Saturday, April 29, 2006

Today's run

I got out for a nice, easy 4 miles today, temp in the 60s (yeah!) and sunny (YEAH!). It felt pretty good, and my pace was pretty even the whole way. I'm feeling good, and I will be registering (online) for the Lilac 10k soon. The stiffness in my legs is just about gone now and I think as long as I keep at it, it won't come back.


I got up yesterday morning and it was 30° outside. I said to myself "Self, you can either run now, or wait until after work when it will bo almost 60°." I chose after work.

While I waas on the bus, I suddenly remembered that Electra was participating in a dramatic reading of The Crucible, which started at 7. Needless to say, I didn't get out yesterday at all. I'll be getting out this afternoon while Sandy is working.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

My high school Cross-country and Track Coach is retiring. Mr. Bradley was a great coach and a great teacher, and I was lucky to have him.

I got out at 5 this morning--no snooze button today. It was beautiful out--about 50° and calm. The rain appears to have gone, at least until the weekend.

Life is crazy right now. Work is nuts. We're having the kind of volume we're supposed to get during our busy season (June to September), higher than last year's volume, and with the same staff.

At home, things are crazy. Sandy started a new job, still working at home, but with set hours of 3pm-11pm, Tuesday through Saturday. We have no weekend. Tuesday through Saturday, I get home, make dinner, clean up after dinner, make sure the kids get their homework done, and get them into bed. I have always had great respect for single parents, but now I have more.

If I didn't run, I think I'd lose my mind.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dang it.

I hit the snooze button this morning, or I thought I did. 45 minutes later, I rolled over, looked at the clock and realized that I was not going to get in my scheduled run this morning. I'm rearranging my plans now for the rest of the week. I'm looking at my plan for the next two weeks to be sure that I don't have to do any rearranging after this week.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An early day

I just got on the computer for the first time today. Things are so busy at work that I can't slow down. We're short several people at work, and I'm not slowing down until I get home. Even then, I've had an hour or two of work to take care of (in between blog posts).

I got out for a short, easy run this morning at 5. It was warmer than I expected. There I was, tights and long sleeves, and it was almost 50° out. Of course, it's now 39° and damp, so I'm really not sure what the weather will be like in the morning. I should probably wait to dress until I know what the temp is outside.

Monday, April 24, 2006

On the weekends, I'm frequently prevented from getting any access to the computer at all. My daughter frequently is doing homework (yesterday she spent the day researching for a debate her social studies class was having--"Should the US launch a preemptive strike on North Korea?" she took the "no" position.) and when she's not on the computer, my wife or my son is. Tonight, however, I'm supposed to be working, so I have unfettered access to the computer, and everyone has to leave me alone.

It got cold again! It's not really all that cold, only around 41°, but it's raining, and that makes it feel colder out. I got out for a late run again yesterday--it was around 4:30 by the time I got out of the house--but I'm back on schedule this morning, bright and early at 4:45! Well, early anyway. I'm not so sure about bright.

A friend of mine is a race director for a small race organized through his church to benefit The Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation. It's an Episcopal Church, and the race is part of a series. The other races in the series are the Temple Beth El 5k and the Father Murphy 5k. The race comes up in August, with the Father Murphy 5k the following weekend, so I have time to prepare for those two races, but the Beth El 5k (which is in my neighborhood) is coming up on June 4th, so I'd better get ready.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

another late day

I wanted to get up early and run this morning, but Electra wanted to go to an Anime convention in town. She and a friend had pland to go at 8am. When she told me that, I just laughed. The friend called at about 7:45 to ask if they could wait until 10 to go. When I got back, sandy wanted to drive over to her father's house. She got back around 4, and I had to go pick up Electra.

Long story short, I got out around 4:30-5:00 to get in a run. It felt pretty good today, relaxed and easy. Long, easy run tomorrow.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Late run

I got out late today. I was going to join in with a local group that runs 4 miles from a running store fridays at 6:00, but was delayed getting home from work. It seems that a local parking garage collapsed.

Apparently no-one was hurt. No cars on the ramp when it collapsed, which is a minor miracle, since it happened at 5:00 pm. I guess being in a shrinking city has its advantages. Streets were closed, traffic was tied up for a little while.
I got out for a few miles anyway after I got home.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Easy morning

I took a nice, easy run this morning. I didn't get out yesterday, taking a day off is something that's too easy to do. I'm looking up the group that runs from the local Fleet Feet store--the store is about a mile away from my house, so I could get over there whenever I wanted to join in. It's always easier to run with a group, and I think it would help me stay on track if I could get some people to run with.

No races this week, taking it easy. We got our fourth for the Corporate Challenge in June. There's a big picnic after the race, so it looks like fun, assuming the weather cooperates. Apparently, the race finishes near a bowl-shaped depression, and the first time the race was held at the site, it was a rainy week. Instead of a bowl, it was a pond.

8:22 am--I just found out about this: Mark, the running blogfather is challenging running bloggers to make donations to their favorite charities. If 100 bloggers make donations to their favorite charities, Mark will wear a running skirt in the Great Human Race in Edmonton, Alberta. If he's impressed with the number of donations or the cash value, he'l race in the matching bra. I just have to decide which charity to donate to.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A little cool

It's gotten a little bit cool in the early mornings over the past couple of days. Temps have been in the low 40s--shorts and a long-sleeve T-shirt weather--at 5am, but warming up during the day. I've had to re-route a few of my running routes, because there's road construction on one of the major roads in the immediate area. In the early morning darkness, I don't want to run through an unlit construction area, so I'm running down residential streets, which wind and turn a bit, making it a little bit harder to figure distance.

Almost nobody was on the street today--pedestrians or cars. I breezed through Twelve Corners without having to slow down. I am looking forward to the warm weather--temps in he 60s at 5am would be nice to have.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rest day

I was so exhausted this weekend that I decided to take today off. At my age, the rests are as important as the workouts. With the kids off from school, there's less rushing around inthe morning. I decided to take the day off and sleep in a little bit. In addition, my right calf muscle has been feeling a little bit tight. One week ago, it was my left calf that suddenly tightened up about a mile and a half into a run, and now the right one is threatening to do the same. So, a day off won't hurt anything. I'm not one of those people who record streaks of days running in a row.

I'm looking ahead to the Lilac 10K which comes up near the end of May, during Rochester's Lilac Festival. I'm hoping that the nice weather we've had means that the Festival will have nice weather this year. Electra usually goes with me to the races, and I'm sure that she will again this year. Oed and Sandy will probably wait at Twelve Corners for me to go by--it's about a quarter mile from the house and is corner on the course. Last year, we lived close enough to walk to the start line, but this year it'll be a short drive.

In May, I'm also running in a duathlon with a partner. I'll be running 2.5 miles, he'll be riding his bike 12 miles, then I run the 2.5 back. It'll be interesting to see how it goes. The last half-mile or so of the cycling course appears to be an uphill. At least I don't have to run that.

My boss also approached me about me running in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. That's 7:00 pm on the evening of June 1st, and is a 3.5 mile race/run. There's traditionally a big party/picnic on the evening of the race, and apparently we'll have a tent set up and have a big party after the race is over. Sandy will be working that night, so I'll probably bring the kids. There'll probably be a few other kids there as well.

I'm the only one at the company really training right now, so I'll be the only one really racing. We have three men so far committed to run, and the race requires either:

1. a four-man team;
2. a four-woman team; OR
3. a two-man, two-woman team.

So, we need either another man or two women. Or both would be acceptable.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I got out this morning (just barely this morning--so much for getting out early) for a nice easy run. It's a little cool today, but may warm up later.

Over the past few weeks, I've been realizing the extent to which religions can co-exist in this town. Within very easy running distance are a Unitarian church, 3 Synagogues, 3 Roman Catholic churches (and my old high school, which contains a chapel), an Episcopal church, an Assembly of God church, a LDS church, 2 Presbyterian churches and the Islamic Center of Rochester. In addition, there's an Orthodox Catholic Church, another Presbyterian church, another Roman Catholic church, a Methodist church, a Baptist church, another Episcopal church and a couple of Buddhist centers a little farther out. There's no public conflict or denunciation or (open) intolerance based on religion, at least in the immediate area around here. After observing some intolerance in the past, I'm glad to be living in this small, tolerant place.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Did it again

Once again, I missed a day posting. It's been pretty busy around here--my father-in-law is home from the hospital, and my wife is spending half her time at his house, and the other half here.

I accidentally ran about a mile farther than I had intended to yesterday. I said to my wife that runners can go a mile too far by accident, but most others can't.

Today I took it easy and ran late in the day. Got my taxes out this morning, and then went to the high school parking lot with Oed for a little bike riding.

I'm planning on getting out a little early tomorrow, but the best laid plans...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

skipped a day

Not that I spent a day skipping, but I never got a chance to post yesterday. I did get out for a run yesterday, mainly because I had the day off. It was a beautiful day, but I had to spend most of it tied to a chair.

I spent the morning having my taxes done. Since the return has to be postmarked by the 17th (the 15th is a holiday in Massachusetts, where my return would be mailed), obviously I waited until the last minute for this. Why? My wife spent the year last year self-employed, and I was pretty sure we had underestimated her "estimated tax" payments. I was right. I've changed my withholding for this year, but we're paying a pretty fair amount to the Feds and the State of New York.

I spent most of the afternoon in the house. My father-in-law had a heart attack (his 4th) last week, and was expected to go home yesterday. I spent the afternoon waiting for the kids to get home and a couple of hours in the backyard with Oed before getting inside to make dinner.

This morning, I was back on track at 5am. Beautiful weather, it was 53° when I left the house. I felt good, but took it easy on the pace, keeping it around 8:00. Very few runners out at that hour, they are mostly out around 7am.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Better this morning. I took it easy, didn't try to push the pace at all. I didn't want another leg cramp. I didn't have any cramps or pain, and finished nice and easy.

It was beautiful this morning, at 5am the temp was into the mid-40s, with no wind at all. I got out in shorts again. I'm looking into health club memberships-I want to start doing some weight training again. I haven't had a membership in one since I left Atlanta. The Jewish Community Center is pretty close to my house (you don't have to be Jewish to be a member), and has some pretty good facilities, so I may look into a family membership there. The downtown Y is also a choice, since it's on my bus route into work. It's kind of expensive for a YMCA, though, so I'll have to see what I can get.

Monday, April 10, 2006


This morning, between 1.5 and 2 miles, my left calf muscle tightened up. All at once, and not a gradual thing, partway up a long gradual uphill, it just didn't want to go any farther. I had to stop and stretch, and then walk for a bit, and it loosened up enough to start jogging again. I finished 3 miles at a slow jog, and I don't even want to know how long it took me to get back.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nice relaxed morning

The weather has warmed up again--temps in the high 40s. I got back out for a nice, easy 4 miles in shorts! I did have to wear a long-sleeved shirt, but wearing shorts was great. I imagine that the 5am runs will still require the running tights, but I'm hoping that the warming trend keeps up for the next few months.

I'll be taking Oed over the the soccer fields today to kick the ball around for a while, then he'll probably be riding his bike for a while. We have to go to a parking lot for him to ride, since we live on a main arterial road, but he enjoyus riding around a lot.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cold Race Day

Race day was cold. Around 30°, and not a dry kind of cold, but that high humidity, dank coldness that goes through to the bone. I had considered running in shorts today, but changed my mind when I got to the race.

the race was a 5k, with the first 1.25 miles on a road, and the rest of the race on the Erie Canal towpath. Nice and flat, fast, mostly gravel with some asphalt.

I went out too fast. My first mile was in 6:00. I had been planning to run this race as a training run--finish in about 24:00, keep the pace nice and steady. Electra, who went with me to the race, told me I wouldn't be able to do it, that I would get too competitive (she's seen me race before), and she was right. My friend Andy passed me at the mile point. Last year at this same race, I beat him by about 5 seconds. This year, I didn't catch him after he passed me.

I'm not sure what my second mile was in, because mile 2 was not marked. There was a water stop on the canal towpath, but I think it was closer to 2.5k than to 2 miles. They weren't giving out too many bottles of water today. I think maybe a coffee stop might have been better.

I finished the race in 21:32, too fast. Not many people say that about their races, but I really wanted to run this as a training run, and not as a race. My average pace was under 7:00, but removing that first mile, it works out to around 8:00/mile, so it appears that the shock of seeing a 6:00 mile settled me down into the pace I wanted to run for today.

Andy finished about 45 seconds ahead of me, and there were four people in our (45-49) age group that finished in the age group. I'm not sure what my place in the race overall was, but I was eleventh in our age group.

This race would not have been a good one for a slower (9:00/mile) runner. the sheriff's car which was supposed to do traffic control for the first 1.25 miles never showed up. After waiting nearly ten minutes for the deputy to arrive, the race director decied to go ahead with the race. Course marshals did a pretty good job of keeping cars back, but they have no legal authority, and a few people ignored them. I saw one man a the race today who is a 12:00+ miler, and I'm sure that the course marshals couldn't hold the traffic back by that point.

There's another 5K race in April that runs in roughly the same area, and I'm considering runing that one. I may not, though. roughly half of the first mile is uphill, with some flat stretches. The rest of the raceis flat, like a tabletop, until about 2.5 miles, then downhill and up one more short uphill to the finish.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Warming back up

Temps are on the irse again--we're supposed to get into the 60s next week. I'll settle for no more snow at this point. I suppose I got spoiled spending those years in Georgia--spring was the most beautiful, comfortable time of year there, and I'm sure that the dogwoods in our old side yard are in bloom.

I got out for four miles this morning. The weather was nice, temps in the high 30s, no wind, no rain, no snow. Looks like a good race Saturday.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Springtime in Rochester

....and the snow is wet. We got some snow last night, but none of it stuck. It started out as rain last night, then got thicker until it was wet, heavy snowflakes which melted as soon as they hit the ground. The roads were clean this morning, although they were icy in spots. I'm feeling pretty good--Electra wants to come with me to the race this Saturday, so we'll be getting up early and going out for breakfast beforehand. She's got a digital camera, so we may have some pictures from the race.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Looking for a "mercurial" pun

Quick and changeable in temperament; volatile: a mercurial nature.
--The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

The weather yesterday was gorgeous--the temperature went up to 64° and it was sunny all day. Last night it was supposed to snow. I don't know if it did; the temp was 35° when I went out to run this morning, but we're supposed to have mixed rain and snow for the next two days.

There's a race this weekend that I have to run. The race course goes down a road less than a mile from the house I grew up in (and where my parents still live), turns around and goes back on the Erie Canal Towpath, where I did a good deal of my high school running. It's a nice flat, fast course, and it should be a lot offun.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The race

When I woke up Saturday, the temperature was in the high 40s, with a strong wind and very heavy rain. I almost decided right then to blow off the race, but a little later the rain stopped and the clouds cleared up. I decided to go ahead with it. When I left the house, it was 53° and calm. Of course, by the time I got to the park, the temperature there had dropped more than 10° and a light rain had started. So, it was a generally uncomfortable morning, and I had shown up in shorts and a t-shirt.

The course was slightly hilly, kind of a rolling course, through the middle of Mendon Ponds Park. The race itself is an old-fashioned one, with no chip timing, no bands, not even a finish chute--place is determined by tearing off the bottom of your number and putting it on a safety pin. A step back to the days of the "popsicle stick" races of my youth. After the race, at the awards ceremony, prizes were handed out. The race was sponsored by Viagra, so the prizes were very funny.

the men's winner got a viagra wall clock. The women's winner got a large basket of chocolate. When it was awarded, one of the women in the crowd called out "that's defeating the purpose!" Further awards weregiven out, including two hospital gown-type smocks in blue with the Viagra logo. Sadly, next year, generic Viagra will be available, so the items will probably not be available. A different sponsor will have to be lined up.

My time in the race was 22:14, which wos good enough to put me in 7th or 8th place overall. I'm not sure of my place, because I lost count of the people ahead of me in the last half-mile. I've been looking for pictures and results, which were supposed to be online within a few hours of the end of the race, but I haven't found them yet.

Leaving the park after the race, I noticed the first signs of a migraine. I hadn't had one in at least 5 years,but when it hit, it wasn't really too bad. I got home before the headache hit, so it wasn't too bad. I'm pretty sure that it didn't have anything to do with running, though. Running today, I didn't have any problems.


I found the pictures of the race. Here are two pics of me in the race. (I'm the bearded fella Number 748)

In the first half mile.

After the halfway point in the race.