Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Springtime Movement...Or Lack Thereof

An ironic title as the past two days have been met with bodily resistance in the form of a cold/allergies. It’s amazing how much of a drain such is on you physically; my limbs hang heavy and merely…well, ache.

Sadness is the lack of a Tuesday lunch run for the fourth-consecutive week. So much for consistency.  Hip tightness is starting to improve, at least was as of last run. Hoping to get out and get at least a pair of runs in this week. It’s hard to believe that this 10 miler is a month away.

I walked by a riding lawnmower as it spun around to trim a three-foot patch of grass up in the Lincoln Park campus this afternoon, and one of my favorite smells hit me. The scent of freshly cut grass, especially the first whiff of the season helps me know its actually spring. I could care less about the raining (as long as its over 60, doesn’t bother me) but its helpful to know that warmer weather is ahead.

By this weekend, I feel like I’ll be completely caught up and present with all my coursework. Sad that it’s already halfway through the quarter. To have six weeks between the fall and winter term, then a lone week of spring break bridging winter to spring…brutal. Don’t know if I would have made it as an undergrad. 

I write this from a iMac in a DePaul lab (a room where I have had five of my eight courses thus far in this educational journey) and I have to say the keyboard/mouse combo is unsettling. Too flat and the mouse is uninviting to the curvature of my hand. Not to mention the fact that I almost crashed the pretty computer (its one of the new iMacs, not a throwback to the ones colored like fruit that I so desperately wanted) off the desk and onto my lap by shifting my weight at the base of the desk. That would have been hard to explain. 

Now I drift off to my New Media Market Dynamics course. I feel like I'm in a fog; hopefully my mini presentation fails to reflect such and/or my level of bullshitery is up to snuff.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Staying Social: My 1000th Tweet

Today is a big day. Not only is this the first run I’ve had in a week, but more interestingly in a professional sense, today I compose my 1,000th tweet. For the occasion, I give you my prepared statement on the milestone:

“I am very humbled in front of my digital contemporaries present today, staying true to communicating things I find interesting.”

127 characters will have to suffice. 

Discovered a new social running component, present already on the right hand side of this page. I like it’s digital simplicity and in a way, it forces me to elaborate on my daily runs elsewhere. Thanks, daily mile.
The fact that I have now been consistent with running over my lunch break on Tuesdays for three consecutive weeks is self-impressive .  Those who know me certainly are aware of my incredible levels of indecisiveness and uncertainty, but to remain committed with a specific timeframe for working out in spite of a very long day (my Tuesday class does not let out early), that says something about what I’m slowly but surely trying to get going here.

And of all days, too. Raining for most of the morning, wind howling, scraping not one but both of my office window panes as a constant reminder of “hey, in case you were unaware, its gross outside!” I used my keen Skillingskills to predict the time of lowest precipitation and suited up for the great outdoors.

If I have yet to mention it, I am avoiding treadmills at all cost from this point on. I feel that the harder repetitive surface is what flared up last year’s super-happy-ankle funtime prior to the ten miler, and I would like to avoid repeating such. 

So, with no interest in running on a treadmill (probably should state that my legs have gone a few days without shaving—a massive neurotic pet peeve of mine) alongside individuals who walk on an incline in cutoff tshirts, clutching walkmans…ah, off track—focus! –I suited up and headed outdoors.

I didn’t want to place too much thought into running with the wind in my face or my back, especially with the thoughts of Boston still fresh in my mind. So I just went, bounding along Halsted with very few people in my way. 

Up and over the bridge on 18th street that spans the river, my go-to lone incline of merit round these parts. Can feel my core connected with the run; I am amazed at how just naturally strong I am internally without really offering much workout support to the ab region. Makes me wonder if I ever purposefully engaged that region what the end results could be.

Down to Indiana and back to Halsted, up to Roosevelt is around four miles; I like this U-shaped course starting at the FAC; feels safe but considerably isolated at the right portions of the run. For five miles, I turn up Michigan off of 18th street and go all the way to Roosevelt and repeat, but I wanted to take it a bit easier this afternoon, especially with the risk of rain returning during the end of my trek.

The best part of my run was the “A-ha!” moment of invention and innovation that struck me at 18th and Canal, which I hope to eventually share over the next few weeks. It is the basis for my business model project for my New Media Market Dynamics course, and I have to say, it’s potentially a brilliant idea, both in theory and in practice. Stay tuned.

As a personal, vocalized aside, I’d like to start recounting favorite memories from runs and races of yore, mainly to start compiling these thoughts while I can still access them in whichever lobe they reside. I’m starting to feel old and forgetful. Consider that a Wednesday goal.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I’ve decided to turn running into homework

I know what I know, and I know what I know best. I will be spending the next ten weeks amping up my social media commitment to me and how that relates to the creation of placing one foot in front of the other. Might include some video and some audio so as to differentiate things from time to time, but I enjoy what I do, so if I need to force myself to do such, then so be it.

For every run, an entry. For every movement and recollection of a race that moved me (trust me, I've got a lot), I'll share.

This week:

For the first time since perhaps September (and even I don’t know if that’s true or not), I ran twice this week. Gasp.

Monday had me enveloped in a quick cool run to my apartment and down and around to the FAC via Morgan as, sheepishly, I forgot if I had turned off my toaster oven after I left in the morning.
Petrified that I would return home post class to a charred-up apartment, I bolted over to my palatial estate to discover no such oven had been left on. I fear adding paranoia to the list of my insanity, but I’m certain it would fit in nicely.

Then today (Sunday) I let the feel of chalk dust from the past two days weigh me down for far too long into my day before lacing up and taking to the utmost gorgeous streets at around 6:30. Went down to the lakefront and south a ways.

I felt some tightness in my knees, but it was more of a “um, yeah…what’s this level of exertion you are putting us through, eh?” than more of a pain. I’m being responsible, though and currently icing as I type (left knee has a mixed veggie assortment while right, the one that was noticeably more tighter, has the denser bag of frozen strawberries).

It’s amazing what sort of difference in regards to energy levels I have between morning runs and those at night; I have run all of three times now this year (can’t forget that time back in January) but every step felt springy. I tried to remain a bit more conservative in my movement, but instead of a more marathon-type shuffle, I kept finding myself with quick turnover (but never bouncing too badly) like a 5k-er.

I took pause near the southbound portion of the park that abuts the entry to the Shedd, just to soak in the skyline. I love this city, and I love it even more when I have moments to myself to appreciate where I work, live and (even sometimes get to) play.

Looking ahead: Another tight week with a pair of three-game SB series, one midweek and one over the weekend, three nights of classes and then on Sunday, my return to the road via the Shamrock Shuffle.
We’ll see how it goes. Another lesson in humility, I suppose, but all the same, it’s my own damn fault for not forcing the issue and getting myself outside. I didn’t even allow myself to have a snow run. Silliness.