Friday, November 30, 2012

Sliding into home

 Well 2012 is winding up nicely and it was a year of mixed results running wise. I accomplished some nice goals but some other ones eluded me. This has led me to think about 2013 and what i want to accomplish in this upcoming year.

 First and foremost i am going o shrink back down a bit. I've have comfortably stayed in the Clydesdale division for literally my entire running history and the reality is that i will always be in the Clydesdale division but instead of being well into it I am going to strive to be on the fringe of it weight wise. This means I am looking to drop about 15lbs. next year primarily fat but also reshaping my muscle definition. I will still be over 200lbs. but i'd like to hang out around 220 instead of 235 which is where I have been all year.

 That's the main goal and as that gets accomplished my other goals of increasing my 5k, 10k and half marathon times should follow nicely.

 So to sum up

Immediate/ short term: goal refocus nutrition and begin to shed lbs. 15lbs. is the goal around 220lb.

medium range goal: increase times in the 5k, 10k, and especially half marathon time.

long term goal for 2013 anyway id the WDW Wine and Dine half Marathon. I want a time of 1hr 50 minutes. This is primary focus for 2013.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

running to celebrate everything

So this Dec. 8th is the second annual Staten Island Trail Festival. I yet again will be running the 25k distance. I'm excited to be running this race again but there's a giant elephant on the room or on the trails this year.

 The stupid storm Sandy that smashed Staten Island in late October left a level of destruction that was horrific and for those of us who didn't suffer any loss from Sandy we still at a minimum lost a week due to the chaos left in Sandy's wake. The following weeks after Sandy felt unsettled, the days were uneasy and again my house and my family lost nothing, suffered nothing. There are thousands who suffered actual loss from Sandy and those weeks were a twisted nightmare of flooded houses, streets filled with massive amounts of debris. Chaos and garbage were everywhere.

 In my neck of the woods it wasn't the flooding it was the downed trees. Massive trees that survived hundreds of storms. Wind, snow, ice these trees stood fast until Sandy. It was if Sandy was a petulant child having a temper tantrum knocking over her toys and smashing her blocks. Trees were picked up and thrown around like they were pixie sticks. Our beloved Greenbelt has certainly had its share of downed trees looked like the hand of a giant swatted down trees in a twisted rage. This giant just ran through the Greenbelt slapping trees down, kicking them over, flipping them ass over tea kettle leaving the trails in such disarray that the Greenbelt has been shut down since Sandy.

 I know that a crew of volunteers and professionals have been diligently putting the Greenbelt back together again. The Festival will go on with some necessary modifications to the trails but by the spring the new sections of trails will simply become the trails and we will run on.

 The race on the 8th was supposed to be the race I trained hard for gave 100% effort etc. etc. Sandy though,threw mine and everyone elses training for a loop, it cancelled the NYC Marathon for heavens sake. So today as I was driving home I decided that I am going to celebrate this race. I am going to celebrate my time running the actual race, the time I spent training, those I trained with and those I will run with. I celebrate my girls at home, our health and happiness, I will celebrate the year that was 2012 and the upcoming 2013. I  have already begun planning out 2013 and look forward to what it has to offer.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The demon named doubt

 This is going to be a very running centric post.

 You know when your alarm clock goes off and its freezing cold outside and still dark outside but you still shove those covers out of the way and put your running short pants on that's you kicking Doubt right in its balls.

 Today's run was brought to me by the letter U. U is for ugh. I felt awesome at the beginning of the run. My first crack in the armor was at the halfway point. I had just eaten a gel and I think it was giving me a Tummy Upset but after about 15 minutes I was back to feeling like a million bucks so onward and upward.

 I didn't feel any real pain until around the 13 mile mark and the only pain was from my legs freezing up as we waited for traffic to wane so we could cross the street. At the final crossing I knew that I was cooked. Even though i only had 1.7 miles left they felt looooonnnggggg so a path that I have run hundreds, that's probably a little high, dozens of times so much so that I know the terrain incredibly well and being that its a nice descent it's usually a great stretch of trail to finish up with.

 Not today Ladies and Germs, When I am exhausted I start looking for familiar markers and during the final mile and a half I was looking for every marker I could find. After you cross the little stream there is one mile to go, when you get to the intersection just past the dog run/ archery field there is 4 tenths of a mile to go. The last great marker is the Carousel, once you can see it through the trees you are just a sprint away.

 So where does Doubt enter the picture you ask? I'm glad you asked. Next to the little stream is an old chimney this is a big marker so it's one I always look out for even when I am feeling good. Today though I was staring ahead begging for that chimney to appear. The voice that says "You're done, start walking" was screaming in my head but I figured If I can get to the chimney than the rest of the trail is flat and easy. I crossed the stream and willed my nearly frozen legs to keep moving. I knew that a series of very crude wooden bridges were coming up and that voice was back telling me to walk at the bridges. "Don't you feel that pain? That is your legs telling you to quit."  Again I pressed on, by this time my form has devolved into some odd tribute to Igor from every Frankenstein movie ever made. I couldn't keep my head up for longer than a few seconds then it would start flopping around again. This time it wasn't the voice in my head telling me to quit it was my own inner dialogue telling me to duck out at the archery range instead of finishing that last 4 tenths of a mile.

 When all you have left is 4 tenths of a mile how do you not finish it? That was the voice in my head that won the debate I was having with myself. Doubt though wasn't finished quite yet. During that last little stretch my body wanted to stop, my mind wanted to stop and Doubt was screaming at me to quit. "Why continue? what is there to gain? You've done enough." I shut out every voice, ignored my screaming leg muscles and finished. When I was done I was exhausted. At least I could head right home, shower, eat and recover.......oh yeah i had to go to Costco and get garbage bags. Going to Costco with blown out legs is not a fun experience.

 The point of all this is that i knew i wanted to run the entire 25k course and i did. The voice of Doubt can be overwhelming at times but all of us have the ability to ignore it  and bust through it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

check, check, check, annnnnddddcheck.

Bin full of clay, check

parts for kickwheel arrived and in production, check

sketch book full of sketches, check

why am I blogging instead of creating....gotta feed the kids so I have a minute to be online.

see ya.

Friday, November 16, 2012

bearings, blocks, rods and shafts equals??????

 Coming from the magical elves who live in the village of  McMaster Carr is a series of bearing, pillow block, and flange, shafts, collars etc... all for what you ask.


 I threw out a ton of shit in the cellar last week, pulled the clay out from the dusty corner and designed a kickwheel to throw ceramics which I  am in the process of building. I've always felt a connection to clay the process in which it's and it's possibilities when it's finished. Most clay work shows the human touch when it's finished. A simple thrown pot has that long slow spiral from top to bottom that is from the human hand. A hand built product will inevitably have a fingerprint somewhere probably more by chance than on purpose but it's there. The way it can crack if it dries to fast, the rough hewn finish that can be enhanced from wood fire kiln or a pristine porcelain finish.

Endless possibilities, the fog has been lifted and I'm once again making stuff. Not for you, not for galleries, simply because I want to. the only reason that matters.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

if you don't know me by now

 What's new you ask? It isn't so much what's new as what's come back. A few years ago I put away all of my sculpting supplies. The clay was tucked away, all of my carving tools are sitting idle and my sketch books collected dust. 2009 I was part of a big outdoor show in NYC and I enjoyed being part of it but when the show ended it was like someone flicked a switch. i lost any interest in doing another piece of art. The desire was gone, the creative urge non existent, i always had a sketch book with me so i could scribble down thoughts that would pop into my head and they used to, a lot then it stopped. That section of my brain had gone blank, instead of the the constant swirl of oddball objects it was a dark vacumn of absolute nothingness.

 Lately though little sparks have been flickering about. I started doodling which was another constant that stopped then the constant swirl of these bulbous forms started coming back and I actually thought about making something again. Dealing with the Super Storm Sandy and seeing its aftermath has gotten me thinking and I started to realize that I have the desire to make something again and not another piece of furniture for the house but an actual piece of sculpture that came from my head and is shown life by my own hands. It will probably be made of clay but it could be carved from wood i' not sure yet.

 The first thing I am going to do is make a ceramic kick wheel. It's very simple to do and i have about 90% of what i need already.

 Once this begins I am hopeful that the creative floodgates burst wide open.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Throwing cynacism aside. Proudly optimistic

 A new resolution for myself. I am going to drop the cynical, sarcastic attitude that works quite well for a guy as he ages threw his 20's and 30's but as a man who is 41 with two girls that give me new hope and resolve every day that facade of looking at everything through a cynical lens loses its appeal.

 I have always been a optimist and I have always tried to look for the positives in every situation. It's not possible in every situation, some things are unfair and just plain suck and that's that.  I know that given a choice I will always gravitate to the positive.

 I am going to lead by example. I am going walk in a positive light. I am asking for you to join me. If you choose to wallow in a mire of cynical self pity well that's on you.