I get around.

But not nearly enough.

That’s the thing about 1.5-income finances — there’s never enough left over for travel. I get out of town so infrequently I don’t even dream of things like getting on airplanes and using my passport. (Although I have high hopes for Istanbul in 2007. Somehow, some way.)

So I found one of those what-states-have-you-visited map generators, and it would seem that I have actually been around the block:

Create your own visited states map

Even if some of those were only drive-thru (Kansas, at 85 mph) or change-planes (Utah) visits, it seems I’m on my way to bagging 50. But how could I have gone this far in life and not made it to Maryland? This I don’t understand.

Something else you might not know about me: I went to high school with Justin Timberlake’s Uncle Mark. Or so I’m told. I remember him in junior high, but after that I sort of lose the thread.

Well. We can tell it’s Friday, can’t we?

So let’s go straight to the admittedly skimpy bloggage:

First, the copper problem, explained in the DetNews.

And second: I’m not a runner. Never will be a runner. Hate running in all its forms. Think running is overrated as both exercise and test of character, and yes, many think of it as a test of character. You can find marathon runners and ultramarathon runners throughout the executive suites, where the ability to train for and complete a long-distance race is seen as proof of the sort of flinty toughness needed in today’s business world, particularly when you have to lay off the doughy non-runners on the shop floor. (OK, that was a cheap shot.) The most boring people I know are runners. So are several of the most interesting, but if I lined up all the runners I know and sorted them into boring/interesting piles, the boring pile would tower over the other, especially when they talk about their training routines. (Another interesting set and subset: Crazy people who are also devoted chess players.) And the thing is, I like long sessions of boring, repetitive exercise. I love biking, love swimming laps, have flirted dangerously with rowing, and the closest I ever came to bodhisattva while exercising was on an erg, although I now know my form was all wrong. I once thought I should maybe train for a triathalon, and then remembered I’d have to run. And gave it up.

When I was a copy editor, one of my duties was editing — and slashing the crap out of — the running column. Definition of hell: reading 800 words about shin splints at 5:45 a.m.

Anyway, I know runners have their own issues, both within and without their community. A runner I know (interesting) fumed after overhearing a famous sportswriter bitching loudly on the topic of this Slate throwdown, about how “sluggish newbies” have ruined the marathon.

…this growing army of giddy marathon rookies is so irksome that I’m about ready to retire my racing shoes and pick up bridge. …The marathon has transformed from an elite athletic contest to something closer to sky diving or visiting the Grand Canyon. When a newbie marathoner crosses the finish line, he’s less likely to check his time than to shout, “Only 33 more things to do before I die!”

A fun read.

Now I’m going to get on the bike, before the rain starts.

Posted at 9:39 am in Popculch |

23 responses to “I get around.”

  1. Sammy said on September 22, 2006 at 10:14 am

    49 states & holding. Haven’t been to Hawaii yet. Wouldn’t be adverse to it, maybe in a package with New Zealand? All others, as it happens, by ground transportation, including AK.

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  2. Dorothy said on September 22, 2006 at 10:14 am

    Well count my daughter among the “sluggish newbies” who has recently joined the ranks of marathoners. She has done two so far and we’re going to see her participate in one in Norfolk on Thanksgiving day. I don’t have the motivation myself, but I’m damn proud of what she has accomplished. In the 16 months since she finished college, she’s lost 35 lbs.,wants to lose 23 more to reach her goal, and she’s healthier for it. I think there is plenty of room at marathons for runners of all levels of experience.

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  3. carmella said on September 22, 2006 at 10:27 am

    Hey! I’m a runner and I am FAS-CIN-A-TING!!! But, if you’re interested in following this…here is a link about Dean Karnazes who is running 50 marathons…in 50 states…in 50 consecutive DAYS!!! He is now on marathon # 6 out of 50. …dang!

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  4. Danny said on September 22, 2006 at 10:31 am

    Not been to Maryland! My God woman. And you call yourself travelled?

    Just joking. But, hey, I noticed something. If you make all fifty staes, then the whole map will be…red…I likey that! 🙂

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  5. nancy said on September 22, 2006 at 10:42 am

    I heard that guy on NPR, Carmella, and I thought he was further along. My mistake, I guess.

    My favorite detail of his quest: All that he gets to eat.

    Some runners are amusing sorts. One of my favorites did his first marathon with three other guys, two of them experienced. They chose Traverse City in May, figuring heat wouldn’t be a problem. Alas, a heat wave pushed the temperatures into the high 80s. They all finished, but one of the newbies collapsed shortly after finishing. He came to and found his more experienced friend, a doctor, crouched over him, peering into his face.

    The doctor, however, is a forensic pathologist. Does all the big autopsies in the Fort. “I thought I was dead,” the downed runner said.

    My goal: Enjoy exercise that isn’t life-threatening. (Of course, long ago I reconciled to the fact that if I go out ahead of schedule, it’ll be after being hit by a car while cycling.) Have you ever seen the finish line at one of those Ironman events? A fair number of the runners have brown butts, having been stricken with diarrhea at some point in the course. What fun!

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  6. carmella said on September 22, 2006 at 10:48 am

    I agree…find something you like to do (as far as exercise) and do it! I’m just a recreational runner…an occasional 5 or 10K, but I don’t like the competition… don’t like to run fast!!However, I am signed up to do the Indy mini in May…only b/c its right before my 50th birthday!

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  7. brian stouder said on September 22, 2006 at 10:49 am

    Word, Dorothy!

    the map didn’t come up for me, but I’ve covered a lot of the eastern states, but nothing west of Des Moines! (but in November we’re winging down to Houston TX – which should be interesting)

    Of the few places I’ve been, western Maryland is the most beautiful. In fact this is just the time to go; the Shenandoah Valley will be in all her colorful glory right about now.

    A classic bit of kitzch/genuine cultural history/affecting natural beauty can be enjoyed at a rest stop on Interstate 68 (which is a beautiful route in any case). As you climb toward the cut in Sidling Mountain, you see an impressive foot bridge across the highway. The rest stop has all the usual kitzchy stuff, including a gift shop; but Maryland also went to the trouble to create a very nice visitor center, complete with that footbridge across the highway, and interesting geological displays explaining the exposed substraits of the mountain, and how they selected the route and built the road, and even wildlife.

    Plus, the view eastward and westward from the scenic overlook is well worth stopping and enjoying.

    As I recall, one passes near Somerset PA, on the way to Sharpsburg or Gettysburg, and so now I have another cemetary to visit

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  8. colleen said on September 22, 2006 at 10:54 am

    I take it as a handy safety tip that if an activity makes me want to throw up and poo my pants, it should probably be avoided.

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  9. Dorothy said on September 22, 2006 at 10:59 am

    I’m scared to death to click on that diahhrea link Nancy posted.

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  10. Danny said on September 22, 2006 at 11:03 am

    Colleen, I am not having coffee today (doctor’s visit precludes it), but it is a good thing. Your “handy safety tip” would have made me spew all over my screen.

    Brian, that is right around where my maternal Grandparents used to live. I miss Maryland. Myself, I preferred the bay areas (and woods) around where I grew up. Here is a link to some images of my old boyhood stomping grounds (within a mile of my house):


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  11. mary said on September 22, 2006 at 11:05 am

    I used to run four miles a day, not fast, not aiming at marathoning. I just like the meditative quality of it. I did the same course every day, at night usually, and listened to my walkman. Then I really screwed up my left ankle. Not running, but by stepping on a kid’s superball on the stairs. I walk now, but that can hurt at times. I’ve been told I could have surgery, but I don’t know if it bugs me enough to do that. I miss the zone I used to get into running, though.

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  12. brian stouder said on September 22, 2006 at 11:12 am

    Danny – very nice indeed. I’ve done eastern Maryland/Delmarva peninsula once, and it was marvelous. Still, western Maryland is ‘it’, for me


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  13. Danny said on September 22, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Nance, I probably hit it harder on the bike and in the pool than most (120+ miles, 15-20k yards per week), but I do not compete either. Never really cared to try. I just enjoy the workout. It is a satisfying end in itself.

    Myself, I came to biking after tearing my calf running. Been at it for three years now without injury. Having met a lot of ex-runners who now bike, I am convinced that it is the way to go for those of us who want to be ambulatory in our old age and who do not want joint replacements.

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  14. Danny said on September 22, 2006 at 11:18 am

    Mary, have you heard of hiking/trekking poles? They are great. They really help your stability, thake stress off of your lower joints and get your upper body into the workout. I really, really like mine. A lot of people who thought their hiking days were over have been able to get back on the trails with poles.

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  15. John said on September 22, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Western Maryland is beautiful, along with the bay area, you have to go visit it sometime. Arkansas (the Ozark region) is another state to be put on you gotta go see.

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  16. mary said on September 22, 2006 at 11:52 am

    I think you can say you’ve been to Rhode Island, even if you haven’t.

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  17. nancy said on September 22, 2006 at 11:57 am

    OK, now I have to post the lyrics to “Rhode Island is Famous for You,” a great Blossom Dearie track:

    Copper comes from Arizona
    Peaches come from Georgia
    Lobsters come from Maine
    The wheat fields are the sweet fields of Nebraska
    And Kansas gets bonanzas from the grain
    Ol’ whiskey comes from ol’ Kentucky
    Ain’t the country lucky?
    New Jersey gives us glue
    And you come from Rhode Island
    And Rhode Island is famous for you
    Cotton comes from Louisiana
    Gophers from Montana
    And spuds from Idaho
    They plow land in the cow land of Missouri
    Where most beef meant for roast beef seems to grow
    Grand canyons come from Colorado
    Gold comes from Nevada
    Divorces also do
    And you come from Rhode Island
    And Rhode Island is famous for you
    Pencils come from Pennsylvania
    Vests from Vest Virginia
    Tents from Tentassee
    They know mink where they grow mink in Wyomink
    A camp chair in New Hampchair – That’s for me
    Minnows come from Minnowsota
    Coats come from Dakota But why should you be blue?
    For you – you come from Rhode Island
    little ol’ Rhode Island
    And little ol’ Rhode Island is famous for you

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  18. John said on September 22, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    We certainly do get around
    Like renegade Pilgrims who were thrown out of Plymouth Colony
    We’re Rhode Island bound
    Or like a group of college freshmen who were rejected from Harvard and forced to go to Brown
    We’re Rhode Island bound!

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on September 22, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    I am training for my 6th marathon, will be running Disney in January. Best time is a 3:47 not bad for a 200lb former fat kid. Glad you like to ride at least you are doing something. By the way I would be one of those guys on the factory floor. We are a little smarter than some give us credit for.

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  20. Danny said on September 22, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    That 3:47 is very nice, Joe. More power to you. My legs could not take the pounding.

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  21. Andrea said on September 22, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    As a born-and-bred Marylander, you must come visit. I have only been to Michigan to change planes in Detroit and for a business meeting in Ann Arbor, which I only saw at night in the pouring down rain. Reading about Detroit from your point of view, I think you would find a lot to compare between Detroit and Baltimore. And I can’t believe you’ve never been here to visit your friend Laura Lippman!

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  22. Vince said on September 22, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    You can knock out two more states with one flight west, young lady!
    C’mon out to Portland, Orygun. We’re right on the northern border.
    A 10-minute drive will earn you a Washington chit too!

    Plus, what makes it even better is — it’s WORTH coming out here to visit!
    Waterfalls, volcanoes and ocean spray. Oh my!

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  23. Kim said on September 22, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    Did a marathon in a state you haven’t visited — Alaska. My brother-in-law got hooked on marathons after he did the Chicago marathon about 10 years ago. I was his crew, biking up and down the route and encouraging cops to cheer for him. My reward: a RT plane ticket to Anchorage in June for a Christmas present a couple years back. My brother-in-law was hooked and decided to run marathons in all 50 states, with Alaska being #50. His idea of fun for me was to have his #50 be my #1. I hate to run but trained for it anyway. Hell, it was Alaska. The race was pretty fun; black bears and huge moose on the course and all these Leukemia Team in Training folks walking up to the bears/moose with their disposable cameras like it was Safari World. My only regret is that I didn’t sell everything I didn’t absolutely need to take my family. The state is spectacular.

    I, too, prefer the bike and ride the national park battlefield roads by my house every chance I get. Like tomorrow a.m., 9:30.

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