Wednesday Workout Recap

This recap is pretty pathetic. Because after two great weeks, I failed miserably.

Well, not miserably.  I went to some intense rehearsals for a concert series that went incredibly well.  And I managed to get through the week without getting sick, unlike a number of members of the choir.  There was something going around and I’m pretty pleased to have not gotten it.  I chose rest over getting up extra early to run, and it was probably the best plan. I can’t afford to be sick before a race.

So my only entry for this workout recap is this:

Saturday – 8 miles in 1:50.  I ran outside and made it a goal to stay under a 14:00 pace.  No speed records here, but I managed to make that goal, and it felt great.

Then I went and sang another concert that night.  Ahh, the joys of being so cultured.

Next up?  RACE WEEK!

Eyes on Ferguson

The news this morning out of Ferguson is grim.  It’s unfortunately what I expected following the grand jury in the Michael Brown case.  Unless the grand jury came back with an indictment for first degree murder (which wasn’t going to happen), there would be riots.  And this morning, parts of St. Louis are burning.

I grew up in the St. Louis metro area.  I went to law school in St. Louis.  St. Louis isn’t a big city, but it’s a city I love.  (To tie it to running, since this is ostensibly a fitness blog, I learned to run while in St. Louis and ran my first races there.)  And St. Louis is filled with awesome people, hundreds of whom were out last night to pray and march and peacefully protest.  That peace was broken by a number of idiots who took the opportunity to rage and loot and burn down buildings.  This morning, reporters talked about an older woman who begged looters to spare her antiques store.  They didn’t.  People ransacked a Toys R’ Us.  What good does that do?  It just makes us look bad.  Us as a city and us as a nation.  Because the peaceful protesters, the ones out chanting and praying, just get ignored.

I don’t know if the decision made was right or wrong.  I went to law school and focused on criminal litigation.  I believe in the system. I know that the system sometimes get it wrong, but I have to have faith that it was done properly.  I know people who work as both prosecutors and public defenders in that court and these are people that I respect and admire.  The prosecutor claims he did what he could to try to avoid allegations that he was biased and presented more evidence to the grand jury than is typical.  Some are saying this overloaded the grand jury.  It’s a no win situation.  I plan to read through the documents just out of my own interest, but I don’t know that there is a right answer.  I do think that we don’t know the whole story and won’t know the whole story.  The release of the grand jury documents will help, but even that can’t explain what exactly happened that night.  And I agree that the media sensationalizing the situation hasn’t helped.  Right now, the big news is the violence and the looting.  That shouldn’t be the story.

What is true is that a young black man is dead.   This has ignited racial issues that have simmered for years and years in St. Louis.  The city is trying to pull together and to show the world that St. Louis isn’t just violence and rioting.  St. Louis is a great city, a city that yes, has problems, but a city that has wonderful people working to fix those problems.  I can only hope that this case spurs more positive change and doesn’t cause a downward spiral.

We’re better than this.

A Weekend with the BSO

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall empty before a rehearsal

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall empty before a rehearsal

I survived my crazy week!  My training plan did not, but hey, I didn’t come out the other side with a cold, so I consider it a win.

This weekend, my choir sang with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  It was an amazingly cool opportunity, so I’m going to gush about it for a few minutes.  Music geek and all.  Plus it’s something I want to remember.

We performed Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” a far cry from “West Side Story,” but still featuring some of his favored rhythms.  It was a piece I wasn’t familiar with before, but now I will need months to get it out of my head.   It’s a very challenging piece and a lot of work, even though it’s about fifteen minutes long.

Yes, that’s right, all this work for fifteen minutes of singing.  Because we had to clear out of the space, on Friday night for example, the concert was scheduled to start at 8 but likely started a few minutes late because that’s how concerts work.  By 8:35, I was in my car on my way home.

It’s been fun to see reviews in the newspapers.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Except for a few uneven balances, the Cathedral Choral Society from Washington National Cathedral delivered the psalm texts with admirable polish, not to mention character.

(Hey man, you try singing over a giant orchestra!)

From the Washington Post:

The first half of the program was all Bernstein: the symphony, a product of his earliest years, and the “Chichester Psalms,” a mature, after-“West Side Story” composition. Both are spiritual, maybe, but viewing spirituality in its most muscular form. The Cathedral Choral Society (J. Reilly Lewis, music director) was the chorus for the Psalms, and I must say it was nice to hear it in an acoustical setting other than the echo-y spaces of the Washington National Cathedral. The men managed the challenges of the tongue-twisting “Lamah rag’shu goyim” crisply, the chorus fielded two excellent soloists for two small appearances, and the performance was alert and nicely balanced.

(The acoustics of our beloved Cathedral are always panned – but you can’t find a more beautiful setting.)

Watching Marin Alsop conduct was an honor.  She wasn’t her normal dramatic self when conducting the choral parts because she was so careful to make sure that we knew what we were doing.  Not all orchestra conductors are so attentive to a chorus, and it was great to know that she wasn’t going to lead us astray.  But when the chorus was silent and she was conducting the orchestra alone, it was absolutely fascinating to watch.  It’s very different to be able to watch from the front and see her face and her expression.  Absolutely phenomenal.  And the BSO is an amazing orchestra.  I will be buying tickets to see them more often.


Wednesday Workout Recap

Another AMAZING week!

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – 7 miles with 4 at tempo.  I struggled to find my groove on this one, but pushed through.  1:35

Wednesday – It’s going to be very hard when I lose my mid-week rest day.  Soon (very soon), I want to add in biking this day.

Thursday – Flipped Thurs/Fri workouts because of the Cherry Blossom kickoff on Friday, so tonight, I did 5 miles on the treadmill.  1:06

Friday – 3 miles early in the morning, but the downside to this workout was that it was about 10 hours after my last run, so it was harder than it should have been.  40 minutes

Saturday – Definitely feeling the running today.  My hips are achy, so lots of foam rolling.  I don’t want to end up inadvertently pulling my back again.

Sunday – 12 mile run!  My last long run before Space Coast.  It wasn’t the prettiest run, and I finished in 2:48, but I just set out to run and not think about pace. I listened to Neil Patrick Harris’s autobiography while running and it was the perfect distraction for a run I wasn’t all that pumped about.

Two whole weeks of hitting every workout!  Spoiler alert, I kill that the following week.  But hey, it was good while it lasted.

Returning to the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler


That’s right, after a short hiatus, I’m returning to the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in 2015.

But how do I know this since the lottery doesn’t open until December 1?  That’s because I’m one of the 2015 Social Runners for next spring’s race!  I am so incredibly excited to be able to share and train with so many runners.  As I said in my intro at the Kickoff Party on Friday night, I’m here for the slow runners, the ones who are afraid they won’t finish.  Of course, I love the fast runners too, and I’m super excited to chat with everyone running, but if you are a slow runner and worried, please get in touch with me.  We’ll get through that race together!

I’m actually really impressed with all that the CUCB folks have pulled together for this race.  There’s a huge team of social runners and bloggers out there to chat about the race and encourage each other.  Check out the race blog and be sure to follow @cucb on Twitter.

If you’ve never run this race before, give it some consideration!  It’s a great ten mile run through some gorgeous scenery.  The lottery opens on December 1 and closes on the 12th.  It’s a relatively cheap race – only $42 (plus the processing fee), and it’s worth every penny.  If you’ve never run a ten miler before, it’s a great first race.  It was my first race over 5k, and you’ve seen the races I’ve run since.  Thanks to Cherry Blossom, I got hooked!  So come on out and run with me.  We’ll work through the training together.