So two weeks after leaving for England here I am sitting at my desk getting back into the swing of things in Charlotte.
We flew home Saturday. Again the kids did great. This flight was all through the day so no sleep involved this time. Luckily the kids were able to watch movies on the plane and I even got to watch one myself- The Blind Side which was excellent as expected. the only problem with the journey home was changing in Philly where you have to go through Customs and transfer your luggage and go through security again. We were sweating a bit on missing our connection even though we had 90 minutes between flights. Next time I would definitely consider paying the little bit extra to fly direct.
Got back into Charlotte, picked up the dog from the Sitter's and Lisa dropped me off 5 miles from home so that I could shake the legs out. I felt surprisingly good considering the flight and the fact that my body thought it was midnight. Kids slept well which meant Lisa and I did and it was out on the trails I went at 8.30 the next morning, felling a bit whoozy and not completely with it but happy to be meeting up with Jay and Billy. Four or five others joined us too and I managed over 90 minutes which was the longest for a while. It was great to be running with others again and the whole run would have been pleasurable had my stomach not been torn up- more than once I had to disappear into the woods and catch up again!
Then it was on to yard work and I had an hour and half window to cut the grass before Emily and Sophie needed to be taken to a birthday party. Just about managed that, spent the afternoon at the party and popped to the Office to print off my Boarding Pass for my business trip to Jacksonville, NC the following morning and had dinner at Salsarita's which has turned into a bit of a family favourite restaurant.
So still rushing around and no respite Monday as I had to get up early for my flight to Jacksonville. Monday I had earmarked as a day off from running so didn't need to worry about that at least. However, I hadn't reckoned with the chaos that must be Monday mornings at Charlotte Airport. Despite being in the Security line well over an hour before my flight, the lines were ridiculous and by the time I got through it was exactly the time of my flight. So I hightailed it as fast as I could across the airport but of course the flight had left exactly on time and the gates were shut. Luckily I was able to get on the next flight and my colleagues waited for me the other end so I could still catch a ride with them from the airport. I work for a Company called Actus, a construction management firm that specialises in managing the design and construction of military installations. We were visiting Camp Lejeune for a project review representing the Charlotte finance function so it was pretty cool to drive around the camp and see all the construction work we had done to help house Servicemens' families while their loved ones are off somewhere serving us all.
We stayed in a hotel just off the main boulevard that led into the Camp so my running options for the Tuesday run were somewhat limited. I did manage to scope out a 2 mile loop on sidewalks however and ran this 3 and half times to get my planned 7 in. I felt really good on this run and also my Wednesday run when I was back in Charlotte (this time for a long time hopefully!) and was able to meet up with the Dowd early morning crew for an easy 8 miles. It was one of those runs where you feel like you are holding back and the legs feel like coiled springs! Hopefully they will feel like that again tonight as I am heading into Mcalpine for a workout. Not following any Plan from Coach Tim at the moment so am setting up my own workouts still and tonight I've come up with one that will roughly involve 8*800m with 2 minute recoveries. I was originally planning to do this last night to give a bit more breathing space between the workout and the race I am entered in on Saturday (more about that later) but then I remembered that this was meant to be a bit of a 'down' week after last week's heavy work and that doubling up wasn't really compatible with a down week for me.
So I will be heading into my race on Saturday with pretty tired legs more than likely but in the overall scheme of things doing the workout will be more important than keeping the legs fresh for Saturday. I am running a 5k called 'Run for the Money' where the top three overall and age group winners all win cash prizes for the non profit organisation of their choice. I have run this race the past couple of years, winning it back in 2008 and coming second in 2009 when Cody Angell got his revenge on me from the year before. Cody has since emigrated to Australia and what with Boston on Monday and a few other races in the area attracting some of the faster local guys I am expecting that I should be able to help out the non profit I am running for (Catawba Lands Conservancy) without over-extending myself. You never know though! The course is particularly tough, lots of turns and a beast of a third mile so I won't be looking to kill myself or worry about time- next week's Skyline 5k which is the second race in the Grand Prix Series will be a much better gauge of my current fitness levels following my recent short lay off. 2 weeks after that is the third race in the Series (another 5k) and then there is a bit of a respite for a few weeks so it is likely that then will come the time that I 'sit down' with the Coach and plan next steps.