Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bex and Nelson, victim of photo flash red-eye. March, 2005.

My dog: So we've had Nelson for 3 1/2 months now, and his droll, laid-back personality fills the house. Some of his little quirks: He loves to roll on his back and pedal the air with his paws. He loves peanut butter treats and will suffer all sorts of indignities, such as being ordered to shake five times in a row, to get them. He likes it when I sing, even though I tend to go off-key. He's especially fond of the American folk song "Camptown Races" ("The Camptown ladies sing this song, doo dah, doo dah ...") and "The Mickey Mouse Club." He thinks playing fetch is the best ever.

Cherry Blossom Festival: The famed, delicate cherry blossom trees (given by the Japanese government some 100 years ago) around Washington's Tidal Basin and dotted throughout the city are in full bloom. The tourists are also out in force, trampling their roots and ripping out their branches, causing them to slowly die. I got so mad when I saw the fourth tourist in a row in as many minutes holding a cherry blossom sprig (it's illegal to pick the blossoms off these federally-protected trees) that I made myself slowly count to 10.

Running Update: Anyone run intervals? I just started and they're kicking my skinny butt. Today, which was a sunny 60 degrees, I did a 5-mile interval run on a paved trail near my office. After a 1-mile warm-up, I ran 1 X 1600, then 3 X 800. I tried to keep the fast intervals at 8:00/mile (4:00 for 800's) and the slow intervals at 10:00/mile.

Here's how I did:

Mile 1: Warm-up, 9:39.
Mile 2: 7:50
Mile 2.5: 4:56
Mile 3.0: 3:49
Mile 3.5: 5:08
Mile 4.0: 4:02
Mile 4.5: 5:06
Mile 5.0: 4:04

Hmmm. Isn't it true that 800 intervals shouldn't vary by more than six seconds? If so, I ran the mile interval and the first 800 interval a bit too fast, and the final fast interval a bit too slow. The trail was slightly uphill coming back, so that helps to account for the speed differences Ah well, it's all a big experiment so far. Any tips?


  1. Well, I think Nelson looks like the best dog ever.

    What a lovey.

  2. I've been doing intervals in this last training round. And yes, it kicks my butt too (but mine's not so very skinny). Mine were just 400's and I did them mostly at the park on a measured area so it wasn't too hard to keep pace. I have done them on a treadmill, but that's kinda cheating.

  3. Other than your fast first 800 interval you were kicking right on pace. That's good! and Nelson sounds like he owns the place now. That's a good thing.
    I love your cherry blossom shot. Someday I will be the tourist so I can actually see them for real. I promise not to touch.

  4. The photo of the cherry blossoms is fantastic.

    I love intervals, though I don't always like how I feel when I'm doing them. There's something liberating about running fast. It's natural, somehow.