Sunday, May 24, 2009

One More Day....

... to the BIG race.

I get excited/nervous every time I think about it. (like now...)

And then, the next day, I blow out of town on my trip to Oklahoma.
I get excited/nervous every time I think about that, also. (like now...)
So I'm reelee eksiited.

Today, (Sunday) is church day, as usual.
It is also packet pick-up day for the big race tomorrow.
That will get me excited all over again some more.

Today, I also will be paying special attention to what I eat and drink.
I must be sure to get well hydrated prior to the event.
And I must not eat anything with will upset my internal, um... processes.
All my pipes must be happy tomorrow morning.
And empty would be good.
And my joints and connections must be happy.
So far, so good.
Wee shall see....

As I was preparing for my usual Sunday morning walk this morning, a substantial, steady rain visited my neighborhood.
By the time I was ready to go out the door, however, it had all but stopped, and my journey was dry except for tree drippage (of which there are many).
Mid-way through mile two, I took off my rain hat and top.
The temperature was prolly in the mid 60's and I was getting hot/sweaty inside them.

It is very possible that the Big Race tomorrow will also be wet.
I remember one year (2001?) when it POURED rain after the race for about an hour. (about 9:30 or so)
No matter, I am prepared.
I won't win it, but I want to finish in less than 60 minutes.
I would like to finish in the top third which would make me at least number 600 across the line.
Wee shall see.
.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Have You Ever Wondered...

... if there is a magnetic shield around trash cans?

I am no basketball player, but I can usually toss a wad of paper or Kleenex six or eight feet into a trash can.
Or at least touch it.
But I am amazed how "easy" it is to miss the 9 by 9 inch bucket and hit the one-inch slit between the bucket and the wall.
I am sure I could TRY to hit the slit all day and miss every time.
Why is it so easy to miss?
I am beginning to suspect cosmic sources.
Maybe trash bags build up static electricity that deflect incoming paper wads.
I think we need a guvmint study to see why it is so hard to hit a trashcan with a wad of paper.

IN OTHER NEWS...

If you have been thinking about buying a new or newer car in the near future, you better hurry.
With the new fuel and emissions requirements just passed by our congress of socialist lemmings, the new Obamamobiles the car companies are required to build will be tiny, gutless, and very expensive pieces of junk.
And as they start selling these Obamamobiles, and gas usage drops, gas tax revenues to the federal and state governments will start to drop.
The federal and state governments will have to RAISE gas taxes to make up the revenue short-fall.
So, while people will be driving cars that may get better gas mileage, they will likely be paying MORE for gas because of the increased taxes.
Yea, "green" products might make for a "cleaner" environment (maybe), but when not operated by the capitalistic economic system, it will be WAY more expensive.

Think about it.
Government operates on a cost-plus basis.
Low costs has never been a priority of government.
You doubt me?
Name ONE activity of government that costs less than the same operation run by a private for-profit company.
There ain't none.

But the mesmerized masses that voted for these self-important, over-educated, idealistic, power mongers like Obama, are going to get all that they think they want - and more.
Much more.

When the yet-to-come carbon taxes filter through the economy, and more and more businesses close down or move out of the country because of increased income and energy taxes and federally-mandated healthcare costs, and the inflation caused by the MASSIVE borrowing by the federal government this year reaches 10 percent a year in a year or two, and gas costs 5 or 6 dollars a gallon, and their home utility bills go up 50 percent, THEN we will see if they still like their messiah-president.

And if they don't, it may already be too late to go back to the good ol days of George Bush.
As bad as some thought his reign was, it was way better than the "change you can believe in" of Barack Husein Obama.

Sorry, suckers.

In God we trust.
.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just Three Days...

... until the big Cotton Row race.

So far, 1,766 people have signed up to run the race.
It will be big.

And then....
... the day after the race I drive to Oklahoma to visit my long friends Doug and Laura Bayless.
I will be with them for about a week.

During my visit, this blog will be asleep.
Enjoy the silence.
.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

There Was A Crowd...

... this morning for the Saturday morning jog.
I managed to arrive right at 6:00AM and there was a gaggle of about 25 or 30 runners staged to start as I walked to the starting line.
The group started before I got to them.
I let them go on ahead because I did not want to run with a group.

The weather was about 70 degrees and very humid, typical for this place and season.
It was cloudy but did not look like it would rain on the parade.

The journey went well, for the most part.
Right ankle/foot was acting touchy for about half the party, but not so painful as to warrant any attention from Running Central, Coach.
Runner noted the issue and worked to adjust his stride so that the landing of that foot each time included a little extra rotation from back to front.
That seemed to ease the squeaking from the affected area.

My biggest problem this morning was breathing.
Even though I did not feel tired, I ran out of breathing capacity at the end of mile two.
I did my best not to try to catch the group running about a quarter-mile in front of me.
They made that pretty easy as they set a pretty stout pace.
I did manage to pass a couple of laggers during the course.

But my breathing rate moved from level two through level three on the hill at mile two and stayed there the rest of the run.
I had to work to keep it from going the level four, which I save for the end of the run.
I do not like this.
It means that I am not as strong (for running) as I need to be for the Big Race in eight days.
This may be caused by me re-arranging my weight workouts and adding some leg exercises back into the mix.

The weight work will make me stronger in an absolute sense, but will require extra recovery time.
Apparently I did not get enough recovery time this week.
But this does not explain my breathing difficulty last week.
Hmmmm.

Anyway, I will lay off the leg work this week in preparation for the big race.
I need all my Wheaties for the big event.

As I approached the start/finish area on Clinton Avenue, there was a huge crowd of runners standing around.
Apparently, there was another practice group staged to run the course.
I was breathing hard and could see the group as I covered the last half mile.
The closer I got the bigger the group looked.
I was in the street as usual and they were spread along the sidewalk and two lanes of the eastbound side of the street.
When I got within shouting distance I recognized several of the guys from past races.
There were actually two groups gathered there, one mostly men, and one behind of all women.
I estimated at least 150 or more.

And as "out of breath" as I felt, I managed to turn on a sprint to the finish line.
Some of the ladies called encouragement to me as I trotted past.
Somehow there is still enough teenager left in me to show off for a bunch of girls and I ran even faster.

The time across the finish line was 59:05.
Not bad for an old guy.
.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wow

There was quite a crowd on the Cotton Row course yesterday morning.
(contrariwise, it was just me and the two paper guys out in the neighborhood for the morning walk this morning.)
I managed to wake up about ten minutes early Saturday morning and that gave me the extra time I needed to beat the rush on the race course.
I started out at 5:56:45 and there were about ten people migrating/gathering on the corner of Clinton and Monroe streets for the "official" practice run.

The weather was a nice, humid 68 or so with a layer of gray clouds that looked like they wanted to pee on us.
A peek at the radar before leaving the house told me that the actual rain was coming in from the west and would not be in the area for a couple more hours (it actually arrived about 9:30 while I was shopping at Walmart.)
The warm weather allowed me to dress for the run as I prefer - just shorts and a sleeveless top (I also had on socks, shoes and a headband, but I assumed you knew that).
This was the second trip around this course in my NEW NB running shoes.

BTW - after looking at how my previous running shoes fit, I decided to get regular D width shoes this time, rather than the EE I had been buying since 1999.
The new shoes feel more snug than the others (duh) but not uncomfortably so.
And they seem to support my feet better.
Wee shall see.

Being the antisocial person that I am, I choose to go it alone, as usual (actually, I am just shy).
I expected to be overtaken by most of the crowd anyway.
The first person to pass me was Marty Clark.
I was about halfway through mile two and he came zipping past me (as usual).
A minute or so later another guy came by me.
Early into mile four, a lady and a guy passed me.
That was it.

Am I really that fast?
No.
It is just that everyone else just dawdles along on these practice sessions.
Most of them are younger, stronger and faster than I, but they do not push themselves as I tend to do.

I had no physical problems during the party.
My left knee started to make quiet little complaints near the end of mile one, but as soon as it got my attention, it went away for the duration.
Also, my right ankle tried to whine about the difficulties of life midway into mile three, but, again, the complaint was so quiet and went away after a few seconds.
I seemed to be a bit fatigued, however.
Near the end of mile two my breathing kicked into level three, and try as I would, I could not get it back down to my usual, more comfortable, level two cadence.
A couple of times I even went into level four, which is reserved for end of race/emergency situations.
I fought this the whole rest of the course.

I passed a couple of guys coming up Bankhead Parkway as I was going down.
The real surprise came near the finish line.

As I turned onto Clinton for the last half-mile, I saw a gathering crowd at the corner of Clinton and Monroe.
The closer I got, the bigger the crowd looked.
I estimated the group to be about 50, with lots of women.
My breathing by this time was rapid level four and I wondered if I had any more to give to the cause for a strong finish.
And I was intimidated by the crowd.
But to my amazement, as I passed Monroe and the gaggle of ladies, I launched into a full sprint for a big finish.
And maybe I was showing off a bit for the girls.
For all the noise and fuss, my time was 59:30 or so.
Not so fast.
But I felt good.
And tired.
Prolly from the heat.
.

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Fun Time Was Had...

... by most.
I guess.

I was invited to attend the birthday party of Sam Nordstrom yesterday.
He has now completed eight years breathing on his own. (He's EIGHT already???)

Sam is very intelligent, funny, handsome, and occasionally, carnal (by the Biblical definition).
This last attribute certainly does not make him any worse than many children his age and he is, no doubt, better behaved than most.
I enjoy his amazing verbal articulation.
He has a very good (as in, large) vocabulary (no doubt from his home schooling and general home environment).

We were joined by my former spouse, David and Faith Persel, and Lori McClesky, along with Zack, Rachael, Autumn, and Bradly Nordstrom. (of course, mom n dad were there, too)
We all had some cake and ice cream, did the candle-lighting-and-blowing-out thing and sang the happy birthday song.

IN OTHER NEWS

A few weeks ago during a weight workout I happened to slide my hand along one of my safety support boards in my home gym and accidentally inserted a wood sliver into the third finger of my right hand.
It hurt a bit and I wasted no time trying to get it out of me.
I pulled it out after some minor digging and went on with my workout.

I thought I got all of it.
The next day my finger was still sore.
A week later my finger was healed over but still sore.
Two weeks later my finger was still sore.
So, I was pretty certain that I had not extracted all of the offending material.

Today I became sufficiently tired of the nagging discomfort, concerned that the affected area was not going to heal in a satisfactory manner, and inspired to try to do some left-handed surgery.
So, armed with a new razor blade and a push-pin I opened up my finger, Rambo-style.
The trick was to get the cut from the razor to go deep enough (about 1/8th of an inch) to reach the root of the sliver and to get the incision right next to it.

My left hand is not my most coordinated member.
Nor is it the most trustworthy with a razor blade.
But I managed to get the cut deep enough and close enough that after some poking and scraping with the point of the pin, I was able to locate the rest of the sliver among all the blood and cellular mush, and pick it out.
I was surprised how big it was - about 3/16ths of an inch long.
No wonder my finger was sore.

To document my first surgery of the year, the following picture is presented (also taken left-handed).
The offending intruder (the darker brown wedge) can be seen lying to the right of the still-bloody incision.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Three Weeks To Go...

With the big Cotton Row 10k race looming, activity on the course took a jump this past Saturday.

There were guys all over the course as I ran.
I did not count but there were at least ten people on the course.
A local running supply store had a water station set up early into mile four (at the top of The Hill) and is sponsoring the practice runs.
Coincidentally, they start their practice run at 6 AM - the time I TRY to start my jaunt.
I was late again and did not get out the chute until 6:06 or so.

The weather was marginally warm but threatened more (!) rain, so I started out with my rain hat on my head.
But it is waterproof (duh - RAIN hat) and gets a bit steamy underneath.
So in mid-mile three, I took it off and carried it the rest of the ride.
No rain came down while I was on the course.

Interestingly, I passed everyone on the course except two older guys who passed me in mile six.

Now that I have caught race fever again, I am thinking seriously of running the Jesse Owens Memorial race in Moulton, Alabama on Saturday May 16.
It is a nice generally flat course that ends in the high school stadium track.
Sort of like the Olympic marathon.

IN OTHER NEWS

Have you ever heard of a world-wide epidemic where only five people have died and a few hundred have gotten sick?
I thought not.
You are in one.

The Swine-flu "epidemic" is an Obama-U.N.-manufactured "crisis" to gen up interest in his socialist health tax plan.
Trust me, when he gets his program going, health care will be rationed to the old and the young will receive treatment first.
The wording is already IN the "stimulus" tax legislation passed by the United States Congress.
If this were a REAL epidemic and thousands of people were sick and Obama-care was in place, there would be long lines of people waiting to get in the guvment healcare clinics for treatment.
It would take weeks for many to get in.
Many would die in the process.


IN OTHER NEWS

I cannot wait for the first Chrysler-Fiats to roll off the assembly lines in this country.
I predict they will be a colossal failure.
I predict the new Chrysler-Fiat company will fail in two or three years.