Sunday, January 31, 2010


It was my intention to run 2 miles today. Because I did not, I am disappointed. Having said that I have never run sixteen times n the month of January. Never. You can check my blog here to see that I never ran at all the first month of 2007 (following my NYC Marathon) and five times in January 2008. Last year I was training for the Big Box production of ATYD, I think I actually ran five times. Sixteen times through snow and ice. And because I have usually only resumed running in February for the past four years I know the worst is still ahead. But an excellent start - at least physically - for 2010.

I had to shave my beard for a new show I am acting in. It is a little depressing. Just as I am feeling positive about things, I am reminded what a potato head I am. Did I ever have a chin? I have assumed the jowls that are an essential trait of my mother's side of the family. Sigh.

Here's the thing ... with these playlists I keep at the beginning of the year, one for each year of my life, I always end with the current year. Because I usually start in February and because it takes three, four, sometimes five months to run 40 times, well, there are usually enough run-worth songs released to make up a decent playlist. What will I have to take me to the finish line in late March?

Hmn. I think I will need to press certain quarter-life work colleagues for a hot list.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Everyone's looking at you.

Drummer face.

1981 Playlist
Let's Groove - Earth Wind & Fire
Spirits In the Material World - The Police
Chant No. 1 (Don't Need This Pressure On) - Spandau Ballet
The Voice* - The Moody Blues
Working For the Weekend - Loverboy
Late Bar - Duran Duran
Sausalito Summernight - Diesel
Strict Time - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Sat In Your Lap - Kate Bush
Burnin' For You - Blue Oyster Cult
Love Action (I Believe In Love) - Human League
Hold On Tonight - Electric Light Orchestra
Family Man - Mike Oldfield
Working In a Coal Mine* - Devo

Distance: 6 miles
Temperature: 19º
Weather: cold and sunny
Road conditions: patchy ice
Weight: 158 lbs.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Holy mother of God you've got to go faster than that to get to the top

Again, snow. In the midst of January, reaching out for the middle of May. I do wonder on some runs whether I will ever go 26.2 again. I do not feel any pull in that direction - Tuesday I was running and thought of New York and all I could remember was how difficult it was, not how thrilling. Of course, it was cold and I was weighted down with winter-weather gear.

Training for the Half suggests going beyond the half - to peak at fifteen miles. And when I remembered that I thought, why not run to Mom and Dad's again? This time, packing proper fuel. I would like to make that particular journey again.

1976 Playlist
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Shout It Out Loud - KISS
Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller Band
Blinded By the Light - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Crazy On You - Heart
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
Car Wash - Rolls Royce
Dance On a Volcano - Genesis

What a great early morning, snowy day playlist. Did I mention Heart rocks?

Distance: 4 miles
Temperature: 21º
Weather: cold and snow
Road conditions: snow
Weight: 158.5 lbs.

That's right. Only eat food.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Run and tell the angels that everything's all right.

Okay. Someone needs to explain the phenomena wherein I lose two and a half pounds by running. Seriously. Two and a half pounds.

Goodness me, but the wind was ripping my face off. Running. I cannot lose weight these days apparently, so running is the only thing holding me together - literally. Pulls me in here and there, makes it possible to wear these pants I bought last winter.

1999 Playlist
Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) - The Beastie Boys
Southside - Moby
Theme from "Futurama" - Danny Elfman
Lullaby of Clubland - Everything But the Girl
The Generator (159 bpm) - Lilys
Smooth - Santana
Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters

Distance: 3 miles
Temperature: 25º
Weather: snowy
Road conditions: dust of snow
Weight: 162.5 to 160 lbs.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dance, you beautiful chunk of the universe!

Thirteen runs since the beginning of 2010 - and I don't usually run in January at all. A wet, rainy day, the pavement is finally clear of ice and snow ... and it will snow tomorrow. The winter has barely begun.

One hundred-eleven days until the Half Marathon. I trust I will be ready. If nothing goes horribly, hideously wrong.

So ... snow tomorrow, rehearsals for the outreach tour begin Tuesday. I have three (four?) grants due a week from tomorrow. And there's that script I have to write. It's going to be a busy week February.

2006 Playlist
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Mothership (176 bpm) - Kid Beyond
F*cking Boyfriend - The Bird & The Bee
Wound Up - Office
Shine - Take That
Beware of the Dog - Jamelia
Mass Repeat [Extended 12" Version] - Gabriel & Dresden

Distance: 3 miles
Temperature: 44º
Weather: wet
Road conditions: wet
Weight: 161 lbs.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's hard to breathe

1972 Playlist
All the Young Dudes (156 bpm) - Mott the Hoople
Rock and Roll Part 2 - Gary Glitter
Stairway to the Stars (172 bpm) - Blue Öyster Cult
I'm So Free (159 bpm) - Lou Reed
Popcorn - Hot Butter
Burning Love - Elvis Presley
Call the Police - Thin Lizzy
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
John, I'm Only Dancing (156 bpm) - David Bowie
Suffragette City - David Bowie
Blockbuster- Sweet
Astral Plane - The Modern Lovers
Jimmy Loves Mary Ann - Looking Glass

Distance: 5 miles
Temperature: 40º
Weather: decent
Road conditions: still crispy
Weight: 161.5 lbs.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just what the doctor ordered

Wow. What a difficult ... week. And it's only Thursday. I hate this week. Hate, hate, hate. And the last thing I wanted to do tonight was go running.

It was right for me to run. Uh-huh.

1982 Playlist
Cockpit Dance Mixture (158 bpm) - XTC
Da Da Da (Ich Lieb Dich Nicht) - Trio
Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) - Haircut 100
Abracadabra - Steve Miller Band
Situation - Yazoo
Vacation (158 bpm) - The Go-Go's
Mickey - Toni Basil
I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
Pressure - Billy Joel

Ah, Billy Joel. You aren't John Lennon. You're not Paul McCartney, Elton John or Elvis Costello. You're just ... Billy Joel.

Distance: 4 miles
Temperature: 39º
Weather: nice
Road conditions: mostly without ice. mostly.
Weight: 160.5 lbs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

And it was still hot.

What a day. It started groggily, as a weekend of being the "on" parent (the wife, having taken ill with the flu late Saturday evening) staying up past midnight every night to hold down the fort meant that the three-day weekend really didn't add up to much relaxation.

It progressed angrily, and then pathetically as I mentally gave myself a major muscle pull in my back, between the shoulder blades.

The day limped on miserably, as I felt like even the basic work-related project took about five times longer than expected.

Then it went quite dreamily (as in dream-like, not as in Patrick Dempsey-ish) as I said f.u. to my family and headed off to my foot reflexologist and massage therapist Rachelle, who I have not seen since my feet were a mess (hey, and check out Rachelle's new website) who did amazing things to my physical and mental self. This was followed by an awesome run, and the reading of a truly bizarre chapter of Mary Poppins to the children.

Now I am baking cookies.

2004 Playlist
Wake Up - Arcade Fire
Beware - Punjabi ft. Jay-Z
Call On Me - Eric Prydz
One of These Things First - Nick Drake
She's a Rebel (159 bpm) - Green Day
Hounds of Love (168 bpm) - The Futureheads
Ohh La La - The Ditty Bops

When I can no longer run 3.30 at 168 bpm, then I will truly feel old.

Distance: 3.15 miles
Temperature: 33º
Weather: cold
Road conditions: crunchy
Weight: 161.5 lbs.

LATER: F*cked up the cookies. *Sigh*

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I just sit back and watch you make a fool of yourself

Yep. That's me.

Running two miles in shorts! In near freezing temps! No, bad, bad, bad idea! Already my left knee, which has been giving me some grief in the past week, is aching. Exposure to the cold has such a profound effect on my muscles, it always has, reaching back as far as college.

During the winter of 1992 I actually used a cane to get around for a week or so. This was when I was 23 years old, which meant, of course, that going to a doctor and getting advice was out of the question.

Tomorrow - a day off. From running, from work, from everything but home and family. And of course, Dr. King.

1992 Playlist
The Statue Got Me High - They Might Be Giants
Humpin' Around - Bobby Brown
My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) - En Vogue
The World's Green Laughter - The B-52's

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 33º
Weather: cold
Road conditions: wet
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Holy cow!

In 1977, when I was 9 years old, I knew this song was about having sex in a car. What I did not understand was how funny it is.

The training schedule for the Cleveland Half is so ... Cleveland. You should run 3 miles today ... or two, it's okay if you run two. And don't run on Saturdays, sleep in, eat a big stack of pancakes. But do run your peak-to-date distance on Sunday, so that on Monday, when you also shouldn't run, you can hobble around feeling weak and miserable and hate yourself.

I ran today.

1977 Playlist
Paradise by the Dashboard Light - Meat Loaf
Second Hand News - Fleetwood Mac
Holidays in the Sun - Sex Pistols
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment - The Ramones
Swingtown - Steve Miller Band
Jungle Fever - The Chakachas
I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick
Nothing Achieving - The Police
I'm Not Angry - Elvis Costello
Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees

Distance: 4 miles
Temperature: 33º
Weather: cool
Road conditions: slushy & wet
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How young are you? How old am I?

In the early-mid 80s we produced a comedy program for local access cable. This is a video retrospective of three years of sub-par hilarity.

My, but it was FREAKISHLY balmy this evening! I had hoped to run in the sunshine (hello, yes) but after four hours of giving workshops in Shakespeare I discovered the sun had set and feared that the temperature would dip considerably. It didn't. I overdressed, but it was marvelous. Three miles winding through the side streets of CH.

Tomorrow is the last time (hopefully) I need to wake up at 5 am, for a while. And no rehearsal Saturday! Looking forward to checking out Josh & Kelly's show at CPT on Saturday night - join me! There will be blood!!!!

1984 Playlist
Dance Halls Days [12" version] - Wang Chung
I Will Dare (167 bpm) - The Replacements
Cue Fanfare - Prefab Sprout
Two Tribes [12" version] - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Harborcoat (157 bpm) - R.E.M.

Distance: 3 miles
Temperature: 40º
Weather: breezy, cool
Road conditions: slushy & wet
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How come I end up where I started?

First day of training! And look - you can train yourself!

The fact that I took a run this morning at 5 am is no indication of my dedication to my sport. It is because I have no f*cking time. Next I am going to drop ten pounds my cutting off my head.

2007 Playlist
United State of Pop (2007) - DJ Earworm
Uninvited - Freemasons
Merrymaking At My Place - Calvin Harris
Girls and Boys In Love - The Rumble Strips
Henrietta - The Fratellis
15 Step - Radiohead

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 24º
Weather: lovely, light snowflakes
Road conditions: thick & slippery
Weight: 161 lbs.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

To search, to find, to have, to hold

The temperature may rise above freezing on Wednesday. The streets are clear-ish, where snow remains it is even enough to may running just a little slippery, and in some cases pleasantly cushioned. Like running on a sandy beach. Only freezing.

My normal route goes out and around a familiar track, mostly level, but uses main arteries of traffic. With the snow entirely untouched in front of abandoned homes, it would be necessary to run in the street, which is stupidly dangerous on those streets. So I stick to the side-streets around my home, infrequently traveled and below the speed limit. Two miles is fine, next week I will need to raise that to three and will no doubt just do another circuit very near my house. Safe. Sane.

Initiating my running routine, prior to getting a gym membership in 1998, It was always such an endurance test getting up that first street. Was it my weight? Was it the fact that I still smoked? Well, it is only with modern technology that I have gone online and checked the elevation of that first street, and what do you know - it is steep!

I have been running it the past week. It is still steep! But not such an endurance test anymore.

1974 Playlist
Junior's Farm - Paul McCartney & Wings
Waterloo - ABBA
Killer Queen - Queen
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Loose Booty - Sly & the Family Stone
Verb: That's What's Happening - Zachary Sanders

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 24º
Weather: face is freezing, torso sweaty. discuss.
Weight: 161.5 lbs.

Twice in two days? Sure, that's what a weekend is for.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

You have got my favorite face

That's right, betches, I will be running the Cleveland this spring, 13.1 of it, anyhow. Me and not one - but three of my colleagues from work. My young, fit colleagues. Big sigh.

What is up with this city that they have a marathon in mid-May? Training officially begins Tuesday, so we are, all of us, training in the snow and sleet - those of us too cheap to have gym memberships. But I have to say, running on a treadmill is not a good way to train for a marathon, nor any road race. It's too gentle.

Today, the past two days, no, three, I have been achy and miserable physically. Today I have been sinking into bad sinus/migraine business. Getting out into the night air was a goal and it was extremely helpful. The cold did not even trouble me, the air was still, I just felt bright and strong. I could have added another mile tonight.

I will have to add that third mile soon enough, anyhow. I hope the winter is kind.

1994 Playlist
Locked Out - Crowded House
Mr. Bitterness - Soul Coughing
All that She Wants - Ace of Base
Ripper Sole - Stomp
Gel - Collective Soul
Supernova - Liz Phair

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 19º
Weather: clear & cold ... but not cold enough

Thursday, January 07, 2010

When you're dead you don't take nothing with you but your soul

That was like a f*cking video game. There's this winter storm advisory going on, right? And it's been snowing and the traffic was ridiculous coming home and all I can think is - get these kids in bed, I am running in powdery snow. I'm geared for it.

The wife is worried, I am going to hurt my knees or something, I promised to stop if I was in any kind of soreness, but I planned to keep to the home route, a two-mile course going up and down the streets in my neighborhood, no distance, no big loop just weaving up and down these side streets. I can be in the street that way, head up, ears clear, ready for anything.

But the snowplows. I hit it just right, and those monsters (which I thought our city wasn't paying for, not for the side streets, not anymore) were going around each street - twice - and just when I was on them. So I was bounding through deep, unshoveled sidewalk snow and getting hit with the stuff these trucks were blowing in the air.

Crazy. I feel awesome, however. I had a nasty headache earlier ... due to lack of sleep, I think. And eyestrain.

I'm going to bed now.

1969 Playlist
The Ballad of John and Yoko - The Beatles
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
One - Three Dog Night
Undun - The Guess Who
You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones

How the hell did I put together a set from 1969 with no repeats from last year?

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 25º
Weather: snowy
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Time to get stupid

Citizens of Monticello Road, I am putting you on notice.

I am insane. That is insane business. And I LOVE IT.

Fact is, I would much rather run in unbroken snow than the winding trail of people hiking through the unshoveled drifts. Much less likely to break my ankle, or slip and fall ... but it does mean picking up my legs, hoisting up those knees. Really, two miles is enough. Really.

1989 Playlist

Steppin' to the A.M. - 3rd Bass
Veronica - Elvis Costello
Eye Know - De La Soul
Sin (Long) - Nine Inch Nails
King For A Day (12" Version) - XTC

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 25º
Weather: at least it's not 18º
Weight: 160.5 lbs.

You know you live in Cleveland when ... there's a two hour wait to dine at a place that serves fried cheese sandwiches.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

On the Ten

2009 Playlist
United State of Pop 2009 (Blame It On The Pop) - DJ Earworm
Don't Stop Believin' - The Kids from "Glee"
Sugar - Flo Rida ft. Wynter
Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny) - A.R. Rahman ft. The Pussycat Dolls
I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked - Ida Maria
Rehab - The Kids from "Glee"

I usually wait until February to begin the XX Playlists for XX Years cycle. But I can't, not this year. I am already stir-crazy, and getting out into the insanely cold temperatures is the only way to defeat them.

Two signs you are old in 2010:
Whining about modern interpretations of classic fictional detectives.
Whining about modern interpretations of classic hits by Journey.
Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 18º
Weather: cold. snow. what have you.
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

New Year's Resolution: Do you have to eat that? I have officially gained 15 pounds since last January. This is not necessary.

Over the holiday weekend, two of my (young) co-workers were fb'ing about doing The Cleveland. I asked if it were a private party and (one of them) said "Sure!"

So I guess I am running The Cleveland, or half of it, this spring. It always falls around the boy's birthday. Training begins next week. Wish me luck, or something.