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I Think I’m Allergic to Sinus Pressure and High Dew Points.

In a recent post, I was giving some summary about how well things were going, how great the long runs were doing, and how early morning runs were going pretty well.  All that was true, until – da da daaaa…

Sinus pressure – we meet again!

If there is one thing that I can count on during the year to create illness for me, it’s allergy/sinus trouble.  Usually I have one really bad week or so in April where I can’t breathe, can barely speak, sometimes get a fever, and have to wear glasses for a few days.  Typically, I’m good except for a periodic here or there.  This year, the bad week waited until June, which happened right before marathon training started.  This past week, it had decided for a little round two.  Now I’m sure most of you are aware of the pressure, congestion, breathing trouble and sore throat that comes with that type of trouble.  That in itself is enough to put me on the couch with a Captain America movie marathon for motivation, sipping Gatorade and ice cream.  But hey, I got an idea – try to keep training for a marathon.  It’s kind of what I think running in a sauna, breathing through a coffee stirrer size straw, and getting slapped in the face while your ears feel like you are constantly taking off and landing in a plane would feel like.  I had changed to do 16 miles this past weekend with a drop back to 10 the next weekend but at midnight Friday, I had to back out.  In addition to feeling sick, I then had to figure out when I could run the long runs I needed to run.  Good news was that I felt some improvement by early Sunday morning and was able to last through 10 miles in some high humidity and dew point.  All combined, that was probably the hardest run I’ve done so far this training.  This means that I have to try to get a really long run in while in Baltimore, so stick around for the next blog post.

Weather Rant

sweat mike

I believe that I have a few consistent viewpoints that carry me through life.  Some more important and practical than others.  For instance, I accept as true that if you’re 10 mins early, you’re on time – if you’re “on time”, you’re late. I believe that nothing good happens out after midnight, that AstroTurf should be outlawed, that dogs are better than cats, that you should actually have to pitch the 4 balls for the intentional walk, that my job should be to visit every NC State Park and every National Park, that your car speakers should be ripped out if I can hear your music inside my house, and that 5 am runs should not feel like running in a hot tub with the heat turned up to 100.

The last few weeks have been tough weather wise. Although it’s not 90 some degrees, the dew point and humidity is constant high around here.  It doesn’t seem to not matter if its 5 am, 5 pm or something in between.  The dew point being high (specifically at 70 +) makes it very difficult for your body to evaporate sweat.  Sweating with evaporation helps create a cooling sensation.  When the air is saturated, it says “I don’t need your sweat, keep it!”  When it sits on your skin, your shirt, your hat, in your eyes, and more, your body cannot regulate the heat gain.  That’s why the perceived level of effort is much higher in these weather conditions.  It makes it very hard to stay consistent, can create other issues (hello chafing), and really just sucks the life out of you.  You can probably tell that I CAN’T wait for the change in nighttime temps that happens around here in the next few weeks (hopefully).

Ok, so there (hopefully) is my poor me, this is hard, I am struggling period of the training.  To be honest, if I can just get back to 100% from the sinus stuff (maybe 75% at this time), we can work through the rest.  Up next – Baltimore Running Photo Essay

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I See You Savannah, Off in the Distance…

I see you Savannah, in November, off in the distance, with your cool mornings, moderately temperate day time highs, and flat ground.  You are almost mocking me at this point, with our current heat and humidity, rolling hills, and lack of live musical entertainment along the run (Savannah is a Rock ‘n Roll Marathon/music party).

As I put the fingers to keyboard, I have completed 4 weeks of official marathon training.  Four weeks of four runs/week.  Four weeks of 4:50 am Monday wake up alarms. Four weeks of 5:45 am Saturday mornings – you get the idea.  I think I can sum up the feeling of the first leg of training in one word: Optimistic.  Aside of wake-up times and heat, I really have no significant complaints.

Short Runs

The worst part of the weekly shorter runs is the fact that I run them early in the morning and alone.  It’s kind of a requirement due to work schedule/home schedule and weather schedule.  The variety of types of runs (interval, pace changes, etc) has done a pretty good job of keeping intrigue along the way.  I also run them in my neighborhood – which is not flat, at all.  I have a school parking lot that is about 1/3 of a mile in a paperclip shape that is relatively flat so I have used it quite a bit for speed work.  I can pretend I’m at Martinsville Speedway making laps (sarcasm, partly).

Long Runs

The long runs are MUCH BETTER this time around.  Why?  Three obvious reasons: the lawyer, the sportscaster, and the RunnerDude.  Having them along for the run makes it so much easier.  It is less boring that talking to myself.  It’s also helpful, because during each long run, we all have segments of the run where we may have more trouble than the others.  Motivational dialogs transpire.  Bump in the road conquered.  My current outlook on the marathon is really optimistic because these two will be there as motivation, aid, photographer, and hopefully inter-squad competition in the last 400 meters of the marathon (we all want to win, right?).  We have worked our long runs from 10 miles up to 14 miles as of July 26 with good results.  More to come (distance, stories, complaints, and hopefully success).  Long runs are also much better with Thad’s route planning, water cooler set up, and impromptu photo shoots along the way.

So I see you Savannah, in November, off in the distance, with your cool mornings, moderately temperate day time highs, and flat ground.  I’m preparing for you.  My training in the heat and humidity will only make me run easier come cooler weather.  My hill training and elevation gains mock your pancake flat terrain.  I’ll be seeing you soon, and I won’t be apprehensive, I’ll be resolute – and prepared.

Product Update

Those who know me personally have probably seen my plaid Brooks.  They are the undisputed champion of the shoe market.  They are so awesome, I just wear them normal.  Aside from the obvious good looks, the structure of the shoe is amazing, so I decided to try a “normal” colored pair for running last year.  Best running equipment idea since someone offered longer than 5-inch shorts.  I got a new pair of Brooks GTS Adrenaline 17s for the marathon training and just recently surpassed the 100-mile mark on the shoes.  They feel as awesome as the 1st day I wore them, are effective at expressing my Birdland pride (Orioles that is), and show no signs of slowing down.  No blisters, no foot pains, nothing but cloud like support.  While we all have different needs for shoe support, the running and the physical therapist in me is high on the Brooks train for recommendation.