Monday, August 4, 2008

Busy Weekend...

WARNING: This is a LONG post

This past weekend was jam packed with lots of stuff. I had to collapse in bed at 9:00pm last night and did not wake up until 7:00 am. I am finding that I am needing more and more sleep of late. I guess it is all part of the recovery process.

Well, as you read in my previous post, on Thursday evening I went to to movies with some triathlon buddies and we saw the documentary on Dean Karnazes running the 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. It was pretty amazing stuff!

On Friday after work, I tried to get my kid to go see the new Mummy movie, but he was not having any of it. I had rented the two other Mummy movies for him to watch and I get the feeling that he was a little bugged out by the Pygmy Mummies in the second film. So needless to say, we stayed home and watch one of my favorite shows, "The Dog Whisperer".

Saturday morning, I was up early to run 14 miles. I got a start around 5:30 or so and did a loop around Memorial Park and then headed out to go run through River Oaks. I hooked up with a running group that had a gal on a mountain bike cruising to the front and back of the pack to check on people. The first time she saw me we had just gotten into River Oaks and I was trailing behind her last runner. Well, in less than a mile I had moved up into her pack and I felt a little bad about it. They just happened to be going the same way I was headed. One of their pacers ran back to talk to her if he needed to go back the the slower people and she said she had it. So the pacer guy and I ran together for a bit but without saying anything. Then he bailed to the side of the road at "The Triangle" where I guessed he was going to wait for the lead group and took the curve in the road and started heading up to the next runner in the group. It was a nice exercise for me to surge and then level off my pace and then surge again. I could tell how using my arms to swing a little more rather than only having movement because they were connected to my torso would speed me up a little bit without making the effort too great. I was just ahead of two other guys when I turned off on a side street and they continued straight and I was by myself again to enjoy the quiet and listen to my breathing. I was also hoping that I would see some of my group soon because I only had one 7 oz. flask of water left in my Fuel Belt. I looped around and headed back and just past "The Triangle" I saw two other gals in our group and I asked about water. They said it was about a mile back but soon our group leaders Dan and Anne appeared in the truck and they stopped so I could fill all my bottles. Having the cold bottles all around my waist felt great! I passed my buddy Terry and he slowed down his truck to see if I needed water and told him that I was good to go. I had to run the 11 ramp parking garage three times on the way back into the park. It was a hot one that morning and I went through at least 44 oz. of water on the run along with my S-caps.

After the run, I lead a stretch session so people can join in when ever they finish. I kept on hearing what a BAD run everyone had and how they were hurting. My guess was that this might have been their longest run in quite a while or their longest run ever. Add to that our heat and humidity and 14 miles can be a painful experience. Personally, I felt great. I am up to 25 miles a week and this week I have to go up to 27. We had breakfast at Goode Co. Taquaria and I had a big ol' plate of scrambled eggs and chicken fajitas! YUMMY!!! I also found out from Terry that he got a job. YEA Terry!!! He had been on "sabbatical" for the last two months since he had turned in his letter of resignation to his law firm back before Memorial Day.

As I was leaving breakfast I got a call from one of my tri buddies Mitch, who went to Clearwater for the 70.3 World Championships only to hear his sister's voice on the phone. Mitch had been in a very bad accident on a training ride on Thursday night and hit an 18-wheeler on his bike. He was taken by Life Flight to Herman Hospital (very famous here in Houston) and he had surgery on both of his hands to repair and reconnect tendons as well as insert pins and plates where the bones had been broken pretty badly. When I talked to him he was in pretty good spirits and said that he wished that he had planned to go to the Dean Karnazes movie instead of going on the ride. He does not remember the crash so details are still pretty sketchy about what happened. Mitch also shattered to vertebra in his neck so this morning at 7 am he went into surgery to fuse the spine with some cadaver bone. I got a text message at 11 am from his sister that he was out of surgery and doing well. I told Mitch that while he was recovering he had to pick out his new bike that he was going to buy. He said he already had been thinking about that. He was also going to see if he could have his IM Wisconsin entry transferred to next year or at least get a partial refund. He had qualified for Clearwater again so that looks like it is out as well. Mitch is a very positive person so I know that he will heal quickly and come back even stronger. It is just terrible that something like this had to happen to him. Thankfully, he is not as bad off as he could be. He is alert and able to communicate with us all and he has no spinal cord damage.

On Saturday afternoon I did some stuff around the house and then I had to get ready for my 20 year high school class reunion. I was only marginally interested in going and it was only at the last minute on last Thursday that I got my tickets to go. El Esposo and I dropped off the kid at the babysitters and headed down to the Houston Heights area for dinner and to enjoy the White Linen Night festival. Many of the restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, and boutiques provide live music, wine and cheese tastings, and a nice art festival atmosphere. After dinner, we headed to the reunion. I got my name tag and walked in the front door and saw my cousin and his wife who was in my graduating class, and then the group of people they were talking to went ape crazy seeing me and my short hair. If you remember from a past post, my hair used to be really long. They were also pretty surprised at my muscled out arms and asked me what I did. When I told them the whole "I do triathlons and run marathons" answer and that I was a full-time fitness trainer and coach, they were pretty surprised. At the 10 year reunion I was a high school English teacher so my current job is a big change from the last reunion. Well, I had a good time and got to see people that I have not seen in years. Some people looked exactly the same! Same hair cut, same type of clothing, same everything. Some of these gals needed a good stylist to get out of the 80's. Some people looked much older than the rest of us, some looked younger. Some had less hair, some had bigger waistlines. A buddy of mine from my swim team and water polo days now owns two dive shops on the island of Oahu, Hawaii! Pretty cool.

On Sunday morning I went out and put in 50+ miles on the bike in Montgomery county and I could sure tell that I had been off the bike for a while. There were some dark clouds that rolled in for the 7:30 am start and people were hanging back but since there had not been any thunder, I took off. I was by myself the whole time and I really enjoyed that. The clouds kept the sun and heat at bay until the halfway point of the ride. Once the sun came out, the heat was starting to get brutal. The forecast was for temps to reach 101 degrees on Sunday. Unlike Rainman's great pictures of Yogi Bear and Bambi, and cute squirrels that he sees on his rides, all I would have been able to take pictures of were buzzards, dead raccoons, cracked and smashed armadillos, flattened skunks, a white heron, and a good sized turtle that was successful enough to make it to the middle of the road. It was humid and hot, but I got the ride done in two hours and 37 minutes. I was back before everyone else and I packed it up and headed home. Once at home, I consumed an entire bag of Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips! Dang they were good. I guess I was low on salt, lol. After that 750 calories, I made a note to myself to take it easy on the food intake for the rest of the day.

El Esposo and the kid went to go see the Astros play the NY Mets so I decided to head to the movies. It was my chance to see a R movie. I had wanted to see WANTED so I showered up and headed to the cinema. WOW! That was an intense movie. Very bloody, violent, and intense. This is not a movie for those who have a weak stomach or did not enjoy The Departed. I tend to look beyond the "in your face" violence and look for the deeper message and this movie had an interesting question that it posed. Do you let fate predict how your life will be and you just let things happen to you, or do you take the tiger by the tail and take control of your life? In human behavior and psychology there is the concept of the Locus of Control and how humans react to the environment around them. Some people have an external locus meaning that they believe that things happen to them due to fate and they have no control over these events or that they have an inability to change what is happening. There are people who have an internal locus where they believe that they can react to what is happening to them to change the events. They feel that they have the ability to take control of the situation. Many people have a mix of both internal and external locus. Ok, so the main character feels that he has a terrible life, but that he is unable to do anything about it. His boss is awful, he lives on the bad side of town because he has no money, he knows that his best friend is doing him wrong and his relationship with his girlfriend is poor at best. He has to take medication to deal with the anxiety that he feels. Well through a series of events he is brought into the fold of a fraternity of assassins. He then feels like he has more control and that he leave his past existence behind. He believes that he is moving from an external locus to an internal locus life. However, there is someone who deciphers who the targets for the assassins are. This leader has become corrupt and he begins to make his own targets to suite his designs on power. Again our main character realizes that he is not in control. His life is still in external locus because he is not able to take control of the events. He make the decision that this will not do and that he must be able to react to the events rather than letting people walk all over him and control his life. He regains internal locus at the end of the film.

Ok, that was way too deep. But, I enjoyed the movie!

We found out that afternoon that there was a tropical storm brewing in the Gulf and we have made sure today to get enough batteries for the flashlights, fill the gas tanks on the cars in case power goes out and the electric pumps and the stations don't work for a few days, get the generator ready, and to clean up the lawn chairs, umbrella, and other items that could become a projectile in the winds. It will dump a lot of rain around here and I have cancelled the classes at the club for tomorrow. The storm should make landfall in Galveston around mid morning. We have already started to get heavy electrical storms roll through the area this evening. Since I do not have to teach my classes in the morning, it gives me a chance to get a run in before the storm hits and hopefully it will only be humid and not hot and humid. I was able to get into see the sports doc today and the little aches and pains in my torso and shoulders were caused by some of the vertebra in my neck and back being locked up as well as my left shoulder being lock up. Dr. D uses applied kinesiology to find some stuff and he asked me if someone in the house had a cold or if I was working with someone who was sick. NOPE, but my allergy shots have been really rough. I have been battling the burning eyes, hives all over the body, and congestion. Dr. D had me press on a spot in my hand and muscle weaknesses and areas of tenderness disappeared. Wacky! He said he had me pressing on a receptor spot for allergies and said that I needed to keep up with my Rescue Remedy and my Valor essential oil on the shoulders to stay as "loose as a goose". Is that crazy or what??? My allergies were affecting my running and biking performance due to muscle weakness.

Check back on STORM WATCH 2008-Edouard. I'm thinking that they have run out of names for these storms and are now resorting to the whacked out spellings that the celebrities are using to name their offspring. Stay tuned for Hurricane Maurice and Tropical Storm Suri.

Later Gators!



Rainmaker said...

Good to hear the turtle made it halfway! I've got two turtles, so they ar my friends. Squirrels are not my friends anymore.

Sounds like you had a great run though and a solid ride. Hope the hurricane passes without issue!

Spokane Al said...

It sounds like you had a great run sqeezed into an awesome weekend. I get the same looks concerning going from longer hair - of course mine loss of hair was not from cutting it.

I will keep hoping that the Dean Karnazes movie comes to my neck of the woods.

And your theory on the naming of hurricanes was very funny!

Eric said...

Man, that sounds like a bad accident. Good luck to your friend.

Flatman said...

Good vibes to Mitch.

That's a pretty full weekend! Thanks for ruining Wanted for me... (j/k, I probably won't see it until DVD).


Benson said...

I hope Mitch is healing well.
And I sure hope that hurricane fizzles fast.
Good job on the kinesiology. That sounds really cool.