Before I start, let's come to a couple of understandings:
So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?
Friday, May 27, 2011
Before I start, let's come to a couple of understandings:
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Take a look at the cars around you the next time you're on a road trip or sitting at a crowded intersection. In much the same manner as a picture tells a story, like deciphering the ribbons and service medallions to figure the story of a military service member's accomplishments, we can learn much about our fellow travelers:
Where they live. License plates usually are a narrow-down, but not always. Extra hints can come from drivers with vanity license plate tags (Florida has probably the widest variety of vanity tags of all fifty states.). Sometimes you get a sneaky, esoteric vanity tag owner who gives their tag a more subtle meaning (a fast car with "B4NE1,"). Gives the DMV workers something to think about.
Marital status, number and gender of kids, animal and religious preference. The "cartoon character eared" family line-up is probably the strangest one I've run into, with the Native American kokopelli and the Polynesian-themed turtles being the coolest.
Where they or their kids go/went to school/college. Occasionally you get couples whose loyalties are split between two rival schools, which adds the Lincolnesque "house divided" identification. But there are vehicles and drivers ahead of me on the roadway who I knew were more likely dedicated to the "institution of higher football;" often proven by an action which reinforced their lack of academic (or financial?) wherewithal to get in. Okay, maybe not; common sense does not always equal common knowledge.
Their favorite athlete, team, sport or sports governing body. I bet NASCAR fans go into a tizzy at the end of the season, hoping and praying their favorite driver doesn't move to another team. Triathletes, especially those who participate in those events which start with an "I," always seem to have at least one sticker for every venue at which they've participated. I jokingly used a derogatory term for these persons after seeing car after car loaded with stickers for Wisconsin, Lake Placid and Louisville...in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Panama City.
Their political stance, to include support of present or former successful/lost causes. Come on, guys...the election was over years ago; in some cases we're talking ten. I peel that sucker off the glass the day after the election results are announced, win or lose. Gotta feel sorry for those poor Minnesotans who waited six months to figure out whether Coleman or Franken won.
Their sense of humor...which often ties directly or indirectly to all of the previous categories. Every once in a while you see a bumper sticker which transcends most of the topical areas. My favorite had to be one I saw years ago while living in Tampa: "Cat Lovers Against The Bomb."
A smart person equipped with a notepad and a smart phone can probably gain enough intelligence on the modern middle-class driver to wreak havoc on their life, all in the course of a 60-second period of time...the time it takes to pull a snapshot. But what kills me is this: The people who display their identity, affinity, proclivity, and "derivity" so openly on their motor vehicles are usually the same persons who complain about the invasion of the internet, the World Wide Web, service providers, and the government (at varying levels) on their privacy.
Sometimes, we just don't think all that much. Not about how weather conditions like heat and humidity affect our running performance. Not about adapting our workout intensity, duration, location or time to account for those conditions. Not about wearing clothes and accessories during our workouts which can reflect heat from above and below. And, most of all, not about hydrating during the day, rather than just during the run.
I went to run a 5K road race - on a lark - mere hours after I wrote a blog post about hydration. I hadn't drank much after an early morning visit to the gym, and I didn't even think about what possibly could go awry during my warm-up. In fact, I had the pre-race jitters and the feeling like I should make a run for the porta-potty. However, I knew once I started sweating things would be all right.
Boy, was I wrong.
I was parched by the time I approached the first aid station; usually I'll take a cup to pour on my head, but this time I needed two in me. Simply put, I forgot all about my own recovery and pre-race advice and counsel... Seven months is a long time between races; sometimes we forget the simple things - hydration, nutrition, warm-up, pacing, and patience - in that period of time.
As George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic said: "Think. It Ain't Illegal Yet."
Thursday, May 19, 2011
We initially joked about the weather conditions, which explain why I live in the South...
Ron: "I was scraping ice off my window two days ago."
They (falsely) assume other persons are not exerting the effort they are, therefore they lack the desire and are "children of a lesser god." Boy, was I disabused of this assumption by my loving wife, a long time ago. She took me to task one night after a track workout, saying, "Michael, just because we're running our quarters a minute slower than you are doesn't mean we aren't working hard. Believe me, we are."
The value system also is different. "Real runners" consider their title earned because they are faster on race day. They consider themselves superior to those pitiable souls who are still plodding about on the course as they reach for their first post-race beer. Their medals, beer glasses and coffee mugs were hard-won, and sometimes, considered to be their right: Why go five-deep at a race? It's only the first three in the age group who should be lauded.
1. "Parentism," the nearly-two-decade extension of the state of maternity
3. Work, and
I've heard excuses, and I've heard rationales over the past six years. After that period of time you smile, shake your head, and continue to promulgate an "open door" policy.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
"Boy, you're gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time..." - "Carry That Weight" (The Beatles, "Abbey Road," 1969)
Okay, maybe not "Gabriel-Iglesias-'fat.'" Perhaps "healthy" or "husky" on his 'fat scale.'
Looking at the photos taken by my wife, I can understand how someone could say 'the camera adds pounds.' I knew the numbers were not going to be good.
As a former "fat" person (5'8", 180 pounds back in 1992 may not seem fat to you, but when your face looks like Garfield the Cat in a photo...), the digital scale at the rear of the gym is the most fearful piece of equipment in the joint.
I stepped on the scale after a 30-minute elliptical trainer session and saw a good sign: Even with workout shoes on I dropped a pound in the past month. Sounds like cause for celebration. Woo hoo hoo!
Now, back to work.
Part of me sometimes asks why the weight has come off in an agonizingly slow manner. It's not that I've denied myself any particular food item in the past nine weeks. Outside of my wife's insistence on packing a healthy lunch for me whenever she can, I suspect it has much to do with the slow, conservative approach I've taken in my return to running:
- In the nine weeks since I started running again, I've increased the duration of my runs by no more than ten percent each week. I started at 20 minutes each run; I'm now at a little under 40 minutes. Barring unforseen circumstances, I hope to be running for 60 minutes in six-to-eight weeks.
- The Sunday morning "long run" has walking added to the week's run duration to make it a total of 60 minutes each trip. I also split the run duration into two parts; this week's 40-minute run was divided into two 20-minute pieces, with a ten minute walk in between.
- My Tuesday and Thursday evening speed workouts, amazingly, are near the intensities they were before the injury. But, quitting time is quitting time even if I feel good. The same goes for my Wednesday night run on the beach; I know exactly when I need to quit running. I slow down to a walk when the timer says I'm done. Ego, or the need to be "top dog," only stands in the way of recovery.
- I still use the treadmill and the elliptical trainer at the gym, but the workouts start easy and progressively increase in intensity. I'll cut the workout short if things are not going well rather than try to fight through an issue.
- Most importantly, I allow my body to recover as much as possible from each workout. That means the "two-a-day" workouts come once every six days, and I'll rest if I feel badly.
My wife handed me a couple of race flyers, which I summarily dismissed as being too soon for my taste. Racing is out of the question until I think my body is ready. Because, the most important thing is not being able to race well, but to be able to run for a long time.
Fitness takes a long time to gain, can be lost quickly, and can be thwarted by a lack of patience. There can be no doubt, running is a sport of pace and patience.