Sunday, January 31, 2010

After a few days of some longer runs, my legs were definitely questioning my decision to go out again. But I didn't really feel like I had a choice, running is one of the only ways I can get out of my own head.

Was happy to see R there, waiting next to a large beginners group. When I look at someone like her, it is hard not to recognize all of the amazing qualities that live within her. And she was even kind enough to keep my pace today, which I know isn't easy to do.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: It is hard to see the light in the midst of it all, but I truly believe it does exist.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I began shivering by just the thought of running tonight, but I knew I needed to get out & detox a bit. Met up with J for a dark outside loop followed by inside loop of the park. We ran a little slower, talked a lot (mainly me) & really enjoyed the silence of the park on a Saturday night.

Distance: 9.1 miles
State of Mind: A bit confused, a bit relieved, a bit tired of it all...

Friday, January 29, 2010

I woke up to the type of weather that no matter how many layers you put on, there is no stopping the wind from entering into your body. I usually take Friday's off of running, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of a being in Brooklyn on a weekday.

I was truthfully a little hesitant to run with S this morning, sometimes I think our conversations end up going in a very dark, almost lonely, direction. I just don't think I am very good at being vulnerable. We ended up doing a loop of the park just the two of us before meeting up with JP, who instantly brings a whole new level to any situation.

The three of us headed outside the park down to the waterfront to tackle the Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges, the wind blazing through us the entire time. We spent the majority of the conversation talking about marriage, fidelity & the Tiger/Edwards lifestyle. Which was a little too deep for me.

Distance: 12.6 miles
State of Mind: What a wonderful way to start a Friday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I halfway expected yoga practice to be the cleanse that I so very needed. I thought if I dedicated enough to it, maybe it would grant me the ability to accept loss. It was strange, all throughout class, I could feel the tightness of my body limiting me. Almost determined to not let me breath. I tried & tried to release it, but I realized that I had to accept my own feelings before my body would understand.

Ali kept on repeating over & over again how we should have faith in life. Faith that what happens to us is well-planned & out of our control. In that context, if I believe in this higher ability to take care of me...than the decisions I make (or that are made for me) don't seem nearly as scary.

I don't think practice gave me everything I wanted, but it did show me that I can accept the fact that I felt out of control. Nothing, especially in yoga, is meant to be perfect. It is just a fluid dance of awareness & faith that we try to understand & accept.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: I think I've said enough...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

After getting home past midnight last night, I really wanted to force myself to get up early to go for a run in the park for a little balancing out. But after being wide awake at 5am, it wasn't too difficult to make my way outside.

Although it was grey & dark outside, the run itself was really beautiful. Both A & I talked non-stop, I really don't think there was a moment of silence. My tired legs were no match for her energetic self, but I think I was too distracted to even care.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: I don't think I can answer that today...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

After another sleepless night, I headed out for an easy run with the group. At least running takes my mind off things, now I just have to figure out a way to run 6-8 hours a day & I should be set.

It was kind of a double date today, except that the girls had to run alone as HM & T did their own thing. But, any alone time I get with A, is fine with me. She is such a good advice giver, really puts my mind at ease.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Worked to the bone...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A delightful run into Manhattan today, full of conversation, sunlight & pick-ups. At one point, I think it was an 8:1 ratio on girls to guys...maybe all of the guys can't take this cold.

Distance: 10.5 miles
State of Mind: A layer of stress disappeared the moment I started heading down Union hill

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After another hectic day at work, I was able to sneak away to make the group run tonight. It was such a relief showing up & doing a casual run around the park, very much what my vulnerable mind needed. And it was great running with the girls + coach, a very nice mix of personalities.

Afterwards, A, H, S & I headed to Abigails for a little girl time. We ended up talking mainly about guys all night, which was no problem for me. At the end of the day, no matter what path we all was a nice reminder to how the support of one another is vital.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: And this too shall pass... (I think this way too often)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So sore from the half still, makes me proud of myself for pushing so hard. After a long day at work, I was able to get in a short run around 9pm tonight. Not ideal, but it is something.

Distance: 3 or 4 miles
State of Mind: Clarity...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Phoenix Half Marathon

It has been so nice being in Arizona the last few days, within hours of being here I honestly felt like a whole new person. And shedding that skin was the perfect way to prepare for the race.

Although I felt a little at odds with my decision to do the half, I do think in the end it was the right decision. No matter what distance I do, I truly believe I try to push myself to the limit in order to see what I can prove.

The morning started off with a 4am wake up call from S, which I had gotten used to. The combination of the two of us reminds me of so many other relationships I have held, which scares me a bit. I am all about playing with fire, but her likeness frightens me. Thankfully the ever-accepting A was there to balance out the mood.

Since the marathoners started about an hour earlier than the halfers, I had some time to clear my head & focus once everyone left for the race. Although my mind kept returning to the same thought, it made me realize that I needed to develop a better sense of control if I was going to continue living this way.

I got to the marathon just as the race was starting, I will never quite get over the feeling of watching the pros leap ahead of the pack in such a dominating fashion. After I watched a few hundred runners pass, I made my way to the half start, which was much, much larger. The race was brought together with interviews from the likeness of John McCain to Deena Kaster to the oh so beautiful Ryan Hall.

So on to the race. We all know that we have good & bad days. And mostly I have good ones. This one being no exception. I started out the race with about a 7:05-7:10 pace, feeling like I could go much faster but pushing myself to take it easy. At mile 3, I was in the 21 minute range, much quicker than I had anticipated but not way off my goal. At mile 5, I had already slowed down a bit over the 1:35 goal pace I was going for...but not something I couldn't make up. From mile 5-10, I ran a pretty consistent 7:20 pace, which I couldn't increase for the life of me. From miles 10-11, I dealt with some rolling hills but I kept a steady pace. From 10 on, I was running more of a 7:30-7:40 pace, which wasn't ideal but I truly felt like I was pushing it as hard as my body would allow. The last mile took forever, I really thought I had a chance of running a 1:36 or 1:37...but it just wasn't in the cards today.

There are a few lessons I learned though:

- The whole fueling part of the race is a bit of disaster for me. My body seems to shut my stomach down almost immediately, making any fuel intake almost impossible. I noticed during this run that it was far more beneficial to take a gu/energy drink & take it easy for a few minutes while running than try to push it. Doing this inevitably slowed down my time but it allowed me not to go through the nausea that I usually deal with.

- For me, becoming a drastically faster runner is going to have to take a lot more effort. I have been running since I was a pre-teen & have been consistently the same type of runner. No matter what degree of training I have done this far really impacts my racing. If you take this race for instance, I faithfully followed an aggressive 9-week program. But when it came to race day, I was 10 seconds slower than my pr. I don't see how I will ever pr in minutes, my running might be all about seconds.

Seeing the success of S/JP today & the heartbreak of A made me realize that my love of running has much more to do with the people I surround myself with than the times I pursue.

Distance: 13.1 miles at 1:38:36
State of Mind: A little more silent...

Friday, January 15, 2010

God, it is so nice to get out of the city. From visiting my Gma to not focusing on work to chilling with S, I am holistically a better person today than I was yesterday. With the exception of not being able to cleanse my mind of what I shouldn't be thinking about, I am pretty happy with myself.

S & I went on a short, anxiety-filled run around downtown Phoenix today. Being the adventurous types, we both decided to run in about 3 inches of material. So, I think, the city was pretty happy with us.

Distance: maybe 4 miles
State of Mind: I don't think swallowing my fear is working...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Very delightful run today with S, A & HM in the park. Had no problem waking up so early, gave me something to look forward to as I deal with the indecision surrounding me.

Distance: 5.35 miles + 4 short hills
State of Mind: Looking forward to the day where I don't have to wear so many clothes...

Sunday, January 10, 2010's freezing out there. Any smart person should stay in bed, hopefully next to a cuddly partner. But of course, I have to stare outside my bedroom window starting at 6am wondering when it's appropriate to start my day.

For the first part of the run, we just did an easy loop around the park then I joined HM & T for a unique trail-esque run through some parts of the park that I haven't been on in a while. It was beautiful, but not as dreamy as I hoped.

Distance: 7ish miles
State of Mind: When I close my eyes, I wonder what I am looking at...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

After tossing & turning all night, I peeled myself out of bed to join the group for a chilly run. It was a smaller group tonight, yet ideal for mixing up conversations with the multiple mini-groups that form. After heading over the Brooklyn bridge, we enjoyed the view of the promenade before heading back up Union. Afterwards, we toasted our success at Ozzie's, which was the perfect ending to a gorgeous run.

Distance: 10.1 miles
State of Mind: There is something to invigorating about these nerves...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

God, when my work & running lives isn't a pretty sight.

After removing myself from an evening meeting to rush to make the group run, I realized that taking on too many things usually means you do nothing well. I did catch the group, started my tempo run but my breath was so out of control that the tempo run felt overwhelming. On top of that, I ran the whole way by myself...which is never any fun. Definitely want to join a few of the solo cute runners that I found myself running by. Topped the evening off at Sepia with S & G, which put me in the right direction.

Distance: 2 miles bike, 6.5 miles running, 2.5 mile tempo
State of Mind: Learn from this...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Such a calm night out at the park tonight, just N & me enjoying the silence between us for much of the run. And to top it off, I felt great...everything from my knee to my head.

Distance: 5.35 miles + 5x100 strides
State of Mind: If I seek such peace, why do I live in this city

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A lonely, windy run on a cold Sunday morning isn't exactly an ideal way to start the day BUT maybe it's just what I need. Although the trail was just as hard as the cement, I tried to take as many variations on the run to keep my mind distracted. When I was coming home, near Richard Meier's building, I was literally stopped in my tracks as the wind zoomed past me. You would think a girl from Enumclaw could handle herself a little better.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: The weather this season blows...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ran the Harry's Handicap today, which had a great community feeling coupled with some ultra fast runners. The only issue was that my legs were pretty thrashed from the 17-miler on Wednesday & the trail running yesterday...but that didn't stop H from dominating. So no excuses.

Distance: 8.5 miles
State of Mind: My legs need a break...