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Bridges Runner

Here and now entries

October 31st, 2009

Post Marathon+recovery

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As I reflect back on Sunday, I have no regrets. For whatever reason, I was supposed to run a 3:41 on October 25, 2009. The sting of being oh-so-close is diminshing by the day. I know I'm capable of a sub 340 now. I may have thought I could before but now I know.

I've had people asking if I plan another fall marathon to try to grab that 8 seconds. Quick answer: no. I want to take time to heal up, enjoy some other aspects of life and get ready to tackle 2010. I'll be honest - I did write the BAA but received no response. That's totally fine - the more I think about it, I hope it's like that for every time that's close. There has to be a cutoff and for me to be there when others were oh-so-close isn't fair either. I just believe in karma and we all know what comes around...

Anyway beyond that, this race brought back the magic I felt in 2005-2006 where many of my personal records tumbled. I'm looking forward to winter biking, running and keeping my body in shape until training for...NJ 2010!! Yep, that's the plan.

I'm also thinking about a destination half marathon this winter. Maybe Miami again? Or arizona? Hmmm

For now, I have not run since Sunday to give my legs time to heal up. They were tremendously sore monday and tuesday. Feeling a lot better now and plan to head out for run #1 today.

NYC Marathon is this weekend and with one more qualifier I am in for 2010. Pretty darn exciting! I haven't run a marathon on my home turf since before I became a true new yorker.

Thanks everyone for the kind words. It truly touched me to read all the comments. If it even inspires one person, then it's totally served its purpose.

Good luck NYCMers! Can't wait to join y'all next November!

And before I sign off and head out for a run, let's go Phillies!!! :-)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

October 26th, 2009

Hard to believe but just like that marathon #6 is in the books. Would I change anything I did? Absolutely not. I have zero regrets. Anyone that knows me, knows that I do it only one way and that's to leave it all out on the course. Honestly, I feel like today I gave 110%, not just 100%. That extra 10% was complete mental energy and will to finish. The other part: this marathon brought back that extra excitement I've missed for a year or two!

Saturday morning the folks and I loaded up the car and off to DC we went! Upon arrival, it was expo time. MCM has one of the better expos in my opinion. Maybe Chicago's is bigger. Anyway, picked up my bib and shirt (pretty powder blue this year) and did some damage: new pair of tights and got the headphones they fit for your ear (they work! I wore them the whole marathon).

Saturday night we met up with nyflygirl, MF (and a couple of her friends), AL at Faccia Luna for dinner. Note: ate there 4 years ago too:)

Finally, race morning. I went with my Penn State singlet, blue brooks shorts and the Mizuno Inspires. I had my peanut butter and bagel with gatorade to fuel up. This is really when I realized what battle I was preparing for. All that work, comes down to this 26.2...

I met nyflygirl and MF in the lobby at 5:55 to head to the shuttle. Weather was cool but not cold. Dare I say it:almost perfect! The marines were helping to load the buses which *shocker* helped keep chaos far away;) This is one of many things I love about this race: organization!

We got to runners village and there were runners everywhere. A different vibe than NYCM but pretty cool. We hung out until about 7:20 and headed to the start.

This is where I have a major beef. They have a "be honest" lineup. Now I understand marines are honest but a lot of runners LIE! I am looking to BQ and seconds matter. In my corral, which I was pretty honest with nyflygirl, there were runners with 5:00, 4:30 and 4:45 pace bands on! Listen, I have no issues with you running for CRYING out loud line up correctly! When I did it 4 years ago, they based on predicted finish (and you had to give actual times ran).

After a flyover by some nifty expensive paid by tax payer marine aircraft, the cannon went off and it was time to go. I knew it was my day. You know that zone feeling? Yep, I felt it. I knew it. Felt like I did here in 05. A special day ahead.

The first mile was a complete clusterf**k. I had to deal with all those people in wrong corrals. (They should consider wave starts to ease the crowding too). Right away I felt like I was in the zone. You know that feeling that takes over you where nothing will get in your way? That was me yesterday.

Nyflygirl took off about a mile in and I settled into my 8:15-8:17 pace. My goal was to run a 1:47-1:48 half and give a bit of a buffer to get that elusive 3:40. Finally at mile 2 things started to clear up a bit but I was still passing walkers? Wtf? I didn't remember the course being as hilly but honestly I do better with change of elevation courses. Plus, this was MY DAY. MY DAY. Nothing was going to stop me from getting to that finish line.

Things were sailing along as I passed my parents around mile 4 and again at mile 10. I think they were surprised to see me but I took that as a good sign, no? Around mile 12 I got a small side stitch but took a few deep breaths and poof - gone. Again, very calm relaxed and going with it. It was if something had taken over my body today - very surreal experience.

As I emerged from Haines Point (nowheresville of the marathon) I knew the heavy crowd support of the mall was near. And another passing of my parents. Life was good. Mile 16 came and I was still feeling great. Could it be? Could this be the day? I didn't let a doubt cross my mind - this was MY DAY.

As I got to the end of the mall stretch, I knew the vaunted bridge was ahead. It's dead, isolated and head winds. Very bad news at mile 20. I was hoping to just push through it and kept a mental game of "what are you going to wuss out now?" That and having my ipod helped TREMENDOUSLY. "Desire" blazed as one of the songs which gave me an extra pep to my step - whatever a pep is for someone who's starting to feel the effects of 20 miles! Mile 21 came and things started to fall apart a bit. It was pretty instant as all of a sudden my legs just wouldn't respond. It was horrible - I was fighting but they just slowed down. I tried to put a good song on, eat some sport beans but nothing was working! It was a very rough 5k -and my splits show it. But I know what did it - the water stations had marines running the show. As I passed the mile 24 stand, a marine was yelling "COME ON PENN STATE! GET MOVING" and "GO GET IT". I don't know about you, but that's awfully inspiring.

As I passed that station, I gave myself one last pep talk. It was a talk of you didn't come this far to pack it in. You didn't put 4 months of guts to train to pack it in. This is your time to shine. This is about YOU. This is for YOU. You have the support and they are all there. That last 2.2 miles was about thinking about all of the support I have - the runs that made me get here. Specifically my long tempo run with AU, my last tempoish run with T, and just all the voices of all of YOU cheering me on. I fought the urge to slow down and walk like no one's business. I was not going to let 3:40 go without a fight. I don't know the word quit and today was not going to be the day I learned about it. It was time to show why I run. Why I run LIKE I MEAN IT. Anyone can run a marathon, but not everyone RUNS LIKE THEY MEAN IT. I was going to leave it all out on the course. If I didn't get there, it wasn't from lack of heart and guts from me.

As I got to mile 25 and looked at my watch, I knew it was going to be unbelievably close. Like seconds close. Still I fought on. I passed Arlington Cemetery on my left and thought about all of those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for this great country. Now if they can do that, I certainly can suck up another mile or so. Finally I could start to hear the music and cheers at the finish line. As I ran, my hat started to fall off but fortunately my braid caught it! I knew that last hill was coming and gave my legs one final pep talk to get up that friggin' hill. As I came upon the hill I tried to look up and imagine getting back to flat ground. This was my race. All 26 miles 385 yards of it. No stopping now.

As I emerged the hill, I gave it everything I had the final straight away. I even managed to pass people somehow. I crossed the finish line and clicked my garmin: 3:41:07. Are you shitting me was my first thought? Holy crap. Then it was well it's a HUGE PR. And thank gawd I'm not running another step because I don't think I could have.




Overall, I'm very proud of my performance. It would have been easy for me to pack it in and run a 3:44 or something. But I refused to lose. I refused to let my body decide over my mind. My day was not being ruined by physical. If I was going to lose my mind and body would have to go. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. I run like I MEAN IT. The day I don't is the day I stop running. Don't expect that anytime soon.

I guess for me it was my way of saying "HELLO RUNNING WORLD I'M BACK!" I've learned that quantity does not trump quality. I ran no more than 3-4x a week with a couple crosstraining days. Last year I was running 50-60 miles a week and felt burnt out. A terrible feeling without the results. Note to self: know your body and work with it - it will do the rest for you.

Yesterday was pretty much a celebration of the effects of training to the best of my abilities this year. I'm proud of me. To go from a 2 hour half at the end of May to a 3:41 FULL marathon is nothing to sneeze at. I don't care if it was lack of training - that's a lot of ground to cover in a matter of months. Imagine what's to come with training. Scary, isn't it? I guess I hope to all of you reading it helps you go that extra step or mile in whatever you do. Because I can tell you first hand, mind over matter wins everytime.

Thanks to everyone that supported me through my journey. I couldn't have done it without you and I can't wait to conquer again. Oh and if anyone finds what I left out in Washington DC, you can return it to Brooklyn;)

October 15th, 2009

Slow and steady...

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The last "long" run has come and gone.  That consisted of another pre-sunrise arrival to the Staten Island Ferry to head over to Staten Island to jog out 13.1 miles.  Thank goodness I live in Brooklyn now as my trip necessitated only a short subway ride across the east river - *hint* the subways were a mess.  Anyway, I'm pretty certain we surprised a few people waiting for the ferry at 7AM.  Probably two weeks a year do you see as many people in the ferry terminal on a lazy Sunday morning.  The ferry ride was pretty and the weather was absolutely ideal.  However, the key to my day was keeping things in control as this was just a long run for me, not a race.  So hard when you're feeling good.

I brought my trusted ipod shuffle to accompany me for the 13.1 miles.  I've never done Staten Island so this was a new venture for me.  No clue on the course which makes it more exciting.  I used the sing test to tell me if I was running too hard.  If I couldn't sing a full line of a song while running, too fast.  I did not want this to be a fast race at all - if anything looking for 1:55-2:00 so somewhere around a 9min mile.  As you can see below, with the exception of one mile which was a pretty nasty hill, things were a little faster. 



The race itself was not so interesting.  The scenery with the exception of the parts by the water was pretty ugly.  I did get some fun brightroom shots that they hopefully caught - including one that I jumped in front of the camera.  Hope he caught it!  The ipod gave me the needed support today to maintain focus for where I'm going.  I never felt out of control and that was the main purpose of this race.  That and race #8 of the year to qualify for NYCM next year:)  Along the race route I ran into DM, PM, AH and NYCe (via twitter).  I think there were a few others that recognized me but who knows:)  I also ran into experiri (twitter) at the baggage check area.  My legs felt fine post-race.  However, not so fine after the 6-7 extra miles of walking after the race - stupid subways!!!

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Last night I was meeting up with a friend TC for a Nike event.  They usually have a run before the event so I figured I'd go check it out.  Plan? I figured if it ended up being a faster paced run I'd do the shorter one to be ready for a week from Sunday.  It's not close enough to not put one more tempo effort in.  Out we go through midtown to get to the park and immediately the pacer takes off and we're zig-zagging through Central Park.  I have no clue where the heck we're going and just manage to follow the blinking light he has on his shirt. He had said we'd do 4 miles since everyone else was but immediately we broke off from most of the group as the pace was well..*ahem* a bit quick.  Let's just say the first mile was probably a 9:15 or so to get to the park.  The pace got quicker as we continued on the run and I also realized this was not a four mile run.  Like a woman in full taper mode, I started venting to TC that this was a taper and I don't want to get hurt because of some stupid run..blah blah blah.  LOL - runners are so funny when it comes to preparing for race day.  Quickly I realized, hey dummy, you can talk and just consider it one last quality workout.

That it was as we whizzed around the trails, the Great Lawn, Reservoir, and finally down the west side back to City Sports in Midtown.  Total mileage was around 6.5 miles and pace came to around 8:23 (including a last mile in 7:20). Hmmm I like that pace:)  I commented to TC that the last part of a run is like a horse going back to the barn - they take off!

So that's it kids. Off to Penn State today for recruiting for my company so no time to train today but hopefully I'll squeeze in a workout at the hotel tomorrow morning before the interviews.

Now the key is to stay healthy and stay away from doing anything stupid.  Can I just put my body in a bubble til Oct 25?

Bring it on MCM.  10 days and counting til DC becomes my playground...

October 9th, 2009

Blackjack

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Last weekend was my last 20 spot.  I had decided to run Gretes Great Gallop to get another race in towards my auto entry into NYCM 2010 so where to get those extra 7??  I began using the wonders of gmap pedometer and it began obvious it made no sense to make it 7 miles since I'd be taking a subway one stop.  So instead, like any normal person, I ran 8 miles from home to the start of the race.  The night before I had made a special trip to the UWS to drop off my stuff at a local gym for post race shower:)  Yeah, because runners do that - we make special hour trips to just drop off clean clothes:)

It was a sultry, sticky morning.  Very reminiscent of Steamtown 2007 except not quite as hot.  Good, let mother nature get it out of her system now! I left Brooklyn around 7:20am for a 9:00am race.  This would give me ample time to head uptown.  As I started my run, I noticed the stares of "is she lost" and "why is she wearing a bib number on the Brooklyn Bridge?"  I just tuned into my shuffle and logged the mileage.  Headed over the bridge to the west side highway and *poof* all of a sudden I was at 72nd street!  It was crazy - I felt like I had just left Brooklyn?!  Awesome.

I arrived to the start and got some water/gatorade and found nyflygirl in the corral.  She had frontloaded as well and was using this as a way to get the miles in.  My plan?  Stick to no faster than 1:50 half.  I had just ran a 1:40 half two weeks ago and no need to push the envelope here.  Plus, I had electric lemonades awaiting me at Boat Basin post-race.  Woohoo!

The race?  I plugged into my shuffle and let my legs do the work.  As I passed the start, I gave Grete Weitz a high five and off I went.  My plan was to stay around 8:45s and maybe sprinkle a few 8:20s in for good measure.  Nothing crazy.  My times were all over the place but it's fine.  I'm pretty happy that my SLOWEST mile was a 9:00 mile in which I literally stopped, walked a couple seconds to drink and then started running again.   That was at the bottom of Harlem Hill before that horrible mile up to 90th street.  Worst mile stretch of the course! As you can see below, I knew when the electric lemonades were close:)  Oh, I also learned these shorts are done - they kept falling down! eek! 



Overall, solid effort.  Looking at the time, it's about what I ran for the second half of MCM in 2005.  Things are getting eerie here! :) 


Up next?  Staten Island as a final "long run" before the big day.  So close, I can almost taste it:)

Boat Basin?  Let's just say good times had by all with many laughs and games of charades:-p  Next time, you should come:)

September 28th, 2009

Another week, more work completed.  Right now the key is to stay HEALTHY. Exactly 4 weeks to go.  It's amazing what a change just the last 4 weeks have made in my faith in what will occur on October 25.  I'm feeling pretty darn positive and excited.  Much more so than last year.  So that brings us to yesterday and race #3 of 6 in 7 weeks: Cow Harbor 10K.  The plan?  Since I had raced Philly last weekend, it was a chance to hone up on my marathon pace.  Racing this was not going to do much for me and the fact remains I had a long run left as well as legs to keep in shape.  So the plan? 8:15ish pace and feel good about it.  As you can see from the course profile, it's not a PR course anyway. 

Saturday morning started, well, before it really was morning.  I awoke at the unpleasant hour of 5AM to my alarm trying to figure out why that noise was occurring!  Ha.  Fortunately I had placed everything out the night before so there wasn't much to do besides get changed, grab my stuff and head out.  I picked up the ZipCar at a location right around the corner.  This became incident #1 of the day.  As I got to the garage, I started looking around and couldn't find the car!! I had allotted extra time to find the car, etc but it was a bit embarrassing too!  Finally, I called the help line and gave them the information but there were no free cars available so I had to find this one.  As I was on hold for them to find the person before me, I finally found it!  It was tucked in a corner which made it more like where's waldo.  Oy.

I drove up to the UES to pick up the crew.  There were 6 of us but one guy had his own car since he had to head out right away after the race for a family function.  The drive out was uneventful and thankfully one of my teammates, AH, had picked up our numbers.  One sign that clues you that I was not racing: I went with the short sleeve shirt! You'll be hard pressed to find me short sleeving it until it's basically 40s.  Anyway, bus shuttle to the start.  You could tell we were not in NYC anymore as the running crowd was much different.  Let's just say not your elite pack:)  I'm not being an elitest, just saying.

So KP was not racing and I told her that I was planning to run 8:15s with the hard PDR behind me and gearing up for the big one in 26+ days.  It was nice they had wave starts a minute apart to break up the corrals.  There also was a cow shooting off the start gun! Hehe!

Anyway, off we went right into our comfortable 8:15s.  People passed us as we probably signed up for a true racing corral but stuck right to our pace.  Mile 1 was a net downhill which I find to hurt the quads a lot!  Mile 2 brought you the hill that is Cat Hill on steroids!  It was only a third of a mile but one of those kick you in the a** hills that makes it like you are walking instead of running:-p  I knew there was a hill but didn't know where it was so after we got up it I turned to KP and said "well if that's all they got, I'm good to go for the rest of the race."  She laughed:)

The scenery was gorgeous as we ran by the water and through little residential roads.  People were out of their houses cheering and passing out water.  It truly gave a sense of American spirit.  It was this town's NYC Marathon:)  I smiled at the people cheering and even threw out a few high fives.  It was nice to not all out race as I feel like I really got to enjoy the full atmosphere.  As we approached mile 5, a guy goes to us "watch out for the next hill, it's deceiving."  KP and I were confused as I we passed mile 5 and went up a little blip that was a hill? Oh well.  As we got up the "blip", there was a sign that said "it's all downhill from here." Literally, it was.  We were doing 7:30s and didn't even recognize it because of the severity of the downhill.  We were chatting and able to give an interview to the cameraman riding alongside.  As we approached the finish line, the announcer got our names which was cool!  Finish time? 51:24 - good for 8:17 pace.  Perfect.  Just what the doctor ordered today.

The finish area was awesome!  They had so much food from smartfood to pirate's booty to beer to chocolate chip cookies!  :)  YAY!  Found my teammates and many had set HUGE PRs. Woohoo!

After the race we headed back to AH's parents house for a BBQ of yummy food: burgers, hot dogs, salad, fruit salad, baked beans - you name it!  Finally, it was time to head home.  I got into the car and tried to turn on the engine.  The lights and radio came on but no engine! Uh oh.  So guys being guys, tried to use jumper cables.  No dice.  At this point people were panicing so I called ZipCar.  First thing to try?  Use the zip card to lock and unlock the car again and see if that works? Sure enough, I do that and at the same point the guys were configuring the jumper cables the car turns on!  Whew.  So, yes, there is tight security in the zip cars:)

Part 2 of the weekend brought a 16 miler.  My legs were definitely feeling beat from a week of workouts and no days off since pre-PDR. AU and I decided to wait til the afternoon to give more recovery time AND more important - SLEEP!  My first weekend day of sleep in who knows how long.  I lounged around watching football and napping til around 4.  AMAZING.  :)

So off I headed to the UES which ended up being a trip and a half because the trains were local.  Ugh:(    I was so glad to have AU to run with because I did not feel like running.  Not at all.  But having someone to get you through it is all the world.  So off we set in the humid air and all.

The run was peaceful as the sun set on another day.  The west side path was free of wandering pedestrians, crazy cyclists, etc.  It was just right.  Mid run the shirt came off because it was so hot and the mugginess of the air.  The legs once again fell into a rhythm and things felt good.  Mid-run I told AU we should hit the west side path to save the legs rather than doing a lap of the park and then Morningside park. Ouch.  We headed down the westside and I said she could count on me to properly get the right distance.  I used time - not mileage and figured out how far we had to go downtown.  Sure enough - picture perfect.  16.2 miles total. The average pace was 8:51 which considering this was an LSD I'm quite pleased.  Things seem to continue to fall into place.

Today I'm taking the day off as it's Yom Kippur.  I'm recharging the batteries for the final push to October 25.  I'm getting super excited and nervous at the same time.  It's a good thing - it reminds me of the excitement I felt for my first couple of marathons.  Something that you just can't explain. 

Keep on runnin'.  And smiling.  Big things await.

September 21st, 2009

Game, set....

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As you can tell, my confidence has grown in the past month as has the strength in my running.  Some have stated that marathon training makes you slower and the like.  Well, if you came across this to read that the statement is true then please move along.  I have just taken that statement in the past month and smashed into the pavement somewhere by the Art Museum in Philly.  Today marked the first time I have taken down a PR in about 3 years!!!  I forgot how good it feels to reap the benefits of hard work.

Anyway, this weekend I headed to Philly for the holiday.  It just so happened the Philadelphia Distance Run coincided with the holiday.  Perfect! I've run this race 4 times before and it's such a treat.  My dad's friend has run every single race since it started and at the 30th anniversary made them VIPs.  This meant he got 4 VIP passes to share with friends.  Lucky for me my dad is good friends with him and I get to reap the benefits!  Benefits include hanging in the same area as the elites pre-race (hello Ryan hall and Catherine the Great!), easy access to portapotties (including a sink to wash your hands) and an awesome spread of food post-race!

Before we get to the race, nyflygirl came down and got to enjoy the perks as well.  We picked her up on Saturday and headed down to Philly to pick up our numbers at the Convention Center.  One thing I am VERY disappointed about with the race is how overly corporate it has gotten.  They actually CHARGED money to track runners this year.  Ridiculous.  It's one thing to force every runner to schlep to pick up their number but now you won't even let people know where their friends and family members are without shelling out more money? PLEASE! </rant>  Anyway, the expo was pretty "eh" which made the wallets happy.  Plus eye on the prize!  My number was interesting, just take a look at those first three digits;)

Saturday night was spent carboloading up Rosh Hashanah style:)  Chicken soup, turkey, meatballs, eggplant, greenbeans, mashed potatos:)  So delicious and made me super ready for Sunday.

Sunday and 5am the alarm cries out on my phone.  I had taken everything out the night before (old school TRD singlet, red shorts and Elixirs) so all I had to do was throw everything on.  At 5am, you can't think about doing much else.  I head downstairs and my dad tells me he hasn't heard movement from nyflygirl's room!  I head in and sure enough, lights out and fast asleep until I flick the light on.  I've never seen anyone dart out of bed at 5:15 as fast as she did!  It was very cartoon like.  10 minutes later we were spreading White Chocolate Wonderful Peanutbutter from PB&Co on H&H Bagels.  Out the door we go to meet my dad's friends to head down to the race!   We get to the parking lot and my dad, being dad, sees his friend and sets the car next to him and parks.  One itty-bitty issue.  It was an isle, not a parking spot! Ha.

Upon arrival in Philly, we head to the start area and the VIP check-in.  I saw Ryan Hall, Josh Cox, Catherine, etc.  It was AMAZING!  I had a guy that holds the AMERICAN record for so many distances right there.  So cool!  Anyway, now that I'm over my gushing of awesome runners, pre-race consisted of some tunes to get the head ready for the race.  I had a very good vibe for this race which again is something I've lacked the past few years.  Pre-game tunes consisted of playlists from now and 2005.  I'm not superstitious:)

Around 7:20 we parted ways with my dad and his friends to get to the start.  It was a gigantic clusterf***.  Sure, they had seeded corrals and waves but it seemed that, unlike the NYRR, no one was really checking.  Plus, 5 minutes before the start people were POURING into the corral to the point you could hardly move.  I like that the NYRR says: you're late?  To the back you go!  These people know better as they've run more than a fair share of races. Tsk. 

Nyflygirl and I were in the 3rd corral and you could tell we were both focused for this.  As the time got closer, there wasn't a lot of talking but focusing going on.  We both had our own race plans which is the way it should be.  I knew what I wanted for my A plan which was a sub 1:40.  I knew it would be tough but figured what the hell? I have 5 weeks to go.  Plenty of time to give it a go today.

The wave start was fantastic as as the horn went I was able to get a quick release and immediately hit my stride.  I knew within the first quarter mile on the Parkway it was going to be my day.  A perfect day: sunny with temps in the low 50s to start the race.  I forgot what it felt like to have perfect racing conditions (thanks, flygirl - remember this for the 25th).  Immediately flygirl pulled way ahead and I had a feeling she was going to have an amazing day!  As for me, my legs settled right into pacemaster zone.  They just clicked and it didn't feel like all out effort but not easy.  Just a good pace to fall into for 13.1. 

As we hit the streets of Center City, I continued to just cruise.  I was in the zone.  People around me didn't matter.  I just ran to my own drum and continued to cruise as some would speed up and some slowed down, I maintained.  As we hit close to mile 5, I saw my dad and just said "I'm going to go for it!"  I hadn't told him what my goals were but he knew what I was after.  I could tell by the thumbs up and huge smile on his face.  He's used to me not all out racing and giving it all I've got - especially the past few years.  Again, I must say it felt so damn good to let it fly.

Onto the west drive we headed for the loop which I've become so familiar with.  I LOVE this part of the race.  I can totally just cruise and there's no turns to slow you down.  I always seem to negative split this race because of this portion.  No exception today.  Around mile 10, I ran into a Front Runner that was doing her first PDR.  I was hoping she'd latch on and we'd be able to use eachother to race towards the elusive 1:40.  No dice so I just continued rolling along.  As we hit the boathouses, my legs were feeling like toast and I could not wait to see that finishline.  As that feeling hit, I reminded myself that this is what will happen 5 weeks from today.  It's going to hurt but you're going to want it more.  Keep at it.  I knew sub-1:40 wasn't going to happen unless I ran a sub 7 mile but I knew I was due for a HUGE new shiny PR.  Nothing to get upset about.  As I hit the Parkway and the hairsharp 180 degree turn for the finish I saw my dad again and gave every ounce of energy pretending it was October 25.  Crossing the finish line it felt amazing - 1:40:39!!!  Holy crap.  I didn't just tear up my PR, I took it and pounded it into the pavement in Philly.  What an amazing day and amazing feeling to run well again.  Two consecutive races, two amazing efforts. 

As I met up with nyflygirl, I was so curious to hear how she did.  I KNEW she kicked major a**.  Sure enough, she did with a 1:37.  Wowzers.  You go girl!  As she enjoyed a few beers, I went for a mimosa and cookie.  YAY we earned that and then some.

Now, take a look at my splits:



Looking at them, it looks like I lost my 1:40 pretty early with the 7:45s.  But ya know, it's ok.  My "A" goal was to PR.  "B" goal was sub 1:45.  "C" goal was sub 1:47.  Happy!  Now it's time to focus on getting to the "match" portion of the training.  It's so close and now is the time to keep things together and stay healthy.  I'm really pumped from this performance and now know what I am capable of.  The plan is to keep doing whatever it is I'm doing because it seems to be working just fine!


September 13th, 2009

Ramp it up

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MCM
Without any intention, this week turned into a high octane, intense training week.  One of my best ever I think in fact.  Since Monday, I've run 6 of 7 days (Friday was a complete off day).  It's funny before this week I had no idea where my training was and felt like a rebel without a clue:-p  I was running and biking but where was I going?  Had I improved?  Did I get my legs back or was I due for another 3:50 'thon and disappointment.  I know I know that's a great time but I'm not satisfied with that anymore.  I want more.  This week may have proved I'm ready to step it up.

Monday:  I was up in the Berkshires in Connecticut.  I pumped out a 5 mile run at about a 9:15 pace.  At first glance that sounds "eh."  But consider the elevation? Almost 1300 ft.  Decent run.
Tuesday: My friend AU wanted to do a tempo run and asked if I wanted to join.  I figured why not? I had taken the day off from work and it always feels good to get a quality run in.  Result?  10.5 miles at an 8:20 clip.  Including hills up by morningside park.  Sweet.
Wednesday: Nike speed with 5 x 1000m on the track.  I knew I needed to be careful with the intensity of the night before.  Result? 8 min pace with ease - felt really good.  Last one? 7:35 pace.  Hmm something's happening here.
Thursday: Met up with friends at Niketown to meet Kara Goucher.  She is AMAZING.  Totally down to earth and loves NYC.  Who wouldn't:)  Anyway, that ended up being close to a 4 mile run at an 8:40 clip.  My legs were tired but still felt ok.
Friday: Rainy and OFF.
Saturday: Race day.  4 miler in Central Park.  Quite honestly I had no idea what to expect.  My legs could give me an 8 min mile race or surprise me.  First, I got a red corral number since it was an all female race.  This gave me extra juice to give it a go.  Then Kara Goucher showed up to wish us well.  Hey, if miss 4:55 min/mile interval girl is there, I can't half ass this!  As the horn blazed, I just said "to hell with it" and raced.  Off I went and managed to pull my second fastest 4 mile run EVER.  Holy crap!  This after the week I had already?  What would happen on rested legs?  29:32 result/7:23 pace.  Quite pleased. 
Sunday: 20 miles.  This was a true test on dead legs.  I think it was great practice for race day.  Those last couple of miles really reminded me of what the last miles of the marathon feel like.  I could feel the end of a 50+ mile week.  Tired but I could sense the reward at the end.  It's one of those feelings that keeps me running.  Knowing that the finish line is an amazing feeling everytime.  The run was terrific as I joined the NY Flyers for their 20 mile bridges run which took us down the west side highway, over the Brooklyn Bridge, through Brooklyn, Pulaski Bridge and Queens.  Overall just a 9:25 pace but it didn't feel awful.  Sure it was tough - it is 20 miles for crying out loud - but right now besides exhaustion I'm not sore.  Not at all.  The picture to the right is me coming off the Queensboro almost 18 miles in.  Looking pretty good! 

What now?  I'm taking a bit of a down week to prepare for the Philly Distance Run (Ryan Hall is running it!) next weekend.  My goal?  I want to have a solid race.  Sub 1:45 would be great.  If I can sub 1:45 and feel decent it makes that magical number come October 25th seem not so invincible. 

I'm excited.  Things are starting to come together and I think the missing link from the past couple years - speed - is back in the equation.  Six weeks to go and hopefully it will continue to build towards the elusive goal.  Bring it!  Time to get to that finish line...

September 9th, 2009

Checking in...

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strong
So here I am less than 7 weeks from the big day. Hard to believe really. Training this year has been very different than last year as I am definitely taking a much more relaxed route. For one, I have not logged any runs on a website. Sure I've worn a watch but I couldn't tell you how many miles I ran last month. I actually feel great about it - much more relaxed about it all.

I've gone to 2005 mode. What's that you may ask? Cross-training, cross-training and when in doubt more cross-training. It's kept me fresh and excited about training. Last year I burnt out and refuse to let running do that to me. I love to run!

I've been biking and running to work 3x a week which is amazing! I love that my work is so green friendly. The biking definitely has worked different muscle groups and has improved my running. I started speed work again with Nike downtown and was able to hold a sub 7 pace on the track.

It's got me excited to race again. Honestly, it's the first time in a while that it's felt damn good to be out there again.

Tonight I banged out 11ish with a friend at my hopefully MP. It felt awesome and it was hilly after conquering the Berkshires yesterday.

First 20 on Sunday but after 2 or 3 18s I'm feeling good about it. I've got a 4 mile race Saturday, PDR half the following Sunday, Cow Harbor 10k the 26th and Gretes half on the 3rd! Busy stuff!
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July 16th, 2009

Keep on movin'

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strong
Well now that I've got a nifty new route home I've been taking full advantage of it! It looks like Wednesday will turn into my run home from work day (at least in the summer). Last night was another perfect summer evening.

After a pressing day at work, nothing beats hitting the roads. Nothing. The first couple of miles are always rough and the doubts creep in. You know the ones - oh I'll just take the subway the rest of the way. Well, the great part of my run is that the best part of the run is part 2 - battery park city, statue of liberty, bridges and seeing home. That's when my thoughts engulfed in how happy I am to be in NYC and how beautiful everything is! And what could be bad about ending with a jog across the Brooklyn Bridge. Ok, that can be a bit annoying with tourists - but wow to the views!

The run itself: I've returned to pacemaster. Within 4 seconds of my pace last week!

What's on tap? 4 mile race Saturday and long run Sunday. I feel like I'm just finally getting into this. It's a long road so I'm fine with it - perhaps my peak will be Oct 25?
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July 13th, 2009

Checkin' in

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strong
So marathon training is moving onward. This one has been harder than all of my previous ones. I think it is the whole thing of life happening. However, I finally feel like things are starting to click. I'm settled in my new place (hooray for no more house stress) and the sun remembered it is summer!

Last week I incorporated a 9 miler from work to home. It's actually a gorgeous route with the water views and of course the BK Bridge. I felt really good which was encouraging. My runs have just been fair really since Philly.

Friday I brought in the crosstraining. I biked to and from work. I forgot how tough it is on your muscles when you're not used to it! It was a good workout but I need to remember food for when I get to work. I was famished - and a small granola bar doesn't cut it!

Saturday was an off day so I could prep for my housewarming. That was an exercise in itself - started at 8am and didn't stop til cleanup at 1am!

Sunday was long run day. Now that I'm a BK girl I need to be wise with my runs and incorporate Manhattan activities. I signed up for the deal so kill two birds with one stone! I ran from Brooklyn to the Boat Basin up on west 79th. It felt good and I am still in shock I could run at 11am in the middle of July! Run totaled between 13-14 miles. Not bad!

This week will be a lot of morning workouts with all the post work activities. Crazy!


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