Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sacred Heart 5k Race Review

I took Friday off to give my toes a break.  This morning I ran a 5k.  My schedule called for an 8k or a 10k, but there were none in the area to be found.  The local girls' Catholic high school was having a 5k to "Christen" their brand spanking new track.  I woke up at 7, iced my toes, popped an Advil, and ran out the door.  The school is a little over two and a half miles from the house.

Pretty track

It was a gorgeous autumn morning, sunny and barely 60 degrees.  I arrived at the school at around 8:10.  I registered and then chit chatted with a local mom from town and a woman with whom I went to high school.  Her oldest daughter and her husband, Brian were running the race.  The race started at 9.  Nooo, I didn't think it started at 8:30!  That would be sooo uncharacteristic of me.  I just showed up a half hour early because an extra thirty minutes of sleep is truly overrated.  Yup.

I lined up next to Brian at the start.  I jokingly asked him if he was going to win the race.  He humbly shook his head, "You?"  No way.  There was a good crowd and it looked like the entire high school cross country team was competing.  The announcer told the 5 and 6 minute milers to line up at the front and then the 7 and 8 minute milers.  I turned to say goodbye to Brian, but he was walking up right next to me.  I was embarrassed that I assumed I was faster than him, especially since he took off at the start never to be seen again.

The course was routed through the residential streets of Hempstead and Garden City.  It was flat and scenic.  I hit the 1 Mile sign at 6:42.  Wow!  That was my fastest first mile in any race.  A tall blonde girl and I were neck and neck for over two miles.  I hit Mile 2 just under 14 minutes.  Right around two and a half miles, the blonde girl stopped.  I thought maybe she was down for the count until a few minutes later she zipped by me out of nowhere .  She had a nice second wind.  I waited for mine, but it never came.  The route brought us back to the school where we did the last 200 meters on the bouncy, new track.  I finished in 21:33, a PR by a minute and a half.  I also got 3rd place for overall women!  That was a nice surprise!  Makes me wonder about their girls' cross country team...

The track looks pretty empty, eh?  Well, I forgot to take pictures during the actual race.  I drove back later when everyone had already left.  What's a race report without pictures, right?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


8 miles yesterday with 5x600 at a 5k pace.  Last night I took the tape off my toes to let them breathe.  This may have been a mistake because they were acting up today during my recovery 6 miler even though I had re-taped them before I went out.  I adjusted my form so I could finish the run, but this put unfamiliar weight on my right hip and knee making the last mile awkward and even more uncomfortable.  Now my toes and my knee are bugging me.

On a more positive note, I GOT INTO BOSTON!  I am so psyched.  Finally, this afternoon the Boston Athletic Association posted on their web site that they accepted everyone who registered with a Boston qualifying cutoff time of 1:38.  I checked the Entrants List and finally saw my name!  About an hour later I received the official acceptance email.  I am thrilled and humbled to be running among the fastest in the world in one of the oldest and the most prestigious marathon in the country.

A few weeks ago I posted about hashtags and what exactly the purpose of their existence was.  Someone tried to explain them to me.  I told him that I understand what they are, but don't really know why they exist.  I think the guy thought I was stupid.   I think he's stupid for not understanding my point.  At least Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake get me...and not hashtags.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Twenty Miles (That Felt Like One Hundred Years) of Decrepitude

Yesterday was my last 20 miler this marathon cycle.  It was a tough one.  Originally, I thought I would run up to the intersection at Northern Boulevard and Shelter Rock Road in Manhasset and back.  Unfortunately, the day before I caught a stomach virus from my 2 year old.  I decided it might be too risky to take that route.  There are too many long stretches without a bathroom.  Instead, I did two local 8 mile loops and then my 4 mile loop.

I set out at 7am.  It was cool and damp.  I felt good for the first 6 miles.  Then the fatigue from running on an empty stomach set in.  At 8 miles I stopped home to use the bathroom, drink Gatorade, and eat my Gu.  The Gu was a new flavor, chocolate mint.  I usually don't like anything interfering with my chocolate, ex., peanut butter, fruit, and mint.  Don't ask me why I didn't stick to this rule when at the store.  I think I was desperate for something new.   Let's just say I won't buy it again.  The chocolate was too rich and sugary.  Back to warm strawberry banana and lime (blech!).

The second loop was slower than the first.  I iced and taped my toes before heading out earlier.  They didn't bother me up until now.  After some time, the kinks worked themselves out, but my gait changed out of cautiousness.  I stopped at home again before my final 4 to hydrate.  I finally finished the entire run, 20.16 miles, in 3:01:59, a 9:01pace.

To sum up, I don't recommend running 20 miles after a 24 hour stomach bug.  I also will never run 20 miles locally, if I can help it.  Way too boring.  Between my empty, rumbly tummy and my decrepit toes, I felt like I was hanging on by a thread for much of the run.  Thankfully, these are temporary problems with fixable solutions.  Looking forward to the taper and a positive race day!

This is me passed out on the side of the road (I wish!).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Flip Flopper No More

I went out yesterday with the intention of completing 11 miles.  My ridiculous toes ached for over 4 miles and that's when I reluctantly called it quits.  I was able to get an appointment with a local podiatrist immediately.  He x-rayed my foot.  Apparently, I sprained my toes.  I need to tape them, ice them, and stop wearing flip flops every day (what?!?!  I'm not sure if I own any other types of non-running shoes).  I took today off to give them a little recovery time.  My last 20 is tomorrow.

Rainbow nails, you ask?  Why, yes!  A friend painted her toenails in a lovely rainbow pattern and shortly after she PRd in a 10k.  Every little bit helps, right?  So I did the same before my half marathon.  Coincidence?

Boston, you ask?  Registration is closed.  I'm still waiting.  Their web site states that they'll be sending out emails on Wednesday, September 25.  I'm not sure if I'll last that long.  I've been checking my emails hourly for a week already!  Fingers are still crossed!  Toes...not so much.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Toe Jammed

7.47 miles at 9:30 on Tuesday morning.  I incorporated 6 x 100s as per my Pfitzinger schedule.  I finished in 1 hour and 1 minute exactly, an 8:10 pace.  Yesterday, I ran 10 miles with 4 x 1200 at a 5k pace.  Again, since I don't have a Garmin or similar gadget, I run my speed work by effort.

The most difficult part of yesterday's run was the first couple of miles.  For the past few years, I sometimes experience stiffness in my toes during my runs.  It usually works itself out after a couple of minutes.  Yesterday, the toes in my left foot would not relax for almost twenty minutes.  It was borderline crippling.  Thank God the kinks worked themselves out, but I probably would have had to cut the run short if they didn't.  I posted about this issue on Runner's World's Ask An Expert forum.  The expert, Bud Coates, a 2:13 marathoner and former Olympic trials competitor, suggested arthritis.  What the??  My mother has arthritis!  I am too young to be plagued with an old person's ailment.  (Actually, now that I think about it, my mother started complaining about her arthritis in her early 40s...  whatever....)  I, obviously, chalked Mr. Coates up as being a wacko.  He knows nothing about my dainty, youthful toes.

(Do they still make Geritol?  Just asking...for a friend.)

Monday, September 16, 2013

NYC Runs Narrows Half Marathon Review

I left the house a little before 6am.  It was 53 degrees and still dark.  The eastbound lanes on the Belt Parkway were shut down due to an accident.  Luckily, I was heading west.  Well, lucky for a couple of miles.  There was a multi-car accident on the westbound lanes too.  The accident must have just occurred because I wasn't slowed down too much.  The Belt Parkway at its finest.

I followed directions to Shore Road Park from the New York City Parks web site.  The park is pretty desolate at 6:45am.  I didn't see any people, let alone anything race related.  Finally, I came upon a man walking down the path and asked him how to get across the Belt Parkway to the water side of the park.  I found the bridge and headed over.  Again, I didn't see anyone.  I took a guess and started jogging west.  I saw another man coming toward me and asked him if there was a race behind him.  He said yes.  Almost 2 miles later, I found the start.  I silently cursed about not parking closer, but today I was due for a 17 miler, so it kind of works out in the end.

I signed up for the 7am start which was starting as I arrived.  I decided to join the 7:30 beginners because I hate feeling rushed.  I picked up my number and race shirt.  There were only three porta-potties so I decided to get on line.  A young, very chatty couple was standing behind me.  At one point, the young man leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Do you see the guy over there in the compression socks?"  Odd, but whatever.  "Which guy?" I turned around and asked.  He jumped with surprise and embarrassment.  "Oh my God, I was whispering to the wrong person!"  His girlfriend didn't look amused.  I had a nice chuckle.

At 7:20 the NYC Runs organizers announced they were going to delay the start until everyone had used the bathrooms.  Really?  Why does this never happen when I am the one running late?  Like just 20 minutes earlier?  I froze in my t-shirt and shorts for the next 25 minutes.  Finally, we started after some influence from the NYPD.

The Narrows course is a 5 mile loop to the Verrazano Bridge and back, then an 8 mile loop to the Toys 'r Us shopping center and back.  I decided I was going to start out running 8:15 miles until I realized I was running 7:44 miles.  It was a comfortable pace so I stuck with it for the first ten miles.  I played Leap Frog with a young redhead wearing a Dashing Whippets Running Team singlet for most of the race.  Some soldiers from Fort Hamilton were walking the bike path in full uniform, backpacks and all.  Their presence kind of brings you back down to earth when you think you're tough as nails in this race.  I thought I might get bored from the repetitive scenery, but the run went by pretty quickly.  I was hoping to finish around 1:41, but I started to fade the last 3 miles.  My Dashing Whippet pulled ahead a good distance and I could not keep up without gagging.  Gagging in a finisher's photo should be avoided at all costs.  I crossed the finish line at 1:42:20, a 7:48 pace.  A PR by over 5 minutes!  I also received a cool trophy for 1st place in my age group, a nice little surprise!

I ran back to my car on Shore Road because the bike path was closed for an NYPD 5 miler.  I got some thumbs ups when people noticed my trophy in hand.  Cool.

By early afternoon, I received an email with all of my stats from NYC Runs.  51st overall out of 210, and 16th woman out of 125.  I love that they're on the ball with the results.  Some races you have to wait days before you see anything online.

The New York City skyline behind me.  You can't beat that with a stick.

Fun running accessory

Friday, September 13, 2013

No Cow This Year

9 easy miles this morning at 9:30.  The cooler weather has returned.  Hallelujah!

Tomorrow I am going to run the Great Cow Harbor 10k route with my personal trainer buddy, Nora, who will be running the race the following weekend.  It's a scenic, challenging course through the town of Northport.  The race is actually nationally recognized, hosting close to 5,500 runners.  Elites come from all across the country to run the course.

I ran Cow Harbor twice.  The first time was during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.  The rain waited until the moment the starting gun went off.  Perfect timing.  The finish line is at the bottom of a hill.  When I crossed it, the water was above my knees.  Cars were actually floating back and forth.  Running through the rain was actually refreshing, the crappy part of the morning was the mad rush to the shuttle buses.  You actually had to wade through the water to get to them.

My second Cow Harbor was last year.  Nora and I ran together.  It was her first road race ever.  Her estimated pace for the race at registration was like a 22 minute mile.  Because of this silliness (She is fitter than a fiddle, not to mention a bona fide gym rat.  And a personal trainer.), she started at the end of the pack.  Let's just say she hauled ass and wound up finishing not too far behind the 8 minute milers.  Damn.

I was tempted to sign up again this time around.  I do love a challenge, however, I don't want to overdo it so close to my marathon.  My half this Sunday will have to suffice.

The end.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Runner, Interrupted

Yesterday, I got my oldest daughter ready for school and then headed out for my 8 miler at 7am.  About a half hour later, she called me to tell me she couldn't find her bus pass so I had to drive her.  I cut my run short to 3.85 miles.  I went out again last night at 7 for 4.25 miles to complete the run.

Pete went into work later today so I figured I could do my 11 miler after the kids went to school.  I find it very stressful to do a run with time limitations.  I did 3 miles in Sketchy Park down the road and then the remaining 8 through the neighborhood.  Postponing my run to 9:30am when the forecast is for a steamy 90 degree day is not recommended.  Ever.  I stopped twice for water.  The people who work at the local Dunkin' Donuts are fantastic about hydrating me.  Thank you!  When I got home, my clothes were soaked.  I could wring the sweat out.  Lovely thought, right?

I need to switch up the schedule for the rest of the week because my half marathon is on Sunday instead of Saturday as per my Pfitzinger marathon training plan.  He has me running a 9 or 13 mile race on Saturday, easy 4 Friday the day before, and a 17 mile long run on Sunday.  I will run 9 or 13 easy miles Friday, 4 Saturday, the half on Sunday plus 4 at the end.  Scheduling can get tricky.  There's a method to this madness.  It's important to have certain runs precede or follow others.

Monday was the first day of registration for the Boston Marathon.  Apparently, 4,000 people signed up.that first day.  What?!!?   I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that there will still be room for me on Monday.  There's a lot of speculation on the Runner's World Online Forums as to when the registration may close.  The majority seem to believe it will close between BQ -4 and BQ -3, meaning people who have run either 4 minutes faster than their Boston qualifying time or 3 minutes faster.  I fall right smack in the middle of this category.

And at last, I would like to do a shout out to my freighbor who not only PR'd at the Angels On the Bay 10k this past Sunday, but also won 1st place in her age group!  My fellow blogger, The Petite Pacer, also ran this race after taking time off to recover from injury.  Fantastic comeback, TPP!

This is me after my run.  Look at how happy I am to run my fingers through my sweaty, smelly hair.  
I just love sweat.
(Of course, that's not me.  I'm never that irritatingly happy.  Mostly just irritated.)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

Easy 5 yesterday.  Not so easy 18 today.

My alarm was set for 6 this morning.  At 2am my four year old woke up crying and had an "accident" on her brother's bedroom floor.  The whole scene lasted about 40 minutes.  At 4am my seven year old woke up and crawled into bed with me.  It was at this time that I rationalized a good night's sleep trumps an early morning run.  Now that school and soccer are in session, Sundays are really the only days I can "sleep in".  I reset my alarm for 8.  It's cool enough for me to run after my son's soccer game.

My mother decided my route today.  She came to see the game and then drove me back to Manhasset.  I started a little before 3pm.  I ran 8 miles through Plandome and South Strathmore.  I ate my first Gu and bought a Gatorade at the King Kullen on Northern Boulevard.  I then ran the remaining 10 miles home.  I finished in 2:39, an 8:49 pace.  Surprisingly too fast considering I felt pretty weak from not eating enough throughout the day.  I had two slices of protein toast with peanut butter for breakfast and that was it.  You would think that someone who only had a couple of slices of toast wouldn't have to stop and use the potty twice (yep, I'm laying it all out there again).  Annoying.

I usually run while the rest of the family is sleeping, so today I felt a lot of pressure during this afternoon long run.  Pete can get somewhat "flustered" (aka, insane) if left alone with the children for too long.  I think this is why I ran faster than my ideal 9:20 long run pace.  Once again, I need to remember to slow down for my 20 miler in a couple of weeks.

Hey!  If you're bored and reading this and you're sitting around with your friends and you're under twenty-five, I thought of a great drinking game!  Every time you read (aloud) the word "run" in this post, you have to either chug your beer or do a shot.  You're welcome.  Run.  Now drink.

Okay, so maybe I'm the bored one sitting around by myself looking for something to do.  And I'm slightly over twenty-five.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Quickie From Kenickie

I did two 8 milers Wednesday and Thursday mornings and an almost 12 miler this morning.  Yes, the weather has been glorious for running.  Autumn is the best running season.  I have a 5 miler tomorrow and then 18 on Sunday.  There's this loser attempted rapist on the loose in the neighboring towns.  He's making me reconsider my Massapequa Preserve jaunts.  I hope they arrest his pathetic ass soon.  I hate needless, stupid, uncalled for interference.

Boston Marathon registration opens for the speedsters on Monday.  I won't be eligible until the following Monday.  They added 9,000 more spots.  Hopefully, I won't get shut out.

Going to bed.  Good night.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's A Long Way To Go, But In The Meantime...

So much for trying to stick to the schedule this week.  Yesterday was my regular day off.  I was going to go out at 6 this morning to run my 8 miles, but it was the first day of school for my children and I wanted to make sure their morning went smoothly.    Pete got called into work early and is working late.  No evening run.  I'll chalk this up to my second day off this week and run straight through until Monday.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - J. Lennon

This video was filmed at Mr. Lennon's home on the north shore of Long Island.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Two Down, One To Go

Friday night I was supposed to knock out 12 miles, but right around the 5 mile mark I felt a migraine coming on.  I guess I hadn't hydrated properly throughout the day.  I stopped just short of 6.  Saturday, I did 11 around midday.  It was humid and slow going.  I was beginning to think Hood to Coast sucked all of my running mojo (not that I ever really had any to begin with...) out completely.  I hit my peak in that race and the rest of my running career would be downhill, but not in a good way.

Yesterday was my second 20 miler.  I ran 10 with some friends on the SUNY Old Westbury campus.  It was pretty hilly, but the short loop route was repetitive with no real interesting scenery.  Lots of trees and the same forks in the road over and over again.  I decided to run the last 10 from Old Westbury to my mother's house in Manhasset.  I passed some pretty sweet estates on Post Road heading north.  I had to ask for directions a couple of times because, God forbid, I was not prepared to run more than 20.  Other than some harrowing shoulderless stretches on route 25A, the last half of the run improved.  I even got a little rain shower, a welcome relief from the humidity.

My last 20 miler is in a couple of weeks and then TAPER, baby!  Whoo hoo!