Thursday, October 08, 2009

Conversation with a 2nd grader

Jemma: Daddy, did they have milk in 1492?

Me: Sure. Did you think they invented dairy cows just since then?

Jemma: I think that there were cows, but they just didn't know what would happen if they did...(makes motion like milking a cow)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

No, no. Please hold your applause...


Odds and ends on a day off

It was raining buckets this morning when I took the girls to the bus stop, so I was contemplating either nixing my run or at least making it shorter today. Normally I would do 11-13 miles on my day-off so I figured I was slacking by doing just 6.

Before I left, I made some bread dough. Part of the reason was that pizza would make a good dinner tonight and the other part was that I was killing time hoping for the rain to stop--which it did.

I got on my work-out clothes and banged off a 6-miler at a high 7:30's pace. Not particularly fast for that distance but not so slow as to feel bad about it either. It got sunny and warm early in the run but then the last 5 minutes were a downpour.

Had to shower and dress in a hurry since we were meeting wife's parents for lunch. We got to the place at the same time they did. While eating, the sky cleared and it became (temporarily) a cloudless bright Autumn day.

After lunch, I ordered a 3/4 violin for Surenna, then baked two crusts for pizza and one pan of rolls with the remainder of the dough. After that I worked on the new office till dinner time. I was nailing up corner pieces before plastering the beams. At first I thought I got far too few pieces to complete the job, but then just when I was ready to knock-off, I discovered another tranche of material and had just enough to finish--an hour later.

Pizza for dinner with the in-laws.

Special bacon day! I had eggs and bacon for breakfast, bacon wrapped scallops salad for lunch and then mostly for completeness, I sprinkled bacon onto one of the pizzas. It was good in all of its settings. There is nothing bacon can't do!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Four elements of fatigue, or what I think about at mile 15 of a 19 miler.

--Lactic Acid: It builds-up in muscles when they are exerted and gives the feeling of soreness.

--Glycogen: Stored mostly in the liver, it is a source of energy. It may not completely run out but it certainly does become scarce. The body has to switch over to fat metabolism. This is an essentially bottomless well of energy, the problem is that fat cannot be converted into a directly useful form quite fast enough.

--Dehydration: I do not bring water with me on runs of any distance and can easily loose four pounds of water weight on a long run. What happens is that as a person becomes dehydrated, it causes the blood pressure to drop. (One of the main classes of hypertension medications are diuretics) When the blood pressure drops, the heart must pump more rapidly to accomplish the same circulation. Respiration seems to go hand-in-hand with this. What I find is that toward the end of a long run, I cannot maintain my starting pace without becoming winded. The drop in blood pressure is not due entirely to dehydration, so even in marathons that have hydration stations, this is still an issue.

--Will power: As exertion continues, the will to maintain it becomes depleted too. It is too bad since all of the above things make the need for will-power more acute toward the end.

In a race, much but not all of the above issues are at least of smaller concern--at least (with a marathon approaching) this is what I tell myself.

My wife and I are very alike in some ways but there are little differences...

When I'm in a bluesy mood I like to listen to classic rock that is influenced by the blues. Like this:

My wife will go for the classics of mope-rock, like this:

The original human Space Invaders

Space Invaders

Space Invaders made by Neave Games