Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Aftermath + 15 miler

Since I was delinquent in posting about Irene damages yesterday, I will be posting about BOTH hurricane aftermath and my super awesome long run, in that order and without a creative title.  Consider yourself warned so if you are interested in only one portion of that you can skip to the appropriate section.

Irene has come and gone and we really lucked out!  Saturday afternoon the rain started up and by Saturday evening, the rain started coming down much harder and with high winds.  Being only a couple houses from a fire station we heard sirens all night.

We watched Mad Men on Netflix and I kept my laptop and phone plugged so they would be fully charged, expecting the power to go out.  I stalked a local news website looking for updates on what was going on outside.

Surprisingly our power flashed only once around 11:30 but came back on soon after.

At 3am, we got an automated phone call from hubs' grad school alerting us to another Tornado Warning...and after brief confusion we both fell back asleep seconds later.  We learned Sunday morning that when there's a tornado warning you're supposed to take cover and get away from windows...

It rained until maybe noon then the sun started to come out.

There was all kinds of flooding and downed trees around us (right down the street).

Route 1 was even closed!

Understandably so.

Here's my beloved canal towpath, post-hurricane:
 [credit for next 3 pictures]

I usually run under that bridge.

Here's what the above picture should look like on a good day (taken from the other direction):

This site has some crazy pictures from the damage over the weekend.  Including these local ones:

When taking the train up to NYC, you need to go through that tunnel to get to the platform!

 [no source provided except this site. it's #9]
Asbury Park, NJ boardwalk: This is the exact site of my first half marathon finish line.

Overall it wasn't so bad for us.  We survived and so did the 3 dogs we were responsible for, our friends' house had no damage and our cars did not float away.  Our friends were originally supposed to fly back in yesterday, but because of the weather and all the flight delays and cancellations, they can't get back until this Thursday.

We were able to go check on our apartment late Sunday after a couple roads had reopened and found our apartment without power and with about 6" of water in the basement.  The utility company estimated service would be restored by September 4th. 

Late on Monday we stopped back to bring ice over for our fridge and to throw out bad food.  While I was bringing out garbage I noticed the traffic lights outside our apartment came back on!  Early!  There was still water in the basement, but only a couple inches.

Basement flooding is a great example of when I am glad to be a renter and not a home owner:


Luckily we did not have anything of value stored in our building's basement.  I would also hope that when I do become a home owner, I would not store cans of paint, a mattress, a lawnmower, etc. on the floor of my basement when I knew it might flood.  

That oil or paint looks kinda cool in the water though...

Aaaany fart.
My weekend long run was postponed until Monday.  I was supposed to run 15 miles with 5 of them at race pace.  This is an all time longest distance for me!  And I did it alone, without music :)

I slept in until 8 and didn't start my run until 9:45, luckily it was cool out.

I highlighted my pace miles for your convenience and to pat myself on the back.  Mile 11, while a 10:31 pace, does in fact count, because I walked for 1 minute at the beginning of that lap, so my running portion was actually sub-race pace.

Race pace would ideally be around 9:55 for a 2:10 half marathon.  But an average pace of 10:17 would still beat my last half marathon.

I blame my fast start on the cooler weather.  It was only in the mid to upper 60s at the start of my run, and it felt great! In fact, some how for the first 1/3 of a mile my pace was in the upper 8:00s.  Clearly that wasn't going to last for 15 miles so I slowed down.

My pace was not very consistent though as I encountered several obstacles like branches and other debris on the sidewalks and in the roads. 

Small branch on the sidewalk.

While the 10 non-pace miles were faster than my typical easy run, I did not feel like I was working too hard or like I was going to die!  My heart rate stayed around my easy run HR range for a little more than the first half of my run and didn't get higher until somewhere around mile 9, but I think I would actually like to attribute that to the fact that miles 8-10 were a consistent gradual uphill.

I had a gu over the course of mile 6.9-7.1. (1:13-1:15 overall time).

Around mile 11.75 I stopped in a store to buy a 17 oz bottle of water for my handheld bottle.

At 12.68 (I only know that because I hit the lap button), my left quad felt a little tight so I stopped and stretched it quickly and walked a little bit, then took my second gu at mile 12.83. Exactly. I remembered that one (2:14 overall time).  I know you should only have those if you plan to be running for the next half hour, but I told myself it must be because I needed more electrolytes or something.

It felt better within 5ish minutes.  Was it the stretching? the gu? the walking? placebo effect?  Should I have had the 2nd gu sooner?  Should I have eaten salt? Was it all in my head??

I feel really good having run 15 miles at a 10:32 pace!  Strangely I was not tired yet at midnight yesterday despite the distance and my legs were not sore when I woke up this morning. Weird, brief quad tightness and all, it was a confidence booster.  Let's bring on this next half marathon!

Weirdest thing seen on my run?

This little guy was about 4" long and on a sidewalk next to a college, hundreds of feet from a nearby drainage pond that may or may not connect to a creek.

If you made it this far...Questions for YOU:

How are things around you if you were hit by Irene?
For me? See above blog post.

If you run longer distances + eat something on your runs: at what times/distances do you take something?
I know it varies by individual, but I'm having issues with getting this right.

Tell me something weird you've seen on a walk/run/bike ride.


  1. Wow! That's some crazy flooding! Blogging has made me realize how lucky we are not to have more damage. I was also very happy not to be a homeowner going in to this hurricane. Your progress since I've been reading your blog has been just amazing, you have gotten so much faster! For a 15 mile run, I probably would have Gu-d somewhere around mile 5 and mile 10. I try to keep about 5-6 miles in between Gus. Great job!

  2. I had to go to a wedding in NJ! We almost didn't get home, as the parkway was flooded and we got stuck in a small town with no map, unable to find a road that led out of town and wasn't blocked by a tree/puddle/river/yellow tape!

    15 miles is awesome.

  3. Wow! That was a strong 15 miles- great job!

    When I go out for longer runs, I eat quite a bit for breakfast and still my stomach growls by miles 5-6. Sometimes Gus and bloks take care of the problem, but other times I get so hungry I get hunger pangs! When this happens I usually start nibbling on an energy bar of some sort. Just remember if your stomach is hungry that means it's working properly and all is well. When you stop wanting to eat and get stomach cramps is when things are starting to head south...

    The weirdest thing I've seen on a run is a family of armadillos. It was weird because I've only seen them dead on the side of the road, never alive ;)

  4. We didn't have as much flooding, but we had a ton of damage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/hurricane-irene-hit-hard-in-st-marys-county-md/2011/08/29/gIQAKP8JoJ_story.html?fb_ref=NetworkNews&fb_source=home_multiline

    I usually Gu every hour of my long runs. I also do salt pills every 1.5 hours. It's what works for me!

  5. Wow those are some awesome photos!!! Looks like you were pretty lucky but i can't believe all the damage that happened
    I used to run before breakfast but now i eat first and i prefer it but i'm starving afterwards! My runs don't go much longer then 5k though :o)

  6. Oh, also, something weird I saw on a run - not that weird, but I saw a garter snake, it scared the crap out of me and I jumped about a mile in the air!

  7. damn, you were hit hard. luckily were were OK.

    for any runs over 13 miles, i eat 3 shot bloks every 4 miles and also take a salt cap (during the summer only). i also drink water constantly from the get-go since i dehydrate easily.

  8. Holy cow!! That is so much water! So glad that you are ok!! Great job on your run, and that crustation is totally strange!

  9. I regularly choose to use a gel with less than 30 minutes left. It helps me finish strong and prevents my frequent post-long run migraines. Beyond that, I gel every 30-60 minutes depending on where I am on my route and how I'm feeling. It's definitely not an exact science by any means.

  10. If it's a Gu I usually have half around 45-50mns and the rest around 1h20mns. If it's a cliff shot I at each above times. For some reason I can only do so much Gu at a time.

    Weirdest thing seen on a run? Nothing weird, but I saw a bald eagle and its nest while in Alaska. During a hike there too (just went there on vacation), we came across a black bear walking our way, that was a little scary.

  11. Alyssa- thanks so much! I've been trying so hard to get faster!

    Alison- I'm impressed that the wedding still took place, and that you drove to it! Snakes scare me too...

    Danielle- thanks! You're right, at least I didn't have cramps! I've never seen an ALIVE armadillo before!

    Donna- 5k distance runs were much simpler! No worrying about being 7 miles from home without food/drink.

    Kara & Kristy- I'll have to look into salt caps for next summer...luckily it is cooling down now, so it shouldn't be an issue again for a while.

    Stefanie- Thanks, we were definitely lucky considering the damage around us. I was so freaked out by the lobster/crawfish thing!

    Running On Words- good point, better to finish strong...

    TrailRunningChick- I like your half a gu idea, but with my luck it would get all over the inside of my handheld bottle pocket over that half hour in between. Bald Eagles are cool! I saw one flying in the air here in NJ about 5 years ago, but that was the only time. Black bears freak me out!

  12. Hey. Very entertaining post. I am in maine and we are all good post irene. I usually run with a camelbak and trail mix with mms. I pound a couple coffees before all my runs then hydrate during the run whenever my mouth get dry. I eat the trail mix every couple miles. That stuff is the best! Weird thing- my glasses i lost the week before while driving!!!


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