Thursday, January 31, 2019

40 Years Ago Today - January 31, 1979

In a letter from my mother to my grandfather, there is a solid accounting of my vocabulary and thought patterns at a very young age (roughly two years old). Based on the card being a birthday card, I assume it was sent to my grandfather, Ted Hollingsworth. His birthday was February 2nd and none of the other grandparents had a birthday that was close to the end of January. A transcription of the letter follows the scans.

Jan 31, 1979

Dear Grandpa,

Train, choo choo train. Wheels. Helped Daddy downstairs Mommy's car. (Gary fixed the Honda.) Helped Mommy "vash" dishes. Boat soap (He's pretending soap is a boat.) Dry hands towel. Go downstairs. Hot fire downstairs. Daddy downstairs.

"Neil did you sleep in a bed last nite?" Neil sleep bed no. Neil sleep ni nite *big* bed!!! Nite Mommy Nite Daddy. Baby bed. Teddy bear bed. Book, Book, Book Bed. (all those are in his bed.) Neil fall down bed hit head. Head hurt (he fell out!)

H1! I'm cooking supper. Neil has said all this in the last 10 min. I've talked too, asked him stuff - but part of it he initiated. He's fun + funny too.

Eat downstairs. Daddy eat downstairs. A bunny. Ear down no. - He has a bunny

[arrow drawn to next page]

book that the ear moves. But only 1 ear does. So he shows me which one does + which doesn't + both of Neil's do!

Gotta get dinner on plates to eat in front of fire. Heater broke, it's snowing + guy won't be here till tomorrow. Gotta stay warm.

School starts Wed. (a wk.) I started

[page 3]

some independent study yesterday. Worked on my paper today (Cleumacl [sp?] correlation between oil + canoe locations) to be published. My prof wants it written + typed by next Wed.

We love + miss you a lot. Thanks for being our Dad + Grandpa.

Thought it would be more interesting for you to know what Neil's thinking + talking about these days.


G G + N [Gary, Gayle, and Neil]

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

2019 Resolution Run 5k Race Report

It's been quite some time since I've reported on the races I've run on a regular basis. Hell, it's been quite some time since I've run races on a regular basis. I won't bore you with my theory on resolutions for the new year and will instead get straight to the meat of this post: my race report from yesterday.

New Year's Day 2019 started very early in the morning as we wrapped up the party our neighbor's hosted. Thankfully I didn't have too much to drink and William didn't puke like we did last year. Instead, we trooped home, took showers, and went to bed.

A few hours later, I was back up, slowly mind you, and after looking outside, decided it was nice enough to go run a race. When I got the paper in the morning, it was maybe 50F. By the time I left an hour later, it was about 60F. By the time I got to the race, it was pushing 65F.

I had just enough cash to register and had the pleasure of knowing many of the people working and volunteering at the race. As I turned my registration page in, one asked what year I was born in, to which I said "1976." So she gave me bib number 1976. Pretty cool!

Ditching my pants, shirt, winter hat, and gloves in the car, I opted to keep my long sleeve on under my KREndurance t-shirt. Later in the race I regretted it but I managed to make due with the extra layer.

The race itself is a bit of a double loop course that begins and ends at a local YMCA. The route is mostly paved roads and pathways but there are a few dirt and gravel sections. Which meant that with all the rain, there were puddles and mud. As we approached one largish puddle early on, I saw several people making detours around it. Nothing major, but it was clear they didn't want wet feet. Me being the nut that I am, ran through the puddle because I was more focused on running the tangents than having wet feet.

Running through puddles, and mud, would be a bit of a theme through the race. Some sections were, well, not bad but bad enough to not be avoidable. Again, I plowed through splashing water and mud on those around me. Pretty sure a few of the ladies shot me dirty looks at my back.

I felt great through the first mile. I knew I was clicking along way too fast but decided to hang on for the ride while I could. I walked most of the hills but they certainly weren't large. Only one or two were big enough to slow down most runners. As I came to the second mile, I knew I was fading and tried to just latch on to people in front of me and draft behind them. Again, I'm sure I got the stink eye when I eventually passed these people but I didn't care. I was running my own race, not theirs.

By the last mile, I knew I was fried and knew I wasn't going to get a PR. Never expected one but it's always something that floats around in the back of my head anyway. Coming through the finish I sprinted and nearly caught the woman in front of me. I think she got me by about six inches. It was close. I knew I wasn't in the running for any awards and knew passing her wouldn't do anything special for me, it's just how I like to finish a race. It doesn't matter if it's 3 miles or 60 miles, I still try to finish as strong as I can.


As I said, temps were warmer than expected. Wind was light. Humidity was noticeable but not bad. Sky was mostly overcast but the sun did come out several times.

Fluids and Fuel:
Nothing before the run except coffee and water and some Nuun mixed with Kool-Aid. Plain water during the run. Recovery was more Nuun/Kool-Aid, more coffee, and a Bacon Gouda sandwich from Starbucks.

Aches and Pains:
None really. Everything felt fine.

Wore shorts, thermal top, t-shirt, and hat. Also wore a new pair of shoes, Altra Escalantes, that I've dubbed "JAFFA."

Naughty Neil:
I ate way too much shrimp at the party. But it was so damn tasty.

Today's Motivation:
Mostly the weather. And the hope that running a race right off the bat would get me in the right mindset for the whole year.

Mile 1 - 10:56
Mile 2 - 11:02
Mile 3 - 11:31
Finish - 34:14
(Mile splits are from my Garmin Forerunner 35.)

AVG Pace - 11:00 per mile
Best Pace -  4:59 per mile
AVG Heart Rate - 167 bpm
Max Heart Rate - 199 bpm
Elevation Gain - 140.2 feet

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

40 Years Ago Today - January 1, 1979

We now enter the most emotional part of my life, my parent's divorce. This will also be the most heavily redacted part of the #40YearsAgoToday Project. With both of my parents alive and still friends, I don't want to jeopardize their willingness to still do what is best for me. I love them both and don't want to bring them any pain by re-opening wounds that have healed fairly well over the last four decades. With that said, let's move on.

According to records, I went with my mother to visit family in Chicago. My father took us to BWI Airport. After arriving in Chicago via TWA, we took the bus to Aunt Diana's house. There was heavy snow. Thanks to my cousin, there are a few photos of me from that trip.

We wouldn't return until January 17, 1979.