week 13 wrap-up

hmmm maybe it’s appropriate that I wore an A-Rod shirt to the game…he’s #13, the game ended week #13 of training…

so last week was jam-packed, between holiday festivities with la familia and my highest mileage week so far, capped off with 20 miles.  No wonder by Saturday I was exhausted.  I had every intention of getting out to spectate and cheer at Grete’s Great Gallop half marathon in da park, but the snooze button definitely won out.  I needed it though…as Sunday was gonna be a long day…

So once again, I would be pacing a group for the Flyers‘ famous 3 Bridges Run, definitely one of my favorite runs.  Was definitely disappointed to have missed it last year due to its proximity to Chicago!  Anyway, I’d be co-leading the 9:00 group, whereas in the past I did the 9:30’s.  I was definitely fighting some tired legs, but “well I did 9’s during the Heatpocalypse…”  I did have 2 strokes of good fortune.  First, the run was gonna have a wave start of sorts, and my group was in the last wave.  Yay for 40 extra minutes of sleep.  Second, the Yankee playoff game I was supposed to attend Saturday night?  Kinda got postponed to Sunday afternoon due to rain…something you don’t see much around here these days…yes I’m being sarcastic 😛

So thankfully there were no MTA fails, and and it looked like the weather gods were gonna be kind to us as well.  We actually had a pretty small group-around 10 peeps, but that would make it easier to work together.  Flyer RA was a great co-leader (though I did have to tell him at a coupla points to rein it in when we seemed to be speeding up a little 🙂 ) and in general it was a very nice group-hopefully they will all join for the next run in 2 weeks! 🙂  As for me, it took a mile or 2 to loosen up, but as I settled in, all was well.  Made sure to not commit the same fueling error as a week earlier-took a gel every 5 miles (so 3 total) and Gatorade every so often and still felt good at mile 20…what a difference from the previous week when I felt horrible after 12 miles and just barely made it to 14.  So it’s established…minimalist fueling just does not work for me, for whatever reason.  All in all, Mr. Garmin said I did 20.39 miles in 2:58:24…8:45 pace.  Not sure if we really were that fast or if Mr. Garmin was just flukey (I think everyone’s Garmins in our group had a different reading!) but I’m taking it. 🙂

So afterwards, headed back to the UES JackRabbit which was the meeting place for the run…while most were shopping, trying on shoes and mingling, I just grabbed a quick bite to eat, chatted with Coach T about the run, and then had to head out to get cleaned up and meet up with JW to head up to the Cathedral in the Bronx!!  Though I wish the end result had been better-my perfect record this year has ended-it is still amazing to be there for the playoffs…first time I’ve been there for a playoff game in 10 years!  And awesome seats too!

And so begins another week.  But at least I got something cool in the mail to make my Monday a little bit better! 🙂

week 12 wrap-up

Boy, this week was actually a tough one.  Couldn’t rest on my laurels from the half, still had work to do.  Lotsa mileage up in here!

So track this past week was a ladder.  2 x 200, 400, 800, 1200…then repeat in reverse.  I was granted a little bit of mercy and was allowed to swap the second 1200 with an 800, as long as I did the one 1200 under 5:05.

Interval Time Pace
200m 0:46.97 6:17.95
200m 0:47.22 6:19.97
400m 1:38.22 6:35.17
800m 3:19.47 6:41.27
1200m 5:03.10 6:46.49
800m 3:19.37 6:41.07
800m 3:19.32 6:40.97
400m 1:37.61 6:32.72
200m 0:47.08 6:18.84
200m 0:45.06 6:02.59

So all were under target, except for the 1200, the original target was 5:00 but I’ve had trouble hitting that as of late…especially with legs that just ran a half 2 days earlier!  Hence the deal that was made 🙂

Thursday was the total opposite…as I had a Flyer event in the evening and had to miss the group workout, my assignment to do in the morning was a 4-mile tempo at 7:35-7:40 pace.  That definitely did not go as planned.  Yeah, it was dreadfully humid, but my legs were definitely tired…I knew it when I tried to do a couple of strides and my legs weren’t responding.  But I threw myself into it anyway, and wound up with 7:53 pace…the first 3 miles barely under 8, but picked it up for the last mile, which was 7:43.  And my heart rate data even backed things up-was much lower than it should be for a tempo effort, meaning the legs were tired.

So the legs felt better for today’s 14-miler, which I did in the park while running in the opposite direction from the 18-mile Tune-Up race…and it was good to cheer for and chat briefly with other teammates and friends, but boy the humidity was deadly.  Even though I took my gel somewhere between miles 7 and 8, by mile 12 I felt under-fueled and my legs felt shaky-had a feeling it was a fueling error I had committed before.  With the humidity, I probably needed 2 gels instead of 1, or I needed to have taken Gatorade and not just water.  But really, I hope this humidity takes a hike soon-so glad I did my half last weekend instead of this one!

But got it done, and had the afternoon free to enjoy the Yankees game…ah a nice victory over the Sawx!!  But oh boy, crazy how the Sawx’s playoff hopes really lie in the Yankee’s hands this week-literally!!

And the men’s marathon world record fell today in Berlin!  (and Haile falters once again…I think he’s done)  But wait a minute, they used pacers…so it shouldn’t count!!  Hey after all, women aren’t allowed to use male pacers.  Yes, I think this new ruling by the IAAF is ridiculous.  It’s one thing to do this going forward, but previous records should NOT be voided. That said, in my opinion…I don’t know why it matters if a record is run in a mixed or women’s only race…pacers or no pacers, their legs still had to do the work. A pacer can only do so much-they don’t run the race for the athlete.  And I’m not sure if the USATF is gonna follow suit, but if they do…I feel more bad for Deena Kastor than Paula Radcliffe-at least the best time in a women’s only race that can count for a world record does still belong to Paula…Deena would get stripped of a record entirely.  (Looks like the USATF does keep track of records set in women’s-only races as well as mixed races…though I think the time they have for the marathon is outdated, shouldn’t it be Kara Goucher’s 2:25 in NYCM 2008?)  I’m sure the Chicago marathon organizers are pissed about this too…their race is in 2 weeks, there is no separate women’s start, so now their race can’t count for any women’s records?  Anyone want to take bets on how long this ruling will last?

one down, 17 to go…

So first week of NYCM training is in the books, and honestly it seems sorta anticlimactic…maybe because I know I still got a bit of work ahead of me, so one week ain’t even scratching the surface.

So this weekend I did something totally unlike me and got up early to get my long run early in the morning 😮  But hey, I had 14 to get done, and as it was a busy weekend for me, really the best time for it was Saturday morning, knowing there was a NYRR race in the park and I knew a coupla Flyers would be in it, so I’d do my usual “run, watch and cheer” thang.  And given the conditions were tough, I’m sure they all appreciated the cheering…and I appreciated that I wasn’t racing and I was just taking it easy 🙂  If you call it easy…ugh, this one was tough.  Just getting the miles in and not cutting it short felt like a victory in itself.  Anyways, it was done and I got to get ready for the highlight of the day…

DJ3K!

Yep, I was there to witness Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit!! Was just total coincidence that I happened to be going to the game that day…was the annual day at the ballpark with la familia, but thanks to a stint on the DL for DJ, and a rainout on Friday night, I got to witness history…and oh boy, being there was just epic.  And the Yanks winning the game was just icing on the cake!!  Needless to say, the celebrating went on after the game too!

me and my friend JW celebrating DJ3K!

Yep, as we did after a game a coupla weeks back, we were dancing in the windows of Stan’s Sports Bar (and at a coupla points, even dancing on the windows!  🙂 )  Sooooo fun….

And even though this was definitely the highlight of the weekend, the remainder wasn’t too shabby either…roof deck action, mojito action, white wine action, BBQ action (where I totally lit it up like it was dynamite when some good music was on…lol.)  Another “do I actually have to go back to work?” day today…not to mention being expected to be all perky and all “i-love-werk! 🙂 ” on a Monday morning…not even a venti latte could get me to do that…

So this week is supposed to have some 5K action tomorrow, but I’m thinking there may have to be a plan B…given that the highs for tomorrow are supposed to be near 100, who knows if the race organizers will make the decision for me and call the race a “fun run!”  Stay tuned…

joy and pain

Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Yeah, couldn’t resist digging up some old-school lyrics (if u call the 80’s old-school…hehe.) But I just had the song in my head, as “joy and pain” seemed to sum up this past holiday weekend…thankfully much, much more joy than pain! 🙂  Oh yeah-I love long holiday weekends!!

Holiday weekend doesn’t mean I get out of doing a long run tho, and I had 15 on tap this weekend.  Thankfully, I had some great company, as me, Bridges Runner and Maria took on the GWB, the Palisades and the West Side Highway.  Fun?  Yes!!  Easy?  No 👿

view of NYC from the GWB

Now I think the last time I trekked over the GWB on foot was 3 years ago with the Flyers…but this Palisades Run had a bit of a twist.  Yep, instead of heading out and back on River Road, we hit some semi-hidden trails instead.  Well I guess they aren’t really secret, but I never would have known about them otherwise…I almost felt like we were entering a secret passageway or something when I saw the entrance to the trails by one of the stairs on the NJ side of the bridge.  The trails were nice and shady, which was very welcome, even with it being relatively early and not that warm yet.  But we definitely had to watch our footing…remember that.  The trails were mostly flattish with the exception of two places…one being a steep decline on uneven terrain…was almost slowing to a walk there.  Surprisingly enough I stayed vertical there…which I couldn’t say the same for a few minutes after-yep I lost my footing and went down.  (yet somehow a certain reflex in me stopped my Garmin right away.  Guess I’ve done this before.)  Thankfully nothing was broken-just had a pretty scraped right elbow which really looked worse than it actually felt.  And thankfully Maria was prepared with a little package full of baby wipe-type things for me to clean up a little with, until I got to some water fountains and could do a better job.

So once I sort of got my bearings, we continued on, to the toughest part of our run-the “cliff stairs” heading up to where the approach to the bridge was.  Let me say, my quads are still feeling those things today….that shit was tough!!  I thought I was in decent shape before, but I’m not too sure now.  (Oh, and the height of those steps does not cater to those with short stubby legs like mine.)  Never thought I’d be so glad to run across the the GWB again…and boy I welcomed the flat road of the West Side Highway!!  The rest of the run flew by, and next thing we knew we were in the 50s and 15 miles were done.  We definitely earned those burgers and beers at Chelsea Brewery!!  Nice day to sit outside and eat, drink, chill out and gab about stuff like if Lady Gaga’s song “Alejandro” really does sound like Ace of Base, the new iPhone, and various other things 🙂

But that wasn’t it for the day…after a well-deserved nap, and watching the Prefontaine Classic on TV (did anyone else think the NBC coverage SUCKED?  No mention of Chris Solinsky’s time in the 5000 or Andrew Wheating’s time in the mile?), headed to the Boat Basin…wanted to take advantage of the fact that people were out of town and that it wasn’t too crowded to sit out back (where there is a good view of the river and sunset) and sip some margaritas 🙂

Sunday was the 4th and would be yet another fun day!!  Started it off with a short run on the bridle path, then headed up to Da Bronx for my first Yankee game this year 😀  Saw some awesome plays like Brett Gardner’s inside the park home run, but some heartbreaking ones like 3 Yanks (including Nick Swisher twice!) getting thrown out at home.  (I swear the home plate umpire must have gotten dismissed from the World Cup or something…)  Just one of them coulda prevented the extra innings…as unfortunately Mo blew the save and I had to leave at the end of the 9th 😦  But as it turned out, the Yanks did win in the bottom of the 10th-doh, I missed the usual pie in the face after a walkoff win! 😛  But I had to get home, cleaned up, and back out the door for a get-together that included some very good food and drink, and then staking out a spot on the West Side Highway to watch the fireworks!!  The fireworks show was great, and it surprisingly was not crowded-I remember the couple of years I lived in Murray Hill and trekked to the FDR to watch the fireworks and it was packed-and took forever to get out!!

And today being a scorcher-thankfully a running rest day!!  But was perfect to sleep in, get some errands done, do some stretching, foam rolling, lifting and ab work in the air-conditioned NYSC, then partake in Cilantro‘s Monday nite $10 fajitas!!  (Not to mention a nice refreshing margarita…yum!!!)  Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow?

I leave you with a great pic of the fireworks from last nite (thx Bridges Runner!)  Happy 4th! 🙂

getting on base

And so we go from football to baseball in my post titles.  Funny thing, as I am typing this, on ESPN Classic is the infamous 1986 World Series Game 6…the one that broke the Sawx’s hearts…hehe.

So the title kinda refers to what I will be doing the next month or 2…base-building.  My PT is helping me with a game plan…nothing really crazy, still only running 3 days a week for the next few weeks, still with 1-2 strength train days in there.  Throw in the 2 short races this month…we’ll see how that goes.  Oh-and will also be getting a VO2 max test next week…will be very interesting to see what the results are.  I still use my HRM to train, but I’m sure right now, my max heart rate is no longer 188 (achieved at the end of a 5K-and the uphill end of a 10k-last year.)  So my ranges may need to change…

What else…oh yeah, found out another social media faux pas…never, ever friend a company bigwig on Facebook and then play Farmville during business hours!  I’m innocent tho…I blocked that app!!  (in addition to Mafia Wars.)  And a meeting earlier this week…all I can say is I don’t know how some people can sleep at night.  (or maybe they don’t.)

so yeah, crazy week.  thankfully good weekend…friend’s bday drinks tomorrow and then Saturday is my favorite event of the year-the Flyers awards gala!!  And again, more fun and more drama than the Oscars and the MTV awards combined.  Who will rock the red carpet?  Will someone pull a Kanye West during the awards presentation?  The excitement is mounting 🙂

second opinions suck

So where did I leave off…oh yeah…streak of drinking 9 nights in a row…not proud of.  Said streak stopped at 9 as I decided to give myself the night off on Tuesday, but was started back up again Wednesday between my company’s “Oktoberfest” celebration and heading out to a UWS bar literally within stumbling distance-not that I needed to stumble-to watch Game 6 of the World Series with Flyers YP and AH.  However, I was actually home sweet home when the actual winning moment happened-though on the phone with a certain special Yankee fan to sorta “celebrate” together 😉  And anyway, this latest drinking streak only lasted a day.  And no, I didn’t go to the parade downtown…way too much stuff to do here (i know, i know, why am I blogging then?) plus I had a feeling it would just be chaotic.  Case in point-when taking the 3 train to work this AM, a bunch of chicks dressed in Yankee gear were “pre-gaming” on the subway, drinking beer out of those clear plastic cups that you get iced coffee in…come on, how stupid can you be?  If you’re gonna drink from plastic cups, make sure they are not see through!!  I’ve had wine in Central Park enough times to know the drill 😉

So in effort to keep things sorta on topic, maybe I should explain the title.  I went to a different doctor yesterday to get a second opinion as to what was going on.  And in less than 5 minutes, was diagnosed as “classic (sh)IT band syndrome.”  Though it was good to hear the truth, I really didn’t feel like I was leaving with a real plan of action.  Yeah, I know its an overuse injury, yeah I know “our bodies are not meant to run 26 miles.”  Tell me something I don’t know.  I know it sounds crazy, but I had X-rays done and nothing was broken…I almost wish that was what it was-at least you know bones do heal in due time.  This thing…not so much!!  (Same deal when I had plantar fasciitis a few years back).  So I was sent home with a prescription for prescription-strength Motrin and advice to keep with the PT.

And I had been…doing the exercises daily, and even being able to add more weight/resistance to some of them.  Icing, rolling the shit out of the (sh)IT band, etc.  But the problem was I really didn’t know where I was at…I didn’t know how I was progressing in terms of recovery.  Well the fact that a spinning class the other nite caused the knee to act up again told me not too well 😦  So I can’t do that-which I was really, really depending on to help keep my sanity in terms of this downtime-pretty much just relegated to elliptical, yoga and weights.  Which I guess is OK and well, but what I’m more concerned with is that really does not have the same calorie-burning effect that a 40-mile week of running does and I’m really worried about putting on weight during this downtime.  I’m sorry, I don’t like myself when I’m too fat…I just don’t!!  (especially when I have a dress for the Flyers awards gala I need to still be able to fit into in less than 3 months)  Plus with the holidays coming up and feeling like I have to avoid everything…not thrilled about that.

But enough of that-I guess now that I’m finally over what happened on October 25th-I feel like I have no direction in terms of getting better.  Doctor #1 says its more a hip flexor problem than an ITB problem.  Doctor #2 says its strictly the ITB.  The PT says I need to be targeting both in terms of recovery.  I don’t know *what* to believe!  How do I kick this thing?   Is there anything more that I can be doing that I’m not doing?

marathon trumps yankees

Ah, baseball postseason and fall marathon season.  Why must you clash?  Yeah, considering I didn’t have the Yanks to watch in last year’s postseason, I’d be glued to the TV nonstop this time.  Not so…not only did I crash during Friday night’s ALCS Game 1, but I did the same thing during Saturday’s Game 2….now to be fair, it was an extra-innings “marathon” that went into the wee hours of the morning, and I had a run the next morning.  And I was told by a certain someone afterwards that I woulda gotten a scolding had I stayed up for the game…hehe. 

And I did get a mini-lecture of sorts on Sunday from Runner26 for showing up to the ‘last 10 miler” in the cold, rainy weather (well maybe it wasn’t really a “lecture”, but thought I’d throw the teacher reference in.)  OK, maybe running outside was not the smartest thing that day, but I didn’t wanna do 8 miles on the dreadmill and I was honestly OK once we were moving…and I didn’t plan to be standing around in the cold in wet clothes when done with the run-made a beeline to Starbucks, then home for a hot shower and some quality time with the Snuggie.  Anyways, run was good, me and Runner26 ran together for the most part (I cut out after 8 miles) and Lam even joined us for a bit.  Was fun, though we got semi-lost in the Bronx trying to figure out the new course…and wound up running more of the old course.  Didn’t matter so much for me… 🙂

And yesterday the game started at 4:15 and of course I was working (though still following along via the Internet)…and by the time I got home and saw an inning or 2 it looked like it was gonna go into extra innings yet again!!  But I had plans to hit the gym to do a yoga class and foam roll the sh*t out of the (sh)IT Band™.  Once again, gotta prioritize and the priority is whats gonna make me feel better on marathon day, right?  And besides-NYSC had the game on all the TVs in the gym anyways…but all the good that did, as the Yanks dropped one to the Halos…

So Game 4 is going on right now and I am watching but multitasking…eating pasta, blogging, doing laundry…plus flipping to Dancing With the Stars during commercial breaks since I wanna see who gets eliminated tonite…I know The Hills and The City will get rerun a million times so I can live without seeing those 2 shows tonite.  But if this one goes into extra innings…sorry pinstripers, I do need to get my beauty sleep 🙂

And can it just be race day already?  I’m very antsy and nervous 🙂  But thank god, one more day of work and I’m free for a few days…then I can really concentrate on obsessing!!! 😛