August 29, 2009

I have just discovered Me First & The Gimme Gimmes. What a great punk band! They take well-known songs and crank up the tempo, add punk licks, and generally barf color-me-bad all over them. It is GREAT running music. I am going to have to get more.

5.15 miles done in an hour and two minutes.

The splits are generally accurate, disregarding 'mile 6'. The route is accurate. I slept way too late, and then took my time getting out the door, because it was raining. I did make sure to take Tylenol and some tea before I went. I should have taken water with me, but didn't - that didn't seem to impact my performance any, though.

The lungs held up pretty well in the clean, humid air. With the temp in the low 70s, I wasn't sweating too badly either. A very nice day for a run, generally speaking.

The legs are beginning to have problems. Aches and pains that take days to go away, if they go away at all. I have IT band pain, knee pain, and pain on both the tops and bottoms of my feet, but nothing severe. I made a point to stretch very well after today's run. I hope I can keep up the training, though discontinuing marathon training has crossed my mind. I must still keep up after the 5 borough challenge, though.
So many things go through my mind when I run. Today's thoughts orbited around three centers of gravity: Senator Kennedy's passing, Bob Dillon's All Along the Watchtower, and Steve Runner's sudden, if not surprising, love affair with barefoot running.

Ted Kennedy didn't have much impact on my life. I was only peripherally aware of who he was: a senator for some New England state; brother to two slain, beloved political icons; and implicated in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. I'd become more aware of him as a powerful political force in recent years and have a hunch that it was his endorsement that propelled Obama to victory. I knew he was dying of brain cancer. That sucks, absolutely sucks, but he dealt with it nobly. He obviously left behind a legacy that few men ever could match and I wonder how many libraries, roads, and schools will be named after him. The new health care reform bills don't seem likely to pass at this point. Eventually the topic will come up again and America will figure out how to make sure everybody gets fair and decent health care - and probably it will be called the "Edward M. Kennedy Memorial Health Care Provision, Tort Reform, And Bridge Warning Signs Act of 2033".

Well, rest in peace, old man. You did a good job.

My podcast listening for today was Pheddip 202, all about Pavo Nurmi, whom I confess I'd never heard of. Fascinating history. But I was really interested in mail call, in which Steve responded to a people's emails challenging him on his latest thing: barefoot running (or, rather, running in sandals, water shoes, or barefoot - i.e.; without the support and cushioning of modern running shoes - and without the restrictions, either.) Very interesting episode with lots of food for thought. I don't think I'll be taking up the barefoot running craze, personally, but if someone is getting benefit from it, more power to 'em.

Finally, I looked up All Along The Watchtower. I don't have much familiarity with the song, but I was aware it was used to powerful effect in Battlestar Galactica. Bear McCreary's version was an amazing musical motif that drove the last two seasons of the show and was, in fact, the last piece of music, accompanying the last scene of the show. If you're not aware, BSG had a very strange ending. We'd long assumed the show was in the future, because the narration at the beginning tells us that we invented the robots, the robots (cylons) rebelled, bit battles, blah blah blah original series blah blah blah, and now we're this tiny little collection of humans trying to evade cylons who want to kill us all and find a new home at the same time. Best drama on TV. But the cyclons grew more advanced, found God, some broke away and formed an alliance with the humans, and in the last couple of episodes, we destroy the evil cylons and prophetic visions from a dying leader and someone we're not quite sure is a ghost or not, lead us to a new planet for a fresh start. This planet has only the earliest hominids on it and is obviously our present Earth. The series ENDS where our own history BEGINS. In fact, one of the characters, a child, is "Eve", the mitochondrial first homo sapiens, or something like that. It is all quite moving and jaw dropping and disturbing.

But to get to the point: I looked up All Along The Watchtower on wikipedia and then a site that explains all the lyrics. Dillon's lyrics are often derided as a songwriter reaching too far and just being jumbled, pretentious nonsense. I pretty much agree. But having gotten acquainted with the song - especially Hendrix's version - I can't deny the power of it and the chills that the ending gives. The ending is chronologically before the beginning.

Critic Christopher Rick's review is worded exactly right: "All Along the Watchtower" is an example of Dylan's audacity at manipulating chronological time: "at the conclusion of the last verse, it is as if the song bizarrely begins at last, and as if the myth began again."

Now keep in mind that Bear McCreary didn't pick up the song for BSG until the end of season THREE, yet the story ends EXACTLY as Watchtower does: it bizarrely begins at the last - and the myth begins again.

Listen, do your own research on this. I may be obsessed or crazy (I think not), but I see a powerful story whose genesis was 40 years before the telling of the tale - a story that will stand, in my lifetime, as one of the best ever told, a space odyssey so vivid and realistic as to compete with Robinson's Mars, Herbert's Dune, and even Asimov's Foundation.

Well, it's late and I hope to get up early for my run, so I guess I should make dinner, do therapy, and get to bed.

August 24, 2009

half-marathon point reached

This was a 13.4 mile run that got interrupted partway through. The iPhone or the app stopped tracking. Dammit.

So much going on right now. I will summarize yesterday's run by saying that after a week of nearly NO running (heat, humidity, busy blah blah blah), I was not expecting a good run; but it was actually a very high quality run. Maybe not particularly fast, but if you look at the splits for the first 9 miles, you can see how well things were going. Those splits aren't terribly accurate, due to the error in tracking, but I was definitely averaging sub-12-minute miles for the first 10.

After that, it got hard. Very hard. I struggled through the last 3.4 miles of the run, but feel overall it was a quality workout. (And my legs are certainly feeling it today!) It was warm and VERY humid, but amazingly my lungs felt great - my untrained legs turned out to be the limiting factor. I was even able to keep the shin splints at bay. I felt well-hydrated and more-or-less comfortable the whole time, even if I couldn't get the sweat to evaporate!

The prep for the run wasn't great. I ran lights for my Fringe show due to crew staffing problems, so on Saturday I did that twice, with a short 2 mile run in Central Park in between. My dinner was a giant bagel w/ creamcheese and lox - not quite enough for dinner, but I was too tired to cook when I got home. So imagine my surprise at how well the first 10 miles went.

Post run, I did the whole ritual. Lots of stretching, ice bath, hot shower. Slept for three hours after, went to run lights for my show one last time, then came home and slept well last night. Took two Endurolytes after my run, to replace the salt I lost - it was encrusting various parts of my body.

I need to order more Endurolytes, Sustained Energy, and Hammer bars. Probably time to get some goo, too. Will probably order single shot packets, as I don't go through gel fast enough to make the big jugs worth it, and I'd like to carry around a packet or two to combat unexpected blood sugar lows.

August 17, 2009

Suck ass gym workout

The workout itself was fine - high quality cardio - 35 minutes on the bike. It's everything surrounding the workout that sucked, such as the fact the gym was so full I couldn't find space to foam roll after.

Considering tomorrows "7 easy miles"... Hm.... I don't think I'm ready for that on a Tuesday. May go ahead and do a hot 4 after work, knowing I will have to be well prepared, bring hydration, and take my time. It's the 7 miles of hills the next day that really have me worried.

August 16, 2009

NYC Half Marathon 2009

I didn't get to run this one, unfortunately, but was happy to get up early and go take pictures. I've put some of my best shots below, and there's lots more at my Picassa album here: NYC Half Marathon 2009.

August 15, 2009

Shin splints, heat, and exhaustion

Watching track and field on NBC right now. Will take a nap soon. Will write about the run later tonight.


OK. I did many things wrong today, including getting up too late and forgetting to take Tylenol and salt tablets. I had three major barriers on this run: shin splints in the first four miles, the climbing heat in the last eight, and just exhaustion (probably salt depletion mostly) in the last three. In short, this run sucked. The graph is off, too, because for whatever reason, it stopped plotting when I stopped to chat to a guy on the big hill. While I have adjusted the route to show the right path and distance, the pace splits are pretty far off after mile 8.

Several things of note.

First, I'm having trouble keeping my eye on the prize. I kept wondering today why I'm doing this? I'm certainly running more than enough to boost my health and am now in the range of getting injured. The aches and pains I experienced throughout the run speak to that.

Second, running without a shirt is glorious, but probably insanely stupid, if the definition of insane is "doing something over and over and expecting different results. I could feel myself beginning to crisp in the last couple miles. I don't think I got too badly burned (thanks to the tan I've built up), but shit...this is just dumb.

Third, the run was fairly uneventful for the first loop (I ran to the park and did three loops, then ran down 9th street to the 4th ave subway station for a total of 12 miles. 13 was on the menu, but that seemed like pushing it after only 10 last week). On my second trip down the slope, on the south side of the park, I was passed by some bicyclist in an orange jersey who was leading three others in a training ride. He was quite vocal and was yelling - YELLING - at pedestrians to watch out, get out of the way, etc. While the family he was yelling at was admittedly taking their sweet goddamn time crossing the road and were certainly not watching out for traffic, the bicyclist went way overboard. We all have to share the park and his behaviour was simply out of line. I've encountered a-holes like him before and have an overwhelming desire to jam sticks in their spokes. I mean, I've had my share of problems from people not watching where they're walking, squirrely kids who can't control their bicycles, etc; but I realize that we all have to adjust to each other.

So I found some cops. I talked to them and asked them to have a word with the bicyclist about his behaviour if they see him (and how could they not with his bright orange jersey?)

Not too much later, I completely forgot about the asshole on wheels (the bicyclist, not the cop), as I encountered some people under a tree at the foot of the big hill, staring up into the branches. I'm glad I slowed to look - there was a red-tailed hawk! And in another tree a few feet away was another one, whom I presume was his mate. Now, I grew up in the country and have seen plenty of hawks, but they're pretty scarce in NYC - and to see them closeup was a real treat. Just like that, my run went from bad, to not-so-bad.

On my third loop, I realized I kept passing all these people in light blue shirts and with light blue backpacks. It was either a cult, or a walk for something, so I stopped a couple and asked. Turns out it was a walk for diabetes, sponsored by these people's clinic, I think. The walkers were almost all African-American, but not all of them patients - lots of family. It was great to see the FAMILY SUPPORT. The guy I talked to was diagnosed not too long ago and admitted he spent the first six months in complete denial, but had recently decided to get control of his disease and was feeling much better. He admired me for being young and slim; I didn't tell him that was a product of my CF, for the most part. It was a nice chat.

I wrapped up the run by changing my planned route. I'd meant to quit at Pritchard Square, thus completing 11.7 miles for the day, but at the last minute decided to exit at 9th street and use the five blocks of downhill as an easy way to tack on an extra half mile. So, 12.2 miles for the day. Not bad, but it completely wiped me out. I did all the right post-run stuff, but have a feeling tomorrow I will be in pain. Check out the badges of honor:

Those white specks above and below my eye are salt crystals.

The thin, grit line. Tan and dirt above, pale white skin below.

I'm supposed to get up early and go take pictures of NYC Half, but I'm kinda debating it. I do want to meet this guy Nate and his wife who will be handing out Team Boomer flyers at the end of the race. This promises to be hot work without shade, so I better dress appropriately.

In other news, Radcliffe, Ndereba, and Kastor will be battling it out for the women's race, while my favorite Ryan Hall competes in the men's. I don't think he'll be able to break his record (the US half-marathon record), but he might get close. It's just too hot to break records. If I'm really lucky, I'll get a picture of him!

Also, I note that tracking for NYC Marathon will be D-tags this year. Aww.... and I so loved keeping my chip last year. Guess I'm glad I did the race last year, if there aren't going to be anymore souvenir chips!

August 14, 2009

weird 2 miler

Trying to forget the heat and shitstorms of the week. Fringe is fucking killing me. Now I'm running my own lights, because it became clear in tech this morning that we just don't have enough hands on deck - and with such a poor plot to work off of (rep plot, not mine), I've got to make sure even the few lights I refocus get refocused right, every time. I'm also not convinced the cues are finished. May tweak them some more. We open Sunday.

In other news, saw my endo yesterday and walked away as moderately unhappy as I entered. I brought up my concerns and complaints. I tried not to make it sound like I wanted special treatment (I don't) or that I'm a whiny bitch (you decide). But I think it's fair that the doctor knows how I feel about her, the clinic, and the process so far. She made some valid points, but also made some arguments that really didn't help. She point blank told me that she has a very large caseload and that personalized attention - even returning a phone call - was not on the table. Essentially, my nutritionist there is my point person. I'm OK with that to an extent (it is clear that they communicate with each other), but it is a kind of process I experience no where else. Is this common at diabetes clinics?

It also doesn't help that I think I simply don't like HER. She's cold and impersonal; even when I have her full attention, I feel like I'm getting the brushoff. This is not how I imagine the beginning of a possibly life-long doctor-patient relationship.

Kept my run shorter than the scheduled 4 miles because I'm moving the weekend long run up to tomorrow, rather than Sunday. So 12 or 13 miles tomorrow, early, before it gets hot; then take pictures of the NYC Half Sunday morning, hand out Team Boomer fliers at the finish (Maybe), and then open my Fringe show in the afternoon. Add cleaning the house, doing all the dishes, and trying to file six weeks' worth of receipts and bills and the weekend is looking very full.

Sushi tonight, though. :)

August 13, 2009


I need to remind myself more often that there's always a silver lining. Put in a second run once I got home, while my chicken was cooking, and turned out a good, quality 3 miles, especially after the turnaround point. I haven't turned in a good mile like that in a long time. Take a look at the graph on the runkeeper site and note the good pacing.


August 12, 2009

another day in the shitter

I seem to be having an awful lot of bad days lately. Today was lousy. I missed my exercise. I'm not even sure I would have done it, if I'd even had the time, because the humidity had me panting just walking. Tomorrow is a rest day according to the calendar, but I will just have to make up my medium-length run I missed today.

Went to tech the Fringe show and we discovered Fringe LIED to us. Told us we had four hours for tech, when we really only had two. "A typo" they said. I think I did a pretty good job on the lights with what I had, but will hopefully get time to clean up the cuing before the show opens Sunday. I know Fringe isn't the bottom of the barrel, but it's close.

We then all went to a local food and drink establishment for a paper tech - basically a long meeting to get the order of the various cues figured out, without actors. We have a lot of tech on this one and the stage manager is certainly earning his pay. Well, one thing and another, that lasted until 5.

Then the D train. The goddamn MTA doesn't know what the fuck it's doing and anybody who says otherwise is either a blind fool or a shill for the MTA. I got stuck on an un-airconditioned car and it took an HOUR to go four express stops, all the while getting periodically bumped in the back by a woman with a huge purse who refused to set it on the floor or whatever. No, she's gotta be rude and keep banging people with it.

My oven is broken. Gas is going, but it's no longer lighting itself. I don't know when I'll have time to call for and wait for a repairman, which I'm sure will cost too much. In the meantime, I invested fifty bucks in a giant countertop convention oven slash toaster. At least my evening meals are back in business and I might actually go back to eating toast in the mornings, which I haven't done since undergrad. Of course, that will necessitate more insulin.

SPEAKING OF WHICH... I have my endo appointment tomorrow. I just spent most of two hours transferring my logs from to the diabetes center's paper forms. By hand. I'm realizing that I didn't get everything recorded while I was on my motorcycle trip. But I was getting better at it as the trip went on. Perhaps the paper forms are better - easier to lay it all out and see trends. I don't know.

To end on a good note, I have tracked down my old band teacher, who was my first diabetic role model. Insulin and all. I have emailed him and I hope he'll write back. Or perhaps, like me, he is not too keen on voices from the past. We shall see. I'm just glad to know he's OK and still teaching music to kids.

August 11, 2009

shitty workout

4 easy miles on the calendar. I substituted with 30 minutes on the stationary bicycle and a mile on the treadmill. I would have liked to have done two miles on the treadmill, but my asthma kicked in early, despite having taken albuterol, and just got worse and worse as the workout progressed. I barely finished the mile. Walking home was very slow. I'm doing therapy now and I hope that helps. This weather is miserable. Maybe I should move to Canada.

Busy times, these are. I'm managing to juggle it all, but I'll be glad when I get my Fringe show, Ectospasms, teched and open. I have to swing by Home Despot tomorrow a.m. and pick up a dual-head worklight, because the venue director of the space doesn't want us to use the Q-lite we have for our silouhette (the lamp is unprotected - a valid concern in a festival setting, I suppose, but one not taken seriously in most theatres regarding this particular model of light.) Fringe giveth, and Fringe taketh away.

Thursday is my big grand second endocrinology appointment. It's been so long, I have to look up the doctor's name just to prepare my invective. Oh, yes, I am preparing as non-emotional a statement of my concerns as possible. I want to level my charges and solicit her response. I am afraid that, yes, I am loading up both barrels and that as a result, the appointment may not be productive as a checkup - but will be very revealing as to whether I continue to go to Naomi-Berri center. Basically, I want to be convinced that I am in good hands, that my endo discusses my case with my CF specialist when needed, and that I am being treated correctly with all due attention my complications need. I'm not asking for special treatment, but at the moment, I simply feel like a number in their system, and wonder if my treatment is even close to correct. It is COMMON, but is it CORRECT? If it is, then it is a treatment I had to bully them into prescribing and I'm pretty displeased with THAT. Etcetera. You get the general idea. We'll see what happens.

My plan is to run after work tomorrow. Supposed to be 7 miles of hills, but I will probably keep it to 6.

August 9, 2009

Back on the wagon

So I fell off the wagon. After a very crappy run Tuesday before last, I didn't run for 9 days, due to work and motorcycling. I'm not going to go into long explanations. The short story is that I preferred sleep to exercise and that I was forced into making that choice. But now I'm back on the wagon and picking up on training again.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to do the full 10 miles the plan called for today, but I did get it done. The first three SUUUUUUCKED. As usual. The first mile, in fact, was so slow and so awkward I wondered if I should cut the day's mileage in half. But by the time I was well into the third mile, I began to feel warmed up. I did not tackle the big hills with gusto, I'm afraid; just dealt with them best I could. I kept in mind that this is Long Slow Distance run and that when one's short run speed is little better than one's long run speed, some walking may be called for in order to last the entire distance.

However, I managed to cut the amount of walking down gradually as the run progressed and had a couple of really good miles, especially between 5.5 and 6.5 and the last mile of the run.

It was warm and humid today, with few breezes, but was nicely overcast and not outright hot. It was humid enough that my sweat did not evaporate, but not so humid I couldn't breathe, so I was in just that narrow window. I remembered to bring hydration and filled up at water fountains frequently.

The last stretch home - the "dessert mile" was very hard to run. I struggled through it and used the downhills as best I could. The last half mile, especially, was a battle to keep my legs moving and not slow to a walk. But when approaching my last intersection, where I usually end my run before the light, the light changed and the walk sign changed to the white walking man outline, beckoning me across the intersection and as far as I needed to hear the voice announce a full 10 miles. And I finished strong. As hard as that last 1.7 miles from park to home was, once the voice announced 9 miles and the time, I felt that a good effort could get me home under the 2 hour mark. I pushed hard and managed a sub-two. More training like this and I should do very well at the Queens Half in September. (Which reminds me, I need to get signed up for the Staten Island Half right away.)

So here it is, my definitive 10-mile route; EXACTLY 10 miles from my house to the park, around twice, and back home:

For the record, here are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday's runs. Not quite up to the training plan, but at least it got me back on the wagon.

Get back on that wagon; extremely difficult. Very sore from the motorcycle ride still and very tired from mounting IMPACT. 2 miles near my house; not bad, just too short.