Saturday, September 15, 2007

All You Can Accomplish Before 7am on a Saturday, plus a plug for Longevity Health and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!

Dear Friends,

The most recent addition to the Fred's Team Honor Roll is...

Fred Steaderman

making the grand total for the Aubrey Fund:


Don't you want to join the Honor Roll? Please click here to be taken to my Fred's Team webpage!

Today was quite a day. I had more stuff happen to me before 7am than most people have in a day. Nothing major (sort of,) just all of life's annoyances piled up at once.

Quick recap of My Week in Running (and other things, as if there is anything else in my life right now...)
Tuesday the Team did 12 more repeats of Cat Hill. Just what I wanted after Saturday's hill-a-palooza -- hills! However, it actually turned out to be a little easier than last week's. First set of 3 repeats easy, 2nd set medium, 3rd medium-hard, 4th easy. This time I actually felt that I followed directions. If you look at my times for the repeats on the sidebar, each set was about 10 seconds faster than the previous ones (as opposed to 5 seconds last week.) It was tough, but it did feel good.

Let me just take a minute to publicly thank Meat Loaf, because there's nothing like "Bat Out Of Hell" to power you up a hill.

Thursday I needed to work out on my own, because it was Rosh Hashanah, and also my father's birthday, and I was meeting my parents for dinner at their friends' daughter's house. So I did a stair workout on the Belvedere steps all by my lonesome. Now, last time I did a Belvedere step workout by myself was last June, and I remember this because it was a particularly disastrous one. I had eaten a big Italian lunch, featuring olives and garlic, and decided to follow it up with a step workout on one of the hotter days of the year. I only got about ten minutes in before I got sick. If you've ever been to the Belvedere steps, it's surrounded by a stone fence and there is no convenient place to, um, be discreet, especially since they were renovating underneath the transverse so half the plaza was blocked off. There are cut-outs in the stone fence, and I ended up trying desperately to barf through one of the cut-outs. Meanwhile, it being June, many bridal parties were getting their pictures taken right by the steps. I hope they checked their proof sheets carefully. Can you imagine? "Oh, look, honey, here we are by the steps, and ... what is that woman DOING over there?"

This workout was nowhere near as memorable. Managed to do 8 sets of things instead of 6, probably because I wasn't pushing myself as hard as I could have/should have.

So, dinner was lovely, there were about 25 people there, and enough food to feed 100 (welcome to the Jewish holidays, where our motto is, "we suffered, we triumphed, let's eat.") Possibly the best red cabbage salad, kasha varnishkas and carrot tsimmes I've ever had, and the organic sweet potatos were so sweet they tasted like butternut squash. And tons of other things, plus an apple cobbler that was TO DIE FOR. Good thing I run!!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!! For his birthday I got him an acupuncture pack from Longevity Health, the place where I get my acupuncture and chiropractic from. They have the full array of services, from skin care to massage to Pilates, and the best staff in NYC. I'm telling you, check them out. Did I mention that each chiropractic session comes with a half-hour massage? They literally saved my ass last year while training for marathon #1. Click here to go to their website.

Which brings me to today, and the NYRR Long Training Run in Central Park. It's a paced run (there are pace groups from sub-7:00/mile to 10:30/mile) where you can run from 6 to 20 miles, depending on your training schedule. One full loop, 2 5-miles, and a 4-mile. On the 103rd St. transverse NYRR sets up bagels, bananas, PowerGel and Gatorade, and there are 3 water stops along the loops. You start at the transverse, do a full loop, hit the transverse, get Gatorade and such, recoup for about a minute, then back out with your pace group. It was MUCH better organized than last year's. There were people with megaphones calling out the groups that were leaving, kept the groups going in a good order so that there were very few mash-ups between slower groups and larger ones, and basically kept things running smoothly.

So I woke up bright and early. It was cool and rainy, so I had my raincoat, and my Ipod sheathed in plastic, and I thought wow, I'm so prepared.

I was on my way to the bus when I realized I had forgotten to take my AirAide, the herbal supplement that I credit with helping me get through the pollen and humidity of the summer. I know, sounds stupid, but it's a race day ritual and I haven't done a long run without them. Yet.

Then I waited for the bus for over 40 minutes. It never came. (I was trying to take the Madison Ave. bus. Shoulda gone via the West Side.) So I had to take a cab.

Getting out of the cab and walking towards the Park, I'm feeling something weird on my leg. So I look down, and voila, my compression shorts have split right at the crotch. On both sides.

So I get to the baggage area, get some extra safety pins and pinned them closed as best I could. I had an extra bandaid, which I put on one thigh, to hopefully help with the chafing that I knew would occur.

And as the coupe de grace, I put a sucking candy in my mouth as I'm heading to the start, and I feel around in my mouth and -- sure enough -- I've lost a filling. A big one. The good news is, it's in my wisdom tooth (they were never removed, they came in with no problems) so I guess the tooth can just be removed. The bad news is, it's Saturday morning. I've got to wait until Monday to get it taken care of. It doesn't hurt, it's just annoying.

Like I said, nothing major, just all of these little things -- and all before 7am. Come on!!

HOWEVER, the run was great. It was sprinkly out, and if it's possible to be both cold AND humid, it was. I stuck with the 9:30 group. I tend to start out a little too fast (like around 9:15) and then by mile 10 I'm running out of gas. I wanted to really stick with the group and see how I could do. After last week's 20, this week was 16.

First loop -- six miles, felt great. Had to stop at mile 3 for the bathroom, but managed to pick up another 9:30 group when I got out (there were 4 pace groups for that speed, so I went from #1 to #4.) Time for miles 1-6: 58:00.

Second loop -- five miles. Started running with a guy named Mark who is also on the Team (he wasn't wearing one of our shirts, though.) He's a doctor at MSKCC. We talked a lot, which was great, but I'm not so good at talking when I run. So it was a new experience for me, and it kept the second loop fresh. It also started getting less humid, but still cool and drizzly. Perfect!! Mark and I ended up passing our pace group at the 2nd water station and getting up to the tail end of the #3 9:30 pace group, so we went out for loop #3 with them. Time for miles 7-11: 47:30.

Third loop -- five miles. Getting tired. Breathing was fine, legs were getting leaden. I noticed that I flex my foot when I run uphill, which makes the back of my leg hurt. Concentrated on keeping my feet relaxed on the uphills. Mark and I were still running together. He was still strong, so I had to push to keep up with him. I really wanted to walk a little bit, but no way, not when I'm running with Mark!! So for consolation I stopped at all the water stations on this loop, for a few precious seconds of walk time. Also, the Team newsletter this week was about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to find your true race pace, so I wanted to push (and yet I totally didn't want to push.) After last week, 16 miles was like chump change. Still, it was some pretty exhausting change. AND...miles 12-16: 46 minutes! The first time this season I did a negative split (running faster the second half than the first.) Jeff would be so proud!!

Grand total: 2:31:33!

The only negative thing I'll say about the run is that I thought there'd be Gatorade out on the course, and not just on the transverse. I had eaten breakfast, but not enough, and I only had a PowerGel at the second pit stop. A Gatorade at one of those stops would've been nice.

No post-run ice bath today, odd after last post's tribute, but I just wanted to get clean and nap. Which I did. And now, here we are, avoiding steno practice and watching "Design Star." PS: I'm testing for 140 now. Passed all my 130s! But just can't get that last burst of speed for a solid 140. Gee, she said, admitting to blowing off her practice, I wonder why? I will get to it. If this week of good running has taught me anything, it's that you have to push outside your comfort zone to make progress. I've been practicing this week, but I haven't been pushing. I'm remaining at my steno comfort level. It's time to push. After this next episode!!

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