Flying Wild

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Discovery Channel is currently airing a show on Friday nights called Flying Wild Alaska. It’s a really interesting show in its own right, but Jose and I are particularly interested because it follows a family that lives in Unalakleet — a tiny, tiny village on the west coast of Alaska that just happens to be the hometown of Jose’s good friend Meryl. (It was Meryl’s wedding that took us to Alaska — though not Unalakleet — in 2008.)

It’s crazy to think that I know someone who grew up on what’s basically the modern day equivalent of the frontier.  You can’t get there by road — only by airplane or snowmobile.  And the winters there have to be CRAZY cold.

Weekend Wrapup

Christmas at JSC

The Christmas decorations went up at JSC over the weekend.  I noticed this as I drove in with my windows down, because it is almost 80 degrees outside.  Yep, feels like Christmas to me…

I saw a couple houses decked out in lights as we came home from dinner on Saturday night.  It must have been a weekend project for a lot of our neighbors.  It’s a weekend project for me too — only it’s on the list for NEXT weekend.  I will admit that I’m anxious to decorate for Christmas myself — I like decorating the house — but I will hold off until after Thanksgiving.  Other people in our neighborhood do not buy in to that “wait till Thanksgiving” mentality.

Clouds

We were supposed to go flying yesterday.  The original plan was to meet up with Jason and Becca in Victoria and have lunch, but the winds in Victoria were pretty strong.  So we decided to fly down to Galveston instead so Jose would still be able to practice talking to the tower, but when we got to the airport in Pearland, we found that the winds were pretty strong HERE as well.  You wouldn’t think that winds would be a big problem, but if they’re blowing perpendicular to the runway, it’s an issue.  We ended up not going anywhere.  As Jose said:  “I’d rather be down here wishing I was up there than up there wishing I was down here.”  (That’s a commonly quoted aviation truism.  Another of my favorites?  “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.”)

The warm weather made for a rough long run yesterday.  I had planned to go 14 miles, but I ran out of time (since we had to leave for the airport at 9:30) and out of energy.  Around the 7-mile mark, I passed John who was also out for a run.  He was on the other side of the street but he waved, so I waved — but it wasn’t until he was past me that I realized that I KNEW him, and he wasn’t just another neighborhood runner.  When I got to the 10-mile mark, I called it a day.  I finished with 10.5 miles.  It wrecked me for most of the day — I felt worse yesterday than I did after my 12 miles a couple weeks ago — and those 12 miles were done faster too.  Oh well.  Next weekend I’m going to do 12 miles, then do a mild taper before the RunGirl half on December 12.  I’m not sure what my goal for that race is.  On a flat course, I’d be aiming for the 2:15-2:18 range — knocking on the door of my 2:15 PR.  But the course is hilly — at least hilly for Houston — and I don’t know how much that will affect me.

Wild Blue Yonder

Wheel Well of a B-52

This weekend was the annual Wings Over Houston airshow at Ellington Field.  We went on Saturday, but I haven’t downloaded my photos yet, so for now you can enjoy this iPhone photo of me inside the wheel well of a B-52 bomber.  After some really lovely weather early in the month, it’s gotten hot again — yesterday’s high was 90, only 2 degrees off the record.  But it’s not as bad as August, and the clouds and stiff breeze kept it comfortable enough.

Jose and I actually debated whether to go at all this year, despite the fact that we already had one free ticket.  The traffic gets pretty bad over there, and the lineup of acts hasn’t really changed in years.  I love airplanes, but it’d be nice to see them shake up the schedule a bit.  (And frankly, I’m totally over the whole “air power” demo that takes up about 2 hours in the middle of the show each year.  I’ve seen it a lot, and didn’t feel like running through the aerial history of every war since WWII again.)  We finally decided to show up really late, just before 2:00 — and this worked out rather well, since by that time there was NO traffic and we were able to breeze right into the parking lots.  We saw the F-18 demo, Sean D. Tucker’s always awesome aerobatic performance, and the USAF Thunderbirds.  Then, while everyone ran for the exits after the Thunderbirds, we wandered around the static displays for a while.  We didn’t leave until they kicked us out just before 6:00, at which point the traffic had already died down again!  Perfect timing!

Yesterday was a more relaxing day.  I started my 7-mile run around 9:00 which turned out to be a big mistake — it was HOT.  I finished the miles without a problem, at a slightly slower pace than my recent long runs, but at least I finished.  I’m really glad it was a cut-back week and I’m crossing my fingers that cooler weather will return before my 12-miler next weekend!