Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 - The Finale

Woke up a shade later than I had wanted to, but since I'd be working from home today and didn't have to log until ~8:00, I had some time to play around with; a fact I hadn't thought of right away.

My original plan was 5 or so this morning, then cap the year off tomorrow. When I reached the Goat Farm, though, I said to myself "Self. Look, you REALLY don't have to home for about an hour. Suppose something comes up tomorrow and you can't reach your goal; you're gonna kick yourself, aren't you??? Let's finish this NOW!!!"

Onward I went, Reflecto-Vest dim in the unlit woods, Team Tania blinkie flashing away with no one around to see it. I left home in the dark but things were lightening up nicely by the time I reached my turnaround. In fact, the sun was up above the trees when I rolled back into the Development; the Vest & Blinkie said to onlookers: "Yeah, I've been out a while. Sorry if I look like a dork"

‎... And THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is 621 Miles = 1,000Km for 2011

Goal = REACHED!!!

ETA: Y'know, when it's really cold, but clear & dry, I kinda like wearing shorter sox with long pants ... feeling the breeze whipping around my ankles gives me this little extra Hardcore Vibe

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Splashing Towards the Finish Line

If it's Tuesday night, it MUST be raining!!!

No CCD for D'Kid today, but I took my run at night-time just the same. Of the past few Tuesdays, tonight was CERTAINLY the rainiest. Steady showers, 12 knot winds gusting to 30; I was pretty damp by the stoplight.

Coming up on 1-Mile marker, I had done a fairly good job of hop-skip-jumping the small streams, rivers and lakes that had collected at the roadside. Then, I mis-read a dark spot in the headlight glare and hit one in the deep end. If I had a little more foot-speed, I MAY have avoided the back-splash, but no ... I was now taking on water. I said to myself "Self. You can't un-soak a sock" and I purposely nailed another one, and another after that. Then a couple for the Port side, just to even things out. If my ears hadn't already been filled with water, I'm sure the SQUISH-SQUISH-SQUISH would have been quite profound.

I was treated to a couple of pretty good downpours along that may or may not have brought whitecaps upon the street; I couldn't tell out there in the dark.

Finishing up the Final Mile, I had lost all desire or need to stay on the high ground, and totally expected to get splashed by the passing cars. In fact, I even INVITED the FedEx truck to have a go at me, pausing in the Sweet Spot of a puddle for a perfect drenching. He flashed his beams and let me go ... what a Dude!!!

ETA: 12K to go for 1,000 Km on the Year; a little more UMPH!!! in the Spring and I'd have made it by now

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Festival of Lights - Part Two

A couple of days ago, I went out for my [now regular] Tuesday Night CCD Run.

THIS WEEK I remembered to make the RIGHT coming out of the Development to get the Holiday Light Tour of the adjacent neighborhoods. I'm glad I wore the Reflecto-Vest, as I kinda forgot that there's about 600 yards of deep dark bridging the gap between our streets and my destination. Even in the black, though, I could tell that there was some Baking going on; I picked up a definite whiff of peanut butter & slightly burnt brown sugar.

The first part of the first loop is all townhouses, so people are pretty conservative-slash-considerate with their displays; except for one pair who pooled resources and went for the Full "Price is Right" with synchronized strings surrounding doors, windows, garages and so on.

However, I still hadn't seen anything like the "WalMart took a Dump on their Yard" extravaganza D'Wife had observed last week. There was one house that flanked itself with inflatable Santa's [12' to Starboard and 16' to Port]; another that looped ONE 50-foot string of multi-colored rainbow lights down the middle of their ONE tree .... from 200 yards away, it looked like Gay Lightning [NTTAWWT].

Midway thru Mile Two, however, I saw it ... Actually, EVERYONE could see it ... FROM SPACE!!! Words ... just can't ... pix, to come. After that [and once my retinas re-set] ... it was just another jog in the dark.

Tonight, I brought D'Kid along with me so she could get pix of the "I Can See My House From Space" extravaganza ... as well as we could do with our SONY Cyber-Shot, we couldn't quite capture the retina-wrenching glory of this display .... Oh, did I mention that there's music too??? The whole way home, my foot-strikes were to "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." I guess there are FAR WORSE Earworms to get, if need be.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Festival of Lights - Part One

First night time run of the 2011-12 Xmas Light Season.

I've done a morning run or two since Thanksgiving, which is when folks traditionally fire up the Yuletide decorations, but ITTET not many people are leaving them on all night long. So, I figured that hitting the road at 7PM would be PRIME viewing time!

For whatever reason [the seven concussions maybe] I don't remember taking this route last year ... frankly, I was disappointed.

I expected that the houses "back there" would have been lit up a lot more severely; being set further off the road, a lot more wattage would seem necessary to say "HEY!!! LOOK AT ME!!!" but no ... they were - for the most part - rather tame, conservative and quite nice.

Only ONE house went for Full "Game Show" but just missed, since the dozens of strings of multicolored lights, which highlighted every edge, bend or random architectural detail of the home, failed the "Price Is Right" Test my not blinking in sequence ... they didn't even blink AT ALL!!! Why Bother, people???

The only other house of note had so many illuminated deer, angels, snowmen and polar bears on the lawn that it looked like a Harry Potter Patronus Convention.

Anticipating some more rainy weather, I wore a L/S poly shirt which finally paid off when the wind kicked up and the drizzle ramped up in my final mile; until that point, I was pretty overdressed [with the addition of the Reflecto-Vest] and kinda toasty. I got damped enough to feel kinda badass coming back into the Development.

Y’know what, though? I really gotta get a headlamp

I thought I knew my way around back there between developments pretty well, even in the dark. A car was approaching, so I drifted myself a little closer to the edge of the road. There are no curbs or sidewalks out that way; the street gives way to an uneven boundary of gravel before the folk's lawns start. It was a rainy night, as I said, so I had to hop over a sandbar that had shoaled up in the stream along the shoulder. I kinda shorted it and stepped about a foot from the end of the "island."

There was a surprising CRACK! and I skidded a little bit [didn't fall, though]

It was a deer carcass ... I'd landed on her rear leg.

I really, REALLY gotta get a headlamp.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Well, THAT Didn't Last Long

December 1, 2011

Dear Member:

Bally Total Fitness® has made the decision to focus our portfolio of fitness centers in certain key markets. As a result, we will be transitioning ownership of a number of our clubs, including your home club, to Fitness International, LLC, an affiliate of LA Fitness International, LLC ("LA Fitness").

LA Fitness will take over the clubs it is acquiring and assume your membership agreement effective December 1, 2011. As a result your payments will be collected by LA Fitness going forward using the same account as did BallySM. You can find more details on our website and at

It has been our pleasure to serve you, and we thank you for your loyalty to Bally Total Fitness through the years. We wish you continued success in pursuing and achieving your fitness goals.

Yours in Health,

Bally Total Fitness


Granted, all of my running and cycling is done en plien air, until just a month ago when I renewed my long-lapsed Bally membership at the low-low price of $99 a year.

When a friend of mine told me about the buyout of Bally locations by LA Fitness, I got on the phone to my "home" club and was reassured that my Bally membership would be grandfathered in to a LA membership and only the signs on the club would change

Unfortnately THIS is my "home" club:

Now, I'll get my $99 back from my company's Fitness Reimbursement and I'll be out nothing, but if I have to upgrade to an LA Fitness ... I have to wait one calendar year to re-submit

All I wanted was access to the pool, so D'Kid & I could swim on Sundays

Oh well ... outside is very nice, can be quite challenging, AND it's free

It's a shame, because I had some really great times at Bally's ... Lots of good stories


"Not in the Plan"

"How to Count from A to Z"

"Spring Training"

"Jump Little Bunny"