July 4, 2008

Marathon Training - not the best start

Well, my marathon training is off to a start on a flat note. Let's step back a couple of weeks. Last time I posted, I noted that my long runs were not reaching the mileage they needed to be and that I was not having a good time in Toronto. Well, I didn't get any running done in Toronto, which is weird, given that I was teaching at the hotel where I was staying and should have had plenty of time. But in reality, with all the prep and needing to go out to find food in a place that didn't have a lot of affordable places to eat, I just didn't have the time.

Finally, last Sunday, I got out for a long run, which had quite a lot of walking. Of course, I waited too long to get out and things got pretty hot and humid while I was running. My choice of route might have been better, as the air was less humid in Sunset Park than out along the water of the bay. But it was a beautiful day and I put in a full 9 miles. That took two hours, though, and I'm worried that I just won't be trained well enough to enjoy the Manhattan Half.

After another pretty fallow week in which there was no running due to missed connections, bad scheduling, etc, I got out for a run yesterday. (I am in no way shirking my own responsibility in getting runs in. I could be getting up an hour earlier weekdays and putting in three miles before work - and will have to start doing so.) But yesterday's run didn't go well, either. A phone call that woke me up also brought me another quick job and I need the money, so I spent the morning making phone calls and generally getting nowhere in preparing for this lighting design. I got out for a run about 1 o'clock and that was during the hot part of the day. Again, quite a bit of walking, but not more than expected, given that I did hills. However, it was only a two mile run and this morning, my left knee is in a lot of pain. I could barely stand on that leg alone putting my pants on. My legs were mildly sore after Sunday's long run, but this is something different. Why should a simple two-miler put me in this much pain this morning?

I guess I'll keep an eye on it and try to keep my runs steadier, more frequent, more consistent. I'm realizing I'm a pretty lousy runner - worse than I was when I was a beginner. I'm more experienced, now, but my habits are worse. And even though I have this great half-marathon coming up, I'm just plain uninspired.

In other news, 600 Starbucks are closing. That's something like .1% of their empire and I seriously doubt any Manhattan Starbucks will close. Personally, I 'd like to drive a stake through Seattle's heart for bringing us this undead menace, but it looks like the economy may do that for me. The simple laws of economics are working as predictably as ever, and in this downturn, we see people turning from purchasing name-brand goods to generic goods, considering the cost-savings more important than the slight dip in quality. I'm already on a slim budget, but still recognize that green beens from the house brand are just as nutritious as green beans from Dole. Likewise, many people are realizing that Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds coffee tastes good and is 1/3 the price of Starbucks. In fact, in a blind taste-test, McDonald's coffee was chosen over Starbucks. (I've tried the Coca-Cola coffee, last time I was in Toronto...and it isn't too bad, to tell the truth.)

Well, that's all I've got on this July 4th. It's raining, and I have to go to rehearsal. I'm excited about this little gig - it's with choreographers I've lit for before, one of them a visitor from Japan, and in a space I've lit in a half-dozen times. The extra money is well worth the loss of sleep I'll have this week.

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