Friday, September 29, 2006

5000 m run (aka 3.5 miles) through the belgian woods

hello from belgium, the land of waffles and chocolates!

we're having a lovely time, and although i've only run once (my first attempt in amsterdam was unsuccessful, my hip extra achy from the plane ride), i am getting plenty of miles in on my feet at least.

we spent 4 days in amsterdam, taking in mostly cultural sites, then took the train to antwerp on wednesday evening. both of our hosts have been lovely - today renee took us to brugge - a quaint medieval city about an hour and half from here. aside from the walking about there and antwerp, our time in belgium has certainly been the vacation from the vacation. no hectic party vibe like amsterdam has...not that i'm complaining!

in any case, i managed to run yesterday at a park a little way down the road. the park is lined with color-coded trails so you know exactly how far you are running. i'm not sure if it's the jet lag or the new beds or all the walking but my body was still not feeling quite like my own, so i opted for 2 2500m laps. it was lovely once i got going and most of the creeks out even though my ipod had died on me. around a lake, through a grove, i tried not to trip over the roots weaving in and out of the was a fun run.

tomorrow we head back to amsterdam, and i think it would be wise to get up early and try to run before we go for our final few days - it's that or run early one morning in vondelpark.

yesterday's mileage: 3.5
total mileage: 96.0

Monday, September 25, 2006

hello from amsterdam/saturday's run


this will be a short post, courtesy the apple store, because 1 i'm on vacation, and 2 this keyboard is funny.

i didn't get to write sat. before i left because everything was so last minute. but on saturday morning i ran a record breaking 7 miles! i was very very proud.

i think we've done a good job with the jet lag, and so tomorrow, i'll go for my first run in vondel park.

that's all until i hit an internet cafe!

(mom, dad, e-mail is on the way :)

saturday's mileage: 7.0 miles
total mileage: 92.5

Friday, September 22, 2006

camera disaster!!

i thought i was having a memory card i went and bought an new one today. an extra big one.

and i brought it home...and the camera still doesn't work. i'm totally s.o.l. and all the new canons (my brand of choice) do not take the size memory card i bought. *^&^&%&^%&^%_)_$#$^$#^%!@!!!

vacation tomorrow. remember vacation tomorrow.

okay, plans made to borrow a friend's camera...if that doesn't work, i'll suck it up and hit one of the electronic super-stores (shudder) because b&h is closed because of the jewish holiday...vacation tomorrow. vacation tomorrow.

a break for you and a break for me

i know you all are dying to know the implications of our fit tests. basically by using a formula we generally know how fast we should be running for our "EZ days" and our long run days. and, now a guest appearance by head coach ramon:

Figuring out your EZ pace: Get the time of the Slower of the FAST miles and I mean, to the second, and add 1:30 minutes to your faster mile pace, that gives you the 'average pace. Substract 15 seconds to that total, and you'll get you `lower end' and ADD 15 seconds to that total and you'll get you `top end' Eg. if you ran 8:09 , + 1:30 = 9:39 (aveg. pace). Then 9:39 – 15 = 9:24 (lower end). 9:39 + 15 = 9:54 (top end). When you run on your easy days, you should/must/advice you to/better/recommend Keep your pace within your lower end and your top end.

Long runs: This time get your Fastest mile time. Add, 2:00 to it to get your `Average pace' and add 2:30 to get your `starting pace'. EG. 8:10 + 2:00 = 10:10 this is your Average pace' 8:10 + 2:30 = 10:40 this is your `Starting pace'. During long runs it's always better/recommended to start slower and then settle down to your `average pace' as you feel good about your run and you know how much it's left. Tip: Always think that you want to run the 2nd half of your run a little faster than the first. That's easily achive by just starting running slower…(not by pushing more at the end) .got it ??

i'm going to use my first run and then "cheat" and use charlotte's second time since my lower time was off because of my hip. Faster time 9:08. Slower time 9:15. so on the shorter runs i should be running between a 10:23 - 10:30. for the longer runs my starting pace should be about 11:38 and my average pace should be about 11:08. I am quite comfortable with that right now, and even have a sneaking feeling i'll definitely want to improve...but lets just get all healed.

i don't think i mentioned...but i'm going on vacation! my friend sass and i are going to amsterdam and antwerp. i haven't been on a real vacation in almost two years!! i've had some great little long weekends away, but this is the real deal. i'm terribly excited although a was a little nervous about missing runs. however, the great thing about running is that you can do it anywhere. and i e-mailed with ramon about my hip, who first advised that i not cross-train today and stretch like crazy so i can see how it goes tomorrow. while i'm away to run twice and crosstrain twice (the hill training wouldn't be very good for my it band anyway) and when i get back, he'll personally let me know what i missed. also, luckily for me, sass is a yogi and i'm going to try to see if she'll give me a few classes.

euroskip convinced me NOT to take my laptop (thanks for bringing me back to sanity. see, i *was* listening), and so you may only hear from me once or twice, if at all. but i promise lots of cool photos when i return (i'm a bit of a shutterbug). don't worry though, one more post after practice tomorrow. for now, back to packing!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

more fit than ever

okay, maybe that's a little exaggeration, but in light of recent injuries, that's how i felt!

so today's work out was a fit test. idea is we do the test this week, and then again after 6 weeks of hill training (ug. 6 weeks of hill training, i'm already scared.) anyway, for the beginners, we were doing 1 mile warm up, then running a mile around an effort level of 3.5 (you remember those right?), 1 mile recovery, then one more e3.5 mile.

i was nervous all day. my hip had been feeling much better monday, but i made a mistake on tuesday. on tuesday i wore some very sexy but not so sensible high-heeled boots. probably not the brightest move. now you're going to have to forgive me for a moment while i mention the word "outfit" but the sassy boots looked damn good with my outfit and they are not uncomfortable boots.

of course, what the female audience knows that the males do not, is that when you walk in heels you do walk and balance and use different muscles than when you are in flops, sneakers or flats. and depending on the style & height of the shoe, the compensation is different. as a girl, you don't *think* about this when you walk in them because you are very accustomed to the high-heeled shoe stroll and the knee-high boot strut. And thus i donned the boots and went out for the typical walk-filled day. by the end of the day, the strain of the boot compensation had not only irritated my hip but cause a nice ache in my lower back above the hip. i chastised myself for not being more sensible, popped more advil and hoped for a miraculous recovery.

good news was that i was walking normally this morning but it still hurt and wasn't feeling quite right. i stretched all day, and while i didn't improve, i didn't get any worse. i left work early because today's activity was finally going to force me to buy a watch. i was going for cheap, and planned on getting a duane reade special somewhere close to the park. sure enough, there was a cvs right off the train and i managed to find a non-offensive stop watch for just 9.99. sweet. not so sweet was almost getting nailed by a car as i tried to figure it out how it worked on the way to the store but alls well that ends well, yes?

the girl that talked today before practice was so sad. i couldn't hear exactly the timing of the beginning of the story, but it seemed that her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer pretty recently. at first they thought that they got it all through chemo and a mastectomy, but after a bit her mom fell and broke something and when she went back to the hospital something was wrong. they found the cancer had spread and was in her shoulder and her lungs. the girl joined tnt and she said it was really all she could focus on, running, trying to be strong. two weeks ago, her mom died. and here she was, at practice, getting ready to run, and not only that but telling us about it. the strength that people have is truly amazing and it made me feel like an idiot for all the whining i did all weekend. we all had tears in our eyes and a little more determination.

handsome was off with the intermediates and so i found charlotte and we started the 1 mile warm up. we went slowly and i felt okay but as the mile went on i could definitely feel it tightening. it was not however painful so much that i was "running funny" as i call it. once we got to the end of the warm up, we were going out in groups every :30 seconds. we got in the slower end of the line. i was stretching and trying to psyche myself up. charlotte was being supportive. the line was moving too fast and before we knew it, it was our turn. with a set jaw, we got ready...

...and we were off! it was an aggressive pace but i was okay. not completely pain free, but like i said, okay. we were passed by some people, and then by the middle we were passing. we were going at a good pace and we were very very consistent the whole time, which i think is probably good. soon i was heavy breathing, conversation was much less but the windedness was absolutely taking my mind of the aching hip. the finish line approached finally and...9 minutes 15 seconds!!

i don't think i have ever ever run a mile that fast. not even in those dumb fit tests back in jr. high. i felt winded and happy and suddenly nauseous all at once. a little water helped that, i stretched...and then we had to turn around and do it again.

now the pain was on. i couldn't run then so we walked a bit and then i decided to try again. still hurting but managable. we jogged back up and i told char to go ahead on her own because i was probably going to be a great deal slower. i stretched my hip for a minute or so, and then i was off again.

the second time was harder for sure. i think i was favoring the left leg a little but after a few minutes, i got used to the sort of pain it was and i put my stubborn hat on. i wasn't going as fast as we had, but i was going faster than i usually ran and the effort was there so i didn't push any harder. at the end, i came in at 10 minutes 25 seconds which was not terrible considering once i stopped i was pretty much in limp mode. 4 miles and 1 mile at my fastest time ever. and i was hurt. which means, ladies and gents, that when i'm completely better, i'm going to go even faster!

but in the meanwhile...i've got an ice pack on my hip and am about to wash down some advil. tonight though, that is a.o.k.

today's mileage: 4.0
total mileage: 85.5

off topic: how to tackle global warming, by al gore

this past monday, al gore spoke at nyu and proposed a rough outline of how we should tackle global warming. i've taken the liberty to summarize (in some case with quotes with a little further explanation, quotes are in italics) because it is very long and many may not have the time to read it.

obviously i feel this is a very important issue and clearly have a strong opinion on the matter. most importantly, though, is to be informed. and it is in that spirit i share. for the full transcript, click here.

al's ideas on how to address global warming

1. Freeze Co2 emissions and begin sharp reductions.

“An immediate freeze has the virtue of being clear, simple, and easy to understand. It can attract support across partisan lines as a logical starting point for the more difficult work that lies ahead.”

2. Join the rest of the global economy & authorize the trading of emissions within a global cap, aka, sign the Kyoto Treaty.

“At present, the global system for carbon emissions trading is embodied in the Kyoto Treaty. It drives reductions in CO2 and helps many countries that are a part of the treaty to find the most efficient ways to meet their targets for reductions. It is true that not all countries are yet on track to meet their targets, but the first targets don’t have to be met until 2008 and the largest and most important reductions typically take longer than the near term in any case.

The absence of the United States from the treaty means that 25% of the world economy is now missing. It is like filling a bucket with a large hole in the bottom. When the United States eventually joins the rest of the world community in making this system operate well, the global market for carbon emissions will become a highly efficient closed system and every corporate board of directors on earth will have a fiduciary duty to manage and reduce CO2 emissions in order to protect shareholder value.”

3. Take a multi-solution approach vs. looking for the “silver bullet” that will “fix” global warming. Increased efficiency, decreased dependency on oil and improved environmental policies including:

• dramatic improvements in the efficiency with which we generate, transport and use energy while offering incentives for eliminating polition and becoming more efficient

• develop ways to distribute electricity and liquid fuels so that we are less dependant on coal-fired generating plants, oil ports, refineries, etc.

• require and assist the American auto industry to move towards flex-fuel, plug-in, hybrid vehicles.

• better forest management

• more efficient use of natural energies such as wind and solar power

• utilizing new architecture and design techniques to work towards carbon-neutral buildings (buildings represent a larger source of global warming pollution than cars & trucks)

• capturing the carbon released by coal-burning (one of the dirtiest sources of energy, it produces far more CO2 for each unit of energy output than oil or gas).

4. Replace the revenue generated by the payroll tax with a pollution tax – principally on CO2

“The overall level of taxation would remain exactly the same. It would be, in other words, a revenue neutral tax swap. But, instead of discouraging businesses from hiring more employees, it would discourage business from producing more pollution.

At present, when business has to pay more taxes in order to hire more people, it is discouraged from hiring more people. If we change that and discourage them from creating more pollution they will reduce their pollution. Our market economy can help us solve this problem if we send it the right signals and tell ourselves the truth about the economic impact of pollution.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

shout out: beck(y) does dallas

i decided that from time to time i'm going to give a shout out to other people doing cool things and spread the love a little bit.

my friend beck makes amazingly cool bags. i'm lucky enough to have two (one was a birthday present and one was a sample sale purchase) and whenever i take them out the compliments and "where did you get that!"s abound. they are sk8 (skate) bags, and made from old skateboards, scratches and all. she works with skate shops and skateparks all over the country to get old/broken boards and donates $3 for each one towards building skateparks. most of it goes to the tony hawk foundation which is focused on empowering youth and supports recreational programs with a focus on the creation of public skateboard parks in low-income communities.

so today...beck's bags made daily candy dallas. see below and check out more at congrats beck!

[NOTE: photos is not working right now, for the "live" daily candy dallas, click here.]

Monday, September 18, 2006

curse you, earbuds

true to my word, i went to the gym after work for some sensible cross-training.

the thumping of people on the treadmills was calling me, but i resisted their beckoning and settled for the elliptical machine. the elliptical machine is kind of like running without the impact. you feet don't leave the large "pedals" and basically your legs move in a circular movement. you can also do one with arm holds that move back and forth as if you were cross-country skiing, but i don't like that one. sans arms for me thank you very much.

i chose a cross-training program that started flat-ish, then went up a big hill and back down, put some bad entertainment television on, and got situated with my ipod. it's amazing how much easier that thing is than running. the only thing that was hard-ish was when it told you to pedal backwards, and even then i was more concerned with falling off the thing than getting winded.

after about 15 minutes, the earbuds started slipping from my ears. now, i happen to have very very tiny ears, not impossibly tiny, but obviously too tiny for the earbuds. it was highly annoying. the routine of trying to stuff them back in my ears got old quickly and i said good bye to music. apple, please fix this, your only design-travesty.

i went for 50 minutes including a cool-down which is about 4.5 miles (i'm not going to count these sorts of miles towards my mileage fyi). while there was a little aching here and there, by and large i felt pretty good. i iced down my hip when i got home, and i'll pop some advil before bed and hope for the best in the morning. more cross training before work or after...that is the question.

the halfway mark (again)

today's another milestone day!!

with the arrival of the mail today, i have offically raised over $5,000 and am now over 1/2 way to my goal of $10,000!! yeah!

thank you everyone for all your support, for the time you take reading this silly blog of mine and most importantly for your donations. every time someone speaks at one of the lls events, i hear yet another story about someone benefiting from a treatment that would not have been possible without donations like yours. thank you so very much.

just about done being a whiny brat

okay maybe i wasn't a brat but i sure was whiny.

i'm walking rather normally today with minor minor minor bits of pain. this allowing me to take off the bratty pants, and put back on my good-spirited, optimistic ones. and because i was feeling more or less normal, i did entertain the notion of trying to run today.

i'll let you in on a little secret...i am quietly competitive.

there are some people that are very very competitive by nature, and you know. i'm not one of them. i'm more or less a pretty laid back person, don't typically have to have everyone's attention all the time, and i know how to listen probably better than i know how to talk. but, when certain stars times i am the most competitive person you'll ever meet. you'll just never know it, because it's all inside.

this secret competitiveness of mine is generally played out in conversations inside my own head. (hmmm - now you're thinking not only is she funny crazy, she's crazy crazy.) this was played out on saturday when i was stuck walking while everyone else was running. it was maddening, as i said in saturday's post, the interior dialogue between me and me was not pretty. i'm going to say something that's going to sound kind of conceited but it really isn't meant to be: i'm pretty good at a lot of things. not all of them are substantial things (some of my odder talents are ping-pong & pinball), but a lot of things none-the-less. i think the best way that i've heard it put is "jack of all trades, master at none. what i'm trying to say is that it's been really hard for me, just for these 4 days, *not* to be able to do something well. and it's a lesson in humility and being humble and learning limitations, which are very good lessons for me.

and so today, instead of running i'm going to either go to the gym and use the elliptical thingy or go to yoga class like a good girl. and we'll see how i feel tomorrow.

a shout out to handsome who ran 9 miles!!!on Saturday. that is amazing and i'm so proud of you. and yes, i am just a little bit jealous. [grin]

Sunday, September 17, 2006

taking it "easy"

hip status - still hurt
ego status - getting better but still bruised

how hurt, well, i'm kind of limping because it hurts too much to take a full-on step on my right leg. it's not terrible, but after brunch, my sis and i walked up to union square, which is roughly 6 short blocks and 3 long ones...and that was just about all the walking i could/wanted to take. after a half-hearted shopping attempt, i hobbled back here, and used my spiffy new ice pack, which, after 25 minutes actually took some of the pain away, so i am cautiously optimistic. i want to be run-able by wednesday, our next practice, and i think that what i'll do is two days of cross training and one day off, instead of one day running, one day cross training and one day off.

today is going to be my day off. it's probably the smartest thing to do given walking is giving me trouble. i think the reason i am mentally taking this so badly is that i've really never been physically injured before. i was never an athlete, so there hasn't been a time ever when i had hurt my body so that it wouldn't do what i wanted it to do. i'm nervous about running and just walking is a constant reminder that something is wrong.

i'm going to try to be a little bit more positive about it, not be so hard on myself and not let me stubbornness get the better of me. in the meantime, hopefully the grumpy posts aren't too annoying.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

walking makes you feel like you're 80

no offense to the 80 year olds out there.

i had high hopes i would awake this morning to a pain-free hip and i would blissfully run at least 6 miles, my first full loop of central park. as you may have guessed by the title of the post, that's not exactly how it went.

i woke up and the hip was twingy (pronounced "twin-jee"). not too sharp of a pain, but definitely not all better. not hurting enough to skip practice though so off i went.

i got their early enough to ask the coach about my hip. today it was the "rookie" as ramon has affectionately named him (all the other coaches and a mentor or two are doing this crazy 200 mile relay race up in new hampshire this weekend). he said he was pretty sure that it was indeed the i.t. band, that it was probably enflamed and that when that happens, it takes a while for it to go back down. he recommended icing it and lots of stretching and if it was still trouble after a week or so we'd talk about it again.

okay, cool, except we were supposed to run 6 - 8 miles today and i didn't know how that was going to go. the thing that is insane is that i actually was thinking okay well, if we do the outer loop, if i'm feeling okay i can do a lower one after and that will be 1.7 for a 7.7 total. that would not be bad.

charlotte arrived and it was time to go. the park was packed today - there was a training run for the nyc marathon through road runners and everyone was out. it was a little claustrophobic but good people watching. i told charlotte if she wanted to leave me she could because i was going to be a slow poke, but she was okay with that.

we ran to just before the 102 transverse, and i had to walk. the dull pains had become sharp ones, and i could feel other parts of my body starting to compensate - my lower back started to hurt and the quad of my right leg. i could tell i was running a little weird and so...tried to walk it off. charlotte kept me company, and after a little while, i decided to try again. i probably should have taken the 102 across and planned on 4, but you know me. tough girl.

we ran most of the way down the hill, and then my hip was done. i was pissed. at who? the world. well the world except for charlotte. i hated that i was not going to run today. that i was hurt. that there wasn't much that i could do about it. char was great, keeping me company and offering suggestions of stretches and reminding me that it was better to stop and not hurt myself more. ~grumble~

a little after 102, char went on to run the rest of the miles, which was probably good because i was getting grumpier by the minute. as much as my hip hurt, the bruising to my ego and confidence hurt more. this was aggrivated by the all the other runners galloping past me. i wanted to trip them. of course i didn't and wouldn't but i'd be lying if i said the thought didn't cross my mind. especially the ones that were chipper and looked extra comfortable in their running skin. i was terribly and horribly jealous. the worst part was when the large training or pacing groups would suddenly just envelop me, and i'd be surrounded on both sides by sweaty, chatty, happy runners. i really felt like i was 80 - all i needed was a cane. who's the biggest loser? um, yeah, that would be me.

i finally made it back and char was there talking to the coach, i knew she was worried. it's nice to have people worried about you :) he said that it was good that i listened to my body, and that i shouldn't be discouraged because it's very early in the season. i should keep the general mileage i've been doing, but if running was hurting so much that i was compensating to do some other sort of activity. technically we only have to be running three times a week - i've been doing four. so what i may do is switch one of my run days to a cross training day and do two of those. yoga needs to be a part of my routine because it stretches and strengthens, and an ice pack would be my new friend.

i know that no one is harder on me than me, but i'm just super disappointed in myself, ridiculous or not. yes, i know i have an injury, but maybe it's because i didn't stretch enough? maybe i should have been doing more cross training? maybe i ran too hard on wednesday? maybe maybe maybe. and of course the worst thought of all - maybe i was crazy to think i could do this?

today's mileage: 5.0
total mileage: 81.5

Friday, September 15, 2006

welcome to the team drew!

i just got a voicemail from team in training...i have sucked in another recruit! my friend drew officially signed up today and has committed to running the arizona marathon with us. this makes me happy for a few reasons:

• paying it forward - the more people that participate, the more people talk about it and want to be involved
• more money for the cause
• drew's an awesome guy, he'll be a fun addition to the crew

i'm really happy that i've got such amazing friends that i can ask them so do something insane like running a marathon for charity, and some actually say yes. it makes me feel really lucky indeed.

time to rally

you may or not remember grace from my previous posts. her husband has leukemia and will eventually need a bone marrow transplant.

the family received sad news today - neither his brother or sister matched. there are 6 genetic factors, and of those, i think at at least 4 have to match (more on this when i get my facts straight). that means they need to rely on the donor list...time to rally.

my friend s. and i thought that we could host something here in the conference room for people to come in and get tested. the first round to testing is a blood test, and i know that this has been done before so i'm starting to organize. work is in. i contacted the lls to see what info they can give me about organizing something like this.

if you lovely readers have any information on how to do this, please send it my way and e-mail me. also, if we do pull this off and know better the details of the proceedures both short and long term, i will be putting out a call for people to come in and be tested. if you know you are interested and want me to put you on the info list, please also e-mail me.

the e-mail, of course, is thanks so much for your support and help, and please send hopeful thoughts to grace and her family today.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

hip troubles

i woke up this morning and my hip was not really any better despite the good night's sleep and the three advil.

my sister and i walked to work, and i was hoping that it would loosen up a bit, but i kind of gimped around all day. i had decided to run at the gym that day because of the rain, and it would be my first foray with the new ipod, which, by the way, i am keeping.

running on the treadmill is very different. first off, it's very boring. i had my music and the tv - entertainment tonight is the perfect tv show to watch soundless by the way, you get all you need to know from the celebrity shots. anyway, i was going to try to do 4 miles at a 12 minute mile.

unfortunatly after hip was en fuego. even my co-worker hank's great training tunes (thanks hank!) couldn't keep me going. i think it was probably smart to stop running. i briskly walked for another mile and a quarter or so because it didn't hurt as much as running and then stretched for a long time.

by the time i got home, it seemed to be much more loose, and even though every time i get up from where i'm sitting it's tight, i have a feeling it will be better tomorrow. of course, i did start web-medicating myself, and discovered that it indeed could be the it band, OR i could have an uneven length legs or an uneven pelvis. hmmm. i'm going to keep an eye on it, and if it keeps bothering me, i'm going to check it out with a doctor.

oh! i forgot to tell you last post - we might run a 1/2 marathon in october. the staten island 1/2 marathon. how scary and exciting is that!! but, i need to run 10 miles by October 8th (i think)...more details to follow, but see! there is no time for injuries. no time at all.

today's mileage: 3.26
total mileage: 76.5

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

running fast makes you feel like you're 8

i admit that i was dreading practice a bit today. it sounded like it was going to be rough.

i managed to leave work relatively on time, but i was in "a mood" because of some stuff that i will not get into here as it has yet to be resolved. (don't worry - i'm not getting myself fired or anything like that. just important, healthy debate, but can i get a little emotional sometimes.) if you don't know what i mean by this, you're lucky. if you do, you can imagine. i was quickly weaving my way east to the 6 train on canal, alternately ignoring and making inappropriate gestures to the disgusting cat-callers that line the sidewalk. (men. don't cat-call the ladies. we are way over it. if you break this rule, at least say something clever enough to make her laugh and help her repress the urge to stick her thumb in your eyeball.) getting uptown at 6:45 is a mix of skill (getting out on time & manuvering around hawkers and tourists on canal) & luck (getting on the local quickly, hitting express transfer, and not getting stuck behind ridiculously slow walkers going up the stairs).

i was making good time, but was so distracted by my grumbling and talking to myself about work that i stood on the downtown track for a good 5 minutes and almost got on the wrong train. damn. i managed to hit the express...but got on a car with zero air conditioning (which you still need in this weather) and the 4 decided to go painfully slowly between 14th and 42nd. so i was now angry, running late & sweaty. ! deep breaths.

at 42nd, i ran to another car which was marginally better. of course, at the next stop, 59th, 15 people did the same thing, and they were all inbetween me and the door i was going to need to exit from. ! i looked at them miserably, worried i'd miss my stop and then i would lose it. sure enough, when the stop came, no one tried to get out of the way of the door for people that needed to leave, and everyone was too polite to even say loud excuse me's, so i did something i've never really done before. on behalf of me and all the others trying to get through, i firmly but pleasantly said in my best very loud-theatre-voice "coming OUT!" and it was like the parting of the red seas. go moses.

it was more of the same getting to the park, dropping off my bag, etc. i was in a huff and kind of glad we were going to have a hard work out because i was sufficiently mad at the world to want to run it out. i missed the mission moment, but did arrive in time to learn that i was NOT the lead fundraiser. someone has apparently raised over 7...time for another round of letters.

so as i posted earlier, today was alernating "not-quite-sprints" with recovery. our coach was in the middle, which wasn't quite in the middle, and we would run at effort level 4 (e4) to him, then from him to the other side of the transferse was recovery - e1. then back again. and back again. until they said stop. he told us there was no such thing as too slow for e1, that it was most important during recovery to get our breath back and try to get our heart rate down. i decided i would listen.

handsome and i warmed up and then we were in the second group to start. we all took off and there was definitely a feeling of competition in the air. i tried to work hard, but not run my ultimate fastest. i used my arms and swung them longer, which as i know you remember ;) lengthens your stride. i was not going my all out fastest but i felt like i was going *fast*. as i said in the title, i felt like i was a kid. when do you ever really RUN any more? i mean not jog, or trot accross the street, but full-out-heart-racing-blood-rushing-run! well, clearly for me, not very often. we reached the middle and i felt winded but okay. everyone passed me on recovery but like i said - i really took it slow and focused on the breathing. i wanted to be able to maintain my speed during the e4 sections as long as possible. as we went to the west side, i did notice the 2nd half was probably 1.5x as long as the first. hmm.

the first one i went too fast and since the recovery on the back end was shorter, i was hurting a little but then i got the hang of it, and really did great. i was able to for the most part stay very strong and fast during the speedy sections even if i was going slower on the recoveries. the people that were passing me during the recoveries, i was flying by during the e4s...which i admit, was cool. i felt really great at the end of it, although i know i'm going to be hurting tomorrow. not sure of the milage, first because i don't know the length of the transverse, and second because i can't remember how many laps i did...but i'll try to figure it out. for now i'm going to guess 5 full laps @ .7 miles per lap...3.5? sounds high. we'll say 3 until i check.EDIT: handsome has done the checking...each lap .5 but with the .75 there and back...4 miles!

i do believe i'll run tomorrow evening, not the IT band is already really stiff, the only thing that's bothering me now, and it could probably use the extra rest.

'night people.

today's mileage: 3.0 4.0
todal mileage: 73.24 74.24

today's workout and fortune

first, the workout (a la ramon of course):

A coach will stand in the middle of the transverse.

You will alternate efforts, Half way of the trasverse (where one of the coaches will stand) at Effort 4 and the other Half way you'll run Effort 1 (more about efforts below). So basically you will run quick half way from east to west and recover the rest of the way, turn around and run half way from west to east quick and recover the rest of the way to the east side.

You'll continue to do that until we have mercy on you !

ug. i'm scared.

good thing i got a good fortune...

You will make change for the better.

i sure hope so. more after tortu- er, i mean, practice.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the discontent of consumerism

as you know, i decided to order an ipod nano, refurbished because it's cheaper and i already have an ipod that stores a lot of music but is too big to run with.

today, finally, the thing arrived! i was ecstatic, running about the office exclaiming "it's so little!" and marveling at it's smallness and extremely excited over having tunes to run with as soon as i could load the thing up. i couldn't have been happier until i get an im from my friend j...

j: did you get your nano yet?
roxie: yes! got it today!
j: did you get the referb?
roxie: yep - the 2 gig - only $129.
j: well i guess you can return the refurbished ones
[extended pause as i puzzle]
roxie: and why would i want to return it?
j: oh...[extended pause]
j: apple just came out with a new line of nanos
j: today
roxie: of course.

so i "run" to the apple site and they've released a new line of nanos today that immediately have made my perfectly good purchase of a refurbished nano seem...well...Inadequate. the technology has been updated. you get more gigs for less money. and you can get more gigs. the colors are prettier. (yeah, that last one's lame, i know).

there is NO reason why the nano i just bought can't work just fine for me. it's little, and black, and will hold plenty of songs for training and the marathon. more songs than i probably need in fact...and yet i'm compelled to call apple, see if i can repackage the ipod i just got, pay the shipping costs i didn't pay to have it shipped to me to spend more money and upgrade on a new one. why? because even though i fight against it, the idea that one must have the newest, "best" thing is tempting...especially when it's apple, where everything is so pretty and shiny and...ARGH. must. not. give in!

anyway. sorry for that. i am mildly embarrassed. training tomorrow night. i think we're doing some sort of fit test, but i haven't gotten an e-mail from ramon to share with you, so we'll be surprised together.

Monday, September 11, 2006

a warmer reason to remember september 11th

september 11th is a day that it seared into the memories of americans and world. it was, as the newspapers are saying, new york's darkest day. on september 11th, 2001 i had been living in new york for a little over a year, working on the west side in chelsea at my first advertising agency. i have many surreal memories of that day and the days and weeks following, and truth be told, in years past, just the mention of the date makes me cringe. but this year, while i will not (nor do i want to) forget the tragedy that took place 5 years ago today, i choose to celebrate a more joyful event that took place 30 years ago today.

on september 11, 1976, steven bouvier was born. what i'm sure was an adorable bundle grew up to be a man, a husband, a chemist, a skiier, a scholar, an uncle, a son-in-law, a brother-in-law, a friend, and a vermont-enthusiast. he was, by birth, a son, a little brother, a nephew, a cousin, a "bouv" and a red sox fan, and i know that he excelled in all categories. he grew an infectious smile, a certain swagger in his lanky walk, a great sense of humor, long hair, and the accent we all know and love.

when i was running today, at first it was really hard to tune out the dark implications of the day. there were cops not just on the big bridges, but the little footbridges that cross the FDR. the southbound side of the FDR was blocked off, and the constant buzz of the news and police helicopters were nearly impossible to ignore. but after i got my rhythm, i was able to tune them out and think about steve.

a few weeks ago, i was watching a very very cheesy girlie movie with my sister. ( if, by the way,after i describe this you know what movie i'm talking about, you lose all rights to mock me for watching it.) in this movie, one of the characters, a 12-year-old girl, has leukemia. her friend asks her if she is afraid, and she says not of death, but of time. she was afraid that she wouldn't figure out who she was, wouldn't have time to make her mark on the world.

bouv knew who he was, and there is no question that he made a mark on the world, especially if that mark is measured in the number of people you touched and that love you.

happy birthday bouv.

today's mileage: 4.77
total mileage: 70.24

ADDENDUM: in celebration of Steve's birthday...I'm going to increase my fundraising goal to $10,000. yeah, i know, crazy. but i've been thinking about it...and so...what better day than today. wish me luck.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

my first race. (this is a long post, consider yourself warned)

how was it? you ask. it was fun.

getting up wasn't fun, and even running before hand wasn't that fun, but overall, i have to was fun.

the day started at 6:30 am because i needed to shower and be on the train by 7:15. i was meeting charlotte around 8:00 at 72nd and the east side of the park. it was a pretty morning, although threatening to be a little warm. as soon as i got off the 6 at 68th street you began to see runners. for some reason, i had thought this was a little race, there'd be a few hundred people there, but not a big deal. it was, after all, only 4 miles. i was wrong - a lot of people use this as one of their qualifying races to be assured entry into the ny marathon for 2007. yeah, the one next year.

the way it works is: if you join ny road runners by january 31 (let's use 2006 as an example), 2006 and you participate in 9 qualifying runs during that calendar year, you are guaranteed entry to the nyc marathon for the following year, 2007. with me? so since i just joined nyrr, i won't be eligible for the nyc marathon until 2008, because i didn't join before the cut off (i can still try to get in during the lottery, or i could run with tnt, but let's just get through the first one, shall we?). so one of the reasons this race is so big is because there are not that many races left for the year and everyone's trying to get their 9 in.

so i met up with charlotte, her starbucks in hand (i was a little jealous, i admit), and we made it over to the registration. we picked up our gift bags first (lays baked chips, a fancy girls' razor, and a variety of "sporty" snack bars), registered where we got our numbers, tracking chips & souvenir tee shirts, grabbed safety pins and found a spot to get situated. pin the number to shirt. attach the tracking chip to shoe - nyrr supplies these, times are recorded and you return them at the end of the race. check bag. meet other team in training folks. i was going to run with my camera...until the [insert expletive of your choice] thing died on me. of course. so sorry, no pics today. we were going to run a lower loop - 1.7 miles - before starting the race at 9:30.

the lower loop was fine but i was feeling a little creaky. i told myself to get over it, and i think we did the whole thing in about 20 minutes, i wasn't keeping track of that one. we met back up with the team, and after a little pep talk, we could go on over to the starting line.

we had about 10 minutes and i started to get excited. there were so many runners of all sorts of ages, shapes and colors. a feast for the people-watcher in me. we stretched to keep warm, and stayed outside of the corral until just after the starting horn blew (!!) and then jumped in around the 10-minute mile group.

we trotted towards the official starting line, starting and stopping because of all the people, but the closer we got, the bigger the smile on my face. the biggest, dorkiest smile i could possibly imagine. it was unstoppable. and then...we crossed and the time started a ticking. there were water stops at each mile, but i had hydrated so much, i didn't really feel like i needed to stop. plus one of the only things i was afraid of was having to pee in the middle of the race. not that it really would have mattered because my "time" wasn't going to matter to anyone but me, but of course i still cared.

"racing" is very animalistic. i alternated between feeling like i was an antelope and someone in a video game. you are constantly weaving in and out between people who are changing pace, or deciding to walk or passing someone themselves. i felt like a little kid because it was an experience that was entirely new. i've never raced before. sure, when you were little and "i'll race you to the swings/to the end of the driveway/big tree" sort of races but those were usually in small groups and many many many years ago. running with faster people kept the pace up, there were little boosts of speed when you needed around someone slower and the energy of the crowd kind of pushed you along whether you liked it or not.

the first mile was crowded and i think we covered it in about 11 minutes. the 2nd mile thinned out, which was nice, and when we saw the clock...we think we ran that mile in 10 or under! exciting! charlotte and i were running well and we knew it and that was also encouraging. i was definitely pushing myself a little harder - but was trying to be mindful that this is still a saturday run, and these runs are not about speed. i wanted a good time, but i didn't want to get it because i sprinted the last two miles. i wanted to get a good sense of what my real time per mile is.

during the third mile, on the uphills you began to see runners who lost steam and started to walk. i was definitely more winded than usual, but still felt strong. there was a lot of passing going on during mile three which was fun. i felt fast and strong. mile four too. i won't lie - by the time we got to 79th or so i was ready to be done - but there was no question over whether or not i could do it.

at 72nd charlotte decided to run as fast as she could to the end, and i decided to not sprint, but just to push a little harder. i lengthened my arm movement, which like we learned in training, lengthened my stride, took deep breaths just went. there was a tnt training cheering section, and our coach was at the finish, and the little crowd was cheering as i finished strong. it was fanTASTic.

afterwards, we went to an event called connection to the cause, which basically reinforces why you are running and what it does for the society and is very inspirational. i'll write about that some other time, simply because this post is already way way too long. then it was back here to check my time as soon as i walked in the door...and oh yes! i averaged less than an 11 minute mile! i figured we were around 11 but i didn't think we'd be under. a very pleasant's the clip from the website. look at the net time (basically, that starts recording when my chip goes over the start, vs. when the horn blows). congratulations to me!!

today's mileage: 5.7
average time/mile: 10.47
total mileage: 65.47

Friday, September 08, 2006

an unconventional match

when fundraising, work is always a good place to start. in my experience, the places i've worked have been very generous in donating in one way or another. of course i had planned on asking green team to contribute, but i hadn't figured out if i was going to ask for a match or a donation or what.

what they came to me with, however, was a great idea.

as many of you know, my co-worker (we'll call her grace)'s husband has recently been diagnosed with leukemia. prognosis is good, and he is undergoing treatment, and getting ready for bone marrow transplant. grace wanted to take her husband away to montauk for a weekend because he loves the beach and it would be a good place to relax and think and spend some time away from the city.

gt had a great idea - they would match any employee donations made to me, but put into a "beach fund" for grace and her husband.

i loved the idea because i wasn't really worrid about hitting my minimum fundraising requirement - i had faith in all of you guys! also, to be able to use what i'm doing to help someone allows me to help in both a "big" scale (depending on how much money i raise) and also in a more intimate, personal level. as for my fundraising, i was able to raise more money from the gt'ers because they wanted to support grace and her family as well as me. GTers raised over 1,000 for LLS - it was an amazing responce and a match well made.

more later - tonight a little run, and tomorrow...we race! i'm now "official" with ny road runners, and will be sure to take some pics in full racing gear.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

just as tired and sore.

i managed to get out of bed this morning to run. i could tell before i got out of bed that i was still sore, so i knew it wasn't going to be pretty.

oh yeah - the first few blocks i really felt like i was hobbling more than jogging. ache of the day was my right IT band. your IT band is on the outside of your hip and leg. the first day i remember ramon telling us that we must stretch it always, especially the women, because we are more prone to tightness and we can get "discomfort". indeed. it's not a shooting pain exactly but definitely something that twinges and reminds you that it's there.

ironically, i definitely put more effort in to go less miles and probably took more time, e3? mmm no. maybe e2.5.

time for work...

today's mileage: 3.43
total mileage: 59.77

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

i am sore and tired.

and as soon as i blog, it's to bed with me.

today's workout was hard. no lie. basically we had to spend twice as much time at level e3 (e=effort) as e2. e2 is the effort we usually expend during our long saturday and normal runs during the week. the most challenging part about this is...finding e3. it's about effort, not speed, says ramon, and we all nod yes, oh yes, we understand.

and then we get out there and go too damn fast.

demps is a little faster than us, and so after the warm up (which i'll tell you about), char and i were on our own. 4 light poles at e3 and 2 at e2. i think the first two or three times we were at e4 or 5. the trick was to be breathing more deeply and longer breaths, but we weren't supposed to be huffing and puffing. it is a hard balance to find - how much energy to push it but not over do it and also to maintain your pacing for your two different levels.

we ran back and forth between cleopatra's needle (roughly at 81st) and the stop light at 94th street or so. drills. i don't think i've ever done anything like it before, and after i got the hang of it, i was feeling pretty okay. we think (because we weren't exactly keeping track) we ran about 6 and 1/2 lengths, each length was .7 miles, and so...4.55 miles. not so bad. i think i'm going to ache tomorrow, but i'm going to pop a few advil just in case.

the cool thing we did was measure how many strides we take per minute and then how many breaths. the point is that an efficient marathon runner takes between 2.5 and 3 (maybe 3+, i can't remember) strides per breath. i may have miss counted, but i took 162 strides per minute, and 42 breaths. that is 3.8 strides per breath. we're going to get the analysis for all of this probably tomorrow, but i'm happy i'm not that far out of the zone.

who knew running could be so complicated?

tomorrow an easy run in the morning, probably the same friday or yoga...and then...saturday is race day!

today's mileage: 4.55
total mileage: 56.34

a secret weapon for counting strides

a pedometer!

my friend kristine's contribution to marathon madness. thanks kk.

and today's work out is...

here's another exerpt from ramon's hilarious e-mails, to make you laugh and also in case you were wondering what wednesday's practices are like.

hola !!

Big shout out to those that showed up to last saturday !! you are the few, the proud the crazy ones !!

Today you are going to be introduce you to EFFORT 2 (` E2' ) and EFFORT 3 (`E3'). Actually, you've already been running at E2, as that should be the pace that you usually run Your Easy (EZ) runs during your weekly runs (what?? You haven't done any EZ runs? Ohh…Ohh !! you better get you act together and start doing so……remember beginners should be running at least at total of 3 days, others 4-5 days) E2 is our easy, comfortable, conversational pace that comes natural to us, for some slow, for others slower, for others a little faster, but it's basically the pace/speed/effort that We don't need to think about, it just comes natural when going out for a run. On the other side, Effort level 3(E3) is a notch faster than E2, read again a Notch, as of :bit, llittle, poquito. About a 10-15% more effort than your EZ pace, your breathing gets a little be more elaborated, a little deeper, but always, always in control. If while runningE3 you breath hard of too often it means that you are running too fast.

This workout is not about how fast you can run, but to find that 10% increase in effort, NOTICE that I say Effort and Not `Speed'' two different things.

So, during the ON portion we will run E3 and during the OFF portion will run E2.

I know, I know too complicated, but……. I told you from the beginning my e-mails do take a while to unsdertand, don't worry by week 17 you'll be used to them, and then, it'll be time to run the marathon/half marathon… worries…As always, the coaches will go a little more on detail, and will be there to make sure you behave..We don't expect you to get it right the first day……(yet !!)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

a new york kinda life

i didn't run or cross-train today. and i'm going to blame it on my lifestyle. so there.

i had to handwash my running clothing yesterday, and because of various things going on, didn't do it until late last night. or at least i didn't wring it out until late last night. and yes, i washed all of it because i've been procrastinating. shocker, i know. so everything i could run in (the item i couldn't really do without being the sports bra, sorry to offend anyone) was drying all night.

i made a valiant effort and got up at 6:15 but it was all still wet. my brain could not comprehend macgyver-ing an outfit together so i set my alarm for 7:30 and went back to sleep.

when i left for work, everything was still wet, and i had to try to arrange both 1) a read-through of a friend's pilot and 2) a possible dinner with my sister and my cousin who's in from chicago. i had a few options:

1. if cousin wasn't having dinner, i could:
a) leave work pretty early, go home, run or cross-train, shower and go to the read-through
b) leave work on time, go home and grab clothing, go to the read through, then go run or cross-train

2. if cousin was having dinner, i could:
a) leave work pretty early, go home, run or cross-train, shower, go to the read through and then go to dinner
b) go to the read through and then go to dinner, and not exercise today

unfortunately i went with 2b. i wasn't happy about it (except for having dinner with my cousin, that i liked) but i really couldn't leave work early enought to do it all and i couldn't move the other two activities and damn it i'm just going to have to run harder to make up for it.

but i did do stuff for running and the marathon today (today = anything after 12am 9/5/2006), even if it wasn't running. here's my list:
• i bought a refurbished 2gig ipod nano and arm band. how sporty of me.
• i joined ny road runners - now i can maybe do the 2008 nyc marathon. ha. we'll see how much i love running come jan.
• registered for my first official *race*. eeeeee!! it's saturday in the park, and it's a wee 4 miles, but i'll have number and a chip to record my time and...

hmmm. i'm feeling a little bit like a real runner. ~giggle~

Monday, September 04, 2006

grousing and grumbling

just in case you think i cheerily hop out of bed each morning, naturally caffeinated and ready to run miles and miles with a smile on my face...i'm going to burst your bubble.

the real routine is something quite different.

my alarm rings, usually finding its way through my vivid early-morning dreams as a car alarm, a very loud telephone or something similarly annoying to the ear. i sluggishly reach up to my alarm clock, smack the snooze button and sleep for another blissful nine minutes. ~grumble~ i slide the alarm off and this is the danger zone. if i fall back asleep now...there is no alarm set and i will be very late. and so i talk myself out of bed...OKAY, GET UP NOW. i don't wanna. i'm tired...just a few more minutes. NO WAY. DO NOT CLOSE YOUR EYES AGAIN. UP, UP NOW. no.[pulls covers over head]YES.[kicks covers off]but it's gonna be hot out, and did i mention i'm tired and it's going to hurt and i'm going to get red-exercise face and run into someone i know. ITS NOT THAT HOT, YOU SLEPT OVER 8 HOURS, YOU'LL GET OVER IT, AND WHO CARES WHAT YOUR FACE LOOKS LIKE. YOU GOT RUNNING TO DO!

and if all rationale fails, i think about why i'm doing this in the first place and i'm no longer welded to the sheets.

that's pretty much how it went this morning, and once i was out there, as usual i was happy that i was. i pushed it a little today - my calf was still bothering me although not as much, and i decided to tough it out and go down to the brooklyn bridge and back. the miles put me over 50 in total since august 12th. crrrrrazy.

i hit a zone on the way back from the bridge. when you're running by yourself, there is only you and your thoughts. okay, maybe some music, but i don't have that going on yet. once you run a certain route a number of times, while there's always some changes, your brain tunes it all out and focuses inside. i'm not sure that i've ever spent of had this much time all on my own to think before. i'd like to think i'm a thoughtful person, but when you're running, it's more like the thoughts arrive, and there's less "i'm going to think about X". one topic gracefully leads to the next and it's just...kind of cool.

so today i'm in one of these zones and nearly get hit by a soccer ball that comes flying out of what i've named "the pen" - a smaller, fenced in soccer pitch right on the path. i grabbed the ball and tossed it back in and was rewarded with a round of cheers and thank yous from all the cute soccer boys. it gave the run a little kick and i made it back to the apartment grumble-free. the near-miss was well worth it.

happy labor day everyone.

today's mileage: 4.77
total mileage: 51.79

Sunday, September 03, 2006

september training schedule

i meant to put this up with the last post, but forgot! here's the schedule for september, for the beginners that is. charlotte and i might try to migrate over to the intermediate group...but we'll just have to see. in any case, i'll be running at 9 miles by the end of the month!

triumphs and tribulations

after a protein-full dinner last night (a churrascaria, aka "meatfest"), i thought i would wake up ready to kick-it this morning.

not so. i wish i could blame it on the meat hangover, but it was my damn calf again. it was really tight, and i tried to run it off, but, after probably a 1/2 mile or so, and a bit of walking it still wasn't any better. i wanted to push it a little more, but my sister convinced me to just go running the next day - i reluctantly acquiesced.

it was gorgeous out, and we walked down to the manhattan bridge along the water and then cut back up to the east village through chinatown. it was a busy morning, and my sister had never been through there, so it was a good walk. when you look at those streets in a certain way, and its early enough, you can easily imagine you are not in new york. it helped wear away the guilty i-didn't-run-today-feeling i was carrying around.

the triumph of the day is that i surpassed the fundraising minimum of $3800! which is excellent because now, the breakdown of funds changes! now 100% of every single donation goes towards the research and support and amazing things that the society does versus the administrative stuff for fundraising, etc. and a special shout out to my darling sister, who has been supporting me in so many ways from letting me drag her around on city adventures, and being my running buddy, and now it was her donation that brought me over the $3800 threshold. Thanks Kristin, love you.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

hurricanes do not a terrible running environment make

last night we got a "weather advisory" from our coach saying that if it was thundering or "as bad as they said it was going to be" practice would be canceled and to use common sense. i was really hoping it wouldn't be, because i felt bad missing a day this week already, and i needed the mileage.

the wind started pounding on my rickety windows around 2 am, which didn't make for a great night's sleep, but i stumbled out of bed at 7:15 to check for an e-mail cancellation - there was none. it was lightly raining, if at all, *very* windy, but no thunder. what to do? my body was calling for me to go back to bed, but i held out and sent a text to charlotte to see what she thought. she called and we decided we were up, we might as well go for it and we could always run anyway if they had cancelled.

a wise decision - practice was not canceled. our assignment for the day was 5 miles, either the upper loop (72nd all the way to the top of the park and back down the other side to 72nd) or the lower loop (72nd up to 102nd street transfer to the west side, then all the way down to the southern end and back up the eastside to 72). the major difference is the massive hill on the upper loop - if you go east to west, the hill is shorter but really steep; if you go west to east the hill is not as steep but is quite a bit longer. we were going to do the upper loop, but by the time we got to 102, we thought it would be better to just do the relatively flat 5 and keep track of our time.

the crazy blustery wind gusts (when they were not blowing against us) were actually really refreshing after i warmed up, and the rain stopped about a 1/2 mile into the run. the weather made me feel *tough*. it was fun. i can't tell you how thankful i am that i'm actually enjoying running.

as it turned out we got back in about 62 minutes, and when i mapped out our route, we actually ran 5.37 miles not just today we were *under* a 12 minute mile. for all my talk in my last post about not caring about time, this made me happy, and quite proud.

today's mileage:5.37
total mileage: 47.02