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Travel Plans

Started: 2009-06-12 11:15:54

Submitted: 2009-06-12 12:37:14

Visibility: World-readable

At the moment, Kiesa, Calvin, and I are perhaps 22,000 feet above northern Colorado in an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 en route to Portland. Calvin has his own seat; he's currently sleeping in his carseat. When we boarded the plane, during special pre-boarding, he was fussy, but as soon as we fed him, and the main engines came on and we started rolling down the tarmac, the white noise and gentle vibrations soothed him to sleep. We were ready with a bottle and pacifier during takeoff to help him clear his sinuses and equalize the pressure in his ears, but he hasn't woken up and doesn't seem interested in taking anything. (After takeoff, I've barely needed to clear my own ears, so maybe he's not missing out on much.)

Once we reach Portland, we'll borrow a car from Calvin's Stone grandparents and drive to Walla Walla, where we'll stay with Calvin's Logan grandparents. Uncle Willy graduates on Sunday. On Monday, we'll return west; Kiesa will drop me off at the airport Monday evening to go back to work and continue north to Longview for a week in Longview. I'll fly back into Portland next Friday to spend the weekend with the Stone grandparents and fly back home with Kiesa and Calvin on Sunday.

Until yesterday morning, I expected to return to Colorado for my truncated work week. That was the plan until my team lead instant-messaged me to talk about attending two weeks of Symbian training at the corporate mothership in San Diego. (She had been scheduled to go, to represent our team, but had a high priority conflict.) I looked at the calendar and saw that I had no conflict with next week -- Kiesa and Calvin would be in Washington -- but I wasn't sure about leaving Kiesa alone with Calvin for four days the following week, especially since she is planning on going back to work half-time that week. (She's currently working ten hours a week while Calvin attends daycare to ease herself back into work.) I talked to Kiesa and she thought that daycare would give her enough of a break from Calvin that she could handle him by herself in the evening. I signed on for my first-ever visit to the corporate mothership and spent the rest of the morning figuring out travel arrangements and where to go once I'm on the ground. I have a map of campus and printed floorplans for the building I'll be in, barely legible on letter-sized paper.

The new plan is to fly from Portland to San Diego on Monday evening on a direct flight on Alaska Airlines. (Looking at flights I saw some tortured itineraries: Portland to Spokane to Salt Lake City to San Diego. Direct flights make me happy.) I'll be in San Diego for a three-day class Tuesday through Thursday, then fly back to Denver on Thursday night and fly, as originally scheduled, to Portland on Friday and back to Denver on Sunday. (Sunday is also my first Father's Day as a daddy.) I'll work in Boulder on Monday the following week, then fly to San Digeo that night for four days of training on OS internals. I'll return home Friday night after a full month of airports and airplanes. (I was beginning to worry that I wasn't flying enough -- I haven't left the state since Christmas -- and now it seems I'm getting half a year's worth of travel in during three weeks.)

Life with Calvin continues to be interesting. He's sleeping through the night now; we put him to bed after 20:00 and he wakes up, ravenously hungry, sometime after 07:00 the next morning. On good days Kiesa has a bottle ready to go when he gets up. We've given up on breastfeeding; Kiesa is still pumping (and getting up several times in the night to do so) and bottle-feeding him breastmilk and formula. Calvin started daycare the week after Memorial Day, giving Kiesa time off during the day. This makes weekdays easier but hasn't helped weekends very much. Kiesa has more time to focus on quality interaction with Calvin -- I'll come home from work and instead of her throwing him at me she'll be reading to him or singing to him or watching him do baby push-ups during tummy time. (I'm very exciting that Calvin can hold his head up as long as I support his upper body; he's still working on his core torso strength. I'm looking forward to the day I can put him in the backpack carrier and go hiking with him.) The whole thing continues to be a learning experience as we constantly adjust our expectations of what he needs and what we need.

I spent the week after the Bolder Boulder contemplating what to run next and decided a half-marathon in the fall would be a good idea. I found a 17-week training program in my running guide, Getting Real About Running, chopped off the first week to fit the sixteen weeks left before a pair of half-marathons in Boulder and Fort Collins in the middle of September, and set out training. I'm still in the "building an aerobic base" part of the training, in which I run at an easy pace while building up distance. An aggressive peak mileage of 45 miles at the height of the training seemed in order, meaning my long runs at 30% of total weekly mileage would be at least as long as my target distance. I hit 19 miles last week, on my first week of training, and continued ramping up this week.

I've been lusting after GPS watches for running for a while, and I finally decided I needed something better than my current training watch. I have a Polar F6 general fitness watch, with an ECG heartrate strap and target intensity zones. Maintaining a specific intensity was very useful early in the resurrection of my training regime last winter, but now I felt I was ready for something more. Being designed for general fitness rather than running, my watch lacked both a lap button and an automatic interval training mode (wherein the target intensity varies over time or distance). I looked at both Polar's running watches and Garmin's Forerunner line and decided on a Garmin Forerunner 305. I waited to order the watch until I learned yesterday that I would be spending most of my time over the next two weeks away from my normal training routes; it ought to be waiting for me when I arrive in Walla Walla tonight. I'm looking forward to being able to add pace training to my training regime; it's hard to do a proper tempo run without pace feedback. (I'm targeting an aggressive half-marathon pace of 8:00/mile; my best 10k pace at last month's Bolder Boulder was 8:30 for half the distance.)