Thursday, December 25, 2014

Recap and Some Soul Cycle

My running the past week and a half since the Jingle All the Way 5k was pretty sparse.  In the days leading up to Christmas, life gets pretty stressful with four children.  Making sure I attended the Christmas parties, the Frosty the Snowman field trip, completed the shopping, and wrapped the gifts took precedence over the running.  I was even going to run another 5k this past Saturday, but overslept out of sheer exhaustion.  When I checked the results of the race online, I was bummed because I could have totally beaten the overall female winner.  I would have won my first race!  Okay, the field of women wasn't particularly fast, but I'll take what I can get!

Here's the recap:

12/16 Tuesday - 8.4 miles which was supposed to be 9.  I was surprised I fell short.

12/17 Wednesday - 6.06 miles, 47:11, 7:47 pace

12/20 Saturday - 6 miles

WEEKLY TOTAL: 20.5 miles
photo from Pinterest

12/22 Monday - 3.65 miles late int the afternoon.  Pete and I ran around the reservoir in the local park.  I kept my pace up for the duration of the run because I was feeling pretty good.  I didn't have my watch, but Pete said I hit the 3 mile mark around 23 minutes.   Later that evening a friend and I drove up to the north shore for a spin class at Soul Cycle.  I heard and read about Soul Cycle in Manhattan.  I was psyched to learn there were a couple of locations on the island.  The facility is pretty slick, clean, and state-of-the-art.  We were lucky to get into the sold out class.  There is no membership, you pay per class which is $34 a pop.  Newcomers pay $20 for their first session.  There are 52 bicycles in the room and the class is 45 minutes long.  They loan you special shoes that clip into the bike pedals.  After we were locked in, Jo, the instructor turned out the lights and turned up the music.  I felt like I was in a scary nightclub.  I  expected a hard core workout and that's exactly what I got.  Not only do you ride to the max, but you also lift dumbbells while pedaling.  The class was fun and I would definitely do it again, but it's definitely too expensive for me to be a regular in this particular life.

photo from
Tips From Town:
New Hyde Park

12/24 Wednesday - 9.8 miles that was supposed to be 10.  Not timed.  The temperature was a balmy 48 degrees at 9:30 in the morning.  It was misting and drizzling for most of the run, but toward the end the rain started to come down hard.  I wore shorts, a long sleeve tech with a short sleeve cotton t-shirt on top.  I was soaked by the time I came home.

I hope to run through the weekend.  We'll see what happens...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Jingle All the Way 5k Review

Race shirt giveaway

The Jingle All the Way 5k was held at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, New York.  Race Awesome, a local race organization, produced the event.  They did a great job, from the constant email reminders to the wood burning grills (complete with marshamallows!) on race morning to the free available online photos!  I emailed Corey, the Australian born Volunteer Happy Athlete Guide of the company, to get permission to use the photos on the blog.  He readily obliged, explaining the photos are there for the taking.  Race Awesome doesn't believe in charging athletes extras (ex., service fees).  They want the experience to be positive pretty much in every aspect.  Thanks, mates! (Yes, I'm fluent in Australian)

I had high hopes for this race because my recent training runs had been at pretty nice paces.  I thought for sure I would finish under 22 minutes, but alas, this was not to be the case.  And what would explain my failure to launch, you ask?  I was not completely hung over like during my last 5k attempt at Robert Moses State Park.  I was not undertrained like I was for the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  I mean this was a 5k, for Pete's sake.  I chalk up my sub-par effort to good old fashioned poor pacing and wind.  

I met my buddies, The Emerging Runner and The Petite Pacer before the race.  It was a chilly 34 degrees.  We spent some time in the ER mobile and in front of the wood grills to keep warm.  We lined up at the start before I could succumb to the smoke inhalation.  I stood up front, while my friends hung back.  Theirs was the wiser choice.  JC, TPP's significant biker, showed up and greeted me from his nifty two-wheeler.  He rode the course and showed up during the race in all the right places to give his support.  

Before I could say "Pace yourself", we were off.  Now from what I knew about 5ks, you pretty much could run them "all out".  Meaning, run them as fast as you can.  Well...I'm not so sure.  We immediately scaled a small hill.  I was running at a good clip, sucking in a lot of cold air.  The course led us on the roads within the park.  I guessed I was around the third overall woman at this point.  I hit mile one at 6:54.  Great!  Until it turned not so great.  Mile two took us down an out and back straightaway on a partially graveled surface.  The lead runners annoyingly passed me on the left.  Even more annoying were the women passing me on my side and ruining any chances of an overall award (Disclaimer:  The word "annoying" in referring to faster runners should be interpreted as "I'm so incredibly jealous of their amazing athleticism").  I hit the two mile marker at 14:56.  Oh well.  I never really warmed up and the air still felt bitterly cold in my lungs and against my face.  My chest felt tight and tingly.  I convinced myself that I might have a heart attack if I pushed too hard, so I happily entertained my preposterous idea and ran the last mile at an easy pace.  I saw the finish clock in the distance and accepted that a PR was out the window.  My time was 23:29.  I ended up 1st in my age group, top 6% of the women (9 out of 144), and top 10% overall (24 out of 222).  So although I finished two minutes slower than I had hoped, my statistics were still good.  Most important, I beat my 13 year old's 5k time that she ran in early November by one second!  Just kidding.  A little.  Am I a bad mother?  Don't answer that.

The first incline after the start.

Finish line chute

TPP, who seems to be on a wave of fantastic racing, PRd, despite partying the night before.  ER also had a successful run, achieving his goal on very few miles of training.

I am having my own private party in my head, 
as you can see by my extremely amused expression.
TPP was an engaged guest to my party.
ER declined his invitation.

Friday, December 12, 2014

We Bought A Zoo!!

We bought a zoo!!  No, of course not.  However, I joined a gym!  I did a 6.23 mile run (50:06, 8:02 pace) around the neighborhood this past Sunday.  I took Monday off.  Tuesday rolled around and it was pretty miserable outside.  Lots of rain, wind, and cold temperatures.  If we are in for another winter like last year's, I wanted to have options.  I prefer running outdoors, especially in warmer weather, but running on the snow and ice (mostly, the ice) is not that fun and something I wasn't too keen on repeating on a regular basis.  Don't get me wrong!  Running after a snowstorm can be quite beautiful and exhilarating.  But in the days after the storm, when the snow turns to ice and then slush and then massive puddles on the side of the roads, it can be downright treacherous.

I didn't want to take Tuesday as another rest day so I moseyed (yep) over to Dolphin Fitness to see what kind of specials they had.  I like Dolphin the best out of all the gyms in the area.  It's one of the least expensive.  Lucille Roberts is cheaper than Dolphin, but the equipment is limited.  I always had to wait for a treadmill and then once I got on, they only allow you to run thirty minutes.  Thanks, but no thanks.  Bally's is pretty inexpensive, too, but they have valet parking.  Enough said.  Dolphin is no frills.  You just go, work out, and leave.  There's no bullshit.

Lucky for me, Kerry was working at the front desk that day.  She watched the baby in the nursery at the gym last winter.  The baby loved her.  In fact, when she would get mad at me she would mutter under her breath, "Kerry hates you."  Sweet, huh?  Anyway, I told Kerry I wanted a temporary membership to hold me over through the winter.  I got four months for $175, about $43 per month.  I didn't waste any time and jumped on the treadmill.  I ran 5.1 miles with 5 x 400m strides in 41:05, an 8:03 pace.

Wednesday wasn't looking too promising either.  I went back to the gym and ran another 5 miles on the treadmill.  This time I did a tempo run between a 7.2 and 8.4 speed.  I finished in 37:06, a 7:25 pace.  This was actually almost a minute faster than my 5 miler PR at the Garden City Turkey Trot last year.  Interesting...

I took Thursday off and then ran 8.08 miles this morning through town.  I ran without my watch because I wanted to take it nice and easy without any time pressures.  I can't help but try to keep my pace up when I have the watch.  This is fine a couple of times a week, but the rest of my runs should be easy.  I'm too competitive even with myself, therefore I need to be completely in the dark about my progress.  Pathetic, I know.

So tomorrow morning I have my first race since the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  The Petite Pacer, the Emerging Runner, and I are running the Jingle All the Way 5k in Seaford.  I'm curious to see what my time will be after taking it easy for the past eight months.  Wish me luck!  And if you're running this race, be sure to say hello!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Running Nose

I have had this post-nasal drip and chest cold going on for almost two weeks now.  Saturday through Tuesday was the worst.  It's getting better, but it's lingering.  The biggest hindrance to my running is the lack of sleep.  I spend the nights tossing and turning because I can barely breathe.  I am exhausted by morning.  The general rule of running while sick is if it's above your neck, you can run.  If it's below (like a chest what I have), you shouldn't.  I ran.

Tuesday - 4.25 miles, 33:48, a 7:57 pace.

Thursday - 5.86 miles with 5 x 100m strides, 39:35, a 6:45 pace.  I set out to do 8 miles, but I was too damn tired.  As for my pace, I'm kind of surprised.  I wonder if something wonky is going on with my watch.

Friday - 7.45 miles, 1:00:29, an 8:07 pace.  It was 41 degrees when I went out at 9:45.  I wore shorts because I'm hard core (actually, because I saw a guy wearing shorts yesterday and I thought he looked hard core).  They did their job (you know, covering my bottom and such) and I was comfortable during all 7.45 miles.  Had it been two degrees colder, I would have froze.  My head was cold so I also wore my brand new hat.  I felt good, no matter how crazy I looked.

Please ignore the polaroid of my daughter
and her friend being mauled by a
tyrannosaurus rex.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black & Pink Friday With A Weekly Recap On Top

Sunday - 8 miles, 1:05:26, 8:11 pace

Tuesday - 4.73 miles, 35:54, 7:35 pace.  Tempo run: jog first ten minutes, next ten minutes at 5k pace, jog the next ten.  I was going to do another ten minutes at 5k pace, but I had to end the run for a bathroom break.  Yeah, I know.

Thursday - 3.91 miles, not timed

Friday - 4.04 miles, 30:23, 7:31 pace.  I ran a mile to the middle school track where I did 4 x 400m laps at 5k pace with jogging laps in between.  I ran home at an easy pace with one more 400m sprint.

Saturday - 8 miles, 1:05:08, 8:08 pace

Total miles: 28.7   This was the first week I ran five days since mid-August!

I didn't see a ton of Black Friday deals in the running category.  I was hoping to get a Garmin Forerunner 220 for a song, but there were no sales that I was aware of.  Instead, I got myself a Nike winter hat at full price ($30) from Dick's, a nice black Adidas cap for $11 and...the Supernova Glide 6 for $89, both from the Adidas site.  I'm very psyched.  The sneakers are pretty awesome.

And they match! (Unplanned)

This is a men's hat, 
but I really don't care.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Going Back to Cali...No, I Don't Think So

This was a big slacker week for me.  Here's my recap:

Monday: 5 miles

Weekly Mileage:  5 miles

We drove down to Arlington, Virginia last Sunday for a funeral.  We stayed through Wednesday so I thought I would get some runs in around the nation's capital, one of my all time favorite venues, but there was too much going on...and it was cold.  When we returned home, I planned on getting some long runs in to keep my weekly mileage up, but I didn't.  I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year and the house needed some serious cleaning and decluttering (Excuses are like assholes, apparently I've got more than one...).

Along comes Saturday night.  My friend, The Petite Pacer was signed up to run the Long Beach Turkey Trot today.  Even though I had a slacker week, I wanted to sign up.  I still felt like I could run a good race, the weather was going to be perfect and the course is flatter than flat.  I googled Long Beach Turkey Trot, clicked on the first entry, whipped out the ol' credit card and signed my arse up.  Awesome!  I went back to the race home page to double check that packet pickup would be at the usual place, the Long Beach Rec Center.  Imagine my surprise when I read it would be at 1 Granada Avenue, 90803.  Yep, 90803 would be the zip in California.  Really?!  Lucky for me, I can clear my application without being charged within the first fifteen minutes...or could I?  Nope.  I frantically emailed the race director, Justin Rudd, who immediately emailed me back and reimbursed me the $40.40 registration fee.  Thanks, guy!  Yes, in hindsight, I see how I should have realized that the field of 5,000+ runners and 3 different start times was unusual.  Yes, I should have seen the California race date was completely different from the New York one.  And maybe the tanned bikini clad runners in the race photos should have tipped me off...  Honest, totally embarrassing mistake.  One I hope not to repeat, and if I do, I will not be blogging about it.  Fool me once, shame on me.  Fool me twice...and I'm keeping it to myself...

I resorted to an 8 mile run on my regular loop in 1:05:26, a. 8:10 pace.  TPP placed first in her age group.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ten the Fun Way

I only ran three days during the week but none of the runs dipped below five miles.  I happily thought I would be up to at least twenty-five miles by the weekend.

Tuesday - 6.4 miles, 50:57, 7:58 pace
Wednesday - 5.35 miles, 43:13, 8:05 pace
Friday - 8.69 miles, 1:12:03, 8:17 pace

Saturday was my group run with my buddies, The Emerging Runner (ER) and The Petite Pacer (TPP).  ER's friend, Kin and TPP's boyfriend, JC joined us.  Kin is an accomplished triathlete who just completed his first marathon, New York City with a very respectable debut time.  I met him previously at the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  JC is a fast, yet humble triathlete who often earns awards in his events.  He has the right mix of experience from being a lifelong athlete and the positive attitude of the masculine version of a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.

We decided ahead of time to do our run on the campus of the State University of New York, Old Westbury.  This venue is well known among Long Island runners who want to get in some hill work.   We met in the parking lot of St. Paul's Church on Cedar Swamp Road in Brookville which is right across the street from the school's entrance.  It was 32 degrees and sunny.  I wore two long sleeve layers on top, my awesome Mizuno tights, a wool hat, and my fleece running gloves.  ER wore...well...his signature baggy shorts over tights to protect us from possible post-traumatic stress disorder.

JC, a natural leader, immediately took us on the one way road running with traffic which concerned me at first.  It also concerned ER and Kin who decided to run on the other side.   JC reassured Celia and me that the one way road only lasts a half mile and then we could cross over.  He was right.  However, regardless of what side we were on, the cars seemed to be going double the 30mph speed limit.  As we neared the end of our first loop, we decided to veer off onto the extension that would lead us to Empire State College.  This is a beautiful treelined road surrounded by horse farms.  I had run this route a couple of times previously, but thought it was only a mile out of the way.  It turned out it was two miles, one out and one back to the main road.  We met up with ER and Kin again on our way back to the campus entrance.

After some JC persuasion, Celia and I agreed to do one more loop without the detour.  This would put us at ten miles, total.  Yesterday I was patting myself on the back for doing 8.69 miles.  I thought all I had to do was a nice, little 5 mile loop today and my weekly mileage would be in the mid-twenties again after many weeks of slacking.   I was not mentally prepared to run ten this morning, and I wasn't sure I was physically prepared either.  I didn't eat much the day before and that morning I was literally running on empty.  All that said, I certainly wasn't going to be the one to say no to the challenge!  ER wanted to run a couple of more miles on his own, but Kin joined us for the second lap.   I thought about taking some pictures during the run, but didn't want to get left behind by the others.  I wouldn't have the energy to catch up to them.  The second loop was easier than expected mainly because of the cheers from our coach, JC.  We finished the hilly 10.12 miles in 1:34, a 9:19 pace.  I was grateful to have completed it, despite a bit of woe-is-me-ing on my part along the way.

We met back up with ER in the church parking lot which we are no longer allowed to use as per the warnings left on our windshields.  So much for the All Are Welcome attitude (Just kidding, God...ha...).  We went for our traditional coffee at Starbucks sharing a lot of stories and laughs.  Mostly about ER's "style sense" (Just kidding, ER...ha...).  I'm already looking forward to our next outing.  Thanks, guys.

ER, JC, TPP, Run DMC, & Kin

30.5 miles for the week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mystery Achievement

November 2013:
     Total cholesterol - 251
     HDL - 69
     LDL - 160
     Triglycerides - 110

November 2014:
     Total cholesterol - 196
     HDL - 56
     LDL - 126
     Triglycerides - 66
I'm psyched, however I am not really sure I did anything differently this year, except maybe pass on the large, sugary Dunkin' Donuts coffee right before the blood work...;)

My cholesterol level has been over 200 pretty much most of my adult life, except one random year maybe 10 years ago.  I have always been in pretty good shape, but more so these past few years due to quitting smoking, running more consistently, and eating healthy.  Despite those positive changes, my cholesterol level remained unusually high.  I just chalk it up to genes.  I am not a fan of taking a lot of medication (in most cases, but not all.  I believe in vaccinations and treating serious illnesses that have no viable alternative treatments).  My doctor told me that because everything else was great (low blood pressure, regular exercise, etc.), she would hold off on trying to convince me to pill up (My plan to refuse would still stand when the time came).  We were both pleasantly surprised when these recent numbers came back.  However, this is not necessarily a cause to celebrate because I'm not really sure why the numbers went down in the first place which means I'm not sure if I can repeat the process again next year?  

I thought perhaps this year's results were the accumulated effect of a diet change from over the past three years.  I stopped eating piggies the summer of 2011 after going to a state fair in Massachusetts and seeing the most adorable piglet race in the history of the world.  From that moment on I said goodbye to my beloved bacon omelets forever.  A few months later I stopped eating red meat, as well.  Once in a blue moon, I might eat a steak or hamburger if it is grass fed.    Two years ago I also stopped eating ice cream on a daily basis. I did this not for the cows, but my own convenience.  If you are a regular reader, you know that I have bathroom "issues" when I run.  Ice cream sundaes were not helping.  My cholesterol levels in 2011, 2012, and 2013 were still pretty high.  Did it take a few years to set in?

Or maybe I just didn't fast properly before most of my physicals which is a good possibility if my appointments weren't first thing in the morning?  

I just don't know, but I'll take it.

My test gets the same refrigerator
treatment as the kids!

5.35 miles in 43:13, an 8:04 pace.  This was an interrupted 8 miler due to...a bathroom emergency!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Things I Don't Do, But My 8 Year Old Son Does Whilst Running

Things I Don't Do, But My 8 Year Old Son Does Whilst Running:

1.    Experiment running with his hands behind his back.

2.    Pick up random Halloween candy he finds on the ground.

3.    Eat found Halloween candy.

4.    Earn $1 for each mile run.

5.    Alternate running from the sidewalk to the grass.

6.    Speed up when I say slow down.

7.    Take breaks (Oh who am I kidding?  I take breaks, too).

8.    Skip.

9.    Drag feet in slow motion to demonstrate fatigue.

10.  Have enough energy to play basketball, street hockey, running bases, and tag for hours afterwards.

We did the first 5k together on a sunny 60 degree Election Day.  After dropping him off, I ran another 3.7 miles on my own.  The first half of the run was so much more enjoyable.  Love my running partner.

Look Ma, no hands!

Who needs a fuel belt when you
find what other people dropped?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Running Scared

I woke up startled even though the alarm never went off.  It was still dark outside.  Was it morning or night?  I went to the bathroom and then crawled back into the warm bed.  I checked my phone for the time, 6:45am.  Great, Sanibel won't be late for school.  I got dressed and went downstairs to make the kids their lunches.  I remembered today is mini-waffle day at the elementary school so I only had to make a lunch for Sanibel.  This is considered a small victory in my book.  Sad, I know.  I checked the clock.  It was now 7:20 and I still hadn't heard any footsteps or doors slamming from upstairs.  I called my daughter's name.  No answer.  I went up to her room.  The bed was slept in so she didn't fall asleep watching TV in the basement.  Who am I kidding?  She hasn't made the bed in weeks.  I went to wake up Pete, but he wasn't in bed either.  I guess he took her to school early.  I just hope he made her lunch.

I still had forty minutes before I had to wake the little ones.  Perfect time for a catnap.  I had the king size bed to myself which was a rare luxury in a family of six.  Usually by morning I have one child laying on my head, another one across my neck, and a third entangled in my legs.   By the time I actually dozed off, I really only slept for about ten minutes.  I did, however, have some creepy dreams.  I can't remember the specifics but I know I was being chased by some creature (or creatures) down a dark alley lined with overloaded dumpsters.  Sometimes rats would dart out causing me to almost fall over.  Yuck.

I got out of bed again and went to wake the three little ones.  They were not in their rooms.  Now this was getting strange.    I stood still and only realized then how silent everything was.  Not just the house.  It was silent outside, too.  Was the clock on my phone wrong?  No, it couldn't be because now the sun was up.  It was definitely morning.  Did I confuse the days?  Was it the weekend and Pete took the kids to church or something?  I haven't been going to mass lately.  Maybe he finally gave up asking me (Thank God!  ...uh oh, now I'm really going to hell).

I went back downstairs to check the computer.  I couldn't get online.  Ugh.  So annoying.  The radio was staticky too.  Well, I'll check the date on the newspaper.  Jeez, am I that far gone where I'm forgetting what day it is already?  Early Alzheimer's?   There was no paper on the front walk.  Of course not, Pete always takes the papers.  I decided to go for a run.   I'm due for a longish (over 8 miles) one so by the time I return, Pete and or the kids should be home.  Nothing clears the mind like a good long run.

I put on my sneakers and grabbed my sunglasses and watch from the hutch in the dining room.  There was a note under my watch that read, "Went to DC."  What the fartlek?!  That's so bizarre on so many levels, the least of which was the handwriting barely looked like Pete's.  The letters were more like Sanibel's chicken scrawl or like they had been written in haste.  I should call his cell phone which would be easy if I could find a house phone.  This is not unusual.  We have five cordless house phones, none of which can ever be found when necessary.  And I don't get cell service in the house.  Of course.

Fartlek it.  I'll just go for my run and worry about this weird shit when I get back.  I headed out.  It was a perfect fall morning.  The sun was out and the sky was blue.  The temperature was about 55F.  As I headed down Village Avenue I realized I hadn't seen one car on the road.  Oh well, better for me.  I don't have to worry about getting hit by an inattentive douche texting.  I checked my watch when I hit my first mile marker, 7:54.  Cool.  For almost seven months, I had been running this first mile between 8:05 and 8:20.  I decided to do some 100 meter strides to get some speed work in.  At the 3.5 mile mark I decided to go ahead on my longer route rather than make a turn to cut it short to an even eight.  I turned right on Grand Avenue.  This is a very busy commercial street filled with shopping centers, restaurants, offices, etc.  And still no cars driving up and down, just the ones parked and empty on the side of the road.  They almost looked abandoned.  There weren't even people walking.  I checked the time on my phone.  It was 11:40am.  What is going on?  As soon as I get home I need to check the radio or CNN.   This is getting ridiculous.  I circled back toward the house.  I made a turn onto North Forest so I could run past the baby's pre-school just to see whether or not there were classes going on.  The baby might even be there on the playground.  Maybe that DC note wasn't even for me.  Maybe...

I saw  some sort of commotion ahead of me.  A group of people.  Some moaning (ew).  Is this where everyone is?  As I got closer, I realized it was more than a commotion.  And I'm not even sure it's a group of people.  It's more like a herd of... something behind a gate being stabbed by what looks like a police officer, a little boy, and another guy.

I introduced myself in between stabs.  The father's name
is Rick and his son is Carl.  

Their friend is Daryl.  He has very stylish hair.

Not so home alone.

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore...

To make a long story short (Walking Dead writers take note), I decided to join Rick, Carl, and Daryl and head to DC (Coincidentally, they're headed there as well from Atlanta... via New York which is totally out of the way, but... it's The Walking Dead after all) to look for the kids.  Rick is a hot former sheriff and his wife was eaten by some fat, bald zombie shuffler (or whatever it is they call them) so it works out for me since dummy Pete took off with the kids during a zombie saunterer apocalypse and "forgot" to wake me up.  Carl looks like a dweeb with his shaggy hairdo and his dad's sheriff hat, but he's a good shot and that I guess is more important.  And speaking of hair, Daryl's One Direction cut is pretty avant-garde for a hillbilly bad boy.  He seems pretty good with the cross-bow and has some interesting squirrel recipes (who knew squirrel tasted like chicken, except gamier...and nuttier).  And what do I bring to this motley crew?  Well, apparently I can run fast.  I did 8.42 miles in 1:07:11, a 7:59 pace.  I hadn't run that kind of pace in a training run longer than 4 miles since pre-Boston.  Running from zombies (because that's what they are dammit!)  apparently is a good speed workout.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Two Weeks Notice

Week of October 5
     Sunday - 8 miles, 1:05:51, an 8:14 pace on my regular loop
     Wednesday - 8.77 miles, 1:12:07, an 8:13 pace.  I extended my 8 mile loop along Grand Avenue and Sunrise Highway.    A lot of sidewalk running because both roads are pretty busy, but it was a much needed change of scenery.  Also, plenty of bathrooms along the way, if when necessary.
     Thursday - 7.1 miles, not timed with jogger stroller.    This was the day I didn't lose my house key.
     Saturday - 6.87 miles, 55:41, an 8:07 pace.  Must not have been that exciting because I can't remember it.

     Total Miles - 30.7

Week of October 12

     Sunday - 6.6 miles at Bethpage State Park with my buddies, The Emerging Runner, The Petite Pacer, and our new member, D'Artagnan, aka Joe.  Our new friend is a triathlete and a pretty damned good one, at that.  It was a gorgeous morning and I couldn't ask for better company.  It had been a long time since we all ran together.  
     Wednesday - 6.94 miles, 56:57, an 8:13 pace at 5:15pm.  It began to rain at the end.  It felt great and the timing couldn't have been better.
     Thursday - 5.79 miles, 51:20, an 8:52 pace.  I never time myself with my stopwatch when I run with the jogger because I already know I'm much slower and who wants to be reminded of that anyway?  I did glance at the start and finish time (not exact) and my pace was around 8:50ish.

     Total Miles - 19.3  A low mileage week.  I will make it up this coming week.

This Week

     Today (Sunday) - 3.67 miles, 29:23, an 8:00 pace.  My plan was to run 7 or 8 miles with strides.  At the 3 mile mark, I had to go to the bathroom and that was the end of that...
     Stay Tuned...

Here we are with D'Artagnan.

Friday, October 10, 2014


I ran 7 miles with the baby in the jogger stroller yesterday at 12:30pm.  The stroller is a black Baby Trend Expedition LX which is kind of funny because the car I drive is a black Expedition.  I got it (the stroller) in 2001 when my oldest was born.  It is awkward to push (I think most strollers are) and it veers to the right so I constantly have to adjust.  However, I should point out that we have acquired other jogger stroller brands, both double and single, since then, and the Expedition still outperforms all the others.

One of these is my car
and the other is
the jogger...

Each of my children has been pushed and bounced around in this stroller, whether they liked it or not.  Usually, they like it.  First, they will see me getting ready to leave for my run and beg to come along.  They like it for the first two miles, at some point they get bored and want to go home, then they eventually fall asleep.  It ends up being a win/win situation for everyone.

Yesterday was sunny and windy at 60 degrees.  I wore shorts and a long sleeve tech shirt and I wrapped the baby in a blanket (The baby is 3 years old, by the way.  I will always refer to her as the baby, even in 30 years.  That's just how it is).  I brought along the purple coiled key chain.  The coil was too stretched out to fit on my wrist so I placed it in the tray at the top of the stroller.  I chose a route where I could run safely in the streets for most of the run.  There was about a mile of sidewalk running.  The baby complained of the bumps at the beginning, but by mile 4 she was well on her way to Dreamland.

I got home and opened the front storm door only to discover that my key was no longer in the tray.  FUUUCK!  I checked to see if it slipped  behind the baby, but it was nowhere to be found.  Two of my neighbors have copies of the house keys for emergencies (This would be an emergency in my book).  One neighbor was at work so we walked down to the other's house.  Her car was in the driveway!  Yay!  No answer at the door.  Boo.  I started retracing my steps while trying to remember the last time I glanced and saw the key in the tray.  As I was heading down Hempstead Avenue, I rationalized that retracing 7 miles again was not only unrealistic but also the last thing I wanted to do at that moment.  I'll just run the same route tomorrow and hopefully find the key along the way.  No one's going to take a random key they find in the middle of the street, right?  I wondered if I could now break into the house?  Of course, I locked the first floor windows the night before because Pete's away (And of course, Pete's away so he won't be any help).  Did I skip a window?  Could I climb up to a window easily?  Will someone call the police when they see me breaking into my house?  Are there going to be spiderwebs in the bushes?  Ugh!  As I walked back onto my block, I saw a new car in my neighbor's driveway that wasn't there before I left!  Hooray!  She was home and gave me the key.  I made it back into the house!  I dragged the stroller inside and let the baby continued to sleep for another half hour.

The baby woke up and we went about our business for the rest of the day.  In the evening, as I was picking up toys in the living room, what did I happen to find?  Yep, you guessed it.  The key was on the floor.  It must have been in the stroller and fallen out when I took the baby out.  Welcome to my world.

At least I didn't break any windows, right?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Help Wanted

Dear Technology Geek Wizard,

I am writing you for some advice for my "friend" friend who is too embarrassed to write herself himself.  I have (oops) He has been running for decades, starting as a child on the CYO track team to multiple marathons and shorter distance races as an adult.  As experienced as he is in running, he is completely inexperienced with most of the gadgets and accessories out there.  He is what you would call cheap a purist.  He does not have any kind of GPS device to track his routes, mileage, and paces.  This is kind of odd for someone who is always tracking his routes, mileage, and paces.  Instead of a Garmin, he times his runs with his Casio wristwatch, then maps them out on the computer when he gets home.  Although this method may have a couple of advantages (ex., ability to estimate miles just from the clock; pause timing easily for bathroom breaks -- this advantage should never be underestimated; not being mentally influenced by the constant reminder of the GPS), it also has its disadvantages (the extra time on the computer after each run; some routes are not possible to track online; my his psychic odometer is not foolproof; and maybe he just wants a cool, new gadget dammit!).

So...this person is now ready to catch up with the rest of the 21st century runners and invest in a Garmin or a Garmin-like device.  What do you suggest for a technologically inept, deficient, simple unadulterated newbie?  Nothing too complicated.  Just the basics to help with mileage, pace, and heart rate.

Thank you for any kind of input.

Yours truly,

"A Concerned Friend"
Mata Hari

"purist runner".

(courtesy of

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekly Recap 9/29/14 - 10/5/14

Monday:  6 miles at 5:30pm just before the rain storm.

Wednesday:  8 glorious miles on my regular loop in 1:07:10, an 8:24 pace.

Friday: 6.6 miles, two loops around the reservoir at Hempstead Lake Park in 55:10, an 8:22 pace

Sunday: 8 mile loop in 1:05:51, an 8:14 pace

TOTAL:  28.6 miles

It's marathon season and I love reading everybody's race reports.  Great motivation and inspiration!  I can't wait to start planning my next one!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2015: A Race Odyssey

Wow, I had a great run today!  It feels like forever since I felt this good throughout an entire run.  The weather was a cool, overcast 65 degrees a little after noon.  I ran my local 8 mile loop which I hadn't done since...April (Wow!  Cray cray!)?!  There were no dead animals on the road (Yes, this is what I worry about during some of my runs, especially in spring and autumn when the squirrels seem to be fatter and slower), there was no pressure for me to return home immediately, and I even ran into a racing buddy (Hi Liz!).  It also helped that I had some of Pete's famous linguini alle vongole for dinner last night.  Perfect pre-run meal.  I wasn't particularly fast, but I enjoyed every step.  This was exactly the type of workout I needed to get my arse back in gear.

Speaking of getting back in gear...  I'm thinking ahead to my marathon for 2015.  When I checked the calendar, I discovered that the New York City Marathon falls on my birthday, November 1st, All Saints Day (A shout out to all my fellow saints out there!  What's up, holy people?) .  What a perfect day to finally run this race!  Of course, I would enter through the lottery again and my chances are still pretty slim, but you got to be in it to win it, right?

So I thought my mind was made up about this until I just happened to come across Short, Round, & Fast's recent blog post about running the St. George Marathon  this weekend in Utah on almost no training.  I think he'll do great because he has already run it a few times in the past and he's fast.  The fact that he didn't really train?  Well, it might hurt towards the end.  Maybe a lot.  I remember hearing about this race on the Runner's World message boards a while back.  It made an impression because one, the poster said this was one of the faster races in the country.  It is basically down hill.  Like a lot.  Like 2,500 feet.  And two, it is in Utah.  Right after college, a girlfriend and I drove across country via Route 80 (A shout out to all the corn fields out there!  What's up, kernel Sanders?!  I know you can hear me 'cause you're all ears...  okay, I'll stop).  Every state we drove through was beautiful and unique (yes, even Iowa), but Colorado and Utah were my favorites.  Fresh air, clean cities, friendly people, and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.  Having an opportunity to run a marathon in one of these places would be a dream.  I checked out the web site and there also is a lottery which doesn't open until the spring.   The best part about possibly doing St. George is my friend, The Petite Pacer, would like to do it with me as her first ever marathon!   I know, awesome!

What about New York City, Aimée?  Is the A.D.D. that bad?  Yes, I was getting to that.  So if finances and logistics work out, I will apply to St. George as my A goal.  If finances are better than expected, I will also apply to NYC (This race ain't cheap, you know).  I hope I get into at least one of them.  The marathon gods can't hate me that much.  And if I get into both?  October is going to be an interesting month.  Bring it!

From the St. George Marathon home page.
Voted:  Most organized race.
I guess that's important.

NYC Marathon,
probably less organized.

8 miles in 1:07:10, an 8:24 pace.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What Not To Wear

Knowing how to dress for a run in certain kinds of weather can be daunting.  I was going to go out this rainy 63 degree afternoon wearing this because I just LOVE the sleeves and thought they doubled as arm warmers:

They are neither warm nor warmers.  I wore this instead:

Even better.  You can't go wrong with an official long sleeve Boston Marathon race shirt.

4 miles in 31:35, a 7:54 pace

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

My Cow Harbor Race review was my first post since June 23, about three months.  I had the best intentions of keeping up  with the blog this summer, however as the legendary songwriter Vanilla J. Ice once said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." Yep, I'm pretty sure it was the Artist Formerly Known As Robert Van Winkle who said it, not that other guy from that British boy band...One Direction.

There were some weeks this summer when I ran just one day and some when I ran five, but my weekly mileage never exceeded 28 and usually averaged about 15.  This was a huge drop from my 40+mpw minimum base I had maintained for two years.  There really wasn't much to write about as far as my running was concerned.  As far as my life was concerned, I did go to some pretty cool places.  For starters, I brought my two oldest children to Europe, while their father stayed home with the two youngest (Yeah, I know).  

We flew SAS (which I totally would fly again) to Rome with a 24 layover in Copenhagen on the way there and an overnight in Stockholm on the way home.  We stayed at the CabInn in Denmark which was walking distance from both the main train station and Tivoli Gardens.  Our triple room was tiny despite the name, but clean with a private bathroom.   There was no time to go for a run and I was in no mood due to jet lag.

Our view from the CabInn in Copenhagen

Our beautiful hotel in Rome, the Visconti Palace, had a gym which is key if you want to run when traveling solo with children.  We were only a couple of blocks from the Tiber River where I saw many runners along its banks, but as much as I would have liked to, I did not join them.  My oldest daughter was not too keen on running along the river and my son would not be able to run more than a couple of miles.  I was not comfortable leaving them alone in the hotel in a foreign country.  We ended up using the hotel gym every night.  We usually were the only ones in there.  My daughter loved the one elliptical machine which was fine because I despise it, and my son and I took turns on the treadmill.  It is a well known fact that treadmills are not fun.  They are even less fun in a country with the metric system.  I have run five miles on a treadmill more times than I can count.  I have even run twelve miles on the treadmill during my marathon training.  But running 8.04 kilometers on a treadmill is absolutely the worst!  Whenever you run on a treadmill, it's a mindfuck.    You play these games in your head while you are constantly looking at the dashboard counting down or up on the clock or the distance or the pace.  To do this in kilometers is downright torture.  My saving grace was spending that time with the kids.  Every day they looked forward to going to the gym after sightseeing.  It was our time to unwind and have fun.  I loved it and hated it simultaneously.

Our "hotel" in Stockholm was called Jumbo Stay.  It is actually a jumbo jet converted into a hostel.  We arrived in Stockholm at 10pm and had to fly out the next morning.  Jumbo Stay made the most sense for a layover since you literally did not have to leave the airport!  The kids and I loved this hotel.   Technically, it is a hostel.  There is a communal bathroom, but it was so clean I did not mind walking in there barefoot (That's right!  BAREfoot!  You have to take off your shoes before entering the plane and leave them at the door!).  The only downside was the lack of a fitness center, but really, there was no time to work out.

Our room at Jumbo Stay 
in Stockholm

You can walk out on the wing for a late night cocktail 
or morning coffee.

My next vacation was less than a week after arriving home from Europe.  We spent three nights camping in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard and a week in a rental house (a remote converted barn on a compound) on Chappaquiddick.  The Vineyard is a runner's paradise.  There are bicycle paths throughout the island making running safe and convenient.  There is a large, dedicated running community on the island.  Our friend, Dana is one of the veterans.  I ran exactly a 10k from the campsite to Dana's house one day.  The next day I met up with his friends and ran 6 easy miles along the water in Oak Beach.

During the time on Chappy, I explored the island either on foot or bicycle with the kids.  There are only two paved roads on Chappaquiddick, the rest are dirt.  This was great for my legs when running, however it totally sucked on the bike, particularly when there was an occupant in the baby seat.  Chappy is nice for those who don't mind isolation.  If you like restaurants, shopping, and occasional conversation with people who you're not related to, stick to the Vineyard.

The dirt road from our barn, 
aka The Middle of Nowhere,
 to the rest of Chappy

I came back to reality (oh, there goes gravity!)  the week before Labor Day weekend just in time for back-to-school shopping.  Then it was back to school.  And now back to our regularly scheduled program - She Is Out Running...Again

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Great Cow Harbor Race Review

Great Cow Harbor Race Recap

I woke up at 6am, put on my awesome Boston Strong t-shirt (Courtesy of The Emerging Runner.), popped an ibuprofen (Mistake numero uno...) for my calcified shoulder that doesn't seem to be getting better, and two generic Imodiums (Uh-huh!), chugged a glass of orange juice, and packed three sleeping children into the car (Child #1 stayed home because...she's twelve).  We left the house by 7 and arrived at the Laurel Avenue School in Northport by 7:40.  I found The Petite Pacer (TPP) easily and she handed me my bib that she graciously picked up the night before.  We had over 45 minutes to kill before the start so we went inside the school to look for some pre-race water.  I found the most awesome water fountain in the history of water fountains (Cold as though it had a direct line to the peak of Mount Everest.  Okay, slight exaggeration, but man, did it hit the spot!).  We ran into Mr. & Mrs, Freighbor which is always a treat.  Mrs. Freighbor is training for the New York City Marathon and Mr. Freighbor is a trooper!  We also met up with our friend Leah whose bib TPP also picked up.  (I'm not sure what happened to the indentation in this paragraph, but I can't fix it.  I tried.)

We headed to the start and waited on line for the porta potties.  I was confident (Generic Imodiums!) I didn't have to go, but I wanted to chit chat with my buds for a bit.  While talking shop, I realized I didn't have my Casio watch (Mistake numero due...).  I would have to rely on Map My Run on my phone to keep track of my progress.  By 8:25, we headed to our corrals.  Because of the large amount of participants (4,300), there is a staggered start.  My bib number began with the number 4 so that meant I would be starting 4 minutes after the gun went off.  

Today was the third time I ran Cow Harbor.  It is a prestigious 10k ranked among the top races in the country.  The course leads you along the scenic, hilly north shore coast of Long Island.   It is well organized with plenty of crowd support.  The first time I ran Cow Harbor was in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan.  That race was almost a biathlon because you could practically swim to the finish line.  The water was knee deep, no joke.  My second Cow Harbor was in 2012 just a couple of weeks before the Baltimore Marathon.  After months of preparation, I was pretty happy with my time of 49:11, over four minutes faster than the previous attempt.  This time around, I wasn't expecting much.  Since the Boston Marathon, I have been running anywhere from a measly six to twenty miles per week.  This is half as much as the base I had been maintaining since the beginning of 2012.  I just wanted to finish Cow Harbor, preferably without walking and ideally under fifty minutes.  

The first mile (7:48 pace) of the race is great mainly because it is mostly downhill.  As I was taking it easy down the steep Scudder Avenue, Mr. Bozo-I'm-Acting-Like-I've-Never-Run-A-Race-Before flies through the crowd at full speed, arms flailing and all.  I shook my head and quietly wondered to myself at what point I would be seeing his dumb ass doing the walk-of-shame.  Turns out it would be James Street, mile two (7:55 pace).  James Street is the infamous hill in this race with an almost 200 foot ascent.  Steep.  I find the best way to tackle this hill is to just keep moving, if you can.  I make it a point to never walk this early.    The next couple of miles are surprisingly easy peasy.  Then comes the never ending Waterside Road mile.  It is a slight incline, but it feels like it will never end (see previous sentence).  A few people were shouting, "Boston Strong!" which helped me along tremendously.  It finally does end when we make a right at Pumpernickel's Restaurant onto Main Street.  There is a small uphill which basically does me in temporarily.  When I reached the top, I ran out of steam and decided to walk for a little bit ("This is a fun run", "This is a fun run," I rationalized to myself.  I knew a PR was not happening from the get-go).   I saw a sign that read, "It's all downhill from here!" and then I was off again.  The sign did not lie.  Map My Run told me I hit mile 6 in 47:xx which was totally a pleasant surprise since I would have sworn I was in the 50s.  By this time, my stomach and throat were feeling the acid effects of the ibuprofen.  I kept it together until the end.  Once I crossed the finish line, I threw up a little (It happens!).  My official time is 49:37, top 10% in my age group, and top 18% overall.  I hit two out of my three goals which was just dandy for me.

Coming down Main Street

Pete and the kids were waiting at the finish.  We grabbed our freebies (Delicious flavored water, bagels, peanut butter crackers, bananas, watermelon, and juice bags) at the post-race party and met up with TPP and Leah again.  I missed the Freighbors, but saw them once I got home.  

To sum up, I had a great time and will definitely run this again.  The course, the crowds, and the organization make it worthwhile.  Moo!

Leah, TPP, and She Is Back 

Postscript:  I know I have been MIA in both my running and posting.  I have no excuses, but I hope you'll excuse me anyway.

Monday, June 23, 2014 Recap June 8 - June 23

The road to the blogosphere is paved with good intentions...

Sunday, June 8:  Off

Monday, June 9:   Off

Tuesday, June 10:   6 miles

Wednesday, June 11:  Off

Thursday, June 12:   4.8 miles, 39:43, 8:16 pace

Friday, June 13:   Off

Saturday, June 14:   Off

Sunday, June 15:   Ran 1 mile to the local middle school track where I met the Emerging Runner and The Petite Pacer for some speed work.  We ran 6 x 400m at 5k pace (estimated by effort)  with a lap in between each.  I also ran an extra mile for a bathroom break.  Totaled 5 miles.

Monday, June 16 - Thursday, June 19:  (sigh) Off

Friday, June 20:  5.57 miles, 46:00, 8:16 pace

Saturday, June 21:  Off

Sunday, June 22:  3.94 miles, 33:13,  8:26 pace

Monday, June 23:  Off

It's over two months since the Boston Marathon.  I hope to get back to my regularly scheduled programming this week.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekly Recap June 1 - June 7

SUNDAY:  5.82 miles, 49:00, 8:25 pace

MONDAY:  Early evening 2.1 mile run with my 7 year old son.  He was eager to run.  He has great form (Actually, all of my kids have fantastic posture while running.  I need to take notes.  My shoulders are always tensed up).  His pacing needs work, but he's seven.

TUESDAY:  4.98 miles, 42:21, 8:30 pace


THURSDAY:  Off (again?)

FRIDAY:  3.95 miles, 32:40, 8:16 pace

SATURDAY:  I got to the Bethpage Bike Trail early so I ran one mile solo at an 8:30 pace (which I could have sworn was an 8:00 pace.  Oh well).  The Emerging Runner arrived, then The Petite Pacer a couple of minutes later.  We headed north (eventually separate) for 3.55 miles and then turned around.  8.1 miles total.

WEEKLY TOTAL:  25 miles!  It blew the prior week's 7.56 out of the water.  The week before that was 6.85!  At this rate, I should be running a 70 mile week by  the end of the month.  Getting right on that...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hello? Is There Anybody In There?

Hi.  I am still here.  I was not a guest at any red weddings nor was I combatting any giant Icelandic behemoths (I'm talking to you GoT fans!).  Freighbor mentioned to me the other day that I hadn't posted since May 18th.  Almost one month!  Okay, here are the several reasons for this:  My weekly mileage is down to 20 mpw, if that; spring sports for the children have begun; guilt that since the Boston Marathon is over, I should be spending more time with the family; I'm tired; we got a kitten; my fitness (speed) level is waaay down; etc. etc. etc.

I will continue writing and I hope you will continue reading.  I love writing and this blog has given me a reason to do so.  If anything, it has slowed down the inevitable Mom brain rot process.  Rather than try to post as often as I can,  I think I'm going to do a weekly recap, unless I raced or I have something terribly clever that I need to share.  Thanks for sticking by me.  Keep the faith.

Say hello to my little frien'

Here are a couple of revelations I have had in the past few weeks:

1.  Cats destroy tech shirts
2.  Little girls + kitten - adult = terrible idea
3.  1 adult in home + little girls + kitten = no shower
4.  If things seem too good to be true on Game of Thrones,  a bloodbath will ensue.
5.  I joined Twitter, finally!  Follow me at!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

NYRR Brooklyn Half Mararthon Review

The "Pre-race Party' was touted as an expo like no other.  If this means, extremely difficult to get to by car, no freebies, and overhyped, well I guess they were right.  We did get 15% off our delicious dinner at Luzzo's BK with my registration card, though.  I had bucatini puttanesca (one of my favorite pasta dishes), a glass of Chianti, and a slice of my daughter's authentic Italian pizza.

This expo, at the pier in the top left of photo, would have been
easier to get to if I had swum across the East River
from Manhattan 

Oh, I'm supposed to take the footbridge over 
the Depths of Despair to get to the expo?
Yeah, thanks.

We were supposed to stay over my sister-in-law's basement apartment in Cobble Hill the night before the race.  This would make race morning very easy, only a two mile jog to the start.  Imagine our surprise when none of the 6 keys we were given worked.  In the pouring rain.  With kids having to use the bathroom.  Badly.  So we headed back home to Long Island.  In the pouring rain.  With kids having to use the bathroom.  Badly.  I called The Emerging Runner (ER) hoping to catch a ride with his friend from Queens.  Luckily, there was "enough" room.

Race morning I woke up at 4am after a restless sleep full of nightmares of me waking up at 8:30am, ruining the race for my three friends whose numbers I had picked up.  I had a sore throat which I attributed to yelling at scolding my children the night before for their usual car hijinks.  I was out the door at 4:30 and arrived at Kin's apartment in Flushing in fifteen minutes.  The Petite Pacer, Leah, and ER walked in the door minutes later.  Kin's friend kindly volunteered to drive us on his way to the gym.  It was a tight squeeze, but manageable.  We saw smaller, fuller cars of clowns runners along the way.  

We got to the start at 5:30.  There was plenty of time to check bags, take photos, get corralled, and use the bathroom.  TPP and ER were starting together in Corral 6 of Wave 2.  Kin wanted to start at the very end.  Although I was assigned to Corral 8 of Wave 1, I decided to move 6 corrals back and start with Leah for some company.  It's much nicer to hang with friends at the beginning of large races like this.  I also knew I wasn't going to PR.  I barely logged 20 miles per week post-Boston, and the one 13 miler I ran the week before was interrupted with lots of walking breaks with friends.  This was just a medium long run among 27,000 fellow runners.

From left to right: Leah, TPP, and She Is Out Walking

The Usual Suspects

I didn't catch his name, but the man who sang the Star Spangled Banner was amazing.  We finally got moving around 7:15.  We started down Washington Avenue, then turned right onto Flatbush for an out and back.  As I was heading back, I glimpsed fellow blogger A Fast Paced Life heading out looking very concentrated.  By the time I realized who she was, we had already passed each other.  Also, I don't know her name and didn't have enough time to shout, "Hey, A Fast Paced Life!  It's me, She Is Out Running..."  That would have been weird.   

It was pretty crowded at the beginning.  It was difficult to pass people.  At one point on Ocean Avenue a guy crashed into a metal gate.  He must have tried to pass on the outside (as I did often) and misjudged his footing in the crowd.  He bounced back up quickly and laughed it off.  

We headed into Prospect Park for four miles.  There were some inclines, but also some shade.  I didn't go through my normal bathroom routine in the morning because I was up before the butt crack of dawn and rushing to get out the door.  My body protested to this coup de sleep somewhere before mile 5.  I ducked into a porta potty at 37:52 and finished at 39:50.  I made sure to take accurate note of the time so I could tell Mary Wittenberg to subtract from my net time accordingly.  We exited the park at Mile 7 and headed down the long five mile stretch of Ocean Parkway.   Most of the runners sought shade from the right side of the road.  I was drinking Gatorade from every hydration station and pouring water over my hat.  A girl was retching loudly on the side of the road.  A concerned police officer came to her aid.  Around Mile 9, nature was calling my name again.  I again noted my time in the porta potty, another minute.  

We ran  under the Belt Parkway and I could see the Coney Island exit sign.  The end was near.  We made a right onto Surf Avenue.  I passed a woman making the strangest moaning noises as she breathed.  Strange because she was doing it so freaking loudly!  I thought I ran onto the set of a porno flick!  We made a quick left toward the boardwalk.  I passed Mile 13 and saw the finish line ahead.  I crossed at 1:51:53, an 8:33 pace (Which was really 1:48, Ms. Wittenberg...).

Finish at Coney Island

The volunteers shuttle you down to the end of the boardwalk.  There was no escaping beforehand.  Believe me, I tried.  Leah finished shortly after me and we met up by the large red Eiffel tower/windmill/parachute ride structure (see photo above).  I ate a banana and had another water.  We got on line for the porta potties again because I wanted to take my wet sports bra off and put my sweatshirt that I had wrapped around my waist on.   We chatted with a couple of men on line.  I immediately recognized the Boston accent.  Of course, we talked about the marathon (they ran 2014, also).

Leah and I scavenged a couple of heat blankets and waited for the others to arrive.  First TPP showed up, then Kin, and then finally ER.  ER was looking flushed and shaky.  He said his vision was off so we brought him to the medical tent.  The doctors gave him some food and drink and made him lie down.  They took some tests (even blood!)  and wouldn't let him leave until they were confident he wasn't going to conk out.  Thankfully, he didn't have to go to the hospital.  By the time he was done,  it was close to noon.  Instead of taking the F train back to Queens (via Manhattan!), we jumped into a cab.

All told, it was an okay race, but a bitch to get to.  The logistics are too much of a pain in the arse, unless you are staying in the city.  I won't be doing this one again.  

Postscript:  ER will be following up with his doctor before running again.  My "scolding" sore throat is actual a bacterial infection.   John was killed by a drunk driver in December 1964.  Toad was reported missing in action near An Loc in December 1965.  Steve is an insurance agent in Modesto, California.  And Curtis is a writer living in Canada.