Honor 9/11

I’ve seen the article that floated around about whether running is a selfish past time. I don’t buy it – at least not any more than any solo activity. We do what makes us happy, and if we’re able to, we give back.

9/11 Memorial North Pool

But this week? There’s something bigger than all of us.

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?Were you in the yard with your wife and children, or working on some stage in L.A.?

Did you stand there in shock
At the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

I’m not at all religious, but Alan Jackson’s song is always on repeat this week.

I was living in Japan – I’d moved there just three weeks prior. I realized I didn’t get into that when I asked where you all were on 9/11. Here is my post that I wrote immediately after. I’m glad I made it public as I’ve lost the password to the LJ account.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

Hudson River Park’s AIDS Memorial
Mural at the Oculus. Words to live by
  • Monday: September 11 snuck up on me this year. I’m not sure why, exactly. I realized over the weekend that with the anniversary on a Wednesday I couldn’t make it to the Memorial and trying to do the Rogue workout while running to remember just felt wrong so I decided to repeat last year’s run on Monday instead. I’d like to say it was easier not on the anniversary itself or that I didn’t tear up, but that would be a lie.
  • Tuesday: planned off. Met a friend for dinner and then went to the gym for yoga/prehab/strength.
Tribute in Lights with Museum at the right
  • Wednesday: Rogue. The prescribed workout:
The Workout: The Michigan: 
Runners will do 2-3 sets of the Michigan. 1 set equals: One mile on the road at half marathon pace + short jog to the track + 800m on the track at 10K pace + short jog back to the road.
Why? Ron Warhurst, head Track & Field at the University of Michigan, developed this workout back in the 1970s and it has become a staple workout for many distance runners.  The workout not only simulates the changing of gears in a race but also uses different energy systems and terrain all in one workout. This is  the ultimate aerobic strength workout that builds endurance and staying power in races, especially half marathon and marathon distances.
  • The reality: Sort of. But not my fault. There was some type of power outage in the park that made dusk turn really dark and as I completed the 800m portion of my second set, one of the coaches suggested I run back to the start (about a mile) and do a 400m out and back there. I agreed, mostly from a place of fear of twisting my ankle trying to get from the Great Lawn around King Jagiello. So my distance was a mile off and pace was all over the place due to the heat & humidity, but this workout felt good. I saw the Tribute in Lights from the Park and ended up going down quickly after we finished. Always inspiring.
happy drowned rat
  • Thursday: I can’t remember if I said this or not when I posted about training, but I decided early on that I wasn’t going to do the prescribed mileage. I knew the volume/training days was not something I could do with base and coming off the Achilles injury, and since my priority is getting to the start line healthy, I did not try. I committed to running three days a week with a fourth if it felt right. It mostly hadn’t, but the Sunday before last and this Thursday, it did. I’m liking this leg strength progress. I headed home after work as I didn’t want the crowds or hills of the park and had a delicious rain run. ~3 miles just puddle hopping and enjoying life.
  • Friday: off. Wanted to stretch and roll. Rolled with last week’s dinner, avocado with ranch dressing.
view crossing the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn
reward time
  • Saturday: 20 Miles. TWENTY MILES. I’m actually going to post about this on Tuesday as I want to touch on some marathon milestones that long run hit. It wasn’t perfect, but I’m excited and proud of myself. After spending the afternoon with a dear friend, I treated myself to a much needed pedi. I really just wanted the foot massage but it’s fall & purple time.
  • Sunday: off. Giants game. Technically a DNS on the NYRR 18 miler, but really that’s just a swapped run. Insane to think when I signed up that I didn’t think I could do it and instead ran twenty. TWENTY!

MIleage for the week/total: 34.03//274.27 No wonder my July shoes are creeping up there in miles.

Plan for week:

  • Monday: Run
  • Tuesday: Off/cross
  • Wednesday: Rogue
  • Thursday: Run?
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: 8-10, oh blessed down week

Running achievements

NYRR at a glance

 

I logged into the new NYRR site to check on something and was welcomed with the above. WOW. 25 NYRR races in two and a bit years of running. 170 NYRR race miles. To say I didn’t see this when I first set the treadmill to 4.0 is an understatement. So glad I did, so glad I met all of you.

off pace, but I’ll get there

speaking of achievements, I hit this during Saturday’s run. Three years in and I finally learned how to make a custom bib.

Because I haven’t updated this in ages, thought it worth listing some upcoming races in case anyone is around for them. No, not taking all of July & August off, just haven’t planned enough vacation to plan racing calendar:

May

  • Newport Fiesta 5K – new to me and new to NYRR. It’s on the Jersey City waterfront and Cinco de Mayo-ish. I just decided to do this since realizing that my beloved Great Saunter is not a smart thing to do on a better but not perfect Achilles.

June

  • June 2, Italy Run – I did this last year. I am cutting down in June, but couldn’t skip one with a heritage tie. Since I don’t like cheese I regularly am asked if I am really Italian. LOL
  • June 5, 1 for You, 1 for Youth 5K for Global Running Day – I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago. Glad to do a pre-work race because I did not enjoy last summer’s post-work 5K and always good to run for a good cause.
  • June 8, Women’s Mini 10K. Oops. Clearly did not look at the dates of these three and have three in a week. Cutback? I love/hate this run and the medal doesn’t appeal as much as it first did (I’d prefer a cheaper 10K without a medal or a la carte like Cherry Blossom), but it’s become a bit of a tradition. Prepare for a cranky recap.
  • June 29, Front Runners’ LGBT Pride Run. Ahh yes, there’s the breather that comes from passing on the Queens 10K and Achilles 4M. Loved this last year and can’t not do it during the year-long celebration of Stonewall and our hosting of World Pride.

September

  • September 15, NYC Marathon Training Series 18M. I jumped on this one as soon as I decided to do the marathon because I’m going to need company on this long of a long run.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

  • Monday: Cross train, some near running on the elliptical. A funny thing about that – always thought I couldn’t do it. And then the LateralX was taken and I had to. It can even be kind of fun.
  • Tuesday: short window, pre- and post-work events due to spring silly season. Got in a 10m row and 10m arc trainer at a different than my normal branch. The Arc Trainer is an interesting machine.
post-work gallery hopping is a great reason to move a run to morning. Also, Jackie O!
  • Wednesday: in keeping with the achievement theme, something I touched on in my Instagram post. I’ve almost always been Team: Sleep in Until Noon. The only time that really changed was when I was doing Saturday morning Weight Watchers’ meetings. And while I still love my lazy weekend mornings with coffee, it’s usually not sleeping in. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoy waking an hour earlier than necessary to run, I don’t mind it and have mostly made good use of that former PT slot. Today’s use was ~2.5 miles along the East River. It was also an absolutely gorgeous spring day so I was able to walk to and home from an evening event.
  • Thursday: what a difference a day makes! I really wanted to run outside despite office run group cancelling due to schedules, but it was monsooning. What happens when you’re chased inside? Complete inability to stay on any machine. I bounced from LateralX to rower to elliptical before giving up and just doing my PT.
  • Friday: what a difference a day makes, redux! Knew I’d be inside due to weather and 30m on the elliptical went by like 5. Followed with some weights and PT work. It was a dream. Oh the mental games.
  • Saturday: what a day, threedux. Didn’t think I’d get to take advantage of a beautiful day due to plans, but I made it back on time for an eight mile Central Park runset. My longest by far since January 1, other than the three Halfs. I didn’t worry about pace or distance, just time. Mile 7 was lights and dead legs, but overall the run felt good. Achilles wasn’t silent, but nothing out of the ordinary. A couple stretches when I stopped at water fountains. Oh spring!
Flat Cari
Sand castle at the finish
  • Sunday: 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk. Cool and rainy. I’d normally have worn the event tee for this since we’re a sponsor and it’s just a 5K fun run, but wet cotton is not fun. In hind sight, only drizzled so would have been fun. On the plus side, since I went long Saturday I could (and did) take the train home via NYRR Run Center for bib pickup and not feel at all guilty.
    There isn’t a ton to say about this. 9/11 is just so powerful a driver and great to see a large turnout. A few photos, but overall just people watched. The turnaround at Point Thank You actually brought tears to my eyes. This wasn’t a race, this was a remembrance.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: cross train, or maybe off depending on legs.
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: cross?
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: Cinco de Mayo 5K. It’s in NJ so I’m not sure about warmup. Will find extra miles somewhere as it’s an evening run.
  • Sunday: TBD based on Saturday

Where were you on 9/11?
Have you visited the Memorial or Museum?
Did you realize Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is gone 25 years this May?

Global Running Day Plans, Shoes Threedux

as I’ve mentioned, I love how much NYRR does to give back. I always try to get to Global Running Day events, but June is always a crap shoot work wise. I was glad this weekend when they announced a 7AM 5K that starts even closer to me than most Central Park runs. And there’s enough time to run home to shower & change. I was originally indifferent to these races with shoes giveaways.. until I graduated out of stability shoes.

Oh, about that.

I noticed when I ran the NYC Half that the outside of my feet were sore, with the right being the worst. These were the new-in-January Vongo2s that got me through two prior Halfs this year. Truly thought it was a blister until the medical tent, but it wasn’t. I didn’t think anything of it really until I happened to look at my feet last Saturday while being aware of potholes — I’m now running on the outside of my feet when in stability shoes thanks to PT success. Um, OK

After an email to PT and conversation with podiatrist office I went to New Balance knowing I wanted the padding of the Fresh Foam (I like the 860s, but not for long runs) and after some conversations and Q&A, I’m the proud owner of a pair of 1080v9s.  I really love the manager of the Run Hub’s New Balance store as he’s also a runner and really listens as well as selling. So we’ll see.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim: spoiler, when there’s time off work there’s more time for running

  • Monday: off in that I didn’t run, but definitely not a rest day. Some 17K steps between commute, dentist and playing tourist with visiting friends. I hadn’t been to the 9/11 Museum in nearly five years, and was glad to see it still struck a nerve.
New shoes, skirt
  • Tuesday: what happens when spring goes away and you don’t want to layer back up? You run inside so you can run in a skirt. Was 90% weather and 10% I wanted to try out the new shoes. 2 miles. 5.5/5.7/5.8/6.0. Speed and shoes felt good. Closed with PT exercises.
reaching new heights!
  • Wednesday: a half day opened the door for a long run but once I ran to the park I decided I was way more interested in a walk in the glorious temperatures. It was actually warm enough to be in a skirt and tee without much chill. It was a gorgeous day.
helping a friend navigate a new world pays off in surprising ways
  • Thursday: selfie lessons from the master > time at the gym.
  • Friday: dear Mother Nature, please pick a season. 40s and rainy = no desire to run outdoors so I went for some speed work for the second time this week. Two miles again: 5.5, 5.7, 5.8 and 6.1. 6.1 was definitely comfortably hard. Shoes and Achilles felt great. I have no delusions of matching my best 4M race on Sunday, but think I’ll have a good showing.
pretty in pink!
  • Saturday: spring came back. I had some errands and also wanted a chill day of sitting & reading, so I had a short run into the Park and around the reservoir. It was definitely easy as I didn’t want to overdo it before Sunday’s race.
note to self, put down the cup next time
  • Sunday: Run to Breathe with Team Boomer. I know better than running three days in a row. This wasn’t pretty, but it was a glorious day to be outside and without layers Could even have gone with a skirt vs. Lotta Breeze capris. More on Tuesday. In the mean time, time to go play outside again.

 

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off. Probably walk home as it’s meant to be 70
  • Tuesday: cross train?
  • Wednesday: run
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off/cross train
  • Saturday/Sunday: long run depending on weather.

Running without music and Run to Lose, week of 9.9

My TomTom has been having sporadic GPS issues of late that seem to be getting worse. The battery isn’t lasting as long as it used to either. It owes me nothing, it’s a hand me down that I’ve had for a year and a half, and its previous owner had it about a year. It’s time to start looking for a replacement: happy for any suggestions you have. In the mean time, I’m going to try running without music. One of the features I loved the most about the TomTom was the onboard playlist since I don’t have any music on my phone, nor do I have the data for a streaming service. Alas, TomTom is leaving the GPS watch space so I’m hesitant to invest in a new one. The Garmin with music is just way too expensive for my budget and reviews of the others don’t seem great. Since I don’t relish carrying old iPod for music along with my phone, one step might be to learn to run without music at least outdoors which I can apply to races. Indoor treadmill runs are less of an issue as I can always figure out something there. These are my current thoughts:

  • Garmin: I’m looking heavily at these. They seem to be the gold standard in the running industry for a reason
  • Fitbit with GPS: meh. They’re too big. I don’t wear my running watch daily for this very reason and I like my Alta for steps so don’t particularly feel the need to upgrade
  • Apple Watch: meh. I’m wholly an Apple person, but the first thing I do with fitbit and running watch is to turn off the messaging notifications because they drive me nuts, so I feel the benefits of this are mostly not of interest to me. Even before I was running, the Apple Watch held no interest to me.

The benefit is the TomTom isn’t totally dead and its battery seems to be holding long enough for my fall races, so I should hopefully be able to take advantage of holiday sales.

I finally got Runner’s World’s Run to Lose and taking a lot from it when it comes to fueling for runs and in general. Some of it is nutritional common sense, some isn’t. It’s well written and accessible. I especially like the Kindle edition since I can click through to some of the studies cited. I think I’m finally ready to break this ~ 7 month plateau, especially ahead of the holidays. I also need to figure out my fueling strategy ahead of a humid half marathon in February since gels and necessary water made me queasy last year. I can do 9 miles without fuel and probably won’t use anything for the Bronx 10 Miler, but those extra three need something.

Run to lose, without music? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

Weekly wrap with Holly and Wendy:

  • Sunday: I was less sore than I expected after Saturday’s long run. It was a cool, damp day and because of that, I didn’t tailgate. My steps suffered as a result, but I was OK with that because not tailgating meant better food choices. Sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid guacamole and the salt of tostitos. Weight Watchers had a tailgate and I was curious, but not enough to get more wet.
  • Monday: my right calf was sore. DOMS or just weirdness? Who knows. With the cool weather I’m back to sleeping in my bed so it’s not the futon related curling up. Oh bodies, you are so weird. I fully expected this to be an issue on the treadmill but it wasn’t because I could not get one! I was at the Times Square location of my gym earlier than normal because I wanted to get home for Monday Night Football, but apparently everyone else had the same idea. Odd too because the city otherwise seemed quite for Rosh Hashanah. So after a short row to warmup, I hit the LateralX for two miles/30M. I love it in a way I don’t care for the typical elliptical and feel it’s the closest to running in terms of getting my heart rate up.
Tribute in Light, 9/11 Memorial South Pool in foreground
  • Tuesday: September 11. I knew that a run today needed to be meaningful. Luckily, the weather held out as meaningful and treadmill don’t go hand in hand to me. For the past few years I’ve gone downtown to see the Tribute in Light and wondered whether it might work to run there from the office. After a short hop to the start of a construction detour that served as a warmup, I ran the rest of the way down to the Winter Garden from where I could cross over to the Memorial. The lights were beautiful in the fog. I contemplated running back to the office but had accidentally run without money and couldn’t refill my water, so hopped on the subway back. Sometimes there’s no right way to mark a day like this, but this felt right. Speaking of water refills, I wish the Lululemon vending machine had been open, although it’s unclear whether they have water to go with Nuun tabs.
  • Wednesday: super busy day, ton of steps between meetings. I was wavering on going to the gym, but decided to try. It was one of those rare exceptions to get going and you’ll be fine-I had nothing in the tank. Partially tired, partially food log related. So I turned it into a stretch and strengthen after bailing on the rower.
quack! Not on the run, later in the day between meetings
  • Thursday: note to self: if you’re going to run in the morning, watch what you eat at night. Pizza does not sit well even ~ 12 hours later. I knew though I couldn’t run after work due to an event so I went with short and sweet vs. not at all. Cool, humid morning. Nice start to the day. While I can’t get it together to be a solid morning runner, I love how it makes me feel the rest of the day, especially if I fuel well after and am not a hangry mess.
yeah that’s how i felt about running Friday night. Manhattan 7M shirt, can you tell I planned to run outdoors originally?
  • Friday: attempt at running without music? FAIL. That was more about bad food choices during the two days and feeling sluggish than the lack of music that stemmed from forgetting watch, headphones and headband. Even with the Yankee game I couldn’t stay on the treadmill or the elliptical bike so I had a very good stretch and plank session and called it a night.
I am grumpy, hear me roar. Actually more sneezy than grumpy. Failed workout, repeat shirt, less laundry. Winning.
well that’s a different kind of trail!

 

  • Saturday: wanted to run long and really didn’t want to run Central Park as I wanted the riverside breeze. Contemplated going to the west side but didn’t think I had enough time due to my cleaner coming at 5:30 (best. treat. ever). so I decided to check out Randalls Island, which I last explored back when I was doing the #GreatManhattanLoop. It was a run in two and a bit parts: potty break, and needed to find out where the FDR on ramp crossing was with all the construction and a run/walk around the lower part of Randall/Wards Island. It was about 80 and slightly humid but the real culprit was the freshly cut grass. My allergies were in full tilt and the grass didn’t help. Nor did no shade so I ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t and ended up cutting the loop short. There are some great paths to explore on RI maybe  in a couple of weeks. After walking up the bridge I tried to run again but I was feeling shaky so I opted to walk. Calling this a learning lesson, sneeze powered is a fun joke but not actually for runs. Besides food logs, I probably need to look more closely at allergy meds & runs’ timing.
Peanut Butter Warrior
  • Sunday: equal parts recovery / make up & get ahead mileage as this week’s schedule is brutal. Original plan was my typical NFL Sunday recovery, run down the river to the gym and stretch before heading home to be a couch slug. However I found out one of my/my nephew’s favorite vendors (Meece for Mayor!) would be at the Columbus Ave. street fair so I decided to head that way. I took the long way to the Fair and an odd for me route through Central Park to try to avoid both the chess tournament and the 18M race. I felt bad for those runners, this was not long run friendly weather. But I love knowing NYRR does this as if I decide to run NYC next year, organized long runs will be a godsend. The roads were just way too congested and as a side benefit, the paths had way more shade. After sorting out presents, I briefly wandered the rest of the street fair before heading home via the grocery store. And a smoothie stop. While that was 25% wanting to fuel early, it was mostly about having a sparkling clean kitchen and not wanting to mess it up via a smoothie. JustSalad’s Peanut Butter Warrior is one of my favorite commercial smoothies especially as it’s non dairy and I rarely carry Lactaid on the run.

And then I was a slug. That’s what football Sundays are for. I apologize for any heat waves in the NYC area, I took my AC out yesterday.

Bronx 10Mile Training Mileage (since July 31): 97.24 miles

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: Cross Train or Stretch & Strengthen
  • Tuesday: Run
  • Wednesday: Off, plans before and after work
  • Thursday: return of the office run group, hopefully
  • Friday: run
  • Saturday: TBD
  • Sunday: Bronx Tune Up: I’m feeling ambivalent about the Bronx 10 after the past two Saturdays. Success is likely going to be very weather dependent

 

Fire Inside: Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City Memorial, Survivor Tree and Reflecting Pool from site of former Murrah Building
Oklahoma City Memorial, Survivor Tree and Reflecting Pool from site of former Murrah Building

I’m reading The Fire Inside by Steve Delsohn after reading about it in an AskMe that was recently linked in Meta Talk.  I have no interest in becoming a firefighter, but it got me thinking. I knew it was somewhat dated as it didn’t cover 9/11, but it was only when I went to add it to my LibraryThing that I realized it dated to the mid 90s. Unsurprisingly, there was significant attention paid to Oklahoma City.

I was recently thinking about OKC, again when I found the postcard I bought that I was, sadly, using as a bookmark. 2014 was definitely a year of dark tourism for me, which I briefly touched on as it related to Charleston. I subsequently visited the 9/11 Museum before it opened to the public and followed both of those with a visit to the Oklahoma City Memorial during a visit to that city in July.

I haven’t yet read the books I mentioned after the Charleston trip (Kindle versions, people!) but I’m going to read  Marita Sturken’s Tourists of History:Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero when I’m done with the Fire Inside. Clearly OKC is still lurking within my brain.

From ground zero in New York and Katrina’s destructive force in New Orleans to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland and the Killing Fields in Cambodia, witnessing places where horrific deaths have occurred has for many become an integral part of experiencing a destination. ~ Michelle Baran

That was true for me, although it took five? visits to OKC before we went downtown. During my first visits in the late 90s, the Memorial wasn’t open. My friend’s husband, stationed at Tinker, told me of being rostered down there for clean up. By the time I went back in 2003, the Memorial was open, but I wasn’t ready. This year, I was. Like the 9/11 Museum, I like that the OKC Memorial is free while the Museum provides additional information/education for those who choose/are able to pay. We spent about 2-3 hours at the Memorial and Museum and it was eye opening. It felt like a pilgrimage.

I cannot believe it has been 20 years. When 9/11 happened, I was an adult and living on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. I’d never been to Oklahoma City but Terror in the Heartland stuck with me both as a high school student when it happened and 19 years later when I finally made it to the Museum.

Oddly I feel different about the 9/11 Museum and OKC then I do about Auschwitz and Charleston. I wonder if that’s a matter of them being within my lifetime?

It’s this impact that draws us to dark tourism. It is this impact that leads us to the realization of the sad reality that exists around the world. And it is through this impact that we feel compassion for our fellow human beings. ~ “Dark” Travel as a Way to Pay Tribute

Further Reading:

9/11 Remembered

The new museum must help those unborn or unaware on 9/11/01 to understand an awful time. That means telling stories. ” ~ Rick Hampson (with audio)

Reflections of WFC in the South Tower pool
Reflections of WFC in the South Tower pool
Controversial Virgil quote
Controversial Virgil quote
Slurry wall and iconic Last Column with visitors
Slurry wall and iconic Last Column with visitors

The rest of the photos are here.

I argued with myself about attending tonight’s industry preview of the 9/11 Museum, which opens to the public on Wednesday. I nearly didn’t walk through the door and probably would not have if I hadn’t been engaged and talking to a colleague as we approached. But I went, and I’m glad.

As I said briefly on Facebook. I think we have a responsibility to go. I said to a colleague on site, “if it took 13 years to get it right, I’m glad it took 13 years.” This was not something that could be rushed. 9/11 changed the world and the museum needed to reflect that. And I think they beyond nailed it. Perhaps the most poignant thing about today was that the Plaza/Memorial is no longer fenced in. You can cross it to enter the museum, visit the Pools, etc. It is truly public space again.

9/11 is odd to me. I had moved to Osaka three weeks prior and followed 9/11 though a very time shifted and distant lens. I am forever grateful that I wrote that up because my initial reactions to the 9/11 Memorial are lost to time. That’s why I’m writing this now.

While the tridents are meant to be the museum’s icons, it was the Last Column and the controversial Virgil quote that repeatedly hit me today. The museum’s own posts about the Last Column say more than I can about the symbol of our city’s resiliency. The Virgil quote has been an issue for three years but it recently bubbled up again due to the context. I was aware of the controversy and the context, but seeing it in the atrium today was no less powerful. And I wasn’t even aware on site that it was the “guardian” to the museum’s tomb of the unknowns.

I did not read the captions today. I can’t. I wasn’t ready to see 9/11 as a museum. It’s still living history to me. One day I will go back, see the exhibits, and read captions

Today was about stepping foot on a plaza I hadn’t since at least August 2001 that is now hallowed ground.