Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 1165 Jogger's Progress

Time49 days, 10 hrs, 0 min
6 days, 14 hrs, 59 mins

I haven't been very good at keeping on schedule, lately. Yesterday was a perfectly nice day to run. A cool front came in on Monday night, and it was noticeably cooler. But I just turned off the alarm, rolled over, and slept for almost three more hours. I guess I needed it.

In any case, it was still cool this morning. Running is so much better in the fifties than the sixties. So I had a good run, and I'm feeling pretty good overall right now.

It was a pretty average month, I guess. I looked back at previous Junes. In 2009, I ran a lot more in June. In 2006 I ran a little more. In 2007 I ran a little less. And in 2008, I ran exactly the same number of miles, 133.7.

Overall, I'm only 10 miles behind where I was at the end of June, 2009, and I'm well ahead of the first six months of any previous year. Since I didn't set a goal to outrun 2009 this year, I think I'm doing pretty well.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 1164 -- Detroit

I'm actually somewhere in the Northern suburbs of Detroit; I won't pass through the city itself. I thought I ought to get in at least one Detroit photo, but then I couldn't decide which photo to use. It's easy enough to get skylines, but it's hard to put myself into them, particularly since they are mostly shot across the river. I thought about picking a photo of the Pistons, the only local team I really rooted for in my time in Michigan, but I haven't followed the NBA for so long, I don't even know any of the Pistons any more. So finally I settled on the abandoned Central Station.

I ran eight miles this morning, to complete my scheduled 11 mile run from yesterday. I admit that it felt really, really good. Just long enough and just hard enough to really pump me up. Of course, it wasn't really the same as an 11 mile run, but that's OK. It was supposed to be an easy week anyway. Now I'm supposed to pick it up for next week, but I'm facing the fact that I haven't had a day off since Wednesday. For two different reasons, my scheduled days off on Friday and Monday both got axed. So do I keep running until the next scheduled day off, this Friday? What to do, what to do....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 1163 -- Highland Park

The McGregor Library in Highland Park got a new roof in 2006.

I walked out this morning between storms. It had rained over night, and it was definitely threatening in the west. But I was already up and dressed, so I figured I'd go see how far I could get. The answer was three miles, out of 11 scheduled. Then the lightning started up, and I decided to call it quits. I had been running right around the neighborhood, so I didn't have a long trek back.

In fact, the lightning blew over pretty fast, so that the storm was down to just rain by the time I got out of my shower. But it was too late. Maybe I'll run tomorrow, instead of my scheduled day off.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 1162 -- Dearborn

The largest mosque in the U.S. is in Dearborn, Michigan. Needless to say, this has caused some controversy since it opened in 2005. A lot of ignorant bigots think having a large mosque is necessarily a bad thing. The first Google image hit for it was from a web site (to which I will not link) claiming that 80% of U.S. mosques have been "radicalized" by the Saudis. Oh, no, radicalized. What a horrible thing! And so hard to define, or prove!

I ran an easy three this morning. It's still hot and humid. It will always be hot and humid.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 1161 -- Redford

Redford, MI, is a western suburb of Detroit. So is Livonia, to which I forgot to link yesterday.

I got in a slow four miles this morning. Friday is a scheduled day off this summer, but having skipped Wednesday, I ran today. Then I just basked in the relative quiet of only four kids, instead of 70.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 1160 -- Livonia

Cub Scout Day Camp takes a lot out of you. First of all, there's the kids. Dozens of them. Coming at you in waves. And they have the energy of chihuahuas on speed, and the attention span of gnats. And even when you get a break, you don't actually get away from them, so you're still constantly yelling, "Don't climb on that! Don't hit him! Pick up that trash!" And you're on your feet all day, and the Lancaster County Fairgrounds are not air-conditioned. So Cub Scout Day Camp takes a lot out of you.

Which is my way of explaining why I took an unscheduled day off yesterday. I also slept in this morning, but the fourth day of Day Camp starts at 1:00, so I got to run this morning, just a little later. We start at 1:00 today so we can go to 7:00, and have a program for the parents in the evening. Since one of my duties is to direct the kids' skits, I had a big part in that program. I can honestly say that the skits didn't totally suck this year.

Anyway, Scout Camp is done for the year, and it went pretty well, I thought. I may even go back next year.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 1159 -- Northville

Northville sounds like a nice little town. According to Russ Ravery,
Each summer the city holds a nice Arts and Craft show called "Art in the Sun", A Victorian Festival in the fall. And Northville and the surrounding Victorian homes come alive for Halloween. A great place for kids to trick or treat and enjoy the festivities.

Of course, Russ is trying to sell real estate, so he's probably not going to come out and say, "Northville is a stinking hell-hole, that anybody in their right mind would avoid."

I got in four miles this morning. There are thunderstorms predicted for overnight, and no time to go to the gym, so we'll see whether I get out tomorrow or not.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Days 1157 and 1158 -- Ann Arbor

Six miles yesterday brought me to the outskirts of Ann Arbor. Then fifteen this morning brought me through Ann Arbor and partway down the road on the other side. But I figured that it was worth a stop, if only to complete the tour of my post-secondary education. In October, 2006, I visited the town where I got my undergraduate degrees. In February of this year, I visited the town where I got my Ph.D. Between those two milestones in my life, I earned a Master's degree from the University of Michigan here in Ann Arbor.

When I was here, in the late 1980's, the math department was in Angell Hall, which you see behind me. Since then, they have moved lock, stock, and barrel to another building, and I have no idea what's in Angell now. I haven't been back to Ann Arbor in Real Life for close to 20 years. And, of course, there aren't that many people even left there whom I knew.

This morning's run was rough. I started out slow, then tapered off. But I kept running through the last few miles. It was slow, but it was running.

Tomorrow is a scheduled day off. This may or may not be a good idea, because I have to make it through the day with 70 or so noisy Cub Scouts. It is the first day of the annual Summer Day Camp, at which I am again a staffer. The oldest and newest Little Jogger is going to be a Junior Staffer, and the littlest Little Jogger is again going to be a camper. The other two LJ's have science camp in the morning, so Mrs. J will be home alone for half a day. The poor thing. I wonder how she will manage.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 1156 -- Whitmore Lake

Whitmore Lake, MI, is home to the World Headquarters of Balance Technology, Inc. (BTI). They make "precision measurement and testing systems and services".

I ran just 4.5 miles this morning, faster than yesterday's run, but not quite as fast as Tuesday's. It's still warm and muggy. They are predicting rain tonight and tomorrow, so maybe that will cool us off.

In softball news, the team went down to defeat 24-0 today. It was embarrassing. I played first, and I didn't get a single put out. Of course, we only got nine outs. In our league, there is a 15 run mercy rule after nine innings. The game was actually over so fast that we played one more exhibition inning, which we won, 2-0, mainly because they weren't trying. We are in the "C" league, and we agreed that the team we played should have been in at least "B", if not "A". And, to tell the truth, we played like we should have been in "D" or "F", but "C" is as low as it gets. Oh, well, we'll get 'em next time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 1155 -- Brighton State Recreation Area

Brighton State Recreation Area doesn't have a shooting range, but it does have a riding stable. Here you see a group out on a trail ride. The horses aren't going very fast, so I can keep up with them if I run like hell.

My run this morning was a full minute per mile slower than yesterday. Which is more or less what I planned. That gives me a little chance to recover, without actually taking the day off.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 1154 -- Brighton

I think I'd like to stop at Buon Gusto Italian Bistro and Viviano Catering. They say, "Our goal is not to create a chain of restaurants and build a corporate empire. Instead, we pride ourselves in our loyal, local customer base." Sounds good to me. We don't have much in the way of good restaurants in my town, and Italian is particularly lacking.

Yesterday was a scheduled day off, and I was antsy all day. I'd be out driving and see someone running and think, "I really wish I were doing that. It would feel great!" So naturally, I had trouble getting going today. I reset my alarm for another hour's sleep, and even after that, I had trouble convincing myself to go out. Of course, once I did, I felt great. I did a brisk six miles over a hilly course. And I've had a pretty good day, although I haven't accomplished as much as I might have wished. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 1153 -- Island Lake State Recreation Area

Slightly south and east of where I am now running is Island Lake State Recreation Area. They have boating, hiking, biking, fishing, and, as you can see, a shooting range. My general impression is that the state parks in Michigan are very nice, although it's been years since I visited one in the real world.

It was slightly cooler this morning than yesterday, but not much less humid. It made for quite an ugly run. The last three or four miles were just slogging along. But I made the scheduled 12, and I'm happy about that. Tomorrow, another scheduled day off.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 1152 -- Hartland

Superior Precast Products of Kalamazoo proudly takes credit for the entrance to Hartland High School, in Hartland. It's a fine entrance.

Our church has formed a softball team, consisting of three or four young guys with some talent, and eight or ten old fogies in various states of decrepitude. The first game was last week, but I was out of town. So Thursday night, I played my first organized softball game in about 20 years. I'm proud to say that I didn't totally suck.

I hat one hit in three at-bats, a grounder between short and third. I struck out in my second trip (two strikes is all you get, and a foul ball counts as the second strike.) My third time up, I hit a long fly to the left fielder, who dropped it, allowing a runner to score from third. An RBI for me. In the field, I had one put-out and one assist at second base. No errors.

My dumbest moment was running the bases after my hit. I was really, really concerned about making it down to second if the guy behind me got a hit. I'm not exactly a speed demon. If it were thirteen miles from first to second, I imagine I would be one of the top base-runners on the team. But sixty feet isn't my distance. In any case, I took off sprinting as soon as Warren hit the ball, which was a mistake, because it was a line drive to the shortstop, who easily picked me off of first. And in trying to get back to the base, I instinctively slid, although I was wearing shorts, thereby compounding the stupidity. My shin is still raw.

In any case, it was a fun game, although we lost, 7-6. They'd lost 11-4 the week before, so I attribute the improvement to my presence in the line-up. What other explanation could there be?

I ran an easy four this morning. It was hot a muggy. Tomorrow doesn't promise to be much better, and I'm scheduled for twelve. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 1151 -- Linden

I don't really understand the purpose of Each page is one photo, identified by city, plus some ads, and an invitation to upload your own photo. So it seems to be a photo site, but focused on locations. Or something. In any case, because each photo is identified by place, I hit them a lot. Today, I hit the Linden Mills, in Linden, MI.

Four easy miles today, and tomorrow a scheduled day off.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Day 1150 -- Grand Blanc

If you are familiar with this part of Michigan, you may have noticed that I'm just basically bumming around the Flint area right now. I posted from Flint a bit before I arrived, I guess. But today I jumped off the Interstate and onto MI-23, which will take me into Ann Arbor. So I know right where I am -- just south of Flint.

I decided to visit Grand Blanc, and this building caught my eye. It's one of five locations of the Michigan Eye Institute. I can't tell you how they are at fixing your eyes, but they sure have a cool looking building.

Six miles today. It was cool, but pretty humid.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Day 1149 -- Swartz Creek

The coolest thing about Steve Wood's Art Studio in Swartz Creek, MI? The name of their web site: Steve also has a television show called "Anyone Can Paint". The web site only lists airings in Michigan, but maybe he'll get picked up by a national channel. He's got to be better than a lot of the dreck that's on TV these days.

Yesterday was a scheduled day off, and today was an easy four miles in a light rain. It felt pretty good. The rain has persisted, on and off, all day, but it's supposed to peter out tonight. We'll see. As long as there's no lightning (and none is forecast) it won't stop me from running.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Day 1148 -- Flint

The Digistar Users Group has a list of every single Digistar Planetarium around the world, and wouldn't you know it, there's one in Flint, Michigan. I suppose that if one were to dig around, one could find out what exactly a Digistar Planetarium is. I imagine that since this is a Users Group, it's the software that runs the light show. But who knows?

I did take yesterday off, and I think it helped. I had a very nice run today -- ten miles at a good pace. It was overcast for most of the run, and rose from the lower fifties at the start to about 60 at the end. So most of the run, all I could think was, "Why couldn't it have been like this last weekend?" Of course, wishing to change last week's weather is no more effective than wishing to change next week's. Oh, well, today was a nice run, and I enjoyed it.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Day 1147 -- Clio

From the Official Web site of the City of Clio, a photo of the Clio Municipal Building. They say, "The City of Clio is located in northern Genesee County along the I-75 corridor approximately ten miles north of Flint. The City is 1.1 square miles and surrounded physically by Vienna Township."

My June running streak should have ended this morning. It would have, if I had been home in my own comfy bed. But I was in a hotel, and wasn't sleeping really well, so I got up and ran. It was raining lightly, but not enough to really bother me after the first few minutes.

Tonight I'm home, and expect to sleep in my own comfy bed. So don't lay any bets on my June running streak extending to five days.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Day 1146 -- Birch Run

Here's a story about Christmas shopping at the Birch Run Outlet Mall. It seems to me that this is another place that I visited with Mrs. J once upon a long, long time ago. Possibly it was the same trip when we visited Frankenmuth. We lived in Ann Arbor from 1987 to 1989, so I've had plenty of time to forget the details. Considering that I can't reliably recall what I had for breakfast, you probably shouldn't make any bets on whether or not I've ever been to the Birch Run Outlet Mall.

Another easy four this morning in this little town. We had a downpour yesterday afternoon that ushered in slightly cooler, slightly drier weather. So it wasn't a bad run at all, especially at the pace I ran. And so far, I've run every day in June. Any bets on how long I can keep that up?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Day 1145 -- Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth is "Michigan's Little Bavaria, at least according to the city's web site. They also claim there is "One Town. A Million Ways to Enjoy It." Way back in the mists of history, when Mrs. J and I lived in Ann Arbor, we came up to Frankenmuth for a visit. I guess we would have to go back 999,999 more times to get the full experience.

This photo of the Bavarian Inn Lodge is from

I am spending the next three days out of town, at the Faculty College, a system-wide professional development workshop. I was here once before, in 2007, and I got enough out of it that I thought it was worth coming back. The speakers are really challenging us to think about how our students learn, and how their experiences and habits of mind are different from ours. Of course, this is something that any good teacher is aware of on some level, but it's interesting to make those things explicit. I've gotten quite a bit out of the first day, anyway.

I did get in a run, along an abandoned rail bed turned biking/jogging path. It is nice and flat and smooth, but the mileage is not well marked, so I ended up estimating my distance.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Day 1144 -- Saginaw

Saginaw is the county seat of Saginaw county, and has some 55,000 people, so it has a pretty good web presence. And it seems to have a thing for towers. Above is the former Castle Station post office, now the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History. Below is the Hoyt Library. I've always wanted a house with a tower. Maybe if I move to Saginaw, I can get one.

I ran this morning, a relatively easy five miles. I spent part of the time second-guessing my performance on Sunday. If only I had started out slower. Or not spent so much time in the heat on Saturday. Or just kept going at mile 20. Or something. It's garbage thinking, I know. I thought DNF was the right decision at the time, and even if it wasn't, I can't change it now.

I spent another part of the run planning for the Lakefront Marathon. I have to wait just under 18 weeks to redeem myself, but I intend to redeem myself big time. I need to work hard over the summer. I could sure stand to lose some weight. And I want to put in enough long runs that nothing can stop me when I hit the actual marathon. God knows it's not going to be hotter on October 3 than my hottest long run this summer.

I also spent part of the run just enjoying myself. I realized that, in spite of it all, running is still fun for me. That's good. I may actually quit marathoning, after Lakefront and after another crack at Madison. But I can't quit running.