Saturday, December 30, 2006

red wine is not a good carbo-load

last night, charlotte, my sister and i went to my favorite italian joint to carb-up. unfortunately, it is a lot of people's favorite italian joint, and by the time we got there, we had an hour and a half wait in front of us. fortunately, they have a wine bar next door where we could wait, keep warm and, of course, drink wine.

we polished off a bottle while we waited and then made the very-wise-decision to have another during dinner. thanks to everything we ate, we weren't very tipsy, however, the bottles made for two very tired little girls that had to run the next day.

we were going to try to meet at the park at 10...which moved to meeting at 10:00...and then to 10:30 thanks to yours truly. ~yawn~ i could *not* get out of bed. i finally got my act together, and met up with char and we groused all the way up to the gym near the park.

we also groused for the first 5 miles of the run. my foot hurts. i hate carrying my water bottle. i'm tired. i shouldn't have had coffee, cause i have to pee. there's too many tourists in the bathroom and there's no toilet paper. i'm cold. how many more miles?

i tried my first chocolate goo, and it tasted kind of like frosting. not bad, but slightly disturbing.

for all the complaining, it wasn't so bad. we were running 10, so we decided to run a full loop and then a middle. that way when we got back to where we started we'd be more than 1/2 way done. the strategy worked and the last 4 miles were practically breezy.

after our run, we had an afternoon of decadence. first, the steam room. then, brunch with a friend of ours complete with a shared dish of mac n cheese. yum. finally, a massage at the trusty massage place. aaaah. 'twas good my friends, 'twas very very good.

today's mileage: 10.0
total mileage: 338.4

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"you're gonna lose weight!"

time off is good.

i'm lucky enough to work at a company that closes between christmas and new years, which, aside from huge bonuses, is the best present a company can give its employees.

anyway, i did have to do a few things, and as you know, my connection at home has been spotty, so i went over to charlotte's apartment where she recently installed wireless. we drank cappuccinos and did our respective work with vh1's best year ever in the background.

i brought my running stuff so we could do the 4-5 miles and we were off.

on the way over to the east river, we had a bit of "street-running to do". running on the street unfortunately is fraught with cat-calls and the like, and today was no different. as we headed east on 23rd, weaving through the crowds, a little old man who i think had a walker, looked at us and accused: "you're gonna lose weight!". it was almost like when you're older relatives pinch you and say that you're getting too skinny, like loosing weight would be a bad thing.

i think it's my favorite street-comment ever.

today's mileage: 4.0
mileage to date: 328.4

semi-related craziness & some linkage

item one: "polar bearing"

i check my e-mail this morning to find an e-mail from ramon with "Polar Bearing!!!" as the subject. uh oh.

Definition of Polar Bearing: Art of going thru discomfort, pain and senseless massochism as a person submerges him/herself in a cool liquid.

Well, in this ocasion I hope the person is you, and the cool liquid will be the Atlantic Ocean.....

Hola, this is Ramon, your coach, inviting you for to a fun Polar Bear day!! Join me and other fun loving friends for a 3-5 seconds (or whatever you can handle) jump in the Atlantic Ocean as part of our annual Polar Bear.

Please reply to this e-mail if interested in this fun crazy way of starting the year. Last year we had about 14 people. If you think it is a crazy idea, many people think that doing a marathon is crazy and freaking hey.!!!! .. you are doing it !!!

Things to bring: Swimwear (this is a PG13 show), towel, warm clothing and your crazy fun energy !

your coach, the one with the accent !"

i'm not sure if he's crazier for suggesting it, or if i am crazier for actually thinking that this sounds kinda fun. i've realize that in my 30-year-old-year, i'm accomplishing all sorts of crazy, weird things...and maybe this should be one of them?

item 2: removable tattoo ink

a Concerned Friend sent along the following links with an offer to pay the difference in the cost of the ink.

what do you all think?

When love isn't forever — the removable tattoo

Freedom-2: Self-expression without Regret

me vs. treadmill (and more!)

i'm back in ny now, but i'll fill you in on the last few days...

tuesday morning i went with a high school friend to see bouv's parents. we had a great visit - steve's brother was there too, with his sister-in-law & niece. it was really good to catch up with them, everyone's doing well. and oh my goodness is steve's neice a doll! she's a year-and-a-half or so, and she decided early in the visit that we were going to be friends. she'd come over and want to sit on my lap, or give me the little people bus to play with, or just snuggle for a minute before taking off for the next distraction. cute cute cute!

after that, i had a family day, and i decided to try to run on the treadmill in my basement. the treadmill is at least 10 years old, and a little bit springy for me, but i went for it anyway. however, the treadmill won again - well, actually it was the basement. our furnace and stove are down there, and it was *hot*. was the first time i was down there since grizz died, and it was freaking me out a little bit so after 3/4 a mile, i called it quits. ah well.

yesterday i got a ride back to the city (yes!) and then had practice. it was a little chilly, but i kept with the shorts. christine was laughing at me again. and when i told ramon he was stuck with me for another season, he said he was quitting.

we ran two-mile repeats - a little less than a mile warm-up, and then 2-miles with reasonable effort, a little less than a mile recovery and repeat the 2-miles. it was good but definitely cold. i'm still enjoying the fun of running faster than i could, and it makes me excited for next season.

today...a bit of work, then a 4-5 miler, then cocktails. after jan 1, no more booze until the marathon. i also got a really sweet e-mail from anthony (the husband of a co-worker from gt) who was able to come home before christmas after his bone marrow transplant. he gave me all sorts of encouragement and tips...and the best part was this:

Your dedication to your cause is a great thing that your doing. I can't believe there are people out there that are so caring!

i'm not going to lie...i got a smidgen teary-eyed.

yesterday's mileage: 5.6
total mileage: 324.4

Monday, December 25, 2006

and to all a good night

christmas at home always involves the following things:

1. a trip to tj obrien's, the original home-for-the-holidays bar-hang-out.
2. christmas-eve-day trip to the holyoke mall with my sister for last minute christmas shopping.
3. hosting christmas eve at our house (we have a great christmas house due to an extra-large christmas tree).
4. my parents going overboard on presents under the tree (i swear the size of the piles hasn't shrunk in years) and eating bacon & egg sandwiches specially prepared by my dad.
5. another dinner at nonna's christmas day, even though everyone is beyond tired of eating.

this year was no different except that i was probably going to be doing more cooking than usual, and i was going to have to fit some running in. saturday night was the night out to tjs - had a really fun time catching up with our little crew and some other high-school folk i haven't seen in ages, and managed not to have too much of a hangover when i woke up the next morning.

christmas eve-day shopping wore me out even though the mall wasn't nearly as bad as we thought it was going to be, and since i had given my mom most of the recipes for our dinner, i thought it best that i help cook as well (for all you foodies out there, we had a boneless pork roast with a spice rub, mashed potatoes with caramelized onions, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, roasted asparagus with parmesan.) so no running for me on christmas eve.

by the way, have i complained about how warm it is yet? this is the most unchristmasy christmas ever. but onward with the overly long post.

after opening (too many) presents, eating and watching a very cute movie called millions, i decide it was run time. i only had to go 3-4 miles, and so that meant to the end of my parents road and back. i left the ipod at home since it was such a short run, and took off into the chilliness.

the run was an easy one, and i was awake so didn't feel very creeky. i've only however took of down that road and never come back up, and this time i was particularly aware of all the downhills i was going to have to tackle on the way back up. hmmm. i shrugged it off and remembered the run was just a tiny one and continued to enjoy it.

as i approached the end of the road, i noticed a man in a santa hat walking ahead. the closer i got, the more santa-like he looked. as he heard me approach, he turned my way. he even had a white beard. his jacket was blue and shiny, but his eyes were merry and very santa-ish.

"ho ho ho!" and a sloppy grin.
now i thought he might be drunk. it was not quite 1.
"merry christmas" i cheered as i reached the end of the road. "this is where i turn around."
i'd like to say that he was smiling when he said "you're chasing me *again*!" but it might have been a little more like a leer so i picked it up a little, and called back "have a happy holiday!"

people say there's weirdo's in the city but i'm probably more nervous running on sparsely-housed and heavily-wooded road then i am in central park after dark.

i conquered hill after hill with little difficulty but a tiny pain in my right arch, and was happily sprinting in the final stretch when out of NOWHERE a very MEAN very LOUD dog charges in front of me and stops barking and snarling at me like crazy, blocking the path into the driveway.

see what i mean?

my mom has stories of this dog and it's not a nice one. let me start by assuring you that i like dogs a lot. i've never had one, but i like 'em. however, i am no dog whisperer and if a dog is aggressive and without leash or owner, there's other places i'd rather be. our neighbor saw this particular dog chase a cat and then when it caught it, tore it to pieces. facing this little bastard down was not how i wanted to finish my run.

so there we stood literally in the middle of the road, with him barking *so loud* and crouching, looking like he was going to snap any second. i couldn't remember if you're supposed to be aggressive or passive so i went for more aggressive then not. with no sticks in sight (to throw - i'm not that aggressive), my counter attack was to take a strong stance and yell "hey!" back at him. awesome, i know. if you're laughing right now, you're allowed.

in the meantime, i can't believe that no one in my house (which is a bit set back from the road, but not that far set back) or any of the neighbors can't hear 1) the crazy dog bellowing and growling like mad or 2) me yelling "hey!" repeatedly at him. so i start moving towards him, and he moves back and around, and we're kind of circling each other in a knife fight...until my back is to my house and i start backing up the driveway until he backs down and trots on off.

i go into my house and my parents are both in the living room and i exclaim "how did you not hear that!!" they confess to hearing a dog, but my dad thought it was down the road so they didn't bother to check on me. after retelling the story a few times to them & my sister, my mom, who walks a lot, and just throws a stick when she sees him, says "i think he just wants to play."

yes, if playing is looking like you want to tear my face off, yep, then i'm sure he was just out looking for a playmate.

so i guess i'm going to have a fancy new running accessory for the next few days. it's called "a stick."

merry christmas, every one.

today's mileage: 3.3
total mileage: 318.8

a very merry chrstimas...

click me.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

ah, fresh meat.

when i woke up in a sweat in my overly-steam-heated apartment this morning i suspected that it was warm outside, even if it was rainy. sure enough it was 57 degrees. it's *december 23rd!!!* it is NOT supposed to be almost 60 degrees outside. it made me glad i'll be trying to do something to stop global warming.

i was up late so i took a cab, and was happy to find that charlotte made it to practice because i just didn't feel like running on my own. handsome is still injured and so is drew, which is sad and so frustrating fo the both of them. drew's going to try to run on the 26th and see how he feels, and i need to check in with handsome, but i really hope the acupunture did some good for his knee.

because we ran 20 last weekend, i only had to run 8-10 miles. since i had a train to catch, i opted for the 8. it's so funny tha 8 miles is no longer even daunting in the littlest bit. we've been so well coached, thank goodness.

the run was uneventful - charlotte and i haven't seen each other in a while, so we had a good gab. when i came back in (charlotte was continuing on for another 4 after a water stop because she missed the trails), all the "kids" that are training for the spring season (the season in between arizona and the one i just signed up for) were already out stretching.

as i stretched myself, i almost chucked as i looked them over. they're probably 5 or so weeks into training, if that. less "seasoned" looking, a mish-mash of athletic-wear not necessarily designed for running, looking exhausted and proud. us "vets" heard someone tell his check-out mentor that he ran 5 miles for the first time ever, and we applauded. i thought to myself, as though i had been running for years, "i remember the day..."

we were talking with coach christine, and she excitedly said "so jen! i heard you are going to mentor!" grinning ear-to-ear i said yeah, i'm nuts. she said she thought i was going to be a great mentor, and that she's always amazed when people are brave enough to sign up for their second event when they hadn't completed the first yet. ha. yes...brave, stupid, hopelessly optimistic - whatever you prefer.

cheers from massachusetts, christmas greetings and a run update for you tomorrow.

today's mileage: 8.0
total mileage: 315.5

Friday, December 22, 2006

and she just keeps running

i've unofficially lost my mind and decided to run in the san diego marathon with team in training.

in june.

before you panic, i'm going to be a mentor this time 'round, which means i'll pay my own way instead of fundraising. i could have opted to fundraise with a lower minimum, but i'm going to give you guys a rest until next year.

so i'll be guiding a flock of newbies through the process of training and fundraising, and i'm excited to explore this new speed of mine and see if its sustainable.

training starts feb 15th. who's comin' with me?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

another taste of fast

again, sorry my posts haven't been timely - i'm without connection at home, which is driving me a little crazy.

we had practice last night and still the (globally-warmed) weather has been in our favor, so i was sporting shorts, much to the wonder of my teammates and coaches. what! it's in the 40's, it's fine. anyway, no real assignment for the run - it was our choice of distance: and inner loop (4), and upper or a lower loop (5) or a full (6). i decided i would do 5 or 6 depending on how i was feeling so i headed north to the top of the park.

i don't know *what* has happened to me in the last week or so, but all my aches and pains and "crunchiness" is just not there lately and i was all speedy again. i decided i would push to maintain the speed and go for 5 miles since i would be working harder vs. a longer, more leisurely run.

by the time i got back down to 102nd on the west side i knew i was running around a 10 minute mile, even with the harlem hill thrown in there. fun!

i ran the 5 miles in 51m25s!! which is an average of 10m17s per mile. i don't know why or how i've improved so much over the last 2 weeks but it's really cool to see such improvement. the problem will be holding back - i can't run a marathon at that pace, or even close, but now that i've felt that sort of run, i can't help but want more...

which leads me to the fact that i'm completely nuts (you probably already realized this) and i'm considering signing up for san diego in june! don't worry though - i would apply to be a mentor, guiding all the newbies through the whole process and instead of fundraising, i would cover my expenses. training would start in mid-feb.

i'm not sure if it's wise, considering the climate project, but i don't think i'm ready to stop running. who knew this was going to be infectious?

after my run, i rewarded myself with a 1/2 a pastrami sandwich and a hot dog from katz deli with some friends...yum. only after a run could you eat that sort of meal completely guilt free!

yesterday's mileage: 5.0
total mileage: 307.5

Monday, December 18, 2006

and she goes for 20...

the day did not start as i would have liked, with a leisurely breakfast and time to actually think while packing my bag.

instead, i had accidentally fallen back asleep after shutting off my alarm...and woke up at 6:37 - 13 minutes before i had to be on the upper westside. [insert expletives of your choice here - i'm pretty sure i used them all.] i threw my clothes on, tossed a pile of stuff in my bag, put on my brand, spanking new sneakers, put some peanut butter on some almost-stale bread and tore out of my apartment to get a cab.

thankfully, i was not the only person that was late, so i didn't get left behind. at about 7:15 we packed into cars and headed out to jersey. the more we got into the suburbs...the colder it got. of course, i don't have running pants yet, and this made me a little nervous, but ramon reassured me i'd be fine once i started running.

i don't know if it's because i didn't have charlotte there, or because it was a few days of rest, it could have been the new shoes & great weather or just some peppy tunes on the ipod, but i was *cruising*. while this may seem good, it usually turns against you. the whole strategy behind running a marathon is to "save some for the end". now, i didn't feel like i was pushing all that hard. but when i got to the 6th mile and it had only been an hour, (holy crap! i'm running 10 minute miles!) i got a little nervous.

i typically *average* a 12-minute mile for a long run, and i know i usually start i was going way faster than a normal first-6-miles pace. i tried to turn it down, but i don't think i did that until about mile 12.5 - and that's when i really started to feel it.

my left quad was really mad at me and very crampy. and then my tummy turned against me and i basically ran the last 7.5 miles with a stomach ache (owe).

but...i still finished in less than 4 hours - 3hours and 50 minutes, which means the average was about an 11m30sec mile. and today, today i'm not that sore. i'm really happy with the run, although i didn't feel as great as the 18 miler when i finished, i learned a few things:

1. be careful about pacing. the coaches are right
2. i *can* be faster, and i'm probably stronger than i think
3. this is not something to experiment with now, but for the next marathon

so 26.2 is in sight. i know i can do it, i think it will just come down to how much i can enjoy it - and after that run, i think i've realized i'd rather have fun and cross the finish line with a smile rather than a wince.

yesterday's mileage: 20
mileage to date: 302.5

days to marathon: 26

ps - the neighbor i was "borrowing" my wireless connection from just put a password on, so connection is dicey - if i'm not posting as often, that is why...i'll try to get back on sooner than later!

Friday, December 15, 2006

off topic: saving the world

in light of the recent excitement with the global-warming-presentations-in-tennessee-with-mr-al-gore :) i thought i might be wise to start a new blog, given some of you might only be interested in the running, and not so much in the global warmly talk (although you should *all* be interested in it! :)

anyway, the new blog is "my climate project" - a play on al's organization's name, the climate project. i may change it eventually, but i haven't decided. soooo, if you're interested in all that, i'll be writing there as well.

i found out today i've committed to presenting 10 times over the next year. wish me luck.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

a long, long day (part 2)

yesterday ended with a terrible night’s sleep after i cried out all that writing. i had to be up early today because we had an all day meeting with ge. it wasn’t going to be a hard one, but all day client meetings are tiring. i was also really antsy about finding time to call home so i could say good bye to the grizz before my parents took her to the vet.

right around noon, we were taking a little break and i happened to check my cell phone to see if my mom called and there was a 615 area code on a call I had missed. i shrugged and after a few minutes, almost yelped out-loud! 615 = tennessee = al gore = climate change project!

remember how months ago i applied to be one of 1,000 people al would be training to give the presentation on global warming that he gives in an inconvenient truth? well, yesterday I found out that the owner of green team had been chosen and was i jealous. so today, when I realized tenneessee had been a’calling that my invite easily could have been lost with the job and apt change. i held my breath, checked my voicemail and sure enough – i was going to nashville.

it was all i could do not to jump up and down and run around the office. i was beaming! glowing! i im’d practically all my friends on line to tell them the news. it is such an opportunity and chance to spread what i think is the issue that needs to be tackled right now.

i realized i needed to call my mom to check on her and the cat. mom was crying because miss kitty wasn’t doing very well, and she was nervous grizz was going to get upset in the car. she kept talking to mom (yes, cats do talk) but wouldn’t eat and was barely even taking water. i was getting upset at work, and had to go back to the meeting so i told her i'd call back to have her put the phone over to the cat so i could say goodbye. i almost didn’t tell her about the training, but i thought it would cheer her up, and it did.

i was such a mixed-bag of emotions: sad, distracted, excited, happy, proud, guilty. what a mess.

around three there was another break so i called back and no one was picking up the cell. finally, i tried the house phone and got my mom, who burst into tears and said “she just died in my arms.”

i started crying, but i was really really happy that we didn’t have to take her to the vet. the little thing knew where she wanted to die and my mom loved her so much, it was time. my mom said that she had prayed that grizz would go at home. and if you know me, you know i'm not really religious. but today, well today, i think someone/something was looking out for us– thank you.

grizabella, you were a good, cuddly, lovable, sweet pal; a proud specimen of a cat, glamorous ‘til the end.

love you, kit-cat. our home isn’t going to be the same without you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

a long, long, long day (part 1)

and i'm exhausted.

i'll start with practice last night because i did go. it was a really good practice - great weather, and i worked hard.

we ran from 90th down to about 81st and back 6 times. on the way down, we'd run easy, and on the way back, we'd run hard. the first 3 times were a 3.5 or a little higher. then the last three times we were supposed to run 10-15 seconds faster. of course i forgot my watch so i had to go on feeling. i pretty much kicked ass, worked hard and felt really good after.

i came home and wrote a post...but i couldn't post it so this is what i wrote...(warning: it's sad)

grizabella the glamour cat

grizabella is my second cat. my first cat, midnight, was an outdoor cat and after following us on a summer’s evening walk was chased into the woods by a ratty dog that lived at the end of the road. i think i was ten, and not only did i make a plethora of crayon-drawn missing cat signs, but i made my dad drive me up and down the stretch of road where he ran into the woods while i hung out the window shouting “miiiiiiiidnight! midniiiiiiiiiiiiiight!”

after a few weeks of that and mysterious black-cat signings around where he disappeared, i sadly gave him up to a life in the woods.

and then along came grizabella. she was a surprise that i got in the parking lot of yankee spirits, in a cardboard box, and i immediately burst into tears of joy. i was 13 and had been desperately begging for a new cat pretty much since we lost midnight. she’s 1/2 siamese, a little petite thing, with a star between her eyes and little white boots. i thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world, and i was in my musical theatre phase and so after one of t.s. eliot’s felines she was named.

grizz nursed me through countless jr. high and high school troubles and heartaches. she slept in my bed every night, crying outside my door if i accidentally locked her out. she always knew when i was upset and would come sit on my lap and cuddle accordingly – i cried a lot into that fur. she didn’t like anyone outside my family, but she was our girl.

but when i was 19, we broke up. i don’t know what it was, but when i came back for christmas sophmore year, grizabella had decided she wanted nothing to do with me. i think she was mad because i left her. regardless, no amount of coaxing, begging, bribes or trickery would get her to be my friend again. all i ever got for my trouble was hissing. i was really sad for a long time, and then it just became The Way Things Are, and i didn’t think much about it. when i would go home, i'd try to be nice, she’d ignore or hiss at me and that would be that.

she’s 17 years old now, and she hasn’t been doing so well lately. she’s been having trouble finding the litter box, and has spells of not eating or drinking. when i went home for thanksgiving, i went down to the basement to see her (that’s where she hangs) and she was laying in her favorite spot down by the furnace. i went over and sat down cross-legged beside her and softly said hello. grizz was tinier than ever, so skinny, and seemed extra whiskery. her breathing was really labored, made more dramatic by her tiny little body. she looked at me, and slowly got up and came and sat in my lap, and started to purr like crazy.

i started to bawl like a little girl, because it surprised and touched me so. but i also knew that it was probably more of a measure of how sick she was than how much she wanted to be friends again. i hung out with my girl in my lap, talking to her and crying and scratching her head and under her chin. i didn’t realize until that moment how much i had been bothered by her not liking me, and i was really sad that i knew it meant it was probably time to say goodbye.

i went upstairs and with a quivering chin told my mom we had to have her put to sleep, because she just wasn’t well. i cried more, and she cried and she wanted to see how she did for a little bit because there were days that she was better than worse. mom didn’t want to go do it, and i didn’t blame her. we decided we’d wait a bit but that an appointment probably had to be made, and if mom couldn’t do it, i'd go over christmas break.

i was home last week, and grizabella seemed to be worse. i got really upset again, and mom said they might take her in this week. i was lucky to be home, and i said my goodbyes, but when my sister said that they made an appointment for today, well, i just don’t want her to go. i kind of want to be there, with her, when it happens, but i can’t tell if she’s in pain and if she is i know we can’t wait because no one wants her suffering. it’s just awful.

yesterday's mileage: 5.5
total mileage: 282.5

i am no. 11041

on the way in from my run this morning i got the mail and a bunch of official paperwork from the marathon had arrived. forms, what my race number is, what "corral" i'll start in, where to pick up your race number, shuttle info. i am not quite freaking out. not quite. but getting there.

i really cannot believe how quickly these four months have gone.

being a stickler about training is treating me well, physically and psychologically. i might even be getting a little faster, but no promises there. my shin/knee pain was annoying me again this morning but i just tried to ignore it and after a while i was able to. 4 short miles later and here i am back at home eating a waffle with peanutbutter n honey.

more later...

today's mileage: 4.0
total mileage: 281.0

days to marathon: 33

Monday, December 11, 2006

day off due to bad singing

i was beat after the whirl-wind trip to massachusetts so opted to have my day off today instead of my cross-training day. well that and the damn people singing outside my window last night. well, maybe not right outside, but somewhere in the viciity that sure as hell felt like right outside at midnight.

now, i'll confess that i myself have been a member of singing groups, even a capella ones. but *who* holds rehearsal at midnight on a sunday. it sounded like 3 or 4 girls singing the same pieces of vaguely familiar songs. over. and. over. then they started with that keane song that has been in every cw/wb/upn/whatever-it's-called show, 12 girlie movies and god knows where else, singing along to the cd, singing the first verse through the chorus again and again. just when i was wondering to myself if it was 311 that you called to report really stupid noise complaints to, they decided to call it quits. i can't wait until the album comes out.

so yeah, i slept in. we have two off days on the schedule this week because we're going back to the trails in new jersey this weekend. 20 miles on the agenda...but more about that later.

so this week will be:

monday - off
tuesday - 4 miles
wednesday - practice (probably 5-6 miles)
thursday - 4 miles
friday - crosstrain
saturday - off, but maybe yoga
sunday - 20 miles

and tomorrow, we're having a little photoshoot for the tattoo auction, ha! keep your eyes peeled for some promotion...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"she's like angelina jolie!"

yesterday i went home for a friend's birthday party in worcester, ma. my friend haven and i had a fun drive up - great weather, no traffic and he has an amazing ipod. we also saw some great billboards. i'll post a picture or two later.

i drove from my house to worcester, which was about 40 minutes or so. it was the first time i've driven in a while and it was fun to be behind the wheel, radio cranked, cruising along the highway. i had a moment of panic when i realized what street the bar was on - it *could* require parallel parking. growing up in "the country" we didn't have to learn to parallel park. not even for the license test. anyway, i digress.

the party was a gathering of friends from college, most of which i haven't seen in ages. catching up with everyone made me really happy and snuggly, even without alcohol ;) everyone was really supportive about the run, and really excited about "project tattoo", promising to spread the word far and wide. as i was talking to a 2nd degree friend, she was asking about the run and said that my friend candice said "she's like angelina jolie with all the causes she's supporting!"

i could only hope to be so hot.

but seriously, the spirit of that compliment was definitely in the top 10. it put a huge smile on my face, it was so cute. thanks candice.

i got home to brimfield at a reasonable hour, and got up at one to head out for another run to nonna's house. the day was *gorgeous*. blue skies. 36 degrees and on the rise. a little breeze. i started out and had a new ache. in my right leg was the kind of pain that i used to think was a shin splint - muscle pain right next to my shin bone, in the front of my leg. it slowed down a fast start and after a few minutes of it not going away, started to really make me mad.

i tried to talk it down, stop that. it's a beautiful day, and i have no time for you to be complaining. so just stop now. and loosen up already! why do you have to be so tense! yeah, i'm a crazy lady. the one bad thing about the route i take to nonna's is that it is a lot of downhill in the first 1/2 mile (which while mentally "easier" is not actually easier on your body) and then is followed a bit later by a long, although gradual, hill. hills are not good for shin pain, and there were a few moments that i had to walk and try to literally shake my leg out.

once i crested the hill though, i had on more downhill and then it was nearly flat for the rest of the way, so i pushed through. once the pain dulled down enough for me to ignore it, i was going at a pretty good pace, and even with the slow points and stretches at the beginning, i cruised into nonna's right on schedule. yeaaaah.

back in the city and it looks like it's going to be a good week weather-wise for running...and i think it's time to start counting down to the marathon.

oh! and the tnt'ers training for honolulu ran today!! congratulations to larry (one of our honored teammates) and the hawaii crew for what i'm sure was a great run! i can't wait to hear all the gory details! xoxoxoxox

today's mileage: 6.1 miles
total mileage: 277.0

days until marathon: 35

Saturday, December 09, 2006

a brisk mornin' run

since it was beyond cold yesterday, i decided to switch the saturday off day to friday. the regular schedule has everyone running a 10k on sunday, which i can't make because i'll be up in mass for, oh, less than 24 hours but in any case, i wanted to run both today and sunday, so that meant getting up early this morning.

i don't really have winter running gear yet, so i wasn't sure how miserable i'd be out there. i checked the temp and it was (ug) 25 degrees. i wore some yoga-type pants, my long-sleeved running shirt and a hooded sweatshirt. and gloves.

it was funny to run saturday on the eastside - it felt like a week day. and it was cold! especially on the way down to the bridge. i don't know if the cold numbed me or what, but my shin splint didn't ache so much today, which was a pleasant surprise. the wind once i got down below delancy was almost unbearable, and my hood kept falling off, so my little ears were bearing the brunt of the cold. overall though, it was not as bad as i thought it was going to be, and unfortunately i have no exciting stories to share so i'm going to go ahead and cut this post off before it gets any more dull...

today's mileage: 5.3
total mileage: 276.2

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"on a non business note"

well to our coach. aka, he's not talking about mileage or pacing or what to eat/not eat...

ramon's great.

I just want to make sure that you knnow how much the coaches appreciate everything you do, all your efforts fundraising, and for just being a great bunch, you are truly an inspiration and it is our pleasure and an honor having to 'deal' with you every wednesday and saturday (at least those that come to practice...hint, hint). We hope that your experience with TNT is being what you were promised and what you deserve. Sooner than you think you'll be at the starting line of your marathon or half marathon, once there look back and remember what got you there ! We can't wait to see you crossing the finish line, share tears of happiness and make fun of you as you walk 'funny' the day after,he,he, but mostly we can't wait to call you 'Freaking Marathoner or Freaking Half Marathoner'

no strikes today

because i was tired from practice, i was able to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up a little before 7 and head out for a run.

it was in the 40's, yay, so no gloves or hat for me. my shin splint was a little more sore (oh yeah, the little bastard is back) than i would have liked, but i since i know it goes away eventually, i've just been pushig through the soreness, trying to get "uncruchy" (crunchy is how i feel before i'm warmed up) as quickly as possible.

aside from wed. practices, i haven't done many short runs lately and this one went well. i ran to the manhattan bridge and back without feeling too terrible at any point of the run. these litlle ones are so weird because by the time i'm really getting into my groove, i'm done. it is nice though, to end on a positive note.

today's mileage: 4.5
todal mileage: 270.9

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

not *so* cold

practice tonight was a relatively easy one - run the 5 mile lower loop and approach it how you will be approaching the marathon - racing, goal time, or finishing. well, charlotte and i ran it chatting but going at a decent pace, coming in at our average time on the nose. so i think we did well. i was mad because i could have warn shorts, it was almost balmy compared to yesterday.

the hawaii folks are in taper-mode which means they're running only like 30 minutes a go or so. i'd say i can't wait until that phase, but that will mean we'll be in the less-than-two-weeks-until-the-marathon-zone, which still gives me an ulcer, so let's not think about that.

demps had a good way to discourage me from missing practice this month. his idea for the third strike is that i would have to wear some sort of sp-i mean *yankee* logo during the marathon if i hit the third strike. scary, and probably a perfect way to keep me from any skips. anyone else have any suggestions? if so, let me know by tomorrow.

oh, and the rules:
• a cross-training substitude for a running day is okay, as long as decent effort has been put into the workout
• sickness is an excused practice, unless it's just a headcold. a hangover does *not* count as sickness
• christmas is an off-day, no matter what the schedule says

okay, off to bed if i'm going to make it up tomorrow...

today's mileage: 5.0
total mileage: 271.5

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

strike one


so i didn't run today. i walked 4 miles too and from work (at least), but i did not run. ~sigh~

when i got up in the morning, the tempurature was so cold that i knew i couldn't run outside. i haven't gotten to the store to get approapriate winter running gear. i don't even have "normal" gloves (i lost my one pair a month or so ago). i debated going to the gym, but then i would have been later than i wanted to be for i decided i would go *after* work.

and we know how that turned out. aaaaaaaaak.

i didn't leave until a bit after 8:30 and i just couldn't do it. i had a huge headache and just, well, just couldn't. i just don't know how i can be so strong some days and such a wuss some others.

so notice the title of the post. three strikes and...what? what will be an appropriate dis-incentive to make sure i stay on schedule?! suggestions welcome in the comments.

tomorrow practice - 5 mile loop, but we're going to "race" it. i better run fast or i'm gonna freeze.

and in other news...i'm going to try to get the tattoo-auction going on monday!! so start spreading the word. there's nothing up yet...but my good pal euroskip bought - no, i'm not kidding. get those pay-pal accounts ready! =)

Monday, December 04, 2006

done for the day...

with training that is.

i managed to drag my butt out of bed a little after 6 to go to a 6:30 spin class. as i hopped on my bike i almost immedialy got into an accident because hanging in front of me was the most gigantic moon i've ever seen. i really though i must have been seeing things or looking at a sign in the wrong way because...picture the biggest harvest moon you've seen, then quadruple it in size. gorgeous.

spin class was uneventful. i couldn't quite get into it because i don't really like the teacher or the music, which makes going all out more difficult. she's the kind of teacher that 1) plays a bad mix of club music, new madonna and random 80's songs and 2) says things like "yeah. almost there" and "push through it" in a complete monotone. a female ben stein. but i got a solid work out in, so i'm happy for having gotten up so early.

i think i'm going to have to hit paragon for some winter running supplies today. it's officially cold.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

december training schedule

last month...eeeee! i am *determined* to stay exactly on schedule this month, at least in the sense of making sure i doing what's required. i'm telling you guys this so that i stick to it. that way if i don't, you can call me on it.

am going to switch the days around a bit though, because i've decided that i don't like to run the day after our really long runs. and schedule this week is going to go something like:

sunday: off
monday: cross-training (spin)
tuesday: 4-5 miles
wed: practice
thursday: 3-4 miles
friday: 5-6 miles
saturday: waiting for e-mail because i can't do the race on the schedule sunday, but probably 10-12 miles.

hopefully the weather will cooperate so i don't have to deal with the damn treadmill.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

shin-splint, defeated!

that might be a little too strong but hey, creative license right?

so as i've said, this was certainly not the most successful week as far as training goes. i don't know if it is getting used to the new job, general business, fall malaise, or what but day after day i could not get my butt outside/to the gym to train. the only good thing about not running this week was that my shin-split seems to have retreated. i noticed yesterday when i took the first tentative step down my stairs and for the first time in a month, it didn't hurt. i can't say that i'm sorry to see it go. i'm still icing just in case.

and then i managed to make today's run much harder than it needed to be with a series of Bad Decisions.

1. staying out until 3:45 am thursday morning, given it's my 2nd week of work at syrup. i had solid reasons to be out (the scots were in town, gt treated me to dinner, abbi's b-day/i'm-going-to-mexico-farewell party), but it was still dumb because...
2. no nap on friday. after strugging through the day on 4 hours of sleep, i couldn't leave work at a reasonable hour on friday because syrup had some peeps over to the office. i didn't want to skip the first social event of course, and then there was a necessary trip to brooklyn for my friend lauren's birthday party. skipping was not an option, esp. since she slaved away on my birthday helping me bbq prep.
3. 3 beers, no dinner. we had snacks at the party, and i had maybe 3 mouthfulls of whatever. the beers made me more sleepy than drunk, but duh not eating the night before a long run? plain old dumb.
4. no music because i forgot to charge my ipod.

i was ridiculously tired this morning when i woke up to eat - i did my typical have-some-cereal-at-6-and-then-go-back-to-bed. did i mention too that we are now starting at 8 instead of 8:30 because the new season has begun? gosh, i've been running for a long time. i woke up the 2nd time with time to get the train to the park...and then opted for another 30 minutes of sleep and taking a cab. laZY. it was *so* very worth it though. i even debated skipping practice, but knew the guilt would be overwhelming and it eventually got me out of bed.

i was a little late, and it was cold, but once i was kind of awake i was looking forward to running sans shin splint. we had to do anywhere from 16-18 miles. ramon said if you're not feeling it, you could even do less but that it was now really important to listen to what's going on with our bodies because we could always go long tomorrow. charlotte was going to have to run a race in the middle of our run (so she can qualify for the 07 nyc marathon) so i was extra sad i didn't have my ipod. we were going to have to split up after 5 miles or so, and the thought of running 11 on my own made me want to throw up.

fortunately for me (although not for him) handsome is battling the same it band issue that drew is. he's not as bad off, and can run, but it's very painful and so ended up running with us today. now send *him* some good vibes, because being injured completely sucks. so the three of us ran for 5 miles, char split off back at 72 to go run the race, and handsome & i ran 12 together. i think even though we were going slower than handsome's usual pace, the starting pace (where i'm usually extra extra slow) was a little faster than where i usually am. i was nervous about this at first but figured it wasn't a bad time to see since i didn't have high hopes for the run anyway given how tired i was.

it was good to catch up and handsome is funny so he's an entertaining running partner for sure. he decided to call it at 12 and go talk to our coach, which was very very smart, given what i know about it bands. so then i only had to do 4 with no music and no company, which was feasable.

except i totally ran out of gas. it's really what it felt like. by the time i got to the top of the hill after demps turned at 72nd st, i was exhausted. i wasn't sore, or out of breath, i just had next to no energy. those 4 miles were *so* slow. i really felt like i was never going to get to the end at points, but i just tried to people watch and deal with it. one more goo and some water leftover from the race, and i was feeling okay but not great.

i ended up finishing right on track for time, which probably meant the first 12 were faster than the last 4 but that's okay by me. the only thing that hurt on me were my feet because i still need new shoes and we were doing big distances on pavement for the first time in a while. and despite the last 4 miles, considering the Bad Decisions, i felt like i did okay. but i'm considering all this "lessons learned" and i'm determined to be very strict for the rest of the month.

because that's all there is to go. one. month. of. training.

i'll save that freakout for another post.

today's mileage: 16.0
total mileage: 266.5

Thursday, November 30, 2006

he's not only fast, he's smart too.

i'm talking about handsome of course. by the way if you haven't checked out his blog you should because he's quite funny.

anyway, he was reading my post about my hyper-competitive-fundraising disorder, and the man has a good point. his point is that while it won't get me a special number, i can take a bit of credit for his and drew's fundraising because it's partially my fault doing that they are running in the first place. and so, when you think about that, if i make my $10k...when all is said and done, that's at least $17,600 for the leukemia & lymphoma society. which isn't anything to sneeze at.

thanks demps.

but i'm still going to auction of the butt. =)

on another note, sorry for the lack of posts this week. i've been feeling a bit out of sorts and getting used to my new job and oddly exhausted. i haven't run since sunday due to various life circumstances and i feel tremendously guilty about it. we're running 16-18 saturday...and i'm hoping that at least not running much this week has allowed my shin splint to heal a little more than usual, although it still pinches when i'm going downstairs.

and finally...a few shout outs.

1. happy birthday's to mel & abbi!! welcome to the 30-club ladies.
2. please send some healing vibes in drew's direction. he's still battling the issues from the long run at the trails, and if you remember how frustrated i was when i had my it band issues, you know what he's going through.

Monday, November 27, 2006

yet another (although less noble) reason to give me money.

because i want to be in the top 10 fundraisers in the country for this season.

i can't remember if i'm mentioned that i'm secretly competitive or not...but i am. you're probably thinking - hmm. well she doesn't *seem* all that competitive about her running. well, that is because i am scared to death of all this running stuff, mostly of injuries, even though i'm doing pretty well. so where does it come out? well, in the fundraising arena. i think right now that i'm the 2nd highest fundraiser for the new york city chapter of team in training for the arizona marathon. sweet right? yes, but good enough? negative.

today we got our weekly e-mail about the race and they announced that the top 10 fundraisers for the country get to wear special numbers. under that...anyone that raised $8500 gets a travel bag. hrmmm. the girl that's ahead of me, katie, is ranked THIRD in the country for fundraising. THIRD. katie is a sweetie who spoke before our 18 mile run. her younger brother is fighting leukemia and doing well, and she's raised over $10,000, which is amazing. at this rate, while i'm kinda certain i'm going to be able to get the bag, i want the top ten.

so bring it. i'm not going to be satisfied with some tote. it's time to raise some more cash, catch katie and get my soon-to-be-tattooed-little-butt into the top ten. oh no, i didn't forget about the tattoo. it's looking like my ace at this point.

if you really want to save my ass (so to speak), there's a few things you can do...
donate if you haven't already...every single dollar counts. see if your company matches and take advantage.
• if you've already donated, or you can't donate, spread the word!! take a few minutes and tell people about what i'm doing, if you have a blog, or you know people with blogs, ask them to give me a little linkage (thanks again matt!)
• have great fundraising ideas? send them my way. i'll give you credit, promise.

and if you are more of the instigating type, and would like to promote "project tattoo jen's bum" or have ideas as to how to do so, send them my way too. i'm going to need contacts of people who can spread the word...

you guys rock, i know...let's kick some butt the final few weeks.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

mama needs some new trainers

my plan was to run late today so i could enjoy the crazy-nice weather. i should have got up early in the morning and gotten it over with instead though, because going up to the park to run late on a sunday when you're tired and a little whiny.

but i did.

i set out around 5:30 for the park- we got a break this week since we had run 18 last week, so we "just" had to run 10-12. even though the mileage is so much lower, i still get nervous before these runs. weird? maybe but i do. they also have turned off all the water fountains, which is really annoying. so now we have to carry water in addition to our yummy goo snacks. i don't have a "water belt" yet (add it to the list of geeky accessories i need to buy) so i carried around a water bottle.

i opted for a full loop (6.2) and a middle loop (4). i tried a different approach for dealing with my mile 1-3 aches and pains. i acknowledged they were there, remembered they would go away, and tried to ignore them. it kinda worked, and by 30 minutes or so into it, i was cruising. well, maybe not cruising, but not going at a snails pace either.

once that happened, it was kind of strange to know that i was not going to get too tired or sore for the rest of the run. i have, after all, run 18 miles! =) i almost was...bored? i think because it was not a huge challenge, and my tunes are getting a little old. i think i'm going to have to start adding to my marathon list (hint, hint) and mix it up a bit.

and so today's mileage brings me up to the big 250 mark, which means i need to think about a new pair of kicks. i'll take these into the running store and see if they recommend anything new based on how i'm wearing these in, and some of my arch/shin splint issues. i'm excited for new shoes except for the dinero...

today's mileage: 10.2
total mileage: 250.5

Friday, November 24, 2006

a quickie

~yawn~ i just woke up from falling asleep on the couch a bit and realized i hadn't written about today's run...

i'm tired cause we hit the mall at 8:30 for crazy-shopping-day, otherwise known as black friday. i cut myself off after a few hours (like 2) and it was back home to run.

after catching up on more lost, i headed out from my house to nonna's again. the weather today was much kinder, in the 50's and sunny. today i could enjoy the country scenery, and from a view i don't usually get. i got some great photography ideas on the way, and even loosened up earlier than yesterday (although that shouldn't be surprising given the cold, wind and rain).

despite being super slow at the beginning, i caught up to marathon pace and finished at nonna's right on time for my 1 hour and 12 minute deadline. and then we went and had too much italian at a local restaurant. two glasses of wine put me in sleep mode, hence the dozing on the couch.

i'm back off to the city tomorrow, and i'll do my "long run" of 10-ish miles at the park on sunday. it was a good trip home...

today's mileage: 6.1
total mileage: 240.4

Thursday, November 23, 2006

i earned my turkey.

indeed i did.

i got up this morning at 9 with the plan to leave the house by 10:30. challenge number food in the house i like to have for breakfast. dad offered to make me bacon and egg sandwiches, which i love, but its not exactly pre-running food so i settled for an english muffin and a banana.

it looked very very cold from inside the house where i sat planning my route with the google pedometer. we live so far out, i was not exactly sure that our road was going to be ON the google pedometer but it was. since i haven't run since the 18 miles, i figured i'd do 5-6. plus we don't have to run much this weekend...between 8 & 12 i think so i figured i owed it to myself to play a little catch up with the mileage.

i checked the mileage from my house to my nonna's (grandmother's for you non-italians) which was a little over 6 miles. not bad. i checked the weather. bad. 40 degress, "feels like 34". yuck. and it was raining. steadily. did i mention i also do not have proper running pants yet? oh yes, i was prepared. since technically we can run in shorts in the 40's, i decided to brave it. i had some cheap gloves, a long sleeved shirt and, although i tried to protect my ears, everything i could find kept driving my headphones uncomfortably into my little eardrums. warm ears or music? music, no doubt. i was ready.

i ghetto-wrapped my ipod again and stepped outside. it was COLD. instead of complaining i just started going. the rain was steady, and not exactly light, but once i got going, it was manageable. it was really funny to run 1)on the road, 2)a route that i've driving a thousand times and takes maybe 10 minutes in the car, 3)without other people running around me. even when i've run in the rain before in the park, there were always other looney's out there with me. this time, it was just me, the wilderness & the road.

i'm still bothered by the shin-splint but i was so cold it didn't bother me as much. i wasn't having a hard time running, but the weather was just plain old unpleasant. about 1/2 way to nonna's, the wind kicked in, just in time for me to run down a wide, wind-tunnel of a road. that was the hardest part. cars were flying past me, spraying & splashing me with the run-off on the roads, and god only knows what they had to say about seeing some girl not only running in the freezing rain, but in shorts!

somewhere around 4 & 1/2 miles, everything loosened up, and i completely picked up the pace. i felt like for the first time in a while (sprints don't count, they hurt too much), i was running versus jogging. it was great. i didn't care about the rain, the wind...nada. i was *trucking!* down route 148 feeling completely crazy for running in weather like that and loving it. my dad drove by (he was meeting me with warm clothing) and i waved, happy i was looking good at that moment in time.

i realized right around then, that it would be much better for me to run 6/7 miles than 4 for shorter runs. i can really push the run at the end because that's when i start to really get into it, and leaving a run with that high is the best. so i can't be afraid of the longer short runs - they'll be easier than the shorter ones! duh!

when i got to nonna's dad was waiting and they both looked a little horrified at how be-draggled i looked, but i assured them i felt okay. the heat against my freezing cold & wet skin literally made me tingle with a strange kind of numbness, and my skin was totally red everywhere from the cold, but i felt great. especially after i changed into my sweats. but i have to say for myself that i am one tough cookie.

happy thanksgiving everyone.

today's mileage: 6.1
total mileage: 234.3

sidebar no longer where it belongs?

okay, this post is going to require a response, esp. from you PC users! i was horrified to find my dad asking why all the "stuff" that used to be on the side of my blog is now on the bottom.

i looked on this computer and indeed, my sidebar is no longer where it should be!! on my mac it looks fine so now i need to figure out if is a pc-mac thing or certain browsers or what.

if you have a pc, and you noticed a few weeks ago the format changed, can you please e-mail me ( let me know if you are mac or pc, what brower you use, and which version it is (this one, for example is uh, actually, i don't know how to find it on a pc at the moment, but 5.0, etc. and if you're on a PC and it looks fine, if you could let me know as well, it would be really helpful.

thanks! and sorry if you've been dealing with icky formatting. if you see anything like that in the future, please do let me know asap and i'll try to have it fixed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

home, home on the range

it's good to be out of the city.

i almost missed the train on the way to grand central. no one wanted me. cabs were changing shifts and they were only interested in people going to the airport. i felt like the scruffy puppy in the pet shop window..."pick me! pick me!" with not a second to spare, one did, and mangaged to get me to the train with a few (er, exactly 2) minutes to spare. i tipped him 50%. i hope he has a nice thanksgiving.

then my friend becky's dad picked us up and we drove home to lovely brimfield. we waved hello to the stars, hung out in front of the fire in the living room before heading out to a "sports bar" on rte 20 in "palma" (spelled palmer). ah home. i am always delighted and horrified with what i find here. tonight we just tried not to attract too much attention.

after just a few, and not nearly enough catch up, we headed back home. i'm going to try to run tomorrow, although truth be told, i'm afraid of the cold, mean dogs, and not having any water to drink.

wish me luck.

oh! ps. on my last fundraising letter, i said that people should tell me what they are thankful for and send it in. not ONE of you did, so you "special" thanksgiving post may not have as much thankful content as i would have liked, but i'll do my best to fill it with some thankfulness of my own.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

slow on the running...

i'll fess up now. i haven't ran since the 18 on saturday.

this is less a function of soreness (i am surprisingly okay after that run!) and more of life being crazy. sunday i was at my old office all day cleaning, organizing and getting things okay for green team because i was leaving. then i had to be at grand central monday morning at 7 am to go to connecticut for a client meeting for my new job! on my first day! today i couldn't get up out of bed...and then after work i had a few drinks with colin and josh, rendering me too tired to pack tonight.

i figure i'm going to need to run in order to keep my sanity while i'm at home. i'm going to try to run tomorrow morning, but i'll probably have to pack that means i'll run at home a lot.

i just can't tell you how exhausted i am. i'll be over it soon, but i think some time away from the city will do me good.

next post from the wilds of brimfield, massachusetts...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

18 miles in the armpit of america

it's been a really long week. i can now let you in on the major reason i've been a little absent from the blog. in short, i decided to leave green team and go to another agency, called syrup. i'm excited about my move, but getting everything squared away and saying goodbyes has made it a very emotional week.

we had to be uptown at 7 am this morning to leave the trails in nj, and because drew lives in brooklyn, he crashed on my couch so we could make sure he got to practice. of course, we ended up chatting until 1 am...not exactly a smart move when you have to be up at 6:15.

woke at the right time, got dressed, woke drew up, made toaster waffles with pb & honey, chugged water, and left a little bit late. met handsome up the block, hopped in a cab to charlotte's apartment - she was driving. we were running late so by the time we got to the meeting spot, most people were gone and so it was off to new jersey.

we make a pretty good little foursome, i have to say. we had a fun car-ride to the trails, with topics ranging from various running aches and pains, to my tattoo auction and what if's (what if the guy has the same name as an ex-boyfriend?).

it was kind of chilly when we got there, but we knew we were going to warm up so that wasn't really an issue. the issue was running the 18 miles. honolulu was supposed to do 20. everyone else could do 18-20. charlotte and i decided on 18, since we have another 6 weeks and 20 is the most we were going to run. the course was a "down & back" - 9 miles down, 9 miles back - all on a dirt path along the delaware river. the coaches set up water spots for us at miles 4, 6, & 7.5 (so we also had water at 10.5, 12 & 14 on the way back). there were bathrooms at the start but we were going to have to commune with nature if we needed to go again.

we started out and i was achy as usual. it band on the right (but not debilitatingly sore), shin splint on the left, random tightness here and there. by the time we got to mile 4 though, i was feeling better and already you could feel th...

EDITOR'S NOTE:while at home in brimfield, i went to up date my mileage from 18.0 to 18.2, and i somehow erased 2/3's of this damn post. i am so damn only hope is that my mother printed it out to read it. argh. in anycase, here is the short version of the rest of the story...i'll try to recreate in more detail later:

-handsome ran 18.2 miles super fast, he is a speedy maniac
-drew ran 20 miles fast, but suffered from some i.t. band issues. yuck.
-charlotte & i ran our 18 miles at our usual speed - we did fantastic!! and, crazily enough...i could have run two more.

today's mileage: 18.2
total mileage: 228.2

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

test #2 (aka mile repeats)

so tonight we did the test we were supposed to do last week, which is basically to almost-sprint a mile, then recover for .7, repeat twice for a total of about 5.1 miles, three of which was sprinted.

the weather was with us tonight, and it was warm again. it's so much easier when its warm out. handsome was early too so we had a chance to catch up. we passed off the spirit tee, got an announcement (for everyone that was there saturday, a repeat) that our coach christine is preggers, and one of the other girls got engaged. cheers all around.

this dumb shin splint - oh, forgot to ice it! - is really bugging me. it takes too too long to loosen up for my liking. i was nervous that the sprinting because of all the impact would really aggrivatae the shin splint. i decided on the warm up to go for one really good one with the group, and see how it felt. i also had forgotten my watch, which was so annoying because this was an important watch practice.

christine said that we shouldn't feel like we were going to puke at the end, but pretty close. oh goody.

my first run was hard...but fast (for me of course). after about 1/2 way, i wasn't sure i was going to make it. i was heavy breathing like crazy. it hurt. but i ran a whole mile in 8 minutes and 3 seconds. that is more than a minute faster than then the first time! and i did think that i might throw up. so i must have done it right.

on the second, i tried to go at a fast but moderate pace, but i was without watch, so i don't know how fast it was. if i had to guess, i'd say around 8:40, 8:45. and my shin was aching. i decided after the 2nd one to ask the christine how i should be dealing with my shin splint. she basically said that the *most* important thing for training at this point is the long runs, and so the thing to be careful of is anything that could jeapordize them. so if i felt like sprinting another loop was going to hurt me more than benefit, i should just call it.

and so i did. another girl with shin splints also said that at this point, if you do enough cardio each week, you won't loose the endurance built up so far, so i feel a little more comfortable substituting cross training for a few runs until this little bugger is gone. i'll try to get up and do a little run tomorrow morning, since i did a shortie tonight.

okay, g'night people!

today's mileage: 3.4
total mileage: 210.0

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

i think i'm there...

after a crash-course in photoshop over i.m. (thank you michael) and many do-overs... here it is...

now i just have to print and figure out how to attach it to the shirt...

bouv's girls (pre-jeanne that is!)

this is steve's favorite picture of him and the girls.

this was taken in 1998, just after we all graduated from college. r. had us all over for a quieter celebration of our finishing school, "growing up", and heading out to the real world (boston, france, new york...anywhere but home!)

it's funny how a picture can make you smile and cry at the same time.

this is the picture steve took with him to the hospital when he was getting treatment.

this is the picture i took with me on my bike ride when i learned that he was going into hospice.

this is my favorite picture of all of us. thank you jeanne (and katie!) for sending this along.

back to work on the collage...

Monday, November 13, 2006

a trip to the trails

this saturday we'll be taking a trip to lovely new jersey to run on the trails. i'll leave to ramone to explain. i'm excited. except for the running time (you'll see).

As you most of you know , next saturday November 18th we'll be taking a road trip to NJ to go for a nice trail run. Running on the trails besides providing a good chance of scenery will help your body go thru the longrun minimizing the stress to your joint/muscles by running on soft surface. We are going to the Delaware River /Raritan Canal towpath, Piscattaway, NJ, this is the place where yours truly run most of my longruns, so let's face, it's good for me, it's got to begood for you !

Meeting time: 7:00 am
Meeting spot: 77th street between Central Park west and Columbus
Travel time to trails: 48:36
Start running: 8:15 am
Running time : Long time
Expected time back to the city: around 1:30-2 pm.

huh. that sounds like a long morning to me...i guess it'll be an extra early evening the night before.

cross-training - check!

since i did my long run yesterday, i thought that i would cross-train today. of course because of an even tonight, my only option was to get up before work for the gym. bleh. i decided i would leave it to fate and if when i woke up it wasn't raining i would go to the gym; if it was, i would get to sleep in.

my alarm went off at 6 rain. after a small debate, i threw on some clothes, grabbed the bike and just made it to the 6:30 spin class. i haven't been to spin class in *ages* and i was a little nervous that i was going to hurt. a lot.

i was pleasantly surprised that it didn't, and because i hadn't been in months i could really see how strong my legs have gotten. the only part that hurt was my knee when i was supposed to stand and ride, so instead, i stayed seated the whole time and just turned up the resistance (making it harder to pedal) instead. by the end i was a sweaty red-faced mess, but it felt good. it's also great to be done with training at 7:30.

now i need shower and head to work...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

breaking 200

despite the rain and feeling incredibly discouraged from yesterday's disaster, i forced myself out for a run this afternoon. it had been threatening to rain all day, but hadn't and sure enough as soon as i started to get ready to go, the skies opened up. it was sort of warm (58 i think) so i put on my best "i'm a tough girl" face and left the apartment.

when i run on my own i use my handy new york sports club membership to store my stuff at the gym near the park on 73rd and cpw (that's central park west for the non-new-yorkers). its very convenient and worth the accusing stares of the people working the front desk who either a) think i am that much of a wuss that i leave 10 minutes after i arrive or b) know i'm just using them for storage.

i made a make-shift raincoat for my ipod out of a cut up ziplock baggie, because running 12 miles without music was just not going to happen today, and headed out. the rain was not terrible, but it was colder than i first thought, which is never nice because it takes that much longer for one's already stiff body to get limber.

the first three miles were awful awful awful. my shin splint hurt on my left leg. my it band hurt near my knee on my right leg. and my mind had a terrible case of "who are you kidding, you're never going to be able to run a marathon!"s. did i mention it was awful? usually when i'm doing distance i'm running with charlotte, so these thoughts, even if they are somewhere in my brain, never get to come to the surface and hang out because we're usually chattin' it up for the first few miles. when i'm by myself however, they are really very very pesky and evil creatures.

to get me through, i thought about steve, and all the pictures his mom sent me for the spirit tee. so cute! i thought about all of you who have been so supportive, not just by donating, but by really caring. you ask how training is. you read this silly blog of mine. you send me really thoughtful e-mails. i really DO take your words with me when i run. i need them (as you can see!). they keep me going when i might otherwise not be able to.

and along with all your encouragement, what i need to also remember is that i always feel like crap the first few miles. and i can't let it get to me so much. because even today, for all my little aches and pains, once i got somewhere between miles 2.5 & 3...i felt not just good, but really good. maybe even great. actually, i probably felt great around mile 5. what i'm trying to spit out is that i ended up have a really wonderful run today.

the rain stopped around mile 3 too, and i was left with a misty, slightly breezy, uncrowded, beautiful central park. fall is definitely my favorite season, and with the leaves drifting from the trees, across the paths, and the pavement almost shining under the lights, there were moments when i was all alone that were kinda magical. those are the kind of moments i have to hold on to during miles 0-3.

thank you for helping me run 200 miles.

today's mileage: 12
total mileage: 206.6

Saturday, November 11, 2006

worst. run. ever.

prepare yourself for a lotta whining.

since i've been trying to kick a nasty cold, i thought that today i would do my short run, and tomorrow i would do my long run. this week, since we did 16 last week, i only had to do 12 miles, so i thought that 2 loops in the park tomorrow evening would be fun (and smart). then, since i've had this dumb shin splint that won't go away on my left leg that i'm paranoid about, i thought, why not give my body a break from the pavement, and do the 3-4 miles on the treadmill.

damn treadmill and damn legs.

i started off at a faster pace than usual, which probably wasn't wise since i haven't run since wednesday and, being sick, have been doing a lot of laying around. i was aiming for an 11 minute mile and after one at that pace, my RIGHT leg, the one without the shin splint, betrayed me and my calf totally cramped up, which hasn't happened in months. argh. i slowed down to my typical pace but it felt so bad that i had to stop.

i probably could have completed the miles very painfully, but i remembered ramon saying one day, if your body is refusing, then the benefits may not outway the hurt by keeping going. plus i still need to do my 12 tomorrow, which needs to go well or, well, i will just be very discouraged.

so i grouchily stopped and got a good long stretch in. and made my way home. i'm icing my shin as i write. i don't even want to admit the mileage but i will. it shouldn't even count, it's so sad and pathetic. i guess i should be happy that my cough seems to be disappating, but if you don't mind, i'm just going to sulk for a little bit.

today's mileage: 1.5
total mileage: 194.6

Friday, November 10, 2006

unstoppable...well usually

i'm home sick again, and bored out of my mind! i know its necessary so i can kick this nasty cold but there's lots to be done at work, and i can't run until i stop coughing - this stresses me out psychologically.

two things to brag about today:

1. this morning we passed the $7,000 mark! i want to hit $8,000 by turkey-day so this is a good start!

2. we got one of our weekly e-mails from the social captain today and it in was a little blurb about why i got the spirit made me smile.

Congratulations to Phoenix’s, Roxie, who won the spirit Tee this week. Whether it’s training, fundraising or supporting fellow TNTers- Roxie is unstoppable and always goes the extra mile. Roxie started TNT with an ambitious fundraising goal of $5,000 and has since raised it to $10,000. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to reach that goal and may even auction off a tattoo (a real one) on her butt with the name of the highest bidder. Roxie never forgets to bring her smile and positive attitude to practice, even when it is pouring rain. On marathon Sunday she spent the first part of the race cheering in Brooklyn and then joined TNT in Harlem, where she could be heard for miles shouting words of support till the bitter end, when the sweep bus passed. Congratulations Roxie!

hopefully lots of soup and bad tv will render me unstoppable again soon. right now i am very stopped.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

i'm a team in training nerd.* and a lunatic.

every week on wednesday, in addition to the mission moment and the weekly "celebrity", the spirit tee is awarded. the spirit tee is awarded to participants who exemplify the spirit of what team in training is, go above and beyond the bare minimum, are involved, enthusiastic, and an inspiration to the other memebers of the team. people are nominated by their mentors, or other teammates, and then i'm guessing that a smaller group (not sure who) selects the winner.

the winner then adds to the spirit tee - a signature, picture of the person their running for, etc. it becomes a tribute to all the reasons that we run.

it was still raining when i was leaving work, so i traveled in my really spectacular high-boots + running shorts outfit, which was made even more trollopy by my long coat which pretty much hid the shorts. we were meeting in the park, which i was excited about because it meant i didn't have to trapse across canal street.

with the typical wednesday luck though, the trains were still running funky. i blamed it on the rain and decided not to get too worried. i ran into our social captain, jessica, who was doing announcements that night and we braved the way, but since she *had* to be on time, and i could be a minute or two late, she ran off ahead. the rain was steadily coming down, but it was still warm, so i tried to avoid puddles as i made my way to my to the fountain.

jessica first announced the celebrity of the week...and then, as i was peeling off my boots, she announced that i was the winner of the spirit tee! my face expressed my surprise. i got the tee because i was out cheering until the very end on sunday, because of my kick-ass fundraising (and big goals) and because i'm even thinking of...

oh wait. i haven't told you the idea.

i have a rather insane idea. depending on your sense of humor, adventure, and feeling about tattoos, you will think i am more or less insane. alright, i'll stop wasting time and just tell you.

i'm considering doing an e-bay auction. the highest bidder gets their name (first only!) tattooed on my bum.

[dramatic pause for reactions]

yes a real tattoo. no, not big. unless we get so much pr it goes corporate and then i will consider logos. i get final editorial and i will check id. i pick the ink, the font and the spot. i will pay for the tattoo. yes, the winner will get photo proof. no, i do not already have tattoos - this will be my first.

[dramatic pause for further reactions]

before you start commenting, (and by the way, if you guys have no comments on this post, i'm going to think that no one could possibly be reading!) here are my reasons.

1. this could have amazing pr potential. picture: "did you hear about he crazy girl who's auctioning off a tattoo on her butt for charity?" in e-mails, other blogs, who know - let's go for letterman!
2. i'm going to guess that this could build do a few thousand bucks at least. and you know i must reach $10,000.
3. people have gotten tattoos for *way* dumber reasons. or for no reasons at all. this is for charity people!
4. i can always have it lasered off.
5. i think it's a pretty funny story.

but BACK to the spirit tee! so in addition for generally kicking ass at practice and having team spirit and fundraising like a mad woman, i think that i am even considering doing this pretty much put me over the edge to win. and now i have to figure out how to do steve proud decorating the shirt. i'm thinking maybe some red sox emblem of some sort.

we then went and ran 4.7 miles (in the rain) and then had a pizza dinner with one of our honored teammates. unfortunately, she was a little far away from me so i wasn't able to get her whole story and so i'm going to try to attend another event with her.

and about the tattoo - because i care what you think, i'm going to leave you with a little survey on the tattoo topic. but remember. this is a dictatorship. a benevolent one, but a dictatorship none the less. so vote vote vote people!

today's mileage: 4.4
total mileage: 193.1

ps: we didn't do the test today because there were so few people and it was tres slippery to be running in the rain. i'm going to guess it's going to happen next week.

*when i say nerd, i mean it in the most affectionate of terms. steve used to call me "nerd", "kiss ass" and "brown noser" all the time in jr. high school. mmm actually, in high school too. and yes, he meant it will love too.

it's rainy, i'm sick and our second "test" is tonight

its pouring outside, and my cough came back last night with a vengence. i suppose it might have been the whisky (just one!) that i had last night in celebration of the dems taking the house.

last time we had a test, i had my itb injury so i couldn't run so fast. now this time, i won't be able to breathe. ~grumble~ i've got my cranky pants on today. here's what we're going to do at practice, courtesy ramon of course. i'm hoping the rain's gonna stop before then.

We will start with a really slowly warm-up by running west and south to lamppost W6401 (just south of Tavern on the Green, same spot where we started the TEST#1). There you'll see an `S' (stands for Start) written on the ground, and that's our Starting point. We'll regroup there and start the groups in 30-60 seconds intervals. The Mile goes from Lamppost W6401 , the `S' around the sound end of the park, north on the east side up to East 72nd street. (there's `1 mile' mark written on the ground) Don't worry, one of the coaches will be there to mark the Start end End. You'll run from the S to the 1 Mile mark at a `good speed' (we'll cover that ) and then recover, really slow running across 72nd street and south to the Start. (basically you'll run lower loop) YOU all will run 3 loops.

Monday, November 06, 2006

off topic: "i know who i'm going to vote for, i don't need your help."

so tonight i took my sick-self and called some voters. i called people in new jersey, new mexico, pennsylvania & florida through you log-on, get the general script, then once you know what race you'll be calling, you can download a fact sheet on the district and see what the candidates stand for. the way the script is set up though, you have to have your own reasons as to why you are concerned. there's also a really weird point where you have to ask if the person is happy with the direction is going now and if not, why? i can imagine that getting this question from a complete stranger is weird. i felt odd asking it.

people don't like these sorts of calls huh? well, i didn't know this, it's the first time i've made calls to get out the vote. i had one person that had already voted, one who was going to vote for the person i was calling on behalf of. oh and i left one message. the rest of the people hung up, or in some way or another informed me that they were not happy about the call. in the call that i quoted for the title of my post, i hadn't even gotten to talking about the candidate or who! i had just said i was calling because i was a concerned citizen.

at that moment, i'm not going to lie: i felt like an uppity liberal. he hung up on my after that but i wanted to say "wait! stop! i'm not telling you how to vote! well, not really anyway...argh. i'm just trying to do my part!" he could have been voting democrat, who knows, but it doesn't matter. it was still frustrating to be perceived that way.

more calls tomorrow. i think those will be a different sort of script though, more along the lines of "make sure you go vote today!" and you, reading: don't forget to vote tomorrow!!!!

anyone want to bring me soup?

and movies and tuck me in on the couch?

i'm sick. the damn cold that has be circulating has finally landed. in my chest. *hack-hack*

i called into work, and am now pouting on my couch, watching bad day time tv & playing on the interweb. since the cold is in my chest, i can't run. i debated trying to cross-train later, but i know i just need to stay put and get better. i'd been fighting the tickle in my throat for a few days, and i know standing outside all day yesterday probably put me over the edge. well, that and moving and job and all the general stress that has been happening.

one good thing i can do today (besides watching lost online) is to make some pre-election calls. i missed the call-party i was supposed to go to yesterday since i had started to feel gross, so i have to make up for it today.

by the way, how BAD are all the political ads? i have the tv on as background and each commercial break is 3-4 sniping, negative campaign ads in a row. there's got to be a better way to get your point across.

any takers on soup delivery?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

nyc marathon 2006 - commentary & pics

“I think I bit off more than I could chew,” said lance armstrong about the marathon. “Even after experiencing one of the hardest days of the Tour nothing has ever left me feeling this bad,” he said at a post-race news conference. “[My shins] started to hurt in the second half, but the bigger problem the last 7 or 8 miles was the tightness in my calves and thighs. My calves really knotted up. I can barely walk right now.”

even with all the tours-de-france he's won, obviously a marathon is still not something to be taken lightly. of course, you don't need lance to tell you that if you watch the marathon. but i'm getting ahead of myself.

i went out to hipsterville (aka williamsburg) to have brunch with euroskip at one of his friend's apartments. she lives right on the route and has a balcony, so it was a prime spot. we were at mile 11 so everyone should have been looking pretty fresh. i got out there around 10, and the disabled/wheelcheer folks were going by. they are so damn inspirational. here's a few pics...

this one, i just liked that they were colorful.

we hung out downstairs and waited for the leading women. you could tell when someone important was coming because of the police escort.

amazing how fast the elite runners are. and they make it look so easy. the women sailed by, one far ahead of the pack (we figured there was no way she was going to maintain that pace, and she didn't) and then we headed upstairs for coffee, eggs and kielbasa. soon the police brigade was back and it was time for the lead men.

so cool, so fast, so effortless. they were followed by the other fast men, and before it got too crazy i saw ramon in his team in training colors! yeah ramon! and then...the pack!


it went on like that for i don't know exactly how long but well over an hour.

and then after a little while, it got sad.

last year when i watched, i was at miles 18 and 23 or so. there you expect people to be in not-the-best-of-shape, walking, and looking generally miserable. what i did not expect, was for people to look that way at mile 11. and now that i know what running is like and how much effort has gone into my own training, my heart just went out to these people. i thought to myself..."you poor poor bastards!" they still had another 15.2 miles. it is a testiment to training. an inspiration to train. an illustration of the horror of what happens when you don't train.

after a while, it was depressing and i decided to head up to 120th and 1st avenue to meet up with the team in training cheering station. i wished euro and the hosts farewell and walked up bedford to take the l across town. this guy

must have been taking a short cut uptown...

i hopped off at 125th and headed east where i found a small crew of tnt'ers. it was good i went up there because shortly after i arrived, most of the crew left and it was just our social captain and me. we spent the next few hours yelling and hollering at our teammates. she was laughing because i'm so damn loud. theatre training comes in handy i suppose!
i recogized some of the folks from tnt that i saw from brooklyn and said how there was a lot of purple at the back of the pack. we saw a lot of hurting folks but we also saw a lot of strong people who were so excited to see us, greeted us with huge smiles and even would pick it up a little bit after some cheering.

wouldn't that make you smile?

we decided to walk straight down first avenue from 120 all the way down to 86th, yelling all the way. my favorites were the older guys that had "go grandpa!" written on their shirts, they were awfully cute. as we got to 96th or so, they were breaking down the water stands and sweeping up the cups and still the stragglers came. we figured these folks were going to be finishing between 7 & 8 hours. ooooooouch.

and that was my marathon day. i'm determined to both train hard and listen well to my body for the next few months. i'm already strong enough that i know i am going to still have a smile on my face at mile 11...mile 13...and maybe even mile 15. now i just need to work on 16 through 26.

hello complete running visitors!

as part of my shameless self-promotion and hope for donations, i submitted my blog to complete running network to be part of their list of running blogs and there i am!

so hello runners! welcome to my little blog, i hope you enjoy. feel free to comment and give advice! and of course, to donate to my cause.

nyc marathon today!

i've resisted the urge to keep sleeping and i'm getting ready to have brunch with euroskip at his friend's that lives on the marathon route in w'burg. she's got a balcony so we can watch the leaders on tv then just hop out to see the elite men. i've never seen the leaders - ramon said we will hate them because they make it look so easy.

then there is a team in training group meeting at 120th and 1st avenue which is mile 19.5 . i might head up there after brunch. and then my favorite spot is on 5th avenue right around the last few miles. this is where people really need cheers, and i plan on going hoarse doing so.

if you're in ny, go out and cheer! and cheer extra hard for those purple jersey's - those are our fall season tnt teammates! i'll have pics later!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

the first ad for run girl run

the kids at green team were kind enough to put a banner ad on atm for the cause. here are some lovely screen shots, but go check out atm to see it in action. it's worth it.

thanks, euro, for the kickin' design. i love my pony tail. in case you can't read the copy (i might replace these with the banner larger)

if anyone else would like to post said banner ad, i would be more than happy to provide it (hint hint).

another longest run ever!!

SIXTEEN miles today people!! yes, that would be 16. one. six.

i was figuring more like 14 or 15, since we did 13 last week, but...nope! we did 16 whole miles today.

i'm fighting the sickness everyone has and so went to bed pretty early, and set my alarm for 5:45. i made oatmeal, and then went back to bed. weird, yes, but by eating early i can get all the fuel without worrying about getting a tummy ache.

it was 36 degrees out. cold again, but after the leg-warmer run the other day, i knew that i could take it. i was more worried about my upper body - i only have a fleece that's not running appropriate for outer wear. i hoped for the best and headed out.

we met on 72 & riverside and damn, it was *cold*. the park is a mess in preparation for the marathon tomorrow, so we were going to be running down the west side. the minimum distances were going to be:
-1/2 marathoners were going down to chambers and back (9 miles)
-beginners down the west side around the tip of manhattan, up to the south street seaport and back (16 miles)
-intermediates down, around the bottom, up to the williamsburg bridge and back (at least 18 miles)
-advanced down, around the bottom, up to 14th street and back (20 miles?)

i forgot my belt for the goo, but charlotte kindly carried my goo for me. we took off at a good pace and soon it wasn't too cold on my bare legs. i had ditched the fleace and was glad for it. my red sox hat kept my head warm, and i could breathe pretty okay. we were going to go for 14ish but keep an open mind about the 16 in case we were feeling good.

one of the more challenging parts of the run were finding water fountains along the way, because we havent run there very often. i felt like people were looking at me like i was crazy for wearing shorts. once we got down to battery park, we were feeling pretty good so we decided to go for the seaport. it was a good place to grab some water and we were off again. as we came back around the bottom of the island and back onto the westside highway, we saw a crew of what looked like out-of-town marathon runners. i got an appreciative nod which i like to think was saying "i can see you're tough, yes i can." i tried to keep that toughness with me for the last 5 miles.

things were a.o.k for the rest of the run. as usual the last few miles were the toughest, and i'm definitely sore, but no more sore than i was last week. oh and, as a bonus, we were pretty fast. by my math, just shy of 11 minute miles! so cool.

i still can't believe i can run 16 miles when i just started running less than 3 months ago. SIXTEEN. i'll let you imagine the grin on my face for yourself.

today's mileage: 16.0
total mileage: 188.7