Monday, May 18, 2009

I felt the earthquake yesterday. It was at 8:40PM. I was sitting in a tall kitchen chair, and the thing just began rocking. "Earthquake!" I said, and waited for the world to end. I looked up at the bookshelf, and the plant hanging off it was swinging. There was a kerploosh in the Sparklett's bottle, and the house creaked. And then it was over. Lasted all of about 6 seconds. 4.7 on the Richter scale, and I would say about a III-IV on the Mercalli.

I turned on the news to see the devastation; Los Angeles on fire, Santa Monica slipping into the ocean, HOLLYWOOD sign tumbled over to read "HO...W.OD", but... nothing. We called Mrs. Ditchman's sister in L.A. to see if she was trapped under a six ton I-Beam. She was fine. "What earthquake?" she queried.

Whew! And ten million people got down on their knees and thanked their lucky stars for barely escaping the apocalypse! Though I doubt it. But some day, people... Some day.

I did not accomplish all that I wanted to this past weekend, unfortunately. I have yet to fix all the sprinklers, and the garden suffers as a result. This is unfortunate news, given that Thursday is the "Butterfly Garden Progress Update" -aren't you excited?! We'll be promoting it all week here at TMST with a teaserific ad campaign that will have you wetting your pants in anticipation! Try to control yourselves. I recommend tonight's distraction of the 24 season finale. Will Jack survive to battle contemporary evil for another season? (Signed union contracts presuppose that he will, but Kiefer Sutherland's recent arrest for head-butting calls everything into question.)

Because it is my current passion, I did get a long run in on Saturday. How long is long? Over 30 miles. Yes, I ran 50K! Why? I'm not sure, really. I guess I just had a bug up my butt. I've never gone that far before and I wanted to see if I could and I wanted to know what it felt like. Besides, it was a nice day for it -mild temps, overcast all afternoon... So, how did it feel? Awesome. No, how did it really feel at the end? Well, I felt like I was going to collapse, barf, pass out, and drown in my own vomit, alone, in a puddle, on the asphalt at the Oceanside Metrolink transit station park & ride lot. Just being honest.

THIRTY MILES! I am very proud of myself and will now proceed to brag. I took it easy, and did it in about 5 hours -which is just a few minutes longer than my finish time for the Tahoe Marathon in 2004. The trick to these long distances, I think, is really just to take it easy in the beginning, and then, throughout. It's a funny thing to be taking a walk break and to have guys running past you with water packs and Power Gel belts and GPS devices and heart rate monitors all strapped on to their limbs, and then to pass them an hour later still feeling uppity. I slowed down to what must've been a 10 minute/mile pace towards the end there, and a biggish woman smirked passed me, going uphill. At least, I think she was smirking. I didn't yell after her, "HEY I'M ON MILE 28!" though I admit it was tempting.

It was pretty humid and breezy, so I suffered some dehydration. Since I didn't carry any water with me, I had to stop at a gas station for some Gatorade at about mile 18. The look on the attendant's face is priceless when you fall in there, huffing and puffing, and then you pull off your shoe and hand him the sweaty twenty you've kept under the insert for just such an emergency. He got me back though, by trying to hand me 96 cents in change. (He got to keep it.)

And I did the whole thing without any Gu or Power Gel, which is probably why I felt like hurling at the end. Anyway, I just wanted to see if it was possible, and it was. Do I have a 100 mile Ultrathon planned? No. I still think that would be dumb. Will I ever do it again? Maybe. Do I recommend it? Sure. Strangely, I'm not very sore today, I'm just tired -which does not bode well for today's patio cover installation. But I'm tired every day, it seems. I can go out and run thirty miles, but I avoid slogging up the stairs in my house if I don't have to. The human body is funny that way.

Here's my course, out and back on PCH, from the nifty website MapMyRun.com. It's a great run, with a view of the surf breaks nearly the entire length and restrooms and drinking fountains along the way. And, though I know you were thinking it, I'm not totally stupid: I ran along the train route. In case I happened to fall apart somewhere along the line, I could've just hopped the train back to the car.

But I didn't!