Relay - changes 
It appears that the powers that be have changed the legs of the LV Half Marathon. I was supposed to run Leg 2 which was listed as six miles but now Leg 2 is 6.5 and the only leg over six. Plus we had someone from our relay team drop out and picked up a replacement. So now, I am running the first leg which is 5.5 miles. So, now, it's just maintenance.

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5! 
I did a one hour run this morning which should be good for 5+ miles. Another mental and physical obstacle overcome; I rule!

Our team has registered for the Lehigh Valley Marathon. I am running the second leg, the second longest, which is six miles.

Less than a year ago, the thought of running had never entered my mind. I thought I couldn't do it. Well, I can.

No excuses. No bull. Just do it. More people need to take that old Nike slogan and fuse that into their brains and bodies.

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Microblogging 
Still posting to Twitter as the novelty hasn't worn off yet. It's kind of fun in a way and maybe a little addicting. As a bore the world with what I'm doing (or at least those who follow me), I also read in kind those who do the same. It is interesting, and very gossipy, to follow what others are doing. Some post what they are doing or have recently done or will do soon, and others post short commentary and opinion, sometimes with links. It's yet another piece of Web 2.0 that has everyone contributing, for better or for worse*.


*worse == S-P-A-M

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Not Really Atwitter about Twitter Yet 
http://twitter.com/bws53

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Cyberpunk 
Although not technically cyberpunk, even though it does meet many of the criteria, Stephen King's novel Cell has given me interest in the that genre. The campus library doesn't have any books by Neal Stephenson, a "god" as one of the characters (a kid) in Cell says, so I checked out Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling. If I like it, I may continue on with cyberpunk. Being somewhat of a technophobe, I may like (or may not, lol) some of this stuff. I've read a good bit of classics over the years and now I it looks like my reading may shift gears a little.

My technophobia is necessarily not a fear of technology (I would not characterize myself as a Luddite) but rather a fear of what people, average people and people in power, including, governments, will do with it and the inevitable overdependence people develop. And, yes, I know, I myself am guilty - I like the Internet, computers, electricity and running water to my home, automobiles, etc. That being said, I don't own a GPS device (a cell phone is close and can track you but not like GPS although many have that feature available now) because it's all too creepy and completely unnecessary; at least for most average people. Maps and a basic knowledge of the US highway system are good enough and, well they used to be at least, idiot-proof. Ok, I'm going off on a tangent too much here. This topic best served for another day.

By the way, Cell is the first Stephen King novel I've read. It's an easy read and does pretty well in the horror category.

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Sidelined 
...but not entirely. A bout of bursitis has sprung up below my left kneecap. It's not painful to walk or bike nor to even run but it is painful to kneel. But, when I do run, it jiggles a little and both irritates me and irritates my knee a little. Listening to and feeling your knee "flap" is difficult to overcome when running. I've still been biking and did an 18-miler last week and biked to school two days too and fit another 12-miler in there for about 53 miles on the bike for the week. Maybe I should take it easy a bit but that's difficult to do. I hope to start running again soon as I have some longer races in mind in September and October.

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Zapped - Again 
For the second time in three years, a lightning strike near (as very damn close), my house took out my home telephone, cable modem, and a router. I wasn't home but one neighbor said it appeared to hit in the field behind my house and another neighbor said he saw a bluish light as it struck. The strike occurred Saturday and they came today to fix the phone and replace the modem.

This time, it also took out a laptop PC and the PCI slots on the motherboard of my main PC along with the NIC. Good cards no longer work in any PCI slot so now I have to to use the onboard LAN. Of course, everything, save the router, was plugged into a Belkin surge protector, which still works. The router shared an outlet with my PC speakers, which still work too. Lightning is funny and I don't mean ha-ha funny.

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4-Miler 
On this D-Day plus 23741, I did the Freedom to Liberty run in 44:45. The time was slightly better than the four miles I ran last weekend which was in 45:36. As is the case when I run, The first 1-2 miles are the hardest. After about mile 2.5 or so I finally get into a groove and stick it out. I am still toying with trying to do a two-person relay 1/2 M or maybe even be a relay leg of full M in September. I am feeling more confident as I run more organized runs. Nothing else is on the docket yet; perhaps I'll see if there is a 5K coming up and I might be looking at doing another 4-miler in July.

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33:40 - give or take 
...is about what I ran the 5K I ran this Memorial Day morning. I didn't look at my watch when I stopped but I stopped it about 10 seconds after I got out of the chute. I hit mile 1 at 10:06, mile 2 around 21:00, and then it got a little rough but I made it and ran the whole time. I even passed a few people, and about 75% of the runners passed me. I was pleased with the time, which works out to be about a 5.5 mph pace and a 10:52 mile average - nice improvements over my first 5K. With my second in the bag, I have a 4 miler on June 6 and then, possibly, looking at doing a 1/2 m------- in Pittsburgh in October - as tag-team with my wife. Right now, 6.55 miles looms impossible for me but if I keep up running over the summer (tough to do when the bike is so tempting), maybe, just maybe, I can do it.

Running a 5K on Memorial Day gives one time to remember and reflect, which I made sure to do. Memorial Day seems to have lost some meaning which is why I agree with this editorial. I think a fixed date is more of a sign of respect than a flexible date that is meant to give us a three-day weekend.

I don't know what men and women who have died in combat would want us to do on this day. I think that many of them would like us to like our lives as we do and be thankful for what we have. So it's ok to picnic and enjoy time with friends and family, as long we do not forget them and be grateful for what we have. Often, I think more of the families of the fallen; the void in their lives, the hardship; the grief. I made sure to take time to reflect on that as well.

Update - the official results have been posted online and they have me at 33:28.55. Looks like for my next 5K I will have to strive for breaking 33:00.

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Bike 


I finally took a picture of my bike. Our camera was broken and we finally got a new one. So, pictured is my bike at about 200 miles; not bad for six weeks. Likely I'll put on more as the weather warms and I am less busy. I am toying with the idea of biking in the Bike-a-Thon Philadelphia in July. I would need to put road tires on it to do that though. If I do enter it, I would like to try the 54 mile option. The 21.3 would be easy and require no extra preparation but the 54 would. I would like to do a smaller one 20-30 mile first as prep so maybe one day in a month or so I'll be able to get away for a few hours and try a 25 miler on my own: pack a snack, basic tools, cellphone, and vamoosh!

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Bike to Work Week 
This week is Bike to Work Week and May happens to be National Bike Month. So, I did it today; I biked to work. Since I just had to administer a final exam, I loaded up my backpack with the basics I needed. The commute was a mere 11.5 miles round trip which is easy, but the roads, the roads - belong to the cars. Some parts were wide enough with a shoulder and some the shoulder was pockmarked with holes and craters and eroded blacktop. I took the back way but one stretch, closest to the college, was the busiest with traffic and there was little leeway on the sides. I prefer the bike paths, for sure, but the bike path doesn't lead directly to the college. But, I did enjoy the ride - any excuse for me to get on the bike.

I plan on doing this once a week during summer - late May to early July. Good for the body. Use less gasoline; I figure about half gallon's worth, which could save me as much as $2 a week. Good to do my part for a greener earth (I do much more than bike, BTW). More people should bike to work if distance permits and, if for nothing else, to take better care of their bodies.

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More of the Runs 
Locally we've seen quite a bit of global raining of late and it looks like we'll be stuck in this pattern at least through this weekend. As a result, I haven't had the bike out much; did a 10 miler on Sunday through some very light sprinkles but that's been it since early last week. I haven't been idle, though. I've been able to sneak in some runs and I'm now at the point that a 2.5 or 3 mile clip is easy to do. I'm getting faster, too. I am hitting the 1/2 mile mark regularly in just over 5:20 now, down from around 6:00, and I think I hit my peak pace between mile 2 and 3. I don't have a 1 mile marker tagged in my neighborhood yet, just a 1/2 at a certain stop sign one way and a certain house another, and I measure my runs by time: 22-25 min. is a 2-miler, 27-30 is a 2.5 and 34+ is 3+. I am also running another 5K on Memorial Day and then a 4-miler in early June. I hope to finish the latter in under 46:00. I am not ready for the "M" word yet nor even the 1/2 "M"; way out of my league now; although If I continue to progress, maybe someday I'll be able to consider it but not now. Right now, running is fun and easy and a heck of a lot more exercise than most Americans get.

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