What’s Your Dream Race?

picture-1For me, my dream race is to run the Great Wall (as in “of China”) Marathon . For a while, I thought I wanted to add the Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon, but nah. I want to climb Kilimanjaro, not run around it, so the Great Wall Marathon it is, with the Athens Marathon a close second.  Of course, there are others, too. I’d love to run relays, because I think I’d do a good job in a relay. I’d love to run a marathon in every state I’ve ever lived. Heck, I’d love to run a marathon in every state, period. Or maybe a half-marathon in 25 states. And, maybe just once (twice if I like it) I’d like to do a silly race, like on a theme wave of the Chip’s Not Dead Yet Memorial Race, or the Beat Beethoven Race, or that one in Iowa where time gets subtracted off your race for every doughnut you eat at water stops.

What about you, readers dear? What are you dream races? C’mon. Let’s hear it.

Bonkfighter: The Ben Tanzer Interview

patternssidebarnewEveryone, today I’d like to introduce all of you to the one and only, Ben Tanzer, friend, bonkfighter and author of Lucky Man, Most Likely You’ll Go your Way and I’ll Go Mine, and most recently Repetition Patterns. I caught up with Tanzer recently to talk about writing, running and a very cool event.

Let’s meet the man, shall we?

Thanks for coming by. I have to say– I like this book cover a lot; I really like images of the road ahead, especially as a runner. I know you’ve written about runners before; any runners in this book?

Sadly, not so much, just the opposite, shooting pool and Pac Man.

Pssh, pool is a sport! You wrote about a runner in your first novel, Lucky Man. What about your most recent work? Any connection to runners in there?

benphoto21There is no connection to runners in the book I just published, Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine, though Bonkless readers are still welcome to buy it. But, I am working on a new novel tentatively titled You Can Make Him Like You and in it I bring back a character from Lucky Man who runs for the same reasons that Louie ran in Lucky Man, and that I probably started running myself – for escape, primarily, but to think as well, to quiet the voices, find some calm in otherwise chaotic days and channel the need to be compulsive into a physical act. Ultimately, to find some peace I guess.

I’ve often said that my running and writing completely inform one another. How do your running and writing lives come together?

They work together in a variety of ways for me. Generally speaking, when I run I get to strip away the stuff of the day that I am bogged down in – work, bills, children, the economy, Christian Bale’s tirade on the set of the new Terminator movie – and it frees me to actually make room for the million other things I might think about, which in turn allows ideas of all kinds to now flow into my brain in some inverse relationship to the tension flowing out of my body. More specifically though, as I zone in on one step and the next and as I concentrate on what feels good, where I feel tweaky, am I going to bonk (Do you like that shout-out?) and I am breathing well, this ability to now concentrate creates an opportunity for me to lock into the parts of my writing that have been lying there, sometimes consciously, other times unconsciously, that I haven’t been able to untangle. It can be like a knot slowly unraveling, a word here or there, a phrase, or tricky chapter, and I can picture what now needs to be moved around, changed or added. It’s very nice.

What running gadgets/tech apparel brands can you not live without?

benhsI am a bit of a shoe fetishist anyway, I won’t even get started on my sweet new Adidas Bucktown Streets, but several years ago when I was still running marathons and the arthritis in my right knee was not so advanced or pronounced, but definitely there, I decided that I needed a heavier shoe, with more padding and more stability, and it was recommended that I try the Brooks Beast. The guy told me that I would probably find myself running slower than I had been, not a big concern at 40– pain free is the goal these days– and the Beast has been great to me. The other thing, which is sort of the embarrassing would be my iPod. There was a time back when I competed in high school that I wouldn’t have been caught dead running with something like an iPod, or back then a big bulky Walkman, it wouldn’t have been pure enough, or something, of course I wouldn’t have worn a Dri-fit shirt either, so there you go, but the iPod really has been a wonderful weekone-post-run2thing. One morning I was well into an hour-run along the lake, it was maybe 5:45am and the sun was coming up and the song Dear Lord came on by Joseph Arthur and it was just such a wonderfully slamming moment, like what a religious experience must be for people who are actually religious. I wouldn’t have traded that morning for anything. Well, maybe for a sub-3 hour marathon. Okay, even a sub-4 hour marathon would be great.

I understand you’re involved in a race here in Chicago? Tell us about that. How can people get involved?

pcaamerica_logoYes, yes I am, thank you for asking. I work at the national office of Prevent Child Abuse America here in Chicago and in partnership with Voices for Illinois Children we co-host the annual Wrigley Start Early Run, which has a 5k and 10k run and a walk and is held in lovely Lincoln Park. You can find out more information on the race microsite and connect with us through our Facebook event page as well.

The race will be held on April 18th this year and we encourage runners and walkers of all stripes to come down and join us. We also hope people will seek donors and put together pledge teams and I want to stress that the event is super-family friendly, so we hope families wrigley_start_earlywill come too. We of course have the chips for those looking to be timed and the race is big enough now that they close the streets in the park along the course so the runners can get off of those narrow running paths. It’s a great event and a great cause, early in the year so nice for training purposes, and I hope people will not only come out, but that your vast array of readers will also spend some time on our website and learn more about our focus on child development, how people can become engaged in our cause and ultimately how we can prevent child abuse and neglect from ever occurring in the first place. Cool?

Very. Thanks for coming by, Ben Tanzer. I’ll see you on April 18th, and hopefully will bring a few Chicago bonkfighters along with me.

Gear Check: OnlineShoes.tv

onlineshoeslogoMy guest video post is up at OnlineShoes.tv. Do swing by and check it out when you have a moment.

Also, lots of men’s and women’s athletic apparel and shoes over there (some even on sale!), bonkfighters. I’m just saying, my fitness-minded friends.

(Tip: let the page completely load before you hit play, else the sound will have a slight delay. No big whoop.)

Fight The Bonk: Go Red

red1Tomorrow, Feb, 6th, is Go Red for Women Day. Read here about how it raises awareness and much-needed money to help combat and educate about our country’s primary killer of women; heart disease. Then read Lee Trujillo’s post about his wife Sheri, a heart disease activist powerhouse, and how heart disease became such an important issue to them the day after her 39th birthday.

And read here for simple tips to make a difference in the Go Red campaign. To me, any steps taken to improve and support heart health and promote public awareness of heart disease prevention measures are quite worthy.

(Cross-posted on Bigmouth Indeed Strikes Again)