Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A new route!

38 °, WSW 4,  72% H,  UV 0, Dp 30° 

The coldest morning I've run in so far this autumn. I wore my long pant, 1 tech shirt, 1 tech pullover, gloves, and my cotton gator. It was pretty much perfect.  I knew I was going for an adventure today, running Sea Cliff's hills. I took the road I came across a few days ago. Half way down, I was able to over look Hempstead Harbor to the north, the orange and pink glow settling above the horizon. It made me smile. So did the downhill. I pushed the thought out of my head that I'd have to come UP that hill on the way back.

The route took me down yet another hill which would wind it's way down to the water. There I would run past Sea Cliff beach, the yacht club, and the marinas. I saw the sunfish sailboat that I had gotten from a patient several years ago. It was in need of repair which I did not have the skills for - so I donated it to the sailing school at the beach.  He looks fine and well sitting with the rest of them in their respective racks.

The traffic was light as  I made my way down to the end of Shore Road before turning around and headed back. I slowed down, or tried to - as I knew I had those two hills to climb. I wanted to stop and take more pictures, but I knew I had to get home and get ready for the ride out east. Plus, my sister was running a 10 miler Monster Dash ( How can a dash be 10 miles, I wonder..) and I wanted to at least follow her for the start of that.

My performance was only fair.  I had a burrito right before bed last night - (my daughter and her friends brought it back for me, and they eat later than I do) - and I think wearing all those clothes for the first time made me feel constricted. I also weight trained shoulders and arms yesterday after work. I've been up since 4:00 am - the excitement of a new route and catching the bus for the wine tour today kept my brain churning away once I left what I would guess was my final REM sleep of the night. Yeah, I'm just LOOKING for excuses, aren't I ?!  :)
Oh, and I bought Gevalia coffee for a change up.  Delightful.

Get a gander at that hill. The two blended together. The flat is along the shore.
Ok - I have to run.  Hopefully tomorrow, Selden.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New routes, calf tightness and a new look coming soon!

Tuesday, October 22nd
52°,  SW 3,  85%  H,   UV 0,  Dp 48° 

I didn't jot down any notes about my Tuesday morning run, so I'm having a hard time remembering the specifics. I ran less than 2 miles. The sun comes up later, and my scheduling has gotten tighter again. And I wasn't really feeling it.  After the 5k race in Oyster Bay on Saturday, I was supposed to go out to Selden on Sunday and run with the Hillbilly Warriors. But later on in the day on Saturday, my calf began to tighten up again. I foam rolled, stretched my back out, and tried my best to relax. At the same time, however, my sister set me up on Wordpress, gave me the 'keys' so to speak, and I sat on my ass all day and learned as much as I could. That lead to more tightening, headaches, eye strain and the like. Needless to say, Sunday I was even tighter, and decided not to risk straining the calf again by running 6 miles, on hills, no less.  So, the logical thing to do (not) was to stay home on my ass all day again and delve into the creative aspect of my new blog site. After 6 days, it's almost complete, and should be debuting shortly. And my calf is feeling better too.

Thursday, October 24th 42°,  W 10,  72% H,  UV 0,  Dp 33°

This morning was a whole different animal. I watched a video featuring Karnazes running in Greece. That inspired me to finish my coffee as quickly as possible and get out there and try to run as effortless as Dean looks when he runs. Once outside on this beautiful October morning I noticed just a wee bit tightness in my lateral gastroc head - but it eased out during the short walk to the end of the block that I usually do for my warm up. 
My goal was 5 miles.  I tried to keep my heart rate under 150, then under 160 and finally gave up and just ran.
I really need to find and run different routes. I find that running elsewhere really motivates me to get out there to begin with, and gets me to stay out running longer. 


In my attempt to change things up a bit and get away from the main roads and traffic, I started running down the smaller roads in my neighborhood. I came across this gem.

Downhill, with Hempstead harbor in the distance. Sweet. I didn't take that route, but one day soon I will. I imagine after running Selden on a more frequent basis, these local hills will be akin to speed bumps. At least that's what I'm hoping. Seldens hills are long and steep - the hills I have here locally are shorter distance, and variable in elevation.

Another 10k is coming up in less than 2 weeks. I've got to start getting runs in on both days over my weekends. I'm going on a wine tour with my friends at work on Saturday, so I'm hoping to get out on the roads early and be ready for the bus at 10:30am. Less than moderate drinking and a good nights sleep that day, then a drive out to Selden on Sunday morning early. At least that's the plan.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oyster Bay Supervisor's 5k Recap

48°,  ESE 5,  72% H,  UV low,  Dp 40

Brrr! Chilly and dry.. just the way I like it. I must say, though -  I believe that the sudden change of weather conditions played a part in how I felt during the race. I'm not blaming the weather, because I think that my finish time reflects my training.  But during the race, I really felt poorly in my lungs and throat. I don't have any type of respiratory issues, but I think I now have some idea how asthmatics must feel. My breathing felt like it became more constricted over the course of the race, and I found that most of my energy was consumed by literally, 'sucking wind'. I'm hoping it was just because of the combination of first time running in the cold this season, PLUS racing, that caused this to happen. Although I did not PR or place, I came in faster than my last 5k, so I'm happy about that. I like to try to rationalize my performances and find some good if I can.

But, the thing I'm MOST happy about, is that I finally met my running blogger guru, The Emerging Runner! I've been reading his blog since the start of my running, and I felt like I met a celebrity!

yay! But God, I'm short.

He is every bit as nice as I thought he would be. We chatted up a storm, took a warm up run together, and talked about things running related and not. He recommended some races that he has enjoyed during his running career, and I'll be reviewing them right after this post and probably start signing up. 

It was a very friendly, community type atmosphere - GLIRC supported. I'm assuming most members of the Selden Hills group were there, but I've only met a few of them once, so I didn't really recognize anyone. The finish line snacks were awesome. Oh, the muffins. How to decide? I walked the entire length of the table, noticing the healthy stuff was at the end. Eh. I'll go back and get a MUFFIN. It was enormous. And delicious. Poor ER. He had to watch me snarf that muffin down. So much for social graces.

The hooded sweatshirts are very nice. Let's see what happens when I wash/dry it. I hope I took the right size.

Instead of finding our times on the side of a van, we waited online to get handed our times on a slip of paper. Classy! I think I remember getting something like this at a kiosk after a race last year? -- but it spit out a blank piece of paper at me.  I just remembered this at this very moment. *sigh*  Loosing one's mind sucks. I hope if am in the beginning throes of dementia, that I become a happy, mindless geriatric instead of a nasty one.

The course itself was great. That downhill was a relief. I stopped to drink at the top of the hill, and I stopped to walk again briefly half way down. My lungs were cold, yet felt like they were on fire at the same time. Weird.

Magellan did ok with the splits,

but took a dump on translating it to graphics. Nice job, problem child Magellen... I see a new Garmin model in my future..

The JMS Timing website was fun to use. Here is a screen capture of my stats.

I'm hoping I feel up to Selden Hills tomorrow morning. I'm not looking at another race until the second week of November. Although, the racing calendar I just prepared shows that I have 4 races up until December 1st. They'll act as my speed training maybe?
Do you think that's a good idea?
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blogging: 1 year Anniversary!

61°,  SW 5,  93% H,  UV 0,    Dp 59

It was not as nice a running morning as it was on Tuesday. The sleep I got, despite the fact that it was dandy - didn't help. All my joints were achy this morning - especially my right knee.  I think I'm going to attribute that to the Carvel hot fudge sundae I had at work yesterday. Sugar OVERLOAD. I had a huge panini also, which was delicious - but I stopped eating that much bread at one time a while ago. I'm wondering how much of an effect it had on the way I'm feeling today.

Most of my paperwork for the week is done, except for the 10 or so papers I have to 'grade' for Monday. I think I'll take care of that after my race on Saturday.

I was feeling pretty unmotivated this morning, probably because of the way I felt physically. I wore a sleeveless shirt, and I still felt warm. My BT headset crapped out in the middle of the run. I was planning for 3 miles, didn't quite make it. I was feeling that lousy.

I just want the blue line on these graphs to be in a somewhat straight line. Is that even possible? I don't think this one is too bad today, however, except toward the end, when I realized just how HUMID it felt.

Happy Anniversary to me!   1 full year of blogging.. 
1 yr 7 months of running!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm still not as fast at shorter distances..

45°,  ESE 2,  99% H,  UV 0,  57° Dp

This morning's weather felt quite perfect - I was surprised to see when I came back that the humidity was so high. It certainly didn't feel that way. I chose to run 4 @ 70%, but alas, I am fickle. So, I just ran as I felt, slowing down when I needed, and speeding up when it felt good. I wished I could just conjure up someone to pace for me - I'd decide, "I think I'd like to do 5 miles at a 9:00 min/mile pace, please.." and >*poof*< - I'd have someone appear out of the ether who knows what the heck they're doing and just let me follow. 

I've got nothing but work on the brain, and soo much paperwork to do today and the rest of the week, so this isn't going to be much of a post. I'm hoping to get out again Thursday morning, maybe slow it down a bit, as I have the 5k in Oyster Bay on Saturday, and that long incline to deal with. 

Although I felt like I was running fast this morning, the numbers don't lie. I would like to get back to training at 8:45 -8:30 as an easy pace. Today, at between 45 and 1 minute slower, I was working and breathing HARD on roads that I do on a regular basis. My heart rate was very high, and it bums me out. I guess my biggest fear is not injury, but that I will just stop improving. Be it speed or endurance. I often times ponder on how I'll feel about that when the time comes.

Congrats to my sister for PR'ing her half marathon over the weekend - and to fellow blogger and speedster SheisOutRunning who PR'ed 4 minutes faster in her marathon this past weekend - and who ran her own race. (For details, go check it out..) That's got to feel awesome when it comes all together like that!

What do you folks fear most about your running career, I wonder..?

Sunday, October 13, 2013


58°,    NE 10,   80% H,   UV 0,    Dp 47°

This was my second time running the Selden Hills, this time, with the self appointed "Hillbillys". It so happened that today was 'newbie' day. And although I had run these hills before, I still felt like a newbie, because I had yet to meet the group.

I managed to get lost on the way there, so all those hillbillys had already left without me. There was, however, a gentleman waiting in the parking lot. A tall and lanky man with a friendly face. He was dressed in his red Selden Hills shirt. We exchanged pleasantries while waiting just a few minutes more to see if anyone else would show.

Even though I had my all my electronics, I didn't start any up.  The conversation was non-stop - mostly on his end. He asked me what he thought my pace would be, I told him anywhere between 10:30 and 9:30. He seemed good with that, and told me that we would run the entire course together. He explained some of the history, described the course, explained the philosophy of the group, and everything in between. I tried to be gabby, but I found it was wearing me out. I explained that I always run alone, so talking while running was not easy for me. He totally understood, and told me I did not have to participate in the conversation, but - he would keep talking anyway. He was awesome! What a great introduction into this hard running group!

The hills were just as challenging as before, and I had to walk several times. My guide and escort, K.C., slowed his pace down for me while I recovered. Only once he went on ahead, and that was to scout a dangerous section of the route that was blind to both drivers and runners, and he would wait for me at that crest.

It was nice to have him prepare me for each of the hills that were coming up.
"OK, this is the second to last, and then it's down hill and a right at the stop signs"
"OK, we get a decent break here, about a half mile of flat"
"And here's the halfway point, but now we've got to go up again for a mile and a half" - and so on.

I had asked him our time on the way back. He told me that we were about 31 minutes at mile 3, and we were 38 minutes out as the answer to my question.
I was surprised. It felt fast, but I thought it was because I had company, and that it was an illusion. I was really running these hills faster than I thought.

First important realization: In order to get faster, for me, I need to run with someone faster than myself. I let myself get away with too much slacking during training.

By the time we were about 2 miles out from the finish (10k) we had come up on two runners from the back of the pack of the original group that started about 6 minutes ahead of us. The woman was going to run in Brazil in a few weeks. Her longest run had been 4 miles - and it was her first run on the hills, too! She had an escort in the gentleman who was running with her, as well.  We ran together for about 400 meters until K.C. and I pulled away from them to continue on for yet MORE hills. At the end of the last hill, we had 1.2 miles of flat. It was a straight line back to the parking lot. Marty let the woman he was with finish at her own pace, and he caught up to us before the final quarter mile. As we turned right into the parking lot, K.C. mentions that we have 30 seconds to go to finish in exactly 60 minutes! We had to haul ass.

Ugh! I was exhausted! But, to the left - about 200 meters away, was a sea of red shirts, about 20 or so folks, waiting. And when they saw us break into a sprint, they must of realized we had a goal. The cheers and encouragement where amazing! I was genuinely moved.

So, Cow Harbor had just become a docile, familial pet.  Selden Hills is the untamed, relentless beast. And, running with a coach of sorts, it took me only 3 minutes more to harness the potential power in not only myself, but those hills as well.

Realization #2: Hills are your friend. In order to build endurance, besides cycling as cross training, hills can't be beat.

I met only a handful of the group. We were talking about fueling, how long it takes us to get to the hills from where we live, tackling the declines, etc. I was told they will be running every Wednesday at 4:30 pm and Sundays at 8:00 am.
I will try to get out there at least 2x a month. I have a feeling it might be 3. (But I'm still a little high from the morning!) Economically speaking, it took a quarter of a tank to get there and back. The good news is that gas prices are dropping. 4.09 for premium last week to 3.97 last night. How serendipitous! And now that I know the correct way to get there, I'll be shaving miles and time from the ride.

Realization #3: There is power in camaraderie. And THIS is coming from a self-proclaimed introvert.

No pictures, not much data. I had the sense to start Magellan up about 2 miles into the run. It's not as elegant as Runmeter's data, but I'll post the link nontheless.

Magellan Data

Hey. Did you hear about the new Garmin 620? It's coming soon.. and it looks AWESOME. I'll be trying that baby out, and maybe put the Magellan up for sale.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Back at it..

55°, ENE 11,  84% H,  UV 0,  Dp 50

After taking a well needed rest for the first part of the week, I decided to get out there this morning. I really had very little discomfort. I was just weary.  I could not keep my eyes open past 9:00 pm each night, and I went back to eating bread and ice cream, like it was going out of style. Yesterday and today I've moderated more toward healthier eating, and I really needed to see how I felt running. When I woke up this morning, it hadn't started raining yet, and as a matter of fact, it felt pretty good out there. I had lots of things to do before I left for work this morning, so I decided to make my first run since my half marathon a shorty. I'd only do 3 miles at 70%. I did the 3 miles, but it was more like 80-85%. Oh well..

My heart rate shot up pretty high soon into the run, and although I tried to bring it down without having to walk, it didn't work. So, I just went with it, and ran by how I was feeling.  I believe I could have run a bit faster, but I kept waking up with a mild headache all night, and by morning, it hadn't changed. As a matter of fact, as I'm writing this, I still feel pressure and a bit of lethargy. I really don't want to take a decongestant. I know it's probably sinus related, but I'm hoping it will resolve on it's own.

My sister asked if I took any 'selfies' during my HM, and I said no - I never really like the way I look in them. So, I took one this morning. She says it's a good idea to remember how you're dressed for the weather, and it helps a lot to do this. So, here is the pic before I went out. I guess I should have also shot below the waist. Another oh well. I wore my Under Armor compression capris, compressions on my calves, and my Brooks Ravenna 4.

I love my new cap I got from the Diva expo. It's stretchy, and it really stays snug to my head. I should have bought another.

Fall is here..

I will probably do 5 slow miles on Saturday morning, weather permitting, then on Sunday, I'm going to attempt to get back out to Selden and run with the 'Hillbillies'. The group organizer recognized me during my packet pickup at the Diva expo and introduced himself to me. It was so weird to hear my name called out, when I really haven't met anyone I know devoted to running on a personal basis yet. There are still so many people I know because of blogging/Facebook that I've yet to meet! We talked about my first half, and that his wife was running her first half too, (the Entenmanns) and even though I live an hour away from the hills, they would love to have me run with them. So, I will make it out there by 8:00 am on Sunday. I hear that there will be at least another newbie to the group there also.

You know, they are talking about this being the 'off season' on their Facebook page - but I consider this my 'on season'! Fall and early winter last year is when I made most of my progress as a runner. The cool weather does this for me. I raced into December, and then February into March. I PR'd a 5k then in April. Does anyone also feel that this is off season? Maybe I was fortunate that the weather was mild last year? 

Right now I've got the voices of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona as ambient noise. They are doing sound and video tests in one of my browser tabs. I imagine pretty soon there will be an Internet press conference. The race is this Saturday, starting at noon eastern time. They will be broadcasting online here. I'm going to watch as much as I can. I think I would one day like to do a tri. I can swim. I can bike. And now I know I can run. I find it much more appealing than a full marathon, at least right now in my short running career. I already know someone who has done a tri, so if I ever feel compelled, I can get some great advice.

I have to run, as I'm going to take my daughter out for sushi tonight for her birthday.  I still can't believe I have a 28 year old daughter. Sheesh.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Diva Half Marathon Recap

66°,  ENE 8,  97% H,  UV 0,  Dp 60

I would like to change my position on the Diva runs. Last year, I did the 5k. I came in first in my age group and I believed it was because the race was more of a social event than a race, so that gave me an edge, because I was there to try to PR. This year, I did the half, and even though there were plenty of women in costume - tutu's, hair appliances, jewelry - there were just as many women who where NOT dolled up. And they ALL meant business, it seemed. Very few groups of women 3,4,5 abreast - mostly quiet and contemplative. And, as last year, the 5k'ers were the boisterous bunch. The walkers, the singers, the high-fivers. I guess the distance makes all the difference. But, to each their own. They have every right to participate as they wish.
If I came across as being persnickety or judgmental in my last post about this race,  I apologize. It all comes down to knowing the circumstances of the race. Don't cry foul if you did not do your homework.

The weather. Oh brother. From light drizzle to heavy misting. But, it wasn't so bad. There was no direct sun, and the breeze.. oh, how wonderful it was. It was cool enough before I left the house, and I was tempted to wear shorts instead of capris because of the humidity. None of my shorts had a place to put my key, so I stuck with the longer pants. I wore a loose fitting tank. I carried no water, no carbs. I drank on the course sparingly. I really didn't feel very thirsty until the finish, and the inch of champagne they were serving at the finish line (how much did I pay for this race?) did not appeal to me AT ALL. One of the firemen dropped the medal around my neck. It was ridiculously heavy. I had to walk about a mile and a half back to my car on Merrick with this thing clanging around my neck. (That center gem piece rotates and makes a helluva noise)

It weighs more than 1/2 pound. So THAT'S where my money went..

While standing on the porta-potty line, a young girl turned to me and asked me if this was my first half and if I was nervous. "No, I'm not," I said. "Well, this is my first half and I'm so nervous, I could barely eat this morning." She had told me her longest run had only been 6 miles, and that she's only been running a year. "Are you here by yourself?" she asked. I told her that yes, I was. She said she was there with a friend, and by this time, as if just by talking about it, she really started to look nervous. I basically shared with her my plan on just thinking it was a long, Sunday run. And that if she viewed it that way, why - of course she'll finish. That seemed to make sense to her, and she thanked me and headed off to an open potty. I remembered her bib number, and saw that she indeed did finish, coming it at 2:24. Respectable for her first HM!

I listened to my podcasts during the entire run. I attempted my plan of thinking it as merely a long run on a Sunday morning, but you can guess how that went. I really thought that during the first 2 miles, I just might be able to pull it off. It was very slow going, (it took about a minute to get to the mat)  But, during mile 2, I started looking around at the women in tutu's running faster than me. Never mind that they were probably 20+ years younger. So, I threw being reasonable to the wind and started working on my form, picking out one tutu after another and trying to pass them. My pace was vacillating as it usually does. I was doing well though until I came up to the 9 mile water stop. I did not take water, but I asked, no - screamed (everyone cheers at the water stops, so I had to scream to be heard) 3 times to different people handing out water if they knew at what mile the next water stop was. Why did I need to know this? I have no idea. But, not one person knew. And from there, things got a little torturous. Whatever available O2 I had circulating around my arteries and hanging out in the distal aveoli of my lungs was depleted with me needing to know the answer to that question. I hit the wall HARD -  and whatever stride I had I started to loose from that point on. The last 3 miles were brutal. I felt my posture let go, so my low back was on fire, and my calves and hamstrings started to get tight. I walked several times, just to bring my heart rate back down and give my legs a chance to loosen up. At mile 11, my right hand started to swell, so I slowed down because I REALLY LIKE my right hand.  After shaking it out a bit, I thought I had enough rest to push through until it happened again less than a mile from the finish. That would be the last time I walked, and then with the finish line in sight and 2:08 on the clock, I plowed on in. 
I even raised my arms as I crossed!
I managed to smile for one of the cameras, too!

I had a whole lot more to say about this race, but I can't remember any of it. I did not accept the tiara, or the boa. A woman at the finish asked if I wanted my picture taken in front of the DIVA sign. 
"No, thank you. I look like shit." is exactly what I said, and the girl walking in front of me who also declined the request turned and gave me a big smile. She must have felt the same way I did.

2:07:37  9:44/mile
24/129 age
405/1880 overall

When I signed up for this last year, my goal was to come in 1:58:xx.
Maybe next time.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Done until the Half

57°,  Calm,  79% H,  UV 0,  Dp 55

I wanted to practice setting a pace and trying to stay with it. 
I clearly suck at it.
I barely managed it the first mile, then I just botched it. I also did not set Runmeter correctly, forgetting to put the mile value in 2 of the 5 interval settings. I was confused when I heard the 3rd mile was finished before I even started it. Then I realized what I did when mile 5 did the same thing.

That's it. I'm done. I didn't need to fuel during the ten miles I did on Sunday, but something is telling me I better bring something with me during the half. I don't know what that will be yet.

My daughter is sick with a sore throat, stuffed nose, a slight fever and a cough. I sure hope I can stay healthy until Sunday. What a bummer otherwise.

Sunday's weather looks to be breezy, upper 60's in the morning. The humidity looks to be dropping during the afternoon on Saturday after some rain we should be having Friday night, so I'm hoping for even lower humidity Sunday morning. Humidity is my nemesis. 
I think I'll try to get to the expo for my bib after work on Friday instead of Saturday.

Ok! I'm ready for my adventure, come what may -  
although:  no boas or tiaras, please.
How exciting!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Taper commitment fail.

I forgot to check the weather this morning.
But it was cool, no breeze, and dry!
I thought I would do 4 miles easy at 70%.
It turned out that I kept changing my mind the whole time!
You can see this as reflected by the graph.
I have a commitment problem, most obviously. 
I'd probably be a better runner if I could stick to a plan.

So, for months I thought that my half marathon was the first Saturday in October. I'll cut myself some slack and not worry TOO much about my memory issues.
No, it's the first SUNDAY in October. Therefore, I have an extra day of rest. So, hopefully if it's not too warm Thursday, I'll do some speed work. Thanks, Karl!
And it looks like it will still be windy on Sunday.