Long Time No Post

Ho Hum.  I have been running (a bit) cycling (a lot) and continuing to teach FitMx and Yoga.  So I haven’t been lazy, drifty, or inconsistent.  Quite the opposite.  Dreams do come true as Michael Darling has become addicted to cycling, or maybe the endorphins, but certainly to spending long glorious rides with me!  It all started when I returned from the  LIVESTRONG Assembly where I heard about RAGBRAI (The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa).  RAGBRAI is seven-day bicycle ride across the state of Iowa–in July no less–and is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world.  I causally mentioned that it was not a race, more like a week long party or even Burning Man on a bike.  One thing lead to another and now we are training for to ride in 2014.  I have told students countless times over the years the importance of setting goals and getting a buddy to exercise with and boy oh is it true.  I am generally a self motivator but Michael is a true inspiration and spending our weekends planning, negotiating and riding are turning out to be more fun than I ever imagined.  So, moral of the story…keep open to the unusual.  Read more about our adventure and other unusual days Micheal’s  blog.

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Weird Austin

The hazards of running (or swimming as it may be) in Austin, Tx are varied–come and go sidewalks, absentee bike lanes, thick humidity (hence the “swimming”), directional confusion (no mountain landmarks), traffic accidents, and, most unusual, dead possum–and this was just a short run.  Being new to the roadway, the feet chose to be clothed so the VFF’s made their way from suitcase to feet and together we hit the road.  Instinct said to go right, Siri said left and after a mile or so of detour, instinct got the better of the argument as I retraced my path only to be welcomed by a gutted possum (seemed as if the feet stopped and swerved in mid air barely missing the roadkill).  The blaring sirens were not for the unfortunate possum, rather for the injured drivers of a traffic accident that looked more as if it had happened at Freeway speed.  It seems surreal to see a upturned vehicle in the middle of a city street.  Plenty of EMS were anting about the scene with efficiency as I approached and attempted to skirt the area.  In a matter of 2 hours , I had traversed only 4 miles and encountered a cacophony of sights and sounds.  While the motto, Keep Austin Weird was not lost on the journey, my running adventures are most enjoyable in the more familiar weather and terrain of “the neighborhood”.

Pictograph

Surfaces covered today during a 10K of my own choosing.

Barely under 10 minute miles–not bad for the weekend warrior effort of the last 2 months.  I was being followed by a medium sized brown dog when I passed a gentleman out walking his Bischon Frise (on a leash of course).  I read his mind and commented–“that is not my dog by the way”.  “Oh, it’s not?”   Moments later a van pulled up and loaded up Luey, or was it Jake…can’t remember, nonetheless I felt vindicated.  The naked feet enjoyed some of the textures while others were a bit tortuous.  After a quick soak and stroke in the pool however the Sisters were good as new.  Care to join me next time?

Retraining

Chilly mornings and busy days have sidelined my running enthusiasm just a bit.  Shortly after running in Zion, I clothed the sisters and headed out for a 6 mile run, it was cold but the girls were warm and safe.  After a 2 week hiatus, fully dressed, we clipped off a mile and then did TABATA training at about 85%.  Yesterday, I went out naked and finished 3 miles that included Shivwits hill, down the backside, up the backside, and back down Shivwits.  The road was rough though the girls didn’t really start complaining till the last mile.  Outer edges sporting bruised…a couple of toe tops too.  By this morning all was forgotten.  The body is an amazing machine.

Pa’rus Paradise

Running in Zion National Park is a blissful experience.  Three plus miles were over with in a snap as naked feet followed the Pa’rus trail.  Only tough part was the lava cindered path at the first of the trail..
From a Paiute word meaning, “bubbling, tumbling water,” the Pa’rus Trail is a fun, paved trail that follows the Virgin River through lower Zion Canyon, on its way north from the park entrance. There are 4 bridges that criss cross the Virgin River.  Winter time brings solitude and clear water.

Ran along the Virgin River again today, only a little closer to home.  Took the South trail under Man-O-War bridge (dirt, sand and rocks) to Sun River, then back along Pioneer Rd., Man-O-War, and home.  Feet feel great, body feels better, spirit soared…another day in paradise.

Muscle Madness

O0h eeh.  It was the butt muscles time to squeal.  And squeal they did, in fact nearly revolted at mile 7 of today’s run, a scary thing as I was still 3.5 miles from home.  I clothed the Sister today in VFF Sprints.  Not much between them and the road but enough to protect their still healing souls.  New app on iPhone–BeatBurn that changes the pace of my music (or their electronic beats) to my running pace.  Brittany, the pleasant voice and running coach, paces the runner through intervals and offers encouragement.  The app certainly kept me distracted as I kept pace with the beat, sometimes running at an 8 min/mile and other times speed walking at 12 min/mile, the “running like a tired monkey” pace was more toward the end of the run as my pelvis felt like it was in a vice grip.  At mile 8 I set the Sisters free and they completed the course naked and happy.  Running naked seemed to help the muscle madness but I think it was more a figment of my hopeful imagination.  While I did sip on water throughout, I did not have any glucose snacks and simply ran out of juice.  Heart could have complete the course with ease…butt it was not to be.  Lessons learned; (1) take some Jelly Beans, (2) don’t listen to Brittnay (not really, it was a real fun app.  One I will use more wisely next time).  Average pace overall (with walking and semi crawling) was 11.52.

New Running Companion

Okay, so the sweater arm leg warmers did the trick–the calves were happy during the entire 6 miles from my front door to my daughters.  Naked sisters kept a pretty good pace at 9.4 with a couple of the middle miles coming in at 9.1.  My initial intention was short and fast but the beautiful day beckoned.  Everything seemed to be going well until about mile 4.5.  While climbing up the 3rd hill of the run I felt a sponginess under lefty–stopped to take a peak–sure enough there was a blister and small opening.  I finished the 6 miles and took a closer look.  Lefty wasn’t any worse but Righty was a mess, open wound with red blistered topping–yuck.  The cold pavement keeps the Sisters anesthetized and while that may have helped during the run–the aftermath required lidocaine and antibiotic ointment.  I was grateful for my new running companion (iPhone 4S) who called my sweet hubby to the rescue (I did trot another mile and up one more hill to meet him–after all, the damage was already done).  I am using the app Map My Run.  It tells me my pace and distance and actually maps out the route and elevation change.  Today’s run was a category 5, the easiest on the scale with an elevation change of just over 200 ft.  I may resort back to clothing the naked feet for a short time during the coldest weather.  It would just make more sense to work on distance, speed and elevation during the chill and condition the feet when the weather warms.

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