Showing posts with label pool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pool. Show all posts

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Two runs and a Runsketeer party

What the Runsketeers do when they don't run
Saturday's run (street): 5.2 miles
Sunday's run (street): 3.5 miles

This week has been a throwback to April. That's the last time I was able to put four runs together in as many days. I worked from home on Thursday and, since then, I've have been on a 4th of July break. My company also makes Monday a holiday, so I expect to extend my streak to five tomorrow morning.

It's been a fun long weekend and yesterday we hosted running friends TPP and SIOR (and family) for a late day summer fĂȘte. Although the "Runsketeers" get together for runs fairly often, we usually don't get an opportunity to converse until after our workouts. Those post-run Starbucks breaks have become our valued tradition. The only downside is that we're usually all pressed for time at that point. That's why it's great to get together on non-running days (more below).

I went out for a run on Saturday morning and the weather could not have been better. It was 64 degrees and sunny without the humidity we'd had a couple of days before. I wanted to cover at least five miles so I took a detour from my usual route and went west along Jericho Turnpike and then South on S. Oyster Bay Road. Due to fast moving traffic, I always stay on the sidewalks when I run on those roads. Jericho's sidewalks are well maintained, but the ones on South Oyster Bay Road are in very poor condition. It's almost like technical trail running, but instead of root hazards, it's broken concrete and mud.

I turned back into my neighborhood around the two mile mark and ran on the street from there. The average length of my local roads is a quarter mile, so it takes a lot of streets to cover five or six. When that's my goal, I usually go somewhere else for my run. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to do a destination run that included driving. Overall it was a nice workout - energizing but not overtaxing.

Our guests all arrived together and we hung out poolside for a few hours before heading inside. The kids, who ranged in age from 2 to 16 (including our two) had lots of fun and did not stop until after 8:00. I am proud to say that I had half a beer (that I split with SIOR's husband) and didn't fall asleep or lose my ability to converse. We had lots of food, great desserts and lively conversation. Even though me, my wife, TPP, SIOR and Mr. SIOR are all runners, we left that fun activity to the kids. It was great having everyone here and we really enjoyed the day.

This morning we had plans to get out early, so I agreed to cap my run at 3.5 miles for the sake of time. Weather conditions were again optimal, and I took it a little easier than Saturday. Despite the pizza, chicken, fruit salad (courtesy of TPP) and chocolate mousse cheesecake (courtesy of the SIOR family) I felt great on my run. Maybe it was the half can of Cold Smoke Missoula Scotch Ale that provided the energy (thanks again Adventure Girl!).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Good day for a run and a great day for a party

Morning scene, before the fun and frenzy
Today's run (street): 3.7 miles

Happy summer! School is done and both kids are kicking off vacation this week with pool parties. Wednesday, my son had his soon-to-be 9th grade buddies to the house. That one was easy. No decorations, basic snacks and no structured activities. My daughter is hosting a bunch of 15 year-old girls today and the planning has been far more intense. To be fair, it's also a birthday celebration for her. My duties were to set up the music downstairs and to get the pizza later. My wife is taking care of everything else, which means it will probably go very well. Sounds like it is.

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. My coughing reached an apex (I'm hoping) and I spent most of the day on calls. I'd decided early on that I didn't have time to run. With the way I felt, it seemed a better idea to skip my workout. I just looked at it as a recovery day. I was hoping later that my cough was receding, but it was back in full force overnight. It does seem better today.

Although I probably spent two hours trying to get to sleep last night, I felt well enough this morning to get outside. The weather was sunny and not yet hot, so I set off in the hope that my lack of sleep wouldn't affect my running performance. I don't think I set any personal records today, but I didn't feel bogged down either. I even extended my distance a little, figuring that I should get in more mileage since I had the time.

It's been a busy week for business, but I covered most of today's interactions before lunch. People rarely schedule meetings on Friday afternoons in the summer. The exceptions are my business colleagues in LA, SF and Seattle who have three more hours of morning than I do. So far, it's been quiet, except for all the yelling and splashing by the pool.

I'm a little more than a week away from the Marcie Mazzola 5K and haven't done much to prepare, besides following my normal running schedule. I figure I can just turn up the jets on race day and get through it since it's only 3.1 miles. That assumes, of course, that I can live with my worst 5K time ever.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer is coming, but spring running is here

Work in progress
Today's run (street): 3.3 mile

Our house has been taken over by tree service people, who are taking care of some much needed trimming. The pool is now open, but the water color is closer to Pantone 364C than sky blue. That should clear up after a few days of shock treatments. The only thing left is to replace the fence on the outward side of the pool that was damaged by overzealous county workers doing Sandy repairs. The new fence goes up next week. Summer is coming.

Happily, it's still spring, and the humidity and gloomy skies have finally moved on. I went out for my run this morning, right after the last school bus exited the neighborhood. There aren't too many days in the year where running conditions are near perfect, but today was one of them. It may have been the lack of heat, or perhaps the cooling breeze that made my start effortless. This run came after my one weekly rest day, so that could have been a factor as well.

Before I knew it, I'd passed my first mile and I was tempted to do a true distance run, rather than a standard weekday 3.x mile workout. I reminded myself that, although I follow a flexible schedule these days, I still have work to do. Especially on a day like today, when business will keep me in the city late into the evening.

I enjoyed my run today and finished with an overall pace that was lower than any run I've done in the past week. The great weather certainly helped that happen. I enjoyed the run a lot and, like so many great things, it was over all too soon.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Involuntary phone slaughter

How not to clean your phone
Today's run (street): 5.25 miles

I thought my story for today's run would be how I covered 5.25 miles at a pace that handily beat my expectations. But it turned out that the real surprise was discovering I was still wearing my SPIbelt when I jumped into the pool following that run. I had carefully removed my Garmin and Road ID before hitting the water, but I'd forgotten about the SPIbelt and the contents within.

SPIbelt - definitely not waterproof
The great thing about the SPIbelt is that you literally forget that you have it on. I've discovered a number of times that I was still wearing it, even after returning my other running gear to storage. While in the pool, I'd re-checked the pockets of my running pants, thinking I might have forgotten to remove something. It occurred to me (too late) that I was still wearing my SPIbelt that contained my LG VX8300 "running" phone.

I noticed that my phone was vibrating in the SPIbelt pouch when I brought it to the surface. I'm not sure why it was vibrating, but I knew it wasn't good. I tossed the belt and phone on the deck and finished my swim.

I've kept that phone for almost eight years, using it primarily as a backup to my smartphone. It's been great to carry on runs because it's compact and light. I hope Verizon offers a similar model because I don't think this phone is coming back.

Hours after I pulled it out of the water, the phone is still not working. I'll give it a day to dry out and I'll try it again to see if it comes back to life. In the meantime, I'm happy that I was able to get out for a decent run on such a hot and humid morning. It may have cost me my phone, but perhaps it's time for a change. I did learn an important lesson that I won't soon forget: Look before you leap!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bugs, sun, hiking and running

Mislead by the map, much more to the east
Yesterday's activity (Stillwell Woods hike): 2.2 miles
Today's run (street): 4.4 miles

Surprise! It's hot in July
Despite the popular idiom, it really is the heat (but the humidity doesn't help). People talk about the heat like it's some sort of unusual phenomenon, but every July it's just like this. Today's temperature should get close to 100° F, so I got outside relatively early. Even at 7:50 AM, the thermometer was edging towards 80°.

Yesterday was equally hot, so after a morning of working from home, my son and I headed over to Stillwell Woods for a hike. A midday hike on a hot summer's day may sound like torture, but we knew that the tree canopy would keep the sun off our heads. For the most part, that was true, but we didn't count on the clouds of bugs that we encountered as we moved deeper into woods.

Despite the heat, gnats and occasional hard climbs, we had a great time looking for the elusive Ewok Forest section on Stillwell. I used Endomondo to record our hike and I referred to its real-time map a few times to help locate our position. The simple graphics on the map led me to believe that we were further east into the woods than we really were, so we never reached our intended destination.

My son did a great job tracking our direction and, when were ready to go, his compass skills led us straight back to our stating point. We headed home and cooled off in the pool with my wife and daughter. Our serenity was interrupted when a town worker in a lift truck surprised us by swinging over the tree line to trim around some adjacent telephone lines. Surprise!

I took it very easy on this morning's run. I briefly considered turning off the GPS so that I wouldn't track my pace. I tend to be self-competitive when I know I'm being recorded and I didn't want to move too fast in increasingly warm conditions. I ended up recording it, but I didn't look at my time until the end.

I needed to keep reminding myself that pace didn't matter, and that this workout was just about maintenance miles on an extremely hot and humid morning. The run never felt hard but I was glad to end it. I'm pleased that I put in a few miles today and I'll look forward to some easier activities in the pool this afternoon. Before too long, the T-storms will be here to finally cool things off.
 

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