It's a beautiful day out there. Cold, clear, sunny. A perfect winter day in Alberta. I haven't run for a week, letting my calf get all calmed down, and it's fine now. The snowshoeing the other night was fine. So I bundled up and went out for an easy 3 K, 22 minutes. Here's some photos. Getting ready to go.
The furnace exhaust sometimes has very interesting sculpture. I think it looks a little bit like a little creature peering in, wondering if there is food in there.
The snowshoe tracks from the other night.
As I said, a brilliant sunny day.
Needless to say I was careful with layers.
Just setting out, no tusks.
Now tusks. Not as good as some I've had, but it was a very short run, just over 20 minutes. Everything was sweaty when I was done, so I suspect I was a bit overdressed. The problem is my neighbours that don't shovel their sidewalks near the plowed road. I had to leap over several mounds. The other problem is tree branches weighed down with snow. I'm pretty dialed in how low I need to duck, or weave around to avoid hitting branches. Good thing I was wearing a hoodie or I'd have had snow down my back. RunMeter map was all over the place so I didn't put it here.
Linda out working on the Christmas decorations.
Some of the completed decorating. Sorry about the window smudges. I have no idea who Nadia is. I'm just guessing she lives in the cup de sac behind us, and someone is sweet on her. This has been done a few times now.
No entries in the AMA feature. Ask Me Anything over the next little while, and I guarantee an answer. Leave your questions in comments, email, or other social media.
Book news! I had a brainwave for my book this morning and I've started a new chunk. I figured out what happens to one of the characters. I had added more info about him earlier in the book, so now you'll be broken hearted when he dies tragically. When I wasn't looking one character met a hot guy in Kona, and I'm writing about them just now. They house sit for some minor characters that are doing some traveling. I know how two of the major characters meet their spouses, and I'll be writing about that. Lots on the go. I figured out one chunk that goes away. I added a long conversation between Kelly and Janice, during a quite time in Kona just before Janice heads home.
The recent chunk I wrote is during an easy training ride in Kona, after several of the other characters join Kelly and Ronnie. Elsewhere I note the laws about toplessness had changed, as part of other societal changes. This is all pretty much how it flowed out of my brain, very little polishing or massaging.
Kelly stood in the parking lot reading from a checklist on her phone. “Ok guys, I know your bikes are perfect. Everybody has their sunscreen on? All your gear? Nutrition? Water? Electronics? You know how to get out to the highway?”
Ronnie, Hardisty, and Penny all nodded. They were about to go on an out and back on the Queen K highway. Ronnie had been through this many times already.
“All right. I’ll meet you at 50 K where Penny wants to turn around and I’ll have refills for you, and you’d all darned well better need them. Hardisty, Ronnie has her plan and I know she’s going to stick to it. You know it’s an easy ride for her, and in your head you think you ought to be able to keep up. I’m telling you now the heat here is like a creature with teeth. You won’t. She is way faster now. I’m telling you not to try, but I know you will. Call when you bonk and and Janice or I will come get you.”
Hardisty nodded, but Kelly didn’t believe him. They waved as the riders headed out.
“What now?” Janice asked. “We’ve got, what, an hour before we have to leave here?”
“I’ll start getting things ready for the post ride snack, and dinner tonight. Always something to do.”
A little while later Janice helped Kelly load supplies into the van. “Do you think Hardisty believed you? I can already feel the heat.”
“No, he didn’t. He’ll still be ok when Penny turns around, but I don’t know how much longer he’ll last. It can get hot fast.”
“That’s my guy for you. I can’t believe you guys don’t have the air conditioning running.”
“Ronnie unplugged it as soon as we got here and told me she’d spank me if I turned it on. She wanted to get used to the heat, so I had to as well.”
“Which is why you’re standing there in those shorts and nothing else. Aren’t you going to put a top on when we head out?”
“Nope. And you don’t need to either. If I was running I would. We’ll see a bunch of other athletes and Sherpas today and most of them will be topless. Only reason Ronnie is wearing a top is that the race requires it, and she likes to train like the race.”
“I’ve heard her say that a lot. Don’t you have way too much stuff here for our guys?”
“Oh yeah. And I’ll probably bring most of it back home again. Better too much than not enough. Any athlete that stops will get a refill. That’s part of the deal. You’ll see. Ready to go?”
Kelly got set up where she and Penny had arranged. She put up a sign, “Team Ronnie Refills” about 50 m down the road. Once that was done, she yelled and clapped for every bike rider that passed. Most waved and said hello to her. A few stopped for a refill or to chat a bit.
“That last guy only wanted a better look at your boobs, I’m sure of it,” Janice observed.
“Maybe. I don’t mind. He was also out of water. I haven’t seen him before so he’s probably new, and not used to the heat. He might not have someone at turnaround. I’ll have to watch for him on the way back. I’d mind if he got heat stroke.”
“Will you really?”
“Oh yes. I take care of Ronnie as best I can, but we all look out for all the riders and will help if needed. One of them helped Ronnie with a flat, so it’s not all one sided. Sometimes we get a whole group of Sherpas together. That’s fun, and we can coordinate aid stations and rolling support.”
“There’s more to this than I thought.”
“It’s the big leagues here. The athletes are out here sweating their balls off training for the big day. I can scarcely do less. We should see Ronnie any time, keep an eye out.”
“Do you think Hardisty will be with her?”
“Maybe, but I doubt it. She’s way stronger now than he thinks, but it isn’t really hot yet. Can I make a suggestion?”
“Hardisty doesn’t yet really know about the heat. Take off your top and try to drag him off the road for a quickie. The break will do him good.”
“He won’t, if he’s trying to keep up with Ronnie.”
“None the less.”
“It’s really all right?”
“You have eyes. What have you seen?”
Janice looked around. “All right. I’ve actually been feeling a little over dressed.”
Kelly’s timing was good. Ronnie coasted to a stop a few minutes later, tossing two empty water bottles into a box near the van. Kelly had two more ready to go, with a third in hand. She poured that over Ronnie, and handed her another baggie of nutrition. “Have you peed?”
“Yup, just before getting here. Hardisty dropped back a little while ago, not sure if he’s riding with Penny or solo. Going good.”
“Good! See you in a bit!” Ronnie pushed off.
“That was like an F1 pit stop.”