Thursday, August 28, 2014

Breeze 1

Let the record reflect that today, August 28, 2014, at approximately 5:25 a.m., the first cool breeze of autumn was felt in Dallas.  Woot!!!

I had a track workout today (Yassos) and I almost bailed.  I'd had a dinner of wine, cheese and cake, and had gone to bed WAY too late for me.

And when I woke up, I felt like I had been dropped from about two feet in the air onto my left knee on concrete.  Yeah, it hurt, but it was a bruise kind of hurt, not any kind of twist.

I could make a huge list of highlights of running at a track (first and foremost is the ability to shed layers at will, which is only relevant in the winter), but among the highlights would be the ability to never be more than .125 miles away from where you started.  Well, that's not really true for me, since we have a 1.5 mile warm-up to get to the track (but with shortcuts, I could be back at my car in about .75 miles if necessary.  Anyway, one of the great things about the track is that when you're hurting, it's very easy to end the workout when your body dictates, instead of having to trek x miles to get back to your car. 

Another great thing about the track is that even when you're running a pace 10 minutes per mile slower than your buddies, you're still not alone. 

That (and the facts that this is our first track session of the season, and that my marathon is going to be here in not many more weeks) made me decide to get out of bed and give it a shot.

I figured I'd get the 1.5 mile warm-up, and assuming I felt okay, take a crack at the workout. 

Such a good decision! 

First, I got to feel that very first cool breeze.  There were about 3 others in the course of the next 1.5 hours. 

Second, within a tenth of a mile, my knee (and shoulder) felt fine.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about my little finger.  It was throbbing, shooting pain for most of the cool-down.  One of the bonuses to doing marathon training for what would generally be considered "fast" times (obviously, that is very, very relative, Meb would probably laugh inside) is that I think you run with a lot of people who are very driven.  And I think some professions requiring a lot of education attract very driven people.  And so that means, I run with multiple doctors.  So I had one of them look at my finger after the run and told him what the issue was.  He said it's not infected, and it's definitely not MRSA, and that I could ice it if I wanted, but that it was probably going to stay painful when the blood was really pumping for another week or so.  I told him it hurt enough that I didn't think I could handle a week of that, and I asked if I should just have it amputated.  He kindly offered to do it then and there with a plastic knife he had in his car, and another buddy offered to film the "field operation."  But it was getting late, and we both had to get to work, so I've kept my painful finger for another day. 

Anyway, third, when I got to the track, I managed to do the whole workout! 

My pacing was off a bit.  I tried to run them all based on effort, without looking at my watch much, and because I had forgotten to flip a setting on my watch, that worked pretty well since it was pretty tough to figure out my pace if I did look at my watch. 

So I ended up:
2 seconds slow
2 seconds fast
7 seconds fast
8 seconds fast
5 seconds fast

I should mention that these were made at least marginally more difficult because we were doing passive rest in between.  You don't really get a lot of lactic acid building up with just 5 Yassos, but every little bit counts. 

The last one was insanely tough, but I was happy.  And I think that if I'd smoothed out my pacing a bit more, I probably could have done another one. 

All in all, totally awesome morning considering there was a chance I was going to skip the workout entirely (though yeah, more sleep would have been lovely, but that's what the long weekend is for!).  Happy day! 

So despite the rough start yesterday, the year is looking good! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rough start

Well, today is not going well.  I hit a little height differential on a sidewalk at boot camp this morning, while out on a short run next to the art museum, which is incidentally pitch black at 5:35 a.m. or whenever I hit it. 

And I totally wiped out.

What's really funny is that I fell at boot camp almost exactly a year ago.  And that time, I twisted my ankle, got a huge scrape on my elbow, and even ended up scraping my face a bit, which really pissed me off since it was the day we were heading out to go to my 20th high school reunion.  So I'd gone about 30 years without any scrapes on my face, and then for the first time I see a vast majority of people in 20 years, I have a scrape on my face.

In reality, that fall wasn't too bad.  The twisted ankle really scared me, but it was fine within about a week, and the face scrape was barely visible, and the elbow eventually healed.

So when I compare today to last year, this fall was much better.  First, I didn't twist anything!  Second, I didn't hit my face.

Unfortunately, however, I scraped the $hit out of my Garmin, and scraped my Jawbone up a bit (and lost the cap, which is INSANELY irritating): 
And I can't say that my body was unscathed.  It's just scrapes, so it will heal much faster than a sprain, and despite the fall, I managed to get in part of the workout, and then I still managed to run home, have breakfast, and then run to work.  Honestly though, I didn't really have many other options since my car had stayed at the office overnight!  I guess I could have taken a cab or Uber or called a coworker for a ride to get to work, but running was really the easiest way to deal with it since I was carless.  Though I didn't twist an ankle, I landed hard on my knee, so I got some major road rash: 

And I hit the outside of my hand, including somehow scraping a little divit out of my pinky (the part covered in the bandaid already) (which still hurts like a mother, even now, more than 6 hours later!): 

And I took a major dig on my shoulder: 
(Yeah lots of freckles from way too much sun exposure.)
And as a bonus, since I had to run to work, my outfit was already at work, waiting for me in my garment bag.  What would you guess would be the worst thing to have to wear with those injuries?  If you guessed a skirt and a white shirt, you'd be right!  Thus far, I haven't bled through the bandage on my shoulder, and at least the shirt's not sleeveless, but I still feel fairly ridiculous with a huge bandaid on my knee. 
If only the garmin and jawbone would heal up at the same rate my scrapes do, a month from now, it would be like the tumble never happened. 
Ugh, not the way to start a new year.  At least instead of looking my age, I look more like an 8 year old now with all the scrapes. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Mexico and the flood

Some random pictures from my trip to New Mexico two weeks ago not taken while running.  Figured it would be fun to share, because, as you'll see, the trip ended with some major suckage.

A Las Cruces travel report. 

Dinner at a winery in Las Cruces, same place I went for dinner twice in March when my husband and I were here for the Bataan Memorial Death March race: 

Complete with live music this time: 

Ending with very good gelato: 

Driving past the exit for Juarez (in downtown El Paso): 

Downtown El Paso, off to my left: 

The municipal court in Las Cruces: 

The nice, new federal courthouse in Las Cruces (where I was working): 

My sweet ride, a green Kia rental.  Ugh: 

A little shop, typical Las Cruces in architecture and all: 

Rivers of water during a massive downtown on my way back to El Paso: 

Scary deep water, worried I was going to be caught in a flash flood: 

Not loving life at all, but glad I wasn't in my own car, which sits pretty low: 

This photo didn't capture the water depth well, but there seemed to be actual waves: 

Wipers on high, not high enough to clear the windshield (I'd completely stopped by this point): 

Again, pretty certain I was going to be stuck: 

Cars waiting it out off the road: 

A better shot of how deep it was: 

And it was like this everywhere, all roads flooded, but that little green sign meant I was finally getting close to the airport: 

This car was in water up to its trunk: 

Little waves: 

Stalled out, trying to get to the aiport: 
And then I pretty much stopped taking pictures.  So, not pictured:
Walking through water in my suit and heels that was almost up to my knees.
Carrying luggage in the rain through the water (thank goodness I hadn't brought a rolling suitcase)!
Short lines at security.
Getting to a gate at 3:40 and seeing there was a flight at 3:50 to Dallas.
Seeing the 3:50 flight was delayed until 4:30, but still earlier than my scheduled flight.
Holding my breath to see if there were seats on the 3:50.
Nearly crying when I was handed a boarding pass on the 3:50 flight.  I knew it would make her uncomfortable and she was just doing her job, but I honestly was ready to start sobbing and hugging the AA gate attendant when she handed me that boarding pass.  Instead, with my eyes totally full of tears, I just told her that I wanted to hug her but I knew it was inappropriate, so instead, I just wanted to tell her that giving me that boarding pass was the only good thing in an afternoon that had been full of $hit complete with a flooded rental car.  She just kind of smiled and said it would only get better.
Being so happy to be on that earlier plane that I didn't even care that my suit and shoes were likely ruined.
Getting home more before my husband went to bed! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Too Little, Too Late

Another strong long run yesterday, which is good and bad.  Good because, finally!  Bad because it seems a bit late to be hitting paces I was starting my training at last year. 

Oh well, it's 18 miles in the books and I'll take it.  In order to get my final goal marathon time, I'd have to go 62 seconds faster per mile (and add another 8.2 miles). 

Just not feasible, though I could see maybe doing one or the other if it were 30 degrees cooler. 

Rest of the weekend was a blur of errands and stuff, not very exciting, but I've got a very big week at work coming up, so glad to have had some time to get organized. 

We picked out a hotel in Nepal, which is nice.  I usually go back and forth on whether I want to have stuff booked in advance, but as we land at 10 p.m. or something and it's the first destination on our trip, we figured it would be good to have that lined up. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Most Spectacular Run

I'm late in posting but I have to share some photos from a run I did last week in New Mexico.  Perhaps one of the most beautiful runs of my life, definitely the most beautiful one where I've ever had a camera with me (well, phone camera) and the time to stop as I wished to take pictures.

I left my hotel, thinking I had time for an easy 8.  Once I got going and realized how much I was loving every step, I decided I'd make it 9 miles, going easy and slow to the Uturn, then hauling @ss to get back to my hotel on time.  

And then, oops, suddenly I was over 5 miles from the hotel and I was quite unhappy with the bind I'd put myself in.  Even hauling butt, I figured I was going to be at least 15 minutes late, probably more like 20-30 since I'd taken so many pictures.  

So you get to reap the benefits, while I paid the price of unshaven legs, a poorly packed suitcase, no jewelry for a day in court, and going to meet counsel with damp hair.  

In retrospect, totally worth it.  

Low humidity, 10 degrees cooler than in Texas, a spectacular sunrise over mountains, a rainbow over a field, a gravel path I had all to myself as I ran along the Rio Grande, a day the miles ticked away with no effort.  A magical run.  Frickin' rainbows, literally!!!  It really was the kind of day that keeps me running. 

Sorry for the abundance of photos (and all crappy iphone ones), it seemed to get more and more beautiful.

Feel free to vote for your favorite.

1:  Seeing the mountains and the early morning sky leaving the hotel: 

2.  Mountains from the hotel, they're called the Organ Mountains, because they look like a pipe organ:

3.  Sunrise over the mountains on the road I ran most of the run: 

4.  Pretty field:

5.  Sunrise, getting brighter: 

6.  Another field: 

7.  Yeah, that's a rainbow: 

8.  Rainbow bolt: 

9.  More mountain sunrise: 

10.  Mountain sunrise, I was in awe: 

11.  The day dawning: 

12.  More rainbow, just shooting out of the sky: 

13.  Rainbow leading to a pot of gold: 

14.  A zoom attempt on the rainbow: 

15.  Sums up why I had to keep running: 

16.  Dawn (alba in Italian): 

17.  Corn field: 

18.  A view past the trail I was getting on (trail had the orange sign): 

19.  Looking back where I'd come: 

20.  Felt so idyllic: 

21.  More sunrise: 

21.  State Park where I ran, lovely crushed gravel trail: 

22.  The Rio Grande, with sunrise: 

23.  Another shot of the Rio Grande: 

24.  The trail I ran, crushed gravel and glorious: 

25.  Looking back toward town: 

26.  View for much of the run (along the Rio Grande).

27.  Proof photo sent to my husband to prove that by crossing the Rio Grande, I had not in fact gone into Mexico: 
So see why I just wanted to keep on running?  By far one of the best runs ever.