Posts Tagged With: numbers

January Just Left

I consistently misspell January. Judging by the mistake I know I’ll be misspelling February for the next 28 days, too. It’s a question of typing too fast. My fingers can’t keep up with what my brain has finished saying.

It’s been three weeks and a few days since my last confessional. I think I left you on a treadmill in Rockland, Maine. What to tell you now? Where am I now? January just left the building. I ran a total of 24.85 miles for the entire month. Yes, that point eighty five does matter. I’ll tell you why. Because, with a week off from the run, I have been able to return to my steady pace of 10:24 -> 10:03. That’s huge. By the end of 2016 I was warming up (read: limping along) at a 12 minute mile pace and barely getting above that for the duration of the rest of the run. True, by the end of December I was running more miles in one week than I had in the entire month of January, but speed was pretty pathetic at the end. I like where I’m at now. Seriously

In other news, I have returned to a pretty consistent yoga routine and get this…I promised four people (six if you include myself and moi) I would join a real, honest to goodness (gulp) gym if I got a raise. And. I got a raise. So there’s that. To be fair, I haven’t joined yet. I’m waiting for a few mini turbulences to pass. More on that another time.

Lastly, Question – what do you get when you cross a librarian with a runner with less mileage on her schedule and more time on her hands? Answer – a woman with more books finished. I was able to cross ten titles off the challenge list.

I’m short on time so I can’t tell you the latest with New Guinea or about the jet stream I’m about to enter…Until next time.

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Final Countdown

Well. Not final. To be fair, I might write again before all this is over. I just realized it’s been a few days since my last confession. So, here it it: 12 days to go. 33 miles to run. 2.75 miles a day if I wanted to run every single day. And I want to. But, I have obligations. For starters, I have a date with a certain New England football team on 12/24 in Foxborough. Could you see it? Excuse me, Mr. Brady, but I need to run around your football field 4+ times. Can you delay the game if I get a quad cramp? Um. No.
So, here is the plan:
12/21 6.5 miles
12/22 2.5 miles
12/23 6 miles
12/25 5? I’ll be at my sister-in-law’s for an all day brunch. Think they’ll miss me for an hour or so?
12/26 3
12/27 5
12/28 3
12/29 2

I am still (still!) telling myself I can’t do this. I am still waiting for the epic fail. My legs have been holding up and. And! And, I registered for St. Pat’s! So, there’s that. The game plan after 2016 is this: rest for a solid two weeks. In that time, develop a new yoga & strength training routine. Gradually add the run back into the mix. Sometime in late January-early February start training for Holyoke’s notorious hills. This year I have Millz by my side (aka speedy because he finished the Safe Passage 5k in 16 minutes. Yikes!). He’s never run longer than 3.1 miles and I don’t know his hill strategy, but I do know he’s fast!

Anyway. That’s that.

Categories: Confessional, Hilltop, Holidays, life, running | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Empty Words

The quick and the dirty: running on Peaks didn’t happen for a variety of reasons. That’s the bad news. The good news is that somehow, in some way, I am still on target to complete 1000 kilometers by December 31st IF I run three miles a day. I haven’t fallen apart completely. I haven’t given up completely. However, I’m still that zone of believing I can’t run 93 miles in 31 days. Is that, in some weird way, better than saying I can’t believe I can run 93 miles before January 1st? No matter how you say it I’m disbelieving.

Last Sunday, while the Patriots were almost pummeled by the Jets, I ran an even nine miles with New Guinea. Halfway through the run I thought I heard the tread cough. I can’t explain it. I definitely heard a thud and I pretty sure it came from below my feet. When it happened again I listened close to the motor. Was it going to seize? Was it struggling just as much as me and myself? Upon a closer listen I couldn’t tell. I kept running.

Last night on a six miler it happened again – at mile three. This time I convinced myself Guinea was ready to go. A weird thud like the backfire of an old jalopy, just not as loud. A muted bump in the tread. It took me another two miles to puzzle it all out. I mentioned in passing last post I’ve slowed my pace to preserve my legs. Well, my body has not adjusted to the slower speed at all. As a result I’m stepping on the housing unit of the motor. That’s the thud. I’m getting ahead of the belt and hitting the plastic casing. Duh. So dumb.

Anyway. I’m still shooting to finish this 1000k challenge. Really, I am. I finally figured out a plan for the rest of the year. This is what I need to do to make it work:

Dec 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, & 29 = 6.3 miles each
Dec 4, 11, 18, & 25 = 9 miles each

If I stick to this plan I will be left with one measly mile to go…on New Year’s Eve.

Categories: Confessional, running | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Closing In

I am still not confident I will complete this 1000k challenge. Everyday I mentally play with the numbers and wonder for how long I can keep this up. My targeted average is still 2.8 miles a day from now until December 31st. If I can keep that up I will succeed. Notice I said IF i can keep that up. There is the thought fear that I can’t. Last night I ran 3.23 at a ridiculously slow pace. Through the night my body grew progressively achy and by 2am my hips were on fire. Lying there in the predawn hours listening to my hips sing I couldn’t imagine running the same distance later that same day. My body has since stopped bitching but that doesn’t make it easier to picture even two little miles with New Guinea.

But! But. But, I am closing in on my goal. I have epic arguments with myself over methods to the madness. Do I run six every other day in order to give myself rest? Do I need that rest? Or! Do I run three every single day and hope that half the time means half the damage?

Silver lining: thanksgiving on Peaks. I love, love, love running Peaks. Maybe I can put in a solid nine and close the gap a little more? Wouldn’t that be cool?

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Twitching

So. The last thing I said was I wanted to finish the 1000k challenge. My plantar fasciitis is barely a blip but now, now I have a new concern (insert eye roll here). The situation is this: I am running just fine. Last week I logged 22 miles (including a nine miler on Sunday at Ashley which was breathtaking) and DURING each run I was fine. The problem comes when I stop. No. That’s not entirely true. I am a little more achy than usual, but that’s not it. To be more accurate, the problem really starts when I lay down to go to sleep. All of a sudden my legs begin to twitch and tingle. It’s like restless leg syndrome on steroids. Like being electrocuted with teeny, weeny, tiny tasers. My hips catch on fire and I can’t get comfortable enough to save my sleep. My worst fear is that I have a pinched nerve and yet I can’t bring myself to see a doctor. I’m sure I’ll be told I’ve been over training and blah blah blah. Cue the Peanuts teacher voice…

Everything in my being is telling me & myself to stop running for a little while. We aren’t training for anything specific. I don’t have another race until March so why run so much? Why this silly 1000k challenge? I’ll tell you why. I’m in the top 10% out of 331,000 participants. I am 130 miles away from my goal. That’s a measly 2.8 miles a day. What has come over me? Why this competitive bullcrap? Normally I wouldn’t give a damn about being in the top anything percent so I have no idea why this matters.

A line from one of my favorite movies, “I’m standing on the platform at Limbo Central…”Or wait. Maybe I’m the one in Indecision City?

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Rear View Mirror

A look back at 2015:

  • January – a return to a favorite and very romantic B&B tucked away in northern Vermont & a return to the run (36.1 miles)
  • February – took part in a very difficult intervention & ran 72.4 miles.
  • March – lost an aunt, PR’ed St. Pats (it rained), revisited Jersey, & ran 75.5 miles
  • April – certified active shooter trained, made the decision to end Just ‘Cause & ran 79.7 miles
  • May – visited Toronto for the first time, ran a half mara, & walked my final time for Just ‘Cause (it rained)
  • June – ran a 6k in honor of fallen firefighters & made the decision to train for a full mara (ran 23.1)
  • July – visited Chicago for the first time & ran a 5k for the homeless (July total 37.9 miles)
  • August – visited Glens Falls, NY for the first time, experienced Magnaball Madness & ran 70.2 miles
  • September – made the decision to write a cookbook, ran a 5k for an AIDs foundation, made a new running friend & ran 95.4 miles
  • October – Peaks & Monhegan, lost a high school friend, ran 92.4 miles
  • November – visited Vegas, ran a mara for my cousin (it rained) & lost a friend.
  • December – got crazy sick, lost a friend, slowly returned to the run (ran ? miles – 7.3 so far).

For the year:

  1. Read 118 books
  2. Lost 4 loved ones
  3. Ran 625.5* miles (only 5 charity races) *not counting Dec
  4. Saw 17 concerts
  5. Reviewed 11 books for LibraryThing

Looking back on all this, there is heartache hidden among the numbers. There were eudemonic moments in there for sure, but every run’s initial intent was to work out a worry. A lot on my mind in 2015!

Looking ahead. I want:

  • For the run:
    • To run St. Pat’s faster (it’s become a tradition to PR this #$% race!)
    • To redeem myself for Alton Bay
    • To rerun Worcester 6 even better
    • To run WMAF for the third time
  • For the books:
    • Read & review 120 books for the year
    • Start writing the cookbook
  • For family:
    • Spend more time!
    • Find the balance between irenic and antagonistic
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Finish the blanket I have been knitting for the past 11 years
    • Conquer the challenging arm balance poses I abhor.

The end.

Categories: Charity, Confessional, life, running | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Odd Seventeen

Seventeen is an odd number. Generally speaking, in the grand scheme of things, seventeen is not a number easily divisible. If seventeen was the total number of food items on a plate for two, my kisa would immediately call that plate a  “date plate.” Why? Because you cannot share the plate equally between yourself and your sweet date. Someone either gives up the last piece or selfishly eats the damn thing. You can tell how a date is going by what happens to that indivisible food item.

In terms of miles, seventeen was not a number I went looking for last weekend. My plan called for 16+ and in my warped little world I had already run a sweet 16 without stopping. That meant this run needed to be longer. Somehow.

Date plates aside, another indication of etiquette is keeping a promise. Months ago I swore I would run a 5k for a friend’s charity event. A promise is a promise is a promise. A no brainer. But, that doesn’t mean the decision came without baggage. Thoughts bumped around my head like lottery ping pong balls: How could I fit in an additional 13+ miles? Exactly where could I run an additional 13+ miles? And this 5k!? What if I injury something on this “nontraditional” run? Could I really run another 13+ at high noon? The 5k was to start at 11am! And. And! And, I don’t know the neighborhood at all. Where would I go? My old nemesis of self-doubt was lurking in the darker corners of my mind volleying these questions across my sanity. How? Where? What if?

Fast forward to the 5K – finished in 29 some odd minutes (in other words, didn’t push or lag). It turned out to be the BEST 5k I have ever run. The terrain was varied (asphalt, gravel, dirt and grass) and so was the scenery. I loved running by the rive. The woodsy parts totally reminded me of Monhegan. I experienced silver and gold in that I made a new friend and caught up with an old one. I couldn’t stick around for the raffle or music or speeches but…3.1 miles done.

The 14 – My new friend and her partner tried to give me running routes around Westfield but I knew Kisa would be nervous if he didn’t know the route. Me running solo is not whiskers on kittens; not raindrops on roses; in other words, not his favorite thing. The problem was this: I didn’t really have a plan or a route. I knew only two things – thanks to my mother being in town I was operating on less than four hours of sleep and I didn’t want to run 14 in the middle of the day. I’m a dusk runner. Always have been. Always will be. So I went home. For a nap.

14.4 (Take 2) – I decided to make the trip back up to NoHo for the 14 after a light lunch and a power nap of 90 minutes. The newly discovered Belchertown bike path has become an instant favorite. I love running by farms and orchards that look like they belong in the south of France. I love cruising through tunnels and over bridges and by wetlands. I don’t even mind the golf course, the car dealership or mall. They are barely a blip on my radar as I run by. My favorite part is the bridge over the Connecticut river. On the way out it symbolizes the journey I am about to take. On the return trip it is a measurement of accomplishment; it signifies pain being beaten back once again. I love this path so much that one of these days I want to run the entire thing one way. Kisa can pick me up on the other side of wherever it ends up. By the power of my feet I just want to see how far it goes and discover every little thing along the way.
So. Even though I don’t really believe in combining runs… the total for the day = 17.5 miles

And for hahas, total for the month = 95.5 miles

While I’m at it, total for the training = 203.75

Here’s the crazy thing – only 46 days, 19 runs, and 158 miles stand between me and Vegas. Let the games begin.

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Time for the Gizmo?

I am not a sucker for the latest gadget or gizmo. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you my foray into tech gear has moved glacially. My family got our first phone in 1983. Today I have a manual can opener and I am fine with that. It took me forever to get a cell phone. It took me even longer to send my first text. My friends could tell who was texting, me or my husband, by how fast the reply came back to them. I still don’t own a Garmin, despite the fact I can be obsessed by the numbers. Sports technology has consisted of a pedometer I could clip to my waistband if only to monitor Just ‘Cause training walks. I think I’ve owned three total and used to feel naked without one…until I dropped one in the auto-flush toilet at LL Bean.
Last year I graduated to a fitbit flex and slowly stopped being so anal about the number of steps I took on a given day. Last year my training consisted of making sure I walked five miles every day, no matter what. Five miles a day. Period. No training schedule to adhere to, no convoluted planning when to get in the “long walks”. I just let it all go. And you know what? I was fine with all that.
But, speaking of the Garmin – last Sunday was the first time I questioned my lack of gadgetry. I ran around 01062 and 01060 thinking my every mile was being tracked, logged and computer. I was looking forward to the pace reports, elevation details, the undeniable proof of accomplishment. I was expecting to see 13 miles in black and white. So, when my phone gps didn’t map a thing, not one single mile, I felt let down, gypped even.
Maybe it’s time for a little technology.

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Be Fair…Compare!

Back when my husband wasn’t tied to me by death-do-us-part; back when he was barely my knight in shining armor and more or less the new kid on the block in my heart he sat me down and advised me, in all seriousness, with four little words. Be fair. Don’t compare. For I was fresh off a four year flop. Why it lasted that long, I don’t know. Old Nobody and New Somebody couldn’t have been more different. Everything about them was polar opposite so there was plenty to compare. He knew it.

In truth, when your new Somebody is so much, much better that the last Nobody it is difficult NOT to line them up and delight in their differences. When it’s so good (so, so good) you need to gloat. Seriously. Such is the way of the run. Sunday saw 10.32 miles. For every step beyond 9.1 I made comparisons to the last time I was at this point. The last time I ran this distance it was pouring rain. The last time my feet moved me this far my hands were too numb to pull up my pants at the porta-potty (I used my teeth). The last time I saw 10.32 it felt like little gremlins were taking steak knives to my knees and studded clubs to my hips. The last time I ran 10.32 I had tears streaming down my face. I was cold and wet; in pain and exhausted. This time 10.32 saw me, myself and moi hot, sweaty, strong and fiercely alive.

Best song of the long run: Scorpio Rising by 10,000 Maniacs
Edited to add: I really wanted to put a song by AC/DC, only it was covered by Maroon 5. That just seemed wrong.

The numbers ahead: Confessional – I will do some maintaining this week. 5.5 tomorrow and 5 on Thursday but no long run. I’m headed to the hospital bed of a family member. That is a different long run in and of itself.

Categories: Confessional, running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Seeing Spotty Spots

A little while ago I was all bubbly about Spotify. Said I couldn’t wait to run to the playlists of others. I tried it. Tried it thrice. In a word: fail. In two words, Epic Fail. The run tunes of another do not match the legs of mine. After eight songs (all three times) the only one we had in common was Eminem’s Lose Yourself. No matter how I tried I couldn’t find the rhythm of a Fall Out Boy mashup. I ended up crashing. So, until I can investigate further I am shelving the Spotify idea and going back to what I know – my own listening crap. I say crap because it’s not WHAT I listen to that keeps me going. It’s HOW I listen to it; the game I play.

Take last night for example. I chose to run for 57 minutes (Why 57? Don’t ask). The iPod was on shuffle all songs. And when I say all songs I mean all songs. AC/DC to ZZ Ward. Abba to Zappa. A to Z and everything in between. Not every song has a perfect beat to run to, though. I love Robinella and Sade and Lucinda but sometimes they kill my patience and once they’ve killed that my tempo falls flat. The workaround? A game I play called “10 second rule”. I have to listen to EVERY song for at least 10 seconds no matter what before moving on to the next one. Once I find a song I can tolerate (Jeff Buckley’s New Years Prayer isn’t bad, mostly because I love the line, “run past your funeral” and the drums are kick azz) or one that motivates (Amos Lee’s Supply and Demand), I let the whole song play out. And so it goes until I read “workout complete” (yes, I’m still running on the dread). Why no playlist of my own, you ask? Simple. I get bored too easily. Yes, I have my favorites (10,000 Maniacs “My Mother the War”, Rolling Stones “Paint it Black”, Mieka Pauley “We’re All Gonna Die” and Tom Petty “Running Down a Dream” among many others), but I have the attention span of a flea. I need more. So I play the game.

As February draws to a close (thank freakin’ g), here are the numbers (because I don’t plan to run again until Sunday’s 10):

  • Total – 72.43 miles
  • Longest – 9.1 miles
  • Shortest – 2.83 miles
  • Missed runs: 2 Fridays – Confessional: I have dropped Fridays to protect my hips and I find myself working my second job on Fridays.

February pretty much doubled January’s numbers, not that it matters any. I’m still not working towards anything specific except the 10k in a few weeks (providing my life doesn’t fall apart before then).

Best new song: Georgia Warhorse by JJ Grey & Mofro. Actually the WHOLE album is great, but I particularly like the title track.

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