Friday, June 13, 2008

Runs with Cicadas

This is the year for the cicadas in our next of the woods.

They are everywhere in Loveland. I listen to their undulating loudness all day through my closed studio windows. I went for a run on the trail the other day and seriously considered turning around. Not because they were flying at me, but out of fear of damaging my hearing! It was so loud on some sections of the trail that I felt as if I was at a Cicada rock concert in the front row right by the speaker!!

The pictures are of one that sat patiently for a photoshoot on my hostas. Probably munching away. I think they are fascinating bugs. I don't mind them if I have control over their bumblingness, but if they come at me uninvited....kinda freaky. Here's the rundown of our cicada happenings so far:
  1. Dexter LOVES cicadas. As in crunch crunch crunch. I remember when the cicadas were in the lower part of Cincinnati a few years ago, cicada recipes were shared on TV... so I guess I'm not worried about the dog popping them like m&m's. Makes for nasty doggy-gas though.
  2. Driving with the windows down is not a great option. I was driving home from work when one ricocheted off my driver side mirror across my face and landed on my seat just below my headrest. Turning around to find a huge cicada by your neck while driving isn't fun. I flicked it into the back, where it buzzed the rest of the way home, caught in the back door's pocket. I got a stick and got it out when I got home. I can definitely see how people wreck because of these things.
  3. They can hold on to a car perhaps up to 40 mph? Greg had to pull over before he got on the highway one morning to flick one off his sunroof. Otherwise, the chunk o' bug would have probably decided to hitch a ride inside after he opened his sunroof. It held on from our house to somewhere on Fields Ertle... good grip.
  4. Tis the season to bike with your mouth shut. We went on a bike ride last weekend and didn't hit any. They seem to stay in the trees along the trail. I have swallowed a lot of bugs on the bike trail and can't imagine how badly a cicada would choke you! I did have a big bug go down my jersey on the ride, but it was a false alarm - just a typical along-the-trail flying bug.
  5. Dead cicadas start to smell if there are enough of them. This we learned from our bug man. On our street, you can kind of smell an odor that reminded me of if you get a dead mouse in your wall: dead animal smell. Our bug man said it was all of the dead cicadas decomposing. That's gross. There are enough dead bugs to stink up the neighborhood? That's what I call a plague.

I don't know how much longer they will be around, but I've had my fill. And so has Dexter. I think he's gained some weight from his newfound snack.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Does Steph Hear It?

Yes, if she's out for a run in that forest.

Saturday a.m. was my "long" run – I'm starting at 1 hour since it's been quite awhile since I've ran over 6 miles. It was raining and cool, much better than Thursday's run. Exciting events worth mentioning: I saw another deer and heard a tree fall. The tree was loud – sounded like gun shot, and I wasn't sure what it was at first. It sounded like it was on the other side of the river. Today Greg and I went for a bike ride and there was a fallen tree across the trail. Seemed too far away for what I heard though. After our bike ride we had breakfast at Paxton's. It was very nice and relaxing.

6/2 - 6/8
Monday off
Tuesday 30 min run
Wednesday biked 30 min inside during a big storm
Thursday 45 min shuffle-run due to heat
Friday off
Saturday 1 hour run in the rain
Sunday biked 45 min- 13 miles- anywhere from 14 - 18 mph

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bam! Heat Wave

So yesterday I think it broke 90º... a little warm and very muggy for the beginning of June. A perfect day to do a tempo exercise, right? - cue annoying that-answer's-wrong buzzer sound -
And if this is any indication of how the summer is going to be... well... yikes.

I was just supposed to do a 45 min run with a 15 minute tempo pace in there. After warming up (and I do mean warming up) I tried to pick up the pace, but I could only hold it for 6 mintues. I was dying. So the tempo run turned into a modified speedish session? and I ran two more sets lasting 5 minutes at my pace, walking in between. Then I shuffled home for another 15 minutes. Grueling, even though most of it was in the shade.

I took a cold shower and then laid on the floor with an ice pack on my head. I felt fine, but the ice pack just felt so good! The heat really isn't a problem for me, once I'm used to it. But I'm obviously not used to it yet.

Tomorrow's run (thankfully just long and slow) will have to be done early while it's still somewhat cool. Summer is here, despite what the calendar says!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tri for Joe - race pics!

A HUGE thanks to Daryl for taking all of these awesome photos from the Tri for Joe! When do you ever have such personal coverage during a race?!?! He seemed to be everywhere on the course snapping shots.

While Daryl took a lot of great pictures documenting the entire event, here are a few of each of us during the different parts of the event.
Without further ado...

Group shot when we got to the race. It had just finished raining, and it was cold.

Greg getting his race face on.

Paula at the Swim start. She swam while Greg and I did the first 5K.

According to Dayrl who watched the swim start, the sound effect to go along with this picture was
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" because the water was only 64º. Oh and I went to high school with the girl in the bright yellow cap. Random.

Greg ending the first 5K.

Greg starting the bike.

Paula during the bike.

Me during the bike.

Paula doing her 5K.


Sunday, June 1, 2008


The weather has warmed and there is so much to do... which equals Sore Weekends.

For one thing, I am hunkering down to train for duathlons this summer. With Greg's help and a good book I bought (appropriately named Training Plans for Multisport Athletes) I feel like I know what I'm doing. I'm giving it a shot at least.

And then there is the yard. On Saturday, I planted some flowers, then we mowed, cleared out the front beds of the dead daffodils and gigantic weeds, and we got our old landscaping stones from our neighbors who thought they wanted them but then didn't use them (and now we are going to use them). All of this in one day made my hamstrings scream.

No yard work today, but I did run. Loosened me up a bit. Trick for sore hamstrings: use a rolling pin to massage them. Looks ridiculous but really helps.

So this is what the week's training looked like:
Monday Bashful Ostrich 5K
Tuesday off
Wednesday 3 mile run
Thursday Tae Bo video (yeah. um. wanting some variety in the training. it is pretty hard.)
Friday 30 min on bike trainer
Saturday yard work galore
Sunday 30 minutes easy run