Sunday, March 9, 2008

Friends, Snow & Knees

Woke up Friday morning to snow! WTF?? GRRR! It was about an inch (I think) but it was still rather deflating after having had some half way decent weather. It was my running day off anyway and a day off from work too, so I figured I would stay in all day and clean the house. About 9:30 my friend Venus called and invited me to lunch & shopping at Costco, she was playing hooky from work and wanted some company. It took very little to convince me that the house cleaning could wait. Away we went to the Bluebird Bistro , which has AMAZING food, mostly all organic, local, fresh ingredients. I totally cheated and ate cooked food! Holy crap.. the raw police are going to come and take me away! I had the vegan green curry which is too die for and it was worth every (slight) guilty feeling I had.
We popped over to Costco after that and V picked up a bunch of stuff, but since I had just been there yesterday I only got some oranges and dates. From there we hit a thrift store and I totally scored by finding a pair of Nike running tights with the tags still on for $1.98! YES! I love thrift stores!! As we were heading back to my house V suggested finding a dingy bar to while away the rest of the afternoon, and since we weren't done talking (are we ever?) we headed to Fat Matts up in Strawberry Hill. Fat Matts is named after a beautiful, friendly orange kitty that lives at the bar. Some mornings when I run past the bar, Matt is hanging out outside so he always gets a scratch from me.
We caused a bit of a stir when we came in since we were the only girls there.. I guess 2 pm on a Friday is not prime drinking time for the ladies! I felt positively naughty.. it had been ages since I had started drinking so early! I settled in with a glass of cheap, crappy merlot.. which is good because if it's good wine, I'll drink too much of it. We yakked, and yakked, and yakked and at 3:30 we called the husbands to meet us when they got off work (4:30). When they got there, we moved to a table and I had a second glass of wine! It was a totally naughty day for me.. cooked food, 2 glasses of wine, holy cow! I was loving being bad!
Of course after a few beers the guys were hungry, so back to the Bluebird we went... did I mention it's REALLY fucking good? I had a second plate of the curry.. YUM! After that I was ready to go home, it had been a long day of eating and drinking and talking.

Got up on Saturday at 5 am to drive to Lawrence to run Clinton Lake again, not quite as nice of a day as last Saturday, but it was sunny and clear. The ground was still frozen which meant NO MUD! Happy Dance! It was Ben, Kyle, Chris, Sophia and I this week... Kyle is really stinking fast so it was looking like it was going to be painful. Sophia and I just hung out off the back of the guys and let them go, I know that they were going slow for us and they were still leaving us in the dust. Really fast runners are so inspiring to watch, they usually have such amazing form and stride. I had forgotten my Dirty Girl Gaiters and unfortunately I paid for it! About mile 2 I got a stick caught in my laces and it tripped me up hard, of course I went down on some big rocks and cracked my right knee really hard, luckily I got my hands up in time to keep my face from eating the same rock. My nose was inches off the rock, I could smell it and practically taste it. The knee hurt like a mother fucker, I contemplated going back to the car, but I kinda hobbled around a bit and jogged real slow until the pain subsided. I figured I was OK as long as it continued to bear my weight and not hurt.
Sophia is great to run with, she's an absolute darling, smart, funny, gorgeous and talks nonstop so it really helps take your mind off the miles. We have pretty much the same pace so it makes it real nice. She's run a bunch of road marathons and Bad Ben is getting her hooked on trails. I'm so grateful to have her on these runs! We saw some bald eagles and deer and nary another soul out there. It was beautiful once we warmed up and the trails remained mud free until the last few miles. Got in 17 miles and by the end my knee was making it's presence known. Ben & Sophia went off to Wheatfields to have breakfast and I went home to ice and then go to work.

By 9:30pm my knee was hurting pretty bad and was pretty swollen so I was on the fence about racing on Sunday. I set the alarm for 5 am figuring I would take stock in the morning and if it was still ouchie, I could just go back to sleep. Luckily the sleep seemed to do it good and it felt fine when I got up, a little stiff, but the swelling was down and felt pretty good. So the race was on! Red Bridge Ramble is a low key race put on by Bad Ben, which means a fun course with a few "evil" sections thrown in. Alas, due to a too high, swiftly moving water crossing, the race had to be shortened to 6.8 miles. I hadn't run in this park before, but I'm adding it to my list of ones that are worth a bit of a drive for. Some nice easy hills, fun stream crossings, and just enough rocks and stuff to make you pay attention. It was a really fun race, I settled in behind a girl who had a really great stride and was easy to follow and stayed there up until the last mile when my knee started to complain and the 17 miles from the day before hit my legs. I couldn't hang on to her "wheel" so I dropped back a bit and just stayed comfortable... results aren't up yet but I think I was 10th or 11th female. 6.8 miles in 1:15:22. DH was there to snap a few shots and kiss me at the finish.. I love having him there to support me! I'm going to take a few days off running and see if I can get the knee back up to scratch.
This afternoon I was going to fold my clean clothes that were piled on the guest bed, but instead I climbed in amongst them and took a nap. Woke up to my dog and husband joining me, so now I guess I need to do laundry again. Took Otis to the dog park and watched him boss all the dogs around again. There was a sweet harlequin dane puppy there... so gorgeous! Otis totally wanted to eat this min-pin that kept yapping at him so we had to keep an eye on him. Weather is supposed to be nice this next week... hopefully Friday was the last of the crappy weather and we can get on with the business of spring!

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