Monday, August 30, 2010

August's Rhapsody

This is a longish post, but far from my longest post ever.  My blogging will be sporadic at best until after Labor Day. 

It has been a little tricky getting time for myself these days, which cuts into my blogging.  I'm mostly kid sitting, and it's  hard to get in a few words without him peeking over my shoulder asking when he can get on the computer.  His mommy started classes again last week and he doesn't go back to school until after Labor Day.  I love spending time with my grandson, though, and we've been working on reading and spelling (easy for him - he reads at a 3rd grade level) and math concepts (a little tougher). I'm also getting him outside to play games in the backyard and we've had a couple of trips to the park.

Last week it was suggested that I take my grandson with me to the park so that he could ride his bike or Razor along side me as I ran.  He's speedy on wheels, and I thought  I would have to chase him down.  He can handle 3 miles on wheels.  It sounds like a good idea, right?  We get to the park and barely make it a third of a mile and he wants to turn around and play at the park with all the kids.

The park was packed with day camp kids and I couldn't let him out of my sight, I just sat there for a bit, trying to figure out the best plan of action since I was already there. It wasn't long, but the day camp kids were all packed on their buses and left, and the park was quiet and manageable. At that point it occurred to me that I could run laps around the park's playground area and keep an eye on my grandson while he played. Two laps around the playground was about 400 meters. I ran enough laps to fit about 2 miles. (I had a little GPS bouncing - I didn't run through the middle of the playground.)

It still wasn't exactly what I had planned.  I couldn't do sprints due to the fact that I had to make sure I knew where my grandson was as I ran, plus I had to navigate around small children playing on the walkway around the playground. A few parents/adults with their kids just sort of watched me run, like I was nuts, however I'm not the type to just sit idle and watch my kid(s) play, either. If I didn't run I would have been on the swings with my grandson.

My grandson had a good time playing with a couple of boys about his age until the boys had to leave.  By then I had put in my two miles, cooled down and stretched.  As much as I enjoyed watching my grandson play and have fun, I remembered why I (most of the time) run solo.  It's my "me" time.  It's the time I need to be a bit selfish and take care of me and clear my head.*

Meanwhile, back in the garden, I actually grew eggplant without killing it!  See?  This was my first attempt with eggplant, and I was happy with how well it did.  Bonus points that the gophers didn't touch it

It was yummy, too.

Hubs and I ran in the Fire Run on Sunday, August 29, 2010.  It's advertised as an end of summer run.  The run starts in La Jolla and ends in Pacific Beach, and is mostly at a slight downhill route.  Each year this event grows, perhaps because of the direct route that is mostly flat with the slight downward hill , and the promise of two free beers at the end of the race.  I asked hubs to bring the camera, but when we got to the start line, he said he left it in the car. I have no pre or post race photos.  My friend Rich snapped a few photos right after the race,  one with me finishing.  I also forgot my Garmin.  Since the race organizers finally added D-tags, I figured I could even go without timing myself, although that would mean I wouldn't know my splits, or if I would need to kick things up a notch.  I wasn't feeling 100% ready due to the lack of enough sleep (4 hours) and girl issues. My legs felt like lead from the get go, but just kept going, hoping I'd find my fast gear.  Much to my amazement, I broke even and finished in 36:24 (9:06 pace), just one second faster than last year.

 Me on the finish line.  Photo credit to Rich.

I'm pretty happy that I broke even, but I'm far from a PR. If I could only stay injury free for a whileI could be smashing some PRs.   My friend Rich, who ran this with me last year and finished several seconds behind me, finished this year in 32:58 (8:15 pace), a PR for this race and a race pace PR.  Hubs also amazed me and finished with a PR at 41:06 (10:17 pace). 

At this race I also saw my PT Bryan with some of his RU posse, AKA Alice and most of the Heffers, and several SDTC members, including Michelle and her husband - who I began the SDTC Rockin' 'n' Runnin' marathon training program with two years ago.  Since Hubs was denied beer at the end of the SDRNR marathon earlier this year, he wanted to claim his two beers, so we waited (in an actually short line) retrieved our beers and met up with track club friends.  I ended up giving my second beer away and only drank half of the one I did have.  We didn't stay very long in the bar, and found our way back to the shuttle bus area, where we ended up on the disco bus, complete with bumping music, disco lights, and dance floor**.  I managed to get a couple of not so great cell phone pics,  but you get the idea:


After getting on our groove in the disco bus, we had a short walk back to the car and made our way to the High Dive to meet up with AKA Alice, Walter and some of the Heffers.  They skipped the beer crowd and made it to the High Dive well before we did.  They were just about finished up as we arrived with evidence of mimosas, but we were still able to enjoy each other's company for a little while.

They all looked well rested and clean!  Hubs and I were still grungy from the run.  Hubs played photographer.

Even though I was not into the idea of having any (more) alcohol, Hubs took it upon himself to order a bottle of champagne and cranberry juice so that we could make mimosas, too.  I obliged, but these made me even sleepier than I already was.  The Heffers and Walter were soon off, and Hubs and I had a leisurely breakfast.  The Challa (French) toast with loganberries hit the spot.

Once we were home I crashed and felt flu like for most of the day.  I was achey and a little feverish until much later on, sometimes before sunset, when I began to come back around and everyone was asking about dinner. Figures.

In my feverish stupor, I signed up Hubs and I for two half marathons and a 5k. I would have gone for a 3rd half marathon but I need to be mindful of that credit card balance.  Besides, I can't sign up for that 3rd race until late January, when sign ups are open, and that would be the America's Finest City half marathon.   The events I did sign up for are the Shelter Island 5k, Carlsbad Half Marathon and La Jolla Half Marathon.  I completely missed the sign ups for the Silver Strand Half Marathon, but I'm going check around and see if some groups (like RU) have extra entries. I'm still considering the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half in December and will most likely sign up through RU.

Right now I have the kid over my shoulder reading, which means it's time to bring the post to a close.  Other than a possible Wordless Wednesday post, I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be doing for the next 8 days, unless there is something so blogworthy that it can't wait. 


Wednesday's Song:
Anywhere - Evanescence, 122, Stacey Clark, The Priests, etc...

*I went through this tug of war with my own kids and me exercising.  It sounds great to get everyone out doing the same activity, but, as a parent I would always end up slowing down or stopping to make sure my kids were safe, not beating up each other, not too far ahead, not crashing into other people, etc.  I had to make the activity THEIR activity, and do mine separately. 

** Yes there was evidence of a stripper pole on the dance floor.  They took it out for the shuttle service.  Darn.


Andrew Opala said...

hot beer
lousy food
bad service


Lisa said...

I would go crazy running around the playground like that. Good job.

And nicely done on the 4 mile race.

Eggplant. Maybe I'll try that next year.

Anne said...

Sounds like things are pretty hectic! Good job on the 4 mile race...glad you ended up feeling better by evening.

Have fun with your grandson...he's a cutie :)

Jill said...

Those endless circles make me laugh - but you gotta do what you gotta do, and glad it all worked out. Great job on the race; I understand fully about not racing up to potential due to injuries. You're finally feeling better and that awesome speed of yours will return. That fact you're getting out there doing them is awesome. I bet the LaJolla 1/2 is incredibly beautiful. Of course, you see that daily practically but to use land-lockers, I'd love it!!

Black Knight said...

Congrats to the young grandma of a little gentleman! Great job on the 4 miles, looking at the picture I see that you smoked a lot of runners. I like the Evanescence, I am a fan of the gothic rock.

Deene said...

good job on the circles at the playground, kid sitting takes lots of patience!

Glenn Jones said...

Like I mentioned to akaAlice - loos like I missed the party! Hopefully you'll have some party left in you all at Shelter Island. See you then!

zbsports said...

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