Keeping success in perspective

Out and Back | June 25th, 2015 | 2 Comments

by Dante Zappala On a blistering summer afternoon in New York City, the Triborough Bridge casts a welcome shadow of relief over a small strip of Randall’s Island. The reprieve was felt by all of us who lingered in that shade for a good while, just outside of Ichan Stadium. The Adidas Grand Prix had […]

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Breaking the routine

Out and Back | June 4th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala It’s 82 degrees at 5:45 in the afternoon. The humidity feels like it’s hovering around that same number. My running shoes are tied nice and tight. It’s 11 miles from work to home and I’m ready to roll. This run is an utterly self-defeating proposition, but that’s actually the point. I’d already […]

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Living with lies

Out and Back | May 21st, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala I lie to my children daily. I keep the Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy myths going. I sincerely pretend to be interested when, just as I’m falling asleep, my son explains to me the entire plot of the 4th book of “Wings of Fire.” Sincerely pretending is lying. It’s nice lying, but […]

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Chasing Alan Turing – his lines and his run times

Out and Back | May 13th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala Alan Turing had a lot to say; at least according to the playwright Hugh Whitemore. In the play, “Breaking the Code,” Turing the character has several multi-page monologues. He giddily explains mathematical theory to a potential employer. He takes cheap shots at religion and intellectuals while explaining artificial intelligence to a gathering […]

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At the end of the marathon

Out and Back | May 4th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala  The pirouette I pulled off at the top of Heartbreak Hill was impressive on a few fronts. After 21 miles of straight-ahead pounding, I was surprised that I could actually move in a different direction. I managed to find my family among the masses and to say real words, words that I […]

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The long taper before the big run

Out and Back | April 23rd, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala  The value of not doing something so that you can do it better is lost on me. My running shoes are stewing in bitterness at being left in the closet just as the nicest days of the year arrive. I’m irritable, anxious and convincing myself that I’m falling out of shape by […]

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Getting rid of false fears

Out and Back | April 16th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala On Tuesday, I was sure I had pulled my hamstring. On Wednesday, I thought I had broken my kneecap. All the training I’d done for the marathon, a thousand miles of running since the first of December, appeared to have been washed away. These were my recent fears. On Tuesday, I started […]

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Finding the right pace

Out and Back | April 9th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala I should not have dropped the f-bomb right there on Forbidden Drive – not the day before Easter, certainly not with so many young people around. But I’m sensitive these days. I was nine miles into a ten-mile tempo run at marathon pace. Nearing Bell’s Mill, I picked a line to avoid […]

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Fulfilling the promise of greatness

Out and Back | March 26th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala If we are honest, I mean truly honest as Philadelphians, we can say with perfect perspective that we do not like Boston. We might put it differently. Depending on what part of the city you grew up in, it might come out like, “Yo, dewd, I hayt Bawstun, fer rill.” This has […]

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Overcoming the governor

Out and Back | March 19th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala Ridge Avenue is a monster. From the bus depot and Main Street to the three-point intersection at Hermit and Righter, it’s a solid half mile long. The elevation is 200 feet. That’s a 7.2 percent grade. By foot or bike, it’s a bear to climb. But either of those means might be […]

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