Sunday, October 28, 2007

Because I hardly care...

...but don't want to fall behind in my posts, here's what went down this week.

Monday: ran with the kids. Ran on the "big" loop in CP. This is a real treat for them. I ran 2.5 miles with (after) them.

Tuesday: Ran the inner loop for a total of 5 miles (45 min) Softball game cancelled b/c other team forfeited.

Wendesday: Rest

Thursday: Ran 7 (whole loop + to and from park). Maintained a sub-nine pace to clock in at 1:02

Friday: Rest

Saturday: At gym, ran 3 on the treadmill (28 min) and lifted all the usuals. (Lat pull, triceps, obliques/abs, chest press, adductors, probably more I forget)

Sunday: 8 and three quarters (loop, res, and some extra) This took a while (1hr27).

Weekly stats:
26.25 miles
1 lift

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Far from exciting

Pretty much sums up my running as of late. Not that I have a problem with that, but it is kind of boring. Here are some examples.

Thursday I squeezed in a four miler in 36 minutes before an early softball game.
Saturday I hadn't planned on running, but the weather was too perfect to pass up a leisurely jaunt (5 miles, 47 min). Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought that. The park was packed! I stopped to catch up a bit with Crazy Trakmaniak, and spotted a few other Flyers on the run.
And this morning I had planned on attending "The Last Ten Miles" run with the Flyers, but ended up being a no-show. The night before was a late one, and I just don't want to push it at this point. Instead, I opted for a peaceful jog along the Hudson (5 miles, 47 min) to my gym to score a lift session.

We stand at 21 miles this week with 1 (one) lifting session. Like I said, far from exciting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where are we headed

I've been doing some thinking lately about my running; where I am now and where I want to be. It's only natural for a runner to set goals--to keep things interesting, ward off the boredom, and strive to improve. I'm at a point where I feel pretty good about my running. I'm managing about 20-22 miles a week and maintaining my stretching/strengthening regime. But I'm ready for something more.

On Saturday, I attempted my first ten miler post-injury. It was exactly 5 months (to the day) later than when I attempted this ten miler and failed miserably. Saturday's run was successful. In perfect fall weather, I tackled the main loop and 2 resevoir loops plus the mile to and from the park for a total of ten (6 + 1.5 + 1.5 + 1 = 10). This Saturday morning adventure took 1hr38 and left me pretty spent. But totally worth it.

Sunday I found myself at the gym. Crazy, but true. I say this all the time--but if I want to go anywhere in my running career, I *need* strength. So there I was, lifting and sculpting away, mostly working on core strenth, but also catering to my hip flexors and adductors, the likely culprits of my plaguing IT Band troubles.

Yesterday, the kids humored me by playing "The Soda Running Game" and had me laughing so hard it might have constituted an actual ab workout.

Today, I toured the Lower Loop of CP for a standard sixer (53:56).

So what are my goals? Nothing concrete yet--just something along the lines of gaining strength, speed, and flexibility in an effort to complement my future running endeavors.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What I did instead...

Saturday morning, bright and early, we headed up to the Catskills for an invigorating weekend of hiking, camping, and fishing. The weather was perfect, the foliage was kickin', and we were in high spirits (if not a little weary from our hella early wake-up call). Here's a piccy of the campsite, with our tent, which we set up immediately upon arrival.


Topping the agenda was a hike up to Cabot Mt (a four-digit foot ascent), so we laced up our boots and trekked to the trailhead. Overall, a great hike (5.5 miles). The perfect variety of uphill, downhill, climbs, straightaways, trees, rocks, and water. This is the view we were rewarded with for our efforts.


Post-hike was a fly-fishing excusion, which I spectated, followed by a return to camp with visions of sitting around a raging fire with icy seasonal ales in hand, frequently poking the fire and breathing in that fresh mountain air. But....as we all know...things do not always go as planned. No sooner had we returned to camp did we hear a crash of thunder. "Put up the fly!" was our immediate thought, which we did like pros. "In the nick of time," is the phrase that comes to mind, since mere seconds after the fly was secured the rain began. Our alternate plan was to sit in the car and listen to the Cubs get their assess handed to them on the radio while drinking said icy seasonal ales. About two hours later, the rain let up and we were able to achieve that dream fire and cook up some dinner.


*It rained, poured, stormed, pelted, etc. ALL night*


Day two: I awoke around seven to diminishing raindrops and a bit of a wet tent. Apparently we did not secure the fly like pros--the stakes hadn't been pounded in properly and the rain obligingly invaded our territory. Whatev. I wanted to get a run in. It was, afterall, marathon day and I wanted a consolation run. A leisurely jaunt around the campground and two loops around Little Pond (don't get too excited...I believe the pond loop was a mere 3/4 mile) and I had clocked myself a 23 minute run. Just for show, really. I thought of the runners the whole time--never once imagining the hell they were going through.

The rest of the day was a second fly-fishing trip (I read the WSJ) and a hike up and around the campground with a pretty steep descent. The downhills are always worse than the uphills for me. They are murder on the quads (remember the GC trip, Sticks?? Holy hell, that was brutal! Not to mention the 15 mile ascent on day two...) After that hike (3 miles), it was time to pack up camp and head back to the city.

************************

This week has been filled with Chicago Marathon discussion (people I have barely spoken with in months started coming out of the woodwork sending concerned emails and texts b/c they thought I had run it), and my own share of runs.

Columbus Day was observed at my school so I spent the morning running seven miles in CP (1hr4). Tuesday I forced myself to lift a bit after warming up on the elliptical. I swear--lifting needs to be a bit more front and center in my life. And today I knocked out six on the treadmill; rain was obnoxious so my softball game was cancelled. Boo.

I'd like to end with a small tribute to Chicago. Even though some people screwed up this weekend, it is still a fabulous city to me. Yes, the weather is wacky and totally unpredictable; the Cubs will never win the World Series (yes, I am THAT confident to use the word "never"); and the traffic delays are typically severe; but check out this pic taken at twilight from inside Millennium Park during my latest visit in early September. Quite beautiful.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thoughts on Chicago

I am still in shock about what happened this past Sunday in Chicago. It was the last thing anyone expected. And my heart goes out to Chad Schieber and his family, and all of the runners who had the guts to start--no matter what happened after that.

I was one of the ten-thousand runners who never even showed. It had nothing to do with the heat forecast, of course, but I am part of that statistic nonetheless. Talk about your blessings in disguise. It was hard for me to read all the articles and listen to the runners' stories because, yeah, I was supposed to be there.

Training for a marathon takes months of preparation (not to mention planning, money, time, energy, etc), but it is still only a race. In the grand scheme of things, a race should not take precedence over your life or health. I am not trying to sell the disappointment short, and putting things in perspective is not always easy, but in many ways, those who chose/were forced to stop on Sunday probably gained a valuable experience. Things don't always go according to plan. There are so many factors that are out of your control (ie the high temps and the lack of water on the course to name a few), but the one thing you can control is yourself. Those who made the decision to slow down/walk/stop completely should be commended. And the fans who went out and got bottles of water and gatorade or helped suffering runners get medical help; they are real heroes. They stepped up to the plate when they were needed most. There will be another marathon, and odds are, the experience will be better than it was on Sunday. And if you buy into the "everything happens for a reason" philosophy, then there was some reason for the nasty, brutal conditions in Chicago this year.

I just want to say "Congratulations!" to all the Flyers who ran on Sunday. You are all amazing!! I'm truly sorry about the disappointing outcome, but I am so relieved that you are all okay!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The perfect way to start off a three-day weekend...

...is a seven mile run, of course .

Even though the humidity is still kickin' despite it being one week into October, that wasn't going to stop me from getting out there and putting in a solid loop after school today. I have been looking forward to this run all week. Tuesday I suffered though a steamy sixer (56 min) and the past two days have been running-free. I did play a little softball last night--we won and are now three and oh. Too bad the Cubs aren't following suit. But today's run was worth the wait. It wasn't a particularly fast seven at an hour six, but it allowed my brain to trash all the cobwebs that build up during the work week. This is a meticulous task that can really only be accomplished with running or alcohol (and sometimes both are necessary to fully unload). But here we are, looking at three days of kid-free peace and quiet. I'm headed up to the Catskills for a little fresh air and some hiking. No worries--I will be VERY careful with my keys ;)

Monday, October 01, 2007

A race I did not run

Last week was relatively representative of my recent running regime. (I was not really going for alliteration there...but I like to think I'm a bit poetic at heart)
  • Ran a mile with the kids
  • Ran two sixers (one upper loop and one lower loop of CP, respectively (+ what it takes to run to/from the park))
  • The Lower Loop (the less hilly one, or so I think) took 56:48
  • The Upper Loop (includes Harlem Hill) took 53:46
  • The humidity relaxed a bit as the week went on
  • Sunday was my "long run" which will be elaborated on further...

...It's been a while since I ran in the midst of a race in Central Park as a non-participant. Actually, the first time I ever ran in CP (Feb of 2001, I believe) there was a race going on. I knew nothing of the Road Runners, nor of the frequency of Sunday morning races in the park. All I knew was it was a cool park that I was dying to run in. I joined the masses and looked on in amazement at the sheer size of the pack. I had to consider myself lucky, since I had no idea where I was going and could just follow the crowd. I ran with the runners until they broke off at what I now know as the 102nd street transverse. Back then, I just took it for some porthole into a parallel universe. So when they turned, I turned and headed back around to my original starting point. I believe I ended up touring a bit of Harlem before I realized that I had taken the wrong exit. It's hard to believe that this park I once considered so foreign is now so familiar. So yesterday when I entered the park for my casual run and saw the participants in the 18 mile tune up (ie. 3 loops of Central Park), I felt a bit of deja vu. Only this time, I knew practically every other runner. And, I had done the tune-up before, so I could imagine their pain as they passed the 14 mile marker. With my fresh legs and laissez-faire attitude, I chugged along, flashing them encouraging smiles and offering reassuring bits of praise. I completed my 8.5 in an hour seventeen. I couldn't imagine doing another ten miles. I am simply not there. Yet.

  • Weekly mileage totalled 21.5