Monday, October 30, 2006

I hate the time change

Hey to all,
It is Monday evening, Oct. 30. The time has changed back to standard time and lots of us will now be running in the dark after work. Be safe. Use your reflective gear and/or you LED lights. What a drag. I have my LED headlight and my blinking red safety lights so I'm set. I just don't enjoy running in the dark. But what to do? I could run during lunch but then I'd sit in my cubicle (yes, my true identity is Dilbert) and sweat. I could shift my work hours except my employer isn't that flexible. I'll manage. I always have, always will.

Here's a quick rundown of the last few days to catch you up-

I got back from Vidalia Thursday afternoon. Sorry Amy . . . would have enjoyed a run and lunch in Macon over the weekend but I had to get home! I know you understand that mentality. The trip home was uneventful. Three guys in a car driving through Atlanta. That was it. BORING. By the time I got home, it was pouring down rain. You guessed it-I had to get a run in. It was surprisingly enjoyable. The temperature was not bad and once you're wet, you're wet. I did a 5 miler and a at decent clip.

Friday, I did not run but I did take a half day from work to play in a golf tournament. It was a fund raiser for American Cancer Society in memory of one of my friend's father. Had to play it-a bad day on the golf course is better than any day in the office (unless you're getting promoted). We played in the rain. However, we had a good time and the money raised goes to a good cause.

Saturday was a planned busy day. Susan's eldest daughter, MA, had a birthday party Friday night. She's turning 10 on Nov. 1. As part of her party, she had 12 of her friends spend the night at Susan's house. Susan had also wanted to go to University of Alabama homecoming on Saturday for the parade and tailgating (not overly excited about that since I am an Auburn fan). We didn't have tickets but it didn't matter since they were playing Sisters of the Weak and Poor. The plan was to then come back to B'ham for MA's afternoon soccer game. Here's how it went-

I got out of bed at 5:30 am Saturday morning and headed to Susan's because I had told Susan that I would help her feed thirteen, 9 and 10 year old girls and help her get twelve of them out of the house by 8:00 so we could drive to Tuscaloosa. I am flipping pancakes at 6:30 Saturday morning.

Author's note:
I had originally posted a picture of a a 10 year old's birthday party breakfast with her friends. However, I was reminded that I am using unauthorized pictures of the girls and this upsets some parents very much. I would have loved to have shown you the pictures of 9 and 10 year old girls having fun, eating smiley face pancakes but I guess on some level it makes sense to not post the pictures. I am not a parent and will never be a parent so it is tough for me to wrap my 47 year old brain around this kind of stuff.

We fed them the perfect breakfast . . . . pancakes, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, and Mountain Dew!!! (just kidding about the Mountain Dew). I'm sure there were some grumpy girls by Saturday afternoon!

We got the kids out of the house by 8:30. Some of the parents were running late picking them up but it was okay. Susan had wanted to be in Tuscaloosa by 9ish and it is normally about an hour drive. Not a problem. Cram her girls in the car, get on the interstate, drink some coffee and drive 100 mph! To be fair to Susan she drove nicely and only hit 100 a couple of times! Most of the time it was closer to 90. I begged her to slow down but I only got the dazed look of a mother who had just had 13 young girls in her house the night before. I think she mumbled something like . . . "if you want to slow down, get out". We made it to Tuscaloosa in one piece and onto the parade route in time to see the whole thing. Here's some pictures-

Susan, E and MA standing if front of what the Bammers call the million dollar band. Can you tell my enthusiasm about being at an ALABAMA event is overwhelming?

This is Big Al. Alabama's moscot. An elephant for those of you who do not live in the southeast. Yep, I've always thought it was sort of silly too. You can barely see Susan (facing Big AL) and E in her pink jacket. I guess it is exciting if you're an Alabama fan. I know Susan is going to give me a ration of crap about dissing her team. Sorry Susan and Laura . . . I AM an Auburn fan.

We spent several hours watching the parade which consisted of various clubs, classes and drunk frat boys on flatbed trailers. College, nothing like it. After the parade, we met up with Susan's sister Laura and her husband Woody and their kids. I've met Laura before and we get along great. Very nice lady. This was my first time to meet Woody and we seemed to hit it off well. He has invited me down to Montgomery to play golf. According to Susan, he does not do that very often. Chalk one up for the home team. Of course he knows that I suck on the golf course and he may see me as easy pickings on some progressive wagering.

We then went to the Quad (open park area in the center of campus). This is the designated area for parties, riots, vomiting, whatever. We met up with some friends of Laura and Woody and Susan. They had a nice big spread of food and drinks. They had their satellite dish and big screen TV set up and I watched bits and pieces of the Auburn-Ole Miss game. We hung around and ate their food and Susan drank their bloody marys. I did not imbibe since I had planned to run a 10 miler that afternoon at home. Probably a mistake . . . drink other people's liquor whenever you get a chance.

As the crowd was headed to the stadium, we headed to the car. Parking off campus seemed like a good idea in the morning but at 1:00 in the afternoon after the temperature had gotten up, it didn't seem like such a good thing to do. My guess was that the car was about 2 miles from the Quad. Normally, a 2 mile hike is no big deal. However, E (the 6 year old) was dragging and not very enthusiastic about walking. MA was busting a gut to get to the car to make it back to her soccer game. I can't blame her-it was her last game of the regular season and she enjoys it som much. Needless to say, it was much more expediant to put E on my shoulders and hike to the car. We would probably still be in Tuscaloosa had we all hiked. BTW, I am going to take extra credit for toting 50 extra pounds on my shoulders for 2 miles!

Due to Susan's bloody mary consumption, I drove back to B'ham. She was not intoxicated but no risk in getting a DUI, especially if she was going to drive 90 mph. Besides, I am a control freak and it just made me feel better to drive. We made it home and got MA to her soccer game just a little bit late but it was okay.

After the soccer game I told Susan that she was on her own the rest of the day. I had to get my run in and rest. I high tailed it home and got to running by 4:00. Again, I listened to the second half of the Alabama game. Listening to their announcer, Eli Gold, is like having dental work done. He's irritating but distracting and I managed to get 10 miles in at a 9 minute pace. The run wasn't exciting but I did recover much quicker and decided to go out to dinner (yes, all by myself).

Sunday, after going to church with Susan and the girls, I finished the doghouse (for Sam) I was working on. As you may know, I asked the girls to design it. The big thing that they wanted was a front porch. On a doghouse? Yep. The shingles look crappy because it was just a hair over a bundle and I had matched the shingles to Susan's house. I had mixed in some old shingles that she had left over. The red is paint we had left over from painting her picnic table. The gray is the collor of the floor of the screened in porch. The porch rails are . . . . well, put your own words on it!
Here it is-

After completing the doghouse, we started carving pumpkins. Afterall, it is almost Halloween. We each had a pumpkin we had picked out a couple of weeks ago. I have a kit and some patterns so we all picked out a pattern. Actually, I just did an mean face. After seeing the patterns the women picked out, I figured I had better get mine done quickly so I could help them out. However, everyone pretty much did their own. I did help MA a little and Susan helped E. Here are the pumpkins-

MA did the pumpkin with the stacks of pumpkins, E did the cat face, Susan did the ghost and haunted house. Mine was just a boring scary face.

Oh yeah . . . . running. I ran 5 easy miles tonight and will push a 5 or 6 miler tomorrow evening. I will probably ditch Halloween since I have not bought candy yet. I will probably just turn out the lights. I will be upstairs packing. I am going on another trip to Seaside. The last beach trip of the year. It is the red wine festival! Susan and I are renting a house and going to enjoy and indulge from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. We will bike and run to make up for our bad behavior! This is an adults only trip and we are looking forward to getting away together. I'll post for another day or two. I may even take my laptop with me so we can check email and update my blog!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

SAfely arrived

I am sitting here in Holiday Inn Express ( I guess that makes me an expert???) in Vidalia, GA. The trip was uneventful as usual and got in town around 5:30. Immediately stripped and laced 'em up. I also put on running clothes! The temperature here was pretty cool with a very brisk wind. I did the 5k cross country trail + 9 minutes so I'm sure I got in about 4 miles. That's all I needed for several reasons-

1) it was cold
2) today is a recovery run
3) I had two others waiting on me to go to dinner

Tomorrow will be a long day at the plant and will be spending a lot of time on my feet.

Hope you all have a good week!

Saturday's run

I finally got off my duff and did a short "long run". I had hoped to run it in the morning but after a late evening the night before and a chilly early morning, I decided to sip coffee and piddle around on Saturday morning. I did go to Susan's girls' soccer games but I had plenty of time to run beforehand. I just didn't do it. However, after the games and roofing the doghouse, I headed home to get my run in.

What a beautiful afternoon. The temps never got above 70 and there was a slight breeze. I started my run a little after 4:00 when the shadows were just starting to lengthen. As much as I hate running with a radio, I decided that I would listen to the second half of the Alabama-Tennessee game. This worked out almost perfectly. There was only a minute left in the game when I had finished my run and the game had been decided. Dom joined me after about 2 1/2 miles and said he was wanting to get 8 or 9 miles in. He tuned into the game on his ipod thingy so we just pretty much ran together in silence listening to the game letting out an occassional grunt or chuckle as the game progressed. We ran a pretty nice pace. Nothing fast but enough to let me know I had worked. My average pace was right at 8:55. We did have a few faster miles thrown in in the middle of the run . . . 8:45 pace. This was a very nice run. Thanks for the company Dom!

oh yeah . . . . the distance was 10.8 miles. 9 times around on my 1.2 mile loop.

I'm heading to Vidalia, GA today for work and will hopefully get in a couple of cross country runs while there. Probably won't post until I get home on Thursday.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Yes, I run too

Just a quick post to update my running this week. Sunday afternoon's run beat me up pretty good, thanks to Patrick. I took Monday off due to the rain . . . thank goodness because my legs were sore! I ran 5 miles on Tuesday but it was still basically a recovery run. I don't wear a heartrate monitor but I could tell whenever I started pushing my pace below 9 minutes I'd start struggling and working way too hard. Very unusual for me but as I said about Sunday, it was a very hard run for me.

Last night I ran another 5 miles. It felt much better and I was running in the 8:40 range. I was wanting to do some hill work but decided I better not since it was pouring down rain and the hill I like to run on has some traffic on it. Didn't want to get hit by someone paying more attention to the rain and wipers than to the road. No sense in putting myself in too much danger! I did enjoy the run in the rain. The temperature was low 70s and the rain made it feel cooler. I actually sped up the entire run with my last loop being my fastest at 8:28 mile. I know that is not fast but it is showing improvement after my layoff with the tendonitis. Oh yeah, the fat man has been chasing and catching me. I've got to start picking up the miles and pushing back from the table!

Scheduled for 12 tomorrow but will be happy to get in the 10 that I ended up missing this past weekend.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Portland Trip . . . a long read

Hey all,
I have finally gotten around to getting home, doing laundry, knocking down the spider webs, and FINALLY to catch up my blog.

As you know, I couldn't run the Portland Marathon. Tendonitis. Bummer. However, I decided to go ahead and make the trip just to get out of town. Susan went with me. I had invited her to go with me for the marathon . . . no reason to uninvite her, just because I was not running. Besides, we have too much fun together.

We flew out Friday mid-morning. The flight was uneventful . . . everything was on schedule and went surprisingly smooth. We pretty much sat on the plane, read and did Sudoku. I did, however, get sneezed on by an Asian man who didn't know how to cover his face. YUCK. Thank goodness I always load up on Vitamin C and Airborne before I get on a flight.

We arrived in Portland, picked up the luggage and rental car. Mustang convertible. SWEET. I asked Susan if she wanted the top up or down. The vote was a resounding DOWN. Nothing like topless motoring on a beautiful 70 degree day.

Made it into town and to the hotel with no problems. We decided to attack town for the few hours of daylight we had left. We were located in the Pioneer Courthouse Square area. In case you're not familiar, that is where Saks, Tiffany, and at least 10 other stores (whose names I couldn't pronounce) reside. We walked around a while then hopped the free train (fare less square-neat idea. Socialism at its best) and went to a place called Hubers This is the oldest restaurant and bar in Portland. A neat place that specializes in Spanish coffee. We met my former B.I.L. Cary and his wife Loretta for dinner at a nice place called Henry's Tavern. I had Sushi and fish & chips-strange combination. Susan had a sandwich and salad. Loretta had already met Susan and they got along great. This was Cary's first meeting with Susan. I could tell he wasn't exactly comfortable but he was friendly and we all enjoyed dinner.

Saturday morning we got up, had b'fast in the hotel. Not smart. Something magical about hotel restaurants-everything on the menu costs 10.99. Coffee . . . . 10.99. Bagel . . . . 10.99. Cup of fruit . . . . 10.99. You get the idea. I also bothered me a little bit hanging around the lobby seeing all the runners the day before the race. After b'fast, we headed out 26 west to the beach.

Cannon beach is where all the locals go and we decided we wanted to see the Pacific. Once there, Susan stated her opinion that you can't count it as going to the beach unless you stick your feet in the water. Hmmmm . . . . it was in the high 50s that morning at the beach. NW Pacific Ocean . . . melted ice from Canada and Alaska.

Let's kick off the shoes and try it.
Yep . . . the water is about 40 freaking degrees!!! Thanks, Susan, for freezing my a$$ off.

We picked up a couple of stones for E and MA and walked down the beach a mile or so and found a place to eat lunch. After lunch we walked back into town and hit the shops. We stopped mid-afternoon and started heading toward Tillamook.

Tillamook is a town about 35 miles or so to the south. We drove along the beach road with the top down. It was chilly but we enjoyed it. The scenery along the highway is spectacular! See below!

We were quickly running out of time and stopped in the dairy/cheese factory in Tillamook. Did a quick look around, sampled some cheese (I love Tillamook cheese), and got a small ice cream cone before we blasted off back to Portland. We were in a bit of a rush because Susan had made reservations for dinner that evening. You see, Sunday was my birthday and we already had plans to have dinner with Cary and Loretta, so Susan was treating me on Saturday night. We made it back to Portland, did a quick spit-shine to clean up and headed to the bus stop. Susan had spoken with the Concierge at the hotel to determine which bus, what time, etc. would get us to the restaurant. All I can say it that if you’re not used to buses and schedules, do not attempt this on your own. Evidently, what the Concierge told Susan and what the bus lines actually did were two different things. The bottom line is that we’re standing at the stop, dressed for dinner, waiting for bus #17. Waiting. Frustrated. Waiting. Irate. Waiting. Panicked. We finally said screw it and we caught a cab to dinner.

Dinner Saturday night was very nice. Susan did a good job in finding a local restaurant. It was small and cozy. The name of the restaurant is Filberts They gave us some champagne for my birthday and the staff was very cordial and welcoming. Susan had risotto and crab and I had pork chop. I know, I’m in the northwest and I didn’t get salmon. The chef and owner, Bill Sutherland, came out and chatted with us since we were Alabama. His wife was there and we chatted for a bit. Found out that they were originally from Washington DC. They asked what were doing for the rest of the trip and we told him we were going to wine country (Willamette Valley) Sunday. He suggested a small private winery that he was going to called Natalie’s Estate Winery We finished dinner, said goodbye to our new found friends and caught a cab back to the hotel. We decided to go to the restaurant on the roof of the hotel for nightcaps and listen to the jazz trio. All in all, a very nice evening. Thank you Susan for a very nice birthday evening.

Sunday morning was as I expected. It was the day of the race that I could not run in. My body clock woke me up several times around 3:00. The time I normally get up for morning races. Also the fact that all those RUDE RUNNERS were nervously wandering the hotel hallway and getting on the elevator starting around 3:00 may have had something to do with my light sleeping. God I wish I had been one of them! It’s sort of like putting a dozen Krispy Kremes in front of a fat man and keeping his hands tied. Know what I mean? We wanted to get an early start since we planned on going to wine country so we thought we had better start early. We threw on some running clothes and headed out for a run. We had decided to run from the hotel down to the river (about 6 blocks) and then run along the Willamette River since they have a nice path on both sides of the river. We had to cross the marathon course to accomplish this. Again, my heart sank a little seeing all the people out there running but I picked up my chin and decided to enjoy what I had. Susan and I headed north along the west back, running parallel to the marathon. We then crossed one of the many bridges to the east back and headed south and then crossed back over on another bridge to the west bank. We then decided to head south and discovered a very nice area along the river. There was a nice park, shops, restaurants, condos, hotels, and marina all connected by the trail. VERY NICE. We decided that we should try one of the restaurants on Monday night. We then ran back to the north along the river and then back into the city. We stopped at a McDonalds about a block from the hotel and had breakfast, sitting there in our nasty sweaty running clothes. I guessed about 3 1/2 to 4 mile run with some beautiful scenery to boot.

Headed back to hotel, showered up and hit the road to wine country. This is about a 45 minute drive to the southwest of the city. The area is rather large and spreads all over the county but we had selected wineries all in the Dundee area and all within about 5 or 6 miles of each other. Susan called Natalie’s Estate Winery which is by appointment only and they were very nice and said to come on. Nothing like a wine tasting at 10:30 in the morning! We made our way up their private road to the house. However, the road became big, loose gravel on an uphill driveway to the winery. The mustang did not like the big, loose gravel and no matter how lightly I touched the gas or brakes, the car just wanted to sink. We almost got stuck and a man that was there told us park in a lower lot. Tragedy avoided. We walked up the hill and into the winery and guess who is there . . . Bill, the cook and owner from Filbert’s! He, his wife, and two friends of theirs from Washington DC. We all laughed about the chance meeting and chatted while tasting some very nice Pinot Noirs. I highly recommend that if you get a chance to visit the area, go to this very small but accommodating winery. We spent a little time talking to Cassandra, the wife and owner of Natalie’s. We found out that the winery is named after their daughter and she made several suggestions for dinners, etc. We said goodbye and headed out. So much wine, so little time. On the way out, Susan HAD TO STEAL an apple off an apple tree for a snack. I admit that I had a couple of bites so I am just as guilty.

We traveled around Dundee hitting several wineries. I won’t bore you with all the details. We finished our winery visit later in the afternoon with a visit to a place called The Pinot Station. Susan was hungry and in need of food but we had enough time for one more stop before we headed to Cary and Loretta’s so we stopped. This was a pretty good deal we got to try 5 Pinots and 3 whites for $5. Additionally, there was a limo there when we got there . . . it was a rolling party. Susan noticed a plate of fruit, cheese, crackers and started nonchalantly sneaking over to grab some bites. The girl behind the counter said the food was for the folks in the limo but they were done with so we could help ourselves. I have never seen such a small woman gobble down so many dates, grapes, and cheese bites as Susan did when we were told to help ourselves! Some pictures of Oregon Wine country-

Here's Susan negotiating stairs after a day full of winetasting. Notice the use of the handrail!

Anyway, after about 30 or 40 minutes there, we had to head north for dinner with Cary and Loretta.

We made it to Cary and Retta’s in about 30 minutes . . . not a bad drive from Dundee up to Beaverton. Everyone met us at the front door and everyone was welcoming of Susan. It’s interesting that Retta and I have the same birthday, Oct. 1. I brought several bottles of wine from our day in Willamette Valley and a loaf of bread from Cannon beach. They had gotten me a nice box of chocolate and dinner. Cary had gone crabbing that day. When we got there, crabs were boiling, oysters were cooking, and food was in abundance. Let me see if I can tell you everything that was served us . . . . Dungeness crab, fresh oysters, fresh shrimp, potatoes and corn on the cob. We had tons of food and wine. We also had dessert and ice cream. Quite a stuff fest! Afterwards, we decided that we’d head out and not overstay our welcome. We headed back into town . . . took about 15 minutes to get back to the hotel. We decided to have birthday nightcap. It was around 8:30.

Susan had been wanting to try the Portland City Grill. This is a happening place in the Yamhill district. It is a nice restaurant and bar in the 30th floor of a bank building. We took the train from the hotel to what was the stop nearest the bank. I’m not going to say that this was a mistake, but this was not the best place to get off a train. There were a gaggle of youths hanging out at the street corner. Don’t get me wrong. . . . I am not that much of old fart, but we’re talking probably 30-40 youths that were pushing, shouting, and acting a fool. Too bad I was in Oregon. In Alabama I would have my pistol with me. Susan and I quickly grabbed each other’s hands and moved down the street as fast as possible. The whole time I was looking for weapons at hand . . . garbage cans, newspaper stands. You get the idea. We cleared the area and sort of sighed. Only 4 blocks to go. Guess what we ran into next? A full fledged crazy man. Nothing against insanity . . . I’ve touched that place before in my life but this guy was a real nut job. He was yelling and screaming at somebody who was not there. I glanced up and saw us but didn’t approach us, thank goodness. Okay, just a couple of blocks. We can see the bank building the lights of the main boulevard just a block ahead. Being neurotic, I noticed the guy who was shadowing us on the opposite side of the street and the van filled with youths parked on the side of the street. All I could think was . . . thanks goodness I am faster than Susan! We made it to the building with no incident. We jumped on the elevator and made it upstairs. This place was packed. It wasn’t a loud obnoxious place but it was busy. We went into the bar and circled several times. Every table, chair and stool was occupied. We thought we’d have to skip it but we circled one more time and found and table and two chairs in the window-perfect. We sat down and enjoyed the view out the window, overlooking the city at night and watching the boats on the river. We had a couple of cocktails, held hands and watched the young couple across from us choke down a hamburger. There were a little on the strange side . . . tattoos and piercings but they seemed nice enough. The best part of the whole evening was when we got up to leave the youngster across the table from us said (and I quote) “ma’am, you dropped something”. What a hoot! Susan had dropped a scarf. The funny part is that I am the old person in our relationship . . . she’s the youngster, but somebody called her “ma’am”. I busted a gut on the spot and Susan also laughed . . . I guess she had to. We left the bank, walked down two block and over to the next train station and had no problems at all. I guess the youths just hung out on the one block. Took the train back to the hotel and hit the hay-we have a busy day on Monday, our last day there.

Monday arrived, sadly. I always hate the last day of a trip. We had decided that we were going to the Columbia River gorge to see waterfalls and do some hiking and anything else we could get into. While Susan was in the shower, I ran down the block to McDonalds and got our breakfast . . . not healthy but good and quick. We grabbed our maps, notes and camera and out the door we went. After about 45 minutes of driving, we were in the gorge and heading to our first location-Vista House. Pretty neat if you ever get the chance to go there-a marble house on top of a mountain with a killer view of the gorge looking east. We spent a little time at Vista House, bought some coffee and a souvenir coffee cup for each of us.

This is Columbia River Gorge looking east. Oregon on the right and Washington on the left. This is the Grand Canyon (sorry Phil) of the northwest.

We hit several waterfalls and did a little hiking. We just didn’t have time to do the gorge justice. You definitely need several days to do it right. I’m not going to give too many details but here’s a quick list of places we enjoyed and hiked-Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Mutlnomah Falls, and Wahkeenah Falls. We hiked at every water fall and I figured we got in somewhere around 10-12 miles for the day. Here are just a couple of pictures of what we saw while hiking.

Yes, that is Susan standing next to the waterfall in the picture on the right.

Don't you think that she has a great smile?

Multnomah falls in the middle.

This is the view from the top of Multnomah falls. The picture above center is what most people see. Susan and I decided we wanted a different view!

This was taken later in the afternoon after several nice little hikes. This was the last waterfall we visited. I was cool and shady most of the day but all our hiking was a lot of climbing. The mist of the falls felt so good and helped to keep us cool.

There are so many other pictures I have but I don't want to overload this blog. The best part is the scenery was beautiful and we had SO MUCH FUN!

About 3:30 we decided to high tail it back into Portland to beat the rush hour traffic and to have dinner at a decent time so we could have one more nightcap and pack before bedtime. We got into town quickly so we walked around downtown a little. Of course we had to go into Tiffany’s just to look at all the sparkling stuff. No, I didn’t don anything like that so stop thinking that. We walked down to the riverfront area we discovered while running on Sunday. We went to one restaurant right on the river, overlooking the marina. This was going to be good. However, after waiting for a wait person for 6 minutes, we decided to blow the joint and move on. We told the hostess and she was very nice and was wanting us to stay but we hit the door running. We went to another restaurant just a block up and one of the places we had wanted to go to while doing our homework back in B’ham. The restaurant was called Stanfords and the meal was good. We decided to end our trip the way we started . . . . at Hubers. We hopped the train and headed north into town to go to Hubers. We headed inside and the barkeep that helped us on Friday afternoon was working. He recognized us and asked us about our trip. We ordered a couple of Spanish coffees, chatted with the barkeep a little, made eyes at each other and decided to call it an evening. Took the train back to hotel and packed for our morning departure. Goodbye to Portland . . . we’ll have to come back.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Didn't get it done

That's right. I lack the proper motivation to stick to a schedule. I was to run a 10 miler this weekend but failed to do so. I ran a hard 5 miler after church Sunday. I had intended to run on Saturday morning but it was cold and I wanted to go to Susan's girls' soccer games which were early. After the soccer games, we went on the great pumpkin hunt of 2006. Needless to say, I just found all kinds of excuses not to run on Saturday.

I fully intended to do the 10 on Sunday. However, I hooked up with Patrick, one of my neighbors. Normally I avoid running with Patrick simply because he has one speed . . . fast. I told him I was doing 10 and needed to run slow. He said no problem. Of course we ran a couple of mile down in the high 7 minute pace and that was that. By five miles, I had run a race and just couldn't back down to a 9:00 pace and run comfortably. So I used the afternoon to edge and cut the grass. Then I went over to Susan's to work on the doghouse I promised to help with. Normally doghouses are quick and easy but I made the mistake of getting input from 3 women on how they thought it should look. Now Sam (Susan's dog) has a better house than 50% of the poplulation in the state of Alabama.

I am planning doing 10 tonight if the storms don't catch me. I'll let you know later if I did it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I know it

Yes, I have not posted my trip to Portland yet. I am working on it. Actually, it is such a large write up, I am just doing it in a word doc and will paste it over when I am done with it. I guess it is a good sign that I can go out of town, without running, with Susan, and have so much fun and so much to write about. Perhaps I need a separate blog for my personal life. What do you think? Should I keep this just running and write up my personal stuff elsewhere or do you mind sifting through the touchy feely stuff to get to the running stuff? I promise I'll post the trip soon.

I did a short recovery run. My legs were just a wee bit sore from Wed run, so I just did a 4 miler. Fastest was 8:30 and slowest was 8:45. The first mile was a little stiff legged but I quickly loosened up and found a nice stride.

I'm doing a 10 miler this weekend . . . hopefully first thing in the morning.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Still working at it

I love the cooler weather. Most fat boys love the cooler weather. It means I can run 6 miles without my shoes and socks being soaked in sweat. It means that I can take shower within 15 minutes and not still be sweating while water is running over my body. It means improved performance (perceived or real).

I had a very nice run yesterday afternoon. I did a 6 miler on my 1.2 mile loop in my 'hood. My neighbor Dom (check my links to the right) ran the last 3 with me. I felt comfortable, never really pushing. As the shadows lengthened, the temperature dropped a little. Perfect. Marc "Animal" was just starting as I was finishing so he joined me for about a mile. Thanks for the company guys!

Here's my splits on 1.2 mile loop and corresponding pace (rounded, of course)-

Lap 1 10:26 8:42 pace
Lap 2 10:29 8:45 pace
Lap 3 10:19 8:36 pace
Lap 4 10:30 8:45 pace
Lap 5 10:13 8:31 pace

Actual total time: 51:59

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A quick update

Yes, I'm back from traveling and will give an extensive update on our trip to Portland. However, I just want to cover the basics right now-running.

Susan and I ran a little bit along the river (more about that in my upcoming trip post) while in Portland. After returning home, I had to go to Vidalia. I ran two days down there on the High School cross country trail. A very nicely kept track through the woods near the hotel where I was staying.

Saturday, after the girls soccer games, Susan and I went for a run along the Lakeshore greenway. I did 7.7 miles. Susan did 5.1 miles. I had a very good run considering I've been taking it easy for the last several weeks.
Here's my splits for Saturday-
Lap 1 21:20 8:18 pace
Lap 2 21:00 8:11 pace
Lap 3 20:30 7:59 pace

I am so glad that it is finally cooling off and my foot is feeling better.

I also ran Monday night. 5 miles at 8:20 pace.

I'll post more later.
It is good to be back!