Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Watershed Event/Day

Yesterday was a good day. Aside from having to get up at 4:30 AM, the entire day went well. Having finished a large bowl of Cheerios and two big mugs of coffee, I left the house and headed for the Watershed Preserve 12 hour run. The morning paper arrived just in time for me to read the sports page and learn that both the Lake Stevens girls and boys had won the district track titles. The day was off to a good start. My dog was NOT happy that I left her behind - she thought she was going to get to run as well.

Upon arriving at the race start, it was old home week. I enjoyed seeing and talking with many running friends. From the onset, I knew I was not in shape to run for 12 hours. With other activities on tap for the day, my plan was to enjoy a six hour training run with friends and then head home. Tom counted down to 7:00 AM and we were off like a herd of turtles. No one was in a particular rush, even the Cheetah dog (Jim Kerby) started of easily. The course consists of two loops - a large, 4.655 mile loop followed by a 0.72 mile loop for a total of 5.375 miles per lap. The conversation and joking made the miles go by very quickly. Eventually, Jim and Mark Hartinger eased ahead of the rest of us and increased the spacing the remainder of the time I ran.

By the time I finished 5 laps, our group had thinned to my running with Rob Lang. We finished the fifth lap in 4 hours flat and headed back out for more. Lap six slowed some and started to feel more like work. The hills and rocks were bigger than earlier in the day. Lap six was done in 4:50. Rob and I agreed that seven laps would be enough. We ended our day at 5:43 elapsed time. I was tired, but felt good. After thanking the volunteers, I headed home for the next phase of the day.

Another reason for not running the full 12 hours was my 16 year-old going to her first prom. I was the official pre-event photographer (along with all the other parents). In spite of having a closet full of prom dresses from her older sisters, we somehow managed to end up with another $200 dress to add to the collection. Anybody need some prom dresses?

The beauty of digital photography is you can shoot and shoot and shoot and then just delete whatever you don't like. I ended up with 83 pictures of Kelsey, her date, and her friends before they headed off for dinner. Then came the part of the day I hadn't been looking forward to.

Our youngest daughter just turned 9. Her elementary school was putting on a musical version of the Jungle Book. After running six hours in the morning, I was not looking forward to sitting and watching a grade school play, especially since Larisa wasn't even in the darn thing. Being the good dad I am (or just not being able to tell Larisa no), I ended up going. With four daughters, I have attended quite a few school activities. This program was the best that I have seen at any level. I was simply amazed. The kids did a great job, the home made costumes were cute, but not overdone. The sets were good and it was obvious that the kids were enjoying what they were doing. The effort by all involved was apparent and it served to be the perfect ending to a good day. Well, almost the end - we then headed out for Chinese and I ate my usual amples servings. Life is full of surprises and sometimes they are pleasant ones.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Running partner

While I am still not running much, I am trying to fit in some runs with a new running partner. Our dog Kuma is now about 18 months old and enjoys going on the runs. As a lab/rottweiller/husky mix and 105 lb., she is a bit too big for real long runs. At present, she is good for about 7 miles. Hopefully, we can work up to some longer distances. I also need to get her more accustomed to meeting people on the trail, so she isn't so shy. Any volunteers to join us for a run?
Kuma tends to relax after our runs as you can see in the second picture.