Rain Madness

Bleh. Yesterday – rain was getting me down. Laid down about 1 to read a bit and let the baby nap. Boy conspired to keep me awake. Sun came out.

Cleaned on the basement/garage a bit.

Wife got home from weekly sanity time and the gym. Looked at me and told me to go run. I did.

Great run. Cool temperatures. Moon rising over the river, breeze blowing, everything smelled clean. Five good miles.

I am feeling good for next Sunday.

Podcast #3 – Howl, by Allen Ginsberg

Podcast #3.

Disclaimer: Rated “R” – very explicit language, imagery, and content.

NPR, way back a week ago Friday (7 Oct), let drop that it was 50 years ago that “Howl” was first read by Allen Ginsberg. Me, being a huge Mike Meyers fan, said “Huh. I’ve never read/heard the poem in its entirety.”

So I skedaddled down to the library, paid my fines, and skedaddled home with a big ragged volume of Ginsberg’s collected works.

For the record, the actual reading went like this:

part 1. Really kind of don’t get it. kind of wonder if I really want to post it. Decide to go ahead for historical value, given I record a


Last bits.

The raw files sat on my desktop for a couple of days. Edited it tonight.

Here’s what I used:

Amadeus II – Picked it up when I got my iBook so I could record some books for the Boy (he was still the Baby then) before I went overseas for the war. Works great. Not extremely fancy, but it works like a champ. And it supports Ogg Vorbis, whatever the heck that is. I usually just record straight to MP3.

Garage Band – I’ll just go ahead here and say how cool is this bit of software. Works like a champ. I’ve barely scratched the surface. I also won’t dwell on exactly how long it took me to figure out that I could just drag the clips into the window to add them as tracks. Uh, no. We won’t dwell on that.

iTunes – Garage Band exports to iTunes. iTunes exports to MP3. Amadeus downsamples to make the file manageable.

Hardware – old iBook G3 800 MHz. Cheap ($5) microphone from the Navy Exchange. Griffin iMic. Oh, and I turned off the dehumidifier.

Apologies for podcast 2 – listened to it, and it’s bleh. I’m blaming doing too many things at once on the computer – bogging down bandwidth and processing. ODEO runs a web-based recording studio. My guess is that between getting new podcasts off the web, moving my music library to a backup drive, e-mail, and trying to record, something got lost. But, it’s a datapoint for the developers. The recording service is still in Beta.

Oh, and if anyone wants to sponsor a T1 line and a new PowerBook, feel free.


Is a dirty word; it used to be a painted bird, baby.

No, peace is a wonderful thing. Peace is what I found yesterday. While running, of all things. Cranked out a good 3.5 miles over lunch. Didn’t feel sore. Didn’t feel winded. Didn’t feel nothing but peace.

Saw the folks walking to the galley. I ran.

Saw the cars driving by, windows sealed against the pending rain and fall chill. I ran.

Saw the trees, holding on to green leaves thanks to unseasonable warmth and rain. I ran.

Saw great V’s of geese headed south breaking through the bellies of clouds fat with rain. I ran.

Nothing fancy today. No sprints. No great distance. Nothing but redjazz.com’s podcast.
Continue reading Peace

Thursday Triumph / Sunday Suckage

First, a public apology: CT RBF, I am sooo sorry that I didn’t make it up to Hartford to lend moral support Saturday Morning. But I think y’all understand. In any case, huge congratulations to Susan, Dianna, April Anne, Sarah, Michelle, and anyone I’m forgetting. What a crappy day. What a huge inspiration.

After the 19 miles of triumph last weekend, life caught up with me, and I didn’t get around to running until Thursday afternoon. Melissa called at the office, said “Hey, you’re staying home on Columbus day, right?” Yep (one of the perks of having clients in government is their schedule). “Well, the office wants me to make a teleconference in Hartford. Why don’t you work late tonight, or go for a run or something? I’ll get TV dinners for the boys”. I hung up before she could change your mind.

Parked at the soccer field on Jamestown, and remixed my loop of the north end of the island. Cut through the reservoir to North Main Street, headed up the hill, out to the north end of the island. Decided to loop back over the hill to north main – whatever. Good run. 8 miles, 65 minutes. Didn’t feel terribly winded afterwards, either. Was feeling really happy in advance of Saturday’s long run.

Went to bed early (10 or so) Friday night. Alarm goes off at 4AM, and I hear rain pouring like a showerhead outside of the bedroom window. Hmm. Snooze until 5. Heavy rain again. 6 – heavy rain. 7:30, the boy bumps into the bed, and it’s official – I’m blowing off the 20 until Sunday. Play with the boys, get new tires, clean the basement since it’s almost winter, and I’m going to be cooped up down there for the next six months or so. Check the belt on the rollers – good to go. Check the treadmill – may have to call for a new belt.

Sunday morning – 5AM – raining. 6 AM raining, but the opportunity to run without impacting the day’s schedule is about to go over the hill if I don’t hit the road. So I strap on the shoes, pull on a long sleeved shirt! for the first time of the fall, and hit the wet roads.

The run’s crummy, I didn’t hyperhydrate the night before. Bleh. I made it to downtown Mystic, took a big drink from the water fountain near the river, and headed back. 10 miles, a long time, and I head back wet and grumpy. Liz kicked my butt as far as coming close to goals goes. Here’s praying for sunshine for Mystic Places. Someone remind me to buy about 8 pounds of Swedish Fish.

I’d feel worse about the run, but it’s the two week taper, baby. My two little disease vectors had brought back a cough/cold, and I think I caught a little bit of it. I was exhausted Saturday and Sunday despite getting near 8 hours each night, so likely I was fighting something off. Running in the rain probably didn’t help much. Made Family Swim at the Y after naps Sunday afternoon. Packed, but we got to splash. Jake swims decently well for a 5 year old – no actual strokes, but he keeps his head above water and tries to swim underwater (kind of funny, since you see a butt sticking out of the water while he kicks). Library, too. ‘Cept 10 minutes before it closed. We sprinted to the children’s section, grabbed two books that may have been dinosaur books, and one book on birds.

Today is official rest day. Having been completely slack about sticking to the schedule for the last month, I am going to religiously follow the two taper weeks. Early to bed and all that stuff. Missy, as mentioned, is off at work today. Boys and I are sitting in a kitchen which is rapidly approaching disaster area status, despite my at least thinking about keeping it clean. Guess there’s actual work involved. Jake’s playing; running commentary about fire trucks. Guess something happened that’s good for the world, ’cause he just mentioned there’s “New Bad Guys and New Bad Girls” showing up. Guess that’s progress – I remember only talking about “bad guys” when I was playing.

OK, that was an official ramble. Off to the aquarium for pumpkin painting. Congratulations to all of the CT RBF again.

Run Long

Made the long run this weekend.

Well, kind of. But more on that later.

Drill weekend. Turns out we’ve got a new guy in the unit who’s training for the Marine Corps Marathon. He’s one of “them” – the fast guys, the guys who are used to running long. But, being as he’s in from Boston for drill weekend, he was happy to let me tag along with him for the weekend. Me, in true “being smart made me fat” form tags along.

Here’s the kicker – this was PRT (Physical Readiness Test) weekend. Nothing serious – pushups, situps, a brief run, and the famous verification that we sailors aren’t to fat to touch our toes, also known as the “sit and reach”. Pushups and situps I kind of slacked on – did enough to get the grade just higher than passing.

But for the run, dunno – something clicked. I started, trying not to run off the front of the pack, and for about the first 100 yards I was successful. But, I kept feeling like I was going too slow, so I started passing a couple of guys to run at what I felt was a comfortable pace. Next thing I know, I’m off the front.

Stayed off the front for a while, too. Everything felt strong and smooth, I didn’t feel like I was going into the “red.” High green maybe a little yellow, but definately not “red”. I was extremely conscious that I had another whole bunch of miles to run after the PRT, and I didn’t want to go ahead and blow up on the 1.5 miles. At the same time, every time I kept hearing footfalls behind me, I semi-consciously kicked it up a notch. There have been precious few times I’ve ever been in the lead on a race, and I wasn’t about to lose it without at least making the other guy work for the lead.

At the turn around, I was well ahead of the next guy. Plus, the observer said “Woah, you’re flying…” as I ran by. I took this as a sign that I was closer to the “red” than I’d anticipated, so I consciously let up on the way back.

Still took the other guy halfway back to the start/finish line to catch me. We run together for a while. He says “Hey, are you training for something?” Yeah, I told him, Mystic Places and/or New York. Asked him if he was training – he’s going to do the Hartford Half next week. (Speaking of which, I will discuss with the wife and the boys and I may be there for the finish). I tell him I’ve got another long run to do as soon as we’re finished, and he calls me crazy. I say yeah, tell him to go for the finish, and we’re done.

Bop across the finish about 15 seconds or so after the guy, breathing a little hard, but not exhausted. As I approach, the timer’s counting “fifty-seven, fifty-eight, fifty-nine, Ten Minutes”. Crap, I think, trying to do the math in my head. Wow – that’s sub seven minute miles. Today, I googled my last PRT results on the site – 10:30 back in April. Started really catching my breath, math getting better – hey, that’s an average of 6:40/mile for the 1.5. Googled that too – 6:41 the only time I tried it on the track.

I’m feeling better about this running thing.

The run after the run – Well, that’s another story. It’s a good story – Mack and I head out, running south from the base along the Thames. Past the Coast Guard and Conn College sailing teams, under the IH-95 bridge (comment from one former Groton-based submariner to another “That bridge always looked better heading north than heading south”). Past Paul’s Pasta, which is probably responsible for a pound or two that I still need to lose. Past Electric Boat, birthplace of the finest submarines known to man, and a prime example of the 20th century industrial juggernaut that the US used to be. Past Pfizer, birthplace to a billion blue pills, and a prime example of the marketing and research juggernaut the US will be for the 21st century. Down to the turn at Avery point, with the beautiful, gleaming white New London Harbor Light to the left. Ahead, the beautiful Ledge Light offshore. To the right – The University of Connecticut at Avery Point.

Turned left to continue shadowing the shore, kind of. Good stuff. Decided to make it a loop rather than a out-and-back. Which ends up being a mistake.

Actually, the mistake was two-fold. First, running with only the stopwatch on the groovy new iPod Nano, and with a faster runner, I was FLYING. Felt great until about mile 10. Then we stopped for a gatorade. Which leads us to mistake number two – I waited until mile 10 to stop for a gatorade.

The 7+ miles back to base were not so good. Managed three or four more decent miles, until we hit a really hilly road through base housing. Walked for about a mile, catching my breath, etc. Hit the highest point on the run, and started running again, about 50/50 with the walking, stopping to walk when my calves cramped up.

So I ended up with only 19 miles for the day, short of my 20 mile goal. The whole effort – Two hours and 40 minutes. Add 7 more 10 minute miles and I’m in at 3:50.

Which is why I’m setting pace bands for 4 hours.

Last week’s rant – exceptionally cathartic. Having gotten all of that crap off of my chest seems to have helped.

But I’m exceptionally happy overall. I now know that I can do 26.2, assuming I can hydrate and stick to a reasonable pace. The soreness hasn’t been so bad – my legs really feel like running tomorrow. Schedule is for 15 on Saturday, but if I feel good, I might try 20 again. At a reasonable pace…