Friday, January 4, 2008

My Home-Grown Midnight Run

I feel like alls I do these days is apologize for not writing enough, yet here I am, apologizing again. There's just not enough time in the day.

Rehearsals are in full swing here for "Suite Surrender," the play that we are doing here at the Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton, FL. It's a new play, a comedy, featuring nine performers, some musical numbers, and did I mention the dog? The normal rehearsal day is from 10am to 6pm, with an hour for lunch. But that's for the actors. MY normal rehearsal day is from 8:30am to 8pm, with 20 minutes for lunch, eaten as I do paperwork, make phone calls, or write my blog. Because the SM is the overseer of basically everything, and since I have no assistant, there's never a moment during the day where I can slack off.

All this means that if I am going to get any kind of running in to prep for the Miami Half Marathon on the 27th, I've got to either do it ass-early in the morning, or later at night. The problem with the former is that a) it's ass-early in the morning, and b) they sometimes don't unlock the pedestrian exit from the parking lot of the place I'm staying (more on that in a minute) until 7:30am, and that's too late for me. The problem with running in the evening is a) I'm exhausted, b) there are no sidewalks to run on, and c) not a lot of streetlights, either. What is it with South Florida and their lack of sidewalks? No wonder people drive two blocks instead of walking. They physically can't get there any other way!

I'm trying, though. I'm not getting in as many miles as I want, but for a half marathon, as long as I'm not shooting for any world record time, I'll be okay. I did do an almost 9-miler last weekend and will get in a 10 on Sunday before rehearsal (we start at noon.) And I'm learning to love the Saucony Pro-Grid Triumph 5s, though I am mourning the loss of my precious 4s, not so much for the fit as for the color -- bright green. Sigh...

The other hard thing for me is the weather. As those who've stuck with my through the summer training, my hatred of heat and humidity is well-known. And just as it was getting consistently cooler in NYC, I head down to Florida right in the middle of a muggy heat wave. The past few days have been fabulous -- for me, that is. Two days ago a cold spell started, it was actually so cold yesterday morning -- 35 degrees -- that even I didn't want to go out for a run, but only because I didn't bring any cold-weather gear with me. I needed to wait until lunchtime, when the sun warmed it up to 50. Today's warmer, but I was too zoinked to hit the roads this AM and will do so after rehearsal. But in the mugginess I've been using my AirAides and Succeed caps and they've helped a lot. I recommend them HEARTILY!! Love 'em both!!

With the Miami Half coming up in a few weeks, I do need to step it up a little. I'm not so worried. My coach says that I'll be fine, that I'm well-trained and haven't lost too much endurance. He hasn't let me down so I'll listen and not get too crazy, but I don't feel secure enough to not train at all. A few more long runs will be good, and I should get another couple of runs in through the weeks. As long as I don't attempt to set any land-speed records I'll be fine. Gosh, remember only a few months ago when the thought of "only" running 13.1 miles was like a walk in the park? I'm holding onto that!

Oh, my living situation -- I'm staying in my grandparents' apartment in Delray Beach. They died a couple of years ago and my parents kept the apartment. It's fine, but I'm the only one under 80 living there. And the gates that surround the apartment complex (it's one of those mega-retirement-home-complexes) are locked at night, except for the main gate, which is nowhere near my grandparents' building. Even though I am literally 50 feet from an entrance/exit gate, because I'm not a resident, I don't have access to it, and have to use the main gate. Frustrating!!!!

Did I mention my New Years? NYRR hosts the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run on New Years. The festivities start and end on the 72nd Street transverse. There's a costume contest and dancing beforehand, then at the stroke of midnight there's a huge fireworks display and everyone takes off up the East Drive for a 4-mile loop, with champagne at 102nd St. More dancing and fireworks follow. Tons of people turn out to cheer. It's a surprisingly fun way to ring in the New Year. The Team was having a party and then heading out for the Run. My roommate and her friend -- both non-runners -- were going to do the Run. I was in Florida, with no plans. Normally there's a 9:30pm show at the theater, with a party afterwards, but not this year, everyone was too tired from all the craziness of trying to open a new theater building. So I headed home, and after a delicious vodka (Xcellent Vodka, in fact, made with rye -- it's got a bite to it. If you like vodka, try it!) I decided to have my own Midnight Run, only instead of Central Park, it would be in the parking lot. At 11:55pm I put on my Team shirt, laced up my shoes and set out. Instead of dodging revelers and gaping at the fireworks I dodged parked cars and endured the gapes of the retirees who dared to drive home -- IN THE DARK (horrors!) Not quite the same thing, but you work with what you've got.

There's a superstition -- at least I think it's a superstition -- that what you do on New Year's Eve is what you'll be doing all year long. If that's true, here's to a year of good running!

Okay, lunch is way over. I promise to keep up on the Buckeye Outdoor log, so my training shows up, and as soon as we get past tech (next week) I'll have more time for writing.

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