Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shake It

I'm taking a break from my Shake Weight workout to write this.

Seriously, it's the secret power of dynamic inertia that makes this heart-pounding workout so effective in just 6 minutes a day.

I ran Celtic Solstice over the weekend and it went...well, it went. I love this race, and it is always great to see so many familiar faces before, during and after the race. After last year's insane snowstorm reduced the field to about 400 finishers, this year's conditions enabled the majority of the 3000 registered entrants to compete. With basically our entire posse there in some fashion - volunteering or racing - it was almost like a Tuesday Night Track workout.

All of us were up at the front, as the start is quite narrow. Fortunately it starts with a quarter mile uphill, so it makes it thin out (at the front) pretty quickly. I kept Arjun, Pat and Seth within range as I ran next to Tom Stott, and figured those guys would be in the 5:30-5:40 range for the first mile. Imagine my surprise when they were around 5:50 and I was just under 6!

Going back to Friday for a brief second - I was walking down in Fells Point and fell on ice outside of Shucker's. I landed pretty hard and did not feel good about it. The fall also broke my camera, so I need to get that sorted out with the establishment.

Anyway so my right hip was not feeling great and as mentioned in the earlier post, I just haven't been feeling great running lately. My stride felt short. I wore my flats, my feet felt alright, but my knee was not real excited about the idea of running fast. In the 2nd mile, Anthony went by me, as did Dave Berardi. I clipped that one in just over 6, so I guess I was right on 12 minutes at 2 miles. Approaching the little out-and-back section, I was able to see that Mellow, Prada and Tom Stott were close behind. Pat, Seth and Arjun had long gone, as had Kris, who was having a great race.

Mellow went by, and then the first placed girl caught up. I ran with her, figuring maybe I'd help keep her ahead. We re-passed Mellow and hit mile 3 in 6:10 or something, then got onto the Reservoir loop. I was running the tangents well, minimizing the distance I had to run, but mile 4 still seemed long at 6:17. I realized breaking 30 was mostly out of the question, unless I ran a 5:30 last mile (actually not impossible as the last mile is flat and finishes with a quarter mile downhill to where the start was).

I was on that line of I couldn't go any faster, but if I had gone any slower I would have felt like I wasn't going anywhere. I ran a 5:49 last mile into the finish and stayed just ahead of the first girl. 30:18 was my finish time, a scant 3 seconds slower than my Born to Run race from a few weeks back. I felt much worse during that race, but I was still fit. This race exposed the very minimal amount of running (and riding and swimming) that I've done.

Talking with people after the race, almost everyone who wore a GPS watch recorded the run at 5.1 miles. It stands to reason that, if one did not run the tangents well on the Reservoir loop, it would be long - but that still seems pretty long. Jim had the race certified, but on race day there are cars parked along the Reservoir, which undoubtedly throws off the trajectory of your straight line running. I guess my point here is that it is definitely a full 5 miles, and probably a little long.

I thought I could run a bit quicker than I did, but I also can't say I'm surprised as I've done virtually no running, and certainly nothing quicker than the pace I ran, in a month.

Following the race, everyone enjoys the best winter post-race celebration under the big top, and then a few of us hit up Kisling's. Kisling's has been a favorite of mine since 2003. I used to go a lot more frequently, but now I limit it to a few times a year. This time, however, totally hit the spot - it was the most on-point their wings have been in a while. Delicious.

Sunday morning I had planned on getting in a longer run, and I figured it would be cool to run at the park. Real bad idea. It was a winter wonderland in there, and within a few minutes I did something I've never done at Patapsco - I fell. And I fell hard. The stream crossings were quite treacherous. The water was running really high, and the rocks were iced over. Since I no longer have the ability to jump or hop, my choices were limited to caulking myself and floating, fording the river or paying a Shoshoni guide $2 to help me across.

I made it (barely) over the first two small crossings, but then came a bigger one. I stepped delicately on a rock that looked half dry, and then WWWOOOOPPP there went my legs. I landed on some ice and, more significantly, in the drink. It was cold. And wet. I got up and kept going, figuring now that I'm wet, I'll just splash through the streams. That's what I did. It was kind of fun, although just as I would regain feeling in my feet, I would lose it again splashing through the water.

My knee started really bothering me, and I wished I hadn't gone to the park. But I finished the run, 1h45m, and then went to the Ravens game with Brennan. Following the game it was time to watch this year's Hawaii coverage (broadcast the day before) and then 3 hours of Survivor season finale. It was a late night and a long day.

Monday I figured I would run TO Fed Hill with Pat and BG, and then get a ride back with Ed. But then Pat said he was going to run back, and Ed said he needed to put in 4 more after the run, so my option was wait until Ed finished (30min) or just run back. I figured it was easier to just run back. It was another 13+ day. I felt better running on the road, but by the end of the run I was pretty cooked.

Tuesday I got on my bike for the first time since Arizona, for an easy 75min on the trainer with Pat. He smeared poo all in my house (literally, Ed).

Today's plan is to run tonight and then head back to NJ tomorrow for some Yuletide greetings.


cheese said...

amazing how, even living with you, this is the first i heard a lot of this.

RM said...

Really? I thought I had told all those stories to you. But, in fairness to you, you were insanely busy for that whole 10 day stretch, and potentially intoxicated, so maybe it just slipped through the cracks.

Turtle said...

Ryan, do you have the Voice Assist Shakeweight that gives you cab fare when you complete a workout?
(One of the better South Park Episodes.)