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MCM Training: Week 3

My third week of training went rather well. I met my training objectives and then some, and I also accomplished some interesting "firsts": I quit a CrossBoot class, I ran every day for a week, and I took a spill on my road bike (okay, so only one out of three is an actual positive accomplishment).

I'm happy with my distances, and for the most part, I don't mind that my pace was mediocre to decent. I'd rather be completing the mileage feeling good at this point than pushing too hard and risking exhaustion or injury--there will be time for that later. 

Monday was a beast of a training day. I've never gone out for a run prior to a CrossBoot class, and now I know I've been wise to avoid doing so. Because I knew I'd be going to a Dave Matthews Band concert on Wednesday night, my usual CrossBoot night, I had to figure out another class to fit into my schedule. My friend Kristin, who was also planning to go to the concert and is following the same training as I am, proposed running on Monday night as usual, but right before the CrossBoot class for that night. I thought it sounded like the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. However, 6:00 p.m. in Florida in the summer is still steamy hot--oppressively so. And since I hadn't planned to run, I didn't pack my handheld water bottle to hydrate with during the run. While we both survived running 4 miles (I ran an extra warm-up mile beforehand), cooling down was difficult, and we began our CrossBoot class feeling tired already from the sun run. I made it about an hour in before I felt like I couldn't do anymore burpees without passing out each time I stood up. I tried to wait it out, but each time I tried to do reps again, the dizziness didn't really subside. So I decided to call it a night. I walked out on my first CB workout (and hopefully last). My pride was a little hurt, but I knew it was for the best.

Tuesday was a three-workout day, which is unusual, but two of the workouts were mild (gym and yoga), so it felt perfectly doable. Wednesday was essentially my rest day, but because I was participating in the CrossBoot challenge of the week--to run a mile each day for seven consecutive days--I did squeeze in a lunchtime run at the campus recreation center. Thursday was pretty typical, although I was a little shorter on mileage than I'd planned, due to falling asleep between work and running. It happens. Friday was a somewhat sad day, because it was my last Muscle Madness class with Amie, a campus rec instructor I've come to really like. Her class is ending for the summer, and she may not be able to teach it again in the fall. The 1-mile run almost didn't happen. I had to talk myself into doing it after dinner--which is the absolute least motivating time for me to run--plus, it was the night before an early morning long run. But I didn't want to make any excuses, so I did it.

Saturday morning's run began at about 5:45 a.m. with running buddy Kristin. We decided to try a different route this time, instead of our normal southward jaunt along Bayshore Blvd. toward MacDill Air Force Base. So we ran the other direction on Bayshore, toward and onto Davis Island. The main loop that runners do on Davis Island is a 9-mile loop that basically follows the outer perimeter of the Island. It was almost 2 miles of running getting onto DI from where we started in Hyde Park Village, so that, twice, plus the loop would be a perfect 13 miles. I'll say this much in support of running DI: it's largely shaded, it's quiet, there are always other runners/cyclists out, and one of the local run clubs puts coolers of water out for everyone to use. Of course, I didn't know this at first, and I had run 6 miles with only the original water in my handheld water bottle, the Nathan QuickShot:
10 oz. of water doesn't go very far when running in the Florida heat (have I mentioned that I run in the Florida heat and it's very hot?). So I very discreetly stole some water from a cooler the first time I saw them perched on the Riviera bridge, only to realize that I had actually stolen an electrolyte sports drink mix, and not water (blech). But then next time I encountered two more orange coolers just after running up and back the airport road, one of the owners of the coolers had driven up to collect them, I assumed, so I asked who put them out, etc. I can't remember the name of the run club he was a part of, but he confirmed that I, and anyone else, was allowed to drink from them. This was welcome news, as DI is largely residential and only has water fountains near the park side, which is toward the end of my DI route. I came off the island hydrated (and able to down my GU), with only a couple more miles to run. They were the hottest miles of the run, as I was back on Bayshore and fully exposed to the now risen sun. I was feeling the wear on my legs, but I made it home without any trouble. And then I melted:

Sunday was another early-rise day. I woke up around 5:30 a.m. again so I could drive out to Palm Harbor to meet my friend Shannon for a bike ride. We wanted to get going before it got too hot. I knew this would be a long but leisurely ride, as Shannon had just had a baby two weeks prior, and was only just approved for exercise. But I still brought my road bike, as opposed to my cruiser, because it's so much easier to transport. We rode a couple of miles on the sidewalk before getting to the Pinellas Trail, which was really beautiful--it was my first time on it. We passed through downtown Dunedin--a quaint little area with unique shops and amazing restaurants--and rode a couple more miles to get 10 one way. The ride went well until we got back off the trail and were only about a half mile from Shannon's house. We were on the sidewalk again, and we must have been having an important conversation, because I felt compelled to ride next to her, which I wouldn't normally do on the sidewalk. We had also slowed to a mere 5 mph, which, I soon discovered, was too slow a speed for me to maintain. I started to have trouble riding straight and smoothly, and then suddenly I felt myself tipping over to the right, where there was a wall, made of bricks. I instinctively put my right hand out to catch my fall, but because I was still moving forward, I scraped my fingers, arm, and shoulder on the wall, and that action caused me to tip over to the left, where I then fell onto Shannon, who, for the most part, broke my fall. It was a slow process, my fall, and I was surprised at each new turn it took. Shannon must have been surprised, too, because she kept repeating, with understandable incredulity, "Oh, oh, oh my god! Are you ok? Oh! Oh my god! (I actually find the whole series of events rather hilarious when I replay it in my head.). Once I finally stopped falling (imagine a football bouncing out of control), I noticed the skin on my fingers was scraped away, and blood was gushing from the pad of my right ring finger. I've never seen blood drip that way before, with so much flow and consistency. Luckily everything else was in tact, and I managed to make it the rest of the way home, leaving a blood trail behind me.

The cleanup:

Sunday ended with a perfect class at yoga in the park. It had already rained, but the sky was still cloudy and thunder and lightning were not far off. So we practiced under the pavilion attached to the children's museum. I needed every bit of stretching, breathing, rolling, and relaxing that the class offered. Afterward, I went to Pizza Fusion with Josh and two friends for some delicious (vegan!) pizza and wine. It was the end of a great week of training.


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