September 29, 2007

Fifth Ave Mile race report

Well, I'm slower than a couple years ago. I'm not surprised at all, given my run times of late, or the facct that the first time I ran the Fifth Avenue Mile, I was finishing up a series of physical therapy and was more flexible, in less pain, and just plain a better runner at that time.

I got up about 7:30, took a shower (why did I do that before going for a run??), and headed out the door. The subway is blessedly uncrowded on a Saturday morning. Once in Central Park, I scoped out a place to lock my bag to and hit the road. I had almost an hour and a half before my heat in the race (35-39 year olds, male), so I opted to put in two lower loops, a run of at least 3.4 miles. This would be a good - and necessary - warmup, I figured. Indeed, I spent a great part of that walking. I just couldn't seem to loosen up and I was worried about the pains I was already feeling. But true to form, I began to loosen up and run a lot better at 2.75 miles. I ran a smidgen of the loop a third time before veering off for 81st street, where the registration tent was set up.

So that was my run. I don't think it was actually 4.29 miles; more like 4 miles flat, but considering how accurate the ipod was in measuring the Mile...maybe that distance is right?
I had no illusions about my probable performance in the Fifth Avenue Mile today. I figured I'd be slower than two years ago and I was, frankly, just hoping not to have to walk part of it.

The warmup paid off. I was able to run the entire mile steady, strong, smooth. The very rough cough I've been having for a week only cropped up once and I slowed my pace for only a few seconds for it. Fifth Ave itself is freshly paved and the weather was perfect, so this whole run was truly a pleasurable experience.

I didn't go for a kick at the end. I was badly out of energy at this point and was just hanging on to my pace. According to my iPod, I ran the mile in 8:31.

By the way, I want to say thank you to the people who were hanging out watching the heats and who cheered even for me in the second half of the mile. By the time the bulk of the pack has gone by, it's easy to turn your attention back to your cell phone, iPod, kid, or significant other - so to have your attention and encouragement, even from strangers, really meant a lot to me and helped me keep my pace to the end.

I wasn't ready to try the mile, I know. I did no prep work for this at all. It was a good run, nevertheless, and my body is responding to today's combined workout as if I'd done a long run - exhaustion, aches, etc. Lance Armstrong, via a recorded announcement on my iPod, even congratulated me for setting a new mile PR, or as much of a PR as this iPod has kept track of.

My reward for today is me attemting to cook an old favorite. I don't have the right crockery, but I'm doing a chicken-livers appetizer I used to do a lot. This is an experiment as I didn't remember the recipe exactly, nor the amount of heat or time.

September 27, 2007

I am exhausted!

Well, I just finished a 9.5 mile run. It has been a goal of mine for some time to run from work to home and I did it tonight.

It wasn't easy. After a shortened run on Sunday of a mere 4 miles (because I felt like shit), I figured I'd put in my regular Wednesday run. But when it came the end of the work day yesterday, I was just too tired. I'd had a client meeting and had not eaten or slept well the night before and I was exhausted, not up to 3 miles, much less 9.5.

I wasn't ready for 9.5 today, either, but I did it. My mind wasn't ready for it and my body most certainly wasn't ready. The first three miles were brutal, with a ton of walking and coughing. My cough has become very rough lately, and though it is productive, I don't bring as much up per coughing fit as before. I attribute this to a change in the hypertonic saline I'm using. I also had to stop the ipod at one point and so had to record this as two runs.

Anyway, I just couldn't get loosened up and I was in pain all the way to Chambers street. Finally the Tylenol I'd taken before leaving work started to kick in and my muscles warmed up and the run smoothed out some. Still a lot of stop and go, especially with traffic and stupid, stupid pedestrians, each of whom thinks the world revolves around him or her.

If the anti-smoking laws were to be amped up in the near future, such that all public smoking were banned - no more smoking on the streets or sidewalks or in parks - you would not hear me complain. If the legislation further allowed citizens to apply tazeification to the genitalia of whomsoever decides to flaunt said anti-public-space-smoking law, I would be supportive and appreciative. I would exercise my new rights as a citizen and help re-educate the slower, dumber, &/or more arrogant of our citizenry in the ways of how to be a good citizen.

Yes, particularly the shutterbugs - those lovely, mindless creatures who think nothing of stepping out in front of bicycles, runners, pedestrians, and even other photogs - yes, these people particularly seem to lack any awareness of the rest of the world and so deserve some genital tazering.

Now, kids are stupid, too. Riding their bikes in circles on the sidewalk, not watching who they're about to crash in to... but I can't really blame them as much, because I was a stupid kid, too. But I GREW UP and figured out that I wasn't the only person on earth who mattered and that I should at least step aside if someone else needs to, say, actually use the sidewalk. Sadly, a lot of people, though of legal drinking age, have not yet grown up.

Oh, and the fat ones.... the wide loads that manage, through their sheer mass and zig-zagging path of travel, to block the entire sidewalk on their own - well, one tazer isn't going to be enough. I'm thinking three: one for the junk and one for each nipple.

Oh, god, I'm getting off topic. I got the run done. That's all. It wasn't great, it wasn't smooth, it wasn't as good as last week, but it got done. The ipod says I did 9.8 miles; gmaps says 9.25. We'll just say 9.5.

After struggling with my keys, I got inside and went for the ice bath. OK, I didn't have any ice, but I filled the tub with cold water while I was stretching and hopped in. HOH HMY HGOD H H H!!! After ten minutes of THAT torture, I took a hot shower and now I'm doing therapy and I'm rewarding myself with POM as a recovery drink. After my therapy is done, I'm off to bed.

September 20, 2007

I am in the groove

Great run tonight, really great. 7.5 miles by gmaps pedometer. Left work at 6:10 and started jogging home. Took the first half mile to calibrate my Nike Plus foot sensor and then set the iPod to tick off 7 more miles. Down to Chambers, across to the Brooklyn Bridge, over the bridge, across to Flatbush, and just passed Atlantic-Pacific when the iPod announced my seven miles were done. I continued at a slower pace down to Union street and caught the subway. So by the iPod, I ran a total of 7.93 miles; gmaps disagrees. Whatever. A solid 7.5 is fine. I'll extend it to 8.5 next week or even run all the way home. That might be too much too soon, though.

The whole trip was fairly steady, with less walking than usual and steadily increasing pace. No problems in the legs or knees. Coughing plenty, but not real productive, though I think I slimed some cars while I was on the bridge.

It was a little warm today and the air quality was definitely not good, but nevertheless, with a head cold, Dayquil, Tylenol, and albuterol in me, I had a good run. I'll give this one 4 apples!

September 19, 2007

I am having a head cold

Oy. What a head cold. Didn't run today; will run tomorrow. It wasn't the cold, it was the production meeting. So...I'll run home from work tomorrow - almost all the way home. 7.5 miles on the schedule!

I will be taking my new nano, my new sensor and receiver I bought yesterday (on the theory my old receiver is damaged), and my new armband to hold it all. I got the armband thinking it wasn't going to work with the Nike+ receiver because it looked like the flap that holds the nano in the armband pouch would cross the port - and it does. But oh those clever Apple folk designed the flap long enough in the back to go around the plugged in receiver and to a second bit of velcro. The pouch completely encloses the nano - rather tightly. The protection over the fingerwheel makes it a bit harder to accidently change the volume or whatnot, but may also make it harder to navigate the Nike Plus menu, too. the molded-in center button cover will make it easy to get to your power song, tho. YES, Nike+ works on the new Nano, Chelly, it's just that MINE wasn't. I'm hoping the new receiver fixes my dropped signal problems.

I don't know. We'll see how the run goes. I have Pheddipidations #102 (Run Walking) cued up for tomorrow's run. As this is how I complete my first three miles every time, I'm very interested in hearing what Steve Runner has to say on this topic.

On last Wednesday's run, I listened to his podcast on Repulsively Running, where he talks about sweating, body odor, runner's nipples, peeing, and pooping. I feel he missed the mark on truly repulsive running. He should have covered mouth boogers, bloody toenails, and phlegm, too.

September 17, 2007

I am entering the 2nd half of my life

That is how I perceive of 36. To commemorate this day, I will quote one of my fondly-remembered ex's most favorite poem.

"For the Anniversary of my Death"
by W. S. Merwin

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And boding not knowing to what

September 16, 2007

I am disappointed

It's been a hard weekend - I've spent most of it feeling pretty sick. Definitely going to call the doctor on Monday and get an ultrasound scheduled. This shit is ridiculous. I'm disappointed in my body right now. Even coughing hurts me in the side. And that's not good when a) you have cystic fibrosis and b) are an asthmatic runner. Shit like this is enough to make one believe in god, if for nothing else than to have someone to blame.

I slept another 11 hours last night and woke up feeling almost as tired as when I went to bed. I resolved to go run, even if just a short one, and got out the door at 1 p.m. I decided to do three miles only, since I knew I'd be walking a huge part of it and the run would take forever anyway. I took the NikePlus thing on my NEW ipod and when I turned around at the 2-mile mark, found that the system had stopped reading sensor signal at 1.28 miles. No announcement of that, nothing. I am becoming rather disappointed in the Nike+ system. It seems so simple and so elegant, yet it just doesn't work! The only thing I haven't replaced, at this point, is the receiver. I'm willing to do so, because running in the rain last year may have damaged it, I admit, but I'm just needing to express my frustration, especially when other people don't seem to have this problem.

So, yes, I got a new ipod Nano for my birthday (thanks Mom!). I had my doubts about the form factor, being so short and squat and all, but my doubts have evaporated in the face of the video capabilities and the shiny new graphics of the menus. Now, when Apple gets Sudoku game updated to run on my Nano, the world will be peachy.

Since it was a gift, it came to my house wrapped in a neat little box with a red ribbon:

With a card:

The box opens up like a flower:

Size comparison, new and old:

Fresh out of the box - the "black" is actually a very dark grey:

Mom got my blog name engraved on the back:

I didn't even take it out of the box until my Invisible Shield for it arrived. I'm surprised the ZAGG company had a shield ready to go for it so fast. I've used this stuff on all my electronic gadgets for a couple of years now and it is bulletproof. On the Nano, it makes the "black" matte finish into a rather seductive gleaming graphite. The Invisible Shield wraps the entire Nano and doesn't interfere with viewability or the touchwheel.

And, yes!, the new Nano does video! I've spent a little time downloading some easily-obtained movies for the nano (a couple of them obvious bootlegs - taped in the theatre - rock steady camera and crystal clear sound, but the movies have their own laugh track...)

The video is 10 times better than shown in this crappy pic, so if you're even remotely curious, go check one out for yourself at an Apple store or check out the commercial, which I would say is a pretty accurate rendition of the gorgiosity of the screen.

I am really loving this little thing, Nike+ or not. I am NOT disappointed with it! There's already a 1.0.1 firmware update, apparently fixing a few bugs and speeding up Cover Flow. (Cover Flow is neat, but not too useful when it lists a separate cover for every album/artist combination. You have a movie soundtrack? Yep, it will list 13 separate copies of the same album cover.) And I love that there's twice as much room on this one as my old one, which I guess I'll keep around as backup or for motorcycle riding.

I am already using the nano video on the subway to catch up on my pop culture content - movies everybody seems to have seen, but which I haven't. Who the hell can afford to go the movies these days? I have iRobot, Pirates of the caribbean 2, and 300 cued up for the next couple weeks of subway rides.

I'm curious about 300 because, after all, the Spartans were wiped out, though they took out 25,000 Persians with them. (Okay, they had the help of 700 Thespians and 900 of their serfs to do it, but that's still better than 12 Persian dead for every Greek.) I enjoy Frank Miller's work. I thought Sin City was freakin' phenomenal, and so I expect quite a bit of something out of 300. It's not only his ability to tell a gripping story, but his talent for welding graphic sensibility to the narration so as to produce a unified piece of art. I am ecstatic to learn that Sin City II and III are in the works.

So between the nano and the advent of my Alaska article (part I) being published (and is generating a lot of buzz), my birthday weekend is half-good. BTW, for those of you looking for a alternative, but still want to use the Nike+ system, try

September 15, 2007

I am taking it easy today

I know, I should be outside right now, finishing up a long run. Not gonna happen today. For one thing, I was inordinately tired yesterday after finishing up a very full week at work. For another, the gall bladder is acting up again.

This started about mid-day yesterday, a low-grade, upper-right quadrant pain. Recognizable, but not severe. After work, it got more and more severe as the night went on. It settled down somewhat about 11, allowing me to get an hour's sleep, but then I was up again until two. It is interesting to note that I was so tired that except for waking at 8 a.m. for a pee and some water, I didn't come to consciousness again 'til 1 p.m.

When I did, though, I had a thought I should have had earlier this week: I'll go grocery shopping at Ft Hamilton today - I need some items there nobody else has. So is that how foggy my brain is during the work week that I can't even think of the right solution to "I'm running out of Jell-O brand chocolate fudge instant pudding"?

I will take it easy today. If I am not feeling better by this evening, then I'll call my primary care physician Monday and get an appointment. Or, if things just get worse, I'll go to the hospital. (This, actually, makes me pause. If I lived in a small town, I'd have little choice about WHICH hospital. But in this town, I have a dozen choices or more.)

In the meantime, I hope to run Sunday and at some time this weekend give my bike the thorough washing and detailing it still needs. I don't yet have a replacement switch for the ignition (stupid, I know, not to have it by this time), so I won't be going anywhere yet. But I have to get that wrapped up and my bike working again - I have an invitation to go to Vermont next weekend and see the foliage.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed this gall bladder attack goes away soon, so I can get on with the gettin' on.

September 12, 2007

I am Cris Runner

I did not want to do today's run. By 5:30, work had worn me down and I was tired and cranky, even given the perfect weather outside. But a run was called for and I was leaving work early to do it, so out I went. I even asked the owner if he was coming with and he said maybe next week. We're both joking, of course - well he was. I would like to see him get some exercise. There's a couple people at work whom I ask once a week or so if they'd like to join me and nobody ever has. But I can be persistent without being a pest and maybe I'll get a running partner one of these days.

Well, let me just say that from now on, unless I note otherwise, you the reader can just assume that the first three miles sucked, that I walked a fair amount during that time, and that I was coughing up rivers of gunk. OK? I've come to realize that my running doesn't really begin - can't begin - until those three miles are over. It takes that long to warm up and clear the shit out of my lungs enough to actually run. As far as CF goes, and thus as far as I'm concerned, those three miles are the most important.

That said, the first three miles didn't suck so much today. My legs felt OK the whole time, but I did have a lot of walking and coughing, bringing up quite a bit of phlegm. The weather was perfect and I was really enjoying being out. In fact, I ran the newer part of the west side path, where I hadn't run before (I stick to the bicycle path mostly) and was pleasantly surprised at how well it's been done. And I found water fountains!! This is important, because apparently if I leave my Gatorade in the props shop for any length of time, half of it disappears.

So I ran. And ran. And ran some more. I got down to that silly red sculpture at City Hall park again, took a swig of nearly the last of my fluid, and tackled the Brooklyn Bridge. Really, it's much easier going up on legs than on a bike. Still, I had to walk about 50 yards going up - but the rest of it was all running. It's not the bridge that's the problem - it's the approaches. These long, narrow barricaded in concrete paths leading to and from are longer than the bridge! But the boardwalk part of the bridge is very nice to run on and feels good beneath the feet.

So I ended my run on the far side, by finishing up at the Court street station of the R, for a total distance of (drum roll please).... 6.2 miles! Not too shabby, considering I haven't done that distance in months. I ran from one borough to another, and that makes me feel like a real runner again. It's a perfect 10K from work to Court St station - and that makes me feel like a runner. More important, I broke the 6-mile barrier, which is where a "long run" label begins to apply. And THAT makes me feel like a runner!

I ran for about 70 minutes because I listened to Steve Runners 100th Phedippidations podcast and it was 66 minutes and I listened to the opening stuff twice. What Steve talked about was "thoughts." I think he let out a lot of things he hasn't been able to fit in elsewhere, but one thing struck a chord with me: He talked about how he came by the Steve Runner, as opposed to his real name, Steve Walker. Then he talked about how all the listeners out there are Runners and he likes the idea he can hop a plane and go run with Doug Runner on the west coast, or Chelsea Runner in canada, or Tim Runner across the pond. You get the idea. I got the idea.

And for the first time in a long time, today, I felt like a runner. I am Cris Runner.

September 10, 2007

I am looking to the near future

So I got an interesting email from NYRR, announcing that for the first time, they'll allow 1500 New Yorkers to participate in the International Friendship Run. This is a short run the day before the marathon that starts at the United Nations and goes to Central Park. The runners have always been all (or most) of the overseas participants of the marathon. A more Olympic spirit of harmony and brotherhood has not been witnessed on Big Apple ground since that one guy did that one thing back in '92.

Last year, I helped marshall this race. It was very cool meeting many international folk and a lot of them show up in the traditional costumes of their countries.

So imagine the excitement at being able to run WITH THEM this year! I could not hit the "Sign me up nownownownowNOW" button fast enough. Sure, it's only a couple of miles, but that's not the point - keeping my world-view expanded beyond the very short NY horizon IS.

While I was at it, I signed up for the Fifth Ave Mile (I'll be curious to see if I can break my 7:32 PR with no actual prep) and the Staten Island Half. See? I told you I'd go do it, even if I have to walk half of it. I'm laughing as I write this because I'm in a very "don't care, not gonna ruin my knees in training" zone. A half-marathon? Do-able, but only if I take it easy, I think.

I'd have signed up for Grete's Gallop, too, but I have a work conflict that morning. :( I really enjoyed the Gallop last year. In fact, this year's calendar is much like last year's, only I won't be running so many events - last year I ran three or four half-marathons or more in consecutive weekends - I was really doing well and... yeah, Beast, you were right. I probably should've taken my 18-miler and considered it enough and gone and done the marathon. Still, I'll run NY when I'm good and ready and there's plenty of races and miles to keep me healthy in the meantime.

September 9, 2007

I am Angry In New York

First off, props to Apple on the new Nano - it is cool. Props to my mom, for buying one for me for my upcoming birthday - she is cool, too. :)

Second, apologies to all the other runners whose blogs I have not been reading or not commenting on. Not having much spare time, blogs are the first thing to go, I'm afraid. But I hope to catch up and get more connected with my blogger friends, even though I may have alienated most of you by now.

I have been having a difficult week/month/year, outside of running. I'm finding myself grappling with a whole lot of anger issues lately; stuff that's been boiling for months and I don't know how to resolve any of it. The vacation didn't do it, that's for sure. In fact, the title of my story that will run in Thunder Press is called Angry In Alaska. People who work at the main office keep calling and telling me what a great piece it is - even though they're only reading the edited version. From over 14,000 words (and that's without really discussing my fellow riders much or any mundane details or even bothering with chronology) it got cut for length to about 6,000, from what I'm told. I'm honored they like the piece enough to run it as a two-parter, but that doesn't help me with my anger. (If I can get my shit together enough to re-do my website, I'll post the full article online and put a link in this blog.)

I'm a bit angry at myself today. I mean, WHAT WAS I THINKING?? I should have been out of the house by 10 a.m. - my goal was 6.7 miles - the typical Prospect Park loop I've run dozens of times. I woke up once when I heard my upstairs neighbor go out the front door and looked at the clock - a little after 8 a.m. I shut my eyes to get another fifteen minutes of sleep, or so, and the next time I came to consciousness, it was 11:45!! Was I in that much need of sleep? (hell, yes)

So I got out around 1:15. It was 87 degrees. Woof. My run quickly got truncated; for the first time in several runs, I simply couldn't breath. I was walking a lot just trying to suck in enough oxygen. It felt like there was a band around my chest and it wasn't exercise-induced asthma, I didn't think.

I ran up to the park and back, plus about six-tenths of a mile inside the park, to bring the run to four miles. On the way home, I took my shirt off and I could breathe easier right away. That shirt goes in the trash - its simply too small for hyper-inflated lungs.

Good news is: my legs felt great, and I mean GREAT. Before, during, and after, my legs are treating me right - perhaps because I'm not over-abusing them with too many miles. Or maybe the cross-training by biking to work is helping. My plan tomorrow is to bicycle to work, run the four-and-a-half miles after work down to the Brooklyn Bridge again, and perhaps even start over the bridge, get a five mile run in. We'll see.

In the meantime, it's been a bad week in other arenas. I took a show I shouldn't have and it has left me feeling dirty and soiled. The producer didn't know what the fuck he was doing and let me, the audience, and the performers down badly. I ended up running the light board myself for the whole three performances. We barely had an audience the first two runs, though today was a pretty good audience - family and friends, mainly. As David Shayne (John Cusack) screams out his bedroom window in Bullets Over Broadway, "I'M A WHORE!!!" But money is money, right?

Well, maybe not right. Some money isn't worth the trials to earn it. And, truth be told, I'll be surprised if I even get paid. My list of questions to ask before I accept a show is growing.

The real pity is, it was in a great theatre - or what could be a great theatre with the right leadership and even a small amount of funding. It's one of the only theatres I've worked here in New York with a full fly house, a full basement below the stage (they could have traps and some really neat effects) and easy load-in access off the street through a straight passageway with double doors all the way. 299 original seats, too. It's a dream layout - but the building is just this side of being condemned because the owners don't know what the fuck they're doing. And THAT makes me angry. Theatres in unknowledgeable hands not only pisses me off, is not only a should-be crime, but is actually dangerous. They have some safety concerns there that, if I ran the theatre, would prevent any actual use of the stage until they were addressed. It's not that anyone's life is in danger by simply being in there, but rather that if they don't know what they're doing, they can get hurt - there's no safety lockouts, the fly system is in poor repair...I could go on. It's none of my business, right? But I can't help but deem a near future in which I'm called as an expert witness in a massive lawsuit a DISTINCT possibility.

Moreover, I hate the area the theatre is in. It's populated by idiots. I ended up giving vent to my general anger by getting angry at two drivers who nearly killed me and screaming at them. Had they gotten the guts to actually get out of their vehicles and beat the shit out of me, I would have welcomed it - or at least welcomed the chance to return the physical abuse. Drivers here just don't know what the fuck they're doing, pure and simple. They have NO concept that pedestrians have right-of-way at all times, and ESPECIALLY when I HAVE THE FUCKING GREEN AND THE WALK SIGNAL! I'm no idiot: me v. SUV will end badly. But give me the all clear to start dragging drivers out of their fucking cages and slamming their bloated heads into the curb, and I'll be all over that, whether or not I have the muscles to succeed or not. Road rage? From a pedestrian? The irony is, I am extremely zen when I'm actually driving my motorcycle - other drivers' idiocy rolls right off my back. But as a pedestrian, I feel I have the right to protect myself as I stroll through this city - by force if neccessary.

Oh, and fucking VISTA. "Activation code no longer valid" "Activation code already in use" Where's the fucking PHONE NUMBER to call Microsoft and get some help?? Don't get me started. THIS bullshit is why I switched to Mac long ago. I don't have my fucking goddamn overpriced, bug-ridden, bloated, slow, memory-hogging, pieced-together-bits-of-pirated-software-having, complete-Apple-ripoff OPERATING SYSTEM shut itself down when I'm on my MAC. You want to know why YOU should switch to a Mac and ask for your work to do so, too? Because Microsoft isn't worth supporting. Their products are bloated shit - and "but I've always used Windows" is a poor excuse for continuing to support the evil goliath.

Shit, it's not that I want everyone to live and work and think like me. I don't even want them to walk a mile in my shoes; it's just that I want them to start thinking CLEARLY. Sure, I'd love it if everyone saw things my way, but that wouldn't make for a very interesting world. So, yeah, drinking the Kool-Aide is optional, but a little bit of adherence to the social contract would go a long way. But no, people are just assholes; and in the Land of Assholes, the biggest dick is king. (Which sort of begs for a segue into national politics, but I'll digress.) And everybody - EVERYBODY - feels the need to be the biggest dick.

Top all this anger off with the horrorshow anniversary of 9/11 and this coming week is looking very dark indeed. I hate this time of year. I just want to turn it all off and tell the world to move the fuck on. I'm not in denial of the event or the need to respectfully observe its anniversary, but I think my fellow NY'ers are addicted to their pain and don't actually want healing. (Is that the pot calling the kettle black?) THAT's the reason we don't have a new WTC built yet; THAT's the reason there isn't a memorial done and finished; THAT's the reason every other news story during the month leading up to 9/11 is about PAIN.

That's all they're all about, so don't be fooled! There's endless stories about the heros of 9/11, their family members, their best friends from high school, their best friends' girlfriends father's ex-wife's second cousin, people who "were there" (from halfway across the country), people who "still feel their pain like it happened yesterday", etc etc etc. Constant documentaries on the towers coming down. Pain, Pain, Pain. Medicate us, they cry, worship us, pity us, euthanize us, though not in so few words. Give us palliatives, give us restitution, give us a pat on the hand. Piss and moan.

And the reporters LOVE IT. The editors say, go out and get us a new angle on our pain. Every fucking story. "No news is good news" to the consumer, but to the reports, "good news is no news." (Sorry Derek.) Props to the ACTUAL survivors, though - they manage to keep themselves out of this. It's a rare story that features an interview with someone who walked out of the doomed towers; maybe they recognize the way we're treating this event is somehow wrong and don't want to be associated with the tabloid-style reporting that 9/11 has engendered in even our most respected outlets. It's a very subtle FUCK YOU to the reporters, the editors, and the sick fucking consumers that eat this shit up. Yeah, that's right, I'm blaming YOU the consumer - the fat American so in love with thrillers that you can't tell the difference anymore between The Stand and 9/11. Demand and supply. Supply and demand, motherfuckers. God, I hate people. I really, really, really hate people.

So, where're the silver lining articles? Where are the articles on what has come out of the tragedy that is good and right? Where's the deep reporting that can finally lead to some incisive analysis of this tragedy and how it has affected, changed, and evolved the New York megalopolis?

Or is there nothing?

September 5, 2007

I am in training...for something

Well, today's run went well. Overall, I'll give it 4 apples, even! The first three miles were hard, but not in an "I wanna die" way. My lungs did OK and I had energy, but my legs were really super tight. I had to stop and stretch several times, which threw off the timing on my iPod. I very nearly had calf cramps, too, and that would've killed the whole run. But a good run, especially in the last mile and a half, and a lot of lung clearance goodness.

my sensor dropped out again, like the old one used to. As this is a new Nike+ sensor, I conclude the problem is not with the sensor, but rather with the receivor or my Nano. I suspect that having been my near-constant running companion and being carried around in bags and pockets for two years (more?) has not helped. the dock connector sometimes doesn't make good contact just charging - so I'm not really surprised it isn't making contact with the receiver constantly.

A a result, the Nike+ results aren't correct. I went out for a 4-mile jog and got in a very solid workout of 4.46 miles in about 50 minutes. I ran from work on 54th street, down the West Side Highway to Chambers street. I had intended to stop there, but I was feeling pretty good. After shutting off the now non-recording iPod, I continued across to the red sculpture at the end of the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side, where I'd ended Monday's run. It felt good linking the two runs together. The half mile across to that sculpture (far side of City Hall Park), I spent the first portion, about 1/4 mile, running at near-sprint. I just for once had the energy and made a game of dodging the terrified civilians non-runners. Then I slowed down a bit to cool down in the last few hundred yards of my run. I was tempted to tackle the bridge but... too much too soon can get me injured.

Now, it looks like the rumours were true: Apple announced today all-new versions of the Shuffle and the Nano, as well as the iPod Touch - an iPhone without the Phone, near as I can tell. I'll wait another few months until they release the 16GB iPhone (its only a matter of time); but if YOU can't wait for the iPhone, they did drop the price of the 8GB by a couple hundred dollars! (And have discontinued the 4GB version.)

In the meantime, considering my current Nano troubles, I will go to the Apple store tomorrow and check out the new Nano, make sure it is compatible with Nike+ and then ask for the black one for my birthday. :)

September 3, 2007

I am ... doing okay

Well, after Wednesday night's calf cramps, I had to take the rest of the week off from hard physical exercise. I could barely walk Thursday morning; by the end of day, my right calf felt normal again, but the left was still felt like I'd torn something in my calf. By the next morning, the pain had radiated down to my ankle and up to the back of my knee; by Friday night, it had spread even further upward. Fortunately, over the weekend, the pain subsided completely, which let me get back on the road today.

I wish I'd done my running yesterday, as I dawdled getting out of the house today and wound up running during the hottest part. It was 83 degrees for most of my run. I headed straight up and went across the Brooklyn Bridge; my goal was Union Square, but I called a halt after crossing the bridge. (It was nice and cool up there!) I was so overheated and already out of fluid. I bought a Gatorade and a power bar, but that isn't an instant fix for stomach cramps brought on by improper before-run hydration. Stupid Cris. Well, all was not lost. It was a surprisingly good run except right at the end, and my legs didn't give me trouble at all, though they were tired. I put in 4.8 miles, as measured on gmaps, in 58 minutes.

I finally found my Nano when I was cleaning my apartment saturday, so I ran with that and the new shoe sensor I'd ordered while on my big trip. It worked great, but as it read out a distance of 5.76 miles, I knew it needed some calibration!

I proceeded up to Paragon Sports to buy a new pair of running shoes. I wanted to take advantage of tax-free weekend and my NYRR members discount. I also picked up some new bar wrap for my bicycle, including gel inserts, and considered the various types of clip-in pedals. If I go that route, and I do think I want to, it will be a real investment, even for beginner's clips. I think, though, I can do better research in a real bicycle store and then get some stuff online for a much better price.

So I resolved to calibrate my ipod today and waited until the worst of the heat was over, then went out running again. It was only a mile, but it was the first time I've ever done two runs in one day, at least that I can remember. And this mile was steadily-paced, no walking. So I'm pretty happy with that. I'm even happier that I wasn't pushing the pace at all (didn't want to start coughing and have to slow to a walk while calibrating) and still managed a sub-10 minute pace.

So, here's the new shoes.

I got new laces to go with them, too! The regular ones are white, but these, by SofSole, are dark blue and light blue edges - perfect to go with the shoes. Much more manly, too. No more, "hey, nice shoes Cris! Or should I say, 'CRISSY'??" from the peanut gallery. Now I'm a stud in my matching shoes, shoelaces, and Team Boomer running gear. And the fact that this DOES match the TB logo is pure coincidence, I swear. I'm not actually looking to be color-coordinated, really.

So. Not QUITE the seven mile long run I had planned, but nevertheless a good running day. I am doing a show this week, so I don't know if I'll be able to put in my Wednesday run, but I will try. I'm eager to see if the ipod calibration turns out better results.

BTW, if you've been thinking of getting a Nano and the Nike+ kit, hold off a bit. Apple is scheduled to make some announcement on wednesday and it is widely believed they'll be announcing a 3rd gen Nano. If so, it may be time for me to upgrade. I need more storage anyhow. Or if you can't hold off or want a cheap Nano, go to the Apple Store (online) and find the Refurbished section - they have 2GB silver nanos for $99.