Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On My Soapbox, More Lessons Learned, NYRR Long Training Run, and What is a Fartlek?

A few weeks ago, Liam's mom Gretchen asked everyone if they knew a way to get a hold of Mike Rowe, as "Dirty Jobs" is one of Liam's favorite shows. She hoped Mike would be able to come and visit Liam. I know a few friends who work in TV, and they gave me a number, who led me to someone, who led me to someone, who led me to someone, who led me to someone...anyway, I gave the info to Gretchen, and I don't know if the following picture is the result of those phone calls or something else, but does it matter?

Look at that smile!!

I haven't been receiving any donations lately, so the amount I've raised so far for the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research in honor of my little friend Liam Witt remains at
which is a great number, but I want to double it! Triple it! Nay, TENFOLD it!!

Can you help me reach that goal?

Remember, the ultimate goal is to eradicate cancer. But we can't do it just by wanting it. It takes money. And the way I raise money is by doing stuff like running marathons for Fred's Team and having amazing people like you donate money to the Aubrey Fund, either because they believe in the cause, or support me no matter what stunts I pull (thanks, Mom and Dad!) or just think it's funny that a former pack-a-day smoker who would drive a car from the bedroom to the bathroom if she could fit one through the front door is running marathons. (PS: I don't "buy" my marathon entry through Fred's Team, I run the races to earn it, so that someone else can use the guaranteed entry and raise additional $$ for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. )

Almost off the soapbox. Here's how you can help:
-you can click here and make your secure donation via credit card.
-if you'd rather send a check, just leave me a comment and I'll be happy to email you my address and the check info.

Regardless of whether or not you can donate, please please please pass my blogsite (or merely my donation page if you find my blitherings dull) around to all your friends and family -- make me a viral sensation!! The more people get involved, the closer we get to a cure.

Onto the running portion of the show!!

Being the good little runner that I am (not,) I realized that I do need to get my arse back into the gym and start weight training again. Two years ago, the combination of weight training and biking on some of my days off from running led me to my PR marathon, and since my mom says I have to run 3:53, I thought it prudent to train like I did two years ago.

The day to pick weight training back up is not, however, the day before a 14-mile run.

Why must I learn every lesson the hard way?!?!?!

Saturday was the Long Training Run #1, an untimed run (not a race) in Central Park, where you can run between 6-20 miles, depending on where you are in your training. All loops start and end at the 102 Street transverse. You start with a six-mile loop (the full Park,) two five-mile loops (cutting off the Great Hill) and one four-mile loop (cutting off at the 72nd Street transverse.) It's broken down into pace groups, each group led by a member of the NY Flyers running club, and they do an excellent job of carving order out of the running chaos.

Walked up to the transverse and met my Teammates at bag check at 6:30am. Coach Ann advises me that where I am in my training, 13 or 14 would be good. I decide I'll do 14 -- start the third loop and walk it back once I hit Cat Hill. Or something like that. Was teased about bringing a Fuel Belt, but if you recall from this run last year -- and really, why wouldn't you? -- my only complaint last year was that there wasn't enough fl;uid on the course, and Gatorade was only available on the transverse. I sweat like a moose, and need all the electrolytes I can get.

Get into my 9:30 pace group and set my Nike+. I've got a few episode of Phedippidations saved up (an excellent running podcast, check it out!!) And we're off!

Sort of.

I had no hint of soreness as I was walking to the start -- and you'd think that in those two miles, I might have felt something -- but as soon as I started running, I knew I was in trouble. This was not the soreness of legs that just needed a few minutes to warm up. These were legs that were done for the day. Though I had only done two sets of the leg machines on the Nautilus circuit, and with barely any weight on them, just enough to recognize that there was weight, it took its toll. The correct term, as I stated previously, is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS. The term I prefer is Holy Sh*t. Or Oh, Crap. Any fecal-related term, actually.

First loop -- spent most of that time fervently hoping that the soreness would, in fact, go away. No such luck. Fell behind the pace group fairly quickly. Also, the pace leaders don't walk the water stations, which dropped me further back. Decided during the first loop that I had runner's knee, even though I'm not exactly sure what it is.

Second loop -- After a slug of Gatorade and a stop in the loo, decided to drop back to the 10:00 group, but instead of waiting for them to come in, I went out at the tail end of a 9:30 group. My own 9:45 group. Funny, even though cutting off the Great Hill and running the lower loop makes for an easier five-miler, I prefer it the other way -- keeping the Great Hill and cutting off the lower loop. Don't know why. Masochist? Spent most of this loop trying to decide what I was going to do. I was fully ready to stop after 11 and call it done, but that nagging voice in my head kept saying no. I figured as long as I didn't have to run Cat Hill a third time, I would be okay to keep going, and spent much brain time devising a route. I would go out for the third loop and cut off at the transverse instead of continuing down the West Side -- no, that means I have to run Cat Hill again to get the 14 miles in. Okay, how about we do this? Or this? All that time, my body was saying, "Shut up and just stop at 11." And I was starting to listen. Decided to take a bit of a break at the 102 Street transverse and see how that made me feel...

...until I got there, and saw a group going out, and before I could realize what I was doing, I went out with them for #3.

I think my mind knew that if I took a break, that would be it for the day.

I started out loop #3, and decided to just make it 1 1/2 miles out-and-back, for 14 total. However, as I approached the mile 12 marker at the south end of the Reservoir, legs said, "done," mind agreed, and I stopped. I stood there, panting, for a minute or two. I saw the hill just past the Res and decided that I didn't want to go down it if it meant I'd have to go back up it. I could either cut across the Res and continue back up the east side to the finish (which I should have done) or simply go to just before the hill, then turn around and go back from whence I came (which I did do, because it was more downhilly than the other way.)

Thirteen miles in 2:10. A ten-minute pace. And a mile shorter than I wanted.

Not a great day, but I'm glad I did it.

Still sore now, but managed to get a speed workout in yesterday morning. When not with the Team (we haven't started Tuesday-Thursday workouts yet -- next week!) I do fartleks of the lower loop, using lampposts as the markers. "Fartlek" translates to "speed play," and it's a loose kind of speed workout where you use whatever markers you choose, and you go fast from marker 1 to marker 2, then recover to marker 3, then fast to marker 4, etc. etc. There are enough lampposts on the lower loop to get a good speed workout in, and I highly recommend fartleks as a great speed workout, and the lower loop of Central Park as a great place for NY runners to do them.

I did two loops. I started by doing the fast sections at barely pushing the pace, and by the middle of the second loop I was running them at an all-out sprint. I had to keep stopping for water, because I was panting so much my throat kept getting dry, and I also needed the extra recovery time between fast bits. I think this is a good thing -- Coach Jeff said that I would need to push past my comfort zone, and that might wear me out to the point where I'd have to stop and rest. While that wasn't such a triumph with the long run, for this workout, I felt good about having to stop.

Speaking of pushing past comfort zones, I don't have to be at work until 1pm today, so it's off to the gym for further punishment. More anon!

1 comment:

NY Wolve said...

Good Luck -- I am training too. I ran with Freds Team several years ago, and the seeing the kids on First Ave is just a priceless memory.