Thursday, September 11, 2008

hello, bouv

hello bouv,

a little note to wish you a happy birthday, my friend!

i had one of those mad days at work, the sort of day that you contemplate going out for a coffee and just keep walking.

when i finally left, the sun had gone down, and tribeca was quite. as i reached the corner of the block, there were those two beams shooting from that not-place not far downtown.

those beacons...reminders for so many of only one horrific day...for me are a bright white shining reminder of your birthday.

and so all that sadness that surrounds my city, i can recognize and put aside for a bit, because i have a model-shit-eating-grin to carry with me when things get bumpy.

miss you always,


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

i'm back!

i'm blaming my hiatus on running burn out, writers block and spring fever. but i'm going to make a concerted effort to finish up my marathon blogging over the course of this week.

what's up with me? well, the last 2+ weeks i've been in boot camp. not the army boot camp, workout boot camp. and let me tell you - it is hard.

first off its at 6am. yeah. exactly! secondly, it's three days a week. this isn't doing wonders for my social life and i am perpetually tired, but work out wise - it is torturous fun! we do some running but its definitely just a part of the work out. there are lots of sit ups, push ups and these terrible things called a burpee. we sprint up and down stairs and hills, perform crazy amount of lunges, and generally get our asses kicked. we even got "punished" army-style last week when two slackers weren't working as hard as the rest of us. darren, the instructor, paced in front of us as we held push-up position for a good two minutes, lecturing us on what happens when there people not putting the effort in. darren, you need lecture no more!

my excellent partner and crime and i help each other along the way with sarcastic remarks under our breaths and check ins when one or the other is looking particularly beaten down. we are in week 3, and i will probably blog some of the more...interesting (read horrible) work outs.

other than that, i've been busy at work and running around the city with the swede. the two of us are pretty social creatures and it seems the calendar will be pretty booked all summer.

oh, and a plug for that man of mine. while you're waiting for me to get my lagging posts up do check out my boy's new blog you know those stimulus checks we've all been getting? well, if you divide that $600 by 365 (as in days in the year) you get, you guessed it, a buck64 a day. he's going to stimulate the economy a day at a time, blogging about all his purchases along the way. even with his meager budget, he manages to get me some gifties. he's even gotten on the news. i would think it was a brilliant idea even if i wasn't smitten so give the man some traffic and if you like it, spread the word.

new running related posts soon. promise.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

photos in lieu of words

hi everyone!

i'm working on my updates but i started getting sick the day i left paris and came down with the full blown flu by the time i got off the plane so i'm finally feeling "writable" today and will work on getting you the play-by-play soon!

other than the sickies, there wasn't too much in the way of soreness other than my right shin which continues to ache a bit.

more soon, promise. in the mean are a few photos to keep you busy :)

rah rah

we are done?


Champagne in Le Marais

jen runs for bouv

Sunday, April 06, 2008

made it!!

that's my watch time, not the official time, but i'm pretty sure we're looking at another PR (personal record)! allez allez!

update! PR confirmed!

the k is on the left, the time is on the right.

today's mileage: 26.2
season mileage to date 267.1

PS! the $20,000 in 7 days deadline is tonight! Donate now!

Friday, April 04, 2008

day 1: bonjour from paris!

hello mon chers, from lovely paris! it's almost 9pm on friday and it is still not quite dark. i always forget until i am across the ocean that it stays lighter longer here - believe me i am not complaining.

we arrived yesterday a little after 10 without incident and took a bus to our hotel, which is right in the thick of things - a few minutes walk to the arc de triomphe off the champs-elysées. we happily discovered our room was ready and we showered and decompressed for a bit.

we are supposed to stay off our feet and not drink wine or eat rich cheese until after the marathon, three things that are quite difficult to do while in paris. we decided to go to expo while we were tired and pick up our numbers so as not to waste the following free day.

it was a good idea. we too the metro over, and since the expo had just opened we decided to grab a snack, caffeine and some water before braving the crowds. we found a cute little cafe where we had tea and cafe au lait, and then ducked into a little patisserie for some pan au chocolat. (ps, the food words are just about the only french i know, along with "Bonjour!" "Bonne nuit" "S'il vous palait" "Excuse moi!" "Pardon Moi!" "Au Revoiur" and "Parlez-vous anglais?")

the expo was not too crazy when we got there. there was a brief scare when the man behind the counter couldn't find sk8's number, but all was well. i couldn't find my hat, so i had to buy yet another one at expo.

from there we headed back to our hotel for a well-timed nap to manage the time difference. around nine or so, we headed back out to forage for food somewhere a little off the beaten path and found a descent brasserie where we dined on steak au poivre and pomme frites. mmm and a glass of cote du rhone. (yes! i cheated! i admit it! but it was just one!)

the meal pushed us over the edge of tired and we headed back to our hotel and passed out.

PS - you guys are *rocking* as far as my little fundraising push goes! not quite at $20k yet (we have until sunday!) but...since monday we've raised over $2,000 and that is saying something! thank you so much for all your support!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

and now, for the weather

i'm taking this moment to interrupt my slow-going packing endeavor to bring you the paris forecast for the four days leading up to the marathon.

as you can see below, we're looking at partly cloudy skies with only a 20% chance of rain. highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's could make for some fine running weather.

i'd say things are looking up for those marathon runners, wouldn't you?

over to you bob.

Monday, March 31, 2008


because of all the new readers (hi new readers!), i have pulled to the front a post that in part was written as part of my first marathon. it is the story of why i run.

i am running marathons in memory of my friend steve bouvier. we called him bouv. i met bouv in 7th grade, in science class. he was the nicest guy we all knew. he was always smiling. growing up, it was always steve and the girls - he was the only guy that was allowed to hang out with all the girls. bouv was the guy that you were always keeping an eye-out for a good girl to set him up with (until he snagged jeanne). we were friends through high school and college, through break-ups and living in different states. bouv always had your back. he had the thickest massachusetts accent of all our friends - there was nothing like going for "beahs" with bouvier. he loved skiing, and vermont, and his family, and chemistry, and jeanne, and also us brimfield girls.

when bouv was diagnosed with hodgkin's he was optimistic. he showed no fear. he told us all that it was "the kinda cancer you want to get if you get cancer". the survival rates were high. his calm way of talking about it put the rest of us at ease. we all knew he was going to beat it.

through the years, bouv's disease seemed be on a roller coaster. he'd get better and then he'd get sick again. throughout, he never seemed down about it. over thanksgiving and christmas breaks, he'd play designated driver and we'd hit the local bar as we always had. he had a few bone marrow transplants, and they seemed to help, but he never got completely better. i had moved to new york, and so at those periods that he'd have to go in the hospital for treatments, i never saw him. i only ever saw the healthy bouv.

bouv met a girl named jeanne. and she was fantastic, and we were all happy that he had found such a wonderful girl. they fell in love. and before one of his more experimental treatments, they got married in vermont, in a little ceremony with just their families. we got the pictures and he looked so happy. the hodgkin's could not wipe the signature bouv-grin off his face.

last year, in early october, a few days before i was taking off for a three-day charity bike ride, we got an e-mail from jeanne. steve was really sick again, and his body could not handle any more chemo. he and jeanne and his family decided that bouv would go into hospice. i confess, i didn't know what hospice was. when i asked a friend at work, they said that hospice is not about getting better, it's about managing pain.

i was bewildered and shocked. how could...but he wasn't that sick...but not bouv. in two days i had to on the bike ride, and was so scared that i was not going to make it to massachusetts to see him, before...i couldn't even say it. i got a friend to scan a picture of bouv and the brimfield girls - it was his favorite - a photo that he would take with him to the hospital when he got treatment, and throughout that ride, i kept that photo close, making that ride for him, drawing on the strength he had to keep going.

the following weekend, i decided to go up to massachusetts on sunday to see bouv. when i went into the living room, i'm not sure that my face hid what i felt. he simply looked so much older than the last time i saw him. too old for his years. i sat in his living room with jeanne and his family, and we talked, catching up. he was on a lot of pain meds, patches and such, that jeanne lovingly handled with a quiet strength that i'm not sure that i possess.

before i knew it, it was time for me to catch a train. i went over and hugged bouv and said goodbye, and said "i'll see you next week, okay?" and his reply was a firm "definitely." i didn't cry until i got in the car.

a few days later steve died. after feeling the sorrow, for steve, for jeanne, for his family...the next worst thing was the guilt. i should have been there more often. visited. why didn't i realize? i wasn't a good friend, how did i not know this was going to happen and spent more time with bouv.

and so, almost a year later, when i decided it was time to do some new charity activity, i wanted to do something for the leukemia & lymphoma society. i came to a tnt info meeting looking for a bike ride. and as i sat there, sad and inspired and wanting to do *something*, looking at the bike rides and thinking...they're too short (they were "only" day rides of 100 miles)...a flicker of insanity sparked. a marathon? no way. there's no way i can. but then i couldn't let it go, because i knew if i had it in me to do this, if i did, i could probably only do it for a damn good reason. and in bouv;s memory seemed like a damn good reason.

that's how i began running marathons. last year i successfully completed the phoenix arizona and san diego marathons, and the paris marathon will be my 3rd.

i'm trying to raise $20,000 in just one week through $10 donations as part of my fundraising efforts for the leukemia and lymphoma society in memory of bouv. if you are at all inspired, please consider a donation no donations are too small!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

girl you better write

sorry kids. i've been busy and lazy and un-writey lately.

the short version is...

i ran my 20 mile run saturday pretty much with tummy cramps the whole run.
i was less than pleased but at least it wasn't raining.

sunday i felt very beat up and behaved accordingly.

tuesday i went to the gym and hit up the elliptical for 4+ miles. wooh.

longer versions of these soon, i promise.

the marathon is two weeks from sunday...crazy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a soggy 18 miles

sorry it took so long to get this post up. after my run i had to work for the rest of the day...and a bunch of sunday too and so the last place i felt like being was in front of the computer.

i'll take you back to friday night, when i nearly had a temper tantrum. that's all i really wanted to do, actually...i wanted to throw a massive crying fit until i was too tired to do anything but sleep. work was rough last week - high-pressure, quick-turn-around-deadlines, and by 6pm on friday i was done. exhausted. whiny. cranky.

the swede called to discuss the plan for the evening and a simple question about what i wanted to do for dinner elicited this sort of response...

"i don't know cause i'm not even hungry and all i wanna do is sit my butt down on the couch and drink a bottle of red wine but i can't cause i have to run tomorrow and i'm mad cause its gonna rain tomorrow and i don't *wanna* run 18 miles tomorrow in the rain cause i'm exhausted and i just want to sleep all day but i can't cause of this damn running." (pouty face) i eventually calmed down and relaxed a bit. the swede is a smart man and he bought me my favorite cupcakes which definitely helped with the cranky pants.

as expected, Saturday at 8:30 was dreary if not (yet) raining, but at least it was warm - in the high 40's. since we had such a hilly run the previous week, this week would be pretty much flat (well, except for the last bit which is a hill. sigh.) we were heading to coney island., which is a 13-mile round trip. we needed to run a round trip of the boardwalk (2 x 2.5 in case you were wondering how long the boardwalk is, there you have it) to add another 5 for a total distance of 18. we tried to head out quickly, as the downpours were really starting around 1pm. if it started lightening, then we could stop.

while the coney island run is easier from a hill perspective, i've decided that i really don't like long, flat straightaways. libby and i took off with one of our coaches, who was keeping us a more challenging pace than we might have started with - around an 11m mile. i pretty much threw pacing out the window once i got hurt twice this season and decided i would be happy with a race where i felt good at the end.

about 3 miles or so into the run, the rain started - not too heavy but there. we got to the boardwalk and took off to the left - in retrospect we should have gone the other way first since it was longer. oh well. we were now running through misty rain, trying to avoid the many nails and rotten planks sticking up out of the boardwalk. i tripped easily 8 times and snarled under my breath at the though of twisting my ankle on one of the many hazards we ran around.

the boardwalk stretched on forever and ever...or so it seemed. we finally saw the end and when we got there, goo'd it up and had a quick stretch. more mist. we headed back, stopping for a bathroom break, and a few blocks back up ocean parkway at a bodega so i could get some gatorade. and a few more blocks after that...the sky's opened up.

it was raining from every. single. direction. and within a few short minutes we were soaked through to the skin. we shrieked and laughed, and people were staring, giving us looks as if to say "are you guys mad?" we saw a flash and loud rumble of thunder soon followed but how to get back? that was the only flash, and really from where we were on ocean parkway it was quite a walk to the f train, and no busses in sight. we decided we would press on - unless we got too cold and the wind started to blow. rain - fine. wind- n'uh.

for the last 6 or so miles it rained - scratch that - poured on and off. the off parts were worse then the on parts because then you could feel the soggy wetness right down to your bones. it was gross. we got to the park in time for one last soaking (awesome) and found our coaches and the poor bag-watcher had taken refuge in the women's bathroom.

when all was said and done, that was definitely the longest i've run in the rain. i felt a bit like a bad ass. a creeky, stiff, sore, cold bad ass - but a bad ass none-the-less.

saturday's mileage:: 18.0
season mileage to date: 206.5

Saturday, March 08, 2008

yeah i did.

yes i did so run 18 miles this morning, a good portion of them in rain of various forms.

all i gotta say is:

rain + running = chafing.

the long version tomorrow.

today's mileage: 18.0
season mileage to date: 206.5

Sunday, March 02, 2008

a tri-bridge run

despite rumors of snow storms, saturday morning was actually quite warm. as i left the house, ny1 kindly informed me it was 40 degrees and it seemed any chance of rain had passed and that it would be a nice day for a run.

lisa told us we would be leaving the park but we didn't know what was in store for us. we waited a few minutes for people to make there way to the park because the f train construction plan for the weekend was pretty much dreadful. then it was time to get our assignment - depending on what our miles were we had a choice of a *two-bridge run* or a *three-bridge run*. there was a slight grumble from the crowd.

i was aiming for 18ish, so the best option was to run a loop of the park (3.4 miles) then add the three-bridge run (14ish) miles for a total of 17.4 miles. i was happy to see libby there - we run at about the same pace and i had left my ipod at work - the thought of running those miles solo would have stressed me out.

our three bridge route (you can see the map at the end of the post) would take us:

-out the park down ninth street, n/e on third avenue to downtown brooklyn
-over the manhattan bridge into chinatown
-up through chinatown, to delancey street on the lower east side, and over the williamsburg bridge
-back across the williamsburg bridge, back through chinatown, to downtown manhattan
-over the brooklyn bridge, back through downtown, back towards park slope on 3rd avenue
-up 9th street, 6 long blocks to the park

it was not going to be an easy run, with all the uphills on the bridges, but i have to say - i was glad to be getting out of the park. had i been practicing in manhattan, likely our assignment would be "3 loops", which has in the path felt like death by boredom.

we took our loop of the park nice and easy - stopping to stretch down on the flat part. libby is having some plantar fasciitis issues. plantar fasciitius is "painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot" - basically the tissue on the underside of the foot starts pulling away from it. a lot of runners get it, and it seems to be, frankly, quite the pain in the ass. between her injury and my quad, we decided we weren't going to break any records and would stop for some good stretches a long the way.

it really was lovely out - and the first part of a run that early is always nice in the city because there's not as many people out. we gabbed our way along and before long we were at the manhattan bridge (mile 6) - we took the south side, which i had never been on. i've biked that bridge a bunch, but always on the other side, and i must say, the view from the south of the brooklyn bridge is amazing. we had a few moments of runners high - the view was great, the sun was shining, we were feeling good.

we got off the bridge into the hustle and bustle that is chinatown. running through there is like playing a video game - the neighborhood is always a mass of people going about their business, running errands, selling wares on the sidewalks. we laughed as we darted around children and shopping carts and the slow walkers, agreeing that chinatown is indeed one of the best neighborhoods in the city.

i was less than excited about the williamsburg bridge. while short, it is a killer on your calves, especially when headed from manhattan to the 'burg side. about 1/2 way up the first side of the bridge, (mile 10) i saw two women walking towards us strolling along holding, sipping coffee and chatting. i sighed heavily to myself wishing i was one of them, and then laughed as one jumped in our path - it was my friend elin who promptly started chanting "go roxie, go roxie!". that got me up the rest of the hill and then we settled in for a nice downhill.

on the other side we stretched out, had water and our 2nd goo-snack. mmm. you know you are running long when you get ravenously hungry in the middle of your runs. the run back over the bridge was tame compared to on the way over, and we headed back across delancy, stopping at starbucks for a pee-break.

then we wound our way back through chinatown, this time a little trickier than the first with all the people, down the the brooklyn bridge. at the bridge there was a cart that i was very happy to find was stocked with gatorade. i chugged some and refilled the bottles on my ever-so-sexy fuel belt, and then we had to tackle our last bridge (mile 13).

this leg was, by far the most annoying. from the foot of the bridge, the right side - the pedestrian's side - was simply packed with people strolling over the bridge. ~grumble~ we headed out, thinking that at least it would keep us from running too fast up the bridge, which would leave us dead for our last few miles. once we made our way through tourist-hell, we knew we had only a few miles left, but that is when tired set in.

as we turned back onto 3rd avenue (mile 15), the wind turned against us. i growled at the sky "are you kidding!" and lamented at the wind resistance. we also knew that the last 6 long blocks were going to be rough since it was all uphill, but there was also that sense of we-are-so-damn-close-we-just-have-to-get-up-this-damn-hill-and-then-we-get-to-eat-brunch!

we caught most of the lights on the way up, which was good because the stopping and starting towards the end of the long run always makes me sad - kind of like starting a motor that simply does not want to be started. as i passed the y, i saw another friend, iling, either coming or going from yoga. i called out and waved, only a little surprised that i had the energy to do so. as we climbed the last block, arriving to the park, there was lisa cheering for us at the top of the hill (mile 17.5)and we were done. yessssssssss.

we stretched out and then libby and i had an well-deserved brunch. banana-strawberry buttermilk flapjacks and bacon. i feel like i haven't been having great "recovery meals" - what you eat right after you run so long really affects your recovery so i think i need to be having more than a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. the rest of my day consisted of a shower, a nap, a long chat on the phone and then i went to meet charlotte (you know, from season 1 ;) for dinner. i got a crazy craving for *meat* and so we dined on filet mignon, mashed, and red wine, then i went home for snuggle with my man.

and you know what? i am feeling quite great this morning, barely sore at all! i guess brunch it is, from now on :).

only two more runs left to go before taper, people. the marathon is fast approaching.

yesterday's mileage:17.5
season mileage to date:185.5

ps - sorry for bad layout on map - i'm editing with "paint" - remember that program?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

short and sweet

my "run" on the elliptical last night was, like this post, short and sweet so that i could get to the grocery store.

3 miles. nothing eventful. a little sore this morning, but nothing too bad. practice is still hills, so i'll be back for more tonight.

yesterday's mileage: 3.0
season mileage to date: 168.0

Sunday, February 24, 2008

last for the first time.

so while most of you were snuggled under your covers saturday morning, the hearty brooklyn team in training crew took the slushy streets to run many a mile.

by friday afternoon, practice had been canceled for the manhattanites - i think ramon is going soft. he *never* used to cancel practice! lisa sent an email letting us know it was on, that we would meet up at 8:30, but if it was to slick she reserved the right to cancel on the spot. fair enough.

i left work a little early and headed to jack rabbit on 14th street to get some new running shoes. i probaly have had the others for 350 miles, which is about 50 miles too many and i had a hunch that they were contributing to my injuries. i wasn't really excited about breaking my shoes in on a long run - the last time i did that i ended up with a monster blister - but i was more scared of getting more hurt than i already am.

i didn't go through the whole "get your stride checked" thing. i simply brought my old ones, asked for the latest model, tried them on and wow. they felt like slippers compared to my old sneakers. it was niiiiiiice. it was also no longer snowing but raining and i had a feeling that we would be running in the morning.

and i was right. as i headed to our meeting spot, the streets were relatively clear, aside from a few slick spots here and there. i was pretty relieved that we were going to be running - as i said, i was freaking out a little over my miles + my injury so it was really important for me to see how i was going to do (and of course, get those miles in.)

lisa explained our route for the morning - we woud be headed to the city. our route would take us:
-from park slope, through brooklyn and over the brooklyn bridge.
-across chambers to the westside highway and back.

there are three marathons training together this season - paris, nashville and new jersey. the people that were not running paris (all but 4 of us) got to turn around at houston for a nice 10 mile recovery run. i would be running up to 54th street on the west side and back to the way we came, over the bridge and back to brooklyn.

i had one of the new jersey-people to run with for the first 7 or so miles, up to 30th or so, and it was good to have someone to chat with. also i had forgotten my watch so i was able to pace a little bit. and then...i was on my own. the weather at that point was eh. it was misty raining and you could start to feel the chill creep in. i was good and was wearing my fuel belt and because i knew of a good little bathroom/water fountain spot, i wasn't "rationing" as i might have been otherwise.

i was quite quite tempted to turn around at 34th, then 44th (that would have been 15 miles) but i knew i would just be mad at myself if i stopped short, so on i went, past where the intrepid should be, through the tourists departing the cruise ship docks with their many suitcases blocking the path, and up to my turn around spot.

once i turned around i was excited for my stop at the "secret" water taxi dock. there were a few other runners (not with tnt) follwed me in. a british woman in the group saw me eating a goo and said "ah, looks like someone else is in training, else you wouldn't be eating those dreadful things" (note - i think the word "dreadful" is highly underused, and i plan on incorporating it more frequently). we talked running talk for a few minutes, who was training for what, how many miles was i running, etc.

the last stretch on the west side was the toughest. long. straight. you know exactly where you are. i longed for music and thought about the things that tend to keep me going:

-a comment from a reader a few days ago (thanks angie!)
-a video of the hoyts (father/son triathalete/marathon team from massachusetts)
-a note from jeanne's sister that made me smile
-finding out that morning that lisa's (the coach) dad, who had been having a rough time of it lately, is now cancer free
-running the full san diego marathon when i was only going to do the 1/2 (until i got inspired by the 80-year old who was participating in her 9th marathon for TNT)
-and of course bouv...i had told my running buddy about him earlier, its good to talk about these things...even when you've talked about it a million times.

i realized at some point that i had not a piece of id on me, so i'd better be carful not to hurt myself. i had visions of hitting my head, getting amnesia, and the hospital not knowing who to call. once i was back on chambers i knew that the rest would go by quickly between dodging people and traffic, running the brooklyn bridge (a first by the way) and getting myself back to our meeting spot to "check out" aka let the coaches know we didn't get lost or crack our heads open.

i found that i was the last - a first for me. everyone congratulated me and i smiled big but wearily. 16 down. minimal pain. i am rather proud of myself.

yesterday's mileage: 16.0
season mileage to date:165.0

Friday, February 22, 2008

no more complaining

they're from my home state, and i remember them, but a reminder never hurts...and worth getting teary-eyed at work.

round and round

on the elliptical. sigh.

when i got to the gym last night i was pleased to find that the barack-clinton debate was on. i knew this would get me fired up enough to dull the boredom that the elliptical usually induces.

however, the connection to cnn kept cutting out, which was *immensely* frustrating - it cut out enough to be annoying but not enough to merit a channel change. you could manage to get about 90% of what they were saying, and when you were lucky the pauses in speeches overlapped with the audio cuts.

i haven't watched a debate in a while, so i forgot that no one actually answers the questions being asked. so freaking annoying. (i won't complain about that here - i've got another blog for that). however, very distracting and i made it through my 4 & change miles in no time.

today, my quad is hurting, which is making me nervous for tomorrow's run. we're doing our longest run on march 15t...which means that is only 3 running saturdays to get up to 20 miles. i see it like this...

tomorrow: 16
3/1: 18
3/9: 18
3/15: 20

i do know from last time, if i don't make it to 20 i will not die. (last marathon my longest run was 17 miles probably 5 or 6 weeks before the marathon...i have to go look). however, i do not want to give myself a mental "way out" so to speak and nurse my injury more than necessary.

also with the weather being dicey, i don't know if we'll do our full, if we don't, i'll try to do a bunch of ellipticalling saturday and sunday, and my back up plan will be:

3/1 15-16
3/9 17-18
3/15 18-20

okay. i'm officially nervous, but not yet freaking out.

yesterday's mileage: 4.0
season mileage to date: 149.0

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

yes, i'm alive

sorry for radio silence since the snowy run. my excuses are in this order:

sore quad
working late
away for the weekend
stomach bug/food poisoning
sore quad

i'm going to skip to yesterday where i found my quad still in pain. booo. i emailed my pt who recommended "running as tolerable" and when doing that, easy flat runs, so i opted for the lovely elliptical machine.

it wasn't as torturous as usual. probably because i was in a foul mood and needed a work out. i put on the cross trainer and "ran" 4.5 miles while watching "the biggest loser". that's what i call qt people.

tonight, my cross-training will take the form of belly dancing, and probably later some yoga moves. i will continue to stretch and roll, and fingers crossed, be okay to run 15-16 miles this weekend. (please don't let it snow!)

also on the agenda:
new sneakers
a new fuel belt
continuing with project "eat more vegetables"

yesterday's run: 4.5 miles
mileage to date: 145.0 miles

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

snow bunnies

yes, last night we ran in the snow.

most people were agahst to learn we still had practice - i definitely was feeling a bit whiny about it until i manged to change and head out into the whiteness that blanketed brooklyn.

it was my first snow in the b.k. and i must admit, it was real pretty. i cut up and walked along the park, and the apartments up there are so pretty anyway, but the frosted windowsills and sidewalks made them all the more cozy looking. it wasn't a bad walk, and i think that's how i'm going to get to practice on tuesdays from now on.

there were quite a few of us troopers out there - all girls by the way. because it was so slick, we couldn't run repeats on the big hill as planned. instead we did some running and some crosstraining. the workout was something like...

40 squats
80 lunges (40 on each leg)
some tip-toe walking (calf-strengthening)
2.5 mile run
made 1 snow angel

they didn't keep us out there for much longer than an hour but running in the snow is akin to running in sand, and between that and the cross training, not only was my shin hurting, but i felt a quad pain developing in my right leg (aka the *other* leg). grr. no time for quad strains now. i was good and rolled everything out before settling in for the night and the snow turned to slush.

total mileage to date: 140.5

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

here i go again on my own

a belated post. sorry its taken so long - i *did* run this weekend, i've just been hard at work on a site that we're trying to get launched for work so i've been a little mentally exhausted to focus.

the original plan for the weekend was to run the bronx 1/2.

then i decided because i am going away this morning AND the bronx is really far AND the race started at 8, that i would run on my own on saturday afternoon.

THEN saturday i had to work and it was supposed to rain, and so, on sunday my plan changed again and in the early afternoon i set out to run 15 miles in prospect park.

while getting up early to run is a pain, there is absolutely something to be said for getting it done early, especially when it is a long run. it is at least 3 times harder to get out there later in the day. especially when that day is going to turn cold and windy. but get out there i did.

around 1 i finally set out with the goal of running 3 5-mile loops. i looked like some sort of geeky-super-hero, sporting my friend's fuel belt equipped with two water bottles and the front pocket stuffed with two chocolate powergels. yuuuum. i modeled for my roommate who, despite giggles said that there was no doubt that i looked like a serious runner.

i opted for some spoon on the ipod, and nearly had a heart attack when three songs in, my ipod froze. i managed to revive it and continued on, trying to loosen up my calves which were feeling rather tight, especially on the flat parts. i made it around the base of the park, and turned left on wellhouse to run the repeat that would turn the 3.4 mile loop into a 5. as i turned back to the main loop, the music stopped again.

i thought it was another crash, but i was dismayed to find i was the power. i was music-less 3 miles into a 15 mile run. i simultaneously wanted to throw a temper-tantrum and cry, but instead i gritted my teeth, clenched my jaw and ran on.

it took me that whole first loop to really find my groove, and i really didn't have enough water for that distance run, but i made due. i really really really don't like the flat part of the park in the back, it bores me to tears. the thought of having to run that strip made me a little depressed but i tried to just break the whole thing down into 3 chunks and not think of the big miles.

loop number 2 was better - the chocolate power gel definitely helped big time, giving me a nice sugar rush that probably lasted a good 3-4 miles. my muscles were much looser, and i didn't feel so heavy on my feet as the first loop. as i was finishing my 2nd loop, it looked like the fog was rolling in...strange...but no. it was a snow squall.

right then the wind whipped up nice and strong, pushing me every-which-way at any given moment. ug. i had the last of my water, another gel (managing not to get it all over my face) and headed back out for a final loop. by the time i reached where i should turn to make it a 5 mile loop, i had decided simply - no. way. i would run 4 not 5 by running back to my house but there was no way in hell i was turning into the wind for that last lower loop. it was a good decision - as it was, running up the big hill (i need to find out the name of it) was absolutely ridiculous. i felt like a cartoon character running hard and gettin' no where fast.

i was exhausted but proud when it was all said and done. 14 miles is not easy under the best of circumstances, but especially without company, an ipod, enough water and gel. yeah. i'm tough. or stubborn. whatever.

today's mileage: 14.0
season mileage to date: 138.5

Friday, February 08, 2008

over the bridge and to the 'burg

last night was more warm than not, and i took the opportunity to run over the williamsburg bridge. if you're going to do a run at night in the dark, its a good spot because it is well trafficked and well lit. the most dangerous part of running there (in my opinion) is the chance of getting clocked by someone that doesn't know how to control their fixed gear on the downhills. fixed gears do not usually have hand breaks - riders break in a similar fashion to the bikes we had when we were younger, controling the pedals and pulling/pedaling backwards. on the downhill, the rider has to have good strong legs to keep in control of the bike, lest they speed up too fast, leaving them careening downhill at the mercy of their luck.

swede lives right around the corner and i had clocked the run at about 3 miles, which while shorter would still be a good challenge because the williamsburg is quite the arch, and the first part is the longest hill. i was a little concerned with my shin splint, i could feel it all day a i was walking around despite ample stretching, but i thought it would be a good test.

i was worried it would be colder on the bridge, but not so. the incline on the first 1/2 did tighten my calves up a good deal - tight calves are what actually cause shin splints -when the calf muscles taking more of the impact and subsequenly bruise-line pains. it hurt, but not so much to merit stopping, and i took it nice and easy on the downhill, stopping to stretch out when i got to the far side. after that i felt like i had a new pair of legs, turned around and headed back.

i finished feeling strong, rosy and happy. training has been going quite well this week, i must say.

yesterday's mileage: 3.0
season mileage to date: 124.5

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

back to the hills

last night was my first tuesday night practice since i had been diagnosed with my little quad strain. the team is in week 3 of hills. i wasn't worried about missing something technique-wise, because i am pretty much a hill master but i was nervous to see how my quad was going to feel during and after.

ironically, after we ran up the hill to the park, it wasn't my quad that was bothering me but my right shin. the lower inside spot felt like a big bruise coming on. damn the shin splints - there was no way i was getting those again. during warm up i spend some extra time on my calves to try to loosen them up and just hoped i wouldn't be feeling it the whole work out.

we ran a little less than a mile over to where we would be hill-repeating. the purpose of the practice was to get used to cresting a hill using the same effort level. basically when you reach that last little incline, as it turns flat, your stride can open up a bit more without you spending any more energy.

libby and i ran together and we passed the time chatting (when we weren't out of breath). we repeated the little hill 12 times (yeah 12) and were pretty good and tired when we finally got done. i could definitely feel my shin at first, but it loosened up a good deal during the run and i made sure that i stretched it well (and kept stretching it throughout the night). the good news was my quad seemed to be doing fine. yay.

then it was time to go home and watch the super tuesday results trickle in while i did yoga moves and rolled out my quads and calves. fun times ;)

my goal moving forward is to plan out my work outs better as well as try eating better too...i finally got a nutrition for marathoners guide, which i don't expect to be any huge revelations, but you never know. so i'm thinking for the week...

wed - off, or yoga
thursday - 4 to 5 miles (in the evening)
friday - cross-train (in the morning)
saturday - rest and stretch
sunday - bronx 1/2 marathon

lets see how that goes.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

not-so-exciting cross training

the interwebs are officially down at my house, so bare with my lack of posts until we fix our router.

i was feeling a little sore yesterday, and we got an email from lisa over the weekend on the importance of cross training, so rather than battle the treadmill, i opted for a cross training program on the elliptical.

it was not a bad time. i didn't start until after 8 so there was prime time tv to distract me and the program actually had me pedaling backwards as well as forwards, which after i got over getting a little dizzy, felt like a very good work out.

4 miles later i was sweaty and done.

tonight i get to go back to hill training - michael said if i can survive a 1/2 marathon, i can survive hills, so wish me luck.

yesterday's mileage: 4.0
season mileage to date: 114.5

Monday, February 04, 2008

Off Topic - For New York

super tuesday is tomorrow. get out there. if you don't know where you're supposed to go, look it up here:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

reach the beach - the local edition

(note: this was meant to post yesterday, however due to a crappy internet connection at my apartment, the post was lost and i had to re-write today.)

sorry for the lack of posting this week. it was a less than stellar week for the running, and in general. i'll explain later but i'm not quite ready to address it at the moment.

things looked up with yesterday's run though. we were told we were leaving the park, but we didn't know where we would be off too. we met at prospect at our usual time, and learned we would be running to coney island and back (depending on your mileage). since i had done the 1/2 last weekend, i figured i would do 13 - 14, depending on how i was feeling. 13 would mean turning around at the boardwalk, 14 would be a little longer of a jaunt down the boardwalk to coney island ave.

being highly irresponsible i have still negelcted to get one of those lovely water belts, and instead planned on carrying a poland springs bottle with me. luckily, i ended up running with my friend libby - someone i had met during my first tnt season - and she graciously offered to share the bottles on her fuel belt with me so i was able to ditch the water bottle.

it was a pretty nice day out, despite the breeze. it was one a hot-cold kind of a run, we'd be chilly in the shade and a little warm in the sun. the coaches were having us run to coney to give us a break from the hills of the park - a little recovery run for our joints. the only hills we would encounter would be leaving and entering the park, and the inclines on the overpass to get to ocean parkway, which is completely straight and flat.

it was a good change of scenery, even though the road seems to stretch in front of you forever. i had ridden the route a bunch of times on bike, and had run from coney to the park as part of the brooklyn 1/2 last year, but hadn't done a down and back. chatting with libby made the first half of the run go by pretty quickly, there was good people watching - the theme of the morning seemed to be "adorable children".

when we got to the boardwalk i was instantly wistful for my camera. the stillness of the beach in the winter is really lovely, i think. the coney island boardwalk is never at a loss for characters, even off-season - there were plenty of locals strolling in their winter finery. after we turned around, we made a pitstop in the bathroom which was surprisingly clean, and headed on back.

mentally, the run back is more annoying in a way because the street signs are now facing you and you know you have a long way to go, for example, when you are still on avenue v. (the ave's run alphabetically from coney back up to prospect park.) at avenue p we stopped for a drink, some goo, and checked the turn sheet to see how far we had to go, and we were pleasantly surprised to find it was only 4 miles - we had already gone 10. that perked us up a great deal, and despite being in the lower 1/2 of the alphabet the remaining distance didn't seem quite as daunting.

the last mile or so was a little less than fun. i was definitely tired, but not horribly so. however, the last mile included a long winding hill - my least favorite in all of the park. blech. i think libby put it quite well when she muttered under her breath "good lord". we laughed because we felt a little like old people strugging up the hill. lisa was on bike, and chatted us up the last bit, which was quite a good distraction, and once we hit the top, we were practically there and finished pretty strong.

14 miles done. and i'm feeling pretty good.

yesterday's mileage: 14.0
season mileage to date: 110.8

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the manhattan 1/2 marathon

i just got back from the first 1/2 marathon of the season. as you will remember, i was debating if i was going to do this whole race given the injury and 10.5 to 13.1 miles is a decent jump in miles. so i opted to treat the race as just-another-run-with-free-water-and-more-bathrooms.

swede made me pasta and we had a chill night. why is it that when you need to go to bed early you are never tired? i finally hit the bed around midnight, planning to get up at 6 to scarf down some pre-made oatmeal in a thermos, back to sleep for another hour or so, and out the door by 7:30 to get to road runners to get my number by 8.

all of that went as it should (although the pre-made oatmeal is going to take some finessing) and i was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't quite as cold as i thought it was going to be. there also was no line at road runners, and i'm not sure if that was a function of the cold, the distance or the arrival time, but it was a pleasant surprise. i grabbed my number, skipped the tee shirt and headed to race start. i knew there was a bunch or tnters racing, but i couldn't remember where they were going to be so i was on my own for the morning.

i intended to get in the porta potty line, just in case, but like most of the other 1/2 marathons, the line was out of control. i'm talking at *least* 30 people per line, probably more, because there was only about 20 portapotties for over 6000 people. since i had peed twice before i left, i decided it was just nerves and that i could wait until a more reasonable time.

i lined up pretty much directly behind the met, where there is a little crop of rocks and trees and shrubberies - perfect coverage for peeing al fresco. i was not so desperate, but many were. there are risks, besides the usual prickers and poison ivy - if you are caught by road runners, you can lose your membership which means no nyc marathon for you. to deter folks from peeing on/near/behind the met, a volunteer with a bullhord heckled the rouge pe-ers, much to our amusement:

"don't do it sir! don't even think about it!"
"if you pee up there you're going to find your picture on the internet!"
"ma'am - stop, stop right now, there's a good girl."
"sir, you, in the blue, yes, yes you stop there...oh, don't...oh man...oh now. someone get that gentleman's number and nobody shake his hand!"

i decided to go with a little arcade fire to begin, and sooner than i thought, we were off.

so i knew i would do at least 12 miles, 2 full loops. then if i was feeling alright i would push it for the last. i would take the first 4 or so real slow, breaking the miles up into 3 parts - gradually getting a little faster if i was feeling good. our coaches say that 75% of people in races go out too fast, and are always reminding us to hold back. i did, and you could tell i was. people were passing me left and right, but i did my best to think "just a long run, not a race" and do my own thing.

we had started at 84th on the east side which meant harlem hill would be the first challenge. the uphills don't really bother me so much, and although it is harder, i was extra careful to stay very steady and in control on the downhills to take care of my quad and all my joints.

so the first 4 miles were good and slow and steady. around the 2nd mile i passed larry the lighthouse - the guy that runs with a big wooden lighthouse over his head and 1/2 his body. i was, despite myself pleased that i was passing him. my ego can take many many blows in this sport - i don't think coming in after someone sporting a lighthouse is one of them.

around the 4th mile was when i got lapped by the first elite runner. sigh. even though i consciously know i am no where close to the level of those athletes, and with all likelihood, never will be, there is still a small wince when that happens. but man, were they flying, and it wasn't a bad distraction to have.

i continued with my pace down around the lower loop, up stinky slope (my new nickname for the lower east part of the park where all the horse carraiges ambling along) and soon i was back at 84th street. 6 miles down. i mentally checked in - no pains, only a little tired, water intake good. i decided that once i got up to 102nd, which would mark mile 7, i would try to push it a little bit.

i also had it in my head, that once i was done with the rolling hills of the west side, the run would practically be in the bag. the west side is far more demanding than the east, and by my calculations, that would be mile 10 or so - i'd have a good indication if i could make the full race or not.

from there on in, i ran 11 minute (or so miles). i'm getting pretty good at recognizing what pace i'm going at, which is kind of cool. i had my 2nd goo somewhere around mile 8 and it was officially the worst one i ever had. i don't know if it was because of the cold or what, but it had kind of thickened at the bottom so part of it was the consistency of very very very thick gel, or a soft gummy bear. it was really really gross, but i choked it down. i hoped it would not attack my stomack and plugged on.

i kept remembering i kinda had to pee, and then would push it to the back of my consciousness again. lines were too long...i could make it. mile 9 on the west side, check. mile 10 - drink water. don't spill. too cold for spilling. up stinky slope, here's mile 11.

i knew then i had 2 more miles in me and decided to pick it up as much as i could. after cat hill, it would be cake from there, so i just had to be smart and know how hard to push. mile 11 was not so bad at all - i kinda kicked a little too much ass on cat hill, and felt a little tired at the top, but when i got to mile 12 i grabbed some water and instantly felt better. also knowing there is just about a mile left mentally is so attainable, i couldn't help but get the dumb grin.

i decided to dedicate this mile to anthony. i thought about channeling the runner thats stuck in his body, and how happy he would be to be out running right now. and i smiled because sometime soon, we're going to run a 4 mile race together and it is just going to be so freaking great.

i kid you not, right around then the clouds parted a little and i got some sunbeams which made me all the more smily, and i was able to use that last little bit of energy to finish strong and happy with my 1/2 marathon that almost wasn't.

today's mileage: 13.1
mileage to date: 93.8

Friday, January 25, 2008

the ripple effect

i just got news of something that's goosebump-worthy and i couldn't wait until after-hours to share.

last year, i organized a bone marrow drive at green team for anthony. the way it works is that you come in, give a tiny sample of blood which is analyzed for certain attributes, and you are added to a global database of potential bone marrow donors. so anytime someone from around the world needs a bone marrow transplant, the genetic factors of each person is the database is scanned against those of the person needing the transplant and hopefully a match is found.

if there is a 1st round match, there are a few more rounds, to go deeper into the genetic info and confirm that its a true match.

i just found out that one of my good friends from that drive, has just one more test to go to prove she is a match! how. amazing. is. that. hopefully, we'll have had a hand in potentially saving a life. i don't even really have the words to express how this makes me feel. i'll work on that...and keep you posted for sure.

and i am *not* teary. okay, well maybe a little, and only in the best way.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

fate intercedes

i hit the gym yesterday to take on the treadmill once again. i really can't wait until it's light out, because i've been forbidden by quite a few people that love me dear that i *will* not run in prospect park by myself in the dark. i hear you people! fine!

this leaves me with either getting up in the morning or going to the gym. the former has been a challenge with the weather and i'm trying to get back into the habit. but yesterday gym it was.

and of course there were no treadmills. ~sigh~. i had somewhere to be so i was forced to work on the elliptical machine. boooo. this is probably not such a bad thing, considering less impact for my quad, but well, boooo anyway.

i haven't done the elliptical since way back in the day when i was having IT band issues. and man, is it *boring*. boring boring boring. even putting it on the interval setting didn't make it less dull.

i toughed out 4 miles worth flicking back and forth between the pinback album and the heath-ledger-media-shitshow. (yeah, i try to keep it pg but the vultures really make me angry. especially when i think of that poor kid.)and you know what? my quad still hurt this morning.


wednesday's mileage:4.0
mileage to date:80.7

Saturday, January 19, 2008

back in business

sorry for not posting for a while. i've been, well, resting. shocker, i know. but after saturday's painful start, i thought it best to do a whole lotta stretching this week. and so i did.

this morning, i wanted to run 10 - 11 miles. the logic here was that i ran 9-something two weeks ago, and next week there is a 1/2 marathon i wanted to run, and you should run at least a ten mile under your belt before you go for a 1/2. of course this all depended on the ol' quad.

generally my leg felt better and better over the course of the week. until last night, when it felt a little twinge-y (successfully psyching me out for a little bit). my boy made me a proper carbo-loaded dinner served nice and early (yeah, tasted good too) and i went to bed at a reasonable hour only a little nervous.

i got up at 6:30 to eat the peanut butter sandwich sweder made me and chugged some water and then it was back to bed to sleep for another hour. yes, its now crazy breakfast time, where the runs are too long for a quick snack before. so its get out of bed, scarf down some breakfast, and snooze for another little bit.

i was running late. couldn't find my hat. my gloves. erg - where are my socks! i hate starting a morning off that way so i tried to decompress a little as i hauled myself up the hill to the park. luckily, everyone was still making announcements so i had time to get settled. because we're in hill training, the rest of the intermediates would be running a 5-mile-loop with a 1.5 mile hill repeat, and a 3-mile-loop with a 1-mile repeat, for a total of about 10.5 miles. i had orders from michael not to mess around with the hills too much so i did not have to do the repeats. instead, i decided to aim for two 5-mile loops...10 miles total.

we were also supposed to be running in groups today but i didn't want to, figuring i'd need to make adjustments for my leg. so i started with a few people, but soon they were long gone and i was out on my own.

my over-all impression of that run was "good grief that took a long time." ug. i was slow. super slow. in fact the first time up the big hill i was convinced i could walk faster. but i was feeling okay. my injured quad was just fine - if anything i felt an over all creakiness that was probably a product of not having run since the previous week and some compensation going on for the weak quad. i finally ran into lisa somewhere in the 4th mile.

"roxie! how you doing?"
"i'm slow but doing okay."
"how's the quad?"
"it seems okay so far. no hill repeats for me i'm thinking though."
"yes i would say that's a good idea."
"so, i did 9 or so two weeks ago, and i was going to go for 10 today..."
"so that i can run the 1/2 marathon next sunday."

at this point lisa made a face that meant well-i-don't-know-if-that's-a-good-idea.

i quickly chimed in with "well, depending on this goes, you know?"

"well, rox, i'm going to send the email soon, but i'm going to very strongly recommend that folks like you not push it too hard for the 1/2 marathon."
"people like me injured?"
"no, people like you right on the cusp mileage wise. there is the bronx 1/2 on february 10th that we'll all be doing, so there really isn't necessary for you to push it. especially for you where there's an injury you're trying to get over."

i must of have had a grumpy look on my face, or at least some sort of look because she did say "but of course, its your decision." i told her i really really would think about it. soon after i stoped for a goo and some water, and a stretch and was feeling pretty good when i headed back out.

so all the way to where the turn off is for the 5 mile loop, the devil on my shoulder was a-whispering...

"if you're not going to do the 1/2, and it seems like lisa really thinks you shouldn't, you don't really have to run 10 today. you could do like 8, and that wowuld be totally acceptible! especially since you've been hurt, i mean you don't want to push TOO much!"

it is hard to resist that little devil. but, one of the bonuses of running with team in training, and running for a reason beyond just you is that it kicks you in the ass a bit. when the little voice starts, you remember why you're running in the first place. who you're running for. and you also consider all the people that are supporting you. i started thinking about the first marathon, and how many people donated (180 by the way), and how supportive they all were. then the 8 versus 10 decision wasn't really a decision at all.

so i took the turn and tacked on an extra 2+. how was the rest of it? long. very long. i really thought i might be the last one on the course to come in today i was taking so long, but i wasn't. and while i was less than impressed with myself time-wise, i was rather pleased that i wasn't hurting, and i took the extra miles.

now the 1/2 *is* an option. if i want it to be. i've got some thinking to do.

today's mileage:: 10.5
mileage to date: 76.7

Monday, January 14, 2008

smart vs. stubborn

and so, saturday morning i got up and headed to central park for the 5 miler, injury and all.

i met sk8 and demps and we squeezed our way into the corrals around the 9 mile mark. i was feeling pretty good about my leg - encouraged and optimistic that michael said i could run on it, and only a little nervous. it was a beautiful running morning. just chilly enough, and enough sun to warm you up.

it was fun to be out there with the both of them - i hadn't run with my pals in quite a while. sk8 and demps had never met, but i had neglected to introduce them because i thought surely they knew each other. but silly me - it was only that they had read about each other in the blogosphere.

we started out at a good pace, running along with everyone else. i gave them both the freedom to leave me whenever they wished due to my gimpy leg, but we ran, chatting and enjoying the morning. some where in the 1st mile, beck decided to move on ahead and i wished her luck. demps and i continued on, hitting the rolling hills of the west side...

my left quad, the bad one, suddenly started to tighten. i tried to ignore it, and focus on the chit chat, but as we crested a hill, i could feel the tightness constrict my thigh, and move down in to my calf. my right calf cramped up, and as we reached the top, my left followed suite. my left leg was aching...and i decided not to push it.

"demps, i'm sorry...but i think this is just not good for me right now...i have to stop."

he wished me well and i pulled over at the southern part of the resouvoir.

normally i would have felt disgruntled and discouraged for giving up. but today, my legs were hurting so that i knew it was the right thing to do. i stretched and made my way across the park to the tnt cheering session. luis, our bk coach, agreed it wasn't worth it to push at this point.

so i called it a day and lent my voice to the crew, cheering in the tnt runners. it was fun to see how all the newbies lit up when they saw us all cheering for them. sk8 had thought she was going to get to cheer me in - she did really well and finished strong! - and we laughed that i was standing there when she came up.

my leg has continuously felt better from then on...and i'll try a run on the treadmill tomorrow. michael emailed me to see how it went, and i told him that i stopped and he said he was glad i was smarter than most in that situation, so i felt even better. i had made the right decision and smart had won over stubborn.

more tomorrow my friends...

Friday, January 11, 2008

"go to your happy place"

and the diagnosis is...acute quad strain.

so the bad news is that i am officially injured, but the good news is that i can still run - there are just things i have to avoid, namely the super strenuous workouts and lots of hills. quad strains are usually caused by a sudden twist, over-stretcher an over contraction of the muscle. Or inefficiency due to fatigue or the cold. my guess would be that i pushed a little too hard w/o being warmed up in the cold.

so after asking me a bunch of where/when does it hurt questions, michael (the pt) made me do a bunch of contortions with my leg asking what hurt where and when. at the beginning, nothing really hurt very much, but then he busted out a towel and some massage gel, and started poking around and massaging towards the top of my thigh.

he hit the muscle right in the center on the top and pressed down, and i sucked in my breath with pain.

"a little tender there?" he said
"yeah..." usually i'm good at masking/being tough/downplaying pain, but this was too sharp for me to be anything but frank. "that. hurts."
he leaned in and shifted downwards. "yeah...go to your happy place."

ooof. i did not cry, but i thought for one moment that i might. i have been beat up by many cheapy massage places, and those ladies are *strong!!* but that was nothing compared to having my quad worked on. it hurt like a...well, i won't swear but you can finish the sentence however you like.

i'm glad i decided to be all responsible and adult-like and go have it looked at. the course of action is to be smart and take it easy - focus on my miles vs. intervals. michael said if i want to do a interval work out i could do a spin class but i should stay seated. ps, not only is michael a tnt coach but he also does ironman triathons.

what's an ironman? aside from complete insanity, an ironman is:

a 2.4 mile swim


a 112 mi bike ride


a marathon (26.2 miles).

yes all in one day. crrrrrrazy.

anyway my point is that he's an athlete so in addition to being a pt he knows what he's talking about from experience too. this makes me feel better.

he also suggested a roller, so i got one. before and after my runs, i will lay my thigh down on this rolling pin looking thing, and find the spots that are tight/tender, let them loosen up for a few breaths, then bend my knee and deal with the "discomfort" for another few breaths. and try not to cry. i'll do this on the front muscle and the outer (lateral) muscle as well.

and hopefully, this will render me well sooner than later. i will run the race tomorrow, but not race the race, and then michael said to let him know how i'm feeling, so we'll take it from there.

i will keep you posted, but i'm feeling much better. of course, i always do when i know how to fix things...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

at rest

so, the leg issue has become enough of one that i am seeing the tnt physical therapist tomorrow. grrr.

i am trying to keep the discouragement at bay until then, but i'm frustrated because i felt like i had just gotten back into the "running zone" if you will, all happy for running and practice and excited at the progression of the mileage.


so there's my update. more tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

sprints. oof.

tonight was my first tuesday practice of the season. D (my pal from work that is running paris too) and i left a little before 6, trucked acorss canal and she headed to manhattan practice, and i to brooklyn.

what a pain the r train was. i was in the station by a little after 6 and the train did not come for another 15 minutes. grrr. and there i though i was going to be early. couple that wiht the fact that the meeting spot is four lengthy blocks to the park...and i made it up there to catch the tail end of warm ups. double grrr.

my quad was definitely feeling rather tight, and i attemped to stretch while coach lisa gave us the work out.

basically, lisa would stand in the middle of a stretch, luis at the end. first we would run what i will call a "lap" - to luis, and back to the start easy. then each time we'd do it again, we'd run with effort level 4 to lisa/the middle, recover to luis, level 4 to lisa, recover to the start. repeat.

basically you are sprinting and recovering. effort 4 is just less than a full out sprint. and pretty much just when you think you are going to throw up or maybe pass out, you get to catch your breath. then you do it again...and again...until they tell you to stop.

and so i did. i was nerous about how all the pounding was going to affect my quad, and lisa and luis - both being good coaches - asked how it was doing. at the beginning, it actually felt pretty good. i was focusing on my arm swing, and felt semi-fast (ps - if you haven't sprinted in a while. you should. makes you feel kid-ish again.) for a change. luis remarked as i hauled on by that it seemed that i could still push on it a bit. i grinned.

i made it through the warm up + 5 sprint laps before the pain started to set in. i debated stopping there, but managed to squeek another full lap out and then jogged over to the coaches and said "now i hurt!" i dismissed myself and they agreed. i took off down the hill to bag watch, and the impact at that point was rather...ouchie. stretched properly and came home and iced, and now i'm feeling kinda okay, but i think i might just go see team in training's favorite physical therapist this week.

stay tuned!

today's mileage: 7.0
season mileage to date: 66.2

Monday, January 07, 2008

night running

the weather has turned practically balmy, and so when faced with the gym or park decision when i got home from work a little before 8 this evening...well it really wasn't much of a decision. i haven't run in prospect park in the dark yet - i'll do cold, and i'll do dark, but it is extra hard for me to do cold *and* dark.

i overdressed a bit on purpose just in case it was colder than i imagined and headed to the park around 8. the "chill" in the air made me smile because of the warmth that surrounded it. i love unseasonably warm days, global warming aside. there is something about going from 4-5 layers one day, to just one the next that makes me very very relaxed. it's the closest a person can come to shedding one's skin, i suppose, and when i started my run i was feeling particularly light and free.

my legs weren't in a very cooperative mood though. my trouble-some left quad was whining just about the whole run, not getting better as i went along as i had hoped, and to add to the fun, my right calf was one crampy mass just about the whole time. i'd get distracted now and again by some noise or another - the park wasn't quite as bustling as i had thought (but no, mom, i swear it wasn't desolate!) and the hill was the best distraction of all for the aches and pains - your brain can really only focus on one sort of pain at a time, i find.

when i finished, i spent a good 15 minutes stretching on my stoop and my quad actually felt much better for it. hurrah. tomorrow, more interval training - this time with the crew. it will be my first tuesday practice. wish me luck.

today's mileage: 4.0
season mileage to date:59.2

Sunday, January 06, 2008


yesterday was another great day for a run. the cold that had the city in a deep freeze for a few days had dissipated and it was a balmy 40ish degrees when i got to the park.

i was running a little late, so i hadn't eaten breakfast (bad). but i did have the presence of mind to grab an extra goo to slug down before we started running (good). my quad was feeling okay. i hesitate even to call it a "pain" - its more of a dull ache the waves hello, saying "hi! i'm here! don't forget about me!" while i go about my usual business.

i talked to coach luis about it on the way to the warm-up spot. it could be a muscle that just isn't getting stretched, or possibly the i.t. band is tight and it's pulling at the quad. he suggested the usual icing stretching combo, maybe getting a roller, and said to see how it felt during the run. if it got better as i went, that would be a good sign.

we had our usual warm up of squats and lunges, etc. and then most of the team was headed off to do the effort level work out. since i had already done this on the treadmill tuesday, i told the coaches i was going to go straight away into my distance run. for nine miles, i could do two loops (6.8), then a bit of a down and back for the extra 2+ miles.

all in all the run was good. i had a lot of motivation - i had gotten a really sweet email from anthony, the other person i run for, which i will tell you about in a different post. suffice it to say that it brought a tear to my eye. and happily my quad did loosen up, even if the "ache" was still there a bit. i took it nice and easy on the downhills (where you can actually do far more damage to your legs) and tried to pay attention to if it was getting worse. i will not be skipping breakfast any more, i will say that. the goo i had around mile 5 was good, but i definitely felt like i was fading a bit at the end of the run. and i might have to suck it up and get a fuel belt...right now i've been stopping for drinks of water after each loop, which is managable at shorter distances. technically though, we're supposed to be drinking every 20 minutes, which at my current speed isn't quite 2 miles.

when i finished i was happy to find that it was quarter to 11. we started right around 9, and then with my two water breaks, i figure i did the run in about 100 minutes or so, which puts me right around an 11 minute mile. not so bad considering i've just been getting into the swing of things.

maybe my time goal is not quite as impossible as it seems some days ;)

of course today i woke up and in addition to the sore left quad, my right knee is a little achy. but it feels like a typical i-ran-a-long-distance-pain that i remember from my first season when i really was a novice.

saturday's mileage: 9.3
rough pace: 11 minute mile
season mileage to date: 55.2

Thursday, January 03, 2008

roxie 2, treadmill 0

wednesday i planned on doing a regular run on the treadmill after work, since the cold has set in. but when i checked my email that day, there was ramon - and he was having practice! i was already at work without running stuff and the brooklyn crew was not having practice that evening so there wasn't a way for me to join. despite the frigid air, i was slightly disappointed - because work was so crazy during december i had yet to attend a tuesday practice and those are the practices where they basically, well, kick your butt.

ramon did give a treadmill alternative to the workout though, and so i decided not only to battle the treadmill (which i loathe), but also to take on the prescribed interval work out. for those of you who are just joining me or for those that have forgotten, the point of these sessions are to build strength and speed. saturdays are purely about getting used to long distances, and the other weekday runs are more fitness maintenance than anything else. if you want to improve, and i need to if i'm going to hit my time goal, the intervals are where its at.

the workout was as follows:

warmup 8-10 minutes
then do:
8 times: 1 mins @ incline 2 and 1 min @ incline 4 (keeping same speed)
run easy 5 minutes @ incline 1
5 times: 1 mins @ incline 2 and 1 min @ incline 4 (keeping same speed)
8 mins cooldown

it was...well, not easy. i could see in the reflection of the tv that my face was read, i was sweating like crazy, breathing a little heavy (which is, frankly, the point)and the weird quad pain was back but i managed. it was actually not as boring as when you're just plodding away like a hamster on a wheel at the same level for 45 minutes. i was very close to taking that 5 minute break a bit early, somewhere around the 6th time of the first set, but i kept at it.

when all was said and done i was a sweaty, dizzy mess (the 'mill usually throws my equilibrium of balance a bit), but happy for it.

last night, i opted for fundraising letter writing and stretching/icing of the quad instead of the treadmill. i'm going to go for 9 miles on saturday - i'm trying to get ready for a 1/2 marathon at the end of the month - and i'm trying to balance my stubbornness at wanting to get out there and run vs. being smart about when i should take a night off.

time on treadmill: 45 minutes
wednesday's miles: 3.6 (with intervals!)
miles to date: 45.9

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

january schedule

lots going on this month, including a 1/2 marathon - eek. i'm happy to see i'm not as behind as i saturday i should be caught up with the intermediate schedule.