Thursday, September 10, 2009

A week in review

I am completely, absolutely and utterly exhausted. Obama just came to turn up the heat and well, I'm thinking I will too. I'm even thinking that perhaps I WILL start running four days a week. My hamstring still throbs every now and then, but it seems the more I run- read either the more tight I get or the stronger I get, the better it seems. Tonight, I ran the final summer race series at the Marsh Post on the Charles. Tons of fun. 4.2 miles in 33 minutes according to official time. I am happy with the time and felt good. I will gripe and say: Darn blast it that I was slowed down when first my left shoe lace came undone and close to the end, the right un-did itself.

Going back in time a week. I spent vacation lounging and getting great morning runs in. And that blissful route on the bike path and by the bird sanctuary has me + some other good people inspired to run the Cape Cod Marathon relay in October. So, in between a great friend taking us out on his hand crafted boat, biking around the Vineyard, and doing yoga on the beach, I managed some runs. The Shark sightings off Falmouth, and the seals doing tricks certainly had the adrenaline pumping. Of course, the BBQs, lobster bisque and lobster rolls, tons of cheese and multiple trips to the market probably had an averse affect on maximizing my potential time in the scenic hot spot.

A long run, .5 short of my aim did a wide loop to Woods Hole and back. 9 miles that began on some rolling hills and finished on the flat bike path took 1:24:43.

Monday and Tuesday followed with a 4.4 mile run in 41:08 and then a 2.29 run in 21:17. Today's run make a nice hat trick of the first week of back-to-school. When classes begin, I'm going to really need to de-stress. Here's to new running goals for September!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mad Mission

Unlike last week's long run, I had no willing company for the route. I did, however, manage to run a mile more holding the same pace. I came in at 1:20:14 at the 8.49 mile mark fresh off the Minute Man Bike Path. A shout out to Arlington despite their silly blue laws. Good stuff but I can't believe that I once ran 18 miles- not to mention that April attempt at 26.2. A co-worker and runner extraordinaire just ran 16 miles this weekend: I'm in awe. I'm happy with how I feel and I'll know I'll get there in November, but I envy her determination.

We see what we want to see right? (right now I'm envisioning VT home of sweet childhood memories- see left.) So it's fitting that I feel like I've been slacking off. I ran once last week. 4.1 door to door because I was busy most mornings and running here and there in the afternoons. When I did run on Wednesday morning, it was a great run. A personal run to remember. I felt strong and confident. There is no better moment than the pride that comes from finishing strong. Heh, who knew my motto during college was "just finish. Often done is better than good!"

Which is something to convince me that I signed up for this Mission '09 #2 with reason. To attain personal satisfaction at the end of the day is a beautiful thing and running is one of the few ways I'm conquering these days. I am more determined, each time I set out, to run my own race.

Sure I'm competitive but it's on my own terms. H gets pumped each time there's a race. He loves the excitement and thrill of running with the pack. As noted in a previous post about the F Road Race- more often, I am inclined to kill the pack. Still, there is something to be said for having a running partner, signing up for some summer fun runs (I've done five short races this summer and had a PR in a 5K-this decade at least). But most days, I don't want to run with anyone, I don't want to talk. I don't want to gab. I don't want to listen to someone else's huffing and puffing, I don't want someone to say "good job" at 6:30am as I run up one of the god forsaken somerville mountains.

Some insight on the psychology of sport please? Envious as I was of Taylor's FH team (see photo of team's biggest fan) and the sense of team, my personality is that of a runner. The team may be stronger than the individual but I'd rather have my own shit rubbed in my face than that of 12 other teammates.

Hmm if that's the case, I better get to on the training. As for a time commitment, this upcoming week will again be challenging BUT I'll be hitting the path in Cape Cod several times at the end of the week to make up for lost time at the beginning of the week.

With the lack of sticking to a solid schedule, I wonder why it was so important to me that I run a marathon, no matter how "fast" of a course, but that I ran a marathon, so that I could say I finished with a respectable time. And now, I can't seem to stay on track. Of course, while the psychology is something to explore, there's also a physical opposition. I'm finally going to the MD to see about this hamstring situation.

I suppose, if nothing else, this Mad Mission will just keep raising the bar. Heck last time this year I was having fun in VT but I didn't look as sexy on the beach. (last year berry picking & sitting happy) Just sayin'. It's all relative baby. Today is all that matters. (eww I'm just throwing dogma at you 2 weeks in a row!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bikes not Bombs! &, Adventures in Boystown

The year was 1988. At least, that's what I imagine it to be. In actuality, it could have been any time from 1987-1992. These moments are hard to pin down.

I was riding with mom on a hand me down pink bike with a banana boat seat from Kellie. It was amazing. The seat was white with a pink stripe down the middle. I recall adding streamers to the handlebars and those florescent color spoke accents on the wheels. Those were the days.

Instead of riding around the block or pretending the bike was a horse when we played "the olden days" or a car when we played "soccer mom," or a cab when we played "when I grow up I will be an architect," that pink thing was a bike. And I was pedaling quickly as my mother in a bandanna and shorts was running over the overpass near Good Intent Road.

Gloucester County has really good street names like Break neck Road that flies through Mantua or Good Intent Road in Deptford. When I was older I always thought, hmmm where are we going- The path to Hell is paved with Good Intentions, so maybe Hell was really, after all, the Mall. Now I think, maybe maring the failure of actual success with a good intention was speaking to all of this suburban madness. But, at the time, I was young and I lacked the cynicism that makes me who I am today.

I was just biking and mom was just running.

Yesterday, Diana and I reshot the scene on a 7.5 trek along the waterfront. Let me tell you, that girl can bike slowly and as much as she was impressed with me for fighting with the wind for 1:11:34, debuting the first run of the season with barely sub-10 minute miles, I was impressed with her skills, too.

It was a glorious morning that turned into a glorious day. Running through parks, by the triathletes training, the volley ball players diving in the sand, the roller bladers and the marina we later stopped at the farmer's market. mmmm. running and eating ain't bad.

I also finished Three Cups of Tea, which I highly recommend. Books Not Bombs...Bikes not's all the same. Let's stay away from the bombs, friends, even if you're just eating your way to peace after a good run. Five words: Practice Loving Acts of Kindness.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Do that Twist, Shake it up Baby!

Well, not really. I was thinking of James Brown when I signed up for the road race but instead, a band that covers 200 Beatles songs, showed up. And let me tell you, they weren't doddy at all. It probably helped that they weren't wearing James brown wigs.

I had some companions on the run which made running in the blistering humidity that much more appealing despite my hatred of races. I only like competition on my own terms otherwise I am likely to opt out unless I'm pissed off. Then there's no limit.

But last night, it was refreshing to be on a course knowing that there were diehard good doobies who I actually liked even though they are all more committed than I am to the sport. Love the burn as I do, lasidaisical is my middle name.

To the point: I, who is seldom on time, arrived early to survive the race. I started out a bit too fast but reigned it in, walking three times and finishing with a race time of 35:30 and no vomit on my shoes. My own, accurate timing device clocked in at 34:20 so there. Of course, I was notch #403. While I'm darn proud of that speed, 402 people have pick up for me to contend with. Next month I want to at least be in the 300s. Inshallah. This is why I'm racing before Philly right? Feeling good an having fun while I'm at it.

This morning, as part of the post recovery, mid week race, I woke up to do the hottest, stickiest slip-n-slidiest yoga of my life. A Basics class turned wild with beads of sweat rolling into my eyelids, slipping down into my ears and squeaky sounds coming from the mat. I was soaked everywhere. EVERYWHERE!- this blog isn't' for the kids, I should have warned you. But of course, validity for the effort. The practice was worth it. Yoga is awesome for runners. Check out this article.

And now, I'm signing off. Good luck and good weekend, homies. Don't let the long run win!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Kick Off to Summer Fun Runs

I've been getting it on the pavement even though I've not been consistent here.

This weekend we ran on the bike path towards Woods Hole after breakfast. That proved to be a very stupid idea. Somerville had sent an advisory to its constituents, warning us of a heat advisory and asking us to check on our elderly neighbors. But still, wanting to get miles in, I thought, only the elderly without central air or ocean breezes might suffer from the heat. Ha, I was young and ignorant. It was sweltering- like sweat droplets everywhere. and by everywhere I mean everywhere. The chaffing heros would have given a standing ovation.

Hans, his sister and I ran the bike path, passed the ocean, and then into the shade before turning around. We set a good pace, all of us running strong. I ran solo the last stretch but only because I told myself that I could turn around only once I got into the shade. Mind over common sense: I'm seeing how well I can manipulate this psychology of my sport.

Yesterday, I ran after work. Running after 10AM is kind of kicking my ass and is, without apology, flipping obnoxious. No wonder you see men with their shirts off and gut hanging out, across the Charles and cutsie girls, the collegiate type in their pastels looking more cute than than buff out at 5pm.

Tonight there's another local race on the Charles to be followed by a nice cold beer and then I'd like to promise myself to get my ass out of bed and run in the morning. That is when running is quite, quite, nice. This weekend in Chi-town will be a start. My first "long run"... I have a half marathon coming up at the end of next month. I gotta start kicking it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When the World is Ugly but There's no Thunder: Run.

I wonder if there's a saying that goes something like: If you're unhappy with your life, RUN. scratch that. If the 9-5 sucks: RUN. Hmmm. If you only live in your dreams, Run through your days. Oh CHEESE!

I borrowed inspiration for that last one from @sheamusburns. I too had a glorious dream last night. I was in Italia with La Relli su una strada piccolina, piccolina vicino a Santa Croce. It was one of the best dreams I've had in awhile. All my italian was not lost: I was fluent, they understood me. I understoond them and we laughed!! It was an amazing flow of conciousness and subconciousness. It was so real, almost tangible that I woke up singing in Italian. I'm going back anyway I can and while I don't think I'll stay, I'm gonna get there fast.

All this about dreams and finding that sweet bliss outside of the tedious, monotoneous boredom of the sterile brain, because I figured a few things out yesterday.

I ran along the Charles in the evening which was interesting for two reasons. First, I never run after work. If I did, I would never run, period, basta. Second, I ran on the chic side of the river, the beloved esplanade near Beacon Hill. So of course, there were lots of dogs sporting as accessories and that boston pandilla of white people everywhere. On the "muddier" side that I normally skip on, I see fat, skinny, baby stroller, pushing men, women, blondes, brunettes, and fuglies. I see it all co-existing. If not amiably as Prof. Gates would remind us. But on the desirable high rent side, I saw the Boston Type I. Dude, if Westchester is going to desegregate when will the metropolis of Boston start synthesizing the D&Gs with Tiffany blue???

To task. The point, lost somewhere up there. Is that despite my dull day and the inspipid pedestrians bottle necking the esplanade, I found my groove. It came after strong mental resistence, several watch checks and a tear of sweat burning my eye. But when it came, my mind detached from my body to the point where ironically, my mind, body and soul (had to do it) were all integrated perfectly. I smiled even though I was sans ipod. I was walking on sunshine.

It was a moment of: "I can do it" said in my sister's best bravado. I even passed a skinny young thang, too. I will get in shape and do well this november. Just watch me keepin on!

3.93 mi/35:59:16

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ain't over til the Fat Lady Sings

Or croaks. Or however you want to understand that I haven't forgotten that I have a marathon to run in three months. (3 months, oh sweet jesus!!)

I have taken a long, long time off from the blog, without announcement. Shame on me. But, never fear this cynosure has returned to write about her training attempts.

This weekend we got ourselves to Falmouth for the Road Race. H ran all 7 miles although he hadn't trained one mile since the 5K we ran in June. To my great disgrace, I ran only 5 miles. I don't know how I ever ran a marathon.

The winner ran 4:3X minute miles.

So as I choke, digesting that fact, I think I better up the ante!