Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Smelly pond massage and 800 m intervals

Life in the house of dogs is starting to become more managable. The puppies are as big as (or bigger than) their parents now but Rupert and Trixie are still in charge. A little watering, cycle over to Rachie's and let Angus out, some yoga, some tai chi. Life aint so bad here. Then I get a call from Bill: Harvest season + new equipment + 25% increase in production + heart trouble + production happening here on the estate = a tense call from Bill. All he wants is for me to clean out the smelly pond ajacent to the back porch. I balk because: I want to surf + no warning + had planned on doing some work for my friend John + saw this as a day off + have not done this before = me resisting a bit. Conclusion: Bill ends up buying me lunch at Farmer and the Cook, presents his side of the equation, spells out what needs to be done with the smelly pond.

The pond is cold when I first step into the upper tier. The water goes up to just below my crotch. I can feel the fine mud as my feet sing into it. I polish the walls with my bare hands, breaking up the algae growth. I use my feet to move the 2 inches of mud around and to search for leaves. There are none up here. Next step is getting the leaves out of the actual pond. The upper tier is around 2 feet deep, 6 feet across and 3 feet wide. The water runs over one of the sides and falls into the much bigger pond. The pond is home to many big goldfish, white fish, a whole bunch of mosquito larvae eating fish and 3 turtles. I wade around this liquid; it has a sulfur like aroma, lilly pads and lots of blackened oak leaves submerged on the bottom. I grab big handfulls and dump them on the skimmer, repeatedly pull off the leaves stuck in the pump's intake screen and hose off the three filters.

Devin and I meet at 6:30 PM at Nordoff's $100,000 track. No little kids today sitting in the middle of the track. Just people jogging around, fancy that. When Devin arrives, we stretch and then circle the track twice in warm up for our first 800. The plan is to run 3. I will probably run 2 I think - I have only run twice in the past month. The plan for the first 800 is to run it in 3 minutes - a six minute mile pace. We make this time easily - 2:54. The next 800's target is 2:45 minutes. Coming down the stretch, I feel this one. Even on the second turn, the sound coming out of my throat, as I labored for oxygen, was telling. I stick it out and finish about 2 seconds behind D - time: 2:43. The third interval of 800 m starts without me. The plan is for me to join Devin for the 2nd lap. The goal for him is to run a sub 2:30. I watch him run the first lap and then I am running beside him. He wants me to pace him and make sure we get under 75 secs for this 400. I am surprised how easy it is for me to run this. We both maintain a good pace. Initially, I got a bit in front, I pace myself, he caught up, started to pull away out of the last turn and then I caught and passed him down the home stretch. Devin catches me at the finish line. Our time for the last quarter: 1:14.29.