Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So That Was a Good Idea

I started triathlon at age 37.  I'd run one race in my life.  At age 12.  I think it was a mile; felt like a marathon.  I finished last.  Have a great picture of me from the finish line down the track.  Finishing with no one behind me.  Was I leading by a mile?  Uh no.  Definitely a clear indication of things to come.

I started triathlon by watching TV.  I know many people start this way.  Showing the Ironman on TV should be outlawed.  If not, there should at least be a warning message.  Koolaid is Kontagioius.

After figuring out that a triathlon meant I'd have to swim, bike & run, I did.  People always ask which sport is my favorite, which is my least favorite, etc.  Favorite?  Transition, naturally. Or perhaps the next one.  Least favorite?  Yes.  The current one. 

So after 11 years, completing 3 Ironmen, I opted out.  Retired.  Done.  Safe from injury & accident.  Going to play golf.  Turns out I hit the ball a lot further than I had - after all that core & strength training, I could really turn on the ball.  Nice!  Lowest handicap of my life.

And then the off season.  Trying not to put on too much weight.  Failing, but not so much that anyone would really notice besides me.

And then, a couple of weeks ago.  Walking to the 2nd hole...I stepped in a hole - a pothole on the cartpath.  I knew it was bad before I hit the ground.  And hit I did.  Fractured my ankle in two places, but fortunately it was simple - hairlines - no displacement.

So yes, I'm the first person in recorded history to retire from triathlon practically injury-free and break my leg within a year on the golf course.


Friday, February 24, 2012

We Have Cats

3 weeks ago, we adopted two cats from the Hanover Humane Society.  We were almost rejected as adoptive parents! GET OUT OF MY BEDROOM!!! Oh wait, not because we're gay.  They checked two personal references and called our old vet who reported that we'd not gotten old Spot a shot.  Huh?  We have no independent recollection of declining to get him any shot he needed - the vet may have said - hey, we could shoot him with this, but since he's never out on his own, he really doesn't need it or he's 17, I think he'd be fine without it and then we'd say OK, let's skip it.

Not sure how they decided to ignore that, but fortunately they did and we were able to bring home Petunia & Tank.  At pick up time, the agency let them run around the room while we signed the 20 pages of paperwork for each of them (really you guys?  Really?).  Tank was playing with a little toy mouse while Petunia hid.  We'd put the cat carriers on the floor and Tank immediately carried the mouse over & put it in the carrier.  Little did we understand where we'd find that mouse (and all the others we've gotten in the last weeks) around the house.  We had to wrestle Petunia into the carrier and she cried the whole ride home.  Heartbreaking!

We got them home and confined them to the guestroom.  Instead of running under the bed, they chose the dresser (much safer).    Fortunately, they are still kittens (8 & 10 months), so feather on a string or a toy mouse is just irresistible.  But it was hard that first week when we had to coax them out every time.  Food & treats wouldn't work, only playing.  And so we played for hours.  Whenever they'd get close enough to us, we'd give them a gentle pet, letting them know that they were safe and we are safe for them.

Now three weeks later, they race around the house like the thundering herd that they've become.  We have our rituals that they haven't quite gotten accustomed to - like after playing for an hour, it would be nice to GO TO SLEEP!!!!!  And Tank loves to chase Petunia off the bed at 5am and then wake me up to pet him and play with him.   This may be cute at 7am or 9am, but at 5am, it's a behavior I'm working to change. 

Petunia is such a kind soul.  She loves to chase a string and jump and grab a feather, but she is a gentle kind.  Tank is jealous of any attention we give her, so we often have to double-team them, just to make sure Petunia is getting enough affection.  There's been no lap-sitting, which I'm still hoping for, but they do sleep on me every night.  They just wait until I fall asleep to come to bed.  I have hope that they'll grow to understand that if they come to bed while we're awake, we will pet them and love them and make them purr.

Maybe next month!  But I surely do love having cats in my life again.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oscar's Best Pictures for 2011

We picked a really bad year to see every Best Picture Nominee.

We've now seen 6.5 out of the 9 nominated and only think 2 deserve a nomination. 

In the order we watched them:
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Tree of Life (<1/2)
The Descendants
The Artist
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

War Horse

"Midnight in Paris" - Anita 2/5 stars.  I originally gave it 2.5, but it's shrinking.  I enjoyed the main character in modern times running into 1920's characters.  I had fun trying to name them before they gave up their names.  But I can't recommend it.  Owen Wilson was the same as he always is - flat.  Nonchalant time-traveling while walking the streets of Paris.  Just didn't work.

"Moneyball" - we both gave it 3 to 3.25.  You'd better love baseball or Brad Pitt or statistics or this is going to be an extremely long movie for you.  I like baseball & Brad Pitt.  Not sure why Anita liked it.  Might have just been that it wasn't "Midnight in Paris."

"The Help" - I pre-judged this one. Anita liked it better than "Moneyball."  I did not.  I thought Viola Davis was marvelous, but that a lot of the rest of the cast over-acted, including best-supporting actress nominee Octavia Spencer.  I'd give the Oscar to Melissa McCarthy, but that's just me.  2.75 stars from me.  Anita says .25 higher than whatever she gave "Moneyball."

"Tree of Life" - I liked the hour I watched more than I thought I would.  But that doesn't mean I've managed to watch the rest.  It's annoying at best.  There's no story, no through-line, very little acting, certainly no actual direction.  Lots of pictures of things - galaxies, weird-ass aquatic life, trees, unidentifiable shit.  With music & whispered voiceovers.  I turned the sound way up to hear what was being whispered and then asshole Terrance Malick would show a volcano erupting with sound.  Scaring the crap out of our cats and Anita too.  Fuckhead.  Movie is pretty though.  I can't rate it until I see the rest, which may be never because our DVD player committed suicide before I tried to watch the rest of it on Sunday night.  Seriously, no power.  Hysterical.

"The Descendants" - 2 stars.  At MOST.  Total piece o' crap.  I love George Clooney, but there are no redeeming qualities here.  Not even Hawaii.  Boring.  Tedious.  No one cares about these characters.  Uck.  Would have had a nice nap, but Anita inadvertently woke me up.  Would have gotten 2 solid stars if I had slept through more of it.

"The Artist" - 4 stars from me.  Nice.  Charming.  Wonderful.  The first BP nominee we've seen that we agree deserves a nomination.  Anita wasn't all that keen on it (3.5 stars), but I really enjoyed it.  It may have helped that I wasn't looking forward to it, but I think it has a lot of genius in it.  Jean Dujardin is wonderful as is Bérénice Bejo.  It was extremely well directed and well-written.  With two movies left to see, I think it has a real chance to win nearly everything it's nominated for.  I especially loved the last 15 minutes of this film.

"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" - 4 stars from me.  Anita liked it better than "The Artist."  You had to work a bit for "The Artist" so I understand why she liked this one better.  I really did love this movie.  I hope I never see it again.  My eyes and head still hurt this morning from crying so much last night.  Max von Sydow is terrific as is Thomas Horn and Sandra Bullock.  Tom Hanks annoyed me with his accent.  Not sure what he was going for, but he missed NY by a long stretch.  I mentioned that to Anita and she wholeheartedly agreed.  He'd have been better off without trying for an accent.  Thomas Horn's character reminded me very much of The Kid we went to NYC with last month, which could be making a difference as to why this movie hit us so deeply.  Another movie that I especially liked the ending.

And so now we have 1/2 the Tree of Life (ugh), Hugo, and War Horse.  Can't believe we picked the worst year ever to see all the BP's, but glad now that we've seen two movies I very much enjoyed that I likely would not have seen.

NYC Trip

A different kind of NY trip for us this time, which was been terrific.

We went with 2 friends, one of whom is an under 10 kid. Me! In NYC with a kid? Some will wonder how this happened. Some will wonder if this will change my total lack of desire for children of my own. Some don't read my blog.  Isn't that the real shocker?

I'm not sure how it happened. No, it doesn't look like it will change any of my life goals.  Won't even move the needle, even though this kid was really great (and when that facade slipped, Mom was there to remove her from our presence before any explosions occurred).  That's probably why our perception is that she was awesomely behaved.

But back to NY. We had an amazing weather weekend. Got up to 60 degrees Saturday (Jan 7), but there is no such thing as climate change, right?

We arrived on Friday afternoon and immediately headed to see the tree in Rockefeller center.  It seemed smaller than in years past.  Until we realized it had to be 3 stories tall.  Guess it was a big tree after all.  Perhaps it was that we saw it in daylight, probably much more impressive at night, but it's cold at night and I'm sleepy and there are shows to see....It was fun to see The Kid see the tree for the first time.  She was not awed.  Not a bit.  But she was fascinated by the skating rink, which was fun to watch.


So, I've been writing this for 5 weeks now.  We have a second NYC trip scheduled for the 1st weekend in March.  I've got to finish this.  Here are the play reviews:


Starring Alan Rickman and Hamish Linklater with Jerry O'Connell. 

Anita hit sound sleep.  Never a good sign.  This was intended to be high-brow and cynical, but for me, it ended up being pretentious and mean-spirited.  At a loss for words?  Fine, have the two women in the play flash their boobs or ass.  Really?  Weak stuff here, though the performances were all good.

I knew we were in trouble when the first 5 minutes was continuous drivel about Kerouac's "On The Road."  Neither of us has read this book and though certainly I've read about it, I clearly don't have an opinion on it's value to society as a whole.  FYI, this did not inspire me to read it.

I think my brother & sister-in-law might like this play, as they are more intellectual than we are.  However, we didn't like it and I think most of the critics that did are doing the Emperor's new clothes are awesome kind of a thing.

Skip it, unless perhaps you think Kerouac is the second coming.  Note that I've really enjoyed David Mamet's plays which tend toward an intellectual cynicism (except his latest, "Race").  So, it's not that I'm anti-cynicism.  It just has to be funny or meaningful or SOMETHING.

Sunday we saw the new rendition of "Godspell."  It's theater in the round, which can be great.  It was great.  Great.  We had front row seats and each got to high-five Jesus during the show.  Cool.  At intermission, they invited everyone on stage for a grape juice communion.  The Kid loved it.  I always kind of forget that the last 10 minutes of this show are pretty intense.  Fortunately, (and this is the first time I've ever thought this) the Kid is being raised Catholic, so she wasn't shocked at Jesus being crucified.  I was.  It was a very emotional staging and I wept. 

Afterward, we hung out by the stage door and since the entire cast is filled with Broadway rookies, they came out and signed programs and stood for pictures as long as anyone wanted.  Very nice introduction to the Broadway stage for the Kid and lovely for the rest of us as well.

I highly recommend this version of "Godspell."

In March, we're going to see another year of the Broadway Backwards benefit where the Broadway love songs are sung in a same sex vein.  We hope to see 3 other shows while we're there, so I hope to bring you some more Broadway reviews in March.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And then there were none

Considering the time taken to accomplish a dream on my terms, I don't really think this race report blog is late.  So Lump it and quit your bitchin'.

"One and done." "Two and through." "Three and free."  "Four and no more."

Personally, I think I was really still at one and done.  My first three attempts at iron distance triathlons did not go as I had planned.  Let me remind you:

The Bigfoot Triathlon, alternately named Jethro Throws a Triathlon.  I blogged about this race several years ago and reread my descriptions a few months ago.  I didn't do it justice.  This was the worst organized race I have yet run.  That includes all "Any Distance Classics" and the "Alice's Restaurant Massacre Run".  I got food and drink at both the latter races.

Ironman Brazil.  FUCK!  Disassembled my bike, packed it, flew it to another continent, found it after some considerable consternation and time, unpacked it, reassembled it, and checked it into transition.  Had to wait 10 hours to get to ride it back to our hotel as I pretended to be driftwood for 2:35 in the ocean.  FUCK!  And I especially appreciated the super-support I received from my "friends".

Ironman Arizona.  17:14:20.  Don't worry so much about dehydration in the desert.  OR learn to pee on your bike.  Either way.

And so, #4:  Ironman Texas.

I had a pretty foolproof method for this one.  Train your ass off.  Literally, I dropped 15 pounds before race day.  Got plenty of rest, ate a healthy diet.  Oh yeah, one other thing:  throw money at the race.  New gorgeous Cervelo bike:  check.  Private swim lessons:  check.  Ensuring Ed didn't let me get away with anything in weight training or indoor cycling:  check.  Multiple bike fits:  check.  Clinical massage therapy:  check.

And then convince your bestest friends that the most important place for them to be on May 21, 2011 is in Hellouston, TX....not eating, not drinking, not peeing for just a smidge over 16 hours.  Perfect.  I do regret not convincing Mom, David & Karen to come.  Oh well.

It was an amazing day.  I slept pretty well the night before, not nearly as many dreams as previous attempts.  I was ready.  The water was warm and extremely crowded, as you might expect with a bunch of panicked swimmers in a very little area.  I got punched, shoved, swum over.  I never really found that sweet spot where you're just swimming.  This was due to yes, a much-improved swim stroke, but also one lone crazy-woman, who must have covered 4 miles in her swim.  She swam the entire way - side to side.  She kept hitting me perpendicularly, if that makes any sense.  She could have won that damn swim if she'd learned to sight. At all.

My favorite part of the swim was the last bit with the canal.  I'm still not sure exactly how far it was, but it was certainly longer than I expected.  But I got to see and hear my peeps following me the whole way.  And I got to hear the Vuvuzela.  OK, I may have to re-examine whether that was my favorite part.  I remain surprised that Annn did not end up in the drink at some point that day.  Anita, Joy, J9, Adelia & Jackie must have been on some good drugs. 

My swim time was about 30 minutes faster than IMAZ.  That's with no extra swim effort - that's all technique improvement.  Thanks to Annn for convincing me how awesome ProKaren is and to ProKaren for convincing me I could easily complete the IM swim in under 2 hours.  How about 1:43???  Suhweet.

I immediately spent a significant portion of that time savings in transition.   It wasn't like IMAZ.  When you're in the middle of the pack, the volunteers are a whole lot busier.  So, I had to dress myself.  Doesn't that just suck?  Who knew?  Always difficult to get tight fitting bike clothes on a damp body.  Oh well.

Then I foolishly allowed volunteers to put sunscreen on me.  Yes, sunscreen was a good idea.  But these folks had lathered up their hands with the gunk awhile ago and it had formed more of a glue than a lotion.  Great race pictures that resembled the Wicked 10k the year before.  Did not know I'd be biking in my zombie makeup.

And then I went out and had the best 80 mile bike ride I've ever had.  Best on so many levels.  Smooth roads, great pedalling, passing folks on every small up and down hill!  Staying hydrated, but not over-hydrated.  Got stopped by a cop for 3 minutes (along with some of my much less happy racing friends) for traffic.  3 minutes is a long time.  Like the difference between a sub 16 hour IM and not.  Thankfully, not the difference between under 17 and not.  Still, I didn't care.  I was averaging between 16 & 17 mph and was able to stay in aero without the significant discomfort that I'd felt on EVERY OTHER BIKE RIDE I'D EVER TAKEN AS AN ADULT.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Anita & her entourage were supposed to try and stake out the bike course at about mile 35.  But I was too fast.  Ha!  Yes, I'm chair-dancing in victory knowing I was going too fast on my bike.  What I did not know until much later was that this panicked Anita because she thought I was going to burn out.  But Annn was able to talk her down from the ledge as we had discussed strategy for months.  And we'd decided I should just go.  Not crazy effort, but a sustained push as long as I could.  We knew to expect a steady headwind all the way back into town, so ride whatever tailwind for all I was worth.

The gang caught up with me about mile 50 and it was really good to see them.  I managed to avoid wiping out as the girl in front of me slowed way down for the turn as I was waving to the best support crew ever to show up for a race.  I was about an inch from clipping her tire and had to apply the brakes an a strenous manner (aka nearly skidded out).  Didn't mean to give Anita yet another heart attack.  But I was much too busy trying to decipher Annn's signs and find my Where's Waldo friend, J9, who kept hiding on me all day and then popping out in surprise.  It was good to see that everyone was still smiling (and screaming and jumping and yelling).  I was having the time of my life.

At IMAZ, I probably got off my bike to pee at least 6 times.  At IMTX:  once.  Which was a really good thing, because my biggest pet peeve was that there was a line at every portajohn all day - there were not nearly enough.  I waited for over 5 minutes at mile 70 on the bike.  And when the volunteer came out of the extremely foul restroom after that 5 minutes (when there were other facilities available to non-racers) I almost peed on him.  Asshole.  So, 5 minutes is the difference between a sub 16 hour, blah, blah, blah....

So I had the best 80 mile bike ride ever.  But gee, CJ, isn't the IM bike 112 miles.  Why, I'm glad you asked that.  Yes, there were 32 miles left after my best bike ride ever.  Mile 81-100 was on the worst pavement I've ever driven or walked on with awful traffic and no shoulder to speak of.  It was scary and I understand that at least 2 bikers were actually hit by cars in this stretch.  There is a rumor that one of those accidents caused a detour on the bike course and many bikers actually completed 114 miles or more (yes, my bike computer showed over 114 miles).  Do you know what the time difference it took to ride those extra 2 miles was?  It's the difference between a sub....whatev.  So those were a rough 20 miles. 

And my trusted friend, my 5 lb. watch, crapped out at mile 84 of the bike.  WTF?  I'd used it for 6 months and it was always perfect.  Turns out, the memory was full.  I never did manage to read the accompanying manual and thought I was transferring the data from watch to Mac after every use.  Nope.  I was copying.  FUCK!  Can't exactly learn how to program my watch biking down the road.

And then we came to the sign that brought us back into "The Woodlands".  Home sweet home.  WHoopeee!!!  Maybe the bike course is short?  Certainly, the pavement was better....but those were the 12 longest miles I have ever experienced in a race on a bike. Every corner looked like the turn for transition and none of them were.  I kept telling myself to stay focused.  Every 20 seconds when I realized I wasn't in aero anymore and I wasn't pedalling very hard anymore.   Oh look, a golf course....hmmm...I like golf...Oh hey, there's Where'sJ9Waldo on the smallest median I've ever seen between 6 lanes of traffic.  Hope she's OK.  I must be close to transition.  And yet the miles just kept ticking off with no end, not even at 112....

Finally made the last turn and saw all my very happy, but nervous peeps waving me into transition (except for poor Joy who was sent on the camera batter errand at an inopportune time - I am hoping she took some extra time to cool off in the hotel).  Turns out Anita was a wreck because I was unable to maintain that 16-17 pace for the last 40 miles since they'd seen me.  And they'd heard there was a wreck.  Poor girl.  Someone should have gotten her a mai tai.

End result of the bike:  a much improved bike time and superior prognosis for finishing an IM in under 17 hours.  Although, I didn't know what time it was....

Into the changing tent and again, no one to help me change.  DAMMIT.  What do these people expect from me.  Anywho, got changed (slowly), got some water, filled all my shorts pockets with my preferred nutrition and headed out.  I decided to try to fix my watch in the first mile, so drink, eat, fix watch, then run.  I got some data deleted and started the watch again about the 1/2 mile mark.  This was distressing to me because I never managed to get a real mile time for the rest of the race.  It's probably a good thing though because I never found a pace on the run.

Let me back up a bit.  I've never run as well or as fast as I have in the 4 months leading up IMTX.  I actually enjoyed running.  Occasionally, I'd tell Anita what time I expected to be home and I'd beat that time by several minutes without cutting the run short.  I'd PR every mileage without pushing (OK, there were a couple of races I pushed at the end).  So I was expecting my best IM run ever.

Uh...no.  Well, actually, yes, I think it was my best IM run ever.  For the 4-5 miles I actually ran.  Which were not consecutive.  Nor probably even miles.  However, did I mention it was hot?  I mean MF'ing hot.  Like, the second I got off the plane I turned to Anita and said "Oh, I didn't know.  This race is totally going to suck.  And not in a good way."  The heat was another factor in the last 30 miles of the bike.  It had been overcast and a little rainy earlier in the day.  Still hot.  HOT actually.  I don't know how hot.  But it got muggy AND sunny in the last 30 miles of the bike.

And then they expected me to run.  There was about a mile, maybe 1.5 miles of shade on the run course.  The 3 look 8.x mile course.  And sunset was after 9pm.  Hot.

OK, so after I got my watch reset, I started running.  I noticed it was hot.  I poured ice down my shirt/shorts at every rest stop, which was every mile.  Lots to drink.  Cool sponges under my hat and on the back of my neck.  Still hot.  Felt woosy pretty early on.  Digestive issues early on.  I slowed down.  OK, CJ, get it together.  No problem.  This is a long race with lots of recovery time available.  Change up nutrition/hydration, slow down until you feel a bit better.  Until I can think again.  Hmmm.  Managed to get through the first loop.  It was hot and slow.  Anita was worried.  Joy asked me what my pace was.  I laughed.  No pace.  None.  I'd expected to be able to catch some friends on some loop of the run, but I had nothing.  I was only able to run a few steps at a time before I'd feel woosy again.  Without the vuvuzela in my ear, I'm not sure I'd have run that much.

I started to notice in that second lap that there were a ton of bike paramedics on the course.  And that all of them were very busy.  Those that weren't administering IV's were on their bikes following folks they'd soon be putting IV's in.  I realized that I could think - I realized that as long as I stayed vertical and moving forward, I'd be able to finish this thing in under 17 hours.  No hope for the 15 hour goal at this run pace, but as long as my body didn't get a new piercing by IV, I'd have the monkey off my back.  I also realized that though I'd finally enjoyed an IM (finally) that my body is really not cut out for it.  Maybe shorter races.

I hope CrazyWaldoTrainJ9 doesn't really ever want to do one with me.  But I'd be happy to cheer and train too.

Nearing the lights of the finish line, I was able to run.  One of my favorite Teammates, Adri and her husband, ran with me for some of that last mile, and that was awesome.  Helped to distract from the pain. 

I never saw nor heard my peeps as I ran down the finish chute, but I knew that crowd noise was definitely louder than it had been for the finisher before me.  And I knew that meant they were there.  Still there.  Sharing every moment of the battle with me.

I love you all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

United Airlines & Contintental Frequent Flyer Miles "Upgrades"

So today, I decided that it would be worth quite a bit of cash and 120,000 frequent flyer miles to upgrade our 2 long flights to/from Europe.  These flights were booked through United Airlines, though one is on Continental.

This decision was prompted by email receipt of a "change" to our itinerary from United late last week.  I didn't see any actual change to any of our flights, but whatever.  I did verify that all our connecting flights appeared to have sufficient time for a successful trip.

But then yesterday, I checked one more time to see what had changed.  Ah, our seats, picked 2 months ago, had been removed from our flight from Munich to Newark, an 11 hour + flight.  I got online immediately.  Only seats remaining together were in business class or economy in the last middle row.  I'm familiar with the last row and that booking is not a mistake you make twice.  The seats don't recline.

I called United as that is who I had the reservation with.  I discussed at length the problem with an 11 hour flight in seats that didn't recline after I had carefully selected seats.  I mentioned taking my 70 year old Mom on her first intercontinental trip.  There was nothing the agent could do.  Conceding defeat, I chose 3 from the ~6 remaining seats that would recline, knowing we would now not be sitting together.   When viewing the seating chart, I did notice that business class was practically empty.  I asked about an upgrade, but my question was ignored as the agent found that when she went to book our new crappy seats, our old seats popped into the reservation.  She said she'd email me the new confirmation, that I'd receive it in 5-10 minutes and was there anything else she could help me with.  I got off the phone as quickly as possible.

No email arrived.  I started to call again today, but decided that since I'd obtained a confirmation # for the Continental flight, that I'd explore their website and my ability to upgrade with miles & money.   I transferred miles from my United account (looks like the first decent news out of the United-Continental merger) and typed in the data.  I expected to then get a seating chart, but no, we've been waitlisted.  Waitlisted?  But why, Business Class shows as practically empty.  I read the fine print.  Once waitlisted, the airline can wait until 24 hours before the flight to honor the upgrade.  If anyone with a higher "status" than me wants a seat, I'll get bumped, regardless of how long we've been on the list.  There is no way to identify what the list looks like.  I went ahead with this anyway because, hey, it's my Mom's first trip to Europe. 

I see that Continental not only charged my credit card for the full $s of the waitlisted upgrade, they also charged a mystery $1 pending transaction.  WTF?  So they get to keep my money for 3 weeks while they decide if I'm worthy.  That blows.

So, OK, I know United is better than this.  So after much contemplation, I decided to use the remaining balance of my miles and cash to upgrade the long flight to Europe.  United isn't only not better.  They didn't even tell me I was waitlisted or what that would mean.  I hit upgrade and boom, my miles are gone and I don't get to select my business class seats, because again, they have the honor to see if they get a better offer.  So far, no charge on my credit card, but I have noticed that United is not timely about credit card charges in about 1/2 the cases.

So Continental and United, I have to ask:  what are you thinking?  Now it doesn't matter if you're first to purchase an item with limited availabilty.  You have to wait in the back of the line to see if any people with a higher class want that item.  This doesn't seem like the American way.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Carytown 10k

This morning was my last real run before IMTX.  The mud crew re-assembled in Cary Court (why the hell didn't Joyless run either of these races?).   Got to see my buddy, Denis, who is now in the 70-74 age group - how the hell did that happen?  He asked what pace I was planning and I let him know it was SLOW and that he'd want no part of it.  Even if I was planning on running this as a race, I'm pretty sure this 70 year old would have kicked my ass, even after 6 months of heavy training.  Oh well, good for him, right?  It was really good to see him though.

My original plan for the race was to run with Bike Coach & The Saint, but their plans changed Sunday when BC recognized that the hip pain she was feeling was being aggravated every time she ran.  So, their run turned into a walk-run.  I'm not sure how it happened, but I lost J9 within 3 seconds of the start.  Never saw her at all.  C-YA.

KG & I ran together and we talked about the pace I needed to run.  Between 11:30s and 12:00s.   Seriously, no faster.  Didn't exactly go as planned.  We ran just under 11's.  Ok, that's pretty close.  At the water stop at mile 2.5, KG needed to walk and slow down and I was feeling good, so we split up.  I am extremely familiar with pushing hard to keep up with someone and then needing to rest.  It's a bad feeling to know your slowing someone down (though it would have been good for me to be slowed today), so I took off down the road.

I picked up the pace for the rest of mile 3 and finished with a 10 minute mile.  Not in the plan.  I really didn't feel like I was pushing the pace at all.  I decided to run whatever felt good.  10 cent head, I know.

I felt really good and really strong, so I pushed it, just a bit.  Heard and saw Joyless in front of her building and she ran in flip flops for a block with me.  Not sure how I feel about her being able to easily keep up in flip flops on a pace where I'm pushing it a bit.  Wait, I know.  Bitch.

Finished with 3 miles under 10s coming in with a strong final kick.  PR'd my 10k time by 6 seconds.

So, lessons learned.  I really do have a 10 cent head.  Most important part of my IM run is the first 1/2:  I need to run slow and easy (OK, nothing easy about an IM run, but slow, for sure).  I've been negative splitting all my runs all year and this needs to be no exception.  That means sandbagging the first 1/2 so I have something left for the 2nd half.  This is also reliant on the FACT that the 10pm cutoff to start the last 8.6 run loop will not be an issue.  If that's an issue, then fuck the negative split for the whole marathon and just try to negative split the 1st & 2nd loop.  AND stay in the moment.  Focus.  Keep the finish line/time in sight at all times.  I'll have a whole lot of help with that - from teammates in the race to my 5 sherpas.

I'm ready.