Turning the corner

The worst of the plague has passed. I took my last two pills yesterday. Hopefully they were the cause of my afternoon malaise/ nausea.

I managed two training days this week. Tuesday I did some sharpfittin, then on Thursday I tried a run. Sharpfit was taxing, the run was discouraging. My body was strong but my lungs were not happy and I had no idea how much I could push it. Kept my run to 1.87 miles. 10:30 pace and called it a day. I hope to do some miles today.

Weather is warming up a bit, that’s good news. Snows leaving fast. We should be mostly clear in two weeks. That should give us about 4 good weeks on the trails. We are a bit behind on training but I think we can make up for it no problem. The warm weather is going to make being outside fun.

I guess that is the cool thing about a hard winter, you can appreciate even slightly warmer weather that much more.

We are way behind on hill repeats and speed work. Going to be some miserable training sessions coming up. Not that pineland is crazy hills but there are some and it would be nice to crush them.

Lise is doing much better. She’s excited to start training. Hopefully we get a chance to run a few miles together today.

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Overdue

Dearest diary
I apologize for latest absence. I have been incapacitated by the plague. It is worse than you can imagine. I may have developed pneumonia. The part that is killing me is that I can’t run. It is maddening. All this work and now nothing.

I’m trying to stay positive. By positive I mean not punching shit.

Seriously…wtf.

If you are a runner and you see this. If you are feeling sick in flu season, don’t push it. Rest. Take a few days off.

I’m done being social. People are just giant germ bags. Fuck that.

I need to go take some drugs , back in a minute.

I hope you waited a few minutes before continuing to read, otherwise you are messing with the mojo of this post.

Secretly or not so secretly I’m a video game junkie…or used to be. It was fun until they started making everything about playing against other people. Every once and a great while a new game comes out that is worth playing.

I recently played the last of us. Such a great story and fun to play.

Sort of on that note , when I work I hate silence, the sound of other humans annoys the fuck out of me. I would annoy the fuck out of myself if I heard me so I’m an equal opportunity hater in that regard. Problem is when I listen to music I get wrapped up in the music and don’t get work done. Well…I came across an article the other day and someone suggested listening to video game soundtracks. This stuff is composed to help you concentrate while you play.

I put this to the test last night. Spotify has the full collection of the music from the last of us. I played that while reading and was able to focus the entire time. It wasn’t until an hour later that I heard the music and realized how …. Powerful it was.

I recommend listening to some work by this composer. He is amazing. Gustavo santaolalla. His classical guitar playing is beautiful. Well..assuming he played it..if he just wrote it, his compositions are wonderful.

They say the same thing about classical music, which for the most part has worked for me in the past. Kind of burnt out on it right now though.

A few sketches I tried with my new ipad program… There’s no blending or layering so they get messy, plus my bad perspective skills and lack of talent. Still, it’s fun, and keeps my mind off of punching things.

Thought I was going to have more to say but I don’t right now so later gatah.

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Commitment

Woke to snow and work opening being delayed. I told lise to sleep in. It stopped snowing.
It started snowing again when I woke her up..and it snowed heavy. Awesome.

Got in and got to work on fixing a lot of our records.

SteveO decided he wanted to run this afternoon. Lise told him I was running so he decided to join me.

I checked in with Heater to see if she wanted to go.

Not sure if I have mentioned…Pottymouth=Heater…. Less letters to type. Seemed a fitting nickname for her anyways.

Looked out the window at 3:45 and saw the wind blowing at about 500mph. I laughed…then cried when Steve posted that he would be at my house for 5pm.

I posted a picture of sperm under the microscope for my facebook Throwback thursday pic…probably wrong but I STOPPED CARING. Poor bastards have no idea what is in store for them next week.

Steve showed up at 4:45 lucky for him I still had pants on.

Heater showed up late. For the rest of the world she was on time…but for her..late.

She needed to vent. We watched her explode like a volcano that’s been brewing all day. Lise ran over to her and offered her an arm to punch. Instead Heater gave her a big hug. Had this been a chick flick I would have gotten a little teary eyed.

We went outside and questioned our sanity when the wind hit us in the face…we ran a pretty decent pace up sketchy. I was way too positive for the group. I think I was yelling some bullshit about how we should be enjoying the last time we have to run in negative temps this winter. I got a lot of interesting comments like “Fuck you” “Go fuck yourself” “I’m going to punch you in your mouth”

I have awesome friends.

I watched Steve run sketchy like a drunk wookie. It was awesome. If you have never seen a drunk wookie run through the woods then come run with us sometime.

Steve doesn’t look like a wookie but it was the only thing I could think of.

We got back and chatted for a bit then I made dinner.

Hoping this weather goes away soon. I’m tired of being covered in snot after runs.

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Rain and pain

I started using this program called day one again for making diary entries. It’s such a simple interface. I’ve also decided to change my entry style. It is going to be more bullet pointing.. No real flow. Just some random thoughts from throughout the day. If there is anything of real interest I’ll go a little deeper. So , that hopefully will explain these entries and why they may read differently. I think I just don’t want to have to put much thought into writing but still want to record stuff.

So today…

Work sucked again, I managed to get another talking to due to my attitude. I have decided that from now on my response is “I don’t fucking care.” I really don’t anymore. Shit breaks I’ll fix it but don’t expect me to really care how horrible it is you can’t get to Facebook/tumbler/Instagram etc.

Felt physically strong all day.

Weather was dumb… I think it’s why the world seems so off right now..spring isn’t springing.

Heater was looking to wuss out on her run. I said no, no being a wuss. She toughened up and ran.

I went to meet up with Kristina and Ryan this evening for more winter Wednesday night workouts. Let me set the stage.

Kristina ran with her starter group this morning. Then she went with Ryan in the afternoon to do speed work and hill repeats at saddleback. They finished a crazy workout at four and still met up with me at six for more fun.

The rain started getting heavy just as we started. I forgot my spikes so just to make me feel bad they ditched their spikes too. We started down the road and jumped onto some snow mobile trails. Easy pace. We were just chatting a little while we warmed up. We talked about poop.. And pooping. And farting..you know, the usual runner talk.
At the first trail junction we stopped to do 30 sit-ups and 15 side raises each side. I then paced to the next junction and we stopped to do twenty , one-legged push-ups. We then headed up a small trail to a dirt road. There was a small field that had not been walked on and Ryan had us do a 25 yard post hole sprint up and back. At times I was up to my waist. We got back to the road and Ryan made me do another loop, since it was my first workout today. I then got back and did thirty more sit-ups.

By now I’m soaked but on fire. We start running back and stop at the push-up intersection and do thirty more standard push-ups. Feeling pretty toasted so we head back to the start and we grab our tires. We start a slow run down harmony and the tires are very loud. Notice they tend to become very difficult to pull through the deep puddles in the road. We continue pretty far down the road and then go down the steep hill on harmony. At the bottom Kristina announces she wants to do tire lunges. We hold the tire like a hula hoop and do twenty walking lunges. Kristina finishes fast and does squats while holding the tire up.

We set the tires up and start running back up the crazy steep hill. I actually do well and climb like a billy goat. As soon as the road flattens out Kristina blows by me like I’m standing still. I try to pace her but it’s no use. I walk twice just trying to keep from keeling over.

I get back to the start and Kristina is doing thrusters with her tire.

What…the…fuck.

Inspirational for sure.

I was soaked. Went to hannafords covered in mud and soaking wet and smelling like a wet dog. You know what?

I don’t fucking care.

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Diary entry

Dear diary bar-
I’ll have the cheese melt with some ice cream pleeze.

Today was uneventful. Had to deal with stuff at work. Storms coming tomorrow. March snow won’t go away.

Missed sharpfit but completed my civic duty which seems to mean keeping ken grant out of office.

Decided to run swains , 8 miles on snow covered trails. Did ok. Legs felt tired. Little sluggish.

Lise just said deadwood aired ten years ago..fuck me , where is the time going.

Time to read a bit before bed. Tomorrow night is winter fun training with Ryan and Kristina … Hopefully I don’t break.

Oz man is doing ok.. Cabin fever for sure. Needs a good walk.

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Here is a gem..

I was going through some google docs to set up a document to log all the clothes I’m throwing away.  Reason for the clothing purge has to do a lot with my last post that none of you are allowed to see!  You’re not missing anything.  I was having a hissy fit.  It isn’t worthy of posting but I have it there to remind me of a few of my insecurities.

So about two years ago it I made an attempt to write a novel for NANAWIRMOEUOWERU   or some equally obnoxious acronym, basically the month of November is ‘write a novel!’ month.  I lasted a page and half before I gave up.  I just re-read and while a little rough ..needs a little bit of work …I thought it was pretty damn neat.  I have also participated twice in the RPM challenge which ironically is this month.  Record 10 songs or 30 min of music in the month of February.  I’ll torture you with that some other day.

Here it is.  Very unedited..please forgive.

Novel for NANOWIRMO

   Memories can be very strange.  At times they are crystal clear and others are like a thick mist that sort of swirls about your head.  I often look back and wonder if my memory  is accurate or if the mists have taken a strong hold of my thoughts and shaped them into something else.  Have you ever been asked “What’s the oldest memory you have?” I like to freak people out by telling them I remember the doctor cutting my umbilical cord or my circumcision.  The look on their faces becomes a mix of disbelief and horror.  You know they are thinking..”Bullshit..but if he’s not that’s horrifying!”  Right after this moment you know they are trying like hell to see if they remember those moments from childbirth.  Pushing their thoughts into a clouded past, the brain trying desperately to provide them with something, which most likely isn’t even real. That’s what us humans do. We make shit up for stuff that we can’t remember or contemplate.  I do have to admit I don’t remember much from my childhood.  Hell, the one clear memory I have isn’t even an actual memory. It’s a picture of me standing in a brown basketball uniform holding my sisters hand.  The number seventy-seven ironed onto the front.  Brown? I’ve lived in NH all my life and I can’t think of one team that’s brown.  Maybe it was for the Nashua Shitballers or something.  I try to actually recall that moment.  What I mean is , obviously at one point in my life I was standing there with my sister and someone was pointing a lens at us snapping a picture.  Sure I can make it up but really its not there.  Which brings up another thought, I can’t ever remember anyone taking my picture.  Can you look at any photograph and actually remember the camera and picture being taken?  It’s almost as if the camera itself induces some sort of amnesia. I’ll have to remember to check mine to see if there is an amnesia button.  There are some moments that get reconstructed and those that are burned into my memory.  You can’t miss those. You don’t really recall them as much as they appear and play out in full technicolor fashion.  I still can’t say they are 100% accurate but they are damn close. One that stands out the most from my days as a toddler was the day my sister was hit by a car.

   I grew up in southern NH , middle class home. My father worked as a manufacturing engineer and my mom was a stay home mom for quite a few years.  I don’t remember when she started working, I think sometime after we moved to Litchfield. The house in Nashua where we lived was a small 3 bedroom house with a finished basement and tiny bit of backyard for us to play in.  I think the most amusing thing about my memories of this house was how large I thought it was.  The backyard had 4 major sections.  It was fenced in and I remember the gate opening to the left side of the back yard.  As you entered you immediately had the above ground pool on the left.  Past the pool and up into the back section of the yard was the patio.  I remember the red brick patio blocks..and one other memory.  I remember making a huge mess out there with my Spiderman web goo.  The smell of the chemical and stringy goo all over the furniture still stands out.  I don’t remember what I was doing but I do remember the feeling of being a god damn superhero by saving my family from that twisted furniture. Moving along the back fence you came to the sand pit.  There was your typical metal play set made out of steel tubing that rusted the moment you sank it into the ground.  There was the stainless steel slide that removed skin on contact in the burning summer sun and the chain swings with the plastic seats that ALWAYS pinched the skin on your fingers.  The chain swings could be something out of a horror movie.  Chunks of flesh hanging from the rusted links slowly swinging back and forth, slowly fade out to include the slide covered in blood and burned flesh still smoking from the last kid that dared to use it while only wearing shorts.  The rest of the back yard directly behind the house was just open grass.  It was the patch of grass I learned to ride a bike on, played many games of wiffle ball and got a fat lip trying to play with a real baseball.

    The neighborhood that this house was is was a small section of nashua tucked down along the merrimack on the south side of the city.  We identified ourselves as the neighborhood by the south armory.  There was a national guard base right on the corner of the main street that lead down to us. My house was on the farthest street back.  Just across the street from my house was another identical house and beyond that was the traintrack and the “woods”.  Carol was the little girl that grew up across the street from us and she was my playmate growing up.  Her house was a small light blue cape.  I played over there a million times but only a few memories stick with me.  Red,light green light, mudpies,  getting a stick in my eye and my sisters accident.  I actually still frequently dream of Carol’s house.  Carol is never in them and most of the dreams focus on that backyard.  The backyard was a boundry, an invisible wall that allowed us to peer beyond but never venture past.  My parents and Carol’s parents were very intent on making sure that we never crossed this boundry.  Stories of kids lost in the woods,  criminals roaming around down there and various animals that would attack us.  In reality they didn’t want us crossing an active railroad line and playing down in a major river.  We didn’t know that and we sure as hell didn’t want to find out.  The rail line itself was heavily used and every time a train came we ran down to the fence and waved to the engineers.  They blew their horns and we waited for the caboose (yes they still had them back in the 70’s) and waved to the crew on the back end.  I still dream of those moments of running up to the fence.  Except in my dreams there’s always a strong urge to break beyond the fence and when I do I get the feeling that I’m being chased and I run back up to the safety of the fence and watch the train continue by.  In my dreams I have never made it to the other side and into the woods.

you can have your asshole speak in the first person

***********************************

There you go.  That last line is a classic way of my inner self telling me to shut up and go back to being the quiet guy in the corner.  At least I think it is…See, the problem is I don’t have any memory of typing that last line, yet I have already built a story in my head , me sitting at the computer frustrated and putting on the screen my insecurities knowing no one will ever see them.  Then again…maybe Lise added that as a funny, apparently I have shared this doc in the past.   🙂  I really want to finish this little bit though.  The memory of what happened to my sister IS very vivid and very burned into my memory.  Carol’s house played a roll in that day also, which is why to this day it has become some sort of touchstone of my really early years.

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Who wants to be a rock star?

Not me, that’s for sure.  The year started off with a fun filled night with friends.  We rented a Karaoke machine from a very sketchy guy and it barely worked but Eric (Heather’s husband) and myself were able to salvage something out of it.  The night started around 6pm and I didn’t get home until 4am.  It was FUN.  I was actually able to play guitar in front of people for the first time in …shit …since 2004?   It wasn’t until recently that I had the urge to play out again.  It was fun and  I do miss it sometimes.  Actually, this was the first time I played acoustic in front of anyone.

Surprisingly, the monster I created messaged me around 10am the next morning wanting to run.  I was hurting but since I kept calling her out the night before I knew I better show up.  So in keeping with a three year tradition I have run on Christmas Day and New Years Day.  Our friend Steve showed up too and the three of us managed a solid run, it actually felt good to get out there.

So this is it.  Count down begins…we are cruising into the last weekend of no structure.  This is a big deal.  The goal is to get Heather to the finish of the Pineland 50K and her training starts Jan 6th.   Right now there is only a minor hip issue that we have to deal with but I’m not worried (Yet).  If we have to push off a run or two a week that’s ok.  I think we have done a good job of ramping up the work.  This plan we are following is for people who are in Marathon shape and we are not but we do have a solid base.  Still have good lungs and a 7 mile road run requires very little effort at this point.  We have been keeping our paces on the very slow side.  I want to concentrate on proper heart rate training right now and that means keeping her at about a 12 min/mile for now.  We’ll start to add some speed workouts in later but for now it’s about keeping her healthy.    She was complaining a little bit about not going into training 100% but honestly we started up and did some aggressive stuff early.  We’ll see what Lanie says and go from there.

As for myself , I’m feeling strong.  My upper body needs more work but overall the knee issues are gone and I’m ready to start putting on the miles.  My heart rate has been a little erratic the past few runs but I think I need to work on my stamina.  I’m looking forward to pushing myself training both Lise and Heather at the same time.  Hopefully I survive…

I hope to be doing more daily posts on progress, may not get the deep introspective stuff but I think if I can make a habit of writing some of that will just come out.

Sunday we are all going snowshoeing and I hope to make Heather work extra hard by pulling our friends son, Patrick, the whole time. I think my overall goal is for her to hate me at least 95% of the time.  If I can get that then I know I’m doing a good job.

 

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Guess it’s about that time

For the five or six awesome readers I have out there.  I apologize.  I realize I posted all summer leading up to the Vermont 50 and then..nothing.

So let’s just keep it simple..Most of you know I finished.  It was an amazing experience made even more so by being with a fantastic group of people.  It will be something I will never forget ..and to be honest remember..So much of it was a blur.

Ok now that the apology is over time to buckle down and get ready for the up coming season.  Two goals this year.  First –  going to get pottymouth to her first Ultra finish.  Right now the sights are on the Pineland 50K at the end of May.  Training begins in earnest Jan 6th.  Second-  Need to get my volunteer hours in for the VT100.  I qualified with a sub 12 hour finish at the 50 so I should be all set to get into the Vt100 in 2015.

Two other minor goals.  Run the 32 mile Pemi-loop in the WMNF  and run up Loon again.  Other than that it’s really about just enjoying being out doors this year.  My wife is going to be competing in a road 10k and her first 10k trail race the pineland weekend.  Super excited to help her get there.  I’m going to be working on setting up two weekly workouts and she will be joining a running group.  Just picked her up a new set of snowshoes so we will be doing lots of snowshoeing around the hood.  She is playing hockey several times a week so she already has a good base so I know she will make strides.

I’m sort of coaching and helping Heather with a training plan also.  It should be interesting to see how this works out.  I think I’m more of an accountability coach than a running coach.  Key is keeping her focused on the goal, making sure she is keeping up with the work and keeping healthy.  Piece of cake….

Steve is going to help with some of the home work out routines.  I plan on adding more weight workouts , at least two a week for myself.  I might even join a gym (GASP) – Crossfit will continue to be tuesday nights – body weight/dumbell workouts another night and I might want to add a third day.  We’ll see.  Going to wait until February to decide.

I’m trying to keep track of my caloric intake this time.  Going to push to keep weight on and add a few pounds of muscle.

That being said..should be hearing a lot more from me.  It’s been a nice break from it all but time to start focusing on the up coming year, setting my goals, setting the routines and having fun.

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A little something on desire

I get asked why a lot.  I think every runner gets asked why.  I’m sure every runner at one time or another has asked that exact question of themselves.  I was watching a news recap of Diane Nyad’s swim this morning and seeing what condition she was in when she finished I said to the tv..”Why?!”     The irony of the whole thing made me realize people see what I want to do and what I do the same way I was looking at her and struggling to understand why someone would put themselves through that.

I think , for some of us, it’s about pushing ourselves , to test the limits, to see what we are capable of and what we can accomplish.  Our daily lives (for most of us) are filled with routine.  We are on a pretty narrow path without much divergence.  We don’t get to stray off the path very often and we can forget what it’s like to move off this path.  It’s easy to forget how strong we can be, how talented we are , how much perseverance we really have deep down inside.  I think you can start to become depressed and unhappy with yourself if you forget to leave the path once and while.  The realization of how lucky I am and what I am capable of doing can easily get lost by sticking to the daily routine.  I think it can still happen if I just run daily for runnings sake.  It becomes part of the routine and the same path as “get up , drink coffee, go to work, come home”

Goals, you need set them.  Test yourself, get out of your comfort zone.  Forget what the word impossible means.

At work I have a tendency to call meetings and report to my team and my boss that we have problems.  One day , my boss came into the meeting and saw that I wrote a list of problems on the right side of the white board.  He shook his head looked at me and said, “You need to look at these things differently”  He then walked up to the board and erased the word problem and replaced it with the word  “Opportunities” .

Why 100 miles?  It’s an opportunity to test myself.  Whether I finish or not , no matter how many times I try..Regardless of whether I liked it or not. The important thing is I left my daily path and I tried.

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