Saturday, March 13, 2010

Progress - 3/13/10 (Barstow, CA)

I'm in Barstow, CA and finally getting onto Route 15 South on my way into LA. I'm now 2,607 miles into my journey with only 129 miles left to go and 63 days to do it in--an average of just over 14 miles per week for the next 9 weeks. The good news about the need for the lower per-week mileage is that I can start to bike a bit without putting myself behind the 8 ball. Always good news!

The other good news from this week is that I'm finally off Route 40. I started on Route 40 just past Oklahoma City and had to stay on it for 1,200 miles. That's just less than half of my entire journey!

It reminds me of going to the Skydome to watch a Toronto Blue Jays game when I was a kid. We had absolute nose bleed seats--right at the very top of stadium. We got to the top level and showed our tickets to the usher. He told us to turn right and go up 37 rows. That's how I feel about Route 40. It's time for some new scenery.

Barstow is a city of more than 20,000. Barstow is of course mentioned in the song "Route 66" as well as in Sheryl Crow's "Leaving Las Vegas" and in the Black Eyed Peas "Like That". It's also mentioned in the first sentence of Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Just when I can't run in the cold and snow any more, Mother Nature comes along and completely changes my outlook on running. For the first time this year, I was able to run in a t-shirt and shorts. It was 55 degrees out, which is downright tropical for New Hampshire. (For those of you in the South, you might recognize this temperature as "freezing" in January).

Running in the cool spring weather just puts a pep into my step. Despite the fact that I'm running the same, incredibly boring route, it feels like new. I think my pace was considerably quicker and I was smiling the whole time. In the winter, I feel like I'm at war with the weather. I still go out to battle three times a week, but I feel like death when I get home.

But with this weather, I feel like Mother Nature is cooperating with me again and we're finally on speaking terms. That said, I know we're not out of the woods yet. It's snowed in New Hampshire as late as May, so I'm not counting my proverbial chickens before they're hatched. I'll just kindly remind Mother Nature that if she wants to remain friends with me, that means more sun and less snow.