Roxy training diary month 59
April 2008


Apr 29.  Thousands and thousands of my readers have been emailing me, all wanting to know: where can I see the Slovenian entry in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest?  Well, right here, my friends.  It left me feeling like a marionette with my strings cut.  Which is good.  I think.

My thoughts?  If you have an awful bridesmaid dress, and some time on your hands, then you can be a Slovenian backup singer.


Me and My Shadow

No, I Didn't Land on My Head

Waiting for GoBall

Apr 27.  I seem to be falling into a Sunday Mode of posting.

This week's big news was that I finally got up the nerve to send my manuscript, which I'm calling Infectious Beauty, to another agent.  This time, I sent it to Chasya Milgrom at Dystel & Goderich.  Jane Dystel, one of the founders of the agency, represents Mary Doria Russell, whose professional background and writing style are (I think) close to mine. 

The reason I finally got the nerve to do this is because I hired a life coach, Abigail Smith at Revamp Life Coaching.  I've known Abi online for three years, and so I jumped at the chance to work with her as I try to reach these new professional goals.  It's scary making the change, because this is something I really want to do but I don't want to quit my day job and go "all in".  Finding a balance can be tricky.

I've begun my taper towards the Vancouver Marathon, one week from today.  Yesterday, I ran in the "5K for Kim" charity run for Kim Lissina, a student athlete who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  Since she's Canadian, she had some huge out-of-pocket expenses for diagnostic tests so the run was to help defray those.  I ran two laps of the course for a total of 6 miles, and I hope to put in a few miles each day until we leave.  That still leaves me short on my training calendar, but life is like that.

We're done with classes for the spring semester, so now we just have finals this week.  I'll be out and about doing help sessions with the students, but my schedule loosens up a bit.  I will need to post my grades from the road.  Computers and near-universal WiFi access allow us to do stuff like that nowadays, but I'm not sure it's a benefit to have your work following you around.

Today is Roxy's "graduation" from intermediate obedience at PetSmart.  Mostly, she's there to get experience at being around other dogs.  It helps her to be successful with things she knows already but in a new, unfamiliar place.  I've started teaching her the "math trick".  I don't think she'll ever enjoy it as much as Annie, but it's something fun that she and I can do together, when we're not playing basketball.

Shed Your Worries

Yesterday, after the run, we went to La Fille du Regiment which was a live HD broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera at a local movie theater.  Our friend Rebecca came along with us.  The opera is notable for the fact that on Monday when it opened in New York, the tenor (Juan Diego Flórez) sang the aria "Ah, mes amis" so well that he was allowed to do an encore, the first time in 14 years at the Met.  No encore Saturday, although it was sung incredibly well.  I don't much like tenors, but he is phenomenal. 

After we got back, the shed installers arrived and covered our nice concrete pad (see Apr 18 entry) with a shed.  Now that we are using the garage for two cars, we need the storage space for lawn and garden stuff.


Apr 19.  Not a great run today.

The temperature was perfect, but there was a bit of a stiff wind and I guess I haven't fully recovered from whatever gripped me last week.

I tried to run 8:00 min miles, but I just couldn't do it.  Every time I tried to step on the gas, I didn't have as much juice as I thought I should have.  I meant to run with the pace runners to help me keep on track, but they either weren't hired or they didn't show. 

So, I still haven't broken the 1:50 half-marathon barrier that I seem to be stuck on: that's my PR in several different races.  I finished about halfway through my age group: 63/123.  It's always my goal to finish there, so I achieved that.  My chip time was 1:54:48.

Then the bag retrieval was messed up, just like last year, but worse, because they hid it in some remote location.  Finally, several hundred runners stormed the Bastille and took matters into their own hands, overrunning the volunteers and picking up their own damn bags.  I could see mine, and tried pointing and waving frantically, but I finally gave up, joined the Bag Liberation Front, and went and got mine.  That meant I had car keys to facilitate the drive home.

I need to be reminded next year what a messed-up deal this race is, so I'm not tempted to run it again.  It's a Beautiful Wreck.

On the plus side, my new NipGuards worked great.


Ode to a NipGuard

Hail to thee, protector!

xx Costly tho thou wert—
That from heaven’s sector
xx Givest thy full heart
In solemn protection of man’s most useless part.

Thou formest a temple
xx A little tent of foam,
Cover’d reverse dimple
xx Make a sacred dome
There mayest my nipples find a warm and safe home.

Last week as I ran far,
xx Chafing brought such pain
That blood stains did even mar
xx My shirt. Tho’ insane
I stoppest not my run. Oh! did my chest complain.

Today I used you, wee guard
xx Distance went I long,
Still, thou did retard
xx Blood! Such awful wrong
Thou repellest. Now my glad heart fills with this song.


Apr 18.  I'll let his mom tell the story, but Gerard was back in the hospital briefly this week.  All seems to be well now.

On the home front, we decided to spend our economic stimulus package on some concrete.  So, we had a truck pull up to our fence and spit concrete into our back yard.

I'm told there's going to be a garden shed there one day, but I'll believe it when I see it.

I'm just happy we can help stave off recession by buying five yards of concrete and paying the accompanying fuel surcharges, when what we really needed was one yard.  Something tells me the other four yards found a home somewhere else and the difference was pocketed.  Call me cynical.

Gerard Visits His Old Haunt

Cementing the Deal

Tomorrow is the SLC Marathon, of which I'm running half.  Packet pickup was today.  I'm going to try to run with the 3:30 pacer, even though I have not run for a week.  I'm looking forward to giving my new NipGuards, which came this week, a trial run.

Then, Roxy has a herding lesson Saturday evening and obedience class Sunday afternoon.  She is a busy and popular girl.


Apr 16.  Okay, so Barack Obama is a wonderful Presidential candidate and all, but what, exactly, has he done for you lately?

Now you can find out.  Keep clicking on the text for more joy.

I have been ill and not running.  Either I overtrained (my version) or I picked up some virus (Rosemary's version).  Either way, I have had muscle soreness, fever and chills, so I haven't been out.  I'd call it rhabdomyolysis, but I'm not peeing in color, so it's not that bad.   I may try to squeeze off a run tomorrow, or just rest until the SLC half-mary on Saturday.  There's no way I'll make my weekly mileage, and I've already decided to scale back next week because it's too close to the May 4 marathon.

Getting an effective training calendar that works for me has been tough.  I'd sure like to run 30-40 miles a week, but whenever I do, it feels like overtraining.


Apr 13.  Roxy learned to drive today.

No, not drive a car, but drive sheep.  She is doing much better with her herding.  This was our first weekend up at Kelley Creek Farms, because the snow and mud are mostly gone there so she and the sheep and I could get out and practice. 

Sky got his second exposure to sheep and his first good shot at scattering them like bowling pins.  Normally, Sheep Bowling is frowned on, but most puppies his age are scared of sheep, so we're happy he's not.  We will have to get more control later, though.

Ran a 30K (18.6 mi) training run yesterday, probably my last long run before the Vancouver Marathon May 4.  That makes 33 miles on my calendar last week, and I need to put in 36 miles this upcoming week.

I'm going to run the Salt Lake City half-marathon next weekend (Apr 19) and I want to try out the pace I need for a good Vancouver run — so I'm gonna hang with the 3:30 pacer and see how that goes until the marathon and half-marathon runners split at mile 5 .  I'll have my Garmin to keep me on pace for the rest.  To run a Boston Qualifier, I need to run a marathon in 3:35.  That's just a little over 8 min per mile.  If I can't sustain an 8 min mile for 13.1 miles, then I can't do it for 26.2.

I'm signed up for a 30K race eight days before (Apr 26) but I'm thinking that's too close to the race, so I may make other plans so I can taper properly.  Probably, a 5K twice — once at a really good pace and once more at a training pace — will fill the bill.  There is a charity 5K that morning, starting right across the street from the house, and I'm leaning towards that.

One kink in my running plans is an embarrassing personal problem that I can't discuss here.  Let's just say I placed an order for this product.  The testimonial page from this product is a perfect example of what most of us would consider TMI, at a lot of different levels.

Bowling for Sheep

Roxy Learns to Drive

Roxy Watches the Sky

Hey, Come Here.  I Just Want to Talk.




Apr 6.  If you want something to keep you up at night, worrying, how about this: carnivorous Commie squirrels.

My training calendar isn't working.  I just can't run 6 miles today, after 13 yesterday.  It would be overtraining, and not prudent.  I'm sore, and my old body needs a rest.  I'm going to rejigger my calendar so that I have the same number of weekly miles as before, but only running three days a week.  That gives me the rest I need.


Apr 5.  Today was the Winter Racing Series half-marathon, up Southfork Canyon above Huntsville.

Rosemary was nice enough to get up early-early and drive me to the start.  Then, she had to wait in the car until I got back down.  I was shooting for a PR, and I thought I might have it on the chip time, but the gun time is the only one posted so it'll be a tie for that PR: 1:50.  That puts me at 173/445 overall, and 20/30 in my age group.  That says I should be able to run the marathon in 3:52 almost a month from now.

If I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon, with my new age group of 50 years old, I will need to start running half-marathons in 1:42 (cutting 8 minutes off my best times so far), because the marathon qualifying time is 3:35.

Weather-wise, it was lousy but it could have been worse.  They were predicting rain and snow, and it was just cold and windy.


Apr 4.  Today, Sky met sheep for the first time.  He has herding instinct.

Roxy did very well with her practice runs, when I wasn't messing her up.  She has not only held onto her fall lessons, but perhaps improved a bit.  She doesn't play bowling sheep anymore.  She does get a little crazy and run when she shouldn't, but only if I mess up and give her misdirection.

The folks at the Catalina Marathon have posted a movie of scenes from the race.  Here's a rundown of where I found myself in the video.

For the first few minutes, in the pre-dawn footage, you can hear people discussing the rough boat ride over.  There are pictures of Isthmus Cove, the harbor where Natalie Wood drowned.

10:36, start line: very brief and fuzzy appearance at the right side of the screen, behind the guy in the red shirt and alongside the guy in the yellow shirt.

23:49 to 23:57, Empire Road aid station, mile 6.4: better view of me.  We've just crested a tough hill.  I'm a few seconds behind Uncle Sam.  The roaring you hear is the wind, which was with us most of the course.

63:30, Finish Line: Rosemary thinks I should look happier than I do.  I am happy just to be vertical at this point.  Those were some tough hills.



Sheep, Meet Sky.  Sky, Sheep.

Sheep Do My Bidding

Die, Evil Sheep


Why I Live in Ogden

Apr 2.  Today started out with torrential snow, if you can imagine such a thing, then graduated to pissing rain and finally ended up a beautiful, glorious early spring afternoon.

After finishing up at work, I took a breather at home, then went out for a run.  My PA is also a runner, and when he gave me my physical last week he told me the trails were pretty much clear.  So, I decided to try out the Mt. Ogden Exercise Trail.  There were little patches of snow and mud, but nothing my Asics couldn't handle. 

It was so nice, I decided to get caught up on my running calendar and so I put in 8 miles instead of 5.  That means I only need to do 3 tomorrow and then the half-marathon on Saturday to be on track. 


Previous RoxyLogs
2003 2004 2005   
The Pre-RoxyLog Days RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)
RoxyLog August 2005 (month 27)
RoxyLog September 2005 (month 28)
RoxyLog October 2005 (month 29)
RoxyLog November 2005 (month 30)
RoxyLog December 2005 (month 31)
2006 2007 2008   
RoxyLog January 2006 (month 32) RoxyLog January 2007 (month 44) RoxyLog January 2008 (month 56) 
RoxyLog February 2006 (month 33)
RoxyLog March 2006 (month 34)
RoxyLog April 2006 (month 35)
RoxyLog May 2006 (month 36)
RoxyLog June 2006 (month 37)
RoxyLog July 2006 (month 38)
RoxyLog August 2006 (month 39)
RoxyLog September 2006 (month 40)
RoxyLog October 2006 (month 41)
RoxyLog November 2006 (month 42)
RoxyLog December 2006 (month 43)