Saturday, June 26, 2010

Its Good To Be Home!

I had a fantastic time out west, and I put in some great training out there...   but most of that was me flying solo.  Today has been just the opposite I'm happy to say.

This morning my goal was to run 13 miles.  A couple of weeks ago I had already promised a buddy of mine new to running that I would run 3 miles with him, so my plan was to do ten before meeting up with him and then do a 3 mile cool down type run with him as he runs at a pace about two minutes per mile slower than my norm.  I've come to realize that I just can't say no whenever anyone asks if I want to train together.  In fact sometimes I say yes too often and put too much training in.  But when Nancy asked if I was interested in running together this morning I was more than happy to have company on my long run.  Logistically it took us a bit to work out but in the end it timed out perfectly with me leaving the end of our run to head to the start of the next one in my car and making it there with a minute to spare.  Which was perfect as there wasn't enough time for my old legs to get all stiff and uncooperative.

Nancy and I ran a nice ten miler that wound through Lincoln Woods.  It was interesting running in 70 degrees temps with humidity after training in 60 degree weather with cool breezes and no humidity for two weeks.  I definitely need to get used to running in the heat again.  After so many solo miles of running you forget just how fast ten miles go by with good company and conversation.  The time flew by!  Before I knew it I was on my way to the east side to meet up with my friend.

This particular friend will remain nameless.  As I think new runners can be a bit sensitive about their pace and how good or bad their runs are...   so its only fair to protect the innocent should someone we both know be reading this.  Anyway...   we set of with the intention to run at least three miles but possibly stretch his longest run done to date out to 4 miles.  Sadly at about two miles in his back was really starting to bother him and we stopped to stretch.  Unfortunately at that point he just wasn't able to run any more without pain so I happily suggested we walk it in.  I felt bad as I think he was definitely annoyed that we weren't running, and to some extent perhaps a bit embarrassed by it, but I did my best to reassure him that it was all good, and then change the subject so we didn't dwell on it.  I tried to explain that running at our age is all about healing one injury or weird pain only to discover its moved to somewhere else on your body.  In his case shin pain has gone away and been replaced by lower back pain.  I just hope I did my best to stay positive, and reassure him.  I'm really proud of him!  He's lost 35lbs and looked great!  I hope we can do it again sometime soon when he's feeling better.  I know I'm new to all things active, but being able to run with people newer to running than I am is great fun.  Its a shame some of my friends get all sensitive about pace.  I can happily run or shuffle all the way down to 12 minute miles with good company.  But some people just think I'll get all annoyed at their pace.  Nope...     so I was psyched my friend wanted to run together.  I'm sure we'll nail a new furthest distance for him next time.  I'll be looking forward to seeing the smile on his face when we nail his first four or five miler together.

So after all of that we stopped for coffee at Starbucks and chit chatted and caught up for a long time.  Its funny but we mostly used to see each other at cigar bars.  We would catch up by sharing a few drinks and a cigar.  But now I don't smoke cigars any more and I rarely drink so all that went away so I haven't seen him in quite some time.  So it was great to catch up over coffee and chat about running.  I can certainly talk anyone's ear off about all things to do with training.  So hopefully I didn't yammer away too much!

After that for whatever reason on the way home I wanted more coffee.  Maybe cause I'm still on west coast time and getting up at 6am this morning was a big shock to my system.  So I went into Dunkin Donuts near my house to get a coffee.   There was a rather large gentleman in line in front of me.  He ordered his coffee and a donut.  They put the donut down first.  The dude grabs it out of the bag and starts mauling it right there in line.  As he shoved the last bite of it into his mouth he reached into his wallet to pay for it.  Yep...  he finished it before he had even paid for it.  It was a mix of horrificly tragic, sad, and funny all in one.  I felt for the guy to some extent...   but seriously dude.  Theres no need to eat your donut while your still in line.  And being that in my fat days I have eaten shamefull amounts of bad food I feel like I can in fact comment on this poor guy.  I can only hope he sees the light like I did one day.

Speaking of all things weight related....

Announcing things publicly makes them harder to avoid...   so in the end on my vacation I managed to put on 4 pounds.  I left at 138 and came back at 142.  Now I know EXACTLY how I put on the weight.  I cheated a lot and ate a LOT out there.  Partly because I overcompensated on my eating as I increased my training volume out there and also because I was on vacation in a house with ice cream and all sorts of other deliciousness that doesn't exist in my own home.  I have the willpower to not buy bad foods, I do not however have the willpower to not eat them when they are in front of me.  So yeah...  I put on 4 pounds.  So its time to get serious!  My goal is to get back down to 138 by the 11th of July and with any luck maybe get that down to 135.  Between that and plenty of training I will be a hill climbing machine!

Next up in my day was to go home and get a little rest.  Contemplate cleaning my house and unpacking for a couple of hours and then head out to meet some of the boys for an open water swim on the course of the Oh My Goddard triathlon that some of my friends are racing tomorrow.  I plan on going out there tomorrow too to show my support and take some photos and watch the transitions, swim starts and other parts so I'll at least have watched one tri before doing one.  Anyway...   the original plan today was that I was going to meet up with quite a few people from my tri club to swim the course for the Goddard Sprint tri that takes place tomorrow.  I suspect it was due to the world cup soccer game going long or something but only CJ showed up.  Really?  Soccer is more important than a workout?  Whats wrong with you people!

Anyway...   CJ and I waited till about 5:15 and then we said screw it and did the swim.  Swimming in the ocean was very interesting.  I can't say I loved it, but nor did I hate it.  The water at Goddard tastes AWFUL!  Its also really cloudy.  I can't beleive that this is a good thing.  And I know its been opening and closing lately due to bacteria levels.  So I was a little hesitant.  Originally I thought it would be a good idea as I thought that the buoys for the course might be out already so it would be a good practice but they weren't.  Fortunately CJ had attended the clinic the tri offered a couple of weeks ago so he knew the course layout so we just swam the rough layout.  So we swam out from the beach.  Weird!  What a strange sensation when your bobbing around in the small swells in the ocean.  A bit odd to get used to.  We went out pretty far and then made the left turn.  Thats when it got weird.  There were little jellyfish everywhere!  I could see them through my goggles as little white blobs and my hands were constantly touching them.  Yuck!  At first they freaked me out but then I realized that they didn't sting.  I still didn't like it, but at least I wasn't worried about getting stung.  Although I didn't flip onto my back at all I did tread water once or twice very briefly to get my bearings.  The salt water was a bit disorientating at first and it took me a bit to get comfy.  Eventually I settled into my groove.  All that work with bilateral breathing keeping me swimming straight has certainly helped but in the moving ocean I'm definitely going to have to sight more often than in a calm lake.  Good to know.  Before I knew it I was swimming back into shore.  Thats kind of a fun sensation.  The waves were super small, but there were still little swells you sort of surfed in on as you approached the beach.  My fingertips hit sand and it was over.  I don't think it took us very long.  Definitely a good first open ocean swim experience.  But the bacteria thing kind of freaked me out so I went home and gave my wetsuit a super long cleaning, same with my swimsuit, then scrubbed with antibacterial soap and used antibacterial mouthwash too.  Can't be too careful!  I'm sure I'll be fine but like I said..   water that tastes that bad against your lips can't be good for you.

Oh one other thing....    as I reached the shore and stood up and CJ came in behind me and did the same there was a woman in the water next to us.  I can't remember exactly what she said but it was something like how impressed she was we both were able to do that swim.  Definitely a rockstar moment.  I felt pretty bad ass.  Definitely made me smile.  : )
Next up tomorrow is that I'm going to go and watch the Goddard tri in the morning and take some photos for fun and to support my tri club members and then I'll go get a long ride in afterwards.  Should be a good day, and in a way its my last day of vacation before I have to start cranking away on monday.  So I had better enjoy it!

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