February 8, 2008

I am in and out of Joisey

You know, the "Jersey" accent really gets a bad rap. Most people who live there don't sound like that - only people from Hoboken, Jersey City, and other urban spots sound like that. The rest sound like normal people.

I've been in New Jersey a lot these last two weeks, out painting one of my scenic designs. This one was quite ambitious, and I knew it when I designed it, but it will get done on time. At this point, the vast bulk of the painting is done and the rest could be completed by the main painting help they've got - a graphic arts teacher who assists the technical director in lieu of coaching lacrosse. Right now, she's slaving away painting highlights and shadows of 422 square feet of theatrically over-sized (4.5" x 11.5") bricks - approximately 1050 of them. And she's doing it on units that curve up and overhead. I did all the base painting and will finish the brick when I go out to New Jersey next - on Sunday. The show opens Thursday, but I don't think I'll be there. I'm going to help them figure out the scene changes and then split.

Here's the plus side to New Jersey: the air is clean and the food is good and free (at least where this job is). I like visiting.

The downside is that it rains. A lot. In fact, every single morning I've been out there. And the rest of the time, I'm in the theatre, painting, until I'm so exhausted I can't paint anymore, about midnight.

So I did not feel particularly put out to realize that I'd forgotten to pack my running pants and could not go running (I'm not going to run in my jeans).

So, unfortunately, Wednesday's 5-miler is a dropped run. Today's 3-miler, however, got done just a couple hours ago. I arrived home, changed clothes, and headed back out the door, intent on the regular 3.4-mile hilly out-and-back. Keep in mind I have had to walk parts of this for a long time now.

I guess running with B taught me a little more about how to keep going through coughing fits than I realized. Except for one hard coughing fit (the first one), I didn't have to stop at all. Look at that chart! the blue line is pace. You can clearly see where I walked for just a minute - the rest of the chart is a smooth, almost steady line of running, broken only by two abrupt stops to avoid getting hit by stupid drivers who weren't checking for foot traffic at stop signs.

This was the run I've been wishing for for a long time. It isn't perfect, not yet, but it was surprising in how I was able to summon the effort to keep going through the coughing spells and didn't even stop at Prospect Park for stretching. My legs felt strong and willing.

Tomorrow is a client meeting, then 8 miles in Central Park, then probably top of the day with core exercises and weights at the gym. I have to go back to New Jersey for Sunday and Monday night's tech rehearsals, then I'm home for some time.

(At some point, I need to find a clear week where I'm not interacting with a lot of people - I'm providing some sputum samples for a study and it involves collecting them cumulatively each day, for a week. I'm curious about how much I actually produce per day and this should be very illuminating.)

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