good as gold

So even though I prefer the Summer Olympics, I’ve really been getting into these Winter Games.  The US definitely representing and then some!  But in a way, i feel that some of the stories I’ve seen all kinda lead back to running in a way…and more specifically some of my experiences in the last year.

Take Lindsey Vonn, for example.  She’s the woman to beat on the slopes, and the big story of the games is her injured shin and “will she or won’t she” compete, win gold, etc.  But she’s decided to go for it, and her determination was rewarded with a downhill gold medal, and oh-so-close to another one in the combined.  And in a way, it kinda reminds me of the taper leading up to MCM…while a BQ is nowhere near Olympic caliber, I still felt I owed it to myself to just try…

Then last nite, I was very glad to see Evan Lysacek win the gold medal in men’s figure skating…yeah all the haters are gonna say it was too close to call, etc, but I thought he deserved it…he skated a flawless program!!  No falls, no stumbles or any of that.  And oh yeah…doesn’t hurt that I think he’s a hottie 🙂  And gotta root for the US too!!  But what I’ve seen others say is that he didn’t deserve it, he didn’t do any quadruple jumps…oh yeah, especially the one he beat out is trash talking like crazy.

“If the Olympic champion doesn’t know how to jump a quad, I don’t know,” (Yevgeny) Plushenko said. “Now it’s not men’s figure skating, now it’s dancing.”

But Lysacek makes no apologies for what he does — and doesn’t — do. He’s done the quad before, but it puts a lot of stress on the left foot that he broke last year. He originally planned to do the quad here, but after feeling pain in the foot again after last month’s U.S. championships, he decided it wasn’t worth the risk of getting hurt and having to miss the games.

“If it was a jumping competition, they’d give you 10 seconds to go do your best jump. But it’s about 4 minutes and 40 seconds of skating and performing from start to finish,” Lysacek said. “That was my challenge tonight, and I feel like I did quite well.”

And in a way, this makes me think of my decision to make MCM a DNF…I did what I felt was the smart thing and didn’t want to take the risk of further damage, and never being able to try again for a BQ…or whatever else.  And Evan Lysacek did the smart thing too last night, and glad that the judges agreed with that decision. 

So many congrats, Evan.  It’s refreshing to see someone being handsomely rewarded for doing the smart thing.  I can only hope I’ll be handsomely rewarded someday for doing the smart thing back on October 25, 2009…

let’s play a love game, play a love game

it’s complicated and stupid
got my ass squeezed by sexy cupid
guess he wants to play, wants to play
a love game, a love game

(who knows, maybe Lady GaGa knows what she’s talking/singing about…)  I would be lying if I didn’t say I was happy that today is February 15th.  Meaning the most dreaded day of the year (and indeed complicated and stupid)  is behind me again…until next year.  And every year I say “next year will be different”…never is.   Of course, the everso lovely Facebook didn’t exactly help matters much, as the theme of the week was “change your profile picture to one of you and your significant other and tell how you got together.”  Or as one of my friends put it “Remind all your single friends how alone they are by showing us how happy and in love you all are in your profile pic…”  Yeah, thanks SO much, Facebook!!

I think I really started to hate Valentine’s Day back in 2001, when the Ex-Boyfriend emailed me on that day, and in the process was sorta bragging about how great things were for him-at a time where things were not going well for me. (like jeez, great timing…)  It takes a lot to make me cry at work…well congrats to him, he achieved that.  And I guess ever since then I’ve been reminded of that.  And for the record, I could care less about receiving actual gifts on February 14th.  Flowers eventually die.  Candy will just make me fat.  All I want is companionship…is that honestly too much to ask?  I know its hard to achieve…but can’t a girl believe?

So instead of sitting at home with a bottle of wine or going to some meet-market type Jewish singles event, I just went around the corner to my fave Mexican place and had a coupla margaritas while sitting at the bar and watching the Olympics.  Not exactly the ideal way to spend the evening, but I just didn’t feel like being alone at home.  And there was indeed a Jewish singles event that night but I really wasn’t up for it.  Oh, and I discovered that I really need to be banned from drunk texting and/or emailing on February 14th.  Think I need a breathalyzer for the CrackBerry…or something like Gmail’s “Mail Goggles” feature.  Anyway, sorry about that, “certain person.” 😉

Anyway, different topic…oh yeah, the Olympics.  Can’t say I am as emotionally invested in these games as I am for the Summer games, but still nice to watch.  And gotta love NBC and their spotty and/or tape-delayed coverage once again!  (Did they not learn anything from Beijing 2008?)  And poor Canada…between the techincal malfunction in the opening ceremonies and the not-so-winter-like weather…they’ve got their work cut out for them for the remainder of these games.

And speaking of winter weather, can Vancouver please take all the snow that we’re getting here in NY?  Seriously, they need it, we don’t want it-there, perfect solution.  I mean yeah, it was nice to have a shortened work day last Wednesday (our office closed early that day due to the weather) but enough is enough already…can you all tell that I’m not a winter person? 🙂

And thanks to everyone who voted in my poll and commented on my last post…I’m pretty sure I know what I am gonna do but I’ll just leave you all in suspense a little while longer 😛

terrific tuesday tidbits

First tidbit is that this is my 500th blog post!! Yep, 500 posts in less than 3 years. And 6 1/2 months to get from 400 to 500 posts. Yes, I do need a life.

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As always, I get a SkirtSports discount code when I really don’t need to buy any more skirts. (but maybe I should try the running dress…do I really need it though?) I’m amused at the fact that it’s a 23% discount…here’s their explanation:

Why 23? Here are a few good-as-gold Olympic reasons…
The number of seconds it would take Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt to run 1 mile.
The combined ages of China’s women’s gymnastics team members.
The number of times President Bush actually thought about slapping Misty May-Treanor on her bikinied butt instead of the small of her back.
The number of hurdles Lori “Lolo” Jones could knock down and still look smokin’ HOT doing it.
The number of Olympics Dara Torres will compete in before she finally gets tired.
The number of Olympic gold medals Michael Phelps will win in London 2012.

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Season 4 of The Hills is underway and hasn’t disappointed yet! (The season started at the perfect time…now I have something to occupy my TV time on Monday nights again!) Happy to see all the drama is back. Anyone who is just starting to watch and needs a refresher of the previous 3 seasons…here is one, courtesy of my brother (who I think missed his calling as a celebrity blogger…)

“LC is mad at Audrina because Audrina was mad at Lo for making her hang out less with her, after LC was mad at Heidi, so she spent more time with Audrina after she moved in, but then spent less time with Audrina after Lo moved it because Audrina and Lo don’t get along well, and now Audrina is talking to Heidi because she’s mad at LC, even though she doesn’t like Spencer, who doesn’t like LC, even though LC is friend’s with Spencer’s sister, making Spencer and Heidi mad at Spencer’s sister for being friends with LC, even if Spencer’s sister used to not like LC because LC didn’t like Spencer, and Spencer is mad at Brody because Brody is friends with LC, but LC is still mad that Brody won’t settle down with her, and because Brody hooked up with Jen Bunny, thus making LC mad at Jen Bunny, so Jen Bunny be-friended Heidi, but then didn’t like Heidi because she told lies about LC….”

Trash TV. Gotta love it.

olympians…they’re just like us!!

OK-all you readers of US Weekly, you know how they have their section of “Celebrities…They’re Just Like Us!” (aka photos of celebrities doing things everyday people do) I guess after watching the track and field events, I thought some of those runners did some of the same things that we’d do in a race…

  • In the women’s 100m hurdles…Lolo Jones on her way to certain victory until knocking over the ninth hurdle. And her explanation afterwards was something I’ve heard plenty of times before, in some shape or form… “I usually hit a hurdle twice a year. It just sucks that it was on the most important race of my life.”
  • Sanya Richards going out at a blistering pace in the 400m, with her eye on gold…until she had nothing left in the tank at the end-still got a medal (bronze), just not the one she wanted. (How many times are we told in a race…don’t go out too fast?)
  • Boy, I felt for Jen Rhines in the 5000m final. (Speaking of, what BS that NBC didn’t even air it…) I saw her time, and it looked like something was wrong, more than just “having a bad day”-turned out she had an injured foot and still ran on it. Why, I did the same thing once-back in 2005, the now-defunct Mets Run to Home Plate…I was an idiot to run it, but I did-at least it was a wake-up call to me at the time to bite the bullet and take time off. OK, the stakes were obviously higher for Jen Rhines 🙂 But I totally understand the pain she felt during that race…
  • Both of the US 4 x 100 relay teams…guys, don’t you practice handoffs? 🙂
  • Then in the case of the men’s marathon…sometimes, you just have to forget what the leaders are doing and run your own race…which is what the US trio did. (And what I did during the 2006 NYCM-though it wasn’t the race leaders that I had to let go!) They all ran great, smart races-it’s just unfortunate that it wasn’t medal contention that day. But 2 Americans in the top 10 is fabulous… (yay, Ritz and Ryan!)

I’m sure there is more…but those were just some of the things that stood out most in that category 🙂 Yep-they are all amazing athletes, but in some ways, just like you and me 🙂

(and then there are those like Usain Bolt…and Michael Phelps…who I’m not even sure are human…hehe)

Even though I’m going through post-Olympics withdrawal already, I’m glad to resume a more normal sleep schedule…for now…

And I got my confirmation for the Philly Distance Run (complete with race # and corral #…I got a cool race number!) in the mail today…I’m getting as excited about that race as I am about the big one 🙂

this ain’t no running town

So, any of the long run options with the Flyers this morning were way too early for my liking (as yours truly needed to sleep off more than her share of appletinis and vodka tonics…) But, I figured since this was the last weekend of the Summer Streets…running to City Hall and back would be just perfect for my long run, and all I have to do is be done (at least with the streets) by 1 pm…easy enough, right?

Well, that’s how it started off…but as I turned onto Park Avenue from 72nd street (and saw Johnny running the other direction!)…I noticed that things seemed a little different from 2 weeks ago, and it became more evident the further south I ran. Maybe it was the later hour…but it looked like a lot more cross-streets were open to traffic, and there were a lot more bikes out. And it’s weird…but as a runner, I kinda felt like I was in the minority…the bikers had the designated “fast lane”, the walkers the designated “slow lane”…where’s a runner to go?

It got worse once I got all the way to the end, and then added on an out-and-back over the Brooklyn Bridge to get my hill work in 🙂 Again, there was a bike lane, and the pedestrian lane was filled with people walking 4-5 abreast…I swear, I never had to yell out “on your left” or “on your right” so much. And I got yelled at for being in the bike lane…well sorry, but where was I supposed to go-instead of yelling at me, yell at the walkers for taking up the entire lane, so I don’t have to edge into the bike lane!

Couldn’t believe I was saying this, but I was actually relieved when I wound up back at the park. Maybe the “Summer Streets” novelty wore off…but I felt today, NYC was a biker and walker-friendly city…but runner-friendly? No way…we were like the forgotten group or something. (Yeah, I coulda dragged myself out of bed and joined NYRR at 7:30 downtown…but again, I needed beauty sleep 🙂 ) But whatever, it was what it was…14.7 more miles under my belt. Had to GMap this one, as Mr. Garmin freaked out yet again near Grand Central…saw the distance move backwards more than once!!

In other news, I got my free skirt in the mail today!! Not only did I get this cute pink skirt, but they threw in a free tank top (which says on the back “you’ve been passed by a skirt!”) too!! Thanks again to the ladies at RunningSkirts.com-this was definitely a nice treat!

And tonite will be the USA’s last chance for a track and field medal…the men’s marathon!! Go Ryan, Ritz and Brian!! (though I know Ryan is the best medal hope!)

harder, better, faster, stronger

Those words, originally the title of a Daft Punk song, more recently sampled in a Kanye West song…ran through my head during today’s NYRR Club Team Championships. Did that help? Read on!!

Now I’ll reveal what my goals for the race were-and in honor of the Olympics, I’ll use medal colors 🙂

Bronze-beat last year’s time (40:10)-get revenge on last year!!
Silver-beat my 2006 time (39:03)
Gold-distance PR…sub-37:51

I was so nervous and excited for the race, I found it a little hard to sleep last nite. (Plus a certain finish of a certain swimming event had something to do with it too!! dayum…) But despite that, I got up right when the alarm sounded, and went through the usual pre-race routine…eat, drink coffee, stretch, get dressed, listen to music, make sure Mr. Garmin is charged…

As usual-I timed my warmup to go up the west side so I could cheer the Flyer guys on during the first mile. And yeah, I was nice and cheered for friends on other teams too 🙂 And they all seemed very appreciative-being that the women’s race is not for another hour, I’m sure that part of the course didn’t have a lot of cheering support. Everyone was still pretty much bunched together, so pretty much all of the runners passed by in a matter of minutes. So I continued on up to 102nd Street, and found some of the Flyer women who had staked out a spot near the finish to cheer the guys on. Soon enough, the leaders came by…finishing in 23-and-change…are you friggin kidding me? I can’t even do 4 miles in 23 and change minutes! Hell, there are times when I can’t even do a 5K in that amount of time 🙂 Around 28-29 minutes, we kept an eye out for the first Flyer, who I knew would be coming in around that time…we did think we saw one, but it actually turned out to be a Reservoir Dog-their singlets are very similar to our latest singlet style!! But one by one, the Flyer men passed by, running strong towards the finish.

After a while, I left to go warm up and loosen up and head towards the start…and yep, even though it was a small field-around 500-they still used the corrals…and yay, I was in the 2nd/red one 🙂 It may not have mattered in a race this size, but was still cool. A bunch of my Flyer teammates were in my corral, as was Uptown Girl. Everybody was chatting it up, the starting horn took us by surprise!! Here we go…

Mile 1 (7:35)-through the west side hills…I knew this mile would give me an idea as to what kind of race I will have…I was gonna go for it!! The crowd support was fantastic…and Uptown Girl and I were running together for most of this mile, I knew I was having a good race when I could keep up with her 🙂 Was feeling good, feeling strong…saw my mile split and was pleased…in the ballpark! 🙂
Mile 2 (7:28)-wheeeeee…..downhill mile!! A bunch of the Flyer and the TRD guys were running in the other direction and cheering. Still felt good!! After this mile I thought “cool, I’m on PR pace!!” 🙂
Mile 3 (7:45)-always the mentally tough mile!! Around the bottom of the park, so the least support. Plus, it had warmed up to about 70 degrees by then and was very humid…not as bad as it could have been, but this mile was unshaded and it took a little bit of a toll on me. This was when I started playing those words over and over in my head…“harder, better, faster, stronger.” Keep me motivated. (Funny…when listening to music pre-race…yeah, I was listening to Kanye, but different song-“Champion”…funny what gets stuck in your head! Anyway, off the subject here…) A couple women did pass me, including one of my teammates, but I was still sticking with others, and even passing others. So all in all, not too bad. Just keep everyone in sight and I’ll be fine.
ok, i guess i was able to manage one smile near the end.  hi guys. :)Mile 4 (7:58)-Flyer SD caught up to me right before Cat Hill…she was another good one to use as a rabbit, as when we’re both having a good day, we’re pretty similar in races. Cat Hill sucked as usual, but I felt strong climbing it, passed a few more women…guess hill work…well…works!! 😀 After climbing the hill I edged ahead of SD for good…last time I saw her til the finish. Knew this mile would be slow, but was happy this was under 8 minutes…that hasn’t happened in quite awhile!!
Mile 5 (7:25)-OK…I knew a PR was out at this point…I’d have to run under 7 minutes, which I didn’t think I was capable of…so do the best I can, whatever that may be-I figured I had the bronze and silver goals in the bag 🙂 As I approached Engineer’s Gate, one girl who was running near me said “let’s go” to me…we both picked it up!! As I passed the reservoir, I caught up to Uptown Girl and another Reservoir Dog, EV…as we entered the “tunnels of cheering” for the last half-mile (or as several Flyers started referring to it as-the more of a game face here“tunnel of love”) I passed EV, then Uptown Girl…I said “come on let’s go!” to each of them. OK-there was a method to my madness…let’s all work together to kick it in…one picks up the pace, of course I will try to follow suit…you get what I’m trying to say 🙂 Uptown Girl and I stuck together to the finish, where once again, the cheering was fabulous…much better than last year, methinks!! I heard lots of “Go (my name)!” which made me very happy..though my face may not have shown it at the time!! Just around the last corner…go go go!!!

And I wound up with 38:11, 7:38 pace…my 2nd best 5-miler ever and a “submasters PR” 🙂 Very pleased.

So after the finish, I said the usual “good jobs!”…and it was cool…Uptown Girl, me, SD and EV finished one after the other…so I guess keeping them in my sights was a good thing 🙂 Everyone then went to their respective teams’ festivities…we had our usual bagel brunch and team picture, and lots of chatting and mingling. (And one of the other teams even shared ice cream with us!! cool. 🙂 )

So yeah…another one coming so close. But once again, my PR was set in 60 degree weather, on an easier course, with no tired marathon training legs. So all in all, I actually think I outperformed that 🙂 Splits may have looked all over the place, but they were actually pretty consistent with the terrain. Kinda wish I had been able to push harder in that last mile, but considering that once again I was breathless and couldn’t speak full sentences for a few minutes after the finish, I think I did give it all I had. And once again-I have not come this close in 4 years, so I’m glad that 2008 is looking to be a comeback year. And I think it could mean good things will happen in the half and the marathon coming up!! This predicts a 3:44 marathon (courtesy of the McMillan calculator) so maybe, just maybe, the 3:50 marathon goal will be within my reach…

And on the topic of marathons, I’m psyched to watch the womens’ Olympic marathon tonite!! Go Deena! (This is providing that NBC doesn’t switch coverage to the trampoline or whatever else :-p)

the excitement is mounting…

Thank god I’m taking a summer day tomorrow, I’d never be able to concentrate otherwise.

First off…all the Olympics action had kept me up late at night (yum…male swimmers and male gymnasts…) leaving me a bit sleep-deprived this week. And to compliment what Uptown Girl said…just wait until track and field starts!! I’m gonna need some uber-strong coffee next week 🙂 Little bummed that the women’s 10K will be in the wee hours tomorrow nite, but I guess that’s what DVR is for. (And yeah, I’ll probably find out the results beforehand, but I won’t post spoilers until the event actually airs.) Then the women’s marathon on Saturday prime time!! Though I’m sorta looking forward more to the men’s marathon-that one is a little more personal to me, as I saw some of those guys qualify in my own backyard!! And that is just the tip of the iceberg!
(And to all the Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte fans…you’re welcome for the link to that pic 🙂 There’s an even better one in the August 18th issue of US Weekly but I can’t find it online!)

Then I know I sound like a broken record, but excited for Team Champs on Saturday!! 🙂 The weather is looking to be as good as it was last year…unfortunately I wasn’t able to capitalize on it then, but I’d like to think I’m in better shape now and can get revenge on last year’s race. Goals…I have an idea but don’t want to say. All I know is-I’m going for it. Only way to know where I’m at!!

And to top it all off-I just found out that I won a free running skirt from RunningSkirts.com!!! Thanks to being a “fan” of their Facebook page and wearing one of their skirts in my profile picture-which was this one from Need for Speed. Hey-who doesn’t love free running apparel? A girl can never have too many running skirts… 🙂

Now if you excuse me, I gotta try and work for the next few hours 🙂

(Also-can anyone else believe it’s been 5 years since the infamous blackout??)