These last two weeks since my last post have been filled with football, school business, and my on again/off again love affair with ITB pain. It’s been mostly football and stuff at school since we’ve passed our midterms time and are plodding right into presentations and papers that need to be written. In the time off from that, there’s been a lot of fun stuff we’ve been doing in the Owl Photography Club with workshops and I even gave a 101 presentation on the basics of controlling exposure in your photos. I am trying to plan the next workshop but have not come up with a good topic just yet, I think I have about two weeks before I need to be ready, so I hope the presentation gnomes visit me in my sleep to plant ideas. Last week’s Owls game versus Middle Tennessee State was much better than our home opener even though we lost again. The Owls managed to rack up perhaps three times as many total yards against MTSU than they did against Western Kentucky, so things should be even better in our remaining home games.
Yesterday (Sunday) was my first official 5k in six weeks since the Freedom 5k last month. It was overcast — it has been raining for four days straight with most of South Florida flash flooding on Friday night — so the temperatures were excellent for a great run. How great? So great that I PR’ed the race at 30:15.6, a 5k PR I am definitely proud of. That is 61 seconds faster than last month and over two minutes faster than my race in July. But it gets better! How? Thanks to now being 30, I snagged 5th in my age group! I even managed to best my old coworker Pepe by over a minute even though his group of four served as my pacers for over half the race. I ended up pulling away from them at about the 2.3 mile mark, at which point I also pulled my shoes off. I am not sure how I did it but I managed to hold their roughly 9:45 pace the whole time I was running. Frankly, I am not sure how I even held that pace the whole race! Even when training, I rarely hit splits close to the 10:00 mark, let alone running an entire race fifteen seconds faster than that. I am super excited about this new time since I am seeing time improvements despite only running once a week on average since the race last month, even with the ITB injury.
Coming up this weekend is the Champions Mud Bash, a race I have been anticipating since May or June. It will be my first mud run/obstacle run so it should be a ton of fun based on materials I have seen from other, similar runs. By the way things are looking, I am going to be running at least one of these a month until next summer although I may be doing two this month if I am up to doing the Superhero SCRAMBLE in Deerfield Beach next week. This also happens to be the site of December’s Warrior Dash, so it would basically be a warm-up for that race. My only worry now is that I will be getting my only pair of shoes super dirty here pretty soon and since my recent barefootin’ has only resulted in more hip pain, I need to get some new shoes STAT! I would like to try out some Brancas but I also want to try out the new Merrell Road Gloves from their 2012 collection but they are not being released for another few weeks. I may even finally try out some monkey toe shoes from Vibram or even those weird Adidas Adipure Trainers. I have eyed Vibrams for years and have never taken the plunge but I finally have a reason to, plus I could use another pair of shoes any way, I am already wearing through the flip flops I bought two or three months ago.
While not running related, as I was writing this, I took my niacin supplement and it just kicked in. I truly hate taking this stuff but my doctor seems to think it will help with my overall cholesterol numbers. This stuff sucks terribly. For those of you who have never had the displeasure of taking it, it flushes your skin after you take it. It does this by rapidly expanding your blood vessels and rushing blood to your skin. What does this feel like? Well, the first time I ever took it, I felt like I was going to vomit and my skin was on fire. I was very nauseous and I really felt like I was on fire, my skin was incredibly hot to the touch. Now that I have been taking it and my body is used to it, the flush is not as bad as it used to be but it still feels awful. Think about the last time you went to the beach and got sunburned, that’s how I feel right now. This stuff is awful. I want off this crap as soon as possible.