Monday, December 19, 2011

Confessions of a Grimy Runner, Chapter 3

My dailymile Secret Santa gift arrived! 
The message was the best part: "Hope this helps you put off doing laundry by at least one more day." My secret santa knows I'm not even close to godliness.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

All I want for Christmas is Endorphins.

Hey there. Remember me? I know, I barely remember me either.

After the marathon I took a month off —my physical therapist suggested 8 weeks, my orthopedic surgeon suggested no time at all, so I split the difference—and OHMYGOODNESS was it a tough month.

I was still going to the gym but this is problematic for two reasons:
1. I never work as hard as when I'm running. Who's that girl slogging on the elliptical or half-hartedly lifting that dumbell? Oh, that would be me. My heart is just not in it like when I'm pounding pavement.
2. My gym is being "refreshed," which is a nice way to say "we are going to do major construction, make things super inconvenient and then jack up your membership fees." Right now the ENTIRE cardio area is gone. No ellipticals, no treadmills and a only smattering of bikes spread throughout the rest of the cramped space. It wont be done until the end of the month...just in time for all the New Years Resolution-makers to have a brand spanking new gym to crowd up.

I'm cranky. Have I mentioned I haven't been running so much lately?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm a marathoner, and I'm okay.

I've been remiss in posting the last few weeks. After my 20-miler, my running taper kind of snowballed into a taper in all parts of my life, and at the bottom of the barrel was blogging.

In short, I was not a taper-hater, but really enjoyed putting in fewer miles. Even though it meant, oddly, that my shinjury was hurting more. My health insurance denied me any more physical therapy 3 weeks before the marathon. Granted, it's really hard to prove medical necessity when you are running 20-milers, but it still sucked. I went for a couple of out-of-pocket visits anyway, just for the peace of mind. (And because my PT is the best EVER.)

In the last weeks of my training program I became better friends with a group of girls and despite my complaints about the program, I wouldn't trade that running camaraderie for anything! (Okay, maybe a sub-3:00 marathon...) I also need to give a HUGE shout out to my Outward Bound running teammate and fund-raising partner, Jaimie. She is one the funniest people I've ever met and it has been a pleasure to make a new friend in her. All these gals really made training fun, and it was great to hang out at the events leading up to the marathon. 

Okay, so the marathon. After all the fireworks and pasta parties, the day finally came where I had to wake up and run 26.2 miles. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Despite what you are about to read, that 20-miler went absurdly well.

"Eat right," they said. "Get plently of sleep," they said. "Don't go out and drink too much," they said.

Soooo I ate like a beast yesterday. Seriously. I ate a child's size bowl of cereal, a muffin and a bagel with olive cream cheese in the span of 5 hours. Then I had what would've been a healthy meal of vegetables and barley were it not for the absurd amount of oil and sour cream that accompanied it. Followed by a cookie. Then I went to a bar with an old coworker.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Confessions of a Grimy Runner, Chapter 2

I don't necessarily hate doing laundry. What I hate is having to do laundry so damn often.

And, unlike certain pairs of jeans, you just can't re-wear running clothes half a dozen times and have it go unnoticed. Running pants are gross, especially in the summer. You sweat, you kick up dirt, you apply BodyGlide which somehow makes every article of clothing it touches immediately smell stale. 

And since almost none of the clothes I run in are supposed to go in the dryer, it means a guaranteed forest in my apartment of damp singlets, socks, capris, tees, tanks, sports bras and runderwear that I have to navigate (sans machete) by ducking under this hanger and skirting around that drying rack. I'm like Indiana Jones in my 'Last Crusade...Before The Next Time I Have To Do The Wash.'

Friday, September 30, 2011

I Heart Friday Night

Friday night means staying in, watching all the TV I missed during the week and scarfing down a huge bowl of pasta for Saturday morning's long run. Clearly the shirt does not lie.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hitting the Physical Therapy Jackpot

Since my shinjury first occurred back in March, I have been trying everything I can to heal it (except not training for a marathon—I haven't tried that yet). First of all, because my doctor is the NYRR medical team leader for the marathon, I was convinced he would just wave his magic stethoscope over my leg and fix me right there on the spot. Instead he told me to take 2 weeks off. Reluctantly, I obeyed and began going to PT.

My therapist was a nice-enough, young-ish woman who told me my hips were weak and my turnout was wonky. She made me do exercises by myself and gave me ice. She attempted to massage (but really I'd call it assault-by-thumbs) my leg, but most of the time I kicked and squirmed and shouted with pain until she would stop touching me. Some days I couldn't run, not because of the shin pain but because of residual "massage" pain.  She didn't really understand why I wouldn't just stop running.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In TWO words

So, at dailymile, there is something called the #dailymission, a challenge or question posed to the community each day. Today's mission was: In one word describe what running means to you.

I struggled over this one all day. Many words mean something to me when it comes to running, but it really boiled down to two, and at the end of the day I decided they were equally important to me.

Control and Release

Monday, September 19, 2011


Or, as the French say: "Le Aaaahhh!"

After much mental turmoil over whether my shin splints would go away, if I could take the time off work, if I really wanted to devote another 4 months to training...I registered for the Paris Marathon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rescue Mission for the Putnam Trail

The other day I wrote a letter to the Commissioner of NYC's Department of Parks & Recreation, Adrian Benepe, urging him to refrain from paving and widening the Putnam Trail in Van Cortlandt Park. In this city of asphalt the trails of Van Cortlandt Park are a rare and valuable asset to the runners and nature-lovers of NYC. There is no really good reason behind altering the trail, which would destroy 1.5 miles of land. However, leaving it intact will save taxpayer money and preserve both the history of the trail and the environment surrounding it. 

Here is the response I received from the Correspondence Liaison for Capital Projects:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rants and Ruminations

The first half of today was rough, and I had a lot on my mind throughout the run and afterward. Nothing weighing seriously on me, just literally a bunch of little thoughts:

1. I would not recommend the training program I'm in to anyone. I'm glad that I've made some running friends, but honestly, I don't think there's much point otherwise. I ran the marathon without a coaching program last year so it clearly can be done. I thought I was paying for guidance and support, but that is apparently not the attitude of the coaches! Scratch that- one is good, one doesn't seem to care much, and one is awful. (And unfortunately, when the good one isn't leading my group it means we're stuck with the awful one.) He just doesn't seem to have any patience or respect for the slower runners and just acts like we're a waste of his time. Rude! Especially considering all us 'regular Joe' slow runners are the people who provide a good amount of money for the sport—in races, training programs, etc. Running isn't so popular today because the number of elite runners has grown exponentially. It's a bunch of people like me, with our 10 minute miles.  Regardless, no matter what, and no matter the program fee, I shouldn't feel like I'm being penalized for getting my butt off the couch attempting to run 26.2 miles.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Life in Safety Pins

Race bibs. They're everywhere. Stuffed in the junk drawer, used as bookmarks, stacked with my magazines. Some of them are scattered on the desk in my room at my parent's house. I've never ever thrown one away.

I'd been meaning to buy a scrapbook to put them into, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. Tonight, though, while I was musing over another old volume collage'd with dorm-era nostalgia, I saw it on the shelf—low and behold there was an empty scrapbook just waiting to be given a purpose.

Monday, August 29, 2011

One...two...thirteen breakfasts

Okay, it happened. 10 weeks left and I've entered the "25-Meals-A-Day" phase of marathon training.

Maybe it's only 17 meals, maybe 29. I don't even count anymore. All I know is that my mileage and my appetite are directly correlated, and it is soon to be at the expense of my waistline.

When I ran my first marathon last year with a friend, we'd joke about the absurd number of calories we were consuming. Co-workers would comment that every time they saw us we had a different food in our hands. We ran races for the bagels at the finish line. "Bacon" became my mantra for the really tough hills. Somehow, though, it all evened out and, if anything, I lost a few pounds.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Confessions of a Grimy Runner, Chapter 1

I usually run after work. In the summer, this means I come home all sweaty and gross around 8:00pm.

I also really hate to shower before I go to bed, because I always like to shower in the morning. And two showers inside of 12 hours just seems like a waste.

So I am going to sit here and evaporate until I think I've reached a level of dryness that's acceptable for putting myself into pajamas. (Which, come on, is probably a very low threshold considering I'm already sitting here proclaiming my filthiness to the internet.) Then, in all my grungy glory, I will get into bed.

And wash my mildly salty sheets this weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

That's One Expensive Bag Watch

I'm a little more than 2 months away from running my second marathon.

The first time around, I trained with a very good friend that I've known since elementary school. We logged miles, exchanged complaints and ate a ton of pancakes and bacon together in preparation. Apart from having fun and someone to talk to for hours on a long run, it was nice to have a sense of accountability.

If no one is waiting for the rain...then chances are I'm gonna stay in bed.

So when I accidentally qualified for the 2011 NYC marathon (with the NYRR 9+1 program) this year, I knew it was probably wise to enroll myself in a program that would keep me in check. Since I am already running to raise money on my own for my woodsy alma matter, Outward Bound, I didn't want to train with a charity team that would require me to raise even much money. I didn't want an online program because it would still be too easy not to do the work. I definitely needed a real life, physical, tangible training program.

So I selected one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Shinjury!

Anyone who knows me well, knows about my left shin bone.

It started 2 years ago when I broke my left ankle. I collided with someone and slid down the stairs at the library (read: local bar). Convinced it was just a sprain, I walked home on it- uphill (both ways!)- but alas the next morning that cankle called for a visit to the emergency room. After a few bad orthopedic surgeons, I found a great doctor who works with the performers of Cirque du Soleil and has the mustache of Tom Friedman.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer Streets

I look forward to Summer Streets ALL YEAR LONG.

For 3 Saturdays in August NYC shuts down Park Avenue and extending streets from 72nd and Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge. It's open to bikes, blades, walkers and runners with activities and rest stations along the way.

First of all it's super fun to be able to run where you normally can't, like a city street. It's really great to cut the car pollution for a few hours and replace it with people coming out to be active and social and healthy. It's a relatively flat route, with plenty of distractions. But the best part for me is simply that you can start running and just knock out block after block for a straight shot of around 5 miles (not including the bridge). 67th Street...55th goes so quickly. 

Which means Summer Streets is literally the one time of the year I am great at my long run. It is so much easier for my head and my legs to get through than loops of that damn park.

Blah blah blah blah run blah blah

A lot of people run. A lot of people have blogs about their running and training. I didn't want to be one of them, but here I am. Sorry.

It's just that I always have so much to say about my runs, but it never seems like it can be condensed (let alone be interesting enough to anyone but myself) for posting on Facebook or Twitter or any other site where you're supposed to declare "What's happening" or "What's on your mind."

Most of the time what's on my mind is running. But I've learned that only other runners really care about talking about running. Talking about pace, time, distance, injuries, "shinjuries," sneakers, the best way to stretch this-or-that-muscle, what you eat before you run, and how you plan on wallpapering your hallway with race bibs.

I keep track of my running routes and stats on a great site called Dailymile. It's a fantastic community of runners, cyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, etc. But this blog is for those days I want to talk just a little too much about putting one of my feet in front of the other.

Yes, it's another running blog.