Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Do you see what the clock makes me do?

Today's title is from the New Pornographers' album Twin Cinema and the song "Sing me Spanish Techno." Although the song's not really about long office days, I really feel a resonance these days with the line, "The hour glass spills its sand, only to punish you." In fact, I was so intrigued by the line that I had the song on repeat on the way back across the Billy-Bridge today. Just captures my mood, I guess...

Although things have stabilized and we've now moved into a sort of controlled chaos, when that means you're putting in 70-80 hour weeks, you appreciate the the little things that make a big difference in life; for your amusement, here are some of the little things:

  • A 4 mile run before work, with no shin pain
  • Drop off laundry service
  • Modest Mouse
  • Goose Island Oatmeal Stout (yum)
  • A new UK basketball recruit
  • Mocking Matt Lauer
  • Town cars (with the BQE* I'm not sure they're faster than the subway, but being able to sleep on the way home is priceless)
  • Jeph Jacques' comics
  • Pesto
  • A new gym bag
  • The Cincinnati Reds (Hey, when a team's this bad, every guy feels like he can be a Major Leaguer!)
Week of 5/14: 27 miles
Week of 5/21: 12 miles

*That's Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, for you non-New Yorkers.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kidney 10K

Finished in 39:44, but that's not really important. What is important is that this was a fairly hard pace for me currently, on a hilly course, in racing flats, and I went start to finish with zero, none, nullus shin pain -- this was a totally and completely uneventful race below the knee. That's a success no matter what the time was (even though the time was a clockwise p.r.). I'll learn how big a success it was when I run later today and see if this lack of shin pain continues. We might just be out of the woods here.

Now, on the negative side -- every hill after two miles killed me. I realize, of course, that this results from the lack of strength workouts, avoidance of hills, etc. that go along with running through shin splints, but it was somewhat disheartening when I consider how I motored over those hills in, say, Grete's Gallop last fall. With this weakness identified, and the other problem (hopefully) solved, work permitting I can address it over the summer.

I have lots of little anecdotes for this race.

First, it was sponsored by the United Arab Emirates. So, before the race began, a U.A.E. ambassador gave a little speech on how our running supported religious tolerance, ideological inclusiveness, peace, being a good neighbor and so forth. This was only really notable because about 3/4 of mile into the race some Whack-Job at the side of the course was screaming "You're Supporting Terrorists! Stop helping the Heathens!" Really nice contrast there between a blasé, but well-meant (and I think well-received) speech on peace and inclusiveness from the "terrorist" and the acerbic screamings of the "patriot." Honestly, guys like that sometimes make me embarrassed to call myself American.

Immediately on finishing, I met a new Flyer. Poor guy caught me right as I realized I'd just finished with no pain and, thanks to my excitement at that fact, he got all the gory treatment
details--the ice, the no hills, the slow-down, the cut runs, the anti-inflammatories--that you guys missed because I think the only more boring than reading about injury treatment is writing about it. So, if you're a reader fellow Flyer (Hah! Like people would read this nonsense!) accept my apologies for monopolizing our one-way conversation.

After the race, I was walking through the Park on the way to the office, and lo a bright light shone before me. I was in shock, "What the hell is that!?!" Then I realized that it was just sunlight reflecting off a jogging James Carville's forehead. That head's really bright!

And finally, after the race while still in the Park, this little woman fitness walking comes up to me and says ecstatically, "Did you run? Did you finish?" I confirmed I had and she said, "Oh. How long did it take you?" I told her and then she asked, "Wow. That's great. Do you, like, practice weekly?" When, holding back the urge to chuckle, I said, "Yeah, almost daily," she seemed extremely impressed. And, I guess, with all the constraints of life, I find that pretty impressive too.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tick, Tock, Tick

Useless News

Around the globe the last few days...

The alma mater picked up its first super blue chip recruit of the BCG era, which has some folks rapsodizing in Latin no less!

CNN reports studies on a desk/treadmill combo. I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I'd kind of like to keep my exercise separate from my job, thanks very much. Plus, jogging in a full suit seems kind of silly.

More reasons to stay clear of New Jersey. Where do these people come from?

Blogger announces autosaving.

Sorry for the stacatto, joint-post-esque listing, but likely won't have time in the near future for long solo posts. It seems a long-standing firm client has decided to hire us for his case (good), but the case is less than six weeks before trial (uh). So, all that stuff that we were doing in December-March when I was going two weeks between runs, we're now going to try to do in June! Heh. In all seriousness though, this is going to be a lot of fun.

This week was already a cut-back week as I've hit about 35 miles four straight weeks. I've also decided to try an hit the Kidney 10K tomorrow morning before work. I'm pretty excited since I seem to finally be over that shin pain.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Public Thank You

I'd like to take a moment of your time today to give thanks to a very special and positive force in our community. This American institution has given so much to those of us out on the public highways and byways of New York City that its influence cannot be understated. We can only hope that mankind as a whole comes to appreciate and emulate this generous spirit.

Therefore, and without further ado, I'd like for everyone out there to join me in giving a hardy round of appreciation to Starbucks! That's right, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX).

I hear the protests. "But, Jo-u-u-u-n," you say, "Starbucks is a corporation. An evil empire even." Well, let me tell you a little about what Starbucks has done for me and why you should love them too.

Imagine with me. . . you're on a run. It's a nice day, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping. The commuters driving up the FRD are throwing a nice breeze over to you in East River Park. You're light, you're fast, you're floating. Everything is going your way. . . UNTIL . . . sudden lower G-I tract distress! [Cue music: Dum-Dum-Duuummmm].

You see a port-a-let and make a dash, but alas it's March and the Parks Department pad-locks the port-a-lets from November to April! You continue through the park, to the East River Track. There are runners there. People use that track. Surely the bathroom is . . . Foiled again! It's 7:15 in the morning and the Parks Department keeps that bathroom locked until 8. Your run's heading down the tubes faster than Jersey! You head out of the Park, sort of run-shuffling, grunting all out of proportion to the speed you're travelling, as you clench your stomach muscles, and then you see a chance -- a McDonald's. McDonald's (MCD) is always open at 7:22 in the morning. But, McDonald's, the selfish bastards, just like the toddlers to whom they market with their insipid clown, doesn't know how to share and keeps its bathrooms locked. That means you -- dear runner with an emergency -- have to stand in a line while all sweaty and squirming and then ask some teenager for the bathroom key, with it being obvious to everyone in the shop what you're doing, why you're there, and that you're not a paying customer. No. McDonald's will not do. It will not!

Then, against all hope, another block down, the heavens open, sunlight beams through a cerulean patch of sky to illuminate a black-and-white mermaid seated in a deep green halo. You've found your answer. Starbucks. Ubiquitous. Starbucks. With its bathrooms never locked. Starbucks. Where you can dash in and dash out. Starbucks. Which often has two entrances, one placed directly across from the bathroom. This is generosity my friends. In a city like New York which has no public bathrooms because . . . well, I don't know why. Perhaps because Giuliani was afraid homeless people would live in them? But anyway, we don't, which is a huge problem if you're 6 miles into a 13 mile out-and-back and suddenly nature calls. But with Starbucks it's no problem. Starbucks is everywhere. Starbucks is open early. Starbucks doesn't lock the bathroom door.

So, everyone out there. Go today to Starbucks. Show your appreciation. Buy a coffee, or a tea, or a Decaf Grand Iced Venti Soy Skim Latte Vanilla Almond Mocha Frappuccino, light on the ice, with distilled water, diet. Give a little back because Starbucks gives so much to us.

Thank YOU Starbucks!

Week of April 30: 34.2 miles
Week of May 7: 36.3 miles

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Triumphant return?

Today I planned to make a grand return to blogging. I had a beautiful post written.
It was profound and intriguing, but accessible.
Even life-changing, maybe, for the the right person. . .

But then my computer froze and my prose disappeared into some digital Limbo.
And my muse left for her day job.
I guess the return will have to wait a few more days.

Week of April 30: 34.2 miles
Monday: 4.15 miles, 31:54 (7:41/mile)
Tuesday: 10.33 miles, 1:18:20 (7:35/mile)

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Microsoft Word gave me this error in the office yesterday:

"Error. There are too many spelling and grammatical errors in the document "*my document's name*" to continue displaying them."

Yes, folks,
I killed spellcheck!

With running, I finally had a (largely) pain-free run today. Each one's getting just a little better than the last. . . more late

Week of
April 221.6 miles
April 916.3
April 1632.5
April 2335.4
April 30
(To date)
21.1 Miles