The Plains

The plains stretch across the horizon
Covered in scrub brush and sharp, pointy grasses.
Thick-booted, we trudge blindly
Trampling everything underfoot
Feeling nothing
The price of uncut feet.


There once was a couple named “us”
Whose goal could be defined as thus:
To run where beauty
Is not too rooty
Nor so hot it makes us cuss.

(A year ago today Iris and I moved to Port Angeles, WA. Goal accomplished!)



O marathon, how shall I train for you?
Which plan shall be my running narrative,
The structure of the racer’s life I’ll live?
It must be something science says is true
Not magic schemes so full of feel-good woo.
To bring out what I have in me to give,
What plan shall be the most superlative,
Legs of Phidippides in me imbue?
A cycle of recovery and rest
A balanced pattern like this sonnet’s rhyme:
A week for running fast till lungs explode!
A week when running far and long is best!
A week of running fun to pass the time!
Repeat, and hope that I have cracked the code.

(Whew. Italian Sonnet structure is kinda hard)

Picture by Iris


I notice as I sit here inert
My achilles feel strangely unhurt
It seems to me
The reason might be
All of this running on dirt

Photo by Wife Iris


Beware to runners who quip,
“How rare it is I trip!”
For once that’s said
You’ve made your bed
And end over end you’ll flip.


Follow Me

(Sung to the tune of Lord Huron‘s Ends of the Earth. Chorus by Lord Huron)

I ran a long way for no other reason
Than to help others get through
The turmoil and gut-wrench of mile after mile
Perhaps to find something that’s true

Sometimes I sang, sometimes I chatted
Sometimes said nothing at all
I pointed out eagles high up on tree tops
Trying not to think of the wall

To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see
To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
If you won’t, I must say my goodbyes to thee

Some of them were faster, others were slower
I tried to maintain the pace
To some I was the hunted, to others the hunter
The clock tells the tale of the race

We made it to water, the struggle near ending
Greeted by the kingfisher’s flight
The heron was gliding, wings never flapping
legs weak with the finish in sight

To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see
To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
If you won’t, I must say my goodbyes to thee

“I’m walking!” he cried, no longer able
to run as he had the whole day
“Next time,” I said as he faded behind me
The clock keeps on running away

The race may be over, but the journey’s not ended
Not ’til we’re deep in the ground
We’ll keep on running without any reason
To the same ending we’re bound


The strongest opinions we hold
Are formed by ads to be sold
We click, we share,
And just don’t care
To read below the fold



At mile number six, an antique kitchen clock
With hands that pointed in misdirection
Perhaps to say time is just a tick and a tock
As real as the face in a stream’s reflection

I looked at my watch with a mix of emotions
Faster than I thought, but slower than I was
There are no tonics, no tricks, no potions
That can do the work that hard work does

It’s better, I think, to run as I please
To trot for fun, to heal and mend
Are minutes worth risking a torn achilles?
Or legs so stiff, they refuse to bend?

The answer, I grunt and grumble, is yes
To push that big rock uphill faster
Over and over, no choice but to press
The runner a slave, the clock the master.

Rhody Run 05 18 2014 Port Townsend  WA   Run   Strava

Come Back

I never know
When the speed will go
How long the fast
Is going to last
When my only gear
Is slow. I fear
The feeling in my legs of lead
Suggest my best lies behind, not ahead.

Pace, over time, is like elevation in the mountains
Running gets tough before finding youth fountains
Have I taken my very last drink?
Who knows, could be, maybe, I think.

“Come back, O legs, and lungs, and heart, and brain!”
I wheeze as I slog up hill through sweat and strain.

I wonder if hamsters in their wheels think these things.


Wu Wei Pace

A trick runners know:
You can travel very far
With great laziness