Saturday, July 18, 2009

Strike Two

This week is a blur.  Monday was filled with trying to finish up some orders so that we could leave for New Orleans on Tues.  Tues., Wed. and Thurs we were in New Orleans with Mom and my sister, Linde.  This week was a scale back week so this coordinated nicely with the quick trip to NO.  Monday evening after racing around all day, I head to the YMCA to run the big hill that goes from the Y up to the Shell gas station.  I had originally planned to run Honeysuckle hill which is a steep hill, but the rottweiler was out at the bottom of the hill so NOPE, can't do it.  I ran 5 miles.  I ran the up hills and the down hills hard with about 2-3 min. recovery between each.  This hill is not real steep, but it's long so it can be very effective.  What I ran was 1.1 miles.  This was a good start to the week.   The mileage goal for this step back week is 20-25 so the next scheduled run is not until Thurs.

Our trip to New Orleans was fun.  We went on a Swamp Tour.  Chad is from South LA and had never been on a "swamp tour"  He sees all of this, all of the time, but he did end up enjoying the trip.  We were introduced to some of the local pets.

Oh, I forgot to mention the lightning storm that almost ended our lives.  We are on the boat, waiting to leave and we can hear thunder rumbling in the distance.  Soon the storm is upon us.  The guide says we will just wait a few minutes and it will pass.  The lightning starts popping closer and closer.   We all look around at each other like we are all crazy, but at this point to get off the boat and get to the car is more dangerous than staying.  We did all eventually run to get underneath the porch instead of sitting on the boat.  This is truly the worst lighting that I have experienced to date.  My nerves are shot at this point.  When people start taking pictures, I jump as I see the flash of the camera, thinking it's lightning.  We eventually get started with the trip and the storm made everything nice and cool.

Below is a pic of Big Joe.  He is the guide's pet (the guide says they do not feed the alligators, but the guide doesn't always tell the truth).  It did make for a good swamp tour though.

The highlight of the trip was Cafe DuMonde.  You know I am "all about the food."  I did limit my visit to the Cafe to one time, so I think that is outstanding.   Normally, a 3 day trip would mean at least 3 trips to Cafe DuMonde.  We also went to La Boca for the steak eaters in the group which is everyone but me.  We went on the Katrina tour.  It advertised going through the 9th ward and seeing Brad Pitt's project and the Musician's Village project that Harry Connick Jr. is involved with.  We did go by, by the road that the projects are on.  The bus did not even drive by the projects.  That was very disappointing.  Not sure why, it may be a danger issue, but I think they should make it clear that you really will not see the projects at all.  Bummer!  We rode the trolleys to do a little site seeing and then Thurs. am we went to the Aquarium.

We left NO just after lunch.  We made it home in time to do a few things and then get ready for my 14 mile run.  Most of my long runs are usually am runs.  I had Chad drop me off 14 miles North on 4th St.  North of Audrey and Charles.  Normally, I run on 589 from Epley, but today with it being 6:00pm, I didn't want to be on the hwy at that time.  I should have taken my chances with the drivers.  I had not run on 4th & Victory Rd. before.  Chad dropped me off near Ralph Rawls Rd, on 4th St. and went to meet Chris to run from Jackson Rd.    I started running and about 1/2 mile into my run a pack of 6 dogs come charging out.  I almost had a heart attack, but thankfully, they were not real aggressive.  Most were very friendly, with the exception of one who wanted to be ugly.  It was fine, but now my adrenaline has kicked in.  I need to slow down the pace.  Then another dog, BIG, white,  like a German Shepard or something dog is just standing in the road.  Thankfully, thunder scared him back to the house, but again, adrenaline in high gear.  I finally make it to Oral Church and I am relieved because the rest of the run, I am familiar with and it should be smooth sailing as far as the dogs (but you never know when someone has a new addition to the fam).  Anyway, now my attention turns to the threatening skies all around.  I make it to Audrey and Charles's, but the weather is ok, I will keep going.  I cross over 98 and keep going.  At this point, it's starting to get ugly.  With 6.5 to go, the bottom drops out and the lightning starts popping.  I have already been in a lightening storm earlier this week @ the swamp tour.  As it begins to rain, a pair of dogs starts running my way.  Immediately, I realize they are not mean.  They run up to me.  One then heads for the woods and the other starts to follow me.  I try to get him to go away, but no luck.  Throughout the rest of the run, I look back and he is my shadow.  Now I start to worry about him.  As I cross the road for traffic, I call for him to cross with me, he listens and continues to shadow.  WE are both very scared and I think we are both enjoying the company.  (the insane enjoy company ya know)   We are making progress towards home.  With 3 miles left, Chad drives up.  At this point it is still raining, but the lightning is not near by.  He stops to see if I want a ride.  "No - I want to finish the run."  He heads to the house.   Shortly after he is gone, from out of now where, BOOM, the lightning is back and it's worse than before.  Normally, on a long, solo run, I carry my phone, but not today with the travels and rushing around I am out of my routine. (I forgot my Body Glide too, probably a good thing it was raining, no problems)  Two times during the run,  I turn around to run north thinking I will just run back north until it passes, that didn't work, it seemed to follow me.  I was freaking at this point.  Thankfully, God watches over fools.  Doggie and me finished the run.  He ran about 7 miles with no problem.  We were going to haul him back after dinner, but we went outside and he was gone.  This morning after Chad left (with the truck) he shows himself.  He is shy.  I put some food out for him but he runs to the woods. With all of the drama during this run, I am not even sure that it was good for me.  The stress during this run probably did more harm than the benefit of running.  I did figure out a way to run a long run with no pain.  With so much going on and fearing for my life (and the cool rain), I never felt bad on this run.  In fact, as far as feeling good, this is the best run of the summer.  The Garmin says 9:30 pace, I swear the last 7 were faster than that, but that's what it said.  I did get a water bubble in the Garmin and started to "freak out"  I can't go without my Garmin.  Friday morning the bubble was smaller and it accepted a charge, but I know getting water inside is not good.  YIKES!

So two times this week I have been caught in lightning storms.  I feel if there is a third time, I will be OUT.  Either by a lightning strike or the stress is going to kill me. 

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