Friday, March 14, 2014

This and That Friday

Figured I'd do a post tonight of random stuff as it's been a pretty uneventful day with a few pretty eventful moments including seeing a Peregrine Falcon on top of City Hall today.  My co worker Jan called me to let me know and I bound from my desk with camera and bins on hand hoping I'd see my beloved male on the tip top of the steeple which is one of his favorite spots.  My heart sank some as I saw the falcon as I knew it wasn't him based on its portly looking size (male is leaner looking), but happy to see one just the same.

The Peregrine's this year have been pretty emotional for me.  When I found out one was injured I braved the cold the following Monday with my bins hoping I could see the two of them just as they've always been all the years I've been tracking them.  The construction workers saw me with my bins and asked if I was looking for the falcons and I told them yes and they then told me the entire story about the hawk attacking the falcon and how they tried to save it but couldn't.  Hearing the "tried to save it but couldn't" brought a wave of emotion to me as it was so final and started tearing up right then and there with lower lip trembling in front of two total strangers.  They felt awful of course and apologized to me saying they'd be on the lookout and blah, blah blah as I headed back to the office with tears running down my eyes going right to my office to close the door to compose myself as the last thing I needed were co workers seeing me an emotional mess based on a bird (which is how most folks would see it).  I did it again the next day and the same outcome.  The construction workers would nod their head a sad "no" as I looked just the same with the bitter wind assaulting me which I found rather fitting.  After a few days of doing this work got crazy and had to go to Boston a lot which I found a welcome relief as looking for them with no success was taking its toll on me.  I was ecstatic when Justin spotted two of them a couple weeks back and really hoped it was the original pair but have not seen a bird that looks like my beloved male.  Have to admit I haven't made much of an effort as I sometimes thing denial is therapeutic, but plan on going out there next week as I'm prepared for whatever outcome there is and just glad we have two falcons back in downtown Worcester.

Another highlight in my uneventful day revolved around the stairs.  It all started when I went upstairs to La Patisserie for a rare cup of coffee as I was in number crunching hell and needed something to make it less painful.  Eric was there and I found out he was trying to organize a stair climbing event in our building so was naturally curious considering I spend so much time on them I know each floor just by what it looks like.  Anyhow, it's still in its infancy and who knows if it will happen but crossing my fingers as it would be a fun event to bring to downtown Worcester which needs all the help it can get!  I'd also find out Eric (the owner) climbs the stairs daily but totally different than I do and on the North stairs vs. my South Stairs.  Funny how each person has their own way of doing things with his method being hard core in its own right.  He basically trudges up 24 flights with 25 lb dumbbells in each hand single step.  When he comes down he does dumbbell curls with each step making for a complete killer upper and lower body workout by the time he's done.  It was real fun talking to him as most people I know think I'm crazy when I start talking stairs so it put as much spring in my step as the coffee did as I headed back downstairs to my office dungeon.

And speaking of killer stair workouts, I had my own today.  After watching myself on video tape I realized why I can't get past the 3:50 mark time wise (for 24 flights), and it's because my leg turnover just won't do it until I either strengthen my upper calves enough to run them (working on that) and two rely more on my arms to do at least half of the work and drag me up the stairs faster than my legs want to do it at this time.  The best way to do this according to the pros is the incorporate the single rail technique

An example of the single rail technique can be found via the video above and at the four minute mark.  Also notice the crutch pivot they do which is a blast!  Anyhow, I single stepped two flights to warm up my legs and then tried the single rail technique myself.  Suddenly I was going up the stairs a lot quicker than my usual method and felt as if I were flying!  By flight 12 my shoulders were burning something fierce in protest as they were doing much of the work and I was in such a serious anaerobic state my lungs were burning and crying for more air (which is hard to get in a stair well!).  I stopped on the landing trying to get my breathing back to normal as I said out loud "Holy Shit, is this is hard between gasps".  I prayed no one was on the stair well to hear me because God knows what they'd think and was even more thankful Eric does the North side stairs as the last thing I wanted to see was him barreling up the stairs with his dumbbells after I just got done telling him how bad ass I was doing 80 flights a day and here I was out of breath while talking to myself on floor number 12!!!!  Quite humbling to say the least but it gives me something to work on.  The shoulders need work obviously as well as the lungs and then watch out as I may get to the three minute mark if I work real hard at it!

Another highlight in my uneventful day was getting a new tank top for my running clothes bird collection!  What's that you ask, well I'll tell you!!

You see it all started when I realized most of my trail running clothes are rather ratty looking.  I normally don't mind but since I had to spend some money on new shorts and skirts anyway, I wondered if they had any bird related running clothes.  After quite a lot of time on Google I finally hit gold and found out Peacock running clothes are very in at the moment.  Suddenly the most adorable running skirt I'd ever seen was staring at me.  I looked at the price and my mouth dropped but hell, it's pretty stylish.  Of course to the right of that is the old bait and hook tactic stores use which is the always clever "You may also be interested in"-and there before me were the most adorable Peacock Arm Sleeves I'd ever seen.  I'd also see some Peacock shorts and mentally added the final cost in my brain as I added all 3 to my cart forgoing my usual frugal nature.   You see it was during the very frequent cold spells we've been having and the thought of short season seduced me as I thought of myself running free along the trails this spring.  Sunshine would be on my shoulder and I'd run all free and fast in the woods I love so much that time of the year.  The peacock clothes would have all the colors of the warblers I love so much (except Blackburnian of course!) and I'd blend right in with them and we'd navigate the trails in fluid harmony.  I looked out the window at the cold, bleak day and the fantasy in my head was so strong, I checked out with Paypal and a smile on my face while I thumbed my nose at winter knowing its days would soon be numbered.

But I wouldn't stop there as I now had my own theme in the running community!!  I mean crap, they have the Dirt Diva on the West Coast, why not the Bird Diva on the East Coast.  Sure I can't run 100 miles + and have no tats but hey, I'll look pretty stylish with my own signature duds trudging up the trails here in Central Mass doing my normal 5 miles!  Cha Ching!!  Isn't the top the cutest thing you've ever seen.  Yes the peacock's neck looks a little phallic in this photo but have no worries as it doesn't look as bad on really it doesn't!  Look out warblers because here I come!

To my dismay the running clothes designers don't think of bird related clothes as top sellers so was very happy to pick up the Crow Tank as not only is it bird related but the proceeds also go to the Crow Athletics Running Club in Maine so glad to do my part!

And last but by no means the least check out the score I got at Marshall's today with most of it being on clearance!!  All of this is gluten free mind you which I guess is no longer in vogue as who wants to eat dark chocolate covered date bars (can't wait to try them), when you can have fru fru chocolate truffles from Belgium  the next aisle over.  I happily scoffed it up as I need them for my runs that take longer than 2 hours as I run fasted in the morning and at about an hour and a half my body screams for glycogen so now I'll be able to give provide it with just that and gluten free no less!

Just thought I'd post some of the events of my non eventful day which has made me realize it wasn't as uneventful as first thought.

Take care all.

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