"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, January 7, 2008


Time for something less scientific.

Recent training
1/2. 4 miles in 32. Beginning of a cold coming on.
1/3. 12 in 106.
1/4. 12 in 104
1/5. 17.5 in 160 HR av=133 pk=147
1/6. 18 in 166.5 HR av=121 pk=141
1/7. 11 in 98.5 with Don D.

My fourth cold since September and this one's a doozy.

On Saturday, I went out to Mounds Park to do some hill work. The hill is 1.1 miles long, with 260 feet of elevation (there's a 110 foot tower at the top, which allows me to figure out the elevation by perspective). Ran it 8 times, which is probably some sort of record; my goal is to make it 17 times in five hours before the snow melts and I can start running trails again.

I am a city boy, though. I set my heart rate monitor to alarm me if I went under 124 or over 138. At this hill, the occasional airplane landing in St. Paul gets drowned out by the roar of traffic on I-94, the clang and squeal of trains on the levee, the continuous churn of trucks on the third street bridge overhead. Couldn't hear the monitor at all. This is my home, not the trails.

There's houses for sale along the bluff, which look like good investments, if one doesn't know the crime rate in Dayton's Bluff. Fun to see how seven generations of builders have worked out views of the river in the hills, twisting roads and trees. There's a mansion being remodeled, as it has been continuously for 25 years - I remember when one owner rode his motorcycle up the steps (past the piano on the porch) inside, because there was nowhere else safe to put it. I kept trying to recall where the old house on the bluff side was before it was torn down; I considered buying it for $1 at one time, but there was nowhere to move it that was convenient.

Three guys were flying model airplanes. I marveled at how silent they were, until I realized that gas engines in model airplanes is an antique idea. Hadn't kept up with the technology since I was 10 and last interested.

There's a sledding hill along the bluff and kids were taking advantage of the snow and weather, but it's not a great hill. Made me wonder where the old green toboggan in my basement went. Lots of people were out walking their dogs and I saw six other runners, though none of them going both up and down the hill.

Where I parked, in the new Bruce Vento regional Park at the hill's bottom, there was an unusual number of cars. They were there scouting for a program where they're renovating a house, a business and a public space. This is the public space chosen - and it needs it! It's sad to see the old Carver's Cave, with iron doors half submerged in water, but that's not going to change. Nor will seeing signs of hobo campfires.

I sneezed and learned my sinuses can hold 6 ounces of fluid. Now aren't you glad I don't post pictures?

There's a character in the book "Trainspotting" named Sick Boy. And that was me that day. So I started to sing to myself "Sick Boy" by Social Distortion. I may not look it, but I was always a punk rocker. That led me to the new song by the Teddy Bears, "Punkrocker," featuring Iggy Pop on vocals. My head kept repeating: I'm sick of feeling good. I'm tired of feeling good. I'm done with being good... "'Cuz I'm a punkrocker, yes, I am. Well, I'm a punkrocker, yes I am."

Whenever I coughed, there was a sharp pain in my abdomen, but it was okay if I bent at the right hip (an odd maneuver when running). The last three miles were tougher than expected and the ice was starting to refreeze in the shadows, making things harder. I knew I planned my first back-to-back long runs this weekend and there was another three hours the next day, so I called it a day.

When I got home, I had shaking chills and a fever. But I felt a lot better.


Runner Brewer said...

Be concerned if you see a baby crawling across the ceiling.

I saw the movie, did not read the book.

Kel said...

Sorry to hear that you're under the weather again. As Mary Chapin Carpenter would say, "Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug."

Get well soon!

aharmer said...

Wow, you decided to ramp the mileage up in a hurry! Hopefully you can make it Feb 2.