Monday, May 16, 2011

Good News - Bad News Run

Saturday morning was cool and wanting to rain.
I wore my rain cap for the first half mile of the six-mile ho-down but it proved to be too hot.
And it was not raining.
But the clouds looked like they wanted to. (in fact, it did rain in other parts of town)

Usually, by the first half mile I can tell how I am going to do on these longer runs, and it was true this day.
I did not feel as weak as I have in the past, but I did not feel "strong" (a very relative term for me).
So I prepared myself mentally to have to walk sometime in the last half of the party.
And it was so.

Early into mile six, I felt I needed to stop for a minute or two and walk.
There was not a lot of argument between Coach, Runner and Running Central.
Runner did not want to, but mostly for self-esteem reasons.
Coach knew how hard Runner was working.
Running Central was monitoring the situation silently.
This was a close call.
If this had been a race, I would not have stopped.
But it wasn't, so I did.

The walk worked as planned.
I finished the last mile or so with nothing out of the ordinary.
But I was glad to be finished with this one.
That is the bad news. (not so bad, really.)

There were a lot of runners out that morning.
I thought it might be because of some organized practice for the Cotton Row race coming in two weeks.
Not.
At least, not entirely.
It turns out there was a race that morning.
The I Love Music race, or some such.
That is a new one here.
And as I finished my six-mile jaunt, I saw a hundred runners passing one block away.

The good news?
Nothing broke.
Again.
No hip, knee, ankle joint issues.
No connective tissue issues - tendons, ligaments, muscles, etc.
There was some vague whinings around mile four from left knee and right hip support tissues about how hard life is, but these mumblings were drowned out by the chirping of the birds and my accelerated breathing.
Amazing.

Life is good.
Very good.
.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Another Nice Run

Ho hum.
Another Saturday - another nice six-mile run.
Not really.
Running six miles is a pretty big deal for me in my advancing age.

I am now 66 years old.
This is hard to believe sometimes.
If anyone had told me in high school that at age 66 I would be running 6 miles even once a week (as currently is the case), I would have told them that they were nuts.
But here I am, doing it.

I have retired from running about three times.
Each time thinking that I was too old to keep running.
And each time I have started a walking program, considered more "appropriate" for old geezers such as I by "health professionals", I have found that it feels like a waste of time.
I do not feel challenged physically, and I finish each session feeling like I could do more.
This latest resurrection of the activity began innocently enough, trying to find a more challenging walking course, soon progressed to running up the one mile hill, and finally, about a month ago, just getting crazy and going for the whole enchalada of the six-mile Cotton Row race course (which, for some reason, I dearly love).
(see the full story in my blog of May 8, 2010)

So, today, after an amazing session last week (six miles - no stops), I did not feel quite as strong as last week, so my breathing was more labored than I would have preferred.
But I did not have to stop to walk, even though Runner and Running Central were having a discussion in mile 5 about just a short walk to allow my breathing to settle down a bit.
But by then, I was almost finished (within 20 minutes or less), and it was mostly down-hill.
So no stops were sanctioned.

And .... no body parts broke.
No ankle attachments or connections were unhappy.
Same for knees.
My hips like to whine a bit beginning about mile three, but this is usually such low-level mumbling that I cannot even discern what exactly is the problem.

I am wonderfully blessed.
For all my ratty, less-than-ideal genetic construction (I plan to talk to God about this in heaven), I have managed to run virtually uninjured for the last six years.
The same cannot be said for many runners who are much stronger than I.
So, I am again happy and enjoying another endorphin high.
.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

THE 2011 TORNADO DIARIES

DAY 1
Thursday April 28, 2011
7:12 PM

The power to Huntsville was taken down at about 4:30 PM yesterday afternoon as a giant (what we know now) F5 tornado ran north of town.
It missed my son's house by about a half mile.
It was a slab-scraper.

A state of emergency is boring.
Those of us who have been spared the tragedy that hit many others have little to do.
There are plus points as well as minus points to my plight.
Pluses
1 I am alive
2 all of my worldly goods are intact (if inoperable)
3 all of my family are alive and free of any damage
4 I have running water – hot and cold
5 I have gas to cook and to warm water
6 the weather after the storms is warm, so I am not cold.
7 I have food to last a week or so.
Minuses
1 I have no electricity – so no toys, music, etc
2 I am alone, lonely, bored.

Things could be worse – way worse.

So we/you learn to live like they did in the wild west - do what you can in the daylight, stay still and sleep when it is dark.
Seven days – that is how long “they” are saying it will be before we have electricity again.
If that is so-this year will end up with 51 weeks in it instead of 52.
There is not much to do without electricity.
I cannot work kuz I work on a computer.
No electricity – no computers
No computers – no work
No work – no business for me = boring

It could be worse – much worse – just sayin....

DAY 2
Friday April 29, 2011
12:43

Emptying out the refrigerator.
Throwing away food – this feels strange.
Drank the last of my milk.
I have about a quart more, but I do not trust its safety.
I started to read “History of the Christian Church”
8 volumes, first printed in 1858.

DAY 3
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Woo Hoo.
Today is running day.
Even though there are no stoplights and a dusk to dawn curfew – I ran.
6 miles.
No walking (except the lower half of Mountainwood Drive, as planned)
No signals.
No lights.
All the drivers were behaving themselves – stopping at every intersection with a dark stoplight , then proceeding.
I love it when we all play by the rools.

I cleaned my refrigerator today.
Cleaned all the little smudges and small accumulations of crumbs.
My refrigerator looks strange with its doors standing open, shelves empty.

Today would be food shopping day, but....
About half the food I would buy would go into my refrigerator – which is not working because we have no electricity – yet.
So, there is no point in going food shopping.
I still have some food to survive a few more days.
I ate my last two eggs this morning, so I will begin my new oatmeal and water diet for a few days.
“They” now estimate that the power will be back on Monday afternoon.

DAY 4
Sunday May 1, 2011

Breakfast = hot oatmeal + water + honey + cinnamon.
It was yummy.
It is cloudy today.
There is a chance of rain.

Driving to church today I saw many trees blown over (20+?)
Limited damage to buildings on the route that I took (I know it is MUCH worse in other areas just a mile or so from where I was)
I saw a few signs bent over, etc.

“Church” was strange today.
There was no preaching (there was no electricity at the church buildings), just testimonies.
Brother John read only one scripture – Ecclesiastes 3:1-9.
One family in the congregation lost their house in the storms.
They gave a good testimony.

After church, we had a “cook out” -type lunch (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc) for the community.
Two couples came (that I know of).
The rest of us ate well (as usual).
There was no evening service because of the county-wide dusk-to-dawn curfew.

At 11:08 PM the power came on at my house.

DAY 5
Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is dead.
Good.
I am not comfortable feeling good that someone is dead, but I am very comfortable knowing that justice has been administered to someone with such evil intentions.

A half mile from my house, they still do not have power.
Some traffic signals work, some are still dark.
I went to a Walmart today which had power.
All of their refrigerated cases were empty (ALL + EMPTY).
ALL of the food had been sold or thrown away.
I bought milk (just being loaded into the bare refrigerated case as I arrived) and bread.
There were no eggs. :(

I am blessed.