Thursday, December 24, 2009


It has been an eventful last week and a half. Last weekend we were to get out for the Celtic Solstice 5 miler on Saturday and then a 20 miler on Sunday. That was the plan at least. Then came the snow....lots of snow. In DC we got hit with about 18" of the wintry goodness which in the nation's capital equals complete shutdown. Needless to say, the only workouts we got were shoveling snow. On Saturday we shoveled at least three or four times and Sunday brought the lovely task of digging out the cars. After the last shovel full, I went right to the shower and then couch not even considering a run.

On Monday, Maureen and I drove up to Connecticut for the holiday. Thankfully the drive was tolerable [we have had a string of terrible drives...8 - 12 hours for a 300 mile trek]. After a dinner and a good night sleep, I had to get back on the running train. While the streets of Connecticut had limited snow, the temperature at run time was 23 degrees with a nasty wind. I put on my 30 layers of clothing and headed out.

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Connecticut Training 2 [Short Training 21]

I made my journey through the streets of Wolcott and Waterbury dodging snow banks and lost holiday shoppers. The first 5 miles were not too bad...there was some sun and a light breeze. After I made the turn back, the wind smacked me in the face and beat me down. I fought the urge to stop and call for a ride at every hill. After about 10 miles, I was back to a warm house.

After the day off yesterday, I got back out this morning for a pre-holiday dinner run. The plan was to do about 5 miles and keep the legs loose in the 19 degree blistering heat. That was the plan...then I got lost. I had some idea where I was, but wasn't exactly sure, aside from turning around, how to get back. Using my John Locke tracking skills [I can't wait for LOST to return] I figured out where I was and only had two hills to cross to get home. So much for a light jog with limited hills. Needless to say, the post 7 miles shower and coffee were fantastic.

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Connecticut Training 1 [Short Training 20]

I am now ready to relax for a few days and enjoy the holiday with friends and family. I hope everyone gets to do the same. We are about two and a half weeks from the race, so I should start carbo-loading now...bring on a nice, cold beer. Have a great holiday everyone!

a bunch of random runs...

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Short Training 19

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Long Training 12

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Short Training 18

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Short Training 17

Sunday, December 6, 2009

welcome back + see you soon

It has been a good post-thanksgiving week...the semester is coming to a close and the holiday gatherings are starting. The week had a couple of good short runs...I somehow managed to get runs in on days when it wasn't pouring down rain and that's always a good thing. Following my terrible run [the run wasn't really terrible, I was just wiped out from the cold and wind] on Saturday, I spent the week nervous for my Sunday long run. In building up for the 20 miler Sunday, I wanted to go through the motions this better, get some sleep and just relax.

The good news came Friday on my drive home...John had been cleared to get back out running. He went out Thursday for a short run and was going to join me on Sunday at the end of the long run. Welcome back amigo, the team is back together.

This week was also a weekend where Saturday and Sunday runs were on the schedule. I got up Saturday to rain, sleet and snow [John's favorite meteorological system...the "wintry mix"]. I bundled up and decided to take the canine pace dog, Harley, with me to burn off some energy and keep me company. It was so terrible out that the super-Garmin watch couldn't even see a satellite. Note to self: when the super watch can't see space, don't run.

We headed down past the Capitol and on to the Mall. Within the first mile, we were both soaked and Harley was not happy with me at all. We went down the Mall and rounded the Washington Monument to head back home. The weather got worse and the temperature dropped over the extent of the run. At each red light, Harley was shivering seemingly contemplating biting me and getting a cab home. After 6 miles we got home to warmth and breakfast. Harley didn't acknowledge my existence for about 3 hours.

Following the run, we got the bad news that my maternal grandmother, the Pittsburgh Spit-fire, Romayne Mayko passed away. It was shocking to me that she was over 90 as she had more energy than most 30 year olds. She was a wonderful person and spectacular grandmother. I don't know how it started or when it started, but for some reason whenever we called each other, we would change our voices and act like we were someone else...telemarketers, service calls, the police, etc. This amused us to no became a competition to see who was more creative in their character and his/her voice. It did back-fire on one point just after college, she called our house and John happened to be the one to answer the phone. She thought it was me and started in. John being totally confused, acted as such. Eventually grandma said, "who is this?" to which John responded, "you called me...who's this???". Safe to say, she loved John from that moment. Rest in Peace grandma, you will be missed by this grateful grandchild.

Surprisingly, I slept fairly well Saturday night and thankfully the wintry mix stopped by Sunday morning. I had some breakfast and set out in the 32 degree weather for the 20 mile run. The first two miles were damn mile 4 I was crossing into Virginia and warming up. When I hit mile 5, I was in autopilot. I knew that John would meet me around mile 16 in Georgetown and prop me up to breakfast. Aside from some ice on sidewalks, the run went incredibly well. I motored into Georgetown feeling good. John was right on time, gave me a few minutes to stretch and we were back on the road together. It was good to have the tandem back...felt like months since we ran together. With one month to the race[s], we are optimistic and feeling good.

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Long Training 11

I finished the run strong and feeling good. Aside from a minor planning issue, I somehow managed to run 21 miles instead of 20, I felt physically and mentally fantastic. Following a shower, off to that french toast, eggs and bacon tasted incredible. I got to the couch only to find the Redskins beating the Saints. What world is this??? Still a lot of football to team spirit in the Skins has been dashed too many times this season.

This week will be interesting...not sure what it will bring. In the meantime, I am going to reload my water bottle, watch some football and eat some more. Bring on the snacks.

Short Training 16

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Short Training 16

Short Training 15

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Short Training 15