Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
In the past I've had MRI's but only of my brain and spine so today I felt ass backwards going in feet first. I realized that today was either my 5th or 6th MRI, I can't remember if I got one or two when I had meningitis in '06. Either way, I'd say that's above average for someone who is only 27. Luckily for me, I find the clanging and banging to be soothing and I usually snooze. Today was quick and dirty and over before I could get in a proper nap. The tech was a nice guy who said I was a month late because usually the Marathoners come in November. :) He said he ran NCYM once as a "thing to do in his life" sort of thing. We agreed it was a party for New York and lots of fun. More fun than lying in a highly magnetic tube? Possibly.
Now we wait.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
That said, someone remind me to look back and read this when I'm wiped out from training for the 70.3 next year. :)
Things on the running front have been back and forth for me lately, I had 2 good runs last week and saw the Orthopedist who didn't have much to say. On Sunday I had a fun and beautiful run in West Philly with a good friend, but my knee started hurting and my quad got very tight. It eased up by the end of the run, but was very sore on Monday, even during my swim. Last night I did speedwork with the Inwood Hill Runners and felt ok. I foam rolled before and after and I think it helped because I'm tight but feel ok today. I'm going for the MRI Friday and I'm planning to run the Pete McArdle XC 15K in VCP on Sunday. If the MRI results show anything that requires some time off, I want to go out with a bang. :) I have no races planned after Sunday and feel reluctant to sign up for any others at this point. I'm in a weird place between training phases right now and everything I'm doing is either for fitness sake or for sanity or socializing. It's nice for now, but I know I can't last much longer without a plan.
Am I the only person in this position right now or are others also feeling like they're in limbo? December is a funny month that way, I think of it as the lame duck session of training.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
As the 26 day mark approaches (post-NYCM) I finally felt ready to take things up a notch and fully participate in Tuesday speedwork in Inwood Hill Park with the Inwood Hill Runners crew. The past few weeks I've been holding back to let myself fully recover from the stresses and microtears that occur during a 26.2 mile journey, but this week I felt ready to MOVE. Monday night I was plagued with an obnoxious achey, twingey, restless, uncomfortable feeling in my legs when I was supposed to be sleeping. It was so bad that I actually considered taking a few laps up and down the stairs in our building in my pj's to try to work it out, but in the end it was too cold to get up. I stretched my legs as well as I could, squirmed around a bit, then tossed and turned for a while longer. Obviously my legs were trying to tell me that I needed to get out and run! They were begging to be beat up and exhausted.
Tuesday night speedwork was a lot of fun, we have picked up a handful of new people in the last month and as runners tend to do, they fit right in. Last week and the week before we did some intervals around our 561 m track with about a 200 m recovery, but this week we switched it up and did a "ladder". Essentially it was running speedy intervals with "100 m" recovery. For the sake of sanity, we'll say the cones along the track were 100m apart, but really they were about 90m. We did 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 all with 100 m recovery jog between. From the second 600 on we ran in the opposite direction (we can do that, no one else was out there) which was a totally different experience because what was a tough uphill in the first half became a sweet downhill. I felt awesome, I was cranking out the intervals with solid effort and no knee pain whatsoever. A friend and I added on an extra 3.4 miles or so by running to and from the group including a nice haul up the stairs at 187th St to top it off. Whew, it was a great workout and good news- no creepy leg sensation last night! I slept like a log.
Despite feeling awesome last night, I still have to take a trip to the UES to see my knee doc tomorrow because my PT feels like we're at a standstill with my knee. Initially PT took my pain level down quite a bit, but then we hit a plateau and it won't fully heal. It is still sore to poke (I know, I know, don't poke it) and it still hurts going down stairs and getting up from the floor at work. Sigh. I suspect the doc will send me for an MRI as my PT recommended so that we can see exactly what is going on underneath my patella. I've been really lucky that it doesn't hurt when I run (most of the time) but I am concerned that running might be contributing to the damage. While I'm willing to take some time off if necessary, I'm dreading the possibility of the doc telling me to stop running, even for a short period of time.
So tomorrow I'm off to the doc to see what he has to say, and if he tells me to back off running I will be disappointed, but at least I'll have gone out with a strong run! I know I have other options too..swimming, biking, etc. which I enjoy, so I'll survive.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Above is a flyer for a program run by NYRR that needs your help! The holiday shoe drive provides running shoes for kids around the city who want to participate in youth running programs, but lack the funds to get a good pair of running shoes. I've been donating to this program for years, it takes very little effort on your part, but can make a huge difference to a child in need. If you can't get out to pick up shoes for a child (NYRR provides you with a child and their age, sex and shoe size) you can donate a gift card or $ at their website (https://webapps.nyrr.org/supportus/).
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
With many of the big fall marathons in the rearview mirror, a lot of people are tossing out their ideas about recovery and the best way to go about it. While everyone certainly takes a different approach, there are a lot of folks out there who (not-so) secretly believe that their way is "the best way" and will try to convince you that it will also work for you. Here's the thing: you may have run the exact same time or pace or slower/faster, but your legs are yours and only yours. Do what feels right for you, not what someone else is preaching.
That said, I decided that last night was the night to get back out there and get moving. I haven't run since the big day and have only been swimming and doing core work alongside my knee rehab strengthening. The mental and physical break has been great. At the end of last week I was jonesin' for a run, but I wasn't going to let myself back out too soon again. I got injured by running too soon after my last marathon and ended up sidelined for 6 weeks. Friday night I expressed my intent to run on Saturday morning and my husband promptly called me and said "no you're not going to run." I must have been one cranky bitch last time I got hurt. Instead I took a really (really) easy spin on the stationary bike and cranked out a solid swim before joining the Inwood runners for a celebratory pancake breakfast.
Last night, Tuesday, felt like the right time to try out the legs again though. Conditions were right, there was no rain and temps were warm so I headed out to meet my Inwood buddies for the first in a series of Tuesday night speed workouts. Obviously I had no intention of doing "speed" but I knew it would be great to see some familiar running faces. Captain T put up a few flyers around the neighborhood advertising the new Tuesday run and they attracted 2 new runners including a high school student looking for some way to keep herself active. We were stoked.
The workout consisted of a warmup, strides and intervals with a 200m recovery around a loop in Inwood Hill Park 560 meters in diameter. It's like having a large track with a small hill on one end. We consider it to be a topographical advantage. I of course trotted along at a super easy pace for the warmup and lagged way behind on the strides, but enjoyed the company. The nice thing was that J, the HS student I mentioned was running at my recovery pace for the intervals so I had company and so did she as we got lapped by the others. I tried my best to keep my Coach Amy hat off, but I hopefully provided insightful answers to her many questions, both running related and not.
I know I wont be able to fully participate in the speed sessions for a few more weeks because I need my knee to heal entirely, but I think these workouts are going to be a great addition to my winter running. I do love the Central Park crew on Tuesday nights, but having this so close to home makes a huge difference on those frosty winter nights. I can simply run home and avoid getting chilled on the subway ride.
All in all, I felt great out there. Running felt smooth and easy and I just felt right at home being back on my feet. I have no idea what my pace or mileage was, and don't care. I still plan on keeping the mileage really low and easy for another 2 weeks or so, but I'll be sprinkling a little more running into my schedule as time goes by. For now, I'm on a 3x week swim schedule and it feels awesome even though I'm having trouble finding my 2nd gear right now. It'll take time to get my swim speed back, damn you unforgiving water.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Riverdale, N.Y. (October 25, 2010) —H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths Inc., a Riverdale, N.Y.-based 501c3 non-profit formed for the charitable and educational purposes of assisting at-risk youth, is hosting its first annual 5K Run/Walk at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. on Sunday, November 14, 2010. All proceeds will go to the non-profit and is tax deductible. The New York Road Runners Foundation will be helping with the event.
This event is perfect for the avid runner. The short run/walk is a great opportunity for those who still want to participate in a post ING NYC Marathon run, those who weren’t able to run the marathon and those who are just looking for a leisure run in one of the city’s fourth largest park. Bring your friends, family and fellow runners.
Additionally, Cliff Sperber, Executive Director of the NYRR Youth and Community Services division, is going to help H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths kick-off the event.
Registration is only $15. If you are a student or a coach of a High School team you can register for free. Please see below for more information. Participants can also ask friends, family and colleagues to sponsor your run. Contact us for a pledge sheet.
Here are examples of the impact of your gift:
$89 - Gift will purchase one monthly Metro card for students to get to and from internship sties, social/cultural events, community service projects and weekly workshops.
$500 - Gift will purchase a partial scholarship for our students or a partial SAT, LSAT, GRE prep program or graduate school preparation program.
$1000 - Gift will purchase a scholarship for a student that can be named in honor of the person of your choice.
Your gift will have a significant impact on our programming and students’ ability to maintain their studies and successfully graduate from college and go on to graduate/professional school.
On Sunday, November 14, 2010 registration for the run/walk begins at 9 a.m. Run/walk is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park is located at 242nd Street and Broadway in Bronx, N.Y. To register please visit:http://health4youthswalkrun.
H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths Inc. fills the gap left by after-school programs and other mentor organizations across the city by providing workshops in the areas of career development, physical health, mental health, social/cultural education, social media etiquette and life-skills. It also helps place students in appropriate internships and encourages students to give back to the community by getting them involved in different community service projects such New York Cares Day and tornado clean up. The non-profit strives to combat community deterioration, juvenile delinquency and improves the quality of education, health care and life-skills training.
To learn more about H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths Inc. visit the non-profit’s web site http://www.health4youths.org
If you would like to learn more about H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths Inc.’s First Annual 5K Run/Walk or the non-profit contact:
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
It is sweetest when it is all over and done with. The soreness has peaked and is beginning to slowly recede, so it is time to share the story of a 26.2 mile journey that began on a windy bridge in Staten Island.
The day began on Staten Island with a few hours of relaxing and chatting while dressed in soccer mom-looking sweats and a NY Yankees poncho. In case you were living under a rock and missed it, the plan was for EG and I to run together this year, a decision we made many months ago. As we were cruelly locked out of Wave 1 by a not-well-advertised 8:55 closing time, we stood around for an extra half hour before the race as we waited for Wave 2 to start at 10:10am. Looking back, I blame that for all that went wrong during the race. Ha. If only.
The race began on what has been called "The greatest start in sports" on the Verrazano bridge which was windy and chilly and strewn with discarded clothes from runners who went before us. Don't they know your clothes cant be donated if you toss them on the bridge? The gall. So off we went on the uphill climb with incredible people all around us. There was a blind runner to our right, a double amputee in front of us and just the buzz of adrenaline and excitement all around. Despite the chill we tackled the uphill and the crowds in 8:45 and whizzed down towards Brooklyn in 7:29. A lil quick, but we quickly settled down, cranking out the next few miles all around 8:10 despite the urge to surge ahead in the excitement of the wonderful and amazing Brooklyn. I swear it, half a million folks in Brooklyn yelled out my name as I ran by, I wish I could have hugged them all, but there was work to be done. Mile 5 brought a glimpse of my hubby and Mom cheering us on. They snapped this awesome pic:
As we made our way into Queens we were hit with more great cheers and excitement and even more folks screaming my name. I joked at one point that they'd probably seen my article on DNAInfo.com and that's why they were cheering. It had nothing to do with the giant letters across my chest, definitely not. After one particularly long string of "Go Amy" cheers, I goofed around and said, "I'd like to thank my many fans..." The miles were getting to my brain and making me goofy. In Queens my eyes were peeled for TK and also for Josh who we expected to see, and thank goodness we saw them- it was a nice boost before the big bridge. As we neared the bridge I remember hoping that there wouldn't be a huge pile of shit on the divider in the center of the bridge this year like there was in '08. Tragically, that is one of my most vivid memories from my first marathon. Yep, gross. Luckily there was no poo this time and the bridge felt great, it felt like we breezed over and down into Manhattan. I suggested a quick pee break at the bottom of the bridge and EG let me keep my promise of not peeing on myself.
Crossing back into Manhattan and beginning the schlep through Harlem was where things got hard. Not like "hitting the wall" hard, but "I'm going to barf all over" hard. I was torn between barfing and hoping it would make me feel better and sucking it up. In the end I didn't barf, but it was very touch and go there for a bit. Sipping water helped for a few minutes, but it always came back. We made a pit stop for EG somewhere along the way in the W100's and my legs tightened up immediately as I focused on not puking on the sidewalk. Damn, this point in the race was so much better in '08. Most of the UES is a blur as we made our way down 5th Ave towards my family and the Inwood Hill Runners and ultimately Central Park.
After we snagged some tangerine slices from my Mom at mile 23.25 we passed an enthusiastic Inwood Hill Runners crew just before entering Central Park. I was hurting. My legs didn't want to keep going, neither did my head. Can you see the anguish as I snag the tangerine from Mom's hand?
Trust me, I was in a BAD place. Luckily for me, I had EG by my side. She knew I was struggling without my saying a word and she started talking to me, encouraging me and just helping me push through the "I want to STOP" that was going through my head. I'm not sure what I would have done without her there, honestly. I mean it, I didn't care that I'd come 24 miles already and only had 2 to go, I had no desire to keep going. There was a small voice in the back of my head battling that louder voice, but without E's help, I may not have made it. I got an awful pain in my upper chest during mile 24 and I pictured myself keeling over with a heart attack (Don't worry, I knew the pain was not actually "chest pains" or I would have stopped.) Somehow she knew just what I needed to hear and she leaned close and just simply said "fight". Something snapped in my head and I began to see a little more clearly- we only had a mile to go!!! Mile 25 was relatively strong, we brought it back down to an 8:50 (from an embarrassing 9:32 mile 24) and passed quite a few people.
Entering the park was bittersweet, but looking back I think it was mostly sweet at the time, just bitter thinking about it now. I said "oh my god, I can't believe we made it here" and I meant it. As we ran along Central Park south I remember thinking that I was giving 100% with every CELL in my body. It was taking everything I had to finish. We crossed the line together at 3:46:54 and despite missing my goal by 11 minutes, I was elated. I got a huge 17 minute PR and I FINISHED without puking. Win, win, win.
While tons of folks have asked me "how did it go?!" the last few days my answer has varied. The runners I am close to know that I missed my A and B goals (3:35 and sub 3:40) but they know what it can be like to have a shitty day. Others hear my time and are out of their minds with excitement because they don't know anyone who has ever run that fast (or maybe far) before. Yesterday our building Super asked how it was and all I could think of was "it was long", what a lame answer. He was happy for me when he heard my time though. My own feelings about the 3:46 are mixed. Most of the time I'm happy with it, other times I'm bummed because I missed my goal, but that usually passes quickly. I do know that I received tons of really supportive emails, texts, phone calls, facebook messages and tweets over the last few days. Thank you all. I plan on relaxing this week and next (and the next) with my feet up, red wine in hand and a good book and cat in my lap. I'm no longer training for a marathon. Wahoo!
Good luck to my brother, Todd and his wife Heather who are running their first marathon in the Outer Banks this coming weekend! I'm really excited for them, they've been training hard and I'm sure it is going to pay off on Sunday. Congrats to all of the other 44,000 NYC marathon finishers, you rock! A special thanks, of course, to my awesome friend E who stuck by my side and made great company for the 26.2 mile journey. I couldn't have done it without you (nor would I have wanted to!)
|First Name||Last Name||Age||Team||State/|
|5 km||10 km||15 km||20 km||13.1 mi|
|25 km||30 km||35 km||40 km||Minutes|
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Earlier this week a local journalist from Inwood asked if she could interview me for an article about the upcoming NYC marathon and I gladly agreed. Having followed Carla's blog, The Streets Where we Live, for years I knew I could count on her for a great article. She has also been writing for DNAInfo.com, a NYC-centric news site where you can get specific news for your neighborhood or the city in general. Since she began writing for DNA, I've been using it as a daily source of info for what's going on around the neighborhood. On Wednesday I met up with the lovely Carla (you can follow her on twitter @CarlaZanoni) and we talked and took some photos in nearby Fort Tryon Park where I do a lot of my training. I have to thank her because the article is really sweet and honest and it has already brought a ton of traffic to my little blog. Please check out her blog and DNAinfo as well, they're both great reads especially for those in our little community of Northern Manhattan.
Here's the link to the article: The Heights Proves Perfect Training Ground for Uptown Runner and Online Friends
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Looking beyond New York marathon, I entered the lottery for a race that takes place in June every year down in Maryland called the Great Bay Swim. It is a 4.4 mile swim in the Chesapeake Bay and it is exactly what I was looking for in terms of a "big" swim in the early summer of 2011. The first round lottery pick is tomorrow, Nov 4th and I'll be anxiously waiting for an email to find out if I am one of the chosen 700 or so. If chosen, the swimmers have 48 hours to submit proof of an open water swim of at least 1 mile or a signed certificate by a lifeguard verifying that you swam 3 miles in the pool in under 2.5 hours (or around there). I had a small panic attack last week when I realized that my tri swim was 1500m which is the metric equivalent of a swim mile, but actually only 0.9mi. I was losing my mind for a minute when I literally looked up and spotted my medal from the Lavallette 1 mile Ocean Swim that I did this summer. WHEW.
Keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow!