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MCM 2010

This past weekend I traveled down to Washington DC to visit friends and spectate the Marine Corps Marathon.  I’ve said it before but I love this marathon.  Anyway, here’s a few photos from the expo (where I met  a few tweeps) and the race:

@deefsu's sign for the marathon:)

@runnerchick28, @readwriterun, @deefsu, me, @bklynrunner

@jenzenator and @southbaygirl

@followjoceyln and @tinyjenna

@speedysasquatch, @russianbear, @operationjack

@EdMarathon and @rundigger

@ultrarunnergirl and I

me, @jessetchen and @speedysasquatch

@ultrarunnergirl and @MsV1959 with the Marines

@MsV1959 getting interviewed by Fox5

 

@MsV1959 and @southbaygirl

Kids dancing at the marathon!

 

 

Marines running the marathon

Where's waldo?

@tinyjenna at mile 17

 

The view from mile 17

And now I’ll return to taper-me-silly:)

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DC Bound

Here I am.  One week from now it’ll be my turn to feel the nerves, get excited and feel the excitement of marathon weekend.  This time though I am on a bus heading down to DC to partake in the excitement of MCM weekend.  A year ago that was a day that truly was amazing to me.  I can only hope those on Sunday can experience some of the magic I felt.  If you’re running I’ll be out on the course cheering!

This week I’ve just been throwing some taper runs in including my last “long” run with my AM crew.  Wednesday was a creepy bridges run as it was just me on the Manhattan Bridge.  That was um a bit like being in a scary movie. I started counting people the rest of the run and came up with 7 people I saw my entire run. 7?!  Come on people don’t wuss out on the account of a few sprinkles!  Bah.

And yes I’m following the same taper schedule of crazy amounts of work.  Who needs sleep?

So as taper continues, I’ve set my sights on next Sunday.

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Dress Rehearsal

Yesterday marked the last long run until November 7th.  As part of the mental preparation I spoke about in my earlier post, this long run was all about getting intel on the course.  I met up with MP for the last 17 of the course starting all the way in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Right away the excitement was there with the marathon route banners up (which definitely helped in Queens and Bronx). The weather? Can I bottle some of that for November 7th?  Cool but not cold.   Little wind. Nice.

The run took us through the Hasidic part of Brooklyn as we saw the men dressed for Sabbath (including the rockin’ hats).  Turns out the NYT had an article on these hats: they’re over 8 grand! Woah. Running along Bedford Ave we passed many enjoying brunch and the crisp autumn day. It’s enjoyable to watch people on a weekend.  It’s definitely a much happier environment.  Heading up the Pulaski Bridge I noticed the 13 and 13.1 mark. That will be my half way point in a couple weeks.

Heading into Queens it’s pretty desolate.  We didn’t see anyone until we looked ahead to see a guy being held by 2 guys accompanied with lots of screaming.  We stared ahead and 2 guys started to advance on us.  Right away we turned and that’s when I made the comment we were in an episode of Law and Order.  Only problem is this was real.  Eek.  Finally we reached the Queensboro and bid adieu to Queens.

First Avenue brings back memories to me as I used to be an UES resident.  It’s remarkable how fast places close/reopen/etc.  I took note of the incline on the road in the 70s.  Nothing horrible but at mile 17 one needs to be alert of that and not mentally think they are slow for no reason.  The 80s marked my true old stomping grounds.  My old bagel shop, bakery (best black and white cookies in the city), grocery, etc.  Harlem came next and that’s when the cat calls started.  Ah Harlem gotta love it.  Those were accompanied with “win it in 2 weeks.”  I gave a fist pump to him.  Heading into the Bronx I remember what this felt like.  It was very difficult to mentally think there was another borough before finishing the darn thing.

Back in Manhattan it wasn’t bad until 110th and 5th.  That’s where a real solid incline starts and the mind will really need to work overtime to keep the legs moving.   I started to kick it up a notch as the last 4 miles I progressively sped up.  Mentally I want this to be there race day.  Running around the park I started to visual what 2 weeks from now will feel like.  What that pain will feel like.  Visualize the crowd.  It’s going to be amazing.

Heading towards Tavern on the Green I picked it up to a final gear and with a giant smile crossed the fictitious finish line for the day.  I’ll be back for a true finish in a couple weeks.  Overall the pace was a shade over 9 with the last 4 dipping down into the 830s with a final push at an 8:10 clip.  All in all mission accomplished.  A confidence builder and I didn’t beat myself up in the process.

Bocche Ball in Central Park

Refueling at Whole Foods. Honeycrisp Apple the size of my cheek!

Today was an off day.  I headed up to Tallman State Park with AC for some easy hiking to enjoy the fall foliage.  Hooray for the taper.

AC and I with the Hudson in the background.

Pretty fall foliage

Sunset on 10/23 from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

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One to go

I’m going to flat-out say it.  This week has been a complete I LOVE RUNNING week.  It’s a welcome feeling after hitting a couple of weeks of ‘blah, blah, blah.’  Between the weather cool down, great company and getting the bounce in my legs again I’m getting totally pumped to hit the streets November 7th.  The past few runs I’ve started and my legs just wanted to go, go, go.  Love it. Runs included: a sub 8 min/mile run to work Tuesday, progression run Wednesday night in the park with an old teammate and a bridges run with the AM crew on Thursday.  I kind of feel like this

 

 


It feels effortless.  Kind of a weeeeee feeling…

I’ve also started to put together my “pump me up for NYCM playlist”.

playlist nyc

Some of the usual suspects here but probably some not so familiar.  Not to worry this is only for the ferry ride/pre-run nerves.  I feed off the energy during a race.

Oh, and for some humor check out the video on my Staten Island Half pictures page.  For those of you that are Jersey Shore watchers you’ll love my finish line approach.

http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event_video.asp?EVENTID=61992&PWD=&BIB=1272
No other big news to report.  No news is good news right?  Today is an off day thanks to a solid case of insomnia last night.  I’m a bit worried as I tend to get bad bouts with it as training winds down.  Tomorrow is my last 20+ miler before the marathon (woohoo!!!!) before heading to Philly to visit the family.  Fingers crossed this was an anomaly.  Catch you on the flip side!

Anyone else out there find they get cases of insomnia during training?  I find it’s one way or another: either I can’t stop sleeping or I can’t sleep!

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I’m tired.  I knew 3 marathons in one year would be a very tall task.  I’m at the point in training where my body wants rest.  It craves sleep.  It wants to take a break. My hip decided to make itself known again (now that I’m giving it love again it’s quieting down).

I need to mentally get into it – I know without that November 7th will not be a fun day.  I always hit this place about now but it never makes it any easier.  That said I’ve got some good stuff coming up.  I’m running Staten Island next weekend (first unaffiliated race!!!).  I’m not sure on my game plan on this race just yet.  I’m going hiking next weekend and perhaps apple picking. All fun things put together.

So what’s my point?  I’m trying to find that balance.  It’s tough with work being work (it never really ends) and the mileage increasing it starts to suck a bit out of you.  I know I’ll get through this and mentally I know I’m tough enough.  Help keep me motivated:)

This week was another big week.  I put up another 19 today on the same terrain as last week.  The trails are so forgiving on the legs and truly work your core/agility.  It also helps to have great company which make the miles peel away.  Good thing it’s the same company as race day in 5 weeks:)  Why I love the trails?  Even the same route is different every time.  Plus, you run into “friends.”

deer

Deer in the path.

We were running when all of a sudden I look up and saw these 2 deer. I joked that they cheat with 4 legs and will complete the trail run a lot faster than us.  Sure enough look who we saw a couple of miles later (sorry for the crappy picture quality).

deer againWe finished with an even 19 and most important, legs that didn’t feel beat up.  So much fun and so nice to have access so close to home.

Elevation chart - mmm cliff stairs and hills at the end:)

This afternoon I ended up having brunch on Smith Street in Brooklyn at 3:30pm.  Best meal invention ever and I love in NYC it lasts this long:) It is breakfast/lunch after all:)  Great to catch up with a friend that moved out-of-town and just relax.

Tonight finished up with random fireworks on the east river.  Oh, how nice it is to have them on the RIGHT side of the river.

random fireworksLast, congrats to all racers this past weekend.  Lots of great performances and it’s great to see all the hard work going to good use.  Good luck to anyone racing next weekend.

Time for some zzz.  Recovery run tomorrow.  Keep chugging…

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Glutton for punishment

A friend of mine said something to me that made me chuckle a bit.  We were talking and I mentioned that I was giving a speech today during my Toastmasters club.  Her words to me “boy, you’re a glutton for punishment. I bet you iron for fun.” haha.  Let it be noted I do not enjoy ironing. I’m not that bad.

It got me to thinking why do we do some of the things we do?  What pushes us to do things outside of our comfort zone?

Toastmasters is a public speaking club.  I don’t like public speaking but I sign up willingly to do this during my lunch hour at work?  What?  And this is fun?  Actually, it is.  I get to speak about events in my life and things that are a passion to me.  Unsurprisingly, running is a big topic.  I’m giving a speech on Pikes Peak today;-)  I still get nervous and don’t really enjoy that feeling per say but I do it.

I’m an engineer in the construction industry.  Not only is this profession male dominated but engineers tend to be the bottom of the food chain.  Wait, what? You chose this profession?

I played the trumpet.  I was the only female in the trumpet section yet became a squad leader by senior year.

I run.  Marathons were great but then Pikes Peak became my mission.  There were those that didn’t believe in me and I knew this would be the hardest thing I’ve done to date. No regrets and I hope to be back out on that mountain one day.

I moved to NYC not knowing a single person here straight from college.

Looking at it I think rather than punishment it’s more the thrill of the unknown.  The excitement that goes along with something new and fresh.  Getting too comfortable isn’t my style. For me, it’s not punishment but rather living life.  It’s no fun to stay inside and follow someone’s coattails all the time. Carpe diem people!

Everyone’s been asking what’s next after November 7?  Good question.  Here’s a small hint.  I turn 31 next year.  Think of a race that can go along with that number…;-)

What’s something you do that others may see as “punishment”?

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8 weeks til showtime

8 weeks. Crazy talk.  I was originally worried about running another marathon this fall after the year I’ve had thus far.  Would I be able to amp back up for a big push towards November 7?  Would I find that will to want to run a road marathon?  Well, after this week of training, I think I feel safe to say YES.  I’m finding that groove in training and getting assimilated back into the hectic lifestyle of New York.  I admit it – Colorado definitely made it tough for me to get back in the groove.

Speedwork.  While I’ve run since Pikes Peak, I hadn’t really tried to find the speed gears.  I was a bit nervous about pushing too much, too soon.  However, with the Philly half next weekend (the day after Yom Kippur – eek) I figured I’d should make sure the speedy legs haven’t left me.  So Thursday night I headed out after work to run home with a side of tempo down the WSH.  Goal?  Hit slightly below HMP and see how it feels.  I needed to get some confidence in my speedy legs – that they did still exist.

Good news – 3 miles – 7:31, 7:34, 7:29.  Felt good and was wearing my daypack on a fairly windy night.  Finished off the run with MP at around 8:10-8:15 pace. 

Long run I tamed down this week with 18 last week and 15 miles in 12 hours between Thursday/Friday.  I headed uptown and ran the VCP rails trails. 11 miles in around 1:36.  Nothing crazy.  Legs felt fresh.

Today I headed back to the gym for core/strength training.  This part of my training program has been MIA.  I really do want to bring this back in for the final push to NYCM.

This week?  Mini taper with the Philly half on Sunday.  I’m not sure what to expect since I won’t be loading up like a normal race the day before.  I’ll know pretty quickly how the legs respond.

Finally, I leave you with images from 9/11/2010.

Sunset from the promenade.

Sunset and Lady Liberty under a reddish sky

The NY Skyline with the towers of light

Love the clouds in this one.

There’s more but these are a few of my favorites:)  have a great week everyone!

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