Monthly Archives: August 2013

Long Run Done

I woke up this morning full on excited for my long run today.  My shoulder had a little muscle soreness that shook right out and after a little foam rolling, my legs felt recovered from yesterday’s front squats, burpees and thrusters.  I headed out into weather that was a little warmer than expected, but the humidity was lower than my last two outings, which made me pretty happy.  I planned a route that would take me out through the neighborhood then circle one subdivision before running around a golf course and finish taking two laps around the lake.  Off I went.

The first three miles were great.  My legs felt good, the weather was lovely and my pace was right where I wanted it to be.  I headed back into the subdivision and took the same two-mile loop to the left I do each time I run there.  Construction vehicles were everywhere as I rounded the second curve and there were two new houses going up, so not only did I have something exciting to look at, the new road I thought ought to join the main drag doesn’t yet.  Dead end.  No loop for me.  I edged around the cul-de-sac, ran back past the construction, rejoined my regular route and stopped to pick a noisy, yet small, stone out of my shoe.  Rock removal complete, I turned towards the golf course at mile 5.

My plan was to run a big circle around the course, but I hadn’t really studied the map other than sort of knowing the overall shape I should make.  I headed straight back along the left edge of the course, down a road I’ve taken several times, to hit mile 6.5.  This street turns into a dead end, so I took the first available right turn (thank you, map) and followed it on for another mile.  Dead end (again, really?).  I was apparently supposed to take one of the two streets I had passed on my right, but I was halfway through my outing and didn’t feel like going on an adventure.  I ended up running a big semi-circle shaped out and back, but did pass a course restroom where I stopped at minute 70 not to drink any water, but to stick my head under the faucet.  And it felt great.  Water dripping from my visor, I continued retracing my steps and returned to my planned trajectory.  I continued along the course’s edge before heading towards my stationary water bottle for a water stop at about mile 8.5.

Reaching my water at mile 10, I made a big mistake.  I wasn’t particularly thirsty, but I had a little bit of dry mouth.  I grabbed the liter size tankard and guzzled almost half of it without so much as blinking.  Oops.  With 40 minutes to go I had a stomach full of sloshing liquid that induced two stitches over the next ten minutes.  I’m sure it wasn’t the water, more likely yesterday’s thrusters, but after this stop my quads starting complaining.  By mile 11 they were flat out screaming.  Begin mental beat down.  As my angry quads and sloshy tummy started their two laps around the lake, I started to negotiate with myself.  Drop my pace and keep it steady for the next 30 minutes or maintain pace through race distance, then drop it off a bit until minute 110 and use the last ten minutes of my run to just keep going.

Option B won.  A little more hard work then an easy finish was just what I needed.  I hit 13.12 miles in 1:45:24 (!) and was very happy with it.  I was not happy I still had fifteen minutes and a lap of the lake to go, even if they were going to be ‘easy’.  I had been struggling for twenty minutes already and my legs just wanted to give up.  They kept moving by some miracle, but brought my pace down by almost 30 seconds per mile.  I just about shuffled through minute 120 and couldn’t push the stop button on my watch fast enough.  My run was good, but the way my legs felt left me seriously wondering why I had been so excited about it.

I beat last week by a quarter of a mile, which was nice since I slowed down so much after hitting 13.12 miles.  I have speed work on the schedule for tomorrow or Sunday, then it’s Race Week!  I have my last long training run Thursday and with a light week otherwise, my legs should feel much better for it than they did today, yay!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend 🙂

Meredith

Injury Free Thrusters

A hot and humid run yesterday left me hoping the overnight rain would make for good morning weather.  Today was a little cooler than yesterday, the rain had all blown away and the Beach Boot Campers wrapped up just as the sun came out but I was still happy to be working out in a gym today.

After Beach Boot Camp, it was off to North End Crossfit to get one client in before my 9am workout.  The prescribed WOD included working to 3 rep max front squat, then completing 1 thruster, 10 burpees over the bar, 2 thrusters, 9 BoB, 3-8 and so on until it was 10 thrusters and 1 BoB for time.  I did 5×3 front squats rather than working to a 3 rep max since I wanted to be sure my legs are in good shape for tomorrow and ended up having to drop the weight for my thrusters about halfway through because my shoulder was acting up.  After decreasing my thruster weight, I powered through the last few sets and finished strong.  It felt good to get nice and sweaty since I couldn’t get one going in yesterday’s humidity and my legs held up just fine.

My shoulder feels OK now, too, but it felt alright a few hours after last week’s shoulder workout, and still held my run up for two days.  I took it easy today so I could be shoulder pain free for tomorrow, and hope I took it easy enough.  I am not getting up at 4am on Labor Day Weekend.  Nope.  I will run tomorrow in rain, sleet or snow.  I might even consider a treadmill, ugh.  Today was my last serious lift day before two race weeks and one recovery week.  Three weeks without any serious weight work will definitely give my shoulder time to heal, and with rest days sprinkled in before and after my races on the 7th and 15th, I know the week of the 16th will clear up anything that lingers.

My two hour run tomorrow is a big one.  When it’s over, I’ll only have one long run left before Philly and really want to turn in a good performance.  Next Thursday is my final training run of over six miles for Philly and there are only 8 days until I tune up with the Bay Days 8K.

Meredith

Humidity for All!

Only 9 days until Race #2 of Fall 2013!  My training is going great and I was excited for today’s 60 minute tempo run.  I awoke to a cloudy sky, ate breakfast and did a little work before throwing on my visor and runners.  With rain in the forecast, I wanted to get my run in early, and I thought the morning air would be cool and light.  Wrong.  I stepped outside to test the day and was faced with an 80 degree morning that felt like 85 with 80% humidity that made it rather difficult to do much of anything.  I hurried back inside, re-checking the weather while rolling my calf one more time.  Rain was scheduled to appear at any moment, and figuring I needed to get my hour in before the rains hit, resigned myself to a little bit of suffering on this Wednesday morning.

After trying out Newton Running‘s Energy shoe yesterday, I used the first few minutes of my run to compare how I felt today in my regular runners to them.  I didn’t notice a big difference, though for the first couple steps I did feel a tiny bit clunkier.  That feeling dissipated quickly, I imagine because I had only spent about ten minutes in the Energys, and my legs felt good after yesterday’s box jumps.  The splits for the first ten minutes of my run were 30 seconds slower than race pace and gave my calf a chance to get all the way loose.  Those ten minutes in the stifling humidity barely let me break a sweat despite the over 80 degree day and sunshine breaking through the clouds, letting me know the rest of run was going to be lots of fun.  I gradually increased my pace through minute 25 and as my core temperature rose and my heart rate increased, I started finding the heavier air a little harder to breathe.  I stopped for water at minute 27, forced in some deep breaths and ran minutes 27 to 35 hard.  When I hit minute 36, I backed my split times down about ten seconds per mile for the next ten minutes.  My legs still felt great, even though breathing was tougher than I would have liked, and I was kind of nervous about the fact that I still really hadn’t broken a sweat at this point.  Minutes 47 to 50 saw a big drop in pace as I tried to get my breathing and heart rate under control in the soupy air.  Once I had them reined in, my final ten minutes were right on race pace.

I came up just five hundredths of a mile short of last week’s 60 minute tempo run, I didn’t overheat, and I’m happy with it, especially citing the heavy air and warm weather.  I never did get much of a sweat on, but also didn’t dehydrate or get light-headed.  I’ll chalk that up to the horribly humid weather and hope the air is a whole lot friendlier to my lungs on race day.

Tomorrow is a strength training day and I’m ready for it.  My legs will enjoy a day off the 20 inch boxes, pavement and sidewalks of Virginia Beach and the calf feels better after a few minutes of foam rolling.  The shin splint I think I’m getting in my left leg will also benefit from a day without box jumps or running, so bring it on.

Meredith

Newton Running

It’s a not Tuesday Two A Day, and my singular workout went swimmingly.  A cool and breezy morning on the beach with hardworking Boot Campers started a day filled with hard-working clients, a good strength training workout and an educational evening.

Tossing my strength training in between two clients at North End Crossfit, we had a WOD filled with box jumps, deadlifts and 500 meters of rowing. The workout called for an 18 minute AMRAP of rowing, 12 body weight deadlifts and 21 box jumps at 20 inches.  Rowing is always an excellent way to get my heart pumping, and the 500M sprints were no different today.  I was, however, excited to get off the rower at 500M and head to my bar each round because the deadlifts gave my heart rate a chance to come down a bit.  The weight for my dead lifts was scaled to about 85% of my body weight, which is about 60 pounds lighter than my 3 rep max, and after the fact think I should have added ten or fifteen pounds to it.  My sets of 12 were broken, as expected, into two sets of six, but I really didn’t work as hard as I now wish I had since I’m only doing two days of strength training per week right now.  The box jumps were just as much fun as they always are and left my right calf a little sore for the evening’s event at Final Kick Sports.

Due to the sore calf, I didn’t plan on running more than a mile or so at this evening’s Newton Running event at Final Kick Sports.  I arrived to meet the Newton Running rep, Judah, who was super friendly and extremely knowledgable.  She explained to me the difference between both pairs I tried, how the shoes were built and how they tend to wear.  I tried two different models, the Energy and the Gravity, running about half a mile in each pair, and was definitely partial to the Energy model.  The Gravity had a little bit too much action in the toe for me, and with a 3 newtonmillimeter heel to toe drop, it’s 5 millimeters less than what I’m used to.  My current runners have an 8 millimeter drop, and the Energy comes with a 6 millimeter one.  This adjustment would make it a faster change over to the new shoe and also meant there was less action in the front.  The Energy were nice and light and I can definitely see running in them every week.  I’m a little nervous to switch with only 18 days until Philly, but will be giving them a try before Savannah.

Tomorrow brings a 60 minute tempo run, or if I’m feeling brave, my two-hour outing.  Hopefully a nice big foam rolling session later tonight will calm my calf down and I’ll be ready to go.

Meredith

Good Practice

A new week begins and there are only 11 days until my next race, the Bay Days 8K, and a paltry 19 days until Philly.  The five mile race pace run I had on the docket today was intended to be practice for the Bay Days 8K, since I did my long run two days ago, just like I’ll be doing my last long run before Philly two days before the 8K.  A sunny day full of blog writing, newsletter making and programming, with a little break for some sun while I can still get some without freezing led to a bright afternoon where temperatures climbed a little higher than I expected for my 430pm run.

I ran before my evening Boot Camp at Mount Trashmore, and I was looking forward to the test this run would provide as well as working over the gentle grades the park’s trail offers.  It was warmer than I anticipated when I kicked off, and I didn’t have time to warm up.  My rear tire alerted me to its low pressure and replacing ten pounds of air made for a late start, so rather than my usual half mile warm up, I jumped right in.  I came out of the gate a little stronger than I should have, which I could feel right away, and after a quick first mile, I brought my pace down a bit.   Normally I wouldn’t stop for water on a short, hard run like today’s, but with the direct sun hitting me and the 81 degree temperature, I knew I needed it.  I guzzled some water at mile two and continued my run, although I did have a few quick stops for cars that were oblivious to the crosswalks I was about to enter at various intervals.  After three incidents, I avoided crossing through the parking lot area, even the crosswalks, for the final mile of my run.  I finished without any more stoppages and am very happy with the time I turned in.

Today’s race pace run gave me a good feel for how I need to prepare for the Bay Days 8K and Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on back to back weekends.  The warm afternoon temperature and direct sunlight shouldn’t be issues during the morning races, and as much as I would have liked to run all five miles without a break, I preferred them to potential dehydration on a short training run or being hit by a car.  I feel really good about racing on back to back weekends with my last two hour outing coming only one rest day before my second Fall 2013 race.

Tomorrow is a scheduled strength training day, and although I’m not doing Tuesday Two A Days now that it’s race season, I might get a mile or two in.  I’m attending an event at Final Kick Sports to see what Newton Running has to offer and will likely take a few laps around the block to see how they feel.  I’m excited to try a minimalist shoe since I like running barefoot on the beach but am much too chicken to do it on a road or sidewalk and have heard great things about Newton’s products.

Meredith

Ocean View Pier Restaurant

Delicious food, great views and good vibes make the Ocean View Pier Restaurant the perfect place to spend a beautiful afternoon.  With a home on the Ocean View Fishing Pier, the Ocean View Pier Restaurant (OVP) is nestled in Norfolk, Virginia’s Ocean View neighborhood.  Surrounded by waterfront homes and beaches sprinkled with volleyball nets, it’s easy to find the 1,690 foot pier.  The Pier has plenty of free parking and with access from Highway 64, Tidewater Drive and Shore Drive, making the trip to visit is simple.

We chose to spend a Sunday afternoon at the Pier Restaurant, and after easily finding a parking spot, we walked off towards our destination.  Stepping off the pavement and onto the beach before feeling the wooden pier beneath our feet, we moved towards the big blue Pier building.  ovpierOn our way, we passed families fishing and taking photos while getting lung fulls of salty sea air and a light splash of sea foam.  Arriving in the building we found the Pier Tackle Shop, a tank full of crabs and lobsters, restrooms, the Pier entrance and the restaurant entrance.  Immediately to your left as you enter the pier building, a shiny metal door opens into the Restaurant’s indoor dining area that is complete with a stage on the far side and one massive metal topped bar.  Should you continue walking straight past the door, rather than choosing to turn into the restaurant, you’ll see the restrooms on your left as you head out onto the pier.  If you pass the door and shoulder up next to the wall, you march right up a big set of well worn stairs and pop out on the OVP Restaurant Rooftop Deck.

We climbed those wide wooden stairs and arrived on the breezy rooftop deck to a great view of the pier and ocean.  Features four gliders, one in each corner, the deck is dotted with octagonal picnic tables circling the central stairwell and high top tables along the railing.  Sitting in a very comfortable pair of captain’s chairs next to the rail just above the pier entrance, we were given excellent views of not only the pier below, but the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay as well.  Far off to our left we could see the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the edges of Hampton to its right thanks to the gorgeous day.  The shuttered bar over our right shoulders was closed on a Sunday afternoon, but looked like it could certainly handle a large number of people.  Families sat in the gliders while couples and groups of friends filled both the tables and other rooftop high tops.

We were greeted by a lovely server wearing a cheery, bright green Ocean View Pier Restaurant tank top.  She dropped off menus and took drinks orders in the same moment, and just as we finished selecting our meals, our drinks arrived and we placed our orders.  It is a simple menu, perfect for a casual lunch before or after a day of lounging on the beach or casting your line.  Heavily infused with tastes of the sea, appetizers include Tuna Bites and Fried Oysters Rockefeller.  Fish and salad start the entree portion of the menu and it continues with steamers, burgers and sandwiches.  Our attentive server brought lunch quickly, and I loved the massive Hereford Beef Burger I had chosen.  A taste of my co-diner’s Shrimp Po’ Boy didn’t disappoint either.  Both meals came with a side of crisp fries, but could have been subbed out for something a little better for us.  While we were enjoying our meals and cocktails, several children seated at the glider closest to us were tossing fries and chips to the local pigeons.  Not only was this irritating, but the overfed birds are fairly bold, so if you don’t like them, avoid family friendly times or stay downstairs.  The casual environment invites children who want feed them to do so, and the big grey birds can get a little too close for comfort every now and then.

The family friendly Pier Restaurant shares its restrooms with the anglers and staff of the fishing pier below.  Located downstairs across from the tackle shop, the Pier restrooms aren’t fancy, but were surprisingly clean, and with saloon style stall doors, make the trip a little more fun.  While seated in the downstairs bar area, this geographic difficulty presents no problems, but I can imagine that after an afternoon enjoying the sights, sounds and beverages of the pier, a trip from the deck to the restroom in the wrong shoes could be an adventure.  Returning from a trip to said restroom, the wind had picked up and as it made an effort to steal my napkin away several times, we decided to head inside after finishing our current round of beverages.  Our friendly waitress was quick to help us transfer our tab downstairs and handed us over to one of her compatriots when she went back up to the rooftop.

The downstairs bar area was fairly empty, but a few families sat in big wooden the booths along the ocean facing wall.  The shore side wall is lined with big table held up by wires hanging from the ceiling and give the room a spacious, industrial feel.  Big windows provide views of the beach and ocean from the tables and the bar while a couple of large televisions provide visual entertainment when there’s no band in action.  We passed on sitting in one of the high backed booths and headed for the bar.  Seated at the large, cool metal bar, where the stools were surprisingly comfy, and because it wasn’t crowded, we had our pick of those with or without backs, we got great service from friendly locals.  A few games on the MegaTouch and a pair of adult sodas finished up our trip the the OVP Restaurant.

With an upstairs featuring great ocean views, the pier offers a fun environment and delicious food to match the views.  The final tally seemed to be Fish – 9467, Pier Fishermen and Women – 0, but it was fun to watch them try.  Friendly, quick service paired with generous portions and a laid back family friendly environment, the OVP Restaurant deserves a spot on your Hampton Roads short list.  A perfect post-race, long training run or tough workout destination, an afternoon at the Pier Restaurant will fill your belly and make sure you walk out with a few worthwhile memories.

Rest Sunday

Total Rest Sunday was a huge success.  I got a few things done before spending the rest of the day relaxing.  A nice big breakfast and a few loads of laundry meant it was time for the Jordy dog to get his first bath since surgery.  Post bath he ran around like a banshee for a few minutes on three good and one mediocre legs, but after going through a few towels to help him dry, he was ready for a nap.

While Jordy dog napped, I dove back into A Dog’s Purpose.  I’m really enjoying it and the pages fly by.  Cameron’s canine narration is exactly what I’m sure a dog would think, making it not only entertaining but close to the heart.  I’m looking forward to opening its pages again when I have time over the next few days and can feel a few elements of the plot starting to come to a climax.  In addition to tearing through my current reading project, I also booked my condo for Savannah.  It’s an adorable little one bedroom in a great location only half a mile from the start and I’m excited to explore what the southern city of Savannah has to offer for two days before I race.  Georgia is the fourth state getting checked off my ‘i want to run all 50 states’ list, so there’s quite a ways to go, but I’m ready to keep rolling.

A dry dog and my Sunday morning checklist completed, I headed to the beach for a little fun in the sun before dropping into the Ocean View Pier for some lunch and a few adult sodas.  It was a little breezy on the beach, but with the sun warming me up, it was actually almost perfect.  A direct sun and perfect mid 70 degree temperatures gave me the daylight I craved while I did nothing more than lay there.  The strong wind blew drops of the inbound tide onto the shore and it’s always fun to pick shapes out of the clouds.  A quick change out of a sandy swimsuit and it was off to the Ocean View Pier Restaurant to settle my growling stomach.  Much like The Pier Cafe in Virginia Beach, the Ocean View Pier is not only a popular fishing destination, but offers a casual restaurant to go with it.  Ocean View Pier Restaurant makes a great meal and I enjoyed mine as I sipped on a rather strong vodka and cranberry (have to get those antioxidants).  The upstairs rooftop deck where I sat was more crowded than the downstairs bar area, and the strong wind I had felt on the beach continued while I dined at a table overlooking the fishermen and women who spent their Sunday afternoons catching crabs and fish.

A great weekend in the books, I’m on to a five mile race pace run tomorrow and a regular week of training to follow.  With a full healed toe, tomorrow will be a good test for the Bay Days 8K and I’m excited to see how it goes!

Meredith

Got it.

Yesterday’s Fit Friday featured a nice round of 800M repeats after I finally resigned myself to getting up at 4am today.  I do enjoy running on a quiet Boardwalk, but that’s still a little early for my taste.  My shoulder had held up pretty well during my speed work and I wasn’t worried about it at all heading out for two hours this morning.

Kicking off my run at a ‘not as bad as I thought it was going to be’ 445am with no sunlight and a strong southbound wind was exactly what I had expected:  cool, dark and peaceful.  As I headed south for my first trip down the Boardwalk, I had a nice tailwind I knew I wouldn’t enjoy on my return trip.  Even at such an early hour, crews were out setting up for today’s East Coast Surfing Championship events, which I had completely forgotten about.  Thing have been going on at the southern end of the Boardwalk all week, I knew about those, and knew people that had attended.  Somehow, in my early morning fog, they slipped my mind.  The first thing that jogged my memory was the pair of white vendors tents I trotted past at 21st Street, and as I continued south, they became more frequent.  It was pretty neat to watch the goings on around the stage for a few minutes as I ran by the three block area each way.

I stopped for water as I started my journey north at minute 25 and immediately got a face full of wind.  I ran by the ECSC staging area again and by minute 40 could feel my quads asking when we were going to turn around.  Great.  Over an hour left to go and my legs were complaining, but my shoulder felt just fine.  The legs didn’t complain enough the stop and stretch, so I turned for my second out and back.  As I turned, and picked up that friendly tailwind again, the sun started to ever so slightly lighten the sky.  The stages, set-ups and surfers had all grown since my earlier trip and I was glad to be getting out of their way when the sun finally showed up.  I was halfway through my second northbound, crappy headwind trip north when the sun officially rose and allowed me to finish my run off of the Boardwalk and over some gentle hills.

I was glad to finish headed south with what was now a light tailwind at my back.  Running into a 15 mile an hour headwind slowed me down a bit, and running into a 15 mile an hour headwind for just about 50 of my 120 minutes made for some rough going.  I finished three tenths of a mile short of my goal, but was pretty happy with my outing, especially citing the wind.  My shoulder and legs felt great and the infamous injured toe hadn’t bled at all.  Finally.

Tomorrow’s a total and complete rest day that I’m very grateful for.  I’ll be doing a race pace five miler on Monday to simulate what has become my Philly training schedule.  I’ll be racing the Bay Days 8K on September 7th, which means I can’t do my last long run nine days before my September 15th half marathon if I want a rest day to prep.  My last long run before Philly will be September 5th, and since I’ve always done my last long run nine days out before, it will be interesting to see how it works out.  This schedule gives me a two hour run, a day off and an 8K race, just like I’m practicing over today, tomorrow and Monday.  Hopefully it will give me a really good idea of what I need to do to be ready for both races.

Meredith

Scrapped Again

It’s Fit Friday!  Fridays are great.  This one hasn’t been unusually exceptional, but my run was good and I’ll take that.  After cutting yesterday’s outing short due to shoulder pain and going with a five mile race pace run rather than my two hour long run, I had my pick of doing the long run or speed work today.  Doing my speed work, 5x800M repeats, today would mean a 4am wake up call to get my long run in before Saturday morning Boot Camp tomorrow.  In light of that, I went to bed last night fully intending to wake up with a perfectly normal shoulder and get two hours of running under my belt this morning.

Even with my good intentions, I awoke after a sleepless night to a still aching shoulder and a little bit of a headache, so getting out of bed was a more of a challenge than usual.  I conquered getting out of bed, and, still dreading a 4am rise and shine tomorrow, managed to check the weather.  The moment in popped up, I immediately gave in.  With higher than initially reported temperatures this morning and high humidity, that dreaded Saturday 4am wake up became a winner.  With my long run scrapped again and pushed to tomorrow morning at zero ‘it’s still dark out’ o’clock, I had five 800M repeats on my plate.

I dislike 800M repeats, though there are things I enjoy even less, but today’s 5x800M repeats weren’t so bad.  It was hot and humid, and, of course, the only time the sun peeked out all day was during my heart rate increasing, core temperature rising intervals.  The good news was that my legs felt fantastic, my toe didn’t bleed enough to warrant a sock bleaching and I clocked five times I’m really happy with.  My shoulder had loosened up as the morning moved on, and was just fine during my warm up.  It barked a little bit during my second rep, but was fine after a stretch during my rest.  The single upside to my still slightly sore shoulder is that it definitely let me know if I got tense.  Get tight in my shoulders?  Clench my hands?  How about my jaw?  Hello, shoulder pain.  I guess that’s one way to make sure your form doesn’t fall apart.

Tomorrow it’s a 4am wake up to run for two hours before Boot Camp.  I’m not too keen on the idea, but as I mentioned before, I want a total rest day Sunday and am willing to suffer for it.  Here’s to laziness!  Kicking off my run at 5am sharp means with sunrise is scheduled for 628am, I’ll be spending at least an hour running on the lit Boardwalk.  A boring route, but it has lights, water fountains, is pretty darn flat and by 6am there should be at least a few other people out there with me.

Meredith

More Switches

I strength trained yesterday and today I actually had my choice of workouts.  Five mile race pace, speed work or my long run.  I wasn’t dreading any of them, even though my speed work this week is 800M repeats (ugh), so I went to bed without making a decision.  That turned out to be a good thing, even though last night, after my workout of toes to bar and push-ups, my shoulder that usually complains heartily was fairly congenial.  Part of the reason I had failed to choose my Thursday run was because I knew that shoulder would be sore this morning, and  pounding it with two hours of running was not something I would like to do.

I woke up with the expected grouchy shoulder and gave it a stretch, which felt wonderful, and still had an open mind about my workout as I headed into the day.  A look at the weather while I drove to work didn’t help make my decision any easier.  A predicted high of 89 meant even mid-morning temperatures would be warmer than the last few days, and it had rained overnight so the air was holding at about 90% humidity.  After teaching Boot Camp, the weather conditions weren’t as bad as I had anticipated, and I finally made my choice.

I figured I might as well get my two hour run out of the way, even it was going to be a little warm, though I wasn’t completely committed to it.  My shoulder had become less hostile as the morning progressed, but wasn’t altogether better, so I thought I’d ease into my run and see how it went.  I start both race pace and long runs with a half mile warm up at an easy pace, so I went ahead and did that before making my official, ‘this is it’, choice.  My shoulder ached a little during warm up, but I did some arm circles and stretched it out before heading into the 120 minute run I’d decided to do with.  It felt better for the first tenth of a mile.  By the time I hit my first half mile split, the shoulder was screaming.  I tried moving it around, stretching it, holding it in funky positions and shaking it, but each option only helped for a second.  I could barely lift my left arm over my head.  Neat!  With this kind of pain, it was clear I had made the wrong choice.  At barely five minutes in, I changed modes to get my five mile race pace run done.  I dropped my split times by ten seconds and finished up my run with two happy kegs and one very unhappy shoulder.

With my aching shoulder today, I wasn’t particularly concerned about getting my socks bloody.  In fact, I almost completely forgot about my injured toe.  I didn’t wrap it up yesterday for strength training, and my socks were safe.  As I slipped on today’s socks, I could see the skinned toe wasn’t completely healed, so I bandaged it up and prepared for my run.  The results?  Another stained sock to go with my throbbing shoulder.

Could I have pushed through ten more miles?  Sure.  Would it have been worth it?  Nope.  More shoulder pain and soreness, another sock that needed to be bleached?  No thanks.  With three more days this week, I can run tomorrow morning at my leisure, Saturday morning at 5am or Sunday.  With a reported high of 87 that felt like 92 today and 94% humidity, the cooler temperatures predicted for all three of those days make me feel a little better about my situation as well.  I would like to have a total rest day Sunday, so I’ll try to get it done tomorrow (yes) or very early Saturday (preferably not).

If I don’t go with my long run tomorrow, it’s the 5x800M repeats I tentatively have scheduled for Saturday.  Since the weather is supposed to be the same both mornings, I’m strongly leaning towards trying to get my long one in tomorrow and not having a 4am wake-up call on a non-race weekend.  My shoulder is feeling better after resting it as much as possible for the rest of the day and should be good to go tomorrow.  And yes, I’ll probably bandage my toe again, even though I’ll be hoping it’s better as well.

Meredith