Sunday, December 31, 2017


I had completed fifty-two runs by April 5. I managed to run only another forty times the rest of the entire year. This has not been a good year for me physically. I wanted to lose weight, but I gained it. I am out of shape, weak and not very happy about it. I have for all intents and purposes stopped running entirely.

I brought gear to England and back without using it. I did not run over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Wasn't up to it, wasn't in the mood. How do I win this back?

It's not just vanity. My diet is horrible, and I do not wish to live the rest of my life in a health emergency. And I hurt to move.

These are steps in intend to take in the new year to improve my situation.

  1. Acquire a new physical therapist. Not happy with the former, and besides, we are in need of a new general practitioner now that University Hospitals fired not just ours but the entire office over a labor dispute (not cool, UH.)
  2. 10-20 minutes of exercise each morning. This is something I can do quite easily. Like writing a small amount each day, a little exercise daily goes a long way to improving my overall fitness and energy.
  3. Running short distances three times a week. This could include three mile runs, but even two laps around the block will improve my breathing and blood flow. Running every day, however, as I did at the start of the year, is not advised.
  4. Planning healthy menus. My wife has over the past several months has chosen a vegetarian diet. Neither the children nor I have been pressured into also adapting this lifestyle, but it will affect how we plan our meals. My efforts at non-meat based diets (going back to college) have resulted in an excessive intake of carbs, and that should be avoided. It does take good planning ... like all smart decisions.
We begin ... next week. See you then, and happy new year.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Shake your bag of bones.

Uffington White Horse
A few years back Diffuser posted XTC Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness and, just as many casual Beatles fans are shocked when such lists don't put Sgt. Pepper at the top of their list, I was surprised when Skylarking wasn't at the top of theirs.

Say what you want about their quirky early work or those weirdos who actually own and listen to the Apple Venus records (they say they're good,) the Todd Rundgren-produced and much gossiped-about Skylarking -- the final version, with "Dear God" included -- is fat-free and complete, every track a classic and with none of those songs which inevitably pop up on every XTC record featuring lyrics of social commentary so humiliatingly jejune and cringe-worthy.

Diffuser ranked Skylarking number three. Number one was reserved for English Settlement.

My son has decided he is unimpressed by modern pop music, and so we tend to listen to the classic rock stations. He likes the production values of the seventies and eighties. But that still means I have to play him albums from that era which even now receive no airtime, and that includes, of course, XTC.

I was looking forward to listening to all of English Settlement on the drive from Athens yesterday, but I was caught flatfooted by the terribleness of some of the songs which deal clumsily with the torpor of modern living, and of gender and race. The male-shaming (and yet not actually pro-female) lyrics of "Down In The Cockpit" are embarrassingly naive, even if the beat is infectious and strong. The sentimentally joyful plea for tolerance in "Knuckle Down" is entirely overwhelmed by its joyfully privileged condescension. And "Leisure" is simply a horrible song to listen to, with or without the words.

This is coming from a guy who really loves XTC.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 34°
Climate: cool. nice.
Mood: okay.

What rocks English Settlement are those songs, naked in their cultural appropriation, employing "African rhythms" which were all the rage among white, male performers in the 1980s from Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon on down. The forced patois and imagery of "It's Nearly Africa" would be as dismissible as those of Toto's "Africa" if it weren't for the irresistibly funky beat and the driving arrangement. It does, indeed, make me want to finger-paint the sun on you.

Also, too, the words in "Melt the Guns" are no less relevant now than they were thirty-five years ago. They are unfortunately much much more so.

Finally, "Snowman" is one my very favorite holiday songs, even though it has nothing to do with Christmas except sleigh bells and the references to snow and cold. It includes one of my most favorite phrases about feel lost and embittered in love; "People will always be tempted to wipe their feet on anything with 'welcome' written on it."

This is where Partridge truly shines, when he is speaking from the heart about emotions that are closest to him. Broken hearts, loss of faith, the British class society. Making grand pronouncements about sex and race, he sounds awfully male and white.

No, seriously. I really love the music of XTC. But though the lyrics were, in my college years, a gateway for me into more progressive thinking, they are, many of them, facile thoughts better left to open the minds of a new generation of young, white men ... like my son.

This is a playlist of the best tracks, and best running tracks, from English Settlement.

English Settlement - XTC (1982)
Runaways (167 bpm)
Melt The Guns (182 bpm)
It's Nearly Africa
Fly On The Wall
Down In The Cockpit (158 bpm)
English Roundabout
Snowman (174 bpm)

See? That is some boss beats per minute.

Sprinting down the street, I bust my supporter. Hmn. Need a new supporter.

Didn't even take my kit to Athens. When was the last time I didn't run at Thanksgiving? Pain shot straight down through my leg at one point, but it eased off. Glad I ran. No regrets.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Words move faster.

As I was saying, the late 90s to me meant deep, dark techno music. Bass and beats and brooding. No idea why this was the case, though the work we did moving into that brief Bad Epitaph Theater phase may have had something to do with it. The opening sounds of Beaucoup Fish by Underworld put me in the center of an urban, winter landscape, just after dusk.

My introduction to Underworld was "Dark and Long," from the heroin withdrawal, baby-on-the-ceiling scene from Trainspotting. Like most albums I bought in 1999, I either read a review somewhere or heard one on NPR. I had almost entirely stopped buying music I'd heard on commercial radio.

Beaucoup Fish - Underworld (1999)
Push Upstairs
Shudder / King Of Snake

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 42°
Climate: overcast & cool
Mood: decent

Last night the boy asked if my stretches were helping. I said no, they really aren't. But it's a choice now. Run and hurt, don't run and don't hurt. The running isn't difficult, it's just not painless.

Keep moving. Just keep moving.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

My whole world is dying.

Here's the thing; I actually brought my running kit to England. Had it with me in Yalding and in Winchester. The two days we spent in Winchester I saw people running through the center of town, I even mapped a run through the city but still. It wasn't happening for me.

Part of that was due to jet lag. I never got a single complete night's sleep, so sleeping in was required. I knew they would be long days walking about, but still. It was disheartening. I used to love running through odd spaces, but I just couldn't make it happen.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 36°
Climate: cool
Mood:not bad, considering.

One year ago today we woke to the news that Donald Trump would be our next president. Actually, most of us did not sleep that night, and knew it already. My daughter crawled into bed with us (which also made it difficult to get any sleep) she was so unhappy. The country was full of people who would elect a man who hates women for president. I didn't tell her that, she was paying attention.

If there is such a thing as woke, she it. Now excuse me, I will never use the word "woke" again.

Jesus. Cigarette and Chocolate Milk just came on the Current. That was my earworm all night that night, rolling around in my head, fretting about the future. Nice timing, guys.

Anyway, it's been quite a year. And we're still fighting, aren't we?

Late Night Beats - The Post Club Sound of Britain (1998)
Starwayze - back 2 earth
... And Then You Die - The Receiver
Summer Bummer - Crazy Penis
Can I Be Free From Crying (The Underwolves Remix) * - Bim Sherman
Spudink - Plaid

Tuesday night my hip hurt, and also my knee. I resisted the idea of running yesterday morning, and by evening I felt good. No running two days in a row. We must exercise and then rest.

You may notice I got the idea for the title of my running play from this album. I really love this disc. And a perfect five-and-a-half mile listen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The radio played our song.

We resume. Like starting from scratch. But we've done that before. I cannot understand how I can move from a person who defines himself as a runner to one who does not.

I see runners on the street and think, I used to do that. Like that. That is different. I used to see a runner and think; Hey, I wish I were running right now. I no longer feel that jealousy. I don't feel anything about it.

Well, that's not true. I obviously feel something. I am surprised I have not felt physical fatigue, that my legs have not been aching from disuse. I feel fine. My belly is soft, I haven't gained any more weight but I certainly haven't lost any.

This morning, however, I felt motivated. I began rehearsing a solo performance which opens in a few weeks, it would be nice to work on my breathing. To feel fit. Even a little fit. It would be a good idea to move.

Late Night Beats - The Post Club Sound of Britain (1998)
To Ulrike M (Original Mix) - Doris Days
U R Still Ahead - Kushti
Comfy Club - Pnu Riff
Starbursts Over Orion - Modaji
Can't Stay With You Baby - Jimi Tenor
Gutaris Breeze (6000km To Amsterdam) - John Beltram

In the late 1990s I was given to melancholy and inspired by afterhours club music. The year 1999 gave me Moby's Play and Everything But the Girl's Temperamental. Sometimes I would hear an album in a store and ask what that album is and just buy it. I was shopping at High Tide Rock Bottom in late 1998 and they were playing this sampler of downbeat house music and I just had to have it.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 41°
Climate: cool
Mood: maintaining

Why this album, this morning? Because I want a slow run. I wan to jog, and feel good about it.

It's still a favorite, though I'm not emotionally in sync with it any more. That last one I heard (that's half the album) by John Beltram actually made me break down in tears during the rehearsal process of Hamlet in spring of 1999. Like, bawling.

What am I emotionally in sync with these days? Anything?

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Evening Bike/Run

It has been a couple of weeks. Low motivation, but also very busy. The wife was out of town this weekend, the rest of us kept close to home, seeing friends, doing homework.

Distance: 2.9 miles
Avg. Pace: 9.23
Duration: 27:14
Route: Neighborhood Loop

The three of us took Christine to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Great Lakes on Friday night, which surely wins the This-Play-Isn’t-About-Trump-But-It-Kind-Of-Is-Now Award of 2017.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: cool, perfect
Mood: all right

The boy and I took a lovely if a bit gnat-infested run up around Mayfield Road and back. Yeah, I'd like to be running more often. Shorter runs, more often. That would be fine.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Didn't look too good in shorts.

These are challenging days. My wife has spent a great deal of time the past month in Athens, while I have either been getting the kids to their events myself or with the aid of friends, and most evenings I have been doing that or taking care of household chores.

The last time I took an evening run, I was attempting to do that on top of everything else, and I made for a shitty running experience. I was tired, I was in pain, and we didn't have dinner until late. It made me very unhappy.

But I miss the action of running. I just shouldn't run so hard, I guess. I was unsatisfied with physical therapy. I have borrowed a roller, which is interesting, and seems to help. Most of all, I am simply not interested in exercise, which is depressing. Like, literally depressing.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 79°
Climate: hot & humid, but beautiful
Mood: anxious

Took almost an hour to get out. I thought it would hurt. It did hurt. And then it didn't. And then it did again. I ended sprinting, because a song came on to sprint to. To want to sprint to (it's not the one credited below.)

Friday night we saw My Friend Dahmer. Vincent Kartheiser plays a doctor who, in addition to almost becoming Jeffrey Dahmer's first victim, is a runner. Actually, it is because he is a runner that he is marked as a victim. Not that Dahmer hates people who run, it's just that he happens to run by the Dahmer house in Bath, Ohio.

The spot where Dahmer watches him is a road on a slight incline, so the doctor, Kartheiser, is laying it on to keep a steady pace. He's really striking the pavement with his feet. My nerve was stinging that night, I was favoring my right cheek in the chair (watching movies is not as much fun anymore) and I kept thinking how much that kind of exertion and impact hurts now.

But I got out. The wife is home now, she was a great encouragement to run. Now I have the rest of the night to write.

What's That Lyric?
Beat the Clock - Sparks

Not keeping track of weight anymore, not now. My consumption is an issue, yes, and I will try to take it easy there, but what I really need to do is to stop eating sugar. This rehearsal period was obscene, there were bags and bags of candy. People noticed, I couldn't keep my hands off it. And I am going to get sick and I am going to have long-term health problems and I am going to die early.

So I need to stop eating sugar.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Treadmill: 1.5 miles

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

But nothing can prepare you for it.

For the duration.

Distance: 5 miles
Route: Forest Hill Run
Temperature: 67°

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Light in your head and dead on your feet.

Pre-dawn run with Chris. Met him at 6:00, rather than 6:30 AM when we have been meeting, because kids, school, life. Summer ends ... only it's ten degrees hotter than it was two days ago at the same time.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:04
Duration: 45:21
Route: Forest Hill Run

Used the flashlight on my phone for a few stretches before the sun rose around the pond on the East Cleveland side.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: hot & humid
Mood: all right

We run, we push. Two dudes striving for perfection. The strangest thing, I wore my iPod in a different place and chafed, actually chafed on it. That's not sexy.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 174 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty

Sunday, August 20, 2017

We're on the road to paradise.

We took a long run today, a ten mile, out to Gandhi and back. Yesterday was a big one of outdoor, neighborhood activity. The Block Party, yes, before that the girl had a scrimmage. I ate a hot dog. I ate a cheeseburger. There was macaroni salad and cake. Over the course of one long afternoon I had two and a half beers, but I stopped well before bedtime.

Still, sugar and fat and lots of it. I could taste it in my mouth this morning. Amy warned me about sugar, now I can't get it out of my head.

Distance: 10.25 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:23
Duration: 1:36:17
Route: Gandhi and Back
Our last long run, last week, affected my sciatica in a way running hasn't for several weeks. I am wondering what I will feel like n a few hours. I am going to do a series of stretches now, as a kind of precaution. Earlier this week I couldn't sleep until I took pain reliever for it.

Temperature: 63°→67°
Climate: sunny & humid
Mood: all right

Will I run a marathon next year? Can I run a marathon next year? Which marathon will I run next year?

I am currently taking ten miles runs on the weekend. I must be training for something.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 173.5 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Road to Nowhere - Talking Heads

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Maybe I just want to fly.

Yesterday at work, Chris asks if we are running tomorrow (meaning today.) This is in front of the ladies. I'm like, uh, yeah.

"Eight miles?" he asks. In front of the ladies.

All right, I agree. smh

Distance: 7 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:17
Duration: 1:05:00
Route: Lakeview/Uptown Loop

Anyway, I held him to it, or almost. I led him through the cemetery. He went this way before, last weekend, just ran around the cemetery with no particular course. He racked up eleven miles that day. I took him through my usual course (Good morning, Harvey. Good morning, Mr. Ness.) and out the Euclid gate through Uptown.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: bright & cool
Mood: good

Coming through Little Italy was kind of gross, they haven't cleaned up since the Feast this past weekend. Tents blocking the sidewalks, place reeks of beer. But we made it up the hill in a steady jog. Good for us.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 173 lbs. (-2.0)
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

Seven miles. Let's keep going.

What's That Lyric?
Live Forever - Oasis

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Come all this distance.

It is happening. Meeting Chris, I have to run a mile to the meeting places, then we run about three miles through the park before we return to the meeting place. That means another mile back, on my own.

The past several times we have met, I have stopped running at five miles and walked the rest of the way. I was just tired. This morning I wanted to keep going, ran the last half mile home. Didn't feel any need to slow down. In fact, that half-mile was 8:08. It was my fastest length of the morning.

Distance: 5.5 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:41
Duration: 47:48
Route: Forest Hill Run

My running partner is named Chris. So is my father-in-law. Do not let this confuse you.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: sunny, cool & humid
Mood: all right

My wife is home after being in Columbus and then Athens, looking after family. She will leave again on Thursday, and I will look after the kids. This is how we do these things.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 175 lbs. (+3.0)
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Don't Break This Rhythm - Peter Gabriel

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I want it to be perfect like before.

It wasn't the first time I had met my future in-laws, it wan't the first time I had pulled up outside to pick up the woman who I would one day be married to. But the first time I stepped into their home is a day I will never forget.

It was Thanksgiving weekend, 1994. I had picked Toni up from the airport in Columbus, she'd flown in from NYC for the weekend, to be with her family. She and I were not officially a couple, not publicly. I was still married to someone else.

I was nervous. I didn't know what to expect. It was more awkward than you might imagine, the last time I had met them was probably as guests at my first wedding.

And yet, I was welcomed, unconditionally. That's what they do, that's who they are, beautiful, open-hearted people, quite possibly the least judgmental people I know. It is always a joy to return to this place, even or especially when times are difficult. It's the safest place I know.

Distance: 4 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:02
Duration: 32:10
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

We're having an impromptu gathering at the house this weekend, aunts and uncles and lots of visitors. Clear skies, cookouts, and children. You would think that things were good.

Temperature: 78°
Climate: sunny & hot
Mood: what you might expect

The kids and I packed for one night, and I brought my running kit. I wasn't sure if I would take the time, with so much going on here, but by the end of the morning I figured, what is my excuse not to? I used to love running, and now I kind of dread it. I know I will feel some pain, that I may need to go slow, that I'll be tried, thirsty, things I don't normally worry about.

And yet, it was gorgeous. Hot, but with a little breeze. I was going to run three, but at a mile and a half, I just had to keep going. The last time we were in Athens I was winded already at a mile and a half. It felt very good.

What's That Lyric?
A Night Like This - The Cure

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Who is the man coming down your block?

So we're doing this. Chris suggested a run when I saw him in the office yesterday, and I said yes because that's what I do. Two days in a row. It's mental, I used to run two days in a row all the time, it's all right.

But I'm definitely taking tomorrow off.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:43
Duration: 43:40
Route: Forest Hill Run

Beautiful day, great run. I really appreciate Chris pushing me like this, it's nothing but good. Getting out of bed this morning was easier than I thought it would be, I have been setting out my kit the night before, do you know how much that helps?

Temperature: 62°
Climate: cool & clear
Mood: good

Time to get to work.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 172 lbs. (-2.0)
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
The Maestro - Beastie Boys

Monday, August 07, 2017

Keep it pumping.

This is only my third run since the 5K in Friendship? Feels like forever since we returned from vacation. August is not even in double-digits but the summer is winding down. We attended outdoor theater on Friday and it was uncomfortably cold. The children are speedily approaching back-to-school and my work is all about the fall.

Chris and I had made plans to take a long run yesterday, but I was exhausted and he was under it. Ah, well. This morning we continue our routine. It is a few degrees colder, and you can tell. That and the sun no longer rises before 6:00 AM.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Run

This morning I set out on my own, a jog around the park. I have begun to walk a few steps, on inclines. It's mental, I wish I wouldn't do that. That part of my brain that used to push through weariness and pain now thinks I am too old to do that, it's stupid, it's not real, and it needs to stop.

Temperature: 62°
Climate: cool & overcast
Mood: all right

Yesterday I walked through haunted Tremont with a few friends. Had brunch in the former Actors' Gym space. That's something else that weirded me out, I have been in that space, I have performed in and produced shows in that space since the Guerrilla days. But sitting in there, eating food in that space. I was having a lot of uncomfortable thoughts.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 174 lbs. (-0-)
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

Made it through the weekend without picking up any weight. That is a good sign.

Guerrilla Theater Years (1992-1994)
Hello City * - Barenaked Ladies
Too Funky (Extended Mix) - George Michael
So What'cha Want * - Beastie Boys
Refazenda (Live) - Gilberto Gil
Creep - Radiohead
Just Keep Me Moving - k.d. lang
Voodoo Lady - Ween

Thursday, August 03, 2017

I'm just around the corner.

Making an arrangement to meet at 6:30 for a run only goes so far. You still have to get enough sleep and ideally not drink too much to night before. I am not hitting it yet in regards to sugar consumption. If anything, it's been higher in the past two days.

Waking up with a headache, even a mild one, really sucks. I owe it to myself not to let that happen.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:49
Duration: 44:09
Route: Forest Hill Run

And yet, we prevail. Met Chris on the corner just five minutes late and we enjoyed a great run through the park. Yes, if I had not made this appointment, I would not have headed out. I may still be asleep.

Temperature: 67°
Climate: clear & humid
Mood: good

You know, it's Cousin Amy who has me thinking about sugar, and not just sugar but the sugar in alcohol. She was describing in graphic terms how you feel it the morning after, how sluggish it makes your morning run when you have had drinks the night before.

I had two drinks last night, a beer and a cocktail. Two drinks. That's too much for me.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 174 lbs. (-2.5)
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Hold Me - Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

This is the day of the expanding man.

Home again, and back to work. Also, back on the road. Chris contacted me yesterday about heading out this morning and I was all in. Terrible night sleep, however (three in a row) so we will see how successful this is.

August. Welcome to the the third shift.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg. Pace:

Good run with Chris. Not easy, but what is? Ran five, walked a block. Beautiful day.

Thought the other day, why keep a log? Why not just write down statistics and leave it at that? Too much time spent writing this blog, what is the point?

Who knows. But I have been at it too long to quit. Like Samuel Pepys, perhaps I am leaving behind an account which someone may find a use for. A physiologist, a psychologist, a lawyer. Who knows.

Temperature: 67°
Climate: clear skies, a bit humid
Mood: all right

The time has come, to quit the sugar and processed foods. This is the same diet that made my blood sugar spike, who knows where it is now. Cut the soda, the candy, the chips and all the rest. Last night we got in around dinner time but I was still able to get to the store, and the wife made a meat-free, high-protein meal, one which even included a few beans from the backyard.

Just a few. Too many damn deer and one frisky groundhog.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 176.5 lbs.
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Deacon Blues - Steely Dan

Saturday, July 29, 2017

2017 Friendship Day 5K

24th Annual Friendship Day 5K
Start: 7:45 am
Her Time: 26:41

Thinking of renaming the blog Daddy Runs...

Not sure exactly what my time was, doesn't matter. Wasn't my best, to be sure. I still have a road back. I wonder whether I will recover from this, if running will continue to be a thing for me. Perhaps I am just trying to accept the possibility that my best work is behind me.

Enough about me. We all headed out today. My wife and the boy ran the one mile, they did very good work. When the five kilometer started I was ahead, but by the first mile the girl had passed me and she stayed out a head of me the whole way.

I knew this day would come.

What's most distressing for me is not that I run slower now (breathing has become harder) it's that recovery time for something as simple as a 5K has become a serious pain.

But enough about me.

The girl ran the entire course without stopping to walk, which was a personal goal for her. This is her third 5K, and by far her fastest, never having run one under thirty minutes. She is in training for high school soccer, conditioning begins in earnest on Tuesday, August 1, that's in just a few days.

She passes me.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Walker Beach and back.

No, I was not planning on a run today. But she asked. And when someone asks, you must go.

Glad I did, though. A bright day, already warm. I said I'd run out one mile and head back, she was planning on 10 kilometers. We made it past Walker Beach and came back to the turning for the cove. She headed on and I turned in. Just fine.

Race tomorrow. What will happen?

Distance: 2.11 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:49
Duration: 18:35
Route: Martin Point Run
Temperature: 72°
Climate: sunny & hot
Mood: good

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Road to Waldoboro

Cousin Amy was born in 1982. She's younger than I am. She's serious about running and has been extremely encouraging to me to get out onto the road.

Yesterday was my birthday, yes, hello, I am forty-nine years old. The family was over last night, cousins and second-cousins and aunts and cousins-once-removed and more cousins. Also Michele and her family have joined us. Full house!

Amy asked if I would be running today, so I said yes because it's good to say yes to things and she suggested 12 or 13 kilometers (because she lives and works in Europe, or rather anywhere that isn't America, so metric) and I said how far is that and she said six or eight miles and I said yes.

Haven't run so far since March, if then. But hey, why not?

Distance: 13 kilometers (around 8 miles)
Duration: 1:13:43
Route: Road to Waldoboro

I woke to the rain around five am. We had made a date to meet at eight am, I was going to get up at seven. Kept waking up every ten or fifteen minutes or so. Still raining. Had no rain jacket, was not looking forward to this But I wasn't going to bail. Got up, got dressed, still raining. Had coffee, cereal still rain. Five to eight, stepped out onto the road. No more rain. Held off for the entire run, That was perfect.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: overcast & damp
Mood: good

It's good to run with someone, it is a healthy distraction, and an inspiration. You can keep each other going. But Lord, all those hills. Shortly after the turn around there was a big one and I just had to walk. Too exhausted. Apart from that, however, while I did not feel my best, I did good work.

We'll see how I feel later. Meantime, there's one more piece of birthday carrot cake and that sucker is mine.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Should have tried to do some more.

Solo run, the girl announced she wanted to go on her own. Of course she does. The irony.

Yesterday was a cold, rainy day, and a lazy one. I have been writing, which is good. Revisiting, revising. But we also went fishing, the boy caught a half dozen mackerel one of the other cove residents requested -- then he got paid for them. That was pretty cool.

Distance: 2.75 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:39
Duration: 23:45
Route: Martin Point Run

Today, cool but bright and sunny. She headed out a few minutes ago, but now I will follow. Wonder if she will acknowledge me when we pass out on the point.

Temperature: 68°
Climate: sunny & humid
Mood: all right

Bit wearying, out of shape. Stuck it out past the beach before turning back. Maybe I will hit four miles by the end of the week.

Past the girl by Crystal Pond. She made eye contact and nodded. That was totally cool.

Baby Boomer Deep Regret Playlist
FM (No Static at All) - Steely Dan
25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago
Deacon Blues - Steely Dan
Moondance - Van Morrison
Tomorrow Never Knows - Phil Collins

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Martin Point Cousin Run

Afternoon run with the girl and cousin Amy. The girl is in training for high school soccer and working to keep up with conditioning. Amy (who I have mentioned before) is here for the week, staying with her folks at the Baker, she's also leaving Saturday but hasn't decided if she'll stay for the race.

We made it out the beach and back, I was really hoping she would push it out that far. I think Amy coming with us really helped.

Distance: 2.13 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:35
Duration: 20:26
Route: Martin Point Run

Beautiful day, clear skies, blue, blue, blue. The boy and I have been fishing, got my nap on, read a book. Time to make dinner. Strange, this day has actually moved along rather fast.

Temperature: 68°
Climate: breezy & bright
Mood: good

Forecast calls for rain. Enjoy it while you can.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Salem Run

See what I did there?
Three days in Salem, almost didn't take a run but this morning my wife encouraged me to, and I am very thankful for that. Time was I would obsess about getting a run in - plural runs - when visiting a new city, a different city. It makes me feel the place more deeply, running through it.

Distance: 2.5 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:58
Duration: 22:25
Route: Salem Commons & Harbor

Our B&B was only a block from Salem Commons, and a city block in Salem is only about one hundred feet. Also, I jogged down to the harbor and out onto the pier where we had gone fishing the night before.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: overcast & humid
Mood: good, you know?

We have seen many things, I really like visiting Salem. Places rich in history excite me. We'll only have a week in Maine this year, but this trip was definitely worth it. The girl and I have made plans to run the Friendship 5K next Saturday, I hope training this week goes well.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Smooth, my, floatin' like a butterfly.

Weirdest thing this morning. Bright, sunshiny day. I was working on the deck. Suddenly, it started to rain. I looked up and there was lie, one cloud, over my deck. It was like a Charlie Brown thing. Weird.

Distance: 5.5 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:02
Duration: 49:41
Route: Forest Hills Park

When was the last time I went on a running date? Must be ten years. Last time I ran with Chris was the Cleveland Half Marathon, May 15, 2016 -- when it snowed.

Today was very enjoyable, and inspiring. Not only was it a great five mile run, but I had a partner to run with, we talked about training and diet and theater and everything, and I got to be a tour guide, pointing out places of interest through Forest Hill Park.

You know I love being a tour guide.

Chris told me about some upcoming events, and also running organizations which sounded appealing, including We Run This City and an after-work club I have to check out. More on these in the future, I hope.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: sunny & bright
Mood: pretty good

Haven't run more than five miles since the beginning of March. Yes, the sciatica hurts. Last night it made sitting to watch a play for two and a half hours seriously irritating. But what I am supposed to do, not run?

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Goal: 170 lbs.
Ideal: 165 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) - Us3

Thursday, July 13, 2017

You know you better run fast.

It wasn't me.
Thursday evening in July. Why not run?

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Buying a new car, a Corolla. Haven't had a Toyota in some time. Question is this, will sitting higher, and having an automatic, cut down on aggravation and stress in the muscles on my left side? No more idling, no more using a clutch. Will be interesting to find out. Just he past two days, getting to work and home have been painful.

Temperature: 78°
Climate: overcast & humid
Mood: all right

Oh, the joy of running. Running solitary and free, in warm weather, with music in my ears. I am overweight again, it is arduous. I stretched my hamstrings appropriately, but I could feel it a bit in my hip. I will shower and stretch again. We'll see. But it's time to run, and run regular.

Chris has at long last bought that house in the Heights. The park is equidistant from each of our houses. Hell, the Heights entrance is probably closer to where he is. We have made a pact. The partner running will commence.

He doesn't have a choice. He has a mortgage.

Baseline: 174 lbs.

Right back where I started. Breathe. Begin again.

What's That Lyric?
It Wasn't Me - Shaggy ft. Ricardo Ducent

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Boy Camp Bike/Run

Boys Camp is in effect for the summer. We've already done a great many things, including seeing the new Spider-Man movie, dining on chicken and waffles, and purchasing an extremely dangerous knife.

I got sick the last day in Chicago, and I have been struggling through it for the past ten days. The wife and the boy have been to the gym, the girl is engaged in conditioning for high school soccer (it's pretty intense) and I can't even get up early enough to write, let alone run.

The back exercises have gone to the wayside, and I am feeling that, too. In spite of all this, or perhaps because of it, I proposed a three-mile bike/run with the boy.

Because Boy Camp!

Distance: 3.5 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:31
Duration: 33:18
Route: Boulevard Loop

Temperature: 71°
Climate: hot & sunny
Mood: It's Boy Camp!

Not bad, stopping every mile for water, talking about all kinds of things. I encouraged him to join me in a brief jog at the end, it was very challenging for him. Says his ankles hurt, his heels hurt, his toes hurt.

Running is hard. This is a true thing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Andersonville Run

What was supposed to be a delightful run by the lake with my daughter turned out not so great. There were miscommunications, and we ended up heading out further than we should have. She is trying to get up to speed on running, in anticipation of high school soccer, but running two miles into the wind was a bit challenging. And we still had to head back.

Then it began to rain.

Distance: 4 miles
Avg. Pace: 12:26 (walk/run)
Duration: 49:47
Route: Lake Shore Drive North

However, as things have settled down, I believe it was a good call. Got to be optimistic, right?

It's been a long vacation, even after just a few days. Fun, happy, enjoyable, but surprisingly long.

Temperature: 71 degrees
Climate: overcast & cool
Mood: not great

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My heart is that much harder now.

Distance: 3.5 miles
Duration: 26:57
Avg. Pace: 7:42
Route: Chicago Riverwalk

Two nights at the Westin, the wife got a terrific rate and we are dedicated to doing extremely touristy Chicago things; yesterday we took the architecture boat tour, had deep dish and walked Navy Pier (you can totally skip Navy Pier.)

On Sunday night we saw The Neo-Futurists.

Tried to engage the girl to join me, but we have had late nights and she begged off. Perhaps tomorrow.
Temperature: 61
Climate: sunny & cool
Mood: not bad

Love the organized chaos of an urban run on a designated path. People are walking to work, also running and walking (no wheels permitted) and everyone – by and large – stay to the right and passes on the left.

A city wakes on a weekday with traffic on the streets (above) and city workers cleaning the pavement, making repairs. There are also the boat horns, that is a nice touch. I see runners in downtown Cleveland, there are more and more of them, but nothing like the scale and density of a city like this.

Cities are about density. Utopia requires people.

What’s That Lyric?
Before Today (Adam F Remix) – Everything But the Girl

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Long day's journey in our Element. Wedding in Chicagoland this weekend (I am officiating) and we have extended it into a summer vacation.

Wow. We ate a lot of junk food on this drive. I ate a sandwich ... look, I can't tell you about the sandwich. I'll just give you an instagram picture.

Distance: 1.56 miles
Avg. Pace: 5.5-6.0
Duration: 20 min.
Route: Holiday Inn treadmill

After dinner the girl wanted to work so we hit the exercise room. Got, it was uncomfortable driving here, and though it was also painful to run ... it felt much, much better.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The cares of the day seem to vanish.

Came home from theater camp today and the wife said we were all going to the gym! The entire family! That's new. I hope it occurs often. I was prepared to run the track (MapMyRun is for some reason confused entirely confused by my running on an indoor track and can provide no metrics) and the girl said she was going to run it, too.

We had our earbuds in, jazz was the order of the day me today. So we ran the 1/9 mile track for nearly nine laps and she said we would run another mile before stopping. Two miles, just checking in on laps. Running with the girl is like Fight Club ...

Distance: 2 miles
Route: Cleveland Heights Recreation Center Track
Mood: all right

What's That Lyric?
A Night In Tunisia - Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A hundred turns left to go.

Against my own better judgement, I took a hot run. Running in the blazing sun. Just a lap around the block. By this point in the evening, bicycling to the middle school seemed like too much of a hassle. Remembered the stretch my hamstrings upon concluding.

Distance: .85 miles
Route: Once around the block
Temperature: 86°
Climate: HOT
Mood: maintaining

That felt good. I need to do more of that. Running, I mean.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 170.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Erie Effusion - LIVE on WRUW
When You Were Mine * - The Church
Peppermint Pig - Cocteau Twins

Friday, June 09, 2017

A rock 'n' roll survivor with pendulum hips.

Recently the wife got a family membership for the rec center. It was a deal she struck with the boy, he's twelve now and finally of age where he is permitted to use the machines. They go every other day, it's great.

This evening I took the opportunity to try out the track which runs around the gym on the second level, and over the basketball courts.

Distance: around 3 miles
Route: Cleveland Heights Recreation Center Track

This is the first time I have run three miles since April. Felt good. Hope it feels so good this evening. I could feel it in my hip, but it wasn't pain. Not yet.

Pavement: indoor track
Mood: all right

What's That Lyric?
"L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N." * - Noah and the Whale

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 171 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Down the street.

Donald Trump has a very strange theory about exercise
by Chris Cizzilli,, 5/15/2017

When I first started running, when I was twelve or thirteen, I had a theory about exercise, which was this.

You only have so much energy.

I knew this because in my personal experience, when I would run, for example, I would get tired. I could run maybe a mile, and then I would have to walk. I knew that there were athletes who could run for miles and miles, but I was not one of them. I would not be able to do that. I did not have a body for exercise.

This is what our seventy year-old president believes, that the human body is an un-rechargeable battery, that you only have so many heartbeats before you die.

It's not a "strange" theory, Mr. Cizzilli. It's an ignorant child's theory.

Distance: 1 mile
Route: Monticello Track

The wife and I have begun a series of meditation. Meditation has never come easily to me, but then that's like saying yoga doesn't work for me because I am not limber. Punchline: That's why you do yoga.

Okay not much of a punchline but it is a reason. Meditate though it is difficult because that is how you learn to meditate. Which is simple, but hard. Just breathe. Only breathe. Realize your mind has wandered again, remind yourself that's okay, and focus on your breathing. Until the next time.

There's more to it than that. But not much more.

Temperature: 61°
Climate: overcast and cool
Mood: welcoming (I think)

Overcast beginning to the week, perfect weather for running, also what they call "sleeping weather." I have had a difficult spring for sleep, until just recently. Night sounds wake me, and keep me awake and fretful. That was until I started suing earplugs on a regular basis. I used them when the wife was pregnant (and snored much more) and they were successful then and they seem to be successful now.

Except last night, when I dreamed I was bitten by a small, pale, venomous snake. That woke me and kept me awake for a bit. But in general, I have been sleeping more fitfully.

Having said that, I have still been remarkably tired during the day. Weary at various periods. Saturday was ridiculous,  worked in the garden for twenty minutes and I was practically shaking with exhaustion. She wants me to call the doctor. I would prefer a regular eight hours rest a night, and who knows? This summer I may just get it.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 170.5 lbs. (-1.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Stretches this morning, a brief bike ride to the track and five laps. There are flareups in my hip when I sit for any length of time, and then I stand. I could feel it during my run a little, but not now. I was lagging a bit because I didn't eat anything before heading out, which is always a mistake.

What's That Lyric?
In The Street - Big Star

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Look here, Junior. Don't you be so happy.

That evening, following my last run, my hip hurt a bit. I stand more than I used to, which makes the pain not happen, if you follow me. It's like that old joke;
Patient: Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Then don't do that.
Sitting all winter, at my desk, at home writing, it hurt my tuchus. So, nu? Don't sit so much.

Distance: 1 mile
Route: Monticello Track

Best. Joke. Ever.
Then there is the eating, which has gotten a bit out of control. I have gotten out of the habit of packing lunch, which is how you control your budget, but also your portion size. The other night I remembered to cut my sandwich at a restaurant in half to take the other half home, but that takes a supreme effort of will.

But it doesn't always. When I get used to smaller portions, I get used to smaller portions. I must get back to that. Also, not eating half a bag of Doritos on a Friday night.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: glorious
Mood: better

Rode my bike to the middle school track, took five laps and home. Felt good. The exercises help. My back hurt in a very unhappy-making place for twenty-four hours, by last night it was gone.

I wonder if I will run long-distance again without pain.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 171.5 lbs. (+2.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Yes, I have seriously crashed. Back into the 170s. This is depression eating, a compensation for a lack of other things. I do not need a psychologist to tell me this, I know it while I am doing it. It feels good. And it has to stop.

Man. I haven't even had breakfast today. That's empty stomach weight - only after last night, my stomach is not yet empty.

Here's the thing, I need to get to my normal weight - 165 lbs. - for a very good reason. That is where my summer shorts fit most comfortably.

What's That Lyric?
Marquee Moon - Television

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Slow down before we fall down.

That's too much, man!
Therapist recommends a treadmill, or track. Something not as shocking as pavement. There is a decent track at the middle school, so that is where I am headed.

To keep me occupied during stretches, I have been binge-watching BoJack Horseman. God, some of this is bleak. I do not know whether that is currently a good thing or a bad thing.

Distance: 1 mile
Route: Monticello Track

Walked to the middle school. Eight minutes. The wife asked recently why I was so irritated when the kids ask for a ride to school. I know I asked for rides to middle school and my mother would oblige, I also took the RTA up the street sometimes, because then it was pretty cheap to take the bus.

My middle school was a mile from my house, which is not long, a twenty minute walk. But we live less than half a mile from our kids' school. It takes eight minutes. When they can walk, they should walk. When the weather is very poor, or they are injured, or not feeling well, or have a large package to transport, sure.

Because their walking or not walking isn't really the issue. It is that I hate driving to the middle school. I hate starting the engine of my car, and burning gasoline to go less than one half mile. Turning onto the main boulevard during rush hour, idling at the stoplight, negotiating the parking lot during drop-off. That's what really makes me unhappy.

Driving to the middle school to go to the track, like driving to the gym - driving to exercise - it just drives me a little crazy. Parking so I can have a run. It makes sense in Athens, when the roads around my in-laws do not have sidewalks and the bike path is a mile or so away, that I can justify. But not driving to the track around the corner.

My daughter got to walk to her school for three years, my son for only one. I have lived around the corner from that school for getting near a quarter century, and I only got three years worth out of it. Hrumph.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: bright, sunny, beautiful
Mood: not good

Felt okay. Going to stretch now.

What's That Lyric?
Millennium - Robbie Williams

Oh my God, the season three finale of BoJack Horseman. Jesus Christ, universe. What the fuck are you doing to me?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Here we go down a long dark road.

Today is the Cleveland Marathon. Last year it snowed. This year, my wife encouraged me to take a brief, to see how it feels.

Distance: .85 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:13
Duration: 7:49
Route: One time around the clock

Did my stretches first, which is weird, because I never stretch before I run. Took it easy, or as easy as I could. Yes, the therapist told me to wait until after I saw him next, but the wife suggested I do this. And at the moment, the only thing that hurts are my knees. Odd

Temperature: 66°
Climate: cool, overcast, humid
Mood: all right

Last night the daughter and I walked home from the middle school, because there was no room in the car (not an interesting story why) and she was walking fast. She was exhausted from a day at Cedar Point, but she was trucking, and it was hard for me to keep up.

Metaphors, please. Go ahead. Hit me with your metaphors.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 169.5 lbs. (+5.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Yes and I gained five pounds in the past month. Not a big surprise there. Another five and I will be right back where I started. Is it necessary to run to keep my weight under control? It better not be.

What's That Lyric?
Do I Have To Talk You Into It? * - Spoon

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Physical therapy continues.

More exercises added last week. No less than twenty minutes spent stretch my back in the morning, and again at night, which is the kind of time I used to spend running.

Not sure how effective it is. It feels like there is no sciatic pain at all one day, the next there is irritation. The therapist asked I wait another week to see about the resumption of running.

You would be doing five miles your first tie out, he said, as though that's not obvious. But I was hoping to do the Pride Run on June 2. We shall see about that.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Physical therapy.

Last night I took a brisk walk around the soccer field but not for as long as I had planned. The exercises continue, and at my appointment a few days ago I neglected to ask the therapist if I could resume running, or if I should.

The girl is struggling to move up to peak performance after a lag time between futsal and soccer, and recuperation following a mild concussion. She has developed shin splints (we believe) but unlike previous injuries she is confidently making plans to work through it, with bandages and proper exercises.

This is my own concern. Should I attempt to plow through my pain? Ibuprofen helps, the exercises help. Actually, just not sitting so much for so often helps. I had shin splints when I first trained for a marathon, over ten years ago. It felt like running with a broken leg, which is much how the girl describes it.

I was running fast last winter, but through this pain. It seems stupid to continue, like I am only making it worse for myself. I wanted to apply for the 2018 New York Marathon, to run it when I turned fifty. Now I am not sure that can happen.

Thursday, May 04, 2017


Visited the physical therapist yesterday. Resuming a regimen of lower back pain exercises. My slipped disc may be a contributing factor to the sciatica, something out of place touching something else. I didn't get it, but whatever.

Yesterday I did the exercises in the morning, which made my sciatica act up throughout the day. Sitting through a play was murderous, and so was the play. But I dutifully did them again last thing last night, and again first thing this morning.

I had written every morning this week, but today we slept in a little, I did my exercises. It is frustrating when physical limitations get in the way of the work.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Please hold on running until they evaluate you."

Doctor's orders.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

We're slow to acknowledge the knots in our laces.

Running once a week? Sure, whatever. Truth, the mornings have been occupied with reading plays, and that has been exciting. This weekend, however, has been nothing but suck, as I have had a headache the entire time. Hate, hate, hate headaches. Too obvious? Fucking hate them.

However, it does mean I have been resting my hip, and I suppose that is a good thing, too. The question is, does rest make a difference?

Distance: 2.40 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:56
Duration: 21:26
Route: Horizon Loop

That was unsatisfying. My head doesn't hurt, but I feel logy and slow. This run just made me feel tired and unbalanced. No idea what the future brings.

Temperature: 54°
Climate: cool
Mood: questionable.

What's That Lyric?
Heart It Races - Dr. Dog

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Run cold.

Life. Don't talk to me about life.
Now that the weather has turned warm (in Athens at least) I am aware of hydration much more, the moment I step out I feel dry. Yesterday I used gum ... I know, it's a danger. But it works so well, keeping my mouth moist, my throat comfortable, not to feel like gasping.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:11
Duration: 24:35
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

So, my back has been hurting on and off for a few months, like it did a few years back. But there is a straight line from where it hurts (left side) down my leg. Is it related to the sciatic? God, I need to see a doctor.

Last night was not a restful one, unlike the night before. A lot of tossing and turning, and my hip hurt. The run was challenging, pain all down my left side.

Jesus Christ, I sound like Marvin.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: partly cloudy, sun & light rain
Mood: all right

Running past the new (newish?) wastewater treatment center, I am reminded how much the odor of raw sewage reminds me of my tender pre-adolescent days, scrounging for pornography behind the tracks in the Westlake municipal dump.

O.U. Nostalgia Run
Birth, School, Work, Death - The Godfathers
The Beat(en) Generation * - The The
This Corrosion - The Sisters of Mercy
Hey Ladies - Beastie Boys
The Feeling Begins - Peter Gabriel

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Never gonna run around (and desert you.)

Puzzling evidence.
Saw a play last night - you can read about the play here - and my sciatic was acting up. Jesus, that makes me sound old "my sciatic was acting up." I'm a writer, I need to create some cheeky metaphors. Anyway, four hours in the car followed by a three mile run. Sitting and running, I need some physical therapy

It hurts to sit. This just sucks.

In any case, the morning was spent reading and ruminating, first in front of the fire, then out on the porch. Cardinals, fat bees, the almost overwhelming scent of honeysuckle. Now, running. It's just to perfect out.

Distance: 4 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:11
Duration: 32:47
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

Beautiful morning by the river, lots of students walking on bikes and skateboards, parents with their children. Just lovely. Nice run, felt relaxed, not going too fast, pleasant breeze kept things from feeling too hot. Could have pressed on, glad I did not overdo it yesterday.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: warm & overcast
Mood: good. when did I last say "good"?

Everyone is out right now, I am on my own with explicit instructions to head off somewhere once I have cleaned up to write somewhere, do that writing I have been writing about writing. I'd like to go to Donkey, but who knows, I may get distracted by the street fair.

O.U. Nostalgia Playlist
Never Gonna Give You Up  - Rick Astley
If Love Was a Train - Michelle Shocked
She's Got a Brand New Spell - Billy Bragg
Last Night - Traveling Wilburys
You Win Again * - Bee Gees
Down In It - Nine Inch Nails
Puzzlin' Evidence * - Talking Heads
Cuyahoga - R.E.M.
I'm The Man - Anthrax

No, srsly. Mah playlist got RickRolled. Speaking of which, you can actually read about last night's performance here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Feel it right down 2 my toes.

Well. Nothing like a four-hour car ride with a fourteen year-old to provide a rich diet of complete garbage. Chips, candy, soda, chocolate ... I feel like an inflatable tire full of goo.

Also, late night, early morning, long drive, took a nap from which I could not awaken. Still rather dizzy. But ti's beautiful warm, fragrant and overcast, and there may be coeds by the river.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:12
Duration: 24:37
Route: Hocking River Run

What did I think while suiting up? What do I gain from running. Like, what am I going to gain from this. Am I striving toward a goal, a race, to complete a strong of annual playlists, am I excited about writing this blog.

How about the run itself? A run by the river in a beautiful region of the state at the perfect time of year. Isn't that enough? Yes, it is. It certainly is.

Temperature: 79°
Climate: bright & warm
Mood: getting there

O.U. Nostalgia Playlist
Bust a Move - Young MC
Soul Free - George Michael
Can't Stop This Feeling I Got - Prince
Halo - Depeche Mode
The Queen and the Soldier - Suzanne Vega
Vanishing Girl - The Dukes of Stratosphear

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Standing upright, pounding along.

Oh, God. We saw Jonathan Richman at the Grog Shop on Wednesday. I was listening to DJBG a few weeks ago and I was the first caller and suddenly I had plans to see a ROCK MUSIC SHOW.

I mean, not really, we were seeing Jonathan Richman, which is like watching a stoned hipster beatnik guru (almost) effortless make up an entire set about parties, girls, unattainable happiness and that stuff that gets stuck to the side of the sink that you don't know what it is but it's pretty gross.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:42
Duration: 25:04
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Almost thirty years ago a friend at school has an extra ticket to see Jonathan at a club in Columbus, but he didn't have a date or a car so I got to be his date and his car. It was a wonderful experience, I went up to the singer after the show to shake his hand and tell him how much I enjoyed he performance and he looked at me like I was insane.

That was a few years before he released I, Jonathan which is one of my very favorite albums ever. It's romantic and amusing and it's got a good beat and you can run to it.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: bright & beautiful
Mood: It's magic! It's magic!

He closed with Lesbian Bar, and it was apparent that it was the only song anyone in the room knew. He'd also performed a slowed down version of Old World from The Modern Lovers, but I'm not sure anyone caught that. I'm not certain I did.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 164.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Bright day in the park, humid and adventurous. My left hip still hurts. What are you gonna do? These shoes are everything. New shoes for me, from now on, all the time. All my extra spending money, on new shoes.

Dog walkers, thank you, for cleaning up after them, and bringing them to heel.

I, Jonathan - Jonathan Richman (1992)
Parties in the U.S.A.
Tandem Jump *
You Can't Talk to the Dude
Velvet Underground *
I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar
Rooming House on Venice Beach
Grunion Run
A Higher Power *

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Running from the abyss.

Yeah, I'm listening.
Ladies and gentlemen ... 52 Playlists for 52 Years.

2017 Playlist
On Hold - The xx
Runnin' - Pharrell Williams
OneHundred - Sims
How Far I'll Go - Auli'i Cravalho
Feel It Still - Portugal. The Man
Say Goodbye - Green Day
High Ticket Attractions - The New Pornographers
Hot Thoughts - Spoon
I Give You Power - Arcade Fire ft. Mavis Staples

Distance: 3.75 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:58
Duration: 29:54
Route: Boulevard Loop

Visited Dad on my way across town. Things there were the same. Can't remember when I last visited, there was snow on the ground, I believe. That could have been, I don't know, September. Or January. Really, no idea. I do not know why I visit, but when it is convenient, when I can just hop off the highway I do. We talk. I talk, I guess. Seems like something I want to do, not that I feel compelled to do. I guess it makes me feel better somehow.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: sunny & hot
Mood: pissed off

This month I am reading a "Play a Day" and recording my thoughts on my writing blog, so you might want to check that out. Meantime, we are going to see Johnathan Richman at the Grog Shop tonight, which is a million colors of awesome.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 165 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Beautiful day, a bit breezy on the uphill, pushing me back, but I felt free. A bit liberated. Still trying to hook into the new narrative, the reading is inspirational. But things are going on. Life is moving forward. It is unimaginable how depressed we have all been feeling these past few months.

Monday, April 03, 2017

I can still hear the footsteps.

Elvis stops the show.
Running in new shoes is like running through a brand new world, on new, comfortable surfaces. Yesterday there was still a kink in my right ankle, as before. It was a mental exercise to roll through my foot properly, to not favor one leg over the other, that is how I can cause further damage.

Soon the pain was gone, all was well. The new shoes were doing their work, and all was good. Today, no pain at all.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Pavement: dry
Temperature: 52°
Climate: overcast & cool
Mood: all right

Unfortunately, last Friday I wore some old leather shoes to work which I believed had been broken in. But, uh, they hadn't been. My heels got all chewed up, there are sore spots there, not yet scabs. However, father left me (which is to say, I took from his closet) a set of shoes stretchers and I am using them to give these nice, virtually new shoes (dress brown Timberlands) a new direction.

Thanks, Dad.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 164.5 lbs. (-1.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

The girl and her cohort are obsessed with Saturday Night Live. They are desperately waiting for next weekend when new episodes resume. I have said a few things about watching the show in the early days, but have resisted sitting her down to watch any, because I don't think she would like them. Few women (only the chosen one and the humiliated one) and one person of color who was sorely miscast. Mostly brash, obnoxious, white, drug-addled men, and that's just a fact.

1977 Playlist
See No Evil - Television
Never Going Back Again - Fleetwood Mac
I Robot - Alan Parson Project
Warsaw * - Joy Division
Commando - The Ramones
Tie Your Mother Down - Queen
Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees
Less Than Zero - Elvis Costello

2017: The year Television broke. I have known about this band for decades. Why have I never listened to them?

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Don't let it get you down, good people.

For Christmas, mom got me a gift certificate for Cleveland Running Co. on Lee Road (thanks, Mom) which was very nice. Though I have only been running in the Asics Josh gave me for ten months, I have given them quite a workout, and my feet have been causing me pain of late.

And, hey. Gift certificate.

So Jim fixed me up with a pair of Brooks Neuro 2, and also a new pair of all-weather pants. Good news!

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Pavement: dry
Temperature: 54°
Climate: sunny & cool
Mood: decent

Lordy, if every day could be like today, I would run forever. Too much to do, however, so I kept it short. Bright and cool, with an amazing playlist. Only two more in the 52 Years list, and it is a bit anticlimactic. Worked up a head of steam then petered out in March. For the best, I imagine. And I probably get to complete the 2017 Playlist on another beautiful, spring day.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 166 lbs. (+2.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Karl goes under the "knife" on Friday, arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He has a torn meniscus, as I had nine years ago and is having a similar procedure. Everything goes as planned, he'll be back on his feet in no time.

That was a difficult time for me, I was turning forty and I had my last run in July 2008. It was very painful, I just kept going even though things never got any better. I was in denial for some time. Since the operation in September 2008, I have run two marathons and basically feel as good as I ever have.

Positive thoughts for Karl!

1997 Playlist
Piku - Chemical Brothers
Good Shit - Cornershop
Come - The Vampyres
Fat Ass Joint - Cujo
Star People '97 - George Michael
Parsec * - Stereolab

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A lifestyle of fun.

Somebody that I used to blow.
Last week, right after the wife left town, our boy came down with a serious allergy attack which has left him coughing ever since. He's been given several medications to alleviate the condition, we think he may have a touch of the asthma.

What I can say is that he has spent very little time out of doors or getting any exercise at all, which is only right for recovery but he's very squirrelly and has been jumping around a lot. We are overdue for a run/bike ride.

Distance: 2.35 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:02
Duration: 18:54
Route: Horizon Loop

However, my back end continues to trouble me I no long think it is a hip condition, or if it was that is no longer the issue. It pains me to sit for long periods. No idea what will come of this.

Pavement: wet
Temperature: 43°
Climate: rain & thunder
Mood: confounded

Bracing run in the rain. Cold rain, brief run. Good to get out an move my legs. Today is a personal day, the wife is home, kids still on break. We did not have the opportunity to visit the zoo on Calvin's Day, so that is where we are headed now.

A walk through the zoo in the rain. Sounds like fun.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 164 lbs. (-1.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

2012 Playlist
Madness - Muse
Somebody That I Used to Know (Mike D Remix) - Gotye ft. Kimbra
Live While We're Young - One Direction
Paddling Out - Miike Snow
Take a Walk - Passion Pit

Sunday, March 26, 2017

I'm in need of some restraint.

Last night I was up until one am with a sick child and this morning my hip hurts from the first run I had taken in almost two weeks.

But its sixty degrees out, and it's Sunday. That is when the running happens.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:39
Duration: 28:08
Route: Forest Hill Loop

A lazy Sunday morning, but not lazy enough. My mind is in such a tumult I could not locate my toe spacers and I headed out with my last running shoes. I should have turned around, I had a kink in one ankle, then the other, and in my right knee again, briefly. Took it a little easier. That's hard for me to do.

I am overdue for new shoes.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: coll & humid
Mood: anxious

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 165 lbs. (-3.0) Uh, okay?
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

1968 Playlist
Grazing In the Grass - Hugh Masekela
Trouble/Guitar Man (live) - Elvis Presley
Stray Cat Blues - The Rolling Stones
Can I Change My Mind - Tyrone David
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
White Light/White Heat - The Velvet Underground
Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
Astral Weeks - Van Morrison

Saturday, March 25, 2017

See how I've changed now? My head's so clear.

Last week I gave up. It has been a long time since I have done that, but I just stopped exercising entirely. The fact that it has been cold has a lot to do with it, but also because I have been in pain and I was tired of exacerbating the pain. In my hip, my sciatic nerve. Monday morning I woke up and my legs just felt horrible, heavy and pained.

Also, depressed. Uninspired. Without motivation of any kind. These moods come. They also go.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:15
Duration: 26:49
Route: Forest Hill Park Loop

Meanwhile, I ate everything. I ate all the things. Just stopped caring. And as I passed the ten day mark I realized I had become afraid of running.That doing so would be a bad thing, not a good thing. The pain would return, and I would be depressingly more aware of the pounds I had added, after being so judicious and careful since New Year's.

I have been through this for more than half my life. But I have never been in this kind of existential quandary about running itself. Not that I can't run, that I am prohibited from running, physically. Nor that I am depressed and that I do not want to run, emotionally.  But that I actually feel what is the point of all this running? Why do it?

Personally, I blame Trump.

Pavement: dry
Temperature: 54°
Climate: overcast & cool
Mood: trying.

Did I mention the headaches? Allergy season. It was between fifty and seventy degrees yesterday, but there was just no way.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 168 lbs. (+3.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Winded at first, just like starting over. Eased up as I went. First I felt a twinge in my right knee (did I mention I had an evening last week when my right knee was in a great deal of pain) then a twist in my left ankle. Both went away. Kept moving.

Felt good to visit the park again. Trees that fell over two weeks ago, cut up and waiting to be carted away. Wonder if I would get apprehended for taking a few of the smaller ones for the fire pit.

Did I mention I got a fire pit? The wife is out of town for the week, and there will be a few pleasant surprises around when she returns.

Did I mention my wife is out of town?

1992 Playlist
My Name Is Prince - Prince
Blood Makes Noise - Suzanne Vega
My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) - En Vogue
Freedom (Back To Reality Mix) - George Michael
The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead - XTC
Fascination (Live) - Everything But the Girl

This was the year everything happened. Started my first theater company, Bill Clinton was elected, also I was married -- for the first time.

Good Lord, but that last one describes the feelings I had about her. Sad lesson.

What was it we were thinking of?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

How long can a good thing last?

Pain comes, pain goes, but this ache in my left hip continues and I am taking it a bit easier and I don't like that. Can't tell what's going on here, my entire left leg has been affected this season, from my hip on down. Aggravation.

Distance: .85 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:44
Duration: 7:10
Route: One lap around the block.

And yet. Two days without a run, and my right thigh is doing that thing it does, the burning sensation, when I do not exercise. Can't rest, can't win.

Pavement: dry
Temperature: 23°
Climate: cold
Mood: tired

On top of that, a zipper on the cuff of my cold weather running pants busted. Admittedly, my brother gave me these as a gift well over ten years ago. Still, it was a little depressing. Used rubber bands on the cuff, plan to get new pants tomorrow. Big sigh.

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 164.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

Not feeling it today. Heading out it felt too cold, a light breeze was making my cheeks ache with the cold. Also, my hip started hurting. Also, just felt generally tired. Staying up too late, waking up early. Eff Daylight Saving Time.

The wife wonders if she should be worried. I mean, I am fine, I felt I have pushed myself too hard this winter. Fighting too hard.

1972 Playlist
Pusherman - Curtis Mayfield
Soul Survivor - The Rolling Stones

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Here I go and I don't know why.

Forest Hill Park
My left hip was in pain Tuesday night, took the day off yesterday. I should take every other day off, right? Seems a little manic, actually. At least, when I am running. When I am not, well, it feels like not running then, doesn't it?

It makes me wonder, though. When does this all stop? When do I run out? Don't mean to be maudlin, but it will happen. I have been charging lately, going faster than I really should, probably. It feels good to run fast, but limping around the rest of the day? Perhaps a bad idea.

We watched Arrival last night, so I'm feeling very fragile.

Distance: 3.66 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:24
Duration: 30:43
Route: Forest Hill Loop

And oh, Jesus. I came into the house crying. It was crazy. I was having a relaxing run, mostly relaxing, taking it slower than usual. The park was littered with huge, downed trees. The windstorm last night was tremendous, climate change is ripping the planet apart.

Last night I fell asleep wondering if a branch from the large, ancient tree in our front yard would have enough momentum to impale the roof, our ceiling and into our bed.

The movie last night ... no one would have listened to her, you know? Not in the real world. They never mention gender, but there she is, surrounded by men. There are no other female characters in authority, not in the military, the NSA, the government, the young saboteur/terrorists. All men. In this world, they would not have listened to her. This President would have blown the thing up.

My hip still hurts. Is it just overuse, is it arthritic? We're not an arthritic family. A doctor would say it's because I run. If I asked, how do I make the pain go away? They would say stop, running. I lost part of my meniscus nine years ago. Ran two marathons since. You get one body, but also only one life.

Turning into the drive, I didn't look up, and thought, what would have happened had my wife been backing out, had struck me with her car, how she would have screamed, if she backed over my leg, and before I knew it was I was at the door, gripping my thigh. And I started to bawl.

We were moving steadily towards progress. Now we are backing away as fast as we can.

Pavement: dry
Temperature: 39°
Climate: cool
Mood: so, uhm, yeah

Baseline: 174 lbs.
Today: 165 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Ideal: 160 lbs.

1988 Playlist
Dancing Barefoot - Patti Smith
Bring Me Some Water - Melissa Etheridge
Kinda I Want To (demo) - Nine Inch Nails
Drug (It's Just a State of Mind) [Daniel Abraham Mix] - Duran Duran
Chains of Love - Erasure
Mary, Mary - Run-D.M.C.
She's Got a Brand New Spell - Billy Bragg
We're seeing Patti Smith downtown on Sunday night. Really looking forward to that.