Monday, March 28, 2011


I wish I had taken a picture of them: five dirty, lonely bowling balls dumped in a weedy, watery ditch. Where did they come from? Who would do such a thing? I am reminded of another abandoned bowling ball, which was lying on a soccer field near the water treatment plant in Ft Wayne:

Alas, poor bowling ball, I knew it well
What is this epidemic of bowling ball neglect? i demand answers!

I was out pounding pavement after work because my 8-mile run didn't happen yesterday due to a combination of feeling poorly (the Engineer) and rolling an ankle on a railroad tie on Saturday (me)

Why was I running on railroad tracks? Hashing! I was running around New Haven, Indiana, with about 30 other folks, most of whom were dressed (as I was) in a kilt. Yes, we got a lot of strange looks and at least one "What's going on?"

Having an AWESOME time, of course! It was a beautiful day and I ran about 6 miles, which, when added to the 3.4 I ran Saturday morning, put me over 9 for the day. The 3.4 I ran on a path at the YMCA near the Engineer's apartment. I've run on this path several times with the Engineer, because during the winter we could count on it being cleared of snow. However, the other morning I ran with Holly from Rust Belt Runner. Run blogger MEET UP! I love those.

It was FAH-REE-ZING (25 ish degrees) when I went to meet her around 10:00, so I was in full cold weather gear, but I knew I would get warm despite the temperature, and that's exactly what happened. It helped that the sun was out. We did two loops of the path and then walked a bit. I visit Ft Wayne on a regular basis so I anticipate running with her again.

Nine miles on Saturday, none yesterday and thus today I was fidgety and anxious, looking out the window at the bright sunshine, itching to get home and into my running clothes and out on the road. It was as lovely out there as I had suspected. I knocked out the 8 miles and barged through my back door, scattering cats, then said, "Yeah, that's how it's done!"

It wasn't fast, but it was good, and hell, I'll take that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Thoughts: Oops...

The only appropriate word, sometimes, is "D'OH." Picture Homer Simpson saying it.

When I went to bed last night I set my alarm for 5:45 am with the intention of getting up to run 3 miles. In the middle of the night I woke up, decided 5:45 wasn't gonna happen (and, by extension, my run) and reset my alarm for 6:45.

The alarm went off, and I laid there listening to NPR for a few minutes and wondering why I still felt so tired. Ah well, time to haul the old body out of bed and into the shower. Freshly scrubbed and dressed a few minutes later, I went downstairs to heat some water for coffee. There was a little kernel of confusion rattling around in the back of my head, however: why was it so dark outside? It was past 7:00 and I should have been able to see the yard by now. I didn't think it was that overcast.

Wait a minute...

I looked at three different clocks, finishing with the one on my iPhone (because the almighty iPhone is never wrong), which confirmed my suspicions: it was only 6:15. I had still gotten up at 5:45, because when I was fumbling around with my alarm in the dark I had accidentally reset the clock an hour ahead.


I wished I had figured out my blunder before I took a shower, because I would have made myself go to the gym or go running. Alas, there wasn't much else for me to do but prepare for the workday. I made my coffee, washed some dishes, prepped my breakfast and lunch, and left for work.

Learn from my fail: don't try to reset alarms in the middle of the night.

This wasn't the only D'OH I have had in the past week. Last Thursday and Friday were spectacular in terms of weather: sunny and high 60s on both days. I opened the windows for the first time in months. The warm breeze and fresh air were enthusiastically welcomed by all members of the household:

Window Kitties!

That window is one of the Prime Kitty Viewing Spots in my house. There are a couple more upstairs, and when I left for Ohio on Friday I left a few windows open for the cats. It was such a nice day, how could I close up the house when they were enjoying themselves so much? It was 65 degrees outside!

Oh yeah, did I also mention I turned off the furnace?

Oh yeah, are y'all aware this is March? In Michigan? No further explanation should be necessary.

Fast forward to Sunday night. I arrived home and my house was 49 degrees. I turned the furnace on and immediately got into bed under my down comforter. The cats were on me like a duck on a june bug. I apologized profusely for my error.

Learn from my fail: DON'T leave windows open when you go out of town for two days in March. Unless you live in a place where it's already 75-80 degrees, in which case, I hate you.

In other news, I was in my ancestral homeland of the Cleveland area in order to attend an opera with my parents (Don Giovanni) and celebrate my nephew's third birthday. I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law on Friday night where I received Extreme Doggy Love:

At Fancy French Restaurant Dinner before the opera Saturday evening, when it was time for dessert I bypassed all the gooey, chocolatey, cream-laden offerings and opted for one of my favorite combinations of all time, one I discovered while I was still in graduate school:

Fresh berries and crème fraiche = LOVE
Opera, dogs, awesome food, and family: it was a great weekend.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Situation Rectification

I have done that rarest of things in my runnerdom: I ran on a Friday, my sacred rest day. How could I not, with clear sunny skies and 45 degrees seductively beckoning? The evil that is the "wintry mix" will return tomorrow; it was now or never for one quality run this week. So I went, and it was wonderful. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

What Happened?

It's so easy to lose momentum.

Last weekend I did my scheduled runs without fuss, even if the weather and footing conditions were less than optimal.

Monday I was supposed to go to yoga class but I stayed late at work and then went to the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti with a friend.

Tuesday I felt tired and cranky and sore-throat-y all day so instead of running when I got home, I put on my pajamas, watched four episodes of "Mad Men," and went to bed at 9:30.

Wednesday morning it was pouring rain and I said "no thanks." I had a classical music concert to attend after work so I stayed late again and then had a few pints at my favorite beer bar in Ann Arbor before the concert.

Thursday I did get up early and hit the gym for some upper-body strength training and core work, so today my muscles are not happy. I should have run after work but over the course of the day formulated a plan to hit happy hour with coworkers at a local watering hole (Sidetrack in Ypsilanti). I got home at 7:45, washed dishes, whipped Little Boo into a frenzy by singing opera arias, and settled down to read in bed at 8:30. I had the light off before 10:00.

Now it's Friday...I haven't run all week, and not for any good reasons. There's no excuse. I was lazy, plain and simple. Time to reboot: 4 miles tomorrow, 6 on Sunday.

In other news, earlier this week I won tickets to a concert by being caller number 12. Thus, the Engineer and I will be at the Ark in Ann Arbor tomorrow to hear Eilen Jewell perform. I called in on the spur of the moment after hearing the giveaway announced while I was driving to work. When I won, my first thought was "OK, this is cool, but I have no idea who she is or what her music sounds like." I listened to the songs on her MySpace page and was very relieved when I liked all of them. Yay for awesome NPR stations and free tickets!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Signs of Life

There is hope, people.

Item one: when I left my house to run this morning around 6:15, the eastern sky was light.  The pale blue dawn swelled as I ran, and when I rolled up to my driveway 30 minutes later I had no trouble seeing. When I run after work, even if I finish at 6:30 it is still light. The days are getting longer. We are crawling out of the dark hole of winter.

Item two: after last week's one-two-three punches of snowfall, this week has been kind to both the runner and the daily commuter (I am both). Above-freezing temperatures and a bit of sun have eliminated most of the sidewalk snow and we have had no new snowfall. I probably just cursed us with that statement.

Last weekend I was in Ft Wayne with the Engineer and we completed two runs together: a 4.6-mile slog through snow on Saturday and an easier, if duller, 6.8-mile run on a snow-free, paved path on Sunday. I grumbled and fussed (that's a nice way of saying I was bitching) during the Saturday run until I quit boring a hole through the patch of ground 10 feet in front of me, started looking around, and realized that the scenery was lovely (we were next to the Maumee River on the Rivergreenway) and there was birdwatching to be conducted (seen/heard: chickadee, titmouse, cardinal, mallard, Canada goose, nuthatch, red-bellied woodpecker).

Sunday on the YMCA path we came across this little fellow:

Help me! I'm melting!
Sorry dude, you're not long for this world. Spring is coming!

Notable beers of the weekend: 3 Floyds Black Sun Stout (post-run Saturday) and New Holland Blue Sunday Sour (post-run Sunday).