Monday, July 27, 2015


This is a message for those who may have been inspired to visit my blog after reading my 20 Questions on the Twin Cities Marathon website. If that's you, welcome! I hope you visit often and check on my progress, training for the big race on October 4.

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is David Hansen. I am Education Outreach Associate at Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland's Classic Company, one of the team that manages GLT's school residency program and many other exciting arts education events around Northeast Ohio.

My wife Toni K. Thayer and I live in Cleveland heights with two kids, two cats and two gerbils and mountains of books and laundry. Through my years I have focused on acting, directing and most recently playwriting. You are invited to check out my professional website at for more details.

Also, if you are a Facebook person, consider joining us at The Official Runners of Facebook.

The purpose of this blog is to reflect upon my general mental and physical well-being, and to log any personal statistics I find relevant on any given day. These days, for example, I am keeping track of my daily training for the marathon, which routes I take, how the climate effects my run, and so on.

Also, I was recently instructed by my doctor to lose weight and have been keeping a daily record of that. Notations regarding intake, hydration and stretches are really a checklist, a way of reminding myself to take care of those things.

I am really looking forward to joining you in the Twin Cities this Fall. My brother has been an engineer for MPR for a quarter century, and I have visited many times and there is so much I love about Minneapolis/St. Paul.

It's going to be an amazing race.

Montréal (two)

Piknic Electronik
Have we only been in Montreal for one day? Feels like a week. My birthday was chock a block with activity, every step of which involved walking. We are residing in the Le Plateau neighborhood and it is impossible to walk down the street without the wife and daughter wanting to step into a shop. The boy just complains about his legs hurting.

We dug some seriously deep beats at the Piknic Electronik and then an outdoor production of Twelfth Night courtesy of Repercussion Theatre. We were all very glad to get back to the apartment and to take off our shoes.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 8:17
Route: Mount Royal

Because we are traveling internationally I have not been streaming music. This is a good thing, I wouldn't have been listening to music while running past the Niagara River anyhow. Usually it's only during races I go without music. I want to hear it all, not something I generally feel when taking my daily route.

I also become very aware of the sound of my breathing.

The wife was surprised that I would want to take a run this morning, after all the walking we did yesterday. That was exactly why I wanted to take a run this morning.

Temperature: 72
Climate: shiny and humid
Intake: banana & yogurt
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes

 Good run, a little way up the mountain and back. Downhill all the way home. The five or so blocks from the apartment to the park, however, are treacherous. Québécois cyclists are just like those at home, traffic lights do not apply to them.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Montréal (one)

I'm a dreamer ... Montréal?
First day in Montreal, camping in the funkiest apartment I have stayed in for I can't remember how long. Since Chicago, perhaps. Certainly an education for my children. A serious exposure to la vie bohème. It freaks the girl out, just being here, with the potential of anyone speaking French near her. The boy wants to know about all the marijuana imagery on the posters.

Distance: 10 miles
Duration: 1:27:24
Avg Pace: 8:53
Route: Parc du Mont-Royal (Mount Royal Park)

It's my birthday, dammit, and I ran up and down a mountain. Official distance was 9:82 but screw that, I ran up and down a mountain today.

It got a little desperate near the summit, as I kept thinking I was approaching the top. It is a wooded mountain within the city, and I first there was a manor house and then this thing that looks like a cross between a cross and the Eiffel Tower, and then finally the Kondiaronk Belvedere, which is the money shot (see money shot above.)

Week Six Total: 29 miles
Training To Date: 170 miles

Temperature: 66° - 70°
Climate: overcast and humid
Intake: latte and croissants (not joking)
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes!
Stretches: no.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Niagara Falls, Ont.

Mad dash into the homestretch of summer vacation. Sigh. When the wife was at grad school in Vermont, we stopped by Niagara twice, in summer 2006 and again on New Year's Day 2007. So of course, neither of them remember it.

We arrived just before dusk, and neither of us remember it being so crowded. Of course, the Canadian side has been built up considerably since our first visit nineteen years ago.

We dined at Elements on the Falls, which takes the place of that restaurant right next to the falls, only now the food is excellent, using locally sourced ingredients. Our window was right next to the falls as the sun set and the colored lights came on so th kids were even more impressed.

On our walk back to the incline, a number of teenagers implored us to join them in Hungarian dancing. The women were game but I stood back to watch with the boy (who would not, no way) as a circle of visitors and tourists - a circle which grew over the course of two separated dances - were taught basic moves and danced to drum and some type of small reed instrument.

Distance: 4 miles
Avg Pace: 8:22
Route: Niagara Falls, Ontario

This morning the wife and I walked down to the falls to run and there is a bandstand set up in Queen Victoria Park. We saw a contingent of sikhs practicing dances as well. The mystery of the Hungarian dancers may have been solved, we believe, as we made a connection between these events and all the signs we have seen for the Pan Am Games, which are being held in Toronto.

Temperature: 70
Climate: misty
Intake: no
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: water bottle 
Stretches: walking to the falls

Do people run next to the falls? Why yes they do, plenty of them. Before 8 AM is certainly best, we completed our runs just as the crowds started to thicken. I headed off on my own, south along the Niagara River for a mile and a half, past the old power station, away from the tourist plaza, the constant rush of the river, so powerful and strong. The mist was a deeply refreshing rain.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

You always run around breaking all the rules.

Courtesy of The Onion
Hey hey! I got profiled on the Twin Cities Marathon 20 Questions Blog!

Late nights do not pair well with early mornings. Just a fact. Lately a certain member of the family can be having a great day, and then when it comes time to rest they simply cannot, fretting over ... something, anything, really. Something that failed to happen during the day. Then comes the reassurance, the calming intervention. It can keep you up til midnight.

I don't care what else is going on or what my schedule is, staying up until midnight no longer works for me, ever, at all.

In other news, yesterday I had lunch al fresco with a former work colleague and the dome of my big bald head is a shiny, deep pink. Now that I put it that was, this former colleague was the first person to so melodiously refer to my head as my "big bald head".

Distance: 6 miles
Avg Pace: 8:08
Route: Cain Park Loop
4 Hours Scrolling Through Facebook Before Bed Referred To As ‘Winding Down’
- The Onion, 7/22/2015
The Onion still has this keen habit of just saying things you don't want to admit that are true. Last week I asked the wife to lock me out of my own Facebook account, which has been remarkably successful. However, I have also now become deeply invested in Twitter.

Temperature: 70°
Climate: humid & clammy
Weight: 158 lbs. (-2.0)
Intake: banana
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: yes

Didn't think I would make that one. Not feeling very strong at the outset, too little rest. Fitful sleep. But I got stronger as the run went on, picking up speed.

Next stop: Niagara!

What's That Lyric?
Comeback Kid - Sleigh Bells

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I trip over my shoelaces.

There is nothing wrong with my collarbone.
We've reached that time, the time when running begins to feel selfish. I hope it's a passing phase, brought on by my inability this week to run at dawn. Running in the evening, at night, is time not spent making dinner, cleaning up, spending time with the family.

It's okay. Really, it's okay. It's just tonight I'm feeling like this. We have to pack for the trip and I'm sure my wife would rather have me cook this evening, but she's told me not to worry, they support me. It's important.

So we run.

Distance: 6 miles
Avg Pace: 8:07
Route: Cain Park Loop

Delightful pre-sunset run. Not so sweaty tonight. Returning from work this afternoon I was exhausted and immediately took a forty minute nap -- which is a lot. A nap like that can render me delirious for an hour, and I guess it did. But getting out really cleared my head, and I feel much, much better.

Tomorrow is a day off! Whew.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: not as humid
Weight: 157 lbs. (-3.0)
Intake: banana, salted almonds
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: no

What's That Lyric?
Collarbone - Fujiya & Miyagi

Monday, July 20, 2015

Gardening at night.

Today I made my first garlic scape basil pesto, which I am proud of because usually the wife makes it but this time I did and it really didn't suck.

Tomorrow our governor will be making a special announcement which probably means he is announcing a run for president, though knowing him after making all these visit to New Hampshire and designing a logo and everything he'll probably announce that he isn't because he's such a jerk.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 7:53
Route: Boulevard Loop

Hilarious. You know that stretch of Monticello I am always complaining about during the winter, because no one shovels their sidewalks?

They did a lot of road work in June, and ripped most of them up. On the north side of the street, there are smooth, recently paved sidewalks. For over a month the side most convenient for me to run upon (the south) are gravel ditches blocked by plastic netting and barrels.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: humid
Weight: 158 lbs. (-2.0)
Intake: yes
Hydration: yes
Stretches: yes

A night time run this time of year can be delightful, especially at this time of night. Many young parents walking children, couples holding hands, the odd bike rider, Regnier walking that big-ass dog of his.

But when it's really dark, when the streetlights on the side streets are obscured by trees, it is very disorienting. The absence of sight, the music in my ears, it's delirium inspiring, like a scene out of Altered States.

Killing something ... a goat.
What's That Lyric?
Gardening At Night - R.E.M.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sweat's running down your back.

First solo long run (without the boy) this training season. Fourteen miles, at 160 BPM the entire time, except for the last two miles which I ran at 165 BPM.

This past week I have been exhausted. One day off last Wednesday with longer runs through the week, including that seven mile. I come home from work needing a nap and even then I want to go to sleep before anyone else in the house which is nearly impossible to make happen, each child is so restless and full of thoughts by the end of the day.

Rose at six, no head pain, took my time hydrating, eating, taking care of business. Chose to have a bottle of water in hand, which I believe is the secret to my success. I had no discomfort on this run, a discomfort which feels like hunger but I believe is almost always thirst.

Took the scenic route around Wade Oval (where there is a water fountain) and took in the Anish Kapoor installation outside the Cleveland Museum of Art (see right). Kapoor designed the famous Cloud Gate in Chicago's Millennium Park, though no one calls it that. They all call it The Bean.

This piece is entitled C-Curve and will no doubt be referred to locally as that curved mirror outside the art museum.

Thanks again, Rockefeller Park tennis courts, for offering a recently service port-o-john and another water fountain. Made it all the way down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the lake before heading back, this time heading back up through Lakeview Cemetery for home.

Just nine o'clock. Time to have a day.

Distance: 14 miles
Duration: 1:58:27
Avg Pace: 8:27
Route: MLK to the lake and back.

Week Five Total: 39 miles
Training To Date: 141 miles

Temperature: 79°
Climate: humid and overcast
Weight: 156.5 lbs. (-3.5)
Intake: yogurt & granola
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: yes

What's That Lyric?
Damaged Goods - Gang of Four