Tuesday, October 10, 2006


On my 13-mile run today, I found in a ditch the perfect on-the-run water bowl for Journey: a plastic Skoal can. (For my non-redneck friends, that's snuff, "smokeless" tobacco, gives you oral, throat, esophageal and stomach cancer.) It holds a quarter of a cup. If she licks it dry, I refill it. If she leaves some, I haven't wasted much from my Camelbak (it was hot today, water was at a premium out there.) The way she used to lick from the stream I squirted from the Camelbak, a lot landed on the ground. Not this way. And it fits easily in the palm of my hand for carrying. Its edge is sharp enough that, wielded right, it could be used as a weapon.

A Skoal can also makes a really good ice-scraper for your windshield (in case you want to know.)

So. Yesterday, 67-mile bike ride down. Today, 20-mile bike and 13-mile run (measured while I was out on the bike.) Transition was 2:31.52 transition (including shrugging on the Camelbak and leashing up the dog), run time was 2:25 with a negative split.


Other things learned (besides the new use for a Skoal can):

  • The flip-cap from an 8-oz bottle of Wal-Mart Great Value mustard or relish fits a 24-oz Gatorade Endurance bottle. Much easier for refilling an aero bottle than something you have to unscrew. This isn't an issue at a race where they hand you refills but when you're out on your own, it is.
  • The soft bite-and-suck valve from the Camelbak fits the aerobottle straw. I'm glad about this, as yesterday I cut my lip in two places learning to use the straw. (Yes, friends, I used the SOFT straw, not the HARD one.) However, when the valve closes, air doesn't get in to push the remaining water back down the straw, and I got splashed from the tube when I went over a bump. This I fixed by blowing down the straw until it made bubbles. I may cut the tip off the valve so it's open again like the original straw. Just so it's soft so that Klutz here doesn't cut her mouth.
  • A shower scrubbie-pouffie thing works better than the mesh plug that came with the aero bottle. ZERO splashing out the mouth of the bottle. It still holds the full 20 oz. (Thanks to Rainbow for confirming this -- I'd read it on a forum but she actually uses it.) I left the hanging loop on the pouffie and discovered I can carry the bottle over my wrist when I've got my hands full of other bike gear.
  • I can do a 67-mile ride one day and a 20/13 brick the next. And run a negative split on the 13.
  • Northern Virginia in October can be hot as hell. Just ask Journey. (Or me.)

It's the first time I've ever seen Journey acting tired on a run. There was about a 4-mile stretch of no shade and she indicated she wanted to stop; I assumed for a pit stop but she lay down on the grass. I've never seen her do that. I let her rest, gave her water (she wouldn't take it so I poured it on her head), and in a minute she was game to go. We came to a mud puddle which she waded in. I said, "Journey, sit!" She looked skeptical but sat, in the puddle. "Journey, down!" She looked aghast. I insisted. "DOWN!" She lay down. And immediately got the point. She stretched out. She rolled. She wallowed. She acted like a pig. When I asked if she was ready, she bounced up, covered with mud, and gave me her "I was BORN ready!" look. She frisked in front of me, as usual, the rest of the run (just a couple miles), splattering that crappy mud all over me. It gave her a new lease on the run. I should try it.

Maybe that's another thing learned. Another tip from a friend.


nancytoby said...

I would pay to see that. Ellie rolling in the mud. After savaging her attacker with a Skoal can.

Dianne W. said...

I'd be laughing so hard I wouldn't be able to see it! :)

JeffM said...

That's a heck of a brick, but then again you're doing a full soon. Great tips and I like the dog in the mud story.

Vickie said...

Yeah, keep watch for those puddles at IMFL! LOL!

Rachel said...

I am SO going to get a dog when we have the space and time. It would make running even MORE fun. That's sooo cute.

I remember Oct. in VA. Indian summer. Quite beautiful though.

You are like a machine with those 67 mile bikes, 13 mile runs, and bricks.

TriFeist said...

Sure. A good wallow in the mud is good for your soul.