Now that it’s summer, it’s time to give a couple spring races a quick recap before I completely forget what went down. In late April, I ran the James Joyce 10k Ramble, a race I’ve done multiple times in the past and is a good measuring stick for early season fitness. I followed it up just a week later with the Cox Providence Half Marathon, the first leg in the UHC Triple Crown series. To the time machine!
[Update: Now includes the foot story!]
Five…four…three..two…one. I waded into the 60 degree water and tried not to get kicked in the head. I had a headache and overflowing sinuses. I’d been awake since 1 a.m. My right eye was inflamed, maybe infected. Four of the five toes on my left foot were bleeding and swollen. The new wetsuit was scratching my neck. I dove in and tried not to hyperventilate or panic. 32 miles to go.
[Warning: This sort of became epically long and probably has way more information than you really want to read, unless you’re doing Quassy yourself. Feel free to skim and check out the excellent photos Michelle captured.]
The 2014 season is essentially already a month old here in the Northeast and, other than June, I have my races, picked (some already completed) and paid for, for most of the upcoming year.
With a day job in financial services that often has me working on retirement tools and services, I consider myself a quasi-expert in the area and while the best advice is save early and often, the second most common piece of advice is often overlooked: Have something concrete to do in retirement. Not just vague notions of travel or relaxing more or reading. With fuzzy plans like that, you’ll often yearn to be commuting again within a year. Have a goal. A definitive goal. A big, sit up and take notice goal. Like running your first 5k in 30 years or getting in shape enough to run a race with three generations of your family. In other words pick a goal like my Dad.
When looking back at my comments and data in my training log for the prior two months, it’s a mish-mash of highs and lows. Coming off all the holiday travel in December, January started well. I knocked off almost 8 whole days before a winter cold hit my broadside. Despite taking days off (hard for me) and easing back on workouts, that nagging cold pretty much circultated through the house until the end of the month when….we hit Hawaii.
Two days into the trip and the warm air was like an elixir. Colds, coughs and pasty skin were sloughed off like our fleece jackets. After the bitter, sustained cold of the winter, it was nice to get outside and run without 8 layers and keeping my eyes peeled for black ice. Didn’t bring or rent a bike, but was able to get in a number of hour plus runs along beaches, trails and roads.
Of course, the day after we returned, we were hit by a snowstorm and I pulled a muscle in my chest shoveling snow a bit too aggressively. Just now, getting back to any strength work. So yeah, January and February were up and down.
Bike: 18:42 mins / 300 miles approx
(For some reason the speed/cadence monitor on the bike decided it only wanted to display cadence on the trainer. I’ve beat my head against a wall to try to fix it but just given up at this point.)
Swim: 10:25 / 14600 yards
Run: 20:10 134 mi
Strength: 6:30 hours
Only a couple of yoga sessions.
Would really like to get more practice in, especially as I transition back outside for the majority of training. I know from the marathon training last year that the yoga really helped keep me loose when the mileage and the pounding started adding up.
I finished the Old Fashioned Ten Miler in February even though the weather made it the Old Fashioned 5 Miler this year.
Longest run : 11 miles on the dreadmill
Longest ride: 1:30
Longest swim: 2400 yards (that’s a PR for non-stop distance)
This one is a no brainer. Any of the Hawaii runs, especially the one up to the black sand beach at Makena state park (that’s the source of the pictures up top).
No new gear other than a new indoor training tire. Practical, but not very exciting.
Pop culture consumed
Not sure if I could survive months on end down in the basement on the treadmill or trainer without the iPad or Netflix. I watched copious amounts of shows while sweating.
- House of Cards S1,S2
- True Detective
- Life (old cop show with Damien Lewis)
- Premier League on Saturday and Sunday mornings
Really hoping I can start to escape the house of pain and get outside more regularly. For races, I only have one 5k on the docket, a small, local race for some speed work. While I am still trapped inside, I’m very excited that Amazon is streaming all the past seasons of The Shield. It’s been on my list of awhile to catch up.
This is the second year in a row I braced myself and signed up for a road race in February. And for the second year in a row, snow derailed the race. Last year, we had a snowstorm raging the day of the race and it was ultimately (and wisely) canceled. This year, we had a snowstorm the day (and night) before the race and, while it wasn’t canceled, it was significantly altered. The Old Fashioned Ten Miler turned into the Old Fashioned Sorta Five Miler. Still, the opportunities to race in January and February are pretty slim in New England and you have to take what you can get.
One year ago this week, I took the plunge back into the water. Sure, I’d taken the requisite swim lessons as a child and, twenty-five years later, I could stay afloat if my yacht capsized and hack together a stroke for a short distance if shark fin appeared on the horizon, but, despite my run fitness, one pathetic pool session was all I needed to tell me I was not ready to string together the laps necessary to train for even a sprint triathlon event.