Poison Ivy

Since we are not solely training for a marathon, regular life goes on, even as it draws closer and closer to the race. Last weekend, noticing how the recent rain caused the grass growing between the bricks of my sidewalk to spread and cover nearly the whole walk, and the ivy to spill over the walk as well, I readied myself to the unenviable task of cleaning up that walk. Since I live in a corner house, the walk runs from the front of the house to the back of the property, a good distance. It takes the front walk of four houses across the street to match the length of my fine, brick sidewalk. I knew there was poison ivy along the fence in one spot, and every year I make an effort to avoid contact. Every year I fail, and wind up with ugly patches of scaly, red, blistered skin on my arms. This year was no different. I saw the obvious vines, handled them with gloves, and took great care to keep me and the leaves separate. But I think there were some small shoots I missed and wound up, again, with the rash. It got on my wrist, my chest, behind my ear, on my knees, and around my waistband. That stuff is sneaky. According to what I’ve read, and from my own experience, it takes about three weeks to go away. Topical steroids help a bit in lessening the itch, so does calamine lotion, but only a hefty dose of systemic steroids will squelch it, and one must take them for three weeks to keep the reaction down. I’d rather suffer the poison ivy.

That off my chest, how’s the training going, I can hear you ask. I would say we are doing alright. Last week was a 21 miler for me on Sunday, a bit over 9 minute pace average, with the last mile a steady 8:30 pace. Monday, I took off, Tuesday 5 miles, Wednesday 10 miles at 8:19 average, Thursday off, Friday 10 miles at easy pace, and Saturday 7 miles, again at easy pace. Today, Sunday, Steve, Tony and I met up in Manayunk to get in some hills. Steve and Tony ran an early 6 miles in order to get in a 20 miler. I met up with them at that point to do my planned 14 miler, which included the (now familiar) Forbidden Drive to Andorra route. Steve and I both ran bare, that is, without a Garmin or a watch. In Steve’s case, I think it was by choice. In my case, my darn Garmin 305 wouldn’t turn on. I tried pushing all sorts of combinations of buttons for 10 seconds, but nothing worked. Tony had his Garmin on, a newer model than mine, but he wasn’t divulging any Garmin stats to us. So, we had the enjoyable experience of just running as we felt we should. Keeping up with Steve takes work. Even with him having six miles on me at the start, he kept a rigorous pace throughout the whole run. As a measure of my own fitness, I am happy to report I was able to keep with him the whole way. We did an extra set of hills at around mile 12 for me, 18 for Tony and Steve, just to show we weren’t dogging it. Steve and I finished with a fast pace up main Street in Manayunk, with Tony not far behind. The weather has gotten very accommodating. It was in the low 60’s when we we started, and the sun felt good as it rose. This is such a welcome change from the last twelve weeks of unrelenting heat and high humidity.

After our run, and after high fives all around, mainly for Steve and Tony having done their last long run before Steamtown, Steve left to get ready to go to an Eagles game. Tony and I headed to the Manayunk Diner, a fine establishment serving good old standard breakfast fare. I had my favorite, two fried eggs over corned beef hash, and Tony indulged with scrambled eggs, bacon and pork sausage, french toast and two glasses of orange juice. Not that he finished the whole thing. More than half the french toast stayed on the plate.

My last long run will be next Sunday, two weeks before the race. A three week taper seemed a bit long to me. And the Garmin? Turns out one must push the Enter and Reset buttons for ten seconds, then release and the device resets, and turns on. I thought I tried that combination, but maybe not. Anyway, it worked when I got home.


Leave a comment


  1. jbflaherty@yahoo.com

     /  September 18, 2012

    From time to time my now expired 305 Edge would not turn on, but I learned to give it the soft touch:

    If a Forerunner or Edge 205/305 is unable to power on, a soft reset can be performed to un-freeze it. This will not erase any user data and is most effective if the device is connected to the computer while performing the reset.

    To reset the Forerunner or Edge 205/305:

    Connect the device to the computer using the USB cable
    Press and hold the mode and reset (lap) buttons together for 10 seconds
    Release and wait for 3 seconds
    There should be some indication of battery charging (either Finished or In Process)
    Power the device on while keeping it connected to the computer

    In addition, please make sure that the device has the latest software version

  2. great run on Sunday Frank you are on your way!!! I really like that course the fall colors and trees it’s really beautiful and with the diner at the end what a great morning. And four seasons too. Imagine how pretty it is with a dusting of snow; and the spring time? as they say in your home town of the Bronx…fuhgettaboutit

    • Thanks, Tony. I thought it was a great run, too. You’re adding to my home towns, though. While born in the Bronx, I remember none of it, having left as an infant. Yet, I get your drift.


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