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Summer Ebbing Away

I thought that was a completely absurd thought about a week ago, that summer is seeping into the past. But I see that it's true, ever so slightly. That's ok though, if the cool days gently arrive, being ever-so-sensitive to our not-so-distant winter/spring anxieties, we may be coaxed into enjoying autumn. I need only remember cool races, a warm tent staked down over a bed of freshly fallen leaves, and invigorating thunder storms!

Re: races - tomorrow night I will run in my fourth 5K (3.1 mi) in as many weeks. The first was Race Judicata (search that page for "Shared Marketing", that was our team! We were super happy to bring home a certificate :) The following two weeks I ran first by myself, then with Chris & JoeJohn, at a Cross Country 5K race in the Montrose Bay park, up the infamous hill 2x. This is the Mizuno Cross Country Series put on by Universal Sole, which has been every week in August. I was vacationing at the lake with the family the first week, and the second week is when I discovered it because I happened to be flying a kite with Crystal right in the middle of the course! :) The first two races I ran the exact same time, second for second. Last week I dropped 30 seconds off my time, and tomorrow night I hope I can at least match the time from last week. If I can just drop another few seconds, I'll be under 20. I've now been to two training runs for Chicago's Run Hit Wonder.. since there are so many people, there are great pace groups so I can put in a hard run at a good pace. Last week I survived with the 7 min/mile group, but this week at another location they falsely advertised and were nearing 6 min/mile by the last (5th) mile so I was half-running half-dragging-my-carcass some ways back from the pace group. "Pace" group they say! :) But it's a great challenge and workout. For everyone, since the increased numbers allow everyone to have someone at their pace. Yesterday one of the volunteers gave me one of their Nike dri-fit volunteering shirts! I think because I expressed interest in the speed training they do at Running Away that he was telling a couple of us about. Maybe in a few weeks! :)

Also at yesterday's training run I met Michelle, whom I had seen at St. Teresa's some months ago at their parish mission. Now I'm wondering if I had seen her at runs before St. Teresa's and therefore subconsciously was more aware of her at St. Teresa's, but that's just my overactive mind trying to explain itself. It was actually kind of reminiscent of meeting Rachel & Joanne at the same run a year ago, after recognizing Rachel from that year's Theology on Tap @ Holy Name. I've come to the conclusion that I for some reason find myself more free to get to know a person better if I find that we share more than one activity in common. Oddly enough, only one activity seems to throw me for a curveball, no matter how awesome that one activity is. So I'm an uneasy introvert, thats news?

One other topic my thoughts have occupied somewhat randomly over the last few weeks, is, why do I seem to be nourishing more new friendships with girls than with guys? Your first guess is probably right. I'm a single guy, and I'm on the prowl. I just never realized how subtley that would produce such an unbalanced collection of friends, because in many ways I'm still far more comfortable with my guy friends. Draw your own conclusions. But I'm not sure that what has happened and/or what I've been doing is all that healthy. But at least up till now it has been unintentional. Time to adjust my course.

Lastly, a rejection letter:
Hi Justin

I would think that your interview score and comments were pretty interesting to note. Looks like you did well but not as well as ****** would like. Having said that, I think you should not be disheartned and feel strongly that you should reapply in around 1 year time because I feel that you may have a good chance at that point it time.

You should receive an email from Sue soon.
Sorry about that and wish you good luck!



As expected, I ultimately breathed a sigh of relief that the decision has been made for me, and almost instantly realized how free I suddenly am once again.

Oops.. one more thing. Biking. I was cleaning up my docs directory a few days ago when I came across a video clip of a crazy bicycle race in NYC that I had found on a stupid videos website awhile back. So I decided to google around and found the dude's homepage: The Couch, Lucas Brunelle's website. The videos and pictures are incredibly awesome. It got me to looking for any similar communities in Chicago, and Google did not disappoint.

  • Chicago Critical Mass - one summer evening last year as I left work just after dark, and happened to be catching a bus on Michigan Ave, I was completely surprised when I hear this ruckus coming along from down the street, and then see a huge mass of every kind of bicycle you've ever seen - and then some - taking up all of Michigan northbound, about 3 blocks long. Holy Cow! But for whatever reason I never looked into what exactly it was. Last Friday of every month, 5:30PM, Daley Plaza.
  • Chicago BikeWinter - I guess when winter does finally peek onto the horizon, I'll have something to do... ;-) The links page on this site was really helpful.
  • Working Bikes - get a used bike for cheap, for a good cause!
  • Handlebar - a bikes-friendly bar at North & Oakley (just E of Western), with it's "Inverse Petrol-O-Matic Beer Pricing Scheme"!

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