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? 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm a runner!

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”

-John Bingham

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


My first half!

On Sunday April 15 I had ythe distinct honor pf participating in the MORE womens half marathon in Central Park. This is the longest distance I have ever run, and I never thought I would be able to participate in a race of this distance but I did it!

There were some nerves the day before. I triedto stay busy and did regular chores but also laid out my entire outfit, a change of clothes for afterwards, charged up my cell phone and loaded it with lots of music; had my energy alternatives ready; and even made my prerace oatmeal and coffee so all I would have to do wa warm it up in the am.

The plan was to wake at 4:30; leave by 5:30 to take the 30 minute drive into the city to find parking. That would give me time to sleep, stretch, pee, whatever before the 7 am meetup for photos with my running group.

Well, I absolutely could NOT sleep the night before. The temperature during the day shot up to the mid 70’s (usual seasonal temp is mid 50’s) and it was due to be 80 on race day. This meant that it was an unseasonalbly warm night- I probably got about 3 hours of sleep. I woke at 5 and it took me almost an hour to get ready, but we made the drive in with plenty of time and found great parking one block away from the park on the Westside near the finish.

I walked to baggage and within a few moments met the others from my running group that had arrived. All told, I think we had over 50 women who participated in this half. It was so wonderful to feel the energy of everyones excitement, and lots of people took pictures and wished each other luck.

I had been (over?) hydrating a lot the week prior and actually drank some water that morning –a first for me – and so I actually had to pee before this race. TWICE. Unheard of for me but sooooo glad I went- the second time I really had to go!

Once the race started (in my corral I would say I actually strted the start line about 10 minutes after the official start o fthe race) I got into a measured pace fairly quickly. There are two significant hills in Central Park (and about a dozen smaller ones) so I wanted to pace myself for them- esp[ecially the biggie, Harlem Hill, which we hit twice the first time being about 1.5 miles into the race. I am proud to say all my hill repeats paid off BIGTIME! I managed to jog each hill without too much difficulty while I could count on one hand the number of other women saw jogging up the second lap of Harlem Hill.

The weather threatened rain- they wer saying 60% and it did drizzle the night before, but it was just warm and after awhile the sun did come out to make things warmer; plus a little humid.I was sweating like a dog but that is hardly unuisual for me.

In the first mile I had a sore foot and tight calves. Those issues worked themselves out largely by mile 2. Afterwards I was doing soooooooo well, I really felt great the first half of the race. I almost – not quite but almost- forgot to take my energy replacement (Clif shot choclate- holla!) but sucked that down along with some Gatorade probably around mile 7 or so.

It wasn’t until mile 10 or 11 that I suddenly felt like just sitting down. Not stopping, or walking, but sitting down, watching TV with a cold soda in my hand. Like, RIGHT NOW. I tried slowing down, and I think that did me good for a mile; and at the next water station walked the length of the station. But just like that I felt out of gas. It sucked. I searched inside of me for something to help me get going again – and I would start- and stop. Start- and stop. Start- and stop.

This crap went on until about mile 12.5 when I realized how close it really really was- I started again and actually finished with a decent pace. Overall however, I wasn’t too far of of what I thought I could do. The walking breaks too over towards the end. OK so I am somewhat disappointed as I have done better pace times on my long runs that I do alone and those are at TWO MINUTES SLOWER than race pace- somehow I wasn’t able to pull that faster pace off .

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

T Minus 5

Well hallelujah and pass the peas, I seem to have snapped out of it. After a week of almost nothing, I crammed in my weekly required mileage in four days. Probably breaking every best practice out there, but whatever I FEEL better and my runs were actually good.

Thursday I did horrible speed intervals on the treadmill. Hot sweaty horrid four miles ...but I felt strangely energized somehow when I was done. Friday, I headed into Alley Pond Park with my running group and did six miles of hill repeats. It was a tough but really fun workout; I love these ladies.I made sure I went to the gym afterwards and got in the sauna and it was WONDERFUL!!!

Saturday was another running group run, I DIDN'T DIE!!!

It was an interesting long run, out to the beach and back. I actually didnt feel too horrid at all the whole time. Mind you my pace was continuously around 12:20 the entire time- where it is suppossed to be; but I honestly cannot imagine myself going any faster than that for 13 miles. I got in the zone from mile 9 on; I was flowing!  At mile 9 I also got a weird cramp in my left foot that I tried to run through(unsuccessfully) and I was hobbling afterwards . I rolled it out when I got home and I had no soreness or aches at all the next day. Nice.

BUT...cuz there is always a but.....I am not sure how doing the long slow distance is going to get me any quicker! I feel like such a complete ASS after doing all this running and my times are not improving and everyone ELSE I run with get faster but oh no, not me!

Ah, well....stepping off of that pity party and reminding myself of the not to distant past where I salivated at teh idea of being able to run 5 miles at whatever pace. I am greatful. I know I will be able to do this half, even if I wind up walking most of it; and than is more than alot of people can do. I need to remain greatful for that, put some music on my player, and get down to doing what I know I can do!

This is taper week. Walked two miles and ran two with the ladies at the track tonight. My not so old Asics feel like bricks on my feet now, all the padding is gone baby gone. I run again Thirsday, and that is it. I am looking forward to the expo- not sure why; I can't buy one damn thing but I am looking forward to it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Countdown !

It is just over a week until my first half marathon. How do I choose to prepare for it? By doing absolutely NOTHING! YAY! I wish I could explain the absolute mind paralysis when it came to running this past week. Somehow, after working all day, going for a run seemed about as appealing as being boiled in oil. At the same time, the goodie goodie fitness girl trapped in the basement of my brain is wailing about how I need to stick to my plan, and some other alarmist crap about the muffins I have been eating each morning for breakfast.


Its like something just unplugged, and I am depressed.

Last Sunday, I did a long run in Central Park- 11 miles – and WHY was it so damn hard? It was awful. I think it shook up my confidence TOO much. I felt as if I were going slower and slower with each mile. I was working too hard. My LEGS were hurting. WTF? I could not run or train at ALL and feel like that; ya know?

                     this is me- the sloth crawling aross the asphalt

So I have crammed my runs into the last four days of this week- day 1 being intervals on the dreaded dreadmill. I watched lots of crappy reality television to help me through and it worked well; 4 miles down. Today, I did hill repeats with my running group in the park and actually had fun- 6 miles down. Two more runs to go this weekend.

I am going to try to nail my nutrition and hydration in this last week before the race. I am also going to try (it won’t be easy) to get more sleep; and stretch each day. Mostly I am going to look for more awesome music for my playlist and keep reminding myself to have FUN. Its not a job, its a hobby and a mild obsession. Plus as my first Half, anything I do will be a PR!