Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Funeral For A Friend

Three consecutive days off were beginning to feel like three weeks.  I popped two CVS "Imodiums" this morning and hoped for the best.  I ventured into Oceanside for my "12" miler.  This turned out to be a regrettable decision.  A lot of traffic and too commercial.  Rush hour at 7:30am on Long Beach Road forced me onto the dreaded sidewalks.  I hadn't fueled up properly yesterday (A bowl of rice to calm the raging bull that was once my stomach) and paid for it toward the end.  I knew as I neared home that I was closer to eleven miles, but didn't have the energy to continue on for the extra mile.  My final result was 11.05 miles at an 8:33 pace.  Eh.  I'm just happy to be back.

Looking ahead, I found a September half marathon!  The Brooklyn Narrows Half falls on September 15, a month before my marathon.  This would be a good race to predict my marathon time.  I'm going to do a little more research before I commit.

And finally, it looks like "Pointer" Toenail on my right foot is about to make her departure.   I expect she'll be gone by the weekend.  We've had some laughter and tears together over the years, but alas, it is time to bid adieu.  Thanks for the memories, little one.

WARNING:  The following image may be graphic in nature.  Material may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13.  View at your own risk.








Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mother's Little Helper

Day 4 of the stomach virus!!  Ugh!  No 18 miler this morning.  According to the Runner's World Gurus, I should just forget about the runs I've missed and move forward on my schedule.  I hope to be back on the road tomorrow.  Pete told me about a virus going around the midwest that lasts two to four weeks!  What?!?  No can do.

I found out yesterday that I am Runner #6 in the Hood to Coast relay.  This means I will be running a little over 17 miles total (3 legs) in the 24 hours it will take us to complete the 200 miles from Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean.  I'm a little nervous about Leg 18, my second.  I will be doing this in the middle of the night.  A blogger reported that there were no signs or volunteers directing her during this particular leg.  I do not want to get lost.  The other team members have suggested I study the route.  I am reluctant to tell them that I have gotten lost just five miles from home...more than once...maybe more than twice.  Other than this possible nightmare of being stranded in the dark across country in the middle of nowhere, I'm pumped about the race!

Mr. Pharmacist, can I get this intravenously?



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Good Times, Baaad Times...

I thought the kids and I would have a nice, little relaxing getaway for a couple of days in Massachusetts.  Pete decided it would be a good idea to get our Ford Expedition fixed (We were rear ended on the McD's drive thru line during our last New England road trip) during this time.  We were eligible for a car rental.  I was hoping for the Chevy Tahoe, but the only car available Thursday morning was a Ford Explorer.  I didn't like it from the get-go.  It had a push button starter, which meant you also had to remember to push the button to turn the car off.  Annoying.  I already knew I would forget to turn it off every time.  The NASA designed temperature controls and radio were certainly going to put me over the edge at some point during the trip, as well.  I don't have time to sit there and read the 500 page manual before I put the car into drive.  Aren't computers supposed to make things easier?

The four of us got on the road at 11:30am.  Pete was going to stay home and get some projects done (aka, sleep) around the house.  I hoped to arrive at The Nun's by 3pm.  The traffic on I-95 through the Bronx and southern Connecticut was not bad.  We stopped at a CVS for potty break #1.  When we returned to the car in the lot I could hear the radio from twenty feet away.  I didn't press the button to turn the engine off.  Given.  This feature has the potential for disaster, but so far, so good...  Of course not!  We got back on 95 and were still making good time.  The potty stop only cost us 15 minutes.  As we drove through Stratford, I heard a strange pop noise and then the car began to jiggle.  My dashboard computer (Okay, this is where it comes in handy) read "Low tire pressure".  I opened the windows and heard that dreaded flapping sound of a flat tire.  I was able to get off at exit 33 and pull into a gas station at the end of the ramp.  I called AAA and five minutes later a guy was changing my tire!  Wow!  This isn't so bad (Stop jinxing yourself!).  When he finished, he told me I couldn't drive all the way to Massachusetts on a donut.  I either had to switch cars through Enterprise or get a new tire put on.  Well, I went back and forth between the Milford Enterprise and a local tire shop while simultaneously getting dicked around by the Long Island rental  guys.  Multitasking at its finest.  Finally, I was able to switch cars to a Chevy Malibu.  I wasn't back on the road until 5:30, just in time for evening traffic.  AAA - 1 point, Enterprise Rental Car - 0.

We got to The Nun's by 7pm.  We had a great time once we were there.  We took the kids to see Despicable Me 2, hung out at the mall, went out to dinner, swam in their friend's pool, the kids caught frogs, and The Nun and I got our 7 mile run in!  We set out Saturday morning on her regular route.  It was about 80 degrees.  We were the only runners out and saw 4 cars the entire run.  It was hilly and the scenery was beautiful.  Mostly wooded with a few farms scattered about.  We saw loud sheep (I swear there was a guy crouching behind them "baa-ing" with a megaphone), cute goats, and smelled some pretty raunchy cows.  No fisher cats.  No bears.  The Nun kept telling me to go ahead, but she had no problem keeping pace.  It was a lovely, challenging run with fantastic company.

When we got back to her house, I noticed the baby had some diarrhea in her diaper.  I only mention this because our ride home to New York turned into a shit show.  Literally.  We must have picked up a stomach bug.  If it wasn't coming out of one end, it was coming out the other.  Among all three kids.  Thank God we were in a rental.  Sorry, Enterprise.

I was supposed to run my 18 miler this morning.  You did notice I wrote "We must have picked up a stomach bug", right?  I was down for the count.  I'm thinking of postponing it until Tuesday, just to be safe.  I already have bathroom issues while running, I don't need to "emphasize" it.








Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fisher Cat, Friend or Foe? Or Feed Friend to Foe?

I got out the door yesterday morning at 7:35.  The streets were wet from an earlier rain and the air was damp.  Easy 4 miles at a 7:49 pace.  It was "kind of raining" when I woke up at 6 this morning.  By the time I left at 6:30 to do my 10 miler, the sun won its battle with the clouds.  Somewhere around 7 or 8 miles my right leg started to feel numb.  I was able to continue running, but it just felt weird.  I felt like I was consciously willing it to move.  Of course, whenever I experience anything anatomically unusual, I self-diagnose to the worst degree.  Numb leg?  Well, it must be the  onset of hip dysplasia!  My family will probably have to put me down.  (By the way, I just found out humans can get hip dysplasia too!)

I have plans to run most of my 18 miler on Sunday with my new running friend, Tova!  I don't normally run with others, except during a race.  I usually like to just zone out, but I'm looking forward to having company on my first long run of this cycle.  It will surely help pass the time.  That's the great thing about running with friends.  Also, I think Tova and I are pretty equally matched, pace-wise.  Don't mind my slow ass training runs, T.  Oh, and my emergency bathroom breaks.  I will try to keep the bathroom stops at a minimum, preferably non-existent.  You've been warned.

But before my 18 miler on Sunday, I'm taking the little ones on a quick getaway to visit The Nun and her family up in Massachusetts.  She lives very rurally.  How rural?  She has pet chickens and wild turkeys in her backyard.   I'm looking forward to running my 7 miler with her Saturday on dirt roads.   The threat of aggressive, texting Long Island drivers will be replaced by fisher cats, porcupines, and skunks.  Oh my.

Say hello to Mr. Nasty Fisher Cat.  I never even knew he existed until The Nun moved up north.  He's not warm and cuddly.  Note to Self:  When confronted with sharp teeth and beady eyes, run faster than The Nun.  Just kidding.  Heh heh.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sweet 16

I went up to my mother's house yesterday to knock out my 16 miles in my brand new, awesome Adidas Adizeros.  I started out at 6:15.  I ran my usual eight and a half miles through hilly South Strathmore, then returned to my mother's to fuel up with Gu and Gatorade.  I ran the remaining seven and a half through Plandome, Flower Hill, and Munsey Park.  I finished in about 2:28, a 9:15 pace.  My sneakers felt like I was running on clouds!

After I run more than ten miles or more (Okay, four miles or more), the last thing I want to do is walk any great distance (ten feet or more) the rest of the day.  When I got home, the family wanted to go to the beach at Robert Moses State Park.   Sitting on the beach for hours sounded perfect.  Making the trek from the parking lot to the water almost didn't seem worth it after the 16 miler.  The stretch of sand at Robert Moses isn't as bad as Jones Beach, but still.  Well, we got to Robert Moses and walked down the boardwalk to the sand only to find this:

Thank you so much, Mr. Moses, for rolling out the gray carpet for me after my long run!

Whoever invented "beach carpeting" deserves the Nobel Peace Prize or the Medal of Freedom.  Absolute genius.

My big mistake of the day was not eating properly after the run.  I had toast and grapefruit before heading off to the beach where I sat in the sun for hours while munching on chocolate chip cookies.  By the time I got home, I had the makings of a migraine (Part II from the day before).  I needed to go into the city for a friend's birthday last evening, so while I was quickly showering, I was also scarfing down two turkey dogs, buns and all (Yes, in the shower).  Luckily, this worked, as did the two vodka drinks at CafĂ© Gitane at the Jane Hotel.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cooked

Ten miles at 6:30am. First morning when I actually felt uncomfortable so early from the stifling heat. The nice thing about running at this time is many people are watering their lawns with sprinklers. Nothing like diverting the spray to anywhere on my sweltering being to cool off. I made roasted potatoes for dinner tonight and could not tell the difference when opening the 350 degree oven or stepping outside the front door. Same thing. The oven smelled better, though.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Always Adidas

5 miles this morning at 7 with Baby Girl in the jogger stroller.  It was hot, but bearable.  The same guy in a minivan who gave me the encouraging fist pump last week did so again on Lakeview.  There's a fine line between nice and creepy when being cheered on by random strangers during practice runs.  I'm leaning more toward creepy.

I went to Lynbrook's Runner's Stop to finally use my 20% off coupon that was part of the Fly With the Owls goodie bag (What an awesome giveaway!).  I was hoping to try on some Brooks or Newtons, but they did not have my size (6, in case you want to send me a pair) in stock.  I went with Ol' Reliable, Adidas Adizero.  I love the color (They have a violet tint in real life) and this particular style has served me well in the previous training cycles.


They were $88.00 with the discount!  I had to buy some Power Bar raspberry gels, too, because Baby Girl opened the package at the store.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No, I Didn't Just Take A Shower. Why?

I set out at 6:30 this morning.  The weather was bearable.  I ran 3.5 miles, then a bathroom stop at home (You're welcome for my honesty), then 5.5 miles.  Four and a half miles were run at half marathon pace, instead of the scheduled five.  By the time I was finishing, the heat was nearing oppressive.  I walked the last quarter mile.  I did a stop and chat with a friend.  It was hard for her not to comment on how drenched I was from sweat.  I seriously looked like I just got out of the shower fully dressed.  Lovely.

You tell 'em, the Artist Formerly Known As Snoop Doggy Dogg!




Monday, July 15, 2013

Jamestown Part II

I tried to add pictures to my last post but something weird happened and I didn't want to risk losing the whole thing so here's my second Jamestown post.

Bus drop off at the base of the Jamestown bridge.  Port-a-potties ready for action.

Pace markers at the starting line.

When I returned to the Newport Grand after the race, I expected to be locked out of the car.  I called my sister-in-law who confirmed that she didn't have a spare key and the only way she knew how to get back in was with the remote.  My brother-in-law suggested to try the key in the trunk.  VoilĂ„!  Thankfully, I shed a couple of pounds recently because climbing into the front of the car from the trunk in a Subaru Forrester is not meant for everyone.  Both my brother and sister-in-law are tall.  For their sake, I hope they never get locked out.  

United HealthCare Jamestown Half Marathon Review

We arrived in Newport at 5:30pm Friday evening.  If I had to describe in one word the traffic on I-95 from New York to New England on a Friday during the summer, it would be difficult.  There are so many to choose from:  gridlocked, stagnant, abysmal are just a few.  I think I will go with crap.  Add four separate potty and hunger stops for the kids, and suddenly a three hour tour turns into four  seasons on Gilligan's Island.

Our first stop in Rhode Island was the Newport Grand.  This is a large casino.  I know this because instead of a sign reading "Newport Grand" on the outside of the building, there are just large red neon lettering spelling "SLOTS".  Packet pickup was in the back corner of the large parking lot.  There was a tent and a few racks of running clothes.  It was cool and misting.  The setup looked pretty stark.  There were only a handful of fellow runners.  I was in and out in two minutes.

We stayed at my brother-in-law's house on Kay Street.  Originally, my whole family (minus the eldest who is at sleepaway camp) was going to tent it in the backyard.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I needed to sleep with my telephone charging next to me so that my alarm will go off at 5am the next morning (what?).  This means I will need to sleep next to an outlet.  Translation:  I am sleeping in the guest room!  A couch bed below a window fan among a few cobwebs (shiver) in the tiny TV room trumps a hot tent with mosquitoes and excited children rolling around on a race night always.  

I was up and out the door by 5:25am.  No cars were allowed in Jamestown on race morning.  Parking is limited.  My sister-in-law was nice enough to lend me her car to take back to the Newport Grand to meet the shuttle buses in case Pete and the kids decided to meet up with me after the race.  People were starting to arrive at the casino, but not too many.  There were a handful of buses, but only one was halfway full.  I parked the car and realized my sister-in-law's set of keys were enormous.  Not something I want to be carrying for 13.1 miles.  I took the ignition key off the ring and tied it onto my shoelace.  The rest of the keys I locked in the car.  Now this was interesting.  I was able to manually lock the door with the ignition key.  When I tried to unlock it, nada.  I wasn't going to worry about it at that moment and boarded the bus.

We were dropped off at the foot of the Jamestown Bridge.  Thankfully, there was a row of unoccupied, pristine port-a-potties to welcome us.  I read that last year the port-a-potties didn't arrive until 5 minutes before the start which caused some distress for many people.  After the Stratton-Faxon start debacle, I wanted to make sure I was not late for this race.  Instead, I was too early.  I stood around for what seemed like forever.  The skies were gray and the temperature was a chilly 66.  I passed time by watching people's warm-up routines.  Some people stretch, some loosen up with a jog, some do short sprints, some run backwards (This one always makes me chuckle).  Today the award for best warm-up goes to the Jennifer Lawrence lookalike.  She was an attractive, young, tall, slender pony-tailed blonde who looked like she enjoyed being the center of attention.  She was marching with her arms outstretched in front and would lift her knees up to her hands.  Nothing special, right?  Until she added in some cartwheels.  Now that was fun!



Finally, people started lining up at the pace markers.  I stood toward the end of the 8 minute mile pace group.  6:15am.  6:25am.  6:30am....  hello?  The announcer told us in his best Charlie Brown teacher voice that we were going to wait for all the buses to arrive before starting (waa wuh waa waa wuh).  I was about to be very pissed, but having been on the opposite end of this situation in Fairfield, I refrained from exhibiting my usual disgust.

The gun went off kind of without warning.  There was no countdown.  Surprise!  I hit the first mile at 8:27 which is exactly where I wanted to be.  The course basically ran up and down the length of the island, 4 miles north, 6 miles south, and then 3 miles north again back to the base of the bridge.  The houses were gorgeous (Always a race perk).  I brought my cell phone to take pictures, but chose not to take my earbuds.  I also forgot my Gu.  I just had my watch to keep track of my time.  Around Mile 7, I was running alongside a guy whose phone was announcing the mileage and pace aloud.  This was perfect!  I stayed with him for a couple of miles.  The Gu or lack of Gu never became an issue.  There was enough Gatorade at the water stops to psychologically compensate.  Oh, and did I mention the hills?  If you look up "rolling hills" in the dictionary, I am sure this course will be pictured.  They weren't as steep as the ones last summer at the Mad Half Marathon in Vermont, but they were long and never seemed to stop.  Even still, I felt good throughout the race.  The cool, damp weather was perfect for chugging along.  There was a woman about twenty years my senior who was ahead of me for the last two miles.  I decided I had to pass her.  The last few hundred yards were all downhill which made for a nice fast finish at 1:47:47, an 8:14 pace.  This was a PR for me.  About two minutes faster than the Long Island Half last year.  Considering the hills, I was very pleased.  I finished 13th out of 152 in my age group (top 8%), 74th out of 759 females (top 9%), and 214th out of 1292 overall (top 16%).


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