Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tapers, Track, Trails and Tacos

Gavin and I at the Marathon Kids kickoff

Yesterday morning was the start of the final two weeks of tapering before the Frankenthon marathon, so we "only" did 17 miles. It was another confidence boosting effort and we ran really well - averaging in the 8:20s while chatting away the miles and dipping down into the 7s for the last few with plenty left in the tank.

It was the start of a hectic day, and I had to rush home after the run to collect everyone and get back downtown for the marathon kids kickoff. I love the concept of this program, which is designed to promote health, fitness and good nutrition in elementary school kids. The idea is that the kids accumulate 26.2 miles running or walking over the course of 6 months, coloring in their progress in 1/4 mile increments on their marathon kids running log, as well as recording each daily serving of fruit or vegetables in their fuel log.

And I have to say, I'm very happy with the nutritional education that Austin ISD has mandated for its schools. Gavin is very clued up on what's a "go" food and what's a "whoa" food. He loves to point out the fast food commercials and tell me "that's junk daddy".

The boy likes his fruit and veggies.

And like I said, I love the concept of the marathon kids program. But the kickoff event was waaaaaay too long. I lost count of the number of sponsors and other VIPs who got up to give speeches, plug their products or "motivate" the kids, but it was a lot.

While Gavin and I waited in the stand, Dylan, Nancy and her dad got to sit down at trackside where Dylan entertained the volunteers with his dancing and antics before finally succumbing to the sandman.

Dylan all danced out

Then the kids got to do a lap of the track (they did it in waves) and Gavin got to pick up his reward goodies (water bottle, stickers, transfers etc etc). He really enjoyed running around the track with me, and I think we're going to have a lot of fun together tracking his miles.

I don't think he's too bothered about attending the kickoff event next year though.

We finally got out of there around 11:30am. I hadn't had a chance to eat anything all morning and my fuel gauge was nearing empty, so we stopped at our local bakery on the way home for some breakfast tacos. Nancy's dad said he didn't want anything, so we picked up enough for everyone else.

They really hit the spot.

Though they also triggered a big fight. Nancy's dad was mad because we got breakfast tacos when he told us he didn't want anything. And he complained he hadn't been fed since breakfast. I guess we should have, er, well I really don't know since after Nancy pointed this out he decided he wasn't going to talk to us anymore.

I bit my tongue. I do that a lot these days.

Fortuitously, that afternoon I was let out (for good behavior) to go meet up with some of my old Monday night trail buddies and explore the private trails of Steiner Ranch. They weren't exactly what I was expecting - I was thinking well-groomed hike-and-bike style pathways. Instead I got technical hilly terrain - 2000ft of climb and descent in the 6 miles we ran. I haven't been on trails in months and it took me a while to find my trail legs, but Erik and I kept up a good pace at the front and attacked those hills - we did it in a little under 10 minute mile pace. I decided that was enough for me, and most of us retired to the pub.

It was a much needed change of scenery, and it was great to catch up with friends I never get to see anymore over a few beers. Thanks Nance for letting me have an afternoon to myself - I promise to return the favor sometime.

After Nancy's dad went to bed we spent Saturday evening watching "Secondhand Lions" with Gavin. It's a great little movie which was filmed in and around Austin. Gavin didn't quite make it the whole way through - he fell asleep cuddling with Nancy, and I ended up carrying him to bed.

It was a super end to the day (and we finished up the movie tonight).

This morning I started the Danish run with 996 miles on the clock for the year. It feels good to finally click over into 4 digits.

Though I have to confess, I'd forgotten all about it until I came to update my blog tonight :-)


K said...

I have to ask, as I have seen you mention this a few times... what is a Danish run?

Sounds like a beautiful weekend!

Mark said...

Ha - the Danish run is an 8 mile route that starts and finishes at a local bakery. If we time it right, the bakery is opening just as we finish so we get to take home goodies. Hence the "Danish" run.

Ryan V. said...

Hey man, I'm gonna be in Austin Wednesday evening through Friday afternoon for a conference. You interested in getting together for a run one morning? I am staying downtown. Shoot me an email or comment on the blog.