Saturday, March 18, 2017

Until I Wasn't

I was planning to get a long run in today.  Until I wasn't.
I was running fairly well. Until I wasn't.
I was feeling pretty darn good during the run. Until I wasn't.
I was actually enjoying myself. Until I wasn't.
I was even having a good week, running wise. Until I wasn't.


And finally...
I was even even starting to think that this Achilles thing was finally beginning to get better. Until I wasn't.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Don't Think About an Elephant

Another Hinckley loop; another adventure.


We're loping along in the dark, and a male runner who is not me (let's call him 'Prank') stops to go into the woods. I notice that he's not too far off the road, so in the interest in preserving Prank's privacy, I tell a female runner who is also not me (let's call her 'Veresa'), "Don't shine your (headlamp) light on Prank." Naturally, that's exactly what Veresa does.


In retrospect, I suppose this is akin to telling someone not to think about an elephant.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Roadkill

Michelle Wolff was running alongside me... and then she wasn't.

For the second time in two runs, she did a faceplant. This one was more sudden than the last. For a moment, I thought she'd disappeared. I am allowed to make fun of Michelle's falling adventures only because I've had my own share of difficulty remaining vertical. You could almost say that I'm vertically challenged.

What was it that tripped her up? This time it was a rather large dead raccoon. I actually had noticed it, but of course I didn't say anything; I'm the silent running-mate type. Just ask my friends.

Later on, several of us nearly became roadkill ourselves. Not long after turning onto Kellogg Road (motto: it's all downhill from here), an extremely large rottweiler jumped out and surprised us. We stopped, but the dog still seemed threatening, even as the owner came out and tried to keep us still whilst she wrangled her animal. The thing wasn't happy until it gave Debbie Scheel a very good all-over sniff. Only then did it decide that we were probably okay, and allowed itself to be wrangled.

Our second Hinckley loop was no less eventful. First, Frank Dwyer decided to kick the raccoon off to the side of the road. He said it didn't smell too bad, and it wouldn't stink up his shoes. I was a little dubious. Then a different Kellogg dog attacked, paying particular attention to Theresa Wright, and then me. This one was much smaller, but I still didn't like being nipped at. When I yelled, "go home", the owner found this hilarious. I am still trying to understand the joke.

Just one more story. The raccoon fiasco reminded me of an incident that occurred around about twenty-five years ago, in Michigan. I was running alone in the early morning darkness, on the left side of the road. A car approached from ahead, and came to be even with me at the same point in time that a large dead raccoon appeared in the middle of the road, in between us.

I have since long pondered the probability of all three of us (the car, the raccoon, and I) all occupying that same twenty square feet of road at precisely the same moment. I've decided that only in a Dan Horvath Roadkill Nightmare could such a thing happen.

The result? SPLATT!! The car had decided to run right over the carcass, spraying me with blood and guts. So much so, that when I got home and removed my reflective vest, and interesting geometric pattern appeared on my white shirt.

Roadkill Cafe, anyone?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I've Lost 2 Minutes per Mile and Don't Know Where to Find Them

Before it was one minute a mile. Now two. Where did they go?

TRACK!!!!!!!!!!

The thought occurred to me as I hit it the other day. It was my first time on the track for many months. In my (much) younger days, when doing track workouts, we would yell 'TRACK!' at anyone moving slower than us that were in our way. Do track runners still do this?

I love the track. I love speedwork. But with injuries and all, speedwork doesn't love me.



Nowadays, if I can do my mile intervals in under eight minutes, I'm a happy man. In the olde days, six minutes was good. I could whine some more, but I will spare you.

The good news is that, in spite of the non-cessation of the Achilles pain, I'm running more, and even slightly better. I should. I've got marathons to train for.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Free the Hinckley Nine!

This is another one that required an explanation. I will get to that.

The usual gang, Debbie, Theresa, Frank, Dennis and I, complete our 9-mile circuit. There are other runners, some of whom I know, hanging around in the parking lot. We chat a bit. Suddenly dozens of others come running into the lot; they had just gone around the lake. Presently, more running for everyone but a few of us, would ensue.

My thinking, such as it is, is this: wow - lots of runners. Cool!

Why do I think that a lot of runners, as opposed to just a few, is such a cool thing? I have no idea. I'm actually happy to run with anyone, be that a few or a lot. I've been posting these Hinckley runs as Facebook events lately, but it's nearly always the same usual suspects that make it each week. I'm okay with that, since this bunch I go with are fine people. But bigger crowds are fun as well.

Tomorrow's run should involve a bigger crowd. It's the monthly Medina Half-Marathon training run, and the weather is looking fantastic. In fact it was today as well. One of today's runner's said, "it doesn't get any better than this," and I agree wholeheartedly.

The Hinckley Nine? Well, that's the name of our usual road loop. But it also sounded to me like some kind of notorious group of people. Maybe outlaws or terrorists. Or maybe people who are more innocent, but are being unjustly persecuted. In the event that you can think about the name in terms of people instead of miles, freeing them would seem like a good idea.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Old Bull and the Young Bull

When you have to announce that a joke is completed, that’s a sign that either it’s not funny, or you didn’t tell it right. I think it was the latter this morning, as my running-rattled brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Theresa Stephens Wright, Debbie Scheel, Dennis (don’t know his last name) and Frank Dwyer had actually asked for a story. Here it is, (told perhaps a little better).

An old bull and a young bull were in a pasture, looking down at a lower pasture filled with comely heifers. The young bull says, ‘Hey old bull, the farmer left the gate between the pastures open! Let’s run down to those cows and smooch a couple of them!’ The old bull says, ‘Nope. Let’s saunter on down there slowly, and smooch the whole lot of them.’ Author’s note: verbs other than ‘smooch’ may be substituted here.

Running friends from a couple generations ago used to have some fun with that one. I'm thinking of old bull Brian Peacock, and young bull Geoff Chase. Being between those two in age, I'm not sure what role I took on. Maybe one of the heifers?

I would also like to say that my Achilles pain is subsiding a little, and that has enabled me to pick up the pace and mileage ever so slightly. I would also like to say that I am very rich and famous, and that I get younger each year.

The pain had actually been a little more manageable, and I really have been running a little faster and farther... until today's sixteen-miler. Now it's back to normal. And that's not so good. You would think that I ought to ease up a little. You know: take it easy.

But no. I am committed. Or need to be. At the Medina County Road Runners Club Banquet a couple weeks ago, I won a free entry to the Medina Half Marathon, and registered immediately. Last week I learned that a friend wanted to sell her entry to the Canton Hall of Fame Marathon - for only $20! I jumped at it and got myself registered for that one as well. Then, with all that money I saved, I splurged and paid a high price ($105 plus fee) to register for the fortieth Cleveland Marathon. Yeah, fortieth. I had run the first, in 1978.

So I guess I can't stop now. You would think an old bull would know better.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One a Day

It's been three weeks now, and I still shudder. So much fear and trepidation. It went something like this.

We got back last Friday, and it's now Tuesday morning. That's getting back from 17 days on that cruise ship. 17 days of gourmet cuisine, fixed the way you like it, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention snacks, every day. For 17 days. Okay, okay. I guess I said that already. And don't even get me started about the unlimited wine with meals package that we had. Debbie and I joked about how we were putting on a pound a day. Yeah, I managed to run a little on the ship, but nearly enough to compensate for those 17 days.

Now it's time. I don't want to do it, but I really can't put it off any longer. As I step on the scale I think about how I've been pretty good. It's been fairly normal eating over the weekend, followed by my usual partial-fast yesterday. Furthermore, I got some running done over the weekend. It was tough to go out against the cold, but I managed, with the help of some friends. Sure, I can still tell that I'm a couple pounds north of where I ought to be, but surely not too much awfully so.

It is too much awfully so, The scale nearly busts, and then tells me that I weigh 172 pounds. That's around 12 more than three and a half weeks ago. Not quite one a day... but then I think that at some point over the weekend or previous week, I likely did tip the scale at 177. I can hardly believe my eyes. I don't think I've weighed this much since my high school football days.

Nowadays, I'm only beginning to get over this. One may have hoped that if one can put on a pound a day, one could also take off a pound a day, right? No, it doesn't appear to work that way. Oh, the weight is coming down. But only gradually. Very gradually.

Here's the silver lining. I've been running okay (once again, friends help), and my AT pain doesn't seem so bad these days.

Thus it's not all gloom and doom. There are some bright spots on the horizon. Heck, we even have a brand-new, shiny president. What could go wrong?