Thursday, September 30, 2010

23 Miles From The Goal

Well, all I've got today is a bunch of excuses.  Drew came back from Germany last night and I didn't go running this morning.  I don't even really think the two things are related, but it was raining and I wanted to stay in bed.  So, I didn't go running.  That's two days in a row now.  And I'm getting very very close to a crazy and ridiculous time at work, so that's not going to be helping matters any.

My September running total for the month was 108.3 miles in 19:02:00 for an average pace of 10:32/mile.  I was feeling awesome and warm and fuzzy about that until I realized that in the month of September, I was supposed to have run 132 miles.  Which means I fell a whopping 23.70 miles short.  The funny thing is that despite that fact making me upset, I actually still feel totally confident about completing the marathon.  Does that make me crazy? 

Wardrobe Challenge, Day 11:
Truthfully, I had trouble remembering what I've already worn this week, so I had to peek back at my blog to check.  I wore black mini-skirt and blue sweater.  Topped it off with tights and a black headband with a bow.  Diamond stud earrings.  I normally wear these earrings every single day, so I think I've really liked (and I know Drew really has) how this challenge has forced me to shake it up a bit! 

After we took this one, Drew asked if the cat should be in the photo, too.  I agreed and this is what we got:

I cut Drew's head off and our cat appears to be crazy-eyed.  In self-defense, however, I'd like to say that I had to set the self-timer with the cat in my arms and at least I actually got her to look at the camera, so even though it's not the best, it's actually a very funny family portrait! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Germany Is 6 Hours Away

I can't even really explain why Drew was awake when he was, but since he was still in Germany yesterday, we ended up spending what was my evening and his sleeping time talking on GChat.  Except that I stayed up way way way too late as a result and when my alarm went off this morning, I cursed it and went back to bed. 

Which means no running today.  Oops.  I've been trying to be better about this whole bedtime thing, but sometimes I just suck at it.  I'm accepting that and moving on.  It's not like I don't have work and a 18 mile run and a duathlon hanging over my head for the weekend.  I'm sure I can fit everything in!  (ha ha ha).

Anyway, on to today's outfit.  Day 10 - all black.  Truthfully, if I thought it would have been okay, I would have chosen all black items to wear with a pair of jeans thrown in the mix.  But then I thought it'd be harder to see that I was actually changing my clothes on the internet, so I didn't.  But I normally wear a lot more black than I've been representing in this challenge! 

Wearing black pants, black short-sleeved sweater and gold necklace and earrings from Drew.  I think these are some of my favorite earrings from him.  He really likes dangly earrings and I really love post earrings, so these are a good combo of both.  Topped it off with black mary jane heels. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It Could Be Raining

This week is looking like rain, rain, and more rain here in the Big Apple.  I have to say, rain is my least favorite weather.  I think I didn't have this bad attitude until I moved to New York and had to walk to work.  But there's just something about being wet all day long as a result of it that makes me a bit surly.  It's also why I tend to wear skirts when it's raining (so my pants don't get all wet).  I might complain about the cold, but it just doesn't seem like as big of a deal to me as rain. 

Which is why it was crazy that I excitedly woke up at 5:18 this morning to get dressed and go running in the pouring rain.  I will say, however, that I did drag my feet a tiny bit while getting ready to head outside.  Not because I didn't want to go, but I didn't want to be standing around waiting for the workout to start.  I pretty much wanted to get there and just go to the back of the line and if I missed a stride or two, it wouldn't be the end of the world! 

That's exactly what happened.  I arrived just a minute or two late, but I think I only missed one (at the most two) strides, so I still got a decent warm-up and didn't have to stand around in the rain.  There was a very small group of Terriers this morning (not surprising), but the majority of the people who were there are part of the specific marathon program, so even though I'm not part of that group, I guess it shows that marathoners are probably the only people crazy enough to get up and out there! 

Because we were such a small group today, Spencer had us all do the marathon plan workout instead of having just a few of us do the regular Terrier workout.  The "beginner" marathon workout today was 4 x 1000 meters.  I have to say I wasn't overly enthused about this, but I know the speed work stuff is good for me and it's a nice change from "regular" running, so the only thing to do was start running.

I ended up doing the intervals with another girl on the team and it was actually really nice to have someone there at my same pace.  We chatted a little bit, but mostly it was nice because it gave me a reason not to drop my pace.  I felt like I had to keep going and I definitely pushed myself a bit harder than I would have if I'd been doing it on my own. 

The rain definitely let up as time went on and of course by the time I was heading home, it had stopped completely.  I don't mind.  I figure there could be rain the day of the marathon, so I might as well get out there and practice a little bit.  After getting home I promptly took my orthotics out of my shoes and stuffed newspaper in my shoes so that they'd dry out quickly.  I'm hopeful they'll be all ready for tomorrow morning! 

Running (Run There / Strides / Run to the S)
Time: 24:11
Distance: 2.50 miles
Pace: 9:40/mile

Running (4 x 1000 meters)
Time: 21:00
Distance: 2.50 miles
Pace: 8:24/mile

Total Distance: 5.00 miles

So, since the threat of rain is still out there, although it wasn't actually raining on my way to work today, I wore the grey skirt and purple shirt.  With purple heels.  Yup.  That's right.  I actually think it works okay, too.  Which might mean that after only 9 days of this challenge, I'm off my rocker a bit?  

They really don't look all that purple though, so it's probably not quite as bad as you were imagining in your head! 

I'm also wearing my elephant hair earrings.  Drew got them for me in Namibia. The left one is what they look like from the front, but I took a picture of the back so that you could see it better.  I have a matching necklace, but that just didn't work with the neckline of the shirt today. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy Start To The Week

This morning I had to get up and at 'em earlier than I normally would on a Monday since I had an appointment with my eye doctor.  Glad to report that my eyes are mostly okay, but when he was taking some photos of my eyes, he said that I seem to be under a lot of stress and I should try to do some sort of daily aerobic activity as a stress reliever.  When I replied that I was training for a marathon, so I'm not sure what else I should be doing, he agreed that was probably enough in the activity department.  Good to know that your eye blood vessels are capable of showing your stress level, though. 

I finally got around to wearing my last item of clothing today, the black v-neck sweater.  I paired it with the black mini skirt and some patterned tights.  I also wore some gold and silver earrings.  Of course, since it's raining here today, I wore my rain boots and carried my colorful umbrella with me.  I switched into black mary jane heels at work.  The kitty tried to get in the photo this morning too, but she sort-of missed getting her head in the photo.  Just her ears! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Length Of The Isle Of Manhattan

I took yesterday off from running to spend with Drew.  He left for Germany yesterday evening and I decided that instead of spending 3 hours running on Saturday, I'd wait until he left and do it today.  We spent the day running errands.  I wore the purple long-sleeved shirt and black mini-skirt.  I was going to wear jeans and the shirt, but it was pretty warm here and I knew that I'd be way too hot if I wore long-sleeves and jeans.  I dressed it down by wearing my "smiley-faced shoes".

That meant that today was the day for the longest long run yet.  I don't really think that going from 15 to 17 was 100% my idea of a good time.  I felt like there should be a more natural 15-16-17 progression.  But, nevertheless, I mapped out a route that would take me exactly 17 miles and not a tad more.

I pretty much ran up and down the entire Westside Path today (or a good portion of the length of the island).  I ran from my apartment north first.  I hated the bikers on the way north.  Maybe someone out there actually reads this blog and read my rant from last week about the runners on the Westside Path, because I felt like they were much better today. The bikers, however, left something to be desired.

All the south-bound bikers apparently felt like running in the pedestrian portion of the Path.  I guess that perhaps they just didn't understand what those little pictures of bikers and walkers on the ground actually meant. Finally, I decided to just start yelling at people so that maybe they'd understand that they were riding on the wrong portion.  I probably looked like a crazy person, but I just wish people would pay attention to the signs!  There aren't even words!  It's just little pictures!

It was much better on the way back south because I figure the bikers won't run me over if we're both going the same way.  I'm not 100% sure I'm right on that one, but I haven't been proven wrong yet.  When I got back to where I'd normally turn off and go home, I knew I had quite a way to go, still.  I actually didn't wan't to turn off and go home, so I took that as a good sign and just kept on my way.

The rest of the run was pretty good.  I ate 12 jelly beans along the way.  I wore my Fuel Belt and took two bottles of Gatorade and two of water.  I was really thirsty for water again today, instead of Gatorade.  I felt like a Camel.  I had to stop a couple of times and fill up my bottles with water at drinking fountains.  I'm a little nervous about this.  I don't know if I'm feeling that thirsty what I should be doing.  And how will I ever have enough fluids during the actual marathon? 

At some point, I couldn't get the Death Cab for Cutie Marching Bands of Manhattan song out of my head and I spent at least an hour trying to remember if they said width or length of the Isle of Manhattan.  I was pretty sure it was length, but that seems like such a long arm span, I didn't possibly think it could be correct.  It also seemed like a very appropriate song to have stuck in my head today.  I guess the good thing about running for three hours is that you have a lot of time to think about funny things like that. 

I wore tri shorts, which seem to be better for these longer runs. I also wore a long-sleeved running shirt.  I was able to push the sleeves up just past my elbows.  It might have looked a little funny, but I didn't have any arm chafing today, so it worked out just perfectly.  All in all, today was a good run.  It was two miles longer than I've ever run before, which is so surprising to me that I just did it.  And it wasn't the biggest deal in the whole world. I'm also now at over 100 miles for the month, which feels just awesome! 

Time: 3:06:54
Distance: 17.00 miles
Pace: 10:59/mile

Saturday, Day 6: purple long-sleeved shirt, black mini-skirt and smiley faced shoes (which are really Jack Purcell Converse shoes)

Sunday, Day 7: Blue sweater, jeans with no accessories or jewelry.  Wore white & blue shoes (and definitely thought about the fact that I was wearing white shoes after Labor Day).  I definitely only got dressed today in order to go to dinner with Laura!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Think There Are Hills In Philly

This morning I really didn't feel like getting out of bed and going for a run, but Drew thought that it was a bad idea for me to stay in bed and kept pestering me, so finally I got up and at 'em.  I'm actually really glad he did, though, because I seem to have gotten past my bad run and back onto the good run track.

I figured I should probably do some of those hill repeats that I skipped out on Wednesday.  I mean, it looks like there are hills in Philadelphia, see:

I have to say that I'm pretty glad that the second half of the race looks relatively flat.  I'm not sure why they want to kill our legs right from the get-go, though!  

So, today, I ran from our apartment to Cat Hill and then did 6 Cat Hill repeats (each up and down is 0.50 miles), so it was 3 miles in total of hills.  Oddly enough, I didn't even hate it.  Although, it's funny because for the first 4, I was feeling great.  By the 5th one, I could tell I was tired and I was so glad that time wasn't permitting me to do any more than 6 today! 

My favorite part of doing these hill repeats is to see how many times I can pass walkers going up or down the hill while I'm running.  Silly, I know, but I'll take whatever motivates me at this point.  I know I need to throw in some more hill workouts in the upcoming weeks, but I'm glad I got this one under my belt.  After the hill repeats, I ran home and after begging Drew to make a smoothie immediately, I hopped in the shower.

Normally the smoothie wouldn't be such a big deal, but in an effort to get in the longest run possible today, I skipped eating anything before going running.  I know a lot of people out there don't eat before these shorter runs, but I tend to wake up hungry and while I felt okay during my run today, I think I would have felt better with a bite or two of something in my tummy.  To each his own, right?  I just know that being slightly more fueled makes me feel better. 

Time: 1:02:20
Distance: 6.00 miles
Pace: 10:23/mile

Today's Wardrobe Challenge is a repeat of the shirt I wore on Wednesday.  But I only wore it for about 2 hours to go to the dentist, so I don't really think it was dirty.  Although I plan on doing laundry this weekend, so don't worry too much about my cleanliness.  Drew's in the pictures again.  He made us take some funny ones and I couldn't figure out how to not cut his head off ...

I'm wearing the gray short-sleeved skirt and gray skirt.  Today's jewelry was picked by Drew:

Those earrings are actually the first jewelry that Drew gave me and the bracelet is an Elephant Hair bracelet from his parents.  (Although, it's not real hair, but I do have some earrings that are, I'll try to wear them soon).  Today's shoes are really two pairs.  Flats that I actually wore to work and then the heels are the shoes I'm wearing at work.  Complicated business when you walk a mile to and from work each day! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good, Good, Bad

I keep feeling like I'm on some sort of weird cycle where I have a couple of really good runs, then a bad run, and then I just feel like if I'm only running 3 miles (like yesterday) I have no business trying to complete a marathon.  Oh, maybe now is a good time to say that this post is going to be a downer.

So, in the spirit of having bad runs, I decided that I'd skip today's run.  At least for this morning.  Depending on how this evening goes work-wise, I guess there is still a chance.  I've also got 17 miles looming over my head for this weekend, so that's something to look forward to as well.  I'm a little stumped on a possible route for that run as I don't really want to do laps in the Park but I'm also reaching the end of my tolerance for doing the same Westside Path run all the time, too.  I think I just need a week off before I resume my regularly scheduled Westside Path long run.  This is definitely one time where I wish I didn't live in NYC and had some more running options.

Today and tomorrow are warm ones in NY.  Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer than today, so I'm saving a skirt for tomorrow. Luckily, I'll be able to wear short-sleeves both days.  Here's Day #4:

Black pants, black short-sleeved sweater and I finally got my jewelry act together and am wearing a gold and silver necklace (and I even took out my normal diamond earrings!).  I rolled up my pants and wore flats to work, but rolled the pants down and changed into my "work shoes" once I got here.  They're a pair of sling-backs that have been living under my desk since 2003, if you can believe that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well, I Ran Further Than Them

This morning I wasn't feeling 100%, so I decided to take the day off work.  I did end up going for a run, but it wasn't anything close to the 8 miles I was supposed to be doing.  I have to say that part of the issue was that it's warmer in NYC today than it has been in the past few days and since I'm stuck wearing these long-sleeved shirts, that didn't help matters any.  Nor did the fact that I went later than I normally would.

When I was running around the Lower Loop, I heard a lot of loud cheering.  I noticed that there were tents set-up on Dead Road along the Mall, but I wasn't sure what was going on.  I decided that I would do one loop and then cut across and maybe do some hill repeats.  As I was cutting across on 72nd Street, I decided that I would check out these tents.

It turned out that it was Regis and Kelly doing their show in the Park.  They were having a High-Heel-A-Thon, so I decided to stay and check it out.  While I was waiting, I saw Tim Gunn doing some interviews for the show.  I have to say, I was more excited to see him than to see Regis, Kelly or Kristin Chenowith.  The High-Heel-A-Thon was a 150 yard dash.  The winner was really really fast and actually dove to the finish.  Here's a video if you want to watch.  It was pretty fun, but it was all over in seconds! 

After the race, I headed home and skipped the hill repeats.  Even though my run wasn't as planned (and apparently, I am a sissy since I didn't even run 4 miles), it was still a better than nothing effort.  I've actually been wondering if I would be happier running 3 days a week instead of 4, but I'm not making any decisions yet. 

Time: 30:23
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:07/mile

As far as the Wardrobe Challenge goes, I spent the better part of the day in my workout clothes, while resting on the couch, so I figured I should take a photo:

I did end up showering and getting dressed since I had a dentist appointment this afternoon.  I wore jeans, gray t-shirt and gray Converse to the dentist (shoes not pictured):

I'm a little worried about the Challenge because the next few days are supposed to be pretty warm, but I think I'll end up being okay.  I'm really glad that I chose two short-sleeved shirts! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Even Sissies Can Do 4

This morning I managed to set my alarm for 5:05 PM instead of 5:05 AM.  Even though Drew had a conference call that he took from bed at 5:00, he didn't talk a whole lot, so I manged to sleep until he hung up around 5:30.  We both got up and Drew headed off to the gym and I went out for a run.  I was a little late to meet the Terriers, but I was fine skipping the fartlek workout they had planned!  

As we were walking out the door, Drew asked how far I had to go today.  I told it was just 4 miles.  His response?  "Even sissies can do 4".  With that in mind, I started my watch and set off on my run!  (However, I'd like to note that he did not go running with me).  I had to wear a long-sleeved shirt today because I keep having some arm chafing issues wearing short-sleeved shirts.  This chafing isn't an issue on these shorter runs, but Saturday's 15 miles sort-of did my arms in and I'm trying to let them heal.  The only thing I like about this arm chafing is that it must mean that I'm actually moving my arms like I'm supposed to be doing!

It is a little bit funny to be outside for such a short amount of time.  I definitely saw a bunch of my teammates out there running and I have to say that it looked like they were working a lot harder than I was.  I didn't really see them until I got down to the Lower Loop of the Park and once I saw them, I just kept telling myself over and over, "run like Spencer is watching" because I know I concentrate on my form more when he's around. 

I happened to be reading Caitlin's blog about her marathon training and she mentioned that she didn't hit 30 mile weeks when she was training in January until very close the the marathon.  I am so intrigued by this because I've already had two 30+ mile weeks, with six more to come (including this week).  I think it's good to know that she finished her marathon with her plan, so I'm hopeful I'll have the same result with even more miles under my belt! 

Time: 44:18
Distance: 4.15 miles
Pace: 10:40/mile

And, here's today's outfit (Day 2):

I asked Drew if he wanted to be in the photo too, and he said yes.  He said if he'd known, he would have dressed up a bit more.  I'm wearing the black mini skirt, green turtleneck, black tights, black high-heeled Mary Janes and a belt.  I'll admit, once I had been thinking about doing this challenge, I went out and bought the belt.  But it was only $10.  And I'll definitely wear it after the challenge.  Technically, I didn't break any challenge rules of buying things, but I probably went against the spirit.  Today's jewelry: same diamond earrings as yesterday.  I'll work on that later this week, I promise!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Basic To Start

Wardrobe Challenge: Day 1

Went with a pretty boring and basic outfit to start.  I don't want to wear all my accessories in one fell swoop.  Wore black pants, blue sweater, and black patent leather heels.  I haven't worn these shoes in quite a while (I actually don't know that I wore them at all in the past year) and they sort-of sound like the right heel is about to break off, but they survived today!  The only other accessory was my diamond earrings.  Gotta jazz it up a bit tomorrow, I guess!

Also, I'm noticing that perhaps I should work on my self-timer photography skills.  Good thing is that there are 29 more days to go, so it can only go up from here!  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fitness & Fashion

Obviously, fashion leaves something to be desired in the world of triathlon ... all that spandex!  Case in point:


In case you're wondering, that's me being a running ninja.  I think I do a pretty good job.  I mean, for someone in spandex wearing a Fuel Belt, that is. 

So, I recently stumbled across Katie's blog and when I was reading some older posts, I found out that she had recently completed a 30 Day Wardrobe Challenge.  Immediately, I was intrigued by this idea and couldn't stop thinking about what I would do if I was forced to choose 10 items of clothing to wear for 30 days.  I have to tell you, once you start thinking about it, it really makes you reevaluate your clothes and what is important!  I really wanted to do it, but was a little afraid to bite the bullet, especially with the changing seasons.  However, I'm committing to it and I'm starting tomorrow. 

So, consider yourselves forewarned. If you're not interested in reading about it, you can scroll over those parts for the next 30 days.  I'll still be writing about all the normal marathon training stuff as well!  

The basic rules:
* Select 10 items of clothing from your wardrobe to wear for one month.
* The challenge does not apply to workout clothes, undergarments and pajamas.
* If there is a special event, you get a bye.
* Get creative with the accessories that you use - fun shoes, jewelry, belts, etc.
* Photograph each outfit of the day to see the evolution of the 10 pieces over the course of the month.
* Do not spend any money on new articles of clothing during the challenge. 

My 10 Items:
1.   Jeans
2.   Black pants
3.   Grey skirt
4.   Black mini skirt

5.   Blue long-sleeved sweater
6.   Green turtleneck
7.   Black short-sleeved sweater
8.   Black long-sleeved sweater
9.   Grey t-shirt

10. Purple long-sleeved shirt

Obviously, my cat thinks that she should be wearing these clothes too!

I'm doing this challenge with two exceptions.  First, there is a decent chance I'll need new running shoes during these 30 days.  I will be buying them if that's the case.  Under no circumstances will I be sacrificing marathon training for the wardrobe challenge.  Second, I'm giving myself one bye.  Drew's parents are coming to visit in the middle of October.  I don't know our plans yet, but if we end up going to dinner at a fancy place, I'm giving myself a bye for that.  Other than those two things, the ten items above are going to be what I'm wearing from September 20 - October 19! 

Hopefully I can find some good and interesting combinations that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.  It turns out I have a lot of jewelry that I tend to forget about and not wear, so I'm looking forward to that.  I'm also thinking that on October 20, I'll be quite excited to see my full wardrobe again!  It seems like a fun experiment and really makes me think about my own spending habits on clothing in particular.  Hope you all don't mind that I'm doing something non-fitness related here. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Finally, 15 Miles

This morning I set out to do what I failed to do last week, run 15 miles.  I recently read a guest post on Katie's blog where the person said that they always try to smile during the last mile of their long runs, because it's further than they've ever gone before.  I definitely tried to keep that in mind today when setting out. 

The funny thing is that my last mile was sort-of my first mile.  I did the same route as my 14-mile run, but I tacked another mile on at the beginning since I didn't want to run any further north than I had before because there are some monster hills that direction, so I ran south to 39th Street before heading north on the Westside Path.  I definitely tried to keep smiling during the last/first mile!

I had a pretty uneventful run.  I wore my Fuel Belt and took three bottles of Gatorade and one of water since I knew I could refill the water if necessary.  I also took something that's not new to me, but new to me running ... jelly beans!  I actually have a bit of a jelly bean "problem".  I love them.  They used to sell these really awesome jelly beans at Grand Central Market, but they don't anymore, which made me go into a bit of a withdrawal.  Turns out that Drew was able to find them in small over-priced bags at Cucina, but I'll take it even if it is over-priced for jelly beans! 

I know that a lot of people use those Sport Beans, but I figured that my regular jelly beans couldn't really be that different than those fancy Sport ones.  The first time I tried eating the jelly beans today, I ate three of them.  Shortly after that, my stomach felt a little rocky.  I had a mental battle with myself where I reminded my stomach that I eat these all the time ... mostly by the fistful if I'm being totally honest and that there really shouldn't be any issues!  Interestingly enough, after that, everything was totally fine! 

I ended up eating 8 jelly beans over the whole course of the run.  I liked them.  I'm not sure if they really did anything in helping me finish, but it was something fun to think about having along the way, so I think they did help in that way.  I ended up feeling pretty thirsty today.  But not for Gatorade, which I had in abundance.  I was more interested in having water, so I did stop twice to refill and have more water.  I sort-of wonder if the slightly cooler temperature today (62) meant that my body just wasn't losing as many electrolytes?  I don't really know how all that stuff works. 

So, the other thing of note today that I actually debated about writing about because I don't want to name names.  I decided that I won't name names, but there was a large team of people out training today on the Westside Path for the marathon.  I was running north when they were running south.  Basically, they were trying to run me off the running path and push me into the bike path, because apparently they don't know how to interpret those little stick figures on the pathway.  As someone who is part of a large group that runs together, I know that we are always told (and sometimes scolded) to watch out for others and to respect the rules of the road, which we do. I really don't appreciate that other groups don't do the same. 

All in all, I'm really happy with this run.  Nothing special, which is probably the point of these long runs.  I definitely am glad to think that I am well over half-way there with this run today.  Not that I think I'm quite ready yet, but I feel like I'm on my way! 

Time: 2:46:19
Distance: 15.25 miles
Pace: 10:54/mile

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hideous Horrible Treadmill

I found myself working out at night again tonight.  I have to say, even though I really liked it yesterday, today wasn't the best.  I truly only have myself to blame.  I woke up this morning at 4:50, put on my clothes to do the Terrier brick, realized that I had a horrible stomach-ache and crawled back into bed, fully dressed in workout clothes.  I slept like that until 7:30. 

Truthfully, I wasn't really feeling that much better today after work, but since last week was such a low running week, I knew that I have to keep going with the plan and suck it up.  I was smart and packed clothes to take with me so that I could head to the gym right after work.  I only went to the gym because I knew it'd be raining.  I also knew that if I came home after work, changed clothes and tried to convince myself to go running in the rain, chances were slim that I'd actually go running. 

So, there I was at the gym at 7:30.  I told myself that I would not get off the treadmill before it hit 5.03 miles and I also would only give myself an hour to do get there (the treadmill time limit).  The 5.03 is important because that running ticker over there on the right is annoying me.  I'd like it to be at a rounder number than it was before! 

I have to say, I was reminded once again that I do not like the gymnasium.  I don't like going there, I don't like working out there.  If I hadn't found endurance sports, I'm pretty convinced that there is no way I would ever be working out because I think the gym is hideous.  And horrible.  And they have hideous horrible treadmills there. 

While running today, I was really trying to talk myself through it.  The thing is, I normally can convince myself to keep running outside, but there is something about the treadmill that is just mentally defeating for me.  I know that some people, like Brie, prefer running on treadmills.  Frankly, I think that's a bit loco, but I do sort-of wish that I could like it. 

All I did on my run today was either (a) force myself to run faster to get it over with or (b) wonder why I hate it so much.  I actually think that it's sort of like running laps to me.  I don't see a lot of forward progress while on the treadmill or running laps.  Running really far away from home and then realizing that there is only one way home seems to be better mentally for me. 

So, in truth, I only ran 4.03 miles today.  I forced myself to stay on for the full 5.03 miles, but the last mile was a combination of walking and really slow jogging.  I finished the 4.03 miles in 39:28 (9:47 pace).  I don't know why, but somehow at the gym it seems more important to worry about speed than it does outside.  Probably because outside it's easier to just go along with your body and not worry about the setting the speed like you do on the treadmill. 

Overall, I finished the 5.03 miles in 52:12, which was still pretty good overall and faster than a lot of my outdoor runs.  About the only positive thing I can say is that I did exactly what I set out to do today - complete a five mile run.  Now tomorrow will be all about resting up in preparation for this weekend's long run!

Time: 52:12
Distance: 5.03 miles
Pace: 10:22/mile

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Not The Usual Way

I thought my proverb on today's tea bag was especially fitting for me.  In case you can't read it, it says, "He who would leap high must take a long run".  I'd also like to point out that the thing in the background is my coffee cup, that really only ever sees tea.  Don't ask what those color swatches are.  This is the most ridiculous coffee cup, but it's a really good size, and it was free, which is why I continue to use it! 

I was supposed to get up and go running this morning like usual, but I just didn't feel like it.  Instead, I was thinking about last night when I was walking home from work and how I thought that it just seemed like a great night for running and that maybe I should go tonight instead of this morning.  Which was really just a great way to rationalize sleeping in for a bit longer.

However, I was able to leave work at a decent time and came home, changed clothes and headed out for a run.  Today I was supposed to be doing 7 miles.  I've typically been running from home to the Park around the big loop and back again.  That is a really good plan when it's early in the morning and there is no one on the sidewalk.  That is a bad plan when it's 6:30 and the sidewalk is packed.

So, I decided not to make myself crazy from the get-go and I walked to the Park.  I started running as soon as I got there.  I decided to go against traffic and run north first, up the West Side of the Park.  I always have a mental block about running this way, because somehow I always psych myself out about the backside of Harlem Hill (near Lasker Pool) and it being too steep or something.  I was bound and determined not to let that happen today.

I wasn't in a big rush or anything, so I was just plodding along like usual.  It was totally different to be out there at night instead of the morning and have the sun going down instead of coming up.  When I got to the backside of the Harlem Hill, I kept repeating the same song lyric over and over again, basically telling myself that I couldn't give up.  And you know what?  I never stopped running! 

After that, I just felt invincible.  I ran the rest of the way downtown.  I happened to see Coach Spencer while I was running.  As soon as I saw him, I noticed that I became more conscious of my running form.  After we passed, I kept telling myself to "run like Spencer was watching."  It actually works!

When I passed the 72nd Street transverse, I was glad that I was almost done.  I decided to see what I could do and see if I could pick up the pace a bit.  I started running faster right around the time where the turn is and 6th Avenue sort-of comes into the Park (just above 65th Street).  I hadn't looked at my watch at all, but I decided that I'd look at it then.  I was at 1:00:30 and had gone 5.61 miles (10:47 pace).

I didn't know my mileage at the time, but I started running as fast as I possibly could that I thought was sustainable.  Every time I passed a hash mark on the ground for speed work, I kept telling myself that I had 200 fewer meters to go and could I possibly go any faster?  Turns out that I ran the last .69 miles in 6:11 (or 8:57 pace), which made me feel fantastic!

I finished running with a huge smile on my face and made a bee line to get myself some dinner.  But I had a great run.  I haven't been running at night in a long time and maybe that was the difference today.  I made it up Harlem Hill with no complaints.  I never took one walking/drinking break.  I finished running faster than when I started.  All in all, pretty happy with that! 

Time: 1:06:41
Distance: 6.30 miles
Pace: 10:35/mile

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

That's Not What The Website Said

This morning was the usual Terrier run.  I often check the website on Monday nights or Tuesday mornings before leaving the apartment to see what is in store for the day.  Last night, the website said that the workout was 8 x 200 with 1:30 rest intervals.  So, I run to the meeting spot today, we do our normal strides warm-up and run around to the S in order to start the speedwork. 

And then Spencer tells us that our workout is actually 10 x 200 with a 200 recovery jog.  Which is more than double the website version of the workout!  We're supposed to do the first five slower than the last five.  I have to say that I'm never really the biggest fan of speedwork.  But I'm less of a fan when these recovery jogs are involved.  Mainly because I'd like to know how fast I'm actually going without factoring in the recovery jogs into the time and I don't want to have 25 numbers to add up if I time them all separately.  Plus, I don't even know if my Polar will let me save that many workouts at a time? 

So, I sort-of did what I was supposed to.  I just got tired of doing the recovery jogs and I figured I'd try to push myself more on the sprints if I knew I could have 1:30 rest instead.  I ended up doing 6 x 200 with recovery jogs and then legs 7 - 10 were done as sprints with 1:30 rest instead of 200 recovery jog.  I have to say, it's really probably not all that different time wise jogging or standing still, but it feels so much better to be standing still and trying to catch your breath. 

I definitely pushed myself today, even though the times below don't really reflect that for the speedwork portion (because of the jogging).  I could just tell it was a much harder effort than usual, especially towards the end of the workout.  I came home and was a sweaty disaster, which Drew can vouch for.  Even though it was a nice and cool 62 this morning, it was also somehow really hot for running.  I'm not even really sure how that is possible!  When I got in the shower, even though the water was really warm, it felt cool on my (very red) face, which was funny! 

Run There
Time: 13:23
Distance: 1.30 miles
Pace: 10:17/mile

Run To S
Time: 10:59
Distance: 1.20 miles
Pace: 9:09/mile

Time: 19:51
Distance: 2.00 miles
Pace: 9:55/mile

Run Home
Time: 5:08
Distance: 0.50 miles
Pace: 10:08/mile

Total Mileage, Including Strides: 5.50 miles

Monday, September 13, 2010

Washington, D.C. Weekend Recap

I'd been alluding to being away this past weekend, but I couldn't reveal where I was going at the time.  Drew and I took the train down to our nation's capital on Saturday morning to spend the weekend there.  We were hoping to do some touristy stuff, but we had two real purposes:

1.  Meet Kristin on Saturday
2.  Surprise Laura as she competed at Nation's Triathlon on Sunday

After checking into our hotel and getting some lunch, we went to the Triathlon Expo to see if we could get any free swag.  I actually ended up getting a tri top on a really good sale.  Our real mission was to score some free poster board in order to make signs for Laura on Sunday morning.  After dropping our swag off at the hotel, we started out on a tourist trip. We walked from our hotel at Dupont Circle down to the White House and Washington Memorial.

From there, we headed to the American History Smithsonian.  I really wanted to see Julia Child's kitchen, which has been moved to the museum.  After all that walking around, I was exhausted and Drew had some work to do, so we headed back to the hotel to take a nap and Drew did his work. 

It turned out that it was a good thing that we rested for a bit because we met up with Kristin and her husband Curtis for dinner.

This is my first time meeting a blogger in real life.  Of course I was worried that even though we've been reading each others blogs since March 2009 (read her first comment here), that somehow I'd be wrong and maybe we wouldn't hit it off.  Totally turned out the other way around.  We ended up staying out after dinner getting a few drinks and just generally having a fun time!  Of course, that meant that Drew and I didn't get a lot of sleep before having to get up early on Sunday morning for the triathlon.

However, we did get up early.  And we woke up to rain.  Ick.  We got dressed and got in a cab and headed down to the transition area.  I was hoping that we'd get there early enough that we could find Laura before she got in the water.  As it turned out, we actually saw a former co-worker of ours there!  She was there to cheer her husband on in his first Olympic-distance triathlon.  Not long after that, someone called out "Amy?".  I turned around and it was Laura, who was standing there with her mouth hanging open in disbelief.  Honestly, I think Laura describes it best from her own race report:

"At one point as I was waiting around, I saw this guy from behind who looked exactly like my friend Drew.  So much so that I started to call out his name.  But I didn't get past "Dr--" before checking myself, because obviously my friend Drew lives in NYC, so that guy couldn't be him.  Except that he was standing next to a woman who, from behind, looked like my friend Amy (Drew's girlfriend).  But, again, it couldn't be them, because even though Amy is a triathlete too, she wasn't doing this race.  But it looked exactly like them from I finally called out, "Amy?"  And they both turned - it was them!  They had come all the way down from NYC just to surprise me!  I was more than surprised - and SO happy to see them - it was the best surprise I could have asked for!"

I was so glad that we actually pulled off the surprise.  We'd been planning on going down to DC since July, so there was a really good chance that one of us would have spilled the beans before we got down there, but Laura had NO idea!  Despite the less than ideal weather conditions, Laura managed to have an awesome race and even set a PR! 

The other really funny part is that after we had been chatting with Laura and some of her other TNT friends, there was someone there who looked just like our friend Lisa.  I asked Drew if it was her and he said that he didn't think that was possible.  Except for the fact that she is a triathlete, so it definitely was possible.  And, it was her!  Very small world in D.C. this weekend! 

After chatting for a while more, Drew and I decided that we should walk around and sort-of scope out where we'd watch the race.  We ended up getting a really good spot on the bank of the Potomac River about 100 meters from the start of the swim.  We watched a few waves before Laura and Lisa (they were in back-to-back waves) went off.  It was really hard for me to watch the swim.  It was almost excruciating in some cases.  I've actually never watched the swim part of a triathlon in real life before. 

I actually wanted to close my eyes.  Or yell at the kayakers.  I'm not sure which.  Watching the leaders and the middle-of-the-packers was totally fine.  Watching the back-of-the-packers was hard.  Cringe inducing.  I saw more than one person swimming kayak to kayak, which I did not think was okay.  I saw one girl get out of the water (twice) and then get back in again both times to try to keep swimming.  I saw people hanging onto the buoys (which were every 100 meters).  I know that I'm a good swimmer, so it's hard for me to understand how horrifying it must be for some people, but I was concerned that those people weren't going to make it and probably had no business doing this sort of a swim. 

I don't know how you go about fixing that, but I guess you can't underestimate the importance of knowing how to swim and feeling comfortable in the water.  It's also a lot different to touch a wall every 25 yards or meters than it is to swim a mile straight without being able to hold on or stand up to rest. 

I was able to pick out both Laura and Lisa in the water, which was pretty cool.  Lisa was closer to the shore side than Laura was when I saw her, so we yelled out to Lisa while she was swimming.  I don't know if she heard us, but we had fun cheering!  After Lisa passed us, we went to stake out a spot to see Laura come out of the water and run into T1.  Once we saw her do that, we ran across a field and waited for her to pass us as she rode by on her bike. 

We actually ended up leaving after Laura headed out for the bike.  The weather had sort-of taken a turn for the worst and the race had also started late, so we had to head back to our hotel in order to make sure we could check out on time.  We took showers, had brunch and then did some more museum-going before Drew had to buckle down and do some more work.  So, before we got on the train to go home to NY, we went to a Starbucks and hung out for a while so Drew could use the Wi-Fi there. 

Even though Drew had to work a little bit, it was an awesome weekend!  We had a fantastic time in our nation's capital!  I always think triathlons are fun to watch and this weekend was no exception.  Although I might steer clear of watching the swim in the future!  It's too hard for me, I think.  I sort-of wanted to jump in and help some of those people!

So, Drew and I debated before we left New York whether or not we should bring workout gear.  We ended up not doing it and I'm glad we made that decision.  We were on our feet so much as it was that my legs definitely got a workout even without running.  That makes last week a really small marathon training week, but I'm okay with that.  Just means I've got to make this week a good one!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Right Foot Forward

I took the day off yesterday.  I know it might not have been the best thing for my marathon training to skip a day of running in what is already going to be a shorter distance week, but I think it was the best thing for me to do.  Sometimes you just need a mental health day, you know?  Not to mention the fact that this marathon is still 10 weeks away and I refuse to believe that this is going to screw things up so fantastically that I don't finish.

So, I did get a good night's sleep last night.  I'll admit that my heart still wasn't 100% in the game this morning when I rolled out of bed to start running, but by the time I actually started running, I was feeling much better.  Even though I didn't really want to, I went back to Central Park this morning.  I knew I just needed to tackle it and even make myself do a lap course.

I didn't do anything too crazy.  Not two full loops of the Park or anything.  Instead, what I did was one loop of the Lower Loop of the Park and then one full loop. I saw the Terrier marathon group doing hill repeats on Cat Hill and it made me really glad that I wasn't doing all that fancy stuff for marathon training.  It's enough to just get out there and run, I think. 

I did notice as soon as I put my right foot in my shoe this morning that my big toe was still sore.  I'd take a picture and show it to you if there was anything to show.  Except it looks exactly like my left toe, which is the frustrating thing.  I decided to put a band-aid on before I left for the run to see if that would help cushion my toe a little bit.  Um, maybe a little bit.  Not really all that much.  I could definitely still feel it the whole time I was running.  But, even after running, it still looks the same.  Just like a toe with a callus on the bottom.  Same as my other foot. 

Running today was okay.  Not stellar.  Not bad.  I'm glad that I took yesterday off.  I know that I wouldn't have been feeling as motivated as I was today and it was definitely the right decision.  I did end up taking two 1:00 walking breaks somewhere in the middle of all that running today.  Not because I really needed to, but because I happened to be by drinking fountains and thought that I should stop and take a sip of water. 

The worst part of today happened somewhere around the 7-mile marker.  I looked at my watch and realized that 70-something minutes had elapsed and I was still pretty far from home and I wanted to just sit down and cry.  Because I had forgotten that I was running more than 7 miles today.  I totally forgot that I had already done the Lower Loop of the Park and that was going to make my total around 9 miles.  When I realized that, getting home was a breeze.  I think I actually sped up for the last 2 miles as a result.  It was just so frustrating when I thought I was running 7 miles and at 70 minutes, I still had at least 20 more minutes of running to do.  Oops. 

The really funny thing I noticed today is that somehow when it's 62 degrees outside, people dress for winter running in this city!  I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt and was really comfortable, but there were people in pants and jackets and long-sleeved shirts.  Frankly, I'm surprised I didn't see people in hats and gloves.  It seemed crazy to me that you'd need all that for 62 degrees when you're running!  I noticed that some of the people I saw in the beginning wearing jackets ended up with them tied around their waists later on.  Good to know that they didn't really need that stuff in this weather. 

So, I'm currently at 16.15 miles this week and my target is supposed to be 30.  Obviously, that's not going to happen.  I actually can't guarantee that I'll get any more running in this weekend right now.  I'm going to hope for the best, but if I don't add any more miles, I think I'm going to live with it.  Maybe by next week my toe will be feeling better anyway! 

Time: 1:34:26
Distance: 8.95 miles
Pace: 10:33/mile

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Only Marathon Training

Can make you feel bad about running 7 miles.  Why is that?  Brie actually had a similar post about this recently, where she was supposed to be running 18 and managed 6.1.  I was trying for 15 today and managed 7.2.  Not even halfway there!  In truth, I know I had several things working against me, but when I think about what they are, they just sound like big excuses as to why I didn't do the full miles today. 

I'll go ahead and list off the big excuses anyway.  This is my blog and even though they sound like excuses now, I think they'll be helpful later on in recognizing what I did wrong and why I was probably overly ambitious on this run this morning. 

1.  Didn't get enough sleep.  I need to work on this in general.  Working late, eating dinner when I get home, wanting to watch TV and read my book before bed doesn't add up to an early enough bedtime.  Especially when my goal is to be running by 5 AM.

2.  Ran in Central Park.  Truthfully, I wanted to be up and at 'em pretty early and I figured the safest place to do that would be in the Park.  After going there this morning, I'm not entirely sure that's the case.  The lights were off in half of the Park and then they all turned off before it got light outside, so I'm not sure it really was the best place. 

3.  I ran 14 miles on Sunday and today is Wednesday.  I tried to justify this by saying that I would normally be doing a longer run (read 7-8 miles) on Wednesdays anyway.  What would be the big deal if I tacked on the same amount on the end of that?  Turns out I might need a day or two more to recover all the way from 14 miles. 

4.  I should never run laps.  Ever.  Running might be a mental game, but I excel at telling myself not to keep doing it when possible.  I know that I'm a bad lap runner.  So why would I purposely set myself up to run laps this morning?  I actually think I could have kept going, but I'm not sure it was in the best interest overall to get me to the finish line in Philadelphia.

So, obviously, today wasn't a winner.  I ran to the Park, ran one loop and ran home.  I keep telling myself over and over again that it's not a big deal.  That even though I'll most likely come up short on miles this week, it's not the end of the world.  It's one week.  I think I made the right decision in heading home when I did.  I was tired, my legs were tired and my toe hurt. 

I'm slightly worried about this toe thing.  I noticed it on Sunday on my long run, too.  There isn't a blister or a start of a blister.  There is actually a callus that doesn't seem to be doing its job and protecting my toe enough.  It's my big toe on my right foot.  I'm wondering if I wore a band-aid around my toe next time if that would be enough of a cushion?  If not, maybe some moleskin? 

Drew says I'm not allowed to wear my HR monitor for the next couple weeks, so that's annoying.  He's convinced I'll get a permanent scar from where it's been chafing.  I think I could live with that.  I guess he's probably right and I probably already will have a mark, but it's harder to judge my pace without my heart rate.  I knew that today was slow, which I was okay with, but it's good to have an idea of how slow! 

Drew also says that I shouldn't beat myself up over this run.  I know that's he's right and that if my goal for the week was 30 miles, I've still got 22.8 to go.  I don't think I'll make it there.  I think I'd be really happy if I got to 15 more this week.  I'm just hoping that tomorrow will be better.  That's really all I can do at this point. 

Time: 1:20:00
Distance: 7.20 miles
Pace: 11:05/mile

Labor Day Weekend Recap

I've realized over the past few days that marathon training has now taken a turn and gotten more interesting.  Mainly because my work schedule isn't going to be quite as 9:30 to 5:30 as it usually is.  I'll be working more overtime, including weekends, which can put a wrinkle into training.  This Saturday I had to work, so I knew that it would be in my best interest to push my long run to Sunday.

So, Sunday I woke up not so bright and early, which was fine since the weather here is much more comfortable now!  I had decided not to run loops in the Park, but instead would head to the Westside Path for my run.  I discovered that running from our apartment to the base of the George Washington Bridge and back is exactly 14 miles.  I've realized that running as far away from home and then having to run back seems to work out pretty well for me so far.

I took along my Fuel Belt (three bottles Gatorade / one water) and two mini Luna bars and set off on my trek.  I had barely started running when a guy came up to me and said, "Hey!  Same pace!"  I wasn't quite sure how I felt about this at first.  We started chatting a little bit and it turned out that he was only running to 90th Street, so we ran together for just under 2 miles.

I wasn't sure I liked it at first, running with this guy Todd, but it actually turned out okay.  It was clear that he was hitting on me a little bit, but that was not the worst thing in the world.  Especially when you're running, sweaty, and wearing a Fuel Belt!  I think because I didn't know him, it was almost easier to run at my own pace, especially since he had started off the whole thing by saying that we were running at the same pace.  I probably sped up a little bit, but it ended up being totally fine.

We parted ways on the Upper West Side and I continued on with my run.  After that, I decided that I would start taking a drink of Gatorade every 10 minutes and see how that worked out.  It worked pretty well for the next hour.  Somewhere around the 1:30:00 mark, I started to get more thirsty.  I then decided that I'd take a drink of water every 5 minutes, so I'd be alternating Gatorade and water every 5 minutes.

I got to the turn-around point at 1:12:22, which I was really happy with and meant that I was running faster than 11-minute-miles, which seemed good.  I stopped running at the turn-around point and took a two-minute (timed) walking break.  I tried to eat one of the mini Luna bars that I had brought with me, but the first bite made me feel gaggy and the second bite even worse.  I quickly ditched the idea of forcing it down and then just testing to see how far I can get on Gatorade and water alone.

I was actually really lucky because not long after the turn-around, Drew had agreed to meet me and run the last 4.5 miles back home with me.  Right after we met, I ended up filling up my water bottles to keep up with my drinking every five minutes strategy.  I actually felt bad while running with Drew because I was drinking so frequently, but he wasn't at all.  I figure if he had been dying he either could have asked me for a drink or we could have stopped at a drinking fountain.

I sort-of wanted to stop at one point after running for about 2 hours.  It was the first time that my right knee actually hurt.  Mostly it's felt tired up to now on my long runs, but there was definitely something that was a little bit sharper this time around.  Luckily, it didn't last long.  Maybe I just landed a step or two funny, because about 3 minutes later, it felt back to normal. 

As soon as we finished up running on the Path, but still had to run on some city streets to get home, Drew said that I picked up the pace a bit.  I definitely had a time goal in mind for this run and I knew I couldn't beat my over-all half-marathon time, I thought I could have a faster pace than my half-marathon had been and I needed to push myself a little bit at the end to ensure that happened!

Turns out that my goal of 2:30:00 for 14 miles was totally realistic as I beat it by just over two minutes!  (Ha!  Soooo close!).  No matter what, I'm really happy with that time.  I only took one planned walking break, unlike the half-marathon where I took several unplanned walking breaks.  I thought that today was a lot easier than that race had been.  I don't know why.  Probably because even though I had a time goal, it wasn't a race and no one would ever know.

My legs were pretty tired after running these 14 miles, but we did get out and do some walking around for the rest of Sunday, so I think that probably helped.  I wore my compression sleeves Sunday evening and night and woke up feeling like I had regular legs on Monday.

I had been debating back and forth whether or not I should go running today or not.  Because of my upcoming weekend schedule, I don't think I'll be running 15 miles this weekend.  Which leaves sometime this week.  I figured if I didn't run Monday or Tuesday, then I'd have fresher legs to tackle 15 on Wednesday.  Then I could just try to make up the other miles after that.  And if I don't quite get to 30 miles this coming week, I don't quite get to 30 miles this coming week.  I'm trying to not overly stress about the totals and just worry most about long runs!

Time: 2:27:58
Distance: 14.00 miles
Pace: 10:34/mile
Calories: 1488
Maximum HR: 191 (90%)
Average HR: 178 (84%)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Short and Fast

This morning I wasn't really in the mood to get up and out of bed to go for a four mile run. I really wanted to talk myself out of, but I knew I'd feel much better if I did the 4 miles prescribed by Hal Higdon for today. As a "treat", I did something I don't normally do and wore my iPod Shuffle. I figured that since the run was so short (relatively speaking) it wouldn't make much of a difference if I wore it.

Once I got outside, I really felt like seeing what my legs were capable of today, especially after already logging 13 miles this week. Even though I'm really really happy with my long run pace, I wanted to see if I've got any running mojo left.

As a side note, I used body glide yesterday and today to try to help with the heart rate monitor strap chafing issues I've been having. The skin is still getting red, but it doesn't rub it raw like it did before, so even though it doesn't look so great, at least it doesn't hurt while I'm running. I'll take that. I think the big test will be this weekend for my 14-miler. (Can I just say that it seems crazy to me that I'm actually going to attempt to run that far?).

I ran my 4 miles to the Park, up the West Side, cut across the Great Lawn and then headed back down the East Side towards home. Once I got to 72nd Street on the East Side, I knew I was doing pretty well, but I was hoping to have a speedy last mile. I figured the best way to do that was to throw in some intervals.

The easiest way for me to trick myself into doing intervals is to use the lamp posts in the Park. I would run the distance of 4 lamp posts, recover for one lamp post, run 4 more speedy, etc., until I reached the end of the Park. And then I tried to run as fast as possible while dodging people on the sidewalk home!

I had a rough idea that my route today was 4.0 miles before I left, so I was pretty happy with my time (which would have been just under 10 minute miles), but when I used Gmap Pedometer and discovered that it was really 4.2 miles, I was SUPER happy!

I have no illusions of running my marathon this quickly, but it's good to know that even when I'm tired and my legs are a little bit tired on their third consecutive day of running, something like this is still possible. Of course, now I've gone and ruined it and will be hoping for results like this in future weeks, too.

Time: 39:03
Distance: 4.20 miles
Pace: 9:17/mile
Calories: 346
Maximum HR: 179 (84%)
Average HR: 165 (78%)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If I Were A Loud Runner

The schedule this morning was for a 7 mile run. I decided to tackle Central Park, since I haven't done a long run there in quite a while. I've been a sissy and been running on the flat Westside Path and avoiding the hilly Park. I'm not entirely sure what the hill situation is like in Philadelphia, but running up hills makes you a stronger runner, so I can't avoid it forever.

The run started off fine. I was thinking about what to wear to work and what to have for breakfast. Normally breakfast is a smoothie (courtesy of Drew), but today is Drew's birthday, so I suggested that we go out to eat for a fancier breakfast before work.

I ended up taking two quick drinking fountain stops for a sip of water at miles 2.5 and 4.5. For some reason today, I really noticed how loud a lot of runners are. There are some that are really stealthy and can sneak up next to you without you even realizing it (and I don't normally wear headphones while running). But there are also really loud runners!

I heard someone coming up behind me and it was one of the loudest runners I've ever heard. It practically sounded like a horse was coming up behind me, that's how loud it was and it definitely sounded like "clomp, clomp, clomp". It ended up being a girl who was pretty tiny. I don't know how she made so much noise. I actually tried to run loudly and it was uncomfortable and I think that if I was that loud all the time, I'd drive myself crazy. I'd probably have to listen to an iPod to drown out that noise!

Apparently there is some sort of movie shooting on the north end of the Park. There were orange-vested production assistants all over the place. One girl was really odd because she was standing in the forest-y part of the Harlem Hill staring into the woods. I kept trying to tell if she was looking at something in particular, but it looked like she was just staring off into space.

Everything was just going along swimmingly until just before 72nd Street. When it happened. A bathroom emergency. Which meant that I absolutely could not keep running without getting to a bathroom ASAP. I remembered that there are bathrooms near the Bethesda Fountain, but after walking over there, I found out that they were locked.

Eek. By this point, I was honestly looking at every single bush thinking, "could I?". I thought about collecting leaves off the trees to wipe. It was horrible. Then it came to me that there were other bathrooms nearby at the Le Pain Quotidien in the Park. Luckily, those were open and clean! The emergency was avoided, but there were definitely a few tense moments there where I actually wasn't sure.

After that, I still had about a mile to go to finish up the run and get the rest of the way home. I still couldn't decide what to wear to work or have for breakfast, so I didn't get a lot accomplished on this run today!

I ended up doing a bit more than Hal Higdon calls for, both yesterday and today. I think that's okay. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do tomorrow. I think the Terrier brick is canceled for the long weekend, so I'll probably just go for a quick run.

I also just wanted to share this quote that was on my tea bag today:
"Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

That seemed like a good thing to remember when training for a marathon!

Time: 1:17:17
Distance: 7.25 miles
Pace: 10:39/mile
Calories: 673
Maximum HR: 179 (84%)
Average HR: 163 (77%)