Sunday, After staying up super late Saturday drawing weird stuff, I found waking up Sunday morn to be a chore! Even so, finally got up around 9 AM and did a few pushups, shoulder presses, curls, pull ups, and ab exercises with Joseph. Not bad.
Later, at 6 PM we met Will, Juan, and Jorge at the usual meeting place at the South Farm entrance. It was a misty, cool afternoon, and Joseph and I actually wore a shirt today. The Villarreals did not though, cause those muggs are serious. After 3 miles, I wished I hadn’t. We ran thru campus, around the Research Park, and back around the other side of campus. Joseph and I did 5.1 miles, Juan did 6, and not sure what Will and Jorge got in. Jorge’s achilles was acting up on him, as it seems to do irregularly. He seemed fine for a mile or so, then bamm, ouch. Hopefully, he will be fine. Will has been nursing his plantar fascia problem and was running at a slower pace today. The rest of us did ok. My calf was sore from straining it the week before, but I wrapped it up and ran. Several of us are beat up right now, sounds like it might be time to ease up a bit. Starting next week, I will do just that. Well, as much as possible. I have a hard time resting. And, I wish I could run fast all the time. Too damn old I guess. Or something. Human. Not Kenyan. Whatever. Somebody slap me. I can’t complain, but I do, that’s why I have a blog. Back to the run. Our first mile was easy, 7:17, then 6:55, 6:30, then Joseph and Juan got a head of me, probably doing 6:20s. My 4th was slower, 6:55, then my 5th was 6:32. Pretty sore after! Stretched, and later put some ice on my calf.
Monday, Met Brent, Joseph, and Arash at 5:30 and we did our downtown 5.2 mile loop. Joseph was freebing out today after drinking some chocolate milk protein shake thing right before running. By a mile, he did not have any energy and went off on his own. For the rest of us, the first mile was 7:36, 2nd was 7:02, then Brent and I picked it up to 6:21, with Arash dropping back a bit. Next mile was 6:30 (more hills on this mile, plus several stops/slowdowns at lights), and 5th mile was 6:08. Last bit after was under 6 minute pace. I had once again taped up my foot and calf. Really helped. I could not have run otherwise because it was pretty derned sore earlier. As we returned, Joseph was out jogging around and so he finished up with us. Arash came in a couple minutes later. Pretty good run. Afterward, my calf actually felt better. I wore some higher heel to to drop shoes (8 mm) today than I normally wear hoping to put less strain on my calf. While we stretching after the run, sans shirts, several different car loads of college girls yelled nice things at us like: nice body, etc. Not sure who they were referring to, but each one of us probably thought the comments were directed at them. Anyway, decent day with two easy miles then basically a 5k at 6:20 pace.
Tuesday, Went early today. Just me and Max at 4 pm. Ran downtown, 5.2 miles. Max is getting in better shape. First mile was 7:38, then 7:10, 6:59, then after about the 5k mark, Max started tiring and slowed down to about 7:45 pace. I pretty much stayed with him until the last 1.3 miles or so, then picked it up. My 4th mile was 7:02, and 5th was 6:16, with last bit probably at 5:50 pace (according to garmin). Calf was still sore before run, so I wrapped it up. Was able to run with it wrapped. It felt better after the run than before. Was slightly sore later.
Wednesday, Met Brent at the South Farm entrance at 5:30 PM, we cruised the streets of Starkpatch. Got in our 5.2 or so miles. Trying to make myself go slow with my sore calf and a half marathon coming up on Saturday that I am not ready for. First mile was 7:16. Ok. Then 6:36, 6:41, 6:36, 6:05, and 5:45-5:50 pace for last .2 miles. Well. So much for going slow. Brent’s fault. Again had my calf wrapped, as I probably will for the next couple of weeks. Anyway, felt alright and it was really nice out! Anyway, I am sure this was a mistake, but there you go!
Thursday, I did not run, but did get in some upper body stuff. Nothing crazy.
Friday, Got up in the morn and we headed toward New Orleans for the Jazz Half Marathon the next day. Slept fitfully the night before, but did actually go to bed at a decent hour for a change. Damn. Drive started with a Monster and M&Ms without which I don’t know if I would have made it. Two more energy drinks later and with some loud Nirvanna, Zeppelin and similar tunes, we arrived at 3 PM in New Orleans to crazy traffic. But, I am pretty sure crazy traffic is the norm in N.O.! We checked in the Marriott, got our race packets (no safety pins in packets!), then set out to explore downtown New Orleans.
I don’t how far we walked, but basically about 3 and half hours! Got to see lots of cool stuff and met some crazy jokers! Stopped in a hippie shop somewhere and we picked up a couple of teeshirts (the Doors and Grateful Dead). We got down into the French Quarter a bit. A lively city!
Lots of art, weird people, cool architecture, weirdos, neat shops, sculptures, and weird folks, but also lots of friendly people. Met a nice older couple who were planning on running the half. They gave us saftety pins! How assume. The husband, 66 years old, was hoping to win his age group the next day. He did! His wife was 2nd in hers!
At some point, we were getting hungry, and freakin tired of walking! It was hot and humid. Probably a really bad idea to have walked this much the night before the race, but we don’t really get down here too much. This was only the 2nd time, but last time we did not get to explore. I was completely worn out and my legs were really sore, not just my left calf, but both legs everywhere. I guess with the combo of not sleeping much lately (mostly my fault due to late night painting binges), energy drinks, driving down, and lots of walking, things were adding up! We finally settled on a pizza/pasta joint for supper, which was pretty good and near the hotel. I got a crawfish and shrimp penne pasta deal with some local brew on tap (another stupid idea, don’t drink beer the night before a race), and Joseph got a duck and alligator sausage pizza. Cool. Tried it, not bad. The nice couple who gave us pins came in later and also ate here! Cool.
Finally got to our room, which ended up not being what I had reserved way back when. Ah. On an outside wall across from a very loud bar. Maybe this is everywhere in N.O. though. Our night and sleep was constantly barraged by loud music, yelling, automobile horns blaring, and police sirens! I brought ear plugs (Joseph did not use any, but should have) and covered my head with a pillow! Did not help. I thought, surely this will end? My legs were really tired, heavy, not good! I thought maybe a good night’s sleep would help. Seriously, music was still beating at 4:30 AM. I might have got 2 hours of sleep. Don’t know if Joseph got more. I don’t see how he could have. We got up at 5 AM either way and ate a banana, granola bar, and drank some water. Then I spent some time wrapping my foot and calf with sports tape, hoping to minimize the calf strain. To keep the tape from loosening up too much (this happened at mile ten the last time I ran a half, which I also, ironically, strained my calf the week before doing), I put a calf sleeve over the calf. I got it good and tight. That calf was not going to stretch today! My foot might not be the same after, but…
About 6:15 AM, still dark, we headed to the race start several blocks away. Kind of walked/jogged. Dang, it was already hot and humid. Not October weather. On the way, a friendly feller smoking MaryJane said hello! Ah, New Orleans. Jogged around a bit, and realized it was really warm! Pretty much had to wear shirts because we had nowhere to put them. Bummer. Met some cool fast jokers at the race start. One guy was wanting to win the grandmasters category. He did. Easily. Some young guys in their early 20s wearing orange Louisiana Running singlets were planning on winning the race, with 2 in particular thinking of going 1 and 2. They did! The winner, a small, red ponytailed 23 year old joker who apparently has never run track, was planning on running 1:05 or so. His friends said he has done that. But, I suspect they greatly under estimated the heat and humidity today. Last year the temps here were in the mid 50s, but today, well, add about 30 degrees plus 90% humidity! He ended up running 1:13 something and his bud was 1:15 something. Still pretty danged good. The 3rd place stud dropped back at 6 miles and did not do well. Meggan Franks from Starkville was up there ready to go to, but she recognized that today would be more about surviving and was not planning on killing the race. She has much bigger things ahead! I laughed as she told the young boy who later won the race that he should probably tie his shoes better! He did. Smart boy.
Race started, and things went well for a few miles, as I, and Joseph (according to him) ran along nicely. My first 5 miles were about the pace that I typically run this distance. Obviously, 2 weeks ago I got in a 14.7 mile run in at 1:37 only with minimal stops and felt really good. Not today. By 5.5 miles, I was hurting. Not even keeping up a pace that I run easy runs at every day. Wow. Not good. Thighs were sore, foot was sore, no energy, felt dehydrated, blah, blah, blah. The rest of the race was an exercise in simply trying to finish. Questions like, why am here? Where is Angelina Jolie’s house? I kid you not, this was absolutely the worst run I think I have ever had! After the 1st water stop, I stopped at every water stop! No, really. I stopped, drank water and or gatorade, poured water on my head, talked to the water people, then started running again. People passed me, sometimes I passed them back. I completely did not care. I only decided to run this race about a week and a half ago anyway, and only then because I was going to run with Zach. But, Zach got hurt, and I was already signed up. A couple days later I was hurt!!! Dang. Anyway, after getting passed, and repassing some of the same people over and over, but also watching random slower people pass me that would not have normally, I finally finished the race. My time was 1:34 something! Oh man. That sucked. And, I was so tired. It was hot, but nothing compared to this past summer. Too many things wrong. I saw Joseph after. He said his race equally sucked. He was shooting for sub 1:18, but ended up 1:26. He ran 1:19 2 years ago on a harder course. Bummer. Meggan finished just a bit behind him. She has also run 1:19 before. However, many people were running slower than usual today with the heat and humidity, and Meggan ended up being the 2nd overall female even with a slower time than she typically runs!
I have to say, it was really cool to run thru New Orleans and get to see all kinds of awesome old houses, buildings, and all that. Ran thru a beautiful park. Spectators and volunteers were great, and random jazz musicians were scattered throughout the run. Very cool. I like jazz. So, yep.
After the race, I headed to the Aid tent so I could cut the tape off of my leg, as it was killing my foot by now. After mile 9, it was painful to run. Not my calf, but the bottom of my foot from having to run all taped up. No scissors! What kind of Aid tent was that? Sat down, and eventually got it pulled off. Not easy. Getting the tape off helped alleviate my foot pain a lot, and we walked back to the hotel to shower. Changed shoes and clothes and felt better. Surprising, other than generally being sore everywhere, my calf seemed ok. We then walked back to the start for the awards. We knew Meggan got 2nd, and as slow as Joseph ran, we still figured he probably won the 0-19 year age group. Those zero year old kids are pretty fast, but you never know! I also wanted to see who won my age group (45-49). Well, Joseph did win his age group, and by almost 2o minutes. Got a cool bowl. Surprisingly, and despite my sucky, pathetic, punk-ass, winy old man performance, I also won my age group, and by several minutes. Cool bowl. I don’t feel like I deserve it really. But, what the heck. What do I know. Over. Done.
Post race party with music, food, and stuff. Pretty cool. Eventually, we headed back to Starkville. Since, I still had not really slept, it took 3 energy drinks, a coke, and large bag of M&Ms to make it back. Plus, lots of music. Finally! Home. Chilling out doing this blog, watching a movie and eating supper: chips, orange, ice cream, and dead guy ale. Calf is still good! Did not totally abuse it today after all.
WEEKLY WORKOUT SUMMARY
Sunday, AM – upper body/ab workout; PM – 5.1 miles, 6:50 pace
Monday, PM – 5.2 miles, 6:40 pace
Tuesday, AM – some pushups; PM – 5.2 miles, 7 minute pace average (1st mile 7:38, last mile 6:17)
Wednesday, PM – 5.2 miles (6:35 pace)
Thursday, PM – upper body stuff and abs
Saturday, AM – warmup jog, then 13.1 miles at 1:34, Joseph at 1:26 ish