Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dizzying Week

Stomach virus. Check.
Whirlwind week at work. Check.
Eighteen miles of running this weekend. Check.

Time is flying by this year. Parts of Monday and Tuesday, however, seemed like a crawl because my belly wasn't happy. My stomach growled three days straight, starting right after the Super Bowl. I spent some of those days, as I told a few friends, "napping and doing something that rhymes with napping."

I was able to work some from home, which enabled me to sink my teeth into a few long-term projects. On Wednesday, I was back on my feet. I was fine until about 1 p.m., when I hit a wall. On the way home, I bought some pedialyte, which helped with rehydration. By Friday morning, I was back on the road, running like nothing had happened.

Friday's run was one of the best runs I can recall. It was effortless, almost religious. It was 33 degrees, calm and quiet at 5 a.m. I ran past the Governor's Mansion, a route I never take. I thoroughly enjoyed running down Curtiswood Lane, except for all the protestors. Just kidding! I did notice the Blasting Zone signs. I ran the six miles in 54 minutes.

Friday night, I actually went to dinner with sister Anne and her husband Stephen. We went to Mafiaoza's on 12th, and I had a stellar angel hair pasta in pesto cream alfredo with grilled chicken. Anne's pizza, which I had the next day for lunch, was perfect. They ordered with loose sausage, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms.

On Saturday morning, after doing some consulting work and before the kids' basketball games, I worked in a 3.5-mile speed session. My pace on moderate terrain was fairly brisk, about 8:30/mile. The kids played great in their games. Will scored eight points and Kathryn played a good game, giving great effort. She almost scored (good shot that didn't fall), grabbed rebounds and made a few steals.

The kids and I went to church last night, which I enjoyed very much. It put me in the mood for Lent. Some folks I know approach life like there is a finish line on earth, while others believe this earth is here merely for them. I try to avoid both camps ... I believe we have to prove ourselves every day as Christians, which includes seeking redemption and preparing for everlasting life. Along the way, it is important to enjoy and celebrate our temporal existence. Lent is the perfect time to strive to be a better Christian. I certainly see plenty of room for improving my life and seeking atonement for my transgressions.

This morning, I told Dori and the kids I love them, then headed to Shelby Bottoms in East Nashville. The photos are of Shelby Bottoms, which is a paradise for runners. A flat asphalt path meanders along the Cumberland River and through scenic wetlands. It's a paradise for birds and bird-watchers. I started my run about 9:15 and saw 100 runners who were heading the other way in a race or group run. I was the only runner heading up-river. My plan was to run to the end of the Bottoms, but the back of the park was blocked off where work was being done on the new bridge over the Cumberland connecting our city's greenways.

I took it easy today, mostly because I drank a few ales last night watching the Predators play late-night hockey in San Jose. Bedtime was 11:30. I felt fine today, running a pace above 9:15/mile most of the run. I ran for 1:16:30, probably about eight miles. It was chilly today, with a whipping wind that made it quite cold at times. It seemed like the wind shifted a good deal, and that most of my run was into it. You runners know about this phenomenon!

Total mileage last week, stomach virus and all, was 19 miles. I'm at 11.5 miles this week. I am not going to run the half marathon next week in Lebanon. I'm just not ready. I need some 25-mile and 30-mile weeks with more speed work. The Tom King Half on March 15 still looks like a good goal.


Anonymous said...

More running with the feet, and less with other things....? Is the exercise program reducing your weight and impact?

Jim said...

I'm not sure I understand all of this, but running has reduced my weight, probably about 25 pounds since I got serious three years ago. I don't report on weight on my blog because it's not why I run. I care about how I feel physically and what I do with my running. The weight management is a bonus, sure.

I do notice when I increase my mileage and have a goal, my body craves good carbs (dried fruit, bagels, etc.); when I run less, I tend to dabble more with bad carbs (frozen pizza, tortilla chips, etc.). The key is balance and persistence.