Monday, July 23, 2012

Running, the TDF, David Bowie

I had, luckily as usual, a lovely weekend of runs. Saturday reared its hot little head, and I drove out to Clinton to run with a surprising number of friends. I thought that the Lunar Trek practice run the night before would have pared the field. But, like me, there were many who opted to run in the a.m. instead.

Alex Beecher, Kurt Schueler, and I did a reverse of the normal out to Land's End and back. We went out on the blue and returned on the white. Coleen and company were doing anywhere from a few extra miles up to a full marathon. I figured that the 10-ish miles that comprised the loop and the Sander's Mound were plenty for me. On the return, I kept up with Kurt and ALex for about a mile, and then told them to go on. I'm decently fast, but they are FAST. I also like to run alone and listen to Sat a.m. NPR. So I pulled my trusty MP3 player out of my pack and enjoyed the solo run back to the start.

When Sunday came, she arrived with a bit more bite than Saturday. I was a little hung (really just slightly) from a staggeringly good wedding party the night before. While I had gone to be at a reasonable hour, my inhibitions about imbibitions had waned at the fete, and I had mixed a solid amount of beer and wine, without a corrective amount of H20.

Still, I set off on my favorite trail (the Lawrence River Trail), and had a great run. I took the 7.5 mile short-cut rather than the 8.5 full distance mainly because I didn't think I had brought enough sports drink. I did move another snake off the trail so that it wouldn't get run over by a bicycle (that is becoming oddly de rigueur for me on these runs - and I am not a snake person).

I got home in time to see Bradley Wiggins win the TDF. The tour was more exciting because of the breakout riders - Froome, Sagan, and van Garderen. I'm such a sucker for le Tour. Even though so much of pro cycling has been tainted time and again (and may be yet again, it a huge way if USADA is to be believed). The TDF is still an amazing event.

I finished the day at Marisa Ford's place with vegan rice pasta dish and the movie, The Man Who Fell To Earth. I had never seen the flick before. But with a cast that includes David Bowie and Rip Torn, how can you go wrong?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Garry Gribble's, Running, and a New Varmint

So I go into Garry Gribble's yesterday in order to take part in their awesome sale for Trail Hawks and Run Lawrence members. There is a lot of nice stuff. But I have my eye on a shirt that a staffer tells me is 'the most comfortable shirt' he has ever worn. It is some sort of white wicking cotton shirt that does indeed look very comfortable. It is not on one of the mark-down rack. But once I try it on, I know I'm going to buy it. So, for once at a sale, I am happily upsold. I love Garry Gribble's. We are fortunate to have the local chain in Lawrence.

Lot's of hot weather running, but I have lowered my weekly mileage into the 30s. It is just too freaking hot. I'm writing this at 6:15 a.m., and I'm wondering if I shouldn't already be out on the road. I may do at least 16 of the Hawks' 32 mile night run on Friday. But I am going to be looking at the temps before making a last minute decision.

Finally, my buddy, Mark Robison, of and I were out late last week, and saw our first badger in the wild. Neither one of us had ever encountered one. It was really magnificent. I didn't even know they lived around here. I thought they were found more in northern reaches like Wisconsin. Anyway, new animal to check off the list.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot

There was a lot of running that took place in the heat this week. My favorite run occurred on Saturday (yesterday). I awoke around 5:45, and was at the river trail head an hour later. It is strange that on days that are going to be seriously hot, 80F feels more like 85F. It must be the stupid heat index, but mentally, it really does mess with the mind. As soon as I began running, though, I knew that I'd have fun knocking out the 8mi and change. And I did. I finished the run looking as if I'd jumped into the river. I was 4lbs lighter than when I started. But I felt great.

I hung out with Eric "Banjo Hawk" Henry on Saturday night, playing a bit of guitar and pedal steel. We agreed to meet in the morning for a slightly shorter run. Well, at 6 a.m. he called and said he wasn't feeling that well. So I changed plans and decided to go knock out 7mi at Clinton North Shore. The run (I finished a couple of hours ago) was decidedly not fun. I'm not as much of a fan of the Clinton trails as I am the river. I ran face first (even as I was waving a stick in front of me) into more spider webs (with spiders in them) than I had ever encountered before. Honestly, it kind of freaked me out. The highlight of the run was seeing the same fawn that I saw a few weeks ago. It looks bigger and stronger. It isn't particularly scared of people - not a good sign for a deer.

I am hopeful that we will get some slight respite from the heat and sun in the coming days. My mileage has had to hover in the low 30s rather than the low 40s. It is just asking too much to elevate the mileage in triple digit weather. Until next week...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

River Trails Run/Bike?

I was finishing up my second round of the river trails on Sunday when I encountered a snake. I never worry about snakes on the RT, because, while I've seen many, all have been of the garter or black varieties. So as I don't stop, and continue to hop right over the little guy, I see the markings of a copperhead. He/she looked a little darker than the ones at Clinton, but it was unmistakable. I'll be a bit more careful in the future.

After decent runs on Sat and Sun,I decided to take Monday off and bike the river trails instead. I hadn't done that in some time. As soon as I began, I was reminded why bikers love that trail. It is like the best roller coaster one could ever ride. As a kid, we used to take our bikes out to the river and try to complete the circuit without ever putting a foot down. Being older and wiser (and with wisdom, sadly, comes a bit of caution), I made it through putting my foot down twice. I think I'm going to add some trail riding back into the mix. I used to be such a bike nut before the running bug bit me. It was nice to feel the machine working so well under me on the trails.

Final thought: See Moonrise Kingdom.