Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Too Hot for Snakes and Army Guys

It was too hot for army guys this past weekend in Arizona. My red, white, and blue gummy army guys that I found at Sunflower Market, they melted into a blob! I guess I'll add gummy worms to the things that need to be kept in the cooler during Badwater.

It was also too hot for snakes this weekend. I watched one big red racer crawl out onto the asphalt from underneath the shade of a mesquite tree, and it slithered out into the tree's shadow, but when it reached the sunny asphalt, I saw it jump up off the asphalt a couple of times then it quickly disappeared back under the tree. I've never seen a snake jump before.

But it wasn't too hot for me. It was a cool 102 or 103, depending on who you talk to, accu-weather or weather.com. It was perfect for an easy weekend of running. I went back to McDowell Mountain Park to do 16 miles Friday afternoon, then 34 miles on Saturday, when I was joined by Chris Harrison for several hours. Chris showed up around 12:30, when it was starting to warm up, and he went with me until my last out & back.



The ice didn't melt too fast, which was nice, I was able to do some 5 to 6 mile out & backs, avoiding having to go back to the car too many times to refill my bottles. Woofie stopped by to chat for a few minutes while I was out there, I saw his car in the parking lot and left a note on his windshield while he was out riding his bike.

I drove down again, planning to do a couple of good runs and spend Father's Day with my dad. Driving this time it was the trip from hell on the way down. Raton Pass was closed due to a fire on the New Mexico side, with flames all the way up to the interstate. So I took the detour on 285, which is the route we always used to take from Arizona to our cabin, but this time 285 was under construction, there was no shoulder and there were multiple traffic stops along the way where you had to wait for a long line of cars to go by in the other direction.

It took 8 1/2 hours to get to Albuquerque. When I finally got to a gas station in Espanola and tried to use the bathroom to pee, someone had puked all over the bathroom, plus I got a big star and crack in my windshield from the gravel on the road, and it was generally not a fun day. I did see the trains in Antonito as I drove by. It's been a while since I've been that way, and it's always a pretty drive.



In Arizona as I drove down the Beeline Highway from Payson there were a lot of century plants blooming. They are always so bright gold, I had to stop at Mt.Ord and take a picture.



I spent Father's Day with my dad and stepmom, we spent the morning looking at old family pictures. One of my dad's cousins found an envelope full of old, original photographs from the 1940s, of my great-grandparents, my grandparents and my dad's uncles, and my dad. They were in unbelievably good condition.

My great-grandparents emigrated from Russia and came through Ellis Island, around 1915. I never knew my great-grandfather, he died before I was born, but I knew my great-grandmother, Celia Nitzky, she lived to be about 96. She had a thick Russian accent and called me "Haaalene". I only have one memory of my grandfather, he died of leukemia when I was 2, but I remember him lying on the couch and my grandmother telling me not to disturb him. I remember my dad's uncles well, they are both gone now, but I remember knowing them as a kid in Pennsylvania.

There were also boxes of pictures from my childhood and old photo albums from family events all the way back into the 1950s and my dad remembered everyone, he was telling me all the stories. He is going to get those photographs framed with archival materials so they will stay in good condition and eventually I will have those photographs, that I hope I can pass on to my nieces and nephews.

I can hardly believe it's taper time. I'll have to watch out for the taper worms, and I still have so much packing and organizing to do. Every day will be full, between going to the sauna, getting my stuff together, and all the preparations for the trip. The sauna has been 175 degrees, and I'm spending an hour a day in it, and I know it's working.

I was talking with Steph, my crew chief, about everything tonight, we had one of our weekly Badwater planning phone calls, and I told her it feels strange, I have my mind wrapped around the race, and the fact that I'll be turning around and going back, but I feel like I should be a little freaked out about this, since I've never done this distance before. But I'm not.

I feel very calm and accepting of it, and I'm looking forward to the long days on the road, without the hype of the race, taking it slowly, enjoying the miles, scenery, my thoughts, and the company of Steph, Ed, and Felix who will be with me on the return trip.

I'm ready. Less than 3 weeks!

22 comments:

cheap cigarettes said...

I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thank you!

foodforthought said...

im so glad im not you, but glad you are sharing. haha. hang in there and hydrate.

alex
http://curiousmang.blogspot.com/

szknoby said...

I came from blogs note.
My city Tokyo was too hot too.
I hope your challenge will achieve!

Mike said...

When 103 seems cool I guess you're ready for Badwater! Only 3 weeks. Wow. I must have missed something on a previous post. Are you doing a Badwater Double?
Mike...TalesoftheRunner

Alene Gone Bad said...

Mike, I didn't say much about it until recently, I wanted to make sure I was ready before I announced it. Yes I do plan to double with Telescope Peak instead of Whitney.

Barbies4Sale! said...

Great Jumping Snakes!
Congratulations on your "Blog of Note" from the Barbies4Sale blog.

On a cooler note, I didn't think it was counted as being Hot in the desert until it reached "120?" ;)

Good luck on your run,

~ Barbie and Ken

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thank you! I am counting on it being hot! After a long cool spring, looks like it might happen!

Barbies4Sale! said...

Thank you, for your appreciation of our comment. :) We are now following your blog.

Would have been Great however, if you had a video of the snake. Would LOVE to have seen that!

Your friends,

Barbie and Ken

Elaine said...

reading this made me want to eat gummy worms and go run haha. I like running and ultras seem like a lot of fun but I'm only a teen, so ultras seem pretty out of the question right now!

Breaking News Editor said...

What an incredible blog post! The pics, the content - it's truly impressive. I feel the need to dump my suburban life and go out to Badwater and experience that inimitable rush that you folks are so adeptly soaking up. What a great feeling. I'm a blogger too and I quite like 888 ladies as a top tier online gaming den. Well keep on posting guys - I quite fancy this post - looks really hot there!

dinda said...

great article in this blog .. :)

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thank you all for the comments, I appreciate your feedback and I am honored to be on Blogs of Note. Please follow my journey July 11-17 as my crew will be posting to my blog while I'm crossing Death Valley.

Cookoo-Crazy said...

Wow. What your doing would most definitly kill me- I burn when it's only 10C outside! I have the uttmost respect for what your doing, keep going and good luck!

Can I link your blog to mine? Only, it seems really relavent!
www.dreamstosavetheworld.blogspot.com
Click and see

Alene Gone Bad said...

Yes you can put a link on your blog to mine.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alene, I can't imagine myself walking in the heat at 102 degrees much less the running that you do. I quit working with my husband on his parking lot striping jobs about 7 years ago because I couldn't breathe in the 90+ degree temps.

We sometimes get to 104-106 degrees in Arkansas in the summer. I admire your courage in facing Death Valley temps. No matter what number you come in during the race, even attempting it makes you a winner in my book. Every time I see the Bad Water Race on the Weather Channel or Discovery Channel on TV I think of you. You are a winner.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thank you Patricia. I can't imagine working on a parking lot in Arkansas in 100+ degree temperatures with the humidity that you get!

I sent a comment on the article you linked to on your latest blogpost. I have tremendous admiration for your courage and what you are doing. YOU are a winner in my book!

Terri said...

Hi I randomly came across this blog via my own blog. I hit "next blog" at the top and here I am.

I read some of your blog and am inspired and impressed that you ran 135 miles! I thought running 26 miles was hard!

I had a liver transplant 20 years ago and took up running in 2005.

Anyway, congratulations on your amazing accomplishment!

Terri

Alene Gone Bad said...

Terri,
I read your blog and am so inspired by YOU! What an amazing story, and what an accomplishment, not only finishing your marathon but everything you have been through in your life. I am so glad you found my blog, because I am going to remember your story!

Thank you for connecting.

Terri said...

Alene, thank you for the sweet words and I am glad my story touched you. Thank you for that too.

Donald Allen said...

Growing up in Texas, the heat would melt stuff on us all the time, especially if you left it in the car. One neat trick, though, after it melts, put it in the fridge, and presto...new gummi art...that's edible. That said, when I got stationed in Alaska...if you didn't want it frozen solid, take it out of the car...

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks for the tip on re-shaping the gummy things. I am sure the crew could have fun with those during the race. No need for a stove in Death Valley- just heat the water on the dashboard or in the trunk.