Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fast teammates and slippery snow

This weekend was chock full of running -- spectating, racing, and lots of miles.

First, I am so impressed with the DMR on Saturday -- we had two MARATHONers (Emily and Laura) kick some major bootie in the 800 and mile, helping the team to a club record. Sweet!

I am also super impressed with the men's DMR which also consisted of mostly marathoners and still qualified for nationals. And then of course there is freakin' amazing Bruce Davie who ran a ridiculously fast mile at the Reebok Indoor Games and super gal Katie Famous PRing in the 800.

As for me, I ran a pretty lousy 5k on Friday on the track. Ahh well. Then I ran around in circles trying to get some miles in since it was about -8000 degrees outside. I think I ran for a total of 1:40 on and around the track. B-O-R-I-N-G, but it was pretty amazing to see some wicked fast collegiate women run in the low 16s for 5K and 9:20s for 3K. Speedy. How do they go so fast?!?

Today, a bunch of us (Sloan, Audrey, Laura, Sarah, and me) met for a long run along the snowy sidewalks of Boston and Cambridge. It was quite hard to get our footing at the beginning -- the snow was slippery, and running on it was akin to running on pseudo-tightly packed sand. We met in Central, ran around the river a bit with Sarah (new from Texas!), and then continued down Mass. Ave. to Fresh Pond and back to Cambridge, through Allston, and ended in Brookline. I think this was the route:

We had all sorts of discussions about looking good in running tights, why I think it's strange to eat bacon and sausage (they're salty, right?) with french toast and waffles, the validity of the first-born/middle child/younger-child theories, isoflavones and soy milk, the boomerang generation, and more.

It was a balmy 31 degrees this morning -- really warm relative to the past few days of frozen running.

Next race will be the Great Stew Chase 15K next Sunday: Who's in?

Boob Sacrifice

Scott said something really funny last night. I told him that he looked really good and I like that he isn't as skeletal as he was when we got married. Then we got to talking about the many benefits of fat and he said fat looked good in some cases, such as on women's chests. My response was "dang." His reply: "That's okay. I realize you've sacrificed your boobs for running." True, true.

On a completely unrelated note, the DMR yesterday was so much fun! It was ridiculously hard and if it was another 20 meters there would probably be a different outcome (Catherine from Tufts was really kicking), but I'm glad we won.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wicked Cold

Now that Scott is back in town, I'm trying to rack up all kinds of mileage to make up for the relatively few miles I did earlier in the week. This morning, though, was tough. It was 2 degrees when I left my house, -11 with the windchill. I ran for 1:40 until my eyelashes were frosted, my scarf was stiff as a board, and I was too tired to carry around the 20 lbs of clothes I was wearing. Anyway, it makes me very excited to be on an indoor track tomorrow. And for those of you who are racing today, GOOD LUCK!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Taking things for granted....

So after spending my Sunday racing the 3k and running around the river for 90 minutes, I headed home to bury my head in a book to study for my upcoming certification exam. On my drive home I got a message from a friend stating that one of our friend's father had passed away early that morning. He had battled MS for the past 40 years, but was doing well. However he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and lost this fight.
Needless to say I did not get much studying done. I am beginning to wonder what life's plan is as I now have 9...yes 9 friends in the early 30 range that have lost parents. To me that seems like a lot, maybe not, but we are young and our parents are still young. I can understand my parent's generation having to go to wakes/funerals, but my generation.....
As I ran this morning through the snow flurries, I thought about how you truly never know what life is going to bring. I was thankful to be out enjoying the weather and challenging my body's physical limits. I think people in their cars must have wondered why is that girl running in this weather with a big smile on her face. It made me appreciate just being out running.
Now back to that studying I never got done.
See you all tomorrow.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Running in circles...

...thats what I feel like I've been doing for the past few months. I tell you is difficult to marathon train while racing without losing confidence. Feels like I'm running in circles. Today, just like every race since the Chicago marathon, I felt slow, tired, and drained in my 3K indoor debut.

No matter. I loved being back on the track. I forgot how much I love that indoor oval until I felt the burning in my throat and the pain in my lungs as I breathed in the dusty, dry air this morning. Althought I managed to achieve a personal worse time, I still had a blast competing! I can't wait for Terrier this Friday to try this event again.

After the race, a few of us roamed the river on a 12 mile cooldown. The cool, crisp air was a welcome relief from the stale indoor air. Afterward, we munched on delicious sandwiches that my fabulous hubby made for all officials and volunteers and watched the rest of the races. I'd say that the Women's Invitational 800 and the Men's Invitational 3000 were the events of the day...although, if I were watching the open women's 3000, I might deem that the highlight since Ms. Famous apparently ran a wicked great strategic race. She PRed yet again...that fiery gal! Her performances have been the highlight of this indoor season for me...thats for sure!

'Aight...back to the game...21-13...besides watching gorgeous Tom Brady shake his tooshie around the field, I'm not impressed with these games...I'd much rather watch people see how fast they can run in circles.


I think I may have finally figured this out...

Soooo...I've been reading this blog to see how your marathon training is going...but for some reason I couldn't remember how to post. I thought I had set up some sort of new password and username, but I was wrong. Alas, I have rediscovered how to make comments, so that's about all I've got to say for now :-)

Thanks to Emily for the shout-out. The workout on Tuesday was awesome, I ran a PR today, and I am very, very excited to race Terrier this Friday. Speaking of which, who else is running the 5K? And what are you seeding yourself at? I emailed Dave and just put down my time from Reggie last month. I considered putting a faster time down, but I don't really like lying about seed times. Because regardless, I think anyone even close to 18 minutes will probably be in the "slow" heat.

I'm planning to stay for most of the women's events on Friday too, so if people want to hang out, you know where to find me! I'm really stopping this post.

Peace out,

Saturday, January 20, 2007

zombie running

i am a sleep-deprived, caffeinated, wound-up mess with tight quads. i am blogging from a little cafe in downtown Berkeley, California - approximately 18 hours after arriving here early early this morning. i caught an 8 pm flight from Boston to Oakland yesterday, got to Oakland at 11:45 pm local time but didn't get to my "hotel" (the Berkeley faculty club) at 2 am because i had to take a bus to the train station and then the train from the airport to downtown took forever to get to Berkeley because it had to wait for all the connecting trains. once in Berkeley, it was a 30 minute uphill walk to the place i was staying. okay, i will quit complaining, but i am t-i-r-e-d.

i woke up this morning to run. the weather here is super. it was in the low 40s this morning and warmed up to high 50s with plenty of sun in the afternoon. Berkeley is at the top of a big hill, so no matter what direction you go, you have to climb massive hills to get back to where you started. needless to stay, this morning's 55 minute run was challenging -- sleep deprivation + too much coffee + big hills = lead-like legs and tough running.

from what i've seen of Berkeley, though, i love this place and would be thrilled if i actually got into the business school here. all the prospective students had a whirlwind day of panels, get-to-know-you sessions, and interviews today. we wrapped up around 6pm today, so i got changed out of my formal stuffy business school clothes and grabbed a giant sandwich that i promptly scarfed down. lunch today consisted of water and 3 bites of pasta salad because they ran out of vegetarian sandwiches at lunch. and i just had tons of coffee for breakfast, so i was s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g for dinner.

i will board my flight in a few hours and hopefully make it to the GBTC invite just as the gun goes off for the 3k so i can make a zombie-like debut in the event. i am zombie, watch me roar.

Will, Mary Poppins, and Pimps...

So, I'm sitting on my couch, watching Anchorman for the billionth time. Sitting on the bookshelf in front of me is Lore of Running, Fast Track, Run with the Champions, Coaching Track and Field Successfully, Running with Lydiard, Paula, The Female Athlete's Body Book, The Complete Book of Running and Fitness, Personal Best, The Athletic Woman's Survivial Guide, Running with the Buffalos, Finding their Stride, Training for Endurance, Eating for Endurance, and, of course, BOSTON MARATHON: The First Century of the World's Premier Running Event. With such a massive array of running material at my fingertips, why oh why am I watching Ron Burgundy sing Afternoon Delight? I'll tell you why... because these movies (the Anchormans, Zoolanders, Dodgeballs, etc) are genius. They're brilliant. In my eyes, Will Ferrell has reached the heights of Anthony Hopkins, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep... he is fabulous. He is the only actor who can elicit my emotional investment as a chauvinistic news reporter, a head honcho fashion designer who supports oversea child labor laws, a grown man (living with his mother) who coerces devastated women at funerals to sleep with him, and an ignorant, discriminatory race car driver. Like I said, he is fantastic. He has just jumped into the bear cage after Veronica Corningstone, who he slept with and then left because she started succeeding in the workplace.

On a more running relevant note, I think today was a miserable day to run. I felt like Mary Poppins should have dropped in... the wind was unreal! I'm so impressed that Emily ran the Fresh Pond race because I tapped out after about 25 minutes. The only thing that got me that far was the repeat button on my ipod - 'Its hard out here for a pimp' never gets old...especially when I'm in desperate need of motivation.

Did you realize that in 1899, the top 1o finishers in the Boston Marathon ran between 2:54 and 3:44? If GBTC was around then, we would take every spot. If GBTC women were around then, we would have sported the Boston Marathon winner. Could you imagine little Emily with her hair in thousands of colorful rubber bands outkicking all the dudes??? I could!

Time to help Brad make 60 sandwiches for the volunteers tomorrow at the GBTC invite. Another wild Saturday night.

Everyone is welcome to post, ya know...

But if no one else will, you'll all be forced to read my running adventures. (If you need the username and password, email me or Megha)

Today's adventure involved dropping Bruce off at my friend's house first. My friend has four kids, including two wild twin girls who are four-years-old and absolutely adore Bruce. So while it was very nice of her to take Bruce for a few hours, I didn't want to take any longer than absolutely necessary.

So I hauled down Rt. 16 to Fresh Pond and made it there by 9:50 a.m. I stretched for ten minutes and talked to Mithu, who was also braving the wind and weather for the race. The "race" wasn't much. There were about 15 people running and two guys timing. I ran the first lap with some guy for the first lap, then he ducked out and I was totally alone for the second lap. It showed in my time. My first lap was 15:25 and the second 15:53 I think. It's so much easier to run fast when someone is right there! The sideways snow and awful winds didn't help either.

I hauled home, and saw Jeremy Borling on the way. He said "hi" and I said something like that - my mouth was pretty frozen and I didn't recognize him until two seconds after he said hello and was already gone. Bruce made it just fine, although sans morning nap.

I got home and my landlord was there regrouting tile in the tub and kitchen. He said it takes 24 hours to dry, so I'm still sitting here in my stinky glory. No shower for me today.

Friday, January 19, 2007

feelin' hot, hot, hot

After the past few days of wearing ski pants and ridiculous outfits, it felt great to run this morning in plain old tights and a long-sleeve. I even rolled up my sleeves the last few miles. Whew. And it was a nice long run too. I deliriously stumbled until I met Megha, who dragged me down Mass Ave. to meet Laura. Then I tagged along through Allston, down Commonwealth, to Mass Ave. again. Laura turned to go home, Megha turned to go shopping (who else goes grocery shopping at 6:30 a.m.?), and I turned toward Cambridge. Ran across the bridge, got lost in East Cambridge like I always do, ran up 28 a few miles and back to my place. Whew. I haven't G-mapped it yet, but it took 2 hours and 1 minute. Hooray for "nice" weather.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice princess heroine and blue fingers

On Tuesday at practice, Tom said that running in the cold is a lot like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer --- you only do it because you know how good it will feel when you stop.

This morning was different because the pain did not subside immediately after I stopped running. I think it took a good 30 minutes and several cups of coffee for me to dethaw after attempting an early morning run on the coldest day so far this winter.

I had a restless night of sleep -- probably because I was overly worked up about the menacing weather forecast. My eyes opened at 4:15 ish. Strange. I met Emily for our usual 5:20 am run. It was so cold. As soon as I stepped outside, I got a brain freeze -- kind of like the ones you got when you were a kid and drank a 32 oz. slurpee from 7-11 in 10 seconds. By the time I met Emily, I had trouble articulating words because my mouth was frozen. My hands were already getting numb just 1.5 miles into the run, even though I had my massive oven-mit-like mittens on! I unfortunately had to quit early and turn around after fewer than 20 minutes outside. I came home and it was only 6 am and I was wide awake, so I made blueberry muffins while trying to defreeze. I kind of wanted to jump inside the 350-degree oven with the muffins.

Emily stuck it out though somehow and racked up some major miles today. She is my ice princess heroine.

I was planning to make up some of the miles I missed this morning after work on the fancy treadmills at the Boston Sports Club that I just joined. But I think all the other runners must have been thinking the same thing because the line for the treadmills was 8 or 9 people deep. I had limited time and couldn't wait for a treadmill, so I jumped into a challenging spin class instead. I would have much rather been running, though. But I have issues with the cold. Perhaps I should try hypnosis? Coach Tom suggested I wear knee-length fleece socks over my mittens.

The 3K is this weekend. I am super psyched to see Lynn and Katie Famous and Katie Fobert and Romnesia tear up that 220 yard track and PR all over the place. By the way, did you know that 220 yards is a teeny bit more than 201 meters?


Good Luck Blowing the Competition Away

Good luck this weekend at the GBTC Invite. I'm excited to hear about everyone's races, although I must say I'm particularly excited about Katie Famous and Allison McCabe. Katie had an amazing workout last night and is all set for a big PR in the 3k. And Allison blew right by me and made me feel like an old woman on the track; she's bound to reset that club record of hers.

This morning was ridiculously cold. I put on all kinds of layers: tights, two base layer tops, my ugly magenta fleece, skull cap, ugly camo mittens, ski pants, tall Christmas socks. I looked pretty ridiculous, especially by the end of my run when I had a frost stripe down my back and bum. Yikes. I usually see at least a few runners around Spot Pond, but there wasn't a single sole out there today. Just to make the run a bit longer, I ran by my favorite fruit and veggie store, Robertos. Corn is 10 for a buck today, so that's what will be on my plate tonight. Yum.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Not-so-ridiculous training run, take 2

Another long-out-back this morning, beginning and ending at Tom's house. It was a touch soggy and much colder than last week, but near perfect conditions for running. Tom swears this course is 26 miles, but I'm getting 24.8 or so on Gmap. Either way, it was many many miles with fewer rest stops than last week's long run, no food, minimal drink, lots of puddles, and Tom's excellent cheering and support every few miles -- and I think we all felt pretty darn good! Emily, Laura, Lynn, and I were the ladies on the run. We have a pretty spectacular training group, not to brag, or anything :) (this is the route, one-way)

After the run, Tom and Cynthia treated us to amazing waffles (again). I tried to make these vegan chocolate chip blondies last night to bring for brunch, but they did not turn out very good. Although I am the first to hold firm that vegan treats can taste good (I swear!), I am not one to bring sub-par vegan goods for sharing. So next time, I will try a tried-and-true vegan recipe - maybe chocolate orange chip cupcakes? Or banana bread? Maybe that will entice you to join us for a run.

Running for the next few days will consist of me trying to convince myself that the cold rain and sleet are actually magical drops of speed-juice falling from the sky. I really don't like running when it's wet and cold.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Taking a Gamble in Vegas

I didn't do any slot machines here, but running in the morning is kindof a gamble.

I'm out the door at 5:20 - same as in Boston, um, with a minor time difference too - and on the strip. There really isn't anywhere to run. My first day I ran out to the UNLV track and it was locked up! The treadmill and fitness center at the hotel doesn't open until 7 (unbelievable, huh?!), so I'm stuck running on the strip.

That translates to lots of cool lights and stuff, but lots of creepy drunk dudes too. Yesterday I was called a "whore" by some drunk guy. I'm pretty confident I could outrun him. The strip also means lots of stairs; there are some by the MGM Grand and New York New York and elsewhere too. So I've gotten some strengthwork of sorts.

I'm also suffering from malnutrition here. The hotel's restaurant doesn't have a single item on the menu that doesn't have cholesterol in it. So I eat in the press room at the convention center, which has a lovely variety of donuts - which believe it or not are made with soy ingredients so are halfway legit to eat. Not that good though. Everything in Vegas is porn, porn, and steak. Vegetarian stuff just isn't an option here. So I've been eating meals like tortilla chips and salsa, rice and beans, etc. I can't wait to get home to my own kitchen!

I fly back tonight, and I'll see you all on Saturday!


Saturday, January 6, 2007

the most ridiculous training run of my life

Lydiard once said "it is not always the best athletes who win the big ones - it is the properly-prepared ones, those who are completely ready on the day". In keeping with his Lydiard-style coaching, Tom totally espoused this mentality today as he drove around Winthrop, Revere, Lynn, and Nahant following 4 of his athletes as we struggled through a 26 mile training run to begin our Boston marathon training season. "The Epiphany", as he calls it, is supposed to ensure us that running a marathon distance can be "easy"; we should not shy away from mileage during our training months.

In no way was today "easy" for me. As I half-jogged, half-dragged myself through the sun-soaked streets of the North Shore, a turbulent and borderline irrational mentality crept through my usual positive mindset..."if I step in front of this next car, I could be hit and have to stop...if I accidentally on purpose trip over this random steel pipe growing through the concrete, I could feign extreme injury and have to stop...if I claim sun-stroke from the record 63 degree day, I could bum a ride back from Tom at the next water stop..." As my miles increased, my thoughts became more creative...and destructive. It makes me wonder, why do we, as runners, attempt to achieve the impassible (nothings impossible - AIW)? And, after we achieve these ridiculous goals, why do we immediately reconstruct our actual experiences into fictitious warps of reality ("that wasn't so hard," "I could do that again," "I should have run that a little faster"...)?

Patti Dillon, a 2:27 marathoner who developed as a runner around the Boston area, ran 150 miles a week at her peak...maxing out at 210 in 1981. Thats nuts! And impressive! As a 3 hour marathoner who trained for the Chicago marathon on 90-100 miles each week, I can't comprehend how someone would have so much time to dedicate to training. It makes me wish for just a little more natural talent so I could quit my counseling gig and train my ghetto booty off day and night.

Anyway, blah blah blah...point of today's blog: I'm so impressed with my training partners (Megha, Lynn, and Pieck) and myself...I really didn't think we'd be able to complete the distance - let alone complete it in less than 3 and 1/2 hours. Yay for us! Plus - the biggest bonus of all - I've been able to eat whatever the $!%# I want all day GUILT FREE!


Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Marathon training begins with speed work!

What a shock to our systems to step on the track on Tuesday night and do some fast 1000s followed by a bunch of 200s. I, like some of the other ladies on the team, hadn't done a track workout in a while. And the idea of running intervals shorter than mile repeats was a bit daunting. But the workout went better than I expected -- it was faster than I thought I could maintain, and I felt like I could probably pump out a few more 1000 intervals at the pace we were running! There were so many people on the track on Tuesday that at times it really felt like a race of sorts, and whenever you saw someone a few strides ahead of you or heard thundering footsteps behind you, it made you focus and think about passing someone or at least quicken your pace, even if only by a split second. It was an awesome feeling. I really love the indoor track for that reason. Sure, it can be crowded at times, and you spend a lot of time negotiating how to run those turns and figuring out to how pass someone at just the right time or not get boxed in, but that it what makes track so much more than running fast! To me, it is all about strategy too! (Now I just have to figure out what that strategy is....)

I was pretty tight after the workout, and I'll just say that this morning's run with Laura wasn't exceptionally speedy (although according to gmap, we still were running around 7:20 pace, I think). Plus, the wind was almost as stiff as my legs. Still it was great to run with Laura! Tomorrow, I'm running with Audrey who is recovering from gum surgery (ouch) and has only been able to digest solid foods for a day or two now. My running partners totally inspire me!