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!

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!

Here’s the Highlights

I was actually talking to my boss today about my blog which reminded that I have a lot of catching up to do. Actually, I haven’t been back here in about 6 months. It’s not like my life has been boring or anything it just seems that time keeps getting away when I want to write. So instead of going out to a club on a Friday night and dancing like a mad woman with my husband, I’m going to spend the night catching you up on some of the highlights of my life. I’m just kidding. My plans all day have been to sit on my couch, in my pjs and  watch a movie with Jonathan; which we’re doing now. We live the most boring lives sometimes. 

A little review of the last 6 months:

– I got a job working at Dolby! I’m not going to go into all the details but it’s a great place to be for a former film student/tech geek like myself.

– I’ve legally changed my name to my married name, so I’m now part of Jonathan’s family. That was an emotional trip.

– I’m running the Chicago Marathon this year with Team in Training. I’m running 12 miles tomorrow and I’m freaking out.

– I finally got Jonathan a first anniversary wedding present.

– I went to my first Trent Reznor concert, which was amazing!

– I started drinking coffee again this week. It’s so delicious; I missed it.

Let’s start off with that, and I’ll give you the full details soon. Right now, I want to go to bed. A 7am start time for my run is not too far from my future.

Coming Back to Life

You know how sometimes you’ll have those really quiet moments in your life and then BAM! everything hits all at the same time? Yep, that’s what my life has looked like for the last two weeks. Not that I’m complaining, I’m just trying to get some order in my life. I’ve lost my routine and I hate that. However, the one thing that comes with me being this crazy is that I got a gym membership and oh how I’ve missed going to the gym.

I’m not a big gym rat. I’ve never really been the one to obsess going over everyday but having a place to go and burn off steam has been beneficial to my marriage. 🙂 Not that Jon and I fight a lot but there are a few things here and there that still drive me up that wall that I need to “work out”. (Pun intended) But since the weather is still gorgeous here and hitting the the low 80s/high 70s it’s been a perfect time to get s0me swimming in since I’m still holding off on running.

If you’re not aware, I had to pull myself out of the NYC Marathon this year due to an injury. I was feeling a lot pain in my foot & knee at mile 2 when I was trying to do 18 miles. I didn’t feel safe running that distance and after mile 6 the pain was getting worse. I went to see a Dr. and they gave me the official verdict of not this year, but maybe next year. I was heart broken and depressed for a while but knew that pushing myself could only make it worse and do some serious damage. I bowed out while I could and have been told that I’ll be guaranteed entry for next year. I’m glad I get the chance to still run it, but giving up the dream of running with Paula has been a little hard.

I’m planning on a slow return to the sport. As much as I want to jump in right away, I know that I’m going to resent it if I get injured, so I’m going to start with just 2 miles. It’s a far cry from where I use to be but I think that 2 is a good start. I think today might be the day to start.  It’s overcast with a lovely shade of grey and there’s a cool breeze. Plus running now means I’ve got it over and done with for the day. So it’s decided. Today is the day where the sneaks come out, get laced up and are put to use.

This is a good way to start a weekend!

What every runner thinks at least once.

Lace Up the Sneaks!

Like any good bride trying to get ready for her wedding day I’m trying to lose weight and if you didn’t know one of those ways is by running. Yes, I’m a runner. Shocking I know but thanks to participating in Team In Training (aka TNT) I’m now addicted to the sport and always looking for the next high. However, this weekend was not that.

I was training for the See Jane Run Half Marathon for a while but then hit a bit of a rut the last few weeks with the trip to Hawaii (I know, I know, I shouldn’t be complaining) and getting back into a routine at work, and trying to plan a wedding. So there’s been a limit with me getting a chance to lace up the sneaks. Then this week I came down with a bug, I don’t know what but I could barely handle getting through the day. I ended up going to bed on Friday night at 9pm. On Saturday, I felt a little bit better, I knew that I could handle a run but I was debating on whether to do the half or go with the 5K. I started looking at the route and was thinking well maybe… I turned to Jonathan and told him that I might be up for it and he said “you don’t look so good”. And let’s just say that I’m glad he was right.

I ended up doing the 5k with my girlies, Jen and Valerie. Jen was sick, Val was getting over being sick as well and we decided not to push ourselves. We decided to take a picture afterwards and here’s a shot of how awful I looked. (I’m on the left.)

See Jane Run Finishers

How desperate are we for sleep?

For a bunch of ladies who were sick and just ran after doing nothing I think we look hot. And thank heavens for See Jane Run for providing a lot of champagne because that’s what this sick girl needed. We promise to dominate another race, just right now getting through the day and not dying was an accomplishment.