Archive | August, 2011

Getting back on Kilter

31 Aug

Ugggghhh, I don’t know when I got so regimented, but I have felt SOO just “off” for the past few days.  After last Thursday’s “meh” run, I went out with T and my best guy friend, Ben.  We had, er, a “few” drinks and I didn’t run the following morning.  Then, T and I boarded a flight to Asheville, NC for my dear friend Stephanie’s wedding.

We landed in Asheville, and I promptly got a voice mail from US Airways informing me our return flight on Sunday had been canceled.  We were not surprised, since NYC was supposed to get pummeled by a hurricane.  We decided to, um, not deal with it and instead spent the weekend in revelry with friends that included way too many drinks (mmm… wine) way too much delicious but indulgent food (mmm… mac and cheese) and not enough running.  More on that in a bit.

We wound up driving back on Monday.  13 hours in the car with my beloved was… interesting.  And mostly fun, honestly.  However, getting to bed at after 2 AM on Tuesday morning, then going into work yesterday, then going to running class last night was not awesome.  But back to the off-kilter/on-kilter and regimented thing, it actually feels GOOD to be back at work and back in my running routine again.  When did I become such a square??

Anyhow, yeah.  I had an 8 miler and a 14 miler remaining for my weekly mileage when I opted to not run due to hung-overedness tiredness on Friday morning before the flight.  Not ideal, but not the end of the world, I thought.  Running in a new city is always exciting!  So Saturday morning, I got up and off I went to crank out my 14 miler.  Well, it felt like… how do you say…?  SHIT.  I mean, this was the worst run I’ve had in over a year, definitely.  I don’t know why, but it didn’t help that I settled into a crummy mood almost immediately and stayed there for the duration of the run (which, by the way, wound up being 13 and not 14 miles.)  I hated everything on my IPod.  I LOATHED the freaking hills in Asheville (yeah, yeah, it’s beautiful, but good Lord it felt like hell) and I didn’t even like the area I wound up running in.  At one point I found myself running through some tunnel and when I came out on the other side, I found myself surrounded by a Greyhound station, just about every chain restaurant ever (Longhorn, Applebees, McD’s, Ruby Tuesdays, I’m looking at you) and then a mall.  Just not the pretty scenery I would have expected from Asheville.  (Side note– Asheville *is* quite beautiful, I just wound up in the not-so- beautiful portion.)  I wasn’t at 7 miles yet in the other-side-of-the-tunnel area, but I just couldn’t do it any more, so I turned around and ran back .  I wound up hitting 13 miles directly in front of my hotel, and though I’d been planning to run a half mile past it and then back, I simply couldn’t do it any more.  BLAH.  I don’t even want to say what my average pace was.  So lesson learned here was, uh… running continuous hills sucks?  I dunno, but let’s just say I’m glad my marathon is pretty flat.

So… that was Saturday.  That night, we went to the wedding, which was a blast.  Sunday, we woke up feeling not quite so fresh, went to McD’s (oh yes.. I’m telling you, it was an utterly shameful weekend) and did some other stuff, including fun tapas dinner with friends and more drinking, but NOT including getting in the 9 miles that I needed to.  I was quite obviously not busy and easily could have cranked it out, and even avoided the hills if I wanted to, since our hotel had a treadmill.  I just.  Didn’t.

Monday, we drove back to NYC.  Tuesday, (yesterday) as I mentioned, I went back to work on about 4 hours of sleep, and spent the day obsessing over the drinks I’d consumed, crap I had eaten, and the, oh, NINE MILES I hadn’t done the previous week.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still obsessing over it, but I’m telling myself, “Oh, my body needed a break.”  SIGH.  Whatever.   And by the way, my body did NOT need the amount of alcohol, fat, and general crap I fed it.  Just sayin’.

Last night I had class, during which we did 3 laps of the Harlem hills.  Since I knew we were doing 3, I tried to pace myself accordingly, but I think I held back too much in the beginning.  I’m training for my 10th marathon and STILL don’t know how to properly pace myself?  WTF?  Sigh.  I wound up getting in about 8 miles (I was slated for 7, but I figured any extra mileage couldn’t hurt after my less than stellar mileage last week.)  This morning, I hoped to do 12 miles– and even told my friend Jane I’d meet her at the park at 6:15, planning to already have run 6 miles by then–but I was up late unpacking and trying to get my apartment in order.  When my alarm went off at 4:50, I promptly snoozed it and barely made it to the park by 6:20.  Luckily, Jane is a peach and waited for me AND treated me to coffee afterwards.  ❤ her.

Sooo… what can I say?  Onward and upward, I guess? In the past, I haven’t given a crap if I’ve missed a run while training for a marathon, but after doing 8 solid weeks of Pfitzinger and having a pretty darn decent base before that, I’m annoyed that I let this happen.  But oh well.  Now, I have an 11 miler, a 12 miler, and a 20 miler to get in this week.  And I’m going away again this weekend.  Will do my very best to stay on kilter!

As usual, I epically failed on getting images for this post, but here is a pic of some wild turkeys that were just hangin’ out by the side of the road in Asheville.  I wish I had a picture of the sign for Shartlesville (and G-d knows we tried– no, really, we pulled over by the side of the highway at approximately 1 AM to take pics of it) but unfortunately the pics did not turn out.  Sad.

Taking it in stride

25 Aug

Everything is still wonderful and sweaty here and when I say “taking it in stride,” I’m referring to the run I went for this morning, into which I incorporated “strides.”  I’m punny like that!

So my buddy Pfitzinger prescribed for me today 8 miles at “general aerobic” pace– which he describes as a standard, moderate effort and about 15-20% slower than your MP.  I am no good at math, but I generally equate GA speed for me to be  roughly 9 min miles, sometimes a bit faster and sometimes a bit slower.  Anyhow, Pfitz also requested that I incorporate 8 x 100 meter strides.  Pfuck you Thank you, Pfitz!  😉  I am not really positive on the definition of a stride, and I am definitely not confident on what 100 meters feels/looks like.  After doing about 10 seconds worth of research on my favorite online source (what up, Runner’s World online Marathon Race Training forum)  I decided that my “strides” would be 20 second controlled sprints.  So I did that today and I suppose it was OK, though I’m not sure my “sprint” was an actual sprint.  I just pretty much generally suck at speedwork– no 2 ways about it.  Anyhow, I wound up averaging right around 9 min miles for the entire run (which was 8 miles) with my slowest mile being mile 2 at 9:58 (but I stopped to stretch and didn’t stop my watch!) and my fastest around 8:04 at mile 6 (striding mile.)  I ran into my buddy Ali looking awesome and strong at one point, which was definitely a high point of the run, but to be honest, the whole run felt pretty “meh” for 2 very distinct reasons.

(1) I am freaking exhausted and haven’t gotten enough sleep this week.  What’s new?  At least I had fun last night.  My dear friend Melina and I went to the Candle Cafe, which is a vegan restaurant in my ‘hood.  I am not a vegan and don’t ever intend to be one, given my undying love for cheese and my occasional animalistic need for a burger.  However, Candle Cafe does vegan very well and dare I say that “tapioca cheese” is pretty tasty?  I had a Peak Organic IPA and a Tuscan Seitan Parmesean Sandwich, which is, to quote their menu: Breaded seitan cutlet with melted tapioca cheese and roasted garlic tomato sauce on a potato onion roll. Served with a mesclun salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and fried potatoes.

It was AMAZING!  And no, I didn’t take a pic, ’cause I’m new to this blogging stuff and it’s not my instinct to photograph my food.  Sorry.  Anyhow… then Mel came over and we hung out pretty late.  Thus, tired Katie today.

(2) Since we had earthquake aftershocks here in NYC on Tues(!!!!) I hiked down 27 flights of stairs in my heels.  Not horrible, but not awesome.  My biggest concern at the time was that I will have to get my shoes re-heeled.  However, the following day when my quads were screaming at me, I was completely baffled as to why, until a co-worker reminded me of the 27 floor descent.  Oh yeah… turns out my quads aren’t so fond of overuse like that.  So yesterday, I took a day off of running, but this morning… well, let’s just say that my first several steps were super painful, and I felt like I was running kind of gimpy for the majority of the run.  No offense to people with disabilities who run with limps or what have you, (’cause, no joke, I am amazed and inspired when I see these people out running– seriously) but I am just not used to it.  And it hurt a lot.  I also don’t stretch — EVER– so it was annoying to have to stop and stretch as much as I did today.  Rawr!

Oh well.  8 miles done.  I have to run another 8 and a 14 before the week is out.  And this is a LOW mileage week.  Next week is the big 55 mile one.  I should probably not be thinking about that just yet… one week at a time!

I need to try harder to have images to spice this up, but for now I leave you with an image of one of my greatest loves in life… and something I try and incorporate into most days.  Although I love summer, fall is my favorite season and I cannot wait to be drinking pumpkin ones of these in the coming months!!

Tastes so good when it touches your lips!


Day 2 and I’m already out of stuff to say? Hmmm…

24 Aug

So, I’ve  started writing something several times today, and realized that this blogging stuff may be more difficult than I thought it would be, ’cause everything I write seems completely boring.  Oh well… I have had some requests from my multitude of fans (hi mom!  hi, Lori!) so here goes…

Last night, I had running class and found myself in the usual state of utter humility (or maybe the word I’m looking for is “humiliation.”)  Anyhoo… we did 3 miles, kinda fast, and I ran with the 8-8:30 min mile pace group, ’cause every time in the past I’ve tried to run with the 7:30-8 pace group, I find myself trailing WAY behind and mentally hurling insults at myself.  My mile splits last night were something like 7:28, 7:03, 7:15.  Nothing earth shattering, but I also wasn’t going all out.  We took a several-minute break between each mile.   Oh and I should add, the pace group leaders always run way under pace.  After class, I did a reservoir loop alone at a pace that was tougher than comfortable, but not “I want to puke and/or die” uncomfortable — that wound up being between a 7:20 and 8:15/min mile pace.  Then I ran home and drank beers with T.  Total mileage:  8 miles.  Total beers: only 1(!!!!!!)

Was going to attempt to do another 8 this morning, but was completely exhausted and decided to take today as a rest day.  I have 2 more 8s and a 14 to squeeze in before this week is out.  So even though I have plans tonight, I *must* get up and do one of those runs tomorrow morning.  I’mma put my money on the 8 miler, but maybe I’ll surprise myself and get up extra-early and crank out the 14.  That would be ideal, since I’m going out of town this weekend!  While I DO love running in new cities, I’m going with T and I’d rather spend the majority of our little getaway together– so it would be ideal to only have an 8 miler to crank out on Saturday morning, as opposed to a 14.

Good Lord, this is boring.  Good thing I have virtually no readers thus far, and I think at this rate it may stay that way.

Ummm… here are some beautiful pictures of me at the Queens half a few weeks ago to liven up this post.  Yes, Ford models, I *am* available!

I look like I’m dying/sneezing. Also, love the dude behind me!
It appears I have been spending some time submerged in water. NOPE. That is straight up sweat, my friends. I didn’t name this Katie’s Sweaty Life for the hell of it.


23 Aug

Oh, hi! I’m Katie. I lead a mostly happy and very sweaty life.
I’ve run 9 marathons at less than super impressive paces*, and for my 10th, I am really upping the training in the hopes of getting a time I can be proud of! I’ve also started reading a lot of running blogs and feeling bad about myself  finding myself inspired by others. 😉 Anyhow, this is me deciding to try blogging about my life and running! (I’ve been thinking about doing it for quite some time.)
I actually have literally zilch to report running-wise for my maiden blog voyage, since I didn’t run this morning. I am almost exclusively a morning runner at this point in life (I didn’t used to be, but a little over a year ago, I started making myself do it before work and now I can honestly say I feel a little “off” on mornings when I haven’t.) However, every Tuesday night, I take a running class with the New York Road Runners, and I’ve started taking Tuesday mornings off in prep for that. Don’t worry, I’ll regale tomorrow with stories of self-loathing while running something horrible like hill drills when everyone around me seems to be faster and not about to die like yours truly. 😉
Uhhh… I hope I get the hang of this as I do it more, but for now, that’s all she wrote! (Good Lord, I’m a dweeb.) Oh wait. I should also probably mention that this will, by no means, be a healthy living type of blog, ’cause I VERY seldom cook, and I routinely consider a few beers and some random snacks (pretzels, peanut butter eaten out of the jar, cottage cheese) to be a good dinner.  Also, although I was an English major and can be a bit of a grammar snob, I have a penchant for run-on sentences, copious parenthetical statements, and comma overuse. Deal with it. Please? 😉

*I’ll detail my past marathons at some point, some day. ‘Cause I know everyone is dying to hear about them!