Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peak mileage week?

66.5 miles for the week! The most I've run in a week since... September 2008! Will this be the peak mileage week for Paris? Don't know but with 42 days to go it can't possibly go much higher.

Mon - 6:
As much as I hate running on the Treadmill I'm really digging this hill workout. It throws in random hills with grades upto 6%. Varying the pace this allows me to work different muscle groups and should prove to be very useful.

Tue - 10. w/6 mile progression run:
Speed workout with Chuckit. The goal was to hit paces of 7:00, 6:45 and 6:30 in blocks of 2 miles. I held the pace for 5 miles but not the last. I'd still say it was a good workout. When I saw it snowing outside I almost felt like calling it quits. I'm glad I showed up :)

Wed - 11:
After a day of work and 3.5 hours of classes, heading out for a 11 mile in the snow, wind and cold at 11pm requires drive, motivation, discipline and dedication. I'm glad I had a bit of all today. Once I started running it was all good. Very peaceful and quiet. The road were empty and all I could hear were the sounds of my feet on the pavement... I was lost in my thoughts.

There's a homeless man who sleeps on a bench along my route. I look out for him every night. I'm glad on nights like these he finds shelter else where.

Thurs - 6 /9*hill repeats:
I was not feeling like doing hill repeats in the cold so I bribed myself. I was allowed to wear an extra layer on top and fulls below. I'd be nice and warm when I got out of the door. Of course I'd overheat once I started running but the important thing would be that I would be running :)

Sat - 6: @ 1:30am:
I came back late after Lakshmi's farewell party. So I hit the treadmill once I got back :) Hopefully, this helped burn some of the delish dessert :p

Sat - 20: @ 7:30am:
Five hours after finishing last night's six miler, I was out running again with the Chuckit folks. Given the windchill of 11F, I was glad I had people to run with. This was my first 20 miler since Green bay. I was happy with how effortless it felt. Getting into a zone ... Time and miles ticking away seamlessly. In a sense I ran a marathon today since the 6 miler and 20 miler were so close to each other. I ran 26 miles since dessert last night and consumed zero calories in-between so I can say for sure that the dessert has now been burnt away :)

There is an autistic guy who runs with us. He is a very fast runner. He was running in my group today. It was interesting to note the simplicity of his sentence structure. How he wanted to join the conversation but how things he was saying was not quite fitting in... Jason and he were planning to run 17 with Steve and I running 20. Jason had to stop for a rest-room break so the rest of us kept on going. He kept on asking us how far we had gotten and if Jason would be able to catch up with us. He was worried about having to run back alone. Luckily, we managed to hook him up with Pat before the Roosevelt turn... When I had first joined Chuckit, I found his behavior a bit rude and odd but then I learnt why...

Sun - 7
28mph winds and freezing rain. At times I felt like I was running into a wall but the run felt awesome. I was surprised that I averaged sub-8 pace! The Eric Clapton concert afterglow perhaps...

Runners and Seattlites are so friendly! I was waiting for the walk sign when a lady asked me if I was going for my run. I said yes, once I got to the waterfront. She said that she got in her run before it started raining. I mentioned that I got in my long run yesterday so today would be a shorter run. I was training for Paris and she was for Vancouver. We wished each other luck went on with our day. Whenever I see runners I also can't help but think about their run :)

Sight of the day: A man wearing pink jeans and heels and walking down 5th and Pike :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back to the norm...

"Once upon a time a little kid heard about a phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis or the northern lights - light displays in the sky caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field. He sat in his bed at night, trying to imagine this spectacle in his head. Many many years later he found himself mesmerized as he looked at the northern lights in the Icelandic sky. He continues to be amazed by the wonders of this planet!!"

I am sure I will have many more memorable trips in the years to come, perhaps a couple this year. However, I think when someday when my life flashes before my eyes, I will always remember this stretch. England, Amsterdam, Egypt, Athens, Death Valley and Iceland. The diversity and scale of the experiences and the sights!!! When I think about it all, I don't know how I managed it :) As someone mentioned, it might take some people multiple years and vacations to cover these, if at all.

Normalcy has been restored and life is back to dealing with mundane issues...

-*-*-

This week was a very solid running week (56 miles - 6, 7.8, 6, 7, 6, 17, 6) as was last week (51 miles - 6, 8.4, 6.2, 6, 17.4, 6.9). Following Chuck's schedule, I've been getting in some quality workouts:

17 miles run w/10 @ MP - Yesterday. It was very windy which made it especially challenging to hit the marathon pace miles. I was shooting for 7:25 pace but probably ended up averaging 7:18 or so.

10*800s: In the Yasso workout spirit these are supposed to be run at your marathon time. I've ended up running them with John, Cassy et al. so instead of 3:15 I've ended up running them more at 3:10 pace. It took me a while to recover from them last week but I dealt with them much better this week.

Hill repeats: I've chosen to run these up a hill which has you running toward the Space needle. There is a traffic light separating my hill. I've noticed that I end up getting near the crossing with about 7s left, so this gives me the incentive not slack on the pace.

Hilly run: As much as I hate the treadmill I noticed the random hill run with a max incline of 5% hill grade did give a pretty decent workout.

-*-*

With 47 days to go I am now pretty committed to the Paris marathon. I bought my tickets yesterday!
De : SEATTLE /TACOMA INTLA : PARIS CHARLES DE GAULLEVol : AF0309 Résa : OK
Vol assuré par AIR FRANCE
Départ : 07Apr, 13:50
Arrivée : 08:35 (Arrivée Jour+1)

De : PARIS CHARLES DE GAULLE 2EA : SEATTLE /TACOMA INTLVol : AF0306 Résa : OK
Vol assuré par AIR FRANCE
Départ : 13Apr, 10:30 Fin enregistrement : 09:30
Arrivée : 11:50


-*-*
Things have been so hectic lately perhaps I have been losing my mind:

- I parked my car on a street parking spot and forgot about it for a couple of days. I usually take the bus so I did not miss my car. When I remembered I had expected a bunch of parking tickets but thankfully there was only one.

- During last Tuesday's workout I left my bag with all my stuff at Super Jockn' Jill. The store closes at 8pm. When I got back it had closed. I had nothing... absolutely nothing on me. Luckily I spotted Robin else I don't know what I would have done. We managed to call Chuck who called the store manager who in turn got a store employee to come down and open the store for me.

- I left my car with a valet parking (keys inside and all). I forgot about it for three days before finally remembering. They scolded me but everything was fine :)

-*-*
Seattle being Seattle and not New York or London life is more laid-back and people feel the need to let you know what they feel. Some of the responses I get when I've been spotted going for my run in my shorts:

Elderly African-American lady's motherly advice - "Put something warm on. It's winter not spring. You don't want to catch a cold".

Strange man on the street - "Aren't you feeling cold? What is with you? Look at me in bundles".

Bouncer opposite showgirls opposite Pike place market - "Why don't you check out some women here. It's warm inside"

Random dude limping on the street at 12:15am - "You look you had a good workout. I want to run soon once I can walk"

A group of 4 cops on catching me jay running -
Cop 1 - "What do you think you are doing there?"
Cop 2 - "Don't you say anything to him - he is a person of color"
Cop 3 - On seeing my race timing chip on my shoe. "Look. He is already tagged"

And many more ... It does not feel lonely out there :)
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