Friday, February 24, 2006


If anyone wants to see pictures....

They sure took a lot.
Wish I'd left my hair flying loose, to give more of the look of running Against the Wind.....


Check it out here.

Yeah, looks like any other RV park with palm trees. Which is about what it is.

But it has trees. And some grass. And, some people who apparently live here year-round have citrus trees. It's not so much like living in a parking lot.

And there are 2 pools. Not Olympic size, or anything, but a 16-yd lap pool that's off limits for anything but lap-swimming; I did 30 laps today, in half an hour, that's out-and-back laps, 32 yds each, which amounted to 960 yards. Our other park's pool.... well, maybe 10 yards, an odd curved kidney-shape that precluded end-to-end swimming; old ladies did their "aquacize" in it, and people floated with noodles while they talked about their fiber intake. Actually they do that here, too, in the "other" pool, which is L-shaped, 17 yards by 18 yards, but it's too crowded to do laps. Considering that I did my swimming at the other park tied to the ladder pole with a rope to keep me from going anywhere, this is a major upgrade.

There are fenced-in areas where dogs can play together off-leash. However, dogs are restricted to designated "pet neighborhoods" which means I can't take Journey running along every park street, which could easily mount up to 6 miles. There are signs, "No Pets Beyond This Point."

I can't just run or bike out the park entrance and be on open country roads anymore. We're in the city. I haven't explored all the possibilities yet, but it looks like my best bet for running or biking will be to drive to a starting place. However, yesterday I braved the traffic for a couple blocks till I found an east-west road with a bike lane. This will be a viable choice for shorter rides. For long ones, I'll drive back to our "old" place and meet Pat to go on our habitual stomping grounds.

I found out, by the way, Pat with all her accomplishments and humongous biking mileage isn't 65 after all, she's 68. When she updated me on this, she had just found out I'm 54 and said, "No wonder you ride me into the ground!!" Of course, I've been saying to everyone, "She's 65 and she rides me into the ground...."

We are way closer to our family here. Steve's parents (snowbirds) are about 7 miles away (as compared to 25 from the old place) and his sister and her family are also about 25 miles (as compared to 50.)

It was so amazing today to get into a pool with marked lanes and swim laps.

Oh, and a real gym. With state-0f-the-art equipment. Weight machines of all kinds, treadmills, bikes, mats, balls, dumbbells, benches, fans, TV's, aerobics steps, everything. And two trainers from AZ State U. here every day from 8-9a.m. for strength training. And a yoga instructor.

And a photography club. And PhotoShop classes.

Damn, and we spent 3 months at the other place. But had we not, I wouldn't have met Pat.

OH! Forgot a huge significant item.... I'm just down the street from Commodore. How cool is that?

We'll be here till March 26. A month to take advantage of all this stuff. And still follow my tri-coach's plan for base-building here in the land of no rain.

Yeah, I engaged a coach. Not to urge me on, but to hold me back. I overdo and then crash with overtraining syndrome that puts me out of commission for a week. If I'm paying a coach, I'll be much more likely to follow a sensible train/rest schedule. I am surprised at the number of easy and rest days she prescribes for me, but OTOH I just ran a half-marathon at a pace about 30 seconds per mile faster than I've run any distance in 5 years. With a finishing kick and without screeching to a halt at the finish and doubling over immobile with hands on knees gasping for breath.

That's the end of my update. Today was supposed to be a rest day on my training schedule but I had free time while waiting for the laundry in the machines; did some weights during the wash, and my swimming while the dryers were running. Maybe anything that's not biking or running is a rest day....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Here's a great race report from a tough runner at Sunday's Lost Dutchman Half Marathon. Remember how I wrote that the medals ran out? Misty missed out on a medal she well deserved. They had 500 medals but got a lot of late registrations, and it was not the latecomers to registration, but relative latecomers to the finish line, who worked harder and for a longer time than the faster runners, who got slighted.

In the 10K, 200 medals were available. However, there was a sign noting this fact, next to the medal displayed at the Expo, so people were prepared. My friend Vickie, all the way from Michigan, ran the 10K, fighting a sore foot. She deserved a finisher's medal, but had checked at the Expo and learned that 250 were registered, so she knew it was possible she might be out of the running for a medal. Still, if medals are being ordered for and mailed to half-marathon runners, the same should be done for the 10K runners, many of whom worked harder and against more odds than some of the half- or even full-marathoners, depending on what they were up against. Again, Vickie had registered in plenty of time, but many runners registered at the Expo, and there was race-day registration for all distances except the full marathon, and no doubt a portion of these late registrants made it to the finish for one of the 200 10K or 500 1/2-Marathon medals.

Somehow, people who register in plenty of time and run a really gutsy race are sacrificing their medals to Johnny-come-lately's. Deserving though some of the Johnny-come-lately's may be.

Not everyone runs fast. However, IF SOME FINISHERS RECEIVE FINISHER'S MEDALS, ALL FINISHERS SHOULD RECEIVE FINISHER'S MEDALS. For it to be otherwise is unjust and discriminatory.

Lots of race registrations note "T-shirts to first 200 entries" or "T-shirts not guaranteed to athletes registering after a certain date." Maybe they could do the same with finisher's medals: guarantee them to a certain number of finishers or to those registering before a deadline, and state that any deficit of medals will be ordered after the race, and mailed to those who didn't get one.

Late registrants could have some kind of identification mark on their race bib -- different color bib, or some kind of indelible mark on it, or something.

Race winners would still get their overall or age-group awards on-site. It's not like they'd go home empty-handed.

Or..... they could limit the field of entrants and order that many medals, expecting there will be some DNF's and the race will just lose the cost of those medals.

I can't think of any other ways around this. Can anyone else?

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Here's my shirt, and here's my medal.... I had a great race and I'm pleased as punch!

The weather was perfect, mid 40'sF at the start, sunny and pleasant, maybe 55-60* by the time I finished, very light breeze, just perfect. The course was hillier than I thought it would be, but I think that actually helped me... I find a flat course tiring.

A man had a stick tied to his hat, and at the end of the stick dangled a Twinkie, about 12" in front of his face.... I thought this was very funny.

Two men were pushing babies in jog strollers. No women were. Yay for the dads!

There were a couple stretches of gravel road, one about half a mile and the other about a mile, which of course repeated on the return trip. I knew there were gravel roads on some of the marathon course and had trained on some when I planned on the full marathon, but I didn't realize the half also had gravel roads. I was glad I had done some gravel training, although it really wasn't bad to run on.

I thought I might not run well, since we visited neighbors last night who kept refilling my wine glass; I thought about today's race but figured I was going to lollygag it and just finish when I finished so it didn't matter much. I probably had 4 glasses (I hope it wasn't 5, that sounds awful.) Anyway, I drank a liter of water when we got home and I guess it must have helped because I felt great today.

So great that, when I discovered I was on a good pace, I challenged myself to stick with it, pulling off a 2:09 for the half-marathon, which is, according to the pace chart I checked when I got home, an average of 9:50/mile, which totally blew my mind. I don't know when I've run under 10-minute miles, at any distance. Years. Maybe I ought to make a point of drinking too much the night before races :-)

At the finish line I discovered MY HUSBAND handing out the medals. A friend took a picture of us together.... me with my medal hanging around my neck, next to Steve with two dozen hanging over his arm. I'll post it when I get it. After I wandered around getting food etc., I joined him and hung medals on marathon finishers... I took the guys and let him take the girls. That was fun.

I'm not sure how many half-marathoners there were. 500 medals had been provided but they got a lot of late entries and ran out of medals. They still had medals when I got there; I was 326th out of however many. In my age group (50-54) I was 6th. The last time I checked the results board there had been 13 in my AG; there may have been more, since half-marathoners were still coming in along with marathoners (who started an hour earlier) well after 4 hours. Those who didn't get medals filled out forms to receive them by mail. Steve said some were upset and one woman was really irate and yelled at everyone. But he said she came back later and apologized. I missed all that. I must have still been at the food place :-)

4 of my friends from the RV park, including members of the hiking group and Pat, my biking buddy, went as volunteers and told the race officials, "We'll do whatever you need us to do as long as we can be at the half-marathon finish when our friend gets in." They were manning the food tables. I was so pleased that they came and did that!! The campground population shaped up better than I thought it would, back in November.

This was really fun, I'm really happy, it was a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Regular, otherwise-normal Asics GT 2110 running shoes, but black. I decided I'm tired of brand-new running shoes looking like crap after a couple of runs. Why do they make running shoes white, anyway? The guy at Road Runner Sports said probably so you'll buy new shoes sooner. Anyway, along with white/lime and "silver"/blue in women's sizes, they also had black. What the heck, I already look like a weird runner in my cutoffs. Maybe I'll switch to rainbow multi-colored shoelaces on my black shoes.

They feel wonderful, light, cushiony, stable. I loved my 2100's and this is the next incarnation. Read about them at the RRS link above.

Lost Dutchman Half Marathon tomorrow!


Compromise! Short layers on top, long on the bottom. It's curled up a little tight, so you can't really see that it's still almost to my shoulder blades in the back. Still long. A lot of the old dried-out stuff is cut off without sacrificing the length (you fellas can breathe a sigh of relief...) Best of both worlds.

Like it? I do!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


This is major, major pondering for me. I've sworn for years I'd never stray from easy-to-braid, long, classic hair.... especially that I'd never go to one of those short old-lady frizzy poodle-perms, and I'm sure I'll hold to that one unless I'm in a nursing home unable to speak for myself and they do it to me.

Here's what we have at the moment, totally un-fooled with after washing. I just took this picture not 10 minutes ago. It's cut in long layers, the shortest ones about neck-length, the longest to my shoulder-blades.
However, today I saw a TV movie with Dana Delaney looking like this.

I've had my hair like that before and I liked it.

This picture was about 8 years ago, at our son's wedding. (That's our daughter's son I'm holding.) I really liked my hair like that. And long isn't going as well as it used to. I think I look like an old lady. And it's kind of frazzled from several years of coloring, then perming, then un-perming. It's just not nice long hair anymore.

But I'm chicken to go from my below-the-shoulders straight hair (which I usually braid, or pony-tail, or otherwise pin up partially or wholly) to short. Maybe I'll go for more layers first. Maybe trim the length a couple inches, and shorten the layers, with more of them, then go from there.

This is a small decision in terms of the rotation of the earth, the turning of the tides, and the future of mankind, but I've stuck to my long-hair guns for such a long, long time that it feels major. Maybe I've stuck to it for too long.

New Sidebar Attraction

These are the states where I've run marathons, and I'll be tracking them (s-l-o-w-l-y) on this map in my sidebar as I add them. My next addition will be Kentucky, the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon on June 10.

If anyone else wants one :-), here's where I got it !

Unfortunately, Hawaii and Washington, D.C. are not shown. Darn, and I've done marathons in both of them. So you have to add 2 to my pictured total.

Another fun way to keep track of things! My husband sent it to me. He's using it to record states where we've stayed in our RV. We also have a map on the side of the RV, with state decals you add as you go along. We have 28, having started in June 2004.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I found this via Dawn's blog, on It is dead-on, and struck me especially funny/appropriate since I went to Dawn's blog right after reading Commodore's non-Valentine post and finding it amazingly in tune with my own feelings about commercial holidays.

What Does Your Candy Heart Say?
Your Candy Heart Says "Get Real"

You're a bit of a cynic when it comes to love.
You don't lose your head, and hardly anyone penetrates your heart.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: is all about the person you're seeing (with no mentions of v-day!)

Your flirting style: honest and even slightly sarcastic

What turns you off: romantic expectations and "greeting card" holidays

Why you're hot: you don't just play hard to get - you are hard to get

The only thing I disagree with is "hardly anyone penetrates your heart." That sounds kind of harsh.... just about everyone does, totally unrelated to eros.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Well, we set out to do maybe 85 miles, which would have been 10 miles farther than last week's ride (which was supposed to be 60 but ended up 75.) Now, when I set out alone to do a certain distance, I go out half of that distance and then turn around. But Pat has this way of saying, "I know what, let's turn down this road here and that will take us out to Wherever, and if we go south from there we'll pick up Route 9,592 which will bring us to Some Other Little Place and then back to..." You get the idea.

When we got back to Pat's place, my odometer read 98.6. (That probably means something significant, like, we're "normal" or something.) Just as I got to our trailer, it turned over to 99.0. My husband and the neighbors harassed me to go do another mile to make it 100, so of course I did.

Moving time was 7:18. We didn't travel fast, obviously. Total time was 9:30. She changed a flat, I adjusted my seat angle, we took pit stops, my shoe cleat came loose and I had to fix it, we bought more Gatorade, I fixed my seat again, etc., etc. I think I have my seat right now :-)

Hey, for our very own Century, minus the course support, we did good. Some guy driving an SUV pulling a boat honked a "shave-and-a-haircut" rhythm at us and we wondered whether he thought we were cute chicks or gutsy grandmas. Pat, by the way, is the GREAT-grandmother of an almost-2-yr-old.

And she very nearly rides me into the ground.

I'm taking the rest of the week very light. I'm running a half-marathon on Sunday....

Saturday, February 11, 2006

No more blue links!!!

Just for you, Bolder -- I figured out how to change my links color and get rid of the dark blue ones. I hope the new ones are clearer!

Friday, February 10, 2006


Well, while I was out on the bike with Pat for our "shorter ride," I was feeling good and full of pep and I thought I'd go run for 45 minutes later on. Our "shorter ride" was 40 miles. Pat did 40 miles on her own yesterday, too. Oh, and on hills -- trucked her bike out to where she could do some hill work. This woman is made of iron. I, on the other hand, seem to be made of aluminum foil, because I am tired now and feel more like taking a nap than going for a run. Maybe I'll take the nap and THEN go for a run.

I haven't run all week. After Monday's 75-mile ride I didn't have a run in me as scheduled for Tuesday, so I swam instead. Wednesday, a 6-mile hike. Yesterday, mostly off... Steve and I took a sightseeing trip and stopped a couple times to "see where this trail goes," hiking maybe a mile each time.

But I'm tired. I want to keep up with my biker buddy but I don't want to crash again.

Then again, this 65-year-old great-grandmother I've been buddying around with isn't juggling 3 sports. Well, I guess she does 2... biking and golf. Well, 3.... hiking. I do biking, running, swimming, hiking. The hiking is what I do on my "active recovery" day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Something I've been pondering since we started seeing roadrunners:

What were roadrunners called before there were roads?

I was walking Journey today, and she kept stopping to sniff where every other dog had peed, and then she'd contribute her own input to the spot. A man passing by observed, "They have to check their email frequently."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Well, it was supposed to be 60 miles...

Pat and I set out this morning in wind 21mph gusting to 26, for what we intended to be a 60-mile ride, our first increase over last week's 48.

So we rode out 30 miles. Well, 29.9. We came to an intersection that seemed like a logical turnaround spot. I said, "29.9, that's close enough." And Pat said, "Why don't we turn right and take this road? It says 11 miles to Coolidge, and then it should loop back around to Florence and from there it's just 16 miles home." OK, I'm game.

Except the loop to Coolidge back around to Florence added 15 miles. And whereas turning west to Coolidge put the wind behind us (we were coasting at 16mph), on the way back to Florence, logically, we had the same wind against us. Remember it was 26mph at 8:30a.m..... 3 hours later with increased heat revving it up... we were crunching dust in our teeth, since we are now on Day 111 without rain. Against the wind we couldn't manage more than about 9mph. Plus it was close to 80*F. 100% Arizona sun. And the road back to Florence.... Argghhh. You know those regularly-spaced cracks that they fill with tar? Yeah, those. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. It was my new Fizik Arione Wing-Flex saddle's maiden voyage and while it's a great saddle and I can tell already I love it, it was still a long way in a new saddle, especially inasmuch as this one doesn't have one of those strategically-placed cutouts in the middle of it. I wore regular bike shorts instead of my thinner tri-shorts, thinking they'd be more protection on the new saddle, but I think they made it worse, for the reason I don't like regular bike shorts in the first place. The pad is too thick, it wads up and rubs. Anyway, the moral here is don't take a new saddle, that's architectually different from your old one, 75 miles on its first time out, in shorts you're not used to either.

Other than that it was a great ride and I'm pleased as punch. Pat was complaining of fatigue the last 6 or 7 miles, and needed rest stops every couple miles. We had stopped for about half an hour at a Subway around Mile 45, once more at a Dollar Store because I wanted more water, and once briefly while I took a visit behind a bush because I'd drank so much water. (Yes, I was also replacing sodium, 600mg per hour via Succeed capsules, plus a bag of chips, a packet of peanut butter crackers, and a Payday Bar.) Pat said everything she had was aching by the time we got back. I felt great except for my shorts issue.

Now I've had a shower and a hamburger and a couple glasses of Bloody Mary mix w/o the vodka (I love the tang, way better than pedestrian V8 juice), a Corona, and I'm happier than a bee in a garbage can. Didn't intend to go that far but I'm glad we did! Here's our route... zoom in by sliding the slider up if you want more detail, since at the scale I've shown, it doesn't show either Florence or Coolidge (which implies how big Florence and Coolidge are.)

Did I say, back in November, I didn't have anything in common with anyone in this campground? Thank God for Pat.... Pat's training for some 200-mile ride in CA the middle of May and is glad we did the extra miles, as well, although it took more out of her. I was astonished to find out this is only her third road ride since November. She mountain-bikes, though. Still.... at 65, she's smokin'!!!!

Oh, and click on my "Bike America" link under my sidebar title, "Training-Fantasy Maps" for how far I'd have gotten since the first of the year if I were biking from Florence, OR to Panama City Beach, FL, which I hope to do by IMFL on Nov. 4 (something like 2292 miles, I forget exactly.)

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Tonight I'm not getting the "Forbidden" message, I'm getting "Failure to connect to web server." I can't get into anyone else's blog, either. But I can get to my dashboard and apparently, from the way it went last night, I can post, and others can view my blog, and I got comments in my inbox. I just can't get to my blog. Last night I did get to "Blogger Help" and found out several of their files were down. That may still be the case but I can't be sure because I can't get to "Blogger Status." Same thing... "Failure to connect to web site."

This is bumming me out.

A couple hours later, I'm in. It's OK at least for now.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Maybe I can get to my blog by writing a new post....

I can't get to my own blog. I can get to the Dashboard and the Edit Posts page but not to my main blog. I keep getting "Forbidden: You are not authorized to view this page with the credentials you supplied."

When we changed campsites of course we had to disconnect and re-install our satellite receiver. I don't know if this could be related or not.

I can get to other people's blogs.... not mine. When I try by clicking a link at someone else's blog, I get the same thing: "Forbidden... You are not authorized...."

I tried signing out and signing back in. No change. I turned off my computer and turned it on again. No change.

This is weird.

If this post goes through, and anyone has any input, please email me! (I don't know whether comments on my blog will come through in my inbox as usual, since I don't know if my blog is speaking to me or not.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Wow, which one to describe first.

1. After a month of hemming and hawing, we have decided to move our RV to a campsite in the "Dog Neighborhood" in a different area of the park. Used to be a specified pet area; now pets are allowed everywhere but folks who come yearly requested specific sites so most of the pet-owners are still in that one area. Being in Dogpatch isn't that big a deal in itself but it seems most of the people we've gotten to know, and most of the "younger" (50's - 60's), more active, more fun people are there.

2. I have changed my Lost Dutchman registration to the half marathon. My new neighbor and biking buddy Pat came up with this idea of increasing our weekly long ride with the goal of doing a round-trip ride to Tucson before Steve and I leave. This is a 160-mile trip. Yeah!!! Can you imagine? But if we increase by just 15 miles, about an hour, each week, we will make it in 7 weeks. But not if I throw a marathon into the mix. I don't think I could run a marathon and do an 80-mile ride in the same week, and with only 7 weeks left, I can't miss a week. I'd so much rather shoot for this ride with Pat and Shannon than run another marathon. I already ran an Arizona marathon and I've seen the Dutchman scenery many times on hikes.

3. Remember that home perm I put in my hair? Ihated it. Too freakin' frizzy. Hair dryer to straighten it, curling iron to curl it, still didn't look or feel good. I got on the Internet and found I could take it out with the same stuff I put it in with.... just put it on my hair, comb it smooth, wait till it stayed smooth, rinse, neutralize, and... TA-DAAAHHH!!! It's straight again! And smoother and silkier than it was when I started (the solution smoothed flat must smooth down the cuticle or something.) I feel way better.

4. I have lost 9 pounds since returning to Weight Watchers in December and some of my clothes are getting too loose to wear. I can't say I follow the program to the letter, but it definitely helping my accountability to check in and pay money.

That's enough changes for today. I have to clean house a little... the preacher is coming over from the church I've been going to. I'm only a transient here, and don't really feel the need for a pastoral visit (I'd rather go biking), but couldn't think of any way to tell him that. Chicken.