I think Spokane doesn't like runners. Either that or she wants to toughen us up by making us carry our own water. (Cities are female, aren't they? That's how we have sister cities.) It doesn't make a lot of sense, with all the sidewalks (jagged and perilous though they are, at least in my neighborhood), parks, and with Bloomsday, the largest timed race in the country, held in Spokane. But on my last 2 runs out in the city (out of my neighborhood) I have found exactly 1 drinking fountain. The first run was downtown, in Riverside Park. I am sure there must be another drinking fountain at least in the park somewhere, but I didn't see any others. Today's was in Manito Park, probably the biggest and most popular park in the city. No drinking fountains, unless you count the broken one covered in duck poo. Unbelievable.
In Portland, they have drinking fountains everywhere. In particular, they have funny things called Benson Bubblers, which are 4-bowl brass fountains that were commissioned by a guy named Simon Benson to give working men in Portland an alternative to drinking in saloons. No runner in Portland has to carry water on a run, provided that he or she runs between the hours of 6am and midnight and isn't put off by drinking from public fountains. There is even a special thumb technique to diverting the vertical water stream into your water bottle without spraying yourself, which I haven't mastered yet.
In Spokane, water is for wusses, I guess. I can get by for now, but in a few weeks it's going to start getting warmer, and I'll either have to start carrying water with me or get up early in the morning to run (horror!). In the end, both may happen. Until then, I hydrate before and after.
I ran up to Manito Park this evening. I ran through the Lilac Garden there and discovered that the lilacs are just starting to bloom. This weekend is the Lilac Festival Parade, so it's just in the nick of time I guess. I was kind of sluggish, actually, but still able to do 3.5 miles. Now that I've read some more of Jeff Galloway's book, I've learned that what I previously thought was his walk-run method of running actually was incorrect--I thought he recommended ratios more like 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. In truth he isn't that regimented at all. In the beginning he recommends as little as 15-20 seconds of running and 60-90 seconds of walking, repeat as able. He says that even at the peak of his season's training he still will run 7-8 minutes and walk for a couple of minutes. The basic gist is to take walk breaks as frequently as you need them to keep running enjoyable and keep yourself able to do it for long periods of time. So now I use a combination of how I'm feeling and what my heart rate is to determine when I need to walk. I run probably about 3 minutes at a time on average, and walk for 60-90 seconds. I use the recovery feature on my HRM to time this--it is a 60 second countdown timer that figures out how much your heart rate recovers in 60 seconds. I walk while that is counting down--the beauty of that is that by the time it finishes, my heart rate is almost always back in the range that I (arbitrarily) set for resuming running, and I am ready to run again by that time. It's a method that's working well for me so far, and I'm able to increase the amount of time I run, while keeping the workout enjoyable for me.
In the PastaQueen annals, I got as far as another milestone date for me in her archives: March 13, 2007, the date I was banded. Interestingly, on that day she wrote about the first day of the year she was able to run outdoors on the trail, and how she now could count herself as someone who loves to run. I've posted something rather similar recently, but on that day when I had surgery I never would have predicted such a thing. I wonder if I had read something like her blog before surgery, would it have affected my decision to have WLS? I think it would have caused me to think even more than I did about it, but in the end I decided to do what I did not because I didn't think I could lose weight, but because I didn't want to regain yet again. It is quite inspiring to see someone who lost 210 lbs without surgery, most definitely. I honestly don't know if I could ever do such a thing, because it takes so much focus for such a long time, and because constant hunger is such a saboteur. But good on her! Truly, it has taken me over a year to lose weight WITH WLS, and the last time I was on a diet it took me this long to lose 35 lbs. I don't know if I could fight hunger and my brain long enough to get it all off--but if I could, keeping it off is the real battle. I'm not a bit sorry I was banded. But hats off to those who are successful long-term without surgery. I'm not going to get all negative and quote statistics about WLS losers vs. dieters. I just admire that there are people who can do it that way, and recognize that most of us can't, or don't, for some reason or another. This is a tough battle, and it's never over for any of us, no matter how we lost the weight.