Monday, August 9, 2010

Vacation: eating poorly, sleeping oddly, drinking lots, and bloody nipples

Well, hello my trusty followers (yes the hardy half-dozen of you). I've been on vacation . . . from work, from twitter, from the blog, from most everything. I spent last week at Chincoteague Island, VA with the family, and extended family, and their friends and family. All in all there were twenty-two of us (7 of whom were less than 4 years old), so as you might imagine it was a grand old time.

The near-accident

Driving to the shore in the dead-middle of the night leaves one thing, near guaranteed that you won't have any traffic. We made it through Route 15 with barely a car around. Then around Baltimore without having to slow. Over the Bay Bridge with nary anybody around. It was great.

Well, I was cruising around in the right-hand lane sometime between 1:30 and 2 in the morning when something funny happened. Suddenly, I didn't see any lights ahead of me. This is a semi-commercial area, and there were cars on the road; I should have been able to see something. And, if I looked in the left-hand lane, I saw plenty of lights. So, I stepped on the brakes and stopped about 50 feet in front of a vehicle on its side.

Slowly, I inched around the car in the left-hand land & pulled over to the side of the road. Running to the car (a Ford Explorer, I believe), I saw the driver's side door open (though the driver's side door was straight up in the air) and an arm reach out of it. Another driver who had stopped to help came by and we provided an anchor for the driver of the vehicle to get himself out. While part of me thought the safest thing for him might be to keep him still, the thought that somebody would plow into the vehicle at high speed was enough to want to get him out of the car (fortunately, right around now, another oncoming driver realized what was going on and parked to the side of the road but focused his headlights to the overturned vehicle, illuminating it).

With the driver out of the car, we were able to figure out what happened - he fell asleep, went off the road, then back on, and overturned. He appeared completely unscathed, though we were able to talk him into being evaluated by the paramedics on their way (fortunately, many people out driving at this time at night are medical professionals, which certainly made for a better experience). He was more pissed off than anything else.

As soon as it was obvious that the situation was in better hands than I could provide, with assurances that medical and road cleanup crews were on their way, we got going again.

Check-in at the house was on Saturday, though we didn't arrive until very, very early in the morning on Sunday - see, I had a gig with my band, Landslide that took us until 10PM. It was a 5 hour drive to the beach, and we went through the night. Since this allowed the kids to maintain their regular sleep schedule, however, it was probably not all that bad an idea (though the near accident...sidebar... was something I would have liked to do without).

After getting to the house & setting up the bare necessities (CJ slept in the bed with Duffy & myself, Leila in her pack and play), off to bed (though I was so pumped full of caffeine that I barely slept), we woke up to the kids rumblings around 7 and prepared for the day. Alas, my dreams of napping the day away on the beach were dashed as soon as we got there (I had biked, Duffy had driven). There was a driving rain and a steady wind . . . it was cold and near miserable. After trying to brave the conditions for awhile, the skies truly opened up & we called it a day -- there was to be plenty of napping on the beach throughout the rest of the week, however.

As I was on vacation, my dietary rules were quite relaxed -- no non-seafood meat, try to eat something for breakfast, be "good" for lunch (typically a peanut butter & honey sandwich), snack casually, be reasonable at dinner, and don't go overboard on the drink. For the most part, diet-wise, I did well . . . I'd have done much, much better if Martin's potato chips qualified as low-calorie. Of course, every night I had copious amounts of booze - whether it be wine or beer . . . I did limit my margarita intake, though -- lots of sugar included there (whatever I can do to convince myself that I'm healthy, right?)

Workout-wise, I did much better. I went to the beach on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday -- each time I went, I biked both there and back (yes, even through the driving rain on Monday). It's the better part of four miles to the beach, so these were hardly "taxing" bike rides, but they were low-pressure, relaxed ways for me to get in a bit of extra exercise.

I was very, very happy with the amount I was able to run, though. I managed only two runs (Monday and Thursday), but they felt good, and I'm near-certain that I managed at least a half-marathon each time.

The Monday Run

  • From the house to the Wildlife Loop at Assateague Island is approximately 2.5 miles (source, Google Maps)
  • The Wildlife Loop is 3.2 miles (source, posted signs)
  • Approximately 2/3 of the way around the loop is a .5 mile trail to beach access (source, posted signs)
  • Along the beach, I ran for half an hour in one direction, took a quick swim, and then half an hour back in the other direction (somewhere between 1.5 and 4 miles each way)
  • Back to the beach access trail (another .5 miles)
  • Complete the Wildlife Loop
  • Back to the house (another 2.5 miles)

All told, this is somewhere between 12.2 and 17.2 miles

The Thursday Run

  • House to Wildlife loop (2.5 miles)
  • Wildlife Loop (3.2 miles)
  • Beach Access Trail (.5 miles)
  • Run along the beach to the parking area (2.5 miles - source, Google Maps)
  • From the beach to Wildlife Drive (1.8 miles - source, Google Maps)
  • From Wildlife Drive to the Wildlife Loop (.5 miles - source, Google Maps)
  • Complete the Wildlife Loop (-.5 miles as there was a section that I skipped - source, Google Maps)
  • Wildlife Loop to house (2.5 miles)

This was approximately a 13 mile run

The first run was just a fun "let's go out & stretch my legs". The weather was about near perfect and I was in a "it's my first day of vacation" mood. Along the way I saw an otter (too slow with my iPhone to get the shot), several wild ponies (too distant to make an iPhone shot worth it), beautiful shorelines, a horseshoe crab (by the way, that thing on the back of it, it's not a stinger -- a woman who was around me was damn near terrified of the thing when I ran past), some funky shells, and I found that if you run for far enough, you run to a point where there simply is nobody around you (this allowed me to take a swim with some privacy -- as I wasn't looking forward to wearing overly soaked clothing while running, it worked out well).

The second run was a more "let's get it over with" run, and I didn't dally (there was napping on the beach to get through). However, during this run I encountered a few firsts. The first was passing somebody in a run-down . . . she was running ahead of me, going her own pace. I was running my own pace, which was just slightly faster than her's. She looked back constantly. I passed her. Then, near immediately after that, I looked behind me to see another female runner gaining on me quickly. Now, those of you who know me know that I really don't care about my speed - and I certainly don't care if a woman runs faster than me. I was just curious if I could hold off any runner who was "running me down" (when I run most any event, I start toward the back and work my way up throughout the run, passing lots of people and barely getting passed myself -- though normally, when I'm passing people here, it's because they started out too quickly and simply couldn't keep up their pace). Well, I picked up my pace, and she ran past me like I was standing still. So, I had both sides of the experience in the span of about 10 minutes.

After getting back home, Duffy looked at me & horror was apparent on her face. I figured that, since I had neglected to put on sunscreen prior to an early morning jog, I was horribly sunburnt and I simply wasn't feeling it. "Your shirt!" she exclaimed & I looked down.

You know those tales that runners have "nipple issues" when they run? Well, I found that I'm far from the exception there. Bloody nipples that didn't really hurt until the next day (and are still horribly sore now). I'm claiming "badge of honor" on the shirt (though I did manage to get the blood out). But? Ewww.

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