Brilliant, Blood, and back on the road

Saturday – Actually ran during daylight hours. I did the same loop I did Saturday night, ‘cept in the other direction. Man, was that tough. If I run counterclockwise like I did Friday night, there’s two terribly steep hills and a long downhill. Clockwise like I ran on Saturday, there’s a long not so false flat that just goes on and on and on…

But the weekend was brilliant. Chilly in the evenings, sunny during the day. Today was blood drive at the local firehouse, and as i haven’t donated in a while, I felt compelled. So, before church, it was off to get stuck. I was the only donor there for an entire hour. Anyway, it’s done.

This evening, Jake and i headed down to the sound and fished for a while. Good times, no bites, but it was exceedingly pleasant to sit and watch the sun set into the sound. After getting home, I felt adequately recovered enough to hit the road. Don’t worry – I did just over 2 miles at about 10 minutes/mile, with a big walk in the middle.

Skin of my teeth

Let me confess: I pretty much intended to punt tonight. I snuggled down in the high thread count sheets early last night, with the AC below where it responsibly should have been, and didn’t plan on waking up to run prior to my meeting, even though the meeting was at a very gentlemanly hour.

And I’d pretty much accepted that I’d get in, get home, and go to bed.

But then, I got delayed leaving BWI (For those keeping score, the airlines batted a whopping 0.333 for on-time departures for me this week). The ride in to BDL was a riot – we were skirting a line of thunderstorms to our south that should have been in the midwest – a full 120 degrees of the sky was big anvils being lit by lightning, and we got a bit of a rollercoaster.

So, when I rolled into Mystic about 11 PM, went and kissed everyone while they slept, I said “Why not?”, and strapped on the sneakers.

Good decision. I did one of the loops that were critical in proving to myself I was actually a runner back when I picked this up again in 2004. Nothing epic – just a 4-ish mile loop around the neighborhood. The first three were great. I stopped the Nike+, and walked for about a half-mile (to avoid running up Cow Hill, which is wicked steep), and then ran the last mile to the house.

And, man, if the last mile didn’t feel better than the first three. I powered up the last little bit of the hill, and the classic strains of Bonnie Tyler broke in with our modern Iliad:

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need

(Hey, Bonnie – I’m right here. Though taken.)

And, yeah, I imagined myself as Kevin Bacon, strained to see if I could make a mullet pop out of the back of my skull, and I powered back to the house.



And fresh from the fight that is modern air travel.

Now – off to bed. The boys are due to wake me up by flinging themselves onto our bed in 7 hours.

(PS – what I want is for some male icon of modern alt-pop to cover “I Need a Hero” much like Lyle Lovette and the Blues Brothers covered Tammy Wynette’s classic “Stand By Your Man”. Not sure why, but I think it could be cool.)

I serve the Fairy Queen

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;

Man, I think I need to hit the trails when I get back east.

I almost, almost punted this morning. The flight last night got in about 90 minutes late, so I left the airport well after midnight, got to the hotel after 1, and collapsed into bed about 1:45, taking into account the need to despin.

Then, the fire alarm goes off at 3. Yep, I kid you not – after not sleeping well the night before, I had taken about 15 seconds to drop straight into deep sleep once my head hit the pillow.

So, we’re standing outside waiting for the fire truck to arrive. Bunches of disoriented folks in various states of PJs or crumpled clothes pulled off of the floor. After a half hour or so, the night manager goes and calls them again, and, no lie, the fire truck got into a wreck on the way over. So, they’re having to sortie one from a neighboring fire district, which arrives after we’ve all been standing around for a half-hour or so.

So, I hit the rack at 3:45, needing to wake up about 0700 to actually start working. No way was I going to get up at 6 to get in a run.

Today at work – absolutely great. F’n phenomenal – good results and loads of new opportunities. Got back to the hotel, and instead of collapsing, went to do today’s three in the office park. Was doing pretty well until I rolled my ankle at about mile two.

Probably the greatest lesson I’ve learned in Augustathon is when to say “Enough”. I walked the last mile, and will be able to run again tomorrow morning.

Had a chat with someone. You may have seen part of it earlier. Anyway, he asked what my race plans were for the rest of the year. Here goes:

  • Probably do the last Terramuggus next week, even though it WILL suck, as I haven’t been swimming or riding. There’s a better than even chance this will get dropped, as next week will be killer at the office
  • New Haven. My goal there is to run in the same vicinity of April Anne as long as I can until she drops me, and then try to hold on to beat Jon. ‘Cause if I don’t, there won’t be any more ChaBaso bread when I finish
  • I’ll probably do another half on a not-to-interfere with real life basis
  • November/December will be the start of Marathon training for the OKC Marathon, and a chance to run with my baby brother
  • A guy at church has hatched an idea in my head of a 20 mile race they do on the Vineyard in February. This has the intriguing qualities of: a) being somewhere I’ve been looking for an excuse to go; b) being potentially positioned well as a marathon tune-up race in about enough time to get my stamina safely up to 20 miles, and enough in advance of OKC to let me get some serious training in after this long run; and c) an excuse to say ‘the Vineyard’ and sound like I belong up here
  • And my long-term goal is the Oklahoma City Marathon on 29 April, 2008. I’m committed, too, as I’ve just redeemed my first set of frequent flier miles ever for the ticket to the race. That, and my little bro, the barrister, has a couple of pounds to lose (but don’t we all).

So that’s it in a nutshell. Five more days and this is a habit. Then I start working on getting up consistiently at 0500, on purpose.

Reasons to love running for 8/15/2007

Man, I woke up this morning after a terrible night’s sleep. Slipped on the sneaks, headed outside, and suddenly all was good with the world. The runner’s high didn’t wear off until about 5, when I was on my way to the airport.

Chalk up downtown Columbus, Ohio, as an underrated running destination.

One more day and I’m over the hump for Augustathon.

Great three

I’m beginning to love the following MO:

– Leave the office a bit after lunch.
– Stop on Jamestown, quick run, and a quick soak in the ocean
– Head to the airport with hair somewhat salty. Strangely, swimming in the ocean up here is pretty odor-nullifying, as the water’s clean and cold. I do hit the anti-perspirant stick after I dry off.

14 days down. I will confess that I walked the first K today, but it was a flat K – I ran most of the hills.

And I feel GREAT tonite.

Counterproductive way to fight doping

So, it looks like Eric Zabel, the German sprinter, admitted to doping back in 1996. As a result, he’s being prevented from racing in the World Road Race championships this year.

While I’m a fierce believer that the current regime of testing is bearing fruit, and that the zero tolerance on folks popping positive now is the way to go, I think that for the sake of getting pro cycling back on solid ground there should be an amnesty program offered for folks who confess to having doped in the past.

While Zabel’s admission brings into question his past accomplishments, it also makes his third in this year’s Tour de France green jersey (Sprinters) competition that much more impressive, as he accomplished it without dope. Folks like Zabel and David Millar, who have raced both dirty and clean, should be used as ambassadors for clean sport.

There is a small issue of fairness – Millar served a two year suspension, whereas Zabel will likely not have to pay for his cheating (he’s in his 30’s, has good palmares, and if suspended has incentive to retire) – but that’s water under the bridge. As much as we’d like, it’s impossible to ever correctly repay past wrong. So, yes, Zabel did cheat, but did so under a different set of ethics than are in place today. As long as he’s clean today, and committed to remaining clean, and helping others to remain clean, he should be allowed to ride.

Why I use a Mac when possible

Overheard while on the phone ordering some stuff for work from a certain computer company based in Round Rock, Texas: “Man, it’s going to be one of those days with my computer…”

Yep, that’s why I use a Mac and keep rooting for Linux.