Thursday, August 31, 2006

autumn is on the way.

i was super sleepy this morning, and barely made it out of the house before 7. and guess what? it was *chilly*! no kidding. for a moment i thought of running back up stairs, but the 5 flights deterred me and i decided to tough it out.

after about 5 minutes, i wasn't cold any more. i was really nervous that my calf was going to bother me again, but thank goodness, it didn't. instead of running today and tomorrow, i decided i would do a longer run today, and do a light crosstraining tomorrow (probably yoga) so that i'd be good and rested again for saturday's long run. and was down to the brooklyn bridge and back to my house for a record breaking 4.77 miles!

i think i ran at a little less than a 13 minute mile. i'm a little sad about my time, but i decided today that i am at least steady and maintaining a consistent pace, which i think is better than huffing and puffing my way through the mileage simply to get down to a 10 or 11 minute mile. speed will come...and if it doesn't...well, then it doesn't. number 1 objective is to fundraise and complete the marathon. then we can worry about speed. i keep thinking of the silly little tortoise and hare fable...i am certain slow and steady at this point!

and in fundraising news...we're doing great - $3,666 to date!! thanks again for all the contributions, very very very generous.

today's mileage: 4.77
total mileage: 41.65

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

off topic: saving the planet

in other efforts...

al gore and other global warming experts will soon be training 1,000 people to give the presentation that he developed and is shown in an inconvenient truth. when i read this somewhere, i got really excited - i really wanted to be one of those 1,000 - and have been digging around to figure out how one gets to apply, etc.

well, today, i was down in dc meeting with wwf (pandas, not wrestling) and i asked my friend matt in the climate protection department if he had heard anything about "the call" yet and...he had!

i just applied here to be one of those lucky people. if i am chosen, there will be a 2 day training in tennessee in december or january (no marathon conflict, don't worry!) and then i will need to present 10 times in the following year.

and then there will be another cause for me to bother you all about post-marathon. otherwise...what would i do with myself? =)

undo global warming people! you can! (just practicing).

time to sleep...need to make up for lack of running today, tomorrow early.

Cautious or wimpy?

so i got up really early today to go for a run...and was not all that successful. my left calf muscle was aching about two minutes into it, which made me feel like i was favoring my right leg. i stopped and stretched it out (when its warm out, you only stretch after, you don't have to stretch to warm-up), and tried to keep going. m street to connecticut to 17th i still felt hard as a rock. so when i got to the mall, i stopped and walked back.


the walk felt good after a while, but it's the first time i hurt in a way that doesn't feel like good-exercise-sort-of-hurt. i guess it could have been walking around in heels maybe yesterday, but you would think that after two days of rest, that wouldn't happen. depending on what train we catch, i'm going to try to get to the gym or at least try again tonight back home. i'll be upset if i don't do anything today. see you back in nyc.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

greetings from dc

i'm in dc on client meetings today and tomorrow, which is interfering with my running schedule...but c'est la vie. i am planning on getting up really early tomorrow and running at the mall before my meetings which should be highly inspiring. i'm going to try to bring my camera, but we'll have to see.

i've raised over a $1,000 in the last day which is AMAZING - thank you so much :). i'm really touched and proud and quite frankly...a little overwhelmed. the other great thing is that once i hit $3800, 100% of all donations go to the mission of the society (right now the ration is 74% which is still great, but there are administrative expenses). and now thanks to your generosity, I'm less than $400 away.

ps if you stay at one of the kimpton hotels in dc, which have great green policies, like discounts on parking for for driving a hybrid, you get to wear one of their sassy leopard print robes. if your lucky i'll include a picture on my next post. ~mroaw~

Monday, August 28, 2006

sunday's run

i confess there is nothing terribly exciting in this post. consider yourself warned.

between running and having my favorite thai delivered to my favorite bar with some pals, i was passed out by 11:30 saturday night. despite this, getting up at 9 was still a struggle, and so didn't get out for a run until 10 after more than a few taps of the snooze button.

i felt ok. my sister came with me (good), but my left calf-muscle was really tight (bad). i had to stop and stretch it out before we really got going, but despite this, i think we made pretty good time (i really must get a watch so i can confirm or deny my "we made good time" hunches). 3.43 miles...and i think the next run will chalk up to over 40 miles total....eeeeee!

today is a day of rest. and i can't say that i'm unhappy about that.

yesterday's mileage: 3.43
total mileage: 36.88

Saturday, August 26, 2006

ain't no sunshine

last night i saw my new favorite band, beirut play the mercury lounge. they were so amazing. 8 or 9 people (it was hard to count), a crazy range of instruments from a susaphone (sp?) to trumpets, an accordion to ukuleles, and an adorable, baby-faced lead singer with a voice decades beyond his age. the eastern european influence gives the music a gypsy, bohemian soul that is just fantastic. you really must check them out. anyway.

long story short, i didn't get home until 1:15 am. i had thought it was about an hour earlier, but i was thankful i hadn't drank anything. well, anything but a diet coke, which then kept me up for then next hour. what i am trying to spit out is that i was rather tired this morning. there, said it. sorry about that.

in addition to the tired, it was raining. legitimately raining - not sprinkling, not down-pouring, but most definitely a good, solid rain going. ~grumble~. doesn't matter what the weather is - too cold? too bad. too hot? still gotta run. raining? you're not going to melt, practice is ON. the only time that practice gets canceled is if it's a) thunderstorms b) too icy. i'm going to guess that b is not going to come up for a while.

it wasn't cold, but i was not looking forward to getting soaked, least of all my sneakers. i really despise wet-sneaker-feet. ick. i hopped on the train, ate a snack and chugged some water. i got off the train, the rain had gotten a little stronger, and by the time i got to the park, i was wet enough to be a little grumpy about it. it was the first raindrop that i could feel through my sneakers. that was the one that really made me annoyed.

i hung out with handsome until we began - charlotte was missing (i found out later she had train troubles), and my phone was bundled with handsome's in a heavy garbage bag, so i assumed that i was on my own. we left to ramon yelling "no iFREAKINGpods!!!!" (he wants us to be social during the runs) and headed north. the rain had stopped and now it was a perfect temperature for running. us beginners did 4 miles today - up the ease side to 102, cut west, and then back down to 72nd. the intermediates were doing the full loop - 6 miles, and i was tempted, but kept hearing voices tell me not to over-train, and i figured it best to keep to the schedule.

i ran with dragan (yes, real name, not a nickname), handsome & charlotte's mentor, until 102 and then the rest of the way on my own. today was the first day that i did not stop to walk at all. ~huge grin~ i felt really strong, and i think i made good time (although saturdays are not about speed - they are about spending time with running, building endurance and getting used to it physically and mentally). i'm pretty happy about it, and i realized when i was updating this morning, that in the last two weeks i have run over 30 miles!! that's a little crazy, dontcha think?

and now after a nice brunch with some of my teammates, i'm headed for a pedicure with charlotte. my feet deserve a little pampering.

today's mileage: 4.0
total mileage: 33.45

Friday, August 25, 2006

a little taste of ramon & the ticky-ticky-ticky dance

after each practice and before the next, ramon sends out a recap of the former. i thought you might get a kick out of it. this was the one that i missed - basically instead of long arm swings, they worked on short ones. aka "the ticky-ticky-ticky dance." enjoy.


Sooo...did you enjoy the ticky-ticky-ticky dance or what?
Don't worry you'll get to do it all over again in a few weeks when we start running some hills...........

Two weeks of training went by, and so far so good.

Running, specially long distance running, (and I think that we all agree that 13.1 or 26.2 it's long....), the most important thing it's to be efficient while we run, not wasting energy as we move/run/trot along the road, and nothing better to be efficient than to run relaxed, and nothing tell us better if we are relaxed or not than our upperbody !! Remember, the upperbody is in charge, the legs will follow whatever the upperbody does, if you swing your arms faster- your legs will
move faster, if you swing them higher- you'll have a longer stride, if swing them lower you run with a shorter stride, Thist upperbody-lowerbody conection was the focus of the first two workout.

First week we worked on a higher swing this week on a shorter-lower swing of the arms. Working on a shorter quicker stride will help you to:
-work a different set of muscles that you don't usually use, so helping the overall leg strength
-you teach your legs to move faster (leg turn over), that's a good thing when running
-loosen up the hip flexor muscles
-upperbody awareness, if you learn to run relaxed this way, chances are you'll run relaxed anytime (relaxation = Your best friend when running lonnnnngggg)
-For those overstriders, helps you to develop a shorter stride with `less impact' (remember the higher/longer the stride the more impact to the quad/hamstring muscles) we want to prevent overstriding.

When do you get to use that kind of stride? You really never run the way we asked you to on wednesday in any race or marathon, when focusing on a particular goal (short stride in this case) we want to exaggerate (for lack of better word in my little english vocabulary) the particular movement, so the brain (for those that have it) will really have to concentrate on the task on hand and be aware of the changes that take place, that's why you feel a `little' uncomfortable doing it, because it's not the `natural' or `your usual' way. But if you repeat that exercise a few times and your brain will make the necessary adjustments, that's why some of you were improving later in the workout (besides the fact that those screaming coaches wouldn't allow to give up). Sooo…..I hope this helps you understand if it doesn' are gonna have to trust us...

So, now get ready for Saturday, I can guarantee you that most of you will run the longest you ever done……but get used to it, that's going to be the theme almost everyweekend…

And next wednesday......oh yes....oh .yes.....X-Training madness day !!!! get ready.......

That was my nonsense for today !!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

a grumpy post.

from the moment my alarm blared at me...i knew the day was going to be a little off. you know, one of those days when as soon as you wake up, something is not quite right.

even though i took it easy at the mets game, i was still really tired. it was, after all 6:15, but i just couldn't shake off the sleepiness. i started getting ready and my phone buzzed - my sister wasn't feeling well and so wouldn't be joining me on the run. drat. no sister. no music. very tired. and sore from the previous day's run. today's run would be a test of will power.

the sky was grey, rain threatening - a gloomy morning entirely. a light drizzle, which i might have welcomed other days, only served to make me more cranky. i made my way over to the east river and followed the typical route south. pacing was the hardest part. i couldn't tell if i was going to slow or too fast - i sang quietly to myself to try to keep myself from speeding along to get it all over with. my left knee ached a little and i got scared that i ran too far the day before. i had intended to run down to the manhattan and back, but called it a little earlier at clinton street - the turn-around spot of our first few eastriver runs.

i pushed through and at the end of it was glad that i did. because it wasn't easy, i was grudgingly proud of myself. i decided to stretch at home so i could see how much time the run took (i don't have a watch yet), and it looked like i was running a 14 minute mile, which dissipated my proudness and made me slightly depressed.

i know every day is not going to be easy. and i can't get too hard on myself so early on. i should be pretty happy that i got up at all to run and that i ran over 3 miles despite my poor start. but [grumble] i want to do well ALL the time.

i'll get over it. tomorrow is a day off from running and work, i'll recoup both physically and attitudinally. promise.

today's mileage: 3.43
total mileage; 29.45

i may have missed practice last night...

but i did get to meet the beatles. this one is for you mom.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

the red sox challenge

i [heart] my friend handsome. i really do. this is why: (a sample from his fundraising letter)

I’d also like to add that Jen’s friend Steve was a big Red Sox fan, just like Jen is. As you all know, I have been a Yankees fan all of my life, which has lead to some fun ribbing back and forth with Jen over the past few years. It’s just too bad 2004 ended in a strike before the playoffs could begin…that’s how I remember it anyway. The point is, as painful as it is to continue to surround myself with Boston fans, I figured that with Steve’s devotion to all things Sox I would make things a little more interesting for myself. My fundraising goal is $3800.00, however, if I don't raise at least $4500.00 I will run the entire 26.2 miles on race day with the Boston Red Sox logo proudly displayed on my personage. I’m not sure if this will take the form of a hat, a headband or just a logo painted on my arm, but if I can't raise the dough, I will brand myself a traitor to the Evil Empire for one day only and declare myself a part of Red Sox Nation.

i just think that is the best.

the longest distance

so this morning i ran the longest distance i ever have, off or on the treadmill - 4.58 miles!

my sister and i got up bright and early again, and took off down the eastside. we aimed for, and reached, the the brooklyn bridge. it was a gorgeous morning, the perfect balance of sun and shade. the path was a buzz with activity - lots of other runners, bikers and people from nearby chinatown over by the river doing calestetics and tai-chi. when you live in new york, the times that you feel as though you are part of a community can be few and far between. let's face it - most of us don't even know our neighbors. today, i felt like an integral part of the city's complex colorful fabric.

today's distance: 4.48
total distance:26.02

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

almost to the 1/2 way mark

another day off from running, but today we were supposed to cross-train (aka almost anything but running). i chose a spin class, something i used to go to regularly but even pre-marathon hadn't done in months.

i tend to get into routines when i go to the gym, and don't really mix up the kind of exercise i do. so it was really cool to see how much the running benefited the spinning - my legs felt really strong. i didn't go too crazy because i wanted to be easy on my knees and sometimes all the jumps get to me, but it was still one of those insane sweat-inducing spin classes i love.

as you can see on the right...i've passed the $2000 mark! [visual: VERY large grin!] i found out I'm in 5th place (in fundraising) for everyone running Arizona (i assume that is the nyc chapter). can I get to number 1? maybe with your help (hint hint). we've got time, oh yes, we do.

Monday, August 21, 2006

a fortuitous sign

my friend alan found this in a magazine - an ad for customizable m&m's. a good sign indeed!

and in other news...i just looked at my fundraising and i've almost hit $2,000 already! thank you, thank you, thank YOU!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

red-exercise face

until i get used to any sort of work-out routine, especially if it's strenuous, something happens to me that i call "red-exercise face". red-exercise face isn't pretty. it's a face that i'm pretty sure only a mother could love. the first time i experienced my overly-powerful facial blood vessels was not, in fact, when exercising, but i think in jr. high school when someone teased me about liking some boy or another. i could feel the heat rise and there was no hiding the deepness of that blush. it's not subtle. so you take that color, add some some purple and there you have it. red-exercise face. my sister gets it too. i wonder which of my parents is responsible for that gene...

anyway, my sister and i went for a run this morning on the east river and it was not quite as nice. this was because we slept in. by slept in i mean we were out running by 10, which is good for a sunday in general, but since it's sticky, bad considering the weather. we ran the same route we had on thursday, but it was definitely harder with the heat and humidity.

we were pretty exhausted when we got back - we sprinted the last two blocks (from avenue d to b) partially to catch walk signs and partially to get them over with. it felt good. it's so sad, but i can not remember the last time i full-out (excuse the expression but it really does work best) hauled ass with my own two feet. we were dripping with sweat and kind of lightheaded but luckily there was one of those little community gardens near my sisters, complete with shade, a weeping willow, benches to use for balance and a wind-chime. between the dizziness and the surroundings, we had with a few steps, stepped into another world. we stretched out for a good 20 minutes, and then it was off to our respective apartments to shower. we both had a nice case of red-exercise face, and i for some reason. usually sweat more just after i'm done running then while i actually am. you can easily imagine that i was not a pretty sight.

i begin the short walk home, red-faced, wearing my (as my sister calls it) sporty-spice outfit, which consists of: my glowingly-white new sneakers; adidas running shorts; sporty grey tank top with white piping; a white athletic headband barely containing my unruly bangs; and a wild pony-tail mounted high on the top of my head. my sister has seen three variations of this outfit so far, and still hasn't been able to suppress giggles because it is so not me.

because whomever runs the universe has a great sense of humor, i have to run into someone i know. i notice my friend k, who always looks fantastic, sitting at a little outdoor cafe. when i realize this, i know it's only a matter of time before she sees me so i give in and wave. weakly. she runs over to hug me but i warn her off with a stopinthenameoflove palm and a "don't hug me i'm sweaty!" she takes one look at my outfit and exclaims "roxie! i've never seen you like this!" "i know i know, the outfit - it's completely ridiculous." we both look at me again and burst out laughing.

after a little small talk, we decide it's best for me to go take a shower. i'm glad it was k i ran into - her laughter is contagious, and if you can't laugh at yourself, well, what fun is that?

the rest of the day so far has been good sisterly time - brunch, playing with some make-up in sephora, and perusing tattoo designs at ny adorned (don't worry mom & dad, i'm still just shopping). this is going to be a busy week - my clients are in from scotland so i'm going to miss wed. practice but i'm going to hopefully be able to get an alternate work out to do in the morning or a different day. but i may be a little slow on the posting...depending on how much whisky is consumed!

oh, REMINDER! anyone that has donated money but has not sent me a song name, please do! my marathon mix is looking a little short, especially considering how many of you have been so generous! thank you again to everyone that has donated - i can't believe i'm so close to $1500 already. thanks for believing in me.

today's mileage:3.14
total mileage: 21.44

Saturday, August 19, 2006

did you cyclists wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

this morning, i managed to make it to practice not simply on time, but early despite various obstacles such as the annual green team summer party (where, sadly, i came in 2nd for the 2nd year in a row in the women's pingpong match) and various trains that were slow/not running.

today we were running based on time, vs distance. this was in case we were "hurrying" through the distance runs, today was about maintaining a steady pace for a set amount of time. beginners were running 50 minutes total and intermediates were running 60. we decided to split the difference and go for 56/57.

there was a nice breeze coming off the hudson and the sun stayed hidden behind the clouds which made for a mostly pleasant morning. one of the things that annoys me about the westside bike/foot path though is the traffic. other foot traffic (including tourists going to the intrepid/circle line, etc but rarely even notice they are crossing a path where other people might be coming from a different direction), car/truck/taxi traffic turning in and out of the piers, rollerbladers, and of course, there are cyclists.

now, i was a cyclist, er, probably biker is more accurate, before i was a runner and biking certainly is my preferred method for getting around the city. the westside bike path, especially on the weekends, was something i usually avoid because of all the traffic i noted before. there are, however, cyclists that appear to enjoy getting their "serious" miles in on the bike path. and not only do they like to do so, they like to go fast. and if you're in their way, look out because they barely slow down, they certainly don't stop, and more than likely you'll get yelled or whistled at (not in the cat-call fashion, in the i'm-so-serious-i-ride-with-a-whistle-in-my-mouth-to-get-all-these-people-out-of-my-way fashion). i never understood why you would want to spend time on that bike path as a serious cyclist with all the chances of getting into some accident or another, but people do.

so the first jerk with some saturday morning angst was coming opposite us through a very tight part of the path. oh yeah - tons of sections are under construction so the path is even more narrow than usual. there were a lot of us, but we were only running at most, two people across. he starts screaming "YOU GOTTA GET OVER" because he's trying to pass another cyclist on his side for the runners to get over and let him by, essentially needing to come into the wrong side of the path. i really don't know how people can muster up enough energy to exercise AND get mad that early in the morning. i only have enough steam for one.

the second guy was right in his getting angry but screwed up the execution. after we had turned around and were on our way back towards 72nd street, a cyclist almost got cut off by one of those little mini-trucks with the wagons attached to the back. the guy driving didn't put on his turn signal so the cyclist was nearly hit in the process. cyclist grabs the back of the wagon, for a minute and yells to the driver to signal when he's turning. of course this turns into a testosterone battle with the driver yelling "what? what'd you say?" and they cyclist screaming at the guy to SIGNAL when he's TURNING, "whatchu talking about, i DID signal" etc. etc. while this is all going on, the cyclist is still peddling but is now in the wrong lane going into oncoming traffic and not looking where he is going. i look up to see another guy on one of those fold up bikes headed towards the fray, acting kind of like a squirrel because he's not sure which way the first cyclist, who is still not looking in the right direction, is going to go. they were headed for a straight on crash and charlotte and i started yelling HEY! WATCH it! WATCH IT! pointing at the guy he was going to hit, and finally he swerved at the last minute, looked back at us and waved. good reason to be angry. almost caused another accident in the process of expressing it. smart.

at the end of the day if you're going to spend time over on the westside path, no matter what you're doing, you have to be prepared to:
• stay level-headed. there's lots of other people and you knew what you were getting into and if you can't handle it then you better bike, run, rollerblade, gawk at the big buildings somewhere else.
• pay attention!! if everyone paid a little mroe attention to where their limbs, handle bars and blades were in relation to the other people around them, there would probably be less angst out there
• don't block the path. regardless of transportation method, you and your friends shouldn't be taking up the whole lane and under NO circumstances should your group spill into oncoming traffic - it's rude and dangerous.

[end lecture]

other than that, the run was uneventful and we did 4.21 miles, our longest distance yet! we did walk for a few blocks, which was probably about 6 minutes of that time, and i'm going to guess that distance was about 2 blocks, so i'm going to further assume we were just over a 12 minute mile. that freaks me out a little bit because that would mean finishing in about 5 hours and 15 minutes, but you know what? it's the beginning of week two and i am determined to get faster.

today's mileage (correctly spelled courtesy of demps, now to be referred to only as "smartypants"): 4.21

total mileage: 18.3

Thursday, August 17, 2006

good morning sunshine

i thought i was out and about early on saturday. today was early. i met my sister outside of her apartment and we headed over to the east river.

it was gorgeous out. a nice breeze, bright sunshine. one of those mornings that you love being in new york.

the east river park is not as polished as its west-side cousin, but i prefer it. it's less crowded, there are more trees, and the half-finished construction lends it an air of authenticity. you know you're in a city and you know you're in new york. i wasn't sorry to be up.

i wasn't nearly as sore as i thought i was going to be, so i was in a good spot. it was fun running with kristin; we haven't seen much of each other this week, and conversation helps keep your running at a good pace. aside from almost being run-over by a bull-dozer, the run was uneventful and we made it through the 3.15 relatively easily.

i am supposed to cross-train tomorrow, but our office is closed and two of the girls and i are going to the beach, and then to our summer party, so i think i am going to try to hit a "yoga for runners" workshop that my friend is putting on tonight! if not i think maybe a movie or something low-key...i'm pretty tired!

until manana...

today's milage: 3.15
total milage: 14.09

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

if it feels okay, then you're doing it wrong

so today was a little harder.

i know why. it's from a few less than stellar decisions over the last 24 hours. we had clients in town, and so we had a gluttonous dinner complete with too much wine and a few nightcaps. i could have at least said no to the nightcaps. needless to say, i didn't sleep that well. then today, one of my pal's at work had a great idea to go for dumplings in chinatown for lunch. yum. like everyone else that isn't chinese, we ordered way too much food at a neon-lit hole-in-the-wall place on mott street. it was really good. but it was NOT a lunch of champions. looking back, i really am not sure what i was thinking. it was around my third soup dumpling that i realized that they should be called "grease dumplings" instead and that i was an idiot for eating such heavy stuff before i was going to have to run 3+ miles. i have made better choices than today.

this was also the first time trying to get from tribeca to the upper east. that turned out to be the relatively easy part. i hustled my way over to the lafayette/canal stop and the 6-to-the-4 combo got me uptown in about 20 minutes. we dropped our bags at the store where i got my sneakers at monday and headed over towards the reservoir at 90th st.

so the work out today was to work on the form of our arms. the reason is that because "what the arms do, the legs follow." i didn't quite digest this big of information when i heard it, but the words would echo in my head later. basically we were to count off and run 3 lightpoles "on" and 2 lightpoles "off". when we were "on" we would be exaggerating the movement that your arms are supposed to make - essentially swinging only from the shoulder, at a 90-degree angle, wrists loose, keeping your shoulders back and your elbows always behind or level with your torso. a lot to think about. when we were "off" we were to recover at our normal pace. the distance would be 3.14 miles. it was supposed to feel weird and wrong, the idea being that our bodies will learn the motion and eventually we'll tone it down and apply it when we're running. in the past, whenever i'd seen someone jogging with wrist flailing about, i have always giggled to myself. and now, i too would become an arm-flailer. ~sigh~

at the beginning, i thought - no problem, what's a little arm swinging going to do! well, let me tell you. remember the remark i was just talking about? "what the arms do, the legs follow." well, when you're swinging your arms like an idiot, you speed up. the longer the stride of your arms, the longer the stride of your legs. so really not only were we just learning arm positioning, but we were doing speed intervals. for 3.14 miles.

having charlotte was especially helpful today because she took the roll of "positive encouraging" running parner while i sat back and whined a little bit. i don't do it often. but today was one of those days. we did make it out alive with minimal walk-breaks, red-exercise-face (me), a talk with the coach (her), and a few beers with the rest of the team afterwards.

so what i've learned is that i don't operate well with: a hangover, no matter how moderate; a belly full of dumplings or other, similar, heartburn-inducing food; and fitful sleep. i'm seriously considering a no-alcohol policy for the day before i run, no exceptions, but i'm going through a little withdrawal just thinking about it, so i'm going to keep it in the "maybe" pile.

on the positive side of things: my new sneakers rock, i am so very happy with them, they're like running on marshmallows; and i'm freaking thrilled that i've already raised over $1,000!! it's very exciting.

okay, time for bed. i found the BEST thing - basically a google map where you can chart your run and it tells you the milage. my sis is going to run with me in the morning and clearly i need my zzzz's so i'm not as cranky tomorrow. check out tomorrow's route.

today's milage: 3.14
total milage to-date: 10.94

come run with me

tonight's our first training where we'll look at technique and do some drills instead of just going out to run. i've got me brand spanking new trainers, and if the running gods are kind, hopefully they won't give me blisters. if they do, they're going back.

i'm pretty happy with the way fundraising is going, and the 2nd wave of e-mails will go out today. that batch was a little harder to write, it's the one going to people that knew bouv and i must have written 15 or so drafts before i was happy with it. i also had big bouv read it, and he liked it, and that made me happy.

OH. i've been meaning to mention, that anyone that is in nyc is secretly getting the itch to start running and you don't know how to scratch it, you can come to practice with me until the end of the month without having to sign up. come on, you know you want to. tonight we meet at 6:45, on the upper east, and saturday we're meeting at riverside park at 8:30. if you're interested at all, e-mail me and i can tell you the details. believe me, if i can do it, you can too.

i leave you with an exerpt from an e-mail from ramon - head coach.

As a mentioned during info meetings, wednesdays are the days that
we'll work on technique, form, effort levels, pacing, hills…etc…
During the early phase of the training we are going to work
on `building proper running form, on endurance and efficiency',
this will take 6-7 weeks. Basically we'll work on proper running
form, upperbody and lowerbody awareness and at the same time we
will develop and strengthen our running muscles. During this early
phase we will also start learning about effort levels.

During the first couple weeks we'll work on UPPERBODY form, How to
swing the arms, how high/low, rotation of the shoulder, placement
of the elbows..etc..

of the reservoir, that's 3.14 miles.....

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

off topic: the bug battle continues

yes, it really is 4 am.

that god-damned bug is still alive! i was having a fitful night's sleep, probably because i knew the thing was there somewhere in my living/bed room (they're separate rooms but there isn't door in between). i did, however, think it was dead. not so.

i thought i heard a crackling and sure enough, walking over a pile of mail, was the bug. how do i know it was the same roach is probably your first question. well, the thing looked kind of drunk. it was not behaving like a roach typical does, scurrying from one dark corner to the next, but rather was stumbling around. i have to believe that it was the same thing i did battle with because to be accosted by two roaches in one night is just too difficult a thought to bare. i don't have roaches typically, i swear. i just happen to have a hole right into the sheetrock in my living room ceiling (long story) which seems to be an open invitation for the critters to come explore my apartment.

i'm taking the raid back to key food tomorrow to get a refund.

after shrieking like a banchee and perching on the bed on all fours, i steeled myself for battle. he was looking for his next safe spot and was eyeing the darkness under my bed. this just wouldn't do. if he got under the bed, there would be no chance for sleep for me tonight. i didn't want to spray because my favorite jeans were on the floor by the foot of the bed. i grabbed the other purple flip-flop -

hold that though. there he is again. this is a nightmare.
[five minute intermission where i again stalk where i think he's hiding out from on top of my bed, old sneaker in hand]
aaaaaargh. lost him.

i grabbed the flip-flop and got ready to smush him dead, but he made a break for it, which for reasons that i don't know or understand, causes me to shriek again and, embarassingly, throw the flip-flop at him. 'cause that was going to do anything. what it did do was give him something else to hide behind. i grab an old sneaker and try to smash the flip flop down but he runs back to the shelves as i thump at him, yelping with each thump. it's at this point i wake up enought to realize that its 4 am and my neighbors are probably appreciating neither the yelping or the thumping. i know i am about 2000 times bigger than that thing but it doesn't matter. it has nothing to do with logic or anything rational. those things are the most hideous creatures ever. give me mice, spiders - whatever. just do not make me deal with prehistoric winged insects that can withstand ridiculous amounts of chemicals.

oh man. doesn't someone want to come over and take care of this for me??

and so now i'm watching from over on my couch, waiting for the little shit to reappear so that i can kill him and go to bed. at this point i kind of feel like i should just stay up.

[another 5 minutes]

i lost. that's it. he ran UNDER my bed and now, i'm totally screwed. he's never going to come out! how am i going to sleep? am i safe on the couch? am i safe anywhere? waaiiiit there he is!

[two minute hiatus]

i WIN. in that two minutes, that drugged-up roach came back out from under the bed (thus proving it was in fact the one i sprayed because no roach in its right mind would have come out from under the nice dark bed into where i had all the lights blazing), i ran over with my old, trusty new balance and with what i pray was the last yell of the night, THWACKED him dead. and then i gave him another just in case he was playing dead (they do that you know!) and finally, i gave him one last whack just for torturing me for the last 40 minutes.

and now i can attempt sleep. although i think i'll be a little creeped out for the rest of the morning...

Monday, August 14, 2006

new shoes and roach warfare

today tnt had a shoe clinic on the upper east. shoe clinic - good. upper east - bad. not because of my usual upper-east prejeduces (i put those aside for charity) but because from where i work (tribeca) it is absolutely the hardest place to get to from my office. to quote some old movie or another..."ya can't get there from here". and it's the typical meeting spot for wednesday night runs. at least i got a little practice in.

i was not exactly dressed for testing out new sneakers. i had client meetings during the day, and a dinner with a client that night and so was wearing a black dress. let me tell you, those new balance sneakers complimented that dress like no other shoe could.

basically, the sneaker people would give you a "neutral" pair of shoes to run in (i take this to be the shoe for the person with the person that doesn't pronate or supinate and then they make you run down the block and back and give you shoes based on their assessment.

i tried on three pairs. the third pair felt best. they turned out to be, of course, the most expensive. i almost went with the 2nd pair but figured i at least owed it to myself to cush my feet just a little bit until they toughened up. charlotte got a pair too, along with some other runners-wear and it was back to the express train downtown.

after a client dinner where i ate too much rosa mexicana, i ascended my 6 flights of stairs and was going to quickly check the e-mail before bed. ah, what a nice, relaxing idea that was.

not 5 seconds after i logged in, i heard the sound of a little piece of plaster falling (my ceiling has been "under repair" since i moved in" and was horrified to find...a roach had crawled out of the hole.

all sorts of explitives ran through my mind. when you move to nyc, you're forced to reside yourself to the idea - scratch that, the the reality of roaches. you know they're there - you know there are probably thousands more than you ever dreamed are there, but you live in a very cautious truce with them. they are not allowed to come out when the lights are on. and if they do, you must kill them. that's all there is to it. if they stay where they belong - aka where you can't see them - you and your neighbors and the rest of the city pretend that they don't exist. at least not in your apartment. the little creepers are just not allowed to be seen out. it's the only way people can live in this city.

so the little screw ball that decided to crawl on my ceiling when, in fact, the lights were FULL BLAST. well, he had it coming. i ran for the raid...and, to be just a little fair, i even just kind of waved the can at him before spraying to give him a chance to crawl back from whence he came. (okay, in truth, i really didn't want to deal with what would happen if i sprayed him and he either fell on the ground dead or undead.) no such luck.

i sprayed with all my might and what i learned in that 15 seconds is this. raid does NOT kill bugs dead. damn advertising. raid doesn't do anything to those things. all the raid does is make them crazy. it's torturous - to me and the bugs. it makes the cockroaches tweek out, run aimlessly too and fro, scaring the daylights out of you in the meantime.

it's obviously what happened. jen sprays bug. and sprays. and sprays. bug finally falls off ceiling and onto floor. i shriek like a girl and hop up and down (yes, i realize this does nothing to help the situation). the bug runs behind my bookshelf. [expletive] he emerges...i grab weapon of choice...a...purple flip-flop! a smash....and he's gone. SERIOUSLY?? after about 30 seconds of raid and a full on smash, not only is the little sucker not dead, but he had enough in him to run away somewhere.

so now the thing, half smashed, totally poisoned, has crawled somewhere in my little bookshelf to die. it's right about now that i wish i had a boyfriend. because you can better believe i'd have him digging around back there for the little bug corpse.

i'll leave you with an image of me with a homemade face mask to combat the massive amount of chemicals i released into the air. i think the fumes bothered me more than the roach. if anything happens to me in my sleep, you know what to tell the docs...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

day 2: more miles and another possible recruit

today was a good test. today i tested how it was to run with a little less sleep (6 hours) and side effects of the previous day's run. i had sent demps an e-mail to call me in the morning if he was going to run, and just after i rolled awake on my own at 8, my phone started buzzing and sure enough, it was time to run.

when i crawled out of bed, the pain i wasn't feeling yesterday was there in full force. one would think the pain would be confined to the legs, but not so. the aches greeted me in my back and my ribs as well as in various muscles that in my legs that i didn't know existed. not having a fanny pack (my vanity grimaces at the thought of even looking to buy one, but i haven't thought of another way around it) i was going to have to carry my keys and off i was up to the park.

the train was arriving just as i went through the turnstile and "owe"-d my way down the stairs.

it was another gorgeous day at the park, and after a little stretching we were off. we ran the first day together and then demps took up his own pace and i kept up my slow and steady on my own for then next loop. i grabbed some water, and walked a few lightpoles worth and then kept going, finishing my next 3.4 miles. yeaaaaaah. big smiles all around.

later on, i went to a bbq at a friend's in park slope and we spend the day having brunch, drinking perseco and working on the ny times crossword puzzle. my friend drew came by (he just moved down the block a few weeks ago so i wanted to introduce him to the crew). drew's a good friend of mine from college, and had just sent me an email yesterday volunteering to train with me. i didn't know if he meant just run with me or actually do the marathon, but needless to say, by the end of our conversation, drew's going to try out a few practices! he's been thinking about doing something for charity on an individual level anyway, so when i started talking about the marathon, he started thinking about it.

so i'm pretty freaking ecstatic that i might have gotten yet another person into the marathon - that would mean that i was at least a little responsible for (between the three of us) over $10,000 going to the society. not to mention that its going to be fun and reassuring to have three great friends with me during this crazy journey.

7.8 miles trained to-date.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

day 1 - 3.4 miles and i didn't pass out.

being out and about at 7:30 on a weekend is a completely different animal than doing so during the week. the city is amazingly quiet, there's barely any traffic and there are generally three types of people out:

1) the highly ambitious - they are either runners, bikers, etc. i suppose that i fall into this category in spirit if not in actuality
2) the still-drunk - they have been out all night, maybe finished up at one of the secret bars that stays open after 4, and are just stubling their way home
3) the crazies/homeless - pretty self-explanatory.

i took the 6 from astor place expecting a empty car and a seat. not so. the train was packed. ~grumble~ we were elbow to elbow and someone hadn't showered in a while. it was not exactly the way i wanted to kick off my morning, but once i got off the train all was better. it was (is!) a beautiful day. it hasn't been this nice since may it seems like. a little breeze, almost a chill - i felt like it was the first day of school.

and it kind of was. when i was growing up, i definitely was an artsy type, not a sporty type. the most athletic thing i did was play tigerlily in peter pan in high school and the dance solo required lots of jumps - see, not so athletic. oh, i did play teeball and softball in elementary school (yes you are allowed to laugh), but that doesn't count. this would be my first practice!

we (handsome, charlotte & i) dropped our bags (they have one of the mentors watch your stuff while you run which is great) and waited for the coaches to explain what we would do for the day. i'd say there were about 40 or so people there. the campaign manager welcomed everyone, and explained that we will always kick off the run with a reminder about why we're here and committed to the cause. today one of the honored teammates would speak.

"beth" was diagnosed with a blood cancer last may. she was 32 at the time, and something of an anomaly because the type of cancer she had usually affected men over 50. she said that this made her feel like a science project of sorts. beth underwent a week straight of chemo, almost 24 hours-a-day, every day. she would get 1 hour off to brush her teeth and wash up as best she could. by the end of it, she had lost 25 lbs, and had a long road to recovery ahead of her. once she was at a certain point of recovery, she decided she wanted to do something magnificent with herself. beth always enjoyed running and signed up for a marathon with team in training and ran her first this past june. she's now back for a 2nd one and is running pf changs with us in january.

and with that inspiration to keep us going, we got our training. we would be running on central park's lower loop - 1.7 miles. oh! for you new yorkers i learned a very cool fact - every lamp post in central park has a letter and 4 numbers. the letter is E or W - east or west and the first 2 numbers designate the street that the lampost is in line with. so W 6205 means you're on the west side of the park on the equivalent of 62nd street! okay sorry but i had to share. so the loop. 1.7 miles around. non-runners, beginners and half marathoners were to do 1.5 loops. beginner-intermediates - 2 and intermediate/advanced - 3. i was totally nervous. handsome was going to go for the intermediate group (wow), charlotte was thinking 2 and i was nervous about my little 1.5. so char and i took of at a little light pace and got going.

i'm not going to say it was easy, but it definitely wasn't as hard as i thought. it is SO helpful to have someone to talk to. first of all, it keeps you from running too fast because if you can't hold a conversation you are running too fast. secondly, its a good distraction. c & i gabbed and before we knew it we were at the south side of the park - yay! we grabbed water when we finished the first loop, then kept going. one of the things the coaches told us was not to wait until you are exhausted to stop and walk - do it before and then "your battery will recharge". good advice. after a little longer we walked a few lamp-poles worth and then picked up again. i decided to push myself and do the 2 loops, and behold - we did! 3.4 miles!

it felt really good to accomplish that the first day. i know it wasn't huge miles, but its way more than what i thought i could do, and i'm really proud. h & c, i'm really happy to have you guys with me!

here's a picture of us all sweaty. i promise i will not take yet another version of this picture until marathon day, but i had to document our first practice!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

august schedule

today i took a day off work and went to the beach (it was lovely thank you very much), and came back to find the august training schedule.

here it is!

it doesn't look too terrible. in fact, it makes me think how the hell am i going to get up to 26 miles if we're only running a few for the rest of the month. i am going to have to trust my coaches and know that they have way more experience than i do in this.

And just to give you a taste of how ramon is (i called him raoul yesterday, sorry ramon), here is an exerpt about our training from our welcome email. enjoy.

Wednesdays we’ll always meet at 6:45 pm, and we’ll work on specifics: form, breathing, upperbody, hills, strides, etc..etc… Wednesdays workout usually last between 45-1:15 hrs depending on the workout and your fitness level.
Saturdays we meet at 8:30 am, in both Central Park and Prospect Park, on these days we work just on building that ‘long run’ gradually increasing the amount of time and distance that we spend on our feet. Sessions will last about 45 min the first week, to about .....hmmmmmmmmmm a 'freaking long time' 3 weeks before your event. ..he,he,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"this cough is hurting my feelings..."

i'm really excited after the 1st meeting. i'm still nervous, but it was definitely a good start.

i met h & c around 7 at the NY Blood Center. info session was over and since we were already registered, and since we were pretty much done registering (except for h, who was still filling out paperwork) we sat and waited for the presentations to begin.

we met the staff, the mentors, the coaches, and the honored teammates - people who are either in remission or have an immediate family member fighting a blood cancer. they are truly amazing.

one of the guys was diagnosed 4 years ago with stage-3 (there is a range of 1 to 4, 4 being the worst) non-hodgkins lymphoma. he had 4 days to get a second opinion, decide how he wanted to be treated, write a living will - he was just 39 at the time. his treatment was very aggressive, and to add to it, he had a reaction to one of them and became paralyzed. when he finally went into remission, one of the ways he recovered was through team in training, working towards a triathalon. it was just the first. this guy, just a few months ago, did an IRON MAN. and now he's training for one of the other marathons this season. how can you not be inspired by someone who has come so far?

that alone made me feel good about the coaches, and they are also a great crew. the head coach is hilarious (raoul i think his name is), and i'm sure is going to provide some anticdotes for your reading enjoyment. he has a very thick (spanish?) accent and speaks extremely quickly- you really can only understand every third word or so, but when you piece it together a few seconds later - he is very very funny. "not one marathoner or 1/2 marathoner has failed to finish on my watch, so if you are going to be that one, the registration for the cycling events is still open over there." but he's trained something like 20 event seasons, as has one of the other coaches.

the key note speaker was also really moving, a woman who has a 4 year-old niece who has been diagnosed with leukemia. through team in training, she has raised over $80,000 for the society since january! because of that...i'm thinking of increasing my goal to $10,000...but i guess i should start first before i get overly ambitious. anyway - the survival rate for kids with leukemia is around 85%. a few weeks ago, kate got pneumonia and ended up with a racking cough. after many fits, little kate looked up at her aunt and said "auntie, this cough is hurting my feelings." the way kids talk can really get to the heart of things in such a clear way - for the third time that night i found myself getting teary.

we have our first practice on saturday and i admit i am afraid of what distance we're going to go. 8:30 am at central park. i think friday night is the new movie night for me. i'm definitely putting myself in the beginner training group, although i have a tiny bit of hope that with dedication i'll be able to move up to the intermediate group in a month or so.

wish us luck...

kick-off tonight!

tonight's the official kick-off!

i'm nervous, although we won't really be doing anything but meeting the coaches, mentors and other runners. i think it's going to make it even more real. actually, saturday when i am huffing and puffing my way around central park - that's when it's going to really real.

i had a really great conversation with steve's mom the other day, and then got a sweet e-mail from big bouv (steve's older brother) which made me all misty-eyed. i've never been the most outwardly expressive person when it comes to really emotional issues (as those of you who know me well know), but when it comes to this, somehow the wall has come down a bit and i don't think it's going to go back up any time soon.

okay...back to work so i can leave on time. more laters, with pics if there is anything interesting to show!

Monday, August 07, 2006

if diddy can do it...

in a gothamist article today about the nyc marathon that p. diddy only trained for 8 weeks and still managed to finish in less than four hours.

and if diddy can do it in 8, i can do it in 20.

of course, diddy also raised two million...dunno about that. but maybe i should up the anti? let's see how the first few weeks of fundraising goes...letters coming soon!!

the kindness of friends and strangers

i definitely have two friends in the marathon - yeah!! give a warm welcome to "handsome" and "charlotte", two training buddies you'll be sure to hearing more about. i've given them blog-names just in case they didn't want to be as public as me! h&c, i'm ecstatic that you're in this with me - as my mother will be too! in fact she might be even happier than i am. she was a little nervous, i think, about me taking this on by myself. but now i not only have all my emotional and financial supporters...i'll have two pals in the flesh limp- i mean running beside me.

also a shout out to aaron, who i haven't met yet, but who i will soon! in the crazy 6-degrees that is nyc, he is a boston-friend of my friend kelly (first person to donate over there on the side-bar). a while back, we figured out that we had mutual friends - steve and his older brother mike (aka "big bouv"). after i told her about what i was going to do, she went ahead and sent an e-mail of her own to some of her boston-peeps letting them know about the marathon and who i was running for.

i haven't officially started fundraising yet so when i saw a little donation e-mail pop up in my inbox and it was from someone i didn't even made me smile kindness of a stranger.

thanks again aaron.

Friday, August 04, 2006


last night i had a strange dream. i woke up from the dream even more strangely.

nyc is hot. and supposedly it got cooler last night, but my apartment missed the memo. my ac isn't exactly the strongest, and despite the addition of a pretty great fan to the cooling system it's still very hard to sleep in the heat.

i finally fell asleep well past 1. i always have dreams, and they're pretty vivid. this one was about running a marathon. I had decided to try to run a marathon after training only one month. the marathon was around a 1/4-mile indoor track. It was miserable. i was walking, not even running, and everyone was literally running circles around me (some runners were going the opposite direction - you know how it is in dreamworld.) while i did have a cute running outfit, i was really upset and stressed, worried about everyone that was counting on me to finish. how would i tell everyone i couldn't finish? somehow, i began to jog. after a few laps around the track, i still felt okay and just kept on going. i sped up a little and soon I had completed 2 miles. hmmm. it wasn't so bad. i didn't have to be so worried, i just had to keep my own pace and everything would be -------

OOOOOOOOOWE. charley-horse! a real one. i mean i think it was a charley-horse. whatever it's officially called, my left calf was a rock-hard knot of pain and agony. yes, agony. i thumped it with my fist and after a few minutes of abuse, the muscle released and i was left wide awake to worry about whether or not the whole thing meant anything.

obviously i'm a little stressed about the marathon - who wouldn't be? you'd have to be out of your mind or a professional athlete not to be tense. but then when i was feeling wake up to a big nasty cramp? that's just weird.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

it is hot.

it is, as we used to say in eighth grade, africa hot.

and i have to say that i am happy that training hasn't begun yet! although there is now a nysc (my gym, for those of you non-new yorkers, is new york sports club) conveniently located at houston and varick, just a little ways north from my office. between that and the broadway one, i have zero excuses for not being able to make the gym. i could even go at lunch. yikes.

i'm also working on my friend demps to join me in my insanity to run. it would be good to have a partner in crime to train with and to share the pain and suffering. i'll bust out the cliche, hipster-style: misery company.

stay cool everyone and don't use too much ac. we don't need no blackouts round here.