September 1, 2009

This American Life

Man, I love September. It is the most perfect month, and not just because it's when I was born, but because the weather turns perfect.

Let's back up to the weekend. Sunday I was supposed to 16 miles, figured I would just do 13 or 14, about the same as last weekend, and ended up cutting it short. I just wasn't having a good run. I wasn't in pain, though that might have been the Tylenol kicking in, but I wasn't having a good running day. The energy just wasn't there. I made sure to bring Sustained Energy, as I always do on long runs and even brought and used some freebie gels from last winter, some god-awful-tasting strawberry-vanilla caffeinated shots-o-barf. And while I had *a* level of energy, it wasn't the *right* energy. I was struggling from the get-go and was very unhappy. I think this is because I pushed too hard and had that good 5-miler on Saturday.

But few runs are a complete loss and it means a total of 15 miles for the weekend, which has got to be some kind of good training, right? And I was definitely clearing my lungs of mucous. (Unfortunately, I'm clearing more and more and the oral antibiotics I'm on right now are doing nothing but giving me cracked corners of my mouth and an itchy asshole.) I also ran into a friend of mine, Mark, whom I've sometimes seen walking in the park with his wife, but never seen exercise - until this run. I was walking and I heard my name, he was jogging and had caught up from behind. I'm very proud of him! He said he doesn't go long distance - just one loop of the park - but that's a very solid distance, if you ask me. He says his fitness right now is what holds him back. He gets his heart rate up to what he can stand and just holds it there. Consequently, his jog is slow - I actually caught up to him about a mile and a half later after I'd got going again - but he's very steady in his pace. I complimented him on that.

So. Sunday felt like a waste, mostly. I also had to wonder what kind of effect this would have on my blood sugars. Would I need less Lantus or the same? It's been hard lately to second-guess my body. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt.

So the world turns 'round and all of a sudden, it's today and I'm determined to leave work a half hour early (after staying 'til nearly 8 last night) and do 4 miles along the west side. Probably should have gone for the six, but I didn't think about it. I literally didn't think about this run and had an actual easy 4-miler. Slow, but easy. I walked when I felt like it; I enjoyed the beautiful weather and marveled at how clean the air was today. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to take a puff on my inhaler before I left work, so I was taking it a little easier than I'd wanted, but that was OK.

I was listening intently to my podcast, This American Life, the bad apple episode - Ruining It For The Rest Of Us. I'd JUST been talking to my colleague, Nico, about whether he'd be taking Mayor Bloomberg up on his offer to get all schoolchildren free flue vaccine this year. Nico is concerned. And then on this podcast, there was a segment about the moms who purposely don't get their kids vaccinated because of safety concerns or the now-debunked autism concerns. Nico's reasons are entirely different than what were mentioned in the podcast. The podcast was quite sobering - or that segment at least - and I had a lot to think about as I made my way past the heliport and Chelsea Piers.

Then the podcast turned to a segment with Mike Burbiglia, a comedian. I like this guy's work, but was not prepared for the laughter this time. At one point, a half-mile short of the end of my run, he said something that had me doubled over with laughter, just howling out loud. I'm sure the other joggers thought I was crazy. Of course, my laughing often turns to coughing, so I parked my butt on a bench to try to get some control over my lungs. And, man, when your butt hits the bench, your work out is over, you know? My last half-mile was a good one, but pretty much just phoned in. I had no leg pain the entire time - my stretching and foam rolling this weekend really helped.

My RunKeeper said 4.14 miles, but that can't be right. I think it's 3.9 or 4. Well, I'll let the resulting sub-12-minute pace stroke my ego for awhile. Plans are to get up tomorrow morning and put in another four or five before going to work.

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