Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Officially India

One big accomplishment on Saturday was the purchase of more plane tickets.  Before, we had bought tickets from Dallas to Kathmandu, and from Mumbai to Dubai, and from Dubai to Dallas.  But we were still sorting out the Kathmandu to Mumbai plan. 

Finally, after a ton of research and planning, and multiple internet issues, including once moments after hitting purchase (ugh), we bought tickets from Kathmandu to New Delhi.

And the coolest part is that we are flying to New Delhi the day before my husband's birthday.  So I think the plan will be to take a train that afternoon/evening from New Delhi to Agra, and then, my predicted highlight of the trip:

We will wake up way before the crack of dawn in Agra and watch the sun rise at the Taj Mahal.

Eeee!  So excited!  We will definitely be going to India.  And now we have plane tickets to prove it! 

Sunrise in Delhi tomorrow is at 5:53 a.m., per my iphone, so maybe it will be about 6:15 by mid-October?  Either way, if we sleep past 4, it will be better than I expected.  And I think, since it's his birthday, the Taj may be the only thing on our agenda that day.  Maybe the Agra Fort, but ample time for coffee, napping, and mostly people-watching, all his favorite things on vacation.  He would be content every where we go to find a coffee shop, watch people all morning, have lunch, a short nap, and then aimlessly wander the streets for the afternoon.  I'm much more the opposite -- I'd like to have a list of the three coolest things to see in that city, and a time-table for how long at each and what order is most efficient, and I'd go, go, go, with a quick stop for street food eaten on the move for lunch.  In general, I feel like we're able to merge our styles fairly well, but for his birthday, I'll make an extra effort to make sure it's exactly his kind of day. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weather Stats and Chafing Solution

I don't really have any business posting about my rainy 20 miler AGAIN, but as Mike always says, sometimes the comments are the best part.  One of the comments I got yesterday made me think that I do have one other thing worth sharing about my run.  And one thing I saw on the news made it doubly worthy of another post. 

Fun stats on the news last night about the rain that we had on Sunday. 

At the outset, I will admit for the record that it didn't start raining until probably 6:30 a.m., I was done running by 9:00, and it poured for about an hour after I finished, and then went down to a drizzle for much of the rest of the morning and early afternoon.  So I can't claim all 2.8 inches, but it felt like it. 

Per the news last night: 

We got 2.83 inches of rain, making it the wettest DAY in 2.5 years, the wettest August day in 20 years, and the second wettest August 17 on record. 

(Photo, you know, since I'm sure your initial reaction was that it was totally unbelievable. ;))

I hate to call it worst case scenario for 20 miles because Amy's right, it's worse if you have it for 26.2, and I suppose there are several other scenarios that I don't want to imagine that would also be worse (especially since Meredith's comment about my first 20 miler indicated that doing such a run in the rain would be awful, and that fear came true).  But suffice it to say, not ideal.

Anyway, Amy's comment hit on other horror that accompanies such a wet and long run:  the chafing.

Well, blisters and chafing happen on a wet long run, but this post is only about chafing. 

I figured I should share my totally awesome solution for chafing. 

Yeah, I try to put Body Glide everywhere I expect it.  And yeah, now I'm also using paper medical tape around the edge of my sports bra and/or heart rate monitor.  Those help. 

But that's never enough.

During Sunday's 20 miler, I could feel my left collarbone chafing.  I always know it's bad when I can feel it while running.  Usually the place where I feel it during the run ends up being the worst, but there are about 8 other places that show up when the shower water hits them. 

So I realize my solution works best if you live alone (or if whoever lives with you isn't home when you shower) (and preferably not in an apartment with nearby neighbors), and I realize it's totally ridiculous, but I swear, it has been working for me this year.

By the time I'm ready to get in the shower, I can usually tell where the problem spots will be.

Sunday, I had the spot on my left collarbone that I expected, but I also had round spots under each arm, on each inner thigh, a vertical stripe on my chest, and most unexpectedly, a large upside down T on my left hip.  Yes, a long vertical stripe coming up from my waist.  I truly have no idea how that happened.  My shirt was loose fitting, but I guess somehow that seam got me.  I can only assume the shorter portion of the T came from my shorts waistband.

Anyway, the solution.  When I get in the shower, BEFORE the water hits what will be a problem area, I start shouting/screaming as loud as possible.  A huge, loud, AHHHHHHHHH!  It can't be at all half-hearted.  Like you're being murdered.  And somehow, then when the water hits it, there's a second of pain, but I kind of laugh. 

I don't know why it works.  I guess because normally, all I can do is scream with the pain, and if I'm already screaming, there's nothing more I can do? 

Honestly, it's working.  I won't question it further.  And I'll hope that I will have a soundproof hotel room for my post-marathon shower. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Twenty, take two

So when I posted about how warm it was for last weekend's 20 miler even at the coolest part of the day, Meredith commented that she always seemed to have to do a 20 miler in the rain, and that Mother Nature could be quite cruel. 

I didn't even know what to say to that.  All I could think is how much doing a 20 miler in the rain would suck and how it would probably be worse than doing a 20 miler with a starting temp over 80.

You know where this is going, right?

Drink if you guessed worst of both worlds!

So yeah, my second 20 of the season yesterday.  It was low 80s and 79% humidity at 5:30 in the morning. 

A solid six miles.  I won't say a dry six miles, because I was sweating like crazy, but it wasn't coming from the sky.

Around mile 6.5, it started raining lightly. 

By mile 8, it was raining pretty steadily.

I got to mile 10, as far as I could possibly be from my car, and that was when the downpour, complete with thunder and lightning, began. 


At one point, probably around mile 13, I was running with one of my buddies (the rest of our group had spread out way more than usual).  He's an oncologist.  There was lightning right above us and an instant huge clap of thunder.  We both screamed.  It was kind of funny afterward, he said he probably sounded just like his daughter.  It was really scary though. 

And just in the name of public service, after what felt like a near miss, I asked him what he would have done if I'd been hit.  Would he start CPR immediately, or run to the nearby house and have them call 911?

His answer:  CPR for sure.  Obviously, if you don't know CPR, the answer might be to call 911, but he said that a lightning strike doesn't always stop someone's heart, but if it does, the first few minutes of CPR are critical and can restart a heart.  He said he'd just start CPR and since other runners would likely be along within a few minutes, he'd leave it to them to find a house where the people were home and call 911. 

I thought that was interesting.  Even though I know CPR (to be a running coach, we're required to be certified annually), I honestly might have tried to get 911 first.  But now I know! 

By mile 15 or so, it was getting miserable.  Every time there was a cross street along our route, it was like running across two rivers on each side of the cross street.  I tried to jump over a few, but some were just so wide that I basically gave up.  And some of them were deep!  Like I tried to step in the shallower part along the edges, but even so, each foot ended up completely submerged at least twice, and there were about 100 steps total where the water came over the sole of my shoe and flooded in.


Definitely a run I'll remember for years and years to come.  I'm sure among my running buddies, it will become the stuff of legends, a story we're still remembering 5 years from now.

But the upside is that the rain brought the temps down a bit, or actually just kept them from going up.  It was in the low 80s when we finished, not a ray of sun in sight. 

And as a result, my overall pace was 30 seconds per mile faster than last week's 20!  Still slower than I'd like, but I'll take it. 

Like I said before, each marathon season, I usually have about 3 20 milers.  Survive the first, improve on the second, own the third.  So far, I've survived and I've improved, so hopefully I can own the next one. 

Driving home after the run:

Huge puddle outside, basically we crossed something like that almost every block.  Sigh:

Monday, August 11, 2014


An obligatory post to say that I survived my first 20 mile training run in temps of over 80 degrees.  I would not say I thrived, I would not say it was fast, I would not say it was pleasant, but it is done.  I'm glad I started at 5:30 or the temps would have been unbearable.  I ran a route with a lot of shade, but by the last hour, it just felt hot and any stretch in the sun seemed interminable.

For many years of marathon training, my "rule" for runs at about 17 miles or more is to get through it the first time, to improve it the second time, and to own it the third time. 

Since it was my first 20 of the season (actually, I think my first 20 since the marathon in Houston in January?), I should be happy just to have it done. 

But yow, my pace was depressing.  I think a lot of it can be blamed on the weather.  We've had a fairly mild summer this year, and frequently the temp when I've started running has been in the 70s.  So having it be over 80 was kind of a shock to my system. 

Instead of remembering the pace, I'm going to try to see it as just a check mark on the training log.

First 20 miler:  check.

I'm heading to New Mexico in a couple hours, and looking at the overnight forecast, I see 69 degrees from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.  I've decided to ignore the lightning bolt and isolated storms that are also in those hours, and instead, I'm going to look forward to a lovely cool run.  Too bad I couldn't do my 20 there!