Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just Thursday

No run today.  I did a little more blog surfing.  I was looking for race reviews of the Old Fashioned 10 Miler coming up in a couple of weeks.  I found one on Little Miss Runshine.  Although I was looking for race related info, it turned out she and I had a lot in common in other areas (our childhoods).  We actually don't have a lot in common regarding running.  She's super fast.

I'm going up to my mother's again in the morning for the "north shore hills".  I have to be prepared for the "rolling hills" of Foxboro.  You never really know what to expect when a course is advertised as "hilly".  Hills, I think, are subjective.  One girl's hill is another girl's mountain is another girl's pancake.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Miles to the Morgue

5.86 miles and 44 degrees.  Again, it was cool and damp out.  Pit stop at the local college after Mile 1.  I cut the run short slightly because Pete needed to get to the airport.  Consideration is my middle name.

This morning when I checked my email, sent me their latest article on how running will kill me.  My friend sent me a similar article a couple of months ago from the Wall Street Journal.  Both quote recent studies that found endurance activities (ex., marathoning) are bad for your heart, contrary to what we once thought.  This is a downer, to put it mildly.  Running 20 miles a week is great for your heart.  Running 50 miles a week could kill you (I'm running close to 30 per week.  When marathon training I peak at around 45).  Many miles and speed can cause inflammation on your muscles, including the heart muscle.  I guess the Pfitzinger training regimen I was considering, peaking at 70 mpw, can go out the pfreaking window.

The reaction from the running world (on the Runner's World forums) was a mix of denial and defiance.  Many people stated that they really didn't care.  Running makes them feel good and feel healthy.  All these years of believing running will extend your life, and the more you run, the longer you will live, it's hard to suddenly hear, "Oh, you remember when we (the doctors) told you to run longer and harder?  Well, we were wrong.  Stop.  Call me if you're having chest pains.  Bye."  One of the articles stated that if you were an endurance athlete for ten years or more, you are at risk.

So until I hear otherwise, I will tentatively plan on running a marathon a year until I qualify for and run NYC.  Hopefully, this will happen in the next couple of years.  Then I will dial it down.  By then, they'll decide running too many miles is good.  Walking, in general, will be bad.  Walking slowly, the worst.  (These last statements are purely fictitious.  Please walk on, if you can.)  Am I defiantly in denial?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Psychic Tuesday

5 miles, 43 degrees, cool and damp at 3pm.  I got away with shorts, but if it were one degree cooler I think I would have been uncomfortable.  Bathroom break at the rec center.   I need to stop that nonsense before it becomes a habit again.

MMT, her sister, Yvette, their mom, and I had a dinner reading with my favorite psychic, Adam Bernstein, at this yummy restaurant in Wantagh called Toro Pazzo (don't let the bull turn you off).  He gave me the thumbs up for a 2014 NYC Marathon...

I saw the picture below on the And So It Burns  blog (a fast Massachusetts runner with very honest, inspirational, and sometimes emotional race reports)  that I started following.  It made me laugh because this is exactly what happened to me when I was vacationing in Hawaii this past summer.  It was my first morning on the Big Island and I went out for a run.  Within the first mile I passed another runner who very casually high-fived me and kept going.  It was the first (and last) time someone had ever done that to me. I am pretty sure I know why he did it too.  I think he was feeling the exact same thing I was feeling, "I am running in Hawaii!  This is fucking awesome!!!  Hey, there's someone else running in Hawaii!  Isn't it fucking awesome???"

Monday, January 28, 2013

28 is the new 75!

7.56 miles on a downright balmy 28 degree morning.  I went out around 7:15.   Some lady who was making a right turn onto the main road almost ran me over.  This is typical of drivers.  They are constantly looking left and when they see their opening they abruptly make the right turn, forgetting that there may be pedestrians, cyclists, or runners trying to cross the street.  The woman saw me at the last minute and mouthed sorry as she continued to drive, instead of stopping.  Uh...thanks?  At 3 miles, I decided I had to use the bathroom so I detoured home and then went back out on my 4 mile route.  My legs felt good.  They benefitted from that day off after the race.  Pete had to go into the city so the run wasn't as long as I had hoped.  The forecast for tomorrow morning is 40 degrees!  Crazy.

Pete goes away Wednesday for 6 days so I'm going to have to figure out how I'm going to get the runs in.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

...Sunday, My I Don't Have to Run Day

I prefer to run on Sundays, but I didn't sleep much last night, had a few drinks at the neighbors' (you know who you are!), and I just didn't want to have to think about scheduling it around resting, Santos' derby race (which was really neat), resting, giving Blog a little cosmetic surgery, and resting.   I will make it up tomorrow...if I wake up early enough....Good night!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Brrrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10K Review

Walking to the start.

Courtesy of Vital Vision Photography
(Why am I running in a different direction than everyone else?  And why is that "Secret" Service guy following me?)


Finisher's mug

I woke up at 6:15, downed a glass of orange juice, and got in the car toward Prospect Park.  Even though I had to get the old ice scraper out of retirement, the roads were fine.  I heard on the traffic report that there were two accidents westbound on the Belt Parkway (it's news when there are no accidents on the Belt), so I took the BQE instead.  This added some time.  I finally got to Prospect Park around 7:45.  The scenery was really pretty with the thin blanket of snow on the ground and on the trees.  I walked to the starting line with a lot of other racers.  It was freezing, 16 degrees to be exact.  Some guy was prancing around in silk shorts and a tank top heckling everyone, "You guys are wimps!  Oh, you're sooo cold!  Pathetic."  Five minutes later, I saw him at the start jumping up and down shivering.  There's always one at a race.  I brought my YakTrax, but kept them in my pocket.  It looked like everyone else was willing to take the risk.  The race started and off we went.  The first couple of hundred yards was uphill, not too steep, but definitely not flat.  After running about 8:20, I realized there was no mile marker, but I thought I must be close to Mile 1, if I didn't just pass it.  We're running the interior road of the park.  The race road had lots of patches of snow, but it was easy to find a melted path.  I can see the corner where I parked my car and I knew it wasn't too far from the starting line so we were close to the halfway mark.  When we got there, the one clock on the course read 22:10!  Whoa!  That's too fast.  This is a 7:09 pace.  I didn't feel I was struggling that first half, but the second sure wasn't fun.  I don't know if I psyched myself out or not, but it seemed to take forever to end.  I finally got to the finish.  49:19 is the official chip time.  8 seconds slower than my PR, but two minutes slower than what I was expecting.  I think I paid for those two minutes in the first half.  I should have hit the 5k at around 24 minutes, instead of 22.  Oh well, live and learn.  Overall it was a good race.  I liked the NYCRuns group.  They were great with the email updates.  I will definitely run another one of their events.    I finished 4th in my age group (grumble grumble) out of 38, 36th out of 364 women, and 104th overall out of 574.  Top 10% in the age group, top 10% among females, and top 20% overall.  I'm pretty consistent with these stats.  Next race, Old Fashioned 10 Miler...

Oh my God, I almost forgot the most important thing!  The hot chocolate at the finish line was fantastic!  Super chocolatey, just the way I like it.  How did they know?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Brrrrooklyn Eve

Race early in the morning.  We got a dusting of snow this evening, not even an inch, but it is still very cold.  Hopefully, the course won't be too icy.  Pete was able to pick up my number from Jack Rabbit Sports so I don't have to worry about getting there too early.  I am a little concerned about the murder suspect who escaped from a jail in Park Slope and is on the loose.  Other than that, I'm looking forward to the race.

Race report tomorrow...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold and Colder

Tempo run in 17 degrees.  Will.  Write.  More.  After.  Thawing.  Complete.


So after repeatedly kicking myself for dropping the ball with the Marine Corps 17.75k race, I decided it was time to move on.  I looked around for other races with distances of either 10 or 13.1 miles in the next couple of months.  There is the Jones Group Realtors 10 Miler in Amherst MA.  This is hillier than I would like (yes, I wrote that - the day after I boasted about risking life and toes to run the hills of Long Island's Gold Coast).  After running the Mad Half Marathon in Ski Country, VT last summer and adding 14 minutes to my half PR, I decided if I can avoid serious hills mountains, I choose avoidance.  I also considered the Brooklyn Verrazano Half Marathon hosted by NYCRuns (the same group behind the Brrrrooklyn 10k on Saturday).  This race is very close to home and right on the water beneath the Verrazano Bridge.  Unfortunately, this is the same day Sav has a camp commitment.  I looked into the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC.  Yep, sold out.  I hope this is not going to be a trend for running (or not running) races in the DC area.  Anyway, I finally found and, more importantly, registered for a race!  The Old Fashioned 10 Miler in Foxborough MA on February 17.  Foxborough is four hours from where we live, but only an hour from my brother-in-law's in Newport RI.  Since it is a holiday weekend (Presidents Day), we are going to make a little family trip out of it.  I will get to run my race, the kids will get to see their cousin,  and Pete will get to drink beers with his brother at the local pub.  Oh!  And the absolutely best part about this race is the 11:00am start!  Perfect for my lazy arse.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I went up to the north shore for my run after dropping Sav, Santos, and Rema off at school.  Baby Girl stayed at my parents' house. I miss running in the town I grew up in for a few reasons, nostalgia, beautiful scenery, and the HILLS. The south shore of Long Island can't get any flatter. I figure I could use a little hill training before my race.

 It was 9:45am and 16 degrees. There was no snow up there.  No ice, either. Looked promising. I had on my sports bra, my running compression pants, a Uniqlo turtle neck, green cotton sweater, fleece, scarf, hat, and sunglasses.  Even with all the layers, the first 8-10 minutes were still painful. I had my scarf over my nose and mouth. This didn't work for two reasons: 1) I couldn't breathe, and 2) my glasses started to fog up. My toes on my left foot were numb and not because of my awesome Adidas Glides. They were on their way to becoming frostbitten. I envisioned them turning black just as I had seen over and over again on all those Mount Everest documentaries. The doctor would have to amputate them. Then I would have to explain to everyone who asked, "I just wanted to run up a hill." My cheeks below my sunglasses and above my scarf felt like they were going to join my toes in the red garbage pail at the hospital. Once I hit my first unshaded road, the sun warmed me up and my future was beginning to look less dismal and I was able to enjoy my surroundings.

According to Map My Run, the biggest gain in elevation for my hometown run is 56 feet versus a 200 foot gain on the north shore.

 I got my YakTrax for Saturday's race (I haven't heard any guesses on exactly how much snow we're supposed to get, but I'm just going to expect the worst). I went on the official YakTrax website last night.  The trax can be pulled over the bottom of your sneakers.  They are made of steel wire and rubber cords.  The price on their site is $40.  They were on sale on a Scout site for $24.99, but you have to pay for shipping (there are few things that irritate me more in life than paying for shipping).  Pete reminded me that we received a $10 coupon in the mail from Dick's!  That Scorecard paid off (I am still waiting to see the benefits from my Toys R Us and Hallmark rewards cards...after 11 years)!  I went to Dick's and tried them on.  Apparently, they only make the YakTrax Walkers in an extra small for a size 6 foot (my foot, well I guess both of them).  The YakTrax Pro (for running) smallest size fits sizes 6.5-10.  I was wary, but they seemed fine.  In fact, it was a bit of a challenge to get them over my sneaker.  Good luck, Size Tens.  The price sign on their display read $29.95!  So after all was said and done, I got my brand new YakTrax for half off!  Whoo hoo!

I dropped the ball with the Marine Corps 17.75k race.  Registration was at noon.  They sold out by 1pm.  I remembered at 4pm.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ice Ice Baby

No, that was not the last song I heard on my 5 miler.  It was the recurring theme throughout.  The temperature was about 20 degrees.  There was a thin layer of snow with many patches of ice on the streets and sidewalks.  Salt, anyone?  For the most part, the streets weren't that bad.  I was cautious, however, because it was hard to tell if the wet areas were black ice.  One road was a complete mess.  A car skidded at a stop sign.  I had to jump on the sidewalk to avoid getting hit.  Last year was so mild, I forgot what winter running was really like.  I am very concerned about the future and the effects global warming will have on all creatures great and small...but, when it comes to running on ice in frigid temperatures - eh, global warming isn't really that bad.  Pete said we were supposed to get a snow storm Friday night.  Just in time for my first race of 2013!  Yay (meaning, "Shit!")!

All that being said, I'm talking a lot of smack.  I recently researched (meaning I watched a short video on YouTube) one of the Antarctica marathons.  It actually looks very cool (heh heh) and is something I would very much be interested in attempting one day.  With all this "global warming" going on, it just might be 50 degrees down there by the time I get the opportunity.  Hmmm, not a bad plan...

I'm going to do some Yak Trax research, as recommended by my Idahoan friend (Shout out to D!).  I will let you know what I find out later.

Monday, January 21, 2013


No run today, but thanks to Cathy from Jog Blog (an English running blog chock full of that wonderful, dry, English wit) for pointing me in the right direction, you can now subscribe to my blog by email!  Blog is gettin' too legit.  To quit.  Stop.  

Since this is a short post, I will share my favorite marathon promo (also English) so you leave feeling somewhat satisfied.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blame It On the Kid!

5.26 miles on another mild day.  The temperature was about 55 when I went out around 2pm.  It was pretty windy though.  Some days my legs feel like they're made out of lead and the run seems to be never ending.  During those runs, I sometimes have to talk myself out of walking the last half mile or so.  Some days I feel like I'm flying and I could just keep on keeping on all the way to California, or at the very least, home.  Today was a lead day.  I'm going to blame it on the wind, the cup of coffee I knew I shouldn't have had beforehand, and my companion, my 17 month old in her jalopy-of-a- jogger stroller.

(Warning:  Potty Talk)

First, let me address the somewhat regretful coffee.  Last year, 8 out of 10 runs were interrupted with emergency bathroom breaks.  I know every accessible toilet in town.  By accessible, I mean a bathroom where I don't necessarily have to speak with anyone and make my presence and purpose known to others.  If you're running in my town and nature's calling, you can go to the local college.  I'm actually surprised that there isn't better security at the school.  Anyone can just walk into whatever hall it is I'm walking into and...use their bathroom.  It's like Starbucks, but not as nasty (c'mon, we all know that the Starbucks bathrooms are on the same level as that men's room at the dingy gas station you had to resort to because you certainly weren't going to ask at the gun shop next door or the adult video store, all on Route Wrong in the middle of Appalachia).   Other options in town are the train station, which is cleanish, Dunkin' Donuts (but you have to walk past the counter to the restroom), the library, the bagel store (bathroom is in the rear where there is also a convenient entrance/exit), the car repair shop across from the bagel store (this is the cleanest bathroom of them all, but you have to ask the nice guy for the key which isn't so bad since he's referred to as the nice guy), and the rec center.  This year, for whatever reason, I've had no bathroom issues, except for today.  But I didn't make one of my pit stops.  Lead legs.

The jogger stroller is old.  We got it after my first child was born, eleven years ago.  It still "works".  By works, I mean the wheels are attached and when you push it, it goes...a little to the right, but it goes.  A little to the right is kind of a challenge at times, since I'm always running on the left side of the road in the bike lane against traffic.  I try to choose the roads with the wide bike lanes.  Running with a jogger adds at least another 40 lbs. to your workout.  Lead legs.

And then there's the wind.  It is nighttime as I'm typing and I can hear the garbage cans banging into each other from the wind.  Running with the wind is awesome.  Running against the wind sucks.  Lead legs.

No music when I'm with the kids.  Lead legs.

The rest of the week is going to be cold!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Miss My iPod

8.2 miles, 45 degrees and sunny.

The last two times I charged my little iPod shuffle, the voice warning me about a low battery was ominously still there.  I deduced that the battery is probably on its last legs.  Lucky for me, I just bought my Yurbuds iPhone armband (my 11 year old reminded me that my iPhone plays music too!).  After I figured out how to make it so only I could hear the music through the earbuds, instead of the world hearing the music from my phone, I embarked on my run.  Two songs in, I realize I only have about 15 songs on the phone, all of which are my daughter's.  8.2 miles of Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, and One Direction.  Throughout the run, I'm dreading that the last song heading onto my block will be "Firework" or "California Gurls" and I'll have to post it to this blog.  Thankfully, it was not.

I spent the last two hours since my return trying to delete and add songs.

Oh, if you're searching for decent music on your iPhone while running, it's probably a good idea to wear your armband over your sleeve, instead of underneath.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong vs. Ivan Fernandez Anaya

I've been watching the Oprah Winfrey interview with Lance Armstrong the last two nights.  He has been banned from participating in any future marathons and all of his past marathon times (two from New York and one from Boston) have been vacated.  All three marathons were sub-3 hours.

Kahn sent me this article from Dutch Amazing News Blog about an athlete who believes "winning at all costs" isn't actually winning.  Really inspiring amidst the Armstrong scandal.

Iván Fernández Anaya: True Sportsmanship Display (video)

NonameVery little has been said about this…..On 22 December 2012, Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.
Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.
Ivan Fernandez Anaya, a Basque runner of 24 years who is considered an athlete with a big future (champion of Spain of 5,000 meters in promise category two years ago) said after the test:
“But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well.”
He said at the beginning: unfortunately, very little has been said of the gesture. And it’s a shame. In my opinion, it would be nice to explain to children, so they do not think that sport is only what they see on TV: violent kicks in abundance, posh statements, fingers in the eyes of the enemy.

Honky Tonk Runner

Around 28 degrees.  Beautiful, sunny skies on a cold, brisk winter morning.  I did a 4 mile tempo run.  10 minutes at a relaxed pace, 15 at a 5-10K pace, and then a 7-8 minute cool down.  I guessed the times because I was already out the door when I realized I forgot my watch.  Annoying.  I run the same 4 mile route, so I know where my mile markers are and generally how long it takes me to get from Point A to Point B.  As far as my pace goes, I kind of guess by my exertion.  The tempo runs are part of speed work training.  In the past, I was doing track workouts for speed twice a month as part of my Hal Higdon marathon programs.  Track workouts consisted of 2 X 400s or 2 X 800s up to 9 X 400s or 9 X 800s.  To spell it out (because when I first started, I needed it spelled out for me), I would drive to the high school track or use the treadmill at the gym, when I had gym memberships (the highs and lows of gym memberships can be revisited at a later date).  The first lap around a quarter mile track (I've run on oddly measured tracks before and it's just too damn complicated for my math deprived brain) is run at an easy pace.  The next is run at a 5K pace.  Repeat however many times required.  These are the 400s.  Just double for the 800s.  I was told by some experienced runners that these track workouts can be injurious to (cough choke) older mature skilled runners.  Others have noted that unless your race is on a track, there's no reason to train on one.  I have kind of backed off on the track workouts in the past few months.  I will see how I do in the Brrrrooklyn 10K and then adjust accordingly.

Ran into L parallel parking in front of her regular coffee spot.

As far as posting on the blog is going, I write a quick note in the mornings after my runs, then later when I find the time, I will add some more content.  

I thought it would be fun to post the last song I hear on my runs.  That last song is notable because it brings you down that home stretch and adds some pep to your step.  Today Mick gave me the boost I needed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So Far So Good

6.35 miles, 39 degrees and the sun came out!  The armband did not slip down my arm.  I just have to get used to having that extra weight there.

(Yes, you're not imagining things.  Blog got a little fancier today)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Arm band

No run today.  I went to Dick's and bought the Yurbuds armband for the iPhone 5.  I used to have an armband for my iPod many moons ago, but it kept slipping down my arm (c'mon, they're not that small).  It would give me "armband burn" so I returned it, vowing never to wrap anything around my arms while running again...unless I started a blog that would be much more interesting if I posted photos of my runs.  So I'll do a test run (literally) tomorrow and let you know.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Pumped Up Kicks

5 miles in 35 degree weather.  Wore my new Uniqlo heat tech tank top (birthday gift from the Ks) under a light Old Navy fleece.  After the first five minutes, I was totally toasty.  The tank is perfect under a layer in 35 to 45 degrees.  I like the long sleeve Uniqlo turtle necks for under 30 degrees.  The first time I wore the turtle neck under a fleece, it was 27 outside.  After the first mile, I felt like I could have taken the fleece off and been fine.  When I returned home, I immediately went online and ordered two more.  Their heat tech technology absorbs your body heat and redistributes it back to you.  Not sure of the scientific explanation, but it's way cool (or shall I say "warm" -  ayuk! ayuk!).  $14.90 for a turtle neck and $12.90 for the tanks.  Need I say more?

Speaking of great gear, I also want to mention that I have been running in Adidas running sneakers for over twenty years and they have never failed.  I tried Nike a couple of times and they just don't seem to fit quite right (my toes would usually go numb or some other weird side effect).  This past marathon cycle I wore the Adidas blue Glide 4s with silver stripes.  Love 'em!  I'm now introducing my pink Adizero Boston 3s on my long runs.  The Bostons are very lightweight, like running on air.  Both sneakers purchases were made on the Running Warehouse website.  This site not only has discounted sneakers, but also clothing and accessories.  They have a great selection without a lot of unnecessary fanfare (kind of like my blog...).

I received a nice welcome packet in the mail from GLIRC (Greater Long Island Running Club).  It was reassurance that they received my payment.  I am now a bona fide member.  I even have a membership card with my own number (to sign in as a member on their website, perhaps?).  They were very solicitous for volunteers.  I hope to be able to help out.  I always appreciate the volunteers at the races and secretly think to myself whenever I see them at the water stops or finish lines, "Wow.  They are so committed to running, they're not even running in this race.  They must be fast."

I will leave you with the following.  Adidas not only has the best running sneakers,  they have "The Greatest" commercials too:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Less Is More, si?

6.35 in the fog.  It was 50 degrees so I broke out the shorts which was a nice treat.

So last night I checked out some other running blogs.  There are a ton out there.  It's pretty obvious that I'm new at this.  I'm not very computer savvy so I'm not quite sure as yet how to add special features to the blog.  I'll figure it out as I go along.  Right now, I'm just going to throw a word out there: minimalism.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Road to the Marathon is Paved With Good Intentions

...meaning, my run didn't happen today.  I set my alarm for 7, then rationalized that I didn't have enough time to run 6-7 miles and get myself and 2 children ready to leave the house by 10 for Sav's music festival.   Realistically, there probably would have been enough time, but who wants to stress out unnecessarily...on a Sunday? I slept another hour.  We went to the festival and then out to lunch afterwards.  Eating ending approximately 3pm.  I figured I could run around 5.  I came home and got in my running outift.  At 4:47 it was already getting dark.   I'm not a fan of running in the dark for these reasons: 1)  Can't see potholes, 2) Can't see debris, such as rocks, sticks, leaves, dead animal carcasses (shiver), garbage, etc.,  3) Cars have a tough enough time not running me over in the daylight, 4)  Live animals, such as raccoons, possums, bats, cats, werewolves, etc., and last 5) Predators of the human persuasion (actually, not a real issue here, but I felt like it should be).  Ergo, no run today.  My biggest annoyance is the waste of a completely good running outfit.  Luckily, no one saw me since I've been home so it can be recycled for tomorrow.

I joined GLIRC (Greater Long Island Running Club) last night online.  They have monthly meetings (3rd Tuesday of every month...except this month - the month I join), they send you a magazine with all the members' race results, and you get discounts on certain races.   I couldn't sign in on the website as a member after joining.  Not sure what changed in my life.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 12, 2012

Easy 5.04 miles  Overcast.  Forecast was for 54, ended up more like 46.  Saw kids' dentist dropping off his dry cleaning.  Not very exciting.  Wouldn't it be weird if Dentist wrote in his tooth blog, "Saw patients' mother running while dropping off dry cleaning."?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Baltimore Running Festival: Marathon Race Report

No run today, but I did sign up for the Brrrrooklyn 10K so I'm kind of committed to running it.  I thought I'd share my race report from Baltimore.

Marathon Day

October 13, 2012

woke up at 5:00 and ate my delicious Kaiser roll. I used the bathroom :) and waited around for an hour and a half before leaving the hotel at 6:35am.  I walked 1.4 miles to the start in the dark. It was kind of creepy, especially in the harbor where no one was around. The last half mile I met a guy from NJ who was running his first. He ran a 1:45 half and was hoping to finish around 4, but never ran further than 13 miles. Um, okay.

I got to Camden Yards at 7.  A couple of the race photographers were taking photos and I happily obliged. It is freezing. I sat next to a guy from Kentucky. This was his 7th marathon. He used to run 3:30s, but these days he's in the 4s. He signed up for the 4 hour pace group, but he thought that may be too much and instead will go out with the 4:15.  Of course, this gets me second guessing my decision to go out with the 4s.

Fifteen minutes until the start and it's getting really crowded. I look for the 4:00 Geico pace leader. I see the 3:50, a young kid who doesn't look too friendly. I see the 4:15 sign in the distance. I don't find the 4:00 group  for what seems like wAy too long. Finally, I see them. There are three leaders, an older Brit, another older guy who admitted to being the rapper in the BRF online video, and a perky woman. They're giving last minute directions, none of which I can hear except that the guy holding the sign will run off course and not to follow him. I'm glad I heard this.  The gun goes off and we hit the start mat about 50 seconds later.

 The pace leaders are very chatty. This is good because it's distracting and easy to keep track of them. Suddenly, Brit, right in front of me, casually warns, "Mind the rat."  I look down just in time to avoid a huge road kill rat.   Ew!!!!  The pacers are definitely not running even splits. At 3 miles I decide to run in front of them to get some space. I had my iPod on my head, but shut off so I can still hear them talking.

The first 5 miles are hilly, mile 3 is the steepest of the race. We go through the zoo. I discard my sweater. At mile 6 I am ready to pick up the pace.   I'm in a really good groove.  Two young guys next to me are talking about what time they'll hit the harbor. I ask them our pace and they say 8:30. I'm a little concerned this is too fast too soon. Back in the downtown area I hit a wall of people. I try to get around them. I realize that this is the 3:50 Geico pace group. I pass them. I still feel comfortable at my pace.   Mile 9 I see Pete and the kids. Mile 10 I hit around 1:25. We go around the Under Armor factory.  This is an out and back.  Mile 13 I see the kids again. They're holding a big sign that they made. I gave Sav and Santos a big hug. I notice this takes them by surprise. I see I hit the half marathon mark at 1:51 and change.

The half marathon start is next to us. There are over 15,000 runners and they are rarin' to go. I find their enthusiasm refreshing, instead of annoying.

I hit mile 16.  This is where our drive through from the day before started. This is also where it gets hilly again for ten miles. I chug along. My bones have been achy since mile 13 and I tell myself the hills are good because they're working different muscles.

We finally hit Lake Montebello and Mile 20!  I'm feeling tired, but not spent. I pick up the pace slightly.  This whole time I've been running to finish under 3:45, my goal.  I cannot bonk out this late in the game. Mile 22 I'm starting to visualize my 4 mile route at home. Mile 23 - only a 5k left, that's cake. Mile 24 the hills end and we start our descent. Mile 25 in the city and the crowds line the street. This gives me more adrenaline. I enter Camden Yards. There's a kid lying on the side of the road being tended to. I see the  finish line clock at 3:41 and can't believe it!  I am on Cloud 9.   Whoo hoo!  Boston, here I come!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The ING New York City Marathon

There are five ways to get into the New York City Marathon:

     1.  If you live out of the country, you can get in through a marathon travel agency.  I live in New York.  It is actually harder to get into the marathon as a New Yorker than if I were a New Zealander.

     2.  I applied via the lottery in 2004.  Rejected.  I applied again in 2012 - rejected again.  There used to be a 3 consecutive strikes and you're in policy, but they eliminated it because of the overwhelming demand.

     3.  I could raise money for a charity, but if I don't raise enough I would be responsible for the difference.  Ugh.  Also, I would feel disingenuous about the fundraising.  I am very passionate about a lot of causes, but I know in this instance, it is all about the race for me.

     4.  Another avenue is the NYRR's 9+1 system.  You run 9 of their races and volunteer for 1.  This gives you guaranteed entry.  There are two problems for me.  First, it's expensive.  The entry fee to the marathon alone is $250 these days.  Add another $40 per race for 9 races, that's a lot of money.  $610 (yes, I whipped out the ol' pencil and paper for the easy arithmetic) just to register!  Second,  the NYRR races fill up quickly.  They advise you to register at the beginning of the year for all 9 races so you don't get shut out as time goes by.  This is a problem when you have four active children.  We have soccer games, concerts, birthday parties, etc.  I can't predict when I'll be free.

     (drum roll....)

     5.  The fifth way to get in, and the way I have chosen after my performance in Baltimore, is to qualify.  The times are tough.  I qualified for Boston with my 3:41, however this is not fast enough for NYC.  As a 41 year old woman, I need to run a marathon in 3:25 or less.  Six months ago, I was like, "No friggin' way is that ever going to happen!"  After my time in Baltimore, I'm thinking, "It could happen."  I took off 37 minutes from Marathon One to Marathon Two.  It's certainly feasible I could shave off 16 minutes from Two to Three, right?  (nod yes, please)  If not Two to Three, then Three to Four (more nodding, maybe with a little enthusiasm)?   It will happen, just a matter of when.  Hopefully sooner than later.

I did a tempo run this morning: 3.91 miles in 32:37.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To Brrrrrooklyn Or Not To Brrrrrrrooklyn

I'm debating whether or not to run the Brrrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10K.  If I don't run it, I will miss out on racing in the month of January.  This will break my cycle of running at least one race a month since last May.  I decided too late on the Sayville 10 Mile Brew Run (sold out) and all the Long Island Winter Series races are closed.   The logistics for the Brooklyn run are a pain in the arse for me, as they are in most races more than a few minutes from home.  Annoyance number one is the packet pickup.  There is no race day pickup, so I or someone (meaning Pete) is going to have to get to Park Slope the day before between 3-7pm.  The race itself begins at 8am.  That's pretty early for a winter race, at least one so far away from my home.  If I bring the family, I'm going to have to rally the troops by 6am and be out the door no later than 6:45 (doable with 4 children, but not without a lot of crying - mostly, between Pete and me).  Kahn was kind enough to let me stay over her apartment in Battery Park the night before.  This would allow the family to sleep in a little.  They wouldn't have to leave the house until probably 7:45.  However, this also means that Pete would be in charge of rallying the troops alone.  Doable, but not without a lot of cursing, crying, and resentment - mostly, between Pete...okay, just Pete.  Another option is that Pete and the kids just sleep in and not worry about meeting me, which is totally fine too.  If this sounds like I'm blaming the NYCRuns coordinators for the fact that I live on Long Island and they had the nerve to plan a race I want to run in Brooklyn, well I'm not.  I want to run this race.   I think it will be fun to run the perimeter of Prospect Park (twice) and I'm looking forward to a nice cup of hot chocolate!  Anyway, I will likely do it and sign up before the week is over.

Looking ahead, on January 23 I am going to sign up for the Marine Corps 17.75K in Quantico, VA.  Running this race will give me guaranteed entry into the Marine Corps Marathon held on October 27, 2013.  I'm excited about this.  I've heard good things about this marathon and I love DC!  This is a crowded marathon with close to 35,000 runners.  I hope to break 3:40.

I did 6.37 kind of late this afternoon.  Arrived home to a pink and gray sunset.  Beautiful.