Last week we flew to New Mexico to visit the grandparents and go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The balloon fiesta has been taking place each October since the 1970s and with around 700 balloons, it is the largest ballooning event in the world and a great fucking time all around.
I’m also told it is the only ballooning event in which attendees are actually allowed on the balloon field, which makes the experience so much more extraordinary and intimate. You can talk to the pilots and watch the balloons being inflated and lifting off. It’s really awesome.
(I loaded some more photos onto Flickr if you want to check them out.)
This was our second airplane ride with the Kenzmeister and it went about as well as can be expected. This week I was chatting with a friend about flying with babies and he summed it up rather nicely: “I never want to do it again.”
So I know what you people think about babies on airplanes and I don’t take it personally. I’ve always been rather indifferent to dirty looks, side eyes and muttered passive aggressive remarks and really I just don’t have any extra fucks to give about people who might be annoyed with my baby on the plane.
I myself am not fond of people who make loud mouth noises, people who clip their nails in my presence and people with scabs but I realize they need to go places too and we all forked over a wad of cash to get on the plane so we shouldn’t act like it’s the end of the world that we have to put up with each other for a few hours.
In New Mexico, I got in 15 miles over three days which I’m pretty confident is a vacation record for me. If I had been home, I probably would have done a 12 mile long run, but I’m not upset about skipping it. I didn’t have any delusions about doing that in the Sandia foothills at 5000 feet.
Thursday before my run, my dad pointed out the community’s water tank, which sits at the top of a really brutal hill. He warned me the hills would get even worse beyond that, so I avoided the water tank and did some loops close to the house. Seven miles at just under a 10:00 pace and a total gain of 440 feet.
The next day since I was doing a shorter run and since I’ve never had the sense to take any of the good advice my parents have given me, I ran to the water tank and kept going. It was brutal, but kind of fun. I did a four mile out-and-back in 39 minutes. Total gain: 525 feet.
Saturday I ran four miles again and this time avoided the worst of the hills (total gain of only 310 feet), but it was windy as fuck so I ended up finishing in about the same time. So I didn’t get in a long run but I think the hills and the elevation should count for something.
Oh. I also managed to drink some beer.
Yesterday I ran eight miles in nice flat humid practically sea level Indiana and could definitely tell a difference. Namely, that I could breathe. And today I hit a personal land speed record with a 10k tempo on the treadmill in motherfuckin’ 55 minutes. Yes, the treadmill counts as land.
So this is my last week of serious running before the taper, and after six mediocre half marathons, I admit I’m still just winging it. The only difference is that I’ve put in a little more mileage this time around and I’ve had more success with my long runs than in previous training cycles. My weekly mileage is still bordering on pathetic by most standards (25 miles a week on average and only reached 30 one time) but I think it’s adequate for what I hope to accomplish.
I’d like to do a two week taper, only because I have the time and I’ve never done it before. Normally due to injury, illness, laziness or all three, I end up trying to cram in my last long run a week before the race. So I’m not doing that this time. I would like to run really fucking hard this week, do my 12 miles on Saturday and then be casual until race day (November 3). I don’t know exactly what the taper weeks are going to look like but I’m basically just going to do whatever I want and probably try not to drink too much beer.