Saturday, March 9, 2019

Baby's got a brand new bag

Elle: Okay, so not a 'new bag', but new shoes, I'm of the brand of people who DON'T buy running shoes every 6 months, or whatever the running shoe companies tell you. When my shoes start to break down or fall apart, THAT'S when I buy a new pair (right Trent?!?) So I haven't bought new running shoes for a couple of years. But finally, I decided it was time. Mostly because I needed a new pair of tri shoes that would make my transitions speedy as hell (If I don't have one of the top 3 fastest transition times, then what the hell am I doing there...competitive much? Yup. Not apologizing). I've been looking for shoes like this for a LONG time. And no dice. And then one day, out of the shoe-ness blue, I found these, like a gift from above:

Integrated tongue, pull tight laces, high back and front for quick slip on. YES! Finally! After so many years of searching. See, sometimes dreams do come true...

So far, as I slowly get back into running, I've only been running short distances. One of my staples is an out and back from my apartment to the hotel in Dorado del Mar and back. When I run, I like to establish landmarks that I run toward, or pass, as a mental push that helps me along the way. The first and favorite is the kitten house. There are like, 5 - 6 (or more?) kittens that live at this house. I've been trying to make contact, and I'm determined to make friends with them. They are cute as hell, obviously.

Somewhere in mile 2 are the Egrets. Like a bunch of them. Ya just get used to their white feathered beauty after a point. And that's right near the 'Bird Tree'. A shite load birds live there. And they are always there. Right in this specific spot. Every day.

And there's also a couple of geese I pass. They're on the other side of a fence, always in the same spot. They live on the golf course near a pond with a smattering of other fowl. And a calico cat also lives there. Like a boss. I often see her sitting by the fence right where the goose couple are. She just sits there, hanging out with them. Her and all her fowl friends. The geese squawk at any one who passes by, and she just sits there. It's like her goose friends are protecting her. And she's like, "Yeah, you wanna mess with me? I don't think so.....".

So for my speed workouts, I use the 'track'. A term I use loosely, as it's far from a typical American track. But hey, at least I have a wonky track to use! No complaints here, it does the job. Here are a couple of speed workouts that I've done so far. Try 'em for yourself:

Workout 1:
200 meters @ your 5k pace, 200 meters at your mile pace (x2)
30 second rest
400 meters @ your mile pace
rest: 2 miuntes
(Now do that 4 times. If you're not completely gassed after that, you didn't run hard enough.)

Track Workout 2:
300m @ 10K pace, 100m @ 5k pace
1 full lap strong
(Repeat 3-4 times)

Now normally, I've been running in the morning, which is ideal on a tropical island. It's still relatively cool outside, and the sun hasn't had a chance to warm the ground up to 100-degrees. But one day, I had to postpone my workout (something to do with a bike ride in Old San Juan, which was fantastic), but lack of planning left my friend and I without food and water for about 5 hours, and we got dehydrated. And that sticks with you for awhile. Long story short, I ended up doing my run at 3pm. In the blazing sun + heat. The plan was to do a simple 6 mile run. But I couldn't even manage that. 4 miles and I was DONE. But hey, got a run it.

Meanwhile, here's a couple of pics from the Old San Juan excursion:
Plaza in Old San Juan

Famous side street of umbrellas

Me + Bridget with whom I bike around Old San Juan...

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Mama said said there'd be days like this

I'd like to tell you a tale of woe. Everyone has a bad day every now and then, and sometimes it helps to hear about someone else having a bad day to know you're not alone. Today was one of those days.

The day started out well. I got up early and headed out for my long run, which isn't long right now, since I'm still coming back from my knee surgery. I ran 6.7 miles, which is the longest run since the surgery. And I felt good. Hooray! Things were going well.

On last Sunday's ride, I had some serious problems with my bike. My back cassette wouldn't shift through the 4/5 middle rings, which was super frustrating. I basically couldn't shift up at all. Ugh. So I had to bring her to the shop. When I got home from my run this morning, I called Pedalea, the bike shop 2 towns over. They said I could bring it right in, so I put the bike in the car and headed over there. That's when things started to go downhill. I don't have GPS in my car, so I looked at the route on Google Maps and tried to memorize it and headed out. I missed the first turn. I thought something was wrong, so I stopped on the side of the road ( stop 1). Yeah, I had missed the turn. So I turned around and headed back, and made the turn. Wait a minute, this doesn't look right either. I pulled over (stop 2). I had turned the wrong way. Fack. I finally got on track, and got  to route 2 where the bike shop was. I knew it was on an access road, so I turned into the first one. Nope, wrong one. And it was a dead end so I had to stop (stop 3), turn around, and got back onto route 2. Drove for a while, and saw another access road. This must be it, so I turned into it. Nope. Wrong one. (stop 4) Back onto route 2. I didn't even know what I was looking for anymore. So I turned into THIRD access road. Success! I brought my bike into the shop, and Sammy  (the awesome owner) said he'd call me when it was ready. Great. So I headed out. And since I had no food at home, I decided to go to Costco.

The highway, route 22, was nearby, so I decided to hop on. I looked at my phone to see where it was and it was pretty easy, I took a left to get on, and there were a couple of roads on the right that look like they did go onto the highway, but I didn't know which one to take because there was no sign. Is that west? Is that one east? I glanced at my phone, which made it look like I should keep going. Maybe there is an exit up ahead. So I kept going for a while. This doesn't seem right. So I pulled over (stop 5). Blerg! I had missed the exit! so I turned around, and headed back. I'm sure there must be an exit on the other side of the road to get on route 22, right? Of course not. I ended up back on route 2, where the bike shop was. I wanted to turn around and try to get on the highway, but route 2 has barriers all along it so you can't cross the street, and I didn't know how far I'd have to travel to turn around. I didn't want to go in circles, so I just got onto route 2. Route 2 goes the same way as route 22, but it's a lot slower and has about five hundred traffic lights. And lots of people driving really slowly. So the trip that should have taken about 20 minutes took about 45-50 minutes. Flash back to when I finished my run this morning, I took a quick sip of water and headed out to the bike shop without eating. Remember? There's no food in my apartment. And as I drove on the slow as hell route 2, I started to get hungry. Very hungry. Hangry. And really really thirsty. My throat started to hurt, my lips were dry, and my mouth got all gummy. And it seemed like everyone around me was driving like an asshole. Or maybe I was the asshole. I figured I'd pull over some place to get a bite to eat and some blessed water. But I swear to God, there was nothing on the right side of the road where I was. And loads of restaurants, cafes, CVS, and Walgreens on the other side of the road, the side I couldn't get to. Arrggg! Soooo thirsty.....

After what seemed like ages, I finally got to Costco. Hallelujah! And there was a cafe across the street. Win! I went in and ordered a sandwich and a Sprite. Oh, glorious Sprite! I reached into my into my bag to get my phone, I had to tell Webb about my Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. But what's this? My phone wasn't in my bag. Fork! So I ran out of the cafe to my car, it must be in there, right? I looked all around, but it wasn't there. Are you fucking kidding me? I ran back to the cafe, maybe it was in my bag, but I didn't find it at first. So I emptied my bad. No phone. Oh. My. Gawd. WTF??? So I ran BACK to my car, it HAD to be there. I searched everywhere. Everywhere. Then I finally found it, wedged underneath the passenger seat. Of course it was.

I ran back to the cafe and enjoyed a very nice tuna sandwich and another Sprite. I was just across the street from Costco, but after the day I'd had, I was scared about what was going to happen to me next. I just wanted to go home at this point, but if you remember, there was no food in my apartment. Fack. I had to go to Costco. So I left the cafe and, with fear in my heart, headed across the street.

Things at Costco went relatively well. When I got to the cash register, she discovered that 2 of the items I had in my cart out had been opened, so I had to run back to get new ones. At this point, I wasn't even surprised. It was the least of the bad things that had happened to me today. I left Costco and headed home. Then, around 2 miles out, the car in front of me stopped short, and I almost hit it. And all of my groceries flew towards the front of the car. Again, I had surrendered that shit was just going to happen today and I had to deal with it.

I finally got home, put the groceries away, and then looked at my phone. Sammy from the bike shop had sent me a message. Great, my bike was ready! But then I read the message. He asked if I had crashed on the bike. I told him 'no', which is really funny, since I had crashed on 3 of my previous bikes, but not THIS one. He told me the bike was broken.


He said I could pick up the bike now. Honestly, at this point, I was terrified to leave the apartment. What the fack was going to happen to me now? I took route 22 to get to the bike shop with a post-it on my steering wheel with very specific directions to the shop. And I got there, unharmed. Sammy showed me where the bike was broken.

 I had just bought this bike from a guy for A LOT of money. More money than I should have spent, really. And now I find out it's fucking broken. WHY ME?!?!?!

But Sammy said it wasn't the carbon that was broken (praise the freakin' lord!), but an aluminum part. And I could have some guys fix it for about $100. Well, at least there's that. I paid Sammy, put the bike in the car, and headed home, where I arrived without incident. Thank gawd for that. I was totally physically and mentally exhausted.

Next up, 6:30am bike ride tomorrow. Was I going to be ready for that? Doesn't matter, it's happening. And tomorrow is another day...