You know what? I don’t have the energy to do the Turtle Sport screen caps right now, but the long story short is that as of today – the 168th day of 2013 – I’ve put in 170.86 miles, so I’m still just a shade under three miles ahead of my goal to average seven miles a week.
A quick breakdown of weeks 22-24:
May 31 – 3.16 miles, 8:25 average. Pretty steady the whole way.
June 2 – 4 miles, 8:35 average. Again, fairly casual, although the final mile was my fastest, at 8:17.
June 8 – 4 miles, 8:10 average. There we go: Best 4-miler of the year so far. Managed an 8:03 in both of the first two miles, and finished strong with a 7:55 final mile which includes a good climb. Mile three was where I caught my breath and slowed up to 8:42.
June 9 – 3 miles, 7:59 average. First sub-eight 3-miler of the year, going 7:54, 8:15, and 7:51.
June 14 – 3.5 miles, 8:32 average. Ran with my brother, and we talked the whole way, not even going full-out during the long downhill at the end of mile one. Mile two was – oddly – our fastest, at 8:12.
June 17 – 3.27 miles, 7:58 average. Yes, I pulled up about a quarter-mile short on this one. Having not run last Saturday when it was cool and dry and gorgeous, I instead waited until tonight after work, when it was warm and sticky. Still, when I saw that I’d done a 7:47 first mile, I decided to see if I could keep the sub-eight pace going. I did – barely. Mile two was a 7:59, and mile three was an 8:09. I managed to get another quarter mile still keeping my overall pace below the eight-minute mark, so I decided to call that fair progress from eight days prior.
How great were our seats at last night’s Indians/Nationals game? We sat next to this guy. I remember going to games at Old Municipal Stadium as a kid, seeing John Adams out in the bleachers – so far off that the sound of his drumbeats reaching our ears was out of sync with his rising and falling mallets.
So not only were our seats amazing, but we got a flat-out gorgeous Ohio summer night, one dollar hot dogs, and a bottom-of-the-ninth beat-the-throw-to-the-plate Indians win.
WarGames came out just a few weeks after Return of the Jedi, yet the films seem to embody two such different personal eras for me. One marked the close of the most influential storytelling in my childhood, the other feels very much tied to my early teenage years.
Not quite five years ago, Adam and I went to the WarGames 25th Anniversary theatrical showing. Here’s part of what I wrote the next day:
WarGames starts, and sonofabitch, I’m so far back in time I’m stunned. Not just drawn into the movie itself, but shocked at the deep nerves it’s hitting: God, I can actually remember what it was like lying awake late on summer nights like this, hearing the wind in the cornfield behind our house and wondering what the hell WOULD happen if there was a nuclear war. And it wasn’t sci-fi cool post-apocalypse stuff, it was scary and sad and lonely.
David Lightman’s onscreen obsession with video games – and how sad is it that I think I caught a flaw in his Galaga game during the movie? – and computers was echoed in my real-life addiction to our Atari and later the Timex Sinclair 1000 that I bought for ten bucks, and then the Commodore 64 I finally talked dad into. I wanted so much to program a BASIC “Joshua” that I could pretend to play WarGames with, and I still love the sound of computer keys that clack and aren’t velvet-wrapped tickings. And has there ever been a computer voice better than Joshua’s?
Plus, you know, David Lightman the DORK, hooked up with Jennifer the BABE, and being a guy right on the edge of teenagerdom and still wearing thick plastic glasses and sporting brown corduroys regularly, I took this as was a sign of hope, just like when Billy Joel married Christy Brinkley.
And the last 20 minutes or so were as tense as they ever were. I couldn’t blink when those white glowing dots and their cold static hum explosions started mushrooming over the world map one by one, then in clusters, then in hyperspeed fireworks followed by those amazingly perfect final few lines from Joshua echoing through a NORAD movie set in the 1980s and reaching to a theater two and a half decades later.
Now, I could be wrong on the timing, but it seems very likely that the summer of 1983 was also when my friend Mike and I took a kids’ introduction to computer programming class at the Stark County campus of Kent State University, working on Timex Sinclairs. While I can’t say for certain it was that year, I do have a vivid memory of our instructor challenging Mike and me with a problem one day, offering a pad of graph paper as a reward because he knew we loved using the stuff for Dungeons & Dragons.
I probably didn’t see WarGames more than once in the theater, but it was one of those movies we recorded onto VHS and watched over and over again. And as I wrote for GeekDad, it holds up.
I hadn’t done three runs in four days at all this year, but since I worked from home Friday and had Monday off, the opportunity was there. I also haven’t run much with my brother Adam, and this weekend also allowed for that, too.
Friday morning we got out just after 6 a.m. and went for our old “short three-mile” loop. We talked most of the first mile and didn’t go freewheeling down the hill at the end, but still did an 8:18. I started feeling my lungs really starting to work in mile two, and was pleasantly surprised to find we had actually done it a bit faster than the first. Third mile was the slowest, but still only about five seconds off mile one, and I really had to work at the end, but we still finished with an 8:14 average:
I’ve only run the Short Three (we call it that to differentiate its 3.1 mile length from the slightly different “Long Three” 3.5 mile loop) a few times this year, and Friday morning’s run was faster than those by 15-20 seconds per mile.
I did the same loop in the same direction solo on Saturday afternoon, not really intending to push too hard. But when I saw I was at 8:01 after the first mile, and I did another surprisingly faster second mile (7:56), I kind of didn’t want that effort to go to waste, so I maintained as best I could at the end. Even though mile three was my slowest, I kicked hard enough over the last tenth of a mile to get my average pace down to an even eight minutes. This beat even the 8:04 three-miler I did last month. The only faster run I’ve done this year was a 7:46 two-miler.
I took Saturday off, except for a couple nine-hole rounds of disc golf at Schneider Park - I lost to my daughter, then to Adam, but still had a lot of fun – and Adam and I went out Sunday morning again just after six. Took it completely easy and ran the Short Three again, although we did it backwards to challenge ourselves with the big climb at the start of the third mile.
The surprise here is that we actually got faster over the course of the run, and managed to keep a pretty steady pace even up that hill.
An even 150 miles on the year, so as of May 27, the 147th day of the year, I’m an even three miles ahead.
Truly a high point of 1983.
GeekDad has published my two-part recollection of seeing the final chapter in the original Star Wars trilogy on opening night – 30 years ago this weekend.
Lapti Nek and Yub Nub forever.
Not too sure about that goofy guy at the beginning, but I know several of those other people, and this looks like a fun, seriously nostalgia-inducing movie.
Brian and Karl visited me – gosh, a couple summers back, already? – and talked Star Wars toys and 1980s kidhood for a couple hours, and it was a blast. They were talented and professional, and I’m really excited to have played even a small part in this project.
Week 19, I only got one run in – a 3.5-miler to the post office and back:
I stopped my timer while I was actually in the post office (marked by that spike on the green pace line). Considering I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself the first mile, since I was carrying an 8×11 inflexible envelope, I was surprised to see my sub-eight-minute time. Even with my third mile slowdown, this was a good run.
I didn’t have a chance to run on Sunday the 12th, but I had enough of a mileage cushion for the year that I wasn’t too worried about it.
Week Twenty, then, I thought I’d throw an extra run in early Friday morning, since the weather was good, and I wanted to make up for the previous one-run week.
Four miles, out and back. Best time for that distance this year, and I did mile four quicker than mile one, even having to climb the hill that benefits me so much at the end of the first mile. Felt good about this one.
Saturday, then, I did the four mile round-the-block loop:
I don’t know if it was the work from Friday’s run, or the fact that I’d only run a day the week before, but despite a good start and finish, miles two and three felt really difficult, so I just kind of focused on enjoying the weather and the run itself.
Later, while I was getting ready to do some yard work, I felt a lightning shot of pain in my lower back. It’s happened from time to time since an injury a couple summers ago. I took it easy the rest of the day and hoped I’d still be able to run Sunday, but I woke up the next morning still sore.
May 20 is the 140th day of the year, so at 140.7 miles, I’m still just ahead of my mile-per-day goal.
Dad died the same day ABC aired the last episode of The Wonder Years. I watched it Sunday morning for the first time in awhile.
Still miss him.
Weather-wise, what a fantastic weekend for running: a little bit on the windy side (at least in the mornings), but clear and sunny and warm.
Interesting to look at the numbers, since I ran the exact same 3.5-mile route in opposite directions on Saturday and Sunday.
So, here’s Saturday’s run:
My best average pace of the year for this loop, and the first time I’ve cracked the 30-minute mark on it. And this surprises me a bit, because I ran this one in the direction that puts a big climb 2.5 miles in, but that green pace line is pretty steady most of the way, until I tried for a bit of boost at the end.
Now here’s Sunday:
This time, I ran down that hill (and into a steady headwind) at the end of my first mile – and it looks like I had a much tougher time keeping a steady pace – again, until the last half-mile push. I never felt like my speed was varying that much, which is a bit weird, but there it is. And overall, I came in a second slower than the day before, but still better than any other 2013 trip around this loop.
Because I’m not running four days a week like I do when I’m preparing for a race, I’ve really felt like it’s been a struggle to improve my pace, but this weekend reminded me that I have also been varying my courses, so I don’t always have an apples-to-apples comparison. I’ve run this loop more than a dozen times, though, and looking back, I’m finishing about 47 seconds faster than I did back in January, so I guess that counts for something.
Also: 129.2 miles for the year.