Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, June 10, 2005

Litany of Excuses

This week has been disappointing running-wise, as I've missed both Tuesday and Thursday, which are my usual hard workout days. This has mostly been due to long nights and more severe than usual sleep deprivation that has kept me from getting up at the early hour prerequisite to do these workouts in the summer. Lots of looming deadlines at work and a presentation in NYC yesterday and dealing with a flooded basement with basically ruined wall-to-wall carpet is basically ruined and now moldy drywall have had me stressed. My good buddy JG and his family from Arizona are visiting, which has been great but has further complicated things as I would like to have spent more time with them instead of dealing with the aforementioned things. And finally there is this insideous sticky heat that seems to enshroud everything. And, I've realized this week, not being able to run regularly, along with cutting off a stress outlet, creates a stress all its own.

All that is perhaps related to a sense of decay I felt around me on the morning Acme loop. Several images of this remain. A car on Powelton Ave, seemingly parked there for awhile, had a side window smashed, in an apparent break-in, on Wednesday and now had its back window smashed out as well. This reminded me of an experiment to explore the "broken windows" theory of neighborhood deterioration, where some pointy-headed type with nothing better to do left cars parked in different neighborhoods to see what would become of them. I'll keep y'all posted on how this car does.

Then they put a metal plate over the pothole on the 40th Street bridge. The problem with this pothole is that it was bottomless. You looked into it and you can see all the way down to the railroad tracks below. So now the city slapped this metal plate on it and I notice that the bridge is pockmarked with these metal plates. How many metal plates does it take before the bridge ceases to be structurally sound? I'll run on the bridge but will refrain from driving over it from now on.

One of my favorite parts of this loop are the big houses on Parkside Ave. These remind me of houses in Park Slope in Brooklyn - much larger than even the larger rowhouses or twins in Philly. The ones on Parkside have been excellently maintained by the management companies that rent them out, but I noticed on the side streets there are similarly beautiful but much more rundown houses. These would appear perfect for gentrification. I then thought that, were it mont for my conscience, I could probably make some money by writing a real estate guide of gentrifiable areas in Philly.

Then there is a little bodega-type store (in Philly they are not called bodegas, but I don't know what they are called instead) across from Overbrook High School called the Sugar Bowl. What a great name that deals junk food, still a legal drug, to unsuspecting kids. Overbrook High, by the way, is the alma mater to great Americans such as Wilt Chamberlain and Will Smith.

These types of things captured my attention, and reflected my mood. Despite the heat and humidity, I ran the loop faster than usual. 8 miles in 61:29.


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