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Everything posted by Dave

  1. Dave

    Last Covid Era Entry

    If I was a sensitive guy I'd be getting a little misty over here. Good thing I'm not. Seriously, this is some outstanding stuff, bangle. 2020 was a high mileage record for me, too. Funny what no races can do for you.
  2. Dave


    Interesting twist at the end, although I saw it coming.
  3. Dave


    I feel like an old man. Obviously, there are older men than me. Obviously, there are men my age and younger who are in worse health. Perspective is so important. Aren't comparisons supposed to be with ourselves? That's supposed to keep us from falling into the rabbit hole of self pity, since there's always someone who's better-looking, stronger, faster, whatever than we are. So what happens when your ideal comparator - yourself from before - is all of that? The maxim falls apart at a certain point. Sort of like quantum physics compared to regular physics. There are different rules that apply. On the plus side, while the Achilles still seems tender to touch most of the time, it doesn't seem to be flaring up with the limited mileage I'm giving it so far. As with most comebacks, caution (or is it paranoia?) keeps me from pushing the outer layer of the envelop too hard. I've gone 4 miles a few times, but never twice in a row. I've run a couple of miles at close to 8 minute pace, but only at the end of a shorter run and never with serious effort. Limiting myself to 4 miles for at least another 2-3 weeks. Officially declaring the floor project complete. Borrowed a nail gun from a friend, got some YouTube education on installing trim. Took much more time than I was comfortable with getting things cut and fit together. Really happy 99% of it. Next up ... I dunno. Running in the morning this week. Not feeling the heat and humid thing. The morning's are more humid than afternoons, but 65-70 and humid is better than 90 and humid. Books read in the last few weeks: Lila, Marilynne Robinson (meant to read Gilead, but it wasn't available - reading it now) Where the Crawdads Sing, Della Owens Casino Royale, Ian Fleming The Kingdom, Jo Nesbo Looking for Alaska, John Green A Separate Peace, John Knowles Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Rowling The Tales of Beadle the Bard, Rowling Watched a bizarre movie the other night called Iron Sky. Imagine that the Nazis had a secret space program near the end of the war and established a colony on the far side of the moon. Why this isn't a cult classic, I've no idea. Happy running, folks.
  4. Dave

    Again and again.

    Short memory. It can be a strength sometimes. Sometimes not. I think there would be fewer families with more than one child if mothers remembered exactly how much labor hurt. As I start to put some miles on after this last injury, I have to be very purposeful in my approach. Too many miles, even if I keep it slow, are not a good idea. Don't think I'd consider myself fragile. Not an ironman, either. I'm just an old guy who wants to run. I think I'm done trying to be fast anymore, although if I get in shape again I'll likely forget that statement and start mixing in tempos and other speed workouts, planning on another Boston run or going after another sub-21 5K. Until I pull another hamstring or strain something else. Short memory. Anyway, one week down and staying consistent. 2, 2, 0, 3, 0, 3, 3, and 2 miles on each day for the past 8. Doesn't seem like too much. Even forgot to stretch the calf/Achilles before a couple of those and seemed to tolerate it pretty well. Sometimes it's a little tight for up to a mile, but then fine. Finished one run with an 8:35 mile, feeling good. Didn't expect to be under 9 minutes without a struggle this soon. Did I just need some time off and the Achilles was what the legs needed? This running thing. So many questions. So, a 2021 marathon. Since it's June already, I suppose it should be later rather than early in the fall. Perhaps St. Jude in December. Today I saw an ad on facebook for it. December 4. Haven't done a mary in Tennessee yet. Was planning to stay concentrated in New England until I finished with Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Make sure I get everything on the east coast checked off my list. New England in December sounds cold and snowy. Cold is OK for me, although Mrs. Dave balks at spectating when it's under 50 degrees. We'll see. Is it premature to talk about a marathon after a week of 2-3 milers?
  5. Dave

    May Mayhem

    Been slacking a little on my reading in May, and no overlap with the Sara List. Tried reading the Apocrypha, but couldn't finish. I'm also struggling through the final Dark Tower volume and it's not going well. Maybe I need a break with something simpler like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Haven't read that in many years.
  6. Dave

    Big news!

    Pretty big, anyway. It was 11 weeks ago tomorrow that I came up lame with my Achilles tendon hurting. I'll continue to blame the Cumulus. It was either a factory second (thus the clearance pricing from Asics?) or a lemon or maybe it was just sitting in a warehouse for too long. They were never right from the first mile. I had hoped they just needed some break in or that the change from the Rincons was more dramatic than I expected. Either way, it was the DL for who knew how long. With the wedding and the floor project taking so much time I suppose it was a good time to be injured if any time can be considered good. Many thanks to LurkerinChief for coming out of lurkdom to give me a cross-massage suggestion. It did just what they promised - hurt a ton when I started working on it, then got better to longer I worked it. Even more thanks to Run2BFit, who linked me with the eccentric heel drops. I must admit to being a little skeptical about trying to stretch the are that was injured. But it did more to my lower calf, releasing pressure on the Achilles and making a huge difference in just a few days. I was thinking that Monday I'd try a run, but ended up waiting until yesterday. Did a few more drops to get the calf as loose as possible, then mentally crossed my fingers as I made my way down the driveway and across the street. Nothing other than what I've come to expect from 62+ year old bones and muscles and tendons. I'm out of shape now, of course. There was a guy who passed me about a half mile out. I let him. Funny, he got about 20 yards ahead pretty quickly and stayed there. Didn't think I was going any faster, but what do I know? Went out for a mile in 10 minutes and then came back in 9. A little DOMS this morning. Everything else seems good. Running again and it's feels so good.
  7. Dave

    Who knows?

    Woke up this morning, determined to be more diligent in my efforts to fix this Achilles. Did a little more stretching while we were in Idaho for the wedding. Twice a day most days. Didn't see see much improvement, and of course getting more and more discouraged. Knowing that I'm going to need a new pair of shoes when I (hopefully) start again. Not even going to complain about starting from ground zero. Running is running, after all. But what's the point of spending $100+ on running shoes if I can't run? We had a really tight connection in Houston on the flight home. Walking quickly down the concourse was pretty painful. No chance of running even a few steps. I'll never run again. That was the thought, anyway. Can't seem to help that my mind goes there all the time. This morning, I thought (like most days) I really needed to stretch more, maybe suck it up and get some PT, do the cross massaging, etc. Reached down to do a little pull .... nothing. No pain, no tightness, no sore spot. Nada. I'll be using my old Hokas for the first week, then ordering a new pair if all goes well. Still plenty of time for a fall marathon. Ready to paint the baseboard trim. Then I can install it and the floor project will be officially done. Next up will be a new light for the front lawn. We have no street lights in the neighborhood, so these are important. Our old gas one gave out long ago and I've had a solar powered one for several years. But it's old tech and our front lawn gets almost no sun since we have a huge maple next to the street. Not much light. So it'll get an upgrade to a wired fixture, which will involve digging a small trench to bury an electrical line to the post. Got those crazy kids married last weekend.
  8. No suspense, no disaster, just a solid, well-run marathon. How often does that happen? Congrats, Sara.
  9. Podium spot on a gimpy calf. Not bad.
  10. Those aren't bad splits at all, considering the unsettled downhill start and the wind on the back half. And losing a place to ocrg is nothing to be ashamed of, either. Nicely done.
  11. Dave

    Well, let's see.

    I wonder how old that guy was. I'm going on 2 months, which I don't find unusual anymore. But this heel drop thing is absolutely worth trying. Thanks.
  12. Dave

    Well, let's see.

    You know, once this Achilles finally gets better (although, truth be told, I have times nearly every day when I wonder if it ever will), my next comeback to marathoning is going to be quite the adventure. In the meantime, still working on the house. Things are going VERY slowly. I decided that since I'm doing so much trim I better do it better than I have before, which means I needed to learn a fair amount about how to do it correctly. I've never been happy with how my previous trim work has turned out. As it happens, there are a few little tricks that I didn't know about. No wonder all the profession work I've done looks so good. I practiced on a couple of scrap pieces and I think I can do it. Borrowed a nail gun from a friend - another very important piece of equipment for this to work. Still planning the wedding. Less than two weeks to go. This is actually another reason the house is taking longer than it should. Priorities. And there you go.
  13. Dave

    Amazing April

    Tell me this isn't the first time you've read Born to Run. I didn't buy into the barefoot/minimalist philosophy, but it was such a fun read.
  14. Dave

    Tidewater 26.2

    This is awesome! I love it when a plan comes together.
  15. Dave


    I called it. You nailed it.
  16. Dave


    I've always said the journey to a marathon starting line is the best part. You are SO ready.
  17. Dave

    Just like running.

    Much more so than I had expected it to be. 🤭
  18. Dave

    Just like running.

    Certainly worth a try. Hope it's just tendonitis and I haven't torn anything.
  19. Dave

    Just like running.

    Progress can be slow at times. But progress is still progress. You do the best you can. You keep moving forward. I remember having a pretty serious hamstring strain a few years ago at the height of training for the Rehoboth marathon. As is often the case, despite not being 100% healthy and with less than optimal training coming in, I went anyway because Loopsters. I'm not much of a party guy and even though Rehoboth is the most famous and enduring party Loopfest, I knew I wanted to touch base irl with everyone. There would be no less a party just because Dave wasn't dancing on tables. ocrunnergirl (who over that year had been working through a hamstring thing as well and I imagined would know what was best about it) taped the hammy for me that morning, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I got about 2 miles in before the muscle decided he was done for the day. With 24-ish miles to go, I knew I was in for a long morning. Kept the 4:30 pacer's sign in sight as long as I could, but there was SO MUCH WALKING limping along for another 4 and a half hours. Even stopping to chat with Bart Yasso, standing at a seemingly random spot along the trail, didn't slow me up much more than I was already. The bar for my PW is set pretty low, thanks to an untrained and warm day in Boston (2016) and 45 minutes of wandering the streets of east Louisville at the Kentucky Derby Festival (2010). But this one came close. I snuck in just ahead of the 5:00 pace group. Point is, I never stopped. Yeah, it was painful. It was achingly slow. But it was a beautiful morning and I finished with another state crossed off and another medal for the collection. Mission accomplished. This 62 year-old Achilles tendon hasn't bounced back much in the last month. I have gone the last couple of days without the boot and it doesn't seem to be getting any worse, so that's encouraging. I should put it back on for another week. Not getting worse isn't the same as getting better. And I need it to get better. I'd like to run a marathon this year, even a slow one. I've been vaccinated for Covid and have one more week before I'm at full immunity. Ought to be able to find a race in a state I haven't done yet for this fall. Of course, I need a little running to happen first, and so far I'm not ready to test this thing. Starting from zero again. Anyway, the point of all that, aside from making this post about running, is that what began as a floor replacement continues, slowly, just like morning in Rehoboth. There are just so many little (and big) projects that have turned out to be tails of this monster. Things that I would always think about changing but never enough to raise them to the top of the priority list. The last major on of those has been the half bath on the main floor. My last upgrade was a temporary one - just putting in a nicer toilet and sink, painting the walls and old vanity. The floor was still pending at the time so we didn't want to invest too much into it. After tearing out the vanity and clearing it all for new floor, it became item #1 on the upgrade list. The toilet was OK, but that vanity had to go. It had been built in and was deeper than it should have been. There was a cutout in the door trim to accommodate the extra. Suppose it was a reasonable strategy at the time the previous owner did it, although I've never understand the deal with not aligning the lights with the sink. (The project that never ends) Anyway...new floor, new vanity. And, of course, that also meant doing something with the heating, because, guess what? It didn't align with the sink, the plumbing or the lighting. We debated whether to just seal it off, let it vent directly into the vanity, exit out the side, offset in the front, or try to route it so it came out through the front center of the new vanity. That last would look best, but also require the most work. And that's what we did. Had to do more engineering than I'm used to. For the record, I am NOT an engineer, although perhaps I should have been, because I find these sorts of projects really fun and interesting challenges. Had to figure out how to reduce the 6 x 10 outlet down to 2 x 10 and move it over 3 inches. This is where I wished I'd taken math more seriously in high school. And by math, I mean geometry (which I thought was just fun with shapes) and trigonometry (skipped altogether because it looked hard and I wasn't interested in hard - I was interested in running and young women). Fortunately, all four of my children excelled in math and I was able to enlist their help to design my ducting. After that I wished I had a few more tools that would have made the manufacturing easier. But, in the end, it worked out well enough and on the outside looks exactly like I'd hoped. Of course there were additional trips to Home Depot for longer water lines since this sink is higher that the old one, plus remember it's six inches to the left of where it used to be. What I'd planned to be a half day job turned into 2 days (as per usual), but the finished project if perfect. All that's left is replacing the baseboard and that door trim, plus re-painting. If you look closely at the last picture, you can see that the new can of Toasty Gray from Home Depot isn't a 100% match for the previous can of Toasty Gray from Home Depot. Of course. Keep moving forward, my friends.
  20. Dave

    April, 2011. Lost in Tewksbury.

    Ten years ago - who knew?
  21. Dave

    April, 2011. Lost in Tewksbury.

    Couple of days later I was in PA and got drenched in a massive t-storm, almost lost again.
  22. I’d say we were up bright and early on Saturday morning, but, while it was early (6 am), it was anything but bright. That big nasty storm that gave MeganKate and stewmanji snow, and popped tornadoes through OK and other states, crept up on Ontario while we were sleeping and it was pouring rain in Niagara Falls. Glad I was driving and not running. We drove past the river above the falls for a bit – icebergs! OMG, I don’t think I’ve seen anything that looked so cold before in my life. It took us most of the day to get to Boston, but once we reached the front end of the rain, it wasn’t a bad drive. We passed or were passed by a few cars who were obviously on their way to the same place we were. We traded thumbs up. We were ahead of schedule and decided to check into the hotel before going to the airport to pick up Connor. Mrs. Dave also suggested I get in a few of my 15 miles. Splitting up the long run is normally a no-no, but you all know what I do when Mrs. Dave says I should do something. So, I made a quick change and did 3.5 miles of the 15 mile route I had planned. Colder and windier than I expected, and I could not find the gloves I’d packed. What does Dave do in a case like this? Run anyway, of course. That run itself was a nice little adventure, giving what I thought would be a taste of the rest of the 15, which I would do later. I went up a hill, down another, past some cool looking old houses, turned onto an old country road and down another long hill. Not much in the way of sidewalks, but fortunately also not much in the way of traffic. Near the bottom, I turned around and ran back up the hill, turned off the country road and back up the second hill. Passed a house nearing build completion that had a port-o-potty next door, which turned out to be extremely fortuitous. Then, back to the hotel where I was just in time for the airport run. By now it was after 6, and I figured I’d better get moving on the other 11.5 miles of my 15. It seemed like the smartest thing to do was to have Connor drop me off along the route I’d mapped out before, then I’d know sort of where I was and if I had trouble the family could trace my route along the map I’d made. This would go along with 2 other really smart things I’d done. The first was that I’d made 2 maps – one for Mrs. Dave and another for myself that I laminated and planned to carry with me. I’d be able to check my location whenever I needed to. The other was the last thing I said to Connor when he let me out of the car. “If I’m not back in 2 hours, come looking for me.” This was going to be so much fun. I love new running routes, exploring new neighborhoods. The first mile went down a hill and then turned next to a big, high school sports complex – ice arena, football stadium, practice fields, baseball diamond. The map seemed to say I needed to go through it, but the gate was locked. Not to be deterred, I slipped through and ran around most of the place only to realize that that one gate was the only one that was open enough for me to get past. So after a half mile of wandering, I went back out the same gate and went around. I circled a shopping center a block or so over, then turned and found myself under a freeway – not where I expected to be. So I turned around and took another few blocks to find myself again. This led to a road with a bunch of really cool looking old houses and I followed it into an old section of town, then felt the need for another pit stop. This is something I don’t normally have problems with, but when it happens, it happens. I ducked into a gas station and was informed by the nice attendant that they had no bathroom, but maybe I could ask at the pizza place down the block. It was the only option I could see, so I stepped inside and asked the old Italian guy behind the counter if I could trouble him for some toilet time. He didn’t seem happy, but since he said I could, I figured he always looked like that. Not a moment too soon, I used the facilities, thanked the man as graciously as I could and hit the road again. 2 blocks later I was at a bridge over the river, which I was sure was nowhere on the map. So I stopped again, checked the map, headed back in the other direction and almost immediately found the street I was looking for, the sign for which was invisible from the direction I’d come from. Confident once again, I passed through another nice neighborhood and a park, followed by a cemetery. Coming down the hill I saw “2 miles” marked on the road, so I guess this nice little part of my route had been used for a local race. Next was an elementary school and a park among some old woods, when I had do to another little stop behind a tree (notice a pattern here?). By this time I was finally confident that I knew where I was going, and hit the next few miles at a pretty good clip, just waiting for the next turn on my loop. It took a little longer than I thought it should, but that’s normal when you aren’t familiar with an area. Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. I crossed over a freeway at one point, and saw a shoe on the side of the road. If you think about it, a shoe on the side of the road isn’t so unusual, but have you ever seen more than one? I never have. It‘s always a single piece of footwear. I’ve always wondered who would lose one shoe out of their car and not go back for it. 15 feet later, there was the matching shoe. Crazy, huh? This road I’d been following had no sidewalk, and every few minutes 2 cars would come by and I’d have to step off onto the shoulder (there wasn’t much of one). Then another few minutes and another 2 cars would pass. I think I had a couple dozen go by like that while I was coming back into the next more civilized area. Now it gets interesting. I ran by the town center of this little New England hamlet, turned up the main street and then branched off where the map said to go. Did I mention that it was getting dark by this time? Really dark. It was cloudy, windy and every once in a while there’d be some spits of rain. It was chilly, but not so much that my fingers were freezing. I was getting close to 12 miles, and if I was on the right road I’d be getting back soon. Trouble was, I had sort of a feeling that I wasn’t very close to where I wanted to be. Here’s something else I noticed about the greater Boston area: they aren’t real big on street signs. Once your on a main road, for example, they don’t seem to think you need reminded of it, so there’s not often a sign that lets you know what road you’re on. About half the side streets will be marked, if you watch very closely. Out in the small towns (at least the ones I was in), they don’t seem to think you need street lights, either. So, my little map was getting harder and harder to use to verify my location. At any rate, after it had been pretty pitch black for awhile, I stopped where I found a little league baseball game going on and asked if anyone knew the name of the street I was on. It was not the street I thought, and not the street I needed. Someone asked me if I was on a scavenger hunt (funny!). One guy gave me directions. “Go up this road over here, then turn left and cross the railroad tracks. After that you … No, wait, that’s really complicated.” So he started again, giving me the exact same directions. “Then take the first right after the tracks – no, not the first one. That one comes off really quick and will take you somewhere else. Take the second one and it will get you to Kendall Street, which will dump you off onto Highway 133.” So, off I went into the night, finally on track to finish and before anyone had to come looking for me. Or so I thought. I crossed the railroad tracks, and saw not 1 but 2 roads going right, so I took the second, like the guy said. That road wound up a forested hill (good thing I’m not afraid of dark, spooky looking woods anymore) and then leveled out. About a mile farther on there were some more houses, but the road kept turning in a direction I was pretty sure was not where I wanted to go, but didn’t see any alternative but to follow it. This besides the fact that I couldn’t really see anything at all. Hal beeped the mile and when I checked, it was 15 and I was at about the 2 hour limit I’d given Connor. My run should have been done. I felt fine, but didn’t really know how much farther I needed to go, nor did I know which direction I needed to be going. I did know that as long as I didn’t feel dehydrated or started getting chills I was OK healthwise, but Mrs. Dave knew about when I was supposed to be back and I knew she’d begin worrying right away if I wasn’t. Since I wasn’t on the right road, anyone coming to find me wouldn’t have a prayer of doing so. That person would drive my route backwards (assuming they could find the streets) from finish to start, then call the cops. The ensuing panic would be slightly less than what we’d had the day the forest service operator in Colorado told Mrs. Dave that a man had died on the mountain I’d been climbing. There’s a story you should read sometime. I decided to something very unmanly – more unmanly than stopping at the baseball game for directions, even. I stopped at the first likely house and asked to use the phone. Brilliant, you say? I suppose it might be considered brilliant if I hadn’t knocked on the door of a house where the only person home was a 70 year old woman from India who only spoke Hindi. What possible horrors were going through her mind, I can only imagine. 8:30pm on a dark and storming night. She’s all alone in a big house on a dark street when a knock comes to the door. There on the porch is a man in shorts, soaking with sweat, his hair standing crazily up on top of his head. “Excuse me. Could I use your telephone?” How many Wes Craven movies start out like that? Now get this: Not only did she let me inside and let me use the phone (she did understand the word, “telephone.”), but she gave me a glass of orange juice and a bottle of water, then brought a fan in and turned it on me. I also got her to understand I needed her address so I could have someone come and find me, so she found one of those credit card mailings that everyone gets 2-3 of everyday (it’s not just me, right?) and let me look at it. If I understand the Hindu reincarnation properly, this woman has done enough good in her life and can now achieve nirvana. Anyway, I call Mrs. Dave, who about 4 minutes before had sent Connor out to look for me, gave her the address and sat down to wait. In the meantime, my hostess kept asking me if I wanted more juice or water, and called her son to talk to me. He spoke excellent English and I tried to let him know just how much I appreciated his dear sweet mother. His girlfriend dropped a few minutes later and we chatted for a bit until Connor showed up to complete my rescue. Turns out I was almost exactly 3 miles from the hotel, but the twists and turns required to exit that little neighborhood and get me back to Highway 133 would have challenged Lewis and Clark. I’d never have made it out alive. In the log, this will only go down as 15.25 miles at 9:01 pace. But it’s a run that I’ll remember for as long as I live. The night I was lost in Tewksbury.
  23. Dave

    The project that never ends.

    Yep. From last year's Loop virtual covid half marathon. Had to make a couple of mid-race course adjustments that day.
  24. Dave

    The project that never ends.

    Except it changes every day!
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