Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And then work got in the way...

I can't believe my last post was July 29th!  I've actually been home for 48 hours in a row now, so it seems like its time to catch up on everything.  There have been a few runs that need a post, I'll get those up later with their corresponding data.  The lack of posts is quite reflective of these last crazy two weeks of my life.

I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil from July 30-Aug 2 for a trade show.  Usually when I'm in a foreign city, I like to go for a casual run to get a feel for the city, not worrying about pace of getting lost.  This was the first time I didn't take that opportunity.  I had no idea if the city was generally safe, or which areas of the city to avoid, and this sign in the elevator didn't help much either:
So I did 30 minutes a day on the treadmill for the three full days I was there and hoped that would be sufficient to slow the inevitable loss of fitness that occurs when you stop following your training plan.

It was the red eye home on Aug 2, which included a 5 hour layover in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport before arriving back in Orange County.  Does walking from Concourse B to Concourse C, eschewing escalators along the way, count as a training run?  Probably not, but I figure I managed to walk between 1 and 2 miles since I backtracked to Concourse B to get Vosges chocolate.  I figured there would be a location in each terminal. I was wrong.

I was home for approx 40 hours before my next trip began.  Aug 3 was a completely lost day, just totally wiped out from the 19 hour journey home.

Managed to get in a 3 mile run on Aug 4, it was more of a recovery run than LSR. 

Aug 5, 8 AM, it was off to Keystone, Colorado for another conference, so no LSR on Sunday morning.

I travel to Keystone every year for this conference.  It is about 100 miles west of Denver, which you may have heard is called the "Mile High City."  That's 5280 feet.  You drive up into the the Rockies to get to Keystone, which bills itself as being at 9280 feet.  That would be 1.75 miles above sea level.  I swear there is no oxygen there.  No matter what my fitness level is prior to this trip, I assume I've got nothing at 9280 feet and set my running expectations extremely low. 

It was about 7 PM on Sunday night after I finished my work, and I had a choice between eating dinner and attempting to squeeze in a run.  I consulted AMD who encouraged me to "Get my butt out the door, you won't regret it."  I was kind of regretting it after the first quarter mile when I felt like I was drowning because my lungs were inhaling so little O2.  But after making the deal with myself that I would walk uphill, jog downhill, I was able to grind out 2.8 miles.  In 33 minutes.  Ugly, but effective.


The next morning, I got out again.  This time, I drove down the hill a bit so that I could do the uphill first, then finish downhill.  Again, I made a deal with myself to walk for one song on the iPod, run for one song, repeat, all the way up the "I-swear-it-felt-steeper-than-100-feet" incline, then run all the way down the hill.  All told, 3.3 miles in 37 min, improvement!


The last full day of my trip, Aug 7, I ambitiously planned out an interval circuit through the resort paths that included three half mile-ish running portions, and two quarter mile walk portions.  I repeated it twice, with each running interval in the neighborhood of race pace.  Convincing myself to run the loop the second time took every ounce of will power in my body.


I posted links to these three runs just because it's cool to see the elevation vary between 9150 ft and 9350 ft.  If I could do this entire plan at this altitude, I think the 4 hour barrier would seem a lot less daunting.

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