Saturday, June 30, 2007
Farewell Nebraska - HELLO IOWA!!!
And, today, I crossed into Iowa! By way of bike trails from Dakota City (where we stayed at a lovely campground right on the Missouri), through South Sioux City, over the Missouri, and into/through Sioux City - with the capable and enjoyable guide services of Randy from the Missouri River Runners. After leaving Randy and the bike trails I headed through running buddy Patti's old neighborhood of Leeds, then out on county roads per the advice of the Iowa Department of Transportation. They're right about less traffic on these roads - but the shoulder is non-runnable/non-existent, and drivers don't seem to be disposed to move over at all as they barrel down the roads at 60 mph. We've already been reworking the route to avoid the heavy tourist area of Spirit Lake since I'm behind schedule and would be landing there during the holiday week. I think we'll now rework it further to try to find a compromise between no-shoulder county roads and heavier-traffic roads. This little project is still keeping me on my toes (so to speak)!
- Kendall asked me if I was feeling bullet proof yet. No way. Between the Leg Incident and the heat (always respect the heat), I'm still feeling very mortal - but a very happy mortal!
- Corn has grown from calf-high in Colorado to taller-than-me now in eastern Nebraska and Iowa.
- I got spoiled this morning with a bit of flat as I finished off Nebraska. But Iowa is treating me to hills again. No chance of getting bored on this run. Nope nope!
- While camping at the combo campground and airport in Wayne, Nebraska we were treated to a firefly show - blinking glow lights covering the grass as far as we could see, right at sunset. Magic!
- New claim to fame: I appear to be capable of starting pig stampedes just by running by (and, well, making a comment about the size of their ears).
- Food roadkill to date: velveeta cheese package melted all over the asphalt (in Colorado), a hamburger sandwich with each layer dribbling down the road, a pork chop (yesterday), and a large bunch of bananas (today).
- And, thanks to all these miles, today I ate my first entire ice cream sundae at Blue Bunny headquarters in Le Mars, Iowa. Yummm!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Days 15-20 Burwell-to-Norfolk (ish)
My first hiccup.
- Day 15 (June 20): Nice early start, feeling very good after my rest day, cruising the hilly curvy Victoria Springs road toward Taylor. By late morning, the top of my right foot was a bit sore - I thought maybe the knot in my laces was in the wrong place. During the afternoon the pain got worse and worked its way up my lower leg. I ended the day on the top of Divide Hill 5 miles south of Taylor. We stayed in a great little hotel in Taylor that night - with a bathtub for a long ice soak.
- Day 16 (June 21): Got back out on the road and only made it 5 miles (to the intersection of 183 and 91 for those of you following along at home) before I decided the leg needed attention. So it was off to Burwell for a visit to a Physical Therapist (thanks Andy!), a day of icing, and a relaxing day at the Calamus Reservoir campground. The probable problem is an inflamed muscle - perhaps from the curvy hilly road and fighting the cross winds (blowing from the south as I head east).
- Day 17 (June 22): Tried running again and quit at two miles...still too painful. I climbed in the RV and told Lysa we should just head back into Burwell for coffee. A most excellent move! We asked a woman we saw walking down the street about coffee spots and she told us that every Friday the Senior Center offers up pie and coffee for 1.25. So off to the Senior Center we went! 'Twas easy to find as we just followed the woman carrying a big pumpkin pie. When I got up to the pie display, the woman working the counter asked if I was the person running across the country. I was rather taken aback by the question and replied "Yes. How did you know?" She looked over at a long table filled with women about my mom's age +/- 10-20 years (mom is 86) and said "The girls were talking about you." It turns out that some of the women volunteer at the Chamber of Commerce and saw my letter describing my planned trip and asking for information about the Burwell area. So we got our pie and sat down with "the girls" and had a most delightful morning! Thank you, Burwell! The rest of the day was spent seeing sights, icing, and getting massage lessons by phone from Holly "Magic Fingers Beggsy" - which have made a tremendous difference.
- Day 18 (June 23): After all the hoopla at the Burwell Senior Center yesterday I really believed that I should at least run past Burwell - so it was back to yesterday's finishing point and I put in a very slow 15 miles to the Willow Springs campground two miles past Burwell. My leg was pretty darned sore by that point and I wondered just how my adventure would proceed. Kendall and Paul returned in the evening - the girls' week was wrapping up. I surely did appreciate Lysa's companionship - a fountain of knowledge, great sense of humor, and as easy going with this sweaty high-maintenance runner as could be.
- Day 19 (June 24): Ran conservatively from the campground, enjoying the coolness of our third consecutive morning of fog, icing my leg every few miles - and managed 12 miles in the morning followed by 10 miles in the afternoon (finishing in Ericson) - much to my surprise. Weehaww! The adventure rolls on!
- Day 20 (June 25): Another good day - 28 miles total in still-hilly, still-warm/hot, still-humid, still-windy Nebraska. After the run, we continued north 20+ miles to the nearest campground we could find info on - in Neligh, Nebraska.
- Day 21 (June 26): So there we are in the Neligh Town Park campground, spitting distance from the Cowboy Trail. Our choice was to drive back south the 20+ miles for more two-lane road running, jumping off every time a vehicle dashed by - or - start the Cowboy Trail from our campsite (joining the trail about 5 miles northwest of the originally planned starting point). Given that I was 3 days behind schedule, and was seriously jonesing for some trail running, I opted for the route change. Thus today's run became 31 miles of all Cowboy Trail. My legs are so happy.
- Waking up to the sound of birds
- Surrounded by corn: corn in fields, corn kernels along the road, pieces of corn stalks scattered about, campground shower curtains patterned like corn
- Prairie parking lot (cars in a field buried in prairie grass)
- Spectacular scenery throughout the sandhills that I never would have seen had I not gone on this adventure
- Paul riding his bike along with me, describing the new Spiderman movie - and the nearby cows all gathering up along the fence to hear his narrative
- Speaking of cows: two dark brown cows with white tails (like cream dripping down from their backs) - and a giant bull (he stood a head above all the other cows) with a humoungous head that looked a whole lot like a Klingon.
- More and more types of wildflowers springing up along the way
- Frappucino at the end of another hot day - ohhh did that taste good (I've not been drinking coffee on my running days)
- Ericson: the home of the Starving Stallion Saloon along the highway and the Hungry Horse Bar & Grill in town.
- Brand new road surface for a few miles - and got to see how the paint truck lays stripes down on the road (both middle stripes and one shoulder strip all at one time)
- Ran faster than the earth-moving machine that was packing down a long strip of dirt - the only thing I've run faster than this whole trip!
- Grasshoppers and caterpillars blown tumbling down the road in the Nebraska wind
- Every town - and I mean every town - we've stopped in for our midday break has had a town park with a baseball field - and usually water and restrooms!
- A cake walk (with over 100 slots) painted on Main Street in Meadow Grove
- The Cowboy Trail with wild raspberries growing along the trail
- The Cowboy Trail where we could stand still and hear nothing but birds
- The peacefulness of this country that is infusing my soul
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Days 10-14: Ogallala-to-Victoria Springs, Nebraska
Nebraska, so far, has been a journey along the oh-so-straight Lincoln Highway followed by the rambling sand hills (the operative word being “hills”). The Lincoln Highway was great: long views, very little traffic, the traffic that there was had friendly drivers (most everybody gave me plenty of room and a wave – including one fellow who did the running motion with his arms as he passed by with a big smile), trains chugging along nearby…some of the most peaceful running I’ve ever experienced. And the sand hills have been absolutely gorgeous – rolling, nooks and crannies, trees and ranch land, cows (much more skittish than those in Boulder, I’ve started a number of mini stampedes), horses (most who want to run along with me a bit – and five who trotted out from behind hay bales and stood all in a perfect chorus line to watch me run by), birds (I do believe I’ll be hearing the squawking of red-winged blackbirds all the way to Michigan), grains ever-waving in the wind. Not a bit boring so far!
- A favorite fence decoration seems to be boots stuck upside down on fence posts.
- Saw my first cross-country non-motorized traveling compatriot – a cyclist who, when I hollered “where are you going?” responded with “across the country.” I hollered back “I’m running to Michigan” and we exchanged good lucks.
- After I said “I’m running to Michigan” it dawned on me that I am running to Michigan – not planning to, not training for it, not thinking about it – I am running to Michigan. Holy cow!
- So far I’ve rescued 3 turtles that were out in the highway. One expressed his gratitude by pooping as I carried it over to the grass.
- At one point, running toward North Platte, we had trains on 3 sides of us. Trains have been very fun – about a third will toot at me when I wave, and, if the train and I are going at just the right speeds, my foot falls go in synch with their chugging.
- Also, if I’m going at a certain speed, the Beverly Hillbillies theme song pops into my head. Please, someone, give me a different song!
- Had our first law enforcement stop – a sheriff north of North Platte. “Going for a little walk?” (as Kendall and Paul accompanied me a bit after I grabbed a popsicle from the motorhome). “Just running to Michigan sir…”
- Incredible tailwind north of North Platte. How windy was it? Paul was on the bike and, after waiting for me to catch up, could catch back up to me again without pedaling – on the uphills!
- Speaking of Paul, I swear he’s figured out how to fix every single thing that has broken (or that we thought had broken) on the RV.
- If you happen to be a cyclist and find yourself in mid-Nebraska, Highway 92, get out and ride. It’s a great rolling low traffic mighty lovely road!
- Most entertaining pick-me-up: my husband belting out “Pretty Woman” from the RV window as he passed by towards the end of a long hot day.
- Most surprising pick-me-up: A text message saying “Go Paula Go” from a mystery person towards the end of another warm afternoon. Whoever you are: thank you! It brought a huge smile to my face - and feet!
- Lysa joined us at the end of Day 12 (June 17). She’s now my support crew while Kendall and Paul take a week’s break back in Boulder. Nice change of pace…all girls…a rarity in my life (all boys at home, mostly boys for running partners, mostly boys in my professional field).
- Ran into our first road construction just west of Merna when we were headed back out to my afternoon starting point after our midday break. The flag guy chatted with us a bit as we waited at their check point and we told him what we were doing. Then, as I ran back through the construction, he applauded as I went by.
- We had our first mapping snafu: gmap showed that the road through Merna off Highway 92 went straight through to Victoria Springs Road. Nope. A dead end. Fortunately, Merna is a tiny town and the road a few blocks up did go through. The detour also offered the opportunity for a fellow (who had passed me on the road at least a couple times) to ask how far I was running each day and when he learned what direction we were going in gave us a recommendation for the most excellent campground we ended up staying in that night.
- Nebraska weather has alternated between sunny/hot (80s-90s)/muggy/windy and cloudy/cool (60s)/breezy – i.e., tough running days and just about perfect running days. Day 13 was a combination of both: perfect running in the morning (so I put in 17 miles) and hot afternoon (when I only needed to do 13 and was glad of it).
What makes the run go well:
- Post-run ice
- Feet up
- Using the “stick” after each run
- Nap at midday break
- Follow run/walk pattern of 37 minutes/3 minutes and walk up hills
- Drink at each 20 minutes or sooner, and eat at each 40.
What makes the run go poorly:
- Skipping any of the things that make the run go well.
- 353 trip miles to-date
- This was my first consecutive 6 days of at least 30 miles per day (the first two days of the run week were 32 miles each trying to make up for the lost miles from the prior week’s car breakdown and late start day).
- On the road time averages 8+ hours per day (I start the watch when I start running in the morning and only stop it at midday break and end-of-day; no stopping the watch for drinking, eating, putting ice in my hat, chatting with folks, picture taking, peeing…).
- Midday break is about two hours. That gives me a 10 hour day – just like when I was working – only this is oh so much more relaxing!
To all who have sent greetings – THANK YOU! They are much appreciated!!!!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Days 8 & 9 - so long Colorado, hello Nebraska!
Gotta be quick about this - time to get some sleep!
Day 8 - I tried hard to get to the state line, but 32 miles in headwind, light rain and cool weather (actually delightfully cool given the previous heat) caught up to me and we spent the night in Julesberg. Paul ran with me for 6 miles in the morning and we discussed ideas for musical tunes. How do "Take Heed, It's a Tumbleweed," the "County Line Polka," and "Knee Slap Hoe Down" sound do y'all?
Day 9 - NEBRASKA! My first new state! Very exciting - running along the Lincoln Highway, the Pony Express Trail, and the California Wagon Train Trail - nifty! Another cool day too. It started muggy but by the afternoon, the mugginess disappeared and I had the best running weather of the trip by far: light clouds, 60s, very light wind. I wanted to be conservative given yesterday's hard day so I ran only 15 in the morning (lunching at Big Springs city park - Big Springs was one of the schools that traded books with Kendall's school) and planned just 15 for the afternoon. But the conditions were so great, after running the afternoon 15, I switched into crocs and walked the last two miles into Ogallala - where we are now camped. (If you can call sleeping in an RV campground with internet and cable access - not to mention hot water showers and flush toilets - camping!)
Next up for the evening's entertainment: figuring out what to do about the blister on top of the blister on my left heel - where I've never before had blisters.
Miles today: 32.
Trip miles: 233
Tomorrow: Ogallala to half-way-ish to North Platte.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Days 6 & 7 - 31 miles and a rest day
Yesterday took us from 6 miles south of Sterling to 2 miles south of Crook. Lots of waving grain, cows, horses, barns, silos, heat (in the morning), wind and gigantuan clouds (in the afternoon), two airplanes buzzing right over my head first thing in the morning (I took it as a morning greeting from my dad), and one mysterious feral creature that looked like a cross between a fox, dog, and cat - with its morning repast dangling from its mouth.
When yesterday's morning run toasted up to 81 within the first hour and 91 by the midday break (in the shade of a tree at the Iliff Community Center), I had a chat with the family about needing to get on the road earlier. They're all for it ("oh sure" says the teenager sitting next to me). Now we just need to make it part of the routine!
I started yesterday's afternoon run slow slow slooowly. (I'd actually fallen asleep during the midday break - the first time since I started heading east - and was moving rather groggily along the road.) Then the wind picked up, it started to rain a bit, the temperature dropped off, and Kendall joined me on the bike. Thus the afternoon perked right up. (Kendall actually does know the lyrics to songs and can be a very entertaining companion!) Kendall rode about half-way with me while Paul solo piloted the motorhome with a huge grin upon his 19-year-old face. Then the fellows switched and Paul rode along, educating his mother with various environmental ethics philosophies and laser-related chemistry experiment methodologies. We also kept eachother amused with string/stream misinterpretations (Look how long that str**** is - What stream? I don't see a stream? That red str**** A red stream???? no, string - followed by I think they measure it from the str**** Why would they measure it from the string? No stream....and on and on....it's a fun time on the plains let me tell ya'!).
The final pickup of the day was two miles south of Crook. We drove from there to Julesberg and got the motorhome parked just before the big rain hit - with the most astounding lightning show we've ever seen - continuous bolts and flashes throughout the entire sky. The RV Park manager's son described it as War of the Worlds; Paul countered with War of the World's wished it had been like that lightning display.
Day 6 random observations:
- I've always been a mouth breather but suddenly realized I was breathing through my nose. Paul and I conjecture it's a survival thing, trying to add moisture to the inhaled air. Either that, or it just takes less energy.
- Runner's cocktail: pina colada clif shot blocks washed down with Riptide Rush Gatorade. mmmm mmmm good.
- For many miles of the afternoon run, we discovered that a tree was growing at each mile marker (sometimes the only roadside tree for the entire mile).
- Second best rest stop of the run (after 1st best Hudson Public Library): Northeastern Colorado Community College in Sterling. Roomy bathrooms, air conditioned, cold drinking fountains, big sinks for dunking hat and bandana.
- Essential heat running gear: cold bandana (a bandana that has some sort of stuff in it that soaks up cold water then stays cold) (thank you AndyE - who gave me one after a too-hot marathon a few years ago), and the big brimmed, floppy shade in the back Solumbra hat.
- Handy item for bugs (yes, they've started biting): old fashioned bandana - light weight, good swatter, also handy for wiping away sweat (yes, formerly dainty me now has rivulets of sweat dripping everywhere - did I mention it's been hot out?!)
Trip miles to date: 169
Monday, June 11, 2007
Day 6 - dawn
Summary: 138 trip miles; today's start point is one mile north of Atwood Colorado.
Snippets from the past two days:
- Day 4, our first day in the motorhome...too much a.m. packing, too many miles to the starting point, too late a run-start (12:45 p.m.). Consequently ended up short on miles - only 25.5.
- Broke two rules on Day 4. 1) Start early and get the bulk of the miles in the cool part of the day; with the late start, it was definitely warmish (90s). 2) Finish in daylight; starting late meant finishing late (9:15). As I told son Paul while he rode the bike with me, today's start was not the smartest thing I've ever done.
- Day 4 ended in Brush, Colorado where Paul's and my smiling faces greeted us on the front page of the Brush News-Tribune. The editor had contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if she could write an article about my run. She asked questions, I answered and sent her pictures upon her request. The result: an above the fold front page article! It certainly brightened the evening!
- For much of Day 4 we were joined on the road by 100-mile bike racers. Lots of waves and greetings being tossed back and forth.
- Day 4 was a two bungy chord find day. Early birthday presents for Kendall!
- Part way through Day 4 my total lifetime miles surpassed two-times the circumference of the earth!
- Day 5 took us from Brush to Atwood. 31 miles with the last 12.5 (the afternoon portion) in temps that ranged from 93-106 (depending on which thermometer you want to believe). I started the afternoon feeling very sluggish but somehow perked up the last 5 miles... undoubtedly due to the notion of getting done then taking Kendall out for a grand birthday dinner!
- Day 5 most interesting roadkill: a big package of velveeta cheese melted over the black top.
- Day 5 most interesting discovery: neither Paul nor I know 100% of the lyrics for any song.
- Day 5 most lovely bird: pelicans flying, floating, landing...
- Day 5 most unexpected sight: a carnival graveyard - all kinds of carnival rides scattered about - including a ferris wheel.
- Due to the big time chafing/bruising on my left ribs from the first day, I've not been running with a water belt. Instead, I wear a small waist belt pack that holds a few gu, a few ginger chews, and my phone. I carry my big honking whistle in one hand (almost had to use it yesterday when four dogs charged at me but they paused at the road just long enough for their owner to start yelling at them) - and if the motorhome is going to be more than one mile away, I carry a water bottle in the other hand.
- I've got chafing now where I've never had chafing before. I think I need to be dunked in a vat of body glide before heading out!
Note: if we don't have internet access, the "Where's Paula" link will still be updated (assuming we do have cell phone service).
Friday, June 08, 2007
Day 3 - 32 miles logged! 1369.5 to go!
A two-part entry today:
1) an update on the day then 2) a note from my brother-in-law, Andy Miller, who crewed for me yesterday.
Got in 32 miles today! Woohoo! Joe crewed and would drive ahead a mile or two then run back to me. It worked out well. His first run-back was aborted when the two meanest dogs he's ever met chased him back to the car. He hopped in said car, drove back to me, and said "we're going to break the rules - you're getting in the car to get past those dogs". OK. (Later in the day we had to do it again - but because there were two overly friendly dogs who wouldn't quit following Joe and we didn't want them to end up in Michigan.)
Tidbits from the day:
- morning: 4 hours 38 minutes, 19.2 miles, head & cross wind and delightfully cool; afternoon: 3 hours 11 minutes, 12.8 miles, tail wind and quite toasty. The split of heavier mileage in the a.m. seemed to work well. It hadn't been planned but the original midday point put me at the bottom of a ~3 mile hill and I just couldn't see myself starting the afternoon with that hill.
- speaking of hills: Joe referred to the terrain as undulating. I told him the fields may be undulating but the road was mountainous. The hilliness certainly caught us both by surprise.
- speaking of fields: the wave action in the emerald fields was spectacular. Actually, the scenery overall was quite stunning in its serenity. It was truly a delight to be out in the middle of the high plains where cars pass maybe once every 5-10 minutes, those that did pass by gave us the full lane, only two planes passed overhead all day, people waved as you passed by, bird calls made up most of the sound of the day. This is a lovely lovely country we live in.
- we discovered tumbleweed heaven - or at least a spot where zillions of tumbleweeds apparently went to rest.
- A quote from Joe on the way back to Boulder after finishing for the day near Wiggins, Colorado: "You know it's faster if you drive it....just suggesting...in case you want to rethink this" ;-)
- I'm now too far east to see the mountains!
- Assessment as of the end of day 3: blisters on pinky and big toe of left foot, major chafing on left arm pit, bruised and chafed on left rib where my cell phone clip rested all day the first day. Hmmmm...what's with this left side of my body anyhoo? Carrying as little as possible is definitely the way to go - today I just carried a tiny waist pack with a cell phone, the world's loudest whistle (dog deterrent) and ginger chews and counted on Joe for fluids every mile or two. We'll have to get a similar system going when we launch with the motorhome - which is tomorrow!
Now for a word from Andy Miller (husband Kendall's brother):
Maintenance Manual for Paula Vaughan Miller,
Woman "training for a marathon" (as close as the normal human being can come to understanding the challenge accepted by Wonder Woman)
I had the honor of running support for Paula on the second day of her cross country run. I have come to understand a few things which should happen as Paula completes her run cross country.
First though, why should any human being expect the level of service needed to complete this gargantuan task? I assume the support crew (Paul, you da man) know and love this lady, but by about day 26 (or maybe day 4) many might wonder how deeply this love goes.
Remember too then the years of work which went in to gaining the opportunity to be the center of attention for so long, and so many miles. You’ve depended on Paula for your daily bread (and generous portions of love) for more miles than she could run in ten lifetimes. The rewards of this summer will be nearly as great as the rewards of the past 20 years.
So pedal madly back toward where she is floating through 12 minute miles. Offer water, goop comprised of formulas understood only by olympic trainers, and the affection needed to keep her grinning through the miles. Don’t make her carry anything heavier than a cell phone and a pesky toe. Guess her needs (they come on a schedule) before she asks for them to be filled. And if you can’t get the damn car started, and she has disapeared off into a raging great plains gale alone and without a pesky cell phone (or more likely out of range) check the damn jumper cables before you give it up and get her back.
Get ‘er on instead. Not get her done, get ‘er on. On and on and on. Rub the feet, keep her rested through the rest times and as brother Kendall says, remember the summer is about fun after all.
Good Luck Vaughan Millers, you all have earned this summer!!
Love Uncle Andrew.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Day 2 - 49.5 down, 1401.5 to go
What's with the 49.5 you ask? Only 19.5 today? Slacker? Nope. Support vehicle died.
I had a superb morning run (16 miles). Bro-in-law Andy Miller was support crew and drove ahead a few miles then would come back on his bike. The first time he came back, I put my double water belt in the paniers, got a few pounds lighter, and started running, literally, 1 mile per hour faster (according to my son's nifty GPS watch). The rest of the day my water belt stayed with the bike. Deluxe!
Today, from a running perspective, was fantastic: light on my feet, no stomach problems, nothing aching, clipping along at 11-11.5 minutes per mile pace (unlike yesterday when, upon seeing a plastic bag blow past us, I told AndyE that even the bags were faster than we were and they don't even have legs). Notables of the morning's stellar 16 included:
- deluxe restroom stop at the Hudson Public Library which is a real hopping place - three reading groups and bunches of kids and parents - and an excellent bathroom.
- road kill of the day was turtles - lots - and one that I was able to save from the road before it got crunched.
- light cloud cover and temps in the 60s with a tail wind until 15 miles.
- great conversation with Andy M...our first chance to really catch up with eachother in a very long time.
- lunch time break at the Weld County School complex - again with good bathroom facilities, and a peaceful setting for our midday break. Feet iced then up, iced towel massage for the legs, reclined chair, good lunch, more good talking with Andy M.
Holly, my massage therapist, told me to fully expect three things to go wrong. So - I'm ready to go with the flow. I've got some remapping to do today for future pickup points, and I need to figure out where to maybe make up some miles to get back on schedule. But, hey! The running and company were mighty fine today!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Day 1 - 30 down, 1421 to go!
- Deb arrived early and piled her car with enough supplies for an army (or one very slow runner).
- Son Paul donned his running gear and made ready to run the first 15 with me. (By the way, he loaned me his gps watch - great for watching pace and mileage!)
- I came out on the driveway of our house to be greeted by two huge superman/woman balloons - and friends taking pictures.
- The second block of the route took us past Kendall's school where students were out to high five us as we passed and the staff cheered mightily.
- Dennis and Greg from my former office met us along the bike path and ran with us to the office. Dennis gave me a golden buffalo pin to carry along with - and along with a stare-in-my-eyes/hands-on-my-shoulder proclamation that "You're gonna do it!"
- As we arrived at my old office there was a crowd in front, holding huge colorful signs, cheering AND a kazoo band playing the CU fight song. Send-offs just don't get any better than that!
- After the office, things quieted down and Paul and I chatted a bit and Deb met us often along the road. At one point I spotted a bunny and tried to point it out to Paul who couldn't quite hear what I said...thus was born the funny bunny money.
- After we wrapped up the morning run, at exactly 15 miles, we drove over the Great Harvest Bakery-Longmont who had offered me bread for the run. Holy smokes! Not just bread. Yes bread, several loaves and muffins and cookies, and rolls, and cinnamon rolls, and powerbarthingies (absolutely marvelous for right after a 30-mile day). I couldn't believe it. This whole huge box (now with a huge dent in the contents. Yum!) Thank you Matt and Marin and Great Harvest Bakery!!!
- We then dropped one tired Paul off at home where I had just enough time for an ice bath before jumping back in the car and heading out to the afternoon portion of our adventure. Just a few miles into that run, AndyE drove by, then parked and took pictures, then took off down the road and met me six miles into the run. I must confess, I was having a decidedly less than stellar day. Tummy was squirrely, I wasn't handling the heat all that well (it was about 80 out), and by afternoon my legs were achey/crampy. AndyE's fellowship along the last 9 miles along with Deb's every-mile support absolutely made this first 30 possible.
- Highlights of the afternoon included a tail wind (strong enough that whenever we happened to turn into it, both AndyE and I would blurt out "I'm glad we're not headed west!"), a hawk that kept flying just above us, and Deb's presence whenever we needed her....fresh water, watermelon, ice packs on cramping calves, a sun-bright smile....I told her she should go pro in the support crew business!
Basic facts of the day:
- a.m.: 15.0 miles, 3 hours 34 minutes, with Paul
- p.m.: 15.46 miles, 3 hours 51 minutes, with AndyE the last 9 miles
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
PJ's Run Eve - evening update
And some good stuff happened today that definitely helped with the nerves.
- Magic Fingers Beggsy worked all the travel kinks out of my back. Whew!
- Long-time running buddy Patti dropped off a card with a great picture of Rosie the Riveter and "We Can Do It" emblazoned across the front. I think that's going to have to go in one of the motorhome windows.
- Brother-in-law and his wife surprised me with a visit and we had a delightful dinner together....the first time in a long time the VaughanMiller family has gathered around the dining room table. Yay the boys are home!
- Speaking of dinner, my family cooked up two kinds of pasta and three kinds of sauces to serve along with a big salad, watermelon and fresh cherries. They were so proud of their delectable pre-run feast creations - and I was so very honored.
- Patti called this evening to check in (I wasn't home when she came by with the card) and her husband, Rich (also a long-time friend as well as a coach and the president of the Boulder Road Runners), asked in the background if I wanted him to drop off some starting blocks in the morning. I said sure - along with a jet pack!
PJ's Run Eve
For those of you in the area, wondering about tomorrow's wheres and whens:
- Paul and I will start running from our house at 7:50 a.m.
- A few minutes into the run we'll swing by Creekside Elementary to wave at the students - with a special wave to the second graders who wrote a book about Creekside that we exchanged with some schools along the route.
- From Creekside, we'll take the Bear Creek bike path ~ 2 miles to my old office at 3645 Marine Street (probably arriving around 8:20-8:30).
- After saying hey to the gang, we head east on the Boulder Creek bike path, then to Valmont (east), 61st (north), 63rd (north), Jay (east), 75th (north), Cottontail Trail (north), to Highway 52 which we will run east to just past the intersection with 287 (the morning's stopping point).
- The midday break will be fairly short due to the late start to the day and the ever present afternoon thunderstorms - but productive. Deb will be picking us up and we'll dash to Longmont for a supply of bread from the Great Harvest. Yum!
- The afternoon is all Highway 52 to Fort Lupton. AndyE is talking about meeting me at the McDonald's parking lot just before the intersection with I25 to run the last 9 miles of the day with me. It'll be the third time I've been Highway 52-ing through Fort Lupton in less than a week - but this time's gonna be Something Special!