Tuesday, February 28, 2012
And On The Seventh Day
The answer to the first is inexplicable.
The answer to the second is: Yes. I would run for 6 days and take the 7th day off. Most would think that would be to rest, but really, more urgently, it was to do laundry. I only had enough running gear to go 6 days. (Changing socks at midday each day really takes its toll on the sock inventory). This past week was a bit hectic here at the homestead and I didn't get around to laundering my running gear. These are the consequences:
Monday, February 27, 2012
The Week That Was
Through the week, training for the 60k continued. The biggest disruption was the windstorm on Wednesday (winds were clocked at 89 mph here in Boulder) which meant my planned 3-hour run was reduced to 20 minutes, coming to a halt when a piece of fence blew past me and I decided I valued my life more than a few extra miles. The most fun run of the week was Thursday's when bro-in-law Andy cycled at my side while I ran. We have spent many a mile over the past 3 (almost 4) decades running or cycle/running together. I miss those times; it was treat to do it again.
The big run of the week came on Saturday. I carefully plotted a 30-mile run, mostly on trails (Wednesday's winds were snow-eaters and trails were once again available!) that would take me east and south. The run started with chilly temps (in the teens) that quickly warmed as the sun rose. Singletree and Coal Creek trails offered up the occasional snowdrift, one blown over tree, and one ice-filled tunnel - but otherwise delightful running. The Rock Creek trail and intersecting trails to Stearns Lake were a 5-mile study in shoe-sucking, slip-sliding mud. Oofdah; what a lot of work. Yikes! From Stearns it was on to mile 20 and Broomfield's Lake Link trail system which started with a glorious gravel trail along open space. Great running...except for the wind that began to kick up (big blustering high kicks that stayed with me the last 10 miles. Yikes again!). Eventually the gravel turned to concrete and started dipping into neighborhoods...rather difficult to follow, especially 25 miles into a run. Overall, from start to finish, it was a pretty nifty route with views of the Continental Divide that wouldn't quit - often as a backdrop to a lake or pond with gazillions of geese flying in and bobbing about.
(Left photo: still chipper at end of Coal Creek Trail, mile 15. Right photo: whupped and wind-whipped, mile 31, end-of-run)
I did learn a valuable lesson, though - one that I should have already had drilled into my brain from the run to Michigan. I had printed out maps of the run to carry along. Not wanting to carry a whole lot of paper, they were somewhat high-level maps - about 5 or 6 miles per print. This is not enough detail. I had four misdirections during the run. Result? My carefully mapped out 30-miler turned into a surprise 31-miler. I was whupped at the end but...perhaps even more ready for the upcoming 60k, eh?!
Monday, February 20, 2012
The Day-After Test
- Yesterday's test: 28-mile run, a flurry of house cleaning, and up until midnight.
- Today's test: out the door at 6 a.m. for the 4.5-mile run to my volunteer job, work for an hour, and run home.
Outcome: Weehaww!!! Passed with flying colors!!! 60k four weeks from tomorrow may just happen!!!
Speaking of Kendall's aunt. She is delightful company. Many a tale to tell and a great sense of humor. (And, besides that, she and Taz became fast friends within moments of meeting each other.) She is also the author of Doc Susie, a fascinating read; pick it up if you haven't already had the pleasure.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The good news: After a couple of easy days, the running just flowed, culminating with this weekend's running: a pretty quick 10 miles yesterday and a surprisingly easy-going 28 miles today. I did slow a tad the last four miles or so, but until then had been running a steady 11.5 minute miles (I had thought I'd be running more like 12 minute miles). Unexpected highlights:
- a road I had never been on before that was curvy, rolling, trees, ponds, dirt road, tucked away farm, huge nests (eagle?)...lovely lovely lovely.
- as I was running north, about 14 miles into the run, the former director of the department I worked for pre-retirement, came running south. I hadn't seen him for years. Quite fun catching up while we were both out of breath and ready to keep running.
- about 26 miles into the run, one of my former co-workers came cycling by; hadn't seen her for months. Lots of fast chatting before we each went on our way.
Finishing up, feelin' good!
And, of course, the "usual" highlights: buffalo, llamas, cows, sheep, sheep herding dogs, yard ornaments, flocks of geese, sailing hawks, stunning views of the Continental Divide and Longs Peak. Oh! And Kendall waiting with a cinnamon roll at mile 28. Woohoo!
From left to right: "Got Hay" sign, sheep herding dog and his flock, rabbit in wood keeping an eye on the road. Below: Berthoud mural
Friday, February 17, 2012
1) 1 hour 46 minutes of running around and about the south end of town...after originally planning about an hour's run but the time flew by with the easy running, lovely day, and Amie's company.
2) 1 hour 46 minutes (plus or minus...mostly plus some minutes) making good on our Christmas present to Devon: a shopping trip for interview clothes for him. He's gonna be lookin' mighty fine, head (well, neck) to toe: ties, dress shirts, slacks, belts, shoes, even dress gold-toe socks.
The day's events once again confirmed that which all who know me well, know well: it's a sure bet you'll find me running every day...and it's a rare rare day when you'll find me shopping. I do believe I've met my shopping quota for the year (but I've miles to run before I sleep yup yup).
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The Fastest 3 Hours Ever
btw - today is Knox College's 175th birthday. Happy birthday to a college that really did make a difference to my boys. In honor of the occasion, Knox alum all over the world are posing in their Knox gear. My boys got cozy with a buffalo on the CU campus for their photo op.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
As I chopped and whisked and stirred my way around the kitchen prepping dinner for my favorite valentine, my mind danced through time as love tunes floated out from the stereo. I have been very lucky, so many great friends, so much love throughout my life. Family, school mates from grade school to grad school, work mates, running mates and my life mate. I would not be who I am or able to do what I've done or am doing without all of these people in my life. Extraordinarily lucky.
1) My sons, the lights of my life, Christmas 2011 (Paul on left, Dev on right of photo);
2) Vaughan family back in Petoskey after PJ's 1973 college graduation (Paula, mom, dad & brother);
3) Paula and high school buddies Dave, Carl & Pam before high school Sadie Hawkins dance;
4) Paula and high school buddies Connie & Carl at the beginning of the last mile of Paula's 1400 mile run to Petoskey, August 1, 2007;
5) Paula and her work group (and husband Kendall far left) on retirement day July 28, 2006
6) Paula and the running gang and families at Mary's 50th birthday celebration, 2010
7) Paula and running buddies AndyE (left) and Joe (right) on a wintry run, 2006
8) Paula and ace Boulder-to-Petoskey support crew Lysa (left) and Deb (right) at the post Boulder-to-Petoskey run celebration August, 2007
9) Kendall's grand family (photo taken at Steve's 60th birthday celebration gathering, summer 2009)
10) Kendall, my love. June 2010 along Petoskey's Little Traverse Bay
Saturday, February 11, 2012
[according to the Oxford English Dictionary]
I believe I may have reason to question my sensibility of late.
For example, yesterday after my run, after getting out of wet clothes, getting some food (rice with fresh pineapple and a wee bit of butter and brown sugar - oh so good!), and filling the bath tub with cold water, I glanced at my watch. 5:25. I switched modes. 1:15. A "sensible" person would be looking at her watch at 5:25 p.m. and seeing that she ran 1 hour and 15 minutes. But, no, this person was looking at her watch at 1:15 p.m., having just run 5 hours and 25 minutes. Starting early in the morning, when it was 16 degrees, with roads covered with ice and snow.
As if I needed confirmation of my lack of sensibility, today I left even earlier, before dawn in fact, with the temperature at 10 degrees, a fresh couple inches of snow on the ground (hiding the residual ice of course) and more snow drifting down from the sky.
And then there's that whole 60k on my 60th birthday thing. Why don't I have a sprinter's mentality? 60 yards in 60 seconds at age 60 for example. Now that would be sensible, eh?
[photos from the Goose Creek Bike Path, between 30th and Foothills, Boulder, Colorado]
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Three cheers for friends and trails
When Amie headed for home, I headed out to the roads, hoping to find some that would be clear enough to offer a pleasant run. I kept heading up and west thinking that with less traffic, the road running would improve, but it just wasn't happenin'. Then I spotted an entrance to the trail that runs along the base of NCAR hill. It beckoned. I answered. And the running improved dramatically. Packed snow, no ice, no traffic. Yup. Trails, still the best running around!
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Monday, February 06, 2012
SCRAPE YOUR WINDSHIELD!!!!
While running today, as I approached a four-way stop, a car also approached on the cross-street. I slowed to see what the car was going to do. The car stopped at the stop sign so I continued crossing the street, in the crosswalk. I moved my eyes from the car to my right to the street in front of me to ensure safe passage across the ice and snow. And then I heard the car...accelerating...right at me. I screamed like a banshee, waved my arms and sprinted toward the curb. Some combo of those actions caused the driver to slam on the brakes and I was left staring at a completed frost-covered windshield at my right shoulder. The driver never saw me! How could anyone attempt to operate a motor vehicle in that condition? I got across the street, the car continued on its way, windshield wipers moving fruitlessly across the frost. Unbelievable.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
Snow. Trail. Beautiful Run.
Today: sunny, blue sky, warm. Why not give a trail a try. Why not indeed?
The South Boulder Creek Trail was spectacular.
I was not the first with the idea as there were two well-broken-in tracks,
one for runners/walkers and one for skiers.
Pictures tell the story:
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Big Snow Day 2 - Got Smart!
As I cogitated on where the heck I was going to run today, inspiration finally struck: go out in the wee hours of the morning and simply enjoy the winter wonderland. And that's just what I did.
I ventured out around 5:45 a.m., and was immediately enveloped by a peacefulness that is unique to a sleeping town blanketed with fresh-fallen snow. Through most of the run, the quiet was interrupted only by the rustle of my jacket and every view was of an undisturbed crystalline world. 'Twas a spectacular run!
Friday, February 03, 2012
Testing the blizzard route
Today we awoke to 12 inches of new snow; perfect for testing a blizzard route. It turns out that a loop built around two of the main streets through our neighborhood works out to 2.5 miles. Four times around would give me 10 miles, the minimum I wanted to run today; 6 times for 15 miles and the most I wanted to run today. (And for those interested in the math, 14.88 times around for 60k. Eeegads!)
I knew that at least one of those main streets would be plowed and, indeed, exactly one of those streets (for about a mile long stretch) was plowed. Probably once. Probably very early on during the storm, leaving that stretch much like a two-track road. The other major road was a mass of ruts, snow and ice. After the second time around, the loop was losing much of its charm. The third loop earned the title of dog and spray loop. For some reason, that was the time period everyone was out shoveling their walks, letting their dogs run loose. Loose dogs sure love to say hi to folks slip/sliding/running by. As for "spray" - by now the snow in the busier portions of the road was slushing up and passing cars were hitting that slush with aplomb. Lots of head to toe soaking ice sprays. As I was finishing the third loop I had to give myself a stern talking to in order to continue on the fourth loop. "I can't end with a puny 7.5 miles!" "What if the 60k day is just like today?" "It's just one more loop, only 2.5 miles you wuss." In any case, stubborn kicked in and I made it one more loop around.
But that was the end of it. Besides not being a whole lot of fun, I noticed I was getting stupid - not stepping aside as quickly when cars were coming down the 'two-track', jumping from rut to rut without paying attention to where I'd be landing, fogging out rather than watching for traffic. Time to call it a day. Good call too. Kendall had made chicken pot pie while I was out running; definitely worth coming in from the cold for!
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
This week's long run was scheduled to be 22 miles on Saturday. Well, I miss meeting up with my Saturday gang and they're only running an hour on Saturdays, and they start around 7:30, and I don't much like the idea of leaving the house at 4 a.m. Saturday so I can get 3.5 hours of running in before joining in the group run.
So! I thought I'd move my long run to Friday and do my 10 mile run Saturday, which would mean only needing to run about an hour before meeting the gang.
Then last night I started hearing dire warnings of a snow storm moving in tomorrow (Thursday) night with 7 inches of snow fall expected overnight accompanied by gusty winds, all continuing into the day Friday. Huh. By this morning I thought ya' know, I really don't relish running for 4+ hours in a whole lotta snow and wind.
So! As I got dressed this morning, I made the decision to switch my long run to today. Yes I had done hill repeats yesterday. No I had not done any pampering or extra carbo consumption yesterday. But, what the heck, the whole point is to toughen up, right?
The run broke out roughly into thirds: The first third was warming up into the whole affair by heading east and getting on a north/south trail (Bobolink and South Boulder Creek). Much to my delight, I ran into two friends also running South Boulder Creek which livened up the introductory portion of the run considerably. The second third started with a planned rendezvous with running buddy Amie and accompanying her on her 90 minute run. Many highlights of that portion of the run including spotting a mysterious flying object which turned out to be a sort of hot-air balloon contraption built out of glued-together tissue paper by a middle school science class. Twas great fun tracking down the flying object then talking to the students about it. The final third was an exercise of mind over matter. I was definitely feeling fatigued and just had to keep myself zigging and zagging so I'd run the scheduled distance. But I hadn't mapped this out in advance; how to figure the distance? Huh.
So! Assuming I was running pretty slow, I estimated 12 minute miles thus 12 x 22 = 264 = 4 hours 24 minutes. Too hard to remember so figure 4.5 hours. Got to one zig place about 30 minutes from home but it wasn't quite 4 hours yet. Zag. Got to another zig place only 20 minutes from home but it wasn't quite 4:10 yet. Zag. And zig and zag and keep on keeping on, do the hokey pokey, that's what it's all about.
Final result: 4 hours 36 minutes and 23 miles. Schedule, shmedule.