did my 12 miles yesterday, in the freezing cold 2x around central park, and felt leaden the entire time. glad to have s's company! that made 20 miles in 3 days, and i took today off. tomorrow's high of 12 doesn't bode well, but I can still do a run anyhow with my stinky wool layer. i don't really have cold weather running gear, and need some proper winter running pants. nylons and a pair of sweats worked yesterday, but feel a bit awkward. Glad i can still run though :). hoping the weather isn't so cold by the time the 25 rolls around.

getting lost

I've discovered lately that getting lost while running, or deliberately wandering where I don't know the streets, is a very gratifying way to run. I genuinely did get lost last week, and ended up in Manhattan, but that was partly from my refusal to turn around. I tried to find my way around the back side of the Navy Yards, saw a piece of a bridge finally that I thought might be on the BQE, and quickly realized I was on the Williamsburg Bridge headed into Manhattan. I refused once again to turn around, wandered the projects on the other side till I found the Manhattan bridge, and came home that way. Two new bridges under my belt, a 60 second shower, and I just made it to my client meeting on time tho a bit drippy. It makes it so much easier to keep going when you can't measure the distance back to your front door in your head. The "just keep going" factor is a lot stronger.

Today I had to get out early before M left for work (yes on a Sunday, and he has to work straight through New Year's also, ugh) and it was sooooo warm for December I wore a tank top and a fleece and was a bit too warm. Ended up at 63 today though it was in the 50's then. I went to my new favorite spot to pray, the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, and had a couple blissful minutes with the entire bridge (that I could see) to myself. I got home to find out work had been delayed a couple hours for M but I didn't go back out, I felt done despite the barely 4.5 miles I'd done. I have to get in some longer runs in the next 3 weeks to be ready for 13.1 on the 25th!

10 days away ...

It's hard to believe. The marathon is 10 days, away, I'm tapering my runs (and glad to, it's gotten cold!!) and trying to get my mind around it all. Training has gone well, though I haven't done all the MP (Marathon Pace) runs I'd hoped to. That, and reading about how this is NOT the easiest course, and feeling what it's like to run 9min miles for awhile, make me think I'll join the 4:15 pace group, not the 4 hour one. I know where my body is at, and how it's reacting, and think I'll really regret it if I push too hard in the first half and then really lose it. I'd rather finish strong than walking, even I end up thinking I could have done better.

My ankle still hurts at times, but i'm doing all kinds of wrapping, creams, herbs, etc and it seems to be holding up. I have my jersey, my registration card, and just have to go to the expo next Thursday to pick up my chip, be tempted by lots of great running gear, and get home in time to rest up, eat well, and keep myself settled. I'm really really looking forward to it, and not nervous at all ... at least not yet :).

a great run :)

This doesn't show the thousands of walkers and bikers I had to navigate through, thanks to the Avon Breast Cancer walk, the Jr Diabetes Research Foundation walkers thronging the Brooklyn Bridge, or the hundreds of bikers doing their 30/60/100 miles for MS. Nice to have lots of people out, but a bit hard to get through. The ankle was a bit sore, but not bad and an ice bath as soon as I got home seemed to really help.

Now I need to go eat ...

so thankful

I ran 10 miles today, and the ankle felt great ... a bit of overall stiffness in the ankle/knee/hip, but that's from favoring it I think. Got a "new schedule" from my cousin's wife, who's run 16 marathons in the last 8 years (and had 3 kids during that time ...) and she was sure my injury was a form of tendonitis. I've been icing and taking ibuprofen, as she and several others already had suggested, and things seem to be back on track. I'm going for 18 on Sunday, and hoping it holds!

so very relieved. :)

Week 11 update

Not the week I'd hoped for, but such is life. I ran tuesday/wednesday, and realized the ankle really DID need to rest. Swam 42 laps Friday (just over half a mile) at the Y, and ended up kicking the sore ankle against the wall and having new issues crop up! So much for swimming to avoid strain ...
Wednesday I had acupunture on my ankle, which felt weird and good and seemed to help.
Friday my new shoes arrived, hooray! 3rd pair, and last before the marathon ... I hope. The pile is growing :).
Saturday I seriously moped as I had to skip my scheduled 10 mile run, and REALLY missed it. Fears of losing momentum, of possibly fractured ankles, and lack of time alone dominated my weekend. M is still away ... hopes to be home in time for this coming weekend, I am SO ready for him to be back.
Yesterday I swam again, and today I ran 3 easy miles to test the ankle out. I can feel it in strange ways, but the original spot that hurt didn't hurt at all. (Pushing the jogging stroller didn't help). It still needs lots of massage, rest, and stretching I think. Will see how it feels tomorrow before attempting a speed run.

capping off the week

Well I did my 21 yesterday, and whew! The sitter was late, I was nervous and didn't sleep all that well (and I don't expect that to change come race-day) but I went. Got there at about 7:30 and found the group training run already started. I'd tried to register for it but it was full (up to 20 miles with pace groups, run by NYRR folks) so I figured I'd just tag along and snitch from their water stations. I actually found the groups a bit annoying, some with drill-sargent types giving loud commentaries, and others just plain hogging the road in a way that was hard to get away from, and hard not to fall in with as their pace was so steady. I did the first six miles a bit fast (10mm) and was really feeling it in my legs from the previous weekend. I definitely wasn't fully recovered. The next lap (they're 6 each) was a struggle mentally, and physically. At about mile 13 I got a sudden stabbing pain my ankle which I had to stop and massage, and it hurt off/on the rest of the run. I had to stop about 4 times to massage it, and worried that it was something serious. I suspect a tendon strain, but really don't know. No swelling or bruising at all, but still sore to the touch. I've iced and arnica'd and all that, we'll see. The last lap was brutal but in a way the easiest as I got lost in a bit of a fog and just staggered on. No real sign of THE WALL, which was a relief, tho I'm sure I'll find it somewhere :). The whole thing was a bit of a wall.

I felt better afterwards than last week, walked a bit, got a muffin and snowcone, wiped crusted salt off my face and arms (I hate that part) and came home. It hurt big time to pay the sitter $100 for the 6 hours with my two kids, but they had a great time and it was the only option. Just two more really long ones and then the taper off period! I definitely need new shoes asap, I see the wear on them and can feel the loss of cushioning. Off to see if there are any new pairs on ebay :)

Training update ... week 10

I'm on week 10 of my 17-week training, and am finding it challenging every single week. The first 8 weeks were for building endurance, and so I was doing long slow (10:50/m) runs every saturday, and 1/4 mile intervals on Wednesdays, with short jogs and biking filling in most other days. The intervals were the hardest, as it was 1/4 miles in 1:50 and a short rest, over and over, leaving me winded and not able to get in a zone of any kind. I love the zone :). The long runs were hard too, but in a very different way. I love running in the country, in different cities, finding new towns and tracks and just plain being alone for several hours, lost in my head. I planned renovations, talked to God, brainstormed problems, wrote imaginary blog posts that never got typed out, argued with my legs and my lungs, watched for roadkill and weird trash and oblivious cars, and just plain enjoyed myself.

Last week I started the Endurance phase of my training, meaning the long runs continue to get longer (19.5 last weekend in 99% humidity!) and my Wednesday are now "tempo runs" as they're run at an 8:45 pace which is faster than my target of 9:00 miles for Marathon day. If I reach that goal I'll clock a 4 hour marathon. The 8:45 pace is hard to keep up for me for now, but part of it is getting enough rest. This is very hard to do while keeping track of 2 small boys, single parenting (temporarily), moving between states, emptying rooms and rearranging so we can take in a subletter again, prepping for a big show next month in another state, etc ... things I can't walk away from just to train. I'm not a professional runner, so this has to fit into my life, not take it over. That balance becomes a bit dubious as I get closer to race day. I had to hire a sitter for 6 hours this Saturday so I can leave at 6am for Central Park, go stretch and run 21 miles, and hobble home again via the subway.

new milestone

on the weekend i hit the 17 mile mark, and boy was it tough! i'd driven 8 hours the day before, didn't sleep all that well, ate too much cheese and sugar with dinner, and headed down a road whose hill factor was unknown. the entire route was rolling hills, and i left later than i wanted. thankfully the sun stayed hidden for the majority of the time. i was almost staggering by the time i was done. i had to drive 8 hours the next day too. i felt the soreness even in yesterdays interval run, which was 4 days later. thankfully i only have to do 10 this weekend, a light one!


i was sick w/a cold last weekend and so shortened my long run a bit. i leave today for PA, and will do my 17 miles there tomorrow morning. i'm rather nervous about it, given i'll spend a good 8 hours in the car today driving. and had little sleep last night. we shall see!

quick update

well, things are moving along! fundraising links are up (see left bar ... thanks!), and I'm slowly working up the nerve to email folks and ask for support.

I'm also running full tilt. I'm currently in week 5 of the Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon schedule that I'm following, and am SO glad to have a schedule to follow. It makes it easy to crack open the book stashed on the back of the toilet, and see what I'm supposed to do the next day. I'm finding the long runs (11 min miles for now, per the schedule) fun and quite do-able, and the intervals still a challenge. that's probably because they take a lot less actual time, so i treat them like an easier workout and tend to stay up too late the night before. 11 weeks to go, i can give up some late nights for that long!

i finally bought a hip belt/water bottle holder as my runs here in MA don't go by any public water (unless you want me to stop and dip in the river) and the runs are too long to go without. i've carried a bottle the last 2 times, but hate the distraction. i haven't run w/the belt yet, and will likely find it a bit sweaty, but it should be worth it.

the best run of the last month was 3 weekends ago when i was in philly for the weekend with some girlfriends to hit the amazing Plant/Krauss concert tour. i got up early on saturday, having hit for routes, and jogged about 1.5 miles thru college neighborhoods, over the Schulykill river and then up the path along the river, starting at the Art Museum. Beautiful, relaxing, lots of sculling crews as well as other runners, and so little traffic that the exhaust wasn't an issue at all. I was disappointed that my run wasn't more than 9 miles, and ran further than I had to before turning back so I could see more.

I have a couple training challenges coming up, as we leave tomorrow to go camping w/my family for a few days, and then the boys/I will be staying in chicago for almost a week afterwards. that means I have an 8-miler (every 5th week is easier!) this saturday, and a 15 miler the following weekend. I'm hoping to run the Great Western Trail that is a rails-to-trails path so it's much easier on the legs than asphalt. I'd rather run the lakefront for a distance like that, but it's hotter down there and would take me over an hour to get to the starting point. We'll see. Either way, it's nice to run in new places. I'm finding the hills here to be great for my stamina, and M swears that all the cellulite has disappeared from my legs :). I'll take that gladly as a side-effect!

back on track

just as i was starting 'serious marathon training' thanks to Four Months to a Four Hour marathon, i got sick. yay me. took 3 days off, and started up slowly yesterday. did my first set of intervals today (1/4 mile speed workouts, over and over) and surely felt them! still waiting on info from worldvision, and getting itchy to start raising money! have one check already thanks to some dear friends, and am about 1/22nd of the way there :). Progress!

breathing update

as I noted in my 10k post, I've started breathing only through my nose when running, unless it's the last little bit of a long run or race. it's working amazingly well, keeps me very self-aware of my body, and also helps me slip into 'the zone' a lot faster. and stay there! so much of my motivation challenge is the brain-chatter, and quieting it seems difficult. i've never really tried meditation, which my landlord suggested today as it's his favorite way to talk to God. i do pray sometimes when running, and it helps get my mind away from 'stuff' but it inevitably heads back that direction.

so far so good! and i've also stopped wearing my ankle brace some of the time, and it feels like it's making it stronger on it's own. one less thing to wear!