June 11, 2006

I Almost Went To Hell Today

Morning Workout
2 hours 20 minutes
Heart Rate Zone: Aerobic (Zone 1) + Lactate Threshold (Zone 2)

Afternoon Workout
1500 meters, pretty much straight through

Random Comments: I've got to admit, I had a pretty darn good run today (less the usual pain in the right calf and the ice pick that was apparently lodged in my right knee). I ran through the hills of Pennsylvania. Well, not all of the hills in Pennsylvania, just a few of them. Mostly just the ones surrounding my grandmother's house. Perhaps I'll run the rest of the Pennsylvania hills next year. But I wouldn't hold my breathe if I were you.

Speaking of holding my breathe, my sister and I went swimming at her local pool this afternoon. Specifically, her local outdoor, unheated pool in upstate New York. The ocean water in Los Angeles is about 65 degrees. This pool wasn't nearly that warm, just to put it in perspective for you. In fact, when we got there, we were the only ones in the water. There were six life guards around the pool and us - the silly people who were actually going swimming. However, truth be told, it's really the first 100 yards in that Polar Bear wonderland that has you dreaming of warm winter coats and evenings by the fire. After that, as long as you keep moving you're fine. And once the blood starts flowing, you start paying attention to your surroundings and recognizing all the creepy crawlies and hairy floaties throughout the pool. Though drowned crawlies are not uncommon for outdoor pools such as this one, it doesn't make it any less creepy when you look up and find yourself swimming right into something that at one time had the ability to fly away. Makes you just hold your breathe for an extra stroke as you try to push that dead little feller into the adjacent lane. I'll let that guy next to me deal with it.

I almost went to hell today.

I was leaving my sister's house, driving through the backroads of upstate New York. Yes, perhaps I was driving a bit too fast. I don't remember seeing a speed limit sign, but I'm fairly sure I wouldn't be within whatever number they would think to post. Truth be told, the area is chock full of beautiful windy, tree-lined roads that go on for miles with barely another car in sight. I mean, it practically begs you to speed. And how can I deny the road like that when it's practically begging.

So anyway, I'm zipping along through the turns when all of the sudden not but a few feet in front of me, out of the bushes comes a mother duck followed by, in incredibly precious single file, her seven little ducklings who may very well be the cutest things I've seen since I'd left my nieces ten minutes earlier. I inhaled immediately and held my breathe. This is going to be trouble, I thought. I was going too fast and was already far too close to stop in time. Immediately, I had visions of crushed duck sticking to the tires of this car. I was about one second away from being a duck home wrecker and there was nothing I could do.

As I approached rapidly, the mother duck sensed me and in a brilliantly instinctive reaction, flapped her wings and flew out of the way before she left her chil'in as orphans. With the mother out of the way, I was able to swerve to the right of the road, my left tire barely skimming the beaks of the newborns. I looked in my rear view mirror as I passed them by, heaving a hugh sigh of relief as I saw the seven little chickadees huddled in a big circle in the middle of the road - completely petrified from their near death experience. Then, just as quickly, the smart little feckers jumped back into their single file positions and widdle waddled themselves right off the road as their mother flew back down to join them.

I'm not sure, but as I was driving away, it sure looked like she flipped me the bird.