Monthly Archives: April 2010

Tapering and Cheescake

It’s taper week! which means less exercise and a huge appetite. ugh. This is supposed to be the week of recovery for you body. A chance for your body to catch it’s breath before the race. Tapering is always frustrating for runners, especially when you’ve just spent all this effort training and building up. Well it’s been a little extra frustrating for me because for some reason, this week of ease has somehow resulted in the pain returning to my shins. The worst was Wednesday night. It’s gone down a bit, but it’s still bothersome. I just have to suck it up.

I’ve also been eating like crazy. Which is fine when you’re burning a gazillion calories a day. But this week I haven’t been working out as much so it doesn’t quite feel like anything is cancelling each other out. Even a coworker commented on my eating habits as I was piling chicken onto my plate at a baby shower the other night. When I told her I had a race Sunday she looked relieved. Only one pregnant woman was in the room, and it wasn’t me.

Pete is so supportive, which is why he brought me home this lovely dessert last night from his restaurant. I’ve never been a big cheesecake fan until I tried theirs. Mmmmnn. And he brought fresh fruit. AND he added some sour patch kids on the side. My favorite :-)

We’re heading to Pittsburgh for the marathon first thing in the morning. Stopping at his parents first to drop the Fox off and then heading to the expo where I plan to get my shins taped up (KTTape Booth). Pete’s family is so wonderful and supportive of me as well. I was thrilled to get an email from his mom this morning asking if I thought chicken tetrazzini, pasta, salad and my choice of dessert would be an ok dinner Saturday. Sounds perfect to me. As for marathon morning, well they’re calling for rain, possible T-storms, and higher temps. I’m trying not to worry or think about it too much. Wish me luck!

Wine, cheesecake, fresh fruit, and sour patch

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Smiley Cookie

So the Pittsburgh Marathon is a week from today, and there are a lot of reasons why I’m running: to compete with myself, body and mind; seek accomplishment for all of my mishaps – my sense of purging. It’ll also be a welcome for me to my new city (yes I finally said it. We’re moving to the ‘burgh!). But there’s another big reason: to get my Smiley cookie.

“Huh?” You must be thinking. Let me back up to last year when I ran the half in Pittsburgh. After a hard run I sometimes go into a runners daze. It’s almost as if I’m a little drunk. My mind gets cloudy and I don’t always think straight. Well last year, right after I came over the finish line I was handed the tinfoil-like wrap, water (I grabbed 2 cups – I was thirsty), then a banana, and then a Smiley cookie. If you’re familiar with Pittsburgh then I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the Smiley cookie. If you aren’t, well it’s really just a simple sugar cookie with a smiley face on it. But Pittsburgh takes their cookies seriously (just go to a Pittsburgh wedding and take a look at the cookie table).

Well as I’m walking along, with my hands and arms piling up with all these goodies, I’m beginning to realize that Pete and I planned so much about how to get to the race that we totally neglected coming up with a plan of where to meet up afterwards. My mind was trying to think of what to do, how to find him, what he was wearing, but the runner’s fog was taking over. Next thing I know I’ve come to the end of the line. I was met by a “green” booth operated by a very nice woman who said “Paper,” “Banana peels,” and “Trash” as she pointed to each garbage can designated to those items. I looked at her blankly. I was trying to keep the wrap over my shoulders while holding all of my items. I just stood there, trying to figure out my next move. She repeated herself, “Paper, bananas and trash go right here sweetie.” I can’t explain why I did what I did next. I truly can’t. I walked in front of the can designated for banana waste, leaned over, dropped my Smiley cookie in the bin and mumbled, “This is for the food”. Before she could give me a weird look (which I’m sure she did) I quickly walked off.

I wandered around for a little while before a very nice police officer approached me and asked if I wanted to use her cell phone to call my family. Thankfully Pete answered, and we were finally able to rendezvous. Pete gave me a big hug and a big “Congratulations”. I mumbled that I threw away my Smiley cookie. “Huh?” he said. I had to repeat myself a few times before he recognized the funk I was in. And then he laughed. Of course. We went to Eat ‘N Park up in North Park after the race, and Pete offered to buy me a Smiley cookie. But I felt like I couldn’t accept. Like I really needed to earn another one.

Pete said to me a few weeks ago, “You know, if someone in Pittsburgh wants a Smiley cookie they can usually just go down the street and get one for $1.25. Only you would pay a $65 entry fee to a race, spend six months of your life training in the rain and snow, and then wake up at 5am to run a crazy distance just to get a cookie. You’re really special, Ror.” That I am!

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Race Photos and Sunday Dinner

Race photos are never the best, but they’re fun nonetheless.  Runners World had a funny blog post about them a few months ago.  I’ll have to go back and try to find it.  Well Cherry Blossom photos are available, but it looks like they only captured one of me.  I could have sworn I saw that camera multiple times, especially at the end, but oh well.

I ran 12 miles yesterday.  That went well.  And directly before I went to an “Injury Prevention Clinic” which was really more like a free 5 min consultation/advertisment for a particular sports doctor/facility.  After going through everything that I do to control my shin pain, he told me “well it looks like you’re doing everything already.” Duh.  He did suggest Active Release Techniques (ART) which is something that I would possibly be interested in if I could pull together the money.  And I need to do more research first.  He was trying to tell me to start therapy now before Pittsburgh half in two weeks.  Yeah, probably not. 

I know this isn’t a foodie blog…trust me, it would be pretty boring if it was.  But I thought I’d share my dinner tonight because I was quite proud.  Fresh veggies + steak = kabobs! I was going to broil it but didn’t trust myself so I just stuck it in a pan instead.  It worked just fine.

Last thing: Good luck to everyone running in Boston tomorrow!!!

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Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Part II

Continued…

I was so shocked to see my friend that I just sort of stood there dumbfounded for a moment.  Out of thousands of runners the two of us ended up right next to each other.  I usually like to keep my intense focus, but chatting with her and catching up was fantastic and probably loosened me up.  She and I go back very far – her parents were my parents’ first friends when we moved from Brooklyn.  We’ve known each other for over 20 years and been through many of life’s twists and turns but as does happen when people move away, we fell out of touch.  After sharing the good news of our mutual friend’s very recent engagement the line of runners began to move and the race was on.

My friend had told me she had never run 10 miles before and was shooting at an average 9:30 min/mi pace, and we figured we would lose each other pretty quickly in the race, but that girl impressed me; staying at my side until a little after mile 8 and finishing a strong 1:25:00.  For her first race, I hope she’s proud of herself because I sure am.

As for myself, I probably went out too strong.  I know it’s a “rookie” mistake, but I’ve actually never gone out too strong before.  There’s a first time for everything.  The day was absolutely gorgeous, the course runs through one of my favorite areas of the city – East Potomac Park (where I would end up spending the rest of my afternoon and evening hanging out with friends at the Haines Point golf course while Pete played 9 holes.)

I didn’t have much of a strategy going in – which bothered me a bit – but it worked out because I ended up playing some competitive games that got me through to the end.  I “raced” my friend, and even though it really didn’t matter who crossed the finish line first, in the moment it helps me to create a goal and fixate on it.

I hit a hard patch around 7 miles.  Both of my legs were taped up but they started to get tired.  It didn’t help much that this was the part of the course where the road narrows and the crowds around you get much tighter and instead of being able to relax your body you instead have to navigate around people.  But by the last mile I was ready to push it, and that’s exactly what I did.  My last 200 meters I had kicked it up to a little more than a 6:00 min/mi pace and I’m sure that the photo taken of me at the finish line will be anything but flattering.  Red faced, out of breath and sweaty.  That’s what makes an attractive girl (rolling eyes).

My one complaint – and this is really the only one because I really enjoyed the race – was that there was no water set up directly when you crossed the line and that you instead had to make quite the hike to find some.  Volunteers would yell “water! Gatorade!” and point ambiguously, but it took way too long to figure out where we were supposed to be going.

Other than that, the race was fantastic.  I’m sort of freaking out that I have to do another one now in 2 weeks and run even further.  But I’m sure I’ll be fine.  My Garmin clocked me at 10.09 miles with a time of 1:23:32, but my “unofficial” time from the Cherry Blossom website puts me at 1:24:18.  I’m happy either way, and this is definitely a race I would like to run again.

At home after the race

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Cherry Blossom 10 Miler- Part 1

I ran the Cherry Blssom 10 miler this past Sunday.  And it was amazing! I finished in 1:24:18 and am more than thrilled.  But first, a GIANT thank you to Lauren who transfered her bib to me.  I’m so hapy I was able to run and hopefully next year we’ll be able to race together.

I’ve had a pretty hectic week – lots of travel.  Since I was in Pittsburgh, I had planned on driving my mother to the airport so she could fly home to NY on Saturday morning and then I would head back to DC.  But breakfast went longer than planned and I started to worry that I wouldn’t make it back in time for the expo so Pete was nice enough to take my mother to the airport so that I could drive straight home.  Which worked out really well since Pete got home to Bethesda around 5pm, and I was able to go pick up my bib and t-shirt.

Saturday night I packed on the carbs.  I love eating the night before the race.  We made angel hair pasta with tomato sauce, garlic bread, and green beans.

I tried to go to bed early that night, but if anyone knows me they know I’ve got my sleep issues.  I went to sleep around 12:30, and woke up every hour on the hour.  It didn’t help that Pete was up until 4 am.  Which means Fox was up too.  We’re such night owls here.  Well I was out of bed at 5:20am, and since I laid out everything I needed the night before I got ready quickly.  Since Pete’s coming to the Pittsburgh Marathon in a few weeks he was off the hook for Cherry Blossom.  His sole responsibility was taking my picture (while he was half asleep in bed) before I left the house.

5:55 a.m. pre-race

I had planned on meeting up with my running group beforehand, but it was a bit chaotic once I stepped off the metro and I had a hard enough time finding the baggage check tent so it was pretty much out of the question to find my group.  Instead I settled into my Orange sectioned area and went into total focus mode.  I’ve competed in sporting events enough in my life to know how to go into a zone where you feel like you are the only person around.  So imagine my surprise when, in the middle of my meditation, I hear “Rory?” and turn to my left to see my childhood best friend – a girl who I haven’t seen in years!

To be continued….

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‘Twas the Night Before Cherry Blossom 10 miler

The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is tomorrow morning and I’m getting really excited. Despite driving from Pittsburgh to DC this morning, then having to get on the metro immediately to pick up my bib at the expo downtown, I am not tired and it looks as if my goal of being in bed by 10:30pm is going down the drain. This always tends to happen on the eve of a race. And as I try to remind myself, I can always sleep tomorrow afternoon.

Wish me luck! Lucky bib# 11206

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