Rash Ramblings

A runner once, an explorer always!

Saturday

This morning, I walked out in the darkness and came back in the light…Well, it takes a little while to walk six miles.

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Discipline

It has been a while since I posted here. It is not that I have stopped moving. On the contrary, I’ve done well to maintain my morning routine. It is much easier to get up, get out the door and then continue on with the daily grind than it is to stop and gather my thoughts and say something even remotely worth being in print.

It is much easier to get up and let things fall as they may. It is easier, but not necessarily better. It is always good to have a goal. It may guide you to something better or keep you from ending up somewhere worse off than you are now. Habits and routines are built through repetition. I am finding it is better to continually do those things I want to accomplish in short intervals rather than waiting until I can put great effort into that task, because in reality that opportunity might never come. Now again I will push to write on a regular basis, so that I can gain ground in those areas that depend on having something written.

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Still Here

I am still here. I just haven’t been in the mood to write. There are too many distractions right now. There are so many things to finish and so many to start. I guess it is good to have so many things in front of you. It keeps you pushing forward. I hope that never ends.

The running has been somewhat of a struggle this year with the drought and intense heat. I guess it is a good thing I signed up for the Capitol 10,000 back in October. I received a new scale for Christmas. It was nice, but what I saw when I stepped on it was not. I was a half pound heavier than when I started all of this. I knew this was the time to step up the intensity of my workouts and get to doing runs instead of run/walks. It was kind of disheartening that just after I started this push I gained an extra pound four days in a row, so now I was three pounds heavier than when I started. That is not good psychologically. You just have to use it to push you harder. It is getting better though. I am at least ahead by three or four pounds and, hopefully, by mid-February I’ll be back close to what I was when I raced last year. It would be nice to be back somewhere in the 180’s and even better to be back in the 170’s. I probably did as good as I did in college because I was willing to run a lot and I didn’t have enough money to over eat. We’ll see how it goes. The legs and body feel good. My endurance needs to be tweaked and all of it is going to have to come together for me to get the speed I want. Anyway, as they used to say, “Onward through the fog!”

 

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Avoidance Averted

I had decided the last day of 2011 that since it was Sunday on the 1st I would wait until Monday to get started on my training to the 2012 Capitol 10,000. The only thing is I woke up Sunday morning knowing I was just putting off the inevitable. I needed to get going or forget it. Every day you don’t do what you know you should be doing you are getting behind. If you wait long enough, you might find “too late.” I have mostly only been walking since I finished the Capitol 10,00 last year and between that and too many breaks, I am here about eighty something days away from this year’s Capitol 10,000 weighing more than I did when I started all of this. Physically I am in a better place than I was, so hopefully I can rectify this fairly quick. I must increase the time and intensity of my training on a much steeper degree to get where I need to be by then. So far anyway, I’ve been out every day this year. If I can keep that up and be more diligent about keeping this up, I’ll be making progress.

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One Hundred Twelve

To say this summer in Austin has been harsh is an understatement. The all-time record high of 112 was tied on Sunday, August 28, 2011.  July was the hottest month ever in recorded history and then August was hotter than July. September continued that warmer than normal trend. This year tied September of 2005 as the warmest on record. The record for the number of consecutive days above 100 was set at 27 on August 12th. The old record was 21. I wasn’t totally convinced that we wouldn’t break that record for a second time this same summer. As of today (October 2, 2011) there have been 90 100-degree days this summer and 132 90-degree days in a row. The previous record number of 100 degree days was 69 set in 1925. We had a high of 101 on September 29 which was the latest 100 degree day in the month of September. We still may not be done with the triple digits as there have been two occasions of 100 degree days on October 2. They occurred in 1938 and 1923. We are in to breaking records this year so why should we assume we are done? A link to show 100 degree information for some cities on the southern plains: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/climate/?n=100degree2011

It hasn’t been enough to be brutally hot. We are also very dry.  The rainfall of 0.01 inches in September 2011 set a record for the driest September at Austin Bergstrom. The old record was 0.02 inches in September 1989. The average annual rainfall in Austin is 32.1 inches.  According to the LCRA and the National Weather Service, “The 11 months from October 2010 through August 2011 have been the driest for that 11-month period in Texas since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records. This summer in Texas has been the hottest in the country’s history, according to the National Weather Service. More information on the current drought can be found at http://www.lcra.org/water/drought/index.html .

 

The lack of rain is now bringing up another possible record and that would be one we are definitely not looking forward to. Lake Travis is continuing to drop and has reached the third lowest elevation on record. As of today, Lake Travis is at a level of  628.61. Any rainfall we have had lately has been scattered and mostly insignificant, but if that is all we are going to get, we’ll take it as it comes. Here are the totals through the end of September 2011:

 

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP  
2011 2.92 0.48 0.09 0.27 3.65 2.01 0.05 T 0.16 2011

 

The total rainfall so far this year about 9.63 inches. This has done nothing to contribute to replenishing the lakes. Apparently last year the level at Lake Travis was more than 50 feet higher. All of the public boat ramps are closed. Below here is a chart showing the level at Lake Travis during the previous six worst droughts:

 

Lake Travis
Low lake elevations during six worst droughts

Drought Name

Min. Lake Level*
(msl)

Date

Rank

1950’s
(Drought of Record)
614.18

August 14, 1951

1

1964 615.02

November 8, 1963

2

2009 629.83

October 4, 2009

3

1984 636.58

October 7, 1984

4

2000 640.24

October 15, 2000

5

2006 643.55

December 13, 2006

6

 

 

It was said back at the beginning of September that the 11 months from October 2010 through August 2011 had been the driest for that 11-month period in Texas since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records. Unless something very significant happens, this will surely be the driest year ever recorded in Austin. We can only hope these records will never be broken. Also, according to the National Weather Service., this summer in Texas has been the hottest in the country’s history. There are also indications this could continue until 2020 or even longer. We can only hope this is wrong. We will be faced with challenges that will be life changing. We will not be able sustain the population, as far as I can see, without massive adjustments and innovations.

 

Pray for Rain!!

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Influence or Influenced

Another day of activity begins. I am out the door in the dark somewhere close to 5:30 a.m. As I pass under the first street light, it is blinding and much brighter than all the others I will come to as it is my first and my eyes are not yet used to the light. It is the dead of Summer. The heat is incessant. There have been over forty days so far with highs over a hundred. Even at this early hour, the air is thick and its touch is heavy. I move out of the light and hope for the most part to soak in my solitude.

I come upon a dog in the backyard across the street. Its barking is unsure and half hearted as though he sensed something was not right, but was not fully aware of my presence. This is just as I would like it. This is my time to be alone. I’m not looking for any “howdy do’s” or “how are you’s” from faceless images in the dark. This is my time to know me and analyze my place in this world. Often I may feel like the person that goes into a crowded room. It is that feeling of being apart, yet still a part of that crowd.

I pass others doing their routine and I do my best to stay out of their path and remain unnoticed. Through repetition you become somewhat aware of their routine, whether you want to are not. You expect to see them here or there and when they do not appear for whatever reason, there is a hole. If you never see them again, you may always wonder what happened to them even though you really have no reason to.

I have been thinking about this in regard to our placement in life. We sometimes find ourselves in what we perceive to be bad situations or unfulfilling jobs for whatever reason. It may not be that we were put in that place or that job, because it was going to do anything for us. What if we were put where we are at a certain time so that we could influence or be influenced by a certain person or certain people. Although you can’t necessarily see it at the time there is a purpose and maybe we should just be the best that we can and let time take care of the why. That doesn’t mean go along aimlessly. You still have to have goals and a plan. It is just that the pacing of this plan is not totally in our control. Take the bumps, fix the flat…but keep on going.

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Crazy in the Heat

Unwilling in this relentless heat to take the time to speak, my blog for a while fell silent. This morning as I made my way out the door I was met by the hot stale breath of Summer. Although, at this point, it was unwelcome, it was not unexpected. At almost forty days over the century mark, this Summer is starting to drag on. I have backed off and am only willing to take a brisk two mile walk in the morning. I will continue with this schedule until we have a week with no days over a hundred. There is no real reason to deplete my reserves in the morning and then totally tear myself down working out in this heat all day long. I keep telling myself it is time to move on, but I know for now i am not quite finished in this capacity.

I watch as others make their way past my view. I wonder the thoughts that go through peoples minds or sometimes even the apparent lack of thoughts. Many people these days move through their routines with either earphones or telephones constantly to their ears. They are so intent on this they are pumping in their ear that they can’t readily react to the occurrences around them. People these days are so distracted and lazy. Too many shortcuts and not enough discipline. We have a society so intent on protecting everyone from everyone else that many have lost the ability to do it for themselves. People are willing to let someone else decide their future.

In my present quest, I choose to change this trend, at least in the scope that I am able. Carefully, I will walk and intently will I find my direction.

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Stumbling Blocks

It is easy to let things get in the way this time of year. Work is very busy, lots of travel or travel coordination and the heat has been very oppressive lately. Yesterday it was 106° F and most of the last week and a half have been over 100° F. My gut was not treating me well into this last weekend and I didn’t feel very well, which meant I just wasn’t going out on the road and I didn’t for a few days. This is just not the time of the year to make a statement, especially as far as running goes. Right now I am content to make my allotted time, even if that time is spent in a brisk walk instead of a run. I enjoyed this morning. It was very breezy and made for a very pleasant time. There may be rain in the next few days, which we desperately need. I will alter my schedule as needed.

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One Year Later

It has been a little over a year since I first started back running and recording my thoughts. Although this has mainly been about my running progress, I didn’t start out or do I continue to think that this would be my only subject here. It will be the main focus for the near future.

This morning I opted not to go out the door. We were out until about 9:00 pm last evening getting the chicken coop add on completed in a way so that we could get the other three “girls” outside. They are not quite to the size that we can add them to our original four…too much pecking going on. Their new pen is attached to the end of the other pen so they can get used to being around each other and maybe be put together in the next month or so.

As for the running, I am at a much better place one year later. At this point last year I was still trying to make it through a two mile walk. I have since run eight miles in a single run. I have slimmed up and lost a significant amount of weight. I am still stiff and sore when I go out to run, but that may be a constant thing. I may be more surprised if that does go away. What has mostly gone away are the pains in my muscles and knee and hip joints that feel like they might be or on the verge of being an injury. I think there was a period of re-alignment that occurred as the muscles and tendons strengthened. I have done all of this in the same pair of shoes and they are showing significant wear. I know I am past due on getting a new pair. It is high on my list of things to do. For now I press on and when my schedule slows down to normal, I will again push to increase my mileage.

Sun 22:18.93 W/R      Mon 21:36.38 W/R      Tues 21:43.46 W/R      Wed 18:33.41 R/W      Thur 22:23.75 W/R      Fri 20:56.12 W/R      Sun 21:39.77 W/R      Mon 26:23.56      Tue 22:39.65 W/R      Wed 45:16.54      Thur 21:19.90 W/R      Sat 45:41.81        Sun 21:54.67 W/R      Mon 23:04.24 W/R      Tue 21:44.43 W/R      Wed Off

 


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Memorial Day 2011

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