Thursday, December 31, 2009

Part one of the last day of the year....

Headed up to Rockefeller State Park Preserve today to take in the natural wonders of all things outside this city. Okay, maybe that is a little strong. Just wanted to get the hell out...for a moment or two.

As soon as we were getting ready to go, the snow started coming down pretty hard which made us hesitate to head out of the city. But we decided to take a chance. And, my oh my, did the chance pay off.

The hubs & I were immediately left alone as H&R took off ahead of us & A&O decided to stay local. We ran for a few miles, walked/hiked for a few miles & really just took in the beauty of the park. Thank you Rockefeller family.

Distance: Maybe 5 or 6 miles
State of Mind: The great thing about the snow is using other peoples tracks to head you in the right direction

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Perfect day for a long run, really don't get many chances to run in the middle of the week like this. Props to S for setting up such a perfect group, although the girl to guy ratio was very poorly chosen.

To get our run in, we decided to stay in Brooklyn & head South to Coney Island. Really was a fantastic run, very chatty & I never really felt tired. Not sure if that is a good thing or bad.

When we got back to the park, I tried to push it for the last 2 or so miles although my plan called for betweeen 3-6 miles of tempo. It was too cold to ask so much from my body, but what I did fit in felt good.

As I challenge myself to plan for the future, I am just so thankful to have so many amazing people around me. Each & every person I run with is so honest, kind & passionate about life. It is a beautiful thing.

Distance: 17.2 miles
State of Mind: Maybe staying away from Manhattan is making me soft

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trying to take it easy today, I did a quick run at the end of a very very chilly day. When it's this cold, I am thankful for such amazing gear.

Distance: 3 miles
State of Mind: Okay, maybe there can be too much wind

Monday, December 28, 2009

My whole week is a little mixed up since I am off of work & celebrating christmas & new years in between what is supposed to be a hard, consistent week of training. Instead of an easy day today, I decided to get my speed workout in -- so I had enough rest time to get ready for the long run S has planned on Wed. But the speed workout didn't go as planned, I was so exhausted I only finished 2/3's of it. Now, with enough time passed, I wonder why I couldn't have held out & completed the workout. But at the time, I seriously thought my heart was going to explode.

Distance: 1.5 mile warmup, 2x1200's at 6:45 pace, 6x200's at 6:20 pace, 1 mile warmdown (didn't finish the last 2x1200)
State of Mind: I kind of felt like a drowning fish gasping for air

Sunday, December 27, 2009

To make up for yesterdays disapppointment, I headed out this morning to log in a few good miles. And boy oh boy, was it good. Such a crisp, warm day...I wouldn't have wanted anything more for a long run.

We ended up staying in Brooklyn & doing a nice route along the riverside parks & up the promenade. Just J, S & the new guy. Lots of talking, lots of beauty.

Distance: 12.2 miles
State of Mind: Feels so good...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a yucky day, I know I should get out there but I just can't make myself. Finally, I come up with the brilliant idea of getting on my bike (computrainer) & putting a few good miles. Feels so much better than sideways rain.

Distance: 50 minutes on the trainer
State of Mind: It sure feels awful not to get out for a run

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Met up with J & HM for an easy loop around the park. I had so much energy, I could have taken on a few more loops...but, as always, life gets in the way of my running. Had a very strange post-run conversation with the two gents...kind of went into a vortex of what it feels like to be in a long marriage.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Can my life take a different path or is this it?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

After a quick day at work, I headed to yoga practice at noon for a little pre-holiday cleansing. It was a level 2 class, which let me work on my form as I was pretty familiar with the pace/routines we undertook. Was able to hold a forearm (barely) & head stand for a few moments before losing complete control.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Calm...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Truthfully, I really didn't want to run tonight. I probably should listen to my body better, but I couldn't really think of the possibility of having the entire night to myself. So I joined the group for an easy run, nothing big...just a skeleton group of runners & G being mean to me as usual.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Pretty obvious

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If I could bottle the feeling I had during tonights run, I would. It was part pain, part determination & part pride.

Did the exact same workout as last Tuesday, only two changes: HM & G decided to join & we decided to go the opposite way for a little variety.

To be honest, the workout felt a little more manageable...probably because my body still remembered it from last week OR maybe it was because I gave in to my pride & just ran until I couldn't run anymore. The last few miles, I swear the only thing I had control of was my arms...and the only thing I could hear was my breath becoming more & more out of control.

And to top things off, it is so mentally hard (and somewhat nice) to watch your friends/teammates turn around to make sure you are okay. It doesn't get more exposed than that.

Distance: over 8 miles with 6 miles doing 3min pickup, 1 min recover, 2 min pickup
State of Mind: A little sickened (both physically & mentally)

Monday, December 21, 2009

There is something so magical about a large piece of property in the middle of a huge city...especially when there are so few people in it. Running with HM & N tonight, I felt like we could have been anywhere in the world...maybe just not New York City.

Running will definitely pull me through the holidays, something I am very thankful for.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Watch out the grey puddles that look like sidewalk

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It can't get much better than waking up to a foot of snow. Seriously, so beautiful. Even for dirty Brooklyn. Getting up to the park was a lot more challenging than expected, literally making my way through blocks that no person had come through since late last night. But once I got to the park & a saw the group agathering...I just knew we were in for a fun time. Even though I literally watched my step each of the way, I found the run exhilarating & perfect.

Distance: over 8 miles
State of Mind: My tune is changing

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My god, today's run was rough. I was supposed to do 16 with some pickups at the end...but I just ran until I couldn't anymore. And it simply wasn't long enough. But I don't think that's the point, because at the end of the day I pushed myself hard & felt the pain that I crave so often. And the beautiful thing was, I felt like I ran with so many different runners....which was so inspiring.

After meeting withe group & doing a moderate paced run from the park across Brooklyn & Manhattan bridge, I made my way back to the park & did an outside loop with 10 1-minute pickups. It was definitely challenging, tiring myself out very very quickly.

Distance: 14.25 miles
State of Mind: I honestly don't think my core body temp rose once during the run

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Practicing grace...well, that is what we were pursuing tonight. It started with a walking meditation that I couldn't quite grasp & it evolved into feeling, believing, remembering each movement we made for the next two hours or so. It was an intense class, but I think I got one step closer to cracking my inversion issue...which made it all worth it. Walked away with one statement in my mind, there is a big difference between 'doing yoga' & 'being yoga'.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: So thankful, think I am finally moving on...finally

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cold, dark, windy night of running with the group tonight. Felt good taking it easy, even though my core temp felt like it never rose. Makes me miss Santa Barbara.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: I will take the cold, so long as the snow/rain doesn't come

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From the salt crusted on my face, I knew that tonight's workout definitely worked me. Following her program, R & I did 6 miles of pick-ups (3 min hard, 1 min recover, 2 min hard X 6) around at the park. Although I am sure my pace varied throughout the 6 miles, I truthfully ran with heart out. Each one killed just as much as the last.

Distance: 8.5 miles
State of Mind: If this is what it takes...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lately, I do whatever is necessary to get out of my head. And the best way that I have found so far is to remove myself to running. Met up with a smaller group to do an outside loop. I always love mixing things up & it was nice to have constant chatter while we ran, although most of it came from me.

On my way home, I ran past a girl sobbing. So the west coaster in me stopped to ask if everything was okay. She told me that she just left the courthouse, where her fiance was sentenced & immediately taken to jail. And to make matters worse, just a few weeks ago she found out she was pregnant. She asked me why things have to be so hard & I really didn't have an answer.

Distance: 6 miles
State of Mind: Escaping

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting pulled in two different directions, getting up this morning was tough. But after I got warmed up, it was easy to find my pace & enjoy a quiet run with the group.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Need to clean up my act

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Woke up after a long night's sleep to a chilling, bright morning. Headed down to race as a bandit at the NYRR holiday 4-miler, but I was a little too late to set up my perfect game plan. Although I didn't run into the usual culprits, I had a great time holding a fast pace through the 4-miler. I wasn't going nearly as fast as I wanted to, but I was happy that I ran strong & picked up my pace with each mile.

Afterward, met up with A & was happy to have H & HM meet up with us too to add in some additional miles. It felt like we literally ran through the entire city, from the park to up to bburg across to manhattan & back again. It was nice to have such a small pack of runners to entertain the run with & most importantly it was nice because there was no pressure. Just running to run.

Distance: 16.6 miles
State of Mind: Exhausted physically, mentally charmed

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Man oh man, it is cold outside. Thought yoga would be a nice treat to warm up. Instead of getting soaked, Ali had us focusing on postures more than she ever has. Although I didn't feel the push as much as I like to, I really enjoyed working on perfecting what I have built.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Loved how much we talked about negativity being a natural part of our lives, something to face not fear

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Did a moderate loop around the park with the group tonight, the Wed night runs have definitely developed into a solid group of runners. Afterward, H & I headed to the Y for a little weight routine. Since I was out of practice, I was definitely a little sloppy. Need to find more consistency.

Distance: around 7 miles
State of Mind: Very very happy to have support of a team

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Breaking away from my usual patterns, which is outright scary to me, I decided not to immediately sign up for Coach's speed session & instead do more customized, informal speed workouts with whoever will join me. Lucky enough, it seems like there is such a connection at the park that being alone is hard to do.

We ended up doing a 4-mile pace run, following R's plan. I was pretty excited to see where my fitness level was at, until I hit mile 3. Ran a 6:50 mile one, 7:15 mile two, 7:23 mile three & 7:40+ mile four (with hill). My fourth mile wasn't as slow as it seemed, because of the gnarly hill I had to deal with, but mile three was treacherous. I felt out of control, completely broken down & couldn't find any solution to pick up my pace.

Distance: 3 miles of warming up/down + 4 mile pace run
State of Mind: Now I know where I am...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Birthday Weekend

Always, without fail, I become an introverted, depressed mess during my birthday. Not sure why, but it is something that I literally need to roll with as I haven't found a way around it. Fear is definitely part of it, it is almost like my time every year to be viewed from the inside out versus the way I usually portray myself.

Started off Saturday with what was supposed to be an easy 12 miler. But by the end, I was killing myself. Part of the problem is that I intentionally slowed down, away from the group which left me running much of the run on my own. But the problem was that the group was in eyesight, so although my body was fine with the pace my mind wanted ever so badly to catch up with everyone. By the end, I felt like I gave it my everything to stay with the group, only to get left time after time once we entered a hill or a straightaway where people could pick up speed.

Distance: 13+ miles

On Sunday, I started my birthday celebration with a two-hour inversion class at Laughing Lotus. Since one of my major fears in yoga is letting go & allowing myself to go upside down, I thought this would be perfect. The class was definitely fun, but it didn't really allow me to face my fears since we were constantly working with groups which distracted my attention away from dealing with any real issue.

On Monday, my true birthday, I decided to skip out on running & take another two-hour yoga practice, this time with the owner of the studio. The practice was unbelievable. Seriously the most challenging thing I have done in a long time, by far the most challenging yoga practice I have ever taken. I was soaked, exhausted & pushing my body to new limits. It completely drained me, left me in a calm trance with very little control for the rest of the day.

State of Mind: So, all in all, I did learn something this weekend but mainly I learned that I still have so much growth to do. So much to learn. So much to give. Which, all in all, is not a bad thing to focus on during this temporary instability.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Great yoga practice tonight. With my day full of efforts to make me conform, I really needed a place that allowed me to be myself. And over & over again, A finished the practice by saying "if you take away what makes you less than, all you are left with is love, compassion & forgiveness.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Clarity

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's take a strong person to head out in weather like this, so dark, rainy & cold. It really shows a commitment to running that goes above & beyond the superficial benefits of it.

Did a loop around the park with the group tonight. I wanted something easy, but the group really picked it up. So much so, I couldn't even see them on the back stretch of the park. I ran most of the way with M, which is always great to take in some of her experiences, thoughts, perceptions.

Distance: 5.3 miles
State of Mind: Glad to be able to put in so many miles with such great people

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The nice thing about the park is you never know who you will run into. My original plan was to do an easy loop of the park, but I am never one to run alone if I can find company to join me. After starting out on my own, I ran into Coach, who was running in his typical serious way. We ended up running almost the entire loop together, chatting in our new cold way. I am not sure which version of Coach I prefer, but I guess it's a little out of my control.

Near the ice skating rink, we ran into G who ran with us all the way to GAP to meet up with the a few other guys who were planning to do hill repeats. We broke off into pairs & pushed out way up the hill several times, mocking each other to spur on more competition.

My right foot/plantar fascistic bothered me all run. But after I stretched it at the end, it instantly felt better. Hope me increasing my miles & intensifying my workouts won't bring more to my body than it can handle.

Distance: 6 miles + 5 hill repeats
State of Mind: Corre loves company