Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye 09

Today was the last run of 09, uneventful treadmill run, nothing special.  What is special is the year at a glace, the fact that I did run today, that I ran all year.  I faced 2 injuries during the year and countless hours at PT and the dreaded G trainer.  One marathon slipped out of reach and the other was more than I could have imagined it would have been.  There was a triathlon; I still thank God I didn’t drown.  2 10-mile races that were both adventures one due to weather and the other a late start, a 3 race challenge in Bermuda, countless road miles with friends and great laughs. 5k’s, Falmouth, and a 4 miler were also sprinkled in there throughout the year.  I’ve learned that I’m nothing if not determined, why else would I still be out there.   A new year of running means a new year of goals, new races, PR’s, more laughs; there is also the fear of failure, new injuries, and old injuries.  I hope I can achieve a balance between the extremes and continue to grow as a runner.  Looking forward to the Half Marathon Challenge with Jenn!  A 3rd marathon, Chicago??  Throw some more 13.1’s, 10k’s, 5k’s, mix in the never ending hours of morning runs and sprinkle that with track workouts and we have a great year planned.  Happy running and a Happy New Year to all!

Miles trained today: 3

Days till the Manhattan Half: 24

Monday, December 28, 2009


It never feels good to hear the alarm on Monday's, more so now because it's a signal that track is next on the schedule. 4:45am has become more difficult with my new found coffee obsession combined with the fact that I continue to brew pots well into the late afternoon.  This morning with 4 hours of broken sleep the alarm signaled it was time to go.  The plan was a 3 mile run outdoors before track.  To be honest I don't remember the ride there other than thinking Joe got lost as he was so far behind me.  When we started out my arms were off, my feet were barely shuffling.  Thank God it was a balmy 26 degrees with no wind, we could be lazy today.  The route takes us down Lloyd, I come from the perspective that to start with a downhill is a nicer way to start any run.  There was some delirious laughter and the eyes weren't staying open as long as they should.  We seemed to be the only 2 out and about.  Turning onto Elmgove I kept my focus on the road ahead, straining to see the blinking light in the distance that signals the turn up Rochambeau.  There was a slight frost so the debris on the side of the road seemed to shimmer slightly.  I noticed that I felt more awake, not fully there but my arms were moving at the correct angles and my feet were lifting fully off the ground.  Rochambeau is a good and a bad sign.  Good in that it signals that we are heading back towards the track, bad in that it's the start of the only 2 hills.  As we were running up, we passed a walker who had every inch of skin covered with several layers.  I'm not sure there were even real eye slits, we giggled about it turning on to Hope St.  Nothing left but getting up and down the hill now.  We ran by the Y and I smiled at those on the treadmill, forgetting that last week I was one of them!  Just as I had settled into this run we were turning into the parking lot.  The real running had yet to start, but at least we had finally woken up.

Miles trained today: 5ish
Days till the Manhattan Half: 27

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Flexibility and patience

This is my new training terms, flexibility and patience.  In the sense that my training models are a guide and not law.  I will no longer always focus on getting that last 10th of a mile in.  I will no longer fret all week about where I am in terms of my mileage goals.  If I get there great, if not lets look at why not and move on.  This week has been a perfect example of that, I am aiming for 25 miles for the week.  Had planned for a long run on 10 on Friday, we got up late and that didn't happen.  New plan, long run on 10 on Saturday, we only went 3.5.  Old me: time to freak!  New me: no problem, we'll aim for 6-7 for tomorrow and move on.  The more I stress about this the more of a chore it becomes.  I will get there, it will take me longer than those who have been running for years, but I'll get there.  Being patient and flexible with the plan will allow me to enjoy the process and hopefully result in a higher likely hood of achieving the goal.  Please remind me of this in a few weeks when I start to regress!

Miles trained today: 3.5
Days till the Manhattan Half: 29

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I'm looking for a running stipend, just a small one.  Enough that I can go to part time at work and have more flexibility with my running schedule.  It was so nice today to get up a little less early. Sip a cup of coffee before heading out.  We got in an easy 3 before hitting the track, there was no time pressure, just running the miles, didn't even bother with a watch.  We were able to attend the later track session, 7am.  Living life on the edge!  Track seemed more relaxed, there was no watching the clock, worrying about getting out on time to rush to work.  I had time for a short cool down and some idle chat afterwards.  The whole morning was a tough workout but had a very nice feel to it.  If all my mornings were like this I might just enjoy running a little more!  I don't want my stipend to be based on any expectation that my running will improve at all, just that I will have a more relaxed attitude about the whole thing. So if there is a sponsor out there who supports the the middle of the pack forward them my information.

Miles trained today: 6ish 
Days till the Manhattan Half: 31

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How bad do I want this?

To stay motivated during the winter months and not turn to an over abundance of cross training there has to be a desire to run.  Today my schedule got mucked up, we didin't get out there this morning and then my afternoon got screwed up with timing and traffic and messy roads.  It was treadmill or nothing.  Do I want this?   Todays run alone means nothing, it is only when it is combined with all of the other runs that it means something.  One run will not help with my goals, but all my runs will get me closer.  I needed today's run, there was no way around it.  I have 3 weeks of steadily increasing mileage ahead of me.  No one is telling me to do this, the only one counting the miles is me.  I am also the only one who will really care come race day what the numbers say.  Today I wanted it bad enough to run 4 miles in my basement on a treadmill.  

Miles trained today: 4
Days until the Manhattan Half: 33 days

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Half Hot Chocolate and Half Coffee

When we headed out this morning it was about 18 degrees and just the act of breathing the cold air in my mouth was painful.  I spent several minutes, probably close to the first mile thinking about how this run would be a waste.  There is no way I could last an hour and a half outside in this.  I had started to accept that this run was going to happen, when we turned onto North Main St and faced the wind head on, there aren't words to describe how awful it felt.  After battling the hill on Smith St., I was very focused on not missing our turn onto River.  To miss this left would mean an additional 1 mile and in this weather I might not have survived it!  I think I started to zone out on Chalkstone Ave, we had run this portion of the route earlier.  

Suddenly, after I don't know how long, I had a vision. A steaming cardboard cup of deliciousness (surprised that spell check knows this word), a large half coffee half hot chocolate.  I wondered if the Edge had served such a creation, if they didn't I would beg.  I imagined the smell of the chocolate mixing with the scent of coffee.  For a few miles I became lost in my dreams of this drink.  After I came back to earth and realized that we were STILL out there running, I remained focused on this hot beverage.  All I had to do was get to the coffee shop and it would be there waiting for me, coming up Gano St I might have started to drool while thinking about it. Finally we arrived in Wayland Square, I couldn't get to the counter fast enough. "Can I have a 1/2 hot chocolate, 1/2 coffee" a pause, what if they say no?!?!   "Sure".  It was as good as I had dreamed, this hot beverage is the reason I survived the run today.

Miles trained today: 9
Days till the Manhattan Half: 40

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Runners lung and other things to accept

It some point I am going to have to shut up and accept it.  Accept the fact that winter running has started and there is no turning back.  

From this point forward it will take close to 10 mins to get dressed for a run.  

A hat and gloves will be mandatory, it would be helpful if I would start leaving them in the same spot.  

My nose will drip constantly and if I don't wipe it, we risk things freezing that shouldn't.  

The wind will slice through all of my layers, regardless of the numbers.  

My laundry pile will triple in size due to all of the layers, and it's a pain how many of the winter items cannot be dried.

My lungs will seize up following a run and "runner's lung" (that cough that develops after coming in from a cold run) is not treatable.

I will try to focus on a new topic tomorrow, that is if I continue to make the poor decision to run in this when I should stay in bed!

Miles trained today: 5.2
Days till the Manhattan Half: 42

Saturday, December 12, 2009

layers upon layers upon layers

When we headed out today the weather called for 23 degrees feeling more like 19.  Meaning no matter what I wore this was going to be cold and likely fairly uncomfortable.  Now there is a fine art to dressing for winter runs.  The goal is for the fewest possible layers that will keep the sweat away from the skin while also keeping the wind out.  Now when you first step outside it's always a shock to the system but a mile or so in, you start generating heat and don't want to get overheated.  Too few layers and you are going to freeze, too many layers and you will sweat and then freeze!  Also keep in mind that for running it doesn't help to be so bundled that you resemble the kid from A Christmas Story!!  Today I played it safe, 2 pairs of tights with a pair of light pants (only because there is no way I can be seen in public with only the tights).  2 shirts and a light jacket for wind prevention with a hat and gloves.  Overall I was warm enough with getting over heated, next time I need a tighter first layer as my stomach was cold when running into the wind.  That said as I sit and type my fingers are still defrosting.

Miles trained today: 5.1
Days till the Manhattan Half: 47

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not a great one

Today was pretty terrible, awful in fact.  I keep reminding myself that the bad runs are par for the course and that it won't last forever.  I have been slowly increasing my miles, so my legs have been working consistently for the last 4 weeks, maybe I'm tired.  It was after work, which is not my favorite time of day to run and I was alone.  These two factors didn't impact my run on Tuesday, so what gives.  On the way home I stopped and got new shoes, thinking that will help.  

Part of me had hoped the days of bad runs were behind me, this summer/fall I recall more bad runs that good runs.  It's hard to keep the emotions and imagination in check.  What it bad today, because my legs are gearing up for another injury?  Foolish I know, but that's how I start to think.  I had decided not to write about today's run, but then it's like it never happened.  For me it helps to hear that I'm not the only one who has bad runs.  To be perfectly honest, I started out and realized pretty quickly that things weren't falling into place.  I gave it a mile and just a little beyond that and did a check, wasn't feeling any better so I turned back and ran to my car.  5 miles was my goal and I got a pretty shitty 2.25 in.  It happens, and I'm hoping that my cutting it short and getting new shoes the rest of my runs this week will feel better. 

Miles trained today: 2.25
Days till the Manhattan Half: 49

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Of course I ran in this

Runners can be very odd.  One of the strangest things is running in conditions that no one should be out in.  Then you hear them talk and it's like comparing war stories:

"Yeah, I was out there this morning, crazy."
"Oh really, remember that storm in October? I ran during that one."
"What about that blizzard last Feb?  I was there."

You get my point and any runner who claims to have never done this is lying.  I have participated in this smack talk.  Why do we do this?  I think for most, running in any weather will typically feel better than no run at all.  

There is also a sense of excitement, or at least this morning there was.  To get out there when there would be even less people on the roads.  In the snow, things seem very quiet and still.  In the busiest of neighborhoods it seemed like people had paused for a moment to stay in bed.  The few people waiting at the bus stops where withdrawn and very silent.  The cars that passed were moving more slowly and seemed to also be quieter.  Running up Power road and seeing a sidewalk with fresh snow, looking back and seeing only our footsteps, I took a moment just to grin.  For a run that had wind whipping in no consistent direction, snow blasting us in the face, treacherous footing that required purposeful attention at every step, it was peaceful, calming and centering. 

So of course I got up at 4:45 this morning and ran in this mess, loved every minute of it!

Miles trained today: 4.1
Days till the Manhattan Half: 50

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No Devices

I was sitting in my car at the Lincoln School end of the blvd, trying to talk myself out of today's run.  It's too cold.  I'm tired.  There are plenty of things that need to get done at home.  Joe's not here.  It was the other runners who got me out of my car, no one I knew, but there were plenty of them out there.  If they were running, the least I could was to try it.  

Before I knew it I was out and moving, SHIT!  I forgot my watch, I knew that going back to get it would mean the run would be over before it even really started.  I've run this enough to know the distance and have run enough that even without my watch I have a pretty good idea of my pace and the mile markers.  It was nice, I found that I was lost in my thoughts early on.  I relaxed and settled in, weighed the pros and cons of my day.  Cleared my head.

Turning around I set my sights on a runner in front of me, she was one of the ones that inspired me to get of of the car, maybe a quarter mile a head of me for most of the run, not too far.  I focused on trying to catch her.  Although I didn't it got me to run the 2nd half faster and with more intensity (who needs the track!).  

A run I had been dreading ended up being a nice nightcap to the end of my working day.  I'm not sure running without my watch made it more enjoyable, but I certainly did get lost in my run today, gave some though to looping the blvd for a 2nd time, but gave in to the heat of my car. 

Miles trained today: 3.4
Days till the Manhattan Half: 51 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Running on Ice

There was less than an inch of snow on the ground, not even enough for me to think about calling the run this morning.  How bad can it be?  Famous last words!

Our street was a slick sheet, but again it's a side road that is always the last to be plowed.  Joe thought it would clear out by the time we hit Charles St.  Rather than running, we looked like we were doing an interesting walk/hop combo for close to the first half mile.  What's the point, this is killing our speed.  Things were getting slightly better until we had to dodge icicles falling off the power lines!

By the time we turned onto Smithfield, enough had melted that running on the shoulder was comfortable.  Jenn was with us today, a training run for the half marathon in January.  It's likely that the road conditions for that race will mimic today's!  

I'm clearly unprepared for running in this mess, and would be perfectly content if today was the last run that had me holding my breath hoping not to fall.  Alas, it's New England and there will be several more like this so I better get over it!

Miles skated today: 3
Days till the Manhattan Half: 53

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Oh Saturday

I have to admit, like usual I was not looking forward to today’s long run.  There is just a mental block when it comes to Saturday runs.  I’ve decided they don’t work for my running schedule, so make it harder than it needs to be. 

We started out with Erin and Melissa, it was nice to have some company, no offense Joe.  There was some banter in the beginning; it’s always a nice distraction.  What race did you just run?  What are you training for now?  Any fine beers recently consumed?  NYC 2010??  Chicago 2010???  It’s going to be a big year!!  No big run happens without these weekend runs, and did I mention it was raining!!

Around mile 3 every settled in, headphones were adjusted and music was turned on.  Erin pulled away, she’s just a few steps faster, and I had no desire to push it.  I noticed that I was able to stay with Joe and Melissa but would loose it on every hill.  Damn it!  This is a sign that I have to stop putting off more serious training.  Indoor track anyone??  My aversion to these workouts is worse than my aversion to Saturday runs.  It’s like the dentist: you know you have to go or things are going to get a hell of a lot more painful. 

Surprisingly when we hit the top pf the Blvd, I was not out steam.  Melissa decided to run 8 rather than 7 so that helped.  Before I knew it we were making the final turn down Angel St, time to let out what ever was left.  It felt good knowing I had finished what I set out for, didn’t skip out even though the urge was strong.  These runs are where I build the base and more important than the races I complete.

Miles trained today: 8

Days till the Manhattan Half: 50  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Treadmilling it

Came up the stairs from the locker room, no time to think, just get on and hit go.  No, you cannot go back to work, you have to get this done.  It doesn't matter that you aren't really training and Bob won't call to check in on Sunday, get this over with.  

Alright, 3 miles that is 12 times around this electronic track.  I can do this, hell, I did more than this all summer.  Yeah, that was outside with the group and this is inside and alone, but it's kind of the same.   

Go!  First lap, shit, the timing was off, I have to speed this up if I'm going to make it back to work on time.  God this really sucks, maybe I'll stop after a mile and try again later.  SHUT UP!  You are doing this, you are already here and sweat is building, you didn't waste your lunch for 1 mile.  

Half way there!!  Success!!  6 laps to go, maybe I can do this a little faster.  Ohhh, hold on there, not too fast.  Better, hold this pace for 2 more laps.  Look at those runners outside running by the window, I should be out there.  FOCUS!  4 more to go, lets get this over this, a little faster now.  

Sweet!!  2 to go, lets fly now.  Try to hold in the groans, there are other people around and they won't understand.  And we are done, no time to celebrate, must get back to work.  Next time remind Joe not to sabotage the outdoor morning run!

Miles trained today: 3
Days till the Manhattan Half: 53

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The sights made it worth it

For some reason our alarm is set to disney radio, meaning that at 5am I was jolted awake to a very loud Miley Cirus.  All I wanted to do was bury my head under the pillow, but up I got.  32 degrees, when we started, in a few weeks this will feel warm.  Today it was FREEZING!  Once we hit the roads things were moving slowly.  Joe was a few steps ahead of me and we were quiet.  I'm not sure we spoke a work to each other for the first 2.5 miles.  I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings and can't recall what thoughts were going through my mind.  Just focused on getting one foot in front of the other and getting back home.  When we took a right onto North Main St, this is my favorite part of this route (both our 5 and 7 mile loops).  The road is very wide and during the day very busy, but in the morning it is quite.  There always seem to be a few cars on the road, but the city is still quiet.  Typically my pace picks up, I love to run on the wide shoulder.  At about the 2.5 mile mark I looked to my right and noticed the moon, it was gorgeous.  Very large and very yellow with some smoky clouds.  Just as I was noticing it, Joe turned to point it out.  Had I chosen to turn off Miley and got back to bed I would have missed the entire experience.  It was just enough to get me through the last few miles and back to my warm house.  

Miles trained today: 5.3
Days till the Manhattan Half: 54

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Building back up

It really sucks going slowly.  I've been feeling great since the marathon and really trying to stay within myself.  Prior to the marathon I was running once a week due to injury and since the marathon am slowly building back up to running 5 days a week.  The goal remains to stay injury free which means I have to be intentional in my build up.  I know how to do it and to do it right I MUST go slow.  Today was the prime example, feeling great we got ready for the run.  How far??  7?  5?  No, I sat down at my log and looked what we had been doing.  We ran 17.5 last week and were already at 18 for this week, meaning any more than 3 miles would be stretching it.  It was a fine 3 miles, but I could have gone longer.  I know that within a few weeks I'll be where I want to be, but patience is not one of my strengths.  Just 5 or 6 more weeks of slow increases and then I'll be able to play with a nice base of mileage for a while.  The bright side is that we killed the 3 miles and really made them count!!

Miles trained today: 3
Days till the Manhattan Half: 56

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gracious Running

As I headed out for 7 miles prior to our Thanksgiving feast, I focused on those things I am grateful for....  

I am thankful for comfortable running shoes, I'm not sure how people trained and ran for marathons without good shoes.  

I am thankful for running shorts that don't ride up, somewhat bizarre that on Thanksgiving I was out there in shorts and a t-shirt.  Not too many of those days left.

I am thankful for paved roads and wide shoulders, although I am still waiting for the running lane to be built which will be lined with the same material that they make tracks with, and only runners will be allowed on it, lights will automatically change when we approach intersections.  I'll stop now.

I am thankful for Gatorade, it has saved my life following some terrible long runs.

I am thankful for my anti-chafe stick, no need to elaborate on this one.

I am thankful for my felt lined wool hat from Bobs, who knew that when I purchased you 4 years ago, you would become a staple in my winter running ensemble.  

I am thankful for respectful drivers, three cheers that I have avoided collision!

I am thankful for Joe who continues to run along side me, even when I know he would rather be in bed.  

I am thankful for my running club, I am lucky enough to have found the best people in RI to run and train with.

I am thankful for my friends and family who listen to me incessantly talk about running, training and races.

Miles trained today: 7
Days till the Manhattan half: 59

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hanging on for the run

I'm not sure what happened to Joe today.  This was supposed to be an easy 3 miles.  It was less than a quater mile into the run that I realized how hard I was breathing.  No problem, we took off a little fast, things will settle down.  Not really.  He pulled ahead towards the end of Mineral Spring, perfect posture, this was going to hurt. 

Joe runs 2 ways: tired - slunched over, barely picking up the feet and can often be masked by watching him chat with others in an attempt p distract from the run and slow everyone down; fast - looks like he did today, like a fridge on wheels, standing straight, perfectly bent arms.  

I thought about asking to slow down, but we turned on to Smithfield with includes a slight downhill.  I also thought we would slow down a little.  Didn't happen.  Coming up Power involves a slight uphill that normally knocks the wind out of our sails, but we kept on going.  For a moment I thought about holding on to the back of Joe's jacket and let him run us both home.  

When we made our turn back on to Mineral Spring I decided I could hold this until we got home.  A race ensued, although I'm not sure he even noticed.  I focused on staying next to him, which only made him run faster.  Our final turn on to Charles St, we both let it all go, sprinting the last 400 meters.  Finally done, he turned and smiled and asked "was that faster than yesterday".  Jackass!

Miles trained today: 3.05
Days till the Manhattan Half: 60

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

trash miles

I'm not sure if it was a good run or not.  We got out there, completed the 5 miles.  The pace was terrible and for me to say that you know it must have been pretty bad.  Really bad, 2 mins and 21 seconds slower than when we did this route last week.  I noticed coming up Lonsdale Ave that we weren't moving very quick, but didn't say anything.  We picked it up over the overpass on Smithfield, but that's only because someone creepy was walking behind me.  I don't know why we were moving slow today.  There was no pain, no sense of overwhelming fatigue.  Does it really matter?  We got out there, didn't cut it short.  In that respect we are closer to the weekly mileage got but there were trash miles.  Tomorrow I'll try to wake up a little before we run and move a little quicker, but there are no promises.

Miles trained today: 5.3
Days till the Manhattan Half: 61

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Possible unplanned PR

I don't do much that hasn't been pre-scheduled.  In a weeks time I have likely spent hours going over my schedule.  Everything is included, work, commuting time, runs, meals, socializing, sleep.  You name it and I have a plan for it.  This morning though, I had some unexpected free time.   What to do?  Joe was still in bed and didn't look like he was going to move anytime soon and the sunlight streaming through the windows made the outdoors look very appealing.  I thought about running, but hadn't planned for it and came close to deciding against it.  After a few minutes I changed my mind, "what the hell, lets be wild".  Mia and I got changed and headed out the door.

I didn't know what we would do, this was unplanned.  What route?  What distance?  Speed wouldn't be an issue with my 10 min per mile pup at my side.  We took off, and it felt great.  I'm not sure if it's because this run wasn't planned but we just went right along.  It was early enough that the roads were quiet, I assumed most people driving past me were headed to find some coffee or a Sunday morning breakfast.  We got a few looks, I'm sure Mia and I make a funny looking pair.  She runs directly behind me with the lease pulled pretty straight, attached at my upper arm.  I've checked out our shadow, both of us look straight ahead, no time for distractions.  Regardless before I knew it we were finished with our loop.  Judging by my watch, this was likely a PR for Mia for this route!  Congrats Girl!  

Miles trained today: 3.05
Days till the Manhattan Half: 63

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just an easy 6

So today I was focused on getting though the run.  I struggle on Saturday's because it's a change in my routine.  I have to run during the daylight and with other people, more than what I'm used to.  In the past I have done my long runs on other days and kept Saturday's shorter, but would like to try to keep the long runs on Saturday's, at least for the Manhattan half.  

It was an easy enough route, out and back on the bike path.  I was surprised with how calming it became, especially once on the bike path.  Turning down towards the water and away from the parkway things got quiet.  Other's running with us had pulled ahead much earlier and there weren't many other people out today.  It was just quiet, I noticed that I stopped thinking about how to run, and where I was on the run.  It wasn't until my watch beeped and told me to turn around that I came back into focus.  

Retracing our steps back, the city was more awake than how we had left it.  More people out and about and we chatted more heading back.  I did have a sense of calm lingering from the first few miles though.  I was surprised when we hit Waterman, indicating the very end of the run.  I had expected to struggle more and was pleased to see we were slightly ahead of my goal pace.  Maybe this Saturday morning routine will take hold.

Miles trained today: 6
Days till the Manhattan Half: 64

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Half Marathon Grand Prix

So it was bound to happen, I apologize.  I felt like I had nothing to blog about, not that I haven’t been running.  I’ve actually been very purposeful in my running.  It’s hard after a marathon, or any big running event, to find purpose.  I had focused on my training for NYC since the beginning of June until November 1.  There is a sense of “now what” since finishing the marathon.  It happened last year after Newport as well.  It’s hard to overcome, because on one hand you want to look at what is next, but on the other hand you are completely exhausted and to be frank sick of training.  Some are lucky enough to be able to run without purpose, I don’t have that skill.  After the New Bedford Half Marathon 2008 (my first distance race) my coach told me to just enjoy running for a while.  That lasted less than a week, before I called him and asked for more direction. 

So here I am, 3 weeks post NYC marathon.  I’ve been running 4 days a week and cross training 2 days a week.  Less exhaustion, no pain, SUCCESS!  Today, or yesterday to be exact I determined the next challenge…THE NEW YORK CITY HALF MARATHON GRAND PRIX.  1 year, 5 half marathons, Central Park, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens…sounds like a blast.  What makes this exciting is that we will be racing with Joe’s sister for all 5 half marathons and on January 24th in Central Park I will be part of her very first half marathon!!

So what will be different?  Well I am committed to trying this on a 4 day a week running routine.  Mon, Wed, Fri with a long run on Saturday.  Bob would tell me this isn’t going to work, but I’m going to try it.  The one thing I have learned in 2.5 years of running is that 6+ days a week of running, for me, ends in injury.  Also going over 45 miles a week is also road to injury, again for my training.  This means I need to make a decision regarding track.  If I give a day to the track that means I will sacrifice some mileage.  I hope to get my mileage into the low 30’s for the first half marathon and close to the 40’s for the next few.  So do I aim for less mileage and go inside once a week, do I change my experience and add a day of running for a total of 5, or do I add pick up’s and tempos on the road?  My PR for a half marathon is 2:03:32, my goal is to reach the 1:50-1:59 window.  This is likely not to happen for Jan, but possibly for the next one.  God knows, I will have 5 tries before the end of 2010!! Suggestions?

Miles trained today: 3.08

Days until NYC Manhattan Half Marathon: 66

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The run came close to not happening, very close.  There are 2 times that I hate to run.  I really don't like to run alone and I really don't like to run during the day.  What was the plan today?  A 3 mile run solo at 10 am.  A recipe for disaster, before leaving I started to bargain with myself.  I'll go later, I'll go tomorrow.  No!  I'm going.  

The trouble is, I ran from home this morning, so I had to get far enough away from home so that turning around wasn't an option.  I have to say it wasn't bad, I was pleasantly surprised when my garmin announced the completion of mile 1.  I noticed during the second mile that I was able to focus on my form and breathing, there was no one to talk to or focus on staying with.  I'm always amazed that my body is able to glide right into a rhythm without any thought or effort, it only happens when I seem to let go and just run.  Before I knew it I was turning back on to Mineral Spring.  The run that I had been dreading was almost over and at that point I thought about extending it, but decided to stick with the plan.  I'm starting to feel better after the marathon, there was no pain and no exhaustion so no need to push it.  

Monday, November 9, 2009


That's the only word I have left after starting indoor track for the season.  I'll admit I was a little cocky going into it.  Somehow I had forgotten that due to injury I've been off the track since Aug/Sept.  No worries, I got out of bed early and made it there on time.  Actually felt pretty good during the warm up.  Should have started to get nervous when we were asked to do 3 striders (jog half the track and run faster the 2nd half) and I could only do 2.   

Bob approached me and mentioned something about an 8 min pace for the workout, my initial reaction was "are you friggin kidding me", but rather I responded, "I'll try it".  Our group consisted of 4 of us, one is an older gentleman who I have run with before and he's like a stop watch.  Ask him to run half the track in 35 seconds and he can do it, I should have stayed with him.  I didn't, I tried to stay with the others and paid for it dearly.  My first 1000m was 8 seconds too fast, doesn't seem like much, but it killed me.  The 2nd 1000m ended after the first lap and a half, and I jogged off the track gasping for air.  After that, I did the rest of the intervals one lap short of the rest of the group.  But I didn't give up. 

Last year I would have left in a huff, pissed off that I couldn't do it.  This time I left with a smile, learned a lesson, I'm slow and de-conditioned.  It's going to be hard, but it's once a week for an hour and 20 minutes, I can do it.  Likely next week won't be markedly different, but in a month or 2 this blog will sound different, that's why I'll keep at it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We're back!

Today was the day, the first run post marathon.  Have to admit, was a little anxious going into it, were things still going to work correctly.  We started with the group from the Edge this morning, after a few minutes of catching up off we went.  The first steps felt great, it took no time to fall right into a rhythm.  I was tricked into believing this was going to be too easy, but enjoyed the first 2 miles.  Had a good pace and felt like my form was strong.  Then it hit, the quads woke up.  They were not pleased, not pleased at all.  It was a struggle getting up Gano St., just a wave of exhaustion consumed me.  Ran through it, at some point we have to get moving again, either that or I'm going to have to REALLY adjust my diet!  Got through a respectable 4.5 miles without compromising my form too much.  

It will likely take a few weeks to get back to a good base and work out all the kinks.  I'm supposed to just recover, not train.  Run just to run.  I have to admit I'm really struggling with this, and I know it's early.  It's taking a lot of self control to not just pick the next race and work on a training log.  God, I love the logs, sitting there with my book and a pencil after a run, figuring out how that run fit with the training, doing the math.  I'm going to work on taking it easy and get back to a base.  At this point regardless of the next race or the next distance my focus will ultimately be on avoiding injury.  We'll see how it goes....

Miles just to run: 4.5  

Monday, November 2, 2009

We did it!

I'm going to break my own rule and blog about a run the day after, forgive me, but WE RAN THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!

I'm not even sure where to begin with this one, it was unreal from beginning to end. There were highs and lows, emotional at times, but we finished! It was a race like none other, I left New York today with no regrets. We had a blast! There are some shout outs I have to make:

To my lungs, I'm sorry that I ran while you were not up to top conditioning. Forgive me and please stop punishing me. You should have been cooperative and fought harder prior to the race, we never planned to run sick. I coughed throughout the race as you tried to remind me you were no in favor of running this marathon. I'm sure we contaminated many fans as I couldn't help by high-five them!

To Jenn and Mitch, You guys are unreal. I ran the race focusing on getting from 1 mile to the next, from mile 13 till we saw you, I chanted "get to Jenn, get to Jenn". Mitch, there you were, from now on we will refer to you as Mr. Gu. How you picked us out so clearly out of 43,741 runners, I have no idea. There you were, Gu in hand, we wouldn't have finished without it. Jenn, I cried when I saw you, although I think I heard you first. Jumping up and down, running along side us, cheering us through. You guys are the ultimate fans.

To Brooklyn, I love you, what a party! I don't know how many miles we were with you for, but it was a blast the whole time. Thank you for the hershey candy bar. I can now say that I danced to the YMCA while running a marathon. Your cheers were deafening, and there were plenty of sox fans out there.

To Melissa and Matt, mile 7 was all yours! Just the pick me up that we needed as things we starting to settle down. I want proof that you drank as close to 26.2 beers as you could!

To the Queensboro Bridge, Oh man do I hate you. You are an awful place and have no right to be part of a marathon. Desolate and uphill, my fellow marathoners were dropping like flies. You tried to take my Joe, and we fought you off! I knew that you had to connect to land eventually, but it felt like we ran on you for 2 hours, although it was mere minutes. Hellish!

To 1st Ave, Great times! I thought we would not get along, miles 16-18 run along your part of the route. I apologize to the Yankee fan I flipped off, don't tease marathoners this late in the race, even if we are Sox fans. I felt strong, like I could have run forever. Beautiful sights, the highlight of my marathon!

To Central Park, I hate to say it, but we are not good friends. I'm sure you are beautiful, but all I remember are your ugly rolling hills. Rick, where were you are mile 23? I felt the urge to spray the air with foul language, I held back in your honor. I apologize to the guide at mile 24 who was kindly making way for a wheelchair athlete, I thought you were removing me from the course and offering me a chair. What can I say, the lack of glucose was affecting my brain function!

To the timing mats, thanks for being there to remind me that there were friends and family at home who were cheering for us. Every time we ran across I did a little dance, yes even at the very end. Next time I don't need so many reminders that I continue to be very far from finishing. It's a long way from mile 24 to mile 26, and I didn't need the count down to the final .2 meter by meter, a little like rubbing salt in the wound.

To Nich, You are great! What a weekend, and too see a familiar face at the end made it all worth it. You made it felt like we were the first 2 finishers. Sorry I hugged you at the end, in hindsight we probably didn't smell great, the glucose can be blamed again

To my Babe, we did it and we did it together. Thank You!

There is so much more than can be said, but you will never get it until you have run it. The New York City Marathon is an experience like no other, such a great time. The lottery for 2010 is open, if we can do it anyone can do it!

Miles raced on 11/01/09: 26.2
Marathons Completed: 2

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 miles, that's all

That's all that stands between me and 26.2, I'm not sure if I'm ready. Not sure if you are ever ready for a marathon. No matter how many you run, there is always a goal. That goal may vary from marathon to marathon and be very different for each participant but there is a goal. For me the goal has changed from the start of my training, I'm sure that's true for many, but the goal is still there. My time goal changed and for a while it was all about injury and just getting to the starting line, now I just want to have fun. If I get more specific than that, you will all know if I accomplished it or not and that's too much pressure! For now I need to make it to NY without getting lost, find my number and then find a warm place to wait until the start :)

There are 2 runs left before NYC, 3 miles each. What are the goals for those? No pain, no injury, work out the nervous bugs before the starting line. I think I can meet 2 of 3 of those, but am sure the nerves will be with me until it's all over!

Days till NYC: 4
Miles trained today: 3

Thursday, October 22, 2009

early mornings

There was a debate this morning, continue my dream about how to make a burrito or go for a run. Thankfully we got out the door, I knew how the run would go, not sure about that dream. We live in a busy neighborhood, so there is just something special about being out there when it's all quiet. Some neighbors are just waking, others have a few hours left of sleep. Mia can run with us without panicking about the traffic. We could run down the middle of Mineral Spring Ave. without second thought. Just the 2 of us with the dog. Not too much conversation, easy pace (remember we are tapering), slowly waking up. Before we know it we have hit May St and are walking it into the house Things are busier now, more neighbors are awake, there are more cars on the road. We are also brighter, high-fiving at the end of the run, planning our days and discussing what dinner should be tonight. It's amazing what a difference 31 minutes can make.

Days till NYC: 9
Miles trained today: 3

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nothing left to do but smile

So we made it to the taper! Oh, sweet taper. The marathon is in 11 days, the training is effectively done. No more long runs, no speed workouts, no nothing. Well, not quite nothing but pretty close. There are a few things I have to do:

1. Accept the taper
Training didn't go as planned, injury in September threw me for a loop. I had to throw my plan out the window and improvise. With 11 days to go, I can't squeeze in one more 16 miler. I can't change how we trained. I feel strong, stronger than I have for previous marathons. I'm feeling good and able to run, these injuries threatened to sideline me, but they didn't.

2. Stay Healthy
Easier said that done, this H1N1 has me sweating! I have become terrified of all symptoms of illness and am contemplating walking around with a mask. 26.2 will be hard enough healthy, I don't need a head cold to help me to the finish line. So if you are sick, stay away from me, it's not you it's me!

3. Don't get bored
When training for a marathon the training becomes your life, or at least a very big part of it. I ate, slept and dreamed about training. Spent hours pouring over my logs, looking at what I've done in the past. Joe's least favorite saying is "lets do the math", trying to count up miles. Now what? I'm going to do some short runs, stay on the bike and get excited!

11 days to go, only have to focus on the above 3 points, easier said than done! I can say again the training didn't go as planned, but I am very pleased with the miles we put in. I have been running hard since June 4th, I'm as ready as I'm going to be, have overcome and healed some painful injuries. Let's hit the fast forward button and get moving on finishing this!

Days till NYC: 11
Miles trained today: 3.2

Monday, October 12, 2009

A confidence builder

We are getting close, very close. Only 1 or 2 long runs to go. Last week was pretty much a disaster, we got the miles in but it felt pretty shitty. I was no rush to get back out there today, but we are at the point where there is no time for procrastination. After debating going today or at 3am tomorrow morning, we got our butts on the road. Changing things up a little we headed to the East Bay Bike Path for an out an back.

Here goes nothing. Slowly but surely I found my groove, had music today and found that approx every 3.5 songs ticked by a mile. At mile 6 we realized this was going to be a race against day light, rather than go 8 out and back we shortened it to 7. Things were going well until mile 9.5, my body started to throw a fit. Started with the bottom of the foot under my bog toe, OW! When I ignored that the achilles started to get tight, OW! Still pushing forward the ankle and knee joints entered into the chorus!! This would be a hell of a lot easier if my body would get on board and start cooperating! Had we not been 5+ miles from the car I might have thought about walking for a while, but then we are going to be stuck out here in the dark. Mile 11 I reached for more Gu hoping that would help quiet every one down and get us to the finish. It worked. We started to fly along, I wasn't dragging behind Joe. Realizing that I was enjoying myself at mile 12 was very odd. We stopped at 14, by choice, I felt good. What is the point in 2 more miles, I need to end on a high note. That and it was pitch black out and getting pretty chilly :)

Today was the run I needed, I have been starting at the directions on deferring my entry since last week. Due to injury my training hasn't gone as planned and I'm there but not where I would have been without injury. Today showed me that I know how to run long. I can run long and not have it kill me. I can run long and have a good time! That said I'm sure come mile 22 on 11/1 I'll have a few choice words flying out of my mouth. But by that point I'll be close to finishing the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!!

Days till NYC: 19
Miles trained today: 14

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And the winner is...

We have just retruned from a whirl-wind weekend in White Haven PA visiting Joe's sister. She has recently been bit by the running bug (YIPEE) and we really wanted to have the chance to run a 5k with her. This morning we woke bright and early and headed out to the Rotary 5k Chicken Dinner Run. We were unable to locate past results for this race, so were going in blindly. Things started to make sense when we walked into registration and were warmly greeted by a man who appeared to be the race director "Welcome, we'll give you the discounted rate of $20". Likely due to the lack of change, but none the less we smiled and submitted our forms. He was pleased and mentioned that the turn out was more than expected, 15 runners. Oh God, what did we get ourselves into. Too late now, we were here and dressed for a race.

We had about 30 mins till gun time and Joe quickly pointed out that there were no numbers, how the hell was this going to be timed?!? We walk down to the start line, there are 3 females, Jenn (my sister-in-law), myself and a young woman (who looked about 13). I have a chance here! Who cares that it's by default! I start to take this a little more seriously. The director explained the course, easy enough, out and back on a levee (whatever that is). Simple, flat, beautiful scenery. All I had to do was not be dead last and this would be a success.

Off we go and very quickly I find myself saved by an elderly walker, he would be last! Off we go, it was nice. Jenn and I stuck together for the first mile or so. I haven't done a 5k for a few months and went out too fast. Breathing rapidly I found my groove, the markers were very clearly painted on the ground. I didn't have my watch, but could tell we were going at a good clip with how quickly every quarter mile would pass. Soon we passed the 13 year old, SWEET! I'm guaranteed for 2nd overall female, and Jenn is out of my age group so I have the age group in the bag now as well. Goal is now: don't die!

Pretty soon I see people heading back, before I know it I can see the guy at the turn around spot, Joe passes me in the other direction, laughing! We were being directed to turn around too early!! We turned around just shy of the mile and a quarter mark. Oh well, I'm in it to win it. Off I go heading to the finish. We finish up in good spirits, smiles across all 3 faces! The "elites" of the group go out and figure out that we ran 2.4 miles. Not to shabby, I had an 8:34 pace.

But the best was yet to come!! I have never cared about the awards ceremony of a race, typically the first to leave. Today was different, we waited for them to come out with the results, which was funny itself. Finally the director gathers us on the steps, Overall male, who cares. OVERALL FEMALE: JENN PANDITHER!! My sister-in-law!! Who just started to run!! We swarm her with photos like it was a kindergarten graduation. Then, drum-roll please, 1ST FEMALE AGE 20-29: SARAH MACEDO!!! Yes, I won! Again more pictures, the locals wondered what was wrong with these dramatic Rhode Islanders. Poor Joe, he was a looser among winners, but we still love him and will allow him to continue to train with the newly crowned elites!

A great day to have fun with running!

Miles trained today: 2.4
Days till NYC: 20
Medals earned today: 1

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Accidental Athlete

I have to admit it, I got arrogant, very arrogant. Over the last 3 or 4 weeks I've been struggling with one injury or another, just things that keep getting in my way. I thought I had found a solution, well I did find one. Staying off my legs during the week and using the bike and the pool as a supplement, and it's been working. Not like running 40 miles a week does, but a close second. I had hoped for 18 miles today, foolish! Two weeks ago I was able to get through 12 and it was close to 3 weeks before that when we hit 16. I should have had more manageable goals, not that it matters now. My body is only going to do so much and today after 3 hours it called it quits. It actually tried to several miles earlier and I ignored it!

Here's the thing, I have no reason to get pissy about this. 14 miles is FAR, VERY FAR. This whole training has been as much about learning patience and flexibility as it has been about the actual running. Maybe I had the high goal because in the back of my mind I wasn't convinced that I would get in any miles, if we had started and the ankle started to scream, we would have stopped well before 14. I have time to get in 1 or 2 more long runs, and more importantly have a plan to keep myself healthy.

I was never supposed to do this in the beginning, I've never been an athlete, never been interested in anything more than watching the Sox with a beer in my hand. Some how I ended up here, training to run NYC. I was all a mistake, I joined this running club because I was bored with Joe in school. So I began to run a few miles every now and again, then I start running with a friend as she trains for NYC (or was it Boston that year??), I started to think if she's doing this, I can too. Foolish! Next think I know we are crossing the finish line in Newport! And you can't stop with just one, gotta do it faster!! All this running is a gift, I'm not sure why I like the marathon, it hurts like hell and pushes the body further than it's meant to go. After runs like this and months like this past September I have to remind myself that this was all an accident and I should just enjoy the ride!

Days till NYC: 27 (Oh Shit!)
Miles trained today: 14

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Princess and the Pea and her running shoes

We all know the story of the Princess of the Pea. Her soon to be Mother-in-law (MIL) didn't believe she was good enough for her son so the MIL placed a pea under the Princess' bed to ruin a good night's sleep. The Princess woke black and blue and proved her MIL wrong, the pain proved she was for real. They lived happily ever after, I'm not sure what happened to the MIL (hehe).

How does this relate to running? Hello, lets make the princess a runner. Name a real runner, someone who runs hard and hasn't been injured. The MIL didn't believe the Princess because she didn't look like a princess, I don't look like a runner. There are plenty of us who run with more heart and determination than with speed. We are real runners, doesn't matter if you are a front of the packer or back of the packer. The injury, strains, sprains, fractures, tendonitis, plantar fascitis, pulls, tears, and whatever else sends us to the disabled list are proof. In the fairy tale the Princess healed and went on to live a normal life with her new man. In the runner's tale the runner will heal and go on to run that next race (it may take several hundred dollars in new inserts, countless visits to PT and a steady stream of curse words). The goal may be to win the race or maybe just to finish, but we don't let our injuries stop us. So from now on don't call me just a runner, please call me a running princess!

Days till NYC: 38
Miles trained today: 5 miles

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So I'm back on track after the calf injury. THings have been feeling good, but I want to take it slow from now until 11/1. My plan is now 3 runs a week with the 4th run being a long run. I got to admit I was having a hard time getting motivated this week. I don't know what it is, but moving in the mornings hasn't happened. Tonight we were lucky enough to be invited to Cranston for our 5 miles. If we had to meet someone else, we would be more likely to run!

It was a nice night when we started and we had plenty to talk and laugh about. The first 2 miles flew by. Joe and Jessica are both slightly faster than me and Joe runs faster with Jessica than with me. So it wasn't long before I felt the pace picking up. I went along with it as long as I could, but knew better than to get involved with the two of them. There is a thing that happens with them about jockeying for the lead. Joe won't let her pass him and she gets pissed and they just push each other till the end.

By the time we hit mile 4, I had fallen behind and didn't mind. Reminding myself that all that matters is that I stay healthy. I started to count down the 10th of a mile to go. Before I knew it we were at 5 miles and not stopping. What the hell?!?! I only signed up for 5. They were too far a head so I just kept going and going and going and going. They didn't seem to notice, probably too involved with trying to get ahead of the other. Meanwhile I was beginning to worry that we might be lost. It's one thing to go over on a route you know, but Cranston might as well be another world! The run ended up being 5.5, not a huge distance, but each step over 5 seemed like forever. Finally we finished, and the best part...NO PAIN!!

Days till NYC: 39
Miles trained today: 5.5

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Getting there, slowly

So finally today, I ran with no pain and hit the double digits again! NYC here I come! It's been close to 3 weeks since my last long run and I would be fibbing if I didn't admit to looking at how to defer my entry until next year.

Today was the test, at least in my mind it was. I had no great expectations, my 2 three mile runs didn't feel great this week, so how was I going to be able to go further. We had planned to start at 5:30am and were shocked by the temps, it was in the upper 40's and made the very tough decision to go back to bed!

Starting again a little later in the morning, things felt good right out of the gates. We hit the 1 mile mark and Joe asked if I wanted to stop and stretch and we just ran by it. This had been the spot for weeks where I would have to stop and deal with the building tightness in my legs. No need for that today! My garmin was out of battery so we didn't have an exact idea of our pace, but kept up the conversation as a way to keep ourselves from going to fast. My legs felt very rested, which is great, just what my confidence needed.

The first 6 mile loop was smooth and before we knew it we were back at the car. The 2nd loop was a little tougher, no pain, but my legs haven't done this in a quite a while. The pace was much slower but I kept my form in check. Decisions, decisions, marathon training is built on long runs. Do I suck it up and go for the full 18 or play it safe and stop at 12? To be honest my feet made the decision for me, the last mile of the 2nd loop was fairly uncomfortable. My pigs were pissed off, they thought we were done with this long distance thing. I can't complain though, 12 miles with no leg or calf pain!

It's hard to be flexible with the training, if you only could see the pages of logs and calendars and printouts I have from day 1 planning the whole thing out. I just want to follow it to the T, but that's not going to get me to the starting line. There is still time for some more double digit runs and I need to keep myself healthy and keep the confidence high.

Days till NYC: 42
Miles trained today: 12

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missing my auto-pilot

Running always requires a little effort, especially when we are tucked into bed and the alarm goes off! Some days are more effort than others but for most runs there is a point where auto-pilot turns on. I stop thinking about moving my legs forward, stop thinking about making sure my arms are swinging at the right height, stop thinking about my breathing. My body just does what it has done for countless miles. When this happens my mind just wanders. It's these runs that are really enjoyable, before I know it I find that I'm running faster and further than planned and just enjoying being outside. Today that didn't happen. I'm still monitoring for any calf pain. It was like I had a scanner behind me focused on the calf. Every few steps scanning from knee to ankle, scanning for signs of pain, scanning for anything that is going to prevent me from running the marathon. Luckily nothing was found during the 3 miles of scans and I finished my second run of the week with no pain! Fingers crossed for Saturday!

Days till NYC: 45
Miles trained today: 3

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

De-conditioned together

Tonight I was headed out for another test run. My calf is still not 100% and after my run on Friday that left me limping for half a day I've been taking it easy. I had strict instructions, not too far, not too fast and no pain. Easy enough. The good news was, the weather has turned so my partner has come out of retirement. This was Mia's first day on the roads since the beginning of July. I tried to lay out the same rules for her, go easy, not too fast and keep it short. Well, like her Mom, she's stubborn and didn't listen. If she could, she would have been clicking her heels the first few steps out the door. She was ready, or so she thought. I noticed that after a mile and a half I had no pain, didn't want to get to excited. I also noticed that the old lady had pooped herself out. She wasn't struggling outright, but looked like she normally did at the end of a faster 5-7 miles. Mile 2 is where the pain set in on Friday and we passed that point with no problem. Things were looking good, we ended the run after 3 miles, and good thing. It was only a quarter mile walk to home and Mia wanted to crawl. At one point Joe stopped to congratulate both of us on our successful run and she looked like she was going to take a nap right there in the middle of the street. I'm glad there was no pain and am going to continue to take it slow over the next few days and Mia is going to use this slow period to amp back up.

Days till NYC: 46
Miles trained today: 3

Friday, September 11, 2009


So I went out today hoping for a pain free 3 miles, I shouldn't complain, I almost made it. The first 2 miles felt great. They should, I've been resting since Monday. We ran early, right from home. It was the first run with a long sleeved shirt of the year, although I could have gotten away without it. Part of me fully thought I would have no problems, I've been doing everything I've been told. Icing 2-3 times a day, not running, no heels, limited walking. Still here I am, weeks out from the marathon and stuck on the sideline. The other issue, this is my cursed running weekend, in the last 3 years I've had an injury this weekend. I should have planned it into my schedule. Always something different and never serious enough to keep me out of whatever long race I'm planning for, the first was the Bristol 10 miler, the the Breakers last year and now NYC. If history repeats it's self I'l be fine for m race, it's just a pause. I'm told not to worry, it's still too early, I've built a good base. But the seeds of self doubt are setting in, this is the 2nd long run I'll miss. There is nothing I can do, I'll give it more rest. I'll take the vitamins and the supplements. I'll swim in the pool. I'll stay out of my high heels and we'll see how things feel later in the week. I know I can run the distance, and can finish the training, but I'd like to finish strong with my dignity intact, I just need to get my legs on the same page and I'll be ready for the marathon.

Days till NYC: 49
Miles trained today: 3

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's all semantics

So we finished our run today and Joe asked "how was it". Well, were to start..

We started with Jessica and Sue. This was our first run after a 4 day break. What a nice break, I didn't think twice about not running, it was glorious. After the track workout on Wed, I just couldn't shake my leg aches and pains. Things just didn't feel right and I knew I needed a break. I expected today would feel better.

In the beginning it felt great, we felt down Elmgrove. Until .8 miles in, things started to feel familiar, and uncomfortable. I stopped and tried to stretch it out. Jessica and Sue took off, thought we would catch up with them. When the pain didn't subside by mile 2 I shooed Joe off and stretched some more. This continued for all 5 miles. I would get about a mile before needing to stretch, after stretching things felt better. Why did I continue to do this? I'm stubborn and will only take so many days off. I did finish the 5 miles. It was a good run because my pace at 9:30, much faster than my goal. Awful, because how it felt and I was only moving so fast to end it quicker. Good, because it's over.

So as I sit here and ice the bottoms of my feet, calf, shin and achilles I'm not sure if it was good or bad but glad it's over. Need to get my act together before 18 miles this weekend...

Days till NYC: 54
Miles trained today: 5

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tempo, tempo, tempo

Of all the workouts, the tempo run is my least favorite. I don't know why, but it always intimidates me. For a tempo run you start running for a few miles and then push it hard for a few miles. My problem tonight is that I misunderstood the workout, I thought it was only going to be 5 miles but Bob had meant 7 miles. Now I ran 3 miles from work to the track already so a 7m tempo would be too much for the day. We compromised and jogged with the group to the Blvd and waited for the rest of the group at Butler.

The goal was a 10 min pace for the entire Blvd (3.4 miles). Here's the problem, I suck at checking my pace, especially for tempo runs with Bob. I get so worried about falling behind on my times that I run too hard. And of course that's what happened tonight, our first mile was 8:59. Joe tried to slow me down, but I just felt that I needed to run hard or I wasn't going to make it. That and coming back up to the Blvd there is a slight uphill so I wanted to build a little cushion. For mile 2 I tried to back off the pace but had to just push it and broke away from Joe for a while. You know it's a hard run when you are drooling and snotting all over the place, gross, but the truth. I knew we had it after turning the Blvd, there was less than a mile to go, at this point I was going to be able to hold the pace. Joe stopped yelling at me for going to fast and just ran. We hit the 3 mile mark at 27:36, HELL YEAH!! That was all I needed for the .4 back to Butler.

Stopping was another story, it took several minutes to convince myself not to puke but we got things under control and jogged back to the stadium. Not too shabby for a Tuesday night and a workout I wasn't really looking forward to. I'm sure tomorrow is going to suck, but I'll deal with that then. Here's hoping it was the workout I needed to work the kinks out of my legs :)

Days till NYC: 59
Miles trained today: 7.5

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2 Months and counting

We are getting close, very close. There are only a few more long runs to go, the longest ones are still on the to do list. Travel plans have been arranged. I've been checking out the marathon merchandise, waiting to buy the perfect jacket (maybe one for every day of the week). THere is still much running to be done and the legs still aren't 100%. It's going to be a long September, I've known this for a while, but now it's really here. I have to stay focused, running has to remain the goal. I must stay free of injury, sometimes I feel like I'm dancing on the cusp, just don't fall in. We were out there tonight and it was a beautiful night for running, the Blvd was packed. I wondered how many others out there tonight are realizing that the change in the calendar, the crispness in the air, are all signals that we are almost there. We beat the summer, the rain of June and July, the heat and humidity of August. Hopefully the weather is going to push us to the starting lines. I can't be the only tired one, and Joe so nicely pointed out that I will likely be tired until the taper (October). We've trained for longer than we have left to train. We've trained for this month.

Days till NYC: 60 (oh shit!!!!)
Miles trained today: 7

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ode to the Pigs

There comes a point in marathon training where my pigs quit. They hate it and make it very clear. In all honesty it's not their fault, they are cute and little and not prepared for the pounding day in and day out. I don't think mine are the only ones who do this. I have heard of those who have the unfortunate experience of loosing a nail, thank god I haven't reached that point, yet. To be honest that would be enough to make me give up marathoning. I try to pamper the pigs in an effort to make them forget about the miles, we go bi -weekly for pedi's but I'm at the point where that doesn't help. They are upset with me. I'm sorry guys, you are important but short sighted, this will be temporary and in a few months we will be back to normal and you can calm down again. Please hang in there with me. I've purchased special socks that are supposed to make you happier but you don't like those either. I've given up the heels to make it more comfortable for you during the day and that's not enough! I'm not sure how else I can make it up to you, just trust me that it will be worth it and I appreciate all the support you have given me.

Days till NYC: 62
Miles trained today: 10

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Perking up!

Yep, I am, I'm perking up. Today wasn't awful! Besides the weather, which was pouring rain. We ran the with club today and started off with Melissa and Erin heading up Angell St. I was waiting to see how long till the pain set in. We reached the 1st mile at 9:40, must have been the excitement of running with others, so far so good. I held back a little running up towards the pedestrian bridge going over the highway, but still no terrible pains. This was going to be ok. For a while I debated going the whole 10 miles but decided that would be an act of stupidity. Joe cut it short after we headed up the Blvd and turned down Elmgrove. Since it wasn't hurting I decided to just keep going. Things just felt right, and thank god for that, it had been too long. It's funny how running messes with your head. A good run and you're on top of the world, ready to go. A bad run or a string of though runs and you start to question your whole existence, I'm slightly exaggerating but not by much. After the run I consulted with the group and think I'm going to make some changes in the training going forward. I have to remember what the goals are:

1. Get to the start of NYC without injury
2. Finish NYC without having to walk or crawl

To do this I need to keep the long runs strong every other week, the off weeks I'm going to back down slightly. During the week I'm going to focus on 5 strong runs a week and try to not get so caught up in the mileage. There are those of you who are doubting my ability to let go a little, but I'm really going to try here. Lets see if I can have a few more good runs over the next few days, my running ego could use it!

Days till NYC: 63
Miles trained today: 7

Friday, August 28, 2009

Looking for reasons

Running continues to feel terrible, so I'm focusing on why I continue to do this:

1. I got in!!
2. Even better we both got in!!!
3. I can handle long distance running when many shy away from it.
4. I even kind of enjoy it.
5. I have my health and have been able to avoid injury.
6. There are so many people offering amazing support and encouragement!!!
7. A week a bad runs is better than a week of skipping runs :)
8. I have a point to prove, I will run better than I ran last October!
9. I've done it before when I was a weaker runner so I can do it again.
10. Weeks like this and runs like these make me appreciate those runs where it feels like I'm flying and can run forever.
11. I'm the only marathoner in my family and not about to allow any of them to catch up with me!
12. 3 years ago I couldn't finish a 5k.
13. There are only 2 months until the race, I'm getting close!
14. The finish will be unreal!
15. Sticking with it is a sense of pride for me.
16. From the girl with asthma who smoked and skipped gym, I'm now an athlete!
17. I'm neurotic even with this amount of running, imagine what I would be like without it, meds please!!!
18. Even at the end of a few rough miles, things seem calmer and more clear.
19. I run with good friends :)
20. Joe won't quit and I'm not going to let him beat me!

Days till NYC: 64
Miles trained today: 6.5

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I did the unthinkable...I cut my run 5 miles. Yep, I did it. And I don't plan on scrambling to make them up either. Today is Thursday, I should feel better. I don't. Limping through the miles isn't going to help anything, and after hanging my official NYC marathon map in my office I'm going to run this race no matter what.

Interestingly enough though we had dinner with another back of the pack runner tonight and discussed what training means for us. For someone running a 7 min mile it is going to take them less time to get through their miles, both on the track and during the week. For me to run 7, I'm out there for 70 minutes and that's a good night. Do that 5 times in a week and I'm out there for close to 6 hours and that doesn't even count my long run, add another 2-3 hours. That's a long time to be upright and pounding on your feet. I'm not claiming that I am working harder than those who can run faster, but it's a much different wear and tear. Unfortunately there is not a lot out there geared to those of us who run in the back of the pack, please NEVER call me a jogger, I'll have to hurt you. And there are even fewer of us who run longer distances and even fewer who have the gall to compare ourselves to the faster runners. Just because I take longer doesn't mean I don't take my training as seriously and maybe it's time to really look at what it means for people like me. What should a training plan look like for someone who is training for a 10+ marathon pace?

So what does this all mean? I'm not sure, today I backed off the miles. I'm hoping that tomorrow I feel a little better and can handle finishing out my miles. I will continue to aim for high miles every week, but I have to know when my joints and muscles have had it, and that may come sooner than I like.

Days till NYC: 65
Miles trained today: 2.5

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

a little good, a little bad

So it started pretty rough, the whole day of course, but for now I'll focus on my run. I was planning on running to track and was putting it off. It finally got to the point that if I was going to do it, I had to leave or just call it. I was definitely still feeling my 16 miles and it felt awful. It was only 3 miles but felt closer to 30, I couldn't get out of my own way. I really lost it when some dip wad hooted at me while I was doubled over at the light waiting to cross North Main St. Please leave runners alone when you drive by them, unless you are offering me a cold bottle of water just drive by without a second glance. I'M NOT LOOKING AT YOU! By the time I got to track I was questioning my ability to get through the workout. To make it worse I had arranged with Bob to run repeat 800's rather than the assigned workout. There would be no one to blame but myself for this one. The goal is to focus on marathon speed not 5k pace. Somehow Joe and I got through 8 of them, and for many had a good time. It's funny because we don't know of many couples who both run and almost none that run together. There is no way that on my own I would be this into running. I was nice to hear him fill me in on his day, a nice distraction from the punishment I was inflicting on my legs. God though, we were on that track forever. This part of the run did feel much better. We got the miles in, I'm not sure I'll be able to move tomorrow! But then the icing on the cake, we get home and what is waiting but our official New York City Marathon Handbook! All I have to do is stay clear of injuries, drag myself through the next few weeks and I'm there. August is almost over, September is going to be running hell and October is the glorious taper. I can do this, right?!?!

Days till NYC: 66
Miles trained today: 7

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dead Legs

I need some advice...thinking we are doing something wrong. Sunday was a 16 miles and it was a long and hard 16 but not the worst run ever. We took yesterday off and ran this evening and it was pretty close to terrible. We have this pattern where we have a good week, ending with a long run and then suffer terribly for the next week. In an ideal world I would run hard for a week and recover for the next week, that's not how we do it. We run hard for 3 weeks and recovery for a week. After the 16 miles I stretched, worked on drinking copious amounts of water over the next 24 hours but was still feeling awful tonight. Nothing in particular just very dead feeling legs. We were able to get in the 6.5 but I'm wondering how others feel after these longer runs. Over the next 6 weeks or so we will be tackling several long runs and I would like to keep my miles up in between and not suffer so much. Don't get me wrong it feels better than it has during previous marathon training but I think it could feel better. Maybe I'm delusional and it's awful for everyone it will make me feel better and if there are some secret tips that will help that's good as well.

Days till NYC: 67
Miles trained today: 6.5

Sunday, August 23, 2009

it was bound to happen

After a week of great runs, I was due for a rough one. Not sure why it had to happen when I was scheduled for 16, that's bad enough. We did a 4 mile loops so I only focused on finishing each 4 and getting to the car. The first loop was tough and tight, at times I was kicking myself for all those hills in Lincoln Woods. By the time we hit the car the first time things were slowly starting to feel better. The second loop my body felt better but I was faced with a husband who was running on fresh legs. He's a peppy runner when he's tired, today was the first day out after 5 days off he was in rare form. God help me, he didn't stop for then next 4 miles, at times talking to himself. Next time he's on the DL, I'm not running with him the first run back. It was downhill from there. To be completely honest I wasn't really planning on running the full 16, before I knew it we only had 3.5 left. It was the most god awful 3.5 of this training. In the last issue of Runner's World there was a quote about how running is good for you if it doesn't kill you first and that's all I could think about. Somehow all the pain I'm in right now will be good for me, I haven't figured out how yet. Please just let this be the worst long run of this training!

Days till NYC: 69
Miles trained today: 16

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Open letter to Mother Nature and Vipir Radar

Hi All, Can we have a frank discussion about how you've been calling things lately? I get that you screwed up some how in the months of May, June and most of July, but enough with the punishment. I can take the heat but can we lower the humidity some and how about a nice cool breeze? It's been a good 2 weeks now and people have had their fill. If you can lower the temps back to the low 80's high 70's it's warm enough for all of us to enjoy activities. I try to beat you and there is no winning. At 6 this morning the humidity was at 90%, there is no reason for that other than for your cruel enjoyment. I'm ready to bargain with you. Tomorrow I'm headed out for 16 miles and would appreciate it if you could be slightly more accommodating. Marathon training is trying enough, please stop toying with me.

Days till NYC: 70
Miles trained today: 5.5

Friday, August 21, 2009

embracing the ugly

That's what I'm doing this week and it's paying off! Yet another great run in horrific weather! I found my missing mojo and want to hold on to it. Again tonight I found myself after work needing to run and the weather was not ideal. I don't know if it's because work was hell and I didn't have time to dread my run or because mentally I knew I needed it. But I came home and was ready, lets do this. Joe is still on the DL but Sue survived court and was ready to run. We hit up Lincoln Woods again and just knocked it out of the park. Things felt good, we pushed up the hills and recovered coming down them. There was no bitching, no whining, just running and hard running at that. To be honest I was feeling it in my legs more today than yesterday and just pushed thought it. Imagined what it would feel like come mile 25 and embraced it. This is going to hurt, it's meant to hurt and I need to want it to hurt. If I keep dodging it, I'll never move beyond it. Here's to another run and I'm beating the humidity rather than the other way around!

Days till NYC:71
Miles trained today: 5

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All by myself

Less than 24 hours after declaring ourselves morning runners, I find myself outside running at 4:45pm tonight. To top it off I was alone, never fun. Joe has been sidelined with a bad case of poison ivy and Sue ditched me this morning for a court date. I could have gone this morning, in fact I was awake, unfortunately I read too much news and scared myself out of going. It's creepy out on the roads at 5am, and that's with others never mind alone and Mia has retired for the summer.

So here I am, Lincoln Woods, it's hot and I'm determined. Off I go, at first a little creaky from last night's track workout, but before long I loose myself in the hills. Lincoln Woods is a 2.5 mile paved loop with very little traffic, it's all rolling hills. Nothing too bad, but bad enough to make it a work out. The first part of my run was focused on getting away from the car, I had to get far enough away I wouldn't turn around. Once that happened I was quickly focused on getting back to the car and talking myself out of walking there! After cresting the third hill there is maybe a quarter mile to the car and during that time I faced a big decision, to stop for water or keep going. I wanted water, it was hot, but I wasn't sure if I would keep going. There were pros and cons, once I passed the track I just kept going. I couldn't trust myself, it was too tempting.

Now all I had was three uphills and 2.5 miles till water. This loop I focused on who else was dumb enough to be out there. There was the walking woman in the black shorts, I passed her three times out there, she never met my eyes, never a hello. Then the man in the red shirt, he was running in the opposite direction with a water hydration pack on his back. Looked like he was going my pace, almost switched directions to run with him but decided he could have been a weirdo and kept going. We did say hello at every pass (2). Then there was the man I wanted to be, the man I envied for the whole run, the man on the yellow shirt on the bike. He passed me 7 times, each time whizzing by on his bike. It seemed like it was timed, every-time I was plugging up a hill with all my might he came flying by with the breeze in his face. Once I thought he seemed like a frosty glass of water, god to switch places with him. Did he know how jealous I was? I don't know who you are, but I wanted to be you in the worst way, you became my obsession. The biker in the yellow shirt got me through my summer evening run, thanks dude!

Days till NYC: 72
Miles trained today: 5

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Over the wall

10 weeks, that's all that stands between us and 26.2! We are almost there! I'm feeling some renewed energy. Maybe I'm getting used to the heat, maybe it's from airing out all my beefs, who knows but I'm back and ready to run! Complaining is not going to get me to the finish line and I've decided it short changes all that I've accomplished. So last week sucked, after talking to others, I think it sucked for all of us. Even with that we are further ahead in our training than we have been for previous marathons, and imagine how good this will feel once the humidity breaks. That and when we are standing at the start with 40,000 other runners who have gone through the same terrible training all for that race, I can't even imagine how great it's going to feel! If training for a marathon was easy, more people would do it. They can't hang, I can. I got a shirt today that reads "to hell and back, 26.2", sounds accurate to me.

Days till NYC: 73
Miles trained today: 7

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh the sights you'll see

There is just something about a summer evening on the Blvd. It was just what we needed, a good distraction from the weather. I spent more time wondering why other people were out there dressed like they were then wondering why we were out there! There was the woman running in sandals, yep leather sandals. I love my heels but haven't tried to run in them yet. Then there was the woman running in jeans and a long sleeved top, god help her! Just when I thought we were going to die an older man (maybe late 70's) ran by us and told us we were looking good. If he's out here in a good mood, so can I. This weather is only temporary and I'm not injured so lets try to make the best of it. Can you tell I"m trying some cognitive restructuring? Next time I plan for a fall marathon, someone please sit me down and discuss what it means to train in August?

Days till NYC: 75
Miles trained today: 5.6

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just damn unpleasant

This has been a week of analyzation. When is the best time to run? When will the humidity be lowest? Is the heat or the humidity worse to run in? Did we run in this last year? No matter how you cut it, running in this has been terrible and I couldn't get my miles in. When you are sucking in the air and it's going down like soup you know it's awful out there. I'm sure we have run in this during previous summers and can guarantee you we complained about it just as much and probably missed our miles due to it.

Tonight we headed out to see what we could accomplish. This was going to make or break our week and we were going into it with some hesitation. Let's see how far we get. Well, we got a whopping 1.6 miles before deciding to walk it back to the car. Yeah, what can I say, the weather sucked. On the walk back though the 3 of us were laughing, we laughed the whole way back to the car. There was no complaining about what we should have done, or what this meant to the training. It was just three runners who got beat and were accepting it for what it was. To any runner that accomplished their goals this week, congrats! To any runner who felt like us this week, at least it sucked for all of us!

I'm hoping next week will be better, and can tell you right now that if by a fluke of nature the weather is like this in NYC on 11/1, I'll be on the side lines cheering on the fools while I drink a beer with friends!

Days till NYC: 76
Miles trained today: 1.6

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just keep running, running, running

Ugh! I'm pooped and it's only the beginning of the week! We decided to take 2 recovery days this week, which is risky. One day off means less miles per day but after this last weekend of running I just wasn't feeling ready yesterday. That and it was unbearably hot. So today we were off and running, luckily the weather was better for running and we were off of work so we had more time. Our long run this week will only be 12, so we decided to really amp up the mileage today and aim for 12 today as well. I feel like if we can get comfortable with this distance it will pay off come November. We took it easy, or as easy as 12 miles can be. 3 miles this morning, that was meant to loosen us up and test for any lingering aches and pains. Things felt ok at the end of it. The ankle that was very sore after Falmouth was feeling better and the feet are still quiet (knock on wood). We weren't done though, later today we got changed again and ran to the track. It's a nicer run with someone else that's for sure. By the time we hit the stadium things were still feeling ok. We did cut the workout short and skip the last mile to keep our run home manageable. Overall I'm pleased, we'll aim for 12 again on Saturday, this time straight through. It was the right decision, we needed the extra day. I keep reminding myself, this week and next and then RECOVERY again. That and only 6 more days till the next day off, until then I'll be running, running and doing more running (that and worrying about injury)!

Days till NYC: 80
Miles trained today: 12

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Falmouth Road Race

A big thanks to all who donated, we raised close to $1600 for the Providence Ronald McDonald House!

The problem with fundraising for a race, is that then you have no choice but to run it! I didn't know how this would go, we had run 16 miles the day before and last year this race felt awful. It the corral I was nervous, very nervous. We don't usually run after long runs, never mind 7 miles. I think some of my anxiety stemmed from the potential pain I was fearing. Too late now, we are here and are going to run this.

We were in the last wave to start and made no attempt to move to the front of our group, last year we were in an earlier wave and smack in the front. Before I knew it the gun went off, but we were walking. I don't know how far we were from the start but walked a good 3-5 mins! Finally here we go, the first tentative steps over the start. So far so good, but I was just waiting for the pain to set in. Thankfully we had to run slow due to the crowds. This forced us to stay within ourselves and warm our legs up very gradually. A good thing. Pretty quickly in this race you escape the sun and run a few miles (2) in the woods. During this time I noticed that things felt ok, (probably due to the ibuprofen I downed before leaving the house).

Coming out of the woods the next stretch is a long stretch along the beach, in full sun. Last year I melted down out there, it was pretty ugly. Coming out of the woods there is a nice downhill and I just went with it. After flattening out I didn't back off the pace as planned. Let's go with it and see what happens. What happened was amazing, or at least for me it was.

For the first time ever I felt like I was racing, not just running. My form was tight, breathing was rhythmic, things were just going well. We continued to weave in and out of the crowd and I couldn't believe how many people we were passing. I don't know our mile splits but checking our pace periodically we were btw a 9:40 and 9:10 pace for the next 3.5 miles. Never did I feel like I was out running myself. It really hit me when I realized that for a good mile I was pacing Joe, he couldn't go any faster! This NEVER happens!

It felt great, arms were pumping and the legs were doing what they have learned on the track. I stopped thinking and just let my body go and enjoyed it. Before I knew it were were back into town and the roads were lined 3 people deep with cheerleaders, a mile to go! We had one last climb before the downhill to the finish. I dug in and just ran it. Before I knew it, there was the huge American flag hanging over the finish. Joe grabbed my hand and we glided across it!

For sure I was convinced that I blew last years time out the water, to my dismay we were only 20 seconds faster. This was so much of a better run, I controlled it rather than the other way around. I'm psyched, it felt great and we knocked it out of the park!

Days till NYC: 83
Miles trained today: 7

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Calculated Risks

The biggest lesson I have used in training for this marathon from previous training is knowing and understanding how a run should feel, specifically the long run. The long run is by far the most important piece of marathon training. You aren't going to finish 26.2 without putting in the miles during the training. It is also the most daunting for me. It means I'm going to be out on the roads for hours and to be honest feel like crap for several hours afterwards. I never really look forward to them and always get anxious about how I'll do.

This week we were facing 16 and given how awful 15 felt last week I was feeling the pressure. There was much discussion about when to get it in as the Falmouth Road Race is tomorrow. We decided on Friday night. It was going to be a 4 mile loop with planned hydration stops at the end of every loop. We weren't even a mile in before I realized that I was too tight, it didn't feel right. We stopped and stretched but the rest of the loop didn't get any better. Two options presented themselves, either do another loop to see how things felt or try it again tomorrow. I know at this point that if I'm hurting this early on there is no point in limping through if it can be avoided. But there is also no guarantee that things will feel better the following day. Luckily things worked out and today felt MUCH better. Within the first few steps this morning I knew we had made the right decision. It was by far the strongest long run we have had over the last year, I'm feeling like the training is finally paying off. Even several miles in I was surprised that things were going well. We met our running club around mile 12 and fully expected to be dead, but still had some pep in my step. Tomorrow is going to hurt like hell, but I'll deal with that later for now I'm going to bask in the glow of a strong run and the pay off of putting the run off a day :)

Days till NYC: 84
Miles trained today: 16

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Am I really ready for this

I know I have written about injuries before, but I'm still anxious about them. I feel great now, but can I make it last until 11/1? This week we have really changed our track work to focus on the marathon, meaning we are running slower on the track so we can sustain our marathon pace. Ideally I want a 4:30 finish (10:20 per mile), people have warned me that NYC isn't the place for goals and I should go and enjoy myself. Providence was really where I wanted 4:30 and I got nothing but 3 months of PT. To be honest though I didn't train for Providence like I am now. Maybe it's being done with school, or wanting it more because of Providence but I am completely focused on my training this time around. I can stomach holding with the training and not reaching my goal finish time, but will have a hard time if injuries pop up again. Any little pain makes the alarms go off, should I mention it or let it go? I can do this, I know I can, but where is this doubt coming from?

I've made great sacrifices for this, going on close to 2 weeks without high heels. I know doesn't sound like much, but I have a thing for shoes, a BAD thing for 3-4 inch heels. I'm taking a supplement, until this point I have consistently refused a multivitamin. I will do almost anything not to get hurt, but I have to run and running is what got me hurt to start with. I guess I have to just accept that I don't know how the training will play out. Let's be honest, marathon training is not pleasurable and pushes the body to extreme limits. It's getting close and things seem to be going well, I guess I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop (no pun intended)!

Days till NYC:87
Miles trained today: 5

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Impacts of running

So there is a lot of good that comes with running. We are healthier, more fit people. My moods are better after a run, we are slowly but surely getting faster. It's getting easier to stomach the alarm buzzing at 4:45am! A negative is my insatiable hunger. We have run daily since Saturday and aren't scheduled for a day off until this coming Saturday. It's only Tuesday, and I can't stop eating! We ran this morning, it was a good run, but not overly hard, a recovery from track the night before. Since getting out of the shower, I have been eating, thinking about eating or planning my next snack!! This is getting out of control, I was starting to picture my co-workers as giant ice-cream sundaes today!! I'm hoping it will subside over the next day or so, but am starting to worry that it won't! Is there anyway I can get an IV hooked up with portable nutrition between meals? The other issue is that I try to eat healthy, but when you are this hungry it doesn't matter, I just want food!! I'll remind you again it's only Tuesday, I have 33 miles yet to run this week!

Days till NYC: 88
Miles trained today: 4

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oh what a weekend

My issue with running is that you can't predict the good runs from the bad runs. I understand that not everyone is going to be my best performance but it can really be a downer when you unexpectedly have a bad run. We did on Saturday. Oh, it was terrible. This was our first long run beyond the half marathon distance, and sort of the kick off to the long runs we'll be facing over the next few months. If it was a predictor of what's to come, I'm going to pass, I'll go back to the pool please. In hindsight we made some very obvious mistakes in terms of hydration and being prepared for the humidity, things that we'll change going forward. I can't spend too much time complaining because we got in the 15 miles and didn't feel terrible afterward. It's hard you want to analyze your training runs and understand what you can learn from them, but also have to be careful to not beat yourself up over them either. It's one run among many and will be quickly forgotten!

There was no time to rest though because today was the Run 4 Kerri. We don't normally run after our long runs but today we were determined. What's 4 miles? We can do this! The nice thing about today was that it was a better run than yesterday's and helped to restore some confidence. It forced us to get over ourselves and move on. I am pleased to announce that even though we decided we would not "race" today, it was just going to be a run, I beat my time in 07 by a full minute! I'm still not the fastest runner out there, but I'm better than I was. Gives me hope that when we finally hit the roads of NYC I'll be ready to tackle it with the same confidence I had today.

I'll move on from Saturday's run, and accept that I'll probably have a few more rough runs before 11/1, but is it too much to ask for a warning first?

Days till NYC: 90 (Yikes!)
Miles trained today: 4