Monday, April 29, 2013

Run Every Day In May!!!

I did this a couple of years back, not last year thats for sure since I was injured...but I am too lazy to go back and actually seen if it was 2011 or maybe 2010...

Anyway, this one is a bit different as it calls for me to get up and run at least twice a week while its still dark out.

Um, I live in Nebraska and during Spring and Summer its light out already by 5:15am.

So while I am NOT going to get up in run at the dark before 5am, I WILL get up twice a week (other than Saturday obviously) to run at least a mile before work.


So a mile (at least) a day every day in May here we go!

Anyone else joining the Facebook group for this?

p.s. 10 miles this past Saturday in glorious, glorious, glorious perfect weather...a bit cool to start (28) but warmed up nicely by the end (42). 

3 weeks to Colfax in Denver!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Know Runners Can Be a Narcissitic and Selfish Bunch...

But not everything is about you.

Jeez already.

If I read one more blog entry or thread on RW, or status' on Facebook...

Take your pick, or take all of them...

I am sorry, I do not get the majority of people out there who for whatever reason think that these 'suspects' were somehow targeting runners.

That they hate runners.

That they hate marathons.

That they hate running.

For the love of God already get over yourselves.

These people don't care who they hurt.  They hate everyone who isn't of their belief system, mainly Americans.

They, like all the rest before them, and those that will come after them (and there will be those that come after them), just pick opportunities for the most 'celebrity', coverage and most importantly, high body count.

Yes I agree that because it was at the end all to be all marathon we runners (or most runners) aspire to at some point, so it felt personal.  It felt personal because we've all had friends and/or family at a finish line waiting for us as we complete what we set out to do time and time and time again.

We all feel the tragedy in our hearts, and in our souls and as runners, as I said, it just felt personal as if they wanted to hurt runners.

Think about it.  As far as I can recall no runners were injured.  It was all spectators.  Those people, not only the ones we know, but aaaaaaaaaaaaall those that we do not know.  They picked that time in any marathon (around the 4 hour mark) where they knew the most people are generally around at the finish line waiting for their loved one(s)...

And as in my case at many a half or full marathon with no friends or family around sometimes, its those spectators that regardless of whether I know them or not, I hear my name called out, or if no name, the color of my shirt, my number or something...anything they can think of to shout out to let me know that I am awesome or that I am almost there ;o)

Sure they picked an event sacred to so many, even those you haven't and may never, run ourselves.
So as Jamoosh pointed out in poignant blog post, the next time you are nearing a finish line, set your ego aside for just a few seconds and stop and thank those people personally.
A few seconds, I don't care who you are, is nothing compared to showing some love to those that don't even know you but stood out there for whatever reason, or no reason at cheer for you and those just like you...

I know I will be doing just that very thing mid-May at Colfax.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Feels Like Such a Long Time (some may recognize the Boston (rock group) reference)...Boston for Boston Right?

Well it certainly has been a stressful 7 days now hasn’t it?

And this morning I was like its only been 7 days?  How is that possible?  Sometimes if feels more like a day or two, but then part of my mind wants to pretend it was months and months ago....

I am still shaken by all of it to be honest; maybe if I would just quit turning on CNN I could start to get past it a bit, but with still so many unanswered questions, and my overly curious mind, it’s proven to be quite difficult for me. I still have a post I want to write about my personal thoughts on the future of me doing Boston…maybe this week I will get to that…


Prior to that, my running after NYC has been ‘normal’. I didn’t really need a recovery week as I didn’t run the half marathon as a race necessarily, but I did experience quite a bit of quad pain from all the downhills the first 6 miles.

I quickly started ramping my ‘long run’ mileage back up after a week so that I could be ready for Colfax in May. We’ve still had incredibly nasty weather: cold, wind and snow at least 1-3 times a week on the snow, so my Saturday runs have still been on the treadmill but the weather looks mighty favorable for a 10 miler outside this coming Saturday and I couldn’t be happier!!

This past weekend, a cut back week, with only 6 miles on the schedule, and a weekend away in Denver, I did my little bitty miles on the treadmill Friday night. Obviously watching the coverage of what would ultimately result in the capture of ‘Suspect #2’. Every treadmill was taken and every person had their televisions tuned into one news station or another. I don’t know about anyone else, but I ran farther and longer than I intended/needed to. I didn’t want to leave to drive home for fear of missing ‘the ending’, whatever that would be. I finally did leave and made it home with time to spare.

On Saturday while in Denver, we hit up the mall and I was shocked when I realized we had been walking in there, carrying LOTS of bags BTW for Six. Long. Hours. Oy. We sat down once to enjoy some much needed and appreciated frozen yogurt! I miss frozen yogurt places!! Among other things I might add…

At one point we did go to the car to drop off packages because besides it getting to be increasingly heavy and hard to carry, it was starting to get in our way of our mission!! Finally after those 6 hours I was ready to check into the hotel, relax and bit, hit a restaurant and a movie.

And Sunday morning after a great nights sleep, we went out for breakfast (Sam’s No. 3!!!) and then more shopping before the long drive back home.

I really needed this weekend getaway; between all the shock of Boston, training, the never-ending Winter…well it’s just gotten to be a bit much. I am struggling right now…being here and it being Winter since October…while I do like cooler/cold weather there is a difference between 40deg and 0deg that kinda is not my bestie…and months and months of snow and wind AND those temperatures?

Yeah, not sure Nebraska is the place for me long-term. I’ll serve what I signed on for, but after that, all bets are off! :O)

I am anxious though to begin official Chicago Marathon training.
While I find motivation to train like I use to in Houston and with Kenyan Way non-existent here, I still love the training overall and the challenge. of the distance just as much as I always have.
I really, really, really miss Kenyan Way.  I am hoping that once I get past Colfax and actually running more than 12 miles for a long run that I will start to get some mojo back; not physical mojo but more in my head type of mojo!  I have been checked out so much for the past few months because of weather....
I wonder, will it come back!?!?!??

Oh and guess who cut her hair again, even shorter?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Runners Unite with Race Shirt Tuesday (Honoring the Boston Marathon 2013 Tragedy)

As I was going through my race shirts last night, trying to find one that I wanted to wear to work today, I ran across this one from my Kenyan Way familia down in Houston.

It's not a race shirt, but it seemed appropriate.

At some point I will write more, maybe...

And while I might be smiling in that photo this morning, my heart is heavy, but I am oh so thankful that all my friends who were in Boston yesterday either racing or volunteering, I got the final email last night from Coach that all were finally accounted for.  Yes several of them either finished slightly before the first explosion but there were also some that were just coming up Boylston as it happened, but as I said, all are OK.

You cannot and WILL NOT destroy the will of a runner.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Google Reader We Will Miss You

In case you haven't heard, Google Reader is going bye-bye some time in the next couple of months.

After trying a few different blog feed readers out there, I finally settled in on Bloglovin'  - Click that Follow button right over there ------->

It allowed for a direct import of all the blogs I follow from both my accounts, which made it seamless and oh so easy to switch over, so make the switch now before Google Reader goes away for good and you miss the opportunity to have the import done.

Having to re-set up all those blogs would be tedious indeed.

And besides, I start Chicago Marathon training again here as soon as I am done with Colfax mid-May, and I'm going to be posting more and more.

Promise.  Pinky swear.

And in case anyone is wondering what the weather has been like here the past couple of days...this should give you an idea...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NYC Half Marathon 2013 - Race Report and Review

I know.  I am such a slacker on blog posting.  Here I said I was going to start blogging again and I disappear for weeks!  LOL.

It is just so busy at work, and outside of work I have training and a house and friends and stuff I would rather be doing...

So there's that :O)

I am hoping to actually start typing this (its 12:31MST on April 8) and be finished with it by COB tomorrow....

We'll see...

So this post is supposed to be about the NYC Half Marathon I just did a few weeks back right?  OK, let's see if I can write this all down from memory after a longer period of time than I would have anticipated...

First off though the one thing I want to say about the NYC Half Marathon is that I LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED it.  I will repeatedly put myself in for the lottery for this race year after year.  If I could do one race and one race only it would be this one.  I loved the route, I love NYC, I love Manhattan, I loved everything about this race....

Except for:
The Expo

Which is why there is only the one photo of me after picking up my things.

Outside the Expo
It wasn't horrible...but it wasn't great either.  Not that I really care about it being great persay, but a) it was difficult to find where it was; the AWESOME app for the race had the directions and what-not, but it was still difficult to manuever and the entrance wasn't where it was said to be.

Then it was indeed small.  A handful of vendors which is fine...less tempation to buy stuff I don't need, however the space where this was all set up was TINY, and manueving the few vendors to get from bib pick up to shirt pick up was confusing and annoying.

I couldn't wait to get out of there.  :O)

Hotel lobby before walking to Central Park for the corrals

Seeing as how the race didn't start until 7:30, and we were so close to the Start, it was nice to just 'be' on race morning.  I got up, met Jaime downstairs in the lobby to go get coffee at the bodega next door (SBux was NOT open at 5:30 like the chick told us the night before; FAIL!), then went back upstairs to get ready.

Note that the day prior, it snowed, turned extremely windy, cold and then was sleeting.  We were worried about the road conditions, but when we walked outside that morning to get the coffee, all was well.

I mean, yeah it was cold, around 28deg, but everything else seemed fine.

Jaime runs for RunWell and had to be at a certain spot within CP at a specific time, so we headed out around 6:15 to walk the just over a mile to 72nd Street for the entrance into CP and where we entered for our corral.

I had a bib for a corral much farther up to the Start than Jaime, but seeing as how we were going to run this thing together, I obviously started in her area as opposed to mine.

Let me say it was DAMN cold standing there for an hour, plus the walking etc.  The race started at 7:30, but because of where we were, it took us exactly 30 min to cross the Start line.  30 minutes on the dot.  We were never so glad to begin running!!!  It seriously took the first 5 miles for me to be able to actually feel my feet and I never quite got feeling in my legs; I kept reaching for my shorts because I thought they were riding up, but they weren't.

My legs were numb and I just couldn't feel the fabric at all.

Central Park Pre-Race...hadn't lost the throwaway pants yet!  SO COLD!

The first 6+ miles of the NYC Half Marathon is done in Central Park.  And while Central Park is hilly, I didn't seem to really notice it much (nor did I in the brief moments you run in it during the NYC (full) marathon.)  I noticed the downhills more if that makes any sense :O)   However I will tell you that I was misinformed somewhere that the worst hill is in the first mile.

THIS is false.  False.  False.  False.
Once we finished mile 1 I even said to Jaime, well if thats the worst of it...but then you pass the 5K marker....THAT my friends is where you will encounter the worst hill.  I believe its called Cat Hill and let me tell you it definitely can take the wind out of your sails if you aren't prepared properly.  Definitely do hill training for this race!   I know I was thankful I had, plus I had the whole altitude difference thing working in my favor.
Once you make it past that one, seriously, the rest of the hills in CP really didn't mean much to me, but again, do hill training or you won't think like me...  :O)
Once you exit out of the park finally, you are on 7th Avenue and 58th and you are going to run straight up 7th all the way to 42nd (which is where you will make a turn and run through the magnificient Times Square!!
Also once you are out of Central Park, the rest of the way is pretty much either flat, barely uphill, and downhill.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy breezy!!  Well until the last 400m or so once you exit out of the Battery Park Tunnel that is :O)
Coming up 7th Street from Central Park (this was 7th and 53rd where we knew our peeps would be waiting)

Heading towards the Hudson River on 42nd Avenue; running through Times Square)  VERY, VERY strong headwind here as we neared West Side Highway (which runs along the Hudson towards the Financial District)
As we were running up 42nd towards the West Side Highway, which runs along the River, the closer we got the stronger the headwinds became.  We were very worried about what we might face in the last 4 miles (which run along the river towards Chelsea Pier, Wall Street/Financial District, the 9/11 Memorial site and the Statue of Liberty...all of which you will either see and/or pass along the way.

It truly is a wonderful course in that respect as well.  Its just a damn fun race to be a part of!!!

But reach the tunnel...Now I didn't even know anything about a tunnel to be honest, but it was like any other tunnel really.  Its about 3m long and is the longest continuous vehicular tunnel in the United States.  We definitely lost Garmin signal almost immediately it seemed, but somewhere in there I remember seeing the 800m to go sign!!!

However it was upon exiting the tunnel where things were not what I would have liked!!  Its a straight uphill right off the bat and man just when you think you got this one made, you don't.  It kinda reminded me of that little uphill there at the end of the Chicago Marathon, only this one was a bit longer and steeper than that.

Battery Park Tunnel (connects Brooklyn to Manhatten and runs under the river)

Runners exiting the tunnel (Photo Credit: Towers to Tunnel)
Then once you top the hill FIIIIIIIIIIINALLY, you make a little turn, then another little turn and the Finish Line is there.  Lots of screaming people and it was just awesome!

Finish line photo from the peeps

Sea of heat blankets.  SO happy they had these!!

Once you are done, the usual filter through for your goody bag (which was AWESOME by the way!  A nice backpack with race logo/name filled with more than what I got when I finished the 2008 full NYC Marathon..)  Nice touch on the backpack NYRR!!!!

We immediately heard our peeps yelling (they had somehow got through all the people and were able to see us cross the Finish Line!!!), so we met them, got my warm clothes from the bag my sister was hauling around for me then went to the Finishers tent as I wanted a Finishers shirt.  Note that you do have to buy any official Finisher type of gear, and take cash!  Its much faster to get in and out if you have cash!!!

Another hint is that plan to go somewhere and eat before heading to the Subway....we heard how nightmarish it was so we went into a diner, all 8 of us and had ourselves a nice long breakfast with lots and lots of hot coffee!!!!

We were probably in there about 1.5 hours and by the time we got to the Subway, it was clear sailing!!!

Again I cannot say enough about how much I absolutely loved loved loved this race and the experience!!!

I will be putting in for the lottery again as soon as it opens!  Maybe NYRR can spot me an entry next year for my gloooooooooooooowing review of this race and all the efforts of NYRR!!!!

What say you NYRR?!?!?!?!?  :O)

Oh and to note that I did indeed meet my finish deadline for posting this!!  Tuesday, April 9th, 12:39PM MST!!!