Monday, March 27, 2017


From [soo-per-stish-uh n] noun
1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.

I don't consider myself any more superstitious than the next person. But I did pause a little as I posed a question to the Canal Corridor 100 Mile Endurance Run Facebook Page. The question itself isn't important, but my thoughts at the moment were: am I jinxing myself by simply asking something and thereby implying that I am even considering running 100 miles?

I wouldn't have been considering it at all, except that things had been going so well for me. In preparation for my Spring races - two marathons and a half - I'd upped my mileage, and my speed, strength and endurance had all been going the right direction. It had taken an extremely long time to get there. The Achilles pain had finally subsided enough to let me run 50, then 60 and more miles per week, including long runs on the hills of Hinckley. If anything, the increased mileage had knocked the pain down a notch or two.

That was when I stepped on the mill and did some speedwork. It was only a day or two after the question. And it wasn't extremely fast; only a bit more intense than other recent runs. Of course the Achilles hurt afterwards - that's fairly normal. I took the next day off before tackling the Hinckley hills for an attempt at a long run that failed badly.

The pain has only become even more intense in the past week and a half. So much so, that I've only done a smattering of miles, and it hurts even to walk.

Now comes the most painful part of being injured: admitting it. And part of that is admitting that you probably can't run the races you've registered and trained for. The first one, scheduled for the end of April, is out for sure. The other two, in May, are in serious jeopardy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Until I Wasn't

I was planning to get a long run in today.  Until I wasn't.
I was running fairly well. Until I wasn't.
I was feeling pretty darn good during the run. Until I wasn't.
I was actually enjoying myself. Until I wasn't.
I was even having a good week, running wise. Until I wasn't.

And finally...
I was even even starting to think that this Achilles thing was finally beginning to get better. Until I wasn't.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Don't Think About an Elephant

Another Hinckley loop; another adventure.

We're loping along in the dark, and a male runner who is not me (let's call him 'Prank') stops to go into the woods. I notice that he's not too far off the road, so in the interest in preserving Prank's privacy, I tell a female runner who is also not me (let's call her 'Veresa'), "Don't shine your (headlamp) light on Prank." Naturally, that's exactly what Veresa does.

In retrospect, I suppose this is akin to telling someone not to think about an elephant.

Saturday, March 04, 2017


Michelle Wolff was running alongside me... and then she wasn't.

For the second time in two runs, she did a faceplant. This one was more sudden than the last. For a moment, I thought she'd disappeared. I am allowed to make fun of Michelle's falling adventures only because I've had my own share of difficulty remaining vertical. You could almost say that I'm vertically challenged.

What was it that tripped her up? This time it was a rather large dead raccoon. I actually had noticed it, but of course I didn't say anything; I'm the silent running-mate type. Just ask my friends.

Later on, several of us nearly became roadkill ourselves. Not long after turning onto Kellogg Road (motto: it's all downhill from here), an extremely large rottweiler jumped out and surprised us. We stopped, but the dog still seemed threatening, even as the owner came out and tried to keep us still whilst she wrangled her animal. The thing wasn't happy until it gave Debbie Scheel a very good all-over sniff. Only then did it decide that we were probably okay, and allowed itself to be wrangled.

Our second Hinckley loop was no less eventful. First, Frank Dwyer decided to kick the raccoon off to the side of the road. He said it didn't smell too bad, and it wouldn't stink up his shoes. I was a little dubious. Then a different Kellogg dog attacked, paying particular attention to Theresa Wright, and then me. This one was much smaller, but I still didn't like being nipped at. When I yelled, "go home", the owner found this hilarious. I am still trying to understand the joke.

Just one more story. The raccoon fiasco reminded me of an incident that occurred around about twenty-five years ago, in Michigan. I was running alone in the early morning darkness, on the left side of the road. A car approached from ahead, and came to be even with me at the same point in time that a large dead raccoon appeared in the middle of the road, in between us.

I have since long pondered the probability of all three of us (the car, the raccoon, and I) all occupying that same twenty square feet of road at precisely the same moment. I've decided that only in a Dan Horvath Roadkill Nightmare could such a thing happen.

The result? SPLATT!! The car had decided to run right over the carcass, spraying me with blood and guts. So much so, that when I got home and removed my reflective vest, and interesting geometric pattern appeared on my white shirt.

Roadkill Cafe, anyone?

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...