. Hot, even. A bit more so than forecast, and the sun was beating down something fierce, even for Texas. The woman who on the professional side said, in her post-race interview, that it was the hardest course she’d ever been on. And we saw it all unfold, while my best girl did it all, again.

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‪Getting my mileage in, too. #GoRenGo‬

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I did get some miles in, as it turned out. My phone recorded 10 miles of me hoofing it around the course, and a fair amount of that was running. I’m not even supposed to be doing any distance right now.

You can see more details under this hashtag.

Apr 16

To every meal’s seasoning …

Jeff Price says the Barbecue House is sold and the College Street landmark will be redeveloped. The oldest restaurant in Auburn, Alabama is going away.

He just lost his mother a few years ago. His parents built the business themselves and for most of his life Mr. Price has had his hands in it as well. You could tell that he was getting ready for a new chapter. He still has his health and his family and more happy customers than he could count. People will miss it, but people will understand. That’s the thing about regulars. The employees see you, but you see them, too. You can count plenty of mornings and lunches that he was there.

When I was in undergrad I’d go there for breakfast. And some days I’d just stay there, skip a class, read the paper and then order lunch. I ate there for five years. But then I moved away. Ten years later, when we moved back, Mr. Price asked if I was visiting or if I was back. He remembered me, just another young regular who used to visit his store a decade prior. That’s kind of the place they’ve made at The Barbecue House. That, and the food, will be missed. We’ll have to eat there a lot in the last few weeks.

Everything changes. Everything has changed. It is all different.

At any rate … Nice 2,500 meter swim today.

It only hurt for most of the time.

Apr 16

Everything in this post is wonderful

Got a 2,500 meter swim in this lane today.

Only took 800 meters to feel “good,” which is a lot, even for me. But this is the second time I’ve been in the #pool in a good long while. After the sluggishness and frustration passed and the breathing and normal muscle sensations returned it was a good swim.

That’s OK, when you didn’t grimace at watching your clock times you can always look up for a bit of inspiration.

You can’t help but pull a little harder. Also, the idea that at least two Olympians or a half-dozen All Americans are around at any given time is a powerful motivator.

I like to write things like, “Owww, my arms hurt for 800 meters” and then find incredible links like this one: A paralyzed man’s brain implant let him move his fingers to play a guitar video game. That guy, one of four people in the study, has found that he can use his hand again for the first time in six years. We live in the future.

Here is a beautiful video I found today. The more videos shot on phones I see, the more I am convinced that it is really the editing, and the excess, that are the keys:

Nov 15

What is Pac-Man’s best stroke anyway?

Not sure how, really, but today I swam 3,200 yards.

The why has become easier. I remember, a year or two ago, topping out on a little ridge on my bicycle. The view was great, just a ribbon of road and one little white house and a sea of pine trees below me. There was something happy and peaceful in that view. Riding, I realized, was one of those things that I was fortunate to be able to do because I wanted to do it. And ever since, even when I take time off the bike, I’ve thought of myself as a rider.

I don’t think of myself as a swimmer, but it is something I can do just because I want to. I’m learning to take the chances you get, even if you think your arms will fall off, to do the things that are yours.

The thing about autumn is that you can’t share it. Is it the signature season where you’re reading this? Does it last for three days, as it seems to here? Whatever you have, you just have to be in it. No photograph really captures the air and the smell and the promise and the sometimes crest-sliding feelings that come with it. But we try:


I walked under that tree on campus. And I pulled out my phone and thought, for about the 14th year in a row, that this isn’t even a snapshot of a season or a glimpse of a feeling. And I sighed at the shortcomings of cameras and smiled at the moment and pressed the button.

After my swim I saw this car while seeking out dinner:


I stood there for a while, trying to decide what kind of person the owner must be. I decided they were pretty nerdy cool. You have to have a sense of humor about you. But they also have to be OK with never clearing the board. The thing about a painted Pac-Man is that you’re never clearing the board. But if you wanted to go classic video game, it is also a bit on the nose. Donkey Kong wouldn’t have made sense. Galaga plays the wrong direction. Centipede would have looked tacky. No one remembers Qbert, probably. Frogger, now that would have been bold.

Update: Today didn’t end until tomorrow. We were still in the newsroom at 3:20 a.m. on the 19th. Never let anyone tell you journalism students don’t work hard. It takes a lot to be that dedicated. And it takes a lot out of them to get it there. They must do it for a reason.