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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A decent year on the road

We went on a New Year's Eve run last evening, which we like to do when there's no holiday party on the agenda. It brought us to 129 miles for the year. That's our best running year since 2005, when we pounded out 149. We're shooting to top that one in '13, but we'll have to see how it goes for a while before we set our sights on 2004's total of 204. Our best year since we started counting was 2003, with 269 miles.

Having the right equipment helps. Last night we broke out a pair of headphones that are built inside of ear muffs. Put out by an outfit called 180s. These were a Christmas present last year, or maybe the year before that. Given that Portland weather rarely gives us a run in sub-40-degree weather, this was their first outing. We were skeptical, but we hooked them up to the miraculous little iPod, and they worked well.

One discovery we made in the past year or two was accidental. We had always run without our spectacles, but one time we forgot and set out running with them still on. Rather than turn back to put them away, we left them on. It's so much better when you can see where you're going. We have an old pair that stays put even through the bouncing along the trail. Unless rain and wind combine to make them impractical, the glasses are a must.

Shuffling through the songs on the iPod is hit-and-miss, but last night's results were pretty good:

Little Walter – Blues With a Feeling
Al Kooper – Whiskey Train
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Something Good Coming
Wilson Pickett – Don't Knock My Love, Pt. 1
Cat Stevens – Changes IV
Al Green – Tired Of Being Alone
Steve Cropper/Lucinda Williams/Steve Winwood – Dedicated to the One I Love
Girl Talk – Triple Double
Steve Cropper/Steve Winwood – Thirty Second Lover
Stevie Wonder – Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
Billy Joel – Big Shot
Bruce Springsteen – Gypsy Biker
James Brown – Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses?)
The Beatles – Get Back
The Beatles – Help!
Steve Miller Band – True Fine Love
Steve Miller Band – Jet Airliner
Bruce Springsteen – Devil's Arcade

At our age, it takes a couple of days to recover. In fact, tomorrow will be more sore than today. But by the weekend, we should be ready to head out again. The road clears the mind. And if we could just do our regular 5.5-miler once a week for a year, we'd have our record year. For now, though, it's one run at a time, and we pray that the knees and the hips hold up.

Comments (7)

Good luck with the hips and knees, and I mean it. I miss running. For the Oregon climate, when I ran I work contact lenses -- you really need the wipers! But when I switched to cycling, I found that the lenses lifted off and flew away at about 30 mph, so I had to go back to glasses.

Music is a great companion, but I developed a preference while running of going without auditory input. It frees the mind to do something that seems salutary. On a bike, I need ears as well as eyes to try to be safe.

Allan is correct about the hips and knees! Be careful!
Trust me, neither surgery is recommended as a recreational activity, and the replacements are never as good as the original equipment!
I recommend cycling or swimming as a non weight bearing physical activity, and yoga is good too.

I have a ruined ankle from a bad break years back and cannot tolerate any high impact. But if I could still run (or jog, actually) I would aim for three at 2.5 miles each, early in the morning. Fast, easy & energizing. Keep your gear set up in one location. Throw the clothes, the shoes & the music on & go.

I can still walk, thank God, and do so religiously, have all my life. Added in some gym workouts for strength the last few years.

Happy 2013 to everyone. The best $9.99 I spend a month is on MOG. The monthly fee allows use on phone, tablet and laptop. Their catalog is around 15 million songs and you would be amazed at what you can find.

I do not work for them in any capacity, but for those that need songs to work on resolutions, I highly recommend the service.

We've been going with Rdio, but only on desktops ($4.99), not on the phone ($9.99). I can't believe I'm this spoiled, but I don't like to run with the phone because it's too heavy! The 700 or so songs on the iPod are plenty of variety for a couple of hours a month.

You can also upload your whole music library (up to 20,000 songs) to the Google cloud and play it for free via gMusic or Melodies.

No smartphone? How do run without a GPS app like RunKeeper????

Why no Ry Cooder? His instrumental rendition of "Dark End of the Street" is a classic. Though it could leave you both depressed and hopeful, perhaps about the new royalty of city hall. Seriously, the man plays great music, and before he learned to sing he was even better. If you have listened to any early Taj Mahal, that was Cooder on lead guitar, and he wasn't 18 years old yet.

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