Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sure I have to forfeit all my cool, but...

... I have to admit I like the van. And let's face it, I'm not forfeiting much if anything! First a little background on this van; it's pretty pimped out. I figured if I was giving in, I'd go all the way. Not only are the seats and doors power, but the rear hatch is as well. It also has DVD, wireless headsets, XM radio, 15 drink holders, and more hidden compartments than the Millenium Falcon. I plan to sleep in it tonight.

Tropical depression + shopping trip to BJs + power rear hatch = happy daddy. I opened the thing from 15 ft away and it's so big it's like putting an awning up.

And the storage area is HUUUUUGE.

And I like being able to have the kids get themselves in through the side doors, and with a push of the button they're safely shut into the vehicle while I load up.

So just call me Clark Griswold, and for x-mas someone needs to get me one of those magnetic soccer balls!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Come run with me.

Figuratively, not literally. Nobody ever really runs with me. I've even stopped looking for partners and I now embrace it as my time; time to think, time to wonder.

Yesterday was Dylan's party. It was almost the perfect party. It wasn't too big. Everyone had fun. Everyone left on schedule. That meant an easy transition to the routine today. With Grandma and Grandpa (my mother and father in-law) still here, daddy was allowed to have the rare guilt free weekend run. My route today was one I've done countless times. I start at the end of my driveway. Travel down third beach road and past the beach. Cross over to second beach and then cruise out to the Sachuest Point nature preserve. I loop around the 2.7 mile outer trail, and then back the way I came in. For the most part I've now become so accustom to the scenery that I sometimes pass the time more concerned about pace and heart rate than the natural beauty of the area. Today, however was different.
Hurricane Bill past by in the night, and the sky was a beautiful and calm blue with gentle high level clouds. The air was warm with still good amount of humidity in the air. The ocean however told a different story. The seas were not angry, rather they were "stern". Great long swells pushed inexorably towards the land (and the trail on which I was running) and then crashed upon the rocky shores of the point. These same rocks which were typically dotted with fisherman were now once again the property of Poseidon. Spray launched 20 or more feet above them and then hid them from view completely. On days like this there seems to be an intent or purpose to the activity of the sea. It comes as no great surprise that large amounts of refuse, human refuse, get regurgitated onto the land. I feel as though we're being told in a not too subtle way that we are not masters of the sea, but rather tolerated users. Get too arrogant and disrespectful and you can be wiped away so quickly and completely that the fact you ever existed could be something very much in doubt.
Other images reinforced this "there are many things larger than man" message. The area where we had held the party a scant 16hrs earlier had also become part of the sea. The long ribbon of fine white sand which is second beach was replaced by lines of breakers which washed well past the life guard stands.
As I finished the loop in the preserve and retraced my steps towards home I thought of my family and kids. They were headed to the beach. Had I done my job as a father and taught them to properly respect the ocean? Did they understand the message? Despite knowing that everything would be fine, I pushed the pace on the way home for no reason other than to be once again available to assist should I be needed. As I sit here typing everything is fine. Dylan's napping and Alexandra is playing in the kiddie pool on the deck.
I am relieved and oddly peaceful as the awe and anxiety created by the power of nature has an amazing power to wash away the ultimately frivolous concerns created by that artificial world we call "work" or "real life." I am also reminded of what is so special about this place I now call home. What is more real, a check box or number on some company's personnel evaluation or the majesty of a 10 ft. swell pummeling and then consuming a stone outcropping (and anything on it)?

Storm waves in RI

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's official

I'm shutting it down for the year. Initially I had planned on racing in September, either a 1/2 Iron or a 50k trail race (running), but that plan's now scrapped. Issues that have dogged us much of this year are still present and I need to help out around here w/o adding the stress higher volume training brings. Both the aforementioned events would require at least one or two extended workouts per week in addition to regular workouts. However this doesn't mean I'm not training at all. I'll be doing some, because I go nuts if I don't. And I will be running the Amica Marathon in Newport in mid-October. "But you said you're not racing?" Yes I did, but the Amica (formerly Breakers) Marathon will be a glorified training run because it is run entirely on roads I know. I can also manage the bulk of the training at work meaning I'm around all weekend. And there's no traveling and the kids can come out and see me run. The second half of the course loops around my house making spectating really, really easy.
If anyone wants to come down and run with me or spectate, just drop me a line. You can hang here.