Friday, December 27, 2013

Once more unto the breach, dear friends

OK, blowing the dust off of this thing and oiling the machinery. We have alot to talk about, document, laugh at and share!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mini Epiphanies

One of my biggest pet peeves in the gym are people who run/ walk while holding on for dear life to the treadmill.

I have even seen trainers working with people who are holding on whole they talk to them. I want to yell at them " LET GO"!!! Whatever work they THINK they are achieving is greatly compromised by the fact that they are holding on! Going too fast? Slow down. Incline too high? Lower it. But stop holding on, let go to see real results and achieve what you showed up for- it won't kill you!

This rant was going through my head yet again when in the gym the other night when it hit me that my peeve is also a metaphor for life in general, and I was humbled. Because teh message is also for me - LET GO.

Whatever crap or baggage or preconceived motions or negative thoughts you are holding- stop holding on to them. It will help you to achieve whatever you truly set out for in this life, and you will see results .

Do you have the courage to let go? I am gonna try....pun indicated in next years race calendar, coming up soon!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

LOOK what I got.....

I have been on a crazy odyssey over the past several months, trying to find a good running shoe. I was perfectly happy with my Asics Gel Kayano 17, but the company has this charming habit of changing their model every other year or so. The last pair that were gifted to me were perfect- the correct model and current size in pink and white (oh so girly!) BUT after completing the MORE half I realized they were too small- I needed to g o up at least ½ size in my running shoes.

That’s when I realized they Asics I loved were no longer available – anywhere! Even in my new gigantor size! I went to some chi-chi running store in Columbus Circle for a gait analysis- and as my luck would have it I had the worst salesperson ever…it took me almost 90 minutes (eternity for me, please believe) to get what I thought might be a decent sneaker…enter the Brooks Ghost

They felt very different from the Asics but also lighter. And ½ size larger. After breaking them in, the first test was the Brooklyn Half. Yes, it was a terrible race for me- but NOT from any undue foot discomfort. OK, so score. But that also meant that I have one pair of running shoes- and finding another pair was crazy.

Skip forward a few months and go to another running store on Long Island. Get another gait analysis. Try on a bunch of sneax. Get a pair of Adidas Supernovas that felt like two buses on my feet (why did I walk out the store with them? They were clodhoppers!)

Two weeks later returned them, looking for the New Balance that I had also tried on….but I didn’t remember the model. Neither did the sales clerk(so much more delightful than the first jerkaholic that didn’t help me) but she suggested I try on these super ugly sneakers. I did- and they felt weird but cool. She explained the whole Newton forefoot strike thing to me- which I am familiar with but never paid any attention to. OK, semi sold. She mentioned that they had a 30 day return policy- very generous IMO. That helped too- oh, and they were on SALE, so it would be an even exchange with the sneakers I was returning ..hmmm, ok. What really sealed the deal was the sales clerk telling me how much faster she ran in them right off the bat- SOLD! Sad, isn’t it?

So far I am happy. I haven’t raced or done any serious distance in them and they are soooo ugly and big (size 11. I feel like Ronald McDonald) and I don’t really see and faster splits, but since superstorm Sandy I haven’t done much running. They do feel great on my feet however and they are sooooo light! My next race is a 15k that I am woefully undertrained for, but I will be wearing my clown shoes on the course!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It’s November and I haven’t blogged in months and months. In the past this would mean that I hadn’t done much to talk about – virtual cowering in shame due to my inertia. HA. That is hardly this case this time around- I am a little sorry that I have not been regularly documenting a lot of what I have done. In the race world it is small beans but in my own private Idaho, this has been a banner season.

First of all, every race you see on the left has been completed. Including the Danskin Tri, which was so much freaking fun it’s ridiculous. It was a lot like my first tri- I was so happy to be done with the swim that everything else was gravy. Since I haven’t talked about anything since Brooklyn ( painful, awful, wonderful Brooklyn Half) I will bullet highlights since then:
  •  NYRR Mini 10K – I remember feeling like crap. First race I wore a skirt in, and I didn’t look too bad. Chub rub wasn’t too bad either, but I wasn’t pleased with my performance. One day I will conquer all of Central Parks’ hills and not feel like dying afterwards.

  • Queens 10K – the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR. It was SO damn hot; I was surprised they didn’t cancel the race. Heat advisories everywhere. I already said to myself I would be glad to finish and not pass the hell out. Flushing Meadows Park is a wonderful flat course and very pretty but not one tree in sight- like racing on tarmac. Water stations sucked; misting stations didn’t work. Wore a skirt again.

  • Percy Sutton 5K- In August, in Harlem. Smaller race but very friendly neighborhood feel. Which helped, because it was HILLS FROM HELL. Good thing it was only a 5k. I also PR’ed at this race too, which was odd because I walked a few times – must have been the pickup on the downhills. Or maybe their time was off – I dunno, but I’m taking it as a sign that I am FINALLY getting a little faster.

  • Danskin Womens Triathlon- HA! Managed to find an instructor to take me and a few other ladies out to learn open water swimming. It was tough but I had a ball. Each class was fun except for the last one which was a jelly fish forest. Running – no problem, I do that regularly. I only managed to get back on my trusty steed Elphaba twice prior to the race.
Which was lovely. Travel there and setup was very smooth; and aside from some prerace jitters (thank God for plentiful portajohns) once I was in the water I was fine. Yes, I am slow. And; my sighting sucks. But I was able to correct my trajectory each time and get a smooth stroke on. No wetsuit either. I ran the ¼ mile to the bike and hammered it (well, hammering for me.) I managed to have a 10 min mile for the run which is faster than my first 5k time and amazing as I felt like I was shuffling and that I might burst into flame at any moment. Seriously, the worst part of the entire race was the run course with all that winding back and forth. But I finished feeling great!
  • BGR! Drive to End Hunger 10K- my first out of state race (I am not counting Danskin) and this was in Atlanta. Black Girls Run!, my running group, had its first national conference ONE WEEK after I completed the Danskin tri. I flew out on Friday, partied it up; did the race (which was sold out at 3,000 participants) and collected another nifty medal. Hilly ass course, and I am not used to running on courses with virtually NO spectators/cheering. Overall however it was a VERY fun experience, I am so glad I went. OH - I wore a skirt again!

  • Divas Womens Half Marathon- I could have trained more; but decided I would dress up (I wore a tutu and looked fab thank you very much! LOL) and show up. After the MORE Half and my terrible Brooklyn performance, I thought I would hammer the hell out of this race to make up for how I didn’t do previously. Well, I didn’t do spectacularly but I DID shave 12 minutes off my best time!!!!! Yesssss, I PR’ed at this Half. And I had a great time doing it. Every picture I have of myself on the course, I have a smile on my face. I am a little nuts, as often when I am racing I just start smiling- usually because I just can’t believe I am doing what I am doing.
That’s the quick and dirty. Only one more scheduled race coming up in December. All this running means that I have qualified for the 2013 NYC Marathon- completing 9 New York Road Runner races and volunteering for one. Yay, me!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brooklyn Half!!!!

OK, so this race report is much delayed; shame on me.

The day after my previous post- just as I was starting to get excited about the half- I awoke in the morning with a sore throat and one clogged nostril. Oh, yeah. Things went rapidly downhill from there- and I tried everything. Nothing helped.

Mind you – I wasn’t dying; it was really just a sore throat and stuffy sinuses. But with a half marathon approaching it is not a good way to feel.

Add to the mix notice that the next door neighbor would be having a graduation party/barbecue the night before the race- oh oy!

I duly laid out all of my gear the night before; knowing I would have to be up at 4:30 am the latest to get to the race on time. I probably slept for three hours all put together but between the stuffy nose , the sudden heat and the terrible loud DJ and music from next door (really sounded like the party was RIGHT in my bedroom) it was in 15 minute spurts. UUUUUGGGGGHHHHH.

Of course I overslept. Not horribly, but enough to make me hustle. I managed to choke down some sort of food, drink, use the facilities properly and get to the race on time. How beautiful to be in Brooklyn for a change! We found a great parking space and I met up with my running buddies. I really wish I were feeling better- it was a beautiful morning even if it was already warm at 6 am. There were scads of porta potties; I was able to find one that didn’t make me gag without a 15 minute wait!

In the corrals, energy was high. My start was probably 15+ minutes after the horn sounded. I said bye to my running buddy( whose pace per mile is at least 1:30 faster than me- and we started out at the same pace months ago mind you but not going there) and settled in to the first few miles of the race.

I immediately noticed a few things:

I felt FAT

I should have brought more tissues to blow my nose with

Despite previous efforts, I would probably have to use the bathroom. Again.

Damn, it was hot

Ah, well. My foot was also hurting just a bit- not cool; but I figured I would give the Brooks Ghost a chance to prove themselves for this race.

The race went down part of Eastern Parkway, into and around Prospect Park, and out of the park down Ocean Parkway all the way to the Coney Island boardwalk. In Prospect Park I finally stopped to pee- the line was so long it was hilarious; and there were people running off into the bushes to pee. Whatever- I really had to go and am so glad I stopped. I do wish I knew the park better as I passed at least two other porta potties in picnic areas that only had one or two people waiting as opposed to the 10 that were in front of me, but whatever.

For some reason Prospect Park seemed to take forever, and really the full loop is only just over 3 miles. I think I stopped at every water station after mile 5 to drink a little Gatorade(blech) and after mile 9; drink some water. It was HOT and I already sweat like an animal.

Aside from regularly blowing my nose and not feeling 100%; I was ok. My feet held up well-the Brooks have earned their keep, I guess. No back pain or leg pain; just HOT and tired. After mile 9 I started taking walk breaks- I couldn’t help it. My PLAYLIST however was a great help I am so glad I was able to throw on some new tunes to help lift my spirits. I have fallen in love again with the Rolling Stones, Queen and Wu-Tang Clan.

Just before the final 400 meters I spied a member of my running group, and I summoned a smile I didn’t have and said “We are almost there!” She smiled back and we both picked up our pace. I was able to sprint the last 200, and got my medal at the end! It was so nice that the race ended on the Coney Island Boardwalk, even though it was hot as blazes.

I hung around for another hour or so to cheer on other finishers and dance to the Donna Summer/ Beastie Boys mix the DJ was playing (RIP Donna and MCA-another chunk of my wonderful youth gone!) I didn’t put my feet in the water like I wanted to, nor did I get a Nathans Hot Dog. I went back to that diner and had another Turkey Burger and Fries! It was soooo good…almost as good as the shower I finally got to take and the nap that was awaiting me.

Two days later my cold was gone, I just needed to rest. My time was longer than the last race, but had I not stopped to pee I would have been faster so I am satisfied. More importantly, I had NO pain, stiffness, soreness afterwards and I am thankful for that. Pretty freakin amazing.

On the other hand, I don’t like any of my pictures from the race- not only did I feel fat that day I really look fat. Waah!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another Half Already?!

I haven’t posted in a while as I have been slacking (what else is new) and stressed. Somehow the weeks have flown by , and suddenly it’s time for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Damn.

I really believed that I was doing the MORE half in preparation for Brooklyn- and that I would be better prepared; hitting my runs strength training, better, etc. Well, that has NOT happened and I feel WAY under prepared.

I have been hitting my long runs, and for the most part they were ok. Except for this last one. I barely cranked out 10 miles and the last three were UGLY. It was sooo hot; and I just had no gas left. OK I admit – my nutrition was off, and I was very stressed worrying about something. But it was soooo hard; the last half mile my legs felt like lead pipes and when I got to the public bathroom it wasn’t to pee, it was to sit and gather my wits.

This last stellar long run was on Mother’s Day. I celebrated by actually going to a good solid NYC diner and eating a BURGER- something I haven’t done in years. It was a turkey burger (beef would still be sitting in my stomach today)but wow it was good- just shows how stressed I was, I hardly ever eat like that. It was good!

So back to kvetching about the Half- its going to be really warm Saturday, and the race starts so early I believe I will have to wake up no later than 4:30 which is ridiculous. I will not be able to eat that early- I mean, how does one train to wake up THAT early and race? I just hope I can make the same time I did for the MORE. I haven’t even out together my outfit yet, horrors!

I had the pleasure of putting together a presentation about Triathlons for my running group. I re-discovered my adoration for the sport (in a voyeuristic sense) and surprised myself with how many questions I could actually answer. I guess those years of reading everything I could get my hands on did have some effect, however fleeting! The session was very well received and I felt very comfortable delivering it, it was a lot of fun. I may have a small proclamation along these lines later, stay tuned.

I got my running buddy to pick up my race materials for me- I think I will try to get them tomorrow, I need something to inspire me and get me at least a little more excited about what I am about to do!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

City Parks 4 miler

I have already come to realize that I enjoy 4 miles as a race distance. I was feeling really good about this race- it was a chilly Sunday, and the long predicted deluge we were to receive didn’t make a showing.  Yay me! I decided however to drink some water instead of coffee before this race, and that was my demise.

After peeing before I left home, prior to taking a race picture I peed again. Then my run group and I took more pictures, chatted, and headed to the corrals together. While standing there however, Irealized I had to pee again. I don’t know WHY I didn’t go- it was at least five minutes until the start (I actually crossedthe start line 11 minutes after the official start)so I would have had planty of time- but I thought the feeling would go away.

It didn’t.

Each step I took that first half mile, I felt in my belly. You know that stabbing uncomfortable feeling when you really have to pee? Yeah, that one. UGH. At mile one, like an idiot, I went over to the two porta potties they had on the course. There were four people ahead of me. After standing there for about 2 minutes(and seeing thousands of people pass me) I realized I didn’t feel like I had to pee anymore, so I started running again.

Almost immediately I felt the “I gotta pee” pressure. Double ugh! I stopped again at mile two (mind you this is only a freakin four miler!) to pee- again, there are four people ahead of me, and each one seemed to want to take a dump or something. It took forever! ( well maybe five minutes) when I do go, I was so glad I did. I managed to sprint those last two miles and catch up to a certain part of the pack;; and I finished at an 11:19 average.

Now, I am happy about this because after stopping twice, I still had an average pace that is only 30 seconds off my best time. I was killing it! I will just be sure to be smarter about my bathroom breaks next time.

I think my participation in the half last week also changed my headset about four miles- I can’t wait to get out for another long run.

Never though I would say that - but there it is.

On another note- I need new sneakers. I am convinced now that my 10’s are too small. I don’t know why all of a sudden my damn feet are so huge but its  only in my running sneax. I am dismayed because this inexpensive hobby is turning quite expensive. At the same time, I am looking forward to getting some cute sneax and being comfortable to boot! So I am heading into the city on Saturday for a gait analysis in hopes that I can find…something.that makes my feet feel great and is cute and makes me run fast! Surely that can't be too difficult to find....right?