Saturday, February 16, 2008

South Bend Wrap Up

I survived a week in South Bend and lived to talk about it. After my no-go attempt at running on Sunday night, the temperatures rose to 14F (-10C) on Monday and I got in a nice 40 minute run around town. I had planned to use the trail along the St. Joseph River (see pic to left), but the water level was so high that the underpasses under the bridges had flood and were now covered with ice – no fun. Instead, I did loops along the down town streets. It had snowed on and off during the day and was snowing heavily when I was out. My left knee was aching after the run, but no acute pain.

I got a second run in on Wednesday after work. Since the city had scattered salt on the sidewalks during the day to melt the snow, the sidewalks were iced over nicely by the time I was prepared to run. Instead of slipping and sliding outside, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill in the Marriott’s work-out room. Even running at a sub 9:00/mi pace for 45 minutes didn’t cause any knee pain.

I’m now convinced that whatever I did to whacked out my left knee, it has something to do with stabilizing and controlling lateral movement. I think the knee is sloooowly getting better, but it sure is taking a long time. It’s been a month since I bailed out of Carlsbad and my weekly mileage is anemic. Since the start of the year, I've logged a whopping 77.4 miles with weekly totals of 7.5, 8.2, 0.0, 9.6, 5.8 and 14.0.

After only 23 hours in Phoenix, I’m on the road again (maybe I do travel a lot). My mother-in-law isn’t doing too well, so I drove my wife to Carlsbad, California Friday night so she could spend some time with her. I need to be in Torrance, California on Tuesday anyway, so I’ll stay down in Carlsbad for the weekend, rent a car and drive up to Torrance on Monday.

While I’m down here, I got in a nice 6 mile run along the coast this morning. There are so many people out running in this town; nothing like Phoenix (in so many ways). I got passed by a slew of people, including a woman who had to be 20 years my senior. She went cruising right by me and wasn’t even breaking a sweat. All I could do was give her a thumbs up. She looked that she’d been running for a long while and had the body to prove it. Perhaps excessive qualities of beer and too much rich food while on the road isn’t the best training diet for a runner. I’ll need to check the literature.


The drive from Phoenix to Carlsbad late on Friday night was uneventful other than having to drive through not one, but two US Border Patrol Checkpoints along the way. For those of you that don’t normally travel near the US border with Mexico, these are checkpoints along the road where all traffic is stopped in the Border Patrol’s relentless search for non-white travelers. There is something down right creepy about getting stopped by armed guards in military uniforms along the road at mid-night. Is this what we’ve really degenerated to as a culture?

The funny thing was that within a mile or so of the second checkpoint I saw a person run across the freeway. I'm so glad that stopping US Citizen for an ethnicity check makes so many people feel safe.

Take care.


Laurie said...

Glad your knee is feeling better. I have been dealing with runner's knee for months now. I have found that strengthening my quad has helped a lot. It controls much of the movement of the kneecap.

Ewen said...

Now that looks cold! You're game to venture outside Phil, even if it's a balmy -10C.

Good news about the knee settling down - hopefully a gradual increase in the mileage is achievable.

I remember a checkpoint on the hwy to San Diego. We were waved through - 3 white Aussies in the rental car must have been above suspicion.

Anne said...

Yes, yesterday was one of those perfect San Diego Saturdays, and I'm glad you got to enjoy it. Hope your mother-in-law is better soon.

In addition to ethnicity, they look for people driving vans. My uncle is a private detective with a tricked-out van for his job. He lives just north of the Temecula and gets stopped every time they are doing a manual check. He's Lithuanian, by the way.

Thomas said...

Finally I found someone whose 2008 mileage is even worse than mine. But it looks like we're both on the up again.

One of the things I love about Ireland is their welcoming of foreigners. There has been a lot of immigration in recent years, but as far as I know, ethnical problems have been minimal. Long may it continue.

Deene said...

scary about the check points for legal nonwhites, seems to be a lack of trust either way.

glad your knee is getting better.

J~Mom said...

"Maybe I do travel a lot". Ha! Yes, Phil you probably travel more in one year then I have in my lifetime.

Josh said...

You do manage to get around a lot! Holler at me when/if you come to NYC.