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.