Archive for November, 2009
Meb Keflezighi, from Eritrea but an American citizen, won the New York Marathon on Sunday in what amounted to 5 minute miles. That’s 12 miles per hour.
When I ride my bike I cruise at about 11 to 12 miles per hour. When I am really trucking I get up to 15 to 16 and going downhill over 20, but that gets scary real fast.
The New York Times had a little blurb about how fast that is. If you go on a treadmill and push it up to 12 miles per hour it feels like an all-out sprint. In fact very few of us could even run 1 mile at that 5-minute pace, let alone for 26.2 miles!
I ran a marathon myself a few years ago. My goal was to do 10 minute miles, which works out to a little more than 4-1/2 hours, 6 miles per hour. I didn’t quite make it that fast, finishing in just under 5 hours. I was happy. Hell, I was happy I was able to finish the marathon.
Another NY Times article recently spoke about how some expert runners think it is has become too easy to run a marathon. They felt that the marathon should end at 6 hours, because any slower than that and you could practically walk it. Maybe, I don’t know, but I do know that for some people, like me, running a marathon is something you remember your entire life.
As I watched the marathon on Sunday I was so excited because I felt like I was one of them. I had run a marathon myself, albeit less than half as fast as them, but hey I finished. And training for it caused me to lose 20 pounds. I felt great. I should do it again.
I grew up in the south where liberal was a dirty word and the people I voted for hardly ever won an election. Even after decades of living in Seattle I am in awe how liberal and progressive the electorate is.
The beleaguered Republicans here have commonly used 2 strategies to try to win once-in-awhile. One is to pretend they are not Republicans, which is the strategy used by Susan Hutchison who was a candidate for King County Executive. She is a very attractive and likable former news anchorwoman, and for a long time she was ahead in the polls. The Democrat Dow Constantine used the obvious strategy to let the voters know what her political views really were, in this case very conservative. That’s all it took to defeat her.
The other stragegy used by the Republicans is to use the initiative process. Tim Eyman is the man who has specialized in putting anti-tax initiatives on the ballot. He had another one this time, and it was soundly defeated, even in the more conservative counties in Eastern Washington.
An initiative to roll-back gay rights was also handily defeated in Seattle by a large enough margin to over-ride the more conservative parts of the state.
One election I was happy about was a seat on the Port Commission, where Republican Doud was facing a gay black man named Holland. Doud kept running these radio and TV commercials braying that Holland was a supporter of ACORN, when in affect all he did was appear at one of their candidates’ forums. The disgusting ads would play sirens in the background while talking about the time Holland was accidentally overpaid unemployment benefits. The fact that he promptly paid it back when asked to was ignored.
Happily Holland easily won the election anyway.
I am so proud of you, Seattle!