Running In Circles
Monday, April 30th
Today was a planned rest day. Good thing, too—my left hamstring is really tight. I haven't been stretching much recently, and it's catching up with me.
Sunday, April 29th
U-District Street Scramble
Today was the first Street Scramble of the season. I competed in the 90-minute foot category. My planned route would take me through the area around campus, over to the area just northeast of Husky Stadium, up Sand Point Way past Children's hospital, due west to Roosevelt High School, finishing with a run through Ravenna Park.
I went around campus first to avoid the congestion—both foot and car—that increases throughout the day. Finishing from the north meant I would end with a downhill run, as there's nothing worse than trying to out-run a clock when slogging uphill. I must have done something right, because I finished with just under two minutes to spare.
I ended up in a three-way tie for second on points, but finished third based on total time. I might have done better but for two things. One, I stopped to pee about 40 minutes into the race, which cost me around two minutes. The other, I had trouble answering the question for a clue that involved finding a number on plaque. The plaque contained several numbers, but none of them matched my answer sheet, so I went looking for another plaque. Unable to find one, I went back to the original, which I examined more closely, finally finding the number. The problem was, it was the only number that was spelled out, rather than appearing as a numeral. Since it was a numeral on the answer sheet, and three other numbers on the plaque were numerals, my eyes just skipped over the word "eleven" on my first perusal. A stupid little error, but it cost me around a minute.
I also managed to run 40 miles this week. Woot!
Saturday, April 28th
North Sea-Tac Park Orienteering
Today's event was a short-course orienteering race, or Short-O. To finish well, I knew I would have to navigate accurately. On a longer course, navigational errors can be smoothed over with fast running, but on a course with a projected winning time of twenty minutes, a handful of 30-second errors are costly indeed.
I navigated well, with one real exception. Control 11 was located on a man-made object in a bit of forest. I decided I would run a large trail until I saw a particular trail junction. From there I would run through the white (open forest) area of the map along the boundary of the dark green (heavy vegetation) area of the map. I failed to notice, however, that the white area was actually light green (light vegetation). Moreover, the dark green area had expanded into the white—I was presented with a hillside of waist-high blackberry brambles. I backtracked a little to an area that was knee-high ivy—what I imagine the entire light green area was originally—and picked my way down to the control. I could have taken a smaller trail almost directly to the control, but I had dismissed it, as it was a longer run. In retrospect, I think it could have saved me 30 seconds or more. Oh well.
While I was at the race, a big hunk of meat was cooking away at home. In the evening, when it was done, I had The Cap'n, Mrs. The Cap'n, and Jake over for pulled pork sandwiches. The meal may have come a day later than I'd planned, but it was delicious nonetheless.
Friday, April 27th
Angie's friends were supposed to come over this evening and play pinochle. I had bought and planned to cook a large pork roast so we could all enjoy pulled pork sandwiches first. Alas, prior commitments derailed our evening of games and food. What do I do with this big hunk of meat now?
On the positive side, I had plenty of time for a run after work, so I put in an easy six-miler.
Thursday, April 19th
I was going over my training log, and I realized that the 37 miles I ran last week was the farthest I'd run in a seven-day span since May 2004. That's nearly three years. And speaking of training, during last Saturday's race, I noticed weakness in my core muscles. Struggling up the slopes of Squak Mountain completely fatigued my back and abs. It's time to start doing Eyestones again.
I saw a male Goldfinch staking out some territory while I plodded through a four-mile run today. One thing I like about spring is colorful birds.
Tuesday, April 17th
I ran an easy three miles pushing the jogging stroller today. Usually, when I take out the stroller, it rains. Today, I had sunshine. There were also bugs, but I think I took the brunt of them, sparing the Little Dude. I can say this much, pushing a jogging stroller uphill into the wind is no picnic, regardless of the weather.
Monday, April 16th
On Saturday, I ran a trail half marathon at Squak Mountain. I can say that it mostly went well. I managed, somehow, to finish second overall. I did, however, acquire a nasty little blister on my big toe, and my legs are now quite sore. The race had 3300 feet of climb, so I'm not too surprised that I'm a little wobbly.
I took Sunday off, but I went for an easy six-mile jog today. Boy, did I go slowly. My legs felt sore at first, but much better by the end. I just hope I didn't push myself too far over the edge. I have many events coming up in the next few weeks, and I'm afraid of over-doing it. Only time will tell, I guess.
Monday, April 2nd
A lot has happened over the past week, and I thought I'd hit the highlights.
On Saturday, March 24th, I signed up for a 10-mile trail race. Thanks to a wrong turn, I ended up running a twelve-mile trail race. I ran with an old family friend who made the same wrong turn, so I had a good time despite the extra distance.
After the race I went to a bachelor party. I didn't arrive in time to see the trebuchet in action, but I did get there in time to win the world's fastest seven-hand Texas Hold'em tournament. I had everyone's chips in my stack in an hour and forty-five minutes.
I took Sunday, March 25th, as a rest day, but I ran every day of the following week to complete my first 30-mile week since August of 2005. In reality, it's a small milestone, but I'm glad I'm finally there. Now, onward to 40.
On Saturday, March 31st, I finally had my taxes done. Having a kid rocks the return. This is the most money I've ever gotten back from the IRS, by an order of magnitude.
On Sunday, April 1st, I went to Rich and Juli's wedding. They had been dating for approximately 300 years, so I was worried that the whole thing was an elaborate April Fool's joke. Except for seeing Jake in suit and tie, however, there was no funny business. Plus, Rich's homemade mead was damn tasty!
On the bird nerd front, I spotted a White-crowned Sparrow during a run, which is notable because I usually can't tell one small brown bird from another. I also saw a Bald Eagle in full stoop from only twenty feet away—damn, those things have big talons.