Archive for the ‘nyc’ Category

What does it mean????

Each marathon has its own purpose.  There’s something special to it.  So what about NYC Marathon 2010?  What makes it stand out?  Of course NYC  is the first marathon I’ve ever done and what really started this whole run up to now.  It’s funny to look back now.  In 2004 it was the springboard to finding my old team and now it looks to be a springboard to the next chapter in my racing life.

I guess in a way everything has come full circle. I’ve met a lot of people in those six years,  It’s pretty awesome how the year of 30 will end in my home base.  I’d like to say I’ve got the hang of this but holy schnikes, I’m still a nervous wreck.  Dare I say even more than pre-Pikes Peak?!  It’s weird.  Exciting.  Perhaps it’s the fact I actually tapered for this race too (hello, bouncing off the walls). My last run was  my bread and butter route : the bridges route.  This is it kids.  Without further ado, I’d like to throw out a few thank yous to those that helped me get my butt to the starting line this weekend.

Legs.  Thank you for putting up with me for the past 11 months.  You tried to cry a bit in between but overall held up well.  Time for one last throw down this weekend.

The AM Crew – ES & MP – thank you ladies for meeting me for bridges and east river runs bright ‘n early (well not so bright anymore – where is the sun?).  I always looked forward to these runs and generally made the day much more tolerable.  Not to mention the company is always delightful:)

The Tuesday Speed Crew – Thanks guys!  It’s been awesome to have a group of people to train along with as well as whine with during core.  Special shout out to Steph – she was my speed equivalent most nights.

SpeedySasquatch – THANK YOU for being out there to support all of us.  Your generosity is not lost on me and I can’t wait to see you at mile 14.  Even if the core part would get painful, you have your reasons to do all of it.  I still remember doing that first workout way back when – everyone else went for a general run except for 3 of us to endure the first of many speed workouts:)

The twitter and blogger folks – you know who you are.  Each of you have brightened my day and kept me focused towards the goal of November 7.  Some of you have become real life friends but to those that are on the screen your importance is not lost.

Last but certainly not least, runnin’ around uptown.  Waaaaaaaay back when we were freezing our butts off in the winter, we made a pact that come November 7th we would run 26.2 together.  We’ve endured the heat of the summer with long runs in the city, down in Philly, the trails in NJ, the bridges…and everything else in between.  So I guess now it’s just 26.2 more?  Let’s hope we don’t hate eachother after this;-) ha.

It’s game time folks (orange bib 16753 if anyone cares).  All that’s left is a day and it’s time for a little jaunt through the GREATEST city in the world.  Let’s do this!  See you at the finish line!

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5 bridges

For those that have had the honor of running with me you know when I do my long runs they are anything but ordinary.  Anyone can go run loops of Central Park or run along the West Side Highway.  Ha.  I go all out in plotting routes to include varying routes and degrees of difficulty.  Today as I set my sights on the final 20 miler of 2010 (is it true? No more marathons this year?) it was time to conquer the bridges.  As my blog name suggests, this 20 miler set out to conquer the bridges.  As an added bonus, the nor’easter left behind some rather gusty, blustery winds.  Fortunately for our crew we didn’t have enough time to do my original route to include a loop of Prospect Park too.  Oh boy!

Today AC and MP joined me on this journey.  It set off innocently enough as we headed east to bridge #1: the Queensboro aka TK’s bridge.  We hit every single light on the way to the bridge which made me comment on how I was glad we were reversing the route.  As we ran along Central Park South I thought about how I’d feel there in just 22 days!  I also noticed the slight incline.  Seriously NYC loves to throw in the inclines everywhere.

The whole run my legs seemed effortless to move.  After the Queensboro we maneuvered our way through Queens (harder than you think!) and headed onward over the Pulaski and into Brooklyn.  The smells of brunch in Greenpoint and Williamsburg made it tough to keep moving on towards our third bridge: Williamsburg.  Both AC and MP had never run over it – two cherries were popped, eh;)  The wind created some fun spots as it blew you silly and made us look more like cartoon characters trying to run and going nowhere (think Scooby Doo).

Dodging the tourists on the Bowery we headed towards the Manhattan Bridge to go to Brooklyn and returned the favor by taking the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan.  The Brooklyn Bridge was a true frogger event between tourons, the Breast Cancer walk and bikes.  I nearly took out two or three people with a bike coming close to taking me out.  The usual experience midday on a weekend.  Note to those looking to run over a bridge to Brooklyn: take the Manhattan if you can, it’s pretty empty.

remember this game? I was living in it!

The last section of the run was the windiest.  There was absolutely no protection from the water with the wind directly hitting us for about 10 miles. It was brutal but one of those things you know that will come in handy on race day.  I’ve always held onto runs that were tough and make me dig a little deeper.  For Boston, it was that brutal February morning I ran 20 on icy roads.  As we hit the WSH, I wanted to throw down some MP miles.  The last 4 turned into 8:20-8:30 pace (a little slower) but given the wind issues I’ll take it.  Legs felt amazing and honestly as I sit here tonight they feel really good.
Here’s the route:
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

With 3 weeks to go, I have to say I’m encouraged.  I think things are coming together at the right time and hopefully this translates to peaking on race day.  I feel like something just started to click after that little dry spot.  Hard to believe but this is my last 20 miler of 2010 (out of oh so many!).  The plan now is to stay healthy, keep the legs fresh, eat sensibly and prepare mentally for November 7th.  After 8 encounters with 26.2, the mental aspect is so unbelievably large (this is a post for another day).

Tomorrow I’ll head out for an easy recovery run in the park by my parents’ house where fall foliage is starting to show. 

Do you enjoy varying your routes?  Even if it’s a short run do you try to mix it up?

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Exit crankiness

I felt like this before the workout

Sometimes the best workouts stem from when you least want to be there. Ever feel that?

Last night as I was finishing up work for the day, thoughts of going home, throwing on sweats and having a beer entered my head. My energy was depleted and I felt absolutely fatigued. Yet the other side of me kept yelling “November 7!” and “you know you’ll feel better”. The mind is powerful. Even going to the subway I thought about hopping the subway and heading home.

What happened? With @SpeedySasquatch tapering for Chicago (woohoo! Kill it!), the workout wasn’t too rigorous. 6×800. I knew it’d still be tough on tired legs. Tired legs that had not rested in 5 days. Apparently, they’re still speedy and faster?

6×800 (or .52 on the great lawn track)

1. 3:31  6:45 pace

2. 3:29  6:41

3. 3:30 6:43

4. 3:30 6:43

5. 3:28  6:40

6. 3:26  6:36

Woah. Where did this come from? I was pretty excited to throw this down on tired legs and none of my other pacing buddies around for this workout.  The last time we did this I ran a good 4-5 seconds slower.  I definitely like the consistency.  It tells me I wasn’t running an unreasonable pace and hey, I may actually be getting faster.

It’s encouraging and a good shot in the legs to make that final push to November 7th.  I finished feeling like below.

Finally, it’s that time again!  Phillies!!! It’s time to bring out the October magic boys!!  Let’s go!  Bring the World Championship back to Philly!  Sleep may be an issue in the next month…

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Welcome back speedy legs

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve tried to find my speed.  It had gone MIA over the summer as it’s been all about endurance running with minimal  speed work.  This brings us to now.  I’m changing my approach to NYCM slightly than my usual plan.  I’m really trying to incorporate a little more speed and a couple less long runs.  I know the endurance is there!

So that brings me to this week.  Tuesday night I decided to run home after a super long day at the office.  7:40pm I packed up my stuff and headed out the door for home.  The rain had just stopped and the sky  had an orange glow to it with the sun set already.  I love the run home as I get to run away from midtown, not to it!  I intended to just do a normal run but after a cyclist decided to share his feelings with me for no particular reason I guess it energized me.  I arrived home 6.2 miles later realizing I had just run a sub 8 pace (6.24 miles/48:38).  Oops.  I didn’t feel bad but intended to do speed work on Tuesday with the race on Sunday.

Last night was “official” speed work with @SpeedySasquatch.  The assignment? 6 x 800 around the Great Lawn Oval (actually .52).  For me, I wanted to hit 3:35-3:38 for .5 so I figured around 3:38 was fine for today.  As I told my friend ES, famous last words.  What happened?  Pacemaster has returned!  As well as the legs!

Time Pace
1 3:36 6:55
2 3:33 6:49
3 3:34 6:51
4 3:34 6:51
5 3:34 6:51 (pacemaster anyone?)
6 3:28 6:40 (Helllooooo!)

Post speed of course we did the usual core with the mosquitos. Sigh.  Apparently they were very hungry!  As was I…I woke up ready to eat everything in sight!

Sunday brings a return to the racing world.  Let’s see how the legs respond.  Ultimately it’s just another step in the march towards November 7th.  I’m excited.  After last year, who knows what will happen?

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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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Falling back in love

Leaving Colorado was sad for me. It was a vacation that left me longing to go back and made coming back to the insanity that is NYC very tough. I’m sure it didn’t help that it was 95 degrees and humid! However, my mission this long weekend? Find that spark again!

Thank you, NYC for giving me this past weekend to chew on. I needed every second to saturate me with your charm. I needed it to believe in you and why I’m here.

So what did it? I think it was a combination of things.  For one, having it feel more like september than august. It certainly was a welcome addition to sleep with the windows open and not sweat like I’m out on a 20 mile run walking out the door.

Travel the boroughs. I made it to 4 boroughs and Westchester without the assistance of a car!  I did consider taking the ferry to Staten Island but there just wasn’t enough time.

Kayaking in the NY Harbor

A school in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Friends time! I was able to catch up with several friends this weekend. From running to margaritas at boat basin to running in Van Cortlandt I enjoyed every second.

Running. Duh. Even with the alarm snafu, it was a delightful 18 catching up in my outdoor office:) Sunday meant VCP and a little encounter with the trail:)

I make it up and down a 14,000+ ft mountain and can't make it on a mostly flat trail!

Random. I kayaked with the NY Harbor at my fingertips. All I could do was smile as I realized, “yep, this is home.” It continued as I wandered over to Red Hook for the sake of a delicious bakery and even more gorgeous views of NYC.

Grasshopper brownie from Baked in Red Hook!

Statue of Liberty from Red Hook

This is what it’s about. Not just one thing but everything together makes NYC so special. We’ll have our spats but overall I really do love you NY. Just keep reminding me! 🙂

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18 before 10am

A few months ago I created a google calendar of NYCM long runs for runnin’ around uptown and I. I bring this up because the surprise was on me when I realized today had us scheduled for 18. Who the heck made this decision? Ohhh waiiiit…;)

Brings us to this weekend. Uptown delayed her departure to the shore in order to get the long run in. Awesome. I definitely wanted company for a 16-18 miler! She asked if we could start early as in before the sun made an appearance. Not a problem. 6am is early but having company is worth it! I’m always on time…

Oh, this morning. I woke up at 430 first and realized ooh 40 more blissful minutes. Then I felt like I’d been sleeping a while. Sure enough the clock read 550am!! Crap. I was supposed to be at Columbus Circle in 10 minutes. I ran around my apartment turning it into a resemblance of a war zone in minutes. Out the door at 555, in the subway at 557 only to see the train whiz by. Argh. Out to another train and text to notify that all is ok. Get to the other train line only to see another train whiz on by. 6:10 now. Finally a train arrives at 6:20 and I’m up to columbus circle at 6:40 having no food in my stomach and not even emptying my bladder! Oy. Disaster right?

So after a quick visit to the men’s room in the time warner center (yep, that’s right the women’s was locked!) It was time to conquer 18!  Aren’t you jealous you weren’t there to run with me;)

Once we started the run immediately commenced into a standard LSD where the legs just rolled along and the conversation helped make the miles fly by.  Before we knew it, we were down at Battery Park City where we passed @dnorton.  Then around the tip by the eyeball statues (sorry but they DO NOT look like eyeballs!) to the Brooklyn Bridge.  My legs felt great! We ran by @lady_southpaw on the Brooklyn Bridge.  The next part took us through the industrial part of Brooklyn, my typical tempo route.

Next up, we passed through Williamsburg and Greenpoint.  Before hitting the Pulaski Bridge, we crossed a road with a stop sign and no car stopped.  At this point a fat, bald man started yelling out of his SUV that we should stop.  This is as he was still pulling to the intersection at the stop sign!  Idiot.  So we continue running and stop at a STOP LIGHT.   This is when he pulls into a gas station and continues to yell at us! Dude, get over yourself!  When we were a little further from him we commented that he wouldn’t be able to run this far.  Yeah, we’re mean.  Oops.

Next up: Queens.  My empty stomach was getting RUNNNGRY.  AC had mentioned the swedish bakery that we’d end at with UNBELIEVABLE cream puffs.  The buildup was extreme.  As we began our ascent on the Queensboro we passed an Orthodox man probably on his way home from synagogue.  After we passed him, he started running.  I commented “and this is what I attract.”  This drew a laugh;)

He caught up to us again on the Manhattan side as we reached several red lights crossing town.  He commented it took him 17 minutes to get across the bridge.  Sigh.  Really.  This is the best I can do in NYC?  *doh* hehe.  Finally we were able to break free as there’s no traffic lights from Central Park South to our finish line, the Swedish Bakery:)  Sadly the bakery didn’t sell the cream puffs we salivated over for the last 6 miles:(  Sad. We settled on different pastries though:)  And can I say I think it’s ridiculous that it costs $2 for a bottle of water on the street.  Ridiculous!

Totals: 18.2 miles
Time: 2:41:54/8:53 min/mile
Course: was able to get in a couple of key components I’ll face on November 7 – the Pulaski Bridge and Queensboro – both at about the same point as in the marathon

The route - a small tour of NYC

Quality run with good company.  This run was about the miles not pace – I’m planning to get in a couple harder runs in before the Philly Half in a couple weeks. 

Anyone else running the Philly half (or the Rock ‘n Roll Philly Half Marathon – gag me)?

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Cab ride from hell

Generally you get a cabbie that’s either a) incompetent or b) rude. My ride home from LGA hit the jackpot: both.

Where to begin.
Upon entering the cab, I was asked for the address at which point he responded “how do I get there.” Oh boy. I’ve dealt with this before especially upon moving to Brooklyn. I wrote down his medallion number, license and name. Little did I know…

We start driving and he begins talking on his hands free device. This is fine and good but a no-no in the cabbie rules. Normally I don’t care but this was strike 2.  Stress building.

We’re heading over on the BQE to Brooklyn and I notice a GIANT sign stating “heavy delays to Mcguiness Blvd 2 lanes blocked.” This is a good 3 miles where we were in slow-moving traffic.

At this point, the cabbie was in the left lane. He didn’t bother to move over to get off at an exit and continued gabbing on the phone. My normal calm demeanor was leaving. I asked him about getting off and taking side streets. His response? I didn’t see a sign.  I don’t know the area do you? I respond “well, actually that’s your job.” He laughed and said how he knew the roads. Right buddy.

At this point, the BQE was turning into a parking lot. My vacation glow was dimming.  Realizing we were in trouble I brought up getting off and he started yelling back at me! Yikes.  Being I was in the middle of the BQE, I couldn’t exit stage left. All I could see was cars and trucks as far as I could see. Frustration. Anger. Oh, New York. You’re supposed to show me love!  I was missing the cool, calm mountains of Colorado.

I could tell he was frustrated but it’s hard for me to feel for him! We sat for over ONE HOUR. I was able to take pictures and feel the steam coming out of my ears. I wanted out of that cab in the worst way!

Help me! Cars as far as the eye can see...

Finally, we break free and he starts to speed down the BQE proceeding to ask me for directions! I navigate him through the streets and to my building.

I pay. No tip. Considering it cost me more money and unbelievable stress this was hardly a service! At this point I notice he doesn’t get out to help me with my suitcase and the trunk is not popped open!

I leave the passenger door open until I hear the trunk pop open. I head back taking the huge suitcase out myself.  As soon as I take the suitcase out on the street he speeds away. He didn’t even wait to see if I was out-of-the-way before speeding off. I was furious!

Upon entering my 5000 degree apartment, I called 311 and reported him. I’ve never done that before but this was not even a question. Never have I experienced such a horrendous ride in my NYC life.

The NYC skyline from the BQE. Get me home!

Welcome back. NYC sure has a funny sense of humor;)  My goal this weekend?  Find my NYC mojo again.  This week has done its best imitation of I hate NY.  Reality is such a buzzkill;-)

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Free Agent

This is something that has been in the works  and I’ve given it ample thought: I am no longer running for the running club: The Reservoir Dogs.

It’s been a great 5 1/2 yrs and I’m thankful for everything the team has given me. Without TRD, I’m not sure I’d still be a resident of NYC. I’ve met some great friends – some still here, some moving on. So many wonderful things.  I discovered runs for food, speedwork as well as general fun times around town.

I need a change. I’ve found myself hardly running with the team anymore. I rarely attend any social functions. There’s no coached speed work which I really want to use to continue to improve. I have friends but now there are so many people who I don’t know when I do attend runs. And finally, when I did tell close friends of my decision it was a huge monkey off my back. While emotional, I know that since it felt that way, I followed my heart.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to grow and embrace change.

I think the vacation was a great time for me to put it all in perspective. I look at it as a new horizon – a new beginning.  I think it’s good to mix up the recipe now and then. After all my year of 30 has certainly been anything but routine.

So with that, I’ve stripped my affiliation for NYCM and am officially a free agent. For now, I’ll run with friends and enjoy. I need to figure out what the right fit is for me.

So thank you TRD. I’ll still cheer for you at races and remain friends. You’ve given me so much; it’s the least I can do. It certainly has been a fun ride.

The plan is to be a free agent through the rest of the year and go from there. I’d like to research a bit and find a club that fits running and social needs.  So I guess follow along on my journey…

Team Champs 2009

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Time to get serious

With less than 7 weeks to go til Voldemort, this weekend was a great chance to put in some serious mileage. My key component to training, besides hills, has been keeping up the fitness level and time/effort on my legs. I’ve been putting in back to back long runs (this week 15+10) to give the effect of tired legs.

I have to say I’m so lucky a) I get to do all these runs and b) have such amazing people to help me get through. Nyflygirl and All that matters is what makes you happy joined me Saturday for 15. I took them on their inaugural run through the Palisades trails. I forewarned about some sharp elevation changes;). It is a true quad burning experience not meant for the weak. It’s enough to humble any runner but man do I love it!!  We finished up down the west side highway. I know strength has formed as I felt like I could have run to Brooklyn at that point!  However, our social coordinator, flygirl guided us to Chelsea brewery for burgers and beer! Have I mentioned I’m frigging hungry 24/7 now?! Runnnnnngry!


Post-run refreshments at the brewery

My 4th of July run was fairly tame – you can read about that one here. My 4th was spent with friends, food, and fireworks:)

The food spread. There also was BBQ chicken skewers:) mmm

Today was a run rest day. But…that is no excuse to waste a workout day! I joined Allen and one of his coworkers for a bike ride to nyack. For those that don’t know, it’s a well known bike route for cyclists in NYC. Since its a good 13 miles to the gwb from brooklyn I opted to take the subway – a) it was going to be 90+ day b) my first true ride with others. What a blast! I was able to cruise down the hills and my quads enjoyed the nasty uphill on the way back:)  Good times!


Enjoying a muffin at Runcible Spoon before heading home to the steam bath of NYC

Now it’s back to work tomorrow.  Hope everyone is finding a way to stay cool;-)

Coming up next?  Review of the book  “Running Dark.”

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