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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A post shared by @travellingcari on

  • 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

The amazing running community

Yes. YES

All of you. Everyone I’ve met over the last nearly three years. Everyone I’ve run with since beginning training in June.

There isn’t much substance to this weekly run down as I was somewhat down with a cold throughout the week. But I’m not dwelling on that – I want to focus on Saturday’s route of the last ten miles of the marathon and the absolute running block party it was.

Three crazy Rogue runners. (c) KatyMariposa
When you need to hop on the counter to be heard

Saturday morning came bright and early. I won’t say dawned as it was absolutely pre-dawn when we gathered at the JackRabbit on the Upper East Side as one of the many groups tackling the last ten miles. I truly think every NYC based running group was out there this weekend or last. We at Rogue joined the larger JackRabbit team and general public with one of our coaches as a pacer.

We headed out of the store a few minutes after seven and over to 1st Avenue to start the run up to the Bronx. I’d never run the Willis Avenue Bridge before and was somewhat surprised at its incline. From there we wiggled around surface streets until a rest area (with Gu, Nuun and a puppy!) and then a longer rest area as the Madison Avenue Bridge was undergoing some work and not open at the moment.

a few more awake Rogue Runners

 

waiting for the Madison Avenue Bridge to reopen

You really can’t stress it and no one really was. It was a meet and greet on the go while keeping our watches out of power save mode.

When the bridge re-opened it was a right turn and then a relatively straight shot down Fifth Avenue with a slight wiggle around Marcus Garvey Park before heading into the Park at Engineers Gate. I was glad for that – not so much the final stretch as the water fountain. It was slightly warmer than I’d expected and I need more than a 20 oz without water stations. That also lead to the wonderful fashion statement of my long-sleeve shirt shoved in my belt. Nice to know that’s an option too.

I actually ran all of it with a Rogue runner who had to drop back in pace and it was nice to get to know her as we ran. We were also running at the same pace as a group of women wearing amazing & fun skirts. I know I’d met one of the women at the Mini or one of the other summer runs, and it was nice to see them again.

nearing the finish. (c) Katy
imagining people in the stands in a week! (c) Katy

I crossed the “finish” with two of those women and “apologized” for eavesdropping as the one who had run NYC before – I later learned three times – told her friend where the finish was, what the exits would look like. This was super helpful even as Rogue Wednesday workouts crossed the finish a few times.

The running community is such a help – it’s not a competition, everyone is really helping and coaching either other. It’s just fun and I cannot wait to run with 49,999 of my BFFs NEXT SUNDAY.

The choice of Cascade over Gym Girl for “only” ten was deliberate. If the weather is in the 50s, I might go Cascade over Lotta Breeze and I wanted one final test, although I’m pretty sure I wore it for the first twenty miler. A spurt of cleaning this morning found my disposable pants to go with the sweatshirt. Yay not scrambling later this week.

what about your friends!
twinning. Note my AWESOME sandals
is there a better post-run meal?

The other up side of “only” ten miles is you don’t feel trashed and can have some fun with friends. Leaf watching. Twinning. Brunching.

Friends absolutely make our lives better.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Marine Corps Marathoner! Kim :

  • Monday: squeezed in 3.5 miles after a long ass day at work. The run ended at a diner for matzoh ball soup for the second day in a row, which should have been a sign of what was to come, health wise. There’s just something in that chicken fat.
  • Tuesday: plan was to go to the gym to cross after work. I worked late and had a sore throat coming on by the time I left.
  • Wednesday: Rogue, Little Inferno. I felt  pretty awful by this time but decided to try it. The planned workout:
– 2 minutes at 10K pace followed by 1 minute easy
– 6 minutes at HMGP followed by 1 minute easy
– 10 minutes at MGP followed by 1 minute easy
– 6 minutes at HMGP followed by 1 minute easy
– 2 minutes at 10K followed
  • the reality? My watch worked. My lungs not so much. I hit the intervals, but my paces were all over. It was great to run through the finish line a couple of times.
  • Thursday: went home after half a day at work and worked from my couch to try and kick this.
  • Friday: made it through the day of work, but there was no activity beyond some yoga and PT.
  • Saturday: the running block party I detailed above.
  • Sunday: off completely. It’s pouring and I want to rest. Watching football, tracking my friends running Marine Corps.

Week/total mileage: 15.85 // 419.32

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run
  • Tuesday: off, back to back meetings. Outside shot at morning run if I don’t run Monday
  • Wednesday: last Rogue group workout
  • Thursday: Expo. Gym cross maybe. Walk home maybe
  • Friday: dinner with the other Joyful Heart runners.
  • Saturday: a walk maybe?
  • Sunday: 26.2!!!!!!!!!

I’m excited. Nervous. Ready. Proud.

Mile High Wind Chill

I’m still trying to work out the balance between routine and rest. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a thing forever, and I’m OK with that. As I briefly mentioned the other day, hills and weekend long runs are a challenge at the moment, although not an impossible one. The more pressing one to me at the moment is having the oomph to do 4.5 miles after an already long day at work. It’s not a running endurance issue, so much as an I’m tired one.  So while I’d like to power through, I’m also open to other ideas. Solutions this weekend and last? Runs on Saturday and Sunday.

Before I get into the details on those workouts, just wanted to share this, which happened this weekend

passed 1900 #RunTheYear miles

WOW! 382+ miles of that are running, but even without that, wow.

Height of winter running fashion

Saturday dawned bright and brisk, though thankfully not as brisk as Friday evening’s 18F windchill. I would still have much preferred to stay in bed but yay for the accountability of meeting a friend. I’d tried to lay out my clothes the night before as I knew I wouldn’t want to get out of bed before I needed to. Those tights, like the others I own, are designed for tall people, but hey built in socks. Ended up free lancing as the wind breaker didn’t quite work so final tally was:

  • Champion 6.2 tights (I’d absolutely buy another pair if they still had the awesome pink spiderwebs)
  • TekGear long-sleeved shirt with thumbholes. Yep, pretty much free gloves there with the size.
  • an RBX long sleeve shirt
  • topped off with a Cuddl Dudds fleece top. (I maintain if it doesn’t look like long underwear it’s absolutely acceptable to wear on the outside)
  • Non-performance gloves, ear band, socks because sometimes normal cold weather gear is just fine. Had the wind been worse I might have put on the wind pants that I wore when I was a Frozen Penguin. Base layer that day was CuddlDudds on the bottom, I think
We weren’t the only crazy runners on this cold day

I got to the top of Cat Hill just a few minutes late. And by got, I mean ran because of course I was running late. I don’t track those as the lights mess it up, but it’s nice to know I can pseudo run commute when needed. We tend to do laps of the 1.66 mile bridle path loop with a start at Engineers Gate and an end where/when we feel it was right. Luckily as we kept moving and zigged-zagged into the sun we found the weather wasn’t as bad (I swear the hot air from incessantly discussing it warms it up) and we were both feeling good.

A great, if cold run

We called it at six miles and I was pleasantly surprised that it was roughly consistent with last week despite starting off more slowly.

Splits!

 

No idea where mile four came from.  When the watch indicated it we looked at one another befuddled. I love the setting that buzzes on miles. Way more useful. The ascent is absolute nonsense. There is an incline, but nothing that significant. Most surprising? Despite the weather this felt “easy”. Maybe there’s something to running a distance consistently? It happened in June with the 5K distance, but part of me still felt like that was a fluke. But it’s happening again. Weird, but I’ll take it.

Despite the cold, we did a walking cool down lap-ish while I gave this one a go.

Verdict? No. Stomach, fine. But it tasted like chemicals. It also wasn’t worth the extra dollar that Rocktane commands. After a Starbucks run we hit the Upper West Side JackRabbit and I got the energy gum. They have a much larger cross section of gels than the East Side does, but I was too cold/tired to shop. So cold/tired that rather than walking to 86th or even 79th, I hopped on the 1. Yes, I have an unlimited metrocard. I realized when I got upstairs I’d be just shy of 30K steps on the day, but I didn’t want it badly enough to go back out. Long, hot shower and couch called my name. It was good for a re-charge.

So what was the second part of my weekend slate? Finally trying Mile High Run Club, which I first learned of the night before the Women’s 10K. I immediately filed it away as not for me, as like the HuffPo writer, I was intimidated. I also thought it was for runners at a way higher level than I was. Still, I was intrigued. A friend mentioned it over lunch over the summer and I waved her off as still out of my reach. Like a good friend, she didn’t push. As I continued to train, it re-entered my brain. Reading run blogs was part of that as CuckooLemon is a fan, Peanut Butter wasn’t and others are mixed.

Feeling more confident in my runs of late and reading this post, which really sold me on why it was worth trying, I pinged my friend and asked which class she recommended and would she go with me. She was happy to and recommended the High45, with a series of instructors who offered it/she preferred. The class is described as:

HIGH 45 is the bridge between our DASH 28 and DISTANCE class. Expect to cover between 3 and 5+ miles in this treadmill only interval-based 45-minute endurance class.

We landed on NoMAD as that’s her home base and Sunday morning, because both of our schedules suck. Despite some registration challenges due to their new system, it was smooth to sign up for the $18 trial and check/in arrival was nice. The locker room was super clean and well-stocked (may be a first thing in the morning thing) and post-class it was easy to get a shower. I like that the lockers have the built-in locks so you can haul one less thing.

I was nervous but found Rich V. welcoming without hovering too much. He set me up with the basics I needed, such as how to adjust speed and that 1.0 was “flat” in MHRC parlance. As others have mentioned, it’s a go your own with some suggested levels for joggers v. racers. That was particularly helpful to me as I still haven’t figured out my target paces, although I’m getting there.

I like how the class ran, both the mix of the instructor talking and not as well as how he outlined what was to come. It was very helpful to mentally plan for the intervals. I was nervous when he first mentioned an 8.0 incline but I figured I do what I could. 50by25 has a really good breakdown of the different intervals if you’re curious.

Absent some noodling around to identify what my personal levels 1/2/3 (and sub levels)/4 were, I didn’t have to downgrade my speed at all and kept up with the time intervals for both incline and speed.  Key I think was slowing it more than I normally do on my intervals and being a little conservative when it came to my level 3 speeds. I took it above 6.0 twice and finished the all out sprint at a 9:30 pace (6.3) which I think is my best ever. And I could have gone faster, I think. Definitely room to grow and I finished feeling strong. That made me happy.

Mile High Running Club workout details

If I wanted proof of progress on the year. Even conservative-ish, that’s nearly a mile more in 40 seconds fewer than my penguin day. Wow

Other thoughts:

Pros:

  • The change from hills to speed intervals made the 45 minutes go lightning quick. When I looked at the treadmill display at one moment, I couldn’t believe 20 minutes had passed. Way more fun than grinding out 4.5 miles after work, but I wonder if that was also a factor of being fresher.
  • The darkly lit room made it easy to ignore the watch and what others were doing. Also let me fade into obscurity, which is my preference in classes.
  • Being in the middle row was perfect – enough space to look around without getting distracted by everyone else’s machines. Not too close to the mirror. Beyond the basics (nothing hurt), I didn’t worry too much about form as that’s too much multi-tasking for me.
  • Soundtrack was awesome, mix of genres and time periods.
  • Well stocked and since instructor is just coaching and not running, he was able to do little things like help on the fly, retrieve a dropped towel.

Cons:

  • Not really convenient, and it’s expensive. But there’s Classpass, monthly passes (if I really get into it) and it isn’t that inconvenient.

I want to do one again. I don’t think I’m yet at the level of The Distance, but I think High45 is perfect as I don’t have much interest in the kettle bell part, which seems to get mixed to poor reviews. I’ll see how it works schedule wise.

No gel report, I forgot to bring it into the studio (and forgot my water at home) and then we decided to go for brunch. Scrambled eggs & avocado on toast > any gel.

Instead of rowing tomorrow, taking day off off to rest after ten miles in two days. Hoping it’s warm enough to walk home.

More to come.

One Week

and not BNL’s One Week which is in my head for some inexplicable reason.

I have officially tracked everything for one week. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I’ve tracked about one week with a day or two missing because I didn’t want to face it or some other excuse, but not this time. I really think my head is finally back in the right place to finish this.

and maybe it’s no coincidence that I’m down 6.2 this week. Hello water weight but I’ll take it.

Huge thanks to Britt, Jess and Robby for kicking my ass and lots of advice. <3 you.

And now? I tuck into this salad that is roughly the size of my head.

“Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy. Like Kurosawa, I make mad films, ok I don’t make films, but if I did, they’d have a Samurai”