I haven’t posted in a while because, well, things have not been going so well. Nothing apparently to do with the surgery. A couple of weeks back as I was building up (albeit in slight increments) I suddenly had a pain in my shoulder. It hit me only when I ran. And it hasn’t gone away. So I’m seeing an orthopedist tomorrow to find out what it is. It just came out of nowhere.

Hence the silence. I’d hoped to be up to five laps of the Lake. But it was not to be. Yet.

A lazy post

Fairly momentous 24 hours.

Last night for the first time I played in band in a gig. The band is “The No Cover Band” and it consists of a couple of guys on guitar, a woman singer, and me on the bass. The songs are all written by the lead singer, although I hope to get some of mine in the rotation. We’ve been rehearsing for months. Last night was the first show. It was a Desmond’s, an Irish pub on Park Avenue South just south of 30th.

I’ve played the song many many times, but I was afraid that I’d miss switches from verse to chorus and vice versa. I knew the verse. I knew the chorus. But because my focus is on the music — I don’t sing — so I’m not using the lyrics to lead me.

I played alright. I missed a couple of spots but I don’t know that anyone notices. The crowd seemed to like it. Strangely, as we were playing I looked up and saw a rodeo on one of the TVs. I looked at it wondering what a rodeo was doing on a TV in a Manhattan bar.

It was fun, and I look forward to doing it again some day.

This morning I ran. It’s probably two months since I last did so. It was hard. But I managed to get just under 2 miles in. Amazing how much you lose without doing it, but I hope it’ll come back. I hope.

I took down some posts that were more detailed than they should have been. Bottom line is that right now everything is looking good and I’m feeling good. I have another week to go before I can lace up again, and I’m quite looking forward to it. In the meantime, I’ve been walking more and more.

This morning I did two laps of Twin Lakes. I took a bunch of photos, and created a movie. I didn’t realize when I added the music that it had specific “lake” references.

I walked for 40 minutes today. With surgery coming next week and no serious exercise until mid-April, I’ve been free of the where-to-run concerns that normally would occupy me this time of year, a not unpleasant development given the current weather.

So I’ve gotten lazy. My weight ballooned to 180, where it has never been, so I have to get back to at least getting some exercise.

Today, as I turned on Sherman Street in Bronxville, I had a wave of recollection. Like a whiff of a perfume that reminds of a long-ago lover, I was suddenly turning onto Sherman on a chilly winter’s night — to keep off main roads I had a plethora of complicated routes — with a smooth stride and going fast as I entered the final mile-and-a-half of my run. It’s these little things and not so much the complexity of a race experience that are the foundation of my running. So I hope to re-kindle that come April.

One thing I won’t be doing is Paine to Pain. Too “technical” and risky for my money, much as I’d love to wipe my disastrous experience away. But RD Eric Turkewitz put me in touch with Trail Runner Magazine, and I wrote a short piece on the race. I don’t have a copy, although Eric posted a photo of the article on Facebook.

I’m not running much. I have to have an operation in early March — straight-forward but necessary — and hard exercise is verboten until mid-April so if one needs an excuse not to run, that’s a good one.

It gives me a rare opportunity to assess things, as opposed to the opportunity-forced-by-injury. And I will be able to focus on preparatory stuff before hitting the roads and trails again and maybe start in better core shape than is my usual.

Will the fires be re-ignited? Who knows. But I’ve noted the simple exhilaration of the run. Whether that will translate into serious training remains to be seen.

In the meantime, it’s all about that bass. (I’m in a band with our first gig in early April in the City and starting up with a second group in Westchester. I played a few times with a couple of electrics and drums whose bassist moved away; it was fun, but too, too loud for me so I had to back out.)

(I came upon the foregoing because I enjoy Postmodern Jukebox. I thought it was a cover for something older and only later learned it was something contemporaneous.)

I had a nice two-laps of Twin Lakes yesterday. I’m a bit concerned about the major renovations going on there. The County is attempting to resolve chronic drainage issues that leave certain spots quite muddy after a large rain. It is using some sort of crushed stone to do it and has been widening the trail. Stretches that were wonderful dirt are now not-so-wonderful stone. The price of progress perhaps. I hope things stabilize and become more natural come the Spring.

Today, it was 45. A nice run into Bronxville, but I faded and ended up stopping at about 2.5. Still a good run.

I ran today. 2.2789 miles, or so, per gmap-pedometer. It was a struggle over the last 3/4 but I made it. 2014 did not have as many runs as I might have liked, what with injuries — never “serious” but often requiring a decent lay-off — and the days when the motivation to get out in the morning was lacking. One race in 2014. The Scarsdale 15K, which I ran something like (I’m not looking it up) 8 minutes slower than in 2006.

On the other hand, I’ve taken to relishing Sunday morning runs at Twin Lakes where I simply do counterclockwise laps. I got up to five when an injury of some sort or another got me. As to Twin Lakes, major changes going on, with resurfacing to smooth parts out and avoid drainage problems. Right now, it seems overdone in spots, but in time let’s hope it becomes more natural. I also wrote an article, which was heavily edited, that will appear in Trail Runner magazine in the spring, on the Paine-to-Pain race.

If there’s one resolution, it’s to work on injury-avoidance. Right now I’m taking it one run, one stride at a time. It is what it is.

As to music, it looks like the band, still unnamed, will be having its first gig, on April 9 in Manhattan. One always aspires to be “in the band” and I may get my chance. I’ve also started to play with a couple of electrics and drum in Mount Vernon, also playing originals. They’re all younger than I am (unlike the other band, which is two acoustics (plugged in) and bass) and we’ll see how that turns out. So far, though, I’ve yet to get one of my own songs into the set. I’m trying to figure which of my songs would be compatible with the way the others play and the types of music they write.

Playing lots of Bach to work on my bass technique. I’m still posting songs on SoundCloud, now with a bit of piano, on which I’ve been writing more and more. I’m finding it tricky mastering comping, which is accompanying, on the piano, but it’s coming.

I play the bass with folks who are in a band that is playing on the marathon course. So I took one of its songs, I customized it for NY, entitled “Gotta Go To New York”. (The original is “Gotta Go To Rehab.”) Music by Allen Reid.

Gotta Go To New York

[Verse]

Gotta Go to New York
Lyrics by Joe Garland, Music by Allen Reid

[Verse]
It’s cold and dark outside. You’re out of bed.
If you had any sense you’d be sleeping late instead.
But somehow you get your bones out the door.
This November morning is what all the training’s for.

[Chorus]
Gotta go to New York. It’s where everyone wants to race.
Gotta go to New York. Make sure to find the right pace.
Gotta go to New York. It’s were everyone wants to go.
And it all starts at the Verrazano.

It’s when you get off the bridge that you first see the crowd.
And you never knew people could be so loud.
On Fourth Avenue you see the bank tower ahead.
But not too fast or by the Bronx you’ll be dead.

Barclay’s and BAM to Bedford Avenue.
Through Williamsburg and Greenpoint and you’re suddenly half-way through.
Into Queens, Long Island City, still feeling good.
And people still everywhere in this neighborhood.

Then the 59th Street Bridge or whatever they’re calling it today.
So many people rocking you think you feel it sway.
Then some sharp turns and you’re heading up First.
You hope for the best and fear for the worst.

Gotta go to New York. It’s where everyone wants to race.
Gotta go to New York. Make sure to find the right pace.
Gotta go to New York. It’s were everyone wants to go.
And it all starts at the Verrazano.

Into the Bronx but not for very long.
You want to look like you’re still feeling strong.
Back into Manhattan now you’re in the final five.
On Fifth Avenue Harlem comes alive.

Whoa there’s a mile hill just past Duke.
No one told you about that and you just might puke.
But the crowd carries you through mile 23.
You’re where you wondered whether you’d ever be.

Gotta go to New York. It’s where everyone wants to race.
Gotta go to New York. Make sure to find the right pace.
Gotta go to New York. It’s were everyone wants to go.
And it all starts at the Verrazano.

Now you’re in the Park but you’re all alone.
It’s just you and you to the end you’re on your own.
Still it’s beautiful as the trees are turning red.
There’s no other place you’d rather be instead.

Then past the Met, down the hill, wave to the cat.
The slight upgrade at 72nd, no one told you about that.
You make it through mile 25 and one mile to go.
You pass more and more of people getting slow.

Then back into the Park, the crowd goes wild.
And you can’t believe you’re in the final mile.
Though there’s a little hill to the finish line.
You don’t notice, suddenly you’re feeling fine.

Now you’ve done New York. It’s now your favorite race.
Now you’ve done New York. Sweat dripping down your face.
Now you’ve done New York. And you’re feeling dead.
You feel sorry for those who stayed in bed.

I had this idea but never put it down. Simple, really. It involves getting a place to stay when traveling to a race.

In 1985 Chip Carey and I drove up from New York for the Plymouth Rock to Provincetown relay, a 10-leg event populated mostly by Boston-area clubs. Indeed, Chip and I were running for the Cambridge Sports Union or some such — Chip had an MIT-degree I believe — and as the two New Yorkers, we were assigned the last 2 legs, which gave us time to get there. It was a Saturday race, and we drove up on Friday night, staying, and here’s the point, at a house in Newport RI at a friend of a friend of Chip’s. We also stayed at someone’s place in Boston before heading home on Sunday. Or in the first Shelter Island 10K, I stayed with Doug Broder, who had a house on the island, and he had two elite runners stay for the night after the race (which began late in the day).

Compare this to having to book a room at a hotel for a few nights. For some it mightn’t matter. But for others it would. So take the Boston Marathon. With entry fee and travel expense saving hundreds of dollars could help out lots of folks for whom the event has become too expensive.

My idea is to have members of a local club with rooms to spare make them available for a couple of days to people in town for the race. It would be run under the auspices of running clubs. So take the Greater Boston Track Club. A member has a room for three nights in April 2015. The GBTC gets credit for 3 rooms. Meanwhile, a Warren Streeter can have someone stay for 3 nights before New York. A member of GBTC — how the credits are assigned is an internal club-matter — can spend those 3 credits on the place in New York. Or maybe from rooms available in London by the Serpentine Club. A pool of rooms and the chance to share local knowledge with someone.

Basically it’s club runners vouching for other club runners. Like the Elks. Three days would probably be the most anyone could expect, but that’s three days off of a New York hotel bill and that’s real money.

I thought of this because it was mentioned that Airbnb is a sponsor of the NYC Marathon.

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 117,939 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 182 other followers

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 182 other followers