Monday, August 31, 2009

Chicago Times

A family wedding in Chicago meant pushing my long run to Friday morning, as oppose to Saturday or Sunday morning. As a recap, Thursday was a 10M at planned marathon pace (“PMP,” thanks Ana-Maria) where I rolled in at a 7:01/M pace. Perfect. This run made me feel much better after Tuesday’s speed workout found me on the edges of success—which is a way to say I failed.

The FIRST demanded a 15M at +20sec marathon pace. But, because I think I should be able to do every run at 7:00/M, my unofficial goal was just that, a 7:00/M pace. Now, such expectations fly in the face of all of my experience; but I’m a rather unreasonable person.

I awoke early to a light rain and 55 degree temps, or perfect Spike running weather. Having a tough 10 miles still resting on my legs, I promised myself I wouldn’t crush the first mile. What I didn’t expect was a 7:24 first mile. Oooppps. I guess I was taking it a little too slow. I cranked it up a notch and hit 7:10-7:12 for the remainder of the 15M (with the notable exception of a 7:22 on an uphill mile and a 6:52 last mile).

My hotel was about a mile away from the starting line of the Chicago Marathon, and I checked it out whilst I was there. I stood on the very street were I will be on October 11, 2009 and I said five things to the Chicago Marathon:

1) last year an injury ruined my run, along with 85 degree temps and an unrelenting sun
2) this year things will be different
3) people says the New York Marathon is better (well…I wanted it to feel a little self-conscious and unsure of itself)
4) when it is all said and done we can still be friends; and
5) I’m only using you to qualify for Boston (this was unnecessary, but I thought I’d rub it in a little)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Allergy

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but this time of year always ushers in unwanted allergies. And unlike those of you who suffer from hay fever, I suffer from a far worse condition; I’m allergic to oxymorons. It always starts this time of year when my friend “Little Big Josh” shows up for his annual visit. Last week I was at a party where they were serving ‘jumbo shrimp.’ I had to leave immediately.

So you can only imagine how my allergies acted up this morning when I ran my 10M marathon pace run in 55 degree temps with 90% humidity. Now, I didn’t think such weather conditions were possible, but they are. Fortunately, I hit the 10M mark at 70:10 (right on pace).

I have a family wedding in Chicago this weekend, so I’m likely to have to move my long run to tomorrow morning, and miss out on the mid 40s we’ll have this weekend.*


* Thank you Running Gods for simultaneously kicking me in the shin and mocking my poor running existence.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Buying Luck

If this summer has proven anything, it would be the following: 1) plantar fasciitis doesn’t get better by simply pretending it doesn’t exist (which is strange because almost all of my problems are solved that way); 2) I cannot run well in the heat and therefore must relocate to Alaska; and 3) no matter how long you complain, a certain movie theater will not refund your money simply because G.I. Joe was terrible and awful rolled into one--terriful.

All this heat and humidity and uber-fail runs have me thinking I need to do something dramatic to ensure Chicago will not replicate the 85 degree temps for this year’s marathon. After all, this is my ‘going for BQ’ attempt. Therefore, compelled to do something that will positively influence the Midwest weather in October, I fed a goat a dollar.

I did this for several reasons: 1) although I don’t necessarily subscribe to the magical power of goats, nor am I a goat worshiper, I though it couldn’t hurt; 2) that little guy looked hungry; 3) I wasn’t about to feed him my ten.

Now some may question my methods, but I have a feeling this little stunt will provide low 50s and cloudy weather come October 11, 2009.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trust Issues

Wow it has been a long long time since I’ve posted. And what could keep me from posting for so long? Simple. Trust Issues!

Now I’m not talking about trust issues from a failed romantic relationship, where lies let to suspension and to destruction. Nor am I referring to trust issues springing from my upbringing (read: even if my Dad did lie to me and tell me he was a secret government agent and Superman).

No, these trust issues go much deeper. These trust issues are the sole responsibility of Pizza Hut. It started out simply enough, with Ashton Kutcher punking people. And the next thing I know I’m out eating at a fancy Italian restaurant when some lady informs me that I am in fact eating Pizza Hut pasta. It took me weeks to deal with the shock that such a respectable pie company would go so far as to purposely deceive me, feeding me under false pretences.

After my counselor said I needed to go out in public again, I decided to try something safe like chocolate. I wandered into a local bakery where a kind and sorta attractive French woman asked me if I wanted to try a new French delicatessen. I then proceeded to dunk bread into a bowl of chocolate. It was delicious.

No sooner had I gone in for an unauthorized ‘double dunk’ when the employee stripped away her apron and informed me she was not French, but a PIZZA HUT employee. You may have seen the commercials; although I doubt my experience will make it to the small screen, as the three minute thirty-seven second tirade I unleashed cannot pass FCC regulations by any means.

I may never trust again.

And on running news. Last week was my third (of five) 20M+ runs. Now, two weeks prior I had a 13M run I cut down to 10M due to the 80 degree heat and the fact that I could see the remnants of the small rain cloud that had fallen to the ground begin to evaporate—in daylight. I then tried to run early the following week (read: 7am) only to have 70 degree temps to start. Needless to say my 18M was a train wreck. Average pace was 8:18/M.

But last weekend brought cool temperatures, starting in the high 50s and staying in the mid 60s. So my 21M run went excellent, hitting a 7:12 average and only the last three miles above a BQ pace (with nothing higher than a 7:25).