Sunday, August 05, 2007

Tour de Public Fountains

Geez, is it hot in here or WHAT?? Ugh. Miserable, sticky hot and so humid. We've been under an air quality alert for ages, and it's just been hazy for days. I don't even remember the last time we had rain. Our garden is just pitiful, there's no amount of watering that can make up for this heat and total lack of rain all summer. Our yard is crispy and the damn squirrels stole what was going to be our first tomato we've had all summer. And to add insult to injury they only ate half of it and then tossed it in our yard. So it's open hunting season in our backyard now.

I was seriously not looking forward to my long run of 10 miles Saturday am. I'm sort of over the heat, and I realize my decision to not run a fall marathon is one of my smartest moves, EVER. Last month I still ended up with 74 running miles and 53 bikes miles (plus swimming and a healthy dose of toning). This month if I make all my planned runs I'll end up with 90 miles. Works for me!!

The alarm went off at 6:15 and I actually got up. By the time I ate a little and geared up it was around 7:15. And already a sticky 82 degrees. Ridiculous. Brent is now my bike support/personal photographer and he caught up to me less than a mile in. He usually sticks fairly close by but will veer off from time to time to snap some photos of whatever captures his attention. Once I make it over the bridge and into downtown (right at 2 miles) there's a little shady area I always stop to catch my breath and swig some water, and I was already DRENCHED in sweat. I was hitting right around 10 min miles which I was ok with considering all the traffic stops, the heat, and the hills. I headed down 2nd past the empty honk tonks that now smelled like pee and up Broadway. I enjoyed the sounds of "early" morning traffic and encouraged myself all the way past Vanderbilt and into Centennial Park. We did yell at two old people who literally tried to run us over as we were in the crosswalk, with the walk sign. Brent veered off to take some pics of the Parthenon and I ran One Mile Loop and enjoyed the beautiful lake and all the ducks. Three friendly homeless guys cheered some encouragement to me and told me "only 5 miles left to go!" Actually they were right, I had right at 4.5 miles left! Brent caught me as I finished my loop and we headed back downtown and onward home. I purposefully ignored the lit bank signs on the way back because I had no desire to know how hot it had gotten. When I made it back up 2nd avenue I headed straight for the fountains at Public Square. We were only two miles from home, I was nearly out of water, and I just wanted to cool down. At first I splashed myself with the water and then decided to go all in. I can run 2 miles in my sleep, and I can certainly run it soaked. And man, it was so worth it. I sounded like a duck for the next two miles but I couldn't have cared less. And for the most part I was pretty dry by the time we got back!! I actually ended up with 10.9 miles (versus the 10 I planned), and I'll take it! I never checked my splits so I'm not sure what my pace was. I really don't care what pace I run at this fall, as long as it's even and I'm having fun. I still need to check on my Garmin, though.

We did some shopping that afternoon, doing our best to avoid the malls. This weekend was tax-free weekend in Tennessee. Our sales tax is an insane 9.25%, so two weekends a year we don't have sales tax on clothes, school and art supplies, and computers. AND, to take advantage of tax free I am now the owner of an Apple MacBook! We ordered it online (also sales tax free this weekend) and it should be here in the next couple of weeks. I can't wait to have my own lappy!!

Today we rode 20.3 miles. It was 96 degrees when we finished. Insane. It got up to 101 this afternoon by our thermometer, so it could have been worse. I have some seriously ugly tan lines from my shorts now. I need to get some shorter bike shorts!! We rode some greenway, some downtown, some bike routes. Our average was around 8-10 mph downtown (it's so irritating to wait on lights and traffic!!) and between 12-18 mph on greenway and bike lanes. Much better. Once again I made friends with a couple of homeless guys. I stopped to refill my bottle at a fountain and didn't realize they were on some benches nearby. They told me it didn't work and wear to go to get cold water. If anyone should know..... Then as we headed back they made sure I had found it. On our way back to the Eastside we stopped at the Symphony center to cool off in that fountain. I swear I could've climbed in it and stretched out. We ended up refilling our water bottles at the Shelby Golf Course. They have massive coolers filled with the coldest ice water imaginable all over the golf course. I'm sure it's not intended for anyone besides the golfers, but if they only knew how many times those coolers have saved us!! Absolute heaven. From there we just needed a few more miles and we were done. Not so bad, we're feeling good about doing 31 at the organized ride in a few weeks. We took some pics today but they're still on my camera!

I can't believe the weekend's almost over. We've had a good one of training, a good one of eating (Brent made some amazing crepes last night and we made some to die for quesadillas tonight), we took back a ton of stuff to Home Depot today (yay!!!), and we did some relaxing on the couch, too!

Have a great week everyone!


Mon - 4.2 miles run
Tues - 4.2 miles run
Wed - 20 mins ellip, 15 mins stairmill, 40 mins tone
Thurs - 4.2 miles run, 700 meters swim
Fri - 300 meters swim
Sat - 11 miles run
Sun - 20.3 miles bike


At 9:06 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

Now that looks like fun!

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Shalini said...

Enjoy your MacBook! I loooove mine.

At 3:26 AM, Blogger Jack said...

Great way to beat the heat! Our sales tax is 19% in Germany, and we pay that all year long...

At 4:38 AM, Blogger Jon (was) in Michigan said...

You can run in public fountains? Or was it just too early for people to care?

Those homeless guys were funny. They were probably thinking that 5 miles was an outrageous amount to say. :)

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Lana said...

Nice job on the long run - even though we missed you at the duathlon! I need to talk to our city aldermen about getting some of those fountains here in Manchester!!!

At 7:29 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

Sounds like some hot weather in your area. Very cool fountain photos. Good choice!

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Just12Finish said...

You guys really know you way around town! You discover so much more when you have to travel on foot.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

Wow, I wish I had some where that gorgeous to run! You've got it made.. I have the humidity minus the scenary.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Firefly's Running said...

That looks SO refreshing. Great job on the run!

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Terry said...

it has been so hot here in TN... Knoxville's 12 inches below in rainfall. crunchy grass indeed!

At 8:01 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

somehow I missed these fountain photos. You have got to be the cutest runner ever. Those photos should be framed and put on the wall.


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