Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Progress

(Written on Linux with Andreas Vollenweider playing in the background.)

The run last Saturday was incrementally better.
I ran the three mile course.
I did not transition into more rapid breathing until the last quarter mile or so (not even on the hills (!)).
I felt pretty good the whole way.
I even had an extra Wheatie or two to push my pace at the end.
Not quite a sprint, but a definite push all the way to the designated crack in the parking lot/finish line.
My time was about 43 minutes again.
I do not expect to improve my times very much ever again.
I am just too old. (I think...)
I am looking forward to jacking up the task to four miles if I can maintain my three mile efforts for a consistent period of time.
I am thinking I need to do three miles for at least a month before an incremental increase.
I will also have to scout about for a handy half-mile loop to add to my three-mile loop.
I am not sure of the distance, but there is a nice new road that leads over to the new high school (Columbia) at the edge of Research Park, that might be enough to do the trick.
I will check it out with my car some morning.
The ultimate goal is to run the Cotton Row course again (six miles).

It is good to be running again. :)

IN OTHER NEWS.....

I am still working on my new/old desk design.
The addition of a computer requires some extra planning and design considerations that were not present in the first two iterations of the design.
I hate ECOs so I want to take everything into consideration at the first shot.
The thing will be huge.
It will have about sixty feet of 1 x 12 in it.
Part of me wants to get started on it, but the planner in me wants more comfort with the design.
It will be about six feet tall (including the bookshelves on top) and five feet wide on both legs of the "L".
That is a lot of desk. (almost 30 linear feet of bookshelf space)
But it will give me some room to grow.

For comparison, my current faithful computer desk is 48 inches wide and 66 inches tall.
And next to it is another desk/credenza thingy 48 inches wide and 69 inches tall. (It will be for sale, too)
So the new piece will be about a foot longer on each side and about three inches taller.
The advantage of the new desk is that all (as in ALL) of it will be usable space, above and below the work surface.
The current setup has a two foot by two foot "dead" space in the corner, both on the work surface and below it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Forty-three Minutes...

Forty-three minutes.
That was my time for the three point two miles I ran this morning.
Sadly slow, but completed without having to walk (except for a few seconds waiting for traffic on Old Madison Pike).

Since my work effort this week was less than last week, I tried the three mile route, and it proved to be within my ability.
This is not to say that I was asking for more with I got to my designated crack in the parking lot which passes for a finish line.
I was not.
I strongly wish there were more BB's in the gun for these adventures, but there are not.
As I have said here before, my job is not extremely taxing, physically, but it takes more out of me than I like.
Which means that there is less of me for “other” activities.
One of the things that I look forward to in retirement is being able to exercise as hard and as often as I want (four days a week or so).

The other good news from today's session – no whining.
No joints wanting to quit.
No tendon attachments announcing their displeasure with their task or its duration.
No side stitches (I have not ever had this problem).

The weather is still steamy; mid 70's at 6 AM with humidity at 70% to 90% (there was fog in the lowest place near the new power station – which all you home schoolers know equals 100% humidity).
This made for more difficult breathing (less efficient because there is more water in the air, so for every breath there is more water and less oxygen).
Even so, I did not feel “tired” until I was well into the last mile.
That was when I went into my accelerated breathing and stayed there for the rest of the run.
I hate it when I start that because it is proof that my body is pretty close to the end of it's ball of string.
And one thing I do not like to be reminded of is my mortality.
But all in all, it was a good run.
It is good to be running again.

The other “event” of this week is that I am planning to build another (!) desk.
I have decided to go back to my very first design with an “L” shaped corner design.
It is the pattern that I used for the unit that got me through college.
And the variation that followed.
My present design is a four-foot wide, one-sided plan built for my computer.
It has worked well, but I am finding that it is becoming more and more cluttered.
Soooo, I am going to go back to the old “L” plan with a shelf underneath and a double bookcase on top.
The bottom shelf on the bookcase will be raised to 22 inches to accommodate my skinny LCD monitor and CPU unit.
Anyway, you will see how it comes together in a month or two.
I will wait for the weather to cool off before I begin construction.
This also means that I will have TWO lovely, sturdy, slightly used desks available for some needy family in a month or two.
Requests are being considered, starting today.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Nice Hot Summer

We set a new record for hot weather today - 104 degrees.
The humidity was around 20 percent so it felt like Arizona.
Which for me is just nice and hot, not the sticky-yucky-boiling-pig hot we usually have in Alabama this time of year.

For the record, I ran only 2.4 miles last Saturday because of the more intense physical work I did Friday.
That work involved taking down three military tents and loading them on a truck.
So, I was not sure if I had all the marbles necessary to go my preferred three-mile course.

As soon as I started out, Running Central received messages from the right calf and left glut and hamstring areas that there was residual stress from the activities from the previous days activities.
These complaints were duly noted and ignored as no increase in the distress level was observed as the run progressed.
The goal was to finish the run as a run and not have to walk, so the lesser distance was chosen to allow my system to build up to the three-mile distance more gradually.
Yes, I am babying myself, it may seem, but I do not want to break something in/on me.

I am aware that I often forget that I am 62 and not 22.
As hard as it is on my ego/id to admit this, there is a difference in physical capacity and recovery ability between the two ages.
I bump into this difference every once in a while when I fail to be mindful of my increasing limitations.
Sometimes it is painful.
Thus, I try to baby myself, sort of....

The dry weather Saturday allowed me to hang my bedding out on the clothesline, thus making them nice and crispy and clean-smelling.
I also washed my little white egg-car.
It needed a bath.

There is much more to write about but time is limited just now.
OBTW, I have George Benson playing on the stereo.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Mo Pichers

x
The run this morning was an effort.
I was unsure how strong I would be/feel but I wanted to build myself back up to my three-mile level.
I stayed up later than I should have last night so I was not sure how much juice I would have to donate to the cause this morning.
In spite of the delayed sleepy time, I woke up ready to go.
But because of my concern for my endurance, this run was not as fun (read: carefree) as I would have liked.
I started out at 6:11 AM.
The weather was not cooperative.
It was about 72 with 80 or 90 percent humidity.
I kept expecting to feel weak -or at least, not strong, but it never came until the last quarter mile.
At the top of the first hill, my faster breathing was not required – a good sign.

At the point in my circuit when I must decide whether to turn to the two-mile path or go on to the three-mile path, I was arguing with myself which way to go.
I was out of breath from the second hill (not an unusual situation at that point) and was unsure if I could go the extra distance.
The coach in me won.
The thought was “go for it; if you can't run the whole way, you will then know that you couldn't run the whole way”.
The coach in me is rather a simple person.

There was also another person in me – the runner.
He knows that I can do more than I think I can.
And, indeed, I did not have to elevate my breathing until the last quarter mile.
I felt tired then and was looking forward to the end.
But by that time, I was committed and settled on finishing the whole course.
I even forced myself to pick up the pace the last couple of hundred feet or so.
The only disappointment was that I stopped about ten feet short of the crack in the parking lot that I usually stop at.
The time was 6:51.
My three miles had taken forty minutes.
Much slower than the twenty-four minutes or so of my racing days just three years ago.

But it feels great to be running again.
Great.

I am posting more pictures from David and Jill's wedding.
Because of the haphazard way I have posted previous pictures of the event, I am not sure which ones I have already posted and which ones not.




Included here is one of the sweetest pictures of the event.
It was touching to witness as well.
It is of the kiss.
If I was David I might have passed out.
This was not a quick peck, but a long lingering nuzzle that lasted two or three seconds.
I do not mean to make more of it than it was, but there were several people standing around, and sister Jill was not shy about expressing her affection in a way that was both powerful yet simple and quiet.
I enjoyed the moment with them.