Archive | September, 2011

Lori’s Race Report, or How Baber Schooled the Hamptons Half!

29 Sep

I am so excited to leave for CA tonight.  I ran 9 miles this morning at around an 8:30 pace.  It was supposed to be at a “tune-up” pace, which is “all-out” but guess what — my marathon training program doesn’t account for the fact that I ran 16 miles yesterday that I didn’t want to have to do this weekend, and I have gotten no more than 6 hours of sleep any night this week because of G-d knows why.  Anyhow, yeah, I just got a little defensive. 🙂  I am still cranky and clearly need sleep and California sun. 🙂

Anyhow, without further ado, here is Lori’s race report from her first (of many, I think) half-marathon!

Back in July, I had a case of “temporary insanity.”  I was innocently walking down the street minding my own business, probably on my way home to plop myself in front of the tv. I saw a flyer for Team In Training (TNT), an organization that helps you train for endurance races in exchange for fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I went home and Googled their website and saw they were having their last information meeting the very next day.  So I attended it, found out the impressive work they do to conquer cancer, and the next thing you know, I found myself signing on the dotted line to run the Hamptons Half Marathon on September 23rd.  WTH?

The reason why TNT really caught my attention is because my good friend Mark (AKA “Spider) was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).  He informed me when he found out, but we really never talked about it much after that.  And I didn’t know if he wanted to talk about it or not, so I just basically ignored the elephant in the room.  But I decided if I could do this race and raise some money to fight leukemia, it would show him that I am not avoiding the subject and that I do care.

As Katie can attest, I am not a runner.  I’ve always been a “wanna-be” runner from afar. Instead I took great pride in being the best cheerleader to my running friends. I LOVE making pretty signs and cheering my friends on during the NYC marathon, while sipping my warm Starbucks latte as they passed me by in the November chill. (proof of my signage ability in Katie’s 9/23 post!)

I can’t say enough positive things about the training program. Much to my surprise, I stayed extremely committed and met the group almost every Tuesday after work to run in Central Park and on Saturdays to do our long runs throughout NYC.  The biggest surprise to me was how much of a time commitment this took.  It made me understand/appreciate why Katie is constantly running so much before her marathons.  I was seriously clueless about what the training entailed before taking on this endeavor.  The Saturday that we ran across the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge is the day I experienced a dose of runner’s high.  I mean, seriously, who would’ve thought that this girl, who thought three miles on the treadmill was an accomplishment, could literally run to Brooklyn and back?  I was kind of catching on to what Katie was feeling.

The weeks felt like they flew by and before I knew it race day had arrived. The night before the race it POURED  – I was whining to anyone and everyone who would listen.  Running in the rain was never in the game plan, and I was so upset thinking this is what I was going to have to endure.  The first thing I did the morning of the race was jump out of bed and check the weather outside.  I was ecstatic to find no rain!

I had butterflies the whole time getting ready for the race.  I was just so nervous of the unknown…could I really finish this race? would I run out of gas? would the truck have to scoop me up?

I became good friends with one gal in TNT, we did most of our long runs together, and she was much better at pacing than me, so selfishly, I was really looking forward to running side by side with her. But at mile four, she said she felt congested and started walking. She told me to keep going, I felt extremely guilty for abandoning her, but I forged ahead.  We didn’t have rain, but we ended up having a lot of humidity – it definitely affected both of us and I don’t think any of the racers were expecting to deal with this heat this time of year.

I felt lonely running on my own, especially knowing I had nine more to go.  I wavered on putting my name on my shirt, but what the hell, I did it.  The crowd was slim in the Hamptons, but wow, hearing your name from complete strangers really does lift you.  It inspires me to be the loudest spectator for everyone running the NYC Marathon on November 6th…I’m talking to you, Sweaty Katie! (*editor’s note– YOU ROCK!!!!!)

To me, the biggest benefit training with TNT were the coaches – they were invaluable (minus my assigned “go-to-coach” – she probably couldn’t identify me in a crowd and she ended up being useless).  So I didn’t have her as a resource, but I had all the other amazing coaches to help me. They sacrificed every Tuesday and Saturday to be with us, to teach us, to guide us, to motivate us. During the race, I would encounter a TNT coach every few miles cheering on the side of the road, and they would jump on the course with me asking how I was feeling, offering advice and encouragement.  Best advice was from Felicia, I whined that I was SO hot (temperature wise, certainly not look-wise at this point in the race), and she told me to pour water over my head and back – who knew?  Just little things like that meant so much to me — they were seriously like guardian angels and I couldn’t be more appreciative.

Lori and her TNT buddies pre-race!

At mile 12, I was losing steam. What happened to that adrenaline that everyone said would get you to the finish line?  This is when it was confirmed that my pacing sucks. The devil on my left shoulder was telling me to walk, but the angel on the right  shoulder convinced me to keep running.  At mile 13 I was dying – I was so friggin’ close, but I could not see the damn finish line ahead of me. Once again, a TNT coach (one that I had never met before) came out of nowhere and jumped in and told me, “the finish line is right around the corner, you’re almost there, keep on going.”  Turns out he was a coach from the Brooklyn program and I luckily saw him at our victory party that night and was able to thank him profusely for being there when I needed him.

Crossing the finish line at a somewhat decent time was quite emotional.  Hell, the whole journey was emotional — doing something I really didn’t think I had in me, receiving generous donations and support from family and friends, while letting “Spider” know that although I can’t get rid of his leukemia, I hopefully made a small dent to go toward research so that he and others suffering from this disease can live a long and prosperous life.

The TNT program may not be for everybody, but for an absolute rookie like me, it was exactly what I needed.  I know the mass TNT purple shirts in Central Park can be obnoxious and annoying, but I wear it with pride. As much as I depended on TNT, I depended on Katie just as much, if not more. Unbeknownst to her, I assigned her to be my “go-to” coach, since my designated TNT one was so horrible.  Katie was there for me day in and day out – checking up on me, asking what my training entailed that week, giving me tough love on those days that I told her I wanted to blow off my run (kinda didn’t know she had it in her – oh, sweet Katie, where’d ya go?), letting me text her to report that I got the friggin’ run in (that she made me do), so I could get a get a “good job, Baber” text in return, informing me that tapering was not going to make my stamina disappear, and most importantly — helping me decide what I should wear on race day!  She was there to answer every neurotic question I came up with. I’ve always admired Katie’s dedication and commitment to running races, but even moreso after experiencing one of my own (albeit 13.1 miles less than what she does on a regular basis, and at a much, much, MUCH slower pace!).  This girl is amazing and I am so grateful to have her as my personal coach, but more importantly as my personal friend. Thank you so very much, Coach Katie for taking this journey with me.

Total badass champ at the finish, lookin' foxy to boot!

*editor’s note– Lori gives me WAY too much credit, but G-d bless her for it.  I had an amazing time doing the very little that I did for her, and love to fantasize that one day I’ll be good enough for, and have enough time to be, a running coach!  Anyhow, CONGRATS to Lori and thank you for writing this absolutely beautiful and funny report!

East Coast/West Coast

28 Sep

Just a quick one today.  I had running class last night, where  I was lazy and ran in the 8:30-9 min/mile pace group ’cause  I just wasn’t feeling it.  It was a nice change, though, to be leading the group for once instead of trailing behind!  We racked up about 5 miles worth of 600 meter sprints and jogging in between, then I headed on over to the reservoir for a quick lap, then ran home  for a total of 8 miles.

This morning, I woke up at 4:30 to head out to run.  T actually called shortly thereafter.  He was just getting IN from being out with colleagues (he is in CA this week on business.)  Kinda funny– we were both surprised to find the other awake.  I managed to make it through a pretty boring 16 miles in the park.  I did a full loop (6 miles) and then cut off the top for a 5-mile loop, then cut off the top AND bottom for a 4-mile loop.  Add to that the half mile to the park and the half mile back and that was my 16.  I was cranky for the vast majority of the run, just ’cause I was bored and it was so humid that my clothes were soaked and gross.  Plus, it was misting, too.  I really hate the combination of rain and sweat.  Gripe, gripe, gripe. 😉  The good news is that I did it, (around a 9-min mile, give or take– THANKS, GARMIN) and now that’s one less run I need to fit in this week.  I’m leaving tomorrow after work for my first trip EVER to CA.  I can’t wait!  But first I need to do an 11-mile “tune-up” before work.  Where in the name of G-d I am going to find the energy to run at a “tune-up” pace (which I still am not sure of, but know it is pretty darn fast) I do not know.  I guess I’ll consult my copy of Advanced Marathoning tonight to determine what pace I should aim for.  I canceled my plans tonight with Ben and Cookie, just cause I’m not feeling so hot and need to run some errands and pack for CA.  I’m bummed, ’cause I wanted to see them, but I just need a night to get stuff done.

Sorry this post was boring, but stay tuned for a guest post from Lori about her first half marathon!!!!!!  We’re holding out for the race photos.  Come on, Brightroom!

Great weekend + 20 miles

26 Sep

I had a great weekend and tend to be a bit verbose, so I’ll try and give Cliff’s notes.  Fri night, T and I met up with my buddies Molly and  Erica and Erica’s dad and her dad’s gf at the Hudson Hotel bar for a quick beer.  It was fun seeing the girls and meeting Erica’s dad briefly.  Then T and I went to a bar in midtown and proceeded to drink more than a few Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPAs.  This is a perennial favorite beer of T’s.  I drink it occasionally, but I can be a bit fickle with loving/hating IPAs and hoppiness.  They were tasting good on Friday, though.  Obviously. 😉

*Side note, there is a Rehoboth Beach Marathon and Half Marathon that I’m thinking I may be able to strong-arm T into doing with me some day.  Though he absolutely refuses to prefers not to run with me, I think the DFH brewery’s proximity could be a really strong selling factor. ;)*

Saturday morning, we went to Brooklyn Bagel, mentioned in a previous post, ’cause it’s the best bagel in the world and we go there as much as possible.  Um… this may be the highlight of my weekend… THEY HAD PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE.  Holy crap, it was awesome, too.  The picture does no justice to its exquisite beauty.

Then, T and I walked over the Triboro Bridge, I stopped by the NYRR to get my race number, and we headed down to Union Square for the greenmarket.  By the way, it was so disgustingly muggy, my heart kind of ached for Ali and Lori and their maiden marathon and half-marathon voyages that were happening that day.  Obviously they both rocked it out, though, ’cause they’re ballers.  (CONGRATS, LADIES!!!)

The green market was AWESOME.  T and I bought a ton of stuff, then stopped by The Strand to pick up a few books, then we  hauled it all back to my abode, where we vegged for a bit before heading to dinner at Eats — a new restaurant in my ‘hood.  I got a Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest (yum!) and a burger and fries (healthy!)  We also split the scallops appetizer AND the calamari appetizer (yeah… I like to eat… and I was pigging out fueling for my 20 miler in the morning!)  Anyhow, I dug this restaurant, but T wasn’t a huge fan.  So the jury’s out on whether or not we’ll ever be back…

I got up bright and early yesterday morning and hoofed it to the park for the NYRR 18-mile tune-up race.  My plan was to run to the start and back, and that would make up the extra 2 miles I needed for my final 20 of this training cycle(!!!!!!!!)  I just barely made it to my corral before everyone really started to move.  I don’t have a whole lot to say about this 20 miles.  I kept it at a steady just sub-9:00 pace, (like, 8:55) which was my plan all along.  9:00 is pretty much my happy pace– I don’t have to think much about it and can just kind of zone out and run.  I didn’t even turn my Ipod on.  Since I’m 3 weeks out now from Columbus(!!!!!) I had no intention of pushing the pace.  Near the end, I started to feel pretty tired and a bit sore, of course, but nothing was painful or too difficult.  It was muggy, and I was a disgusting sweaty beast, but this is nothing new.  I did find it a bit annoying that my watch was beeping the miles completing quite a bit before the actual mile markers, but chalked it up to starting a bit far back in my corral and doing some weaving at the beginning of the race.  I was good about stopping at a lot of the water stop AND I successfully gulped down a honey stinger without choking or coughing or wanting to barf.  All good things. 🙂  Anyhow, when I crossed the finish, my watch said I had run 18.2 miles at an 8:53 average pace.  (I restarted my watch at the start.)  Though I wasn’t sure how I managed to tack on an extra .2 miles to the race, I was pretty pleased with the pace and went home, showered, and met my buddy Molly at Wicker Park for brunch, which was lovely.

However, later in the day when I saw my official time on the NYRR site, I was NOT happy.

*OK,  I tried to cut and paste my results from the NYRR site.  Anyhow, sorry, but it said I ran an 8:59 average pace.  So…

What is this 8:59 pace?  I mean, it’s a fine pace, but why did my watch say I ran 8:53?!?!?!  So…. I freaked out a bit to T (who did not enjoy it) and also freaked out a bit to my brother (who also did not seem to enjoy it.)  I mean, honestly, I am still pretty upset.  So all of these paces I’ve been thinking I’ve been running have been 6 seconds SLOWER than I thought?  That’s kind of a big, HUGE deal!  ARGH.  F*cking Garmin!  I have no idea what to do to correct this.  And I am NOT happy…. 😦

On a lighter note, the almost completely lovely weekend wrapped itself up in a lovely manner.  I went to Queens with T, we met some friends for a quick drink, and then I took a nap while he made me dinner, which was AMAZING.  I woke up just in time to watch him help put the finishing touches on our delicious green market dinner!

We had bought this cranberry-horseradish chutney at the market and the woman who sold it to us said it was delicious in chicken salad, so T cooked a chicken breast, chopped it up really fine, and we mixed them together.

Then we put the chicken salad on bread we had also bought at the green market and topped it with slices of sharp cheddar and voila!  On the side, we had greens we bought at the greenmarket, which included bean sprouts and sunflower sprouts!  YUMMMM.  And the chicken salad was INCREDIBLE.  Seriously, that was one delicious sandwich.

I washed it down with one of these.  I was excited to try a new pumpkin ale!  It was good and very pumpkin-y.

We had this amazing dinner while watching 60 Minutes and then Breaking Bad.  All in all, a pretty AWESOME weekend!

This morning I woke up early again and went for a quick 5 miler, down to the Queensboro Bridge and halfway over, then back up into Astoria and to Brooklyn Bagel where I got bagels for myself and T.  A little treat to send me off to Monday and to send him off on his business trip!  When life hands you pumpkin cream cheese… you eat pumpkin cream cheese!  These are my words of wisdom on this Monday. 🙂

RAWK it, ladies!

23 Sep

Ahh, this morning was a blessed break from running.  Last night, I got my nails done with some girlfriends and then fell asleep on T’s lap watching “Always Sunny.”

wow, my nails are stumpy

Today I am wearing a very fall-like shirt from J Crew that is making me happy.  Something tells me this top will get worn a LOT.

Yay for orange, fall-y clothes! I'm wearing the top with jeans, though, and not those weird pants...

Anyway, I just wanted to post a quick shout-out to 2 lovely ladies who are gonna rock the Hamptons Half and full, respectively, tomorrow!

First is my awesome buddy Lori, aka “Baber,” who is running her first race ever.  This girl always thought I was nuts being so into running, but also always supported me, as documented here

What a great friend! She even made me a sign in my favorite color. There's a lot of pink right there...

Well, now she is going to freaking RULE the Hamptons Half and I am soooooo very excited for her!  GOOD LUCK, BABER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Second up is Ali, who has been training hard with her own personal running coach, (lucky girl!) thanks to Jackrabbit Sports.  I met Ali at a concert, before she was a runner, but now she is a major running bada$$ who is going to school her first marathon!  Here we are going for a little East Side morning jaunt.  I am proud to say that I was her FIRST running date ever!  (Ali, can we make this happen again soon?  Mmmkay, thaaaaaanks.)

UES-livin', marathon runnin' Regina Spektor fans, UNITE!

I can’t wait to hear from both these ladies tomorrow!  GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!  YOU’RE BOTH AMAZINGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!



22 Sep

Ugh, I am in a crummy mood.  Remember this from the weekend?

Gorgeous, blue sky + sunshine and crisp, picture-perfect fall weather?  Yeah.  Now the weather has turned into a sh*ttastic mix of grey skies and disgusting humidity.  I didn’t take a pic this morning, ’cause it was far from picture-worthy, and also, I chose not to bring my phone on my run.

Last night I went to Coffee Shop again in Union Square and met up with Ben, Robbie, and T.  We had a lot of laughs and a lot of these:


However, 5 AM came awful early this morning.  I woke up at 5, but somehow managed to loll around my apartment until 6, thus getting a super late start to my 11-miler.  Seriously, WHAT is wrong with me?  Anyhow, I decided to do 5.5 miles out, to the west side path and down, and then 5.5 miles back.  I sweated like a BEAST, due to the crazy humidity, and did not really enjoy myself.  But I got the 11 miles done (at about 9:00 average pace) and now I am very much looking forward to taking Friday AND Saturday off in prep for my 20 miler on Sunday.  I realized that I’ve run 59 miles in the past 6 days, with no rest days, so no wonder I am a whiny, cranky baby today.

This is possibly the most boring entry to date.  Sorry.  I wanted to record my mileage and how I felt, but I got nothin’ else except thank G-d tomorrow is Friday!

Lots of pumpkin, as per usual (+ some running, too)

21 Sep

Ho-hum, nothing too exciting to post here (I’ve really reeled you with that lead, haven’t I???)  Since last I wrote, I went out Monday night to my neighborhood bar, Wicker Park, and got pretty a little krunk.  Totally not my fault– they had Post Road pumpkin ale and I was taking Tuesday morning off of running, since I have class on Tuesday nights.  (This rationale makes perfect sense, does it not?)  Anyhow, I met up with my buddy Jane (who I sometimes run with) and we enjoyed a non-sweaty time, marveling at the fact that we so very rarely see one another looking clean and normal.  Haha.  T came by, too.  Good stuff.

I had a little more than a few of these

Yesterday was grey and murky all day — not that I was outside, but I could see from my office.  All I wanted to do was go home and lie on the couch like a lazy sack of poo.  But I had class, so that was not an option.  On my way home from work, I passed the new Magnolia Bakery in Bloomingdales.  I obviously had to stop, since fall is the one time of year I pretty much eat baked goodies with reckless abandon.  I have two reasons for this:  (1) PUMPKIN STUFF ABOUNDS!  Gotta get it while it’s in season!  and (2) I’m in peak training for marathon and burning tons of calories… right?

Anyhow, Magnolia had a pumpkin brownie that I bought and decided to use as a post-class treat.  Fast forward to post-class:  this brownie sucked.  Totally dry and a waste of calories.  Did I eat the whole thing?  Well, obviously.  But did I *really* enjoy it?  No, I did not.  Harumpf, f*ck you, Magnolia.

This is a pic that came up when I Googled "pumpkin brownie." The difference is that this one looks moist and delicious. Magnolia's was the opposite.

Anyhow, I went to class and it was pretty meh.  We only had 3 coaches, which really annoys the crap out of me.  Typically there are at LEAST 4, and sometimes more.  I mean, it’s not like this class is breaking my bank or anything (It’s 10 sessons for $110– easy math) but still!  I go here every week because it’s a speed workout I wouldn’t do on my own, and because there are pacers.  However, when my pace group is, like, 25 people, it’s no bueno.  They lumped the 8:00-9:00 min milers all in one group  (typically, I run with the 8-8:30 group) and this was just annoying.  The coach was running slower than I’d like, there were way too many people… and I basically gave up on getting any sort of speed work in whatsoever.  Blah.  (Good Lord, I sound like a jerk and a curmudgeon.  Sorry.)  Anyhow, I got 7 miles in, not fast, and called it a night.

This morning, I had 10 miles with some speedwork — “4 x 1200 m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.”  Once again, I opted to do 3/4 miles at sub 7:50 pace and then jog the final 1/4 of each mile very slowly.  This morning’s speedwork was a bit tougher than it was on Sunday– I dipped above 8:00 a few times– but it’s done.

Left this week:  an 11 miler, which I plan to do tomorrow morning, and then a 20 miler.  The NYRR is doing an 18-mile tune-up race on Sunday, so I’m doing that +2 miles.  I’m planning to do the 20 at a 9:00 pace, so it shouldn’t be too hateful.

Tonight:  posse family dinner!  Peace!

1 weekend, 2 good runs

19 Sep

Yay!  I had 2 decent runs this weekend!  And an all-around great weekend.

Friday night, I met up with Cookie (one of my best friends– yes, she goes by Cookie) and some of her colleagues at a Belgian beer bar near our offices– BXL.  I drank this.  It was OK; not my favorite

Then, I grabbed a cab and dashed downtown to meet up with my buddies Dana (in town from London) and Erica at John’s Pizza in the West Village.  I very rarely let myself splurge on pizza, but an 18-miler looming in the future made the already delicious pizza taste even more amazing.

I got to bed early and woke up the next morning feeling happy, refreshed… and a bit nervous(?)  I have never in my life been nervous for a solo training run and actually not even really that much for a marathon!  But now that I actually care about my time in the upcoming race, and have had so many bad long runs lately, it felt like I needed to make this a good one, or else give up my hope for having a time in Columbus I could feel good about.

My good buddy Lori is training for her first race– the Hamptons Half– with Team in Training (TIT, hehe) and she generously shared with me the routes they had recommended for the weekend.  I grabbed a 16 miler I was excited about.  It involved running down the west side path, over the Brooklyn Bridge, back over the Manhattan Bridge, and back up the west side.  I was excited to do a run somewhere NOT in Central Park (no offense, CP.  I love you longtime, but I need a break) and one that involved bridges.  I love running bridges.  I figured starting and finishing at my apartment rather than in the middle of the park would tack on the extra 2 miles I needed.

To cut to the chase (har-har, chase) I felt OK, good even, but not great, about this run.  My Pfitzinger plan said to run 18 miles with 14 at MP.  I’m still not sure what MP is gonna be, but I’d like to keep it under 8:30 and under 8:25 would be amazing.  I ran the first 2 miles at a leisurely pace, allowing myself to warm up.  Then, I picked it up.  I was in an absolute reverie running in the beautiful fall weather along the west side — so many runners!  I had to control myself to keep the pace above 8 because I just wanted to gun it.  I felt so awesome.  The weather, like I said, was picture-perfect — sunny and cool.  I will take this weather on marathon day.  Maybe a few degrees cooler, but this was definitely a step in the right direction, Mother Nature.  Here are some shots I took while running down the west side– of the view of Jersey from the path and also the view of downtown.

Check out that beautiful, blue sky!

I ran down the path to Chambers, where I was instructed to take a left and then “the bridge would be on my right.”  Errrr… I got a little worried I would miss it, took a few turns and then had to ask a cop how to get to the bridge.  I always get confused and a bit panicked finding bridge entrances!  Luckily, I found it, struggled a bit going up the incline, and then sailed down the other side.

beautiful, beautiful, BK bridge

When I got to Tillary, I took a left (as directed) and then a left again on Jay.  Then the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge was supposed to be on the right… but I literally came to a stand-still looking for it.  I am pretty sure I looked a lot like this:

I finally saw a little opening in this iron fence, thank goodness, but hello– it was NOT very visible!  Ran back across into the city and up Bowery to Houston, where I cut across.  This portion of the run was slightly frustrating and not great, because the streets were so crowded and I also was starting to feel a little drained.  I don’t usually eat in the mornings before runs, so I was getting pretty hungry, and I also hadn’t drank much other than a few quick sips at fountains while going down the west side.  I planned to eat my Gu and take a water break when I was back on the path, as soon as I saw a fountain, but the time started to stretch a bit here…

Finally made it to the path and found a fountain where I could get a nice, long drink and gulp down a Gu.  And by “gulp,” I actually mean “choke-cough-cough-cough-snot pours out of nose-desperately wipe at snot-try to breathe-choke-choke-finally stop coughing-breathe-finish Gu-choke some more-gulp down more water.”  Put more succinctly, not pleasant!  After this, I have to admit I never really felt that I got my groove back.  I couldn’t seem to get back to a pace I was happy with, but it was worlds better than any of my long runs in the past month or so, so… all-in-all, I was happy!  My splits went as follows:

1- 8:55













14-9:56 (due to cough-sputter-etc!)





Average pace-8:40

I would have preferred it be a bit faster, but I’ll take it!

The rest of the day was really nice.  I met up with the awesome Lori at Starbucks where she bought me a salted caramel latte.  I had never had one before, but YUM!  We also split a pumpkin loaf.  Then, we went to Jackrabbit where she kindly shared her TIT 15% discount and I got a few things.  Then, I did some more shopping, cooked myself dinner (pumpkin ravioli!  Do you see a trend?) and then ventured out to Brooklyn.  I met up with Melina and we went to The Vanderbilt.  We shared smoked potato and cheddar croquettes and had a few beers.

Sunday, I met up with my friend Nina and her fiancee Ilan, who I was just meeting for the first time.  They are in town from Israel.  It was great seeing them!  We went to My Most Favorite Food on the Upper West Side.  Then I did a bit of shopping.  I found some black riding boots that actually zip over my calves and were a bit cheaper than the Tory Burches, so the Tories are going back!  I’m actually thrilled about the new boots.

The rest of the day I was actually very productive, but I managed to put off my 9 miler (including speed work) until nearly 8 PM.  No biggie, though.  I got it done and felt great about it.  Pfitzinger said to do “9 miles with 5 x 1,000 m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.”  So… I have to say one of my biggest complaints about Pfitz’s plan (besides the freaking killer mileage) is that it involves a lot of math and a lot of meters and way too much thinking-while-running.  Mmmmkay, I do not know what 1,000 meters feels like, really.  I don’t feel like figuring out how long it takes me to run 1,000 meters and then figuring out what 50-90% of that time is.  And I don’t know what my 5K race pace is, ’cause I can’t remember the last time I ran a 5K, much less raced it.

What I decided to do was do 3/4 of a mile at a sub 7:50 pace, then jog the final 1/4 of the mile very slowly… and repeat 4 times.  I arrived at this because I know that 800 meters equals around half a mile and so I decided to make 1,000 meters equal 3/4 of a mile.  (I just looked this up and 1,000 meters is  actually .625 miles, but whatever– that is tougher to keep track of on my watch.)  And I decided that jogging the final 1/4 mile would make it easier to round it all up.  Also, my10K PR was at a 7:52 pace, so I decided to just keep the 3/4 miles under that.  Anyhow, this all made the 9 miles go by really fast, and that was awesome.

This morning I went for a quick 4 mile jaunt around the reservoir.  It was an absolutely beautiful fall morning.  The only disturbance was actually, er, a BIG disturbance.  On my second lap around the reservoir, suddenly there were cops all over the place, emergency vehicles, and even a helicopter hovering.  I told T I felt like Henry Hill from Goodfellas!  This is all I could find out about it thus far:

Anyhow… kind of a wacky start to the day!  But it’s beautiful outside and I’m having drinks with Jane tonight AND I get to see T again after he was gone all weekend!  Good stuff. 🙂

Oh!  And my friend Emily, mentioned in a previous post, got engaged to her sweet bf Shawn over the weekend!  So yay for that!

Here they are, lookin’ studly after completing the 2009 Nashville Country Music Marathon.  Aren’t they cute?

Morning runner but not a morning person…

15 Sep

It’s Thursday, or what I like to call Friday-eve!  It’s “Always Sunny” day!  YAYYY.

I can’t wait to see what antics these a**holes get into tonight.

You're terrible people. And I love you all.

Last night, I met my 2 best guy friends for what I’m calling Posse Family Night.  Oh G-d, here is the part where I confess that my high school group of friends was uber tight (and a lot of us still are) and we did, in fact, call ourselves The Posse.  I think T almost broke up with me when I told him that.  But regardless, these dudes are cool as hell and we now all live in the same city, since Ben just moved here from San Fran to be a lawyer.  Yay!

The Posse was a lot like the Bayside High gang. I was obviously Kelly. (Except I wasn't a cheerleader, and I wasn't particularly pretty either. Harumpf.)

Anyhow, this is me with Ben and Robbie last summer.  We’ve been friends for, like, 15 years!  We’re old.

Oh hey, NYC in the background! Looking fly!

Here we are at some Halloween party at our high school. I'm the angel in front, Ben is second from the right in back, and Robbie is 4th from right. We look like bebes

Anyhow, the 3 of us met up for what we are going to attempt to make a weekly dinner last night.  Robbie’s super awesome girlfriend Sara made an appearance, as well.  Dinner happened at Coffee Shop in Union Square, a perennial favorite of all of ours.  I chowed on a turkey burger and exercised great restraint when I ordered a salad in lieu of fries.  Then I stopped at Starbucks to get a rice krispie treat before getting on the subway .  These are my new treat of choice, ’cause they are delicious, carb-y, and have the lowest calories of all of Starbucks’ heavenly baked good offerings.  (Did I put the apostrophe in the right place there?  This is really bugging me.)

My alarm went off bright and early at 5:00 this morning.  I managed to drag my butt out of bed at 5:30, (and so was late to work AGAIN– more on that later) and dashed off to the park!  I made myself stick to a GA pace, (general aerobic= standard, moderate effort) which I’ve deemed to be 9:00 min miles, or slightly faster.  I did a loop of the reservoir, a 4 mile outer loop, another reservoir, and another 4 mile loop.  My average pace was 8:56.  At times, I felt the pull to push the pace, but I forced myself to keep it at GA because I *really* want to have a quality 18 miler on Saturday and I’m wondering if part of my problem with the previous long runs has been running my weekday medium-long runs too fast.  Anyhow, all-in-all a pleasant, albeit muggy run (WTF, September?)  And I got to see this during one of my reservoir loops.

During my run, I started thinking about how I really love being a morning runner.  It’s a wonderful way to start the day and I always feel slightly smug coming into work and thinking, “How many of all ya’all just busted out 8 miles?  YEAH.”  Actually, the smug-ness is a perk, but it’s definitely not the biggest one.  It’s just such a blessed feeling to have a run under your belt when you go about your day, and to have the freedom to do whatever you want after work.  In my opinion.  I do have my running class once a week on Tuesday nights and that has shown me that I really just do NOT like running in the evenings at all any more.  It’s only been a little over a year that I’ve been doing the morning running thing, but I think it would take a lot for me to be an after-work runner ever again.

That said, I am NOT a morning person.  It’s sooo difficult for me to get out of bed and thus, I’ve been getting up later and later and getting into work later and later.  Not good.  I am spending WAY too much money on cabs to work, which is just ludicrous, considering I live ON THE 4/5/6 line and it’s really pathetic that I can’t get myself on the damn train.  Also, my colleagues are awesome, but do I feel guilty strolling in and seeing them all hard at work at their computers and kind of knowing they’ve been there for at least 20 minutes already?  You bet I do.  NOT COOL, Katie.

So in addition to attempting to get more sleep, (just under 7 hours last night= not great, but not awful) I also need to make myself get out of bed earlier in the morning.  But tomorrow I get to sleep in, ’cause it’s a day off in prep for the long run on Saturday!  Yay. 🙂

Cheese + Running = disaster

14 Sep

Well, last night I had a stupid run.  I say that because I made a novice mistake.  Seriously, I am training for my TENTH marathon and I still do things like this:

5 PM– Starving.  Eat some almonds.

6 PM– Start feeling hungry again.  Ignore

6:40 PM– Starving.  Eat an enormous handful of cheese cubes (left over from meeting at work.)

6:45 PM — Out the door for running class.

8:00oish– Class completed; plan to tack on about 4 more miles.  Head over to reservoir from north end of park

8:05ish– Stomach declares that it hates me and cheese

8:15ish– Have to stop and walk.  Viciously verbally abuse self in head.

8:30ish– Force myself to finish out 8 miles.   Wanted to do 9.  Do the rest of my mileage slow because my stomach is rebelling.  Feel pissed at self.

OK, here’s the thing… I LOVE CHEESE.  I can never say no to cheese.  If I am starving, hungry, not hungry at all, or on the verge vomiting — in all of these scenarios, if there is cheese on hand, I will eat it.  However, cheese doesn’t always love me back.  We’re in an abusive relationship.  I will just NEVER LEARN.  I am powerless against cheese’s allure.  So, when I ate a veritable mountain of cheese last night directly before running, well… I got what I deserved.  Grrrrrr.

This is me. Aren't I cute?

I will say that the night got a lot better after that, though.  T and I headed over to a neighborhood bar, Wicker Park, and had a few brews.  I really meant to only have one, go to bed, and do a 9 miler this morning.  However, sometimes when you’re having a blast with your bf who also happens to truly be one of your besties– well, those times are just too precious to cut short.  I had a few Sam Adams Oktoberfests on draught, then the bartender dug up one of these — he had previously thought they were all out!

It's dark, but that is a Smuttynose Pumpkin ale. Yum.

T and I entertained ourselves with quality conversation and a few napkin games.

The answer was "Anchor Steam."

We got home pretty late and I decided to sleep in this morning, thus leaving the 12 mile run for tomorrow,  (I WILL DO IT.  I WILL!) the 18 for Saturday, and the 9 for Sunday.  Not ideal, but whatever.

Oh and guess what I did when I got home (admittedly, pretty drunk)?  Ate more cheese.


13 Sep

My head was spinning this morning as I ran my 5 miler.  Thoughts bounced around in my head along the lines of, “OK, I have an 8, a 5, a 12, a 9, and an 18 to do this week.  This morning I am going to do 8.  Or a 5.  I should do 8.  But I have class tonight and don’t want to die.  Also, I got up late and don’t really have time for 8. (Not great.)  So I’ll do 5.  But that leaves an 8, a 12, a 9, and an 18.  I took yesterday off, so I only have one day off left this week.  But wait, I’m running twice today…”  And so on and so forth.  I reiterate.  Head.  SPINNING.

On another note, I miss spinning class.  I did it once a week for a while.  Back when I wasn’t running all the damn time and way too tired to do a damn thing on the days I wasn’t running.

Seriously, what the heck is wrong with me that I’m struggling so much with this training program?  Other people seem to also work full-time and live a full life and run this much and not be such a baby about it.  I feel like a wuss.

Geez, maybe I should change the title of this blog to “Katie’s Self-Loathing Life.”

OK anyhow, so I said it.  I’m having a bit of a tough time with this higher mileage.  But I’m staying (mostly) positive, I swear!  I’m really looking forward to having a great 18 miler on Saturday after getting good sleep this week.  Last night I got 7 hours, which is  a step in the right direction!  Before going to bed, I got these bad girls done:

A bit vampier than I would ordinarily go. I blame the "it looked different in the bottle" phenomenon. I forget what this shade is called, but it's Essie

I went with my friend Emily, pictured here avec moi, tearin’ up the Manhattan Half a few years ago:

I make some of the fugliest faces when I run...

Then we hung out chez moi for some quality FB stalking and general dishing.  Good times. 🙂

Tonight I have class.  Then in the morning, I have to run.   In between these two runs, I WILL GET SOME SLEEP.