June 15, 2014


So, a week or two ago, I finally admitted that we weren't getting any more lettuce from our spring garden:

The most bolted lettuce I've ever had in the garden

When the lettuce is exposed to too much heat and sun, it grows tall and bitter in its efforts to send up seed pods.  I can tell you from personal experience that you don't want to eat any of the leaves after this happens.  It's a sure-fire way to turn someone who is on the fence about leafy greens into dead-set opposition, they (both the leaves and the skeptical greens-eater) truly do become quite bitter.

Despite my Summer blog post, I'm actually very well aware of the current seasonal limbo.  We keep going from days of extreme heat back down to highs in the reasonable 70s like today, where we met up with friends for a run at 10 AM (something that would have been crazy 2 weeks ago when the highs were over 90F).

For me, the epitome of Summer is tomato harvest.

And right now, while we've got a good start, there's quite a ways to go (note the complete and utter lack of any color other than green on the tomato plants).

Same story with my running.  I'm aware that I'm actually training for and running two fall marathons.  But, truly, it's so far away, that nothing feels real yet.  I've got 17 weeks 'til Chicago.  In the meantime, I've got a visit from my niece and brother, a trip to Raleigh and 10K in ATL, a trip to NYC for family, a trip to Napa with family, a getaway weekend in Half Moon Bay, and a Ragnar Relay from SF to Napa.  There will be many long, long runs in there.  But right now after today's 6+ mile long run, it seems so unreal.  4 (Four!) X as long as today?  Really?  Best not to think about it.

This week, I made my way through 28.82+ miles on my feet, with much walking.  But, I hit a localized low point on the scale, which was a nice development (as I really do need to drop several pounds to have pleasant marathon experiences).

June is a rough month for work due to the end of the traditional fiscal quarter, so I haven't made it back to track club since before my last half marathon.  Instead, I did some tempo interval work and managed to fit in 14% of my miles this week sub 10 min/mile, including at least a mile total somewhere in the 8s, which feels good.

Today's run felt like a turning point, in terms of effort.  I started with 3.72 easy on my own, running in high 10s/mile on super low effort, and then I joined our recent every-weekend run and brunch group (E, C, G and me) and pulled off 2.9 miles of harder intervals 4:00/1:00 walking R/I with G, running the last one solo at a reasonable approximation of target marathon pace.  Nothing huge in terms of distance or speed, but a solid effort and one that left me hungry for next week, and curious about where my fitness actually is, which is a good sign.

In personal literary news, I ordered entirely too many books from the local independent bookstore and left with a very heavy bag on Saturday.  I think I have to cut myself off.  I haven't really counted, but between Harry Potter book I'm co-reading with my niece, Arvay's last shipment, E2's recent donations, a book or two from E, the required books for next book club (Dracula and The Hound of the Baskervilles) and my recent additions from the support-your-local-bookstore binge, I probably have 15 physical books in my current queue, not to mention the audio books in my wishlist.

And, on the linguistic front,  DuoLingo owns me.  I am fully engaged in their "game-oriented" learning approach.  I did sit down to work on the *real* textbook this weekend (as promised).  But, I've been a bit shocked to realize just how much effort I will make to play the silly games.  Given that it's just improving my grammar, vocabulary, and formal Spanish knowledge, I'm not complaining at all.

So there you have it, garden, running, reading, and language.  Add that E2 and I are doing well, I seem to be keeping the practice of law confined to 55-65 hours per week, we had some fun nights out with friends last week, BBQ season is in full swing, and we're looking forward to hosting the niece this week and that's my current life in a nutshell.  


L.A. Runner said...

I admire your green thumb. I'm lucky if I don't kill off my porch ferns. Haha! 17 weeks is a really long time until a race. You have plenty of time to train.

Glad you are enjoying your summer!

Biting Tongue said...

@L.A. Runner -- thanks! I think so too, but it does seem to go by very fast...