Running on a sunny Saturday -- 01/29/05

No storm this weekend, just a nice sunny Saturday.

Oh, sure, there's snow piled up everywhere, but the streets (although a bit narrower than normal) are mostly bare, just patches of snow and ice here and there.

And it's warm. Well, not exactly warm, but certainly not the deep freeze we've had for most of the past couple of weeks. The temperature hit 35° this afternoon. Compared to just a day or two ago, that's a heat wave.
Looking down our street. That's our mailbox sticking up out of the snow on the right.

So, after a month of mostly working out in my basement on an exercise bike, I took to the street for a run. The bike path is, of course, impassable -- I did toy, briefly, with the thought of going cross-country skiing on the bike path but I've not done that in years and didn't want to put the time and effort into finding boots and skis and poles... plus concerns about twisting a knee or something because of being out of practice... plus the practical problem of getting to the bike path with the equipment... Besides which, I really wanted to run.

Looking up our street. Hmmm, "up" and "down" decided partly by the house address numbering and partly by a very slight (almost unnoticeable) grade. That's our mailbox sticking out of the snow on the left.

It was a good run. The last time I ran (not counting half a mile on the basement treadmill) was in Las Vegas in the dark around 5:30 a.m., alternating between the exhaust fumes of the morning commuter traffic along Flamingo Blvd and the semi-industrial darkness of the side streets directly behind the Flamingo. (Not very pleasant.) I did about three and a half miles very slowly (took me forty minutes) and then when I got home, I spent half an hour or so shoveling (clearing the deeply drifted snow off the back deck, making the driveway a bit wider, etc.) and now I am feeling a bit sore.

Of course, I also have homework to do. As I think I mentioned here at some point, Jill and I are taking a lit course together at her college ( ENGL 1370: Literature of Fantasy and the Imagination) and I've got to do the reading assignments for Tuesday's class.

Also, I'm registered for a grad course at UMassBoston (INSDSG 601: Introduction to Instructional Design) that is being given over the Internet so I suppose I should look over the introductory part of the text book before that starts. That is, assuming it really will start. I'm having some serious second thoughts about this course I'd be strongly tempted to cancel except I've already spent well over a hundred bucks for a text book and a headset-microphone combo for use in the class. UMB appears to have some serious technical problems with its IT infrastructure. They were supposed to have sent me my user id and password almost three weeks ago and I have yet to receive them. My e-mails to tech support go unanswered and my e-mails to the director of distance learning bounce because of an invalid address (the one they list on their Web site). I tried to telephone last Monday, but they were closed due to the storm. I was going to call them on Wednesday but when I went online to get the phone number I saw an announcement that they were closing early due to that day's snow. So I phoned on Thursday and was told the ids and passwords would be sent out "tomorrow." I phoned again on Friday and was told (in an extremely rude tone) that they would be going out "very soon, later today"). When it began to approach five o'clock without an e-mail I phoned again and got a recording telling me their offices close at four o'clock on Fridays. Do you begin to see why I'm beginning to question their basic competence? [Sunday follow up: their problem seems to have been fixed; I now have my user id and password.]

Ah well, it did feel good to run in the sunshine and now that we are nearing the end of January I know that we have passed the worst of the winter weather. We are sure to have more snow between now and spring, but January always brings the coldest temperatures.

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