Tag Archives: Columbus Marathon

Farewell, 2011! Bring it, 2012!

30 Dec

Oh, hi.  It’s New Years Eve-Eve, and all I can think about is my not-even-half-packed-up studio on the Upper East Side and the fact that my movers are coming at 9 AM sharp tomorrow to cart ALL MY SH*T to Astoria.

I’m stressed.

And while I am stoked to be living in sin with T, I would be lying if I said I was stoked to leave the UES, which is where I have lived for the past 7.5 years.  (Good Lord, I am old.)

Honestly, my anxiety about leaving the UES has very little/zero to do with outer borough snobbery.  I LOVE Astoria.  There are awesome restaurants and bars there, it’s basically a hop-skip-and-jump from Manhattan, (really!  it is!  come VISITTTTT!) and several of my NYC besties live there already.  Plus there’s the whole palatial-apartment-for-a-fraction-of-Manhattan-rent thing.

But I am going to miss the accessibility to the park.  It’s now going to be a real effort to get there.  Iwill say I have run over the Q’boro Bridge from Queens to Manhattan countless times in the past year and a half.  And it’s a nice run.

Fantastic view from Qboro bridge one morning before work

But from T’s place (now my place!) just to the base of the park, it’s already close to 4 miles.   I am going to have to get used to running with a backpack and showering and getting ready at the office, a notion that I do not relish.  But I can and will make it work.  I’m also going to allow myself cabs to the park from time to time, seeing as how I’ll be saving a bundle on rent.

Oh, dear reservoir, I will so miss your proximity...

At least the move stuff is keeping me distracted from my true current angst, which is:

Yeah.  It’s still there.  It still hurts.

I went to a spinning class on Wednesday morning before work, after a week of sloth and cookie-inhalation .  Ho hum.  Yesterday, I just couldn’t bear the thought of going to the gym again.  And while it was cold out, I actually love running in cold (I prefer to think of it as brisk!) weather.  So I suited up and went for a little run.

I'm obviously really good at self-portraits. Also, my apartment is a mess. I'm moving! Give me a break!

Anyhow, I know I’m not supposed to run, but I put my inserts in my running shoes and I spent a good amount of time rolling out the arch of my foot with a frozen water bottle before AND after the run.  And– dare I say it?– the pain wasn’t quite as bad as it has been!  This could quite possibly be wishful thinking…

Anyhow, thus far the grand total mileage for my week is a little over 4 miles.  Wow.

But let’s talk about pleasant things, shall we?  Like my year in running!  This year marked my 10th (and 11th) marathons and my two fastest times, including one BQ.  I prefer not to split hairs on this topic, so yes I do consider my 3:38:52 in Columbus a BQ.  It’s not my fault that Boston was already filled for 2012 by the time I qualified.  Also not my fault that they made the qualifying times tighter for 2013 and now I have to get a 3:35 (or more like a 3:30 to ensure entry– the field is getting tougher and tougher!) in order to qualify!  Yay, fast women!

So yeah.  One of the highest points of my life was on October 16, 2011

And though it was a pretty f**king tough fight, I am proud of how I fared in the NYC marathon, a mere 3 weeks later.  3:45:35, and while I know that’s not impressive for a lot of folks, it was better than I expected.

I was pretty miserable at keeping good track of my mileage, but from what I do have, my mileage for the year was 1406.  I definitely didn’t record everything, but that number averages out to 27 miles a week, which isn’t horrible!  I don’t really make New Years resolutions (why set myself up for failure?) but I really DO want to do better at recording mileage this year.  I signed up for Daily Mile yesterday and thus far have a whopping 4 miles recorded in there.  But I’m hoping that will help me keep better track of my miles in 2012!  And I’m hoping those miles are many! 🙂

As for races in 2011, here’s my New York Road Runners summary and proof that I qualified for NYCM 2012!  Holla!

Yeah, my paces are all over the damn place.

I ran a few additional races, including the Boilermaker in Utica, which I definitely want to do again this summer.  That race is a hilly little b*tch, but in general any event that combines my two favorite things– beer and running?  Sign me up indefinitely!

Saranac Brewery, thank you for kindly (further de)hydrating me post-race. You make a delicious beverage.

What other races will I do in 2012?  Well, I hope to run at least one other marathon because I would really like to run a 3:30 and I do not want to have a time goal for NYCM.  That race is just too damn stressful withOUT having a goal; I can’t fathom running it WITH one.

So yes, I would love to run a 3:30 in 2012 and thus, qualify for Boston in 2013.  I am wary of saying this publicly, though, because 3:30 is a lofty goal for me.  It involves shaving nearly 9 minutes off of my PR.  Some days I think this is  definitely a possibility; others I think definitely not.

Oh yeah, and there’s that whole PF thing that I think I’ve mentioned a few times before… kind of a factor…

I am NOT running Surf City.  I need to be nice to my foot so I can run many, many more miles in the future.  That race is cursed for me anyway.  Second damn year in a row I signed up for it and am not able to run it.  Harumpf.

I AM running the Cherry Blossom 10-miler!  I’m excited for this.  I love DC and I’ve never been at cherry blossom time.

I AM signed up for the Manhattan Half, which is scarily soon.  Not sure if my li’l foot will be up to snuff by then…

If and when my foot gets better, I will run many, many more races, ’cause I love races and stuff.

I’m really losing focus here…

Anyhow, one final good thing that happened this year was that I discovered running blogs and started reading them obsessively.  Then I started this li’l blog.  And while most times I feel it is boring as hell, I have had fun with it!

So, thanks for being, all-in-all, a pretty sweet year, 2011!  Happy New Year, everyone!  Bring it on, 2012! 🙂

This thing is gonna get decorated to the MAX in 2012!

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3:38:52, or The Weekend That Was Just Totally Freaking Awesome (Part 2)

18 Oct

I’m back!  Sleep No More was good, but sadly I think you get out of it what you put in, and I was pretty tired.  Oh well.

Anyhow… so I met up with my brother, Michael, in the lobby of The Westin, where he was staying.  He informed me right off the bat that he was pretty sick with a fever and hadn’t slept at all.  I admitted I wasn’t feeling so hot either, thanks to my idiotic garlic intake the night before.  I peed in the Westin’s lobby bathroom and we were on our way.  My mouth was feeling dry, which made me slightly nervous, since I didn’t have any water on me.

We made our way to the start and I stopped again to pee at a port-o-potty on the way.  The Westin is a short distance from the start– only about a 5 minute walk.  Once at the start, we were able to get into the proper corral– the 2nd one!– much more easily than we had been in years past, and we remarked at how happy we were they had cleaned up the corrals situation.  I noticed the 3:35 pace group a bit in front of me and was delighted to see that a woman was leading them.  YEAH, GIRL!  Michael and I talked about how difficult it would be to run that pace AND carry the big sign with the balloons on it!  I was feeling a bit nervous, but mostly chill.  I felt bad for Michael, because he just couldn’t seem to get amped up.

Before long, they started the National Anthem and I quietly removed my long sleeved tee.  I was kind of bummed because it wasn’t one I had planned on ditching, but it was one from an NYRR race– and I have literally at least 20 of them– so it’s OK.  I hadn’t planned very well because the wait at the start for Columbus usually isn’t so long and I can normally tough it out in just a singlet, but it was pretty chilly.  (Which is always a GOOD thing for this sweaty girl!)

Then they set off fireworks, which was pretty neat:

And off we went!  My tentative plan was to try and keep it around an 8:23 steady pace and hope for a 3:40 and then take it back a bit if I needed to.  Everyone had been asking me all weekend what my goal time was and I said, “3:40 would be a dream, but I’m thinking more 3:45ish.”  But secretly, I REALLY wanted to sub-3:40.  Anyhow, the first thing that struck me was how NOT effortless this 8:23 pace felt.  I was slightly alarmed, but tried to keep it light and positive.  The other thing that struck me right away was the knowledge that I was gonna have to tinkle at least one more time in order to finish this race without pi$$ing myself.  No judgement here if you are a runner who pi$$es herself, but I am not that girl.  (I do plenty of other disgusting things, though.  Hit me up.  We’ll talk.)  Anyhow, around mile 3ish(?) I saw a line of port-o-potties that looked fairly deserted, so I found an empty one and took care of business.  Then I gunned it and caught up with Michael shortly up the course.  This, by the way, is EXACTLY what I did last year in Columbus, too.  Maybe even the same line of pots.

Typically, Michael and I will chat nonstop for the duration of a run, but neither one of us was feeling awesome, so there were some words exchanged between the 2 of us, but mostly gritted teeth.  But I was happy to be keeping it on pace without too much difficulty (but again, not effortless either!)

Oh, I should mention that since I’ve had so much trouble with my stupid Garmin giving me not-accurate paces, I printed out a pace band from runnersworld.com and taped it to the back of my cell phone (which I always take on marathons for texting purposes.)  I started my watch the second I crossed the start and matched up the time on the pace band with my running timer on my Garmin at the end of each mile marker.  It worked out really well, although I’m sure I looked like a lunatic, squinting at the back of my cell phone at the end of each mile, trying to make out what time I should be at!  I could tell I was running the tangents pretty poorly, since my watch was beeping for miles’ ends pretty far ahead of the mile markers.  I’m sure my li’l veer to the potty didn’t help, but just wait ’til you see what my Garmin gave me as my distance at the end of the race.  Spoiler– it was nearly an extra freakin’ mile!  (Not possible.)

Anyhow… I have to be honest and say a lot of this race was a blur for me.  One foot in front of the other, still pretty much on-pace for a 3:40 mile after mile, much to my shock.  We made a lot of water stops.  Miles 1-6 went as follows (according to my wonky Garmin): 8:33, 8:15, 8:12, 8:40, 8:27, 8:04.  I think I lost Michael around the 6 mile water stop and texted him a bit down the road asking if he was OK.  “Fine.  Sick.  Run fast!” was his response.  I felt bad for him, but did as he said.

At this point, I started wondering if I should eat something.  I don’t eat before marathons– only gulp down my Starbucks Doubleshot– and I generally don’t feel hungry while running.  I very rarely have much more to eat than one gu per race.   But I knew I needed fuel.  I broke open one of these bad boys and nursed it over the course of about a half mile.  (I also can’t shoot ’em like you’re supposed to.  I am a wuss.)

Some dude ran up next to me and said, “How’s that gu tasting?” which gave me a bit of a chuckle and I started thinking about how funny it would be to do a blog post about pickup lines at a marathon/race, as opposed to a bar.  “You come here often?” = “you done this race before?”  “What are you drinking?”= “How’s that gu?”  BTW, T has informed that this is not as funny as I think it is….

Anyhow, T texted me at one point after my “snack” saying he and his parents were around mile 8.5, which gave me a boost and lifted my spirits after having lost my bro.  Just before I saw them, some dude running near me totally bit it and my heart went out to him.  His hand water bottle went flying.  He got up and seemed a bit shaken, but OK.  After having lost my poor sick bro and watching this poor guy bite it, I was a little dazed by the time I saw T and his mom and dad.  I tried to wipe as much sweat as possible from my sweaty sexy upper lip and brow as I approached them.  I gave him T big hug, waved to his parents, and was on my way!  I sent him a text saying I was sorry I was a bit dazed and that I wasn’t feeling awesome and he responded saying that they thought I looked great. 🙂

I got a text from my mom around this time saying she and my dad, sis-in-law, niece, and nephew were around mile 12, which gave me another boost.  One foot in front of the other, still miraculously on pace.  I was delighted to see the Westin and the 12 mile water stop approaching– just where mom said they were!  I was so excited to see everyone.  I’m not sure that’s conveyed in this picture… in fact, I’m not sure what the heck is going on in this picture… but this is a picture mom took at that point.

sneezing? coughing? your guess is as good as mine!

ta-da! I'm running a marathon!

This sight definitely gave me a huge boost, though.  Can we say CUTEST KIDS EVER?

"Hello, please forgive us for being the f-bomb cutest beings to ever exist."

Then T texted saying he and his parents were just down the road, which gave me another boost!  So many boosts! 🙂  I again attempted to look attractive and not like a disgusting disaster as I approached them.  I’m not sure I succeeded:

This time, he came out and ran a bit with me, which was a lot of fun. 🙂

I kind of couldn’t believe it when I hit the half mark.  The race had been mostly a blur thus far.  My half split was 1:49:56, which, by the way, was a PR for me.  Haha, I suck at halves and never actually race them.  I always kind of feel a surge of pride and power when I pass the half point of a marathon that has a half marathon option– because I’m going the DISTANCE!

The next few miles are a complete blur for me, as was obviously the case for the majority of this race.  I do remember mentally prepping myself by recalling that in years past, this back part of the marathon (miles 15-20ish) has always been tough for me.  Kind of a desolate area and a bit of a lull in the crowd support.  I should say that this marathon is, for the most part, AWESOME with crowd support and that there is live music at every single mile!  AMAZING!!! ❤

There had been a lot of sort of sloping downhills thus far in the course, and I had been really enjoying them, but also feeling a bit guilty and almost like I was cheating.  But the wind picked up and there were some significant uphills in these miles, and I thought, “this is only fair!  I can do this!  I school the hills in Central Park ALL THE TIME!”  I passed the point, around mile 17, where Michael and I split up last year and I thought of him and hoped he was doing OK.  I sent him a text and he responded saying he had finished in 1:56:55.  I responded that was an amazing time, especially for a sick fella!

I was now on pace for a slightly sub-3:40 finish and was feeling cautiously giddy– especially since I was feeling like the rest of this race was really going to be no problem– NOT easy by any means, but manageable.  As I passed mile 20, I thought to myself, “from here on out is the furthest you have gone since your last marathon– you have this; you can DO it!”  Whenever I started feeling tired, I repeated in my head, “3:40, 3:40, 3:40.  I CAN DO THIS.”

T and my mom started texting me about their positions for the finish and I was in amazement that I was almost done.  T said they were positioned to get a great picture of me as I finished and I responded– only half joking– that I hoped I wasn’t vom’ing in said picture.  Again, I’ve said I was feeling good, but this is all relative!  “Good” for miles 20-26 in a marathon can still equal “slightly queasy,” or “might burst into tears at any moment, due to over-exertion.”  I responded to everyone’s requests for my mental/physical state by saying variations of “feeling beat up, but holding steady.”  As I passed mile 22, I thought, “4 miles– this is NOTHING!  4 miles is a snooze!”  T texted me asking for me to let him know when I passed mile 25, but by that point I had ditched my pace band and was just trying to run fast without thinking about what that pace was, and I didn’t want to text any more either.  I wrote back, “just passed 22.  no more texts.  tired.”  Then I realized I had just passed mile 23 and followed up with a giddy, “wait!  i meant 23!”

I ran as hard as I could those last 3 miles.  I passed T and his mom.  I passed my family.  I felt awesome.  My mom snapped this pic, which I love.  I look like I’m flying!

25 yards to the finish! YESSSS!

I vaguely recall some dude coming up from behind me and gunning it and totally chicking him just before I passed the finish.  And they announced my name!  “All the way from New York City,” they said!

I had no idea what my chip time was, but I knew it was in the 3:38 range (thanks, btw, to the dude who came near me– maybe I would have been in the 3:39 range if it weren’t for him!)  And I saw my friend Mary Ellen!  She lives in Columbus and was out to cheer on another friend.  She heard them announce my name as she herself was getting to the finish.  So that was a pleasant surprise– I hadn’t seen her in something like 6 years!  We had a little chat on opposite sides of the fence separating the finish area from the civilians. 🙂  Then, I went and got my space blanket, my medal(!) and got my official finish photo snapped.  I’ve never done that after at a race, but I figured my tenth marathon merited a photo.  (I’ll post a few professional photos when they’re out– if they’re not totally heinous!)  I received a couple of nice, congratulatory texts from some awesome friends who had been tracking me online (holler, Boin and Lori!!!!) and then I had to sit down on the curb.  I was happy and lucky that T and his mom found me pretty easily!

my man is the best!

T's mom is awesome and forced her coat upon me when she saw my shivering body.

I love my folks so much!! They're the BEST!

I went back to T’s parents’ hotel room and showered and got ready and then we headed out to meet up with my parents and my girl Jen for lunch.  I ate half a turkey burger, some fries, and drank a Bells 2-Hearted Ale (yum!) before I was too full to eat any more.  I am strangely never hungry immediately following marathons.  Then we said goodbye to all and settled in at the Columbus airport in our usual fashion:

T gives Columbus Brewing Company IPAs thumbs up

The Columbus Brewing Company was serendipitously located directly across from our gate. 🙂

A few addendums.  Here is what my Garmin said after the race.  8:32 average pace, REALLY, Garmin?

26.9 miles? Riiiiight

And here is a screenshot of my results.  You can’t see the entire page, but the Columbus marathon has this really cool feature that tells you how many people you passed, and how many passed you, from the 20 mile mark to the end.  And– this is kind of awesome– apparently I passed a grand total of 215 runners(!!!) in that time and was only passed by 8!!!!  I’m not sure how that is possible, but that makes me feel like a freaking bada$$!!!

And… thus concludes my epic race report!  I am generally fairly averse to hubris, but somehow I’ve gotten a big ole kick out of writing this doozy.  Thanks for reading it! 😉

(Oh yeah, and one more thing– I should mention I’m doing this whole thing all over again in less than 3 weeks.  Haha)

3:38:52, or The Weekend That Was Just Totally Freaking Awesome (Part 1)

17 Oct

Let’s not bury the lead, shall we?

Yep.  3:38:52.  So much to say about the past 4 days.  So much to say.  But the bottom line is that I did it.  I freaking broke 3:40.  I never thought I could accomplish this.  Do I find it ironic that I qualified for Boston just in time for them to make the qualifying times stricter?  Yes.  Do I wish I had just gotten 3:38:00 flat because :52 is such an awkward punctuation to that awesome time?  Yes.  Do I need to stop with this asking questions and then answering them thing I’ve found myself doing lately?  Yes.

OK, I’ll try Cliffs Notes starting on Weds night, but no promises this won’t be excruciatingly lengthy.  Sorry.  I know at least one of my readers will stay with me, anyway.  (Hi, mom!  You’re awesome!)

Weds night I packed and went over to T’s.  We went to the grocery store near him where I picked out 10 different pumpkin ales to take to my brother in Ohio!  My bro is basically one of my favorite people EVER and he loves himself some good pumpkin ales.  One of T’s neighborhood grocery stores has this glorious display, so I had to hit it up for a little treat for brother dear:

Love. It.

I also got myself one of each, as well.  How could I not? 😉

I had a few while T and I sat on the couch and watched TV:

Pls note the alcohol content. I may or may not have been rambling to T about the "Pumpkin King" and all his "subjects holding court." I'm an idiot.

Thurs morning we flew to Dayton, where my mom picked us up.  We visited with 2 of my besties and their babies, then went back to my mom’s and chilled until my dad came over.  The 4 of us had a scrumptious dinner that my mom cooked.  Pork, cheesy mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, and home made apple pie+ ice cream, to boot!  MY MOM IS THE BEST.

Fri morning I slept in (which was heavenly) and then went for a 5 miler in my mom’s neighborhood.  I am kicking myself for not taking pics, because it was breathtakingly beautiful.  Just a perfect fall day.  After this, T and I went to visit my grandparents.  My grandparents are the sh*t.

Then we picked up a few Marion’s pizzas (best pizza EVER) and some beers, and went to my mom’s.  Shortly thereafter, a ton of my hometown buddies + some of their babies + my brother came over and we all enjoyed said pizza and beer.

Sat morning, I slept in again, went for a quick 4 miler, and had some lunch.  My mom found this in the grocery store.  I could NOT believe it.  She is magical:

I had this for my Saturday before marathon lunch.  I took a picture, ’cause I thought it was so pretty (and tasty!):

I washed this healthy lunch down with a few of these bad boys, thanks to my bestie who got me this whole box.  YUM, YUM, and YUM:

Get inside of me, unhealthy, sugary, pumpkin-y carbs!

Then, T and I took off for Columbus!  Once there, I hit up the Expo and grabbed my number, then we jetted on over to my girl Jen’s home in Dublin, Ohio.  T, Jen, her husband Adam and I all went to Brazenhead, where I allowed myself ONE Sierra Nevada and a burger and some chips.  All the food was perfectly serviceable, except for the fact that the delicious dip that came with the chips had garlic in it.  My stomach HATES garlic and I NEVER, EVER allow myself to eat it.  So why did I eat it the night before a marathon?  Ugh, I am a glutton for punishment….

I prepped my race stuff:

Then I went to bed around 11:30– not as early as I would have liked– and tossed and turned until my alarm went off at 5:30 AM.  I woke up to the taste of garlic in my mouth (though I had brushed my teeth vigorously– damn you, garlic!  DAMN YOU!)  I got ready and T and I drove to the Westin, where I was meeting my brother (who was running the half)…

… to be continued!  (Haha, sorry, I was busy today and I want to wait ’til I have pics for the full race report!) 🙂

Now, it’s off to see Sleep No More with my buddies Fatima, Ken, Cookie, and Chad.  Really wish I had had the foresight to NOT make plans tonight, ’cause all I really wanna do is sleep, (and yes, I do see the thick irony in the title of the play I’m seeing) but oh well– it should be fun!

Less Stress, Yes?

12 Oct

I know, poetic.  You’re impressed.

So… as I’ve mentioned a few times, my 10th marathon is in a mere 4 days.  But in a way, it feels like my first marathon.  I’ve never really trained intelligently for one or put much thought into my pace or goal time.  This year is different.  I have a goal finish time in mind, and while I’m not going to say it explicitly, let’s just say that I was disappointed yesterday when I noticed that the Columbus Marathon has a 3:35 pace group and a 3:45 pace group… nothing in between.

Anyhoo, is this causing me a tiny bit of stress?  Mmmm, yes.  It’s a weird feeling.  I can think back on weeks before marathons where I nearly forgot I was running one, or I kind of had it at the back of my mind as “this long run I’m doing this weekend.”  This time’s different.

So, there’s that little race.  Then there’s the fact that a certain someone is coming home to Ohio with me for the first time.  Is he awesome?  Hell, yes.  Is Ohio awesome?  Hell, yes.  Are my family and friends there awesome?  Say it with me now… hell yes.  But do I want EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DETAIL TO GO PERFECTLY so that he has a great visit?  One final time… hell yes.

I don't own this shirt. In fact, I didn't even know it existed 'til I Googled "I love Dayton." But the sentiment is true.

THEN there’s the fact that there is SO MUCH TO DO while we’re there for less than 4 days.  We fly into Dayton tomorrow morning.  While there, I want and need to see quite a few of my girlfriends who still live there — 3 of whom have just had babies that I want to meet.  One of those girls’ husbands is running the Indy marathon on Saturday, so they will only be in town for a limited time (just to complicate matters!)

I ❤ these girls.

I also need to visit my beloved grandparents and spend time with my mom, (who we are staying with in Dayton, thank goodness) my brother and his wife and my niece and nephew — the loves of my life (who will also all be at the race, thank goodness– my bro is running the half!) and my father (who would have been at the race, but had a nasty fall and may not be able to make it now. :()

My folks are the bomb

So are my bro, his wife, and THE BABIES OMG I CAN'T WAIT TO SQUEEZE THE BABIES I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then Friday evening or Saturday morning, (still not sure, ahhhhhhhh!!!) we are driving to Columbus where I will hit up the Expo.  At some point on Saturday, I need to run 4 miles, ’cause Pfitz is a b*tch tough dude.  And we are staying with my bestie Jen, so I hope to get to spend at least some QT with her and not just use her as a hotel.

Jen and I have a lengthy, storied, and occasionally shameful history of acting the fool... Check out those fantastic "formal" dresses, too. Yowza.

Then there’s the fact that T’s parents are coming to Columbus at some point on Saturday.  This is going to sound vaguely familiar, but are they awesome?  Hell, yes.  But do I want them to think of me as The Perfect Girlfriend for their son?  Hell… motha… effing… YES.  So being around them is always very pleasant, but just a touch stressful.  Also, I gotta get my sh*tty nails done before I see them.  They’re disgusting.

So, in conclusion, I have a DISGUSTING ZIT li’l breakout on my forehead, thanks to all this stess.  (Well, OK… the multiple Crumbs cupcakes I’ve eaten this week and the multiple times I’ve been too sleepy lately to wash my makeup off before bed lately have probably not helped.)

Now that I’ve gotten all of THAT out of the way… let’s talk more running, shall we?

I had class last night.  We were doing loops of the Harlem Hill.  I did 2 loops with the slowest pace group and while I promised myself I would take it easy, the psycho competitive runner in me took over and I couldn’t bear to not be in front.  Thus, I only did 2 loops and then bowed out for the third so that I could jog at a leisurely pace home.  This morning, I met up with my buddy Cheryl at 6 at the Engineer’s Gate, and we cranked out a 6-mile loop of the park.  It was great catching up with her (I hadn’t seen her since June) and she was even game to run 2 of the miles at my marathon pace (thanks, Pfitz.)  This is the most cockamamie taper I have ever experienced.  I still have to run 5 miles with 6 x 100 m strides on Fri, and a recovery 4 miler on Saturday.

But tomorrow, I will sleep in (a tad) and then get on a plane with my beloved to my beloved home state.  I’m happy.  Stressed… but happy.

Taper, my a$$

10 Oct

Dude, seriously?  A 12 miler one week from race day?  You’re killing me, Pfitz.

*Warning, I’ve found myself cranky as hell this morning.

To quote the Wall Street protesters:

Hehe, just kidding.  I am obviously just fine, just feeling a little peevish and I find this sign hilarious.

My weekend was great, though.  Fri night I had the bday dinner with my besties.  We went to Vesta and I ate my face off.  Since I was so drunk tired, I neglected to take pictures of my food, but please picture this:  penne pasta, cooked al dente.  Butter, and lots of it.  Sage.  Chopped up butternut squash.  OH.  YES.  It was the BOMB.

However, Vesta pulled some lame shiz when we arrived around 8 PM and were told they couldn’t seat us ’til 9 if we didn’t have a reservation.  When Cookie politely informed them she had called and had been told they didn’t take reservations for less than 5 people, she was interrogated as though she were lying, which was not the coolest.  We then went to some sketchy bar around the corner where I had this and it was delicious.  I had to take a picture, because I knew there was no way in hell I would remember what it was called:

My phone does not take the best pics. It's called Weihenstaphan

Anyhow, that was a biga$$ glass, which rendered me a bit tipsy before I had even eaten a bite.   Back at Vesta an hour later, not only did I inhale my pasta, but I also made love to the bread + olive oil (delicious) and some of the delicious flat bread pizzas we ordered.  Vesta redeemed themselves of their shade-ster reservation shenanigans with their amazing food.

Saturday I ran 5 miles and did some other stuff, then T and I met our buddies at Grand Central and took the Metro North to Tarrytown, where we hopped in a cab that took us to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

This, my friends, was the best eating experience I have ever had in my LIFE.  I cannot begin to tell you how amazing it was.  We got there late, so it was dark, but I need to go back when it is light out because I could just TELL the grounds were breathtakingly beautiful.  The ambiance inside the restaurant itself is incredibly romantic and amazing.  The food, OMG the food.  So, they don’t really allow flash photography in the dining room so my photos do not do it justice.  (Confession:  I was RELIEVED they didn’t allow flash photography and I could claim that here, ’cause I do not have a good camera and the pics would have wound up crappy anyway.  Just use your imagination here.  And squint a little bit.)

delicious, farm-fresh veggies, served on skewers in a block

little mini tomato burgers on the most delicious buns I have EVER tasted

sesame-crusted zucchinis served in same fashion as other veggies

butternut squash pasta with Brussels sprouts

pork medallions, pork belly, blood sausage, dandelion greens, and hen of the woods mushrooms

Oh man, OK these pics basically suck, but please take my word for it that the food was f-bomb FANTASTIC and plated so nicely.  Also, the servers had this amazing choreography with bringing out each and every dish at the same time.  Seriously.  This is dining at its VERY BEST.  Also, that does not cover all of the food we ate.  We also had some farm fresh eggs, some incredible bread with butter, tempura-battered wax beans, amuse bouche shots of V9, (NINE veggies!)  and some amazing desserts– hazelnut and chocolate goodness (no idea what the hell it was actually called) and Concord grapes on top of some cakey thingy.  I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

I should also mention that I’m MUCH more of a beer person than a wine person (um, yeah, that’s pretty obvious) but for some reason I chose to order a glass of Reisling at the bar while we waited to be seated.  The wine (Gunther Steinmetz) was SO DELICIOUS that the whole table wound up getting multiple bottles of it.  It was a hit with everyone.  I think I could swim in a river of this stuff and be happy.

Sunday I managed to put off my 12 miler (OK, confession.  I had to make a trek to Queens and get a Brooklyn bagel with pumpkin cream cheese.  There I said it.  I feel better.)  I also got a late start to the day ’cause we were at Blue Hill so late and didn’t get to bed ’til nearly 3 AM!  Anyhow, then I went to Emily and Shawn’s engagement party around 4 where this spread greeted me:

Emily is an INCREDIBLE cook.  That is ratatouille, flat bread pizzas with cheese, zucchini and tomatoes, zucchini stuffed with garlicky goat cheese and topped with tomatoes, and a lotta booze.  Not pictured are the delicious bacon-wrapped dates,  the stuffed zucchini, and Emily’s home made raspberry cheesecake.  Everything was AWESOME.

Ummm… I just realized my entire weekend centered around food.  It’s a good thing I like running…

My plan was to do the 12 miles after the party, so I abstained from drinking (shocking, I know!) and left the party after a little over 2 hours.  However, when I got home, it was dark and I just didn’t wanna do the run.  So instead I went to bed.  I did NOT sleep well and when I did, I dreamt about running.  When did I get so nuts?  I woke up around 5 and did the 12 miles.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a teensy bit freaked out that I did the 12 miler one day closer to race day, but in the grand scheme of things, will this matter that much?  No, it will not (she tells herself with great trepidation and uncertainty…)  Anyhow, whatever.  What’s done is done.  Also, WTF kind of taper has a 12 miler one week before the race?  I know I said this before and I’m saying it again.  Pfitz, go pfuck yourself.  Kidding!  Anyhow, 6 days ’til the big race and I’m ready!  Bring it awn!!!!  I’m even wearing my 26.2 necklace today that my girl Jill gave me for my bday last year. 🙂

26.2 necklace, courtesy of Jill + pink necklace, which was a bridesmaid gift from Andi + other necklace, which was a bridesmaid gift from Jen. I have been a bridesmaid 12 times. I have a lot of nice necklaces and nice friends. 🙂

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. 🙂