Friday, June 18, 2010

I can run faster than this boat full of dirt...

 This boat....
....pushing this huge shipment of dirt...

Victories:  gotta claim 'em where you can.  I outran this boat for like 2 miles until the trail dead-ended.  Heh.

Anyway, Louisville.  I did a run along the Ohio River twice, once with a camera and once without.  The bummer about this week was the incredible outrageous heat in Louisville.  When I got off work at 5:00, for 4 of the 7 days that I was there it was 94+ degrees (a heat index over 100) and high humidity.  I didn't want this to screw up my training, so like a good little runner I went out for a run anyway, but the heat was WAY too much.  For the past 7 months I've been operating under the assumption that my max HR is 208 bpm, according to my Garmin and doing the mile sprint test.  But apparently if I'm running in 94+ degree weather with humidity, I can actually get my HR to go up to 210.  Lemme tell ya, that doesn't feel good.  So for that really hot run, I only did about 3.5 miles and had to take some walking stops, and I couldn't get my heartrate to go back down, and I was getting a lot of muscle cramping (too much coffee all day probably, really dehydrated, and then running in heat like that = bad idea.)

So after that run I was a bit scared about heading out there again for another one like it.  I tried to get up for an AM run, but in order to get back and get to work on time I would've had to get up at 530, and I was still trying to make up for the lack of sleep I had in the preceding week.  While I set an alarm I just couldn't do it.  But the next evening it was a bit cooler, and I waited until a little later in the evening and headed along the river again, but this time also ran some around downtown.  The river was pretty, but smelled pretty strongly of sewage.  Running downtown was actually really nice.  My hope was to run to the University of Louisville, but I never had a chance to make it on that run.  Here's the route I did when I ran around the city:
This was a great little run, about 5 miles, and I had a really nice time.  It felt so good after sitting all day.  I wish I'd been able to fit in more runs like this while I was there, without giving myself a heat-induced coronary.  I have no idea about the safety of the areas I was running, though, and I kind of have a feeling it'll be one of those things where I tell a Louisville native where I ran alone at dusk and they'll be all, "You ran WHERE?"  The path along the river made me a little uncomfortable...there were a lot of people around but most of them (not to make a vast generalization, but I'm going to anyway) looked like they were either drunk or on drugs or both, and I felt very out of place; there were no other runners.  And parts of where I ran around downtown were pretty run down, at least outside the business district.  But hey, it was all ok in the end.

I met a really cool fella at work and was hoping he'd get some runs in with me, but he hurt his foot early in the week, badly enough to be limping.  And I met a hardcore triathlete at breakfast one day and he invited me to run with him, but I didn't call him since he, in passing, made a comment about how slow and pathetic his 8 minute pace was now since his knee surgery (and obv I can't even RUN an 8 minute to me is like 8:30 or 9:00 and I can hardly sustain that.)  So, yeah.

So the good news was that I had one good run while I was there.  The bad news is that I had one good run while I was there :\  This was supposed to be week 1 of my Hal Higdon training plan, and between the long work hours, being exhausted beyond belief, poor nutrition (there was never any vegan food for me at the dining center aside from lettuce, and while I took a cooler of snacks, it was largely inadequate), and massive caffeine intake, and the hideous heat, I didn't do that well.

So I'm hoping I can get back on the horse this week right in week 2 of the training and make things all ok.  I don't anticipate any further setbacks this summer aside from one long weekend in July when I'll be in Chicago.  (Maybe a couple Chicago runs??)

Btw, this mysterious business I was up to in Louisville?  Scoring standardized test essays.  I read about 1700 essays over the course of 7 days.  Kill me.  (usually I do 2000 or 2500 in that same time frame, but this set of essays was more difficult to score than usual).

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