Posts Tagged With: St Pats

I Took Time Out

Where do I begin? Where did I leave off? So much to say there’s too much to say. Let’s try nutshells, shall we?

Running: January saw 24.25 miles. I’m okay with that number because I was insane at the end of 2016, running practically every single freaking day. January was my rest month. February was a little better: 40.6 miles, thanks to the St. Pat’s nemesis I always blather about. March kicked off with 13.7 miles in the first week. I have skipped a few runs to…wait for it…to weight lift with a certified bodybuilder trainer. I figure if I’m going to punch someone I need to be strong enough to knock them out! Just kidding. I called truce with the nemesis, by the way. I have yet to walk a single step…and, and. And! I find myself with a new PR: 1 hr 4 seconds. The cool thing is, I didn’t “race” this run. I spent the first four miles cruising, just looking for my friend. Once I found him and decided he wasn’t staying with me, I took off. It kills me that I spent only two miles of the run trying to race!
Next up: a NEW 10k for April. This one is a head scratcher. The race director emailed the runners and asked us to decide on the course: did we want to run laps (um. no) or go long. I voted long. Of course.

Books: I read 10 books in January, 9 in February & I’ve finished 7 already this month. That’s what I get for reading Truman Capote, Adimchinma Ibe, David Halberstam, Barbara Gowdy, Marianne Leone, and Laura Esquivel’s incredibly short books.

Music: I have already heard Trey Anastasio. On the horizon I have plans to see Natalie Merchant (of course), The Dead (of course), Phish (of course) and Sean Rowe (of course) before the summer is over.
Truth be told, the summer hasn’t even begun so who knows who will be added to the list.

Travel: Maine, California, Alaska, New York. Not necessarily in that order. More on that later.

Categories: Confessional, running, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Depends on Who You Ask

The St. Patrick’s Day Run. Okay. I don’t want to talk about it, but we know we should.
If you ask moi how it went myself will answer with a question of my own, “The race according to whom?” Because it depends on who you ask. The run according to RaceWire is wildly different from the run according to MapMyRun. Observe:

RaceWire: 1:07:31
MMR: 1:00:48

See what I mean? So, let’s talk about this. From the beginning. I was supposed to run with someone else. Someone who runs a six minute mile. I was okay with that. I will never run that fast, but he’s never run more than three miles. He’s unaccustomed to hills and I hadn’t been training for them. My only edge would have been I know these hills so I know what to expect. I know what’s coming. I thought given our strengths and weaknesses we would balance each other out. Long story short, when he bowed out I was half disappointed, but half relieved as well. The half relief comes from being a solo runner. My comfort zone typically doesn’t have room for a companion. The idea of running alone was bringing me back to what I know. Yet. And yet, I was half disappointed because I felt I was undertrained for this run. We established that already. I did one incline practice run with New Guinea and that was it.

Everything about this run was weird from the beginning. For starters, I never got a confirmation email from race coordinators when I registered. Subsequent alerts like bib number and corral placement never came either. In order to pick up my bib I had to delve into the guts of RaceWire, find my registration & determine my number from there. You can’t pick up your gear without it. Luckily, there were no problems.

Race day dawned clear and chilly, warming up to a balmy 42 degrees. For three years in a row I put myself in the eleven minute mile corral. It’s my lucky spot. This year I was supposed to be in the ten minute mile corral (based on my registration). I had decided to get out of the lie of “eleven” and tell the truth of “ten”. Turns out, I ended up in the way, way, waaayy back. We’re talking back of the pack porta-potty way,way back. With the walkers. With the people joking about stretchers and oxygen tanks and exclamations of What Did I Get Myself Into?

How do I describe the run itself? I couldn’t find Kisa in the first mile. That’s a first. My playlist stopped after the kick-off song (Supply and Demand by Amos Lee). That’s a first, too.
Tuba guy. I found him walking up the penultimate hill and never saw him again. Speaking of hills. Have I mentioned the hills? Elevation goes like this: 164 ft -> 259 -> 315 -> 452 -> 187 -> 222. I powered up every one of those hills as if my life depended on it. No walking, no resting. Just a lot of deep breathing and meditative pacing. I ran them just as strong as any other year.
Probably the most moving part of the run wasn’t the near naked guy in a tutu. It wasn’t the couple who insisted on holding hands. No, it was the entire 82rd Recruit Training Troop of the Massachusetts State Police running in formation in honor of fallen office Thomas Clardy. Running along side them made my whole day.

But. But! But, I don’t know if I have a new PR for this run. If I were to go with RaceWire’s time I most definitely did not PR. In fact I ran six minutes slower. I’ll say it again – S L O W E R. I don’t even know how that is possible unless I remind myself I was undertrained. Maybe it only felt like I was running stronger?

If I were to go with MapMyRun I would be thrilled to say I PR’ed it by 1 minute and 47 seconds. I want to believe this time because I really pushed it this year. I felt like I was working as hard as I could. I powered up every incline and sailed through every straightaway; sprinting on the downhills. My split times match the course perfectly mile for mile. I didn’t take time for water, nor to hobnob or high five anyone. In other words I didn’t fukc around.*

Who do I trust? The chip in my bib or the gps in the sky? RaceWire tracked me crossing the start & finish lines. MMR tracked me the entire way. I simply do not know my own time.

*Okay. Confessional: I DID fist pumped a 3′ inflatable alien but only because he was in my way.

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

Off Track

For the first time in two months I let myself jump the tracks. My hope? I just left the switching station and I’m still riding the rails, just a different route. My fear? I derailed. Derailed like so many times before. Harsh words like burnout and quitter and failure. I know I’m being woe-is-me dramatic, but I’ve been here before. I’ve seen this slip sliding away. As the song goes, “the more you near your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away.” Or something like that. But! But. But, how is that even possible if I don’t know where I’m going?

Thursday has always been a good run day. I get home a couple of hours before the Kisa and the idea of what to make for dinner is barely a blip on my mental radar. In other words, plenty of time for New Guinea. Except for last night. Everything was wrong. I couldn’t get into even the idea of a run. A run of any length. And it wasn’t just the run that was wrong. I had plans to go out with a friend. I postponed. I had no plans for dinner and ending up making a homemade kraut while Kisa seared off beer brats. Lame. But I knew it before I even began. It’s like I knew how wrong everything would be before I even got home. So, by the time I stepped on the tread I knew I would bail. The original plan was for speed work: 1 mile warm-up; 6x(30/90); 1 mile cool down. It probably would have worked out to four miles or so (4.15 was my last speedy run). What did I do? What did I end up running last night? 2.83. 2.83 total.

There is a silver lining to all this stomachache. For the month I have put in 56 miles. And there’s this: I signed up for the St. Pat’s road race on March 21. Last year I shaved four minutes off my time. Considering I was pushing through a pretty painful hip ailment I am proud of the improvement. This year I want to work on hills, physically and mentally. Every year I consistently run every hill (you won’t see this girl walking a second on this course!), but I want to get through the inclines faster and stronger than last year. That’s the physical part. The mental is this: every year I get pissed off at the hill walkers who sprint past me on the downhill. I need to get over that. They run their race, I’ll run mine.

What’s ahead: a 10k on Sunday and that’s it for the rest of the week. During this 10k I’m going to try to simulate St. Pat’s on my tread and see how I do. I know I can’t work on downhill, but then again that has never been my problem!

In the spirit of accountability, here’s next week:
M – hip work with Bob / PT
T – 5 miles / PT
W – elliptical / yoga with Sage / PT
Th – 4.5 miles / PT
F – ?? wild card because I’m working for MSR
S – hip work with Bob / yoga with Christene / PT
Su – 10 miles/ restorative yoga

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

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