Snowbird: I'm in Florida, y'all. I flew down to Miami (or, as the French say, "Mee-a-mee") late yesterday afternoon. I'm here on business through Wednesday. It's downright balmy here, although a fierce wind has been blowing all afternoon.
My fiance, E., came with me; he was sick and tired of the cold weather in Washington. We stayed in Coral Gables last night, in a much-ballyhooed boutique hotel. But the room was tiny and cramped and the service uneven. The bed was Lilliputian: When E., who is, admittedly, 6'3", lay on it, his legs, from mid-calf on down, were hanging over the edge.
Greater Miami reminds me of Los Angeles, only more humid and anonymous. So today we hoofed it 40 minutes up I-95 to Ft. Lauderdale. Yes, the town that the 1960 movie, "Where the Boys Are," made synonymous with Spring Break. But Ft. Lauderdale has revamped its image, discouraging the drunken college hordes, and is now a relaxing and increasingly upscale beach spot.
Too bad I'm going to be at work all day tomorrow and most of Wednesday. Maybe I can sneak out an hour or so early to catch the sunset. We're staying in a gorgeous beach-front corner room here. You can watch watch para-sailers and sunbathers from our perch on a roomy king-size bed, which we did after deciding the winds on the beach were too much for us.
Running Update: Once again, I got my butt kicked on my Saturday morning run with my advanced 10k group. I was the last person to finish a fairly hilly and fast-paced 6.4 miles. At about mile 3, I thought I was going to break a blood vessel, I was working so hard.
So I did a body check: Feet? Fine. Calves and knees? Good. Quads and hamstrings? Starting to get tired, but okay. Lungs? Painful - I must have looked like a fish out of water in more ways than one - I was breathing in big, raggedy breaths. So I tried to concentrate on regulating my breathing and improving my form. It wasn't exactly falling apart, but my strides were shorter than normal.
I finished: I was at least a full 2 minutes behind the rest of the group, all of whom are aiming for 6-6:30 minute miles in the actual 10k. I'm just glad I didn't quit and start walking.
Afterwards, when I brought up the idea again of going into the intermediate group (as two other runners did when they thought we were running too fast), my coaches once again encouraged me to stick with the advanced group.
So did the other runners. Their message: If you just want get in a good jog, then go with the intermediates. If you want to improve and become a better runner, stay with us.
Well, okay then. I just hope I'm not in over my head.