Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The economic crisis: Breaking up is hard to do

I know this is basically a running blog but when you believe you have the solution to a problem as big as this, you have to speak up.

I think I have a solution to our economic crisis.

The solution in 25 words or less.
Require companies that are receiving government bailouts to break up into smaller companies. That’s it.

The reasoning
It’s quite simple really. Breaking up a company into smaller pieces may not prevent every single one of them from failing…but if they do fail, it won’t be all at once and the economy can (hopefully) absorb the losses. And, if some of the pieces survive, it’ll be because they provide a needed product or service at a competitive price; which is what we all want…isn’t it?

What we don’t want is large companies (who are about to fail) getting government bailout money to use to buy up their competitors. Maybe I’m too simple minded but helping to increase the size of a failing company just doesn’t sound right.

I don't think this will prevent our economy from a recession but I do believe it will minimize the possibility that the next crisis will be even bigger.

This solution will be difficult to execute. Not all companies are equal; time frames will have to be set, criteria for bailouts, etc. So, yes, this will be hard. But breaking up is hard to do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nike Women's Marathon

It's been a while since I last posted.

I guess I didn't take the time to write...or maybe I just didn't have anything important to say. Now I do.

It's about the Nike Women's Marathon, held in San Francisco last Sunday. I've had a few days to read and think about it and, quite frankly, I'm not happy with Nike's handling of the situation.

It seems that Arien O'Connell set a PR and ran the fastest women's time in 2:55:11. However, the "winner" of the race ran a 3:06 something. It turns out that Arien thought of herself as a, "good solid runner" but didn't think of herself as an elite runner. So she did not line up with the so-called elite runners who started the race 20 minutes earlier.

Hmmm, I'd consider an open runner who could clock a 3 hour marathon as a good solid runner too. But I have to agree with Arien that that doesn't make you an elite runner. And by the way, only a few of the "elite" runners in the Nike Marathon even broke 3:20. In fact, more non-elite runners broke 3:20 than elite runners...go figure.

Anyway, I'm disappointed, to say the least, in Nike's current stance that they have, "...declared our winner" (per Nike media relations manager Tanya Lopez). Evidently, their primary argument is that it was two different races on the same course (I wonder if the race applications clearly indicated that).

Personally, I'm not buying their argument and until/unless Nike reverses their stance on this race, I'm not buying their products either.

There is a lot of press regarding this race and I encourage you to check it out for yourself.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

The marathon is not an easy event...

"...The marathon is not an easy event. You cannot predict..." Haile Gebrselassie

So says, "Da Man" and so it is.

For the Houston Marathon, I was an official pacer. Yep, I was supposed to pace the 3:10 folks. You know, keep them running steady in the early miles, hold 'em back in the middle, and encourage 'em in the last 3-4 miles when it's really tough. Basically, try to keep the group running at an average of 7:15 per mile. I was really excited to be a pacer. And I was looking forward to a good, tough, workout.

On Thursday evening, before the marathon, I felt a "tickle" in my throat. By Saturday I was sick with the crud. On Sunday morning...well, let's just say that had I not been a pacer, I may not have run at all. Certainly not as a hard workout.

But, I took a hot bath, felt a little better, and thought, "maybe I can get the pace group through 20 miles." In hindsight, it's just amazing how one can rationalize ridiculous decisions. I mean, 26.2 miles is tough if you have both lungs working perfectly. And when they are not...things get ugly.

Anyway, things got ugly.

The plan was to start out slow, and pick up the pace gradually. We did; and hit the half at 1:34:38. Just a hair early but certainly not a bad pace for a 3:10 marathon. As we continued toward the 14 mile mark, it was a struggle. I couldn't seem to get enough air. At first I thought that maybe I had picked up the pace too much. At mile 14, I looked at my watch. 7:33. I knew it was over...I had been slowing down.

After that, every single water stop was a slow walk, then a jog, then stop for coughing, then jog...well, you get the picture. And that 7:33 for mile was my fastest mile of the 2nd half. I finished in 3:33:44. Over 23 minutes late to the party....

Oh, the pace group? Fortunately, the Marathon Veteran's group understands the need for two (2) pacers. Peter took the group in just under 3:10 on a very steady pace. Nice work Peter!

I love this sport. Especially the marathon. But it is truely humbling.

Everything has to be perfect.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pacing in the 2008 Houston Marathon

This year I have the honor of pacing folks who want to run a 3:10 marathon in the 2008 Chevron Houston Marathon.

If you are interested in running a 3:10 marathon, please join Peter Prescott and me for at 11:30am on Saturday morning (1/12/08) at the Marathon Expo (George R. Brown Convention Center). We’ll give you the details.

If you miss us on Saturday, we’ll be at the starting line on Sunday morning with a 3:10 sign and balloons.

Here’s a graph of my pacing plan. Yea, I know I’m overly detailed…