Sunday, December 02, 2007

12/2/07 The broken record

Before going on a weekend "long run" today (runners who work full-time do that, apparently), I tried to get a December photo of The Three, for the yearly calendar.

Mostly I got outtakes. The boys were...well, sort of cooperative, but not enough to get The Quintessential Shot of three darling calm little cherubs. What I did get was a lot of moments like this.

Lots of overhead aviation activity didn't help my cause.

Katrina wasn't crazy about this pose. I'll have to try this again indoors when it's not quite as cold.

After the botched photo session, I embarked on my main goal for the weekend: the Long Run. Paranoid about keeping up my running progress, I'd planned an ambitious 10.5 mile route. But to make it that long, I'd have to skip my favorite trail (Upper Wildcat) and instead take a longer that one I'm not crazy about downhill (Upper Rogue Valley). The navigational dilemma was solved by a last-minute re-route to cover both trails, which involved some (uphill) looping back. This impulsive-compulsive tacking-on of routes pushed the total to just over 12 miles -- and just about pushed me over an edge.

I had to seriously psych myself to keep going. Even in the first part of the run, the uphill PG&E trail just about did me in. It's about mental toughness, finding things to think about and push through the immense effort, all for the moment of elation of seeing the final tower at the top. I had my iPod at the ready as a safety net, but for fear of getting hooked, I only pulled it out when the downhill long-haul set in.

And it was cold. It was about 50 degrees out, and windy. (That won't draw much sympathy from gentle East Coast readers, but 50 degrees in California-land feels colder.) I saw lots of other serious-looking runners in long tights, long-sleeved shirts, and some even with hats and gloves. I felt like a real novice in my shorts, tank top and thin 3/4-length-sleeve shirt. They obviously know something I don't. Such as, after that long a run in the semi-cold, it's hard to move your fingers to do things like untie your laces or handle car keys. Though running itself kept me warm, I was really surprised to see how blue my lips and fingernails were when I got home.

A final comment on equipment: I tested out my 3rd pair of running shoes today, a new pair of Adidas that are supposedly trail runners. But they weren't sturdy enough, and about halfway through my run, the bottoms of my feet felt achy. I wish now I'd bought a different pair that had a much more substantial bottom and a much deeper tread (and cost another $40). I haven't had enough experience as a runner to have criteria for running shoes, and "trail" running shoes don't seem to be all that different. But I think from now on I'll be looking for the heftiest ones I can find, a challenge because of the World-Wide Conspiracy Against Size 6-1/2 (same old story: "hmm, we have that in a 6 and a 7, but that's odd, no 6-1/2"). This job thing forces me to do most of my running on very even trails and a lot of pavement, all flat, so the new Adidas will be fine for that.

Somehow I still managed to stock up on weird ingredients at Whole Foods this evening, with Gabriel and Katrina in tow. Actually, it's much easier to shop with Katrina if Gabriel is there (like he'll pick up whatever she's thrown for the 20th time) -- and now he can get out of his carseat by himself too! Still, the basics of the week's cooking will come from Safeway and Trader Joe's, since things like chicken or fish cost an ungodly, and unnecessary, fortune, at Whole Foods. But if you want whole nutmeg or star anise or leeks, Whole Foods is the place to go.

And now, my wrung-out rear-end is due for some quality time with the remote control and some taped Food Network TV shows. Ina, take me away!


Today's route, according to Rancho Runner:

15) Parking -> Coyote -> PG&E -> Upper High Meadow ->
Upper Wildcat Canyon -> Wildcat Loop Trail (N) ->
High Meadow (W) -> Upper Rogue Valley -> Rogue Valley ->
Chamise -> Ravensbury -> Rogue Valley -> Coyote -> Parking

Results for route: 12v456sprKL7jHM3uwv21
Route Miles Up Down
12 0.29 0 30
2V 0.51 195 0
V4 1.60 500 310
45 1.86 1020 100
56 1.26 0 520
6S 1.37 0 450
SP 0.61 285 0
PR 0.18 135 0
RK 1.00 0 400
KL 0.51 0 75
L7 0.20 75 0
7J 0.60 0 120
JH 0.05 0 10
HM 0.12 0 10
M3 0.31 0 25
3U 0.15 20 0
UW 0.25 50 0
WV 0.67 120 0
V2 0.51 0 195
21 0.29 30 0

Total Distance = 12.34 Miles, 2430 feet of climbing

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