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


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.