Weary Weekend -- 07/26/03

Even though I skipped the Blessing of the Fleet yesterday, I'm still feeling tired tonight. (As I think I explained an entry or two ago, my brother sprained his ankle in a cross-country style trail run and decided that he should listen to common sense and not come over here to run in a ten mile race. My daughter had earlier decided that she hadn't been able to find enough time to train up for that distance. Well, I had gotten my long run up to eight miles (of course I had only done one of those) so I suppose that having proven that I could cover eight miles, I ought to be able to manage to stumble through two more.... but where's the fun in doing that without someone to share in that joy and pain? *grin*)

Last Saturday my daughter came home from work as I was drinking a cup of coffee and looking at the morning paper. She asked me if I felt like going for a run. Sure, I replied, but there was a 5k race that morning that I was thinking of running, would she be interested? Okay, so off we went to Matunuck for the Celebrate Summer 5k... about a mile into the race she asked me if I would mind if she picked up the pace... I told her to go for it, because the pace we had been doing was a bit faster than I had been running (since I had been attempting to build distance, not speed).... *sigh*... she finished about four minutes in ahead of me. I had explained to her that Charlie and I were going to skip the Narragansett Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Run and instead were planning on the Run Around the Block, a 15 kilometer race on Block Island in early September. She's going to think about it.

Then, of course, came the Sunday dash Nancy and I made into New York to see our new grandson. Got back from New York Monday night. Worked a long day on Tuesday and same on Wednesday. Worked from home on Thursday and put in even longer hours but forced myself to go out for a run at twilight. Friday got a bit physical at work -- a colleague and I swapped out fifteen old computers from a classroom and installed fifteen new ones. We left everything unplugged because someday next week we have to bring in new monitors also. (These new machines mean we now have two class rooms with PCs that have one and a half gigabytes of RAM. And yes, we are teaching courses that do require that much memory to run things properly.) Left work early for me -- five o'clock -- so naturally I got caught in heavy traffic as all the normal commuter traffic was joined by weekend tourist traffic.

Sean was eagerly awaiting my arrival home so he could borrow my car to go up to Providence. (He's been driving his sister's old '92 Honda Civic since she bought a '96 Honda a few weeks ago. But we don't want him driving that up in such heavy traffic.) His plan was to take to go to Providence Place Mall with a girl but first he was going to give a friend a ride to pick up a car his friend had just bought. Later, I jogged over to an athletic complex behind a middle school to do a bit of track work... nothing too strenuous, but Saturday's 5k had made it very clear that I hadn't done any speed work... so I did some 400 meter runs separated by 200 meter walks... got home very hot and sweaty. Phone rings. It's Sean on his cell phone. He didn't have the number for Ronzio's Pizza on his speed dial, so could I call them and order a pizza for him and his friend Troy. Okay. Get a recording, summer hours, they close at 8 pm (this early closing time actually makes sense because they are located in the middle of the URI campus which naturally has only a fraction of its normal student population). Call my son back. He asks if I can call Kingston Pizza instead. (None of this is easy because I've just come in from my workout and my glasses keep fogging up so I can't read the phone book.) Order his pizza, call him back. So, you've finished your Providence shopping trip? No, he had been busy driving Mike up to Johnston and coming back, but he was going to pick up the young lady in question after he and Troy ate. Uh, it is now about 8:10, they still have to get to the pizzeria, eat, drop Troy off at his house, pick up the girl, and face a 35 minute drive to Providence. Just what time did he expect to get to the mall and did he realize that most everything there except the restaurants and the movie theatre will be closed or getting ready to close? *sigh* Now I know common sense is not a major attribute of 18 yr old males, but still....

Terrible sinus headache woke me up around 4 a.m. Took aspirin and decongestant, went back to bed. Dreamed Nancy and I were camping, lying on a sheet in the middle of a field, then we were surrounded by wild animals and one of them was pawing at me. Jennifer came home from work a little past seven a.m., came into our room to steal Tiger (who was sleeping on our bed) to keep her company while she went to sleep. That's when I realized that the wild animal in my dream had probably been inspired by Tiger trying to wake me up (to get him a Pounce cat treat) or to move over so he could have the space he wanted. When I did get up some of the headache remained... I kept thinking that going for a run might make me feel better but the headache made me not want to run. Finally, a little before eleven I set out for a run... of course by then it was getting very hot, definitely in the upper eighties, maybe pushing ninety... I ran my five and a half mile route, but I got so hot that I walked for half a mile, so just count it as a five mile run. That did clear my headache, but left me very tired and drained of energy.... although eventually I gathered up strength to face the supermarket shopping.

One more grumble about 18 yr old male capacity for clear planning: Tonight Sean asks if he can borrow my car (which actually he's been driving around most of the day) to go to Seekonk to see a movie. He and his buddy Ben want to see 28 Days Later but it isn't playing around here. Seekonk is in Massachusetts, almost a forty mile drive each way. I check it out online and that does seem to be the only theatre that has it with late evening shows -- it is about a quarter past nine as we have this conversation -- the showings are at 9:50 and 12:15. I point out that he can't possibly make the 9:50 showing. Oh, he thought they had a ten-thirty show. Nope, there it is on the web, 9:50 and 12:15... So they have gone to the 12:15 show. *sigh* This is a child who will frequently announce around 5:30 or so on a Sunday that he needs to go into town to buy something (some socks or perhaps a shirt, etc.) and I have to keep pointing out to him that he should think about shopping on Saturday afternoon or evening or perhaps Sunday afternoon, but that by that time on a Sunday there's nothing open except CVS Pharmacy, Shaw's Supermarket, and some restaurants.

Okay, and completely unrelated to the above idle chit-chat about my boring small town life... I was just reading a fascinating article by Walter Russell Mead on "The Jacksonian Tradition" in American life and American foreign policy -- it's long but well worth reading. This article is hosted by Steven den Beste (a very interesting blogger) as part of what he calls his Essential Library.

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