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Monday, January 08, 2007

Road trips, new places to run, and the quest for the One Ring

Christmas was spent in Iowa, half w/ Kathleen's family, half with mine (see pictures below of me with a Christmas elf my mom (geez, when did I get so tall?), as well as a picture of her two Braccos (Jasper in the foreground, Grace in the background)
Holy crap!  I'm tall!
Awww!  Who's a giant puppy?

I got a bit of running in while in Iowa - an easy 8 mile recovery run (9:39 pace) while visiting Kathleen's parents, which was fantastic - left the house before the sun was up, ran 4 miles out into the country (out to the entrance to Kent Park, for anyone from the Iowa City region), then ran back. Also did a 4 miler while at my moms, which was awful (the run, not my mom's) - I don't know if I'd had too much Christmas food, or what was up, but my speed was awful (ended up averaging 8:34, and was supposed to be doing much speedier than that), and my legs just felt dead.

The last night we were in Iowa, Kathleen was playing my mom's harp before I made dessert. At one point shortly after she finished playing, I was in another room, when all of a sudden, I could hear Kathleen and my mom talking in a hushed tone about something. I came downstairs to discover that, while putting her wedding ring back on, Kathleen had accidentally dropped the ring into the open heating register in the floor, and the ring was too far into the ductwork to be able to reach.
Evil Evil Hole In The Floor

So, without further ado, we journeyed forth into the gloom of the unfinished century-old basement
Descending to find the One Ring

The basement consisted of a dirt floor....
Happy basement funland

cobwebs and spider fossils...
Ring pipes and spider fossils

and plenty of fiberglass to wrestle with while questing for the one ring.
Fiberglass wrestling while questing for the One Ring

After about an hour of fiberglass/ductwork wrestling, I managed to get the section of ductwork leading to the register detached from the duct closer to the furnace at which point I was able to push the ring close enough to the opening of the register that my mom was able to reach it from above.
The resting place of the One Ring
(My initial idea had been to detach the duct from the register, reach in and grab the ring - however, there was no way we were going to be able to get the duct taken off of the register)

With that, I scraped off the dirt/fiberglass/dead spiders, showered up, and made the dessert (a variation of Escoffier's Christmas omelette, which is basically an omelette filled with mincemeat and flambeed with rum - I filled it with a mixture of ground almonds (and I think hazelnuts - I'm not sure on that), raisins, Grand Marnier, and orange juice, and added a little vanilla to the eggs before making the omelette) - turned out very well!

The following will only be truly significant for one reader - shortly before leaving for my mom's house, I said the following to Kathleen:
"If someone gets me Lore of Running for Christmas, I'm going to train to run Comrades in a few years"

Well, guess what my mom got me?

Josh, you still up for it? I'm thinking post-Boston :)

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©2007 Shea Nangle