Wow. Where to begin? I'm so behind on posts and so out of time to do anything that it feels like an extravagence just to get this one done. This will be my last entry for some time, possibly the next six weeks. I am leaving Thursday morning for a 4 week vacation that is two days longer than I thought originally, so I'll only be back in NY for a couple of days before the second trip of the summer begins.
Let's look at the week.
Wednesday: 2 apples. Two miles. First run in two weeks, went out right after physical therapy for the achilles. Define irony: I'm in therapy for achilles tendonitis, but during the run everything hurt except my achilles. I swear, even my hair hurt. I was in so much pain. A couple of Tylenol really helped with that. Runs fall into two types for me: airway clearance or training. This was an airway clearance run, to be sure.
Friday: Ran before physical therapy. This run was MUCH better. Three apples. Still not long, same out-and-back in Central Park as Wednesday, but smoother, quicker, less walking, and no pain. The park was hella crowded. I hate the cars. Motorized vehicles that aren't parks vehicles should be banned in Central Park, permanently. Despite the crowding, everybody was very civil and accommodating. Tons of coughing on my end. Another airway clearance run.
Today: Marks the first time I've run two days in a row in months. Felt good, actually. Meant to get to the park in time to run two warm-up miles, but didn't realize the race started at 100th street, not at the 72nd street crossover, so I had a two mile hike before even dropping my bag off. I did TRY to jog the distance, but I think that will take some training; I was not ready to jog in pants, long sleeves, and with a backpack and only did a few hundred yards that way. Still, it was a brisk hike along the bridle path and I really enjoyed it.
The race was interesting. Everybody seemed very happy, very....gay. :) Pardon the joke. Yes, it was the Front Runners Gay and Lesbian Pride Run today. I didn't really care, I just needed a long run and I needed to notch another qualifier.
This was an atypical race for me, and I attribute it to the perfect early-summer weather we had: 57 degrees, 60% humidity (felt lower), and a steady, gentle breeze. The first mile sucked, of course, but not as bad as usual. It helped the race started on a downhill. I didn't push the pace this time; just content to jog the course and not push for time. I did strive for consistency and to make it up hills. I managed every hill except Cat Hill and over the whole course had only four or five Walking And Coughing moments (WACs). Maybe the acronym should stand for Walking Airway Clearance. Yeah. And maybe I'll start using EBLA (Energetic Bipedal Locomotor Activity) instead of "running."
It was a 3 apple run, definitely, but I'll bump it to 3.5 apples because at the end of mile 3, I slammed one of these:
This is a shot of Stok, which they have next to the creamers in the gas station across from me. They're new and I haven't tried them, but I grabbed two today, intending to use one as an energy shot to tackle Cat Hill with - I knew I'd need it and, hey, they're FREE. It's not hard to carry (lighter than gel) and it's not hard to swallow if you chase it with a gulp of water and I perceived some energy delivery. But I should have taken it at 2.5 miles, because the energy didn't come 'til just AFTER I'd walked the last third of Cat Hill. Fuckin' cat; got me again! Still, I finished the race feeling good AND with enough energy for a final kick. I got passed about a hundred yards from the finish by some woman and decided I could not let her beat me, so I cranked it up and made myself proud today.
I need more runs like this. It wasn't FAST, but it was fairly SOLID. I feel good about it and I felt good at the end, even though once the Stok shot wore off, I was so done for. Final time was 54:07, for a 10:49 pace. Not as fast as Japan Day's 4-miler, but I knew that would be the case. My lungs cooperated today and if they continue to cooperate, I should be able to get my times back down into the 10/mi range, especially as my legs are not having any problem with the current(ly limited) distances.
I'm taking my running clothes on my trips. I have to, of course, but I also hope to have some fantastic and interesting routes. I am not taking my footpod or heartrate monitor, so I'll rely on my watch and approximate distances based on 11-minute miles.
I am nearly packed and nearly ready to go. All my thoughts are turned towards this trip and I am awaiting only a single part for my bike and it will be ready to go. The saddlebags are already packed as are 70% of my things. I'm waiting on clothes at the laundry (the running clothes as a matter of fact), so I should be able to do a complete pack and test-mount tomorrow.
My only remaining worry is a nagging abdomenal problem that has been affecting me more and more lately, and is impacting the quality of my sleep, work, and play. The pain is centered in my upper right abdomen, in both the front and rear. It feels like I've been impaled, when it's at its worst. I ran Friday with this pain and I think the running helped. This pain has a tendency to come on about 2 a.m. and keep me from getting any sleep. That screws up my effectiveness at work and how I feel about running. The pain came last night. Of six hours spent in bed, I slept for two. Now maybe you'll understand my willingness to down a Stok straight while on the run... I hope 11,000 miles in the saddle doesn't exacerbate this pain.