Posts Tagged ev

Son of a…

Ok, I’ve been trying to get this post out the door for almost a week, so bear with me if it gets a little concise towards the end…

As I alluded to in my Week 7 Recap, things haven’t been going according to plan.  If you’ll remember, I shifted my schedule by a day to accommodate life getting in the way.  Because I had to work Saturday morning (fail), my long run found itself set for Sunday.  Well, Saturday morning I woke up early, slid out of bed, and nearly fell over.  Son of a fish… My left foot sent a piercing stab of pain screaming from the floor up to my brain as if I stepped on a bolt of lightning.

Ouch!
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Bring on the Heat!

Sunday I ran the Hottest Half Marathon in Dallas, as determined by you the people in my poll.  To get it out of the way, I was promised hot, and it was hot.  Ohhh it was hot.

Start: ~84 feels like 90 | Finish: ~90 feels like 99

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Sink or Swim

Today sunk.  It sunk before things ever got started.  I’ve been looking to get in the pool for awhile now, mainly for some crosstraining, but with triathlons on the far, far away horizon.  I did a great job of coming up with excuses why I couldn’t, like “I won’t have enough time” [false], “I am a bad swimmer” [true], “There are tigers in the pool” [unverified], and other lame reasons for not getting myself in the water.

Well today was set to bust down all those mental walls and step up my training with some legit swimming magic.  Observing my irrational and debilitating fear uncertainty, Ev said she would join me on the endeavor.  We got up before the sun rose in order to arrive at the pool right when it opened at 7am.  Fully clad in our swimming gear (below) we pulled up to the pool ready to hop into the deep end.


As you may have surmised at this point (based on all my grandstanding and back story explanation with no real substance, this parenthesis notwithstanding), no swimming actually took place.  As we pulled up to the pool we found each lane chock full of Michael Phelps types.  Assessing the situation independently, we were in silent agreement to just keep driving, turn at the end of the block, and head home.  Sigh… One more reason not to swim: intimidation.  When we got home, pride defeated and floaties deflated, we took advantage of the earliness of the situation and got back in bed.  To swim, perchance to dream.  Maybe next time.

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Wine Country: Rated R (for Running)

Saturday was one of those days where I couldn’t really feel sorry for myself.  Actually, it’s more accurate to say I feel sorry for everyone who is not me.  No offense.  Friday, Ev and I flew into San Francisco and drove to Calistoga (think Napa Valley) to meet up with the family for my cousin’s wedding.  To set the scene, we stayed at the Solage Resort and Spa in our own bungalow in which you ride bikes around the property to get around.  I woke up “early*” Saturday morning to hit the pavement.  Here’s where I start feeling sorry for not-me (aka, you).  It was about 55 degrees, perfectly clear skies, and sunny.  To save us both 1000 words, see below.

I headed out of the resort and traveled down the main road safely in a wonderful bike lane.  I ran about 5.5 miles out, and then ran back.  In those 5.5 miles I passed 9 vineyards.  Yes, that’s right, 1.636 vineyards per mile!  Between the perfect weather, amazing physique (yes, that’s me**), and breathtaking scenery, I can’t really complain.  I literally can’t think of a thing to say to make you feel bad for me.

All told, it was a shade under 11 miles of pure, unadulterated running in an indescribable place.  To add to the jealousy you’re feeling, the rest of the day included pancakes, laying by the pool, wine tastings, and a wedding reception.  Overall not a bad day.  Next on the docket, hopefully running on, over, or at least near the Golden Gate Bridge.  Stay tuned!

The Details:

Distance 10.67 miles
Time 1:23:19
Pace 7:48 min/mi
Average HR 154 bpm

*7am Pacific = 9am Central.  It’s funny how much “the time change” was blamed for basically everything.  “I woke up at 5am and couldn’t sleep, musta been the time change”; “I got so hungry at 4pm and totally ready for dinner… stupid time change”; “Ugh, Global Warming is the worst.  I hate you, time change.”

**That’s not me.

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A Texas Beginning

I’ve been a bit out of touch for the last month recently, so I’ll try to get you up to speed quickly and painlessly.  Firstly (beware, there may be no “secondly”), I haven’t been running much, hence the lack of enthralling blog posts to get you through your day.  I’ve started four different posts and gotten sidetracked, but I plan to get back to at least a few of them.  Some small life events have gotten in the way, like driving cross-country with everything we own from DC to Texas, moving into a new apartment, buying a car, and learning a new city.  And what better way to explore a city than run it?  (Admit it, that’s a great segue.)

Well not that great, because like I said, I haven’t been running much, so there hasn’t been much in the way of bipedal exploration.  I got out Wednesday morning to check out a nearby trail in my new shoes.  The key is to get out early, because the temps were going from 60s in the morning to 90s by early afternoon.  And a warm run does not a happy Mike make.  Friday was more of the same.  Both times I got home around 10am feeling like it was the middle of the rain forest, without the excitement of wildlife.  Except some “people” like these local characters do pop up every once in awhile.

Anyway, it’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m excited for the prospects!  Keep an eye out for a future post about, well, the future!

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Slow Down!

Still no race on the calendar, but that hasn’t stopped me from hitting the pavement.  I’ve been getting out there 3 – 4 2-3 times a week, bright- dark-and-early (stupid Spring Forward).  I’ve been heading out on my regular 7.68 mile (yes, exactly 7.68, so says my GPS) route most mornings and take on the rest of the day per usual.  However, something comes over me on the weekends that is both awesome and unrecommended.  “What can be both awesome and unrecommended?” you ask.  Drugs! Grand Theft! Unprotected Chess! Country Music!* Teletubbies! I’ll give you a moment to get all the inappropriate comments out of your system.

Anyway,  the awesome / unrecommended item I am referring to is, on the weekends, I seem to run like people are chasing me.  What I mean is, I run nearly as fast as I can for as long as I can.  Case in point, this last weekend, for no reason, I started off a little too quick (8:00 min/mile) and only got faster.  Why?  Because it is awesome.  I even sought revenge upon my archetypal (GRE word) nemesis whom you may remember from my Power Suit post, and flew by a girl in a 2009 Boston Marathon shirt.  (Ev pointed out she was probably 2/3 of the way through a 22-mile run, but I still passed her!)  Makes me feel like I’m racing every week, in which case I am the winner!  (and loser, I suppose).  “It’s not recommended to run so hard too often.  You should slow down”.  Yea, that’s what you say if you’re a Teletubby you hate fun.

Perhaps it’s because I’m awake for a few hours instead of a few minutes before running, or just the change to warmer weather (thank you again, Global Warming, for raising Earth’s temperature so quickly**).  So for now, I’ll take pleasure in these long, fast runs, and continue to challenge myself as if I’m racing each weekend.  Rationality be damned!  I will not slow down!

Last Saturday’s Run

Distance: 12.34 miles
Time: 1:36:57
Pace: 7:51 min/mile
Average HR: 161 bpm

*Country music is neither awesome nor recommended.

**Some uninformed types might call this “the seasons changing from Winter to Spring”.  Ahh, ignorance, such a beautiful thing.  Suck it, Al Gore***.

***Thank you for inventing the Internet.

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

On a spur-of-the-moment decision, Ev and I decided to take our friend up on his offer and head down to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. 10 hours after deciding, we commandeered my brother Vince’s car and were on the road. Despite some traffic we made it down to the small town of Lexington, NC with plenty of time to help get things ready. A delicious meal ensued.

As with all my weekend adventures, I look forward to running in new places. Lexington would offer its own beauty and uniqueness that sets it apart from the usual DC paths… and so much more. Allow me to paint the picture for you: it was 8am on a clear Saturday morning. The grass had frosted slightly overnight and the air was refreshing in my lungs. A great day for a run! As is customary, I mapped out my route the night before in a simple out-n-back fashion so not to get too lost.

Was that a left or a right?

Turned out to only be 5 turns out, and 5 turns back. Pretty good. Nothing like that garbage above. As I began down the first of what would be many, many (oh-so-many) hills, I took note of how fresh the air smelled and how peaceful it was. That is, until I met… ::insert ominous music:: …Charlie. I’m sure Charlie is very nice once you get to know him, but he was a bit too friendly. This is a better representation of Charlie, but picture him without the boat anchor and hear him roaring at me.

Good Grief

I should mention that the dog-leash business in North Carolina must be in the tank, because maybe one in five was kept off my heels. So anyway, Charlie was the toughest of my battles. His prison warden old lady owner stepped out onto her porch and yelled “Charlie, git over he’ya RIGHT NOW!” Charlie wasn’t having it at first, but then backed down and returned to his den home.

Really he caught me terrified out of my mind off-guard. I kept an eye out for more encounters. The next “friend” greeted me around mile 4 right after a tough uphill. I took a page out of Cesar’s book and intimidated the IAMS out of her. As I continued, feeling good as I cruised through hill after hill and narrowly escaping fending off a few more canines, I felt the ground shake. SHAKE. It was a cataclysmic bark from a massive rottweiler. For a second I thought my long run was going to turn into a speed workout until I realized this behemoth was the one-in-five who was restrained. Although, I think he was only “restrained” because he chose to be. He could have torn the tree he was tied to along with him after me if he wanted.

G Zuss, he is huge...

Well, the rest of the run was smooth. I considered finding another route back so to avoid any more encounters but decided to brave it. Fortunately all my good friends headed in for lunch (or found another unsuspecting runner.) Maybe that’s why I didn’t see anyone else…Monster

The Details:

Lexington, NC Chase Run:

Route

Distance: 16 miles
Time: 2:08:27
Pace: 8:01 min/mile
Average HR: 164 bpm (183 max)

 

The Hills!

 

Brutal Hills, perfect for training for the Miami Marathon...

 

 

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