Sunday, February 24, 2013

I tried to run, but I didn't get far.

Okay. So I was thinking of taking a break, to ease the constant strain in my right leg. And unintentionally so, that break was ten days. Maybe not very long, but that's all you get. I went for an easy, brisk three-miler yesterday, and my Achilles tendon hurts again. And yes, now I will state the pain in definitely in my Achilles tendon. Time for some Achilles tendon exercises.

Temperature: 28°
Climate: snowflakes!
Distance: 3.25 miles

We had a late night, the family going to see a show at the Hanna. Kids in bed with a few pages of Fellowship by 11:30, I did the wii while the wife read playscripts. The order was to leave her alone until she woke up on her own, she was up at 3 am the night before. I was in bed by 12:30 last night, she much later.

I rose strangely refreshed at 7:30. For an hour or so I leisurely drank coffee, made banana-nut pancakes and sausage, and waited for someone to join me. The boy came down first, so we ate and talked about civil rights. When the girls were up, we all got in bed and discussed plans, and then I left for a run while they had breakfast together.

This afternoon I will perform in a show I wrote in my own local public library. A pack of blessings light upon my back.

1980 Playlist
Space Invaders - Uncle Vic
I'm Ready - Kano
Hungry Heart - Bruce Springsteen
Crosseyed and Painless - Talking Heads
Only A Lad - Oingo Boingo
Can You Feel It - The Jacksons
All Over The World -  Electric Light Orchestra

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's cold outside.

I am almost certain I once had a jawline.

The great thing about not being in training is you can stop. Just stop. For the past ten days, I have had no interest in running at all, none what so ever. This is a strange thing and one I do not feel (emotionally) great about. I tell myself I would have more energy if I just took that run ... but that time has not been available. Not in the early morning, and never at night, coming home at 9:30, 10:00, 10:30 pm with the temperatures consistently below freezing. Just not what I want to do.

When time has been available, I felt like not doing that thing. Of staying with the children. Of just sitting, reading, social media-ing. What have you. The tour is in full-swing, it makes me tired, this year, every year. You look, with the exception of last year (when I was in training) February is not generally a double-digit run month.

But enough excuses, there's only so far I can go without going. Already my thighs are acting up, I was distressed in January at how I was standing up like an old man, because my back and my stomach were weak. These weaknesses arrive again, it does not take very long at all. And so we move.

Temperature: 34°
Climate: cool & dry
Distance: 3.25 lbs.
Weight: 169.5 lbs.

Wait. What?

2010 Playlist
Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
Change of Time - Josh Ritter
White Sky - Vampire Weekend
Triple Double - Girl Talk
Sleepyhead - Passion Pit
Not In Love - Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith
This Is The Remix - Girl Talk

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Redefine happiness.

Eucch. This is hard. I have enjoyed zero drop shoes very much. It helps my posture, it strengthens my abs, my feet feel better, they feel strong and awesome.  However, the pain my right calf, from the heel on up through the soleus gets seriously exacerbated when I use them instead of cushioned soles.

Soon I will get some new running shoes, traditional shoes, because the ones I currently have are worn. I am thinking it may also have to do with the weather. Stretching was something I was lacking, but not recently, I have been warming down very well. Something has to change.

Temperature: 30°
Climate: dry & cool
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 172.5 lbs.

Tremendous first night last night. Couldn't find a chair at The Alcazar. Looks like its going to be a great run.

1976 Playlist
Peace of Mind - Boston
Brand New Arkansas Traveler (160 bpm)  - Alex Bevan
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
More, More, More - Andre True
Money, Money, Money - ABBA
Teenage Depression (179 bpm) - Eddie & the Hot Rods
Cherry Bomb - The Runaways
Rip Her to Shreds - Blondie
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love me! Love Me!

My new play, Double Heart (The Courtship of Beatrice and Benedick) opens tonight at 8 PM at The Alcazar in Cleveland Heights. No reservations necessary, the show is free and open to the public. Please join us.

Temperature: 32°
Climate: cool
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 174.5 lbs. ... hovering, hovering ... can I drop below 174 by the end of the week?

Entirely dry pavement. Back to the clown shoes. Hitting the bracing air, a single tear forms and slides down my cheek. Always the left eye. But I am not sad, oh no. Not sad at all.

1996 Playlist
Alcohol - A.B. Crenstil
Lovefool - The Cardigans
Before Today - Everything But the Girl
Wrong - Everything But the Girl
Walking Wounded (Dave Wallace Remix) (158 bpm) - Everything But the Girl
Verb: That's What's Happening - Moby

That's where I find satisfaction.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

As this is to me, then so to you is something else.

"I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I still can't figure out why you run. 
I get the sense it just makes you miserable." 
- Karen, whom I dated in high school

Maybe it has something to do with the picture of myself in anguish at the top of the page, but it is true, lately it seems like it is all ugly. Because I'm tired. Very, very tired. 

But the running doesn't make me tired, if anything the running gives me energy. I do not know where I would be -- or what size I would be -- without it. 

It's my exercise, it's exercise I can get excited about. I have tried yoga. I have tried weight machines. For maybe three seconds I have considered teams sports. Can't excite me. Running, however, is thrilling. It is a dare. And it is a surprise.

Yesterday, for example, I complained that I got suddenly hungry in the middle of the run, which was just stupid and poor planning on my part. That is an example of a bad surprise. However, quite often I feel wretched when I start out, and gain energy and happiness as I go along, and end feeling so much better than I started.

The problem with this blog (I am taking your comment seriously, Karen) is that I am writing around all the other things, the before and after things. I try to remember the charge I get at certain points during the run, but have often forgotten them by the time I return, and then I need to get on with my life.

But then, I once wrote an entire play about running, about why I run. Martin Denton of had this to say about it; "What I wanted was to understand why running is so fundamentally important to Hansen. But this show never really gets us to that place." It appears I have failed to properly communicate this fact more than once.

I am going to make a point of reflecting more on the running itself. That might change your mind about it ... or at least make reading these posts less onerous.

Temperature: 34°
Climate: mostly dry pavement, with as yet unmelted ice patches
Distance: 5.15 miles
Weight: 175 lbs.

Some reasons why I love running.

Breathing - While I can complain of being tired from time to time, I am not spent. I do not gasp, I do not pant. I breathe freely and deeply, and feeling myself breathe as I run is a joyful celebration of life. (I am trying to be tactful here, Cris, but she did ask.)

Also, for someone my age, my heart-rate is entirely awesome.

Thinking - Getting out and running is the only time I have when I absolutely no obligations to someone else, and so am free to think about anything at all. My mind wandering, I have directed entire plays, written entire scenes, developed perspective on issues which trouble me.

Outside - It is a fucking gorgeous day today. I may never have learned that until I stepped out for 5 o'clock rehearsal, and then it would be too late to enjoy it. This is a major reason why I have little to no urge to get a gum membership again, even when the weather is miserable. In fact, it has made me engage the horrible weather, instead of merely complain about and hide from it.

Neighborhood - Like a dog walker (except without all that horrible talking to other dog walkers) I know more about the state of my neighborhood and my city than most other people. I never learned the geography of my adopted town until I began training for my first marathon.

Muscles - I have extremely attractive calves.

Those were the positive thoughts I put together on today's run. Perhaps I have stated some before, but they are worth repeating. You know. For Karen.

1984 Playlist
Relax (New York Mix) - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
William, It Was Really Nothing - The Smiths
Shake Dog Shake (Live) - The Cure
Fuck Art, Let's Dance - The Adults
Strut - Sheen Easton
Cue Fanfare - Prefab Sprout
Me Ship Came In! (177 bpm)  - The Style Council
High Energy - Evelyn Thomas
Welcome to the Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
You're The Wish You Are I Had - XTC
Skakin' To The Beat - Fishbone
99 Luftballons - Nena

Saturday, February 09, 2013

People are fragile things.

Thursday was a headful of unhappiness. Perhaps because it was only slightly above freezing, my sinuses were complaining. But really, I was just whipped. I mean, Wednesday’s run left me exhausted for the rest of the day. Thursday was no better. Just butt-dragging tired.

Our final run-through before Sunday was Thursday night. Two days of non-rehearsal. But still ... exercise. More sleep, but also movement. In the cold. In the ice. It is amazing how two days of inactivity can make you feel like you are at square one.

Temperature: 30°
Climate: dry & crispy ice
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 174.5 lbs.

HUNGRY!!! SHIVERY!!! I didn't realize I had not eaten enough to day that it would make me feel so weak like that, I hate when that happens. God, should have downed a banana or something.

2006 Playlist
Heartbeats - The Knife
Upside Down - Jack Johnson
Watch the Tapes (153 bpm) - LCD Soundsystem
Glass Breaker (Force Mass Motion Mix) - The Crystal Method
Dangerous Power (Cicada Radio Edit) - Gabriel & Dresden
Say It Right - Nelly Furtado
Munich (148 bpm) - Editors
The Bitch of Living - Spring Awakening

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

It’s never enough until your heart stops beating.

Run two days in a row? Why not, it’s so … nice out.

Temperature: Whatever. 30°?
Climate: much the same, but sunny

Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 174.5 lbs.

I will not be content until I stop feeling my belly bouncing as I run.

1986 Playlist
Roadrunner (152 bpm) - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Walk This Way - Run-D.M.C. ft. Aerosmith
My Adidas - Run-D.M.C.
The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby and the Range
Brass Monkey - Beastie Boys
Shellshock - New Order
Oh Yeah - Yello
Puzzlin’ Evidence (156 bpm) - Talking Heads

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

As I drift off into the night, I’m in flight.

Schmuck face.

Now the nights get long, rehearsals stretching to 10 pm. Coming home I find a dish waiting for me because my wife and family love me and take care of me. I do my part my washing things and putting them away. But the nights push into midnight and there is not much chance for sleep. We head back to work, stare into a screen, assemble, cut, compose grant requests plus the odd assignment.

Our internet is out. I spent the morning away from Facebook and found that I had accomplished the entire morning routine of creating lunches, washing leftover dishes and preparing breakfast, which usually takes about an hour, in ten minutes.

You know, there’s a six of Heineken in the fridge I bought, like, ten days ago and it’s still untouched. This does not mean I have not been drinking. It just means an entire bottle is a time commitment I do not have and a small glass of wine goes so much better with food.

Temperature: Not sure. 25°?
Climate: crusty, uneven snow
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 175.5 lbs.

Bit of a sinus headache, and an empty stomach. Running took care of both. That, and a Sudafed.

2001 Playlist
Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box - Radiohead
Digital Love - Daft Punk
Get The Party Started - Pink
One More Time - Daft Punk
This Charming Man - Stars
Point Of View Point - Cornelius
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue
Weapon Of Choice - Fatboy Slim

Stephani wants me to tell you all I have been doing yoga. So that’s happening.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Sometimes I feel I've got to run away.

John Simm is Bernard Sumner

Many thanks to whomever:
  1. Plowed my walk.
  2. Plowed the sidwealk on the north side of Mayfield Road -- the entire thing!
Some might say that going for a run in deep snow shows signs of brain damage. So, in honor of Super Bowl Sunday, I go running.

Truth the told, while the Super Bowl is, uh ... happening, I will be in rehearsal. Every year or so Lisa schedules a rehearsal on this particular evening, and then apologizes for having forgotten what day it is. Her obeisance is entirely unnecessary, it is a relief to be free of this bizarre American ritual.

I have tried to "watch" football. I can't. I have tried to play football. Members of my immediate family criticize the fact that I enjoy playing Monopoly. Well, believe me, Monopoly must be the football of board games, long, boring, and easy to wander away from at the first available distraction.

Damn, I don't even find the commercials amusing anymore.

Temperature: 19°
Climate: Fluffy snow and slush
Distance: 5.15 miles

1981 Playlist
Clubland - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Kids In America (160 bpm) - Kim Wilde
Sat In Your Lap - Kate Bush
Just Cant Get Enough - Depeche Mode
Behind The Lines - Phil Collins
Everything's Gone Green - New Order
Late Bare - Duran Duran
Sausolito Summernight - Diesel
Games People Play - Alan Parsons Project
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
A Forest (161 bpm) - The Cure
TV Party (178 bpm) - Black Flag
Working In A Coal Mine - Devo

Games People Play -- the first pop song about end-of-life issues, Alzheimer's and mutual euthanasia. Beat Fastball's The Way by almost eighteen years.

"People need to know what a great band you were."

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Try to run. Get a gun.

Crap! I have been doing so well for two weeks, running, exercising indoors on the wii when I can't exercise ... but the last two days have been packed with work, rehearsal, and social business, and instead of fighting it I just let entropy take its course.

Crap, crap, crap. Makes me depressed. And what is worse, as much as I have enjoyed using the wii fit to keep me on task ... I know when I revisit the program, the Wiiminatrix is going utilize her shame stick on me.

What doesn't kill me makes me smugger.

Temperature: 23°
Climate: fluffy snow
Distance: 3.25 miles

My wife thinks I am crazy for running in this snow. "It's too deep!" she says, but it really isn't, there's like, two or three inches of puffy snow on the ground. It is better to run today, when it's just light, air-filled snow, resting on the pavement, than tomorrow, when the snow has settles, compacted, and hardened.

1971 Playlist
The Musical Box - Genesis
Meet Me On The Corner - Lindisfarne
Tokoloshe Man - John Kongos
Oh Yoko - John Lennon
The Devil's Answer - Atomic Rooster
The Return of the Giant Hogweed - Genesis
Jeepster (190 bpm) - T. Rex