I usually try to post this update on Sundays, but yesterday was quite busy for me, so here it goes a day late.
My last week of Tupelo 14.2 high intensity training is now over. Now all that is left is is a couple of weeks of tapering and then it will finally be race day. It has been quite a humid week here in Memphis, and very uncomfortable for the longest run of my training.
Monday: I went for my run after work, so the heat I encountered was completely my fault, but the humidity was insane that morning and I needed the extra rest. The first half mile or so, I ran with my dog. He is a miniature labradoodle, and I never run hard for more than this distance with him. After dropping him off, I hit my normal course and had a good run.
Tuesday: No run, but I did a forty-five minute TRX routine. I rotated through the upper body, core, and lower body exercises. I really wish I had a place in my yard that I could suspend my TRX straps overhead so I would have the full gambit of exercises at my disposal, but I still can get a great workout in regardless. I am, however, considering getting a pullup bar that you can put up in a door frame so I can work on doing something that I have never been able to do in my entire life, a pullup. I feel that it will be very beneficial for my upcoming Spartan Race.
Wednesday: I was lazy and did not get out of bed for a morning run. After work, my in-laws decided to take Susan and I out for an early birthday dinner. We went to Side Street Grill in Midtown for their steak night. Steak night is a fantastic deal, with two steaks, two sides, two salads, and a shared appetizer for $28! And we are not talking sirloins here, but rather filet mignon in generous proportions. It very well may be the best deal in town.
After dinner, I did not feel like going for a run, but I did not want to have an off day completely. I tried the Spartan Workout of the Day from a couple of weeks ago called the Spartan Ab 300. The workout goes as follows:
- 15 Crunches
- 30 Bicycles
- 30 Back Scratchers
- 30 Rotating Crunches
- 15 Leg Lowers
- 30 Scissor Kicks
- 30 Side Crunches
- 30 Bicycles
- 15 Crunches
- 30 Back Scratchers
- 15 Leg Lowers
- 30 Side Crunches
This was a very comprehensive routine, but there was quite a bit of a learning curve for the majority of the exercises, and the next time I do it, there will be quite a bit more speed to it. I will say that my soreness factor was not what I was expecting, so I do feel the pauses to verify my technique was a part of that.
Thursday: I woke up early and finished four and a half miles on a brutal morning. At 5:30 am, it was 80 degrees, the dew point was 75, and the humidity was at 88%. Welcome to Memphis in August! Actually, I guess I should be thankful since there has not been an official day at 100 degrees or higher here in Memphis yet, which feels like a record. I was drenched after my run and was definitely feeling the wrath of the weather when I returned home. All I can say is at least I was not running in the blistering sun, so it could have always been worse.
Friday: It was Susan’s birthday, so I did not workout. I opted to spend the day with her. I took a long lunch and met her at work so I could have lunch with her, I gave her some birthday presents, we went to dinner, and then we watched a movie. I was going to take her to a movie, but she wanted to stay at home and watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was her birthday and her choice, so I can no longer say that I am in the minority of the world to never see or read any of the Harry Potter stories. Oh well.
Saturday: Honestly, I should have gone for my long run, but we had already made plans to meet some friends for breakfast at a local institution, The Arcade. Susan has lived here her whole life and I have lived here for about a third of mine (wow, I have been here that long?), yet we had never tried the place out. I will say that after eating there, the place is worth the hype. I had what is called the “Eggs Redneck” which is biscuits and sausage smothered in gravy with hash browns and eggs. It was not the healthiest meal of my week, but it was very delicious. After breakfast, Susan and I went to the farmers market around the corner. The place was packed with vendors and shoppers, and there were some local food trucks there as well. We bought some locally made hot sauce, a pound of triple stripe, some tomatoes, olive spread, and hummus, which led to a fantastic grilled dinner later in the day.
I could not stand the thought of two days in a row without a workout, so I did another TRX routine. This was a shorter one, and I finished with my last set a mere twenty-five minutes after I began my warmup routine. It is very convenient to have the ability to do TRX at home. But this convenience also eliminates any excuse that I might have about finding time to exercise. After my TRX routine, I mowed my yard, so that hour plus of pushing that mower around the yard can be attributed to being active as well.
Sadly, the Atlanta Braves incredible win streak came to an end with a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning against the lowly Miami Marlins. The Braves had rattled off fourteen consecutive wins, and opened up a commanding fifteen and a half game lead on the Washington Nationals! It has been a fantastic couple of weeks of Braves baseball, and hopefully this will be parlayed into a long October run!
Sunday: I did not choose well for the day and time for my long run for the week. I woke up at 5:30 am, but the weather outside was already soup like. The humidity sat at 87%, the dew point was 73.9 degrees, and the temperature sat at an even 80 degrees, so I knew I was in for a challenge. I took a very long time to get prepped for my run, trying to get psyched for the weather, and by the time I hit the sidewalk, I was already sweating. I thought that my day, and possibly the next couple of months was over just after mile three. Memphis is a city with numerous trees which is awesome for aesthetics and shade, but can be brutal on my allergies and the local sidewalks. My allergies were mostly in check this morning, but I was not being as mindful as I should have been to the ever changing topography on the sidewalk. I came down very awkwardly on my left foot, causing it and my ankle to pop very loudly and roll inwards. I let out a string of expletives and thought the worst. It took me a couple of minutes to be able to put any weight on it again. After a few more minutes of hobbling around on it, the pain subsided enough for me to take off once again, albeit at a much slower and controlled pace. By the time I reached mile five, there was no more pain in my foot or ankle, which made me extremely happy. I kept sluggishly pushing forward in the hot and humid air until mile eight, when the skies opened up and started pouring some much appreciated cold rain upon me. This lasted for about two and half miles, and they were the fastest two and a half miles that I ran all day! I only had three negative splits for the day, and they were miles eight. nine, and twelve. Thank goodness for that rain! Not only was it refreshing, it also gave me reassurance that my recent lackluster times are more weather related than fitness related. I ran a total of 13.11 miles on Sunday, and since that is a half marathon distance, I used it for a virtual race that I had registered for.
The race was The Walking Dead Run, and I only registered for it because the medal company made an error in the color of the race medals, so they were redoing several of them. The race organizer was trying to get rid of the extra medals, and was asking for a $10 donation to their race charity. I love the show The Walking Dead, and I actually like the incorrect medals better than the correct ones, so I pledged my $10. I will say though, that unless a race blows me away in the next few months, that this is my second to last virtual run for the foreseeable future. I am sure Susan will be happy with this. I mean, I have to start saving for Disney in January and finalize which races I want to run next year, so the extra capital would be great.
My friends and I play trivia at a local bar on Tuesday nights. It is an excuse to get out of the house for a couple of hours a week, and an easy way to make a few dollars for our tabs each week. Each week, the winners get a $50 gift card to the bar, second gets $20, and third gets $10. Since May, our team has amassed a little of $600 in bar cash, which definitely puts us in the black for our trips there each Tuesday night. And twice a year, there is a tournament of the area bars that play trivia through Challenge Entertainment. Three years ago we placed second in the area tournament and netted $1,000. Now, second would land us $5,000, and first place gets $10,000! Last night we had our first semifinal round and we placed seventh for the night. We could have won last night since we finished twelve points behind first, got the final answer right, but wagered zero points. We did that because there were no prizes on the line last night and as long as we finished in the top twenty, we would move to the next round.
After trivia, I immediately went home and fired up my DVR to catch the premier episode of the new, and final season of Breaking Bad. It is easily the best show on TV and very intense. It is one of the few shows that I will watch live on TV and if I miss it live, I have to avoid Twitter and Facebook until I get to watch it. I will not give any spoilers, but last night did not disappoint one bit! I do not know what the outcome will be for Walter White will be, but watching his evolution over five plus seasons has been staggering. There are only seven weeks left in his story, and certainly several twists yet to come. Can it already be 8:00 pm on next Sunday night yet?