Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.

July 2011
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Passing the day at JFK

LizaLiza

Eliot and I are sitting in front of our gate at JFK. We’ve got one more hour to go before boarding our plane. Dublin here we come. There’s a little boy across from us wearing one of those leash contraptions. His mother keeps tugging at him as if he were a small dog. He leans over to the seat next to him. Tug. He stands up in the seat. Sharp tug back to sitting. He tries to climb up on the back of the seat. TUG. It’s mesmerizing. The boy is oblivious to any indignity.
Eliot’s hip deep in one of the Bourne novels and I’ve spent the last six hours reading Complications by Atul Gawande. Once we get on the plane, I plan to plan my return to running — since it seems like it’ll be a slower process than I’d hoped. I’ve got a blank calendar, a cup of coffee — and I’m rested after two days with my parents — so it’ll be a work of art. Lots of small writing, cryptic abbreviations, and categorical imperatives. Lovely.
More from across the pond!

Comments 6
  • Shawn Ralston
    Posted on

    Shawn Ralston Shawn Ralston

    Reply Author

    Hi Liza,

    I’m a pediatrician and a huge fan of Atul Gawande BTW, and a major non-fan of kid leashes; but none of that is truly pertinent. I’ve been reading your blog for a year or so and I’ve been running for about two years or so. My longest run is the RNR half, so you may wonder why I read an ultra blog, but I live in SA and am a mother of three boys so maybe that helps. No real answer, just a huge fan. You are just pure pleasure to read so I always come back…………..and who wouldn’t fantasize about running 100 miles? My honest goal is to go 30 in the prickly pear. Also, I share your experience of doing something else when my youngest son learned to ride his bike, and it was somehow heartbreaking. I work a lot of nights and weekends (i’m a hospitalist, not a general pedi) so its not a new experience, but the bike thing really hurt, maybe because it was my youngest. My husband rides ultra mtn bike races but he’s a stay at home dad the rest of the time, so you can see why I might be jealous. Anyway, the real reason I’m writing is I read the part about your payback to YMCA for the use of the anti-gravity treadmill and I happen to live close to that particular YMCA. Are you still mentoring for their marathon training club? I’m not much of a joiner, but I’d walk in order to hang out with you.


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Hi Shawn,
      It’s so nice to hear from you. It would be great to be able to hang out in the half marathon program. I’m going to be participate in the weekend training run/walks as much as I can. Think about coming out to Eisenhower Park some Thursday evening too if you can. The gang runs (hiking welcome too) and then goes to Freetails to chat for a while. (Some just do the Freetails part.) I’m also going to give a talk about running gear at the Tri-Pointe YMCA on Monday night, July 18th. I think everyone is welcome — even if you don’t sign up for the program. Hope to meet you soon!


  • John
    Posted on

    John John

    Reply Author

    I used to be put off by the leash contraption. Then my daughter started walking and the first time I lost track of her my appreciation changed. Although I never did get one. Daughter is not too far from you in London right now. Imagine my sense of being disconnected so to speak.

    Good on ya!


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      My grandmother tied one of my aunts to a tree once and my mom used to secure my sister to the grocery cart at the supermarket with a harness, so “leashes” are in my genes. It certainly would have been easier to tether Asa a lot of places, but I think he has too much Houdini in him for that kind of thing. Having lots of fun in the gray and rainy weather so far. Can’t wait to get out to the coast.


  • footfeathers
    Posted on

    footfeathers footfeathers

    Reply Author

    So, are you cleared to start running (I may have missed that if you covered it previously)? I would say, based on your outcome at Leadville after aqua jog training last year, that you’ll do just fine again.
    Have a nice time in Dublin!
    Tim


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Thanks! I am allowed to run an hour at a time. My foot started acting up when I ran for the photo shoot, so I’m going to start out with 10 minutes tonight and see how it goes. I’ll double it tomorrow if there isn’t any pain. I reeeeally want to run Leadville. I’m not sure what I’ll do if I can’t — as far as racing goes.