Roxy training diary month 63

August 2008


Aug 31 (cont'd). When I'm driving, I'm a sucker for things like The World's Largest Ball of Twine and The Amazing Two-Headed Gopher — or the Four Corners Monument.

While we were there, I noticed that three of the four states had Portapotties. Only Colorado was missing this essential feature. How to choose — the elaborate set of New Mexican Portapotties, or the simplicity of the Utah Portapotties? Maybe the remoteness of the Arizona Portapotties calls to you. It's your choice. You know what to do.

Sort of a Portapotty theme today, I suppose.

Which State Do You Crap In?

New Mexico Portapotties

Arizona Portapotties

Utah Portapotties


Sky City, outside Gallup, NM


Aug 31. We picked up my buddy Holly at the airport Saturday, and this morning, we ran the (Albuquerque) New Mexico Half-Marathon. It was Holly's first half-mary, at least since she was 19, and so we took it easy and just planned on finishing.  We weren't trying to hard, so I finished dead last in my age group.

It was a great course, and the weather cooperated. It had threatened rain all night and into the morning, but it only sprinkled a little bit. The organization left something to be desired, but I really like Albuquerque. Some people don't like it, but I find it a beautiful city. I might go back again sometime to run there.

I forgot to pack my usual iPod, and then discovered the backup I brought had no battery power, so I was stuffed on that score. Also, my Garmin (GPS device) batteries were kaput. It wasn't a good day for electronics, I suppose. So, we had to improvise.

I'm a good distraction. I sang this song, and we talked about ice cream koans, and phrases for throwing up. She didn't understand "summoning Ralph", so when we passed the Portapotties, I showed her: I went into the Portapotty and shouted "RALPH!" It was great fun.

The End


Aug 29-30. We started our Labor Day trip to Albuquerque today. We made it as far as Cortez, Colorado and stopped there so we could drive through Mesa Verde early Saturday morning.

I had not been to Mesa Verde since I was a wee lad, perhaps 35 years ago, and Rosemary had never been.

We didn't plan to do a lot of hiking or sightseeing. It was just a quick trip to see what was there, so we could better plan future trips if we wanted.

We very much want to go back. I am, of course, fascinated by the story of the Anasazi.

Mesa Verde


Aug 18. Beaker and the Swedish Chef sing the "Habanera" aria from Carmen. Animal joins in.  Roxy is deeply offended by this video, and will bark at it. (Every time I edit the blog in Contribute, I lose the video window at left and have to re-enter it by hand, so I'm going to fix it after the August blog is "put to bed".)

Women's 3000 m steeplechase final video here.

I was runner-up in a "Name the Panda" contest at Addicted Café, one of my favorite places to visit when I'm taking the FrontRunner to SLC. Apparently, three of us suggested "Panda-Monium".

I set my training calendar for the Denver Marathon, October 19.

Aug 16. My first run since the marathon, and I wasn't up for the hill climbing.  Still, it was good to get back up on my legs again, even if I did finish 83/86. I was just dead-dog-tired, and didn't feel like pushing myself, so I didn't.

Aug 15. Both Roxy and Lindsey Anderson had their big events today. Roxy got to run in the XTerra K9 Challenge, and Lindsey Anderson ran in the 3000 m steeplechase at the Olympics. Here's video of Lindsey's Olympic qualifying run. I finally tracked down the video feed from the Olympics; her race starts at about 1:33 in this video.

Neither advanced beyond the first round.

Here's an interview with Lindsey. I don't have an interview with Roxy, but I do have a video that Rosemary shot.



Aug 12. Yesterday's mail contained a rejection letter from a potential agent, but there was some good news inside the bad.  It's from a fairly big-time agent, and it looks like I came close but just missed getting the stuffed bunny:

Dear Mr. Hutchins,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent your novel, Infectious Beauty. Although there is much to admire in its pages, I'm afraid they did not elicit the strong response I had hoped for and effective representation necessitates. However, I am but one opinion, and I am confident you will find the right person to represent you in this and all future endeavors.

s/Jim Rutman

Here's his webpage.  It looks like it would have been right up his alley, so I was happy it reached the right person at the agency, and sorry it didn't quite make the cut.

We were taking herding lessons last weekend, and I just got around to downloading the pictures and videos from Rosemary's camera to this here blog, so here they are.

These are from a trip we took last weekend to Battle Ground, Washington to train with Dave Viklund.  We all learned a lot, but the travel (12 hours' drive each way) was a bit wearing.  Here are some movies, for those who are interested and who have the bandwidth:

Roxy Actually Herds Cattle

Crazy Outrun, Actual Herding, Craziness

Checking with Dad. He Will Tell Me What to Do.

Sky got a chance to herd sheep without a rope line.  He had some crazy moments, but Rosemary got to go in and work with him some.  She's learning how to teach him to herd at the same time he's learning how to herd.  Note in the left picture that Sky is going a little nuts, so Dave is blocking him with the rake; on the right, Sky is behaving, so Dave is letting him "have" the sheep.

This picture is actually from July 25 but I forgot to post it then.  The garden is coming along nicely, thanks to Rosemary's efforts.

Peas (right foreground) are not thriving.  We will have to find a new location for them next year.  The tomatoes (far left) and acorn squash (foreground) are thriving.


Aug 6. It was a relief I did as well as I did on this test.  If I had failed, I would have been really worried.  I was pretty unsure about a couple of the questions; I suppose I guessed right.

If you want to give it a go, click on the image at left. 


Aug 3. Today was my sixth marathon, this time in San Francisco.

Who knew there were so many hills?

The race was well-organized, and it didn't seem like there were 14,000 people participating.  (About 4400 of those ran the full marathon, 6700 in the first half, 2000 in the second half, and 1100 in the 5K.)  The course was beautiful, with an out-and-back over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County.  The weather was spectacular, a foggy 60 degrees at the start.

I was warned to take it easy on the first half, and I did, with a first half time of 2:07.  That's well off my PR pace of 1:50 but after flaming out at Vancouver I preferred to err on the conservative side.

I was pretty good up until we popped out into the Haight at mile 19 or so.  The 4:00 pace group caught up with me in Golden Gate Park, somewhere around mile 16 or 17, and I kept up with them for a good bit.  That was ideal, because I planned to run right around 4:00.  However, when they got into the Haight, in the long, straight stretch before we turned south through an industrial area, it seemed like they had taken off.  In reality, they were running the same, steady, 9:09 min/mile pace; it was me that was struggling to keep up.  I just couldn't do it.

So, the last six miles or so were pretty tragic for me, but that was the ugly part of the course so it wasn't a great loss.  I finished with a time of 4:26, 2147/4417 overall, 1660/2906 among men, and 182/316 among men 45-49

My next opportunity for that sub-4 hour time will be in Denver, October 19.

While in San Francisco, I got to meet some of my friends who had previously been entirely virtual in my online writer's critique group.  LoriB is working on a coffee table book cataloging the murals of San Francisco.  Mer is a memoirist and has been a great critic and supporter of my work. 

Lori suggested some murals to go visit, and when I got there, I found them overrun with Japanese tourists taking pictures of themselves in front of the murals.  So, I took pictures of the Japanese taking pictures of a mural.  Maybe Lori can use that for her book.

Fort Mason Marina, mile 3, 6:13 am.  In the left middle of the picture, behind the trees and up to the lights, you can see a line of runners making their way around the bend ahead.

Crissy Field, mile 4.5, 6:27 am

Marin County Vista Point at Fort Baker, north end of bridge, mile 7.5, 6:57 am.  Runners facing you are approaching the turnaround; runners with their backs to you are starting the run back to San Francisco.

The Mural of the Story

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)