Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mrs. Brown Saved My Run And Made My Day

For those with the inside scoop on where I live and run, you already know about Mrs. Brown. For those that don't, she was my Fourth Grade teacher and she lives just around the corner from where I grew up. Which means she lives just around the corner from where I live now. She and her husband were staples of my neighborhood for decades, always walking their large, white, fluffy dogs. Think Dire Wolves but nicer. After her husband passed, she continues to make an appearance walking her dog around the local streets.

But before I get into the headline, let's rewind a little bit. For the past few weeks, I've been neck deep in removing the insulation from the Fort Max attic. Then installing new insulation. And then I had to demolish our back porch to make room for a new one. Well, the insulation tore me up. Figuratively. It was beastly work with more crawling around than a worm does in a life time. But after a few weeks, we perfected the process of removing the blown in cellulose crap. And after a few stumbles, I perfected installing the new fiberglass batts.

But it still sucked. And with the weather nice and a looming deadline to start the deck, I just rolled right from one project into another. And with the help of my neighbor, the deck was a heap of rotten wood after just two days of quick work. And I wasn't even rushing. In fact, I was taking my time, making sure I didn't damage the propane line into the house, the heat pump, the back door, or any windows. It was a little nerve-wracking at times but I got it done.

And I'm glad I did. It was scary. So scary, I don't think it would have lasted a heavy snow, stiff breeze, or large picnic party. Hell, it almost caved on me twice. While I was on it. But it's done now and I feel better for it.

But all of this work means that I didn't really get any training in. Other than long hours on my hands and knees or swinging a sledge hammer or what-not, I didn't run or bike or anything else. Just some home improvement cross-training.

Sunday I did my best to get out and accomplish something. And I did. I ran a bit and didn't die. But today felt like the first good day in training I've had in a long time. Sure, I'm tired and feel drained but I feel good. And part of that is because of Mrs. Brown.

I made my first loop around the neighborhood hoping I wouldn't get rained on. In fact, I struggled to get dressed because I knew it had rained, would rain, and probably still was raining. But I lucked out and stayed dry for the run. So with the first loop done, I looked down at my watch. I was a full 2 minutes ahead of my normal slow pace and a full minute ahead of my faster pace. But I felt damn good after that first loop.

I started my second loop but started to feel like I was dragging. I had already passed Mrs. Brown and said hello during my first loop but I was now approaching her a second time. But I was walking up the hill this time so we chatted for a few minutes. Her walking pace was much slower than mine but I slowed down to keep the conversation going. She said she was about to turn 75 and credited her dog with keeping her going. We both agreed with that adage I've ignored for years that it's easier to put weight on than it is to take off.

But the best thing she said to me was that she thought I had lost some weight. She noticed it around my middle. As we parted ways, I swear I was floating on wings. I was in the clouds with happiness. Totally saved me from drudging through another mile and totally made my day. Before I left, I made sure to tell her I appreciated the comment and that it made me happy to see her around the neighborhood so much.

I finished the second loop a little slower but I'm totally okay with that.

Here are some pictures of the deck demo.


And some panorama shots.

Temps were about 50F. Sky was overcast. Wind was high.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had two coffees. During the run I had plain water. Recovery was a four egg omelette with left-over ham and cheese and two slices of toast. And coffee.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt. I'm just tired.

Wore pants, thermal top, wind breaker, hat, and gloves.

Today's Motivation:
I'm trying to get back on track before the porch project starts.

Naughty Neil:
I made Jewish Apple Cake, thanks to THE Mrs. Beverly Goldberg for the idea, the other day and I've been enjoying it. Lots of sugar in it but it has apples so it must be healthy.

Loop 1 - 16:12
Loop 2 - 16:52
Finish - 33:04

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