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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sure wish I could shower.

Here's my bathroom:

That's way better than earlier this week, when we had a gaping hole in our floor. I got to take a good look at all of our support beams and plumbing (good news: no sign of termites, and our pipes are cast iron, not lead).

The pipes behind the tub started a slow leak a few years ago, and the floor has been slowly rotting through since then while our landlords wondered when the best time would be to rip the bathroom apart. Meanwhile, the bathroom sunk lower and lower over our alley (it's an old house, and the bathroom was added later, so it hangs unsupported off the side of the house). Finally it got to the point that I was taking 30 second showers because I was afraid of falling naked into the alley in a shower of tile and bubbles, and we petitioned the landlords for the repairs.

The plumbers came Monday. They tore the cast iron tub apart and broke it up with sledgehammers, then ripped up the floor. Beneath our linoleum were two other linoleum styles, wood, plastic tile, other plastic tile, ceramic tile, and hardwood. Then sub-flooring! Before they put the new tub in, the plumbers checked out the visible pipes, and discovered a few more that needed to be replaced. They did that Tuesday, and Wednesday they seated the new tub and had the carpenter replace all the rotten wood.
Next, they'll run pipes to the tub and redo the tile and flooring (none of which will match, unfortunately). Hopefully this will be done this week, because I'm tired of having no bathroom.

We've had use of the sink and toilet, but we've been bathing in the yard under a hose. Kidding! We've been driving all the way to the gym to shower. It's half an hour away in traffic, but luckily close to my work. It's still a pain, and so is the iron and ceramic dust all over the house, but it beats landing naked in the alley one day, rubber ducky in one hand and loofah in the other, so no complaints here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thanks for the track advice!

Thanks for the feedback on my track post. I think the consensus in the comments was that workouts can't be individualized in a group, and drop out if you can't do it...which sounds good to me. I do wonder if I'm getting the most out of my track time (usually my only speedwork) given that it isn't tailored to me or my upcoming races.
Someone suggested just showing up to the group and doing my own thing, rather than follow the prescribed group workout. Now, I wouldn't normally do that, since I like the support of workout buddies. But right now it's an option, because no one in my group is close enough to my pace to run with. We have a solid group of guys who are faster than me, and a group slower than me (plus large groups significantly slower, part of our beginners group).

I could go faster, and join the fast group...except there is no way I could complete the workouts that way. They're significantly faster.

I could slow down and join the slower group, but that negates the impact of speedwork. This group isn't "slow" by any means, but about 7 min pace for between 5k and 10k. It's a large enough difference that I wouldn't be doing the prescribed workout.

There is one runner who is very close to my pace, and I like partnering with him for workouts. But it almost never happens, because he invariably starts with the fastest group, then drops back! Sometimes we do the second half of the workout together, but usually we're all off by that point (I'm doing 400 jog, he's doing a mile at 2 mile pace, etc).

Anyway. We'll see. It would be nice to actually complete a training plan for a race the way it is written one of these days, and substituting my speedwork is not the way to do it! So maybe I do need some changes!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On track for injury

No, not right now. But a few years ago, yes!
I have this sneaking suspicion that the track is leading me to injury. The combination of no cool-down or stretching, hard workouts, and running after work on tired legs might be too much stress for my fragile little self.
And I kind of doubt the workouts we're given sometimes. Now, our group coach is really qualified, so I shouldn't question him. He ran 8:27 for 3000 in college, so - fast. But the other week, our workout was supposed to be three "broken miles" -
400 (30 seconds rest)
800 (30 seconds rest)
400 (long rest).

Do that three times. At mile pace.
I'm sorry, coach. Did you just ask me to do three mile pace? I mean, yes, broken miles, but still: that workout was hard, and I dropped out after 2 miles. My second 800 was pathetic, and I knew I couldn't hang on for a third mile. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but I feel like a lot of track stuff at mile or 2-mile pace - which is the bulk of our work - is too tough for me.
Am I crazy? What kind of track workouts are you running? And how do you warm-up and cool-down?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras began bright and early (pfft, bright, whatever. It's been raining all day) at the Rex Run. This semi-secret run starts in Audubon park with champagne toasts to Rex and his queen, followed by a lap in the park (about 2 miles), then king cake. The rule is, you can't pass the queen! But the king and queen never finish the whole loop - they do about 100 yards and veer off. I love the tradition, and I love that the only advertisement for the "race" is signs posted in Audubon park the weekend before, in which "His Majesty King Rex demands your presence at the Rex Run".

After the run, David and I went home, but this year I'm actually not working. So we decided to extend our run. We headed back out into the 34 degree weather (still raining, too!) and ran to Jackson Avenue, where we caught some of the Zulu parade. David will be 40 next year and is a life-long New Orleanian, and this is the first time he's seen Zulu. And I dragged him to it!

We ran into a friend at the parade whom we hadn't seen in a long time, and while talking to him realized that his father-in-law was Rex this year! Cool! I had some friends riding in Zulu, but we didn't stay long enough for their floats because we started freezing. So we jogged back, having done a cool 12 miles for the day (for David that is extreme, and he's now icing his legs). I made biscuits and fried bananas and now we're having coffee and reading the paper.

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! Sorry if it's just another Tuesday for you! ;-)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Thoth Sunday!

Thoth Sunday is the best day of Carnival!
Why? For one thing, it never rains. It just doesn't. Tradition is, it never rains on Thoth, and since I've been a New Orleanian, it has never rained on Thoth!*
Why else? Well, our church cancels service and instead has a wonderful jazz concert in partnership with the St. Charles Ave Baptist church that we rent from. It features Dr. Michael White and the original Liberty Jazz Band. 
Cute story from yesterday: I saw the 87 year old pianist in front of the church getting ready while I was on my run. He said, "Run fast lady!" and I said, "I will! I have to be back in time to hear you play!"

After church, we all walk through Audubon Park to my pastor's house on Magazine street for a wonderful party while we watch the parade.

And then David, who rides in Thoth, throws me tons of cheap crap! 
My pastor got this picture of David throwing beads
Thoth's theme this year was movie related in honor of the Oscars, and every float was a different classic film. David was on the Forrest Gump float and some of his special throws were boxes of chocolates!

*Thoth is the name of one of the krewes. It parades on the Sunday before Mardi Gras, Uptown, before Bacchus.