I sometimes wonder if Donald Trump wakes up each morning asking himself: What fire can I throw gasoline on today? (*Image by Joe Ravi, Creative Commons license CC-BY-SA 3.0.)
Today, the answer was churches, which going into Memorial Day Weekend, was guaranteed to produce an explosion. And as I write this, the news isn’t just reporting on this explosion, it’s wallowing in it.
In case you were offline, what Trump did was decree that churches are “essential places that provide essential services,” and must be allowed to reopen “right now.” If any governor didn’t concur, he added, he would “override” them.
It was a classic Trumpian move, which also overrode a paper published only two days earlier in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlighting the ease with which church services can spread the virus.
Note: This post was written nearly a week before Mary Cain published her experiences with Alberto and the Nike Oregon Project in the New York Times. This post deals entirely with the doping ban.My thoughts on Mary’s revelations are in a separate post.
Six years ago, I shared a bus ride with Alberto Salazar. It was the 2013 Chicago Marathon and we both had runners in the elite field. Security was tight, and the only way to and from the elite start was by bus. Going to the start, all went well, but on the way back, the bus driver got lost, winding up in a warren of underground parking garages. After several frustrating minutes, he halted. “Anybody want out?”
not sure which of us was quickest to shout “yes,” but Alberto and I were first
off the bus. I knew Chicago better than he did, and, with a bit of luck, led
him through underground walkways and stairwells until we emerged near Michigan
were about a mile from the elite coaches’ viewing area, so we started jogging. Alberto
was faster than me, but I’d spent the previous day scouting the finish, so I
was the one who knew where to go. For about half the way, we ran companionably
together. Then two black guys who’d gotten off the bus behind us passed by.
the Kenyan coaches are beating me!” Alberto
grumbled, and started to give chase—a problem, because the Kenyans were either
going to somewhere other than the elite viewing area, or were going or were
equally in the dark about how to find it. They overshot the turn in, with
Alberto still trying to chase them until I managed to call him back and point
him in the right direction.
the years, I’ve recalled this story many times. It is, quite simply, the
quintessential Alberto Salazar story: funny at the time, but a microcosm of the
hyper-competitiveness that would contribute, years later, to his undoing.
I wrote this article in 2009 for Running Times, and amazingly it’s still online. It’s also an evergreen topic: “The Science of Aging and Running: Why your body slows and what you can do about it.
Last spring, fresh into a new masters age group, I ran a 5K. Nothing unusual in that; I’d run spring 5Ks the year before … and the year before that … for quite a few years. The surprise was that I was 45 seconds faster than I’d been in any recent year. Age-graded, it was a massive PR.
Short course, I thought, but a couple weeks later, I did it again, then twice more. Friends were wondering about my training. “What are you doing differently?” they asked.
When I went back and looked at my training logs, the answer was surprising: I’d cut back my mileage. I’d done it simply because I was busy, but as the winter progressed, my speed workouts had responded. For masters runners, less is often more.
Aging, like injuries, is one of those things most of us prefer to deny...read more.