Tuesday, March 23, 2010


59.97 miles last week.

Kind of a tough week at work, budget cuts, a RIF announcement (Reduction in Force), final exams coupled with tons of grading, the odd student complaint about Blackboard's inconsistency, and, of course, desperate emails imploring for extra credit points. Perhaps the oddest thing was talking with an advisee about getting training as a make-up artist (just so you know, a Ph.D. in Political Science does not prepare you for such conversations, at least not well anyway).

Running, on the other hand, went splendidly. Tuesday's 10-miler (2 X Zoo Loop) was a blast and ended with me blasting down hill while weaving through a whole mess of Team In Training folks. Saturday's 20-miler took place under a brilliantly sunny sky and ended up as a 21-miler with an ice bath. So much stronger than the last long run but I should mention that dehydration was setting in by the end despite the fact that I had been drinking water and Gatorade all throughout. The week ended with the Mercer Island Half Marathon, a race that I DNS'd a few years ago (the flu), and which presented a rather unique challenge following the 21-miler. I must have done something right on Saturday as I had all kinds of energy, power, and stamina going into the race. A very hilly course that I ran consistently. I simply had fun and finished in 2:05 with an overall pace of 9:35. Even better, I was walking around easily afterwards and was complimented by another runner who said: "Good Job Today! I couldn't catch you . . . " Quite an ego stroke I must say. Lots of carnage out on the course though including a man who collapsed just feet from the finish line—lots of paramedics working on him. Just a reminder that 13.1 miles is not a trivial distance by any stretch of the imagination.

I seem to have come off some kind of plateau in my running. My 2010 Nookachamps time was 2.06.59 and my official Mercer time was 2:05:38. Yes I was working hard but it didn't feel as hard as in January and I certainly don't feel as done in afterwards and I did then. Interesting. What a difference training makes. :-)

The best part? I am now officially on spring break which means that I can noodle around a bit and take care of stuff around the house—getting the front garden cleaned up, trying to patch a leak in the roof, spring cleaning. Still have some TLF-related things to do: course planning, a college open house, and a All-Washington Academic Team ceremony in Olympia. Still, it is nice to be even more in control of my time.

Even better, nice to actually read something fun. Like Richard Holmes's The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. Then there is the Star Trek original series marathon.

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