Today’s haiku

Today on my run
A mad goose chased after me
Vermin with feathers

Random acts of kindness

I run through the same park nearly every day on a paved path shared by runners, walkers and bikers. I usually do a loop run that stretches from Bronxville up to Scarsdale, taking me almost exactly 7 miles. The loop can be broken up into mini loops, allowing me to create loop combinations to equal various distances (2 miles all the way up to 26.2 miles). For example, today I’ll do it twice for a 14 miler.

It’s a rare day that I run along the loop and don’t see at least a few other people. Yesterday was one of those days, though, at least for the upper 4.6 portion of the Scarsdale loop. Without people to distract me, I usually notice other things.

Yesterday I started noticing random acts of kindness.

The first random act I noticed was a small log placed on top of a bouquet of flowers. There are dozens of trees planted along the loop, many bearing a small placque in memory of someone. You’ll sometimes see flowers either planted or left around a placque. My first impulse, when I saw the log, was to think, “Look at how that ugly log has landed on those flowers. I should move it.” But it was very windy yesterday, with wind gusting to around 25 MPH. I realized that someone must have thought to use the log to secure the flowers to their spot.

The second random act I spotted was a bright red glove, with no companion. Someone had taken the glove and positioned it on a tree branch jutting out over the path. The glove was waving at me. I hope it finds its sibling.

Finally, there are the odd objects you see lying around. Yesterday was one of the oddest I’ve seen yet: a cracked plastic disk promoting the Fighting Seabees (“We build for the fighters, we fight for what we build.”)

I’ll see if it’s still there today.

Running again at last

My foot got better earlier in the week, and I’ve done a bunch of good runs:

  • Tuesday 4/3: 7 miles easy
  • Wednesday 4/4: 5 miles easy
  • Thursday 4/5: Easy doubles — 3.3 in the AM, 5 in the PM
  • Friday 4/6: 7 miles not so easy

I admit, I ran a bit hard yesterday. I just felt really, really good. So I ran a 9:04 pace for 7 miles, which for me is a fast run (that’s just a few seconds slower than my marathon pace last month).

Thursday was my birthday, which meant a big martini. And, unfortunately, a mild hangover on Friday morning. I’ve been drinking a lot less since being on a diet, and haven’t had a martini in months. Between the abstention and being lighter, the martini hit me like a ton of bricks, I guess. I’m going to stay away from vodka for awhile.

Yes, I ran with a hangover. Maybe it’s just me, but a good, hard run is just the thing to rid myself of a hangover.

I got lots of phone calls, cards, and even some flowers and books. Plus a cake with a little runner girl on top and ice cream. Excellent birthday overall.

One more day of birthday abandon…then the cake and wine will be gone and it’s back to the Ghandi diet.

I went ahead and ordered an exercise bike off of Amazon, a Schwinn 112. It’s on a UPS truck, even as we speak, speeding its way to Yonkers from Sparks, Nevada. That should help get rid of the cake effects. Review to come.

The freelance work continues to escalate, which basically means I’m working every day. When it rains, it pours. It’s tempting to turn down work, but I can’t bring myself to. It’s just too nice getting those checks! Jonathan just picked up a fairly significant project too. If freelancers are, as someone once told me, the “leading economic indicators” of the overall health of the business economy, then things must be picking up.

So there will be lots more long hours in front my computer this weekend and next…and next. But I am looking forward to getting out of town for two days at the end of the month for the PA race. Even if it’s just two hours away, it will be a nice change of scenery.

I’ve been running MP3-less this week, although I did listen to one podcast on Thursday morning. The latest Phedippidations had an interesting episode this past week: a profile of Joan Benoit. It was very well done. I enjoy the “legend profile” editions, and this was the inaugural “women’s legends” edition. As the kids say, “Check it out.”

Sunday shut in

The morning was spent watching the 4 mile and 15K races in Scarsdale. It was weird not to be racing. I have sympathy for “support spouses” I see at races — if you have no interest in running and you’re willing to hang around a race for three hours or more, holding clothes, administering water, etc., that’s true love and devotion.

Jonathan took 2nd place in his age category, garnering him a medal that is so ugly, it’s almost beautiful. If R. Crumb designed a medal, it would look like this one. I’ll update this post with a picture later on.

Now I’m sitting in a comfortable chair, planning out menus for the next three weeks and watching a show, narrated by Leonard Nimoy, about the Black Death. I’m learning that huge numbers of people go completely wacky during things like plagues. Apparently, there were two diametrical poles on the wackiness spectrum: Orgies of feasting and other Bacchanlian pursuits on one end, and an enthusiastic outbreak of Flagellism on the other.

Well, this is a barrel of laughs. I’m suddenly remembering why I rarely watch television.

I’ll turn 42 in a few days. Ever since I hit 40, I’ve cared less and less about my age. In fact, I find I have trouble remembering it. Early senility, perhaps?

My foot is still giving me minor grief. I’ll do an hour of walking on the treadmill later today, along with some icing. I’m thinking of getting a cheap exercise bike, since it’s becoming evident that minor injury is now going to be a fairly frequent component of training. At this point, the number of pieces of exercise equipment in our little house is beginning to rival the number of chairs. In every room, a torture machine. We are very odd people.