Saturday, August 6, 2011

What the hell am I doing?

It's been a while since my last entry, but I am proud to say that after months of slacking and training and slacking and training, I am back on track to quite literally "run this city" in 13 weeks. I'm scared, motivated, and excited for November to get here and continue my preparations for getting in shape to make it to the finish line.

My every day morning runs over the Bayonne Bridge have been extremely fruitful and gathering up the energy to push myself through climbing up such high elevations without losing focus. I'm just about ready for the Staten Island Half Marathon coming up in October, which will be the first and only official race I run before November.

I still have no idea what the hell I've gotten myself into, but I will definitely find out in just three short months when I begin my stomp onto the Verrazano!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nineteen Point Two to Go (Session 7)

Time: 1 Hour 8 Minutes (with a couple of two minute breaks here and there)
Distance: 7 Miles
Location: Silver Lake Park

No excuses. I did not run during the week. It's hard to work it into the schedule, and I can only work it in if I can wake up early enough and start my day with a run (until daylight begins to remain past 6pm).

I made a conscious decision to begin using my ipod again. I realize that running past a 1 hour time frame with nothing aside from my own thoughts to keep my mind preoccupied really is the most difficult part of running. And while I already knew that, it hadn't really hit me until I did away running with music. Even with the music however, the distance was not easy as it should have been, because of how quickly my mind became restless. I know I have to just suck it up and keep pushing, but knowing that it's going to get a lot worse before it gets any easier is just a sickening thought.

Post run: I'm good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Hills Have Lies (Session 6)

Time: 38 Minutes 23 Seconds
Distance: 4.14 Miles
Location: Clove Lakes Park

I lied. So much for that whole promise to go back to the 3x a week schedule... I hadn't completely taken into account the impending blizzard that would go on to white out the entire island. Needless to say, it's been over a week since I've run (bad). I really really will get back into the swing of things this week (Even though it's supposed to snow again tomorrow). I will figure something out, if I can't run outdoors without running in snow/slush/ice.

The slowdown in my training pace is starting to show. Even though CLP is far from flat ground, by my second mile I was already starting to feel winded (though that could have been attributed to the fact that my entire first mile was an uphill climb). However, the flat perfect ground of the track was obviously way too adaptable, so returning to the parks will be good for me. Once all the snow is gone, I may consider running through my neighborhood when/where traffic is light.

My head was out of sync as well, which I blame the cold for; and I'll be the first to admit, cold weather makes me lazy.

Post run: Normal sore/stiffness. Light knee ache, which wasn't as bad as my days on the track; which has also got me thinking that there is quite possibly a solid layer of concrete below which was causing all my knee damage to begin with. My next run shall take place on Wednesday (if the snow isn't too bad!). My Goal: Bring my distance back up to 6 in the park.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Slacker! (Session 5)

Time: 33 Minutes 28 Seconds
Distance: 4 Miles
Location: Central Park (NYRR Gridiron Classic)

Last year I ran my first race, the NYRR Gridiron Classic, for a distance of 4 miles in 38:50 (a 9:42 per mile pace). Today, I ran my second NYRR Gridiron Classic in 33:28 (a 8:22 per mile pace). In one year full of injuries, shortcomings, and bouts of laziness, I'm actually surprised that I've managed to kill a whole minute off my short distance pace times. Not that they really matter in the grand scheme of things; I mean what is 4 miles next to 26? I'm not trying to kid myself into believing that I'll be able to run that same 8:22 on Marathon day. But most importantly, it is motivation on the possibilities of improvement.

Just about this time last year, I had never even considered running 8 more races to quality for guaranteed Marathon entry. Hell last year, I even remember standing in the cold before the race began, wearing my amateur makeshift "running clothes"; anxious and freezing my ass off, wondering how in the world I was even going to finish when I'd never run outdoors, or on hills, or while freezing to death. Less than 40 minutes later, it was all over; and I was hooked.

Today's run was cool! And by cool, I mean coooool. It was amazing too! But mostly cooooooooool. A comment was made by Mary Wittenberg during open announcements, that she could litter ally see the mist from our body heat rising from the crowd (yeah, thats not so cool...). Not that it's new to me, but after not running hills for so long, the course was actually kind of tough to keep pace. I opted out of wearing the heart rate monitor today because I wanted a good time, so it probably didn't have to be as tough had I worn it, but being back out in that race environment got me thinking: "I'm back, bitches! And I'm coming after your Marathon this year, so bring on as many hills as you've got!" as I charged as fast as I could to the finish line.

Post Race: Not a single ache, or a single pain. My knees were completely fine? I don't know why, but I'm not going to question it. I said I wouldn't use school as an excuse not to run, so I won't. I went a whole week without running up until this morning, but I will get back to my 3x a week schedule starting with today. That's a promise, I'm determined to keep.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Am I there yet? (Session 4)

Time: 60 Minutes
Distance: 6.16
Location: College of Staten Island Track

I don't know if it were due to the fact that I haven't run since Tuesday, the tediousness of running on the track, or the length of time running; but I felt completely off today. I felt just kind of bored, which happens from time to time with the distance and amount of time training, but it's hard to keep motivated or focused while feeling bored. Despite the boredom however, I still managed to remain on track (pun intended) and re-hit my 6 mile mark without too much effort. Despite that however, I think my days running on the track are numbered... if not completely over. I figure I'm past due to get back into the park scene to pound the pavement and rough up some hills.

Post run: The usual knee ache. Nuff' said about that. Next goal? I don't quite know yet. I'm thinking 6.5 and in a park. We'll see how my schedule works it out though. I started classes again last Thursday, and some professors are already kicking my ass.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Be the Turtle (Session 3)

Time: 51 Minutes
Distance: 5.1 Miles (5 Minute break after 1st mile)
Location: College of Staten Island Track

Only two days after my last session and training is going smoothly. Disciplining myself is becoming much less tedious, and the urge to race against the clock is becoming much easier to ignore. I did have a slip on the track when I came across a fellow runner running at a faster pace than I, and I "unconsciously" (lies!) began to pick up my pace to keep up with him... right up until the mosquito-like annoyance of my heart rate monitor started to freak out. That quickly snapped me out of it, and I went back to my proper pace control. I know my speed will rise naturally as my distance increases, but old habits are hard to kill.

Post Run: These knee aches aren't getting any less bearable; fortunately the pain doesn't last long. I am aiming for a completely doable 6 miles next session. I'm also just about ready to depart from strictly training on the track.

Additionally: It is official! My guaranteed entry into the ING NYC 2010 Marathon has been accepted!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Gain, More Pain (Session 2)

Time: 40 Minutes, 30 Seconds
Distance: 4.1 Miles
Location: College of Staten Island Track

I had a larger gap of time between this and my last sessions than I'd have liked. The day following my previous session last week I began to feel a very sharp pain on the right side of my right ankle. It hurt mostly going up and down stairs, and walking on hard floors (most actively when I'd first wake up in the morning). It reminded me of a heel spur I had over a year ago. I probably could have run through it, but after the stress fracture I'm not feeling as bold as I used to; when it comes to brushing off potential injuries. The pain's subsided a great deal however, and hopefully won't return tomorrow!

My run was great. It's taking some time to get used to the heart rate monitor, as it seems to be slowing me down. Every time my heart beat reaches 185bpm the damn thing decides it wants to go nuts (basically indicating I need to slow down, before I burn out). It's definitely an adjustment from just going all out, and running as fast as I can, for as long as I can; before my body just crashes out on itself... Needless to say, the gadget is working as intended.

Post run: My knees haven't ached so bad in a long, long time... I'm hoping to up my distance to at least 4.5 (maybe 5) for next session, and also hoping that it doesn't take me a whole week to recover from today.

Also, I've signed up for the NYRR Gridiron Classic (4 Miles). It is the first race I ever ran, and will mark my 1 year anniversary into the world of racing. I've definitely got bittersweet memories of running it last year. Not only had it been my first race, but it had also been my first time ever running outdoors and in Central Park and up the damn hills in Central Park. When I'd finished I was starving, stressed, aching, and had a massive headache. Despite all that, I kept running.