Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Honor Roll Begins Anew, plus the Scotland Run 10K, The Run as One 4-Miler, and did I mention I love Vibrams?

With the start of the 2010 training season comes the start of the


But first, apologies to all those amazing people from last year, who I never sent a thank-you card to. I'm going to be a lot better this year, thanks to MSKCC's new and much-improved website. If there's a way to get at you 2009 folks, I will soon!! I promise!!

And now, without further ado, the first person on the 2010 Honor Roll is...


That should remind you all to go get a check-up before starting any exercise regimen.

Dr. Thornton is closely followed by

bringing the total going so far to the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Research in honor of Liam Witt so far to a cracking
That's a great start, but we've got miles to go -- literally!

I will repeat and reiterate my promise slash threat to run both the NYC AND Chicago Marathons if I can raise $6500 by September. Did I mention I hate running marathons? I sure do! But I do love the idea of a world without cancer, especially pediatric cancer, and if that's what it takes to get people to donate, then that's what I'll do.

So if you want to help me honor the amazing Prince Liam, or just enjoy the idea of me running two marathons in three weeks, when I can barely do one a year, just click here to make a secure donation on my Fred's Team website.

(that's my VFF-clad foot next to Fred's feet at his statue in Central Park, by the way!)

Also in the works -- and this time I kid you not -- an actual podcast. Details to follow.

So I did a couple of races since last we spoke. The first one was the Scotland Run, a 10K that's a clockwise loop of Central Park. I sort of prefer the clockwise loop to the normal counterclockwise run -- it's more uphills, but the hills aren't as steep. And you get to go down Cat Hill instead of up.

Now, I come to the Scotland Run having run a grand total of three whopping miles in the previous two weeks. Conventional wisdom would dictate that I sit this one out. But I am neither conventional, nor wise.

Wore my VFF KSOs (KSO = keep stuff out) with rainbow-colored injinji socks, which made me look like even more of a buffoon than just wearing the Sprints. I don't care -- I LOVE MY VIBRAMS!! But there's a seam in the Sprints and the KSOs that keep giving me blisters. Covering the seam doesn't work -- the tape doesn't stick -- and covering the spot on the foot doesn't work -- the Band-Aid doesn't stick. Other than that, did I mention I love my Vibrams?? They have put the spring back into my step. So I must wear toe socks to go with the toe shoes.

I get to the Park on race morning. I figure I won't go fast -- like I would anyway, that's a laugh, but I won't push, and I'll walk when I need to. Just get through it. I run into many Teammates, including a few who are in my boat, so I don't feel too bad about my slacker ways. They're planning to do the same as me, and we all head to the corralls together. I have my iPod with me, and I put on a "This American Life" podcast. I have been training myself to run iPod-free, but my strategy for today was to listen to something soothing, so that I would stay relaxed and not start pushing my pace, like I do when I listen to one of my patented race-day mixes ("Bat Out of Hell," anyone?)

The race begins, and though my Teammies and I have the same game plan, it becomes clear right away that either a) I am not paying attention to the game plan, or b) they are going to take it even easier than I thought. Most likely, a) and b). Hindsight being as 20/20 as it is, I should have probably stuck with them longer -- like maybe more than five feet past the starting line -- but as soon as I started running, I knew it was going to be a run pretty much all the way.

That being said, I did manage to do at least some self-preserving by going even slower than my normal turtle pace, and by really walking the water stations, and by that, I mean getting my cup, moving to the side, and walking for at least a minute. I think there were four stations, and I walked them all. But I ran the rest of the race. That danged competitive streak, I can't let it go! I see someone in a shirt I don't like, or for whatever reason, and I simply must pass them.

Side note -- one year, my bestie Laura and I did the Midnight Run together. Part of the fun of the event is the pre-show costume contest, and a lot more people wear costumes anyway, just for kicks. Laura is not a runner, by the way, and the run isn't even timed. So we're doing as much walking as running, and everything is great until a group of people dressed as the components of a McDonald's Happy Meal pass us. I will NOT be beaten by french fries!! I made Laura run that last mile, but we couldn't catch them. Oh, that broke my heart.

Anyways, I finished the Scotland Run in 1:07, a PW (personal worst,) ending up with some pretty sore calves, but at least not too much the worse for wear.

Which inspired me to get a little bit more of a groove on for the next race, which was the four-mile Run as One. That's the run sponsored by the Thomas Labrecque Foundation for Lung Cancer research. I like this race, and figured four miles would be more my speed.

Ran into Teammate Emily in the corrall. She's back in action after a nasty fall (tripped over the toes of a pair of improperly-sized Vibrams and broke her wrist. Love me them Vibrams, but they need to fit you right! Get them fit by someone who knows how to size you properly -- they are indeed very different from a normal shoe.) She read this here little ol' blog and said, "So if you may run Chicago, doesn't that mean you need to train like you're going to run Chicago?"


Changed the iPod setting from NPR to Meat Loaf, and for all intents and purposes, we're off!

Not much to report on this race that's noteworthy, but to say I didn't really push that hard until the final couple hundred feet on the transverse, and finished in 37:28.

That gave me a LOT of hope for this training season. Where I am right now is about where I was two years ago, where I had a HUGE improvement in my running during the training season. So knock on wood and God willing, if I can buckle down and put the work in, I'll see similar improvement this year, too. Hey, it couldn't get any worse...

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