Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Madness, and Even A Bit of Running!

Sorry for the lack of bloggage; between holiday fiestas and finishing up school before the vacation / heading to FL, there's just been no time. And I mean, no time.

Check out what could have been my schedule this past weekend, had I attended every event:

AM breakfast with out-of-town friend
2pm one-act festival OR movie with friend
5pm cocktail reception for one-act festival OR movie (same one from before -- either see the play festival and skip the cocktail party for the movie, or see the movie first and hit the festival's cocktail party)
7:30pm another movie with another friend
11:00pm another cocktail party

AM brunch with family
4:00pm to NJ for friend's performance in Festival of Song followed by party OR co-op holiday party

I can't keep up with all that merriment!!!!

Everyone is leery of planning anything for the actual weekend of Xmas, thinking that folks will be busy, so everyone plans every holiday event for the weekend prior. We all know that everyone would be more than happy to attend a cocktail party on, say, December 24, because they either have nothing to do (like me) or want an excuse to get away from family obligations for a few hours. Couldn't we maybe spread the merriment out over, say, two months, like we do for the shopping season?

Anyways, it's been not the most productive week of running, but a few observations I'll share. First off, I'm really happy with my new speed -- my pace has dropped to somewhere in the 8ish minutes per mile range, which just continually amazes me. I'm also just breaking through in the steno speed, too -- I'm pretty sure I passed my 180 jury charge and I think I may have passed a 180 lit today, too. Again I marvel at the connection between steno speed and running speed. Is it a mind-body thing, a body-mind thing, or what? I don't know, and as long as it keeps working, I'll take it however it comes.

I find that most of my runs these days are feeling like tempo runs, which are runs that are done at a moderately difficult pace. I'm not pushing, everything feels great, but I'm breathing harder, so I'm moving faster than I think/feel I am. In the latest podcast episode of Fdip, guest host John Ellis talks about base training and how we should build a lot of slow miles in order to progress. I totally agree, but I wonder if this whole year has been my base training? I was not a turtle, but I spent the majority of the year at a 9:30-10:00 minute mile pace, gaining my speed only weeks before the marathon. This would mean that my current pace, or maybe a little slower, would be my new base pace. Again I swear I'm not consciously pushing myself when I run, except when I'm nearing the top of a hill. Here's the thing: I know I am exerting myself because my breathing is harder, but my perceived level of exertion in all other respects is much lower. Anyone else have that happen to them?

Tomorrow night is the first annual Jingle Bell Fun Run around the Central Park reservoir, in memory of NYRR swim coach Doug Stern. Doug passed from kidney cancer this year. I never took classes from him, but he was a good friend of coach Jeff's, and a lot of Teammates took his classes, so we're coming out to participate. A $10 donation -- 100% of the $$ will go to MSKCC's kidney cancer research unit -- buys you a jingle bell, which we'll all wear and jingle as we run around the Res. Untimed, unsupported, just a lot of people running. As it should be. I'll take pix.

I need to start thinking about the Miami Half Marathon, my next big event. I already got the email registration slip that has to be brought to the expo. I'm a little concerned that my longest run since the marathon has been 9 miles, I should probably get a couple of tenners, or even an 11 in over the next few weeks. I wanted to wait until I was down in Florida, to be in the correct weather for the race. I also feel that at this point in my running I don't need to train so hard for a half-marathon, although I do need to train. Once I get down there, I need to add maybe one more day of running, and do at least 2 more long runs. My best half time was 1:58 in 2005, for the Brooklyn Half (my first ever!) I'm thinking I may be able to top that. Place your bets!!!

Out of all of the things I did manage to squeeze into my crazy weekend, one of the highlights was heading out to NJ to hear my friend Greg sing at his church's Festival of Song. This wasn't a church service, just holiday songs. Greg had three solos and sang with the choir, plus there were other solos and also a few instrumental numbers. Very beautiful, and Greg's got an amazing, amazing voice! Who knew? Well, nearly everybody else knew. I had never been able to see him perform before except for one time at one of his parties. We begged and begged him to sing, and he agreed to one song on the condition that everyone turn around and not look at him. Seeing him sing Sunday afternoon, you'd never think he was shy about singing. He sang one of my favorite Xmas songs (yes, even us Jews have our favorite Xmas songs!) "I'll Be Home For Christmas." Afterwards, back to his and Tim's apartment for munchies and pomegranite cosmopolitans. Oh, did I mention that Laura decided to bake cupcakes to bring over to Greg and Tim's house? These dastardly delights are from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook; the batter alone contains three sticks of butter. I ate two. And licked the bowls for both the cupcakes AND the frosting (one pound of confectioners' sugar.) The recipe should include instructions to call your doctor after consuming.

All right, must finish laundry and watch the last "Ugly Betty" DVD. Love that show! Next post will be from sunny FLORIDA!!



Sarah Jo said...

I hate how busy this season gets, too. Starting tonight, I have some place to go or something to do every day until Christmas. And it doesn't stop there. The following weekend I have another Christmas/family thing, and then there's New Year's, and then there's my hubby's birthday. Ugh! I'm going to gain twenty pounds in fourteen days!

Marci Glotzer said...

I hear you! Between the cocktails and the munchies and the dinners, there just ain't enough miles in me to counteract all that food and drink.