Saturday, March 27, 2010

running in the jungle

cold? who says its cold!? i love this weather for running.

okay, it is way colder than it has been. when i left the ny1 thermometer was rocking a whopping 29 degrees. i wore my gloves but forwent the hat, which i regretted for the first 10 minutes.

but wait - let me back up for a recap to the won't take long.

sunday instead of running, the boy and i biked around the brooklyn and ended up riding about 15 miles, which is pretty much the equivalent of a 3-4 mile run (they say 4-5 bike miles "equals" 1 run mile). monday i had to travel to boston for the day which made that day pretty much a wash, and my plan was to run tuesday morning. but we got stuck in boston for HOURS and thus i did not get home until 1am monday night. i tried to drag myself out of bed at 6:30 to run but it simply wasn't happening. thursday morning i ran but had to cut my 4.4 miles short due to terrible stomach pains. blah.

so back to today. the team is running a race in the city tomorrow and i have a friend's bachelorette party tonight which meant i was on my own for the run. i am tired of the park for the long runs, and the flat flat route to coney island bores me to tears so i opted to hit the brooklyn bridge.

once i warmed up it was perfect out there. the first few miles as always were a little "clunky" as i worked out the kinks, but once i got to the bridge i felt a bit smoother. the tourist contingent wasn't too terrible yet, although why people feel the need to walk 7 PEOPLE ACROSS is beyond me. i crossed the bridge, turned around almost at the end, and headed back. i had my first gel of the season as i left the bridge (mmm double latte!), crossed paths with my coach from last season, jim, and waved hello, and suddenly noticed the REAL cruising had set in. that moment when you're running where you are just going...your don't notice your legs, or your breathing, you are just going and i smiled wide. it was the first run this season that i've gotten to that place and this made me very very happy.

i kept up the pace down 3rd avenue and the city scape on that avenue - construction, housing projects, garages, the gowanus canal - starkly contrasted the softness of the park. the sidewalk narrowed so i moved into the bike lane, running with the cars zooming by, and i felt a bit bad ass. my only regret was that i was ipod-less, for surely i would have been blasting welcome to the jungle, and only that could have made the run more perfect.

thursday's run: 3.7 miles
today's run: 9.1 miles
season mileage to date:73.9
up next:3 miles EZ

Sunday, March 21, 2010

running non-stop, literally & figuratively

i've been quiet for the last two weeks, i know. i've been trying to keep my head on straight and run and work and find moments of oh you know, just living, which have been harder and harder to come by.

i am very happy this week though that i went back to making time for running even if it is in the morning. i am a totally stress case these days, a temperament that does not suit me well and i shudder to think what mental state i would be in without the running. running in the morning really helps set a certain tone for the day, a little clear head space before work madness sets in.

since we were last here, i had one bad week of running. i ran on monday and then with travel and the torrential raining i didn't run for the remainder of the week. this made me feel pretty shitty both physically and emotionally. i pulled myself out of my pity party and jumped back in on monday morning early...6:15am early. maybe this is not THAT early for you early birds but for me, it's damn early. and with the spring forward it was dark.

since i hadn't run my 7 miles that weekend i decided to increase my short runs to help make up for it. so monday and thursday i ran almost 4 and a half miles each day (vs the typical short run 3 or 30 minutes). i had to work late wednesday and so unfortunately had to miss practice. we're starting hill training which is great training because it makes you very strong...although i am a bit afraid of the hills given last season's injury.

since the weather has turned nice, on friday i rode to and from work for the first time from this apartment. was a tad stressful - the ride through downtown brooklyn - but once i was on the brooklyn bridge it was worth it. beautiful morning, not too crowded and infinitely better than being packed into a subway like a can of sardines. its a little over 6 miles each way so adding that to my routine a few times a week i think will be great cross-training. (side note: i will NEVER take the brooklyn bridge home as weaving through the tourists not looking where they are going and wandering into the bike lane made me crazy!)

finally, practice yesterday was going to run to the connection to the cause event that happens each season. i was not going to be able to attend so i ran in the park on my own. the crew had to run 90 minutes (i almost said 90 miles, ha!) and if they got to the event great, if not they would subway it the rest of the way.

since i had only run 6 the weekend before, i wasn't sure if i should go for 8, but figured if i had been with the team i'd run by time, so i'd just do that anyway and see how many miles that resulted in. it was almost HOT out at moments but then others the gorgeous spring breeze would kick in. i ran to the park, two loops and then back to my apt, zig zagging about until the 90 minutes was done. lo and behold i had run 8.2 miles and felt very good about it.

today i think we have an EZ 30 minutes on the schedule and i'll hit that a bit later as today is a brunching day! enjoy the rest of this lovely spring weekend and i'll see you in the park.

miles run since last post: 20 miles
season mileage to date:61.1
up next:3 miles EZ

Sunday, March 07, 2010

o water where art thou?

work has reached a new level of frenzy and when i finally got home friday night i made the executive decision that i needed to sleep as long as i needed to saturday morning, otherwise i was likely going to be dragging my tired self all weekend or worse, get sick. it was a much needed rest - i slept a full 11 hours, which is pretty unusual for me since i only need 6-7ish.

that meant i had to run on my own today, which at this low mileage is still doable. i intended to get up early (8) and get out there but there was unexpected drama in the neighborhood - a fire in an apt building across the street! this started a little before 1am and between the craziness and the 5 ladder trucks + others out in the street it was 2 or 2:30 before i made it to bed and so by the time i got up and out of the house it was 10ish.

it was gorgeous out! spring is almost here, although part of me refuses to be fooled, and the park was appropriately crowded. i had planned a route exactly 6 miles when you consider the to and from the park. i was a little winded the first mile or so but then settled into an appropriate pace and made my way 'round the park. my biggest drama today was lack of water. i have not found my fuel belt from last season and the water fountains are not on yet.

6 miles is pretty much the longest run i'll go without water. by the end i was definitely parched and chugged not one but two pints when i walked in the door.

each run is getting a little better and easier, which is good. i'm trying to run lightly and gently without risking my little bones and i think it is going well. i even got the bike tuned up for cross training today. all in all...things seem to be moving nicely forward.

today's mileage: 6.0
season mileage to date: 41.1
up next: 3 miles EZ

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

not rain nor snow nor wintery mix...

kept me from running this morning.

the cold and dark really makes me want to crawl back into bed and when i looked out side and saw the rain sprinkling down i walked back towards the bed, poised to climb back in...but i knew there would be no running that night (work event) or thursday (trip up north) i turned my butt around and reluctantly bundled up in my running clothes.

when i left it was spitting out, but not too cold until the wind picked up. i headed to the park and as i got there the rain changed over to snow which was slightly more pleasant even thought it melted as soon as it hit my face/head/arms/etc. i planned on running 4-4.5 miles so had to decide if i was going to cut through the park or go all the way around it. i ended up cutting through wellhouse drive and once i was in the middle realized the course of the race that past sunday had changed - there was a bunch of construction. also because of said construction not everywhere was plowed so i had to navigate patches of ice and snow because there was no way i was turning around.

when i hit the hill i was hit by a gust of wind which made me feel like i was running in place. it seemed like it was raining and snowing...blah! the grotesque wintery mix. i trecked on, feeling generally okay, not particularly fast or slow (except for when the wind pushed at me). when all was said and done i felt good (my cardio has already improved a great deal) and glad i was had my inclement weather run complete for the day.

today's mileage: 4.0
season mileage to date: 35.1
up next: practice saturday

Monday, March 01, 2010

winter running race and more!

yesterday i ran the first race of the season - a 4-miler in prospect park

when i left the house, trusty ole ny1 said it was 34 degrees so i thought for sure that the ice would be gone. not so! i almost fell on my butt 5 or 6 times between my apartment and the number pick up joint, which was a mere 4 blocks away (long blocks but still). i hit up the school and got my number, tee shirt and new chip. these new chips are disposable, which is easier but definitely crappier for the planet. given that it takes all of 5 seconds to get your chip clipped off, i'll take the earth-friendly non-disposable sort we used to have.

there were lots of people at the race - a few thousand at least. us team in trainers met up near bag watch and headed over to the start together. it was warming but by the time we started i was freezing my toes off. i also started in a fast corral - i was in the 5000s, where usually i'm in the back, and i felt slightly out of place. finally it was time to go and we were off.

i got passed by many folks, which i kept telling myself was fine. since i was in a corral with faster runners i had to put ego aside and let them pass - i knew right around the corner was the massive hill in prospect park and i knew better than to take off too fast up that thing.

on the hill i found myself passing a person here and there and once i cleared the hill, i fell into a nice steady pace. the first mile appeared to be very slow - about 12 minutes but i wasn't really bothered as the start is very slow and so is the hill. i felt like i was cruising as i headed into mile 2 and sure enough when i was was around a 10 minute mile...ooops. too fast! i tried to put on the breaks and lightly run down the hill. i am super mindful of not thumping down hills with heavy legs lest it hurt my stress fractures.

once i hit mile 3 (still around 10:30's or so) i definitely started loosing a bit of steam but still cruised along, getting a little winded but pressing on. finally, i was at the last little uphill, finish line in sight and knew i finished somewhere in the 10:45/11 minute mile pace.

uuuuuug. i crossed the finish line and for the first time in a long time felt like i was going to puke. i had gotten food poisoning friday night and saturday was still touch and go, so i think i was still feeling a little weak and at the end of the race i grabbed some water and fled the crowds for a little non-claustrophobic air. after a few puffs and some space i felt much better grabbed and apple and headed home. there was a team in training gathering afterwards but i had a cooking class all day that i had gotten as a present to the boyfriend so had to take a rain check.

i got home and check my time and as it turned out my time was 42:53 - which left an average pace of 10:43min/mile.

today i managed to hop out of bed early...6:45 in fact...and go for a morning run. it was so temping to get back into the bed...but i rationalized back at my sleepy self, knowing i wouldn't get running if i didn't run then. i had set out my clothes the night before and so threw on clothing, brushed my teeth (which somehow wakes me up) and headed out.

i only had to run 3 miles - getting to and from the park was a little dicey because of all the ice and snow, but once i was in the park i was fine. i did a little down and back action and made it back home in no time flat. the legs felt fine, no aches and pains and when i was done i was happy to have gotten the run in. always feels better to be done with the running/exercising before the day even really begins.

sunday's mileage: 4.0
today's mileage: 3.2
season mileage to date: 31.1
up next: group run or equivalent wednesday