June 29, 2010

Geese, ink and a sunset

I’m going to run a 5K. I’m serious. Since my last post, I have run five times and logged almost 15 miles. In just a week and a half, I’ve almost doubled my mileage, and I’ve been running more regularly. Trea and I have run more than 31 miles since we started a month ago!

Last week, we moved up to level three on Podrunner, so we’ve been alternating walking with two 90-second runs and – wait for it – two 3-minute sustained runs! Just a month ago, I was barely managing a 60-second run, and now I can run for three minutes and not completely want to die. I’m making progress!

I had one bad run last weekend at the new (to us) track near the dog park. I overslept and by the time we made it outside, it was HOT. Way too hot to be running. We had no relief from the sun, and I wasn’t able to finish the run, even though Trea kept going. We learned our lesson; summer is too hot even for a mid-morning workout. We either have to get up early or go late in the evening. After that experience, we have given up on running that area and are sticking with our old track at the goose pond park. There we can stay in the shade almost the entire time, even though that means reversing our course a few times and facing the geese. It seems to be breezier there, which helps give some relief to this insane Arkansas heat and humidity. Plus, it's pretty.

Trea went out of town last week for a few days, and I had to run twice on my own. Before he left, we completed a level three run one time, so I knew I could do it, but just barely. That 3-minute run is tough, and I would’ve quit if Trea hadn’t been with me. Running with a partner has created somewhat of a competition between us. Speed isn’t a factor because he’s way faster, and I’ve accepted that. But if he finishes a run, I’m going to finish a run (unless there’s a chance of suffering heat stroke).

The first time I tried to run without him on level three, I seriously doubted my will power and endurance. So I cheated just a little bit. I took Bella with me. I knew that even if I wanted to quit, she would drag me down the trail and make sure we made it to the end. My plan worked, and I finished. My pace suffered because I spent the entire time holding her back from an all-out sprint. She was so happy to be running with me, but she made it harder instead of easier. She needs a lot more leash practice. That's project number two this summer.

On my second run without Trea, I left Bella at home so I could focus completely on what I was doing. I was so proud of myself for finishing and not giving up. I even sprinted a little ways – when I was chased by an angry flock of geese. That was not cool. Some of those geese are almost waist-high and enormous! It’s pretty intimidating to find about 20 of them blocking the path - and embarrassing to have onlookers laugh at my peril. (I may or may not have squealed and flailed my arms as I ran.) But if I have to choose between overheating at the dog park or goose encounters at the pond, I’ll choose the goose pond and try to stay out of their way.

We should have run tonight, but Trea had an appointment in Fayetteville. We went to Brainstorm Tattoo to have one of his existing tattoos touched up. Last year he got a large tattoo of an owl on his arm. It's done in black and gray wash, which means the artist mixed water with the ink to soften the shading. We loved it at first, but after it healed, it faded more than we had anticipated and looked old and unfinished. So tonight we went to a new artist to add color.
This is before.

This is after a two-hour session. We go back next week to fill in the tree.

Even though we're happy with the way it looks today, tattoos are always more vivid immediately after you get them, so we know this color will fade quite a bit over the next week. However, even after it fades, it should still look much deeper than the simple black and gray that he had before.

As we were driving home, I snapped a picture of this sunset. This orange cloud made me happy, and happy clouds make me think of Bob Ross.

We're getting back on schedule tomorrow and, if I can muster the courage, we're moving up to level four. Level four makes a 3-minute run look short, so I'm worried. Also, some of you have mentioned that you aren't able to leave comments directly on my blog. I've updated the settings, so you should be able to comment now. Let me know if any issues still exist, and, of course, thanks for the encouragement!

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