Running continues to increase.
On Tuesday I did a significant hill run for 6.5 miles total and then a relatively flat out-and-back for 8.4 on Thursday.
Both were at the prompting of a running buddy I meet up with around lunch time. I felt great after each run.
Thursday, in particular, was one of those cool days (temps were in the high 30s) where the sun shone brightly and crisply, I wasn’t sure my legs were ever going to warm up but once they did I found myself gliding.
I ran forty minutes out and about 35-to-37 minutes back. I left my Garmen at home, so I was unburdened by the constant checking to see how well, or how poorly, I was running.
I know that plays its part every once in a while — running with no expectations, no record keeping. (Of course, I did sort of cheat because I knew my friend had his iPhone GPS and a watch I could check when we were done.)
At the beginning of that run my friend and I also discussed plans for January.
Am I joining the Bob Ronker running group again? Ohio or Kentucky?
I want to. I hope to. I probably will, even if it means only getting to run half the time with the group because of my work schedule.
Basically, the way my schedule stands, I’ll be able to do the hill portion and speed training part of group training Wednesday nights, and have to find the motivation (and time) to do the distance runs on the weekend by myself.
On Friday I did close one eye, squinted the other and wrote an email request to my boss, hit send, and crossed my fingers to see if I may be able to come in later on Saturday mornings, or even work the evening shift, January through March for early morning weekend training.
Now I just have to wait and see, and hope I didn’t make an ass out of myself for even asking.
On a completely unrelated note
After the run Thursday and before work, I went to Wal-Mart to buy a few strands of Christmas lights for my front porch.
(Yes I live alone. Yes, I have no children. And yes, I still feel compelled to put up a tree and decorate the outside of my home for myself. A lot of you won’t understand this. I swear this compulsion is genetic. You should see my parents’ house.)
The purchasing of the lights, it had to be the lights, lead me into thinking about one of my favorite Christmas stories, “Superman: Peace on Earth.”
“Peace” was one of a series of four over-sized, painted glossy comic books DC Comics released between 1998-2001 commemorating its most iconic heroes. Each book was written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Alex Ross.
And each book reflected some philosophical aspect of humanity embodied in the four icons. The plots were rather simple: Heroes somewhat despaired over some aspect of humanity, some super-heroic action took place with mixed results, and the story ended with an upbeat message to illustrate the heroics of everyday decisions and actions over the miraculous feats of the powerfully imbued.
(If this ever comes up on some nerd version of Trivial Pursuit the heroes/themes were as follows: Superman/peace, Batman/war, Wonder Woman/truth, and Shazam!/hope. And yes, I know. I know. Christmas lights, comic books. I’m 35. I’m a little too old for this. I am weird. But damn it, I only read alternative press — black and white pencil sketched books like Berlin Book One: City of Stones now, I swear!)
Anyway, in Wal-Mart purchasing Christmas lights on Thursday after a great run it just hit me how wonderful “Peace’s” message was.
The basic set up along the formulaic line is this: after a frustrating day as reporter Clark Kent during the holidays, dealing with issues of hunger, oppression, and despair, Superman decides his gift to the world will be to deliver food and grain to all the hungry people and attempt to end so much of the violence in it.
He does, with mixed results in multiple scenarios. In one as soon as he leaves grain to those in need oppressors, the root cause of much of the poverty, come in and take what he delivers. The evil in the world are defiant and Superman is faced with a decision, trade violence for violence in a fight that he could no doubt win and impose his will through an iron fist or try to find another way.
In the end of the story Clark Kent is showing a group of young people how to plant seed like his father did with him growing up in Kansas. He is acting as an example of personal responsibility, self-sacrifice, and using one’s own experience as an idealistic and positive force for change in a sometimes ugly world.
Like I said, a simplistic tail that somehow felt totally appropriate as I walked out of Wal-Mart, with a string of colored lights thinking tenuously about what the holiday season really is supposed to mean.