Monday, August 31, 2015

It's good in the dark.


A day's rest, I feel fine. What I do not feel like is running.

Today I co-conducted an eight-and-a-half hour orientation and rehearsal.

I drove home and slept for ten minutes.

Then I conducted a different hour-long rehearsal.

I need to put the finishing touched on the first draft of a script, to present tomorrow morning.

Today I need to run three miles.

Tomorrow ... I am schedule to run ten. When the hell is that going to happen?

I am entirely not in the mood to get up at four in the morning. No,

This isn't even considering any kind of housework getting done.

It's not always going to be like this. Really. It's not.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 24:51
Avg Pace: 8:16
Route: Boulevard Loop


I really like running.

Temperature: 73
Climate: muggy, but nice
Intake: dinner
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: not really

What's That Lyric?
I Can Change - LCD Soundsystem

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Only human.

New jockstrap (in the 216)
Yesterday I had the chance to pick up some new gear! Even Under Armour's hats feel like you are slipping on a condom! Speaking of which, I also purchased a much-needed new supporter, because you wanted to know that.

Just goes to show how many years it has been since I purchased any energy gel that I was surprised to discover flavors include salted caramel. But of course they do.

Band-aids: yes
Water bottle: yes
Snack: energy gels
Lip balm: yes
Glide: yes

Had a running dream last night, I never have those. I was out on the street and was unprepared for a long run. I was dressed, but that was it. No bandaids, nothing to eat or drink. It was depressing.

Rained all night, last night's report said it would be raining the entire time I would be out. This morning I got up at 5 am and the report had changed, said it should be cloudy but clear. Took an hour to get ready, including a little yoga. So, yes. Stretching happened.

Distance: 20 miles
Duration: 2:49:02
Avg Pace: 8:27
Route: Cleveland Heights to Lakewood

(Urban Shepherds)
That was much more arduous than I expected. Started out great, but I intentionally tried to ratchet up the speed, starting at 160 bpm, then 165 bpm and finishing at 170 bpm. However ... I never got any faster. The higher tempo just made my steps shorter to keep up.

By the seventeenth mile (which included that long incline out of Edgewater Park) I was pretty well exhausted and there was nothing to do but just keep going, straight across those terrible Lakewood sidewalks for three miles.

I hadn't really planned ahead, not like last time, so my folks loaned me some clean and dry sweats, I got to take a shower, down pain reliever, and put ice on my tendon for the ride back home (thanks, Mom!) where the wife had a steaming bath prepared.

It's been almost two hours since I arrived home and only now am I getting it together for the rest of the day.

Temperature: 68° → 70°
Climate: over cast and a little rain
Weight: 159 → 155.5 lbs.
Intake: one scrambled egg, banana
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: yes
Upper Body: passing a water bottle from hand to hand for twenty miles

Monster Moves (160 bpm)
Momentum (165 bpm)
Up and Running (170 bpm)

Week Eleven Total:47 miles
Training To Date: 355 miles

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, July 23, 2015
His first performance as Jean Valjean on Broadway.

My thoughts, on and off for most of the run, were of this remarkable young man. Kyle was a member of the Les Misérables company at Great Lakes last fall. A recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace, this spring he joined the company of the Broadway production as an ensemble member, and assumed the role of Jean Valjean for a brief period between two other contracted leads.

He was the first African-American to perform the role on Broadway, and at the age of 21 he was also the youngest. Two nights ago, in a complete accident, he fell to his death from a fire escape in Brooklyn.

I did not know Kyle. I saw him, I saw him many times, in Les Mis and also as The Host in GLT's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. He was charming, attractive, very tall and devastatingly talented. Yesterday Facebook was awash with memorials for him, because though I never had the privilege, I have lots and lots of friends who did. And I cannot understand it. There is so much power and wonder in every life, and yet we are all so fragile.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

This American life.

Back to school days.
Clickbait sure is a thing. I fell for one the other day: Should You Wear Sunglasses While Running?

Why did I click on that? Did I think I was going to learn anything? The answer (yes, duh, thank you) was followed by bits of information like "UV protective lenses protect you from UV rays" and "You won't squint so much!"

I received one in my Inbox the other day titles Five Myths About Running. They may have been interesting to someone who doesn't run, but, uh, that doesn't describe me very well.

FYI - You will not lose a lot of weight as a result of running. No shit. Where do ..? Who thinks ..? Ucch. Nevermind.

Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 49:04
Avg Pace: 8:10
Route: Cain Park Loop

Using toe separators on both feet now. Some nights when I lie down and my feet entirely relax I can feel the aching in my metatarsals.

Temperature: 79°
Climate: bright and hot
Weight: 158 lbs.
Intake: fruit yogurt & granola
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: yes

This American Life #562: The Problem We All Live With (part one)

Trying podcasts now. Doesn't affect my pace very much. Perfect back-to-school episode. Thinking I may use podcasts for the long run tomorrow.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I got one foot out the door.

Too soon?
Ugh. So? I have a cold or something. Probably picked it up from the boy. Woke myself with coughing last night, it's a real drag. Doesn't it make sense to take it easy, not to run, to rest and let myself recuperate?

Of course not. I am training for a marathon here.

Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 32:00
Avg Pace: 7:59
Route: Cain Park Loop

Got a sporting goods gift card for my birthday I have not used yet. Yesterday reminded me I need that rain hat. Had a such a great one for New York, all those years ago. No idea what happened to that.

Temperature: 75
Climate: shiny!
Weight: 159.5 lbs.
Intake: lunch (not telling)
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: no

Dag. That felt good. But I feel delirious. Perhaps I will collapse now.

But hey - they started repaving the sidewalks!!!

What's That Lyric?
Want To Want Me - Jason Derulo

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I want to run but I can't hide.

Now it is cool and rainy. My sinuses are very unhappy and I have gotten up every morning with a slight headache.

I remember in the early-late 1990s, after the wife (who was then the girlfriend) had moved in and I would often wake up feeling headachy and stuffed up and in pain and just not in the mood to spend an entire day in a basement on Coventry and I wondered what was wrong.

Was it this house? Was it the heating system, was there mold in the walls? Dust mites?

Well, no, maybe it had to do with being twenty pounds overweight and all the smoking and drinking.

Each year I can pretty much count on a week or two of cranial unhappiness at the beginning of September. I feel it has come a little early this year.

Distance: 8 miles
Duration: 1:06:52
Avg Pace: 8:21
Route: Forest Hills-Cain Park

Yesterday I had a headache pretty much all day. Today my throat is scratchy and I feel a bit like I have a cold. What will I accomplish today? It is August 27th. I have four days to complete the script.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: rain
Weight: 158.5 lbs.
Intake: yogurt & granola
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: yes

As I lay half-asleep after my wife had gotten up (she would return in a half-hour with coffee) I thought I heard it raining, but it wasn't. The pavement was dry. I suited up and stepped out ... and there was mist. It was too cool and I was too ill to run without a jacket.

My voice was resonant, like a sick person, and she encouraged me not to overdo it. It occurred to me that maybe I should run later, in the afternoon or evening. But what if I felt worse later in the day? Besides, I was dressed. I headed out.

The rain did not get any heavier, though it was steady and light for the first half of my run. By then I was feeling good, my pace had picked up. I did it. Eight miles, as the sky lightened so did my chest.

Just made myself a big, fat eggs and cheese breakfast burrito with onions, tomatoes, peppers and hot sauce.

Running twenty on Sunday morning.

What's That Lyric?
Long Hot Summer - The Style Council

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm like a strange cat running.

Went to see The End of the Tour last night and then came home and drank tea and talked about it. The movie is heavy with mid-90s iconography it was all I could do not to suggest we go to Nighttown and have drinks and smoke, because, you know, that's what we did every night in 1996.

Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 47:51
Avg Pace: 7:58
Route: Cain Park Loop

We build, from 160 BPM to 170 BPM. Trying to get back into running and to incorporate those speed trials. Must ice my Achilles tendon, and to take pain reliever. Taking pain reliever pretty much all the time now. We are moving into that part of training, it's a bit relentless.

Haven't trained during residency rehearsal period for nine years. Things were different then, rehearsals were very different ... and they were way on the other side of town. I think it won't make much difference this year.

Temperature: 61
Climate: overcast and cool
Weight: 160 lbs.
Intake: yogurt, banana & granola
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes

What's That Lyric?
Tall Cool One - Robert Plant

Monday, August 24, 2015

I want to run to feel again.

Far too early in the season to be struck my annual bout of sinus issues. I have been nursing a headache since yesterday afternoon, just a minor one but enough to make me feel draggy and just no fun.

So I decided to sleep in and have an afternoon run. Do I have to run again tomorrow?

Ha ha, I'm just playing with you, ladies, you know I love you.

Distance: 3 miles (more like 3.5)
Duration: 24:18
Avg Pace: 8:05
Route: Forest Hills Loop

Temperature: 73°
Climate: bright & hot
Hydration: yes

Stretches: no

What's That Lyric?
Run - Delta Rae 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My heart in overdrive.

"This is the way America was supposed to be."
(long-time resident observing our block party)
Yesterday was the annual block party and it was the stuff of legend. So many neighbors pulling together to make a special day on our street. There's been a lot of nonsense going on recently, stuff going missing from garages, one of the still vacant houses getting broken into. It makes a difference to come together as a neighborhood, to play and dance together.

When you are inside your home you can wonder what is going on outside, and create unhappy pictures. When everyone spills out into the street you know just all the great people who surround you and are looking out for you, and you for them.

The kids head off for a week with the outlaws in Athens this afternoon. They get a few more days. I declare this summer officially closed.

DJ Crazy Legs got every tshirt and shoe-size up and doing Thriller! #pottervillageBlockParty2015
Posted by Adaora Nzelibe Schmiedl on Saturday, August 22, 2015

Distance: 10 miles
Duration: 1:20:12
Avg Pace: 8:00
Route: Forest Hills-Lakeview-University Circle Loop

Week Ten Total: 32 miles
Training To Date: 308 miles

Late start. Sat up with friends until midnight enjoying our new deck, I had a lie-in waking up every few minutes to think, really? Ten miles, really?

And a beautiful ten miles it was.  The view over the lake in Forest Hills I could see leaves at the very top of one tree beginning to turn. All over campus there were runners. I ran (tiny steps) all the way up Mayfield out of Little Italy.

I hadn't even mapped it. I just knew where to go to get me back home in the precise distance. Hit the ten mile mark two driveways from my house.

My beautiful house.

Podrunner: Finish Line (160 bpm)

Temperature: 79°
Climate: glorious
Weight: 156.5 lbs.
Intake: banana
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: no

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Center Mayfield Theatre

Another day off was welcome. These mornings I am hobbling a bit. Thursday night in particular was difficult, my right Achilles tendon was singing with pain.

Received a message from the city yesterday that "the restoration of the remaining walks will follow very shortly after the rest of the new natural gas mainline has been installed." Glad to hear it. The word shortly reassuring defines the word after in that sentence, otherwise I would still question whether they work would be done before the snows which will inevitably begin falling in October.

Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 46:52
Avg Pace: 7:48
Route: Cain Park Loop.

Podrunner: Run Track Mind (166 BPM)

We cool. Still humid but I can run in daylight without totally overheating. Brisk run through my side of town. Beautiful, perfect day for the annual neighborhood block party.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: bright and sunny
Weight: 159 lbs.
Intake: banana
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: a little

Word is the former Center Mayfield Movie Theatre is due for demolition. I mean, it's been due for demolition for some time now. The last show I saw there was Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In an effort to remain profitable they had split the single screen into two theaters, side by side, but had not moved the seats so whichever theater you were in your seat was oriented towards to edge of the screen.

I sat sideways watching what was possibly the worst movie I have ever seen with a terrible pain in my abdomen which had that day been diagnosed as a hernia. This was almost twenty-one years ago, a little over a year after I had bought my house and right around when my (soon-to-be) ex-wife left. So, maybe it wasn't entirely Branagh's fault.

But the movie theater closed shortly thereafter. So it hasn't been the "Center Mayfield Theater" for twenty years, though the marquee remained as it transitioned into a Hollywood Video. You know what happened next, we stopped renting videos and so it became a state store ... run by someone who couldn't be bothered to change the decor. It looked like a Hollywood Video where you could buy liquor. It's just been vacant for some time now.

I am very familiar with this sidewalk.
I run past this place and around the corner often. Like, very often, it's part of my regular route. I ran past there this morning. I have seen barber shops and stylists and Chinese restaurants come and go. They are all gone now and I recently noticed that every single storefront is now vacant. All that is left is the child care center behind the theater, which must relocate.

I have no nostalgia for the movie theater, that was not part of my time. Frankenstein may have been the only thing I ever saw there. But I only hope the city can find a developer who can create something useful with it. I can't imagine there is demand for another dollar store in this town.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Take it on the left foot.

Wednesday was a much-needed day-off. I realized on Tuesday morning that part of the reason my Achilles tendon has been bothering me has to do with the damn sidewalks.

They have done a great deal of sewer work in my neighborhood. The problem is, they first ripped up sidewalks on the south side of Monticello and updated the sewer. Then they ripped up sidewalks on the north side of Monticello, updated the sewer and then replaced those sidewalks. Then they moved up Forest Hills and ripped up those sidewalks, updated the sewer and then replaced those sidewalks.

Do you see what is missing?

So, there's this one block stretch, the one I take most days to start my run, with those gravel strewn trenches. This past week I tried something new, running the street until traffic comes in my direction and then I run the treelawn.

The treelawns here have also been affected by the recent work and have dips and divots. And I think I have been harming my ankles on them.

Tuesday I finally (took long enough) wrote a letter to the city to ask how soon they would be finishing the sidewalks. School starts in two weeks. Two days later, I have received no response.

Distance: 7 miles
Duration: 54:33
Avg Pace: 7:47
Route: Forest Hills-Cain Park

The sun rises later and later. One day off is very helpful right now, but it also throws me off my mental game. This morning was another I thought hey, sleeping in is good. Rest is good. Isn't rest good? Yeah. But I have seven miles to log, this isn't a joke.

Podrunner: Regulator (167 BPM)

Yes. Tired of songs. Tired of words. And I have not had a pace below eight minutes in some time. Is this training or is just maintaining? So, anyway - 167 beats per minute for seven miles. Broke eight, felt good. My ankle feels much better after one day's rest.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: dark clouds, then rain
Weight: 159 lbs.
Intake: none
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes!*
Stretches: yes

Light rain at mile six, and the clouds opened up for the last half mile. Kinda fun, actually.

* Cain Park fixed and replaced the water fountain! Thank you, Cain Park! I am sorry I ever doubted you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I can't help it if I want to run back to you.

Old Marshall Crenshaw is old.
Running every day, staying on top of laundry has become a thing. When we returned from vacation it seemed like our hamper was an bottomless bread bowl of dirty things to be washed, dried, folded and put away. Now there's just my things, soggy, limp, running things. After about an hour, they smell, so it is vitally important to keep them circulating.

Tiny wash loads.

This morning I pulled out my red shorts, which I do not regularly wear. Red shorts, black shirt, red runner's helmet (bandana). The wife commended me for my color-coordination. It is a shame I do not have red running socks.

I would wash these items by hand, but I always fail to get the stink out.

Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 48:09
Avg Pace: 8:01
Route: Cain Park Loop

Seventy-three degrees at dawn. Summer's not over yet.

Thank you, Marshall Crenshaw playlist. Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Alex Chilton, The Smithereens, The Squeeze ... all those songs that make me feel so horribly, horrible aged.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: overcast and muggy
Weight: 158 lbs.
Intake: yogurt & granola
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no*
Stretches: no
Upper Body: 90 reps

* The water fountain at the tennis courts in Cain Park is missing. It was off its base and leaking last time, perhaps it is being repaired, but I don't expect to see it again before Spring.

Know what? Stretching, not stretching, No difference.

What's That Lyric?
Run Back To You - Marshall Crenshaw 

Monday, August 17, 2015

You will pay tomorrow.

Pavlok. Because you aren't miserable enough.
Always hated stretching. As far back as elementary school I remember the gym teacher leading us through stretches and the pain made me feel sick to my stomach, and unnatural pain and I didn't understand how it was associated with the exercise I was trying to do, but there it was.

There was a period when I was in college, when the emphasis on the body was so great that I was actually what you might call limber. I could actually keep my legs straight, reach over and toes my toes. Yes, those were good times. I suppose if I worked on it every day, as I had then, I could once again have such loose muscles and tendons.

But no, screw that, I hate stretching. I cannot see how warming up before a run is any more beneficial than warming up by running. What I really need to do is to make myself stretch after running.

Today I feel all right, considering yesterday's miles. There are complaints all down my right leg. And yes, I have stretched, and it just draws undue attention to the fact that my right leg hurts.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 25:43
Avg Pace: 8:33
Route: Boulevard Loop

Hydration. Yesterday I had a bottle with me, kept it full whenever possible. Came home, drank a large glass, then another. When the urge hit me, I had another, and another. And I felt fine.

Strong memories of my first twenty mile run, from the Heights to Lakewood. I felt hungry. I wasn't hungry, I don't need much food. I was dehydrated, and that's it.

Temperature: 72
Climate: bright and humid
Weight: 158 lbs.
Intake: none
Hydration: yes
Stretches: yes, okay?

Yes. There is a device called the Pavlok that will shock you if you skip your workout. I have logged 136 workouts already in 2015, which is more than I ever have during any single year. The fear of obesity and diabetes has been a much more effective motivational device.

What's That Lyric?
Ship of Fools - World Party

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Your feet may take you far from me.

Halfway mark. Time to head back.
The wife took the kids on an overnight trip leaving me at home to make busy around the house. I would have gone, it would have been fun. But I have been out of the house for three weekends already and a) feel a responsibility to get the house in some kind of order before the school year begins for everyone and b) I have this play to write.

The play in question, a commission, has been holding me mentally hostage for several months now. I haven't written anything really new since last spring. Writing yes, but not "writing" writing. But finally, at last, as the deadline closes in, I am picking up speed, getting into the zone, choose your horrid metaphor, I am doing that thing.

Last night, as inspiration (and because it was on my sadly unfulfilled list of New Year's resolutions) I went to see a new play. So yay for that.

Band-aids: yes
Water bottle: yes
Snack: energy gel
Lip balm: check
Glide: sure, why not.

Little sleep last night, it was a bit on the warm side. Coming home from the west side last night I picked up barbeque from Hot Sauce Legacy and gorged myself on salt and fat and sugar while watching part of an episode of Breaking Bad before turning in.

I could have slept more, but am concerned about how warm it will get over the three hours I will be on the road. I will take Forest Hills before heading for MLK and the Shoreway, which means I won't need to go as far as Dead Man's Curve. Ditto, I will take the cemetery back. A different, more interesting route, I think.

Intake: yogurt, fresh fruit & granola
Hydration: yes
Stretches: yes
Upper Body: 90 reps

More weaknesses now, feeling it in my right ankle and knee, not only in my Achilles tendon. Something that lasts all day. No kind of hampering pain, just a reminder. This is before taking eighteen miles at once.

Memories of those harrowing four miles two weeks ago. That stuff can stick with you. Feels like that was the beginning of my troubles. I need to rest more, to eat well, to warm up and cool down more effectively.

Distance: 18 miles
Duration: 2:31:56
Avg Pace: 8:26
Route: To East 55th Street and Back

Soundtrack: The President's Summer Playlist: Day

Listening to the President's playlist it is very, very challenging to keep from having improper thoughts about the First Lady. Obama's playlist beats anything I could put together. President Scott Walker's playlist would be made up of rock acts who hate him.

Week Nine Total: 43 miles
Training To Date: 276 miles

Feast of the Assumption on Sunday at dawn smells like Court Street on Sunday at dawn.

No, I was unaware that Lakeview Cemetery was hosting their Run Though History 5K this morning. Mile fifteen was spent running and hiking up and through Lakeview (9:08 pace) and past all these folks heading for the starting line at 9 AM. If I had known, I could have registered and been there in time to make my last three miles an actual race.

I perfectly planned today's eighteen mile run. I even remembered to head out in sunglasses even though it was only dawn. The sun was high and bright for a great deal of my return run. And yet I regret not knowing about this local race. See, this is what they mean when they say long distance runners are miserable.

Temperature: 68° 79°
Climate: bright, sunny, humid and perfect
Weight: 157 lbs.
Water Stop: yes, several

I have all day to myself. The plan is to write, fell and volunteer maple, and do a little de-cluttering. But first, an epsom salt bath with the Sunday Times.

What's That Lyric?
Wherever Is Your Heart - Brandi Carlile

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Straight into my arms you will run.

My right Achilles tendon has been tight the past several days. I have been giving it special attention before runs, but still some mornings I hobble a bit getting down the stairs.

Things have been largely issue-free during this training session, I do not feel terribly taxed. For the most part runs are enjoyable and positive, or I have that selective memory thing going on again.

If I do have that selective memory thing going on again, it's only for running because this entire year I have been beset with constant and terrible memories of every bad thing I have ever done to anyone.

Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 38:38
Avg Pace: 7:43
Route: Boulevard Loop

Today we are listening to the President's Spotify Summer Playlist Vol 1. - Side Two, Summer Night. I know it is day right now, but it is nighttime in my head. Besides, I am saving the day time playlist for tomorrow's long haul. It's a trip, it's got a funky beat, and I can bug out to it.

The morning was a casual one, the kind you have on Saturdays. I wrote a story, my wife read me a story, she went out to run while I got ready. The kids sleep in. It is still summer but it's been hard for me to remember that this week.

When it is ten degrees and they still haven't fixed the sidewalks on Monticello, I will remember.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: not too hot, very pleasant
Weight: 157.5 lbs.
Intake: yogurt & granola
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: yes

The wife just booked my flight using our frequent flyer miles. First class, baby. Not sure I have ever flown first class before. Not so important heading out, but it will feel so very good coming back.

What's That Lyric?
Moondance - Van Morrison

Friday, August 14, 2015

I seem to run out here.

Last Sunday was the halfway mark, eight weeks into a sixteen week training period. As it was celebrated plotzing on a treadmill for less than three miles, the significance seemed to have escaped me.

Sunday I am due to run eighteen miles. Not sure yet where that will take me. In the past I have gone down to Dead Man's Curve and back. That can be a drag. Maybe I will be able to think of something better.

Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 32:15
Avg Pace: 8:03
Route: Forest Hills

Slower today. Humid again, muggy.

This past week I heard news of two middle-aged men who died in accidents. One I knew, the other did not. The first tragic, the second ... avoidable. I want to say stupid but it's horrible enough.

When we were at Niagara, I wondered how many iPhones are lost to the falls every single day. How many phones, sitting at the bottom of the falls. There have to be many, people drop their phones all the time. Maybe they break, maybe they don't, but you can always just pick them up. You lean over the wall, just stick you hands out over the wall that divides you from the ceaselessly rushing water. Drop that phone, it's just gone. And it was like everyone there had a phone, hundreds and hundreds of pictures.

This week a colleague, the father of one of my children's classmates, he died in a fall. It was just an accident, a tumble down the stairs. Like the owner of Happy Dog, a workplace tragedy. I think of this man's wife and his daughter, and his absence. It makes me sad, and I will be honest it fills me with fear for my own life, and what would happen if I were not here.

I would like to think that if I was on a roller coaster and lost my phone, that I would ask for assistance rather than trying to fetch it myself. If we were in Montreal and one of our phones were dropped into the tracks of the subway, wouldn't we ask for assistance? Would I be foolish enough to try and get it myself? Well, fuck no, for one thing my wife wouldn't let me.

I know nothing about that guy. He's about my age, probably has a family. I don't need to know. It's haunting. My wife took the girl and her friends to Cedar Point on Wednesday, apparently a fun and memorable time for everyone involved. I'm so glad they weren't there yesterday.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: muggy
Weight: 157 lbs.
Intake: yogurt, granola & raisins
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: yes

What's That Lyric?
Revolving Doors - Gorillaz 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Eyes on fire.

Michael Rennie was ILL.
The world turns, the days get shorter, we now have what is called good sleeping weather. Morning runs are no longer deathly sweat festivals. At the same time, feeling overheated and gross is a great motivator in getting one out of bed. Days like these are made for the snooze bar.

How have I lived so long without knowing Walnut Wednesday is a thing? It is around the corner from my office. Josh suggested we have lunch their yesterday, the weather was perfect and so was the Cuban sandwich. When did the Cuban become a thing? Who are all these young people? Where am I?

Yesterday the wife took the girl and two of her best friends to Cedar Point. She has a winter birthday and had asked for a summer amusement park adventure. Apparently few roller coasters intimidate her anymore. The boy and I continued his pop culture education by taking in The Day The Earth Stood Still, which you should know is currently available on Netflix.

A man named "Carpenter" comes back from the dead to tell mankind to be peaceful. Hmn.
"... We created a race of robots. Their function is to patrol the planets -- in space ships like this one -- and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression we have given them absolute power over us." - Klaatu (The Day the Earth Stood Still)
I see. You know, last month the boy and I watched The Terminator together. The boy didn't pick up on the irony, or if he did he didn't say anything.

Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 37:53
Avg Pace: 7:34
Route: Boulevard Loop

Back to the fast run. Need to pick up the pace, in general. The past month with all the beautiful vistas and also hills have encouraged me to just chug along. Yesterday I started slow and picked p as I went along but today I started fast and stayed there.

Must remember to always keep my back straight. I sprinted at the end and realized I had been leaning forward, I felt it in my spine.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: cool
Weight: 157.5 lbs.
Intake: none
Hydration: yes
Stretches: yes

What's That Lyric?
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) - Pink

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The strength designed to reach you.

Feels exactly like this.
Cosplay Green Lantern hitting you in the face with her ring.
First day back at work ... and I have a headache. Should not have been surprising, different atmosphere. And lack of rest, for several days I have been rising by the alarm then spending very long days either moving and doing or in active stress positions like driving a car for hours and hours.

Tuesday morning I had planned an eight-mile run but we had guests Monday night and I was up much later than I should if I am going to be able to make these runs part of my schedule. I woke at 5 AM with the same headache I'd had the entire day before. Water, pain reliever, back to bed to rise at six feeling better, but so goddamn tired. Screw it, I am getting rest, went back to sleep for another hour.

But that left me feeling defeated and depressed.

Distance:  8 miles
Duration: 1:05:22
Avg Pace: 8:10
Route: Forest Hills-Cain Park Loop
What Do Runners Think About? Here's The Sad Truth
It turns out that long-distance runners mostly think about how miserable running is, according to new research. - HuffPo 8/10/2015
Where do I start? I think everyone spends all their time thinking about how miserable they are.

Seriously, though. My thoughts on today's run:
  • My right calf is a little stiff.
  • Hey, look - five deer!
  • Thanks for this water stop.
  • My city is beautiful.
  • God, it feels good to run today.
(Thanks to Jim G., as always, for the link.)

Temperature: 68°
Climate: cool and clear
Weight: 158 lbs.
Intake: yogurt, granola & peaches
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: yes
Stretches: yes

What's That Lyric?
Dangerous Power - Gabriel & Dresden 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Moving faster now, it's getting out of hand.

Amazing. Gone for two weeks and the city still hasn't repaired those sidewalks on Monticello.

Good morning run. Flat pavement, fewer inclines, better time.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 24:13
Avg Pace: 8:03
Route: Neighborhood Loop

Gained a total of three pounds on this journey. All the fried food and snack chips and desserts, I gained three pounds. Not bad. The new normal, however, goes without dessert and we have made an informal decision to go with as many vegetarian meals as possible.

More broccoli. Less poutine.

I also need to resume packing my lunch, not purchasing it. I return to work this morning, everyone else is "off" this week. I mean, the kids are off and the wife needs to prepare for the school year and to write. We both need to write.

Write, write, write.

Temperature: 70°
Climate: not bad
Weight: 161 lbs.
Intake: none
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: yes
Upper Body: 100 reps

What's That Lyric?
Disorder * - Joy Division

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Treadmill Run

First time employing a treadmill since PT seven years ago. Not my kind of running. Machine makes a lot of noise when you tread upon it, lost my phone at one point and it went shooting across the room, I was sweaty ... just gross, awkward and stupid.

Distance: 2.5 miles
Route: Double Tree Hotel Syracuse

Week Eight Total: 23.5 miles
Training To Date: 233.5 miles

Intake: coffee
Hydration: yes
Stretches: whatever

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Time in a bottle.

The last few days were a blur, they truly were. This vacation – a two-week vacation, we’ve had those before – have taken us further than we have been before as a family. They grow, we push them, they want to stay young, but their imaginations are broader than ever before. They believe their tastes are simple, but they are sometimes unsatisfied with simple things.

Those films were deep and poignant. Just leaving the cove for a day seemed like growing up a little. My father’s 80th birthday was another significant day. The older he gets … the older I get. The wife prompted me to say a few words before wine hour concluded and most of the guests departed. I praised him for giving me a love of Shakespeare and history, but someone had to remind me about the running. Ah yes, that certain way he inspired me to run.

He falls now. He takes the stairs with both feet. He does not walk very far. I run faster.

The last full day we had the annual treasure hunt. Last year should have been the last, at least for certain people. But letting go of childhood memories is so very hard. She says she was disappointed in the treasure, but I don’t think that was it. I think the memory of something joyful makes you want to do it again, and again. And then you’re twelve.

Part of the treasure, however, was a bottle and paper for a message to be cast in the sea. She has expressed an interest in this. She drew a color picture of the Barnstable and a note with contact information on it from the entire family. We corked the bottle, wrapping the end with duct tape.

The sun was beginning to set, the sky was blue with billowy clouds. She and I and the boy took the motorboat, speeding fast, out of the cove. The water was at first like glass, then a bit choppy as we headed out to sea. The true open sea would be miles away, but we headed out further than usual. My two children sitting in the bow, wind in their hair. Facing the open sea. I thought, perhaps this is a core memory.

The tide was high, and now heading out. When we were just past Cow Island, we decided we had gone far enough, and the boy tossed the bottle as far as he could. We did a pass-by, to see if it were going to float. She felt unsure about putting a piece of art at risk. But it seemed watertight. We’d discussed this. Maybe it would wreck, the bottle would break or take water and the picture would sink. Perhaps it would just come right back into our cove. Or just perhaps go somewhere else.

We returned to the cove. The light was perfect. My children are growing. Days like these happen only once. Once can be a lot.

Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 32:52
Avg Pace: 8:12
Route: Minuteman Bikeway

Yesterday we spent the day in Boston with Doppel-G, the evening at our friend's new home in Lexington. It's a lovely, old New England town. This morning the wife and I each ran the Minuteman Bikeway, easily accessible from behind their house and took me an easy two miles into the center of town and back again.

Home tomorrow evening.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: warm and not too humid
Intake: none
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: yes

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Come on over, we're having a party for you.

Young man, old man.
We approach the end. The end of an eventful summer, the end of a two-week long journey. Two weeks ago we were preparing to depart, I was in the office that day. Since we have been to Canada and spent copious time in Maine.

But Michele and her family have gone and the house seems vacant, just the four of us an my folks. Seriously quiet. We took the day on Tuesday to head to Rockland, a first for the kids, actually. Maine to them has always been about staying in and running about the cove. A day trip for movies in an old movie house, window shopping, egg creams and art museums, these big kid things to do. It is a different world.

Distance: 8 miles
Duration: 1: 12:13
Avg Pace: 9:01
Route: Rt. 220 and Martin Point

Melancholy, final run in Friendship for the season. And it's much, much cooler today. Thanks for that, like I didn't know the summer is drawing to a close.

Yesterday was my father's 80th birthday. We had wine hour here at the Barnstable and the entire cove showed up. It was a real party. 

Yes, a melancholy run. Just couldn't build up any speed, I was highly aware of each and every hill. But the sun started to shine the minute I stepped out and the temperature rose. Up Rt. 220 past the cemetery, then back on Martin's Point for a complete eight miles headed back into Flood's Cove.

Who knows. Maybe I will attempt Saturday's four mile run tomorrow before we leave. And then there's Boston.

Temperature: 55° - 63°
Climate: cool and clear
Intake: yogurt & granola
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: yes

Summer 2015. Greek yogurt, marathon training and Huarache Lights.

What's That Lyric?
Psychic City - Yacht

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Does this road go to Waldoboro?

You can't get there from here.
Morning was calm, cool, peaceful and schizophrenic. I could not concentrate on any one thing without obsessing on another. I rose at seven, and read out on the porch. It was overcast and very comfortable out there. I brought my notepad and free-wrote, elaborating on a dream I had.

Then the email, the internet. At last doing some necessary playwriting. It is frustrating work, but that means I am actually doing the work, and not just thinking about eventually doing the work.

I had promised the boys a fishing trip, one more before Michele's boy and mine part ways for another year. The wife woke feeling terrible, and was just rising to sit before the fire as I headed up to take a shower.

"How far will you run this morning?" she asked.

I had decided not to run. Maybe tomorrow. My kit isn't clean. I promised the boys a fishing trip.

"Six miles," I said. "But I am supposed to take the kids fishing."

Michele informed me it is absolute low tide, the boat is beached. I couldn't get out if I wanted to.

So I put on a smelly, somewhat damp kit, and stepped out onto the porch to stretch. It was still overcast. And it was raining. Just a little.

And then I had the best run I have had all vacation.

Hatchet Cove.
Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 51:00
Avg Pace: 8:29
Route: Martin Point Run

Chin up, tense belly, running briskly. Cool air, road clear, rain never getting harder but never dying away, either. Breathing easily, feeling good. No pain. Not in my thighs or knees, or in my back.

Tomorrow I take a day off, the well-earned, previously scheduled day off.

Today looks like a great day for the movies.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: rain. just a little.
Intake: none
Hydration: yes
Stretches: yes

A: Don't go nowhere, mister. Stays right here.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Recovery Run

Crystal Pond.
First need for a "recovery" run. Yesterday's sixteen mile trek took a lot out of me, I spent most of the morning in my pjs, napping and reading ... which is kinda what I have done this morning. No alarm to wake me, then sitting by the fire, reading, writing, checking the online media.

My calves were very sore all day. They are sore now. So many hills yesterday, especially at the end. But my back feels good, and I have been concerned as to how longer and longer runs would affect my recent injury. At present, not at all.

I have been eating pretty much whatever I choose. I made a decision a few days back not to pick up a case of Coca-Cola. Traditionally, I would be drinking one rum and Coke a day, but I can't ... there's no Coke. Also, still enjoying sensible portions for dinner ... but also dessert pretty much every night. Then there are the Doritos, which are gone, but at least I wasn't alone in consuming them.

But they were good. I ate them, and I was glad.

However, though we have no scale in the house, my belt has provided a certain indication of my intake. In March I was at the last notch in my belt. Last month I was on the fourth notch in my belt. Yesterday I realized I would be much more comfortable at the third notch in my belt.

Not an emergency. But it has been noted.

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 25:40
Avg Pace: 8:34
Route: Martin Point Run

Felt downright cool went I headed out, but then the sun came out and the temperature rose three degrees. Doesn't take much. Started at the top of the hill instead of running it. Did myself that favor.

Just another perfect day in the cove. I do have plenty of writing to accomplish, but also promised the boy we would hunt down a mackerel jig. We must head out in the motorboat today.

Temperature: 70° - 73°
Climate: bright and humid
Intake: banana
Hydration: yes

Stretches: yes

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Flood's Cove-Waldoboro 16 Mile Loop

Smiley face on abandoned schoolhouse.
Created a sixteen mile course, out Route 220 into Waldoboro, cut across Finntown Road, then back into Friendship on Route 97. Ideally the traffic will be light early on a Sunday morning and I will keep sharp.

It has been some time since I have felt this apprehensive, this afraid of a run. When I turn off Rt. 220 I will be stepping into the unknown, trusting I will find my way to the road back. I will have my phone, the route is mapped. And yet.

Distance: 16 miles
Duration: 2:17:07
Avg Pace: 8:34
Route: Flood's Cove-Waldoboro 16 Mile Loop

Rose at five, took my time in departing, in general silence. Ate, drank coffee and water, read, did some healthy stretches. Heading out felt a little desperate, in spite of stretching exercises I felt stiffer than I have so far this week, but then I have been running every day with only a driving day as a day off, and besides I only got six hours of fitful sleep.

Had an unhappy dream. An old friend, one whom I have not seen in a while, he was lamenting his failures. I walked them from my office to the bottom level of the parking garage to their car and he was regretful that he had not accomplished anything since that one hit single he'd had almost twenty years ago.

The run became easier as I went, and my mapping program was extremely helpful. The first five miles things were going extremely well -- only eight cars passed that entire length -- until I turned off 220 onto Finntown Road where I was set upon by horseflies for four entire miles.

Exactly like this.
It was maddening, I was being buzzed and bitten constantly, swatting and cursing. It was like Adrien Brody in that scene from King Kong. If there is anything positive to be gleaned from the experience it is that my pace increased considerably.

The map kept me from making at least one wrong turn, and reassured me the entire journey that I was headed in the right direction.

Turning onto Rt. 97 was a considerable relief, as it appeared I was leaving the swarm behind. Later, my father (who had suggested the route) remembered to me that Finntown Road was formerly site of the county garbage dump, which may have been helpful information.

I began counting down from eleven miles (five miles? that's easy!) but the road back into Friendship included many more inclines and valleys. I first felt hungry and exhausted at mile twelve (three miles! come on, you run that every day!) but just kept chugging along, keeping a steady eight-and-a-half minute pace the entire time.

Amazingly, the tracking program said I completed sixteen perfect miles right at the point at which I had started. I have since shaved and showered, and written this blog post. The rest of the day is a glorious bonus.

Week Seven Total: 40 miles
Training To Date: 210 miles

One other thing. The sound of a rooster crowing is not much different than the sound of a rooster being murdered.

Temperature: 63° - 68°
Climate: coolish
Intake: granola, banana, yogurt & dried cranberries
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: water bottle
Stretches: yes, actually.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The lowest ebb and the highest high.

Blue moon over the Big House.
Rising to an alarm clock, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, to get out and run. Friday night was a Blue Moon, the highest tide. The entire family stayed up to experience the springtide which peaked around 11:30 AM. No alarm was set for Saturday, I would sleep until whenever.

Even then, I sat and read before the fire, and did some writing. The mornings have been active, the afternoons less so. What if I turned that on its head?

Distance: 3.5 miles
Duration:  28:22
Avg Pace: 8:08
Route: Martin Point Run

Later morning run. Hotter, but also breezier. Many people out, walking dogs or just walking, Even some runners. Haven't seen many of those yet.

No headphones. Heavy breathing. Lobster boats working. The sound of oncoming trucks. People waving and saying hello. Birds, breezes. The water. Far off motorboats. My own feet striking the pavement.

Tomorrow I have sixteen miles scheduled. My experiences both running out 220 and also driving it myself yesterday make me wary of heading that way. Must plan ahead.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: bright and humid
Intake: none
Hydration: yes
Water Stop: no
Stretches: no

What's That Lyric?
I Remember California - R.E.M.