Saturday, March 28, 2009

A New 8K PR!

OK, it was slower than the 5-mile race last year and 8K was probably my oldest and weakest PR. But at my age, a PR is a rare occasion. The weather was beautiful: cool, dry, and sunny but very windy. Hobby Airport had 43°F with a desert-like 19°F dewpoint and a NW18 wind with gusts to 30. The 8K course is a down-and-back on Allen Parkway from downtown. The trip out Allen Parkway was mostly into the wind, so I started out faster than planned to hang onto a big group fighting the wind. At the turnaround the group broke up and I drifted back a little. Splits were:
5:54, 6:13, 6:12, 6:08, and 5:51 (6:01 mile pace) for a 30:16

A few views of downtown Houston:

Yes, it was that windy. I hope noone was inside.

Blue Gatorade, pumpkin pie filling, and cocoa puffs were used to create the falling port-a-can scene in the movie North Country.

There was a full 180° rainbow when I left the nuke plant Thursday evening.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nuclear Gator

Here's a couple pictures a coworker took this morning. It's one of the little alligators that hangs out by sidewalk from the office building to the power plant.

Heidi Westerling

I ran across this article in Running Times. What an amazing athlete! I'm always impressed by the elites who work hard; she's certainly one of them with a 1:11:35 half marathon as proof. 150 to 220 miles in a week? That's averaging 21 to 31 miles a day AND she teaches 5th grade!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Running at the Mouth of the Brazos River

The last post had pictures from runs near the Brazos River in Glen Rose. Here are a few scenes from running routes near where the Brazos reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
The city has a nice paved running trail that goes up and down the hurricane dike along the river.

And there's a nice mountain bike trail off the paved trail.

With the recent drought, the Brazos is all seawater here.

A couple close-ups of the Brown Pelican:

And finally, the obligatory nuclear power plant picture. This was while waiting for construction on the new Colorado River Bridge (FM521).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Last Weekend's Runs

It was another weekend up at the old house in Glen Rose, southwest of Fort Worth. I did get to run some of my old routes.

My house is just a couple of blocks from the courthouse square.

The bandstand is mostly petrified wood and even has a dinosaur track.

Down from the square is the Paluxy River and the "Big Rocks"

Farther down the river

This is an ideal running road. I just wish it was longer.

From the top of the hill you can see both Comanche Peaks; the nuke power plant to the left and the land form to the right (actually much more of a plateau than a peak)

Sunday's run included a run down old US Highway 67 to the Brazos River and then up to the Somervell County Amphitheater (a BIG hill) and back for 13 miles. The weather Sunday was unbeatable...a mild north wind, bright sunshine, temperature near 70 and dewpoint in the 20s!

I love this abandoned petrified wood building on old-67. It looks like an old gas station (?)

This is the same Brazos River I run along most weekends. It's just a few hundred miles upriver and 600 feet higher here.

A Long Absence

I'm still running, but I've been pretty discouraged over the past couple of months. To avoid sounding too whiny, I've avoided posting. The marathon training cycle didn't go as I had planned. I was irritated by my left knee problems and they re-appeared in February. To make matters worse, I've gained about ten pounds over the last four weeks. I was coming back again a few weeks ago with the prospect of running a June marathon near my aunt's home in Northwest Iowa. But the power plant changed the schedule for one of my pump overhauls to that week. I'm already whining too much.

I'm going to try and get back on track after Saturday's Bayou City 10K. I can't expect much for the race, but hopefully getting back to Houston and seeing everyone again will help.