Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to the fog and classic cars

Back from Cape Cod and the Falmouth Road Race straight to the fog of the Monterey Peninsula.
I can’t say I missed the fog too much. It was nice to wear shorts and let Quin play in the sprinklers at his grandparent’s house in Massachusetts. I admit, being from North Carolina, the heat and humidity back there reminded me of home. Though training in that kind of weather is tough, it actually feels good to really sweat. Quin even learned a new phrase during our brief stint in Massachusetts, “Mama, soooo sweaty!” My husband Jon added, “And stinky!” I always got a good laugh from him as I chased him around the house trying to give him a sweaty, stinky hug.
Quin has turned into a seasoned traveler. He has a small rolling suitcase filled with his toys and favorite blanket and marches through the airport, getting grins from onlookers. He insisted on rolling his luggage down the ramp to the Monterey flight. Unfortunately, the steps onto the airplane were too big for him to climb. Since he wouldn't let go of his suitcase, Jon had to carry both Quin and his luggage onboard. I think Quin was looking forward to coming home too because he kept telling random people that he was going to California to see T and Ani, which is what he calls my mother and her husband.
The day after coming home, my coach, Bob Sevene, and I went to Hartnell College for a track workout. Guess my old age is starting to show because some of the local walkers commented to him that I looked a little stiffer on my warm-up than usual. I used to be able to bounce off of airplanes with no problem. When I was living in Boston, I flew to a race at Stanford. Afterward, I took a red-eye home, landed, and drove to work where I got in another run before working a full day as a physical therapist. Looking back I am not sure how I had the energy. You do what you have to do. Luckily for me, Sev is a smart coach and takes travel into consideration when coming up with my workouts. It was short and easy, and I walked away happy.
The next day my sister and her husband arrived for a long weekend to enjoy some of the activities of Classic Car week here on the Peninsula. It's easy to take this area for granted, but the events always remind me how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful and fun place. Downtown Pacific Grove was hopping, and it was impossible to do a run without going past a gaggle of expensive cars.
My sisters’s husband was in heaven with all the cars, and decided to attend one of the many car auctions. To my sister's surprise, they walked away with a 1965 Malibu Coup with 650 horsepower that requires racing fuel. In his words, “I think I am scared of my car.” When he pulled up to our house it sounded like a jet had landed. All the neighbors were drawn out to take a look. All I can say is that I am glad her husband did that, and not mine!  
The excitement was nice while it lasted, but I am happy to be back in a routine and to have all my running routes less clogged with tourists or spectators for the Pebble Beach events. Maybe there is something to be said for the loneliness on the long-distance runner? I like it quiet enough that I can hear the ocean and see my usual friends along the trails. I have about a week and half to enjoy before I get back on a plane and travel to New Haven, Connecticut for the 20K USA Championships, a race I won the last time I ran it in 2005 ages ago.

To read more of Blake Russell or to contact her, go to to her blog at

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