September 25, 2011

Day 20 (Sept. 22)

A thunderstorm rolled into the area about 4:30 p.m. I thought it was the typical Florida afternoon storm, and I thought the rain would clear long before our training group's 6:30 p.m. run. I thought wrong.

When I left work about 5:50 p.m., it was still raining. After walking to my car and trying my best to avoid the rivers and lakes that formed in what used to be streets and parking lots, I started toward our group meeting place. I figured the rain could clear. If not, our coach has indoor lesson plans. This is when things started going downhill.

Traffic was a nightmare (as it usually is when it rains). I finally got to my exit, and traffic was backed up on the exit ramp almost to the interstate. I figured there must be a wreck at the bottom of the ramp. I figured wrong.

While waiting on the ramp, I noticed a raging river. Problem: no river is usually there. I noticed this raging river flowing along the ramp and wondered where it was going. I found my answer at the bottom of the ramp: the road I needed to take to get to our training group.

After watching other cars drive into the deep water, I thought I'd give it a shot. I didn't really have any other options ... unless I wanted to wait for the water to go down. I'm not patient, so this wasn't going to work for me. Thank goodness I have an SUV, so I made it through. Problem #2: the next intersection was the same ... maybe worse. At this point, I made the decision to just go home. But, I still had to get through the water. After turning left through more deep water (off of the flooded road), I thought my troubles were over. I was wrong yet again.

The road I was now on was clear for a bit ... then I hit more water. This was definitely the deepest water I encountered. Cars were stalled. Some were just waiting it out. Eek. Since I knew I wasn't waiting, I had to make the decision to go through this deep water or turn around and go through the other two sections of water that I went through to get here. As mentioned, since I'm not patient, I really didn't feel like going back into the traffic mess I just managed to free myself from. I waited and watched other cars try to make it through. Most cars failed. But, trucks, SUVs and vans seem to be able to make it. Having a smaller SUV, I was still nervous, but I gave it a shot. It's a strange feeling driving through deep water and a bit unnerving to look around you and just see water. But, thankfully, I made it. And, thankfully, the rest of my trip did not involve flooded roadways.

When I finally made it home, I decided to run (must have been the adrenaline from the flooded roads adventure). But, since it was still sprinkling and lightning some, I decided to hit the treadmill.

I haven't used a treadmill in my training, and now I remember why.

I did find an Ashton-free "Two and a Half Men" on TV in the condo gym (I use this term very loosely), so that rocked. (Side note: I love Charlie Sheen and all his craziness. I watched the first episode of "Two and a Half Men" starring Ashton Kutcher, and I thought it sucked. Ashton seemed so dull and unfunny. Maybe I'm biased, though.)

Other than the superb viewing option, I liked nothing else about this experience.

I needed to do a 10-minute warm up, 15 minutes hard and a 20-minute recovery/cool down/normal pace run. The 10-minute warm up felt like it lasted hours. Even with Charlie, it was still boring. Ugh. I started in on my 15-minute hard interval, and it went really smoothly.

Until this:

The pesky safety key. I understand its use and realize this could be a good thing. Could. Not in my case.

Despite the air conditioned room and a fan, I sweat. A lot. I think I sweat more inside than I do outside. One of the many times I was wiping sweat off of my forehead, I hit the string to the dreaded safety key. And, I went from running at my fast pace to a dead stop. Argh! I was just getting in a groove, too. I started running again, but I lost all my data on the treadmill, and I had to estimate how much time I had remaining in my interval.

The rest of the run went smoothly. Until I hit the blasted safety key again. Argh. But, I got the run in. Despite being extremely boring (and that dang safety key), it went well.

I felt the sweatiest I've ever been when I finished, so I took a picture to document it. Hmm. Massive amounts of sweat don't really come across in photos. I think I look pleasantly dewy here. Not drenched in sweat like I was.

Also, you can see the crappiness of the gym in this photo. That is all of the equipment (aside from one treadmill that was beside me). And, this gym feels like a kitchen with the linoleum and cabinets, but at least I have it. I guess I shouldn't complain. I tried to get the TV with Charlie in the picture, but I missed it. Darn.


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