Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 1202 -- Jogger's Progress

Time51 days, 12 hrs, 8 min
8 days, 17 hrs, 7 mins

Not a bad month, I guess. I took more days off than I really expected. Only 18 running days, my lowest total for over a year. The last time I ran only 18 days in a month was May, 2009. (Interesting that both were 31 day months.) Traditionally, August has been a pretty heavy month for me, but it just wasn't, this year. Part of that was the heat and humidity, and part of it is burnout. I'm definitely pushing too hard. After the Lakefront Marathon, I'm going to take a big break.

Speaking of heat and humidity, I had a nice run this morning. I ran a total of 10K, with the middle 5K being at a slightly faster pace. I felt good, but man did I sweat! Another couple of days of this, and then the weather is supposed to cool off again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 1201 -- Newtonville

OldGas.com. Another cool idea for a web site. You can find anything on the web. They say, "When visiting Eastern Ontario Canada be sure to check out Frank & Betty Stapleton 's B/A Station on Highway #2 Newtonville." So I did.

I ran 21.7 miles today. It was hard, but I finished. I feel like I can run a marathon. With more rest, and a little cooler weather, and I can do it. What I'm not sure is that I can run much faster. I was definitely shuffling at the end. So this may turn out to be my slowest marathon ever, and I can handle that. At this point, finishing will be an accomplishment.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 1200 -- Whitby

I'm not sure that I'm quite to Whitby, yet, but if I get my 20 miler in tomorrow, I'll be past it. As you can see, it's a town of over 100,000, which makes it a pretty big city. (For example, if it were transplanted to Wisconsin, it would be the third largest city, smaller that Madison, but bigger than Green Bay.) But it's sitting there in the shadow of Toronto (which has 2.5 million), so you've never heard of it.

Yesterday was a scheduled day off, and then ran an easy five this morning. One more day of cool weather, and then it will warm up early next week. If it's not too hot for tomorrow's long run, I won't complain. (Well, I probably will complain, but not about the weather. (Well, I probably will complain about the weather, but I'll feel guilty about it.))

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 1199 -- Ajax

I don't know if you'll be able to tell, but this isn't a photo at all. It's a computer-designed image of what this building will look like. The site from which I lifted the image, Architext Consulting, doesn't actually say when -- or even if -- this building will be built. They merely point out that they "provided construction specifications" for Karp Namisniak Yamamoto Architects, who designed the new Ajax Fire Station. The building is designed to "attain Silver Certification under the CaGBC LEED Green Building Rating System." So there.

It was a glorious morning for a run, so I overdid it. I've been sore and tired all day. I have a softball game tonight, but my plan is to show up and, if there are enough players without me, volunteer to keep the bench from floating away. Which is, in its own way, a major concession for me. In my younger days, I wouldn't volunteer to miss a game for anything short of a broken leg.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Day of Meetings

Today was the first really cool morning in weeks. So, naturally, I slept in. No reason. I just didn't feel like getting up to run. But it's supposed to be even cooler tomorrow, so it should be a good day for a run. I hope I make it.

In other news, today was the first day of meetings at the university. Many years ago, in my first full-time job, a wise person told me that the first day of meetings were typically a week before classes, to make sure the old tenured professors realized that classes were about to start. Now that I'm an old tenured professor, I realize he was dead right.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 1198 -- CN Tower

Well, I couldn't leave Toronto without a shot of the CN Tower. Of course, there are a bajillion photos of it all over the web, but I just settled on this one from Destination360.com.

I had a nice run this morning. It was a tempo run -- 10 minutes easy, 25 minutes fast, 10 minutes slow. That's a long time for me to keep up a fast pace, but I did OK.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 1197 -- North York

From Waymarking.com, the entrance to the Disney Store at the Yorkdale Mall in North York, Ontario. According to Wikipedia, North York doesn't actually exist anymore, having been absorbed by Toronto. But it still appears on my mapquest map, and Waymarking locates this mall in North York, not in Toronto.

Last year, on the day after the Madison Mini-Marathon, I ran another 13 miles, to complete the marathon. I fully intended to do that again this year, up until the time my alarm went off yesterday morning. Then I decided I could sleep another hour and run maybe six or seven miles. Three hours later, I rolled out of bed and ate breakfast.

Having had two unauthorized days off last week, I went ahead and ran this morning, on what was a scheduled day off. I got in those seven miles, and didn't feel too bad. I had had an extra day off, of course.

I'm not feeling real good about my conditioning for the marathon, now less than six weeks away. Nor am I mentally where I want to be. This week wasn't great for me mentally, and don't get me started on the Madison Marathon in May. I hope that I'll get my act together in time to have a good run in October.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 1196 -- Race Report: Madison Mini-Marathon

No packet pick-up on race day, so the race report begins the day before. Yesterday, we packed up all the Little Joggers (and Hurricane Andrew, the medium Little Jogger's friend) and drove up to Madison. Besides the packet pick-up, we took in the State Historical Museum, walked down State Street, and stopped at the Memorial Union for ice cream. It was a good time.

One thing I love about Madison is all the people. It's a people-watcher's dream. Neckties and tie-dye. Young women with purple hair and young women in hijabs. State legislators on lunch break and families on holiday. Hippies, rastas, emos, steampunks, you name it. It's just fun to hang out there.

One thing I hate about Madison is all the people. It's crowded. Walking up and down State Street with five kids in tow is an adventure. Worse is the traffic. Here in Joggerville, three cars at a red light is considered a traffic jam. In Madison, there are thousands of cars going in random directions, weaving around the inevitable construction projects, and basically making me feel like a small town hick. I was a bit more used to it when we lived there, in the mid nineties, although I was never entirely comfortable. Now, forget it. Madison gets on my nerves.

But other than that, it was a good trip, and the kids were reasonably well-behaved. We had a good time.

This morning, I popped out of bed early and headed back. With a 7:00 start, I wanted to be on the road before 5:00. It was dark and foggy all the way up. That didn't make for very relaxing driving. Of course the traffic was light, which helped.

When I got to Madison, everyone else was getting there, too. There were almost 5000 runners, plus volunteers, and we all wanted to park in the very closest parking ramp to the starting line. I didn't make it, and I ended up in a metered ramp with very prominent signs saying that the meters were enforced all the time. Problem: they were two hour meters. It was over an hour before the start, and I had over two hours to run. So, what to do? I supposed I should have moved to a different ramp, but I elected to ignore the meters. After all, how much could a ticket be?

Walking around before the race was the usual mish-mash. Most everyone there was younger than me or slimmer than me or both. Some were clearly experienced runners, and some were clearly running a big race for the first time. I saw t-shirts from most of the local races I'd been to -- the Madison Marathon, the Fox Cities Marathon, last year's MMM, and of course, plenty of this year's MMM. (Only newbies wear this year's race shirt to actually race.) I did not see anyone with a Team Pikermi t-shirt. Next year, I'll have my own, but right now it's in the mail.

The race itself can be roughly divided into three parts. The first four miles, I was feeling pretty good. I took a couple of walk breaks at the three- and four-mile marks, but even so I was hitting my goal pace. But I was heating up, and feeling tired, and I didn't think it could last.

It didn't. Miles five through about eight were really rough. Between mile five and six, we saw the ambulance come and pick up someone who has succumbed to the heat and the humidity. Not a good sign, when you aren't even halfway through the race. I got very discouraged. I kept taking walk breaks. I'd try to goad myself to run to the next mile marker, but I would stop short. At this point, I mentally quit the Madison Mini-Marathon, and also withdrew from the Lakefront Marathon, and also gave up on pretty much any future run over 5K. And I wasn't too sure about 5K.

Around mile eight or nine, I got my second wind, and, more importantly, got my head together. I was still running slowly, and taking walk breaks, but at least I felt like I was in control. I think I ran from mile seven to mile nine without stopping, and I know I ran from mile nine to mile eleven. It wasn't the greatest athletic performance of all time, but I still feel like I finished strong.

My unofficial finishing time was 2:25:35. I don't seem to have an official finish time. The results are posted on-line, but I can't get them to display me. I guess it's just a glitch in the chip timing. It's not like I need an official time to qualify for the Olympics or something.

Anyway, even though it was my slowest official Pikermi ever, I feel good about my performance. At this point in my life, any race I finish is a good race. And when I got back to the car, I didn't have a ticket.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 1195 -- Mississauga

This is an award winning sign. It is the Premier Free Standing/Roof Sign, as awarded by the Sign Association of Canada - Association Canadienne de l'Enseigne (SAC-ACE). It was designed and constructed by the Pattison Sign Group of Toronto.

I managed to run another six this morning, although I wasn't as strong (or fast) as yesterday. It was another nice day for a run. We'll see if I can get out again tomorrow. I spent quite a bit of today putting insulation into the new room, which is harder than you think it is. So I'm good and tired right now, and I think I'll go to bed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I learned a new word today: pikermi.

It's a race of 13.1 miles. Such a race is traditionally called a "half marathon", but a lot of us feel that that's selling it short. A "half marathon" sounds like it's not a real race. You often hear people say, "I only ran a half marathon," as if 13.1 miles isn't a very hard distance to run.

Well, Team Pikermi isn't going to take it any more. They are leading a campaign to give the race its own name. Their Facebook page has 669 follower. The name, of course, comes from a town that's approximately halfway between Marathon and Athens. It's pronounced "pee-KER-mi". And I never intend to run a "half marathon" again.

This comes right in time, because I have a pikermi coming up this Saturday. It's the second annual Madison Mini-Marathon (another unfortunate name.) Now I'm going to lead a campaign to get the official name changed for next year.

Day 1194 -- Meadowvale

How about a drink? Meet me at the Manchester Arms on Derry Road in Meadowvale.

It was noticeably cooler and less humid this morning. Not cool and dry, mind you, but everything is relative. In any case, I was well rested after a day off, and I got in a good run. I was happy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 1193 -- Milton

Check out the Galaxy Cineplex in Milton. I particularly like the tower, which looks like something out of the Jetsons. If you appreciate this theater as much as I do, go to Fabiani Architect, Ltd. They seem to be the creative force behind it.

I managed to make my 18 miles today. Almost 19, in fact. It wasn't really pretty, but I'm happy. I didn't take any unscheduled walk breaks, although my last scheduled walk break went into extra innings. I usually try to walk 100 to 200 yards, but for this break, I walked about a quarter of a mile. But after that, I picked it up and ran the last mile and a half without stopping.

I'm beginning to realize that I really have slowed down this summer. Some of that is the heat and humidity, I guess, but I think some of it is the inevitable and irreversible effect of aging. I'm now not thinking at all about a personal record (PR) in the marathon in October. I'll be content to finish it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 1192 -- Moffat

I haven't visited RailPictures.com for a little while. Here's a MLW RS-23 that was spotted near Moffat, Ontario.

Friday was a scheduled day off. I thought about running anyway, since I took an unscheduled day off Wednesday, but I didn't want to overdo it. That would have had me running three days in a row going into my long run Sunday. I really need to do the 18 miles that I missed last week. So, no run yesterday, and a fairly easy six this morning. And tomorrow? Well, tune in tomorrow....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 1191 -- Puslinch

Looking for a semi tractor? This 1999 Sterling At9513 is available at Buckshot Truck Sales in Puslinch, Ontario. I found it on-line at a web site called yakez.com.

I just couldn't get going yesterday morning. I tried, "You're already awake, you might as well run." I tried, "If you run today, you can take tomorrow off." I tried, "Yesterday's run wasn't so good, so you should run today and redeem yourself." I even tried, "How are you going to run a marathon in seven and a half weeks if you can't even run five miles today?" Nothing worked. I went back to bed and slept for another hour. I was a little grumpy later in the day, but not as bad as I sometimes am when I skip a run.

I did run today, and nice six miler. I certainly worked up a sweat, but it was a good run.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 1190 -- Cambridge

This photo of the old post office in Cambridge is available from Wikimedia Commons, but the top Google hit for it was from some aggregater named xiongdudu.com. No doubt, it's important to somebody whether you visit one or the other, but I'm not the person.

The first 35 minutes of my run this morning went pretty well. I warmed up for 15 minutes, then picked up the pace for another 20. At that point, I should have dropped back to jogging, but I dropped all the way back to walking. I jogged a little and walked a little for another 20 minutes or so, which got me cooled down. At least as cool as was possible. Overall, it wasn't quite the run I had planned, but it wasn't bad.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Day 1189 -- Waterloo

Nice building, huh? It's the Perimeter Institute, an international center for basic research in foundational issues of theoretical physics, in Waterloo, ON. I stole the photos ArcSpace, an on-line architecture magazine.

I walked out this morning determined to do 18 miles. I missed another long run last weekend, because of the funeral, so I was going to finish my 18, if I had to crawl the last few miles. What I didn't count on was the weather. At about nine miles, I started to see thunder and lightning in the distance. I switched my route so that I was sticking close to home, and I got in almost six more miles, but at that point, the rain started to pour, and the lightning seemed to close, so I cut it off. I made just short of 15 miles.

It rained like hell for about an hour. Someone at church said their rain gauge, which measures up to five inches, overflowed. I'm not sure when they emptied it, though. In any case, we got a lot. As usual, we got a little in our basement, but we cleaned it up.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Day 1188 -- Wilmot

As you can see from this sign (lifted from waymarking.com), Wilmot, ON, is home to Castle Kilbride. The castle is the most important historical building in Wilmot Township. Or so they claim on their web site.

It was hard to get started this morning. I was fairly tired, and had to drag myself out of bed. Then I noticed that it was pouring rain. Ugh. But I hadn't run yesterday, so I had to go. That first step out into the rain was a tough one. But once I got going, I was OK. And pretty soon the rain dropped off, leaving just a few puddles to avoid.

That was in Grandma's town, but in the mid-morning, we jumped into the car and drove back up to Joggerville. It's good to be home. I'm planning to relax a little this weekend, and then on Monday I really need to be thinking about classes for Fall.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Day 1187 -- New Hamburg

The New Hamburg Independent has its own weblog, from whence I stole both these photos. Founded in 1878, the Independent is published weekly.

I ran 6.5 miles this morning. It was a good run, but slower than I wanted it to be. I've now run three days in a row, and I'm ready for a day off.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Propostion 8

OK, I usually try to stay away from politics, which are covered much more adeptly on other blogs. But today's ruling on California's Proposition 8 is such good news that I can't help but celebrate.

Image via The Daily What.

Days 1185 and 1186 -- Stratford

From the blog This Gaudy Gilded Stage, a picture of a statue of Shakespeare in Stratford, ON. Stratford has a big Shakespeare Festival every summer. When we lived in Ann Arbor, we came up a couple of times. We saw a pretty good King Lear, and a pretty bad Othello, and we must have seen a couple of other plays, but I don't remember them in any detail.

I ran yesterday morning in Joggerville, then loaded half the family into the Joggermobile and drove down to Grandma Jogger's town. The first Little Jogger was away at Girl Scout camp. She gets back today. Mrs. Jogger decided to stick around to feed the beasts and oversee the home improvement project. The medium Little Jogger just decided to stay home, because he was afraid he wouldn't have much fun. I don't know how much fun he's having at home with no other kids, but we decided there was no good excuse to push him to come.

This morning, I did a slow five miles in Grandma's town. Cousin Jogger has suggested that no one north of the Mason/Dixon line should complain about heat and humidity, so I'll just say it was a great run. I wished I could have run further.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Days 1183 and 1184 -- Jogger's Progress

Time50 days, 8 hrs, 13 min
7 days, 13 hrs, 12 mins

So, what have I been up to?

Thursday evening: The church softball team won its second game. Everyone played pretty well, and we got a couple of breaks, and it turned out to be a pretty one-sided game. The last time we played these guys, they beat us by a couple of runs. I hurt my abductor muscle a little bit on a stupid play at second. I had no chance to make the play, so I should have just gotten out of the way, but instead I tried to cover the bag, slipped, and did an impromptu splits.

Friday: A very, very slow six miles. A fistful of ibuprofen afterwords. Then I jumped into the car and began the drive down to Nashville for Uncle Not A's funeral. I got as far as Marion, IL. I stayed there in an Econolodge. It wasn't real great, but after I turned out the light, it looked like the Ritz.

Saturday: My abductor felt much better, so I did a faster five miles around Marion. It was a nice town for a run. Good sidewalks, nice and flat. A little steamy, though. After, I drove the remaining three hours to Nashville. The funeral was nice, as these things go. Family came from all directions. Many of couldn't stay long. I stayed through until...

Sunday: Drove all the way back to Joggerville. It was about 11 hours driving, with quite a few stops. I stopped and ate both lunch and dinner in restaurants, just to be off the road. So I didn't get in until close to 9:00 last night.

Today: I should have gotten up to run, but I didn't. Maybe tomorrow.