Holy Crap! No seriously, I didn’t realize what I was doing

So I went out today and ran 10.5 miles (17km). I need to get my 40 miles in for this week before Friday, even though I plan on doing my traditional 5k in a new country Saturday morning in Denmark. Here’s the thing though, last March I ran exactly 150 miles, that is the most I have ever run in any month. Today, February 29, 2016 I have passed that, 151.82 mi for the month of February.
If I successfully complete this challenge, I will surpass even that this month. Craziness, what did I get myself into? But I am proud of my accomplishment. Sometimes though, I look at what I’ve done and just think how absolutely insane this must look to most people. I know the people around here who know what I do, don’t really know what to think. They also give me lots of crap about my diet, but oh well.
So I go into my Monday Pacioli class today and one of the girls had written “Imagine all the people” – Ed Sheeran, so I had to correct that. I then proceeded to play the class Imagine, by John Lennon of course, and then we talked about Senator Bernie Sanders going Vegan. If you didn’t know, Senator Sanders announced on Saturday that he’s going Vegan. He cited intersectionality and his gout as his reasons. To end all oppression we must face all oppression, whether it’s against genders, orientations, ethnicity, or other animals, oppression is oppression, and as long as one remains, they all remain. Pretty cool, shame no one’s showing up to vote for him! I am getting an absentee ballot sent to me for a primary, what’s your excuse?
Alright, more music, oh and I should do a recipe today, did I do my vegetarian chili yet? Italian style, because they don’t have things like campbell’s tomato soup here?

Vegetarian Chili

2 cups TVP (or equivalent meat substitute)
1 can red kidney beans (drained)
1 can white beans (drained)
1 can crushed or strained tomatoes
6 oz milk (I use whole milk)
I medium red pepper
1 white onion
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp chili powder (or make your own mix)
1 tbsp Tobasco (or Frank’s Red Hot)
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the peppers, onions and garlic in oil with salt and pepper, in a large saucepot, 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add 1 tsp of chili powder, tomatoes and milk, then add the tvp (already reconstituted), beans, hot sauce and rest of chili powder to taste.
Allow to simmer 15-20 minutes and serve with cheddar cheese and rice or starch of your choosing, tortilla chips, whatever!


Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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What a crazy Sunday

There is one crazy storm raging outside right now. It was horribly windy all day and now it’s just pouring rain. But I got a couple miles in this morning. After that a fellow teacher and I headed into Napoli for a day of walking around and seeing sights, eating food (finally made it to Sorbillo’s), and then a art exhibit.
The pizza, it’s good, but it’s not better than New Haven, sorry Napoli, it’s just not. The bottom isn’t crispy enough, they really leave it rather soft. Also, not nearly enough mozzarella. That’s just the way it is. I know people here will be upset, but it’s true. I’m sure part of it is what I’m used to, but there’s just overall less flavor and less going on.
Meanwhile the art exhibit was alright. It was interesting. Lots of people hanging about, interesting scene. Anyway, it was nice to get out, have that experience, look around Napoli for some more touristy things to do when I have some downtime. So we shall see. I’ll leave a couple pics from the exhibit up here and folks can give their thoughts on them if they want.
20160228_195538 20160228_195554 20160228_200307 20160228_200341 20160228_200441
So it was art, it was fun, I definitely had a good time today, even if I’m tired now. Not a lot of sleep last night as I was out carousing until 3am. But once again hyperactivity saves the day and the energizer bunny that is me just plowed on through. It’s really amazing when you think about it. But at this point I need some sleep and to get ready for a big day tomorrow. So in the meantime, as they say, which means as I say:
Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Allora, Saturday

Woke up and ran! Just need to put in a couple miles tomorrow to hit my 35 per week goal. Next week, 40 miles per week for March. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning I have to put in huge miles, because Friday and Sunday I won’t be able to run I don’t think, and maybe not Saturday either!
So I have to teach again today, then a very short run tomorrow and then I think I will go around Napoli. Should be fun. Time to work though.
Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Interesting Friday jaunt

So there I was, 6am. Supposed to meet the other guys to run, no one shows up, a few minutes later, one of the guys shows and we take off for a 7.5 miler. It is really not so bad. Sure it’s hilly, sure my leg hurts like hell (which stretching helps, I need to do that more!), but these are nice runs.
But the hurting part, that’s what I was thinking about today. I think part of the draw to long-distance running for me, is that it’s pretty much constant pain or discomfort. Most people go out of their way to avoid that, but I dive right in. There’s always something, there’s always a nagging muscle, or joint, or tendon. It may not be debilitating, but it’s there, always, reminding you you’re alive. Reminding you that you’re doing something, that you’re out there. It’s not easy pounding out miles on the road, but it is absolutely rewarding. Every time I think I’ve emptied the tank, it turns out I have a little more to go. I feel like Bruce Willis’ character in Unbreakable. Or maybe I feel I have to live up to that Superman tattoo I have, although I think if you ask most folks who know me, I’ve far surpassed that already.
My new challenge is that it seems the HDMI in my laptop is Output only. So it looks like I need to find a TV, easier said than done I fear. I need some PS4 action, I need some Rocksmith. This must happen. I’ve been playing the same four chords over and over and it’s like Joe’s Garage in here! (Shameless Frank Zappa reference) So that’s the new project, but either way, I think what I was thinking about running, about pain, and I know I’ve posted this song before, but no matter:

Can you… feel your heartbeat, are you living?
your mind is unsung because you’re not driven
you need to rise up and  revolutionize your thinking
you need to wake up and activate the dreams of your soul
idle, revolt, hero, your hero is yourself
they’ll break you in, they’ll break you down
and leave you down with nothing you lose yourself
and learn from them whatever they wish to teach you
you need to rise up and personalize your existence
you need to wake up and activate the dreams of your soul
idle, revolt, hero, your hero is yourself
you know your dead and it’s you your deceiving
you need to find a way, to yourself,
find a way, to make yourself live, to make yourself live
you need to rise up and revolutionize your thinking
you need to wake up and activate the dreams of your soul
you need to find a way to make your self live
Go out and be your own hero! It’s ok to enjoy the work of others, but go out and be Superman, be Wonder Woman (please!), be the Green Lantern, be Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), be the Flash, be Rogue, be Wolverine, be Raven (also please, pretty please)! Go forth and enjoy!
Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Running with some different people

So I went to meet my friends this morning and they weren’t at the cafè! But some of the guys from last Saturday’s run were there, and I went with them. It was a different route than I’m used to, on most of the same roads though. Tomorrow we will run again, same bat time, same bat channel.
Other than that, it’s another beautiful day! Unfortunately, I will work most of it away. I’m just about to head into a staff meeting right now, and then off to the public schools for a couple hours. Then back here for private lessons all night.
It was a nice talk though, during my run. Turns out most long distance runners are the same around the world. We talked about how it seems people with money aren’t as happy as people who work for them. That there comes a point where it seems people lose sight of what’s important. It was a pretty cool conversation, about family, fun, enjoying the little things. Definitely a good morning.
Time for my meeting, you all have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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What a Wednesday!

The sun is out, I ran 7 miles or so (11.5km) and things just are moving today. This is the first day I recall where it was really sunny. The clouds are still kissing the very peak of Somma, I will find out soon, but I assume that is a Winter-long embrace between the two.
Meanwhile, the rumor is the Circumvesuviana (light commuter rail service from Napoli to the Vesuvius area) is on strike today. I am waiting for confirmation of that, I will never in my life cross a picket-line. I don’t care what the reason, I don’t care what I miss out on, I will never do it. Right or wrong, I will always stand on the side of working people, their struggle is my struggle. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, white, black, christian, muslim, gay, straight, whoever you are, whatever you do, most people have the same concerns: water, food, shelter, clothing, safety. These are basic rights, they are for everyone no matter what. The very least we should do is guarantee these things for every living being on the planet. We fail miserably in that our system intentionally fails, our system is inherently cruel, unfair, and inequitable.
I don’t want to get preachy today, I had such a good day yesterday, but my last class had me thinking about this. The fact is that we have a system that values things that have no value, save for a man-made concept of “value” and we intentionally discourage the things that do have value. We say we encourage the arts, exploration, discovery, innovation. But we stifle these things if they challenge the status quo in any way. I postpone them until we find a way to monetize them, or we suppress them completely, and never let these things see the light of day. It’s so strange, it’s alien to me that we would go about our lives in this manner. Turning a blind eye to the reality that we hold ourselves back, because we are taught to value money and things over true experiences and the reality of life itself.
Alright, getting down off the soap box. Who doesn’t love a good, sturdy soap box though? Sometimes you just have to use your voice. Which is the other thing that got me going on this today, that song came on my mp3 player whilst on my beautiful run through Somma (and a little Sant’Anastasia) today!

It’s weird thinking about how all these years ago we were all just hanging out at shows, at friends’ houses, on the street, wherever. Some of us would be drinking beers, smoking weed, whatever, we’d all be talking life, talking about reality, sharing our ideas, experiences, thoughts, philosophies. And the music was always there, and here we are years later, some of the guys are still making the music, like H2O here. Some  aren’t with us anymore, some are still finding their way, but the one thing we all have in common is we’ll never lose sight of who we are, because like the man said don’t forget the struggle, don’t forget the streets. I know I don’t, and I don’t know many who do. I may have a fancy college degree, I may be a teacher, living in another country, but I’ll never forget what it was like growing up, the tough times, the triumphs, the friends, and the fallen. That’s why I’m always there with a helping hand, and pushing to get everyone else to see we’re all the same, we all deserve a decent life, not judgement, just some brotherhood and sisterhood.
Alright have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Back at it today

Finally, my friends were able to come running this morning. We got an easy 5 mi (8km) in. The sun is coming up earlier and earlier. There were clouds this morning, but it was sunny most of the run. One of my coworkers commented that I’m getting darker. I should be, I was out in the sun enough on Sunday! I almost put sunblock on, but didn’t. It did stay cloudy enough that it wasn’t a problem. But I can see in the Spring and Summer where I’ll need to start protecting myself around here.
Right now, I’m prepping for my 2pm class at the local middle school. The kids who were a problem last week. I am going to try and give them a game. I’m searching for a game to play with them. They’re learning fruits and vegetables. I’m going to find the game that seems most exciting, with the least amount of materials needed. The problem is, I don’t exactly have a dearth of resources to work with here.
Other than that, I got my haircut today, and when I say haircut, I don’t remember the last time I didn’t sit down for a trim and didn’t hear the buzz of a razor. for a scant 8 euros, it was all scissors, even trimmed the beard, and shaped everything with a straight razor! Like a real barber, and it was only 8 euros! Did I mention he gave me a coffee halfway through? So let me explain that, the shop is beneath the school, the whole building is across the street from the cafè. The guys from the cafè know me and saw me in there, and they brought over a few coffees, and well there we were. Amazing, loved it. Plus I look funky fresh.
The little things like that really can make your day. I think we lose sight of the little things too often. It’s along the same lines as when people say, of the environment or any other issue, think Globally but act locally. Well, I think we should take that to everything in life. Think big picture, but make sure to put all the little pieces in place, and appreciate each piece for what it is. Even the bad pieces, the ugly pieces, they have their place in life. Nothing you experience in life is a bad thing, as long as you learn from it, gain whatever strength or knowledge you can, and move on. Patience is a virtue, and all experiences have value. Even if they tell you what NOT to do.
It’s funny because a friend of mine posted last night about how she was thinking positive about getting some money, apparently she needed some extra. So she was saying a “mantra” if you will that she would come into some money. She gets an envelope that was delayed a significant amount of time, that sure enough contained a monetary gift from a relative delivered the next day. Now, I’m not saying she prayed for money and some other-worldly power granted her wish. What I am saying is having the right attitude is everything. If we all stayed positive, real change would occur. Learn what you can, keep the PMA, and good will come from it. Like with her very specific example. My response on “the Bookfaces” was alright everyone, World peace and an end to the corporate/colonial power structures that cause strife. I paraphrase, but the point is, if we all really wished for these things, it would just happen. Because with the thoughts in the forefront of our minds, we would think about the little ways we can bring it about individually in our lives. Every time you make the world a little bit better a place for someone else, it makes it easier for them to do the same for another. It grows, it becomes exponential. The problem is an attitude problem. So once again, I give you the Bad Brains:

Keep that PMA!
Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Busy day with a crazy end

So I was just on the go all day, store, work, trying to get stuff done, trying to make time for all the things I wanted to do. Then I get home, and the door won’t open. My roommate is sitting there in front of the apartment, waiting for me, hoping my key will work, nope. Luckily I found a way to get in touch with the landlady, she came down, got it opened right up and in we went. I’m beat. Seriously, that’s all I got for today. Alright, need to get to bed to take my morning run.
Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Another long-run Sunday

I hit my goal too!I love hitting goals. It’s just the best feeling. So, I made it down to Corso Imbriani and Hotel Grillo Verde, and I have to say it’s like nothing there changed at all. From 2008 to today, the whole area has been frozen in time.

Corso Imbriani 21 Feb 2016

Corso Imbriani 21 Feb 2016


Hotel Grillo Verde Aug 2008

The Hotel I knew was still there, and the pizza place I would stop at is there too.
Other than that I’m still slow back up the hill, of course it’s a steep climb, but still, it’s a loss of focus and the fact my right hamstring still is sore. As I am now officially registered for the Rome Marathon, I’m taking my training up to the marathon and then I’m taking a week or two off, getting my body rested and healed up, and then I’ll pick it up again. I need a break, we’re coming up on two years of non-stop marathon training, and as I’m not a professional and I have a life outside of all this, it’s a bit much. I wish marathons were my life, but unfortunately, I’m not that fast.
Meanwhile, training is going to get rough in the Summer, temps climb here. Hopefully, I will be able to work out a long run during the Summer break where I am in a cooler climate. That will lessen the suffering. As always I’ll figure it out as I go. Meanwhile, I think it’s time for a snack, maybe a coffee too. I think I’ll walk to the cafe across from work and see if they’re open, see if I can grab a caffe normale and maybe a coronetto or something.
Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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A rainy Saturday morning, a beautiful afternoon

I woke up and it was raining, tomorrow I have a long run planned, so I decided to take the morning off. Then the sun came out and it is a beautiful day. Unfortunately, I am at work until dark. I have to work at two different locations today, covering for colleagues who are under the weather. It’s alright, at this point in the week it’s all overtime!
At this point my long run has to be 21 miles at least tomorrow. That works for me, if I was in the US I’d be running Central Park tomorrow. Other than that, I don’t have much to report. But I do need to find my EU representative and write them a strongly worded letter about the UK leaving the EU. Apparently, the UK still wants their citizens to get preference when teaching English and other jobs of that sort. Sorry, you leave the EU, sit in line with the Americans, Australians, and Kiwis. I put a lot of work, time, and resources into getting my EU citizenship, and it’s completely unfair that they would get preference over me. I am a native English speaker, my English is more important worldwide, and I am an EU citizen. I should be up ahead of them in line for jobs, or at the very least on par.
So a letter must be writ. As much as I want to stay away from politics, it looks like I’m not going to have a choice. I also have to figure out the whole voting thing. That’s going to become important. Alright, keeping today short.
Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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