Friday, December 28, 2012

I dream of cherry pies, candy bars and chocolate-chip cookies.

Bilbo faces Smaug.

My soleus muscle in my right shin continues to hurt. What should I do?

Q: Has the pain increased in intensity since you first noticed it?

--- If "N" = Keep running.
--- If "Y" = Go to:

Q: Can you still run on it?

--- If "Y" = Keep running.
--- If "N" = Keep running. 
Temperature: 33°
Climate: cool and clear with (mostly) dry pavement
Distance: 4 miles
Arthur: Three pints? At lunchtime?
Ford: Muscle relaxant. You'll need it.

That was splendid. But with bright sunshine and no breeze, and only a few degrees warmer than yesterday, I was quite overdressed. No matter. Outstanding weather, outstanding view, inspiring playlist. And though my right shin was tight and unhappy for about 100 yards, it was springy and pain-free for the rest of the run and even now.

But only just now. I can feel the tightness creeping in.

David H., this is a very large beer. "Hi."

It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) Genius Playlist
Rush And A Push And The Land Is Our - The Smiths
Bombs Away - The Police
(Nothing But) Flowers - Talking Heads
Heartland - U2
Strange  - R.E.M.
Man Out Of Time - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Never Mind - The Replacements
The Mayor of Simpleton - XTC
These Things Take Time - The Smiths
Secret Journey - The Police

I have taken EIGHT runs this December, which ties the number of December runs I took in 2008 when I was in training for And Then You Die. That is a good thing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why is the last mile the hardest mile?

You may have noticed that there is a list of RUNNING BLOGS featured at right. I had added several of the "official" CLE Bloggers to the list last season, but as most were inconsistent in their posting (many of which included the tired refrain of "sorry I do not blog more") and not very interesting, I recently pulled them down to include only those which I actually read.

Two blogs of my favorite blogs are coincidentally from Brooklyn.

Live To Run/Run to Live chronicles the trials (get it?) of Cris Dopher, professional lighting designer, who also happens to live with Cystic Fibrosis. Our first meeting was interesting, because I got naked. No seriously, he heard about my show in the NY Fringe and showed up to check it out and that is how we met. When I begin whining about my physical condition, I check out his blog and that gives me some perspective. His determination is truly inspiring. He's also opinionated in the best way.

I cannot recall exactly how I became interested in What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me! which is a stupid name but a very funny blog, I think I started following it during the 2009 Fringe and never stopped.  Recently he has been including his own images of poor Coney Island, which is not so funny, but I am happy for the updates.

Just yesterday I added a new blog, Run Away From Trouble -- new to me, but also just new, as its author has only just begun this work today. A wife, mother and teacher, a long-time contact teacher for the school residency program, in her first entry Stephani promises to share her own personal, emotional connection to running, and its practical uses in keeping her body and soul together. I'm really looking forward to it.

Finally, Poise In Parma is a professional, exceptionally well-maintained blog chronicling not only running, yoga and diet, but also a wide variety of exciting Cleveland events. This one is kept by my former co-worker and friend Alicia Hansen, who is not related to me, so please do not hold anything found in my blog against her.

If there are other, strong, running-related blogs, especially ones based in Cleveland, please let me know about them so I can check those out. For a blogroll of great Cleveland oriented (i.e. not running) blogs, please see my list on Cleveland Centennial.

Temperature: 29°
Climate: Icy
Distance: 4 miles

That was the best run of the week, in spite of the icy pavement. I almost entirely wiped out, once, on a decline, catching myself on the crispy grass. I pulled my headphones off to listen to a large flock of geese move from the river to the bank. One of them scolded me with great umbrage.

Running every day makes running easier and more enjoyable. Do you see? 

It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) Genius Playlist
Shiny Happy People - R.E.M. ft. Kate Pierson
Is It Really So Strange - The Smiths
Alex Chilton (164 bpm)  - The Replacements
See a Little Light - Bob Mould
It's Alright For You (171 bpm) - The Police
The Electric Co. (163 bpm) - U2
Earn Enough For Us - XTC
Catapult - R.E.M.
Beyond Belief - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Blood & Roses - The Smithereens
I'll Be You - The Replacements
Dreamworld (159 bpm) - Midnight Oil

Now that's a good college music playlist.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All this year's been a busy blur, don't think I have the energy.

Okay. So, the fact remains. Since I began either running barefoot or using zero-drop shoes, I have been experiencing tightness in my soleus muscle which causes pain and can make it difficult to walk without taking baby steps.

This pain only exists for a short period following rest (sleeping at night) or sitting for an extended period of time, as in a chair or worse, crisscross on the floor. Walking makes it feel better, standing exacerbates the pain.

Odder still, it is largely concentrated in the right leg, little or not at all in the left. Why do it do this?

"I was making rather merry last night."
- Bob Cratchit, A Christmas Carol

And if by last night you mean this morning, so was I. The girl couldn't sleep and joined us in our bed at 5 AM but though she was able to get back to sleep, I was not. I sat up and read and wrote, my mother-in-law encouraging me to get at least a few minutes rest before the festivities began at 7, which I did.

It was a glorious morning, I was spoiled with presents of great function received with extreme appreciation including winter gloves, knit hat and a Current hoodie. An early morning spent drinking coffee & Bailey's was followed by a late morning sipping several Guinness at the Skull.

By 1 PM I was ready for bed, waking a short while later with something like a hangover. Because that's how the human body works. In spite of a natural desire to stay in bed for the rest of the day, I chose instead to get up and out, which could either go well or very, very poorly. 

Temperature: 35°
Distance: 3 miles

Holiday Run Playlist
Feels Like Christmas - Cyndi Lauper
Snowman - XTC
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Hot Christmas - Squirrel Nut Zippers
Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
Holiday - Vampire Weekend
Carol of the Bells - The Bird and the Bee
Holiday - Green Day

I Believe in Father Christmas - Greg Lake

I returned feeling like a new and sober man, a brisk three mile run and holiday music buzzing in my ears. The Christmas you get you deserve, indeed.

Good boy.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Plows are stranded, so we're in the bars.

We have relocated to parts south for the duration. While a good friend minds our cats and resides in our home (in case you had any direful ideas) we will be relaxing at the outlaws for an entire week. The wife and I will shift to our office away from home in an hour or so, where over the next several days she will complete her manuscript and I will write a first draft of a new children's play.

The children, meanwhile, will play with matches near the oily rags in the garage. Already, my father-in-law has shown the boy how to make an electric magnet with wire, a D-battery, and a long rusty nail. I was shocked, and then I was shocked.

The plan is also to run every day. Today is rainy but not entirely unpleasant. However, I fear the bike path may ice. Today is was simply wet, with little or not wind. Good enough, but the clown shoes get wet in little time, so I did not make my usual 4 miles, turning around early to keep my spirits bright.

Temperature: 31°
Climate: rain
Distance: 2.8 miles

Holiday Run Playlist
Christmastime In Painesville - Slack Jaw
25th December - Everything But the Girl
Last Christmas - Billie Piper
Holiday (What Do You Want?)  - Mike Doughty ft. Roseanne Cash
Must Be Santa - Bob Dylan
Christmas Is The Time To Say "I Love You" - Billy Squier
The Closing of the Year  - Wendy & Lisa

"Jingle Bell Rock". The only holiday pop song that in no way "rocks".

More recent CLE Marathon Development: I was offered the opportunity to be a "guest" blogger, which means my blog would be featured only once during the training process, either in January, when no one else has started training, or in May, after the race.

When I inquired as to whether this honor included a waiver of my registration fee to the race itself, they said no, but that I could attend the VIP Brunch on the day of the race which no runner can actually attend because it starts when the race does.

I had to decline. I am almost 45 years-old, I do not know how many marathons I have left in me. I find it ridiculous to be expected to promote and endorse this depressing road show, and also have to pay for the privilege to do it.

Some good friends threw an End-of-the-World fiesta on December 21, where I met up with a few  CLE 2012 veterans and we all began discussing plans for the new year. We were kvetching about the second half of the Cleveland Marathon, exchanging notes about the disparity of water stops, the dearth of time display clocks, the poor management of cross-traffic and the rude treatment we received from drivers, and the general war-torn state of the roads in the S. Clair-Superior neighborhood. Not one of us plan to return to the CLE in 2013.

However, they did try to turn me onto the Glass City Marathon in Toledo on April 28, 2013, but I do not believe that will fit into the larger, family schedule. Regardless, it is my resolution to hit the road almost as often in the new years as I did this year. But can I maintain a sustained level of running in the winter without the goal of a race looming? Just have to choose another race. I'm thinking it's time to try the Towpath!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When your seven year-old son asks to run with you, you say yes.

Temperature: 57°
Distance: 2 miles

Thursday, December 13, 2012

You Were a Pretty Queen of New York City

This holiday season I have been thinking a lot about Nineteen Eighty-Seven. That's a quarter century ago. Maybe it's because that's when I bought the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, and listened to it until my mother was driven to distraction. Or when my father first turned me onto Brubeck's Time Out. Or the first Very Special Christmas Album.

Nineteen Eighty-Seven was my first full year as an adult. It was an emotional trajectory from low to high, all year long. My first serious dating relationship broke up during the holidays in 1986 ... okay, that's not fair to the girls I dated in high school. What I mean is this was the first time she broke up with me.

I took Accutane to stanch hideous, scarring acne. In that year I had sex with more different people than in any other. I do not think those two facts are unrelated.

The year began with a mullet. By the mid-summer my hair was dyed black. I learned how to actually dance. I started clubbing. My first mosh pit. There were drugs. I began work on my first daily comic strip. There was freedom. There was a complete lack of personal responsibility. It was also the fall when I first met my wife.

Yes, things were carefree and crazy in 1987. I had a near nervous breakdown less than a year later, but that goes without saying.

Temperature: 37°
Distance: 3.25 miles

1987 Holiday Playlist
Fairytale of New York - The Pouges ft. Kirsty MacColl
It's A Wonderful Life (Gonna Have A Good Time) - Fishbone
Winter Wonderland - Eurythmics
Vanishing Girl - The Dukes of Stratosphear
Gabriel's Message - Sting
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
Got My Mind Set On You - George Harrison
Pump Up The Volume - M/A/R/R/S

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's not as if they're paying you. It's not as if it's fun.

New fleece.
What happened since my last run:

Monday: Long day, full of business, including a reading of my new play.

Tuesday: Following a site visit, on a 90 minute drive home from the Wooster area, in driving rain, I begin to feel ill. I take to bed early.

Wednesday: I have what can reasonably be described as a "cold" and take the day off work.

Thursday: My sinuses packed, this would be a good day also to stay home and rest. But an actor calls to say he has a fever. Well, my symptoms can be handled with cold medication, so I race to the school and sub.

Friday: Still feeling poorly, there is a different actor at a different school who has requested supervision, so I attend that school. Following an early lunch at that terrible chain restaurant First Watch -- where I thought I would be safe with soup, for God's sake -- I begin to develop an upset stomach. Nothing work impairing, but it is uncomfortable.

We have pizza that night, which gives me an upset stomach.

Saturday: The week concludes still feeling stuffed and unwell, but never with a fever or other flu-like symptoms, I rest most of the day at home with the kids. We have left-over pizza for breakfast -- ang again I become bloated and distressed. My wife says it was dumb to have the pizza, and I have to agree.

That night is a special work-related event, which I muster up the strength to attend and am very glad I did, it was a wonderful event. I am concerned about eating dinner, but I was very hungry (I had skipped lunch) but it goes down pretty well. I wake in the middle of the night with stomach cramps.

Sunday: My first day without cold medication, that part of what has been troubling me finally waning, I have a late dinner, leftover eggplant Parmesan and pasta.

Monday: Around 3 AM I wake with a painfully distended abdomen and sit up for about an hour before returning to sleep. This morning my wife has diagnosed that either I have a lingering bug, or stomach cancer have suddenly become lactose intolerant, for which I soundly mock her.

That morning at the office I get coffee without cream.

Tuesday: Finally, at long last. My head is clear, my stomach settled. I get an email from the Cleveland Marathon, rejecting my application to be one of their twelve "official" bloggers.

That's okay, I didn't want to blog about your stupid marathon, anyway. The second half of the route is horrid, the Expo is in fucking Berea and there's no free coffee at the starting line.

Well, shit.

Temperature: 36°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Losing My Edge Genius Playlist
Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
Mistaken For Strangers - The National
In The Morning - Junior Boys
Warsaw (173 bpm) - Joy Division
Battery Kinzie - Fleet Foxes
Say My Name - Holy Ghost!
The Fox In The Snow - Belle & Sebastian

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Run, run, run to make your heart shake.

Elation: a feeling or state of great joy or pride; exultant gladness; high spirits.

So, that report came out in the last year or so that it is not true that running releases chemicals which quell depression.  However, I am almost sure that 1) doing something that makes you feel good and 2) makes you proud of yourself, does. Maybe there are no chemicals involved. It just, you know, is.

That was outrageous! Outstanding! I did not want to go. No, I did not. And it had nothing to do with the weather, because I had no conception of the weather. In the fifties, sure, but also rain. How much rain? No idea.

Well, a lot of rain. Lately, My legs have felt stiff. Is it the shoes? No idea. Today, however, it was raining. Windy. Puddles. In my clown shoes. I raced. My legs felt springy and strong. I ran. I was smiling, grimacing rictus, teeth in the rain.

Even when the rain died down, I flew, even uphill. I felt strong. I also felt fat, a lot of soft tissue bobbing in my belly. I lengthened my spine, chin up. Working muscles. If I did this every other day, this would cease to be an issue.

Lately, I have been slowing around Lee and Euclid Hts. Blvd. Top of an incline, but not yet to the apex. Feeling weary, heavy. Today I fought that, and was rewarded. I only walked past the site of a car collision at Mayfield and Taylor. One of them was injured, his knee did not look good. I gave silent thanks.

Only after ending my run, my right knee began to ache, it aches now. I took pain reliever. I nearly gave myself a foot spasm, multitasking, trying to dry my feet after a shower while reading some article in The New Yorker.

Temperature: 54°
Climate: wind & rain
Distance: 3.25 miles
The Damage: 178.5 lbs.

I may need to record my diet here, to keep myself honest. Maybe I would make myself feel better if I not only log what I eat, but what is available to me which I do not eat.

Starting tomorrow. There's a party tonight.

Losing My Edge Genius Playlist
Us V Them - LCD Soundsystem
Eyes Be Closed - Washed Out
Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above (Calvin Harris Remix) - CSS
Roadrunner - The Moderns Lovers
Boyfriend - Best Coast
Digital (169 bpm) - Joy Division

Saturday, December 01, 2012


The holiday season is here, that deadly period between Halloween and New Year's when the office is full of candy, cookies, nut bread. The beer is heavier -- and so am I!
There are too many activities, and this season we appear to be indulging in all of them. Keep in mind, we try not to. We try to say no. We try not to tax the children, or ourselves. But not in 2012. We have been on personal austerity for almost four years. Not that everything costs money, it doesn't. But a lot of things that come to us through personal affiliation are surrounded by hidden costs. Babysitters. Dinners out. Gifts. Just Saturday afternoon we did local shopping, which brought with it lunch at a local restaurant, which cost quadrupled the amount spent on the shopping.

And restaurant dining means eating more than usual. I imagine eating less, smaller portions, no seconds. But it doesn't happen. Thanksgiving was absurd.

Meanwhile, it is an astonishing 63° today, but between a winter basketball registration and clinic for the boy, aforementioned shopping spree, one of the last fall soccer games and a trip to see The Whipping Man at Cleveland Play House, there will be no running today. No running for ten days.

My right knee is where it began last summer. Pain in or about the lateral tendon. I believe this is due to an old futon mattress, it's like sleeping in a ditch. The pain in my shins has been exacerbated by ... well, running, I guess. Maybe the barefoot slippers are not good for me. But then, neither is running once a week -- or less.

I need motivation. But then, this is always a difficult time of year for me, for running. True, I ran a mere four times in November. But that is average, for November, I have a record here, in this blog. Four or five times during November. And also in December, anywhere between five runs or none at all. I can do better than that. I mean, my grandfather can do at least that, and he's been dead for seven years.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A career littered with ankle injuries.

This, from a man who thinks bacon is a food group.

Stayed over at my folks house last night, so we could all hang out later with my brother and his family. My parents' house, for some reason, is like a giant dehumidifier. I have developed more searing headaches spending the night here than I care to remember, and the only thing that cuts them short is getting up in the middle of the night to have a large glass of water. Which I did.

However, my right knee was aching -- again -- and I am trying to discern what is up with my right shin. And my right ankle. And my dorsum ... which, for those of you who have ever wondered, is the name of the top of your foot. These things are sore. True, my running has slowed, due to obligations, weather, and a general sense of weariness. But why, now, these pains in this place?

Temperature: 63°
Distance: 4.1 miles

Beautiful day today. My four year-old niece, her parents, and my whole family went to the zoo.  The parking lot was packed (free admission) and yet, the park did nt seem any more crowded than usual. It was fun. It was perfect.

'Twill snow on Saturday. Man, Lakewood smells good today.

Thanksgiving dinner. Bring it.

Losing My Edge Genius Playlist
Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Lotus Flower (Jacques Greene Rmx)  - Radiohead
Ankle Injuries - Fujiya & Miyagi
Need You Now - Cut Copy
Drop - Cornelius
Infinity Guitars (158 bpm) - Sleigh Bells
Blind - Hercules and Love Affair

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How can hatred uplift a race?

So that happened.

Election week hangover. There are those divided into two camps, those who do not wish to talk about politics anymore ... and those of us who can't stop. But I will. Feeling it today. Oh, the scuttlebutt -- did you hear, Romney and his team were in complete denial of their slim-and-none chances of getting elected? Shocked, stunned, credit cards ... okay, it has to stop. Hurricane, Heights high school musical, postponed trick-or-treat, packing up Day of the Dead altar, waiting for election results ... and scene.

Tomorrow we resume rehearsals for one of the new works I will be producing next year. There are auditions to be had for others, and lines to memorize. And work. And play. And, who knows, maybe exercise. Yesterday was just like a beautiful spring day, but I was not interested. Yard work, house work, sure, but not running. My wife is taking the kids to visit friends in Chagrin this afternoon. And it is still glorious outside.

Temperature: 63°
Distance: 5 miles good.
Knee bends: 20

Last weekend I skipped the knee bends, my knees have not been waking me up for a month or more. Monday I woke and was stiff-legged like I have not been since North Carolina. That may have had something to do with the three hours of canvassing I did Sunday afternoon, walking around the Oxford neighborhood.

Was it worth it? Apparently it was.

This winter I must play four roles in a single one-hour show. I will need to shave. My beard provides the illusion that I have a chin, but even when I am thin (which I am not, currently) my face is sagging, developing those genetically predetermined jowls. One of those ageing English faces like McCartney or Bowie. I'd say who cares, only one of the characters I have to play, what I wrote, is a young lover. Or at least, a younger lover. He is supposed to be foolish. It was not my intention that he be creepy.

So I have scanned the internet for face-tightening exercises. There are quite a few of them, and I will give them a try. Also, too: chewing gum.

The Cactus Album - 3rd Bass (1989)
Sons of 3rd Bass
The Gas Face
Monte Hall
Oval Office
Soul In The Hole
Triple Stage Darkness
Wordz of Wisdom
Product of the Environment
Steppin' to the A.M.

Wordz of Wisdom (II)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

It's time to fix your clock.

Where do 30 years go?

Man. Headachy and tired. These two runs have been miserable, I have had to walk bits of it, especially on inclines. Yesterday, it was a nail in my head, today I was just exhausted. And when I stopped my head hurt, again.

We have had relatives in for the weekend, and the girl participated in the high school musical. Too much rich food, too much alcohol (though I did not drink after dinner last night) and bizarre sleep patterns. It all combines to make me a dull boy.

1999 - Prince (1982)
Let's Pretend We're Married

Temperature: 37°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Some kind of madness.

Last Spring I was contacted by an organization which claimed to be producing a series of videos for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon. Here was the pitch:
We're putting together a short web series about preparing for
the Marathon, featuring a group of runners representing a 
range of backgrounds, styles, and levels of intensity.

We're currently casting the series, and wanted to see if you 
were interested in being one of our personalities. I loved 
your running site, and it would be great to have a man of 
letters involved.
Very flattering. I am a man of letters! And here was the hook:
3 day shoot in NYC with all expenses paid

Accommodations for the race itself

If you aren't already running in the Marathon itself, we'd
also get you in!
I told my wife I'd really like to do this. Not to be in the videos, that would be fun. Maybe a little weird. Was this all pre-event stuff, or would they also follow me during the race itself? Whatever, always a new experience. But what I was really interested was getting to run the New York again. And for free! Too good to pass up.

I hadn't even run the 2012 CLE yet, I didn't know if I could run another marathon, how I would do. I would be committing to two marathons in a single year ... could I really do that?

Expressing my interest, I was asked to make an introductory video, talking about what running means to me, etc. etc. So I did, and they said they would get back to me. But I never did hear back from them, not even after contacting them to once to ask about the project. Now, I know in theater, for auditions, sometimes you do not get a call either way. But as it was they who first contacted me, a response would have been courteous.

I haven't really thought about this potential offer since summer, but I was reminded of it during the past several day as controversy rose as whether to hold the 2012 NYC Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. What would Pengo do? I harbored illusions that the citizens would rally behind this annual event, one for which they show such pride and enthusiasm. I knew things were difficult in Lower Manhattan, but I didn't realize the lasting extent of the damage in Staten Island, and Brooklyn, and elsewhere, and the dire circumstances for those left without power, food, and water. This was Thursday.

I remembered October 2001. I had made plans to see a friend in a play festival, and got tickets to a new Broadway show, prior to the events of September 11th. I had plane tickets. After 9/11 my friend cancelled her production, and I thought I would scrub the whole trip. But Mayor Giuliani said, "Come to New York. See a show. Spend money." That was my original plan. So I went ahead with it, and I was rewarded with the gratitude of my New York friends, and was happy to visit this city that I was just learning to love, that had been so hurt, but that was keeping calm and carrying on.

But my visit was three weeks after the fact, and a functional normalcy was in place. Not so yesterday, which began with some seriously angry voices on facebook, discussing the mayor's announcement that the race would go on. Even when these cries rose to a fever pitch, and the announcement was made to cancel the event, numerous snippy huffings of "at last -- sanity" conveyed such resentment. Most of these comments weren't even coming from New Yorkers.

One thing I have noticed through all this is the outrage expressed towards the runners themselves (sometimes referred to as "joggers" which I do not have to tell you is really irritating) as though what we do is some goofy lark and not an actual athletic pursuit. Would this situation have been spoken of differently if a vast natural disaster have struck the site of, say, the Super Bowl? And wouldn't drastic action be taken -- for the sake of American dignity -- to make sure that game went ahead, somehow?

The first New Orleans Saints game following Hurricane Katrina was extremely emotional, a time of great celebration. This year's marathon, taking place as it does in, around, over these scenes of devastation, and so close (a mere six days) from the actual disaster, make this situation very different than the one I hypothesized. But I am willing to suggest that it was that desire to fulfill the human attachment to our games, and what we get from participating in them as actors or spectators, that Mayor Bloomberg and marathon organizers had in mind when the suggested going ahead with the race.

 Closing arguments.

End of the World Playlist (2012)
Starships - Nicki Minaj
All Your Gold - Bat for Lashes
Five Seconds - Twin Shadow
Skyfall - Adele
Madness - Muse
Gangnam Style - PSY
Somebody That I Used to Know (DJ Mike D Remix) - Gotye ft. Kimbra 

Temperature: 41°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Running with a headache sucks. There are worse things that could happen.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pull my shirt on, walk out the door.

Left ankle felt twisted yesterday, and my right foot is sore. Not the clown shoes, I do not believe. I think it's the crappy "pay-less" shoes I wear, the ones with soft insoles that I bought when I was looking for comfortable dress shoes for those not-so-dressy occasions. I'd rather go barefoot.

Vampire Weekend (2008)
Mansard Roof (165 bpm)
A-Punk (175 bpm)
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Campus (163 bpm)
One (Blake's Got a New Face)
I Stand Corrected (160 bpm)
Walcott (160 bpm)
The Kids Don't Stand a Chance

I told myself to hate this band. Can't do it. Awesome beats per minute. And it ends just as I am reaching my driveway. Well, if I leave out Oxford Comma. I mean ... who cares about Oxford Comma?

Temperature: 65°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Duration: 32 minutes

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

He always runs while others walk.

This election cannot be over too soon. It is driving me fucking insane. I am trying to take a break from polling, from commentary, from snark ... but it's hard. It's so hard. The 86,400 second/day news cycle is too tempting to avoid. And what do I get? Donald Trump really needs to attract attention to himself. Why am I even reading this bullshit?

Production meeting for the outreach tour today, which was very exciting. I need to take the time available to me now to memorize lines. Sigh. Once more I am participating in the entertainment of others, when what I really want to do is kick back with a large tub of popcorn and watch a movie in a theater ... without children.

Bond Themes
Skyfall - Adele 
James Bond Theme - John Barry Orchestra
Die Another Day - Madonna
Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey
The World Is Not Enough (172 bpm)  - Garbage
Thunderball - Tom Jones
The Living Daylights - a-Ha
Nobody Does It Better - Carly Simon
A View To A Kill - Duran Duran

Ladies and gentlemen ... the late Marvin Hamlisch.

I once said Madonna wrote the worst Bond song ever, but I stand corrected. That would be Chris Cornell.

My knee has not been keeping me awake for several weeks. Now it is only my brain.

Temperature: 75°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Knee bends: 20

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I love this tune.

I did not know this would be their last studio album. But as I had ceased practically all interest in Nine Inch Nails following The Downward Spiral, it is quite possible that had EBTG released another disc, I may not have gotten it. They were a band of my twenties, they helped define my twenties, moving from smooth post-mod pop jazz, to the accidental transition to club music with a very popular remix of Missing in 1995.

The dance remix of Missing is actually an improvement on the original, in the exact same way that the dance remix of Somebody That I Used to Know is not.

We met Tracey and Ben (as fans) after the only gig in Cleveland they ever played, during summer of 1996, promoting Walking Wounded. Maybe that should have been the end. But this album, pushing further into outright club music, was also right where I was at that time.  Hilarious. Low swinging torch music when I was still a kid, then bass and beats as I entered my thirties. I find it amusing that the same act composed both the instrumentals Crabwalk and Compression.

I still listen to them, I just don't think I would have been interested in what's next. For so many bands, you don't always want their new album. Maybe it is the feeling of disappointment when the new stuff pales in comparison to the past. Or maybe it is the fear that I do.

Temperamental - Everything But The Girl (1999)
Five Fathoms
Blame (172 bpm)
Hatfield 1980
Compression (175 bpm)

I ran only once last October. In November, I ran four times, mostly around Thanksgiving when I had time, not when I made time. I must improve on that. Running helps my knee, but it has continued to be sore, especially at night. I want that to go away.

Temperature: 62°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

In my dreams I'm jealous all the time.

Moby - Play (1999)
Find My Baby
Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
Rushing (171 bpm)
Body Rock
Natural Blues

Deep. Spirited. Brooding. Millennium. Play.

I have been eating everything. Depressed lately. Getting cold, gaining weight, right knee pain, President slipping in the polls (I went canvassing last weekend and got yelled at by a Romney supporter) and the impending review panel for a major grant proposal ... which was today.

And it went very well. Time to suck it up and run.

Temperature: 57°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 175.5 lbs.
Knee Bends: 20

Just play.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The droning engine throbs in time with your beating heart.

When such things were not so easily acquired via the internet, one of my prized possessions was Duran Duran's Carnival EP, featuring club mixes of tracks from both their eponymous debut and Rio. I found it, in all paces, in a record store in Rockland, Maine. That was 1983. I was starting my own private disco.

This past summer I had an argument with a teenager about which Duran Duran albums are the best. We were both at a disadvantage, as she was much more interested in their latest albums, of which I am only marginally familiar, and which I have never heard. She insists Red Carpet Massacre and All You Need Is Now are their two best albums. The expert on such matters remains my ex-wife, who says the girl is not wrong.

Duran Duran - Rio (1982)
My Own Way
Lonely In Your Nightmare
Hungry Like the Wolf
Hold Back the Rain
New Religion
Last Chance on the Stairway
Save A Prayer
The Chauffeur (165 bpm)

My favorite DD album will remain Rio. Maybe I love this album. Maybe I love the person I was when I first heard this album. No, that's not it, I hated the person I was when I first heard this album. I just love this album. In describing it to my teenage DD fandom opposite (and the other people under thirty I was sitting with) listening to Rio all the way through is like attending the greatest party of your life just before midnight, then throughout the early morning.

Rio is arriving. Hungry Like the Wolf is dancing at 1 AM.

New Religion is making out with someone unexpected in the toilet.

Last Chance on a Stairway is, well, what that song is about.

Save a Prayer is the dawn, The Chauffeur cuts either way whether you are driving home alone or you aren't.

Temperature: 68°
Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 42 minutes, exactly.
Knee bends: 20
Weight: 174.5 lbs.

Huhn. Rounding the fourth mile I began to weary, feeling something like hunger in my abdomen. First time running five miles in the clown shoes. The final drive, however, I was flat-out amazing.

Not actually a dude.

Monday, October 01, 2012

I want life in every word.

Initiating the new week with an early morning run. It is October. It is fall. It is below fifty degrees. Not sure where I am headed with this whole "running" thing. The clown shoes won't work well in the rain, certainly not in the ice or snow. Thinking of picking up some Yaktrax if I am to continue into the winter. Even giving thought to Cleveland 2013. It's going to be a big year, regardless. Or should be. I hope it is.

The Postal Service - Give Up (2003)
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (154 bpm)
Such Great Heights (174 bpm)
Sleeping In
Nothing Better
Recycled Air
Clark Gable
We Will Become Silhouettes (155 bpm)

Brand New Colony

Wearing an iPod, running a 5K in fall 2004 (I don't wear headphones at races anymore) listening to Brand New Colony, I realized I was faster than other people, that I could enjoy running fast. It was a revelation.

Temperature: 48°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 176 lbs.
Knee bends: 20

Early voting begins tomorrow.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Run around, around and 'round.

The 90s didn't really begin until Clinton took office. The 80s hangover of the Bush I years included some of the most unfortunate clothing, hair and music choices of the 20th Century. At least, it did for me. During the 1990s I was hyper-conscious of living in the now, that these were THE NINETIES. And so was everyone else.

Of course, I spent a lot of the 90s wallowing in the 70s, but that has to do with rediscovering my childhood, which was a Gen-X pastime in the 90s. It wasn't until 1997 that I was suddenly obsessed with the Millennium.

Stereolab - Dots and Loops (1997)
Miss Modular
The Flower Called Nowhere
Diagonals (167 bpm)
Prisoner of Mars (171 bpm)
Rainbo Conversation
Refractions in the Plastic Pulse

Stereolab was my portal into the new century, maybe because they used it to advertised the reintroduced VW Beetle, maybe because it sounded so trippy -- but it was still retro, the early 1970s idea of what the 21st Century would sound like. It made me nostalgic for the future, an idea of the future that I had forgotten existed. Positive and hopeful, melancholic and doubtful.

Temperature: 62°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Knee-bends: 20

My knee was not hurting for almost a week, until last night or the night before. It comes and it goes. The zero drop shows have done astonishing things to my calves, and to my abdomen, which feels tighter, albeit under a layer of fat. Yesterday, I was having back issues. Standing up was challenging. Just yesterday. Don't know what that was about. But just getting out of a chair, or out of my car, I was doing the old man thing.

Speaking of old men, my father has gotten so old. My brother and I (he turned 51 on Tuesday) had a conversation earlier in the week. He doesn't get to see my dad as often as I do, and was surprised at how slow he is walking, the assistance he needs on uneven ground. I should be grateful he has spent a good deal of time fighting against entropy, either running -- which he can't do anymore -- or walking, which he still does, only now my mom goes with him. Last month he fell down, he falls down now, and banged up his face pretty bad.

My father is only 77. He himself makes dark jokes about the average life-expectancy of a white American male, and how his time is almost up. But I am not okay with that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Everyone was having fun.

Everybody thought I was crazy.

Already wrote about the significance of this album. The boy has expressed great interest in this act, he wants me to play Technologic over and over again. He is a savant. Or just an idiot.

Daft Punk - Discovery (2001)
One More Time
Digital Love
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
High Life
Something About Us

Temperature: 63°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 177 lbs.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall! Fall! Fall! Fall! Fall!

Worst. Cover art. Ever.

I can't keep up. Not enough running, and I do not sleep through the night. I toss and turn, bedeviled by sharp pain in the outside of my right knee.

In spite of one of my co-workers kind observations that I lost a lot of weight since last fall, the fact is I have put a lot back since last spring. I got a big, slack belly. The pants no longer fit. These are also bad things for a weak back and pained knees.

Did some knee bends, like I did so successfully during training last winter. Sit-ups would also be smart.

If the posters in the window at Tommy's were to be believed, Soul Coughing played Cleveland a total of fifty-two dates in 1994.* And yet I did not see them until they had a "surprise" gig at the Euclid Tavern in 1998 where they unfortunately played nothing but tracks from their upcoming and least regarded album, El Oso.

It is also entirely possible that Doughty was extremely high.

Irresistible Bliss - Soul Coughing (1996)
Super Bon Bon
Soft Serve
White Girl
Soundtrack To Mary
4 Out Of 5
Collapse (157 bpm)
Sleepless (162 bpm)

The Idiot Kings

The alt-funk stylings of Soul Coughing are very enjoyable to run to. Less plodding, more sailing. I love my new clown shoes.

Temperature: 50°
Distance: 3.25 miles

* This is an exaggeration.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Someday I think I will be dignified and old.

I'm losing my edge.

The Modern Lovers (1976?)
Astral Plane
Old World
Pablo Picasso
Dignified and Old
She Cracked
Someone I Care About
Girl Friend
Modern World

The wife has this "theory" that "lack of exercise" is bad for my "knee". She encouraged me to run this morning. Two days in a row! Running! I like that.

And we continue our exploration of the album. The wife prefers Spotify, which might interest me if I didn't find their interface so irritating to look at. She says she can listen to entire albums that way, that she is tired of mixes all the time. I think it's too much trouble, if she wants to listen to an entire album, why can't she get CDs from the library and rip them like everybody else does?

Temperature: 59°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Throw me away.

My face is swollen, my head is stuffed, I hurt. I did not sleep well at all, knee and back pain kept me tossing and turning before finally getting up for an hour or so around 5 am, reading Little Nemo. Back to bed until almost 10 but they were not happy hours. Just another fall Sunday, allergies, age, and children who cannot be subdued.

Run we must. And we must press our luck through a questionable choice of music.

Released September 22, 1992

Broken - Nine Inch Nails (1992)
Help Me I Am In Hell
Happiness In Slavery
Gave Up
Physical (You're So) (160 bpm)
Suck (182 bpm)

Astonishing. I thought I was tempting a migraine, playing that so loud. An amusing counterpoint to the bright, clear, beautiful we have. My head, too, is clear, or clearer, anyway. Taking a cold show, the swelling in my head and face went down. Things are good. I have a vision for the week which is full, active, successful and, perhaps, happy.

I really like these new shoes.

Temperature: 70°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I have not slept well in weeks. My right knee, I notice did not hurt last night, but my back did. Tossing most of the night, I was fully awakened at around 4 AM and did not get any kind of real sleep after.

Nike Flight Headphones retail at around $40. My last pair lasted a very short time, I had stored them improperly during all of our travel this summer. I found a new, unused pair on eBay for $12. One of the kids was permitted to use them -- twice, now, without anyone thinking to ask me -- and they are already starting to short.

I do not feel like running this morning. 

Temperature: 54°
Distance: 2 miles

Nope. Still angry.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Get some colors on.

Folks gave me spending cash to finally get a pair of Vibrams Five-Fingers, but a very helpful young man at Second Sole totally sold me on a set of NB Minimus. I did try on a part of five-fingers, but I did not like them, they were too bulky, which I thought was the whole point. I put these puppies on (yes, that color - they look awesome) and I felt like an Indian chief.

Temperature: 70°
Distance: 2 miles
Weight: 177.5 lbs.

Like running on the beach. The so-called "zero drop" sole approximates barefoot running, without all that skin damage. Hitting mid-foot makes for a shorter stride, and straightens my posture. It takes more effort, and at rest know, I am beginning to feel it in my knees. Thought I should keep my run brief. The man recommended going without socks, and I did, but I may try them next time. Or not.


I Created Disco - Calvin Harris (2007)

Merrymaking at My Place
This Is The Industry
The Girls
Acceptable In The 80s

I have had my mid-life crisis. It included a last-ditch attempt at professional acting, drawing pictures of naked ladies, fear of never inspiring admiration in my children, and having a vasectomy.

After seven years of maintaining a solid sense of self, who I was, what was important, and where we (my wife and I) were going, I suddenly (it felt like suddenly) believed I had made all the wrong professional choices, and that there had been a point somewhere in the near past where I should have jumped, but didn't.

I am not talking about my marriage, or having kids. That I felt solid about. It was all the stuff that defined my image of myself in the larger world. The "big-man" stuff.

This would last until I turned forty, more than a year later. In that time I would also suffer a torn meniscus, which made me feel even older, but also it was the period where I recommitted myself as a playwright -- not an actor, not a director. And whereas I have no illusions about making a living solely as a writer, ever, at least I know who I am, kid.

Why all the reflection? Because, as part of my continual desire for regeneration and immaturity, I like to keep up with modern dance music. Listening to Capital Radio (London) I got turned onto this guy, and picked up his first album in a record store in Plymouth. Dude wrote a pop song about what was acceptable in the 80s, made a video featuring a stuffed otter. And I fell in love. Calvin Harris, I feel so close to you right now.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

I can take humiliation.

Today was really awful. And that's all I have to say about that.

Temperature: 77°
Distance: 5 miles

Skylarking - XTC (1986)
Summer's Cauldron
The Meeting Place
That's Really Super, Supergirl
Ballet For a Rainy Day (156 bpm)
1000 Umbrellas
Season Cycle
Earn Enough For Us
Big Day
Another Satellite
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul (168 bpm)
Dear God
Dying (158 bpm)
Sacrificial Bonfire (151 bpm)

 Change must be earned.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Summer has come and passed.

American Idiot - Green Day (2004)
American Idiot
Jesus of Suburbia
City of the Damned
I Don't Care
Dearly Beloved
Tales of Another Broken Home
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (167 bpm) 
Are We the Waiting
St. Jimmy
Give Me Novacaine (154 bpm)

Extra Lap
Wake Me Up When September Ends

Yesterday, I was dining on my own with the kids and Two Tribes came on the iTunes. They wanted to know what the song was about, which led to a condensed history of Cold War politics, which in my case meant beginning prior to the Crusades leading up to the present, with of course a recap of the events of 9/11 (hence, the Crusades.)

They wanted to know what wars had been going on since they were born, which was an uneasy conversation -- not because I wish to hide unpleasant matters from my children (I mean, I do, but they deserve to know) but because I do not like to make complicated matters simplistic AND I want to be sure they understand.

They bad, we good, does not really tell the whole story, and will lead to problems later on.

In any event, I concluded by lamenting that whereas the Cold War, Vietnam, World War II, have all inspired some wonderful protest music, the Iraqistan Wars did not.

But I had forgotten American Idiot. Enjoy the air show.

Temperature: 86°
Climate: Blazing hot sun ... and rain?
Distance: Who knows. Four miles?
Weight: 175.5 lbs.

For several weeks now, I have not had a decent night's sleep. First it was my right knee, which begins hurting in the middle of the night. Pressure from the left knee onto it when lying on my right, or worse, lying on my left with my right leg slightly bent towards the bed, and it hurts enough to keep me awake.

I have tried different ways of twisting my back so that my right knee rest without anything over it, but then my back hurts, and the last three hours of the night are spent half-awake, turning this way and that.

When I lie on my back I snore, and then the wife wakes me up.

My hip hurts, my knee hurts, my back aches, I have gained every pound I lost in training (did I lose weight during training?) and this is nothing new. It means I have stopped running.

Running past Boulevard School, the wife and the boy were watching the girl practice soccer, I stopped by to say hello. The boy wanted to run home with me. A little too far, and he was wearing jeans, and it was over eighty degrees. But I obliged him with a lap around the soccer fields.

Tomorrow rehearsals begin for the Great Lakes Theater School Residency Program. Summer 2012 is officially over.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

You didn't run that.

Now it's personal.

This week, the Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan recently stated in an interview with radio personality Hugh Hewitt that while he no longer runs marathons due to a bad back, his personal best is "Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something."

Runner's World ran the numbers, and called him up. Ryan qualified his statement, stating: "My brother Tobin—who ran Boston last year—reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three. If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight."

 The only evidence that exists is that Paul Ryan has run one marathon. It was in 1990, and his time was 4 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds. As one guy posted on the New Yorker website:

"I ran a 4:01 marathon while in college, over 30 years ago. It has bothered me ever since that I couldn't have run a 3:59 and while a cringe when people ask, I always tell them the 4:01 time. It's unforgettable."

That is so true. It is unforgettable. Only I ran 3:56.19. I will never forget that.

Now, I don't need to suggest that Senator Ryan intentionally lied about his fact, to make himself look more impressive, or that that should be interpreted as his being a pathologically dishonest person -- though Josh made that claim today. People brag about shit they didn't do. So common as to be normal. But traditionally, when they get called out on it, they are not allowed to forget it.

When our current VP, Joe Biden, ran for President in 1988, he was plagued by accusations of plagiarism. Supporters call this failing to give proper attribution. So, should Paul Ryan be held up to a different standard? I will suggest not. But Joe Biden's reputation was harmed by this accusation, and it stuck with him for many years. He did not become President in 1988, it took twenty years for him to attain his present position. Looks like he learned from his mistake, and I hope Paul Ryan learns from the mistakes he has made in the past several days, making shit up.

And maybe in twenty years, he will deserve to be Vice President.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: misty (Play Misty For Me. Get it?)
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 176 lbs.

Hounds of Love - Kate Bush (1985)
Running Up That Hill
Hounds of Love
The Big Sky
Mother Stand For Comfort
And Dream of Sheep
Under Ice
Waking the Witch

New headphones. This time, they're white!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can I go running with you?

Does any man my age actually wear pajamas?

I have been aching a lot the past several days. A couple days ago I woke with a terrible pain in my right knee. Just, through the whole knee. I got up, and it went away. Also, my back aches. I will roll over and sleep on the other side until it aches, and do this over and over again until I ache all over, and then give up and rise.

This morning has been slow, people rising slowly. The wife has had terrible insomnia, for weeks, but she got to rest after I got up. I made breakfast, piecemeal, for everyone. Getting headachy.

Finally, I announced I needed to take a run. The morning is beautiful. The wife agreed. I got my kit on.

The girl walked up and asked, "Can I go running with you?"

Absolutely. We went to the middle school track and ran a mile, two-tenths at a time.

Temperature: 64°
Distance: 1 mile
Route: Monticello Middle School track

Friday, August 17, 2012

You better get running.

Temperature: 73°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 176.5 lbs.

Can I run? Yes, I think I can. I have gained weight. I do not fit into my pants, again. Headphones poorly stored on a road trip with frag (sigh). Have not yet gotten the new "shoes". But the weather turns perfect and running is something I must do.

Tomorrow New Yorker's get Summer Streets. Lucky, lucky them. Enjoy the pavement, people. And will endeavor to do so here, too.

Handcream For a Generation - Cornershop (2002)
Heavy Soup
Staging the Plaguing of the Raised Platform
Music Plus 1
Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III
Wogs Will Walk
Motion the Eleven
People Power

With my new car (which has no aux input) I am discovering the album. This one came out ten years ago. It makes me think of rebirth. It is full of joy and fun and humor. Emerging from grief -- personal loss, 9/11... coupled with the fact that we had just learned we would be having another child.  One who is currently sitting nearby, paitning her brother's nails.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Some day I will resume running. In the meanwhile, read this incredible story by Mark Singer about a guy who has cheated on a dozen marathons. (The New Yorker, August 6, 2012)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Watching telly. Drinking wine.

Yesterday we took a ferry that passed Marshall Point Lighthouse.

Run, Forrest. Run.
Thursday Itinerary:
Sleep late.
First beer.

And it's only two. Tonight we have been invited to my aunt's and uncle's place on Martin's Point.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 72° - Humid.

Blow Genius Playlist
Don't Blame the World, It's the DJs Fault - Cobra Starship
Single (169 bpm) - Natasha Bedingfield
Letters From the Sky - Civil Twilight
Infinity Guitars (158 bpm) - Sleigh Bells
Die Another Day - Madonna
Who'd Have Known (169 bpm) - Lily Allen
Go All the Way (Into the Twilight) - Perry Farrell
Somebody That I Used to Know (DJ Mike D Remix) - Gotye ft. Kimbra
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend to Dance With You - Black Kids

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I take these pills to make me thin.

Sun higher, temperature hotter. The breeze in the cove is deceiving, the roads, though shaded well in many places, are honest about the summer. My body knows I need water first thing in the morning, my brain sometimes does not get the message.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 72°

Blow Genius Playlist
Cheap and Cheerful - The Kills
Obsession (Static Revenger Mix) - Sky Ferreira
Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - Backstreet Boys
What I Know - Parachute
Spotlight (Twilight Mix) - Mue Math
Invisible - Skylar Grey
Le Disko - Shiny Toy Guns
Sober - Kelly Clarkson
Hurtful - Erik Hassle
Bingo tomorrow night, anyone?

Monday, July 30, 2012

The kids are coming up from behind.

Sunday, 6 PM.
No line at Red's Eats.

On the drive up the wife asks, "Why aren't you running?" The obvious answer is, I broke my toe. Cleaning up the house, barefoot, I just crammed my small toe, right foot, into the vacuum cleaner. I have stubbed my toe before. I knew this was broken.

Not much you can do about that. Taped them together, a day or two later it was no big deal. Bruising went down ... but you couldn't manipulate the toe. I couldn't put my little finger between it and the next toe without some obvious pain.

That was a couple weeks ago. It has also been very hot, and I have been very busy at work and at home. Summer is not downtime, the kids have numerous camps and I have end-of-fiscal-year reports. I could get up early and beat the heat, but put simply, I don't want to.

Training for a race, having a goal, this is such a strong motivator for getting out and doing the running. So is clear, sea air (see: Topsail Beach, Friendship.)

In any event, I am running now, here. And that is good enough for now.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 70°

Blow Genius Playlist
Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema
This Is What Rock n Roll Looks Like - Porcelain Black
Happily Ever After - He Is We
Helena Beat - Foster the People
Animal (Fake Blood Remix) - Miike Snow
Blow - Kesha

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I think I broke my little toe.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

See you on a dark night.

This is fun.

Temperature: 77°
Distance: 1.5 miles

Dropped my 2000 Honda Civic off at the neighborhood mechanic for appraisal, and ran home. I was wearing shoes.

My throat remains sore, only much, much less so. Wonder what that was all about. It's very hot. Even tonight, in the upper seventies. My head is like a balloon from the run. My ankle hurts, so do my knees. I want to run barefoot on a beach.

Somebody That I Used To Know (DJ Mike D Remix) - Gotye ft. Kimbra
Paddling Out - Miike Snow
Lay Your Cards Out (161 bpm) - Poli├ža
Oblivion (156 bpm) - Grimes

Friday, June 29, 2012

America can't say no.

Been nursing a cold. Kinda sucks. Our second night I had a terrible sore throat in the middle of the night, and have been dealing with it ever since. It is terrible at night, which made me think the extreme air-conditioning of the house might have something to do with it, it never feels as bad during the day.

But yesterday I started feeling woozy, my ears are stuffed ... I didn't get very much sleep Wednesday night, knowing I was going to rise so early to take the boy out and never really caught up on rest.  Today is that day, the last full day before departure, the "Sunday afternoon" of vacation where you know it's almost over. The kids are spending more, longer hours in the sand and water (away from Phineas, Ferb and Bridgit Mendler) while I sit on the porch, nursing exhaustion, editing scripts, chatting with whoever is about, and drinking beer.

But I will run once more. A grand experiment in barefoot running. Trying something new on vacation, when the weather is great, the surroundings so attractive, that's easy. Will I get a pair of Vibrams when I get home? Uh, maybe. I think so. Am I going to become one of those crazy barefoot runner people? Uh ... mmmaybe.

Temperature: 91° (But it doesn't feel like it.)
Distance: 2 miles

Some people like to drink a cool, fruity rum beverage and sit on the porch to watch the sunset. I like to dash into the wind for one last barefoot run. Lucky for me, this time returning the wind was at my back.

My lungs have not felt so free, my head so clear, in a couple days. It will pass shortly enough, but it was well worth it.

Super Bon Bon Genius Playlist
Never Said - Liz Phair
Down In The Park - Foo Fighters
Wild Wild Life/Love - Building On Fire - Talking Heads
Spin the Bottle - Juliana Hatfield Three
4 Out of 5 - Soul Coughing
Sixteen Military Wives - The Decemberists

It's been a great week. One of the things I have enjoyed about coming here these past two years is that the journey marks the beginning of summer, and not its end. Already making plans to make the Bay Days 5 Mile Run on July 4. But will I be wearing shoes ..?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I must learn to swim all over again.

Ultramarathon runner Jenn Shelton is very pretty.
That is all.

There have been times in days past when I have done sit-ups or what have you - "crunches" okay, sure ...  not to improve the appearance of my abdomen, sister please, I would never go around with my shirt off, no. Just to pull in my belly, to wear those jeans or slacks once upon a time which make me look emaciated and hip. There is no six-pack to be gained here. That will not happen.

Tightening of the abdominal muscles occurs naturally, gradually, for me, through the act of running, and that's it. When I cease running, the muscles go slack. Sometimes worse, I return to inner-tube land.

Not me.

To this boy, the sexiest part of the male anatomy is the inguinal ligament. Maybe it goes without saying that a washboard stomach is attractive on a man or a woman, but it is this line (see above) which defines the hip to the groin which, to me, is most pleasing to observe. It appears only in women who are extremely muscular and lean, which is to say, it is not commonplace, nor is it necessarily attractive. In dudes, however, you better have that going on.

At home, the bathroom mirror, is perpendicular to the shower, so it is not something I notice after a shower.  Here is it is the first thing you see when drawing across the shower curtain. And I found yesterday that I had redevloped my inguinal ligament in three days of barefoot running.

Temperature: 76°
Distance: 4 miles. I'm back.

Going to be a hot one today. Took the boy fishing at 4 AM this morning, caught a few pinfish and snapped the line just before we had to turn it in at six. Then we had breakfast on the pier at sunrise. Not a bad way to start the day.

Couldn't settle for two miles, had to push onto four. No regrets, blisters still tender, but not affecting my stride. Normally, when I get winded, my body will assume the form on an apostrophe, head down, looking at the ground, to continue running heel-to-toe.

Running barefoot I cannot look down in that way, and just think about it makes me straighten up, taking in the view, creating shorter steps, breathing deeper, feeling refreshed.

Super Bon Bon Genius Playlist
Blame - Soul Coughing
Love Rollercoaster - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy
(Nothing But) Flowers - Talking Heads
Kiss Off (177 bpm) - Violent Femmes
I Know What Boys Like - The Waitresses
Come Undone (Come Undub) - Duran Duran
Pain Lies on the Riverside - Live
Down To This - Soul Coughing
The One Thing - INXS
In Between Days - The Cure

Finished the book. Complete report due tomorrow. I understand unfortunate events related to the book have occurred during the embarrassingly long time it took me to read it, which I have avoided investigating until I was through.

I did find it interesting that all the male athletes are described as bizarre, kindly, spiritual outcasts who found their true-calling through the noble pursuit of ultrarunning, while the two main female protagonists are described as a zaftig naturalist and a ready-to-go party girl.

Obamacare upheld.
I got a Bloody Mary.
Today, life is good.