Monday, January 17, 2011

Getting *really* busy

Over the past three days I've launched a new website, given a presentation at a meeting of science communicators, nearly lost my voice, written one and a half columns, and run 21 miles. Other than the fact that I was supposed to write two columns and run 29 miles, that's not too bad.

I suppose the true test of a training regimen is whether you can keep it up when life intrudes. This weekend was the big conference of the year in my field, Science Online, and I was launching a new website, ScienceSeeker, at the conference. There was plenty of shmoozing and lots of events that were genuinely interesting to me, in addition to my own duties. I arrived at the conference on Thursday afternoon and almost immediately was at the hotel bar consuming drinks with people I only see once a year. Then it was off to the keynote address, more drinking, and more friends. Somehow I neglected to eat anything other than a few crackers. By the time I was back at the hotel, the bar was packed, and there was no way to get food. I guess I'd be surviving on beer. Fortunately, the hotel bar closed at midnight, so I managed to get about 7 hours of sleep before meeting up with several conferees for a 9-mile run.

As it turned out, I was the only one going that far. Everyone else was stopping after 5 miles at a 9-minute pace. So I decided to try to pick up the pace for the last few miles. I did all right on mile 6, running it in 8:13, but then my lack of food caught up with me, and I limped home at 8:57, 8:47, and 9:05.

The next day was scheduled as a recovery run, so I just did an easy 5 miles. I was a bit worried because that morning at 9 a.m. I was scheduled to deliver my presentation and launch the new website. Fortunately everything went off without a hitch, but as the rest of the day progressed, I gradually began to lose my voice. An evening of too much drinking followed by a morning of loud talking were probably to blame. At about 10 p.m. I had a nightcap at the bar and headed up to my room instead of joining the conferees for another night of revelry.

The next morning I felt much better, but I didn't want to burn myself out because I still had to attend nearly a full day of conferencing, then finish writing a column for 3QuarksDaily. So instead of the planned 15-mile run I did 7.5 at an easy 9:42 pace with another conferee. As the link attests, I did manage to finish the column.

I didn't do so well with the column that was due today. Even though I have a running rest day, the column is still not finished. I'm planning on completing it tomorrow morning before I do a 9-miler followed by 10 * 100 meter strides. That's what happens when you get really busy.

Fortunately, the work schedule for the rest of the week should be easier; that's good, because my running schedule just gets more intense: I'm planning 54 miles worth of runs, including my longest-ever workout, an 18-miler on Sunday.

I can't give you a summary of last week's workouts today because the Garmin website is down; hopefully it will be back up tomorrow.

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