Friday, June 25, 2010

Darkness on the Edge of the Pine Barrens


Severe thunderstorms pounded South Jersey with heavy rain and high winds on Thursday afternoon, causing power outages that lasted into the night.

Almost 90,000 customers in the region lacked electricity at 8 p.m., with the most extensive outages in Camden County. Power was not expected to be restored to everyone until some time today, a utility representative said.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported, but Camden County's emergency-dispatch system reported more than 1,000 calls due to the storm. Winds as strong as 60 mph took a toll on trees throughout the area, snapping branches and even trunks, according to the National Weather Service. The falling limbs snapped electrical wires, causing power failures.

In Sicklerville, one gust picked up a neighbor's trampoline and hurled it into Gerald Loschiavo's backyard pool around 3:30 p.m.

"The rain was phenomenal and the wind picked up so much," said Loschiavo, a Red Fox Trail resident. The trampoline sailed more than 20 feet in the air. "My neighbor said, ‘If you really wanted to use it, you could have asked,'" Loschiavo said.

The Weather Service reported winds of about 60 mph in Voorhees and Blackwood around 3:45 p.m. A gust around 3:50 p.m. damaged the roof of Bagelicious, a Delsea Drive restaurant in the Westville Grove section of Deptford. And in Shamong, a tree fell on a car at 4:10 p.m.

Authorities also said a motorist was pulled from a vehicle that went into a stream near High Street and Tomlin Station Road in Mullica Hill around 4:45 p.m. The man was treated for an injury, but additional details were not immediately available.

PSE&G reported 19,000 customers were without power at 8 p.m. in the utility's southern division, which includes the tri-county area. "The vast majority of them appear to be in Camden County," said utility spokeswoman Karen Johnson.

She said Camden, Voorhees and Deptford were among hard-hit areas.

"All customers may not be restored until sometime (today)," she said.

Atlantic City Electric reported about 36,000 customers lacked power in Camden County around 10 p.m. Outages at the same time affected about 9,200 customers in Gloucester County, almost 9,000 in Atlantic County and 1,600 in Burlington County.

The storm struck after high heat created an "unstable" air mass across the region, said Lee Roberts, a Weather Service meteorologist in Westampton.

Thursday's high temperature was 97 degrees at 1:50 p.m., near the record of 99 degrees set in 1923. But the thermometer fell to 79 degrees by 6 p.m.

Today's high is expected to be about 89 degrees.


Our back steps blew off & broke, that’s all; but some people in the ‘hood lost sections of fence. One neighbor’s deck furniture ended up in another’s pool.

[Jaybird's deck, not far from my house]

WTF? It snows for a day and a half => nothing; 20 minute thunderstorm => blackout

D'Wife was funny; the first thing she said when she walked in was "Well, I still have my Ruby Slippers; so fuck you Dorothy!"

All in all, not too bad … I made the best of it


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Five Stages Of ... Running Injuries???

Denial and Isolation.
At first, we tend to deny the [injury] has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.

“That did NOT just happen. No WAY!!!”
“I’ll be fine, just leave me alone for a bit.”

The person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt , or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck. FUCK!!! Fucking idiot. This is your OWN fucking fault!!! You didn’t fucking stretch properly; what the fuck did you change??? Why the fuck did you do THAT???!!!”

Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, “Okay … I’ll take a couple of days off and say some extra prayers if you fix this up, okay?”

The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.

“What a beautiful sunrise – sigh – would have been nice to run today. Oh well.”

This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the [injury].

“I can focus on bike riding in the meantime; maybe some extra yoga & skateboarding?”


So that’s where I am now, one week Post-POING!!! … Sure, I have Midnight Madness 3 in three weeks and might be walking a bit of it; but I’m cool with that. I guess it’s just my turn this year.

My Zen is strong

Friday, June 18, 2010

School's Out

I know, most people would go with the Alice Cooper classic, OR "Hot for Teacher" but I prefer this number by "Little Stevie Vai"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well, THIS is New

Little bit of backstory from my RunningAHEAD log:

OUCH!!! Endured some odd Achillesational [Achillenear???] discomfort to starboard today ... could be residual acheyness from the wicked "wake me up from a deep sleep" charleyhorse the other night [that I KNOW Shar wished upon me, :-P]; combined with my Time Trial effort on Tuesday and bad cycling form all week ... ow well, this too shall pass

The charley-horse to starboard isn't so much of a limp-inducing muscle ache anymore ... now it just feels like I got whacked in the back of the leg with a hockey stick or a pedal or something ... should be good to go tomorrow AM


Time of day: 5:30PM
Activity: Run
Workout Type: Silly

Yes ... that says 5:30 PM ... like After Work!!! I overslept this morning and didn't get my run in, as I had planned since the whole Soleus thing seems [seemed?] to have righted itself. The Commuter Gods smiled upon me and got me home in time to change quickly and go for 3 miles, before I had to pick D'Kid up from her BFFs. What is the expression? "Someone who wants to do something will find a way; Someone who doesn't will find an excuse"

I should have either not wanted to, or found an excuse.

My inability to take time off, came up and shoved me with that "hockey slash" ache coming back all of a sudden [the first mile and a half plus change, were fine] I walked a couple hundred yards then started to jog it home ... cruising along nicely, and only about half mile out, I had not just finished saying "All in all, a good run" when I felt a vicious TOING!!! to starboard ... yeah, my day was done, and I hobbled in. Next up??? No clue .... This is new to me ... In 28 years I've never suffered a running injury, while actually running. I've had things go CRUNCH!!! that forced me to take some time off, but that didn't happen "on the road"

Let's see how this plays out

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Race A Train? Sure! Why Not!

I woke up very VERY late this morning [5:39AM to be exact]. There was no WAY I was gonna miss another bright, dry and cool morning, as I had yesterday. I got out of bed as stealthily as I could, but I happened to wake up D'Wife in spite of my best efforts.

"Are you going to run?" she asked. Before I could reply, she added "Have a good one."

With that thought in my head and a smile, I eased through my punk-yoga stretching routine and slipped out the back door [I've been using the slider to not wake her up by going out the front door, which is sort of below our bedroom].

It was almost exactly 6AM when I tucked my cross necklace around behind my back [it rattles around less that way] and started off

I did some math and decided today was only going to be three miles; but for FUN it was to be a FAST three miles … well moderately fast. My primary goal was NOT to get stuck on the other side of the RR tracks when the NJ Transit train came by at 6:24; my secondary goal was to already be home by then.

I made the first daily checkpoints in good time – stoplight at 5 minutes; Blessed Mother at 9 minutes. I didn’t stop to say my “Hail Mary” today, but did a “rolling” one to save time. For success, I thought should make it to the mile-and-a-half marker at 12:30 or so [even when I’m using my watch, I’m still kinda sketchy about pacing myself to the clock]. I rolled up the crossing at the ballfield and made the right-hand turn at 6:12:something.

“Halfway out, halfway back” I said to myself.

As much as I wanted to hammer this stretch [it always feels so inviting to just drop the hammer here, for some reason] I held to my pace. The birds in the overgrowth in the chainlink protecting the tracks were my little cheering section.


I reached the turn onto the big street home at the 16-minute mark. This is where my Left Side of My Brain – who’d been semi-conscious this morning keeping the time-checks, such as they were; versus totally unaware like on most mornings, when Right Side takes over and just runs around looking at all the pretty clouds and all - woke up and started “Math-ing”

“Sixteen minutes done, and you usually get from the light back home in 5 [well, to get TO the light, if you know what I mean] so that’s 21, giving you 3 minutes to get from here to there for 24 or 4 minutes for 25, which makes more sense, unless you can get back home from the light in less than 5, but it's a little less than a whole mile, so …”

And so on …

I was fortunate enough to arrive at the intersection just as the light turned green for me and I was able to get across without breaking stride, just as it was. The last few hundred yards were an exercise if both maintaining my effort and trying NOT to look like a slow old man for the Public School kids waiting for the bus.

I set my arms in motion to muscle a few seconds off the clock … 6:24 was the time I looking to come in, but I wasn’t sure what the rounding would work out to [I had started the timer on my watch, but forgot when seconds-wise]. Figuring I’d be on the late side to 24 minutes I chugged up the little rise to the end of my street, took the corner like a champ and sprinted as best as I could for the driveway. I reached over and hit the “STOP” button as soon as I passed the mailbox.

Totally out of breath – and happily so – I made several little counterclockwise turns across the street in front of my house, before strolling up the to the porch, kicking off my shoes and grabbing my beverage and iPod. Just before I put the buds in my ears, I heard the horn of the NJ Transit train I was “racing”

“First of all; you’re late” I whispered to the locomotive and its commuter cars, almost a mile away, “Second of all …

“I would have beaten you, anyway!!!”


The Details [for people who are into that sort of thing]

Time: 6:00 AM
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 23:36
Pace: 7:37 minutes / mile

Yeah, that's a new v2.0 5K PR!!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Runnerversary 2010

I’ve told this story before, so y’all know how it goes:

It was on this day, [which was also a Tuesday, as luck would have it] that I woke up around 6AM and went for a little jog with some of the "dads" in my neighborhood. 28 years later, thousands of miles, dozens of pairs of running shoes and a few triathlons & half-marathons later, I'm still at it.

This year I did something a little different. Not only did I perform my ritual run at dawn [ritual in that I do it pretty much every day, NOT that I do it only once a year], but I also emailed two of the “kids” whose dads dared me to join them on that muggy morning.

One replied: “Hey....that is great! And so classic....imagine the headbands and wristbands you guys were sporting...”

“HA!!!” I countered “I think the ‘Dads’ may have been wearing elastic terry-cloth wristbands & headbands, but I would have been sporting something a little more punk rock; a cut up concert T-shirt, perhaps??? ... This was BEFORE the Union Jack muscle shirts & shorts Def Leppard made popular”

Yeah, I definitely had my own “style” back then

Note: It wasn't until 1985 that I entered my first race - a Summer Sunset Series five-miler on Kelly Drive.

ETA: 626.8 miles from June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010 ... about 2/3 of 2008-09