Category Archives: running

Happy 2013

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To all readers of my blog, may 2013 be a healthy happy year and may all your wishes come true. I started my year with a 13 mile run in honor of 2013. Boy did it feel nice, and even at 17 degrees, the wind was not blowing hard and the sun was shinning! I crossed a bridge in the trail that I could not resist taking a photo of. I am fond of bridges just as in Japanese culture they are symbolic of connection and being able to advance.

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Also, I am on my countdown to the Miami marathon, which is only 26 days away now. 2013 has three full marathons in my schedule, being Miami, the Wisconsin marathon, and the Chicago marathon in October. I also. Have 2 half marathons planned and maybe a few 10ks along the way. I plan do do a lot of running this year! I look forward to sharing my experiences and training on my blog.
Also, I accepted yoga teacher Rachel Brathen’s 2013 yoga challenge, for which I committed to practice yoga at least once every darn day of January! Check it out, I think it is neat and a great motivator. I practiced a home 30 minute flow session before my run and ended with a headless headstand.

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I wish you all a happy and very healthy 2013. Lets keep on running and practicing yoga for a great life!
Bernie

Runners Etiquette

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I don’t know if any of you have seen the movie Borat, with actor Sacha Baron Cohen, but there is one scene in that movie that I always remember and laugh about. That is the scene where Borat is at a refined southern home for a dinner, and manners are being explained to him. Surely, Borat goes about and beyond to “learn” the manners explained to him but when the time for him to go to the restroom arrives, he actually poops in a bag and brings it to the dinner table. The people at the gathering are grossed out and cannot believe that he would do something like that. That is however, all that Borat knows, and he did the only thing he knew how to do. The hosts did not like that as it was a violation of the etiquette followed at fancy dinner parties. But for Borat, that was common practice at the dinner table.
As runners, we are an interesting group to say the least. The truth is that we are a happy group of people. Running is something that releases endorphins and thus makes us happy friendly and satisfied emotionally. So why did I mention the scene relating to etiquette in the Movie Borat? The answer is that as runners we have expectations. We are a group of people from, different nations, cultures and traditions who appreciate the benefit of distance running. Some of us do it for competition, some for fun, some simply for fitness. The one thing we share is that we all run and get the same benefits from running, both physically and mentally. The question asked is, whether a common etiquette for runners exists.
During my six mile run yesterday I did not see many people on the trail. Yes, it was cold as heck and many people simply stay indoors and sedentary when its cold. There was one couple I Passed, not runners, but it was in my nature to wish them a happy new year. They said it back to me but, I think they were surprised that I even spoke to them.
When I run, I always wave at other runners passing by, I think it is in my soul as a runner. Most people over they years have waved back, but there are those who don’t waive and give a nasty look. I usually just give a simple wave by raising my arm a bit, not a crazy wave, just enough to say hi.
I have had runners come up to me and start conversations, and they have indeed been the best conversations I have had. I have had other runners try to convert me to their religions, which I have amicably and diplomatically turned away. And then there are those who simply pass you up, ignore your wave and think they are better runners. Just as is the case in Borat, they have their own way of thinking, similar to bringing their poop in a bag to the dinner table.
The question that arrises is, whether in deed there is a common etiquette that runners must follow. The answer is obviously no, runners don’t have to do anything. Most however have been courteous and waved at me or waved back, or at least smiled, it is an acknowledgment that we are working toward the same goal. I love when runners wave back or acknowledge my presence as a runner. I don’t ever hesitate to wave at a runner, in fact I say hello to every runner I see by waving. I have learned however, not to take it personally if a runner does not acknowledge my presence. In fact, in the cold, I really don’t see many other runners.
I love races because the camaraderie of being a runner really is evident there. I cannot wait until my next marathon, the Miami marathon, January 27, 2013, where I hope to see that feeling of belonging to a group who cares for one-another. I really do think that runners respect each other, and most do subscribe to the etiquette also known as common courtesy. Those that don’t are just asking for a lonely and cold run, so be it.
I look forward to seeing some of you on the trail, road or at a race. Good running, and please wave and acknowledge your fellow runner. Don’t be like Borat at the fancy dinner table!

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Desk job? – heck no!

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As the title of my blog suggests, I am a lawyer by profession, and a solo practitioner. I am thankful for being a solo practitioner because I do not have a typical desk job. Usually I spend my days traveling from courthouse to courthouse within the northern Chicago suburbs (I should say extreme northern – Skokie up to the Wisconsin border). If you have ever seen the movie “the Lincoln lawyer,” that is basically my job, without the driver or the huge brief cases full of $100 bills. This has given me time to practice yoga, run weekly miles toward my marathon training, as well as meditate as necessary.
This week, although technically 3 days, has been all paper and desk work for me. No yoga, running or meditation and the truth is, most people don’t want to be around me right now, because I am the moody shark no one wants to talk to. As a lawyer I have to put in the time, and of course I do, because my clients depend on me. I also do have to put some time aside to get on the mat or run five or six miles a day. It’s one hour, it shouldn’t be a huge deal. Why am I saying this? Because the difference is clear. When I run and/or practice yoga at least once a day, not only am I more productive, I am friendlier, and can better deal with the stress involved in my profession. That leads to everyone being happier an more satisfied.
Things work the way they do for a reason. During law school I interned for a large corporation’s legal department. This was all paper work all day long. My peers are required to bill 60 to 80 hours per week, remember not every hour worked is necessarily a billable hour. Yes, they may be raking in the huge bucks, but when do they have the time to enjoy them? I have had too many close calls to know that life is really way to short to waste it that way. Go ahead, call me crazy, if I have time to write a blog, practice yoga, have a family, spend time playing with my kids, train for and run 3-4 marathons a year why can’t I cut all those things and work at a large law firm? I could, but you wouldn’t be reading about it, and my kids wouldn’t see me, if they would, they would have a miserable pissed off daddy. (I would probably still be 40 pounds overweight, smoking cigarettes, eating fast food – been there – NOT GOING BACK)
That is why I could not have a typical desk job. Yes, I do spend hours at my desk, it is the nature of my profession. But as a solo practitioner, I am able to do the things I enjoy every day. When I am in a hurry and can’t have breakfast, I will put a Beat, a stalk of broccoli, some kale an apple and a cucumber though my juicer, put it in a bottle and drink it on my way to court – it is really very yummy! That is fast food I can drink and feel good about.
These are the reasons why I could not have a typical desk Job. Don’t be surprised if I add certified yoga instructor to my curriculum one day. For now, I am just a practitioner. Tomorrow I will go for a run, and you may then find the friendlier, nicer Bernie again.
Health, peace, love and good running!

Bernie

Running in the cold

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Well, the cold weather has finally arrived to Northern Illinois. Does this mean that I will be running on the treadmill? For me that is a no unless there is an extreme storm. Last spring I decided to run from my home to my parents on a Friday afternoon. This was in March or April of 2012. It was in the 30’s out and there was light snow. A few miles in, the snow became heavy and then it became a full out blizzard. Since I had set a goal to get to my parent’s home (13 miles), I had to finish what I started. It then snowed at about an inch every 30 minutes or so. at one point I questioned what I was doing. The large fresh snow was getting on my hair and eye brows. The cold wind caused my skin to feel as if it was burning. I finished the run and upon walking in, I was asked if I was crazy. My answer, crazy? maybe a bit, but really i was dedicated. The feeling of accomplishment I felt for myself was rewarding.

I can say that, I love the sound of crunching snow while running in it.

As I mentioned before, this past Sunday I ran 15 miles in rain and freezing rain and also felt accomplishment at the end. Not only am I doing these long runs to train for the Miami marathon, I am running them to stay in shape physically and mentally.

Running has become a part of my life, it makes me happy, keeps me sane, and no matter what, I will run .. because I can – be it in snow, freezing rain, sunshine. Running is what I do. The reward in personal, but never gets old!