I took this while I was running in Isle of Armstrong today. Black and white seemed better than color.
After a two day hiatus from running I’m back jack! I needed a break from running for a couple of days. I was simply exhausted yesterday & the day before. After a nine hour nap I woke up this morning ready to take on the world with my vff’s! I had to go to work, though. So, taking on the world would have to wait til some later time this weekend. In the mean time, though, I knocked out 7.58 miles this evening after work in 88 degree weather. It was great.
I ran by a red floor tennis court that matched my bikilas and the fence.
My calves held up well during the run but not that callused section of the balls of my feet. Once again, they began to ache and feel kind of blistery. This weekend I must get in a looong run. So, the balls of my feet better friggin cooperate! That’s all I’m going to say! If my feet give me problems this weekend I’m getting rid of them! That’s final! I’ll go find some new feet on craigslist or something. If you know of anyone trying to sell some feet let me know! Stinkiness is not a factor but if you really want to get down to it I really would prefer Kenyan or Tanzanian feet. Anything that could possibly make me a stronger runner.
I saw this bird in the canal that runs through the dairy farm and is adjacent to the bonaventure cemetery but I cannot identify it. Do you know what this bird is? click on picture for larger
1 unidentified bird
8 mocking birds
1 sting ray
1 blue jay
this guy caught a big stingray in the Wilmington river and, he's shoving it in that bucket. he said it tastes like scallops. I'll never know cuz I'll never eat a nasty thing like that.
So, where do I go from here? I have a lot planned tomorrow. I’m going to have lunch with my family. After that, I have to look in on some friends dogs because they are out of town. Saturday evening I either have a date with a very pretty lady or if that doesn’t work out I’m getting together with a few friends to discuss a zombie project we have in pipe…”pipe”…is that the right word to use? I don’t know. I’m trying to be hip and cool and with it by using big words like “pipe” but it’s just not sounding right. We’re discussing a zombie project. It’s pretty intense. You all will love it.
I don't know why I took this picture. There was that little walking guy in that box. This was on Victory and something.
Picture of the day is of some flowering plants that grow along the marsh around here in the Savannah area. I don’t know what this plant is called but I’ve become quite acquainted with it at the dairy farm and the rails to trails where it grows like weeds in the marshy areas.
I took this particular picture on May 21, 2011 with my Canon power shot a470 during one of my longish runs. This particular Canon is the camera that I run with regularly. Soon, I’ll be replacing this camera because it has taken quite a beating since it decided to join me on my runs well over a year ago. My next running camera will be of the same quality but with higher pixel choice and a little more rugged. I’m open to suggestions. So, please shoot me a comment on good running cameras to have. Money is not an object. Actually, money is a big object. I would like to work with a budget of $150.00.
Well, there you have it, the picture of the day.
Do you like it? If not, why? Don’t worry about hurting my feelings…I have none.
This evening, I broke the 400 mile mark with my vff bikilas. Yep. I’m at 402.96 miles on these red, smelly, falling apart bikilas. How much more can they take? Huh. That’s the hundred dollar question.
The fabric in between the toes has torn on almost every toe on both bikilas. The soles are severely worn down. In the center ball of the foot of both bikilas the rubber soles have gotten so thin that I expect a tear any day now. I don’t think these bikilas have too much left in them but I’m going to push them a bit more. When I can see the bottoms of my feet while wearing the red bikilas I will then know that the time has come to retire them.
After retiring them I may actually send these red bikilas to Vibram so that they may bronze them and place them in their hall of fame…hall of stank. 😉 In the end I just may bury them at the dairy farm and everyone can go there and pay their respects. I love those bikilas. The thought of retiring them brings a tear drop to my eye. Or is that just sweat? I don’t know. At least, I have my blue bikilas standing in the background waiting to get a chance to jump into the game. The fourth quarter is approaching. So, they may get their chance before too long!
left red bikila
6 turkey ducks: 1 was a baby
1 red cardinal: female
1 blue jay
right red bikila
Today, after work I went to the Island’s Y and did a really good long stretch, worked my abs out hard, did a hundred pushups, scissor kicks, kickbacks, french curls and then went for my run. Oh, I dropped off 20 blank prayer flags at Island’s ymca front desk for the ACS DetermiNation Savannah group. The young lady organizing the Savannah chapter asked for the 20 flags. When I get them back I’m going to hang them at the prayer flag project at the dairy farm, photograph the flags waving in the wind and email them to this young lady. It’s really cool that DetermiNation is doing this and, what a very worthy cause!
stretching my bikila
I ran the Island’s Y trail and some of the outlying areas around it. The total distance was 4.45 miles with a temperature of 85 degrees. It’s getting warm out there!
I felt strong during the run but I didn’t push it. I saw no reason to. I’m now totally in summer training mode. That means that I don’t focus on speed. I focus on mileage. I have one month to expand my threshold and be prepared for the CrematorUltra 50. July 10th, I begin my taper.
This morning, instead of sleeping in I roused myself, ate a yogurt, dressed up for my Memorial Day run and lightly jogged to the dairy farm with a handful of prayer flags (23 of them) for soldiers that have fallen in battle so that we may have freedom and peace in America.
I arrived at the dairy farm at 7:58am and waited until 8:05 in case someone was to join me for today’s run. No one showed but a man walking his dogs. So, at 8:05am, I started my run to commemorate the Georgia soldiers that have died serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was an incredibly beautiful morning with birds in abundance chirping and flying about. Squirrels were also out in abundance. I counted 13 squirrels during the run. It seemed ironic to be such a beautiful and perfect Memorial Day.
the dairy farm prayer flag project
I left the dairy farm and headed up Larkin to Maryland. Maryland took me to Bonaventure Road. I took a left, heading toward Bonaventure and Greenwich cemeteries. I entered Greenwich cemetery first. I had no music on. As I ran through the cemeteries my eyes scanned the numerous tomb stones and the American flags that were scattered about here and there. There was so much activity going on in the cemeteries but it was not human, – it was myriad species of birds, squirrels, insects. The cemeteries were so lively with these critters. The tombstones, silent testaments of human souls, lives come to an end slowly or abruptly. Both young and old are buried in these cemeteries with histories dating back to the early 1800’s.
As I ran the cemeteries I thought of those 23 American lives that had ended in Iraq and Afghanistan. I now carried with me prayer flags for each of those lives. Normally, I am happy when I run but this morning as I ran on such a beautiful day I was sad. Throughout the run I purposely stayed focused on what this run was about. This run was about 23 soldiers, some way too young to be in this mix, that had died fighting in wars half-way across the world. These twenty-two men and one woman died fighting for our country. They died fighting for a belief they held dear, that the United States of America is a good country, imperfect as she may be, she is still a good country. And, these soldiers answered their call of duty and paid with their lives that America may continue to improve and, to be free and to be good.
Forest Lawn cemetery
As I exited the cemeteries and headed back to the dairy farm my heart felt empty and broken.
I entered the dairy farm and ran to where the prayer flags are at. The run to the prayer flags was pleasant. As always, coming upon the prayer flags is moving.
As I hung each prayer flag I read them with terrible sadness in my heart.
PFC Austin G. Staggs; born 01/11/1991, died 11/29/2010
Staff Sgt. Cynthia R. Taylor; born 1972, died 04/16/2011
Spc. Gary L. Nelson; born 01/23/1991, died 04/05/2011
Maj. Wesley J. Hinkley; born 02/19/1975, died 04/04/2011
First Lt. Scott Fleming; born 04/03/1986, died 09/17/2010
Lance Cpl. Christopher Rodgers; born 05/04/1990, died 09/01/2010
Lance Cpl. William Richards; born 01/31/1990, died 06/26/2010
Lance Cpl/ Joseph R. Giese; born 09/17/1986, died 01/07/2011
Lance Cpl. Raymon Johnson; born 08/29/1988, died 10/13/2010
Cpl. Stephen Sockalosky; born 02/12/1989, died 10/06/2010
Sgt. Jonathan Peney; born 07/01/1987, died 06/01/2010
Sgt. David Holmes; born 1976, died 06/26/2010
Sgt. Johnny Lumpkin; born 11/30/1971, died 07/02/2010
Chief Petty Officer Patrick L Wade; born 1969, died 07/17/2007
Staff Sgt. Sheldon Tate; born 09/18/1982, died 07/13/2010
Pfc. Jacob Dennis; born 07/28/1987, died 07/03/2010
Sgt. 1st Class Edgar Roberts; born 01/16/1971, died 08/17/2010
Spc. Shannon Chihuahua; born 05/10/1985, died 11/11/2010
Spc. Chad Coleman; born 03/15/1990, died 08/27/2010
Sr. Airman Michael Buras; born 07/28/1987, died 09/21/2010
Pvt. Jeremy P. Faulkner; born 05/05/1987, died 03/29/2011
Sgt. Brandon S. Hocking; born 04/03/1985, died 03/21/2011
Senior Chief Petty Officer David McLendon; born 11/29/1979, died 09/21/2010
Today’s run was very special to me. Today’s run was to honor those that fell so that I may continue to live freely and safely in America. I never knew any of these brave soldiers yet they have touched my heart and my life in the most profound way.
When I gripe about hurting calves and ill-timed traffic lights on Abercorn there are thousands of American soldiers fighting in wars never knowing whether they will die of old age on American soil or brutally and abruptly in hostile lands. And, whether we want to admit it or not, they are fighting for our rights to be free and to be heard. Most of the soldiers listed above are no older than most of the students that to go to SCAD, where I work.
Each prayer flag I hung today in honor of fallen heroes broke my heart as it should have. We must remember them.
I saw this magnolia tree flower in Greenwich cemetery
[fgallery id=4 w=450 h=385 t=0 title=”Fallen Heroes of Georgia”]
On Memorial Day at 8:00am I will be doing a special run. I will begin the run at the Dairy Farm and run to Greenwich and Bonaventure Cemeteries. I’ll do a loop through those cemeteries and then run back into the Dairy Farm where I will hang a prayer flag for each soldier listed below that has recently died protecting our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. The prayer flags will be hung at the area of the dairy farm known as “the point” where the prayer flag project is.
These soldiers gave all they had so that we could continue living in luxury and freedom. They all died too young.
I saw this vulture on the fence as I ran today. Was this a sign of what my run was going to be like? 😉
It was incredibly difficult to motivate myself to run this morning. I just did not want to run. Have you ever felt that way? That happens to me from time to time. Around 12:30 I decided to go to Fleet Feet and get some electrolyte caps. When I got there I looked for and found cushion inserts for the ball of the foot as well. The lady working at Fleet Feet was kind enough to let me take the inserts out of the pack and allowed me to insert them in my new blue bikilas.
I put these in my bikilas to hopefully aid in my ball of foot callous problem
The inserts I was playing with are called Spenco RX Ball-of-Foot cushions. They cost $7.99. They inserted into the vff’s nicely but they did feel a little funky but comfortable. If that makes any sense at all. I purchased the cushions and walked around with them in my blue bikilas for about two hours. After a while I did feel good and comfortable in them. So, when the time came to run I had them happily inserted in my smelly, old red bikilas. Before I move on to my experience with the run let me mention a couple of other things I purchased at Fleet Feet.
These caps are essential for long distance running during the summer. You just have to find the right balance for you on how many to take during a run
I bought a 100 pack of saltstick caps. These caps do not seem any different from any other brand of electrolyte pills I tried and, the price for the 100 pack is approximately the same as the other brands too. I paid $21.95 for the 100 pills. I took one pill before my run and only that pill for the entire run.
Ahh, I love these things! I want to buy the company!
I also bought a couple of packs of sport beans. These are like energizer jelly beans. They taste great and do not upset my stomach like some gels do. Basically, it’s an alternative to sport gels and those dry nasty sport candy bars. Can you tell that I’m not a fan of sport gels and sport bars? Never have been. I view sport gels and sport bars as necessary evils. So, I buy them for long runs and force myself to eat them. Not so for the sport beans. I love those things. I tried sport beans for the first time while I was climbing Kilimanjaro a few months ago and, I’ve been in love ever since. The sport beans cost me $1.25 for each pack. Everything worthwhile costs money, doesn’t it? I wish I won the lottery. If I did win the lottery I would definitely buy stock in these sport jelly beans! I would be their number 1 customer. So, all the money come back to me! 😉
After I left Fleet Feet I cruised over to my friends home and let their dogs out for about 30 minutes but that’s another story for another blog.
7 mocking birds
1 black-winged butterfly
6 great egrets
1 red cardinal
About 3:00pm I started my run. And boy, what a disaster it threatened to become!
The traffic on Bonaventure Road was preposterous! I’ve never seen so much traffic on this road before! I was thinking that there must be some big funeral going on at Bonaventure or Greenwich cemetery because it was like bumper to bumper on Bonaventure. I kept having to run on the narrow, rocky, soft, slanting shoulder so much that I began to lose my fun for this run. As I approached the cemeteries I realized that the traffic was not due to a funeral service. The traffic was just heavy on this road today. I began to wonder if there was a problem on Victory Drive and maybe traffic was being rerouted through Bonaventure. When I reached Victory I realized that wasn’t the reason either. For whatever reason everyone and their grandchildren’s children decided to drive on Bonaventure Road today…just to aggravate me, I’m sure. 😉
I hopped onto Thunderbolt bridge and ran it with no problems. My feet, with the ball of foot cushions inserted in the red bikilas felt a little lumpy but ok. I got to the other side of the bridge and into Isle of Armstrong and another problem emerged. My stomach began to grumble. That I have a little grumbling stomach during a run on a hot day is nothing new but this grumbling at such an early stage of the run was troubling. I was around the four mile mark and, this grumbling was going to require a bathroom stop very, very soon. I could definitely sense that. And, I didn’t know of any restroom to use on Isle of Armstrong except one at Desposito’s seafood restaurant. And, I sincerely doubted that the Desposito’s employees and customers would want to see a sweaty shirtless runner walk into the restaurant looking for a toilet.
By the time I did get to Desposito’s I had to slow down to a walk and prayed for a way out of this nasty situation. I looked at the Wilmington River and wondered what the heck I was going to do. The answer came a few minutes later when some dude with a very intense look on his face ran from his docked boat past me and practically dove into a porta-john. There was my miracle! Never! Never, had I seen a porta-john in this area, right there by the spot where people unload their boats into the Wilmington River! I thanked God for this miracle but, unfortunately, I was forced to reflect on this miracle for another ten minutes or so. The guy that had run into the porta-john seemed to have fallen asleep in there because he would not come out! Here I am about to burst and this dude must be reading a book in that porta-john! What gives! I wanted to run up to the porta-john and start shaking it and screaming for the guy to come out! I chilled, though and maintained my composure.
So, I went from sudden joy to horrific despair as I awaited for this guy to finish his business in the miracle porta-john. It took him about ten minutes to give birth to whatever was inside him. And, in that time I did learn patience and virtue. I thought about Mother Teresa and Jennifer Aniston and slowly began to feel a little better. Finally, the dude came out and I jumped in. I was lost in that porta-john for approximately ten minutes. I walked out of that porta-john a new man. I felt lighter and at peace with myself and every living thing around me. I continued my run.
After crossing the Thunderbolt bridge again and back in comfortable territory my feet began to feel incredibly uncomfortable due to these ball of foot cushions. I don’t know exactly what had just happened but my feet began to burn and feel terribly uncomfortable where these cushions were. I pressed on, though.
Bonaventure Road was back to normal now and that made me happy momentarily, forgetting that my feet were killing me. As I ran down Bonaventure my Nathan Pack suddenly fell off my waist and onto the street, scattering my four water bottles all over the road. I looked down at the Nathan belt and water bottles scattered about the street and wanted to curse but I realized this was a test. God had allowed the devil to come down and test me just like Job.
My 8.116 mile run and the three tests marked
I passed the first test. I didn’t haul the guy out of the porta-john and throw him into the Wilmington River. Nor, did I crap all over Isle of Armstrong and myself. So, I built up faith, patience and perseverance & didn’t pollute.
The second test was about enduring pain. I was dealing with that without cursing at the top of my lungs nor was I at a point of amputating my feet, although, the thought did cross my mind.
Now, I had confronted test #3. My Nathan pack fell off my waist and the water bottles lay scattered all about the street. What will I do? Will I flip out and start tearing apart mailboxes? Will I jump on top of the hood of the incoming car and start screaming and jumping on it like a crazy baboon? Or, will I do the right thing and just pick up the Nathan pack and water bottles and continue my run? Well, what else could I do? Tearing mailboxes would hurt my hands and get me arrested. Jumping on the hood of a terrified female driver’s car would only get me locked up in a looney bin. I Reached down to the street and picked up my Nathan Pack and water bottles without pulling my back. As I continued my run I realized I did the right thing.
I passed the test. Satan was kicked in the ass and told to get out of town and not bug Dan anymore. I ran down Bonaventure Road and when I reached the cemeteries I decided to run into Greenwich. My feet began to burn again. Trials and tribulations, I tell ya! 😉
One of the burning feet from the bench at the Greenwich Cemetery
At this point I was at the 7 mile mark and had grown a bit tired of all these trials and tribulations. I found a marble bench by a grave stone and sat down and took off my vff’s and just stared out at the marsh. In the distance I could see five great egrets and three seagulls. Deep inside I found my peaceful place again.
They say that when the devil tempts you, if you do not fall for his vices he will leave you for an opportune time. I guess he had decided to come back and rather than get mad and give in to the dark side I relished this particular moment, shoe-less in Greenwich cemetery, staring out at the beautiful marsh with birds gathering about it.
sitting on a bench looking out at the marsh in Greenwich Cemetery
I sat on that bench for about five minutes enjoying the breeze and staring out at the marsh. It was a perfect moment. I looked over at the grave and wondered what the person buried there was like when he was among the living. I removed the ball of foot cushions from my bikilas, put the shoes back on and decided that today’s run was a wrap. I ran home with no discomfort in my feet at all.
By the time I made it home I had clocked 8.16 miles, – a lot less than I had planned for the day but, that was ok. Life isn’t always going to be easy, – you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get to your destination. When I walked into my house, Mr. Gypsy met me happily with a very fast wagging little nub of a tail. All was well in my world.
I took the video above from the pier on the Wilmington River (on the east side of the river). In the background you can see the Thunderbolt bridge. This is a common path during my runs through Thunderbolt.
This is Kao, the very best Thai food in all the low country, if you ask me! They are located in Thunderbolt, on Victory Drive. Darn good food!
I had an interesting 5.57 mile run today. I started off in front of my house and ran up Wessels until it ended at the back of the CVS and Piggly Wiggly on Skidaway and Victory. I ran behind those aforementioned businesses and then onto Victory until turning left on Mechanics Ave. I jumped off Mechanics and momentarily caught River Drive and then back to Mechanics to the Wilmington River Pier. I turned around and ran to Fennel and then Bonaventure.
This sidewalk on Victory is a good running path near the Alhambra apartments.
I followed Bonaventure for about a mile and then hit Idaho to Tennessee and then up Georgia. It was on Georgia Avenue where things became noteworthy. One of the many interesting things about Savannah is how one street can be nice, clean, safe for everyone but the next street over can turn into thugville. Well, I decided to push my boundaries a little and ran up Georgia, passing up several safe streets knowing that once I crossed Louisiana things could get a little hairy.
As I crossed Louisiana some of the houses looked a bit decrepit, the poverty more pronounced. I ran passed several children and older folks. I smiled and waved as I ran. Not everyone that lives in this area known as the “East Side” fits the stereotypes we like to give. Those children and older folks waved and smiled warmly at me. I passed other people and some smiled, others cautiously eyed me. As I reached the end of Georgia Avenue and entered Bolling Street the poverty was quite obvious. A strip mall is run down and the outside walls splattered with graffiti. Other structures were graffiti covered, boarded up and left to decay. I got to Bolling and Pennsylvania where a group of men stood outside of a store talking loudly. Momentarily, they stopped talking and looked at me in what I interpreted as bewilderment. Were they bewildered that a lighter skinned man with an iphone strapped around his wrist blaring out “Bleed it out” by Linkin Park was running through this section of town? I don’t know and, they didn’t seem hostile to me. So, I stopped for a second and took a picture of the business signs in front of that store and continued running down Pennsylvania Ave.
The business signs I photographed on Pennsylvania Ave near Bolling.
As I was nearing familiar ground -(what I considered safer ground) I noticed four young men on the side walk in front of me. Young men or boys, I don’t know. They didn’t look older than 18 years of age. As I got closer to them, their backs were turned to me, but they were obviously aware that I was approaching them. As I got closer they spread out so that the entire sidewalk and the little grassy areas on either side of the sidewalk was inaccessible to me.
These guys were going to make me get on the congested street in order to get passed them. I eyed the incoming traffic and timed my pace to the car that was rapidly passing by us. The car sped by, I picked up the pace slightly and as I was just passing them up one of the kids jumped at me to spook me. I may be an old guy but I’m still somewhat quick and have some dexterity. I gingerly side-stepped around him, got back on the sidewalk and kept a moderate pace, never losing a beat. I’m too old to get intimidated by morons but I will admit that as I crossed Florida Ave (what I consider a safe area) I could feel my heart rate slowing down. I left those guys behind, laughing at me loudly. They can laugh all they want. No skin off my back!
Someone's shoes hanging in a tree. This is never a good sign. That means someone is walking around barefooted.
I turned left into Texas Avenue passing up a pretty park with a family barbecuing at it and turned up New Jersey and then up my street to my house.
It was good run.
1 red cardinal
4 mocking birds
Tomorrow, being Saturday, I’m doing a long run in the morning and then a five miler in the late afternoon.