Archive | September, 2011

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. 🙂

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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.

Spinning

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.

Duck!

12 Sep

I had a weekend filled with sleep, running, and eating delicious food!  The food was delicious; the runs were pretty darn crappy.

Let’s start with the good.

My dreamboat bf is a bada$$ cook, as evidenced by the fact that he turned this:

Into this:

into this:

Yeah.  That is a dead duck in the first two pics.  In the final pick, you see what I ate, with great gusto:  duck breasts on top of mushroom risotto (cooked in duck fat) alongside asparagus (also cooked in duck fat.)  I’m kind of at a loss for words to describe how amazing my bf is.  I know, I know– GAG.  But seriously.

So, that was how the weekend wrapped itself up– this was last night’s dinner.  However, prior to this glorious gluttony, I did other stuff.

Fri night:  Dinner at Bahari, a Greek restaurant in Astoria, with T and our friends Jon and Caroline.  Great food and good times.  Right after dinner, T and I retired to his apartment where we laid down (it was a little after 9) and… woke up after 9 on Saturday morning.  Yeah.

Saturday, we went for a walk, he had to go into work, and I ran the sh*ttiest 17 miles I have run in over a year.  Are you noticing a pattern here?  ‘Cause I am.  I cannot remember the last time I had a decent long run.  This is the third Saturday in a row that I found myself doing a run so miserable that I wanted to both quit and cry.  Once again, I was thinking really negative thoughts, along the lines of,  “You are such a bullsh*t runner.  You are not kidding anyone.  You are a poor excuse for a marathoner.  You will never get faster.  You’ll probably get slower.  And fatter.”  And so on and so forth.  I don’t know what to do about this.  It’s not OK that I’ve had 3 terrible long runs in a row, but my weekday mid-mileage runs (8-11 miles usually) are actually pretty consistently strong.  I don’t know if maybe my body is rebelling against Pfitzinger’s G-d-awful training program.  (Yeah.  I said it.  It’s killing me.)  Prior to this, I think my highest weekly mileages for marathon training were around 40 and now it’s 50 and more.  Whatever.  I completed the run, having stopped to walk after every single water break (oh, I cringe) and with an average pace that I do not care to report.  BLAH.

After that, I met Melina for DELICIOUS Thai food at Republic in Union Square, then we saw the new Paul Rudd movie “Our Idiot Brother.”  Very cute.

I conked out pretty much as soon as I got to T’s and woke up around nearly, uh, ONE IN THE AFTERNOON.  Someone needs to work on getting sleep during the week so that she can actually enjoy her weekends and not sleep them away.  T and I went to Brooklyn Bagel, which has the best bagels in the entire world.  (Seriously.)  I got a multi grain mini bagel slathered with cinnamon-maple-walnut cream cheese.  I’m salivating just thinking about it.  BTW, Brooklyn Bagel has no outposts in BK, but 2 in Queens.  Weird.  But works out well for us!

Then I helped T out with the duck (sort of.  He’s the cook in this relationship without a single question)  And left for a 12 miler that I had put off for Sunday, ’cause I’m a genius like that.  It actually wasn’t as horrendous as I anticipated it being, especially in light of my crap-tastic performance the day before.  I ran from his place, over the Q’boro bridge, and up to the park.  I intended to run across 59th Street, along the bottom of the park, and up the west side, but the bottom of the park was absolutely crawling with tourists.  So instead, I stayed on the East Side, ran up 5th Avenue to the early 100s, cut across to York Ave, and ran back downtown to the Q’boro and back over, which wound up being about 12 miles.  I did so at a pace I could live with, (9:07) so this was a pleasant surprise.

Back to my lousy performance on Saturday.  It was very humid and my clothes were sopping wet when I got home.  I had gotten no more than 5 hours of sleep on any given night last week.  I did an 8 miler and a 10.25 miler at a pretty quick pace during the week, as well as a 5 miler that wasn’t too slow either.  Maybe I need to do my weekday runs slower?  I’m convinced I need to sleep more during the week.  I’m going to try and tweak these things this week and see how my partial MP run on Saturday goes.  I can’t let this stuff get me down!

And meantime, I’m super lucky (a lucky duck, I suppose you could say. ;))

Waterlogged

8 Sep

Oh, MAN, did I get drenched this morning!  I’m sure running in the driving rain did wonders for my pesky illness, (dry cough, sore throat, minor congestion) too!  Ugh.

Last night I ducked into the Starbucks near my bus stop for a little treat on the way home from work.  Here is what I got, and what I like to call a little slice of heaven:

Starbucks pumpkin bread, you rock my world

As I ate this on the bus, I hoped no one I knew was also on the bus, because I’m pretty sure I looked as though I were in an intense romantic reverie.

I slept over at T’s last night, and when I left this morning a little after 5, it was POURING.  I usually carry my phone when I run, and since I was definitely at risk for ruining my brand new one, I ducked into what T calls The Bodega Of Sadness across the street from his place.  The kind man there gave me a plastic bag to carry my phone in, and it definitely would have been ruined had he not done that.  So I told T we need to make a concerted effort to frequent this place from here on out.  (He calls it the Bodega of Sadness because of their very limited and very random selection of wares.)

And then I ran.  Down through Astoria, over the Queensboro Bridge, across 59th Street and the bottom of the park, up Central Park West, across the top of the park, down 5th Avenue and into the park at the Engineer’s Gate, (yes, I was on the marathon route at this point) out of the park at 72nd Street, and up and across to my apartment.  All in all, I ran 10.25 miles in torrential downpour.  At some points, it was coming down so hard I literally could not see, due to the water in my eyes.  I gave up avoiding the enormous puddles, ’cause my feet were sopping wet anyway.  So I guess it was pretty miserable, but to be honest, I felt pretty badass. 😉  Oh and my average pace wound up being 8:26, with 2 of those 10.25 miles being at an under 8:00 pace.  I was pretty pleased when I looked at my splits when I was done, considering I wasn’t really paying attention to my watch or my pace at all.

I tried to take pics to record my watery glory, but I’m not sure you can tell the extent of my sopping-ness, since I was wearing all black.  Also, I’m not exactly a master of self portraits.

Check out my shorts, wetly clinging to my generous thighs.

Anyhow, it seems this running in the rain trend will continue, since the weather forecast calls for rain and more rain.  Yesterday, I mentioned the Flying Pig 2010, which was pretty rainy.  However, I didn’t mention another memory I have of running in rain, which is basically all of September 2008.  I was staying in Glasgow, Scotland at the time and training for the Loch Ness marathon.  I did a ton of running in Kelvingrove Park, which was across the street from the apartment I was staying in.  It was a beautiful place to run, as evidenced by this photo:

that's the University of Glasgow looming in the distance

Scotland was absolutely beautiful, but it was almost always raining, or misting, or precipitating in some manner.  So running in the rain does make me a bit nostalgic, but this morning’s downpour was pretty extreme and unlike anything I think I ever experienced in Scotland!

Rain, Rain, go away

7 Sep

Ugggghhh.  It is grey and rainy today, as it was yesterday, as it is forecast to be for the next 4 freaking days.  I skipped class last night, for the first time in forever, ’cause it was absolutely pouring.  I’m not a wuss, I know I can run in rain, (I ran a whole freaking marathon in the rain) but I’d already had a kinda crappy day and didn’t see a need to make it even worse.

BTW, here is a picture of me running said marathon in the rain.  I got my worst time here.  It was May of 2010, my third time running the Cincinnati Flying Pig, and my 7th marathon overall.  I was coming off of a year of great indulgence (bad breakup; too much drinking and eating junk) so I was fat and not properly trained at ALL for this one.  Thank goodness I had my dear friend Jennifer (pictured, obvs) with me for moral support.  Anyhow, this marathon was what prompted me to start getting serious about training and running.   I figured, why the heck do I want to keep doing this and not only *not* improving, but getting WORSE?  So, marathon times of 4 hours and up (particularly this one– 4:41:55 –CRINGE) RIP.

Anyhow… in other fun news, last night I decided to make something pumpkin-y to brighten up my day and make good use of my time not at class.  So, I put a hoodie on and bolted out into the rain to my local grocery store where … they did NOT have pumpkin in a can.  Um, WHAT?  Freaking ghetto grocery store.  Then, I discovered that I had lost my cell phone, since I put it in my (shallow) hoodie pocket and then bolted from my front door to the grocery store.  So RIP to that, too, and that really sucks, ’cause now I have to go to Verizon today, buy a new one, and pray that my numbers have magically been retained.  Awesome.

I intended to run 12 miles this morning, but overslept (what’s new) and only had time to do 8.5.  I did so at an 8:12 pace, which is the pace at which I would need to run for the entire marathon in order to qualify for Boston, under its new and stricter qualifying times.  It felt good and not too tough, but 8.5 is, uh, significantly less than 26.2.  At this juncture in my training, I really do not know WHAT to forecast as my MP, which is making my Pfitzinger-prescribed MP runs tricky.  I would LOVE to qualify for Boston, but I have to be realistic and assume that it’s not really possible.  However, then I have runs like I did today and feel awesome and think maybe it is.  But as I so astutely pointed out, 8.5 is a lot less than 26.2.  BUT I do respond very well to race day adrenaline, taper, and good water stops.  Since I’ve never actually trained for a specific time and never actually intellectually raced a marathon, I just really don’t know what to expect and hope for.  The marathon is in 5 and a half weeks, though, so I suppose I’ve got time to get a better idea of what it could be!

Good Run, Bad Run

6 Sep

Sooo… last Friday, I had a fantastic run, but was too busy all day to actually blog about it.  Then on Saturday, I had a totally sh*ttastic run.  So there was that.  However, I completed my highest MPW ever last week with a grand total of 56.5 miles!  Some of them were absolute crap, (and I mean CRAP) but I did ’em.  I think there were a few reasons for the crappy miles, not the least of which being that being the genius that I am, I backloaded my week in a MAJOR way.  Just ’cause I was feeling lethargic and logy from the LOONG a$$ drive from NC –> NYC and weird start to the week, I brilliantly had the following happen:

Monday: nada (drove all damn day)

Tuesday:  8 miles, including hill drills (running class)

Wednesday:  5.5 mile recovery

Thursday:  11 miles (@ 8:42 average pace)

Friday:  12 miles (@ 8:32 average pace)

Saturday:  20 miles (at a suckiness unprecedented by all other suckiness)

Total: 56.5

Not sure why I thought that an 11 miler, a 12 miler, and a 20 miler back-to-back were a great idea.  Anyhow, yeah, the 20 miler sucked very badly, but I’m not beating myself up too much about it.  Along with the fact that I was coming off of 2 medium-long runs, I slept in very late on Saturday and didn’t get out on the road ’til 11ish.  And it was HOT and humid in Framingham, Mass (where T and I spent our Labor Day weekend, with friends.)  I also didn’t really think through the whole “hydrating” thing, so I wound up running 4 miles with my buddy Danielle– 2 miles out and then 2 back to the house where we were staying– got a drink of water at the house, then headed out again, sans Danielle and sans water.  I stopped about 8 miles in at a gas station and guzzled a bottle of water, then went back on my way.  But about 12 miles in, I started feeling seriously nauseated and was crawling along at a snail’s pace.  I was actually pretty concerned by the time I made it back to the gas station.  Luckily, I had thought ahead enough to remove some dolla bills from my back pocket in my shorts a few miles prior (they were soaked with butt sweat– sexy) and thus they were dry enough to feed into the machines by then.  I bought two water bottles and chugged ’em, but then I still felt like sh*t.  I had to WALK a mile (I haven’t done this in soooo long and I felt like such a false runner at this point) but finally got it together and finished out the damn run.  UGGGGGHHHH.  Lesson learned– get the eff out of bed for these suckers.  The run would have gone SO MUCH better had I not done it in the heat of the damn day.

Anyhow, let’s just say I am looking forward to my next 20 miler, which is in a few weeks.  I will show that one who’s boss, especially since by then fall weather will have set in nicely.

Speaking of fall!  I made it my business to drink as many pumpkin ales as possible this weekend.  Mission accomplished, and here is some photographic evidence of some (but not all!) of them:

Isn't the label cute on this one?

This is a very slightly lower mileage week.  Pfitzinger has prescribed 51-55 miles (WTF is this, man?  Give me a precise number, not a range!)  The weather forecast has some nice cool, fall-like temps (YUSSS) and rain every single day for the next 5-days (boooo!)  We’ll see how it all goes…

In other fall-related news, I’ve wanted the perfect black riding boots for what seems like forever. I finally found them and they were not cheap.  However, when Tory Burch sent me an email about her Labor Day sale, I took it as a sign that I should buy the boots.  So I did!  And I got a whole 100 smackeroos off with that Labor Day sale!  They arrived on Friday and they are beautiful!

But guess what.  They do not, by any means, zip over my enormous runners’ calves.  So very sad.  I’m currently contemplating having them stretched.  Can a shoe person do that, I wonder?  NYC shoe people can do a lot of magical things, but I’m not sure having this done, on top of the already ludicrous expense of the boots, is worth it.  I love my runners’ calves pretty much 99.9% of the time, but it’s this kind of stuff that makes up the .1%.  Man!