Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's raining again.

I wish. It's been cold and rainy for a few days now. Temps in the 40s to 50s, with cold rain coming down. Nothing like the other day, with the lightning and thunder. It makes it just that much more difficult to get out after work. When you're already tired it would just be so easy to sit down on the couch, open a beer and not do anything. The first quarter mile, I often wish I was having a beer on the couch. By the time I hit half a mile, though, I'm usually glad that I'm out there.

When I was young, a little coldness, rain, or even lightning wouldn't stop me from running. There were times when I swam across a river in the dead of winter just for the fun of it. Got out on the other side and started running again. You dry out as you go -- your body heat dries your clothing, and pretty soon only your feet are cold. That was in the days of cotton sweatpants and an occasional nylon jacket. Long underwear under running shorts. For gloves, we wore wool socks on our hands. They probably worked better than any of the modern "high-tech" gloves available these days. Wool socks keep all your fingers together, letting them warm each other, and become more wind-resistant as they get wet.

My wife doesn't like me running in the morning. She much prefers that I run "when there's people around." I can understand that, although I really don't think that very many of the people who drive by are (a) willing to stop if they see me in trouble or (b) trained in CPR.

I did manage to catch the gaps in the rain this week. I've not been rained on at all while running since my lightning episode.  I just got lucky that the rain let up and stopped when I was ready to get outside and run. With the BP meds, I'm actually looking forward to warmer weather. Come on, summer!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monthly rant

About once a month or so, I get annoyed with drivers. So, today It's time for me to rant about people who don't know how to drive.

About a half a mile into my run, there was a car coming out of a side street. The driver, a man, looked about 10 years older than me. As he pulled up to the stop sign, he rolled through, never stopping, rolling through the intersection. Rolling through the intersection, not ever looking at the sidewalk, potentially killing me, with a look of utter confusion on his face as I shouted at him to stop. Later on, another man, this one 20 years or mor older than me, failed to stop at a red light. Just rolled through, doing about 20 miles an hour.

I'm beginning to think that we should have to take a new road test every 5 years. And driving without a license should result in the confiscation of the vehicle.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Where to start?

I've started writing posts several times, and even wrote out a post on paper, with a pencil(!), but every time I get close to typing one up on the computer, I get taken away and can't get back to make a post.  Most recently, my teenage son got hit by a car, and I spent most of the rest of the day in Emergency.

So here goes:

I hate the treadmill. Don't like it at all. I find it boring. When I am having a bad day on the road, I go about a quarter mile, and think "I've only gone a quarter mile?" After that point, I start feeling better until the miles start going by quickly and easily, and I'm thinking "Is it over already?"

On the treadmill, I start out with the same question, but keep asking it over and over again -- "only half a mile?"  "Only a mile?" "Only two miles?"  Ugh.

I do see the purpose f the treadmill, though. Over the weekend of the 18th-19th, I was out of town for my daughter's college graduation. The school is about a six-hour drive from here, and she was moving into an apartment in NYC directly after graduation, so driving down and back in one day was really out of the question. Fortunately, the hotel where we stayed had a fitness center, so I could get my runs in.

Having a treadmill available solves the problems of being in an unfamiliar city. Running in an unfamiliar place can cause one to get lost, or to run a shorter distance than intended. Running in unfamiliar territory often leads to overestimating the distance run as well, and not knowing the neighborhoods that one runs through can be dangerous.

It was incredibly hot in the fitness center, and I worked up quite a sweat, more than I would have liked. My shirt was soaked by the time I finished my run -- it was like an afternoon run in the dead of summer, only without the sunshine.

So, I'll probably be using treadmills in the future, but I know that I won't be enjoying them.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The secret of comedy...

...is timing.

I got home today, changed my clothes as quickly as I could, and got out running. At about one mile, it started to rain. No problem, right? It's only water. At about one and a half, I saw a flash of lightning.

One thousand one

ont thousand two

one thousand three


Sh*t. OK, time to head for home. A mile and a half in a straight line. No shortcuts, and the lightning has just struck a little over 1000 meters away, probably at the top of nearby Pinnacle Hill, which I was planning on crossing over. I ran home as fast as I could, stopping several times to crouch in yards. I wonder what the homeowners thought I was doing, squatting there in their front yards. The rain just kept increasing in intensity, making me wetter  and wetter the longer I was out there. If it weren't for the lightning, I probably would have been running through the puddles, splashing and generally acting like a kid a fifth my age (do 10-year olds still splash in puddles?). As it was, I was watching and counting, dividing by five and trying to find shelter. For a second, I thought about heading for the pizza place where we usually get our pizzas, but immediately realised that I would actually be going farther than if I went straight home. By the time I got home, I was dripping wet, literally. The water was dripping from every part of my body -- except my face. I'd worn a hat, which was probably the only reason I could see where I was going the whole time. About 20 minutes or half an hour after I finished, the rain started to lessen and finally stopped.


Monday, May 06, 2013

OT reading books...

What does it take to get me to stop reading a book and put it down?  there are a couple of things that will make me put a book down and not pick it up again. One is if the book gets preachy. Another is when I run into too many errors. Recently I was reading a book and I started seeing errors of fact and implied errors. The errors of fact included a description of a geographic distribution that I am very familiar with. The description, for anyone who knows the geographic region which was being described, was either very poorly written or was flat-out impossible. Soon after that description, the book implied that two places were closer than they actually are. When I got to that point in the book, I put it down and returned it to the library the next day. I can't really say how many errors make me stop with a book, but it's some combination of the number and the size of the error -- a small number of errors that seem large to me will do it, or a larger number of small errors. Either way, what does it is the idea that I can't trust the information in the book -- kind of "If this and this are wrong, how much that I don't already know is in here that's wrong? How much can I trust this book?"