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Posts Tagged ‘December’


As summers go in North Texas, up until this week, it’s been rather mild.  Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s been nice; especially for running.

Up until the end of June, we were stricken with a “higher than I can remember in recent past” humidity level.  The actual temperatures remained lower than normal, but the moisture in the air was pretty high.  On one of those runs in June, I finally gave vent to breaking my daughter’s rule (actually, she says it should be an ordinance).

One day a few years ago, my daughter was babysitting for some friends during the day.  The friends live across from a park and when she went outside once during the day, there was an older gentleman out in the park sans shirt.  She came home that day and informed us there should be a city ordinance against old men (yours truly included) from being outdoors without a shirt, because we don’t have the body for it.

On some of my really long runs getting ready for my second marathon last Fall, I encountered a problem that guy runners often encounter, injured nipples.  Yup, it can get really bad.  When I could tell the injury was about to start, I would just stop and remove the shirt and keep going.  It was better to break my daughter’s rule than to come home with bloody nipples. Yes, it should probably make you laugh.

In December, we had a warm spell around the day for the Dallas Marathon.  Sure enough, about 10 miles out, I could tell that the sweat was going to be a problem. Now what do I do?  I’m in the middle of a big–very public–well photographed race. I took off the shirt. A marathon has enough of its own aches to slow me down, and I wasn’t going to let this be one more.  So, I removed the shirt once again.  I went without the shirt through about the next 15 miles.  About that time, we reached downtown and the forecasted cold front began to blow in.  I put the shirt on for the last mile or so and ran across the finish line without breaking the “Rule”.

Fast forward to June of this year.  As soon as the humidity level struck, the uncomfortable nature of running with a shirt surfaced once again.  I had learned now that not only was running sans shirt a good preventive measure against the dreaded bloody nipples, it was much more comfortable to run during   serious heat and humidity. The die was now cast.

For most of June and almost all of my July runs, I’ve simply left the shirt at home.  We had a rare cold front at the beginning of July and the temps and humidity were just good enough in the morning that I could tolerate a shirt for a few days that week.  However, since then, it’s back to shirtless running.

Fortunately, for my daughter’s sake, I run mostly in the early AM hours and she is not awake to be aghast at my total disregard for her “Rule”.  I consider my comfort while running a lot more important than what I look like, which I assure you is not pretty.  Since I run a lot in the dark, my pasty white skin was my primary defence early on for visibility.  But, after a few weeks of Saturday long runs, I have resorted to extra reflective bands during my morning runs now.

I’m not sure what the public actually thinks of seeing a senior citizen running loose without a shirt.  I haven’t been pulled over by the police yet.  I haven’t seen anyone look like they are going to get sick.  No moms have covered their kids eyes because of me either.  So, I have to assume at this point that probably no one cares.  I certainly know that when it’s 90 degreesF when I take out for a run, ditching the shirt definitely makes a difference in the quality of the run.  I wonder how long into the Fall this will last?  Happy Running, ya’ll!

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Yes, I know.  I haven’t written a post in a couple of weeks.  It’s been a little hectic around here.  So, I’ll make up for it today.

I have a job, finally.  After a little more than four months of searching, I got a call this week.  However, even that turned out to be a little weird.

Back at the end of November, I interviewed at a nearby hospital.  Most of my experience is doing facility work (electrical, air conditioning, mechanical, etc) in hospitals.  After really striking out looking for IT work, I turned to my old faithful.  However, even that proved to be slightly difficult.  Yet, this job that I applied for seemed to be a bright spot.

It didn’t take them long to call me after I applied on-line and set up an interview.  I went out and met the engineering manager and his foreman.  We talked for a good while.  I say “we” talked.  They did most of the talking.  I just responded when needed.  They seemed fairly impressed with my experience and the three of us got along well.  They were looking for someone to handle the HVAC systems (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) for the hospital as well as the refrigeration needs.  No problem.  That’s right up my alley.

My little area of the crew would consist of myself and another technician.  They were interested in someone that could help mentor and train the other tech as he was fairly new to the trade.  There is also a tech that takes care of the preventive maintenance.  It’s a small-er hospital so there is a good deal of cross over in trades and work.  I kind of liked the environment and walked around with the other tech and got to know him.  It sounded like a very good fit.

The only drawback to the job was that it was at a much lower pay rate than I have had.  But, I was willing to work there and see how things went.  I waited for them to make a decision and even called back a few times.  The manager said on my last call that he thought I was number two for the job, but he wasn’t sure if the other guy would take the job.  Since I heard nothing more, I blew it off and kept looking.

Near the end of December, I applied at an electrical contractor I knew of and another local hospital.  The other hospital job sounded promising and would have been a better paying job.  I was hopeful, but wasn’t hearing back.  I received a call from the electrical contractor last week to come in and start orientation.  With no other prospects, I decided to start.  I went in and did the paperwork, safety training, and my physical.  I would be assigned to a project manager the next day.  When I got home, I put all my tools together that I was going to need and starting getting ready to go back to construction.  Then the phone called.

The lady on the phone was from the first hospital I applied for, the one with the HVAC job.  She wanted to offer me the job and it was a little better pay than the contractor.  I said yes and called the contractor back that I wouldn’t be able to work for them.  There is nothing wrong with electrical construction, but when you haven’t done it for about 30 years, it’s not the best idea.  I was glad to be called by a hospital.  I hoped the other hospital would call back, but I checked their on-line employment thingy today and the other guy had been selected.

I believe that’s just how God has answered my prayers.  I needed a job and wanted to be where He needed me.  Though I don’t know what or how that is supposed to turn out, I know now I am going to work where He has ordained.  It will be hard.  New people and new places.  New things to do.  The finances will be a struggle, but that’s nothing new either.  I know He will provide what I need.

My racing and rides for this year might be off.  There doesn’t seem to be a way those are going to happen just yet.  However, I’ll still be out most days doing my runs and riding as many Saturdays as possible.  I’ve become too accustomed and too obsessed with those two things to just give them up.  During this past four months, they’ve been very important to have as part of my regimen of keeping things as “normal” as possible.  So, your just going to have to put up with me coming up with other things to write about for running and cycling.

I’ll keep you posted on how the new job is going  and how I’m fitting my riding and running into all that.  I’m already thinking of how can I work out a route to the hospital.  It’s further away, but it’s still possible.  Thank you all for your thoughts and concerns while this period of my life had to happen.  I sure hope that it doesn’t have to happen to any one though I know it happens every day.  It’s a new year and there are new things to do.  Happy running and cycling, ya’ll!

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