Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting the Trail Legs Back....

 With sore legs after last night's weakened slog home after Flugelhornery, I looked forward to testing the trail legs at Gateway Park after my workly duties were completed today. With no rain in the area since yesterday afternoon, I was hopeful that the trail would be open and dry enough to get some decent work in with the weather slightly cooperative for the skies were clear skies and the temperature rested at a humid 91 degrees . With great joy and celebration, the trail appeared open and I began my journey with enthusiasm and jubilant merriment. The parking lot was scarcely populated so my concerns about being stalked and approached by men with less than pure intentions quickly faded. Last night I was metaphorically spanked by Mile 2 Hill on my run home and I had no intentions of being involuntarily spanked by manly means on this night (if rumors about some of the fitness enthusiasts in this park are accurate and an experience in this park recently did little to dispel such rumors). Nonetheless, I took off from the trailhead opportunistic that my run would be successful and pleased that my recent concerns were purely imaginative given the lack of potential perpetrators in the near vicinity.
  My opportunism soon vanished as my legs displayed great reluctance to appear athletic within any stretch of the imagination due to the stiffness from last night's run. Though I mentally attacked the trail with aggressive determination, my legs were very slow to respond to most of my requests and the tightening in my upper legs made me fearful of injury. Thus I decided that a run of any decent length would due more harm than good so I convinced myself that 1 loop through the trail would adequately work my stiff legs which had not recently experienced the technical challenges of any trail running. Other factors weighed in this decision as well. My evening schedule was not as clear as I previously thought with extra errands needing to be completed in a timely manner upon my run's completion. Thus with great disappointment I exited the trail after one brief loop of 2.68 miles.
 Tomorrow's run will be 4-6 miles and then this weekend I will courageously attempt a 10-15 mile skirmish on Saturday followed by 9 mile hackery on Sunday. I will need to get my fitness back as quickly as possible to regain the momentum needed to get back on schedule. For at the end of this week I will have but 9 weeks left to train before I embark on my race adventure and quest to finish DFL.
 It would be easy to be disenchanted with my quest and if I appear in such a manner, do not be discouraged or uneasy about my affairs. I am stubbornly motivated and will take whatever actions that are needed to cross the finish line after all others. Of this I am extremely confident!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Painful Return....

 Finally I have been blessed with a return to my DFL training! The last week was filled with so much Flugelhornery, rain storms, and unscheduled minstral appearances that finding time to even consider an inadequate weekend run was indeed out of the question.
 I was worried that the lack of training over the last 2 weeks would put my fitness in a state of despair. After tonight's run, I feel that my concerns were quite substantiated. The Flugelhorn players were released by 8:30pm this evening and I promptly clipped my Party Bag of Man Pursery on and took off running before some concern could present itself which would make me have second thoughts of my current undertaking!
 My first 2 miles were at blistering pace. Much faster than I have ever run before on this course and my confidence level swelled immensely. However, Mile 2 Hill had second thoughts about my pace and before I reached the crest, I was confident that certain impending humiliation had my throat firmly grasped. My pace, up until then, was averaging a brisk 9:30 minutes per mile! But Mile 2 Hill promptly pulled down my britches and gave me a sharp spanking for starting out too fast. By the time I had completed Mile 3, I was a minute slower per mile and my hopes of a 5 mile run were quickly and enthusiastically abandoned. With the recent rains, the humidity had doubled since my last training session and I felt as if I was running in a steamed bath house minus the obligatory towel whipping from the obese hairy gentleman in the corner. I obviously was not prepared to complete a run of decent distance or any resemblance of comfort for that matter. I decided that my final mile would be a decent opportunity to work on struggling of which I am sure I will be doing at the race. This objective was successfully completed  for I am sure that anyone who saw me surely gasped in horror and awaited my impending collapse. As I turned onto the final stretch, I had slowed almost to 11 minutes per mile. This humiliating effort, though both mentally and physically painful, will be righted in due time!
 This run already has motivated me to vigorously attack my training in the upcoming days and I will need all the assistance (and also prayers) I can get.  I am hopeful that tomorrow's run will be on a trail near work for 7 miles. I do fear, however, that the trail may be closed due to the recent rainfall so alternate routes of failure will need to be contemplated. Nonetheless, I will be prepared to attack tomorrow's training with as much energy and curse words as I can muster and am hopeful that the adventure will give me plenty of ill advised antics that I can report to you upon its completion!
 I hope that you are pleased with my inglorious return and may this report confirm to you that my idiocracy has not been abandoned and will thus continue with ill advised determination and relentless stupidity!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Surprising Return After a Brief Interlude....

I give my sincerest apologies for not reporting an account of my affairs over the last week. Due to increased demands from work and a significant amount of attention needed by the young Flugelhorn players, I was not able to work on my fitness for a week's time. With great fortune I was able to not only schedule but complete a run tonight which caused me great despair throughoust this day. I was indeed overly concerned that my fitness level had decreased in a week's time to such a state that even a marginal jaunt would be cumbersome and sickly. Hence I concluded that I would test my current capacity with a lazy and slothfully paced 5 mile excursion through the neighborhood.
To my surprise the begiining of the run was quite easy and I reached the one mile mark with little to report and at a pace of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. I felt even somewhat refreshed thus I decided to concentrate on my breathing and not so much my running. I had a desire to see how long I would last by breathing through my nasal cavity and out of my mouth for I had read that this method of breathing allows an decreased amount of carbon dioxide build up within the lungs which facilitates more efficient running. I started this breathing method at mile number two and by mile three I was pleased enough with the results to continue doing so until I felt that any more continuance would be detrimental to my survival.
This breathing is much quieter than my normal hyperventilation method and I was surprised when I ran up on two different groups of young people who evidently had been gathering at different spots along my route to conduct in Late Summer Revelry. I felt pleased to see such young people out in the night looking to have a positive effect on our community. Surely the smell of alcohol was my imagination or some new fashionable perfume they had decided to use. I paused briefly at each group and thanked them for volunteering for the better good of our humble community and to this they were well pleased for they all stated something that sounded like "punto" and "pentejo". Though I am not conversant in the local Hispanic Dialect, I am familiar with a few common terms and I believe they were telling me that I looked well and that they wished me luck on the rest of my run. My heart was warmed by their encouragement and I continued on my journey. They must have thought I was thirsty for I heard two bottles crash behind me each time I left one of the groups. How nice of them to consider my needs! I must remember to ask them if they want to be a part of my race crew if I see them again. I would be honored to have such wholesome citizens included in my race adventure!
I was not able to continue my breathing pattern much after mile three, but my breathing after that was very relaxed so I must remember also to continue this method in the future.
To my surprise I concluded my five miles in under 54 minutes. After some searching through my records over my last ten runs, I was surprised to see I was almost 3 minutes faster than my previous runs at a distance of five miles. This alarmed me greatly for I felt surely that my week off would have a negative effect on my ability to improve. Alas this gives me great hope that my chances of DFLing are still quite good. My evil foes were not about this evening but I will remain on alert for their crafty ploys should they decide to be on the attack again.
I bid you all a good evening for it is time for me to extinguish the reading candle and begin a peaceful slumber that will prepare me adequately for the adventures that tomorrow shall bring forth.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Miscalculation Improves Speed

Tonight's running plan looked very solid on paper as I plotted out the prospective course on my parchment with my favorite feather quill. The evening began at the local high school where I would pick up my son and then we planned to attend a planned Flugelhorn Instructor's Certification together. I would drive to certification from the local high school and then run the 4-6 miles home for my son would be able to ride home with my brother who had also planned to attend the certification process. Flugelhorn Instructors take certification very seriously and seeing the many Instructors in attendance made it a pleasant affair, though competition among marching teams is always very heated, especially the first week of the marching season. While we Instructors share a commom fondness of Flugelhorns and all that it implies, the icy stairs between Instructors created a freezing undercurrent that only can be warmed on the field during the heated battle of competitions. Our first competition will be this coming Saturday and not one Instructor feels that their players are ready. I feel that the Instructors are just as nervous as the players!
 After the certification was complete, my son joined my brother and they began their journey home and I prepared for the run. After stopping by my vehicle to get my hydration belt, I started to run out of the parking lot. I looked back at my vehicle briefly then stopped suddenly! If I was to run home, then how would I get my vehicle back to the domicile? What a shocking display of planning! For hark! Alas! I would still need to somehow get my vehicle home. I surely could not run and drive at the same time! I thought briefly of running 1.75 miles away from the vehicle then returning to the vehicle with a textbook Out and Back Adjustment for my planned distance this evening was 3.5 miles! But then my vehicle would be unattended and would be left quite ripe for sabotage. It could very well be that my running foes are secretly allied with the Instructors. Thus I changed my plan and drove to my abode and then I could get miles in around the neighborhood where my vehicle would be protected from foulery.
 After I arrived home, I plotted a new course that would total 4.4 miles of flat road road running. The flatness would give me an opportunity to increase my speed and the extra .9 miles would put me ahead of my weekly total. This plan was briefly celebrated and then I embarked on my run. I began running confident in my energy level but slightly disappointed in my earlier logistical management, which was severely lacking any intelligent forethought.
 Nonetheless, my run began at a brisk pace and I soon could tell I was in the midst of a a run of epic proportions! The few days off since my long run on Saturday had apparently given my legs some much needed rest and I was running as fast as I ever run this course. I kept waiting for the throes of fatigue to tackle me and stop me dead in my tracks. But hark my speed never decreased! I found myself not jogging, but actually running as if the wind was carrying me through the streets. As I passed potential thuggery gathered on the street corners drinking large containers of apparent imbibery, I exclaimed loudly "I am the wind! I am the wind!" The silence that followed was an obvious sign of intimidation.
  Soon I was on the backstretch of my run, striding ever harder when the pacekeeper on my cellular communications device told me dryly that I had reached 3.0 miles. Evidently I miscalculated the route! I finished at 3.1 miles instead of the intended 4.4! Another logistical miscalculation has risen before me! I was in a state of great dispair as I stopped in the yard of my domicile and silently cursed the state of my self-imposed affairs. But alas, creative cursage would only pull me deeper into dispair. Thus I pulled myself out of my neighbor arousing tantrum and quietly entered my abode. I could let this affair dampen my spirit, but I shall not! I at least completed a run in which my pace was faster than expected. For this I will be pleased and will use my miscalculations today as a lesson to take more time in my planning. A lesson learned indeed!
 Tomorrow's run will consist of a 4-6 mile jaunt home after Frugelhorn rehearsal and of this route I am quite sure that I shall not defeat myself with unintelligent planning!
 I am the Wind!

A Highly Anticpated Run That is Cancelled

 I eagerly looked forward to an enegertic 6 mile jaunt after Flugelhorn practice on Tuesday eve. I felt somewhat satisfied that my training and DFL strategy implementation were placing me in a state of near confidence and that I had a decent chance of successfully reaching my objectives. 
 However, a look to the north quickly dashed my hopes of a decent run. A highly electrical storm was fast approaching and the forbidding clouds darkened my hopes of any safe training on this night. The storm approached with such speed that we had to clear the young Flugelhorners from the field due to near by lightning strikes.
 After the young enthusiasts were dispatched to their parents, the instructors quickly followed. The violent lightning strikes created a surreal, apocalyptcal scene that caused me great fear. Thus I agreed with the recommendations of my fellow instructors that our lives were surely in danger and that the seeking of immediate shelter would be a prudent decision.
 The storm as passed now and I feel that my chances of running on Wednesday night are quite good. Hence I hope that the cooler temperatures that ushered in such atmospheric violence the previous night will motivate me to train in a hardy and robust manner this coming night.
 I shall report my success at the conclusion of my run tonight and would hope that my loyal readers following my progress from their homes will encourage me to be at least moderately successful.
 Until tonight, I wish you a great day and that all of you create your own daily masterpieces!

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Early Morning Adventure....

 Due to Flugelhorn practice running late on Friday evening, I was forced to forego Friday evening's run. I was reluctant to make such a decision, but a run of vital significance would be taking place the following morning (a long run at Cedar Hill State Park). If I had indeedrun on Friday night, the run's late finish would have more than likely impeded my performance the following morning. Thus I began to focus on the Saturday morning run immediately upon practice completion.
 I awakened from my slumber @ 6:30am CST Saturday with the temperature hovering at an incredibly fortunate 71 degrees. By far the coolest temperatures in quite some time. This caused quite a stir in my body parts upon my awakening. To take advantage of the temperature and to hasten the completion of my run, I rushed hurriedly to the trailhead. I feared that with the cooler temperature, the trail could be quite congested. Thus I wanted to secure a parking spot close to the trailhead so that I would not have to crawl far upon finishing the run. Surprisingly, there were only 6 cars present and this excited me greatly. I was not in the park but 2 minutes when I spotted 2 coyotes walking around the park road. When they noticed my presence, they looked at me brieflly and then sprinted into a wooded area. I felt this was a good omen indeed and I wondered out loud if my evil foes had attempted to foil me again with coyote usage.
  Due to me being needed at a Flugelhorn event at 11am after the run, I decided against running the longer loop posted at 12 miles, but instead embarked on the posted 3 Mile Loop. My objective was to complete 4 laps of this loop which would put me at a total of 12 miles. Additionally, this plan would keep me closer to the bathroom in case of acute gastric detonation. Foreshadowing intended.....
Feeling confident of my run strategy, I was even more surprised when another strategy developed surprisingly within my collective consciousness which created additional excitement. This racing strategy will be an epic advancement in Ultra-marathon racing and will, with little doubt, allow any individual an easy path to DFL in any race they enter. I will share this with you at another time possibly, but there is more adventure to share with you at this time!
 Upon nearing completion of my first loop (which ended up being a mere 2.65 miles and not the posted 3 miles), a familiar chaos was beginng to reveal itself in my bowels. I decided to keep running when I reached the trailhead, but instead of remaining on course, I sprinted straight to the bathroom. The parking lot was becoming more congested, but I still managed a hurried wave and declared to all who were present to not worry! I will be fine upon the completion of my next bodily objective! The neaby bathroom was quite hospitable and this task was successful with great thanks to my sprinting abilities. At this time, I was quite pleased that I had not chosen the longer loop for using Poison Ivy as a moist towlette has no appeal to me and would be difficult to explain if so asked as to why I am rubbing my reddened derriere on the ground like a frustrated canine!
After sprinting back onto the course and getting alarmed gasps from fitness enthusiasts gathered near the trailhead, I was able to complete Loop 2 with few incidents of consequence except for a monumental surge in energy caused by the nasty tasting Roctane Gu I had consumed. This sticky concoction is of the foulest tasting snake oil potions I have ever tried, but is quite affective in maintaing energy levels. I am still wondering why some of this ended up in my hair and inside my running shorts (which the consequencial stains caused more gasping from various peoples).
 I was still slightly surging from the Gu burst when a fellow runner approached me at mile 6.73 and told me she had just seen a snake not 100 yards away from me on the trail in the direction I was heading! I am naturally apprehensive of snakes and my anxiety level rose dramatically upon hearing this dreaded news. She said the snake had red and black stripes so I immediately tried to recite the saying I learned as a child when my father would drop me off in the field with the "babysitters": Red on black friend of Jack's - red on yellow kills a fellow. This caused me great alarm for I would be that fellow! I knew not what to do due to the fear that suddenly enveloped me. I started to turn around and sprint the other direction exclaiming "Snake! Evil Snake Ahead!" but with some unexplained courage, I reached down, grabbed a very large stick and declared I am prepared for death (whether my demise came from a snake or my own undoing it matters not). With the club grasped tightly by my hand, I forged ahead declaring loudly that I was prepared to bludgeon any serpent that approached me! A more whimped bludgeoner has never been seen!
 I kept close track of my strides so that I would be all the ready after covering 100 yards where the serpent allegedly laid in wait for my approach, no doubt anxious to inject me with deadly venom to perpetuate my demise. I carefully searched the trail for any signs of ambush. But hark, I did not ever see the snake, but I did cause a bicyclist great fear when he pedalled by me. He may have believed that I was going to bludgeon him and not the snake! I was indeed apologetic for causing him fear, but when it comes to the Serpents of Satan, I must protect myself with all the resources I can muster. I would not in the least be surprised if this whole serpent affair was a foe generated ploy to slow my progress.
 Loops 2 and 3 went with no further events to report. As I approached the completion of Loop 3, I checked my watch and decided that if I hurried, I could complete one more loop before departing for Flugelhornery. I actually completed the last loop faster than any other. This shows my new strategy is quite successful and this should make you well pleased with my efforts. I finished the 4 Loops with just enough time left on my time piece to arrive at Flugelhornery only a few moments late.
Though I was not pleased that my 4 Loops totalled just 10.66 miles (the furthest I have ever intentionally run when not being chased) and fell short of my expected miles, I am pleased that my new strategy is sound from all perspectives. It will surely allow me to have the energy later in the race to activate stalling measures to ensure my DFL finish! This is outstanding news!
The rest of the weekend was filled with disasterous affairs. I will list briefly the circumstances that prohibited me from running on Sunday. I list these in chronological order due to these events possibly causing a chain reaction of future events:
1. Flat tire on Minstrel Transport Vehicle on the way to our performance Saturday eve causing late arrival
2. Major sound issues at performance that caused even more tragic delays
3. Flat Tire on my vehicle on my way home after unloading the Minstrel Trailer
4. Severe lightning storm on Sunday evening
I was forced to spend Sunday morning on vehicle repair and maintenance. I also had Flugelhorn meetings for my son on Sunday afternoon and early evening, thus narrowing my running opportunity window.
 This week will be challenging as well. I will be surprised to complete 2 weeknight runs and 1 weekend run. But with my new strategy, I feel I can still move forward even with my limited opportunities. This week's focus will be on quality and not quantity. For this reason, I will not pre-post too much information concerning my plans so that I will cause my foes (who so wish to sabotage me) great confusion.
I have attached a photo of the temperature when I ran Saturday as well as a photo of me upon completing the run. Please enjoy these images and may they bring you great amusement!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Much Day of Rest and a Vampirism Confirmation...

 I had originally planned a 5 mile jaunt through Cedar Ridge Preserve on Wednesday evening, but by lunch time yesterday it was quite obvious that I was in no condition to attempt any form of activity that would require even a minute amount of concentration. I was apparently in such a state of fatigue that even co-workers were questioning my health. I looked back at the amount of sleep I had been able to undertake for the previous 3 evenings and could not count more than 12 hours total. I decided that rest would be the best decision I could fathom and managed to get 8 hours and a half more last night. And I feel much better for it.
 To adjust my running schedule, I have concluded that the best option would be to run 6 miles on Friday after Frugelhornery and then arise early on Saturday to train at Cedar Hill State Park for 11 miles and one half more of heat induced running. I feel it will be a tough turn around, yet it is imperative that I establish consistent long runs on the weekends, despite whatever circumstances offer impedence.
 Upon further reflection on my Vampire Run, I have concluded without a doubt that I was in fact visited by a Vampire on Tuesday evening. That would explain my drastic energy drain the day following for Vampires are known as Drainers of Energy as well as of Blood!
 Additionally, I recalled that the Being that ran with me stated that he attended the same school that my son attended. Thus I gave my son an accurate description (or as accurate as I could considering the darkened circumstances) and my son declared alas he had never heard of such a person! It would make logical sense that a Vampire would not actually attend a public school since they have a strong aversion to sunlight and thus would miss all their classes (unless they attended a Vampire School). Vampires are known to bear false witness against their victims and this Vampire dispatched lies as easily as he dispatches his victims. He must have known a man of my apparent means would validate all information given to me. But he knew by the time I would be able to do so, his deadly craft would have already been used against me. Obviously, my crafty foes hatched this sinister plot to weaken me. But I declare to them that once they may have temporarily weakened me, but I am now even more motivated to DFL!
 Their attacks against me have increased in number over the recent weeks so I feel that my training efforts are increasing their fear of me. Who is to know what the next attack against me will entail? For I have been attacked by wolves and now the Undead. What means do they have to achieve such evil?
 As I train, I am sure they create more hazordous plots against me as they gather in a candle lit room hatching more plots of sinistry. But I fear not and will be adequately prepared to remain alert to foil their plans all the more! Fear not for me but for them I declare!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An Experience That Defies Explanation....

As run number 2 of Monster Week began at the conclusion of Flugelhorn practice, my legs felt semi-recovered form last night's excursion and an element of excitement filled the air. For this night I decided to test my belt system for the first time. It has 2 compartments for holding hydration bottles on the side and 2 storage compartments between them for holding whatever sundry items that may be of need such as nutrition, cellular communication devices and small mammals. Some might see it and think it a pack of fannery, but I refer to it as my Party Pack. For its inaugural run, it held my wallet, one water bottle and initially my phone.
Most of the first mile consisted of me tightening the belt, loosening the belt, putting the storage compartments on my posterior side and then finally on my front side which allowed for an easier reach to access my water bottle should it be needed. Despite all the adjusting of the Party Pack, my pace was still consistent with my runs from the previous week. This pleased me greatly so I looked forward to the next 5 miles.
As hit the the beginning of Mile 2 Hill (which after careful research I discovered that Mile 2 Hill actually begins at the completion of mile 2 so it could really be called Mile 3 Hill but I will still refer to it as Mile 2 Hill because it arrives at the completion of mile 2 thus mile 2 is only referred to at that time in a historical sense) I suddenly noticed a long haired young man next to me. His appearance came upon me quite suddenly and I was somewhat startled. He asked for my permission to let him run with me for a portion of my run and since he seemed like a decent young man, I granted him permission and we approached the upcoming hill in unison as we introduced ourselves and discussed the logistics of the rest of the run. He would stay with me for 2 miles and then head to the south while I would head north at the predetermined juncture of the run. He seemed to be well versed with the course and appeared to be much faster than me, which did not cause me great discourse because I have little need for speed to reach my lowly objective. He, on the other hand, stated that he ran competitively on a local cross country team. thus speed is a very vital component of his training.
At this time I felt poorly for slowing this skilled runner down and stated my apologies for being not as nimble at foot as he obviously was. But he waved my disappointment off and stated that he was having a decent time running and that pleased him so.
We continued at a brisker pace than I really desired, but soon enough we were at the juncture where our journeys would part different directions and we wished each other great fortune in our future endeavors and thusly split up and continued on our seperate paths.
As I headed north, I realized that I had been in deep conversation for the last 2 miles and at a quicker than desired pace than I expected, thus I was nearly out of breath and quite thirsty. At this time I decided that my overall objective was to run far and not fast. To stay consistent with this objective, I walked for half a mile to reduce my fatigue and to hydrate myself to an adequate state.
As I pondered the last last 2 miles, I began to wonder if this young man was actually a young man at all. His sudden appearance on me and his manner seemed to be slightly abnormal for a modern young man. He mentioned that he enjoyed poetry and wanted to study at Oxford, which is quite unusual for a young man of these times. His running gait also appeared to be slightly unnatural as well his running attire. I began to consider the possibility that perhaps this young man was a, I am nearly afraid to say this for it may seem impossible, spirit or ghost! In disbelief I contemplated the evidence before me:
1. He seemed to appear from nowhere
2. He professed a love of poetry and philosphy
3. He desired to attend Oxford University
4. His chosen attire of a t-shirt, baggy shorts and running shoes (to the best of my knowledge) did not
appear consistent with those of a modern high school athlete (of which I am highly familiar with)
5. His running gait was not a natural gait in the least and appeared quite gangly, yet very fast.
With the evidence I have just presented, would you yourself not be in the least bit suspicious?
If not a ghost, he surely could have been a vampire (which then I should feel very fortunate that I was not attacked and my very blood drained from my body - perhaps my cross necklace saved my life). He appeared too fast and coherent to be a zombie. Even if he was in the infant stages of zombiefication. Plus, the fact that the consumption of my brain did not seem to concern him in the least. Thus I conclude that I should consider the fact that I was visited by a young vampire who was night running for pleasure and who must have recently fed so that his appetite was, at the moment, content. If he is indeed a vampire, then he appeared to be of the lonely sort so I can safely draw the following conclusion:. Either there is not a large and thriving vampire community in my fair burg, or he has been cast out from the local covens.
None the less, this event will take further contemplation on my part to draw a logical explanation and I intend to do so at my next available leisure.
At the risk of causing any speculative alarm, I will discuss this no further and continue with the conclusion of my run. After my brief walk, I began to run again and finished feeling somewhat strong. My final time of 56:48, though slow for vampires, was quite consistent with my runs of the same distance from the previous week. Even with the brief walking break,
Tomorrow's run will be a 6 mile trail run at Cedar Ridge and I am sure that more walking will be needed on that challenging course. I must remember that it is not about the speed, but the distance that is important.
As I surround my bed chambers with garlic, I pray that I will rest peacefully.....

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Disruptive Return to the Grind....

 Normally after Flugelhorn marchery on Monday, I look forward to the transport home after practice due to the fact that The Plan specifically forbids me from running on Monday. I use this time with fellow marching instructors to discuss the progress of our young marchers and also to assess whether our plan to ensure our path to mediocrity is on schedule. But after receiving a phone call today, I was forced to make some adjustments to my weekly schedule to make time for rehearsal on Thursday forthcoming with a band of minstrels I perform with. We are scheduled to perform this coming weekend and lo we have not performed together in some time. Hence I will be with the minstrels and not the young marchers on Thursday. To allow for me to get adequate mileage in this week, I plan to do my weekly runs Monday thru Wednesday and then return to longer runs on the weekend. Thus I ran, or rather planned to run this evening.
 The initial plan was to run around 5 miles and after 1 mile, to my great surprise, my pace was consistent with the pacing of last week's runs. Perhaps the days off allowed for my body recuperate. Unfortunately after I appoached Mile 2 Hill, a work situation occurred that required my immediate attention. Hence I was forced to walk for a short while as I discussed this situation with an associate. This matter of great concern would require more of my attention upon my return home. And either a lightining storm was approaching from the north or wizards were in intense throes of battle. Thus my planned 5 miles was shortened to 4 miles . Additionally, traffic was extremely busy (I gather this was due to the slightly cooler temperatures - it was in the lower to mid 90's) and I needed to arrive at home as quickly as possible to conclude my work issue in a timely manner. With the traffic and work phone calls, I was forced to stop altogether on several occasions to watch for motorists and to handle the afore mentioned work situation. With all the stoppage, I struggled to find a true pace that I felt comfortable with and my time suffered for the cause of it. Nonetheless, I finished the miles in around 45 minutes which is about 4 minutes slower than my initial subjective.
 I will not let this run be a discouragement to me however. I feel there is no such thing as a bad run unless there is injury involved or you are indeed caught by the law enforcement. Surely I jest!
 The first run of the week is always the most difficult to begin so I plan to use the momentum I gained from staying true to my weekly mileage plan and will indeed live, if fortunate, to run again on the morrow.
 I took no still photographs on tonight's run due to the distractions and my eagerness to aid a work associate in need, But will make every effort to make up for the lack of photography in the near future if you so desire.
 I have received no emails concerning volunteers for traversing the race course with me while driving the temporary Necessasry Module behind me. So I feel that obviously there must be some type of email malfunction for surely by now supporters would be lining up for such opportunity! If no supporters are found, I plan to use a family of Gypsies as a workable substitute, though I will always be in fear that they will take off with my temporary facility and will never hear of them again. Never pay gypsies in advance for their assistance. The are likely to suddenly disappear.
 But alas there is always the morrow  and the Prince of DFL is prepared for battle!

A Weekend Off Yields an Epic Idea!

I knowingly entered the previous weekend with many doubts that any training would occur due to the complexity of the weekend's activities and my prognosis was indeed accurate. By the time I was in a position to train last night, I had run out of daylight to train in. Thus I resigned to my sleeping quarters to peruse my plan for the following week and to contemplate what I could do physically and mentally to ensure myself of a DFL finish.
After a long study of my previous training of which lasted a good 2 minutes, I discovered 2 issues that would need attention. The first issue was an overall improvement in my endurance which I feel will be accomplished with continued training.
The 2nd issue I noticed was the effect that gastic events was having on my training. I decided to focus my attention on this very issue and came up with a very workable solution. I will attack this weakness with a 2 pronged plan.
The first attack will be centered on my current diet. Perhaps a look into my caloric intake and quality will have a positive effect on my current training. Thus I will energetically research current diet trends and see to what level visits to local Taco Bell eateries can aid me in achieving my training objectives.
Secondly, I came to the conclusion that I needed to be prepared for gastric events should they occur during my race. With the chance of Necessary Rooms being split up to 5 miles apart, I feel that a backup plan will be in order so that should a gastric event incur during the race, I will be able to handle such event with ease and confidence. Using a form of diapery seems like a logical solution, yet the possibility of chafing caused me great fear. With some quick research I found an alternative plan that will enable me to handle almost any ghastly event! I found a vehicle that could follow me around that will allow me to dispose of any Necessary Needs while on the trail. It is very similar to a Temporary Necessary Module, yet wheeled! A most incredible invention!
This solution does not come without its challenges however and this is where you, my loyal reader and supporter come into play! I will be in need of a volunteer to drive this vehicle behind me and keep it at the ready should need of it be Necessary. What better way to enjoy the race and be involved in a most worthy cause than by supporting a below average runner for 8 hours by driving the vehicle pictured below behind myself with words of encouragement! An excellent way to partipate in a sporting activity without the risk of fatigue or injury!
Anyone is interested, please reply to this blog or email me! Should there be more than one person who desires participation in such a worthwhile cause (which I am sure will be the case), we could either have a friendly competition or if the candidates do not wish to compete, the drivers could work in alternating shifts so to allow as many particpants as Necessary to enjoy the wonderous aroma of nature and the beautiful outdoors!
Reply quickly for a I fear the spots will be taken quickly!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Break from the Routine....

As I left my humble office today, I was prepared to rush home and enjoy a 7 minute meal before leaving for marching practice with the Flugelhorn students. However I received a communication from our leader that our fair and just City Officials decided that all organized outdoor activities were to be cancelled due to excessive heat. The temperatures had risen to 106 degrees F and I am pleased that precautionary measures were taken to ensure the health of our younger citizens.
I, however, traveled to the marching field @ 6:30pm to route the young enthusiasts that were present back home to ensure their safety. Only one team member arrived. Thus I quickly dispatched him out of harm's way. I would bet that many of the players were able to find out early about the cancellation and were able to communicate the the unwelcome news through any number of social media options that are so prevalent in today's society. I am sure that they missed me and are praying that tomorrow's practice is not cancelled. Of this I am quite sure.
Upon leaving the marching field, I went straight to an establishment to get a much needed trim of my hair which appeared to be getting a mind of its own. After the cutting of my hair was complete, I walked next door to a general store to buy a new shirt and some lighter shorts to run in. Of this objective I was quite successful.
I decided that waiting to run until 9pm tonight would be a sensible decision. Thus after the trim and brief shopping excursion was complete, I went home to rest and to prepare myself for my run. I studied some ancient maps and quicky mapped a hearty 5 mile run around the neighborhood.
Shortly after 9pm CST, my run began and I noticed some lagging soreness and fatigue from my previous training. I concluded that I would start out slow (as if I knew of any other speed) and would see how I felt after 1 or 2 miles. After my first mile was completed, I noticed that the pace was faster than I expected and I felt that with a minimal effort I would be able to match or better Tuesday's slow sprint. I slowed slightly on miles 2 and 3 but when I reached the 4th mile, I began a a kick that would have indeed made a practioner of sumo wrestling almost jealous. My route took me on the street behind my domicile where a stray canine jumped out at me just 60 cubics from my finish! The ferocious beast was barking loudly and seemed to be intent on attacking my heels. I found it such a distraction that I stopped and faced the dog and began walking towards the devil in hopes of discouraging this unwarranted attack. The dog was relentless in its attackery! It refused to yield! So with no chance of peaceful escape, I prepared myself for battle and told the demon that I accept its challenge and if battle is its desire, then I announced myself quite the ready for it! I rose my hands up to challenge this hairy opponent to a match of Man to Beast fisticuffs. I hopped back and forth on each foot in a most nimble manner and with my hands fisted, I rotated each fist back and forth in front of me to display my great skills.The canine bully was obviously frightened or confused by my actions and quickly dispatched himself back to his hiding place with no further incident. I am convinced that this brutal attack was orchestrated by my DFL foes to distract me from my training. I would think that it would better serve my enemies to train more instead of spending time devising devious plans that are poorly conducted and have little effect on my stringent dedication!
And I am pleased to announce that dispite my brief interlude in combat, I beat Tuesday's time by an impressive 12 seconds!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Totally Shocking Affair...

My 2nd day of intense training and mileage rampage was eagerly anticipated. I felt with some mimimal confidence that my planned 6 mile excursion could possibly be successful. I hydrated adequately and felt that I was in position to put my best foot forward.
As I checked the temperature upon my arrival, I felt prideful that I would be running in a temperature of 106 degrees F (screen shot attached below - not suitable for the weak of heart). As I approached the trailhead, there was a slain deceased armadillo in the middle of the walkway. This could not be a positive sign of my impending adventure and was quite obviously a deterrant placed by my rivals to discourage me from training. In the future, it will be wise not to mention the location of my future training sites. But alas! I will not prohibit myself from training because of feeble distraction attempts from my gangly foes. I snapped a photo for prosperity's sake (photo attached below - not suitable for anyone currently breathing) and energetically walked to the trailhead to begin my jaunt.
Though the heat was oppressive, my conditioning and preparation seemed to have me almost adequately in position to complete a loop of 3 miles plus one more. I had fancied, though quite briefly, to make this a time trial to set a noteworthy benchmark of my current fitness status. However, I reconsidered due to the higher than anticipated temperature. I determined that mere survival would be a worthy objective and that if I walked out of the trail on my own 2 feet, then my excursion would be more than successful.
At mile 2 a rumbling began in my stomach that appeared to be increasing at a brisk enough rate to cause me to pay great attention to it. I walked briefly to see if this disturbance was just a brief squall or if it was in fact a gastric thunderstorm. After a few paces and some sips of my hydration bladder, I felt it safe to continue running, although alert and cautious of my curent status. To my dismay, I was forced to walk again shortly thereafter and began wondering if a visit to a quiet secluded spot off trail to relieve my symptoms was in my immediate future. This walking and running continued in earnest for the next 1.5 miles and I was quite disappointed with the fact that as I ended my first loop my only desire was to dispose myself of the toxic waste that was begging to exit my bowels.
I ran as fast as I could to the first temporary Necessary Module I could find and let the curse run its course. If it was 106 degrees F in the open air, the module was surely at least 120 degrees F and the stench within only added to my discomfort. A steady waterfall of sweat left puddles on the floor and I contemplated when I have ever felt such misery (recent surgery not withstanding). When the task was painstakenly completed, I noticed that no wipery was within so I had to locate another module that contained the necessary papery to conclude this catastrophe. With fortune, the 4th module I checked contained exactly what I needed and with a sigh of relief I ambled towards my vehicle. But not without noticing that my familiar chafe had reappeared with great vigor. I had briefly hoped that I would be able to complete another loop but alas I decided that my posterior needed immediate attention. Quite ironic it is that on the previous eve I was deeply concerned that my posterior would be getting undesired attention on this very trail!
With a saddened and poutful expression, I painfully walked to my vehicle and departed the park a sullen loser contemplating what placed my bowels in such violent upheaval. Hark! The answer came quite quickly for it was my lunch at Gloria's Mexican Cuisine that created such intestinal havoc upon my plan! I will surely distain from eating at this establishment again on days that I choose to run immediately after work. Thus my lesson is learned!
I do not feel that my worthy foes were successful in preventing an adequate training session. For they are surely not to blame. I was not undone by deceased armodillery but by my own fetish for spicy cuisine! I will live to train another day!

The Point of No Return....

This very day will for ever live in infamy to me. For this is the day I officially registered myself for the Rockledge Rumble that will take place on the 10th day of the 11th month of this very year. After taking a cursory glance at the information provided for the race, it was quite apparent that the race is nearing capacity. After quick deliberation, I determined that immediate action was in order for me to secure a spot for only 30 spots were yet taken. And these spots were for the 50K event thus I will not have the option of running a shorter race which well could have been the intelligent decision to make had I such a choice. None the less, I am officially registered and consequently my training has taken on a more serious nature so that my desire to DFL will be successful.
With this in mind and additionally a potentially busy weekend approaching, I adjusted my plan to allow an increase in mileage with fewer runs in case I must forfeit a run this weekend. This shall consist of 2 runs of 5 miles on the familiar road passages after Flugelhorn practice and 2 trail runs that will total 18 miles. This will be a significant challenge especially taking into consideration that my trail run tomorrow may be in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. I will put forth my best effort and with any fortune I will be writing this blog on Thursday's eve from my own bed and not from an infirmary.
The first run of my adjusted plan began tonight at the conclusion of a heated Flugelhorn practice that started with temperature resting at a comfortable 106 degrees. The young players displayed great effort despite the temperature and at the conclusion of our marches I took off on my jaunt with great zeal that I quite confidently can state was partially motivated by my race registration and also my desire to eat chocolate ice cream upon my return home. With these motivators pushing me manically on, I completed the run in just under 1 hour. I write this blog now with a belly full of chocolate ice cream and Gatorade (sponsorship opportunties again present themselves) feeling ever more confident that my chances of a successful last place finish are increasing in possibility.
I shall approach the next 5 days with great courage and energy. And I pray that though my talent is quite limited, my stupidity and energy will see me through successfully. Tomorrow's run will be at Gateway Park where there very well may be runners whom are motivated by desires other than physical fitness and a life of sporting leisure. Thus I am prepared to be on full alert and sincerely wish that the heat will discourage any potential debaucherous mis-adventure at my expense! May my posterior not be inviting come tomorrow....