Friday, October 31, 2008

2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Series Parade

Here are some of the sights (and, yes) sounds of the parade for the Philadelphia Phillies today. I was standing near the start of the parade at 17th & Market Streets. The video clips are short but, hopefully, will give you a feel of the day, of the parade and of the fans. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

28 Years Later....

The last time it happened...

  • Jimmy Carter was President of the United States
  • Walter Mondale was Vice President of the United States
  • Median Household Income was $17,710.00
  • The cost of a first class stamp was $0.15
  • Cost for a gallon of regular gas was $1.25
  • Ted Turner had just started a television network called CNN
  • The Dow Jones had a high of 1000 and a low of 759 that year
  • John Lennon was coming out with his 'Double Fantasy' album
  • Genuine Risk wins the Kentucky Derby that year
  • The Empire Strikes Back is the top grossing film
  • U.S. viewers get caught up in the "Who Shot J.R.?" cliff hanger on the soap opera series, Dallas
  • Christina Ricci, Chelsea Clinton, Venus Williams, Jessica Simpson, Macaulay Culkin, and Jake Gyllenhaal are born
  • And, I was a senior at Boston University sitting in the living room of a house that I shared with five guys in Brighton, MA.

That was the last time the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series. The time before that? Well, there was no time before that. That was the first time they had won the World Series. And, last night, they won it again.

Back in 1980, I was very excited but I was out of town when it happened. It was like someone describing a great party they attended with all your friends but you couldn't make it because you had to work. Not this year. Even my wife, who doesn't know a curveball from a changeup, was getting into it and high-fiving me when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske at the end. Fireworks going off in the neighborhood. Cars honking their horns. Everyone at work happy this morning.

I hope to go to part of the parade tomorrow. I plan on taking some pictures and I will post afterwards. Why? Because the Philadelphia Phillies are the champions of baseball today!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Race Shirt Exchange (and other things)

Race Shirt Exchange--This past spring, I was looking in my closet to pick out a shirt to wear that day. There is a joke in my family (and I'm sure others reading this will relate) I'm lucky that, with all the races I do, I never have to buy another T-shirt again. True. My closet is full of race shirts from the past few years. But, I began to notice the shirts are from races I've run year after year. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the shirts. But, do I need to have the same shirt/different color every year? And, I didn't think I was alone in this thinking. Why not somehow set up a race shirt exchange program where people who have run the same race year after year can swap shirts with someone who has run their own race year after year? Just to be different. But, how do I get the word out?

In June, when I ran with Frayed Laces in Hawaii, I mentioned my idea to see if she what she thought. She loved the idea and wrote about it in her September 24th blog entry. I also mention it in the Phedippidations Discussion Board Forum Thing over the summer. Everyone who wrote in seemed to think it was a great idea. But, how to manage it?

I immediately went into project management mode think. We set up a separate area in the forum and people can post there if they want to exchange a shirt. If you have a taker, find out what shirt size the person wants, exchange e-mail (and mail addresses). The person who sends out is responsible for postage. On and on and on. I stepped back for a moment and told myself, 'you can't manage this. If people think it's a good idea, they will figure out how to exchange shirts on their own. No rules.'

But, from the September 24th blog entry of Frayed Laces, someone stepped forward and said, 'I'll exchange a race shirt with you'. I want to report that the idea I had back in the spring has come to fruition. Big from, Big's Running Blog, sent me a great technical T from the Capital City River Run Half marathon and 5k. And, just this past week, I sent Big my shirt I received in the 'Run for Your Neighbor' 5k I recently did in Harleysville, PA. I want to thank Big for this great shirt.

Of course, as usually happens in my life, my timing isn't the greatest. Because here I would say, 'and if anyone else wants to exchange shirts, please let me know.' Which I would like to do. Except I only have one more race this year. The Harrisburg marathon. And, no one is touching that one. (If you really want a shirt from there, I will purchase one on your behalf and can send to you. Send me the money after you've received the shirt.) So, when the spring comes, I will re-visit this idea and see if there are any takers then. In the meantime, don't let me stop you from finding others to swap with you. Use SteveRunner's forum if you would like to find someone to swap a shirt with you.

My 20 miler. In my line of work, we have things called 'pilots' before we send things into production. Pilots are tests meant to see what could go wrong with an idea before you start producing it for real. Well, my 20 miler that I run before a marathon is my pilot. To me, it simulates my marathon and I use it to test things out first. I have to say, it is a good thing I do this. Because my 20 miler yesterday didn't go exactly as planned.

First, in looking at my marathon schedule, I should have done my 20 miler LAST week. (I was wondering why Kelly and Melissa weren't running theirs this week). Normally, I dread the 20 miler. But, this year, I had the mindset of just going out there and doing it. I had packed the Friday before. Charge the garmin. Gels. Powerbars. Drinks. Change of shirts. Race wear. Everything set.

I get to the lake around 9a. (The Phillies game was rain delayed and I stayed up until midnight though the game ended around 2a). I see Melissa, and we exchange hellos, as she is finishing up her 12 miler. (Sigh. Still, it was worth staying up as the Phillies did eventually win). I'm all set to go as I turn on my Garmin. I have one hour of battery life. WHAT THE ##$%? You see, I do the Galloway run/walk method for marathons. 5 minutes running, 1 minute walking. Kind of critical to have a working watch. OK. No big deal. I approximately know where the miles are around Lake Galena so I'll just do a walk break after each mile. (Secretly, I blame Frayed Laces as I believe she owns an 'evil' Garmin. See her October 13th posting. Somehow, her Garmin is the 'mother' Garmin which controls some of the other Garmins in the world. Because, since her problems, my watch has just been 'obeying orders' to breakdown as well. Just a theory, mind you.) Pacing will be difficult but I can manage.

So, I start. And, my left ankle hurts. With every step. OK. I just need to warm up. And, now my Achilles is hurting. It feels like it needs to be stretched a bit. So, I stretch. Nothing. I run a half mile and the pain is not going away. At this point, I'm at one of those crossroads moments in life, 'do I stop and rest it or do the 20 miler and risk injury?' I HAVE to do this 20 miles. So, I press on.

The 'run a mile, walk a bit' thing isn't working out right. I have to stop more often because of my ankle. And, I forgot to put on body glide. And, I'm feeling the affects of that decision. I wished there was someone to take a video. I want to show the world how NOT to train for a marathon. I can only imagine what I looked like adjusting my shorts and favoring my right leg as I run.

I made it a point to wear my race-ready shorts. With the pockets. For my gels. You know, the gels I left in my car. Luckily, the loops I do around the lake, take me back to the car to re-fuel. Except I won't have that convenience during the marathon.

I do manage to finish the 20 miler. Chafing. Ankle swollen. Hungry. Thirsty. Yep, I'm ready for that ol' marathon in two weeks. There is going to be approximately 800 runners in this marathon. Usually, I like to be in the top 50% of the finishers in any race. I'll take top 90% for this race.

A little late with this joke--Back in August, I posted a blog entry talking about a race I ran against Police chief White. As I was running this weekend, I realized the Clash did a song in which the lyrics would have been perfect for that entry. As mentioned previously, my timing could use a little work. Anyway, here are the lyrics:

Yes, Im running down the railway track

Could you help me? police on my back

They will catch me if I dare drop back

Wont you give me all the speed I lack

Mom, make it stop!!!--I will not get all political on you. But, I will say, the process of electing a president in this country goes way TOO LONG!!! It should not take a year and a half to elect a president. Billions of dollars should not be spent electing a president. I used to be more involved politically. No more. I will vote. But, no matter how much I back a candidate, I refuse to send money for elections. I would rather see my dollars fighting diseases than electing a candidate. In truth, I wish there were viable third and fourth parties in America. They have it in the UK and Canada. Where politics are more local. I hope your candidate(s) win. For me, I just want it to be over.

October 28, 2008 update--I had to add this picture. It is from my backyard this morning. Yes, it is snowing here. Just north where they are trying to finish the World Series. Wasn't it just summer a few hours ago? (Sigh). Hope it's not an indication of what winter is going to be like around here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Six Things You Didn't Know

On October 13, 2008, I was tagged. Tagged by Karen, of the fantastic blog, Mom on the Run ( Hey, how come I was only number 3? :-) By the way, Karen, congratulations on finishing the Grand Rapids marathon this past weekend. Can't wait to read the full report.)

So, I'm suppose to write six facts about myself. I was tagged previously and thought I had to answer specific questions. (Are there 'tag' rules out there in cyberspace?) I can't say I'm the most interesting person out there (ok, that doesn't count as a fact. Merely an opinion of myself.) Here goes:

1. I have a slight allergy to dogs and cats. I have four dogs and 1 cat. As far as I know, I don't have any allergies to kids. I don't have any of those. My four dogs' names are Einstein, Dillon, Emmett, and Ellie Mae. My cat's name is Fiona. Einstein is a bichon frise whom we got from the local SPCA. Dillon is our Hurricane Katrina rescue. There were groups that went down to the animal shelters in Louisiana after the hurricane to take as many dogs as possible off their hands. We picked Dillon up in West Virginia from one of these groups. When we took him home, he didn't wimper. Didn't make a noise. We thought there was something wrong with him. Turns out, that's his personality. The most laid-back dog you will ever see. Emmett and Ellie Mae are Havanese and are our show dogs. Emmett is a retired champion (even has the little potbelly going to 'prove' he's retired.) Ellie Mae is our up-and-comer. Fiona is a Snowshoe whom we had since 1993. Since we are not parents, we try to focus our attention to animal rescue groups and donate our hearts and time to those causes.

2. I had dinner with Larry Bird. I can't remember what year it was (1986?), I was the backup radio engineer for Boston Celtics broadcasts when Steve (Runner) and I worked in radio. I did this in case anything happened to the regular engineer and he couldn't make it. So, I was sent on the road to Washington, DC. (There is a separate story, that I will tell someday, about what happened during the game and the 'life lesson' I learned). After the game and back at the hotel, I was invited by Coach K.C. Jones to have dinner with the entire Celtics team. I couldn't believe it! The team was already there as I walked into the room. They sat me down right across from Larry Bird! Larry was there with a friend of his who was a WWF wrestler (whose name I can't recall). Larry did talk to me occassionally but I was speechless. I didn't know what to say to him. Unfortunately, my backup engineer gig didn't last long and I never had that opportunity again. (There is also a Danny Ainge story here as well that I will have to tell later.)

3. I can't point my toes. Doctors are always surprised when I point (pardon the pun) this out. As near as anyone can tell, I am missing something in my ankles that allows people to point their toes. The best way to describe how I run is, imagine someone running with flippers on. That's the extent of my flexibility. Considering I have size 12 shoes, it is not a far off comparison.

4. I am a shy person. Some may dispute this, but, I consider myself a shy person. I like to fade in the background in gatherings. I don't like to speak in front of groups even though my job requires it. When I go on business trips, I have no problems eating alone. I don't take compliments well and am very embarrassed when someone does compliment me. I grew up where 'good-natured ribbing' was how we communicated.

5. I LOVE to laugh. I sometimes come across as not a serious-minded person. That's because I try to find laughter in most situations. I have been described as having a 'dry' sense of humor. I had a boss from the UK who once told me he was impressed that I was able to make British people laugh. He said it wasn't always easy for Americans to do that. I am the wise-guy in the room with the quip. It's how I try to break up the tension in the room sometimes. But, I have to be REALLY comfortable in order for people to see that side of me.

6. I went through 'Checkpoint Charlie.' After I graduated college, I saved up enough money to take a bus tour through Europe. I went to many of the capitals in Western Europe including Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Berlin. Back then, it was West Berlin and East Berlin. Part of the tour was going into East Berlin. We stopped at a park to see a Russian monument dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War II. When we got back to the bus, our bus driver was screaming and yelling as someone had just pointed a rifle at the bus drivers lined up in the park while we were gone. From everywhere, the Eastern German secret police (Stasi) showed up. They detained us for about an hour. We had no idea what was going on at the time and were thankful that we got back through 'Checkpoint Charlie' without any further incidents.

OK, except for the 'pointing of toes' one, that had little to do with running. Oh, well.

(Notes: THE PHILLIES ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!! YAHOO!!!!!! I am scheduled to do a 20 miler this weekend in preparation for the Harrisburg marathon. I ran a 10 miler this past weekend and felt great. It was suppose to be a long slow run but wound up doing a 9:30/mile pace, which is flying for me. Must have been the weather. Congratulations to Steve (Runner) for his efforts in the Bay State marathon this weekend. I know he was hurting a bit. (from the marathon and I guess from the Sox loss). Rest up a bit, Steve.

I'm adding this article I read that was posted on This past weekend, San Francisco hosted the Nike Women's marathon. The 'elite' runners had a 20 minute headstart. But, a woman from the 'non-elite' pack had the fastest time for the race. And, didn't win. Because she didn't think she was an 'elite' runner.

I always wondered what would happen if someone had a faster chip time than the first person who crossed the finish line. Answer: Tough luck.

October 22, 2008 Update from story mentioned above:

It's an interesting debate on whether we need to start recognizing chip time as the official time or at least have separate awards for gun and chip times )

Monday, October 13, 2008

The three quarters of the year 2008 Status Report

I want to thank those that have sent me suggestions on what to do about woodpeckers. As you can see by the picture on the right, I am under attack. I have lived in this house for over two years and this is the second year in a row that I have problems with woodpeckers. I have since found out that woodpeckers are migratory birds and, apparently, my house is nice and tasty. Sort of like a Shoney's Big Boy. For woodpeckers. I need to patch it for the winter as the holes in the house go all the way through.

Did you ever have the dream of partying all night and waking up the next day only to realize you have to take your mid-term that day? (Actually, that sort of happened to me once when I was going for my MBA. I miscalculated the number of weeks in a class and showed up not studying for one minute of a mid-term we were having that night!) Anyway, that's the way I am feeling as I will embark on coming up with excuses of a lifetime and explanations of why I didn't keep my 2008 New Year's resolutions. Maybe it isn't all that bad. Tell me when I can open my eyes again!

Eat healthier--I made steps toward this. In my January 8th blog, I mentioned that I discovered Quaker Oats Whole Grain Cereal and that I would try eating that a few times a week to start. I am happy to say that I have kept up with that and continue to eat this cereal about two or three times each week. I wrote this in May and, surprisingly, have kept this up for the most part. I am more likely to do this when I work from home, though. I don't think I will ever eat 'healthy'. But I've been able to maintain my weight all year. As a matter of fact, I'm proud to say that I am the same weight as I was 20 years ago.

Now my next big thing to tackle is to start making home-made smoothies. I've read that, as long as you don't add protein, this is a great subsitute for a snack. Looking for some good recipes if anyone has ideas. This idea didn't last long as I was finding out that smoothies don't last long in the refrigerator. And, yes, I have fall victim to the 100-calorie packs of stuff. Currently, it's the 100-calorie popcorn and the 100-calorie caramel which I use when I eat apples in the fall. I do find that it's 'just enough'.

Smarter exercise--...when I was doing the core training, results were pretty fast. So, realistically, maybe I can do core training for specific events and not all year round? This is what I wrote back in May. And, I have thought about this all summer. I have started to do the core training for the Harrisburg marathon and hope it will be enough so I can beat 5 hours this time out.

Beat my 5k PR--Realistically, I'm running out of chances for this spring. I plan on doing the Doylestown 'Red, White and Blue' 5k this Saturday, which will be my last 5k this spring. But, I've never run this course. I need to find a flat, fast course in the fall to get this monkey off my back. If only I knew then what I know now. As the Doylestown RWB 5k was as close as I ever got to beat my 5k PR. Ever. I missed it by 1 second. On a hilly course. I ran a 5k this past Saturday but it was to pace my wife in the race and it was 'warm up' for the 18 miles I had to run that day for my long run. Right now, I don't have plans on any races after Harrisburg, But, find me a flat, fast 5k and you might, maybe, be able to talk me into it.

Concentrate on Falmouth--Broad Street is over. This is what I'll be thinking about all summer. Steve better be ready this year. Steve didn't run it this year. Because of it, I lost my motivating factor to concentrate on Falmouth. And, it was a bad week leading up to the race. On the positive side, I did better than I did last year. (By the way, if you are a baseball fan and were watching the Red Sox-Rays baseball game yesterday, you probably saw Steve at the game about 10 rows up to the right of home plate. I was watching the game and saw someone who looked exactly like Steve and his son. So, of course, I called him. And, yes, it was him. I won't call him again if I see him. Because the Sox lost. Obviously, I'm a jinx.)

A better blog--I played a little with the poll. It's a fun thing to do from time to time. I can do a little more on the right side of the blog. I like to see what others do in their running blogs and try to get ideas to incorporate into mine. I don't do as much as the polling thing as I had done earlier in the year. And, I try to be 'competitive' on my blog. I will look at a blog and ask myself, 'how did they do that? 'I want that for my blog!' I am very jealous of the 'more creative than me' people that are out there. But, it keeps me thinking on ways I want to improve what I have to stay 'competitive'.

Continue to have fun with running--I'm hoping to be able to take my gear into work and stop and do some 3 mile runs on my way home from time to time. I'm happy to say this is part of my regular routine. On Tuesdays, I will bring my gear into work and run a 3+ mile route next to Lincoln Drive, which is right next to the Wissahickon Creek. It is a lovely part of Philadelphia and serene even though you can see the traffic on the Drive. I am also running, about once a week, with my wife. She is starting to get into 5ks and I want to encourage her to keep doing it.

Get new running shoes--(TZ Sports) had a pair of Brooks GTS 7s that I bought, and, so far, seem to be the replacement I've been looking for. I'll run in them for the next few weeks. If they still feel comfortable, then I might have to look in stocking up for the next few years. I am still not 100% convinced the GTS 7s will be my running shoes for years and I should stock them up now. They are good. I like the ones I have. But, they are not my GTS 5s. Nothing ever fit me better.

Follow through--I still need a lot of work on this. My journal entries in my running diary have been inconsistent. I don't put things a way at home that I should. I try to make sure I follow up with people after they've contacted me. I'm trying to get better at this. Just to need to keep reminding myself about this one. . As this recap was suppose to be done in September, I guess I'm keeping this one as a 2009 New Year's resolution.

Is it really just 2 1/2 months until the end of the year?
(Notes: I just discovered this coincidence recently. I am not affiliated nor have taken my blog name from 'Blue Dawg Blog', which is a political blog. Again, my blog name is derived from a restaurant where our group meets, on occasion, after a long, tough run to quench our thirst.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Travails of a Traveler

Just for the record: In my last blog entry, some people (Eric T) made the suggestion (Eric T)that I was whining (Eric T) about my schedule (Eric T). On the contrary, I just wanted people to know that I was going to be busy. Oh sure, I may have SAID something about 'a marathon in a month' and me beginning to panic. But, if you don't run for awhile, you swear that the next time you run, you'll be out of breath before a half mile goes by. Luckily, that didn't happen. You see, I don't whine. I leave that job for Kelly. She's much better at it than me. :-)

I don't travel for business that often. When I do, it usually comes in clusters like it did last week. I also had two personal functions (one in Long Island, NY and the other in Boston, MA) bookending my business travel to North Carolina.

Actually, I don't mind travelling for business once in awhile. It gives me a chance to get 'out of the office' for a time. See new things. See different people. And, in a lot of cases, face-to-face meetings are more effective than teleconference calls. Believe me, there have been times that we were able to accomplish in two days something we couldn't in two months because we were all in the same room.

The other nice thing is getting out and running some place different. Doesn't always happen like the beginning of last week when I had my first trip to North Carolina. But, my schedule was a little more flexible the second trip down, so had a chance to get some miles in. I have given up the thought of doing a scheduled training run for marathon prep. I get in what I can and just have fun(?) running the race.

Below is a breakdown of my week on the road:

Sunday--Scheduled to fly down to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina at 5:30p. Because of stormy weather, actually didn't take off until 8p. Landed around 9:15p and got to the hotel around 9:45p. I was suppose meet up with my boss to get something to eat when I got there. But, instead, ate at Philadelphia airport before getting on the plane. I paid for the dinner with my business credit card. Waitress gave me the card back with the top corner (where the metal strip is) torn. Great. All transactions, for the trip, will need to be entered manually.

Monday--Early morning rise with meeting after meeting. Went out, that night, with people from work. Probably the most normal day of the week.

Tuesday--Busy all day with meetings once again. Scheduled to fly home on the 6p flight to Philadelphia. My boss is to fly back to Philadelphia on a different airline but we meet up in the same terminal. I get there around 4p and check my flight. There is a 4:30p flight to Philadelphia boarding. Wow!! I ask the person behind the ticket counter if there are any more seats available for the flight. She said, 'yes, would I like to change my flight?.' I promptly do so and run back to my boss to say good-bye. After telling him the news about my luck, he asks, 'what about your luggage?' Oh. I didn't think of that. I go back to the ticket counter and ask will my luggage follow? No. Damn. Ok, can you change me back to the 6p? Which she does. I have dinner with my boss and we part ways. I get off my flight and wait for my bags at the luggage carousel. And wait. And wait. No bags. Frustrated and tired, I go to the luggage counter and am ready to lay into them when, I see my bag. Just sitting there. Off to the side. Seems my luggage made the 4:30p afterall.

Wednesday--First time I had a chance to run since PDR. I have to go to pick up some meds for one of my dogs so decided, instead of Lake Galena, I would do the 7 mile loop up on the Delaware River. When I get there, it starts to rain. Usually, I don't like running in the rain but I didn't care. I HAD to get out there because I don't think my legs know how to run anymore. I had a lot of energy so probably pushed harder than I should have. No matter. It felt great and the rain held off through most of the run.

Thursday--Back to Raleigh/Durham, NC again. Got a 3:50p flight and everything was on time. I got to the hotel around 6p and ran in Research Triangle Park. I've been told that RTP is a town in North Carolina. Many businesses have campuses there. And, they have a nice jogging trail throughout the area. It's close to the hotel so I venture out there. I park off Cornwallis Road and do most of the run on Alexander Parkway. Running this path was like running on solid waves. There were no hills just constantly 'bumps' on the path that you can feel in the legs after awhile. I was planning on doing 5 miles but, got back to where I parked my car and decided to do one more. So, totaled six for the run.

Friday--Rather than going back to Philadelphia, I decided to stay an extra day in North Carolina and fly up to New England for a reunion with people from a radio station I worked at (about 20 years ago) that was being held on Saturday. Work was done so went out to find another place to run. I went back to the hotel and they suggested 'Al Buehler Cross Country Trail' on the Duke University campus in Duke Forest. (see plaque below)

This trail was an approximate 3 mile loop. This looked different. I want to do 8 miles so decided to stick with the 8 and walk/light jog the last mile for a cool down. My first clue should have been the name 'cross country trail'. The trail was a mix of dirt and sand with pine needles thrown about. It reminded me of male pattern baldness with pine needles here and there on the path but mostly to sides. I have to say I wasn't ready for the terrain. If there was flat on this path, I want to know where. It was a series of small hills and big hills, tough hills and not-so-tough hills, just going up and down in a forested setting. I didn't get winded but my legs were screaming. By the third lap, I knew what I was in store for so adjusted the mental aspect of the run. I saved myself knowing there was a tough hill coming up and 'let it out' on the downhills. All in all, it was a far different run than what I was used to doing and fun.

After the run, I had a chance to walk around the campus of Duke University. I went to the athletic fields and found one of the meccas of college basketball, Cameron Indoor Stadium. (pictured below is an outside shot of the arena and an indoor shot). I snuck in and found that the stadium was set up for a women's volleyball game between North Carolina and Duke. I stuck around for awhile to watch them practice and to just drink in the setting of where I was. This is one of the places you want to visit if you are fan of college basketball.

I went outside of the arena and walked around the Duke University stadium where they hold their football games and track meets. (see below)

I am glad I went to school in Boston but, if I ever had a second life, Duke would be a place to consider. Just a beautiful campus.
I went back to the hotel and cleaned up a bit before heading out to eat. I got on the elevator and got off the first floor. Doors opened and there, staring at me, were about 40 large guys in Carolina sweatsuits. Now, I'm 6 foot 3 inches and, I have to say, I felt small in comparison. I made my way through the crowd of polite young men. I went to the front desk to print out my boarding pass for the next day's flight and asked, 'who are they?' The person behind the front desk said, 'they are the University of North Carolina football team. They stay with us before every home game.' Now, I was thinking, 'don't they have dorm rooms?' Going to a school that didn't have big time athletics, I guess I didn't understand.
Saturday--Got up early to go to breakfast and fill up my car before heading to the airport. When I pulled into the gas station, I couldn't figure out how to open the fuel tank door. So, there I was, kneeling, walking around, checking every nook and cranny of my rental car, to figure out how to open the fuel door. There was no book in the car to tell me how. Frustrated, I left the station to have breakfast. I sat through breakfast just irked I was defeated. It can't be that difficult. After breakfast, I did the same fuel door dance in the lot of the Waffle House. I pushed the fuel door. Nothing. Then it dawned on me. Push the other side of the door. Viola! Problem solved.
I had to change planes in Baltimore. The guy on the plane next to me was in a hurry. He asked if I could let him off ahead of me. This threw my 'getting off my plane routine' but I let him go. Getting off the plane myself, I went to get a newspaper before sitting down for lunch. As I sat down, I realized I didn't have my glasses. Damn. I didn't take them out of the pocket in front of me on the plane. I had to run back to the plane. I waited for someone to come up from the plane and explained my situation. He motioned me to follow him. So, I did. And, started to explain where I thought the glasses were. He interrupted me and yelled back, 'hey, Ruth, I think I found the guy who left his glasses on board the plane.' I thanked him and slithered away.
Arrived into Providence, RI airport and went to my sister's house for the afternoon. As mentioned before, I was going to a reunion of old friends from a radio station I used to work at. Actually, it's where Steve(Runner) and I met and worked together. Steve(Runner) picked up and went into Boston, MA in the seaport district. I hadn't been there in years and it has completely changed. It is a funny thing of how areas that you know so well when living there can change so much to confuse you. It was good to see Steve and talk about his running, my running, his podcast and how our lives are doing. And, it was good to catch up with people that I haven't seen for awhile. It was a good group to work with.
Sunday--Finally, going home! I had brunch with my sister, brother-in-law and niece in Rhode Island before heading to the airport. I get home around 3:30p. The dogs are running around playing with each other. My wife tells me about the things they've gotten into since I left. The lawn needs cut. The leaves need to be raked. It was good to be home.
(Notes: Congratuations to the Philadelphia Phillies for winning their series against the Milwaukee Brewers and advancing the National League finals against the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you know Phillies history, the Dodgers prevented us from going to the World Series in the 1970s. Should be a great series.
If you haven't signed up, please consider doing the World Wide Festival of Races this weekend. It's an effort to bring the world to run one big race together. I'll be wearing number 1000 for the Half marathon challenge.
Also, does anybody have a solution on how to get rid of woodpeckers?)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where Am I Today?

Nothing too profound this week. Just a bit of a life update.

Since PDR, I have not run one day. Nothing. Maybe a brisk walk to the car in the driveway. But, that's about it. You see, my boss at work doesn't work in the same location as me. As a matter of fact, isn't even in the same country as me. Last week, he was in town. And, we had to catch up on projects that I am doing. When that happens, my schedule gets thrown out the window.

So, you are saying, that was last week. Your excuse this week?

Here is my schedule since last Saturday:

Saturday--started in PA, went to Long Island, NY all day, back to PA by 12:30a
Sunday--started in PA, flew (with 2 hour delay) to NC
Monday--all day in North Carolina
Tuesday--started in NC, flew back to PA
Wednesday (today)--all day in PA
Thursday--starting in PA, flying to NC
Friday--all day in NC
Saturday--starting in NC, flying to Massachusetts (Providence, RI to be exact)
Sunday--starting in MA, flying to PA

(And, I'm not even in sales!)

Somewhere, somewhere, I need to get some running in. Afterall, I have a marathon in, oh, 1 MONTH!!!!!!

Here is my plan this week (I'm not saying it's a good one, it's just a plan). I'll be running today and then the next two days in North Carolina. That's it. The whole plan. If we invaded Iraq with that plan, we might be stuck there for a few years (Wait a minute? Aren't we stuck...?).

I'm hoping to get back to a better work/life balance by next week. I have as much chance of doing that as the Dow falling 700 points in a single day. (Wait a minute? Didn't the Dow fall...?)