Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Almost twenty.

2009/2015
One more before departing, joined the wife on a run out behind South Green. She is very close to a complete twenty, we took a one minute walk after ten.

With five minutes left she expressed her physical desire to stop, with an intent to continue which is what we did. It was important to stop when we did. It was important to keep going. It is important to obey your body, but sometimes your body need to obey you.

Distance: 2.18 mile
Duration: 29:17
Avg Pace: 13:23
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail

Time to clean up and pack. Thanks to MP and Chris and everyone else on the tree. We will return as soon as we are able.

One more before New Year's? We shall see.

Temperature: 45°
Climate: cool and bright
Mood: positive

Monday, December 28, 2015

In the road before us stood a weary grayish man.

Don't be that guy.
Then the rains came, plunging our corner of the world into something a little more like winter, or at least that part of fall when it is rainy and cold. There were a number of wonderful outdoor activities we had planned for the boy (several presents involve geocaching) which had to wait.

The wife and I need to work, too, which is nothing unusual for this time of year She must grade papers, and write, and so do I. The reveling has been low-key this time around, but we've still enjoyed sleeping in. This morning, however, we rose before the kids so sit by the fire and relax and think before ... I'm not sure, what comes after that?

Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 7:57
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail

Solo run today, the wife went off with her sisters to see Sisters. The temperature is twenty-five degrees cooler than yesterday, the wind of a kind which makes my uncovered ears ache. But it felt good. That pain I had reported no longer troubles me.

The kids and I are headed Uptown, the girl wants to do some shopping! The boy will have to deal.

Temperature: 45°
Climate: cool, windy
Mood: all right

What's That Lyric?
How Beautiful You Are - The Cure

Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's the end of the world (as we know it.)

Books are such wonderful presents. Some I request, but many are complete surprises. Mother-in-law surprised me with The Theater of War by Bryan Doerries (or What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today.)

The author begins with a brief description of his education at Kenyon, an autodidact desperate to push beyond perceived limitations in his academic abilities (for example, a mild dyslexia necessitating slow and careful reading) and his innate desire to attract and maintain appropriate mentorship.

He also describes his relationship with a woman with cystic fibrosis who perishes in NYC the evening of March 20, 2003. I cannot say for certain where I am on any given day but I can say for certain where I was on that evening, celebrating the loss of one life while carefully monitoring the progress of a new one.

Also, the Iraq War, which was born that day, and which the prologue of this book suggests will come into play. I've only read the first fifty pages.

What if we had not lost the boy? Each Spring Bad Epitaph had presented a classical work, Hamlet, Lysistrata, The Alchemist. It was my desire to attempt Oedipus next. No one knows that and it hardly matters now. I had no basis for this interest, other than the act of doing it. Story of my life.

Mentorship, university, drama, CF, New York City, the Bacchae, self-production, war, alcohol, the death of children, a little Greek and no Latin, all within the first fifty-five pages. No wonder I cried.


Partner Run
Distance: 2.3 miles
Avg Pace: 12:59
Route: Hockhocking Bike Trail

Solo Run
Distance:  2 miles
Avg Pace: 7:34
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail

The wife and I ran/walked away from campus, got a little turned around but had a very nice run on a day which might be described as "unseasonal." She is working to make the transition from eight minutes + eight minutes with a walk in between to a straight twenty minute run. We will get there.

After she read a book, seated on a bench facing the river and White's Mill while I put in another two miles headed toward the Convo.

My left inguinal ligament has been sore these past two days, no idea why. Lack of regular exercise, sure. Perhaps the drive down ... driving a stick for long distances has become increasingly troublesome. Now that the kids are older we can make the entire trip without stopping, which is great, except for the bits that aren't. Anyway, I was looking forward to a fast run and I got one.

My brief playlist consisted of college music. I don't need to listen to songs from the late 1980s when I run the bike path by South Green, but I do like to. Memories have been tormenting me this year, but when I listen to those songs running through that place, I feel absolved. Or if not, then at least understood.

Temperature: 70°
Climate: overcast and warm
Mood: much better, thank you

What's That Lyric?
It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Happiness.
Christmas morning surrounded by family. The children received many fascinating gifts, and they were truly grateful for them. There comes a point in a child's life when they grow from "I am so glad to have this," to "I am going to use this!" Both are joyful feelings, but I love to see to look of inspiration in their eyes upon receiving.

My mother-in-law gave the girl a pocket, leather-bound, unlined notebook. She was delighted, and very delighted. The girl told me she's apprehensive about putting anything into it, because it's so nice. I said that's why she needs to start right away, fill it up. Make your work part of it.

We were at the Skull by eleven. My wife took the picture at right and posted it on social media. Some snark, they say smile why don't you. Look closer. That is contentment.

Distance: 2.16 miles
Avg Pace: 13:25
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail Walk/Run

The wife and I took a run down by the river. It is her plan to run every day we are her, mine as well. Perhaps tomorrow I will run on my own, she apologizes for "slowing me down" but honestly, walking or running with her is what I would always prefer to do.

Merry Christmas.

Temperature: 55°
Climate: cool and damp
Mood: positive

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

God loves His children.

Cleveland, December 23, 2015
Photo by Christopher Compton
How Exercise May Help Us Fight Off Colds
by Gretchen Reynolds, NY Times 12/16/2015
... Our immune system reacts to invading microbes through a variety of cells. Some of these cells don’t directly combat the infection, but instead promote the development of inflammation. When we think of inflammation, we usually think of fever, swelling and redness. But inflammation can also be a good thing, helping the body to heal itself as it fights invading microbes ...

Distance: 3.2 miles
Route: Boulevard Loop

A damp evening, with temps in the mid-sixties. Yes, this is truly odd. I took my usual run, in shorts and the long-sleeved shirt I had had on today. The shirt was a bit too much, I would have preferred shorts sleeves.

We had friends over for a Christmas party last night, and spent part of it outside on the new deck.

The holiday party with the actor-teachers required our opening the windows.

Tomorrow we will join our extended family in Athens ... tomorrow and Christmas Day will be muh the same as it has been here today. And on Boxing Day it will be 70°.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: yes. warm
Weight: 162 lbs.
Mood: a mite cheery

Yes, one sixty-two. That cheese dip has to go someplace.

What's That Lyric?
Paranoid Android - Radiohead

Sunday, December 20, 2015

For the sake of locomotion.

Black Stache & Smee
Christmas in effect. Every day. Last night we attended Peter and the Starcatcher at Dobama Theatre. It lived up to expectations and truly exceeded them. The entire company is strong, but Chris Bohan as Black Stache so entirely steals every scene he appears in, but then if Black Stache does not steal every scene he appears in you have definitely cast the wrong guy.

Having said that, Andrew Gorell has the momentous task of playing his straight man Smee and is also dynamite. I can't recall laughing so hard and long and loud for a very long time.

Tonight, a party. Tomorrow, caroling. Tuesday, friends. Wednesday, actor-teacher party. Festivities 24/7. But first, a run!

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hills Loop

The holiday will be spent editing Twelfth Night for a 45-minute performance this summer. The theme is 1980s romantic teen comedies. Because that's what you do.

Bit slippery on the run after the snow, but it is all melting now and will continue to do so. Supposed to be in the mid-sixties in Athens for Christmas. Ah, well. That just means the wife and I can safely enjoy a run on the bike path together.

She's not going to run in the ice or snow this winter, and is concerned about staying on top of what she has already accomplished. I am also concerned about the cold stuff, as I do not currently own a pair of shoes that can handle it.

Temperature: 41°
Climate: brisk and bright
Weight: 160 lbs.
Mood: up

What's That Lyric?
Locomotion - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Love is like an energy.

In 1984, the hottest Christmas single in the nation was Do They Know It's Christmas. But not among our friends. That honor would be given to The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Not to be confused with the Huey Lewis song that would come out the following summer, this was the penultimate track on Frankie's first album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome which was released in late October.

Unlike the previous singles which were (to this boy) surprisingly homoerotic, the video for this song was what appears to be an entirely sincere depiction of the Nativity... featuring the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

It went to number one in Britain, but didn't chart in the United States.

Distance: 3.2 miles
Route: Boulevard Loop

Today I had six cookies. So that's how it's going to be, is it? Regardless, on a nice, breezy night like this it's so easy to run fast. I still feel good. I need to give myself a break.

Temperature: 52°
Climate: windy
Weight: 160 lbs.
Mood: good

What's That Lyric?
The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's not the cities, it's the weather we love.

House of Blues
Wednesday night we saw Sleater-Kinney, the greatest rock band in history.

No, seriously.If there is one hallmark of live, popular music, it is that at some point during any show, I wish I wasn't there. It's just too long or gets tedious. There's always this break where someone wanders off the stage for a bit, I wonder, why do they get to go to the bathroom?

I didn't really know this band when they were first on the road, in the late 90s and early 2000s. I knew their name. They were an all-girl punk band, or whatever. They weren't on the radio, or if they were I didn't know it was them.

Their recent album, No Cities To Love received a lot of airplay on The Current and I thought wow, this is really good. The wife asked for the CD for her birthday, we never ask each other for CDs anymore, so it was must-have. Then the concert was announced. We got tickets.

When was the last time I went to a rock concert? Sorry, Elvis Costello doesn't count, that was some kind of easy listening. We all had seats.

So, I don't really know their catalog. I've seen Carrie Brownstein in Portlandia, that was most of my preparation for Wednesday night's show, which was truly awesome. I knew the new album, not by heart, and they played pretty much all of that. Point is each song was interesting, full of energy, exciting. There's no flash, no tricks (Brownstein did hop up onto the bass drum, that was straight-up rock and roll) just straight forward, fast, loud punk rock.

The opening act, Waxahatchee sounds like a 1990s alt-rock girl group only all their members were born in the 1990s. They were good, too. It was a sweet evening.

Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 32 minutes
Route: Cain Park Loop

Today it is sixty degrees. Yesterday it was seventy degrees, but there was work and family and little opportunity to sleep.

Also, my last pair of flight headphones fragged on the last run. What are your favorite headphones for running?

Happy Hanukkah!
No Cities to Love - Sleater-Kinney (2015)
Price Tag
Fangless
Surface Envy
No Cities to Love
A New Wave
No Anthems
Gimme Love
Bury Our Friends
Hey Darling
Fade

Thirty-three minutes of rock and roll perfection, neatly accompanying a four mile run on a fine spring day.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: cool and overcast
Weight: 160.5 lbs.
Mood: Awesome.

Photos: Cleveland Scene

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

All there is and ever was.

Actual size.
iPod Nano Silver. My former model had 2G, this one has 16.

Sixteen! GET IT?

Next year is Twenty-Sixteen. That's it. That's all I meant.

Started this blog on January 10, 2006. Have already signed up to run the Cleveland Half Marathon (yes, shut up.) Next year also signifies thirty years since I graduated from high school. No idea if I will be attending the festivities.

Perhaps if they arrange a 5K ...

Part of all this angst about working out the music situation on my iPhone is that I want to start the year with my annual list of playlists.

This year there will be fifty. 1967-2016.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hills Loop

Here's a first. My house key actually made its way out of my shorts pocket. Always worried that might happen, because I worry about losing things. Never has. I was in the park and realized that that was exactly what had happened.

Instead of worrying about it, I thought, well. Nothing I can do about that, and kept on running.

Found it lying on the sidewalk on my run home. See? Nothing you can do about that.

Temperature: 48°
Climate: cool ... oddly cool
Weight: 161 lbs.
Mood: not bad

Great Lakes Theater's A Christmas Carol Writing Contest was broadcast on WCPN 90.3 yesterday. Have a listen, this is a lot of what I have been up to the past several weeks. Have a listen, it's pretty sweet.

What's That Lyric?
The Shade - Metric

Saturday, December 05, 2015

What can you buy that lifts a heavy heart up to the sky?

Nine years ago the wife got me an iPod nano for my birthday. It was first generation, 2G. It has worked like a dream the entire time. She had inscribed on the back Daddy Runs Fast - To NYC and Beyond! because I was training for the NYC marathon. It has, indeed, taken me far beyond NYC.

I tried to replace it with my new iPhone this past spring, because I wanted to use the phone to track my runs. Also, it was convenient during long runs to have a camera.

But you can't load tunes into Apple Music that you haven't purchased from the iTunes store. Some have suggested apps I could obtain, but most would necessitate transferring my song library into their desktop program. Also, with all the different apps available on what is not, by today's standards, a phone with very much memory, using it for music just seems inconvenient.

I've been using streaming services - Spotify, AppleMusic, even The Current - which have actually introduced me to a lot of new music I don't own. But sometimes what I want is what I have, to choose the exact songs I want to listen to on a given day.

I was ready to go back to using my trusty, old iPod. Unfortunately, our desktop Mac died this summer, and to save money, and because my wie has developed a serious hatred of Apple, we bought a PC.

Whether it is the PC, or because she's right and Apple is entirely evil, this new version of iTunes on my PC will not recognize my dearly beloved iPod nano.

However, when I tried finding a solution to this increasingly irritating quandary, I learned that there was a recall of first generation nanos dating back to 2011 - which is still in effect. Apparently some early nanos had batteries which could and did overheat. So I applied for an exchange, they sent me a FedEx box, and I have returned my beloved to the manufacturer.

What will they send me in return?

Distance: 3.27 miles
Avg Pace: 7:44
Route: Forest Hills Loop

The holidays, so busy! Every night a school event, a work event, dinner with family, dinner with friends, plays, plays and plays. I even learned how to make soup. No time for running.

A Christmas Carol Writing Contest awards reception is this evening! I must go iron a shirt.

Temperature: 43°
Climate: cool and clear
Weight: 160.5 lbs.
Mood: better (after running)

What's That Lyric?
Restless - New Order

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wonder why he ran.

Another thing about the Turkey Trot ... this year, for the first time, they added a 5K. In addition to the fine weather, I imagine adding this race was a factor in attendance surging by two thousand participants.

However, both races started at the same time, and shortly after the one mile mark all 5K runners were diverted one block north to St. Clair to head back for the finish while the five mile runners headed out almost one more mile, then we cut right for a block and headed back up St. Clair ...

... can you see where this might not be the best idea? Suddenly there were all of these runners - most of them slower runners, parents with strollers or children, a kid on a ripstik - and they were in my way.

And not just me, I heard a lot of complaints. In particular, there were these two beefy guys right in right of my during the last tenth of a mile, elbow to elbow, blocking traffic as many of us were trying to speed up to peel off a few seconds. Maybe they were five mile runners, but if this was their pace, how the hell did they ever get ahead of me?

Distance: 4.16 miles
Avg Pace: 7:39
Route: Boulevard Loop

I used to have such beautiful feet. Right now several of my toenails are discolored and may be preparing to fall off. This past marathon session took a lot out of them... could it be the shoes?

Another item: These headphones have lasted a long time. But I believe they are starting to go.

Temperature: 41°
Climate: light rain
Weight: 161 lbs.
Mood: upbeat if anxious

What's That Lyric?
Little Mascara - The Replacements

"Time Machine Weekend" on The Current. This hour? Nineteen Eighty-Five, the greatest year in popular music history ... right after this one.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

2015 Cleveland Turkey Trot

Can't believe Chris Richards wore his race shirt to the race.

Distance: 5 miles
Start: 9:30 am
Temperature: 51°
Official Time: 34:57.63
Pace: 6:59

Overall Place: 255
45-49 Age Group: 14

Way too much going on here.
Yes, very different than last year. No worrying about completely wiping out heading down West 3rd. My shoes remained entirely dry. There was a water stop, and people on the street to cheer. Instead of sleet and ice, it was just a perfect day for running, cool and dry.

Attendance (so they tell me) was up two thousand this year, to 9,000 participants. The weather no doubt played a part, but so did the addition of a 5K. As a result the start was pushed back ten minutes, and then another five. We took it in stride. Remember, it could be worse. It could be sleeting.

A number of us had met at the parking garage or at the starting line, though we separated pretty fast once the race started. Fornadel kept up with me last year, but this year he was on a mission. Soon he was far out ahead of me and I wondered if I could keep up with him.

For most of the race I was something faster than a seven and a half mile, but I never caught up with him. Looking for him at the finish line, I learned he'd crashed around the four mile mark with a major cramp. I keep wondering when something like that is going to happen to me, I've really taken it easy since the Twin Cities, and could feel the slackness in my abdomen. Woo.

Having said that, trying to keep up with Fornadel - even when he wasn't actually there - was some kind of motivating factor. I beat seven minutes? Srsly? I do not have a record of every single five mile race I have ever run, but I he no doubt today's time is a personal best.

Gear: UA shoes, long-sleeved shirt, gloves, cap, SHORTS.

Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Diet creep. This is the way it happens. Yesterday, for example, I had three doughnuts. Seriously. Three. Last night I had two beers. And a piece of cake. This is the way it happens. And today is Thanksgiving.

Yesterday a good friend from high school posted a photo from our ten year reunion, and that was almost twenty years ago.

My. Bald can look good, but balding does not. Also, glasses are important. Also, too, the 90s mini-sideburns thing was really stupid.

And look at my chubby face. I don't want a face like that again.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

You know you're always paying for the shit that's free.

Busy not busy. Certainly not lacking in seconds nor minutes. Work is mental and I have pressing my brain into the rear of my skull rather than projecting it forward out into the world, more hiding than I am afraid.

Home time means either housework or wandering. You can see it does not translate into running. Making an effort currently takes a lot of effort. Clean, organize, try to be helpful. And that's pretty much it.

I am feeling kind of low, is what I am saying. Listless and without direction. The holidays may improve upon this or, as the man said, throw it into sharp relief.

What am I looking forward to? I champion others' efforts. No longer sure what mine are.

Also, I woke up with a headache pretty much every day this week. So that's not good. Better today, though.

Distance: 3.4 miles
Avg Pace: 8:26
Route: Boulevard Loop

So. Running. Still feels good. Snow falling this morning, currently in the crunchy only slightly slippery mode. It was like a real workout. My knees hurt a little, the cold does that. Form is good, just losing a little of my wind. Got to make more than once a week.

But then, that's assured, with a five mile race on Thursday. Supposed to be back up to the sixties by then. Can't remember how many years we've had a mild and warm Thanksgiving.

Family coming into town. Special events at work this work, celebrations and traditions over the weekend. So much to be thankful for and I will remember that every day.

Temperature: 32°
Climate: snow
Weight: 159.5 lbs.
Mood: better?

Because it is snowing, the girl insists on Christmas music. It is not yet Thanksgiving, and yet the wife has not objected. See? All things can change.

What's That Lyric?
Complexity - Eagles of Death Metal

The past several days I have seen the phrase "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," which is 1) entirely false and 2) totally obnoxious.

Monday, November 16, 2015

You should have been there.

 Big days full of action and wonder.

And yet.

Distance: 3.38 miles
Avg Pace: 8:02
Route: Boulevard Loop

Middle-aged guy, maybe ten years older than I am, flags me down at Taylor and Mayfield. He speaks in a thick accent, he wants to know how far it is around Severance Circle;

"You know, Burger King, that way? One kilo?"

He wants to know kilometers, I say maybe one that way, probably more. Two? Two and a half?

It was friendly, I should have been more helpful. I could have pulled off my phone and figured it out. Still, that raised my spirits.

Remember, never make fun of someone who speaks in broken English, because they know at least two languages.

Temperature: 48°
Climate: cool
Weight: 158 lbs.

... and then I arrived home, and suddenly felt like crying again. Maybe because there was no more running.

What's That Lyric?
You Should've Been There - Marshall Crenshaw

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Racing against sun beams.

The girl made this.
“This is not Iraq or Afghanistan. We are not at war here. We need to stay confident and hopeful.”
Marie-Caroline de Richemont, 32, on her morning run on Saturday near the Musée d’Orsay in central Paris.
New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015 
Distance: 3.38 miles
Avg Pace: 7:53
Route: Boulevard Loop

We eat. We drink. I feel I have been conspicuously consuming quite a bit already. The Halloween candy is all gone but we're moving into the holidays, I have not been running, but still put things into my mouth the way I did when I was in training.

True, they are better things. Yogurt. Almonds. But also beer or whiskey, and there are sweets and for some reason, more soda.

My weight has not gone up, but I can feel muscle slacken into fat. I must be careful. It is too hard to lose weight, but I did that and must continue to exhibit restraint.

Temperature: 48°
Climate: bright and sunny, perfect
Weight: 160 lbs.
Mood: looking up?

I had cold pizza for breakfast.

What's That Lyric?
Soma - The Strokes

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Run away. Far away.

McDonald's Artisan Chicken Sandwich.
Wow. My runs have decreased significantly since the marathon, which was at the beginning of October. And yet I still ran more times this October than any since 2006 - and then I was still training for New York, which is in November.

Distance: 3.35 miles
Avg Pace: 7:40
Route: Boulevard Loop

Exciting weekend. Feeling much better than since my last entry. Last night I was shivering when I went to bed, like I was developing a cold or something but now I feel pretty normal.

Drove seven hours on Friday and again yesterday to see a performance of I Hate This in Oneonta, NY. More on that soon on my writing blog. Suffice to say that, having gotten the kids engaged in a some very necessary housework I really need to get out and move.

Temperature: 50°
Climate: bright and sunny
Weight: 160 lbs.
Mood: good

Brisk run, fast run. Good day, good music. I get an hour or so to write this afternoon in a coffee shop with the girl doing homework. Pizza tonight after the soccer game. This is my good life.

What's That Lyric?
I Could Be Happy - Altered Images

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Alone above a raging sea.

Melancholy intrudes. What happens when dad comes home and starts dinner and the children all move to their personal spaces in the house and he is left alone to drink beer and listen to all those songs from his adolescence while cooking?

The music did not move me to this mood, I was like this and that drew me to the music. But it was not helpful.

I should be glad, good news is all around. Issue 8 passed and I don't know what would have happened if it had not but it wouldn't have been good. Levies passed, democracy was given another chance (well, Issue 2 doesn't help that department but no one realizes that yet) and the work continues.

Reading great Christmas stories written by Cleveland school kids. Visiting our young actors in schools and enjoying their great work and company. One play is going up this weekend, another is entering the design phase. Today was bright and sunny.

So what gives? No idea. Recently however I have become overwhelmingly preoccupied with the fact that in spite of best intentions I inevitably break everything nice I come into contact with.

A couple of days ago I was in the attic, rooting around in some old papers, and found what was supposed to be an amusing, romantic short story, something I had written over twenty years ago.

It was the saddest thing I ever read.

Distance: 3.4 miles
Avg Pace: 8:13
Route: Boulevard Loop

So, anyway, a run sounded like a good idea. And it felt good, it did, the running. Just not sure what action to take next.

Going to rain tomorrow. Perhaps the last summer day ever.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: warm, humid
Weight: 159.5 lbs.
Mood: not good

Oh, here's a thing. Chris at work reminded me last night that registration for the Turkey Trot would increase today, so I signed up. So that is a good and positive thing.

What's That Lyric?
Just Like Heaven - The Cure

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Lust for life.

November first, the last day ever. The ladies are out of the house (sport, work) leaving the boy and I to clean the house. I am the taskmaster and he goes through moments of great productivity coupled with longer stretches of carping and moaning.

We're busting up the afternoon with a bike/run. The afternoon is simply too lovely to waste.

Distance: 3.28 miles
Avg Pace: 8:44
Route: Boulevard Loop

Last time, the boy suffered a backache after our run. I have asked him to perform post-run stretching exercises and we'll lie around for a little before getting back to work.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: bright and shiny
Weight: 158.5 lbs.
Mood: good

Saturday, October 31, 2015

2015 Potter Village 5K

We began having a neighborhood Halloween party around five years ago, though often it has been cancelled due to inclement weather (in one case, due to hurricane.) Last year organizers of the event arranged a 5K run, which I had originally enthusiastically announced interest in, and then had the decline due to a work conflict.

The race went ahead as planned, with one participant - Aaron. He had a great time as it was his first 5K and he came in first. As I recall it was a pretty miserable, rainy day, but I understand a good time was had by all.

Today, for the first time, our neighborhood party fell on Halloween day itself. And it was cool and in the mid-40s and overcast but at least it was dry. And so we held the Second Annual Potter Village 5K with three participants, all dudes - myself, Aaron and Jeremy.

Unofficial time: 21:50
Overall Place: 1st
Actual Distance: 3.2 miles

Yes, I smoked them. Had to. Okay, not by much. We each came in roughly oneminute after each other.

Four laps in the streets around our neighborhood, the first half of each lap almost entirely on a steady incline, the third-quarter lap a serious decline back to the street on which I live, which is pretty level. I'm too good on hills, and then open up my stride on the downhill, it's like walking. Each lap we received a set a beads to mark our progress.

The finish line should have been well, a tenth of a mile sooner, but we all forgot that and went all the way back to the start.

I'm still coming off marathon training, so this was pleasantly easy and I'm still a little crazy. I'm also eating a lot. At the potluck a had a piece of fried chicken, two hot dogs and a lot of other things. This morning I was at 160 lbs., and tonight there will be candy. We must be careful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This is Halloween.

No, I haven't wanted to run. And the snacking has begun. It was a long day, taking me from school to library to desk, to Lorain County in the rain and back, in a suit and tie. Arriving home I wanted to take a nap, but the weather is so nice, overcast and cool.

Checking my phone for music someone suggested the boy come with me, he asked if he could ride his bike. And that was an even better idea.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Avg Pace: 9:18
Route: Boulevard Loop

He asks me a lot about how I am able to run long distances. We talk about health and fitness. He extols the beauty and wonder of our city, and how nice all the people are that we pass. We stop and take pictures of that amazingly vast and grotesque annual yard display on Mayfield.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: cool with light rain
Weight: 157.5 lbs.
Mood: very positive, now.

We had a spelling bee my fifth grade year and I was eliminated first by leaving out the "o" in Halloween but I still enjoy the holiday.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Won't you breathe with me?

Sad runner.
Now that the dust has settled, that my training is concluded and the race has been run, let me speak on behalf of long distance runners.

Stop being an ass when talking to your friends who are long-distance runners.

This summer there was an article on a certain website which flogged a recent British Psychology Society study which determined that most long distance runners (which in this study meant people running for eight miles) are miserable when running.

A lot of people made sure I knew about this article. To see if this is true. Because I'm a fucking moron or something because I run long distances.

Now I don't know anything about this study, only what I read condensed in that one blarticle. I do know I ran 26.2 miles on earlier this month - which isn't even a normal distance for me, you know - and I wasn't miserable. I was only feeling discomfort the last few miles, and no one thinks that football players or soccer players become "miserable" when pushing their abilities from playing their sport.

Who are these people, these people who run eight miles and are asked to record their thoughts while running, and for three minutes out of ten babble about how in pain they are? I don't have a clue. I would recommend they choose a different exercise routine. They should just freaking stop.

So should the people who keep asking their running friends if it's true they are totally stupid for running.

Distance: 3.2 miles
Avg Pace: 7:38
Route: Boulevard Loop

I don't like being negative on this blog. Don't be negative with me, okay?

Temperature: 57°
Climate: cool with light rain
Weight: 159.5 lbs.
Mood: anxious

What's That Lyric?
Born Under Punches - Talking Heads

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

If you say run, I'll run with you.

A photo posted by Toni Thayer (@beediekt) on

Once I was the only person in my house who said things like, "It's beautiful out, I'd really like to take a run." Or even say to another family member, "I want us to finish this conversation, but first I really need to take a run."

Now I am not the only person in the house who says things like that. And that makes me very happy.

Distance: 3.23 miles
Avg Pace: 26:24
Route: Boulevard Loop

Temperature: 61°
Climate: cool & humid
Weight: 157 lbs.
Mood: positive

What's That Lyric?
Let's Dance - David Bowie

Saturday, October 17, 2015

When everything feels all over.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit
October 24, 7:00 PM
Oh, hai, running.

Lot of stuff going on in our little world. Work, good work. Very good work. Not just for me (though I reflect on that at length in my writing blog) but for all four of us.

I want to, need to be sure to strike a balance between the mind work and the body work. Karl and I were discussing that around the fire in Athens last week, you can push so hard in pursuit of a goal, but once the (literal) race has been run, you can just stand still, and wonder what is left for you to do.

This is true about figurative races as well, you know.

The people around me set a good example, the children are very physically active, and the wife continues successfully with her routine. There are laments, not enough time to get the running in, too many days between workouts. But that's just totally normal. We all feel that.

Distance: 3.2 miles
Avg Pace: 7:37
Route: Boulevard Loop

My goal for the marathon was to run an average pace of 8:30. Did I mention I made 8:29? That's how I did that.

The list of posts at right are the most popular posts in my nine-plus years of keeping this blog. That accumulative, so it takes quite a many view to jump into the list. I don't know why most of them are there, except for passing references to Impossibly Photogenic Guy or Jenn Shelton or perhaps a very popular song lyric.

However, I was very happy to see the TCM post make the top 10. Thanks for that.

Temperature: 43°
Climate: cool and overcast ... hail?
Weight: 158 lbs.
Mood: very glad to be working out

Obsessively eating these days. Mostly almonds, though, so that's better than the alternative.

What's That Lyric?
Let My Love Open the Door * - Pete Townshend

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Homecoming 2015

Just a beautiful weekend with friends and family in Athens, Ohio. We did this two years ago, three Yogamomz families taking over the back 40 of the Wolf homestead for some late nights of food and beverage and pool and vinyl and last night practically the entire crew was in and out of the kitchen, contributing to an amazing dinner of locally everything.

Yesterday, following the Homecoming parade (which is generally the extent of my alumni involvement) I had the chance to give our visitors a brief tour of the campus. We were fortunate to skulk the RTV building at just the right time that a generous faculty member invited us into the Patio theater where they were having tech for The Penelopiad which opens next weekend. I spent a lot of time in that theater once. An awful lot of time.

This morning my wife and I went out to the bike path for a partner run. We have never had the chance to run together, ever, really. Earlier in our relationship she might come with me, but she couldn't run so far and I wouldn't stop. Now she can run further, and I don't need to go so far nor fast.

We will head out in our own good time, time enough to get home and prepare for a normal week of school and week. Are any of them them truly normal?

Brian Blessed: I delivered a baby in a park, bit the umbilical cord and licked the infant's face 
The larger-than-life actor speaks for the first time about delivering a baby girl under a tree in Richmond Park while he was out running.
- The Telegraph, 10/7/2015

Wait ... Brian Blessed was a runner?

Walk/Run: 2.15 miles
Avg Pace: 13:38
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

Temperature: 54
Climate: cool and clear
Mood: calm and happy

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Wake up.

Bizarre to think this is entirely normal to me now. By mid-morning Monday I was taking the stairs like it was no big thing -- had to, I needed to make my way across Charlotte Douglas Airport for a connecting flight. Standing up, sitting down, I had little painful reminder that twenty-four hours previous I was in the process of running like hell for 26.2 miles.

My sister-in-law was very attentive and asked if I needed anything. Water to drink? Something to eat? I did need water to drink, and things to eat, but I had done so much eating and drinking on the run I didn't feel particularly depleted, of anything.

It was not just that my body has become accustomed to long-distance running, but that I have become accustomed to always been ready for long-distance running. Staying well-fed with the right foods, remaining hydrated. My brain pings when I am missing something, and do I have that. More good fats, the right kind of salty food, the good beverages.

For my father's 80th birthday there was a happy gathering of folks from around Flood's Cove, we had invited them all for "wine hour" and they all came. Family and friends and strangers. It was marvelous. Just before the hour was over, the wife came over and suggested I say something. I was not prepared to speak, but of course. I am very glad she reminded me to do that, that's just the kind of event after which I think, "I should have said something."

I spoke on behalf of my brothers, and spoke for myself, thanking my father for the impression he has made on me, and how he gave me a great appreciation of reading, and of history. My cousin added, "Don't forget running," and I quickly agreed - yes, I said. My father had inspired me to be an athlete.

To this he got that look on his face that I have inherited when something has said something we find entirely ridiculous. He said smilingly, more dismissive of his own efforts than of mine, "Oh ... running isn't athletic."

That's something else he gave me, the feeling that I could never be an athlete.

Distance: .85 miles
Route: once around the block

Other success story, I had no chafing, no bleeding. None. The right equipment, and plenty of glide.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: cool, overcast
Weight: 15 lbs.
Mood: decent

What's That Lyric?
Mouthful of Diamonds - Phantogram

Sunday, October 04, 2015

2015 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Full Minnesota
Official Time: 3:42:07
Avg. Pace: 8:29

Previous Best: 3:56:19 (Cleveland 2012)

First of all, everyone loves Captain America.

Nine years ago, in New York, I wrote PENGO on my shirt. It was a great thrill hearing all the spectators cheering me on as "Pengo!" I mean, I could have written David, but then I wouldn't be sure they were talking to me. Lot of Davids in that race.

Today, I wore the Captain America shirt. And everyone loves Captain America. And that was entirely awesome.

Everything went very well, beginning last night when I finally (thanks to my sister-in-law Julie, who has been totally awesome and supportive through all of this) got on the phone with their friend Kelly, who has run the TCM some fifteen times.

"Hey, David," he said, when I got him on the phone, "Why are we doing this?"

"Oh, uh," I said, "I want to ask you about the course."

"No," he said, "I mean ..."

"Oh!" I laughed, "Yeah, no idea."

He told me about the route, many things I already knew from driving it. But he also said he was going to be using thin gloves and keep them on during the race. I'd gotten some beat-up winter gloves, which I assumed I would be dumping at the start. Ditto, the sweats.

But he encouraged gloves to use or not use while running, and I remembered how I lose feeling in my fingers on long runs. Denny was glad to take me to Target last night to get some ($3 for two pair in the dollar section) and also large trash bags so I could wear one after packing my sweats. I had planned to just throw them away, but if I timed it right I could pack them in my bag for UPS to take to the finish, and just wear a bag to hold heat in until the start. I could change into them at the finish.

After two races, I think I know how to time my intake-output cycle. I had the biggest pre-race breakfast yet: two fried eggs, toasted ciabatta, and a banana I pockets for just before the race. Many thanks to Denny for making breakfast and taking me to the light rail stop to catch the train for the starting line.

I arrived an hour before the gun, plenty of time to get oriented, have water, use the facilities, adjust my socks, and generally not stress. It was cold, but not too cold. Forty-five degrees at the start, it would be fifty at the finish.

My one error was entering the corral a bit too late. They are called corrals for a reason, and trying to make your way up to the front is very challenging once it is full. I was stuck behind the well behind the 4:00 team, I was supposed to be up with the 3:45 team. Catching up can be very hard, you're all moving fast in the same direction.

Making my way up to them, I could have missed downtown Minneapolis, in general, at least for the first twenty miles, I did a decent job of taking in the Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America®.

By the way, it really, really is.

I caught up with the 3:45 team, and passed them. I wanted them behind me. From childhood, I have been very bad at catching up. It brings out a failure anxiety, an ancient reminder that I am never the best player, ever. Always the slowest, the least coordinated.

However, I am apparently very good at running away from things.

The first five miles were amazing, deliriously so. Once I had headed out in front of my goal ... I slowed down. I relaxed into my running. I was like, "Really? This pace? I can make it just running like ... this?" Delusions of grandeur overwhelmed me. Maybe I could do three and a half!

Meanwhile, people kept yelling for Captain America! I passed this one guy who told me, "Oh, it's you! I was wondering why everyone was calling me Captain America, I thought I was just doing really great."

Denny and Julie and my seven year-old niece caught up with me in three locations, Julie took this action photo.

The fact is, the entire thing went by very well. I had an electrolyte drink and a water drink at every stop (except the one at Mile 25.) I had two GU gels with me, which I had at miles five and ten, and they handed out Cliff Shots at mile 17.

Just an endorsement, GU gels taste good. Cliff Shots do not.

I took on banana, an orange slice - but no Twizzlers. Those get stuck in my throat. Basically, I was extremely well-fed and hydrated, when I finished I had not felt and would not feel any cramping or nausea or any of the feels I had during my first marathon. I felt like I needed to pee through pretty much the entire race, but not urgently and so when I thought about it, I gave myself the same response I give the boy, "As soon as we get home, son."

Speaking of waste, however, I would like to mention what I have noticed as the increasing number of spectators signs relating to shitting or pissing yourself. Ha ha, now knock it off.

The signs were by and large very supportive and clever they always are. And some surprisingly topical:

If Trump Can Make It To The Primaries, You Can Run 26.2 Miles
- and -
If Mark Watney Can Grow Potatoes On Mars, You Can Run 26.2 Miles

The most difficult aspects of the race occurred around mile ten, I think, when it felt like both socks slipped, and suddenly I had seams biting painfully into callouses on both feet. The thought of blistering my feet open for the next sixteen plus miles was distressing, but all I managed to convince myself the pain would eventually go away, and it did. The flesh of my feet doesn't actually appear too damaged, actually.

I wish I could say the same for my toenails. For some reason training alone has been very hard on those and I believe I may actually lose a half dozen. Seriously. They're are all chalky and bruised. Weird.

One other thing, and this may have had something to do with my gloves (which I chose to wear for the entire race) or my awesome Captain America shirt, I don't know ... but my arms hurt more than they ever have. I mean, they started hurting halfway through the race, I have never felt so weak in my arms before.

The dreaded Mile 21, however, was not a problem for me at all. Thank you, Little Italy for all of those training runs, the miles up to Summit was no big deal at all. My brother's family had planned to catch me one more time, at Fairview and Summit, where we had watched the marathon four years ago. But I was too fast for them and they could not bicycle their way there in time.

However, by Mile 23 things had gone the way of all marathons and I was ready to be done. Just tired, stiff, looking forward to the state capitol building and the finish line.

Family at the finish line.
But what a sight it was. There are a few dips in the road but mostly downhill the last couple miles, where I could see the finish line dead ahead for the last point-two miles, and ran flat out towards the end.

I hadn't beaten my personal best - I had crushed it, shaving fourteen minutes from what I thought I was best capable of.

Maybe Amy is right. Maybe I can make 3:30. And where might that happen?

(Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers of the Twin Cities Marathon, which is an extremely fun and pleasant event all the way around. Extremely well-organized and truly the most beautiful urban marathon in America.)

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Get out of the way.

Spoonbridge and Cherry
Yesterday was one, big, successful check list. It began by sleeping in, at least for as long as possible. I get up at 5 AM on a normal day, that's 4 AM here. I did manage to wake and then go back to sleep long enough to achieve some semblance of rest. It's just how my brain works.

My brother and I headed out in late morning to drive the entire route of the marathon. This was good, as I am now aware of certain long inclines, and generally know what I have to look forward to. For example, when I pass Spoonbridge and Cherry there is a long steady incline past the Walker Arts Center.

Footnote: Spoonbridge and Cherry at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, the team who (figuratively) gave Cleveland The Free Stamp.

We got turned around a lot around the many lakes, and I carped that my brother was making the race seem a lot longer than it actually is. But we got straight by the second half, which is pretty much north to the East Franklin Avenue Bridge and then East to the State House.

But there is Mile 21. It is a steady incline, for an entire mile. We are not safe until we have passed the 22 mile marker and are heading due east on Summit Avenue. And that is the distance at which I began to cash out last time. It is good to know.

Then we proceeded to the Expo at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, which for those who have never attended one is like a runner's mall. There are kiosks of product for runners and its very crowded and busy and you always have to pick up your bib number in the back to make sure everyone buys something. I told my brother it would be quick, that I wasn't there to do any shopping, and yet I found myself lingering over the displays, hoping to find a new glasses strap. I did pick up a few gel packs and we headed back onto the street.

Big river.
Interesting ... unlike any other of the races (Kids' race, 5K, 10K) the marathon runners don't receive their shirt until the finish line.  This was new to me, I wonder the logic behind it. Why would organizers want to handle the additional headache of bringing thousands of shirts to the race on Sunday? Has there been a rash of individuals registering for the race, getting their shirt, not running it and then fraudulently claiming that they had?

It's always an exciting vibe, though. Seeing all the different kinds of people who run races like these. And today was Friday, tomorrow the joint is going to be packed.

After we met up with my sister-in-law for lunch, and then a trip to Goodwill for a cheap set of sweats. I got an awesome hooded MINNESOTA shirt I wish I could keep and some boss pants to keep me warm until the race starts Sunday morning.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 25:30
Avg Pace: 8:28
Route: Summit Avenue

Brisk morning run, low sun and somewhat blinding. It will be very cool tomorrow when we set out, I may begin the run in this sweatshirt, I do not know, it will collect a lot of sweat and losing it will make me cold. But I do not want to wear shirtsleeves.

I will run with the 8:35 group. I have been able to maintain eight and a half minutes very well throughout my training. And that will help me break my previous time. Because that's the plan.

Temperature: 43°
Climate: sunny & cool
Intake: none
Hydration: yes

What's That Lyric?
Houses In Motion - Talking Heads

Friday, October 02, 2015

The fear is falling away.

Many years ago I asked for something, a solo trip to Chicago. The wife was pursing her Masters at Goddard College, and I had had a few solo weeks with the children (aged 4 and 2) and wanted some time on my own in the summer, before residency rehearsals began.
The Lakeview Cemetery
Photographs from Cleveland's Historic Landmark
By Barney Taxel

I took one bag and caught a bus to the rapid to work, and then the rapid to the airport. I took a plane to my destination, and another train to the neighborhood where I would be staying. Never drove, never took a taxi. I was proud of that. It's not like me to be out there without a car, not alone.

Today I walked my son to the bus, and walked from there to the Little Italy RTA stop. Perhaps more of a walk than I was prepared for, it really did take about an hour, which surprised me. Then the train downtown.

Throughout the day my right thigh, which had been a little pained that morning, started feeling more and more uncomfortable. That has since died down. The only thing I can compare it to is the meralgia parasthetica I occasionally suffer from, though it feels quite different.

End of the day I took the rapid to the airport, It is at times like these that I notice the solitude, even in crowded settings. How long I go without speaking to anyone, or communicating in any fashion. It can feel calming, not to have anyone to speak to. It can be melancholy.

Trying to find a place to be, or at least a satisfying place to wander before my flight, I came across an exhibit of beautiful photographs of Lakeview Cemetery, taken by Barney Taxel. You can find them between concourse A & B at Cleveland Hokpins. I have spent many runs this year, since the summer, training for this race by taking turns through the cemetery. It felt auspicious to linger over these images on my way to the starting line.

My loving wife with a great deal of forethought had gotten us rewards credit cards, and so I was able to make the trip with frequent flyer miles. And as long as these are imaginary dollars we don't really have that we are playing with, why not go first class? This was new to me. Having so much leg room will be particularly helpful on the way home, when who knows what shape I will be in.

However, what truly got me was the convenience of not having to pay for drinks, of receiving drinks on the ground before we took off - and another in the air - and that these drinks were served in glass.

Not just the alcohol. Water ... in a glass. I felt like a person.

Brothers at O'Gara's
The book I have brought with me is Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Within the first few pages I feared I had made a terrible mistake, due to the subject matter. Adolescence has swept through on our home, sweeping personal items clear of every surface and crashing furniture through walls and I could go on with Hulk Smash devastation metaphor point being this tale of tragedy that befalls a suburban family might not be a good fit for someone in my mental state at the moment.

By the time I had finally arrived in Saint Paul, I'd read half of it. It's really good.

Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 40:43
Avg Pace: 8:11
Route: Summit Avenue to the Mississippi

Temperature: 63°
Climate: idyllic
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes

Beautiful fall day in St. Paul, clear and cool and bright. Took a run down the wide, grassy median of Summit Avenue, because people do that. It's a path, and an uneven one, but it's more fun than the sidewalks. Also more dangerous, wen it comes time to cross side streets and not at the crosswalk. But people do. I did.

Today we went to the Expo. More on today tomorrow.

What's That Lyric?
Jump In The Pool - Friendly Fires

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I’m in my September.


Monday, Twin Cities In Motion tweeted this:
Yesterday, Nina forwarded an article from Runner's World,
Black Lives Matter Says It Plans to Disrupt Twin Cities Marathon

"Our plan is just to disrupt business as usual and try to create as much awareness as possible," [organizer Rashad Turner of Black Lives Matter St. Paul] told Runner's World.

"Our hopes are that when the marathon runners reach us at the finish line, instead of being more concerned with finishing the marathon, that they’ve been able to do some critical thinking throughout this week and understand how powerful it would be if we all stood together in solidarity against the injustices that are plaguing our society and plaguing the community right here in St. Paul, Minnesota.”

- Runner's World, 9/29/2015 
Runners World states the activists intend to "stop runners from finishing the marathon."

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 23:22
Avg Pace: 7:46
Route: Forest Hills Loop

I approve of civil disobedience, and am a supporter of the Black Lives Matter campaign. As has been pointed out, time and again, the only appropriate time for BLM to have their voices heard is at a specific time in a specific place of someone else's choosing where no one can hear them except those who already agree.

Having openly criticized those supporters of Bernie Sanders who got the vapors over BLM disrupting one of his events (wrong time, they said, wrong place) I do not feel it is my place to criticize the proposed Oct. 4 protest at the marathon. Why is our event sacrosanct?

However, I will say it makes me uneasy because it is a marathon, and we have had a big city marathon "disrupted" quite recently and I regret the comparison this action will create. I have assumed that security at the finish line of any large scale marathon would be higher since Boston, and I do not want anyone to get hurt.

Having said that, I wish them luck in stopping me, because I do intend to finish and as you know, I am fast. However, after I cross that finish line I'd be happy to listen to anyone who cares to have a conversation.

Temperature: 59°
Climate: misty, light rain
Weight: 157 lbs.
Intake: bagel w/cream cheese & preserves
Hydration: yes

What's That Lyric?
No Sympathy From the Devil - Public Enemy

Monday, September 28, 2015

Don't need to walk around in circles.

Yep.
This morning the girl asked if I would ride bikes to school with her. Last week we did this, I borrowed her brother's bike because I thought, you know -- fun. I almost got a hernia.

So I swiftly dove into the basement and brought out my own bike. I pumped the tires and sprayed WD-40 into the gears and off we went. The gears kept slipping and there was nothing I could do about it, this poor, twenty year old machine was kept in a leaky garage for most of that time, neglected and dirty.

I'd like to take it in but I am afraid the bicycle guy will inform me that fixing it will be more expensive than buying a new one. Of course, I could always repair it myself ...

One thing I did realize on my way home after dropping the girl off at school is that cycling isn't a real sport. How can it be when you can just stop moving when you come to a decline? When I am running and I stop ... I have stopped.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 23:08
Avg Pace: 7:42
Route: Boulevard Loop

This morning we learned one of the girl's schoolmates had a migraine yesterday, and during our walk to catch the bus I explained to the boy what a migraine is, how to treat one, and what it feels like. Since then, I have had a headache.

The run was good. Strong, fast. But I do not believe I can run 8 minutes for the entire race. Not sure I should run any of the race at that speed. However, 8:30 would be good. I think. Maybe I can do that. So much depends on how my body feels on the day. Not much I can do about that except eat well and rest.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: okay
Weight: 157 lbs.
Intake: flavored almonds
Hydration: yes

What's That Lyric?
Circles - Soul Coughing

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Just let us through.

Rubber duck factory fire on East 120th.
Trying to think of something to say before an eight mile run. I got nothing. Oh, wait. I finished a revision and plan to have a reading. There's that. Also, the city was having their irregular shredding day and as I searched through the attic I was once again overwhelmed by time. Not as in, I forgot what time it was, I mean stepping into the attic is like being subsumed by every moment of my previous existence all at once. A great cloud of all memory. It's had not to get taken in.

Distance: 8 miles
Duration: 1:03.30
Avg Pace: 7:56
Route: Lakeview to Little Italy Loop

Great clouds of smoke drifting through the Euclid Road entrance to the cemetery. Lots of fire engines. Not sure if I would be able to follow my rout, but they had only closed street traffic. Wicked big abandoned factory fire on East 120th Street.

Again, thinking of all the paper in our attic. I removed two boxes today. Hmn. That's not enough.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: coolish
Weight: 156 lbs.
Intake: tater tots & banana
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: no

Eight miles, Feeling good. I think I'm ready.

Week Fifteen Total: 24 miles
Training To Date: 460 miles

What's That Lyric?
We Exist - Arcade Fire

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Go, go, go.

Last night the girl and I caught
The Secret Garden at Great Lakes Theater
One week from today I will be in St. Paul.

Our actors are in schools.

Writing is being written.

The sidewalks are slowly being repaved.

Tomatoes are coming to fruition.

Plays are opening, and we are seeing them.

Games are played, homework is completed.

Meals are crafted and produced by each and every one.

Our home is an active, circulating mess of works-in-progress.

A week from tomorrow I will attempt a third marathon.

To life.

Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 29:35
Avg Pace: 7:23
Route: Cain Park Loop

Some Spotify radio channels based on a single artist will only provide you with songs of a certain genre, or worse yet, songs from a certain genre from a limited time period, or worse yet the same ten goddamn songs.

The Cars station provides a magical nexus that cuts across genre, time and space, a vast array of seeming unlimited tunes of great interest and providing great enjoyment to anyone who is white, male and in their mid-to-late-forties.

I forgot what an awesome song Dirty Laundry is.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: perfect
Weight: 157 lbs.
Intake: a little pita and hummus
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: no

What's That Lyric?
Shake It Up - The Cars

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Strange noise.

All right. We are in the zone. Eating well, sleeping ... well, not horribly. The weather is IDEAL for running, right now. Welcome fall. I have been writing, thinking, I am engaged. Not depressed. Not lost, not aimless. Not scared. Focused. Attentive. Ready.

Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 44:04
Avg Pace: 7:20
Route: Cain Park Loop

Strange. So much of my training (that I remember) from 2006 was during the morning. Late summer long runs, very early in the morning. The memory of this is so strong that making plans to sleep normally and try to run in the afternoon seems like cheating. Really. Like I'm not doing it the right way. Ridiculous, the way my brain works.

Temperature: 79°
Climate: hot!
Weight: 155 lbs.
Intake: the usual
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: no

How is that brain working? Just figured out a rewrite that is due tomorrow. A funny bit, a serious bit. I could wrap it up right now except I got to make garlicky kale with greens. Because that is how we run.

Podrunner: Bass Motivations (168 bpm)

Did I say ideal weather? I didn't mean in the early evening. Wow! But that was awesome. Fast! Why so fast? Because Podrunner. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

With my mind she runs.

Dog In A Bathtub
This is how this happens. For three weeks we have been rehearsing the residency program, and there has been a lot of sugar and fat in the rehearsal room, and I have been eating it. My weight has not increased, but that is not the point. My sugar intake, that which I had been so carefully keeping, has spiked. I have gone from complete control, to more casual, to complete lack of control.

Yesterday was a our first day in schools. Not including meals, here are the items I consumed that are heavy in sugar:
One large coffee with flavored creamer, one large coffee cake muffin, one frosting topped mini-cupcake, a McFlurry (Oreo & ice cream), two small eclairs, three cookies.
Yes, a McFlurry. I stopped at MacDonald's after work for a treat. A treat. As if I were the one who had been on my feet teaching all day instead of sitting and watching people teach all day. And I still felt entitled to dessert twice after that.

So. We have had our fun. This morning, without a run first, I weighed 160 lbs. I should weight at least that much, but the weight should consist of better things.

Today, I was good.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 23:30
Avg Pace: 7:49
Route: Boulevard Loop

Been writing lately. Expanding on a piece I began last year. Taken me long-forgotten places, like that dream I had this summer. Today I had to visit a school on the near west side, GPS took me down a side street I had been down in nearly thirty years, one I describe in this new work. That was odd in its timeliness.

Temperature: 64
Climate: cool and humid
Weight: 159 lbs.
Intake: tater soup, with bread and butter
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: no

What's That Lyric?
Golden Brown - The Stranglers

Monday, September 21, 2015

Live those dreams.

Desperate early morning run. No time to log three miles any other time of this day. No food, forgot to even drink a glass of water. Just out.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 24:16
Avg Pace: 8:04
Route: Boulevard Loop

Temperature: 55°
Climate: cool!
Weight: 157.5 lbs.
Intake: none
Hydration: no
Water Stop: no
Stretches: no

What's That Lyric?
Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Put my spine out of place.

My back has been acting up, not sure what to do about that, except to remember not to pick anything up. I have gotten pretty good about asking other people to pick things up, in general, and I feel entirely justified in doing so.

Today's long run was surprisingly difficult. Trying not to let it affect me mentally, just push on. But just the other day I was sharing with someone at work how my back doesn't bother me any more, and now it does.

Distance: 14 miles
Duration: 1:54:44
Avg Pace: 8:11
Route: University Circle Loop

Week Fourteen Total: 33 miles
Training To Date: 436 miles

Again with the right knee. Started freezing up in mile eleven. Warmed out of it but never felt as good again. That was after two steep inclines, first Little Italy and then Cain Park.

Right now I feel tired and hungry. Time to shower, take anti-inflammatory pain reliever and wrap that knee. There is a finish line ahead of me, but I haven't reached the starting gate yet.

These are not metaphors, I am talking about a literal starting gate and finish line.

Temperature: 59° → 61°
Climate: cool and sunny
Weight: 157.5 lbs.
Intake: fruit yogurt & grape nuts
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes (2x)
Stretches: yoga (10 min.)
Upper Body: 82 reps

What's That Lyric?
Suffragette City - David Bowie