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, Japan's 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.