Monday, December 31, 2007

the last run of 2007

2007 is just about in the bag and i'm happy to say that i have finished it out with a run today.

most of my peeps had to work today and given that its likely that i would not be running tomorrow given the potential for a hangover, i thought it would be wise on my part to run today.

i neglected to shower yesterday, and debated showering before the run because my hair was a rather greasy mess, but then i thought that would be silly *and* a waste of water, so i took off for the park looking a bit, well, shiny.

it felt colder than ny1's thermometer of 45 degrees but i knew i would warm up soon enough. the sun was bright and i wished for sunglasses or a hat or something. next time. i left the ipod at home for good practice and took off at what i think was a decent pace for 1+ loops.

i noticed a strange pain that has been with me, above my knee on my left leg in my quad, get a little worse as i ran but aside from that, the park was quiet, i warmed up nicely and it was a lovely run.

funny moment of the day came at the top of the big hill. i am sure i had red-exercise-face at the time, and this man comes out of a meadow, and starts crossing my path with a bike, turns in my general directions and with an, er, appreciative glance, says:

"you're beautiful. god bless you."

knowing i looked nothing of the kind, i couldn't help but laugh to myself and wonder if i needed a new sports bra.

its been such a year that i'd feel it would be just plain wrong not to highlight a few of my favorite moments of the year...both running- and otherwise-related:

•2007 arizona marathon with demps, charlotte & drew
•the az road trip that followed
•getting my butt kicked off of ebay
•the formation of the syrupinas and the ensuing nights out afterwards
•dragging sk8 & the rookie into the san diego season
•bickering with the rookie while cap laughed from the sidelines
•miraculously completing the san diego marathon despite not having run for more than a few weeks before hand
•completing that same marathon even faster than my first!
•ramon being freaking proud of me at that finish line
•my birthday party at the sister's apartment
•midnight madness
•finding and getting my new apartment
•meeting my man
•hanging out on the roof deck until the sun came up
•getting even more what family is all about
•all the fun syrupy moments
•starting this running nonsense all over again

it's been a good year - here's to yet another in 2008.

happy new year friends.

today's mileage:4.0
season mileage to date:42.3

Saturday, December 29, 2007

a long run. for real.

happy holidays again!

i'm just off a long run in the park, the first one i feel like was really a *longer* run and it was great.

i wasn't sure how it was going to go this morning...yesterday was a bit of a long day, i went to bed late, i probably didn't drink enough water and i didn't eat breakfast. i was thinking we'd only be running 6 miles, so figured i could get away with it with a little pain.

i got to practice on time, and said hello to the brooklyn coach lisa, who i hadn't seen in a while. i don't really know many tnters out here in brooklyn, a few girls who ran my first season, but its enough that i feel pretty comfortable.

we headed out to our little field for squats and lunges, etc (owe) and we got our mileage assignments:

1/2 marathoners: 1 loop (3.4m)
beginners: 5 miles
intermediates: 8 miles
advanced: i wasn't listening because i was thinking "8 miles! crap."

last week intermediate was supposed to run 6 - 7, so it made sense, but i had run about 5.5 so i was pretty sure that i shouldn't run 8. lisa confirmed when she said we shouldn't be adding more than 1-2 miles. i decided i'd go for two loops. i confirmed that it would be a little shy of 7 miles and took off. i had forgotten to charge my ipod so it was just me and my thoughts.

it was what i've decided is the perfect running temperature - about 40 degrees. after the cold, it feels positively warm but it's not so warm that you really sweat until after you're done running.

lisa told us that if we were doing more than one loop, to reverse direction on the 2nd loop because there is a slant in the park, and you want to try to keep "balanced" by not always having the slant on your left leg. so i went the traditional direction the first time, tackling the big hill. the more i run that hill the more i like it. sick, i know. it's definitely work, but good work. as i passed barb, the walk coach, she said "you are making this look way to easy." my grin turned to a smile and i remarked back that i was glad that it *looked* that way.

after the hill, i passed the picnic area and before i knew it one loop was done. i turned around, and on the way back i stopped for water. all the fountains are off in the park, and i am resisting with ALL my might getting a water belt. what's a water belt? this lovely thing:



yeah. no. i do not need to be carrying around the extra weight thank you very much. one drink between two loops is not really enough, but i know that i can get away with it at these shorter distances. off again, this time in the other direction and in for a lovely downhill.

the thing about downhills is that while they feel good at the time, they are actually harsher on your body, especially the knees if you're not careful. you don't want to run them too hard, because that pounding can cause all sorts of bad things. being paranoid of shin splints, i tried to let the hill do the work, and sort of glide, rather than thump down the hill. ha. i just giggled at the idea of me "gliding". i'm sure that i didn't look glidy for sure.

as i headed down, i encouraged some other tnters on the way up, and waved at barb again. once that very long downhill was finished, there was a long flat around the "bottom" of the park, and then the slope starts up again as you head back towards where we started. once that hill started i knew i was nearly done. but that hill is one of those gradual long ones that i don't like. blah. i gritted my teeth, gave a wave and a wink to bouv as i do when i get ouchy, and kept truckin'.

i had a thought as i headed up the last part towards the meeting spot. its that running is a lot of work, especially for me. this may be fairly obvious (demps, i can hear you saying "duh!"). i think its more about me being someone who is fairly good at a lot of things. i always joke and say "jack of all trades, master of none" in regards to me being pretty good at stuff.

running however, is not one of those things. it does not come naturally to me. it sometimes gets easier, but it is very rarely, maybe even never, easy for me. it may never be easy. but i've kept at it anyway. this was all dawning on me as i passed the starting mark and with it, i decided to run the last 1/2 mile to bag watch. i started smiling my dumb runners grin as i finished up, thinking that working for something that you believe is important is pretty damn cool.

yes. i am a cheese-ball. sorry to break any illusions of cool you may be harboring about me.

i trotted over to get my stuff and barb and luis were talking. as i approached, barb exclaimed "there she is! every time i saw you, you were just smiling away like 'yeah, i'm going up a hill!' and it was just so great to see your big smile. that is exactly what it is all about."

me with a big dorky grin. yep, that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

today's mileage: 7.3
season mileage to date: 38.3

Saturday, December 22, 2007

the brooklyn posse

this morning was my first official practice as a brooklynite. getting out of bed was hard. i think i will be recuperating from the crazy fall for a while - the great thing is we have off between now and january 2nd. my plans: relax & run.

yesterday was *frigid* and when i finally dragged myself out of bed, i was pleasantly surprised to find the morning a balmy 37 degrees, i could wear one less layer than i thought. pants, long sleeves, therma-fleece, hat and gloves just in case.

lisa - the head coach - was gone for the holiday already, but luis was there. luis is one of the coaches and part of our team for reach the beach (i don't think i blogged about that adventure, but to put it briefly - 12 people, 2 vans, 300 miles).

since this was my first practice i had no idea where people were for miles. it ended up beginners were doing 5 and intermediates were doing 6-7. i decided to do the 5 and then see how i felt. to do 5 miles in prospect park, you go about 2/3rds around, then take a cut off that allows you to run the lower part of the park again, then you come back around and do the *massive* hill.

i said hello to a few people, and then we took off for a "brisk walk" to a little field where we did a warm-up of jumping jacks, squats, lunges and leg raises. then we were off. i had my ipod in my pocket but decided to save it in case i really needed it. they like you to get in the habit of running without music...and i'd say there's no way i could run a marathon with no music, except i did in san diego.

so i took off on my own at what felt like a good pace (i really need to get a new watch) and managed to maintain for the whole run. the hill was a little trying but in a way that felt really good. i made it back to the start point, and then ran a little beyond and back to where the bags are for what i think was probably 5.5 miles.

i'm hoping that in the next two weeks, i will be able to run and train enough to get comfortable with the intermediate schedule. that's the goal people. i'll be headed to the mass for christmas today, but there will be some running there, assuming its not going to be too cold.

have a great holiday people! until next time...

today's mileage: 5.5
total mileage: 31.0

Monday, December 17, 2007

roxie: 1, treadmill: 0

at long last, i beat that (explative) machine.

so this week is crazy at work, which means i won't get to practice tomorrow. so i left work a little after 7 tonight, with more work to do at home, but i said to myself that if i managed to get in my door before 8 pm, i would change and force myself back out into the cold to my gym, which is (i have to say) ridiculously close. like 2 blocks away close. LONG blocks. but still.

anyway, i like to make these little wagers with myself sometimes. maybe its my way of procrastinating...or letting myself off the hook, but its kind of like gambling without the losing money part. and in this case it was a win-win. i would either miss my deadline and get to relax right away (instant gratification!) or have to battle the treadmill, and afterwards i would, hopefully, feel good. or at least decent.

trains ran semiquickly and i knew it was going to be tight but wouldn't look at my phone until i was actually off the train and at the door.

7:57pm. of course.

i dug up some inside running gear and headed backout. there is a yoga studio on the first floor of my building, and as i was locking my door, a girl leaving turned and said "oh you are my hero going for a run in the cold!" i smiled and took more credit than i deserved. even though i was going to have to face my nemesis, the treadmill, at least i would be warm....

i walked through the doors of my gym for the first time and headed to a treadmill on the end of a row. i was also sporting my new nano, and some new headphones which i was not sure were actually going to stay put in my ears (i have the world's tinyest ears. for real). i got situated. put the nano on shuffle. and stared down my opponent. would i challenge him on a program? pick a certain amount of time? or just go for the quick draw...i mean, start. i chose the latter and started off on the hamster wheel.

since it was cold, i walked for 2 minutes just to lessen the risk of pulling something. then, i debated between 10 and 11 minute miles. given my history with the treadmill, my usual failures, and my little running so far this season, i prudently opted for the 11 minute miles.

the beginning and the end were hard. you've heard me complain about why i hate the treadmill so i'll spare you now, but the forced steady pace gets to me. once i was over that a little bit, i focused on the music and attempted to unwind, trying to think of the run as good quality alone time. of course, alone time is more easily enjoyed (in my mind, esp in this weather) curled up on the couch with a good book, but i tried not to think about that.

before i knew it a mile had passed, and then another, and then, i thought to myself...just three more songs (about 11 minutes, no?). three songs is nothing, right roxie? lucky for me the last of the three was a rockin' one and it took me home. 3 miles on that damn machine. i win!

today's mileage: 3.0
season mileage to date: 25.5

a catch-up post

i know i know, i've been slacking.

but i haven't really i swear. december is purely and simply hellish as far as time is concerned and that means...not as much running as needs to be done, and also not as much blogging. i am not slacking on the running because of the holiday festivities so much as the work. as much as i love my job, december has been killing me softly. dear god, only 3 more days...

since last time though i did run two more races and i am officially DONE with the qualifiers for the 2008 NYC marathon. the first one, last sunday was a 10k, or 6.2 miles. it went okay. i was up kinda late the night before, and something i ate gave me a lovely belly ache, but i met up with charlotte, so we gabbed most of the time. oh, had a great chafe mark where there was a little hole in my pants. a perfect circle on my inner theigh. owwwwwwwe for the next 5 days. (i will spare you the bandaid issues i had trying to get the damn thing to heal) and now that i'm done with the grousing, i will say that the nice thing about these races at the tail end of your marathon qualifiers is that they are not about time really, just about finishing. kinda more enjoyable.

then this saturday was the last one - a 4 miler. char and i met up again, and there was a whole tnt crew, and i (heart) the middle loop. its a great little run, hills are okay, and you end before you're really tired. wheeeee. easy as pie. well not really. i was midstory coming up cat hill and totally had to stop because i was a bit winded - that is just sad.

but the only way to keep that from happening is to get my butt back out there on the road, cold or no.

the two races combined miles: 13.2
season mileage to date:22.5

Friday, December 07, 2007

I’m Not Really Running, I’m Not Really Running...

a story of mind over matter, courtesy the ny times.

I’m Not Really Running, I’m Not Really Running...
By GINA KOLATA
Published: December 6, 2007

BILL MORGAN, an emeritus professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin, likes to tell the story, which he swears is true, of an Ivy League pole vaulter who held the Division 1 record in the Eastern region.

His coaches and teammates, though, noticed that he could jump even higher. Every time he cleared the pole, he had about a foot to spare. But if they moved the bar up even an inch, the vaulter would hit it every time. One day, when the vaulter was not looking, his teammates raised the bar a good six inches. The man vaulted over it, again with a foot to spare.

When his teammates confessed, the pole vaulter could not believe it. But, Dr. Morgan added, “once he saw what he had done, he walked away from the jumping pit and never came back.”

After all, Dr. Morgan said, everyone would expect him to repeat that performance. And how could he?

The moral of the story? No matter how high you jump, how fast you run or swim, how powerfully you row, you can do better. But sometimes your mind gets in the way.

“All maximum performances are actually pseudo-maximum performances,” Dr. Morgan said. “You are always capable of doing more than you are doing.”
more...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

the first run! (but not at practice)

so yesterday morning, practice began...but i had a different run to tackle.

in order to automatically qualify for the nyc marathon next year, as a member of ny road runners, i have to complete 9 nyrr races this year. being somewhat of...well, frankly, a last minute sally when it comes to things in my own life, i waited until the end of october to check to see if my nyrr membership was still valid. it was...and i had 5 more races to run. oh, and look, there were only 5 races of doable distance that would work. grrr. they were:

Poland Spring™ Marathon Kickoff - Sunday, October 28 / 5 miles • 8:00 a.m
Race to Deliver / Kids Races - Sunday, November 18 / 4M • 10:00 a.m.
NYRR Hot Chocolate 15K - Saturday, December 1 / 15K • 9:30 a.m.
NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K - Sunday, December 9 / 10K (6.2M) • 9:30 a.m.
NYRR Holiday 4-Mile / Kids Play Party - Saturday, December 15 / 4M • 9:30 a.m.


i ran the first two with little issue, but i was really very nervous about yesterday. 15k is 9.3 miles. the longest i've run of late was 5, and that was a while ago. i had promised myself i'd get up to at least 7 before this race and suffer out the other two, but i've had a number of distractions lately, some more enjoyable than others, that managed to cut into my running time, so i was going to have to suffer through.

it doesn't matter what time you get in these races, just so long as you finish in the official time. so i bribed my sister to run with me. yes, she took that bribe for a measly brunch, the silly one. in hindsight, what i should have done was have her meet me after i ran the first 5...but yeah. as it worked out she was with me for the whole thing.

friday night was a friend's birthday and it went later than i like to be out when i have to run significant mileage, so i wasn't really feeling all that great about it. in fact i was downright nervous and the nerves were making me cranky. my boy...hmm, he's gonna need a nick name, isn't he?...i guess we'll go with one of his, sweder, well, he was a doll and got me cliff bars and water and let me be a cranky brat for a bit before getting me to bed.

i got up at 7:45, threw on the clothes and shuddered at the sound of the wind rattling everything around outside. it was cold, and i was not as equipped as i should be for running in that weather. when i was gathering my things, i couldn't find my hat...or my running gloves...sigh.

i headed over to roadrunners where there was a line of people at least 40 deep waiting to pick up their numbers. after being cattled in and out, i headed to the park to meet my sis, who looked much warmer and grouchier than myself.

i opted for wearing my sweatshirt over my two running layers because it was so cold, so i got all situated with my numbers and bags and we lined up with the other 4000 + people.

to make a long time short...my sister and i ended up running the first 5 miles, then we walked for two, then i run walked the last two. it was not so painful while it was going on...of course, my sister's grousing definitely distracted from my own aches and pains. while it took an awful long time, and i walked a good amount of it, i had a definite sense of accomplishment at the end of it all, despite the freezing cold.

and the my sister and i stuffed our faces on mac 'n' cheese and omelettes afterwards...as promised.

today's miles:: 9.3
miles to date:: 9.3

the season begins

friday we got our first email from ramon, and i got some pre-season goosebumps. winter has officially arrived, and its hard to get hyped-up to run when it's so cold out, but getting ramon's email and the schedule definitely made me more excited than i've been, even since i signed up!

here's a few samples of the ramon crazy-talk, some for fun and running info that and the schedule so you know what i'll be up to this month.

Ok, this is you first email from your coaches, get your Spanish/English dictionary and continue reading, if you do need help translating that's what you mentor is there for.

First thing I want to ask from you is:

SMILE !!! come on, come on….SMILE…..!! are you smiling? Ok…ok...that's good !! that's how we want you to show up at the workouts, always smiling even when running (it could be a little more difficult as you run uphills, but don't worry, we'll work on that) ... we don't just want you to get fit, but we want to you also have fun and enjoy the experience !

ok…that was my nonsense introduction, now…. Let's talk Running/training:

... -INTERMEDIATE: you should run a minimum of 4 total days, maximum 5, anything over,should be cross training days. I recommend that if you have a 5th day available cross train instead of running...

...Tuesdays we'll always meet at 6:40 pm, and we'll work on specifics: form, breathing, upperbody, hills, strides, etc..etc… Tuesdays workout usually last between 1:00-1:15 hrs depending on the workout and your fitness level.

...Saturdays we meet at 8:30 am, in the park, on these days we work just on building that 'long run' gradually increasing the amount of time and distance that we spend on our feet. Sessions will last about 45 min the first week, to about .....hmmmmmmmmmm a 'freaking long time' 3 weeks before your event. ..he,he,...

...WE DON'T CANCEL WORKOUTS, if cold, we run, if rain, we run, if hot we run……if Dancing with the Stars, Do you thing you can Dance, or the Bachelor is on TV, we run..… only time a workout may be canceled it'll be if roads are icy or thunderstorms.(and maybe if they move Grey's Anatomy to tuesdays, then we may have to change workouts...... hi,hi,hi...just kidding) So don't assume 'oh, oh...the weather sucks today, the workout will probably be canceled and nobody is going to show up' ..oohhh…nooo…. we are showing up, and so are you, right ?...


and...the schedule!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tattoo ads turn people into ‘walking billboards’

Lookie here...

NEW YORK - What does Angelina Jolie have in common with Joseph Stalin and Thomas Edison as well as two out of every five Americans between the ages of 26 and 40?

They all have tattoos.

Once seen as a silent cry of rebellion, tattoos now posess a status so firmly mainstream that advertisers are using them to market everything from tires and shoes to wine and energy drinks. That has its downside, though. The more acceptable tattoos become, the more they lose their edginess — and their value as advertising.
more...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

hello again...or should i say, bonjour?

Well my friends. I'm sorry for the hiatus, but there really hasn't been a whole lotta running going on. except for the crazy reach the beach run...but that is a tale for another post.

anyway...the next marathon season is upon us, and this time the show goes to paris. paris in the springtime, now really, could there be anything more lovely?

it is also a way to get myself off my lazy butt and back to do goodin'. i've been feeling a little itchy lately...but not to mislead you. life has been really good to me. i found a great apartment, an amazing boy, and work has been busy but really rewarding. but i start feeling anxious when i'm not doing some good out there, and i haven't really been.

and so, courir fille courir it is.

more soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

san diego marathon: the race - miles 13.1 - 26.2

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorry this took so long. The telling of the tale is better for the wait though, promise.)

as ramon said, it was starting to get warm. the sun was not yet out, but you could feel the tempurature rising. i was feeling more and more settled in my run, my shin splints not showing up to play, and as nervous as i was, i was now kind of...excited. i'm not sure if it was the pep talk or because there was no turning back, but suddenly i felt optimistic. this *was* possible. more or less.

at mile 14 they had salt packets and i thought that i should pretty much do anything that could possibly safe-guard against any sort of obstacles (that included but were not limited to dehydration, hyponatremia, reoccurrance of shin splints, and hitting the wall). i grabbed a packet and washed it down with a little water. the accelerade was disgusting, so i thought this was a smart move to keep the electrolytes in balance. yummy.

soon after i saw one of our training captains, ross. he ran with me for a bit and offered me more salt (no thanks!), and reiterate the importance of hydration. soon after...mile 15. it think that around mile 15 mentally is pretty tough in a marathon, because you've already run a great distance, but you still have another 11+ to go. i just kept truckin. the crowds kept me going. the adrenaline that i was actually doing it kept me going. remember...i didn't have any music so it was just me, myself and i. every once in a while i would see another tnter out there and we would exchange a hello and a wave and keep on keeping on. we ran through a little neighborhood where a family band was playing classic rock and the kids were handing out orange slices. i was still feeling good when i arrive at mile 16 right around the bay...and gleefully thought "only 10 more miles!!!" as another band crooned the same, changing up yet another bad cover.

mile 16 brought us to the bay for a bit and the sun was breaking through the clouds. before i knew it we were approaching the powergel station at mile 17 (another one down, feet don't fail me now!). they had every single kind (hooray!) and i grabbed another double latte flavor (my favorite! 2x caffine + 4x sodium!), knowing i'd probably need another kick at the end.

indeed it was getting hotter. at each water station i began getting two cups of water, one to drink and one to dump in my hat. mile 18 wound through what seemed like the more...young/collegiate section of town. it was still earlyish (probably around 10?) and there were tons of people out drinking and enjoying the marathon spectacle from their yards and decks. one guy was so rowdy and tossing beer around that i actually felt a little nauseous because i got a huge whiff of cheap beer. ewe. banners, balloons, silly string, music...in fact sweet child o' mine, which was one of my *favorite* songs for a moment in time somewhere around 1988. i smiled, thinking of my mom who often remembers me shushing her in the car when this song was on so i could sing at the top of my lungs.

mile 19...and a little way in...brooke! yay! brooke was a mentor with us for the season but was injured early on and wasn't able to run the event. but she was still out there cheering for us. i spotted her shouting for another tnt person and realized it was her and shrieked! she shouted, dropped her bag and sign and ran with me for at least 1/2 a mile. it was really great to see someone at that moment, becauase i had been on my own for so long and a friendly face and some chatter was a great distraction.

it felt like just after i left brooke, and after a kinda gross bridge hill, and there was steve, the "young coach" at mile 20! he was on his phone and i waved frantically "i gotta go," he said with a big smile, "roxie just got here!" i smiled back and he said "okay, if you feel as good as you look, i am not going to worry about you at all."
"i do have a good game face."
"you look great, seriously, i don't know how but you do!"
"i'm not asking questions, just going and going!"
"okay so, here's how the rest of the course is going to go. in a few miles you'll see lisa so keep an eye out and then there's one more little hill-"
"bigger than the one i just ran up?"
"no! compared to this one that one is-"
"an incline?"
"exactly! so then after that there's a bit of a down and back, and don't get freaked out when you see the people coming back towards you, just think that you'll be coming back in that direction soon, it's not that long-"
"okay, down and back, easy easy."
"and then you're just about done."
"okay okay, i can do this."
"i am *so* proud of you roxie, just stay hydrated you're going to be fine!"

he patted me on the arm and i was off again!

the next few miles were kinda gross...off the main roads, there was no more june gloom and the sun was beating down on us, making it really hot and there was no shade in sight. i could definitely feel the heat and dumped a cup of water right on my head this time. i saw a porta-potty with no line and figured i'd better pee while the peeing was good. some people were out with a cooler of beer and i saw a guy run past, then change his mind and go back for one, and for a moment i wished i was that hard core.

somewhere in there was the mile 21 marker...no sign out there...and then yay! mile 22 - a little over 4 miles! less than an hour! even if i was going slowly! i could see the little down and back steve had told me about. there was great music blasting from a radio, tons of people, then a pretty good band, and a guy with a hose spraying it in the air. i dont't think it could have gotten better than that in that moment. i ran directly under the hose and cooled off some more.

i guess you're wondering how i was feeling physically, and really, the answer is oddly good. my feet definitely were bearing the brunt of the pain - part of marathon training is actually getting your feet used to all those miles, and i think they were suffering the most for my lack of running. my shins were fine. my back was a little tense but the man with the big signs that said "relax your shoulders!!" kept inspiring me to draw my shoulders back and keep my arms and hands from tensing up. i was really good about trying to conserve as much energy as possible and being as good to my body as possible, "behaving" as ramon says. not charging up or down hills, drinking tons of water, taking gels promptly, saying loose and remembering to breathe.

the next friendly face was lisa, the brooklyn coach. her face was shocked - happy, but shocked probably 1) to see me so soon and 2) and to see that i wasn't a crashing, broken-down runner.

"roxie! - what the hell!!?"
"i know! i know!"
"what are you doing here so soon!?"
"i don't know!"
"seriously, you're looking great?! how do you feel?"
"i feel okay actually!"
"well, we're still not going to be publishing your training plan."
"yeah, i mean, honestly, i don't know how but i think it's gotta be bouv watching over me a little bit because you and i both know i should not be doing this well!"
"aweeeeeeee don't make me cry now."
"haha"
"roxie, wait, what was your time in phoenix??"
"5:11"
"do you know what time it is?"
"no...i decided to run without my watch."
"wow! good for you well, don't get too excited but by my watch i've got 4:22!!"
at this point i emitted a high-pitched sound that's probably akin to one of a wounded animal but was all excitement, and i'm not going to try to type it. use your imagination.
"okay, maybe i shouldn't have told you that!"
"pr! a pr?!"
"okay roxie, just keep doing whatever it is you're doing, only a few more miles to go, and before you know it you're going to see ramon with that damn cow-bell."
"thank you lisa! you're the best!"
"kick ass girl! see you at the finish!!"

lisa ran me just about to the mile 23 marker and ran to chat with another participant. and now, visions of pr's (personal records) danced in my head. a pr!? i was on the road to a pr? i laughed a little hysterically to myself. whether or not i made it, i was high off the fact that after all the stress and struggle and decisions of the last two weeks, going back and forth, agonizing over making what was, i think, at the time a wise decision not to run, to my emotionally-driven lunacy in deciding to go for it...and here i was, about 3 miles away from the finish, not feeling horrible, and possibly going to run this marathon in record time. a shit-eating grin that could almost match bouv's pretty much stayed plastered to my face for the rest of the run.

mile 24...2+ to go! less than 30 minutes! i think for me, this is the other difficult part of the race. you are so tired, and yet so happy you have so little left to go that you're trying to run fast, and yet, you're body is not really cooperating...well, at least mine wasn't. the closest thing i can equate it to is in a dream-state when something is chasing you and no matter how much effort you are putting in you are running as though you're in slowmotion or quicksand. i gritted my teeth and focused on my arm movement...nice and light...if your arms are moving your legs are moving, one step at a time, focus on the crowds, cheer for other tnt folks and there it is...mile 25.

1.2 miles!! if i had the energy i might have leaped for joy. instead i had a glass of water. much like in the last marathon, i took these final moments to think about why i had gotten myself here.

i thought about bouv, and how he was probably really laughing his ass off this time at my stubbornness. i know, i just know that he was there with me that whole race, a little angel on my shoulder. i really have little to know explanation of how i could have made it otherwise. you can give me the "you're stronger than you think" bit, and how the rest probably did me good, mind over body and the amazing properties of adrenaline, and i might agree with you to a degree. but even if i did "behave" and all the circumstances were lined up just perfectly for me to succeed, what happened out there was a little bit of a miracle and i just simply know bouv was a part of it.

i thought about anthony, the husband of a former co-worker, who is a runner, and recovering from his bone marrow transplant and what he would give to be out running. we're going to be doing a 4-miler together soon - he is so anxious to get back out there and he really wants to run a Team in Training event. He's such an inspiration. I thought about all the stories of friends' parents and friends and cousins, both happy and sad, all the people who have been touched by these blood cancers. i thought about jill, the woman that spoke before our run and about how elating crossing the finish line will be for her. i thought about all of the people that supported me for the first marathon...all 170 of them ;) and how thankful i am to have such a fantastic network of friends new and old behind me. demps, charlotte, sk8, cap, the rookie...all amazing people who play a part in the story...and then there it was!! MILE FREAKING 26!

.2 miles...probably 2 minutes. we approached the military base that was the end of our race. because it was "a secure area" there were guards making sure everyone that was running in had numbers on. i saw a guy who was running with his girlfriend get stopped and pulled off to the side, and while i get it, it made me ~sigh~ to myself. no time for politics now! run run run girl run! crowds of people on the right hand side...people lounging and enjoying post-run beers, families with signs, balloons...and look an archway! the finish....

no. a tease! that's *just* mean. it's funny how the last little bit is so long, i just wanted to GET THERE already. to see ramon with that horribly annoying bell. and there, finally! THE END. bleachers with hoards of cheering people. and ramon!! he came flying to my side ringing that bell like a madman.

for this "conversation" you can just picture me pretty much giggling hysterically throughout while ramon talked...

"look at you!!! you freaking did it!!! i am so FREAKING proud of you, so freaking proud! you behave and look! you here! you finish! you look AMAZING and SMILING. you learn such an important lesson today, you never doubt you-self again, you hear me? never again! and look! look up at the clock! what was you time for arizona!?"
squeeked through giggles "5:11"
"LOOK AT THAT! 4:55 - FREAKING 15 MINUTES PR! PR! you go finish, i am so so freaking proud of you!"

and those words brought me to tears as i finally cross that balloon-studded finish line, rockin' a 4:56:01 on the clock.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the san diego marathon: mid-race pep talk
(courtesy of ramon, of course)

i think i might have breathed a sigh of relief once i passed the 1/2 way point. partially because it was half-way over and i was feeling good, and partially because i now knew what my goal was: to run anther goddamn marathon.

at that moment i saw ramon and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. i desperately needed to *tell* someone that i was going to go for it. maybe because in the back of my head i thought someone should be on the lookout for when i broke-my-leg/passed out/collapsed. he was scanning the crowds looking for us and he spotted me. i remember smiling a super dorky smile and waving - kinda chill on the outside to save precious energy but *totally* freaking out on the inside. he came a running and i think the conversation went something like this (editorial note: if you know me AND ramon it's way better. sorry.)

me:
(high-pitched)hiiiiii!!!
ramon: (waving and running to my side) what is this!?!?
me: (speaking very quickly) i'm going for it! i'm going for it!!
ramon: you going for it! chu look great, baby! better than first!
me: i'm okay i think right now!!!! we'll see!!!!
ramon: you gonna be fine. djou jus' gonna behave and you take it easy and look for ross and steve and lisa. and djou need a remember stay hydrated cause now is when it start to get hot. you fine! you gonna do great! and i see you at the end!
me: maybe!!! thank you!!!

i continued running and smiled with the thought that with each step, i was closer to the finish than the start.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

san diego marathon: the race - miles 0-13.1

the wake-up call was the first to go off.

i had passed out quickly and deeply, and didn't even hear my roommate sneak back in to the room. i knew the alarm was going to go off shortly, so i allowed myself a few minutes to wake up while laying in bed. i managed not to fall back asleep and jumped in the shower.

i was happy i had my clothing all ready...and i started eating my roll with peanut butter and banana and chugging water as i got dressed. L and i ran around the room making sure we had goos and transportation bracelets and phones and hats and water.

as you can imagine, i was a bundle of nerves. i was cursing myself for making my big declaration at the team meeting the night before. why couldn't i just keep my big trap shut and surprise everyone if i was feeling well? nooooooo i had to be all public about it. it was kinda like when i signed up for the marathon originally - i talked about it constantly so that i couldn't back out. i think i was thinking similarly about this...if i told people, i'd have to run.

of course this time was a little different, in that i honestly wasn't sure if i could make it. in my head i still thought about that 13.1 mile escape hatch. we hung out waiting to go to the bus. the producer for the video spotted me and i did a little interview. ramon came over and put his arm around me "baby, if you do well today, i'm going to have to incorporate some of your training tactics." i laughed "yeah well, we'll just see how i feel when i get to 13..." ~sigh~

we finally got on the bus, and spent the ride applying TNT tattoos. it was still dark, and it was a bit misty. we arrived at the park, which, thankfully had more porta-potties than i had ever seen. we found a good spot and everyone dropped their things and began making their first of many trips to the bathrooms.

it was night and day from phoenix, where we barely had time to get ourselves in order before we began. the race was starting at 6:30, and it was only 5:20. so many runners. one woman obviously had been there for a while, had set up a little bed, and was sleeping in a garbage bag.

next was applying sunscreen. even thought it was cloudy, i knew you could still get burned relatively easily, so i lathered on the 30. the nervous energy was certainly palatable. next was the body glide. someone had made a joke about how there are some people who are far too comfortable about putting on body glide in front of others, and yes, my friends, that would be me. chafing was the last thing i wanted to deal with on top of all my other...obstac...er...challenges i would be facing that day. so body glide on every single possible location of friction was the solution. oh yeah.

after a few more trips to the bathrooms, soon it was time to check the bags into the ups trucks. my number had already fallen off so i scrambled for extra pins to refasten it to the rope. some of the trucks had really long lines, but luckily for me not the Ga - Hi truck. i ditched the back, strolled back to the spot to see if i could find the rookie, but only cap and another mentor was left. cap had sent the rookie on his way to make sure he had plenty of time.

i was supposed to be in the 6th corral, which is pretty high for a slowpoke like me but i figured what the hell. i actually spotted the rookie and his roommate right there in my corral, so i maneuvered my way over and we all hung out waiting for the start. there were sooooo many people. a military general (a woman) was playing mc and announced the national anthem, someone sang...and before you knew it, the gun went off and we were all cheering and headed out - walking of course for the first minute or two waiting for things to get moving, and finally at a slow jog.

the first few miles were fine. i was freaking out but it was kind of good to be "back out there" running. my shins seemed to be fine, it was cool, and there were so many runners and even spectators out. the beginning of the course took us by the zoo and balboa park, through downtown, by the water and back north again. this part of the race was about 7 miles. and for just about all 7 miles, i alternately felt great and like crap. at points i thought, sure no problem! and other times, i felt winded, cranky, and tired. we saw the coaches around the 3rd or 4th mile, and they so ridiculously enthusiastically cheer for us, you can't help but smile.

its funny, but the first 8 miles, even with the hemming and hawing, went pretty quickkly. as we approached the 8th mile i was on a downswing, feeling like there was simply no way i could run 26.2 miles today and i would be a complete idiot to attempt it. but then, as we headed back through the main area, and the crowds thickened and they cheered and cheered and there were so many signs thanking team in training...i started to perk up.

my body seemed to finally settle into the run, and with each passing crowd i got more at ease. i began to smile more. running a marathon today seemed less...impossible. between the miles of 8 and 10, the marathon seemed painful but possible. i might have to walk, but it would be possible. there was no way i was going to beat my time, but did that really matter? finishing this thing was reachable.

at mile 10 i finally found a bathroom stop with only one person ahead of me - time to stop. i stretched while i waited and was in and out of there quickly, continuing on. we were on the highway, which was a bit sloped and slanted, but even that wasn't bothering me too terribly. there were some hilarious straight men dressed in bad drag; spectators with banners on the overpasses above us; cheerleading squads galore. and before i knew it i had passed mile 12.

while my brain was nervous, my body still felt great. and for bouv, for anthony, for all the survivors out there, for that 83-year-old womand, for all the people that believed in me the first time around and, because i had faith that i could, at "the moment of truth", when the time came that i could bail out, at the 13.1 mile mark....
i continued on.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

san diego marathon: saturday, part 2

after the rest of the speakers, the rest of the team headed back to the hotel to decorate singlets and i hung around to get interviewed for a new TNT recruitment video.

i was super antsy to get back because i knew that after the decorating, we'd be having essentially a big mission moment - one of the most inspiring times of the weekend. i was waiting for a guy to finish getting interviewed, and then i was supposed to be next...but it was not to be. a cute little old lady was waiting with her son to be interviewed, and the producer asked me if i could let her go first. as much as i really didn't want to, of course i said yes.

this would change the course of my weekend.

so it turns out that this woman was the oldest tnt participant. she was here in san diego for her 9th marathon. HER NINTH. she was going to run the first 8 miles and walk the rest. i stood eavesdropping, in awe of her. 83. 9 marathons. and my mind started spinning again.

finally it was my turn. i got interviewed and talked about why i was running. i talked about bouv and my first season. how that marathon was and why i was back. i told them i had auctioned off my butt on ebay and got a good laugh. they asked me what event i was running, and i found the answer coming out of my mouth was "i don't know."

by the time we wrapped, it was late. they arranged a private bus ride back for me, and for those 15 minutes my head was spinning. that little old gal put me to shame. 83. EIGHTY-THREE. jill. coming back from stage 3 lymphoma to run her first marathon. all the other survivors on our team and all the people that were there running to make sure that we could someday find a cure.

i flew off the bus and downstairs in time to hear more of our teammates stories. one gal from brooklyn who has had way too many people in her life be affected by cancer. her dad was in the hospital with pneumonia, run down by chemo. she talked about how she had only run 14 miles, and everyone was telling her she should only do the half. her retort: screw the 1/2, i'm running the full.

there was a pause between speakers, and i stood and took a deep breath.

"hi, i'm roxie, your fundraising captain. in case you were wondering who was was sending you all those annoying emails every week, well, that would be me.

so, i know you guys think all us mentors have it all figured out, but the truth of the matter is that i'm scared as shit about tomorrow. see, i've had really bad shin splints this season, and haven't run much in the last 5 or so weeks, and so i decided to run the 1/2. i figured, you know what? i just ran a marathon in january, i'll just go and run the 1/2 and cheer everyone on.

but then, see, the reason i was late was being interviewed for this recruitment video and the person before me, well, the thing is, she was 83, and this is her ninth marathon. and between her, and you all, especially you first timers. you're such an inspiration to all of us and you know, i started all of this because i lost a dear friend to hodgkins, and in everything i've been doing, there's a piece that's just for bouv...and so, so...i just simply can't *not try* to run the full. so, whatever happens out there, thank you...really. and i'll see you tomorrow."

the rest of the night was now a scramble of making sure i had everything i need and guzzling water. since i missed singlet decoration, i had to go and find markers and white out. i went to the grocery store with the boys and got a roll with peanut butter and a banana on the side for breakfast. we were going to get pasta ordered in, but san diego is no new york, and instead we headed out to forage for take out. on the walk, i called my parents. i didn't want them to worry, so i didn't tell them about my new plan. instead when i got my sister on the phone, i swore her to secrecy.

"do not make any faces, and don't say a word, but i'm going to try to run the full tomorrow."
there was an extended pause, and a high-pitched "why?"
"because i got inspired and i can't not try, but i don't want mom and dad to worry so don't say anything."
she grudginly agreed, and i told her i'd call after the race.

we ended up with thai. i got the most mild and safe thing on the menu: fried rice. the boys ate downstairs and i headed up to multitask. i was so nervous at that point that i wasn't really hungry. it was already 8:45 and we had to be downstairs at 4:15am...so i was trying to get to bed by 10, but i knew it probably wasn't going to happen. the rookie came up to use the computer and i ate and decorated. i might have been more nervous than he was...ug. he finished up and i wished him good luck, and continued decorating. i pinned my number to my shirt, attached my chip to my shoe and put out all my clothing for the race and afterwards.

as i put the finishing touches on my singlet, my roommate finally came up with her stuff. she was about to write out about 20 good luck postcards for her mentees and another mentor who was staying in another hotel. i insisted she give me a stack, and we tore through them. the poor thing had to go downstairs and get the room numbers from the front desk and deliver them, and it was time for me to go to bed. i looked at the clock and felt a moment of panic as i set a wake-up call for 3:30am, and as a back up, the alarm at 3:45am.

it was 11:20pm, and despite all the freaking out, promptly passed out.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

san diego marathon: saturday, part 1

saturday morning the whole team met down in the lobby for a 20 minute run together. a bunch of people had been stuck at jfk because of bad weather and i hadn't seen my roommate L yet. after a few minutes, we all headed out the back of the hotel for a quick down and back.

i don't know how to describe event weekend except to equate it to camp. except i've never been to camp, so its what i imagine what camp must be like. there's lots of excitement, and activities and a schedule and rah-rah-rahing. hmm. probably doesn't sound so fun when i put it that way, but it is. after the run, we all went to a grassy knoll to stretch. we were a big crew, and formed a circle, stretching and introducing ourselves and saying where we were from. nashville, italy, england, michigan, california, queens...i love the new york mix.

the next event on the schedule was the pasta party at 1, so jess, me, amanda and her mom went for breakfast, and i went back to the expo with amanda and her mom. they hadn't had the goo that i liked, so i was going back for round 2. the expo was three times as crowded, so i got my goos and ran back to the hotel to get ready to go to the pasta party.

we hopped the shuttle and headed to another convention center for the pasta party with 1/2 of all the tnt participants. as we walked in, we were surrounded by coaches and staff, all joyfully cheering and waving us in with pompoms, streamers signs and their voices. it's one of my favorite moments of the weekend - i snuck peaks at all the first timers, enjoying their touched, smiling faces.

we grabbed our pasta and grabbed seats. after we ate, it was time for the speeches. once again, "the penguin" gave his speech, cracking jokes about how the first timers wouldn't be able to stand tomorrow; letting them know it was okay not to speed through the marathon, to enjoy it because there is only one first; giving them the tips about how to round down their time. he also told us that team in training had raised over $12 million dollars for the LLS for the San Diego marathon alone!! SO amazing.

and then there was the touching one. a woman named jill - a mother of three who worked in a cancer ward. she began by telling a story how there was a group of older women who donated a bunch of knitted caps for the patients in the ward. she gave one to a woman there, and didn't think much about it. the next day, the woman flagged her down. there had been a note in the hat from the woman who had knitted it, who happened to be the woman's mother's best friend: jill's mom! the small coincidences would continue...but not necessarily as happily.

jill had a best friend, also named jill. jill #2 was a runner, and one day she decided to run the san diego marathon with a group called team in training. on the very same day, jill #1 found out that she had stage 3 non-hodgkins lymphoma. the mother of three had only a 30% chance of survival. from that day, both jills began battling, jill #1 with chemo and other treatments and jill #2 her training and fundraising. they fought together, supporting each other, finding strength in each other's fights. jill spoke strongly but with waves of emotion about how cancer robbed her children of their innocence and her husband of his vitality; how wonderful her friends and family were, rallying around them, buying presents for their children for christmas when they were too caught up in illness. the marathon came around, and jill#1 came to the san diego marathon, weak and fatigued, to watch her friend finish the marathon in her honor.

that was three years ago, and today jill is now in remission.

she was back in san diego to run that same marathon she had once been almost too sick to watch, with who else, but her friend jill.

san diego marathon: friday

so after much insanity at work all week, i finally stumbled into jfk at 7:45am on friday to hop onto my flight. as usual, i was a last-minute packer, but being all experienced at away-runs now, i was less stressed - you can always get whatever you left behind at the expo. i was very sad to see that i had a middle seat, so sleeping was less likely but even sitting in the middle, i was so happy to be sitting, with no one to talk to or e-mail.

jet blue is a great way to fly to california. between the satellite radio, direct tv, my book and magazine, the 5+ hours flew by in no time. i had run into a tnt-pal at the airport so we met up and took a cab to the marriot together. the hotel, as usual, was nice with a lovely big pool and hot tub in the back. we were able to check in early, and i looked down at my room number: 666. huh. after a moment's hesitation, i shrugged and decided it would be fine, since, to my knowledge i wasn't the anti-christ. at that point the sun was still peaking out around the clouds so we decided to hit the expo then head out to the pool.

as soon as i walked into the convention center and looked up my race number i felt some insanity bubbling up. my number is a low one, in the 6's, clearly a marathon number (vs. a 1/2). i filled out my waiver, leaving the expected finishing time blank, and went over to the people handing out the numbers. they're always so nice. i'm thinking that i might volunteer to do this at the nyc marathon...having a smiling interested face there really is great. the woman seemed to be excited to know people had come all the way from nyc, and of course excitement is infectious.

we roamed around the expo. i was on the hunt for power gel and a sleeveless to go under my singlet. the singlets are not the most flattering pieces of clothing in the world if you haven't noticed. i ended up buying not only a sleeveless, but a new sports bra and socks. kind of a "no-no" but i thought "i can break the rules a bit...i'm not worried about the 1/2."

we went back to the hotel hoping for some sun time, but june gloom had set in. we decided we didn't care and changed into our suits to hit the hot tub and pool. it was simply a joy to be outside in the water and decompressing. we chatted and relaxed and soon was back at "running the 1/2 marathon" is the way to go.

when our skin had turned raisin-esque, we called it a day. i spent a little qt by myself and met up with the rookie, who had arrived from cali, and cap who had flown in a bit after me for dinner. we ended up at a spanish place that we should have run away from as soon as we saw that spring rolls were an item on the menu. good company has a way of trumping bad food and service and after a few laughs headed back to the hotel. we went to the bar, and i had a whisky coffee. yes, drinking. i wasn't concerned about dehydration...i figured it was the perfect end to my day of relaxation and rest.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

i...am a rockstar.

i haven't time for a full post...but long story short...

i ran all 26.2! without hurting myself! AND I BEAT MY PREVIOUS TIME FOR A PR OF 4:53:53!!!

and i'm still walking.

whole story to come soon, i promise, but honestly, i should have crashed and burned.

i must have someone pretty special looking out for me.

thanks bouv.

today's mileage: 26.2
season mileage to date: 191.1

Monday, May 28, 2007

a difficult decision

so the week after the bad-15, i was in a bad way.

the strange thing was, that i knew that even though i had been having bad runs, and even with the shin splints, i could get myself through the marathon one way or another.

but i didn't *want* to struggle through my second marathon. i didn't struggle through the first one, and i sure as hell didn't want to do worse at the 2nd one than the first. i wanted to improve, to be a better, stronger runner; i wanted to finish san diego in 4 hours and 30 minutes. i wanted to feel great at the end. for me, since i had finished the first feeling fantastic, there would be no glory, no sense of elation in "just finishing" because i knew that i could do that.

and for a few days after that run, i was miserable thinking about how it was going be, and so disappointed in the way the season turned out. and then i had a thought. and when it popped into my head, my shoulders on down to my toes heaved a sigh of relief.

i could drop down to the 1/2 marathon in san diego.

along with the sigh of relief came the countering thoughts of "you're gonna let everyone down", "remember why you are doing this!", "don't be a wuss - you know you can do it" and "stop being a baby and just run." and so for a few days i hemmed and hawed over what to do. i was a ball of stress, between this decision looming over my head, insanely busy at work (ex: working until 3am one night getting some brochures out) and fundraising-captain responsibilities for the fall season kicking in. i talked to sk8 about it - we're very alike in the "i-hate-to-be-wussy" sort of way - and so i knew that she'd be a good judge of my decision. the conversation was a while ago, but her general response to me worrying about being a wimp was "shut up."

i felt better. and i mulled some more.

finally, on friday of that week, i decided (in my head - i didn't make it official until monday), that i was only going to run the 1/2. i still have mixed emotions about it, but i know from the stress that has evaporated that it is the right decision, and for the most part i feel good about it. i'm sad a bit that i will not have pushed myself to run the full now, but hopefully i made a smart decision in letting my shins heal a bit more so that i can keep running through the summer. and on the positive side, i am really excited to be able to cheer in the rookie and the other first timers i've been mentoring at the finish line.

mostly though, while i'm not one who "cares what people think" in the traditional sense of the phrase, i hope that i haven't let you down too much.

Friday, May 25, 2007

i'm okay (really)

i'm sorry, i realize that i've left a lot of you hanging, possibly worried about me and my shins.

after the walk of shame incident on the west side highway, i was pretty beat down, primarily confidence wise. i had been dealing with the fact that i pretty much wasn't running at all during the weeks, to save myself for saturdays...and when i couldn't run that saturday i felt, frankly, like crap.

that week i stretched and moped and stretched and moped. i saw the best concert i'd seen in years (arcade fire way up in sk8's neighborhood), and we had the fall season kick off. work was gearing up for a huge deadline on the 24th and i was more or less feeling more and more overwhelmed and nervous. you'd think at some point i'd get used to being so busy, but every now and again the stress induces things like...crazy dreams of escape and conflict that leave me sitting up in bed at 3 am with my heart racing.

as i type this, i'm conscious that i sound like a big baby, but i've always been honest with you all about whats going on so i've gotta continue right?

anyway, when saturday rolled around it was time to try to run again. this was may 12th if anyone is counting. we were in the park, and i was going to try to do 18 - 20. i was petrified and not feeling optimistic but i tried to "think positive". bah. we got to practice a little bit late, so i was one of the last to head out into the park.

it was a gorgeous day, the one of the first truly warm ones, i started off with a few girls, but decided to hold back and let them go on ahead so that i wasn't pushing too hard. i was pleasantly surprised that the shins didn't hurt too bad off the bat, and that improved my mood considerably. the one thing that was strange was i was feeling particularly winded. i wasn't sure if it was because i hadn't been running as much or maybe the humidity, but breathing was, for the first time in months, a bit laborious. i ignored it and pressed on.

the first loop was not bad, not great, but not bad. i felt a big sluggish but was happy i wasn't in pain. i stopped to stretch every time i got water, and that was doing nothing for my time, but i tried not to think about any time pressures. the second loop, as usual, was much better as my legs got more loose and i fell into a rhythm to arcade fire's funeral. 12 miles...done. one more loop.

we had started at 90th street this week so i headed north, past 102nd transverse, and around the backside of the park. this is where it started unraveling. somewhere in the middle of harlem hill, i think i hit a mini-wall. now, lucky as i am, i don't think that i ever "hit the wall" in my first marathon. there was no point where my body was screaming at me to stop. i mean, it would have been happy to, but i blessedly got a 2nd wind around mile 18 that took me through to 22/23 and from there on i was on an elated auto-pilot. there was no *way* i would have stopped.

so it was much to my surprise when, in the middle of this hill that i've run a million times, i totally ran out of energy and had to walk. it was as if someone unplugged me and even my very stubborn brain couldn't make my legs motor up that hill. i swore at myself in an effort to get myself going, but for once my body was stronger than my mind and i resigned myself to walking the last bit of the hill. i so didn't feel like a superhero that day.

i started running again after the hill, but it was hard going...my legs started tightening up, and my shins started wincing a bit and i felt atrocious. when i saw the west side of the 102nd street transverse, i grudgingly decided to listen to the yelling of my body and cut the run 1t about 15 miles.

it was a good decision. i had to stop and walk again about 5 minutes later for no apparent reason and i was feeling appropriately embarrassed and cranky about it. i saw two gals from the season who asked if i was okay, i muttered "yeah, shin-splints." and kept walking. grrrr. after a few minutes i started running again and made it back to bag watch finally. i was moderately relieved to find that i was by no means the only person that was having a terrible run that day. someone mentioned that the pollen count was ridiculously high and it was more humid than any otehr runs we've had, and given the problems breathing i had been having, i was content to let those be factors that had impeded my run.

the next day i woke up extra sore and tender - my back hurt, my shins, despite icing, were very unhappy with me, and i felt sniffly, likely because of all the pollen. given the appearance of the mini-wall, i was also not feeling great about running a marathon in three weeks...ug.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

a bit broken

yes, i am referring to myself. not out-of-the-game-broken, but broken enough to think doubtfully.

saturday we were supposed to do a 18 - 20 mile run. because the revlon breast cancer walk was in the park, we were running down the westside from 72nd street, around the point of manhattan, up to e.10th street and back. it should have been a great run - it was sunny and the perfect temp., and a nice, flat, out-and-back run.

but it was not to be. as the rookie and i took off, those steps induced shooting pains up the front of my leg, so much so that i stopped and walked for a moment directly. rook asked if i was okay, and i said, um, no, maybe...and we started running again and it hurt so that i was running very slowly and tenderly. while my shin-splints had been "uncomfortable" (as ramon would say) in the past weeks, they hurt. i told the rookie to go on, because i was going to have to go pretty slowly for the first bit until they loosened up.

i coulndn't imagine running 5 miles, never mind 18, feeling the way i was. i loped along, waiting for the pain to ease up. usually with in a few minutes, the pain/discomfort eases up, and then after a few miles slowly starts going away. this time, not so much. a mile down, and still no relief. in fact, my whole left leg started to tighten up, kind of compensating for the lack of help coming from my shin. ug. i stopped to stretch my calves and saw some tnters who asked if i wanted them to wait. i said no, not knowing how it was going to go.

i started up again, and then stopped and walked. i went about three feet in the other direction and then turned around and started "running" again. i growled at myself to keep going, it would get better. i stopped a little farther down again at a boat dock that had a bathroom, grabbed water and stretched my calves again. i started out again...running for another five minutes before i swore at myself and stopped to walk. i repeated the start back and then try again routine. but i could feel a limp and turned around for a very cranky cranky walk back to 72nd street. if we had been in the park i might have kept at it despite the pain, but since we were doing an out and back, i didn't want to end up stranded at battery park not being able to walk/run back.

i was talking about it with a running friend today and when i told her that, she said, "oh yeah, its like the walk of shame." and that's exactly what it was, but there was almost more shame. walking, not running, not biking, in the wrong direction, with a sullen and disappointed face. not a pretty picture at all.

i saw rand & his brother with spencer and they asked what was wrong. i grumpily told them the dumb shin-splints and kept walking. i was a jumble of negative emotions. feeling like i should have kept going, wondering if i should have tried to ignore it longer, feeling worried about not getting the run in, that the shin-splints weren't going to go away, and what if they don't go away for the marathon? i don't know if i could do it. feeling angry because i hadn't been as good about yoga and stretching this past week, and being ferociously mad at myself.

today's mileage: 1.5*
total mileage to date: 150.3


*does not count the 1.5 miles walked back, only the first actual running leg of the trip.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

the weekend comes

so saturday morning i had to watch the bags at practice and thought this would be a good excuse to go out friday night.

i had too much party and not enough dinner...leaving me in rough shape saturday morning to watch the bags. uuuuuuug. i got up too late to meet cap and randy, stopped at the deli, got an egg sandwich & some water to choke down, and hopped in a cab.

after we checked everyone in, all i had to do was sit and try not to be sick while everyone ran. it was rough, but it wasn't raining, and i felt better as time went on. finally, after 2 hours or so people started trickling in. it was high mileage - anywhere from 12 - 20 depending on level. i thought i was going to be alright...until there was just 5 people or so left and suddenly i was acutely aware that i had drank too much gatorade, gave cap the attendance list and excused myself to get a bit sick in the bethesda fountain bathroom. yes, i am mentor of the year. ~sigh~

in anycase, i was going to have to find time to run 16 miles or so, and saturday wasn't going to be it. also the park was ridiculously crowded - it seemed everyone had decided to visit that weekend. so my plan was to run late in the afternoon on sunday.

it was a good plan - while the daytime was questionable, around 4pm mthe skies began to clear and the afternoon was positively lovely. i headed up to the park around 5:15, headed to the gym, dropped my stuff and headed out for a 16 mile run, all on my own.

it was intimidating. my plan was to do 2 full loops (6 miles each) and one middle loop (4 miles). that's a lot of running. most of my first loop was an exercise in patience. my shins were hurting, i felt a little tired and the miles seemed to loom in the distance. after 4 miles i felt a bit better, and a mile or two into the second loop i started considering adding a mile or two to my goal. i laughed at myself, because i was only 7 miles or so in, and still had more than double that distance to cover. but just the fact that i was considering more miles put a smile on my face and a little extra spring in my step.

loop numero two was certainly better. i cranked the tunes and it was lovely to see the park go from fully sunlit to the warm sunset glow and then to the black-and-white tinged beauty of dusk. the park thinned out, and i was on a roll, shin-splints having eased up and the tempurature perfect for long running. i focused on the tunes, talked a little bit to bouv, and generally ignored my legs. before i knew it the second loop was done - only 4 miles left to go.

as i headed towards 90th street, i knew i was going to run another mile. while just adding another mile may not seem like much, it is a matter of mental strenght. when i got to the 102nd street transverse i would have to make an active decision to not take the "easy" way out and turn left, but to keep going straight, choosing the path that would not only add a mile, but add a mile that includes the most challenging hill in the park. it becomes an entirely mental game: you know that your body can handle it, primarily because you've done it before, but is your mind strong enough to *force* your body to do it?

mine was. at 102nd street, i continued straight, going for the 17.

of course, at the bottom of the hill i encountered another challenge. i realized that i had no freaking idea what time the gym was going to close. everything of consequense (except for my keys, which luckily my sister was borrowing to hang at my apartment) was in my locker. money. phone. metro card. it was sunday, and it was highly likely that the gym was closing at 9...but i wasn't sure. i had started at 6, and was using my watch purely to tell running time, the actually clock was not set correctly, and i was in a state of panic.

what would i do if i got back to the gym and it was closed? i knew no one that lives on the upper west (at least reasonably within walking distance from the gym). i didn't know anyone's phone number, not even my sister's. i was going to have to a) beg some stranger for two bucks to ride the subway home or b) call my parents collect from a cell phone and have them call my sister to make her come get me in a taxi. oh god. what a mess.

and thus, when i got to 91st st, i ended up "sprinting" the last 1.5 miles of my run (after having run 15.5 remember). i put sprinting in quotes, because i'm not sure how fast i actually was going, but i hauled ass best i could. at 91st st, i ducked out of the park, thinking the straight shot would be a little faster, and ran straight down central park west. i prayed the cleaning people would at least be there...and as i ran up to the door on 73rd, saw someone exiting. thank christ.

i ran in and the attendent looked at me like i had two heads.

"can i help you?"
[breathless]"i was out for a run," [deep breath] "and all my stuff is in here" [another deep breath]
"girl," she said, shaking her head, "you are *so* lucky. we're waiting for one person."
"thank you!" i gasped and hurried upstairs to get my stuff.

i am so happy that was an "almost story" vs. a "i can't believe that happened" story.

today's mileage: 17.0
mileage to date: 148.8

Sunday, April 29, 2007

last week in review

so with the shins not feeling fantastic, i decided to do more yoga than running. tuesday and thursday, i rolled out of bed at 6:45am for 7am yoga classes down the block. ramon said yoga was good for the shins, and since its so close by, it's been a good cross-training for me.

the yoga thing has been going on for just a few weeks, but you improve quickly, which is nice. i can feel my core getting stronger, and of course, i've been getting more flexible in general. it is definitely helping the shins too - i can tell they don't feel as weak as they did when i first started (i know it sounds odd to think your bone can feel weak, but it did).

wednesday, i needed to stay at work late, so i missed our wednesday practice, which was just as well considering it was gross and raining.

this weekend, i had bag watch...so i had to run on my own...and i'll tell you all about that in the next post.

time for bed...

the jersey shore

well shore of the hudson anyway.

before the pack of us headed out, i was recruited to run at the tail end of our very-long-single-file-line over the bridge. because the north side was closed, and there would be a lot of cyclists, ramon threatened to cancel the run if he saw us running anything but single file, and i was bringing up the tail-end. we didn't want to lose anyone.

i was more than happy to take it slow given my shins were as achy as ever. it was beautiful out. for once i was smart and had put on some sunscreen. downtown was hazy and looked like a backdrop rather than actual buildings. and before you knew it, we were on the jersey side, up and down a few sets of stairs...and onto the jersey sidewalk.

once upon a time an agency i worked at had its summer party at the park we were going to so i had fairly good idea of where we were going, down a lot of hills we were going to have to run back up at the end of our adventure. :( i decided not to think about it. we were running for time, vs. distance, for a maximum of 2 hours and 50 minutes, so 1:25 out and back. once we were in the park i broke from the back of the pack and headed out at a pretty good pace.

when we got to the first rotery, ramon was there with the car and said bathrooms were down the hill, and if we didn't want to run back up, then we could keep going along the water until we hit then next set of bathrooms, we would come back up. this sounded like a pretty good idea, and 5 of us headed down, right to the picnic grounds where the party had been.

unfortunatly the boathouse was closed so we took off along a path that started out picturesque and soon turned muddy as hell. we were annoyed at being slowed down, but easily found the humor in the situation as we jumped over/in/around the muck. we finally arrived at bathroom number two, legs and shoes dirtier than they had been, only to find that closed as well. hmmm. one of the funny things about running is it makes you care a lot less about things like - is anyone going to see me pee? there was a fenced in building that i momentarily was nervous was some how associated with electricity (i had visions of being electrocuted while peeing, ending up pants down in the woods. what a fate.) but got over it and we were off again, uphill where ramon was waiting with water and pretzles.

that was only around 4.5 miles, and we had been out for about an hour because of the walking, so we decided to go a little farther time wise than just 1:25 since we had the walking-through-the-mud portion. when we left ramon we went down a very long downhill, and continued yacking and chatting. we started seeing lots of folks coming back, and after about 40 minutes or so, me and another girl headed back.

and heading back was rough. it was all all all hill. and they were not short. they were long, torturous monsters of hills. the last, leaving the park and the first 1/4 of a mile or so after was *the* worst. super steep. traffic everywhere. when we got back to the bridge, i wanted to jump for joy because it was so flat, but i didn't really have the energy. i enjoyed the rest of the run back to our little meeting place, and as randy drove the rookie and i home, i was a tired but happy camper. it was the hardest training run i'd had this season or last, and i was feeling pretty okay.

jersey mileage: 14.0*
felt like: 16+
miles to date: 131.8

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

where were we?

distracted could be my middle name right now.

okay so i did that whole "brooklyn 1/2 marathon" thing...and then i had bad shin-splints and didn't go to practice and oh yes, the next run would be the george washington bridge day.

so this past saturday our run was going to take us over the gw, into the wilds of new jersey. on the nj side of the hudson, there is a very very very hilly park that winds back under the bridge and a long the river. and there are some bad-ass hills, let me tell you. how do i know this? because a few jobs ago we had our company picnic there. and some of us biked. and i remembered the downhill to the picnic area...and thought, oh my christ we're gonna have to run *up* that thing. and then i thought i better stop thinking.

but i'm getting ahead of myself.

the night before i was meeting my friend L for one drink. one. i think i told her that about four times. we were going to a little irish pub where we had started getting friendly with the bartenders. i got there first and after a little chit-chatting turned around to find...the red sox - yankees game on the tele. i knew at that moment it was trouble because, being a die-hard sox fan, i was going to have to stay on that bar stool until the end of the game, regardless of whether we were winning or losing. i could only hope we would be winning.

L finally arrived, and ordered a beer and shortly after, over comes our bartender friend with two shots. not anything crazy, but in two swift seconds i was over my one drink limit. i blame it on that pansy a-rod hitting a three-run homer. my sister soon joined us, and the urge go home and cook pasta turned into craving a burger. we ordered food, and oh look! the sox decided to make a game out of it. another guiness please sir (if you can't beat 'em, right?). my cheers were annoying the hell out of a few particularly obnoxious yankee fans (i mean no offense but these guys were complete asses) sitting at the bar, which of course had the effect of making me cheer even louder.

one more round of shots (you know you're not allowed to turn down a free shot from a bartender, yes? well now you do.) and a red sox victory! the crowd goes wild! actually me, my sister and one other dude go wild but whatever. the poor widdle wankees fans a the bar...the best comment they could come up with was (in a "girlie" voice): yaaaay! we won a game!!

wonder how they were feeling on Sunday...i'm sorry boys, would you like me to pass you the broom, 'cause y'all just got SWEPT.

okay, trash talk done. my *real* point was that i ended up at the bar until 11:30 eating burgers and drinking guiness the night before i had to be out the door at 7:45 to go run 14+ very hilly miles.

and i'm tired now, so you're just going to have to wait for that story tomorrow...

g'night kiddies.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

the week in review

so between last saturday and this saturday there was no running. just stretching.

despite the stretching, the shins have been very very ouchie. walking downstairs has been especially painful, despite all the stretching. i should have been cross-training, but that means 6:30am spin classes or 7am yoga classes, and i'm not sure if it's because i've been really busy but general laziness but there was no cross-training in marathonville this week.

i even went so far as not to go to practice on wednesday, and you know i never miss practice. we're in hill training, and the thought of thumping my shins around made me queezy and so i didn't even run.

usually i would feel really guilty about this but i'm hurting - or, as ramon says, uncomfortable enough that this didn't really bother me this week. i was hoping for some relief on saturday morning. we had a big run ahead of us, over the george washington into a very hilly park on the jersey side of the hudson.

no sleep 'til... (part 2)

thousands of runners on a rickety old boarwalk. as you might imagine, it's a bit...well bouncy! if you've never been to coney island, it's likely that after this summer it, like much of our once-gritty-city, will begin transforming to a generic-over-developed version of what it once was, so come to the city for a visit!

anyway, the boardwalk is a little run down...there are loose boards and nails and it is a little bit hazzardous when you're running. i was probably also over-sensitive to this because i had to pee already. so the first three miles, which were down and back the boardwalk, were all about trying not to think about that i had to pee, ignoring the shin-splints and not tripping. i even decided not to think about time, because i was having such an inefficient start. aside from these two factors, it was really beautiful. the ocean always makes me calm and happy, and i have a special spot in my heart for coney island so i was happy to be there.

on the way back, the boardwalk bathrooms are open and i almost jumped for joy! no lines too, score. after that i was a new woman. i picked it up a bit, and decided to see how the next few miles were going and then decide if i was going to try for 2:15. i saw the tnt coaches and gave my signature jazz-hand wave, and continued on.

miles 4-8 were relatively easy and i was having fun. we headed up ocean parkway, i had a great mix on and now that i had warmed up, the weather was lovely. i have biked to coney island quite a few times, so i kinda of had a good handle on the distance, and it was confidence-builder to have that grasp. i with each mile marker, i tried to stay consistently "feeling good" but not afraid to be faster than the beginning - the idea was to run miles 1-4.5 at a "conservative" pace, 4.5 - 9 a little faster, and then let all hell break loose for the last 4.

so as i went up ocean parkway, i was very very consistent. i picked it up a little at mile 5 and then stayed at that pace until i got to the park. when i hit the 9 mile marker, it looked like by the clock time, that i needed to pick up another minute over the next four miles. i was feeling really good, but needed to prepare (mentally) for the very big hill we were going to be tackling. the hill is .4 miles long, and i've run it quite a few times at this point, and while it was not easy, i figured, at least we don't have to run it more than once.

i kicked some butt on the hill, and then flew along around the top of the park. on the otherside, there was a sweet downhill around mile 12, and then the course looped towards the center of the park where there was...damn! another hill. grrr. i had told myself after the big hill that it was literally "downhill from there" so i just wasn't ready. that one hill turned into a series of rolling-hills, which, i thought, was just *mean* on the part of the organizers. i was definitely done, done done with the hills, bit my lip and pushed on. i finally could see the finish-line and there was cap on the right cheering me in, and soon after the rest of the tnt crew on the left doing the same. the time on the clock was somewhere just over 2:14, and since i had crossed the start at over three minutes, i knew i had hit it, which put a big smile on my face.

we ran into a bunch of people from last season and then went to union hall for a very deserved post-run brunch. cap, the rookie and i outstayed the rest of our crew, having a beer or two with our egg-sandwiches.

after that, i came home and checked my time before my nap... 2:12:47! a PR (personal record) and more so, i *think* if push came to shove i could work even harder. so i think the formula for figuring out your time 1/2 marathon to marathon is double and add ten minutes...which would put me at 4:35:34. if i had a goal time (if people, i've not committed yet!) it would be 4:30, so this run was really really encouraging in that respect.

can i keep up that pace for double those miles though? that, my friends, is the big question...

race mileage: 13.1
season mileage to date: 117.8

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

no sleep 'til... (part 1)

after the brooklyn 1/2 marathon of course.

so friday night i was a very good girl. i came directly home from work...no "just one" with this friend or that, just a quick stop at paragon for a variety of goos and some more body glide. then straight home for pasta and early to bed. we were meeting at 6:30am to grab a cab down to coney island, where the half marathon was starting. the race would start at 8, which meant i wanted to be done eating by 6, which meant...up at 5:45am. happy saturday!

i ordered pasta in, watched-i-don't-remember-what on tv, and put myself to bed at 10pm. i did not fall asleep right away between the nerves and and that 10 is a good 2 hours or so before i usually go to sleep. luckily for me, the natives (aka my neighbors) were not too restless that night so once i got to sleep, i stayed asleep.

the alarm shouted me awake, and i grouchily rolled out of bed. i toasted a waffle, spilled some peanut butter on it and chugged two pint glasses of water. i met rand, cap and one of his friends on the corner and we easily hailed a cab out to coney.

we got there around 7, a little after, and what i should have done was head right to the ever-growing-porta-potty line. but i didn't. we met up with the rest of the crew and i pinned my number, decided on goos, and found the rookie, who had taken the bus. around 7:25, i headed to the bathroom but the line was ridiculous. it always amazines me - there were thousands of people here, and they had maybe 15 bathrooms. grrr. the lines were imporssible and i made another unwise decision not to wait. i headed back to the bags, stood around trying to keep warm, packed my bag and dropped it off on the school bus.

i decided if i got in line to pee, i would miss the start. so screw it. the course went down and back the boardwalk and i could always pee on the way back. i saw a fellow mentor, and we eventually found two of her friends, who i knew from last season. the music started and soon we took off down the boardwalk - probably the last 1/2 marathon along the dirty, weird coney island we all know and love.

and we have a connection...

first of major apologies for what was probably my longest hiatus in a while. i finally sucked it up and decided to pay for an internet connection at home so you'll probably be more tired with the volume of posts than anything.

so we've a lot to catch up on.

okay so overall things are good. i have been doing a lot of yoga for cross-training - there's a studio near me that has 7 am classes that i can pretty much roll out of bed and stumble to. i have been having a really hard time with my shin splints - they are really painful. in case you don't know the mechanics of shin splints, the calf muscle is so tight that it pulls the tissue away from the shin bone (tibia) on the front of the leg. when this happens, the bone can absorb more of the impact from running. this can be painful and potentially, lead to stress fractures.

this is my biggest worry, and mine have gotten progressively worse over the last few weeks. so much so, that i e-mailed ramon, who checked me out at practice last wednesday. he grabbed my calf and said "yes, they are very tight". huh. and i had thought that was good ;). he recommended more cross-training and less running, icing after running, stretching my calves 10-15 minutes a day (this is harder than you'd think) and running on soft surfaces when possible.

last wed we had session 2 of the hills, which, once the splints loosened up, was a.o.k. afterwards those of us that have been mooching off of rand for rides, took him out for a burger with a few other peeps and talked strategy and goal times for the brooklyn 1/2 marathon that saturday. typically, i try to avoid thinking about time, but i am trying to become a better runner here, and speed is well, speed. so when cap asked me what time i was going for, instead of saying i wasn't thinking about it (lest i dissappoint myself) i declaired 2 hours and 15 minutes. ha.

i got to that number figuring a little over a 10 minute mile could possibly be doable given my time on the previous saturday's run. we would see.

yoga sessions: 2
april 11 mileage: 4.0
season mileage to date: 108.7

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nike Woman's Marathon (to benefit the LLS)

fall's a coming. who's with me?

if you're in ny and want to attend a special info meeting, shoot me an e-mail and i'll send along the info.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

stay hungry, stay foolish

this hits home today. if you've got the time, it's worth the watch...

Monday, April 09, 2007

the bk half

not burger king, silly, brooklyn.

i finally got around to registering for the brooklyn 1/2 marathon today. it's saturday at 8 am (uuuuurg early!). which means getting there at least 45 minutes early, which means leaving probably close to 5:15/5:30 am. GROSS.

it makes me laugh that i am not really nervous about this at all and mention quite matter-of-factly in conversations about what i am doing this weekend that i'm going to run a 1/2 marathon. its kind of fun.

oh and all you brooklynites better come out and cheer!

check out the course here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

over 100 miles...

wow, when i look at that title it screams at me: you slacker! (it refers, of course, to my season mileage, but we'll get to that).

i didn't run at all this week. i have the usual guilt about this, mixed with a growing fear that i have not been training as hard as i need to be. i missed wednesday practice for a once-a-year whisky-drinking expo with the scots and of course didn't get up thursday morning after that to run. yesterday i had off but did i run? no. why? well part laziness and part my shin splints have been really killing me this week. not so badly that i can't walk but bad enought that they hurt literally with each step. i fear this is also a result of me not training as hard and i feel and anxious nagging that i need to step it up. the question with me always is...will i?

i get wrapped up in the city. in work. with being social. while on one side i overcommitt myself, on the other extreme i get all lazy and unmotivated when i feel overwhelmed. i don't know how to say no. i go out too much. i am terrible at carving out time for just me. oh wait, that should be my time running on my own...but sometimes i just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. i'm feel tired my friends, very tired!

sorry for the odd rant...i'm probably just feeling guilty for not training as much as i know that i should and can. it'll pass.

today, for example, turned out to be a great run. it shouldn't have been. all signs pointed to bad run. the rookie surprised me with an extra ticket to cold war kids at the bowary ballroom (the show's been sold out forever and i had been whining about it), and so we were out until after 1 rockin' with all the hipsters. it was a great show. the 1st opener, delta spirit, totally has a ton of it and they were really freaking great. and middle band i liked, but not as much as the first, and cold war kids simply kicked ass.

so that meant...to bed around 1:45...up at 6:15 to scarf some cereal and drink water, back in bed until 7:30...scramble around for cold weather running clothes (um, what happened to spring people - can someone get on this?)...be on the corner for rand to pick me and cap up by 8. see? i'm tired.

we are running the brooklyn 1/2 marathon next weekend, and so i didn't want to run more than 12 so that that would feel like a bit of a milestone (it's all about the build-up, right?). everyone's assignment was to add 2-3 miles to their longest run, which worked perfectly because we had done 10 last weekend so 2 loops it was.

the first loop went pretty smoothly except for my damn shin splints. they are really bad and i'm not going to lie - since sk8's diagnosis i'm extra paranoid. i ran with the rookie and we were both kinda quiet for a change. it was a very mellow morning. at mile 6 we stopped back at bag-check for water and fuel (me: goo, rookie: banana). time-wise we are going much faster than i did last season which i am quite proud of - i think exactly a 10 minute mile. we headed out for a reverse look, and i decided i needed music (and the rookie probably needed to run faster than my "pokey" pace) and so we parted ways.

my 2nd loop was great. i hit play on my old running mix (which is still quite good i have to say) and got in a groove. i was feeling good and strong, despite all the hills. i was warmer, my shin splints stopped biting at me by the 7th mile or so, and i was pleasantly surprised to find i had run 4 of the 6 miles in less than 40 minutes...what? not one to question, i kept going and going. around my 11th mile i ran into an old collegue who broke me out of my u2-induced-day-dreaming. she asked if i was going to run a loop, and i said "actually, two! i only have one more mile left." and she gave me one of my favorite kind of compliments: you look like you just started! (i greatly enjoy knowing i don't look like i'm going to pass out at the tail end of a run).

that and one of my favorite songs kept me fueled for the last mile, and i arrived back to our spot with a big grin. 12 miles and feeling great is a really really good feeling.

and BONUS! i decided to be anal-retentive and actually map out the run just now, and when you count in the transverses, the distance is actually more like 12.8...which means, i'm averaging 9:45 minute miles! i knew i could do it at short distances...but 12 miles is pretty damn good for that speed. i wonder to what distance i will be able to maintain that speed...and if i can break 4:30 in the marathon...and i set my jaw and promise myself to train far harder for the rest of the season.

today's mileage: 12.8
season mileage to date: 104.7

Friday, April 06, 2007

down & out (but just for now)

sad, very sad news people: sk8's got a stress fracture.

after a bunch of medical back and forth, the results came in and the doc confirmed yesterday that there will be no more running for beck for at least 4 weeks or so, which means that she is not going to be able to run san diego. so our little posse is not so much a posse anymore...

sk8, being sk8, of course is really pissed and frustrated (see, running is damn addictive!) but isn't quitting. her plan is to run the fall season, and until then she'll be biking and swimming to keep up her fitness. she entered the nyc lottery, but if she doesn't get in she'll do nike or chicago - depending on which one picks, she might already be my star fundraiser.

sk8, i'm gonna miss you terribly, but we're still gonna hang out *all* the time. damn it.

and then there were two...