This is Blair’s costume for the High School road trip. Turned out pretty cool and he and Drake, who declined to dress up, had a great time.
Spent 3 days of last week in Colorado with work and then with family. Weather started out in the 60s and then turned cold and snowy. Got to see Killian wrestle and spent time with all the Hardins, mom and Bob, Mitch, Sandi, Sam and Emily. Got mom set up to Skype so she could see her grand kids grow.
We have a number of friends who are big local sports fans and the UCSB Gauchos have had a great nationally ranked soccer team and the basketball teams have had some successful seasons. We’re not huge fans but it’s fun to go to the games occasionally, especially now that the boys are getting older. They have a better understanding and appreciation for the games and the athletes.
Tonight the Gauchos men’s basketball team lost by a basket in overtime to the SDSU Aztecs. Evan, Blair and I had a great time.
Picnic lunch, remote control airplane flying and the Muppets in the afternoon. The best way to spend black Friday is to stay away from the shopping.
The wind caught the micro plane and pushed it into the tall trees but Evan knocked it out with a rock. What an arm.
This holiday was the first Thanksgiving with just our family in, well, maybe forever.
Stayed overnight in Buelton and ate dinner at Anderson’s for the first time ever. All in all a very nice family-time getaway.
The boys and I took off four a week in Colorado the day after school let out. Blair helped driving out and back and we spend some quality time with cousines, aunts, uncles, gran and papa. Here is Blair holding his cousing Kyler
Spent a day in Estes park. I miss the Colorado mountains and rivers.
Cousin Killian with his great smile. He doesn’ show it often enough!
Hawns and Hardins hangin’ out.
A day at Coors Field with family-to-be!
The Denver skyline from Coors Field. It was an absolutely perfect day.
Evan’s baseball team won their end-of-year tournament. The Hawn boys have not had much opportunity to celebrate team championships, so this was extra sweet for Evan who is becoming a srong hitter and fielder.
I’ve got a confession to make. I really don’t like technical running shirts (I accidentally forgot to type the “r” in the word shirt, and the sentence still made sense, and was true! Try it!). Anyway. most technical shirts are not that comfortable, they can itch and stick when you get sweaty and I get a kind of icky feeling when I pull one on, especially first thing in the morning. Maybe it’s me, but I believe to my core that it is impossible to make polyester comfortable. But I wear them and they do their moisture wicking job. (I think “moisture wicking” is a marketing term that means you’re basically wearing breathable plastic.) Once the initial icky feeling goes away and I’m running down the road I seldom think about the my shirt. It stays light and I stay relatively dry and life is good.
So I have to say I have mixed feelings when it comes to race shirts. I’m more than happy to get one, and if it’s not some super cheap piece of junk, I’ll wear it proudly when I run, but I don’t wear my race shirt during the actual race, and I don’t wear it around town after completing the race. In fact, I generally forget about it until I unpack and out it pops, smelling as fresh as plastic can smell.
That’s what happened this morning. My Big Sur shirt plopped out of my bag and anounced itself as I was putting stuff away AND packing my bag for an afternoon run (my first since the marathon). It was a pleasant surprise to see the new shirt, and I hadn’t really even looked at it very closely – so I popped it into my running bag and put it on at lunch to find this towel-sized tag on the inside. If there’s one thing that bothers me more than polyester it’s polyester with a honking tag attached. I thought shirts were moving away from these things. This truly was the largest tag I’ve ever seen on a technical shirt.
I manged to get it cut off without damaging the shirt and took a snap of me and my Big Sur gear. (Yes, that’s a Big Sur hat, but I did a lousy job of getting it in the picture.) I’ll write something about dry-fit hats some other day.
If there’s one thing I’m consistent about it’s inconsistency. Over the last 6 years or so of “serious” running I’ve managed to create enough peaks and valleys of fitness that graphs of my weekly mileage look like the elevation chart of Big Sur. It’s been a constant series of ups and downs with very little consistently flat sections other than those periods of time when I haven’t run at all.
And I’ve got to ask myself why? Why do I continue to forget the hard work I’ve put in? Why do I continue to forget how hard it is to get back into shape when I fall down and fail to pick myself right back up?
One of the things I intend to do between now and November is constantly remind myself that I’ve worked hard to get to where I am and remember how easy it is to just stop.
Some of the runs I don’t want to forget include the hilly 8 miles in Oregon. The windy wet runs during the rains this winter when I was out there gutting out the miles and everyone else was staying dry indoors. The hill runs at night. The 18 and 20 milers that allowed me to run 26 in Big Sur but can be squandered by simply doing nothing.
I’m in marathon shape right now (barely). The only thing preventing me from having a great race in November is sitting on my butt instead of running down the road. I don’t intend to squander this current opportunity. I don’t intend to forget what has brought me here and what it’s going to take to get me to where I want to be.
The six months between now and the Santa Barbara Marathon will go by quickly, but they provide plenty of time to prepare to run my best marathon ever as long as I keep paddling my boat upstream. As soon as I stop paddling, my boat begins to drift and I don’t want any drifting between now and November.
In December of 2006 I ran the California International Marathon with my father-in-law who was 65 at the time. It was a great race and he ran a steady pace and finished right at his goal of 4:45. At the time I figured it would be my slowest marathon until about the time I was 65. Turned out that it didn’t take me that long to run slower for 26.2. I finished the Big Sur Marathon on Sunday at just over 5 hours. Everything felt off from the beginning of the race and I just didn’t have any real energy after about the halfway point.
Here I am standing in the cold under my trash bag looking toward the start with optimism. That didn’t last too long. If you’ll notice, there’s a “Coral D” sign behind me. I really thought I’d lined up in the wrong coral when the race started. Turned out I was right where I should have been.
It was simply not my day. The plus side is that my legs feel pretty good now despite the constant (and I do mean constant) ups and downs of the course. There’s an advantage to running slower – your body takes less of a beating.
So, I actually ran about a mile yesterday and feel ready to begin getting back into things more quickly than I had anticipated before the race.
Not gonna spend too much time with the recap because everything I could say has been said by so many others. If you’ve run or know someone who’s run Big Sur they will tell you what a superbly run marathon it is. They nail everything. And I mean everything. Logistically you will never find a race run more smoothly than Big Sur. Ever. Some probably do it as well, but you really can’t beat perfection, and given the fact that they had to change the entire course because part of it fell into the ocean in March, they really did accomplish the unbelievably difficult task of living up to the expectations of those that have come to expect nothing less than the best.
I plan to come back and run the point-to-point course. I was able to grab the Asics “Hell and Back” poster for Big Sur at the expo. We were not able to run the portion of Highway 1 shown in the picture, so I’ve got it tacked up on my wall as inspiration. Naturally I plan to run the whole thing in less than 5 hours next time.
Took a very easy 3 mile run to keep everything loose and took along my new phone to snap some pics and figure out how to use some of the apps I’ve loaded. The shots are from the route I run from work most days. It’s not very pretty for the first mile or so, but it does end up at the beach.
This is where the great majority of my runs during the week start, whether I’m going 3 miles or 10.
They’re finishing the new airport terminal. Looks kind of blah right now, but its supposed to be nice inside when it’s finished. We’ve always had a quaint little airport. I guess things are changing.
Finally, after a mile or so of a relatively busy two-lane road you get to the bike path.
Crossing a bridge over wetlands that used to be a deep-water harbor – that’s the Univeristy of California Santa Barbara in the background.
And, after a mile and a half, the edge of the continent. Islands and campus point (UCSB) in the distance. Beautiful, if windy, day.
Big Sur here I come!
This image represents the elevation profile of my current 8 mile hill workout which I ran today. It looks kind of daunting, especially without any information for the Y-axis. Elevation goes from absolute sea level to approximately 200 feet. I gotta say that the climb always feels much higher.
I think the workout is a good similation for Big Sur, although according to their elevation chart I’ll be doing similar climbs and descents over and over and over and over again.
I’ve begun dwelling with regret on the many runs I missed in the leadup to this race. I guess there’s no going back now and there’s no way of telling for certain how badly (or well?) I trained until the rubber of my shoes meets the asphalt of highway 1 on race day.
I wish I had another couple months to train!