Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let my mind do the walking.

Graphic: Butcher Billy
So she asks, what goes on in your head when you run? Do you just zone out, or ..? And I tell her, No! Running is when it all happens, that's when I am free to think. I have directed entire scenes in my head when running, and written scenes, made mental and emotional connections, even with music blasting through my 'phones, because of it, often.

I had forgotten. It's not just the emotional uplift, it's not just the heart and the muscles and everything. It's the way my brain works when I am running that is so important, so necessary. Making time for running is so necessary.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Today was the first Saturday in many, many weekends when I had no responsibilities, no meetings, no events. And I took it, I worked in the yard for hours, and I completed one major project. There are so many others, but if I can complete one at a time - plan, procure, prepare and execute - I can keep my feelings high.

We live here, and we love living here. Improving on the house and the yard is a gift to everyone here, and to my neighborhood and community. I do try.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: humid, beautiful evening
Mood: all right

Also, the tile work in the kitchen. We had a guy come in, he did a great job. I look at the mess in my backyard, but then I look at the garage, then the deck. We move slowly but we move. So much has to do with the kids. Now that they're more independent, there's more time for that kind of thing.

Speaking of which, the girl and I started watching Stranger Things together. She's thinking of going as Eleven for Halloween.

What's That Lyric?
World In My Eyes - Depeche Mode

Feeling somewhat winded tonight, but it was not bad. Big family barbeque at the pavilion. Open, clear skies. Now that rehearsals are complete for the residency I may be able to create a more regular pattern of exercise.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dusk Bike/Run

He bikes, I run. I did want to listen to music, but he was in need of focus and activity. I invited, he accepted, we set out.

Distance: 3.28 miles
Avg Pace: 8:33
Duration: 28:00
Route: Forest Hill Loop

He asked how fast I run. Right now? I said. I thought of my recent outings. They have not been impressive. Eight and a half? I ventured, hopefully. So I was, in a way, committed.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: hot and humid
Mood: better

Making our way through the woods he observed how dark it was getting, he's never been in these woods after dark.

Recently my wife got this headlamp, which was using in lieu of an actual lamp, in bed, because mine was broken. I imagined using that for a run after dark. What would I encounter? Skunks? Punks?

Just then I realized I wasn't really looking very far ahead of me, distracted in my thoughts and keeping my feet safely on the path. I looked up and saw a large deer, several yards ahead, swiftly make its way out of the path. It was glaring at me.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

If it's uphill all the way you should be used to it by now.

Two weeks without a run. Not even caring to. Not sure yet if this is just a low point or part of an on-going trend. Don't even want to write about it.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 75°
Climate: overcast and humid
Mood: not good

Plodding along, but at least I did not stop. Perhaps we can begin again. Keep hope alive.

What's That Lyric From?
Moving the River - Prefab Sprout

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Wondering if I'll sleep.

She made this.
Thirteen runs in August, which is not remarkable ... but I ran eleven times in July and also in June. So that surprised me. Why? Because I have felt so exhausted and depressed this past month. And yet, we run.

That was the discussion on the drive down yesterday, why is daddy so tired all the time. After the fact mother noticed that my father had been tired all the time, and that she should have done something about it, that maybe that was a sign of his unnoticed heart problems, which eventually killed him.

There is nothing wrong with my heart, seriously. Not now, not a chance. And yet. I am always so tired.

The wife knows that when I am depressed I have a tendency to check out physically, and there may be something there. There are things I desire, that I desire to accomplish ... I was on track with a few of them until the beginning of July. It has been a busy if somewhat bewildering summer.

Distance: 4.42 miles
Avg Pace: 7:51
Duration: 34:44
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

Went to bed last night around 10 PM. Finally got out of bed after 9 AM.  This is not normal, but then when do I ever have such an opportunity. Made the mistake of not bringing my sleep mask to Maine, as in I intentionally decided not to bring it.

"Rise at dawn," I thought, "it will be fun," I thought.

Instead I got used to taking a clean sock to bed and slapping that over my eyes just to rest until seven.

My in-laws dog died last month, so my sinuses are considerably less troubled and while I did not wake with a headache I was not exactly rested, regardless of eleven hours of sleep. I tossed about a great deal, my hips ached on the unfamiliar mattress. My dreams were wild and disturbing.

Wrote for a little this morning, read the Times. MP took the wife and all the kids to the hotel for swimming, but I opted to go for a run by the river. It has been a very long time

Temperature: 81°
Climate: hot, bright & beautiful
Mood: maintaining

Was a gorgeous run down by the Hocking, only too hot. Surprised to learn it is only eighty degrees, but the air is so still and the sky without clouds, it felt much hotter.

My first run on this trail was almost thirty years ago, in spring 1987. My first blogged run was ten years ago, a nine mile, training for New York City. At that time I was not so conscious of how much older I was than the students. Who is that old guy, running on the path? What am I, a professor or business owner? Not to be mistaken for a grad student.

Eat For Two Playlist
Eat For Two - 10,000 Maniacs
Like Cockatoos - The Cure
Peace Train * - 10,000 Maniacs
Mr. Jones - Talking Heads
Twisting - They Might Be Giants
See A Little Light - Bob Mould
Letter Never Sent - R.E.M.
Skyway * - The Replacements
Beyond Belief - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Bushfire - The B-52's
Radio Song - R.E.M. ft. KRS-One

That is some kind of college music playlist. Suits me. Also has my brain picking to bits Scene Three. We are here, among other reasons, for a baby shower for my brother-in-law and his family. Baby blankets and baby shoes, baby slippers, baby spoons, walls of baby blue. Perhaps I missed my window but I hoped to write a little once my brain was settled. It is not the season for thinking.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Some people work very hard.

School residency rehearsal began today. I came home and slept for twenty minutes, woke and felt like I could sleep for the rest of the night. Just exhausted, and I don't know why.

Distance: 2 miles
Route: Horizon Loop

Longest two miles I have ever run.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: hot, but nice
Mood: bad

What's That Lyric?
Beginning To See The Light - Velvet Underground

Friday, August 26, 2016


Came home and took a nap. One hour later, I needed another nap. Hell with it, took a run instead. Holla Jesu Christe, this summer has been the most exhausting of my life.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Cain Park Loop
Temperature: 79°
Climate: hot & bright
Weight: 170 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: apprehensive

I'm not losing shit until I start getting the salad again.

Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) Playlist
Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) - De La Soul
Turn This Mutha Out - MC Hammer
You Be Illin' - Run DMC
Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (Richie Rich Mix) - PM Dawn
She's Crafty - Beastie Boys
Wild Thing - Tone-Loc
Don't Believe The Hype - Public Enemy
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll - Ian Dury & The Blockheads

When I think old school, I think Ian Dury.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I just want the summer to end.

Back to school.
So tired this week, or these weeks, or for several months. I was already using a blindfold to block out the sun on Saturday mornings with the idea that it was sunlight which has been giving me headaches on Saturday mornings all these years.

But it wasn't until Alaska and when I began using a sleep mask that I discovered the true effect sunlight has on my sleep even when I work to blot it out. It is as though it gets into my skin.

Even in bed in Maine, I was aware of the sunrise, and so, to at home, the encroaching dawn. These late summer weeks we have stayed up late, and very late, since the Finals, late show comedy show coverage of the conventions, finally the Olympics. It's not just me or the wife, but the kids. We cannot settle down.

We must settle down. I took a nap after work, I am still tired. You've been unusually tired, observes the wife, am I all right? I said if I were to speak to the doctor and told her I was exhausted, she would ask me how much rest I am getting and I would say five or six hours a night and she would reply, well that's your trouble right there.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Oh God! What a difference a Dave makes. Feeling downright despondent after dinner, helpless, listless. Everyone was out, kids at soccer practice, the wife with them. geared to take a run while they are there. And me and my work. What to do?

I took a nap, a fifteen minute after-supper nap. Put on my gear, and had the strongest, fittest run in some time. Beautiful evening, sun setting over the Rockefeller estate, Folks taking walks in the park, in their yards repairing their cars, working in the garden.

This chemical imbalance, these effects, which make my head ache, my skin itch, my brain unhappy. They are all problems to be solved, issues to be patiently dealt with. Everything. Everything.

Temperature: 77°
Climate: warm, humid and gorgeous
Weight: 169.5 lbs. (-2.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: all right now

Summer 2016 Playlist
Thank God For Girls - Weezer
Brazil - Declan McKenna
Clearest Blue - CHVRCHES
Subways - The Avalanches
The Less I Know The Better - Tame Impala
You Don't Get Me High Anymore - Phantogram
Endless Bummer - Weezer
Don't You Give Up On Me - Lissie

Well. That pretty much describes my entire summer in one playlist. Check out my Summer 2006 Playlist, created ten years ago this week. It is also chock full of awesome.