Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two-a-Day, Plus: Faith in Humanity

Have you had one of those days in which your brain just wasn’t operating on all cylinders? I woke up at 5:25 a.m. this morning to make my way to the pool, and that’s where it all began.

Flub one: I walked all the way out to the car without my swimming bag (forehead smack). Luckily I had on my suit! So, I rushed back upstairs, grabbed the bag and ran back outside with the fear of losing my lane at my heels. My bag was packed for my two-today: swimming in the morning, running at lunch. And so the err of my ways began.

I pulled into the rec. center parking lot a few minutes after 6 a.m. and started rushing toward the door. My running shoes had been stuff into the top of my bag the night before, so I turned around to throw them back into the car (who needs shoes when you’re swimming?) only to find one of my shoes missing! I tore through my car and looked all around, wondering whether I had dropped it at home or in the lot. It was way too early to call Neil for a search, so I calmed myself with the prospect of the shoe being in my apartment—and not outside, where it had just started raining.

But my mind remained on my shoe. Lucky for me, I had the shoe to think about because my brain wasn’t really hip to functioning on any other normal level. My swim workout was an all-time high for me: at least 5,000 yards free almost continuous swim (I had to stop a couple times to clear my goggles).

“At least?” you ask? Well, I couldn’t count my yards or laps for the life of me this morning. I wandered around the 500 mark for each 1,000 yards. When in doubt, I always swim extra. And today I just kept on swimming.

I love the feeling of getting out of the pool after a long swim and feeling energized. It makes me feel less like I’ve misstepped getting into triathlon training. And even when my head doesn’t work, at least my body was.

By the time I finished swimming, showered and was headed to work, it was 8 a.m. and a more polite hour to call Neil. He took a swing around the parking lot, but my Mizuno was nowhere in sight. My hopes for the rest of the day were on an apartment surprise.

Sans shoes, I had to settle for the Nikes I keep in my office. I’ve gotten used to the lower top on my Mizunos, so my spoiled feet and shins weren’t immediately hip to the idea of my ex-shoes. So, I tied down the tongue and took an 8-mile track run at lunch, including:
  • 3 miles at 9:36/mile
  • 2 x (2:00, 3:00, 4:00) aerobic intervals ~ 3 miles
  • 2 miles at 9:00/mile

My calf was really tight before the run, so I stretched for a few more minutes and then hit the track for a really low-key warm-up. The most difficult part, as you might have guessed, was keeping track of my laps. While I resorted to counting on my fingers and trying to estimate times, I had a difficult time keeping it all straight. Ugh. I was wholly convinced that I wasn’t going to survive the AIs until some hotshot with a pass-all-chicks attitude and a funky, show-off stride came trotting by.

Now I know that I’m a) not supposed to take these intervals too hard and b) not supposed to let other people influence my training pace, but this guy was really asking for it. And I was even good about it—I kept my pace right between normal and ‘hey I’m working here’ as prescribed. I’d say it was right around 8:00/mile.

And then I was pretty tired. Maybe a little hungry too. I still had plenty of endurance energy remaining for the last twelve laps/two miles, but I just hadn’t replenished enough after the morning swim. But the thing that was really getting me down was that missing-in-action shoe!

So, hungry, distracted and a little fatigued, I did the unthinkable: I went grocery shopping after work. Sure, I bought half the store (come on: Heinen's had butternut squash for 69 cents a pound!), but I managed to put together a Gina-friendly meal that has me totally on the brink of covering both my calcium and protein doses for the day! In fact, I might chow a Luna bar as a night snack to put me over. Woo hoo!

What’s more woo hoo is that I came home to Neil holding the following sign:

It had been posted on our apartment building door by the time he came home. Neil called the number and arranged for our nighttime pick-up. And as it turns out, Mel from Vertical Runner and her husband, Todd (who found my shoe) live pretty much next door.

Lucky for me, Todd found my shoe about an hour after I dropped it in the rain. It’s a little damp, but healthy as can be. We had the opportunity to meet the two, have some tri talk and thank them for caring for my shoe.

So, maybe my brain wasn’t working today, but at least humanity was. Many thanks to Mel and Todd (and Neil)! Here’s to good people!


statenine said...

I walked two miles and have graduated from doc martins to nike air. Think I can catch up to you in ten years?


miss petite america said...

omg! how awesome that someone was nice enough to keep your shoe safe for you!!!!!!

what goes around, comes around!

and i'll be hunting for my nike receiver tomorrow. if i can't find it i'd love to take you up on your offer to send me yours. if you're CERTAIN you still don't want/need it.

The Salty One said...

Only another runner could appreciate the importance of your (teeny tiny!) shoe! What a sweet little story.

Keep up all that good work you're doing. I wish I could get my butt out of bed at 5:25 am!

E-Speed said...

no way someone else with my small feet! Good thing you wear inspire and not rider or I might not get my sweet deals at DSW ;) Glad Mel and Todd found the shoe and returned it!

Landon said...

That sign is the best part. I would have also accepted a ransom note.