Monday, August 31, 2009

Another week, another month, another bridesmaid

Good gawd, time is a-bookin'. Last week ended up being way low in mileage but way high in fun. It was also the last weekend when a non-running event will take priority over the my marathon training.

Thursday I traveled back to St. Louis and then on to the Lake [of the Ozarks] to bear witness to a best friend's wedding. I've known Mary Ann since 1987 when we met as freshmen at Rosati-Kain. In fact I do believe I "stole" her homecoming date from her. LOL! And despite our less than auspicious start, we're as tight as ever. In fact, in just crunching the numbers now that means we've been friends for 22 years!! Holy shit. 61% of my life I've known her, laughed with her, cried with her and had more fun than anyone "legally" should :-) She's the type of friend where all the small crap doesn't matter. We've lived over a 1000 miles apart for over 9 years and before that, a good 300+ miles separated us. We didn't go to college together, we never lived together and we don't get to see each other much in any given year, but none of that matters. Years and distance are nothing. When we share each other's company it's like nothing is different, we haven't missed out on anything in each other's lives and we simply pick up where we left off.

It's a beautiful gift. I treasure her. Certainly more than a MP long run.

Here she is walking down the aisle with her father and step-father. Isn't she lovely?

And my other best friend, Liz - she's a gift as well.

They sure do make it tough living way out here after having such a fantastic summer o' Mary Ann

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The answer is D, all the above

Monday - 6.66 miles running in 54:20 (8:09/mi) with 6 x 1 min. hill sprints. I decided to use Cat Hill in Central Park for the sprints; it's a nice incline with a tiny bit of winding so it feels extra bad-ass to haul up and blow by other folks :) Also had I known I was going to end on 6.66 I would have logged another .10 mile or something.

Tuesday - 30 mins. swimming (1512 yds). Intended to get my progression run in tonight but a nasty widsom teeth induced headache pulled the plug on anything after work. Got to bed early and felt much better for it.

Wednesday - 8 miles running as a progression in 1:08:27. First mile was a warm-up @9:23 and then 8:59, 8:40, 8:30, 8:11, 7:54, 7:29 with the last as a cool down @9:18. Really nice run. Our weather had cooled some and this was the first weekday morning run I'd done in awhile. I need to remember how nice it is being out there before work during the week and do it more often.

Oh and I finally nabbed me a copy of Born to Run and started reading it this week. Loving it already!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Slowly clawing my way back

Rounded out my first official week of CIM training with a solid LR and a nice recovery today.  

Saturday - 16 miles running in 2:26:15 (9:08/mi).   This run was the first in more tactical long runs.  I often avoid CP for long runs b/c it can be crowded (esp if there's a race going on) and because I know the route too well (snoozefest at times) and because, in the past, I short-sidedly was not looking to make the LR more challenging than the miles themselves + whatever specialized pace(s) the training plan called for.  Of course I'd make exceptions and do hills (i.e. bridges) and the like, but mostly I didn't push the envelope as much as I could.   That's changed.  I started off Sat's run with the big loop + some in CP and then took advantage of Summer Streets by running down Park Ave (as it turned into Union Square East as it turned into Fourth Ave as it turned into Lafayette) over the Brooklyn Bridge and through Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and back to the bridge again.  And although I started off way too fast for an easy LR (8:09, 8:12, 8:25) I eventually slowed it down and felt strong throughout.

Sunday - 6 miles running in 52:26 (8:44/mi).  Got this run done right after a light, short summer shower so it was a bit steamy.   Kept the pace consistent and felt almost as if I were gliding - no residual soreness from yesterday's LR.   Finished it off with 2 x (15 each/pushups, step ups, tricep dips, leg swings).

I'm proud to be nearing the 50 MPW mark again too - it's been a long time coming!  Finished this week with 47.25 miles and running 5 days [in the week].

Friday, August 21, 2009

The best of summer

Fresh corn
Juicy nectarines
Gorgeous greens

and of course,

Runs after sundown

Thursday - 10 miles running in 1:32:29 (9:14/mi).  This ended up straying from the plan a bit, less moderate pace and way more hills.   A new favorite route emerged however, up along Riverside Drive north of 95th St. in lieu of running along the Hudson path.

Friday - 30 mins swimming (1512 yds).  Decided against a companion sleazy run here and picked up the sprint pace in my sprint sets of freestyle.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So fresh and so clean clean

Although I have been training for STG for awhile now, the training seemed almost foreign to me. Not because of the plan I was following as much as how different it was from any other time I've been in training. I just wasn't fully committed. So when I decided to pull out of STG and register for CIM (how's that for a mouthful of acronyms) I felt almost renewed, refreshed and like I was starting over. But it's even better than starting over b/c I do have a base and I'm already on the right path. Anywho, this week has felt good. Although I'm sad to not see Jen and Chris in Utah, it was the right choice for me. I can already feel more of my focus returning and the drive and dedication that I'll need to truly run a strong and successful race come December. I've also been motivated by chatter amongst my RTB teammates and eagerly anticipate seeing which legs I'll be running this year and bettering my times from '08. Thus far this week:

Monday - 9.25 miles w/8 x 30 secs. @5KP in 1:21:18 (8:45/mi). Nice run, cruised up Harlem Hill as if I was on an escalator - quite empowering!

Tuesday - 30 mins. (1512 yds) swimming

Wednesday - 90 mins. yoga, 6 miles running EZ in 60 mins (10:00/mi) + 10 x 8 sec hill sprints. That's the absolute sleaziest I've run in quite awhile and it was JUST what I needed.

Yoga included a ton of shoulder work and some twisting. Lots of stuff like dancer pose...

And bow pose...

acronym legend:
STG = St. George Marathon
CIM = California International Marathon
RTB = Reach the Beach

Monday, August 17, 2009

Goals for the Fall

So, among all the other stuff going on as of late, I've made a tough decision to pull myself out of the St. George Marathon. I will still run this marathon, hopefully next year if I'm accepted again into the lottery, but this year just isn't in the cards. I'm simply not where I want nor need to be in my training. I have very high expectations for myself with this next marathon, there will be no wishy-washy so/so efforts - it's gonna be balls to the wall. Sure it's gonna hurt. Sure I'm going to need to focus extra hard to push aside distractions but it's what I want. It's what I need.

I spent too much of the early part of my training still babysitting my butt & hamstring issues. I wasn't fully confident that I was on the right path to rehabbing them and getting myself strong and fully back in the game. Over the last several months it's evident that I am indeed on the right path, that I don't need to hold back and that as long as I stick to the regimen that works for me, I can excel in the marathon distance. I feel strong, I am healthy and now I just need a bit more time for that big fall race.

So no Utah for me this year. But as one door closes, another opens. I've decided to focus all efforts on CIM in December. Jen ran it last year and gave me some excellent pointers, a rave review and several items on which I'll concentrate my training. Starting today I'm 16 weeks out; glancing at Hudson's plan (Level 2) I'll be running 10 tonight as a fartlek (one of my favs!) And so the road to a goal continues. Some adjusting - sure, there always is. But I feel good in making this decision. Of course I'll also have some quality tune-up races logged beforehand including Reach the Beach, the OBX full and several NYRR long runs as well as an inspiring running partner moving to town later this month --- MISSY!!!

Catch up time, again

Loads to write about + loads going on at work + loads going on each and every weekend + loads to get done during the days and evenings = no time to document it all. Will rely on my old friends, bullet points to get it all out there...

  • Spent an amazing week in San Francisco & Yosemite w/4 of my siblings running the San Francisco HM and then camping in Yosemite. That HM is still one of my most favorite and one I'll return to again and again.
Little sis #2 and I after the finish

One of the gorgeous shots little sis #1 captured while in Yosemite

Team Pfeiffer just back from Yosemite

  • Had a fantastico time with good friends at the Lake [of the Ozarks] celebrating Mary Ann's bachelorette party weekend

Liz, Mary Ann and I

  • And even more fun to be had while participating in The Great Urban Race with Lora this past weekend in NYC. This challenge was revealed after completing a cryptogram - one of us needed to propose to the other in front of Tiffany & Co (or Harry Winston, just down the street) while caught in a digital photo

In between all this fun I've had some extremely full work days, good workouts and even more planning for future races, weekend trips, etc. What a summer!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yoga is yoga

Yoga is:
  • beautiful
  • challenging
  • a physical extension of my breath
  • rejuvenating
  • what helps keep me centered and whole
  • what keeps me grounded and extending at the same time
What yoga is not is running. Last Wednesday I had a very rough work day, an incident with a co-worker angered me greatly. I tried to keep things in perspective, keep my cool and keep thoughts of a 90 min. yoga session as very near - would just need to get through the day. But as I got closer to quitting time I grew further from the idea that yoga could help in this situation. I was still angry and I needed to act out. I needed to feel the ground beneath each step and swift strides moving me forward. I needed to run! Now those of you who know me well, know that I'll do just about anything in my power to make it to yoga at least once a week, always on Wednesday and sometimes on Sunday. But tonight was different and my old friend, running, was there for me as always. I delivered serenity to myself in the form of a sweet 10 miler south along the Hudson to the WTC and then back home again. I was still pissy at first, replaying the conversations from earlier in the day but even before the turnaround it was all gone. It had all literally melted away.

So while yoga is still yoga and such an essential thing in my life, my buddy running will never be left behind either. And as a bonus for my run that night, I was lucky enough to see this with my own eyes on the Hudson River Park path... I KID YOU NOT FOLKS - THIS is REAL and it's fabulous!