Sunday, August 31, 2008

I believe in rebirth, for I have seen the cemetery twice

So today was a tune up race. I switched my schedule around so I wasn't doing my long run the day before a race. I did that on Friday. I figured oh good,  a nice 4 mile cross country race. This should be good, I should nail this one. 
I was hoping for sub 8, maybe just around 8 minute pace.
I was wrong.
Loren and I headed up to Van Cortlandt park for the race. I love running up there, I love cross country. I do not love the 4 mile course that has us see Cemetery hill.
I much prefer the back hills, maybe because I am so much more familiar with them.
As we started, I kept telling myself to hold back and stay in control. Since this race starts on a flat straight away, people go bombin out like their pants are on fire, get into the wood, and fall apart. I kept it together. I ran my first mile just under 8. Then I got to the hills and, well, honestly, I dont know what happened. I didn't expect to run it all at that pace, I knew I'd loose a bit on the up hill but I'm a really good, fearless, downhill runner. I was hittin sub 7 coming out back to the flat. 
Again, I tried to stay in control on the flat part of the course. I knew something wasn't right when I HR stayed below 190. If I'm really pushing, I should see 190-194. I never got outa the 180s and I felt like I was really giving it a go.
2nd time up the hill, still wasn't feeling it. Granted, I have not done hill specific training this year though I have done a lot of hilly running. Once I got to the top, I tore down it again disappointed I was no where near my goal time. I just went all out out of the woods and back to the flat. My last mile i eeked out in 7:59.
When I crossed the finish line is 32:47, I was pissed. I had run a better 4 miler a few weeks ago after I ran 6 miles before. A woman from VCTC, who've I've had a friendly rivalry with for years, finished right ahead of me. She turned and said good race, not bad for this course on such a hot day. I was still so mad at myself I just sorta grumbled.
I found Loren, who ran sorta on a whim to see how she did.
She casually said 3rd. I said oh well it's a tough age group and she said no, overall.
So at least someone had a good race.
We had pizza and talked about why I didn't have a good race. I think it comes down to being dehydrated, it was hot (though not humid or it would have been so much worse) and since my HR wouldn't go up where I know it will go, being tired. Or maybe that's a hill of beans and I just had a bad day.
I'm over the big hump of my training. I can see the light to marathon day to the point of knowing all the long runs I have left. I know I'm tired so I'm just going to try and let this one go and have faith that come race day, I'll be ready for my 3:45.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Nothing too exciting today. 4 mile recovery done with the lovely ladies of Front Runners.
I will say this, I'm glad I did my 17 yesterday. Today was so friggin humid. All the boys came back from their long run looking like they just went on a death march.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I went forth...with an age please...On the edge of...seventeen

I told myself after my crappy run the other day that since I was moving my long run this week to Friday instead of sunday that I could cut it down. I thought maybe I'll just do 12. 15 at the most. Then I decided I want to not do it in Central park, or over the bridge, or anywhere hilly. I've been making myself do  lot of hilly runs. So today, I went flat down the west side highway. Flat flat and flat. Nice thing about running there is I can just turn around. I decided I would see how I felt. Loren advised I give myself time to get into it. So I did.
I ran the whole 17.
I felt really good. I went out with a couple of pretty slow miles. It helped that it was barely 70 degress and partly cloudy. The ever present humidity was there however. Man, I sweat like a pig. It doesn't take long time my whole head is soaked, a downfall of letting my hair grow out. I'm rethinking the monk look. My bra feel like I just went swimming and then comes the chaffing that I just can not seem to combat this summer.
I ran down to Sty High, turned around, and stopped at Christopher st for a shot.
I'm glad a I did the whole thing. My legs feel better than they did the other day. Now I should have a nice couple of easy short days.

In other news, last night I went up to the track and helped time my team's speed workout. I have been running 90% of my runs alone, something i haven't done since my Big Sur days. I've even stopped running with music. Still, it's nice to go and see my team mates and help out.
 Kelsey, who coaches us and who was with me when I made the decision to DNF at Philly last year, asked me how all my training was going. He said i he could, he's like to come to steamtown with me. I thought about it for a minute. I said I think I need to go out there and just run this. And he said, ok, but if you want me to go with you even just to be there I will. I want to be there when you do this.  I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by so many talented and generous people.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

this one goes to 11

Ah 60 degrees on an August morning. Perfect for running. Also perfect for sleeping.
And there is the rub. So hard to get going this morning.
But I finally did.
Again I started off feeling sluggish so I decided to take this as a general run/recovery run and just get the miles in. So really, nothing special.
Though I do love the start of school with all the high school and cross country kids out there for practice. I was near 2 HS boys for a few miles and hearing their conversation was totally hysterical.
Word of truth: 
Your HS runners. I dont think you're going to be seeing much action from the ladies since you're all knees and feet and geeky. So unless you get totally lucky and some girl gets all Juno on your ass, I would not count on gettin to 2nd with this natasha chick.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Please come to Boston for the Spring time

Every time I hear this cheesy song it get stuck in my head. I heard it Sunday after my 20 miler and I said to Loren is going to be in my head all week.
Yup, it's in my head. 
Maybe it should be my BQ training song.

SeeqPod - Playable Search
This morning I had 8 miles with 5x600.
It's very cool for August, it was 65 degrees this morning.
While doing my 4 mile warm up, I didn't feel recovered from my 20 and thought today should be a recovery day. Then I got to the track and started my 600s. 
I felt good. I know part of it is the weather.
My times were much faster than last time. I averaged 7:18 pace 2 weeks ago. Today I averaged about 7:08. PROGRESS!!!
It's a huge monkey off my back to have that 55 miler out of the way. It seems all down hill from here even though I know I still have a lot of work to do.
Ok, I have to hit the ice bath and get to work.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Take me to the River Road

This morning was my 2nd 20 miler of this cycle and the end of my 55 mile week. I set out early with Hilary over the GWB and along river road. I can not tell you how many times I have ridden this, but I have never run it. It's a very popular route for cyclin due to it's hilly nature and limited access to cars. I know other folks who have run it and since it's one of my favorite places to ride thought I'd give it ago.
While it was not hot this morning, it was very humid. I lubed up with bodyglide and decided to bring aquafor with me as well. I still chaffed like mad. Also, I thought 3 bottles on my fuel belt would be enough. I was wrong. By the time we got to the water fountain at mile 17, I was ready to take a bath in it.
Anyway, back to the run. I felt really good which is a good thing. After feeling so crappy on Friday and, although I had a good recovery run yesterday, I still felt fried after. It was still a tough run, but it was strong. Lots of hills and we ran them well. 
I finished with a 9:49 average pace. Not, not blistering but with all my milage this week, the hills, and the humidity, I thought it was good. And I finished strong. Looking back to my last 20 miler, which was done on a hotter than hell day and was also over the GWB, I was 13 seconds faster. So I'm right there.
When I got home...oh my god, my girlfriend is so awesome. She mixed me up a recovery drink right away. I took my ice bath and she had a cuppa tea waiting for me and lunch. She is truely awesom. Even other people think so. Ok, enough bragging.
Now, my 55 mile week is complete. I've never run this much in one week before. I must say, I'm glad that's done though it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
It's all down hill from here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Park Ave Recovery

So today was a nice easy 5 miler. I felt much better than I did yesterday. After some early morning running club drama, I was off.
Park Ave has been closed to cars every sat morning of Aug. Today was the first day I got to take advantage of it. It was really cool. By the looks of how many people came out to enjoy it, it's clearly something the city needs to do more of.
I'm 35 miles into my 55 miles week. 20 miler tomorrow. It'll be nice when this is all over.

Friday, August 22, 2008

only 25 to go

I am deep into my 55 week. Today was 12. I went to bed fairly early, not as early as usual since I've become addicted to the friggin olympics. 
The alarm went off at 7. 
No no no.
I had a really had time gettin up. I finally dragged myself out bed and out for my run. I felt crappy. At mile 5, I almost threw in the towel. I think I started dehydrated so I just let myself stop at just about every water fountain. After much mumbling and grumbling, I managed to turn it around and have a better 2nd half run. I took my shirt off which helped and tried to stay in the shade. It wasn't even all that hot I was just trying to trick myself into feeling better.
Perhaps I'm not totally recovered from Wed.'s run. That's fine. That was a really good run for me and today was all about gettin the miles in.
So I have 25 miles left in my 55 miles week. Tomorrow is a 5 mile recovery run which I'm going to do on the closed to traffic Park ave. Sun. is a 20 which I'm going to do up over the GWB onto River road. I'm actually kinda looking forward to that. I can not imagine why.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Ok, today's run: 12 miles with 7 at tempo. Tempo seems to be...subjective.
Anyway. I chose to do this with 5 upfront instead of say 3 warm up and 2 cool down and then the 7 tempo. So when I started, I already had 5 miles on me.
Now, going into this, I did do a similar run on Sat. 5 miles, 5 mile race which I didn't do all out, I did it at 8:15 pace, then about 2 miles after. I did have some concern about this, though Loren though I would have enough time to recover and I shouldn't really alter this workout as it's sorta the meat of the week. I think I was 99% recovered. Another thing in play...I got my period yesterday. Like open the floodgates. Days like this can be very very draining. 
After I did my 5, I met the Front Runners gang. While standing there talking to a love and pregnant team mate, I felt something....
I was bleeding profusely. What can I say, this is my body's reaction to reproduction.
Oh well. I was already 5 miles in and pretty gross. What' s a little more gross?
Since I did this in Central Park, there's pretty much no flat. Just another challenge to myself.
My stated intention was to run this between 8:17-8:25 pace. Of course my internal intention was to run in faster...keeping up the the RWOL online girls (you know who you are....) which is just dumb. And I know it. I think I came out around 8:21s, 8:55 for the whole 12 and my HR average was 163 which is pretty good. 
So the effort was right even if it was a tad slow.
But come on people, I swear I've lost a quart of blood in the last 24 hours.
This is also my highest milage week which I was very worried about but seems to be going fine.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


ok, so today's run was nothing serious or exciting, so it's no wonder I didn't find it at all interesting.
6 miles recovery with 6x100 strides.
I just didn't feel like doing it. The humidity has returned. I'm going to get my period in the next 4 minutes. I have not slept well the last 2 nights. 
Oh well, it's done.
Tomorrow is the workout I'm really curios about.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

blah blah blah

ok, my run today was pretty uninteresting. 8 miles 8x100 strides.
Later in the morning than usually due to Olympics hangover.
So today, I will give you a treat.
My inspiration for Leg Stroke.
As many of you actually know me, this will come as no surprise. This video many be offensive to some.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Team Championships

Here are my ladies. I'm the one of the end with the big tattoo and smirk.
I switched things up this morning due to the 5 mile Club Team Championships, where all the clubs in NYC race against each other.
We had a record 22 women run this morning!
As for moi, I was planned on doing 14 miles tomorrow. I decided to make most of it today and throw the race in there as well, even though this is a recovery week. I ran 5.5 before, ran the race and ran 2.25 after. So just shy of 13.
I think that's fine with my 55 mile week coming up and a 12 mile run with the last 7 at tempo on Wed. Tomorrow I do 8 with 8x100. 
Obviously I am not training to run a 5 mile race and my milage has been high. I decided to go out there and see what happened.
What nice thing this morning was the weather. Even though it was humid, it was not hot. Very rare for August and this race has a history of being run on a day that feels like it's right out of hell.  Another nice thing is the men and women run at different times.  I went out early and cheered my boys and they returned the favor for the girls. This is a really cool race, just to see all the teams and all the support everyone has for each other.
I ran 41:15, 8:15 pace. Not too bad. Not great, but ok.

Now, I am really tired. I've been staying up way too late watching the Olympics. Tonight a buncha girls are coming over to watch the women's marathon. I'm pretty excited about that.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

try to make me go to rehab I say no no no

Recovery runs are boring. There's no getting around it. They're slow, they're dull, they're boring. I'm sure I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it again.
5.5 miles this morning in shoes that are past their prime. Not even 400 miles on them. I know they're done cause all my bad parts hurt when I run in them.

While running this morning in Central Park, I was thinking about the men's olympic trails. Loren and I headed out early last year to watch, we were at mile 3 when everyone came by still in  a pack. We them rode our bikes down to a 1/4 mile from the finished. Each lap, the field would thin out so we really didn't think anything of not seeing Shay again. I was totally shocked when I learned he died at mile 5.
Totally shocked.
Later that morning, I went out for a faster than marathon pace run. The park was full of would be marathoners since the NYC marathon was the next day. There were still lots of folks milling around after the trials as well. I was about 3 miles into my run, at about 8 minute pace, when Dathan Ritz came flying past me. I mean flying. He had just finished 2nd in the marathon and was cooling down at a pace that seemed blistering to me and having an easy conversation while doing it.
Totally amazing.
Today, however, was not that day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Ok, I have not done speedwork beyond the tempo runs in months. Months I say.
So this morning was 8 miles with 5x600 with 90 sec. rest. After yesterday's not so great run, I wasn't too thrilled about this. I'm usually not thrilled about speed work anyway.
I started out with a 3.75 mile warm up then hit the track.
It went pretty well. I averaged about 7:18 pace or there abouts. The weather has been great. Warm and the sun has been strong through the humidity has been much lower.
So I would say yes, my run was better. My ass still hurts from PT. I'm tired, I thought I'd feel a bit better in the cut back week. Next week is going to be a bear but let's get through this one first.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Somedays the runs are just not good.
Today, the run was just not good. I had PT yesterday, my ass still hurts, I had a mini leg stroke at 4am so I didn't sleep well.
Whine one one
Anyway, the 8 miles are in the books. It's done and that's really all that matters.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

15, 12 at MP

With all the leg stroke craziness, I was really worried about this run. 15 miles, 12 of them done at marathon pace. I didn't do it this morning because I really just did not sleep well. My leg was nagging me all day. I waited til this evening and did a good part of it with Loren and my friend Hilary. That was also nice since I've been running so much on my own.
THe first 3 were a nice warm up, then off I went. My marathon pace for 3:45 is 8:35. Over 12 miles, I averaged 8:31, so ahead of pace.
I've been worried about this run for a few reasons. It comes at the end of 3 pretty intense weeks, most of my running is not anywhere near this pace, except for the few tempo runs here and there, and of course, LEG STROKE. By the way, Loren loves that everyone is now calling it leg stroke. When it's not so late, I'll go into the story behind that, beside it just feeling like my leg is stroking out. It was not as hard as I thought it would be, while running with my pals, I was mostly able to hold a conversation. The last 2 miles I had had about enough.
When I got home, I went into a routine that rivaled the profile they had on Dara Torres'. I foam rolled. I stretched, I took an ice bath, I used my friend Hilary's e-stim machine with more ice. Phew!
I popped some advil and I'm gettin ready for bed. I hoping the leg stroke stays away so I'm not in the living room at 2 am on the foam roller.

Leg Stroke

ok, I'm back from maine. While gone, I did a 6 mile run and a 7.3 mile run. I did not do my 14 mile run. I figured the 9.5 mile hike that took 8 hours was enough.
Ok, so not all of it looked like this picture. That's Loren on the Knife's edge. It's pretty much a boulder field with swatches of blue paint so you know where to go and not plummet down 1000' to your death. And there's me doing the butt scoot down the cliff.
Anyway, all my runs felt pretty good in Maine. I came home and ran an easy 6 with striders yesterday with a friend who is rehabbing and her dog.
But now...I want to talk about what we here at Dog Pound labs have been calling the Leg Stroke. It first happened Thurs. night. I woke up with the terrible pain in my inner thigh and down my knee. Like I wanna throw up pain. And it's hit me 4 or 5 times since. Like I can't walk pain. THough running has been fine. I have been icing, stretching, foam rolling, adviling.  I am pretty sure it's from the combo of the hike and being in the car so friggin much. Today I have a 15 mile run with 12 at MP scheduled. I should be out the door already but I did not sleep well. We'll see how this goes. Like I said, no pain running. Tomorrow I'm calling my PT guys. This has me a little bummed out.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

my weekend runs

2 for 1 this time around.
Yesterday I had an easy recovery run of 5 miles. I ran with a friend of mine who's been hurt for almost a year. She's rehabing and this have her first run outside.
We were in Central park and did a few loops of the rez. It felt  really good after the 20 on Friday. I'm starting to get the hang of this recovery run thing.

Today,  I was in Philly. I went down for a birthday party last night. I stayed up a bit later than I should have. Luckily, the weather was so much nicer than it's been. Not nearly as hot, not nearly as humid. Running in Philly also means FLAT. That's a nice change. I had 12 to do this morning. Loren came with me for the first 4, stretched and hung out the 2nd 4 mile while I ran the along Boat house row and admired the young fit bodies of the rowers. I love running there. I always have. I dont know what it is about that place, it's just really nice. Of course now it does have that bittersweet memory of my drop out of the Philly Marathon. I pass that spot whenever I run there, it's unavoidable. The upside is I still hear the words of support of the people who were with me that day, and of course of my friend and coach Kelsey who was running with me when I decided to call it a day. After I turned around and headed back and passed the spot AGAIN it occurred to me:
I am totally committed.
This year, I am. As I said a few weeks ago in my non running blog: I am not fucking around people.
So at mile 8, I picked loren up again and we ran the last 4 mile back.
It was big days for both of us: I had run 37 miles over 3 days, she ran 2 days in a row (she's been coming off some injuries herself).
And now tomorrow, off to Maine!

Friday, August 1, 2008


I swapped my running around this week so I dont have to do 20 miles the day after a party and the day before I go on vacation. So I did it today. It has been really hot and humid lately.
I woke up just before 6 and was out the door at 6:20. I couldn't really get myself to eat a whole lot, piece of toast, a mojo bar, and a glass of Clif stuff.
I headed out, not really sure where I wanted to go. I knew I didn't want to do the whole thing in Central park and it would be too hot once the sun really got going to go down the West Side. I headed north along the Hudson towards the little red lighthouse. Then I decided to run over the George Washington bridge. It is such an amazing thing to have. I'm willing to bet I've been over that bridge more on foot or bike than in a car. Even with rush hour traffic heating up, there's something about being up there, the air, the view, that high above the water. It's really cool.  I hit the Jersey side and headed back. I figured by the time I got to CP, I'd have at least 11 miles done. 
It was really heating up. I didn't notice that it was actually hot, I was just soaked with sweat. I had taken a salt pill before leaving the house so that spared me the chalk face I can get in weather like this. Around 7.5 miles, I took my first shot. I think I took my 2nd one somewhere around 13 miles. I had sucked down most of my 2 fuel belt bottles worth of electrolyte drink. I think I should have drank more sooner. For my last 7 miles, I had a bag of luna moons. That is the dumbest name for something ever. It's like a prize you'd find in a box of tampons or something. But they're really good. 
My last few miles were a bit of a struggle. I was really to be done. Since it's hilly up here in the hood, sometimes I reward myself by having one of my last miles be down hill. The other side of that is I then make myself run up hill for a half mile in the last mile.  Today, being it was my first 20 miler of this training cycle, I decided to give myself the down hill and forgo the uphill. That was nice of me. 
I was really glad when I was done. While my over all pace will not be winning any awards, this was a good solid run. Last week I had a 50 mile week, this week it's 54. Coming from more of a triathlon background and running less, this is a lot for me. I think I'm adjusting well. I'm tired. I know I'm suppose to be. My big runs I was worried about this week are in the book.
Oh and since July is now over, I'd like to report I ran 177 miles for that month.