That is probably an over-dramatic title and not indicative of my entire week. I’m currently in a funk because we were supposed to be camping tonight. But…last night the air quality jumped from “moderate” to unhealthy and it hasn’t noticeably improved over the course of the day. I was prepared to tough it out because, well, disappointed. But even my husband, who’s less sensitive to the smoke than I, is feeling its effects. Since the smoke has obscured all the sunshine and rainbows over here, I feel like it’s a good time to vent about a few other things….
I was geared up to run an experiment this week, but ended up spinning my wheels the entire week instead. Reasons: 1) some data I need pre-experiment was inconclusive; 2) people I needed to meet with were on vacation; 3) an instrument I need to analyze samples isn’t working. 1 and 2 should be solved by Tuesday, but who knows about 3.
The good: I sent a bunch of emails and made forward progress on some of the subject matter. And….that’s pretty much it.
My garden is a mess. Some of my vegetables have barely grown at all. The bean plants just stopped growing at about 6″, the chard is even smaller, and some of the carrots are normal while some are tiny. I’ve always had trouble getting squash to pollinate; the zucchini is having the same problem this year. The winter squash plants, though, have produced a grand total of ONE female flower for all five plants. They’ve been producing male flowers for at least a month, so it’s surely past time for some female ones.
Most of the garden bed is also overrun with ants. The ants are building an entire empire in my raised beds. I suspect this is contributing at least to the bean and squash woes. They seem to stay away from kale, tomatoes, and mint, though. Maybe I need to intersperse those throughout the garden.
The good: I can reliably grow tomatoes, brassicas (mostly kale and cabbage this year), and most herbs. If you need a 3-foot sage bush or more kale plants than you know what to do with, I’m your gardener. I’m very serious about the kale. My plants have produced thousands of seeds and you can have some.
Finally, the part of the week where I actually accomplished everything I intended to. I have 3 races I hope to run in late September through mid October: a trail 30K, a (flat) trail/road 8K, and a (steep) trail 14K. My rough training plan goes as follows. Top priority: increase my long run to 15-16 miles by Labor Day weekend. Second priority: alternate between steep trail workouts one week, road speed workouts the next. And round that out with 1-2 easy runs per week, preferably on trails.
Last week I did a steep trail workout, so this week I did a speed workout. I started too late in the morning and fizzled out in the last half of the workout, but it got done. I also had two short, easy trail runs during the week.
Saturday I ran 11 trail miles to Emerald and Heather lakes. Ideally I would do long runs on trails similar to the 30K race, but the uphill for the race has about a 5-6% grade and most of the nearby trails are steeper. This trail averages about a 7% grade, so better than most; plus it’s a trail I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. I settled into a steady pace for the first 3 miles, but slowed way down during the 4th mile. When I checked my GPS data later, I realized why: the grade increases to 11+%. The trail flattens out a bit before reaching Emerald Lake.
Then climbs another steep grade to Heather Lake.
And after all that I ran back downhill and stopped for donuts on the way home.
How do you regroup when plans fall through?
Any advice for exterminating an ant empire?