Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I really f*cked it up this time, didn't I my dear

I'm 40 years old. I started running track when I was about 9 and continued to do so off, but mostly on since then. And apparently that's not long enough to learn not to do stupid things. This weekend I am chalking up to another f*cking growth opportunity (this is my post of profanity). I wasn't even going to write about this, but I'm actually glad it happened because I did learn a few things and I'm glad for that, even if I had a sucky race.
On Sunday, I ran the Zombie Runner half marathon. After my terrible run at San Jose, I wanted to try again. This race was put on by Coastal Trail Runs. They also put on the Diablo race I did last month. They really do put on great events. They're small and mostly train runs. This course was very flat and a variety of not very technical surfaces, dirt, some gravel, road. There were 4 aid stations on the course and I figured that would be enough and I wouldn't have to carry my own water. This would come back to bite me right in the ass.
From looking at past events on this course, I figured I could start close to the front. The half marathon and the full started together. Based on previous women's times, I figured I'd be in the top 5ish. Since it was the day before halloween, there were a lot of people in costumes which was fun. Personally, I don't think I could race dressed up, but it was fun to see others.
I started out feeling great. I fell into a nice rhythm and didn't get sucked into the faster pace of the guys ahead of me. The first aid station was at about 2.5 miles. When I went by, they really weren't set up or I didn't slow down/stop to really see, but I didn't see any cups out as I went by so I kept going.
I fell in with 2 guys, 1 doing the full and 1 doing the half. I knew there were 3 women ahead of me. Far ahead of me. As we came up on mile 6, I took a gel knowing there'd be another aid station soon. I could see the tent and as I came up on it I grabbed a cup as I was running by.
It was empty.
I'm now 6+ miles in, I've got gel mouth, and no water. I was not happy. I was, however, still on 1:40 pace but knew this was going to get tough. The next aid station wasn't until 8.5 miles.
In the distance, I could see 3rd place woman coming back to me. I kept my eyes on her and made it a goal to pass her. Once I did, I dropped her like a bad habit. I think she may have gone out a bit fast. I knew not far behind her was Loren who had a sore hamstring and was just running easy.
By mile 8, I was slooooowing down. I was so pissed. Dude I had been running with earlier came up on me with encouraging words. Before the next aid station , I took another gel, which hit my stomach hard. When I hit the tent, I gulped 2 cups of water but I knew it was too late. From the way the course snaked around, I could see Loren was gaining on me, or rather I was slowing so much I was going to fall behind her.
For the last 2.5 miles or so, there was an out and back and another aid station at mile 11ish. I took more water and Loren was really close to me. I was running like 8:15 pace and couldn't go any faster. Ugh.
While I was feeling like complete ass, it was fun to see all the other folks on the out and back in costume and being very encouraging, that did help even though the last mile was total hell. With about a half mile to go, Loren passed me and said not to worry she had no kick. I was like please, no kick? I go no nothin. This is it for me. The finish could not come soon enough.
So in the grand scheme of things...I ran a 1:45:25. Slower than San Jose by about 20 seconds. Continuing with the them for the year, I was 4th woman (22nd over all) and I won my age group. Little consolation, as I said to my pal Flo, I'd rather have a good race than an AG win. Loren was 3rd woman and won her AG. Since her birthday is soon, this is the last time in a while we won't be in the same AG.
There are 2 big things I came away with:
1. Water. Carry it. If there isn't aids stations at like every mile from now on, I'm carrying water. Clearly that was a huge mistake on my part.
2. I'm not in shape to run as fast as I'd like. After these 2 races, I've put a lot of thought into this. ALL my PRs have come when I'm marathon training. When I'm marathon training, I'm running higher milage. This was the first time I trained just for a half. Clearly, I'm not running enough. This is something that can be easily fixed.
Another part of this is I'm still adjusting to a new city. I have some running routes mapped out that I do but it's not the same comfort level I had in NYC.
So I know what I need to do. I'm not in any hurry to get out and race another half, I want to put in some more milage, do some more trail running and set this goal on the back burner for a few months until I feel more ready for it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What you had, And what you lost

I ran the San Jose half today. This race has been on the calender for a while. I decided to take a break from marathons for a while so I set my sights on actually training for a half and FINALLY breaking 1:40. I set up a training plan and enlisted Loren to run as well. Best laid plans and all of that, turns out she had to go to HI for work. Rough, I know.
My training cycle went well. I felt really good about this race going into. I did until Friday anyway, but I'll get to that in a minute.
2 guys from the CA forum on Runner's World offered to run with me since they had similar goals of running under 1:40. Very sweet of them and I took them up on it. It lasted about 5 miles. I just did not have it today. My legs felt heavy, I tried to rally and it just wasn't happening. Actually, it really went down hill after 10k (I was pretty on pace until that point). I phoned it around mile 7 and just ran to finish. Not like I could have run any faster if I wanted to. I finished in 1:44:01. No, it's not a bad time. Yes it's way off my goal. I can deal with that. I'll pick another race and give it another shot.

I know what's partially responsible for my poor run today, though as I was running I told myself I was not going to use this as an excuse.

As I was getting ready to leave the house on Friday morning, I was reading Facebook when some horrible news came across my feed. Yes, this is how we find things out these days. My old friend from my HS days posted that his sister, someone I was also friends with and who I went to HS with, passed away while giving birth. Her son also did not make it.
This news is beyond horrifying and I instantly burst into tears.
Even now...it's totally surreal. The last few days have been a sea of sorrow and reconnecting with people from the past.
My high school experience was not the best. I very much looked forward to the day when it would be over. I had a great extended group of freakish friends from out side of school, a very John Hughesesque group of kids. Gia and her brother were both a big part of that crowd. Going to see Rocky Horror, trips into Philly for all age punk shows, and nights dancing at Revival. Scott is a year older than me and went to a different school, Gia a year younger. It was great to have Gia at school during the day, an ally in otherness.
We had kept in touch over the years, though college and when she came to NYC for grad school we'd hang out.
Like most people these days, we had connected again on Facebook. It was great to be back in touch, see how her family had grown to include her husband Charlie and their twin boys, Charlie and Nate.
She was so excited about being pregnant again and sharing all the changes and how her boys were adjusting to a new one coming along. I was excited for her and looked forward to her updates. She was always supportive of my adventures.
As I was running today, my mantra became "sorrow into strength" but honesly, there was none of that. I haven't slept well the last few nights. My mind is constantly thinking about this huge loss.
I'm sure I could go on and on but I'm not going to, there just aren't the right words for this.
Gia was an amazing person. Smart and beautiful and full of talent. The loss is immense for all those who knew her and most certainly for her family.

If you're the praying type, please keep her husband, her boys, her brother and mom in your prayers. If you're not the praying type, please keep them in your thoughts.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Devil Inside

This week was a very sold training week, I was tired from our trip to AZ, but things went well:
Tues 6.4 miles with 5x1k
Wed: 3.6 easy
Thurs 13.1
Sat 3 easy, 4 mile race
Sun 3.25
I went into the week tired and was pretty much running tired all week, but ran everything as planned.

Last month, my ol' training pal Claudia (we've been running together since the late 90s and have done 2 Ironmans together) told me her and her GF would be in SF for a few days, they planned on doing the Diablo Trail Run. The race has several options: 4 miles, 10 miles, 12 miles, marathon, and 50k. They all have a significant elevation gain. Since I have my sights set on San Jose in a few weeks, I said I'd do the 4. They were doing the 10 and surprisingly, Loren said she'd do the 10 as well. That's a real role reversal, I usually run the longer stuff.
According to the race website:" The 4 mile course is relatively flat and fast within Mitchell Canyon" The key word there is RELATIVELY. The elevation gain for the 4 is 400', the elevation for the 10 is 2420', the half is 3420', and on from there. In other worse, none of it is flat or fast.
Here's the profile for the 4 miler

My plan for this race was run fast. I didn't really know what to expect, this being the 2 year of the event and me having never run on the course. I warmed up for .75 of a mile on the course. Ok, not bad, gradual uphill but I can handle it. Back down I noted where the half mile to go was so I had a good idea of when I should try and kick.
For the start, I wanted to be up front since I knew the 4 mile group wasn't too big (and oddly, mostly women. 44 out of 58 runners) and the folks running longer would not go out fast.
First mile and I felt a little off. It was harder than the warm up! And I noticed I was weezing. Dust. It is a trail after all. There are about 5 guys ahead of me and a few women passed me. I could tell by number who was running what race. I just tried to hold steady. I have done races before that go straight up then straight down. I have to say, they're a little odd.
The 2nd mile, I had gotten into a rhythm though I wasn't flying. Another woman caught me and we together for a bit.
Then I saw the turn around cone and was ready to blow down these 2 miles. This should be fun. From the looks of it, I averaged 8:47 going up. I figured if I ran 7:15s going down, I'd be happy.
As I turned around I looked over my should and there was a woman close behind me and I heard "hey!" Guess who? Flowy shorts! Small world! Ok, now I had to really move, I know Shorts has a kick and I didn't want her catching me.
Ah down hill. I was FLYING. At one point, I looked at my Garmin. It said I was running about 6:30 pace, yet my heart rate was 147, which is low (in fairness, it topped out over 180 for the day). I was running as fast as I could, my legs couldn't go any faster but my heart wasn't working hard at all. Weird!
After the turn around, I saw Loren, she told me I was 4th woman. My theme for the year and really for this race. Then I saw Claudia and Evelyn as well. Claudia is recovering from a broken elbow so she wasn't running hard.
I was coming up on the heels of woman #3. I didn't want to pass her too soon only to have her pass me back, so I let her pace me for a while. Well the point of passing her became moot because she took it into a gear I just didn't have and dropped me.
I got to the half mile to go point, which also had a nice little uphill. My legs were so confused: run hard up hill, run hard down hill, up, now down!
I didn't know where shorts was but I wasn't taking any chances, I pushed. I came in @ 31:30 for 8:05 pace (the official course distance is 3.9)
Wow. That was hard and fun! I then cooled down for 1.5 miles and waited for the girls to finish. Loren came in 2 woman (4th over all) and won her AG in 1:37:41. Today, she's sore. She said it feels like someone turned her upside down and hit the bottom of her feet with a hammer.
my stats:
4th woman out of 44 women , 4th AG (the 40-49s were FAST yesterday!) There's a real 4 theme here. I was 6th over all out of 58.
Mile 1 8:24
Mile 2 9:17
Mile 3 6:37 (!!!)
Mile 4 6:54

Me finishing:

Loren finishing (she says she looks like she doesn't know where her legs are going to land):

This run was put on by Costal Trail Runs. I gotta say, these guys do an awesome job. They have trail races all year and every event has different distance so there really is something for everyone. I'm looking forward to doing more of their events.

Loren and I capped our day with a party at Clif Family Winery and Farm (yup, the Clif Bar people). It was a great event on their farm/vineyard. Lots of food, of which we ate tons. Even though my race was short, it felt like an effort for something along the lines of a 10 miler. A really cool event. They have a garden that grows enough food for a small CSA and are starting to grow olives for oil as well as making wine. Man can not live on clif shot alone!! Ew, that would be gross.

2 weeks left until San Jose, I'm excited and feeling really ready.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In every moment there's a reason to carry on

After last week's less than great tempo run, I was hoping to have a better one. I did. 4 miles at 7:30 pace. Right on the money. I love how a good work out can make up for a bad one. I felt really good.

As I said last time, I knew my training for the week would be thrown off with a high pointing trip. At this point, I'm more willing to scrap long runs than speed sessions, which is more my weak point.

On Friday, Loren and I left for Arizona for what I like to now refer to as my Annual Mid-September Media Blackout™ (how could I possibly ever forget when I am constantly reminded?). We landed in Phoenix in the late morning and headed up to Flagstaff. Right out of Flagstaff, we got hit by a crazy ass storm. Off in the distance, we could see the very dark clouds and amazing bolts of lightning. Within about 15 minutes, it was right over us and raining hard. The big heavy drops quickly turned to quarter-sized hail and pinged and bounced off of everything, causing traffic to come to a literal stop. It was amazing and over within about 8 minutes or so. The emergency broadcast system broke into the radio station AFTER we had driven through the storm.
We made it to Flagstaff and hung out in the cute little town, got some food, checked the weather, and headed towards Arizona Snow Bowl, where Humphrey's Peak, the AZ high point, is located.
There was a chance of rain over night and a chance the next day. Thunderstorms gather very quickly up on this mountain and serious weather, like that hail and even snow, can blow in with little notice. On top of a 12,000' mountain is not where I want to be when there's hail and or lightning. We decided on a sunrise hike.
Can I just say the National Forest service is really cool? On the way up to the mountain there is a dispersed camping area, meaning there are camp site with no services, but nice spots for tents and fire pits and totally free. Awesome. Loren and I found a nice spot, pitched out tent, set an alarm for 5 AM and lights were out by 9.
We had planned to be on the trail by 6AM but due to a road closure for construction, we were slightly delayed. By 6:40, we were on the trail along with 4 other people. We went back and forth with them for most of the hike up. A few miles in, we were passed by a woman just FLYING up the trail. Granted Loren and I weren't going slow, but we're also not acclimated to the altitude (the trail starts at 9500'). While we were taking a water snack break, she passed us again headed back down. I was like like wow, you got up there fast! She said, no, I have limited time today so I set an alarm on my watch to turn around. I'd say she' got within a mile or so of the summit and did so very fast. I was impressed.
Around 9:30, we hit the top. The 4 people we left with got there right before us. We hung out, took some pictures, had a snack, and watched the clouds gather around.

This is #31 for me and #33 for Loren. Here's a lovely piece of trivia: I have worn that hat on most of my high points. It's a 1998 Yankees World Series hat. Loren has also worn her Blue Buffalo hat on most high points. It use to be dark blue and she almost lost it when it blew out the window of the car somewhere in OK last year.
I can't tell you how glad I am that we went up early. It was a parade of people headed up as we headed down. I'd say at least 50 others. This is a popular and accessible trail, I just haven't seen that many people headed to a high point in a while. We were down by about 12:30.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out in Flagstaff, eating. That night we headed toward Sedona where we rented a cute little cabin for 2 nights. While Sedona is beautiful, the landscape and all that, I could really do without the super tourist aspect of things. Luckily, it only takes hiking a mile or so to really get away from it.
The night of our hike, we had dinner at Elote which is a pretty hyped up place but I'd say it lives up to it. The food was really good.
The next day and a half we spent exploring some trails and hikes in Sedona, including a run on Soldier's trail which was pretty awesome. I'm posting this picture of Loren running because I love it.

People look at us like we're nuts when they come across us running on hiking trails. It's a great away to get a run in and see everything. Plus, when we got the trail head, it was closing in an hour so we didn't have a lot of time!
Monday morning we got up early again to get 1 last hike in before catching our flight. We headed to Cathedral Rock. It was nice to be there early before the heat and once again before most people. It's a short steep climb up to a really beautiful view. A great way to end the trip. It also reminded me how far I've come in the last few years in my hiking. Not long ago scurrying up rocks like this would have made me pretty nervous. Not that I'm not careful still, I just don't see it as big of a deal as I use to.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The grabbing hands grab all they can

With the summer racing series over, I've switched to my own speed workouts. This was an interesting week for that. Neither work out was awesome. To start, I did the first one wrong. Planned was 5x3 minutes @10k pace. I did 5x5 mins. Ooops. I had a feeling this wasn't right sometime into my 2nd one. I was like, oh well, I just do this. It ended up being 10 minutes of faster running than planned and it was a little slower than planned.
Next up was a tempo run. 4 miles. Now, hmmm, I started out with a few strikes:1. lady time. 2. Sore ass from doing some squats. Seriously, not a lot and with no weight, I was like WTF. Again, the milage was done, but the speed was off. It's frustrating. I'm not concerned really since I know from the Thurs. night races I can hit the paces. It was just 2 off workouts in a row.
All my other runs have been totally fine.
Today's speed session was 4x800. I haven't run on a track in ages. Generally when I have a workout like this, I just do them where every I happen to be running. Since I'm still figuring out where to run by my house that's not too hilly, I decided to take this one to the track. Plus Loren is off today so we did it together.
This workout made up for the 2 boob moves from last week. My intervals went like this: 3:34, 3:28, 3:29, 3:24. I felt really good. We followed it up with some strides and drills in the field barefoot.

This coming weekend, Loren and I are headed to AZ to hit the hight point. I need to shuffle some workouts around. The hike will be 9 miles and gain 3500' up to 12,633'. I think I will keep my speed workouts, I need to focus on that more than distance, and scrap the 13 miler my long run for the week. With the hike, it will be a similar effort.

I also signed up for a 4 mile trail race the following weekend, some East coast friends will be out for a tougher 10 mile race. I'm taking the easier route with the 4. Loren's going for the 10. This should be interesting....

Friday, August 26, 2011

You better be good to me

So far, this has been a pretty fun week.
On Wed. nights, I usually run with a group from Sports Basement. It's a fun diverse group of runners and while I really enjoy running alone, it's nice to have some company from time to time. After this week's run, there was a Fit Fest, which had about a dozen vendors and snacks and raffles. Raffles are always fun! There were also people there from Rock Tape taping people and people doing ART so I got my hip/leg worked on post run. And who doesn't love snacks?
And free socks?
I did win a raffle, it was a gift bag with a rather interesting array of items, including:
Asics running hat
Saucony tshirt
kid's teko socks (I really wish they fit me)
Rock tape
water bottle
tiny travel locks
comprehensive guide to marine first aid (total odd ball in the bag)
and the crown jewel: a gift certificate for a pair of UGG sneakers.
Now what I REALLY wanted (not that these things weren't awesome) was the steripen water purifier. Anyone who reads my blog knows Loren and I do a lot of hiking and backpacking so this would really come in handy. Well, I didn't win that. I sized up the couple that did win it to see if I could negotiate. I went up to them and asked what they likelyhood was that they would use it. The guy was like probably and the woman was like, why, whatcha got? I said GC for a pair of UGGS. The words weren't even totally out of my mouth and she was like DONE!
SCORE! I was pretty excited about this swap.

Last night was the end of the 12 week race series put on by DSE Runners. It's been a great 12 weeks of running. I've done 10 of the 12 races and have had a blast. Simple, no nonsense running, gotta love it.
Last night was a big turn out, most of the characters were there and a whole new team of HS runners. All I had to do to win my age group for the series was finish.
Last week, I actually had a conversation with Flowy Shorts (I now know her name!). This week, I talked to big legs, she was actually very chatty and had just run the Pike's Peak Marathon.
Before hand, I warmed up for a mile and a half and felt pretty good.
This weeks route was counter-clockwise which is the hillier direction. And the hills come at about 2.5 miles so late into the 4.5 mile loop. I don't like this direction. I had no expectations of PRing. Since missing last week by 1 second, I was bummed we weren't going the faster way.
Shorts and I line up together and ran pretty much the whole race side by side or trading the lead by a few feet. Around mile 2, tattoo guy from last week joined us.
When we got to the hills, the 3 of us were in a nice little pack. I think this really helped me. I'm a good hill runner and often pass people at this point in the race but the 3 of us working together pushed us all along.
With about a quarter mile to go, Shorts gapped me a bit. I had decided I was going to let her go if she went, but I wasn't too far behind. I also gapped Tattoo dude. I knew from last week he didn't have the gear to come get me.
I took peak at my watch and couldn't believe it.
I had a real shot at a PR. I really didn't think it would happen in this direction. I pushed.
While I was a few feet behind Shorts at the finish, I hit my watch at 33:06, a 9 second PR!
I felt slightly like I wanted to throw up but otherwise felt great. HIgh fives all around from Shorts and Tattooed dude.
I'm pretty sure there was a new woman in my AG ahead of me and I was prob. at least 4th. I did, however, pass Legs at mile 2, first time I beat her. Though, come on, she just ran that marathon.
With that, I locked up my age group for the series. I got a very generic medal that says first place, which I love. I love the low keyness of the entire thing.
Now on to the San Jose half in 5 weeks. I may do 1 more race before then to see where I am. It's a flat course, I think sub 1:40 is possible. This is also the LAST Rock n Roll event I do. They're overpriced and no same day # pick up which is a real pain in the ass.

Unless you live under a rock, no doubt you've seen the news of good ol' Irene heading for the East Coast. Even though I'm not there, I've been following news and weather. Be safe over there East Coasters. Batten down NYers, this could be a big one. And for the love of the running gods, stop complaining about the Bronx Half being cancelled and not getting a refund. It's minor in the grand scheme of things. Run now while it's still nice out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

After the boys of summer have gone

Things are coming to an end at Thursday Night at the Races. Here in SF, school has started again. Last night the fast redhead was gone, her cross country practice has probably started again (or she has 15 AP classes to study for). The HS boy's team was no there either. It's just back to the grown ups. There's 1 week of racing left.
There was, however, a new character. Rubber Band Man. He's an older gentleman. He was wearing earbud headphones, and to keep them in place, he has a rubber band wrapped around his head. I can not make this stuff up. Runners are total freaks.
I finally got to see WHO the faster woman in my AG was. I started behind her and she was clearly taking it easy since she wasn't very far ahead of me for most of the race. Flowy shorts was also there.
As we started I knew I just didn't feel like running very hard to I started off easy. I let fast chick go, I didn't try to stay with shorts.
Since this was my 9th week running here, I've gotten to know the course in both directions pretty well. This week was the direction I like, I think it's faster.
Just before mile 3. a guy passed me. A real macho guy. He was in board shorts and a cotton tank top. His arms were covered to the wrist with tattoos and I could see they covered most of his back and chest. I caught him and he would not let me pass, to the point of stepping over so I couldn't pass. I was like, ok, whatever dude and just stayed with him. Right before my garmin hit 4 miles, I did pass him. I knew when I did it would be for good. With a half mile to go I picked up the pace. I didn't want him out sprinting me just on principle. I looked down at my garmin. As I've noted before, I'm old school. Races I care about, the garmin stays at home and I run with a watch. It's just easier for my brain to deal with just the time and hitting lap. For these runs, I wear my garmin, mostly because there are no mile markers, though by now I have a good sense of the course and where I am. I knew that the best I had run this course was the first week, 7:24 pace. My garmin was telling me that's what I was averaging. I didn't know my exact time off the top of my head from that first week. I hit STOP at 33:16. When I got home and looked up my time from week 1, it was 33:15. So close. We'll see what the official time was in a few days.
Tattoo man came in behind me and I gave him a high five. He told me he wanted to stay with me at the end but just couldn't. Mwahahaha.
After the race, I actually talked to flowy shorts and speedy woman. Funny, big legs has not been there for the last 2 weeks.
I'm surprised by my time last night, I did not expect or plan to run as well as I did. This is a good sign, things are coming along. I'm happy about that, I thought I was just stagnating for a while but this seems to be a mini break.
On the first week, I was given #17, I've reused the same number every week. Man, I wish it was 4 since I think I've come in 4th woman more than any other place.
1 more week to go. I'm still leading my age group. This has been a fun series.

Monday, August 15, 2011

We'll get higher and higher Straight up we'll climb

Update on the lost day hikers from last week: Ok, I don't have one. I'm sure they got out, I'm just waiting for them to mail me back my stuff.
My training week the week of the hike was thrown off a bit because well, we were in the woods. I had done my long run before leaving and I was surprisingly sore when I got back. It threw a wrench in the start of last week. Though I figure 15+ miles of strenuous backpacking counts for something. Seriously, my calfs were oddly sore. I expected my hips to be sore, I haven't carried a pack in a while, but the calf soreness was a surprise. It left me shuffling my week around.
I blew off my planned Monday speedwork and took the day off from running. Tues. I did a recovery run. I was on the fence about Thurs. night's race. I was thinking about doing a 10k on Sat, mostly because it's called The Big Gay 10k. Since I wasn't feeling like I could really race it well, I decided to skip it. I did race on Thurs. I wasn't out there giving the effort I usually do but was surprised I finished in about the same time. I also wore my HR monitor, which I usually don't do. I averaged 175, which is a tick higher than I would be for a tempo run so that's all good.
This week I was 4th and 1st in my AG. The girl who has won ever week she's run is 16. I swear she shows up 2 minutes before the start, no warm up and churns out 6:30s. By the time I'm done she's gone. I imagine her mom waiting for her in the car, waiting to whisk her off to her next activity.
The last few weeks a group of HS boys have been showing up as well. It's very cute to watch them do all their drills together before the race. It's also very satisfying to pass most of them by mile 3 since they go out way too fast.
2 weeks of racing left!

In other news, Loren and I are plotting out more high points. Our plan this summer was to do Rainier (which Loren's done a few times already). We're lucky that Loren has a friend who is a professional guide and could walk up that mountain in her sleep. She has offered to take us up. With the move and everything, time is getting short for this season. We decided to put it off to next summer. I'm bummed but this will give me lots of time to get in shape specifically for that. We're also planning on doing Hood next summer with the High Pointers when they have their annual convention which will be in OR. (yes there is a club, yes we are members, yes Loren is mildly embarrassed by this). We still have some serious peaks to hit. WY and MT are very serious multi-day treks/climbs. ID has something called Chicken Out Ridge that has turned around more than a few very serious hikers, to say nothing of AK. We're hoping to take a weekend in Sept. to do either AZ or ID, both are day hikes. We are planning a Mid-Western trifecta this fall, going or MN, MI, and WI. So Midwesterners, be warned! We may be heading your way!

Monday, August 8, 2011

They'll have to make the best of things, It's an uphill climb

No Thursday night race report for last Thurs. Loren and I had tickets for the Giants/Phillies game so no racing for me. I checked the overall standings for the series and I have a thin lead for my age group. 3 weeks to go! It's been a fun series.

This weekend, we went on our first backpacking adventure since moving. This would be Bea's, our dog, first backpacking trip. We've gone car camping and hiking with her but this was new.
Friday afternoon, we headed up to the Snow Mountain area of Medocino National Forest for the weekend. We started out with some less than wonderful google map directions to get to the ranger station for a more detailed map. We hit the trail head at 4:30, later than expected.
Friday evening was our day of dumb. Nothing terrible happened, things just didn't go as planned. We hiked a bit further than expected up a really really steep trail with lots of switch backs. Bea was game. The ranger we spoke to hadn't really had a trail report for where we were going for about a month. There was less water than expected. Less being almost none. We took a trail in a different direction than our overall plan to get water. We still had about a liter, but for 2 people and a dog. more would have been better.
We found a very nice camping area at another trail head. It was clear no one had been here for months. Apparently the road leading up to this trail head isn't passable, leaving it unused. It's really too bad, it's an awesome camping area. We followed the map to where a spring should have been. It was a bit of a hunt. Then, there in a field, was a bathtub. No really. LIke an old clawfoot tub someone dragged up there. There was a hose coming out of it but no water. I guess in the spring, when the snow is melting of the mountain, there is a lot of water. For now, there was a trickle running down hill. It wasn't great, but it was enough for the night.
While it was clear no one had been up here in a while, a ranger did stop to talk to us as we were getting ready to hike in. He told us to be on the look out for growers (people go up into the forrest to grow weed). He said they wouldn't look like hikers, they would usually be alone and not carrying anything. I find it hard to believe people would hump all the way out there empty handed but I guess they have some nice set ups deep in the woods. I can understand why people would grow up there, everything grows up there. During our conversation, he said he didn't mind the growing so much as the pesticides which were killing other plants and trees and starting to kill the wild life. I said they could really use the organic label as a marketing tool if they stopped using pesticides. He chuckled, shook his head and said "yea, I really can't say anything about that".
By the time we got camp set up and ate, we were in the dark and pretty pooped. Even though Bea had been camping once before, she got a little freaked out if one of us went off to do some sorta chore that require breaking the pack up. For the first night and most the next day, we did everything together which could get to be a pain.
Once in the tent, we came up with a plan for the next day. We knew there was water where we were, but it sucked. We would hit the next trail split, and decide if we should ditch our packs, day hike for a while, then hike out or bring our packs and find a nice camping area along the trail. We ended up with option 2.
The trail we were on was 2 miles long then would split into a few different trails. At the juncture, there was an awesome spring. We refilled all our bottles, ditched our big packs, packed up a day pack, and went for a few more miles up the trail.
It was beautiful, lots of wild flowers and huge trees, old burnt out trees from a 1987 fire. It was getting warm and we were at about 6500'.
As the day went on, it was clear Bea was hot. She started running from shady patch to shady patch, sitting down every once in a while. We'd let her sit in a shaded area for a while then move on. This was a lot for her.
We got back to the site where we dropped our stuff, set up the tent, which bea could not wait to get in, and spend the afternoon lounging about, playing cards, snacking. The dog pretty much slept.
After a few hours, we went to scout a better campsite for the night.
In the back country, there really aren't campgrounds. Where we were for the afternoon was clearly a set camp, but other areas campers aren't suppose leave fire rings or make it seem like people have been there. But they do, which is ok by me, it makes it easier when the next person shows up as long as the area isn't trashed. At this point, we hadn't seen another person since we got on the trail.
We found an awesome spot. Tucked in behind some big trees off the trail, it had a fire ring, a cozy little spot shaded by some trees for our tent, and an AMAZING view.

Before we could even set up the tent, Bea wanted to be in it. She was so tired she was giving up on caring if one of us went off.
I decided to go fetch water as Loren finished up setting up camp, this way it would be done and we wouldn't have to back track on the way out the next day.
I'm walking down to the creak having a hippie moment in nature, enjoying the few minutes alone, the quiet, thinking about how I haven't seen anyone else.
And then
I see someone else.
A few someones actually, a youngish man and woman and their dog. They're right by the trail junction where the water is. I know just by looking at them they're lost. They're both in shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers.
I had looked at the map pretty closely and several times, I knew where all the trails in the area were. Loren and I had been hanging out in the same area for hours, we would have seen them had they come this way. There was another trail head much further north. I quickly figured that's where they came from. They were WAY off from where they wanted to be.
This isn't like a national park where rangers are patrolling the trails. National forests are more like, ok, here's a trail, here's a mark on a map where there's water, there are some established campground out there but you're not going to find much. HAVE FUN! And it is fun, until you're lost and have no idea where you should be going and it's 6:30PM. This can and does happen as demonstrated by the couple I just ran into.
We talked for a few minutes to try and determine where they were and where they went wrong, but they didn't have a map. I brought them back to our camp. Loren and Bea were both surprised to see other people. Bea was very surprised and not too happy to see another dog.
We figured out where they missed their turn around point, which was several miles away. Which was several miles away from the trail head where they parked. I gave them our map of the area, as we would be hiking out the way we came in in the morning and we were pretty familiar with where we were going. There was only 1 turn off to our trail and we had already passed it 3 times. We also gave them a headlamp since they had a dying flashlight, some food, and the space blanket out of our first aid kit. They had about 7 miles of hiking to go and about 2.5 hours of day light at most. I think they'd make it out, it just wasn't going to be a whole lotta fun.
My public service announcement for the day: if you go out hiking someplace unfamiliar, bring a map, bring water, bring snacks, something warms, a light, and let someone know where you're going and when you expect to be back. It really doesn't take much to go from, oh lovely walk in the woods, to oh crap I'm stuck and drinking my own pee.
After our new friends were on our way, we settled in for the night, falling asleep before it was even totally dark. I wanted to get up early and head out before the heat of the day.
We all fell right to sleep. Some point during the night, I woke up to coyotes singing somewhere out in the woods. Such a cool cool sound.
The next morning we were on the trail by 7:20AM. It was a lovely morning and the hike out was mostly downhill. I hadn't realized just how steep those switchbacks were until we went down them.
Half way down the trail, we had our 2nd human interaction. We ran into a young guy with a big pack, he was headed out for 5-6 days. We gave him the lowdown on the water situation and good camping areas and we were all on our way.
Bea got some of her energy back for the hike out. There were squirrels and chippies all over making her totally crazy.
Once we hit our car though, she was in the back seat and sound asleep. She slept the whole way home. This trip took a lot out of her! I think it'll be a couple of days before she's back up to her normal energy levels.
On our way out, we stopped by the ranger station to tell them about the folks we saw, just it case. I didn't think to give them my # so we'd know if they got out. The ranger thanked us and said, well, this is more information than we usually have. Last time someone got lost out there they just sat on a rock until we found them. Im pretty sure they made it out ok.

I was due to do a speed workout today. But ya know what? My ass is sore and my calves are killing me which I'm a little surprised by. I'll either do a short recovery run or take the day off. Taking the day off is really winning in my head at the moment.

Monday, August 1, 2011

These are the people in your neighborhood

After 22 years of living in NYC and many of them as a runner, I got to know some real characters. NYC is a huge huge HUGE running city. Central Park is like the world's biggest track. I miss it more than anything in NYC. There were people I'd see all the time. Like this woman who had such a strangle gait, like every step was a struggle. I do think she has a muscular or nerve problem. I would see her everywhere, no matter what time of day or where I was running. Then there's the time I was running with my friend Ishii who is friendly to everyone. We ran pass a guy and Ishii smiled and said hi, he smiled and said hi in return. She says to me "he looks familiar, I think maybe I met him at the club". Me: "Ishii, he looks familiar because he's Anthony Edwards". So yes, there are celebrity runner sightings as well.
Then there's the local hall of fame of characters. NYers, I'm sure you'll recognize some of these favorites: Old Asian man with bells, Crazy old tattoo lady (who I think may also be known as the dinosaur), Ginny (those not familiar with her by that name may also know her as shitty pants), and one of my personal faves, the older black woman who more shuffles than runs. She's in her 70s I'm sure. A few years ago, I was working at a XC race the week after the marathon. There she was brining up the rear, running with her marathon medal on. I always made a point of saying hello to her when I saw her in the park. She would always say hello back and tell me I was looking strong or running beautifully. Good for the ego for sure.
Now I'm in a new city. So far my running has been more spread out and I haven't gotten to know all the characters yet. Doing the Thursday night race series I am coming up with a few. My new cast of characters include: The redhead (really fast HS girl, wins all the time) Mr 200 (ran his 200th marathon yesterday) Flowy shorts (we go neck and neck a lot) Crutches (the guy who was doing the races on crutches for the first few weeks. Who ran sub 3 yesterday). And my biggest character of all who goes by many names. My mom called her Blonde Pony tail when she was here visiting. I call her Big Legs. From her build I thought she was a triathlete but it turns out she's a body builder. She's always just ahead of me every week and she has never spoken to me. She's one of those women, one of those women who make me want to bang my head against a wall. I see her talk to all the men, and rarely any women, unless they are a lot slower than her. What is that all about? I think the next race I'm just going to go introduce myself to her, mostly because I think it will be unsettling for her.
Anyway this last week's race brought me 4th woman and 1st age group. Oddly, I was the only one in my age group. The turn out was smaller than usual due to the SF marathon being on Sunday.
Speaking of the SF marathon, I went and cheered at mile 22 with the folks from Sports Basement. I run with them on Wed. evenings and they're a fun crowd. There were about 7 people I knew from NYC running so it was a good spot to try and see everyone (I caught about 5 of them). I also saw some of my new SF characters: Mr. 200, crutches (I was really amazed how fast he was running), another fast woman from Thursday night. She was a pace leader. For the 3:10 group. That's impressive.
A shout out to Cenk, who graciously tried to pace me in the Brooklyn Half, PRed on this hilly course. So congrats to you my friend! And no tears this time! None that I saw anyway.
I am ramping up my training for the San Jose half and that is going well. I'm about to head out for a nice tempoish run, though my ass feels like a cinder block from cheering for 4 hours yesterday. Cheering is hard work I tell ya!

Friday, July 22, 2011

So move your feet from hot pavement and into the grass

Holy July. I know most of the US is dealing with a horrible heat wave. I do not miss that. Not at all. July is also causing me to be on a total sports bender. First, the Women's World Cup. Now the Tour de France. With the time difference, I've been getting up pretty early to watch live. It's really hard to not see what happened (thanks interwebs) if I wait to watch a replay. Oh yea, and throw in some World Series of Poker (no really, I watched for hours) and by the end of the month I'm going to have a huge sports hangover.

In my own little sports world, I'm continuing with my Thursday night races. As I've stated, these are low key hand timed races so I usually don't know the actual results until several days after. Last week, the fast girls took the week off. It was also what I think is the harder direction, which I like less. I was 5th over all and first in my AG with a time of 34:10 (4.5 miles).
This week, I think I may have been 5th or 6th and I'm not sure if super fast 40 something was there, so AG unclear. 33:35.
I did, however, run what I thought was a smart race. This direction starts with a slight downhill. I know I've gone out too fast in the past. Sure enough I looked at my Garmin (which I generally don't race with but since these are really tempoish runs with no mile markers, I use it) and it said 6:44 pace. I don't run that fast so I slowed myself down. I took note of the women around me, a few high schoolers were off the front and 1 or 2 I thought would blow up (1 did). I was very close to a women who's bested me before so I know she's generally a bit faster, I decided not to stay with her. Just before mile 2, my friend Anna caught me. We we were both close to the other woman (who Anna has named flowy shorts). For a while we were all in a little pack. I decided to keep the pace steady and not react if shorts was going to go. We ran side by side for at least a mile. Then, she tucked in behind me. And I mean RIGHT behind me. I couldn't see her at all but I knew she was there. I was like, ok, I'll pace you for now. It's very difficult to try and be subtle about peaking back when someone is running behind you like this. With a mile to go I noticed she was drifting off a bit. I peaked back to see where her and Anna were. A little day light between all of us but I didn't want to take any chances. I didn't want either of them sneaking up on me. I keep the pace steady and decided at a half mile, which is a gradual incline, I'd go.
No more looking back if they were going to catch me, not much I could do about it at this point. I figured I had enough of a gap on them. I did have a funny moment when I was closing in on the guy in front of me with about 100m to go. He turned back, saw me, and of course not wanting to be chicked at the end, took off.
I crossed the line very satisfied in my tactics. Not a PR, but a smartly run race.
As far as over all standings for the series, I'm holding on to first in my AG. Though I missed 1 race and know I will miss 1 more. THere's a woman who's run all of them so she is just lurking behind me in points.

Since moving, I've obviously had to learn new running routes. I haven't really found any right out the door that I'm totally in love with. Where I live in SF is very hilly and there's lots of concrete. My body is not loving this. I'm developing a bit of a shin ache. It's not pain, it doesn't hurt when I run, it aches a bit after. I would like to not have this please. I'm icing and stretching (not as much as I should) where a dorky compression sleeve, and will throw a new pair of shoes into the rotation. I'm going to look at softer surfaces to run on and less hills, both a challenge as the trails near my house are hills. I hate crap like this.

This weekend is Ironman Lake Placid. Ya know, the Ironman I signed up for. I have moments of wishing I was there but the reality is, I'm glad I'm not. It's going to be hotter than satan's gstring and who wants that? Plus, I also would have had to, oh, get in shape. And fly across the country. And do the Ironman. So best of luck to my friends who are racing. If it's really hot, please be careful. That Lake Placid weather is crazy. All my other friends running and racing in the pits of hell, please do be careful. Hydrate, slow down, run on the dreadmill or take a few days off.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Loves got the world in motion

That last few weeks have been HUGE sports weeks. For those who know me, I am a huge sports fan. As we speak, the Tour de France and the Women's World Cup are happening. Both odd, not hugely followed sports in the States, but both so exciting to watch. For me, the World Cup is really exciting. I grew up playing soccer and it will always be my first love.
Yesterday, the US women beat Brazil in a game that will go down as one of the best ever played. There is a long history between these 2 teams and you could not have made up the way this match went down. Due to a red card, the US played a player down for more than half the game (if someone gets a red card, they must leave the game and can not be replaced). This resulted in Brazil taking and scoring on a penalty kick (I'm giving a very brief summary of what actually happened) Brazil scored in extra time to go ahead 2-1. Then in the 122nd minute of play, extra time in extra time (there are no time outs so when a player gets injured or there's a delay, the ref adds time on) this happened:

This sent the game to penalty kicks and the US won. This happening 12 years to the day after this happened:

A moment I remember as if it was yesterday and a moment I think truly changed women's sports, and the sports bra, forever. I heard a stat yesterday that after the women won the World Cup in 1999, the number of girls playing soccer quadrupled. How amazing is that? Now the US takes on France on Wed. in the semifinals. SO EXCITING!

And now on to slower, older, less amazing chicks in sports, namely me. I missed Thursday night at the races the week before last because Loren, Bea and myself we off exploring beaches. Tough work, I know. I returned this past week with my friend and fellow NY transplant Anna. Anna tends to call me speedy, but she's full of crap and she was either 2 steps behind me or 2 steps in front of me for the entire race.
As the series has gone on, the group has gotten faster. A few weeks ago we saw the addition of some high school girls out there running 6:40 pace. They've been coming back and battling it out with each other. I'd love to see this but, um, I'm a bit far behind them. The margin this week was 2 seconds. In my absence last week, someone else in my age group joined the mix. She was back again this week and bringing her 6:45 pace. So yea, there goes my AG wins! I know it's all about who shows up and she's showing up and I can't even see the back of her head in the race. That's all fine and good. I'm still holding on to the over all AG lead for the series (for now).
As for how I actually ran, I was 2nd in my AG, 7th woman with a time of 33:49. Anna was right behind me in 8th, also 2nd in her AG. I've been running this race consistently and getting in a speed workout which is what my intention is so success.
I'm starting to look ahead to the San Jose half which Loren and I are running in Oct so I hope to get my running into a more serious gear. I admit it's been tough with the move and all that to really focus on running seriously. Having something on the calender helps, but I am also enjoying having some pressure free time to get to know my new home.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I keep up with the racing rats

Welcome to my new training plan: run almost not at all and race my way into semi-shape. I'll let you know how that works out for me. Anyway, here's an update:
Last week at the races, I thought I was 4th. I was actually 3rd.
This week at Thursday's race, all the fun and games came to an end. School is out and the high school girls have come to put us old ladies in our place. I wasn't planning on running fast on Thurs. since I was running the SF Pride Run on Sat. The girl who won is 16 and ran 6:48 pace. #2 wasn't far behind @6:49 pace (and 18 years old). I can kiss my top 3s good bye if these girls show up every week. I'm fine with that. Even not racing I was 7th and 1st in my age group.
Now on to Saturday's race. The Pride Run here is a much different affair than in NYC which had over 5000 runners this year. SF gets a couple of hundred and does a 5k and a 10k. Loren and I did the 10k, my mom who is here visiting walked the 5k. The 2 loop 10k course was hillier than expected but with my new stellar training plan, I did ok. 47:23 won me my age group and I was 8th woman. Loren was about a minute ahead and was 5th woman.
I know moving to SF I've coming to a much smaller pond of runners. I've never placed so high so often in races.
The Pride Run also brought out all kinds of NYC expats. Here are a transplanted crew of New York Front Runners representing.

I admit to being a bit homesick this weekend. We watched the NY state senate pass marriage equality online Friday night, long time coming. For years I lived on Christopher St right where the Pride March ended, that kept me from going to Pride for a long time. It's not that much fun when it ends in front of your house. This year was different however, I do wish I had been there to celebrate. Oh well. I will be here in CA when Prop 8 is thrown out the window for good. In the mean time, I'll continue to work to destroy the marriages of straight people :P

Friday, June 17, 2011

it's all business in the left hand lane

Update from last week's race:
I did in fact come in 4th (women) and won my age group. Of course all I get for that is to say I was 4th and won my AG, there aren't any prizes. I think at the end of the 12 week series they give awards, I'm not sure how that works other than you have to do at least 6 races.
Fast forward to this weeks race: same distance, opposite direction of last week, just to keep things interesting. I found this direction harder than last week. It was also a bit windier. Once again, I was running 4 or 5. I was trading places with one woman for a good part of the race. At mile 1 she said to me nice pace. I replied with we'll see in a few miles. She led me for a good mile and a half after that. Once we came around the turn on the lake, I passed her but not by much. I figured I'd just hold my pace and see what happens. Every once in a while I'd peak back to see where she was. She was fading. There's a long hill in this direction and figured I'd keep her away on the hill and I did.
Loren, running the other direction, passed me with a little more than a mile to go and told me I was 4th. Again.
With a half mile to go, I could tell I was far enough ahead that #5 wasn't going to catch me.
I finished in 33:58, 43 seconds slower than last week. 7:33 pace. I'm pretty sure I won my AG again. The woman who won last week was 3rd.
I'll go again next week but run it easy since on Sunday I'll running the San Francisco Pride Run and really want to race that. Loren's running it as well and since my mom is here visiting, she'll be walking the 5k.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How’s your engine running

One of the few things I knew I'd miss about NYC is the Van Cortlandt Track Club's summer cross country series. A fun, low key series with muffins and carrot cake. Though with the heat wave NYC is having now... not too sad about missing tonight's.
Out here in SF where it was a balmy 65 today, I found another summer racing series put on by Dolphin South End Runners. Every Thurs. evening for 12 weeks, $1 a race. You can't beat that. The 4.5 mile course goes around Lake Merced and is fairly flat. Now, I am in no way shape or form in racing shape. It's my intention to use these has fastish tempo runs.
Now a moment from our sponsors at It's A Small World...as I was getting my number, a woman said she thought I knew who I was. I was like, oh I don't think, I just moved here. She said she knew me from my blog, which she found from flo's blog. This isn't the first time this has happened to me, though I'm usually surprised when it does since I certainly don't feel like the masses are out there reading about lil ol' me.
Anyway, off to the races.
This is a 4.5 mile loop around a lake. It's fairly flat, there are some gentle rollers but nothing like the hills I'm getting run by our new place. There were maybe 75 people or so in the race. I started sorta near the front, but ya know, not really a big field.
Since I was going tempo-ish, I figured anything under 8s would be good.
From what I could tell coming to mile 1 I was about the 5th woman. THan at mile 1, I saw the woman who was leading just stop and start walking back. I didn't see her again at the finish so I don't know what that was about.
At mile 3, the woman who was just ahead of me stopped at a water fountain (????). I passed her and she never passed me back, so now I was from what I could tell, 4th.
Around 3.5, I made a tactical error. I was coming up on the next woman. I could see she had headphones on and I passed her. I should have waited. She couldn't hear me so she didn't know I was there. I could have just let her pace us in and out kicked her. Instead, she had the from behind advantage, and I knew it as soon as I made the move. With about a quarter mile to go, she made the move and I couldn't answer. Oh well. Live and learn.
From what I could tell, I think I was 4th woman. Results will be up in a few days.
1 7:18
2 7:20
3 7:36
4 7:24
.5 3:35
total 33:15 7:24 pace
Must faster than I expected though I didn't feel like I was killing myself.
I feel really good about this, on my way over I was thinking I'm in a bit of a funk. Since the move my training has been all over the place. Perhaps this is the little jump start I needed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Shine on you crazy diamond

Amazing how lazy I've become since canned my Ironman. I haven't gone swimming, I've only ridden my bike to get around town. I have, of course, run since that requires almost zero planning. My May milage for every thing was not at all stellar:
Running 72.4
Biking about 180 miles
swimming 6 miles
I've been fending off calls from the Guinness book of world records all day.
I feel good about this however, there's not this huge thing looming over me. Of course, I can never just sit still so I signed up for a half marathon (though it's not until Oct). I just feel like I need something in the future.

In other news, I want to take a moment to mention the passing of a really awesome guy, my pal Brantley.
I knew Brantley from NYC biking circles. He worked check points at a few women's alleycats I put on, I'd see him at other events, we hung out on a close knit cycling message board. Brantley's been on a once in a life time 'round the world trip, having all kinds of crazy adventures. You can read about them on his Tumblr.
He posted that picture of himself on May 8 at the base of Anaapurna (I happen to be reading this book now).
I sent him a note saying how awesome his trip looked and we had an exchange about adventures and high pointing and the stuff we love.
It's weird to wrap my head around, emailing, facebooking, across the world, sharing these awesome adventures almost in real time. We see everything instantly.
His last Facebook update reads "Shot through zim, now in Zambia, and loving it. Stories soon..."
I know I'm not alone when I say I wish I could hear those stories.
RIP Brantley, you'll be missed. I hope to have half the adventures you did.

Monday, May 30, 2011

If I'm wrong I am right, no need to look no further.

After 3 trips back and forth form the East coast to the West coast, I am happy to announce the entire Farrooney clan is finally in CA. Bea was the last one to make the trip after 6 weeks at Nanny's. I knew the whole trip back for be exhausting: running the Brooklyn half, trying to see as many people as I could, sleeping on the floor of my former apartment (don't ask), going to Philly, and finally, shoving my 20lb dog into a bag and under the seat in front of me on the plane. It didn't help that the flight was delayed and we had turbulence for the duration. Bea was high so she didn't care so much. By hour 4 of the flight, my ass was killing me.
That's pretty much when I decided to change the course of my summer.
I'm not going to do the Ironman in July.
There are several reasons for this decision, which because I'm me, took me a while to finalize.
First, I can not deal with flying across the country again (I've done it 3 times since mid march). On top of the flying, there's then the driving to Lake Placid, which is close to no where. Dealing with getting my bike there, covering the 140.2 mile race, then doing all that traveling again.
I was really looking forward to doing this as a celebration of doing my first one with 2 very long time and dear friends of mine but the reality is, my heart isn't in it. I've done 3 other Ironmans, I know what it takes. When I told my friend Claudia who I was going to do this with, she understood and said "your heart needs to be in it or it's just a long painfu day without much of a silver lining".
Yup. It's a long painful day even if you're heart is in it. No getting around that. I have nothing to prove. This is the right decision for me now.
When I talked to Loren about this, she was a little relieved. We live in a new place with new adventures. While she would be totally supportive of me in this, she did say in the back of her mind she wasn't really looking forward to weekends where I couldn't do something because I have to go ride 80 miles. After that, all I kept hearing was "ride 80 miles...ride 80 miles..." who the hell wants to go ride 80 miles? Ok, I love cycling. I'd love to ride 80 miles. If that's all it was. I'm sure there's be a 15 mile run the day before or a 10 mile run right after. No thanks.
With that, I withdrew. And I am relieved.
This of course does not mean I will be totally sitting on my ass. Oh no.
We're planning on going up Rainier this summer (we were planning that anyway) and my focus has shifted to what I need to do to get ready for that.
Oh yea, and there's that sub 1:40 half I'm chasing. I'm looking for a race in the fall/winter. A race that does not require flying! So I'm taking suggestions.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ahh Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in

Ahhh The Brooklyn Half. I was curious how may times I've run this race so looked on the NYRR site, this was my 8th time. I think there are few races I've run as many times.
Since just missing hitting sub 1:40 in Asbury Park I figured I'm try again in Brooklyn. Well a lot has happened since that NJ race. For one, I moved across the country. Ok, that's enough of a distraction. I also ran Boston, which shouldn't be that big of a deal, I've come of off Boston and run great halfs. Truth is, the move was (obviously) huge. I have been running, but done no speed work and nothing over 9 miles. I knew it was a long shot but figured I was still going to try. Why not?
My friend Cenk also offered to pace me. I admit I was a little worried about that because I didn't want to go out too fast and was concerned I was biting off more than I could chew.
The morning of the race, it was 55 degrees. Perfect right? Sure, if the humidity wasn't 98%. The first almost 7 miles of this race is in Prospect Park. That weather made it like a rain forrest.
Cenk found me in my corral and I said I wanted to start conservatively. He was cool with that and then pick it open once we got out on to Ocean Parkway.
I pretty much knew right away this was not going to be my day. I've done several races in this park, I have a pretty good idea how I should feel at different parts of the park. I did not feel good.
At mile 4, I told Cenk to go. He said no, it was too soon to make the call. I said, no, I know. Not happening. So he ran with me for a few more minutes and went.
Going up the hill for the 2nd time, my friend HIlary caught me. I though, oh good, I'll run with Hilary, we run together all the time. She went passed me on the uphill and I caught her on the down hill. Well that didn't last. After that, I decided to phone it in and just get the milage in.
I will admit, it kinda sucked. I wasn't disappointed that I wasn't hitting my goal, it just sucked. It was humid. My ITB hurt outa nowhere and I just wanted to be done. 1:48 later, I was.
Oh well.
We all know we have sucky days.
It did make me seriously think about buckling down this fall and, oh, actually TRAINING for just a half. None of this half during marathon training, running them half assed. I want to run a really good half.
CA people, I'm taking suggestions for races.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just eat it

As I've been ramping up everything for this Ironman, one thing that has really ramped up is my caloric intake. When I look at my week, it doesn't seem like a lot but I can feel my body shifting into the more mode which means the more food mode.
I am not complaining about this.
Let's look at the week shall we?
Run 22.4 miles
Bike 42.4 (this is from actual road bike riding. I'm guessing I also rode 10-15 miles of getting around town riding. While this might not seem like a ton, I ride a fixed gear bike around and every ride home ends with a hill at least a half mile long)
Swim 2.1 miles.

On Thurs, Loren and I took part in Ride your bike to work day. Or in my case, ride someone else to work. There's a ride that was started by some folks at Google that rides down that way several times a week, so we rode with them. While I was bitching last week about group rides, this ride was actually awesome. It was organized and everyone was very nice. The route which was new to us was very well marked. While I'm trying and looking for a job, I hope to do it once or twice a week then take the train back. Perhaps as I get in better shape, ride back as well (although the headwinds coming north can really suck). We're going to do it again tomorrow, taking a different route.

This week, I'm also heading back East to fetch my dog. I can't wait to have Bea out here with us! While I'm there, I'm going to run the Brooklyn Half. I had all these grand plans of going to this race and crushing 1:40. Well...we'll see. I did my longest post Boston run yesterday, a little over 9 miles. I have done no speedwork. I'm still going to go for it but I don't think it's a gimme. While I'm East, my focus will shift back to running since I won't have a bike and swimming might be tough logistically. I forgot how much juggling goes into Ironman training. Who's idea was this?

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm heading for that golden gate

Getting settled in here on the West Coast. All of our stuff got here this week which was great. Sleeping on an air mattress is fine for a few nights, but for over a week kinda sucked. It was also a bit colder than expected so Loren and I were huddled up with the cats for most of the night. Poor cats. They're not gonna be too happy when the dog gets here.
I was really excited about the bikes showing up. Not so much to get out and go for some long riding (though I was looking forward to that) but mostly to be able to commute around the city on my beater. While I was very use to riding around NYC and all the ups and downs that comes with, San Francisco has a very different culture around commuting by bike. It's much much more common and accepted. Lots of bike lanes and bike racks and places with indoor/covered parking. It's a lovely way to get around this city. Except that hill longer than a half mile I have to ride up to get to my place, but I'm sure I'll get use to that.

It looks like this week marked the actual start of my Ironman training. It's about time. I'm not terrible concerned about my running since I just ran a marathon, I know I can let the running take a bit of a back seat. Honestly, I'm not crazy about that. I've spent the last few years really focusing on my running and I rather enjoy it. I do, however, need to work on the other 2 events. Luckily, I started doing triathlons over a decade ago. Swimming and cycling come back to me very quickly. So here's a run down of what my week looked like:
Tues- swim .9 miles. I planned on swimming a mile but miss counted my laps. Close enough. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I was in the pool.
Wed running 5 miles. I went with my friend Anna and Loren to the Sports Basement fun run. I feel like most of my group run days are behind me. I like to run at my pace and when/where I feel like it. But hey, I'm in a new city and don't know my way around running wise well yet and don't know a lot of runners so what the hell.
Friday swim 1 miles. I must say, I'm really glad I can just get in the pool and swim a mile without any trouble.
Sat run 5.62 miles. Loren and I tried out a new route before coffee club. 20 mile fixie ride. My friend Emily from coffee club wanted to take her bike out for the first time this spring. My fix bike was the only one ready to go. It was actually a really nice ride to the beach.
Sun ride 44 miles ride over the Golden Gate with Loren and Anna. We had planned on going with a local club (see my note about running groups, that's mild compared to how I feel about cycling groups. But again, new city, new people, but sadly, same douchebag attitude coming from other cyclists. That's one I know I won't go back to). The ride itself was beautiful and hilly. It'll take a little trial end error to learn the local routes, but that's also exciting.
This doesn't include what probably amounts to 15 or so miles of incidental riding. I'd say a pretty solid week to start. All my runs since Boston have been under 6 miles, I plan on changing that this week.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

People in motion

A lot has happened in the barely 2 weeks since Boston. A LOT I tells ya!
First, I got a cold. That doesn't really surprise me, I've gotten sick post marathon before. Ye olde immune system really takes a nose dive. Sitting on a sold out Megabus for 4 hours the day after doesn't help either.
Then Loren and I packed up everything and moved to SF. Ok, that was in the works for a while, but the actually happening of it was about a week after Boston. The week of Boston I spent packing up our place while Loren was in CA for work. She came home for the weekend and the mad packing push. I thank Day/Niquil for seeing me through these days. It's a big job to pack up 20+ years of life in one city and move it to the other side of the country. Not to mention 2 cats who had little interest in going anywhere.
Luckily, getting everything out of our place (movers. Young, strong men) was fairly drama free. Much to my surprise, flying with the cats was also fairly drama free. Everything from drugging them, to getting them in their carriers, through security and on the plane went off pretty much without a hitch. Of course Beans is still freaked out here in the new place. (just a side note: yes, my pets have facebook pages. With beans, I do not know who 140 of her 170 fans are. She's taken on a life of her own). Tobias is much better adjusted. He's acting like he's been here his whole life.
Now we're in our new place but our stuff is not. Living like we're camping with an airmatress, a camp towel, 1 take out container as our plate/bowl, and a pot borrowed from a neighbor. Our stuff should be here this week.
As for running, I'm totally ready to get back on the horse. It's also a great way to explore the new 'hood. Yesterday Loren and I did 4 miles before joining an old pal of mine for an established weekly coffee club meeting. That was great, I love the girls who meet and feel like there's an instant posse. The run itself was fairly hilly. That is my new challenge. I don't mind running hills, but some of this stuff up in here is crazy. This morning i went out on my own from another 4 in a different direction. I think exploring all of this will be fun.
I'm looking forward to getting my bikes out here as well. There's a group that bike commutes down to Google. Loren will be working not far from there as well. I'm hoping to hop on the rides once or twice a week as I train for the Ironman (oh yea, that thing). To start I'll ride down and train back and as I get in better shape, ride down and back. I'm so looking forward to that and just having my bike to get around the city.
Well, lots of new adventures to be had out here I'm sure, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with all my heart

Boston '11 in the books. For those of you who don't want to read the whole story, here are the details.
3:47:39 which is 8:41 pace. Good enough to requalify but a good 10 minutes off my A goal. I think this was somewhere around my D goal. However, I am not (really) disappointed. While people were saying weather conditions for the day were once in a life time kind of conditions, I don't think those people actually run. Perhaps it was perfect for folks up in wave 1, but us mere mortals back in waves 2 (20 minutes after wave 1) and 3 (40 minutes after wave 1) it was a tad warm. While there was a tail wind, the sun was also out in full force turning people into crusty, salting looking pretzel like beings.
Anyway, on to the race.
After last year's race, I could have left well enough alone. I had such an awesome time. I PRed, met a lot of great people and it was really memorable. I wanted to come back, however, because most the girls I actually train with were planning on running this year. I wanted to run with them. While the whole crew didn't make it, the Rachels did (Rock and Rayk). We had someone of a loose plan to run together. My goal was under 3:38 which is the qualifying time for the NYC Marathon. I don't have any intentions of running NYC this year and have already qualified with a half, I just set this as a goal. My pal Barb joined in for the fun.
At the starting area, we couldn't find Rayk so Barb, Rock and myself headed over to the corrals. It was brisk at the start, some gusting wind but not cold.
We lined up and the wait wasn't very long, before we knew it we were heading down hill towards Boston.
Part of what makes Boston tough is while it has a net elevation loss, most of that is in the first half. It is mostly down hill until mile 16 where the Newton HIlls start, culminating with Heartbreak hill which is around mile 20. If you run that first half too fast, which is easy to do, you will have more than a broken heart at mile 20. (elevation chart)
I started off feeling pretty good but not OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING TO BE MY DAY. We were steadily ticking off the miles and came through the first 5k in 26:21, 8:28 pace. A little slower than target but I'd rather have a slow start.
At mile 5, I checked in with Barb, she said she was a little tired. Not a good sign at mile 5.
The thing about running races together for me is there has to be a commitment...to leave each other. I want to know going into it everyone is going to be ok with that because when the time comes, it's hard. Doing the leaving and being left and I've done both. By mile 6, Barb had faded behind Rock and I and I took my first gel.
10k time 51:49 8:21 pace. We had taken back some time but we were still a little behind pace.
I was still feeling good. The sun was strong for sure. This tail wind everyone talked about I really only noticed when a wave of rogue empty cups would swarm us from behind.
We hit the 15k mark (1:17:36 8:19 pace) picking up a bit more time. I remember 15k because they have a big crew of photographers taking official race photos hanging over the course. We were also going to see Rock's mom, stepdad, and girlfriend at mile 10. Knowing where people are going to be really helps. Sure enough, mile 10, there they were.
Coming up on mile 11, we found Rayk. She said everything hurt and she didn't think she'd stay with us. At mile 11, we saw another cheer squad: Sandi, Rayk's girlfriend and a bunch of our other NYC running girls (sorry girls, I can't remember everyone who was there, I just remember Sandi in that Gay Vest). I think Rayk was with us for about a mile.
Next up: Wellesley. Which means the Wellesley Scream tunnel. Which means hundreds of girls screaming holding signs of every variety saying KISS ME. There are so many cool traditions about Boston that I love. Clearly, this one is close to the top. Not just because of the invitation to kiss college aged girls (no really) but because for a half mile leading up to the fray, you can hear them screaming. Long before you can see them. And it's awesome. It just before half way and it's such a motivator. As Rock and I ran through, I spotted a "kiss me I'm a vegetarian" sign and went over and happily obliged.
Shortly after, we hit the half way point (1:49:03 8:19 pace) Still holding on right around pace.
It was now noon and the sun was high in the sky and after this point, I would begin to slow down. Interestingly, it was subtle. Last year I remember struggling at the start of the hills but seeing friends cheering and it gave me a boost. I was hoping for the same. I knew we were going to see Rock's people again so I was looking forward to that. Around mile 16 we did. We knew we were falling off the sub 3:38 goal so we went to plan B sub 3:40. That would still be good enough for a PR for me and also requalify me for next year.
25k 2:09:49 8:21 pace, still not bad.
And now ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the Newton HIlls. Please leave your quads at the mile 16 marker, they will be returned to you at the finish line the form of hamburger. While none of these hills are terribly hard, string them all together this late in a marathon and you've got some pain coming your way.
Rock and I were still together, though she lingered a little longer at family visit #2. I was hoping she was up for what was coming. At mile 17, I knew we were off pace. I took my pace band off and threw it. It was just going to drive me nuts. We were still on for plan B. About a mile later, Rock started drifting a few steps behind me. I turned my head and gave her some encouragement. Somewhere in mile 18 I think she said something to me and she faded back. That kinda sucked. I was hoping we would finish together. For about the next mile, I'd quickly look back to see if she was coming back to me.
30k 2:37:38 8:27 pace. Yup, giving time back to the hills.
Mile 19, ah what a sight for sore eyes. A bunch of Front Runner boys cheering like madmen when they saw me. So helpful. Zander, a marathon maniac (make that lunatic) excitedly jumped in with me for a few steps to make sure I was ok. About a minute later, my friend Susan jumped out of the crowd and ran me up the hill in mile 19, telling me how the boys we knew in the race were doing and updating me on the texting marathon she and Loren were having. At this point I was glad someone was talking to me but I don't remember saying much back.
I knew after I crested that hill I had a small break before it came.
The hill.
The one this race is known for.
Ok, I'm being dramatic, I don't think Heartbreak Hill is that bad. It's not easy, it's just late in the race and seems endless. One good thing about it is it goes right through Boston College and the kids come out in force. Last year I could smell the beer. This year it was such a nice day, the crowds were huge and loud and really really helpful. THUMP THUMP THUMP was written on the road every few yards followed by a huge broken heart. At this point, I started singing the Mumford and Sons song this post is named for. Don't ask why. I have no idea, it was just going over and over in my head.
Steady steady up the hill. This is the last real hill on the course. I just had to get up this and then it would be downhill. At this point, however, my legs are shreaded and the downhill doesn't help much. I think somewhere in here I moved on to my C goal. Sub 3:45.
My friend Nolan got this shot of me at the top of Heartbreak. I got seriously ugly race face going on.

I asked her where this was and she told me "Mile 21, about 25 feet after you reach the top of heartbreak hill and realize your quads are somewhere back on mile 16. If had you looked good there, you weren't running fast enough..."
35k 3:06:16 8:33 pace
Hello D goal which was under 3:50 and would requalify me for next year. I have less than 5 miles to go now. I'm really gritting my teeth and digging deep. The crowd is just amazing. There are days when such a swarm of loud people can be maddening. This isn't one of them. I am totally feeding off their energy and using it to push myself to the finish. I take my 4th and finally gel.
Somewhere close to 24 miles, I see the girls cheering again. I think that's where it was. Really, I'm in brain blur mode. I'd look at my watch thinking several minutes had gone by and it was usually about 40 seconds.
40k 3:35:07 8:39 pace.
I am holding on, that sub 3:50 is within reach unless something serious happens. Never rule that out, there were people down and out in the last mile.
Leading up to mile 25, there is a sneaky overpass. You wouldn't think it's much until you have to run it at mile 25. The first year I came to Boston to cheer, I stood there for hours watching so I am very aware of that little hill. The nice this is I know shortly after, I will see the sign for ONE MILE TO GO.
The crowd noise is still carrying me.
In the distance I see this very tall thin woman I've seen at several races in the past and I make passing her my goal. This late in the race, it's the little things. I am so happy when I pass her.
Soon, this will all be over.
There is a running joke about the straightaway nature of Boston's course, that there are really only 2 turns and they're in the last half mile.
Right on Hereford, the left on Boylston.
Hitting Hereford, you're so close.
Hitting Boylston, you can see the finish. But man, it seems so far away.
I see the 26 mile mark painted on the street and dig dig dig for that finish line.
3:47:39 8:41 pace. Good enough to come back next year. Which I am not planning on doing, but nice to run the time.
I wander through the finish area, get wrapped in foil like a baked potato, get my medal, get my clothes so I can get out of these shoes. Call Loren, call my mom, look at all the text messages that have blown up my phone through out the day. Thanks everyone!
I make my way over to the family greeting area where I find Rock's posse. A few minutes later she joins me, having finished her first Boston.

Here are the results for my cast of characters:
Rock 4:04:28
Barb 3:48:11
Rayk 4:06:30
So a tough day out there for the Rachels. But hey, first time, it's not an easy course! And Barb with a lovely comeback!
I am so thrilled to have finished another Boston, While I didn't hit my time goal, I ran the best I could on the day and you can't ask for more than that.
Oh yea, we also raised $5341 for the Trevor Project, passing the $5000 goal. A huge thank you for everyone who donated! And a huge thank you for everyone's support during this training cycle.

Friday, April 15, 2011

These changes ain't changing me

Radio silence over here leading up to the Boston Marathon. Sorry about that.
Ya know, I found a GREAT cure for Taper Madness. It's called planning a cross country move. It does wonders. Takes your mind right off that pesky 26.2 mile run coming up.
All my running has felt really good. I was very happy to see the taper this time around. I guess I really don't have a lot to say. I'm looking forward to going to Boston, seeing all my imaginary friends and hanging out with the Uptown Girls. Rayk and Rock are both making their Boston debuts so that is VERY exciting and a big part of the reason I'm running this year.
Just a couple of things:
-if you want to track me on Monday, my # is 16421 (tracking is at baa.org)
-We're so close to my (random) goal of $5000 for the Trevor project. There's still time to donate!
Support for this has been so amazing, I can't even tell you. Thanks to EVERYONE who has supported this!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hello Hello San Francisco

First another ticker update. My cardiologist wanted to do blood work on me even though I had just had it done in Nov. It turns out I'm a little low on magnesium which could be part of the issue. So now I'm taking that to see if it helps.
The last few days it's been much much better, really no fluttering at all. I'm thinking it was a combo of stress, low mag, and maybe a week of pushing too hard.
Now moving on o actually running. I've been in SF for the last week (more on that later) and wrapped up my last 20 miler with Barb, also know to the RWOL folks as BarBq. Nice to get that one out of the way, and run with someone else, and run somewhere else. Loren joined for the last 8. I felt like a total slug but it's done. I had a few other runs as well while I was out there.
Now I'm looking at my weekend which calls for a tune up race and a 16. Honestly, I'm thinking of blowing off the tune up. There's really no race to be had this weekend and I'm tired from all the stress of travel and...
the fact that we're moving to San Francisco. I mentioned this somewhere else today and someone called shenanagins due to the date, but it's true. We're packing up and heading west. I kept it kinda quiet until we found a place to live which was what this trip was all about. And we did! I'm very excited and freaked out at the same time.
This all comes while I'm getting ready for that little race in Boston so...it's stressful.
Anyhoo, I don't think blowing of a tune up which I'd end up doing on my own as a tempo is going to make or break anything with a little over 2 weeks to go. We'll see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

unbreak my heart

Here's the update on Ye Ole Ticker.
It's fine.
I wore my bomb for 24 hours. While it looked like I was having an irregular beat a bit higher than the DRs liked, after a stress test and another EKG, it looks fine. They don't know what causes it and it might come and go. I could go on beta blockers but with my running, she really doesn't want to go that route and neither do I. I'm having blood work done to get out my thyroid though I just had that done in Nov.
So...that's that. After 3 days of not running (which in these weeks leading up to Boston has felt like forever) I'm cleared to hit the road again. WOOHOO just in time for CRAPPY weather.
Oh and hello, who invented that stress test thing? How the hell you suppose to do that without a bra?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I know that it's a heartquake

There will be bonus points for getting the title of this post.
So last week, it was a tough week. I think I packed too much in without enough recovery, something that I honestly rarely do. I tend to err on the side of a lot of recovery.
Because I'm lazy.
Ok, no really, I don't want to get hurt and the older I get the more I see how important recovery is.
For a while now, I've had this weird fluttering in my chest. Initially I thought it might have been some dehydration. Still possible. It comes and goes. After last week, it came and stayed. My resting HR has been a little high so I'm sure that could be some over training. Boston is 4 weeks away and boy am I ready. Hitchcock and I pretty much ran our long run on Sat. threatening each other so we'd get through it. After that run, I decided 2 days off. No running at all. I also decided to go see my Dr cause why not.
I really like my Dr. He's curious about things and tend to go on the side of less is more which I find refreshing.
They hooked me up to an ECG to see what was up with my ticker. It's true, my resting heart rate is higher than it's been on my last few doctor visits. When he asked me to describe what it felt like, I told him it felt like my heart was skipping a beat. He looked at his computer and said, well, that's because it is. He showed me the read out and yup, there it is! WEIRD.
It also feels weird. He went to talk to the cardiologist in his office. She, too, thought it was a little odd but not serious. Mostly odd because they don't know why it's happening.
Now I'm hooked up to a heart rate monitor for the next 24 hours. This thing is RIDICULOUS. Just imagine running with one of these instead of the nice Garmins we all have. As the nurse was hooking it up, she told me to tuck all the wires in my pocket so people wouldn't think I had a bomb. I love post 9/11 thinking.
In short, he doesn't think it's anything serious and prob. can't do anything about it but it's annoying.
I will update after they remove this contraption.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

`cause down the shore everything's all right

I have been tardy in my blogging. So much to report!
Recap of the last 2 weeks of running:
Week before last RayK and I headed out for what most people following Pfitz marathon plans dread: the long run with marathon pace miles. This time it was 15 miles with 12 at MP. I was hoping for 8:20 pace for the MP portion. We ended up averaging 8:10s. And I felt great. Yes, it was a tough workout that one always is but I don't think I killed myself. It felt comfortably hard.
Last weekend, Loren and I headed to FL to surprise her dad for his 70th bday. I got in a 10 miler and a 6 miler. IN SHORTS. That was very very nice. We also hit the FL highpoint at a whopping 345 feet. That brought my total to 30, Loren's to 32.

This week's running called for high milage (for me). I ran my 20 earlier in the week so I could do a tune up race today. 20 miles on River Road. I usually ride river road from my house, it's a nice 26 miles loop. When I run it, it's an out and back. With hills. A lot of hills. Long hills. almost 2300' of hills. Up and down which is good, but it is a TOUGH run. I was cooked for a few days after. Did a recovery run with the dog the day after. Man oh man.
This had me concerned about today's race. Loren, Bea and I ran 5 yesterday and I felt ok. A little dead in the legs.
Yesterday afternoon, I took the train to Asbury Park to meet my long time friends Paul and Frank who have a place out there and were kind enough to put me up and hang out with me. Paul and I went to get my number yesterday and it was windy. I was concerned about that. And the weird course: 4 loops covering boardwalk, road, and um, marble flooring. On the course, we ran though the convention center and a falling apart casino. I would certainly say this was the most interesting course I've run.
Before going to bed last night, I was bellyaching to Loren about my tired legs, the wind, the weird course, what was I thinking? She told me to put the p***y away and run hard. She gives the best pep talks.
I got up this morning, ate, and paul brought me over to the start. It was about 40, a nice temp, but yes there was wind. My hat flew off in the first quarter mile.
Mile 1 7:39 well look at that, perfectly paced
Mile 2 7:42 I had fallen in step with a guy between mile 2 and 3. He asked me my goal and I said sub 1:40. He told me his was sub 1:50. I shot him a look and said well you're way ahead of that!
Mile 3 7:25 wind sorta at my back and on the boardwalk, getting ready to run through the convention hall for the first time. End of lap 1.
Mile 4 7:42
Mile 5 7:40
Ok, I know I saw mile markers 6-8, though not when I RAN miles 6-8. No lie, I think they blew away. Still with my pal, I think his name was Mike. He was pretty sure I was one of the lead woman and I just laughed. I was like, no way. I know at least 10 women are ahead of me.
miles 6-8 23:04
Coming up on loop 3.
Mile 9 7:34. I was running the longer portion of the boardwalk well but then once through the convention center the wind would pick up. UGH
Mile 10 7:41
And here, ladies and gentlemen, is when I lost my sub 1:40. Mile 11 because of the wind tunnel from hell. It had picked up so much I felt like I was being pushed back. I know there's nothing I could have done about it. I was running my ass off, even tucking behind Mike when I could and it just didn't matter.
Mile 11 8:11. That is just so terrible. I was so mad. And then, ya know, I'm trying to do math (I don't recommend this this late in a race. It's just not good for you.) So I knew the sub 1:40 was gone unless I pulled a seriously miracle out of my ass. Unlikely. But I could still PR.
Mile 12 7:45 Last long straightaway on the boards and through the building, the finish was right beyond that.
Mile 13 7:39 Just like I started with! This wasn't pretty, I could feel the drool on my face.
.1 44 seconds
Finish 1:40:53
Mike finished just ahead of me, I went over to him, gave him a big hug and said sub 1:50 my ass. He was thrilled, telling me he coached HS XC and doesn't race much any more. So good for you Mike!!
There is some good news:
1. The race was won by a woman. I love it when that happens. She ran 5:54 pace (1:17:26) and beat the first guy by 30 seconds.
2. I PRed
3. I qualified for next year's NYC marathon. No more 9+1 for me. Take that NYRRs!!!
4. This capped off a 48+ mile week
and the stats:
20/188 women 5/59 age group (40-49) 5/77 master (over 40) 83/416 over all.
I'd say at the end of a tough week, this is an awesome result.
5 weeks until Boston! Who's excited?