Friday, July 24, 2009

Advice when dealing with police.

To die is to be a counterfeit, for he is but the counterfeit of a man who hath not the life of a man; but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have sav'd my life.

Otherwise it could be:

May I suggest using your night stick officer?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dark = Deception

I ran the same 4.3 miler today as yesterday, but today I ran at night. I left around 8:30 so it was nightfall and while not pitch-black by the end, it was pretty dark.

I can see well in the dark and the path is very smooth so I didn't worry about running into things. In fact, I pushed myself very hard and thought I was making really good time. I took almost exactly one minute more today than yesterday.

I think the darkness gives you a feeling of speed, although I was fairly out of breath the whole way, so it is a bit of a conundrum. One thing could be the shoes: I did the 5-fingers yesterday and today wore conventional shoes. Biomechanically, the barefoot ones should be more efficient, but the conventional ones allow faster down-hill runs since you can take a long stride and land on your heel.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Running barefoot on obsidian

Freshly paved roads are not only very smooth, they are blacker than older pavement. The asphalt coats the exposed surface of the crushed stone at first and it is black. After use, the exposed parts wear-off the tarry stuff and expose the less dark stone.

We have a lot of fresh pavement in our neighborhood: The city just installed sewer lines and when they finished they repaved all the roads. Also, a new bike path has just gone in nearby and it too is freshly paved.

Another thing about fresh pavement is that it becomes highly reflective when it is wet. It is flatter than old roadbed and there are fewer voids for the water to collect in, so the water can form a flat sheet.

I worked from home today, so I got to run on these roads. It was also raining really hard, so the roads were like big black mirrors. Also, on these at-home days I have made a habit of wearing my 5-fingers. They are more foot-glove than running shoe. You feel like you are barefoot but with extra strong thick skin on the bottom of your foot. Not only are they fun to wear but they make you a stronger runner too.

On a day like this, with normal shoes on a normal road, I think I would have been lucky to turn 8:30 miles. As it was, I was full of enthusiasm and really enjoyed the outing. I ran a little over 4 miles at a 7:26 pace and loved it! Actually, I probably did sub 7 for much of the run since I started out uphill and stiff from sitting at the computer for the first mile.

If all runs were like this, I would either injure myself or become very fast, all in short order.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Walter Cronkite, last of the Decepticons

I was listening to On Point with Tom Ashbrook on WBUR for the drive home today and the story was about Walter Cronkite.

The first guest was Lee Thornton and she ably described the news media at a time when one of them could be rightly called the most trusted man in America. Tom asked her how it is that now it is inconceivable for a news man to even be trusted, let alone to the extent Cronkite was. Professor Thornton blamed this on talk radio and the Internet for politicising the news. Before they came along there was just the media and it was trusted for being professional and unbiased. Good Jupiter! does this woman have a blind spot! People stopped trusting the media when they lost their monopoly. You could hear an alternative take on things and to the extent that this take made sense, one lost trust in the main stream media.

It's not like the MSM just suddenly became 90% Democrat, it is that the public became aware of this. This is not a bad thing. We as a nation should never have trusted Walter Cronkite. He wasn't a bad man so far as I know, but he was a man with a liberal outlook and we as a nation made poor choices because we thought of him as objective when he wasn't. Further guests decried that had someone like that been in place before the Iraq war, then the war could have been averted. What a bizzaro world: The truth is, had the Internet existed during Vietnam we would have known what a victory Tet was for our side and we wouldn't have let the North enslave the South. The same liberals who wish a cronkite could have kept us from Iraq seem to forget that they and the current President all claimed with utmost confidence two years ago how Iraq was unwinnable.

A record that wasn't quite what I hoped for and perfect 10's that didn't lead to victory.

I did my Sunday long run early in the day because later we planned to go to the CS&T "Family Fun Day", plus it looked to be a warm day so best to run while it is cool.

Last time I did this 13.1 miler, I started out fast and had a pretty good time going for 5 miles, but then I got a pain in my calf and ended up with a pretty slow pace. This time I decided to go out a little slower and build speed as I went and this seemed to work well. I had misremembered my last time as 1:55 and change and so I thought I was well ahead of that. As it turned out, the last time I did it in 1:51:33 and so my 1:50:54 ended up only being only slightly better.

One nice thing was that I had the energy to finish strong instead of dragging myself the last few miles. The final couple of miles runs from the town center to the swim and tennis club along the new bike path. I passed a man of about my age at the start of the path and said "hi, nice day" as I passed. Then I saw another runner about 1/4 mile ahead of me, so I set-about catching him and this took about a mile. Once I caught-up, we ran together chatting the rest of the way. It was nice: He too has noticed that there are not as many fast runners now as there were in the past. The guy, Joey B. set a good pace even though 10 years older than me, hopefully we will run into each other again--much more pleasant to train with company.

Later at the swim club...

The day was filled with egg tosses, potato sack races and that kind of thing. The one event I participated in was the adult cannon-ball contest. I am at a bit of a disadvantage in this because most of the men weigh more than me and that is one of the key factors in the event. To some extent I can make up for this by being more athletic than average: So I get a bit more height out of the spring board and am able to curl-up into a compact ball before hitting the water.

I had seen from the kid's belly-flop contest that the judges really like a commitment to the dive: Kids that chicken-out at the end didn't score nearly as high as kids who held the flop right into the water. So, on my initial dive I just tried to get as high as I could, form into a tight ball and then (the hard part) hold that position until under water. This worked. Four other men and I made the second round (two women had been in the first round). I was the second diver in the second round. The first guy did a serviceable dive with a huge splash and got all 9 and 9.5's. Here, I figured you have to go beyond just a good cannonball--you have to add a little showmanship. I did a straight jump and then as I curled-up I rotated 90 degrees backwards so that I landed (more-or-less) on my head. I got all 10's! The only problem was that one of the final 3 did some crazy double back flip cannonball and also got all 10's. They had done a sudden-death dive-off for the kids when they tied, but this time they awarded the other guy the crown (he has been winning every year as it turns out). That was fine, I didn't have anything that could have beat that last dive he did anyway. I did have something in mind though--in case I had to have made another attempt. I was going to do a swan-dive and then curl-up right at the end. It might have turned into a front flip, which still wouldn't have won, but you've got to offer something if called upon.

In any case, it was a lot of fun and I got a lot of compliments afterwards. The kid's favorite event was where a bunch of coins are thrown into the pool and then they all scramble to get what they can. They all got a good haul and were happy.

Oh yes, almost forgot! The guy I passed right at the start of the bike path was sitting next to us by the pool and he recognized me. He seemed a little shocked that when I passed him I was at the tail-end of a 13 mile run at the time.