Saturday, December 30, 2006

red wine is not a good carbo-load

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

today's mileage: 10.0
total mileage: 338.4

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"you're gonna lose weight!"

time off is good.

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

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

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

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

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

today's mileage: 4.0
mileage to date: 328.4

semi-related craziness & some linkage

item one: "polar bearing"

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

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

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

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

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

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

your coach, the one with the accent !"

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

item 2: removable tattoo ink

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

what do you all think?

When love isn't forever — the removable tattoo

Freedom-2: Self-expression without Regret

me vs. treadmill (and more!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yesterday's mileage: 5.6
total mileage: 324.4

Monday, December 25, 2006

and to all a good night

christmas at home always involves the following things:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

see what i mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

merry christmas, every one.

today's mileage: 3.3
total mileage: 318.8

a very merry chrstimas...

click me.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

ah, fresh meat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

today's mileage: 8.0
total mileage: 315.5

Friday, December 22, 2006

and she just keeps running

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

in june.

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

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

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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

another taste of fast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yesterday's mileage: 5.0
total mileage: 307.5

Monday, December 18, 2006

and she goes for 20...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yesterday's mileage: 20
mileage to date: 302.5

days to marathon: 26

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

Friday, December 15, 2006

off topic: saving the world

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

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

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

Thursday, December 14, 2006

a long, long day (part 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

a long, long, long day (part 1)

and i'm exhausted.

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

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

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

grizabella the glamour cat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yesterday's mileage: 5.5
total mileage: 282.5

i am no. 11041

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

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

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

more later...

today's mileage: 4.0
total mileage: 281.0

days to marathon: 33

Monday, December 11, 2006

day off due to bad singing

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

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

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

so this week will be:

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

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

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"she's like angelina jolie!"

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

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

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

i could only hope to be so hot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

today's mileage: 6.1 miles
total mileage: 277.0

days until marathon: 35

Saturday, December 09, 2006

a brisk mornin' run

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

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

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

today's mileage: 5.3
total mileage: 276.2

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"on a non business note"

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

ramon's great.

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

no strikes today

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

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

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

today's mileage: 4.5
todal mileage: 270.9

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

not *so* cold

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

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

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

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

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

today's mileage: 5.0
total mileage: 271.5

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

strike one


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

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

and we know how that turned out. aaaaaaaaak.

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 04, 2006

done for the day...

with training that is.

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

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

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

Sunday, December 03, 2006

december training schedule

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 02, 2006

shin-splint, defeated!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i'll save that freakout for another post.

today's mileage: 16.0
total mileage: 266.5