Monday, July 8, 2013

Well after a long absence from this blog I have decided to launch back into it. From the start it was a log (I guess that is where the word "blog" comes from anyway) for a journey and it was intended to be a recording of personal thoughts that were mainly for me, somewhat for those that knew me, and then for whomever stumbled onto it. My ego is sufficiently inflated that I want to sound clever and bright and interesting all the time and I occasionally succeed so I am certainly successful in not achieving the all the time dilemma. So I am twisting this into becoming a running blog, at least for a while. The whole thing stated with a run, if I had not starting running I would have never had the heart congestion revealed to me in a relatively benign way, so running is part of what I am supposed to do. My aim is to run a Half Marathon in this year's 2013 Army Run in Ottawa. That is what I am going to write about and today is just a starting paragraph or few Back to writing for that one person .... me!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I am just back from a week in Arizona for a work conference. We were at a Desert Inn Conference Centre in Phoenix – the place was very nice but I had sort of envisioned a resort in the desert. I guess that is precisely as advertised because most of Phoenix is in the desert I guess and this place was in Phoenix and surrounded by highways, roads, homes, and shopping. I also did not think that palm trees were indigenous to the Arizonan desert but there is no shortage of palm trees. But I did run – I managed to do three outside runs and it was nice to run in someone warm weather. (I did a couple of treadmill sessions but the gym was bus, busy, busy) Well not that warm. The temperature in the morning before seven a.m. was likely under 10 degrees and the Friday morning, when I did not run, there was a frost warning . The most interesting run was on the golf course one day when we finished early (just after 5:00 p.m.) . I must have seen a hundred bunny rabbits and at least two coyotes. Thank God it was too cold for the snakes. The conference was intense as was the travel so today I rested. But I did sign up for the Kilt Run in Perth. It’s good to be back.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Well if you can believe Environment Canada and the outside temperature indicator on my car it was about minus 25 C tonight when I ventured to meet up my Wednesday Night Running Group. I was going to treadmill, but decided to go and see if anyone else showed up. One lady did but decided wisely to bale and I was waiting to see if anyone would show up and one lady did. Yikes! So we waited for 10 minutes and at 6:05 I set the Gymboss for ten and ones, hit start on the Suunto, pulled up the Buff over my mouth and nose, pulled down my Crazy Monkey Hat as far as it would go , and away we went. The sidewalks were rough, covered in ice and hard pack snow with bare concrete here and there. The streets were a bit better but despite reflective bands and lights we were cautious. We decided to run to the local aerospace plant and back – that would be 5K (almost) Well my fingers got cold despite gloves and I had to ball up my fists to keep warm. I pulled down the Buff as it was just getting covered in breath moisture and mucus (charming, I know) . Running was hard due to the surface conditions. But, Orion was in full glory rising up in the south east. Jupiter was on fire. The crunching snow and ice sounded like a Mariachi Band . And we talked, and postulated, and laughed. Before we knew it we were back . over 40 minutes but given the cold and the rough trail, not bad! We are runners in the night, breathing in the good air and exhaling even better air. We felt the night on our faces, and in our lungs, and in our hearts. We were alive!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Last night, the last day of December and the last day of 2012 I did something that I had planned to do exactly three years previously. I had signed up to do the Resolution Run on December 31st, 2009 I had signed up to run the 5K - I even had a bib number : 672 but I could not run it. It was really this run that saved my life - if I had not decided to sign up for the Resolution Run of 2009 I would not have discovered that those blogged artery things and I would not have been on the journey. I have been running now since a Learn to Run in February of 2011 and now have no problem running 5 K on a regular basis. SO I am now shifting this blog to a running blog. Here is the deal - last night I ran the Resolution Run along the canal in Ottawa. Today was a rest day (also an open house day at our house) Will I run tomorrow? That is my will, but I have learned that my will is not the will that runs the world. But I am going to set out my plan, for formal runs this year: 10K - Carp Diefenbunker in May 2013 10K - Ottawa Race Weekend in May 2013 8K - Perth Kilt Run in June 2013 5K - McNab Braeside Tartan Run in June 2013 Distance To Be Determined - Ottawa Army Run in September 2013 Distance To Be Determined - Stittsville Nine Run Run in October 2013 5K - Arnprior Unity Run in October 2013 5K - Arnprior Solstice Run in December 2013 5K - Ottawa Resolution Run in December 2013 I had to put this in writing - now we will see what happens. Again I know my will but I am getting another stress test, hopefully in a couple of months, and we will see whose will gets carried out. My heart, my lungs, my knees, and most of all my acceptance shall be put to the test.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012: The madness is still here. School Children and Firefighters have been slain by men with guns in the United States. In Pakistan women valiantly trying to inoculate children against the scourge of polio are killed by ignorant and stupid men. The stories about reduced ice in both poles, and how that fits into every rational explanation about climate change is still ignored by those that have been granted power to do something about it. So nothing has changed: The Romans who occupied and brutalized Palestine two thousand years ago would fit in perfectly into today’s world. But why do I feel so full of hope and faith and love tonight? Is it because of listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing Christmas Carols? Is it the warmth of the fireplace? Is it the bitter cold and snow blanket that is just on the other side of the door? Is it the brightly lit tree (real fir!)? Something happened two thousand years ago. Sitting here in the Ottawa Valley I feel like I am in the best part of the best country in the world at the best possible time, I cannot imagine living in in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum , or any other town of village there at that time. If your best friend was King Herod and your worst enemy was the Roman Occupier it is not much of an existence. Yet out of this murky pond of brutality and oppression something emerged. Whatever, or whoever emerged has created a fire that shines rays of trust, hope, charity, faith, love, understanding, cooperation, learning, teaching, and beauty wherever it light is allowed to shine. It not about details of geography, about historical timing, or the mechanics of biology. When you are cold you want to get warm – you don’t worry about the details of what kind of fire you have, is it from spruce or oak or even coal. I think that the biggest mistake people make is think that the warmth of the fire is secondary, and all that matters is the type of fuel. So enjoy the warmth of Christmas, it is there for all and free for the taking. Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 5
Today I was looking at the barren cross at church and I wondered which symbol today, in 2012 is more powerful: The Cross or the Nike Swish? The Swish has a a lot going for it. Take a pair of soft shoes, call them running shoes, colour them exotically, add the Swish and people will line up all night and riot for them. I laugh at that, I cluck condescendingly, but I will pay triple the price for a T shirt for the addition of the Swish. Of course there is a bit of a dark side to the Swish: Making shoes and garments is a low paying job and we in the West have for the most part farmed that out to the poorest of the poor in the East. So do I worship the Swish? I would say no, but my actions perhaps speak for themselves.

The Cross has a rougher go. I have never lined up for the Cross. I do not venerate it. I can criticize the Cross for past abuses, scandals, and mistakes. Wars and murders have been committed under the banner of the Cross. But the main thing I do is take the Cross for granted. I think that the Cross will always be there. I think that I can look at the Cross anytime I want. But I know that is not in a good chunk of the world this is not the case.

I guess my ideal Cross is my private cross. No one can see it except for me. It is big enough to have be an instrument of torture and death. I can see nail holes but I don't know if it is real or an illusion. It bugs me, it confuses me, it frustrates me that there are no answers.

So the Swish or the Cross? The Swish is easy and fun, the Cross is neither. So do I take the easy road, the soft and gentle way? I think not ... it is Lent after all and that is enough of a thing to learn on the fifth day.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 4
Today, was the best day for my back and that let me do 6 k on the treadmill,so right way it was a wonderful day. I baked some really good bread with dried cherries and hazelnuts that made a great dinner (a good bread makes a wonderful meal - all we had with it was a small piece of cheese)
We went a saw a silent movie from Germany made in 1920 "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" that had live music with it from a group called the Hilotons.
I met some friends and we had a very interesting discussion on spirituality. it was good to be inside today as there was a bitter wind that acted as a sharp lens to the somewhat chilly minus 12 temperature.
I guess that today's lesson is that health, pain free health, is a great gift. The ability to make one's own bread is a gift. And it was a gift to have been able to feel a film that people made who had just endured the First World War and could not imagine the horrors that were less than two decades away. I really think there is a very big lesson there as well
But sleep beckons so the contemplation may have to wait.