winter training and me

So I received a nice little reminder in my email inbox today.

Thanks for addressing me as a Boston Marathoner. Thanks also for reminding me I have less than 10 weeks left to train.

Oh the irony that the B.A.A. specifically says they hope that “everyone’s Winter training is going well” because honestly, all I’ve been thinking over the last couple of weeks is that if I didn’t have this to train for, I wouldn’t bother making any goal races for earlier in the year, and save them for the summer (yes, you heard that right) and the fall.

As for the mileage, with the exception of the one week that was derailed by illness, I’ve been on track, getting it all in, getting the intervals, tempos, hills, long runs done.  The problem?  I don’t seem to have the speed I had last summer.  My intervals and tempos are definitely slower than usual.  What was supposed to be a fun last 5 miles on my long run last weekend as a group run to City Bakery turned out not-so-fun when I got dropped because I couldn’t speed up to anything faster than a 9 minute pace (which last year was my go-to-long run pace, mind you.)  And mentally it gets to me.  These speeds aren’t worthy of a Boston Qualifier.  What right do I have to be running Boston?  How the hell did they ever let me into the race in the first place?

That aside, I do feel that in many ways, winter training just does not agree with me.  I know a lot of you love running in the winter, but hear me out.  And even with this winter being milder than normal, it’s still not ideal weather for me.  Outside of running, in the spring and summer, I like to be out and about.  Cold weather makes me want to hibernate.  Which leads to less sunlight which leads to vitamin D deficiency which leads to tired and cranky me.  And I’ve noticed it’s much easier to eat better in summer (love watermelon and berries that are plentiful and in-season in the summer!) whereas now we gravitate towards more comfort foods and hot chocolate (or in the case of City Bakery, a melted chocolate bar.  I did run 15.5 miles to earn that though!)

Motivation?  With the exception of my speed/tempo workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s been a struggle to force myself out the door, even for long runs.  I miss all the organized long runs of last summer, and I’m not looking forward to doing all my 20’s on my own.  (Or even I have 18 on tap this weekend, which won’t be a picnic either.)  One disadvantage to our “hometown” marathon being in the fall I guess…

And just to add to my complaint list :-p  The fast stuff has been tough, my lungs do not deal well with having to breathe in cold, icy air, which is an issue with interval workouts and short races.  Guess the Cherry Tree relay in a week and a half will be interesting, huh?  Ideally I’d pass on all short races for a couple of months, but I got my arm twisted into this one, as I was originally planning on yes, the 10-miler as a training run.  Maybe this is why I got all my short distance PRs (the 4 and 5-milers) in the summer last year?  Hell, even my 5K PR was a summer race…

And maybe it was just too soon after NYCM to jump back into training.  Coach T has even said it himself, that the fall-then-spring marathon thing takes a lot out of you and he wishes most people would take the spring off after a fall marathon cycle (well not take it off, but not have a marathon as a goal race.)  And honestly, had I not already been registered for Boston, I would have had no desire to run another marathon in the near future.  But this may be my one and only chance, so I had to take advantage.

I know what you all are thinking, getting into Boston and running it is my dream, why aren’t I more excited?  Believe me, I am excited, I really wish I had a DeLorean to skip forward to April 16th 😛  It’s just all the putting in the work to get there.  There’s a difference between just going through the motions and stepping it up a notch, and I feel my training so far has been the former.  I am adjusting my goals, I don’t think I have a realistic shot at a PR or re-qualifying, but I do respect the distance, and would like to at least have a respectable performance that doesn’t end like it did in NYC.

For all of you who thrive on winter training…how *do* you do it?  How do you beat the winter blahs?


derailed by the cold

Despite what the title says, this is not a post about how the cold weather is interfering with my Boston training.

Actually, the first two weeks went pretty well, despite some cold snaps thrown in there…

The first week included sub-freezing temps the night of a V02max workout.  But I still showed up and got it done-yes, my times were slower than the summer and my lungs hated me afterwards, but I got through 4 x 800.

And last weekend brought another cold snap-though I planned for it strategically by doing my long run on Saturday-the warmer of the 2 days, not by much.  And of course I brilliantly planned my route along the West Side Hwy and the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges…perfect for a cold, windy day, right?  But actually it was fine, I was dressed for the conditions, my water bottle didn’t freeze, the music on my iPod kept me going through 15 and a half miles.  I bundled up even more on Sunday to knock out a short run-and witnessed some girl running in Central Park wearing a sweatshirt and shorts (not even running shorts, more like boxer-type shorts) and her legs were bright red…SMH…

I think this weather not making up its mind caught up with me this week, as the week got off to a decent start with an easy run Monday and a speed workout Tuesday but the latter half of it, a nasty cold knocked me down.  Meaning sick day from work on Thursday, no running since Tuesday.  Yeah, maybe one could argue i could have run through it, but I wanted to kick this thing out sooner rather than later…

Then I was signed up for today’s Manhattan Half-Marathon.  Not to race (I’m saving that effort for the NYC Half!) but to just use as a supported training run.  And wouldn’t you know it, the 2nd snow of the season (or really officially 1st?  As the previous snowstorm was in the fall?) once again messes with a NYRR race.  I did pick up my bib and shirt just in case yesterday-and boy were the NYRR offices mobbed!  And they ran out of small shirts right before I got mine!  (But honestly, I didn’t love it enough for the size to make a difference.)

Very early this morning (around 5 AM), NYRR did make the call to turn the half into an uncompetitive, unscored “fun run.”  I made the call to go back to sleep.  It was still snowing, I had a feeling Central Park wasn’t plowed yet, and it really was not worth jeopardizing my “A” race for a mid-January training run.  One more day of rest, and I can get my long run done and done tomorrow.

So week 3 of training will be a cutback week, not by choice.  Hopefully with 12 weeks to go, this won’t hurt me…too much?


well that happened…

what did?  January.  And I guess February too.

Quick post to say that I’m alive but hadn’t had much blogging mojo in the last coupla months.  Basically just not a lot to write about.  2011 has been quite a letdown so far in many ways, and that includes running.  Long story short-I slacked off after Chicago and am still paying the price now.  And writing about slogging out slow miles is not exactly the best blog post material.  (Don’t even get me started about this endless winter…)

I’m sure some are curious about my thoughts about a certain race in April and without going in depth, I will say I saw it coming 26.2 miles away so in a way I am not surprised.  I do have my opinions, but am a bit hesitant to write about them (even though said opinions do not include the words “it’s so unfair.”)  During the last month or so, I’ve learned that maybe it’s best to just keep my opinions to myself…they just get me in trouble.

Back on extended leave.  Talk to you all next month?

testing, testing…is this thing still on?

Oh hi there!!  Yep, I have been MIA in blogland for the past 2 weeks…even better than my recent slackerdom of one post a week 😛  Between the holiday craziness at work (2-day workweek before Thanksgiving?  Still have to do 5 days worth of work since the show must go on, even on Thanksgiving when almost every office is closed!) and running blahs, just hadn’t had much to report.

Oh yeah, that thing…running.  I feel like I really haven’t had consistent mileage since Chicago.  It’s getting tougher with the colder weather, more darkness and people choosing to stay indoors.  (I actually made it to a Flyers group run in Central Park last nite-first one since moving to Midtown…and only 2 other people were there!)  Plus apparently speedwork is on hiatus in December.  I guess I understand the need for a break but part of me is like “well I already had my break in October…I want to keep going, build back up!”  And speaking of speedwork, the hill workouts I’ve had the last coupla weeks showed me that I have committed a serious training error the last few months-too many West Side Highway runs, not enough Central Park runs…hence I am not hill trained.  So even though the West Side Highway is closer to my place now (and has less crowded streets to run through to get there, unlike Central Park where I have to run up 8th or 9th ave…which can be a zoo at times) I’m gonna have to limit those runs and run more in Central Park.

And I hope this doesn’t hurt me too much in the Joe Kleinerman 10K on Sunday.  At the very least, we get Harlem Hill out of the way in mile 1, but Cat Hill in mile 5 may give me trouble.  We’ll see what happens, I’m really not expecting to PR, I’ll be happy to get under 50 minutes.  But I actually have a bottle of Blue Point Blueberry Ale in the fridge…maybe I should drink that Saturday nite.  As I did have that the nite before the Kleinerman 10K 2 years ago…and I didn’t have a bad race at all.  Still deciding on the attire as it looks to be chilly Sunday morning.  Shoes-it’s a toss-up between my Saucony Fastwitches or the Lunar Racers.  Yeah…don’t think I’ll be utilizing the Kinvaras on Sunday-sorry, Kinvara Mafia 😛  Even though they felt good on a regular easy run, I haven’t really loved them in speed workouts, therefore sorta iffy about using them in a race.  Maybe I should just use the Kinvaras on short, easier runs…?

That’s it for now…want to save material for other posts!!  But before I go, I just had to post this:

My dog brother’s first visit to my apartment!!  And he was incredibly well-behaved.  Amazing how much he has grown since you all saw him last about 6 months ago…but he’s still the cutest dog I’ve ever seen! 🙂

snow day slacker

Well, for the 2nd time so far this winter, our office was closed because of the snow…this time for the full day (that last time a coupla weeks back, was just a half day)…and yeah it was nice to not have to go into the office but part of me wishes that the office hadn’t closed, or at least not for a full day, since this chick has a lot of shit to do…

But seriously, I am so over this winter already, it’s just totally messing with my social and running life…which are one and the same I guess.  My mileage total for this week so far has been zero.  Maybe I should have gotten in a run on Monday, but I felt cross-training was the smarter thing to do after my race on Sunday.  Tuesday I couldn’t work out in anticipation of my VO2 max test on Wednesday (I’ll write more details on that in a later post once I get the full results, but I’ll say the “topline” results I got were a bit of a surprise…but in a way not.)  So Tuesday and Wednesday were out.  And then the snow came yesterday…and even though reports today said that Central Park was plowed, I was still a wuss, thinking there was still a big possibility of black ice or any other type of ice and not wanting to chance things.  (Not to mention that my dad heard about the man who got killed by a falling branch in Central Park and had to give me a mini-lecture…)

Whatever.  I guess all I can do is write this week off as being a failure and just try and start again next week.  Plus, next week I won’t have the Olympics monopolizing my TV viewing time (I still haven’t watched my DVRed episode of Survivor from last week-and considering Stephenie got voted off, I thought I’d be dying to see it!) or keeping me up late at night so maybe I may be able to get in a morning workout?  (though something tells me thats not very likely…)

Oh and I leave you with another pic from the Cherry Tree relay that showcases the Gossip Girl outfit even more.  (Thanks Moz for the pic!)  Is it me, or do I never look like I am running in any of my running pics…

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 😛

winter is long

So yeah, here is that “longer blog post” I referred to in yesterday’s “welcome to my new blog crib” post 🙂  And rumor has it there may be other bloggy peeps looking to make a blog software switcharoo and join me here…ahhh once again, I am a trendsetter 😉

So first off, how about those Jets?  Wasn’t sure how their chances would be yesterday, as I’m sure the Bengals gave them last Sunday’s game just so they could choose their first-round opponent, so to say.  And there was some sloppy playing yesterday, but it all came together in the end.  (And I just also have to mention that Mark Sanchez is good eye candy 😉 )  So they take on San Diego next week…can they repeat the magic?

And now that the new year has started…yeah winter really seems long…everything seems long(er).  Last week was the first 5-day week I worked in awhile and it just killed me 😛  Well not really.  Though of course, the week cannot pass by without incident…well, besides being in an all-day training session for an online reporting tool and feeling so unproductive for one day, there’s a quasi-crisis on one project (thankfully was not my fault, and did not get fingers unfairly pointed at me!) and then I had to save someone else’s ass, who doesn’t follow directions when being told “re-map yourself to the new shared drive and don’t use the old one.”  Friday couldn’t come soon enough…

And on that running thang, I got my new orthotics in and have started breaking ’em in…not sure if they are drastically different from my old ones, but they do feel good and seem to be better made.  And my PT is starting to kick my ass-literally-with squats and lunges…I think I am gonna have a chronically sore butt for the next few weeks 😛

And a topic that I’ve mentioned briefly before, but just feel like raising the question again…what is the etiquette on family members being friends/keeping in touch with ex-boyfriends?  Like do I have any reason to feel bothered by the fact that my ex-boyfriend (who I havent spoken to in forever) is Facebook friends with my brother and I see him posting comments on my brother’s status?  (I give it 2 weeks before he friends both my parents…)  Never the mind that for 2 years after I broke up, my mom still had a picture of the 2 of us in her office…and would probably still have it there today had I not seen it that one time… :-\

The weather is supposed to get into the 30s this week!!  Break out the running shorts…