Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Late 10

Too tired at 3am this morning to do anymore than roll over and go back to sleep. Then work became work and went on and on until after 8pm. Unfortunately I live an hour from my office so when I got home at 9:15pm I could either a) go to bed or b) go for a run.

I went for a run.

10 miles @ 8:24 pace. I felt the stress of the day bleed away around mile 6. Now that was worth it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Long

Third weekly 20+ in a row and I feel good about it.

Got to run with Marc again which was a treat. He made the trip down and we ran the Boyden loop. We started a little later than usual due to being up late watching the men's Olympic marathon. Therefore the temperature was a little higher than I was used to but I did better than I thought I would.

20.6 miles in 3 hours (8:45 avg pace)

I felt pretty good the whole way. I picked up the pace for the final 3.6 miles as Marc's schedule had him stopping at 17 so I was by myself for the end. Long runs make you feel like you are running faster than you really are.

Mike is missing in action and last word is I won't see him again until possibly the middle of September.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Worriers - Tails of Woe (chapter 5)

15 miles this morning after getting a good night's rest.  Pace was ~ 8:12.  A little warm for me as I didn't start under after 9am.  In fact, today was the first time this summer I have worn short sleeves in a workout.
Below is the final chapter of The Worriers - Tails of Woe.

The Worriers – Tails of Woe


Chapter 5


We join the Grand Council of Worry already in progress.  Queen Xanawoe and the two princesses are in their normal spots on the gray porch.  Badapplesad, Pilgrimsosad, and Herbertofear are standing off to one side in shackles, their heads hanging low with shame.  Herbertofear has not spoken since the clandestine meeting with Whitetipwoe, it confused his tiny brain so much.


Xanawoe: "The Council has heard the evidence and has received the testimony of those involved.  I am most concerned that our worrying had created such a dangerous situation and caused some of our members to consort with the treasonous character, Whitetipwoe!"


A mew of dismay rose up from the crowd of cats.  How could they trust themselves?  How could they refrain from the rash acts that overwhelming worry led them into?  They stirred and worried.


"I now proclaim your punishment," Xanawoe addressed the cat captives.  "From this day forward, you will be INDOOR CATS!"


Herbertofear fainted.


Pilgrimsosad's tears rolled down his furry cheeks.  He was truly penitent and only meant to save poor Madeleine.  Badapplesad looked defiant.  He had to come up with a plan of escape for himself and once he did, he would run away and join Whitetipwoe.


"Furthermore," continued Xanawoe, "I have received a letter from our cousins in Catick, Massachussetts.  They expect Madeleine to arrive there tomorrow.  You see, my information was correct.  Mount Kawasaki has never led us astray.  She is safe and is enjoying herself at the News of Good Camp.  You must focus your worry on truly important things and not get carried away on false scents.  For example, will Purina continue to make Cat Chow?  WE DON'T KNOW!  Will Madeleine's parents be able to afford her college tuition?  WE DON'T KNOW!  Will the water company ever finish construction in front of our house?  WE DON'T KNOW!"


The felines milled and mewed.  They didn't like being in trouble with the Queen and they resolved to behave for at least a few minutes.


Whitetipwoe observed the Council's proceedings from his perch on the rusty slide.  He thought he had had a real chance to overthrow Xanawoe's hold on the Cushion Clan through the dramatic rescue of Madeleine.  But Pilgrimsosad's fatal mailing error sealed that envelope.  He jumped down and disappeared into the thickening fog.


Aunt Jackiewoe continued her troubled existence being frightened to death at every turn.  Woowoe became known as a Tattletail.  And Marthawoe started having confusing thoughts about Badapplesad and went so far as to wink at him when he was led off to a life inside.


Will Marthawoe fall in love and free Badapplesad?  Will Whitetipwoe rise again?  Will Spikefoot cause havoc among the Cushionettes?  Will anyone get any sleep?  Will this story ever end?


Find out what happens next in the upcoming sequel:  The Worriers – The Final Catastrophe.


The End

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Worriers - Tails of Woe (chapter 4)

Rest day today.

The Worriers – Tails of Woe


Chapter 4


Pilgrimsosad walked up onto the gray porch.  Badapplesad was waiting.


"Send the File out ok?" Badapplesad asked.  "Yep." Pilgrimsosad replied cheerily.  "Sent it express."  "Good.  I sent the Key.  She'll get both and know what to do."


Whitetipwoe's elaborate plan for rescuing Madeleine involved a full on assault of the prison camp by the Cat Commando Clan – an elite feline attack squad famous for their exploits.


Pilgrimsosad sat back satisfied.  "I feel so good." he said.  "I just know things will be alright now.  With Whitetipwoe's Commandos, your Key, and the secret File I sent, this will go off without a hitch!"


"Wow, Pilgrimsosad." said Badapplesad.  "I've never seen you so worry-free."


"Well, once I sent that express off to Columbia Falls, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders."


"Where did you send the File??"


"Columbia Falls."


"No, you idiot!  Not Columbia Falls!  LIVERMORE FALLS!  Do you know what this means??"


"Oh, I suppose it will be retur…." He paused, suddenly struck by an awful realization.  "Tell me I didn't send it to…"


"You did."




"Yes.  By this time the secret File is in the hands of..."






"Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!" howled Pilgimsosad.  "How could I mess up the town names like that??  And Frankie will get it.  And Frankie will…"


"Rat us out!" finished Badapplesad.  "Because that is just what he is – A RAT!"


Pilgrimsosad started pacing.  "He'll get it and read it and then he will let his Momma, the feared Prison Guard, know of our plans!!  What will Whitetipwoe say???"  Pilgrimsosad started howling.


Badapplesad felt sick.  Both Cushionettes didn't know what to do they were so consumed with worry.


"THE WEASLE!" howled Pilgrimsosad.


"THE RAT!" cried Badapplesad.


"He's a ferret."  The voice came from above.  Pilgrimsosad and Badapplesad whipped their heads up to see who had been listening.  But nobody was visible in the open upstairs window.


Princess Woowoe was on her way to her mother…




August 13, 2008

The Cage

Columbia Falls


Yo mamma!


Word up.  Smack that.


You won't believe what came in the mail today.  It is the smoking gun.  Absolute proof that the Woe's on Moose are planning an attempt to break Prisoner Madeleine!  You know the one they call "The Charmer".  I know you've been assigned as her prison guard so I thought I'd let you know what's afoot.


Are you picking up what I'm laying down?


And what was in the envelope?  A FILE!  Such an old fashioned way of escape!  But what would you expect from those Worriers?  I have enclosed it for you to see.


Looks like there is a coded message too.  I suspect the prisoner has the key.  You might want to frisk her as soon as you receive this letter.


Peace out.


Frankie the Rat









Kirhlmvi Nzwvovrmv!


Nvnyvih lu gsv Xzg Xlnnzmwl Xozm


Droo hzev blf!






Xlnnzmwl xzgh zodzbh ozmw lm gsvri uvvg!






A = Z                          N = M


B = Y                          O = L


C = X                          P = K


D = W                         Q = J


E = V                          R = I


F = U                          S = H


G = T                          T = G


H = S                          U = F


I = R                            V = E


J = Q                           W = D


K = P                          X = C


L = O                          Y = B


M = N                         Z = A




Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Worriers - Tails of Woe chapter 3

Slow 10 miles this morning @ 9:28 pace.  Note to self: Do not eat raisin bread during a run.

The Worriers – Tails of Woe


Chapter 3


The jungle was thick as Badapplesad led Cushion Clan members Pilgrimsosad and Herbertofear through the high stalks of knotweed.  Pilgrimsosad and Herbertofear were worried beyond control.  They knew meeting the royal rogue was prohibited but Badapplesad had convinced them that this was the only way to rescue poor Madeleine from her prison camp.


Whitetipwoe had aspirations of overthrowing Xanawoe's throne and replacing her with himself.  Long ago he was exiled after a horrific spraying episode that shocked the Cushionette's sense of decorum.  Since then he was rumored to go days without bathing, eat garbage, and allow burdocks to accumulate in his fur.  They could smell him long before they stumbled into his presence.  In the thick fog he appeared before them, sitting atop a rusted slide from a disused human swing set.  He looked mean and his fur was matted and brown from dirt.  On his head he wore a raspberry beret, the kind you find in a second hand store.


Badapplesad stepped forward. "Your grace, we have come under submission to your future rule.  Only you can help us restore our beautiful Jewel, the Gem of our home, the Sparkle of our eyes, the…"


The mangy prince interrupted. "Excuse me but I don't speak Spanish. Foo foo."


Badapplesad, a little disconcerted, still pressed on.  "You see, my lord, Madeleine has been taken off to prison camp which is called the News of Good Camp.  We must rescue her because she is helpless.  She is just a wee thing and if it wasn't for her imprisonment we would never have deemed to bother…"


"You're so vain.  You probably think this meeting is about her" the rogue snorted.


The Cushionette's looked at one another in confusion.  Pilgrimsosad finally got the courage to speak. "You don't understand, your grace.  We came to your lair to ask you to help us to conduct a rescue operation.  We thought that the operation's success could help you ascend the thrown that you have wanted so very long and…"


The rogue prince roared.  "I don't need no education!  I don't need no thought control!  No dark sarcasm in the knotweed!  Creatures!  Leave my digs alone!"


And with a dismissive flick of his tail he turned his back on the supplicants.


Badapplesad got down on his knees and pleaded.  "Oh Whitetipwoe!  Please forgive our impertinence.  Please speak to us!"


With a conceited air, Whitetipwoe turned his visage upon the Cushionettes.  Softly he said, "Like watching the butterfly go towards the sun, I wonder what I'll become.  Ah," he continued, shaking his scruffy head, "Sweet dreams are made of this.  Who am I to disagree?"  He paused and stared at them fiercely.  "I will help you.  Wait for the thriller night.  I'll be at the Hotel California."


And with these last words the rogue royal leapt up over a wooden fence and was already gone.


End of Chapter 3



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Worriers - Tails of Woe chapter 2

Ran 12.4 miles this morning @ 8:42 average pace.  Felt ok – a little tired but not bad.  Felt better as the run progressed.  I scared a poor tourist out on her run this morning.  I thought I’d chat like Mike does.  But unfortunately I got the ol’ We-don’t-say-good-morning-where-I-come-from look.  Must be from New Jersey.  How people find this place I have no idea.




The Worriers – Tails of Woe


Chapter 2


The next morning, after hearing the distant rumble of Mt. Kawasaki, Woowoe came downstairs from her long, soft sleep to find Marthawoe reading the mail.


That’s a lot of letters MW, you must be a good correspondent.”  “No, it’s just a pile of letters to both of us  from our great-aunt Jackiewoe from the north. Not only is she deaf, she’s getting senile.  She’s crazier than an old coon cat!


She handed the letters over to Woowoe.


August 8, 2008

North Moose


Dear nieces,


Got your last letter about 2 years ago.  Thanks so much.  I read it every day.  I mean, since I haven’t received a letter from you since then I figured your arms are broken.  Or perhaps you’ve forgotten how to type.  Or maybe you’ve been eaten by a fox.  I mean, you wouldn’t ignore your aunt Jackiewoe would you?  You wouldn’t be so UNKIND as to leave me here with this black thing of a dog for my sole amusement.   WOULD YOU?


I’ve just read the most fascinating book: Click, Clack, Mew.  It’s really funny.


It’s been quiet here.  Really quiet.  Not a sound.  I get chills just thinking about how eerily quiet it is.  Nobody makes a sound.  What is worse, everyone creeps up on me and scares the living fur off of me!  I’ll be staring through the window and WAAA!!! someone has snuck up on me and touched me!  No warning, no nothing!


I’m getting the heebie jeebies.


With worry,


Aunt Jackiewoe.




August 9, 2008

North Morgue


Dear nieces,


Hello?  Are you there?  Is anyone there?  Is anyone anywhere?  HELLOOOOOOOO???  HELLOOOOOOO???


It’s so quiet here.  The humans walk around silently and only mouth their words to each other.  Their vocal chords must have failed.  However, I am impressed.  They seem to understand each other.  Sometimes they try to communicate with me.  They look at me and then start moving their lips.  What nonsense!  Why don’t they see a doctor?


Sometimes I walk up to them and mew quietly and it just about spins their heads around.  They act like I’ve just broken a vase or something the way they point at me and shake their heads in exasperation.


I’m telling you it is getting scary here.  I’m worried that they’ll stop feeding me and conduct some type of Frankenstein experiment to see how thin I can get.


Well, enough of that.  I’m going to get back on my cushion.


With worry,


Aunt Jackiewoe




August 10, 2009

Soggy North



Dear Nieces,


You won’t believe the torture I go through!  That dog thing came up to me and just about bit my head off!  I almost wish it did.  Instead, the dumb thing just clamped its gooey gums over my whole head and absolutely lathered me with dog spit!


Oh you have no idea!  That gross tongue slobbering my cheeks & chin while its teeth prevented me from escaping.  I’m worried I’ll get some dog disease and I won’t be able to be cured - because I’M A CAT!


And NO WARNING!  I was sitting peacefully on my favorite cushion when suddenly IT WENT DARK!  Slob slob slob.  And the breath!  Ooooohhhhhhh yuck.  It stood there panting with my head in its mouth.  I think I’m going to have an attack…. I am….




I knew it!  Dog disease!  The humans will find my lifeless body tonight slimed beyond recognition.


With worry,


Aunt Jackiewoe


PS.  How’s that Flynn cousin of yours, Crackle Head or is it Wheat Thin?




August 11, 2008

North Pole


Dear Nieces,


I licked the phone today.  I don’t know why.


With Worry,


Aunt Jackiewoe


Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the Royal family of the Cushion Clan, Whitetipwoe, the rogue royal, is back.  He has set up a clandestine meeting of discontented Cushionettes for this evening...


End of Chapter 2




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Worriers - Tails of Woe Chapter 1

Good run this morning – 16 miles @ 8:27 pace.  Felt fatigued by the end which was the intent.




Each year my daughter goes to Camp Good News in Livermore Falls for a week.  She’s attended since she was eight.  The first year she went she was nervous about going (even though my sister is a volunteer there) so I sent her a letter each day.  Each letter contained some escape plans I hatched.  They made her laugh and she enjoyed them so much she kept the letters.


Since then she reminds me when she goes off to camp that she is looking forward to reading my letters.  So I oblige with typical crazy stuff that I seem to have a reputation for.  Now she’s 11 and I was wondering what to write this year as she left for camp.  It dawned on me to write her a short story in 5 chapters (the 5 days she gets mail) in the vein of a book series that she likes very much – The Warriors.  This series is about some housecats that choose to live in the forest in some sort of hierarchy (clans etc.) and catalogs their adventures.  There are cat wars, jealously, ambition, but I’m not quite sure what else happens in the books - it sounded pretty crazy when she told me the plot.  So I thought I write her a few letters using our own cats and the neighborhood cats as the cast.


Each short chapter was written in haste and on the day it was mailed (I generally had know I idea what I was going to write until I started typing).  Tailored directly to Madeleine’s sense of humor, another reader might not understand some of it.  But I had a good time writing it and she enjoyed it immensely (which makes next year’s letters all the harder) so I thought I’d share it.  Read at your own risk.


The Worriers – Tails of Woe


The Worriers are a line of housecats descended from the ancient species Feline Saline (Salty Cat) that used to roam the rocky shores of Moose Island.  The Worriers have long broken with their free beach heritage and now live a precarious existence among humans and other house pets.


Why do these cats once feared for their ferocity and bad breath now submit to the confines of domestic bedding, dry food, and clean water?


Because they choose to.



Chapter 1



The Grand Council of Worry has just convened.  Queen Xanawoe presides with her princess daughters, Marthawoe and Woowoe, seated one step below.  The flaking gray porch with its cracked cement runway serves as Xanawoe’s court.  Present are the loyal members of the Cushion Clan.


Xanawoe, with a wide silent yawn signals the council to begin.  Upon this cue, Smokeysad rises and addresses the Queen.


Queen Xanawoe, may your rolypolyness forever repine upon bedding the most soft.  May the fat of your belly drag upon lush carpets of ease.  Yet, my Queen,” bowing his head to the ground, “We have CAUSE FOR WORRY!”


A collective cat gasp escaped from the entire assembly.  Even though each day brings a new worry to the Cushion Clan, each new instance surprises and shocks them into dismay.  With wide eyes and pointed ears, they swiveled their heads one to another in alarm.


Calm!” yawned the fat Queen.  A regal nod to Smokeysad.  “Please continue.”


If it please your rolypolyness, we have just learned that the human of kindness, our jewel of beauty, she that squeaks when she calls us, her that is called Madeleine… HAS GONE FOREVER!”


A howl of anguish rose from the field of fur.  The Cushionettes were in disarray.  Maxsosad started to head-butt the other cats, Herbertofear rolled over, and Marthawoe started to bang frantically on a window.  Even Woowoe jumped onto a screen and hung there by her claws.


Calm!” again from Xanawoe.  “I have just returned from a long nap on Mount Kawasaki and have received its hidden knowledge.”


The cats were silenced as they turned their eyes with awe upon the revered mountain.  The outline of its unique contours, crevices, and odd protrusions could be seen in the distance.  The mysterious Mount Kawasaki could only be climbed at night.  With the dawn of each day, as the cats slept, it would rumble in the distance and then disappear until nightfall.  It was known to impart hidden knowledge from the heat it emitted in the early evening.


While it is true that she who squeaks to beckon is absent, I am assured she has only gone to a camp of which it is said the News is Good.”


The Cushion Clan started to feel better but Badapplesad, the brother of Maxsosad and a known troublemaker, started meowing doubt among the tails.  “How do we know she is coming back?” he mewed as he weaved amongst the crowd.  “What if she’s been kidnapped?  Why would she go?  She wouldn’t leave us on purpose.  She’s been hurt!  I know it!  Something is wrong!”


A chill of frightened doubt started again to electrify the Cushionettes.  All the cats began to mew in discontent and fear.  But before Xanawoe could bring a sense of order to the meeting the lonesome howl of the evil Spikefoot was heard in the night air.  The Cushion Clan scattered in terror and the council was broken up.


End of Chapter 1


Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday Sunday Monday

Finally got to run with Marc again Saturday morning for a nice 5 miler in the morning.  No time for anything more as I was scheduled to pick Maddie up in Livermore Falls.  Last week has been quiet with some difficulty getting out there.  Hope this will be corrected this week.


Sunday I went out to Boyden for the weekly long run.  Nobody came.  I must have forgotten that everyone was busy?  So I ran 21.2 miles by myself.  Told myself some jokes and laughed heartily.


Today I got in a nice 10.35 miles in about 90 minutes.  Legs were not as bad I as feared they would be.  Took a walk at lunch to loosen things up.  This helps out.



Monday, August 11, 2008

Quick update

Time at a premium today.


Friday I took off to recover from Thursday’s episode.


Saturday was a very short 20 minute run to get some blood flow into the legs but that’s all I had time for.


Sunday saw an honest-to-goodness long run (finally).  21 miles with Mike, Jon, & Ozzie.  I had the freshest legs as each of my running buddies had run a 5 mile race the day before.  Hamstrings a little tight through Mile 16 when I started to feel better.  Last miles were the best.  Go figure.


Monday: Easy 10 miler.  First 5 @ 9:00 pace and second 5 @ 7:12 pace.  Took a long time to warmup but I felt ok.  However, sleep wasn’t that good last night due to some neighbors resolving housing issues for their college age daughter on their porch last night.  I had my window open for fresh air but all I got was a large dose of a family spat.  I had to shut my window to get any sleep.  So I’m tired today.


And the July reading update:


Old Mortality by Sir Walter Scott – good Scottish yarn

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks – good WW1 story with some odd jumps to 1978 here and there.

Falconer by John Cheever.  Finally finished this vulgar novel after two years of reading one page at a time and putting it down again in disgust each time.


That’s all.  Have a good day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Comfortable 12

Ran 4 loops of my 3 mile comfort loop that keeps going by the house. Felt very relaxed and comfortable throughout.

12 miles @ 7:43 avg pace

Loop 1 @ 8:44 pace
Loop 2 @ 8:14 pace
Loop 3 @ 7:15 pace
Loop 4 @ 6:38 pace

Nice and cool with a touch of fog.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The run that was

It frequently happens that a run will fall apart while in progress. Less often is a workout that comes together out of seemingly thin air. Today felt like that.

Mike has me nervous about the final miles at PEI so I thought I'd do a simulation. I ran 10 on the highway and then the last 5 on the in-town loop which is much hillier. A three part progression made the workout a success.

Miles 1-5 @ 8:35 pace
Miles 6-10 @ 7:33 pace
Miles 11-15 @ 7:04 pace.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Back to Dark

3:45am start this morning had me wearing the headlamp for safety. Thick fog kept things cool. I still have yet to wear short sleeves on a run this summer.

Legs a little tight from yesterday but felt pretty good overall. I'm making an effort to get more hydration in during my workouts as I think I've been remiss in this area. With this in mind I carried a 2nd bottle and dropped it off at mile two (and picked it up at mile 8 on the way back).

10 easy miles @ 7:56 pace.

Made it to eight weeks left of training (10 weeks to the marathon). I'll be pushing the mileage up again.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Week Recap

Today I met up with Mike for 17 miles to end the week at a meager 39 miles. Vacation running started off ok with 9 miles on Monday and another 9 on Tuesday followed by a recovery 30 minute run on Wednesday.  Monday and Tuesday sort of drained me and by Wednesday I was feeling the effects of a disrupted routine.  The rest of the week found me just walking.

Today's 17 miler was a lot of fun as I related to Mike the details. Also, he is fresh back from PEI and a first hand look at the marathon course. The first 20 miles sound very encouraging. Some issues with ill-placed hills after that however.

But I'm refreshed and ready to ramp up the mileage for the final 8 weeks of training.