Monday, November 29, 2010

The darling

Of all the foods I prepared and enjoyed on Thanksgiving, this effortless appetizer reflected what I felt the most:

Whole foods

Meet the lovely, talented and tasty apricot canape

As for everything else, it was good - probably too good.  I'm still feeling the effects of too much food, not enough activity to counter said indulgences and a mind+body slightly off kilter.   Last week was decent running wise, I'm back to building my mileage with a repeat for this week and a similar schedule including yoga tonight and either Wednesday or Sunday.   Sadly I missed the PPTC turkey trot due to an unhappy tummy, highlighting another reason to cut the unnecessary junk and eat what works best for my body.   Last on tap for the coming week is a 10K on Sunday, still coming up with a game plan for that one.  Stay tuned.

Friday, November 19, 2010


As I was running last night my mind worked through the expected waves of sporadic thought. One second contemplating the menu for Thanksgiving dinner and the next reminding myself of something to do at the office in the morning.   My mind loves these waves, it's me... a prolific multitasker or, more likely, a sufferer of adult onset ADD.  Part of this process includes a game where I come up with sponsors for the miles I'm running.  Now there's no marketing genius at work here, it's more stream of consciousness.  And thus my sponsors include weather conditions, music, interesting folks or animals I might encounter, physical scenes from the run and from time to time, other runners - the quirkier the better ...I'm talking to you, Mr. YeahIRockAMembersOnlyJacketWhenRunning.   It gives my mind something to do, makes it feel useful and it totally entertains me.  Have I mentioned that I'm freakin' heeeelarious and witty to no end in my own mind?  Well, I am.  :-)

And it appears to run in the family...  from baby sis & dog niece yesterday morning: [Monika] went on her run this morning with Sadie, we pass another runner, she looks back while still running forward with me, and then....BAM! light post....that's my pup!

That reminds me, I'm due for a good wildlife report

Do you have games you play while running?

p.s. last night's run was sponsored by the new Girl Talk album, perfect blankets of leaves floating on the Hudson and a cool fall rain.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm coming after you...

Count me among those who like to include future race planning in their recovery.   While downtime is needed, especially the mental break, I like to have a few races either planned out or floating around in my noggin' as next steps.   This week is another of free form running, just getting out there and getting some time on my feet while allowing my body to continue to recover from the marathon.   I've been a good girl and went back to Kula on Monday night and let me yell at you.... mommy!  My entire core is crazy sore, when meeting Tavia last night for our run I remarked that my flanks were crying out in pain. I feel like those first times I played Wii tennis and suffering from the dreaded Wii arm (read, flank).  Today is certainly better but wow, anyone who doesn't believe yoga --- even a beginner's class, can be a challenging workout needs to sit in my body for a bit.  And it's not like I'm way out of practice, was just a week or so since my last class.  But I digress... back to running.

The siblings and I are all in for the next race; Team Pfeiffer loves to get together as often as possible and our next one is looking to be the perfect storm of running insanity.   We're sitting at 6 siblings strong all registered for either the Surf City full or half marathon on 2/6/11.  I actually cannot remember the last time that 6 of us ran the same race.... we had good representation at Lewis & Clark in Sept but that was just part of the STL based gang and a bit more at the STL HM this past April but no CA sis, probably the strongest showing was last year at the San Francisco HM where we had 5 peeps running.  In fact, I don't think 6 of us have ever run together in the same event, someone always seems to be a cheerleader or otherwise occupied at race time.   Even more of a reason to let out a big ole WOOT!   So that's the next big race, I'll be training for the HM and looking to bring my PR down to a sub-1:40.  Earlier this year I ran a 1:40 in NYC while deep in marathon training thus my preparation for Surf City will be compromised of a similar mileage build up and lots of tempo work.  Prior to February I'll be planning to jump into a couple NYRR races and possibly hit up a Turkey Trot next week. 

1:30s... I'm coming after you, watch out! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Remaining work

It's no secret how much I was looking forward to NYCM and quite equally to the aftermath, which included a heavy nudge on the RESET button.   Now that some precious recovery time has passed since the race, I'm focusing on what I would like to accomplish for the remainder of 2010.   In no particular order:
  • Consistently running 6 days/week, 7 some weeks.  My body likes the consistency & frequency and b/c I run all non-quality work outs at an easy pace, there isn't a big risk for break-down.   Of course this doesn't mean monster mileage right away, I'm still recovering, but shorter running and  running more often.
  • 1 trip to the yoga studio MINIMUM.  Unfortunately I had hoped to also work swimming a day or two into the mix but my pool is closed for maintenance right now and so ideally I'd like this to be 2 visits to the studio each week.
  • Cleaning up my diet.  I got way too lax in what goes in the ole gullet throughout most if not all of the summer and I can feel and see the difference.   Planning evening meals and more regular trips to the grocery store will do wonders here.
  • Somewhat related to the visits to the yoga studio, I need to get back to a strong meditative practice. I lost all, I mean all of my mental game.  In hindsight this is one of the largest reasons why my summer & early fall running sucked so much, I just didn't have my mind in it and at some times, my heart.  
All of these items are completely doable and have been done by me without issue in the past.  I just need to focus my ADD-ridden mind and make the small but necessary changes in my day to day to accomplish each.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#9 is fine!

Sunday's NYCM was the 9th of marathons I've run and wow, it did not disappoint!  I took the approach of having a grand ole time along the course, soaking up the unbelievable crowd support and amazing course through so many of NYC's diverse neighborhoods and not worrying about a goal time, splits, etc.   Again, it did not disappoint.   Spots that were a little bare and lacking support back when I last ran this race in '07 were now 3-4 people deep!   It didn't hurt that the weather was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!!!  And for all of you who have read here long enough, you know that means no heat, no humidity and no freak conditions.  It was cool and crisp but sunny and we were kissed with a nice breeze (windy, even, in parts) ....all heaven to a too-warm runner like myself.  I enjoyed every single aspect to the day including the extra early wake-up call to board a bus and camp out on Staten Island for several hours prior to lining up for the start; this year I even scored a sweet spot inside a tent!  And for a day that lasted essentially from 4:15 a.m. till after 2:00 p.m. it went by in a heartbeat.  

One aspect to race day that I hadn't encountered before was the excitement in knowing several runners not only experiencing their first NYCM but also running their first marathon.   I often thought of these peeps ...Kelly, Elgin, Carlos & most especially the lovely Sharon, wondering if they were having as good of a time as I was and hoping it was my adventure tenfold!   Quickly these thoughts led me back to my own first marathon and what I remember from that June day in San Diego back in '06:
  • Where's sissy, where's sissy?
  • Why oh why did the race directors think a cambered stretch of highway to be suitable for miles along the course?
  • Every mile after and including mile 21 must measure 2 miles long each, no way are these markers accurate
  • This Rock & Roll bs isn't really even worth it, I'm past a band before I even really hear them
  • How are we still circling around Sea World, just how many turns can we take to make up a mile or two?
  • [seeing a runner fall within the last mile of the race] Holy shit that would suck so very bad... keeping moving forward Maria, keep moving forward
  • I'm just going to walk a little through this water station, surely that won't hurt
  • OMG, there it is... OMG, there it is!   I see the finish line.
  • Where's sissy, where's sissy?
  •  And immediately, I mean immediately after crossing the finish line - where can I sit down?!?!?!?!  I don't want anything to eat, I don't want my baggage or my medal, I just want to sit down. :) 

Funny enough, after 9 full marathons, countless hours/days/weeks/months of training [and other race distances] and more miles than I'd care to calculate, I ran Sunday's race slower than that first marathon in 2006.   And despite my finish time on Sunday, or perhaps in celebration of, I love this beast of a race distance more than ever!!!  Thank you New York City, you have been my home for the last 10+ years and I never felt more a part of you than I did on Sunday.