Friday, November 2, 2012

How did it get to be November?

Where did the time go?  This year is flying by.  So much is happening so fast.  It's crazy.  Out of control crazy!  I seriously can't believe it's November already and it will be the holidays soon and then a New year!  Or maybe not......I fell asleep on the couch last night watching a bunch of 2012 end of the world scenario shows.  Really scary and hard not to pay attention to.  If the Mayans are right we only have 49 days left.  I'm praying that they are wrong because I still have a lot of things left on my "to-do" list.

Anyway, last weekend was my first goofy training weekend.  I ran 8 miles on Saturday in Ayer with Shannon, Kim, and Ryann.  Felt great and could have kept going.  My foot is really getting a lot better.  It doesn't hurt at all anymore aside from occasional random soreness.  I'm still taping it when I run and sleeping with the foot brace on and wearing special shoe inserts and more supportive shoes at work.  I think I'm almost back to normal.  It's rough, I'm teetering on the edge of going right back to doing too much and falling back into the sedentary lifestyle of resting all the time and not running at all.

Sunday, I ran the inaugural Ashland Half Marathon.  It was cool and cloudy and felt like we might even get a little rain.  The race started at 10:30 on the original start line of the Boston Marathon.  Before the race, I got there early and decided to hand out flyers for the stair climb.  I walked around the parking lot and put flyers under windsheild wipers and gave them to people sitting in their cars to stay warm.  I think I may have convinced a few people to try it out.  I hope so.

The race started and right away I knew it was going to be a challenging course.  I heard someone talking about hills before the race even started and sort of shrugged it off.  They weren't kidding.  The hills seemed never ending.  I felt really good though.  I was keeping a pretty consistant pace despite the terain.  My first 3 miles were all under 10:00, then I got to the first big hill.  Even on that hill I ran a 10:10 mile, faster than my pace in Chicago without any hills.  I stayed right around 10:00 miles plus or minus 10 seconds for the first half.  It started to rain a little, but it felt refreshing and nice because it was sort of warm out to begin with.  Almost tropical.....a little foreshadowing for the hurricane headed to the northeast perhaps.

When I passed the halfway point and still felt amazing I decided to push a little harder and see if I could get a negative split.  I started doing 9:00 miles.  Then I got to mile 10 and another monster hill.  Slowed to 10:13, recovered with a 9:47 in the next mile and then picked it up to an 8:58 for the last mile.  Seriously though, that was a very challenging course, but really fun and beautiful area.  Got to run along some of the Boston Marathon course for a little while (I noticed the mile markers and paint in the street for water stops).  Ashland goes by in a blur during the marathon so it was nice to take in the scenery and enjoy the area a little.  I finished the race in 2:08:29, not a PR but faster than the half I ran before Chicago and considering the hills I was VERY happy with that time.  Here's the course map with elevation:

Monday, the weather forecast was calling for a 'Frankenstorm', Hurricane Sandy plus a Nor'easter hitting the coast at some point during the day.  I went to work and almost as soon as I got there I got an email from my boss saying "go home".  I worked a half day and then headed home.  It was just raining lightly and a little windy out.  I walked over to the grocery store next to work before I left though and the winds were definitely picking up.  It was difficult to walk.  Probably wise to go home.

I got home around noon and started making cookies with the intention to deliver them to the emergency workers in Lowell to help fuel them for the busy day/night ahead of them.  Unfortunately, by the time I finished the cookies the storm had really intensified and the news stations were telling people to stay indoors and DO NOT leave your house.  The idea of walking almost a mile to the central police and fire station seemed like it was not very smart.  All the emergency personnel interviewed on the news were saying their biggest problem was saving stupid people that put themselves in danger and I didn't want to be one of THOSE people.  I'll make cookies another time during better weather for them.

The storm was really scary.  Over 1000 miles wide!!! I didn't lose power, but I wonder if watching the destruction on TV the entire time was worse than not knowing.  My area wasn't hit very hard, I'm on top of a hill so flooding wasn't an issue and most of the trees were thinned last year after Hurricane Irene.  Winds were really whipping around and rain did come down hard for a little while but for the most part it wasn't bad near me.  I can't say the same for some friends.  Patty, who ran Chicago with me, lives and works in NYC and the photos she posted of her neighborhood and having to WALK from Queens to Manhattan to get to work on Tuesday were pretty crazy.

Needless to say I did not run on Monday.  Tuesday, the weather passed and was actually really nice, almost 70 degrees and sunny.  I went to Ayer after work to run with Kim.  We planned to do 6 miles on a hilly loop we have run many times before.  I was not totally thrilled about running more hills after the half I did on Sunday, but whatever. I'm always up for a challenge.  My legs, not so much.  Hamstrings screamed in agony.  I was slower than Kim, but managed to keep up.  We ended up having to cut the run short anyway because the loop we were running was closed due to storm damage.  We ended up only doing 5 miles, but my hamstrings were ok with that.  As soon as we finished the sky opened up and it started pouring rain, so its good we didn't do another mile.

Wednesday, I was going to run after work, but decided not to because I'm trying to resist the urge to do too much too soon and because it was Halloween and I didn't have any candy to hand out.  I bought some and then no one showed up.  I should have just gone for a run.

Yesterday, I brought my running gear to work and changed after work. I like running along the Charles on Thursdays because some school's ROTC program has "lab" on Thursdays so there are guys in uniform with fake guns and stuff playing in one of the parks.  It's pretty entertaining to run past.  But for some reason, when I got to my car to put my things away and head out to run, I really really didn't feel like running.  I got in my car and drove home instead.  I fell asleep on my couch around 5:30!!!!  I don't know what is up.  I really need to figure out what is going on.  Not sure if it's physical or mental.  I'm really struggling.  My motivation is just not there, I feel like junk, and I'm wicked tired.  I gotta snap out of this and get back on track.  Only 71 days til Goofy 2013.

Oh and I guess next week is kind of a big deal, there's some sort of event happening on Tuesday that has been in the news for what seems like FOREVER.  Lucky for me, I will be out of the country and I have already voted by absentee ballot.  Will be nice to stop receiving junk mail from candidates and to see normal commercials again.

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