Saturday, September 13, 2014

Long Runs, Boat Slips, Marathons, and Tiny Tuna.

Some important information flowed my way over the past few days that caused me to react and make several decisions and adjustments, ultimately all of which revolve in some way around running.

-The Incoming Info-

1. My wife informed me that she would be doing her long run this weekend on Saturday morning as she is volunteering (why?) at a water stop table at Surftown Half Marathon on Sunday.  That sort of felt like it came out of left field but regardless of how I perceived this lovely news, I would be forced to revisit my long run window of opportunity.

 2. I received certified mail from the new owners of the "marina" (house) where I currently keep my fishing boat in Jerusalem, across from Galilee.  They would be tripling the dock fee from what I am currently paying, which in their defense is ridiculously low given the location.  Sad news! I cannot afford it and won't be returning back there after a solid three year run. Sad....

3. In the daily avalanche that is the shit show of  emails in my Inbox, I stumbled across a second reminder that registration for 2015 Boston Marathon would be opening soon.  My time last year of 2:51:05 meant that I could early apply in the second wave before those in my age group time of 3:10:00.  Hmmmmm.

4. Fishing reports over the past several days have indicated that one of my nagging "fears" have been allayed.  Bonito (Sarda sarda) and False Albacore (Euthynnus alleteratus) have invaded/exploded in southern RI waters (FINALLY!) over the past two days!  Two years ago I was able to clean up on several days in September.  Last year, however, they never materialized and skirted the waters of our coast as they migrated south-I got nothing.  They're here! I need to greet them accordingly.


1. I had to switch my long run (next to last "big" one before Nipmuck?) to Friday afternoon.  In what felt like an after-school detention, I ran from school on a mix of roads and trails for over 2.5 hours, back to home.  It was fun but at times I felt really overworked, warm, and tired.  A couple of gels at two different times helped but the final two miles back home on local roads was really tiring (managed to maintain respectable low 7:00s pace though) and literally nauseating.  Nice to get 22 miles on a late Friday afternoon but it did leave me waking up this morning (Saturday), scratching my head wondering what to do at 0530 besides sit around in my underwear,scratching myself, blogging and drinking coffee.  Despite having to sneak it in, at least "it" is done.

2. Given the looming blackhole surrounding my boat at its slip, along with my wife's Saturday morning long run theft, I had to adjust my fishing schedule.  My father and I will be heading out Sunday morning instead.  Hope we get into albies! They are absolutely, pound-for-pound, one of the most fun fighters in the Atlantic that humble anglers like myself have access to in tiny boats.  Each trip out from now until mid October is something to be cherished.  Nothing lasts forever.

Almost time to leave the promised land....sadness for sure. 

3. In a mix of emotions, I quickly (wtf was I thinking?!?) registered, or rather "applied" for Boston in 2015.  Ugh.  I hate the hype and hooplah but having never run it I feel obligated to do it once....and most likely ONLY once. As I hit 'send' and then received a confirmation number I immediately exhaled a nervous (?), hesitant sigh and actually muttered something along the lines of "Damn it".  I think Gazelle is also registered so at least I'll have a long run partner in the darkened cold mornings of January, February, and March.  That is if I get in -- which I should given my early application/time.
So stupid but I need to chase the Unicorn! 

4. Back to fishing, which I love almost as much as running.  I tied a couple of flies while drinking beers last night.  It was fun evening- basement, music, beers, and fly tying, all while visions of small members of the tuna family danced around my head.  I felt like a kid the final few days before Christmas.  I also changed up some of my spinning gear so that I can actually throw flies (albie and bones' favorite lure) as I'm not skilled enough with my actual fly rod to take on these salty missles. Not being a religious man, I cannot pray for albacore and bonito on Sunday just as I cannot pray for the New Orleans Saints to cover the spread and line my pockets.  Prayer is for fools in that 50% of the time, it works every time.  But I can hope and pretend and fantasize about one of the tiny torpedoes ripping line off my reel on yet another blistering run away from my boat.  A scenario such as that would leave me feeling complete and whole and would be a great way to round out my final month at my king of boat slips.  Stupid and corny I know but if you've ever had the experience, you'd understand!

So, there it is.  It's going to be fun watching it all unfold.  However, it all turns out, at least I'll continue running, fishing, and drinking beer -- the Muddy Triple Header of Pleasure. 

Tight lines and fast times.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Last Sunday I ran a really fun solo Tour de Burlingame in the early morning hours.  At 90%+ humidity with a dew point of 74 degrees, it was a sweaty shit show.  Minus the ridiculous, raw, bloody chafing in the groin and nether regions, it was a really fun run. I ran for 3:01 on primarily single track trails and covered just about the entire park (regions/areas)--NW, NE, SE, SW and most of Vin Gormley.  I felt great the entire time and never dogged the pace.

Unfortunately, about two hours into the run I ran through a huge, thick, sticky spider web.  After spitting it out and clawing at my face, I forgot about it--easy to do when you've already run through and eaten fifteen of them already on the same long run.  However, approximately five or six seconds later I felt a very sharp, acute pain on the back of my head.  My initial reaction was "BEE!".  I swatted back around my head but never felt the crunch of an exoskeleton nor the familiar angry buzzing.  The pain continued throughout the rest of the run but my diminishing energy and fatigued legs detracted from the prominence of the "sting".

Over the course of the next several days, the spot where I was "stung" has hardened into a small knot and is very sensitive to the touch.  This is normal for a bee sting yet now I have spreading pain and hot tenderness radiating outward across the back of my skull and down into my neck.  It really hurts to turn my head to the side and occasionally, depending upon my body position, I get shooting pains down into the back of my head and neck.

Which one of you fuckers got me?

I'm thinking I wasn't stung but rather I was bitten by a different member of the Phylum Arthropoda -- spider!  Not sure what kind it was as I never saw or felt it but I'm pretty sure that, given my conditions, it was definitely NOT a bee sting.  Now I'm left wondering what to do. My regular physician probably won't be helpful yet I refuse to go to the hospital or a walk-in clinic.  At the same time I can't sit here and do nothing if the pain continues and actually worsens/spreads.

I know what NOT to do--don't Google spider bite.  Ugh!  Doing so is (was) the equivalent to sitting through my Introductory Microbiology course in college and thinking/worrying that you have every single infectious disease known to man.  Now Google hits leave me wondering if I have necrotizing fasciitis or some other weird disease.  Yuck.  The good news is that I can still run.  I ran a fun (hard) mixed track workout yesterday morning and I'm happy with the results.

To my knowledge I've never been bitten by a spider before.  Hopefully swelling and pain will just subside. At any rate, this will certainly not deter me from continuing to run trails.

But still, I truly hope I don't die. How will I run then?!?