Running, Biking, Swimming, Triathlons, Snowshoeing: what's next? Sal's kicks butt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New Blog Link

I will be deleting this blog by Memorial Day. If you are interested in following my profound words and stories about life, running, fitness, nutrition, triathlons, and utter nonsense, please visit

As you can see I named the new blog quite differently from this one, salsmiles3 instead of SalsMiles. Clever, right?

This change all came about due to Verizon buying out Yahoo and instituting stupid privacy policies, which in essence mean you have no privacy and they can use all of your contacts, etc. Fuck that.

Not that I believe or trust Google entirely either, but.... that's my reasoning. My Yahoo email is going to be deleted as well, That process was/is a pain in the ass too as I had many folders with emails saved, many accounts that automatically sent newsletters and bills to me at that address and many people who have contacted me for years using my Yahoo email. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Des Linden

Des Linden won the Boston marathon today, battling opponents as well as a strong headwind and light-heavy rain for the entire race. She came from 30 seconds behind to take the lead around 22 miles.
Des even slowed down around the twelve mile point to wait for fellow runner Shalane Flanagan, who needed a port-a-potty stop. Des wanted to help pace Shalane back to the lead group of ten women. She didn't feel well herself at that time and thought she might be dropping out soon, so why not wait?
Evidently Des's training really kicked in and she was able to claw her way to the victor's stand.
This is a quote I found on Twitter from Des;

 I think many of us can identify with these feelings. It's nice to hear a world class runner saying it. Des become the first American woman to win the race in 33 years. Hey, she's even a coffee aficionado, whiskey connoisseur, and book nerd.What's not to like?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


My favorite new word, from the Oxford English Dictionary “word of the day” on Twitter. Mulligrubs – A state of depression; low spirits. Also: a bad temper or mood. 

It’s highly possible I’ve been fighting the mulligrubs for several months. Coming off three months in late 2017 without being able to run due to injury, it was tough to get going again in the depths of winter. I was hesitant about running on snowy roads. I switched between the treadmill, running on a short indoor track and outdoors. My original goals for early 2018 seemed to be slipping away. My running pace was abhorrent, at least a minute slower per mile for any distance even when compared to 2017. 

In late February the weather changed drastically (for the better) and I actually got outside more. Hope entered my mind. Then March came along, colder, snowier, and windier than any March in recent history. I went further down into mulligrubs. 

Sure, there were some positives. I lost 9-10 pounds, which was desperately needed. I still have to get at least five more pounds off, and they aren’t letting go easily. It’s now early April, the weather still sucks and spring is just a dream. A six mile run is long for me and my pace is still sloth-like.
I am physically fit, especially for an old man. I do some running, biking (indoors), swimming and weightlifting. I’m happy to be fairly healthy and able to do the activities I enjoy. But I am not race ready, not even close. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to run a decent race again. 

We are fortunate to have an active running community with many opportunities to race on roads or trails. I constantly look at race calendars and think, yeah, I should sign up now for that race. I could finish a sprint triathlon right now, today, after work. Finish, yes, compete, even against previous times of mine, no.So why bother planning ahead and spending the money? 

I hope the sun and warmth come back to western NY and my mulligrubs disappear and real training begins.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Into Thin Air

I just finished reading author Jon Krakauer's book, "Into Thin Air". It's an older book, 1997, about several expeditions climbing Mount Everest in 1996. In total 12 people ended up dying while climbing or attempting to climb the mountain. Why it took me so long to pick this book up from the library is beyond me, it fits right into my preferred reading genre.

Krakauer is a long time writer for Outside Magazine and "volunteered" to climb with an experienced guide, Rob Hall, and his company. Krakauer had a lot of experience climbing himself, but not peaks like Everest. Several companies specializing in climbing Mt. Everest still are in operation. RMI is one. For $74,000 they will do their best to get you to the top of the mountain.

Krakauer does a fantastic job of describing the trials and tribulations of attempting to climb the peak. In this book he examines mistakes he made and others within his group and other groups. Climbing Everest, being helped by professionals, is a controversial topic, even today. It doesn't mean dying on the mountain isn't still a possibility, but it gives someone with perhaps limited experience climbing a chance to complete the challenge.

I've completed nineteen marathons, finished a dozen or so triathlons, run many snowshoe races, but never thought seriously about mountain climbing. I've hiked many trails that led to small peaks, but those wouldn't be a toe on Everest. I did outdoor rock climbing with ropes once, with Jan belaying me. Fortunately she didn't let me drop, but it wasn't easy to lean back and "walk" down the hill.

A few reasons one shouldn't attempt Mt. Everest, even if you have a spare $74k.
1. It's ridiculously cold. At points during Krakauer's climb the air temperature would be -30, without figuring in the wind.
2. Higher up the mountain it can take hours to go 1,000 feet. Hours. For less than half a mile.
3. Even with carrying oxygen you can still run into many issues. It's not like you can carry a scuba tank on your back. There are limited supplies that have to be meted out carefully. (read the book to really get an idea of what can go wrong).
4.  People die. They fall, make mental mistakes due to the cold or lack of oxygen.
5. Rescue is next to impossible. A person has to get down thousands of feet to have any chance of having a helicopter brought in.
6. The food. Not exactly gourmet. Often you are so sick from the altitude, or trying to get adjusted to the altitude, that eating isn't number one on your list.
7. Everest is far from everything. You aren't being brought there on roads to the base. It's days to reach base camp.
8. There isn't a path like hiking through the woods. There are known routes, but weather and landslides can change them or make it impossible to follow. Hillary Step, one of the most challenging sections, can get backed up if too many teams are going up or down the mountain. Krakauer had to sit there for a long time, freezing, running low on oxygen, waiting to get down.
9. The weather can turn deathly bad within an hour or two. This was one of the main problems when Krakauer and others were attempting a summit climb on this particular day People didn't heed, or didn't, know the signs. What began as a decent day went south quickly. Stubbornness, an unwillingness to turn back when so close, cost people their life.
10. I'm not a huge fan of heights. I have issues being on high bridges and looking down. I didn't finish the last 100 feet of hiking to the top of Whiteface Mt. (4,867') because I was scared of falling off the rocks. (as 10 year old kids went by me). Whiteface is a pimple compared to Everest.

I think I'll stick to running and biking the roads and trails of flatter terrain. At this old age I'm learning my limits and am okay with that.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


I've read some abbreviations in texts and on Twitter that I just don't understand. It could be an age thing, or maybe I'm ignorant.

What if I typed, FTW? It could be Fu.. The World or For The Win. That's quite a difference and could easily be taken out of context. But it's just IMNSHO or the shortcut IMHO or maybe IMO.
DGMW (don't get me wrong) I try to use shortcuts when tweeting or texting, FWIW. (for what it''s worth). Sometimes I'm in a rush and will really TTYL (talk to you later) when I have more time.

IMO there should be more abbreviations that can be interpreted/used for exercising. I can text Jan and tell her at lunch I had a GTW. (good treadmill workout) or that RST (running sucked today). I can tell Mike and Lou I'll meet them for a run ATCB (at the canal bridge).

This is KOF (kind of fun) making up a language like Tolkien in "The Hobbit". It WFM (works for me). FWIW I really will be ATCB this Saturday morning, per our usual routine.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Curling = Bocce Ball on Ice

Really, the first five days of the Winter Olympics coverage spends more time on Curling than any other sport? There are people hurtling down mountains at breakneck speeds on skis, doing head over heel jumps on snowboards and riding a tiny sled under their butt cheeks at 95 mph and NBC shows Curling. It's not even a sport, it's equivalent to throwing darts at the local pub. It's similar to Bocce Ball which is played by anyone at any age. No offense to the woman below, who is obviously taking the game seriously, but c'mon, she has a walker. If she were curling she'd have a walker with skis attached.
When I used to play games of Bocce Ball with my in-laws and their friends at various campgrounds, I was taught one way to play. You need two coolers of beer and you set up so you go from cooler to cooler. That is the only way you'd ever see me out on the ice sweeping a "rock" around. I may even have to put a beer can holder on my broom so I could sweep and sip.
This morning I heard the IOC is considering adding some type of video gaming into the next Winter Olympics. Video Gaming!! WTF.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hallway Lanes

I only have an hour for lunch to go from my desk in the library to the locker room, get changed, go to the fitness room and run, then an extremely quick cold shower, dress, and back to the library. If I really stick to my hour I can't do more than a three mile run, at least not at my current pace. I take a mostly cold shower because it's the only hope I have of not sweating profusely while trying to get dressed and back to the library.

It kind of reminds me of gym class in high school. If you really worked out during the class, maybe playing basketball or flag football, there was no way of showering, dressing and still not sweating since it was only a 40+ minute class. Even then I was usually the gross kid whose shirt didn't dry for two periods. Combine that with some acne, social awkwardness, and braces and you've got one young man who wasn't part of the elite, popular crowd.

Due to the time limits I try to walk quickly down the hallways from the locker room back to the library. Today I realized we need wider halls with lanes in them. One lane for fast walkers (me at lunch time), one lane for cell phone users, the texting and walking is ridiculous, just like drivers and cell phones. At least the cell phone walkers can't kill me though, unlike the drivers. Then we need another lane for the amblers. These are the people who walk so slowly it's annoying. Usually they are in pairs or a set of three so getting around them is almost impossible. The halls aren't wide enough to get by them, especially if someone is coming from the other direction.

Maybe the amblers have no real place to be in a certain time. They're just hanging out, talking nonsense, strolling along. I guess that's acceptable, and I try not to be jealous of their freedom, but at least look around and see if some old curmudgeon needs to get by. Learn some courtesy otherwise a sweaty, socially awkward old man might just start loudly mumbling, grumbling and swearing.