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Everything posted by Dave

  1. Dave

    Crim Festival of Races

    You're a braver man than I racing a 10-miler in that soup.
  2. Dave

    August Adventures

    Dunno if I'm more jealous of the gelato or the mountains.
  3. Dave

    August Angst

    I'll sing tenor. Zero reading matches this month. 402!
  4. Not yet. I'd be tempted except for a couple of things. First is this knee. Not the left that had the meniscus repair three years ago. That would be the left side that's been giving me all sorts of trouble from the Achilles to the hip for half of this year. Nope, this is the right side that's sometimes given me problems when the left side has acted up, maybe making me over-compensate and give it extra stress. This is also the side with the old basketball injury. Normally it gets better the more I run, but this time it's not doing that, and my inner Eeyore is sure there's a problem just waiting to rear its ugly head. Keeping a close eye on it, which at this point is about all I can do. Then there's Saturday's long run. That turned out to be just so-so. Warm and humid, of course because August. It was 68 when I left the house - nice and steamy for early morning. 90-ish on the humidity scale. The first 5-1/2 miles were pretty good. But 5-1/2 miles out of 8 means another 2-1/2 to get home after I ran out of gas. Better than nothing, but a sharp Gibbs-slap on my blithe "I'm ready for another marathon" attitude. I know I'll feel a ton better in a few weeks with a few more miles on the legs and a turn (hopefully) towards fall weather. Speaking of fall, that's exactly what I did on Saturday. I'd just turned into the neighborhood with about a quarter mile to go when I dragged a tired toe on the sidewalk - don't think it was even a crack - and took a spill. One shoulder and both hands onto the concrete, then a practiced roll that landed me on the grass thanks to a little turn of the walk at that point. And as luck would have it, the guy in the house there just happened to be on his porch having a Saturday morning cup of Joe at the time, and so witnessed my less than graceful pause. I thanked him for the soft landing place and finished up. No blood, but the heels of my hands stung for a couple of days. Another sign that maybe I wasn't quite ready for 8 miles yet. Not that it would have stopped me from giving it a try, like tomorrow when I'm going for the first double digit run since ... January! And it's going to be warm and humid. Normally I go 10 without bringing hydration, but I think I may plan this like I'm running 15. Carry some G and a couple of Hammer Gels, just in case. Going through the park in the last mile I saw the ParkRun-ers. This group has gotten pretty large over the past couple of years. My head thought about joining them for their 5K, but my legs out-voted him 2-1. Right after the election one guy invited me to come along, but I told him I was already toast for the day. Maybe in another week or 2 or 3 when it's not bloody hot and I feel like a semi-hard 5K. T-Rex took and PASSED her certification exam this week. Just got to get her a job now. Her birthday is today. Our anniversary is tomorrow. 39 years. How did that happen?
  5. Dave

    And here we go.

    26 miles last week. On schedule for 28 this week. The 4 milers are all going well. No issues with the calf, hamstring or Achilles on the left. Looks as though that little nagger is behind me for now. Being better about my stretching and doing a little leg work during those exciting work meetings a few times a week. Baby steps. The old tendinosis below the right knee hurts some, but gets better as I go along. It's more of a little sting than anything and rest does it no good, so... Sunrise is creeping towards 7:00 am, so it's been twilight for the last couple of weeks when I start. Soon I'll be switching back to afternoon so I can see where I'm going. I'll miss startling the neighborhood deer. There's usually a few out foraging just before dawn. Last weekend was a six mile Saturday. First one of those in about 6 weeks. The last time I ran 8 miles was on the treadmill in early February. Even better, I'm actually looking forward to it. In the spring, while I was building a little mileage, none of the runs felt good and I was just ready to be done every single time. Lately I've been working but staying within my self-imposed limits. Sure, tired at the end of the runs, but not beat up, and feeling like I had another mile or even two left if I wanted. The Saturday six was a stretch, but I was probably going a little too fast. Like always. Now I can start talking about a 2021 marathon again. Have to see where a slow mileage ramp puts me. And of course see what covid's doing in the fall. Most of the big races are on, but I'm not planning a big city race. But with 30 states to choose from, I ought to be able to find something. But first, tomorrow. Eight miles is long enough for a story, so maybe I'll be able to think of something interesting to say about it. A few years ago my oldest son recommended I watch The Office. At the time I wasn't interested in adding another show to my regular list. Ran into some reruns on Comedy Central and decided to watch it all from the first episode. I'm sort of hooked into a binge on it. The "cringe humor" is purposefully terrible, but it's like a freeway accident. I can't stop watching.
  6. Haze from all those fires is sad to see, but the views - wow. Any day in the mountains is a great day.
  7. Dave

    Another one of "those."

    I was really looking forward to last weekend. The calf was behaving reasonably well and my 3 milers were all going OK. Each one a little better than the previous one in fact. A few of the days I even forgot to stretch it beforehand and it was still OK. My plan was to go 5 on Saturday. At this point I remind myself that 5 miles when I'm not in very good shape is likely to wipe me out for the rest of the day. The would no doubt be a nap sometime Saturday afternoon. Not a bad thing, really. Waking up Friday morning I felt a little something just to the left of center in my back. Weird. But fine, another 3 miles coming up. Except, just a few dozen yards down the street it suddenly increased intensity. It quickly became painful, then really painful, then hurt so badly I had to stop, gasping for breath, unable to tell whether leaning forward or arching back made it any less painful. Mrs. Dave was a work, so as soon as I could hobble home I texted and asked her what a slipped/ruptured spinal disk felt like. Did some googling while I waited for her to reply, and kept trying to find a position that didn't result in excruciating pain. Several agonizing minutes later, she recommended ibuprofen and ice (duh!) and see if things got better in an hour or two. Which it did, to a small degree. Enough to get me through the work day at least. Hardly comfortable. Throughout the day, I changed my diagnosis (thank you, Dr. Dave) from slipped disk to a simple muscle spasm. Of course, since my life is running I spent much time wondering if I could come back from having back surgery and run another marathon. Was I going to be in a wheelchair? Several months laid up in bed? The usual questions a normal person asks themselves, right? So, no 5 miler on Saturday. Between the ice and ibuprofen and laying on a racquetball, though, I was able to move about and run a few errands with Mrs. Dave. Not actual running, but the figurative, moving around without dying sort of activity. No way there'd be any actual running that day, much less 5 miles. Switched to heat on Sunday. Oh so slowly, the trouble spot seemed to loosen up. I could still feel it, but the pain had dropped from an 8 to a 2 most of the time. At that point I started to think about running again on Monday. Nice and easy, nice and slow. Ready to pull the plug in an instant if it seized up again. Monday. 4 miles. 9:40, 8:53, 8:43, 8:28. They have a POP behind the Catholic church's softball field. Why have I never noticed this before? Really came in handy that day I can tell you. Couple of twinges from the calf like it wanted to tighten up, but no disaster. The back was OK. Tuesday. 4 miles. 9:21, 8:54, 8:58, 8:42. Humidity has been rising the last couple of days, making the same run seem longer and harder. Much preferable to having a back spasm or a calf strain, so I'm not complaining. Wednesday. 4 miles. 9:21, 8:50, 8:43, 8:28. Extra soupy this morning. Rain was forecast for last night and all this morning, but it didn't come. Radar shows it going to the south through Toledo. Maybe later. Anyway, looks like the back disaster has been averted. 6 miles Saturday.
  8. Dave

    First in a while.

    Are two left legs better than none? Guess we could relay a marathon - each doing a half.
  9. Dave

    First in a while.

    First decent run in I don't know how long. Suppose I could look back in the running log, but I'm too lazy for that. It was certainly before the Achilles and hamstring stretch this spring/early summer. (yes, I wrote "stretch" on purpose) Might have even been last summer before the knee when whack. In the interest of full disclosure, it was only 3 miles, and I did make a pit stop at the POP next to the softball field behind St. Colette's Catholic Church. (just short of mile 2). And, yeah, my pace isn't what I'd like it to be. But I felt good and there were no issues before, during, or after with the seemingly cursed left leg. Calf stayed loose, hammy didn't hurt, Achilles was quiet. Perhaps just as important was that I actually felt good. Aside from the aches and pains, that hasn't happened in nearly a year. I'll wait a few more days or weeks before I get too excited, though. At least I didn't spend most of the run wondering if it was time to hang up the HOKA's for good - a thought that's been creeping into my head frequently this year. Funny smell from the dishwasher on Saturday. After I cleaned out the build up of gunk I ran a test cycle, where I discovered water where it didn't belong. The gunk had apparently been acting as a sealant where the actual seal at the bottom of the door had deteriorated. Got rid of the gunk and the seal at the same time. Thanks to Amazon I had a new seal come the next day and only had to do a few dishes by hand. Water stays where it belongs now. One thing I'm not good at (among many) is lawncare. I can mow that grass but not much more. I have a service do the fertilizing, but still have issues with getting the watering right. Always too much or too little, often both in different areas at the same time. Right now I'm trying to fill in a few bare spots from some fungus damage. Not confidant.
  10. Dave

    Jumping July

    Loved The Martian, not so much The Alchemist.
  11. I have plenty of memories of races like this, so I can relate. Such a frustrating feeling. Still, silver is nothing to be ashamed of.
  12. Dave

    I tried a Tri

    Holy smokes. You can be on my relay team any time.
  13. Dave


    Again. Been several days without that little pull in the hamstring, so I'm planning another try on Monday. Suppose I could have waited until after I actually tried to run before I posted about it, but I'm a little antsy. Other than that, not much happening here. Latest books: The Dark Tower (VII - last one). Stephen King. Sort of just wanted this one to be over. Hated the ending. King wrote that he added it after the first publication because everyone wanted a "real" ending. I think he should have left it where it was. The Rembrandt Affair. Daniel Silva. Israeli superspy Gabriel Allon wins again. The Mark of the Assassin. Daniel Silva. Not about Allon, but a side figure from the CIA. Not a bad escape. Watchers. Dean Koontz. Never read any Koontz before, but I've decided I will. The Silent Corner. Dean Koontz. Confirmed my decision on Koontz. Gilead. Marilynne Robinson. Small town in Iowa. Well written but pretty boring. Lila. Marilynne Robinson. One of the sidebooks from Gilead. Good writing but didn't like the character. Jack. Marilynne Robinson. Another. Really disliked this guy, who had so few (none?) redeeming qualities. Where the Crawdads Sing. Delia Owens. Heard this was popular lately, so gave it a shot. Didn't love it. The twist ending was no surprise. Casino Royale. Ian Fleming. Seen all the 007 movies but this was the first time reading one of the originals. May or may not do more. The Guest List. Lucy Foley. Not a bad little mystery, well told from several different perspectives. Strange and Obscure Stories of World War II. Don Aines. The chapters about different war movies could have been skipped, but the actual stories were interesting and worth the time. The Bomber Mafia. Malcolm Gladwell. ALWAYS a fan of Gladwell's work. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Suzanne Collins. Prequel to The Hunger Games series. If you like HG, you'll probably like this, too.
  14. Dave

    Would you rather...

    Well of course not, and of course you're absolutely right that I should. 😋 Try as I might over the years, I've never been able to wrap my head around ST for more than a couple of weeks. Which of course means I'm right where I deserve to be - injured.
  15. Dave

    Would you rather...

    ...die in a fire-y car crash or fall from a plane at 30,000 feet without a parachute? ...lose an arm or a leg? ...go blind or deaf? ...have a strained Achilles or a strained hamstring? After several slow weeks, trying to nurse this hamstring through its current issues no doubt related to the Achilles from earlier in the spring, I decided to call it what it is. I'm injured. I'd hoped that the four day weekend Mrs. Dave and I spent out of town would be enough rest, but I guess not. Yesterday wasn't great and today was even worse. Not even the ten minute mile pace I shuffled along at helped. I've been icing, warming, stretching, spending weeks on Ibuprofen. Thought I was making progress - slow but steady. During this morning's run I admitted to myself that it's just not happening. So, two weeks on the IL for me and Sammy the Hammy. We'll try again in August. At least the Achilles feels better. The weekend was fun. We took in a Tigers game at Target Field in Minneapolis. The home team won. Then we drove through Wisconsin, where we found Marathon City. Michigan's Upper Penninsula, visiting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior. Watched the sunset over Lake Michigan. We wanted to see the stars that night, but the high clouds were obscuring and we were too tired after driving all day to stay until it was dark enough (after midnight). Found the house where we lived when I was in kindergarten. The old Air Force base is gone. The airstrip is now a county airport and the main base headquarters is a state prison. But the neighborhood is still there next to the golf course where my dad would walk out the back door and golf. We would play in the trees between our yard and the second fairway. Watched some boats go through the Soo Locks between Lakes Huron and Superior. Then we drove along the Lake Huron shore, stopping to see several lighthouses. So, time for another reset. Not happy about that, of course. Will 2021 be another year without a marathon?
  16. Dave


    You know this isn't a contest - who can be hurt most often - right?😘
  17. Dave

    Warning - treadmill related

    Goals are perfect to focusing your efforts, even in the face of a lame treadmill training program. If you remember, I binged Vikings the last time I had extended hamster wheel time. It helped most of the time.
  18. Dave


    This is the hardest part. Where you're running enough to know you're running. But not enough to feel good about it. Not long enough or far enough to feel the high, or even feel comfortable. Then there's that nagging hamstring or tight calf that keeps you from pushing the pace at all. You know if you could spend some time at a higher effort, then the easy will actually feel easy. But you've at least learned that lesson, so you keep it slow, constantly monitoring that left leg for signs of distress. Next thing you know, you're in the last half mile and barely remember the run. Hardly had a chance to enjoy running. This is where the first time runner quits. How do runners do this and call it fun? This isn't any fun. At all. Third week of 20 miles per week. Planning 6 tomorrow. No, it isn't fun yet. But I've done this before and I know it's going to be. Although if I'm being honest, I admit I have to remind myself of that every morning, especially in that first mile, when the hammy is sketchiest and the right knee is still cranky. The thought of, "It will get better," alternates with, "I guess my running days are all behind me now." "Which marathon do I train for?" vs. "How do I replace my IRUN262 license plate?" But you keep getting up and getting out and putting in the miles. Even if the first one every day is slow and that knee stings at every step. Even if once or twice you pray for a red light so you can stretch the calf. Runner.
  19. Dave

    Jubilant June

    The Time Traveler's Wife. I always enjoy how authors approach time travel and multiverse theories. This one had a unique perspective. Best of luck in Ames!
  20. Dave

    1st 5K in Forever

    Jealous of this upcoming Italy trip. Best wishes for your continued progress on all fronts.
  21. Dave


    No doubt. From Achilles all the way up to Sammy I can feel things aren't right.
  22. Dave


    Hopefully nothing serious. Tuesday morning this week the weather went crazy. It was 41o when I woke up at 5:30. When is it 41o in Michigan 3 weeks into June? Never, that's when. My early meeting had been cancelled, so it was a golden opportunity for a longer than usual run. Of course, since Achilles isn't 100%, longer than usual means probably 5 miles. Even wore a long sleeved shirt. About a mile out Sammy the left hammy began to tighten up. Slowing down helped, but not fully and he was pretty sore the rest of the day. Took Wednesday off. Tried a run this morning but still didn't feel right, so I bailed after a mile and came home. Doesn't seem like there's any serious damage, but it's all kinds of tight. I can feel it while sitting at work today. I daren't run more than a little until it's better. Put some heat on it. Roll it out. Try again tomorrow. With thoughts of marathons in my head the last few weeks, this is a setback. Trying to be patient. Bought a new laptop last night. I've been frustrated with the old one for awhile, but it was free - a hand-me-down from T-Rex when she went to school last year and got a new one.
  23. That banner is better than a trophy.
  24. Dave

    Clean up

    Note to self: Try not to use your basement as a woodshop. The clean up is a bear. Garages are for parking cars. After finishing the floor and baseboard trim, and with no other project at the top of the priority list, I decided to make a thorough job of cleaning the basement. It's a half-finished space. In the unfinished half, there's a workbench where I keep my tools, paint and assorted pieces of junk and leftovers from other projects - wood, screws, wire, pipe, nuts & bolts, castors. Since the garage is full of the two cars, unless there's a big job I do most things down there. There's also shelves for food storage, luggage, holiday decorations, old baby things (toys, strollers, car seats, high chair) that Mrs. Dave won't let me get rid of because, "What if we have grandkids come who need something?" We have what we call a White Elephant Store, for assirted gifts that we've received over the years that we'll never use. From time to time they get re-gifted. Candles, body wash and bath bombs, 8x10 sized playing cards, wicker baskets, empty photo albums. Lots of shelves. Lots of stuff on them. And now, lots of sawdust and regular dust. 24 years' worth. So I've been taking a few hours every day, taking everything down, vacuuming the big chunks and wiping with a damp towel, then re-shelving everything I can't convince Mrs. Dave to toss. If we haven't used that old cool mist room humidifier for 15 years, what are the chances we're going to in the next 15? Made a little progress. This exercise has convinced me that I need to stop using that workspace for cutting and sanding for my various home projects. When there's cutting to be done in the future, Abby will get parked in the driveway and the saw will operate in the garage. None of this is remotely connected to running. Stopped at a POP a half mile from the house the other day. When I came out and crossed the street to finish that last half, the Achilles tweaked a little. Uh-oh. Guess we aren't ready to resume 100% effort. Slowed down right away and took the next day (Wednesday ) off. Yesterday it was better. Going to have to be careful for a little while longer I guess. Which was sort of my plan anyway, but this re-enforces it. Because of course I've been toying with the idea of ramping up miles and targeting an earlier marathon in the fall. That may not be my best idea. DS1 mentioned last fall that he was going to go for another BQ. He did once, in 2009 I think, but had just gotten married and starting a new job, so going to Boston couldn't happen. Since then, DS2 and I have both run it (he in 2011 and me in 2016). He wanted to be part of it. When they moved to Texas and he could stop spending half his time on the road, he decided to go for it. His first plan was to qualify early this year, but a late calf injury set back his plans. Just last weekend, though, he raced the Light at the End of the Tunnel marathon near Seattle. He flew in the night before, had dinner with his brother, raced the next morning and flew home. And just like that (2:58, btw), he's ready to go to Beantown. He's six and a half minutes under BQ, so we hope that's good enough to get in for next year. This year the cutoff was BQ-7:47, so hopefully they'll be able to increase the field size back to 30K and he'll be in. We're planning our trip for Patriot's Day just in case. As far as my running, I'm settling in to the 4 mile a day routine for a couple of weeks. Especially while the weather's particularly nasty hot, I'm getting up early and running before work. 4 miles makes it so I don't have to get up too early. Suppose I could also shift my work hours to later and I may do that, except for Tuesday when I have a 7:00 am meeting. I'll worry about that when I start increasing the miles. 9 minute pace for the most part - that seems to keep Achilles happy enough.
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