Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Run to the Lighthouse

I decided I wanted to run -(slog)- up to the lighthouse. "It's three miles." says sis. I have been running (slouching along grimly) around Central Park which is about six miles and there are hills (many) so I thought 'Hey, piece of cake.' but instead of eating another piece of cake, early Saturday I set off for the Island's End.

My mistake was twofold, 1) believing in the accuracy of local distance reporting and 2) not planning for or taking any water with me. I decided I would run to the lighthouse,.... I ran for a long time.... then I decided I would run until I could see the lighthouse. It turns out neither is actually possible. The lighthouse is not on the same line as the roadway and is rather, tucked away to the left, where you can't see it from the Island until you reach this stretch of sand and dunes that unless you are a Humvee you are not going to cross. (Oh sure, I could have taken that other road that splits off from the main drag and takes you right up to the Lighthouse's stairsteps, but that would have been the easy way out.)

I took a picture.

Then I headed back. I run about twenty minute miles. You do the math. Oh, by the way, it's closer to four miles to the lighthouse than three.

Yes, they had sent out a search party.

I had a spa day after that. Drank a lot (water, juice, Diet Coke) Watched a cloud formation for close to two hours. Swam in the ocean. Listened to a book. (Bryson's.. wonderful) and laughed at the niece (four and half years old) learning to break eggs with her Nana.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Some mornings the sea holds a mirror up to the rising sun.

The boatmen and the surfers and the fellow with the little camera walking between the sand dunes move, slide, glide across the seaview while the sun reddens her makeup and climbs out of bed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Adventures in eating Part I

I'm sitting at my little table in this little place where the music is not too loud and I can sneak in a little red leaf salad to go with their too-small sandwiches. The manager's a friend, but I am discreet anyway. Anyway, the woman on my left is talking very loudly to someone on her cell and furiously writing notes. I mean furiously, she looked like she was chewing on something made from fuel oil and soap chips, and meanwhile she was writing, writing, writing everything that the unheard voice was saying. And she was asking some interesting questions : Was she known by any other name? A street name. A gang Name?? Write, write, write... she spent how long in that facility...write write write write... Do you think she still carries a gun or guns??? write write write...

I try to read the piece on evolution and ignore the write write writing, meanwhile the woman on my right is having a vicious argument with someone. She is making biting remarks regarding the conduct of who ever she is talking about to whomever she is talking. It takes me awhile to realize that she is not talking to someone on a cellphone, she is nuts.

The first lady and I, who I have decided is a PI, exchange glances and my friend AJ whose physical therapy has gotten him some steadier legs leans over my table as he passes. "It's nice to have lunch in the nexus of three psychiatric hospitals, makes you feel normal no matter how whacked out you are."

Monday, August 22, 2005

I forgot.

I was supposed to think of how many allegories could be made of Iraq. Maybe in the morning. I'm bushed. No pun intended.

Started new routine today

Headed out early and hit the gym for a short session in the morning, then did a half-the-park-run this evening.

Say Please. Say Please with sugar on top.

Anybody want to guess whether the Iraqis come up with a Constitution today? Anybody want to guess that it will matter? Iraq has been a game of moving goal posts. Everything was going to be okay once we took Baghdad. We took Baghdad. Then everything was going to be okay once military operations were complete. Bush announced it to the world. Then maybe once we found Saddam, we found him. Then maybe once they had elections, they had elections. Now it's all about, don't kid yourself, whether they form a Constitution. How many allegories can be made from this story?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Saturday, August 20, 2005

No one blinks an eye.

See? These guys are fast and I use them to see just how slow I can go and still not fall over. Central Park at dusk is a moving place. The last of the cars and taxis are headed for the exits and the bikers and the runners and the skateboarders and the rollerbladers (hey, wasn't there some big deal a few years ago made by the makers of RollerBlades that if you used the word rollerblade or rollerblader you had to use the copywrite thingie??) ok. @. No. That's not it. um. Never mind.

The thing is about running in Central Park is that no one notices you. Did I mention that I run (ha.... jog) wearing a ten pound Fanny pack? I didn't? Well, I jog wearing a ten pound Fanny pack. In it are an extra shirt to wear on the freezing ass cold subway on the way home, a bottle of water (yes, there are fountains all along the route, but I don't like to stop.) my gym lock, some sunscreen, some lotion, (ok, at first I was worried about my thighs rubbing together- a common fat runner problem) and extra batteries for the Muvo. I also carry my Palm, which is where the photos come from, and my phone and my wallet and my keys. Every day in New York City is like a hike in the woods. You must carry what you will need.

So you are running along with six or seven hundred people every night, sometimes more, and no matter how many come running towards you on the road or over on the bridle trail. Oh god, I forgot to add the horse people to the list!! No one makes any eye contact. None. Not a nod, not a grimace, not a grunt. A woman gave me a fierce look one night but I was in what she thought was her lane... So, you are pretty invisible, just like in the rest of the city.

It's the part I like the best about being here. I run to music that I put on the MuVo back before we went to the beach, Gypsy Kings and Paul Simon, some Bob Dylan and a bunch of Marvin Gaye and Peter Gabriel. Van Morrison's Into the Mystic is the perfect slogging song because I have to sing along. That's the secret to burning fat while running, you have to run slow enough to be able to talk or sing. I run alone amongst seven hundred or so people, so I sing. "Diamonds on the soles of her shoes" "Everybody must get stoned."
"It keeps you running" which is a much sadder song than I ever thought it was.... What's your hurry to be lonely one more night? Wow. And Simon's Graceland is a masterpiece... 'losing love is like a window in your heart'... The inspiration for the title of these pages. ah, I've said too much.

So there's the scene for you. A fattish man wearing a ten pound Fanny pack barely putting one foot in front of the other while bellowing lyrics from some obscure Spanish song. And no one blinks an eye.

Okay, so I am officially an animal

This is the view from the trail.

N ow another week has gone by, maybe two I didn't check. Let's see... I joined a gym and have been faithfully showing up and working out. Last Saturday, I left early and ran through the Park to the Six train, arrived just in time to take a shower and get to work. I was supposed to do that again this morning but spent my time cutting up the strawberries that will go bad if we don't eat them today or tomorrow. Haven't lost any more weight but I am losing inches around my waist.

I have been taking the N/R up to Fifth Ave and then running up to the 110th St entry for the C train. I've done it in both directions and proven to myself that New Yorkers are all contarians. Whichever way I am running there seems to be thousands of others running in the opposite direction. Tuesday night the running club had a meet for blind runners. Pairs of runners jogging next to eachother with a short cord linking them. Amazing. I am slogging along, they are running without ever seeing where their feet will fall.

This Wednesday I ran from Fifth Ave to the top of the Park then continued all the way around to 59th Street. Felt very good.

Friday did a short run through Ft. Tryon.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Really. I am doing this.

Ran in Ft. Tryon last Friday and on Sunday morning. Did the 191st elevator finish on Friday and the 184 elevator on Sunday. 191 is tougher.
Very tired Monday night... No running.
Tuesday walked to Central Park from 43rd/10th (looking at gyms.) then ran a big P. 59th St to the top then through the crossover and down to 96th Street. 224.2

Um. Saw a parakeet in Ft. Tryon park last Sunday.