31 of 52: Rock Hall International Triathlon

I Love Triathlon

It’s true – although I do love just swimming, and I do love just cycling, and I do love to just run. All for different reasons and all at varying degrees and at different times. Anyone with more than one kid will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Speaking of kids. A pic of me and my mom before the race.
(Photo credit to my dad.)

I love to swim because I can work my ass off in the water for 90 minutes, get out and feel completely spent – but not beat up. The downside is that I need a pool to do it in. Also – minus a “social kick set” there’s not much talking to your lane mates during training.

I love to bike because I seem to be pretty okay at it naturally. Of course I suffer less on the run when I train, but my bike time is usually the same regardless. The downside is that riding outside on the roads is dangerous – no matter how careful you are. Also talking to your buddies on the ride is … a source of distraction.

I love to run because all I need are a pair of shoes and a little bit of time. If you can run with friends it can be some awesome quality time. Conversations after the 10 mile distance get interesting. The downside to running (for me) is that (apparently) I need to do it regularly in order to be any good at it.

So I love them all differently – but when you mix them all together into one event it’s like taking the fam-a-lam to Disney.

  • It’s gonna cost some money
  • It takes some planning
  • It takes lots of logistics
  • You gotta stay hydrated and pace yourself
  • It’s gonna be a long day
  • Not everyone is going to have a good time the whole time
  • It’s magical anyways
Pre race nutrition.
(Photo Credit goes to my dad.)
Making sure my helmet was oriented correctly – you wanna minimize the time and thinking in transition. Dad said it looked like I was doing some sort of ritual prayer. (Photo credit to my dad.)
Wow – I look really worried. lol – This is me mentally going through transitions to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything – like running shoes…
(Photo credit to my dad.)

The (Swim, Bike and) Run

Love Triathlon. My times and pace for the day.

The Rock Hall International Triathlon is my go to Tri. This was my fifth time in 5 years if you count the 2017 Waterman’s triathlon (it’s the same course but held in the fall). It’s close enough to drive to, it’s an easy course (not a lot of hills) and the swag is excellent.

Another huge draw for me is that this is one of the races that the Annapolis Triathlon Club (ATC) supports. This means a couple things – more than a handful of other “crabs” (as we call ourselves in the club) will be there racing and also – we’ll have a tent there. Ahhhh membership…

The tent is where you find the other crabs, talk shit before the race, leave all the post race gear you brought, find a chair to sit in (and talk more shit) after the race – and FOOD. I’ve had the privilege of volunteering at the tent on a few occasions over the years and I can’t appreciate or thank the volunteers enough for this support. It makes the race so much sweeter. You know how I feel about community and the human connection by now – the tent is where it’s at when the race is over.

This year Jeff (who is almost ALWAYS race support – and BTW has finished more full Ironman triathlons than I can count) was there along with Virginia who is often race support and plans the clubs social events.

My Mom at the ATC tent.
(Photo credit to my dad.)

The “international” refers to the distances in the race:

  • A swim of 0.93 miles (1.5 kilometers),
  • A bicycle route of 24.8 miles (40 kilometers) and
  • A run of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

I was a little concerned because the last triathlon I did prior to this was about 18 months prior and I hadn’t trained much at all since. Like – I had only been swimming 6 times and on my bike 8 times in the prior 12 months.

Oops.

I shared my concerns with my kids and woke up to this note of encouragement. BTW – GR9 is better than GR8.

When I signed up for it I had this idea that Rock Hall would be a great “ultra” for me this year in that I would finish the tri and then knock out another 7 miles afterwards to complete my weekly 13.1. Seeing as how I did not train for this and also as my parents were out to see me race AND that this was graduation weekend for my oldest – I didn’t think this was the day to flirt with injury and also keep my folks out in the sun for an extra 90 minutes while I “powered” through the extra 7 miles with all the athletic grace of a hippo trying to make his way down a ski slope on while balancing a stack of turtles on his back.

So… I decided that the Triathlon would be enough to “count” for this weeks. 13.1

Fight me.

Since swimming the bay I feel like as long as there’s no current in the water I’ll be okay. I wasn’t worried about finishing the swim and just figured that I’d be more tired when I got out of the water and that I’d pay some extra the next day. I was a little slower than my best pace but overall had a good time.

I did get hit in the head once – which happens in triathlon but it was weird because we were well into the swim and usually by this time the water is little less crowded and you don’t have to worry as much about contact as you do at the start. I took this as a signal to hurry up already and get out of the water. I had been a little conservative given my (lack of) training but I needed some personal space.

Heading into T1 to grab my bike after the swim.
(Photo credit to my dad.)

The bike was… surprising. I averaged 18.9 MPH on my 9 year old store brand road bike for the almost 25 miles. WTAF? I haven’t been on the bike more than 8 times in the last year and I’m basically the same speed I was on the same course when I trained (19.2 MPH). It’s funny/not funny. I should get a coach and train hard. Maybe a new tri bike. I think I’m leaving a lot of untapped potential.

The run went as expected. 6.2 miles of running in the sun and walking in the shade… and some walking in the sun. The plan was actually to walk the first minute of every mile and also walk the water stops and it worked out pretty well bu man I was tired. This is where the lack of bike training hits me but I was overall happy about it and finished the run 2 minutes slower than my “trained” pace.

Noreen caught me on a walk break and yelled at me to get a move on. So I did.

This is another beautiful part of running this race and being in the club. The run is a 2 loop course and since there are other crabs on the course I feel extra motivated when I see another crab or… like when Noreen yells at me.

It was a great day to race and I felt extra happy that my parents were there to experience triathlon.

Not the Run

My folks have always been there for me growing up. All the rehearsals and practices (and staying on me to practice), concerts and games, even as an adult coming out from CA to see me run my first marathon. I thought to myself during this race how incredibly lucky I am to know how much my parents support me. Not everybody gets parents like that in life. Not everyone still has their parents with them and so I am grateful for every moment they chose to spend with me.

It’s not as if I’m still a kid under their care who needed a ride and permission to do the race. They got up with me at the ass crack of dawn and drove two hours to see me “do my thing”. They didn’t have to – they CHOSE to.

I see sacrifice and parenting mentioned a lot together – but I was thinking about this while I ran and I think really parents weigh the options and do what’s best for the people they love and then act accordingly. For some this means working long hours or multiple jobs so that their kids can have opportunities they never did. In some cases they do this so their kids can have the same opportunities they did. For others still, it may mean passing on professional or social opportunities so that the kids feel safe in this world.

I have my own share of regrets in this area but I think we all do what we think is best at the time and certainly some situations feel impossible. Still other times I knew I was doing the wrong thing – but here we are.

Years ago, my girlfriend Katie (before she was my girlfriend) said to me – “I love the way you spend time with your kids even when there’s other stuff you want to be doing.” and I really liked that. I mean – they’re really cool people. Why wouldn’t I want to spend time with them?

In the end, I just hope the kids feel about me the way I feel about my parents.

Next Week: The Bagel Run

30 of 52: That Time I Ran on a Monday

Friends Don’t Let Friends Miss Leg Day

Saturday May 25th, 2019 – was leg day.

I moved to a third story walk up (read: stairs) on Memorial day weekend. I had considered hiring movers because I’m tired of moving my own crap around and three flights. Yuck. I got a couple estimates which basically just helped to realign my idea of my financial position with reality.

Doable? Yes. But really it felt like I’d be spending a lot of money for something I could do myself. Or with the help of friends. I opted to make it an event and call it – “Leg Day”. Cus you know – carrying a bunch of stuff up three flights of stairs…

This thing was HEAVY.

Alright so the long and short of it is this – I was really busy packing and moving little things and with truck rentals and “leg day” I had to move the run to Monday.

I know – the rules say I have to run at some point between Friday night at 5pm and Sunday night at 10. Well – if you read the last post you know how I like to ignore my own rules when I need to.

On this occasion I gave myself another day to get this run in. I make another change to the rules next week…but that’s for the next report.

The Run

Dan wasn’t able to make it to leg day but I wanted him to see the new place so I suggested we start from my place. He had a full house and plans later that morning so we had to get a little creative with the run.

We started with a running tour of the new neighborhood and then made our way back to wards his place. When we got there we were at just about 9 miles and decided to stop for some water. Given the time and his to-do list, he called it a day on the run – but since he was going to be out running a few quick errands and he needed to get back to my place to pick up his car he jokingly said he’d race me back to my place.

I knew better to try and improvise my return route from my run a few weeks ago and just came back along West Street and Riva road. No sooner had I climbed the stairs to my place and poured some cold water did Dan knock on the door. I opened to door to see his usual big grin – wanting to know how long I had been home.

We laughed at how perfect the timing was, he grabbed the keys to his car and left me his pickup so I could move any stragglers from the old place.

Not the Run

If you know me well then you know I have mixed feelings about ignoring my own rules.

On the one hand – I believe that for the most part we make our own way in this world. From wherever we happen to be to where we wish to go – the work is ours to do. Sometimes we need to make adjustments in order to get things done. The upside to being flexible in this way is that it allows you to come up with some creative solutions (check out last weeks run). I don’t think that beating yourself up over the small stuff is worth it.

The flip side is that I feel like discipline is important and I fear that if I make small exceptions for myself then what’s to keep me from making more and larger exceptions later on? If I get to change the rules whenever I want then what happens to my integrity? Can I say that I am a person who can be relied on? That I behave consistently? That I make decisions based on a set of beliefs that don’t change?

How can I ever be sure what’s right and wrong if I get to change my mind about stuff whenever I want?

It’s obvious to see the results of this in my running or training for triathlon or with my playing trumpet. When you make small exceptions for yourself your performance suffers. But in life… with yourself. I feel like it’s harder to see right away. We don’t often recognize the moments when we’re looking at the result of our behavior.

Yeah – I may be over thinking it. I know I’m just talking about running here but I’m deeply concerned about my quality as a human being so this is likely the kind of thing I’m thinking about if you see me just staring into space. I feel like just the fact that it’s a concern to me is a good thing. I also feel like I’m the guy I want to be.

Just sometimes it might be nice to have something concrete to fall back on or refer to, you know? I never was one for letting other people do my thinking for me. (I don’t want to wind up like Chidi on “The Good Place”.)

Anyhow – Leg day was a blast. A lot of people showed up and I absolutely could not have done it without everyone’s help. I feel like this was a moment that showed me the result of my behavior.

It’s like life. It’s a lot of hard work, but if you’re a decent person and ask nicely people will help you get through it.

So basically:

Life is like leg day.
Friends don’t let friends skip leg day.
Friends don’t let friends skip life.

Next Week: Rock Hall International Triathlon

29 of 52: The Kings Dominion Half Marathon

The Longest Half Marathon Ever

First off – this isn’t the real thing. King’s Dominion has a half marathon called the “Run n Ride”. It’s actually a festival with four distances including… a Quarter Marathon – because a 10k is just so overdone these days. This was not that…

See, what happened was I had a lot of stuff going on this particular weekend. Saturday was the spring band trip for my daughter – and not just any band trip – but the *last* spring band trip. Not only her last, but my last. I have been a chaperone on this trip for the last 6 years – though I missed last year which is all the more reason why I could not miss this one under any circumstances.

Here’s the thing about this trip. You have to be at the school around 4 in the morning – drive down to King’s Dominion (or Hershey or Bush Gardens…) perform, walk around the park and then you don’t get home until midnight or so. It’s a very long day.

Now you may be thinking – “c’mon Chris. You could just run the next day. You’ve done weirder stuff than this.” And you’re right. Normally this would not be a big deal but I had already committed to volunteering at the Hero Boys 5k the next morning and had a concert immediately following.

So looking back on my calendar I had planned to run Friday night from 5 – 7:30 but… I do have a day job and well, it was getting busy.

Good News – I was writing music and doing voiceover.

Bad News – If I didn’t finish what was on my plate before Saturday I was going to hold up production for the rest of the weekend.

It took longer than expected to finish. It was Friday night at 7 and I was beat. The whole week or two leading up to this had been the same. I didn’t know it at the time but I would remain this busy for the next 5 weeks.

Needless to say – I did not feel like lacing up and running 13.1. I was beat already and had to be up at 3:00 AM to get to that filed trip. My girlfriend Katie – ever the problem solver – says: “You know what you *could* do… log your miles while you’re walking around King’s Dominion. I bet you get almost 13 miles just from that.”

Ding!

The “Run”

Obviously – I didn’t run while I was in the park chaperoning. At first I was a little apprehensive about just walking around in circles to “get my steps”. I mean – it’s a little weird, right? “Who’s that guy walking around the ride over and over?”

It looked weird. It felt weird. At first. After awhile I just forgot about it and fell into a rhythm. I guess it’s not unlike running in the snow. People look at you crazy, you feel a little crazy but after awhile it just doesn’t matter.

I underestimated how difficult this would be. I figured that I’d need to run a little when I got home but I wanted to minimize that as much as possible so I was really keeping an eye on the clock. Every time the kids were in line for a ride I would just walk as much as possible without getting too far away from where they were – but the miles did not come easily.

That took forever – and I’m not even done.

I was moving about 1 mile per hour and by the end of the day I had only strung together 8.5 miles. By the time we got home it was nearly midnight and I had 4.6 miles to go. I decided on a short route close to home, on sidewalks and under street lights.

At the time, I lived at the end of a street that is home to several hotels and there was a lot more traffic – pedestrian and auto – than I had anticipated. I was actually glad for it. Running in the middle of the night when you’re completely alone is seriously creepy.

Talk about a negative split!

Not the Run

I suppose there will be folks who would read this and say – “well this one doesn’t count” – and I guess they’d be right on some level. I didn’t run a consecutive 13.1 but aside from a few races I think I always do *some* walking so – who cares. I covered 13.1 miles in a day. Racking up 8.5 miles while chaperoning took some doing – it took an extra effort – and I had to run 4.5 miles when I got home in the middle of the night so… for me – it counts.

I have two thoughts happening right now.

  • I love a good solution. I love when things are put together – things that “don’t belong” together – to make something happen. And by “belong together” I mean like – it’s not the way you would normally do it. When you do something a lot you can easily constrain yourself simply because the act of invention needed to achieve your goal hasn’t been necessary for awhile. Invention and creation bring me joy. Whether or not I’m the inventor is irrelevant.
  • The point here is to consistently make an effort to cover 13.1 miles. If it’s something I would do naturally I wouldn’t bother writing about it. It probably wouldn’t make me think a whole lot. It would be like writing about every time I parked my car. “Parked the car again today. Got that sucker right between the lines… again.”

A special thanks to Katie for recognizing that I had constrained myself out of a solution and supporting me by coming up with something I never would have thought of on my own.

Next Week: That Time I Ran on a Monday

26 of 52: Midway

Jimmy is Fast

More to the point – Jimmy is faster than me. A lot faster. But he ran with me this day anyways. Kind of fitting when I think about it. He was with me on the first run after the Downs Park 5 mile run. I imagine he’ll be at the last one also if I ask with enough lead time. (Is *now* too early?)

Even though Jimmy is much faster than I am he ran with me for this 13.1 miles and at a pace that did not hurt me. Fortunately he did most of the talking while I interjected a “mhmm” and a “right?” every now and again.

We have a bit in common and I picked his brain about his professional story (which I can never seem to remember) and when it comes to Jimmy in work and in life (to include running) he says “I’m just a simple guy.” And he is. I mean this in the best possible way. He is full of gratitude, appreciates what is and does not sweat the small stuff. It was nice to get to know him better over the 13.1 miles on this run.

I figure since this is the halfway point it would be OK to look back for a sec on all the other runs.

  1. 2:03:41
  2. 6:22:58 (50k PR!)
  3. 1:59:40
  4. 2:04:54
  5. 2:11:19
  6. 2:09:28
  7. 2:10:53
  8. 2:01:04
  9. 2:12:45
  10. 2:06:19
  11. 2:08:22
  12. 2:14:19
  13. 2:35:52 (15.9 miles)
  14. 2:17:00
  15. 2:07:30
  16. 2:08:11
  17. 2:08:33
  18. 2:21:24
  19. 2:44:35 (pacer)
  20. 2:00:46
  21. 2:18:33
  22. 1:53:46 (PR!)
  23. 2:21:54
  24. 2:38:16
  25. 2:18:05
  26. 2:12:38

If I take out the outliers and odd/longer distances these runs have a range of almost 40 minutes! Also – on the whole I am slowing down a bit. I don’t know for sure but I think it may be because I hardly do anything other than these 13.1 mile runs anymore!

I would like to get back to working out multiple times a day a couple times a week and then once a day a couple times a week. I can’t tell if I felt like I had more purpose because I worked out more or if working out more was my purpose. Does it matter? I liked it and I miss it.

Oh – look at me slipping into “not the run” before I even write about the run…

The Run

We started at Jimmy’s place. I’m starting to form this “rule” that if I ask someone to run with me I should go to them. Seems only right. Jimmy had a sketch of a plan for the run for which I am also grateful – not only for the fresh course but also for not having to sort it out ahead of time.

We made our way over to the stadium and crossed over into West Annapolis. These were all familiar roads – but then Jimmy’s plan had us turn left onto Ridgely Road – a road I had only ever driven on. Two thumbs up for the new scenery as we ran across Weems Creek. We continued on up over Rt 50 and then made our way around to Rowe to run back into downtown Annapolis (DTA).

All routes lead back to DTA – but sometimes you run over the Naval Academy bridge for good measure – which we did.

We passed straight through DTA and crossed back over into Eastport, running the perimeter before heading back up the road to his place. The miles flew by on this one no doubt because of the conversation.

Not the Run

Over the past 15 years or so I have been coming back to this idea of simplicity over and over.

First it was in my work – code to be specific. I stumbled onto the idea of “elegance” in code while looking for ways to get better at it. At first I though this was all about how to get the job done with the fewest lines of code – but as it turns out, elegance in code is also about how thoughtful you are about how your solution might function beyond its current need. Will it be able to grow and change without compromising its core function? Can it do that and yet remain simple enough for others to understand?

This idea spread to other areas of my life I think probably in an attempt to establish a sense of order in what was still new world for me – sobriety. I suppose that every aspect of me had become cluttered in some way and now it was time to clean house.

Can I be elegant as a person? Can I adapt to my changing circumstances and remain simple? It may just be that being simple is the best way to adapt to change. That by appreciating the honest truth of “what is” – rather than trying to change “what is” into “what I expected…” is the quickest way to being happy…

…and maybe running faster – like Jimmy.

Next Week: Cherry Pit 10 Miler

25 of 52: Easter Run Club – Half Marathon Edition

Traditions Are Important

Traditions have a way of marking time, cementing the idea of an era or the idea that something is important. They give us something to remember, or to pass on so that others can be remembered. They are a way of letting people come together to celebrate one another and to demonstrate our commitment to one another or an event or place.

It sounds heavy but the tradition itself doesn’t need to be. It could be as simple as touching the head of Testudo before a football game or – making it more of a ritual. You might also make it complicated and secretive giving it more of a ceremonial feel.

You may wonder why I’m rambling on about this so I will tell you. I’m trying to figure out why this annual event is important to me. Maybe it’s just cus I enjoy it and the people I share it with – maybe its more than that. Heck, I honestly can’t remember when it started! I guess it really doesn’t matter as long as I can keep doing it for as long as I can. What I DO remember is that Coach Susan started it and I’m so very glad that she did.

What the heck am I talking about? Easter Run Club.

Every year on Easter Sunday a few of us (rarely the same group) get together and run a few miles (or more) and then afterward (and this is key) sometimes we split a pastry and enjoy a caffeinated beverage from a SECRET place that I can’t tell you the name of. (But I can tell you that it rhymes with “Marbucks”).

I know – “how is this different from any other run?” I’ll tell you. It is not because we run with easter baskets picking up hidden eggs (because we don’t). It’s also not because we put on purple gowns and light candles and chant in Latin while we run – because we also don’t do those things either.

Running with fire is dangerous.

I guess it’s different because it happens the same day every year and while “run club” or running together with friends could happen any time – Easter Run Club is one that almost always does happen. Back to the idea of tradition – you make an extra effort to make it happen because there’s something there that you’re trying to honor – and I like to think that something is each other.

The Run

Easter Run club started from DTA at the leisurely hour of 9:37 this year. Lara was marathon training – so she showed up with some miles already run – 6 ish I think and another 7 or 8 to go. (I need to start either writing these sooner or taking notes!) Susan and Gloria were *not* marathon training. SO that left me running 13.1. We were going to have to get creative about how to make that happen and all finish somewhat at the same place at the same time.

Me n’ Susan and Lara and Gloria with the Naval Academy Bridge in the background. Photo Credit goes to a nice yet anonymous Mid just trying to live their life.

It basically turned out to be a lot of little out and back’s to add extra mileage and then taking the long way back from the Naval Academy bridge and a couple of trips over into Eastport at the end to really tack on some extra miles. The cool part for me was that by the time I finished, the coffee was already in hand and mine had had plenty of time to cool off to a drinkable temperature.

Why is your coffee so hot Marbucks? Why???

Not the Run

I can’t remember much else about the run specifically, but I can tell you this – at the end of the run – where there was coffee and conversation there was also (for me) the sense of history from having done this for going on 8 or so years now – and makes me feel good thinking back on it as I write this.

My parents and family made sure to celebrate our traditions and one very important thing I learned growing up is that you can make your own traditions and you can even make old traditions new by adding your own twist. What’s important is that you celebrate the people, places and events that having meaning to you and your life.

Easter Run Club is not a grand tradition steeped in ceremony nor is it a small personal ritual – and like so many traditions this is one just because we keep doing it – but I like it and I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can.

Next Week: Midway

24 of 52: That Time I Ran on the Freeway

I Don’t Recommend It

I was not supposed to be running on the freeway, but I was tirrred and the sugar in the gatorade I drank was having a crazy impact on my ability to make decisions.

Me: Oh crap. I missed my turn. When did that happen?

Sugar Rush Me: What? I can’t feel my face.

Me: Damn. I have a conference call in 30 minutes. I don’t have time to backtrack.

Gatorface Me: I should have bought the sugar free Gatorade.

Also Me: I guess we’ll just run up this exit ramp…

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. This happened on April 14th and I’m writing this on June 12th so a little rewind might be in order…

The Run

Two weeks prior I set a personal best at the B&A half. One week prior I ran alone in Columbia and got lost. THIS particular week I planned on running a new route just to shake things up a little. I didn’t want to run alone really but as it turns out I need to work on making plans in advance so – there I was.

It started just fine with a familiar 5 miles to start but then I decided to make my way towards Downtown Annapolis ‘the back way’ (around the mall) instead of my usual route down West Street.

Not a super scenic run but I had never done it so that had some value in and of itself. About 7.5 miles in I ran out of water so I decided to stop at Wawa for some Gatorade. I got two small ones – fully loaded. All. Of. The. Sugar.

Flavor: Greenish.

I have been drinking the same hydration mix (Beachbody Hydrate) for the past two years almost. It agrees with me, low in sugar and does a good job keeping me functional. It’s not that I didn’t think that chugging a bottle of Gatorade was a good idea – I simply didn’t think about it at all. It was so cold and there was something about it that just wouldn’t let me put it down. I nearly gave myself brain freeze.

Anywho – one bottle in me. One bottle in my running bottle. Off I went.

By the time I made my way to the the Navy Memorial Stadium I knew I needed to start making my way home. “I’ll just run by Dan’s place and see what he’s up to.” I ran up the driveway just as the fam was pulling out.

They were headed across the street to check out a basketball setup to put in their driveway. I decided to follow them over and check it out. As it turned out they decided to take it home – so I offered to help Dan carry it back while Katie Q drove the boys home. This whole episode took about 12 minutes. It was nice to catch up but I had a conference call to make and about 3 miles left to run.

And this is kinda where the GatorSugar kicked in and started messing with my head. Or maybe it was because I took a 12 minuted break from running to carry a basketball hoop back to Dan’s place. I’ll probably never know cus I checked all the stats on Garmin and that info is NOwhere to be found.

I should have run back to Riva road and then back the way I came, but I knew that would be a mile and change too far so I figured I would make and early left onto Chinquapin Round Road and cut through a side street or two to make my way back. By the time I hit 665 it was too late.

Me: Oh crap. I missed my turn. When did that happen?

You know the rest. Well some of it. 665 isn’t really a freeway as much as it is the quiet death of one. The part where 50 peels off onto an expressway/exit that eventually peters out into a two lane thoroughfare with some traffic lights. Well I was at the first light and I had to make my way back… upstream.

“I’ll just run on the shoulder. Oh – look. There’s no shoulder. I’ll just run on this tiny strip of “grass” nestled between these cars and that really tall sound barrier. At the least the ground is super uneven and covered with unfamiliar foliage…”

High stepping to avoid tripping in the foliage was not super easy 12 miles into the run and it got old in a hurry. I started walking when cars came by and running when there was a break thanks to the red light I was running away from. There was about 90 seconds of good running between light cycles so it worked out okay. On one of the walking breaks I happened to realize that I could cross over and run against traffic.

Running against traffic is the norm for road running. When you are on surface streets. It’s scary as crap on a freeway-type road like this one. It wasn’t long before I made my way up the on ramp and found myself basically right across the (6 lane) street from my apartment. No – there’s no crosswalk there.

I made my way across and directly into the building, into the shower, and made it to my call right on time. I don’t think I was 100% lucid for the call but well – at least I made it back alive. 13.26 miles.

Not The Run

It’s weird writing about this so long after it happened. It’s been almost two months but I guess that’s still recent enough for the important stuff to stick with me. Not bad for a guy that can’t always remember why he walked from one room to another.

Yes – I know that’s not how memory works and yeah, I heard about the doorway effect, but this is my blog and I write for rhythm sometimes – not so much for rhyme.

Work has been forcing itself back into my work life balance after having been neglected for too long so while it’s been great for me on a number of levels I’ve had to scale back on the writing – from moderately slacking to “not at all.” I’m sure Garmin has a stat for that but dang – I can’t find it in my run data either.

Next Week: Easter Run Club – Half Marathon Edition


23 of 52: Lost in Columbia

The Plan was Simple

Run to Centennial Park, around the lake and back home. It’s just a shame that I had no clue where I was going. Coming of last weeks PR I wanted more of the “exploring” slow kind of run. I was alone and did not care in the least how much or often I walked.

A good thing too – I had no idea how far off the mark I would be.

The Run

You see those two little red lines at the top bouncing off of rt 29? Yeah – that’s me thinking that Centennial park was just on the other side. Al I had to do was find a way across, right? Nope – I was a full major thoroughfare away from where I thought I was. Explore I wanted – Explore I got.

The first few miles of the run were actually kind of hilly – more than I wanted. I didn’t work out AT ALL the week prior and I was just feeling slow all over.

I had a good sense of what direction I wanted to go but dang if I just had no clue about what would be in my way – like this on ramp. Off ramp? I’ll just call it NOPE. There was zero shoulder and a ton of traffic so I turned around.

About the 6.5 mile mark I ran into a nice lady out walking and asked if she knew the way to the park. Based on her reaction and the directions I got I knew I should just pack it in and head home. I was halfway. I’d have to make up some distance at the end because I was just not in the mood to retrace my mis steps and all those hills. I took the direct route back to more familiar territory.

Not The Run

I am cramming. I am cramming at work. I am cramming on these posts. I am cramming on training for an Olympic distance triathlon I have in about 4 weeks. I don’t like it much.

The work I don’t mind so much – I’ve been missing some spark in that area for some time so it’s nice to be reminded that I have skills – but this other stuff. It’s supposed to be fun – not a grind. SO what can I do?

I figure I can either let off the gas, lower my expectations for myself OR I could try to engage with the work in front of me. To do as much as I possibly can. Take the grind out of it and try to make it a challenge. I’m a little tired of being so-so.

Next Week: A loop, a hoop and a bad decision I will not make a gain.