Thursday, July 3, 2008

Where's the exercise gone, Alpha Blondy?

The last month has been... whew, there's been SO much going on (understatement!) that my head's practically spinning. Not Linda Blair spinning, just spinning, like a top or maybe a dreidel, take your pick. Exercise has gone out the door and I'm not happy about that. 21 days since I last ran is pathetic. In that time I think I've had one hike which lasted about an hour.

Exercise is important! What's happened to me then? It's been three+ years since I quit smoking cigarettes and quitting cigs without exercise almost seems pointless.

In the past few days I've been finding myself, every now and then, nearly struggling, definitely really reaching, to get a good yawn-type of deep breath. Breaths like that should come easily and shouldn't even be noticed because they're natural; they shouldn't have to be consciously helped along. When I go awhile without giving the ol' cardiovascular system a good workout, that's what happens. Not good. (Not that breathing is difficult but) I should be breathing easier. Not to worry, I don't need to be checked out or anything, I'm not gonna keel over at any moment. Aside from some extra poundage (evidence of too many yummy beers) that I should really work harder on removing from myself, I'm in overall decent health. Plus, from past experience, I know that running and/or hiking will easily alleviate the breathing thing and I'll feel like a million bucks again. If I'm lucky maybe even a million and a half, a million seven five!

It's just that in the past month, everything's been turned upside down and unfortunately shaken all the hell up in a rather not-so-swell way... also in a great way!!! But the not-so-swell is taking a toll on me.

I've really got to put an effort into turning this around. Or I could begin a new diet of Entenmann's (a fine Brooklyn company sadly gone Canadian) and Dunkin' Donuts, cheeseburgers and cannolis... and maybe some cannoli cheeseburgers! So easily I could flop myself down in front of the TV for 5 hours a day and "bulk" up to around 400 pounds or so.

That wouldn't be so good, would it?

The North Face trail running shoe -- good for use in the Appalachian Mountains ... but seriously, they are rather small compared to the Rocky Mountains ... Sierra Nevada are sweet, too.  Would definitely use 'em in the Alps, that's for sure.  One thing's for sure -- Jerry Garcia or Bob Weir or Phil Lesh or Blaise Compaoré probably never went running in Paraguay, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, Pyongyang, 평양 직할시 조선민주주의인민공화국 平壤直轄市 朝鮮民主主義人民共和國, Türkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Кыргызстан, Киргизия, Uzbekistan, O'zbekiston, Ўзбекистон Республикаси, Tajikistan, Тоҷикистон.  Probably the same with Brent Mydland.  At least that's my gut feeling.  I could be wrong.  I mean, there were a lot of drugs at Grateful Dead shows and the good Lord above, He knows I did my share!80° @ 9:15 a.m...
a little freakin' warm
in the South Carolina Lowcountry
Thursday Morning Run: 10 minutes 50 sec-like 11 minutes
Running in July:10:50
June:1 hour 47 minutes
May:4 hours 46 minutes

Well, (running in) June got shot to shit.
Yeah, hooray for that.

New month, new beginning. New state, too.
Hotter temperatures, too.
Yeah, hooray for that.

Last night when I planned this morning's run, I knew that I did not want to try picking up where I left off on June 11. Actually, yes, I did want to but to be more accurate: I didn't think it would be prudent at this juncture.

A step back I'd have to take but a step back is better than not running at all.

I had planned for 3 songs / around 14 minutes or running -- I quit after 2 songs. Failure. But it's acceptable failure today as I didn't really know how this run would go. It wasn't so bad but the temperature, unfortunately, really began to wipe me out near the end. If I looked back through each run in 2008, the high temperature outdoors (versus a steady mid-70's indoors which I had gotten used to and was no big deal) might be only around 63-65 or so -- a little bit warm but not bad. Usually, if I recall correctly, rarely did I run when it was over 60!

This morning right around 9:15, as I stretched and took my first steps of running since June 11 -- and practically on the other side of the continent -- the temp was right about 80° (27 C.) Hot. Luckily I went in the morning when the sun was low on the horizon and not blaring down from right overhead. Holy crap, that would have killed me. I'd actually like to be able to get used to running under the bright & hot noonday sun... but not yet!

I suppose for now, this was a decent start.

Goal for July -- HAAA!!! I have no idea.

Revised Goal for July: run what I can at least 15 times.

1 down, 14 to go.

PHONOGRAPHRunning tunes came
from this album o' the day...
Alpha Blondy - Cocody Rock!!! [CD cover] (1984)Alpha Blondy

Cocody Rock!!!

Cocody Rock
Interplanetary Revolution
Fangandan Kameleba
Bory Samory

Ahhh, Alpha Blondy. Once upon a time me and my friends -- or my friends and I -- we were into ski movies, wanted to ski like the people in them, be in them, and even make them. (Long time ago!) Our heroes were Glen Plake and Scot Schmidt and Mike Hattrup who starred in a bunch of mucho classico Greg Stump ski movies in the late 80's and early 90's (which would make a neat-o present someday (see Amazon link) hint hint!)

Anyway, great music is used throughout those movies and that included a song or two by Alpha Blondy. Great stuff and those two songs became a part of life back then. Since then, my exposure to other Alpha Blondy music has been non-existent... until now.

Running to reggae isn't easy because the beat is rarely fast enough to inspire... but with my run today this album worked out just fine. I gave this a few listens a few weeks ago when I first acquired it and was immediately drawn to how good these tunes are. I feel like a lot of reggae sounds so close to the same but frankly, if I like it, I don't care. And this
artist from the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) I really dig... even if I can't understand it all. Half of the songs, I think, are in some sort of pseudo-French. While I have a basic grasp of français, it's not so easy for me to follow it all in song... but it's still good, fun music to listen to! More important than fun, maybe not so much here but apparently on his other albums, his music has messages on poverty, racism and other social injustices that people in this world should not have to put up with.

For some info on Alpha Blondy's charitable causes, check out:

Alpha Blondy Jah Glory Foundation
Alpha Blondy Jah Glory Foundation logo
"Benefiting African Women and Children Charities in Africa and Haiti"

320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE find a dload @ Rique do Reggae 320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE
320 kbps mp3 download
"Cocody Rock" - May 16, 2007
Montevideo, Uruguay


rundangerously said...

it's all about moving forward! don't be so hard on yourself - you still got out there and ran (2 songs better than 0 songs)...

just think "the wheel" :D

Anna said...

I would think your newly acquired stress and climate change is what's causing your inability to catch a deep breath issue. Trust me, I know from experience
Take care of yourself.
*shakes pointy finger at Zoooma*

btsacto said...

No worries, dude- you QUIT smoking - that's always a plus. I was out on vacation for 3 weeks - did you move back to the lower 48? Definately climate shock!

Hang in there!

Sugarmag said...

Hiya Zoooma, I have never heard of Alpha Blondie, that is very cool, I will check it out. Reggae is good. Ya know what!?!? So what that you only made it through 2 songs? You ran today! That's a victory!

Zooomabooma said...


Rundangerously! Thanks for stopping by again! One of these days I swear I'm gonna run a marathon but in the meantime, thanks for that! It's all about moving forward -- I like that! And one o' these days I'm gonna have to put The Wheel into a running playlist; have a little Weir & Garcia to help carry me along!

Hey there, Anna! I always thought my breathing became a tiny bit labored after periods of physical INactivity but stress might play into that, also, plus the heat down here. Will be takin' care of myself!

Climate shock indeed, btsacto! My dad recently had open heart surgery to replace a valve. He's recovering slowly but surely and I'm down here (in South Carolina) helping him out. And quitting smoking was a HUGE plus! Went cold turkey and never looked back!!! Hey, good to see you here again, hope you had a good vacation!

Heya Sugarmag! Alpha Blondy, aside from being a wonderful humanitarian, his music is some great reggae! If you'd like to, I think we can surely give a listen sometime :)

It was so great on the phone hearing the excitement in your voice when I told you I finally got out for a run again!!

You're so wonderful for all your encouragement and support in my running! Well, that's not the only reason you're wonderful but it plays a small part in the bigger picture! Thank you! :)

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated