Tag Archives: Cherry Blossom 10 miler

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 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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The Difference a Year Makes

I find that swimming is a good place to think, and so Thursday night, while doing my weekly laps in the pool, I thought to myself “wow, I’m such a better runner now than I was last year when I ran my first half”.  That thought surprised me though.  Big time.  Because for the last few weeks I’ve quietly doubted how I’m going to be able to run not one, but two big races within three weeks of each other, when I’ve hardly trained.  The cold hard truth is that I’ve never actually fully recovered from my injury last June.  Just when I was on the brink of getting back into the groove of things, I got hurt again.  For years I ran three miles a day, everyday.  Not fast.  Not particularly well.  But consistently and with no problems whatsoever.  I even ran in the same shoes for years.  When I decided to step up and take running a little more seriously, I was running 5-6 days a week, and a lot more miles.  You mull over what the cause of my demise was, but really it doesn’t matter.  I’ve changed my habits.  A lot.  So what is causing these conflicting thoughts on my abilities?
 
While training for my half last year I was all over my training plan; intervals, hills, long runs, tempos.  You name it.  I did it.  You had to force me to take a rest day.  And now?  For the past few weeks I’m running maybe twice a week.  Three times is a lot.  Four is in the distant future.  And anything above five seems impossible.  How I used to run every day is beyond me.  Days in between runs are literally Recovery Days.  My legs need time to heal.  So what makes me think that I can run a 10mile race and then quickly follow it up with a half?  And really, what made me think in the pool that I was actually a better runner than last year?
 
Experience.  I’ve spent these last few months in recovery learning about my body, and learning about the best ways of conditioning.  It’s not just about running.  My running partner the other night said to me, “I think being a runner makes you a better swimmer, but swimming doesn’t really make you a better runner.”  I nodded, and wanted to respond, but I was getting a little bit tired and couldn’t garner the energy to talk.  So I’ll respond now: I think I disagree.  I see where he was coming from, but I think the endurance aspect of swimming has an important impact on my running.  And of course it’s easy on my legs, which always helps my running 😉
 
Cycling, not to brag or anything, has done absolute wonders to my thighs. My legs haven’t been this defined and toned since my competitive riding days.  In fact, they might be even more toned now.  The best part about the stationary cycling that I do is that I get to concentrate on the muscle above my knee, which in turns protects my knees from the heavy impact and beatings they receive from my running.
 
And pilates.  Aside from strengthening my core, I’ve increased my flexibility (key for runners who are known for not being so flexible) and learned a lot of new stretches that will hopefully help prevent me from future injuries.  Yes I subscribe to that belief.  I know many who do not, but I do.
 
And the truth is that the numbers show I’m actually a much stronger runner.  I hate going by numbers, and I really don’t want to jinx myself here.  But Tuesday night I ran 6.2 miles at an average of 8:19 min/mile pace.  Yes, I know, I probably ran too fast for a nice evening jog, but the conversation was good and I wanted to keep up.  Point is, the run ended, I was tired, but I was fine.  Last year, probably around this time I ran my first 6 miles.  In a little over an hour.  And I thought it was the end of the world.   

I may not be running as much as I was, but I’m stronger; physically and mentally.  I play the head games.  I work through the pain.  I know my rhythm and my feet.  I have so much more under my belt, and I have so much more in my heart this time around, that I’m hoping it will count for something.  My race in Pittsburgh has taken on and entirely different meaning in the past few weeks.  It’s really no longer just a race.  So hopefully my legs will feel ok for Cherry Blossom and the Pittsburgh Marathon.  They don’t need to feel perfect.  Just as long as they can take me through the miles.  If there was no pain?  Well there’s no doubt I’d hit my PR and come very easily under 2:00:00.  But who knows.  It doesn’t mater too much anymore.  As long as I can run. 

Snowy...forever loved, our beloved Little Prince ❤

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In a Rocker State of Mind

I’ve got some pretty big decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. I’d prefer to be vague here for now, but I think that it will suffice to say that no matter what I choose it will be a life changing decision, but in very different ways. These past six days have taken me to a very similar state of mind that I was in leading up to my days at Simon’s Rock. Have I mentioned the Rock here before? Simon’s Rock College of Bard (now Bard College at Simon’s Rock) is a liberal arts college in the country that takes students after 10th or 11th grade, and was probably the most influential place I’ve ever been. I chose to leave high school after my junior year and go to college when I was 16. It’s definitely not a choice for everyone, and please spare the whole “omg, didn’t you miss not going to your prom?” Nope. Didn’t miss it at all. Didn’t even think about it in fact. I truly believe that going to the Rock was the best decision for me, but I know that I did not make the best decisions while there and that it has taken me all these years to truly appreciate and value the education and experience I got. There really was no possible way for me to predict what I would go through at the Rock when I was sitting in a parking lot with people I shouldn’t have been in a parking lot with, dreaming of my escape. The prospect of a school, full of people like me, was too intoxicating. I brushed off all criticisms, concerns and doubts and refused to take any of it into consideration; I was intent only on going. Here I am again, in a similar state because of the excitement I feel. I know that there is really no way for me to fully anticipate what is about to come my way. But this time I’m really intent on not fully giving in to my excitement. Intent on bringing a little skepticism in the picture, and trying – with all my might – to listen to the concerns this time around. I always wish I could go back to the Rock and do it all over again. I know exactly what I’d do differently, and what I’d do all over again. But I’m not in one of those movies where I get to go back in time so instead I get to do it all over again in a different way. (like a sideways world – sorry, had to make the Lost reference).

And on a very different note, had an awesome group run last night. Ran 10k at a great pace and my legs are feeling quite good today. These runs are really instrumental to my sanity. It’s a time to clear my head, push out my anger, and to think – and not think – all at the same time. So onto Cherry Blossom and the Pittsburgh Marathon.

The Arch at Simon's Rock

Bash Bish - a true gem of W. Mass

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