Saturday, May 29, 2010

Everybody's free ... to feel good.

When you are strapped for cash, and are straining to tale good care of every physical object which contributes to your daily emotional and physical well-being, may I remind you not to cavalierly toss your sport headphones into your everything bag.

I mean, when I put phones in my bag (which carries a laptop, folders and paper ... but also sometimes keys) I col them carefully and place them in. But some time late last week I pulled out my N*ke Flight phones and it looked like a cat had been at them. I mean, was I keeping knives in my bag? There was a book in there sure, but wtf? I mean, they were ruined, all but cut entirely through in one spot.

It is disheartening to think I only run when I have muic available. I mean, look, I run Half Marathons without them, did so a few weeks ago. Listening to my breathing and my body. But you aren't alone in a marathon - not even in Cleveland - and the distractions and excitement are plentiful. Not so treading over the ground several times a week.

So I got new phones, because we are in Athens and I wanted to run. It is an informal "reunion" weekend, I will be meeting half a dozen former alum from the School of Theater here in a about a half-hour. I had invited them to join me this morning for the run, but, well, you know.

I took photos of the Hocking River run I always take, the shorter one. Expect to see those soon.

Pump Up the Volume Genius Mix
Pump Up the Volume - M/A/R/R/S
Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo
We Close Our Eyes - Go West
Can You Feel It - The Jacksons
Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung
Just Can't Get Enough - De[eche Mode
One Thing Leads To Another - The Fixx
A Little Respect - Erasure
Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) - Rozalla
Girls On Film (Night Version) - Duran Duran

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 78º
Weather: hot & sunny

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Put your face in the gutter of a snakepit

La Roux Playlist
In For The Kill

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 57º
Weather: lovely

Cleveland Marathon Proofs

Still taking a break from the big run ... but check out these proofs.

Damn, baby. I look sexy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hotcha! That's my town!

Official time: 01:43.35


Yay-oh-me, but I don't even believe that right now.

Recap: I wouldn't even be running this today, except three of my co-workers announced in January that they wanted to. Two were to run the Half, and one the 10K. However, as of yesterday one of the Half Marathon runners thought he had a recurrence of strep, and the other has been having knee problems - so they switched to the 10K when they picked up their stuff.

It's what my wife tells me - listen to your body. Good for them. But now I was running alone. Which is all right, I usually run alone.

I do hate the fact that the Cleveland Marathon has a very lame start. No warm place to hang out, absolutely no free stuff to eat or drink ($2 for a plain bagel before the race? Fuck you.) and who in the hell are the announcers? I have no idea who these people are. "CLEVELAND ROCKS!" Yeah, whatever, keep saying that over and over and maybe I will believe you weren't flown in here by Clear Channel.

And. I hate, hate, hate the remake of that song (I won't even mention the band, it doesn't exist) I mean, love you Drew, but Jesus it's awful - and they played that version at the start this time, too. AND THEN THEY PLAYED IT AGAIN.

But I am a big fan of this year's Half Marathon route. BIG fan. That was awesome. Obviously there are corporate reasons for running down East 9th (you know, to run past the Rock Hall) which necessitates a run up West Third. That's okay. I can do that. I've done that several times.

Taking the Lorain-Carnegie was a new thrill (only one remaining Cavaliers headband on the Guardians of Traffic, by the way, the rest must have been stolen/blown away/dissolved in a pool of tears) and so was our journey through TREMONT! A real neighborhood, with real people! Okay, not real people, urban hipsters, but still. And also through OHIO CITY where I saw the fabulous Miss Carrie W. who I stopped to give a hug. Thank you, Carrie!

Outside CPT, in front of the Gordon Square, right where Calvin's brick used to be, there was a fifty-gallon plastic drum brigade beating out an amazing rhythm. You know, the brick is no longer there (it is now in our yard) but we put so much love into that tiny space for eight years, it is impossible not to feel positive when I walk or run past it. I love the fact that there were musicians right there this morning.

And yes, the Edgewater neighborhood. Do you think if we ran through any black neighborhoods we might attract more black runners to this extremely white race? Just asking.

Moving onto the Shoreway, things became ... challenging. I had no idea how I was doing on time. I started with the 3:30 (1:45) team. You know, running with a pace group can be good, it can be a pain. There's a wall of people there, right where the guy with flag runs, and unless I am in right front of it I feel boxed in. I had to pee in Tremont (yes, I used a proper facility - didn't see many errant urinators today, probably a good side-effect of keeping us in residential areas) and lost that group, but caught up with and passed the 3:40 (1:50) team. But then I had no markers at all, and just tried not to worry about it. When I saw Karl before the race and asked what his goal was he said, "finishing." He has had some major issues with his legs this year, as I did the year before. I thought I just wanted to finish ... but I can't help myself, and I run faster than I should.

So at mile nine, we move onto the Shoreway. That part kind of sucked. I mean, it really sucked. Uphill, more or less, for roughly three miles. With the wind coming at you off Lake Erie. And my knee began to ache, my right knee.

Listen to your body.

Would I slow down, for the sake of my right knee? Or just press on? I manage inclines pretty all right, I kept passing people. Finally we headed down the offramp into the city. The rest is a blur. Two miles? I can keep this up. One mile? I can go a little faster. We rounded the turn onto Lakeside Drive and - did I mention I wasn't wearing headphones this time, either - I couldn't hear anything. I could see the finish line, the last quarter mile, and I began to sprint. And sprinting felt good. It felt very, very good. I was running.

And I finished in record time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


2010 Cleveland Marathon Course

I have been complaining for years about the race not touching many neighborhoods, just the stately mansions of West Cleveland, the boarded up storefronts of Detroit. That's half the race. The other half, if I ran it, included MLK which would be nice ... but also too much Chester and the Shoreway - love the Lake, but there are no spectators at all. And that's the last five miles!

This year - TREMONT! And we hit that first and then get all the football players' houses by the lake.

Anyway, it's past 9.30 and I should be asleep. You can' track me apparently, but I will report as soon as I get back. No, I will not "tweet" during the race, sorry. I will just run. Two years ago I did this and blew out my knee, I just fear this may be my last race ever.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Make me beautiful

I wore the wrong shoes. Just didn't notice, these are the last pair. And right now I am feeling it. Race in four days. Bad news.

But what a day ... three hours driving in a car in the rain, and I can't believe I ate that entire Hartzler's Cow Pie sundae. Time for a run. Big time for a run.

Gabriel & Dresden Remix Playlist
As The Rush Comes [Gabriel & Dresden Sweeping String Remix] - Motorcycle "Ultra 10"
Dust In the Wind - Gabriel & Dresden "Gabriel & Dresden"
A Perfect Lie (Theme Song) [Gabriel & Dresden Remix] - The Engine Room "Nip/Tuck Original TV Soundtrack"
Dangerous Power [Gabriel & Dresden Extended Mix] - Gabriel & Dresden "Dangerous Power (Club Mixes)"

Cleveland Marathon Update:

My bib number is # 5787

Unlike races in real cities, however, you will not be able to receive my splits via email this year because the system crashed. It's Wednesday, but they know now that the system will not be fixed by Sunday. Because in this town, we cannot fix things.

Met with fellow racers Steven, Nathan and Annie today! Steven is worried about his left knee. Hey, join the club! SHowed off some stretches, weight bearing exercises, and pressed the old-fashioned joys of ice, warm baths and megadoses of pain reliever.

From Brian: Fish Oil Benefits

Did I mention how emotional I got during my run in Sunday? I was actually weeping running through Cain Park. And I was listening to Ke$Ha. There was a reason for that, but it wasn't Ke$Ha. I am thinking of a show. I am thinking of changes, to this show, and to another show. Thinking of time. Of pictures. Of words.

No, I can't say more than that.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 49º
Weather: brisk
Weight: 159.5 lbs.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

We should never be afraid to die

OK, here is the difference between my seven year-old daughter and I in a nutshell. This week I received a rejection slip for a play and sat in maudlin self-criticism for about 30 minutes. I thought, "What is wrong with me?"

The girl received word that her play was rejected - her first play, her first rejection. She thought for a moment and with pride and not a trace of recrimination said, "That was a good play, I worked hard on it."

And that was it.

2010 Playlist
New In Town - Little Boots
Uprising - Muse
Tigerlily - La Roux
Cousins - Vampire Weekend
TiK ToK - Ke$Ha
1901 - Phoenix
I Feel It All - Feist
Animal (Punks Jump Up Remix) - Miike Snow
Rude Boy - Rihanna
Heads Will Roll - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Giving Up The Gun - Vampire Weekend
In For The Kill - La Roux

Ladies and gentlemen ... 43 Playlists for 43 Years.

Thank you.

Distance: 6 miles
Temperature: 43º
Weather: cool but sunny
Weight: 157 lbs.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

You're on the road but you've got no destination

Cool morning run, nice. After last night's hailstorm (when did those become normal?) it was enjoyable to see the world so calm.

I have begun taking omega-3 supplements, as per Brian's advice. See? I can learn something from anyone. Hopefully those will ... you know, I have no idea what those do. Except give me little fish-tasting burps.

2000 Playlist

Beautiful Day - U2
The Perfect Drug (166 bpm) - Krupps
It's My Turn To Fly - The urge
Da Funk DJ - Daft Punk vs. Madonna
Everybody's Going to the Moon - Jamiroquai
The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
The National Anthem - Radiohead

43 Playlists for 43 Years concludes ... tomorrow. Welcome to a new decade.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 53º
Weather: cool and breezy
Weight: 158.5 lbs.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

No, you can't take that away from me.

Since Sunday's run ... that night, my right knee was unbearable, hobbling everywhere. My left knee felt marvelous.

I have been ravenously hungry, and eating non-stop. Real junk, too - I think in the last three days I have eaten at least a dozen cookies, a piece of cake, two candy bars, some small bags of chips - it's sick.

I began weeping uncontrollably while chatting with my wife in the kitchen because I was overwhelming with the realization that I really love running.

1990 Playlist
Hard to Handle - The Black Crowes
Serious - Duran Duran
Burning the Ground - Duran Duran
Vogue - Madonna
Let's Go - Ernie Isley
Let's Talk About Sex - Salt-N-Pepa
Head Like a Hole [copper] - Nine Inch Nails

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 62º
Weather: dark
Weight: 159.5 lbs.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

We're headed for disaster

As I was approaching Mayfield Road, it began to rain. I hadn't thought of that. It never rained very hard, just a light, pleasing rain.

Except it got my clothes wet. One word: nipples. Did I think to wear band-aids? Yes. Did I actually do that? No. And I am bleeding.

My knee felt good today, my left knee. But I wore my brace to make sure. And it felt good and strong all through the run. But my right knee was sore by the time I made it to my turnaround, and made the return journey less than pleasing.

But I made it. I walked around the Indian Cultural Garden. I read all the plinths. And I looked admiringly into the face of the old man. What powerful, thin legs. I need new flip-flops. And I was inspired to start practicing yoga.

I ran ten miles. God willing, I will be there with you in two weeks.

Distance: 10 miles
Temperature: 66º
Weather: light rain
Weight: 158.5 lbs.

Now for a soak in a Dead Sea salt bath and a handful of naproxen.

1980 Playlist
Kit Mambo - Graham Gouldman
The Other Way of Stopping (165 bpm) - The Police
Once In A Lifetime - Talking Heads
Let My Love Open The Door (To Your Heart) (164 bpm) - Pete Townshend
Girl U Want (173 bpm) - Devo
Coming Up (Live) - Paul McCartney
Same Old Scene - Roxy Music
Ten Feet Tall - XTC
Can You Feel It - The Jacksons
Let's Do Rock Steady - Bodysnatchers
Whip It (158 bpm) - Devo
Physical (You're So) - Adam Ant
With You I Can Run Forever - Graham Gouldman
Go For It - Graham Gouldman
Call Me - Blondie
Don't Stand So Close To Me - The Police
Bionic Boar - Graham Gouldman
Turning Japanese (179 bpm) - The Vapors
Antmusic (162 bpm) - Adam and the Ants
He Can't Love You - Michael Stanley Band
Magic - Olivia Newton John
Enola Gay - Orchestral Manuevers in the Dark
Ah! Leah! - Donnie Iris
High Fidelity - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Any Way You Want It - Journey
Love's Not For Me - Graham Gouldman
You Make My Dreams Come True (166 bpm) - Hall & Oates
You May Be Right - Billy Joel

Saturday, May 01, 2010


Two weeks ago, Rachelle pointed some kind of light gun at my knee. I try not to pass judgement on things I don't actually know anything about, but the idea of an "energy light" to heal damaged cells ranks up there with magnets and low electrical current. These things may work, but so does the placebo effect.

Well what can I say. My left knee, which has been troubling me for months, stopped hurting. Until this morning. I ran 3.25 yesterday, but I have run a few times since April 17. This morning I was stiff and sore. A trip to Rachelle's may have helped my back (I understand massotherapy) but I am not sure another light treatment did much to help. It aches beneath the patella, in front of and below my knee. She gave me tape to use, which does provide a surprising amount of support. I have extra for tomorrow.

Tomorrow. In two weeks is the Cleveland, and I have yet to do anything close to a long run. Tomorrow I will attempt to rise at 5 am, and make the ten-mile round trip to Gandhi and back. The playlist will be music from the year 1980 - that means tunes from Animalympics. If I can accomplish this without doing permanent damage, I will attempt to run 13.1 miles on the 16th. If not, well, you have your answer right there.