Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me....

And I'm feeling good.  So far this month, I have rested a record 3 days a week.  Sometimes it was by choice and sometimes mother nature forced a rest day, but either way my total weekly mileage has been chopped in half and although it was tough at first, I have to admit the rest has done me good. 

I have been crazy busy at work and it's starting to take a toll on me.  There's only so much running I can do as stress relief until the stress on my body outweighs the mental benefit.  I do come up with a lot of ideas and solutions while I run and the time on my feet and in my own head is very theraputic, but I do have a tendancy to over do it and it adds up overtime and I end up exhausted and burnt out.  So taking a few extra rest days recently has really helped me balance things nicely.

Last week, Mother Nature helped me rest a little extra.  We got some really crazy severe thunderstorms when I wanted to go running.  I love running in a summer rain shower, but when there is lightning and hail I can resist the urge.  I did manage to squeak in 6.5 miles along the Charles Thursday night after work, just barely.  Nothing crazy, no fartleks or fast pace, just a nice easy run along the river.  I finished strong sprinting across the crosswalk to the parking garage in front of a bus that was not stopping and nearly knocked over another guy on his way into the parking garage.  The guy made a witty and slightly flirtatious comment about me avoiding the collision with the bus only to then collide with him.  In my usual awkwardness and out of breathe from running all I could reply was "That's why I always wear my Road ID in case I do get run over".  Really? That's the best I could come up with?  Anyway, maybe I'll be lucky and run into him again, literally.
Friday, I took a half day from work.  I earned it.  I've been busting my butt and wicked stressed out.  So, I spent the half day completely de-stressing with my friend Erin.  I met her at the mall, first I went to the book store and bought a few running books I've been meaning to read and I'm a little embarassed to admit it, but I got the 50 Shades of Grey books.  All my running buddies have been talking about them and I had to know what the fuss was about and join the conversations, so I caved and bought them.  As if that wasn't enough awkward indulgence, Erin and I went to the movies to see 'Magic Mike'.  In case you don't know, it's a movie about male strippers filled with a talented cast that will most likely never win Oscars, but will win the hearts of women around the World for the talents they display in the film.  It was exactly what we expected, weak plot with very predictable twists and turns and A LOT of nearly naked eye candy.  After the movie we went to late lunch at Flatbreads and then to the mall and did a little shopping.  All together it was a pretty awesome day.

Saturday morning I got up and met the Lowell Ladies in Methuen for a 16 mile training run.  It was pleasantly cooler than past weeks, actually a little chilly when we started.  We started a little after 7:00am which in previous weeks might have been too late because of the heat, but it worked out really well this week because it was only in the low 60s.  The loop Cherie mapped out was pretty hilly, but mostly back roads, quiet and shaded.  Her husband Steve met us at mile 10 with refreshing refills for our fuel belts and we finished up the last 6 miles averaging a comfortable marathon race pace for the entire run.  We cooled off afterwards in Cherie's pool and her son Mitchell made us chocolate chip pancakes (this kid will own a very successful B&B someday).

Refreshed and refueled after the run I actually went for a short bike ride when I got home.  16 miles in a little less than an hour.  Took a shower, ate some more food, then took a little nap before going out for the evening.  I met my friend Milady and her family at a movie theater to see the Dark Knight Rises.  I didn't realise it, but we got special tickets in seats that shook and moved with the action in the film.  It was really run.  The movie was great and it was nice to see Milady.  We haven't hung out in a few months so it was cool to breifly catch up.

Sunday, I was going to do a brick workout, but ended up just doing an extra long bike ride instead.  I got a late start because I slept in really late and then lounged around my house all morning so by the time I finished biking I wasn't really interested in running and I needed to go grocery shopping.  I spent the late afternoon on my couch reading and relaxing and went to bed early ready to start the next week fresh and recharged.

Monday, I did a short easy bike ride after work and then cooked an amazing meal for dinner.  Engine 2 Pad Thai.  YUMMY.  I threw in a few extra veggies and inhaled it as soon as it was ready.  I had to pack up a few portions for lunch first otherwise I would have eaten all of it immediately. 

Yesterday, I packed my running gear and went to work.  My horoscope for the day mentioned a very high risk for accidents and at some point during the day I checked the weather forecast and saw that Mother Nature was bringing a bit of a challenge for me.  Severe thunderstorms were rolling into the area exactly at the same time I was planning my post-workday workout.  I like to live on the edge so at the end of the day I laced up my shoes and accepted the challenge.  It was really windy right from the start of my run and right when my Garmin beeped for one mile the rain started.  Light at first, but quickly turned torential.  No thunder and lightning so, nothing I couldn't handle, then a flash and a crack.  Ok a little scary, but no choice but to keep running.  The storm passed by the time I made it 3 miles into my 7 mile loop.  No accidents like my horoscope predicted and the rain and electricity in the air was invigorating.  I was totally soaked and I didn't care.  A song came on my iPod as I finished and one line rang true in my ears, "Everybody dies, but not everybody LIVES". 

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