Last week was a whirlwind that left me completely spent by Sunday afternoon. My training took a bit of a hit with two days sacrificed to travel and the logistics of having a puppy. I only managed five miles of work at marathon pace or faster which is a dramatic drop from the previous week. Luckily the lack of fast paced training was made easier by the 70 degree temperatures in Sunny Long Beach, California.
Mary, the Dianes and myself headed out of Keene at 1:00 on Tuesday to make it down to Logan for a 4:05 flight to LAX. We got a little bit lost in Revere looking for the parking service but made it to Logan with time to spare. I had never flown Virgin before and after our flights I don't think I will be able to go back to a standard carrier. Realistically Virgin should consider a name change to ADHD America because of all the gadgets and media available on their flights. Mary and I had hoped to make it to Long Beach in time for Lost but our shuttle was late picking us up so we had to put fate into our DVR. Wednesday Mary and I woke up at six and made our way to the store to pick up provisions for the week. It felt so good to go for a stroll down the street at seven am in a t-shirt. After a quick bowl of oatmeal Mary and I headed down to the waterfront to get in our first run. Eight minutes into our run we were at the beach and were absolutely in heaven. Mary put in eight and I continued on another four miles by myself. Five miles into the run I had my shirt off and found myself blasting by startled joggers in winter hats and gloves who must have been wondering who the sweaty psycho was. When I got forty minutes out I decided that I wanted to haul for a bit so I threw down all the way back. Mary and I spent the rest of Wednesday chilling at the beach. I never thought my first swim in the Pacific would be in February, so it goes. Wednesday night Mary, the Dianes and myself headed out for dinner at the Long Beach Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. After a few brilliant shrimp tacos, of course, I managed to blow our servers mind with my savant like knowledge of all things Gump. In the shuttle ride back to the hotel my seventeen hard miles caught up to me and I zonked out on Mary's shoulder.
Thursday was the first day of the conference so I had to get out the door at 6:30 to be able to have enough time for a shower before heading across town. I did the same out and back twelve miler from Wednesday but took it a bit easier the second half. The conference was terrific and I walked away anxious for the second day. Michelle Garcia Winner is at the leading edge of research concerning students with high functioning autism. Michelle has been recognized by congress for her important contribution to this expanding field. Following the workshop I headed out for another five miles along the sunny shores of Long Beach. Following another dinner out on the town with some light shopping I managed to fall asleep on a city bench while waiting for our shuttle.
Friday morning I was greeted with the most awe inspiring sunrise of my life. I was kicking myself for a few minutes for not having my camera but I let it go pretty quickly and decided to just let the moment happen. Friday's workshop was not as helpful as Thursday's because I am already in the process of building a social thinking curriculum but it was still stimulating. I had the chance to talk with Michelle and explain my work and she opened to door to go back to California in June to present my work at another conference. Following my run Friday afternoon I was starting to feel pretty wiped out. I should have napped but made the decision to head downtown with the gals for some shopping. Mary and I headed back down to Belmont Shore for dinner later that night. We were lucky to find an amazing Mexican restaurant named Super Mex that is famous for burritos. My shredded beef burrito was almost as inspiring as the sunrise and the atmosphere was incredible. By the time Mary and I headed back to the hotel we were both wiped out.
Saturday morning I headed out for the same twelve miler along the shore. I met up with Mary toward the end and added on a mile before heading back to the hotel. We did some cartwheels on the beach and posed with some palm trees before heading back to the hotel. It was unfortunate to have to leave because Saturday was set to be an amazing southern California day with temperatures in the eighties. The flight home was pretty uneventful for the most part. When we landed in Boston I managed to really get Mary laughing with some bad jokes. We made quite the scene for a couple of minutes and I almost had Mary convinced to yell that she was tired of all these snakes on the plane but she chickened out. We blasted back to Keene in well under two hours and were out the door in a matter of minutes to become the life of Steve's 30th birthday party at McCue's. The highlight of the night was Steve's rocking rendition of Rockin' in the Free World with the house band Fat Tuesday.
Sunday morning Mary and I were up early to go get Eko in Ashland. I was so tired that I fell asleep on the brick hearth with three people talking in the room. When we got back to Keene I crashed in bed for the afternoon and watched the winter Olympics. As I said it was a long and exhausting week that saw my training take a minor hit. Back to work this week with the goal of hitting 105 miles.