Hat on Top, Coat Below


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Run for It

November 14, 2006

I’d hoped to get an entry up yesterday but ended up going to the doctor instead. The swelling from my bite got worse and worse, to the point where not only did I have a sausage finger but the whole back of my hand was inflated and starting to look and feel like I’d gotten a sunburn. By the time I got in to see the doctor, my wrist was starting to puff up as well. I left with a prescription for an antibiotic and instructions to come back if the situation didn’t improve in a few days. I don’t think I’m going to need to go back; I’ve only taken two doses of the antibiotic so far but my hand is already much improved; I can even type with all 10 fingers again and only feel a little soreness as I do.

So, on to other things, namely running. (I still feel odd calling what I’m doing “running”, since I’m not fast and I don’t do it for very long at a stretch, but I guess it still counts.) When I last nattered on about it, I’d tried using the Nike+ kit once only to lose the chip a few minutes into my workout. Next time I went out, I popped the chip into a tiny ziptop plastic bag, tucked it under my laces, and then safety pinned the top of the bag to the tongue of my shoe in two places. That setup kept the chip with me just fine, though I did spend a lot of time looking down at my foot for the first few intervals just to make sure.

Once I had some good data recorded to upload, I started playing around with the Nike+ site. I like looking at the graphs and totals the site does for me, but overall I’m not that entranced. It seems slow to load and navigate around, even on my office’s very high speed connection, and the forums don’t seem particularly user-friendly, though perhaps I’d find them more so if it weren’t for the blaring red background, which doesn’t exactly encourage me to relax and stick around. I’m a bit perturbed that the totals stored by my nano and iTunes are out of synch with the Nike+ site, thanks to that first aborted workout and the test I did walking around my kitchen after I found the chip to make sure it still functioned. I wish I’d deleted those off the iPod before iTunes grabbed them, but at the time I didn’t realize I couldn’t get rid of them later. Workouts can be deleted from Nike+, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to get that updated information from Nike+ back to iTunes to make the two match. Ah well, I’ll just have to live with the small differences: 2 workouts, .29 miles, .19 hours, 42 calories. (I’m also perturbed that I lost the note I first wrote these differences down on and had to recalculate them.)

Even though the bag and safety pin method worked, I went ahead and bought a little pouch made just for the chip. The bag would get moisture buildup under it, for one thing, and it just looked kinda goofy. Not that I don’t look goofy otherwise when I run, but still, why add to it. I used the pouch for the first time during the race on Sunday and had no problems at all. It’s also easier to take off and move to a different pair of shoes than the bag was, and that’s important now that I’ve gotten yet another pair of running shoes (as seen in the chip photos). These are Asics Gel Kayanos, the same size as the GT-2110’s but a wider width. I was just going to get the GT-2110’s in a wider width, to see if that would help with the foot tingling problem I have when I run more than 20-25 minutes total, but the wide only comes in one color combination and it’s the same one I already have and that was just going to be too confusing, so I upgraded to the Kayanos. They are more comfortable, but not perfect. I’m now experimenting with a different lacing strategy; that doesn’t seem to quite be doing the trick, either, but I’ll give it a few more workouts to see if I just need an adjustment period.

So anyway, yeah, I did another race on Sunday. I signed up for the 4K, which is pretty much the same as 2.5 miles, which I knew I could do, having done it before. The coworker who paced me at the start of the other race wasn’t able to do this one, but I did have my now trusty nano to sing to me and tell me how far I’d gone in how much time. Even though I’d been sick the week leading up to the race, coughing and blowing my nose and feeling generally yucky, I’d still gone out running to make sure I wouldn’t be too out of touch come race time. I didn’t manage to do all my prescribed intervals, but I did 75% of them, which I thought was pretty good considering I ran with a tissue in one hand and my timer in the other. Race morning, I took two Sudafed, stuffed the pocket of my jacket with tissues, pinned my number on, and waited for the start with my coworker who was doing the 10K. Once I got going, I managed to run the first 11 minutes or so, which was a new personal record for elapsed time. They had parts of city streets blocked off for the race; it was kind of neat to be able to run down the middle of the lanes where the cars usually are. The brochure and pre-race handout both said “PLEASE NO WALKERS IN THE 4K”, so I was worried about what would happen when I couldn’t run any more–“it didn’t say ‘no walkING'” was going to be the basis of my defense if questioned; I’m a runner who just happens to be walking at the moment–but I saw other people taking walk breaks pretty much from the first block with no repercussions so then I relaxed. I alternated walking and jogging for the last half of the race, not timing it so I don’t know how much of each. My bitten hand was throbbing pretty good by the finish, but I hardly noticed. When results were posted, I found I’d bettered my pace from last time, ending up finishing in 29:03 for an 11:42 average per mile, compared to an 11:57 in my first race. I thought that was pretty good considering I was sick, although maybe being sick helped–is Sudafed a performance enchancer?

After the race, I cooled down by walking back to my car to get my camera, then did a few stretches before picking up the post-race snacks provided (bottled water, a choice of bagels and similar from Panera Bread, and a choice of fruit) and waiting for my coworker to complete the 10K. While standing at the finish, I saw a few runners wearing costumes come in—Big Bird (just the head, not the whole feathered body or the big feet), Superman (no cape, but he did have blue tights and little red trunks), and The Flash. I also inadvertently tempted a whippet wearing a fleece cape–I just wanted to chat with her owner but forgot I had a yummy bagel-like food product in my hand at the time. The whippet, being polite, did not bite me or my starch. My coworker finished the 10K in just a little over her target time. Maybe next year I’ll be able to run the 10K, too. Or maybe that’s too much of a stretch goal. I could be happy with doing the 4K again and just not getting beat by the 8 and 9 year olds like I did this year. I’ve got longer legs than they do–I should be able to manage that.

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