3rd Raceversary

Three years ago tomorrow I finished my first race. I was officially a Frozen Penguin.

Frozen Penguin 5K

I missed my three year runversary because I was injured and cranky. I missed the First Race prompt a few weeks ago on Tuesday Topics because I am the worst with the weekday linkups. Today I’m joining Debbie, Deborah, Rachel, Lisa, Jen and Smitha for the new Wednesday “Runners’ Roundup” to talk about three years of racing.

Book plate! “Believe and achieve!” meeting Deena Kastor at the 2018 Cherry Blossom Expo

Since that first penguin, which I’ve now run 4x (twice as a 5K, twice as a 10K), I’ve run approximately:

  • 10 5Ks
  • countless 4 and 5 mile races. Literally, I ran out of fingers and gave up even after looking at my race calendar.
  • 7 10ks
  • 3 15Ks
  • 2 10 Milers
  • 8 Half Marathons
  • the New York City marathon

It’s safe to say absolutely none of that was on my radar three years ago, and I wouldn’t change a single step. Having some fun with prompts I’ve seen on other running memory lane posts.

Favorite race?

Throwing out my beloved Frozen Penguin (first is always your baby) and the New York City marathon, I’d have to say I can go with a top three:

  • Fred Lebow. It’s an evil, evil half marathon, but it’s the one that made me a half marathoner. Plus it’s Fred and he is NYC running.
  • Ted Corbitt – I just really love the 15K distance. It seems to be my sweet spot. I get well & truly warmed up, but it doesn’t have that last slog of a Half Marathon.
  • Damon Runyon 5K – I actually hate the race itself with the stairs and the concrete, but something about running on the warning track of Yankee Stadium is just awesome.

Race I’d recommend everyone do once?

Cheese ball! So glad for the heat wrap

Again, throwing out the New York City marathon because duh!, I’d have to go with Cherry Blossom 10 miler. It’s gorgeous, even if it doesn’t align with peak. Washington D.C. is one of my favorite cities and it makes for a wonderful weekend

I love this spot!

Honorable mention to the Brooklyn Half. You finish on the boardwalk at Coney Island. I had horrible weather, but I still loved it. I rarely get to run it as a conference typically has me out of town, but I do want to do it again.

Race I have a piece of advice for?

I don’t even know where to start with that one. #HillsForBreakfast I guess is solid advice, even though it’s really only the NYC Marathon, Bermuda and Lebow where they’re super hilly.

On second thought, take off the watch if you run Runyon or another stadium race. GPS doesn’t work, and fun runs like that shouldn’t be about your pace. Just run and appreciate the place you’re running.

Bucket list race?

Not really. I loved running around London when I was there and spectating Marine Corps was awesome, but I have no immediate interest in a second marathon.  There are other races I’m interested in, but they don’t quite rise to the level of Bucket List as they’re mostly a question of schedule whereas a bucket list feels like it needs a lottery element or something to put it out of reach. Do you have a race I should put on my bucket list? Anything less than marathon distance.

Favorite race city?

Can’t say anything but New York. We’re all biased toward home and greatest city in the world is way more than a song lyric.

Favorite race photo?

Impossible. Every time I go to click one, I think of another. So many good memories.

Favorite race memory?

Taylor Swift Bad Blood and Rachel Platten Fight Song nearing the finish of my first Half. Eurythmics Sweet Dreams blaring in Times Square during last year’s NYC Half. Coming back into Central Park at Columbus Circle and realizing I was going to be a marathoner. All equally and bizarrely vivid.

***

I originally wanted to do a giveaway for my runniversary, and I couldn’t and still can’t think of one.  If I think of something really cool, I reserve the right to think of this as an anniversary year 🙂

  • How many years have you been running/racing?
  • Do you have any answers to these questions?

Running and Social Anxiety

If two bloggers meet and we forget to take a photo, did it really happen?

Coco and I had a wonderful catch up over some delicious guacamole and chips on Wednesday evening. When she messaged me realizing we hadn’t taken a photo I said it just meant we needed to see one another again soon.

I’ve talked about my social anxiety here. It’s a challenge, but it’s manageable. I do well in twos and threes, or with a buddy when going into a new place with a larger group. While I have been excited about meeting everyone, I’ve also been a little skittish as the moment approached. New people are scary. I just want to say that I’ve been amazingly lucky to meet four of you within this last month and yeah, it feels like it wasn’t even really “meeting” but rather seeing friends. There were (virtually) no butterflies. Can I just say I love you all, and I hope all of our paths cross soon.

Speaking of people and runners. Did you see Strava’s Why We Run piece?  Nothing earth shattering, but I really like how it was presented.

“Be an ambassador for reading with our new sticker”

I loved this fundraising email from NYPL which said, in part:

Do you remember the first book that made you love reading? Maybe it was something you read as a child, or a gift that you received at exactly the right time.

No matter where, when, or how you came across your first favorite, having even one book that you truly love makes you the best possible ambassador for reading. That’s why we’d like you to be a part of celebrating 125 years of The New York Public Library’s commitment to serving book lovers everywhere.

I don’t really “get” ambassadorships and am generally not the best with social media promotion, but this is one I could will get behind. I am the person after all who bought book dedications as holiday gifts. I read three books while In Bermuda. I was a happy Cari.

I realized in looking at my Athlinks profile for my Half times for the Bermuda recap that I ran three half marathons in 2018, 4 in 2019 and may only have one or two in 2020. I’m going to take some time to train properly for Cherry Blossom and after that I’ll do some thinking about a Half. I really, really love the distance, but I want to do it properly.

Speaking of doing it properly, Cherry Blossom lottery selection comes with Runcoach training, and while I need another app like I need a hole in the head, giving it a go since Runkeeper’s training module keeps getting mad at me because I don’t follow it to the letter.  I am not a very good student at times. I think because for me personally, if running had too many rules I’d rebel against doing it. It’s like books I don’t want to read because they’re assigned.

***

Sort of a two-week Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah, but there wasn’t a lot of running the first week, and I already talked about the exciting running.

Week of 2/10:

  • Monday: off, tickets to see an Off Broadway show
  • Tuesday: off, worked super late
  • Wednesday: off, travel to Bermuda

 

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  • Thursday: five mile run/walk, mostly walk, exploring Southampton and trying to find flat terrain on which to run. Spoiler: it doesn’t exist.
Still looking for flat terrain. Photo (c) Darlene
I think I can, I think I can. (c) Darlene
  • Friday: a mile and a half shakeout so we wouldn’t have a week off running before the Half marathon. We ended up in the parking lot since the golf course was too hilly
  • Saturday: lighthouse “run”.
Celebrating a Half Marathon. Photo (c) Marcia

Week of 2/17: Deborah’s post came at the perfect time as I thought about my return to running after the hilly Half. This is the first Half my legs didn’t feel trashed after, which was a pleasant surprise.

  • Monday: off, travel home from Bermuda
  • Tuesday: off. Vague gym plans but forgot my exercise bands so did PT at home
  • Wednesday: due to some scheduling, I was able to finally run to PT.  It was nearly a naked run as I got out the door only to realize my Garmin was off (and I can’t remember how to turn it on without plugging it in) and my iPod had offloaded the music app for space. Oops. Luckily I ran with my phone to PT to show him the jumpie and could track the run in Strava. I don’t trust the pace. I haven’t seen that in some time and the GPS was jumpie. but it was a two mile warm up. PT started with a long conversation while he worked on my hip/knee to talk about what the next steps are. It hurts way less than when I started, but I’m not yet pain free. He gave me some hip work to do in the morning to loosen up as that’s my stiffest time. And then when I runfessed to forgetting to plank on the beach and failing a jumpie? He made me pay. Hurts so good. but it helps.
  • Thursday: office run group. We’re sticking with the 3/3.5 ish mile loop for now as we’re not ready for mid-week medium longs. It’s so nice to have it not yet be full dark when we head out.
  • Friday: gym PT. Originally supposed to have my last appointment, but he wants to get in a few more approved visits by going weekly, so we’ll see. I’d hoped to graduate pain free. I don’t think that will happen, but it’s so much better than it was.
Thanks, Shadow, for making me look so tall
haven’t done this run in daylight in a while
the distance was intentional, the time/pace was not. And yes, I actually matched
and in the latest installation of runners not running, Mardi Gras party!
  • Saturday: my shadow and I went out for the first long run of Cherry Blossom training. That route was my summer/fall mid-week medium run and ugh, six miles was hard. Not on the lungs, but on the hip/knee. I stopped a few times to stretch, including this nifty hip semi circle he taught me Wednesday as way to counter morning IT stiffness. I’ve missed the East River run-it’s nice and chill, and flat.  I always love that Triboro marker even though the internet is generally confused on its origin. Here’s a take from Ephemeral New York and A Great Big City. Six seemed to be a good place to re-start training, and we’ll see how it goes.

Never went to a Mardi Gras party before. Not a huge thing here/in my circle, but these friends met in New Orleans and it’s her family tradition and it was such a fun evening. My phone was in my purse/away, so no photos of the amazing jambalaya, etouffee or corn & crab bisque. Trust me, they were delish.

  • Sunday: off. Mani/Pedi. Straighten the apartment. Chill.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: morning run before work
  • Tuesday: PT/cross
  • Wednesday: run to PT
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off/cross/PT
  • Saturday: 7/8 miles
  • Sunday: off

Race Recap: Zooma Bermuda

more to come on Bermuda overall in, hopefully, a #TravelTuesday post. In the mean time, my thoughts on an amazing racecation. First of all, major love and shout out to the entire Zooma and OnPace race teams. They and their partners put on a fabulous inaugural Bermuda race and I can’t wait to return to the island or do another one of their races. So many cities, so little time.

Runners’ Roundup

Linking up with Debbie, Deborah, Rachel, Lisa, Jen and Smitha for the new Wednesday “Runners’ Roundup” to discuss the Zooma Bermuda challenge. Apologies in advance for an insanely long recap. I enjoyed this weekend almost as much as I did my first Half Marathon.

The weekend in a nutshell

Three happy runners

In no particular order this weekend involved:

  • meeting amazing people including Marcia and Erika. Spoiler, when you’ve read one another’s blogs for two+ years, it really doesn’t feel like “meeting” and you can chat easily for hours.
  • exploring the island of Bermuda with Darlene
  • running an amazingly scenic and hilly Half Marathon
  • not getting swept in said Half marathon
  • learning how to embed an instagram photo in a blog post. Or maybe that was just me. LOL. There are approximately forty bazillion photos on my Facebook as well. 

The results of our hard work:

 

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But… rewinding….

As US-based runners, we received our swag bags before we flew, which was great. This included a map of Bermuda,  the gorgeous tanks in the second photo here and a super soft quarter zip. Both fit surprisingly well, and I actually wore the tank!

The Expo

After a day + exploring the island on our own and with some other early arrivals, Zooma Bermuda officially kicked off with a welcome reception at the Fairmont Southampton, our wonderful host hotel. This also served as the Expo during which we could pick up our bibs, wrist bands for transportation and activities and other purchased items. As someone who wishes races were generally more sustainable and generated less waste, I loved that the bib was the same for Saturday and Sunday’s races.

Since it was a relatively small race and the Expo was in a hotel ballroom at a fixed time, we had the opportunity to meet other runners and the On Pace team. I have run with pacers before, but with a great ratio of pacers to runners we had the opportunity to truly engage with the pacers. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk with them about their plans and felt they really listened to my goals for the race. As someone who doesn’t always do well with new people, it was also helpful to meet “my” pacer before the morning of the race.

The Field Trips

 

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Besides races, Zooma organized some optional field trips for those of us visiting the island. I was excited by Saturday’s to the Crystal Caves as they appeared to be absolutely stunning. They did not disappoint.  I had a particular chuckle as the shuttle we used to go to and from operated under the name “Bermuda Triangle Tours”. Life’s too short not to have a sense of humor.  If/when I go back to Bermuda, I’d probably stay a little more central – there was a lot of travel time between Hamilton, the caves and the airport that I’d prefer to eliminate in a shorter stay.

We also hit up the iconic Swizzle Inn, and while I stayed away from a Dark and Stormy or Rum Swizzle ahead of a race, I definitely soaked up the atmosphere. The real up side of being in Bermuda in the off season was the sites & restaurants had no issue accommodating the large groups.  In addition, we were able to get 20% off entrees for our closing dinner at Henry VIII. If I sprout fins and swim away from my blog it’s because of all the delicious fish I ate at the weekend. Wahoo, fish and chips and conch fritters, oh my!

Lighthouse Run

nice signage to mark the route!
can report we did not blow away despite my hair’s best efforts
#TwinningIsWinning

The length of this race changed a couple of times due to road conditions. As the day dawned and remained dark and stormy – a tribute, no doubt, to one of the sponsors and welcome drinks (!!) it solidified our plans to walk the run rather than risk Sunday’s run.

Dressing for high 50s/low 60s with wind and rain is a challenge coming out of Northeast winter. I made a gametime decision to put on a long sleeve tech shirt under the Strong Fricken’ Women tee, which I thought particularly appropriate for this women-focused series. I was very glad I did so as wet tee shirt is never a good feeling. This was semi-planned twinning as Darlene wore this one day and I loved the pattern and told her I was going to be a copycat. This was the first chance since that we both planned to wear capris, so it had to happen.

An unexpected find during the Zooma weekend was all the Skirt. One icebreaker on Friday’s field trip to Hamilton was someone wearing the same pattern as Darlene, and another woman told us how we could find at the Expo based on which Skirt she’d be wearing.

I had a poncho, but didn’t bother as the rain wasn’t particularly heavy but mostly annoying. The route was nice as the road wound down from Gibbs Lighthouse to Horseshoe Bay, and I’m sure would have been even more scenic on a clear day. For some reason I wore and turned on the Garmin, I’m sure it will soon be touting a new 1.5 mile race record. LOL.

Three happy, wet runners

 

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The Half Marathon

Flat Cari

Long sleeves was the wrong choice for 60s, but a few weeks ago when I accepted reality that this Half was going to be a challenge I’d stubbornly decided (Yes, I’m stubborn, this is a theme) I was going to wear my NYC Marathon shirt to remind me of what I had done just a few months ago. I survived, I did not melt.

On the go! We ran a chunk of the race together and she ultimately PRed

aka the reason we were all in Bermuda. There were some 200 runners in all, with us split relatively evenly between the Half Marathon and the 10K. As I mentioned last week, I contemplated dropping to the 10K as a result of my complete lack of training due to injury. Once I found out there was a 3.5 hour cut off, I had a feeling I could do it and decided to go for it. This was further confirmed when I met Esther from On Pace at the pool early in the week and she confirmed it wasn’t a hard limit and that no one would be left behind.

We boarded the race shuttles a a little before six, bringing us to the start area in Barr Park in plenty of time to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and prepare. While I think we could have arrived a little later, I totally understand the cushion for an inaugural race especially given the construction and narrow roads in Hamilton. Just after 7:30 we were off.

 

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Did I mention narrow roads and hills? Someone told us that while Bermuda is only 20 square miles it has more than 300 miles of roads. I’d believe that, and what the airport shuttle driver told us that he’d point out a straight road if we ever saw one. This was one hell of a course. My plan, such as I had one, was to power walk the hills and when my endurance gave out. This started in earnest at mile four when we hit the longest & steepest uphill simultaneously. Bermuda is the anti-flat. This was the hardest, but also the most scenic half marathon I’d ever run. If I had to give up a scenic view for one less hill – wow. That would be an impossible choice.

I chatted to both the 2:45 and 3:00 pacers for their plans and both were doing 3:1 intervals walking the hills. I started with 2:45 and kept them in sight for a few miles, but I knew that wasn’t realistic. I didn’t do intervals so much as run when I could, walk when I needed to. Somewhere around mile eight or nine my goal shifted from not finishing with the sweeper to coming in below three hours. I’d stayed with/ahead of them for so long I thought that was a reasonable goal even as I expected to tire in the final quarter.

All the OnPace pacers were awesome, but Mandi and Marissa get a special shout out for pushing us through the finish.  At mile nine-ten ish I felt strong enough to drop the intervals and gained on them a bit, which was good as it provided a cushion when I power walked much of mile eleven. By this point I was flat out determined to break three.  When our watches neared thirteen, Mandi and Marissa told us that the finish was just around the corner and to go as it was too early for them to finish as pacers. We took off and I can’t wait to see my finish photos as I was probably a smiling fool. I had about three glasses of seltzer from the finish line festival before heading back up to the finish to watch the last runner come through. She was surrounded by Pacers who had finished their assignments and went back out to bring her in. No one finishes alone was an awesome motto and I can’t wait to do another race where On Pace are the pacers.

My time? It was the slowest of my eight Halfs. Do I care? Not one iota. The goal for this one was finishing, ideally smiling. DONE.

I am an adult.. I did not stay up all night until a 6a shuttle figuring What the hell, I’ll sleep on the plane.  I was too tired from waking early and the half and went to bed around nine after a wonderful closing dinner at Henry VIII. This is 40.

General Thoughts:

  • Running a half marathon untrained is absolutely ridiculous. I knew this, and this is why I deferred Fort Lauderdale. but I was stubborn and didn’t want to miss out on the fun in Bermuda. I don’t regret this choice as I’m not sore at all and my knee is no worse than it had been after the Manhattan 7, but I’m not doing this again. I don’t have a Half on my calendar and am going to keep it that way for now. It’s time to train properly for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and go from there.
  • Because I did not train, I did not practice my fueling. An email about Gu on the course reminded me to throw some chews in my suitcase, and I ate a handful of Citrus Chews throughout. This worked fine and I was glad to have them as I got hungry despite my usual pre-race breakfast bar.
  • Back to my theme of sustainability, I was glad at a couple of water stops when the volunteers offered to fill my water bottle rather than me take a cup and pour the water into my cup.
  • Since we were mostly out of town and the island has such a small population, this isn’t a race with crowd support. It didn’t matter. It was lovely to see some locals who were out and about cheer us on.
  • Running on the left side of the road with traffic and mostly without shoulder or sidewalk was a little unnerving, especially with the curves. I felt though that traffic gave us as wide a berth as it could and we were never in danger.
  • Running without music (for safety) was no issue as the scenery was enough of a distraction.

While I can’t go back to Bermuda next year as I have an entry for Fort Lauderdale due to deferring this year, I’d do another Zooma race in a heartbeat if the destination was somewhere I wanted to run. It was well supported, the communication was great, the SWAG was good (the medals were GORGEOUS) and the location couldn’t have been better. Amelia Island might be too warm for my liking in October, but Cape Cod is tempting me.

Oh my right knee, you old frenemy

Not a Weekly Run Down, as there was a strong lack of running, but linking up with Deborah and Kim to talk about my knee diagnosis and some other 2019 odds and ends.

Am I disappointed in the injury? I think frustrated is a better word. I ran 862.97 miles in 2019. Four half marathons and the NYC Marathon this year, I met some amazing people. I wish it had ended differently, but disappointed doesn’t work for me.

This week’s exercise:

  • Monday: stretch and foam roll
  • Tuesday: tried to run, made it 50 feet
  • Friday: went for a walk after ortho, it wasn’t bad. PT after
  • Saturday: stretch, PT and foam roll. Realized rowing didn’t hurt, so 2K row
  • Sunday: literally running errands. Run / walk. Ice and PT after.

On the Knee:

I was able to get in to see the orthopedist on Friday afternoon. It was a new to me doctor, although I knew the practice. As is their normal, they had me do x-rays first and then a metric ton of paperwork. There is nowhere else I feel handwriting/penmanship is a use it or lose it more than doctor’s forms.

I was glad to have a good book (hi Book of Life and the amazing All Souls Trilogy, 1600+ pages still 1.99 on Kindle) as there’s often a wait. I can’t say I minded too much as getting me in with less than 24 hours notice didn’t do much for their schedule.

Dr. Lopez is a welcoming face – such as you ever really want to see a doctor. As he listened to symptoms, onset and examined the scars of a 20+ year ago surgery on my right knee, he began to manipulate that leg as well as the other to compare. I didn’t tell him of my thoughts of the IT band but knew he was thinking the same when he began to palpate that area of my thigh.

He had me turn to my left side and brought out the ultrasound. Since I couldn’t see the screen, he narrated what he was looking at as he continued to touch, bend and adjust my leg. After confirming that my knee wasn’t pregnant he said the ligaments looked good, no arthritis or bursitis. We then reviewed the x-rays, which were clean aside from a possible spur, which has been a possible spur for five or so years. AKA no worse.

He gave me a prescription for PT and some home exercises. Due to some travel this week, I can’t get in for my first appointment until 1/6, but I’ve packed my bands, small ball and will stretch as much as possible. I’m not even packing my sneakers, which feels weird. But I think the break from running will be better for the knee.

Next up:

  • 2019 Recap: so many good things. Maybe for Friday coffee.
  • 2020 Goals; I want to think about this some while traveling this week, and maybe wait until week one of PT to hear his assessment

Runfessions of a sidelined runner

Today I’m linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice for her monthly Runfessions linkup.  Be sure to check out her blog and those of the other great bloggers linking up.

My primary topic? The first injury that has kept me from running.

Yep, I ran through plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonosis. This knee pain that I think/hope is just a big IT band flare is impossible to run through. I got in a mile on Sunday but couldn’t get more than a few feet on Tuesday. Hopefully by Friday afternoon I’ll have an answer as to whether it’s ITB, or something else and a course of treatment. ETA: Confirmed, IT Band and Patellafemoral Pain Syndrome. Back to PT on 1/6, but home exercises in the mean time. I <3 my orthopedist. As he ran the ultrasound on my knee: I promise, your knee isn’t pregnant.

Hopefully, because not running is driving me nuts. I know it has been a great release for me, but I really, really missed it over the holidays. I runfess that If I physically could without pain, I would. But I’m listening to my body. While at mom’s I stretched as much as I could and when I got home tonight I foam rolled for about an hour. Hurts so good.

It’s super confusing as I have no idea why it started hurting. I ran last Wednesday and the only memorable event was catching my foot on uneven sidewalk. I didn’t think anything of the knee when it started to hurt as that sometimes happens. But then it got worse or at the very least didn’t get any better. The good news is, walking is less painful and stairs are fine. I could take Advil and make it “better”, but I hate relying on that.

I runfess that this week of being sidelined has put a damper on my 2020 goal planning. I wasn’t likely to be able to run on Jan 1 anyway as I’m going to be out of town, but I wanted to have a plan for running into the new year, and I can’t do that as I don’t know when I’ll be able to run pain free. So I’m ostriching. Not making 2020 plans and not thinking about the races I’ve registered for, but (might) not be able to run.

I runfess that I know it will ultimately be fine. I’m in a city of world class doctors, I know a great physical therapist and I’m lucky to have excellent health insurance. But I’m very disappointed to end the year hobbled and possibly not be able to mark my running anniversary running.

Lest it sound like all is bad, it isn’t. I had an amazing holiday with my family. I’m looking forward to New Years with a dear friend and her kids. I just wish my knee wasn’t so painful.

What do you have to runfess?

Ever dealt with IT Band or other knee issues?

Dashing through December with Jingle Bells

Where on earth did this month go? How is it already Christmas week? Apologies for a comments blitz of late. I’m trying desperately to catch up. One of these days I’ll either put email on my phone or figure out how to blog. Not gonna happen.

It’s not even technically winter yet as I type this on Wednesday, but I’m already smelling spring as I got into the Cherry Blossom 10M. I ran this in 2018 and this was when I first “met” some of you when Coco found my recap. While I’m not sure I can actually go in April due to some travel on either side.

First I need to get my cranky IT band back to 100%. Baby steps.

If you celebrate something this time of year, enjoy it.

Race recap: Delray Jingle Bell Jog.

build your own Santa
Hysterical, but impossible to run in

I eyed this race last year when I was in Fort Lauderdale but I decided it was too far for a 5K. Hmm, sounds like the reason I haven’t done Brooklyn’s. This year I was actually staying in Delray and the calendar worked, so I signed up. Rather than a tee shirt, this race provides you with a Santa suit. I’m 5’2 and it’s sized to fit someone a foot taller and wider, so it never was practical. Luckily Delray has all the chains and I hit up TJ Maxx, Ross, Stein Mart, two running stores and Target to find a red shirt to run in. Spoiler, I should have just gone to Target first.

The race begins (and ends) in Anchor Park so I had a nice two mile run from the condo to the start. I left a little later than planned, because 6:30 is early and as a result I hit Delray “traffic” aka the drawbridge.  As we waited, I met another runner out for a morning run and we got to chatting. While Delray isn’t a particularly small town, the running community felt it — everyone chatted or waved. Due to the bridge and generally late start, I got to the start just before we set off and I lined up with all the other Santas, elves and winter holiday finery.

all the Santas, all the palm trees

We set out at the sound of a loud jingle bell and were off, up Casuarina and onto AIA where we ran for a mile and change before turning around and coming back to Anchor Park. The lead / escort vehicle was a surfing Santa in a red sports car. Awesome! There was one water station that served the out and back and really, is there a better combination than palm trees and Santas?

penguins!
beer and water bottles

When we got back to Anchor Park there were medals – I won’t lie, the main reason I did this race – beer and ice cream. Not typically a breakfast beer person, but this was cold and refreshing. I also won an OrangeTheory water bottle. Once I’d cooled down, I didn’t want to start running again so I walked back to the condo via a delicious breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe.

I’d do this race again if I was in Delray that weekend, but it’s not (nor is it meant to be) a destination race. However, it has multiple locations and I’d certainly try another location too if that worked. A fun, local fun run.

Double Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

Week of 12/9:

  • I missed a Monday, but I knew I would with the gala. It went well.
running friends are the bestest
  • Tuesday: I had full blessing from my boss to sleep in and show up when I wanted to given the long hours/late night for the gala. Not only could I not fall asleep, but I was wide awake at 5:30. Luckily I have a dear friend who is also a morning person and was happy to go out with me. We walked, ran and forgot to pause the Garmin while we chit-chatted on a beautiful December morning in Central Park.
  • Wednesday: bupkus. Much delayed flight to Florida.
Look Ma, no layers!
  • Thursday: new location, old running habits. Had to find the shortest route to the beach that didn’t involve running on US1. Check!
  • Friday: lots of walking errands to try and find a red shirt for the Jingle Bell Jog as the Santa suit was way too big.
Jingle Jogged
  • Saturday:  Delray Jingle Bell Jog. So much silly fun that started off with a gorgeous sunrise over the intracoastal and ended up with ~1200 Santas. This should have been a longer run with the beginning of half marathon training, but determined not to get injured again.’
Florida hood ornament
  • Sunday: would have been a beautiful morning to run, but my Achilles were feeling the hills and not enough (OK, any) stretching, rolling or PT so I walked to the beach and sat there four a couple of hours before watching Eli Manning’s amazing swan song.

Week of 12/16:

 

  • never miss a Monday: one last Florida run with some crazy birds before a return to reality.
  • Tuesday: aforementioned icy rain reality. Digging out of my inbox and a lovely evening catching up with a friend over sushi.
definitely a different look!
  • Wednesday: beautiful winter morning and the last day before it turns to the teens so I scooted out for four wake up miles. Knee cranky after standing during holiday party and more no stretching so I hit the gym after for some PT.
  • Thursday: holiday lights, long foam roll.
  • Friday: time to start shopping
  • Saturday: long foam roll
  • Sunday: tried to run, knee wasn’t great but walking was better than it had been so taking that as good sign.

Plan for the week: run if I can, foam roll a lot.

Thankful for running

I’m the worst about doing those gratitude posts on social media. I always feel like I’d leave out someone or something, or I’d start strong and peter off because I’ve never been a daily poster. And after I’d started this on Monday, I realized it was the Tuesday Topics. Fail on me.

I know I’ve said this approximately eleventy billion times across the marathon journey, but I’m really grateful for the running community. So many amazing people.

Marathon Monday with Fred

Did you go bonkers for Black Friday? I really didn’t, but I bought myself two presents. The first, to no surprise, is the Skirt Sports’ 25% off everything on top of the month-long 40% off or more!  I needed another capri and went with Lioness as there are no more LBCs that I need. And now I’ll have black in Gym Girl, LBC and Lioness. While I didn’t love running long in it, it worked for the Albany Half and puttering around on Marathon Monday. I love the freedom of thinking not everything needs to work for 18/20 miles.

The other purchase? I badly needed a new Keurig. Mine was a hand me down nearly three years ago. It no longer made a 10 oz cup, and never felt clean enough for my liking. So I’m the owner of a K Select in Oasis, because who wants boring colors? Of course I still had to buy coffee twice at the weekend because I hadn’t set it up. It will be ready for Friday’s Coffee Date… whether I will is another story.

Weekly run down with Deborah and Kim:

Glow worms
  • Never miss a Monday: Run/walk with Elizabeth. Still very much loving the NoxGear Tracer 360, getting the playing with it out of my system. We took a detour from the standard three-ish mile loop to say hi to Fred.
  • Tuesday: coffee with a friend
this was a pleasant surprise
construction gates never looked that good
Ready for the parade Macy’s on the way out of the city
  • Wednesday: morning miles before work. My watch had some egg nog, apparently because I do not run nine or four minute miles.  I ended the run and started a new one and it behaved. So glad to have East RIver path fully open for the first time in years so no more stairs!
Trails, blessed trails
  • Thursday: no Trots worked for my schedule, but I did get in three miles before we drove to Albany. Nowhere near a PR, but negative splits like I haven’t seen in eons.
Walking off Thanksgiving
Running with Elizabeth and running into her friend
  • Saturday: my first without Rogue scheduled since June. Elizabeth and I met in the Park and ran into one of her friends while on the West Side. The wet spot? Her trying to teach me to drink from a water bottle spout v opening the bottle. I really, really love the impulse purchase marathon hat. All Skirt with Pocketopia and Watch Me Go, which worked well on a blustery day. One thing I don’t miss about marathon training – I can run just to run, don’t need specific miles. Half marathon training starts this week though.
holy sweatball
  • Sunday: I wanted to run since I knew I couldn’t Monday. I woke to icy rain and ended up taking the bus to the gym. I didn’t have my headphones so couldn’t stay on treadmill, ended up with a swetball of an elliptical session.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off; Winter’s Eve with Darlene and Elizabeth
  • Tuesday – Friday; crap shoot with work. I’ll get some runs in
  • Saturday: Ted Corbett 15K
  • Sunday: crap shoot, gala Monday.

GoTheDist:

November totals:

  • 468,102 steps
  • 213.97 miles run/walked
  • 75.89 miles run

Year to Date:

  • 5,547,207 steps
  • 2486.05 miles run/walked
  • 824.24 miles run

Note: 998,569 steps Q4 to date, I remember when that was a stretch quarter goal. I won’t lie, 825 miles run would have been nice albeit meaningless.

2018 step/mile goals are good, and I’d forgotten about the PR goals.

8 gym visits; 28 for September – February cycle.

This is 40

That 2019/2009 meme. Still and always smiling

can I just whine for a second? I’m a big country fan and I had the perfect “anthem” when I turned 30. Tim McGraw’s My Next Thirty Years. 

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

It was great. It was on the heels of two songs I loved in my 20s:  Martina McBride This One’s for the Girls and Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. They spoke to me.  They were the optimism of our age. I still love them fifteen years later.

So many on 40-quotes and lyrics are depressing. I’m not sad about hitting 40. I love it. My 30s were better than my 20s and I have no doubt my 40s will be even better.  I can’t find anything else that resonates the same way, although I love Garth’s Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old. So I’m going to keep a hold on Tim McGraw for another decade.  There’s something to be hopeful for in his last verse

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years

Anyway…

Usually due to the holidays I end up with a birthweek. Sometimes it turns into a birthmonth. This year with Thanksgiving late, it was more contained – although part of me feels like I kicked off BIRTHDAY on November 3. Had an amazing week celebrating with colleagues, family and friends.

Two amazing friends
Theater with Mom & Bob

Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

  • never miss a Monday: has become a wonderful habit. It was rainy, raw & gross and not outdoor weather. I hit the gym and went back to one of my favorite Rogue workouts: 300m repeats. A little “ish” on the treadmill as it was just mentally easy to do .19/.06 than .186. It was during this run, although I didn’t realize it until later, that I hit 800 miles run on the year. That was my yearly goal and it was great to hit it ~ 5 weeks early. The workout felt great.
it’s Christmas time in the city
  • Tuesday: colleague’s birthday drinks. Quick gym visit for some rowing, PT and strength training after and a Target run with this great view.
  • Wednesday: speaking of Wendy’s excellent post on meeting other runners, spent a fabulous evening with my dear friends and Skirt Sisters, Darlene and Elizabeth. Running really has brought the best people into my life. Not just running friends. FRIENDS
  • Thursday: return of the office run group. I realized when I looked at Strava I realized we’ve done this loop 15x. And it wasn’t  even our original loop. Nice tradition we had going.
  • Friday: post-work birthday drinks with friends and colleagues.
hanging with Fred
what a beautiful day
Bday eats
  • Saturday: Where have I spent every Saturday morning since June? It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and why would my birthday be any different? I knew I didn’t have time to do the eight miles on the schedule so I brought them donut holes and we set off. I paused the watch at 4 for a celebratory 4.0 birthday miles that included a photo stop with Fred, because how could I not? I then ran to Starbucks for my bday drink for a respectable 10K on the day. Amazing how that feels short/acceptable after marathon training. After a stop home to shower and change, I met Mom & Bob for A Christmas Carol and then drinks at Bookmarks Lounge and dinner at Hudson Malone for a wonderful birthday.
  • Sunday: Race to Deliver. I DNSed. Raw, cold and miserable. I woke up to the heavy rain and went back to sleep after a brief moment of I still have time to get there if I leave now. No shame. I made a donation. Best part of off season is no have to run. There was no way I’d have enjoyed this. It was worse than Lebow. I also had runs on tap for Monday and Tuesday and there’s no way I could run four days in a row.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: run with Elizabeth
  • Tuesday: office run group
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: off, drive to Albany so will miss trots here & there
  • Friday: run?
  • Saturday: run with friends? So weird not to type Rogue
  • Sunday: off.

Tuesday Topics: Rogue Running and group marathon training

My original plan for NYC Marathon training wasn’t group training, nor was it JackRabbit’s Rogue Running.  I realized early on that a DIY approach probably wasn’t going to work for me, and soon after that my Mile High Run Club idea wouldn’t either.

Rogue Runners

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida this Tuesday Topics to talk about group training for the marathon in general, and Rogue Running in particular.

TL; DR: I’m so glad I did group training and Rogue was a good fit with excellent coaches and fun fellow runners, but it’s not necessarily designed for Turtles.

I was mentally writing this on Saturday, my first Saturday “long” run with Rogue after the marathon and my penultimate workout with them. What was I listening to? Running Rogue’s Ode to Shalane from a few weeks ago when she announced her retirement. Two things that stuck with me?

  • Her comments on group training, and how it evolved from when she first graduated college & Meb & Deena at Mammoth were one of the only games out there. Subsequently how she asked the coach at Bowerman Track Club to add more women to the group to push and help her and how that evolved into the so-called Bowerman Babes.
  • Chris McClung‘s comment that there’s a little Shalane in all of us. It’s so so true. We might not medal, but we can all improve.

I was all over the place when I thought about how I was going to train for the marathon.  Runfession: I still haven’t read the Hanson’s book I bought, or re-read the Hal Higdon one I read early in my running journey.  One of the things I love about our office running group is it was helpful for bouncing ideas off one another, including how are we going to do this? I’m so glad we found Rogue and that it had a five day trial.

I’ll be honest – I nearly quit Rogue after the first Saturday workout. Well not really after – during, when I fell behind during the “easy” warmup.  I can’t keep upwhat’s the point? I still remember that thought and almost exactly where I was in Central Park — lower loop, coming around the curve at the south end of The Mall. I’m pretty sure that was my social anxiety talking, and I’m so glad I ignored it.

happy, sweaty runners after a buggy July workout

Because Rogue does a near twenty week marathon training cycle that includes base building, I began with them in mid-June. I am thrilled to say that I never really missed a session.  Some thoughts on why Rogue/group training worked for me:

  • almost every Friday night I was dreading the 6/5:30 wakeup for the long run. Every single Saturday I was so glad to have the run done. The accountability is huge. I’d have to answer to someone about why I didn’t come – and I was too tired/it was too hot didn’t seem legit. I moved a couple around due to travel, but I got all the long runs in. I missed one Wednesday when I took the workout indoors due to rain — slipping on a wet leaf wasn’t in my plan three weeks out. But that’s not really missing it.
guest runners and popsicles
  • We had fun. I obviously got to know some better than others if we ran at similar paces during a given workout, but everyone was fun. We cheered one another on at out and backs and in workouts. The coaches were AMAZING.  I wouldn’t change one thing about the cohort of people. We were split between first time marathoners, those who had run one or two, and two vets with nearly 20. It made for a great mix.
  • We had great guest speakers/runners/product demos. And popsicles. I got exposed to so many different facets of the running industry that helped my training – and they were ones I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to seek out.
  • I have a library of workouts. I actually went back to one of them today when I needed something on the treadmill-300m repeats. While I would have had said library from a training plan, I’m the type of person who learns from someone explaining it vs. reading it. We got weekly emails with the workouts as well as a spreadsheet at the start, but once the coaches explained it, I got it.

Downsides? Really only what I said above about it not being designed for Turtles. And it really wasn’t a downside for me.

  • This is true of every group training though – they have to be programmed to the most common group. So while I was usually lagging a mile or three behind on the Saturday long runs, there was one runner who was way ahead. I don’t think this is a bad thing — but it might not work for everyone.  As I tend to be a solo runner anyway, I was happy to run some with company and then be alone, or vice versa. Sometimes I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with another runner, other days I just wanted my podcast. That first workout where I lost them on the warmup? That never really changed, although without fault they’d wait for me and if I asked them to hang back, I think one of the coaches probably would have. I knew our routes well and once they realized I really was fine solo, it worked well on both sides.

Do I know for sure that I ran faster because I did group training? Nope. I just have a good feeling that while I couldn’t do the 5-6 days Rogue prescribed, I think it made me a more consistent runner than I would have been on my own. I look forward to using some of these workouts in my half marathon training, because a Half PR is definitely a 2020 goal.  I’m not sure whether I’m going to sign up for Rogue again – but that’s a factor of some travel plans that make it unlikely I’ll get my money’s worth.

  • Have/do you do group training?
  • Do you think it improved your running?

Getting back to a routine, or trying

and a whole bunch of meandering thoughts on a weird week.

I didn’t end up getting as much of the routine as I wanted due to a mid-late week battle with food poisoning, but I’m back on my feet now and easing back into things.

Teddy brigade
close up of Marathon Teddy

I am not an I HATE WINTER person when it comes to running. There are mornings where I’ll be grumbling, but in general give me 20 over 80 any day for running.  Getting out of bed on a chilly, dark day? That’s another story. Especially with that marathon present to myself, marathon teddy

I was looking at my upcoming race calendar and where are they? Central Park, Central Park, Delray, Central Park (maybe, haven’t signed up for this one), Fort Lauderdale, Riverside Park, Central Park, Central Park, Bermuda. I guess I’m already escaping winter. I finally updated the race calendar/race recaps which I hadn’t. Oops

One of my expo purchases was the NYC Marathon edition of the 1080s, and I’m so glad I did, because I love them, and because the new 1080s are FUGLY.  I may need to put finding a new shoe on my 2020 list because no. Function > fashion, but NO.

Nicely done, Engravably Yours!

I never managed to get my medal engraved last week during Marathon Monday at the pavillion or later in the week at the Run Center due to lines. I wasn’t too worried as there were options and there’s nothing special about NYRR’s own engraving as they use a vendor. I was at mom’s over the weekend and remembered a shop we’d used for personalized gifts as kids and stopped in. Mom picked it up Wednesday and I love the font. Yay small businesses.

For the first time in a very long time (i.e. the year that I quit #GoTheDist), logging my steps is making me mad. I still track them as I wear my fitbit 24/7, but seeing that I’m not hitting my goal isn’t making me happy. Luckily it’s mostly (see above re: food poisoning) within my control, so time to take those steps. No pun intended. That said, I think no junk steps during marathon training was a good one, and I might need to re-look at step goals for 2020. Onto steps..

Weekly run down with birthday girl Deborah and Kim. Also, happy birthday Coco and Deb:

  • never miss a Monday: missing my brain. Had plans to meet a dear friend for a run/walk as she re-starts running after some medical down time. I forgot: my socks, my Garmin. Luckily I can run in work socks and she tagged me in Strava. Definitely one of those I’d forget my head if it weren’t screwed on days.
  • Tuesday: work craziness had me at the office long after I planned on being at the gym. I still made it for some strength training, PT and foam rolling.
  • Wednesday: was meant to be my first workout with Rogue post marathon. I bailed a mile into it as my stomach wasn’t having it.
  • Thursday: minimal steps as the body is not meant to exist on 400 calories
  • Friday: did not push recovery
Love the accents on my new shoeses
  • Saturday: six Central Park miles. I missed that loop.This felt good. I was not pushing the pace as food had been minimal since Wednesday, and it was a smart move to take a chew on a short run given the lack of food. I had water with me but forgot the park fountains would be off. Guess it’s back to the hydration belt, although I did just buy myself an SPI belt with the JackRabbit Bunny Bucks in the marathon goodie bag
  • Sunday: spectating the ultra. Gym PT. Continuing closet clean out & organization. Hardcore adulting.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run with friends
  • Tuesday: off
  • Wednesday: dinner with Darlene, Elizabeth
  • Thursday: return of the office run group?
  • Friday: off. Birthday mischief with friends
  • Saturday: birthday miles. Distance TBC. Tickets to A Christmas Carol and dinner with mom & Bob
  • Sunday: Race to Deliver 4M. My 4M PR is almost two years old and I’m not sure I’m anywhere close to it, but it will be fun to try. Or set a new benchmark. I’m very curious to see what effect marathon volume had on my speed overall. I did see that pace in a time trial in July, but 4M very different from 2M.