Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And then there were two

This morning I headed out to the shorter 220yd cinder track to tackle the last of my interval workouts.  It was another misty, foggy morning and provided a relaxing atmosphere to finish up my track work this cycle.  I resorted to the shorter track b/c it's closer to home and I didn't need the miles, so round and round and round the cinders I went.   Aside from a gang of vicious looking pigeons that surely wanted to peck my eyes out, it was quiet at the track.  Lots of people walking by with their dogs and runners darting by on the path further up into & out of Riverside park.  It was a nice change in location and perspective from the Riverbank track I'm normally at.  As I chipped away at the 6 laps per 1200 interval I reflected more on my upcoming race.  Stay cool, stay calm, keep it all in perspective.  Morning runs are one of the only times lately where I have the luxury of just me and my own thoughts.  Work is insane, crazy intense and all encompassing.  Which is good and bad.  Good b/c it gives me zero opportunity to stress over the race and the weather and other things I can and cannot control at this point but bad b/c I'm completely exhausted upon leaving the office.  And my mind just doesn't shut off from that subject matter so easily.  Whatever the case, I'm here - left with just two runs before marathon Saturday. 

Both runs will be pure joy and run with some of my most favorite people!  Tomorrow I'm slated for a meet up with my favorite NYC running girls - Missy, Bella and the baby mango (although she's probably a different fruit/veggie this week) and then Friday will be a shake-out with Lora and maybe Cindi. 

4 sleeps to go!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I knew Boston would be inspiring and man oh man, was it ever! ...but I also knew it would be indulgent.  After all, I haven't yet qualified for myself and although I enjoy attending & watching marathons quite thoroughly, I felt this experience to be much different. As the weekend went on I couldn't help but notice the thin line between soaking up all that this historic race offers and perhaps soaking up a bit too much for where I was, a non-registered, non-qualified runner. Sure, all sorts of folks not running attend the expo, buy gear and cheer runners on in Boston - no different than any other race, but I also had plans to jump in along the course and run as a bandit along with Missy.  I've done this before for/with others and I didn't feel nearly as guilty as I do, now,  reflecting on Monday.  Boston is sacred to runners.   It's historic, it often represents the pinnacle in one's running and it's very much loved.

It wasn't mine to have. 

And although I never felt it was my race, never even a hint of that, I did feel like I was taking something that didn't belong to me.  Perhaps it was the distance covered (20 miles for me), that's a good chunk of time to be running in a race that isn't yours.  Awareness was also heightened by those incredibly wonderful folks cheering us on.   "Us" when it should have been "her".

Gah, I feel so conflicted.  My intentions were innocent, looking for inspiration, excited to visit with friends, to meet others I haven't yet had the chance to spend time with and to help my friend achieve a goal she set for herself when she found out she was pregnant, having already qualified.  But here I am, feeling guilty and horrible.

Undoubtedly a run will leave me feeling better but for all of those who did qualify, who did have their race - I apologize, I didn't mean to take anything away from your day or your experience.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Imagination, inspiration, indulgence

I am beyond excited for the coming weekend, in fact you'd think I was registered and running the Boston Marathon myself.    Instead I'll be heading up the coast to support my running friends, cheer them on, gain a big dose of inspiration for my own running and admittedly, indulge in what I hope to be my own scene next year.  Looking at the images below, as a runner, how could you not want to be a part of this??  They will undoubtedly fuel my last LR @MP scheduled for later today.   

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ahhhhh, home

I had one of those weekends that, despite the travel involved, didn't feel like it went by too quickly. Sure, I would have loved to spend a few more days at home in St. Louis, especially today attending the Cards home opener with the rest of my siblings but overall, it was good and fun and full.   One of the elements about life in St. Louis that always has me wondering if I could go back is that you end up driving a lot of places.  Mostly because everything is so spread out and there aren't a ton of mass transit options, although Metro Link has done wonders for the city thus far.  I've become accustomed to not having a car and walking most places when a subway or bus isn't required.  In fact, I prefer walking most of the time.  And so I was especially excited that upon arriving on Friday, auto transportation was not an issue... the sisters and I walked up to a local bar & restaurant to inquire about a softball team sponsorship and ended up enjoying a few drinks and some dinner there.   We then walked over to little bro's place which is a convenient handful of blocks from there.   I almost felt like I was back in NYC  :)  Tim's place is awesome b/c it's so close and we have a million memories there as it used to be the home of my aunt and uncle.   It also boasts a sweet yard with a cool fire pit and hot tub ...and, as you can see, some nice custom touches.

Saturday morning we headed out to cheer on mom and dad walking a 5K in Forest Park as part of the Go St. Louis!  marathon weekend events.   They were both looking very chipper and strong and even stopped to give us some serious running poses... dad's words were "get low"  hahahaha...

Beth, Erika, Monika & I walked in the last 1.1 miles with them and rewarded ourselves with breakfast at the pancake house.  YUM!   After a visit to the expo and a short run we were enjoying some of my favorite pizza and making plans for the next morning. 

Sunday morning came way early and after debating how I'd get my needed miles in and trying to see some of the STL HM as well, I had a plan.  Dad, our designated drop-off driver (DDD), left us near the starting line to the STL marathon, half-marathon and relay events... we checked bags, hit the porta-potties and lined up.  A gorgeous day was unfolding.  Soon enough the anthem was sung and the gun went off.  Erika and Beth were just behind Monika & I as we settled into a nice comfortable pace.  I planned to run the first 10 miles with Monika and when she turned around to head towards the finish line of the HM I would stick with the full peeps and get a few more miles in with them before leaving the race course altogether.   It was a great way to run 22.25 miles and not be solo the entire time.  And it all turned out quite well although the temps were a wee bit warmer than I would have liked, they didn't hurt too much.  Thoughts about the run:
  • I should have drank more earlier, I was carrying my hand held and didn't want to run out of liquids before I found a water fountain in the park.  Around mile 16 I felt a little overheated but probably could have avoided this with more liquids earlier
  • Fueling during the run was spot-on, fueling the two days before were notsogreat
  • I really enjoyed the relative quiet after splitting off from the HM peeps near mile 10, running along Forest Park Pkwy under Kingshighway was a nice break and really reengaged me
  • Although I was technically a bandit to the race (though I didn't take any gel, water or gatorade from the aid stations) all of the volunteers were extremely supportive and helpful - this event is organized very well!
  • It was fun to start the run downtown, take in a ton of local scenery and end up running right back to my parent's house
With just about a half a day left until I boarded my plane back to NYC, the family and I wasted no time in cooking up some good eats, playing a bit of outdoor beer pong and enjoying both individual cupcakes and an awesome cupcake cake made by mom to celebrate Erika's b-day... (that's red velvet for those interested)

And that brings both my weekend and another week of training to an end.  With less than 3 weeks until the IL Marathon I ended Sunday with my highest weekly mileage ever, 75.1 miles!   Time to back off now, rest as much as possible and keep myself strong and healthy.   Thanks for the wonderful times Pfeiffers!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Is that you, Doogie?

Apologies for my lack of blogging, I started and abandoned three other posts in the last couple of weeks simply b/c I didn't have time to finish one nor the brain power to concentrate. I'm in the midst of my last heavy mileage week prior to tapering and also the last couple of heavy development weeks for a major product I have going on at work. It's not ideal but the running makes the daytime craziness a bit more deal-able. So here I am, less than 4 weeks out from the IL Marathon and feeling primed and ready to roll. I ran with Missy & Bella the other morning and was telling her (...them?, hard to tell if Bella listens to our running chatter) that I feel much differently with this cycle of training. Sure there are handfuls of different facets to my training this time around and I'm not the same self that's trained for a marathon, in what feels like a previous life, but the simple truth is I don't feel beat up. I'm adapted and comfortable averaging 60+ miles a week and if I had more hours in the day, don't doubt averaging 70+ miles would be quite doable as well.

A quick peek back at my running log reveals why...


That's weekly mileage since late October, when I started working with Lloyd and dedicating myself to a goal race in May. And another big bonus, I don't feel burnt out either! This is big people, WAY BIG! So here we are, a few more weeks of hanging in there, a couple more key workouts to nail, including a great test of concentration tomorrow with 45 mins worth of tempo cruise intervals. And who knows, maybe a few more chances of positively identifying the runner I see most mornings south along the Hudson as Neil Patrick Harris or a damn good look alike. I've gone back and forth on this one, is it him? Nah, he's not tall enough. I think it still might be him, look at that hair. Maybe? How cool would it be to say I run "with" The Barnacle?? :-)