Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not half the man you think you are

Up at 4.30, stared at a blank screen for two hours, went out for a run.

Damn. Next time I need to do that the other way around.

I have forgotten the brisk joy of a late spring, dawn-time run. Fragrant, clear, clean. I had New York, Chicago, London, Cleveland Heights, MLK Drive and Lake Erie inside of me. The playlist had a lot to do with that.

I miss the long distance runs. I drive MLK to my folks house and wish I were outside.

I am wanting a lot these days.

2006 Playlist

Upside Down - Jack Johnson
Push the Button - Sugababes
Sorry - Madonna
Love Today - MIKA
Tell Me Why - Supermode
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
Mass Repeat - Gabriel & Dresden

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 68º
Weight: 153 lbs.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

All reved up and ready to go

Gorgeous day. Not too hot, but I have not sweat like this in some time. Short run, there's family business at hand or I would have kicked it out to 5 miles. Perfect day for a mid-70s playlist. It's a nostalgia thing.

Woke this morning with a sinus thing. Took sudafed, pain relievers, didn't work. Heading towards migraine-ville. Then a run - and hey! I feel great!

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 75º
Weight: 153 lbs.

Gravity takes hold! Two runs a week now? I dropped the weight-bearing workout when the show went down in January. I remain ectomorphic, and yet there are pooches of skin sagging out in the usual places. That was probably one of the biggest difficulties in the race last Wednesday, I could feel the strain in my back, sides and abdomen.

So, uhm, I should work on that.

1976 Playlist

Blinded By The Light - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
As - Stevie Wonder
Tvc 15 - David Bowie
Rubberband Man - The Spinners
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
Lonely Boy - Andrew Gold

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's how I'm programmed to function

2009 Heights 5K Earth Day Run

Start: 6:45 pm

Time: 00:21.12

Weather: 50º

It has been a drag lately, with the rain and little time to hit the road. I was looking forward to this, and glad I made it. I promised to be a downright beautiful night, but when the sun dipped below the trees it got a bit uncomfortable with cold. But I showed up shortly before the start, and so did not have to wait long.

They discontinued the annual 5K three years ago due to lack of interest, I do not know what inspired them to try again, but I am glad they did. There was only a few dozen of us, but that was good enough for me.

Preparing to begin, I made a mistake. For some reason, I developed a desire ... to win. I mean, I didn't think I would win, or place, but you know, maybe take a medal in my division. I might leave with something. Could there actually be three people there in my age range? And I am now, again, the youngest in my age range! I can take my imaginary competitors, right?

Foolish. Vain. Pointless. And, inevitably, counterproductive.

Don't get me wrong, I ran. I ran fast. I didn't beat my previous best, I did not break back-to-back seven minute miles. But I did all right.

But I also had that awful feeling in my chest that I used to get when I was trying really hard, a feeling of fear, and futility. I hate that feeling. Only it used to slow me down, that feeling of dread. This time fear propelled me. That and a special playlist with bpm between 165 and 175.

I also felt like I was going to vomit halfway through. And my sides were aching. Really annoying, I never feel like that.

I started with the pack runners in the front, and slowly but surely, I passed people. A few people. And no one, during the entire race, passed me. I passed the only woman in front of me - I was faster than all the women in the entire race. There were two guys, one my age, another college age, passed both of them near the end, I thought that was foolish, but I was wrong. I just kept going.

It was cold. My ears hurt, they hurt a lot when I was finished. And you know what? I didn't get anything. All of the guys in front of me? They were all, so it seemed, between the ages of 40 and 49. All of them. I didn't even get a packet of seeds. Earth Day, they were giving out seeds. I was faster than the fastest guy under 29. Nothing.

I will never strive to medal again. It's just pointless. All serious runners are my age. By the time I'm 50, I won't be able to do this anymore.

165-175 BPM Playlist

The Fear - Lily Allen (not over 165 bpm, but a nice warm-up)
Foundations - Kate Nash (like Lily Allen, but ginger)
Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service (a two-fer!)
Enid - Barenaked Ladies
Hounds of Love (New Mix) - The Futureheads

I was doing so well on the 42 Runs, and now I have just lost it. I hope I can pick that back up - summer is supposed to begin Friday.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This is the only way to be alive

Not my favorite week. Flabby and weak. The fact that I have not been able to run in six days - and my knees still hurt - is actually a source of comfort. It's not the running. My knees will always feel bad.

HB 5K on Sunday - and another on Wednesday evening to mark Earth Day! I am looking forward to the Wed. night run and just bag the HB one if it weren't the fact that the girl is really looking forward to the one-miler on Sunday. They won't have one on Wednesday.

Hell, I ran over 5K tonight.

1996 Playlist
Unmarked Helicopters - Soul Coughing
Local God - Everclear
Young Hearts Run Free - Kym Mazelle
The Boy From Ipanema - Crystal Waters
Wrong - Everything But the Girl
To Ulrike M (Original Mix) - Doris Days
Chair - Sister Soleil

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 55º
Weight: 153.5

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Swallowed by the crack


I wish I had taken pictures of my right foot, from back in the day when I had Plantar warts (past tense, hard to believe, past tense.) I thought of that from time to time, but never believeing there would be an end, I didn't seriously believe there would be any change, or any progress. It was depressing. Now I could look at them and marvel.

At the very worst stage, maybe a year and a half ago, I developed a fissue - no, not that kind of fissue, it was in the pad of my foot, a nasty rift between two warts. The doctor told me to take it easy at that point, to let it heal before we proceeded. I had gone too far.

It is now, that the warts are gone, that I understand why gouging them out and stitching my foot was the path of last resort. From time to time I have felt a tingling in my foot, one which makes me believe the area is not clear, that there may still be activity, that they have not gone away. And then I check the area and find it remains smooth, no sign of new warts, none at all.

And then I use a bright light and I could see it, barely perceptiable the scar from the fissure. That's what tingles from time to time. That area has been affected, nerves have been slightly damaged. If they had extracted the warts, it would have been much more damaging, much more serious.

From time to time, I learn that it is possible to trust a doctor.

* Too Much Foot Information

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 58º

WARNING: Nostalgia

This is where we shopped. This is where we laughed.
Take a picture here. Take a souvenir.

They remodeled the Kroger's. They had done this before, but never so extensively. It was a bit of a shock. In fall, 1986 my girlfriend and I went shopping for dorm food here, just as we had gone shopping for her family at the supermarket of West 25th Street and Clark that summer. Grocery shopping with her was a very romantic thing to do, it felt very grown-up, it was couplish.

After she left and in the years that followed, there were stops with friends, of course - after hours avdentures in the middle of sweltering summer after the station went off the air, getting snacks and snacks and more snacks. The only souls in there, we owned that place.

And on and on ... in recent years I would fear running into my former in-laws there, but they have moved. Even after their most recent redesign the layout of the place had more or less remained the same, and more than any other building or location in this city, that place held strange ghosts.

But not now, not really. Not so much. I had to force myself to see things that weren't there, and then stopped. The wine and beer section by the dairy, always such a dark warren, a foreign outpost at the far reaches of the frozen (food) wilderness, its all bust open now, and too brightly lit for my taste. The organics grown near where they used to, but their soil was so long sown with the acidity of the canned tomato aisle I find it difficult to believe the milk is any good.

I could go on. Time here gives me the opportunity to let my mind wander. I rpomised the wife I would only sit on the Internet to log my runs, and so I use that as an excuse to write nonsense. Still, it's fun.

1986 Playlist
The Boy In the Bubble - Paul Simon
Pretty In Pink - Psychadelic Furs
Breakout - Swing Out Sister
The Brazilian - Genesis
I Walk Away - Crowded House
The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades (158 bpm) - Timbuk 3
I Am Superman - R.E.M.
The Edge of Heaven - Wham!
Girls & Boys - Prince
Hold It Now, Hit It - The Beastie Boys
Swallowed By the Cracks - David & David

"I Am Superman." Hmn. I never considered it before, but for R.E.M., this track shows the musical accomplsihment and emotional maturity of The Beatles' "Run For Your Life."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Back to the lab again

Retiring for the holiday weekend, nothing better for a four-hour car trip than getting out for a run. The weather is just gorgeous, breezy down by the river, all sunshine and bobbing co-ed ponytails.

Artemis finished her first 5K in 38:20! Woo!

2002 Playlist
Daft Punk Is Playing at My House - LCD Soundsystem
Black (162 bpm) - The Shroud
We're Going to Be Friends - The White Stripes
Ug - Mr. Scruff
Cry Me a River - Justin Timberlake
Slip the Drummer One - Cornershop
Lose Yourself (171 bpm) - Eminem
Love Can Damage Your Health - Telepopmusik
Time After Time - Willie Nelson
Cooldown: Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco

Mellow tunes. But nice.

I need to write, there's an adaptation bashing around in my head and I want to get it out. I will be avoiding this terminal for everything this weekend except logging runs. And email. And news. And bad cakes.

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 66º

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I'm a man with a whole lot on his mind

Okay, that's it. One vote, and it's no. I'm not going.

Of course, there are three days left in this poll. But the one person who reads this blog has already voted, so what's the point. I'm not going.

However, the CHICAGO Marathon is October 11.

Now, marathon or no, I need to get serious about training. Life training. I am going to hurt myself one way or another. Starting - uh - tomorrow, I will begin recording my weight-bearing and balance exercises.

So you have that to look forward to.

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 45º
Weight: 151.5

I have had it with the cold. Snow? Thank you, thanks for that. Spending the weekend in Athens ... should I go three for three?

1972 Playlist

Do It Again - Steely Dan
Traveler In Time - Uriah Heep
I'm So Free (159 bpm) - Lou Reed
Stairway to the Stairs (172 bpm) - Blue Oyster Cult
Jimmy Loves Mary Ann - Looking Glass

Sam Tyler, thanks again.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

We've got to find the time

Hey, I created a poll; see right. Please vote.

I am on the fence about NYC 2009. Not least of my worries is that it falls on Nov. 1 - I either miss a Halloween with my family (it's a big day for us) or we all spend it in New York ... which wouldn't absolutely blow. But the kids would most likely be disappointed.

Then there's training. Knees. The money involved.

On the plus side, I rilly rilly wanna go.

Beautiful day, sunshiny and cool. I wore the pants, because after last whatever that was, last Sunday, I can't take cold legs right now. So I am pretty sweaty. That's okay, too.

However, I am missing a birthday party for this. But I have missed several days, what a drag, weather gets better, life comes crashing in. Wah.

1992 Playlist

Eastern Bloc (Sequel to Europa and the Pirate Twins, 1981) - Thomas Dolby
Too Funky - George Michael
The Life of Riley - The Lightning Seeds
Rhythm Is a Dancer - Snap!
Sleeping Satellite - Tasmin Archer
Good Stuff - The B-52's
Seen the Doctor - Michael Penn
Blood Makes Noise - Suzanne Vega
Not Sleeping Around - Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Soutanbi - Hassan Hakmoun & Zahar

Distance: 5.15 miles
Temperature: 46º
Weight: 152.5 lbs.