Sunday, March 15, 2009

40oz to Freedom

Pretty routine week here. Started feeling under the weather on Wednesday, and as such I took most of the week out of the pool. Whenever I have a head cold I try and stay out of the chlorine.

I did manage to get out on the bike on Thursday, and I overestimated the temperature because halfway through the ride I was freezing. Completely my fault, I rode with just arm warmers - no leg warmers, no booties or toe warmers, short gloves. I was real cold, and was praying for hills just to stay warm. I made it to the Falls Road store and hung out inside for a few minutes to regain some heat before continuing on my way.

Friday was a good day in the trails with Kris, glad to see he's back on the road to recovery following his appendectomy. When we hit Gun Road, we put in a solid effort up it in 6:50. Just marginally quicker than last week but it felt a lot easier.

Most importantly, the Terps were playing themselves into the Tournament. There was a time when I never had to worry about whether the Terps would be playing or not, but these days you're never sure until they announce our name on Selection Sunday. More on that later, but they beat NC State on Thursday and then did work on Wake on Friday.

It's obviously my favorite time of year, and I go through a deep depression for like, ten, twelve minutes after the season's over.

Then comes the weekend. Saturday we were all doing the St. Patrick's Day Pub Run put on by Falls Road. This non-competitive, fun event has never been something I've been able to do so I was glad to get to do it this year. The turnout was amazing and it was a blast. A big group of us just jogging around town, early in the morning, and watching everyone get drunk - can't go wrong.

After that I had a 60 mile ride on tap with OJ, and by the time I made it back to the party, everyone was passed out. Ridiculous - it was only 4pm! I watched the Terps play valiantly against Duke, but it was a losing effort. Then we all went out for a little bit, and I had a sweet 4 mile walk home.

Sunday. Ugh. I woke up and heard rain so I opted to not ride. I slept for a while longer and then leisurely made my way down to Arjun's, where I did a 4.5 mile warmup for the Shamrock 5k. I wasn't feeling great, but as always, I try to put my best foot forward. Last year was a good day for me, finishing in 16:48 - the fastest time since college. The course is conducive to running very quick, but the early season nature still has everyone showing some rust.

Today it felt like I had been left out in the rain for months. The downhill start is very fast, but I was getting smoked by everyone and their mother. It finally settled down and I worked back up to a few groups, and could see I was going to be up against my boy Charles Powell III. Chuck is in his 40s but still gets after it. He beat me by 5 seconds at Club Challenge this year and I was determined to get him today.

The first mile I hit somewhere in 5:10, which was a little slower than last year. Unusual for me, because normally I love going out super quick and dying. The result was that I felt a little better in the 2nd mile, and hit mile 2 in 10:47. I think I hit 2 miles in 10:40 last year. Now the throngs of people are coming towards us, so I'm hearing quite a bit of shoutouts from the adoring fans. This helped me make sure I held off these two high school boners. I saw my squad chilling at the intersection of Light and Key, and I just tried to not slow down in the last 3/4. Hitting Pratt St was cool, I had a few seconds on Charles and was nowhere near the guy in front of me.

Crossed the line in 16:55 which became a 16:56, for 14th place. I was pleased. I barely avoided getting girled, as Melissa Tanner was coming up fast, getting the W in 17:03. My friend Chrissie was 2nd female in 17:10 - a huge PR for her as well. Best ladies' competition I've seen here in my years. On the dude's side it was a runaway victory for Jake Klim who also set a PR and got under the elusive 15 minute barrier. Most of my other friends ran great, too, including a 50 second PR for Zero, 2.5 minutes PR for Stanford (although his PR was soft) and post-collegiate PRs by Orla and Claire, and then another real PR for Jen. Pretty awesome day.

For the week, I ended with 60 miles, and a respectable 120+ miles on the bike. Just 3000m in the pool. Total was 16 hours. Meh, good enough.

No comments: