You Should be Dancin'...Yeah
The big news here is Elise made her university’s dance team.
She’s one of three freshmen to earn a spot on the competition team, best known on campus for performing at basketball games. Her practice schedule sounds a bit grueling, but she’s young and athletic and can handle it. Congratulations! We’re all very proud of you in San Diego.
Another resounding football victory
Elsewhere in the collegiate world, we don’t have ESPN-U, so we weren’t able to watch Virginia Tech skunk Ohio 45-to-zip during the first home game at Lane Stadium. Go Hokies Go!
Running in the Dark
Finally, being as this is primarily a blog about running, I should mention I completed 18-plus miles yesterday. All week I’d been dreading it, which is unusual for me. I don’t mind solitary long runs at all, provided I have the time to enjoy the scenery and can go at my own pace. But I realized last week that I needed to hit a course close to the terrain of Long Beach, and that means flat. I also needed one already measured so I wouldn’t round up my minutes-to-miles conversion. And, for a variety of reasons, I needed to begin the runs well before the sun comes up. I live in a big-city suburb whose slogan is “Country Living.” There are a lot of two- and four-legged creatures roaming the canyons that edge every neighborhood, not to mention drag racing is a popular (illegal) pastime on the very streets I wish to roam. And don’t even get me started on the newspaper carriers driving erratically and sometimes throwing the paper right at me as I cross a driveway. (Now, I hang back instead of trying to beat them to the punch.) Weekdays, I don’t mind the darkness. It’s busier. But 5 on a Sunday morning is a different story.
I woke from a fitful sleep at 4:30, drank down a cup of tea and two 8-hour Tylenol tablets, gathered my MP3 player (for later…), two e-gel caplets, two paper towels, an Apple-Cinnamon Carb-Boom gel packet and a bottle of ice-cold Watermelon Ice Gatorade. The first 1.5 miles are hilly -- no avoiding it to get to the lake path near me. Now, I knew the place would be desolate given the hour and the lack of sunlight. There are no street lights once you leave the parking lot and picnic area. But I hadn’t counted on being the only person on the path. Not one car in the lot. Not one soul on the trail. It was creepy. I caught my breath when I heard a branch break. I yelped at bunnies bouncing past me. By the turnaround four miles later, lightness was curling up around the edges of the landscape and the lake began to come alive with walkers and joggers and rollerbladers and cyclists. I ran the first 8-mile out-and-back on just a gel caplet, and a few swigs of Gatorade.
Then came the hard part, doing that 8-mile course all over again. It helped that I ran into a friend warming up for a 5K that morning at the lake. And I put on my music to keep me from thinking about how boring this was becoming. Eventually, the other gel caplet and packet were consumed, but they worked. I ended up doing 18.7 miles and regained the confidence needed to push me 20+ this upcoming weekend. For at least a third of it, it’ll be just me, the moonlight and the bunnies. I hope.