22 April 2012

When Marathons Attack!

Realization is setting in: one way or another I have to get my spongy knees to go 26mi this fall! Fortunately I have a good wingman. My wingman, or rather, wingwoman, is the best I could ever wish for, my wife Meredith. She is tracking our training on her blog "When Marathons Attack!" at


We would love to have your encouragement, comments, advice, and even jokes on our progress at that site! If you are in training for an event as well, tell us about it!

Much to do this weekend

Hello, again, hello.

Ah a weekend off, just lovely. Nothing to do today, the schedule is clear as scotch tape. I love it, but it is not always easy to do nothing. I slept enough last night. The way I know I've slept enough is because I dream, which doesn't happen too often. I've had far too many nights with little or no sleep, in the past because of work hours, recently because of bad sleep hygiene and too much late night TV. This morning's dream was a recurring one: I couldn't finish the operation. It's kind of funny, but when I finally get so worked up in the dream that I wake suddenly, all want to do is figure a way back into the dream so I can finish!

In the way of a marathon training update, Meredith and I ran a 5K race in Milton yesterday; it was a Rotary benefit to help end all global incidence of polio. It was a fun little race that criss-crossed the Susquehanna West branch in and out of Milton state park. We shuffled in comfortably at 30:30, (Edit: Correction, the time was 29:30! No reason to cheat ourselves out of that extra minute!), which didn't put us in any danger of winning. Meredith dipped into her store of luck and won a door prize of a waterproof shoulder bag. Here's a picture of Team Love Life! at the end of the race, upright and uninjured.

I was glad to make it through comfortably because I had been fighting a pinched nerve in my left arm after lifting the tandem bike onto the van too many times.

Here is an impressive photo essay by Craig Walker that won the Pulitzer Prize.


It features veteran Scott Ostrom, who was amazingly frank and open about his PTSD, letting Mr. Walker photograph him at his most pained and vulnerable moments.

 (photo from Denver Post)

 There are so many suffering like Scott, alone, in silence, hidden. In Scott's story I see so many signs of promise and hope: he has self-awareness, he is seeking help at the VA, he is in contact with other veterans, even the fact that he has a dog is glimmer of hope.

This video tells Scott's story very clearly:


What struck home most for me was Mr. Ostrom's haunting memory of an act undone, something he didn't do. I can understand the weight of a missed opportunity, never to return, even if a rational analysis of the event reveals that nothing could have changed the outcome.

There was also time this weekend to rack the most recent batch of beer after its primary fermentation. When I opened the bucket, it had a deep caramel hue, but tasted much lighter.

It is a wheat beer so that is fine with me. It had good layer of sediment at the bottom which I was able to leave behind when I siphoned it into the carboy.

I mixed in apricot puree and sealed it up for secondary fermentation for a couple more weeks.

Lastly, I got to clean out part of the barn. This winter, the Taiwan Coppolas sent us some butterflies to hatch. We nursed them through the caterpillar and chrysalis stages, and most of them were able to unfold orange and black painted wings. They were quite a bit out of season, but I tucked them into a corner of the barn for shelter, hoping they might lay some eggs.They left behind beautiful corpses; time will tell if a new generation will rise.

Please consider helping us raise money for Fisher House, a home away from home for injured veterans. The link below leads to our Team Fisher House donation page. We will be training for the Marine Corps Marathon to take place this fall.