Running. With Blood.

aerial-highway-solitary

Captain’s Log.
Last run: March 13, 2016.  Jesus. 4 months.
I step on the scale. Hope springs eternal.
Flash. Flash. Flash. Bam: 204.6. Exactly the same weight. Well, that’s something.

I grip the Body Glide cylinder and rub it on the nipples.
There’ll be no breast pads for this Hombre after today’s run.
I pause before setting down the magic wax, and look down at my groins.  Are they touching? Can’t be. Must be the way I’m standing. I spread my legs. That’s better, pleased at the separation. Another year or so and you’ll be able to drive a bus between my legs – they’ll be spread that wide.

I’m out the door.
4:57 a.m.
66° F.  Cooler today.
Weather App calls for the sun to rise at 5:30 am.
My Goal: Exceed the 5.38 mile distance in March or run to the Sunrise, whichever comes first.

It’s like riding a bike. You don’t forget how to run. Right. A nerve in the upper left shoulder blade pinches. And this slides down to the lower right back achieving beautiful pain symmetry. Sedentary Suit on the move.  Jesus.

[Read more…]

Running. Without Tiger.

gif-water-ocean

Preparations started the night before.  Running jacket, shoes, pants, shirt, socks, hat, watch, ear buds – all placed near the front door to minimize obstructions and maximize propulsion, Out-The-Door.

4:30 am. I trudge down the stairs. I step out the door, barefooted, in shorts and a short sleeved white tee-shirt. A soft wind carries the smell of a black and white, a skunk, pre-dawn smelling salts. I inhale to clear the lungs, 39° F bites.

The Tiger clutches the cymbals with both hands, opening his arms wide and slams.  The noise, ear-splitting. He repeats and repeats.  Crashing. Slamming. Piling on.

Stay at it. Slow it down. Breathe. Quiet the Mind. Chant.
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.” 
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”

Tiger separates from the body and ebbs higher, higher, and higher until reaching a crest. Salt kicks up in the mist where I stand, separate, still. The ebb makes its last gasp, the fight now gone, sighs and then releases. [Read more…]

5:00 PM Bell!


Let’s just say Wow.

“Suddenly, I spotted a white ostrich on my left, then this beast jumped on the road from the right and started chasing my friends! The ostrich didn’t have any problem to keep up at 50km/h.”

Running. Running Hot.

running-road-alone

Mile 0: Lori.

Lori slings out the bait: “It’s time for a run! Lace up those PF Flyers and get out there, man! The world (OK *I*) needs another running post!”  This challenge comes from a writer, no, a professional Writer. I do wonder, did she send the text from the Stop & Shop counter while flipping through The Enquirer?

She’s a blogger acquaintance.  We’ve never met. A lover of Dogs. A writer. A reader. A traveler. An Ivy Leaguer, stealthily unadvertised – someone who you would underestimate  – the kindness overpowering.  Would I recognize her if she walked by me in Grand Central Station? Is she tall or short?  Why does she follow along? Rubbernecking syndrome?

She baits me, I jump.
Could I be that simple?
Am I that shallow? Or is it “Callow?”

I can feel the weight of her eyes, her mind on these words – this sentence separator, whatever you call it – a Big Dash, a Double Wide Dash, A Long Dash.  But she’ll know. She’ll whisper, “It’s an x Dave.

Pavlov’s hand is stretched, reaching. I stand in her shadow.

It’s ‘Callow.’ (Should it be a double quotation mark?  A single? Should it be inside or outside the period?  The fullness of her weight, too much.)

I walk out the door.
I run. [Read more…]

Running With Anguilla. On Christmas Day.

palm-trees

“What are the winter months?”

The cab driver chuckled.  “You’ve not been to Anguilla Sir?”  He paused and continued.  “There are no winter months, Sir.”

Who you callin’ Sir? Aha. Old and stupid. 18° 15′ North – standing on the Equator. No seasons.

That was a week ago. It’s 6:10 am.  52° F.  We’re trudging up a severe incline at Mianus River Park in Connecticut, back to reality.  It’s Christmas Day.  391 acres. No humans, no superficial chit chat – ISTJ magic. Squirrels, Zeke and me.  He’s at my heels, the clanking of his steel tags breaking the morning silence.  He’s panting. I’m heaving.

It was a week ago.  It was 82° F, gusty, the fronds on the palm trees slapping.  Anguilla’s beach, fine white sand sifting through your toes, walking on cotton.  The sea is warm, clear, the white sand carpets the ocean floor.  I’m floating on a thick foam mattress, the tropical winds sashay the hammock.  Wispy clouds, paintings, lazily pass overhead.  If there was heaven….

That was a week ago. It’s a muddy track from the rains. Footing is sloppy.  The Sun is working to burn through the clouds. Mist is rising from the earth.  I’m over layered, overdressed and overheating during this December heat wave.  And there’s Anguilla. Ever present. But, could you live there? [Read more…]

Running. With Cream and Cheese. (TMI)

red-smoke

The Fast was not part of any religious experience, ‘Tis the season, but the execution of a containment exercise. We order cocktails before dinner.  Rachel was giddy in her counter: “the Dimwit thinks that skipping lunch is a Fast.”  There’s no point in arguing with the closed-minded so I sit quietly sipping my tap water watching the mocking escalate, with Mother and Son now piling on. Who’s she calling a Dimwit? Who raised this thing?

Yet, I knew.  I just knew, a bad outcome was coming.  The late night dinner was preceded by a full day in the Sun and an empty stomach following the end of my Fast.  My Fast.

I open with warm bread rolls (and who’s counting after three) – all carefully lathered with cheesy butter and baptized in virgin olive oil squeezed from some tree on an arid hill in Greece.  This was followed with a Caesar salad, fresh crispy greens, a light-just-right Caesar dressing and razor thin strips of Parmesan cheese cultured from some cow grazing on a hillside in Southern Italy.  The knife and fork then worked the entrée, a heaping portion of three-layered eggplant lasagna topped with cheese, broiled to a golden crisp.

This was chased down with three intermittent spoonfuls of Rachel’s garlic mashed potatoes, with the buttery succulence coating my tongue and lips. In my fourth attempt, the sharing was shut down: “Dad, ENOUGH!” – batting my spoon back and moving her dish beyond my reach.  [Read more…]

Running. In Warsaw.

warsaw-poland

The hotel lobby. (~2006)
High cathedral ceilings. Dark wood grain walls.  Turkish Rugs that run and run.
There’s a whiff of lemon in the air, the wood floors scrubbed by the overnight crew.
The Bellman, adorned with a red cap, offers a “God Morning” in broken English, and quickly drops his head back to his book.
A step back in time.

There’s no mistaking Warsaw (Poland, not Indiana) for the youth and flamboyance of Barcelona or the hushed old money wealth of Geneva or the modern efficiency and hum of Tokyo.

Warsaw is the Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. Long past his prime and wearing deep scars of bone jarring defeat. Tired, hurt and a heaviness that lingers.

It was a slow run 9 years ago.
An early Sunday morning in autumn.
A single 40-minute run cutting deep furrows which are turned over and over again. [Read more…]

Running. With Rain.

fall-autumn-leaves-golden

56° F.  Rain spitting on the windshield.
The convoy rolls out to Mianus River for a trail run.
Zeke sighs as he curls in the backseat.  Anya settles in the trunk.
The Wolfpack is draggin’.
Their leader rides the slow lane on I-95 thinking about the benefits of a long walk on his joints.
99 days. 3 months + since your last trail run. What a lazy a**.

Rain stops.  Clouds hang low.
We pass through the gate.
The Park is empty but for a fisherman making his way upstream.
Both dogs pull on the leashes. A sharp tug gets them to heal.
Wait! I’m not ready for this yet.

I look up.
A gold leaf canopy.
I look down.
A solid gold leaf carpet.
Someone is laying tracks.
[Read more…]

SMWI*: Fly!

dog-frisbee-jump


Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
  • Source: wsj.comA dog catches a flying disk during a competition in Moscow. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters.

Running. With M&Ms.

rock-lift-portrait

A quick check of atmospheric conditions:
68℉.
87% humidity. 87% humidity.
Wind S 7 mph.

5:40 am.
I’m out the door.

There’s no ranting about weight gain this morning.  I’m tired of it. Tired of talking about itYou didn’t seem all that tired when you were savoring the M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday. Or the 4 you had the day before.  2-Day Count: 10. Staggering (Staggering) lack of discipline and will. 

1 mile marker: Impossible to neglect that this carriage is tired.  Shoulders heavy. Legs are anvils. Mind thick with resistance. M&M Blood clotting. 

2 mile marker: Head winds at 7 mph. I’m sweating like a plow horse in mid-August. If I go any slower, I’ll be pushed backwards.  It’s the Sabbath.  An appropriate morning to Call on All Gods for inspiration. Christian. Hindu. Muslim. Judaism. Any Creator will do. I look up. Hear nothing. Feel nothing. Appears that the disappointment in me is Universal.  All Gods to DK: Repent. [Read more…]

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