Saturday, February 2, 2013

Who is tired of running in the cold?

My classes started this past week, and I walked out of the last one (of 3) asking myself what the hell I'd done. Three classes while working full time, moving soon, trying to run a bunch and train for 3 long races? Oh and joining the board of Women in Real Estate at school? Some serious poor decision making here.
BUT. It's only for a few months. Finals are at the beginning of May (just before Ragnar!) and I've been telling myself I can do anything for four months. We'll see if I'm right...
My point here is that I've got to get a handle on my time management and my sleep schedule. I  went to sleep really late 3 times this week and so I only got two runs in-at least they were really good runs!
On Monday night Steph and I went to the Lululemon Run Club (speedwork) in the park. We figured we had time to get a few miles in before it started at 7:15 so decided to do a loop around the park. It was treacherous! The disgusting "wintery mix" meant we were sliding all over the place. I felt like I used so much extra energy just trying not to fall head over heels. We felt fairly certain that the run club would be canceled but it was not and we along with some other fools headed back to the park. The workout ended up being pretty half hearted because everyone was afraid to run too quickly on the slippery hill. We finished with a bit of plyometric work, and based on Steph's calculations, she and I got in 9 or 10 miles that evening.
Last night's run was nothing interesting-14 miles in the park and on the WSH, followed by a quick walk through the main hall at Grand Central to see the celebrations for the station's (technically, terminal's) 100th birthday, then on to margaritas and Mexican food. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Flu of 2013 BLOWS

So it turns out that all of that feeling like I was getting sick might have been right after all. After my and Steph's BAMF run a couple of weeks ago, I headed to DC for the weekend, didn't get tons of sleep, and came back to NY definitely feeling a little worse for wear. All week I felt like I was coming down with something, so I decided to skip workouts and sleep in more, in hopes of staving off any potential sickness. By Saturday I felt pretty crappy and I woke up Sunday morning with a fever, chills, sweats, and awful achiness everywhere. Hello, flu, it's been awhile since we've met!

I thought I had the flu last fall-I was wrong. I'd forgotten how awful it is! I could barely walk to the bathroom I was hurting so badly. It was during the first few days of the terrible cold, and I had to go out to buy Gatorade, ginger ale, soup, and tissues (4 boxes used!). I was in bed for three days, watched all of Downton Abbey (sympathized with those who suffered from the Spanish flu, much more delicately than I), and was just generally miserable.

Of course, even after I left my bed and went to work I was exhausted and recovering for a few more days so still no working out. As per my usual idiocy, I decided my first run in two weeks, after being weak from the flu, would be the 16 mile run that is on my schedule for DC. If you put money on my utterly failing at that one, you'd win! Steph and I made a (not so) valiant attempt to grind out those miles but I managed to complain how hot I was (yes, in 23 degrees), how I had to pee, how I wanted hot chocolate instead of running, how my legs felt like lead weights, my general unhappiness, until I finally just came to a halt on the east side of Central Park and announced I was in no mood to keep going. Steph, being smarter than I, convinced me to at least run back to the gym (b/c walking in that temperature is even more awful) and we probably finished our workout with 5 miles under our belts.

I'm never the one who needs to be convinced to keep going through uncomfortable weather or tight/unhappy muscles. It's so unlike me to just completely fail at even trying to run. Part of me wants to beat myself up over it, but at the same time I felt like yeah, sometimes I need to push through the discomfort and pain of running (remember it's not supposed to be easy) but at the same time....I run because I like to run. It makes me happy and it feels good. This run did not feel good, I was beyond miserable and I just didn't see the point in pushing through that. I don't want to hate it.

I felt uplifted by today's run though! I met Steph again after work, we ran about 5 miles through the park, not fast because it was really slippery from the snow/rain/hail/sleet wintry mix we're getting, but we only cared about the distance. Then we met the other runners from the Lululemon run club and did a speed workout with them (pretty nerve wracking on that wintry mix!). All in all, I probably got 7 miles in today and enjoyed it so I feel confident about getting it together over the next couple of weeks for the DC marathon.

How about you, my dear (very few readers)? When have you just failed on a run attempt? What did you do to boost your confidence back up?

Friday, January 11, 2013


Definition of BAMF :)

Runs like these are what badass is made of. It was dark after work. And cold. 41 degrees. Also rainy. But I have an early bus to DC tomorrow and a party tomorrow night that will very likely result in my being useless on Sunday, so I was decided to run tonight. Thankfully, Steph decided last night to run with me (before we knew the weather...mwahahaha!). It was (is) so miserable out, I'm not sure I would have done it without a partner.

First stop, Sports Authority to buy fuel, then we dropped our things at the NYSC on 51st and Lex.  Thank goodness I bought a water resistant shell (in white) at The Gap today, because even with that on I was a soaked, freezing mess by the end. Literally when I bent over to stretch afterward, water poured out of the hood of my jacket! We did two loops of Central Park, front loading the Harlem hills by doing that loop twice on our first time around, then scooting across the 102nd St transverse the second time. This was freaking hard. It's been awhile since I was so uncomfortable during a run, but of course those result in being extra proud of your accomplishments, and realizing how hardcore we can be. So thank you Steph!!!

My DC marathon plan had me doing 12 miles this weekend, and we ended up running 14 with the trip from the gym and back. And that's 30 miles for the week.

It was one of those nights where you feel kinship with every other runner you see because you know everyone is thinking "yeah, we're all kind of crazy. And we love it"

I have a new training mantra:

Also, note to Laura, I signed up for the Vermont marathon today! I think Steph and Fiona are doing it as well so that should be a fun weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Two-a-day and an Ocean Run!

I started using Sarah's  Type-A training log, because I need an easy way to track my miles if I'm going to do the 1,000 mile challenge this year! It's pretty awesome and easy to use, and I'm glad I didn't have to do anything but click on Fiona's link to get it!

Monday was a pretty hardcore day. I woke up early to drop my things off at the gym and meet Fiona in Central Park for a bright & early run (6 total, to and from the gym). We only ran 5 miles in the park (no Harlem hills!) and I was surprised our pace was only 8:50. I guess I was still pretty tired and sore, because it felt like I was working much harder! Later that day I started feeling like I was coming down with this damn flu that everyone has.
And then Steph convinced us both to join her for the Lululemon NYC run club workout in Central Park. Toward the end of the day, I started feeling like it might be stupid to go because I really felt like I was coming down with something, but it had been quite awhile since I'd done two workouts in a day and I figured it would give me an excuse to take Nyquil before bed and sleep in the next morning so I'd be more rested and well. It was a lot of fun! We ran from the store to the Great Lawn, divided into teams and did relay races around the lawn. Each leg was only 400 meters but I was still sore from the morning and Saturday's run (and feeling sick!), so my legs felt like jelly after about 200 meters and it was totally mental from there. My team ended up winning the overall race, which was fun of course! I don't think I've sprinted since my last track workout back in July, so it felt really great even though my lungs hated me and the cold air!

Wednesday morning I skipped my run because I had a 7am flight to Miami for work. I hoped to run on the beach before dinner (construction sites shut down early!) but got caught up in work emails in a Starbucks. So I checked into the Dream Hotel, and had a friend pick me up for dinner. Two glasses of sparkling rose, salad with spicy shrimp, and I returned to sleep in this cool glow-y blue bed:

In the morning, I was excited to run near the ocean before heading to my construction site. I didn't bother bringing my running gear when I was here last week because I knew the kind of trip it would be (read: full of alcohol and lacking in sleep), and I knew I wouldn't end up running. But there were a few times I looked longingly at people who were running along the sea wall on Ocean Drive, so I was pretty happy for the opportunity to do it today! My hotel was a block from the beach, so I ran out and back in one direction for 3 miles, then the same in the other direction (or close to, it only ended up being 5.5 miles total somehow). I didn't have water and it was (obviously) hotter than I'm used to lately so it did feel pretty hard but it was really fun to run somewhere so different from NYC right now and I was mostly just glad I'd gotten myself out of bed for it. 
Average pace was 8:40/mile. 

Gratuitous beach photos:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Getting back on the horse...or into my sneakers

I'm not one of those people who goes to the gym on January 1st. a) I hate the gym in January, everyone makes a resolution to work out more, they pack the gym, and they're gone by Valentine's Day. b) I'm probably hungover.
I let myself have a few days off after returning from being in Indiana for the holidays. First, I went to Miami for New Year's, was drunk for 72 hours, slept about 4 hours a night, went to an insane NYE party, and had endless amounts of coconut shrimp and pina coladas. Then I got home and needed two full days to recover from this mess:

Absolutely no clue who the guy kissing my cheek is. Hey, I never said this was a healthy living blog! In fact, the first iteration was a baking blog.
Anyway, I finally got my ass to the gym after work yesterday. I had a long run planned for today so I did some strength training. Lots of glute bridges on a swiss ball, squats with a kettleball, core work, push-ups, and some weights. I used to be great about strength training before I started running three years ago. Over the past two years, I've really slacked on it and I miss being really toned! I've also gotten injured a few times and I think some of that could have been avoided with strength training. I didn't push too hard yesterday because I didn't want my legs to be really tired today, but I did enough to still feel it in my arms today. I love that pain :)

I did NOT want to get up this morning. I accidentally stayed out after 1 last night (I didn't notice the time!) so I was really tired. I've figured out at this point how much I can drink and still be able to run--verdict is 3 drinks, cocktails are best, no more than one beer-- so that wasn't a problem but the lack of sleep was. I came so close to canceling but knew I needed to get out there and meet my friends. So I ran over to the Intrepid on the Hudson River to meet up with Fiona, Steph, and Jocelyn (new running buddy!). I had left my distance sort of open ended and was thinking I'd do 12-13 (I've run twice, not more than 4 miles, since my marathon on 12/8). From 44th Street, we ran downtown past Battery Park and the Staten Island Ferry, then up the East River under all of the bridges. When we got to 23rd Street, I decided to stop running because that was 10 miles and my knee (IT band) was really bothering me. Jocelyn wanted to walk too, so I stayed with her until I got to my gym, and went in to stretch. I was really happy to meet Jocelyn because she lives near me and I need a close running buddy to get me back into the habit of getting up at 5:45 to run before work-I've been lazy lately!

I'm hoping to do an easy 4 and more strength training tomorrow, but at least the past two days have made me feel like I'm getting back on track. Which is good because last night I signed up for a 10K in Prospect Park at the end of January (there's hot chocolate at the end and you keep the mug!) and the DC marathon (yup, decided on the full). Also in the next few months I have the DC Cherry Blossom 10 miler, 21 miles in Big Sur, Cape Cod Ragnar (ultra team!), and the Brooklyn Half (plan to register). Man, racing gets expensive!
How was everyone else's first week of working out in 2013? What kind of goals did you set for the year?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Racing through 2013

I didn't do a end-of-the-year post because let's face it, I barely blogged at all so there's not too much to look back on. Big events for me were the Turkey Trot (super proud of my 7:36 pace for 5 miles) and of course the Rehoboth Beach marathon (pretty much super proud of everything about that one!).
So one goal for 2013 will be to blog more, but it does take a back seat to school so we'll see how that goes. I intend to train more consistently (marathon training for me was honestly running two days per week-what?), focus on races a bit more, run (at least) two marathons, and I'm going to hop on the "run 1,000 miles" bandwagon. I also need to get back into strength training so that I don't get hurt (and because I miss my awesomely toned arms!). 
After an email thread sent around by some running friends this evening, here are some races I plan to do or am thinking about doing this year:
  • DC Rock and Roll....half or full. I was intending to do the full but if a couple of friends do the half I'd prefer to do that so that we can hang out later. Still not sure what to do!
  • Chicago marathon
  • Rehoboth Beach marathon (because now it holds a special place in my heart, and hopefully the same crew will want to go!)
  • Brooklyn Half
  • Cherry Blossom 10-miler
  • Big Sur marathon-ish...weird 21 mile run
  • CAPE COD RAGNAR...WOOOO! Clearly, so excited for that one!
There are some other out of town races that I'd love to do, I'm just a bit worried about finances. Fiona suggested the Utah and Vermont marathons, which I'd definitely consider. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Steph and I decided to head to Delaware on Friday afternoon so we could have a carby dinner in Rehoboth and get to bed at a decent time. I got to meet the lovely Theodora and Laura, both of whom I've heard about/read about in Steph and Fiona's blogs. Always happy to make new runner friends, and these two (who are now part of my 5 readers) are both hilarious!
My survival kit for the trip down (the trip-home kit included a lot more junk food!):

Rehoboth was looking very festive
Theodora introduced us to two more runner friends, Ericka and Lindsey and we all loaded up on pasta for dinner:
I think we all managed to sleep pretty well. I thought I might be too nervous, but I was a) not nervous and b) completely exhausted. When we woke up in the morning, I did not want to eat because I was still full but they made me (thank you, I knew I needed the fuel!).  Note: ww bread, banana slices, and Nutella is the breakfast of champions. 
I was so excited to wear my bright yellow shirt, pink compression calf sleeves, and sparkly headband! I loaded my SPIbelt and sports bra (BAD, BAD idea) with gels and we headed off to the start. 
Picture right after our last minute bathroom stop:
I lost my sparkly headband :(
I decided to start a bit apart from my running buddies because I wanted to run my own race, whether that meant faster or slower than them...first marathon and all, I didn't want to be influenced by anyone else. I didn't wear my Garmin, but did wear a watch with a timer and my goal was to keep every mile right around 9 minutes for the first half, then step it up a bit until 18 or 20, then a bit more, then give everything I had for 24-finish...but no idea if this is a feasible plan. Can one actually run hard after 24 miles? We'll see. Also, the goal I told people was "I just want to sub-4" but secretly I hoped I could beat that 22-mile run prediction of under 3:50. 

Internal monologue for the next ~4 hours:
*1: shit, I have to pee. No you don't, you JUST went. Shut up.
*2: ugh, can't wait til I'm at 6, I know I'll feel better then
*3: my hamstrings really hurt
*5-6: ok, finally settling in and feeling good about this. Maybe going too fast
*8-10: slow the f&*k down, you will not keep this pace the whole time! This is where the half-marathoners turn around, they are jerks.
*11-13: I can't slow down! You have to, just let people pass you (I let a couple wearing red pass me and then tried to keep them within 50 feet of me)
*14-15: omg, why is there this hill here? I love hills but this one sucks. And running down it hurts even more, shitshitshit my shins hurt! Dammit, the guy in red stopped to pee by the trail so now he's behind me. I wish I could pee on the trail.
*16-18: red guy caught up to red girl so I'm following them again. My hamstrings and one calf/achilles hurt. Stop whining, this is not supposed to be easy. Ok, now we're counting down miles. 8.2 to go
*18-22: to paraphrase the NY Times, how is my pacing? Will there be more hills? Am I going to hit that "wall" soon? WHY AM I DOING THIS???? (actually, I'm kind of loving it) And I left the red couple in the dust
*23: watch says 3:20. Holy hell, I can beat my secret goal if nothing falls apart. *mental prep for the hardest 1/2-hour I've ever experienced
*24: cruising through a picturesque, misty field, mostly alone, it feels nice. I'm glad there is a cooling mist...lots of people are walking here, I want to grab them and drag them with me. Dammit, where is the 25 marker?
*25: lots of walkers, and I'm passing plenty of runners at this point...they call out that I'm doing great, being really encouraging, it feels really nice (I do it back!). But seriously you guys, where is 26???
*26: there it is, and the finish line is just around the bend, and there are lots of cheering spectators and ohmygod this is happening
*26.2 in 3:48:09!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One reason small races are amazing because you get to hear your name as you're approaching the finish line. I grabbed a bottle of water, my medal, a Mylar blanket, and walked around in circles for a bit. Then I stood at the finish line to cheer for people and look for my friends. One little girl, about 4 years old, jumped in and crossed the finish line with her cute! Another point for small races:

*Begin somewhat personal reflection: Watching all these people cross the finish line, some like it was nothing, some nearly collapsing, some cheering and some point, it really sank in...last spring/summer, I hoped for under 4:15...sometime in late summer I started thinking I could do it in 4 hours but then I got hurt. Part of me feels like I don't know how I beat my secret goal, since I didn't follow any training schedule that well. But I also know that I give my body the breaks it needs, and when I am running, I push myself and make the miles count. This year had its ups (mostly ups!) but some pretty difficult downs too, and even though that's in the past, this accomplishment was something I really, really wanted. So yeah, I got emotional standing there, and there may have been a minute of some teary eyes (the good kind, I was really proud of myself) but then a guy Gangnam'ed across the finish line and I snapped back to the moment. end personal shit*

I waited for the rest of my new friends (actually, Lindsey had finished in under 3:30, and Theodora had dropped to the half so they were already in the finish tent). I saw Steph, Laura, and Ericka cross the finish line (right around 4:13) and we all went into the tent. There was mac 'n cheese and pulled pork but I couldn't eat. I finished my water and took a Sprite for the sugar. I went into the physical therapy tent for some stretching, where they were worried because my lips were blue and I was visibly shaking. One of the therapists laid her fleece jacket over me and brought something to keep my head warm while I was getting worked on. I was pretty unhappy at this point, soooo unbelievably cold, nauseated, and kind of light headed. Full disclosure...I did throw up. Guess I know I gave it everything, huh?
After a shower and a nap while the other girls showered, we were on the road. First stop:
We got Arby's for real(ish?) food, and had a lot of snacks in our car. When we got back to Manhattan, I jumped in a cab and went directly to Brooklyn for the annual holiday dinner I have with my oldest NY friends. Luckily they're like family, so rolling in in flip flops, sweats, and a hoodie was acceptable. Oh, and I wore my medal all day :)