Searching for satellites

July 29, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

First things first!

Giant thanks and love to my genius friend Michael Lum, who designed this beautiful new header for me. I think it looks amazing and I’m really happy with it. I hope you like it too!

Now, on to a slightly less pleasant subject: running.

I did manage to drag myself out of bed to run this morning; I think I did 5.4 miles in about 59 minutes. It’s nasty out there. It’s super hot and so disgustingly muggy. Yuck. So, not a great run for me. But at least I got the miles in. Miles, miles, miles: that’s all that matters at this point.

I think I did 5.4 miles in 59 minutes, rather than know, because the Garmin has been having trouble finding those satellites. No satellites = no timing, no mapping, no pacing. I wish I had all day to stand on the corner and wait for my watch to get a signal, but alas. So, I started running at 6th Avenue, but I didn’t start recording until I got to 8th Avenue. I guesstimated how long it took me to cover that distance, and that’s how I came up with 59 minutes.

The Garmin has been kind of a stinkah lately! It didn’t find satellites at all in the park on Tuesday, so I couldn’t record my run. Boo.

Tonight I’m taking the train to Rhode Island and tomorrow morning I’m going to do my 12 mile long run on the streets of Borington. I have two hydration plans. First, I mapped the distance from my parents’ house to my Grammy’s house and it’s 5.5 miles, which means Gram is a perfect half way point (I’ll just add in a little extra zig zagging here and there). I’m sure she’ll be glad to give me a nice big glass of water (it’s a surprise, though, so if you talk to her, don’t tell her I’m coming!). Second, I’m thinking of getting a Camelbak. I’ve read about some people doing that on long runs and I’m intrigued, since I never got the hang of wearing the fuel belt.

I’ll let you know how it all goes on Monday! Have a great weekend.

P.S. Don’t forget that Thursday is run club night – Chuck will be leading in my absence. 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park, near the loop.

(Finally) Introducing: Speedwork Wednesdays

July 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Okay. I feel a bit better.

Last night was the usual Tuesday group run. I paired with Laura and enjoyed the company very much! I’m still not feeling excellent – the heat is really bothering me, and my breathing has been labored lately – but it wasn’t terrible.

After the run, I came home, quickly showered, and Chuck and I went to dinner to celebrate my vegaversary. It was so, so lovely. We went to Blossom on 9th Avenue and we had the best table there (in my opinion) – the one by the window that’s nestled into a little nook. Dinner was delicious.

We walked to and from dinner, and I wore this pair of flip flops that are super flat and not cushioned at all. I love them – they’re simple and they go with everything (in my mind). But they’re essentially the equivalent of going barefoot, which is pretty much the worst thing for someone with plantar fasciitis.

When we got home, Chuck rubbed my foot a bit and then I iced for 20 minutes. But when I woke up this morning, my foot hurt so much. It’s always most painful in the morning, but today it was really a problem because I was planning to go to the gym for intervals.

The walk to the gym was rough, but once I got moving on the treadmill, I felt a lot better. I did 25 minutes alternating one minute at 5.5 and 30 seconds at 7.5. It feels so good to really move when I’m going at the faster speed. I just can’t maintain it for long! But I think speedwork really helps with cardiovascular strength, so I’m glad I’m getting back into it.

Unfortunately, though, my foot is really killing me now. It’s because I wore those stupid flip flops to work! (And because I ran twice in 12 hours, I’m sure.) But I just can’t wear sneakers with a dress. I can’t. I won’t. No. I will just ice until my foot is blue.

In other news, I caved and spent a month’s rent on a digital picture from the Queens Half Marathon. Okay, it wasn’t quite that much, but it was still crazy expensive! Anyway, a good race picture is rare, so I splurged. Here it is. Like how my tail is flying in the wind?!

My slice of humble pie

July 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The first half of the Queens Half Marathon was mental torture, and the second half was physical torture. So overall, it sucked.

It was obscenely hot already when I left the house at 5:30 on Saturday morning. A few Team R2R members met before the start, and we were all sweating just as we stood in our corral waiting to begin. We struggled as we tried to get going. Sara, Tricia and I decided to take a bathroom break after the first mile – the pre-race lines had been way too long. But these lines were too long too. We waited 6 or 7 minutes – which felt like 6 or 7 hours – until we realized that there was almost no one left on the course behind us. So we gave up on the bathroom line and forged ahead.

I mean, really forged ahead. I became obsessed with not being in the back of the group. I ran too fast for my own good, especially on a super hot day. I was angry at the people who cheered for us as we passed by because it felt condescending to me (which, of course, it wasn’t). I kept trying to tell myself that it’s not how far back you are, it’s just whether you finish, but my body refused to believe my mind. I felt embarrassed and angry and, especially, hypocritical. Who do I think I am? Shouldn’t I be able to practice what I preach?

By mile 7 I was moving pretty well and had made up some time. I was happy because I was passing people, and sad that that made me happy. That’s not the spirit at all.

And then my foot started to ache, and, at the same time, the course changed from shady park terrain to tree-free blazing-sunshine next-to-the-highway terrain. It was nearly 9 am by that point, so the sun was getting high in the sky. It’s impossible to describe how hot it was, and combined with my foot – it was almost too much. My mantra became “please just get me to the end. Please just let this be over.” It was all I could do to just put one foot in front of the other. I walked a little bit, but for the most part I ran, soley because I needed to be done fast as possible.

Luckily, I caught up with Tricia during mile 12, and we were able to run those last two miles together. I don’t think I could have done it alone. The course became a bit more comfortable, but we were already so exhausted at that point, and my foot hurt so much, that it didn’t really matter. We just dragged ourselves along until we finally, finally, finally reached the end. We drank 400 glasses of water and hopped in the car as fast as we could, and blasted the air conditioning the whole way back into the city.

I’m disappointed in myself. Not because of my finishing time – which, for the record, was 2:32 – but because I even cared about the time. Because I felt embarrassed to be at the back. Because I couldn’t just accept that it’s fine to just do my best. It’s one thing to want to improve, and it’s another entirely to beat yourself down for having a bad day. So, shame on me.

Moving on.

In happier news, today is my vegaversary! It was a year ago today that I quit meat. And it has been a really, really great year. More on that tomorrow.

Meeting of the minds

July 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Last night Chuck and I had the pleasure of hosting a meeting for returning Team R2R runners who have agreed to take part in the mentor program.

I love these people!

We had a spectacularly productive meeting and a wonderful time in general. Everyone had fantastic ideas. I think we are all really excited to get the program running (no pun intended!).

My foot feels pretty awesome today! I guess rest and ice and stretching do work. So, after tonight’s run, I will again force Chuck to “massage” my feet and then I’ll stand on ice. Good thing we have plenty of Tofutti Cuties to get me through it.

[Join us in the park if you want to run! 6:30 – Columbus Circle entrance.]

At least I’m not crazy*

July 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tuesday night is official group run night, and last night we had a great turnout. It was hot, but there was a nice breeze in the park, and we did a comfortable 5 miles. I ran for a bit with Ali, our new coach, and talked to her about my foot. (She’s a sports therapist.)

When we finished, I took off my sneaker and sock and she (bravely) took a look at my foot. I couldn’t see it, of course, but when I flexed, she was able to show Chuck where my plantar fascia was stretched so thin it was about to tear (!!!!!!!!). Even though that was bad news, it did make me feel a little better to know that I hadn’t been imagining or exaggerating the issue.

Ali showed us how to “massage” the area, which should help with the pain and strengthen the tissue. “Massage” really means beat down until you think you can’t take it anymore. But I’m desperate. So when we got home, after we ate dinner, Chuck plied me with a Tofutti Cutie ice cream sandwich and “massaged” my foot until I was almost crying. Then I iced it for 15 minutes, which was the most I could take.

I had wanted today to be the start of “Speedwork Wednesdays,” but after last night I decided it would be best to rest this week, especially since I am running the Queens Half Marathon on Saturday. Stay tuned for next week, though, when I’m planning to make a repeat early morning appearance at the gym.

* This has not been confirmed by a medical professional.

Back on track…mostly

July 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

A decent weekend of running and I’m feeling back on track…mostly.

Saturday morning I did five miles on the West Side Highway and I felt pretty great. My pace was better than it has been in a while and it wasn’t too much of a struggle – though by the time I was finishing up, just before 9, it was already miserably hot.

On Sunday, Team R2R had a huge, fun group run. We crossed the Queensboro Bridge, ran through Queens, took a tiny bridge to Roosevelt Island, looped the whole island, and then retraced our steps back to Manhattan. It was fun, but it was also super, super hot, and there wasn’t much shade. I felt tired. It was supposed to be a 10 mile run, but I ended up walking the last mile back over the bridge with a new R2R member, so I’m calling it 8.5 in about 92 minutes.

The before and after pics are mine; the action running shots are, of course, Brian’s!

The trouble now is that my foot is really getting worse and I’m in pain most of the time. (Ironically, running is less painful than walking.) I could barely walk for most of Sunday. I’ve been rolling on the softball, and I iced when we got home on Sunday, but there hasn’t been any noticeable change. I did also order the special insoles, so hopefully those will arrive soon and I will get some relief.

Five runs a week

July 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve been a bad blogger this week. A little uninspired. Next week will be better, I promise.

And now the weekend has come, and I have miles to get in, and it’s going to be tight. At least I have Sunday’s Team R2R group run to look forward to – we’re going to Roosevelt Island!

Since I have no deep thoughts to share, I’m going to steal some wise advice from a few returning Team R2R members. Here are their thoughts on how to find time for a 5-run-per-week marathon training schedule:

  • Plan on running each day of the weekend and you already have 2 runs in; plan your short run day first, so you’ll know the days during the week that you have to work on finding time for the longer runs.
  • I read somewhere once (probably a runner’s magazine) that when you are training for a marathon and need to get the runs in, make sure everyone in your life that depends on you knows you are training and that it takes time. Try to schedule your runs to fit into your and their schedules…that way if they have to pick up on some of your responsibilities (examples: taking care of a child or making dinner for me!) they are prepared for it and can plan accordingly. For me, I try to look at my week and see what days it will just be impossible to run and make sure that is my off day. Putting group runs on the calendar is a big help for me 🙂
  • I like to run at the start of my day, even if it means getting up at 5:30am! That way I get it over with and am in an awesome mood for the rest of the day. Even if you have a bad day or hate your job – you will be surprised how much running makes anything bearable – so look forward to it!
  • Don’t stress if you can’t get a run in every day on the schedule. Try to go to the group runs, they are super fun and they are an easy way to get one good run in every week. Honestly, last year I ran 4 days per week and went to 1 or 2 bikram yoga classes on my days off, rode my bike and swam a few times during the summer. If there are other forms of exercise you like, you can continue them, just mix in running. If you have to skip a day, try not to skip the long run, they are on the weekends so it’s a bit easier to fit them in. Don’t force yourself to run if you are overly tired or injured, you will just be annoyed and/or make your injury worse. Listen to your body and be nice to yourself!

I think that last line bears repeating: Listen to your body and be nice to yourself!

Have a great weekend!

Will it ever stop? Yo, I don’t know

July 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The heat, the heat. The humidity.

There hasn’t been a day under 80 since…June? And 5 of the next 7 days look to be over 90. I forgot how hard it is to run in this kind of heat. It’s really unpleasant.

On Monday evening I took myself out for a 5-miler on the West Side Highway (since I knew I couldn’t run on Tuesday). I had dead legs. Perhaps they were still tired from the 9 miles on Sunday? Or maybe it was the super sticky, thick air. In any case, I had a rough time of it. My pace was slower than on Sunday and I only ended up completing 4.59 miles. I think the time was maybe 51 minutes or so? I didn’t even want to look at the Garmin report.

From the good news department: I got up and ran in the morning today! I decided it was high time for some speedwork, which is perfect for the morning – it’s fast. I did 2.34 miles in 25 minutes alternating 1 minute at 5.5 and 30 seconds at 7.5. I didn’t feel spectacular, but it was better than Monday.

The gym is nice in the morning! It was pretty empty and I had no trouble getting a treadmill. I think I’ll be back again for speedwork since I don’t have to get up toooo early for it.

Summer swelter

July 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I have been melting a lot lately!

On Thursday, before we left for New Jersey, I crammed in 5.5 super hot miles in 58 minutes. I was beyond soaked. I’m sure it was 90+ degrees and the sun was blazing. I took as many water-walk breaks as I wanted (water-walk=timing walk breaks around water fountains) because I was dragging. But at least I did it.

We took an exhaustion break and skipped the 4 miler on Saturday, and on Sunday we headed Central Park for the week’s long run: 9 miles. The plan was to do the full loop (including Harlem Hill! Gasp!), run out of the park, over to the west side on 58th Street, and then down the West Side Highway to 18th Street and home. And we did it! The first 6 miles in the park were pretty good. I didn’t even really mind Harlem Hill (thank goodness for the water fountain half way up, though).  But the West Side Highway was the death of me. I felt like I was swimming in a pot of fondue, only without the fun of eating cheese. It was all I could do to get down to 18th Street. Each block felt like a mile. But I made it! And I was rewarded with a well earned brunch and bloody mary.

In other news, I have a small confession: I have an injury. My feet, especially the left one, have been bothering me post-run for a while. I saw my podiatrist friend over the 4th of July (really, everyone should have a podiatrist friend!), and he thinks it’s plantar fasciitis. YUCK. My treatment plan is new insoles for my sneakers, and possibly a cortisone shot. In the meantime, I shall ease my pain the old fashioned way: by rolling my foot all over a softball under my desk. Fun.

Not gonna do it

July 8, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have such a mental block against running before work. I just can’t do it. It’s not a matter of getting out of bed – I was up before 6 this morning. I guess it’s just that I’m super attached to my morning rituals – coffee, NY1, little household chores. I need to get over this, I know. Probably as soon as next week. But not yet.

I wanted to run this morning. Well, I didn’t want to, but I should have. Couldn’t bring myself to do it, though. So, I’m going to squeeze it in after work and before heading to New Jersey tonight for a rehearsal dinner. I even arrived at work almost an hour early to buy myself some extra time. I have to do 6 miles, so that should take at least an hour.

Chuck says I don’t understand how long things really take and I always try to fit 18 things into a day when 3 things would fit better. But I have to do it all!

Last night I went to the gym for 4 miles on the treadmill. It was rough going but I managed to get through it in 40:19. I had to give myself every pep talk in the book to make it. But I did, and I feel like I’m back on track.

I’ll be off at a wedding tomorrow, so I’ll see you back here Monday. Have a great weekend!

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