May 27, 2006

I am wet

Before I get into today's thoughts, I would be cruel to not spread the word about Crumpler's Beer 4 Bags promotion. No, I'm not their shill; I just intend on taking advantage of the deal.

I just got back from a short bicycle ride, hitting several stores I need to visit this weekend only to be disappointed that two of the five are closed due to the long holiday. There goes my plans of internally wiring my motorcycle handlebars this weekend (bars at waiting at the dealership: closed). On to other things I guess.

The weather is really getting warm - too warm. A few days ago, it was 45 degrees in the a.m. Now it's 82 degrees outside. Before my bicycle ride was over, I had sweated through my shirt. I'm tired today. I got plenty of sleep last night and maybe it was too much.

Well, I'm taking a mental day off - it's been a tough couple weeks of work and it isn't going to let up for the next three weeks. And starting at the end of this coming week, I need to get my marathon training program in gear. That'll give me five months to train up. But I have worries. I have a lot going on and it doesn't feel like enough time to give to training. And my physical condition is not where I'd like it to be for the start of a training cycle.

Let's back up to last night. I got home after leaving work at 7 p.m. still determined to get a run in. Clouds were gathering as I stepped out at 8:15. I had 45 minutes to do the four-mile route to the grocery store - I didn't make it; not even close. For whatever reason, this roun was not good. It wasn't BAD, per se, but I had to take several short walk breaks and stretch breaks - I just couldn't work the pain out of my shins. Yes, the shin pain is back. What the hell?? The 992s seem to be the problem, but maybe they're only part of the equation. I mean, inadequate stretching or wrong stretching might be a part, lack of TKE's might be a part....but mostly it's the shoes. They just felt like heavy boards again last night and I wondered how could it be that I ran so brilliantly last weekend yet a simple four-miler at an easy pace felt like the tail-end of the Hell's Marathon?

Add to that the increased temperature and humidity and it was also getting hard on my lungs. I was hocking up more gunk than I have in a couple of months. Breathing was not a problem of itself, but the gunk is a sign of things to come, I'm afraid. I've started back on my TOBI but I assume it will take a couple of weeks to kick in and suppress any growing infection, if it is even effective at all. There is a distinct possibility that TOBI just doesn't work on my bugs any more. Well, I've got a doc appt in two weeks and will address things then. I'm not afraid to go on IVs - whatever it take to get me to the finish line on November 7, right? But if I'm now at the stage of things where I'm looking at multiple-agent IVs every three to four months...then I'm looking at a Port, too.

Anyway, back to last night's run. After two and half miles, I was in real pain and it had started raining lightly. I knew it was wiser to cut the run short at that point. I turned at Ocean and headed straight up Prospect Avenue toward the F line. On the way up the hill, it started to pour. I went from sweaty to moist to soaked in a couple of minutes. I had to remove my eye protection as I could no longer see and I just kept trudging up the hill. It only rained hard for a few minutes and by the time I got to Pritchard Square, it had slackened to a sprinkle, so I walked home from there. My calf - which had held up for the first couple of miles just fine - was now starting to feel like it did after Healthy Kidney 10K. Reinforcement that walking home was wiser than running home.

Along the way, I picked up a quart of vanilla ice cream and some chocolate syrup. I'm now drinking my home-made nutri-goo shake and it is much improved, though perhaps TOO chocolatey now. (Is there such a thing?) But the vanilla icecream has really helped with the texture and taste.

Anyway, last night was a difficult, disappointing run. Mostly, I'm disappointed in myself and I totally feel like a poser. I don't WANT to sound like I'm making excuses! I hate blaming all these external factors and feel that if I were just a stronger person I could... what? Run through the problems? *sigh*

Let's look at the upside: we now know that 992s are NOT 991s, that the change between the two models is substantial. I ran through two pairs of 991s and both pairs served me well, but the 992s just haven't worked out. So, taking Beast's advice, I went to Jackrabbit sports today and had them fit me up with a pair of shoes that might serve me better. The first guy I'd talked to a couple weeks ago was busy, but I noticed he kept an eye on me and Andrew, the kid helping me. Andrew didn't seem as knowledgeable, but with the other guy keeping an ear out, I felt like this would be a good purchase.

Andrew got me on the treadmill and we looked at my gait. We talked about what isn't working in my current shoe and what did work in my past pairs. I pointed out how the custom orthotics are supposed to help and we started trying on shoes. The first change he suggested was to look to the women's sizes. He couldn't believe how narrow my feet are (size A, realistically) and said women's narrows are proprotionally narrower than men's narrows. OK. We tried a neutral Aasics shoe: that felt pretty good, especially on the treadmill. He wanted me to try a more stabilizing shoe and I could feel a real difference - firmer in the shank, but still flexible enough on the roll-to-the-toe that my heel wasn't leaving the heel cup. We moved up a size to give my toes more room. Again, my heels stayed put in the shoes and Andrew asserted that more room in the toes could only help. He looked doubtful when I took a fifth run on the treadmill with the insoles put in on top of my orthotics - which is how I customarily wear all my shoes - but while the shoe was definitely a tighter fit, they still felt great. I will try running with and without the insoles, but suspect I'll run with them - they keep my toes from feeling the end of the orthotic, which can be irritating.

The shoes are a pair of women's Brooks Adreniline 6's, white, black, and silver with teal accents. Teal! The only other thing I own of that color is a Vari-Lite jacket and that was free. Well, I've said it before, I'll say it again: whatever it takes to get me to the finish line on November 7, right?

Tomorrow is supposed to be an eight-miler, a run up to the park and then two easy-pace laps. Looks like I'll have to get to bed early and get up early if I'm to avoid suffocating heat. I really need this to be a good run.

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