Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There's nothing like the smell of oil refinery during a long run...

It really opens up the sinuses and clears the mind. It also induces gagging and wheezing, but that's beside the point. And really, it makes the run more effective because if you can run well while inhaling noxious petroleum fumes, imagine how well you can run in fresh air!

As I mentioned in my last entry, the hubby and I took a little trip down south to visit family, most notably, our adorable little nephew (more on him later). The town we were in isn't terribly runner-friendly - there are no sidewalks, and the entire town population drives huge pickup trucks at breakneck speeds (I think it's a requirement for getting a driver's license there). Nevertheless, when you gotta run, you gotta run. I make do with the roads I am given.

The last time I did a long run in this town, I made the mistake of wearing my godforsaken water bottle holder, a frustration which made me want to perform Chinese Water Torture on whoever invented it. Although, really, it's not their fault that I have big hips and a small waist. But still, you'd think they could design something for people like me who don't want to wear their water bottle belts just under their chests. Anyway, getting back to the point... In order to avoid having to use that irritating contraption, I decided I would just stash water and Sharkies at my in-laws house, and do short little out-and-back runs from there. It worked well - I was able to get water every 3-4 miles. To keep myself from getting bored, I ran in a different direction each time I left the water stop.

For one leg of the route, I had to run past the beautiful and scenic oil refinery. It was a treat for the eyes and the nose. But as I said earlier, anyone who can run strong while inhaling petroleum gas fumes can certainly run strong in clean air. And since I averaged a 10:33 pace for my 10 methane-scented miles, I would say that holds much promise for a fresh-air run.

I was surprised to come across, during my run, several other runners. It wasn't so much the fact that there were other runners out, but the fact that more than half of them were running on the wrong side of the road. Maybe I should have said something to them. It is, after all, a safety issue and can quite literally be a life-or-death issue.

So, boys and girls, it's time for today's Running Safety Lesson: If you are running on the road, always run facing oncoming traffic! In most of the world, this is the left-hand side of the road. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, such as running around blind curves, or up a blind hill. But these instances are generally rare. The idea is to be able to see the vehicles that are coming at you, so you can make sure they see you.

So there. I've gotten that off my chest. Be safe out there - you may think you own the road at your blazing 10:33 pace (well, at least that's how I feel at a 10:33 pace), but the truth is, the cars, trucks, SUV's, Hummers and semis own the road and can squash you like a bug.

And now, without further ado, it's time for the Cute Baby Show. I haven't seen my nephew since March, and now he's 8 months old and is like a completely different baby. He's almost twice as big, and much more interactive. He's also a devious little troublemaker. Case in point: he nailed me with a spit-up bomb on Monday morning, forcing me to change my pants. Then, an hour later, I picked him from his nap, and he got me again, forcing me to change my shirt! I had to do a complete wardrobe change before lunchtime! See the photo below for photographic evidence of spit-up bomb #2 - my oh-so-helpful husband took that picture. Note the look of complete and utter pride on that child's goo-covered face.

I'm hoping he'll be past this spit-up phase next time we visit him. Of course, then he'll probably be in a whole new and more worrisome phase - crawling. Not too far behind that will be walking, which inevitably leads to running. And that means time to go shopping for baby running shoes. Do you suppose they perform gait analysis on babies?

Peace. Love. Train.

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