If you smile at me I will understand

If you smile at me I will understand
‘Cause that is something
Everybody everywhere does in the same language

Wooden Ships
On my morning run today, with the sunshine plentiful and a pleasant 58 degrees, I made note of all the folks and runners I passed who offered smiles.  I love this!  Smiling expresses kindness.  It’s not only the mouth that communicates but the eyes smile as well.  I chose to believe its in the nature of all people to smile – it’s undeniably deep inside us.  Travailing in countries where English is not the 1st language, smiling is essential.
Primatologist Signe Preuschoft traces the smile back over 30 million years of evolution to a “fear grin” stemming from monkeys and apes who often used barely clenched teeth to portray to predators that they were harmless, or to signal submission to more dominant group members. The smile may have evolved differently among species and especially among humans.
I plan on smiling a lot more….
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Some random thoughts from a now senior citizen (who votes) about current issues

Some random thoughts from a now senior citizen (who votes) about current issues – This is a way for me to think thru my own thoughts on current issues – Please know that my thoughts and comments are not made with the intent to “bash” or to incite..

I think we are at a point in history where we are trying to figure out “who we are” as a country…The older I get the more I reach back into history to try to understand where and why we are where we are today..Recent history (75 years) can tell us a lot about who we are.  For some this is just someone else’s memory and not relevant to today.  If ever there were a time for history lessons, it certainly seems that now is a good time.

Health Care – I truly believe Health Care has become a right (and an economic necessity) for every citizen. Our nation and our culture has grown to the point where it’s not only desirable but doable. Leadership -Please find a way to lead on this issue.

I’ve always wondered how the insurance companies, publicly traded corporations with a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders to produce a profit, can square this mandate with providing health services that are in the best interest of the patient / insured.

Medicare – Increase the payroll tax rate – Health Cost has gone up so should our dues…hopefully this will put the focus on the COST not the payment… (BTW – Medicare is the best healthcare I’ve ever had…Maybe break the notion that single payer is bad and you may be able to have a true impact on healthcare for all….)

Taxes – I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes- I understand the need for funding government services (schools, infrastructure, defense, etc..) – The important word here is fair. It seems there is inequity between the wealthy and the rest of us. The American way -I am all for aspiring and obtaining wealth but there must be a fairness to this that does not dis-proportionally hurt the middle class or less fortunate. It was the middle class that has sustained (and defended) this country after all. To continue on this path of inequality will (is now) eventually tear apart the fabric of our country and is unsustainable. The wild west and gold rush days are behind us…

Social Security – Increase the wage base limit!!!! This is a no-brainer….

Defense – There’s no doubt it’s a scary world we live in – In and outside our borders…Leadership-please be SMART about this – Bullying existed, but never worked when I was growing up – there was always a tougher quite guy who would stare down the bullies. I am not naive to the threats, but suggest we position ourselves with strength not bravado..Diplomacy first please…

Immigration – Our freedom, universities, economy, technology companies, opportunities attract the best of the best. Don’t scare them away. Compassion please… especially with existing illegals. I know you guys are smart – figure this out….BTW -If I don’t want a wall built, do I still have to pay for it..as of today, looks like the taxpayers are footing the 13-14 Billion dollar bill for this.  Just seems we could spend this money (Assuming we have it) in a much more productive way.  In someways, the immigrant realizes the value of citizenship more acutely then those of us who are birthrights.

Education – Like healthcare, this is a right in my mind. Educational mantra to live by.. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” There are a multitude of intelligence’s – adapt our educational system to this condition. Earned (not free) higher education…. And please – Wall street should NOT profit from our kids education needs…!!!

Foreign Policy /NATO – I lived thru the “Bay of Pigs” and “Duck and Cover” exercises- Scared me -and I presume a lot of people.  Once launched there may very well be no turning back….A delicate situation to say the least.  Strength comes from consistency not unpredictability.  We have always been the calming force in the world – don’t let that change.

Controversial war cost -500K+ American lives in Vietnam.  Just shy of 5k in Iraq.  PLEASE – this is NOT just ink on paper.  Whether you believe these interventions were justified or not…Let’s not allow our leadership to act in a way that puts your Son / Daughter / Father / Mother / loved one in harms way without reflection on this.

I also believe that where there is injustice in the world, we should identify it and position ourselves with our friends and allies to expose and aid those who are victims..

In the course of a day, in my children’s company,  they will know that Dad will inevitability tell them to ..”Be a Gentleman..or Be a Lady..”  Our discourse needs to be more civil as well as open to those whose opinions we may not agree with.  My opinions run deep but I will not stop listening to opposing views – For me this is so very important – it helps me understand others.  I assume their concerns are as valid to them as mine our to me.  I will not dismiss them.  I want to understand.

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One of My Favorite Races….Jonas Cattell

Sunday I ran the Jonas Cattell 10 mile Run – The run originates in Haddonfield NJ and finishes @ National Park, NJ /Red Bank Battlefield Park.

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“Jonas Cattell was born in 1758, on a farm called Lavender Hills. The farm was located just outside Woodbury, New Jersey, in what is now the town of Deptford. While growing up, Jonas loved the outdoors and exploring the woods and trails in the area. He was known as a fast runner; in more recent times, he was listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not for hand-delivering a letter from Woodbury to Cape May and back, 160 miles, on foot, in two days. And at the age of 18, in October 1777, Jonas became a hero.”

Image resultThe 10 mile run, in it’s 46 year, reenacts Jonas Cattell’s run from Haddonfield to Fort Mercer in National Park to warn the Patriots of the pending attack from the Hessians – those being the German auxiliaries contracted by the British government.  Amazingly, the 1st female was Julie Cattell, a decent of Jonas…

I’ve been training for the Philadelphia Marathon for the last 2.5 months.  I  started with a good base and logged one eighteen miler and three twenty+ Map of Forbidden Dr, Philadelphia, PAruns – The last 22 miler was done in Philly and incorporated the last part of the marathon and Forbidden Dr (one of my favorite places to run).

My right Calf/Achilles  has been a chronic issue for me and it surfaced again on the last half of this particular run…I decided to take a couple of days off, walked and invested in a 1.5 hour massage.  By the end of the week I felt good enough to run again and put in a couple of easy 5 milers.

My marathon plan called for a 12 mile run on Sunday so I thought I’d join some of my running club (SJAC) friends and run the jonas-cattell-finish-2016Jonas Cattell run as an easy long run… Ahhh….the best laid Plans….
The 1st mile I could feel the stress in my Achilles and by mile 6th I was done, limping across the finish line…

I’ve run this race many times in the past and have always enjoyed it’s low keyed, local fare.  Many memories, including once running most of the course with Dr Tom Osler, a running legend and role model of mine and many.

I found this picture of me, Jessica and JT taken after one Jonas Cattell run enjoying the afternoon in National Park.  jonas-cattellI can only guess at the date circa 1982 maybe….

I KNOW I probably should have stopped when I first felt the Achilles acting up…But I didn’t and I am probably going to forfeit my marathon plans for November because of it… but I am content in knowing that I marked another memorable Jonas Cattell run and will take my “medicine” of rest – looking forward to when I can run again….

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Jessica is the strongest, bravest person I have ever known.

 

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Jessica @ Ohio State University –

We all “watch” our children.  We watch them as infants.  We watch them as they grow into adulthood.  I have watched my daughter grow into a mother of two beautiful girls.  I have watched her as she has mastered motherhood with grace and assured my granddaughters a future filled with confidence, moral grounding and love.  I have recently watched her with her knowing smile and telling eyes suppress a deep, fear-teased scream that struggles for release.  Anguish.

3rd time a charm?  The 3rd time only confirms what you already know – that the surgery is traumatizing emotionally and physically- That recovery is slow and a constant reminder of the why and the whats to come.

Jessica, Amelia (Mia) and Penelope (Pi)

Jessica, Amelia (Mia) and Penelope (Pi)

Jessica is the strongest, bravest person I have ever known.  She has stared-down a disease requiring three major brain surgeries to date with a grace that astonishes.

Jessica is a real life hero!  I will continue to “Watch” my real-life hero – I will always be amazed at her strength and courage – I will always, of course, love her without condition.

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Between Done and Next

Between Done and Next…that would be what is meant by living in the moment…

a hammock in the middle….* Norman Learjess

The STRONGEST BRAVEST, Most Beautiful PERSON I have EVER Known……

 

 

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Delaware Coastal Marathon -Getting to know the Beast

Getting to know the “Beast”

This is my second time in His/Her company.  The Beast – A mix of gender traits with a lot of the good and all of the bad of each.  This go around I rehearsed with the benefit of my first encounter.  Lessons from the past helped.  Tweaking with longer runs and less mileage seemed to help and will serve as my template for our next meeting.

I choose the venue based on the course and season.  Both turned out to be pleasantly predictable.  Predictability – a premium commodity when confronting the Beast.  Small field of <600.  Flat course.  Perfect APRIL weather.

A friend and fellow blogger recently wrote about -“Semiotics” …the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. -It is the study of how meaning is created, not what it is.  “Looking out; Looking Back”  — a very insightful read.

Each of my encounters with the BEAST has created opportunities /signs /codes for me to reflect on.  I find myself drawn to the idea of ALICE… passing through an experience that leaves me on the other-side wondering “what just happened”?  It takes time to reflect and understand but it is definitely well worth the journey.

 I am looking forward to my next meeting with this Marathon Beast and all its tellings awaiting me through the looking glass….

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RECAP

I ran the Coastal Delaware Marathon Sunday.  Wonderful event!  Beautiful course!  Well organized – They even provided perfect weather.

My marathon weekend started early.  Sue and I stayed in Cape May New Jersey from Tuesday thru Thursday and then on Friday we took the Cape May-Lewes Ferry  and stayed in Lewes, DE (Pronounced “Louis”) for the weekend – The race started in Dewey Beach, DE, about a 20 minute drive south.

CAPE MAY

We love Cape May, especially in the spring and fall when the weather can be so nice and the town is thin of tourists. The pics below are from a couple of the short runs I did during the week.  The one image is of a “Concrete” Ship that must have been a good idea at the time…but….

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We stayed at my sister’s summer cottage.  It’s within walking distance of downtown.  We park the car and rarely use it during our stay.  My wife’s favorite meal is breakfast so it’s understandable that her favorite restaurant is “Uncle Bills” – Same thing every time….

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Cape May is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year.  There are plenty of B&Bs and restaurants, beautiful beaches and a laid back, easy culture.

FERRY RIDE

Friday morning we boarded the ferry to Lewes.  It’s only 17 miles, but about 1 1/2 hour ride.  Fun! with much to see including dolphins, barges, tankers, sails and interesting travelers..The pic of Sue and I is what a selfie looks like taken by an old guy…

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LEWES, DE

inn-welcome

 

Sue and I discovered Lewes last year after the Atlantic City Half Marathon.  We booked our stay at the same inn as last time –

The Inn at the Canal Square. – Highly recommend!

 

The annual Tulip cerebration was the week before so there were loads and loads of tulip Tulips - Chamber of Commercebeds.  The Inn has fresh flowers everyday that greet you upon arrival.

Lewes is like a little Cape May! A great destination!

 

 

 

THE RACE- Packet Pick up

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Dewey Beach  is about a 20 minute drive from Lewes  – Dewey Beach being the race start location.  Packet pickup was on a rainy Saturday and the line outside the pickup location was a bit challenging -but all turned out well.  (may have turned the lady in front of me into a Vampire I think)…We used the trip to scout out race morning parking because Dewey Beach is about 2.5 blocks wide with limited parking.  We ID’d Bellevue Ave as our target spot not knowing that it would be a side street used to enter that last 1/4 mile of the marathon.

Race Morning

4AM alarm Race day.  My things were laid out the night before… Shirt/Pants/Gels decided

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Everything ready!

on.  Throwaway sweatshirt to ward off the pre-start chill.

All plans have their minor bumps.  When I wanted to begin loading the car with our luggage, I left the room telling Sue that if I get locked out I will call her so she could come down and let me back in…Perfect plan had I remembered to bring my phone.  Locked out of the Inn and no phone left for some bizarre thoughts….Our room was on the second floor and I could see our windows.  I started to throw my car keys at the window hoping to get Sue’s attention.  No answer. I shouted only as loud as I thought would not wake up the rest of the Inn guests… No answer.  I threw my keys again and they landed on the window sill, momentarily hanging there.  It could have been less then a second but my RACE flashed before my eyes – Am locked out of the INN and now my car keys are up on the Inn’s second floor ledge.  they fell.. then Sue was at the door..  The whole event acted like a pre-race warm up- would have been interesting to have had my Garmin on at the time and recorded my pulse….

The RACE

As I mentioned, the course was beautiful.  It ran through Henlopen State Park. COLDEL COURSE After the 1st 5 miles, which ran through a couple of beautiful coastal and lake communities, the course turned to trails through the park with crushed shells that made for an easy, comfortable surface to run.

The second half was much the same with ample shade from the rising sun.  Only one hill – A bridge around mile 15.  No worries.

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The Start on Tower Road

 

 

The Towers – Built between 1940 and 1941 to defend against a possible German attack, Fort Miles was one intensely fortified outpost. I think there are 7 towers altogether.

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The Race started without much fanfare. The usual Anthem prior was pleasantly observed by all around me with caps removed.  Something I don’t see at all venues.

 

My plan was to go out with the 4:30 pace group and see how I felt at about the midway point.  So happens the pacer was averaging 9:50 mpm which was comfortable for me but faster than I wanted to run for the whole 26.2 miles.  I fell back (on purpose) after the 14 mile mark.  Later I spoke with one the the runners who was running with the pacer.  He finished with her @ 4:24…

I felt as good as it gets through the 21st mile – even then I knew I was in good shape to finish the race with a smile on my face.  The Looking Glass begins for me @ 22 miles…

Before the race I activated “live watch” on my phone and Garmin app.  My daughter, her husband Chris and my two granddaughters were driving down from New Jersey that morning to see me finish. With two small girls it’s not surprising they were running behind.  They were in contact with Sue as they followed my progress.  They were cutting it close as they rolled into Dewey Beach on 1A only to pass me on the highway @ mile 24 which ran along 1A for about 1/4 mile.  What a sight to see Jess halfway out the passenger’s side window shouting encouragement.

As I said earlier, Bellevue Ave is where we parked and where Sue guided Jess and Family.   I had NO idea the course turned up this little side street and as I made the turn I could hear my granddaughter Mia shouting “GRAN” GRAN” GRAN”  – Holy cow was I moved.  A 1/4 mile to the finish and my family there to cheer me on.  I ran with Mia for about 100 yards before she decided to wait with Mom and join me at the finish.

COLDEL FinishI finished strong at a time that I am proud of 4:45 (30+ minutes faster then Steamtown last October)  – I feel confident that I will improve on this as well…

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My greatest joy is still and will always be the company of my wife, my children and grandchildren.  I am a very, very lucky man to be blessed with Sue who is so supportive! Grandchildren definitely complete life’s circle of love!!

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Consider the “Anum Carped”

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In the books it is……Finished the year with a 2.5 mile run for a total of 1500.06 miles.  1500 miles – Three 1/2 marathons and one full marathon. Last song listened to was “Eyes of the World” ..Thank you Jerry & … Continue reading

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