Potpourri post

Just a random post to check in.

The big news of the past week was, of course, the big two races in New York: The mens 2008 olympic trials, during which elite runner Ryan Shay died. What can you say that hasn’t already been said about this? It’s just very sad.

The other big event was the NYC marathon, for which Paula Radcliffe staged a spectacular comeback. And Gete Wami came in second to win the World Marathon Majors — netting her a purse of half a million greenbacks — just 5 weeks after winning the Berlin Marathon. That’s called “running for the money.”

Since my last post, I recovered from the dreadful cold and took a quick trip out to Las Vegas. Since I’m so lazy, I’ll just point to my sister’s blog post about this fabulous family trip.

I will add that we did two runs while there, an 8 miler and a 15 miler. Las Vegas is hands down the worst place I have ever run. We basically did a huge circle in both cases, with the famed Strip in the middle. But all the streets are 6-12 lane jobs, so it’s incredibly noisy and the air is filthy with exhaust. The average humidity is something like 6% most days, so you’re constantly dehydrated. No wonder we only saw one other runner. Probably another idiot tourist.

At the conclusion of the longer run, we managed to get trapped behind a 64 acre construction project while trying to get to Dean Martin Blvd. We ended up getting rescued by hotel security, who had to drive us back to our hotel. That was pretty comical.

This week was spent getting over jet lag and ratcheting up the mileage yet again. The week’s not over yet, but barring disaster I should top out at 70 miles this week, which I’ll hold for three weeks, followed by a recovery week. And that’ll be it for the base building phase. It’s hard to believe I ran 26 miles during the week in June that I started this oddysey. I was looking over my running logs and found that in 2006 I averaged just 20 miles per week. My marathon training was around 40. And until I started base building in June, my 2007 average was 30 miles per week.

It’s amazing how adaptable the body is. These days, a 10 mile run is like a four mile run used to feel. In fact, it’s now my favorite distance. It takes about an hour and half and I’m pleasantly tired at the end, and very relaxed. So that’s my favorite run of the week (this may also have something to do with the fact that I do this one on Fridays). I’m wondering what my favorite “no big deal” distance will be a few months from now — 12? 14? 16?

No injuries so far, knock wood. I’m hyper vigilant to the point of paranoia. The past two days I’ve had very slight, intermittent shin discomfort on one side. So no progressive long run on Sunday, just an easy 18 miles. I monitor my resting pulse every day and run very easy if it’s more than 4 beats above normal. And I’m sleeping like a fiend some nights. If I need 9+ hours, I sleep 9+ hours. Going to bed at 9 o’clock does feel a bit weird, though. I suppose I can use the writers’ strike as an excuse soon.

The weather has been fabulously cold in the mornings — mid-30s, which is perfect for me. And there are more races than I can run to choose from in the next three weeks. Next weekend I’ll either do the Nyack Hospital 10K or the Mamaroneck 5 Miler. Haven’t decided on which one yet. Then a 5 Mile Turkey Trot in Rockland (if the weather isn’t horrible like last year). And — again, weather permitting — the Hot Chocolate 15K in Central Park on December 1, two days before I kick off my 18 week training program.

Finally, we’ve decided that in light of the fact that we’re both trying to “lose what we won in Las Vegas” (no, not money; just a few extra pounds), we’re going to go out for Thanksgiving dinner at a local place (An American Bistro in Tuckahoe) rather than make a bunch of stuffing and other food that will further derail us as “leftovers.” I’ll probably do turkey and trimmings for Christmas, but within reason.

So there you are. Race reports to come.

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