I considered starting out with a big nostalgia piece about the death of the Loop on Runner's World Online. But I figure I've written enough nostalgia-themed blogs over the years that it would be sort of redundant. On top of that, last week sort of snuck up on us all (thanks so much, RW). When I got the note from Cliff about hosting us on a new site, I jumped aboard that train as fast as I could. The smart thing might have been to do a bunch of research and have discussions with various Loopsters and then come to a consensus on something. Don't think any additional explanation is necessary. Everyone knows my history when it comes to doing the smart thing. At any rate, here we are in the "new" Loop, with our very own domain name no less. At the very least we have a place for our blogs to go and we can keep our community alive. We also have control over our destiny. We can evolve and grow as we think best, and that's really what any human being (runner or not) wants, isn't it?
So, let's keep what we've always had - love, support, positivity - and add some creative energy around our new home, making it bigger and better than it was before. Pass the word to old and new runners friends about where we are and what we do. I'm looking forward to seeing some fun stuff. Not from me, of course because I'm boring, but most of you are, so get busy. Got to figure out how to do pics and video and other interesting stuff.
And one more shout out to Cliff for hosting. Whether this is your hobby or side business or your full time gig, your work is greatly appreciated. (everyone show Cliff some Loop Love) You should write something by way of introduction. I doubt any of us know much about you. I saw you're a cyclist more than a runner (which is OK, I guess).
Hey, so I guess at this point I'll get on with a report on my latest adventure. This was a short weekend at my DS2's in Louisville. He's had a rough several months and needed some serious support. We'd have had him come up to the house, but it seemed a better idea for me to go there. I took off work early on Friday, and Abby and I made the drive down I-75. Funny that whenever I drive now I think about Loopsters, mentally waving as I zip by anywhere near someone's home base. There's RunningLoopy around Dayton, RunnerGuyMark in Findlay, Lawrenceaa in Cincinnati/Florence (I think she moved to the other side of the river). I also like to try and hook up with Loopsters in my destination city, but there was no time for that this weekend. There was always the chance I'd randomly run into one. Scoff if you like, but it's happened before, in Louisville. I literally almost ran into n2runningbad (a.k.a. Dean) early one morning on 3rd Street.
Anyway, this was almost the best drive I've ever had on I-75. Through Ohio, it's always under construction. No idea why. This time I only lost a half hour going through Cincinnati. Until I got near Louisville, where there was a big accident a few miles to the east of town, exactly in my way. I hopped off the freeway and called DS2 and he guided me in on the back streets. That still took quite a bit of extra time, but at least it was a pretty drive through the suburbs. I don't get to L'ville often enough to avoid feeling mostly lost whenever I go there. And Siri has pretty much ruined the sense of direction I used to be so proud of having. In total the drive took me an hour longer than normal. Should have driven through Indiana.
By the time I got to the apartment it was almost 7pm, so we ate and watched a movie (Equilibrium - a 2002 dystopian treatment starring Christian Bale, sort of 1984/Fahrenheit 451 on a budget), then planned the rest of the weekend. That was going to consist mostly of putting his apartment in order. Did you know neatness is one of the first casualties of depression? True story. I can't even tell you. The work was cathartic as well as profitable. We got a crap-ton of things straightened up, cleaned up and tossed out. We also had plenty of time to talk through a lot of things. Things you can't really talk about over the phone effectively. I can't fix everything that's happening in his life, but I can be there and share a few things I've learned from stumbling my way through my own messed up version.
I got up early for my ten miler while DS2 slept in. The weather was heavenly. Clear, calm, 50-ish. The sun was just about to come up behind me. It's about a mile on a bike path across the street to some quiet neighborhoods and two good sized parks (Seneca and Cherokee). L'ville is kind of hilly. I worried about that. I haven't felt great since I started running again a few weeks ago. I worried about that, too, but I tried to make myself slow way down and just enjoy the run whatever the pace.
I think I figured out what's up with my slowness lately. Three things. First, I was overtrained for SFO and it's taking a long time to recover fully. My legs have just felt dead on so many runs. Secondly, I started this comeback (from the foot) with slightly longer runs than I normally do after a layoff. What I've done in the past is run two miles/day for a week, then three, then four, with a slightly longer Saturday (6 days running per week). This time I'm doing less days (4-5) but longer runs. And of course it was still too hot and humid for human survival. I was frustrated with my 9:30-10:00 miles on these runs, but I think I'm finally starting to chill on that. There's no reason to think I can run 8:00s right now.
So, with ten hilly miles ahead of me, I started out nice and easy. Holy moly, how nice it is to run when it's not 90 degrees! Kept the pace reigned in, slow and steady. There were walkers, runners and cyclists ALL OVER THE PLACE. There were also two 5Ks going on in different parts of Cherokee Park. Not everyone waved or nodded, but overall it was a friendly runner morning. I passed some people, got passed by others. My route was opposite both races I saw, so there was no confusion there. Remember when I was mistaken for the pikermi leader that one time?
There was a half mile past the park I had to run to get my mileage in. Beautiful old neighborhood with big homes next to the park. There was serious Code Abby event. My stomach had been rumbling off and on for a couple of miles, but Cherokee doesn't have much in the way of comfort stations. I knew there was a little play area - Willow Park - with facilities ahead and thought I could make it there (of course you never really know). Locked! Out of desperation I poked my head in the door of a building guard at a swanky high-rise condominium building. The guy inside took pity on me and buzzed me into the lobby, and not a moment too soon. I'll spare you the details, but just say that five miles from your starting point is no place for gastrointestinal issues.
Relieved, I set Hal up to take me back to my starting point. With all the winding back and forth along my route I was afraid of missing a turn on my way back and adding mileage that I wasn't ready for. Turned out there was only one spot where I was unsure which turn to take (or not take, actually, I think).
About half way back was when I realized that except for the pitstop at the condo building I hadn't had to stop or walk once, even climbing the hills in Cherokee. Ten miles. Yeah, I'm still a little slow - 9:38 pace with a few around 10:00 even - but it was a smooth, comfortable run that I actually enjoyed. It's been a while since I had one of those.
The rest of the weekend went pretty well. I think DS2 got as much as I was able to give him, and hopefully he'll continue to improve.
That's what I got for today. Except for geeking out on the Loopsters at Wineglass a little bit. But those are their stories to tell.
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