Tag Archives: queensboro bridge

Running is a cruel lover

28 Feb

I’ve had my heart broken twice in my 32 years of life.

The first time was just days before my 25th birthday, after having dated B for five and a half years.  It was the day after I was a bridesmaid in his sister’s wedding.  Ouch. 😦

I nursed that broken heart for about 8-9 months before meeting M and dating him for about two and a half years.  After he and I broke up, I drank a lot of beer, ate a lot of mac and cheese in bed, made some bad decisions, and wound up wearing a size of jeans I hope to never wear again.

This was my PW race during a PW time of my life...

This was my PW race during a PW time of my life…

I don’t ordinarily get quite so personal on the blog, but my point here is … I’m heartbroken again.

Nothing to do with T; T is just as wonderful as ever, for which I am obviously very grateful.  But it’s that other true love in my life.  The fickle one.  The one that d*cked me around for months last year.

Running.

Oh, running, I love you so very much.  You bring joy to me that literally knows no bounds.

utter elation

utter elation

So why on earth do you also have to torment me so?

A beautiful picture of me after months of no running and directly after having a needle jabbed into my foot in search of a miracle cure for PF.

A beautiful picture of me after months of no running and directly after having an enormous needle jabbed into my foot in search of a miracle cure for PF.

So here’s the deal:  On the morning of February 15th, I set out for a 5-mile run on a beautiful and unseasonably balmy morning.  I ran 2.5 miles from my home and partially over the Queensboro Bridge and then turned around.  I was ruminating upon my upcoming plans to crush my PR and finally BQ and feeling happy and upbeat.

As I took a step like any other step, about a mile from my apartment at this point, I felt a snap in my leg, like a rubber band being pulled so tight it breaks in half.

I probably yelped, I don’t know.  I stopped for sure.  I tried to move forward.  And I could hardly put any weight on my left leg.

That was a long and painful mile-long hobble home.  When I got there, I simply said to T, “Something bad happened.”  I called in to tell work that I would be late and miraculously secured an appointment at my sports med guy’s office.  The trip to the street from my apartment wasn’t easy, since I could barely even walk.  (Thank goodness for the elevator.)  I got a cab to the office where the doc told me I had, in fact, torn my calf muscle.  (Acute gastroc tear, if you want to get technical.  Though to me, there ain’t nothin’ “cute” about it.  Badum-ching.)  He wrapped it up, gave me crutches, blah blah.

So that was nearly 2 weeks ago and I now can get around fairly easily with only a very slight limp.  Want to see what my leg looks like?  You DO, don’t you?

Obviously, this is actually my foot, where all the blood has gathered.  Lovely, no?

Obviously, this is actually my foot, where all the blood has gathered. Lovely, no?

Gross.  Know what else is gross?  I obviously can’t run, but I also can’t even spin or do anything.  Sucks.

The good thing about the PF drama from last year is that I can take it so much better in stride (oh, stride…. sigh) .  I realize this is temporary.  I realize I will run again.  I realize that life goes on and even if I gain 10 lbs, I will then lose said lbs when I am back to being as active as I like to be.

Every relationship has its ups and downs.

In conclusion, Sweaty Katie + running 4eva.

SpOOoooOOOoooOOOOky!

31 Oct

So, about a month ago, I discovered a 5K trail run in… SLEEPY HOLLOW!  I am (nearly) a Halloween baby and I have ALWAYS loved the fall and particularly the glorious month of October.  Since I’m a semi-recently converted city mouse, I don’t get to see the foliage nearly as much as I would like to.  So, the notion of participating in a trail run in spooooooky Sleepy Hollow really got me stoked!  I told T that was what I wanted to do for my birthday weekend.

Friday night, T and I drove to Tarrytown (about 40 mins outside the city in the Hudson Valley) and checked into our hotel a little late after a few, uh, wrong turns.  (We forgot the Garmin and the roads are NOT well-marked up there!)  We were ravenous by the time we got to our room and almost everything that w0uld have delivered was closed.

We wound up finding a pizza place that was open and went to bed with our bellies full of a shameful amount of really greasy food…

Then we got lost in the morning on our way to the race.  Thankfully, we left super duper early and still made it in time.  When I picked up my bib, I noticed that I had mistakenly been signed up as a dude.  Which I decided to go ahead and clear up.

The race photographer captured this moment in which I cleared up the little gender snafu…

The official race guy said with a wink, “Sure, we’ll get that cleared right up so you can get your award!”  I laughed and rolled my eyes.  Yeah, right.

Then, T and I headed to the start.  I was feeling a bit nervous. (Or maybe that was the late-night greasy awful-ness still settling into my belly?)  This was my 2nd ever trail run (my first trail run actually being my first official race ever!)  And also, if I was being completely honest with myself, I had taken a little peek at last year’s results and had seen that it wouldn’t be entirely impossible for me to place in my age group…

Once we reached the start, I stretched…

The official race dude thanked everyone for coming and advised us that the first half mile to a mile was uphill, so to be prepared for that… and then we were off!

Fast dudes at the front

I immediately thought to myself, “Why is everyone going SO SLOW?!?!?!” and powered  ahead, even though I should have known better… but hey, I was having fun!  (As evidenced by the pics the race photographer captured of me!)

I’m on the left in the blue and red…

REALLY having fun here!

Not sure about that stride…

Anyway, shortly after this, I realized that my watch wasn’t working (damn it) and that the guy wasn’t lying about the hill.  It sucked and I felt like sh*t immediately.  I was pretty frustrated since I realized I had no idea how to feel out 5K/3.1 miles and I suck at pacing myself.  Harumpf.  I managed to pass 2 women who were ahead of me on the hill (yay, Queensboro Bridge running!) and then tried not to wipe out as I motored down the other side of the hill.  It was STEEP.

As I ran, I realized this was an excellent reminder to not attempt to be a hero for the NYC Marathon.  I felt like crap for having gone out way too fast (on a darn hill, no less!) and I did not want to spend a good 10 miles after having already run 16 feeling this way.  I promised myself then and there that I was going to take the NYC marathon easy.

make it end!

I finally saw the blessed finish and told myself to try and do some kind of minimal kick, especially since I could hear someone coming up behind me.

For the record, I beat her (by 2 seconds!) 🙂

And then I actually thought I might barf, but I didn’t.  Cool story!  I met up with T and then we went hung out while they tallied up the results.

And I came in 6th woman overall!

Also, I got an award for taking 2nd in my age group, but I just noticed that these results indicate I was 3rd.  Oops?  Well, anyway, that was fun for me.  Even if I had not gotten my little award, I would still say that this race was a super fun experience.  I don’t often run races that aren’t NYRR-sponsored and yes, I do LOVE NYRR, but… there is something to be said for the casual, hometown feel of smaller races like this.  Everyone was so nice!  Plus, I won’t EVER complain about running in a state park, especially in the peak of fall foliage time!  Another thing worth mentioning– ain’t no way this very mediocre runner (I’m NOT digging, facts iz facts yo) would ever place in a big race, so this was a nice little ego boost.

The rest of the weekend was equally awesome.  We went and walked around Stone Barns, which was just beautiful, stopped in for a beer and some delicious food (Ommegang mac and cheese, OMG) at The Tap, in downtown Tarrytown, and then went on a haunted hayride!  It was perfect.

Then… we came home… and weathered a little storm.

Monday morning, I received word that I didn’t need to report to work, so instead I took care of a little 10-mile run in my neighborhood, over the Queensboro Bridge, and then back.  There was definitely a spooky feel in the air, but I did enjoy the rare camaraderie I felt with other runners.  Typically when running in NYC, no one really acknowledges one another (which makes me sad.)  But on this particular day — with the grey skies, the  continual spray of rain, and the high wind gusts that nearly knocked my hat off my head more than once — other runners were waving and smiling at me.  We were united in our wacky need to run on a day when a hurricane was approaching.

angry, choppy East River

Anyway, I never really thought I would experience a hurricane first hand.  I should also say right off the bat that I was INCREDIBLY lucky and never lost power or water (unlike many of my friends) and was never in any danger.  The storm was merely a headache that kept us cooped up for 2 days and forced us to evacuate our bedroom since our ceiling was leaking pretty badly in there.  (GRRRRR.)  But again, I was VERY lucky.

I ran to work today since the subways are not working.  I’m so lucky to have a shower at work!  I will be commuting home by foot, as well… and possibly doing the same thing for the rest of the week.  That’s OK, though.  I just hope everyone who was affected by Sandy recovers OK and without too much cost, financial and otherwise.  Man.

17 Days ’til the Next One…

18 Oct

Oh, hey!

Hard to believe I’m going to be running another marathon in less than 3 weeks, but the number of runners I have seen in the park lately and the statuses in my Facebook and Twitter feeds tell me that it’s that time again.

A few things to say….

1)   Follow-up to last week’s post:

I was incorrect when I said in my last post that I run on the upper level of the Queensborough Bridge.  I’m dumb.  I don’t think you can do that, unless you want to be dodging traffic and taking your life in your hands.  It just feels different from the marathon because in the marathon, you’re actually running on the road.  Not the pedestrian path.  Duhr.  Also, I still find the runners and cyclists not using the correct lanes to be annoying as hell, but I will concede that there are some portions of the path that are not well-marked at all and I admit that it does not feel natural to be traveling on the left side of any two-lane route.

This is what appears quite a few times on the side closer to Queens

Yes, I took this picture while running and yes, I am slightly obsessed.

I wish it did more as you get closer to Manhattan.  It is really seriously dangerous.  Just this morning, I had some speedy cyclists coming at me in my lane, and I was scared.

2)  Traveling:

I went to Chicago this past weekend to visit my dear friend Jennifer.  We’ve been friends since we were 9 and have run 3 marathons together– the Flying Pig twice and NYC once.  Now, that is friendship!

NYC 2010

Jennifer just had adorable Baby Mason in March and is already back to being svelte.  AND she was game to come to Flywheel with me, which was a lot of fun!  Flywheel Chicago is… pretty much the same as Flywheel NYC, but it was fun going to a different studio.  And Jennifer loved it!  (Hi Flywheel, I have taken no less than 5 friends with me to your classes, several of whom have become devoted regulars, and I think you should hire me as an instructor, or at least give me some sort of benefit for being an ambassador, thaaaaanks. ;))

Anyway, I went for a little run along the path on the lake on Sunday and it was pleasant, considering about 3 miles in, it started pouring and I finished out the run drenched.

3)  Beer

Is awesome.  Recently, I’ve been indulging in some nice pumpkin beers, in honor of my favorite season.  T snagged this one for me, which was exciting because I’d never seen it before.  I really love Ithaca Brewing Company’s Flower Power and it turns out they make a solid pumpkin ale as well.

Other recent indulgences have been Captain Lawrence’s Pumpkin Ale and Bell’s Oktoberfest.  I LOVE Bell’s Two-Hearted, but don’t generally care for Oktoberfests, so I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious this was!  I currently have a 6-pack of Abita Pecan Harvest ale chilling in my fridge and I’m super excited to give it a taste.

3)  Fitness

So… 2 weeks ago, my mileage was a grand total of, uh, 15.5 miles + one 45-minute Flywheel class.  Oops?  Well, in my defense, my mom was in town for a week and I much preferred to hang out with her and see the NYC Ballet, Philadanco, and Bring it On on Broadway.  We also ate at 16 Handles no less than 3 times.

I intended to do a long run on that Thursday morning and even had a date with Ali in which I was to escort her over the Queensborough Bridge.  But upon waking up at my mom’s place on the UES and getting ready, I discovered that I had forgotten to bring the oh-so-crucial sports bra.  BLARGH.  So I did what any good friend would do and ran to our pre-arranged CP meeting spot whilst clutching my bosom with one arm, and told Ali that I would be unable to join her.  I then took the train home to Queens where I gathered up my sports bra, put it on… and ran a grand total of 4.5 miles before calling it quits in order to hang out with Mom.

The following week, (last week) I stepped it up a bit for a grand total of 41.5 miles and two 45-minute Flywheel classes.  That’s more like it!  I even got up at the crack of dawn on Thursday and ran 15.5 miles before work.

This week I’ve run 25 miles thus far (including 12 this morning before work) and done one 45-minute Flywheel class…

4)  Fatness

I ate this today and it changed my life.  For real.

Also, did you know that McDonald’s has a pumpkin shake?  I discovered this while at O’Hare on Sunday.  Since it has a grand total of 670 calories, I went with the healthy choice and got an Oreo McFlurry instead.

5)  Politics

Blah.  I will be so glad when election day is over and the man is still in office.  (Please.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.)  In general, I am so very loath to get political  in real life or on the Internets, so I’m just gonna say that this girl does not want to live in a county where our president doesn’t think gay people should be able to get married, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and, to grossly over-simplify, has a general attitude of “If you’re rich, rawk on!  If you’re not, tough titties!”

LOL… but not really….

Plus, more germane to the topic of this blog, Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time.  I mean, IS NOTHING SACRED???

Anyway… I’m off to Flywheel.  Peace!

Quick Vent

2 Oct

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people either choose to disregard or simply don’t pay attention to the space they are occupying and whether or not it makes sense for them to be there.  THIS MEANS YOU, group of people standing in the middle of a crowded and busy NYC sidewalk.  ALSO YOU, person coming down the up subway staircase, against the flow of foot traffic.  But most of all, and specifically in this post, I mean bikers in the pedestrian lane and pedestrians in the bike lane.

I run over the Queensboro Bridge a few times a week — the upper level (the lower level is the one incorporated in the NYCM, for the record.)  For those of you (most of you, I presume) who have never run over the upper level, there are CLEARLY MARKED lanes.  The lane closest to the water is for pedestrians.  The one closest to the traffic is for bikes.  Here, I’ll show you how clearly marked they are.

taken from Gothamist

I think you can see that there are pictures of BIKES in the left lane and pictures of PEDESTRIANS in the right lane.  This is pretty clear, no?

Nearly every time I’ve run over the bridge, I’ve seen cyclists in the pedestrian lane.  I almost always stand my ground, and they go around me.  There was one time where a cyclist was approaching me in the pedestrian lane, yelling at me as though I was in the wrong, and we had a brief, profanity-infused verbal altercation as we passed one another.  Thus, I’ve had some animosity toward cyclists on the bridge.

This morning, however, I was more than a little dismayed by some fellow runners.  As I approached the bridge on the Queens side, I noticed a running group gathered at the entrance.  Soon thereafter, a few of them passed me.  Fine.  As I continued toward the Manhattan side, the ones who had gotten to the other side already and had turned around were running back IN THE CYCLISTS’ lane.  I got to the Manhattan side and turned around to run back and as I did so, I passed more and more runners in the cyclists’ lane.  I kept thinking about how dangerous they were making it not only for themselves, but for me– since the cyclists had to veer into my lane in order to go around them.

I really don’t get what is so hard about this.  F*cking pay attention to where you’re supposed to be!  I really wanted to say to someone from the group “Not to be a jerk, but do you realize that every single one of you is running in the cyclists’ lane?”  However, I am a wuss.

Maybe next time.

Oh, and here is the link to the article on Gothamist where I got the pic.  The article — and you’ll obviously see this if you click — is about a pedestrian being struck by a cyclist on the bridge…

Unwise

26 Sep

So, last week, I relished sleeping in in the mornings and taking it easy in the evenings.  However, by the end of the week, I was itching to go for a run.  Fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of year to run and there’s also another 26.2 I have coming up in the not so distant future…!

So, Friday morning I went for an easy 5 miles– just from my apartment, partway over the Q’boro Bridge, and back.  It felt glorious.  Friday night, I went to Flywheel for a nice 45 minute session.

Saturday morning I ran over the bridge and to my old ‘hood, the UES, (about 4.5 miles) where I picked up my bib and tee-shirt and then hurtled myself down Fifth Ave for a mile.  Then I watched some other runners dominate the other heats, which was a lot of fun!

Ah yes. Gorgeous, as always.

My time was 6:34 and I guess that is cool, considering I didn’t feel like barfing at the end and really did it for the easy 9+1 point?

Saturday early evening, T and I went out with my good friend and her fiancee in the East Village, where I downed some delicious Lagunitas IPAs.  Then we called it an early night, since I had a race the next morning.  However, on our way to grab a cab, we passed Lunasa, the site of our joint birthday party 2 years ago, so we had to stop in for a beer.  As a waitress walked by with a tray of shots, T told her to bring us a round.  Um, what?  In other words, I am a really responsible runner.  (Of course I did the shot.)

The next morning, I got up at 5:30 and just missed the 6 AM N/Q train at Broadway, so I had to cab it to 102nd Street and the park, where I met up with Lori, got my bib, and took off for the NYRR 18 mile tune-up.

And this is where I learned a valuable lesson.  Running 18 miles just 8 days post-marathon and preceded by a run + spin day and another run day is… not fun or easy.

I considered throwing in the towel every mile, post about mile 13, but I stuck it out like a stubborn little b*tch.  Was it pretty?  No.  Was it fun?  Nah.  Did I take 2 walk breaks?  You bet your a$$ I did!

I kept reminding myself that I would have punched my mother in the face (love you, mom!) for the opportunity to run a mere 3 months ago when I was dealing with the dreaded PF.  I kept telling myself that the weather could not have been more perfect for a run (true).  But, the bottom line is that it was hard as hell.  Everything hurt.

But I finished it —  in just under 2:49 (a 9:23 pace.)  Fine.

OMG MAKE THIS END

It’s a little over 5 weeks until NYCM and I have to admit that Sunday’s brutal run kinda freaked me out, but then again, I will actually TAPER for NYCM… so that should help.

In other news, I currently have my nails painted in Essie’s new “Marathin” shade and it’s purty.

I’m not sure why it’s called “marathin” and not “marathon,” but I like it anyway.

I hope your days are filled with running, pumpkin beers, and other delicious fall goodies!

That Sh*t Cray

16 Aug

So, a few things that are “cray” to report here.

First and foremost, and having nothing to do with running… man, customer service really sucks these days.  My mom came to visit me last weekend and her flight was scheduled for Friday night.  Delta canceled her flight and rebooked her on a flight the following morning.  They gave no reason for canceling said flight.

We had a wonderful weekend.  Fast forward to Sunday

Delta canceled her flight AGAIN!  Again, no given reason.  And they rebooked her on a flight the following morning with a layover in freaking Atlanta!!!!  Horrible.  Their consolation when she complained?  Awarding her some Skymiles.  A lot of good that is going to do her… since she does not plan to fly Delta again.  Airlines are the worst.

Another lovely anecdote is probably going to make me come off like a snotty little word I am not going to say here.  But here goes.  In April, I bought a dress at a store I shamefully frequent, Juicy Couture.  I am not going to link to it here, because I refuse to send any traffic their way.  Besides, you’re all familiar with Juicy Couture.  You know… velour track suits in candy colors with JUICY across the ass?  Yeah, I don’t wear that sh*t.  But call me what you will, I do (did) love their dresses.  *hangs head in shame*  I’d also like to insert that while I do love clothes, (particularly dresses) I am a reverse snob when it comes to running clothes.  Free race tees and clearance rack running shorts from TJ Maxx all the way, baby.  I do not own a single thing Lululemon, nor do I plan to.  Just thought I’d make a flimsy attempt at convincing you I’m not entirely materialistic and shallow…

…followed by some truly obnoxious pictures to break up this huge block of text

This is one of my favorite dresses. It’s by (stupid) Juicy.

Look, I also have it in green! Isn’t that exciting?

Just for fun, here’s proof I have it in yellow, too.

Anyhow, I went to put on the dress I bought in April this past weekend.  I hadn’t worn it yet and the tags were still on.  And the damn zipper broke!  This little anecdote is getting really long, so I’ll try and summarize.  It was pretty expensive, and when I attempted to return it to Juicy, they refused to take it back, repeatedly citing their ridiculous 90 day return policy, EVEN THOUGH I had clearly never worn it, EVEN THOUGH it was clearly defective, EVEN THOUGH I am a loyal customer and begged and pleaded.  Suffice it to say:

Mmmkay, now with that out of the way.  Here’s an exciting update on my marathon training:

Tues Aug 7:  8 miles w/ 3 x mi @ 7:50/7:40/7:20 (last one was brutal)

Weds Aug 8:  4 miles easy

Thurs Aug 9:  45 min Flywheel

Fri Aug 10:  45 min Flywheel

Sat Aug 11:  12 miles easy (close to 10:00, due to lengthy water stops and running into T on my way back home– he was on his way out for an 18-miler!)

Sun Aug 12:  full rest

Mon Aug 13: 45 min Flywheel

Tues Aug 14:  6.25 mi w/4 hill pick-ups and the rest very slow.  This was at running class and it was truly miserable.  I kept thinking it was the 3 H’s:  Horrible, Humid, and Hard to breathe.  Ugh.

Weds Aug 15:  45 min Flywheel

Today:  so, this is more sh*t that is cray– I got up at 3:45 this morning and ran 18 miles before work!!!  I did this only because I am going out of town with friends this weekend and didn’t want an 18-miler on my plate.  It actually went pretty well!  I don’t have my splits in front of me, but I kept the middle 7 (or 8?) miles at under a 9:00 pace, which is a big enough challenge for me these days.  I averaged 9:15 and that included water and traffic light stops.  My course went as follows:  from my apartment, over the Q’boro Bridge, to the Engineer’s Gate, 2 of the 4-mile inner loops of Central Park, and back over the Bridge and home.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a disgustingly sweaty beast with visions of Gatorade bottles dancing in my head as I finished up my run.  I’d also be lying if I said a construction worker didn’t helpfully exclaim “sweaty!” (as though I didn’t realize it) when I ran by him.  Thanks, bro!

Ran by the store this morning on Madison Ave. on my way to the park. Flipped it off, ’cause I’m mature.

The view as I crossed the Bridge back into Queens. Blurry, ’cause I was going up the hill and knew if I stopped I wouldn’t be able to start again.

To wrap it all up, 2 more things (sh*ts?) that are cray.  CRAZY AWESOME.

1)

2)

!!!!!???? How will it ennnddd??? DO NOT ANSWER THAT.

Happy running!

“I like you this morning!”

13 Jan

Yep, that’s what T said to me as we left the apartment yesterday morning, in a tone that said, “I am pleasantly surprised by this!”  Why would he say a thing like that?  Well lately, I have been a grumbly mess in the mornings.  I am tired, I’m cranky, and I just don’t feel right.  Not running in the mornings makes me feel like my day just has started out on the wrong foot.  So, though I knew I shouldn’t, I went for a run yesterday.  Just a baby run, though!  And I had a good reason!

So, Wednesday, I promised some of my co-workers I would bring in some Brooklyn Bagels.  I’ve mentioned before how much I love these babies, despite my puzzlement that there are several outposts in my neighborhood and one in Chelsea, but not a single one in Brooklyn.  Anyhow, I wanted to share the glory that is these bagels and their fantastic accompanying spreads with my beloved colleagues.  And I knew that my a$$ would not be able to get up early enough to pick them up before heading to work.  But I knew my a$$ WOULD be fully capable of getting up early for a run, so that’s just what I did.  I went for a quick jaunt through Astoria and partway up the Queensboro Bridge, then turned around and hit up BKB on the way back.  A little 4-miler.

At BKB, I picked up 2 mini whole wheat bagels slathered with Nutella cream cheese.  (Oh yes, they have Nutella flavored cream cheese.)

1 mini whole wheat kalamata olive cream cheese-laden bagel:

and 1 mini egg bagel with jalapeno asiago cream cheese:

They were all awesome.

And the run?  Well, the run itself was great.  It was blustery and pouring down rain and by the time I got home, I was dripping wet.  And I didn’t care at all.  I was just so happy to be running.  But I paid the price.  My foot hurt for the rest of the day.

I had a 3-minute phone conversation with my doctor on Wednesday.  When I told him that I was doing everything he’d said to do (boot to bed, shoes with support, cutting way back on running, icing, etc) and that it still wasn’t working, he prescribed physical therapy for me.  My first appointment is on Tuesday.  I am REALLY hoping that this is the magic element that will make the PF go f*ck itself so that I can focus on my 3:30 marathon goal.  With each week that goes by where my mileage is minimal or nil, that goal seems further and further from possible… sigh.

But enough grousing!

On a lighter note, I saw Godspell on Broadway on Tuesday and loved it!  When I was growing up, we had the record and listened to it all the time, so the songs evoked my youth for me.

I used to work in Broadway marketing and saw sooo many shows back then.  I was OBSESSED with Broadway.  It’s definitely a part of why I chose to move to NYC in the first place.  My college thesis was even about Broadway musicals!  But that obsession has lapsed a bit since I left the industry.  I still love them, but I don’t spend hours a day reading Playbill.com and Broadway.com… now it’s more like Runnersworld.com. 😉

Anyhow, Godspell reminded me why I love Broadway.  The performers were so talented and the staging was really creative.  There really was no set and yet it felt as though nothing was missing.  Here’s a clip if you’re interested.

The last Broadway show I saw was Book of Mormon… seems I’m on a religion-themed musicals kick!

TGIF and happy weekend!

Whiny Post With Pretty Pics

9 Jan

So, yeah, it’s been a little while since I updated.  That’s mainly ’cause I’m super salty that my foot is still being an a**hole.  *insert angelic face here*

Since last I wrote, I:

(1) moved

(2) drank a lotta beer with some cool, fun friends

(3) worked, then walked home over the Queensboro Bridge with my good friend, Cookie

(4) ran 5ish miles

(5) ran 4ish miles

(6) went to Happy Hour (see #2)

(7) went out to delicious tapas with cool, fun friends in my old ‘hood

(8) had a wonderful visitor of the Irish variety

This is my dear friend Elizabeth. She is not Irish, but she does live in Dublin and has for many years since we graduated college. Also, neither one of us is naked in this pic, though that does appear to be the case.

(9) Went to a birthday party (again, in my old ‘hood.  I find it ironic that since I’ve moved from the UES, I’ve spent more time hanging out there than I ever did when I was actually a resident!

(10) Went to a fun trivia night in Brooklyn and aided my team’s 5th place victory with my knowledge of Lady Gaga lyrics and Judy Blume novels

(11) Sulked a TON about my foot

(12) Visited an island!

So, since Saturday was positively balmy, T and I took a little trek to Roosevelt Island.  For those who do not know, Roosevelt Island is a little island (duh) between Manhattan and Queens and is about 2 miles long.  It had an estimated population of 12,000 in 2007 (thanks, Wikipedia!)  It used to have a “Lunatic Asylum” on it.

And it is weird as sh*t.

I’m sorry, but it is one of the strangest places I have ever been.  I seriously felt as though I was in an M. Night Shamalamadingdong movie.  Bizarre.  I don’t know how to put it into words.  It’s worth a visit, just so you can see it.

Anyhow, T and I walked across the Triborough Bridge to get there, and then we kind of wandered to the water, where we looked at Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge and stuff.

Then we went to the Riverwalk Bar and got a couple Goose Island IPAs and hung out for a bit.

Then we walked toward the tram, which is one of the 2 modes of public transportation to and from RI (the other is the F train.)

There goes the tram! What a beautiful day.

Approaching the loading dock, or whatever you want to call it

Looking up at the bridge as we approach the tram

And so we got on the tram and rode it to Manhattan.  I have to admit I usually have some serious trepidation when on ski lifts and was afraid I would experience the same on this thing (yes, I know, I’m a wuss) but it was actually cool and not scary at all.  And since it was such a gorgeous day, there were really beautiful views.

Looking down at the path I've run so many times

approaching the City

almost back on solid ground!

Anyhow, I didn’t intend for this to be such a Roosevelt Island-heavy post, but since it was such a gorgeous day, I wound up with a lot of pretty pictures!

Blah blah blah mmmmkay, I HATE NOT RUNNING. *WARNING:  WHINING AHEAD*

I ran a 5-miler and a 4-miler last week and iced my foot like a maniac all week long.  I am literally sitting with a frozen water bottle under my desk all damn day.  I’m sleeping in that darn boot that causes me to wake up every single night in the middle of the night and have a pep talk with myself that even though I really want to take it off, ’cause it’s so darn uncomfortable, I need to leave it on so I can heal and run again.

I haven’t worn any of these beauties in a long, long time.

I miss you guys

All I wear are sneakers or some sort of boot that is big enough to allow my special arch-supporting inserts to fit in.

But my foot still hurts.  I called my doc last week to ask what else I can do and am currently awaiting a call back.  WAHHHHHHHHHH.

*END WHINING*

But, looking forward to the future, my official NYCM 2012 status came through last week!

And I just signed up for the Boilermaker, which is a super fun race!

It’s totally all good!

Sorry for the completely not cohesive post, but I’m a little nutty sans running.  I hope everyone’s 2012 is awesome so far, and I hope your weekends were wonderful, and if you’re in NYC, you better have gotten outside! 🙂

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!

A Hard Fought 26.2

8 Nov

Sooo… I ran NYC on Sunday, as everyone knows.  I don’t know where to start.  I guess at the beginning…

My mom got in town on Friday, and she showered me with belated birthday gifts — home made pumpkin cookies, (my mom is SUCH a good baker and they were AMAZING) my favorite coffee from my favorite hometown coffee shop (why can’t NYC have a Boston Stoker, or at least something that tastes similar?) and a beautiful new red coat that I LOVE.

These are not the cookies my mom made, but they look like them... I may or may not have eaten all the cookies already...

We went to Jackson Hole for dinner, where I got a delicious turkey burger (I am obsessed) and sweet potato fries… then we went to bed.  Saturday morning, I slept in, which was GLORIOUS, and went for a quick Pfitzinger-prescribed 4-miler in the park– 2 reservoir loops.  It was, oh, sort of a nice day.

THIS is what fall is about. Eff that bday snow storm!!

Reservoir lookin' marvelous!

There were SO MANY people in the park, and the excitement was palpable.  I had to really work to reign in the energy I was feeling and keep it at a slow-ish pace.  I told myself, “Bank this for tomorrow!”

Then, mom and I went to the expo where I saw Deena Kastor and gazed at her creepily admiringly from afar for quite some time.  I felt extra jealous of the girls who actually got to hang with her on Friday (including Meggie and Kelly.)  I also bought some yurbuds, because they PROMISED me they would stay in my ears and when I tried them on and jumped around a bit… I believed them.  However, I haven’t actually run with them yet, so the jury is out.  (Decided to run the marathon music-free.)  But I will report back once I do!

Mom and I returned to the UES , did a little shopping, and grabbed some bites of delicious pizza from Farinella.  YUM.  After a little more shopping and hanging out, T met up with us and we got some dinner at my neighborhood go-to, Wicker Park.  Take a wild guess what I got to eat.  (Hint– it rhymes with Berkie slurger.)

I went home and prepped my marathon attire and waiting-on-Staten-Island attire.

Trying everything on-- that is about 4 long sleeved shirts over my running tank, an old scarf, a "blanket" from the Columbus marathon, my running shorts under paper pants purchased at the expo under $7 jammie pants purchased at CVS (love them; kinda wish I hadn't tossed them) and two pairs of gloves

Here is everything described above, plus some old sheets and an old bathrobe that I used to cover up with

stuff to sustain me on Staten and during the race, including handwarmers, lip balm, water, my trusty Starbucks Doubshot (aka jet fuel) PowerBar, Honey Stinger, Garmin, NY mag, and Vanity Fair.

I wrote out very explicit directions for my mom on how to get to where she wanted to catch me first, at the Atlantic Center in BK (around mile 8.)  I didn’t think it would be too bad– just take the 4/5 at 86th Street to Atlantic Avenue…

I slept (not well), got up, got ready, and grabbed a cab to the NY Public Library, where I boarded a bus to SI.  Once on SI, I settled onto my sheets and took everything in.  I was glad it wasn’t NEARLY as cold as it had been last year.

I wish I'd gotten a better shot of this dude (standing against the truck.) He was wearing a ratty old suit and holding a tray with a champagne bottle duct taped to it. What makes people do this? It's hilarious, but seems kinda pointless and like it would get really old a few miles in!

You can't really see it, but a woman was wearing a dress, an apron, and a bonnet. She looked cute, but again-- seems uncomfortable!

I drank my jet fuel, ate my Powerbar, read some of my NY mag, gave my Vanity Fair to a woman from the Netherlands (who apparently had been led to believe there would be “more to do” on Staten Island)… and then I got a call from my buddy Emily and was thrilled when she joined me!

Looking pretty at 7:30 AM. Kudos.

We chatted a bit about her upcoming nuptials, I used the port-a-potty about 3 times, and then they announced that my corral was closing in 10 minutes… so I kind of panicked, stripped off all my layers but the crucial ones, (tank and shorts) dropped my layers in the donation bin, and entered my corral.

herded like cows into the corral

Then I realized that I still had, like, an hour to wait and stripping off all my layers may have been a BIT rash.  I was cold!  (But in the end, I’m glad, ’cause they don’t donate anything left in corrals or on the bridge if I’m not mistaken.)  I went pee one more time and we slowly began to make our way on the bridge.  I soon had to pee AGAIN and was feeling jealous and straight up angry at all the dudes who were taking care of that with reckless abandon

The dude in blue in the back is just one example of the MANY who were using the great outdoors as their own personal potty. This is literally the ONLY time in life that I envy dudes.

I was REALLY wishing I had saved at least my bathrobe so that I could easily pop a squat with the bathrobe covering everything up, but that was not the case.  I knew I was going to have to make a stop somewhere along the course.  GRRR.  Anyhow, some guy saw me shivering and gave me his jacket, which he was intending to ditch.  I considered using THAT to cover my lady bits while peeing, but didn’t want this guy to be disgusted… so instead I just put it on and it did keep me warm, so thank you, kind stranger!

An NYC firefighter sang a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, and I got a little emotional and patriotic.  THEN the gun went off, everyone cheered, and they started playing the perfect song, Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”  I sang along and felt a swell of great love for this city that has broken and won over my heart time and again.  (Cheesy, I know.  But true.)

We crossed the start, and I texted my mom, my bro, T, and my buddy Fatima (who was waiting just over the bridge in Bay Ridge with her husband) that I was on my way.  I still had absolutely no game plan, and just kind of ran without thinking much about my goals.  I did, however, see a bunch of grapes running ahead and had fantasies of running the whole way with him.  I figured it would be easy for my friends and fam to spot me if I just said, “Look for the grapes!”  But alas, grape man was too speedy.

there he goes!

I was delighted when I saw Ken and Fatima right where they said they would be– in front of their building.  I may or may not have thrown myself at Fatima with great vigor.  Ken was snapping pics, so I can’t wait to see those. 🙂  I briefly felt bummed that they don’t live on the ground floor, because it would have been amazing to dash in there and take the pee I so desperately wanted to take… but having been over for dinner before, I recalled that their charming apartment was at least 4 flights up.

After seeing them, I focused on my next spectators, my wonderful friend Alli and her boyfriend, JC.  But I spotted a line of port-a-potties that looked sparse, so I dashed in (no wait!) peed, and dashed out, feeling very pleased with myself for having taken care of that.  Then, I caught sight of some green balloons up ahead and knew it was some pacer.  I decided to catch whatever pacer it was and try and stick it out (if it was reasonable) because then THEY would serve the purpose I wanted grapes to serve early in the game.  (“I’m near the x:xx pacer with green balloons!”)  I caught him, saw that he was the 3:40 pacer, and thought, “I may as well give it a try for as long as possible.”

And it worked like a charm.  After thinking we had missed one another, Alli and JC spotted me, thanks to green balloons.  They took some sweet pics, too!

Can you spot me? RIGHT BY GREEN BALLOONS!

That's some excitement right there...

Dang. SPOILER-- I looked NOTHING like this at the bitter end of this race...

After I saw them, I realized I was pretty darn close to the Atlantic Center/mile 8 where I was supposed to see my mom and T… and hadn’t heard a thing from either of them.  I gave my mom a call and got no answer.  I got a text from her a bit later saying the trains had been screwy and they missed me.  I’d like to take this opportunity to say F*CK YOU, MTA!!!!!!  Seriously.  I felt HORRIBLE that my mom had to deal with that.  She is obviously not a native New Yorker, and the subways are definitely not very intuitive here.  I was proud of her for figuring out to take the R train when she was unceremoniously dumped off at 42nd Street, due to a “customer issue” or some bullsh*t, because you KNOW that the conductor didn’t give any helpful announcements and that there was no guidance whatsoever.  Can you tell I’m a bit peeved about this?  Anyhow, back to the race…

I felt awful that they’d had to deal with that, but forged ahead, sticking with 3:40 dude.  I started feeling pretty tired around mile 10 and wondered if it was a bad sign, seeing as how I was not even halfway there yet.  Every time I stopped for water or Gatorade, I lost 3:40 dude (Is he superhuman?  I NEVER saw him stop!) and then had to speed up to catch him again.  But I was with him as we passed out of BK into QNS, past the halfway mark (my watch told me around 1:50) over the Pulaski Bridge, all through QNS, and as we entered the Queensboro Bridge.  I was ready to make the Q’boro Bridge my b*tch, since it is MY bridge.  (Um, obviously not really, but I was telling myself it was, because I do run it a great deal– one of the perks of having a bf who lives in an outer borough!)  I pulled AHEAD of 3:40 man and kept at it.  I saw a girl wearing a veil and a tee-shirt that said something like “6 more days!” and congratulated her as I passed her.  She and I had a quick exchange (“Thanks!  Have a great race!”  “You too!”) and then I heard a voice behind me say, “Is that Katie?”  It was my buddy David!  I love how there were something like 47,000 people running, but I managed to see a buddy mid-race!

The Q'boro Bridge-- connecting me to my beloved since May 2010, causing pain for NYC marathoners since 1976 (before this, the entire marathon was run in Central park... which sounds freaking brutal.)

We chatted for a bit as we sailed over the bridge and down into the wall of sound at First Avenue.  I lost David, since he was looking for his family, and I became a bit distracted because by then I had about 7 unread texts and was kind of starting to regret for the very first time the fact that I welcome texts during a race.  I LOVE getting the support and it also helps a great deal in finding spectators, but I couldn’t keep up!  I knew there were a bunch of people I really wanted to see along First Avenue, but I couldn’t remember where each person had said they were.  I was frantically reading texts, fully aware that I wasn’t taking in the First Avenue crowd the way I wanted to.

T texted at some point saying he and my mom were near my apartment and I realized they were going to miss me AGAIN.  My mom called me as I passed 83rd Street, frantically saying they were at 82nd and 2nd.  I sadly said I was passing by 83rd and First and they had missed me.  I was bummed, and I realized I was slipping further and further behind the 3:40 pacer.  I got a bit of a lift when I saw Ali around 88th Street and my friends Danielle and Steve around 90th… but then the crowds thinned out as I ran further and further up First Avenue and into the Bronx via the Willis Ave Bridge.  I could see the 3:40 pacer, but I knew I wasn’t going to catch him, and I looked at my watch trying to gauge my finish time.  It looked as though it would be under 3:50, which made me very happy, but I was tired and hurting and wanted to be finished! My brother sent me a text asking me how I was doing and I responded, “Dying.”  Obviously an exaggeration, but I was feeling pretty low by then.

The Bronx was pretty painful for me, but I made an effort to smile and acknowledge everyone who cheered for me.  There is something so heart warming about marathon spectators to me.  As I left the Bronx and re-entered Manhattan, my brother texted asking where I was.  I responded, “Just entering harlen (sic) passed 21.  Had to slow way down so tired”  I remember feeling like I was crawling and watching the 3:40 pacer disappear into the distance.  (In looking at my splits post race, I actually hadn’t really slowed down too much, which surprises me.)  I got water at the 22 mile stop and walked while I drank it.  Walking felt AWESOME and I briefly considered walking the last 4 miles.  Then I called myself something that starts with a “P” and is a synonym for a cat… and started running again, certain I had lost a ton of time (again, looking at my splits, miraculously, this was not so!)

As I approached 5th Avenue, I got a bit of a boost.  The crowds were thick and the enthusiasm was crazy.  Lots of people cheered for me by name, and I felt myself picking up a bit.  However, that dreaded Fifth Avenue incline was pissing me off.  It was about at this point when I thought, “This is my last marathon.  I am NEVER DOING ONE AGAIN.”  But I was still excited to finally see my mom and T and I DID see them just after I entered the park.  The excitement from seeing them took me past the Museum (mile 24) and down Cat Hill.  But although I knew I was super close, I also felt as though I was still so far.  I was dreading getting to Central Park South, ’cause I knew the crowds were going to be thick and I was going to look at as crappy as I felt.  But I saw my friend Molly as I entered CPS and waved vigorously at her (and crashed into the dude in front of me while doing so, oops, sorry, dude!)  I passed the “half mile to go” sign and thought not, “almost there,” but rather, “how am I STILL not done?”  But then I saw the finish.  The sweet, sweet finish.  I noticed there were about 3 dudes in front of me and decided I had to “chick” them all… which I did…  and then I was done.  3:45:35.  My second best marathon time, only 3 weeks after my PR!

But the agony was not quite over.  I was feeling pretty beat up.  Destroyed, in fact.  My calves were screaming at me.  I tried to sit down on the pavement (off to the side) but a medic quickly grabbed me and forbade me from doing so, saying my muscles were not going to respond well to that (she was probably right, but at the time I wanted to punch her.)  She kindly let me lean on her and helped me walk while we looked for a better place to sit.  A LOTTA walking, man.  People in the past have always complained about the end of the NYC marathon and all the walking it entails and I’ve never understood how that irks people… ’til now.  T called and I was tearing up as I told him I was in a lot of pain and would call him once I got it together and left the park.  I felt bad for being so terse, but I was hurting.  The volunteer made small talk with me (probably hoping to take my mind off the pain) and I asked her if she was a runner.  She said no and that she just volunteers for fun, which warmed my heart.   I bade her goodbye with many thanks as she left me sitting on a bench, feeling much, MUCH better.  I gulped down my Gatorade, ate pretzels, chatted with 2 other runners who had also taken refuge on the bench, and finally got it together to walk again.  My dear friend Molly B met me outside of the park and I was so happy to see her face.  She also gave me a hug and her fleece, which was a lifesaver, since I was shivering uncontrollably.  (Two post-marathon space blankets were not quite keeping me warm.)  We grabbed a cab and took it downtown to where my mom and T were anxiously awaiting.

Since this is epic, I’m ending it, but long story short– I felt pretty much fine shortly after exiting the park, had a delicious meal with my mom and T, and am signed up for another marathon at the beginning of February.  Yeah.  That whole “never running a marathon again” is a distant memory. 🙂

my splits

Congrats to all who read this entire post, because you put in about as much as effort as I did running the damn thing. 🙂

All finished, on the bus home with T 🙂

With mom, after a celebratory dinner a 5-year old would enjoy (a hot dog and mac and cheese!)... and a beer.