This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Week In Review

This week was a crazy week in Raleigh. I got two of my three runs in, including a Saturday long run! Woo-hoo!

Tuesday would be the day that I did not get my run in. The plan was to go to the inauguration viewing at The Galaxy (support local!), with my BFF Sam. Instead, Raleigh got snow!! Up to six inches of it!!

It was a beautiful sight to see the snow coming down all morning and really, through the early afternoon.

I knew there was prediction of snow but because our local weather reports are mostly useless, I doubted that anything major would happen. Sure. I wanted something major to happen but I had little faith.

At 2 AM, I had to get up to pee and I peeked out of the bathroom window and saw trace amounts of snow. Ha! I thought. I was right. They made a big deal out of nothing.

But several hours later, CJ ran into my room and said 'Did you see the snow?' I looked outside and thought: yup, it's a snow day alright!

My work place closed. School closed. And Tim couldn't work in the snow. So we had a great gift of watching the Inauguration as a family. With snow falling in the background. It was sweet!

The girls played for a little while. But we do not have great cold weather gear for them so it was short-lived for them.

I took Brenna the dog out and actually let her off-leash to run around. The roads were pretty desolate, so I felt if I could let her go off-leash at anytime, this was the best time.

But as usual, I feel, for me. I don't see just ordinary things. While I got great pictures of our house covered in snow, as well as our streets, the first person I see as I walk out with Brenna and my camera is this dude:

We exchanged hellos but I gave him an odd look, and got close to asking him why he was lugging a suitcase down the middle of my street.

Wednesday the snow was still around. Of course, predictions were that the snow would melt but the temperature never really rose above 37 degrees. I don't know why weather people think that 37 degrees would melt 6" of snow but they did.

And it didn't and in fact, school was closed for another day. I did get my P90X workout in with Tim, so thankfully, I didn't let two days of missing workouts prevent me from missing one more (it becomes a habit...missing workouts).

Thursday I was back in the office with another busy workday. Fortunately, we got our babysitter back and she was going to pick the girls up at school. This meant I could stay longer and not feel bad about getting my run in at lunch time.

$Bill and I went out for the Umstead 5K loop...his was going to be the 10K loop. We had amazing weather too.

It was registering 38 degrees when I left the office and I was thinking: man, I am going to FREEZE! But when I got out in it, it really felt nice, as the sun was out and very little wind. I actually, and unbelievably to me, ran with only pants and a long-sleeved shirt. No beanie cap, no fleece jacket around me, no tights underneath the pants, no gloves. This is not like me. Maybe I am truly becoming a runner now...:-)

We head out and reach Umstead only to find that ice and snow still blanketed the entire fire trail, at least as far as we could see. $Bill was smart enough to say "um, we need to turn around" and we did. Not as nice of a route since we go back UP to where we just came from (which, btw, was also up...gravity laws do not apply to this area).

But I got my five miles in and he got his six and it was all good (well, except probably the last mile for $Bill, because there is a CRAZY hill he has to run up...I was not envious...).

Friday is also another busy work day that frustrates me to no end. I burn out about 3PM with exasperation and the whole "what is this all about? (like what is life all about) what am I truly trying to do? why do I even care? (if I didn't, I wouldn't be so frustrated). My friend Sam has just perfect timing, as she sauntered in my office and I let out my frustrations. She said "let's go grab a drink" and an hour later, we were at Bonefish Grill (the cheaper (and not local) of the "across the street" places to grab a drink) with a few more notes from me about why I am so aggravated. Nothing like a good friend and a great glass of cabernet to wash away those sorrows.

It was also the first time I gave a glass of wine back! How is this possible, you ponder? The special that evening was a Malbec. I don't recall the vineyard but generally, I love Malbecs. I buy them all the time. But this one was nasty. I tried a few sips, hoping that perhaps my tastebuds were not aligned. Maybe gum I chewed earlier in the day disturbed my taste so I kept trying. But dammit, I had a bad day and I wanted to celebrate my weekend, starting with my drink with Sam, and I could not concentrate on anything except how bad the wine tasted.

I made Sam try it (nothing like putting bad wine to your friend!) and she agreed. We conferred, out loud, that perhaps Michael (our bartender) would be so inclined to give me something else. Michael HEARD us (imagine that!) and then told me "i really hate that wine. it just doesn't taste good. but i can't tell customers that..." so in exchange, I had one of their cabernets, which was THE BOMB.

Saturday was long run day and I was very happy about this one. Tim was going to do his long run and my buddies $Bill and Erin would be doing theirs.

They are training for the National Marathon in DC, so they had an 18 mile run starting at 8AM. Tim had 9 and I had 8, so we were starting closer to 9:30.

The run was fine but I kept a brisker pace than I usually do for my long runs. My coach had
8 miles- Last 4 @ 10:00/mile

and since I just copied and pasted this, I find that I, again, did not memorize my workout well.

Today I thought I was doing 8 miles, last six at 10 mn pace. That seemed tough since my earlier long runs (before my half marathon) I had been 10:30 and above...mainly close to 11 mn/miles.

But I want to get faster and since my initial paces were 9:30, I wanted to stick to that.

Mile 3 and 4 sucked. They are UP. But mile 5 was awesome because this actually follows gravity and I do really get to go down! And mile 5 is my runner's high route. And it proved well enough today for me to hit a 9 mn mile on that route...

The last three miles sucked. My legs were killing me. I was breathing hard. The breathing hard is what I have been trying to avoid doing for most of my running years, hence my slower pace.

I debated walking. I don't like walking unless I bonk. And I don't bonk often (note above "slower pace"). I wanted to WALK. I know the last 2 1/2 mile route by heart and it feels too long.

But I don't walk although when I ran into Sam, who was running the other way, I tried to stop and engage her in conversation. She refused to stop running and shortly, Tim was coming up from behind me so I was back to running again.

I pass Erin, who is smiling and looks dainty in the last few of her 18 mile run. She high fives Tim (who is ahead of me) and then high fives me. I see $Bill shortly after and I plead "am i close to the finish???" and he says "1/4 mile to go". I high five him too.

And finally, I see the end and I finish. 1:19:50 (including the 10 seconds I tried to stop Sam from running) for my 8 mile run. :-) Under 10 mn/miles for the entire 8. The thing that killed my 9:30 pace was the two miles going up hill. My GPS watch doesn't work as well (in fact, it shows 8.10 miles but I'm pretty sure it was eight) so my splits were all over the place. But the end result is that I was able to do eight miles in sub 10.

Then we ($Bill, Sam, Erin, Tim and I) all met at the Breakfast Nazi(support local!) place and had a great breakfast.

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