Monday, February 04, 2008

First challenge, a lot of chocolate, and an exciting game!

The first team challenge for the mini training program was Saturday: the prediction run. The object of this challenge was to pick a run time for the campus loop route, and then run as close to it as possible--no watches or other timing devices allowed. This was not necessarily meant to be an all-out run, just a test of how well we can pace ourselves by feel. I wanted a solid steady-state effort, so I figured on about 36 minutes for the 4.37-mile route, and I added 30 seconds to account for traffic stops, slick spots, and other mishaps. This actually backfired, as I was not obliged to stop once. I ended up with 35:36, which is 8:09 pace, right in the middle of my steady-state range according to McMillan. I was 54 seconds fast, good for 4th on my team and 5th overall. One lady on my team won with a time only two seconds slower than her prediction!

That night, we went to the Chocolate Festival, held here in Bloomington every year. After paying $15 at the door, you descend on what is basically a chocolate buffet: every kind of chocolate imaginable, in every form imaginable. Vendors had some of the more elaborate delicacies for sale, but the majority was free samples. I ended up spending two dollars on some chocolate-covered strawberries. There was also live music. I tried sipping chocolate, curry chocolate, dark chocolate, very dark chocolate, chocolate espresso mousse cake, coconut mocha chocolate cake, various fudges, brownies, and other cakes, chocolate-covered popcorn, chocolate-covered strawberries, mint chocolate-chip balls, etc, etc. There was more, but that gives you an idea. :)

On Sunday I worked off the chocolate binge with a 12-mile long run at 9:15 pace. Then we buckled in for the Super Bowl. I had no real vested interest in the game since my beloved Colts did not make it back this year, but then I remembered that Peyton Manning's little brother, Eli, is the Giants quarterback, and the Patriots were definitely in need of a good drubbing. I'm glad I watched because it turned out to be a very exciting game! The last two minutes was nothing short of spectacular. I still can't believe Eli Manning escaped being sacked and still threw a good pass to get them to the 24, I believe? And that catch, wow. Leaping catch, falls over backwards over other player, and still holds on to ball. That play right there really showed that the Giants just wanted it more than the Patriots. I thought it was nice how they kept showing Peyton's reactions as he watched. You could tell he wanted to be out there, but also how happy and proud he was of his brother.
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