Sunday, December 21, 2008
And so for my own records & as a reminder as to how this all went down, I've decided to note the time line here.
After a distinct "something" happening in my left leg (specifically left knee pit) approx. 2+ weeks prior to Chicago, my already weak and crabby left leg grows increasingly more painful. I cut running down to once per week after the marathon while bulking up on all other activities.
12/16 - Having not run for a week now, I meet Vinita (aka Supa PT Girl) for the first time. She assesses the state of my body after hearing my 3+ yr running & injury history and starts some active release and other massaging, stretching & acupressure techniques. Focus is on my spine, left glute, psoas, left knee & right IT band. Her initial assessment includes noting:
- My left hip sits higher (millimeters) than my right
- Still unknown is whether my left leg is structurally or functionally longer than my right. If structural, a heel lift of some sort could really help out but if functional we need to do more work
- Because of the aforementioned my left hip flexor rotates in causing my left big toe to never plant correctly and thus taxing my gluteus [minimus & medius] and left hamstring
- Also causing my spine to slightly twist
- Most recently resulting in a pissed off sciatic nerve behind the left knee (aka my knee pit pain)
- Not helping matters, my quads [on both legs] dominate and create a heavy but powerful front leg while my back legs remain weak[er].
- Also of note is my hyper extending low back
- And weak lower core (weak? dangit!)
- Throw in the possibility that my left hamstring and IT band are stuck together ...yes! stuck together, who besides the science types know this is possible?
12/19 - Back to Vinita and more active release, acupressure, trigger point release, massage and stretching. Focus is back to the spine & psoas, left quad (ouch!!!), lower back, left hamstring and left glute. My appt. is capped off with a quick 5 minute run on the TM - all looks great re: foot plant and foot strike, I feel solid, my knee pain is gone. Vinita observes that although my left side is still sitting higher, the inward rotation is markedly improved
12/20 - Out in CP for a 4.4 mile run. NO KNEE PAIN and only a dull ache in the left butt & hamstring.
12/22 - A return to Vinita. After some more active release and stretching, we start on some exercises that I can work on from home. They're quite basic at first, addressing my low back arching and tendency to not use my core as much as I could in running and relying instead on my upper legs and butt to do all the work. Other areas of focus are psoas (for anyone not familiar with where this is... the psoas major attaches to the spine and comes frontward over the hip (making up part of the hip flexor) and b/c of the placement, Vinita has to access this through the front of me (more ouch!!!)), left glute, left calf and ankle, left quad and IT band and low back.
So lots of good stuff going on there including tons of interesting anatomy information and encouraging results thus far.
Back to the upcoming holidays! Also done this weekend, preparing tasty snowmen treats for brunch on Sunday...
Spending time with the fake Swiss Miss...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
listen to what you just said . take notice of things
surround yourself with people you love . listen to the wind
imagine . let everything change all the time . let go of
the why . welcome miracles . thank God constantly . breathe
tell the truth about how you feel . make choices . want what
you want . let the animals reach you . have children
teach you . take good care of your body . love passionately
share your dreams . spread your gifts . check it out
forgive the past . dive in . eat it up . take chances . be real
It was indeed a wonderfully positive session. I felt at complete ease with Vinita and she understood fully what I was telling her. One of the first things she told me was that we were going to treat the cause(s) of my somewhat chronic pain and not focus so much on the actual resulting pain. A girl after my own heart! She also shared that she was a runner and while marathoning wasn't her thing, she plans to run one so as to better understand her patients. Helllloooo, how freakin' cool! So we chatted some more and she assessed and she showed me some cool anatomical stuff and then there was some pain but not a whole lot. I don't doubt that this was probably the least painful session I'll encounter but I don't care. I can tell she understands how much running means to me and how much a strong physical & mental sense of self I have. I'm truly excited for our progress and and the pain that the future surely holds.
With that said, I did finally find an ART practitioner close to the office [and thus crossed that item off] and will be heading there later today for my first session. I know it's going to be painful but I'm wondering to what extent... massage painful? or worse? I also know that I'll forget the pain within a half hour but with an afternoon appt, I have much of the day to make it worse in my mind. Argh. It's become overwhelming evident that I need to do something else with this bum left leg. While I've continued with plenty of swimming, spinning, strength classes and other cardio, a short 4 miler left me literally stopped in my tracks. The weird knee pit pain was piercing and nothing like the dull aches and pains I've been expecting on my runs. Time to call in the professionals. Will report back later tonight.
Anywho, onto things not related to ART... I finally finished our Christmas Card list, synced my contacts from the phone to my Mac and purchased stamps on the way home from the pool this morning. I also believe I just might have a list of baking items ready to roll... or at least a first round of goodies. Here's what I'm planning on for tonight:
- Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies
- Apricot Orange Shortbread Bars
- Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
- Snowmen Cupcakes
- Sweet & Savory Pecans
I still need to page through the December issue of Cooking Light to see if other recipes are up for contention in the baking line-up. Anyone have a favorite recipe they'd like to pass along?
Monday, December 8, 2008
With my improved mood I feel like I'm more more in the holiday spirit as well and so I'll get some tree decorating on the docket for tonight and a bit of this...
Thanks to Kris for the good idea. If you want to play along, copy the questions onto your blog, post the answers, and leave a comment here so I know to go read yours.
- Wrapping paper or gift bags? Being a bit of a junkie with this kind of stuff, I prefer a blend of both when preparing several gifts. I like wrapping paper with cool non-traditional ribbons and gift bags filled with shredded paper and donned with pretty tags.
- Real tree or Artificial? With the exception of one year, I've always had an artificial tree. I like real trees, love the smell but could do without the constant needle clean-up. Besides, I'm pretty sure Dillon would attempt to eat the entire tree.
- When do you put up the tree? I'm usually all over it on the Sunday after Thanksgiving but this year I've been lazy and still haven't put it up.
- When do you take the tree down? I generally don't keep it up longer than the first week or two of January.
- Do you like eggnog? Not really. It does improve in taste with some booze in it though. :-) Doesn't it also have like a million calories per serving?
- Favorite gift received as a child? Mattel shopping cart filled with fake food.
- Hardest person to buy for? Jason
- Easiest person to buy for? Brendan, Ellie, Jack, Hunter, Lyla and Keaton (aka the kiddos)
- Do you have a nativity scene? I think I used to have one but I haven't seen it for years.
- Mail or email Christmas cards? I love sending out cards and it's one of the few times I use snail mail.
- Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I tend to not remember this kind of stuff.
- Favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
- When do you start shopping for Christmas? November or early December
- Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No
- Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies, cookies, cookies!!! I'm a cookie monster.
- Lights on the tree? Yes, all white.
- Favorite Christmas song? Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas
- Travel at Christmas or stay home? I always travel to St. Louis to be with my family, that's home.
- Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Nope, I always get them mixed up with a heeeelarious card that outlines Santa's Second String (ex. Spitzen)
- Angel on the tree top or a star? Rustic star
- Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Growing up we always did Christmas Eve but now we'll do whatever works best for everyone's schedules.
- Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Greedy people & retailers, crowds and less than festive attitudes.
- Favorite ornament theme or color? I'm a fan of little-bit-of-everything
- Favorite for Christmas dinner? Mom's hash brown casserole deal ...sooooo cheesy good!
- What do you want for Christmas this year? Snow during our kick ball game.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
For the last several weeks I've been obsessing over, monitoring and talking about my addiction non-stop. I squeal in delight when the objects of my obsession are on screen & even more so as they tumble and wrassle around with one another. I know when they're most active, when they eat, when they nap, what their mom looks like, that they have a cat uncle/aunt and that soon they'll be leaving for new homes.
I know they have a cool doggie door now and they've been spending more time on new surfaces and socializing with others outside their family.
I know their momma used to come in more regularly to feed them but now they share a big bowl.
I know they all are very interested when their human mom or dad comes into the room, especially when there's movement around the camera.
I know they love their cat uncle/aunt very much and just wanna give it a kiss or a lick.
I know that the more time that crate spends in their area the closer they are to leaving for new homes.
Quick! Before it's too late, check out the famous Shiba Inu siblings...
It won't be long (read just a few more days) before Autumn or Ayumi or Amaya or Aki or Akoni or Ando takes off for greener pastures. Until then let the squealing continue!
Monday, December 1, 2008
The saddest thing about being together like that is the very second everyone leaves, departing for their homes and knowing a big event has just passed. Sigh. Luckily it'll only be another few weeks until we're all reunited again for the Christmas holidays. Someone remind me, why do I live almost 1000 miles away from these fabulous people (and 3000 mi from Jen)?? Sigh.
Here's the gang kicking it up with a rambunctious game of SPUD in Central Park.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Check it out... tiny gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese based pumpkin icing
So the week has been a study in gradual improvement. I'm staying busy with many large projects at the office, I returned to spin class on Monday night and Iris could not have provided a tougher but still welcoming workout and it feels as though I'm improving in my workouts at the pool. Tomorrow morning I'll be heading to the sports med doc and although I wasn't able to book with my regular doc, I'm hopeful that I'll still get some good information and a bit more direction about how to treat my leg. And last but not least, I have tons of great new soup recipes to try out. I may get one going tomorrow before the weekend hits and my family starts to show up.
Monday, November 17, 2008
When implants "bottom out", this means that the implants have descended too low on the chest, thus making the nipple too high on the breast mount. If bottoming out is apparent shortly after surgery, it is most likely due to over-dissection of the pocket. If it occurs later on, it is usually due to the weight of the implant.
At any rate, it's not like I've been on some huge downward spiral but when I feel down and out of sorts I feel that a bottoming out day/week/month is the last step I need to experience before renewing my lifestyle, my health on all fronts and most importantly, my attitude. I've only half-heartedly been dedicated to figuring out what's up with my leg, to finding alternative ways to work out & invigorate myself and to planning good & nutritious meals. After a lunch involving way-too-much-cheese yesterday and the 2nd of two weekends in a row where I felt way too inactive, I decided that today would be the clean slate day. Thus yesterday was my bottoming out, no implants involved.
Items of particular focus:
- a solid training plan (not for anything in particular) that is not running-centered but will hold me accountable
- an appt with Dr. Metzl (sports med doc extraordinarie)
- new recipes including everything I need to make some big batches of tasty soups
- bringing my lunch to work everyday or nearly everyday
- starting off each day with some simple yoga, stretching and meditation
It feels good to make some plans to get moving ...on life! It also feels good knowing that within a week's time I'll have the first of my family members arriving into town for Thanksgiving. Yay!!!! Lastly, it feels good to hang with this little guy
Jason and I watched his nephews and niece last night and although 3 of the 4 kiddos were pooped beyond staying awake but an hour after we arrived, Keaton was as cute, chill and cool as ever. Snuggly, smiley, sweet baby time is an instant jump start to a clean slate kind of day.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Courtesy of my co-worker, Sharon. Guilt-free courtesy of 1500+ yds. of a.m. swimming. I love math. :-)
Oh and yes, I have a new book recommendation for those that enjoy running, it's called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Monday, November 10, 2008
Swimming, swimming (swimming strokes)
In the swimming pool (draw square in front of you)
When days are hot (wipe hand across forehead)
When days are cold (wrap arms around self and shiver)
In the swimming pool (draw square)
Breast stroke (imitate breast-stroke)
Side-stroke (imitate side-stroke)
Fancy diving, too (imitate diving)
Oh don’t you wish you never had (shake finger)
Anything else to do but...
So that's what kept me occupied this morning while swimming laps. That and the feeling that my crappy left leg isn't just my hamstring this time. If it is just my hamstring, I don't want to waste both my and my doctor's time by visiting him again. But if it's not... ugh.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.
-Mary Anne Radmacher
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
It's also a step in the direction opposite spending money and trying to fill the happiness bucket with material things, like my Rojo cabinet (which arrived today!!!!) Thanks to Jason for sending me pictures of the new arrival and thanks to Dillon for inspecting the cabinet and assuring it was safe for our home.
I can't wait to get home and fill it up with my books, board games and other trinkets. Yay!!!
And after waking early for the opening of our voting location this morning, perhaps ...just perhaps I can make the switch to early morning running and workouts. I haven't died yet from the 5:50 a.m. alarm. ;)
Monday, November 3, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I'm most looking forward to tracking the runners I know racing and cheering for them with all I can muster. It won't be easy, at last count I have at least 8 people on that list... Nettie, Dave, Laura, Kyra, Staci, Alissa, Walter & John. With the new wave starts & various corrals plus all the regular craziness of the race, spectating and actually finding these friends will not be a small task. But it will be a fun one!
Also eager to see one of these finisher medals in person. With a likeness of the great Grete Waitz on the front and the inscription "Grete Waitz: the Greatest New York City Marathon Champion" on the back, who wouldn't want to travel 26.2 miles to earn one?
Monday, October 27, 2008
...got those 3 bags of shoes & clothing donated to Goodwill
...tossed the 3 legged table
...rejoined the world where eating a bag of chips with lunch everyday probably isn't the best idea, grab size or not.
...(to be honest, Jason) upgraded the iMac to iTunes 8 and thus launched me into the fantabulous world of Genius playlists
Monday, October 20, 2008
I remember when I first saw you in the pages of the C&B catalog. Looking all versatile, organized and sporting your fresh pop of color. I believe we first met in person many, many months ago. But it wasn't until we saw each other again yesterday that I was reminded how much I really care for you. How much I'd really like you in my life. Sigh.
Friday, October 17, 2008
The week has really flown by. Traveling back from Chicago Monday afternoon, loads of huge projects at the office and a 24 hour business trip to Austin = finding myself on Friday and not knowing how I got here.
The upside - I'm feeling good, really good. My emotions worked themselves around/out and I'm back on track. I hit the pool earlier this week for some laps and a visit to the steam room and will do the same this evening after work. I'm also planning to get out for a run this weekend. The weather looks fall-tastic!!! I'll also be tracking some more running friends tackling various race distances this weekend - woot!
The downside - Something is still awry with my left leg. And while I'm not sure if it's just the hamstring irritated and encouraging his leg counterparts to gang up on me, it doesn't seem to be getting worse. I'll wear a thigh compression sleeve and continue massaging the area to see if that doesn't help any. I could also use several more hours a day to get through a particularly hairy work project. I'll be so glad once this year is over; right now everything is about getting squeezed into a yr. end delivery. Ugh.
Any who, arrived home from JFK late last night to some Magnolia deliciousness Jason picked up for me. No doubt he knows the way to my heart!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
It's just one of the large number of emotions that currently occupy my mind & body. I'm soooo happy to have crossed the finish line this year in Chicago and hand-in-hand with my sister!!! I'm exhilarated to have my finisher's medal, to have seen Tim and heard about him rocking his first with a sub-4:00 and to have had the chance to enjoy a post-race meal and tasty beverages with good friends & family. It was a memorable day for sure.
And yet I'm sad and feeling empty.
The race I'd trained for, perfected and remained positive about didn't come to pass. Things happen, we can't control everything and there is plenty of uncertainty in this world. None of this provides me any comfort.
I'm also confused and wondering what to do next.
So there it is, I'll ride this wave of stuff and hope to feel more energetic and more together later this week...
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'm better now.
And because that show cracks me up, here's some of The Gang's best stuff...
Charlie: Why don't I strap on my job helmet and squeeze down into a job cannon and fire off into Jobland where jobs grow on little jobbies.
Mac: I'm so hard that people are scared of me and they should be. 'Cause I'll explode all over them.
Dee: [to Charlie and Frank]: What are you guys looking at?
Frank: Garbage Pail Kids. Heathen Steven, Classic!
Dee: Are those the stupid cards where babies are doing disgusting things?
Charlie: No, Dee. These are those amazing cards where babies are doing hysterical things...
Mac: It's not a jacket, it's a duster. It's like a jacket, only it's longer, thicker, and far more bad ass. I look like Lorenzo Lamas and women find it irresistible.
Dee: Mac, I'm gonna stop you right here. First of all, your breath smells like an old lady fart passing through an onion.
[Frank and Charlie are tripping on acid. Charlie is wearing a green suit that covers his head and body]
Charlie: ...wait wait! When the hell did I put Green Man on?!
Frank: [referring to Charlie] That lizard talks!
Charlie: Where, where?! I don't like lizards!
Frank: [to Charlie] Lizard, am I standing in poop?
Charlie: Because I cut the brakes! Wildcard Bitches! YEEE HAW!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
And thus after receiving this from the Chicago Race Directors:
According to the advance local weather forecast, the weather on race day is projected to be partly cloudy, with low temperatures in the low 60's (degrees F) and high temperatures in the mid 70's (degrees F).
Based on this forecast, the Event Alert Level is Yellow/Moderate, which suggests less-than-ideal conditions for marathon running. Please be aware that conditions may change prior to race day.
I'm ready to bust out my convertible
Sunday, October 5, 2008
On Friday Jason and I babysat the kiddos. Activities of the evening included playing picture cards, a bit of Star Wars on the Wii, snacking on popcorn & ice cream (shush!!!) and watching some SuperFriends. When mom and dad came home we were entertained by the latest hit from Hunter [and the Blue Devils], I Love Candy
*that's big bro, Jack, on back up vocals and dad handling the accompanying instruments
Saturday was spent getting my last double digit run in pre-Chicago (12 miles in 55* temps, a bit of rain and 1 hr 46 minutes of my time), meeting up with another [internet but not just internet anymore] running friend, Sarah ...so great to finally meet you!!!, and later in sharing some birthday beers with Heather.
Sunday was all about relaxing and doing whatever I could to try and shake the wonkiness in my left leg. I got to the pool for about 35 mins. of laps and then got a massage from Alissa. By the time I got home most of my TCM buddies had already finished or were crossing the finish line
and Alexis made quick work of her 15K. Congratulations to you all!!! Remainder of the day was spent in couch city, population 1 (plus the resident kitty)
This morning started off great! Legs are feeling much better, the cool weather continues, I was able to chat with both Beth & Tim and got even more excited about the race as this will be their first full marathon and I get to run today. The week's schedule is M - 6 sleazy miles, T - 7 miles w/2 @MP, W - rest/x-t, Th - 5 mi w/strides, F - rest, Sa - some sort of run, maybe 3-4 miles.
And before I forget, a couple new pictures of baby Keaton Scout ...isn't he adorable?!?!? He's such a mixture of the other kiddos too and what a happy little guy!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Sunday was 12+ miles in 100% humidity. Should have gone a bit longer but I got all crazy dizzy and decided twelve was enough. Not worth it to push it.
Monday was 7 miles with 8 x 100 strides. I really would have preferred an easier feeling run but my legs were probably still a little zapped from Sunday + this mild cold is slowing me down.
Tuesday was supposed to be 8 miles w/1600m repeats however after testing out my speed with some 200m repeats, I wasn't feeling it. And, at this point, will do anything in my power to keep myself injury-free and running without pain. Settled with 8.16 (stupid non-round number) miles close to MP.
I've been taking in lots of extra vitamins, eating well, took yesterday off work to simply rest and got in a real nice eucalyptus steam over my bathroom sink last night. Not only did my chest and cough feel better but my skin was absolutely radiant. ha! Will definitely repeat that tonight.
...but not till after we see & hear some of this guy down at Terminal 5
Monday, September 29, 2008
People who know me well understand a few things about my personality: I'm very detail oriented, I love planning and keeping things in order. Running is no different. I'm true to a training plan, I try to stick my paces and specific workouts and I get ample cross training in when possible. However, it wasn't until recently this year that I got more serious about coming up with a race plan and sticking with it. A detailed race plan, one that has me sticking with even splits +/- 10 secs. off goal pace and not allowing myself off the hook if things aren't looking perfectly. Chicago will be the first time I execute a race in this manner. Sure, I still have an A plan and a B plan but the difference between the two is not nearly as large as I would have previously planned.
Another aspect well understood by peeps close to me is my love for the color green. It's my power color, it makes me happy and fills me with energy. I think it's the association with the earth, nature and life that draws all of that energy for me. It should then be of no surprise that my marathon outfit looks as such...
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Be patient, one mile at a time; honor the burn. Who are you to run 26.2 miles? Who are you not to!From The Runner's Lounge, Take it and Run Thursday...
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I need a bubble like my buddy Stewie!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
3.8 miles warm-up in 32:28 (8:32/mi)
600m: 2:29 (6:39 pace)
600m: 2:24 (6:26 pace)
600m: 2:20 (6:15 pace)
600m: 2:22 (6:20 pace)
600m: 2:21 (6:18 pace)
1.8 miles cool down in 15:09 (8:25/mi)
What I liked most about the run was that I still felt a bit tired from the weekend and my last LR; legs weren't sore but I was still a little zapped. And despite that feeling, I ran this without incident, without feeling fatigued or beat up. Those warm up and cool down miles are within my range of acceptable paces for the marathon too! They felt easy and like my own -- me likey.
Just one more interval workout next week before this all gets wrapped up and it's a biggie. Mile repeats @5KP within a 8 miler.
Monday, September 22, 2008
What's your favorite?
The mass produced but more easily found?
Something with a little extra flair?
Me, I'm a fan of the homemade variety. Just two chocolate chip cookies and plain vanilla ice cream. But if I'm in chase mode, the Toll House is a good fill in for the real thing.
That it was!
57* starting out Saturday a.m. and besides the annoying bouncing of my SPI belt (note to self: figure out another way to carry your fuel), the run was off without a hitch. My route took me south along the Hudson, rounding Battery Park and heading north up the East River. Once back to 59th St. I entered the park and headed up to the reservoir. I'm not sure how but my timing worked out perfectly to get a lap around the reservoir in and finish in time to meet a RTB teammate, Meredith, and a friend of hers for my last 4 miles. Before meeting up with the girls I'd taken in a gel at around mile 5, some shot blocks around mile 10 and another gel right after mile 16. I was feeling good & strong and my mental game was sharp! After seeing the girls along East Drive I joined them for the northern hills of Central Park and back down along West Drive. We'd picked up the pace from those miles I logged mid-run and it could not have felt better. Plenty left in the tank. Finished up with 20.3 miles in 3:05:43 (9:08/mi).
After cleaning up and resting a bit, Jason & I headed out to Greenpoint to meet up with some friends for a bar crawl as part of NYC's Craft Beer Week. I highly suggest this as a way to recover from a LR! The suds were tasty, the environment fresh & new, the company enjoyable and the earlier ending evening a perfect way to log some quality zzzzs that night. We hit probably 5-6 bars with my favorite being The Mark Bar. Great bartender, friendly atmosphere, regular game nights, incredible beer selection and free pizza!
Sooo, like I started this post, my mind was all over the map last week. Several other tidbits about RTB have randomly popped into my noggin', this being the BEST of them. Ways to guarantee a high quality run: your teammates drive by blaring this song
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
My quads took the brunt of all the hurtin' which is great news for the perpetual complaining my butt and hamstring are constantly dishing. It's not so great news for when I need to sit down or head down stairs ...like leaving my building, at work, into the subway, on the toilet! Geesh. Met up with Staci for a very slow 6 miler on Monday. Was probably the slowest I've run since my last marathon maybe longer but it was EXACTLY what I needed.
Last night I headed out for 10.3 miles, all along the bridle path and around the reservoir. It was heavenly! The pace was easy, the humidity low, the temps at that perfect crisp state and the city provided a gloriously lit scape along Central Park South.
This morning I looked like a normal person heading down into the subway. Back to getting ready for Chicago!
I'm finding it very difficult to summarize my thoughts and feelings about Reach the Beach. It was an amazing & challenging experience and such fun that I'm afraid I won't do it justice by describing it here. Perhaps a massive brain dump is what's really needed ...here we go, hold on tight, this shit isn't organized whatsoever!
Cab ride to Grand Central, Metro North train to Tarrytown, NY, car ride to Danvers, MA, rental van pick-up, van ride up to Hampton Beach, NH, greetings, hugs, growlers, scallops, beers, sleeping in a sandy bed. Rise and shine with the sun, van ride to Franconia, NH.
Lots of cheering, waiting and riding around in the van. Our running order: Meredith, Staci, Maureen, myself, Bill, Tom, Walter, Kate, Brandi, Julia. Repeat.
24.4 miles run over 4 legs, in 3 hrs, 20 mins, 23 secs. (8:12/mi avg pace)
leg 1: started this at 3:04 p.m. on Friday. The entire leg was basically a screaming downhill section through a beautiful state park. It was freezing at the start awaiting Maureen's arrival with our team's bracelet. I knew once I got moving I'd be fine. I didn't even mind the strong headwinds but man oh man, my quads got the beat down but good.
2.9 miles in 19:47 (6:49/mi avg pace)
Lots of cheering, waiting and riding around in the van. Meredith, Staci, Maureen, myself, Bill, Tom, Walter, Kate, Brandi, Julia. Repeat.
leg 2: started this at 11:05 p.m. on Friday. It was very dark out and although the rain had stopped the air was still very moist and quite foggy. Reflective vest, two blinky lights and headlamp in place. I had a blast with the rolling hills throughout with the first section along a two lane highway and the next along a super dark section of country roads. Nothing makes you feel like you might possibly bust ass more than barreling down a big downhill and blowing by a couple other runners. Luckily I experienced no such spillage.
7.8 miles in 1:04:26 (8:15/mi avg pace)
Lots of cheering, waiting and riding around in the van. Meredith, Staci, Maureen, myself, Bill, Tom, Walter, Kate, Brandi, Julia. Repeat.
leg 3: started this at 9:21 a.m. on Saturday. After a solid (ha ha) 2.5 hrs. sleep in the van we're back at it. The sun is out and it warmed up quickly. This leg was again split between a two lane highway and a country road of sorts dipping into another park with more rolling hills and an inordinate amount of frog roadkill. I enjoyed an ice cold soak in a local lake after handing off to Bill.
6.9 miles in 58:51 (8:31/mi avg pace)
Lots of cheering, waiting and riding around in the van. Meredith, Staci, Maureen, myself, Bill, Tom, Walter, Kate, Brandi, Julia. Repeat.
leg 4: started this at 3:44 p.m. on Saturday. My favorite leg!! I had the chance to run through a running buddy's neighborhood. He not only briefed me on the topography of this leg ahead of time but left several encouraging signs posted along the road and some very tasty vittles + a bottle of champagne. Thanks again Dan - you rock! This section featured one big ass hill at 2.5 miles and then nice mini rollers to the finish. The volunteers before this transition area were yelling out the number of steps I had until the finish, that helped!
6.8 miles in 57:10 (8:24/mi avg pace)
Lots of cheering, waiting and riding around in the van. This time around: Staci, myself, Bill, Walter, Kate, Brandi - FINISH!
209.5 miles total. 31 hrs, 8 mins, 1 sec (8:55/mi avg pace)
Again, words cannot describe how much of an impact this experience has left on me. Many of us were strangers but all of us are runners, that is what bridges the gap - always & forever. Just one more thing that is so cool about running. I felt challenged, tired but energized, sick of PB&J but still reaching for another Uncrustable, beat down but ready to give more, extremely happy, proud beyond measure and ready ...to do it again.
Special shout outs to Chris & Glenn ...our van drivers, photographers, support crew and DJs. You both have a special place in my heart - thank you!!!!
And now for a visual sampling of the experience...
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Starting Point on Cannon Mountain
My first leg at Willey House State Park
*corrected, my first leg ends here at Willey House...
...it starts here at Highland Lodge. Momma has herself a big ass drop in that first leg. Wheeee!
An overview of the course - thanks Google Earth!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Just what I needed.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday was a painful run. I got out early, fully expecting to be tossed around with winds coming from Hanna's landfall and fully expecting to get soaked from the accompanying rainfall. In fact, I was looking forward to it! Imagine my surprise when I did end up soaked but there was zero wind and zero rain involved. Boooooo.
What Hanna dished out for me was a massive wall of humidity... actually not a wall, that would imply there might be a way to run through it and bust out on the other side. This was more like a concentrated room of humidity fitting the exact dimensions of my running route. My schedule called for 17 miles total with 14 @MP. I started out a bit slow while wrapping my mind around the conditions. By mile 1.5 I was on my way to being soaked, sweat clinging on to every inch of me.
To put it simply, I was zapped. No upper body strength. No legs to speak of. My mind tried to rectify the situation as best possible and gut out whatever I could. After an out-and-back along the Hudson I'd planned to hop into the park for a couple laps of the reservoir but I'd have to pass home on the way into the park. I never made it to the park. Managed 12.5 miles with 6 @MP.
As disappointed as I was, I let myself sulk a bit, I ate, I napped and I decided that had it been race day, I would have continued. I could have continued.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I did manage some creative cross training on Wednesday night in the form of a crab boil at Back Forty. I love me some crab and had forgotten how much work it is to get such little return. However, BF does a real nice job of packaging it all up... for $35 you start out with some tasty fresh veggies with bleu cheese & green goddess dips, all the crabs you can eat (4 rounds worth), the most amazing corn and boiled potatoes in Old Bay and a delicious peach & blueberry cobbler to round it all out. The pitchers of Captain Lawrence Pale Ale weren't too shabby either.