Sunday, June 28, 2009

New song: It doesn't happen without you

Sònia and Daniel are in Spain for a month. I wrote this song about that.

I may think that things are going just fine
And I'll tell you everything is going my way
I may even say I'm better off like this
And maybe I'll convince you that it's true

But in the bathroom mirror facing myself
I know what's the truth
All the things that happen in my life
It doesn't happen without you

I've got a fine collection of memories
I like to polish them and hold them to the light
Times our laughter had no reason at all
Or we cried because our hope was gone

But everything looks different than I thought
The blues turn into gray
And when I only have myself to think of you
It doesn't happen without you

I know this situation comes to an end
I know the day you're coming home
And I can call you almost any time I want
It really hasn't been that bad

But then the moments drag into the days
And the days drag into weeks
My heart doesn't know what time it is today
That doesn't happen without you
Without you

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New song: United us of you and me

The idea came from something my sister-in-law Liz said in our wedding: Sonia and I would form a nation of two, a "United States of Tim and Sonia"

"United us of you and me" by Timothy Chen Allen
Sònia, I read the paper just the other day
How life is hard in the USA
I don’t believe it and I have to say
Love's still free
United us of you and me
You know that's how it's got to be
United us of you and me
Don’t need no fence to keep folks out
It's you and me and baby there's no doubt
Our only natural resource here is love
But that's enough

Sònia, the Arabs and the Jews don’t get along
Even Andorra wants to have a bomb
I don’t get it, I just get it wrong
But peace still talks and love is free
United us of you and me
You know it's got to be us three
United us of you and me
Peace has to start with you and me
And all the folks we happen to see
We’re on to something and it might be true
Just me and you
It's us three
United us of you and me
That's how we’ll make the people free
United us of you and me
It’ll work on everything we see
United us of you and me
You know that's how it's got to be
United us of you and me

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New song: We’ll be all right, Sònia

"We’ll be all right, Sònia" by Timothy Chen Allen

My Sònia
It ain’t a question of right or wrong
Sometimes the answer’s to sing along
Don’t get me wrong, Sònia

You’re good to me
There ain’t no place I would rather be
Lost in your eyes is a part of me
And that’s the truth, Sònia

You don’t have to look beyond our door
Everything we need is here and more
And if the paycheck don’t quite reach
Our love is growing each and every day

Don’t try to make all the numbers right
There ain’t a cloud in the sky tonight
We’ll be all right, Sònia
We’ll be all right, Sònia

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Annual Daddy's Crazy 45 Miler

This was not the craziest idea I ever had, but it came pretty close.

A few months back I ran my first ultramarathon, the HAT 50K. It was fun and a culmination of a careful, scientific training program. In other words, I just pretty much started running really long runs on Sundays with no regards for building up, injuries, or anything. Essentially, I just simply brute forced my way to my first ultra and got away with it.

So, now fueled by unearned success, I decided that that was all and I was done with ultramarathoning. Except... I realized that my normal training run was 22.5 miles. And I was turning 45 this June 30. And that if you run my 22.5 mile run twice, that's 45 miles! That's all it took. I was committed to running 45 miles for my birthday. Honestly, that was my thought process.

Well, my crazy dream happened Saturday. I modified the route to run around my block, because Sònia wanted to give me support. And I modified the date so the run would happen before Sònia and Daniel went on vacation and before the end of school. Because somewhere in there it turned into a fund-raiser for Oyster-Adams School.

I took off at 4 am on Saturday, accompanied by my buddy Jimm. I had gotten a solid 30 minutes of sleep the night before. Just impossible to sleep. I knew that was going to happen. Jimm had committed to seeing me to the end of the run as soon as I announced it. And he did, although he had to drop out for a few miles because his knee started to bug him.

In fact, I was never alone. At around 20 miles we started to pick up pacers. Oyster-Adams parents who came and ran a few miles with us, or eight or nine or ten. First David and Tim R., then Elizabeth and Mike and their dog, then Allison my co-worker and Mike my boss. Then Paco and Andrew and Claire and Mikelle and Diego and Wendy and Elena and Stefan and S'not... I lost count of all my pacers.

Sònia started to bring out a steady stream of peanut butter sandwiches and potato chips and gatorade when we hit the halfway point. Spectators started to show up at around the 30 mile point, when I was really starting to feel the run. Folks I meet for coffee in the mornings, and more parents, and their kids-- and then a group of kids joined the run. My son, Daniel, ran two and a half miles.

By forty miles I had a train of pacers with me. We picked up Mary and Till, some neighbors who didn't even have a kid in the school, who just wanted to see who all of these crazy people were. Jimm was next to me, telling me I could actually run up the hill when I wanted to walk it. And Sònia was yelling with a group of parents at the toughest point of the course. I started to choke up at how much these people were doing just because I had had this crazy idea. Mikelle was running next to me and got concerned about my breathing-- I laughed and said, "no problem, it's just that this is really beautiful".

The last few laps were a blur, and at the same time I felt every step. My hips had begun to hurt in the last 13 miles. Somehow, Jimm got me fired up to run the very last hill, and three turns later we were on the home stretch.

I have never won a race in my life. Not one. No high school track winning memories, not even a weird age-group win in a road race. And this was not a race. But I know what it feels like to win one now. The crowd at the last turn exploded as our group got close. Sònia ran to me and grabbed my hand, and we made the last corner together. When my Garmin beeped off the 45th mile, I yelled out, "¡Cuarente y cinco!" And then we stopped. We didn't have to run anymore.

I thanked Sònia for supporting this crazy dream that I'm sure she didn't understand. And I thanked my pacers and the people who contributed and the people who cheered and set up water stops along the way. I thanked Jimm after forgetting to thank him the first time through. I'm sure I forgot someone along the way.

So that's it. Except... I was thinking that next year I turn 46. And I kind of like the sound of "The Second 1st Annual Daddy's Crazy 46 Miler"...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New song: With you

My mom asked me to write her and dad a song for their 53rd anniversary. Here it is.
I'm in Albuquerque without a guitar, so this one is A Capella. This song is, essentially, a prayer.

"With you" by Timothy Chen Allen

I don't want to have to grow old
But if I have to
I'll grow old with you

I don't want to have to grow old
But if I have to
I'll grow old with you

When I'm feeling tired
I will lay down
You'll be my last breath

I know that we just met
It's too soon to say this
What I want to say to you
I don't want to spend another day
Not knowing if I'll spend my life with you

When my hair is gray
I want you there
You'll be my one song

I know if I let you walk away
I'll dream my life
About a life with you

I don't want to have to grow old
But if I have to
I'll grow old with you

I don't want to have to grow old
But if I have to
I'll grow old with you