Dec 17

A nice medium-run on old haunts

If you look way down this pedestrian lane, you’ll see The Yankee:

This is a mile-long bridge, and if it wasn’t for all of that chainlink, which is at times brings up feelings claustrophobic, and then absurdly pointless, it would feel meditative. It is a relatively new bridge. It’s only about 15 or so years old, already on its second name. It was originally the Patton Island Bridge, but now it is the more elegant, and historical, Singing River Bridge, which is the name the Yuchi tribe gave to the Tennessee River.

Most of the road traffic goes over this bridge, but it hasn’t always been that way, of course. Just a few miles away, there’s a dam.

This is a view from Wilson Dam, which was built between 1918-1924 and was later incorporated into the Tennessee Valley Authority:

It is a narrow, two-lane dam. It was always a bit intimidating when I was a kid. My mom and I would drive it, one of the last little bits of road on the two-hour trip to my grandparents. And she would tell me about how she learned how to drive on that dam, in the snow.

Well, I haven’t done that. But last summer I did ride my bike over the dam. And this weekend I ran over it. (On the sidewalk.)

It has less traffic now, because of the Singing River Bridge, but it is still narrow:

Here we are on the dam, midway through our run, still on the sidewalk:

The dam, named after President Woodrow Wilson, was put on the historic registry in 1966, and boasts the highest single lift lock east of the Rocky Mountains.

And here’s the Wilson Dam, once more, from the Singing River Bridge:

It was a seven-mile run, and it was fun, the weather was pleasant, and uncomfortable. I was beginning to think my shoes might be done. And after a three-mile run today, and checking the miles on this pair of Saucony, I decided it was official:

So, at 300 miles, on the nose, actually, I have to go shopping for new jogging shoes.

Elsewhere, there was plenty of family and visiting this weekend. Heading back out tomorrow for a few more days of work, and then more holidays.

More on Twitter and on Instagram.

Nov 17

Well then …

Me and the moon tonight, on a solo 5K run.

Though, really, it might have been 6 p.m. by then. Who can say this time of year?

I told The Yankee to run without me because my schedule is weird and if she waits for me she’s going to be running at night and that’s not her favorite thing to do. So she can running earlier some days and I can run later in the evenings. One interesting thing about that, I figured, is that I could try to do some different things.

So I decided I’d try to work down below an arbitrary 5K time goal. Pick a round number and sneak in a run just under it. Big sprints at the end count, after all. This would take a few days or a couple of weeks, I figured. And then I did it on the first attempt. I got in a great last mile.

Which means I have to come up with another time goal. And, friends, the followup goals are always more difficult than the initial ones.

Nov 17

Back at it today

We made it back home yesterday. No one was more pleased than her:

She’s such a great traveler. We don’t let her in the driver’s seat, but she splits her time napping in the back and cuddling whoever the passenger is at the time. She’ll look out the windows, the big trucks either intrigue her or freak her out, but she’s very calm about the whole thing. When we slow down, she perks up a bit. Maybe we’re there. But if you think about a long drive, there’s a lot of disappointment in that as the defining characteristic.

We hang the left and then the right into the neighborhood, though, we hit a roundabout and you start doing that crawling neighborhood speed and she knows something is up. She’s up in the windows checking everything out. You’d think she thinks she recognizes it, but she only knows these views by the way of the windshield. She’s an inside cat.

But then you hit the garage door, turn into the drive and then she knows and this patient passenger turns into a dashboard diva.

It sorta works against her. She wants out of the car — through the windshield if need be — but climbing up there hampers her exit from the Magic Moving Box.

We ran a turkey trot this weekend:

The Yankee won her age group. I won my age group.

This was the course, which I ran in the wrong shoes, because I realized about two hours into the drive, that I’d forgotten my running sneakers. So I ran it in my walking sneakers.

They are walking sneakers for a reason: they were lousy running sneakers.

On our drive back we found some cotton fields that hadn’t been harvested yet. We, of course, had to stop for pictures:

I wonder why it was still in the fields. People that passed by probably wondered the same about us, though.

Oct 17

“Have you seen any . . . Martians?”

I produced a podcast today. Actually I just ran the board for it, but some people use those words interchangeably. They shouldn’t — and I’m on a mission to civilize! — but they do. I simply sat behind an Axia console and made sure the levels were consistent and the computer was recording. I did this because the students who normally do it couldn’t join the production today, so I sat with the dean and his two guests from another part of the university:

And they talked about Orson Welles — Indiana University possesses what is believed to be the most extensive collection of Welles performances — and, specifically, the War of the Worlds. You can hear the show here:

And you can find the whole collection here.

After work there was just time enough for a cold evening run:

I’ve found it takes about three-quarters of a mile to run off the initial chill. I’ve found that there’s a particular dip in the path behind the house where the cold air coming off the creek pushes up out of the trees and drops the temperature by about five degrees. And I’ve found that I can run in shorts and a t-shirt, but I’m going to be using gloves a lot.

Oct 17

And how was your weekend?

We went to a soccer game on Saturday night. It was the last game of the regular season for the Hoosiers, who are looking to make a postseason run to their ninth national championship. And on this last night Indiana and the Spartans played shutout soccer for 90 minutes.

And then they played 10 minutes of a tense overtime.

And then they played nine more minutes of a second overtime. In the final moment, IU looked to capitalize on another set piece with the freshman Mason Toye lined up a direct kick:

I knew he was going to put the game-winner in and run right to my camera. It’s a skill.

We went for a run on Saturday, this was The Yankee’s first run since her Ironman. (She’s ahead of a mere mortal’s schedule.) It was short, but it was fast. She’s passing me and blurry!

So I mentioned fall is here. Just in case it disappears in 15 mintues, here are a few photographs:

You can never really capture autumn:

It never keeps us from trying. It’s a vain attempt to forestall winter, a desperate ego, that wants more sunshine and warmth.

Or is that just me?

Today, it was raining, and this evening was a perfect time for a 2.65 mile neighborhood run.‬ I’m documenting this because it won’t be long, now, before I’ll be missing days like this: