Friday, June 29, 2012

Believe It - Time For Another Playlist Update

I'm searching for something to believe
Something so much more

Ran my standard run today.  It was very sweaty. 

Time for another playlist update.  Believe by Flowerchild.  I don't know thing one about Flowerchild except that they are Canadian and I got this song for free from a Canadian music site (no, not - that hasn't started yet).  Anyway - this song is cool - it's not in any danger of making my top 150, but it's cool to run to.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Buy in Vain

Now I got a job
But it don't pay
I need new clothes
I need somewhere to stay
-The Clash

So I'm struggling with the new rules for mortgages in the USA.  Good job swinging the pendulum way too far in the other direction.  Thanks a lot subprime jackholes.

Woke up early and ran this morning.  It wasn't going well so I decided to turn early and take a different route home.  I ran North for a bit, snaked through the neighborhood and found my way home.  Instead of running 4 miles like I planned, I ran 4 miles.  OK - I'll take it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Deafening voices
That frequency inside my head
That says
You're going at it the hard way
- Fort Minor

I just finished up my final pre-vacation run at the gym. I did two at incline on dreadmill then one one the indoor track where the air actually moves and doesn't create a stifling cloud of swampy air around me. Now on to hot tub and steam.
The cats in the cradle
And the silver spoon
Little boy blue
And the man on the moon

I don't have a clue what that means or who sings it, but it was running through my head as I ran tonight at 8:30pm. I ran without music thinking it would be easier to detect and fend off any neighborhood predators. Also, I had fat dog with me. Unfortunately none of my precautions proved effective against what ultimately got me - a jumping cactus. The legend is true, we do have those in the desert, although they don't jump exactly. Or maybe they do. All I know is I was jogging innocently along when I felt something clamp onto my lower calf, in the inside. I looked down and it was one of those jumping cactii. It was fairly dried out, but some of the spines were stuck pretty good into my leg. I found two flat rocks and pried the thing off, and then pulled the individual spines out that we're left. It hurt. But, crisis averted, I ran on. I did a pretty decent 2.5 miles and walked another half home. I will be on vacation starting Monday, so not sure if/when I will run or post. I know you'll all be waiting with baited breath. I'm taking the kidlets to Yellowstone, so should be a fairly active vacation in any case. Do any of you know anyone who is qualified to feed my cat while I'm gone?

Oh also I did 2 on dreadmill yesterday. Walked most of second mile. Not good. Peace out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Plea From A Cat Named Virtue

All you ever want to do is drink and watch TV,
frankly that thing doesn't really interest me.
I swear I'm going to bite you hard and taste your tinny blood
if you don't stop the self-defeating lies you've been repeating
since the day you brought me home.
-The Weakerthans

This song is sung from the point of view of a cat who is tired of his person's moping around.  While I might need a cat to give me such talks regularly - it's never going to happen.

Anyway, the other day a friend of mine gives me a call.

Him:  Any chance you are going for a run Saturday evening? 
Me:  Sure.  Why?
Him:  Can you feed my cat?

Funny that he asked that way.  This is a guy who has done about a million things for me and if there was a friendship scoreboard, I would be getting killed.  Of course I'll feed the cat.  But I can only assume that he asked that way for one of two reasons

1) My attempts to define myself as a non-runner who runs have failed miserably
2) He is a publicity whore who wants to be mentioned in the blog

OK - I vote for number 2.  I can't bring myself to define myself as a runner (since I can't see myself as accomplished enough to do so) so I must pick the alternative.  This blog also means that even though I fed the cat I've fallen even farther behind on the scoreboard. 

The other funny thing was that they left the key for me in a Christmas card.  I was worried it would be rude to throw the card away in the house, so I finished my run carrying a Christmas card.  3.5 miles run, 1 cat fed.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You only get one chance in life
to leave your mark upon it
When a pony comes ridin by
You better sit your sweet ass on it
- Zac Brown Band

I really debated the gym tonight, but I ended up going. I did 3 dreadmill miles at inclines in 34:02. I was really shooting to break into the 33's. Damn. Oh and yesterday I did a bad 2 - ran one and then walked one. Not a good run day, but today was ok.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"You've lost twelve pounds since I last saw you."
- my doctor

Yep, that was the music in my ears today. It's not like I've been trying to lose weight, so when she asked I told her I have been in a relationship for the past year and I just eat better. That's all I can attribute it to.

Today I did 3 on dreadmill but to change it up I started on 2.5 incline and decreased it .5 every half mile, so I was at a higher than normal incline half the time. It was a good workout.

Someday I will regale you with tales of how I spent my whole Sunday traveling to Nashville only to be left alone in a conference room with a salad I didn't order, my pleas for diet coke falling on deaf ears, and talking briefly to other people far too busy to pay attention to little ole me. One guy got paged after 20 minutes with me, left and never came back. Do you think he had his admin do that? Kinda like the blind date trick of having your girlfriend call you after 30 minutes to create an emergency to get you out of there in case he's awful?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The gift my dad gave me

Running is a gift my dad shared with me when I was young, probably about 10 or 11.  My earliest memories of running are in Pinetop, when we lived off of a long road in a meadow, so you could see for miles.  My dad was a regular runner, and I asked if I could could go with him one day.  My dad was cool enough to make me feel welcome running with him, even though I'm sure I slowed him down. 

Our routine was we'd walk out to the road and and start running together.  I learned to regulate my breathing by listening to how he timed his breaths with his steps.  He slowly jogged ahead of me, occasionally glancing back to make sure I was doing okay.  He stopped at the cattle guard about 1.5 miles down the road, and there he waited for me to catch up to him.  I remember I would keep my eyes trained on the hairy figure in the distance (he often ran with his shirt off) and watch him as he got bigger and bigger in my view.  When I finally got to him, he would ask how I was doing.  Once he confirmed I was well, he started back and I followed him.  He again waited at the road near our house for me to finish running, and then we'd walk back to the house together, sweaty and satisfied while catching our breath. 

My dad never timed our runs, and never seemed to push himself beyond what felt good on that particular day.  I learned from my dad that running can be enjoyable, even relaxing, and a great way to enjoy the outdoors while keeping my body healthy.  It is a gift I value more and more, the older I get.  Running keeps me fit and healthy and young, as it still does my dad. 

Happy Father's Day dad!  Thank you for the lifelong gift of running. 

Today I went to the gym with the intent of just doing two miles on the indoor track.  It's my fifth day in a row and I probably would have taken the day off but I have to go to Nashville tomorrow for a job interview, so the next two days are likely out.  Anyway, I felt pretty good on the track, which is part of my strategy in doing inclines on the treadmill (so flat running hopefully feels easier, plus I have hills in my neighborhood so it keeps me prepared).  I generally know in the first couple minutes of a run how it's going to go, and I felt good enough to think I'd probably do three miles.  Shortly thereafter I decided I could probably do four, which would be good since I'm taking the next couple days off.  And in the third mile I decided I would push past four, and make this my "long" run (assuming there is some sort of training occuring for a future half marathon).  And, I ended up doing five miles on this day.  Feeling pretty darn good about that. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Too Hot To Be Fall

Well, there's a football in the air,
Across a leaf blown field.
-Better Than Ezra

This is my favorite song of all time.  #1.  Without a doubt.  It describes the complex optimistic but melancholy feeling of Fall in the American South.  And it always reminds about how perfectly football and fall weather go together.

But not summer.  Wednesday night was the first preseason game of the upcoming Canadian Football League season.  This is horrible.  I know that the argument goes that they have to start early so they can finish the season before it gets so f*$%ing cold in the winter.  The flaw in that argument is that it assumes that they have to play.  Why not stop?  A few years ago this league had 9 teams and two of the teams were named Rough Riders.  Really - that name is so good that two cities are fighting over it?  I guess in comparison to the other team names it is.  Tiger Cats might be the worst name in sports.  Argonauts isn't much better.  Also - Baltimore is a past champion in this league.  I think my biggest issue is that in the CFL if you surrender the ball effectively (by punting it out of the end zone) you get a point.  This is called a rouge.  I will not comment on the fact that a French word is used to describe effective surrender.

I feel better now.  Just had to get that off my chest.  I ran my standard run today and it was OK.  It felt really hot, so I think I'm going to be in trouble soon. 

Can't laugh, can't cry

You tried to explain, but I couldn't hear it
As if your words were my tears
Flowing freely, warm and quiet
From the edges of my eyes into my ears
Then all that disappears
- Sugarland

So today my only commitment was to get on the treadmill and start running. Whenever I stopped after that was just fine by me. As it turns out I ran a slow and easy 3 miles with relatively little problem.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What makes a good run?

If at all God's grace upon us falls
It's with a mischevous grin
- Dave Matthews

That is one of my favorite song quotes of all time. 

So today I struggled again with my 3 mile treadmill run.  I don't get it.  Tuesday I felt like I could run forever (granted, that was after two days off).  Last week I ran four miles and felt GREAT.  Running in Cape Cod was almost effortless, although arguably running at ocean level is easier than even Phoenix.  I've been getting a lot of sleep, eating well, and no stress.  Yet I can't tell from one day to the next when I will have a good run vs a bad one.  I guess the key is to keep plugging away at it and know that a good one will come again, as long as I'm consistent. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A tired 3

As great as yesterday was, I was fatigued today. I did 3 on tready at inclines but I walked some of the last mile. Then I sat in the hot tub and then steam room. I love my gym.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Running By The Numbers

Today the numbers aligned.  This post was going to be titled "I really didn't want to go today" or "I don't know how you working stiffs do it" but a slight miracle occured on the treadmill today.  I did not want to go the gym.  I was tired from my vacation on the Cape.  Yes, I get the irony there.  I got on with the intent of doing 3 miles at my normal inclines, and just seeing how it went.  But I felt great during the first mile and stepped up my speed cautiously.  Felt great during the second mile, speed stepped up more.  Felt great during the third mile, and hit it in around 34 minutes, and kept going.  I thought I'd let myself rest at 3.5 but no!  I pushed on, and got to 4 miles in 44:44, or 11:11 min/miles, which was great.  And then I was tired.  In the spirit of numbers, I looked at our blog stats, and discovered that "haphazard flinging of feces" was a search that led someone to our site.  So gotta feel great about that. 
BTW, no music today because I left my ipod in my suitcase, but I did have spare headphones in my car so I watched bad tv. 

Another Playlist Update

You`ve been under my skin for more than eight years
It`s been eight years of laughter and eight years of tears
And I don`t know what the future can hold, or will do, for me and you
But I`m a much better man for having known you
-The Lowest of the Low

Really only six years.  But you get the point.  I've lived in Toronto for 6 years and am soon to return to the homeland.  All of the change has gotten in the way of running, but today I got up early and made it out the door.

I literally saw the early bird with a worm hanging out of its mouth this morning.  And a woman walking what she seemed to think was a dog, but I'm pretty sure it was a bear.  Anyway, I ran my normal run, but it was wet from the rain last night.  Luckily, that made me envision myself as a steeplechase runner as I athletically jumped over the puddles.  And yes, in my mind, I was not running for either the US or Canada; instead I was a Kenyan steeplechase runner.  While most people would call this a stretch, it is progress for me.  Usually in my mind I picture myself as Zola Budd, which would be normal if I were 85 pounds, a woman, or a barefoot runner.  So seeing myself as a Kenyan distance runner is a big step in getting closer to reality.  Solid 4.25 today.

And since it is what I do - I will add the above-quoted song to the official playlist.  Rosy and Grey - amazing song, amazing band.   I saw them live in a place that holds like 80 people - this song was the best live performance I've ever seen.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

This is what I contemplated on today's run as I jogged through the woods and trails of Cape Cod. The first ever bear has been spotted on the cape and the locals are in a frenzy speculating how he got here and trying to take his picture. They think he swam across from the mainland. I didn't spot him though. I did 6k again according to my iPod, although I am suspicious of this measurement since how does my iPod know I'm a short slow lady that takes a lot of steps in a mile vs a tall dude with a long stride? I will take it anyway. I wandered through some really cool beach neighborhoods and wooded paths.


-Bill Walton

I really hope the networks were smart enough to assign Bill Walton to do the commentary on the TV feed of my run today.  He would have had a field day.  "Terrible run, terrible preparation, terrible effort".  And he is right.  I haven't been running enough (one run in the past 12 days), haven't been sleeping enough, ended my very short boycott of McDonalds by eating there twice, yada yada yada.  But the hell with all of that. 

So I'm back in TO, and ran my normal route (mostly - I cut it off a little bit since it really wasn't a good run).  As I was running along the lake I saw an cordoned off area with a bunch of tents.  Really?  Occupy the beach of Lake Ontario?  Come on.  As usually, my first guess was weird and incorrect.  Turns out it was just a volleyball tournament. 

Cut off the end part of the run and so I completed about 3.5.  Maybe Jon Gruden will call the next run and it will go better.

Friday, June 8, 2012

I can't believe you actually picked me

I will keep calling you to see
If you're sleepin are you dreamin
If you're dreamin are you dreamin of me?
- Blue October

I had an awesome run today on the Cape. I think it was about 3.75 miles based on my iPod pedometer that I got working during the second half. It was a lovely cool day with ocean breezes and at sea level it just feels effortless.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

Take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories, I don't need 'em
Take your space and all your reasons
But you'll think of me

Take your cat but leave my sweater
We have nothing left to weather
In fact, I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me

That is probably my favorite Keith Urban song right there. It's on my sad songs playlist, for when I need a good pout. In celebration of National Running Day I decided to do four miles today. Actually I had decided that before I found out t was national running day. Who knew there was such a thing? Anyway, since I've been pushing myself a little on pace, I decided to take a longer slower jog today but I kept my inclines on the first two miles. For some reason that helps me to feel like it's broken into sections. I still felt strong after the first two, so I turned it up to 5.5 for the third, and then as fast as I could on the fourth. I think I did that last mile in 10:30 and I was trying to finish in under 46, and it turned over to 4 miles just as it turned to 46 min, so I'm taking credit for 45:59, haha. About 11:30 min miles which isn't bad given the inclines. And that last mile I felt like I had really reached "all levels.".

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I know I'm a lucky man
God's given me a pretty fair hand
Got a house and a piece of land
A few dollars in a coffee can
My old truck's still runnin good
My ticker's tickin like they say it should
I got supper in the oven
A good woman's lovin
And even my bad days ain't that bad
Lord knows I'm a lucky man
- Diercks Bentley (I think)

There's a little bit of country for you on this sunny June afternoon. I watched Ellen on the treadmill this afternoon instead of music and that's the song that was on the radio on the way home. A song about a simple life and a good reminder that we have all we need. And it makes me smile because it reminds me of my dad.

I did another 3.5 at inclines today, 3 in 33:36. While I was trying to beat 33, I was pretty happy with that. Then I walked another half. I guess it's time to start thinking about going longer if we're going to do that damn half marathon, although my plan B is to be sitting on a balcony with a margarita in my hand watching you all run by.

Monday, June 4, 2012

She's not crazy (knock on wood)
Just a little misunderstood
- Better Than Ezra

Today I rocked it just a little. I totally have my treadmill groove back. I did 3 miles at incline but I sped up my pace each mile. I did the last half mile at 10 min pace and then 9 and felt pretty darn good. I was sprinting the last trying to break into 33 min, but I ended up at 34:02. Oh well, next time. Gotta go, Bachelorette is on.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Now I'm close, but not touching
And I'm cold, but not freezing
And I'm only alive
Only alive briefly
- Better Than Ezra

Really good song there. So I went to the gym today out of pure boredom, if you can believe that. Did 3 miles on dreadmill as I listened to BTE and contemplated this movie where Reece Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo are in a frantic conversation. I think I've seen it. And I must say i felt damn good on the treadmill. Must have been the nap I took after getting up at the ungodly hour of 630 to take my daughter to drivers Ed. Ah yes, one of them, either Witherspoon or Ruffalo is dead. And I think she's a doctor or something. So this guy jumps on the treadmill next to me and keeps looking at me, and I'm laboring hard doing 11 min pace on my 1 pct incline mile and I want to punch him. But damn I'm doing good. I think I will try to finish in 33 min, as I shift down to zero incline for the last mile. Oh yeah, it's Witherspoon but she's not dead, she's just in a coma and learning all these lessons about how she worked too hard in life and never had time for love. Thank god i will never have to worry about that. And in her coma she's falling for Ruffalo, for some reason she follows him around in spirit and he can see her and talk to her. And then i finished up in 34:30, so I don't know if love prevailed in the movie but I'm sure it did.

The Middle

Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
-Jimmy Eat World

I feel very much in the middle.  Not here.  Not there.  Not anywhere.

So I ran in Houston today.  I didn't pack well, but there is Target in this country, so all problems can be solved.  With a new pair of shorts, I set out for my run.  But I should explain - I woke up late, had to buy shorts, and then take care of some other business, so it was about noon when I was ready to go.  Couple of things to note about Houston

1) it is hotter than Toronto
2) nope - just one thing to note

I ran 3 miles and sweated out all of my excesses from the last couple of days.  I don't think I have eaten anything that wasn't in the form of a taco since I've been here (I guess I had a pita for lunch yesterday, but it was folded up like a taco). 

And let's make The Middle by Jimmy Eat World official on the 1/2 marathon playlist.  I like them.  They remind me of what was good about the 80's.  And another Arizona band.  As always - here's the link.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Anderson cooper at the gym

My iPod was dead today so I plugged the headphones in and listened to Anderson on CNN. I read this week that CNN had sunk to the lowest ratings among news channels. I was surprised because I like CNN and I think it has the most impartial news reporting. Plus cutie Anderson has a giggle fit every now and again that makes me laugh. Anyway, he was getting ready to do the ridiculist, where he makes fun of stupid societal things and it's generally funny. Tonight he introduced the Miss America pageant and I was so excited to see a serious news figure ridiculing this event as I have so often in the past. Seriously America, when will we grow out of this ridiculous need for prettiest girl pageants?? But I digress. Anderson's silly cohost interrupted him to do a surprise birthday party for him, so no ridiculist. I will be waiting anxiously to see it next week. Anyway, I did two miles on dreadmill and called it a day.