Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Running and Eating in Brooklyn

I had a bit of an epic activity day on Sunday, to the detriment of the time I'd allotted for studying for my RE finance midterm. I stayed in the night before (after several hours in the library) and got up at 6:30. I had an approx. 50 minute, 7 mile bike ride to Park Slope. It's mostly an easy ride, with the exception of the BK Bridge incline, and the hill up to Katie's building. That was a long hill!
Fiona met us at Zack and Katie's and the 4 of us headed to Prospect Park for our planned 10 mile run. Zack's route was a little different so he wasn't with us the whole time. We did one loop around the perimeter of the park, one big loop inside the park, and then a smaller loop. It was HOT when we weren't in the shade and we took several water breaks. The second time up the "big" hill was pretty challenging but we did a good job of pushing ourselves to the top.
Post-run we found and ate, in this order: iced coffee, delicious breakfast sandwiches from Zito's, and ridiculously good ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery. At this point I was stuffed, but of course after showers, we biked to our friend's house for a birthday BBQ, with a stop to pick up cheese and meats on the way. I can't even begin to think about what I ate there without feeling guilty, so let's just say that I decided against taking my bike on the train and rode the 8 miles home instead.
Here we are, tired, sweaty and very hungry!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pride Run

Ok, there are some things I love about the Pride Run and some things that really irritate me. First, the irritations-there must be more non-regular runners in this race that in most others. I got the sense that a lot of runners didn't understand where to move on the course if they weren't running, how to slow down for water, not to run 4-abreast, and how to start the race efficiently. I've never had such a frustrating start, it took forever to really get moving.

Now the good stuff! This is a really fun and friendly race! From the NY Cheerleaders, to the music, to the colorful and sparkly outfits, to the smart and funny pro-equality messages, it's just an all around good vibe. I got a fist bump from another runner right after we crossed the finish line-that doesn't happen nearly often enough! Last year was especially spectacular since the race took place about 12 hours after the NY Senate passed our marriage equality law.

This morning I took the subway a few stops, then ran to Central Park, did a lap around the reservoir, then ran to the start-just barely made it with a quick bathroom stop! I was already sweating buckets by that point-according to the NYRR site, we had 93% humidity at the start. Ugh!
I did ok-nothing terrible at all, but not great either. My race time was 43:46, and my pace was 8:46, 21 seconds slower per mile than the Shelter Island 10K. But, I have to keep in mind that is was hot as hell (again) this morning-definitely one of the most sweltering race days that I remember! I'm looking forward to a bike ride and long run tomorrow with Katie and Fiona, followed by ice cream and BBQ!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot as Hell Track Workout

Ok, so I felt like crap when I woke up for track practice this morning. Not sick, just exhausted and I knew it was already in the 80s outside. In that sleepy haze, I just rolled over and went back to sleep.
Of course when I woke up, I was mad at myself. I paid $100 for this track program-not a ton of money I know, but it's not like I can just throw that away! And over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed definite improvements in my running. Maybe it's all mental, but it's there. So before I even left for work I told myself I had to do the missed workout this evening (the workout is emailed the night before, as I've mentioned before). I sat in an ALL day meeting so my hips were tight as hell! Then I ate a light dinner, studied until the temperature got below 90, took 3 bottles of ice water on my bike and I was off.
I don't know what happened! It was a great workout-in fact, considering that the temperature was in the range of the 4th circle of hell, I killed these laps! My pace since track started has been between 1:47 and 1:56 per lap (400m) my very broad goal is 800s in under 4 minutes, 1200s under 6 minutes, and 1600s under 8 minutes.
Here's what I did tonight:
1x1200, 5:19
1x800, 3:39
2x400, 1:31 and 1:32
1x800, 3:43
1x1200, 5:56 (kind of hit a wall of heat exhaustion here!)

So I didn't negative split, but I ran those laps much faster than I have been over the past few weeks. I'm not sure why-do I talk myself out of running faster when I'm with the group because I feel like some of them "should" be faster than me? Am I just too tired in the mornings? Was the heat making me just want to freaking get done? No idea!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shelter Island 10K

I was feeling pretty strong last week, after my interval workout on Tuesday and this track workout on Thursday:
1x1600 10K pace
2x400 10K pace
1x1600 5K pace
2x400 5K pace
I ran that second 1600 (mile) in 7:39, so I was happy with that. I went into the weekend feeling confident about the race in Shelter Island.

And then I drank too much on Friday night. Not enough to actually be hungover on Saturday, but enough to not feel great. You know when your body is just achy because of too much alcohol and not enough sleep? Yeah, I had that. In addition, I forgot to bring sandwiches with us on the way to Shelter Island so I didn't have any lunch! For a 5:30 race. Luckily, I'd had eggs and ham on a bagel for breakfast, remembered to bring Vitamin Water, and there was a fun size Milky Way in my race bag. Someone also gave me a banana so I had a little sugar and electrolyte rush before the race.
Somehow, I managed to PR this one. No idea how that happened really. Well, I kind of do. I had this realization recently that running should be hard. I know, it's obvious but I kept wanting to feel good. And then I realized "screw feeling good. You're running and it's supposed to be hard! You can feel good afterward, when you're having beer and a cupcake. Now suck it up and move, you idiot."

So that was my mindset on Saturday.  The first mile was 8:20. Every time I saw my mile splits, I knew I wasn't slowing down at all. I got to the 5th mile and saw the time was around 42 minutes-I forget exactly. But I realized I could definitely beat my time in the mini 10K the week before so I kept pushing myself. When I crossed the 6 mile point, I saw the clock was at 50 or 51 something, and I knew I could beat the week prior fairly significantly. Plus, the end is easy to run fast-it was on the grass, there were tons of cheering  people, etc. I felt like I was flying, and saw that the clock said 52:16 when I crossed the finish line, but I wasn't sure what time I'd started. Turns out my official time was 51:57, over 2 minutes faster than the week before! 8:21/mile! I placed 94th out of 494 women, so that was cool too. Now I need to get some friends to do it with me next year!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

10Ks and speedwork!

The past two weeks have been crazy busy, plus I had some personal family stuff come up so I've slacked on the blog a bit.
I started my summer track practice! Actually, I've had two sessions at this point. It's weird to think in terms of track workouts again. For the past couple of years, my training plans consist of anywhere from 4-14 miles, sometimes focusing on hills but without any real speed focus at all...I tend to run for distance, not time. The night before practice, the coach (?) Terry, emails the workout to us, I guess so we know what we're getting into. They (so far) consist of a warm-up, a few 800s, a 12-or-1600, and a couple more 800s, starting at 10K pace and finishing the workout at 5K pace. The whole workout is 4-5 miles, and I ride my bike to and from the track. I admit, I run faster than my 10K pace-I have to, to keep up with the others!

Last weekend was the Mini 10K in Central Park, one of my favorite races. I was pretty happy, though not thrilled with my performance: 54:12 (8:44 pace) compared to last year's 58:30, though last year was particularly bad. I recall being miserable and still don't know why. This year, I ran with my lovely friend Sue and we ran at a comfortable (but not too) pace for the first 4 miles, and then picked it up and steadily passed people pretty much the rest of the course. I'm always happy when Sue is with me when I'm running hills because she shares my "the hills are my friend!" mantra. :) Look at our cute racing skirts!

Last night I ran 7 miles, with 16 minutes of interval work at the end: 30 seconds high intensity, 90 seconds low, using an interval app I added to my phone. That was pretty tough: after just two rounds of high intensity I didn't think I'd be able to finish all 8. My last two were definitely a little weak, but I did them! And tomorrow morning is my 3rd track workout already!

This weekend I have the Shelter Island 10K out in the East End. I'm pretty excited, as I heard about this race in 2010 and this is my first time running it. Pros and cons from what I hear/read:
-Ranked as one of the 10 most beautiful courses in America, by Runner's World
-Hills-yes, I consider this a pro because it's a fairly hilly course, but not crazy
-It starts at 5:30 in the afternoon. I really prefer morning races, so I can enjoy the rest of the day.
-Only 3 water stations-really, in June? In an afternoon race?

I'd like to do as well as, or slightly better than last week's 10K. I probably won't be racing hard though, since afternoon/evening runs aren't my thing, and there may be some beer earlier on in my day :) However, depending on what the plan for the day is I may try to get a few miles in that morning, or Friday afternoon. Updates to come!