It has been awhile since I posted so here goes. (I am again on the DL for an injury that, as you’ll see, is completely unrelated to running.)

Last week-end wasn’t so great. On Friday night, backing out of my sister’s driveway I did not see a tree. In my defense it was dusk and the tree melded into the background. In any case, “boom” and a nice dent and shattered rear light. Ouch.

But on Friday I had a nice tempo run — 8 laps in just under 13 — and felt good. Saturday saw me getting ready to go out for a run in the heat when I slipped in my socks on the stairs. “Boom” and while my bad arm was unaffected, as was my butt, I somehow did something to my upper right arm and haven’t been able to run since, although I tried on Sunday morning with the group. I stopped when I couldn’t handle the ice-pick I felt hitting one spot on the arm with each step. After a few days of limited mobility with it, it finally seems to have turned the corner to betterness. I hoped it would be good enough for something on Saturday, but that that was not to be. A few strides in and the stabbing resumed. I’ve no choice other than to give it more time.

In the meantime, and after TalkShoe wouldn’t work for Sunday’s New York Running Show podcast, I hosted an episode of RunnersRoundTable. RRT was a weekly but after the founders backed off, Mark Ulrich has been valiently trying to keep it going, and there are monthly shows now. I chose the topic: Training for a Marathon. I had fun doing it, with Pete Larson and Craig MacFarlane. I doubted we could go for half-an-hour, but we clocked in at over 70 minutes.

Speaking of non-running, I bought myself a new guitar. A month-or-so ago I went into a house having a tag sale with my wife in Connecticut. I came upon a Gibson Les Paul 1960 reproduction for $1,700. Gibson has “re-issued” the Les Paul periodically, and this one had not been played often. I fiddled with it a bit but did not plug it into the amp.

It got me thinking. I’ve long had a Cort electric (as well as an acoustic and a couple of others, including a 12-string acoustic I bought in college and had forgotten about until I came upon it up in the attic; new set of strings and as good as new)), but hadn’t played them much in a while. When I got home, I plugged the Cort into my little amp and just played with it. Things have so changed in recent years. You can get virtually any song on YouTube and you can get the music — in the form of chord-charts and tablature (a graphic of a guitar’s six strings with numbers representing a note’s fret (such as a “5” on the A-string (which is a D))). Then for tuning, there’s a device you put on the guitar that tells you the pitch of each string, with a dial that moves until you’ve got the correct note, making tuning a snap.

This of course sent me on a course of thinking of a newer, better guitar. The Cort is a Fender Stratocaster knock-off, so I was thinking of something different and looked into hollow bodies and semi-hollow bodies. After a few visits to music stores, where you get to sit down with an amp and a bunch of guitars and hammer away, I went with an Epiphone semi-hollow body Sheraton II.

Several runners I know have performed (and are performing) professionally. I’m content with working through stuff — particularly on Blues stuff — and trying to figure out how to use a pick. With a piano, vamping on a jazz or blues piece is fun, but when I’ve tried it with rock it’s really boring. You can only play a C-chord in so many ways and given that rock is built around chords without a lot of alteration, I at least got stuck in a rut.

The guitar, though, is built for rock. That pedestrian C-chord can be played in all sorts of ways. It’s fun.

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