Friday, October 29, 2010

Two Out Of Three

This week has been a bit up and down.  I've gotten two of the three 5-mile runs in that I had planned and that's how it's going to stay now, until the big 20 miler on Sunday.  I ended up running on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  I had planned a longer run for Wednesday, but ended up keeping it shorter and trying to follow the plan.

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed recently, partly with the marathon, and I think I'm more ready than ever to get out there and do the race.   I've already promised myself that once it's over, I'm going to take some time off from all of this endurance sports business.  I think I just need to re-group and figure out what's next.  I actually decided not to sign up for the NYC Triathlon for 2011.  I figure there are a lot of other races out there that I'd like to do and I'll give those a shot first.

Wednesday my run was pretty simple.  Run north in Central Park to the Harlem Hill and then run home.  I was thinking originally that I'd do some hill repeats, but then I realized that the plan only had me running 5 miles instead of 8 for a reason and I should stick with that.  Of course, now that it's Friday and I didn't run today, I'm a little upset I didn't just do the 8, but I'll take it and be happy with it.

Both Wednesday and Thursday were nice and warm here in New York (in the 70s).  And it's really weird to be wearing shorts and a tank top while running at the end of October, but I'm not going to complain.  Wednesday was especially humid, which I sort-of forgot how it feels to run in such humidity.  I am, however, a bit grateful that the weather will cool off for my long run over the weekend.  I'm now terribly nervous that the day of the Philly marathon will be the coldest one we've had yet, but that will probably only help with running! 

Thursday I ended up running in the evening because I needed to run to NYRR to pick up my race number and D-Tag for Sunday's 5-mile race in the Park.  It's really a marathon kick-off race for the NYC marathon, but I figure I can use it as my marathon kick-off race too!  I always thought that it would be a good idea to do one more race before the marathon, so this works out well.

I knew that I didn't have the best run ever on Wednesday, so yesterday I decided not to time myself.  All I know is that it took 59 minutes to run from our apartment to NYRR, pick up my race number, and run home.  I don't really know how much time was spent at NYRR or at stop lights, so I'm just guessing on the time below.  It was actually sort-of nice to not be checking my watch all the time and feel slow! 

I'm really nervous about this weekend's last long run.  I've got the first 15 miles all mapped out and then I'll do the race as the last 5 miles.  Of course, that means I have to get up ridiculously early in order to run 15 miles before the race starts at 8:30, but it also means that I'll be done running 20 miles and home by 10 am!  Not too shabby for a morning's work! 

Running - Wednesday
Time: 1:03:15
Distance: 5.60 miles
Pace: 11:15/mile

Running - Thursday
Time: ~52:00
Distance: 5.00 miles
Pace: 10:24/mile

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Giants Win The Pennant! Weekend Recap

Friday night we stayed up late to watch the Texas Rangers beat the Yankees to clinch their spot to the World Series.  I'm not really sure I had a really big opinion one way or the other, but Drew has season tickets to the Yankees, so it would have been fun to go to another World Series game in New York this fall.  The biggest reason I actually stayed up to watch the end of the game was that because Texas won, it meant that Saturday's Giants/Phillies game was moved from a 4 pm start to an 8 pm start. Which meant that we had to try to rearrange all of our travel plans and find a hotel at 11:45 the night before.

Because ... we went to Game 6 of the NLCS and watched the Giants beat the Phillies!  Which was totally awesome!  I think that it would have been a little bit more fun if we had been in San Francisco instead of Philladelphia, because a few people were not the nicest to us when we were wearing our Giants gear, but for the most part, the fans were pretty nice.

Anyway, this is a workout blog, not a baseball blog, but my whole point in the baseball business was to tell you that (1) I'm really excited for the World Series now and (2) watching baseball games until very late at night and then getting up at 5:45 am to take a train back to NYC makes you a little bit tired.  I ended up falling back asleep for a while once we got home from Philly.  In the whole 16 hours I was in Philadelphia, I just kept looking around and wondering "will I be running on this exact street again in a month?".  Sort-of a crazy thought.

Obviously, because of the baseball game on Saturday, I planned my long run for Sunday.  I had planned out a 21 mile route and I was convinced that I would make it this time.  It involved another run across the George Washington Bridge that was a bit of a disaster the last time I attempted it.  This run also ended up being a bit of a disaster and not at all the 21 miles I was expecting, but I finished.  I think I learned some things.  Those two facts are really all I can hope for at this point.

I decided not to take my Fuel Belt with me.  I've just hated it too much the last couple times and I didn't want anything to interfere with my run.  I decided to take two Gu packets and $20 and rely on drinking fountains.  I'd also have money if I needed to buy anything.  Everything was going along really well until one of the drinking fountains I was counting on wasn't working.  Which meant that I wasn't going to make it across the bridge and back without that drinking fountain.

My only choice at that point was to turn around and go back the way I'd come from.  I decided when I got back to Fairway that I'd stop in and buy myself a Gatorade.  Which was $99 + tax.  I can't tell you how annoying it was to carry around $18.92.  Well, really, it was the $0.92 in change that was annoying jingling in my tri-short pocket the whole way home!

By the time I got the Gatorade, I was pretty thirsty.  I tried not to gulp it all at once, but I think I drank it in about 5 gulps (it was 20 ounces total).  The Gatorade plus Gu that I'd had earlier did not turn out to be such a winning stomach combo.  The second I realized that, I was about a mile from the nearest bathroom.  And I physically could not run without something devastatingly embarrassing happening.  While I might be able to permit myself to have some sort of accident during a race, I just can't allow it to happen while on a training run.  Which is how I found myself walking painfully slowly to the nearest bathroom a mile away. 

After making it there successfully, the rest of the run was quite nice.  So, now I'm left wondering what to do about the marathon.  Gatorade or Gu?  The combination of the two doesn't seem to work.  Or maybe it really was the Gu again ... I've only had luck with it twice, and those were both much shorter runs than today.  I've got one last long run planned for this coming weekend and I'm hoping to try Gu (with no Gatorade) again and see what the results are.  If it doesn't work so well, I'm going to scrap the Gu entirely for the actual race.  But I'm hoping it was just the combination of the two. 

This is what my schedule looks like for the next month.  Crazy that I have 87 miles to go until the marathon itself ... which gives me the total of 113.2.  Also, these runs during the week seem really short now. 

I've also realized that if I do all of those miles above, I'll end up right where I predicted I would at the end of my marathon training mileage wise.  Which is sort-of a nice feeling.  And more motivation to make sure I get all the miles in and not skimp out.  The weather this week is supposed to be a bit above normal, so it should make for some really nice running conditions.  All the more reason to get out there and keep going! 

Time: 3:35:00
Distance: 18.00 miles
Pace: 11:56/mile

I'm totally fine with this pace.  Throwing in the horrible walking mile plus some drinking fountain breaks and slow running to begin with, I'm not really worried.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What To Do On A Thursday Night In NYC?

Run, of course!  I slept in this morning, but it ended up working out just fine.  I got out of work on time, went home, changed clothes and then went for a run.  I was planning on running about 7 miles today, which is the distance from my apartment, once around the Park loop and then back home again.  The weather was just perfect tonight for a great run.

I guess I wasn't the only person who thought that!  I saw lots and lots of other runners out tonight.  It seemed like there were lots of groups of people, but I saw a couple I know who are training for the NYC marathon out running.  Thinking about how close the NYC marathon is just reminds me how close my marathon is.  Which makes me a little bit nervous, if I'm being totally honest.  I'm also 99% sure I saw Megan out running with her CPTC buddies. 

I felt pretty good, but my feet and my Achilles felt a little bit off today.  I actually thought that it might have had something to do with my socks (I was wearing some new ones that I've never worn before), but then I realized it wasn't my socks, it was my shoes.  Traditionally, I never get as many miles out of them as some other people do, but I'm actually at the higher end of the miles, so I'm actually a bit surprised I didn't have any other twinges over the past few runs. 

The worst part about all this is, well, two things.  First, the new shoes are pink.  REALLY pink.  Embarrassingly pink.  A little bit fluorescent pink.  I will admit, there might have been a stage of my life where I really liked pink, but not any more.  I'm hoping to get these shoes really dirty really quickly to take some of the edge off.  Second, I was planning on taking tomorrow off and then doing a long run this weekend and I'm not sure I want to do that in my new shoes.  I don't really have any concerns about the shoes not being broken in or anything like that, but I'm also not sure I want to spend the first several miles out of my long run adjusting my speed laces.

Today's run was really great.  I don't know if it was that I saw so many other people out there running.  Some running group was obviously doing Harlem Hill repeats and as they passed each other they were calling out "great job" to everyone else they passed, including me.  So that was a nice little boost!  The weather was perfect and aside from my shoe issues I felt great. 

As I got towards the end of the run, I really tried to pick up the pace.  In fact, I ran the last half mile (in the Park)at a 8:14/mile pace.  Not too shabby, I think!  I actually wore my heart rate monitor again tonight for the first time in about three weeks.  My heart rate was definitely highest toward the end of the run, a good sign that I was pushing myself with just about everything I had left in the tank for the night. 

I know that running at night isn't always the right option for me, especially since I feel like it's hanging over my head all day and I worry about getting out of work in time, but sometimes it's just a really nice change! 

Time: 1:12:53
Distance: 7.20 miles
Pace: 10:07/mile
Calories: 683
Average HR: 193
Maximum HR: 170

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Run Alone

I'm still trying to figure out the best plan for myself and running.  You'd think by this late in the game that I would have figured out what was working and what wasn't, but I think I've finally figured out that four runs a week isn't ideal for me.  Even though I skipped running in the cold dark rain yesterday morning I did bring stuff to go to the gym after work.  Except I ended up having to work late, so I skipped the gym too.

I tried to make up a little bit this morning by doing 8 miles instead of the scheduled 5.  I actually had a great run this morning.  I ran to the Park, ran north to the Harlem Hill and did two repeats on the hill (from 102nd Street Transverse to the Adam Clayton Powell entrance to the Park).  That meant that miles 2.80-5.20 were all up and down hill.  Which looked pretty familiar.  I'm thinking that I need to do this run again with some more hill repeats than I did today as preparation for the marathon. 

While I was running today, I was noticing a lot of groups or pairs of people running together.  I was thinking about how I almost always run alone.  Even at the Terrier runs that I go to, I tend to run alone.  I was trying to figure out how I feel about that.  I never feel lonely while running, but I think that sometimes if I had someone else to push me more than I'd push myself it could be nice. 

Truthfully, I don't even really know who I would run with even if I was dying to have a running buddy.  Everyone I know that runs is oodles faster than I am (especially with this slower running I've been doing while marathon training).  I think I decided this morning that I'm pretty okay with running by myself.  That's how all the races are, so I guess it's good to train how you're going to race. 

I had another Gu today (vanilla bean flavor again) while running.  I had it about 52 minutes into my run while running downhill.  I noticed that it definitely slowed me down to eat and run at the same time, but I was able to do both without stopping to walk.  I did then stop at a drinking fountain shortly after I was done to wash it all down.  I also noticed that if you're trying to get the end of the Gu packet you should not stick the whole thing in your mouth in an effort to get the last of it out.  Turns out that makes me a bit gaggy. 

I'm pleasantly surprised to report that this Gu trial went over well.  I forgot to buy them before my last long run on Saturday, so this was only my second attempt.  I didn't have any stomach issues, so that's another win.  I don't necessarily think that I needed the Gu today, but I am glad to keep trying them out before attempting it with a long run.  I'll be interested to see how it goes on my long run this weekend. 

Time: 1:23:27
Distance: 8.00 miles
Pace: 10:25/mile

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Days and 10 Items of Clothing

Unbelievably, today is the last day of the Wardrobe Challenge!  I can't believe how quickly 30 days went by. Especially since it's just over 30 days to the Philadelphia Marathon (eek!).  

Saturday evening, Day 27: I had said in the very beginning that I was giving myself one bye outfit when Drew's parents and sister were visiting us this weekend.  I imagined, however, that we'd be going out to dinner and I'd want to wear something new.  However, we ended up going out with Drew's dad to a sports bar and watching the Giants game, so I used my bye to wear a black turtleneck and Giants t-shirt that were not part of my 10 items.  I wore the same jeans as usual, though!  As a totally unrelated side note, it was the right call since the Giants won the game! 

Sunday, Day 28: Wore jeans, black v-neck sweater, gold necklace that Drew got for me in Germany and Dansko mary-jane clogs.

Monday, Day 29: Long-sleeved purple shirt, black pants, and a gold necklace I've had since I was a kid.  I think it might have actually been a hand-me-down from my mom, but I'm not sure. 

Tuesday, Day 30: Black mini-skirt, black v-neck sweater with gray t-shirt underneath.  Worn with black tights and black mary-jane heels.  No jewelry other than diamond earrings.  This was a new outfit though, so I'm glad I had one on the very last day! 

I have to tell you, I loved this challenge.  It really made me think about my (clothing) spending habits and I really don't need as much as I think I do.  It was fun to think up new combinations, although I frequently had to look back at this very blog to make sure that I wasn't wearing the same thing too close together!  It also really made me realize that with simple clothes, you can really dress them up or down with accessories and shoes.  And that no one really notices what you're wearing ... at least not as much as you think they are. 

I will also come clean and tell you that I did buying something during the course of the Challenge.  I bought new running shoes (which I actually didn't need, but they were on sale for $15 less than I normally pay, so it seemed wrong not to buy them at the time).  Tonight I also bought tights on my way home.  Which was good, because while I was walking around the store looking at tights, I noticed in one of the mirrors that my current (one) pair of plain black tights was now threadbare in the knees.  So, they went promptly in the trash when I got home. 

I think that I would 100% do this again.  It'd be fun to do in a different season, like summer perhaps?  Especially since I think there is a bigger disparity between my work and casual clothes in the summer.  I also did some window shopping while Drew's family was here and it really makes you think twice about buying something when you put it in the Challenge framework.  I think that's the biggest part that I'll take away from this ... would I really want to wear this item for 30 days straight? 

If any of you give this a shot, let me know!  I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So That's A 40-MPH Gust

Today I was planning on a 13 mile run.  I walked to the Westside Path and started running north.  My plan was to run to the base of the George Washington Bridge and back to where I started, which would be just about exactly 13 miles.  It was cooler than it has been, but extremely windy.

I have to say that it just seemed like everything was going against me today.  Including the wind.  It was so strong a couple of times that it physically moved me along.  I also almost lost my hat.  It blew off my head and I had to run after it and track it down.  I had to tighten it as much as it could go (which I was surprised was possible since I already had it at just about the tightest setting).  I also realized that maybe it's not the best idea for me personally to run 4 days in a row and expect good results on the longest run of the 4.

Also, I hated my Fuel Belt today.  I don't know what the issue was, but it was horrible.  The real issue was that it was hurting my stomach and making me feel crampy.  I tried to run holding it in my hand.  I seriously considered trying to stash it on the side of the path and then just not caring if I had to buy a new one.  Then I thought if I was going to do that, I might as well just throw it away.  Which I also seriously considered.  More than once.  I finally ended up with it right under the bottom of my sports bra, which was the only place where I could tolerate having it on.  I'm sure it made me look even more awesome than I already looked in my tri short / compression sleeve combo that I had going on! 

I really didn't eat or drink anything along the way.  I'm wondering if that's a direct result of the cooler weather and just not feeling as thirsty as usual?  I also decided, because of the misery of this run, that I would just cut it short and try not to care about it.  After some walking and a stern talking to myself (which I did out loud in case you're curious), I told myself that I had to run from where I was (at 125th Street) back home.  Without stopping, except for street lights once I left the Path.  And, somehow, that pep talk managed to get me home.

About the only good thing I can say about the run is that even though I hated it and even though I was slow (even slower than I usually am) the pace is still exactly what I'd need to maintain in order to have a 5-hour marathon.  Which might also sound slow to a lot of you speedsters out there, but that's really my goal and it's good to know that I can have a mini melt-down and still maintain the necessary pace.

Time: 2:01:24
Distance: 10.60 miles
Pace: 11:27/mile

Can't believe how close to the end of the Wardrobe Challenge things are getting!

Friday night, Day 26: Blue sweater (worn earlier in the day), jeans, gold bangles and Dansko mary-jane clogs.  You'd think I have an affinity for mary janes or something! 

Saturday, Day 27: Jeans, long-sleeved purple shirt with black short-sleeved sweater.  Worn with diamond earrings and Dansko mary-jane clogs. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Same Temperature, But Colder

Normally when I'm a bad blogger, it means I've also been a bad exerciser.  Not so today!  I'm actually doing really well with my mileage so far this week.  Funny how that works when you actually stick to the plan.  I keep looking back on my past weeks and feeling down on myself about lots of missed miles.  But, let's get to the actual workouts...

Yesterday I was supposed to run 8 miles, but I wasn't quite sure I'd have enough time for that.  The past few mornings have involved some version of the following events:

1.  Alarm goes off
2.  I press snooze
3.  Alarm goes off
4.  I press snooze
5.  Drew wakes up and says, "You should get up!"
6.  Alarm goes off
7.  I press snooze
8.  Drew pokes me and says "You need to go running!"
9.  Alarm goes off
10. I press snooze

So, you know, I've been waiting until the last possible second to get out of bed and actually get some miles in before work.  Hoping to do a better job on that next week, but in truth, I'm just bad at waking up.

Yesterday it was 50 when I was leaving and I threw on a long-sleeved shirt and capris.  I wasn't really sure that I needed to be wearing capris, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might want to wear them for the marathon, so I figured I should get in some practice runs.  I headed to the Westside Path and had a nice run down and up the island. 

The big news from yesterday is that I ate a Gu.  And it didn't even give me any stomach issues like it has in the past.  I had a free Gu from the swag from my Central Park Biathlon and wanted to try it on a shorter run so that if I did have any issues, I wouldn't be ruining a long run.  The flavor I had was Vanilla Bean and I wasn't sure how it would taste.  Tasted kind of like frosting and as soon as I ate the first bit, I wasn't really sure I wanted to be eating frosting while running.  But then my tummy seemed okay with it, so maybe I actually do want to be eating frosting while running? 

I'm hoping to give this another shot on this weekend's "long run", which is actually a step-back week, so long is only 13!  I'm hopeful that the added calories will help me feel better (and maybe less thirsty?) at the end of these runs.

Today was also 50 and since I was a bit warm yesterday, I wore a slightly thinner long-sleeved shirt and capris again.  Except that the wind today was a bit crazy and I was really glad to have on as many clothes as I did, especially while starting running and waiting to warm up!  This morning I decided to go to the Park and was thinking I'd do the same run I did on Wednesday.

Except that when I got to the Reservoir, I realized that I haven't run on the Bridle Path in quite some time, so I decided to do a loop around there and then head back home.  It rained like crazy last night and the puddles on the path were pretty huge.  I felt like I added on an additional half mile just running back and forth around all the puddles! 

When I was running today, I was thinking about marathon and those missed miles that I have.  I can't go back and redo those weeks and I certainly don't think I can try to make up for them.  So, I just decided that I'm going to try to take a new outlook on the situation and say that every mile I run from now on will make the marathon a tiny bit easier.  We'll see how long this lasts. 

Thursday Running, Westside Path
Time: 1:15:00
Distance: 7.10 miles
Pace: 10:35/mile

Friday Running, Central Park
Time: 54:40
Distance: 5.10 miles
Pace: 10:48/mile

I can't believe how close to the end I'm getting of the Wardrobe Challenge.  I know that being busy with work and running have really helped time fly by. 

Wednesday night (Day 24), I went out after work to the Ingrid Michaelson concert and felt obligated to take a photo to show you my after-work outfit.  Purple long-sleeved shirt, black v-neck sweater, jeans, silver circle earrings and gray Converse:

Thursday, Day 25: Gray skirt, green turtleneck, gray tights, green and silver earrings.  Worn with black flats (my right pinky toe is sore and the flats were the most comfortable shoes).

Friday, Day 26: Black pants, blue sweater, diamond earrings and two gold bangle bracelets.  Worn with the high-heeled mary janes, of course!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jingle Jangle Morning

This morning was a chilly one here in the Big Apple.  I'm thinking that Fall might finally be here to stay, which is a bit of a bummer.  Even though the summer was brutally hot, I really prefer that to fall and winter.  Oh well.  I dragged myself out of bed this morning to go running.  In truth, I actually got up yesterday, put on running clothes and then got back into bed wearing all my running clothes, including socks and hat and went back to bed for another hour and a half.  So, I guess that just proves that getting dressed isn't half the battle.  Getting yourself out the door is! 

I managed to get out the door today, so that seems like a good first step.  I think I'll still be okay in the miles department.  I was always sort-of planning on having a step-back week this week since Drew's parents and sister will be visiting starting tomorrow.  On tap for today was 5 miles.  I don't really have a good 5-mile route.  Which is funny because there is a really good 5 mile route in the Park, but I've been including the mileage running to and from the Park and I can't quite get it to work out perfectly yet.

So, I ran to the Park and was wearing shorts and a long-sleeved shirt.  I had been thinking of wearing a thin one, but when I realized that it was still pretty chilly, I decided on a thicker one that had a back pocket.  I stuck my keys in there and they jingled along the whole time I was running.  Which, I'm going to be honest, was sort-of annoying.  And immediately this song got stuck in my head.  While I really like the song, I could only think of the phrase "in the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you".  It's a lot better when you can think of more words to repeat, I think. 

There was actually a second jingle jangle incident this morning.  I'm running down the west side of the road in the Park and I hear someone ringing and ringing a bike bell.  I didn't really think anything of it because I was in the running lane.  But, a guy comes up behind me on his bike and yells, "HEY!" and then proceeds to keep riding in the running lane.  I know I'm a pretty big stickler on the rules and while that is the bike lane when cars are allowed in the Park, in the early morning and at night when there are no cars, it's for pedestrians!  Of course, I felt obligated to yell after the biker and tell him the rules, which only makes me look crazy, I think. 

I decided not to run all the way home since I knew that I'd already gone well over 5 miles and it was getting late and I don't do well with pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks, so I just walked home from the Park.  Worked out pretty well overall, though!

Time: 59:01
Distance: 5.65 miles
Pace: 10:26/mile

Still enjoying the Wardrobe Challenge.  Pretty sure that both Monday and Tuesday's outfits are new ones (combos not yet worn), which seems impressive to me this late in the game. 

Monday, Day 22: Black short-sleeved sweater, gray skirt.  Worn with black flats (although I did bring heels to work, I never changed).  I also wore the new necklace Drew got me in Germany, but again didn't take a close-up. 

Tuesday, Day 23: Gray t-shirt and black pants.  I wasn't actually planning on wearing this shirt again so soon, but I forgot that it was flu-shot day at work and it seemed best to be wearing short-sleeves.  Only accessory today were glasses.  And I'm standing in the other direction because Drew made fun of me recently for always having the same pose, so I switched it up!

Wednesday, Day 24: Purple long-sleeved shirt and black mini skirt.  Worn with black fishnet stockings.  I was going to wear different tights, but when I put them on they had a hole the size of my fist, which didn't seem ideal, so these got second prize.  And, although they're not pictured, I am wearing my elephant hair earrings.  I also brought the black v-neck sweater to wear over this as a "jacket" to work.  I'm going out later and didn't actually want to have a jacket, so that's the reason for the layers. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Almost 23 Mile Weekend Recap

Saturday I knew I had to get a long run.  A really good long run.  And my longest long run yet.  I had mapped out what I thought would be the perfect 19 mile run.  It would take me across the George Washington Bridge, just into New Jersey, and then back home.  I've been biking across the bridge several times, but never running and I figured that it couldn't be that hard to figure out how to get there.

So, I did my usual run up the Westside Path and when I got to the base of the bridge, instead of turning around and heading home, I kept going up the hills to the pedestrian bridge at 181st Street.  The first hill wasn't so bad.  The second hill, I made it up and practically doubled over trying to catch my breath.  Holy cow.  That's a steep climb.  The only thing that made me feel good about this is the biker I was chasing up the hill, I caught on the second hill and the second hill the biker walked and I ran up!  So, at least I've got that going for me. 

After I got across the pedestrian bridge and was at the corner of 181st Street and Riverside Drive and I made a fatal error.  I headed south right away towards the bridge, which was a really big mistake.  I basically ended up getting lost and running along the side of the entrance to the freeway not on any sort of sidewalk, but under the bridge and under the road (sort-of) and all I can say is that I was scared. 

I eventually saw a staircase that should have taken me where I wanted to go, so I started up the stairs and took a spill up the stairs.  I wasn't too worried about this until I realized that I fell into a bunch of drug paraphernalia, which wasn't ideal.  I made my way up the rest of the stairs only to discover that there was a wall at the top, which I couldn't get over.  So, I made my way back down the stairs.  I decided to turn off my watch because obviously I wasn't going anywhere and I wasn't running and in fact I was blinking back tears.

Finally, I made my way back to the sidewalks and regular roads, started my watch and started running again, and couldn't decide if I should just go home and be okay with a shorter run or if I should make my way back to the bridge and do the original run plus a little extra.  I was bound and determined to figure out this whole bridge thing, so I made my way across the bridge and back.

Holy cow, it's windy on the bridge.  But the views are pretty awesome.  It was almost worth getting lost to see it.  It reminded me of the first time I rode my bike up the bridge and got lost getting there.  I would have thought that on foot (since I theoretically knew where I was going) it would have been a lot harder to get lost.  Not so much.  So, here's a word to the wise:  if you're running on the Westside Path and get to the 181st Street pedestrian bridge, head East for a couple blocks before you head South.  Your run will be much more enjoyable! 

After getting back to New York from my very brief visit to New Jersey, I made my way back to the Westside Path, now that I had a much better idea of where I was going.  And then I ran home.  I had a pretty good nutrition plan for this run and it worked really well up to a point.  Starting at around 35 minutes, I had a sip of Gatorade every 10 minutes.  At one hour and two hours I ate 4 jelly beans each time followed by some water.  I had my third set of jelly beans at 2:45:00 because it just seemed like a good time. 

After that, I was pretty much parched.  So, I'm still not doing something quite right because at some point on all these long runs, I basically feel like I cannot drink enough.  The only problem?  I have no idea what to do about it. 

After about 3:15:00, I had pretty much had it.  I was tired of running and tired of having my Fuel Belt around my hips and just wanted to be done.  It was at this point where I think I hit my mental wall and I'm not really convinced that I came out ahead on this one.  I just kept thinking that if I was tired now, how would I ever finish a marathon?  I would still have so many miles left to go.  So, I just did the best I could getting home.  I definitely took several (quick) walking breaks.  I would mostly count to 5 or 10 in my head while walking and then start running again.  I also took my Fuel Belt off and wore it around my neck/shoulder.  I got a lot of funny looks, but I didn't care.

When I got home, I just laid down on the ground for a while, before figuring out that my 19 mile run was a 19.75 mile run (plus a little extra not counted for getting lost).  I've never felt so discouraged after a long run.  The funny thing is that I actually did pretty well on the pacing.  I think the problem really was getting lost.  If I had just made it to the bridge and done the run as planned, I think (I hope) I would have felt a lot better in the end.  The good news is that I've still got a couple more long runs to go before the race!

Today I needed to put that discouragement behind me.  I was on-call at work from 12 to 4, but ended up not having to go in, so at 4:00 I changed into running clothes and headed out for a really short 3-mile run.  I went to the Park, where I knew I couldn't get lost and where I've done this 3 mile run on several occasions.  It seemed almost fool-proof.  Plus, there were so many people to look at, it couldn't be boring!  On my walk to the Park, one of the bike rental guys looked at me and said, "Running is overrated, you know."  On some days, I couldn't agree more!

I also decided not to wear my watch or any other gadget.  Of course, I had to look at the big CNN clock at Columbus Circle on the way into the Park and the way out of the Park and it turns out that I ran the 3 miles in 31 minutes.  I'll take it.  The most important thing was that I enjoyed the run and my legs felt good, so I must have still had something in them yesterday, too.  Makes me feel a lot better overall. 

Saturday Running
Time: 3:34:20
Distance: 19.75 miles
Pace: 10:51/mile

Sunday Running
Time: 31:00
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:20/mile

Wardrobe Challenge is still ongoing! 

Friday, Day 19: Black pants and black short-sleeved sweater with glasses and a necklace from a sidewalk guy in Barcelona.  Oh, and Drew says hello!

Saturday, Day 20: Jeans, gray short-sleeved t-shirt paired with silver headband and silver bangles.  Wore gray Converse with this outfit.

Sunday, Day 21: I have to confess, I've been cheating a little bit.  Drew is a huge San Francisco Giants fan (as a result of being a huge Will Clark fan as a kid) and the Giants are currently in the playoffs.  I've been wearing various Giants gear, but up until today, it was all pretty much in the "pajama" category since until now, the games pretty much started at 10 pm.  But, today's game started at 4:30 and so I'm wearing a Will Clark t-shirt with jeans.  However, I did not wear this out of the house, so it's borderline debatable that it's a real outfit and if the Giants weren't playing, I probably wouldn't have really gotten dressed at all today, but I felt I needed to come clean on my cheating: 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Breakdown

In the last 72 Hours I have spent my time as follows:

35.5 Hours At Work
3 Hours Commuting to and from work
3 Hours Getting Ready For Work
22 Hours Sleeping

2.2 Hours Running
3 Hours Watching TV

That left me with 3.30 hours that I've somehow wasted not blogging, so I apologize for not getting this up sooner!  I'll just do a quick run down of the past three days and then hopefully we can get back to regular around here.

Monday was my usual rest day and of course the whole Marie Claire article discussion.  Tuesday morning was awfully dreary and I didn't feel like getting up, but knew I couldn't let last week's bad running schedule follow me into this week.  Enter the lunch-time run!  This is only possible because there is a branch of the gym that I belong to in the lobby of my work building.  I did a quick change, hopped on the treadmill, pounded out my 5 miles, and was back to work in just over an hour.  I was embarrassingly red-faced when I got back to my desk, but I got the run in and that was the most important thing!

Wednesday was another lazy day in the running department.  Thinking more and more that I might not be cut out for running 4 times a week and that 3 seems to be working well.  I might want to kick myself in the face about that come November 21, but I think that I'm doing okay overall.  I had lunch plans for Wednesday, so I couldn't squeeze in another lunch time run and working from 9:30 to 9:30 doesn't leave you a lot of other free time to hit the gym if you don't go before work.

This morning, I got back in the game.  I'll admit that it took every ounce of willpower to actually get up and out of bed.  And even once I did that, I still got back in bed to eat my pre-workout breakfast before hitting the road.  But, eventually, I did in fact hit the road.  I ran down the Westside Path, which was actually really nice.  I've never really run there on a weekday morning before and I was worried that it would be a bit desolate, but there were a lot of people out there.

The most exciting things I saw?  A cruise ship being pulled into dock by some tug boats and a rainbow.  Apparently this rainbow was more exciting than I gave it credit for because I noticed it and forgot about it 5 minutes later.  About 20 minutes after that, a guy came up next to me on his bicycle and told me I should look at the rainbow.  Which I did, again.  I mean, it was nice, but it wasn't a double rainbow or anything. 

I definitely felt like I was pushing myself more than usual today and it showed in the numbers when I got home, so that was nice to see that it wasn't a mis-perception.  Actually, both my runs so far this week have been faster than usual.  Maybe it's that I was trying to get them over with faster?  I am, however, looking forward to a nice long and slow run this weekend! 

Tuesday Running (Treadmill)
Time: 50:33
Distance: 5.00 miles
Pace: 10:06/mile

Thursday Running
Time: 1:23:26
Distance: 8.40 miles
Pace: 9:55/mile

Wardrobe Challenge has still been going along just fine. 
Tuesday, Day 16: Blue sweater, black pants, belt and silver and black earrings worn with high-heeled black mary janes (these seem to be the default shoe of this challenge!). 

Wednesday, Day 17: Black v-neck sweater, gray skirt, black suede boots and worn with my new necklace that Drew got me from Germany (which I didn't take a close-up of).  Just means I'll have to wear it again!

Thursday, Day 18: Gray shirt, black mini-skirt, tights and black flats.  Worn with three silver bangles and silver earrings.  The bangles are from my grandma and the earrings are just cheapies.  I was actually planning on wearing pants today, but I seemed to have tweaked my knee (this actually isn't running related, I noticed it yesterday evening and think I must have been sitting oddly at work) and thought I should wear flats instead of heels, so mini-skirt it was! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Half-Way There

I'm now at the half-way point of the Wardrobe Challenge, and I thought I'd write down some of my thoughts about this whole experiment so far.  At the start, I found myself wishing that the weather was a bit cooler.  There was really only one day where I was wishing I had one more short-sleeved shirt.  However, it now seems like the weather has turned and it will stay a bit cooler, so I'm excited to do some other combos I thought of with layers. 

I've found myself unsubscribing from a lot of "junk shopping" e-mails that I get.  I figure if I don't know that some store is having a sale, I'll be less likely to go to that store's website and I'll certainly be less likely to browse and buy something.  I actually don't do a whole lot of shopping in stores, I tend to shop on the internet, so this was a way to cut out some of the temptation.  It was also something that I had wanted to do for quite a while, but this experiment was really the push that I needed to actually take the time to unsubscribe.

I actually don't mind it as far as wearing only 10 items of clothing.  I love the fact that I'm wearing more of my jewelry.  I have a lot of it and it's nice to show it off.  The big negative for me is the increase in laundry.  Maybe if we had laundry in our actual apartment, I wouldn't mind quite as much, but we have it in the basement and something about dragging stuff down there feels like more work.  Before, I used to wait until I was running low on clean underwear or Drew was running low on clean gym clothes before I would do laundry, but now it's a weekly affair. 

There is really only one thing I've realized that I actually need to buy once this is over and that is plain black tights.  I only have one pair right now and I'll never make it through the winter like that.  Other than that, I think I could happily get through the winter with what I've already got.  

Today's outfit, Day 15: Black mini-skirt, purple long-sleeved shirt with black patterned tights.  Jewelry is an amethyst necklace that was my mom's, which she gave to me and a signet ring that was my great-grandmother's but was passed down to me from my grandma.   Shoes are black mary-jane heels.  And there's a message for Drew!  (He's away in D.C. again.  He doesn't normally travel this much). 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Central Park Biathlon

Yesterday I did nothing except work.  Not overly happy about this, but I can't go back in time and get up earlier and go running before work, so I'm over it.  I always knew that this time would be rough with work and I can't stretch myself too thin otherwise I'll never make it through with my sanity in check, so I'm doing the best I can for now.

Today Drew and I had signed up for the 26th Annual Central Park Biathlon.  Just to be clear, I did not ski or shoot.  I would have classified what I did as a duathlon, consisting of running and biking, but I didn't title this race, and I think it's a bit confusing.  Unfortunately, I ended up having to do the race by myself since Drew had to be on a plane to D.C. this morning and couldn't do the race as well.

This morning was a bit cooler than it has been recently, so I wore tri shorts, a long-sleeved shirt and my Terrier bike vest to keep myself warm on the bike.  As soon as I got on my bike to ride to the Park, I felt pretty cold, but knew I'd warm up as time went on.  I got to the race site and racked my bike and then went to check in.  Funnily enough, the person checking me was Krista!  Both her and her husband were volunteering at the race. I only got to say a quick hello since there were other people waiting to get their race numbers also.

I put my number on my bike and on my race belt and still had plenty of time to kill before the race started, so I decided to go for a quick warm-up run.  I decided that I'd run for 8 minutes out and then run back.  It actually worked out perfectly, because right when I got back, the race director had just started giving out instructions about the race and the race course.  He also mentioned that if anyone was seen using headphones, they'd be disqualified.  This fact was also in the official rules listed on the website.

As we were lining up for the start, I saw my friend Lisa.  We chatted for a couple minutes before the gun went off.  It was definitely nice to see a friendly face.  The race started pretty much on time, which was nice.  The running course was from the Central Park Boathouse up to 96th Street and back again.  Pretty uneventful.

Of course, I ended up seeing two people wearing headphones.  Both people only had one earbud in their ears, but I don't really think that makes a difference.  I told both people that they were breaking the rules and if they didn't take them out, they would be disqualified.  Even if that meant that I had to tell an official myself.  Maybe that's mean of me, but it was in the rules and the race director had told us about 10 minutes before that it was against the rules.  I don't think I was out of line.  Especially since everyone else was following the rules.  I don't think they should get a free pass.

I had told Drew yesterday that my only goal was to finish this race in under two hours.  Even with my normal slow pace, that was more than doable, so I wasn't in any sort of rush on the run.  I was a little bit warm with the biking vest on while I was running, but I knew it'd be good to have on the bike.

When I got back to transition, I changed shoes and grabbed my bike and headed out.  The course was to do two loops of the Park.  I have to say, I would have been happier only doing one loop, but of course I did both.  During the first loop, I had a near accident with a guy walking his dogs.  I actually was a bit upset with both the guy (for not looking) and the volunteer who was standing next to him (for not saying anything).  I know the volunteers have a hard job, but it was really close call!

The second loop wasn't quite as eventful.  I was really glad the whole time that I was wearing the biking vest.  Every time there was a big gust of wind, it was really nice to have on.  There was a girl in front of me on a mountain bike and was wearing tennis shoes.  I was bound and determined not to let her beat me in on the bike.  Even though I only came in about 1 second before her, somehow that made me feel better.  When I went into the second transition, I took off my bike vest for the second run. 

When I was on the bike, I noticed that the run course was a bit longer than a mile.  I even came home and checked Gmap Pedometer, and it also says that the run course was long, so I actually feel pretty awesome about my run times now.  It turned out to be a good thing because as I was finishing, Lisa and her other Asphalt Green teammates were cheering for me, but they had mixed emotions about cheering for someone wearing Terrier gear, which I wasn't wearing when they were cheering for me!  I have to say that it was really, really nice to have someone cheering for me at the finish!

After the race, I chatted with Lisa for a few minutes, grabbed half a bagel and an orange slice and headed home.  I had to work again today, which was probably the only reason that I actually got dressed in real clothes today!  Otherwise I would have been quite content to stay in pajamas.  I also had been thinking that perhaps I would be able to get a few more running miles in before heading to work, but it wasn't in the cards for today.  All I can say is that tomorrow is a new week and I'm going to start fresh then. 

Running (pre-race)
Time: 15:54
Distance: 1.60 miles
Pace: 9:56/mile
Calories: 138
Maximum HR: 175 (83%)
Average HR: 163 (77%)

Run 1: 21:30
T1: 1:10
Bike: 51:05
T2: 2:26
Run 2: 21:34
Total Time:1:36:31
Calories: 894
Maximum HR: 191 (90%)
Average HR:170 (80%)

I measured the runs as 2.25 miles each and the bike as 12.18 miles.  That gives me a total of 6.10 miles running for the day. 

Saturday, Day 13: Wore jeans,  black v-neck sweater and gray Converse.  We thought that the cat needed a redeeming photo after her alien eyes from before, so she's making an appearance again.  Not that you can see it, but I started out wearing a silver necklace and ended up changing it in the evening for dinner to a new one.  I'll be wearing the new one again, so will take a photo later.

Sunday, Day 14: Wore jeans and green turtleneck with gray Converse.  Jewelry consists of pearl stud earrings from my grandma.  My grandma didn't have pierced ears, so I actually had the earrings changed from clip-ons to studs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Heavy Rain / Wind

I had this really great plan for this morning.  But I woke up to this weather forecast on my telephone: 

Right.  That looks bad.  It wasn't even so much the rain, it was the 30+ MPH winds that had me worried. But, I couldn't afford to skip another day of running this week, so I got up and dressed and went back to the gym.  Which I had pretty much vowed never to do again.  But, I sucked it up and got on a treadmill and started running.

I have a speed issue on the treadmill.  Meaning that I think I need to run really fast on them.  But, the truth is, I don't. I just need to run.  So, I set the treadmill at 5.5 (which is a 10:54 mile) and started running.  And running and running and running some more.  It was totally mindless.  The TV on the treadmill next to me was stuck in the on position and it was also stuck on ESPN, so I watched more of the Ryder Cup's rain delay from this morning than I ever would have otherwise and I obsessively watched the ESPN ticker to see if any new sports information would show up. 

Even though this wasn't my plan for today, I'm glad that I just got up and did some running.  I know I'll end up coming up short this week in the running department, so it was good to get any miles under my belt.  However, I don't understand how the treadmill told me that I was running a 10:54 minute mile and when I add up the times (the treadmill times out after an hour), I end up with an 11:01/mile pace.  Not that it's a big difference in the long run, but it's still perplexing. 

My current plan for the weekend is to go running again tomorrow morning before work, do the duathlon on Sunday (4 miles running) and see where I end up.  If I have to work on Sunday after the race , that'll be all I can do.  If not, I might consider adding some more onto that duathlon, but it's sort of a wait and see thing at this point. 

Time: 1:10:36
Distance: 6.40 miles
Pace: 11:01/mile
Calories: 722 (according to treadmill)

Because of the rain, went with a skirt today.  Day 12 outfit: Gray skirt and green turtleneck, pearl earrings and black suede shoes.  The earrings are actually the bridesmaid gift from my friend Ann's wedding and the shoes were not worn outside in that monsoon that we're having today!  They were carried in my bag to work for safekeeping!  (But, obviously, I couldn't be bothered to put them on for the photo...sorry!)