Tuesday Topics: Lebow 2.0 #MedalMonday

I have so many feelings about Sunday’s Fred Lebow Half Marathon.

Tuesday Topics

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to share the good, the bad and the amusing about the race.

thoughts on my second time through @nyrr's #FredLebowHalf Click To Tweet

Because I picked up my hat so early, it was a disjointed “race day experience” and then I just repeated same picking up my shirt & bib for Gridiron while getting my medal engraved.  I was excited to be running Lebow again, but I was nervous especially as my calf/achilles hadn’t fully resolved. My official race plan was to listen to my body and go as long as it felt safe. If I thought I was exacerbating whatever is going on, or if I was too cold/wet, I’d drop out.

The good:

  • I finished happy. That was my primary goal and challenge with Achilles pain getting an assist from the weather forecast. I really didn’t expect the race to go on, and NYRR was fairly sure it would have been a fun run at best. They made the decision to go on Saturday morning and I was unsure. In the end weather wise, it wasn’t much worse than Brooklyn. I was glad for the 8a start because by noon when I was headed to NYRR Run Center to have my medal engraved, the wind had kicked up big time. As of writing this Sunday evening, it’s 11 with a wind chill of -1. That would have been a much harder race.
  • I finished strong this was fun. While yes, I wanted to be done in that I was soggy, I didn’t feel trashed and wasn’t really counting down the miles. There were moments, like between miles two and three when I was dreading Harlem HIll and ca. mile 7 when I wondered whether it would really be bad to sneak onto the Transverse to finish vs. heading into the passing lane for my 3rd and final lap. But overall I wasn’t counting down to the end. There were moments I wasn’t sure what mile it was. This was also surprising as I wasn’t sure what my cardio was given this weird cycle. This had to do with pacing, no doubt, and more on that below, but it made me think I really will survive marathon training.
I flamingo, therefore I am
  • I didn’t feel trashed at the end. Yes my calves are sore and I’m grateful to bengay, the foam roller and epsom salts, but I feel much better than I did after Lebow last year. I was so excited to be able to flamingo when I went to get my medal. (I am a dork, yes. ) Granted, it was my good leg and I won’t be doing Tree with my left anytime soon, but I am wowed at this. As of Monday evening, my quads and knee are fine.
  • I ran all of the hills. I actually ran 99% of the race. Walks were for fiddling with wardrobe and opening gel/chews and pouring a cup into my water bottle to top that up. This really surprised me since I didn’t think I was in hills shape. Looking at some of the splits, I’m not sure whether walk/run would have been better or not. I’m happy with my pacing.
  • Speaking of, I let the pacers go before mile 2. 2:30 was the last set and I knew I wasn’t in 2:30 shape. I’d have blown up if I tried. I decided to treat this as a rainy, long, supported training run and just go at my pace. If I finished last, so be it. My watch was under my sleeves so I didn’t look at it very often. I was lapped by the winner between miles two and three and eventually lapped by 1:30/1:45 and   pacers. “Last hill” when I was at mile ~7 and they were between miles 11 and 12 made me want to throw things. Although I thought I was losing time, I stayed with the same people most of the race. There was a lot of team work in helping open gels, get gloves on and off, etc. One guy paused to help me on Harlem Hill as I was trying to get gel out, put glasses back on and shove soaking wet gloves in my pocket.
Engraved, so it must be official
  • Official time: 2:42:26. That’s about a minute and a half behind last year‘s 2:41:09. I’m supposed to be disappointed, but I’m really not. I knew I wasn’t in PR shape between the calf/achilles and November’s impact on the training. I made the decision long ago that I was training for Fort Lauderdale and not this. When my watch beeped 12 miles I knew I had about 1.3 to go and ~15M. Knew it would be close, and decided to push it. The result? My best mile since mile four. I don’t regret this at all, I don’t think I could have gone faster earlier and finished
  • The new coat is probably what kept me from hating the race more. After a wet fun run a few weeks ago, I knew my jacket needed to be retired.  It just didn’t zip all the way up. So Saturday once I knew the forecast was going to be WET, I went to Modells and got this after striking out at New Balance and Jack Rabbit. Nothing new on race day and all that, but folks had recommended it, it said it was breathable and it was perfect. On top I had a base layer, a tee shirt and a long sleeve top that I didn’t mind tossing if it got too hot/wet. When I went to change I realized other than base layer sweat, and the back collar, I was dry! I am similarly floored I had no blisters either from wet feet or new shoes, but when I went to throw out socks, the volunteer commented that he’d had a lot tossed in his bag, but mine were the first socks. Also, fresh socks in a ziplock in an inner pocket stayed perfectly dry. Best thing about four pockets, no need to wear belt although I hung on to my water bottle way longer than necessary and it would have been nice to have somewhere to put it.
  • My fueling: more on the gels below, but in general it was good. NutriGrain bar in the Uber to the start/corral, Gatorade Apple Pear gel at about 10K and two vile Blueberry Gu chews toward the end. The gel was unplanned but went down fine since I wasn’t overheated.I thought I took a second one on the second lap, but apparently dropped it as it wasn’t in a pocket when I went to take it, hence two chews. The consistency of the Gatorade one was nice and the citrus was less glu-ey than vanilla, which is the only Gu my stomach likes. Fueling is going to be a fun challenge this spring summer. I have no idea what I’m doing for Ft. Lauderdale where heat & gel didn’t mix last time.
9+1 scratchoff
  • There were rumors they’d be changing 9+1 just as they have been changing 4/6, but all is the same for 2020. Picked this up at RunCenter while waiting on medal engraving. An interesting addition to 4/6 for 2020 for those of you who aren’t local who want to run the NYC Half is this $80/$100 Virtual Half in partnership with Strava  It comes with guaranteed, non-complimentary entry and the virtual trainer ($30 value). Is it worth $50/$70 to bypass the lottery? It’s certainly cheaper than going the charity route.

The bad:

  • the weather? But really, I can’t complain about a chilly rain in January. It could have been icy or freezing rain. I really have no complaints about this race. I wish I had photos, but that was a choice I made not risking my phone in the rain. ETA: one photo below

The amusing:

this is why we wear pink pants! (c) Cheer Everywhere
  • YES! I didn’t get caught by the official photographer for the Brooklyn Half and was sure I’d find myself courtesy of my hot pink jacket. No such luck, but when I perused Cheer Everywhere’s gallery today, I spotted my pants. This is why we wear pink 😀 I just wish I’d spotted the photog to ham it up. Then again, this was Harlem Hill. I think take one, because I’m pretty sure I hung the soaking wet buff on an earlier branch in lap 2. I thought I took my glasses off later though, so unclear when this was
I really love this medal. Fred still incorporated, but it’s more medal like
  • The medal. Well more precisely, the writeup on how it came to be. I’m not one who is driven by a race’s medal, but I love Fred Lebow, this race and the medal.
  • My attire. I wish I had a photo, but I didn’t bring my phone because it was so rainy. Top layer for my upper body was a trash bag. Lower body? A heat shield from one of last year’s races. I actually ran in the heat shield for about half a mile and the trash bag until just before Cat Hill between miles one and two when I just got too warm. I was jealous of those who planned ahead and had ponchos.
  • Flat Cari failed me. I learned from Brooklyn and laid out, among other things, two plastic bags and two NYRR gear bags to keep my feet dry until the start. I then left them in my apartment. Oops. I bought new chews on Saturday night, and promptly forgot to put them in my pocket. So I have them for Fort Lauderdale or a long run before then, and gummed stale blueberry ones.

Overall, I was really happy with this race. Lebow was just as fun the second time through and I continued to learn a lot about myself. While at the moment I’m saying no more January Halfs! I think I know I’ll be back next year.

What’s your favorite race that you return to?

What’s your favorite I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on moment?

Planning through pain

It’s better to be ten miles undertrained than one mile overtrained

This was twice-repeated at Monday’s NYRR event and it’s so true and so fitting for my training. I think my feet/knees are a reasonable alarm clock when I’m erring toward that one mile. While frustrating, this two week time has been educational too. What can I do when I can’t run, especially when I need to burn off energy.

I realized I still do love rowing, my OG exercise, and need to make more of an effort to do it regularly. Even peak resolutionist season, the rowers are often empty.

I also spent the week weather stalking since winter decided to take all of the cold and snow and pack it into one week for the mid Atlantic/northeast. Stay safe everyone! At the course strategy session (yes, I know better. I still went anyway) Friday they were predicting maybe 10% chance the race would go as planned, but way more likely it would be a fun run or cancelled outright. I’ll be honest, if it had been turned into a fun run, I might have opted out. There’s nothing fun for me about running in an icy rain if it doesn’t count for anything.

Weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly :

  • Monday: two miles on the LateralX, which I realized is a way longer mile than the standard elliptical. No pain. Lots of rolling, stretching
  • Tuesday: treadmill test of new shoes. No pain. Long stretch after.
  • Wednesday: off. I took my gym bag to department holiday party but it was after 9 by the time we wrapped and I was way too tired.
  • Thursday: office run group, aka major test of new shoes as it involved Central Park hills. We decided to do the longer loop to 102nd St. vs. cutting over on the reservoir track since dark and muddy is a bad combination. This meant we’d have the West Side rollers as well as Cat Hill and, to be honest, I was slightly nervous. Outside of needing to stop twice in the first mile to tie my shoes, it was a success. We got to talking and the five miles went quickly. No pain, just slightly sore Friday morning. Verdict? Bad shoes.
  • Friday: NYRR course strategy wherein I countered the voice psyching myself out with the one reminded me I could do this because I had done this. Followed by gym, 1M LateralX, 2500 meter row (forearm was oddly sore) and long stretch and roll.
pre race tradition
  • Saturday: off. When I thought the race might be called, I planned to run Saturday but around 11a, they said due to the weather shift it was a go. Didn’t even leave the apartment until 5P when I realized I needed to get to LPQ before 7P closure to get my pre-long race meal and remembered I had no chews. So Jackrabbit, Modells and LPQ. Freebie was their organic honey lemon ginger drink and while I feared it might be too sweet, it was delicious.
layers, trash bags, rain coats, heat shields
Done!
  • Sunday: Ice would have turned me off running this, but I found myself wishing for snow because while I’ve done a half marathon in the rain, I haven’t done one in cold January rain. This was better though than the original forecast of 8F. Spoiler: I finished, and hit my goals. More on Tuesday. ETA: recap here.

Tuesday Topics: Favorite Gifts

The prompt for this week’s edition of this wonderful new linkup is: “What were your favorite gifts you received over the holidays?” I already touched on that, so I’m shifting it slightly

Tuesday Topics

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to share my favorite gifts that running has given me:

  • Extending my comfort zone. I’m not going to say the world outside my comfort zone as I hit that at 21 when I moved to Japan without knowing a soul. But while I knew I could walk long distances and loved it, running has taught me about my inner strength. I can do so much more than I ever imagined. It seems like each race, or even each training week I’m learning something new about myself.
NYRR walls
  • Self confidence. because I’ve seen that I can do things, I have confidence to try bigger, better, more. I was a few weeks out from my first 5K when I went for a 10K at a friend’s encouragement. It was less than a year after starting to run and before I’d even run a 15K that I signed up for my first Half Marathon.
  • Amazing people. As I mentioned, I’m not the best with big groups but I love the community in the various LinkUps. So much good advice, so many wonderful people. This year alone I was lucky to meet Darlene, Liz and Judy and I hope to meet more of you in 2019. It has also introduced me to new people “live”. A new colleague was wearing a Boston fleece during a work happy hour and while we’re not so big that I wouldn’t have met him eventually, it gave us something to talk about. And now we have an office run group. I went to a beginners’ running Meetup and while that group went the way of many Meetups, I’m still in touch with one of the people I met who has come to be a good friend.
Workout in a skirt
  • Body confidence is a beautiful thing. From finally racing in shorts to realizing the magic of SkirtSports. Running has changed who I am, but also how I see myself. It seems superficial, but in so many ways it is the best gift. Coral shoes, pink skirt. Why not?!

What gifts did running give you?

What gifts did you get or give yourself over the holidays?

January, Gyms and Fred Lebow

Winner winner chicken dinner: Run Like Duck winner is the wonderful Wendy!
I emailed you via the address that showed. If you didn’t get it, DM me on twitter/IG with an email.

Gyms and January are a hot topic. Blink is a place where the crowds don’t ebb and flow drastically, at least not the two locations I typically go to. While it’s not a Planet Fitness, it’s not one with extensive equipment which tends to cut down on some of the nonsense. I had my first personal encounter with resolutionist shamers and it just made me laugh. Apparently unpacking a new sports bra and taking off the tags in the locker room is a heinous crime worthy of comment. I resisted the urge to invite them to access a print out of my visits, but really it shouldn’t matter.

Lebow Hat 2019

It’s crazy to realize Fred Lebow is next week. I also just realized that with New Years Day a Tuesday, MLK is a week later and whee, I have Monday off after the Half. Although walking around was good recovery last year, it’s going to be a push to do my stairs when I don’t have to for work.

Getting ready for the #FredLebowHalf to kick off my @nyrr running in 2019 Click To Tweet

So with it a week out, goals:

  • Finish strong. This is really about pacing myself. I know I’m undertrained and my achilles/calf is still a slight issue. If this means walking up Harlem Hills so I finish, I need to do this. I want to finish, yes, but I’d prefer it not be a limping crawl over the finish.
  • Have fun. Yep. This really is number one. I want to enjoy this day. Lebow was my first and I hope it’s just as magical the second time around.
  • 2:45? 2:50? Yeah, that’s not a PR but I’ve done minimal hill work and I think I’m going to regret it. 2:41:09 was this course, 2:50:08 was Ft. Pancake/Flat Lauderdale where I walked a lot due to heat, gel queasy. Honestly? I don’t care. I just want to finish this feeling good about the run. I was injured last year too so not sure extent to which that’s a deciding factor.

My regrets about the training cycle? No Mile High and not changing shoes sooner (more on that below). Lesson learned. Both within my control vs. November’s challenges.

Monday is D-Day. Err, M-Day. It’s the first day I can claim my guaranteed entry for NYC Marathon. I think I’m going to be smart and wait until next Sunday to be sure my leg is OK. I’m 99% sure it is and I’ll be fine, but I want to be cautious. It’s the same logic I used after last year’s Lebow and before Fort Lauderdale.

In the mean time, weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly Kim. Subtitle? All the cross training:

  • never miss a Monday: I’ve really enjoyed the Monday routine I re-established in December and wanted to keep it up although I needed a running off day. So I rowed for the first time in about a month and the first long row in nearly two. That’s not a six minute fall off in ability, but rather fidding with YouTube buffering because I cannot get through rowing without a “soundtrack” and for some reason it was being a toad. Oh well. I then had a good, long stretch and roll.
Hi calluses. Calli?
  • Tuesday: I tested the achilles on the treadmill and it started to be annoying, so I decided on another cross train day. 15M on the LateralX almost a year to the day after I first tried it and another 5K row. Between a flare of winter hands and two days in a row of rowing, I’m glad I’m not a hand model.
  • Wednesday: off. Didn’t even get step goal. Start of cold coming on and thought a full off day smart to rest achilles ahead of Thursday’s Central Park hills. Decided the best way to heal is not chase pointless steps.
  • Thursday: office run group expanded to three on one of our coldest runs so far. With an additional person the pace picked up and I was surprisingly able to keep up even on Cat Hill. But going up that hill was also a doozy on my left foot and calf. When we finished, I gathered my stuff from the office and headed to NYRR to collect my bib and hat. Came to love last year’s, but think I like this one even more. I stopped in at the New Balance store to see if the staff thought my shoes were the issue, which I was beginning to think. The staff person did the scan, but surprisingly for that store’s staff, wasn’t helpful so I headed to the Jack Rabbit at Time Warner where I got a little more help. Unfortunately she thought it was probably just that the shoes ran out of miles early. She suggested I stick with my backups and then come in when Lebow is done and “we’ll play” which I think is a good one.
  • Friday: felt like something was pulling at the outside of my ankle, although it wasn’t painful. Luckily I have a flexible offices and sneakers will occasionally fly. Decided to be smart and not run two days in a row. I rowed 5K and then stretched and rolled. Rowing actually made the calf or whatever this is feel really good. Iced when I got home as I’ve done most nights. The frozen roller from my first PF flare is a godsend as the size/shape is perfect.
  • Saturday: I woke, no pain. I dreaded going for a run -not because the wind chill was in the 20s – but because I was worried the shoes weren’t going to fix everything. I finally went out with a plan to run along the water which, when I avoid the ferry stairs, is almost flat. My feet didn’t feel great at 1.25 miles so I doubled back and finished at about 25m. But it was better than Thursday and I think I’ll be OK even if I only run Thursday. Cross train has been good.
  • Sunday: no pain! I still played it smart and didn’t run. I did a mile on the elliptical since the branch open Sunday doesn’t have a LateralX, 2K row, and a long roll and stretch. Officially cautiously optimistic.

Spring 2019 Half Marathon Mileage: 86.13

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, after-work event
  • Tuesday: run or cross train
  • Wednesday: off or cross train
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: cross train
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: Fred Lebow Half Marathon.

Tuesday Topics: Run Like Duck

We know judging a book by its cover is bad.. but the title is OK, right? When Liz blogged about Run Like Duck, I was immediately intrigued. It just sounded like a fun book.

Tuesday Topics

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to share whether the book was as good as it’s title was funny.

Spoiler: it is. I’ve read a number of books about running, but this is definitely top five. I was also happy to find the author is a pretty funny read on twitter.

Running and reading, a perfect pair. My review of @montythemole's Run Like Duck Click To Tweet

Atkinson is a fat British man who was encouraged by a friend to go for a run, and ultimately ended up running ultras and a Quadzilla (four marathons in four days) en route to joining the 100 Marathon Club. That’s not to say this is a book just for those who want to go extremes, I’d say it’s more applicable to the everyday runner than Dean Karnazes’ books. He started where many runners do, running after dark in his neighborhood and gradually increasing his distance. He also balanced his running journey with his family life: his wife crewed for him in his 100M run and occasionally he had to check the finances before signing up. I feel like the latter is something that doesn’t often come up in running books. It’s as if there’s a race fee fairy that pays them.

Atkinson shares race and training recaps, as well as specific tips applicable to the race he ran. I like how he established traditions such as the Milton Keynes Marathon which he made the effort to return to each year as a measure of tracking his own growth. I also like that he makes no claim that he’s perfect – he still enjoys McDonalds and bacon & egg sandwiches as breakfast. A word of advice, don’t read the chapters on ultrarunning if you’re hungry, the aid stations will make you hungrier. I felt for his chafing on one of his ultras.  He still occasionally forgets his race bib in the hotel room and struggles with pacing-there’s no magic in this story. He also acknowledges that not every race is perfectly organized.  Running isn’t perfect and he doesn’t paint it out to be.

Although parkrun hasn’t yet expanded to NYC, I love his tips and information about it as well as other races I will probably never run. The advice is applicable to many other runs. I think I finally understand the role of tail running, though I had to chuckle at the image when he runs to a parkrun, is late and comes up from behind said tail runner probably catching him or her by surprise. One thing to note, I was slightly confused at the timing on some, so make sure to pay attention to the dates/marathon numbers in the chapter heads.

I think there is a lot in this book for both beginners and experienced runners, and many runners will see a bit of themselves in the author. Excited to share this book I enjoyed with you, enter to win a signed copy. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, January 13.

  • Any favorite running reads?
  • Any books you’re looking forward to reading in 2019?
  • If you need running ideas, The Runners’ Bookshelf on Facebook is one of my favorite sources along with Wendy’s book club.

Celebrating two years of running with a book giveaway

I’m weird.

This is not news to those of you who know me.

I can be one of those people who needs to start a book series at book 1, or I can be a total free spirit-often in the same sentence. My inner wild child came out on Tuesday when I decided to celebrate my two-year running anniversary five days early. That isn’t the non-sequitur it appears,I’m celebrating my running anniversary with a book giveaway. See details below.

Book giveaway: Early birds get the worm, and many run early, ergo runners make excellent bookworms! Click To Tweet

We had a campaign in 2009 called 9 in ’09 tied in with a new book that was out. For some reason I remembered that and was planning a variation on that to mark 2019. January 1 dawned sunny and beautiful with temperatures in the mid 50s so I headed to Central Park. I actually missed the Park as I hadn’t run there since early December’s 15K as I was avoiding hills when I was actually running locally. It was so wonderfully crowded for January given the weather.

About two-three miles into the run, I was thinking about how I wanted to mark Sunday’s anniversary. I knew the weather wasn’t supposed to be as good and the odds of my going long on a treadmill aren’t always good. (Last year’s 7.77 on the treadmill is probably still a length record.) I wanted to go long to mark the growth in the last two years, so I began to think about just moving the anniversary run, while still running Sunday.

At about 45 minutes into the run I wondered if I had the focus to go two hours. It’s long but not that long compared to my 15K/10M times. Turtle Power! It was beautiful, and I thought I did. I also realized that while I’ve done 15Kish a few times solo, I’ve never done a double digit run outside a race. I had my goals.

When I finished one lap of Central Park just north of the Met where I always enter, I turned around and ran the direction I only run during the Women’s Mini. This had the benefit of not doing Cat Hill twice, which I thought was smart with niggling aches. And yes, the run down to the bottom of the park feels much longer than the distance I’d just run north.

checking in with Fred

 

At the bottom of the park, I turned onto the Bridle Path to give my feet a break. I realized the run would come in between ten and eleven miles depending on whether I ran all the way home or ended it in the Park. When I turned south at the top of the reservoir, I realized I knew my ending point: Lebow. And I knew what distance I’d finish on. Thanks to some cold, fat fingers I hit 2:00:20 instead of ’19 but it was a great run. The 12s don’t bother me, I was getting tired and didn’t fuel beyond coffee and cheerios before going out. But this run told me I’ll be able to finish Lebow, despite being undertrained, which I knew.

This was most definitely a celebration of all I’ve achieved since that day two years ago when I hadn’t run a step since high school and it took me 12m to run/walk .61 mile. As a colleague in our office run group frequently says, movement is a privilege.

I just stumbled on a collection of running routes on NYRR’s page and can’t wait to explore more of these.

In honor of my two-year running anniversary, I’m giving away a signed copy of one of the books about running I’ve enjoyed the most, Mark Atkinson’s Run Like Duck. To enter, leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday. It was perfect timing how many of you had “read more” as a 2019 goal.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly: at 19.25 miles, a solid start to the year

  • Monday: oh hi weird Monday in the middle of the holidays, some attendant time off. I’ve really come to appreciate the value of a Monday workout setting the tone so amid some procrastinating, don’t wanna and other issues I finally dragged myself out for a mile and a half to close out 2018. I did not do the NYRR Midnight Run as it was pouring and nope. Never registered so this wasn’t a DNS.
  • Tuesday: the anniversary run detailed above, 10.32 miles
  • Wednesday: stretch and roll. My lower legs were a little sore from Tuesday’s run and the gym foam roller is bigger than mine. I also did a short kettlebell circuit and some planking. Alas, no plankie this time.
  • Thursday: office run group took December off due to schedules, vacation, and a soaking wet day. We returned in earnest the first Thursday in January and this run was harder than I expected. Definitely our slowest. I don’t think my legs were fully rested after Tuesday’s miles and while it was warm for December, it was dry and the lack of humidity made breathing harder. I so rarely run with others, that it’s not always easy to tell what a conversational pace is. I guess I could call this a tempo run? One of the many reasons I love this group is the pacing. I no doubt would have backed off left to my own devices, but after Cat Hill killed me as it always does, we rebounded with a mile that was a minute faster.
  • Friday: off. Stretch and roll at the gym
Nyack’s Resolution Run
  • Saturday: was supposed to be an off day with a day trip up to Albany but earlier this week Mom & Bob mentioned a fundraiser in Nyack. They were more interested in the hot cocoa bar, but oh twist my arm to go for a run before spending two hours in a car and then two and a half on a train coming back. I could get used to suburban runs. Get dropped off, sign waiver & wait inside church hall where it’s warm & dry (although capris and a windbreaker in January is nothing to complain about!). When I looked online Friday night there were 88 registered participants and I’d say about half of that turned up to run. The rain kept some away and others I think just wrote a check to support vs. planning to run. Net result, more cops watching the intersections than runners. We headed out of the church hall to the banner across a street and were off. Untimed and the road open but there really isn’t much traffic in this area especially not on a rainy January morning.
  • There was a lot of puddle hopping and moving between sidewalk and side of road but it was a fun run that was an out and back to the Hook. At the turnaround at about mile 2 (this race was billed at 3M, 4M, and 4K – Garmin eventually said 3.81) there was a water tent-I was so happy for the volunteers to have a tent as it was pouring down at this point. I got to talking to two people who had been just ahead of me who of course knew mom. Small town, for the win. We ran the last half together, which made it go a lot faster. Approaching two people is way easier than a group. I ducked into the church hall to get some paper towel to drip dry a little before heading out to meet mom and head to Albany. Whether I needed a shower before heading out was a valid question. This old Kohl’s windbreaker is what got me through Brooklyn and other than the top where I wasn’t fully zipped, my shirts were dry. My legs and feet on the other hand. Splish Splash! So fun though.
why do we do this? Oh yeah, that medal
  • Sunday: happy runniversary to me! Although the weather dawned much better than I expected, I decided to go with my plan of celebrating running by literally running errands. This was also assisted by a late start-I was tired after a busy couple of weeks. Most of the runs were untimed as there were lights and stops, but two important ones were timed:
January 6, 2019
  • Why that distance? It’s so random!
My first run, January 6, 2017
  • That .61 miles went just a little more quickly this time. I followed that up with a run commute home from the gym for twelve minutes. No Runkeeper photo since the GPS rounding had it off, but here’s one from Strava which is off but less so
Glow bug!
  • Yep, twelve minutes took me almost twice as far even without the enforced consistency of the treadmill. It’s impossible to tell, but the  base layer shirt is from 2017 Frozen Penguin, dig your roots!

Thank you, running, for introducing me to a stronger me. Here’s to the next two or twenty years and beyond.

2019 Spring Half Marathon Training Mileage:80.62

2019 Race Calendar:

as much for my own planning as anything else

GoTheDist 2018 closeout

all the data

I knew December was going to be tight. It was last year too. When I got home mid-day on New Years’ Eve after a weekend away, I entered my steps to realize I was a hair more than 12K away from 400K for December. What’s my daily step goal? 12K. So it’s a two year streak of 400K and a solid year.

Gym Visits: 8 in December, 38 for September-February Cycle

Kicking off 2019 with Coffee

What better way to start the year? And for once, I actually remembered about the coffee linkup in time to write a post. My theme for the month? Some of the stories behind my mugs and how they tie in to my running journey.

oh wise coffee cup

Over coffee I’d tell you that I have way too many mugs for one person who usually uses the same two mugs each weekend. But I was tickled to receive this from a dear friend who saw my tweet from Target. Holiday season is always busy for me with our gala, but this year was exceptionally so. Busy with good things, but crazy. I can’t wait to have a weekend day at home to use this cup.

a wonderful gift when grandma passed

Although she wasn’t a runner, grandma’s passing coincides with the beginning of my running journey. I spent about a week out of town and this was before I was willing/able to run outside so I missed training but didn’t quit running. That surprised me. Among the many things I learned from grandma is my love of reading, and I occasionally find myself remembering and chuckling about her habit of reading the end of the book to see if she liked the ending before committing to it. I was pleased to see so many reading resolutions in the Weekly Wrap – not only because I’m an incurable bookworm, but because I’ve planned a running book giveaway in honor of my two-year running anniversary. It will be in Sunday’s weekly wrap post, and Sunday is coincidentally my anniversary.

another great saying
Eeyore!

Those two are the aforementioned frequent used cups because they’re huge and I can make two large Keurig cups and sip coffee while catching up online. I’ve also had them about twenty years and should retire them, but Loony Tunes and Pooh! Race days can be hard on me as I’ve not yet managed how to get up on time to have coffee in time for things to move along so I can head out. When I run later in the day this is a non issue but long runs without some caffeine can be hard. Over coffee I’d tell you that I tried the caffeinated gum and the texture is just wrong. Sometimes coffee is just best in its natural form. Haven’t found a caffeinated gel that works for me either, but I really need to assess my fueling plan for the Halfs and beyond.

I didn’t need another mug, but it matches so well to my ridiculous plate
couldn’t go to Seattle and not get a mug from Pike Place Market’s Starbucks! Cameo above it by Montreal mug

Over coffee I’d tell you that I don’t have any destination races planned for 2019. OK, that’s a lie, I’m doing the Fort Lauderdale Half but that doesn’t feel like a destination race to me since I go to Fort Lauderdale so often. I see it more like running a hometown race. I’ll either do the Rockland Lake or Troy Turkey Trot depending on where we do Thanksgiving, and I’m sure I’ll run on vacation, but I don’t have one planned yet either. I should think about that. Mom and I are going to do a 40th birthday trip, but it’s unclear whether we’ll do that this year or next.

Little Miss Trouble

Raise your hand if you grew up with the Little Miss or Little Mr. books? So many good memories and I was tickled to find some titles at Heathrow last summer. This cup is ridiculously small, but I love it for hot chocolate.

In the lead up to the Fred Lebow Half Marathon I’d tell you that I’m suffering from some Impostor Syndrome when it comes to running. While I recognize and accept the cliché that if you run, you are a runner, I have trouble truly seeing myself as a runner.

Sometimes I see the person I’ve become in the mirror, other times I see the person I was for most of my 37 years. Although I played sports into high school, I was never an athlete. I guess I am now? I’ve run for two full years. This, and my social anxiety, is also largely part of why I almost never make it to my run club’s weekly workouts. Like it’s a club I’m not sure I really belong in, even though they’re nothing but welcoming. I think back on last Lebow and realize that not only have I been a runner for two years, I’ve been a Half Marathoner for almost one.  Sometimes the brain needs an off switch. Or at least a mute button.

I did take a step forward this Run the Year in joining a team with “strangers”, although I knew one of the women from a satellite Facebook group. If there ever ends up being a NYC area FIT, I might join. Maybe.

The Ultimate Coffee Date

Also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday linkup

Fairytales and Fitness