Thursday, December 31, 2009

This is the end

End of 2009! As far as running goes, it's been a great year. I could have done with out the nagging foot problems of the last few months, but oh well
This year I ran 1531.3 miles. That's up from 1270 of last year. I didn't hit my semi-goal of 2000 since the last quarter of the year saw some seriously low milage. I had some other great milestones. I PRed in the 5k, 4m, 5m, 10k, 10m, 15k, half marathon, and full marathon.
And of course, the cherry on top, I FINALLY qualified for Boston.
Not only is this the end of the year, it's also the end of the decade (which honestly I didn't realize until like last week). This decade has been my 2nd life as an athlete. I got back into running in 1999. Since then, I've run 115 New York Road Runners races, ALL of them as a Front Runner. I've also done countless other road races and triathlons including 3 Ironmans and 8 marathons (4 NYC)
That is a lot!
I'll be starting of the next decade getting ready for Boston, the Shamrock half marathon which I'm running with some of my BQ Babes, and TImberman, a half ironman. Beyond that I'm not sure what 2010 will bring race-wise. I've had so many marathon cycles over the last 3 years I may sit the fall out. We'll see! I do plan on running more with Bea, and Loren, and riding and swimming more.
Here's to many fun and happy miles to all of you.
Happy New Year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"Bah, humbug!" No, that's too strong


Ho ho who you calling ho. I'm in Alabama for the yearly trek to the Mooney's. This year, I almost didn't make it. Actually, Bea, my pup and running partner picture here in all her snow glory, was suppose to join us. Bea got really sick a few hours after this picture was taken. Honestly, I have no idea what she got into, but she got into something that made her really sick. She spent 3 days at the vet.
Poor baby. It was awful seeing her like that.
I really thought about not making the trip down here this year and staying home with her. She came home about 2 hours before Loren and I were to leave. Luckily, Bea has a HUGE fan club. After seeing her at home, consulting with all my dog owner friends, and friend and super star pet sitter Denise agreed to (nurse) watch her while we were gone, I decided to come to Alabama.
It actually might be better that I came as to avoid me watching her non stop to make sure she's breathing and obsessing in a way that only I can.
Reports say she's getting back to her old self. I am so relieved.
On the running front, things are going slow and steady. Loren and I ran 4 miles through the snow of Central park on Wed. Today, we went with the long time Farrooney tradition of running on xmas. Loren and I drove over to her HS track where her parents walked and she and I ran. We started on the track then ran her old 2 mile XC course. Once back on the track I did a temp 400 which felt pretty good at 7:40 pace. 4.5 miles for the day.
At this rate, I'll eventually be up to 20 miles a week! Seriously, I'm feeling pretty good. My foot was a bit aggravated from flying but that's normal.
That's all from down south, hope everyone is enjoying their holidays.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Down by the riverside, it's bound to be a better ride

I went to see Pete yesterday and after poking, prodding, stretching, ultrasound and all that stuff, he said "ok, I dont want to see you again unless you're in serious pain". So I'm cleared to run. His advice: build slowly, nothing more than 5 miles. Of course, he didn't say for how long but I think I'll know when to bump up. Not to mention right now I'm not sure I COULD run 5 miles. Ok, I guess I could but it would be very slow and I'm sure not too much fun. I have run 3x this week, 2 2 milers and just got back from a 3 miler. All with Bea. I'm thinking of starting a new running team: Bitches with Bitches.
I've been in pretty much a constant state of marathon training for several years. It feels really weird to be starting from 2 mile runs. Honestly, I dont remember the last time I had to start from such a place. I'm guessing after a few weeks, my body will remember all of this and I'll be back to my old self. For now, slow slow slow. I've been looking at a few plans to get me going again, mostly Hudson's level 1 marathon plan as a guide. I can just piece things together and adjust on how things are going. I'm thinking 1 more run this week, maybe not quite 5 miles.
I dont think Bea knows what she's in for. She does like to run with me but she has no idea I intend to make her my primary running mate for a while. She's now passed out on the bedroom floor.

Oh one more thing! Today's run got me past the 1500 mile mark for the year. In my mind, I was hoping to hit 2000 miles for the year, but the injury put an end to that idea. Maybe in 2010!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Maybe two is better than one

I am slowly recovering from my jet lag. Countless hours of travel, 60 degree temp difference, and an 8 hour time change really takes it's toll on a person.
This afternoon I ran 2.1 miles with Bea. Slow. I feel like I'm starting from square one since I sorta am. We're talking like 10 minute pace here. 2 runs, both pain free, going to see Pete tomorrow.
Reading everyone officially starting training for Boston today has given me some anxiety. I have no base. I ran 37 miles in Oct. I ran 2 in november. These numbers for 2 months are usually what I do in what week.
Of course there's that part of my brain that is saying, come on, get over it. There's plenty of time before Boston and you'll bounce back quickly if you run smart and stay pain free. And of course there's the fear that I'm going to get hurt again.
Oh well. Just need to get back on the horse. Slowly. I believe the next several weeks I will be running alone or with Bea.

In other news, my pictures from Tanzania are up here

Saturday, December 12, 2009

And every stranger's face I see Reminds me that I long to be

I am home.
And I just ran 2 miles with Bea and Loren. It felt really good to 1. run outside 2. actually move my body after my insane few days of travel.
Let's take a look at the last few days shall we?
First of all, when I left Dar es Salaam, it was over 90 degrees with humidity almost as high. When I landed in NYC this morning, it was 31 degrees. I've been use to being out in shorts and sweeting my ass off for the last 2 weeks. Running tonight in temps about freezing was a bit of a shock to my system.
It's a little after 6pm here in NYC, Dar is 8 hours ahead so I feel like it's the middle of the night.
I've sorta been traveling since thurs, my last few days look like this:
Thurs morning: Drive from Bukoba to about 1k from the Uganda border. (a little over an hour drive) do bike handover, drive back to Bukoba. Thurs afternoon, fly to Mwanza on a Fantasy Island type plane, 45 minute flight. 4 hour layover, have dinner. Thurs evening, 2 hour flight to Dar. Get in late, argue with hotel clerk about shitty room with shower that doesn't drain.
Friday: hang out in Dar for a few hours, really just killing time. 3pm leave for airport, hit horrible traffic, cab driver makes NYC cabbies look like grandmothers driving to church on sunday by driving on sidewalks, over ditches, and just creating lanes.
5:30 fly to Dubai-flight time about 5 hours. 2 hour layover in Dubai airport, one of the most bizarre places on earth.
2am Dubai time take off for NYC. Flight time: 13.5 hours. Land about 7 am.
Loren, saint that she is, loads Bea into the car and comes and picks me up.
So basically, I feel like I've been hit by a truck.
Like I said, running felt great. It's been about 3 weeks. I was advised to start off on the treadmill. I figured since I took an extra week off of running, running short outside would be ok. I had no foot pain while I was away.
I know several of you want to hear more about the trip, so stay tuned. Once I get a handle of the time zone and sleep and all that, I'll post more with pictures.

Monday, December 7, 2009

just a song before I go

Hey all out there in blog land. Just a quick update.
I put off running for another week and for a very good reason...I'm in tanzania putting together and giving away bikes. I was only suppose to be here a week but then the opportunity came up for me to stay longer and I decided, hey, when will I be in Tanzania again?
The first week I was in Kibaha, then a few days in Dar es Salaam, and now in Bukoba which is on the shores of Lake Victoria.
In total, close to 300 bikes will be built and given to health care workers to help fight HIV/AIDS. I will post more when I get back, but if you want to learn more or donate to the project, please go to:
biketownafrica.org

Monday, November 23, 2009

Everybody cut footloose

ok, yes, so I ran the other day. While there was no pain while running or right after, it did act up a bit after. And through the weekend. Now I know being on my feet and all over the place on Sunday at the philly marathon didn't help. I was debating running on it again to see what happened then decided not to. I call my Dr this morning to tell her what's what. This is the plan:
No running until I get back from Africa, which pretty much means 2 more weeks off.
Start going to PT again.
If when I run when I get back from Africa I have the same issue, another shot in ye foot.
She's encouraged that it didn't hurt when I ran, so she thinks we're on the right track.
As I've been saying (for far too long now) better now than into my Boston cycle. If I'm gonna rest, let it be now. Oh and I keep pulling out that old Esalen chestnut, trust the process. At least I learned something in the fog of Big Sur.

I was down in philly yesterday to cheer on my BQ ladies and my beloved FRNY team mates. I had such a blast. There should be a marathon maniacs for cheering, this was 3rd marathon cheerathon this fall. It leaves me almost as tired as running does. So many amazing people I finally got to meet in person. Us BQ ladies have been online together for....over a year and a half? So nice to put faces to screen names.

All of you had awesome races yesterday! From gutsy performances (FLO!) to Prs, BQs (Kevin, no lie I almost cried when i saw you and your mom both BQed), to first times, to runs to get back in the swing of things, to cheerleading like you wouldn't believe. It was an awesome weekend, can't wait for the Boston Reunion.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Time up and time out

Yes, folks, the day you've all been waiting for is finally here. I know all of you have been on the edge of your chairs.
I ran.
Yes, you heard me right! I whole 2.1 miles! Slow and easy, a nice 9:30 pace. We won't talk about my heart rate. It was pain free. I'd feel a hint of soreness, but I'm totally paranoid about it. I think the test will be if it's sore in the next few hours. I've already stretched and I'm icing as I speak. So now nice and easy and hopefully I'm on the right track.

And now on to some other news. As many of you know (and many of you do too) I spend a lot of time on the Runner's World forum. We have a nice band of ladies all with the goal of BQing and most of have reached it. It's been an unbelievable support and source of info, training buddies, racing pals, and couches to sleep on. Last year, one of our girls got attacked while running, something should never ever happen to anyone. This week, that piece of trash got sentenced to SIXTY YEARS in prison, and I hope he serves every minute of it. Just a reminder to be safe out there, esp. in these colder months when there are less people out and less light.

Many of these same girls are traveling to Philly this weekend for the Philly marathon/half marathon. This will be a meeting of epic proportions, so if you are within 150 mile radius of Philly and hear shrieking laughter, it's us. Also a shout out to me home team who's making the trip down there. Remember, dont go out to fast, check your baggage with your baggage, and run your asses off.

Monday, November 9, 2009

put the needle on the record

I do believe I am now on the longest running break I've had in years. It's over the 2 week mark with over a week to go. I only have short burst of going insane. I fully admit to obsessing over my foot and every thing that may or may not be an ache or a pain or the ghost of either or. Really, it doesn't hurt. When I do feel something there, I think it's the spot from the shot. Because, ya know, there was a needle in the bottom of my foot.
So now we wait. And as we wait, we plan for 2010.
As everyone knows, I'm running Boston in April.
Other things I'm doing for thinking about doing are:
Mt Washington Road Race (hey only 1 hill!) This has a lottery, so we'll have to see.
Timberman, which is a half ironman. That's in August. I've done this race once before and really liked it. Loren's also doing it, it'll be here first half. Rumor has it my pal Chris is also doing it.
I want to do some short distance tris as well. I also want to do some half marathons. Last year, I did 3 of the NYC races, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Brooklyn. I most likely will do those again. Maybe the Philly distance run. I'd really like to break 1:40 in the half.
As far as fall marathon, Im not sure. I have a spot in NYC. We'll see. I have tons of time to plan for that.
Anyway, still alive over here on my couch.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shot through the heart

Today I went back to the Dr. With the xray negative, like her, my PT, me, the dog, and some random guy on the street knew it would be, she recommended a steroid shot to the irritated area. She doesn't think it's torn or anything, still just irritated. Perhaps after my week of drugs (when if felt good) I returned to running too soon.
Her course of action: steroid shot, no running or anything else that causes it to hurt, for 2 more week, when I return to running, short runs on the DREADMILL. I have the treadmill. I dont even have a gym membership to go an use one. Oh well. If it still hurts after this, MRI and possibly another shot. There's a 90% chance this will do the trick. I hope so!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

These streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you, Let's hear it for New York

The 40th NYC Marathon is in the books and did not disappoint.
Sat. morning I went to the FRNY pancake breakfast, a Front Runners tradition. It was here I really realized I was not upset about running. All that tension and stress I normally feel the day before a marathon was gone. I wasn't worrying about the weather, every little ache and pain, if someone was giving me some unknown cootie. I got to just wish everyone luck and relax.
Race morning, Loren and I rode over to our friend Marge's house to watch the pros. I'm usually in the park to see the pros go by mile 24. While that is totally cool to see them in person I then miss the end of the race which is pretty cool to see. So this time I watched in on TV.
Watching Meb win was totally amazing. He ran a really smart race. Incredible to finally see an American win NYC.
Shortly after, Loren and I high tailed it over to mile 24. Riding our bikes, we were there in less than 10 minutes. With the range of runners our team has and with the new wave start, I knew it was going to be a long day. I had to pace myself. The mile 24 water station is also a FRNY tradition (click here for a lovely photo from the '82 crowd). As I've mentioned before, I do it the years I dont run and since a marathon is out of the question for the wifey, this was her 8th year of service. If you run NYC, look for Loren in the Ithaca is Gorges Tshirt. She's use to hugs, hellos, and the stray kiss.
We got there just as our first runner came through. Rich clocked a blistering 2:41. We spent the next several hours handing out water and cheering. It's a long day but so worth. It's so much fun watching everyone come though. I know from my experiences running NYC that it is so cool to get to mile 24 and see someone you know, even if it's just one person, it can make all the difference.
All in all, FRNY, had 108 people run, times varying from 2:41 to 7:11 and everything inbetween. PR, BQ, first time, and even some devil dogs that made it the whole 26.2.
I'm proud of all of you and I hope you're proud of yourselves!


Ok, now on to me.
Still not running. I had an xray this morning to rule out a stress fracture which neither my PT or my DR think I have but in order to get an MRI, I need an xray first. Totally stupid. There's a chance I have a tear in my facia. I'm hoping it's just really irritated. I haven't run in close to 2 weeks. Well,if I need to take an extended break, let it be now so I can go into Boston ready to kick some ass.
I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Time after time

On Nov. 5th 1989, I was 18 years old and had been living in NYC for about 2 months. Sometime in the afternoon, I left my rodent infested shitbox of an apartment on 91st and Broadway for the Met. I would go there on Sundays with my pal Jen and draw. Sometimes I would ride my bike, sometimes I would walk. This day, I walked. I cut across Central Park having no idea it was marathon weekend. I stood very close to where my team, Front Runners, hands out water at mile 24. I dont remember how long I stood there watching. I do remember thinking it was really really cool and I very clearly remember 1 man who ran by.
He was missing a leg and going at it on crutches. That image has stuck with me over time.
My 18 year old self had no idea that 10 years later my 28 year old self would run NY for the first time. My high school XC coach talked about running NYC and running Boston and I thought he was nuts. By 18, I don't think I had ever run more than 6 miles at once.
Now my 38 year old self looks back over those 10 years since my first NYC and my first marathon. That 28 year old had no idea I'd run NYC 4 times (and counting!) along with 7 other marathons and be planning a trip to Boston in April.
I did hope to run this year but it's just not in the cards which is fine. NY will be here, it will always be my favorite marathon even if it's not my fastest or best.
This year, as I've done every year I haven't run but 1 since running my first NYC, I'll be out at mile 24 along with my team mates cheering and handing out water. So for all of you first time marathoners, first time runners of NYC, those looking to go under 3, those who claim it's their last, seekers of PRs, crazy maniacs, SloHoMos, BQ chasers, marathon weekend is here. All your work is done. Go out and run YOUR race and have a good time doing it.
I'll be watching!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

no parking on the dance floor

After another 4 mile run this week (the run itself was GREAT) followed by a sore foot, I put myself back on the shelf. At least another week of no running and more anti inflammatories. I am thinking of actually not running for 2 weeks. This way, all my running pals are tapering for NYC this weekend and then will be having an easy/off week the following week. Then we can all start up again together. We'll see. John did tell me if there's still pain after this go round, back to the Dr.
Since there's no running right now, I have been on my bike more. With high running milage, I tend to ride around less. Like less city riding. So now, more city riding. I actually really like that and since I ride a fixed gear around town, my pedal stroke gets smooth and it's like adding cycling strength without a whole lot of work.
Today Loren and I hopped on the road bikes and did the 26 mile River Road loop. It was a beautiful day. All the leaves are changing out there and I just felt really really good.
So I'm trying to turn a negative about the running into a cycling positive.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

fools and horses running their courses

An update:
1. Canceled NYC. Totally fine with it. Actually glad cause now I can escape taper madness.
2. Running a bit, usually about 4 miles. I take Bea with me when I can cause her limit right now is about 4.5 so I know I wont be temepted to do anything crazy.
3. having PT 2x a week. Seems to be helping.
4. I am having a bit of pain but I think it's getting better. It's still under the 3 scale while running. I am thinking about taking some time totally off again to see if that helps.

Other than that, not much going on.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Walk 'til you run

My last run was 12 days ago. This morning when I got up to run, it was 44 degrees and felt like 39. WOOHOOO!!!! I wore tights.
This was a back to running nothing fancy run, 3.35 miles slowly. I could feel my foot a bit as a started but that's no surprise. I hadn't been up very long and it's usually a bit still in the morning before the blood gets flowing.
I can't say anything extraordinary about this run other than I did it and there was no pain during or after.
I had PT at 10:45 where John put me through the usual routine. I also ended my round of anti-inflammatories. Everything seems to be moving along nicely. He told me on a scale of 0-10, 0 being no pain and 10 being holy crap get me to a hospital, I'm good running to about a 3.
So the plan now is to slowly build back up and see what happens.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I want to tell you something you've known all along

Let see....running yet? Nope. Day what? hhmmmm, like 10 or something. I think the last time I took a break so long it was when I was in Africa last year. Dr told me not to run while on the drugs so I'm sticking to that. It's making me a little nuts. The upside, my foot is feeling better.
In the world of working out, Loren and I went for a nice 26 mile ride on Sunday. For those in the know, we did River Road. It was sorta like doing a tempo run. There's a very long hill at the end of River Road. My goal was to stay on Loren's wheel, which I did. My heart rate got up to a lovely 186 (my max is 200) so in running like terms, like a speed workout. Once we got out on the road back to the GWB, we pacelined each taking a minute at the front. It felt really good.
But ya know what, it's not running. On my quest to Boston I stopped my multisport self and turned into a pure runner for a few years. While I am looking forward to going back to triathlons next year, I still have a mostly running itch. I'm guessing that comes from not being able to run.
I'm going to do a short run on Thurs morning before PT. PT Pete is out with his new baby and the rest of his family for the month of Oct. so I've been seeing his counterpart, John twice a week. I feel like it's really coming along.
NY is totally doubtful, I've all but officially canceled which is fine.
This past weekend was the busiest weekend of marathoning I've done without actually running. I headed out to Hartford to watch my online pal Rebecca PR with a 3:06. Another online pal Kris also smoked the course in a jaw dropping 2:42.
Sunday, I lazily laid in bed and followed the Chicago marathon action online (after spending Sat night watching the Ironman worlds online). Congrats to everyone who ran! And a big shout out to Kieran taking home a 2:57 PR and Dave who will be COMING TO BOSTON!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Doctor doctor, can't you see I'm burning

Today I went to get my foot check out by a pro. Well, by a Dr. away.
And here's how it went:
She gave me the option of getting a shot in my foot (something Fran has told me hurt more than giving birth) or going on anti-inflammarories. Guess what I picked? I've actually had a shot in my wrist before so I know how much that hurts. Pills I can handle.
So I've got some drugz for a few days, more PT and no running for a few more days. I haven't run since Sat. This is a record for the year! She thinks this should clear it up.
She didn't say OH MY GOD THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN RUN THE MARATHON! She actually thinks it would be fine. I'm still on the fence, we'll see how the next few days go.
As it is, I was planning on not running if I was in Africa so this is pretty close to that.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Everything is Everything

Ok, so a few things:
I should not even be posting this. I should be in Africa, jetlagged out of my mind, trying to figure out where I am and what day it is.
I'm not. There was a problem with the bikes and customs so the trip got put off, for Loren and I, possible canceled.
So here I am.
Another thing, today is the anniversary of this. Warning, if you click that, you will read about poop and people who poop themselves while running and continue to run.
I am not that person.
Anyway.
So yes, since I am here and since Grete's is always a friggin points race and since I never run it well, I ran it. (note to Flo, I did not RACE it).
It was an awful 65 degrees with 95% humidity. I had no intentions of racing it, I was treating it like my long run. I did 1.5 miles before hand to warm up.
Long run it is! I felt fine til, oh mile 3. Seriously, I phoned in the entire run finishing in 1:56:21. 8:52 pace, which is just dandy for a long run. But boy did it SUCK. And poopy pants (sans poop this year) passed me at mile 11.5.
Ok, ok, I should let it go. The woman is 76 years old and I can only hope and dream I am running like at in 40 years.
Oh my god, she's a lot older than I am!
Anyway...
Now for my dark cloud that I alluded when last I graced you with my wit:
I am seriously thinking of not running NYC.
I will now pause for dramatic purposes.
Everyone digest that?
Good.
My foot hurts. It hurts after I run. It's been hurting WHEN I run. I haven't run a week with more than 40 miles since July. While I'm getting quality workouts in and have had some good solid races (a great PR in Philly a few weeks ago) I'm not running the way I want to be running. I dont want to limp to the starting line just to finish this time. If I run, I want to run well. I want to be able to run with RayK so she can come to Boston. I dont wanna be out there in pain waiting to see my peeps at mile 24 and hoping I get to Tavern on the Green.
This is not an easy decision for me to make, though for anyone who is capable of making a sensible decision it should be (um, that would NOT be me. Remember when I ran it 3 weeks after Steamtown last year? Yea, hi.) So no doubt I will wrestle with this a while longer but that's what I'm thinking.
I want to start training for Boston healthy which means maybe really cutting back for the next month or so.
In the mean time, I'll be over here mourning my NYC marathon.
Please send cake.

In GOOD NEWS, a few shout outs:
1. Janice-way to finally get under 2 hours and PR today.
2. Anthony, same to you, great PR
3. Hikergirl 3:28:49 in St George...REALLY? Please pull me along in Beantown in April. Girl, you KILLED IT.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Time keeps on ticking...

From the weekly FrontRunnerGram that goes out every Thurs. morning to FRNY:
In a historical note, 10 years ago was the last year that the Tune-up was a 30K race (18.6 miles). There were 17 Front Runner finishers. Among those, only Audra is a 2009 finisher. Twenty years ago (Remember 1989?), again 17 Front Runners finished the 30K Tune-up, including only Ms. Donna Checkan from among the 2009 finishers.
Wow. I was getting ready for my first marathon then. I ran that 30k at a 9:51 pace. I remember being lapped by a pack of fast men.
As I get set for my 10th anniversary of my first NYC marathon, and my first marathon, there is much on my mind about what will be my 5th NYC marathon, my 12th marathon in total. I'm not ready to say much more than that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And the bus and the tourists are gone

20 miler #2 of this cycle. This time around, it was an easy 2 followed by an "18 miler tune up race". Quotes because, well, I'm not going to race an 18 miler. It's great that NYRR puts on this race (with just for historical context, use to be a 30k). My plan was to do it as progression, since it's 3 six mile loops, it gives a great course to do such a thing. I did this last year while getting ready for Steamtown, it was my last 20 miler.
I started with RayK just below 9 minute pace and planned to speed up after. Once I got done with the first loop, I decided I was going to just stay right where I was. It was raining and I was tired. Maybe from my half last week. I just didn't feel like speeding up and decided that was ok. This is just a long run and no point in killing myself out there. Plus my foot hurt. I think that was in part due to the rain, maybe the slant of the road looping Central Park, maybe Mercury in retrograde. Who knows. I dont really care. Around 9s it is!
And that's what I did. 9:05 pace for 2:43:43. I was happy coming in under 2:45. Not a PR but another long run in the books.
Central Park was a complete ghost town this morning. Yes, it was a 7am start but that usually doesn't keep people out of the park. The rain, however, chased everyone who wasn't racing away.
A shout out to my teammate Rich who finished 2 over all with a blistering 1:48:33. People, that's a 6:01 pace. Thankfully he didn't lap me, I only got lapped by the overall winner. Better than last year when I also got lapped by the first woman...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

you give me fever


First, here's a picture of loren and I from the Philly Distance Run.
It's actually not bad! I certainly look better then I felt a few minutes before.
I think I found something to help my foot. Pete had been taping the bottom of my foot with kinesio tape. It had been helping. After the race on Sunday my foot was just killing me. When I got home, I saw a free sample of tape in the goodie bag. It also came with a chart showing how to tape every injury you can think of. I tried taping my for PF. It almost instantly felt better. So this will be my new taping course of action. I've run twice since, 2 days in a row, with much less pain after.
So about those runs. Tues I ran up in Van Cortlandt on the cross country trails. It's getting dark so much earlier that the 2nd time around it was pretty much trail running in the dark. That was kinda fun. I've run up there so much I know where every railroad tie is and every little crack, even in the dark. Though I really would not recommend doing this. It was a sorta slowish 5 hilly miles.
I know everyone is boohooing the end of summer and all that, but really, last night as the sun was fading, it was 80 degrees with 75% humidity. SO while I could do without the lack of light, I'd really like it to be a bit cooler!
I had an ok 7 mile run. Until I finished. I felt pretty light headed after. I was walking home and stopped to get some food, thinking maybe it was low blood sugar. As I'm standing in line to pay, the guy in front of me looks at me and says "Audra?". I slowly say yes. He explains to me who he is, a friend of an old girlfriend's. I say ah yes and exchange how are yous and all of that. After he leaves the woman behind the counter says oh it's so funny when that happens. I say yea, I have absolutely no idea who that guy is, he's going back in time a good 12 years.
I couldn't believe anyone would even recognize me since I felt like was about to crowned the prom queen of Hades.
When I got home, I was a bit feverish. I really felt like crap. I figured it was a combo of the weather and some side effects of the yellow fever vaccination I had the day before. I felt crappy for a few hours and by 11pm (though I wish I was asleep by then) was feeling much better.
Now that I think I have a handle on my foot, the rest of my week will look like this:
Thurs: off
Fri: 5-9 miles, I'll have to look at my half assed plan.
Sat: off
Sun 18 mile tune up, plus 2 miles to make 20.
I need to figure out how to run this. Last year it was my last long run before Steamtown so I ran it easy. This year, I think I want to do it as progression, starting easy and finishing close to MP. Rayk we should talk about this!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Streets of Philadelphia

Yesterday I ran the Philly Distance Run, which is really Philly's big race. I've run it before but not for several years. It now has a different course (I think) and is a megathon with almost 13000 runners. 
I really love this race and for several reasons. For one, it's in Philly. For those who don't know, I grew up about 12 miles out side of Philly in South Joisy. Back when Rocky was first running up the art museum steps, the Phillies were on their way to their first World Series, and William Penn was the highest thing in the skyline. My best friend, Tracy, also lives in Philly, so I've spent a fair amount of time there. It's a dirty, underdog kinda town.
It's also a flat and fast race who saw Ryan Hall and Catherine "The Great"Ndereba win. Of course they were long done by the time I finished. But anyway...
Loren and I drove down with Bea on Sat. We met up with Flo (blog famous Girl In Motion) and headed to the expo where we also met Kat, another Boston Bound Running Babe.
The morning of the race, Loren and I were up and out early. The race had a 7:45 start. With the crowd so big, it was going off in waves about 2 minutes apart. We were in the 2nd wave. We drove over to the start, beached the car in a lot and I needed to find a portapotty as my stomach felt like a cement mixer. 
The start was chaos. The lines for the bathroom possibly the worst I have ever see. I knew there was no way I could go run this thing without going to the bathroom. I'm standing in line, which I'm sure is going to take 15 minutes to get to the front of. My wave is going off in about 7. As I'm commiserating with those around me, a woman looks at my bib number. She says to me, oh man, you're starting soon! You should cut the line, just go to the front and ask if you can go since you have such a low number. 
So I did. I ran over to the line next to us. Just a note, I'd like to dedicate the rest of this story to Team SloHoMo, esp. Liz cause it totally made me think of you. 
I went of to this woman wearing a hospital gown to keep warm and said can I cut in front of you? Im in the 2nd wave and we're about to start. She just looks at me. Then says, oh what, you assume I'm a slow runner? I actually hadn't given it any thought. I couldn't see her number but she didn't looked like she was in any really hurry to get to the start. So I didn't even know what to say. Then she says CAUSE I AM! and starts laughing. So miss self described slow runner, thank you so much for letting me cut the line and wishing me luck. 
Loren and I then hurried to the start just in time for the national anthem (why do they do that at sporting events?) and for the first wave to get off. It was packed and crazy and chaotic. We actually got held til the 3rd wave but it didn't matter. Loren and I maybe ran the first 10 feet together and she was off. 
I felt good. Telling myself, keep it easy, not too fast. I ran my first mile in 7:34. I knew to go under 1:40 I'd have to average 7:38 pace. I was doing just that. I came through 5k in 23:36, averaging 7:35s.
Now I know when I go out to fast, even when I'm doing it. I know what that feels like. This did not feel like that. I felt great. The flat Philly streets were a nice change from the rolling hills of Central Park where I usually run. I was passed by a DC Front Runner and exchanged hellos. There was also, I'm pretty sure, a FRNY person ahead of me though I dont know who it was. 
This race was so big. As I was approaching mile 4, I could see people in wave 12 in their first mile.
I hit 10k in 47:18, 7:36 pace. So I was holding on. And still felt really good. I took a gel right after the 10k point. 
Then. I'm not sure what happened. It's not like it got harder, it didn't. My legs got heavy. I had no power. I didn't feel like oh my god I'm crashing! But it was like a slow slowdown. I just couldn't hold it. I think I ran outa fuel. I'm not really sure. By 10 miles, (1:17:08) I had slowed to 7:42 pace and just couldn't pick it up. I should have tried another gel but my stomach was still a bit twisted up. Maybe that was the problem, I really dont know.
At mile 11, this woman comes up to me and says Come on NY. I turn, and she's wearing a Reservoir Dogs singlet, another NYC team. I said ah, a familiar face. There were a lot of NYC team runners in this race. I know Loren ran a good part of the race around some Central Park people and a Warren Street guy. 
She says I'm trying for my first sub 1:40. I said me too but it's getting close. Yup, it's going to hurt she says. I tried to stay with her and I just couldn't. I was slowing down. I think I ran that mile in 8 minutes. 
A guy behind me says hey Ironwoman, how you doing. I dont know if I had talked to him earlier. I have the periodic symbol for iron (FE 26) tattooed on the back on my right arm. It's the tattoo I get asked the most about. I gave the universal hand wave for so so and kept trying to grind it out. 
I saw Loren, who was done, right before the mile 13 marker. I just shook my head. My last mile was by far the slowest at 8:10. I did manage to find a little something for that last .1 which I ran in 44 seconds. 
I finished in 1:42:02.
While this is a really big PR, by about 90 seconds, I fully admit to being a bit disappointed. I was totally on pace. I felt great. There was just a little something missing. On the plus side, besides it being a big PR, I am fully confident that I can go under 1:40. 
There are a few shout outs I want to give:
1. RayK who was off in Queen running a half and also in the Race for the Sub 1:40, ran a 1:40:31
2. Sharon, for running Queens on her BIRTHDAY!!!
3. Flo for her great 1:33:51 PR (and people Flo is 4748. This woman is a serious force)
4. Danielle, my childhood friend for finishing her first half yesterday
5.Kat who ran a PR of 1:45
6. and mostly, Loren who PRed by 2.5 minutes with a blistering 1:32:55 placing 13th in our age group out of 1100. 120th woman out of 6394. Loren's had a great running career and it's great to see her excited (even if she'll sorta deny it). This was Loren's 2nd half marathon and she totally surprised herself. She didn't surprise me. I figured that was about what she'd run. I'm totally proud of her.
Of course, my foot was killing me for the rest of the day (UGH) but is actually feeling much better today. Im not sore, just a little tired. I haven't fully decided on what I'll do this week yet. I am looking forward to the weeks post NYC marathon when I can take some time off from running completely and hopefully get 100% healthy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

To tell you the truth I've said it before tomorrow I start in a new

So tomorrow, the Philly Distance Run. I had to miss this last year because I sprained my ankle at Reach the Beach. This year, Reach the Beach is this weekend and I am sitting it out. After 5 years of doing it and running a team, I really needed a break. But a shout out to the Ladies Tea Society who as I speak, is on leg 25.
My running this week has been like a cut back week, but not bad. I went and saw Pete on Monday and he told me what I knew. I have some bursitis in my heel and if I want it to stop hurting I have to stop running. Well, we all know (including Pete) that's not going to happen. So he ultra sounds it, workout my calves, ice, stim, on my way. It felt much better after. Ran Tues with Loren, ran Wed with Bea. Not too much pain for consecutive days. Took Thurs off, ran and awesome awesome 7 yesterday and saw Pete again. He's got a new laser toy so he added that to the mix. And ya know, my foot feels SO MUCH BETTER. I'm hoping I've turned a corner.
I'm feeling something I rarely feel about races: I'm feeling a little nervous. Quite a while ago I set a high goal for myself for this race. I'm pretty sure that'snot going to happen but I really dont know what is. I love this course, it's flat and fast. It was my PR for a long time. I have had an amazing transformation in the half. For a very long time, it was my goal to break 1:50. I did that in Feb in Da Bronx. Then I set my goal to break 1:45. I did that in May in Brooklyn, 3 weeks after the NJ marathon. Now my goal is to go under 1:40. Will it happen tomorrow? I dunno. The half may be my favorite distance. If I could let myself not marathon for a while (and I really should. Maybe after Boston), I think I could run this distance really well. But that's for later to think about.
So we'll see what tomorrow brings. I'll be out there with Flo and Loren. Who I know will both be far ahead of me. This is Loren's 2nd half. I love that she's stepping up the distance. And will still kick my ass.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pain, I can't get enough

Ok. I'm sick of my foot hurting. After my 20, I took 2 days off. It's totally unpredictable how this thing is going to feel on any given day. It actually hurt for those 2 days. It should be noted, I'm also PMSing so I dont know if that's making it worse. It might be since my body is all full of fluid. 
Yesterday was the Fitness 4 miler, a team points race. I left my house and ran the 3 miles down to the start. It was 63 degrees which was nice. With 93% humidity which was not nice. The boys ran first so I got there as most of the men were finishing. Foot felt fine on my warm up.
I like it when the men's and women's races are separate, so much more room! As usually, I started with Megan and near Rayk but I knew she'd be getting smaller and smaller as she pulled away. I felt mostly ok. It's tough when it's that humid. The FRNY boys stuck around to cheer which is great. It's such a boost. I can usually gauge how far ahead I am of a team mate by how long it takes for me to hear "go Front Runner" after I hear them cheer for me. 
This happened right after mile 3. I turned to sneak a peak to see who was so close to me. I figured it was Megan but it was Lenny. Lenny is fairly new to the club. When I noticed how close she was to me, 2 things ran through my mind:
1. I am more than twice that girls age
2. I could actually be that girls mother.
Lenny is 18.
My goal for the day was to get under 30 minutes, I hit my watch at 29:58. That'll do! My foot didn't hurt at all. So 7 miles for the day.
Fast forward a few hours:
My foot is killing me.
I check the results and I'm not listed in them. NYRR decided to go with the Dtag for this race. I hate the Dtag. I emailed them and didn't hear back. Then this morning, the results were changed, but they put someone else in what I believe is my finishing time (another FRNY).
UGH. So as I've said, I'm PMSing which in and of itself makes me insane, my foot is killing me, and I ran a race that it looks like I didn't run.
Boooo.
I'm debating my running. I think I'm going to see Pete this week. I'm thinking of not running til Wed or Thurs and letting my foot really rest before the Philly Distance Run. I'm thinking of not running NYC or just phoning it in. I dont know. I'm sure this will all change tomorrow.
Oh and here's some proof I actually did run yesterday:


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

could it be magic?

My week...well, as you all know, I've had this heel issue for a while now. I have to plan my weeks so I get my most important runs in and not run too many days in a row. I also have a team race this weekend and also have the Philly Distance Run next week. There was much planning to do to make sure I got everything in, wasn't running too much too soon, and giving myself a chance to taper for next weekend.
Initially, my goal for Philly was a sub 1:37, the automatic qualifying time for the NYC marathon. Loren was going to run with me and pace me. Well, that's pretty much out the window with my training being where it is. I have auto entry for next year so that's no big deal. In 2011 I turn 40 and my qualifying time goes to 1:44 which I already know I can run. So this was just a goal I had. Philly is a flat fast course but I still think it's a bit outa reach. After talking with Loren this weekend, we also decided she's going to run her own race. She's only run 1 half (1:35:31 in Central Park) and is running pretty well now so I'd like her to go out and do what she can. Plus, as she pointed out, I never run well when she paces me. This is pretty true. We just run differently. She tends to go out faster than I'm comfortable with and then I SUFFER. 
So now I've adjusted my goals:
outa this world: 1:37
holy crap yes: sub 1:40
Ok, that's great: sub 1:43:40, my PR which I ran in Brooklyn 3 weeks after the NJ Marathon.
So with all my special planning, my week looks like this so far: Sun I ran on trails in CT which was awesome. 7 miles and not another person for the entire run, a rare treat for a city runner. Bea was not happy I left her with Loren so on my way back, she joined me for a mile and a half. She had run 4 miles the day before so it was her first time running 2 days in a row!
Monday evening I did 9 miles with 5 at tempo.
Tues my heel really hurt. I thought maybe I did too much. It hurt all day. Then I woke up this morning and it was fine. I debated my 20 miler for today or tomorrow. I wanted to get it done in plenty of time to be recovered for the weekend and have a mini taper for next week. 
I did it today. I didn't get out the door until noon, but I got it done! Longest run since NJ. 
I started by running the last few miles of the NYC marathon course just to mix things up. Around mile 11, I ran into Ishii and ran with her for about 5 miles. Always nice to have some company during these runs that can seem endless.
So now, I'll take tomorrow off and maybe Friday too or maybe just something short and the 4 miler on Sat. 
Feeling pretty good!

Friday, September 4, 2009

all that summer we enjoyed it, wind and rain and shine

I blame my mother for me knowing all the lyrics to this song. And pretty much anything else predating 1970.
I've had a good running week so I'm gaining more confidence in my upcoming marathon. I had the nonswim triathlon on Sun. Tues I did speed with the team. We did the upper loop of CP 4 times at half marathon pace. This loop goes: false flat, downhill, uphill, downhill so there's a little bit of everything. It's 1.4 miles. I averaged 7:32 pace for that. I wish that was my half marathon pace. Maybe. I felt really good during this workout. 
Wed I ran 4 easy miles with Bea. I love running with Bea. I'm glad the weather's cooling off so I can run more with her and get her milage up. Plus, I ran consecutive days, something else I'm trying to get back to.
This morning, I did my long run with Rayk and Ishii joined us for some of the faster miles. The plan was 18 miles: 2 easy 14 at MP +10-20 secs 2 easy. Based on Brooklyn half time (even though that was some months ago) I picked 8:21 as my MP (ha, we'll see) so that's what I used for this run. The pace for 14 miles was to be 8:31-8:41. We ran it all in CP. I averaged 8:40 for the 14 miles and 9:01 for the whole run. Pretty good on tired legs!
So right now I've run 30 miles for the week. Loren and I and Bea are heading to CT for the long weekend so I think I'll do no running tomorrow and somewhere between 6-10 on Sunday. My heel is hurting less and less so while I'm not thrilled about cutting my milage, it seems to be helping that and I'm still able to run well.

Monday, August 31, 2009

working for the weekend

I did my long run on Thurs last week. The heat has finally broken (for now). It was about 70 degrees and almost no humidity. AAAHHHH. 17 miles. Felt really good and I believe that was the longest run I've done since NJ.
I moved things around this week to do a sprint triathlon on Staten Island. The whole idea is pretty crazy, I've swam twice since last June, been out on my road bike ya know with the intent of riding, not just commuting twice. Yea, so it's short, I still have no business doing a tri. Hence the long run on Thurs. My foot has been feeling better so I decided to try running consecutive days. Loren and I ran with Bea on Sat. for 4 miles. No problem, we'd have to see how I felt racing on Sun.
Friday and Sat, we had a lot of rain here. By Sat afternoon, all the NYC beaches were closed due to weather and rip tides. The race had to cancel the swim, in it's place, they added a 1 mile run making it a duathlon.  This certainly favors the runners though I dont think by too much, unless you really suck at swimming (the swim was to be a third of a mile). But 1 mile? How am I suppoe to run just 1 mile? I dont really like "racing" anything under 5k. I figured I'd go out and run a controlled 1 mile, nothing crazy.
When we got to the race, Loren and I rode for about 15 minutes, it had been a year since I've been on my tri bike after all. Then we ran a mile. I figured I was pretty warmed up for my 1 mile. I ran it in 7:14 and felt pretty good. Got into transition and jumped on my bike.
The bike was an odd course, pancake flat (the whole race was) 3 times around a 4 mile loop. So a turn every 2 miles. That kinda sucked. While I can take turns aggressively, I still had to slow down a bit and make sure I wasn't near anyone who didn't know how to take turns (sad, but true). Only 1 woman passed me on the bike and it was my team mate Jen who is very strong. 
I noticed on the 2nd lap Loren, who is a very strong rider (and an extremely strong runner, her first mile run was 6:15) was the first woman over all. I finished the bike in 33:09. Loren finished in 32:10. I was surprised it was that close given my lack o riding. 
On to run 2. 4 miles out and back, flat with some boardwalk right along the beach. I felt pretty good off the bike. I was bummed that in the first half mile 3 women would pass me like I was standing still. That would be it for the women passing me in the run however. In the last 2 miles, I passed another woman so I had made up a bit of ground that way. On the way back, I could see Loren. She was first woman. I kept looking for the 2nd woman behind her and she was a long way back. I was very excited that she had such a lead and looked like she's was going to win. I felt strong the whole race. My run time was 30:34, about 7:40 pace.  Over all race time: 1:12:16.
Loren was first woman over all with a time of 1:06:42 (her 2nd run time 26:53) she beat 2nd place by 2 minutes. She was also 9th over all.
I was 10th woman and 3rd in my age group. Not bad for a race I didn't train for AT ALL. It makes me excited about getting back to triathlon next summer. 
My heel hurt in the evening, though that was to be expected. I woke up this morning pretty much pain free. I think it's coming along. With the consecutive running not making it worse this weekend, I'll try that again this week. I'd really like to get my miles back up. Aug I ran 114 miles, I believe that was my lowest month all year. 
I leave with you some lovely race photos:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm going back to Brooklyn

Let's face it, NY and NYers have a reputation. A reputation for many things. It's a big, crowded, loud dirty and some times impersonal city. The same can be said for the people that live here...sometimes. Though really, the same can be said for people who live anywhere. NY is also a bunch of very distinct neighborhoods and tons of communities squashed into not a ton of spaces. As John Stewart put it, we're a buncha small towns just stacked on top of each other.
Last night, the  running community of NYC came together for Greg Hamiliton the manager of a local running store, Jack Rabbit. Greg's 22 and was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. In less than a month, Jack Rabbit along with Cititri put together a 5k race in Prospect Park to help raise money for Greg. While he's lucky to have a job and insurance, he really can't work while undergoing treatment and the cost of living while fighting cancer can easily go through the roof. 
When I showed up at the park last night, over 600 people had already pre-registered. By the time I signed up, I was #827. When the race started, they had run out of numbers. 
Last night, we easily raised $20k for Greg. For someone most people running dont know or had met in the store. Now that's community.
My club, FRNY, has a charitable foundation which was initially set up to help member during the AIDS crisis. We now do outreach to other organization and folks in need. The foundation pledged $10 for every Front Runner who ran last night, added at least another $400 to the effort and the blue and orange was in full force last night.
It doesn't matter how I ran last night (um, not well) what matters is everyone coming together to help someone else, something we as runners can never do too much of.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Armageddon - come armageddon!

I have returned to NYC. While I was away, NYC was hit with a microburst storm. It hit mostly Central Park and Riverside park, I live between the two and run in both of them. I'm willing to bet I've run close to 1000 miles in Central Park this year alone. It is the back yard to New Yorkers. This storm lasted about 15-20 minutes. 100 trees were lost in Central Park alone. 500 through out the city and 2000 damaged through out the city. This was the worst devastation Central Park has seen in over 30 years. While away, I had seen pictures on line of the park but was really shocked as I ran through there this morning. As Loren rode home from work the other night, her usual route taking her through the park, she told me parts of it looked bombed. So true. It mostly hit the north end of the park, where I enter. Tree and branches down everywhere. Yellow warning tape. Trees that have stood for decades upended by there roots. Simply horrible and I felt very strong emotions as the landscape I am so use to was changed so instantly. Not that this is the first time the landscape of the city I have lived in for 20 years (20 years this week!) has changed quickly and drastically. 
On the East side, I stopped to touch a tree that had been pulled out of the ground completely and had fallen across the Park Drive. The root base was at least 10' across. This was a very big old tree.
Emotional response aside, I had a good but tough run. I'm not sure where Hudson came up with this workout, perhaps from a small corner of hell. I warmed up for 6 miles then did 5 miles of 1 minute 10k pace 1 minute recovery. The 2 miles easy then 3 miles hard. It was tough. The good thing about it: it makes 16 miles more interesting than running just 16 miles. I did seem to get the 1 minute on on every hill in the park. It was pretty humid and we did get rained on a little bit. Luckily the heat was not what it had been last week. This run was WORLDS BETTER than my long run last week.
All of last week, I was doing a week long stained glass intensive at Snow Farm in MA. I worked 10-12 hours a day on my project. I haven't done something like this in years. It took me to a new level of exhaustion. I only ran twice all week. As I've said before, my training isn't where I hoped it would be but when I'm running, I feel like I'm running well. We'll see. I still am unable to do consecutive days due to my heal though I should be able to manage at least 30 miles a week. A far cry from the 70 I was hoping to hit this cycle. 
And in other news from my vacation. Loren and I got hitched while in MA. Yes, it's legal (seems to be the #1 question when I tell people) and recognized in NY. Some day our government will get its head out of it's ass and repeal DOMA. It's was quick and simple, with just us and my friend Diane. You know Diane, the one who told me to run that 10k. She came to take pictures and gather info to tease me with for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Country Roads

So one of the cool thing about being on vacation is running in new places.  Right now, I'm at Snow Farm doing a stained glass class. It's a beautiful quite place full of different studios and people working hard during week long intensives. Lots on country roads to take me to new places. 
Yesterday, I got up at 6 to run before the day started. Not having run here before, I had no idea what I'd find. I sorta love that, just look at the road and turn right or left. Yesterday, I turned left.
What I found was up hill. Three miles of uphill. It seemed endless, though was beautiful. On a run like this I was like screw the pace, this is all about effort. The good side is, 3 miles up means 3 miles down so it worked out pretty well.
I'm still not running consecutive days. While my foot doesn't hurt while I'm running, if it does it's just til it's warmed up. It hurts after. Though I think that might be getting better. I was fine most of the day yesterday until late in the day but I had been standing a lot (need to stand to cut glass).
I am concerned about NY and being able to run as much as I'd like. Right now, I'm not running as much as I'd like.  It's a thought in the back of my mind. I'm not going to give it much weight until I get back home and into my normal routine.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

up all night

Hear at dogpound labs™, I've perfected the perfect way to have a bad long run.
First stay up too late. Then, add nervous old dog who tries to come up stairs, scares herself, and then pees on said stairs. Next, add same dog waking you up at 5:45. Fold in 2nd old dog also then wanting to eat and go out. 
After 5 hours of sleep, nap for 1 hour. 
Wake, prepare oatmeal and ipod.
Dress and leave while the cool air is quickly dispersing. 
Have first half of run go ok.
Turn up heat by 10 degrees.
Slow pace considerably. 
2 miles shy of intended distance, throw in towel.
Serve with shower and Coke float.

Friday, August 14, 2009

vacation all I STILL ever wanted

Ok, coming up for air a bit! Loren and I have been on vacation as I mentioned. We went up to the Presidential mountains in NH to hit the high point of the state, Mt Washington. While we were there, we tagged Mt Jefferson too. You can check out some pictures here. Before that, however, my friend Diane told us running the Bridge to Flowers 10k would be a fun way to kick off our vacation. Please note: Diane did NOT run. I like doing races out of NYC. They're usually smaller and obviously something different. Ya know, different like a hill in mile 3 that gains 400 feet in .75 of a mile. Yea, that's fun. Actually, this race had a bit of everything, some easy hills in the first few miles, followed by that MONSTER which most people actually do walk up most of, which then turns into a dirt road as you go down hill, then you hit some grass, then some mostly downhill rollers to the end. Very pretty and pretty challenging. To give you an idea about that hill, I ran my first 2 miles in like 7:15-7:30 pace. Mile 3 was 10:30. What followed was me totally high tailing it to break 50 minutes. I came in in 49:06. Loren ran pretty well, leaving me behind in mile 1 and finishing in 45:57. One thing I'm not crazy about for this race is the age groupings: 20-39 then 5 years after that!
Big difference from 20 to 39! (I'm 38). Loren was 18th outa 150, I was 32nd.
So then we were off for a few days to hike. No running. 2 mountain peaks, 1 over 6000', one about 5700'. Obviously no running. 
I ran yesterday which let's see...was Thurs for the first time since Sat. That's a lot of time off for me. Loren and I did an easy 5. It felt sluggish. My heel hurt a bit after. I haven't been staying on top of my stretching during this trip like I should. Obviously I'm on vacation and was still very very active so I should be fine. I did wake up this morning thinking I had gotten a little off track. I'm hoping to get back on track tomorrow when I go for my long run. Distance not yet determined. I'm still in Western MA, dog sitting for Diane who did not run the 10k. (Hi Diane).
Next week, I'm going to do a week long stained glass class up here. I'm already looking forward to getting up early and running on country roads. I just have to see what happens. A break was mostly likely good for me with this nagging pseudo injury. There's still lots o time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vacation all I ever wanted

Ya know, it's really lovely to wake up early on and august morning in NYC and have the weather say it's 68 degrees outside. I mean really, who doesn't love that? So up  I was. Have to take advantage of the day. Long Run.
As you all know, I'm running every other day and keeping the miles low for now. So I headed out for 14. Foot felt fine. A twinge for the first mile but an ok twinge. 
This morning I ran down the West Side Highway instead of in the park. Figured I'd go flat and give my legs, which are a bit tired from Tues' workout a break from the rolling of the park. Ya know what? I was bored. I really was. I dont do a whole lotta out and backs and this felt endless. Even with This American Life and Dan Savage keeping me company. I keep the pace easy.
Tomorrow Loren and I are headed off for a much needed VACATION. We're kicking it off by running the Bridge of Flowers  10k in MA with some friends of mine that I've known longer than I'd care to admit and haven't seen in longer than I'd care to admit. I am very bummed that I will not be in NYC running the Club Team Championships with my team but alas, Loren and I actually did plan our trip around the date of that race and then NYRR moved it. And they moved it for a big money making race. But anyway, all ye Front Runners know I'm running with you in spirit (and I'm running farther than you are damn it!)
Then it's on to NH and Mt Washington! I'm so looking forward to this. It's going to be so nice to leave the city behind for a while. 
So my dear readers, updates will be few and far between for the next few weeks. Good running to all!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And I ran

Yesterday I went to see Pete again. He does such a nice job working on my legs. He gave me the ok to run. So the plan right now is to not do consecutive days and to not go over 30 miles a week. He said it might hurt and that's ok, I'd be able to tell the difference (HA) in this hurts dont run and this is just a little flared up because I ran.
Last night was hill work with the team. 4-5 times around the Harlem hills with the 102nd st transverse as a recovery jog at half marathon pace. (here is a pretty cool map of CP, we were above 102). It was hot and sticky, though I've decided whenever I think it's hot here, I think of my team mate Bryce who's settling into his new home in Kuwait. I'll take the weather here. The section of active running is about 1.17 miles, none of it flat. I averaged 7:36 pace for 4 times. it actually felt pretty good. It's a bit faster than my last half marathon pace though I felt I could hold it and certainly could have done another. Not that I wanted to. So I ended up with 8.25 miles for the night. Not bad. Foot felt good.
This morning I could feel my heel when I woke up. No surprise there. It's a little tender but doens't seem to be anything to worry about. I'll try it out on a longer run tomorrow morning.


Monday, August 3, 2009

My left foot

When we last left our blogger, she was on her way to PT Pete after doing something really stupid. Let's pick up where we left off shall we?
So I went to see Pete and told him what I did and he looked at me and said, yea, that wasn't too smart, you aggravated it. I sure did. So we worked on it and taped my feet again. It didn't feel any better. He told me to take sat off from running. So I swam a half mile. First time I've swam in over a year. He said if I woke up on sunday and it still hurt like this, don't run, go for a ride or something. Lucky for me, I have lived the life of a triathlete for many many years so it's easy for me to just do something that's not running. If it felt ok, pop to advils and run. I woke up Sunday and it still hurt a fair amount. It was pouring so I laid in bed all day and watched netflicks about Everest. So no long run for me. I ran 18 miles last week, a HUGE cut back from what I've been doing. I would rather cut now than not run at all later, but I'm not happy about it. When I was talking to Pete about my milage, there was another guy in there getting worked on. He heard me say I've been running 40-45 miles a week and his eyes bugged out of his head. He was getting to do a long run of 12. Pete looked at him and said don't pay attention to what she's doing. Yea, dont or you might not be running at all!
Ok, Im being dramatic. Pete told me to drop down to 30 for a few weeks and let my foot rest. I can do that. I think. I'll be away for the next 2 weeks on vacation. The first week I'll be hiking so I knew there wouldn't be much running anyway. If this were anyone else, I'd say you're crosstraining, you're going to run again this week, you've got a great base, you're not going to loose any fitness. Of course I know this but it always feels different when you're telling yourself this and not someone else.
Living with another runner has it's ups and downs. The ups being someone to run with and someone who gets it. Even though Loren isn't a marathoner, she gets it. The downside, when you're hurt or can't run you get to stay home and have a huge pity party. Ok, it's not that bad, but I was bummed when Loren went out for her 9 mile run and I was left here glazed over in front of the boob tube.
When I woke up this morning, it certainly was feeling better. I went and swam 1k. My plan is to maybe run tomorrow or Wed. I'm going to call Pete and see if it should be worked on before I run.
Like I said, this isn't the worst thing in the world. It's not the worst time for it to happen. Yes I have a goal for NY but I'm not married to it. I've hit my big goal for the year so I'm being much more relaxed about the whole thing.
Im also starting to look at what I want to do over the next couple of years (doesn't that sound INSANE). Those plans include going back to being a big multisport geek. I'm really curious to see how I do in the longer distance triathlons after a few years of dedicated running. I think it would be good for my body to have a bit of a break from all running all the time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What's going on

OK, in the last 24 hours I have done so many things wrong. Of course they dont seem wrong while I'm doing them, only partially maybe midway and totally wrong in hindsight.
I took 2 days off of running as per PT Pete. I think the last time I took 2 days off was right after the NJ marathon. I was surprised by how crazy it made me. 
Last night, I trekked to the Bronx to run cross country. There's one more race in the summer series that I'm going to miss so I wanted to do this one. It was hot, but luckily the humidity was low. I warmed up for 2 miles with Claudia. Everything felt fine. I had no real goal for the race. So we lined up and off we went. I think I may have taken the flats a little fast. Again. I felt mostly sorta ok. A few women passed me, I passed a few, I went back and forth with one girl the whole way and got her for good on the last flat half mile. I also managed to hold off 2 girls right at the line. I knew they were close because some kids kept running in front of us and I could hear her yell WATCH OUT so I kicked it up for like the last 10 feet to keep them from passing me. 23:54. Not bad for a hilly course and 80 degree weather. I then did a mile cool down.
Then, I started getting horrible horrible ladytime cramps. I was a mess. This sometimes happens after a hard run though it hasn't in a long time. I waited for my gang of folks, claudia was running with Hilary who is rehabbing a stress fracture and got on the train. I was soaked. All the bathrooms in the park were closed so in my own special klassy way, I changed out of my shorts on the subway.  While I am known for just changing my shirt in public after races (it's legal for women to be topless in the state of New York. A law I love) I think dropping trau on the train might have been a first for me.
I shuffled home, still feeling like crap but well enough to get a half galloon of ice cream on the way. I got home, put myself in the shower and just laid there. I felt terrible. And I hadn't seen Loren all week and she was finally home. I downed a few advil and laid on the bed. Ice cream ended up being my dinner.
So with all this, why did I think it would be a good idea to get up and run 10 miles this morning? Well, it wasn't a good idea. Loren and I got up a little after 6. It certainly had cooled off over night with some rain and we were out the door by 7. My foot was on fire before we left, which is pretty common for first thing in the AM. Loren was doing 4 so left me a little after 2.5. I trudged on hoping I'd warm up enough so my foot wouldn't hurt. It usually does warm up. Not so much today. Then thunder. Then pouring rain. That actually may have been the best part of the whole run. I decided to cut it to 8 and the only reason I didn't cut it more was 8 would get me home. I felt terrible. All the things pointing to why this is not a good idea came up in my mind, too little too late. Oh well. I got home in time to see Loren leaving for work. I put myself in and ice bath then rolled by foot on a frozen water bottle for a few minutes shy of forever.
I feel better now. I'm seeing Pete and 1 and think I will feel even better then.

Monday, July 27, 2009

he's a magic man

I woke up this morning, with that ever familiar heels on fire feeling that only PF can give you. People who have had this know what I'm talking about: The anticipation of those first few steps, the feeling that your foot is on fire, you know what I mean. Even though my new stretches and what not seem to be giving me some relief, I'm not taking any chances. I'm calling a pro.
At 12:45 I was back on the table of my loyal physical therapist, PT Pete. I haven't seen Pete in months, since before the NJ Marathon actually. I just dont want this to turn into a major problem. I told him what was going on and he took a look at me and told me this is pretty much the same problem I've always had: weak hips. This time, it's just pushing itself down further and explained to me how. So I admit, I've been a bit lazy about doing all the exercises I'm suppose to be doing. No more though, believe me. I want this to go away. He did some ultrasound on my heel and legs, he did some ART, he stretched me, iced and stimmed me, and ended by taping the bottoms of my feet. He all but patted me on my head and sent me on my way. He also told me to not run for the next 2 days to, go give the inflammation and chance to go down. Of course, no one ever wants to hear that. I've been averaging just over 40 miles a week for the last month so 2 days is certainly not going to kill me or set me back. Runners out there, you know what I mean. SO cut back week it is! You can find me with my feet up eating bon bons...ok, not really. If it stops raining, I'll go for a bike ride tomorrow and maybe take Wed. Totally off. I did run an easy 4 this morning however.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

This one goes out to the one I love, this one goes out to the one I left behind.


This week felt tough for me, not sure why. Maybe too much intensity in a short period of time.  Last sat I had that tough 4 miler in the heat, followed by a (slow) 16.5 mile run the next day. I took Monday off, did hills on Tues, had a progression run on Wed that was suppose to be 10 that I cut to 7 due to heat and humidity that made me want to throw up.  Thurs was a totally different day. Lots of rain and it really cooled off. I had a nice run with Loren and Bea in the rain. Fri I did a pretty good 10. Most of my problem through the week was this stupid PF that's come back stronger than ever. It almost never hurts when I run, it's the more usual once I wake up and after I run. I did some research and found some new stretches I'm trying out. My usual routine just isn't doing the trick. After 3 days, this already seems to be helping.
Today's workout: 12 miles, with 10 at MP +10/20 seconds. Right now, I'm basing my MP on the Brooklyn half I ran a few months ago. I ran a 1:43 which gives me a 3:38 marathon, 8:21 pace. Today's forcast: High chance of hell covered in wet blanket. I wanted to get and early start as to not suffer too much. The NYC Tri was also happening in Central Park so I got to have my own duathlon: work out+cheer for team mates. Loren came with me and ran 8, which is great, since she's going to do the Philly Distance Run with me this fall (hi!). Over all, my workout portion, I averaged 8:36 pace and never felt too horrible. Every part of me was soaked when I was done.  My legs felt the best they've felt all week. I took yesterday off and I think that helped. 
In other news NOT ABOUT ME (oh my god, can you imagine?) My training pal and neighbor across the street and frequent guest here at movingdogward enterprises RayK ran the SF Marathon today. After running NJ on May 3rd and posting a HUGE PR, she out did herself today running a 3:42:54, taking another 10 minutes off her time. Rachel, you're moving ever closer to that BQ. I see it coming in NYC. I leave you with me and RayK running in NJ.



Monday, July 20, 2009

HOT HOT HOT

This is what water board running looks like. Yes, it's not the heat it's the humidity!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Right then, right there I feel this burning pain

Yesterday was the Run for Central Park 4 miler. Let me just say, I do not enjoy racing in this hot sticky weather. If this wasn't a team points race, I would have been home with my feet up, drinking my morning beverage, watching the Tour. 
A little background story on why I run these team races: when I joined Front Runners in 1999, we couldn't field a women's team (a team is 5). It took a few years before we were able to. It was a goal of mine and a few others to get a team of women out there. Now, 10 years later, we have no problem doing that. We are by no means the best out there, usually finishing somewhere between 10-14th each race. But we're out there! And that's important to me so I always try to be out there too.
Now on to the race. The heat wasn't the problem, it was as it is often said in this part of the country, the humidity. The official race site says it was 70 degrees (I dont believe that, MAYBE at the start) with 94% humidity. You need a snorkle to run through that. I warmed up by running to the start, 3.2 miles. 
I lined up with team mates RayK and Megan. Rachel is running the SF marathon next week, so no running hard for her (oh except her 6:32 last mile!). Megan and I hemmed and hawed about what we were going to run. I suggested trying to break 30, she was game for that.  The first mile has the biggest hill of the race, Cat Hill. This is good, it keeps me from going out too fast and then it's out of the way. We went through mile 1 in 7:36. Mile 2 has some fast down hill but I didn't want to go crazy. Mile 2 7:26. Mile 3. Oh mile 3. I've had long meaningful conversations with people about mile 3. I hate mile 3. Here's mile 3 and mile 4:

So mile 3 is a bit uphill. Really it's not killer, but at that point in the race, most people seem to slow down. I'm not exception. Megan pulled ahead of me a bit and I couldn't really stay with her. Mile 3 7:50. UGH. Luckily, on mile 4 I was able to bridge the gap a bit. Mile 4 is mostly down hill so it's fast. The final turn to the finish is in the 72 st transverse. It can be a total night mare with all the tourists trying to get to Strawberry Fields and having no idea how to cross the street during the last quarter mile of a race (hint: don't). I could see Megan just ahead of me. I figured she had about 10 seconds on me and I wouldn't be able to catch her. Mile 4 7:15.  Finish time: 30:10. Megan finished 30:08. I have no idea how it was only 2 seconds. Ugh. Right past the finish, she turned to me and said that was HARD. It was. It was like running while being water boarded. We finished 13th out of 26 with Megan first and me 2nd.(Rachel with her "easy run" still finished 4th for the team).
Then it was time for brunch and my post run Coke. Post run is the only time I drink soda, I dont even really like it but right then it tastes so good.
Today, long run day. I wanted to get out early so I could get home to see the end of today's Tour stage. I started at 7am. I figured I'd run easy and do 16-17. I ran down the West Side hwy to meet up with the Front Runners doing this week's long run. I was in no hurry. I had no intention of running hard at all. Today was such a better day. Touching the upper 60s, almost no humidity. I did 16.6 miles at 9:39 pace. My average heart rate? 140. (my max is 200 for you geeks out there) 140 is about what I hover around on recovery runs so I'd say this was a very good run for having raced yesterday. I end this week with 45 miles on the nose.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hot Child in the City

Ok, I can't complain. I'm actually not really complaining. We've been so lucky with weather here in NYC this summer. Today was the first run where I felt like, yea, summer's here. It was 84. But the humidity was only in the 60s. While it was hot, it wasn't sauna. I went out and did a bit over 7 and picked up my race number for Sat.
My calf. I had it poked on Mon. My awesome and someone conservative running wise therapist suggested I take a few days off. So my runs the last week looked something like this:
Sat 15.5, Sun 4, Mon and Tues off. To be, 2 days is as close to a few I'm going to get. It actually felt totally fine. I'm going to see her again next week just incase.
The rest of my week so far:
Yesterday 10 with some pick ups, today the 7 already mentioned.
Tomorrow I'll do an easy 4 before the 4 mile race on Sat. I'll run down there (3 miles) to warm up and go long on Sun.
When I got back from my run, there was a little white envelope waiting for me. It was my love, my Garmin. It has returned to me. The great thing is, when I called about getting it fixed, the woman I spoke to said she wouldn't charge me since it was close to my warranty. Saved me $80!
In all honesty, the thing I missed the most about it was the GPS. I really like walking out the door knowing I have to run X miles and not having to think about where I'm gonna go. I just go til it tells me I'm done.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Ted Paszek, who is the Front Runner shutterbug, just sent me this photo of me and Loren finishing the Pride run from a few weeks ago.
And there I am, with my trademark mouth hanging open. While we're talking about me, and why wouldn't we be here in my blog, running pal Phil Wahba did a profile of me for the team newsletter.
For even more about me, and a lovely picture click here .
Now on to running. This have been going well. I got my milage up to 40 last week and am planning on going just above that this week. 
I did a speed out the other night that actually left me sore. Which is strange, I almost never get sore. It wasn't anything crazy and since my garmin has gone to the electronics recycling pile in the sky, I ran on effort.
It was an odd workout where we run a 1.2/3 mile loop with a partner running the other direction, when you meet, you then turn around. We did this 3x. Easy, medium, hard. I ran on effort and never felt like I was killing myself so I dont know why I'm sore.
I ran a recovery run yesterday with Loren and was still sore. My calf actually really hurt like I strained it.
I came home and stretched, iced, and stimmed it. Woke up feeling fine. I was thinking I would take today off...but it's SO NICE OUT. And my leg feels fine.
I think I may go out for a few miles and take advantage of lovely July weather.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The ants go marching 2 by 2

Last night a gaggle of Front Runners headed up to the Bronx for Van Cortlandt Track Club's annual Thursday before the 4th of July 2x2 relay. Teams of 2, each person runs 2 miles, including Cemetery Hill. This is a fun event and FRNY made up about a third of the field and took home about 10 AG awards.
Before the race, I ran up to the park. It's a lovely run. I go straight up Broadway. Broadway this far uptown is hilly. It rolls up and down for the 5 miles it takes to get to the Broadway Bridge that goes over into the Bronx. I ran a total of 7 miles total before the race which is perfect, I need a long warm up. A few weeks ago at the Biketown Africa fundraiser, I got a hydration pack/backpack to run with. Though I didn't use the hydration part, it was perfect for carrying my spikes and my singlet along with a smaller fuel belt bottle for the 7 mile trek. When I left my house at 5:30, it was 70 degrees with 70% humidity. When I got to the Bronx, I was totally soaked.
I teamed up with Claudia who I've been running with for the better part of 10 years. This was our old school FRNY team. When I first joined, we were 2 of the only women who came around. So naturally, several of the boys just thought we were the same person. Claudia's getting over a bit of a calf strain so I knew she wasn't going to run all out. I just raced on Sunday and ran 7 miles to get here so this was all for fun.
Claudia went first. I waited with everyone else for the hand offs and watched all the boys fly by. She came through in 15:20. Not bad for nursing an injury. I'm glad I went 2nd so I wouldn't be tempted to go out too fast on the flats, which I did last time I ran up here. I stayed steady and looked to the people in front of me and planned on picking off 4 of them before entering the woods, which I did. Once on the cowpath, we start to go up slightly then there's a somewhat sharp left and the hill starts. Once I was going up I could see the people behind me who have yet to make the turn. I could see Rachel. I was pretty sure she was going to catch me at some point. Up up up the hill to the steepest part which goes about 100 feet in 300 yards. The nice thing, however, is it then just drops. It can be a tricky decent if you dont like to run down hill. Me, I LOVE to run down hill so I just fly. Tricky about this as well is you fly down hill then you have to make a left turn while doing it. It's at this point, I see Loren with Bea. Loren says something, I have no idea what and her and the dog start running with me. That little doggie has some wheels!  
Once back on the flats, Loren said to me "you're going to have to work hard if you want to hold her off" I knew Rachel was coming and that was fine. She passed me early on the last flat section of the course. There's a long straight away that leads to the end and feels, like most finishes do, endless. Wouldn't you know, that doggie was still running after me? Loren said once she saw me she wouldn't stop. 
I cross the line in 14:48. Eh, not too bad for running through the humidity of a swamp.
Rachel wasn't far ahead of me. 
Claudia and I took 2nd in the 70-95 age group (they add your ages together, how they come up with this particular age group is anyone's guess), Rachel and Sandi were first. Our total time was 30:22. The age group prized are muffins and FRNY took home a bakery full. 
We all cooled down together and several other people joined. It was like a group of 50 ducklings running along after the race, Bea included.
10 miles for the day, not bad.

Oh I dont think I mentioned I went for my first bike ride for the sake of riding my bike last week. I actually had a really good time. I think I might do it again today. I'm planning on doing a long run tomorrow so I should have about 40 miles for the week, building up nicely for my NY marathon training cycle.

Also, my beloved Garmin has died.  This is apparently not uncommon (which sucks) but they will replace it for me for $80 which is better than having to buy a new one since I am now addicted to having it. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

oh happy day

Yes I know the NJ marathon was almost 2 months ago. My pal Katrina just posted these pictures to Facebook. They were taken about 10 minutes after I finished and met my cheering team mates inside the race hotel. You can tell by my soaked jacket it was really raining. The bottom one, I'm hugging FRNY's coach and my long time pal Kelsey (who got up at 3:30am to take the train out to watch me and STAND IN THE RAIN, something I am reminded of every time I see him). That's Loren next to us holding all my crap.
These pictures really sum up the day.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls

This morning was the 28th running of FRNY's Pride Run. This is my club's 5 mile race. Obviously we get a great turn out from the club (250 running today with tons more working the course!) and we get a lot of fast locals since we hand out the cash.
The men's over all winners came in in a photo finish of 23:05 and 23:06, with third in at 23:08.
My own race was much more on the human scale with a 37:16, a 3+ minute PR. While I am happy with this time, again, I'm not happy with how I ran the race. First mile was maybe a hair too fast at 7:21. I did stick with it and gut it out. Mother Nature also gave us sunshine and some heat, something we haven't seen too much of lately. Oh well. I also got 11th in my AG, being outstepped by  the woman who got 10th. We had the exact same finish time. I dont even remember seeing anyone cross when I did. 
Loren's been working her way back from a calf strain and not running too much so she ran with me. I was holding on for dear life, she was having a casual conversation about how I can gut this out and pick people off in the last mile. We rarely run races together so that was a nice treat even if I did feel like hell.
Thanks for taking such a nice photo of us when all was said and done Bernd! And Congrats Rachel for being the first FRNY woman.
Stats:
Overall: 545/3661
Women: 68/1780
AG 11/277 



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1000 miles, it's true,

I hit my 1000th mile for 2009 today.
I am celebrating with 5.7 ounces of love




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

upside down

45 minutes of hill running.
This is why the NYC Marathon is not hilly to New Yorkers.

Friday, June 19, 2009

You've got to promise not to stop when I say when

Wow, look at me, I actually didn't race this week! AMAZING!
I did run however. And I had FUN, for the most part. On Tues, Les and Sharon took sick days and we ran in brooklyn then soaked our bones at the Russian baths. Now that's my kind of running!
Wed. was eh. I wasn't too psyched about my run. It went from hmm, I'll run to the Little Red Lighthouse (yes it's real!) which is 6 miles round trip to oh I guess 4 really slow is fine. So that's what I did.
Yesterday I procrastinated most of the day because it was raining. Late in the afternoon, I finally got out for a 5.5 mile run and I'm so glad I did. It had mostly stopped raining and I felt GREAT!
Today, I went for 13 miles, the longest run since the Brooklyn half. I want to start upping my milage again since training for NYC is just around the corner. I'm also 26 miles away from 1000 miles for the year.
Tomorrow, no running for me. Loren and I are going out to NJ to help raise money for Biketown Africa. Last fall, we went to help build and give away bikes in Swaziland. A trip that was truly amazing (photos here!) I hope to return to Africa again this fall. It is so difficult for people in this country to understand the impact something as simple as a bike can have. Thought your last 10k was tough? Imagine having to walk that to see a Dr or go to school or get water and how much easier it would be on a bike. With funding being cut for everything, we're hoping to raise some much needed funds for the project. Feeling generous? Every little bit counts.
Sunday will be an easy run for me so I can cheer the men of FRNY on in their points race. Look pretty boys!

Monday, June 15, 2009

stroke me stroke me

This weekend, I headed down to Philly for the Strides to Stroke 5k. I blame this entirely on Flo (also known in internet circles as Girl In Motion). I don't remember the last time I ran a flat 5k. Honestly, I may have been 12. In NYC, I run a lot of cross country 5ks which are anything but flat. I do, however, enjoy running through the woods and know the course here very well so even though it's very hilly, I always have fun. So I figured I'd go to Philly, run a flat 5k, and see how fast I could do it.
Here's the thing: I ran a marathon on May 3rd. I ran a half marathon 2 weeks ago, I ran a 10k last week. Adding this 5k makes it 3 races in 3 weeks. And ya know what? That's dumb. It's dumb because I RACED all of them. I'm usually good at pinning on a number and going for a run. I didn't do that here. The Brooklyn have I wanted to run all out and PR. The 10k was a team race and I raced it like a moron and blew up. 
Anyway, on to this one. I dont know how to race a 5k. It's too short. So we walked over to the start from Flo's house and got our numbers. We met up with Judy (a gal from the RWOL Boston girls) and warmed up. My intention was to warm up for 3 miles. I really need to go for a while before something short. Loren and Bea came with me for most of it. I'm so use to NYRR races where there are thousands of people and you need to be in your corral 10 minutes before the start time that I was worried about getting back to the start in time. I ran a bit over 2 miles with some striders. 
The course is flat and out and back. I've run here before, but not since I dropped out of the Philly marathon. That feeling of being hurt and not even being half way done came back to me as I ran behind the art museum.
I lined up with Flo and Judy close to the front. I was really hoping NOT to go out too fast. If last year was any indication to who shows up for this race, I should be up front with only a handful of women.
And we're off. I felt pretty good to start. I knew Flo was going to run a lot faster than me so I intentionally stayed away from her so I wouldn't blow up.  I was figuring my first mile should be between 7-7:10. I hit the marker at 6:58. Ok, maybe a hair too fast. I had 2 women pass me in the first mile and one right in front of me that I was working on catching. When I did catch her, she sped up and passed me back. I let her go. I wasn't going to spend a whole lot of energy going back and forth with her. 
As we got to the turn around, there was water. I went to grab it but the woman holding it didn't let go. Oh well. Oh and the woman who passed me pretty much came to a stand still to drink so I passed her back and never saw her again.
I started running with this boy who looked like he was about 12. He was working hard and I just sorta stuck with him. When I got to the mile 2 marker, I was pissed. 7:38. Are you kidding me? I totally fell asleep at the wheel. I dont know what happened. That's part of the reason I dont like these short races, there's not a whole lot of time to make up for a mistake. 
I left the kid behind. I went into this race with a goal of 22:30. I've wanted to break 23 minutes for years. Earlier this year I came close with a 23:17 on a hilly course when it was 30 degrees out.
I was sorta in no mans land. There were a few guys strung out ahead of me and as far as I could tell, no one too close behind me. Then I heard footsteps. I took a quick look back and it was a woman. 
Crap.
I didn't want to be passed. I knew I was maybe 5th at this point. She passed me. I kept her in my sites. Man, this last mile feels like forever! It shouldn't feel this way! This race is only three miles!
I knew there was a bend in the road and then I'd see the finish line. And there it was. I was also pulling back the chick who passed me. Like usual, I was obsessively looking at my watch.  There were about 10 cones leading up to the finish line, I passed the chick in the cones to finish just ahead of her.
22:36
Ok, so 6 seconds off what I was hoping for. Not bad considering I didn't run the best race. 
The RWOL girls had a nice showing. Flo was 2nd over all and won her age group. I was 5th over all and won my age group. Judy was 2nd in her age group.
My mom, 2 of my nephews, my BFF Tracy and her kid all came out to the race. That was fun. My nephews had never been to one of my races before. I took Bea to do a cool down (which wasn't enough. My legs were sore almost instantly after this race, something that rarely happens. TOO MUCH RACING). As I was jogging along, I hear this little voice behind me "I'm coming with you!!!" and I turn around and there's my 6 year old nephew, Cole, running to catch up with me. He was such a sport. I slowed down so he could run with me and the dog, I bet we did at least a half mile. When we were done, he just sat on the sidewalk and said "Man, I gotta get use to this". SO CUTE!! I hope later in the summer I can go back down and find a race that has a kids race too so he can run.
So the short of it (ok, not so short, it's taken me longer to write this than it did for me to run the race) is I'm happy with my time, I'm happy with winning my age group. I'm not too thrilled with the way I ran the race. Oh well. I dont plan on doing a whole lotta 5ks that aren't XC.