I feel like I am finally playing catch up on almost everything. Sleep. Check. Running. Check. Time with Charles. Check. Plus, a bunch of other things.
Let me just start by saying that I feel like a human being again. Restoring myself to feeling normal was step one. Aside from getting a normal night’s sleep Friday night (including sleeping in till 10 or so on Saturday), I also napped for several hours saturday afternoon. I don’t know if you ever really “catch up” on sleep, but you know you’re run down when your body just demands you lay down for a nap in the middle of the day even after a good night’s sleep.
Charles is Sticking with It!
I am excited to report that Charles is sticking with this running thing. Now, he’s not exactly committed to making it a full-time hobby like I have, but he has started to mix it into his regular work out routine and is really starting to enjoy the challenge and gratification of getting stronger and gaining endurance. He’s also seen the joy of running as an incredibly efficient work out. He recently joined the gym at his office (in addition to our normal gym) so that he has the option of sneaking in a workout during his lunch hour. Since his time is more limited there, he can get a lot more bang for his buck running for 30-40 minutes than doing the elliptical.
Yesterday, we decided to do our second run together ever! In less than a month, I am so proud to see how much he has improved. His gait looks more relaxed, his endurance is significantly improved, and his pace has increased. I wanted to get in some speed work but also wanted to run with him so I figured out a great route to achieve both.
We did about 2 miles (my warm up) as his pace together. By the end of this stretch, we had arrived at the trail with the boardwalk sections that I used to do a Fartlek workout with my Dad around Thanksgiving. I decided to do this as an out-and-back work out – running each of the 3 seconds of boardwalk at a fast pace and walking the sections in between and repeat. This way, Charles could run the same sections at his own pace and we could meet at the end. The first two sections (the first is a medium length and the second is short) felt pretty darn good. Challenging, but I was able to sustain a good pace on both. Then came the dreaded 3rd section – the long section. I don’t know if my body was just tired from the week or what but this section felt awful. My legs just went to jello and couldn’t sustain my fast pace so I had so slow significantly as I went. I was so annoyed and has a repeat experience on this section on the way back. At least I have something to work on for next time!
The rest of the workout was fine and I even improved my time on the first section for the second go-round. After letting my heart rate slow a little, I ran to catch back up with him and we finished the run. Although I did some extra small sections that Charles missed, we did 5 miles according to my watch. I can’t tell you how impressed I am that Charles has come so far in such little time! I hope he sticks with it because I know what a positive impact running has had on my life.
Downtown Celebration Fun
Last night, we had the chance to attend the annual Radio Disney event that his hosted at Downtown Celebration each year. Although we aren’t exactly in the “target demographic” for this event (we had never heard of the headlining talent) it was a nice evening with friends. It was also our first time seeing Celebration’s nightly “show fall” so that is certainly not-to-be-missed during the holiday season. There are very few places in Florida to see snow and we are lucky enough to live in one of them.
A Very Buggy Long Run
I was excited to catch up on some missed mileage this week with my usual 11 mile long run this morning. The run was pretty good – I felt strong for the most part and kept a good pace. What was horrible though was these little tiny black gnat-bug things that were in swarms everywhere along the way. Now, we frequently have these clouds of little white gnats that are super annoying because you can’t really see them till you’re running through them (always at face level of course) but at least those you can sort of swat out of the way and there’s not collateral damage. These demon bugs from today, however, are tiny, black, impossible to see, and stick to your sweaty face and neck. Ugh, so disgusting. I have encountered them maybe once or twice before but not recently. Today, I kept finding clouds of these all along the 11 miles. I kept wiping my face with my hands and shirt to try to get rid of the residue.
My face was pretty clean when I got home but my neck, well that was another story. All of those little black dots. Bugs. Disgusting.
I am just glad it’s over. I have now showered and feel much better. I hope these bugs were just a function of the unexpected rain we had last night. If not, I’m going to need to invent some sort of full body running helmet and suit or something.
What’s the most annoying nuisance you encounter when you’re out running?