The Handsome Man with Athletic Thighs
Running In Circles
Thursday, November 30th

Today is the last day of Nanowrimo. I signed up in October, planning to "win" like I did in 2003 and 2004. (The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.) I typed about 3,500 words in three days before I simply gave up. At first I tried to rationalize that my responsibilities to Zack were what kept me from writing, but the truth is I just lack the motivation. I think five years of Nanowrimo has finally taught me a lesson: I don't have what it takes to write professionally. If it were something I really wanted to do, it wouldn't be so hard to do it.

In other news of failure, my training has been nearly non-existent over the past two weeks. The only thing I've done that resembles exercise was an orienteering meeting on the 18th. I didn't do nearly as well as I did at Lincoln Park. I was wandering around looking for control #4 muttering, "What's this road doing here?" when I realized I'd run off the map. I was lost in uncharted territory. I found my way back onto the course, but the damage was done. I navigated smoothly from #8 through #13, but botched #14 terribly when, only ten feet from the control, I turned the wrong way and ran 100 yards before realizing my mistake. Jake set the course, and he sadistically ensured that everyone on course 7 ran over the top of the only hill in the park. Twice.

And now for items that no one cares about: Cycling news. Isaac Galvez was killed in a crash while track racing. It was a bit of freak accident, and I was saddened to hear it. Spanish sprinters are a rare breed, and Galvez's presence at the front of bunch sprints during the Tour de France earned my respect. Also, Astana failed to earn a ProTour License. That means that Vinokourev might miss out on the 2007 Tour de France, too. The UCI seems to have it in for Manolo Saiz and anyone even tangentially associated with him. There's no way that Barloworld or Unibet are stronger teams than Astana. I can't help but feel like Vino is a victim of the political maneuverings of the UCI, WADA, and Active Bay/Manolo Saiz. Finally, Tyler Hamilton signed a contract with Tinkoff. His ProTour ban has two years remaining, but he's racing professionally again. I haven't decided how I feel about that.
Tuesday, November 14th

Yesterday I managed to squeak in an easy three-mile run. Rain started falling as soon as I set out, and I ended up soaked to the skin. On the drive home, as I sat shivering in my sopping clothes, I realized the only thing coming out of my heating vents was cool air. My heater had died.

Today I dropped off my truck at the repair shop. I didn't have time to get in a run, but I set up my bike on the mag-trainer and pumped out thirty minutes of spinning. Stationary biking is almost as boring as running on a treadmill, but at least it was exercise.

I forgot to mention that when Zack had his shots last week, he managed to exact a little revenge: he peed on the doctor. Also, that weekend he went on his first plane ride. We went to visit his Great-aunt Patti down in LA. Zack was a champ. He didn't make a peep on the plane either way.

Zack and Aunt Patti
Zack and Aunt Patti
Thursday, November 9th

Today is Zack's two-month birthday. For a present, he received his first round of immunization shots. I'm not sure who the experience traumatized more, Angie or Zack. He recovered well enough to take some pictures to celebrate his second month of life, however.

Zack at Two Months

I've tried to start my training up again, but it's tough to keep going with so many distractions. I competed in an orienteering meet last Saturday, and I did very well, considering my lack of fitness. In fact, I probably would have done worse if I'd been in shape. I tend to make navigation mistakes when I'm running hard. On Saturday, I made no errors at all. Not one. It might be the first time I've ever pulled that off. I didn't always choose the best possible route, but I went exactly where I planned every time. As a consequence, I beat a whole slew of people I don't usually beat. It will be interesting to see how I fare when I'm running a bit faster.
Friday, November 3rd

Zack may have said his first word today. As I was changing his diaper, he looked up at me and distinctly said, "Iowa." Angie thinks he just made a noise that sounded like "Iowa" and wasn't really discussing the state at all. A bit later, however, I was trying to encourage Zack's newfound interest in geography, and I asked him which state was north of Missouri.

First he said, "Ah, ah, ah."

"No," I said, "I don't think that's a state at all."

"Ooh, ah," Zack said.

"That's not it, either."

Zack sneezed.

"Gesundheit," I said.

"Iowa," Zack responded.

"That's the one!"

Although Angie's opinion may differ, in my book we've heard Zack's first word.
Sometimes I feel like I'm breathing underwater.