Sunday, January 31, 2016

You gotta be stronger.

Downtown from Forest Hill Park
Seventeen runs in the month of January. Not a record, but close to it. Last time I was training for a marathon. This year I am just trying to stay one step ahead ... of everything, really. Also, the weather has not been a hindrance.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Avg Pace: 7:58
Duration: 29:08
Route: Forest Hill Loop

It's a mile there and a mile back, but worth it to run a mile or so through Forest Hills Park. From Forest Hills Blvd. and Lee I run around Duck Pond (many geese, two ducks) and past a playground into the woods where I cross over the high stone bridge which connects East Cleveland to Cleveland Heights.

I take a right to Sled Hill which provides a hazy view of the city (see photo) before loping around past the Great Meadow and out of the park.

It's a gently sloping run, with a few inclines but they are short.

DID YOU KNOW ..? Forest Hill Park was once part of the estate of John D. Rockefeller, who deeded the land to both cities in 1936, eighty years ago. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also: the park is Forest Hill, the boulevard that runs through it is Forest Hills. Just learned that. It is confusing.

Temperature: 54°
Climate: partly sunny
Pavement: dry

Yes, I am concerned about global climate change. But it is very difficult to feel anxious about the future on a sunny day in the mid-fifties. Running in shorts is so liberating when you have had several runs in long pants.

Man, my all-weather running pants are, like, twelve years old. I guess when you wear something twenty times a year, for a half-hour at a time, they last. They have, however, been washed more than most items of clothes I own.

Anyway. Today, shorts!

Weight: 163.5 lbs. (+1.0)
Mood: positive!

A word on the playlists; at the commencement of any calendar year I cycle through one playlist a run for every year I have been in the world, including conception. This year I am celebrating 50 Playlists for 50 Years: 1967 - 2016.

1994 Playlist
You Gotta Be - Des'ree
Ruiner - Nine Inch Nails
Cherry In Your Tree - XTC
December - Collective Soul
B-Boys Makin' With the Freak Freak - The Beastie Boys
Mr. Bitterness - Soul Coughing
Funk Dat - Sagat

Seguing from Ruiner to Cherry In Your Tree sprained my soul.

City of Cleveland Heights

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Come on, it's time to go.

It was a day much like today.
Only with snow.
This morning we rose early. It is the girl's thirteenth birthday, she was born the morning of January 30, 2003. She also has Science Olympiad at Solon High all day today so I made her a special birthday breakfast before she and the wife headed out.

I got up at 4:30 on a Saturday. And I have no head pain at all. So that's it. Sleeping in makes me hurt.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hills Loop

Keep putting my shorts away for the season ... then taking them out again.

Beautiful, breezy and brisk.

Temperature: 52°
Climate: cool and overcast
Pavement: dry
Weight: 162.5 lbs. (-1.0)
Mood: good. anxious?

I’ll be tweeting at ‪#‎InTheCLE‬ for one week beginning this Sunday afternoon! So, I need to get out and do some stuff. Please feel free to suggest any arts and culture events you want me to consider checking out and commenting upon, and follow me @InTheCLE

2003 Playlist
Reality - David Bowie
Slow (Chemical Brothers Remix) - Kylie Minogue
It's My Life - No Doubt
An Area Big Enough To Do It In - Prophet Omega
Comfortably Numb (Original ATOC Extended Remix) - Scissor Sisters
You're So Damn Hot - OK Go
The Districy Sleeps Tonight - The Postal Service

Friday, January 29, 2016

I tried to run away.

The year I turned thirty, I was driving, chewing a candy bar, when I bit on something somewhat solid, like a nut. Making an unconscious investigation of my mouth, I was completely shocked and distressed to discover that my lower left first molar was partially absent.

I mean, half of it was just gone. The candy in my mouth was mostly gone, too, I had just swallowed it. What had happened? Had I swallowed part of my tooth, had it come to pieces? And what does this mean, would it start to hurt?

It did not hurt, I never hurt. The tooth was dead, and eventually I would have first a gold filling, then a proper, modern replacement, and then a third which I currently have.

But for the last few months before I turned thirty, I was suddenly caught in this existential awareness of the disintegration of my own physical self.

And then I turned thirty.

Distance: 3.35 miles
Avg Pace: 7:41
Duration: 25:40
Route: Four times around the block

During my fortieth year, my left knee blew up. I could not run, even walking became a pain. I wasn't sure if I would ever run again. A torn meniscus was the diagnosis, and surgery was scheduled. But first I passed my fortieth birthday again feel old, like I was at the end of something. That I was ageing.

And then I turned forty.

Since the surgery and subsequent recovery I have run two marathons and my knee does not presently trouble me at all.

I count myself lucky. I have done nothing particularly clever to avoid catastrophic injury and do not live in a manner designed to avoid the possibly unavoidable internal calamities. I eat less candy, very little soda pop, and brush and floss regularly, which is something I was previously very bad at.

And I exercise of course, and that is good.

Temperature: 25°
Climate: cool and overcast
Pavement: dusted with snow and a little icy

The doctor had recommended a colonoscopy. That was last March. I have put that off, an act which anyone might sympathize with. But I have one scheduled for this March. Also, I learned last week I have another cavity, which pissed me off but I will have that filled next week.

Running towards fifty, I expect to go through another crisis, and another bout of doubts and fears. What am I not doing that I am supposed to be doing of which I am entirely unaware?

Weight: 163.5 lbs. (+1.0)
Mood: good. what a week, huh?

2014 Playlist
Daffodils - Mark Ronson ft. Kevin Parker
Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future - Mike Doughty
Me and My Broken Heart - Rixton
Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
I'm Only Joking - KONGOS
She's Not Me - Jenny Lewis
Do You - Spoon

Monday, January 25, 2016

He ran in circles then he dropped dead.

Karl Dee & Hog 2016
Forty-five degrees. What would you do?

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hills Loop

First read of the outreach tour script tonight with the full company.

Temperature: 45°
Climate: cool
Pavement: wet with drifts of melting snow
Weight: 162.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: decent


1980 Playlist
Fashion - David Bowie
Funkytown (12" Version) - Lipps Inc.
Man In a Suitcase - The Police
Coming Up - Paul McCartney
Freedom of Choice - Devo
Big Tears - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Games Without Frontiers - Peter Gabriel ft. Kate Bush
Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus

Sunday, January 24, 2016

We never lost control.

Headaches have returned. I have always had headaches, debilitating headaches. Beginning when I was around 12 and continuing until about ten or so years ago they could become something like migraines, and perhaps that's what they were. They had symptoms in common with migraines, and they could render an entire day useless.

Recently I was sorting through Christmas cards and found some photographs which had been filed away with them, pictures of the children with Christine at the Chicago children's museum.

Attending the perinatal bereavement conference in Chicago in 2006, I successfully performed I Hate This on Friday and woke on Saturday with a full-on headache that became a torrid migraine, complete with the shivers and blinding flashes of painful light. Christine and her sister graciously offered to take the kids for the entire day while Toni attended conference events and I curled up miserable in our hotel room.

It has been some time since I have suffered like that. After numerous consultations and even an MRI of my head, the cause of my pain was inconclusive. I took medication for migraines which were perhaps fifty percent effective. I decided at one point to simply listen to my body, and try to determine the causes of the pain, when it happened, and what may lead up to them.

Alcohol, perhaps. But not always. Dehydration, yes, so I tried drinking water in the middle of the night and that helped, sometimes. Sleeping too warmly was often a factor. I cannot sleep with socks on, that will nearly always give me a headache. Broken sleep was also an issue. Having infant children who needed changing or imply to be lulled back to sleep was, I believe, a major factor in my frequent migraines in the mid-aughts.

Then there was the fact that the pain generally localizes in my sinuses. I began taking pseudoephedrine at the first sign of pain, and that generally works, taken with pain reliever.

 For almost a year, however, and with increasing frequency, I have been waking with swollen sinuses and head pain that lasts into the day. And as I found so terribly irritating and unhappy-making back in the day, so often these headaches occur on days when I do not have to work.

Monday through Friday I wake up fine, Saturdays and Sundays, or holidays ... headache. I had one yesterday. I was hydrated, I slept cold, I had had one alcoholic beverage, nothing unusual.

Except sleeping until eight. We traditionally get up around five or five-thirty. Went to bed Friday night around midnight, woke up at eight. Complete night of sleep, only three hours without coffee, two hours in daylight. I had a headache yesterday which hung on until I went running in the afternoon.

This morning I set the alarm, something I am loathe to do on a Sunday. I woke at seven am. I already felt a slight stuffiness, and wanted very much to go back to sleep, but then I just kept reminding myself that my head hurt a little and I got up, drank coffee, did some dishes, and my pain went away.

Just can't sleep in. Can't stay up late, can't sleep in.

How many times have I told this story? Aren't you tired of this story?

Distance: 3.33 miles
Avg Pace: 8:44
Duration: 29:06
Route: Boulevard Loop

Surprised at the pace, I thought I was going very slow today. I mean, it's not brisk but it's constant, and faster than yesterday

Temperature: 28°
Climate: bright and sunny
Pavement: drifty with snow, clear in places
Weight: 163 lbs. (+1.5)

1970 Playlist
The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie
Cecelia - Simon & Garfunkel
The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (Early Version) - The Velvet Underground
Your Song - Elton John
ABC - The Jackson 5
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
Snow Flower - Ananda Shankar

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Once I ran to you.

The last time I ran so many times in January was 2013, when it was above freezing almost every single day, often in the 50s and 60s. That's what we had gotten used to until the deep freezes of 2014 and 2015.

Working in the attic I found a cassette of singles - vinyl 45s I had transferred to tape. I listened to these same songs, over and over again, lying in a hammock in Maine in 1981.

This is significant to me because I remember this was the summer I turned 13. It was the first summer I didn't really wish to be out of town for the summer. In late June I had been to a summer camp where I had made new friends, after a year of watching all those friends who I'd had through my elementary school years fall away from me, or was it the other way around?

At this camp I had also, somehow, started a relationship with a girl who I'd had tried flirting with in sixth grade, in the only obnoxious, eleven year old way I knew how. Somehow I had become somebody she actually liked to be around. We held hands the last night of camp, and that was nice. As we approached her cabin he rather swiftly said goodnight and dashed into her cabin, because she was afraid I might have tried to kiss her, and I may have, I don't know. I was happy just to have been given so much attention.

Our dating relationship would have to wait, however. Over Fourth of July weekend I met someone new, and she kissed me first.

These girls and everything else went through my head as I lie there, hour after hour, listening to this tape on my Walkman. I wanted to be home. There was no communication with either of these girls from that place, just me in my head, going everywhere.

I won't tell you what was on the cassette. It doesn't matter, it was music, and music is where I live.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Avg Pace: 9:02
Duration: 32:18
Route: Forest Hills Loops

A week from today, my daughter also turns thirteen. Coincidence? Oh, I think not.

Temperature: 25°
Climate: cold with bright sunshine
Pavement: drifts of snow

1981 Playlist
Under Pressure - Queen ft. David Bowie
I'm Not the One - The Cars
One Step Ahead - Split Enz
Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On) - Spandau Ballet
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
One World (Not Three) - The Police
Hungry For You (J'aurais Toujours Faim de Toi) - The Police
The Tide Is High - Blondie
Flexible Strategies - The Police

Weight: 161.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: better

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Love is you.

Mmn. Doesn't take much. Hate to complain. Don't want to be a complainer. But one week of winter is wearing me down something serious. Mostly, I cannot get warm. I am wearing layers - layers of pants, thermal shirts under my shirts, always in boots.

And my muscles. Sitting has become a real pain. Yes, I said it. Buttocks, hips and thighs. Aches, some familiar and some not so much. Running should help this, but the weather works against it.

But hey. It's not cancer, right?

God damn it.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Avg Pace: 8:54
Duration: 29:23
Route: Four times around the block
Temperature: 23°
Climate: cold, bright
Pavement: drifts of chunky snow
Weight: 162 lbs. (-1.5)
Mood: not good

1990 Playlist
Love - The Dream Academy
Love For Sale - Fine Young Cannibals
New Power Generation - Prince
Hard To Handle - The Black Crowes
So Hard - Pet Shop Boys
Praying For Time - George Michael
Keep On Marching - The Meters
Night and Day - U2

Monday, January 18, 2016

Summer's here and the time is right.

Sunday was a day in, spent writing, cooking, cleaning, sorting, trashing, organizing. And eating. I could not pass on any carbohydrates that passed my way. Tried to take it easy at the beginning of the day with half a bagel, but by mid-afternoon I'd had chips, instant noodles and a beer. A lunch perhaps, but it left me feeling headachy and bloated.

Hand to mouth, hand to mouth. It's what the gum is for.

Distance: 1.7 miles
Avg Pace: 9:05
Duration: 15:24
Route: Two times around the block

On two separate occasions I decided to take a twelve mile run heading east on Monticello to SOM Center Road and back. Straight out six miles, and back. On both occasions I was surprised to discover that heading out was a breeze, and that heading back was torturous.

Stupid to be surprised by something like this twice. Once is surprised. Second is you forgot.

When wind happens, it goes from west to east down Monticello. If the weather is clement or warm, this is not a problem. When it is cold, it can be. Because my familiar neighborhood loop, around the elementary school, through the park, begins with a run up Monticello, it can often feel like driving with difficulty into a headwind -- no fun.

Last week, when there was snow on the pavement, I headed down my street to Monticello for a neighborhood run, and felt it, cold and hard. And I thought, forget this, I'm heading east on Monticello, around the block. Because heading back down my own street there is not wind, it's blocked by houses and trees.

Good plan. Running around the block. Good plan. Especially when there's a lot of snow. Because then I can tell myself I can stop whenever I want and home is just around the corner. Like today.

Temperature: 12°
Climate: SNOW
Pavement: SNOWY

1968 Playlist
The Memphis Train - Rufus Thomas
Love Child - The Supremes
Ride Your Donkey* - The Tennors
Grazing In The Grass - Hugh Masekela
Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones
Daddy Sang Bass - Johnny Cash

Weight: 163.5 lbs. (+1.0)
Mood: all right

But why run when it's so cold, when it has been snowing all day? Because I can. Because I am able to.

As I headed out the door, the wife said, "I hope you get invigorated!" Invigorated. Yes, that is exactly what I wanted, and that is what I got.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I'm watching TV.

The girl at a slumber party, the wife took the boy to wrestling in Mentor. A morning to myself. To catch up on Daredevil, take a run, then write and perhaps organize the attic.

Last night the boy and I started watching Futurama. When it first came out, almost seventeen years ago, I wasn't interested. I watched a few minutes of one episode and thought, meh. How long can this go on? Why do I find it so much more amusing now?

Distance: 3.58 miles
Avg Pace: 8:02
Duration: 28:47
Route: Forest Hills Loop

2000 Playlist
Psyché Rock (Malpaso Mix) - Fatboy Slim
Kill You - Eminem
Saginou - Zulya
Barock - Plastik - Stereolab
Hard To Explain*  - The Strokes
Love Will Tear Us Apart - The Cure
Empty House - AIR

Temperature: 27°
Climate: light snow
Pavement: clear with light snow

The boy and I made dinner together last night, and we compared the Futurama Theme by Christopher Tyng to Psyché Rock - the Fatboy Slim version. I was of the understanding that Tyng was inspired to create his based on this track, which is only partially correct.

The original Psyché Rock is a piece of electronic psychedelia from 1967 by the French composer Pierre Henry. Got to love that French electronic music.

Weight: 162.5 lbs.(-0.5)
Mood: good!

Woke with a headache. Headed out with a headache. Headache gone!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Running miles. It doesn't stop for you.

Paranoid Android.
Yes, two beloved artists passed away within days of each other. What is bizarre is how people have started posting new articles of people who died years ago as though they just happened and everyone piles on with shock and distress until someone points out that Dave Brubeck actually died in 2012, for example.

Actually, this happens all the time. I once re-mourned Lena Horne, and was embarrassed to have forgotten she'd died in 2010. I should have known that, I'd been reading about her when she passed.

Of course, when someone posts the death of Bob Denver (d. 2005) as the "third" in a row we're all waiting for, you have to wonder if you are being snowed. Because when I think of David Bowie and Alan Rickman, I am immediately reminded of Bob Denver.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Avg Pace: 8:01
Duration: 26:04
Route: Forest Hills Loop

2010 Playlist
Psychic City (Classixx Remix) - YACHT
Sleepyhead - Passion Pit
Blow - Ke$ha
Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club
Too Dramatic - Ra Ra Riot
Tightrope - Janelle Monáe ft. Big Boi
Rocketeer - Far Eat Movement ft. Ryan Tedder
Super Bass - Nicki Minaj

Temperature: 32°
Climate: cool
Pavement: wet

Brisk day. Good morning run through the park, the short version. Thought I would get that in before it gets colder. Wondering how long I will be able to run in the park. When it snows, I am sure they do not shovel the paths. I will report if they do. But any time it thaws, the stuff just runs into the lagoon.

Which makes for a pretty full lagoon. We'll see. It does take a mile to get there and a mile back, just so I can run for a mile (or so) through trees. But it's worth it. I am preferring it to running through town. Fewer obvious inclines, less traffic to worry about.

Weight: 163 lbs. (+1.0)
Mood: good

Friday, January 15, 2016

Now you got me running, running, running for cover.

Momentary thaw. Active week, though. No time to run yesterday, when it was also in the forties. Instead, we saw The Big Short. So much fun to watch, then when it was over I wanted to throw something.

Distance: 3.27 miles
Avg Pace: 8:27
Duration: 27:39
Route: Forest Hills Loop

Keeping it under eight and a half minutes, in the winter, is very good. However, I was dressed lightly, and the pavement, patchy with snow, was mostly bare and wet so I was able to have good traction without worrying about slipping.

Shorts! Shorts in January!

Temperature: 45°
Climate: cool, lovely
Pavement: wet with snow
Weight: 162 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: anxious, but good

What I said was, If David Bowie can die, that means anyone can.

1975 Playlist
Young Americans - David Bowie
Listen To What The Man Said - Paul McCartney & Wings
Island Girl - Elton John
Love To Love You Baby - Donna Summer
Say You Love Me - Fleetwood Mac
Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me - Susan Sarandon & Company
Kashmir - Led Zeppelin

Monday, January 11, 2016

Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere.

David Bowie in Cleveland, 1976
Photo by Janet Macoska
Each morning I read to my son to fill the time before we walk up the street to catch the bus. These days, we are reading The Martin Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

This morning, I read this. It seemed poignant.
The stars were white and sharp beyond the flesh of the Martian, and they were sewn into his flesh like scintillas swallowed into the thin, phosphorescent membrane of a gelatinous sea fish. 
You could see stars flickering like violet eyes in the Martian's stomach and chest, and through his wrists, like jewelry.
Yes. Yes, we could see it.

Distance: 2.5 miles
Avg Pace: 8:16
Duration: 20:41
Route: Three times around the block

Running business ... I have had some difficult nights recently. I wake with whichever thigh and hip I am sleeping on aching, and have to roll over. And over. And over. Maybe six to eight times a night. And it takes some time to get back to sleep almost each time.

Meantime, it is now cold. The pavements yesterday and today froze before anyone could shovel them. There is snow, which is fine, but also great clumps of crusty ice chunks tossed up from the plows. It's the kind of thing which, even if you don't outright twist and ankle, can leave your joints feeling much more taxed and tired.

But running is so much better than not running.

1976 Playlist
Golden Years  - David Bowie
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
Beat On The Brat - The Ramones
Fly Like An Eagle - Steve Miller Band
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC
More, More, More pt. 1 - Andrea True

Temperature: 16°
Climate: cold
Pavement: snowy, crunchy, slippery
Weight: 162.5 lbs.
Mood: good

A little more than three years ago my wife woke and checked her iPad to learn David Bowie had released a new song, from a new album, on his 66th birthday. We lay together in bed before dawn and watched the video for Where Are We Now? He was still with us.

What can you do when confronted with the just released music video for Lazarus? It's perverse and chilling and hilarious. He knew he was dying, and produced a new musical, a new album and this artifact.

It is humbling. It is inspiring. Keep creating.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


March, 2006
Yesterday it was 52° outside. Today it is considerably colder.

Ten years ago today, I began this blog. I began keeping Daddy Runs Fast.
January 10, 2006 
Bad News: 10 lbs. overweight, with a compulsion to eat everything in my reach. Just yesterday I scarfed down some four M&M cookies. Today it was fried crap from BK.

Good News: There was a period last year when I doubted I would ever run again. The plan is to run no more than three days a week, and only for short distances, until the first day of spring. It will be a difficult road back ... but it's been harder than this before.
When I said I was ten pounds overweight it was because I was around 170 lbs. At that time I had applied for the New York City Marathon but would not find out until June that I had won the entrance lottery.

Distance: 2.5 miles
Avg Pace: 8:40
Duration: 21:40
Route: Three times around the block.

New York Marathon, 2006
In ten years I have run three marathons (2006, 2012, 2015) and three half marathons (2007, 2008, 2010.)

I wrote a play about my life as a runner titled And Then You Die (How I Ran a Marathon in 26.2 Years) which was performed at Cleveland Public Theatre and at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2009.

I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee, to shear a torn meniscus. I developed and have dealt successfully with a herniated disc. I was on Lexapro for a year, and then off it ever since.

I have weighed 182 pounds. I have weighed 148 pounds.

Temperature: 27°
Climate: cold! ice! snow!
Pavement: crusty and slippery

I continue to run. I get better at it. Every race I have run faster and recovered faster. I wanted this to be part of my life, but until I started keeping a record of it, in this blog, I never really had. I would run, on occasion. Sometimes often, sometimes not for months.Writing about it, even if just making a note, maybe just saying how I wasn't in the mood to say anything, but making a mark every time I ran has kept me going.

I was 37 when I began this blog, now I am 47. My daughter was two going on three. At the end of this month she turns thirteen. The boy was not yet one.

January, 2016
Today we all went to the sporting good store to cash out a very generous gift card from my parents. I got new shoes, the boy winter gear, the girl shoes for futsal, and my wife - the runner - got an all-weather jacket and pants.

Weight: 162.5 lbs. (-3.0)
Mood: not bad
New shoes: Saucony Power Grid

2006 Playlist
Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
Shine - Take That
Punkrocker - Teddybears ft. Iggy Pop
Mothership - Kid Beyond
Beware of the Dog - Jamelia
Heart In a Cage - The Strokes

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Every mother's son's romantic.

Last year it was 10° outside. Today it is considerably warmer.

Recently I uncovered an old notebook of mine, I kept poems in it, on and off, for a few years, starting in 1985. It was a book for poems. Yes. Do not be afraid, I will not be sharing any of them here.

However, recognizing the book my first instinct was to throw it away but instead I opened it and discovered, yes, what I was expecting, my high school poems, and they were not merely as bad as I had expected them to be, they were much worse.

It's not that the writing is terrible - it is - it's what I am expressing through those words which is so awful. And it's not because I am pathetically trying to express my young adult feelings of romance or jealousy or anger, it's not simply because so much of it is sing-songy, rhimey-whimey doggerel.*

It is because it is entirely false, superficial nonsense. There is nothing there. I am impersonating my idea of what a poem might sound like, I am not in the least bit trying to capture any kind of real emotion, at all. And I know I had emotions, big emotions, but they aren't here.

There is perhaps one actual real emotion, one poem I wrote at one time about one event which, while arguably still very uninteresting writing at least cuts to something real, some deeply held pain I was yearning to express, not pretending but actually presenting.

This book was also used to collect the writing of others, other people's poems that I liked though admittedly most are song lyrics, not poems, and at least two are by Phil Collins which should invalidate the entire exercise right there.

Also, I included poems I found in our high school literary magazine which I liked, one or two even by my brother which, while not necessarily deep are at least well-crafted and fun to read.

And then, at last, are the poems written by one of my girlfriends. There are several of those by this one person. These took me by surprise. Because they are good. They create pictures, brief stories, the impression of a thing without spelling out the exact thing itself. They made me remember something in me which I thought I knew but had forgotten.

What it most shamed me to remember was that she wanted to be a writer. That she was a writer, and a good writer. How can believe you once have loved someone and yet forget a thing like that?

Distance: 4 miles
Avg Pace: 7:44
Duration: 31:00
Route: Forest Hills Loop

1985 Playlist
Everything She Wants - Wham!
Raspberry Beret - Prince And The Revolution
Stop Dead - The Cure
Faron - Prefab Sprout
Close To Me - The Cure
Trouble and Strife - Everything But the Girl
What You Need (Extended Mix) - INXS
Have You Ever Had It Blue (12" Version) - The Style Council

Perhaps my very favorite of the annual playlists, and such a great day out. Considered pushing it further, but there is much, much to do. Alas. Tomorrow, they say, the winter begins.

Temperature: 52°
Climate: warm
Pavement: wet

Yesterday I ate what my son would call a "crap-ton" of fried things for lunch - for both lunches, actually, when you think about it, one at school and another after - I just skipped dinner. But seriously. Bad food, and two beers in one day. That's how that happens.

Yogurt and granola for breakfast and we'll see how well I manage at Karl's birthday party tonight. (sigh)

Weight: 165.5 lbs. (+3.5)
Mood: good

*Redundant, yes. I know that.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Untouchable like Eliot Ness.

The snow waits for next week. The pavements are dry and hazard-free. Running through the park, once so full and overgrown and green, now naked, bare and gray. Couldn't see two feet around the bend before, now can see almost all the way through.

Distance: 3.57 miles
Avg Pace: 7:46
Route: Forest Hills Loop

Anniversaries come around. Today's playlist reminds me of playtime in the Night Kitchen. We were doing long from improv twenty years ago this month, I can't imagine anything more trivial.

Started writing something new the past few nights. That's always exciting.

Temperature: 37°
Climate: cool
Pavement: clear

School lunch will kill us all.

Weight: 162 lbs.
Mood: good. you know?

Thank you, Ben Folds, for so properly capturing Gen X anxiety and romance and melancholy and nostalgia. You and Marshall Crenshaw. You need to tour together.

1995 Playlist
Where's Summer B? - Ben Folds Five
Vaseline - Elastic
Brain Stew - Green Day
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me - U2
Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino Mix) - Rob D
Gerbil - Filter
I'll Keep Coming Back - Chanelle
California Love - Tupac ft. Dr. Dre

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Give me a run.

We pack up Christmas. My favorite memory of the holiday was spending a couple hours with the wife playing pool in the garage, listening to the Rolling Stones on vinyl. Tomorrow we all head back to school.

Distance: 3.35 miles
Avg Pace: 8:36
Route: Boulevard Loop

Will not take much to set me off tonight. There is not enough time in the day, and all of it has been spent in the service of other people. I have had no time to get my own work done, just none. Four days, no time for me, at all.

Except this. Except for this one thing without which I would go mad. Thank you for this one thing.

2005 Playlist
Solsbury Hill - Erasure
Marvo Ging - The Chemical Brothers
Winners - 7 Seconds of Love
Your Mum's Your Dad - 7 Seconds of Love
Tear You Apart - She Wants Revenge
Pon de Replay - Rihanna
Waters of Nazareth - Justice

Temperature: 30°
Climate: cool, a bit slippery
Weight: 162 lbs.
Mood: not good

Friday, January 01, 2016

I was so miserable and now I feel so alive.

Bring it.
New Year's Eve, I consumed three  drinks over the course of a six hour party. I drank water. And I ate, oh boy did I eat, it was a very nice evening hosted by close friends and I managed to make to through the entire night without offending anyone.

But it went late, we were in bed around three. I slept warm and woke two hours later gasping for air and with a slight headache. I drank water, took pain reliever and tried to go back to sleep, and was largely unsuccessful, drifting in and out of sleep. My lips were dry, my head was hurting and then the sun rose. I cannot sleep in a light room.

I could hardly do anything, all day. I just hurt more and more as the morning progressed, and felt sicker as the afternoon began. There was nothing for it. I hadn't had an excess to drink, I did everything you are supposed to do. And I had made New Year's Day was miserable. I am grateful for a sympathetic and caring family.

So there it is. Yesterday morning I drove halfway to Athens and back to pick up work-related things that we discovered had been left behind, and then I needed to sleep for an hour or so.  I had plans to accomplish things -- some things, a few things, anyway, in the two days I had back in town before going back to work tomorrow (yes, work, tomorrow, yes.) The least I can do, the very least, is take a New Year's Run.

Distance: 3.35 miles
Avg Pace: 8:00
Route: Boulevard Loop

Now, as of 9:30 PM on January 1, 2016, I feel good. Wednesday, after driving home from Athens, I was feeling pain in my back, Across my latissiumus dorsi there were some flare-ups and I wondered if they were associated with my previous back issues. No idea, they were gone by morning and driving another four hours didn't bring them back.

The fact is, I am aware that I continue, for the time being, to be in a very good place physically for someone my age. I would like to stay that way for as long as possible.

And so, ladies and gentlemen ,,, Fifty Playlists for Fifty Years.

2015 Playlist
The Shade - Metric
Giving Up On You - Wild Belle
Price Tag - Sleater-Kinney
Restless - New Order
Leave a Trace - CHVRCHES
Huarache Lights - Hot Chip
Run - Cisco

Temperature: 25°
Climate: cold!
Weight: 166 lbs.

Running Resolutions for 2016:

  1. Keep Running. I cannot say "run more" because I do not believe that is possible. I took one hundred ninety-five runs last year, due in large part to my diabetes scare and training for the Twin Cities Marathon. The best I can hope for is to keep up.
  2. Maintain the Weight. Before the holidays I was consistently around 160. The holidays are now over. Keep eating the good things, and avoiding that bad things.
  3. Run the Cleveland Half Marathon. We're doing it. Who knows if I will ever have a fourth complete marathon, it is not something concerns me any longer. I will when the opportunity presents itself. But 13.1? Pffffft.