Friday, September 14

"Hey Man, Your Back Wheel Looks Like Shit!"

Is it bad when you can put your finger through your innertube?  It is when the spare tube is 6 miles away in the back of the car.  Lunch ride fail.

Thursday, August 23

Beer Mile

I love it... an American Record in the Beer Mile by an Olympic 800m runner.

I did a few beer miles in my day, the last was in 2001(holy shit that was a long time ago!).  The clock read 9:15 after earning myself a penalty lap for ... putting it nicely - being unable to keep the beer down.  That December night, I vowed to never do another one.  It's one of the few events in which my brother has a better PR than I do.  As Ron so eloquently put it this morning... "your brother is the 354th fastest beer miler in the world, according to the official records."  Maybe it's time I come out of retirement...

Runners World article...

Friday, August 10


The 800m is an event that has been near and dear to me since I started running track in 7th grade.  It's the event that I learned to love more than any other... and it's a passion that has lain dormant within me for almost a decade now.

A little description of the 800... It's too long to call a sprint, but to short to call a run.  It tests the athelete's endurance by forcing them to maintain speed for two long laps, your finish often resulting from your tactical decisions - much like a distance race.  It tests the athlete's speed by forcing you to outgun your opponents in only two short laps, like a sprint.  Becuase of that mix, an argument could be made that the 800 is one of the toughest events in Track and Field and I absolutely loved racing it - and what's more - I was pretty good at it.

In middle school, I ran two events.  The 800m and the 1600m.  That was it.  I had found my niche and set up shop... actually, I built a permanent structure (a walk in fridge with good IPA on tap...).  That niche is why, to this day, I can fake it in a shorter bike race and finish way above where my fitness level should put me.  Early in High School, I was a little punk and didnt really run track until my Junior year.  When I came out though... I went right to the 800.  We had a solid group of guys and I was fortunate enough to be a solid 3rd man on our 4x800m relay team.  That year, we went to The National Scholastic meet to place second behind an "all-star" team of kids from Northern Virginia.

Coming into my Senior year, I put in a lot of work with my friends over the summer.  We had an outstanding group of about 10-15 guys, any one of whom would be a top guy on nearly any other high school cross country team in the nation - on ours, they were pack fodder.  We were good.  We went on to set a state record that season.  My first of cross country season set me up well with the base that I needed to be at my best in the middle distance races to come.  It provided that endurance to hold on through the entire 800m.

Coming off such a storied cross country season, my friends and I were raring to go on the track.  I was fortunate enough to anchor our mid distance relays to some pretty impressive results;  Some highlights were a pair of Penn Relays - Championship of America medals (which ironically, half the teams from other countries) a PIAA State Championship, a top 20 time on the US all time list and a National Championship.  I went on to run mid distance at a Division I program for a couple seasons where I'm disappointed to say that my punk kid mentality had a resurgence and cut my division I career short.  Post collegiately, I volunteered to coach mid distance at a local High School and had the opportunity to run with and help coach an 800m state champion.  After that, I got my isht together and started running the 800 again.  I raced a lot of local college track meets over the next few years and posted up some PR's in the middle distance events.  So... to say that I'm a bit passionate about the decade or so that I spent working on the 800m event would be an understatement.

Here is just about the only evidence of my running career that I could find on the intermaweb:   

The other night, we were watching some of the sprints.  It brings me joy and a sense of pride that Kim is so genuinely interested in the Olympics and especially the track events.  I love that She'll ask some good questions; questions that really make me think to answer.  Not because I didn't know the answers... but the answers have been bouncing around in my mind for so many years that I've nearly forgotten.  Once the thoughts started coming back though, I had to restrain myself from flooding her with too much information.  At some point, I flew down the stairs into our dungeon of a basement and grabbed an old pair of track spikes.  With great pride, I presented to her my size 13, 800 meter shoes.  "See Babe?  This is what they look like... This is how they're designed to get you up on your toes... these little metal spikes, give you incredible traction... etc. etc."

The Olympic games have opened up a window where I can show my wife and son a glimpse of what I used to do, "before I existed" in their world.  I look forward to the televised track events and was very excited to catch the 800m yesterday, so that I could show them, hey "this was Bill Showers the runner" which led to Bill Showers the cyclist that they've come to love.

Yesterday, brought us what was/will be perhaps the greatest performance in all of the Olympic games this year.  At the very least, it was far and away the most impressive track and field event.  You could argue that there were other track events that were more impressive, but you would be wrong.  The men's 800 meter final was absolutely unbelievable.  David Rudisha led the race and ran completely alone from gun to tape setting one of the most impressive world records that we'll ever see.  What's more, is that he pulled the entire field to personal best times, which, by itself is just as unbelievable.  The silver medal went to an 18 year old kid, who became the third person - ever - to run faster than 1:42. 
1:40!!  eleven seconds faster than me in my heyday

The event that I so wanted to watch with my family, I watched by myself today, in my lonely office.  Last night a convoy of Verizon trucks ripped through our neighborhood, taking  with them our TV, our Phones, and our Internet.  After a 45 minute phone call I had to retreat with my tail between my legs.  I fucking hate you Verizon.  Hate.  You.