Because it is just a different kind of tough. First there is the motivation tough — the whole family is around, and the kitchen smells great, and you get to put on those damn running clothes and go off and sweat. I spent a few of the days over the break out near Tucson at my brother’s house. I got to spend time with Ethan (2.5 year old nephew) and meet Luke (3 week old nephew), as well as with my bro Ryan and his wife and her family. My mom and her boy also made it out for a while. So it was a good visit in general.
But now back to the tough… first in running…
Run 1: I mention I think I will go for a run, and Ryan asked “you gonna take him?” looking at Ethan, who is being a bit of a pain. “Sure!” I said, not sure if he was joking or not, but willing to if he wasn’t. He wasn’t. He asked Ethan if he wanted to go for a ride, and he was excited to join me. So out came the baby jogger stroller (Jeep brand and complete with a steering wheel, horn, and shifter for the midget). While Ryan added air to its tires, Ethan and I found a jacket for him, and put his mini-pancakes into one of the cup holders by the steering wheel (I’m not kidding… it was a pretty tricked out ride ;)). Ethan and I had fun — I let him pick at intersections if we should turn or go straight, and he honked at each car that passed us. We looked at Chrismas lights (and to his delight even found a train made out of them) and got to see a big moving truck unpacking. He was a good partner, too. Lasted about 30 minutes and then was ready to head home, which made for a pretty perfect 40 minute run. What, you might ask, was tough about it? Oh, well, you see… I’m not used to running with a baby jogger. Throw in a development that is on the edge of Tucson and some streets without sidewalks and instead with sand. And let’s make that loose sand. And there is that whole heavy 2.5 yr old in the stroller, wanted faster :), and then there was a hill. Complete with the loose sand. It was an awesome run, but there were some not-so-aerobic bursts in there :). Good times though.
Run 2: Ethan wants to start with me on his bike. I got it for his birthday last year, and it is complete with a handle so I can steer and push while he pedals at his own rate. We just did a half mile (one loop of the block), but it was much harder to handle than the stroller. His grandma arrived while we were out and he wanted to go play with her, and I set off to finish the day on my own. I found a dirt trail for about 2 blocks, and then headed into the dirt roads. They were a grid, and with my trusty GPS I knew I could run whereever and know how far and how to get home. So I just explored. What, you might ask, made this run hard? Well… it was hot. That wasn’t too bad, since it had been warm in Southern CA lately as well, so it was only a bit hotter than I was used to, but it was also afternoon, while most of my runs lately had been morning or evening. So the sun was that much more direct. Then a mile in there was the flying thing that was circling me and harassing me and then got caught in my hair! A bit (ok or more than a bit) freaked out I shook my head and swatted it with my hand, just for it to sting me in the side of the finger. Not just a little sting or anything, either. A big one! Big enough that when I removed the barb (yes, it looked much like the small round pokey things plants have) my hand actually bled. So I sucked on my finger, spit, and continued running hoping I had gotten all the poison out 😉 Happily for all I did manage to return to my brother’s alive and in time for turkey and (most importantly) stuffing!
I flew home the next day (right as my dad and Wendy arrived) and just in time for biking. I biked to Mike that evening, and then the next morning I joined him and Rich and John on their beach ride at Mike’s encouragement. “You can just hang on at the back the whole time… it’s flat!” Well it was flat, and I was able to hold on… but right at my 85% HR line for much of the 1.25 hours I was with all of them! On the way back I just went on my own, letting them go harder and without worrying about me, and then Mike came back and finished with me once we hit the splitting off point for the others.
Sunday was less tough, and more fun… a short run (although I lost Mike on it as we were confused about where we planned to go — most of the high HR was mental reasons). We grabbed some left over Thanksgiving food, and then onto mountain bikes for a crappy ride! I mean that in the best of ways… we did both my favorite areas (including a trail I call “tour de toilets” and one I know for the porta potty at the start) connecting them with a tour de sewers/drainage ditches/something slimey and wet. Good times!!