Monday, August 31, 2009

"One of those people!"

Yes, I am one of THOSE people! I went to the license bureau today, last day of the month...had to renew plates. Ugh...what a hassle! So I go to the Ozark town square, this is really a picturesque town, and entered the 1920ish facility. Take a number, sit and wait. I love to people watch and make friends and so I enjoyed myself immensely!!
I noted how most people like their bubbles...we sit with space between us! As I finally got my turn I began about a 10 minute interval of conversation with the teller. Finding out all about her, her family, her faith, her church, her life story, I'm one of those people! I get that statement from Andrea, the teller, she said I was one of those people that wait "till the last minute. Yep! That's me! One thing I observed today. There is a great difference between living and existing. Think about it!
I finally made it out the door today, seemed like everything was against my running.
Totals-7.03 miles/ 1:16:38/ 10:54's.
Current reality:
I am tired. Is fatigue a natural component of marathon training?
I'm running slower times? Is this normal with the additional mileage added?
My goal is 54-55 miles this week! I will try to run as far as possible tomorrow. My goal is to get up at 5:30 and get the run done early! Hope all is well with you! Peace!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Track be nimble Track be..(qu)ick."

I so needed some flat terrain! My only real option was the track. A beautiful day!! Breezy, 80ish, big white fluffy clouds, perfect! I'm really needing to train the body to run faster so I decided on a mile warm-up and three miles at HMP (half marathon pace) and I would finish the run with recovery pace reaching a total of seven miles. It went pretty good considering I was going into new territory today. I busted the 50 mile barrier! 50.22 total for this week!
Only two other people on the track during my time there. Both middle aged guys. They both had their shirt off...big ole' beer belly's! Ick! I applaud their efforts at trying to burn the fat off but come on! Wear a shirt dude! If anyone could of gone w/o a shirt it would of been me, but that's not my style.
Totals- 7.0 miles/ 1:04:38/ 9:13's. The three miles looked like this-8:30, 8:30, 8:33. I asked myself, "could I hold this pace for 26 miles?" I don't really know what I can do? Maybe I need some sort of test? So, one day of rest, tomorrow, and then I shoot for 50-55 miles next week.
Two things I believe I must do in order to break 4hrs. Run more miles, run faster. I tried today!
Hope things are going well for you, Peace!

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Four Mile Pond"

Today I had my mind set on running to four mile pond and back. I am in a building phase this week and the next two. The 50 mile barrier is in sight this week.
I was tired again today but encouraged. I appreciated the comments on yesterdays post and they helped me regroup and inspired me. I really value you all and blogging. It really is an integral part of my training. I expect to meet some of you all some day as I travel to exotic locales running marathons!! Plus, our home is always open to you! Remember Bass Pro November 1st!
Anyway enough of the mushy stuff. We have cool temps, overcast skies, a runners delight today! I began with a very slow (as usual) warm-up mile, but then something kicked in? I just ran! I actually had an 8:52 mile on the hills today!! Yippee!!
I held back because I'm looking to some possible speed work tomorrow. Wow! Marathon season is upon us! Today I envisioned myself in the marathon. Running strong! Holding the pace! Thinking I could run 9:00 min miles forever!

Totals-8.4 miles/ 1:22:28/ 9:48's. Hope it's going well for you! Peace!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just me and the road

Have you ever noticed how you may be feeling very tired, draggy, sleepy, and you know you must run...but you have very little energy? If and when you make it out the door something happens; you begin to feel better!? You actually run pretty well? Odd.
Today is one of those days. So tired? But then there's the run! Ahhhh! Solace!
So even when tired the run can invigorate!! Maybe because it's that time you get to escape, think, or not think, plan, push, wonder, where it's just you and the road.
I am just a little concerned about meeting my goal of breaking four hours in the marathon. Seems like it's hard getting speed out of the legs. Today I decided to push it hard for one mile, it was net downhill. I could barely hold 10k pace. We shall see....totals-5.55 miles/ 54:51/9:52's.
I am meeting with a fine young couple this evening, they are preparing their wedding plans. So this means a late evening. Life goes on! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods! Peace!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Where no man has gone before"

Sticking with my TV theme from yesterday...The original Star Trek was a favorite of mine. Why? That statement "going where no man has gone before" always spoke to me. I always loved an adventure! Hiking in the woods, climbing a new mountain, going down a new road, always excited me and still does!
I'm possibly hitting new territory in my running this week. I've never logged over 50 miles of running in one week. Going where Mark has never been before...cheesy!!
The heel tightened over night but didn't cause me problems on the run. Still icing and taking Aleve. It is really wishy washy! One day getting better the next bothering me!
T'was a good recovery run-6.1 miles/1:09:18/ 11:28's. Pretty slow but it is specifically a recovery run. I hope to knock off some quality miles in the coming days. 29.26 miles so far this week! Peace!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get smart

Yes, I'm a Baby Boomer. I also am of the TV generation. My folks used to sit us kids in front of the TV then go out for their Saturday night party. We'd watch "Sing along with Mitch", "Red Skeleton", "Jackie Gleason" and one of our favorites "Get Smart". "Missed it by that much" was a favorite quote from that last show. Such is the case with today's run...missed is by that much-3 miles. I am really well pleased with the effort, though. You see, I used to run on the flat, the Springfield Plateau. Now I'm in new territory, the Ozark Hills. So the level of difficulty is higher. I am encouraged with the effort today.
Totals- 17.0 miles/ 3:22:36/ 11:55's. The first 10 miles were very strong, around 10 min per mile, I had to start walking up the hills and that kicked my total time up.
I wonder what running the flats would be like? My goal is fifty miles this week. Up to 23.15 right now. Four more runs...thankfully, the heel felt real good today!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

So what's up with the recent dog behavior on my running routes? All of the sudden they are wanting to protect territory? I had a Husky and a Bulldog both come barreling out after me today, on separate occasions. Of course I had my trusty little pepper spray. No problem, right? The canister is shot! When I tested the spray before the Husky got in my face it wouldn't work! Yikes! All it had was a weak stream! However; apparently my confidence in the fact that I had spray kept the dog at bay. I faked him out!
Enough about that. Back to training today after two days off. I am planning on putting in as many miles as I can tomorrow. Today was an easy "W" south run. Holding back the pace, saving energy for tomorrow. As I was running I was trying to put together this weeks training. I hope to get in the fifties. Man, that's going to be rough! To me, that's a lot of miles!
totals-6.15 miles/ 1:03.52/ 10:22's.
If I can get 20 in tomorrow I'll be a happy camper! Peace!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer of '69

You know how the say smells can elicit memories? It's true. I got a strong whiff of Skunk today!! Man did that put me on guard! I remembered the summer of 1969. We, my brother Rick and me, would wait until the folks were asleep then scurry out our bedroom window. We'd hook up with Eric, Jeff, and Paul, we were a "gang"!

Off to the golf course to get driving range balls, of course we did other things I'd best not was on that golf course I caddied every weekend in '68 and this particular Summer. I still remember one of the guys yelling.."What's that!" I turned just in time to see the back end of a Skunk fast approaching us! It was getting ready to spray! We took off and made a narrow escape but the smell was thick in the still night air!

That was the summer I went to The Boy Scout National Jamboree, where I saw Neil Armstrong step foot on the moon. The Summer we heard about Woodstock and fell under the influence of flower power! Those were the good ole days! All from a whiff of Skunk!!

Totals-5.41 miles at recovery pace. Now over two days off! I ought to be rested!

Hope you have a great weekend! Good luck on the race, Marlene, Peace all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bounce back

Amazing weather!!! We had storms in the night and wonderful, cool temps. Is this August? Feels like early October? I have a very packed day today so I had to be out the door early. Initially I was worried that I'd be dragging like yesterday but not so; my body wasn't achy or tired, and I was able to find a nice pace. I did not look at the Garmin the whole way, and I kept pulling back the reins, I wanted to go faster but I must use this week as recovery!!
Lot's of kids waiting for the bus, they just looked at me, deer in the headlights, I smiled, waved, and encouraged, it's the first day of school!
I ran to "four mile pond" and back. It's a nice little run on "W" north, some good hills and quiet roads. A great time to think. Totals-8.13 miles/ 1:21:44/ 10:02 avg.
As I was running I was thinking about hydration for running a marathon. There are so many experts out there in running land, and so many varying ideas in regard to hydration. Example- Only drink when thirsty. Drink often and a lot- and then there's the multitude of everything in between. So what's the best hydration strategy?
Here's what I know: Yes, we each have our own idiosyncrasies, but certain physiological principles apply to us all.
My strategy is going to be this:
The principle that my body is an engine and the cooling system must stay in top working order.
Over the years I've experienced runs where I'd stop sweating? ( 10 milers in the heat w/o water)If I would find water, drink, very soon I'd sweat again. Duh!!
So the essential idea is fluid replacement! Here's what I've been practicing on every run lately.
I'm carrying a hand held 22oz water bottle with an accelerade mix. I begin drinking at mile one, just a sip, but continue to drink throughout the entire run. Usually around mile four I will make sure I drink at least two oz's each mile from that point. So far I've never thirsted, not had sloshing in the stomach, I've noticed I can taste extra salt in my sweat?!
It's like keeping oil going over the engine. What happens if the oil runs out? Burn up!!
So, I will carry a hand held bottle during the marathon and keep plenty of fresh oil in the engine.
I will relate my fueling strategy on another post. Hope it warms up! I want some more Summer!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pluggin' along

So I finally made it out the door today. I am battling fatigue. I had to drive to the hospital to make a visit this morning, it's 23 miles one way, on the way back home I fought sleep! Tired, and hungry! I will eat nearly anything in sight. Such are the results of marathon training.
I eked out 4.88 miles at recovery pace on "W" south, or better known as Hillville. I may come up short on miles this week. I've a recording session Saturday and these can swallow gobs of time, so I may not be able to get my biggie, I need the rest!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Same old song and dance

I guess I'm a broken record sometimes.....I know I'm a whimp when it comes to any type of pain or discomfort. Today as I was running I remembered how my wife endured natural childbirth twice, then I belly ache about a couple of aches and pains! I am the biggest baby in the world! You ought to see me when I catch a cold! I also remembered this-

Watch part one if you have time. In many ways it is so true!! Anyway, my point is I can endure some pain, and suffering. Suffering is a different form of pain. Have you ever been in that last mile of a race, sucking air you needed 5 seconds ago? Hurting and thinking about quiting or you'll die!? Of course you have if you've raced. Even when we train we need to get to that place of suffering. It's hard for me because I'm a whimp! I tried today. Even though this is a cutdown week I still felt the need to push. I decided on at least 10 miles at base pace. I managed 11.24 miles in 1:52:16 averaging 9:59's. I am very, very pleased with this effort. The hills and humidity were against me but I felt really good. For me to break below 10 min mile avg on these hills is good! I noticed on the flats I was running around 8:50's.
I'm icing the heel, it's better! I only need 20 more miles this week! I hope to be rested and ready to post three weeks in the 50's starting next week. That's my goal, anyway.
So, I beat the hills today! Hope things are going well in your world! Peace!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Eleven to go

Eleven weeks to go before race day. Time for a cut-back (recovery) week and an assessment.
I've decided to run 35 miles this week. I will run only base pace or speed work...maybe some pick-ups. Why? The assessment part:
I've been battling Achilles tendinitis for over four weeks. I also have a right inner, upper thigh, groin issue. It will tighten during rest, loosens okay during work-outs. I am sure these are related to the hills and extreme slant to the roads out here, I try to stay on the crown of the road as much as possible but it still takes a toll.
I'm not too worried about these problems but they are enough to be a real bother. After this week I will build for three more weeks into the 50 mile range so I need to rest up a little.
On a positive note I feel like I am running better than I have in a long time. I feel strong and sure. There is still a little voice that occasionally says "you can't do it, Mark".
It reminds me of my first marathon. At about mile 7 or 8 I am passing a person. We run together for a few moments and exchange kind words, etc. This person asks me what time I'm aiming for. I reply with the goal of breaking four hours. They say, O you can't do that now.
I finished with my current PR of 4:05.33. Just missed it!!! They were right....but I think I can do it now....I need some more long runs, pace runs, progression runs, and a couple of good races for confidence. Totals- 4.07 miles-
Hope your training is going well! Peace!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Double Booked!

Well...guess I donated $15 bucks to the Ozark track team. I clean forgot we had company coming over last night! Two couples who are probably our best friends! I cooked out and we had a blast! I knew I'd get to bed late, but not past midnight. So long story shot, I didn't make the race and I'd already paid! Arrgh!
So, no race, finally up by 8:45am!, what to do? I had some fun! I made it out the door by 10 am and felt really good! Figures! I decided I'd try to hold a 9:30 per mile base pace and throw in some Fartleks.
I split time between "W" South and North, still hilly!
Here's the totals-5.8 miles/ 52:34/ 9:03's-10:11, 8:39, 8:32, 9:04, 9:05, 8:45....
I was surprised how good I felt on this run, wishing I could've raced. Sandy is encouraging me to race soon but it's not possible until the 29th.
There is a tough 10K in Springfield called "The Hot-n- Hilly" which is perfect for me! So I will try not to double book.
I have to be careful and not let running rule my life! It has a tendency to take priority and that's not right when it comes to time with family and friends, but to tell the truth I was stressed! I wanted to race...whaaaa. I will take tomorrow off so I totaled 46.41 miles this week. That's a bunch for me. Next week is a recovery week! I can't decide what percent to reduce...any suggestions? I know one thing...the heel will be happy! Have a great Sunday! Peace!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Fistful of Miles

Tomorrows race+ some easy warm-up and cool down miles ought to get me my 46-47 miles this week. A couple of observations:
Recovery runs have great benefit! Keep the pace slow but the form good. Work out the kinks. Refuel. Rest; even while running.
Breaking training is like skipping can be fun! I ate a triple steak burger at Steak and Shake last night!
You can become addicted to the Garmin-I forced myself not to look at the watch today. I wanted to relax, not push or worry I wasn't fast enough. I do love the watch, though!!
You can run on the edge- we marathoners can run with injuries...but-you risk breaking down. It is a fine line. I am currently on the line now with the Achilles issue. I've been here before. I've broken down, and I've made it through. It is very important to stay humble.
So, just a fistful of miles to the best week yet! The goal for the race tomorrow is to string some really good mile splits together. I'd really like to get below 24 min.
Totals-6.23 miles/ 1:03:44/ 10:14's- route-"W" north-hilly.
Hope you have a great run, and weekend! Peace!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

But(t) Ugly!

My recovery run today went well. I started very slow with a brisk walk. My bones seem to be creaky and body sore. Then I began a slow jog...I suspect it was very ugly looking! Finally after about 1.5 miles I began to loosen up and get into a recovery pace. I have been practicing hydrating during most all my runs, and I'm developing a strategy for the marathon and I think this is helping my energy during runs. I'll talk about it more in depth at a later date. My Sweetheart, Sandy, and I are going into town for errands and lunch. She's off today and tomorrow! Gotta shower and go! Hope your runs are good and pretty! Mine take care of the ugly!! Peace!
6.32 miles/ 1:16:06/ 12:02's-that's after a 15 min warm-up mile.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Round and round she goes....

So I made it to the track by around 9:50am, a beautiful day with temps in the eighties and sunny skies. My plan was to run as many MP miles as I could. I did a 1.5 mile warm up and began the work-out. At this time I had the track to myself. I am having some trouble finding the MP. Too fast, too slow! First mile was a 9:01 which would work! Then an 8:38, 8:39, 8:37, after these four miles I decided I'd had enough. My legs are tired. I pushed on through and did a 1.5 mile cool down. During this workout a young man came on the track and started running. I passed him three times...felt good!
The heel is in the ice bucket, now. I'm still able to run but it is not healed completely. I still need to run 19 more miles this week! Plus I'm planning on racing Saturday. So how do I structure the 19? Saturday will serve as speed work and I'd like to get around 5 total. So that leaves 14 for Thurs and Fri. Thurs could be 6-8 easy, Fri could be the same. I will have to play it by ear.
Totals- 7.01/ 1:06:08/ 9:26 avg. Feel like napping....Peace!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Feelin' Frisky!!

So it's overcast this morning, with temps in the low 70's. Unbelievable August weather! I was wanting an easy run on "W" South (or Hillville), I noticed all the dogs were behaving differently! They were frisky! Wanting to run out and meet me in the road and play and jump, and lick...yuk! Funny thing...I felt frisky, too! Amazingly, even on Hillville, after 14 miles yesterday, I felt strong! I settled in and relaxed, not pushing until the last mile where I posted a 9:16. I'm very encouraged! I am still having to ice the heel, though. So 7 miles/ 1:12:46/ 10:23's.
I was reading a post on an excellent blog I came across about mental toughness. It reminded me of a training principle I developed some years ago. I call it ME. It stands for Mental Effort. I employed the principle on the last mile today. Where I focused and forced. I focused on my form, pace, then I forced myself to go faster and hold the pace, and form. It was fun!!
Two things:
1) Increasing mileage to new heights proves to be a challenge
2) You can add muscle when you are over 50! I was going to post a picture of my quads but I'm still debating that, however, I have new muscle on the lower inside quads! I've never seen it like this before! I'm sure it's related to running out here in Hillville.
Hope you're feelin' frisky and the running is easy! Peace!

Monday, August 10, 2009


I got in at midnight last night. I worked real hard yesterday to hydrate, and stay fueled in preparation for a long run today but the late hour hurt me. Rest is so crucial in training! I just didn't get good rest last night. Funny thing, when you get older you can't sleep later??
Anyway, life goes on! I had to break one of my hot weather rules, I went out the door at 10 am! In the heat I try to be finished by 10! Well, plenty of water, gu, I set out to see what I could do.
I wound up with 14.04 miles in 2:44.58; average mile pace 11:45. The pace is not what I would want but the hot and hilly combination makes it acceptable. While I was running a cool front passed over, high winds and cool temps! It was sweet. I got a boost of energy and finished with a couple good miles.
My goal is to run 46-47 miles this week. I've never logged 50 miles in a week! That's in 28 years of running! I suspect I will break that streak in this cycle.
I will run a 5k this Saturday. I want to test myself in this race.
I was encouraged yesterday. A young man who I've encouraged to run told me he completed his first 10 miler in 1:44! I continue to encourage him and help him experience the joy of running. You should of seen the smile on his face when he was telling me about his run!
Well, I enjoyed my run, too! Hope you did! Peace!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Multi-tasking: The performance of multiple tasks at one time. This skill seems easy for my wife, but for me I have enough of a problem focusing on one thing at a time! But today as I went to the track for my speed work I realized I wasn't in condition to do the 4x1's @ 10k pace. To tired! I actually listened to my body!!
So as I warmed-up I devised another workout. I would do a 1x3200m at MP, one lap rest, and a 1x1600m at MP. Problem is I really don't have an MP pace?! What if I could find a pace that had some effort but I could comfortably hold it? And by comfortable I mean I'm able to think about other things besides running, but also stay tuned to my current effort.
So the effort was done with my mind multi-tasking! A 17:23 3200m. I took an easy lap and in the 90% humidity launched into the 1600m. All the while multi-tasking in my head! An 8:52 1600. So I probably have gotten closer to locating my MP, I hope. I finished out this week with 42.36 miles. Next week I keep building and will hope to add 10% reaching 46-47 miles. I also plan on a race next weekend.
The conference went good. I always take away good stuff! Bought a bunch of books. Here is an axiom I heard and loved-"not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers." Keep reading! Growing! I've decided to put some of the classics on my desk and get them read before I die! "War and Peace" is first! I've avoided that book for years! Peace!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

In a Rush!

So I'm in a conference this week. I need speed work! What do I do? I sacrifice some of the conference! It starts in 39 min. I still need a shower and food, but I got the work-out in!! Plus the conference is there all day! Man I was exhausted last night from all the speakers and visiting,etc!
5.85 miles/55:51/ 9:32's- 8x.25miles with a quarter mile rest in between. I averaged well below 10k pace on the splits over this rolling course with some splits at 5k,3k and one at mile pace. It was a hearty work-out! Well, off to conference-preparing to sit a lot! But it's worth it, these deals are very helpful when you are a leader. Truth is leadership is difficult, challenging, and lonely at times. Yet I am one of those folks that is a natural born leader. Although I try to deny it I can't! I love to lead! Hope you do to, we all are leaders aren't we? Down to 31 minutes! Yikes!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I could not resist the urge to run today! Even on the heels of my last two runs, 12 and 16 miles, I knew I should rest but I wanted to sweat! I did just a little run, enough to loosen the bones and break a sweat. I'm in a Leadership Conference the next two days up in Springfield Mo. It'll be interesting to see how I manage to get my speed work in....
I shot an 82 yesterday! It was good to get out on the Links but I was tired. Hope running is irresistable in you neck of the woods! Peace!
Totals-2.7 miles/ 35:37/ 13:12's- degree of difficulty-EASY! I walked for warm-up and cool down.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I've seen it all now!

Alright! Out the door at 6:40 this morning. That is early, early for me! My mind was made up! 16 miles or bust! My fuel belt loaded 22oz of accelerade, two gu's and my phone, my hand held water bottle with 22oz water; heel feeling better than ever?! Off I went! My goal was to run smooth, easy, with good form, trying to knock off the best mile splits I could.
I headed north into Ozark. Friends, there are some really steep climbs on this course. I pushed on! I took a gu at 5.4 miles, sipping constantly on my water. I made it to eight miles in 1:29 flat and I turned around at that point. I called it eight mile rock because of the huge white rock at this spot.
Back up the steepest hill I've found out here yet! I kept the jog going! Oh! I forgot, back when I took the gu...some sort of bug flew in my mouth and bit or stung my tongue! I kid you not! I spit it out immediately but it hurt! I thought the tongue would swell but it's okay. Just before that, I was running by a pretty run down place, I saw a guy in just his boxers on the front porch with a gun! Turns out it was an air rifle, he was shooting at something that apparently was bothering him? I kinda sped up here!
Back to that hill....there was a kid mowing a yard along this hill and I saw him slip and fall while he was mowing! Very dangerous!
I really felt good as I made it back to the outskirts of town, Yet the hills began to take their toll and my pace really dived. I began to drink more, rationing the supply of my most precious cargo.
Anyway, made it home with only one spell of walking. I'm very encouraged today! The heel is barking a little, and I still have 18 holes of golf to play! Hope all is well with you, our marathons are getting closer!! Peace!!
Totals-16.05 miles/ 3:16.17/ 12:13's-degree of dfficulty-high-

Monday, August 3, 2009

To Run another day....

Today didn't work out. My plans went kaput! I wanted an 18 miler of roads. What I got was a weak 12 miler. I picked up my running buddies...Larry and Clyde, (they are dogs). They can be such a pain! Especially Clyde as he darts and even stops in front of me making me have to stop or leap, or swerve, but I still like their company.
I was reminded today of the Bass Pro Marathon I ran last November because I felt the exact same way...I could not get going! I tried. It just was not my day! I actually had to walk some towards the end? Not the least bit encouraging! However, I have decided to try it again tomorrow. I will get out earlier, try to sneak by Larry and Clyde (they got in 12 miles today, too!) and hope I can get the long run in at a decent pace. The heat and humidity is back but that is not an excuse, I simply had no energy today. I live to run another day, though!!
Totals-12.25 miles/ 2:25:00/ 11:50's-Peace!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What a Walking Stick!!!

Residual effect

I really love going to the track, and yesterdays effort really had an impact on my body. My right groin, hip, left quad, all sore. It's the good soreness, though. I ran a recovery run today. I took it real easy and surprisingly averaged solid recovery pace. I came home and stretched. I am not icing the heel today. It is feeling better so I will see how it responds w/o treatment. I will still take the Aleve, though.
Larry and Clyde, (my dog buddies) hooked up with me today. They are a lot of fun to run with. They worry me though, how they run around in the road. People speed along this Hwy w/0 regard!
Totals-5.02miles/ 54:08/ 10:46's-38.89 miles this week. I am in a building phase so my goal is to log around 42 miles next week. I'm going to post a cool picture of a walking stick we saw this morning at our place here in the Boondocks! Peace


     So, we've been getting missed by all the pop-up showers and now drought has come. Trees are soaking up all the dew and seedlings a...