Archive for the 'Travel log' Category
Here we are in Boston. This will be my third time watching Bill run the esteemed Boston Marathon. I’d like to brag on him a little bit, if I may. My partner possesses the epitome of the runner’s spirit. Bill started running thirteen years ago when he was 50. His first marathon was in Victoria in the year 2000. Like a lot of people (myself included), Bill started running long distances to deal with depression during a difficult period in his life. At the time, he simply wanted to have the experience of running a marathon, never intending to make it a lifestyle, but his Victoria finishing time was 8 minutes off of the BQ time for his age group and gave him a great sense of accomplishment—much needed encouragement. Shocked and delighted by his success, Bill started training harder and missed qualifying for Boston by one minute in May in the 2001 Vancouver, BC Marathon. But in October of 2001, he qualified by one minute in Portland. Four months later I (re)met Bill. Yay for me!
I didn’t go with Bill to his first Boston Marathon experience, but I did get to hear about it, and I’ve been around for the 24 more times he’s qualified and the (now) three more times he will have run in Boston as of this year. What I love about watching Bill run is the abandonment with which he approaches it. If you know him, you know that there’s lot going on inside of my beloved’s head: The well-being of his children, responsibility for his students who’ve traveled from afar for a foreign exchange experience, how the Mariners are stacking up against their opponents…. When Bill runs, and especially when he races, his intentions are set entirely on what he’s doing in the moment. He’s watching and holding his pace, fueling and hydrating, focusing on his strategy. He doesn’t listen to music when he runs, and he doesn’t talk much to other runners. I have an admiration for his single-mindedness, even if it doesn’t suit my style (and is therefore part of the reason that I may never qualify for the Boston Marathon).
I’ll be stationed at mile 17 on Monday watching for Bill and other friends (hi Shandra, Lindsay, Charles and Bev). I’ll be tweeting my way through the day (follow me at twitter.com/camiostman).
See you there.
As for my training this on this 11th week… I’ve pushed pause while we’re here in Mass., but I got a few good days in before we left.
Sunday: Miserable three-hour run in the pouring-cats-and-dogs-sideways-pelting rain. I was planning on going two more miles than I completed, but I really felt like after three hours I’d proven my point and decided to call it quits.
Monday: 3.5 slow miles.
Tuesday: Speed work. Two minutes at faster than my one-mile pace followed by one minute of recovery, repeated 9 times (so, 27 minutes of this).
Wednesday: Travel. No running.
Thursday: Driving. No running. Walked around downtown Portsmouth, NH and visited with Bill’s son who lives in the area.
Friday: Boston Marathon Expo. I expect we’ll end up walking four or five miles downtown and through the huge expo hall.
Saturday: Will walk the Freedom Trail in Boston. I’ll wear my Garmin and count the miles but it won’t be anything to write home about.
Watch for my Boston Marathon fan report—probably posted on Monday night or Tuesday.
I almost can’t call this week a training week, although I do want to say that my average pace for even my slow runs is clocking in at around 10:20 per mile, more than a minute faster than this time last year–so that’s progress, right?
Still, anytime I’m away from home, my training schedule gets, shall we say, flexible. Does that happen to you too? Would love to know how people stay on track when they’re in unfamiliar places! (I’ll be home for the next couple of weeks before Bill and I are off to Boston and hope to play catch up.) This week, I’ve been on a writing retreat. I was graciously offered a little cottage in near a river where I have hunkered down and worked on my novel without distractions or obligations. I realize this is a delectable privilege a lot of writers would give their right eye tooth for, and I’m duly, truly VERY grateful (thanks Ann and Allen!!!).
I got here on Monday after doing my speed work in Carol’s group, took Tuesday off of running and then went out on Wednesday to see what I could see. The place I’m staying is just off of the Mountain Loop Highway, which is still closed to through traffic, so I felt fine running right on the street (almost zero traffic). The first day I just did four miles and explored the possibilities for the rest of the week.
Thursday I decided to go toward town on a 5-mile run, but I have to admit to being a little worried on the journey out and back.
A. There were no other runners anywhere to be seen.
B. Several people slowed down in their cars to literally LEER at me (literally LEER, like in the old days when it was still kosher for men at construction sites to whistle at women who walked by!).
C. Large dogs galore lunged out of their dog houses, pulling their chains to the limits, protesting my presence (fortunately I’m good with dogs and and soon as I started talking snooky wookums to them, their tails wagged–nonetheless, I was glad their reaches were limited).
I emailed my friend Andrea when I got back to the cabin about my rural adventures and she said, “Seriously dude, a running chick with all her teeth is like meat on a stick at wolf party!”
Today, instead of going into town, I headed out the other direction on the highway–up into the National Forest. What a beautiful place to run!! The road flanks the river on one side, while on the other side, the mountains reach toward the Milky Way. I relaxed and really sank into my pace for about a mile and a half. Then I had a very sudden feeling that I should turn around and go back. I don’t know about other women but I listen when my Inner Wisdom speaks to me, even if I don’t know why. She’s not a voice to be trifled with! So I turned around and enjoyed the view going the other direction.
Just as I was reaching my turn off road (which I fully intended to bypass and keep going toward town–just not as far as the house with the first pack of big dogs), a little white car containing a scrunched up man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth came puttering by, slowed WAAYY down to stare at me, and then stopped just beyond me and began to turn around. I picked up my pace, veered onto “my” street and cut my run short. It’s just as well, I think. When I got back to the house, Allen told me not long ago a man’s dog was abducted (and presumably eaten) by a cougar right in the area I was running!
So I’ve had an amazing week of writing, a couple of gorgeous (if nerve-wracking) runs, and lots of quiet time for reflecting even if my training was a little lacking this week. Next week I’m back on track.
And you? Have you had the luxury of veering off of your training schedule as I have or have you stuck to it faithfully? Either way, I’m proud of you for getting out there, for having goals, and for moving toward them (whether inch by inch or with great strides)!
This week I had to fit training in around our trip to Arizona to visit Bill’s mom. We had a great week soaking in some “D,” watching the Mariners in a Spring Training game, and visiting friends and family.
Here’s the quick rundown of my training this week. It’s not impressive, but I trust I didn’t lose any ground at least.
Sunday: Rested after Saturday’s half marathon.
Monday: We were traveling, so I sat scrunched up in an airplane seat wishing I could take a run.
Tuesday: 5 miles. 25 minutes of the time I spent running I did my speed work: Alternating one minute of running hard and one minute of recovery.
Wednesday: 3-mile trail run in the Thunderbird Regional Park.
Thursday: A six mile pace run at my 10K pace. I’m still trying to beat one hour for 6.2 miles, so Bill paced me as we ran along a paved trail out of Rio Vista Park in Peoria, AZ (in perfect weather–75 degrees and sunny–I might add). Again, I was close to reaching my goal. I did 6.2 in 1:01. Just goes to show that I need more training. And admittedly this was a low mileage week.
Friday: Driving. Then a two-mile walk between casinos.
Saturday: Flying. No running.
I plan to get a long run in tomorrow, Sunday, before I head off to my writing retreat on Monday and (probably) another week of fitting in the bare minimum before getting back to some more serious training. It’s a good thing I’ve given myself a year to shave an hour off of my average marathon time!
How was your week in training? I hope you had sunshine, but even if you didn’t, I hope you got out and did it!
A few days ago, there was a terrific article in USA Today about travel running: running as a way to see the sights when you’re on vacation. You might think that what Bill and I did as we quested to run a marathon on every continent was the kind of travel running referenced in the article. Actually, while the marathon routes we chose did take us through some pretty spectacular places (the Weskus National Park, Old Panama City, the Mudgee Vineyards), “travel running” is something different altogether.
I didn’t write about it much in Second Wind, but Bill and I do quite a bit of travel running in addition to our racing when we travel. We’ve run through the Saguaro National Park in Arizona, for example. We chose a route that might take us past memorable land marks and then we went for it at a leisurely pace. When we run for sight-seeing, we always take water along–and a couple of granola bars. We walk when we feel inclined. We stop to read signs and take pictures. And we cover a lot of ground in a fraction of the time we could if we were walking or even taking taxis. We’ve done this in Australia on the Great Ocean Walk. We’ve also done it at the Grand Canyon (11 miles along the South Rim of the Canyon), at the Organ Pipe National Monument, in the Joshua Tree National Park, on the circuit of monuments in Washington DC (Jefferson, Lincoln, etc.), on parts of the trail along the W in Torres del Paine, Chile, along the greenways in Tokyo, through downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil into Ibirapuera Park, atop the Sea Wall in Vancouver, BC, and so on…. It’s fun.
What are your favorite travel running routes? Which routes take you on a quick sight-seeing tour and give you the flavor of a place? It’s long been a dream of ours to travel with a handful of other runners to do spontaneous runs of the marathon distance or longer along trails and through the national parks of the world. Where do you dream about running?
I’m still a little under the weather, but limping along this week. This time of year is always a little hard (see my recent Psychology Today post on Running Away from the Holiday Blues) with the holidays and weather and the short days, but throwing this cold in the mix has worn me out. Seems like a cold is all it is, though, so… Rest and wait.
In the meantime, I’ve had plenty of time at my computer to work on various projects:
My new book, Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religion will be out in April. Susan and I got our “first pages” last week and I used my down time Monday to finish proofreading the draft.
NaNoWriMo is over and I enjoyed every minute of it. I spent some of my tea-sipping days this week reading through the round robin novels my writer friends and I created last month. Check out TAKE ONE and TAKE TWO of No Rest For the Wicked. They are deliciously hilarious.
I’ve also had the chance to do some additional brainstorming and scheming with my friends Carol Frazey and Rose Sporty Diva Coates. We’re cooking up some workshops and races to offer in 2013. Check out Running 4 Our Lives for more information and stay tuned.
And last, but not least, I’ve spearheaded my next writing/editing project, an anthology of women writing about how their writing has changed their sense of who they are. (Check out camiostman.net for details or to learn how to submit something.)
So, even though I’ve been low in energy, it turns out there’s a lot you can do from a sitting position. Who knew?
Even so, I’m hoping my nose will stop running this weekend and my legs will get back to it. Thanks to all of you who sent me your remedies and cures. I’m sure they helped me cut this bug short!