Saturday, June 25, 2005

Saturday = Project Day

Jeff: You know how it always comes up in conversation what special superhero powers would be cool?
Me: No... but it should.
Jeff: Well, I thought of a new one: Painting Man, IMPERVIOUS TO ALL SOLVENTS (he points to the paint tray upon which that phrase is embossed.)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Weekend Highlights

We are just about done with the floor project, so were able to relax and enjoy the fabulous weather this weekend. A few highlights:

  • Discovering a fun pub
  • Watching the naked bicyclists at the Fremont Solstice Parade
  • Eating Jeff's perfectly cooked Copper River salmon
  • Watching (for the nth time) Empire Strikes Back
  • Running, and running, and running....
  • Listening the symphony
  • Shopping for spices and groceries at Pike's Place market
  • Eating grilled Dungeness crab, fresh corn on the cob, asparagus, and strawberry shortcake
Trail Note: the first "long run"

Yesterday I ran my first official long run. According to the book that I'm using (Advanced Marathoning), a run isn't considered a long run until it's 17 miles or longer. Whatever. I will say that yesterday's run was the hardest yet.

I had a really tough running week last week. I discovered one of the reasons for that when I stepped on the scale this weekend; I've gained almost 5 pounds since last week. So the sluggish heavy feeling I've had all week just wasn't in my head: it was on my waist and thighs and cheeks, etc.

Sunday, however, I felt like things were turning around. I actually felt better than I had all week, and kept up a very strong pace of 8:30 - 8:40 for all of the miles that I was able to time on the run. It was the warmest weather that I've run in this year (I won't say hot, as that's an insult to anyone living anywhere other than the Pacific NW). By the last 5 miles I was fantasizing about ice water. That was all I could think about: stopping and drinking ice water.

For the route, Jeff dropped me off in Woodenville on the Sammamish River trail. I ran west along the trail and then hooked up with the Burke Gilman on the north end of Lake Washington, then headed south along the west side of the lake. Jeff, meanwhiel, took a bike ride on the east side of the lake (beautiful farmland and woods) and then drove around and picked me up at Gas Works park 2 1/2 hours later.

I'm looking forward to a great running week. The sun is out, I'm going to eat better (and less), and get on those runs early to beat the heat.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's a Dangerous World, After All

Anytime I ride a roller coaster or thrill ride I imagine the worst mechanical failures that could occur. I guess that's half of what makes thrill rides thrilling. And while I always felt it was a little bit warrented in local fair rides, I knew that anything associated with Disney was a class act; no need for fear when in one of Mickey's parks. Until today.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Trail Note: Oooowwww

The last 2 weeks of running have been going quite well, so I was a little surprised that today's long run hurt as much as it did. The first problem was that I talked myself into running in the afternoon. This is usually a problem, because as much as I promise that I won't eat too much during the day, I inveritably have too much in my stomach when I run in the afternoon. Today it was popcorn, because I went to a matinee and I can't resist buying popcorn at the movies, especially considering how rarely I go to the cinema these days. It was also much warmer at 5 pm than it was at 9 am, when I should have been running. This wasn't too big a deal; it was only in the mid-to-upper 60's, nothing compared to the humid upper 80's that my parents have been feeling in Virginia this weekend. And then there are a lot more gnats in the afternoon; I unintentionally ate several on the run; many more decorated my skin and t-shirt.

Overall, however, it wasn't the heat or the popcorn or the bugs that were the issue. Bottom line was just that I was tired. I averaged about 10 - 20 seconds a mile slower than I usually run my long runs. By the last 5 miles, I was walking and sipping my gatoraid/water mix every mile, rather than my usual every 2 miles. Now I groan every time I go up or down stairs. It is a good thing that I do laundry on Sundays after my long runs: it ensures that I take many trips up and down stairs preventing the lactic acid from buildling up too badly. I am convinced that lots of post-long-run movement is the key to quicker recovery and freedom from sore muscles.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Funny how it always looks like we'd find the pot of gold on the East Side.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Race Report: Race for the Cure

I have run or walked in the Race for the Cure every year since 1999. In 2001 I even ran it twice: once in Richmond VA in the spring and then again in Seattle in September after I moved here. The last few years I've walked with a team of friends from work, organized by one of my former co-workers who is a breast cancer survivor. This year, however, there's no office, thus no office team, and I almost forgot about the Race. Fortunately, Riona mentioned it on her website, so I just made it in.

The event is always a moving one, with the survivors in their pink shirts and pink signs for those people the runners are celebrating and remembering. The race itself went much better than I feared that it would. I didn't exactly prepare for the run (dinner the night before consisted of part of a bloomin' onion, beer, and chips), but once I got going I felt pretty good. As always with a 5K, by the 2 mile mark I had started hurting and kept the internal monologue up of "it's only 8 more minutes; you can do anything for only 8 minutes" counting down the number of minutes I thought it would take me to finish. I ended up finishing in 22:31 (by my watch), which has to be a PR. My pace was ~ 7:15, which is about as fast as I've ever run anything. Jeff had a good race as well finishing ~ 21:30 (sub 7 minute mile pace).

Any complaint at this event feels really petty (and it is), but I'm getting really fed up about the handkerchief situation. Every year, Ford, one of the sponsors of the race, makes a handkerchief for the race. Every year they get prettier and prettier and I look forward to my new one. The last few years, however, they have become an elusive prize. The way the Seattle race is organized is there is a women's only 5K run (big crowd), a coed 5K run (bigger crowd), and a 5K walk (huge crowd; the majority of the attendees do this). (There are a few smaller races as well including a wheelchair race and a 1 mile walk, but they don't make up a large percentage of the people at the event). After Jeff and I finish our respective races we head down to the area where the post race snacks are and the sponsors are giving away free stuff and I'm excited to get my hankie (which I've already seen on several people; it's cuter than ever). We get to the Ford tent and the only thing they're giving away is water; they ran out of the handerchiefs long ago. This really burns me up. There were a lot of people at the race, but it's this big every year; it's not like the bagel people ran out of bagels or the Yoplait people ran out of yoghurt. Why the shortage of hankies? I'd understand if it was something for survivors only, but most of the handkerchiefs I saw were on walkers in white t-shirts, who got all the hankies while I was busy racing.

I said it was petty. Maybe some Yoplait will sooth my feathers.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I Now Have a New Nightmare

Imagine training 3, 6, 12 months for something, running hours and hours every week, through rain and snow and pain, for a very specific race, a very specific dream, only to have it mismarked! This is a very big deal. Running a marathon is a lifetime goal for many; I know it was for me. This isn't just another race to get a t-shirt; it's a huge investment mentally, emotionally, and physically. And to have it messed up by something completely controllable is reprehensible. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.

Thanks, Riona, for the link.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Procrastination perfected; thank you, Internet!

It's finals time and I have a (no more than) 10 page paper due tomorrow and another due next Wednesday. This is why I studied engineering as an undergrad: no papers! Or at least if there were, I was just writing up stuff I'd done, with no worries about citations or research or anything.

I've got the supplies: snacks, diet Coke, paper, pens, word processing, ideas, even; now I guess I just have to write...