March 31, 2008

Ill timing and falling apart

I can't get this done. I just can't do it.

The scheduling of all my work and my travelling and family vacation and this upcoming half marathon has been so bad and I am so exhausted already.

I haven't posted since I left for vaca. OK, so the vaca was pretty good, all told. A very mixed bag, but with more good memories than bad and an overall improved opinion about Disney than I will admit to outside this blog. We spent the first four days/night on the Disney Wonder, a ship built for Disney. It and it's sister ship are Disney's entire fleet, but they've got a good cruise line structure holding together their little enterprise. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at every turn. I'd done a Disney cruise years ago (twenty?) and that was when Disney cruises were basically a package Carnival offered. (Carnival is to be avoided at all costs.) But this time around, with their own ships, own personnel, own infrastructure, own schedules, and even their own ISLAND, Disney did a great job. For you parents that may read this insignificant blog, be assured that not only will your precious little snowflakes be taken care of (all day long if you want them to), but so will you. There are kids-only areas, teens-only areas, family areas, and adults-only areas. The cruise is CLEAN: only one smoking area (in the adult area of course), no casino, and the constant of swarms of kids keeps people's language clean, too. But the drinks are good - stiff even - the beds are comfortable enough (even the convertible I slept in), and the boats are well laid out. The staff is good at what they do and seem happy to be doing it. The dining isn't Holland America Line quality or served at the coat-and-tie level every night, but it's close. Plenty of it, too. The shows on board are good, too, and if you decline to go ashore or come back early, you might even meet some of the actors catching some sun on deck, too. They'll deny it, of course, but people of that age and physical fitness without wedding bands...don't hang out on cruise ships unless they're employed there.

Anyway: cruise line good. Ports of call: good also. We stopped at Nassau and my family went to Atlantis water park/resort for a day of fun. The place is HUGE. The lazy river alone is about a half hour worth of round-trip, including three sections of rapids. This was the only place I encountered drink prices that were higher than Manhattan prices. It's also the only place I really fucked up: after taking my six-year-old nephew on the lazy river (his 3rd time) and enduring a cold rain during it, he was freezing and shivering. Having no dry towels nearby, I picked him up to try to keep him warmer with my body and make better time toward where the towel stands are. Unfortunately, the rain had made the stone walkways very slippery, which I didn't find out until I was headed down a flight of steps. I was being careful, taking the steps one at a time, because there was no handrail, but hitting the third step was like hitting black ice - and we both went down pretty hard. Fortunately, my nephew came out with only a scraped knee and shin - I got pretty banged up trying to keep him from hitting the ground. Nothing broken, though.

We also had a stop for a day at Disney's private island, which my brother and I had a great time on. Even there, one can find adult-only beaches and get smashed on Long Island ice teas. The Disney people really planned all this quite well.

Once back on dry land, we did the Disney World thing and that was OK. Theme parks aren't my favorite pasttime, but I'm up for it now and then. This became the difficult second half of the trip, as my tolerance for strange food was getting worn out and I just wanted to be home. While most of the family stayed in a cabin, I stayed with my parents in their motorhome during this half of the vaca, all in the Fort Wilderness Campground, which is not to be confused with the Fort Wilderness Lodge. I found the setting to be peaceful and enjoyable, my nephew had a great time, and I had a chance to relax and spend time with my parents, which was hard to do on the cruise ship. In fact, given that I had a day-and-half long attack of the gout, Dad and I spent quite a bit of time together.

While at the campground, I got in one run about three miles long and found it easy and pleasant with - shocker - no walk breaks. I paused half-way through only to relieve myself in one of the many Comfort Stations, which are also all clean and well-planned. I didn't have my footpod or heartrate monitor, but my watch read it out as a 36-minute run, not counting the potty break, and if I was doing roughly 11-minute miles, it was a decent workout.

I did not, however, get hardly any work done, nor did I today. I got home last night not long before midnight and had several emails to get out before I went to bed. I slept a good eight hours, but woke up exhausted and am still exhausted. I've felt wasted and ill all day, including the common CF problem of having the greasies, no doubt a result of the bratwurst I had at the German Pavilion in Epcot Center yesterday. I tried working, but was falling asleep at the keyboard. I'm going to bed in a few minutes and see if I can catch up on sleep and feel better tomorrow.

I have a lot to do. Three light plots due as fast as I can produce them, as well as client meetings and rehearsals. I need to remain strong through this week, get the last of my training runs done, get my work done, and push through it. I have the St Louis Half this weekend and that will be a quick trip. The rest of April is similarly rushed. I hope I don't have another day like today until at least May.

March 22, 2008

Richard Jewel can kiss my ass.

Some things happen, some things don't. This has been a lousy two weeks of running history for me.

Thursday, March 13, 2008:

This run was done in Vegas. I soaked through my running clothes running in 75 degree heat - and that was at sundown. It was a short run. After, I got pretty sick, feeling like I had the flu. My business in Vegas didn't leave much time for running - at least not with any hope of preparing for the next day and being sociable with my hosts, old family friends.

March 17, 2008:

Well, I was so tired from Vegas that I wasted a perfect running day Saturday and then it rained all day Sunday. So there went the week's long run; it just didn't happen. This was Monday's run and fell short of the 4 that was on the schedule - thoughg I did do pretty good on the hills.

March 20, 2008:

Another run skipped (Wednesday) - was supposed to be 6. Thursday's run was this 3.8 mile run around the Greenwood Cemetary. Not a bad run except for the brutal wind. I had a very hard time with it, particularly in the second half of the run.

Today, March 22, 2008:

I have brutalized my body. My calves are destroyed. I was actually surprised at the amount of pain I felt, since two weeks ago, I did 10 without hardly any pain. I'm pretty happy with this run, despite the walk breaks and the roughly 11 minutes per mile pace. For one thing, I was able to get in some unbroken miles here and there; for another, this was in Central Park - all hills. I was able to conquer most of the hills quite well - the walk breaks correspond mostly to pain in the legs or coughing fits. Downhills began giving me more trouble than uphills. I'm also happy with how far I could go between walks in the last quarter of the run when I was just exhausted. I had to use every mental trick I knew to keep going.

This run was my longest since October 2007 (Staten Island Half) and was of a far higher run to walk ratio. Had I done a half marathon today, it would not have been my fastest, but far from my slowest. I realized, too, that I haven't had a run of this quality AND length since Janurary 2007 - the Houston Half Marathon. My lungs are in pretty good shape at this point, though my legs and cardiovascular system could use better training before April 6th. Well, too bad.

Now, one of my ways of getting Central Park runs done and still have a place to put my jacket, extra fluid, etc, is to lock my backpack to a bench with this wire rope net thing I have. This has worked for me a dozen times or more - up 'til today. I should have known that a beautiful perfect Saturday in which everybody on earth was in the lower half of the park would have a lot of police patroling, too. Well, when I finished my twelfth mile and was walking towards the bench where I'd left my pack, I found a Parks employee and a police officer (traffic cop; no gun) examining my pack and talking about what to do. They were pretty unhappy I'd left it there. What are they to think? they asked. It's locked with some cable device they've never seen before; they have no idea what's IN it...yeah yeah. I see their point. In these days of terrorism, I suppose a crowded Central Park might actually be a worthy target. Certainly, had I nefarious intentions, I could have picked any point at random in the lower third of the park, earned my 72 virgins, and taken a couple dozen tourists with me. Though...most of them would have been Italians...and I'm really not sure I want to spend eternity with Italians. With New York being a de-facto smoke free city indoors, they have nowhere to suckle their cancer sticks except outside. And to them, a park - especially where hundreds of people are exercising and improving their health - is the perfect place to perfume the air with the stench of their filthy tobacco turds.

But I digress. The policeman, he said he could give me a ticket but wouldn't. (A ticket? For what, I wonder?) He suggested I take advantage of New York Road Runners lockers. Yes, but I had problems with that in the past which is why I do THIS, I explained. I grant that today, I could have used them fine. But that isn't always the case.

So lesson learned: I'll have to go back to leaving a spare water bottle on a bench and hope it doesn't disappear and simply travel to the park a lot lighter. I don't want my shit stolen by THE POLICE. What a strange world we live in.

Okay - dinner's ready and I have an early flight in the morning, so I better eat and get to bed.

March 11, 2008

I am posting a couple weeks worth of runs here

February 27, 2008

Not a bad run. Got the three miles done; slow. 3 out of 5 apples

March 2, 2008

Supposed to be 10 miles; just didn't have the energy. Too much walking, too. Nice day, but... chose to finish a cut-short run strong, rather than a 10-miler like walking death. Various pains that wouldn't go away, too. 2/5 apples

March 4, 2008

Another cut short run. Dammit.

March 5, 2008

Shorter than was supposed to be. (5 miles was planned). Not enough umame. Have I written about the umame yet?

March 7, 2008

Calendar surprised me by bumping the regular 3 miler to 4. But THIS 4 was the run I deserved after the last week and a half of so-so running. THIS 4miler was 5 apples! Check out the pace chart. Only two stops for traffic and one break at the turn-around point to stretch, which I really needed. I'm back to stretching better before my runs, and that helped me nail this 4-miler. Very very happy with this one.

March 9, 2008

Woof. Holy moly. 10 miles is only 1 mile longer than 9 miles - and those I did OK. So why does double-digits phase me so much? Well, I got out there, but it had a lot of walking. Less in the second half, but ... still. I'm confident I'll finish the St Louis half in under 2.5 hours - hopefully closer to 2.25 hours, but... maybe not without some walking. Still...if my history repeats itself, if I stretch well before the race, maybe jog to the starting line initially, then stretch, and can just get through the first three or four miles without walking, then I should have a good continuous-run race. After all, my performance at the Houston half surprised me - I was walking somewhat in the training leading up to that race, too...and my sister and I took only one break the whole race, for the portapotties, not because we felt we had to slow down. Essentially, I'm hoping for a slightly-faster repeat of that race.