Maintenance week – Nov. 20-27, 2016

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I didn’t run at all this week.  In fact, I barely exercised this week.  The reason is because, wait for it, I have a freaking kidney stone.  The medical issue I vaguely referred to last week turned out to be a kidney stone.  Jess and I went to visit my folks in SC for Thanksgiving.  On Thursday morning, I started feeling some pain in my lower left back.  That pain continued and got worse over the day.  I was able to tough it through Thanksgiving dinner, but by the evening and the next day, I was feeling pretty bad.  On Friday afternoon my family took me to the urgent care, where I hung out for a few hours before having a CT scan that revealed a 6mm stone.  Now I’m just waiting with eager anticipation for it to pass!

 

Needless to say, this cramps my run plans.  After I’m better, I’m going to have to spend some time building up my base miles.  No big deal though, I was expecting to hit some ups and downs during this journey, so I’m not terribly bummed.  I’ll resume once I’m back to 100%.

 

TWIR (THIS WEEK IN RUNNING)

 

 

I learned a lot this week about kidney stones.  I tend to obsess about things once they have a specific impact in my life.  So I spent the several days googling everything under the sun about kidney stones–how they are made, what causes them, why they are so painful, and how to pass them.  It’s going to make for some killer bar conversations, that’s for sure.

 

The other big event this week–the Michigan-Ohio State game.  I’m still too upset to talk about it.  I hate whining after a game, but man, that was highway robbery.  Michigan was clearly the better team, and had any one of about 6-7 plays been officiated correctly or consistently, Michigan wins it.  I still think that Michigan stopped JT Barrett on that infamous fourth and 1, a play that’s going to go down as one of the most important in the history of the rivalry.  I’m still super pissed.  But that anger has been diminished by the terrible stabbing incident on Ohio State’s campus today.  Puts things in perspective for sure.

 

 

Marathon training week 5 (of 7) – Race #4

WEEK SUMMARY

 

It’s official.  I’m bowing out of the Rehoboth Marathon.  There are a few reasons for this, but the primary one is that I have a medical issue that I need to get checked out.  I’m anticipating that everything is ok, but the doctor indicated for me to back off before he cleared everything.  It’s a bit of a bummer, but if I was completely honest, it always felt like a little tight schedule to run this one in that time frame.  I’m still going to run to maintain my fitness–I’ll probably do 5-7 mile runs 3 to 4 times a week until I get clearance that I’m alright.  I still might do the half at Rehoboth, mainly since I already paid for the bib and for the hotel room the night before.

 

This speed bump isn’t entirely unexpected though.  I was expecting this 50+1 journey to have it’s fits and starts, and as long as everything is medically ok, I’m going to continue onwards once I get the medical green light.  After I’m cleared, I’m going to look around and see if I can get another marathon in before the baby comes in mid-March.  The timeline might be a little tough, and I know that Jess won’t be able to travel very far once we get close to the baby’s arrival, so hopefully I can find a February race in PA.  Let’s see.

 

The only thing that I’m really bummed about is possibly missing my goal of hitting 1000 miles this year.

 

So this week, I ran only once, an 8.2 mile on Tuesday after which my medical issue popped up.

 

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GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK

 

I’m suspending the marathon training for this race.  So the goal is now just to maintain the fitness that I’ve built up.  I’m probably going to take this time to work in some more strength training as well.  Thanksgiving is next week, and I’m sure that coming back from it will require hitting the gym extra hard.

 

TWIR (THIS WEEK IN RUNNING)

 

This week was pretty chill.  On Saturday I asked some of my friends to volunteer with me to plant trees in DC with an organization called Casey Trees.  I have to say, this volunteer experience was probably one of the best ones I’ve had.  It was an incredibly organized event which made the day feel worthwhile.  I’ve volunteered at other places where due to the disorganization, you don’t really feel like you’re helping and you kind of feel like your time was wasted or not used.  Totally the opposite experience here, and I’ll definitely go back.  Plus, it was awesome to be outside.  The weather in DC was just gorgeous yesterday morning, mid 60s for a mid-November day.

 

Overall, there were about 100 volunteers that planted 200 trees.  My friends and I were split into two groups and together we put up 10 trees.  I’m glad to have a good group of friends to have done this with.  Here are some pictures from the event.

 

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Other than that, Michigan beat Indiana en route to it’s epic showdown with Ohio State next week.  I can’t wait.  #2 vs. #3, for a chance to play for the national championship game.  This is the biggest game since that epic #1 vs #2 game in 2006, ten years ago.  Sports, and college football in particular, is a good way for me to pass the time.  Man, things sure have changed in the last ten years.  I was in my second year of law school then and now I’m a pretty experienced attorney.  Crazy to just stop and think about it.  I hope that ten years from now, I’ll be able to look back and see how much I have grown as well.

 

Marathon training week 4 (of 7)- Race #4

WEEK SUMMARY

 

The election threw a wrench in my training week.  Needless to say, this was a very exhausting, low sleep week.  I only ran once, on Friday, for 5.5 miles.

 

Here’s my plan. This week I’m going to redo last week’s schedule and I’ll skip out on the plan set forth for week number 6.  Let’s see what that does, but I am still planning to run the marathon.  Right now, I just want to run the marathon, check it off the list, and then plan for the next race with plenty of lead time going into it.

 

 

 

The week summary is one run for 5.5 miles.  That one run, though, was pretty cool.  Ran along the mall and saw a temporary Burning Man exhibit on the Mall.  Pictures below:

 

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And in honor of Veteran’s Day, the World War I Memorial:

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Here is the week’s summary:

 

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GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK:

 

See last week.  I’m going to substitute last week’s intended runs for this week.

 

TWIR (THIS WEEK IN RUNNING):

 

What happened this week?  Hmm..oh  yeah, I know, the craziest fucking election in American history, that’s what.

 

This week was very exhausting.  I really didn’t want to go on a political tirade here, because like I mentioned before running and keeping this run blog has been a way to maintain positivity and progress in a crazy world.  But Tuesday was such an unbelievable night, I have to say something.  Regardless of your views, it was a pretty remarkable night in American History.  Donald Trump is the President Elect of The United States.  Like most of the country and the world, I stayed up all night, surprised and shocked by what happened.  I stayed up hoping that the result would change, but went to bed after I news agencies were waiting on Alaska’s results to come in and see if Hillary Clinton pull off a hail mary there.  Think about that.  Just weeks ago, people were saying that Clinton was headed to a 400+ electoral vote showing, and then she’s reduced to hoping for Alaska to come through while completely unexpectedly it’s Trump who’s headed for the decisive electoral win.  Bizzaro land.  It was such a surreal night.  The fact that all the polls and pundits were absolutely wrong, and that Trump won not by a slight margin, but pretty clearly in the Electoral College, it was just unbelievable.  It went from being a celebratory night, to amusing, to uncomfortable, to scary, to uttery shocking, to indescribable, to a zombie-like-state in a matter of two or three hours.    It’s almost as if you’re watching a colossal upset in sports, except this is for stakes which are astronomically higher, the Office of President of the United States, and the entire world is sharing that utter shock with you.  Everyone will have that “where was I” moment, regardless if you voted for the guy or not.

 

The reason I mention politics here–it kind of messed with the entire run schedule.  I didn’t run on Tuesday because I wanted to watch (and celebrate) the election results.  But given that the election took a left turn (understatement of my lifetime), and that celebration turned into the biggest collective WTF moment probably in our entire political history.  That night was a moment to remember.  So much so that even a week later, I don’t feel like I have the proper perspective to write about it.  All I know right now is that I didn’t sleep well on Tuesday and then on Wednesday, Jess and I binged on some comfort food and watched some dumb comedy movies on Netflix just to keep ourselves somewhat sane.

 

Otherwise, Jess and I took a trip to St. Mary’s, Maryland on Saturday with some friends.  We went on a 7.5 mile hike around a lake.  Oh, and did I mention that Jess did this while she’s five and a half months pregnant?   She’s such a trooper–I’ve been very proud of how she’s been doing through this entire journey.  It was nice to get out of DC for a day, just to escape from the political bubble.  It was a beautiful fall hike:

St. Mary’s River, Maryland:

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Marathon training week 3 (of 7) – Race #4

WEEK SUMMARY

 

Like I mentioned last week, I’m counting this “week” from Tuesday to Sunday.  So how’d it go?  Not too bad.  I missed a few runs this week, but I was happy with the effort I put in.  Overall I still need to up my MPW, especially as I get serious about other races.  I’ll recalibrate that with an actionable plan for race number 5.

 

One thing I am happy about is incorporating more Vinyasa Yoga into my weekly routine.  It’s a goal of mine to get at least one yoga session in per week.  Sounds cliche as hell, but it helps to recalibrate my mind as well as body.

 

So, three runs this week.  The ten miler was an odd run–went on Wednesday night and just felt off during it.  Of course, by the end I was happy to run ten, but it didn’t feel quite right, and not because I was in pain or tired. Just one of those odd runs.  The other two were great.  I did a five miler in Rock Creek Park on Saturday afternoon.  Jess and I took the bus to Georgetown and she walked while I did a 2.5 mile out and back.  Rock Creek Park was beautiful.  Fall colors were in full effect.  We hit up a great Pho place in Georgetown afterwards too.

 

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The 13.5 miler on Sunday was a great run.  Perfect day to take advantage of that extra “fall back” hour.  I went up Mass Ave towards Dupont Circle and over to Wisconsin Ave.  The incline from Dupont to Wisconsin along Mass Ave was pretty decent–about 300 feet in 1.5 miles.  It would’ve been nice to train this hill for Baltimore, but now I know it’s there.  In fact, I’ve found four hills in DC that I’m going to incorporate into later marathon training.  The run along Mass Ave is nice because you run by Embassy Row and over to the US Naval Observatory.  Perfect chance to take some pictures:

Dupont Circle:

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Embassy Row:

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US Naval Observatory Atomic Clock:

 

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After hitting Wisconsin, I cut up passed the National Cathedral to the DC/Maryland border on Western Ave and then came back down Connecticut.

DC Boundary Stone:

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National Cathedral:

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14th and S St, NW:

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City Vista (5th and K)

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So overall, the week went pretty well.  28.64 miles over three runs.  Here’s the week summary:

 

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GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK:

Gulp.  The training plan calls for 56 miles.  That’s quite a jump from where I’m at this week.  I’ll have to make sure I listen to my body and not push it too hard.  There’s an 18 miler planned for Sunday, so I definitely gotta do that, and another medium 12 miler in there.  I’ll give it a shot, see what happens.

 

TWIR (THIS WEEK IN RUNNING):

 

This week was pretty chill.  We kind of just layed low for most of the week and found some new places to eat in DC for a couple of days.  Our baby girl has been kicking a lot, and feeling that has been an absolute surreal experience.  Saturday was a good day to enjoy the fall weather, Jess and I went on a short walk before I ran my five miles and then we went to a nice Pho place.  The restaurant was pretty cool, it was a “Viet-American” spot.  I kind of liked the idea of the owner owning the idea of an Americanized Vietnamese place.  On Sunday we celebrated a friend’s birthday by grabbing breakfast in Eastern Market and then meeting for dessert and drinks later that evening.  And, of course, I can’t stop talking about this college football season.  Both Michigan and Clemson are playing great, and this year may be the only time where both of my favorite teams are doing as well as they are.  I’m already planning out my trips to the CFP playoff and national championship games.  Jess being six and half months pregnant might have other thoughts though!

 

The Presidential Election is tomorrow.  As I’ve said here before, I want to keep politics out of my run blogs, but it’s safe to say that if you were some how able to measure the collective anxiety of the country today and tomorrow, it’d be at record breaking levels.  Fortunately Jess and I voted early a few weeks ago, and now we just get to go home and nervously watch the craziness unfold.  This certainly is a strange time in American politics, that’s for sure.