Week 10 – Tempos, Injuries, Heart Rate Monitor, Ramping Up

Week 1-9: 181.97 miles – 25:35:21 (8:26/mile)
Week 10: 31.78 miles – 4:30:08 (8:30/mile) | Last run: 14.47 miles – 1:56:09 (8:02/mile) @ Avg. HR = 162

It has been both an amazing and frustrating marathon training season the past 10 weeks + the 10 pre-training weeks. On the one hand, I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since I picked up running consistently again in my mid-20’s. On the other hand, I’ve been plagued with various running injuries that just won’t seem to go away. Shortly after my first entry, I had slight bout of tendonitis which went away after about 10 days of rest. However then I got hit with bursitis in my left foot and a potential knee injury, either way, I’m hoping that in the next few weeks everything holds up okay since I’m ramping up to averaging 32 miles a week for the next 5 weeks before tapering begins.

I bought the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor strap a few weeks ago and have been using it for all my runs and it’s pretty cool to use. I read Peter Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning book while I was in Iceland a few weeks ago and I’ve been following the heart rate table as best as I can for my 4 runs: Recovery, Aerobic, Tempo, Long Run. It’s definitely interesting to see how my heart responds to the different temperatures and paces that I run at. I must admit that running 11 minute miles on Recovery runs when I’m used to running 7 to 8 minute miles on normal runs isn’t pleasant but I’m standing by this Heart Rate Monitor training regimen.

Overall, while it has definitely been a frustrating season with these nagging injuries, I must admit I haven’t enjoyed running more than I am enjoying it now. I love running in the early morning and the city of Chicago is just an amazing city to run in. I’m also starting to get into biking and I’m definitely thinking about doing a triathlon in the near future. I think this winter I’m going to start swimming and maybe do my first tri sometime next year.

United Airlines Customer Service Props

I purchased a United Airlines non-refundable plane ticket for a friend a few weeks ago and recently, we had to cancel our plans due to a few things that happened. So I called United asking them to credit me back the ticket. However, they stated that since the ticket was non-refundable, there was a changing fee of $150 (Total ticket was $373.40, so that’s basically more than 40% of the ticket’s value!). In addition, even though I had purchased the ticket for someone, using my credit card, they said I couldn’t transfer the ticket given the fact that the ticket was non-refundable. So I was in quite the pickle to say the least.

However, the customer service rep I was speaking with, a gal named Axle, was very understanding of the situation I was in and proceeded to work with her supervisor to find a solution to this problem. After about 10 minutes, she proceeds to tell me that, and get this: United would refund my plane ticket in whole to my credit card! I was expecting them to say something to the degree of, we’ll let you change flights but there will be a smaller change fee but not a complete refund!

So United, you have my attention and my thanks. I figured, I’d give a public shout out to you guys and perhaps someone might come along and read this and may see how great you guys were tonight. Thanks again!

United Airlines

China Travel Tips

Wudaokou area:
-Pyros Pizza: This is a great hang out place with mostly international students. A lot of people from the States or Europe go there. The pizza is really good, 85 to 100 RMB about. Towers of beer that serve about 8 cups of beer costs 50 RMB. They have beer pong every Thursday night and play a whole variety of good music. On St. Patty’s day they serve green beer and green jello shots. The location is right past Lush after you turn right prior to arriving to the Wudaokou subway station. It’s next to Propaganda/Sensation.
-Lush: This place is open 24 hours and has free wireless. The burgers are great and it’s a place with a mixture of international students and locals. During the weekends, they play a lot of music and the middle of the place becomes a dance floor. It’s on the second floor above a Chinese bookstore. If you walk there from Wenjin Hotel, you cross the street and you walk towards the Wudaokou subway station and right before you get to the subway station, it’s right at the corner and it has a blue banner with black letters that says “Lush.” Burgers are 35-45 RMB and sodas are 10 RMB. Beer is around 15-25 RMB.
-Propaganda/Sensation: These are both bars/clubs. On Wednesday they have a cover of 50 RMB for open bar with a large variety of drinks. The dance floor is in the basement and it’s pretty big. The place is pretty dingy looking and dark but a lot of people go there. Around midnight the place gets pretty packed until 3-4 AM. Proganda usually has more people than Sensation since Sensation just opened not too long ago. It seems that Sensation has more of an international population and Propaganda has more Chinese people there. The location is right past Lush after you turn right from the Wudaokou subway station.
-Helen’s Cafe: This is a nice backpacker’s kinda bar. Tsingtao is 15 RMB and most other drinks are 20-25 RMB. Good ambiance and music. It’s about 400 meters or past Propaganda/Sensation.

San Li Tun Area
Vics/Mix: Big club that’s really nice. Drinks are 40 RMB generally. On Thursday night they have a 100 RMB cover for open bar. Big dance floor and the club is really loud and smoky. The location is by the Workers Stadium and across from Mix. Mix has more Asians while Vics has more of an international population. You can get a table for 800 RMB and you get a few bottles of Grey Goose and bottle service.

San Diego here I come!

I haven’t been back to San Diego since my friend’s wedding back in November 2009. I’ve lived in Indiana basically since December 2007 and this year is definitely the coldest winter I’ve experienced in quite some time so… warm weather is very welcome! From the looks of it, San Diego will be sunny for the next 5 days with temperatures in the low to mid-70’s. Given the fact that I haven’t really trained for the past 3 weeks due to the weather and completing the Boston Legal TV series, I think I may just run with my buddies on Sunday for the San Dieguito Half Marathon. We’ll see how I’m feeling and what they want to do. Either way, I’m super excited!

amazing san diego weather

Haha, nice boat

I just went on a cruise to the Bahamas during winter break and the NCL boat was nice. But… look at this boat! (It’s still just a concept, but it may possibly be made)

super nice boat

compared to NCL’s…

NCL Norwegian Jewel