Thursday, May 31, 2018

There's no hurry for you or for me.

The first of Hector
(Troilus & Cressida opens June 15)
Today my son completes seventh grade. Anyone who enjoyed seventh grade is an asshole.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Pace: 8:28
Route: Forest Hill Run
Temperature: 74°
Climate: over cast & hot
Mood: all right

Hot days, long nights. Exhaustion is something I need to cope with. That and mental torpor. For three hours every night I am animated and alert, and that's about it. Thank heavens for that, anyway.

Stretches: yes

"No Way Out" by Starship is an MOR standard of the mid-1980s, and as such deals with mature male subjects with a serious tone which to modern ear sounds like synthesized earnestness warbled by a woman. That was an era marked by the transition from maudlin Boomer creamy-pudding rock of the 1970s to the as-yet-unnamed "Generation X," devil-may-care dance music.

That song, which describes the feeling you get after cheating on your partner but realizing you are too chicken-shit to actually be honest after or leave, was released just as I was learning what those feelings were myself. Like everything else the Baby Boomers have ever done or said, it was permission for irresponsible and selfish behavior.

Thanks for the lesson, guys!

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 163 lbs. (-0.5)
Goal: 160 lbs.

First time doing stretches in well over a week, and I can tell. Hope doing them today helps quell the pain. Meantime, I still need to manage my intake. Packing lunch is a necessity.

What's That Lyric?
It's Gonna Get Better * - Genesis

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Hocking River Partner Run

This is a weekend I have wanted or needed for some time. Relaxation, no responsibilities. Beautiful, warm weather. Time with family.

Then there are the moments I walk into the garage to grab a beer and suddenly and without warning, I begin to cry.

Distance: 3 miles, mostly running
Route: Hocking River Bike Path
Temperature: 86•
Climate: hot!
Mood: concerned

The girl and I ran the bike path, she has issues with breathing. A touch of asthma, which doesn't prevent her from playing soccer and futsal or running, but it does make it challenging. Recently a physical therapist suggested it was actually a breathing spasm which can bring her up short, and taught her breathing exercises to carry her through. But it's still not easy. It's her unstoppable determination that keeps her going.

So we ran, walked a little. She said her legs were numb, her face. It was also very hot, that might also have had an effect.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

I need you to hurry up now.

First run since the big run. I have been pretty much eating everything I want for the past week, that has to stop. Anyway, it's been a long time since I have had a good weather run by the river.

Distance: 3 miles
Route: Hocking River Bike Path
Temperature: 76•
Climate: warm!
Mood: good

Dusk run, like summer. Rehearsals keep me up late, the rest of the family gets me up early. Afternoons, I nap. Perhaps, once classes are through for everyone there may be more time for a run in the mornings.

Troilus & Cressida Playlist
Boyz - M.I.A.
Technologic - Daft Punk
Tell Her Tonight - Franz Ferdinand
Yesterday Never Tomorrows * - The Stills
Breakeven - The Script
Black * - The Shroud
Stronger - Kanye West

Playlist for outdoor Shakespeare.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

2018 Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon

This guy has kept me running, and I am grateful.
I have done unwise things before big races before. Six years ago, I took the kids to Bearden's for dinner the night before running the Cleveland Marathon. Cheeseburgers and onion rings, not exactly pasta. But life is sweet and anyway, I nailed the run.

Yesterday, I escorted the middle school orchestra to Cedar Point for the annual Music In The Parks competition. My son plays bass. The good news is that all groups -- the orchestra, chamber orchestra and band -- had superiors ratings and took first place in their division. They all received a trophy for overall excellence!

The band news is that after a full day in the park I was in bed shortly before midnight. Four hours of sleep. And though there was no snow, it was a cool, slightly damp day. Perfect temperature, but my feet were wet. My feet were wet yesterday. I want dry feet every day from now until I die.

Official Time: 2:01:37.01
Avg. Pace: 9:17

Place Men 45-49: 81

Personal Best Half: 01:41:21 (Cleveland 2016)

Somewhere during the race I told Chris that I had already forgotten everything that had happened that morning, and would tomorrow have forgotten everything yet to come. It was a strange thing to realize, but it is mostly true. Unlike previous races in which I work very hard to recall details to set down for memory, I was just running my way through this one -- making jokes, for sure -- but just kind of dazed.

Four hours of sleep will do that to a person. So will pain.

The fact is, I ended this race feeling depressed. I had pain shooting down not one but both buttocks. I could feel it in my spine. I imagined that if I had attempted the full 26.2 I would develop serious back pain. Also, my right knee started to get sore. I felt like a mess.

We tried to keep up with the two hour group, we weren't looking to achieve greatness, but it was impossible. A 9:17 pace is actually a good average for what Chris and I had been making through our training.

I have to admit, I didn't train very well, in general. But then, what I was really trying to do was be able to run long distances and still have a daily life devoid of limping. In that I have been successful.

I keep telling myself I am just exhausted. Allie gave me a suggestion for a chiropractor and I must seek that out. I need to do something.

This happened ten years ago, as I was about to turn forty. My knee blew up and I wondered if I would ever run again. I had an operation, and I have been running fine ever since. Then I fucked up my back a little over three years ago, and the condition is getting worse.

I love running. Running has made getting older bearable. It is a source of pride and achievement, and it makes me feel so good. I am afraid of ever giving it up.

Friday, May 18, 2018

I'm not a fugitive on the run.

For some people, tapering before a big race means not running for five days. (smh)

It's been a week. Late nights in rehearsal, early mornings for all kinds of reasons. Not much time in or around the home, hard to get a run in.

Also, what to listen to? Anyway, not your problem.

Distance: 3.5 miles
Pace: 8:50
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 61°
Climate: perfect
Mood: good

Old school hip-hop. That's what you listen to.

Stretches: yes

My knee hurt a little, that was odd. Otherwise, just a lovely spring day. Maybe I'll run tomorrow, maybe not. Sunday's forecast is a high of 62° and partly cloudy, which is ideal, and it's much better than snow.

Got to pick up my race packet today. Wish me luck.

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 163.5 lbs. (+1.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos - Public Enemy

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Feeling like a boss.

Good old Judas.
Ladies and gentlemen ... 54 Playlists for 54 Years (1965-2018)

2018 Playlist
This Is America - Childish Gambino
5 Out of 6 - Dessa
Everybody's Coming To My House - David Byrne
Heaven On Their Minds - Brandon Victor Dixon & Company
Severed - The Decemberists
Everybody Wants To Be Famous - Superorganism
Pray For Me - Kendrick Lamar ft. The Weeknd
Girlfriend - Anderson East
Make Me Feel - Janelle Monae
9 to 5 - Merrill Garbus

In the past, I have sometimes been quite manic about how soon I could complete my annual playlist runs. It's usually some time in April. In the year 2012 I was training for a marathon and finished in early March.

They get longer every year, of course. That year I was trying to complete only 45 playlists. Also, this year I was running long distances with Chris on Sundays, without listening to music. And that was just fine, thank you. That's been very good, in fact.

The most significant thing about this year's playlist is that every single song on it was released since January 1, 2018. And they're really good songs, too. And not a short list, either.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Cain Park Loop
Temperature: 63°
Climate: overcast & cool - perfect
Mood: angsty

Thing is, the year runs are like, part of an agenda. Now I don't know what the hell to listen to.

Stretches: yes

Wanted to get out on Friday morning, but it was in the mid-40s. Really, no more cold runs. Today was just great, a light, brisk run before the hot weather sets in for a while.

God, that was a fine playlist. So that part of the year is going well. Yay, popular music.

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 162.5 lbs (-0-)
Goal: 160 lbs.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Half Marathon Training Week Eleven

No long run last week. I had thought today would be another less-than-ideal day. Rain was scheduled, mid-fifties.

Well, mid-fifties it was, but also beautiful, sunny skies. We went into the south side of the city, and picked up the Towpath, which we ran into Valley View.

Time was short, I have a full schedule today. But we put in some good miles, and had a great run.

The race is next week. Wish us luck!

Distance: 9.5
Duration: 1:30:00
Pace: 9:28
Route: Towpath Trail
Temperature: 56°
Climate: breezy and nice
Mood: good

Stretches: yes

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 162.5 lbs. (-0-)
Goal: 160 lbs.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

As the rosebuds know to bloom in early May.

Deposition, 1998.
Two runs in two days? Why not. Trying to reach the end of the annual playlists. One more to go! There has already been a lot of great songs released this year, and that is something worth celebrating.

Rehearsal makes me focused, but also tired. Could barely sit up this morning.

1998 Playlist
Teardrop - Massive Attack
As - George Michael & Mary J. Blige
Torch - Sister Soleil
Percolations * - Stereolab
Just a Test - Beastie Boys
Prime Audio Soup - Meat Beat Manifesto
To Ulrike M. (Zero 7 Mix) - Doris Days

Blessed, blessed sun. Blessed day. Perfect run. Brisk, with light pain, but fast and extremely enjoyable. Last May I ran only twice. Once around the block, once for a mile.

Distance: 3.2 5miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 66°
Climate: glorious
Mood: determined

Stretches: yes

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 162.5 lbs. (-1.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Pick up your feet.

Scenes Unseen: The Summer of '78
New York Times, 4/27/2018
Rehearsals begin, time collapses. This is also the best time, when my focus is most acute, as I have little time for self-analyzing bullshit.

1978 Playlist
Driver's Seat - Sniff N' The Tears
Uncontrollable Urge - Devo
Let The Good Times Roll - The Cars
Masoko Tanga - The Police
Boogie Oogie Oogie - A Taste of Honey
Instant Tunes - XTC
Tommy Gun * - The Clash
Down In The Tube Station At Midnight - The Jam

Beautiful, brisk run. Lousy year, amazing year in music.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 69°
Climate: blue skies, sunny & warm!
Mood: good

Stretches: yes

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 163.5 lbs. (-3.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.


Sunday, May 06, 2018

To a Saturday night or a Sunday morning.

Rehearsals for Troilus & Cressida begin tonight. Anxiety and dread have melt into apprehension and excitement! I am looking forward to this! God, I have felt such a weight of doubt and self-judgement for months, it seems. I carry so much psychic responsibility that is not even there.

I'm just not that important. Which is exactly what I wanted.

2013 Playlist (No apologies.)
Right Action - Franz Ferdinand
Diane Young - Vampire Weekend
Pompeii - Bastille
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke ft. T.I. & Pharrell
Bezerk - Eminem
The Wire - HAIM
Harlem - New Politics
Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz
Grace for Saints and Ramblers - Iron & Wine

DJ Khaled could learn a thing from 2 Chainz.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 59•
Climate: overcast & cool
Mood: looking forward

Long long planned for today, but Chris has been side-lined by a shin injury. I recommended pressure and rest (so did his girlfriend) because I can't imagine trying to make eleven miles on shin splints. Anyway, so I am on my own today, a short run ... with rehearsals there is little time to make it up, but we'll see what we can manage in the mornings.

Stretches: yes

Glorious morning, brisk run. Now I will stain the deck (that is not a metaphor.)

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 166.5 lbs. (+3.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.

Ok. We ate a lot of the book release party last night.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Sending chunky rhythms right down your block.

Thank you, Ms. O'Riordan.
Yesterday my legs were heavy and sore. I haven't felt like that in a long time. It didn't last, but it was surprising, and made starting the day less than enjoyable. Today was much better. So many end-of-year events and other business, it's hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour. None of us are getting enough sleep.

Now it's warm.

1993 Playlist
A New England - Kirsty MacColl
Rebirth of Slick - Digable Planets
Informer - Snow
Whoomp! (There It Is) - Tag Team
Big Time Sensuality - Bjork
All Apologies - Nirvana
Dreams - The Cranberries

O God! I have long fantasied about such a morning as this! Balmy, but overcast. Sweating, yes, but striding, wearing many fewer clothes, lighter. Breathing warm air, it feels so good. The running continues.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 71•
Climate: warm & overcast
Mood: positive

Stretches: yes

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 163.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Goal: 160 lbs.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

A young man's dream.

Big night last night, we took in a ballgame. The boy played the anthem along with his middle schools orchestra on the field, which was very cool, and then we watched the team lose. Cavs won, however. We were all up past eleven on a school night, it felt like two AM.

This morning I have a sleep-deprived, change-of-season induced headache. Ah, well. We muster.

1973 Playlist
Panic In Detroit - David Bowie
Mother of Pearl - Roxy Music
The Ballroom Blitz - The Sweet
The Jean Genie - David Bowie
Rock & Roll Disgrace - The Sweet
The Ocean - Led Zeppelin

Hard start. No longer headachy, but the after-effect, the weariness. But I kept at it and finished clean, feeling much better. Thirsty! Very thirsty. Need to bring water, even for a short run like this.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 69°
Climate: warm!
Mood: good

Stretches: yes

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 164 lbs. (+1.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.

Below 165 for a week. This is good. Maintain.