Thursday, December 31, 2009

in ten years

i saw a recap of the past ten years on someone else's blog and realized how this closing decade marks ten years of running for me! (on and off, but still). i'm also thinking it's probably the more exciting decade of my life because it included the college years and what will really happen when i hit the 30's and 40's. investing in a roth ira is so exciting...

2000 - ahhhh y2k ahhh! i was in 10th/11th grade, had just finished my first season of cross country ('99) and ran my second season later in the fall. my older sister graduated from high school and when we dropped her off at college everyone cried but me (and i think my dad).

2001 - apparently i've done a good job of blocking out dorky high school memories because i can't think of many. in the spring semester of 11th grade i got iss (in school suspension) for lying to my teacher. my friend and i convinced our us history teacher that he (my friend) was the soccer team trainer and had to leave early for away games. we got caught because someone in the class freakin' told on us. what the heck; lame! as an honors/ap student the iss 'teacher'/supervisor didn't think i should be in there and let me run errands for her instead. (and yes, said friend was rather cute of course). also in '01 i started taking some college classes at a local college because somehow i didn't need anymore high school credits - i had "late arrival" and "early dismissal" as some of my "classes". i had a 7:30am (or so) english class and remember hearing about the first WTC plane in the car after class, and assumed it was a small plane that had malfunctioned somehow. when i got to (high) school later that morning, i broke the news to my spanish teacher who didn't believe me until we turned on the tv near the end of class.

2002 - senior year; not as glamorous as it is on mtv. i quit soccer and cross-country; went to prom. i was the last class to graduate my old high school before they tore it down and turned it into a walmart, so some of the teachers let us spend the end of the year graffiti-ing the walls. i cut out a piece of the track as a souvenir (one of the "4's" from lane 4). i started college in the fall, joined the rowing team, learned that just because i never had to study in high school does not mean college will be as breezy...

2003 - survived freshman year; had a great group of girlfriends from the rowing team. had a much better 2nd semester grade-wise, though mandatory study hall didn't help - too many distracting male athletes. moved into first apartment where we had the best neighbors and funnest block parties. i attempted to make pancakes one night and almost set the complex on fire. the blackened, crisp pancake was hung on our front door as a warning to others. i began running again but didn't keep any stats.

2004 - more college antics. moved into new apartment. still casually running, but not yet ocd enough to log stats.

2005 - worked two internships on top of my part-time job at the crack house (aka cracker barrel). also helped out with the local special olympics group - those 'kids' always brightened my day. went to nyc for christmas, saw my best friend graduate from college, began tracking my mileage/time on runs.

2006 - set my car on fire! (yes, on accident) got a new one. ran my first marathon! began interviewing for jobs. major fail at first interview - actually told the guy i wasn't planning on having kids so that wouldn't interfere with my career (yes, seriously). needless to say they did not call me back. got a job somewhere else. college graduation! sad but exciting. began my first big-girl job, made friends with the other college-grad hires and still acted like we were in college. bought a house (offer was accepted on my 22nd b-day). made running friends in my new town. ran another marathon.

2007 - most of the new running friends quit running except one (kt), began running "hardcore" 40 mile weeks with her. participated in a medical study at md anderson in houston, tx. ran two more marathons. took a random, spontaneous trip to san diego for memorial day. took a random trip to nashville in august. older sister got married. met josh, tried to flirt, he was oblivious.

2008 - finally "really" trained for a marathon, bq'd. went to visit a friend living in st. kitts, still jealous of her! started helping out with old high school cross country team. started this blog. helped josh flip a house. experimented with buying individual stock and doubled up (go ford!).

2009 - did the goofy challenge and ran another marathon. spent 9+ months living in hotels/working in kentucky and am now a celebrity at the hampton inn. got engaged. had my wisdom teeth pulled. hit a deer. beefed up my savings.

i still have yet to review my '09 in running and make plans for 2010, but i'm pretty awesome at procrastinating and not-getting things done, what's a few more days. so, until next year! happy new year all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

it's the little things

merry (belated) christmas! i hope you all had an enjoyable, relaxing holiday with friends and family. once i got home to my mom's never-ending baking, i had no trouble making up for lost calories from earlier this week. entire tin of cookies in one sitting? no problem.

initially i thought i'd get in all this running during these two weeks of vacation but it turns out i'm doing a much better job of being lazy. i've still gotten in a few runs, including a solid (spontaneous) progression run on christmas day. my long run for the week ended up being shorter than planned, but i hung in for 11 miles instead of quitting at 1 or 2 like i so badly wanted to.

friday (12/25) afternoon run: 6.15 miles, 50:45 (avg pace 8:15)
(8:54, 8:41, 8:23, 8:18, 7:52, 7:09 - see, progression! i don't achieve this often.)

even though i wait for a particular movement before heading out on a run, there are many days where my bowels seem to hold out for revenge. lucky me, this morning was no exception. i wasn't brave enough to pop into one of the 19 churches i ran by and detoured for a grocery store instead. it was probably the only food store without a well-marked "restrooms" sign and i frantically hustled around all the edge-aisles of the store. i eventually found it though, thankfully, and once again i was reminded what a great invention the bathroom was.

sunday (12/27) am run: 11.10 miles, 1:41:36 (avg pace 9:09), 33-47*

thank you, running, for making me appreciate the porcelain throne even more. you always make water the most awesomest thing ever too.

week in review (12/21 - 12/27):
total miles: 32.55
time spent running: ~ 4 hours 47 minutes
avg hr: unknown
avg pace: 8:50/mile
off days: 3 (sleeping has gotten better, not glorious, but better)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

two g's

i surprised myself this morning when i entered today's 11-miler into my dorky spreadsheets (yes, plural. i love my spreadsheets). i just crested 2000 miles for the year! woo hoo. i didn't set a mileage goal for the year because i'm already hard-headed enough -- i don't need the extra goal forcing me to run when i don't feel well or in the event i get injured (which thankfully didn't happen in '09!). so yeah, i don't do a yearly mileage goal but of course i want to continue beating each previous year :o)

2005 - 735.94 (logged march thru december)
2006 - 623.43 (didn't log mileage may thru september; gasp i know!)
2007 - 1335.95
2008 - 1618.95
2009 - 2000.01 (with 8 days to go!)

i'm like walmart with all those .94 and .95 endings.

wednesday (12/23) am run: 11 miles, 1:34:48 (avg pace 8:37), 32-47*
i kind of attempted a couple "threshold" miles but they were slower than threshold pace. with mile 1 clocking in at 9:48 i was just glad my legs could still pick up the pace somewhat. with the sleeping/eating troubles i'm just going to take this week easy.

and just for the record --
week in review (12/14 - 12/20):
total miles: 14.75
time spent running: ~ 2 hours 03 minutes
avg hr: 153
avg pace: 8:34/mile
off days: 5 (yep, 5) some people sleep 8 hours/night. i get 8 hours/week.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

sleepless at night

it's a good thing i'm not officially in training, as i haven't ran in 5 days. oops? i actually kind of enjoyed it. for the most part, i didn't feel good enough to run. i'm not sick as in "i have a cold" sick, but i'm not quite myself either.

the sleeping issue has still been going on, and combined with a lack of appetite well, i copped out and said i should obviously just rest. saturday and sunday nights i watched like two seasons of house since i couldn't sleep. sunday night i fell asleep around 4am and got my whopping three hours of sleep. as for my appetite - on sunday i ate one waffle (breakfast) and an egg wrap (dinner), and monday i ate a salad (lunch) and a little bit of creamed corn ("dinner"). i know, i really should control myself!

anyway. the good news is i got 12 hours of *uninterrupted* sleep monday night. i felt myself actually being tired monday evening so i got in bed and... felt more awake. wtc. sitting up - feel sleepy; laying down - wide awake. so i sat on the couch for a bit and then decided to try again. i, uh, took a pain pill (left over from wisdom teeth; a side effect of watching so much house) since those made me drowsy back when i had my teeth pulled. yeah, i am aware, not it's intended use. i don't plan on taking it daily alright. i don't think the excessive sleep is all from the pill, but i think maybe it helped a little. i think part of it was that i finally got tired enough to sleep.

i broke my streak of 5 days off and went out for a short, easy run today. i would have ran longer but my lack of eating caught up to me quickly and i felt weak. at least i don't have that whole work thing getting in my way and can run/eat/sleep whenever i feel like it (or i guess should say *if* i ever feel like it?) :o)

tuesday (12/22) afternoon run: 4.3 miles, 40:03 (avg pace 9:18), 47*

this time last year i wasn't eating or sleeping well either, but for entirely different reasons. don't forget to hug and cherish your loved ones today, at this Christmas holiday, and everyday of the year!

[title of this post references song by "until june" - sleepless]

Friday, December 18, 2009

home sweet.... inn express.

thinking i was hotel-free for the rest of 2009 was too good to be true. i ran into snow 11 miles from the kentucky/tennessee border. this morning, showed me a big green blob over tn/nc/sc, even when i hit the future forecast button. now it looks like this:

i drove through part of the blue blob in kentucky and am now in a green area,
but more mountains and blue blobbiness await!

it took me two hours to drive (if you want to call it that) about 50 miles from the start of the snow to the hotel. it took almost 5 hours to make what is typically a sub-3 hr drive. getting up to 20mph was exhilarating!


of course i was half-tempted to keep trucking along, but sunset was approaching, the temps were going to be dropping and it just did not seem like a wise idea since i still have a few more mountains to climb. i've heard that there's already a few inches of snow in the mountains of north carolina, and i'll admit i was a little nervous driving in the snow earlier. the lack of exits/civilization for 30 miles didn't help much. i just want to get home and i'm bored now in the hotel, but as josh put it -- better to be bored than dead.

at least the hie in clinton, tn is brand new and snazzy! i guess i can survive another night in not-my-bed. word on the street is this winter storm is supposed to last until sunday in some parts, yuck. tndot and ncdot - get on the ball here with the plowing and salting. this carolina girl needs to get home.

any runners in clinton, tn that want to get in a long run tomorrow?? :o)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

home for the holidays

i'm busy packing up my life again (for the holidays). combined with the recent lack-'o-sleep situation my running has taken a hit this week, but i'm not in training so i'm letting it roll.

the sleeping situation:
no it hasn't gotten better (well some nights i might actually get 5 hours instead of 3, if that counts as improvement). no i haven't taken any more meds for it. yes i'm going to the doctor next week.

only five hours of work and then i'm freeeeeeee for two weeks! i don't know if i'm more excited about being free from work or free from kentucky... hmm.

monday (12/14) pm run - ex.hausted. attempted 1/2 a mile in my backwards clothes. felt super awful so i called it quits.
tuesday (12/15) pm run - 7.25 miles with 3.25 @ threshold, 58:00 (avg pace 8:00), avg hr (167)
wednesday (12/16) pm run - 7 miles easy, 1:01:02 (avg pace 8:43), avg hr (157)
thursday (12/17) laziness - another unscheduled rest day. had some things i needed to get done before leaving town and again, i'm not in training so i can skip a day if i feel like darn it. :o)
friday (12/18) uhhh - as of 10:45pm thursday i'm 98% sure i won't be getting up to run at 4am. i gotta rush around and load up the car and drive 6+ hours home (in forecasted snow storms, in the south where they don't have plows...) so yeah, i think this will be another 0 mile day.

while i make my mad dash out of kentucky, i'll leave you with this fun running survey i borrowed from nyflygirl of training hard, hardly training.

miles last week:
44.80 - a good week, making this week look a little sad.

your first race:
technically: eye opener in high school cross country (1999)
post high-school: midnight flight 10k (09/02/05)

your last race:
running wild 4-mile trail race, a beast (11/07/09)

when/why did you start running:
hs xc - 'cause my friends were doing it
re-starting in '05 - to stay active i'm assuming

favorite race:
disney goofy challenge, so much fun even though the 39.3 miles are a little intimidating

favorite distance:
half-marathon - you get to run hard/fast but not to the point where you feel like dying like a 5k/10k and you can actually walk the next day unlike the marathon

mistake you always make while racing:
same as nyflygirl - "in 5K's-blasting the first mile and then desperately trying to hang on for the remaining 2.1!"

your mantra is:
"go big"

favorite food before a race or long run:
i always like pasta

favorite gadget:
running related? garmin - so much easier to not have to map every run out afterwards!
non-running? iphone... gets me through the long days at work ;)

something *strange* you always need on a run?
a bathroom. i swear my bowels plan it so they have to go at the most inconvenient time.

amount of races you’ve done in your life?
29 (not counting high school, because i don't remember). in 5 years, looks like i need to race more!

amount of races you’ve done this year?


when i can’t run, i:
am very discontent!

music or no music?
i rarely run to the beat

favorite book?
i don't know. i'm not a fan of this question.

favorite movie?
see above.

favorite runner?
duh, ryan hall.

favorite brand of apparel?

favorite brand of shoes? 

saucony or mizuno

how many pairs of running shoes do you have? is this seriously a question?!? i can't recall how many retired pairs i have lying around... but a lot.

currently in the rotation? 4

how many pairs do you actually use?

all of them... 1 pair basically retired this week, 1 pair are my speed/racing shoes (used rarely) and 2 are in the daily rotation.

next challenge ahead:
surviving kentucky

a goal further ahead you’d like to get to someday:
marathon in all 50 states. being reasonable and level-headed i made this goal before i even ran 1 marathon...

pr you’re most proud of:
my goofy half-marathon? i have always such happy thoughts thinking back on that one.

fuel on long run or race is:
gu! roctane in races, regular flavors on a long run

last injury:
umm. sore shins last year? or that enormo toe blister i had this past summer?

why do you run?
to eat! you know i love the two basic food groups - sugar and chocolate. also as an attempt to keep the roundness (somewhat) at bay, to keep me sane (you do not want to be around me if i miss too many runs) and 'cause well it's just awesome.

Monday, December 14, 2009


for the past 10 days or so (maybe more, i can't remember), i haven't been able to sleep through the night. first of all i don't even get tired until maybe 11pm - when i essentially take a 1-2 hour nap, wake up for about 3 hours, and then get another 'nap' in before having to get up for work.

the sitting around, alone, at 3:00 am is probably my favorite part.

i have some sleepy pills that i've taken like 5 of in my entire life (so i'm certainly not used to them). the first time i took one i was completely useless until after lunch the next day; they knock me out. over the weekend i gave in and took one since i wouldn't have to worry about going to work the next morning. i still woke up in the middle of the night! what the heck! these were my last resort... i'm not sure what to do now.

at any rate, last night (sunday) was no exception. i got maybe 3-3.5 hrs of sleep. being hardheaded, i came home to change for a run. when i put my clothes on backwards i thought maybe i should take the day off and try to rest (/sleep!). this pounding headache isn't too inviting either. i'd be willing to continue on this crappy sleep cycle if it meant i could hang with tera moody in the marathon.

and so begins my derailment from the routine i was just settling into...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

week #2 on track

i hope i can make this good running behavior last.

week in review (12/07 - 12/13):
total miles: 44.80
time spent running: ~ 6 hours 28 minutes
avg hr: 160
avg pace: 8:38/mile (avg temp: 42*)
off days: 1

grumble grumble. my patience is being tested too much tonight with whatever-internet-service this is in kentucky. mozilla firefox, can we crash one more time for no reason? i know, scrolling through google reader is pretty taxing...

running went well this week, minus pushing thursday's speedwork to friday of course but what can you do. for the second week in a row i stuck to the schedule, getting in two quality workouts and a long run. the "long" run was only 12-miles but hey, i'm working my way back up there. i had a work christmas party saturday evening. the job site party is way better than the home office one - you can wear jeans and people don't suck up to the bosses the whole time. (what will i ever do when i can't wear jeans 24/7 anymore...) i was an answer in the trivia game for locking my keys in the car (i'm so famous) and scored a belgian waffle maker in the christmas raffle. it was weird seeing some of the guys in (somewhat) regular clothes and sans hardhat; more mullets than i was aware of.

ok since mozilla wants to continue to crash even if the computer is left idling, i'm giving up.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

coach i didn't run today 'cause...

i locked my keys in the car.

while it was running.

(i turned it on to warm it up shortly before leaving work for the day since it was a brisk 17 degrees)

you'd think that out on a construction site there'd be someone with a history of breaking into cars, but either that stereotype is incorrect or no one wanted to fess up. my boss tried rigging up some wire to slide in the window but only ended up scraping his hand (and my car). the security guard was calling her nephew who knew someone who knew the local policeman (yes, singular) but he's out of town so no luck there. i got the run around from all four locksmiths within a 50 mile radius (slight exaggeration) but finally found a guy who could come out. an hour and $40 later, (part of which was a loan from my boss, who carries cash these days?) we were finally able to leave work.

come to think of it, i locked my keys in the car at least twice in college and once in high school that i can recall...

can i get it framed?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

product review: go lite (and stay warm!)

{forgive me, but i am writing this as i watch the biggest loser finale - the only two hours of tv i watch. holy crap i am loving the surprises and shockers :o) that is all. no spoilers here.}

it snowed a little friday night/saturday morning and was a lovely 25* for my saturday "long" run of 9 miles. i was pelted in the face with flurries for the first half of my run (brrr) and once i turned around (out-and-back) the snow flurries stopped (go figure). for whatever reason, i didn't bring any warm running fleeces with me to kentucky. i did have a new, thermal/activewear shirt from go lite though, which i donned as my base layer.

on top of that i wore a long sleeve tech shirt from the goofy challenge earlier this year and my reebok running jacket (to help keep the snow/wetness off). i am used to running in a nice, warm fleece when it hits the 30's or below, and i was quite relieved to find i was perfectly comfortable in less-thick layers. i wore the go lite shirt again on sunday when it was 35* with just the reebok jacket on top, and was pleasantly warm-enough again. i may also be wearing this as a baselayer for work here soon - it is getting chilly out there! i'm still trying to hold off on sporting my long johns, but i may be breaking them out too. do you know how cold a porta-potty is when the high is like 36*?

anyway, i used to be an under armour girl, but i'd easily get too hot, too cold or constantly flip-flop in between the two while running. the go lite shirt kept my temperature more balanced and made for comfortable runs in both 25 and 35 degree weather.

i would prefer to not go to jail (thanks ftc), so i must inform you that go lite and their fabulous pr company graciously gave me the shirt so that i'd brave the cold temperatures and run outdoors this winter (or perhaps for my review, whichever). they also sent me the "travel-lite tote" which has come in handy in my never-ending packing and unpacking between south carolina and kentucky. the travelite tote is made from 100% recycled content and has tons of pockets (11!) and storage space for all your various sized belongings. i have found it to be great for traveling as well as everyday use.

go lite is another one of those companies that speaks to my inner tree-hugger. i'm no extremist, but i do try to do my little part with recycling and taking care of the environment. they carry a variety of other products as well, including apparel for men and women (i especially like the badlands trinity soft shell jacket), backpacks, tents, fuel belts, suitcases and other travel bags, sleeping bags... all made from recycled and environmentally preferred materials. from their website --

You want to get away from all the stuff—the blaring music, the gadgets, the never-ending load of work and the glut of more, more, more. So you go light. You head out on the trail, because you want to experience nature on its own terms.

You value adventure over advertising. Memories over souvenirs. You don’t want to clog the planet with more stuff. You just want to have pure, simple, heart-pounding fun.

Therefore you GoLite.
sign me up! when my grandfather passed away last october, i helped my mom and aunts clean out his apartment. it was crazy to see all the stuff we accumulate in life and leave behind when we die. i took it to heart, and have since been rather non-materialistic. i think i'm actually kind of a pain now at christmas/my birthday because i never want anything. well, i'm always down for a cool vacation; my passport has room for more stamps. as go lite says, "memories over souvenirs"!

Monday, December 7, 2009

getting back on track

week in review (11/30 - 12/06):
total miles: 38.5 (last week's dinky 3-milers became 5's, which i like better)
time spent running: ~ 5 hours 36 minutes
avg hr: 160
avg pace: 8:44/mile (avg temp: 30*)
off days: 1

a successful week at actually sticking to my "plan". i'm not currently training for anything in particular, but i did throw together a training plan to help me get out and run six days a week. i would like to get back to 60+ mpw but i'm not sure how well that meshes with that little thing called "work". i definitely got a little burnt out training for nyc when life was work, run, sleep, scarf down food and no spare time for anything else. (now if only it was acceptable to work a 3-hour day....) for now, i'm just aiming to maintain a healthy balance of running and relaxing.

on sunday afternoon i took a page from jess at seejessrun and made martha's outrageous chocolate cookies "for the guys at work". i packed half of them up and, uh, didn't feel like sharing when i got to work today. yes, i ate them all by myself. :( i ate so healthily all last week and then i go and eat half a batch of cookies in one day; not my finest moment. at least i didn't advertise that i was making them cookies so it's not like they knew i was being a greedy oinker... in case that makes it any better. they turned out pretty tasty if i do say so myself, although my "furnished" apartment does not have measuring spoons so i had to eyeball the baking powder, vanilla and salt. since i haven't cooked or baked in 9+ months i'm sure i was right on the money...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

the cow whisperer

i stopped for a minute on this morning's run to get a picture of the cows - a handful of them were standing near the fence. it was kind of weird because then all the other cows in the field lumbered over to the fence to stare at me. i don't know if they wanted their picture taken or if they thought i had breakfast for them. sorry cows, no corn for you. maybe they knew i was their friend - after watching food, inc i will be a very limited carnivore. (i don't feel comfortable cutting out all meat since i can't eat beans or those "amazing" soy products for protein. yes that is sarcasm, i dislike the miracle-food attitude towards soybeans.)

food, inc. was good though. there weren't many "queasy" moments but watching it right after lunch probably wasn't the best idea. i don't think everyone needs to give up meat, it's certainly a personal choice, and i won't be 100% vegetarian myself. i am interested in finding out more about how the food industry is regulated and making it safe(r). as someone with extensive food allergies, it is very frustrating to scour product labels for hidden ingredients. the fda claims certain foods/ingredients are supposed to be noted with an asterik, bolded, or listed separately in the "warning: contains" section, but in many cases this is still somehow overlooked.

anyway, stepping off my little soapbox now... (food inc. didn't even touch on allergies). feel free to check out food, inc's website, and if you are further interested - watch the movie of course. it's available on dvd or you can also "watch instantly" on netflix.

saturday (12/5) am run: 9.1 miles, 1:19:39 (avg pace 8:45), 25* and flurries

good luck to those running cim and las vegas tomorrow, especially my girl aron!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

behind again (november 2009)

my how time gets away from me. i don't feel like i'm good with time-management these days. i know i tend to blame it on work/commuting/being away from home but it still seems like i am insufficient compared to other mid-20's "professionals" (and really, everyone else in the world no matter the age or phase of life). how does everyone else get more done?!

anyway. here are what are hopefully the last hotel-life stats for 2009 (and it better be since i've already paid rent for december). i've enjoyed working out in the field and exploring a new state, but 9 months in a hotel/driving home every other weekend is wearing me down.

week in review (11/16 - 11/22):
total miles: 30.4
time spent running: ~ 4 hours 26 minutes
avg hr: unknown, didn't wear hrm
avg pace: 8:54/mile (avg temp: unknown*)
off days: 2

week in review (11/23 - 11/29):
total miles: 24.23 (a bunch of dinky 3 milers)
time spent running: ~ 3 hours 34 minutes
avg hr: 161.5
avg pace: 8:51/mile (avg temp: 58.5*)
off days: 1

a very unimpressive thanksgiving week. you'd think with the extra time off, ability to run mid-day on my old, familiar, safe running routes would've motivated me to run all day long. nope, all i wanted to do was sit on the couch. actually i was semi-motivated to rake leaves, but i wasn't able to finish because there are a ton. i'm sure by the time i finish raking these leaves it will be fall 2010 and i'll have a fresh batch.

josh helped finish up various house projects and i made a few more donations to home depot, something else i hadn't done since february/pre-kentucky. sometimes owning a house is no fun - you have to pay for these people to come out and do work (uh like re-doing insulation in the crawlspace, no thanks). i could've gone on a sweet trip to s.america for $900 but no, had people come crawl under my house instead.

i did ok with thanksgiving feasting (2 dinners! oink oink)... until dessert time. i love sweets; i had to be forklifted away from the table. josh and i went to see the trans-siberian orchestra on friday which was cool. i only know their two christmas songs which i sometimes randomly sing to myself during a speed workout. the violinist (anna phoebe) kept flipping her hair every other note, and with her leggings and constant wide-legged squat/lunge she made me think of peter pan. [photo cred]

i'm not hating though, it was a fun show - funky music, awesome lighting effects, and entertaining people-watching.

november 2009
total mileage: 103.78 (hangs head)
time spent running: 15:04:52
avg pace: 8:56/mile
days off: 12 (mostly post-marathon rest/recovery)
avg resting hr: not measured
avg max hr: 180.29

technically i could call this marathon recovery mode, but that would require me stepping up my game again and actually logging some decent miles in december...

Monday, November 30, 2009


and it feels hurt so good

as you may or may not know, i was a former ncaa div 1 collegiate rower. granted, i quit after freshman year, but i still survived both fall and spring seasons. rowing is similar to cross country/track - in the fall you race a longer distance (like a 5k) and shorter in the spring (2k).

anyway so i joined a gym here in kentucky for the two months i (supposedly) have left. the treadmills were full when i got there, but then i spotted an erg. being a glutton for punishment, i hopped on. i forgot all the old workouts, warmups and drills, so i decided i'd jump right into "just a 5k"... yes, i suppose jumping on the erg after 6 years of no-erging/rowing is similar to saying "hey i think i'll go run 3.1 miles" after not running for awhile. needless to say, my lower back and hips were very verbal in letting me know how out of shape they are.

the memories came flooding back as i pulled - legs, back, arms, arms, back legs - and i reminisced on the fun times (and the not-so fun ones). i even finished strong with a "power 10" (10 "strokes" as hard and fast as you can) which actually turned into a power 25 to knock the last 150m off the screen.

i'm clearly out of rowing-shape (my average hr was 170) but my running cardio helped me survive the workout. my rate wasn't anything to brag about (~24 to 26 strokes-per-minute) but i did get up to 31 or 32 spm in the power 10.

erg 5k: 22:40 (2:16/500m)

after that torture wonderful workout, i hopped on the treadmill for 5.2 miles. nothing exciting here; my hr was quite elevated for an easy run from the erg effort.

monday (11/30) pm run: 5.2 miles, 45:21 (avg pace 8:43), avg hr (172)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


happy belated thanksgiving all (of the americans), and happy regular weekend to everyone else.

like many others, i was treated to 3 lovely days off work, but not without making up for that by working the sunday before thanksgiving first. when i left kentucky last tuesday, i checked out of the hotel(s) for good! well, for now anyway, you never know.

today i moved in to my second home aka, a little apartment in ky. the rent is more than my mortgage (yippi), but that's probably because it's furnished and there's no lease involved. it's definitely not because it's in a more desireable area... please kentucky. it's not that bad, and at least i no longer have an hour commute (woohoo!).

anyway, since i'm no longer confined to a hotel room and microfridge, i had to go food shopping for the first time since february. it was scary. i tried to make a shopping list, but i have not had to plan a meal in 9 long months. how do you do this? is there a book out there on "how to food shop"? life was so much easier having breakfast made for you, eating out often, and heating up frozen veggies. i will miss that aspect of the hotel-life.

why is butter like $3 more than margarine? why is a single pot like $30? (why didn't i bring kitchen-y items with me?) food shopping stinks. i felt like i was going to have a breakdown in the store. i was very intimidated in the checkout line. the lady behind me was putting the pressure on me so i was trying to load the belt as fast as i could. i used to be better at organizing the different food types for checkout/bagging but not today.

question: i bought liquid dish soap - can i use that in the dishwasher? sparingly? (am i betty homemaker or what?) i used to be better at this grown-up/feed yourself/clean the house stuff, at least a little bit, i promise...

oh yeah, running. been doing a little of that; emphasis on the little.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

nyc marathon: paparazzi

so i kinda lied... one last blurb about nyc, in photos of course :)

times square board on race-eve

some eye candy for the ryan hall fans
{photo by mr. j}

it's like a game of where's waldo... can you find me?

too awkward to acknowledge the camera guy

hungry for cottage cheese anyone?
not wearing these shorts again until i do about 1,934,252 squats

isn't that an attractive face
look at my awful heel strike? how do i fix that?

where's waldo again

ahh the tricep flab and cottage cheese shot
{courtesy of mr. j}

less than a mile to go
{photo by mr. j}

with my (filipino!) ct cousins and mr. j post-race
{photo by mom}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ketchup (october 2009)

i'm way behind on logging my stats. this isn't the most exciting, especially since i haven't been logging many miles, but i want to keep a full account of everything on here for my own entertainment. i'll try to get interesting again soon...

week in review (10/26 - 11/01):
total miles: 46.65 (end of the taper + race day)
time spent running: ~ 5 hours 30 minutes
avg hr: 177 (on race day)
avg pace: 8:36/mile (avg temp: unknown*)
off days: 3

while i didn't run friday or saturday, i did do a good amount of walking around nyc and i totally counted those miles into my weekly total. otherwise, i think you've heard more than enough regarding the marathon so, moving on...

week in review (11/02 - 11/08):
total miles: 6.25 (hahahaha)
time spent running: ~ 1 hours 03 minutes
avg hr: 164.50
avg pace: 10:01/mile (avg temp: 56*)
off days: 5

basically i ran on saturday (the trail "race") and then a shorty on sunday. my legs and all felt fine throughout the week, but i figured some excessive rest wouldn't hurt the three+ weeks of nausea/lightheadedness i've had going on.

yes, i did go to the doc for all that. my blood work came back normal for the most part - one of my liver numbers was up a little but after running a second test they couldn't figure out what was up. i am assuming it was elevated because i had just run a marathon (sunday, had blood originally drawn the following tuesday). i've been mostly not-nauseous since taking it easy. however, now that i've resumed a little working out it likes to come back when my heartrate jumps up (to like "interval-hr range"). wonderful. i feel like i'm the person all those signs in the gym/disclaimers on workout dvd's is for -- "discontinue exercise if you feel lightheaded or nauseous". but i've run multiple marathons! i can't be that out of shape... right?

week in review (11/09 - 11/15):
total miles: 11.50 (wooooo)
time spent running: ~ 1 hours 41 minutes
avg hr: 163.50
avg pace: 8:50/mile (avg temp: didn't check*)
off days: 4

initially i wanted to run more, but i took extra advantage of the flexibility of post-marathon running instead. gotta enjoy the guilt-free days off while i can! plus my shins/calves were sore from the trail race. funny how i was more-sore from that race than the marathon.


october 2009
total mileage: 154.52
time spent running: 23:05:19
avg pace: 9:19/mile
days off: 8 (thank you nausea)
avg resting hr: 55.60
avg max hr: 173.31

Saturday, November 14, 2009

nyc marathon: mo' running, mo' problems

the final installment. yes, the end is near.

miles 15-16 (8:15, 8:44) - up and down the queensboro bridge.

my mile 15 split was slow mostly due to stopping to yell at the fam but no big deal, they get worse from here. the random cramping checked out, and in it's place came non-functioning throat. i tried to continue my water/gatorade rotation, but i struggled to actually swallow the fluids. i'd get frustrated and toss the cup without getting much down. i semi-successfully took a third gu before the bridge (i think a vanilla orange roctane). i know it wasn't the gu or fluids themselves causing the throat issues/gag reflex; i'm hoping it was just because of whatever random-issue i have (had?) going on.

i hit the queensboro bridge and the runners seemed to be even more crowded. i didn't notice the other "hills" of the course, but this one was definitely noticeable. with all the runners around, you couldn't tell where the climb ended. a few people were stopping and walking without moving out of the way so that slowed me down some. before i reached the crest of the bridge the 3:30 pace group caught up to me. it's leader was announcing "almost there" and such, and i wondered how i had gotten in front of them. the descent came, and i took advantage of it/tried to make up time for a slow climb. garmin must have been a little 'off' (from being on the lower deck of the bridge?) as it told me i was running 9:40+ pace on a generous downhill. oh well.

mile 16 ticked away - welcome to manhattan; only 10 miles to go. after a quiet mile on the bridge, there was suddenly a wall of people cheering and lining the race course as i descended onto the city streets. it was an awesome boost. i looped under the bridge and onto a wide first avenue, where the runners finally seemed to thin out a little.

miles 17-20 (8:03, 7:25, 8:01, 8:30) - room to run, boost in the bronx.

these miles weren't that eventful for me. first ave was wide so for the first time in the race i had space to run and access the water stops. i did see a sign somewhere in here that said "(some girl's name) what's wrong with golf?". true that, i thought to myself.

i continued warding off the nausea by tuning out the crowds, but i was still having a hard time with fluids. it could've been worse so i didn't dwell on it much; i was still getting a few sips down. my body was tired; it was getting tough to maintain pace, my legs were tiring and i was slipping. the people working the poland spring station were handing out cold sponges around mile 17 and although it wasn't hot i grabbed one anyway. i know i squeezed it over my head but i can't remember what else i did with it - maybe wiped my neck? i also took another gu in mile 19 - either vanilla orange roctane or vanilla bean (from rick).

the journey down first ave seemed long, but eventually there was a ghetto bridge to the bronx. for those of you wanting more details on the pavement - i remember this bridge had a good amount of potholes. as i crossed into the bronx i realized "plan b" was slipping away. a friend of mine works for the nypd in south bronx so i was trying to keep an eye out for him as i ran through, but i never saw him. the crowds were thin here, but you could still feel the support of the community from those that did come out. shortly after mile marker 20 a radio station had a sound system set up and had just started playing jay z's "empire state of mind". the timing could not have been better. unfortunately the boost to my legs didn't last long once i was out of hearing range.

miles 21-23 (8:22, 8:21, 8:02) - where is the freakin' park.

i'm not one to pour over course maps or elevation charts, so i basically had no idea where i was throughout the whole race. i was tired, thirsty and wondered where the stupid park was. finally, i could see trees. the crowds were energetic, supportive and growing thicker the closer i got to the park. i think i took another gu (vanilla bean from rick!) around mile 22, figuring a little boost couldn't hurt. i only got about half of it down thanks to my throat malfunction.

at the mile 23 station i grabbed some water and took a sip. then i threw up. i stuck my hand out like i was going to catch it and then realized what i was doing. i put my hand down as i decided it didn't need to be caught. this was pretty much the highlight of my day.

miles 24-26.2 (8:49, 8:20, 8:18) - hey, i didn't die.

finally in the park. i was so glad to be almost done i didn't even notice the "uphills" until i got to enjoy the little downhill after. there were a couple of small rollers, nothing too long or steep. the road was curvy, but then the course spit back out onto central park south where the crowd was nuts. my parents and j were saw me around 25.2; i didn't even have to stop and yell at them. there was a sign at 1/2 mile to go and i picked it up. or well, i tried to. at the 1/4 mile to go sign i went into my kick.

unfortunately i would not get to celebrate this marathon with my fun, fast, kick finish. my calves seized. i don't know if they were cramping, but they felt like they were going to tear from the bone. (not a good feeling, in case you were wondering.) i pulled back from my favorite sprint and coasted in to the finish. i decided i'd rather be able to walk than have muscles detached from the bone. i know i was making a pained face because of the "about to tear off" feeling, so when i saw the ny times had put up "faces at the finish" i had to check immediately to make sure i wasn't one of them (thank goodness i am not).

miles 26.3-30 - or so it felt.

after crossing the finish line, being "medaled", food-bagged and heat-sheeted, i hobbled over to the side to lean on a fence. my calves were tight, my left foot hurt like the dickens, my legs ached (not like that was a surprise) and i didn't want to shuffle through the finishing area - i was aching. i knew it wasn't a good idea, but i sat down anyway. i chatted a bit with the guys sitting near me and peaked into the food bag. an apple, a bagel, some almonds - all things i am allergic too, nice. wasn't hungry anyway so it wasn't a big deal. i gave my apple to a guy who had just dropped his and eventually got back up to hobble and find my ups truck. my legs were obviously stiff, but loosened up as i walked. the top of my left foot was hurting really bad. i hoped it was just sore from the run and racing shoes. finally i began to see the ups trucks. oh good, the first one is for bib numbers in the 65,000's and i only have to walk all the way down to the 8,000 truck. comforting. i saw more foreigners (i assumed) freely changing into their warmer clothes, but thankfully did not get a full tour like mr. italy. i saw one guy half-changed being toted away on a stretcher, yikes. after quite a bit of walking i eventually found my beloved ups truck. i told the two ups workers they should've fought for a better parking spot closer to the finish. the lady told me to make sure i take the subway back to the hotel (i ended up walking back from 85th to 39th, for the record).

i headed towards the park exit to find my parents, j, and aunt/uncle/cousins who had come down from ct to watch the race. the nausea, which had so graciously stayed out of the spotlight thus far, decided it was time to shine. i'm just glad it held off for 26.2 miles even if i did miss out on all the sights and sounds.

i had a few struggles in this race, and since i've never had them before i am inclined to chalk it up to whatever i was fighting in the month leading up to race day. well, the calf pain i might attribute to the hard pr running effort or maybe my racing flats since i only wore them on one training run a week prior to the race. the shoes were broken in, but maybe my legs were spoiled from the extra cushion and support of my regular training shoes. my left foot was sore the day after the race, but feels fine now so i'm sure it was just flared tendons/overuse.

all in all, it was a solid 6+ minute pr in great weather and less-than perfect health. so far i've hacked off 30 minutes from my first marathon back in 2006 and i'm not finished yet :o)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

nyc marathon: the better half

firstly, apologies for my nyc review taking forever. i got wordy with my pre-race festivities when i had mini breakthroughs from writer's block. i'm ready for this recap to be written already but i struggled with putting my thoughts down. other than that, i've been resting up from the actual marathon, that stupid trail race attempt and of course the nausea. being lazy may have fixed the nausea - it's been two days since my last spell! (knock on wood)

anyway, i'm trying to recall what i can of the race, but i think i had race-brain damage. i don't feel like i remember as many details as everyone else. somehow i've still managed to be wordy again, but i figure this is my "journal" of the race to look back on down the road so i let it go. thanks for taking an interest in the nitty-gritty details - at least i cut to the chase and didn't leave you hanging as to the end result this whole time right? :o)

miles 1-4 (8:13, 7:33, 7:50, 7:56) - practicing patience, the journey is long.

the cannon fired, frank sinatra's "new york, new york" began playing and i was off to the verrazano-narrows bridge. i attempted one quick picture of the start line on my phone before putting it in a ziploc bag and into the elastic pocket on the back of my tank top. i had decided to run with my phone in case of emergency and also in case i had to pull back the pace and needed entertainment (take pictures, tweet, text people). luckily i never needed it for either reason. it was annoying at first in my back pocket, but i got used to it.

most of the first mile was uphill, but it didn't seem that bad. i was surrounded by thousands of other runners and many more beneath my feet on the lower level. i thought about someone's question in the runner's world forum about whether the bridge would withstand the cadence and weight of thousands of people running over it (yeah because trucks don't weigh more, and everyone wasn't running instep). i saw a guy toss aside a brand-new fuel belt and noticed that half of his back was wet, i assumed one of his bottles malfunctioned. there were a couple people jumping up on the barrier in the middle of the bridge to take a quick photo, and people waving to the helicopters hovering near the bridge. it was crowded, but there was still quite a bit of mileage to cover and i tried to not get ahead of myself. i still worried about not-passing out.

soon enough, the first bridge had been conquered, and there were enthusiastic brooklyners greeting the runners as i arrived in the second borough. i ran along, reminding myself to stay relaxed. it was crowded and i focused on not-wasting energy weaving around people. mile 3 had the first water/gatorade station, and i began my standard water/gatorade rotation (water at one stop, gatorade at the next).

in mile 4 the blue wave (including me) merged with the green wave runners. this was a little unfair. the orange wave ran undisturbed on the left side of fourth avenue while the blue wave/right side doubled in numbers with the merge. a few people around me ducked under the caution tape dividing the road and crossed over to orange, but i continued to "conserve" energy (or at least, that's what i told myself i was doing). during this mile i thought "hey, 'only' 22 more miles to go, i ran that in training. no biggie."

miles 5-8 (7:53, 7:42, 7:39, 7:58) - signs of trouble, zoning out.

in mile 5 i began getting cramps in my left side/(fl)abs region. hello body, we still have 21 miles to go? you are too kind, really. they weren't terribly bad as i kept running through them, but they were annoying and a little painful. i took my first gu here, i think it was a blueberry pomegranate roctane. i did notice that the streets were lined with spectators, but i didn't dare take my eyes off the road/runner a few feet in front of me. i felt ok (nausea/lightheaded-wise) for the most part and didn't want to risk it. somewhere along fourth ave i passed a hispanic band that was trying to sing lady gaga's "just dance" in english. or maybe they were doing it in half english, half spanish, who knows. at least i could tell what song they were performing - "yust dance, da da do do ah yust dance".

somewhere in these early miles i skipped a water station thanks to my tour of nyc pavement, potholes and manholes (...from not being able to soak up the scenery). the water stop came up quickly and i didn't want to wrestle to get over to the side for a drink. it was still very crowded, but i maintained my no-weaving rule. the race was young, and i wanted to reach central park on my own two feet. i ran along, pretty much ignoring the crowds of spectators and unique city sites. sorry new york, but it had to be done. as i crossed the 10k chip strips (and all the others after it), i thought about all the people tracking the race and rooting for me.

at some point the course took a right hand turn and it got very congested. i can't remember if it was in mile 8, mile 10, or mile 12... (i know, accurate race recap right?). wherever it happened, the road got narrower (or so it seemed, anyway) and it also seemed to be a bit more residential. at mile 8 i began counting the miles until i saw my parents & j and said hey, only 5 more miles. then i realized i was doing the math wrong since they were going to be somewhere after mile 14. i've never been much for mathematics while running.

miles 9-14 (8:03, 7:37, 8:01, 7:57, 7:53, 7:58) - just running, family sighting.

ok so i'm running out of things to mention since i wasn't really paying attention to the race and there definitely wasn't anything memorable about the pavement. i had some more of that mile 5 cramping, but nothing i couldn't press through. i gu'd again around mile 10 (roughly planned to gu every 5 miles).

even though my parents said they'd be somewhere after mile 14, i began looking for them anyway in mile 12. the crowds were thick, and trying to scan them quickly wasn't easy. the sensory overload was coming on again so i quit looking (for the most part) and hoped they hadn't altered the plan. in mile 13 i found myself semi-scanning the crowds again. i'm hard-headed (we knew that), but didn't want to miss them. i was afraid if i did not see them i would get mad and not run well the rest of the race. i'd made it half-way, and i was still feeling ok for the most part. i wouldn't have minded feeling a little more energetic/springy, but i was still running and, more importantly, not having much nausea/feeling off.

i hit mile 14 and the pressure was on to scan the crowds. luckily they were a little thinner here so it was easier on my eyes (and prevented any dizziness). i spotted my mom and j standing on a bench and they obviously did not see me. i yelled to them and they did not turn their heads. i ran a few feet past them, stopped, turned around, and yelled their names. the people standing in front of them (on ground level) laughed. i probably gave them an annoyed look for not spotting me, but hello i had the hard job here. i waved and turned around to continue on. i didn't see my dad and figured he had gone off to the restroom or to get something to drink. it turned out he had been further up the road and was supposed to wave his hat in the air when he saw me so they could have their cameras ready. with all the runners going by, they said it was hard to pick out your person. i don't doubt that as it was still quite crowded, but i told j it was his fault i didn't break 3:30. ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

an important lesson in racing

i do not recommend attempting a race six days after a marathon. especially if said race is a trail race. a street race might be doable, but a trail race is definitely not. (kim, i don't know how you run marathon week after week!)

i "ran" a trail race on saturday, not even a week after the marathon. i couldn't help it - for some reason i want to feel like a "local" and run some weekend races in kentucky. i did not run monday through friday, so it was a grand experiment in many ways.

the race was "just" a 4-mile trail run. no biggie i thought, that'll take me "like 28 minutes". pssssssh. yeah, i rarely run trails. i majorly underestimated the ups, downs, leaves, mud and switchbacks. not to mention, my legs are still slightly tired. it was tough, very tough. i, uh, had to walk at times. in a four mile run. i walked. {hangs head}. at first i walked because the hill vertical wall i was climbing was kicking my butt, but later on i started to get the familiar "off" feeling and didn't want to have to admit to walking and puking in a 4-mile race.

i finished as the 4th place female, but it wasn't a big race. my time sure reflects how hard the course was and how tired my legs/body are. one guy recognized me from the horsey 5k and asked if i won again. (ha, yeah right.) i told him about nyc instead (my cop out). my lower back muscles are killer from the trail run, random.

running wild trail race - 4 miles, 41:59 per garmin (avg pace 10:30), avg/max hr (184/196)
yes, you are reading that right. see, hard! that's like my 5k heartrate. it was a "pr" though, by default. haha.

after taking this week (mostly) off, it's time to resume a little running. i logged a couple easy miles today, since it's world run day and all. emphasis on the easy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

nyc marathon: journey to the start

i woke up on race day before my 4:30 alarm. i wasn't feeling 100% as i had hoped, but i also wasn't feeling as bad as i have before. i was assigned to the 6:00am ferry, and we needed to leave the hotel a little after 5:00 to catch the subway down to the staten island ferry. as j and i walked to the subway station, we saw a few people returning from their halloween parties and passed a club that had a small crowd of people leaving. wow people, how do you have that kind of stamina to party til 5am? the one drink i had saturday night put me to bed! there were also a few halloween creatures on our train, but it was mostly filled with dedicated runners from a variety of countries. i sat next to a rather smelly non-runner man for most of the ride which didn't help the nausea much.

while on the train, j helped tape a couple of my homemade pace bands around my wrist. i know i can get frustrated when i fall off pace, so i had a few 'backup' plans to keep me from giving up mentally. in reality, my "a" and "b" goals were probably too lofty considering how much the nausea interfered with my training. when we got to the ferry station, j taped the third pace band on ("plan b") and i decided to go ahead and ditch "plan a". i was still feeling slightly nauseous, and i knew it wasn't race-nerves. i wasn't nervous about the race and my performance like i would be normally; i was still worried about surviving but that's caused by the nausea and not the other way around. with plans b (big pr), c (less as big of a pr), and d (pr by a couple seconds) around my wrist, i said goodbye to j and boarded the ferry. i found a seat facing sideways (i don't do well with riding backwards) and tried to ignore the not-always-smooth ride; which was not too soothing for the nausea. (seriously, this crap has been annoying!)

the ferry ride took a little under half an hour, and then it was a short bus ride to fort wadsworth. it was cold and dripping -- not raining and not drizzling, just the occasional drip -- but that didn't last long (thankfully, as i spent almost three hours sitting outside waiting for the race to start). after a slow walk to/through the security tent to show your bib number and clear plastic bag, i was officially in the runner's village. i went in search of some coffee; i wanted to expedite some business along and warm up a little from the inside. i found the dunkin donuts tent and then basically hung out. i visited the porta potties 3 times (i think?), sat down for awhile, tried rolling my left quad with a bottle of water (it had randomly started aching saturday afternoon and was still whiny), and listened to my pre-race playlist (all 3 songs). yes, 3 songs, on repeat, for a couple of hours; you may think i'm weird for that. it worked for disney (when there were only two songs); i added jay-z's "empire state of mind" for this occasion. i ate a couple of homemade oatmeal bars and people-watched. some of you were treated to this lovely photo of an italian man:

i know, i'm so lucky to have witnessed this in person. imaging sitting there, minding your own business, and then you look up and see frank and beans a few feet over. thanks italy! shortly after he applied his anti-chafe (i assume), a few of his countrymen also dropped trou to rub their legs too. most of them had on spandex shorts at least.

i got up to ask the medical tent for ibuprofen (for my quad) but they didn't have any. i dealt with crappy at&t service not letting me send/receive texts for most of the morning, but was able to get in touch with rick the marathonman. thank goodness at&t wasn't a complete fail because he was sharing a couple of much-needed gu's with me! i had packed 5 gu's when i left south carolina two weeks ago but could only find 2 when i was packing in kentucky for the race (oh how i love living on the road). while emailing with rick during the week about meeting up, he offered to bring a few to the race for me. how awesome are our fellow runners? :o) {thanks again rick for the gu's!}

a little before 9am, i headed back over to the ups trucks to turn in my bag and change into my racing flats. i was glad i had worn a different pair of shoes because it was wet and muddy in the village. i wore the same pair of saucony grid type a2's that i wore in the disney half marathon in january, the race that qualified me for nyc. i hadn't raced since then, so those shoes still had well under 50 miles when i put them on for nyc. i met rick, got the gu hookup, and we chatted as we headed to the water tent. i didn't realize how close it was to my starting time until i heard announcements that wave two runners could head towards their corrals. umm, i was supposed to be in wave 1! we said a quick good-bye, i made one last trip to the porta-potty, and hustled over to the starting corrals.

major cluster. there were people crowding the corral entrances which were blocked off by volunteers and i had no clue how to get in. i saw a couple guys climb up and over the 8-foot fence, and i knew i'd have to do the same. i noticed the fence was "secured" by being tied to the next section of fence, but what else could i do? i stripped my $10 walmart sweatpants, hopped the fence, and was caught by a guy on the other side. (thanks, random runner guy for making sure i didn't fall.) i looked around and most of the bib numbers were for corral g (i was corral d). no big deal, at least i had made it into my wave. although i arrived to the race site with three hours to spare, i still managed to almost-miss the start. go me. the crowd began shuffling forward as we were herded towards the start line.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

nyc marathon: pre-race - keeping my cookies down

j and i departed good ol' kentucky on what was probably the first flight out on friday morning. way too early for my likings. as usual, the nausea made itself present, but i continued to suck it up as i have for the past few weeks. as we were in the air, i thought about how flying probably wasn't the best idea if this turns out to be an inner ear infection. we landed in la guardia and found our ride to the hotel. our driver was an entertaining woman originally from colombia with excellent horn usage skills.

i wanted so badly to lay down when we got to the hotel (a nap often helps calm the nausea/crap feelings) but it was only lunch time and they claimed they had no rooms ready for early check-in. we left our luggage and walked however-many-blocks to the expo. like danica of chicrunner, i'm not that big on expo's. throw in a little sick-feeling + all the crowds, noise, lights... well, it was all i could do to get in, get my bag and get out. i did stop and get a quick pic of ryan hall signing autographs. the marathon edition jackets were nice, but i'm just not the kind of person that would ever wear it again. call me picky. i really couldn't handle the sensory overload so we left to get some lunch.

traveling with food allergies is so fun... just a bit of sarcasm there. i settled for subway, and then we went back to the hotel in hopes that they'd let us check in early still. thankfully, we got our room and i slept until dinner. i woke up feeling a little better, and we met some friends for dinner/hanging out at houndstooth. i gave in and had one drink, with the excuse that it'd help me fall asleep since i'd taken a solid nap earlier. luckily, it also seemed to soothe the nausea and i wondered if i'd need to sip on a brewsky during the race. {hey budweiser, sponsor me!}

view from the hotel room, pardon the non-stellar iphone camera quality

saturday... slept in! (til like 8) got up, walked around manhattan a bunch. probably ended up walking about 5-6 miles, which probably isn't the best pre-race day thing you can do. we stumbled upon the international friendship run/parade and hopped in for a bit. that led us to central park where we saw the finish line for sunday.

korea with funky music in the parade-y thing

this guy wore this for the international friendship run/parade and the actual marathon!

a smile at mile 26... for now

the nausea came/went throughout the day, and was strong around 3:30-4:00pm so i got some plain pasta with butter from espn zone. (i'd kill for "real" pasta but didn't know if the sauce was safe). that ended up being my pre-race meal as i didn't eat again later (i'm not sure what influence, if any, the early dinner had on the race). eventually got back to the hotel around 7 or 8 and got in bed for the night, though didn't fall asleep til maybe 11.

my blah-ness clearly wasn't going anywhere even though i'd taken it easy for a few weeks and focused on nutrition and sleep. i went to bed with more than a few nerves that i wouldn't survive the race. i was very nervous about collapsing and not finishing. i tried making a few jokes about it to j but he just kept telling me to shut up and that i'd live. since i've now survived, i can openly admit the nausea has been a major pain in the rear to deal with these past few weeks and i was really afraid i wouldn't finish.

up next: the actual race day! :)

about that nausea...
i finally went to a general practitioner today (tuesday). unfortunately she couldn't come up with any answers. they ran a urine test and found out i'm not pregnant (coulda told ya that doc). it also said something about sort-of low protein but that could be from concentration as i had used the restroom less than two hours prior. my ears have some fluid but they aren't inflammed. they collected a couple vials of blood and hopefully i should have those results back tomorrow or thursday. she asked if i had any other symptoms but i just don't. the only suggestions she could make were that 1) i had a form of one of the viruses going around that my body was fighting off for the most part or 2) the mold has supposedly been bad this season with all the rain and it could be what's making me feel bad. umm, how the heck am i supposed to fix it if it's the "mold" answer? i swear some days i think i'm allergic to being alive...

Monday, November 2, 2009

nyc marathon: cut to the chase

at last, the 2009 ing nyc marathon is over. i grew quite anxious to "get it over with" the past few weeks; i guess i got a little burnt out. it sure sounded like i had quite a few stalkers yesterday! i enjoyed being stalked-it helped me press on knowing you were "right there behind me".

briefly, here are my stats:

3:33:02 / 8:08 pace
a 6:22 pr
184 age group
794 females
5897 overall

full recap to follow. for now i gotta enjoy an extra day off work!

marathon #7 down and out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

chasing paula radcliffe

i'm out on a little run through the five boroughs. while i'm gone, curl up with some mix my granola and tune in to universal sports (or nbc at 2pm est) to catch some of the action!

you can get 10% off any purchase at mix my granola with code "KENYANS". as far as i know, this offer does not expire.

[disclaimer: i do not receive any benefit or kickback from mix my granola on any of your purchases or discount code-uses.]

see you at the finish, save me some m&m's!

"these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you" -hova

Saturday, October 31, 2009

summary of training - nyc marathon

the ing nyc marathon is hours away. i am excited, but not too nervous... just yet. maybe tomorrow morning. i still need to figure out exactly how i'll get from the hotel in times square to the ferry but that's a minor detail.

this is a summary of my training for the 2009 nyc marathon, a journey from may 18th, 2009 through october 31st, 2009. i'm comparing some of the stats to my training before the atlanta marathon (my bq, nov 2008) which i ran about 16 weeks into training for the goofy challenge with a mini-taper --

# of runs - 145 (usually 5-6 runs/week)

miles - 1,114.29 (atlanta: 710)

average mpw - 48.21 (atlanta: 44.03)

highest weekly mileage - 68.16 (atlanta: 58)

runs missed due to injuries/sickness - 17 (some laziness; wisdom teeth surgery; recent nausea) (atlanta: 1 day); another injury-free round of marathon training!

# runs of 15 miles or more - 11 (atlanta: 7 runs over 13 miles)

hours of running - 164 (atlanta: 104)

average pace - 9:00 (atlanta: 8:44)

races - 2 and a dns (va beach rnr half, horsey 5k, dns bourbon chase)

pr's - 0, :(

quality workouts - 21 of 36 workouts (yeah about that)

other workouts: (aka, major slacking)
bike - nope
yoga - 5 times (2hrs)
abs - 19 times (crunches/planks/fit deck)
pushups - 2,532
you have to admit - those are pathetic stats for yoga and abs over a period of 24 weeks/168 days! definitely need to attack the non-running workouts.

compared to atlanta, i believe i have a lot of potential for a nice pr. i've run many more miles, though i don't feel like i ran as many speed workouts this time around. the main question is whether or not i can stave off the crappy-feeling on race morning. we'll see how it goes down.

i have a couple time goals in mind, depending on whether i'm having a 110% kind of day or not. the most important goal is to enjoy the run, atmosphere and sights and hopefully stay dizzy-free long enough to find the finish line.

thanks for all the good-lucks and for following along the past 24 weeks of ups and downs. see you on the other side!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

keeping the taper exciting

in case things haven't already been crazy enough for the past 5 or so months (long days, lots of driving, little time for myself/to relax), i hit a deer this morning. plowed it down.

in my defense, i was driving even safer than normal. i was right at the speed limit (55mph) and i wasn't even looking at my phone. suddenly, i saw an object dashing into my headlights. the deer crossed the four-lane, divided highway from my left, and time seemed to stand still as it galloped directly in front of my car. it was freaky, especially since it's pitch black dark out at 6am (in the country, no lights). for a split second i thought of zombies (random) until i recognized that it was a deer. i braked, but i didn't slam on them. loud boom. the front right side of my car slammed into the right hind leg of the deer, and i started crying almost immediately. i'm such a girl sometimes.

i didn't know the proper protocol for hitting a deer so i continued on to work. apparently you're supposed to pull over, call the police and they'll write up a report. if you see me on america's most wanted... you'll know why.

it could've been much worse. apparently deer come flying through your windshield sometimes. i was lucky to not hit it straight on as it would've mangled the front end. my right headlight case is cracked, but the lights still work. the front bumper has a couple cracks, but it's not immediately noticeable. a piece is missing off the side bumper and the side panel is dented above the right tire. some of the guys at work gave their manly input of $1000 estimates for the repairs - no biggie, that's what insurance is for. so far, state farm has been very helpful and easy to work with. (let's hope i don't have to bad mouth them when i get the car to the shop!)

i was made fun of all day by the guys at work - getting called the "deer slayer" and hearing tales about how the baby fawns were standing by the mama deer saying "wake up mom". one of them also drew me a picture:

pure skills. good thing he drew a circle around my head so i would know i was stick figure.

i used to give the guys at work a hard time for hunting innocent deer. now i think i might ammo up and join them (not really... but it is annoying that they are stupid and charge out into the road).

in actual running news -- i took monday off because i was exhaused. i spent 9 hours trying to make a 5 hour drive on sunday (thank you rockslide at the nc/tn border) and driving, you know, is very taxing. i really don't get how sitting in the car makes you feel so tired but it does.

tuesday i was so not in the mood to run. i am all too ready to milk the "i'm recovering from a marathon so i don't have to run this week" excuse. i managed to slog out 3 piddly miles. whatev, it's taper.

today (wednesday) i got in what was probably my first ever fartlek run. i know you're supposed to maintain some of intensity while decreasing mileage in a taper, but i didn't want to induce the "off" feeling. i settled for a semi-push effort, successfully reminding the legs that they can turn over and practicing some random, positive self-talk (relax your arms, breathe easy, surge - you'll feel better, etc). it turned out to be a nice little 5 mile run.

Monday, October 26, 2009

testing, testing, 1-2-3

to sum it up - last week was pretty boring, but i like to talk about my boring running anyway.

week in review (10/19 - 10/25):
total miles: 32.25 (guess i could technically call it taper and not laziness)
time spent running: ~ 4 hours 40 minutes
avg hr: 154.50
avg pace: 8:51/mile (avg temp: 60.25*)
off days: 2

monday - off. it's no secret, i'm still not feeling 100% (and i'm quite nervous about it). i felt ok monday, but thought a day of rest wouldn't hurt after the 20-miler since i've been feeling like junk anyway.

tuesday - easy 7 miles. most of it in the dark. i hate winter.

wednesday - race test workout, take 1. came home from work to a plugged-in-yet-dead garmin. wimpy excuse, but i took it. easy 3 miles instead.

thursday - race test workout, take 2. ran my warmup miles over to the track to discover there was a jv football game going on. i swear i looked online and it said @whoevertheopponentschoolwas. easy 40 minutes instead. found a tennis ball which kept me entertained, but when i'd bounce and catch it while running i'd get that lightheaded/dizzy/nauseous feeling having to look up at it. what is wrong with me :(

friday - easy 5 miles before work. half-asleep.

saturday - off. county cross-country meet all morning; wasn't really digging a run afterward. the team i sorta help out with (more so when i'm actually home) swept first place in all four categories - girls varsity, girls jv, boys varsity and boys jv. overhead some kids from another school ask "why did we even bother coming".

on a side note, the boys xc coach and his wife are expecting. he's missed some practices lately because of it, and when he told his team one of the middle schoolers asked "expecting what?" so naive. :)

sunday - race test workout, take 3. finally handled. 3x2 miles at threshold pace. initially i told myself i'd do the first set at my starting goal mp, and pick it up for the 2nd and 3rd sets, as i have been planning on starting out slower and speeding up as the race goes on. it's quite the intimidating thought really, i'm supposed to be xx seconds/mile faster 20 miles into the race? oh ok, sure. anyway, my brain wasn't functioning and i went out too fast and basically all 3 sets were screwed up.

1st set - 7:18, 7:24 (no, i have no desire to run a 7:18 pace.)
2nd set - 7:35, 7:38 (this would've been ok if i'd stuck to the original plan and not gunned threshold pace in set 1)
3rd set - 7:07, 7:28 (nope, won't be handling a 7:07 either)

guess i shouldn't plan on negative splits.

i was also beginning to feel that ever-familiar "off"/lightheaded feeling in the 2nd set. grrr. this was supposed to be a "race test" to see how i might handle running harder vs my standard easy pace (which is manageable).

the "off" feeling first came on after a hard interval workout a few wednesday's ago, and i'm rather concerned about trying to run hard this weekend. i have some goals i'd like to hit of course, but if it comes down to it - i'll pull back and try to enjoy a jaunt through the city. i'd rather run slow than drop out, pass out, or worse... i won't lie though, the possibility of training for 5 months and having to run a marathon easy kinda stinks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the beginning of the end

well last week was not much to talk about. i rested hardcore, saving up for an attempt at one last long run, and actually started to feel better.

week in review (10/12 - 10/18):
total miles: 39.24
time spent running: ~ 5 hours 45 minutes
avg hr: 159.33
avg pace: 9:00/mile (excluding walks; avg temp: 55*)
off days: 1

monday - easy 30 minutes on the treadmill, theory being i wouldn't have to twist around to check for traffic. i was finally starting to feel better after a few visits to the chiro and was a bit robotic for fear of "undoing" the adjustment. i know, that's not how it works, but i was still a little stiff-neck.

tuesday - 30 minute walk on the treadmill. look at me! taking it easy. i took it serious - it helps that nausea/dizziness is the worst feeling ever. i wanted to feel better for good.

wednesday - easy 45 minutes on the 'mill. feeling a little better each day.

thursday - 30 minute walk on the treadmill. yes, the walks were definitely tallied up in my mileage.

friday - off; loooong day of work + driving.

saturday - big day. easy 60 minute run outside! a whole hour, and not on the treadmill. felt alright, other than the fact that it was freakin' freezing.

sunday - even bigger day. 20 miles easy. was not pretty. it was a little disheartening to see a slow pace and feel the way my legs felt later in the run. i'd had a very light week and my legs couldn't have been much fresher, but i definitely got tired/achy around mile 16. i was glad to have pulled out one last 20-miler though.

it'd been 3 weeks since i had done laundry, so all my 'fancy' running clothes were tied up sunday. i threw on some old soccer shorts from like 1998, a long-sleeved under armor shirt, and a (cotton) t-shirt from high school (circa 2001). it was kind of nice to go "back to the basics"; like lance and his bike, it's not about the clothes.

it seems like the training plan has gone from being crumpled up on the desk to the bottom of the cross-cut shredder. however, it's officially taper time; i can do easy! less than two weeks to go; i've never been good at countdowns. do you count the present day? do you count the day of the event? oh the confusion.

Monday, October 12, 2009

one good run

week in review (10/5 - 10/11):
total miles: 26.33 (yeah...)
time spent running: ~ 3 hours 44 minutes
avg hr: 157.00
avg pace: 8:45/mile (avg temp: 60.3*)
off days: 4 (yes, 4)

at least i covered the marathon distance in a decent time, it just took all week?

i took monday off thinking it would be my scheduled rest day for the week. i sure didn't plan for an insane amount of nausea/whatever to take over for a long, extended weekend? i don't wish it on anyone. suckssss.

i'm feeling better, but i'm not 100%. the chiro helped - i could definitely tell i felt better, but then after attempting an easy run on saturday i slipped backwards on my progress. i spent a lot of time in bed saturday/sunday watching hbo (madagascar 2, marley & me, kung fu panda), random movies on lifetime, saved, knocked up, watching hbo replay the same movies... so i'm pretty sure i got the "take it easy and rest" part down. i went back to the chiropractor today to get realigned, again felt better, and limited myself to a 30-minute easy test run this afternoon. it was alright, but not normal still. today i also started to think that part of this nausea has to do with my less-than stellar nutrition lately. i can't remember exactly what i've shoveled down over the past week but i know i've been rather lenient on the crappy-carb intake. here's to more greens/vegetables and less chocolate/chips/pretzels.

i really only got in one good run last week. my wednesday quality workout went well, until i got "sick" anyway. the workout was supposed to be 3x(1 mile interval pace with 1 minute easy), 3x(1000 interval pace with 2 minutes easy), and 3x(400 repetition pace with 3 minutes easy), plus warmup/cooldown. the nausea/crapness kicked in during the last 1000m so i nixed the 400's, but i figured i'd gotten through the meat of the workout anyway.

3 x 1 mile: 6:43, 6:37, 6:36 (goal pace: 6:31-6:40)
3 x 1000m: 4:11, 4:14, 4:10 (goal pace: 4:03-4:15)
the 1000m's were actually 0.64, so they're supposedly even (slightly) better than they look.

i do wonder if this workout pushed me over the edge, as i haven't quite been on top of my quality workouts, but it didn't feel like death. it wasn't easy of course, especially with such short recovery periods. it was more of a comfortable strain, if that makes any sense.

originally i was hoping to hit 55-60 miles this week, but i'm just going to play it by ear instead. i really want to get in one last "true" long run this weekend, so hopefully i'll feel better by then.