Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's a lot harder to stay in when you're wound up so, so tight.

Lotsa guitar music in my mix today. Charging down the sidewalks in the rain. Good feeling. However, I need to remember to buy a package of large band-aids. My nips are singing.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Neighborhood loop

The last time I trained for a marathon was in 2006. At six and one-half weeks I was complaining of shooting pains in my ankles and my butt, and had not yet successfully negotiated how to handle waste issues. I developed a bunion which I have managed ever since and which has not gotten any worse.

Also, I weighed about 165 lbs. That is where I am now. That is normal. I am feeling very normal. It is nice to feel normal.

Temperature: 39º
Climate: rain!
Weight: 164 lbs.
Breakfast: scrambled eggs (w/bacon pieces & cheese), toast w/apple butter
Hydration? sure
Stretches? yes

2006 Playlist
Watch the Tapes (153 bpm) - LCD Soundsystem
We Share Our Mothers' Health - The Knife
No Tomorrow - Orson
Get Plastered - Harold Barefoot Sanders III
This Is Where It All Begins - Plasticman
Fucking Boyfriend - The Bird & The Bee
Wound Up - Office
Decisions Decision - Plasticman & The Wool One
Sketches (Twenty Something Life) (169 bpm) - La Rocca
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

Dangerous Power (Cicada Mix)/Enemy - Gabriel & Dresden

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Neighborhood loop

Temperature: 37º
Climate: cool & dry
Weight: 168 lbs.
Breakfast: grape nuts, milk & yogurt
Hydration? yes
Stretches? no

2005 Playlist
This Is Not a Love Song - Nouvelle Vague
Water of Nazareth - Justice
Augustus Gloop - Danny Elfman
Galang - M.I.A.
The Sporting Life - The Decemberists
The Hand That Feeds - Nine Inch Nails
Love Me Like You - The Magic Numbers
Do You Want To - Franz Ferdinand

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I want to be human.

Sick in NYC, 2004.

Thursday night I had developed the stomach bug the girl and the wife had shared for two days prior. Shivering with chills, queasy and achy, I took to bed, but was still up and read to perform a student matinee of The Mysterious Affair at Styles at Lorain High.

Week 6 Total: 12 miles
Training to Date: 135 miles

It also snowed yesterday, a lot. I thought, you know, I do not feel like running. Not at all. I am trying not to feel badly about that. Strange, though. For five weeks I was this guy who was crazy determined to run five out of every seven days. Who was that guy?

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Neighborhood loop

Glorious morning, sunshine, hard to accept it is below freezing, the icicles are melting. Several days rest can make you feel like a million bucks, but I can tell my shin will start singing again soon. Still a little sick to my stomach.

Must prepare for this afternoon's performance at the local library. Gotta love a five-minute commute.

Temperature: 30º
Pavement: clear w/patchy snow
Weight: 170.5 lbs.
Breakfast: pancakes & bacon
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

2004 Playlist
Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day
TKO - Le Tigre
Ohh La La - The Ditty Bops
American Idiot - Green Day
Future Sightings - I Am The World Trade Center
Hounds of Love (New Mix) (168 bpm) - The Futureheads
Neon Human - Felix da Housecat
Pale Yellow - The Ditty Bops
Decent Days and Nights (170 bpm) - The Futureheads
She's a Rebel (159 bpm) - Green Day

Ethanopium - Dengue Fever

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I can ease your pain. Get you on your feet again.

Interesting. Not as motivated by the 00s playlists as I have been by the previous years' ... they provide energetic, syncopated beats, but the lyrics and production values are so sterile. I must truly be getting old.

At the close of the 20th century, I was listening to a lot of electronic music, to be sure. But it was on the darker side, moody. Not surprising, this in keeping with my general sense of melancholy that came with the approaching Millennium.

In 2001 we experienced the death of our first child, but rather than digging deeper into despair, my interest in music became almost childish. The wife can't stand Daft Punk, I think it's not only hilarious, but moving. She found it sterile, I heard in it warm echoes of my own pre-adolscence.

Finding work as an actor-teacher, with comrades in their twenties (ten years my junior) I felt entirely justified in listening to their dance music. But its ten years on now, and a lot of what I found charming, I am also finding lifeless. Even the yearning, earnest, heart-on-the-sleeve songsmithery of Ben Gibbard or Imogen Heap feel synthetic in their carefully crafted sincerity.

Still ... good beats. And I can run to it.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Neighborhood loop

Mmmmm ... new sidewalks on Euclid Hts. Blvd ...

Temperature: 43º
Climate: cool & dry. lovely.
Weight: 170 lbs.
Breakfast: grape nuts, milk & honey
Hydration? yes
Stretches? kinda? sort of?

Strapped on the old shin splint brace, made it possible to move. Stopping at lights, it felt as though my leg were broken. Here's the thing: I have been here before. I have hurt like this, in this way, before. And the pain has gone away, I have defeated it through constancy and proper exercises. If I were to "take a break" they would only resume when I resume. I have to keep strengthening my legs.

2003 Playlist
The District Sleeps Tonight - The Postal Service
In Between Days - Ben Folds
Zombie Nation (Dave Clarke Remix) - Kernkraft 400
Comfortably Numb - Scissor Sisters
You Promised Me - In-Grid
Black California - Kaada
Sunrise (Jason Nevins Remix) - Duran Duran
Hey Ya - Outkast
Jerk It Out - Caesars

Nothing Better - The Postal Service

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feet, fail me not.

Do you like to read this blog? Then hit the survey for Cleveland Scene Best of 2012 and vote Daddy Runs Fast for best Cleveland blog.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Neighborhood loop

Good Lord. I have run 35 times since New Year's. In 2011 I ran 74 times ALL YEAR.

Used ear buds today, waiting for my new 'phones. Why do I dislike earbuds? Simple, they will not stay in my ears while running.

Okay, now we have entered serious shin split territory, and I am breaking out the bandages. My left leg is hobbled with the pain, which actually subsides when I run fast. HOWEVER, then I begin to feel sick to my stomach. Ah-ha! Have I unintentionally discovered to source of my discomfort during the marathon? Aches, like headaches, often manifest themselves in a kind of queasiness which borders on nausea, though it also is a sensation in common with hunger pain. However, having recently (but not too recently) eaten breakfast, I doubt it was actual hunger. I mean, I'm not hungry now ...

Saturday's run has really made me hate wind, and loathe to go outside. Spring cannot come soon enough. Of course, we haven't actually had any winter yet.

Oh, look. It's snowing.

Temperature: 37º
Climate: cool, a little windy
Weight: 171.5 lbs.
Breakfast: Cheerios & milk, grapes.
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Daddy ran out of Omega-3 vitamins.

2002 Playlist
Starry Eyed Surprise - Paul Oakenfold
Six Feet Under (Radio Mix) - Photek vs. Thomas Newman
The London Radar - Cornershop
Work It - Missy Elliott
Banquet - Bloc Party
Let Go - Frou Frou
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Do You Realize? - The Flaming Lips
A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley

Daft Punk Is Playing at My House - LCD Soundsystem
"This is what you've been running away from your whole life, buddy boy ..."
- Nathaniel Fisher

Sunday, February 19, 2012

They know what is what but they don't know what is what they just strut ...

Week 5 Total: 29 miles
Training to Date: 123 miles

Five weeks? For reals? Well, I'll be. One more month and it will be Spring. The winter has been mild, so far, but that does not mean anything. It could turn fierce soon, and stay that way until April. For now I am grateful for clear pavement.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Neighborhood loop

Temperature: 28º
Climate: cool & dry
Weight: 174.5 lbs.
Supper: Mac & cheese, carrot/raisin salad & beer
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

That is an example of everything you do not want in your stomach when setting out to have a pleasant, evening run. The burps ... the burps were awful. Simply awful.

2001 Playlist
Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors - Radiohead
Drop - Cornelius
August Day Song (Chateau Flight Mix) - Bebel Gilberto
Get the Party Started - Pink
Point of View Point - Cornelius
Aerodynamic - Daft Punk
This Charming Man - Stars
Star 69/Because We Can - Fatboy Slim

Lady Marmalade - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa & Pink

Saturday, February 18, 2012

He will swim and swim on further.

Gazebo at Wilson Mills & SOM Ctr.

That is not merely how we do it. That is why we do it.

Motivation has been a challenge. My schedule has left me exhausted and weak. I would rather, barring the limits of human endurance, rise early and get these long runs over with before the kids wake up.

It's that "over with" that isn't working for me. It's completely the wrong mindset. I have to want to do this. Making myself do it, day after day, is ridiculous.

The wife encouraged me to get out late this morning, There's nothing going on, it's my day off the tour, why not run! And heading out, I was enjoying myself. The sun was out, there was no pain, all was going well.

I did not notice that the wind at my back was that strong. And maybe it wasn't. But coming back, was ... it was horrible. Horrible, cold wind, without end.

And for a while, that was just miserable. Awful. But it challenged me. After all, I had to get home, right? And I charged. I ran. After a while, I was even smiling. This was just stupid. Stupid fun.

And I made it home. Home to a hot bath and tea. And soon -- beer.

Distance: 13 miles
Route: Monticello/Wilson Mills to SOM Ctr. Rd. and back.

Never before had so many runs during the month of February.

Shed 10 pounds in one month.

Just dropped $16.99 on eBay to pick up a set of never-used Philips SHJ020 Nike Flight Neckband Headphones. Made a pointless trip to the Apple store yesterday, not only did they not have this one, perfect example of sport 'phone technology, everything they did have cost no less than $50 and most much higher. People, please.

Repaired old headphones with duct tape, music goes in and out. But hey -- duct tape.

Temperature: 39º
Climate out: sunshine & breezy
Climate back: overcast & torturous, ceaseless wind
Weight: 170 lbs.
Snack: banana & fruit roll-up
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

2000 Playlist
I Feel the Air (Of Another Planet) - Stereolab
Soma - The Strokes
Can't Stand It - Wilco
Sem Contençãu - Bebl Gilberto
Someday - The Strokes
The National Anthem - Radiohead
Fruit Nut - XTC
Big Pimpkin - Jay-Z ft. UGK
Jumbo - Underworld
The Way I Am - Eminem
Idioteque - Radiohead
I Want You To Want Me - Letters to Cleo
All Star - Smashmouth
Hard To Explain (166 bpm) - The Strokes
Hold Your Tongue (165 bpm) from "Lysistrata"
Psyché Rock (Fatboy Slim Mix) - Fatboy Slim
The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
Over My Head - Lit
Take It Or Leave It - The Strokes
Dimes Make Dollars (177 bpm) - Lilys
Household Names - Stereolab
Barely Legal - The Strokes
What Would Brian Boitano Do? from "South Park"
Bruce Lee - Underworld
Thank You (160 pm) - Dido
A Tab For the Holidays/The Generator (159 bpm) - Lilys
Army (174 bpm) - Ben Folds Five

Outer Bongolia - Stereolab

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Your heart beats like a subway train.

Headphones fragged. For that matter, so have my shoes, a very long time ago. Must go shopping before Saturday. What's the forecast for Saturday? Rainy and 42º How far we running?

13 miles. A half marathon. Before you've had pancakes.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

My shins ache, my knees hurt, and now my right hip has been acting up -- not when I am running, only the entire rest of the day. And yet, when beats per minute are in synch, I can still fly.

Temperature: 44º
Climate: rain
Weight: 170 lbs.
Breakfast: chocolately cream of wheat w/butter & milk
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

1999 Playlist
Maria (160 bpm) - Blondie
Stop Breaking Down - The White Stripes
In The Street - Cheap Trick
Smooth - Santana
Natural Blues - Moby
Theme from Futurama - Danny Elfman
Steal My Sunshine - Lem
Blame (172 bpm) - Everything But the Girl
Mambo No. 5 (174 bpm) - Lou Bega

Southside/Honey - Moby
A little bit of Monica in my life, a little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need, a little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun, a little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am, a little bit of you makes me your man

The girl (age 6): He has seven daughters!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ooh god DAMN.

Pretty fly.

Fumes. Shins. Exhaustion. Nerve. Resignation.

Oh, my hip.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

Really wanted to get out into the beautiful sunshine, but running in the rough slush was a hard slog, and made my shins ACHE. It's no fun going slow when the weather's good.

Temperature: 39º
Climate: spring, again? patchy snow, wet pavement.
Weight: 171.5 lbs.
Snack: banana
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes. sort of.

1998 Playlist
Misinformed - Soul Coughing
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) - The Offspring
Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) - The Beastie Boys
The Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim
Music Sounds Better With You - Stardust
Better? - Propellerheads
The Way - Fastball
Torch - Sister Soleil

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Come on, baby. Now throw me a right to the chin.

Rosalind (Christie) Hicks: Poirot does not look like you.
Peter Ustinov: He does now.

The tour of The Mysterious Affair at Styles opens tonight at the Alcazar at 8 PM. You should join us, it is free and open to the public. I should be excited. I feel ill. I do not recall feeling this horrible the date of an opening before. Running should have made me feel better, instead it made me sad and angry.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

I believe that, had the sidewalks been clear, I may have cheered up, but they weren't and I haven't. Angry is not the proper word. I am anxious, to be sure. I do not doubt the material. Christie's novel is top-notch and so is my adaptation. I am delighted, overwhelmed by the talent and energy of the company. Emily, Anne, Michael, James -- especially James, who is onstage virtually every single moment of the play. I am not sure he knew what he was getting himself into! But I am extremely proud of him.

Lisa has been wonderful to work with, she has transformed into an extremely talented director, not just clever and creative but reassuring, calming, she is so very in charge. Diana has been immensely helpful as production stage manager. And I cannot praise the designers enough, Esther has made us sumptuous as usual, Terry's set is very impressive and stately, and Richard's sound just stitches it all together. Everyone at Great Lakes has been positive and supportive, and I hope they will enjoy the production.

No, I am not nervous about the show, nor my place in it. I will be uh-mazing.

Just ... openings make me doubt. They make me sad. They make me fret. But these days, so does the wind.

Temperature: 32º
Climate: miserable clumps of hard-pack snow
Weight: 173.5 lbs.
Breakfast: open-face fried egg, cheese, salami, toast thing
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Speaking of James ... he's only 22, you know? That is half my age. I turned twenty-two twenty-two years ago. I was driving into work yesterday, and struck by a powerful realization. You only get one youth, you know. "This is our youth ..." Uh-huh, and what did you do with it? Maybe when you are a child, and begin to think of a real grown-up life, you make a picture for yourself of what you will do, and who you will be. And it's always fun and adventurous without any of the heartbreak and difficult things.

My senior year in high school we were supposed to create a glossy magazine article about ourselves, from some ten years into the future. This future me was an actor and a director -- but a successful one, a famous one. But I also included a failed first marriage. Who does that? Who sets themselves up like that?

1997 Playlist
Your Woman - White Town
Steven's Last Night In Town
Selfless, Cold & Composed
Song For The Dumped
- Ben Folds Five
Burning Ground - Van Morrison
Space Junk [Wang Chung '97] - Wang Chung
Tubthumping - Chumbawumba
Turn It On - Sleater-Kiney
My Hero (154 bpm) - Foo Fighters
Mon Amour Tokyo (153 bpm) - Pizzicato Five

Smack My Bitch Up - Prodigy

How did I actually end up spending my youth? And by I, I mean "we" because I did none of these things alone, and forgetting the heartbreak and difficult things for a moment, we made plays, threw parties, drank and smoked a lot, we danced, reserved private rooms in restaurants, we were written up in the newspaper, were interviewed on TV and radio, wrote stories that were printed in magazines, made assholes of ourselves at parties, offended the mayor, slept too much or not enough, met people, learned to dislike people, offended people, reunited with people, traveled to big cities, slept on couches and floors and in the wrong places, drew pictures and painted paintings and made many, may more plays.

In early 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp hung in the sky, harbinger of the Millennium, beneath which my play The Vampyres was opening at Dobama's Night Kitchen. We had a room upstairs at the Firehouse on Silsby. There was eating, drinking, and a lot of smoking. Money was freely spent. Who were those people? I think I could name all of them, I am sure I am Facebook friends with every single one, with one very obvious exception.

It was a youth. Perhaps bigger than most. We had no idea.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Look like you running in place.

Weekends mean additional sleep ... and headaches. Headaches from an altered schedule, from drink, from rich food, from additional sleep -- all of which leads to dehydration. I feel it in my sinuses, they close in, it is hard to breathe, and it is hard to think clearly. Simple tasks I can accomplish, intricate ones make me irritated and unhappy.

I take pseudoephedrine, I wear a nasal strip, I pound water. And I consider running.

Week 4 Total: 24 miles
Training to Date: 94 miles

Distance: 4 miles
Route: 5 laps around the block.

Laps are tedious, but in this weather they accomplish two things, 1. I am close to home if the situation is just too miserable and 2. there are no intersections, which is so much safer.

Yesterday I ran five laps, 4 miles, and thought there was no way I could do that again, so I headed out to Green Road to make sure I would finish my requisite 8 miles. I required a point of no return.

Temperature: 26º
Climate: snow. awful, mounded snow.
Weight: 175.5 lbs
Breakfast: scrambled eggs, baked beans & wheat toast
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Damn. Snowblind!

1996 Playlist
The Idiot Kings - Soul Coughing
Wrong - Everything But the Girl
Shoe Box (152 bpm) - Barenaked Ladies
Hell - Squirrel Nut Zippers
Birth-Day (Love Made Real) - Suzanne Vega
Love Rollercoaster - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Disseminated - Soul Coughing
Red - Sister Soleil
Devil's Haircut - Beck
The Checkered Flag - Combustible Edison
Local God - Everclear
Tombstone (176 bpm) - Suzanne Vega

Wannabe - Spice Girls
Everything is going up.
Everything is going as planned, yeah.
Everything moves along.
Everything is fine, fine, fine.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fathers are black holes that suck up the light.

Have you seen me?

I am from Cleveland, y'all. This is not a blizzard. This is called snow.

Distance: 8 miles
Route: 5 laps around the block, then to Green Rd. and back

This endeavor is insane. And yet, it keeps me sane. I am currently exhausted. And yet this exercise keeps me alert and alive. I am sore and worn. Yet, I am losing weight, breathing more freely, and fit into my pants.

My right hip hurts. I remember the hip aches, I must stretch to accommodate. Stretches now must include 1) knee bends to strengthen the muscles around my knees - they do not hurt. 2) shin stretches - my shin splints do not trouble me. If I add side stretches (sometimes I do them, sometimes I do not) perhaps that will help with this issue. Suggestions, as always, are welcome.

Temperature: 19º
Climate: ankle-deep snow.
Weight: 172.5 lbs.
Snack: PowerBar
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

My days are spent writing grant proposals for my employer. In addition, I am working with select fifth graders at my kids' school to create a Women's History Month event which will be presented March 30.

My evenings are taken up with the Great Lakes Outreach Touring Production of Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles. I wrote the adaptation from her novel. I am playing Hercule Poirot. That's why I have this stupid-looking mustache. The tour begins in three days.

Then, rehearsals begin in another week for the Cleveland premiere of Eric Coble's The Velocity of Autumn at Beck Center. 90-minutes. Two actors, one of whom is Cleveland legend Dorothy Silver. Dorothy and me. 90-minutes. Opens March 23.

Then I get a break for about a week before conducting auditions for The History of King Henry the Eighth (All Is True) for the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. I mean, I have to finish cutting it first. Rehearsals will begin some time in April.

All of these things will happen. And I will still be in training. The Velocity of Autumn closes April 29. The race will be only nine days shy of a month away.

Why do I do these things to myself? I have to be honest. When I am not in the act of creation, I am dead. When I am in the act of creation, I am miserable. But at least I am not dead.

1995 Playlist
All Mixed Up - 311
Cupid De Locke - Smashing Pumpkins
Stupid Girl - Garbage
California Love - Tupac ft. Dr. Dre
#1 Crush - Garbage
Girl U Want - Devo
Car Song - Elastica
Geek Stink Breath - Green Day
The Brooklynites - Soul Coughing
I'll Be There For You - The Rembrandts
Where Does a Body End? - Swans
Animal - Prick
The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana) (163 bpm) - Liz Phair w/Material Issue
Possum Kingdom - The Toadies
Hello - Poe
Jaded (157 bpm) - Green Day
Alice - Mylène Farmer
Mama Told Me Not To Come - Wolfgang Press
Wonderwall (173 bpm) - Oasis
Jackson Cannery - Ben Folds Five

Scream - Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson

What the hell is a modem?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Time is the space between me and you.

Yesterday afternoon I was leading a workshop at my kids' elementary school. I'm working with fifth grade girls during lunch hour, they are the Young Ladies of Noble and we are putting together a production for Women's History Month. Anyway, their advisor told me class ended at 12:15, we would need to break at 12:10 to put the room back in order. I'm keeping my eye on the clock, but we are doing "statue" exercises, there is motion all around the room, the kids are laughing, even their teacher is on top of a desk, doing the same exercise, and taking pictures.

Suddenly, the teacher is back on the floor, she's making her way towards me, stating flatly, "We have to stop now." I look at the clock, it's only 12:05, I thought we had another five minutes, and say so apologetically. She gets near and says, a bit quieter, that we have to stop -- she says a student has been hurt, I didn't catch the name, I'm looking around for who might have gotten hurt during this exercise, it was she who had been on the table ...

It's my daughter, she has "cut her head open" and I have to go. Oh, uh, yes -- my things? No matter, I go, and run down the hallway of the school to the office and to the girl, who has an iced sponge on her forehead. She looks ... tired.

Lucky for me, I guess, I was spared the image of that horrible gush of blood that comes with even a minor head wound, that had already been cleaned up by the time I got there. I was kind. I was not panicked. I was comforting. I was not smothering. I did not think of myself. I wanted to pick her up. I did not. But I held her hand.

Cellphones are tremendous things in an emergency. My wife and I discuss options, she said to call the doctor, and not to go immediately to an emergency room. Again, lucky. They would see us. A $15 co-pay, not a $1,000 trip to the ER. A short drive around the corner, not all the way to the hospital.

The girl was relieved, she has been to emergency rooms. She was grateful to be somewhere calmer. And I knew we would be seen soon, and not in a couple hours. Fortunate. And the cut was not so deep as to require stitches but ... glue? Really? Glue?

Upon hearing that there would not be stitches, the girl's mood lightened considerably. We had talked about this on the drive, she had brought it up, I was noncommittal, not wishing to make the situation worse one way or another. I couldn't say there wouldn't be. I could do nothing to prepare her if there were.

It was astonishing, this glue. I was truly stunned by this bonding material. I laughed. For now, it would be all right. Lucky.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

How had she been injured? She had been running. A relay race. She came in second, trip, banged her knee, and took a header into a gate. At the doctor's office she was lamenting her decision to leave her other friends, to take the challenge of this race. What am I supposed to say? Regret is a terrible thing. If I am struck by a car on my route today, that would be an accident. But it does not mean I should never run. However, try telling that to my family.

Temperature: 25º
Climate: dry & cold
Weight: 174 lbs.
Breakfast: Cheerios & cottage cheese
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Safely under 175. Let's keep it there. I came home last night to a plate of nachos. They'd had nachos with beans for dinner, I came home from rehearsal and they saved some for me. Big plate of nachos. Cheesy nachos. Salsa and sour cream in the fridge.

I had a yogurt and went to bed.

1994 Playlist
Welcome to Paradise - Green Day
March of the Pigs - Nine Inch Nails
Moon Sammy - Soul Coughing
13 Steps Lead Down - Elvis Costello
Supernova - Liz Phair
Prayer For the Dying - Seal
Loser (171 bpm) - Beck
Dead Souls - Nine Inch nails
Troubled Mind - Everything But the Girl
Root Down - The Beastie Boys

Tribal Dance - 2 Unlimited

Life goes in seven-year cycles.

2008 - Mid-life crisis, shift in artistic focus.
2001 - Losing a child, gaining a new career.
1994 - I stop following.
1987 - First heart-break, seeing different.
1980 - I first fall in love ... and begin to run.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

And he's running around again.

Two deer ... and a skunk.

So, I no longer have a therma-fleece. But the weather has been so temperate that, as long as it remains above freezing, I can wear my jacket. However, today it was at freezing, and so I put on a cotton hoodie beneath my jacket. That was comfortable, but also pretty sweaty.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

Must remember to sprint at the end. Trying not to strain my shins, my step has gotten robotic. Speed drills must be incorporated. Often, I do. Today, I forgot.

Temperature: 32º
Climate: cool & dry
Weight: 174 lbs.
Snack: banana
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

All those new pants I got over the holidays are beginning to feel a little loose. Cool.

1993 Playlist
Gepetto - Belly
There's More To Life Than This - Björk
Nuthin' But A G Thang - Dr. Fre ft. Snoop Dogg
Jump Around - House of Pain
Regret - New Order
I Like To Move It - Reel 2 Real
Too Much Information - Duran Duran
U Got Me Up - Dajae ft. Cajmere
Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) - Us3
Hip Hop Hooray - Naughty By Nature

Spin The Bottle - Julianna Hatfield Three
Sunflower - Paul Weller

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Let these ghosts out of my skull.

And now, monotony. Not during the runs themselves, but the motivation to depart. To get out of the house, to hit the road. Four miles? Really? Again? It doesn't feel as though it is adding up to anything. What if I had to run the marathon today, I would not be ready. These legs, these lungs could not accomplish that.

And that is why we train. Why we commit. So on an ordinary day, when it seems not so much pointless as kind of dumb, you can look into yourself and say, "Because I promised."

It's only the fourth week. I will get there.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

Temperature: 35º
Climate: dry & cool
Weight: 175.5 lbs.
Snack: banana
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

175 lbs. A mental breakthrough, if not necessarily a physical one. Attained not by intentionally cutting back on intake at meals, but between meals.

1992 Playlist
The World's Green Laughter - The B-52's
Humpin' Around - Bobby Brown
Tandem Jump (154 bpm) - Jonathan Richman
I Love You Goodbye - Thomas Dolby
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix A Lot
Eastern Bloc (Sequel to Europa and the Pirate Twins) - Thomas Dolby
Tennessee - Arrested Development
House of Love - East 17
Hypnotist of Ladies - They Might Be Giants

The Life of Riley - The Lightning Seeds
My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) - En Vogue

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Somehow I stay thin.

Week 3 Total: 26 miles

Took the boy to the Rock Hall again, to catch the Women Who Rock exhibit before it closes. Can't believe I actually sat through an 80-minute U2 concert movie, but the boy got a lot out of it. Never realized what a pretty voice the Edge has.

I lack sufficient daily hydration.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

I believe I run too fast on these daily, four-milers. Going into a long run, I start easily. Maybe too easily, but I don't feel so tired, so fast. The short runs I think I'm trying to get them over with, I am not mentally preparing myself for it taking a little time.

Temperature: 39º
Climate: cool & dry - shorts!
Weight: 176.5 lbs.
Snack: banana
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

The stretches include knee bends, I started at 10 and have increased to twenty. Dr. V. told me that part the problem with my knees is that I use cartilage - the meniscus - in place of muscle. Muscle cushions the repetitious blows that comes with running. If I do not have strong muscles in and around my knees, I am letting the meniscus take all the damage.

There are also the shin splint stretches, which appear to help. Yesterday my shins did not complain at all, today barely so.

1991 Playlist
Who? Where? Why? (The Chaos Mix) - Jesus Jones
International Bright Young Thing - Jesus Jones
Enter Sandman - Metallica
7 - Prince
All This Time - Sting
Theme for Northern Exposure - David Schwartz
Sax and Violins - Talking Heads
Until The End of the World - U2
Rush - Big Audio Dynamite II

Too Much Passion - The Smithereens

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I smell of the earth and am worn by the weather.

My breakfast with Gandhi.

Good Lord, waking up this morning it felt as though I have not gone on a run for a month. Just seems like a long time ago. Why is that?

However, today was epic. Just perfect, no pain, just a nice, long run. No issues.

Route: Home to Gandhi (and back)
Distance: 10 miles

My first ten-miler was on July 22, 2006. I wrote:
Down Mayfield to Little Italy, through University Circle, four laps around Wade Oval, past Severance Hall, stopped to look up at Rainbow where my son recovers from a fractured skull, back up through Little Italy, and home.
Temperature: 36º
Climate: perfect, cool & dry
Weight: 177.5 lbs.
Snack: banana + fruit leather
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Went a little crazy yesterday. Attended an event at a high school yesterday, our host teacher insisted I take a snack bag of chips. In fact, she literally put four of them in my hands. These are the small ones you get at Marc's for a quarter. Still, saying no is easy, and yet I walked out with four snack bags of chips in my hands. I was thinking, I will share these with my children.

No, of course not. They never made it home. The chips, I mean. Not the children.

Then, before bed, tea ... and a large frosting-covered brownie. The hell is wrong with me?

1990 Playlist (Part One)
Where Are You Baby - Betty Boo
Bust a Move - Young MC
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C+C Music Factory
Tokoloshe Man - Happy Mondays
Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy
Elephants & Flowers - Prince
Don't Fence Me In (162 bpm) - David Byrne
World In My Eyes - Depeche Mode
B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)? - Bell Biv DeVoe
Policy of Truth - Depeche Mode
Sadeness [The Gulf edit] - Enigma

1. MOCA Borg Cube.

2. Port-a-john by the tennis courts retired for the season. Oh dear.

1990 Playlist (Part Two)
Serious - Duran Duran
So Hard - Pet Shop Boys
I Am Stretched On Your Grave - Sinéad O'Connor
Groove Is In The Heart - Deee-Lite
Pure - Lightning Seeds
Vogue - Madonna
Never Enough [Big Mix] - The Cure
Freedom 90 - George Michael
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - The Thompson Twins
Everybody Everybody - Black Box

3. Five minutes with Gandhi. Hydration and fruit leather. Had to sneak down to the creek to pass water. I know the Mahatma would not mind.

4. Do not sneak down the the creek before dawn. It's like the Blair Witch Project down there.

Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe
Here's Where the Story Ends - The Sundays

And I'm sorry to everyone. I am so so sorry for everything that has happened.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Can you still walk back to happiness when you've nowhere left to run?

"The 'Batman' soundtrack?"
"Throw it."

Leadfoot today. Spoke too soon about shin splints, my left has been acting up all week, in spite of the exercises. Will wear a brace for Saturday's long run. 10 miles on Saturday, if the weather holds and there is no snow or ice, I plan to make the journey to see the India Cultural Garden, which is exactly five miles from my house.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

Traveling this new route -- out to a fixed point and then right back again, for weeks -- has been very interesting. Almost zen. That doesn't mean it doesn't have its share of pitfalls, and I do think the sudden gain and loos of elevation at all of the street crossings (and they are steeper than normal) is not good for my ankles. Or shins. But just heading in one direction, and then turning around and heading back, it just seems shorter than the loop I usually take. And it's a mile longer than that.

Temperature: 37º
Climate: dry pavement, cool air.
Weight: 176.5 lbs.
Snack: banana
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Okay. So? We got a Wii. The girl turned nine, it was a good excuse, the wife really wanted it because time and space was making it utterly impossible to commit to regular exercise. And the kids wanted a video game console because all their friends have a video game console and blah blah blah. On Monday, we got a Wii Fit.

For three days now, the kids have been waking up without complaint, doing their chores without a sound, and then taking turns for about a half-hour, chatting and playing on their feet games. Breakfast has become a wide-awake affair, with conversation and good manners.

The wife has gotten up every morning for exercise and yoga.

Meanwhile, I have been hitting the road for almost three weeks. I have had long days, from 5 AM to 11 PM and I am not tired. I am productive. Time spent running is time recreated through higher productivity. And since January 1, I have lost four pounds.

This exercise is a good thing.

1989 Playlist
About A Girl - Nirvana
No Myth (Damascus Mix) - Michael Penn
Funky Cold Medina - Tone-Loc
King For A Day - XTC
The Cactus - 3rd Bass
Trust - Prince
Pet Sematary - The Ramones
Waiting For Mary (What Are We Doing Here?) - Pere Ubu
Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over) - Technotronic ft. Felly
The Beat(en) Generation (170 bpm) - The The

Pictures of You - The Cure

Thank you, 1980s. For everything.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

But that was long ago.

So much more fun to run when it is moderately cool and not miserable out. Just, as the kids say, saying.

I walk around all day with this mustache on my face. It's horrifying.

Went out chewing gum today. On my way back I pictured myself asphyxiated on someone's doorstep and spit it out. Still ... clean, fresh breath.

That's it, I have to clean up.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

1988 Playlist
Cult of Personality - Living Colour
A Globe of Frogs - Robyn Hitchcock
What's On Your Mind - Information Society
Left To My Own Devices - Pet Shop Boys
Sister Madly (171 bpm) - Crowded House
Doin Da Butt - Gap Band
Balloon Man - Robyn Hitchcock
In The Lowlands - Crowded House
Reptile (157 bpm) - The Church

Down In It [Purest Feeling demo] - Nine Inch Nails

Temperature: 52º
Climate: wet pavement, after the rains
Weight: 177 lbs.
Snack: banana
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

UPDATE: I forgot to mention I have a sore throat. I do not feel like I have a cold, it's not post-nasal drip. When I was young, I would get a sore throat and think, "STD?" Now I think, "Cancer?"