Saturday, January 19, 2013

Run to the Brewery!

My mission to do more fun, smaller, home-town races is off to a great start with the Sayville Run to the Brewery, a race that starts and ends at the Blue Point Brewing Co.

I headed out to Long Island on Friday night to stay with my friend Kaitlyn who was also running the race. Too much tasty Italian food, frozen yogurt, and a couple of NBC sitcoms later, a 6:15 wake-up call was set. Friday was freezing, at a whopping 25 degrees, and even though I knew Saturday would be warmer, it was so windy and difficult to know what to wear. Somehow we ended up in the same exact outfits as the last time we ran a race on Long Island together.

We met up with some of Kaitlyn's coworkers and my friend Jaimie (who I also tricked into convinced to run) and her friend. Kate and I started out together, but split up after the first water station around mile 2.5. This was also when—as usual—I got into my own head.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Aaaand it's only Tuesday

First off, let me just say how much I love volleyball. Too bad it's taken me so long to participate in organized team sports, but now I'm here and I totally dig it. Even though our team is not that good. (But that's what 'extremely casual' divisions are for!)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

You win some, you lose some


Thursday 1/10: I almost skipped this one, but I'm so glad I didn't. My expectations weren't particularly high, just wanted to get it done. I decided to run clockwise in the park, a direction I normally hate, but I needed a change of scenery. Well, it turns out clockwise only sucks on the west side because you're running the hills in the steeper direction. On the east side it's really not so bad! I've avoided this for years, but I think it helps that I enter the park from a different spot since I've moved—the northwest corner of the park. Which, by the way, is right in the middle of the Harlem Hills, so no matter which direction I choose, I'm running uphill for the first bit of my run. 

Anyway, my legs didn't feel leaden, my lungs were good and warmed up, and my shin was taped and sleeved and feeling fine. It had warmed up a bit and boy, what a difference a few degrees makes! I kept up a 9:30 pace for the 4 miles, which I attribute, in part, to Eminem. I can't seem to run over a 9mm when I listen to his songs. A pretty great run overall!


Saturday 1/12: 9 miles on the docket today before next weekend's ten-mile race. First of all, since Thursday's run my calves on BOTH legs (surprisingly) have been SO TIGHT. Painfully tight. Like tears in my eyes as I roll them out tight. This is the first time this has happened. I had 3 potential running routes, and was pretty much gonna wing it. As I was getting ready, my Garmin totally shorted out. I went to plug it in, the charge screen appeared and then everything went blank. I quickly came to plan B which was to use MapMyRun on my phone. I knew it was gonna be a little warmer so instead of doubling up on the fleece I went for a t-shirt and fleecy sweatshirt. Then I put my phone in the sweatshirt, which I've done numerous times, but maybe because my layers weren't as bulky it was bouncing around so badly as I ran and twisting my sweatshirt around. And the t-shirt kept riding up underneath. This was NOT working, so I stopped and crammed the phone in my pants pocket which kept it in place better, but that meant I didn't have good access to it. Also my shin was itching and burning and feeling generally uncomfortable.

I left the park at 60th St. and ran to the Queensborough bridge, getting stuck at every traffic light and it was too much of a hassle to pause the phone. I was meant to run the entire bridge out and back, but I stopped at the top and turned around, which isn't even halfway, which meant I was gonna have to make up those miles at the end. I left the bridge and ran up the East River Promenade, and every time I wanted to check my mileage I had to extract and then stuff my phone into this minuscule pocket. At one point I stopped for a little leg massage. I just wanted it to be overwith, so I shuffled up to 116th and back down a few blocks until I hit 9 and found an exit off of that damn path. I took the bus home and felt really light headed and nauseous because, of course, I didn't eat that much before and, of course, I didn't bring any Powergel. Lame.


On the walk to the bus to go back home I passed a track on 114th and 1st. I've been wanting to use one to do speed work but the one on Houston is SO far away. I probably wouldn't feel comfortable running here at night until it stays lighter later, but I might be able to get myself to go on the weekend if it doesn't mess with long runs. Also, even though that totally sucked and I lost time at traffic lights or checking my phone, my pace was around 10:30. I had expected it to be way worse. I think I'm gonna go reward myself with a leg massage and a nap. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


A little burn here, a little ache there, an occasional dull discomfort in between...that's how it started last time and before I knew it—stress fracture. So when these symptoms reappeared recently, I sucked it up and made YET ANOTHER appointment with my orthopedic doc... 

...Who pretty much had to say the same thing as usual, which was nothing. A 5-minute, $30 copay of nothing. Apart from recommending I go back for another round of physical therapy, which I'm not going to do. I don't have the time or the money or the patience for something I can do at home. The only problem is I have to actually make myself do it at home. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Zog for the beer?

So, tonight I didn't so much run as played some volleyball. Extremely casual volleyball. And it wasn't so much for brunch, as it was for charity. And beer.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I joined ZogSports and for the first time in my life am venturing into the world of organized sports. Extremely casual organized sports. Since I've never really tested my hand-eye-ball coordination before, I felt volleyball would be a good start. There's no dribbling, or shooting or wide receiving—I pretty much get to stand in one spot, shout "I got it!" and bruise the hell out of my forearms. Piece of cake.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A happy quasi-50th :)

It has come to my attention that today I ran my 50th NYRR race since becoming a runner. Not counting the 2 marathons, or a handful of non-NYRR races. So really, it's no great shakes and I should've celebrated a few events ago, but seeing the number 50 on my current member history somehow seems significant. (It also seems kind of low. Shouldn't I be up to 200 by now?)

Because I spent so much time in 2012 nursing my stupid shinjury—and because it's decided to grace me with its presence yet again—this year I'm just running one race at a time. I'll have guaranteed entry for the 2013 NYC Marathon (provided there are no huge changes after this past cancellation) and I plan on running it, but I'm making no huge promises to myself and trying to set smaller goals along the way. 

First up: "10 Mile Run to the Brewery," a race on Long Island (1/19) that starts and ends at the Blue Point Brewing Co. Because if there's anything I like as much as running, it's beer. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lies! Sweet, sweet lies.

I moved to Morningside in September, which means I moved New York Sports Clubs and it has not been an easy transition. It's much smaller, and the weights and weight machines are downstairs where the muscly dude : chubby lady ratio is vastly disproportionate compared with my old UES gym. There also no spinning class, just a single bike upstairs with the rest of the stationary bikes. So, I've mostly been sticking to the treadmill. One treadmill.

The very last one all the way in the back of the gym. The first time I ran on it, I started at a 6.0. But I was feeling so fantastic and not the least bit tired, that I kicked it up to 6.5. Then 7.0...then 8.0...and then I realized the treadmill was broken because there was no way I was running an 7:30-minute mile and feeling so great. But it's kind of awesome to see that number and not feel so slow and lame, even if you are slow and lame, especially when someone is on the treadmill next to you who clearly CAN run a 7:30mm.

Today was my first day back to the gym since New Years and even though the gym was WAY less crowded than I expected it to be, sadly, someone was on my prized machine. I swallowed my cheap, un-earned pride and took a different treadmill and started at a 6.0 but still felt pretty great. Even at a 6.5, with a little sprint at the end of my 5k. This treadmill clearly wasn't as broken...but I still think it's a little inaccurate. Nevertheless, maybe this new gym isn't so bad after all...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I'm baaaaack!

After a year-long blogging hiatus—fraught with meager milage, persisting injury, zero weight loss and a downward slope in motivation—the calendar has turned it's last page and we are now in what will, hopefully, be lucky '13. As such, I resolve to roll my muscles and stretch and pamper my shins like a good little runner. I resolve to set bigger and better goals for myself in terms of races, paces and distance. I  resolve to stop being such a baby and put in the damn work. Therefore, I decided to begin by running in the new year. Literally.