Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Good Old-Fashioned Southern Road Trip

3 mile w/u + strides
Target: 200m-300-400-500-600-700-800-700
-600-500-400-300-200 w/60-90 sec. rest
Actual: Above, starting at 5:30 pace down to 5:15-5:10
2 mile c/d
Total: 9 miles

Charleston's Cooper River Bridge

After a few hectic weeks of work and travel, I was beyond excited to spend a few days relaxing with my parents and Jordan in Charleston, SC. Though Jordan frequently visits accounts there (and was actually in town the previous week), neither my parents nor myself have ever been. After receiving what turned out to be a fabulous hotel recommendation from a friend and a vague idea of some touristy things we wanted to do, our trip began to take shape. Once my parents touched down in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon we set off for our riverside peninsula destination.

Ma mere et mon pere

In short, though the trip was wonderful from almost every perspective, one area that proved less than pleasant was running. With lows barely bottoming out at 80 and highs cresting the mid-90s (with humidity percentages following suit in the inverse), finishing a run with shorts that looked as though I'd fallen into the Cooper River was pretty much the norm. On Monday morning's easy run with Jordan and my pops I didn't mind it so much. The pace and conversation flowed easily and we were able to steal a few patches of shade, plus it's hard to complain about the gorgeous view with the Battery to our right and the harbor to our left.

Enjoying some R&R on the pier near our hotel

Tuesday morning was a different story.

At Jordan's suggestion, we rose before the sun to venture across the bridge to Mt. Pleasant for a track workout. He's worked out once or twice before with Irv and his crew from On the Run, so we hoped to meet up with them for a few laps together around the oval. As we exited the car and eased our groggy legs into a long warmup jog, I remarked to Jordan that even at 6am the conditions were reminiscent of the sweltering 13.1 Chicago from several weeks ago. An auspicious portent it was not. Even though the workout Jordan had prescribed (read: made up during our jog) didn't sound terrible, my already sweat-soaked shirt indicated that it wouldn't much matter. With a burgeoning bad attitude rising quicker than the sun, I rather petulantly whined to Jordan that he should have to pull me along, just like old times. Though I'm pretty sure he hasn't done so much as a stride in the past few months, he agreed without hesitation. I had my old partner back in action and just in the nick of time. Within the first few intervals I could tell that my breathing was unusually labored and my heart rate quicker than normal. The hot, damp air seemed utterly devoid of oxygen as I struggled to gulp enough down in between intervals. After the first few I stopped clicking my watch and instead concentrated on not falling off Jordan's hip or, worse, dropping out. I overheard Jordan saying that the 800 was 2:40 and the second 400 was 75, but other than that I honestly don't know many splits. It's been a while since I felt quite so terrible during a workout, and that's saying something. It wasn't my finest hour, but thanks to JSK I got it done.

Though the workout conditions weren't ideal, our recovery protocol certainly was. The expansive whirlpool tub in our room and easy access to the hallway ice machine made a post-workout ice bath a no brainer. I replenished (possibly over-replenished) my lost calories with pumpkin french toast at breakfast at our hotel, the Vendue Inn, and a huge burger from Pawley's in Columbia on the drive home (as seen on Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"). Not surprisingly, a few good meals proved to be a great way to cap off our trip and erase any lingering disappointment from my workout! I can't wait to travel to Charles
ton again--only maybe I'll wait until autumn next time.