Sunday, November 30, 2014

Light will keep your heart beating in the future.

The end of a four-day holiday weekend in Cleveland. The wife made a heritage bird for Thanksgiving, we saw the premiere of Clara & The Nutcracker at Talespinner Children's Theatre and took my brother and his family for a walk around the shiny, new downtown Cleveland.

Thursday evening, the most unusual thing, my arms hurt. I am not used to having such extreme soreness following something as brief as a five-mile race, and never so intensely in my arms. My only guess is that with the slushy, slippery pavement, I was holding a lot of tension in my arms in an attempt to keep my balance.

On Friday I am very happy to say my entire family pitched in and did a lot of cleaning up of the house, especially the downstairs. Today is the last day of November, and I have kids who really, really want to bring the Christmas decorations out of the attic, so I think I know what's going on today.

However, right now it is fifty-five degrees out. And we're not getting any better than that.

Temperature: 55°
Distance:3.25 miles

Also, my abdomen. Lots of upper body work in that race. Maybe this is the beginning of something good.

Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future Playlist
Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future * - Mike Doughty
Super Bon Bon - Soul Coughing
Soundtrack To Mary - Soul Coughing
Pompeii - Bastille
See a Little Light - Bob Mould
Don't Let's Start - They Might Be Giants
Vegetable - Mike Doughty
The New Pollution - Beck
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People

Funky Gen-X Stylee. Haven't run eight times in November since 2009. Things feel good.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

2014 Cleveland Turkey Trot

These nights have been challenging. Fighting a cold, the kind of cold that hangs on, settles into my lungs and sinuses and just moves in for the duration. I have been a awake for long stretches the past several nights, either lying in bed or getting up to read. Our schedule has offered sane bedtimes, but it is difficult to say I have been getting enough rest.

We were to have spent the evening with my brother and his family from St. Paul, flying in to stay at my folks' place in Lakewood. But you know how air traffic was yesterday, the weather in the east clogging everything up. They got in a little late for an early dinner, and events conspired with me at work yesterday that made me feel much more comfortable at home with my immediate family, watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Today, the storm has moved across the Midwest, and we have snow on the ground for the annual Turkey Trot. Okay then. No pseudoephedrine for me this morning, I would not want to dry out more than necessary. Also, too: passing out.

2014 Cleveland Turkey Trot
Distance: 5 miles
Start: 9:30 am
Temperature: 33°
Official Time: 41:20.99

That was a new experience. I met Chris and his nephew at the parking garage at Chester and 13th and then walked to the meeting place by the Free Stamp. Deciding what to wear was a challenge, and I had serious questions as we got closer to the lake and the winter winds.

Gear: zero drop shoes, socks, long pants, thermal shirt, hat, long-sleeved race tee

Nothing around my neck. Good thing, bad thing? Should I have worn my hoodie? As it turned out, I would not have changed a thing.

We met Jessica at the stamp, Patrick was still getting his bib in Public Hall. That was it for the Great Lakes contingent, but I was grateful for the motivation. I would never have signed up for this without it, and I am very glad I did. Besides, Jessica assured me the weather was twice as bad last year.

Running in snow and slush are not conditions for anyone's personal best, except perhaps for your personal best at the Turkey Trot. I was as cautious as anyone else heading down East Third towards the Stadium when the slush turned to snow on the pavement, and suddenly I remembered -- I train in this shit. I run in snow all the time.

However, no matter how fast I ran, no matter how hard I tried, I could not shake Chris Fornadel. I thought I lost him heading up East Ninth away from the Rock Hall, continuing east on Hamilton all the way to 36th Street on my own, but he reappeared as we headed back downtown along St. Clair.

I don't know who was pacing who.

Just kidding. By the time we crossed East Ninth I was keeping up with him. So that worked out pretty well.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Out and in.

All last week, half the family was ill. Just a cold, poorly timed with the fiercely inclement weather. I was fine every single day, until Friday night. That is just the way with me sometimes, I hang on until I am not needed, and then collapse. Yesterday was a complete waste of my time, either spent in bed or haunting the house, doing odd jobs because I could stand being in bed any more.

There's a 5-mile race on Thursday, Chris picked up my bib and shirt already, and a number of us from work are going to meet up before the run to take a picture or something. What has to happen between now and then is a lot, including editing kids' stories into scripts for radio, hosting one matinee of A Christmas Carol for Cleveland city school students on Tuesday and another, sensory friendly performance on Wednesday. It's a three-day work week with a month of work in it.

I'm sick. I should rest. But it's over 55 degrees and I have a race in four days.

Temperature: 57°
Distance: 2 miles

Red Right Hand Playlist
Red Right Hand - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Jockey Full of Bourbon * - Tom Waits
This Corrosion * - Sister of Mercy

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's the memory of our betters that are keeping us on our feet.

Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem (2007)

Get Innocuous! 
Time to Get Away 
North American Scum 
Someone Great 
All My Friends 
Us v Them

James Murphy writes the soundtrack of my aging hipster bones.

Last week I finally used a birthday gift card to purchase three pair of new pants. All of them with a 33 inch waist.

Silly me, I don't have a 33 waist. I have a 34 inch waist. I can wear them, but they are snug. I did not do this on purpose. And yet, I have two choices. Return them and accept my fate, or work it.

Temperature: 36°
Distance: 4 miles
Pavement: Some clear, much crusty.
Gear: Shorts, short-sleeved-tee, windbreaker, knit gloves, fleece hat.

Obstacle course out there, but perfect weather. No wind, just a lot of hard work on the knees navigating sidewalks that were left unshoveled, sometimes dodging into the street. Kept to the large block route, taking some side roads to save my knees. My knees hurt. But in that good way, you know?

During the snows on Friday evening I used the Wii for the first time in almost a year. It's good for a warm-up, but not so great for aerobic work. Muscles have been stretched, but not really used. And running place really sucks.

Good news, though - I have run more times this November than any November since 2010. And it isn't even Thanksgiving!

Heights Citizen: I am sick of these kids walking the street like they own the place.
- Later -
Heights Citizen: Shovel the sidewalk? Fuck you, I rent.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Strange, the ones who want to win the race are usually the ones who fall behind.

Happy birthday, sir.
Received an email a few days ago from a work colleague, who is organizing a(n unofficial) company team for the Turkey Trot! Never run the Trot before, don't usually have the chance. Most often we are in Athens for Thanksgiving, last year we were in St. Paul. Who KNOWS when I will have this opportunity again!

That and I have been getting into a funk over not participating in any races, not since Girls On The Run last spring. A brisk, "turkey day" five-mile run around downtown sounds like a good time.

My buddy at work, the one who I am going to try and push into the CLE Half, has never run in any organized race. We shall take care of that.

Temperature: 68°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Climate: very light rain

One more in before the OMEGA BLOCK. Or whatever. Put that on a sweatshirt.

XTC Playlist
Happy Families
Statue of Liberty
Yacht Dance
Life Begins at the Hop
Funk Pop a Roll
Cockpit Dance Mix
This Is Pop

Sunday, November 09, 2014

I'm a happy idiot waving at cars.

In 2008 my playlist was dominated by Capital London, in 2014 by The Current. My children know the words to Take Me to Church. This is the influence my two brothers still hold on me, their music.

Temperature: 43°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Bright, beautiful fall day. Sun shining, leaves drifting to the ground, not too cool. I am carrying far too much baggage, I want to fly but it takes effort. I believe I will be in that place again.

Happy Idiot Playlist
Happy Idiot - TV on the Radio
Diane Young - Vampire Weekend
Youth Without Youth - Metric
The Mother We Share - CHVRCHES
Symptoms - Atlas Genius
Dance Yrself Clean - LCD Soundsystem
Believer - American Authors

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Better run.

When Obama votes, he gets hit upon by pretty young ladies.
First things first. My friend Roger ran New York on Sunday. He had two goals:
  1. Finish without an injury.
  2. Finish in under six hours.
I think his first goal was actually just finish. In any even, he was successful on all counts, clocking in at 05:19:59 with an average pace of 12:13. Awesome!

Today my work colleague, the one who has been looking so fit lately, told me he ran his first 10 mile yesterday. Just inspired, he's gotten up to seven miles and yesterday was just such a perfect day he thought he'd try it.

We discussed his attempting a half marathon. Definitely doable. He should run the Cleveland Half next year.

And so here I am thinking I should run the Cleveland Half next year.

Temperature: 68°
Distance: 5.15 miles

And speaking of good weather, we may be done for the year. So, five miles!

And One (On One) Playlist
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Cannonball - The Breeders
Wonderwall (Radiohead parody)
In the Garage - Weezer
Do You Realize? - The Flaming Lips
Jeepster- T. Rex
We Are Young - fun. ft. Janelle MonĂ¡e
And one (On One) - Lilys
Rock & Roll - The Velvet Underground
Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers

Wow. I couldn't have created a better mix if I had chosen it myself. And really, I didn't.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Guess my race is run.

“His whole future seemed suddenly to be unrolled before him; and passing down its endless emptiness he saw the dwindling figure of a man who whom nothing was ever to happen.” - The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
When I first read that line, I wrote it down. It was chilling to read and I felt she was speaking directly to me. This was in 1998, when I was about to turn thirty.

Temperature: 39°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Recently I was driving to a school in the far eastern suburbs, down a winding two-lane road. I looked at the road, the street sign, the pavement and the painted lines upon it. And I saw it as a place to run. And that was a find, old thought, made new.

Day of the Dead Playlist (Teenage Kicks)
Get It On (Bang a Gong) - T. Rex
What Have I Done to Deserve This - Pet Shop Boys ft. Dusty Springfield
All Apologies - Nirvana
I Fought the Law - The Clash
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (155 bpm) - Queen
Hold It Now, Hit It - Beastie Boys
Private Idaho (166 bpm) - The B-52's
Don't Dream It's Over (162 bpm) - Crowded House

Yesterday, they played a set of artists with dead performers on The Current, and I thought, that's a really good playlist.