Running, Biking, Triathlons, Swimming, Snowshoeing; what's next? Sal's does it all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Portland on my mind

Truly I am sorry for the four plus feet of snow western NY got within two days of Jan and I leaving for Portland, Oregon. It's absolutely ridiculous to have that much anytime, but mid-November? Wow! However, here it is 45-50 everyday and no rain for the last four days, perfect running weather.

I am happy. In a day or two I will run around Nike headquarters, about a mile from my daughter's home. Maybe I'll be recruited by Alberto Salazar? Maybe Olympian Shalane  Flanagan will join me for a run?
 Probably not, but I can dream.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Subaru Commercials

I'm not overly fond of the hokey down-home Subaru radio commercials. In fact, they really annoy me with the fake warm fuzzy stories. What to do? Well, I wrote my own since I know a family that has two Subarus. The story is called "A Subaru Tale about Mike and Lou".

Lou and Mike, great friends for years, were traveling to Mendon Ponds for a race. Not just any race, this had hills and trails, deer and squirrels. Their beautiful wives gave kisses goodbye and off they went from the cozy confines of Spencerport heading east across the great river.

Kayaks firmly attached to the Subaru roof, bikes loaded on the back rack, running clothes jammed inside, Lou and Mike were ready for any adventure. They had smart phones, GPS devices, satellite tracking, written directions and a gas station map from 1973, getting lost was not an issue. The Subaru was filled with gas and ready for the twenty mile long trek to the hundred acre pond and deep woods of Mendon.

The Sirius radio was tuned to their favorite station with KC & the Sunshine Band blasting out a 1970’s hit and Lou singing along. After two hours they realized something might be wrong. It’s only a 25 minute drive, even at 45mph. The truth came slowly upon the two of them, once again they were lost. Having been to Mendon Ponds 93 times in five years you would think directions would not be an issue, but when you are easily distracted – Squirrel! – well, anything can happen.

Fortunately the Subaru self-directing button got pushed as Mike was searching the radio for another Credence Clearwater song and a sweet female voice came on to give them turn-by-turn instructions. Ninety minutes later they were safe in the Mendon woods, running amongst the wildlife. This is why Mike bought a Subaru and you should too.

Monday, November 10, 2014

To the Dark Side

It all began with the knowledge that a trip to Portland, Oregon was coming up. November in Portland, at least our experience there at that time of year, is rain. The daily high temperature hovers around 48. The rain might be a sprinkle or downpour, the sun shines about 2 hours a day... maybe. Sunshine in Portland can be taken with a grain of salt, it's more of a ray of light through a series of clouds. It's no wonder a coffee shop can be found every two blocks, all that caffeine is necessary to stay awake during the misty months.
Armed with this information I knew a rain coat for Jan and myself was in order. As a result it was me, anti-in-person shopper, online Christmas specialist, who suggested we trek to an Outlet Mall. Jan was shocked and hesitant, having suffered through my curmudgenous attitude in shopping centers for too many years when the kids were young.
The only recourse was to take the Weinpress's along for the ride to enjoy our outing and my potential poutiness. They are world-renowned Outlet Mall shoppers, I was actually surprised that a parking spot wasn't reserved for us. I think Mike has a rolodex with a credit card from all 75 stores in the outlet center. He is listed in the book, "Who's Who in Outlet Shopping" and regularly answers questions from bewildered shoppers on his website,

First stop - Under Armour, no purchase made. Second - Corningware, there must have been 60 people in line to check out, we didn't dare venture in. Third store - paradise - Columbia. I found the perfect jacket, as did Jan. The coats were marked down special just for the weekend (sure), they took my AAA card for an extra $10 off! Now I was a happy man. I was hooked.
We continued around the mall, buying clothes left and right. Our credit card started to melt from overuse. We had to stop at the truck and drop off packages that became too heavy. As any shopaholic knows, when you are on a roll just keep going. We went back to Columbia where Jan bought another coat! At least we weren't like the woman from Ottawa we met, who came down on a bus for $300 to shop for the weekend. She brought a rolling suitcase just to help carry her goods.
But we kept going, back to Corningware, which had calmed down, and bought new cooking dishes. (what do you mean our wedding present cookware from 36 years ago might be worn out?) Jan won that discussion.
Oh yeah, this is a running blog. Well, we all had run in the morning, Jan did buy a few running shirts, and we outpaced everyone else looking for bargains that day due to our fantastic physical condition. :)
I wouldn't say I'm permanently hooked to the Dark Side of Shopping. But maybe once every five years or so it's okay to get store crazy, just ask MW.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lessons Learned

This week was amazing! I learned so many new things in sports and life it's hard to keep track of them all.

1. Madison Kyle Bumgarner, nicknamed "Mad Bum," will go down in history as one of the greatest pitchers ever (World Series MVP winner for San Francisco Giants). My guess is the NY Yankees will sign him in about six years for $250 million. This date will coincide when Mad Bum's arm will be dead.
2. I absolutely love running in the fall season in upstate NY. This fall has been particularly wonderful weather; little rain, averaging 45-60 degrees, no allergy issues.
3. It's far better to drink 70 proof SoCo than 100 proof, at least if you don't want to quickly become a weeble-wobble.
4. Work can be extremely stressful. I'm tired of that phenomena. Every change that was to occur over the summer, before school began, has happened from the first week of school and is continuing.
5. My goal Race With Grace 10k pace, the annual Thanksgiving Day pre-feast calorie burner, is slower than what many of my marathon pace races used to be. I know I'm older, slower etc, but it's still hard to adapt to the change. It could be worse, I could be injured and not running. 
6. I only have to work twelve days between November 3-December 15. This will help greatly with number four above, and maybe save me some money on number three. 
7. It's sad that shoulder surgery seems like a good alternative to work.
8. The time change is tomorrow night. It will be lighter in the morning and darker at night. I don't like running at 5:30am much, but at 5pm it will be dark. It's a conundrum.
9. As I write this blog article it is October 31. In four days I don't have to read or listen to any more political ads.
10. Jan and I are on a new nutrition plan. I do about 70% of the cooking. It's hard to break my habit of casseroles, bread, pasta and fat. I don't know what to cook anymore. A meal without bacon? Without potatoes? Only one glass of wine every couple of days? This is a tough adjustment.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Texting, Sexting, Embarrassing

There is an ass in the word embarrassing for a reason. When did texting take over our society? Cell phone usage in the United States really didn't take hold until the 2000s. In 1992 less than 10 million Americans owned a cell phone, in 2013 91% of Americans owned a cell phone.
I was behind the curve, only getting my cell about four years ago when we dropped our land line. I still have the same phone, an old LG that texts and makes phone calls, that's it.
Sometimes I miss my old wall phone with the 10 foot cord. What an advancement that was, being able to sit on a living room chair and talk on a phone located in the kitchen!

There were/are advantages to everyone only having land lines;
1. No motor vehicle accidents were ever caused by talking or texting on the phone.
2 People didn't walk into me at the grocery store, work or school because they were playing Candy Crush.
3. I never accidentally sent a text to my daughter that was meant for my wife.
4. Webster's Dictionary didn't take up space including the words cell phone, cellular, texting, sexting or mobile phones.
5. Friends didn't include me in their family text "conversations".
6. No one tried to steal your wall phone when you were walking down the street.
7. My identity couldn't be stolen if someone gained access to my land line phone.
8. What will happen to all the trees if we don't cut them down for telephone poles? Do we really want all those forests untouched?
9. My monthly phone bill was about $200 less.
10. The old rotary phones are much more stylish and could match any decor. Who doesn't love the old green 1970's phone?
And for a bonus:
11. My running shorts or shirts didn't have to be designed to carry a 2x4" electronic device! I was free to just go for a run!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Desperately Seeking Roots!

Over the past several decades my visits to the dentist have involved nothing more than cleanings and x-rays. It has been 10 years since I had any real dental work done, and that was replacing a cavity, which came about 12 years after my last one cavity was filled. I've been lucky. My luck runs out today as I go in for my first root canal.
Root canal is not an endearing term. I think if dentists changed the name, people like me, virgin rootists, wouldn't be so nervous about the procedure. Maybe call it "a cleansing rinse", or"tooth purification" or "gum massage"?

Ten things to think about during a root canal procedure;
1. Can I run a couple of hours later? (yes, but I didn't)
2. Will blood be oozing out for the next day? (no)
3. What if I have to go to the bathroom when all those instruments and suction devices are stuck in my mouth? (I did, it was embarrassing). But I was in the chair for 2.5 hours!
4. It costs how much? Are you kidding?
5. Why is a dentists' six minutes equivalent to twelve in real time?
6.What happened to the rinse and spit spittoon? Now they have a suction device the size of a horseshoe that stays in your mouth and takes the fluids away. It was a bit cumbersome, the first time the assistant put it in my mouth I thought I was choking to death. Seems breathing through your nose is key.
7. Is my old silver filling worth money?
8. Do the drills have to be so noisy? It's like listening to road workers dig up old pavement with big machinery!
9. When did dental assistants begin to look like high schoolers?
10. Why does my new crown have to be tinted to look like the other coffee stained teeth? Can't I have one white tooth?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Under The Knife

Health-wise I have been pretty lucky over the years. My first and only surgery was a tonsillectomy 53 years ago when I was four years old. Incredibly I remember a great deal about the event. My grandmother gave me a small stuffed beagle type dog that I named Bela to accompany me to the hospital. A girl in the shared hospital room cried a lot when she got some shot before surgery. My Mom told me not to cry when I got mine, so I didn't, though it seemed like a huge needle they stuck in my buttocks! I remember being wheeled to the operating room and then eating lots of ice cream after recovery.
On December 2nd I am having my shoulder operated on. Evidently there is scar tissue and quite possibly tears on my labrum from the fall I took while running trails in Alabama during late May.
Mike W. warned me some things have changed a bit since my last surgery.
Top 10 Surgery Things That Have Changed Over the Last 53 Years

1.       Stuffed animals are no longer allowed in the operating rooms. (I actually still have Bela)

2.       Recovery is 20 minutes and you’re discharged compared to 1 week staying in the room 53 years ago.

3.       The doctors look like they are 15.

4.       The nurses look like they don’t want to look at you.

5.       If you cry you don’t get nearly as much sympathy.

6.       Not as understanding about “accidents”.

7.       The surgical gowns seem a lot smaller.

8.       You care about how this is going to be paid for.

9.       No clown or candy striper will visit you.

10.   You still may get ice cream, but you have to buy your own as you drive yourself to work the next day. (fortunately I'm off from work for 7-10 days as I am not allowed to drive or use the computer for typing).