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Weekends: A reservoir, a hill, and a turkey

Started: 2009-11-16 20:47:40

Submitted: 2009-11-16 22:02:42

Visibility: World-readable

On the first Saturday in November, I went to Boulder Reservoir for a morning run. Despite being November, the weather was warm and sunny, which provided a nice run. I stopped by my office for a shower on my way into Boulder, then rendezvoused with Kiesa and Calvin halfway up the Sanitas Valley. (Kiesa was pushing Calvin in his stroller in a successful effort to get him to nap.) We ate lunch and Calvin woke up, so we let him roll around a bit before putting him back into the stroller for the trek back down the valley to the trailhead, where we dropped off the stroller and put Calvin in the backpack carrier for a proper hike of Mount Sanitas. Calvin was thrilled for the first half-hour, then started to think about fussing as we reached the summit. He was happy again at the summit, as I surveyed the surroundings and Twittered a picture. This was Calvin's first local maxima, having been hiking in the backpack carrier on only one prior occasion. He started to fuss in earnest as we descended the east ridge to the Sanitas Valley, and didn't calm down until we reached his carseat and he was lulled to sleep by driving home.

I think we erred by giving Calvin the opportunity to wake up while we ate lunch, thereby cutting into the time available for hiking. (I had hoped that the 90-minute hike would fit exactly into the 90-minute-average window between his finishing a meal and being ready for his next nap, but I think I timed the nap wrong.) I keep hoping Calvin will figure out how to sleep in the backpack carrier, but that may be too much to hope for at the moment.

In related Calvin news, he seems to be on the cusp of personal mobility. He can roll around effortlessly, and can prop himself up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth. He can't crawl forward yet, but he can crawl backward, which tends to distress him because the toy he was trying to crawl toward is suddenly getting further away. He can prop himself up into a sitting position by crawling backward and turning one knee, then pushing further so he ends up sitting up. We no longer worry about his falling over while he's sitting on the floor. Sometimes he can pull himself up into a shaky standing position. He's becoming far more self-entertained. It's fascinating to watch him try to figure out the way the world works; he's clearly building his physics model. He's successfully cut two lower incisors, and we're still trying to get him to eat baby food.

Calvin and Cat5 are still trying to figure out what to do with each other. This weekend, Calvin was sitting on the floor and I was sitting in front of him when Cat5 came and sat on my lap. She swished her tail in Calvin's direction, and he managed to grab her tail with both hands and bang it up and down. Cat5 seemed mostly unperturbed.

(Willow gives Calvin a wide berth. Only when he's properly secured in the Pack-n-Play will she get as close as a meter.)

On Saturday, 14 November, I ran Longmont's 10k Turkey Trot, as my fall distance race, though I didn't specifically train for the distance. (I thought about running a half-marathon but got only halfway through my training program before running into trouble with overtraining.) It snowed Friday night but Saturday dawned, cold, damp, and snow-free. I picked up my race packet and warmed up on the middle school's track, reaching the starting line right as the race started. I walked to the starting line, then barely jogged as the crowd gradually thinned out onto the residential street, up a gentle hill. My first mile wasn't very fast. Once I reached the second mile, I tried to set my nominal lactate-threshold pace, 8:00/mile, as the course turned south on Airport Road on the west side of Longmont. I struggled to maintain my pace at the same intensity through the fourth mile but started to intentionally pick up my pace near the fourth mile, as the course turned north on 75th. The field had thinned significantly to one runner every ten meters; I could go a quarter-mile without passing or being passed. The course climbed gently into Hygiene at the fifth milepost, then turned east on Hygiene Road and began a gradual descent. I pushed up my pace, trying to expend exactly as much energy as I had in reserve but no more. I ran the sixth mile in exactly eight minutes, then turned south on Airport Road for the sprint to the finish line. I finished in 51:16 by my watch (51:38 officially), which counts as a modest 10k personal record. (It would not surprise me if the course were faster than the Bolder Boulder; I tried to evaluate how hilly Longmont's Turkey Trot was but had trouble figuring out the appropriate smoothing factor for the elevation reported by my GPS watch.) I hope to do better next spring; this race reinforced my need for lactate-threshold training, training to maintain a faster race pace for longer.

I'm planning on racing a 5k in December, then notching back to aerobic maintenance mode through the Solstice holidays until starting my Bolder Boulder training in late January.

It snowed again Saturday night but stayed fairly warm. On Sunday morning, it looked as if six to nine inches had accumulated on my back porch, but my driveway looked like four or five inches. Once I shoveled, the driveway stayed clear and wet.

My mother flew out for a long long* weekend, so Kiesa and I took advantage of her presence to go out for breakfast Sunday morning at Turley's in Boulder. Calvin ended up sleeping most of the time we were gone, but it was still nice to get out of the house.

[ * "long long" must be a sixty-four bit weekend. ]