Getting to Staten Island

I’ve been working on my race review for the NYC marathon for about a week now. However, due to lack of time, having any energy in my body to type and of course the editor mode being a pain in the arse; the days keep slipping away and I’ve only written about 1/3 of my experience. I wanted to make sure that I stay as honest and detailed as possible so give me a few more minutes/hours/days.

But I did wanted to share a small tidbit with you about one of my favorite things, the Expo. So please accept this small offering while I finish writing.


 

It started with a trip to the Jacob Javits Center on Thursday afternoon with a mission to pick up my bib and walk around the Expo.

Yeah, I'm gonna get my NY on

Hell yeah, I’m gonna get my NY on!

Of course I needed to get a picture of one of my favorite runners who would be joining me on the running route that Sunday, Kara Goucher.

#BFFS #runningbuddies

#BFFS #runningbuddies

Of course, she was a little quiet during our get together but whatever.

Then I followed up my time at the expo with my favorite thing, shopping.

I love new running gear!

I love new running gear!

There’s something always fun about buying running gear. Especially gear from a prestigious marathon that you’re gonna kick ass in. I had been saving my pennies for this expo and bought a few things that I had been eyeing online. I love this hoodie, by the way, its perfect whenever winter decides to kick in.

And then I saw this amazing wall post and I had to get a picture with it.

WorldMajorsPoster_NYCMarathon

As some of you know, one of my life goals is to run all six of the World Major Marathons. Well, after Sunday two out of the six have been completed with only four more to go; and one of those four happens to be Boston. Yeah, I don’t have the goal to complete them all before I turn 40 or something. I just want to get them all done before I die. I can’t believe I’m already a third of the way there!

After spending a few hours wandering around, checking out all the sales and getting my running geekiness on it was time to go and tackle a few other tasks. (Like having to work Friday and trying to get over a damn cold still.)

The next time I would be in the city would be with some friends eating carbs, in the lower East side on a cold and windy evening trying to calm my nerves before one of the biggest running events.

From One Day to the NYC Marathon

Seven years and one week ago, I went down to Harlem on the first Sunday in November to see a friend at the time run the NYC marathon. I wanted to get there early and have a good spot so I parked myself right before the 22 mile marker right on the curb. As soon as I got there, the elite women runners started to round the corner and I decided to capture this once in a lifetime moment of seeing these amazing athletes at their peak. I had been watching them in the morning as I was getting ready to come into the city and I was in awe of Paula Radcliffe, the British marathoner who was leading the pack. I amazingly got my camera out at the right moment and was able to get this shot.

Paula Radcliffe is in the lead. You know, the blur running by.

Paula Radcliffe is in the lead. You know, the blur running by.

Yep, she is the blur in the lead who was going so fast that I didn’t have time to let my camera focus on her. But I’m proud of this photo, I actually love it! It just goes to show you how strong of an athlete she is. Anyways, I took this photo and sat at that corner watching other marathoners run through the city until late into the afternoon. At some point, I quietly told myself, wouldn’t it be cool to do that one day? Maybe I can run a marathon.  

Well, instead of doing one, I’ve run three and last week was the race that inspired this all. Last week, I ran the New York City Marathon.

I’m still in awe that I completed it and now I giddily look back on the adventure, even though it was the coldest run that I have experienced in a really long time. But not matter, I was pretty much all smiles along the route and enjoyed taking in every moment that I had while running around my favorite city. I definitely wanted to honor the experience with its own post but I can’t help and look back at this photo and think of the person who took it. At the time, I had only been running on a treadmill at a gym and only participated in one road race; terrified of ever running outside because I didn’t want to deal with hills. Now, I train on the hills of Golden Gate Park, I’ve run several races with plans for more, especially in the world of marathons. If I had known then what I was about to do I would’ve laughed.

Even now, I have a smile on my face. DAMN! I ran the NYC Marathon. That was awesome!

Weekend To Rest and Run

As I’m writing this, Jon’s cleaning the bathroom. Yep, my guy has spent the last couple of hours cleaning our house to make sure it’s ready for the work week. I, on the other hand, have been trying to think of a good reason not to go for my run today and I can’t think of anything that won’t make me regret my decision. I hate it when that happens. Even now I’m sitting here in my running clothes typing instead of running. What the heck is wrong with me? I know I have a marathon coming up, I need to get my butt into gear.

Sometimes I hate running. I really don’t like running in the afternoon, but this morning I woke up and felt dehydrated so I spent the rest of the day drinking water. I’m on call for my job every Sunday too, so I’m waiting for the moment when my shift is over and then I’ll go for a run. I’m always nervous that I’ll get a call when I’m out and so to prevent that I just wait. It’s lame I know. I even run with my work phone but still I don’t want to spend the 15 minutes it takes to answer a phone call when I get my torture over and done with.

Ok, my shift is over, I can go now. I need to get this over and done with. I don’t want to think about it any more.

(5 Hours Later)

Jon was still cleaning the house when I got home. He wins. Man, he was on a roll this weekend. When that happens I tend to go with it. It was especially nice to see after he completed his first week of work. Yep, he got a job and I’m so happy for him. It was a win that he needed, a position that he was really excited about and at a great company. He was really eager to start. I’m just glad that he’s gonna get a routine now. For the last year and a half I’ve been the one getting out of bed early to go to work, trying not to make any noise. Now, the lights are on, TV is playing and we’re both running around the house trying to get ready for the day.

Ok, so the run. It went well considering I didn’t want to be there. I averaged about a 11:55 pace which is good but not really.  I’m training for the NYC Marathon using the Hanson Marathon Method, which really encourages you to stay close to your easy pace and not try to go faster. I’ve been failing at that. I was suppose to maintain a 12:05 pace the most today and as you can see, I was averaging 10 seconds faster. I start speed drills Tuesday so I’m really nervous that I might be burning out, I really hope I don’t because I do want to go into the NYC marathon with a goal of running a 4:45. I really hope I’m close to that. Ok. I need to stop freaking out. Enough, freaking out. 

So the run actually was better then expected. I have this 6 mile route that I tend to dread since there are a few hills in the last 2 miles. I hate it. But then it’s close to home and takes me down some of my favorite streets in our neighborhood. I love admiring the houses during the run. Fortunately, I had two of my favorite podcasts on the line up, This American Life and Pop Culture Happy Hour to get me through the hour and change. It’s funny, I’ve now gotten into the mood of listening to podcasts instead of songs while running. I think the interesting stories get me through it.

Ugh. I’m already looking at the clock it’s time for bed. I need to sleep. I have 4 miles to run in the morning. Good night!!!

How do I do this again?

This cold has really taken both of us out.

On Sunday morning, Jon woke up finally feeling the pain that I’ve been dealing with since Thursday. (I literally jumped on him and was pouring Dayquil down his throat yesterday.) I, on the other hand, have been on the mend which is good considering today is Monday and I need to be back in the office. It sucks to be sick on the weekend but I rather spend Saturday and Sunday sleeping, laying in bed and getting healthy then coughing a lung up on a Thursday. Now, it’s Jonathan’s turn and he’ll probably be spend the next few days laying around the house sniffling, coughing and sleeping. I don’t blame him.

Since I’m pretty much recovered I’m thinking about going for a run soon. With Daylight Savings kicking in I can finally go for a run after work which is great. I use to be a morning runner but sometimes the option of running after work can be so rewarding after a long stressful day. Especially when the sun is setting, it can be the most relaxing and cooling time to go out and run around the town. Since the half marathon is not too far away I’m going to try and adopt some of the Hanson’s Half Marathon Method. I downloaded the program a few days ago and even though I’m 6 weeks behind I’m going to try and apply some of the things that they teach, mainly the consistent running. The one down side is that week seven starts with speed drills and I highly doubt that I’ll be able to complete those after recovering for two weeks.

My first speed drill will be a 10 x 400 with a 400 recovery. Basically that means one run around the track as close to a 5K pace that I can go with a light recovery jog afterwards. Repeat that 10 times. I’d just be happy to complete it! This is what happens when you stop running. It feels like starting over again and since I’m not the fastest runner it feels like I’m taking two steps back instead of a step forward.

But welcome to the world of running. The only person who’s going to judge on how fast you’re going is yourself. So the moment that you’re pushing yourself to go faster is better than anything else in the world.

All I want right now is a fro-yo.

Plugging Along

Seriously, I can’t believe its March already. I swore we just started 2014 yesterday. I’m amazed at how long it’s been. Here are the highlights:

– I got into another war with my Garmin 210. Again, I think the Garmin won. So instead of trying to replace the Garmin that I was frustrated with I decided to go with an upgraded version, the Garmin 620. It’s a bigger investment but so worth it for me. It does have a lot more features that I’m excited to use and some that I need. It’s been pretty awesome!

Nice to see you again, 10:30.

Nice to see you again, 10:30.

– Two weeks ago, I ran one of my best paces in a really, really long time. A 10:30 pace. It’s a time I haven’t seen since the days when I was running 5-6 days a week. Unfortunately afterwards, my left leg started to give me some issues and I decided to give myself some time to recover. The time off helped however now I’m fighting off a cold. A pretty bad one too. I haven’t been this sick in years and so instead of spending my weekend training or enjoying the gorgeous sunshine, I’m laying in bed surrounded by tissues, water, iced tea (my comfort drink) and my Netflix queue.

– I’m officially running the New York City Marathon this year. After the set back of 2012, I’m actually excited to train for the event since I found a new training method thanks to one of my new favorite blogs, Runs for Cookies. Katie ran last year’s Chicago Marathon as well and used the Hanson’s Marathon Method. The training schedule is a lot different from the traditional methods that I’m use to but the great perk is that the longest run is on 16 miles. YEAH! 16!!! The schedule is pretty consistent too with 5-6 days of running. I’m hoping that by using their method, I’ll hit a personal record.

– One of the things that I have avoided talking about on my blog is my weight. I’m not confident about it at all. Actually, I hate it. I’m really embarrassed about how much I weight since I probably haven’t weighed this much since my mom died. I probably weigh more. (I haven’t posted a photo of myself on the Interwebs in a long time, have you noticed?) I’m so sensitive to my weight that I’m not comfortable, still, talking about it here. But I want to be comfortable to do that, I want to feel comfortable with my own skin. Maybe one day I will let you know my starting weight, but right now I’m not there. With that said, my goal is to lose weight, enough that I’m in a healthy range again. I want to be a strong and fast runner and I know to become one I need to change the way that I eat. Because of that, I’ve joined Weight Watchers. I’ve done the program in the past so I’m hoping now I can have it really focus on doing it the healthy way and not freaking out every time I eat something that counts as a point. I just want to be healthy again. I started the program a few days ago and thanks to my cold I’m a little off, but everyday is a new day to get back on the program. Time to start over.

So that’s what my life has been looking like right now. Hope you’re all doing well.

The First Run is the Deepest

Yesterday, I went for my first run since October.

Ok, well that’s technically not true. I tried to do a 1 mile run the day after Christmas and I swore I thought I was going to die. No seriously, I thought I was going to cough up a lung, my heart would stop beating and I would just fall over. Of course, this could be partially blamed on the fact that I was trying to run a sub 10 min mile. Yeah, not smart at all.

So yesterday morning I decided to give it another go but with a different goal. I was going to have fun.

Back story is that I’m training for two events this year, a half marathon in June and the New York Marathon in November. I somehow convinced three of my friends (sorry, ladies) to run a ½ marathon last year and now we’re training for it. We’ve got a schedule going, planning on doing some trainings together and of course good old fashion accountability.

Well, Monday was Day 1 of training and guess who slept through her alarm? Yeah, so much for a good start. However, I stuck with the program; just because I missed the first run doesn’t mean the whole schedule was off. So I continued with cross training Tuesday and a 25 min run on Wednesday.

And then it started to happen again. I wanted to compete with myself.

I’ve been away from my running sneakers for almost 3 months now , ok, 2 weeks. It doesn’t seem that much, but to my body it feels like the first time running again. I didn’t want to wake up early, I felt tired and winded in the first few minutes and it was too cold (all my East Coast readers are gonna roll their eyes at that last comment). It was the hardest run but the most rewarding because I had fun again.

I started the route off telling myself, “No competing! This is not track day.” I kept reminding myself to breath, to enjoy the quiet time and to just focus on the getting the 25 minutes whether big or small; and sure enough it worked. I got the high again.

I was reminded why I like to run in the morning and how nice the cool air can feel when you first start going. I got to run along with barely a soul out enjoying the sun rise. I even was able to wear one of the Christmas presents Jon got me, Oiselle Arm Warmers. They are perfect for the California early mornings; something warm enough to get you out of the door, but easy to take off when you don’t need it anymore. I left my iPod at home so as not be distracted and I just ran without thinking.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling, a feeling of no judgment. There have been so many times where I’ve had a mileage or pace so focused in my head that I set myself up to fail. Not that it’s a bad thing to have a goal, but remembering to give yourself some grace is a good thing. I don’t have to run every single training session better than the last, as long as I make progress over time thats a good thing. I also get lost in the idea of people are judging me while I run. Yeah I’m not at my best pace or even in the best shape, but I’m still going and one day soon I’ll get there. I’m one step and one day closer to a PR!

I was reading Runner’s World’s series, How Running Changed Me: John Critchfield yesterday. I love reading that series, it totally can get anyone inspired. He mentions this great quote that now is sitting on my desktop and my office wall.

“If you’re out there on the road or trail, breathing slightly harder than you would be at the ice-cream sundae bar, you’re in a moment of personal perfection regardless of what you did or didn’t do the day before.” —Marc Parent, Runners World

I’ve missed this. I’ve missed the freedom. I sometimes I forget that I’m a two time marathoner. Dammit! I was hardcore once. Now, I’m gonna make it three. Man, I am a badass!

Be a badass!

Be a badass!

New York in November or Bust

This past Thursday, the greatest news was emailed to me.

I'm In

Holy Schnikes! I got accepted!

Yes, people of the world, I got into the New York City Marathon. I was one of the millions of people who hoped and prayed and my prayers were answered. HUZZAH! So in November of this year I’m going to be running the 5 boroughs, probably peeing in my pants and hoping to get my name in the New York Times with a 4:20 Personal Record (PR). My last race was 5:30 and it was torture, but fortunately with New York, it’s a relatively flat race. I mean the only hill is in mile 1 getting out of Staten Island.  SA-WEET!

Right now, I’m not in the marathon zone at all. I’m running a half marathon next week which should help and today I signed up to train with a local running group in my town, A Runner’s Mind. The staff there are super nice and since it’s early I think they’ll be the best people to get my fat butt into kick arse mode. However, I don’t think I’m going to be the best person to be training with every Tuesday at 6am.

Ahh running season; the perfect reminder that my days of sleeping in on Saturdays will be just a dream for a few months.