Friday, July 18, 2008

Six Word Memoir, Tag Questions x 6, including my Tahoe pre-race excuse

I got tagged by Catherine Sullivan and Scott Dunlap a few months ago (April 2008).

Sorry, I got a little busy with my kids and work. And running. And laundry. I think that covers it.

Here are the questions:

1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

If I remember correctly, it was fun reading other people's answers, some really cool, pithy phrases of wisdom and truth. Wow that was so long

Unfortunately, answering this late makes things more challenging, since I don't want to rehash what's already been said. To make up for the ridiculous delay, I'll do extra credit an come up with six 6-word memoirs some more original than others. 6 squared. Which is 36. Which is almost how old I was when I ran my... 6th ultramarathon (1960's sci-fi movie music).

No pictures. No time. Not done packing yet, for Tahoe, and race starts in 28 hours.

NEVER be the rebound man, duh!

(okay, I added the "duh" to make the 5 words 6, but in retrospect, this is always a no-brainer. Although when I learned this lesson, I had no brain. Unfortunately, when you are in the moment, it's hard to think clearly. Obviously this applies to women too. Of course if all you are only looking for easy booty call, you may disregard this one. Hey, I'm married now and beyond all this. And how this relates to ultrarunning is unclear, so

Don't take yourself too seriously, dork!

Applicable 99% of the time. Unfortunately too many people in all areas of life who take themselves way too seriously.

As an aside, if I ever take my running seriously, this weekend at the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Mile Endurance Run will be an exception. First, altitude disproportionately whacks me up and slows me down. Nothing close to my usual top 5% finish.

Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Mile 2007-- 25th out of 106 finishers, 10:46:02

or even more to the point,

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile 2006-- 56th out of 56 finishers, 34:24:54 (35 minutes from the cutoff)

Second, my schedule for this week guarantees that a messed up Circadian:

Monday 7am to midnight (phone work on my butt)
Tuesday 2pm to midnight
Wednesday 3pm to 2am (went to bed at 3:30am)
Thursday 3pm to 2am (got out a little early, but still some packing to do, and I'm still up!)

Friday get up short of sleep, finish packing & loading the all new Rav-4, drive up to Tahoe with family, put kids down, go to bed too late, but it doesn't matter because I won't be able to get to sleep until 3 am since I've been staying up late the last 4 nights...

Saturday wake up before 5am to start the race at 6am (will probably wake up at 3:30am and not get back to sleep).

To consider the cup half full-- Thank you R (my scheduler) me the weekend off so I can run my race!

Returning to the questions, a more specific variation of not taking yourself too seriously is:

Dance as if nobody is watching.

To the chagrin of my wife at too many parties and weddings when we used to get invited to them and didn't have to worry about getting a babysitter, having an audience actually makes me dance more crazily. I just can't help myself. Since my older son seems to be following in my footsteps (so to speak) there must be a genetic component. So it's not a moral failing, like the people all upset about gay marriage seem to think. Despite that California ruling that will I guess lead to the moral decay signalling the end of modern society as we know it, my wife and I are holding our heterosexual marriage together.

Sorry to sarcastically digress. About dancing as if no one is watching-- it does help to have a couple of beers beforehand. But it shouldn't be required.

But I wanted to use this opportunity for a good cause.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Run Don't Drive.

Of course I drive often, but if I can help it (for instance, commuting to and from work), I try to use my feet and public transportation. I think I've blogged about choice in the recent past.
Here's another along the same lines:

Skip the bottle, drink tap water.

If you haven't heard yet, bottled water and bottled water companies are basically evil, stealing and draining underwater reserves from local populations for corporate profits, burning lots of fuels and releasing tons of carbon to ship water across the country or the globe, adding to the huge waste dump that's growing fast enough as it is. I've been all too guilty of playing into the madness.

Food & Water Watch website

Earth Policy Institute article on municipalities boycotting bottled water

This is just one part of my last 6-word mantra here:

Leave something beautiful for future generations.

I was trying to save all the used plastic type # 1 water bottles and make a beautiful sculpture of my lovely wife with it for future generations to appreciate, but totally missed the point of what I was doing and kept complaining about all the clutter, obviously not supportive of my hidden artistic genius, so I had to put them in the recycling bin.

But seriously, you can substitute "usable" or even "edible" for the beautiful. I would hope that every trail runner out there is fundamentally environmentalist, since we are all using and appreciating nature. Although I've noticed more than one ultra/trail runner with disappointingly ironic political leanings. If you enjoy the trails, you just might want to consider voting in a manner consistent with saving them and the landscape. Get informed about the envirovmental report cards of your legislators and candidates.

Whoops, guess I got a little political....

Okay, whom do I tag now? Due to the brevity of the minimally required response, this had probably gone around and hit everyone 3 months ago (tagged bloggers are supposed to tag 5 others, so after 5 generations of this, you have 5 to the 5th, or 3125, which would probably covers all distance running bloggers). I will look around and see who's left and might want to participate.

Keep your toes crossed...

1st published Friday, July 18, 2008 at 2:02 a.m.


Gretchen said...

Awesome Mark, I truly appreciate that you put your environmental awareness out there to encourage and educate others. Great memoirs! Also, thanks for the kind comments. I'll look for you out on the course...I'll be the girl taking pictures wearing black shorts, blue tank top, and pigtails. Happy trails!

209Mike said...

2008 Goofball Award goes to...Mark Tanaka. Thanks for the entertaining reading for Friday. From what I know of you, the more unorganized and out of control you are, the better you seem to do at races. Good luck this weekend. Just make sure you make it there.

Bob Gentile said...

so a DFL at Tahoe Rim, very nice :-) glad to see a little normalcy and not the machine like runs you been doing lately !!

Great Memoirs!! Good luck this weekend in the Altitude!

hao said...


hope the run went better than the last few times. hope altitude was kind to ya this time around. rest well and hope there are any 72-hour shifts this week. :)


Anonymous said...

there aren't, i meant. :)


kate said...

How did the Tahoe run go????

willgotthardt said...

"Okay, whom do I tag now?"

Despite the pressure to do so, I knew there was a good reason not to blog.

You going to be at Skyline 50K again (8/3)? Hope to see you out there.

Will G.

Sunshine Girl said...

You are a funny, funny guy!!

My six word memoir, also 2 months delayed and waaaaaay to late was:

Tends to procrastinate, gone to play.

Catherine said...

So you finally got around to the memoir. With your schedule I'm not surprised it took you so long. Very funny as usual.

Glad you recognized me at TRT. I thought I heard you say my name when I cheered you on. I arrived with only 30 seconds to spare before the start so couldn't visit beforehand.

I am planning on doing Cool for the very reasons that you can walk without time penalty. Doesn't matter how many laps I complete, I just want the experience of night travel.

Baldwyn said...

You are a cheat. The whole goal of a six word memoir is to summarize your thoughts in 6 words. By giving us six, you have summarized your thoughts in 36. And then you explain yourself, resulting in rather a wordy 6 word memoir. You're on notice, Mark!