Tuesday, June 30, 2009

sprint for 1/4 mile. recover. repeat.

it's tuesday, which means some sort of tortureous workout from our coaches.

making a 6:45pm practice is no easy feat most days, so this has been the first tuesday i've attended, which is not great because that's when we do a lot of strengthening, technique and - what i need the most - speed work.

it was raining when i left work, but i'll take rain over blistering heat so while i wasn't exactly thrilled, i also wasn't too cranky about it. by the time we began, the rain had actually subsided to a slight drizzle and we were left to run our repeats in a recently cooled-off park.

we were to warm up, and then starting at a certain point, we would sprint (effort level 4) for a quarter mile, and then take another quarter mile to recover. repeat until the coaches let you stop.

i was a little nervous since i hadn't been doing any of these work outs really and wasn't sure how i would do. i did okay. i took my recoveries nice and slow, making sure i was ready for the next fast run and then would sprint my butt off.

after twenty or twenty-five minutes or so, we were allowed to head back. a little stretching and 3 wtf mosquito bites later (through my clothes? really?), i was red-faced and sweaty but feeling pretty okay.

today's mileage: 3.9
season mileage to date: 74.6

Saturday, June 27, 2009

a coney island morning

i was very nervous about running today. i was planning on jumping my mileage to 9 miles from 7, which is a decent jump considering i haven't run long in 3 weeks. i would be running on my own. and this week was not the best week ever as far as training was concerned. all factors leading me to pretty much dread this morning's run despite my determination to muddle through it.

i made sure to leave work on time to assure i could eat at a decent hour. we have a bazillion veggies from the local csa that we have to use so we had salad and pasta with pesto that included scapes instead of garlic. it was de-lish.

so delish that i passed out on the couch sometime before 11pm. i stumbled to bed and set my alarm for 6 to gulp down my breakfast. my man had gotten my oatmeal for my 6am breakfast but i hadn't been all that specific about what kind so i ended up with those instant packs of apple cinnamon. i sleepily mixed some up some, took a bite and was instantly shocked awake from the sheer amount of sugar. wowy. it's been a while since i had pre-packaged oatmeal i guess. i had intended on getting up again at 7:45...but the damn snooze button kept getting pressed somehow. i'm such a sleepy head. so by the time i got up, dressed, filled the oh-so-fluorescent-water bottles i was pushing 9am by the time i left the house.

it was warm but not too warm. i made a very conscious effort as i took off up the hill and through the park to go more slowly than my week-day runs. i would certainly need energy for the end. i turned onto ocean parkway and was delighted to see that most of the path was still in the shade, and with all the trees would probably remain mostly so.

as easy as that route is - flat and straight - it is also kinda boring. i was without ipod and without company, which made for a lonely boring run. i was also watchless, and kept track of mileage to make sure i was hydrating enough by the street signs. i knew avenue r was 5 miles and avenue z would be 6 miles - and that would be where i would get my treat - a double latte power gel. mmmm.

the run was pretty uneventful all the way down to coney island. i probably could have used a little bit more water, but i knew that as soon as i got there, water fountains would be all over the place. miles 4.5 - 6 were roughish for some reason, but as soon as i had that powergel my legs had new life. finally, i crossed under the highway and could see the boardwalk. i grinned widely, and a random lady grinned back as if to say "yes, you have arrived!"

while the sun was out in full effect, so was a lovely ocean breeze. i spied a water fountain, refilled the bottles, took a nice long drink and soaked my hat in water before placing it on my head. it was sooooo nice. i figured i had another 2.5 miles on the boardwalk and the scenery more than made up for the boring run down ocean parkway.

coney island remains a sea of faces, accents and characters so varied and wonderful. despite the forces at work to modernize and clean it up, it remains an authentic mish-mash of culture that new york is known for. as i tromped up and down the boardwalk i smiled at the families with blankets and umbrellas in tow; the older, bronzed leather-backed couples, strolling the boardwalk and saying hello to their compatriots; the crazy looking eccentrics wearing too much clothing or just a speedo; the other runners and bikers looking hot but pleased with making their way through this little patch of nyc-goodness.

i finally hit stillwell avenue - my place to stop. i stretched and people-watched, pleased with myself for ending my run on the boardwalk...pleased with myself for making the 9 miles with less pain and suffering than i thought...and thankful that i had made my way and started a life here, in new york, so many years ago.

today's mileage: 9.1
time run: 1h 40m (approximate)
season mileage to date: 70.7

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

rib stitches

i ran after work today because i simply could not drag my tired ass out of bed this morning. i got stuck in the airport most of the day monday, and then on tuesday had to get on a 6:55am train to boston for a client trip, so this morning i was simply wiped out and decided i needed to run after work.

the air felt a little thick as i got home and i complained a bit to the roommate before i realized that i had little right to be complaining given the hot sticky soup i had just come from in north carolina.

i headed out around 7:40 and planned on running a little long until shortly into the run i got an attack of under-the-rib-cage-stitches which would not go away for the rest of the run. i think i was going a little fast (i really have to find my damn watch!) at the beginning and it pretty much screwed me for the rest of the run.

i got back to the house sweaty and cranky and went straight for the shower, realizing i hadn't even stretched when my hip growled at me for my forgetfulness. damn damn.

tomorrow i'll run again after work, and friday is tbd because i need to run long this weekend and i'm debating trying to run to the event we have in the city at 9am...maybe maybe...i'll have to map out the mileage. OR i'll run sunday and maybe ride a bike to the city for a little bit o' cross training. getting into july i really need to get my butt in gear, especially when it comes to making tuesday practices - we're doing speed work and that helps improve soooo much.

today's mileage: 3.3
time run: 34m
season mileage to date: 61.6

Saturday, June 20, 2009

it's too hot for runnin' y'all

hello from durham north carolina where its humid as heck and tempuratures are soaring up into the high nineties.

this is, as you can imagine, less than ideal running weather.

last night i decided that it was essential for me to do some running this weekend. i was looking at the schedules and since i got trapped in astoria and missed a long run last weekend, and with all the IT band issues, i was feeling a bit behind. i decided damn the heat, i can do this! i will simply get up early saturday and do my 8 miles and be done with it.

easier said than done my friends, easier said than done.

i forwent wine with dinner, and drank tons and tons of water friday evening. i had finally went out and bought a fuel belt yesterday because i figured that no matter how short or long i was running, down in this hot hot land i was going to need to carry water with me. i made a peanut butter 'n' honey sandwich which i packed up in a baggie and put near our bed so i could get up early, chug some water and go back to sleep. i always need to eat about 2 hours before i run, and we'd been doing so much running around getting read for the guests saturday that getting up before 6 just was too painful. so my plan was to:

go to bed by midnight
wake up at 6 - eat sandwich, drink water
get up at 7:30 - get dressed, fill water bottles, etc
get out the door by 8 to "beat the heat"

my plan first went awry when we got to bed closer to 1am. this made me wimper to myself a bit. we were working on pulled pork, some cakes, and mint julep for the next day and things, as usual, took a little longer than expected. good sleep was then thwarted by having to pee almost every hour throughout the night - clearly i had over hydrated a bit. the eating of the sandwich went fine but when i finally got out of bed at 7:30 i knew immediately that i was going to have peanut butter heartburn. uuuuuug. i popped two tums and hoped for the best.

i walked out of the house into the warm, moist air. at first it didn't feel so terrible but as soon as i left the confines of the shady lane that my man's family lives on and one little sunbeam hit me, i felt the magnitude of the warmth and the sweating began.

i had mapped out a little 4.5 mile route and my plan was to do two of these loops. except it was hot. and i was melting. and it was only 8am! i tried to talk myself out of the grumbling but the heat was impossible to ignore. sweat dripped from everywhere. in less than 5 minutes the back of my neck was coated and my pony tail was soon damp. i was hot and miserable but still determined (this was probably...15 minutes into my run).

and then i got lost.

i got lost in hilly territory with a vauge sense of where i needed to go and not many people out on the road to ask directions. no cell phone. i tried to navigate by my wits and succeeded in running down two dead ends, the second of which was up a hill. i swore and turned around and down another road. finally there was a lady on a walk! i asked how to get back to the main drag and she told me to go straight. oooooof course.

i had planned out a bigger loop but as i got to where i could turn back to my boyfriend's...i couldn't go on. i was drenched through, ridiculously hot and miserable. i promised myself that i would run a bunch of longer-ish runs this week to make up for it but there was no way i was continuing on. the heat had sucked the energy right out of me.

i got back and my boy, bless his heart, asked if i had done my 8 miles. i just laughed and started chugging cold water. red-exercise-face was in full effect, more a terrible shade of purple than red. i stayed a good deep pink a good 20 minutes beyond my shower and knew that if i was going to attempt running in this heat again, 6am was going to be necessary.

the saddest thing was when i mapped my run, which i thought to be about 4.5 miles, it was only 3.5. ~sigh~

today's mileage: 3.5
time run: 45m
season mileage to date: 58.3

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

i've been hearing lots of complainin' about the weather lately.

all you whiners can shove it because i think its amazing, and hope it stays refreshingly cool all summer! these last two mornings have been perfect for the running. it makes it that much easier to get out of bed.

my new attack is: get up at 6:45, out the door by 7:02 or so and off i go. i was expecting a stiff hip when i got out of bed today but was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't stiff at all. i opted for a slightly longer run by taking a different loop by the lake. it was rather lovely (i need to start bringing my camera to show you what 7am in the park looks like). My legs felt a little heavy/sleepy, but other than that the run was refreshing and uneventful.

i am off the north carolina tonight where the temperature promises to crawl into the high 90's by the end of the week...wish me luck!

today's mileage: 3.8
time run: 38m
season mileage to date: 54.8

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

and we're back

i took 5 days off to rest the old it band but this morning i decided it was time to get back out there and see how i was feeling.

when i first got up it looked pretty gray, but once i got out there the weather was lovely. i definitely was in need of a run, wanted to get rid of the cranky pants i'd been wearing for a while, and i was anxious about missing "so many days". now i know the work doesn't just go away, but even though it is a long season ahead it still stresses me out to not be running.

the run overall went okay. my it-band started waving "hi! i'm here! remember me!" about ten minutes into the run but it didn't hurt, which is good i guess? i realized at the top of the hill i am no longer any more winded than i am overall, which is also good i guess? it probably means i am still running too fast. but it kinda feels good to run fast(er) than my usual plodding pace.

i'll run again tomorrow, and then i'm headed down to north carolina where its even hotter and stickier. it will be a busy weekend - my boyfriend's father's memorial - so realistically i'm not sure about how much running i'm going to get in, but i'm going to try to get at least a few short ones in, even if i don't make a long one.

today's mileage: 4.3
time run: 45m
season mileage to date: 51.0

Friday, June 12, 2009

old lady hip

so the IT-band related hip-pain has not been going away, so at the recommendation of lots of my friends i'm taking it "easy" this week - more stretching than running, and I'm going to find that roller thing so i can try to roll the pain away.

i will run this weekend but may do it sunday instead of saturday, depending on how the hip is going. i'll probably go for 8 this weekend. i'm a little nervous about the IT so i need to figure out what else to do when i can't be running just in case. i do not want to loose the small amount of cardio endurance i've built up over the last few weeks...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

misty morning

i left work late for practice again (i wonder if tnt would consider a tuesday *morning!* work out), and was going to run on my own but i took one look at our bedroom (with my clothes scattered everywhere) and decided last night was for cleaning - and this morning would be for the running.

it's a little chilly this morning, but it definitely felt good. the run was more or less uneventful, except for a mini-lake that had formed across one of my paths which necessitated running through the mud. i was trying to run off my recent bout of crankiness and i think it worked to a degree. i feel a little less...encumbered than yesterday.

that's it for now. i am just getting coffee right and feel too sleepy to be interesting this morning!

today's mileage: 3.4
time run: 35m
season mileage to date: 46.7

Sunday, June 07, 2009

all the way up there?

this weekend i intended to do a short run saturday early evening (because of a little soiree a friend of mine was throwing the night before, and then the long run sunday.

after a lovely brunch with charlotte (remember her, my running buddy from season 1?), something i ate derailed my plan. as i sat on the deck trying to get a few rays, a wave of nausea crept up and attached itself to my person, rendering me listless and blah. no, it was not a hangover. it was that i-ate-something-funky feeling.

the boy came home, took one look at me and said "aweee, you're not feeling well huh?"


"does this mean we can't go to the OTB?"

yes, he meant the off track betting place down the street. it was the belmont yesterday and we had thought to get a little fancy and go play the ponies down the block. okay, i was going to get fancy, perhaps with a little hat action, but in my current state it was all i could do just to go.

we headed down a few avenues and planned out our bets. as we walked in we were hit with "old man smell", a mix of booze, cigarettes and age which i personally equate with my grandfather. perhaps it should be called "tipsy old man smell"...anyway. i digress. we played the ponies and got the hell out of there so i could limp back to the couch and mope, giving myself all sorts of grief that i wasn't running. we did not win any money although we came damn close.

so i certainly couldn't skip today, despite it being not nearly as nice for a run as yesterday and still feeling a little worse for the wear.

i kissed the boy goodbye, so which he sleepily replied "have fun, runny-pants", which i grumblily repeated under my breath. i wanted to sleep in. i did not want to go run, and i certainly was not going to have fun. runny pants indeed.

i opted for the backwards loop first, so that 1) i could take on the long terrible hill while i still had some energy and 2) i could watch out for traffic while i still had the mental capacity to do so. it was an excellent idea until i saw the race coming towards me - there was a 5k in the park that morning, and the runners were headed straight towards me. i swore under my breath and spent the next 10 minutes avoiding a few hundred people racing in addition to the usual park traffic of speedy bikers, roller bladers, and "normal" run walkers. definite video game moment.

i did the first loop rather uneventfully and then turned around and headed in the other direction. i was thirsty. too thirsty. must. get. fuel belt roxie. this is just dumb. i could not wait to get to the water fountain on the far side of the park and when i did i could feel my muscles perk up and i continued on my way.

at this point, approaching the big hill, my legs started feeling a bit like lead, and i got a wee bit dizzy. clearly i am not hydrating enough in this hotness so as i came to a water spot i took a 3-lightpost walk until i got to the water, gulped down a bunch, sprinkled some on my neck and tackled the hill.

i was, at this point, in a foul mood, whining to myself about it not getting any easier, the weather, the fact that i could be in my bed getting some much needed rest, that my hip hurt. pretty much i whined about anything i could think of. a very "runny" looking girl passed me and i glared at her prancing ponytail (my ponytail did *not* feel very prancy). a boy was scootering up the hill while his mom ran beside him. about 2/3rds up the hill he abandoned the scooter with a stomp and a wail. as i very slowly "ran" past them i heard this exchange:

boy: where are we gooooing
mom: look up there
boy: where up there?
mom: look as far as you can see, then look a little farther where those people are
boy (with a whimperish wail): all the way up theeeeeeeere??

i know, little one, i thought, i know just what you mean.

as i kept trucking up the hill, i smiled smuggedly as i passed the perky ponytail girl who had run out of steam. cruel? maybe. but i felt a tortoise-and-the-hare-esque sense of satisfaction.

i made it home, hot and pink faced as ever. i wouldn't say i felt great - my hip was aching and i would certainly have to ice - but i did it, and the time wasn't terrible either. and that was enough for me.

today's mileage: 7.0
time run: 78m
season mileage to date: 43.3

Friday, June 05, 2009

i *heart* Ramon

i just checked the email and had this little ditty from ramon, the head coach.

as an alumni...3 times over...sometimes you forget that it is a big deal that you are back again and again, helping shape and drive the program.

thanks ramon.


If you are getting this email is because you are a past and current TNT participant, I think they call you Alumni !

This is me, Ramon, your coach then, and your coach now, the one with the accent (yes, yes, after this many years, still have it, deal with it!!)
I just want to take this opportunity to give you a special Welcome !
It is just soooo awesome to see so many of you coming back, so many 'old faces' :) I think I have seen people in workouts pretty much from every season I have coached, dating from Maui 2002 to last spring season, and that's absolubtely freaking awesome !

I makes me happy to know that you are back either because you 'kind of like us' or you, as I previously told you, have not life after TNT and that's what you are back, no matter the reason you are back, the important thing is that you are BACK !

Many of you probably noted that this fFall 2009 season is a bit different from the one you participated, probably a big bigger (specially if you are from the early years when we were just a few), YES we have grown and that's in big part thanks to all of you, you made the program what it is now, you did you event, you enjoyed, you talked about TNT to everybody you know and that's why we are successful and that's why we are one of the best chapter in the country. I thank you for that !

You have fundraising thousands and thousands of dollars to help our cause, and here you are again, making a difference once more, doing your part ! We all know is not easy to fundraise several seasons, but you are here, and you are doing it, you are
an inspiration to all, to the coaches, to those in the TNT office, but specially to those that joined TNT for first time. You are the
true voice of TNT, welcome those newbies, tell them what is all about, share your pass experiences, tell them why you are back, tell them their lives are about to change, but also, take a moment to realize you are super awesome !!

Anyway, as a little token of my gratitude, for being so awesome and for being back, I want to invite you to special event, a special workout just for you, for just 'those alumni that are currently training with us for a fall marathon'
I will be sending and evite soon, it will probably happen either on Wednesday June 24th or Saturday June 27th.

Once more, thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do. So great having you back and being able to push you around one more time !!!

Needless to say that your feedback is important to me, please feel free to send me any feedback, positive or negative about this season, I want to make sure , your experience is event better than your prior !!!

me your coach, now and always !!!


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

a run for shane, with love

i'm not going to lie, the last month or two have been rough ones. personally. professionally. in general. life has been challenging in general and last night i got more bad news - the death of a friend from college.

these times could lend themselves to curling up in a ball in bed and not getting up for a few days. i've had more than a few days where i was far more inclined to say screw it than face the day.

instead, i run.

not only was i supposed to take a longer run, i needed it. i decided on the full loop with a run from my house to the park.

thunderstorms barreled down last night and when i headed out the park glistened with new rain. a new beginning. a clean start.

i ran sadly. and wistfully. and regretfully. and full of memories. i ran full of questions and doubts, and love for my friends. i ran and remembered.

dearest shane, i hold your beautiful smile close to my heart.

and the rain begins again.

today's mileage: 4.3
time run: 45m
season mileage to date: 36.3

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

take those days, and flip 'em

so i've been derailed by work (again), getting home at 9 which means...you guessed it! i missed practice. this means i'll be running at least 4 miles tomorrow morning instead of an "off or cross train" sort of a day. blaaaaaaah.

i really needed a run today, and there's more work to be done so not sure how late i'll be up. but if i'm lucky then maybe i'll get to be early and be fresh and peppy for a morning jaunt.

for now i'm watching obama on the telly, feeling full and cranky as hell.

Monday, June 01, 2009

an excellent start to the week

i got a late start this morning - a case of the snoozes - and for a minute i tried to justify "running later", but i kicked my butt out of bed and headed to the park.

it is gorgeous out and so i'm definitely glad i did. i'm at the point in the running where i can finally feel myself getting a bit stronger, the runs are a little less trying, the hill is not so...lung collapsing - i felt like i practically few up it this morning, compared to runs past.

now that the running is well underway, its time for me to get a move on in the fundraising department - hopefully i will be able to get the first letters out this week.

today's mileage: 3.5
time run: 35m
season mileage to date: 32.0