Friday, December 16, 2005

Five Random Interesting Things

So, I’ve been tagged from the peanut gallery. It took me this long to respond because I was right in the middle of moving into our house (more about the total chaos that reigns in our domicile in my next post). The rules are list five interesting/unusual things about you that nobody knows, then tag five more bloggers.

1. I never read the same novel more than once (unlike pnut who reads “Atlas Shrugged” every year). It’s not that I don’t appreciate great literature enough to re-read novels (and “Atlas Shrugged” would be on my short list of novels worth re-reading); it’s just that there is so much out there that I haven’t read that it's hard for me to justify spending my limited free time re-reading novels. Reading a great book usually leads me to other great books.

2. In general, I do not watch TV, but I have seen every episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” EXCEPT for the very last one. My kids and I really enjoyed following the series. The show had some great writers. Good combination of humor and horror. We enjoyed it so much that we didn’t want it to end. So we never watched the final episode. AND DON’T ANY OF YOU DARE SPOIL IT FOR US. We might finally watch it this holiday season. Grrr. Argh.

3. The Rubik’s Cube came out when I was in college. Before there were any published books on how to solve the cube, I spent an entire Spring Break solving and analyzing the cube. Within the week I was able to solve a scrambled cube within about 2 minutes. I could also manipulate it into interesting patterns. No big surprise: I was a mathematics major.

4. I hate brussel sprouts. I eat a healthy diet – fruits, vegetables, whole grains. I love broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, okra, lima beans, ... But I hate brussel sprouts.

5. The first album I ever bought was The Beatles, Yesterday ... and Today. I was a great fan of the fab four. I have every original Beatles album released in the U.S., as well as the original Parlophone releases from Great Britain. (I learned to play many guitar licks off the albums.) I especially identified with John Lennon. His post-Beatles political activism had great influence on me. His death 25 years ago was such a great loss to the world. We could use more people like John pointing out injustice and oppression wherever it occurs. He and I share the same birthday – October 9th.

OK, so now that I finally got this posted I find several people I would have tagged have already been tagged. I don't think these people have yet, though, so...

Down south: runninturnip

Someone we haven't heard from in a while: Lara

Someone local: The Running Red Sox Fan

...and now I'll have to go find a couple more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Things Are Getting Crazy With The Big Move

Here's the rundown on my running of late...

After taking Monday off, on Tuesday I did intervals on a treadmill. Total was 8 miles. Wednesday was an easy 4 miles, and then Thursday I did a tempo run -- 9 miles.

Friday was supposed to be an easy day. I had a 12:15 flight to Kansas City and figured I could easily get a 4 miler in. Weather made other plans for me. I woke up to snow. It snowed all the way to work. I was snowing when I left work to head for the airport. By the time I reached the airport, it had turned to rain. Got to the ticket counter (breathless because I thought I was running extremely late) only to find the flight had been delayed 3 hours.

I was sitting in the lounge by the gate working on my laptop when they made an announcement about another flight being delayed until they could plow the runways again. I turned around and saw nothing by white. Within minutes they had closed the airport. The inbound plane that was to take us to Kansas City was diverted to Albany. The "good news" was that they expected the storm to clear soon. Eventually it did and at 5:00pm they reopened the airport. Waited for the flight from Albany to arrive. We finally left at almost 8:00 pm -- a 7+ hour delay. Arrived in Kansas City after 10:00 pm, home around 11:00. A little late for a run (plus it was about 12 degrees F). So I missed that one.

I was in Lawrence Kansas for my daughter's graduation (Rock Chalk Jayhawks, Go KU), and she planned a dinner for Saturday. By Saturday afternoon it was warming up to about the mid-40's. I wasn't planning a long run this weekend but rather a couple of Mid-distance runs, and after discussing possible routes with daughter's boyfriend, decided on a 10-mile hill workout. I headed to Bob Billings Parkway, out to the end and back. In my opinion, this route would be a good hill workout -- FOR A CYCLIST! Yeah, I got a good workout (it felt good).

Sunday was mostly taken up with saying goodbye to friends, as well as the graduation, and I missed my workout. That means I only got 31 miles in for the week.

Monday I had to work all day to finish up everything I needed to do to the house before we left it. The house hasn't sold, we've rented a place in Massachusetts, the movers have emptied the house, everything will have to get squeezed into our new digs on Friday, and we're just a little nervous about leaving the house unoccupied (though our son will still be in Lawrence and will be checking up on it). So no workout and I fell into bed (sleeping bag on air mattress) exhausted.

Tuesday began early with my flight to Boston (no glitches), then straight off to work. I was able to do my interval workout in the evening (4 X 1 mile at marathon tempo with 3 minute recovery, plus 2 mile warmup and 2 mile cooldown, for 9 miles total).

Wednesday (this evening) got in an easy 4-miler.

Tomorrow I need to prepare the house for the movers (Where the hell is everything going to go?). Wife and son begin the drive out tomorrow as well (daughter flies out next week with the cat). A lot going on and this is supposed to be a heavy mileage week. Tomorrow's tempo run shouldn't be a problem, and as long as I get in my long run this weekend, I'll be doing OK. The running does help keep the stress down to a manageable level. ... at least so far.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Tough Easy Week - Part 2

Sunday. Plan is 22 miles. I've just spent all day Saturday moving from temporary living into the new house (we are renting, not buying -- not a good time to buy in the Boston area -- maybe in a year or so). I wake up Sunday morning to snow. It looks like about an inch on the ground and it is snowing. It's quite pretty.

I take my time getting up and getting some pre-run breakfast. If I'm rushed, I'll just eat a Clif bar, but this morning I toast a bagel, make some coffee, have a banana, and also the Clif bar. An hour later I'm putting on running pants and a jacket over a thin long sleeve running shirt. It's still snowing. Might be up to about 2 inches now. Out the door and I head for the Charles River trails. I can't believe how many runners are out here in the snow. Sorry to say, in the Kansas City area, this kind of weather would keep many runners indoors. Boston runners are awesome! I'm inspired. Reminds me of one of my favorite running quotes:

"There is no such thing as inclement weather. Only timid souls."

It snows almost the entire time I am running. The only problem I have is my gloves. They're those white cotton gloves and by about mile 18, they are soaked and my hands are getting COLD. By mile 19 I can't take it anymore and pull the gloves off and stuff them in my pocket. But my hands are still wet and cold and are just freezing. I head back to the house. I put the gloves half-way on to sort of act like mittens (keeping my fingers together), but it doesn't help too much. And to make matters worse, I make a wrong turn in my own neighborhood (hey, I just moved in, I don't know all these streets yet). After backtracking a couple blocks I make it home, burning cold hands and all. The only thing that remains is to fill the tub with hot water and relax. Ahhh.

20 miles in the snow. 44 miles for the week.

A Tough Easy Week - Part 1

After easing up a bit Thanksgiving week, I was ready for a good hard week of running. My plan was another 50+ mile week with a 22 mile long run on Sunday.

So I took Monday off to make sure I was good and ready for a solid week of good running. I mean, really, even though last week was a little easier, I had still just run 18 miles on Sunday afternoon. I probably could have done an easy recovery type run on Monday, but we were so busy getting the house ready for the big move.

Then I missed Tuesday's workout. I was working from home Tuesday morning, and had an afternoon flight, and things just sort of piled up, and I never made it out the door. And Tuesday night traveling turned into a nightmare.

It started with the layover in Cincinnati. Flight to Boston was delayed. Arrived in Boston after midnight. (Sure hope the T is still running) I think my bag was the last one off the aircraft. Shuttle bus to the T, of course, has to stop at every terminal. As I'm buying my subway ticket, a woman there says, "You know the last train leaves at 12:36." It's 12:27. I make the Blue line (of course I still have to transfer to the Green line for one stop, then to the Red line to get home). No hitches on the Green, but must have waited 15 minutes for the Red (yeah, I was getting worried). Got the last Red line to Alewife station. It's about 1:30 a.m. and I still need to walk to the new house where I've parked the car, and drive back to the apartment. And they've already locked the street access doors at the station, so I take the elevator up to the parking garage, then stairs down to the street level (all baggage still in tow). Just a little creepy that late at night. Now I walk to the house where I've parked the car and discover someone has parked in the driveway blocking my exit. It's 2:00 a.m. Well, I have the keys to the new place so I figure maybe I can sleep there. If I'm in luck, the previous occupants (owners) have left their futon. Nope. I get maybe four hours of sleep on a pile of my clothes on the hard wood floors. At 7:00 a.m. I'm knocking on the downstairs door and asking them to please move their car. The woman was quite apologetic (didn't realize I was moving in and figured she could use my driveway). Finally get to the apartment, get cleaned up, drag myself to work. It's Wednesday now and I am NOT going to miss another workout. After work I do a 7 mile interval workout on the treadmill (2 mile warmup, 5 X 1000m at 10K pace, 2 minute recovery between each, 1 mile cooldown). I sleep very well in my own bed that night.

Thursday I get back out on the trails at work. 6 miles easy. Friday I do my typical tempo run on the same trails: 2 miles easy, 2 miles at tempo pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles tempo pace, 1 mile cool down. 8 miles. Friday evening I start moving some of my stuff to the new house.

Saturday is spent mostly moving my junk from my temporary living into the new house. It takes 5 trips in the Pathfinder. It's pretty cold and windy, but I really want to go for a run from the new house. I now live maybe 2 blocks from Fresh Pond where there is a 2.25 mile loop around the pond. 3 miles easy to Fresh Pond, around it plus a little bit more, and back home. Total so far this week is 24 miles. Plan was for 22 miles on Sunday.

Sunday. Well I'll leave that to the next post 'cause that was just "special".