Saturday, July 28, 2007

Toasty Saturday Run

Very stiff from Friday's drive to San Diego. I should've stretched out last night but was too beat. Ran 12 miles today and felt sluggish and slow. The heat didn't help. I brought water, Gatorade, and salt tablets and used them all. Coach Jimmy ran with me the last two miles, pointing out that my rapid breathing was the result of CO2 clogging up the lungs and that I needed to strike a rhythm and exhale. I thought my rapid breathing was from running with a really fast, 30-year-old guy with no body fat. Nevertheless, I tried and found my heart rate slowing down as I huffed out bad air.

Ernesto did 8 miles today. A saintly man, he finished first then went out and bought ice cold Gatorade and water. I slugged down the whole bottle of Gatorade. We went out for breakfast and I gulped down water. Came home and had more water, another salt tablet and a very cold shower.

I don't think we'll barbecue tonight.


I've been. I've seen the spatially-challenged walking around dressed as Klingons. Bless them, it beats drug addiction. Yesterday, I was a few blocks away at a party my agency throws. Ran into Paul Rugg, who was doing a presentation at Comicon with the Hensen Company. Also saw Rich Fogel, a former Batman writer. Rich mentioned ex-Bat producer/story editor Paul Dini had a panal and said nice things about Rugg, myself and Freakazoid. Hard to believe ten years ago we were down at Comicon doing a panal for the guy with lightning in his hair.

Zup! Another decade gone.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Run to the Elmer Smith Bridge

Like the fabled Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere," the Elmer Smith Bridge spans a rocky draw in the Angeles National Forest. The bridge is closed, fenced off; stopping one from crossing over into what-appears-to-be dense brush. But Elmer sits exactly 5 miles from my start line at the Rose Bowl: turn-around point for a ten-mile run. There is a metal sign that is no longer readable. But in TNT we would ritually slap this sign as we headed back down the hills. Three months have passed since my last Elmer and I was delighted to once again slap the sign.

Finished much better this week. Drank lots of water yesterday, started earlier and slower, then closed strong on the last two miles. Iced my calves all week and will do the same this week. That helped relieve soreness. My endurance slowly rebuilds.

Ernesto was supposed to meet me but bagged due to a crushing hangover. He was caught last night in a Happy Hour Trap where you stop for one after work and wake up the next morning on the hood of a car in another state.

But we'll try again next week.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thoughts on Writing and Success

After a wonderful five months of paying work, I'm wrapping up the last script. Now comes the furious grind of unemployment. Lots of material to prepare and pitch. But that's only if I want more work. A few years back, I'd stashed so much dough from previous gigs that unemployment took on a holiday-like quality. Now I've burned through that cash and must hustle.

I never prepared for success. Things sort of fell in my lap. I prepared to be a writer, but not how to handle money and opportunity. Living with failure was much more straightforward: just keep swinging. But success required planning and goals, things I'd never developed outside of escaping the immediate trouble that non-planning put me in.

Now my goal is transitioning from writing TV animation to books. That's a lot of effort while continuing to pay bills. But goals have stages, something I've learned from marathons. And I'm moving slowly toward mine.

Of course, I wouldn't mind a big pile of success falling in my lap again. But I got a feeling it won't happen again. I already know how to catch. Now I must learn how to reach.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Social Rose Bowl Running

Yesterday at the Rose Bowl, Ernesto and I walked for a few minutes prior to our run. We ran into former TNT mentor Felipe. He'd bought a new Prius and we checked it out. Then current TNT captain Rouman ran past. He stopped to say 'hi.' We were about to return to our warm-up when Coach Katie ran over followed by TNT alums SJ and Raul who had just finished running in the hills.

Having warmed-up physically and socially, we finally set out. Ernesto ran six and I ran eight miles. Blazing hot. A stretch of trail above the Rose Bowl near JPL labs is particularly wicked: shade-free, sun-cooked chapparrel. My finishing time was a few minutes off. Calves were sore, indicating that my endurance needs work. I'll set a slower pace next week.

In-laws were down from the Bay area, staying with us over the week-end. Great house guests. They arose early each day, went about their engagements, returned late and quietly went to bed in the guest room. We finally all met up for breakfast this morning. Now they're driving home while my wife and I are bound for various work-related projects on this sunny July Sunday.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Book Outline and Pre-Chicago Marathon

Back to book outling. Every spare piece of wall in my office is covered with 3x5 cards for novel-to-be "Dummy Fever." I also looked over an outline I finished last year. The story still stands up. I think I'll retitle the tale and send it out to a a few publishers.

Countdown to Chicago has begun. Thirteen weeks to get ready. Ran on a local high school track this morning - 400 meter repeats. First time there. Apparantly 7:00 AM is the cut-off point for unimpeded running. After that, the lanes filled up with mostly people walking. At least there were no strollers, cyclists, roller bladers or dogs on 70-foot leashes.

Or perhaps I left too early?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Garage Door Down

Hit my garage door opener on Saturday on the way out for my run. Wham! The spring broke and the double-wide metal door crashed down like a huge mouse trap — luckily harming nothing, not even itself. I got two new door springs later in the day and now everything works great.

I just didn't have it in me to blog about running or writing.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4 5K

Broiling heat up in Santa Clarita, as I waited to implement Step 2 . A light warm-up before the race left me dripping sweat. Felt a bit nervous as I'd only run once without walk breaks and didn't want to reinjury myself.

Gun sounded and off we went. The 5K followed a very festive, patriotic course along streets decked out with American flags for a parade later that morning. I latched on to several runners who looked more out-of-shape than I and let them pace me. They ran the first mile in 7:58. I slowed down and then hung on to finish in 25.04. This is a contemporary PR, a hair better than the 5K I ran in March .

Today's result was most gratifying since I've only been running again less than a month with zero speed work. Losing weight helped. (Since I committed two months ago, I'm down to 207) And a fairly flat course didn't hurt either.

A bit o' barbecue today with my darling wife, in-between working on a script.

A jolly 4th of July to all!