Miami Beach on a Saturday Night

Here we are the night before the race: David, Rachel & Brent dining on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. The sights and sounds were quite interesting. It's amazing how many people walk their dog(s) in Miami Beach, many of them dressed up. Pippin would have had a blast.

Race pictures were taken on a disposable digital camera and will be a few days in the processing. So come back soon to see Naomi running with cruise ships in the background, runners on Ocean Avenue along South Beach at sunrise and Rachel on the Venetian Causeway in front of the waterfront mansion Brent was buying for her while she ran; plus all the post race team RBF pics.


I thought beer was for after the marathon

I slept soundly but woke up at 140. From then on I dozed off and on until 350 before finally getting up. I had breakfast and drove downtown, arriving plenty early. I walked to the start area and Naomi found me near the corrals. We chatted, took pictures and waited for anybody else. Rachel showed up just before the start so we took a picture of the three of us still looking fresh.
The Start and Miami Beach
At the gun we stayed together for the first mile (10:39) up the McArthur Causeway bridge. Brent was there to take our picture. Soon Rachel was listening to her playlist and pushing on ahead. Naomi stuck with me through mile 2 (9:40) then I moved on. Mile 3 (10:23) came at the second causeway incline and there was a buzz as the dawn was coming over South Beach straight ahead of us. Mile 4 was on Alton Road before Joe’s Stone Crab (9:56). I was obviously not pushing very hard with an average of well over 10 minutes. Mile 5 (9:48) was very nice as we cruised up Ocean Drive on South Beach with the sun brightening the cloudy skies. A large time-and-temperature sign reported it was 7:00 and 70 degrees. It was already the hottest of the four Miami Marathons.
A fair number of fans were out on the sidewalks cheering on runners especially at 14th Street as we headed over to Washington Avenue. At the end of mile 6 (10:02), I had a Gu and resolved to pick it up. Mile 7 (9:29) was still on Miami Beach and I realized I was about two minutes off my realistic goal of running a 4:15 marathon. My mind set was to catch up to that pace and see what I could do to close in on a 4-hour run from there. Mile 8 (9:36) was the lip on the Venetian Causeway and the trip across was very scenic. It was on one bridge that I caught up to Rachel at Mile 9 (9:19) and took her picture with some large waterfront estates in the background. Mile 10 was almost to the mainland and I put in my only sub-9:00 time (8:53).
As we came off the bridge we were greeted by narrow chutes of fans cheering like crazy. By the time we reached Mile 11 (10:01) they were gone. I cannot explain why that stretch was so slow except for the congestion. Mile 12 was all downtown Miami and not so pretty (9:29). We turned towards Biscayne Blvd. and the start/finish area where the half runners veered left to collect their medals and we went straight. The loss of 2/3 the runners, the quiet and the prospect of having to do another half marathon preyed on my mind for a spell as we went over the Miami River bridge to reach Mile 13 (10:19). I took another Gu but had to wait a little too long for water to wash it down and my stomach was roiling for a short spell.
The Second Half
Under a Metro Rail station we all beeped as our half times were recorded. SW 1st Avenue was a straight stretch where I began to concentrate on my form again and monitor my efforts to catch the 4:15 pace. At mile 14 (9:10) I was grooving. I notice a fellow running next to me as we approached a water stop. As we went through it he glanced sideways at me and nodded. He was telling me we would run together. Diego was a nice friendly non-talking guy. We got along. Occasionally spectators would call one of our names and we would thank them together. We became pals and pushed each other well as we ran down S. Miami Ave. Mile 15 (9:40) went by and we waited for each other in the aid stations as we had Gatorade or water. Mile 16 was in some suburban neighborhoods (9:34) and we were passing people regularly. I saw Brent in his Team Rachel.com t-shirt waiting to jump in and finish with Rachel. He said Diego and I were looking very strong. On Tigertail Ave. we hit Mile 17 (9:32) and I was within 20 seconds of the 4:15 marathon pace. I was psyched.
Then wheels started wobbling. During the next stretch I could sense a little pain in my left hip and feeling tired. I started to think about keeping up with Diego or not. We reached Mile 18 in Coconut Grove and found we had slowed quite a bit (10:00). It was time for more Gu. We each had our meal. At the next water stop I insisted on walking a little to stretch and rub my hip. Diego said he felt like he should continue on without me.
Note to Self Next Time: Don't Stop
In the quaint back roads of the Grove I came upon a homeowner in his driveway offering iced orange quarters. It sounded so good I stopped to eat two. When I tried to restart my run my left hip locked up and my left knee spazzed. I couldn’t get into my running gait without crippling pain. Mile 19 (11:45) was ugly. Not nearly as much as Mile 20 (13:01) as I tried to pick it up but each time my knee said no. I realized I had six miles left. It was a nice day for a walk. I had lost the 4:15 pace goal and there was nothing left to do but finish and, in the process, walk fast and see what I could do to repair my left side. Mile 21 (20:16), Mile 22 (18:30) and Mile 23 (18:28) were along the sunny and scenic S. Bayshore Drive and I was happy to just mosey along playing tag with a few other cripples who kept stopping or starting then walking.
Beer Is Beautiful
Then a miracle happened. Towards the end of Mile 23 there was the one and only beer stop on the route right in front of me. I couldn’t believe it. I said to myself, “Walking. Sunny day. Why not a beer?” So I had one and it was delicious. Soon thereafter I tried to make the hip and knee work. It was working. Ah, the remedial benefits of beer. I was going okay but the hip was nagging me to do something about my car remote in my shorts pocket. It seemed to be an aggravation on the spot that hurt so I took it out and put it in my shoe pocket. Wow. That felt much better as I ran. I ran the entire 24th mile (12:34) without walking and believed I could run it in for the last three miles. Almost. I calculated that I might make it in just at 5 hours. Mile 25 (15:00) got me within eyeshot of the downtown high rises. Mile 26 (13:34) went back over the Miami River bridge which was slightly brutal.
The Finish
For the final .2 Finish (2:05) the crowd was buzzing and Dave and Jason from Orlando saw me go by and yelled to me. I crossed at 5:00.40.
Naomi saw me in the finish area and called to me. I got my medal, had my banana, water and bagel and we all congregated on the grass embankment. I took pictures of everybody for RBF postings, we all told our stories and planned our next races.
In the garage I called Mrs. T who was relieved I survived, congratulated me and inquired if this was the end of my marathon career. I know she thinks I am taxing myself beyond what she thinks I can handle. We’ll see. I doubt I’ll stop. I have to go for a new PR J. Then I called Susie to give my account of whatever I told her for a blog posting.
I drove back over to Miami Beach, had a hot shower, fixed a sandwich, a beer and an Aleve pain killer. Then I walked a mile to the beach.
It was a memorable race day. The course was gorgeous, the stops and organization top notch. It was a little hot but that's why it's the tropics. I would recommend it to anyone with the interest in getting out of the January snow and cold to enjoy Miami.


In case of emergency

If for some reason I am unable to access my blog, I will resort to my good friend Susie to keep you posted by my phoned in reports. She was a reporter once in her life. I'm sure she can write a good lead.

~Logging out of Orlando. Next stop Miami Tropical Marathon.



Thank you friends and visitors for the birthday salutations. It was a nice day of recognition by you, my staff and family. Sincerest thanks to Susie who sent her legion of readers over to say hello and wish me well.
Tomorrow begins my present to myself: the first day of my four day maiden voyage marathon extravaganza in Miami. If nothing else happens, I'm going to the beach.


My Foot Feels Fine

I don't know what happened (jeff calls it a phantom injury) but my foot feels pretty good this morning. Let's see what a day of work shoes feels like.

Evening update: my foot still feels fine. I cannot tell you how weird it was to go from crippled gimp on Monday to "it's alright" on Wednesday. There is no reasonable explanation (except perhaps: old age is setting in).
I haven't run since Sunday. I wonder what running feels like. It's been so long. Maybe tomorrow night I'll go out for those three miles I've been putting off.


Lactic Acid Waste Dump

Sherlene spent an hour on my feet and calves at noon today. She reserved me Thursday afternoon and Friday morning in case I need to go back. We'll see.
It is not planters peanut disease* because it's not in my heel. It's not neuroma because it's not between my 3rd and 4th interspace. She remarked that I had hard callouses on the front pads of my feet meaning I must be landing on my "toes" a lot. I took that as a compliment because that's what I always remember from coaches: Run on your toes; don't be a heel striker (like Jon in Michigan).

After laying her hands on me she pretty much determined that I had a lactic acid overdose. Remember all that unbridled speedy work in the last two weeks? Possible suspect. Nevertheless, Sherlene popped a ton of crystals off my tendons in some of the most unusual places.

* I refuse to spell out what it is really called because I never want to know.

I had no less than six cramps during the course of her work from which she was able to trace down to more hidden pockets of crystals to demolish. Some she found had me jumping off the table in pain but I knew it was for a good cause (and I'm a sucker for remedial pain; aren't you?).

I got up and put my NB 991s back on which have good support and cushioning even though they're beyond running condition. They looked great with my suit. I could still feel the pinch across the joints just below where the toes connect. I feel it when I push off although the motion of stretching my toes is not a cause of pain. I am performing self abuse to my foot at every opportunity to work out crystals that I can find. Ibuprofin may be a good idea too. (Now's when I wish I had some butazolidan like I had back in high school when they treated me for soccer injuries. Horses are given it to reduce hoof swelling. I feel like a race horse.)

Meanwhile I am also trying a Snickers cheesecake remedy to see if it does what my sweet tooth tells me it can do for my foot. Frankly, I think my teeth are anarchists trying to get me fat.

The jury is still out on the foot. We will see how it feels in the morning.

Runner Facing Serious Problem

Yesterday, in the middle of the day, I got up from my desk chair to walk and felt a pain on the sole of my left foot. It is localized in the meaty middle part of my foot just below my toes. Every step was painful in a sore way. The location and nature of the pain is not totally foreign so I figured it would go away overnight. This morning it is still very tender and causes a a sharp pain when I try to run. I cancelled my 4x400m workout and am debating next steps.

I think I'll try and get an emergency consult from Sherlene, the massage therapist.

This may not be a good thing.


1/4 Marathon

I had all good intentions to do a rehearsal of next Sunday in Miami:

1. Get up somewhere between 430 and 530,
2. Have some breakfast and run at 600 for an hour.
3. Run at race pace.

Alas, at 700 I woke up and resolved to run the last hour of my marathon starting at 900.... pause ... at 910 I woke up again and got out of bed. By 1000 I had finally dressed; had a banana and glass of water; and done some ITB/abductor stretches with a dog leash.

On my run I had the following thoughts:

1. I sure have a bunch of little injuries that have been "healing" while tapering yet make themselves even more well known when I head out to run; unlike when I was tight as a drum in heavy training.
2. It was hot, about 73, the top of what it ought to be like next Sunday. That was probably good to run in but the heat wore me out.
3. I was imagining myself on the course. Was I going too fast? It sure felt like it.
4. I found my long distance pace after about two miles. Everything up to that point was uneven but I have no intention of doing a warm-up at the marathon.
5. I felt myself getting even faster and smoother towards the end of the run and all the injuries were in their place and manageable.

My time was 1:00:15, a 9:00 pace, which was too fast; about 15 second per mile too fast. I guess doing those 4x800 repeats on Thursday did not bleed off enough energy to hold me back today. I have my itinerary all set for next weekend. I still need to do my packing list. There are so many items to be prepared for including bringing my own race day morning breakfast. Body Glide. If it's going to be hot Body Glide has to be in the bag. Somebody shoot me if I forget.

The rest of the day has been pretty darn spring-like. 81 degrees, sunny, burgers on the grill, a beer (my last before the race) and NFL play-offs to watch.


Nope. Didn't Race.

Where's the Maytag Guy?
915 - Here I sit waiting for a Sears repairman to call and make a third visit to fix the washing machine. #1 misdiagnosed. #2 used duct tape to fix it because he didn't have the right part. #2 also left it so it spews the waste water all over the floor. #3 will get scrutinous management from this homeowner. Of course, the appointment is sometime between 800 and 500, with no more precise estimate than their repair record so far.
Park Avenue 5K
The phone rang at 600. SH was in the driveway to take #2 son CT to the race for volunteer duty. CT was still sound asleep. Mom got to wake him up. The cross country team was expected to work the race, snipping championchips off sneakers, pouring water, timing, etc. CT just returned to report the winner covered the 5K in 14:59. Pretty good, right there!
It's okay that I didn't run. I would have run bandit if I'd gone since I was determined not to "race." The temps are Miami equivalent but they will be again tomorrow too, which is my scheduled training day (1 hour run).
Bird Poop
The sun is out. Heading to 79 today. Doors are open. A bright red cardinal just flew through the open door on the pool deck into the TV room. The dogs are having a very excited moment right now. The cardinal is chirping up a storm and flying into glass windows looking for the exit. Nope. Not there. Okay. Dogs got her out. Phew. Just what I don't need ... scared sh_tless bird poop all over the furniture. No evidence of it (s-word edited to reduce wack search results).
Kid Crisis Update
Last week's 3rd grader walked a mighty long way to reach the mall ... apparently all on his own. A lady in the mall saw him wandering around and asked if he knew his phone number. They called his mother's cell phone. Reunited. Any further details are unknown since his mother withdrew him from school and they returned to Louisana (Katrina evacuees).
The gun on the bus proved unproven. Cops tracked down the suspect who didn't belong on that bus he rode but he was clean.
Dumpster divers for sensitive papers were abusing a privilege that afforded them a chance to raise money for a school project. Now they're closed down. That's a wrap ... until Monday.



Well last night I was up past my training bedtime to watch my "must TV" show, Project Runway on Bravo. Poor Emmett, the New Yorker got cut by Heidi Klum when Santino should have been sent packing! Such dishonor. It was almost as bad as the French judging of Olympic figure skating - which is relevant because the designers had to come up with a costume for silver medalist Sasha Cohen.

Nevertheless I was up at 530 because the sprinklers came on and woke me up. It was nippy out at 44 degrees and I had no idea what my plan was for the morning. I just knew I had to run [I have become incredibly lazy and unfocused during this taper]. The sheet said an hour including 6x400m intervals. It took me a while to calculate how far to run before the repeats. So at 605 I was on the road and pushed four miles at an 8:40 pace then ran the track [now, the track gives me focus like nothing else!] where my target time was 2:01/400m. I went sub 2:00 on all of them in an aggregate total time of 11:41 with short 200m jogs between laps. I felt very loose and free. It was a lot of fun.

What I am now expecting as the taper gets even shorter (!) is a complete raging urge to pounce out of the start of the marathon and run forever. Of course, that will not happen so I better get used to a lot of energy. I think I'll concentrate on some core exercises this next week to stabilize the parts that need to hold together while the wheels go round and round.

Still no word on that crazy 3rd grader at the mall and no harrowing follow up on the gun toting bus rider. Unless things go absolutely media crazed goofy, I usually don't hear the rest of the story. I can only imagine; like you. Now, about the kids who went off-limit dumpster diving for private student data documents prior to shredding ... well they went to the TV station claiming the school was delinquent, etc., and the news could be dicey tonight.


But you forgot my neck!

Sherlene is my massage therapist. A damned good one too. She asked what hurt. I told her and she proceeded to pop (and I mean POP) the lactic acid right out of my muscles. She said I was not hydrated well enough so I've been passing water right through me for two days now. I'm clean and my gils are filling up.
I told Sherlene I had a sharp pain on the outside and just below my knees when I fold my leg in and lean on my knee; sorta in the bony area. Ah ha. My ITBs are yacking with lactic acid. She popped them hard. Yowzer! They do not hurt at any time except when I put pressure on the one spot on each knee.
She also told me my adductors were tight and grainy and worked me over very well. Except my hour was up before she got to my neck, which was out of alignment, and my arms. Oh well; I need my legs more than anything the next two weeks. I gave her my credit card and said she can repair me after the marathon.
Today's Run
I was sore from the massage and late getting up. I got caught up watching the most incredible Netflix movie/documentary last night, the March of the Penguins. It was absolutely amazing what Emperor penguins must endure in Antarctica to reproduce their species every winter. And the photography (southern lights included) was superb.
Anyway I scrimped on the six mile run to only go five. Two at race pace and three at tempo pace. Race pace went just a little slower than I wanted but the tempos were fast. I hope I still have some of that at mile 23.

No word yet on how that 3rd grader got to the mall Friday night. We had a reported gun on a bus to deal with.
Race on Saturday?
If the temps are like Miami on Saturday morning (60-65) I'll run, not race the 5K (until that little voice screams at me, "He/she's passing you!"). If it's cooler, I'm following plan and not running until Sunday. Thanks for your advice.


Calling all Coaches (or people of opinion)

I slept in then waited all day for the temperatures to replicate Miami's average marathon start temperature. It never got to 62 degrees so I ran four miles when it got to 61. That was close enough. In the shadows of buildings or trees though, in felt more like 51, No matter. I was out for a stroll run, not anything hard. 36 minutes. Done. Off tomorrow (work and running) Yea! Massage at 1130. Yes!!

Okay, all you marathon veterans, coaches and opinion holders; here's my dilemma: one of my favorite 5K races is this coming Saturday. 1-should I run it? If so, 2-should I race it? or 3-should I just train through it? 4-do you really think I can hold back in a race?
Factors: $20 to enter. Eight days before my first marathon. It's a scheduled rest day on my training calendar. The day before is a rest day too. The next day is to be a 1-hour run.


The Half

The phone rang at 1245 this morning (that's the middle of the night). A 3rd grader who left school Friday to go home never arrived. Helicopters, search dogs and all the deputies were out looking for him all afternoon and night. At 1245 they called me to let me know they found him at a huge mall. How he got there will be an interesting story to hear, come Tuesday.
Four hours later my alarm rang. I had to get up, dress, eat and pack some Gatorade. By 530 I was at Jason's for a run. The wind was whipping at 25 mph and the temps were dropping by the hour. Starting at 55 degrees and dropping isn't too bad for many of you but the air is very wet down here and when the westerly wind blows it goes right through you.
We ran a shorter version of our course from last weekend. It ended up 13.2 miles. We only stopped twice for Gu and/or Gatorade. The stops ate up five minutes. Our net time was 2:06.30 for a 9:36 pace. For a training run with a lot of talking I was plenty happy. I don't like to talk much when running but Jason kept asking questions I had to answer. Maybe that's why I prefer to run alone. On a long run, a partner is tolerable to pass the time.
Thanks to 21st Century Mom I have settled on an expectation that I'll be right at 4 hours for the marathon. She touted the Yasso 800s as an indicator. My 800s are always right under/at 4:00.


1/3 Marathon

Tonight. Full moon. Shadows. 70 degrees. Brick streets. Light traffic. Dinners cooking all along the route. No crowds. No partners. I took this baby out for a spin. Zipped 8.7 miles in 1:20.29. It was a third of a marathon. I need to get the universal joints checked out at Sherlene's House of Lactic Acid Removal on Monday.
Made a date with Jason for a Saturday half marathon run at O-dark-thirty. i hope three mile man doesn't get jealous. shoot, he can't even sit on the john. what am i worried about?


Observations From Taperville

When I was building up mileage with long runs over the course of several weekends, in the 15-20 mile range, I was affected by a number of injuries that gave me great concern. There was a high inside left ankle pain that I suspected was a precursor to shin splints. There were the spiking pains in the calves. The knees were sore once or twice. My lower back ached regularly. I was stiff getting up in the morning. I had a sharp pain on my sole near my toes on the right side. All the niggling problems haven't necessarily gone away but in my last long runs they didn't matter. I had endured them. They had not stopped me. They didn't get worse. I ran through them or they disappeared. Running high mileage takes its toll but it builds tolerance and endurance for the long haul ahead. I feel like I won the training race.

Therefore, I am skipping my measley three mile run tonight. Tomorrow I'll do 8 or 9.


Track Tease

Speed work repeats on the track are such a tease. You get all amped up and run fast for short distances, beating your target times for what you're supposed to pace yourself to and then you think you're really fast or something; but you're just the same because when the long and winding 26.2 mile road unfurls, it's at the same pace you usually run long distances. Perhaps it's just insurance for when you get chased by a Michigan mutt named Stupid and you forget your dazer.

I love track teasers.


Coming Up Four Air

Bex obviously couldn't get enough information out of Susan when they gathered together in DC last month so she has tagged me with the meme of the week. For those loyal wonderers of what makes me what I am today, here you have the Four of Everything:

Four jobs you've had in your life: cabana boy, bus driver (for a minor league baseball team), associate (football) bowl director, community relations director.
Four movies you could watch over and over: Clear and Present Danger, Pretty Woman, The Natural, Sleepless in Seattle (aren't these on every weekend anyway?)
Four places you've lived: Berkeley, CA, Kent, CT, Orlando, FL, West Orange, NJ.
Four TV shows you love to watch: 6:30 network news, American Idol (2005 anyway), Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Project Runway (you can see how I am influenced by other tastes in my house ... my weekly viewing: maybe 4 hours unless one of my movies is on; ya know ... running eats up a lot of time).
Four places you've been on vacation: San Francisco (SF to Monterey to Oakland and Marin Co.), Shelter Harbor, RI, Carribbean cruise (Cozumel), London.
Four websites you visit daily: bloglines, Yahoo, beach.typepad.com/running, work website
Four of your favorite foods: chocolate covered raisins, cashews, seafood, breads.
Four places you'd rather be: Shelter Harbor, RI, any sunny warm beach, Block Island and with QQQ.
Four albums you can't live without: Coldplay X&Y, U2 Joshua Tree, Tom Petty any of them, Bryan Adams (w/ Summer of '69)
Four vehicles I've owned: '62 Olds Cutlass, '69 VW Bug, '82 Fiat 128, '04 Nissan Sentra SE R Spec V

Long Runs are Over!

Not that I am complaining about long runs but the last one on my current training schedule finished up this morning; and it was good.
Since Tuesday's "alcoholics' revenge run" I did a perky 9:00 pace 5K run on Wednesday and a perkier 9:00 pace 8.2 mile run on Thursday. The latter got me back in the groove.
On Friday one of the two guys I know from Orlando who is going down to Miami for the race at the end of the month called me. First he had to report a Honda Civic that did the Starsky & Hutch death defying drive off a 60-foot high embankment down onto his high school outdoor basketball courts. The dufus driving ended up on his roof. Nobody was hurt and the driver limped off, apparently bleeding, into an adjacent apartment complex for university students. Does that give you an idea of who the driver was? Once we got past that boring stuff we talked about training and the race.
D. said he and J. were going to run ~20 miles Saturday morning at 530. I asked how fast they would be going and he said "slow." I asked for a definition and he said 9:00 pace or so. I said, "That might be more than I want but I'll see you tomorrow."
I showed up at the appointed time. D. was 20 minutes late. The outside temps were as cold as they've been down here all "winter" - 35 degrees. I had on tights, gloves, cap and two and one-half layers of dri-fit. When the wind picked up later in the run I was glad for my wardrobe selection.
We started out and talked a lot to get to know each other. It was fun because we're all in the education administration business. So complex, most humble common and even educated people couldn't fathom what all we have to deal with. Anyway, we were well stocked in Gu but no water or Gatorade. These guys are a couple of 30-somethings who have not planned their training nearly as anally as I have, I guess. They just go on instinct.
Well I enticed them with a route that ran back to Winter Park and through all the high rent neighborhoods (rent=mortgage; what's the difference? The bank owns it). They bit and so I programmed in all my water stops from Sunday runs. We had a few detours so I could show 'em so-and-so's house, etc. We ran by my house and back to J's house (the start).
SueandPaul's pedometer told me it was 19.25 miles that we covered in 3 hours and 6 minutes; a lousy 9:40 pace. For all the yacking we did, I can understand why we were slower. It felt faster but that must have been the mirage of talking so much that time just flew on by.
Tomorrow I'll go 5 miles or so; then it's a slow down couple of weeks as the taper begins.
I am planning my next race so not to fall into a doldrum depression when Miami is done. I am thinking the Gasparilla races in Tampa, February 25-26, and/or the River Run in Jacksonville March 12. Always set a goal. It keeps you up.

P.S. Good luck to racers Michelle (Disney) and jeff (OC) this weekend!


I Missed the Train

It was so hot last night I threw all the covers off, opened the window and turned on the fan. I still slept like poop.
At 530 I peeked out of one eyelid and saw the time. Before the second eyelid cracked it was 600.
Okay. OKAY! I'm up.
No headache. Just not rested.
I went to the track.
Goal: 3x1 mile @ 8:30 pace; 3x800m @ 8:00 pace.
Result: 2x1 mile @ 8:30 pace. Super-sweating from the rum, I went home. I was actually pleased with my pace but had no stamina.
Today was back-on-the-wagon day. Oops. No it wasn't. I stopped for a beer on the way home from work. Did I mention work was toiling enough to make me want a beer?


Where's the Train?

I think I hear a train coming. It will arrive tomorrow morning right between my eyes. This is not a running story. This is a hangover in the making.
With some reluctance (why? because I wanted to read a book or pull weeds. Are you kidding?) I went to a New Year's Day (January 2nd) bowl game today. I had tickets but nobody to go with me. Mrs. T. had to work. West Point T. was on a plane back to WP. Youngest T. was rolling over in bed and not interested. So I went solo.
I parked downtown for free. Rode a shuttle to the game for free. Walked down a street next to the stadium and was hailed over to the side of the road to yack with a US Marshall. We saw each other at church on Christmas Eve. He introduced me to several other security specialists in their "casual wear" (no visible weapons) and then I was off to find a free pass to the hospitality village.
I found a man I know who gave me the one off his neck. Good man. I was in. In for a binge.
The village was a collection of corporate sponsored tents on the manicured grounds of the adjoining baseball stadium. I found a tent with some buddies I knew and had a decision to make....what to drink. I figured whatever I had would be my drink for the day.
Rum and tonic with a lime please.
That was the first of way too many. I had a little something to eat and wandered off to visit the other tents. The university bands marched in and played a short set of numbers while the cheerleaders and majorettes caught eyes.
I found my West Point son's best friend's dad, Jack, who is notorious for having a good time. I kept drinking. We talked with all the big shots and politicians. Then they all left for the game. It was close to kickoff.
I stayed with Jack and a handful of folks who had mastered the technique of keeping the hospitality village alive through halftime. We sorta watched the game on big plasma screen TVs in the tent while telling stories, harrassing the service staff who kept trying to tear down the bar and then throwing nerf footballs around in right field of the ballpark.
We missed halftime.
We did manage to go up to my seats on the 50 for the third quarter, had a polish sausage, peanuts and a beer; but right after the fourth quarter started we left, going our separate ways. I took the shuttle downtown and drove home. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had ... uh, fallen off the training wagon.
So I slept/passed out until 830, got up and had some leftover Christmas dinner and here we are, waiting for the train.
I must go now. Nothing makes a train late better than a tall glass of water.
I have some 3x1mile and 3x800 repeats in the morning. Stay tuned for a head bashing report.



I have a litany of excuses for why I only covered 19.5 miles in 3 hours and 30 minutes today. Few of them will likely occur on January 29 so I have no problem throwing them out there and lamenting:

1. I ran from 1030 until 1430.
2. The temperature ranged from 70 to 75 during that period.
3. I was on my feet way too much last night at a New Year's Eve party.
4. I stayed out too late and didn't hit the pillow until 130.
5. I didn't have enough Gu.
6. I ran a hard 10 miles on Thursday.
7. I cut the route short and walked a half mile.

Like I said, none of these will recur in Miami. The only nice thing about today was I got four hours of sun since I ran without a shirt.

Happy New Year good friends.