The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finally, an update!

Well, my training has been going well even if I have been remiss in my blogging. I've had 45 to 55 mile weeks for the last month including three 20 mile long runs and one 25 mile long run. I'm scheduled for a 30 mile long run this week so I'm pretty much right on schedule. The heat is getting a little intense, but I'm generally happy with the schedule I've set out. It's still a little hit and miss. Yesterday, Elliott was particularly sleepy so my 10 mile run turned into a 14 mile run. Today, the little guy didn't feel like napping and decided he wanted to go home after only two miles (it was really hot out so I didn't fight it). Still, its evening out for the most part. Importantly, my knee is doing fine and, other than being slowed down by the heat, I'm feeling pretty solid.

Okay, I'd like to officially announce that we are taking donations. If you have been paying attention to this blog, you've noticed the "Donate here!" box to the right. It's time to ante up. Most of you know that I, along with a very dedicated group of family and friends, raised $5,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America as part of my 50 mile run last year. Well, they didn't cure lupus so we gotta do it again. I'm willing to up the ante and run 100 miles this time around. It's time for you all to step up too and donate. We going to raise $10,000 this time. Really. We raised $5,000 last year and I know that we can do it again. We're going to do it slightly differently too. I've been contacted by several people who either know someone with lupus or have lupus themselves and are runners. We've decided to join together to raise money as part of a group we are calling the Lupus Runners.

Do you want to help? Enter your email address in the box to the top right. That makes you a Lupus Runner too. Sign up for a race, a walk, a stroll, or anything. Call your friends, family, co-workers, hell suck it up and call people you don't like, and ask them to donate to here: All the money goes to fight a disease that afflicts around 2 million Americans. 90% of people with lupus are women and it disproportionately impacts Asian and African-American populations. This is a problem that too few people know about. I do take it personally as my mother-in-law has lupus and that puts both my wife and son at increased risk to develop it in the future.

Yassine Diboun has stepped up and is a Lupus Runner from New York who will be running a 100 mile run in 2008.
Bill Buress is a Lupus Runner running his first marathon in 2008. We're all raising money here to further the cause. We need your help to reach our goal.

P.S. We already have 31 people who have joined our group of Lupus Runners on Facebook. Spread the word to everyone that you know!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Carrollton Marathon

So, I was looking up the races I was planning on doing this summer to make sure they fit into everything else going on in life and decided to do the Carrollton Marathon again. It is a small, but very friendly, race only a few miles from SVSU. I remembered it was in July so I looked up their website to put the exact date into my calendar. As I'm checking out the date and time of the race, I notice that the guy pictured wore the same kind of knee brace I used last year. Gosh, and he carried a water bottle too. Really, it took me about 5 minutes to realize that I'm the one in pictured there. I don't really look like I'm at the top of my game in the photo. That grimace is likely from the iliotibial band inflammation that bothered me so much in 2007 and led to a less than spectacular finishing time at Carrollton last year. No problems yet this year so keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Long Run New Orleans

Thanks to the advice of some fellow runners in New Orleans I found a scenic, but safe, route for my long run on Saturday. I was initially nervous running down the "neutral lane" which is the route for the trolley cars and, well, I didn't know if it was okay to cruise along between their rails. It just looks like I'm going to get hit. However, they move relatively slowly, stop frequently, and after I saw several people running the same route I realized I was neither risking being run down nor impeding the flow of New Orlean's mass transit system.

Most of my run took me through the Garden District, which had many old oak trees lining the streets and some beautiful old homes. I did a loop through Audubon Park and circled back to my hotel along a route that took me along the river and through a hip looking area on Magazine Street. It was a great way to see the city and I feel like I got to see a good cross section of a very interesting place.

I did complete my goal of 40 miles in New Orleans with a 20 mile run on Saturday and a 6 mile run on Friday. Saturday was HOT. I mean HOT. I nearly emptied my 70 ounce hydration pack, before stopping at a Walgreen's for 20 additional ounces of Gatorade and a Starbucks espresso doubleshot (I love those things). I also confirmed that Thermotabs (salt tablets) really can stop heat related nausea and, by mile 17 or so, was strongly regretting skipping the ice cone stand at the Audubon Park. While I felt a little flaky at the end of the run, the heat didn't really bother me as much as I thought it would (I didn't really discover salt tablets until the end of last summer) so I'm looking forward to a good summer of training.

Also, lest I forget to mention food. The fine folks who organized the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Conference came through with a very tasty "Seafood Extravaganza" held at the Mardi Gras Museum, which helped me to recover nicely from my long run.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Orleans, round two

First, thanks to Bruce and don q for the suggested routes. That has to be one of the fastest responses I've ever had on my blog! I'll definitely head down St. Charles tomorrow. I'm going to post some pictures from my run today, but before that I wanted to post this video from the New Orlean Ladder blog.

Much of my academic life has involved studying the relationship among poverty, space, and food. The damaging economic stratification of society and the myth of the American Dream is readily apparent in cities like New Orleans. The same patterns are evident in Detroit, where low-income populations are trapped in houses filled with lead pipes. Unfortunately, New Orleans stands out as a particularly poignant example because the devastation of poverty typically creeps while Katrina highlighted social inequity with rapid destruction (although the government's response to either manifestation of poverty appears much the same). It's been strange to jog by college students getting drunk at bars and then to, so clearly, cross a line into neighborhoods where the devastation of Katrina has not been repaired because, well, only poor people live there. Okay, that's my rant.

As you can see, around the French Quarter there is some significant redevelopment going on and some high end condos just down the road from abandon buildings. But how much quality housing is available that people can afford?

Whoops, I got so caught up ranting about the state of society I forgot to give you a mileage update. I did 8.5 miles today and found the very nice Riverwalk (more pictures later). I stopped and picked up some crawfish etouffee on the way home. If I move somewhere just for the food, this place is high on my list.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

40 miles in New Orleans

Okay, I haven't run 40 miles yet, but I plan on getting 40 miles in before I head back home early Sunday morning. I just got back from my first 6 miles a few minute ago. I'm staying a hotel right next to the French Quarter so I decided to circle in and around that historic area for my first run. Of course, I forgot my GPS and got a tiny bit lost, but I like to think of it as an opportunity to spontaneously follow the flow of the city.

I took off around 7 and was back a little after 8. Here are my impressions:

1) Running in New Orleans (at least the French Quarter) is difficult. The streets are narrow and relatively crowded.
2) People here don't run. People here do drink. A lot. There are plenty of bars, package liquor stores, and people strolling around with open containers. They look at you funny when you run by wearing a hydration pack.
3) The French Quarter is cool. Among the restaurants, bars, live music, art galleries, people out strolling, people hanging out in balconies, and general liveliness of the area I am reminded of why the Saginaw area feels a little stale at times. Before my run I had jambalaya at a place called Mother's. Very yummy. I look forward to trying the crawfish etouffee.
4) The remnants of Katrina are still very visible. You don't have to get far from the French Quarter to see houses that were damaged (I assume) by the storm. I also saw several of the markings that were spray painted on houses when they were evacuated.

My rough plan is to do a couple of 7 miles runs in the next two days and then get a 20 mile long run in on Saturday. It will be a tight squeeze since the conference I am at will keep me busy most of the day, but I'm feeling determined. I'm also going to look up some potential running routes on the internet to see if I can find a route that involves fewer crowds. I'll keep ya'll posted.