All posts by New Britain Bo

Will it ever end?

We've gotten nailed by blizzards the last four Mondays (min 5, max 12").  So even though my half-marathon training has been impacted - not doing early week runs (hate running on a treadmill), we've still been able to get in the Saturday morning long-runs.

Today was our taper (only 5 miles) before next weekend's Half -  a cold run at 8F - but no wind.  I'm really sore from all of the snow-blowing and shovelling.  And we're forecasting to get 8 more inches this evening.

The folks at Hyannis hosting the Half Marathon sent out a notice that it might be cancelled/rescheduled as they already have a bunch of snow on the ground, are getting more today, and are forecasting to get more next weekend - no place for parking, streets difficult to run, safety concerns for volunteers/runners...

Why Esquimaux don’t run

As part of our winter half-marathon training program, we went out this morning and did 7 miles (a taper week) but at 9F.  Luckily there was no wind.

I wore The Marmot over my usual layer of Icebreaker wool base layer, and a thicker head band.   Still the last mile I started to get cold, and having to stop a couple times for traffic lights, by the time I got back to the running store, my sweaty clothes were freezing and I was quite chilled.

I've been home for about an hour now, and I'm still cold (i.e. give me a break if Ode To Turning Fifty is not necessarily PSA Award materiel).

I heard/read a Norwegian's saying that you can't have bad weather, but you can have bad clothing.


Frost Bite Falls

Did the Moustache Run this morning - a balmy half-marathon that starts and ends by the Nicollet Island Pavillion.   There was a good turnout today and it sounds like good weather (compared to what they've had around here for a while).

My time wasn't great (really struggled with the last two miles, had to walk a couple of times), but I was able to keep moving enough to not have my sweat freeze on me.

It was a different (hillier) coarse than last year, going over to run along the UofM for a ways, then back over to the River road.

The riverfront area is very nice - they've done a lot of improvements/parks, walkways, especially by the new Guthrie.  Nice view of St. Anthony falls at the beginning of the race.

There was a dude in the moustache competition who dressed up as, and had the same stache as Rollie Fingers.  First place winner was a guy who invented a new moustache - called it the long-horn.

We went over to The Bulldog, N.E. afterwards for burgers+Surly's.  This place has become our Minny version of Plan B.

8 at Eight at 28

Got out for a cool run this morning with my running group.  Funny how during the week I try to get every minute of sleep I can in the morning, but on Saturday I'm up and at 'em for the long run in any temperature (28F this morning) and any weather.

Will be doing the Moustache Run in Mpls over the Thanksgiving weekend - did it last year and really enjoyed it.


Don’t Tread on Me

A slow, sluggish run this morning with my Fleet Feet training group.  We did 8 miles, and it was cold outside, but I fell way behind.

At the end, I was looking at my running shoes (Brooks Ghost) and realized my tread on the outer right side of both shoes had worn down considerably. I got the last pair back in Sept - surprised they had worn down so much but I have been piling on the miles.

I bought a new pair (same model), and trying them on I could tell the immediate difference.  Looking forward to the next run (and the extra hour of morning sun we'll get with daylight savings Fall Back).

Here's an interesting article on what it will take for a human to break the 2-hour marathon record (Spoiler - it's not EPO).


Mohonk Mountain

Nice 8 mile scramble through the trails around the Mohonk Mountain Preserve trails this morning - lots of cliff climbers out there today.

Plenty of color still in the Hudson Valley, but enough of the leaves are down so you can see the geological structures of this area. - awesome.  Some spa-time at Mohonk, and Osso-bucco/Nebbiolo for dinner - not bad.

Just finished (from the Mohonk library) the book The Long Run by Matt Long - incredible account on how a NYC fireman/Ironman got nailed by a bus, destroying most of his interior - and after being  stitched back together, had the verve to run the NYC Marathon, as well as finishing IronMan at Lake Placid.  Wow.


When it rains, it rains.

Ran the Hartford Half this last Saturday.

As usual, pre-race prep requires loading up on Body Glide and nip-protectors.

It was cold (50F) and pouring rain throughout the entire race.  The nip-protectors did their job, the Body Glide did not.  Shoes and socks got drenched, and multiple blisters ensued.  Chafing galore.  Natch.

On Sunday, got in a relaxing mile swim, and was thinking of doing a bike ride, but I don't think I could have gotten into the saddle.

Season change

Nice to be running in the cooler temps...

We did a 9 mile slog in heat/humidity only 3 weeks ago and I must have stopped to walk a dozen times, gasping like an amphibian washed upon some distant shore, sweating like a Gatorade ad.

Last week we polished off an easy 12 with the cooler temps.  Today was also cool and an easy 9 (taper) for the upcoming Hartford Half in two weeks.

It's really different running with other people - get into a good conversation and you don't notice the miles fly by.

Take a break, Boyo.

Last weekend, did a mile swim on Friday, a 7 mile slog-run in very-warm-and-humid West Hartford (bet I lost 7 lbs in sweat) on Saturday, and a 100-mile bike-ride in East Massachusetts (Narragansett Wheelmen Century).  Took about 7.5 hours (the wife got a flat around mile 30, natch).

Yeah, I'm kinda sore from all that - need to roll out the legs, replenish, heal, and recover for Hartford Half-Marathon training (race is 10/11).


Next weekend I'm doing the Narragansett Wheelmen's Flattest Century in the East ride (did it last year, took about 7 hours).

This year NBBW and my biking buddy's 14 yr-old son is joining us, so will be interesting how that plays out (i.e. will Frank slow down??).

The trick on these long rides is that you have to be constantly replenishing yourself with fluids, foods, salt, etc.  But it's not a race, it's a ride (keep repeating that, boyo).

I remember last year how surprised I was at the first food stop as to how these guys were jamming food into their mouths (peanut butter samwiches, bananas, bagels, etc.) but soon found myself doing the same at the trough.  You really need the caloric intake to maintain a good pace for that long.

After a lot of work on Powerpoint/Excel presentations at work two weeks ago, both arms are dying from Carpal tunnel'ish misery.  The training bike rides have been tough while nursing that injury.  Hopefully the inflammation has died down by next week.  If not - Ibuprofen will be in the saddle with me.


Carpal tunnel vision.

Whilst in Minny two weeks back I took out a yew alongside the house in prep for house painting, but the hedge shears took me down like bloodhounds on Cool Hand Luke.

That and oncet back in H'istan, I had to tackle enormous weedage in the backyard, plus numerous simultaneous powerpoint presentations at work.  And, hellboy button mouse on the laptop - net effect - swelling in the wrists, and Constant Sorrows.

I am training for a century ride first week in September in Dartmouth, MA.  I did this one last year, took 7 hours.  NBBW is joining us this year.

Ibuprofen hasn't made any difference.  I need to try bag of frozen peas on the arm.

But I did get in my 65 miles on Sunday (loop from H'istan to E. Longmeadows, MA).  Suck it up, boyo.


Visit to Dr. Fear this morning for annual checkup.

He said I was 8 lbs (128 oz, .57 stone, 3638 grams) over the last time I visited him.

Me: Really?

He:  Yeah.

I was heavily into marathon training at the time, so there's that, but I didn't think I had added so much.  Maybe it's muscle mass (swimming miles now, bike-century-training, etc.).

Or maybe it's time for (Monty Python Spanish Inquisition "Dah Nah!!") The Sacred Heart Memorial Cabbage Soup Recipe.

At pg. 435 in Ulysses, looking forward to the slim 300 pg. Pale Fire.


Yew-Fest 2000.

Whilst in Minny this last week, I had a project to take out a mature Yew (6 ft. and nicely groomed) by the side of the house.

This last winter had been tough and this tree got some serious snow-wasting.  It had to go.

I started  by using hedge-trimmers to take out the upper portions, but you can only do so much with those.  I then moved to using an ax, which is close work on a tree like that.  Working in the heat I could only take out several branches before being drenched in sweat.  I must have taken 20 showers due to this work.

I finally got it down to stump mode, then started digging out the dirt to take out the many roots (as much below as above).  Man, that's tough work also.

I left it with still a bunch above ground and 40% cleared below ground. I might consider using 1) someone with a stump grinder or 2) use charcoal briquets to get the rest obliterated.  Not sure.

Back in Hartford, we went out today for a 50 mile bike ride and my shoulders were toast.  #tigerbalm.

Wet mile.

I'd been doing 1/3-1/2 mile swims at the club for a long time, and decided about 2 months ago to ratchet it up.

I started adding an additional lap each time and got up to 31 laps, then decided to screw it and go for the mile.  No problemo.

Last 6 times I've done the full 37 laps (1 mile) and it really hasn't been a problem.  Not sure why I had that mental barrier all that time...

Want to do an Olympic triathlon but need to be cool/confident with the distances (1 mile swim, 26 mile bike, 10K run).

Re:  endurance reading:  at pg. 297 of Ulysses.

Back at it.

Got in an easy 8 miler (was hard) this morning with my running pals.  Great temps and humidity.  Am trying to keep up the mileage Because Atrophy.

This afternoon NBBW and a good friend did a long swim in Lake Terramuggus,  and did the bike route (in advance of next Thursday's triathlon).

Planning to do a long bike tomorrow by the Long Island Sound with NBBW and the BFF.

Re:  endurance reading - on page 223 of Ulysses :  Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.

FKB – He and Me.

Reflections on my father and me, ala James Joyce.

He:  Menahga High School, 1953 Chevy, Air Force, Airman, Sebeka, Radar, First Class, Korea, Senior Airman, Montana, Sioux City, IA,  Springfield MO, Staff Sergeant, Canal Zone, Panama, ceviche, guinippes (Melicoccus bijugatus), Park Rapids, pistacchios, duck hunting, Viet Nam, reel-to-reel tapes to my mom, Technical Sergeant, Australia, Philippines, Master Sergeant, Duluth MN, smelt-fishing, weather maps, Sr. Master Sergeant, circus peanuts, US Post Office, dark-house spear-fishing, deer hunting.  He loved to grill during a blizzard as did I.  My brothers and I hauled a large rock to the spot in the Itasca State Park where he had his deer stand.

Me:  Park Rapids High School, Dostoevsky, UMD, Fiat, Poland, mathematics, computational linguistics, rational logic,  computer science, Control Data, Scandia, compilers, core-file analysis, Slovakia, Martin Marietta,  EPIX, tcp/ip, lex/yacc, UnitedHealth, patent, design recovery,  grad school, Kefissia, Milan, Istanbul, Mahler, CSC, fixed up a 1951 Chevy, SGS Borealis, grouse hunting, master gardener,  Heinrich Buhl, Durrenmat, G. Grass, US Bank, Hartford, bikram yoga, P. Glass, Messiaen, Aetna, cricket, Bhimsen, triathlon, half-marathon, marathon, Cigna, up to 54 countries now, Gravity's Rainbow.

A while back, I was fly-fishing in the Fish-hook river (which feeds into the Straight River).  Another guy was working his way downstream.   We pass each other with greetings.  A minute later, he says, Hey!  Are you Ray's boy?  I say yes, and feel wonderful at the recognition.

I was on a flight from Paris to Stockholm, and next to me was a Swedish man that had many facial features of my father.  We could have been related.  I wanted to talk with him but he only knew Swedish and me English.


Agenbite of inwit

After my projection into the lofty aither with Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, brennschluss was inevitable and I finally finished what was probably the toughest, chewiest piece of literature I have ever feasted on.

In the beginning, I was looking up all of the obscure references, phrases, and people and not making much progress.  The dude at the beer cave posited that the first twenty pages were intentionally written in such a manner as to keep people from reading any further.

In advance of the denouement of GR, I ordered another endurance read, Ulysses by James Joyce, and have just embarked on that journey.

Seriously, Dedalus.  I'm stony.  Hurry out to your school kip and bring us back some money.  Today the bards must drink and junket.  Ireland expects that every man this day will do his duty.

So, Citizens, what are you reading?


First triathlon of the year tomorrow in Simsbury (kayak, hill-run, then bike).  They sent out a possible flood warning, so the river part of the event could be iffy.  Supposed to do nothing today but I'll probably do an easy ride on the bike portion of the course.

Next weekend NBBW and I are doing the Cooperstown Sprint Triathlon.  We will incorporate visit to HOF and an olde-tymers game on the same weekend - should be fun.

Here is a clip on the Tarahumara:

Also I am getting addicted to the TED series:

At page 572 in Gravity's Rainbow.  I was carrying it when I went to the beer cave earlier this week - dude at the counter was raving about it and other Pynchon works.