The Labor Day Weekend Show…

IMG_0522[1] Friday, 30 August 2013

I love the summer and if you do, you gotta love the hot.  Well, here it is.  However, the summer of my youth had stunningly LESS humidity.  What’s the hell with the humidity in Southern California?  It’s a desert for christ’s sake.

Today I went and had a mammogram.  The Long Beach Memorial Hospital Breast Center has moved locations.  It’s now located in – I kid you not — the Todd Cancer building.  What the hell is up with that?!  Who thought a good name for a building is the Cancer building?  Seriously, I have been going to this medical group for a long, long time and I am going to have to consider if I’m ever going in the building again.  (Who can I say this to?)  The building is 6 weeks old, start of the art and has been really nicely decorated — and it has a bad name.  (It also has 1,000 cranes – origami cranes – all over the building.  In jars, hanging on strings, etc.  Anybody ever heard of dust?)  Anyway, I had a mammogram and a bone density test.  The bone density tester thought it very mildly amusing when I said “so, I have bones?”.  Impact activity is good for bones, so I’m expecting to hear good things about this test.

Then I went and worked out with Mike Henderson.  And then I went over to Road Runner sports in Torrance to turn in the Conquer the Bridge registrations.  There are so few people registered for the half marathon (like 500) that the guy is giving people (like me, team leaders, after a fashion) the medals.  Nice medal…but I don’t have a use for medals I earn.  What am I going to do with a give away.  (Although next time kids come to the door for a scavenger hunt…I have something to give them without a thought.)

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Gorgeous day today, although hot.  I reported on FB that at 9 PM I gave up and turned on the AC.  I wasn’t holding out for/against anything.  I haven’t had it very long and it seems wasteful, generally, to have it on.  But, as somebody (Stewart, I think) used to say, you only need AC in Long Beach 3-5 days a year…but on those days you really need it.  This evening, the breeze never started, so it was hot, still, and humid.  I am enormously more comfortable.

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So I’m driving home from the first doc appointment and driving down my street, I drive past a work bench sorta thing out in somebody’s yard with a sign that says $50.  I get to the stop sign at the next intersection and sit there for many minutes thinking.  I turn around and go back.  It would be perfect to stand and work at.  It’s really designed for a garage — so the flat surfaces are particle board, not nicely polished wood or other substance.  But who cares.  It’s from Home Depot, it slides together.   I bet it cost $99 originally; I paid $40.  (The previous owner could not break the third $20.)  Lark came and helped me get it into the house, but in the end I had to disassemble to get into the back room.  It’s bigger than the desk I used to have, but it has storage space that allows me to replace three pieces of furniture with one.  I think that standing to work is probably better for the body than sitting.  I’m pretty pleased.

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Clearly a day of skies.

The pinch in my right glute is always there.  My left foot generally doesn’t hurt.  I didn’t do much today, physically, except lift weights.  Tomorrow I am apparently going to do aide stations for the runners.  Sunday I’m going to run the Disney half as part of Team Brian — not because I want to run a Disney event that starts at 5:30 AM, nor because it’s Disney, nor because I want to run in this heat — but because it’s the rights distance on the right day.  And, secretly, for the miles.  I start my mileage count each week on Sunday, so if I have to run 40 miles next week, I want my weekend miles to count.  (And maybe, having written that, I will do the damn Bridge for the miles.)

 

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Oh What a Night

IMG_0514[1]Thursday, 30 August 2013

I went for a run tonight.  I did 4 miles at race pace in new shoes.  I felt pretty fabulous throughout and I actually ran a negative split — faster coming home than going out.  My average pace for the distance was race pace — even though I stopped at Von’s to use the bathroom.  So the real running pace was faster than race pace.

The temperature was pleasant between about 7 and 8 pm.  And the sun was just going down as I was getting started.  I had taped up as if I were going to do a serious run…usually I do literally nothing for a up-to-5-mile run and then increasing amounts of support for the distance.  Tonight I just wore all the tape.

I wore my new shoes which are very different than my old shoes.  The new shoes, Altra, do not have as much spring in the step, so you are running relatively more flat-footed, after a fashion.  The Altra shoe has very little padding.  I wear custom orthotics, so I add 1/8″ piece of foam for a little more cushion.  I’m not convinced these are my new serious running shoes.  But I was serious in them today.  The coach said you have to be more mindful of striking correctly (mid-foot strike), running lightly, keeping the core engaged and the energy moving upwards.  I thought about all that stuff.

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Afterwards, again, at the coach’s suggestion, I had ice and water with me. and I did an ice soak.  I sat on a bench, soaking my feet in ice and water, feeling virtuous, and enjoying the after-glow of the sunset.  Something I don’t do enough of.  Soaking in the colors.  Soaking in the ice.  Having a chocolate milk.  All wonderful stuff.

Went to watch Aidan do martial arts today at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) where I am a member because of Mike Henderson, my personal trainer and a god.  I got to hold a baby while Aidan martial-ed, dad watched, and mom and I played with babies.

Rachael, daughter of my massuse, and my summer house cleaner for the past 4 years cleaned my house today for the last time this summer — and hopefully the last time ever.  She’s going back to her senior year of college tomorrow.  A lovely, lovely girl with a little on-line business that’s making money.

I’m literally falling asleep at the computer.  I surely have more to say, but I I cannot think what, at the moment.

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My Feet have Re-Appeared

8-25-13 Santa Rosa MedalWednesday, 28 August 2013

I ran a marathon on Sunday.  The Santa Rosa Marathon.  (How was your run, polite people ask.  Answer:   Long.)  More than any event I’ve ever done before, my feet and legs were swollen really a lot by the time I got home Sunday night. My poor toes were hamburger.  And the “pinch” in my right glute was incredibly painful.  Just this moment, it dawns on me that the swelling might have occurred as a result of flying home the same day (within  hours) of doing the marathon?

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This is what my feet look like after 3 days, a massage, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, arnica gel, phiten tape, chinese herb patches, icing over the entire time, and a soak in epson salts.  (Not that I’m over-reacting or anything.)  You can still see that the second toes on both feet are slightly swollen and discolored.  The 4th toe on both feet also blistered, as did the left side of my right big toe.   But mostly they were enormously swollen.  Oddly so.

The beat-up toes bothered me, too.  This is at least the second time, and maybe the third (who can remember) that I have severely blistered the 2nd and 4th toe of both feet.  (And it will be the second or third time I lose the toe nails on all four toes.)  I’ve lost toes nails after each marathon I’ve run.  I get that.  But after Born to Run in May I took my poor feeties with the blistered toes to my used-to-be favorite running store (which shall remain unidentified) and had them look at my shoes and my feet.  In the end, they decided I was wearing the right size shoes and that damage is just something that happens.

Looking at my poor toes on Tuesday (at least 48 hours after the race) on Tuesday, I came to a different conclusion.  I need a bigger shoe.  And, although I LOVE Newtons, maybe a different shoe.  What is is about women (women runners, especially) and shoe size.  I don’t care a wit what size shoe I wear.  (I hate that tech clothing comes so uber tiny, but that’s another rant.)  I don’t even know what shoe size I wear in dress shoes.  But I need running shoes that fit.  So at the suggestion of my coach — who has been testing these shoes for at least a couple of weeks — I went and purchased a pair of Altras.

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They didn’t have a single woman’s shoe in stock, so I bought men’s.  The toe box is enormous.  The heel is exactly the same height as the ball of the foot, which has the sensation of being lower.  There’s a cup in the heel well…which I mask because I use custom orthotics.  They are pretty comfy.  And the look like baby shoes — what those white learn-to-walk baby shoes look like.  And I paid full retail — which I NEVER do for running shoes.  $100 plus tax.  But I needed them NOW.  I’ve been wearing them for two days.

Immediately after the marathon on Sunday I was fine.  After my shower, my left ankle hurt so much I couldn’t walk on it.  By the time I got off the plane in LA I was using my suitcase as a crutch to hobble along.  I got tons of treatment Monday and Tuesday and now Wednesday.  I’m in amazing shape, all things considered.  And I’m intending to go for a little run tomorrow.  Ankle/calf/glute “pinch” allowing and new shoes being OK.

Not unrelated to all of this, there is a pose in yoga that I cannot do.  My feet don’t bend this way.  Especially my big toes.  Every time I have a massage the masseuse works on the big toe joint on both feet.  So, when it’s time to do this variation of hero’s pose, I just do hero’s pose again.  Not a big deal.

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Anyway, last night I woke up in the middle of the night and thought “ballet”.  How amazing it’s taken me all these years of yoga and running to remember that when I was a young and middle teen I took ballet (all of my pre-20-year-old life, really).  And you know what you do when you dance ballet…

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You wrap your toesies in lambs’ wool and dance on the very tips.  Are we insane?  And it’s what every little girl taking ballet aspires to.  And we let them — their mothers let them.  And if you’re really good, of a certain height and wispy/wiry (which I wasn’t) you do that until your feet look like — well, I honestly don’t know like what.  But bad, I have to assume.

I have to go off on a sub-rant here.  I had a pretty severe overbite when I was little; my bottom teeth hit the roof of my mouth and there was blood involved.  I wore a head gear and braces and a retainer from the time I was in 3rd grade until I graduated from college; the retainer even longer.  The orthodontist literally moved my top jaw backwards with an exterior head gear plugged into bands around my back teeth; pushing my jaw backwards at night.  Today I have pretty significant TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction).  It is best described as my teeth can sometimes not find “home plate” and sometimes (very rarely for me these days, luckily) the jaw can get stuck open.  Am I the only person that thinks all that force applied to my jaw when I was 10-15 MAY have something to do with this?

OK, we’re all doing the best we can at any given moment with the knowledge at hand.  although you’d think in the zillion years since ballet has existed that somebody would tell parents that floating as a princess when you’re 12 will be hell on your feet when you’re 45.

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Enough!!  Starting tomorrow I’m on a march to Berlin.  I will do my best to catalog this march, for my own benefit (when it’s over).  It will be A LOT of running — a lot of quality, focused running — and a fair amount of complaining.  Let me say here and now I LOVE that I can do this.  I’m delighted that I can do this.  I really, really want to succeed at this.  My goal is (public announcement) is 5:5something.

Santa Rosa, DeLoache, and Charles M. Schultz

9-2-12 Disney Half26 August 2013, Monday

This is one of my all-time favorite running pictures.  Janet Chan (also wearing a medal) ran with me all summer season getting ready for Berlin.  Mary, Connie, and Kelly came and ran with me from mile 10 (just outside of Angel Stadium) to the end.  (Kelly is my secret weapon for PR-ing.)  I PR-ed by about 2 minutes, but a PR is a PR.

9-2-12 Disney Half LeAnn & Soares

This is the other half of my most favorite running picture (actually I have a bunch tied for first place).  This is the bunch above plus the Soares.  I’m standing next to probably the fastest guy I personally know.  I hope I’ll be standing next to him for Sunday’s pictures, again.

This is a picture of me and a crazy woman.  When Kelly Rogers went to pick up her race packet for the half marathon on Saturday, they had mistakenly put her into the full marathon.  Instead of letting them correct the mistake — which they were absolutely willing to do without complaint — she decided (over lunch) that it was a sign to run the marathon.  So she did.  Having never run more than 15 miles before.

8-24-13 Deloach Vinyards

Long Race Report and Other Ramblings:  The Race “Expo” was at a winery.  Not a bad idea.  I do these races as “business”.  I fly in, do the event, and fly out.  I hardly ever hang around (by myself).  The expo thing made me drive into the country side and see a little bit.  The winery was nice – and we all got a bottle of “Finisher’s Red”.  And a jacket instead of a t-shirt.  I thought it was stupid at first, but I wore it to dinner on Saturday night and again to fly home on Sunday.  If I never wear it again, I’ve worn it more than the beach cities challenge (or whatever) jacket.  I thought this “Welcome Runners” sign was funny because at Born to Run the sign said “welcome balloonists”.    I don’t know if DeLoach is going to benefit from this sponsorship, but it was nice visiting the property.

8-24-13 Kelly and Dillon

Saturday day I napped for a while, but really wanted to nap longer earlier in the day.  Saturday night I had dinner with Kelly (crazy woman) Rogers and her son Dillon (Berkley student) and Steve and Michele Cameron (college mates of my coach and Kelly).  It was interesting talking to locals, how they came to live in this small northern community.  If the Northrop job was secure, you could work from home in one of these smaller communities — it’s probably not an accurate picture of forever, but the weather was fabulous this weekend.  Dinner was at an ale house (does everyone from Loyola drink IPA?).  No pork chops, but I had a cobb salad with lots of proteins.

8-24-13 Clothes Laid Out

After laying out my clothes and taking a picture for FB, I was in bed by 9:30 and thinking I’d never get to sleep that early, was awakened by something about 10:15.  So I felt good about that.  I went right back to sleep.  I got pretty good rest during the night.  I woke up randomly all night, checking the time, but went right back to sleep each time.  At 2:15 I went back to sleep thinking, “great, two more hours”.  And then I over slept.  Actually, it’s a miracle I made the race.  I had set the alarm for 4:15 PM.  I work up at 4:39 AM.  I had wanted to leave at 4:30.  Because I had laid out everything the night before — yeah for Jonathan Pablo —  I just and to put it all on…but that includes all the taping, smearing of toe protector stuff, etc.  I needed to hurry and be thorough at the same time.  (And throw stuff into the suitcase, because I was checking out.)  I had to take my tupperwear of oatmeal to the office to get hot water.  And then I was off to the parking structure.  I checked out all the parking, etc the day before, so the drive to parking was pretty OK, and I was in the parking structure by 5:05.

The race started at 6 AM in the pitch dark in a little downtown park with no lights.  OK, 2 street lights.  (Today, a friend said, “we thought about just walking through the porta potty lines calling your name”.  They know me too well.)  It wasn’t possible to find/see anything/anybody.  And I had to make the choice whether to run “blind” for the first thirty minutes or so, or carry my clear glasses on my head all day.  I eventually put them into my gear check bag.  Kelly Rogers, who I know a lot better today than I did on Saturday, was waiting near a light and we found each other.  Kelly is a lot faster than me, but she said, on more than one occasion during the weekend, that she wanted to be supportive of me.  (I didn’t like that I appeared to need the support, but I’m trying to be gracious about that sort of thing this year.)

By the second mile we were ALONE.  Kelly didn’t know any different (how different to have your first full be 1200 peep, rather than 25,000) so I had to tell her that the field usually spreads out during the course of the race — but not until the 10th mile or so.  We were clearly in the last 100 or so runners by the second mile.  Luckily, there is a 7 hour time limit on the race, so I knew the support would be there at least for a little while.

Running along in the dark the sun started to come up and I stopped to take the out-of-focus picture.  (My camera doesn’t do well in motion.)  What’s important about the picture is the cloud cover.  Santa Rosa can apparently be blistering.  But it was VERY pleasant in the morning.  Most people were finished well before the sun came out.

According to my garmin, which I cannot get downloaded, the first 10 miles were good, and then in 11 I slowed down.  This picture is next to the course marker for 10 miles…so in 10 miles I had only wandered 0.1 – pretty good.  Unfortunately in the picture the glare is blocking the average pace, a new metric for me this training season.  But I think it was under 13:30, which is my target for the entire race.  (However I cannot run the entire race at 13.30 because there’s no “wiggle” room for potty breaks…see comment above for relevance.)

Kelly was obviously able to go faster, and I urged her on…and she finally took off about mile 10?  (I had a potty stop.)  However, she never got all that far in front of me, and I caught her about 15, I would say — which was the edge of her known territory — and we ran and walked in the rest of the way.  We ran all the way to 17 and then ran and walked to 20.  Obviously, at 20, I was significantly behind my goal pace and significantly over time.  I want to be at 20 miles at 4:30.

We finished in 6:40 — quite a come down from my last big marathon — which was Berlin.  (I did the Disney World Marathon as part of the Goofy Challenge, but I walked the last 1/2 of the race and finished in 7 something.)  I am highly confident that I can do 20 miles in 4:30.  The coach would, of course, like a little breathing room.

Kelly and I finished the marathon and had lots of pictures taken of us.  Then I sorta staggered around — rather than being a good post-marathon guide for her — she was totally in uncharted territory.  Luckily her son Dillon was there to take over, so we parted company.  I got my gear and wandered over to the car.  I probably pushed too hard to get moving toward the shower.

I had the opportunity to chat with an organizer while getting my gear from bag check.  She asked what I thought of the race.  What I think is that is was a really nice course.  VERY pretty to run through.  But it was not, as it advertises itself, flat.  No way.  Nothing about it was flat.  Not a bad thing, but if you’re going to say you’re a flat, fast course, then you better be flat.  I think the race does itself a dis-service concentrating on the flatness rather than the beauty.  At one point we ran, literally, through a winery building.  Not a big draw for me, but an interesting moment in the course.  Now, in fairness, we’re not talking about Mt. Everest hills here, either.  But there were rollers throughout the course.

But the hardest part was the 10 miles of gentle grade back to the finish line.  I don’t know what a 1% grade is, but let’s say 1%.  It’s still stinking up hill for 10 miles.  At one point Kelly and I were talking about I don’t know what and my response to her was “what on you doesn’t hurt?”  No answer.  I know that her knees were hurting her during the race, and probably today.  But she made it to work — which is more than I can say about my first long race.  (She’s done half marathons before.)  For me, my shoulders were VERY right during the race and still are today.  The sore “point” in my right glute was painful to the point of me wondering if I’d have to stop because of the pain (it eventually went away).  But to the coach’s point (what hurts):  nothing that much.  It’s just a long way.

8-24-13 Charles Schultz airport

I went and took a shower (Thank You Karla Jones) and laid down for awhile.  During the shower, my left ankle (which was FINE during the event) started to hurt.  By the time I got to the airport I was limping.  However, I took myself outside to the patio of the Charles M. Schultz (of Peanuts fame) airport and had sushi while being entertained by Doug (Greg?) of West LA talking about racing.

The flight home was uneventful.  I got my car, went to El Pollo Loco and ate chicken for late supper.  My ankle hurting so badly I could not imagine what had happened.

My ankle hurt this AM, so I made an appoint with Dr. Arnette.  He did needles, then adjusted my ankles, and found the pain coming from the back calf muscle on my left leg — which is tied to the “point” of pain in my right glute.  The ankle isn’t really the issue, but that’s where the pain is residing.  Later in the afternoon I also saw Lisa Fillis, who recommended Arnica gel.  WHERE has that been all this time?  The pain is virtually gone from my ankle.  I’m taking at least a couple of days off.

The coach and I had a long talk this afternoon about my training.  He wonders if he’s been too easy on me since July.  I wonder if I haven’t done enough distance?  Last year I ran 2 hours or so every Wednesday night through El Dorado.  I didn’t do it this year.  I’ve done all sorts of other things, but I haven’t done those long mid-week runs.  It’s an interesting question.  I can run “short” distances – up to an hour – at pace, but then I drop off.  I am highly confident that I can run 20 miles in 4:30 (including potty and aide station breaks) – however just to prove that I can, I’m going to do another long run on the 14th of September.

It’s a hard discussion to be having 5 weeks before the marathon — one week is a little recovery, one week I’m traveling — so 3 weeks of long, high mileage training is in store for me.  It’s what my favorite coach says … “train harder”.  Starting with the Disneyland half on Sunday.  This afternoon I wasn’t sure I’d be able to run, but this evening I’m sure I will be.  I’d like to run for a PR.  (Although I’m going with a support team of 2 – seeing that Kelly would be running with 3 extras.) Maybe it’s a toe wonderment (see below), but I think they’ll have settled down by then.

And the other thing I have to do…move up 1/2 size in shoe.  My toes are like hamburger.  While the 9.5 seems to fit — I’m pounding the hell out of my toes — and sometimes I come to these shoe decisions so slowly.  It’s obvious as I write this.  Why did it take me over a year to do something about it?  Aarrugh.

8-23-13 Street in Pasadena

Baby, baby

IMG_0395[1]Sunday, 18 august 2013

I came home from my vacation with a recovering twisted ankle and enormous happiness.  For 14 years I’ve spend the second (or third) week of August at Hot Creek Ranch with Tom Tomlinson, one of the greatest girlfriends a person could have.  (It cracks us both up.)  Who among us gets to go camping with one of their best friends for a whole week every year.  Uber generous of the Universe to give us this time.  (I love the word uber.)  Because we get to spend so much concentrated time together, we have the kind of relationship where we finish each other sentences (sure the speaker will finish it incorrectly on his/her own).  We don’t talk very often during the year, but we hit the floor in that cabin and we’re off.

Phiten Calf Sleeves

Yesterday I helped with the aide station for the Sole Runners, resting my ankle.  Then I went over to the Phiten warehouse sale and bought armloads of stuff — I’m not kidding.  Phiten is a product that I cannot explain, but it makes aches and pains go away.  The first time Phiten came to talk to the Sole Runners I had no aches or pains, and I thought it was all a lot of hooey.  The second time Phiten came to talk to the Sole Runners I had an aching foot, so I let the rep put “dots” and tape on my foot.  I swear to god, the pain dissipated as I walked away.  That fast.  Everyone I know who uses Phiten has a similar story.

About three weeks ago Heather dislocated her finger in a dog/leash accident while running.  The Coach pulled her finger and got it back into position, then they put Phiten dots all over the finger — no swelling.  When I twisted my ankle in Mammoth, I put dots and tape all over the ankle, and the swelling went down within a couple of hours.  I have no idea how it does what it does — but it’s amazing stuff.  When I run long I put Phiten tape on my lower back, dots on my feet, and tape on my calves — under Phiten calf sleeves.  And I wear Phiten necklaces and bracelets all the time.

Today I went back to the Phiten sale and bought a few more things.  I stopped at OSH, which is going out of business in Long Beach (how in the heck it ever stayed in business, I have no idea), because I have a $27 store credit that I have to use.  I managed to fritter away $8, but I have go to back when I have more time.

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At 2 PM Connie and I met Kelly at her home and held babies for a couple of hours.  I love that I can hold a screaming baby and not be in trouble for making her cry.  Taking care of two screamers at the same time is hard.  I’m not really bothered by the crying (I get to go home), but Kelly is bothered by the trembling lip.  (I think its the kid getting ready to be dramatic when she’s older.)  Anyway, as will not surprize anyone, I love those kids.  (And the parents.)

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I went to have dinner with my mother and sister.  On the way home, I ran into Frank O-Dark-Thirty, running along Carson Street.  We chatted for a moment.  He’s out for an easy training run as he tapers for Santa Rose — which I’m also running.  I’m sure Frank is gunning for Boston, which I’m just gunning for distance.  This run next Sunday is my last long run before Berlin.  Today, I have no idea how I feel about Santa Rosa.  We’ll see as the time gets closer.

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Finally, I am teaching myself to use the mouse left-handed as part of my “fix the arm” program.  It’s cumbersome, but not overwhelmingly so.  It’s not as difficult as writing with the left hand.  I’m pretty sure the problem with my right arm is tennis elbow…and I’m going to call the doc this week to get a prescription to physical therapy.

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Bulldogs on the Stream

IMG_3726Wednesday, 15 August 2013

I went to the University of Redlands, in Redlands, California.  I earned an undergraduate degree in communications and later (much later) an MBA.  In a zillion different ways it has enhanced my life — during the times I was actually in school and afterwards, including today.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 2.02.56 PMThrough an offering at the University, I spent 1/2 of my sophomore year in Hong Kong; 15 students, a professor, and his wife.  I had such a good time that I, with the support of the University, spent my entire junior year back in Hong Kong on my own.  Such an adventure.

Fourteen years ago I attended an alumni event at Hot Creek Ranch, just south of the Mammoth Lakes turn off of Highway 395.  It’s a private fly fishing ranch located behind the Mammoth airport.  Though a delightful coincidence of events the folks attending the alumni event were generous teachers and I had an affinity for the fly casting.

I’ve returned every year since.  In the beginning as a guest, for the last ten years as the co-host with my 14-year-friend, Tom Tomlinson.

This year Tom and I are hosting 12 people who are associated with the University in some way — including the 14-year-old grandson of a University alum from the class of 1962 and his wife, former employee of the University.  The 14-year-old kid caught a fish this morning; he’s over the moon this afternoon looking at pictures of his catch.

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This is a picture of the 14-year-old kid fishing (after the catch) in the background and the plaque commemorating the life of Ken Corwin in the foreground.  Ken was the Registrar who admitted me (and virtually every University graduate on the trip) to the University.  As an avid fly fisherman himself, Ken often fished at Hot Creek Ranch (with and without the alumni group) throughout his life.

About 5 years ago we added star gazing at night to the trout fishing during the day.  Two guys bring a HUGE personal telescope and we look at the amazing stars that we can’t see in LA (because of light pollution).

I spent yesterday teaching newbies how to cast and tie on flies.  Today I intended to walk the stream — about 2.5 miles — but I twisted an ankle in the first 1/2 mile (damn it).  So I walked about another mile (over pretty uneven ground), until I decided that I didn’t need to test it any further.  I came back to the cabin and put Phiten all over the ankle and then iced for the rest of the morning.

We’re eating lunch.  Chatting about the kid’s catch and fishing tales in general.  (The fish has grown in since he caught it 3 hours ago!)

My feet hurt

IMG_0775Saturday, 10 August 2013

The group that I run with, the Sole Runners, trains for endurance events — half marathons, marathons, the occasional longer distance — using time rather than distance.  Which is to say that on any given Saturday, I am going out for a 3 hour run rather than a 12 mile run.  It is an absolutely brilliant team building decision by the guy who founded the group:  everybody arrives back at the same time, no matter their running speed.  So fast people and slow people all end up having a snack together.

The time “assignment” today was 3:20.  I’m running along following Janet Chan, a woman who has voluntarily run with me for 2 years getting ready for big marathons.  Since I don’t talk much on long runs, Janet has ended up running alone with with me following her on these runs – it occurs to me that she might be a silent runner too.  Anyway, we’re running along today and I’m in mile 8 feeling really sorry for myself.  It’s not a great run.  My feet feel heavy.  I generally feel bad.  I have this new pain on the right side of my lower back.  I could go on…

I’m thinking about crying, I feel so sorry for myself.  (But apparently I cannot cry and run.)  I’m deciding that I’m not going to go 3:20 today.  I’ll stop at 2 hours and do 2 more hours tomorrow.  When who should come running up behind me but Coach Steve and Paul Hansen.  The coach is all enthusiastic about my run and my time.  He says to me “you’re having a great run”.  Ugh.  Obviously, he’s not inside my head.  He looks at me (as he runs by) says “I want you to do 15-16 today.”  More ugh.  If he had looked into my eyes, he would have seen such pathetic anguish.  I’m running along feeling bad enough to cry – and he cruises by and tells me to run 6 more miles.

However, other than the second toe on my left foot, nothing hurt in particular.  And, what’s the use of having a coach if you’re not going to do what he tells you to do.  You’ll never be sorry later if you do more now.  (Unfortunately.)  I stopped by my car, had a little protein shake, and ran on.  Oh, and by the way, I’m running a full marathon three weeks from today and I haven’t run anything close to 26 miles in a long time (well, since May).  So OK.

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Running the second loop of the route today, there was a Sole Runners aide station by the bike path.  I stopped and had something to drink and some watermelon.  Janet wanted to leave sooner than I really wanted to start again.  But, in following her back onto the course, I tripped over the curb, falling and rolling in the sand.  Ugh.  Sand everywhere.  People picked me up, brushed sand off of all over me, and sent us on our way.

In this part of the course, I told myself I could walk after mile 12.  Then mile 13.  Then when I got to Bayshore.  Which I did.  For awhile.  But the most odd thing happened.  I was running along Bayshore watching these two people swim in the ocean, one guy yelling a count to the other swimmer.  As those two people came out of the water (in wetsuits) it turned out to be Coach Steve and a client.  Steve called out my name (he was wearing a bright green or yellow swim cap and wasn’t immediately recognizable).  At almost the same moment, another friend, Sue Montgomery — who lives in Pasadena — rode up on her bike and called out my name.  That convergence of interconnected people was weird.

I started running again, and ran a good portion of the way home…probably walking the last 1/3 mile.  I ran 14.5 in 3:30.  This is about my pace from last year.  In the last long run, I ran 20 miles in 5 hours…about how long it would have taken me to do another 5.5 today.

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At the end of the day, Allen Arnette was the visiting yoga teacher today.  Such a good class.  Less power and more focus on stretching the muscles that just got so used.

Going back and looking at the Garmin splits, the times aren’t bad.  I felt worse than the day actually was.  But afterwards, my feet hurt.  So much so that I iced them for the first time in a long time.  (So painful.)  And then I soaked in epson salts in the tub for awhile.  And then I took a little nap.

And then I went to costco for supplies for my fishing trip with the University of Redlands next week.  I packed the food stuffs for travel and then took a longer nap.

And my feet still hurt

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