Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Bridge Over the River East

The Williamsburg Bridge by night
(NY - pictures.com)

Wednesday (2/18/15) - 7.54 mile loop

Thursday (2/19/15) - 10 miles (8 mile loop, followed by a 2 miler), 24 degrees & windy

Friday (2/20/15) - 3.8 miles in Brooklyn.  Ran with a friend across the Williamsburg Bridge at 7:30pm.  The temperature was between 20-22 degrees.  The sky was clear so we got a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline.  There's a pedestrian/cycling path above the roadway and alongside the subway tracks.  The incline and decline of the bridge were not difficult, just enough to work your different muscles.  Just one other runner out and a couple of walkers (not of the AMC variety).

( bikeablecommunities.og)

(Getty Images)

Saturday (2/21/15) - Went out on the town after the Willy B run the night before and didn't come home until pretty, pretty late.  Intended mileage: 6-8.  Result: 2 unsatisfying naps

Sunday (2/22/15) - We got about 3-5 inches of snow on Saturday night.  The temperature on Sunday was close to 40.  The streets were just a wet, slushy mess.  6 miles at the gym on their treadmill because I still have the membership until early April.  And because it's the gym treadmill.

Monday (2/23/15) - 7.54 mile loop at 3:00pm in 20 degrees.  The sidewalks were very icy because of the previous day's conditions.  The streets were fine.

Total weekly mileage - 34.88 miles

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

(Sub)Urban Mudder

The latest trend in racing these past few years has been the themed race.  It started with the Tough Mudder, a race with military boot camp-like obstacles.  This attracted me for five minutes because as you might or might not know, I consider myself to be a hardcore poser.  The idea of wall climbing, mud crawling, and burpees is strangely attractive to me.  Electrocution and tractor pulling, not so much.   The popularity of the Tough Mudder races quickly led to the Spartan Races which led to the zombie races to the color runs and so on and so forth.   Who knew there were so many fellow masochists out there?

The older I get, however, the more prone I am to injury.  I could break a hip!  I also seem to be training for a marathon every year so the last thing I want to do is sprain an ankle (or break a hip!) in the months leading up to a big race.  So basically, I am adamantly against racing any of these obstacle events...unless your name is Slim.  And you ask me.  Actually, Slim texted me the other night about doing the Urban Mudder in New York City this July.  I said yes (immediately) because, well it's Slim.  He is one of my best friends in the world who also happens to also be an amazing athlete.  He holds the 800 meter record at our university.  Not a college, but a university.  Meaning a lot of students.  He probably could have gone to the Olympics if he hadn't torn his hamstring in his junior year.  Today he no longer is the long and lean track star he once was in college, instead he is a buff gym rat and former United States Marine.  Essentially, the guy I want on my team.

The Urban Mudder will take place on Randall's Island under the Ed Koch Bridge.  Mr. Freighbor, Pete, and I ran the Nike Human Race there in 2008.  The course was reminiscent of the original Escape From New York.  I expected Kurt Russell to jump out from behind a graffitied pylon wearing an eye patch and snarling.  This seems like it will be the perfect setting for the Mudder race.  A partial urban wasteland, chock full of abandoned cars, broken bottles, and the place where concrete highway dividers go to die.  As long as I don't have to rub city rats all over my body or swim in an ice cold 12 feet deep pool  of mud - with rats, I think it will be blast.  We already have about ten other people wanting to be on our team.  More likely they want to be on Slim's team.  I'm just along for the pain.

Friday (2/13/15) - 5 miles outside
Saturday (2/14/15) - 6.5 miles outside
Monday (2/16/15) - 6.4 miles outside.  What treadmill?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tread Softly And Carry A Big Box

I pretty much wanted to get a treadmill my entire adult life which is as long as I've been running.  Imagine the convenience!  Rain?  No problem!  I can run on my treadmill!  Snow?  No worries, I have my very own private treadmill.  Baby Girl is home from school?  I can run while she watches Caillou!  I could even run in my pajamas or underwear!  This dream never actually seemed like a reality, however.  The last time I mentioned it to Pete around Christmas, he dismissed the idea because of the expense and suggested I join the gym instead.  But what about all the money we could save on gym memberships?!  I joined the gym.  Fast forward to Pete's North American Tour 2015 (Check Stub Hub to see if he'll be in your city!).  Sanibel showed me a Nordictrack online that was on sale for just one more day.  I explained how her father said no to which she replied, "No, I talked to him.  He said get it."  What?!  Seriously?  Well, let me take a look at that again, child!  I will not ask questions.  I know better.  I'm thinking he was feeling guilty for being away from the children for so long.  Who cares, really?  Finally, I'm getting a treadmill!

Sanibel picked out the Nordictrack C1630.  The tranquil, Zen demo video on the website not only makes it look like the best treadmill ever created by man, but when it was over I contemplated converting to Buddhism.  The two features that grabbed me were the "Decline Option", as well as Incline, and the virtual running via iFit.  iFit is an app that allows you to create routes, compete with other runners, and run virtually in other cities (wink wink).  The only other time I did a virtual treadmill run was at the Disney Vero Beach Property two years ago.  I loved it.  I ran through the woods in Bavaria and didn't worry once about a hungry family of bears or murderers chasing me!  So we purchased the Nordictrack before the weekend sale was over ($1299 down from $2499).

The delivery company called me the following week to schedule the arrival date.  We agreed on Friday.  The man on the phone also let me know that it is curbside delivery.  Oh, and the box weighs about 300 pounds, he said.  Oh nononono, I'm home alone.  There's no way I'll be able to get it into my house.  I briefly thought that it likely wouldn't get stolen, though.  But then, it's winter and there's snow.  And then I stopped thinking about leaving the treadmill at the end of my driveway indefinitely.  Okay, bringing it into the house will be extra, the man said,  then we said goodbye.  I wasn't quite sure how we left it.

Friday morning the delivery guys called.  They said that we would be their second stop.  The first would be Freighbors!  Coincidentally, they too were getting a treadmill on the same day.  They live two houses down from me.  Freighbor texted me that they gave the guys $100 to bring their treadmill down to their basement.  Our plan was to put it in my bedroom.  I did not trust my adorable, but Godzilla-like destructive children in a room alone for any amount of time with the treadmill.  The enormous tractor trailer truck inched down to my house.  The two guys brought the couch/coffin/piano/stretch limousine sized box up the stairs.  Barely.  At one point, I thought the guy on the bottom of the box was going to be crushed and die in front of me.  Thankfully, he survived.  The treadmill, however, was not going to make it into my bedroom.  They could not make the necessary turn in the hallway.  Wait!  How about the basement?  Desperate times called for desperate measures.  Suddenly, getting this monolith out of my upstairs hallway and bringing it anywhere trumped possible Godzilla-like destruction.  I brought Survivor Guy downstairs.  He immediately said it would not be possible to use the incline/decline mechanism because of the low ceiling.  Foiled again!  So in the end, it went in my eight-year old son's bedroom.

When Sanibel came home from school, she was anxious to put it together.  I was not.  We managed to get it out of the box and eventually in the corner where it would make the most sense.  I will spare you the gory details of its construction.  The directions were mostly straightforward and almost all of the screws fit their designated holes.  We experienced one snafu because someone (I won't name names, but it wasn't me) forgot to tighten the screws before putting the console on.  Luckily, my friend's very patient and kind husband fixed this for us later.

So far I ran on it twice.  Sanibel uses it more often than I do.  I had difficulty using the virtual run function because it doesn't exist on our model.  That was an unpleasant discovery.  I also have not found the pace display.  I'll look it up when I get a chance.  How were my two runs?  To be honest, they sucked.  Maybe I shouldn't have run immediately after having a celebratory beer and ice cream sandwich once we finished building it.  The second run was under much more reasonable circumstances.  It still sucked.  I'm hoping the acquisition of a new wall mounted flat screen TV will make running on it more desirable for me.  At least, Sanibel is getting use out of it.  And my son has a new place to hang his clothes on.

Thursday (2/5/15) - 6.4 miles outside
Friday (2/6/15) - 6.4 miles outside
Saturday (2/7/15) - 3 treadmill miles
Monday (2/9/15) - 3.34 treadmill miles
Tuesday (2/10/15) -7.54 miles outside
Wednesday (2/11/15) - 7.54 miles outside

Total Mileage - 34.22

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wet Socks? Get Over It.

Thursday (1/29/15) - 6.4 mile loop in the snow

Saturday (1/31/15) - 4 miles in 28 degrees and windy

Sunday (2/1/15) - 10.2 miles in 35 degrees.  8 mile loop, then 2 mile loop

Tuesday (2/3/15) - 4 miles at the gym in 33:15, an 8:19 pace

Thursday (2/5/15) - 6.4 miles the moment the windy snow died down (10:45am).  I had enough time for a nice, slow run before I had to pick up Baby from pre-school.  No music.  I stepped in a deep puddle with my right foot near my 3 mile mark.  It was as cold and soggy and uncomfortable as you might imagine.  I contemplated cutting my run short to a 4 miler.  I wondered if I would get frostbite if I didn't.  Right where I would turn off, I realized I actually felt terrific.  Maybe my sock froze a little bit because it no longer felt squishy.  I kept going.  No regrets.

Total Mileage - 31