Tom McCurdy's attempt to find Tom McCurdy

Lacing up the shoes again

I got back from a fairly long business trip a couple of weeks ago involving 1 week in Amman, Jordan and around 5 weeks in Abu Dhabi, UAE. During this trip I didn’t have many opportunities to run outside or play any of the sports that I usually participate in around this time such as soccer. This was mainly due to a lack of time, safety, and mostly extreme heat.

When I was in UAE I would often be out on a base working in either a large warehouse type of building with minimal working or outside testing and installing equipment. During the working hours the temp would be between 105 and 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Even at night the temp wouldn’t really get below the mid 90’s. So when I worked out I was doing so at the Hotel gym which was actually fairly nice for a hotel. I tried to fit in a decent amount of workouts on the treadmill in preparation for the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Syracuse , an event my team had won two years earlier resulting in a free trip to Singapore for the championship race last year.

I got back so close to the date of the race I only had a chance to do one what should be fairly easy run for me of around 5 miles. After I was done I was way too sore  and was surprised to see how different running on an uneven surface like a road and sidewalk was compared to a treadmill. I ended up not running again until the day of the race. When the race day finally came I was quite nervous about how I would end up doing.

I was with my team doing some warmups when they came on the loudspeaker at the race and announced that due to extreme heat the race was being changed from a competitive 3.5 mile race to a 2 mile untimed fun run. The funny thing was I didn’t even think it was that hot, and neither did most of the others what I would refer to as competitive racers. However the corporate challenges races are large events and even at the Syracuse race they had close to 8,000 entrants. Many racers aren’t there to race as much as participate in a fun team oriented event with coworkers and some of them may have been more affected by the heat than others and I can see why they would error on the side of safety from the race side. The race ended up still being run competitively by most of those who were planning to run it hard to begin with and I was surprisingly happy with how I did. I ended up coming in right on around 11 minutes flat according to a teammate who finished shortly behind me on a course that probably was a touch longer than 2. I also felt like I probably could have pushed it harder at the end a bit.

I had to take parts from old shoes to build a pair that I could wear with the blisters.

The very next day I had my first soccer game of the season. The league I play in is a fairly competitive soccer league consisting of a lot of younger players many with some college experience. (I myself played two years of club soccer and two years of varsity soccer at the University of Michigan.) I was really looking forward to helping my team out as they had a rough start to the premiere league (the team got promoted from first division after winning it last year) not yet winning a single game. I ended playing alright. I felt a bit uncoordinated compared to usual and pretty tight. I also could definitely tell that I may be in passable road race shape but was in awful soccer shape. I ended up producing a decent  number of chances but was missing that last all important step of finishing. I noticed that I started to feel like I was walking on bubbles by the end realizing I was going to have to deal with some blisters. We ended up losing that game fairly badly and I ended up putting my body through one hell of a change of pace resulting in me a long recovery time involving multiple large blood blisters on each foot in addition to pretty much everything feeling completely sore.

I basically had to rest until the next game which was a week and a half later. This game had us ranked one from the bottom against the top team in the league in the league cup. We ended up playing fairly well and ended 3-2. The team looked like a different team and it at least made me optimistic about the season. I played alright again, getting a few chances but once again failing to make the scoresheet. I ended up playing on the blisters from the last game after some attempt and taping and bandaging them in a way that would help as much as possible. I ended up only making them slightly worse but once again my body is almost completely useless today (the day after the game), and I’m not optimistic about tomorrow.

I really am trying to come up with a plan to attack getting in better game shape. It is just frustrating for now because every time I work out the recovery time is so long. I know it will come back to normal, I just am impatiently waiting between workouts.


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