Sunday, May 25, 2008

The muscles flex and the fingers curl

This morning's hangover never truly abated - the pain went away but not the pressure. Cleveland humidity has returned and the entire run I felt like my head was a basketball.

It's been hard these past two runs, I don't know if it was the 13.1 or just how fricking busy I have been. That, and the cat wakes us up every morning properly at 5.30. And then going back to sleep - for me - is out of the question. Can't do it.

Today's playlist was a host of adolescent memories ... and I did even listen to half of that stuff when it actually was 1981.

1981 Playlist
Lovers' Walk - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Hard Act To Follow - SPlit Enz
My Own Way (Night Version) - Duran Duran
Freeze Frame - J. Geils Band
Games People Play - Alan Parsons Project
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic * - The Police
Guilty * - Classix Nouveaux
We Got The Beat - The Go-Go's
Strict Time - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Cooldown: Clubland - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    (Last Year's 1981 Playlist)
    Tainted Love - Soft Cell
    Hungry For You (J'aurais Toujours Faim De Toi) - The Police
    Primary - The Cure
    Bad Reputation - Joan Jett
    Radio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Single) - R.E.M.
    Talk To Ya Later - The Tubes
    Sausalito Summernight - Diesel
    Working for the Weekend - Loverboy
Yeah. We got it.

Run stats:
Distance: 3.6 miles
Weight: 170 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 20
Temperature: 67º
Weather: muggy

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cover me when I run

Recovery run. Wow, my pins are stiff.

Less-than flattering snap from last Sunday.

Jesus. I look like Henrik.

Run stats:
Distance: 3.6 miles
Weight: 166 lbs.
Stretches: sort of
Temperature: 55º
Weather: sunny & warm

Uh, sorry, Henrik, I didn't mean it like that.

1982 Playlist
Shock the Monkey - Peter Gabriel
Talk Talk - Talk Talk
Pressure - Billy Joel
Someday, Someway * - Marshall Crenshaw
Delirious - Prince
Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime) - The Flirts
A Million Miles Away * - The Plimsouls
New Year's Day (Live) - U2
Cooldown: One Hundred Years - The Cure
    (Last Year's 1982 Playlist)
    I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
    Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo
    It's Nearly Africa - XTC
    New Frontier - Donald Fagen
    Situation - Yazoo
    Angst In My Pants - Sparks
    Rock the Casbah - The Clash
    Hold Back the Rain - Duran Duran
    Mirror In the Bathroom - The Beat
    The Metro - Berlin
    Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) - Haircut 100

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Love or hate it. It don't matter.

Official time: 01:47.41

I peeled 57 seconds off my personal best. Suck on that! AY-YI-YI-YI-YI-YI!

Parked in my regular lot, off 17th and Chester - I have a parking pass! Hiked to the Galleria. It was raining.

Two things I forgot - nipple band-aids and a bottle of water. The and-aids turned out to be a non-issue - but the water ... see, when I did NYC two years ago, I knew I would be standing around for four hours. I brought an oversized bottle of water, and carried it around like a dope while everyone was washing down as much free water and sports drink as they could, there were tables loaded with it.

In Akron, ditto, lots of free stuff at the start, water, drinks, bagels, bananas, lots and lots. Cleveland? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at the start of the race. Just rain, and lots of it. I was seriously second-guessing my dress decision, I really wished I had worn long sleeves.

The start was five minutes late, and to add insult to injury they were playing Cleveland Rocks over the loudspeaker as we crossed to start line ... as performed by the Presidents of the United States of America. I am trying to imagine the reaction if they were playing New York, New York at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge ... you know, the version recorded by Steve & Eydie.

I was a little bummed the route goes west first, because that's the least exciting part of the route. But then, that means the Full Marathoners get a big finish, which they deserve. But it's not really the "Cleveland Marathon" it's more like the "Shoreway" Marathon or the "Route 2" Marathon.

As we were headed down Lake Avenue, I had my only conversation of the morning.

"Is that the turnaround up there?" asked a professional-looking fellow.

"Yeah," someone else replied.

"Are we in Lakewood?" he asked, confused.

"No," I said, "the whole race is in Cleveland, we turn around at W. 117th which is the border with Lakewood."

"Wow," he said. "This is a very nice looking neighborhood." And then added, "I'm surprised."

I should have known that was coming, and yet I was surprised. I let out a bemused laugh. "Thanks," I said, "I guess."

"Where are you from?" asked the woman on his left.

"I'm from New York," he said, "We moved here a year ago."

"I think that's why they send us down this way," I said, "to show off the ridiculously large, lakefront houses."

Which I realized was one of the things that was dreary and dull about this race. You go down the Shoreway, with little to look at, a brief stint through white, affluent residential property, back into the town center, and then (for the Full Marathoners) miles and miles of Chester Avenue and again, little or nothing to see and no one around. As I drove past the Full Marathon runners on my way home, I was very glad I wasn't one of them. I live here and it would have put my teeth on edge.

The professional-looking guy (who nows lives in North Royalton, no surprise there) went on. "There's so much great stuff here, but no one knows it. The Metroparks are fantastic, and no one uses it. The Botanical garden is outstanding, but it's no one goes there."

"That's our new ad campaign," I said. "Cleveland - It's Not Crowded."

"And it's cheap," he said.

I went on. "Cleveland - Cheap ... and It's Not Crowded."

And then I noticed the woman on his left. "Hey!" I said, "Martha!" And Martha said hey and I added, "And you see, you always run into someone you know!"

Heading back into town, I hadn't realized we would be heading down Detroit, which was the best part of the morning. The rain had stopped, and as we passed CPT I ran out of line, placed a kiss on Calvin's brick, and kept going. That was right at nine miles. With four more to go it was dawning on me that I had an awful lot of energy left, and began speeding up, just a little.

By the time I was entering downtown I had thoughts of finishing the race ahead of my last time, which I did not expect to do because of my sparse training and the awful weather. My shoes were entirely soggy. But I was not chilly, nothing was aching, I had taken all of my GU, hit most of the water stops, I was not dehydrated, hungry, weak or anything. I was, as they say, going strong.

It felt great to finish - I was concerned I had poured on too much, too soon, but the results were satisfying. And I feel great no and it's just a few hours later.

I wish the Cleveland Marathon had a more interesting route, into the neighborhoods - you know, the other neighborhoods. Where people who don't look like all the runners live. It would be an eye-opening experience, and possibly encourage citizens of the city to be part of the celebration - which is to say, to create a celebration, a real celebration.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Moving forwards using all my breath

I love this song, but please .. someone ... explain the video to me.

It may rain for Sunday's run. That doesn't bother me ... as much as it raining on the boy's birthday party tomorrow. It's not wise to schedule outdoors events during May in Cleveland, but hey, the girl has a January birthday so Memphis Kiddie Park is out of the question for her.

No long runs this time out ... but every five miler I do is strong and fast. I think I have the endurance to pull this off. I cannot tell if my familiarity with the terrain will breed fondness or contempt.

In any event, I am off the the Expo. I mean, they don't call it an Expo, it's probably a card table set up outside the Convention Center. Maybe they will be selling beer.

1983 Playlist
Oblivious - Aztec Camera
The Reflex - Duran Duran
Song For A Future Generation - The B-52s
Make A Circuit With Me - The Polecats
(Let's All) Turn On - Hoodoo Gurus
Rockit - Herbie Hancock
I Melt ith You * - Modern English
Radio Free Europe - R.E.M.
Cooldown: Waling In Your Footsteps - The Police
Maniac - Michael Sembello
Shiny Shiny - Haysi Fantayzee
    (Last Year's 1983 Playlist)
    Blue Monday - New Order
    One Thing Leads To Another - The Fixx
    Catapult - R.E.M.
    A Ray Of Sunshine - Wham!
    Beating Of Hearts - XTC
    Gone Daddy Gone - Violent Femmes
    Is There Something I Should Know? - Duran Duran
Ran into Michael H. at the Expo.

"You run this?" I asked.
"Every year," he said. "You?"
"Yeah, well," I said, "I'm only doing half."
"Hell, I only do 10K."
"Oh ... that's great!"

I am a schmuck.

Run stats:
Days to Cleveland: 1 day, 8 hours
Distance: 3.6 miles
Weight: 167 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 25
Sit-ups: 80
Temperature: 58º
Weather: cool

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Funny how I find myself in love with you

Treading water until Sunday. So here's some Spanish disco!

1984 Playlist
It's My Life - Talk Talk
Harborcoat * - R.E.M.
Handsome Devil - The Smiths
88 Lines About 44 Women - The Nails
Free Nelson Mandela - Special AKA
Me Ship Came In! * - The Style Council
Hyperactive - Thomas Dolby
Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat
Cooldown: Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung
Wish (The Lads Were Here) - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
    (Last Year's 1984 Playlist)
    Master and Servant (Slavery Whip Mix) - Depeche Mode
    Handsome Devil - The Smiths
    La Colegiala - Gary Lowe
    Fascination - Everything But the Girl
    Go - Tones on Tail
    Cue Fanfare - Prefab Sprout
    Give Me It - The Cure
Run stats:
Days to Cleveland: 3
Distance: 3.6 miles
Weight: 167.5 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 15
Sit-ups: 60
Bicycles: 60
Temperature: 53º
Weather: overcast

Monday, May 12, 2008

What is wrong in my life that I must get drunk every night?

The Plain Dealer - Monday, May 12, 2008
Cleveland could better promote its Rite Aid marathon
by Zachary Lewis
    The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is one of the oldest and fastest foot-races in the country.

    Yet for some reason, unlike many of its peers, the 26.2-mile event attracts relatively little attention, even in its hometown, and participation isn't what it used to be.

    Some say that's because Northeast Ohio simply doesn't care about running, that the region as a whole has eyes only for football, baseball and basketball.

    Others, though, attribute the low profile to the race's own personnel, claiming they're the ones who have yet to realize the marathon's full potential and rally the community. ...
Yes, what is it, exactly, that makes a 26.2 mile run around Cleveland less exciting than in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston ...

... wait. Please. Don't answer that.

Hey, maybe it's dorky ass-sh*t like this.

1985 Playlist
Johnny Come Home - Fine Young Cannibals
World Machine - Level 42
Jockey Full Of Bourbon * - Tom Waits
We Close Our Eyes - Go West
Kiss Me On The Bus * - The Replacements
Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) - Mike & The Mechanics
Shout - Tears For Fears
Miami Vice Theme - Jann Hammer
I Didn't Mean To Turn You On - Robert Palmer
If You love Somebody Set Them Free - Sting
Cooldown: Around The World In A Day - Prince and The Revolution
I Must Confess - Everything But The Girl
    (Last Year's 1985 Playlist)
    Face the Face - Pete Townshend
    Nemesis - Shriekback
    I'm Your Man - Wham!
    Some Like It Hot - The Power Station
    When All's Well - Everything But the Girl
    Road to Nowhere - Talking Heads
    What You Need - INXS
    Close To Me - The Cure
    Obsession - Animotion
    Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo
    Can't Get There From Here - R.E.M.
    Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush
    Like Wow Wipeout - Hoodoo Gurus
    Perfect Kiss - New Order
    Faron - Prefab Sprout
Run stats:
Days to Cleveland: 5
Distance: 5.15 miles
Weight: 167.5 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 20
Temperature: 53º
Weather: cool & sweet

Saturday, May 10, 2008

You can't hide. Run with the dogs tonight.

The girl stopped four goals today!

Check out this playlist; what a geekfest.

1986 Playlist
Strangers When We Meet - The Smithereens
Rhythm Section Want Ad - They Might Be Giants
Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland - The B-52s
Catholic School Girls Rule - Red Hot Chili Peppers
And We Danced - The Hooters
Seven Day Weekend - Elvis Costello & Jimmy Cliff
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul - XTC
Weird Science - Oingo Boingo
Howard The Duck - Thomas Dolby
Christopher Tracy's Parade - Prince
Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Cung
Don't Get Me Wrong - The Pretenders
Cooldown: Suburbia - Pet Shop Boys
    (Last Year's 1986 Playlist)
    Oh Yeah - Yello
    Dreamworld - Midnight Oil
    I Can't Wait - Nu Shooz
    Notorious - Duran Duran
    Infected - The The
    World Shut Your Mouth - Julian Cope
    Wild Wild Life - Talking Heads
    Conga - Miami Sound Machine
    The New Style - The Beastie Boys
Run stats:
Days to Cleveland: 7
Distance: 5.15 miles
Weight: 167.5 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 20
Temperature: 55º
Weather: sunny & warm

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I always thought of you as quick

They put up a new lamp post at the end of my drive. I am actually impressed by the speed.

1987 Playlist
Hourglass - Squeeze
What Have I Done To Deserve This? - Pet Shop Boys
Hand To Mouth - George Michael
Light Of Day * - Joan Jett
I Wanna Be A Flintstone * - Screaming Blue Messiahs
Exhuming McCarthy - R.E.M.
Peace Train * - 10,000 Maniacs
Zydeco Gris Gris - Beausoleil
I.O.U. - The Replacements
Got My Mind Set On You - George Harrison
Just Like Heaven - The Cure
We're The Replacements - They Might Be Giants
Cooldown: This Corrosion - The Sisters of Mercy
    (Last Year's 1987 Playlist)
    Pump Up the Volume - M/A/R/R/S
    A Japanese Dream (remix) - The Cure
    Fear Is Never Boring - The Bears
    Join In the Chant - Nitzer Ebb
    Higher Ground - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    True Faith - New Order
    Party Machine - Hoodoo Gurus
    Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
Run stats:
Days to Cleveland: 9
Distance: 5.15 miles
Weight: 169.5 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 20
Temperature: 50º
Weather: cool, baby

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I was a lonely boy. No strength. No joy.

And 11 o'clock run was not part of my plan. Neither was waiting taking two days between runs, and not just one. It is a busy time.

But OH, what a beautiful night for a run, and no one else on the street.

1988 Playlist
It Takes Two - Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Baladi We Hetta - Hossam Ramzy
In The Lowlands - Crowded House
All She Wants Is - Duran Duran
Left To My Own Devices - Pet Shop Boys
Balloon Man - Robyn Hitchcock
Simply Irresistable - Robert Palmer
Airhead - Thomas Dolby
Suedehead - Morrissey
Chains of Love - Erasure
Cooldown: Doctorin' The Tardis - The Timelords (The KLF)
    (Last Year's 1988 Playlist)
    (Nothing But) Flowers - Talking Heads
    I Don't Want Your Love - Duran Duran
    Can U Dig It? - Pop Will Eat Itself
    Bring the Noise - Public Enemy
    Reptile - The Church
    Sister Madly - Crowded House
    What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) - Information Society
    Da Butt - Gap Band
Run stats:
Days to Cleveland: 11
Distance: 5.15 miles
Weight: 168 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 20
Temperature: 65º
Weather: warm & dark

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Whole again

Last Monday I went into the podiatrist's. I had a liquid nitrogen treatment six weeks earlier, and had been applying prescription strength acid to them. There were still thick, white layers coming away, I figured I needed another blast of pure cold.

She scraped away all the white materials ... and pronounced me clean. I was clean. They were gone.

I walked out of the office in a daze. I expected to be hobbling out, but I was striding out with the same awareness of my absence of pain as I was when I strode in.

And I began to cry. Seriously. I had no idea this was troubling me so much emotionally but it was undeniable.

At last, my foot is complete again.

It has been a week since I last ran. I will do the Cleveland in two weeks. Not a way to train.

1989 Playlist
Dreaming I Am * - Bob Mould
Eat For Two - 10,000 Maniacs
Dry County - The B-52s
Say No Go - De La Soul
Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over) - Technotronic
My Little Sister * - Michelle Shocked
The Sensual World - Kate Bush
Garden of Eartly Delights - XTC
Love Song - The Cure
Pure - Lightning Seeds
Across This Antheap - XTC
Cooldown: Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys
    (Last Year's 1989 Playlist)
    Brave New World - Michael Penn
    Express Yourself - Madonna
    On the Greener Side - Michelle Shocked
    Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy
    On the Verge - Nicholas Robinson
    Sin - Nine Inch Nails
    Veronica - Elvis Costello
    Ana Ng - They Might Be Giants
    Bust a Move - Young MC

Run stats:
Days to Cleveland: 14
Distance: 5.15 miles
Weight: 167.5 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Temperature: 53º
Weather: RAIN