Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just like a heatwave

This morning was my last long run before NJ. I ran the More half marathon. This event is women only and there's a full marathon for women over 40. I had no intentions of racing, just getting the miles in. When I got to the race, I found out they called off the marathon and made the half a fun run. While people were not happy, it was the right call. Even with that being said, most people still decided to run.
My plan was to run easy. It's a 2 loop course so I would pick it up the 2nd lap but still run with in my long run pace. Man, some of these women still went out guns blazing. I was a litte surprise by that. I was warm for April, low 70s at 8am. None of us have had a chance to acclimate to this. I know later in the summer we'll be begging for such weather. 
Before the race, I drank a whole bottle of electrolyte drink and took a salt pill. I took water/gatorade at the first few stations. Yes, it was warm but I felt fine. I just went out with the mindset if I needed to run slower due to the heat that was fine. Just a training run. There were several Front Runners out there volunteering and cheering and that was great to see. Thanks guys!
At mile 6 I took another salt pill. Mile 7 I took my clif shot. It was warming up. I was surprised by mile 8 the runners had really thinned out. I think a lot of people slowed down or just decided once around the park in this heat was enough. And I started to lap walkers. At first it was fine. Then it was insane. If this were a race, I would have been pissed. By mile 10 some of them were walking 4 across and the runs had to go wide. Not really want you want to do. 
On my 2nd lap I saw 3 people down on the ground. The heat was totally taking it's toll. Another woman was down at the finish. The heat, it's no joke! When I was walking back to the train, the clock above the park said 78. It was about 10:30 am.
When I finished, they were pulling walkers off the course as well, saying they were shutting it down at 11. While I ran how I wanted to and felt really good the whole time, it was getting hot. I did not want to be out there any longer than I was.
I crossed the line in 1:53:22, which is about 8:40 pace. A tad fast for a long run. Actually, a bit faster than I had intended on running. I'm not going to let myself get crazy about that. I didn't have my heart rate monitor on since I just wear a watch in races. I wish I did have it, but I was never breathing hard. I was never WORKING which leads me to believe, even in this heat, my pace was fine. Since finishing, I've just been pushing fluids to recover quickly. I took an ice bath and feel totally fine. I feel like I did a long run, not a hard run so that's a good sign.
Just one more week. It is expected to cool off before next weekend which is great.
I'm excited and trying to stay calm.
This is it people!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time is like a clock in my heart

Taper week 2. 
Yesterday was my last real speed workout. 8 miles with 3x1 mile thrown in there. I went to the track with RayK who was doing 800s. Man, it was humid, though not warm so that's ok. I was aiming for around 7:15s. First one was 7:16, the next 2 were 7:06. Ooops. Though I felt fine, wasn't killing myself. 
The taper madness is starting to set in a bit. 
To quote Green's FB status:
"The Tapering Marathoner will be irritable, anxious, nervous, overly emotional, short-tempered, restless, tired, cranky, depressed (even more than normal). Sounds like a great three weeks doesn’t it? It is not unlike the addict going cold turkey. This is a span of time where most Marathoners go a bit crazy."
Yup. Sounds about right. And there is only one cure for taper madness.
So as I spend these days muttering to myself and thinking over my race place and avoiding anyone who even looks like they might be thinking about having a cold, I try to keep my eye on the prize.
I am surrounded by people who all believe in me, who all believe this is my race, this will be the one where I qualify for Boston. And I am so lucky and grateful for that. I do, however, still have to run the thing. Marathon days, anything can happen. Though I too believe this is my race. I'm very excited about it.
Stick with me for just another week and a half! We're almost there!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

No parkin on the dance floor

So far, I am surviving week one of the taper. I did manage to kick a door which resulted in a lot of cursing, a bloody toe, and according to Loren, a bit of drama.
I had an easy track workout on Tues, just some 600s. To my surprise, there was actually a track meet happening on the track. Oh those high schoolers did not look happy to be out there on a chilly rainy day. I did my 600s on a straight away by the track. Everything else was some easy running. Today was what I consider my last long run. 16 miles. Due to celebrating the lovely Annie's birthday last night, I was out later that usual (ok really I blame Liz) so I was a bit flat.  Also, it was in the 60s, something we haven't seen in a while. No worries though, it was still 9:19 pace and it's done.

On a more serious note, there is something VERY serious happening Monday. And that is the Boston Marathon. All my RWOL girls who have been working so hard, I know you're going to kick some serious ass. And all my Front Runner boys, make this race your and look beautiful doing it. Or you'll have to answer to Kelsey. I'll be home watching.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I guess we're at our best when we're miles away

Ok, I forgot to put the stats in from yesterday, I'll post them today because they're insane.
1270 out of 7603 (that is a ridiculous amount of people for a 10k in Central Park, if it hadn't been raining, I'm afraid of what it would have been)
172 woman out of 3584
17 outa 517 in age group. 500 women in my age group finished behind me!!! THAT'S INSANE! (Loren was 7th in our AG. oh and the woman who one the age group? 37:37)

Now on to today's run, my last 20 miler of the cycle. I had done 2 others this cycle. One, it was cold. Really cold, 26 degrees cold. I averaged 9:36s and a HR of 160.
My 2nd one was 2 days after we got Bea. I slept about 3 hours the night before, it was a total phone it. 9:52 pace (OUCH. Ok, still with in long run range, but come on. SLOW) 156 HR
Today, well...I did run a 10k yesterday. I ran it fairly hard...
9:09 pace 153HR.
I didn't expect to feel so good, I sorta felt like I'd go out there and just get it done. And I did, and a pretty good clip I might add. Thanks again to RayK and Hil for the (TARDY!!!) run.
Here we go tapper here we go! 
People, please help me not loose my mind as I taper.

As far as my shoes go, I ran the 20 in my DS Trainers 14. I really like them, I think the decision has been made. Off to joisey they go.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I feel stormy wheather moving in

Today was the Scotland 10k in Central Park. And someone ordered Scottish weather just for the event. 48 degress, 93% humidity, RAIN. Oh and 7603 finishers. So much for the 5000 runner cap NYRR uses. I can only imagine what it would have been if the weather had been nice. I was in the 4th corral. With my time from last week, I should have been a corral up but the new time wasn't entered in time. Oh well. It took me 4 minutes to cross the start. Part of the give aways for this race were ponchos. I couldn't believe how many people were wearing them in the start and actually RAN in them. I decided on short sleeves and shorts. I wasn't uncomfortable, I think anything else would have annoyed me. I wasn't cold when I was running, just wet. This was also a Club Team Points race, so all the big guns from all the big clubs were out in full force.
So when I finally did cross the starting line, I stayed left and just muscled my way past people. No noodling in the first mile for me. 
Now, I had 2 goals today. I wanted to beat my PR of 48:51, I wanted to go under 48 and I would have been happy. My other goal, was to run 7:30s. I just raced last weekend, I had a speed workout on Tues, I have a 20 miler tomorrow, I didn't want to go ALL OUT OH MY GOD KILL MYSELF. If I wasn't hitting 7:30s fairly easily, I was going to ease up.
Mile 1 7:27, ok, not bad, I feel really good it's just CROWDED.
As I've mentioned before, Central Park is hilly. This race went clockwise, which isn't the usual way races are run. I find it to be a bit faster, but not by much.
Mile 2 7:32. Its still crowded, but I've averaged about 7:30s for my first 2 miles so not bad. Now we move into the Harlem hills. Up then down then up.
Mile 3 7:22. I worked that down. I run the hills up in that part of the park so much I'm really use to them. It's FINALLY starting to clear out a bit. Going into mile 4 is a lot of gradual uphill. I'm just trying to keep the effort steady.
Mile 4 7:50. Poop. Slower than I wanted. But now I know I have Cat Hill to run DOWN so maybe I'll make up a bit of time in mile 5.
Mile 5 7:19. Yup. Time made up. One mile to go around the south end of the park and then up towards Tavern on the Green. The finish is where the marathon finish it. I'm looking at my watch. Sub 48, no problem, maybe even sub 47. Thing about this finish is there are 2 little rises. I know them well. Whenever a races finishes this way, I think about the 4 NYC marathons I have run and how what ever I am doing now feels better than it does when I'm finishing the marathon on this stretch. 
I'm soaked, I am tired.
Mile 6 7:30. Right on the nose. Oh here's that lovely .2 uphill to finish.
.2 1:27
Total: 46:30, well over 2 minutes better than my PR. 
I can't feel my hands. I am soaked to the bone. 
I find Hilary, Loren, and Rachel all close to the finish line, the 4 of us making up 4/5th of our top 5. Hilary and Rachel both PRed, Loren ran a lot better than she thought she would. Our women's team finished 10th, the men finished 7th. 
This will be my last hard race before NJ. Next week I'm suppose to do a tune up race, but I did this instead. I am signed up for a 4 miler but I'll use it as a tempo run. The week before NJ, I'm running the More half for my last long run, but running it easy. I did this before Steamtown as well and really liked it for a long run.
Wow, I can't believe I'm about to taper! This training cycle has gone so well for me. Fingers crossed for just a few more weeks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

four seasons in one day

Today's workout: 10 miles with 4x1200. I must say, my least favorite workout so far. Normally, I would think this is not so bad (I dont hate intervals as much as I use to. In fact, Loren said to me the other night: "remember when you HATED intervals?"). It's true. She'd lead me around the track like a stubborn puppy on a leash. I really hated it. Now it's not so bad. 
I warmed up for 4.5 miles then met Rachel at the track. Clouds were rolling it. It was COLD. Wind, I'm pretty sure I saw an old lady on a bicycle fly by. It was the worst off of turn 2, total head wind or the whole stretch. Oh and to add to all of this: snow. I was worried we might get rained on, but no, we got snowed on. Yes, it's April. Luckily that didn't last.
I did .75 mile,which is a hair longer,  instead of 1200m.
5:28 (7:18 pace)
5:21 (7:08 pace)
5:25 (7:14)
I was hopping for a hair faster, but with the wind. Oh well. Still with in the Mac range of 5:18-34.

We cooled down by running home. I was treated to a lovely sight (this is gross so you might want to skip ahead).  Running, home, we go over this stretch that's a long overpass. I see more dog shit than you can imagine there and usually every 5th car has been broken into.
Well, today, I saw a guy in his car pleasuring himself into a Dunkin Donuts cup. 
WOOHOO! NYC throw back special. All I need now is a hooker breaking into my apt. and it'll be 1989 all over again! (shout out to Lisa re:hooker).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lace 'em up, walk around

Today was an easy 5. I ran 2, then came back to get Bea and finish out the last 3 with her. This is her longest run yet. She really loves it and it pretty good about focusing on the run. She's not a huge stop and sniff everything kinda dog so that makes it easier.
The marathon is really closing in. 25 days or something like that. Time to make a shoe decision. After the Nike heal chewing, I knew that wasn't going to work. I returned them and got a pair of Asics 2140s, the latest in the 2000 line. I've had about 4 pairs of 2130s. I also got a pair of DS Trainer 14s. I have the 13s. I really like the 13s but they have this funky lacing this that goes right over my big toe. Fine for shorter distance, I've been racing in the all year, but just wont cut it for anything long. I'm still working on growing my big toenail back, I dont need anything rubbing on it for 26.2 miles. One of these pairs of shoes will come to NJ with me. I am thinking the DS trainers since they are a lot lighter. They're an ounce heavier than the 13s, but they've fixed the lacing problem so it's higher up on the foot, no where near the toes. I ran in these today and they feel good. I have my last 20 on Sunday and that will be the true test. If I dont like how they feel, I'll test drive the 2140s. If I dont like those, well, I have a pair of 2130s with 200 miles on them. That seems like a lot for a marathon though. We'll see.
Updates to come.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Come fly with me

Today's installment takes us to the Run for the Parks 4 miler. This year NYRR has instituted a cap on most of it's races of 5000. Last year, they started a corral system to properly line up people by pace. I am a fan of both of these things as Central Park is a very busy place and while the runners would like to take up the entire park, that's just not possible or fair. This race, since it was a benefit for the parks, was not capped. Read: CROWDED.
It has been a long goal of mine to break 30 minutes in 4 miles. I was a bit unsure about today. I've had tired legs. My 17 miler on Sunday was a sludgefest. Yesterday's recovery run, not much better. 
The race started at 8am. I got to the park about a half hour early and warmed up for a few miles. With shorter races, I need a long warm up. There just isn't much distance to make up a mistake in 4 miles so I wanna be ready to go from the gun. I was hoping to start with Hilary and just hang on, though she was looking to go sub 29 (and did 28:27 a whopping 72.2% age grade!) I knew with in the first half mile that wasn't going to happen. I was already throwing elbows. 
Mile 1 has Cat Hill about half way through it. I want to run it smart, but not too easy that I fall off my overall pace goal. 7:22 good, maybe a bit fast but I feel good.
Mile 2 brings us  gradually back down hill. Why is it STILL so crowded? Once we turn into the 102nd st transverse, I know I'll see the mile 2 marker. I also know at some point I'll see Loren and Ms. Bea. Ms. Bea is working up her milage. 7:13. Ok, still pretty fast but I'm banking a bit of time cause mile 3 brings ALL the hills. I just want to keep the same effort through them. Nice and steady. There hasn't been any water yet which is odd. I can go with out, but I'd rather have.
There is it, right before the mile 3 marker. I dont even slow down as I grab a cup and take a quick gulp. 7:31. Not bad for the hills. 
Now I know I just have a mile to go and it's a fairly fast mile. It's mostly down hill then at the end, there's a left turn into the 72nd st transverse and a little rise to the finish. The same finish as the 15k. I let the hills take me. When I make the turn, I push, but really there isn't much there. I can usually find a kick but not today, I think my whole last mile was a kick. 7:02. I didn't know I was going that fast! Wow if would have been cool to run that last mile in sub 7!
I finished in 29:09, shattering my previous PR of 31:20!
I am totally pooped and totally thrilled! 
Stats for the day:
679 outa 5739
66th woman outa 2818
8th in AG outa 436
67.5% age grade
Oh and the icing on the cake, the Front Runners men AND women both placed 3rd in the team events.
I have one more week of heavy training for the NJ marathon then I go into the taper. I'm looking forward to letting my legs recover before the big dance.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me

Rain. Thunder. Lightning. Ankle deep water across the road in Central Park. Sure, that sounds like a great way to start a run! And that was just in the first 2 miles. Luckily, it eased up. I will admit that Rachel and I considered making it short. She was going for 20, me for 17. Honestly though, bad math and some lack of giveashit made my run just shy at 16.2. I was tired at the end there. I almost never cut my runs short. I was wet, had prune feet and really was just done. Still averaged 9:20 pace which is totally where I should be for long runs.
Other runs this week included a fast 11 and an 8 with 5x600. 
Sunday I have a 4 mile tune up race. I'm hoping to go under 30 minutes.
Next week is my last big training week, then bring on TAPER MADNESS. Already? I can't believe it!