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Race Day

Posted by kevinwolz on May 1, 2010

This morning, my mom and I both ran the 2nd Annual Illinois Half Marathon here in C-U. Despite constant threats of bad weather, the rain held out. Nevertheless, it was pretty warm and very humid. I ran 1:21:44 (6:15 per mile pace — 23rd/5619), which isn’t a PR (personal record) but is still pretty good for track season.  Thanks to my pace buddies…you really helped me out!! If you would like all the gruesome details, they can be found on my log.

My mom ran her second half marathon in an impressive 2:33:38, finishing in the top half of her division! Congrats Mom! Once I finished, I cooled down back to her and got to run the last little bit with her, which was really fun. I got to shake Katherine Switzer’s hand after crossing the line, which was also pretty cool.

Now, after an 18-mile day and a big lunch, I’m exhausted. I plan to lay in my room and ice for a good long while before hanging out with some friends to enjoy my last weekend of freshman year! A week from now, I’ll be in WI hauling compost and planting my garden! I can’t wait! Today, I missed the first farmers market of the year up there, which really kills me. But I’ll be there next week, buying my first supply of fresh local foods for the summer and beginning the “99.9% Locally Produced Food Diet.” Good food, here I come!

A little bit of news from the dorm room greenhouse: The pumpkin seedlings are doing fantastic! But don’t take my word for it…see the dancing pumpkins for yourself:

(Two nights worth of time-lapse…I LOVE TIME LAPSE! The seedlings are responding to the lamp off the screen. Remember good old phototropism!?)

The Brassicas, on the other hand have kind of tapered off as far as rapid growth goes. The cotyledons are starting to shrivel…I’m not quite sure if this is normal at this point. I have a feeling this slump was caused by a combination of my over-watering and the lack of sunlight in last week. I also noticed that they were starting to get a bit weak, so I decided to start the hardening off process a bit early by using my suitemate’s mini fan to create a breeze. Just like humans, plants only develop “muscles” if they need them. This breeze acts as their gym membership. Once again, I think the actual mechanism by which this occurs is fascinating: When disturbed by the wind, plants release small bursts of ethylene (C2H4 — the same gaseous plant hormone that bananas release to make other fruit ripen!). The ethylene stimulates the plants to grow short and wide instead of tall and skinny, thereby making them stronger. The transition I’m providing now will be essential so they don’t get blown over outside.

Time Lapse By Night

Breeze By Day

Unfortunately, it’s kinda hard to study when your desk is consumed by plants and all your books are being used as a pedestal….

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One Response to “Race Day”

  1. Joan said

    Congratulations on your run, Kevin & Mom! Good job both of you!!

    Your plants look great. Good luck in transplanting them in WI.

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