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.