Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Break

I'm back to running in South Texas. It's still warm and humid, the mosquitoes are horrendous, and Hurricane Gustav threatens to come up the Gulf. But there is light up ahead. The constellation Orion is up in the eastern sky during the morning runs before work. When Orion is up, it's time to start serious training for the Houston Marathon. As training progresses Orion will slowly walk his way across the sky, and by the time the marathon taper comes he'll be walking along the edge of the western horizon.

I really needed the summer break. Running in the heat every day was wearing me down. Now that I'm back, it's still hot and humid but September is only a few days away and that first cool front can't be much farther away. It might not come until October, but that's still close enough to have hope. Those four runs in the UK reminded me how much more enjoyable running is when the conditions are decent. I'm excited about starting another Fall racing series. Bring it on!

Here's the Sunday early morning run through London to Regent's Park and Hyde Park (11 1/4 miles, 57*F with occasional light mist):

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crieff Trails

This was a really fun run on the trails around Crieff in Perthshire Scotland.

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This was a very steep hill.

Big dumb American running through the woods

Up the trail to The Knock through the purple heather


Friday, August 22, 2008


I've been on vacation the past week and a half. I haven't been able to run much. That's frustrating because the temperature hasn't ever been above 70*F. Yesterday on Skye it was down to 9*C (less than 49*F) during the middle of the day. I was able to run twice in Crieff. Both runs were on the hilly trails behind the town. Sunday morning's run turned into a 10.5 miler. I was shocked when I looked at the Garmin after making it back to the house. The run was so effortless (except the uphill bits) I was thinking it would only be 5 or 6 miles.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Busy, But Still Running (at least trying)

I've been much too busy the past couple of weeks. I spent the last week of July in Charleston, SC at a meeting of nuclear power plant service water engineers. It was a little cooler in Charleston, but only by a few degrees. I did have some nice runs through the historic streets and over the Cooper River Bridge. I have bad memories of the Charleston Weapons Base from my Navy days, but I was pleasantly surprised with downtown Charleston. It's a very walkable area filled with historic homes and churches.

I tried a medium long run this morning but crashed hard. I started at 7:40 with the sun shining and a pretty steady rain. The rain only lasted about a mile, but it was hard enough to soak my shoes. The clouds cleared pretty quickly and the sun warmed the air even quicker and the dewpoint shot up to the low 80s. From 8AM to 9AM the average temperature was 86.2*F. I ended up taking a survival shuffle home, cutting the run short to 9 miles. The last two miles were over 10 minutes per mile.