Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Brookhaven Double

Time: 31:02
Distance: 4 miles

After sitting at Starbucks most of the day drinking coffee, eating free samples and getting one of the new smoothies for $2 I was in need of an evening training session. Since Scotty was over at his sister's abode I opted for a second run. Probably not the wisest decision, but it was readily available and much nicer than sitting on a stationary bike.

We ran down Rock Creek and into Stoop's neighborhood, did a single loop and ran back. The pace was slow and comfortable still. My hip felt good, but not as good as this morning. Upon returning to the house Scotty and I did some plyometrics to stretch out and loosen up before heading off to NY Pizza for slices, scoops and some Olympic action.

NHS Time Trial

Time: 48:44
Distance: 6-7 miles

I headed out the door this morning way too early to meet Scott D at the track because Norman H.S. was running a time trial. We had run into Suzy Rojas, the high school xc coach, on Sunday and she let us know about the workout which perked our interest. I ran about 15 minutes upon arriving at the track and then I stood around and stretched before Scotty showed up. When he arrived he was immediately haggled about not running with the team but he had just woken up and was not prepared to get out there.

Parker Bowles is Norman's top high school runner and he took the pace out with a 71, came through the mile in 5:04 and held on to run two miles in 10:06ish. It was a solid performance and he looks to be in decent form for the coming season. After the workout I ran a few laps on the track with the team and then departed for home which brough the total time to just under 50 minutes. The run was very easy as I'm just trying to build some confidence so that I can resume training as soon as possible.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Brookhaven Roads

Time: 39:01
Distance: 5 miles

This evening I got out for a run with Scotty D. and Carrot Top who was stylin' in his Nike Free 3.0s. We started very slowly and worked into the run which was an out-n-back (not nearly as good as an In-N-Out) up to Tecumseh. My hip felt pretty good this evening which I'm happy about, but I still would like to go see the bone bender a few more times to make certain I don't have any leg discrepancies.

Morning Elliptical

Time: 60 mins
Distance: 100 miles (not really, but it doesn't matter)

There was a major storm this morning that was accompanied by thunder and lightning. Not green lightening, just the regular kind. I popped a Celebrex and headed over to the fitness area of the Lodge, turned on the Olympics and jumped on the elliptical. After 30 mins I hopped off to do some pushups, situps and stretched a touch before getting back on for another half hour. I worked up a sweat and think my heart rate hovered around 140. Good, but not great.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bike Double

Time: 60 mins
Distance: 20 miles

I spent most of the day moving the rest of my stuff into Logan's old room and throwing stuff away while watching the Olympics. The Argentina vs. Australia soccer match was competitive until the South Americans scored on a pretty volley in the second half. The female gymnastics lived up to its expectations and was terrible. I watched two consecutive U.S. athletes botch their respective routines on the bars. Nothing like achieving your athletic abilities at the age of 14. The best event of the night was surprisingly swimming. I respect the sport due to its similarities to running but I can't stand how an athlete set an Olympic Record in every race and a World Record in every other race. How is that possible to swim faster than anybody has ever swam before and casually step out of the pool with relaxed breathing and no sign of fatigue? Anyway, the men's 4 x 100m relay was an amazing battle between the U.S. and France. I won't tell you who won but as soon as it goes online I will link you to it.

The biking this evening was relatively uneventful. I took an X-Ray tablet which is glucosamina, condroitina and vitamina c according to the box. It is designed for el tratamiento y prevención de la osteoartritis. The hip remains in good spirits.

Getting Back At It

Time: 49:21 (broken up into a pieces)
Distance: 7? miles

This morning I met Scotty D over at the OU track for his workout. Before setting out I was sure to pop a Celebrex, strap on my thigh brace and went at it. I was a little reluctant at first but by 7 mins I was feeling pretty solid. After meeting up with Scotty we jogged a bit around campus before hopping the fence at the track to stretch out. Scotty was planning on doing a hard 3k effort after a few 400m to open up the lungs. I kept myself busy with some lunges, situps and pushups while Scotty cut some shapes.

Dizzle's goal was to run the 3k with splits something like 3:10, 3:07, 3:05. His actual times were more like 3:06, 3:04, 3:06 and looked good while doing it, very relaxed and comfortable despite the wind and humidity. Afterward we jogged a few grass laps on the inside of the track before departing for our respective homes.

I am pleased to note that I ran home pain free.

Week in Review

Time: lackluster
Distance: depressing

Not much to report other than I took some time to recover while in Mexico. I was able to get in a run on Sunday and the hip felt decent. That is the good news, the bad is that the marathon is only 10 weeks away and I can't have anymore poor weeks of training. I hope to get in about 40-50 easy miles next week and, if all goes well, I'll get back to it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Traveling Man

Time: none
Distance: none

This morning I got up and headed out to 5th Ave. to make some last purchases before going over to the spa for a massage and, dare I say, pedicure. I got what I needed from one of the few stores that were opened and then had enough time to go get Whit and take the shuttle to the Spa & Golf Course part of the resort. The massage was relaxing but pretty soft focusing on my back and arms. Afterward I went to the hydrotherapy room for a sauna, wet sauna, jacuzi and cold bath. I took the time to stretch out well hoping that my hip would loosen up in the warmth. During this time I downed 3 glasses of chlorophyll which is apparently supposed to cure everything that ails you. I hope it cures my hip and doesn't have adverse effects when combined with Celebrex which I started taking today. I was tempted to paint my toenails black, but opted not to as time was ticking until my noon departure for the airport.

My family met me down at the hotel lobby and a few pictures were snapped with the kiddos before departing on a van to the airport 4.5 hours early. I was in the van with a couple from North Carolina who had also lived in Arkansas and a family from Texas. I didn't say anything and let them assume that with my browned skin that I wasn't English speaking. I think it worked because they didn't ask me to take part in their conversation about pronunciating words so that the bar tender brings "coconut rum" and not a "coke and rum."

Before boarding the plane I was able to peruse the duty free shops but didn't make any purchases other than a bag of oreos to get rid of my pesos. Of note, when we arrived 100 pesos was equal to about $10 pesos but on our last few days 100 pesos was more like $9.50. Anyway, after a few hours wandering around and managing to get on the internet after an overpriced beer at Bumba Gump Shrimp the family arrived for one last hurrah. We toasted to next year, had one last beer and I was off back to the U.S. in desperate need to start running again otherwise this marathon thing might be a disaster.

Friday, August 8, 2008

First Day of the Olympics

Today marks the first day of the Olympic Games and I was able to catch some of the opening ceremony this morning before leaving the hotel. The Chinese love fireworks and it certainly showed in their kickoff to the greatest 2 weeks of sport. My mom sent me this quote a few weeks ago:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well." -- Pierre de Coubertin

Playa del Carmen Exploration

Time: none
Distance: none

Today the family spent most of the day out at the pool while Whitney and I walked along 5th Ave. Playa del Carmen style. Our main goal was to do a little shopping for ourselves and friends, but after walking all the way past the strip we decided to keep going and our mission changed to finding a place to get my hair cut. We ventured into the more "real" parts of Playa that weren't so touristy. We were just at the edge of town where new condos were being built and old shops would be going out of business. Whit got a few cat calls from the construction workers, but we trucked on and made our way up to another street that was more trafficked. There were quite a few launderias and some some convenient like stores that were sprinkled throughout the streets. The most interesting sites we saw were a gym that looked relatively clean and up to date and a sports complex. There was a soccer field, stands that could hold a few thousand, a dirt track (una pista), two tennis courts, two basketball courts and some other areas for other sports. It would have been cool to see a game but the field looked to be undergoing repairs.

We finally made it back to the main drag and I made my second purchase of the trip. The first purchase was made last night in a pharmacy. I was able to pick up 30 tablets of Celebrex for $120 because Glenn swears it works. I hope it does and I hope I can get it back through customs. My second purchase comprised of three woven hats that were listed at 1300 pesos (~$130) apiece. The quality was great and the owner of the store was showing me how it could be crumbled and retake its shape without concern. Most of the hats that are outside the stores are coated with some sort of substance that makes them brittle and rough to the touch. These ones are soft and flexible and worth the price but not $130. I was able to talk the guy down to $120 for 3 of them which I thought was a pretty good deal, and I was on my way. After a quick walk on the beach and Whit's purchase of ice cream it was back to the hotel for some pool time.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mexican Sea Horses

Time: n/a
Distance: n/a

This afternoon Whit and I took a bus to Isla Mujeres for some snorkeling and more fun in the sun. We boarded the boat along with 80 or so other people and headed just off the coast the the world's second largest reef. By second largest, I might have misunderstood and Discovery Channel may have rated the reef the world's second best. Regardless, Whit and I snorkeled in either the world's second largest reef, or the second best reef (as rated by Discovery) this afternoon along with 80 of our closest friends. The fish were plentiful and the water was salty. I'm not the best snorkeler but by the end of the afternoon I was feeling pretty comfortable looking at a sting ray our guide somehow managed to find. Some people claimed to have seen a barracuda, but I'm not sure what one looks like so perhaps I saw it too. The fish were relatively colorful, but I had no idea what they were. Let's just say it was tuna, mackerel, salmon and Nemo because that is what I like in my sushi. I was trying to touch them most of the time but no matter how sneaky you were they would move just out of reach every time. Finally toward the end of our hour long snorkeling session I managed to slap one and it was a bit rigid, almost cut my hand and I decided to stop.

Once we got back on shore there were a few more activities that we could do:
  • para sailing
  • jet skiing
  • speed boating
  • horse back riding
  • lounging
Whit and I felt like caballeros and went on an hour long horseback ride. I'm not really sure why because I'm not particularly fond of horses, it was ridiculously hot and I was already suncrisped. A small group of us rode into the mangroves where we were attacked by mosquitoes, but saw an alligator or crocodile at our turn around point which was a pond. I was riding on "Apache" and Whit was on "Calimbo" who was more interested in eating the leaves off the surrounding trees. After about an hour we returned to the stables and walked down to the beach where we were met by a Mexican Sea Horse. Each of us took turns riding a horse barebacked into the water for him to buck and swim around. The pictures made it look cooler than it actually was, but at least I get to say I swam with a horse. Some people swim with the dolphins, Luca Brasi swims with the fishes and I swim with the horses.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Adios Emily

Time: none
Distance: none

My aunt Emily left this afternoon around 1 for a 5 o'clock flight. Apparently the hotels have some deal worked out with the airport to take visitors ridiculously early. Today I spent most of the day at the pool getting charred shoulders and sipping on cervezas. Around 4 pm the resort's beach activity was soccer so I went down and played a little 4 v. 4. It was hard to tell how my skills were because the sand made it difficult to run or do moves. I scored the final goal of the match which was served in from the ocean and I headed the ball between the two overturned beach chairs we were using for goals. Overall it was fun and I don't think it helped or hurt my hip.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mayan Zip Lines

Time: n/a
Distance: n/a

Today Whit, Emily and I woke up early for Mexico (7:00 am) and headed out to catch a tour van that would take us to some zip lines. We weren't really sure what we were getting ourselves into considering that the girls had to return to the hotel to get their bathing suits because there were more activities planned than just zip lines. Upon arriving at the site we saw some Mayan dogs that were noteworthy because while they were about the size of a typical family pet in the U.S., these dogs had huge balls. I don't think the dog population control is of much concern here in Mexico.

After storing our belongings we headed off to the first sétono to be blessed by a Mayan shaman. We were told that he was asking the gods for permission to enter the pools and to keep us safe while we were visiting in Mexico. The shaman used some sort of tree resin to make his bowl of embers incredibly smokey and the cave ridiculously hot. One member from our group was a rotund dude from North Carolina who worked for BofA and he sweated like a beast, but so did the shaman. Now that we were blessed by the Mayan shaman and would receive total consciousness upon entering the sétonos, we were off along the path, which was nice and we had that going for us.

The first water pool was cold, dark and full of stalagtites. It reminded the group of the Batman's cave mainly because there were a few bats in there. We swam around and marveled at the experience before heading on to the second pool that was similar. In contrast the second pool was a bit deeper and the cave wasn't as high, but it was just as spectacular. Later it was on back towards the village to climb down into one last pool and then ride bikes out to the zip lines. I thought that the fixed gear mountain bike was an interesting choice to put guests on but they were fine. The ride was about 2k long and the terrain gently rolled. I'm afraid to admit that the short bike ride to and from the zip lines might have been the best part, but a guy in our group on the way back to the hotel agreed with me.

The zip lines were all relatively short but sweet. We had a fun time flying over the jungles and mangroves, but were tired and ready to call it a day. There was one more activity planned and that was a Mayan lunch back at the village. There were 4 or 5 women in an open kitchen preparing a meal of fresh fruit, chicken, vegetable soup, rice, beans and, my favorite, empanadas. They were filled with shredded chicken or beef and weren't too greasy, as some can be.

It was a long but fun day that was mostly unexpected. Whit, Emily and I were thinking that the tour was mainly going to be zip lines and discovered that we were to be swimming in caves. Pretty cool regardless.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mexican XT

Time: 80 mins of work
Distance: 2 miles of running

This morning after a couple cups of coffee Stuart, Emily and I ran over to the fitness center. It is a little over a mile and I ran it just over 10 minutes or so. I wasn't really looking to test my leg but it was a good warm up. My hip felt decent and the rest is definitely helping. Once we are at the facility I biked for 30 minutes at a good clip and then did some strength exercises. The girls were using some performance stretching machine in the other room so I decided to get on the elliptical for however long they were going to be. Turned out that I got in another 30 minutes and a bit of stretching. I felt pretty good on the jog back to the hotel too.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Week in Review

Time: ??
Distance: Who cares

Not a great week of training. I didn't run that much and was too frustrated to cross train. It doesn't look like next week is going to be any better considering that I'm in Mexico. I guess I can take this week and next as a period to recover and overcome any injury. I think that if I can get in 10 solid weeks of training I'll be good to go.


Time: none
Distance: none

This morning Dave and Glenn went to play golf but were back in time to meet us downstairs at breakfast. Since I don't really eat in the morning I was ready to go do something. While the kids and the fathers went to the pool the girls (Eloisa, Whit, Stuart and Emily) and myself went walking on 5th St. or Ave. It's a pretty cool scene with dudes yelling to get your attention in the hopes that you buy something from their shop. I noticed the pharmacies are popular locales where you can find performance enhancing drugs like Vitamin B12, Cipro (in case you get Moctezuma's Revenge) and Viagra. After we were done with all the shops and didn't buy anything we walked in the opposite direction to the hotel spa and golf course. I ate lunch with Whit while the sisters worked out briefly. Next we all went and did the hydrotherapy which involved a dry and wet sauna, a jacuzi of 102 degrees and a cool pool. I used the time to stretch my hip and massage it. At one point I was able to grab what I think is a knot and partially responsible for my pain. I mashed it to hell and hope that helps.

Upon our arrival to the hotel we all went down to the pool and spent the rest of day hanging out at the pool bar. I was swarmed with little kids most of the afternoon which was a great time. For dinner we went back to the Mexican buffet and I inquired about where they play fútbol. I tentatively scheduled a time to play with our waiter on Tuesday for the hotel team.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

¡Viva Mexico!

Time: none
Distance: none

Today I flew to Mexico with a quick layover in Houston, TX. The flight was uneventful, but I invited Meagan's co-worker Gabe to challenge me in a race on the tarmac. He never showed, so I'll take that as a victory.

After arriving in Cancun it took 30+ mins to get through customs. Luckily I didn't get detained and just before walking up to the counter I spotted Dave. Earlier in the week I mentioned that I would see them at the airport, either at the bar or detained in customs. Since I made it through customs I had to find a bar. There was a tiki looking hut outside with a man pouring drinks so I ordered a Negra Modelo and walked around drinking and looking for the family. I was waiting for quite some time and ordered another round, but luckily the family came soon and we were off to Playacar Palace.

We got to the hotel in the evening and had dinner downstairs at the Mexican buffet. It was the first time I had eaten that day so I took advantage. The tequila shots weren't that bad either...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day Off

Time: none
Distance: none

I've managed to wake up pretty sore and tired from working the sidewalk sale. Carrying multiple boxes of shoes dozens of times and lifting our display tables is apparently harder than it sounds.

Late in the day Jimmy Robinson, his wife and kids came to the sale and bought some shoes. I made her a hell of a deal on a pair of adistar Cushions from like 2002 and a Glycerin 6. Both shoes were priced at $50 and she wanted to know which shoe was "better." I told her that the Glycerin had to be since it was newer, a good shoe and from Brooks. After 15 minutes she was still walking around with a different shoe on each foot and was convinced that the adidas shoe felt softer. I reemphasized that the Glycerin would be a better choice but she still like that Cushion, so I asked Craig what he thought. He agreed that the Brooks shoe "in theory" was softer, but the Cushion is pretty close and it would be a toss up. Considering I didn't want to be there all night... $60 for both. Done. Deal. Looks like adidas' technology from the turn of the century is up to par with Brooks' MoGo of 2006/7.

I mention this story for two reasons:
1. MoGo? More like NoGo.
2. Jimmy Robinson and his wife are physicaly therapists. He gave me his cell phone number and told him to give him a ring upon returning from Mexico. He briefly looked at my hip and didn't think it was my piriformis because it was too far to the front. More importantly, he said that if I wanted to take a more aggressive approach he could refer me to Dr. Jamie "James" Bond (no joke) who could give me an injection of cortisone, EPO or some other enhancer that they are not going to test at MCM.