Yesterday, it was absolutely gorgeous so I took advantage of the good weather and decided to christen my newly converted Ted Wojcik, which is now a single speed (the Ted is the green bike listed in a previous posting). It took two different approaches, and am glad the project is finished. The maiden voyage was a success and I’m looking forward to getting many miles on the Ted. This bike is going to be used for suburban/urban cruising, cyclocross and general all-around fun. Anyway, I got in 29 miles, which on mountain bike tires was pretty brutal. I’m going to slap on some Maxxis Hookworm tires, which look like this:
I really like the 2.5″ width as it will make the horrific conditions of the roads far more enjoyable. Anyway, they’ll be much better for long rides, and I could probably still go off-road. I have a road bike, but don’t like to use it until the roads are clear of all the sand and salt. Call me a wimp, but it’s a really nice bike that I’d like to keep that way.
Anyway, here’s my route:
First ride of 2009.
I’ll be most likely just riding until the marathon and rest my foot.
Back in the summer of 1972, my mother and her husband at the time thought it would be an absolute hoot to pack up all of our belongings and move west to Sioux City, Iowa. I have no idea why they chose this fine city, and I’ll never know because my mother passed away back in 2004 of an early onset of Alzheimer’s. I never asked while she was alive either because I thought it was taboo. I was hoping it was only a brief layover as we made our way west to a cool place like California to start a new life. Luck was not on my side. While I was living at 2317 South Cornelia Street, I developed a sweet tooth for this regional favorite:
Whenever my mother would send me to Johnnie’s Market to buy her cigarettes, I’d always include a Twin Bing in the purchase. I think my mother knew, but I never told her. I just ordered a box (36) of these and they arrived on my doorstep today. For those unfamiliar with this delicacy, a Twin Bing contains 2 cherry-flavored nougats coated with a mixture of chopped peanuts and chocolate. I immediately opened the package and relived my childhood for but a brief moment as I tore open the wrapper. I did enjoy it, though I have 35 more left, so if you want one, please let me know and I’ll give you one. My verdict is that they are okay. I think when I was 7, anything sweet was yummy. So, here’s what folks in the Midwest looked like in 1972 (my 3rd grade photo):
Sioux City, Iowa 3rd Grade Group Photograph
Pretty much like everyone else in the country I suppose. I loved wearing those Toughskins with the built in knee patch. Here’s a closeup of me sitting next to the girl I had a huge crush on:
And they call it puppy love...
Anyway, on the running front, I got good news from my doctor that my toe is not broken. I still have degenerative joint disease (a.k.a. osteoarthritis), but I already knew that. My toe stings a bit still from the injury, and I might have to see a podiatrist if it persists. Tomorrow, I have a 20 mile run, and I’ll be doing 16 – 18 miles most likely. I’ve been taking Celebrex for the inflammation, and I have some vicodin in case of pain.
Also on the running front, yesterday I got my bib number from the BAA: 21997. Look for me on race day. There’s also a way you can have my result e-mailed or text messaged. I’ll post that when I figure it out.
A couple of weeks ago, I drove along the Boston Marathon course and recorded it. Here it is along with a few running-related songs. Enjoy!
So, there’s an advertisement with the slogan “Hydrate or Die.” It’s from CamelBak. Anyway, this is certainly a true statement, although you can also die from overhydration like a young woman did while running the Boston Marathon in 2002 (which I also ran). Anywho, not having a huge team with supported long runs each weekend means you have to improvise. So, to keep myself hydrated, I got a fuel belt:
Water, water everywhere (around my waist, that is)
I’ve never tried one of these, but it looks like a good product and I see lots of runners using them. I prefer this design to the single water bottle as it distributes the weight of the liquid around your waist. Plus, I like the little pouch on the back which can be used for your wallet and keys. I’d like to join in on the Crossroads run this evening to christen is, but want to rest a bit more before this weekend’s long run.
Aside from this, it’s been a quiet week. We handed off Zuki on Tuesday evening to Kristen & Lein. They have a very lively black lab whose company I’m sure Zuki will enjoy. Durga and Zuki get along, but there’s a weird alpha female thing that was going on. Didn’t really matter all that much because they did this most of the time:
On a side note, after living together in our house in the Heights for 5 months, Carol and I finally took the plunge and bought this:
A big girl/big boy purchase.
All we need now are chairs which we’re researching. We purchased it online at Crate and Barrel, which I think is the furniture equivalent to the Gap. Nice stuff, but definitely aimed at suburban white people. Anyway, it’s going to be way more comfy than eating on the floor.
Lost in Space
Okay, sometimes my mind is really lost in space. Being the space cadet that I am, I mistook my long run for last weekend. Don’t know why. Crazy. Anyway, the BAA Charity Long Run is this Saturday, March 28th. This is the final long run for most, which is 21 miles, but for me it’ll probably be a 16 – 18 mile run considering my current situation with my toe. My 8:15 pace is something of the past at the point, and I’ll most likely be taking it easy at 9:30 – 10:00. My aim is to finish, not to beat my friend Lein’s PR of like 3:45. Maybe someday, but not this year.
Oh, and by the way, the Robinson family’s spacesuits look strikingly similar to the mylar blankets you get when you cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
So, my friend Hilary is doing some great back-country skiing/telemark in beautiful British Columbia (for 10 days). While she’s away, she needed folks to take care of this wonderful creature:
pretty dog Zuki
We agreed to take Zuki for a few days, and thought it would be nice for Durga to have some company. Zuki is, um, a tad high strung, as are many Australian Cattle Dogs. I retrieved her on Sunday morning and it was a trying first day. Zuki has a propensity to bark at any strange new noise she hears and she was barking up a storm her first day with us. I gather it was just her getting used to her new surroundings, as today she has been relatively quiet. Next, when Carol took her (and Durga) to Fresh Pond for a nice outing, Zuki bolted the second she got off leash. Fortunately, Carol caught her within 30 minutes as Zuki only got about a 1/2 mile away. On at least 2 other occasions, Zuki has made a bee-line for freedom, so this was a little scary.
We took her with us up to the Agawam Diner last night, and then dropped her off at home. I went over his morning at 6:30 to bring her back her and she’s been an angel since then. She isn’t sleeping with us, as I’m not quite willing to risk losing a night’s sleep, so a trip to Cambridge twice a day isn’t so bad. Today, I’m going to take Zuki & Durga to Blue Ribbon BBQ for some brisket.
On the running front, as you can see, my running shoes are on the background of the photo. I couldn’t to the 20 mile long run this last weekend (that I paid $20 for) as my foot still hurts. I went to the Mount Auburn walk-in clinic on Saturday to have it checked out, and had an X-ray done, but the doctor sent me home without the results as it was taking far longer than she expected. I’m making an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon today to discuss my elbow, which still hurts 7 months after surgery. I think the screw that’s holding the tendon to the bone might be the culprit. With less then a month away, I am thinking I may not be able to run with this injury to my toe, and want to ask my orthopedic about my options. Crossing my fingers.
Goin' cold turkey.
Okay, awhile back, I confessed my one huge vice, diet Coke. As of Tuesday, March 17, 2009, I am diet Coke free. Heck, I’m caffeine free also! What drove me to go cold turkey? Well, I really have been trying to kick the habit for quite some time and St. Patrick’s Day was just as good as any other day. So far, so good. No real cravings. I’m substituting apple juice for the evil carbonated beverage. I drink a lot of water each day, so that probably helps.
On the running front, I was quite excited for my 20 mile long run this coming Saturday. Unfortunately, I broke (or severely sprained) my left big toe last Sunday on my way to, of all things, my marathon fundraiser. Ugh. I was running (literally; I was running pretty fast, too) into CVS to get some items for the event, and I didn’t see that there was a curb at the entrance, and slammed my foot into it at full speed. I was catapulted forward, though caught my balance and avoided further injury. I knew immediately something was wrong, though it really started to hurt on Monday. I was going to get an X-ray, though there’s really no point. I’m going to rest it and get in some miles on the trainer. I’m hoping it heals really fast. Like my the long run this Saturday….
More thoughts on my fundraiser later.