Monday, August 29, 2016

Some people work very hard.

School residency rehearsal began today. I came home and slept for twenty minutes, woke and felt like I could sleep for the rest of the night. Just exhausted, and I don't know why.

Distance: 2 miles
Route: Horizon Loop

Longest two miles I have ever run.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: hot, but nice
Mood: bad

What's That Lyric?
Beginning To See The Light - Velvet Underground

Friday, August 26, 2016


Came home and took a nap. One hour later, I needed another nap. Hell with it, took a run instead. Holla Jesu Christe, this summer has been the most exhausting of my life.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Cain Park Loop
Temperature: 79°
Climate: hot & bright
Weight: 170 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: apprehensive

I'm not losing shit until I start getting the salad again.

Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) Playlist
Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) - De La Soul
Turn This Mutha Out - MC Hammer
You Be Illin' - Run DMC
Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (Richie Rich Mix) - PM Dawn
She's Crafty - Beastie Boys
Wild Thing - Tone-Loc
Don't Believe The Hype - Public Enemy
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll - Ian Dury & The Blockheads

When I think old school, I think Ian Dury.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I just want the summer to end.

Back to school.
So tired this week, or these weeks, or for several months. I was already using a blindfold to block out the sun on Saturday mornings with the idea that it was sunlight which has been giving me headaches on Saturday mornings all these years.

But it wasn't until Alaska and when I began using a sleep mask that I discovered the true effect sunlight has on my sleep even when I work to blot it out. It is as though it gets into my skin.

Even in bed in Maine, I was aware of the sunrise, and so, to at home, the encroaching dawn. These late summer weeks we have stayed up late, and very late, since the Finals, late show comedy show coverage of the conventions, finally the Olympics. It's not just me or the wife, but the kids. We cannot settle down.

We must settle down. I took a nap after work, I am still tired. You've been unusually tired, observes the wife, am I all right? I said if I were to speak to the doctor and told her I was exhausted, she would ask me how much rest I am getting and I would say five or six hours a night and she would reply, well that's your trouble right there.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Oh God! What a difference a Dave makes. Feeling downright despondent after dinner, helpless, listless. Everyone was out, kids at soccer practice, the wife with them. geared to take a run while they are there. And me and my work. What to do?

I took a nap, a fifteen minute after-supper nap. Put on my gear, and had the strongest, fittest run in some time. Beautiful evening, sun setting over the Rockefeller estate, Folks taking walks in the park, in their yards repairing their cars, working in the garden.

This chemical imbalance, these effects, which make my head ache, my skin itch, my brain unhappy. They are all problems to be solved, issues to be patiently dealt with. Everything. Everything.

Temperature: 77°
Climate: warm, humid and gorgeous
Weight: 169.5 lbs. (-2.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: all right now

Summer 2016 Playlist
Thank God For Girls - Weezer
Brazil - Declan McKenna
Clearest Blue - CHVRCHES
Subways - The Avalanches
The Less I Know The Better - Tame Impala
You Don't Get Me High Anymore - Phantogram
Endless Bummer - Weezer
Don't You Give Up On Me - Lissie

Well. That pretty much describes my entire summer in one playlist. Check out my Summer 2006 Playlist, created ten years ago this week. It is also chock full of awesome.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

When the wind blows.

Thank you, Rio!
Muggy days, though not as hot. Tomorrow is the first day of school. Yes, the biggest of all summers draws to a close. Both kids now in middle school. And where am I?

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 73°
Climate: cloudy, beautiful, and a little rain

Exhausted just heading out. Lousy sleep last night, too cold from air conditioning, then too hot. Developed a terrible headache, first in some time. The wife is out of town for the night, a work-related retreat. The kids are big enough to fend for themselves, even to serve me. Brought me the paper in bed, coffee, I just spent the whole morning in bed. That never happens. If it weren't for the headache I would never have let myself.

But it was a good day, hoping for a run. They each had soccer games today, I wanted my exercise, too. Nice, breezy night. It will be cool again soon. I hope its not one of those autumns where I miss the great weather.

Weight: 171.5 lbs. (+1.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: heavy

Modified goal. My run was after a dense supper (cheese soup, with bread) but I am not making headway here. Far too many snacks. Looking forward to a normally paced week.

Erie Effusion - LIVE on WRUW 91.1 FM
We Got the Beat - Go-Go's
I Think It’s Me - Go-Go's
Out of Sight, Out of Mind - Dickies
Big Bird * - B-52's
Friend or Foe - Adam Ant and Ants
Sunshine In The Shade - The Fixx
Short Term Effect - The Cure
Mother’s Talk (12" Version) - Tears for Fears

Friday, August 19, 2016

All this running around.

This is me.
At least my weight has normalized at 170 lbs. I have gained or lost any weight for several days. If I can just for example not eat a big ass piece of cake at lunch, I may actually make some progress.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 84°
Climate: rain & bright hot sun
Weight: 170 lbs.
Goal: 160 lbs.
Mood: anxious

On this date, ten years ago, I ran fifteen miles, training for the New York Marathon. It was my first trip all the way down MLK Jr. Drive to the highway and back. Every run that summer was a new discovery, not all of them good. Check out the playlist, a salute to the early 90s.

Felt a bit winded on my way home today, shouldn't be too surprising. Stepping out it started to rain, and it became heavy rain but that was all right, because it was hat and I hat a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes.

By the time I reached the park, the clouds had gone but I could hear thunder back the way I had come. My wife worried about me out here, but I was never beneath the thunder. Then it became quite hot and sunny. So I had been chugging at a pretty brisk pace in the rain, and then I was pretty tired.

Last night we attended a dinner party with a small number of he wife's writing and teaching friends and the subject got to running, who enjoys it, who hates it, who does it regardless, and me, the freak. But it was decided (not by me) to find a 5K some time this fall for all of us, or at least most of us the participate in.

Ship To Wreck Playlist
Ship To Wreck - Florence + The Machine
I'm Only Joking - KONGOS
Let It Happen - Tame Impala
Animal - Ellie Goulding
Happy Idiot - TV on the Radio
The Mother We Share * - CHVRCHES
Birth In Reverse * - St. Vincent

Monday, August 15, 2016

I trip on my feet

Three meals a day, that's it. Not easy to do. Good breakfast, Grape nuts, yogurt, fruit both dried and fresh. For lunch, leftover stir fry and tomatoes, plus I went across the street to the convenience to get a banana.

Then the long afternoon, which included a trip to the library and grocery store to find that the dinner dishes from last night had not been washed. By the time that was cleared up and dinner prepared, I was a bit delirious.

No, I would not have chosen pierogis, but the wife took ill today and I know how soothing she finds potaties. A load of carbs and yet I am still a bit woozy. Not starving, just used to consuming so much more.

This is how I do this.

Distance: 3.2 miles (.8 with the girl)
Avg Pace: 8:45
Duration: 28:01
Route: Neighborhood Loop

Girl sees I'm suiting up, she asks, "How far are you running?" I sai Im running three miles - I've got to run three miles. She says she can't make that.

I say, he. How about a run around the block and then I'll do my rest. She says, that's point-eight miles, yeah, let's do that.

And that's how we do that.

Temperature: 79°
Climate: quite humid
Weight: 170 lbs.
Mood: good
Good God, I am sick of these articles.

Boyz Playlist
Over and Over - Hot Chip
Dance Dance Dance - Lykke Li
LDN - Lily Allen
Knock 'Em Out - Lily Allen
Boyz - M.I.A.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Neighborhood Walk/Run

Decided not to run the cemetery race this morning. Waking at six I thought of how I could spend the morning, out in the world, with strangers, for several hours, or home in the comfort of family, taking a slow morning of reading papers, writing down ideas and, you know, perhaps sleeping in a few hours first.

However, upon waking the wife suggested I join her on a walk/run, part of her Couch to 5K training. When someone asks you to run with them, you say yes.

Wife Walk/Run
Distance: 2.08 miles (1.11 running)
Avg Pace: 14:16
Duration: 29:45
Route: Neighborhood Loop

The wife is doing a wonderful job of sticking with it. She has been working with C25K for a year and a half, she'd gotten far but then life intervened, because that is what life does. Running and walking with her today, I am aware of where I have been, and the struggles I endured to make running a daily event.

People ask when it gets easier. I don't have an answer for that. The best I can offer is you must have a reason to keep going, and focus on that.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: muggy
Weight: 170.5 lbs. (+3.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.
Mood: decent

Sweet Jesus.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Girl, you better run.

The electricity was out for virtually everyone in town after the big storm. We were just heading home when it happened, no power for a day and a half. When we arrived, fortunately for us, the power was back on, air conditioning running, but we had no way to know how warm the refrigerator had gotten. We said goodbye to pounds of locally sourced beef and a wild salmon steaks.

However, this presented us with a rare opportunity to clean the entire fridge and to solve the problem of why water has been pooling throughout. Yes, we packed the freezer too tightly and when it defrosted water wen where it could, not where it should. Anyway, yay! It's like a new fridge.

Boy Bike/Run
Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 8:56
Duration: 26:47
Route: Forest Hill Loop

The family has spent the morning doing all sorts of housework, I have been working in the kitchen. These kids start school again way too early, and after all the rest and relaxation today is definitely a day to work on making our house ready for the fall.

Trying to keep the boy active, we suggested he ride his bike rather than, say, playing Tanki X for another hour. He asked if I wouldn't run with him. Sure, right? I can't say no when anyone asks me to run with them.

Hot day, very hot. Exhausting. But fun. Listening to the President's playlist, even over the phone's tinny speaker, helped keep momentum up but I told him I planned to cash out at three miles.

Temperature: 88°
Climate: bright, hot, sweltering
Weight: 167.5 lbs. (-3.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.
Mood: anxious

How does one lose three pounds in eighteen hours? Have a light breakfast and then run before lunch. It's all water weight, I am sure it will be back up to 169 tomorrow. Hopefully no more than 169. I was very good yesterday and today at not shoving whatever I saw into my mouth.

It also helps that there is currently no food in the house.

The President's 2016 Summer Playlist: Day
II B.S. - Charles Mingus
Rock Steady - Aretha Franklin
Man Like That - Gin Wigmore
Classic Man - Jidenna ft. Roman GianArthur
Elevator Operator - Courtney Barnett
Me Gustas Tu - Manu Chao
LoveHate Thing - Wale ft. Sam Dew

So, anyone up for the Run Through History 5K at Lakeview Cemetery tomorrow?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Never gone run.

Nicholas Christopher and adoring fans.
Yes, saw Hamilton. The tickets were an end-of-school-year surprise for the kids. The girl practically cried when she received them last June.

Our journey home took us from Lexington, MA to Westport, CT to stay with Harris, Liz and their kids. Monday we spent the day at Coney Island with them. Tuesday was a full day in Manhattan for our family, the four of us taking in Fifth Avenue, the Met, Times Square and then the main event.

We knew when we got these tix in early April that few if any of the original cast members would be performing in mid-August. Doesn't matter, the show is the thing, and we were in, as the say, the room where it happens.

The kids hung out at the stage door hoping to get a few autographs, and were greeted by Nicholas Christopher who stood in for George Washington that evening. He was truly outstanding, just outstanding. His performance of One Last Time almost lifted me out of my seat, I am not kidding.
Want To See A Faster Olympic Marathon? Move It To The Winter Games
By Christie Aschwanden, FiveThirtyEight (8/11/2016)
We're also watching the Olympics, and a lot of it. It was all fun and games until US Women's got crushed this afternoon, that truly sucked.

Distance: 2 miles
Avg Pace: 8:05
Duration: 16:14
Temperature: 88°
Climate: hot, threatening storm

Hot evening run. Kept close to home, in case of rain. The girl was at soccer practice and I did not want to abandon her in case of a sudden storm like which struck the city A couple days ago. And rain it did with distant thunder and I cut my run short.

Weight: 170.5 lbs.
Mood: unsure

My weight is veering dangerously back into its previous territory. This is how it happens. I ate anything I wanted through the entire vacation, and plenty of it. That stuff, too. I need discipline. I need a plan.

I also need to write. There has been very little of that.

The President's 2016 Summer Playlist: Day
Tightrope (The Solo Version) - Janelle MonĂ¡e
Don't Owe You A Thang - Gary Clark, Jr.
Forever Begins - Common

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Lexington run.

This has become an annual thing, stopping into Lexington to visit old friends from the Heights, eat pizza drink beer, enjoy a cool summer's evening and hit a cineplex to watch a truly horrible superhero movie. Last year it was Fantastic Four. Last night it was Suicide Squad. Next year it will be the reboot of Howard the Duck.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Avg Pace: 10:18
Duration: 34:01
Route: Lexington Loop

Beth took me for a beautiful run through the town, along narrow, winding streets, a short trail run, across Park Meadow and some historic old buildings, including the Hancock-Clarke House. Sytze and Toni took a one mile run on the bike path I ran last year when I was here.

Temperature: 81°
Climate: warm & sunny
Mood: good

Friday, August 05, 2016

Who knows when we shall meet again.

August 5, 2015
One final day in the cove. People are moving onto Martin Point for the weekend, many people, too many cars, they can't be staying for the week. But a breezy, perfect day to run out the end of the point and back. And I felt good, too. Running fast, feeling strong, like I could keep doing this running thing for a while longer now.

So happy I did not actually have a stress fracture. So happy to be with my family, to take my time to run and also sit and think and read. So glad to be alive.

Distance: 3.5 miles
Route: Martin Point Run
Temperature: 73°
Climate: Cloudless, breezy & beautiful
Mood: wistful

Why Me? Playlist
Time - The Alan Parsons Project
Turning Japanese - The Vapors
Just Another Night - Mick Jagger
Black Coffee In Bed - Squeeze
Talking In Your Sleep - The Romantics
The Stroke - Billy Squier

Wrote a blog post about this place and the deep, entwined relationship with pop culture it holds within me. These "Why Me?" playlists would make the perfect soundtrack.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Where do we go from here?

Been out on Martin Point Road three times today already.

Wife Walk
Distance: 3.5 miles

Easy morning. Quiet house. Finished a book, started writing my book report. The wife and I took a walk. It has been cool the past two days, today it is a bit warm again. Another summer I may have gone for a run first, but this year I am allowing the days to be a bit more shapeless. So? A hot afternoon run.

Solo Run
Distance: 3.5 miles

Why Me? Playlist
The Voice - Moody Blues
Games People Play - The Alan Parsons Project
Destroyer - The Kinks
If I Didn't Love You - Squeeze
New World Man - Rush
Swallowed By The Cracks - David & David
Abacab - Genesis

You might notice the playlist this week, a computer generated list based on the song Why Me? by Planet P. You know, there are songs which only I remember (or so I'd like to believe) which have fallen off the Gen X oldies station radar.

On our drive here, we were in a gas station when they were playing My Brave Face by Paul McCartney. Released in 1989, it was co-written by Elvis Costello for one of McCartney's albums. The same year Veronica was a single for Elvis, also co-written by McCartney. They each had airplay, only you might hear Veronica on the radio from time to time. but never My Brave Face.

Honestly I can't remember hearing it since the very early 90s. I had entirely forgotten it had existed. And it's a good song, fun to listen to, well-performed and produced, not irritating in any way. The question is not why did this song disappear, it's why did this one when so many other minor hits have not?

Why Me? is a song I will never forget, but also one I never hear played anywhere but on my iPod. Possibly the song that was on MTV the first turn I switched it on in my own home in early 1983. It's not exactly new wave, more just this synth-heavy, rock-pop song with a video that featured a lot of NASA b-roll.

But this mix is crazy, it's so entirely my teenage years. Exactly what I needed for this trip, just randomly early 80s.

Girl Run
Distance: 1.5 miles

The girl came home from a shopping trip at Remy's with her friend. I'd promised her a run before the trip was announced, that just kind of happened. But when she came back she asked if I would run with her. I could say no, but I didn't have a reason why. How could I say no?

Monday, August 01, 2016

Hatchet Cove Run

Mount Megunticook
Our second week. Again, it has been much more relaxing not to push myself to run every day, as I did last year. Besides, the days have not been without activity. Yesterday we scaled Mount Megunticook, that took a solid two hours of hiking, some if it a bit steep. My thighs were quite fatigued once we had descended.

Still. Amazing view.

The air has cooled, the nights much less troubled by bugs. Our family from St. Paul and London have departed. Their absence is felt. We read, we swim and fish. We social media. We vacation.

Distance: 0.7 miles
Avg Pace:11:06
Duration: 7:46
Route: Martin Point
Temperature: 72°
Climate: cool and overcast
Mood: all right

The wife and girl went to Portland for a rock concert at the State Theatre. The boy and I took a walk to Crystal Pond before running out to the beach on Hatchet Cove and back.

He complains about his feet hurting, which makes sense. After the race on Saturday he was very excited about running, he was so proud to have run a mile in less than ten minutes. I remember feeling the same way after my first race; this is great! But then having no guidance as how to continue.