I used to love to run…

I haven’t thought about running for a long, long time.  My cousin Tom jogged my memory about it in a comment last week.  Literally, I rarely ever talked about running to Ellen and Reid, and certainly never in a letter.  But Reid broke a little bit of ice last week when he called to say he hit the bricks for an 8K (about 5 miles) in Chicago.

There was a time when I used to love to run; now I can hardly imagine lacing up the shoes again.  Where I once wondered how to run a race, now I wonder why I did it at all.  This month marks the 30th anniversary of my last competitive marathon (2:25).  The next day I went cold-turkey and haven’t run, nor missed it,  since.  Bad ankles – even to this day – serve as a reminder of too many miles too fast.  The trophies – Grandma’s, White Rock, Oktoberfest, Drake, Omaha, Lincoln, etc.  – and such went into a box and stayed there until they made a final trip to the dumpster when I moved to Charlotte.

And here’s how last week’s letter went down:


March 26, 2012

Ellen/Reid: Reid, it’s pretty impressive to be able to run an 8K as fast as you clipped it off yesterday, especially with very little training.  You ought to keep at it.  You ought to Google a running coach – now deceased – named Arthur Lydiard.  He coached a lot of good New Zealand runners back in the day.  His shtick was that runners ought to concentrate on long, slow aerobic distance running rather than anything fast and anaerobic.  I wish I would have paid attention to that.  It might have saved my ankles, but his larger point was you only have so much energy in terms of energy stores and when that is used up, it’s gone.  I would think you would be good at it.  It’s in your genes.  Your cousins were pretty good, your uncle pushed 9:45 in the two mile and I was 2:24 in the marathon and 1:02 in the 20K.  I just wouldn’t push it to the max.  That’s a recipe for disaster down the road.

I’ll follow your advice, Ellen, and buy a ticket now for around May 1 to head north to see your new daughter.  You make a good point that for a change fee the ticket can always be amended.  Nothing like being gouged by the airlines.  The CEO of US Airways said last week the fee is here to stay.  We get Southwest Airlines down here relatively soon, and that should turn the screws on the other airlines somewhat.  My preference would be to stay at a local hotel.  That would suit you all better.  I’ll find something in downtown St. Paul.  I’ll stick around for a couple of days and leave before Ben Franklin’s truism, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days,” comes to pass.  There’s probably a lot to be said for that.  I’m glad you will take me up on the cleaning service for a few months.  That should make your life somewhat easier.  Just let me know who you have picked so I can chat with them about payment options.

Speaking of which, the cleaning service came in today and for the life of me I have to wonder why they haven’t been here all along.  It is just better in all respects; neatness, aromatically, etc.  They are pros and I am a non-pro.  It’s worth the money.

It was kind of a blah weekend in these parts.  With Felicia’s son’s situation, there wasn’t a lot of levity so we just sort of hunkered down for the duration.  Felicia is very strong.  I’ll keep you posted.  We did go out for a bite Friday night but that sort of dissolved and we made burgers Saturday night and watched the basketball tournament.  The first week of the tourney is more fun than the latter stages.  Without being able to pinpoint why, I’m sort of a Carolina fan although they got rolled last night by KU.  That they stayed in the game longer than they had any right to is testament to their personnel.  They had a couple of key folks out and they paid the expected price.

Saw my first copperhead of the season last week down at a course in South Carolina.  Trust me, when you’re poking around in the weeds for golf balls, the visage of a snake gets your attention real quick like.  It proves that white men can jump.  It wasn’t a monster, a couple of feet long, but length is of no issue once the venom starts to work.  At least I’m rustling around with a club rather than my feet.  Still, all it takes is one lightning strike and you’re done for the day if not far longer.  The dogwoods and azaleas are out right now, and it made for a nice drive to the course which was in the boonies.  My guess is the spring blooms will mostly be gone once the Masters rolls around.  The nesting box we put up last year is now the residence of the Eastern Blue Birds.  They apparently have won the scrap with Chickadees over nesting rights.

Well, you two keep your heads up.  Reid, let’s kibitz about when the two of us will get up to see your niece.  I’ll wager that the day she says “Hello, world” will be Sunday, April 29.  Any takers?

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