Monday, 6 October 2008

Divine intervention

Friday I was supposed to get in my 5 to 6 mile tempo run. For various reasons, it never happened. So Saturday I gave it a go and the gods showed their displeasure at my procrastination by first raining on me and then pelting me with hail. Lots and lots of hail, each the size of an M&M. It hurt like a mofo. I ended up having to take shelter under a tree until the worst of it passed. By the time I had completed one loop, I was wet through, super cold and very unhappy so I cut the run short. As soon as I entered the door of the Nerditorium, the rain stopped.

The gods, though angry, still have a sense of humor. But it’s obviously a cruel one.

My 16-mile LSD was supposed to happen on Sunday. Yep, that’s a big old no on that one too. I had plans for a long walk along the Via Appia (the picture above is of the actual Roman paving) with some friends on that day and I knew I wasn’t going to be up for that after running in the morning, so I pushed the LSD to this morning. This required that I wake up a little after 5 am, so as not to shoot the rest of my day straight to unproductive hell.

Bleh. I did it though and with minimal grumbling.

As the Nerditorium is a rather old building, the heating is non-existent so I’ve been freezing for the last few days. What I always forget, however, is that the world outside is never as cold as it is indoors. This is doubly true when I go for a run. But, do I think of this when I suit up as if going for a run in Antarctica?

Hell no.

I wore a long sleeve tech pullover over a short sleeve tech shirt and then topped that off with my fleece vest and long pants. When I was all dressed and ready to go, I took one last look at my outfit and realized my entire ensemble was black. And I was going to be running in the pitch dark for at least an hour and a half.

I’m a smart cookie, aren’t I?

The funny thing is the pullover is marketed as reflective wear but it only has one tiny vertical strip running from between my shoulder blades up to the nape of my neck. Even if I hadn’t been wearing the fleece vest over it, it’s still useless, because my ponytail covers it up. I think I should write to Champion and tell them what reflective gear should actually look like. Their design team is obviously composed of morons. Then again, I did buy it, so who’s the bigger moron, really? Yeah, I thought so.

It seemed a good idea not to listen to my ipod while it was still dark since I needed to be alert for oncoming traffic, muggers and people who might mistake me for one. It was actually quite pleasant listening to the city slowly come alive. On my way past Castel Sant'Angelo and running towards St Peter’s, I crossed paths with another fellow pre-dawn runner. I have a feeling he was a member of the clergy. He wasn’t wearing anything religious, but he’s the only runner here who has ever smiled at me. Italian runners are not very friendly, even less so than the Brits if you can believe that.

I went without my ipod for two hours, until the city was very much wide awake and the sounds were no longer a pleasant distraction but a cacophony of craptasticness. Overall, the run went really well, even though I was a little warm from the multiple layers and my poor planning had me venturing into a pretty sketchy area on the south side of the city (note to self: don’t do that again) and left most of the hilly terrain for the last three miles.

I’m a little sore in the knees and hips, but nothing too bad. My only complaint is that I live on the fourth floor of the Nerditorium and the kitchen and library are both on the first floor. Stairs are not my friends right now. I still need to figure out if the freezers work, because I really should ice down my joints. Sadly (or fortunately—I haven’t figured it out yet) an ice bath is not possible, because all they have here are shower stalls. Eh, I’ll work something out eventually. Hopefully before marathon day rolls around...

Before I end this post, I would like to wish my mother a very happy birthday. She’s spending the day with her mom, who is on the fast track to senility, and her eldest sister who constantly bickers with their mother. Should be fun times. Bet you wish I was there to supply the color commentary, don’t you Mom? Well, you’ll have to settle for a phone call, because that’s all I can swing right now.

Have a great day, Mom. I’ll talk to you soon.

All right, have a great week everyone. I’ll catch up with you later.


Lily on the Road said...

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Check out getting a construction vest, just the vest part, it illuminates quite nicely! That's what I wore when I ran at night or early mornings...or a blinkie light attached to your fuel belt...I got mine at the Veterinarines....crazy I know.

MizFit said...

Im jealous of your life...and yet some days it's enough to read and live vicariously.


most days :)


joyRuN said...

Great job on getting the 16 miles in! Sorry to hear about the no tub situation - I hate/love my post LSD ice baths.

chia said...

Anyone that couples the word "craptastic" with $5 words is a goddess in my book.

Champion really does need to pick it up!

Bags of ice work just the same IMHO. Frozen peas especially... but I never could find big bags when over seas. Oye.

At the expo they were handing out reflective arm and leg bands. Maybe you can score some reflective schwag at your marathon!!! Hopefully they aren't as stingy with the schwag as the brits!

RazZDoodle said...

Ponytail, huh? My Xenia doll is coming together quite nicely! Mwahhhahahahahaha!

Xenia said...

Razz--That's so very disturbing.

Marcy said...

Seriously, What is up with all the skimpy reflective pieces on running clothes. It's like one small patch on a place that always gets covered. Gaawwddd.

Totally jealous that you got to scope out the Appian Way. Absolutely amazing that it's still mo-foer there. Those Romans I tell ya :P

BeachRunner said...

What an awesome run. To bad the Baths of Caracalla aren't operating anymore. Can you think of a better place to go after a long run than those tricked out Roman baths?

Running Knitter said...

Nice job on your 16 miler. Happy birthday to Mom!

tfh said...

Great 16 miles (and 2 hours sans Ipod!).

Happy birthday to your mom. If it makes her feel any better, my mom spent her bday with my grandpa and her younger sis, who ended up yelling at her and storming out of the room because she just can't get over the fact that my mom is a Democrat. My birthday gift to her was to call and listen to her talk about it for 2 hours without secretly reading the paper and "mmhmmm"ing at the same time.

The Laminator said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom!

Good job getting through the LSD even though it probably wasn't so fun. I suggest you take a look at my post from yesterday to give you ideas on how to make your next LSD somewhat better.

Have a great week, Xenia!

Merry said...

Hey Xenia,

Did you see the Ig Nobels this year had a prize for archeology?

According to Nature News: a team of researchers determined that dead armadillos were less disruptive of dig sites than live ones.

Nitmos said...

Damn I'm jealous of your running scenery. Especially since I spend each run going by this same deer corpse and watching it slowly disintegrate. It's just bones now.

Frayed Laces said...

Duct tape baggies of ice to your legs. Is that nerdy enough for ya?

Roisin said...

That's certainly an adventurous 16 miler!

I know so many priests and brothers who run and it always makes me laugh. There's a priest at a parish in one of the burbs here who has a 3:30 marathon PR. Damn!

Ted said...

Congrats on getting the 16 miles done. You are running in a lot of places that have historical significance. Me - None. Just cars with blowing horns and flying fingers. Trees. Houses. Plenty of roadkills! No historical significances here except for ancient cigarette butts and empty liquor bottles. They can be the future archaeological type to look for.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Happy Birthday to your mother too!

And sorry about the Evil Weather Gods. But good for you for persevering, not sure I would have, or if I did, I'd be far more whiny about it.