The last 10 miles

October 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Oh, those last 10 miles. They act so innocent two weeks before the marathon. But I know how they’ll be on race day!

A pretty grumpy cast of characters gathered bright and early Sunday morning to run through the last 10 miles of the marathon course. It wasn’t a bad run, really – once we were going, I felt just fine. And I got to chat with a lot of different people. The consensus was that we’re all just done! Everyone is excited about the marathon, but also unbelievably ecstatic that training is basically over.


I have to admit, when we were running those last 400 meters into the park, I had a tiny tear in my eye, thinking of when I crossed the finish line last year. The thought that I get to cross it again so soon, hopefully achieving a time goal, is overwhelming! It’s a good feeling, though, and one that I need to carry me through these next two weeks.


Tonight the team is getting together to decorate our jerseys and make posters for marathon day. All are welcome, so if you’re planning to come out on race day, stop by to make a sign! 7 pm at the chapter – 360 Lex, 4th Floor.

The team is going for a run before hand – these will likely be my only miles this week, as I’m headed to Buffalo for a wedding on Thursday. I guess I could bring my sneakers there. Maybe. Maybe.


I’ll take Manhattan

October 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I went missing again.

This time of year is hard. Busy at work, lots of things to do in the evenings, and, of course, hours and hours of running.

Now we’re tapering – a confusing, funny time of short runs and rest before the big day. It’s certainly a relief, but it feels like cheating.

The last big run before the taper was a 20 miler on Sunday morning. This one was organized by the NY Flyers, and they were really generous to invite our whole team to participate. I was anticipating it with a mix of dread and relief – dread because 20 miles is a long way through the streets, and because we were organized into pace groups and I was worried about keeping up and getting lost; relief because the run was supported – even though we were not going to be in the park, there were three water and gu stops along the way.

The weather was perfect on Sunday morning, so we had that in our favor. And once we started running, I felt pretty great. I had joined the 10:30 pace group, and even though we were going a bit faster – closer to 10 – I thought I could keep it up.

And then.

And then the thing that always happens happened. I had to go to the bathroom. I’ve talked a bit about the issue before, but now I have to be really honest. Running makes you poop. Runners fear having to go mid-race. They (and I) work hard to wake up early and clear the pipes before big runs. Coffee, peanut butter, bananas. But it doesn’t always work, and Sunday was one of those days.

Running with a pace group was the least ideal time possible to have to go to the bathroom. If I stopped alone, I would lose the group. During a race, it’s my choice to stop, and I can’t get lost. On a regular run, my buddies would wait with me, or we’d just be in the park where I could catch up with everyone later. But in this situation, I really couldn’t fall behind.

I decided to hang on for dear life, and suffered through 5 truly unpleasant miles until we reached a bathroom. There was a long line – the 10 minute milers had gotten there just ahead of us – and I was last. So, even though I wasn’t the only person who needed to stop, my group started running again without me.

I had an idea of the course in my head and I figured I couldn’t be terribly far back, so I took off in a speedy way to catch up. I had the group in and out of my sights until I was forced to wait at a stop light, when luckily, someone from my group noticed me and pointed out that everyone had turned left. I finally caught up as we were going over the Brooklyn Bridge. I was exhausted from running a superfast catch-up mile, and the bridge is uphill. And, I realized, there was supposed to be a water stop in Manhattan, but there wasn’t. 7 miles in and I hadn’t had water since I left home at 6:15 am.

On the other side of the bridge, there was also supposed to be a water stop. I thought that meant right after the bridge, so when we had gone another couple of miles and saw nothing, I stopped into a convenience store for water. And lost the group again.

I caught up a short while later at the rest stop (of course, I wouldn’t have bothered with getting the water bottle if I had known it was so close). At that point, I was done with this run. I was frustrated with the whole set up. I just wanted to finish and get home and move on. And that’s what happened – we all just trucked through. No one really felt like chatting.

In the end, unfortunately, it was one of my least enjoyable runs all year. Constantly playing catch up really messed with my pace, and in no way did I feel like it was a trial run for the marathon. I didn’t like the pressure – not just to keep up, but to not get lost. So, I think I’ll stick to the lovely parks on the island of Manhattan for now.

In any case, running is on the down swing. I did intervals at the gym on Monday, and last night ran the 5 mile loop at a decent pace in the park. I probably won’t run again until Sunday, when we do the last 10 miles. Even though that run is also a street course with an unknown water/bathroom situation, I do know that I’ll be with my team, and that we’ll stick together.

Oops, I did it again

October 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Well, it rained last night. And I wanted to go to the gym, I did. But I haven’t been feeling well this week, and I can never really manage more than 3-4 miles on the treadmill, so I stayed home, made dinner, and had a very early bedtime.

Unfortunately, I have to work late tonight, so no running today either. This morning I had a faint thought of going out, but it was still drizzly, and I was still stuffed up. I was a little bummed, but I did a few sun salutations and downward facing dogs, plus some stretches Ali taught me to strengthen my legs, and I felt better.

So, three consecutive days of no running. Tomorrow we’re doing a 5K, and Sunday is the last 20 miler. This was probably supposed to be our longest training week, mileage-wise, but clearly that didn’t work out for me.

Sometimes life gets in the way, and we just have to do the best we can. Only human.

Back in action

October 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m sorry I’ve been missing. My enthusiasm for training and running has been underwhelming lately, to say the least. But now I’m back!

Last week, I needed to squeeze in one more run after the mediocre Wednesday workout and before the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday. I intended to do it before work on Friday, but I slept late (shocker). I had to be somewhere at 7 on Friday evening, and I get out of work at 5. Where’s the time for getting sweaty and cleaning up? I ended up not getting out of work until 5:20, and I tortured myself over whether to run or not. This is the feeling I hate the most – being torn between living my life and training. Running isn’t fun anymore when it’s forced.

Ultimately, I decided that I would be really upset with myself if I didn’t run, so I scrambled to the gym at top speed and did 25 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. I felt meh and I was still late for the party. Not quite what I was hoping for.

So, on Sunday, I wasn’t exactly feeling gung-ho about the Staten Island Half. I still hadn’t really had a good run since the wedding, and I wasn’t sure what I was capable of. Back when I surprised myself with a 2:07 at the Bronx Half, I had harbored the hope that I might get closer to 2 hours – and a new PR – at SI. And even though that dream was clearly over, I was still secretly wishing I’d do it, despite being under trained and over tired.

The race was okay. I felt fine. I know I could be faster, but not on that day. My time was 2:12:30. The nutty thing is that if I had never run Bronx, that would have been a PR for me. My pace was 10:06, which is just right for the marathon. I should be happier, but it’s always disappointing to not see improvement, especially when harboring secret dreams about being super fast.


Thanks to NYRR for use of this image.

I thought about running, or doing some kind of activity, on Monday, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was feeling bored and annoyed with training. We took the day to get things done around the house, and I don’t regret it.

Finally, last night, the switch flipped and I’m feeling good about running again. The team met for tempo runs in the park and I felt great. we had to do the little loop (1.7 miles) three times, with small breaks in between. The goal was to run faster than marathon pace, but to keep as consistent as possible for the three laps. I ran with Alile, who is an excellent buddy. It was one of those wonderful occasions when I really felt like we were both pushing each other just the right amount. We weren’t very consistent, but we were faster on each lap, which I like even better: 15.54, 15.38, 15.11. That’s 46.44 for 5.1 miles, and that sounds pretty good to me.

When we got home, the new Runner’s World was on the counter, and I actually wanted to pick it up and read it. A very good sign! That’s how I knew I was back for sure. What a relief.

A million things

October 7, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last night, when I was running solo, I dreamed up a million things to write here today. But now, none of them seems right.

So. The short version.

It was cold! Had to bust out the 5 borough gloves.

And it was dark. I did the 5 mile loop because I was alone. There were plenty of people around, but still.

It was a struggle once again. This is a bummer of a week for running.

Better news and deeper thoughts tomorrow, I hope.

Sore to the core

October 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

So, it turns out that taking a (really quite brief!) hiatus from running is affecting me more than I thought it would.

My hamstrings, quads, and glutes were still aching yesterday from the 20-miler on Saturday, and the run last night was a bit of a flop. I tried my best, and I got through the 6 mile loop in just over an hour, but it was a little like dragging my body through mud.

I hope today will be better. I have another 6 miles in the park in store. (Side note – I am totally addicted to the park this year! Last year I was obsessed with Hudson River Park, which is much closer to my apartment, but this year I really only want to run in CP. Weird.) I know the only thing that will make me feel better is more running, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Just two and a half more weeks of really hard work and then we taper. I can’t wait!


October 4, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

That’s Thank Goodness For Teammates. I absolutely would not have made it through the 20-miler on Saturday morning without Laura!

During the two weeks prior, I had run a total of 9 or so miles – 5.5 outside in Barrington and a really miserable 3.1 on the treadmill last Thursday. And jeez oh man, did I ever feel out of practice for this run!

Our route was two loops in the park, up Central Park West to 72nd Street, across to the West Side Highway, and down to Battery Park. The loops weren’t bad. We had a lot to talk about and the weather was just right. But once we got to the WSH, my legs started to feel heavy, and I got a stitch in my side. There were still 7 miles left, which seemed completely impossible.

Laura gave me a salt pill and I felt a bit better for a while, but the last 6 miles were really like torture. I was exhausted and my legs were like lead. I know without a doubt that if Laura hadn’t been chugging along beside me, I wouldn’t have finished. But we both just put our heads down and grunted through. No more chatting. Just one foot in front of the other.

When we finished, we could barely walk! This was marathon-level pain. (And actually, I didn’t get through the 20-miler last year, so this was the only time I’ve run this distance in my life other than the marathon itself!) I was totally incapacitated for most of the day. I almost didn’t make it to brunch. (But don’t worry, I did.)

I wanted to run tonight to get myself back in gear, but it’s pouring and I just don’t have the heart to hit the treadmill. I am crossing all of my fingers and toes for a rain-free team run tomorrow!

We’re back!

October 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

….and we’ll talk about running on Monday!

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.