Roxy training diary month 58
March 2008

Mar 31.  I just became aware of a "game" called Battledecks where one is given a random stack of Powerpoint slides and you have to present from it.  I find this hilarious (warning: the F-word is used, so if it will bother you, don't listen).  Maybe we can do something like this on our campus.  Anil Dash won the contest hands down.

Mar 29.  Yesterday was a big day for Roxy: she got to herd sheep for the first since November.  I was worried that after four months off, I was going to get a crazy dog, but she actually did quite well.  

Today was a big day for me: I took my first long run since the marathon two weeks ago.  It was a flat, out-and-back 10 mile course.  The weather was lousy, but it was good to get out again.

My, What Big Teeth I Have

Sweet Dogs


Rosemary, Sky and Sophie

Mar 22.  Since I'm resting my weary old bones from the last marathon, I had the opportunity to volunteer at a 50-mile race, the annual Buffalo Run on Antelope Island.

While we were there, working a runner aid station at the 20.3 and 43 mile point (they visited us twice), I got to make new friends including my new best friend Sophie.

Some of the most beautiful girls in the world are named Sophie, apparently.  (Click here and page down to March 4, 2008 to see what I mean.)

Antelope Island is a beautiful setting.  It's an island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake, with spectacular mountain views and wildlife.  Only a handful of people live on the island, as it's a state park. 

We did have some problems with runners being chased by buffalo who took umbrage at the intrusion on their territory.  Everyone made it out okay.

Rosemary and Sky came to visit about mid-day and got to meet Sophie, who was with her mom and step-dad working the aid station.  Mom is an ultramarathoner, who routinely runs 100-mile races.  That's too much for me.  We don't know what distance Sophie is going to run yet.

Annie's 15th birthday is today.  There is a tribute to her, with highlights of her career, at this website.  Every day with her is a gift now.

Sky turns 17 weeks today.

Roxy will be 5 tomorrow.  So, along with Easter, it's a convergence of birthdays at our house.


Mar 21.  Just in time for Good Friday, pictures from the Catalina Marathon are in.

If you want to get a good feel for what it was like running the course, but don't want to put in 26.2 miles, this video shot by the race director is a beautiful five-minute synopsis.

If you want to see pictures of me, then they are found here.

I sent these to Rosemary and said, "I look a lot better than I felt."  Her response: "the middle one looks pretty painful."  She's right.  That was maybe the worst part of the course.  Since the course was mostly closed, there weren't many photographers; the far left one was about a mile and a half from the finish, just as you leave Conservancy land and enter the Wrigley gardens.  Of course, the finish line is a good feeling, because it's over.  The right hand one was taken I think about mile 18, near the highest point on the course.  I probably still had some glycogen at that point.


From the Very Short List, Mar 4, 2008

Mar 19.  A bit belatedly, I'm catching up on accumulated Very Short List emails.

Thanks to Nancy Hawekotte for turning me onto the VSL.  It gives you one little pop culture nugget each and every day.

How about competing campaign songs?  Compare:

¡Viva Obama!


Nuestra Amiga Hillary Clinton

Rosemary took Sky for his first walk today.  He came over to my office for a visit.  He met lots of people, some of whom recognized how Damn Cute he is, and then we all walked home together.


Mar 13-15.  Thursday, I flew to Long Beach and then took the Catalina Express boat to Santa Catalina Island, off the California coast.

I traveled there to compete in the Catalina Marathon, which is a beautiful but tough race.  Twenty-six miles across the sea / Santa Catalina was waitin' for me.  Fortunately for Rosemary and me, I found no romance, romance, romance.

Thursday was my travel day, but I did get in a bit of sightseeing while Rosemary was taking Sky to get surgerized (see below).   Pictures from the trip are located on this page.

Friday, I decided to indulge in a bus tour of the island.  The tour route, the Inland Motor Tour, started out climbing the old stage road, and then followed the race route backwards from mile 18 to mile 9.  That gave me a chance to preview what the race would be like (I thought).  On that leg of the route, we stopped at the Middle Ranch and visited Tachi, a captive Catalina Island Fox.  After stopping on a hill overlooking Little Harbor, we turned away from the race course and went up to El Rancho Escondido, the Wrigley's private ranch.  The tour then stopped at the Airport-in-the-Sky, where I had a fabulous cookie on the recommendation of our tour guide, Bear, who was a full-blooded Apache.  Then we returned to Avalon (the island's only town, pop. 4000) via another piece of the course, miles 18 to 20.

I give my highest recommendation to this tour.  It was a blast.


Saturday morning, it was time to get up early-early (4:20 am), dress for the race, and catch the boat over.  That leg, we traveled on the Catalina Express' catamaran.  This wasn't a catamaran like the ones in Hawaii Five-O, but rather a huge boat with three decks.  The wind was up and the sea was choppy.  About 1 in 10 of the racers lost their energy bars at that point, but I held onto my bananas and oranges.  We started the race at lovely Two Harbors, which is at the isthmus of the island.  It's also, coincidentally, where Natalie Wood met her death.  Unfortunately, I was too preoccupied standing in line for the one available bathroom to pay proper homage to her memory.

The race was tough.  No climbing on the hands and knees, like the trail race in January, but almost. 

At the top of the hills, we really felt the 25 mph winds.  Otherwise, it was a beautiful day with perfect weather.  Coming down the hill to Little Harbor, the wind was in our faces but it was downhill, so it all evened out.  Up at the top, from mile 18 to 23, it was a cross-wind, which was not so nice.  Other than that, we were mostly on the lee side of it so it didn't have much of an effect.

The big hill from mile 12 to 18 that I was obsessed about was not the worst of it.  I'd rate the ascent up on the Empire Road as the worst part, followed closely by the descent into Avalon.  By then my quads were pretty trashed and I could barely walk, much less run.  I promised myself I would run from the Catalina Island Conservancy boundary to the end, which was the last two miles or so.  (Most of the island is Conservancy land, with only a small bit of private property.) 

It wasn't my best day of "racing", but I did finish.  I tried for a time of 5 hours, which was still well over my PR of 4:12, but missed that by a lot.  It was a tough race, with lots of climbing and descending, which is hard on the legs.  I finished in 5:39.   I placed 487/603 overall and 18/20 in my class, "Male Master Buffalo" (over 40, over 200 lbs.).

At the end of the race, I indulged in what is apparently a Catalina Marathon tradition: I took off my racing shoes and soaked my sore tootsies in the cold Pacific saltwater.

I was lucky to catch the 2:05 pm boat back to the mainland.  It turned out it was the last boat of the day, as the wind was so strong, the sea became too choppy for the boats.

In Paris Hilton-related news, Paris is "starring" in a new reality series.  She is actually trying to have deranged people audition for a position as her new BFF.

Prickly Pear



Sky Post-Op

Sky-Mae West

Mar 13 (Ogden).  Meanwhile, as I was traveling to Catalina Island, Sky-Guy was having his first surgery, to have a congenital umbilical hernia repaired.

Rosemary was nice enough to send me the pictures at left via cell phone, so I could keep updated on his status. 

That was a huge relief.  He's doing great.


Mar 12.  This morning, I received an email from Delta reminding me to check in for my flight tomorrow.  I can't believe I'm actually doing this. 

To avoid thinking about it, I updated my running calendar.  Still, that didn't work, because it forced me to think about my plans for the next nine months, and that was creepy too.


Blue Dogs

Young Dogs




Mar 9.  Here are the pictures from our Moab trip.





Dwarf Dogs


Mar 9 (continued).  These pictures were taken Thursday before we left.

This weekend was spent in Moab, which is a good place for a mini-vacation.  I competed in the Canyonlands Half Marathon I finished 58/140 in my age group, which is good, because I only rarely finish in the top half.  I missed a PR by about 3 minutes, with a chip time of 1:53:27.  I gave it my all, but came up short.

We stayed at the Red Cliffs Lodge, at mile marker 14, just 3 miles upriver from the start line.  It's a bit pricey, but the scenery is worth it.  It's a gorgeous place.  Here, the Colorado River forms a canyon through the red sandstone cliffs of the Entrada and Navajo sandstone, remnants of ancient Sahara-like deserts stuck together with limestone from oceans which pushed over the desert from time to time.

Sky had his first road trip, and all in all, he was a pretty good guy.  He still screams when his mother leaves his sight.  The walls were pretty thick, so I'm hopeful we didn't wake or disturb the neighbors.

After we returned, we switched Roxy's class over to the Sunday 2 pm Intermediate at PetSmart.  She got kicked out of the Beginner class for being too good.  She's getting some good experience working around other dogs.

We just received word that Sky's sister Charlotte has passed away.  It's quite sad.

Go Away, Kid.

Jaw Wrestling Tonight

Mar 1.  Ran the 10K, then ran another lap of it.  I meant to do three laps and some extra, and thereby get in the long run I had on my calendar, but the weather and my attitude were not cooperative so I only ran 14 miles out of the 20 I was supposed to do.  I'm not so much preparing for the Catalina Marathon (two weeks from today) as I am just waiting for it to be over so I can get through it.  I know it will be both tough and beautiful, and so I'm just looking forward to a pleasant day spent outdoors on Catalina Island.  It's not a "PR course".


Davy Crockett beat me again. 

Our friends hosted a baby shower for Gerard, who was of course born on Dec 24 even though he's not due until later this week.  We helped Mike and Rebecca get their new B.O.B. Stroller home, since it wouldn't fit in their car, and we got to visit with Gerard for the first time ever.  He's darling, of course.  He's still on oxygen, but it's being tapered, and he might not need it for much longer.  That's the tube being held in place by the adhesive patch you see in this picture.


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)