Tag Archives: Garmin

A Very East Coast Summer (+ some running)

7 Aug

It’s been a hell of a summer and while I do realize  it’s not over yet, I haven’t written anything of substance for quite some time, (or ever?) so I thought I’d do a little catching up.  Anyhow.  I will actually be in NYC for the entirety of this coming weekend, and it will be the first time in 7 weeks.  In summary:

w/e of June 22:

In Buffalo for my friend Sari’s wedding. We opted to spend time at the classiest of establishments (pictured) between the ceremony and reception. We also missed our flight the next morning and spent the following day at the Buffalo airport. #fun

w/e of June 29th:

Emily and Shawn’s wedding in Maine. It was beautiful. Their dog is adorable. Maine rules.

4th of July:

Quick overnight trip to Fire Island, one of my favorite places EVER.  This picture sucks and does it no justice.

w/e of July 6th:  Utica for Boilermaker

w/e of July 13th:

Weekend in NJ for Kim’s surprise 30th bday party.

w/e of July 20th:

Weekend in Burlington with Molly — visiting Cookie, hiking, hitting up breweries!

w/e of July 27th:

Fri night in Boston with friend Molly; Sat and Sun in New Hampshire with college besties Cookie, (above) Emmy, and Jen.  Failed to take a single pic.  Oops.

w/e of Aug 3:

Todd and Diane’s wedding on LI. (pictured: tomfoolery in the photobooth)

Annnd… this weekend, I will at last be home.  And my mom (aka Jenny B) will be visiting!  Yippee!!!!  She rules.

Now, since this is sorta kinda some semblance of a running blog, here’s the latest…

I am signed up for the Air Force Marathon in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio.  It’s on September 15th.  That’s in less than 6 weeks, folks.  I began carefully training for it 2 weeks ago, using Hal Higdon’s “senior marathon training program.”  My reason for doing this is that I want to do extremely low mileage in my cautious return to running.  I know that a wiser person would forgo the marathon and do the half, or better yet, remain a spectator (T is also running this marathon, and it will be his first!)  But I never claimed to be wise and I am, in fact, extremely stubborn.  I also stayed away from running for a solid 7 months, which included maybe 8 exceptions of fewer than 5 miles.  So I feel I’ve done my time.  Damn it.

If you don’t feel like clicking the link, this particular program peaks at a paltry 30 mpw and includes only 3 days of running per week; literally all are prescribed “easy paces.”  Thus far, my training has looked like this:

M July 23:  45 min Flywheel

T July 24:  ~8 miles w/ 3 x mi  @ ~7:40 pace (the rest of the miles VERY SLOW)

W July 25:  full rest day

Th July 26:  45 min Flywheel

F July 27: 3.5 miles (unsure of pace; Garmin was being b*tch)

S July 28:  full rest day

Su July 29:  12 miles @ 9-9:30 pace(? again, Garmin sux)

M July 30:  45 min Flywheel

T July 31:  ~ 7 miles w/ 3 x mi hill repeats @ ~8:00 pace (dying.  so hot) and the rest very slow

W Aug 1:  full rest day

Th Aug 2:  full rest day

Fri Aug 3:  5 miles painfully slow (again, dying.  so hot.)

Sat Aug 4:  45 min Flywheel

Sun Aug 5:  14 miles in pouring rain, which felt like heaven compared to the disgusting heat/humidity of days prior.  Unsure of pace — 9:40ish?

Annnnd… that brings us to today.  It’s NYRR running class day, so we’ll see what sort of torture the coaches have in store.  It’s been a humbling experience trying to get back into running after being out for so long.  First of all, I have to run with the slowest pace group in my class, which doesn’t bug me too much until I think of where I could be if I hadn’t had to take such a long break.  Oh well.

As for my foot, well, today it’s a bit hurt-y, which makes me sad.  But it’s been holding up well (knock on wood) and I’ve been good about stretching and icing it.  There is no denying it is soooooo much better than it was.  But are all signs of PF completely gone?  Absolutely not.  Sigh.  I’m starting to wonder if this is something I should just get used to.  It’s completely manageable– just a bit of a “creaky” feeling in the arch of my foot, which is a lot better than the “stabby” feeling from before.  (I’m really good with adjectives.)  If I were to quantify the pain, I would say I was a 1.5 – 2 on this scale.

I saw this on the wall at my most recent podiatrist visit.

So.  The plan for now is do Dayton.  I have absolutely no specific time aspirations as of now.  But I hope to do it decently,  my injury and low-mileage training program in mind.  I am also signed up for NYCM.  But that’s another story for another day….

Happy running!  So (cautiously) glad to be back!

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)

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. 🙂