Crunch time.

Leave a comment Standard

I am so happy because I finally finished all of the work I had this week and met my deadline. Taking Monday off set me back in a big way, both at work and with recovery from my long run on Sunday. Here’s how my week went:

Monday- rest
Tuesday-12 miles on the treadmill
Wednesday- 8 miles on the treadmill and strides
Thursday- 8 miles on the treadmill (see a theme here?)
Friday- 6 miles on the treadmill and travel to New York
Saturday- rest (lots of walking around the city)
Sunday- 20 miles

Total: 54 miles

Treadmill distance PR! Thanks to Nuun for keeping me hydrated.

I found out at some point (I think on Wednesday) that my 5k was cancelled, so I decided to run before work on Friday. I had also planned to do a long run with some of my Oiselle teammates on Sunday, but because of the storm they were not able to make it. So I made tentative plans to run with different teammates on Saturday. Then… the marathon got cancelled anyway. Since Saturday was my mom’s birthday, we chose to spend the day in Manhattan and then head to Albany for the rest of the weekend.

Manhattan skyline, 43rd floor of the Hilton New York

Birthday lunch for mom at Carmine’s.

And then we hit up Magnolia for some cupcakes. The pumpkin one was soooo good.

Since we were in Albany, I had the good fortune of having a place to do a long run. We decided to make a family run of it, so to make it fair for everyone I offered to push my niece in her stroller while Steph and Brandon did their long run and Pete biked and ran some of it as well. Holy crap. Anybody who runs with a stroller on a regular basis, I bow down to you. I did 15 miles pushing that stroller up some gigantic hills, and Pete kept me company on the bike for the remaining 5. I managed to average 8:13 for entire run, which is slower than I would usually run but I would say equal to about 7:30- 7:45 per mile. I actually felt really good for the last few miles, and overall I was very encouraged by this run.

Steph and I post-long run. Steph just became a part of Oiselle Team!

Travel home was pretty rough, and we didn’t get back until midnight on Monday. I got four hours of sleep before I was scheduled to run 12 miles on the teadmill. I felt awful. I only made it 6 miles, and it was reeeeeally slow. Wednesday morning I made attempt #2 and felt even worse so I went back to sleep. Thursday was a little better, so I ran an easy 6 again (and wore my Oiselle “Easy 6” Rundies). This morning I intended to just do another 6 and it didn’t happen. I’ve been a complete mess this week just trying to get a load of work done and squeezing in my runs even though I feel horrible.

150 students x 8 assignments = 1200 grades PLUS 150 exams. But I do love my job.

Last night I realized I might be coming down with something so that’s part of the reason I didn’t run this morning. The good news is that the rest of my body is recovering well. I wasn’t very sore after my long run, just tired, and it was my first 20 miler since February. That hamstring issue cleared up after I did an amazing yoga session, and it hasn’t bothered me since. Even with some minor setbacks, I think I’m ready for a good race in two and a half weeks (edit: three and a half weeks… my brain is mush).

In case you were wondering, my sister and brother-in-law (Steph and Brandon) decided to come down this weekend and run the Norfolk Freedom Marathon. They are offering a discount to displaced New York City Marathoners, and since I had already registered for the half, it works out perfectly. I also finally mailed in my entry form for the Three Bridges Marathon on December 2nd. Yes, mailed it in. There is no online registration for this race and it is limited to 150 participants. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Where are you racing this weekend? Any fun races for the holiday season? 2012 is almost over… did you meet your goals for the year?

Peace of mind.

Comments 4 Standard

This is a guest post written by my sister Stephanie, in response to harsh criticism from many of her close friends and our family. These past few days have been very difficult to process, and Steph has had a particularly hard time with it. I decided to delete my Facebook account because the adult version of cyber bullying has gotten out of hand. In the end, love is louder. As runners we need to move on and continue to be responsible members of society instead of getting sucked in by all of the negativity. I know I will continue to support the American Red Cross and Race To Recover. I hope you all will be inspired to do the same, no matter what your opinion is on this topic.

Obviously, I have my reasons for not wanting this race cancelled. However, it angers me more that many people, who know nothing about the marathon, have decided to place a lot of blame on NYRR, the marathon, and the runners without educating themselves. Have you even looked at the course and where it runs? Are you aware that the people who are working to help with the destruction would not be pulled away (volunteers would replace police, etc.). There were still hotel rooms available in Manhattan (where most racers were staying). Any water or food given to marathoners was bought and paid for by marathoners with their entry fees. They are not being “taken away” from others. It would be nice for 47,000+ runners, their families, and all the volunteers to help out. In addition, it would be nice for NYRR to take runners’ food/water/ resources and distribute them to others. It is not required for everyone to give away their resources to help out others. A lot can be said on this subject. You have fresh water. Should you feel guilty about drinking it? Runners have been made to feel that way. I own a generator. Should I be required to hand it off to someone down there? No, but it would be nice. Just because NYRR rented some (with their own money) doesn’t mean that other organizations couldn’t. In addition, as of Thursday night, NYRR already raised 2.6 million dollars for this cause. I’m not sure of the additional amount that runners have since added, but each runner has been asked to donate at least $26.20 to the fund. There are a lot of organizations up and running, and uptown Manhattan is running as usual right now. Where do you draw the line on what should move on and when it should move on? I don’t hear many people complaining about Broadway being open or the Knicks, Nets, and Giants playing. Why so much coverage of the marathon and not these other organizations?

How many people signing petitions and liking things on Facebook even knew that there was a marathon this weekend? How many learned of the marathon because of the storm? How many people just jumped on the bandwagon and are in an uproar because of misinformation? How many people thought that just because service members were used in the past, and were slated to help out again, would be taken away from their current efforts?

A lot of the things that people are talking about are taking place where the destruction was bad (trust me, we have been watching the news all week and know all about it). But, the race course was not through the destruction. What would cancelling the marathon actually do to better the situation down there? It seems like a case of misery likes company. Recovery would not happen any faster with the marathon cancelled.

Running this race was more of a moral dilemma. We had decided to do it because we had a lot to lose otherwise. I feel really bad for what happened/what is happening in those areas of destruction. But, the reason the race was cancelled was not because the destruction was too bad or because NYRR was diverting resources. The race was cancelled because people who felt the race should not go on were threatening the lives and safety of the runners and the organizers. If I were someone petitioning the marathon, I would not feel very proud of that.

I hope that everyone who felt strongly enough to write about the marathon on social media and everyone who signed a petition doesn’t just quit there. Those people have a moral obligation to donate their time and money, not just the runners.

Pulling weeds: marathon week three

Comments 2 Standard

Week three started off kind of iffy, but ended well. I am optimistic despite the fact that I’m sitting here on my couch instead of doing my first 20 miler.

Take a look at my Believe I Am journal entries from this week. They basically center around my left hamstring and its varying degrees of gimpyness (I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m leaving it).

Part of the “job” of being a Sisters in Sport blogger is to check in on our goals which we established earlier this month. My goal is to use my BIA journal to track my progress with injury prevention. Instead of being stubborn about my training, I modified my pace and took out the strides that I normally do on Tuesdays. I added extra stretching and spent every evening sitting on a bag of ice (as well as Friday morning).

On Saturday Pete and I traveled to the Bertie Spooktacular 5k in Windsor, NC. This is our third year running this race, a small town 5k that attracts some fast regional runners due to the decent prize purse. In 2010 I finished 2nd, and in 2011 I finished 4th. Last year I was coming off my first block of marathon training and felt great for most of the race. This year I knew I was going into it at a completely different stage in my training, so I was a bit nervous. Luckily I was able to put my Believe I Am journal to good use.

Notice the bumpy handwriting due to bumpy car ride.

I identified the negative thoughts that crowd my thinking so I could replace them with positive ones.

Pulling weeds… changing the conversation.

Everyone goes through a give and take in their mind before they race, kind of like on TV shows and in movies when the character has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. By pulling those “weeds” and replacing them with “flowers” (like strong and relaxed, my two favorites) you can remain focused on your race and not be sidetracked by the chatter in your head.

So that’s what I did. The race was very spread out up front. I took my split at mile 1, just over 6:00, and knew I was not going to run a fast time. Besides a few male age groupers that I passed between mile 1 and mile 2, I was all alone with my thoughts. I did not feel good at all during the race and could have easily given up after a slow first mile, but I knew I would not be happy with myself if I gave in to excuses. So I pressed on through the winds, and ran as fast as I could down the long finishing straight. When I crossed the finish line I realized two things: that I had finished third (one place better than last year when I was in great shape) and that my hamstring did not hurt at all!

Post-race exhaustion.

I was going to decide this morning whether to cut the 20 miler short today and just go with one 20 miler for this marathon build up, but the decision was made for me. Hurricane Sandy has already flooded our streets and my treadmill is up on cinder blocks in the garage. I’ll probably do some yoga this afternoon, but mostly I’ll be resting and preparing for next weekend’s race at the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5k in Central Park. To all my friends on the east coast, stay safe!

How do you deal with the negative thoughts before races? Has Hurricane Sandy interrupted your training or racing plans this weekend? Know anyone braving the storm to run Marine Corps Marathon today?