Unintended hill work

We all know that hill climbs are a critical component of training. I find myself today in the mountain town of Ithaca, NY at Cornell University for a training seminar. Of course I had no directions for where to park so I pulled into the first entrance and was told by the security guard, we’ll call him Shecky, that I needed to park in the garage and get a permit. I thought, ok, fine I can do that. I pulled into the garage and followed the visitor parking signs and came to a dead end. A sign there clearly said permit required. Unfortunately there was no booth and no people around.

I walked up two flights of stairs and still no signs of life.  I finally found my way out of the garage, but even then there was no one I could see that was there to offer me a parking permit.  I decided that perhaps the class organizers would have the permits.  I found my way down a steep hill and over to the law school.  I signed in and picked up the two large books I was going to need for the training course.  I asked the volunteer about parking, and she said she had no idea.  Great!  I had walked past a guard station a few hundred feet away from the law school, so I thought I would check that out and see if they could help.

I spoke to the woman in the station and she told me I needed to buy a $10 parking permit.  I said, ok, fine.  She then asked for my license plate number.  Hmm, I don’t know what it is.  “Can I just take the permit and get you the info on the way back?” I asked.  “No I need the license plate number first,” she replied.  I looked at the hill I had just come down, and back at her, and said ok.  I walked up the hill loaded with my books, laptop, and all of my gear, it must have been 600 feet of elevation.  I took a picture of my license plate with my phone, dropped my gear off in the car, and walked back down.  When I got to the guard station I gave her the number and she just wrote it on the permit.  I can write a number on the permit, why did she make me walk up the hill?  Twice?

She then told me not to worry about going back to my car, she would call and make sure they don’t give me a ticket!!!  That’s great, but all my gear is in the car.  So needless to say, I had another climb ahead of me.  I think I ended up walking up 1200 feet of elevation and more than 2 miles.  Awesome!

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step

Confucius never mentioned to watch that first step though.  If you’re not careful you might just trip.  Today I not only tripped but face-planted. It  was supposed to be the first day of my half marathon training but work and then life got in the way.  I know that the half marathon is a long way away, but it is discouraging to see that I can’t even get the first day right.  I’ll make up for it today no matter what though.  I guess it is symbolic.  This is going to be a very difficult journey, and there will be stumbles along the way, but as long as I pick myself up and keep going I’ll be ok.

Of Mice and Mobile Transport

Fresh off my bicycle high I thought it would be cool to setup our bicycle trailer. So I went to the shed to get it out.  We bought this trailer at a tag sale back when we only had two children.  My wife was so excited that I could actually see visions of us pedaling down the local rails to trails path in her eyes.  Of course, my visions were more akin to me toppling over and killing our precious little kids.  As I’ve said, I just don’t feel comfortable on a bike.  But this latest experience really has me excited for it.

So, I go to my shed and pull the thing out.  It hadn’t been used yet and was almost certainly feeling neglected, or so I thought!  However, as I pulled it off of its shelf I got the unmistakable aroma of rodent urine.  Late last summer I pulled my also neglected hammock out of the shed only to find that mice had moved in and chewed through the ropes.  Why on earth would they do that I wondered, ropes aren’t food.  I just figured it was an isolated incident from a time when the hammock was left in the yet to be sealed off garage.  Of course now I know that they were chewing the ropes to build a bed in their little mouse condo on the shelf below.

It was horrible, a pile of cotton that used to be a hammock, and lots of little piles of what used to be mouse food.  Ugh, I was sooo mad.  Oh mouse why have you forsaken me!  See, that’s why people make mouse traps.  You guys can’t be content with hanging out and eating food, maybe causing a plague or two, no you have to mess up all of my stuff with your chewing and your …grrr.  Take a deep breath Nelson.

OK, so the good news is that the damage was minimal, I guess nylon doesn’t taste as good as cotton.  So I scrubbed it with a disinfecting cleanser, hosed it off and let it air dry.  I think I just have to do it a couple of more times and maybe hit it with febreeze once or twice before I put my little guys in there.  Then it’s off to the local trail.

  • The Narcissist Section (a.k.a. Me Me Me)

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