Thursday, February 24, 2011

Out and About / Hawaii, Part 2

No, we didn't to Hawaii again. I'm just a little slow in posting.

So, this trip, J took along his tripod, to spend more serious time taking photos.
Here he is taking a shot at Mokoliʻi , aka 'Chinaman's Hat':

J at Mokolii
(Why yes, the horizon DOES dip to the right in Hawaii. Didn't you know?)

and world famous Diamond Head

J at Diamond Head

He set up the tripod at took posed family photos at the Christmas potluck as well. There were lots of nice photos of everyone with their families and I sent copies of CDs with the pics back to the gang in Hawaii.

So my mom and dad said they looked at the images on the CD.  I asked if they liked the video.

They go, "Video? You mean the slide show? Yeah, we saw the slide show".
And I go, "No, the video. Of the imu. Like a Movie".
And they go, "Hemm. Moo-oovie. Like a slideshow of all the pictures from the imu? Pictures that move?Yeah. We saw the slideshow".

I think, "Mmmf, that's a 'No' on the video".

My dad gets on the phone: "Yeah, lots of nice pics that Jan took. The upside-down orchid. The anthuriums with raindrops. The coconut. The mosquito punk..."
I go, "Hey, those were my pictures."
Dad: "No, I saw J taking the pictures out in the front with his camera."
Me: "I was taking pictures, too. I have a camera. I'm just more sneaky. Those pictures were in a folder labelled 'Wendees pics'".
Dad, the newfangled computerese thought not processing: "Heh."

I think, "Yeah, that's a 'No', too. I am SO chopped liver".

Dad: "Yeah. Fantastic pics that J took. Whoooo, and lots of 'em. Fantastic."

Me, thinking, "Swell".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rose Bowl 5K

February 6, bright and early Sunday morning! We woke up at 4:30am (groan), spent lots of time (me) on the couch rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, got ready, packed up all our running/camera gear and drove out to Pasadena. 

Is it just me that's imagining Brent Musburger saying, "The Rose Bowl - The Granddaddy of them All!"? Just me? Oh, okay.
Brent's a Wildcat too, by the way.

Yes, I found orange to wear, though I think it ended up closer to 'tangerine'. Close enough.

What a great day for a race! It was cool when got to the arroyo, but as the sun rose, things warmed up. It was sunny and warm by race time. 70 degrees in February! That's why we live in Southern California.

I didn't actually remember my two previous 5K's well enough to guage how things might go. They were a blur; though I do remember rather vividly in each, a point where I thought, "Oh, yuck! Enough with this RUNNING (continuously) stuff! Geh!", and then I'd stop running and walk. When you've trained and expected to run all the way through, that's discouraging... Even though I felt reasonably strong and was happy with my decision to not run it continuously, it's a little hard to be sure how well my running plan (run 4min15sec, walk about 2min30secs, 7 times) would actually play out. My last few runs on my home route were pretty tough; I wasn't quite sure what to expect on race day. I'd commented to a friend that I was hoping that having the energy of a crowd of runners would buoy me ...

One of the walking segments.

... and it did, along with thoughts and prayers from friends over the weekend.

Prayers. People sent up prayers for me? I decided to be grateful to have devout friends sending up prayers for me. Every little bit would help.

Normally, I get bored after a while, during the stretch between 2 miles and 2-1/2. Or my feet start to hurt, or my right calf tightens up. Not that morning, though.

Home stretch!

Nice and strong the whole race.

When I settled into walking after the first run segment, I watched hoards of runners pass by me, swelling well outside of the running lane. After a few more intervals, it had thinned out around me, and I'd play catch up with others that were running/walking at about the same pace. They'd pull away when I walked, and I'd gain on them when I'd run.

I was doing my thing, watching the early morning golfers, smelling the trees, getting 'Woot!'s from the non-event runners running in the opposite direction as the race, watching the 10K leaders blaze by ("Wow. They're fast"). All of a sudden, we'd made our turn onto the long return leg of the course and passed the 2mile mark. I thought, "Wow, that was quick!".

I smirked to myself when I made a mental note of that, for the next time I was complaining to myself about 'only' being 24 - 30 minutes into a run.

There was one particularly tall guy wearing lots of blue and a large blue hydration backpack that was walking along that I'd get close to, but never quite caught up with. Trailing him got me through to the home stretch. 

I remember the last race I did, in Agoura, where the finish was uphill, then you entered a stadium, and THEN had to do a half-lap to the finish. Not being able to see the finish as you approached and the uncertainty of what was ahead, and THEN having to do that half-lap almost did me in. I was a little concerned as I approached the Rose Bowl, not quite sure how long the ramp was onto the field, and then how much further the 50 yard line was from there. Little concerns can become obsessions you're running.

How. Much. Further? Geh.

As it turns out, the ramp leading in was incredibly short and then, just like that [snap!], I could see the finish. I knew it was the finish because there were people just beyond that point that were no longer running.

"Oh, easy peasy!", I thought. And so it was! I had guzzled two bottles of water and was pinching off tufts of Rose Bowl turf to take with me in a ziplock baggie by the time TheBigBear caught up with me.

I clocked myself at the finish at 45:19, right where I had planned. That ended up being my official race time, as well. It was by far the slowest 5K I've run, but also the strongest and most enjoyable, throughout. And the memories are vivid, not so much a blur. So I'm chalking this up as a good solid Win.

Already planning for the next one in late March.

My run was written up on Art Center's blog here and here. Much thanks to Lara Warren for that. And thanks so very much to you for the encouragement, donations, and, yes, prayers.