the heatpocalypse has come to town

Yep, this is how you know there is a heat wave in NYC…on Foursquare, “Heatpocalypse NYC” is swarming or trending or whatever.

The mercury’s been in the 90’s or higher all week, which of course makes running not as much fun.  But I’ve dealt with it, so far…Monday was a recovery run from this past weekend’s activities, and I was smart enough to run along the West Side Highway…besides the fact I was desperately craving a flat surface, I figured running along the water would make things a little cooler.  Which it did…run went fine, plus I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile so we caught up over a coupla miles…which was cool!

Tuesday was track workout time, and us gals were emailing back and forth as one was a little concerned about the heat and wanted to know if the rest of us were going…my thoughts were “I was still planning on going…if I raced in this heat last Tuesday, I should be able to handle a track workout…Hopefully it will cool down a little by 7:30, and I’m hoping target times/paces will be heat-adjusted? 🙂 ”  And it did feel a little cooler by the time the workout started (or is Williamsburg just cooler/colder than Manhattan?  I noticed that during the colder months too…)  We had been teased with the prospect of 1200s for weeks…this time the coaches delivered.  Though thankfully only one-but we had to follow up with a 1000, and 800, a 400 and a “surprise” at the end.  I thought the coaches were gonna make my target splits more aggressive, given my PR the past weekend, but the targets remained the same…maybe that was heat-adjusted? 🙂  I was also a little concerned about if I had recovered or not from the weekend, but as we got going, the workout went fine…came in a little ahead of the targets for the first 3!  The 400 was a little fast, but I had a feeling everyone was gonna blow that one out.  The “surprise”?  An all-out 200.

Interval Target Time Pace
1200m 5:00 4:57.75 6:39.32
1000m 4:10 4:09.62 6:41.72
800m 3:20 3:16.52 6:35.34
400m 1:40 1:32.00 6:10.15
200m fast as I can! 0:41.54 5:34.26

Like whoaaaaa!!  Especially that last one.  And I’ll admit to being a little nervous about that target time for the 1200.  If you remember last summer, when doing four all-out 1200s, my target was pretty similar.  And this time, I had to leave something in the tank to complete the rest of the workout.  But here is a situation where I think doing intervals on a track are much better than a measured stretch of road…having intermediate splits makes pacing much better (and I was pacing pretty well for the entire workout.)  All in all, not bad for a hot and sticky nite at the track…

So tonite? I don’t know what the exact workout is yet, all I know is it’s gonna be a scorcher…or maybe not, the mercury may make it below 90 by the time we get going 🙂 But I’ve done this all before…all I can do is be smart, adjust if necessary, etc. And will also have to keep that in mind on Saturday when paceleading for 16 miles at the LTR

Oh, and the only pictorial memory I have from my great race Saturday…

they can't all be smiles and sunshine.

ch-ch-changes

Yeah, I’ve been sorta MIA on the WWW for the last few days.  Why you ask?  Well I haven’t had computer access since Friday-except at the office, and that little thing called work has kept me too busy to blog and/or comment on blogs.  Hell, even with the CrackBerry, I’ve found it hard to keep up with things on Facebook…I’m sure I’m behind in my birthday greetings and other congrats.

Drama, you ask?  Well maybe.  Something that happened in the last few days (not going into it here-if you know me “off the blog” you can ask) has spearheaded an unexpected upcoming change-an apartment move.  Even though I love my neighborhood, it’s definitely time to move on from my apartment at the very least, for several reasons.  Though if I can find another place on the UWS, I wouldn’t cry or anything 🙂  So this is gonna be something to keep me quite busy for the next month or 2.  Here’s hoping it is a little easier and less stressful than when I was looking 7 years ago at this time…

As for running/Chi-town training…it’s still happening.  Not feeling too confident though.  My original plan for my long run this weekend was to do 10 miles before the NYRR Dash and Splash 10K (which I did actually sign up for to get pool access afterwards…plus its just the right thing to do) but due to a certain turn of events, a long run Saturday just wasn’t happening (though a short one did.)  I did get my 16 in on Sunday…but it was a struggle.  Was partially my fault for not getting out the door until 10 am, even though I had the alarm set.  But even with gels, gatorade, water (i did have my fuel belt on) I didn’t feel strong at all.  Starting with mile 9, I almost wanted to call it quits every mile, and my last few miles were over 10 minutes each so I was really hurting 😦   Was just a bad run-so bad that I was seriously considering adjusting my goals for Chicago.

And hopefully tonite’s 5K action will still go on as planned.  Whether it rains or not, I’m still running.  But knowing how flooded Hoboken streets get, methinks there may be a course “modification” or 2.  That’s ok…nothing wrong with running another short “5K” … 😛

hot in herre

Its gettin’ hot in here (so hot)
So take off all your clothes
I am gettin’ so hot
I wanna take my clothes off!

OK, couldn’t resist some more lyrics…a sorta oldie, but goodie…if I remember correctly, this was “the” summer song of 2002!

And considering this week’s heat wave, those words sorta fit…as lotsa shirtless guys were spotted in Central Park this week 😛

So if I thought Monday was a scorcher, was still nothing compared to Tuesday and Wednesday, as the mercury hit triple digits both days!!  While I did try and spend as much time indoors and in air conditioning (thankfully I didn’t get a robo-call from ConEd asking me to curb the AC usage) yes I still got out and ran both days.  Though both days, I kept the intensity easy.  Even Tuesday, which was supposed to be a speed day…and all day I was debating whether or not to go and do 100m repeats that nite, or go to Thursday’s workout with hopes of relatively better weather.   I decided that I wasn’t gonna gain anything by pushing myself in the heat, and just did an easy 7 instead.  Just dressed as minimally as possible, wet my hair before running out the door to help keep a little cooler, and stopped for water a lot…got through it.  And for the most part, I was thinking “wow, I’ve never seen Central Park this empty on a Tuesday nite.”  Then I saw some purple and yellow 😉

And I did see the UA peeps who did decide to do the workout…and aferwards wondered if I did the right thing by wussing out.  But now I know I did the right thing, as tonite’s weather was much better than Tuesday, and I think a nice VO2max workout of 600m repeats was what my legs needed…crazy as it sounds.  My group was slated to do between 5 and 7 repeats…while most in my group stopped after 5 or 6, me and one other guy decided to go for 7.  Good pacing helps!!  At least it helped me tonite.  check it out…

Distance Time Pace
0.38 2:37 7:00
0.37 2:36 6:58
0.37 2:34 7:02
0.37 2:36 6:58
0.37 2:34 6:52
0.37 2:31 6:47
0.37 2:29 6:42

(i don’t know what’s up with that first 2:34 being a slower pace than the 2:36’s and 2:37?  wish I knew the distance out to the third or fourth decimal places…)

So yeah, times in workouts are fine and good, but I know I got to put it together on race day.  I’m doing a 5K on Tuesday, the one that I PRed at last year actually.  (But unlike last year, I have no 5K monkey on my back!)  I really don’t think I’m in shape to PR though…and based on my time at the Mini 10K, I think I’d be lucky to run under 23 minutes for 5K.  We’ll see how it goes…

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! 🙂

when the mouse is away…

I can sure get used to these 3-day workweeks!! 🙂  Especially when a lot of “higher-ups” are out for a few days at a meeting…almost feels like being on vacation!!  Hence my post title…when the mouse is away, the rest of us shall play!! 🙂

And running-wise, it sorta feels like it’s the end of summer vacation in a way…as Chicago training starts officially on Monday.  Back to school, back to the grindstone, back to following a syllabus, back to not forgetting to do my homework.  But strangely, I’m thinking more of my 2 upcoming shorter races, especially the 10K.  (Maybe because it seems like it’s so early to be marathon training?)  I was doing some playing around with McMillan…and well here’s what I’m supposedly capable of based on my last 2 races.

Based on my latest 4-mile time…

 

And based on my Brooklyn Half time…

Yeah, I just may have a coupla numbers in mind. At the very least, an A and B goal.  (And even a rough number for 3.5 miles too!)  Weather permitting of course…it’s been crazy hot as of late, but hopefully having run in it for the last few weeks will prep me better than I have been in the past (unlike other years where it’s gone from cold to hot practically overnight!)

And right now, just waiting for the weekend to begin…summer fun planned for tonite and tomorrow, and then my “running summer vacation” will come to a close with the Japan Day 4-miler on Sunday.  However, I am not “racing” it…but doing something else which I think will be a lot of fun!! 🙂

And hopefully sipping one or more of these this weekend…happy summer!! 🙂

holiday, celebrate…

If we took a holiday (oh yeah, oh yeah)
Took some time to celebrate (c’mon, let’s celebrate)
Just one day out of life (just one day!)
It would be, it would be so nice!

And the long Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer has come and gone.  (Well thanks to the wonder of carryover vacation days, I’ve extended mine another day…)  Though it wasn’t as jam-packed and memorable as last year’s, it was still quite lovely all the same.  Spent a lot of time outdoors…be it either running, lounging out in Central Park with friends, or just wandering the west side path…

As part of my long run Saturday (11 miles), I checked out the newly opened portion of the west side path that goes from around west 84th to 93rd.  Good to not have to detour through Riverside Park anymore, but warning-it is very narrow during that portion, best to go single file!!

Sunday consisted of a lonnggggg picnic in the park….good food, friends and drink (sangria in picnic-sized boxes rule!)  Then yesterday consisted of a run, brunch and some girl talk with TB who was back from Europe (but is gonna come home for good in a coupla months-much earlier than expected!!  yeah!) and lounging out on the west side path…and eventually taking advantage of one of the best Monday evening dinner deals-$10 fajitas at Cilantro!!  (plus happy-hour special margaritas!)

And though I raced on Memorial Day last year, I’m so glad I skipped it this year.  Besides other reasons, I heard reports that it was a rough day.  And besides, I’d rather look forward to and concentrate on having a good race at the Mini 10K.  I do have a time goal in mind…not sure if I want to say what it is just yet…

And on the topic of races, I could help but notice some of the recent dissention on NYRR’s Facebook page-specifically about the Brooklyn half and what it *didn’t* offer.  That NYRR should be ashamed of themselves for not giving out finisher’s medals, and that “seasoned runners don’t care about the medals but newbies do, and not getting a medal cheapens our effort” or something like that.  Hmmm, I seem to remember I didn’t receive a medal for my first half-marathon.  The Manhattan Half in 2004, anyone remember that one?  Late August, 2 loops of Central Park, hot as hell, not anyone’s first choice for a debut half-marathon (yeah I don’t know what I was thinking.)  But I finished, and just seeing my name in the results as a half-marathon finisher was good enough for me.  I agree with this comment someone else made: “You really think you wasted your time? You ran 13.1 miles. Do you really believe that your accomplishment is tarnished because you didn’t receive a medal?”  Hell, I’ve run almost 20 half-marathons and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I received a finishers medal for the race.  Guess it is what you make of it.  Stepping down off my soapbox now…

dear weather gods…

…please cut the crap this week.  xoxo, nyflygirl

Yes, I am not happy that both days that I am supposed to race, or put forth a good effort this week, the weather looks to completely suck.

First, rain is predicted for Tuesday.  Which for an outdoor track meet, ain’t good…it’s not like you can just show up, run and go home.  There’s all the waiting around through all the different events, and all the heats…and me being the slowpoke that I am will definitely be in one of the last heats.  Honestly, my heart isn’t in this one, but apparently the time trial is needed to base what my workout times/paces should be for the next coupla months…

But even worse is the forecast for Saturday and for the Brooklyn Half.  Overnight low of 64 on Fri, high of 80 on Saturday with scattered thunderstorms.  Which means most likely during the race, it will be in the 70s and humid.  I know the race start is 7 am, but will that help enough?  I don’t know, my body cannot handle this type of heat and humidity.  I’ve tried these past few weeks to acclimate, but not sure if I did enough.  And if any of you are thinking this is just mental, I can assure you it’s not-my infamous choke job at the 2008 Mini 10K is proof of that.  No matter how hard I tried, my body decided at mile 4 that it couldn’t run hard anymore-and it was only 71 degrees during the race!!

So now I don’t know what to do.  Is there anything more I can do between now and Saturday to acclimate?  Or should I just scrap this one and pick another goal race?  Unfortunately “just finishing” is not good enough for me…I really want a race to show me where I’m at with Chicago training starting very soon, and to show me that I’m not kidding myself thinking I can run a 3:40 marathon.

And I’m kicking myself right now, that Saturday’s Healthy Kidney 10K was perfect weather and that I wasted a good race opportunity.  I thought I did the right thing-looking at the times, I wouldn’t have scored for the team and it was probably better that I was out cheering instead (plus it was cool to run by the start/finish and hear the announcement that the leaders were on course record pace-which did end up falling that day too, by I think 7 seconds?)  But now I look back and wonder what could have been..