Archive for November, 2020


Posted: November 18, 2020 by coachwestbrook in Blog, Daily Runs & Reflections, Uncategorized



I started the morning run into a headwind coming out of the north-northwest. It’s a common weather characteristic in the northwest corner of Georgia in the fall of the year. I ran north on U.S. 27 highway before turning west. The U.S. 27 highway was like a big wind tunnel with the wind barrelling down on me pushing me back. But, I soldiered on…slowly but surely.

Turning west on a side road, I ran into farm land and headed for a series of hills. The wind was then coming at me from my right and bashing my right side off and on. I approached the hills with different attitudes and different speeds. Some of the hills were short and steep. Others were longer and gradual. I don’t know which was worse. I do know that I felt pretty tired as I crested each type of hill. Which was worse? I still dunno.

A common occurance came up. I had to “pee.” I was now along side farms nestled in the hills. And, I knew just where to take my bladder break. There was ramshackle shed ahead in the upcoming curve. I would dip in there for relief as I had done before.

Whoa! My relief plans were to be delayed. The aforementioned shed that I had used before was now fenced up and had hogs all over the place. Grunting, groaning, mashing in the mud, and munching corn. So, my relief came after about an eighth of a mile behind some bushes.

I could still smell the hogs.

On I ran headed around toward the golf course. It was a pleasant stretch with only three houses along the road. While approaching the last house, I spied a child’s coloring book on the road…which was a little unusual in this area.

The coloring book was named “MY FRIEND HIPPO,” and was full of hippo pictures. I had tussled the book with my foot opening it to the various pages. I saw that all the hippos were colored…each one a different color…blue, pink, red, yellow, purple, black, green, orange, and some colors I couldn’t name. And, some were a rainbow of colors. You had never seen hippos like these! But, the child that colored them had seen them in his or her imagination. Such is the wonder of a child!

And, I thought about that as I ran back into the town of Trion. Truly, imagination is a wonderful and miraculous characteristic of humans. I can picture a little girl with her mind adrift seriously coloring the hippos.

It was a great day under bright blue skies and brisk air. The run was good…but, I am still sooo slow.

(Richard Westbrook)


Posted: November 14, 2020 by coachwestbrook in Daily Runs & Reflections


In reference to yesterday’s REFLECTIONS FROM A ’47 ROADSTER and with the timeline leading to today (Friday 13, November), it’s “Bash on, regardless.” The injury may be a thing in the past. Today’s 13.41 miles were good. Questions were answered in those 13 miles.

Bash on!


Posted: November 13, 2020 by coachwestbrook in Blog, Daily Runs & Reflections


On a cool and slightly wind-swept November day in northwest Georgia, I ventured into my morning run headed for the eastern edge of the town of Trion. As usual, I stopped briefly while crossing the Chattooga River to check on the turtle population. Three turtles were visible, two on the rocks, one treading the water near the middle of the river. After that, I ran through “frog town” and onto the U.S. 27 by-pass and turned north into the wind.

This run was the best I’ve had since October 14, 2020. Then, I injured the intercostal muscles between the ribs in the right side of my back. This was done while moving some large, heavy rubber mats in the back yard. I felt a twinge while doing it but continued anyway. The next morning told me that the continuing was stupid. As Forrest says, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Since the rubber mat fiasco, I’ve been forcing myself to jog at least one mile, sometimes a little more…for the running streak if nothing else.

Today, I was no longer a jogger. I was a runner…or, at least, I felt like it. My stride was longer and faster (but not much faster) and I had no back pain when my left foot struck the ground as it had been in the last 29 days. That was a sure sign of progress from the jogging phase, the result of the injury. So, I ran a little longer. The eight miles plus that ran north of town and re-entered on the old road excited me to look forward to longer runs just as the weather was turning cooler.

Mid-November was now looking good, and December is looking even better. But, I am behind in reaching this year’s mileage goal. I hope I can make it up in order to reach the goal. That will require runs that are quite a bit longer than the present daily average. Maybe I’m now ready to do that. Maybe not.

Tomorrow’s run will let me know a lot more about that.


Bash on, regardless.”

Dr. David Livingstone (1813-1873)

AUTHOR: Adharanand Finn
PUBISHER / DATE: Pegasus Books / 2015


Since the glory days in the 1980s of the Japanese runner, Toshihiko Seko, and his extreme training for the marathon, I’ve been a fan of his and was eager to find out more about Japanese distance running. Seko held numerous world records and had a marathon best of 2:08:27 at the Chicago Marathon in 1986. He won the Boston Marathon in 1987 with 2:11:50. From 1978 to 1988, he won 10 major marathons and was second at Boston in 1979. It was evident that distance running in Japan was big, and Japanese distance runners have been running big ever since.

This book gives a good picture of Japanese distance running. It tells us of a way of life in which distance running is a major part of the culture. This is reflected in the country’s biggest sporting event which is the Ekiden, a 135-mile relay which is run annually. It is filled with thousands of professional runners representing corporate teams. It is a major spectator event each year.

The marathon monks do their thing apart from the Ekiden. All they do is run a thousand marthons in a thousand days. This is not a race. It is to find spiritual enlightenment, and they usually run in complete solitude.

The author, Adharanand Finn, is a runner and author who spent six months in the Japanese running culture finding out about the sport and the country. This work tells us of the teamwork, competition, preparation, diet, form, attitude, dedication, racing, youth running, training, and a culture and a way of life.

Finn informs the reader about the intricacies and the mind-meld of running in Japan. He has lived and obviously completely researched the project. His writing reflects humor, wisdom, the art of story telling, and the delving into the psyche of Japanese distance running and its bonding of its runners.

This is a book of which a serious (or not so serious) runner can learn more about his or her own running.

It is an interesting and a well written and enjoyable book.

(Richard Westbrook) (Nov. 5, 2020)