Sunday, July 30, 2006

Still Alive, If not Blogging about Running

I'm on track for Hood to Coast. I have to admit to seriously considering giving up my spot on the relay team due to the head cold, but dammit, I've wanted to do this for years, and this is my year.

The cold is still causing volumes of snot in my kid's noses and making me cough but other than that I feel pretty good. Day before yesterday I did 45 minutes on the eliptical trainer. Yesterday I did that and then 25 minutes on the stair stepper at our hotel. We're home today, and tomorrow I plan a longish run with the forerunner and some good long hills. I have a month to get myself in respectable shape and I will do it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Scotts Running (at the mouth)

In an effort to prepare myself as best I can for the relay race next more (which at this point there is no way I’ll be fully prepared for), I went out in the heat of the day yesterday and ran up and down the steep hill at the end of our road for an hour. This morning I got up an ran in the cool. I am not a morning exerciser (my wife can stip. to that) so this was a real chore for me.

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There is a guy in our town who I have personally come to think of as the Grumpy Runner because every time I have ever made an attempt to engage him, he was avoided eye contact and made little or no response to any enquiries or called out greetings. I don’t just see him running. Our town is too small for that. He was some sort of minor adult when I was in middle schooler – assistant bus driver or third string math teacher or some other adult position holder. I’ve also seen him in line at the store, an once pawning a rifle. The guy as always been just plain grumpy. On the other hand, he must be living right because I don’t think he has aged at all since I was in the seventh grade, which is a neat trick.
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So I’m plugging away at mile three of this morning’s ‘early’ run today. The temperature is starting to rise rapidly. I’m sweating a lot and thinking about Jeff’s sweat stories. The milk and cheerios I unwisely ingested are starting to do the kooky dance in my stomach and that’s when I hear the crunch, crunch in the gravel behind me. Despite the (non-name brand) cheerios, I automatically pick up the pace. I always plan my paces down to the mile and stick to them religiously, checking the forerunner every minute or so, until someone tries to overtake me and then it’s all lost to competition with whomever is on the other end of the shadow. So I pick up the pace, and it doesn’t even matter. The person gaining on my cruises right on up, and you guessed it, it’s the Grumpy Runner. Only today he is cheery. He yells out a great big “hullo!” and slows down to run with me patiently while I fiddle with my mp3 player and get into conversation mode. The conversation went something like this:

“Lovely day for it, huh?”


“Say, Don’t you live up on Clark Creek?”


“Well, Enjoy the day!”

“OK, You (hack, cough).”

With that, he powered up and literally left me in the dust.

Grumpy and a sadist.

I didn’t post about it previously but if Jeff posted about his hard drive issues and Susan about the dildo-cam appointments she has to contend with, so I guess I can add that I have rescheduled my vasectomy until after Hood to Coast. The doctor was explaining that they give you a local up by your shoulder blades because some of what they tug on attaches up there, and I thought "Not what I should be doing two weeks before a major running evet." I sure hope that one doesn’t come back to bite me – we could refer to him/her as our little relay baby.

I’m in Pasco, in Eastern Washington tomorrow and Tuesday. I’m going to try for more of this running in the AM and the afternoon business and see if I live.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nobody knows...

I'm wearing black ankle socks at work today....

Ran hills for an hour last night. Man that kicked my butt! Twenty minutes into it I had to stop and walk. Today I feel like someone beat me with a stick, rolled me over, and finished the job. I have sooo much work ahead of me. Riding in to work this AM felt good, though.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Survey Says

Today was an, “Aw Crap!” day all around. I woke up 30 minutes late this morning. I’d plan to ride in, run, and ride back from work today. Instead, at 6:30 my wife was saying, “Babe, you’re late. You have to get up.”

I think I answered with something like, “Yeah, but I’m telling her what kind of hot dog I want to order.” A second or two later I realized that ordering dream hot dogs from the ultimate dog stand in the sky wasn’t going to contribute to general success in life and got myself in gear, if a little late.

I drove to work, accomplished a lot, and generally made good food choices throughout the day (coffee and pizza). In the early afternoon I got my leg descriptions for the upcoming race. I was expecting them to go easy on me and probably not even have me do three legs as I’m the newbie. Turns out that I’m one of several newbies (see my leg descriptions below) and my leg descriptions are “Hard,” “Rediculously Hard,” and “Just Lay Down In the Street You Wimpy Boy Hard.”

The rest of the day was normal work thoughts punctuated every now and then with unbidden panic, “work, work, work, OH JESUS! work, work, work, I’M GONNA DIE!” type thoughts.

After work I went for medium length run through the hills. I never trained hills getting ready for my marathon and so have very little frame of reference. I didn’t have my forerunner with me but kept track of my route and ran for about an hour. The whole time I kept reminding myself to keep the pace up and run fast for a shorter distance. Afterwards I went back and drove my route to establish distance. I ended up with about a 10:30 average pace. Like I said, I’m gonna die.


Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
I found out what Hood to Coast legs they have me down for today. Looks like I'm going to have it harder at the beginning and end. I need to find some hills and start running them!


Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Thankfully they gave me a rest in the middle.


Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
So hills then...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

M+M and I are cleaning out our closets

I just updated my sidebar for the first time in, ohhhh, about six months - the definition of procrastination...

Then Next Episode

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Today was my first day back in training for a race in almost eight months. It’s amazing how much difference that one little thing can make. One day I’m tootling along, enjoying my runs and rides, zoning out on my podcasts and generally just taking it as it comes. With a goal in mind, everything is different (in my mind anyway). Today I noticed how slooooowwww I’ve gotten. I’m still the same guy shuffling around the lake but now I’m thinking about running when I wake up in the morning. I’m thinking about the excitement and joy of race day. I’m hoping I won’t eff it up. I’m looking forward to meeting other people, and I’m looking forward to running by myself and then talking about it later.

The Hood to Coast trek runs 197 miles from Timberline Lodge at the top of Mt. Hood to finish in Seaside. The course is divided into 36 legs. If all 12 relay team members show up, division tells us we’ll each get three legs of about 5.5 miles each. I think in reality some of the legs are up to eight miles each. I found a site where someone google-mapped each leg. You can download the official handbook with descriptions of each leg here. I hope find out my legs a.s.a.p. so I can start training for them.

Today I road a total of 10.4 miles to work and back and ran 7.1 in an hour and three (slow). I feel pretty good but probably won’t run again until Sunday. I have no idea how to train for these shorter faster distances. There won’t be any 20 mile Saturdays. I guess I’ll get the scoop on Tuesday.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

And so it starts again

"As the largest relay race in North America, The Hood To Coast Relay stretches 197 miles from the top of Oregon's majestic Mt. Hood down to the beautiful Pacific Ocean in Seaside, Oregon. Over 12,000 runners show up to experience this annual event, now in its 25th year!"

Well, once again, I have a goal, or maybe a goal has me. A friend of my wife’s called me up today to invite me to join their Hood to Coast team this year. I called her right back and agreed to join the team and take which ever lengths they decided to give me. I’ve been trying to get on a team for three years now. I was an alternate once and I’ve made embarrassingly obvious hints that I’d like to join other teams, only to be told gently that their turnover is “quite low.”

Thinking about the crash course training I need get going on got me to thinking about my friend Andy. Every couple of months the one whose turn it is to get a free lunch will call the other up and invite him to lunch. I know that is backwards for most social arrangements, but that’s how we have worked it out. Andy and I are old ex-coworkers who like to get together periodically and talk about work, family, and most importantly running. Hood to Coast is Andy’s big event for the year and he is on a really good team that I have wanted to be on for a long time.

Email exchange was something like this:

Me – “You up for lunch this week, tomorrow, or next week M, T, or Th?”

Him – “How about T or Th? How’s running?”

Me – “Tuesday. Running coming along. I’m doing Hood to Coast this year!”

Him – “Really? My next line was to invite you to go with us. We lost someone. Where”

Me – “How about that Japanese place that used to be the Rusty Duck. Meet you there at noon unless I hear different.”

I guess that last line doesn’t add much to the story. Anyway, Tomorrow I ride in to work and run home. This entails carrying three pairs of shoes on the bike but should be pretty doable.

Keith tells me that my rss feed is messed up, which might explain why nobody ever reads my blog. I oughta get that fixed.