Sunday, January 31, 2010

the city's so dangerous on your own

I think I recently mentioned something about running alone a lot and funny how when you say something, the opposite will become the truth. This week, every run I did was with someone else.
Monday, after the Manhattan Half, I ran 2 miles with Bea. Yes, she's a dog but still, I was not alone.
Wed. I ran with the 4th Running Rachel I have met. 8.8 miles. I really hadn't intended to run that far but it was a nice night and generally, I'd rather run home than take the subway.
Friday, 5.75 mile run with Ishii.
Today, Sunday, was like a relay of eating and running. Several people running several distances all meeting up for a few or a lot of miles followed by coffee and snacks at Chez Farrooney, also known as my house. And in a lovely role reversal of gender stereotypes, fresh baked goods by honorary running girl, Chris Stoia. I ran 13.
So this week, I tickled 30 miles and hit 105.5 miles for the month. I'm happy with my progress and my pain free running.
Boston is merely 11 weeks away.
I leave you with this awesome photograph taken by the very talented Mariela Lombard. She really captures what a run that started at noon looks like at 5:30 when people are still eating, watching tennis, and in the case of some, sleeping.

Monday, January 25, 2010

On the run Till we're caught in New York

I'm slowly hitting all the milestone I've set for myself on my road to recovery. The latest being the Manhattan Half. I ran this last year while I was training for NJ. Last year, it was 14 degrees and felt like 5. Temps that low do not stop me from sweating like mad and my hair got soaking wet then froze. It's funny to go back and read my blog entry about this race. (Look Rachel, you were the new girl!). It was much warmer this year, 35ish.
I had some concern before the run. After my speed workout on Friday, my bad spot on my foot was starting to hurt a bit. I've been doing all my stretching and icing and everything. I taped it up with kineseo tape the night before. I was waffling about running at all. I really dont want to go back into the land of the hurt. Plus I have this cold which is not helping with the cranky factor. So my plan as of the morning of the race was start and see what happens. If after one loop of the race (6ish miles) it hurt, I'd stop.
I was approaching this as a long run, not a race. No really time goal other than under 2 hours.
My splits:
1: 9:05 ok, not a bad way to start. If I can stick around here, I'm good with that
2: 8:52 with cat hill.
3: 8:20 well ok then,
4: 8:47 feel like I'm settling into this even with Harlem HIll
5: 8:46
6: 8:24
7: 8:44 take (chew) clif shot
8: 9:00 Cat hill again
9: 8:19
10:9:09 Harlem hill again. And look, I'm not just trying to run home.
11: 8:48 I'm starting to stiffen up a bit. I haven't run this far since Oct and I'm feeling it a little
12: 8:26 but clearly not slowing down
13: 8:21
.1: .46
finish: 1:53:42.
Not bad, not bad at all, esp since last year I was TRYING to race this and ran a 1:50:51. No pain in my foot while running, and none after. I'm thinking maybe the pain after speed was caused by doing a little too much or doing it in pretty much brand new shoes. I ran yesterday in my older shoes. I do admit to being a hair sore and stiff today.
Onward with my cautious progress. I ran 27 miles last week (I know, not breaking any records here). I'm thinking of cutting back a wee bit this week and thing pushing on the week after.
People. Boston is in 12 weeks.
This is serious.

Friday, January 22, 2010

If anything could ever be this good again

I'll start with shoes. As I said in my last post I had a shoe problem. The lovely folks at Jackrabbit let me exchange my shoes. So now, I have a new (and pinkish...hhmmm....) pair of Asics 2150s. I've been wearing this line of Asics for years and years, always an 8.5. This time the 8.5 felt big, so I went down a size. I also went down to a narrow. The felt so good when I tried them on and so far, they feel really good to run in.

As for running this week, I did 5ish on Monday, when I discovered the shoe issue. Tues, with new shoes, I ran 3 easy with Bea. I've also had a bit of a head cold that I'm trying to blow out with little success. Running makes me feel better for a little while anyway. Today, I wanted to try adding some speed. I think it's time if for nothing else to see how much fitness I've lost over the last few months. Ok, that's a negative spin, let's put it this way: to see where I am fitness-wise right now.
I met Ishii in the park and was decided what to do, tempo, hills...tempoish hills is what we decided on. 2 clockwise loops of the Harlem Hills. It's a nice 1.4 mile loop that has a bit of everything, 2 nice uphills, a long downhill, and a fairly flat straightaway. I figured maybe I'd be able to do 8-8:10 pace with the shape I'm in.
lap 1: 10:51 which is about 7:50 pace. I was surprised by that. 2 minute rest and away we go.
Lp 2. 10:51. I was actually really surprised that we were that fast and that consistent. I certainly felt like I was working but not dying and could have gone again (thankfully wasn't going to). 6 miles for the day. So, even with that time recovering, better shape than I expected! This makes me feel a little better about Boston which I feel way behind in training for.
This weekend is the Manhattan Half marathon. When I started running again, I made this a goal in terms of long run distance, so I'll be doing that on Sunday.
I'm still being cautious, but things are going pretty well on the recovery.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby come back, you can blame it all on me

I was wrong and I just can't live....
Dear Asics, I am truely sorry. Yes, I started seeing someone else it's true. Blame it on the 7 year itch, their new shiney looks. I should know better. I DO know better and I have learned my lesson. Sure things started out great between me and Mizuno. You know how it goes, long runs in the run leads to another...and then. It happened. Searing pain in the side of my foot. How could this happen? We were just getting to know each other, I thought things were going fine. My 2140s never did this to me. Where did I go wrong?
Well, now it's over my dear Asics, I'm back to stay.
I promise, this week we'll go out to our old stomping grounds and I'll show you a really good time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

she's running out the door

ok, this is just a quick little update because I'm pretty excited by this.
I ran in the double digits today for the first time since Oct.
10.3 miles, 9:40 pace with my pal Ishii.
It felt awesome. This is a run that I think it really helped to do with someone else. Not that I struggled, but just mentally.
So thanks Jen!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

And the blood runs crazy with giant strides

Yesterday was the first, though not the last, Birthday Triathalon™. It was mostly a relay though there were 3 of us who dared to go the whole distance.
First leg: run in Central Park. Ok, I dont know who set that pace but we were trucking. It felt good. I'm not quite ready to run that fast on just my every day runs, but close. Just under 6 mile. (Ishii, I'm sorry we missed were actually early, the time screw up was totally my fault).
Leg 2: trip to the russian baths. Dont let the name fool you. It's not really baths, but steam rooms. Also, dont let that description fool you either. It's in a basement. And you can tell. Sure you never feel rushed to book a massage because you'll be hounded the minute you walk in. But that aside, I love this place. It is completely lacking in glamour but is a true New York experience. Since it was my birthday, I got a Platza. Here's how is a platza is described: Lie down while in the Russian Room and a platza specialist will scrub you (actually beat you) with a broom made of fresh oak leaves, sopping with olive oil soap. The oak leaves contain a natural astringent, which will open your pours, remove toxins, and actually take off layers of dead skin. Some described the platza as "Jewish acupuncture".
What it feels like: lay down on your stomach on the top row of the russian room, which is a very hot radiant heat room. A large russian man will cover your head with a wet towel and then will beat you like you're in a car wash. You'll get to the point of feeling very very hot, he will know this then add more soapy water to your person to cool you off. He was also poor cold water on your head as you good. Having seen this done, it kinda looks like you're being waterboarded but it doesn't feel that way. He then massages you and stretches you out. Your rolled over on to your back and the process is repeated. Then, he sits you up, and washes you off. Usually afterwards, you're placed in the cold plunge. They had just rechlorinated it and it smelled terrible, so he stuck me in a shower and rinsed me off (believe me, at this point, you can't really do it yourself). I was then covered in towels and a robe and sat down. Now this was new, my fellow bathers did not have this experience during their beatings: he covered my face in honey. It was a slightly odd experience, as was the desire to lick my own face which is not really possible (not for lack of trying). Voila: noodle body, pudding brain. It felt awesome. I highly recommend it. These guys are incredibly strong and I can not imagine spending my day in a very very hot room doing that to people.
Once I was able to speak in complete sentences again, we headed to the final leg.
Leg 3: SUSHI. Funny, this leg had the most people...hmmm. I picked a place close to the baths so I could just stumble over. Fu Sushi. I had never been there it was close by and had really good reviews. Man, it was amazing. The service was quick and the food was really really good. Melt in your mouth sushi.
Over all, a total success. I hope for the next one some of you will hike up the skirts and do more than just the last event!
Special shout out to Sharon and Sandi who completed all 3 events.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

movin on up

Here at Dog Pound Farms™, we're slowly building our miles up. Look I'm speaking in plural! Ok, I'm talking about me and Bea. Loren took her for her first run since she got sick. She did an easy 3 at 10 minute pace yesterday. It wore her out. I thought you'd all like to know how Bea's doing. She's back to herself which is great news. I missed running with her and hope to start again this week.
As far as my running goes, I just finished my first 20 miles week since early Oct. I've been slowly taking baby steps to get back into marathon training shape. This week also brought me back into the world of running with other people (people who aren't Bea or Loren). I really enjoy running alone and am lucky enough to be able to run alone and push myself, and get myself out the door and do what I'm suppose to do and all that. That's not to say I dont mind company from time to time. It can make those long runs, those really cold runs, those really long cold runs, much more tolerable. Wed, I did an 8 miler, my longest run in months. I went out in the evening with a bunch of the ladies and it was lovely. It make the time fly and it actually felt easy. Totally honest: I was a bit sore the next day. Nothing major but a sign I still have some work to do to get back into shape, but I'm on the right road.
This week I also got some new shoes. I had been running in Asics 2140s for training and raced my last marathon and longer races in DS trainers which I really like. I just wanted to get something less anchor like than the 2140s and a bit more substantial than the trainers for now. So, like many of my running ladies, got Mizuno Inspires. 2 runs so far and I really like them.
I have been giving a lot of thought to my racing year. I dont think Im going to race as much this year. I also thinking I'm gong to skip a fall marathon and focus on the half. I want to give my body a break from the high miles and I also want to try and go sub 1:37 in the half. The magic qualify for NYC time! Unlike qualifying for Boston, you have to run it when you're that age. So even though I'll be 40 next year, to qualify now, I still have to run a sub 1:37. Make sense? Once I'm 40, I need a 1:44 which I know I can do.
So new fall goal. I'm looking forward to that, I love the half. I think I'll go back to the Philly Distance run for that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

everybody's gotta learn sometime

Happy New Year all the faithful readers and runners.
Here's on the East coast, we're starting of the New Year with arctic winds and below freezing temps. All the time. This is not fun. I'm continuing to plod along, running every other day. I have hit 2 mild milestones:
1. I'm up to 6 miles. I'm going for 8 tomorrow.
2. I had my first run where I averaged under 9 minute pace. So I'm making my way back. My HR was a little high, but I'm not going to worry about that. It was really cold and I'm just getting back into something that resembles shape.
I do seem to being having a little trouble getting motivated about Boston training. There are a couple of reasons for this.
(this is my entry of lists).
1. IT'S COLD. Ok, yea, so what. It was cold last year when I trained for NJ. Which brings me to #2.
2. Lack of the Eye of the Tiger as my pal Dr. Abbott put it. Last year, after several near misses for my Boston time, I was very motivated. Now, a bit less motivated. Makes the cold actually seem cold where as last year I was like cold? BRING IT!!!
3. I am a bit fearful about re-injuring myself. I know that's totally normal and I'm making my way back in a way I feel is smart so I need to just keep doing that and let go of worrying about my foot flaring up again.
I do think some new shoes are a good idea. I'm going to go and start from scratch and see what that does. My current every day shoes have a little over 300 miles on them anyway.
4. I haven't set my mind on a training plan. My plan right now, is to base build for a few more weeks. I was thinking of then going to Pfitz 12/55. Then Girl in Motion got me thinking about Higdon's advanced plans. So perhaps I'll spend some more time looking over those and adjust.
What it comes down to is (here we go again)
1. I'm not going to have a super high milage training cycle.
2. Boston may be more of a victory lap than a let's go for a PR here. That's fine with me. I have to work with what I have right now. Being that I'm about to age up, I have 5 more minutes for my BQ so I can always BQ again. Though given my feeling about the city of Boston, I dont think I'll need to run it again. But who know.
In other news, I've started the Hundred Push up challenge. That's going well and I hope the new found strength will help me when I finally get back in the pool.

And FINALLY one more thing. Last year, a buncha people over at RWOL started a New Year's weight loss thingie. Support group? Challenge? Whatever? Anyway, at the time I was going between about 125-128lbs. Yea, I know that's not a lot, but it was a lot more than I had ever weighted. I didn't think too much about it. I just figured, oh well, you get older, you gain weight. You move to Esalen, for a year, you gain weight. It's true. Just about everyone I know/knew there gained weight. There are a lot of reasons for that, but perhaps some other time. In short, that happened to me. About 10lbs actually.
My initial goal was to gain some where around 5lbs, get down to 120. I started monitoring what I ate, nothing drastic. I didn't completely cut out anything. I'm sure my higher milage help as well. I go down to 120. And it kept dropping. I think I got down to 114 or 115.
Here we are, a year later. I weighed myself for the first time in a while yesterday. 117. That's about where I've stayed, I bounce a bit between 115-118. Even with running less, the weight has stayed off and I'm really happy about it. I do believe this has also really helped my running. 10lbs or so is a lot to carry around.

Ok, enough on line therapy, now I'm really going to get new shoes.