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.
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.