Thursday, April 4, 2013

I love my luck

It can be quirky and often things work out in mysterious ways and I'm not sure if it's luck or God or guardian angels, but I'll take it.  So, last Thursday after work I went for a lovely 5 mile run along the Charles and then decided to pick up a few things on my way home.  I stopped at Whole Foods and got some food for dinner.  The old rule of thumb 'do not shop on an empty stomach' should be kicked up a notch if it's dinner time and you've just completed a run and then sat in your car sweaty and starving, stomach rumbling for an hour.  Needless to say I bought a lot of stuff I didn't need and a few things I actually went there for. 

One more stop and I could go home and inhale my food.  I had a wine tasting to go to over the weekend so I stopped at Andover Liquors to see if they had a cool unique wine I could bring.  I found a sparkling shiraz, not the one I was originally looking for, but I figured it would be fun to try a new one.  Purchased the wine and went out to my car to head home, turned the key in the ignition and nothing happened.  No click, no start, no engine trying to turn over, NOTHING!  Dead.  I took a deap breathe removed the key, checked that I didn't leave a light on or the door open or the car in the wrong gear and I tried again......NOTHING! 

Thankfully, my Massachusetts parents Ann and Jack talked me into getting a AAA membership last year so I called and they sent a guy.  They said it may take 30-45 minites for him to get there.  So I sat in my car sweaty, starving, and starting to get cold AND I now had to pee wicked bad too.  I had food and booze, but none that could actually be enjoyed immediately.  So, I waited and waited and waited.  Texted a few friends to pass the time and prayed that it was just the battery or something that could be fixed quickly and inexpensively.  Checked my Facebook and posted my prediciment and related frustration.  Finally, the AAA truck showed up.  I explained to the guy, my car won't start, it's not turning over, it's not doing anything, not even clicking like it's trying to start.  Go ahead give it a try and see.  He got in and turned the key and like magic IT STARTED!!!!!  Just like that I was on my way and my car was fine.

Friday work was really quiet, the day went by sort of fast.  I had to pick up some things at the grocery store during lunch to make a cheesecake for the wine tasting, then I headed home after work to start baking.  I made a Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake.  I was a little disappointed because it cracked on the top, but it still smelled really good and I crossed my fingers that it would taste really good too.
Saturday morning I got up and made some tea.  It was looking like a perfect day for a long run.  I was a little nervous based on my run the previous week, but I was trying to think positive and hoping it would be a better run this time.  My plan was to do the same 18 mile loop.  If I can do a solid 18 before Big Sur I will feel really confident about the race.  My training has been rough and kind of non-existant since I was sick for two straight weeks so I'm hoping for the best.  Still sort of recovering from the cold and not feeling 100%.  My body knows what to do, I just need to get out there and do it. 

I got dressed and started out.  It was a perfect day.  Sunny and in the mid-50s.  Probably a little colder when I started.  It felt really nice.  I got comfortable right away and settled into a nice pace right around my marathon pace.  I just hoped that I could maintain it and still feel good towards the end of the run.  It is a pretty hilly loop so I had realistic expectations that I might slow down towards the end.  It was a little warmer than I expected too.  I was drinking my water and taking salt and gels right on target.  Then with about 6 miles left to go I could feel myself slowing down and I figured it was just the hills.  I was almost out of water.

I found a police officer and a work crew at mile 13 and asked them if they had any water, nope, no such luck.  I kept going because there is a fire station at mile 14.5.  I was able to stop and refill my bottles, but the damage was done, I could tell I was dehydrated and struggling a little, but I still felt a lot better than the week before.  I was still moving and I felt ok.  I got home and weighed myself, calculating in the amount of fluids I had consumed, I lost about 5-7lbs in sweat.  Checked my Garmin and I had averaged a 10:45 pace.  Not horrible, not great, but the first 12 miles were closer to a 10:18 pace so there is still hope for a good race.  The more troublesome data from my Garmin was my heart rate.  It's been high lately especially on hills and if I try to really push myself and go faster than my body is ready to go.  So, over the 18 mile run I averaged 175BPM and maxed out at 234BPM!!!!!  Here's what the run looked like, interesting to note that my heart rate pretty much mirrors the elevation profile (pictured below).

I started to rehydrate immediately and ate some lunch because I was STARVING.  Overall though I felt really good.  My legs were fine, not sore, not tired.  My foot was fine, no pain.  All in all, I'll take it.  I'm calling that one a solid 18 and I think I'm getting closer to ready for Big Sur.

Later in the day I left my house a little early to go to the wine tasting because my favorite running store (Whirlaway Sports Center in Methuen) was on the way and I figured I should get some new shoes before my 20 miler and before the marathon.  Plus, after the marathon I have a lot going on so I'm going to need new shoes.  I was lucky, not only did they have my favorite shoe in my size, they had TWO pairs.  I bought them both!  Now I'm ready for the marathon and the summer.

The wine tasting was really fun.  It had been a while since I'd seen some of my wine tasting friends.  Really good to catch up and of course to try some yummy wines.  We started with the whites and moved on to the reds all the way through to my sparkling Shiraz and then finished with a dessert wine.  Nine bottles all together.  Then some people, not me because I had to drive and it was already way past my bedtime, moved onto tasting rums too.  Oh and the CHEESECAKE!!!!  Oh my GOD it was really good.  It did not disappoint. 

Sunday was Easter, but I didn't have any plans.  I slept in then did laundry and dishes and grocery shopping and watched a movie while working on my running scrapbook for 2012.  Pretty chill day.  I was a little bummed teh Easter Bunny skipped my house, but I made up for it during the week.  Wait for it........

Monday it was near 60 degrees and sunny out so I went for a short easy run after work.  About a mile into the run it started to sprinkle rain a little but since it was so warm out it felt kind of nice, then all of the sudden out of no where the sky opened up and it was a monsoon.  The wind was whipping and the rain was coming down in buckets.  Thankfully, I had chosen to go a shorter loop than I normally go and I only ran 4 miles and of course as MY luck would have it the rain stopped just about the same time I stopped running.  I did see a spectacular rainbow over the Charles as I ran across the Mass Ave Bridge though.

Tuesday I decided to play Easter Bunny and go shopping for my idea of the perfect Easter Basket.  I had my REI dividends and a coupon in hand and a pretty brilliant idea.  I got there and totally stocked up on everything running related.  I got gels, salt tabs, body glide, sport sunblock, and a few other little things.  Happy Easter to ME!!!!

Monday was the last of the spring-like weather in New England, it has turned ridiculously cold again.  Winter is fighting to get a few more days as if we didn't get enough already.  It's been in the 30s and 40s since then.  Suppose to get a little warmer in time for the weekend.  Then practically a heat wave next week.  As long as it's nice for my 20 miler I don't really care what Mother Nature dumps on us (ok, unless it's more snow, I've really had enough of that and don't want to see anymore until next winter).

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