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.