Saturday, November 19, 2016

Running out October

After scaling back to 77.2 miles in September while running 22 days following my surgery in August, which bothered me a lot in September, I ramped it up in October and ran 24 times for a total of 128.5 miles.  Following a 30-mile week at the beginning of the month I took a whole week off to let my surgery fully heal and then only did 18 miles, and 16 miles, during the two middle weeks of the month when I came back.  (My early morning runs in rural North Carolina enabled me to record some beautiful sunrises.)

That seemed to do the trick, laying off for a week and cutting back my mileage when I came back, because the numbness and perennial ache "down there" finally started to fade somewhat and I didn't feel like I was straining my abdomen whenever I ran up steep hills, forcing me to walk those hills.  Who knew the surgery would take two months, not two weeks, to more or less almost fully heal.  (On runs I always try to stop and catch up with people I know when I encounter them.)

I finished out the month on a strong note with a week of 31 miles and 32 more miles the last four days of the month.  My pace picked up too, finally, and I started doing some reps with the barbells before and after each run.  (Running in North Carolina where I was working for Hillary, to obviously no effect.)

So now I am working towards getting back into the same shape as I was in when I was in a happy place with my running the day I went under the knife in August for outpatient surgery to repair two hernias.  However did I put on ten pounds in the meantime that I'm having a hard time shedding?  (I love fall running.)

Friday, November 18, 2016

This Week's Long Run

Seven miles was my plan for a long run this week.  Actually it's for next week because I already finished my five days of running for this week, and I ran 23 miles even though the running week doesn't finish till Saturday.  My long run for this week, or now, last week, was 5.6 miles, which I did twice.

So today, in 68 degree weather, I set out in the afternoon to do seven miles.  Which I did, by burning up a neighborhood mile first, then doing a large loop around the greater neighborhood and adding a mile on the W&OD Trail at the end.  The impetus to get going was shaky, as I was listening to my body talk to my brain the first mile, telling me my joints hurt, my breathing was ragged, and a mile would be a good output; it would count for entry in my weekly tally.

I kept going though and got all seven miles done.   I run alone these days because every single running partner I ever had has dropped away most due to moving away, a few to injury and a couple to inertia.  Since my surgery in the summer I've struggled with my weight and have bemoaned my dropped-away friendships but that's life, it's always moving forward towards inevitable and unavoidable change.

So now I'm carrying a ten-pound barbell every time I run these days.  However, that beats carrying the sixty-pound anvil I was carrying on runs when I was trying to come back from injury in 2011.  Running more (or harder) is only half of the equation though, next I'll have to address the other half of the equation by eating less (or better).

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hand Wringing

Trump's first week as president-elect has been, uh, interesting.  Selecting the outwardly racist and antisemitic (in my opinion) Stephen Bannon as one of his chiefs of staff is a bad indication for how the Trump administration might go.  Bannon's media platform Breitbart is the poster boy exhibiting all the scathing things said by many people about the mainstream press and its supposed biases.

I cannot believe Trump is going to be meeting with a prominent American ally's head, Prime Minister Abe, without the benefit of a single briefing from the State Department.  He don't need no stinkin' briefing, he just needs his gut instinct and the advice of his children, with their backgrounds solely in real estate, and their equally worldly spouses.

Whoo boy!  I remember Hillary's shoulder shimmy during the second debate and her exhorted Whoo boy! when she was laden with all of the real and supposed sins of Obama's eight years by the now-president elect.  I hope that's not a prescient reaction we'll all be doing someday.

After all the effort I put into the past campaign, I have no pangs of regret about the outcome because I did everything I could and will accept whatever happens no matter what (because we're all in this together as Americans), and maybe it'll be good?  I also believe that anybody protesting the outcome of the election now who didn't vote or threw away his or her vote on a green or a stoner candidate is contemptible, and can lie in his or her collective made-up bed forever if the outcome is bad.  It's just too bad that I and the rest of us might have to lie in the same bed these deplorables ensured was made up for us all by their immature actions or inactions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A stunner

I'm back after an exhausting day yesterday working fifteen hours without a break as an inside poll observer, armed with a thick playbook and sworn to ferret out and report any voting irregularities, at a voting precincts in Newport News, 200 miles away.  Of fourteen precincts there, thirteen were manned by inside poll observers who were lawyers from Northern Virginia; ten of them, like mine, didn't have a single outside observer assigned to it by the democrats.

What, they don't have any lawyers down there in that hugely democratic district who are, or will admit to being, democrats and can act as their own locale's inside observers?  Our efforts might have helped to put the state into the blue column yesterday but it was a Pyrrhic victory for us thirteen who traveled down there at our own expense for our herculean day.  And you know how the day turned out, a stunning nationwide debacle.

Once I arrived at the polling place at 5:15 am to observe its set-up, I couldn't leave until the precinct announced its final tallies at around 8 pm, which were 635 votes for Clinton, 10 for Trump, 7 for Stein and 6 for the stoner Johnson.  I was working in the poorest part of town.

After giving us a training session, an admonishment to study our thick playbook long and hard, and a wish for good luck, the Virginia Democrats dispatched us thirteen inside observers from Arlington to the Hampton Roads area like we were top gun mercenaries.  I learned from the outside observer who came to collect our final numbers that she and the three other local workers were all headed to a Victory for Hillary party at a ballroom in Hampton to await results, to which we were not invited that I know of.

Probably for the best.  I felt used as I drove away to return home today, my exhausting effort having gone for naught with nary a thank you nor a follow up closing email from any of my numerous monitors in Arlington save for a curt "thanks" immediately following my text reporting the precinct's tallies once they were assembled.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Thirty for the week.

Beautiful fall weather heralded the arrival of October and I took advantage of it by starting the month with a long run of 8 miles on the first day.  You might consider that runners tend to be obsessive because I ran five consecutive days, always starting eastbound on the W&OD Trail on an out-and-back, going 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 miles to total 30 for the week.  (I voted!)

Always an adventure, the first day, a Saturday, I ran by two different 5K races getting underway and was mightily tempted to join in each time but I had to get back home to get ready to go sign up voters in a registration drive later that morning.  Although it was a non-partisan volunteer effort this presidential campaign season, you could imagine that it's Democrats who are signing up voters in Northern Virginia, and probably Republicans who are making the same effort further down south in Tidewater Virginia, and my two hours of effort garnered two new voters.  (Step up and get registered!)

I turned Sunday's run of seven miles into a mini-nature tour, photographing dollar webs on the damp grass (fungus spots), unsuccessfully trying to shoot an actual spider web on a light pole I went by and running along the banks of Four-Mile Run creek, which parallels the trail, as much as I could.  Monday's run of six miles wasn't much different from the day before, the same dollar webs were ever-present in the medium-tall grass alongside the trail, except that I ended up my run at the local McDonalds for a breakfast of a $1 sausage burrito and a 69c senior coffee, after which I went down to City Hall to vote early.  (A dollar spot early morning web.)

Tuesday's run of five miles was followed by a walk of two miles in the District with my currently-injured running buddy from work as she tries to resume her running regime, and Wednesday's run of four miles was followed by my 114th blood-products donation of whole blood.  I took the next seven days in a row off from running because my abdomen was still bothering me and I wanted to give it a good long healing period.  (Power walking at noon in the District with my running buddy as she convalesces, here stopping in to use the restrooms at the National Botanical Center.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Running out September

The last week of September, as my surgical procedure in August continued to bother me, I still ran five times but I scaled back my weekly mileage total to 15 miles, with a long run of five miles.  That gave me a total of 77.2 miles during twenty runs for the month.

That compared to 90 miles in August, where I ran considerable miles prior to surgery.  Still, I felt I was recovering, albeit slowly, especially since I still couldn't do upper body work which put too much strain on my stomach muscles.

September had its pleasures outside of running though.  My sister came to visit me and we toured DC a little, going to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum out by Dulles Airpot.  I went out to a beer house in the District with a friend on her birthday, had lunch in my town with a former colleague at work, breakfasted in Arlington with a former and future running buddy and his new wife and canvassed door-to-door for the Arlington Democrats.

I looked forward to ramping up my mileage and pace in October and doing some more volunteering in the presidential campaign.  Life is running but there are some things that transcend running.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Third Week of September

Last month I was coming back from abdominal surgery but as I came back from the down time, I tried not to lose too much of my conditioning from the prior month where I'd worked hard to get into shape in the first place.  The third week of September I ran five times and logged 26 miles.  (A warm day.)

None of those miles were very fast.  The left side of my navel was bothering me, there was a long surgical scar down there.  (I couldn't do my torso workout so soon after my hernia surgeries.)

The scar is atop another surgical scar I have from 1985 when I underwent abdominal surgery there to try to increase my chances of reproduction.  That was for you, Jimmy, oldest son.  (Jimmy is in the middle, in less conflicted times before the divorce during which his mother Sharon R. Lightbourne, made him a victim of PAS, which I believe is a form of child abuse.)

My long run, or shuffle, was seven miles.  I kept trying to increase my turnover (pace) to improve my workout load but I was happy to log the miles as I fight to come back to full health.  (At the Beltway overpass on the fifth mile of my LSD.)