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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Appreciating The Last Of Something!

Beautiful day for a race. Woke up at 5 A.M. and headed out to Las Cruces at around 6:15. The 5K course is one I have run before.....fine gravel that meanders slightly uphill into the wind, hits the turnaround, and heads back downhill with the wind. Winds were lighter than when I ran this course in the spring, and it was a perfect 62 degree overcast day. There were 60 total runners, including about 20 Army reservists, and about 40 walkers and stroller pushers. I paced perfectly for the leg out to the water table, and was in 10th place overall. I felt strong and relaxed at the turn, and was ready to press on the wind aided downhill return. I first passed two women, and then three reservists. These guys always do 2 mile runs for their fitness tests, and it appeared that they rarely ran longer than that. At the 4K mark, I realized that if I could push that last half mile hard, I could get under 27 minutes...something I have not done this year. I pushed really hard to near gag level, passing one more guy who was having some sort of leg cramp/pull issue, and ended up 4th overall in a time of 26:48. I ran two more kilimeters as a cool down and then came back to the finish line to get a bottle of water and a yogurt protein bar. They had posted the preliminary results on a board, and I was confused at first because there was one guy in the 60-69 age group, and it wasn't me. Then I noticed that they did top three overall men and women, and I was third male. The two guys who beat me were 23 and 40 years old. Now I realize this was a nice fluke that will certainly never occur again, but since I ran a good tactical race in a good time, it was just pure gravy poured over a satisfying performance.
Stopped at Toucan for some specialty groceries and wine, and then the Barnes and Knobles college bookstore for coffee and a chicken pesto sandwich, and then headed home. I unpacked my purchases, and now I am on my back in front of the tv. Back hurts like heck and my feet are buzzing, so I will go easy this week and hope to heal, and then prepare for one more race early in December to close out the year!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Perfect Week Of Weather!

Almost perfect week of weather to run. Got in 5 runs for a total of 41K. Would have run more, but I hurt my back doing some floor washing. I have hurt my back the last 4 times I have done it, so God is telling me that this is another task that will come off my activities list. There was a young hispanic fellow who came bye with a flyer offering to steam clean your floor, among other services, so I will give it a try. If it works out well, will have it done twice a year....
This is a nice picture E2 took of the ceiling in the beautiful lobby of the Bilagio Casino. Looks very similar to the one Kwon took a year earlier. I think even I could get this right........
Gonna do a 5K this saturday, so long as my back holds up. Was chatting with my son yesterday and saying how much my heart wants to finish my career with a half marathon next spring, even though my brain is screaming NO NO NO. I would pick an easy or downhill course in good weather, but since it will now take me more than two hours to complete, it would require at least three two hour training runs, and I would have to space them two weeks apart in order not to destroy my fragile chassis. If I could find a local 10 miler or 15K, that would probably be enough to satisfy me.........

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pink Boob Race....The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

Today was a perfect day to race. I chose to run the pink booby race 10K, as the 5K featured lots of dogs, strollers, people tied together like centipedes, army men marching behind a flag, and all sorts of assorted road clogging pink mayhem. There were approximately 400 people in the 5K, and only 60 in the 10K. There were all sorts of pink boob shirts with different slogans, my favorite being "Saving Second Base". Probably 3 of 4 participants were women. Lot of pretty girls in those almost see thru boy shorts........damn distracting.....Anyway, my goal was to try and complete the 10K under an hour, so below 6 minute per kilometer pace. My garmin was set on kilometer pace on top, and total kilometers on bottom. The course started uphill on geothermal road for approximately two kilometers. I tried to hold back and crested the top with a pace of 6:24. After running downhill for two kilometers, I was at 6:04. The rest of the course was fairly flat and followed the old senior games course. By 8 kilometers, I was happily on 5:54 pace and felt pretty comfortable about getting in under an hour. The weather was perfect....started out at 56 degrees, and ended around 70. When I saw the chute coming, I new something was wrong. I went thru the pink arch at 53:34, and looking at my garmin, it said that we had only covered 9.06 kilometers, or around 6 tenths of a mile short. They separated runners in the chute by moving the 10K runners to the right. As I watched them hand write the runners numbers and their time, I realized that for a race in it's 7th incarnation, they are certainly not ready for prime time. There was only one guy in the 10K besides me who looked old, and I talked to him after the race and he turned out to be 48 (not aging very well!). When I went back to the scorers table, I found out that they were only giving out medals to the first two men and women in the 10K race, so when they put "Awards" on the flyer, they were a bit deceptive. So, beautiful day, I stayed on pace as hoped, but not a race that I would ever do again. I have so few left in me, they have to at least have ten year age groups.
After the race, my friend Matt from run culture gave me a card for 20% off, so I headed to old downtown to see if the store had two shoes I wanted to try on. When I got there, the street was closed for a street fair, so after I bought a much need new pair of shoes (I kid, I now have 15 pairs!), I picked up a lb. of coffee from a new coffee roaster who had a display in front of their shop, a large jar of sour cherry jam from a family that goes all over New Mexico selling jams and jellies, and some roasted and pickled jalapenos that are supposed to be medium hot. Followed that up with some grocery shopping at Tucan bye the university, and headed home. Now I am laying on the couch watching Notre Dame (come on Stanford!), sucking some left over coffee, and contemplating what side dish to serve my bride for dinner to go along with the caribbean crusted mahi mahi I bought at Tucan.....maybe soy and ginger rice?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pink Boob Race!

After doing a saturday long run of 13K, followed bye two days of 8K, the second one including 4 intervals of 5 minutes with two minute recoveries at just below expected 10K race pace, I decided to register for the 10K vs the 5K at this saturday's pink boob race at NMSU. They are expecting 700 folks, many who will be walking the 5K, so I thought I would stick with the running crowd and do the 10K. Although I am in good basic shape, I am far from racing shape, having not done any real hard efforts for almost three months now. Therefore, my goal is to just try to finish under an hour. I think that is doable, but we will find out on saturday. I will get to bring home a nice Koman pink shirt to cover my bride's boobs!
This is a picture of me after what is probably my last run ever at zion. Anything is possible, but this one is probably not going to ever appear again in my wheelhouse. It was hot, humid, and hilly, but I pushed to complete 8K so that my last run there would at least be acceptable to me. Unlike having a bucket list, I seem to be finishing things and realizing that these things could very well be the last time doing them. There is a melancholy nature to this, as I get near to what I believe will be my last decade of life. I am not trying to squeeze anything else into this life, just the desire to do a few more things with the folks I love. Getting to see my boy and his lovely new bride "Koozie", was just so wonderful to me, so I will have to keep connected with them via skype. Like E2's analogy of a good milkshake, you have been sucking along for a while, you know it is running out, and you are just waiting for that final slurping sound at the bottom.........

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Home From Laughlin/Mesquite/Vegas!

On our first full day in Laughlin on our Laughlin/Mesquite/Vegas odyssey, E2 and I went over to the outlets. E2 picked up some underwear, and I bought this shirt at the Reebok outlet. It is a Tech running shirt with the quote "force to be reckoned with" on it. While I was in the sports book, a young woman employee, probably coming back from break, walked up to me, put her hand in the center of my chest, and asked, "are you?" As she slid her hand down toward my genitals, I realized.......I am not!
After a long ride home friday of 12 hours thanks to a rush hour in phoenix that included a small haboob, rain, lunatic rush hour traffic with multiple accidents, and just 2 1/2 hours of mayhem, slept in late on saturday and got about some chores. Did my laundry, balanced the check book and did travel receipts, cleaned up my bathroom and straightened up some stuff in the house. Since I had no longer runs in the past two weeks, I went out and did a surprisingly brisk long run on saturday evening. It was 79 when I started and 69 an hour and twenty seven minutes later when I was done. We had 7 1/2 inches of rain when we were on vacation, and there was water pooled in the drainage pond by the eastern side of my track. For the first time ever since moving to Deming 7 1/2 years ago, there were freakin' mosquitos biting the crap out of me. Didn't like that much at all.
Today I slept in late again, watched the early football games and went out and washed the car and vacuumed all of the red sand from the inside. Spent a bit longer to get it looking like it did when I first brought it home. E2 would give me a B- grade for this effort. Bought a chip stick online from a VW dealer on amazon to repair the small set of scratches on the driver side passenger door that must have happened at valet in vegas. Didn't notice it until getting gas in kingman on friday. I will run easy today, and maybe a bit harder on monday, and then take tuesday off, as I have to take Deb to silver city for a pair of spinal injections to calm down her mid back and neck. She did pretty well on vacation, considering all fibro and medication detoxing she has been going thru. Had just the best time ever with her, E2, and the kids. Love the crap out of my new daughter in law Koozie......

Monday, September 15, 2014

Laughlin Bound!

Ran for the last 7 days straight for a total of 55km. With Ernie here for six of those days, I didn't hit the gym, and he ran five of those six days with me for the first 60% or so of those runs. Nothing long or intense, just all medium easy days. Ernie is still somewhat on ohio time, and gets up about three hours ahead of me and sits out front sucking coffee and eating at least three meals before I get up. On thursday, I got up around ten and came out to get coffee, and one of our cats, dotty, was jumping up and down over something bye the door. After she stopped, I went over, and she had killed a hairy desert scorpion.....must have followed Ernie into the house on one of his 8 coffee stops. Glad she killed it, because although they are not deadly, their sting can hobble you and turn your leg below the knee into a swollen tree trunk. Don't need that a few days before a vacation. We head out tomorrow for Lauglin, and stay there on wednesday for layover, and then hit Mesquite on thursday. We will do mesquite, zion, lake mead, valley of fire, and monday night football, and then head to vegas on the following tuesday for three nights at hotel 32. My bride finally rallied back from the pain doctor trying to kill her, and seems ready for this vacation. Can't wait to see my boy and the lovely Inna......

Sunday, September 7, 2014

500TH Post!

I started this blog a very long time ago to try and keep a few folks up to date with what was going on with my running, my life in general, and on occasion, what irritated the crap out of me. That was often something political, religious, environmental, or just plain stupid. On many occasions, those things converged. Now my initial followers were my sister suzi, little "e", my boy terrible, Mary, and a fellow named K. Brennen from Santa Fe who found something to follow from my posts. Over time I lost sister Sue, and picked up Frank and Billybob on occasion. Every once in a while, someone would find my blog based on it's title thru a googly tube search, and was upset bye it. That occurred the most often on a religious or political post. The response was usually negative and whiney. Never bothered me. Everyone can believe what they want to believe. The only times I was really irritated was when the people responded to environmentally related posts and just refused to accept scientific fact. My favorite political response to man made climate change espoused by so many energy lobbyists and politicians is "I am not a scientist and it's unproven theory"....kind of like how gravity is an unproven theory. If I put a glass of antifreeze in front of them and told them "since you are not a scientist, and 98 out of 100 scientists say it is poison, so it is still a theory, are you gonna drink up"? Doubt it. Kind of like drinking that safe untreated fracking water. So, nothing will probably change in my blog going forward.....
Over the last 21 days I have run 15 times for a total of 127 kilometers. I am especially sore absolutely everywhere. Today's run felt like I was leaning forward at the waist and falling more than running. For the next three weeks I will probably only get to run 4 times a week and for less mileage, so hopefully I will get a small amount of spring back in my step. Trying hard to get my bride packed up so we can head out of here on the 16th.....