Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sleep Must be an Inconvenience for You

It was the start of my second nine-mile Hinckley loop at 5:30 AM, and since people were asking, I informed them that I had arrived at 4:00 AM and had already completed a loop. And that I had gotten up and out of bed just before 3:00 AM. That's when John Pavlick observed, "Sleep must be an inconvenience for you."

The gang proceeded to leave me in the dust. That was okay - I know the way. So yes, I was the Beetle Bomb, (In case you're wondering about Beetle Bomb, it's something Debbie's dad always used to call the kids when they were late or slow, as in, "Here comes Beetle Bomb". I found this video as the probable source of that.)

Having said all this, I actually ran relatively well today.First loop was 1:28, the second 1:26. I'll take those, Beetle Bomb or not.

Time for a nap.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

River Road Run

Cold rain. I hate cold rain. I am running - if you can call it that, as slow as it is - down towards River Road here in Niagara Falls. It would have been easy to nix this cold, damp outside run in favor of something warmer, dryer and even faster such as a comfortable hotel dreadmill. But I think about how spring began yesterday evening after an awful winter - an awful winter that included way too much dreadmill running. I think about how many times I have pined for temperatures even just a little warmer than the single digits (today it was about 37). I even think about that year - yes, an entire year - in the nineties that I spent running entirely outside, based on a self-imposed exile from treadmill running.

Two Marriotts, including ours. An Embassy Suites, a Travelodge and several other hotels. Tony Romas, Margaritaville, Brasa, Outback, My Cousin Vinny's, Applebees, and gobs of other restaurants. Three or so casinos. The Silly-Skylon tower. The place is like Vegas, I think, as I turn onto River Road after descending the big hill away from the glitz. I hate glitz. Now at least it's quieter by the falls. Except, of course, for the roar of the falls. I have descended to a point directly across from the American Falls. It is still partially surrounded by ice and snow, but still pretty despite the cold, the dark and the misty, foggy light rain. I can see Horseshoe Falls about a half mile up river, but I turn the other way onto the walking trail.

Black, hard-crusted snow. And alongside it, black ice. I hate ice. I don't even like it in drinks. I have been running north on the walking path between River Road and the Niagara River, and now that I am getting farther from the glitz and the lights, the icy spots on the sidewalk have become more numerous. So I move onto the street. There is very little traffic at 6am on a Saturday away from town so there really is no danger.

At about 3.6 miles - just where I thought it would be - I come to the Aero-cars. These cable cars travel above a swirling whirlpool area of the river are a touristy thing that we did with Dave and Carol the last time we were in the area, about 12 years ago. I hate touristy. But it was actually ok. For today, this is as far as I want to go. I turn around and head back.

Now the cold wind and misty rain is in my face. I hate wind.

I try to pick up the pace, at least a little. The change is almost imperceptible. I hate running slow.

I turn back up the hill to return to the hotel. I hate hills.

After an extremely long time and not an extremely large amount of mileage, I make it back to the Marriot. I think about how much better it is to run outdoors than indoors. It’s like cats: indoor cats live longer than outdoor ones. But who would want to be an indoor cat, when the alternative is freedom? I think about all this in spite of how I hated everything along the way. I love running.

Debbie and me in our hotel room overlooking the falls
By the American Falls

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Doing the Double -or- Well That was Dumb

The last time I did a double (two Hinckley 9-mile loops) was over a year ago. Now I finally did it again. Same old friends, same basic results. Which is to say, I made it. Woohoo.

Not that it was easy. Been a tough winter for sure, but the Achilles injury made it much worse. But now I'm done with the physical therapy, and am incrementally better. So naturally I had to try to ruin myself again. I hadn't run more than 12 or so since January 1, so 18 hilly miles would definitely be a challenge. Turns out that it was a dumb challenge.

My Achilles began to hurt (as much as it ever had) during the last couple downhill miles of my second loop. That's when I also began to berate myself for being so stupid. Everyone else is doing a double. I'm feeling fine, so why not go for it. I've gotta get back in shape. All the things we say to ourselves. You know the talk.

And it kept hurting for several days, resulting in a not-so-great week of running, despite the (finally) good weather.

Now, a week later, I'm back on the road to recovery once again. Maybe I'll try another double tomorrow.

Friday, March 06, 2015

I AM Running. And Don't Call me Shirley.

Of course I'm referring to one of my all-time favorite movie lines. In that case, it was, "Surely you can't be serious," Followed by, "I AM serious. And don't call me Shirley." In my case, I figure the neighbors must see me moving so slowly that they would be reluctant to call what I do, running. Therefore, in my imagination, they are wondering, "Surely he can't be running," and my imaginary retort is the title of this post. By the way, Leslie Nielson's line from Airplane is number 79 on the American Film Institute's list of Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time.

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...