Monday, December 13, 2010


2010 has been a mystery to me. So many mistakes. Seriously. So many moments when I couldn't contain my emotions. Way too much second guessing. Newness beyond my belief. Just the thought of the year brings me to tears. Well, it's either that or the Bright Eyes that I can never seem to turn off as the night crawls on.

As I settle in my new neighborhood, my new life, I am full of discovery. From exploring the lakeside parks to being surrounded my middle aged men in my new club to running at the various outdoor areas just a few feet from my doorstep...I wonder how my fantasies, my inside dilemnas, my inperfectness continues to allow me to live beyond my wildest expectations.

Today was a typical day for me. Full of too many things to do, anxiety about the coming up week & a challenging run in the pouring down rain. To most, the hardest part of the day was the easiest for me. Composing myself while putting one foot in front of the other is the only way I know. And I am so thankful for it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

To Run

When planning my weekend long run, I began to question the need to go long at all, especially with no particular goal in mind. Why run long? Why do speed workouts? Frankly, why run at all. All these questions, this inner dialogue, began to make me think about my goals as a runner.

The conclusion I came to was quite obvious, actually. I don't run to race. I don't run to stay trim. I don't run to raise my heart rate. I run because I love it. I truly do. I love discovering a city through running, I love the simple chatter of other runners, I love feeling my body work hard, I love trying to keep myself in control.

So although I don't have a particular race in mind & although I don't feel in the best shape of my life, I am not going to simply let go of something that brings me so much joy. A joy that when I think about it actually is hard to contain.

So instead of staying out late, sleeping in, making, like most Saturdays, I got up & ran a gorgeous run through dozens of neighborhoods in Seattle. I met up with my current club, the East Side Runners to tackle 14 miles. We played games, we absorbed the fall colors that are simply amazing to take in & we kept plugging along even when the hills became endless. Not because we love each other, not because we love Seattle, but because we share the love of the run.

Distance: From a weekly view, increasing more & more
State of Mind: I guess joy is my state of mind

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lessons Learned

I typically hate the saying “lessons learned”, something that marketing has made a part of my sometimes daily vernacular. But when it comes to running, I did have a few of those lessons this last weekend. Both very different, but both very much the same. The run on Saturday in South Kirkland w/ ESR’s was very Pacific NW-esq. Full of rain, leaves & grey grey skies. And although weather is no match for determination, my legs were dead. Not from overtraining, not from a long Friday run, not from poor habits…but from the lack of training finally catching up with me. It was a sour pill to swallow, but one I am going to have to getting used, I suppose. And although it did make me feel quite alone as the men I was running with laughed at my pace, Sunday’s race made it all better.

On Sunday, I ran in the UW Dawg Dash 5K with Jesi & my uncles family. I decided early on to take it easy & not caring about the pace paid off because it allowed me to enjoy each step, share the experience my younger, extremely ambitious cousins & walk away feeling fulfilled.

This weekend taught me a lot about my attitude towards my passion for running. Hopefully I can find a better balance as 2010 comes to a close.

Distance: Maybe 14 for the weekend
State of Mind: Mind over matter…

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Power of Deduction

When it's hard, it's hard. I don't really no what else to say. Well, except...there is nothing like a speed workout to really put you in your place.

Tonight, at the ESR speed workout, we did 6x800's. I barely hung on for two, but kept at it for the remaining four while I dreamed of escaping to a place as beautiful as the sunset we were experiencing. Although my times were nothing be proud of, I was proud of myself for hanging on. After all, I am nothing but a glutton for punishment. Plus, the group I ran with tonight...mostly consisting of older men...made me realize that my youth really means nothing anymore.

On a lighter note, one of the best things about the speed workouts lately is the grandstand speakers that are turned on as the high school girls are playing their soccer games. For some ungodly reason, they really love love love Eminem. Which in all honesty, only helps my running. But if they are going to focus on that one artist, why not play Love the Way You Lie. Now that's a song. Take away the lyrics or Ri's outfit...I don't need any of that. It's just the pure passion & intensity of such a tragic love story that gets me. I miss that feeling of being so out-of-control that I once had. Sometimes memories of it are the only thing that bridge my day-to-day life together.

Distance: 6x800 with a half mile warmup & warmdown
State of Mind: My fitness is so transparent

Saturday, October 16, 2010

To-Do Lists

Sleeping in. Me? Never. It's a rare thing to find me in bed past 6am any day of the week. Well, that is until recently. My new frame of mind feels so foreign to me. Taking care of myself more, spending less time writing "to-do" lists, running less, sleeping more.

So where did this all come from? Well, to be more honest & vulnerable than I usually feel comfortable being, I think I was tired of pretending to be someone I was not. The idea of me being a relaxed, chill, free butterfly just wasn't true. Instead, I felt more like a stressed out ball of energy not completely knowing where the energy came from OR how to get rid of it. Instead of running it to the ground, my new approach is to try (try) to accept it & deal with it. To realize that each moment of each day doesn't have to be spent doing something, but rather maybe just maybe there are moments when there is nothing to be done.

Today, instead of going to the morning run with ESR, I ended up sleeping in & taking on the Paradise Valley trails with the hubs. I have to say, now don't be jealous, that I am loving the great outdoors of Seattle. Upon escaping to one of the hundreds of trails merely minutes away from where I live, I immediately feel my mind clear & focus like never before. What a truly amazing feeling.

Distance: 5-6 miles at Paradise Valley
State of Mind: Feeling more at peace.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Something changed when I moved back to Seattle, I think it is what one calls maturing. No longer do I try to cast my spell out to a wide spectrum of crushes, I now only focus on selfish crushes. You know...the guy that can get you a discount on a new computer, the guy that can make you run faster, the guy that pays every moment of attention on you.

This new found freedom, if you will, has shown me how much time I have for other, maybe actually important, pursuits in my life. Like developing a deeper bond with my hubs, sleeping more & not being so self-concerned with my every need.

I don't think crushes will ever leave my life for good, but I am starting to enjoy the ones I have even more...since I only spend small, potent periods of time with them.

Tonight, was one of those potent times. My running crush may be too cute for me, but watching him pace tonight's workout was so inspiring. Each lap of the track, I was caught for a moment by his confidence & patient stride. I think I am starting to have a deeper understanding of that whole idea of quality over quantity.

Distance: 6-7 miles including 800 by 400 by 200 by 200 x 2
State of Mind: Seeing the future more clearly...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Organic Yogurt

During a trail run this morning one of my new running friends Mark, apparently not such an uncommon name, asked if I was the "organic yogurt" type. Hmm, strange question to be asked at 7am in the morning as my stomach churned the half of bottle of red wine I inhaled the night before. I asked him to define the question a bit more & he said that he wanted to know up front if I was like the majority of the runners he meets that is obsessed with being perfect. You know the type...consuming a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, grains, never missing a mile in a workout schedule & double, triple checking the time to ensure everything is on schedule.

Honestly, I had no idea how to answer the question. Sure I like yogurt. I don't particularly care if it's organic, but I do enjoy eating it. Especially Fage, as I have learned is pronounced "fa-yeh". But who doesn't like yogurt? Who doesn't strive to take care of themselves? Who doesn't try to challenge the common, yet disturbing, phrase "everything happens for a reason".

It is pretty obvious what Mark was asking. I didn't spend more than moment thinking about it after I huffed & puffed my way through a long trail run with the rest of the group...but it has haunted me the rest of the day.

State of Mind: Everything is changing around me, I want to change to...
Distance: Today, 10 hard trail miles

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 8: A Different Me

This week proved challenging for the runner in me. I am not sure what it is, but I feel different. Not bad different, just different. Maybe the chiller side of me is coming out, or maybe I am just coming down with a cold...but the fierce runner in me was non-existent this week.

On a lighter note, for the first time this entire summer, I felt somewhat at home in Seattle. The challenges didn't seem so daunting, the beauty seemed to stand out more brilliantly & the city seemed to accept me. Part of the beauty of discovering a new city is having the hubs by my side. Ever since we left the great NYC, we have spent so much more time together. And I can honestly say I don't hate the guy, I actually think he makes me a better person when all is said & done. The commitment phobe in me is shaking a bit, but I truly mean it.

But back to running, the little there is to report:

Wednesday: Showed up just on time to take on the weekly ESR speed workout, consisting of 200/200/200/800 x 3. I excelled at the fast pace through the whole workout, minus the last 400 where I once again blew up. But it was more mental than anything, my legs could take it...but my mind was elsewhere. Proud to say that I was running the 200's at 43 sec pace.

Saturday: Re-ran my first workout w/ ESR in Mercer Island. This time with one of my running crushes, R, who kept me on my feet the entire time as we shared a mutual silence in the woods. Nicely enough we picked up the pace the last 3 miles & I was able to keep up with him for all but the last quarter mile hill. When we finished, the rest of the group who had run shorter looked at the two of us like we were insane as we sprinted to the end of a long, hilly 10 miler.

Sunday: Visiting my hometown, the hubs & I hiked/ran Mt. Peak. A challenging course, yes, but not a runners run.

Distance: Maybe close to 20, eek
State of Mind: We'll see what next week holds...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weeks 6 & 7: A Very Unrefined Balancing Act

It's safe to say that these last two weeks have been a bit of a balancing act for me. For a person that craves structure, routine, is never easy to deal with the roller coaster of decision, pressure, emotion that sometimes enters ones life. But no matter how brittle I may appear, I am determined to stay strong & focus on my big picture goals. And although I may not be the most graceful person I know (quite possibly the least graceful), I do believe I have the ability to control my own destiny. And what better grounds that belief than running. Running shows me that I can push through, that I can go on, that I do have a something inside of me that is willing to take on any battle. And probably most of all, that no matter how hard I think I need to become to survive, it is much more about letting go, opening up, staying true to oneself that matters most of all.

Week 6

Monday: Did an easy 4 mile loop around Woodinville, Monday's are becoming a challenge for me as I just don't feel the motivation that I once did.

Wednesday: 6x1000's w/ ESR, it is amazing how the first 1000 felt like a breeze yet the last repeat felt like I was sprinting to save my life. Either way, it doesn't matter as I held the same exact time (1:42 a lap) for all 6, never losing control. Much thanks to my new gf A.

Thursday: Did an easy, emotional yet joyful, 6 miles with J.

Saturday: Ran Medina. Which reminded me so much of my old days in the beach front town of, clean, beautiful. Got to the meet up early to do a 6.4 mile loop on my own & met up w/ ESR for another 6.4 mile loop. Felt kind of badass. 13 miles complete.

Distance: 29 miles, uck, need more
State of Mind: The beauty of Seattle is so amazing to discover...

Week 7

Monday: Spending a long weekend in my family's lakeside cabin near Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, the hubs, my uncle D & I took on the 8 miles of gradual yet painful hills surrounding the lake. The pace was hard but it didn't even matter as we were surrounded by the majestic of such a quiet, beautiful area.

Wednesday: Same workout as last week, except should have been easier. 5x1000's w/ ESR. Problem was my lack of miles showed. Held strong times until the 5th where I once again blew up. Not exactly what I was expecting.

Saturday: Recovering from being sick, I tried to pretend that I felt okay & joined ESR in Kirkland for a 10 miler. Except about 4 miles in I realized that my 8:30 pace should feel like the 5:30 pace it did & cut it short. Which, for once, was a very smart move on my part.

Sunday: Joined J & the hubs for an easy 8 miler around Seattle. Felt much better but craved hard miles.

Distance: 28 miles, more of the same
State of Mind: Wanting more (hmm, isn't that quite the common theme)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 5: Discovering Seattle

Well, this week I knew I wanted to put some miles in...and that I did. Although not all the miles came as easily as I wanted them too, I have to say that if there is one common thread this week it is how running helps me find lightness when I am left in the dark. Something I am eternally grateful for.

Monday: Monday was hard. Not sure if it was just from being tired from work, from walking the 3 miles to/from the bus or from stair climbing at work. My body just fought a workout. So I tried to fake it by joining the hubs for INSANITY again, which failed after about 15 minutes. I ended up doing a mile with my niece (well, his niece) at the local track & enjoyed kidding around instead of sweating it out.

Tuesday: Determined to run hard, I tried a new route that is going to become a regular for me. See the thing is, where we are staying right now, no matter how far N-E-S-W I go, I can't get away from the fact that we live on top of a very big hill. Very big. But I did find a way that turns my usual Red Hook Brewery run into a loop, making it a 7.3 mile run, and ending with what seems to be the least scary hill so far.

Wednesday: From an amateur running front, I couldn't ask for me. Here I am running alongside some amazingly fast athletes, I mean the type of women that are running 17:30 5K's. Tonight was a typical track workout for me, totally in control the whole time BUT not able to push it hard in the end like the more gifted people around me. Still, proud of what I was able to do, doing 8x400's @ 1:32 pace with a mile warmup/cooldown to start & finish off the workout. For the record, when I say alongside, I mean within 400 meters.

Saturday: Met up with an early morning group of ESR's to do my longest run in Seattle so far. The group I met up with are known as the "long runners" of the club, meeting earlier than everyoe else, but there pace didn't quite vibe with me as much as I would have liked. Nonetheless, having a handful of runners to lead you around the many, many bridges & waterfront neighborhoods of Seattle was priceless. We ended up doing about 14.4 miles.

Sunday: Inspired by the route yesterday, J & I ran around Lake Union. More industrial & city running than lakeside viewing, but definitely very cool. Finishing up the week with 6 hot hot hot miles.

Distance: About 33 miles this week
State of Mind: Beating up my body never felt so good.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week 4: Feeling Oh-So-Easy

A few weeks back, I started an 11 week training program getting me to the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon on September 26th. This week, technically week 4 of my training, provided some great insights. Here is how the week went:

Monday: Joined the hubs for his new workout routine called INSANITY, which it pretty much was. It was fun to do something together, but it became obvious later in the week that our goals are so very different (his is to have a six pack for our holiday vacay to Sayulita). So although I enjoyed our time together, I realized that my body needs miles, straight up miles. Not cross training.

Tuesday: Mentally & physically tough 6 miles out & back to Red Hook. My legs were especially tired after contuining my daily 21 flight stair climb, which I may need to rethink.

Wednesday: Took on another grueling track workout, but wasn't able to complete it. Our intended workout was a 3 mile tempo followed by a slightly faster mile. After keeping the pace for the first 2 miles of the tempo, I mentally fell apart. Stopped believing in myself. Gave up. So I dropped off the pack & ended up running the final mile with one of my new gf's A. It is so strange how much confidence plays a role in running.

Friday: Met up with J after a long week at work to put in an easy 8 miles. It was so fun to explore the city with her, to chat & enjoy each others company. I would rather run with her any day than do the typical social gatherings that have come to define us.

Sunday: Raced in the Redmond Town Center 5k. This is a fast race. Quite small, very flat & full of amazing talent (the leader finished in 15:12). Even though I was majorly intimidated...I really loved the race. The faster runners pushed me & the course was mix between a suburban maze & a rich utopia. And although I wasn't super fast, I was proud of my control & 22:09 finish time. I know the time is nothing special, but for some reason I don't care all that much. Maybe I have lost some of my competitive spirit...

Distance: 23 miles
State of Mind: Time to up the miles, although I have to say this was a perfectly enjoyable week of running. My body feels great, but my mind is begging to release the anxiety of my life on the road. Something I need more than physical happiness.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What a fun-filled weekend! There is part of me that is so very much enjoying the various activities, friends, environments that I am throwing myself into, but another big part that miss the regular, the routine, the Brooklyn. I guess it comes with the territory of taking the risks I have taken, but it is one hard pill to swallow sometimes.

But this weekend I had the pleasure of running doing two fantastic runs. The first was Saturday evening when my cousin, the sixth child & I ran the Seafair Torchlight 8k. Both of them are fairly new to running, as my cousin is just on his second year in x-c & my little brother only runs when I beg him to join me. But I somehow convinced both of them to head into Seattle on a beautiful Saturday evening to enjoy in the fun of such a well known Seattle celebration.

The beautiful thing about this particular race is the spirit surrounding it. It is the precursor to a huge parade (the route we run along), it is filled with hundreds of people dressed in pirate outfits & it is on a spectacular course. And although I struggled a bit with my pace in the middle, I finished strong (early to mid 7 minute pace) & am please to say both my teenage "dates" had a wonderful time.

Today, I met up with RLS, the person who most say molded me into the unique person I am today. Since she is too training for the B'ham half, we did a 4-5 miler with her brothers wife around her former neighborhood. I will never get over the feeling I have being with RLS, it is as close to "home" as I have ever found.

Later on in the day, the sixth & I played a healthy set of tennis...something we both are growing to enjoy more & more.

State of Mind: Desperately needing more miles, but seriously fulfilled with my amazing adventures.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So excited to partake in another brutally beautiful speed workout with ESR. Got to the track early, which was much needed, as my legs were solidly sore from my new stair workout at the agency. The pain from the stairs is more of newness, not intensity. So I don’t worry too much.

After a long warmup, we started our workout, which was 4x1200’s. I, with my usual confidence, thought I would stick with my group & try to push the last one with the faster group ahead of us. But man oh man, was I wrong. After barely holding in there on the first interval, I knew I was in trouble. The next three were a constant, each 200, battle to make the 49 second split time, which I fell further & further from as I tried to just finish the workout. Luckily enough, my group, made up of my new friend A & a few non-descript guys, made me focus on the positive instead of getting down on myself as everyone seemed to struggle tonight. And, the eye candy on the track didn’t hurt too much either, as the top ESR men were in full force with glistening bodies & amazing turnover as they completed the workout. Although my crush was at the back of the pack, I didn’t question his ability to hold on. Only wish I could say the same for myself.

Oh, and a blog update! After thinking it through a bit & realizing that I want to truly enjoy contributing my thoughts online, I am going to start posting less frequent, hopefully more cohesive & thoughtful entries. Being in the Pacific NW has made me see the beauty in the great outdoors in a way that I missed to very much & I want to make sure to spend as much time as I can (which is limited already in my choice of career) outdoors.

Distance: 1 mile warmup, 4x1200’s (between 4:56 & 5:09), 1 mile warmdown
State of Mind: Feeling fit but a bit depleted

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

After arriving home later than I wanted, I turned off my mind & quickly changed into my running clothes to hit the trails. Holding an easy pace, I simply just took in all the nature around me. Not thinking an ounce more than I needed. In a way, today's run was hard for me. I kind of just let myself expectations. I didn't feel like me, but I did feel like I gave everything I had to offer.

Distance: 6 miles
State of Mind: Half marathon training is starting to take its toll (which is a good thing).

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tried out a new route today, by running through trails in Bothell's business park area. Although the sound of it probably doesn't appeal, it was actually quite cool. In between all these large, corporate offices were trails that followed a river that soon formed into a series of ponds. It was deserted, obviously not used that often & full of really interesting nature. All a five minute run away.

Distance: 4 or 5 miles, really easy
State of Mind: Nice to have the hubs to keep the pace down

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Up at what felt like the crack of dawn to meet up with J to do our weekly long run together. It still amazes me the lengths I go to run with someone as opposed to having to endure mile after mile on my own. But today's run was quite simple, as all I had to do was roll out of bed & run less than a quarter mile to join J. She had already mapped out a beautiful run, which pretty much covered the whole of Enumclaw in merely 7 miles. Our entire run was joined by the beautiful Mt. Rainier in our foreground, something we both were entranced by as we sweat it out alongside very non-running friendly roads.

The miles today were easy to me & ended my second week of training for the Bellingham half. This was an extremely low mileage week, which wasn't intentional. Either way, it is clear that my legs need more hard miles before I will start to make serious progress. This feels just too easy.

Distance: 7 miles
State of Mind: Love, love, love Washington summers...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ran in my hometown's 3rd annual 5k race this morning! There is nothing like knowing the course like the back of your hand, running into dozens of people that know your name & being cheered all the way throughout the experience. Probably most special was being able to enjoy the experience with one of my lifelong friends RLS & my beloved, hopeless-at-running father. Both somewhat new to running, but both willing to put their heart out on the line. Plus, my times are improving from the fitness disaster I first witnessed when moving to the Pacific Northwest.

Distance: .5 warmup, 5K @ 22:21, 2 mile warmdown
State of Mind: Smile on my face the whole time...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

After asking for advice on Seattle commuting, I finally figured out a better way to make it to speed workout without sweating it out in a traffic jam. It was so nice to arrive early, do a slow warm-up & get my game face on.

Tonight's workout was a fast one. 200/200/200/400 x 3 with an equal amount of recovery between each repeat. Although the workout itself doesn't sound crazy hard, I was surprised by the intensity of it.

Figuring out the speed workout more, I now understand that you are tabled based on your speed (obviously). Groups 1-3 are pretty non-existent. I mean, I am not sure anyone quite qualifies to run those times. Groups 4-6 consist of about 5 extremely fast men, some of them quite cute. Including my running crush. Yum. Groups 7-10 are more my speed. And where most of the group lives. To be honest, in my dreams, I would love to run in Group 7, but it is a bit out of my reach right now. It's too bad too, as there seems to be quite a few quality people in that group.

Group 8, where I mostly reside, is people running a 20/21 5k, 1:35+ half or a 3:20ish marathon. Which in all honesty, is not a bad place to be. And although tonight might be an exception, I was able to stay in control the whole time. Although it hurt quite a bit.

Distance: .5 mile warmup, 200x3/400x1 x 3 (:44s/200's + 1:32s/400's), .5 mile warmdown
State of Mind: I love crushes!
This already feels like a tough week, but it must be because everything is still so new to me. Judging by my thoughts lately, I think it is clear that I am seeing things in a different light. In no way do I think it's negative, I actually really appreciate my ability to question my actions & improve upon them. My mom always used to say "what are you searching for", maybe this is a clue into my life.

Although I felt like sitting in bed & eating ice cream after work tonight, I knew a run would make me feel so much stronger. So I headed out & really gave it to myself. Pushing it the entire time. Down hills, through overgrown trails, up hills, around people. It felt grueling & oh so satisfying all at the same time.

Distance: 6 miles
State of Mind: Keeping it all together, with perspective.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I am not entirely sure where this thought came from, but lately I have been thinking a lot about the imbalance of my relationships. Well, one in particular. The one I share with my husband. To break it down in how I see it, there are mental, a physical emotional components of our bond. Lately, I have started to realize that although I feel I excel at mentally & physically challenging him, I really fail at our emotional connection.

But when I expand that across my entire life, the truth is I fail at emotional connections in many aspects...including running. I can't remember the last, why even in the first time, that I was dramatically upset or happy about a race I participated in. To be honest, these days I run to physically tire myself & to mentally give myself a break. But where is the love? As the Black Eyed Peas said so eloquently. I know it's there. Well. I don't know if it is there, but I do know that if I don't love, in some emotional way, running...what do I love?

I guess I need some time to think about it. In the meantime, I will rush home & continue to push myself out the door to figure out why I lack something that seems to come so easily to others.

Distance: 4.5 miles
State of Mind: I think this is what happens when I spend too much time alone.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Up early on a Sunday to run with J. As we are both training for the Bellingham half, we have decided to meet up each Sunday for us to do her long run together. It will also be a chance for me to run my legs into the ground after running long on Saturdays.

As she works overnight shifts, I picked her up at the hospital & we headed out on the waterfront for an easy out & back on the Burke Gilman trail. I talked almost the entire time, no surprise for her to listen to me chatter on & on about my life. And she surprised me with her ability to keep the pace & feel strong all the way through.

Running so early proved to be quite beautiful. The trail was quiet, the views were spectacular. From rowers on the water, to great sculptures, to amazing industrial views of the city...I was impressed by what Seattle has to offer. For a brief moment, it brought me back to Brooklyn. Which made my heart sink a bit.

Here is a link to the route J mapped out:

Distance: 6.1 miles
State of Mind: Excited to discover all the beauty Seattle has to offer.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Excited to run with East Side Runners this morning as I really wanted to get some strong training underway. But constantly meeting at new locations is always scary as I have no idea what terrain I will need to take on.

Like usual, I showed up at a random parking lot in a random suburban city on the East side. It must be strange for the outside world to watch runners come together & do what only few can do well.

We ended up running at the Kirkland watershed, a small wooded area in South Kirkland. The run consisted of doing a 1.2 mile loop near the watershed & heading out on the road for an out & back before taking on the watershed loop again.

I was excited to see my running crush there this morning. And fortunate enough that he decided to jog with me for a few miles before leaving me for faster runners. It was nice to chat it up with a super talented, cute guy as it is pretty slim pickings in the ESR club. After he dropped me, I ended up running alone for a bit & wondering why the group divided so quickly. Thankfully, I found another runner who seemed tolerant enough to let me run next to him. We ran together & joined another runner that I had met a few weeks back to form our own little pack.

It was nice to run together with some fast guys as the hills on this course proved to be quite challenging. From the trails to the road, there seemed to be a challenge around every corner. And for some reason, maybe because of all the male ego, we never slowed & I found us running at a very quick clip for almost the entire run.

Even though it wasn't as long as I wanted to go, I definitely put in the effort each & every moment my feet were pounding the ground.

Distance: 8.5 miles
State of Mind: Tired, in the good way.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I was naively thinking that last week was an anomaly. It can't possibly take that long to go from downtown to the East side on a random Wednesday night. Right? Well, tonight I learned otherwise. Again rushing out of work as soon as I could to try to make ESR track practice came with its complications. Arriving late, workout already started, I decided to run the opposite way on the track until I found a "group" that looked my pace. After annoyingly asking what the workout was, what pace we were going, how far into far in they already were...a group of guys let me join the workout-in-progress.

Tonight was a hard night though, I have to say these ESR are all business. We ended up doing a tempo run (3 miles) & 2x800 immediately following. I hung back with a new group of people, going a bit slower than I wanted & taking more of a rest than asked for. I am learning that sometimes it's better to follow other than lead, it is obvious I have so much to learn.

On a sad note, my new running boyfriend may be toooooo fast for me. He seemed in & out (done with the workout) before I was midway through. Timing is everything, but I'm not giving up so easily. He is just too cute.

Distance: 2.5 miles @ 7:15 (late) + 2x800 @ 6:45...with 800 recovery between
State of Mind: Trying to make it work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week one of training is going really well, probably because I'm intentionally setting my expectations low (at least at this point). I've come to notice that I can be quite hard on myself, something I truly see as inhibiting my growth.

Went on a solo run tonight, just me, the trails & my thoughts. As I settle in Seattle, my thoughts seem to be going in the same direction as usual...crushs, dreams, future plans. I guess some things never change. Living in the present is just so damn hard for me.

Distance: 5 miles
State of Mind: Head down, sun beaming down, eyes on the road...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week one of training begins today, but with the whole summer to get in top shape I am doing my best to take it easy these first few weeks. So I convinced the hubs to run with me tonight, which has its pros & cons. On one hand, it is great for our relationship to actually spend time together (who would have thought) but on the other hand he is just soooo slow. Cute but slow. We ended up running to Red Hook Brewery & back, a common route for us these days. Although I barely broke a sweat while he was huffing & puffing, I did have a smile on my face the whole time.

Distance: 6ish miles
State of Mind: Running slow is good for you, right?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Met up with J to run Green Lake this afternoon. As she didn't want to do too many miles, I decided to run an outside loop on my own before joining her for another loop. Green Lake could be equated to the Prospect Park of Seattle...with less hills, less trees & more lake. The outside loop isn't all that beautiful, but it does offer a bit more distance. And although it is a new for me, I think this is where I will call home. Today is officially my last day of non-training as tomorrow starts my path to the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon.

Distance: 6.4 miles
State of Mind: Could have run more...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ran the Run of the Mill 5k this morning, it was so much fun. Races out here are definitely different. Smaller, cleaner, so family/animal-oriented. Truthfully, I feel a bit out of place. But thankfully I had a racing partner today, which made it all worth it.

J & I have run off & on together since we were teens, in other words, we have seen each other suffer & succeed many times over. But more importantly, we both fell in love with running around the same time...which has bonded us together for life.

Today was no different, we met up before the race, did a little pre-race warmup & hit the course as hard as we both could. It was obvious that neither of us are in great running shape, but it was still fun just the same.

Distance: 5k + .5 warmup/cooldowns @ 22:+ something (eek, that's slow)
State of Mind: Hilly, calm course...positive attitude.

Friday, July 9, 2010

In an effort to add more miles to my week, I had the hubs plan a trail run for us as the evening was cooling down. We went to this fantastic park called Saint Edward Park which I guess used to be a seminary & now is a private college.

We didn't do a huge amount of running as it was very hilly but it was wonderful to try something new & take in dark woods, perfect trails & waterfront views all while hearing a live show in the background.

Distance: 3-4 miles
State of Mind: Even though I desperately need more miles...this felt great

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I was so naive to think that leaving NYC would bring a new sense of calmness to my hectic life. But that's okay, it is my job to adjust...I am happy to at least try. Rushing out of work to try to make the Wednesday night track workout with ESR proved to be a little more difficult than I thought. After dealing with traffic, I was able to arrive just as the workout was starting. Which is not exactly how you want to start something as hard as a track workout.

But nonetheless, I jumped right in & was able to get my body/breath in control the best I could. We ended up doing a ladder workout, consisting of a 1600, 1200, 800, 600, 400 with an 800 recovery in between. Although the temps are nowhere close to the East Coast, it has become very hot here so running in 80 degree where was a challenge.

I didn't feel all together fast today, but that's okay. More importantly, I was able to push myself & feel that sense of brutal rawness that I so crave in running. Which I miss so very much.

Distance: 1600, 1200, 800, 600, 400 with an 800 recovery
State of Mind: In time, things will settle down.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Although my last entry was quite down, I have to say that I am trying (fingers crossed) to accept this time in my life. Although I don't understand it, like it or know how to deal with changing a bit is not all together a bad thing. There has to be guys that like girls like this. Right?

So today, after a nice day at the office, I took the long commute home (temporary home) & did an easy run on my own. As I am starting to understand the area more, I think I can increase my mileage...but I just followed route that I wanted to try through town center to see where it took me.

It ended up to be shorter than I wanted, but what is a girl to do.

Distance: 3.5 miles
State of Mind: It's something.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I have to say I am not impressed with what has happened to my body over the last few weeks. Starting a new job, being extra tired from the "newness" of it all & frankly not having a lot of friends that I can call up for a routine run has seriously killed me. And I would be okay if I didn't gain weight solely in my stomach which automatically makes people think I'm pregnant. Which is another battle on it's own. Believe you me.

I think it's a combination of cutting my miles back & not walking as much as I was used to in NYC...either way, I need to make some changes before no man will be able to look at me in that same convincing look that I have grown so accustomed to.

On a usual holiday weekday in my life, I would have probably gotten a good run in & did something extra when I had the opportunity. So I tried to mimic my old behavior as best as I could by meeting up with the 6th (my little bro Tristan) & playing some tennis. Afterwards, I did 2 miles on my old high school track. I would have done more...but solo running is just soooo not for me.

Distance: 1 hour of tennis + 2 miles
State of Mind: Help me!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Up early to watch my love Rafa win Wimbledon so I was able to sneak away during the second set to get a quick run in before the day's many events. I have to say that my mileage has pretty much been cut in half since arriving in the PNW...something I think my body is having a hard time reacting to. But I will make it through this transitional period, I just know it.

Distance: 3.7 miles + 7 minute strength training
State of Mind: Hello tire!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just like that, snap, I feel so out of shape. I think the stress of working again, coupled by all the newness has just thrown me off a bit. So I as excited to get up early & meet ESR for a long run this morning. As ESR meets up a different locations each Saturday, I had to drive South to the Lake Sammamish area to join the group. The amazing thing about the Seattle area is how much wilderness & water surrounds each community. Last weekend, I was running on Lake Washington, this weekend a completely different lake only a few miles away. Completely serene, full of calm views that are literally to die for. I am trying to take in all the beauty as a newcomer because I know soon enough I will take advantage of it all.

Today, even though I was feeling a) fat b) sluggish c) tired, I opted for the longer run to tack on some hard miles to my week. The only people doing the long run were 4 guys, which pretty much sealed the deal for me. But the problem was it was a hilly run, something I knew would be tough for me to keep up with.

We headed out on Lake Sammamish & about a mile in, cut up & immediately came to a mile plus hill climb. As I watched the guys climb further & further ahead of me, I knew I was in trouble. But once we hit the top, I was able to quickly catch up with them. We ran alongside quiet roads, hit yet another lake, Pine Lake, which I remembered vaguely from my past, before heading back down to Lake Sammamish. At mile 8, I was counting the minutes until we could hit the finish, which seemed to take forever. My god, being out of shape feels awful. But soon enough, we made it. And I felt fine. Felt balanced again. How I love running for challenging me so. Plus, I think I found a new running boyfriend...a little young, but I can train him.

Distance: 10.3 miles
State of Mind: Yum

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chapter three, career wise, began today. To be honest, it seemed quite similar to my NYC agency life...which should make the transition quite easy. But like any day of doing new things, I was pretty exhausted when returning home. I think I have to dig real deep to find that sweet, innocent, acceptable "Corre" when meeting 150+ new people. I have never loved that side.

So when I got home, I was determined to get outside & get into a new routine. But today wasn't my day. Missing speed workouts, missing friends, missing my old routine life just overwhelmed me & brought me to a walking pace while trying to take on a few hills.

I wouldn't say I am sad, just struggling a bit I guess.

Distance: maybe 3 miles
State of Mind: I know things will change, I know.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Try & try again, at least that is what has worked for me. So with my body still feeling pretty awful & the memory of yesterday fresh in my mind, I decided to give it another go & head out for the Holly Hills loop. Surprisingly, I felt a 100 times better today, so strange how your body can literally heal itself overnight.

Distance: 4.5 miles
State of Mind: Goodbye freedom, hello corporate world.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Man, that half took a lot out of me. Although my time was nothing to be proud of, my effort was sure there. At least from what I can tell from my energy level today.

With my "vacation time" extremely limited, I decided that I needed to get the most out of my remaining freedom & get outside to enjoy the sun.

I have to say that today was one of the hardest runs I have done in a long time. My body had nothing to give & no matter how much I pushed...I just kept feeling worse & worse.

Distance: 6.3 miles
State of Mind: Not what I was expecting...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ran the Mountains to Sound relay race today, it was so much fun. But more importantly, it was a great test to see where my endurance is. My team consisted of 4 project management-type construction guys from the Seattle area, all very nice & kind hearted. The race started in Snoqualmie Pass & ended in downtown Seattle near Golden Gardens Park. I was the fourth of five legs, with my entire run being on the Burke-Gilman Trail which offers amazing views of Lake Washington & all the cute neighborhoods that surround it.

As far as my leg went, I felt in control for about the first 7 miles. After mile 7, my body broke down a bit & I felt my lack of training since leaving NYC. Using my experience from Phoenix, when I took down any fluids or gu, I took it easy running for a few hundred meters to let everything settle in...which really helped my stomach keep the fuel down. At about mile 11 though, I threw up a bit in my mouth. Nothing unusual for me, but surprised me as I was actually feeling relatively good.

Since my team was so fast, we started my leg in 5th place. I was passed three times (gulp) during my leg, all by super fit men in their early 30's. My that was hard, knowing I was letting my team down. Thankfully, the last leg was ran by a super fast guy that made up 2 spots...leaving us in 6th overall at the end of the race. Not bad, if I say so myself.

Now to take it easy until after the 4th of July when I will start training hard for the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon. So very excited to run in my old college town. It should be a good time to reflect the last decade on the last decade of my life.

Distance: 13.1 miles in about 1:41 or 1:42 (bad results)
State of Mind: My body needs a lot of work.

Friday, June 25, 2010

As a blunt new way to make running-type friends in the Seattle area, I volunteered myself to participate in the running leg of a major Washington relay this weekend called Mountains to Sound. As a very nice surprise, a group of guys from a local major construction company (think Experience Music Project, Seattle Library) asked me to join their team, to run the half marathon leg this Sunday.

Only issue is they want me to go fast. I mean real fast. Faster than I have ever gone in that distance, as they are hoping to get top 10 & possibly place in the top 3.

So, instead of running hard toward the end of this week, I am recovering. Resting. Feeding myself a lot of food. So today, I did a simple track run. Just loop after loop, treating myself to a slow pace.

Distance: 4 miles
State of Mind: What ever have I gotten myself into.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Feeling pretty recovered from the trail run yesterday, I opted to keep my NYC routine & get in some healing yoga. Although I am not practicing with a teacher, I found myself focusing all my attention on my form & thought...trying to keep the balance that I have been working on for oh so long. Plus, I practiced outdoors, with gardens & sun surrounding me.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Variety feels so good, but I need some hard miles.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To celebrate N's birthday, we decided to head out of town for the afternoon & hit up the North Cascades. The beauty in Washington is pretty incredible, something I forgot about & something I am trying to absorb each day. It is all very similar, tons of old-growth forest & more than enough room to get lost in your head.

We decided to do a trail near Arlington called Boulder River. We followed a trail alongside the river, passing multiple waterfalls, beautiful river sightings & a ton of tiny wildlife. I purposely chose a trail that didn't have a tough elevation climb as I wanted us to be able to trail run most of the route...which is exactly what we did.

Distance: 8 miles
State of Mind: Running trails is going to take time to get good at.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer is here! At least for today. Met up with my bff J to do an easy run from Northgate to Greenlake, checking out the haunts of my future neighborhood. It was part nonstop talking & part slow running, both of which felt beautifully welcoming. I need to get in some more miles this week, my body already feels it...but I will take what I can get running with friends anytime of the week.

Distance: 3.5 miles
State of Mind: Sun, I love you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Enjoyed a quiet, hilly run in Woodinville. Nothing very memorable, but that is completely okay as everyday can't be special. Afterward, I did the Runners World strength training routine...which felt great.

Distance: 3 miles
State of Mind: Need more running partners, I think.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

After a long night of partying it up in the Claw celebrating an old friend's birthday, I found myself up early & ready to take on the Washington rain. Thankfully I convinced T to join me on his bike as I did a run I have never done before...running from my father's house to my mother's house. It wasn't an ideal route, as there is no better way to make it out to the backwoods...but it was nice to get out in the open road & work my legs a bit.

Distance: 6 miles (it felt more like 12 for some reason)
State of Mind: I will not let weather impact my running...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Opted out of the Saturday morning run today to do a little cross training. With any type of change, I try my hardest to break routines & try something new. So, today, instead of running, I dusted off my road bike & headed out with N to beat up my legs a bit.

We decided to do about 17 miles, which was just perfect for my first ride in what feels like forever. Plus, it was good to explore the Sammamish River Trail a bit more, to understand where my runs could lead me. Halfway through the ride, it started raining pretty hard but I just held strong & about 10 miles in I got into a wicked rymthm that N seemed quite proud of.

Distance: about 17 miles
State of Mind: Change feels good.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Although Friday's are my usual day off, I felt a ton of repressed energy & decided that the best way to get out of the funk I was in was to get outside. Instead of running my legs to the ground, I did a little strength training routine following what I had just read in Runners World.

After the first set, I did a casual 3 miler & headed back for another set. All in all, it definitely helped me express some of the things that were on my mind as I make the big decision towards the next chapter of my career.

Distance: strength training x2, 3 miles slow
State of Mind: How running saves me...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It is so strange how much my life has changed over this last month. There is a huge part of me that has been able to completely renew, regenerated & readjust myself after my amazing chapter in NYC...but another part of me that feels completely at a loss. Almost unable to look myself in the mirror & acknowledge that I am making correct decisions. Hopefully that too will come.

After a long, exhausting day in downtown Seattle, I hurried home to put on my running shoes for my first track workout with ESR. We met up at Lake Washington High School, about a 10 minute drive from my temp home. The inlaws decided to join me, as they thought it would be fun to watch me kill myself in front of a bunch of strangers-slash-future friends.

It was great to see how well organized the track workout was. About 40 people showed up, mainly fast men, but a good showing of women. How it worked was that we checked out a pace sheet & grouped ourselves into one of about 10 groups depending on our expected pace. The workout is lead my different people, this time a girl that looked about my age but with obviously faster legs on her.

We ended up doing 5x800's, one fast & one slow (difference being only 4 seconds). In between, we jogged a 600. It was a great workout as I felt in control the whole time, mainly because no one went faster than what the pace sheet asked for, creating a consistent & hard workout. The two girls I mainly ran with both used me as the pacer after the first one, making me feel right at home setting my pace & leading our pack.

Distance: .5 mile warmup, 5x800 with 600 recovery, .5 mile warmdown
State of Mind: So happy to fall back on running

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Worked out twice today, it felt oh so good. It's strange how much I love "getting it done" when it comes to working out, I just really enjoy having the time to do it right.

Woke up this morning & went to a new yoga studio in Mill Creek, called Laughing Buddha. It was the owner teaching the practice & it was supposed to be a level 2 (intermediate) class, but it was far from it. Surrounding me were rich, chubby moms...but none that were very cute. As opposed to LL in Chelsea, there were only 8 people in the whole class. It was a mixture of pilates, hatha yoga & vinyasa. And I was happy that even though I felt out of place, I was able to go into my own practice. Not sure if I will go back anytime soon, but it was a nice wake up.

In the late afternoon, I decided to go for a solo run. I chose only Grizzly Bear to be my listening companion, such a good choice. I wasn't exactly looking forward to the run, but it turned out great. I saw a girl ahead of me once I entered the trail & spent the remaining time catching up to her, passing her & putting a distance between us. The nice thing about the trail that I run is that I have an option of gravel, dirt or cement trails...all leading to the same place. Really helps in keeping my body bouncing back. On the way home, the hill that I usually have nightmares of wasn't nearly as bad. At first, I was dragging...but a third of the way of the hill my legs adjusted. Shocking.

Distance: yoga practice + 6.1 miles
State of Mind: timing is everything

Did a misty run with N today! Ran on the Sammamish Trail but took a different route, under a few freeways & through the UW Bothell campus. The grass was as tall as I was, there were birds & snakes was amazing. During the last few slow miles, we went up this gigantic dirt hill that seriously scared me. These hills may kill me.

Distance: 4.8 miles (would like to have gone twice that, but no luck)
State of Mind: Going slow might be good for burning calories, but it does nothing for the mind

Monday, June 14, 2010

Climbed Mt. Peak in Enumclaw with the fam today. What a climb! It is about 1.3 miles up & 1.5 miles down the backside...but with two 14 year olds that seemed to "know it all"...we ended up getting lost about 50 times. Not so fun for someone who likes to know where they are going.

Distance: 3, maybe 3.5, miles of very technical hiking
State of Mind: Nice to push myself, upwards & downwards.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Felt a bit like a cheater today as I went running with a new club, East Side Runners. Although I am not sure this is the club that I will call home, they are one of the more well known clubs in the area I am staying in right now. They have runs almost every single day & thoughtfully plan weekend runs to explore the Seattle area, which is quite nice.

As I have to drive to the meeting location (which I sincerely hate), I got lost trying to find the park where we were meeting. Thankfully I left enough time for error to figure out what I had done wrong & make my way to the meeting spot. With very little knowledge of the Seattle area, all I knew about where we met was that this neighborhood is one of the richest in this city. Which was pretty obvious, definitely no Brooklyn.

There were several different distances, I opted for the longest & immediately started running with an older man & an asian woman (which pretty much made up the type of people in the group). I felt an immediate connection with the man, B, who seemed like my type of runner. We ended up speeding up around mile 2 & spending the rest of the run alone. He was extremely nice & very helpful, telling me just about everything I needed to know about the group. I accindently elbowed him a few times, S would be proud that I have brought my running "issue" all the way back to the West Coast.

The day was gorgeous, with not a cloud in sight. The run was very hilly (ouch), we didn't stop once (oucher) & he let me push the pace the whole time. We ran through a few parks, on trails off the street & alongside some beautiful homes. I can't complain, it was a great run.

Distance: 9.5 miles (from B's garmin)
State of Mind: Feeling a bit like a cheater, which isn't new for me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

As Thursday was my usual day to hit LL, I knew I needed to find a way to get my weekly yoga practice in. To get myself warmed up, I did a run that I actually rather enjoyed...going through all the new developments in my temporary neighborhood. See, where I grew up I was the rich kid in a poor community--but where my husband grew up, he was the poor kid in a rich community. So, to go around his neighborhood & watch all these amazingly boring developments get built was actually quite interesting. Who would ever imagine that people would want to live in house #53, exactly the same house as #1-#52, with maybe the only difference being the color of the house or exact layout of the lot. It made me remember that all I have ever wanted was to live somewhere were I felt welcomed, somewhere with a history & somewhere where I could walk hand-in-hand to a local farmers market on a Saturday. These new developments offer none of that.

After the short run, I did a yoga podcast with S. One to always try new things, she had no problem that it was an advanced class that even I struggle with. We made it through about half the practice, breathing & sweating our way to balance. Not as much as I was looking for, but I will take what I can get.

Distance: 2.5 miles, 35 minutes yoga
State of Mind: let the games begin

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Went on a lonely hot run this afternoon, wasn't nearly as hard as I thought is was going to be until I hit the hill coming back. Running alone actually has it's benefits as it forces you to deal with what is on your mind, something that I rarely do. Either way, it felt good to push myself & break up my calm day.

Distance: 4.5 miles
State of Mind: Adjusting

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Trying to develop a schedule that I can stick to, I headed to the neighborhood high school track to see what solo speed training is all about. Being the people person that I am, I knew that it was going to be rough...but I had faith that my will would push me through as I am determined to get myself into fighting shape to show these West Coasters that I am not another softy.

Thankfully N joined me today, which is always nice. He is not the prettiest runner, in any stretch of the imagination, to be honest I would much rather see him dressed up to go to dinner or laying in bed next to me...but I will take what I can get.

Trying to be as aggressive as possible, I decided to do some 400's to test my speed. My plan was to do 10x400's, with a 400 recovery between each one. Which was a bit of a dream as I wanted to stop after the first one. But I powered through 5 of them, much in thanks to the high school football team who was practicing in the inner field. There is nothing like 16 year olds watching you kill yourself to make you want to push it just that much harder.

I probably put in 1/3 of the mileage that I usually do on speed workouts, but I definitely pushed myself to exhaustion. Which is exactly what I was looking to do.

Distance: 1.25 mile warmup, 5x400's w/ 400 recovery, .5 mile warmdown + abs/core
State of Mind: I see my arms taking shape a bit...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Now that we are settled in our temporary situation, or what the hubs calls "staying with relatives", I was finally able to get out & get a good run in. N decided to join me as we headed down to the Sammamish Trail, about a mile from his house. Picture two paths, one cement & one dirt, that basically go on far I can tell at least. It was a beautiful evening, very few people on the trail & the only sound I could hear was that of a few birds singing in the trees near the creek.

I immediately got into a pace that felt normal & it was great to put in a some good, light miles. On the way back, we had to tackle a huge hill, 3x the length of the GAP hill with about the same grade. My goodness, I will get better at hills living here.

Now just need to come up with a schedule to keep me in shape, something that involves a race...

Distance: 6.5 miles
State of Mind: Miss my running friends.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The time difference is still getting the better of me, so it was easy to fit in a little workout before the wedding festivities began today. Even though I was planning on hitting the streets of Seattle, I opted for the sure thing & went to the gym instead. While listening to Patrick Watson, I put in a few easy miles on the treadmill...all while staring at this.

Distance: 3 miles + abs
State of Mind: At peace, at least for today

Friday, June 4, 2010

Busy with wedding preparation & extremely taken aback from a night of drinking, I did a short workout in the gym...mainly to try to sweat out the gallons of champagne & wine I consumed last night. Honestly, I tried to dance it off before I went to bed...but apparently two hours of dancing with randoms did very little to metabolize the alcohol.

My workout consisted of treadmill time & some core/upper body. It was actually nice to mix it up a bit, especially in a private gym with no one but myself to stare at.

Distance: 2.5 miles + core/upper
State of Mind: Routine will come, feels so strange without it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Up early, couldn't sleep, so I went on a short run around my dad's neighborhood. It was fun, cutting through people's lawns, watching my ever expanding hometown change.

Distance: 3 miles + 5x200's at the end
State of Mind: Still a bit vacant.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

After nearly losing it last night saying farewell to my sibs, I had a fairly un-emotional day flying from one coast to the other. I knew I wanted to get out & start getting my body/lungs/mind used to the PNW so after settling a bit in the Claw, I went out for a simple, short loop. It was obvious that it had been raining nonstop in my hometown, which is nothing short of unusual as June becomes October.

The run was fairly calming, as I didn't see one person & didn't have to do anything but look down to know where I was heading. About 2 miles in it started down pouring hard, it felt a bit like a baptism, rinsing off all my sadness & anxiety in return for my shirt sticking to my body in a quite unflattering way. I guess that's the catholic in me.

I listened to my ipod the whole time, which was super helpful as I hate running alone. It always comes through when I need it, playing the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros & Radiohead to make me realize that all things will pass in time.

I felt that a few snaps to show my new haunting grounds would be helpful as I embark on this new chapter. They might be a bit sad as I will most likely be alone in most of them, but not to worry, I am a fighter.

Distance: 4.5 miles
State of Mind: It does feel like home, in a few boring & uneventful way

Monday, May 31, 2010

It is rather fitting that my last run at the park is with A. She has been a rock solid friend of mine since the moment we met, someone I could always turn to no matter the situation. I will truly miss her.

We opted for an easy reverse loop in what turned out to be scorching temps. The park, ever at 9am, was already filled with people. I have to say that I love the park so much more when during the cold darkness of winter, when all you ever see is the occasion track of another.

2010 has been a crazy year for me so far, from the holiday's on. As the seasons have changed & the distance of time started to show things clearer, I came across a song that I couldn't let go of. So as I say goodbye to the park for now, I thought it was appropriate to share Feist's "The Park".

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: You can only try so hard.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Contrary to what my stress level & body tells me lately, I am trying to spend every possible moment with friends in the park...enjoying what few opportunities I have left in this beautiful area.

Today, I met up with three hot guys to sweat it out under completely clear blue skies. Not that I spent much time looking anywhere but around me. We decided to do an outside loop of the park, spending the whole time talking about change, ego & life.

In the middle of the run, we were all giving each other advice as to life's hard choices & JP brought the conversation to that famous song quote "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose". In the context of my life right now, with a feeling of so much loss around me, it made me think about how f'd my perspective can be in such an amazing time of change. Isn't it strange (and beautiful) how some see things so differently.

Distance: 5.75 miles
State of Mind: So close, I can touch it

Here are some pics from the little send-off picnic, such a sweet way to say goodbye to the park.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Layers & layers of memories can't do justice to how much joy & happiness the group runs have meant to my life. Probably the most important weekly run, the Saturday morning group run, meant the most to me as I loved the adventures we all embarked on as we discovered the beautiful ugliness of this city.

Today's run was no different, as a good group of us got together to endure the humidity & mugginess of another May day. We decided to do a usual route of Battery Park, as it offers a lot of clean running, some good uphills (bridge mainly) & beautiful views from the tip of the island.

Afterwards, J & a few others had a little champagne picnic to wish me good luck in my new adventure. Even though J mentioned how lucky Seattle will be having me, I truly feel my luck has been in Brooklyn. Looking around at all the beautiful faces, I felt at home here. Something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Distance: 12.9 miles
State of Mind: A little heartbroken, trying to keep it together

Friday, May 28, 2010

Went on an impromptu run today with S & R, doing a route I have never done before. Although I can't remember the exact route, from the park we basically made our way through Park Slope to Redhook & back through Carroll Gardens. It is a somewhat muggy/cloudy day, but the run was full of energy as we all traded stories. And for the first time, I ran alongside the Redhook waterfront, which was gorgeous. We all decided that it is a shame that more people don't partake in the unusual beauty of the Brooklyn waterfront, but I have no problem selfishly enjoying it all to myself.

Distance: Maybe 9 miles
State of Mind: A little break in the middle of the day sure shapes things differently

Although running is what defines me in so many ways, my yoga practice has become a base that I count on in a very deep-rooted way. It is what I turn to when I need help balancing my physical self, but more importantly it is where I turn when I need to rinse my mind of the day-to-day & allow myself the chance to see beyond just me.

Fitting for my final practice at LL, I had the companion of my friend JCS. As usual the room was filled to the brim, something that I think elevates Ali's teachings to an insanely beautiful level of practice.

If vinyasa is all about breath-synchronized movement, there is nothing more I crave than a combination of flows that allow complete focus. We moved for a good 30 minutes without a break, dancing in our own way & trying to find grace within. There was absolutely no better way for me to end my time at LL, my god I have learned a lot.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Grateful for what I have been given

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I love love love this heat, but my god, it's certainly hard to run in. It isn't very often that my legs feel good, my breath feels in control BUT my whole body feels like it is melting away with each step forward. Summer must be coming.

To be honest, I rather enjoyed the painful feeling that today's heat brought on, it was a reminder that every good thing can have it's own set of negatives. At 3pm I was soaking up the heat in a bikini & at 6pm I was doing everything I could to cool down & stay on my feet.

Met up with B & S a bit early, to have a seemingly quiet run around the park. It was nice to get out at a different time & see all the fresh faces. After the first loop, a group of us decided to do one more, to enjoy in the first 5k speed series of the season & to cheer on our amazing teammates who looked painfully tired in this heat.

Distance: 8.7 miles
State of Mind: I think I dropped 5 lbs in water weight today, hmm, not bad.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My life is so surreal right now, I can't believe that tonight will be my last speed workout with Coach & the group. My god, how vacant I have had to make myself in order to make it through all this with a smile on my face.

As I left work for the last time, never having to feel the pull of my two different worlds in quite the same way, I knew that I would have a fun night of unwinding & beating my body up a bit. After making my way to BPS, it was a warming thought to see a brand new session prepare to get underway.

We ended up doing hill repeats on the GAP hill. Beside from the few male visitors, a pack of us girls all stuck together to use each others energy to drag ourselves up the hill. At times, it felt like a force that couldn't be broken.

We ended up doing 7, 6 of which I held in quite well for. As we cooled down through Center Drive, I looked around at our green surroundings, closed my eyes for a moment & gave thanks for all the joy that the park & it's wonderful people have brought to my life.

Distance: 4 miles warm up, 7 GAP hills, 4 mile warm down
State of Mind: It's reality, I guess

Sunday, May 23, 2010

There are few things more gratifying than a painful recovery run to put your body back in fighting shape. Met up with the group to do an outside loop, which should have been a piece of cake. But with a healing leg, a half marathon still a distant memory & muggy heat...the run was actually quite painful.

Distance: 5.75 miles
State of Mind: Taking things one day at a time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ran the Brooklyn Half today! Wow, what an amazing place we are lucky enough to call home, every step of the way to Coney Island was beautiful. With a very sore quad, I decided to take myself out of the race & enjoy it in another running alongside the ever-positive A.

Probably the most fun part of the race was the first seven miles in the park. Even though the park was crowded, the energy was so uplifting. You could sense the runners putting their all in & slowly becoming more & more tired as we headed down to Coney Island...what a great feeling. And with so many PPTCers running today, it was evident that our team is full of a variety of talent that feels so welcoming.

Lately, in life, I feel more like a bystander than anything else. With all this change around me, it really has allowed me to question who I am & what I want out of life (or at least try to). Seeing all of these people around, some strangers & some friends, it is so great to watch them put one foot in front of the next.

Distance: 13.1 miles + 1 mile warm up
State of Mind: So proud, so very proud, of all the PPTCers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Even with an extremely sore quad, there was nothing that could keep me away from yoga practice tonight. I just couldn't imagine not trying to absorb every last ounce of Ali & the surrounding depth of love & devotion in all of her classes.

Like the practices I dream of, the room was packed head to toe with the a-typical rich, white girl trying to find balance in her seemingly crazed world. What a beautiful sight.

Within minutes, I was dripping all over my mat, I knew I was in for a treat. The whole practice, A kept on going back to value of enjoying the "now", letting go of expectations, letting go of the dreams, just living for the moment we are in now. One thing that always confuses me about my life is the fact that I seem to be attracted to people who talk of not looking back, doing what feels right, no matter what society or tradition says. It really made me think about my life & the choices I have made. I truly don't think that I am living a life that is completely me, there are so many things I have wanted, still want, that I simply don't go after as I don't want to be seem as wrong, crazy or selfish for my desires. It is hard to believe that there are people out there that just follow their heart, without thinking of the consequences. I wonder who they are.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Dripping, from the mind down.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Met up with the Wednesday night group for what I thought would be a quiet run around the park. M & I had a great ratio of guys to girls, nothing we could complain about. After the first loop, we all decided to put in a second loop, even though my injury told me otherwise. Thing is, with the prospect of going home alone, it doesn't take much to keep me out alongside people I love & respect.

Distance: 8.7 miles
State of Mind: Glad regret is not a common word in my vocabulary

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After a rainy, rainy day...I took a leap of faith & headed up to "eh" or East Harlem for an adventure unlike any other I have ever experienced in NYC. After meeting up with H & R, + a very cute friend of R's, we headed down to the 102nd St. passenger bridge to cross from one island to another. After a short run, we ended up at Icahn stadium in Randall's Island, empty with the exception of a few runners who had the courage to make it out in this type of weather for a track meet.

Although my quad was still a bit sore, the energy of the track meet was pretty remarkable. Nothing like the usually brouhaha of the races that I typically attend, just the pure, raw glory of hitting the track, listening for the gun on the last lap & putting it all on the table.

I raced smart, took it easy each loop & just tried to stay consistent. I ended with a 6:25 or so, nothing to write home about but the experience just showed the variety of experiences available in this amazing city.

Distance: 1.5 miles, 1 mile at 6:25, 1.5 miles
State of Mind: Glad to spend quality time with such amazing runners, oh & friends

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still injured, very little running. But trying to be inspired by my heroes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

After taking two days off, yes two, to rest my sore right quad...I decided to give it a go today. My plan was to immediately start running, at a slow pace, & to see how long I lasted until it hurt. Like always, I went out slow but kept picking up the pace to fulfill my competitive spirit. But thankfully enough, I calmed myself down, stuck with my running husband K & slowed the pace to a comfortable level as soon as I felt myself pushing it a hard.

Distance: 5 miles
State of Mind: It is exhausting showing my real feelings.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Went to yoga practice tonight, excited to clear my head & lengthen my muscles. It was a quiet class, as A wasn't teaching tonight. About 30 minutes in, I felt a little pain/tear in my right quad which concerned me so I tried to make the smart move & call it quits for the evening.

It is strange that yoga practice usually reveals small pains in my body, but it very rarely causes this sort of pain.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: A bit worried...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Met up with the group for a grueling loop around the park, my legs just didn't like me. But thankfully, with the company of J & M...I was able to keep my mind off of my heavy legs & on the foggy beauty of the park.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Definitely harder to recover than I remember

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Still sore from my mountain escape, I headed to the last workout of the speed session to put my body to work. Coach had us do long, long, long hills near Center Drive, just what I needed.

I ran hard with the girls, but decided to call it quits after only 5 hill repeats so to not burn myself out for the upcoming, scary Brooklyn half.

Distance: 5 mile warmup, 5xlong hills, 1 mile warmdown
State of Mind: A bit sad