Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It took all the willpower I had to force myself out the door for the speed workout tonight. And there was nothing, absolutely nothing, pretty about it. But, truth is, I run to elevate my strength & push myself, not to just enjoy the better days.

Coach had us meet at red hook track tonight, which never looked uglier. Thankfully it was quiet minus the constant downpour & splashing of puddles. We did 10x400's + 1x800. Although my legs were extremely tired, I am proud of myself for running my type of workout. We were supposed to run them all in 90sec pace, which is just not me. So I ran the first two at 1:33 pace & nearly died. More my ego than my legs, as I watched runner after runner pass me. But once I let go of my ego, I felt confident running the next eight + the 800 at 1:38 pace. Almost evenly throughout & completely in control.

For the record, I have been steadily increasing my weekly mileage which I knew was going to impact my speed. Although I can make it through the workouts, my legs never feel fresh or rested. But I am hoping the increased mileage with the consistent speed will payoff OR at least teach me something.

Distance: 3.5 mile warmup, 10x400 + 1x800, 3.5 mile warmdown
State of Mind: Mind over matter, more sunshine please

Monday, March 29, 2010

Met up with S to do a misty, tired Monday night run. We ended up doing a few extra miles, heading south towards the mystery outside of the park in the cemetery. My love of the cemetery run is definitely growing, mainly because almost ten miles goes by just so quickly.

Distance: 9.7 miles
State of Mind: Feeling the extra miles

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Went on a nice run with A, J & R... although I sure want this cold to leave us. Ending the frigid run with a nice warm cup of coffee & some casual conversation at a Park Slope coffee joint definitely made it worth it.

Distance: 5.5 miles
State of Mind: Happy Birthday Ami!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

From the inside out, it appeared to be a perfect day today. But the cold & wind were definitely concealing themselves in the bright blue sky. The plan was to do an adventurous park run, from Prospect Park up along the West Side Highway to Riverside Park & across the island to Central Park. The day was gorgeous, although the windchill & low temperatures made it hard to enjoy at times. All the more reason to overcome the little things to take in the awe of the city.

Distance: 14.7 miles + WSH wind
State of Mind: Solid

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beautiful, steamy practice tonight with A. My balance was no where near my best & my sore body cried for relief but yoga was exactly what it needed. The whole class was about "trying something new", which is perfect my state of mind lately.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: A ton more growth

A little girl love from CherryTree back in Feb.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My heart & mind have felt unbeatable lately, yet my legs have been dead, dead, dead. After yesterdays equally mentally & physically tiring workout, part of me wanted to sleep it off tonight yet more of me wanted to seek revenge.

Met up with the group to take in the park on a night where the sky spoke for itself...full of blues, greens, teals & purples. Was excited to see H joining us, she always fills the park with an unavoidable lightness. But not in the Kundera sense. My legs were begging me to rest, but I finally started feeling a bit like myself right as we headed towards the hill. Just goes to show how durable our bodies are.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Balance, seeking balance

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It was definitely one of those forgettable days, no matter how many cups of coffee I poured down my throat. Got home early & was able to enjoy a nice easy run down to BPS, taking in the mistiness of the evening. The park has so many faces to it, I feel so fortunate that I am able to absorb the depth of its offering.

Maybe it is because I skipped the last speed session, but this session is sooo hard. This week we did 5-minute intervals x 50 minutes. Meaning, 5 hard 5-minute intervals with 5 minute recovery between each one. And man oh man, did it work me. Here's how it went:

#1: Feeling good like I always am during the first part of the workout, I stuck to R's shoulder with a clip that I knew was much too fast for me.

#2: Knowing I was out of my league a bit, I finished well behind the group but chalked it up to lakeside hill. As I know better than anyone hills just aren't my bag of tricks.

#3: With a chance to redeem myself I repeated over & over again underneath my breath "I can do this", but after 4 minutes I fell apart.

#4: Finally, I learned my lesson & decided to run my own way. And though I hated being so far behind, I felt strong & in control the whole time.

#5: Lucky us, we started & finished on the lakeside hill so I just pushed myself at my own pace & felt proud to have completed the workout.

Sometimes I look at how I handle certain situations & wonder if I will ever learn. But there are always so many variables to consider. Is it my talent, my confidence, my lack of experience that is letting me down OR is this just who I am. On my recovery run home, I felt truly worked & I was proud of myself for adjusting halfway through the workout. So maybe, just maybe all of this about growth, no matter how small a step it is.

Distance: 3 mile warmup, 50x5min intervals / 6 miles, 1.5 mile warmdown
State of Mind: Always, always learning

Monday, March 22, 2010

Soaked to the bone, wearing what was once a cute cotton tee until the rain glued it to my body after what was supposed to be an uneventful run in the park. Besides the weather, which made me think of one of my favorites lines from Point of No Return "I never did mind about the little things", I had a really lovely & talkative run with G. As the rain started falling harder & harder, we fell into our own little world of divulging our thoughts & dreams to each other.

Distance: 7 miles
State of Mind: Still deflating...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Woke up early to take in the awe of talent filling the streets of the West Side Highway as finishers crossed the line at the NYC Half Marathon. Met up with A, R & J to get in a little run beforehand, something that is quite needed if you are going to watch people cross a finish lines minutes before you ever will in your lifetime. PPTC women represented well, I was just proud to steal a hug from a few of my favorites.

Distance: 9.1 miles
State of Mind: Surrounded

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It was one of those days that marked the beginning of a new chapter. A new season. Started off a little slow, with a mix of new runners & the staple of a few regulars. We looped around Battery Park, with thousands of people out enjoying the recent spring air. I pushed it hard on the east side, stretching my legs & testing my form. And again on Union Hill, where I went for blood. My own, but still the same.

Last night, as I was leaving work, I realized how small my world had become as I watched people dancing for money in front of a crowd invoking laughter I hadn't felt in ages. All I kept thinking was if I really wanted more, what was I waiting for.

Distance: 13.4 miles
State of Mind: The sun feels beautiful on my skin

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It was a packed class tonight, as the sun was still setting on the west side. I knew from the moment I relaxed my legs to either side of the mat that I was in for something special. All throughout practice, A kept talking about effort, practice, risk & how people don't succeed if they only focus on their shortcomings.

I am a bit ashamed of this, but my weakest pose in yoga practice is the headstand. For some reason, inverting brings all of my fears out. All at once. But tonight, for the first time ever, I inverted on my own. It was as ungraceful as could be & only lasted 5 seconds, but it was all me.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Working on being more fearless...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finally, after weeks & weeks, my legs are so tired. Feels sickeningly good. Did an easy run from the park down to my aunts house off Coney Island Ave. for a little St. Patrick's day party with my nieces. Felt good to get in a slow run, bad that I was so weak.

Distance: 4 miles
State of Mind: Recovery...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Really wonderful day, full of gifts & love. Although, a little piece of me only wanted what I couldn't have. But I am starting to realize that desire is more of a negative habit than a realistic perspective of actual wants.

Met up for the speed workout, making it with minutes to spare. Coaches plan for us was hydrants, which are always fun & exciting. Making the miles go by with always something to look forward to. And even better, I could fake my speed by keeping up with the group on the recovery legs, which helped me feel more part of the pack. There were definitely some moments of struggle, but all in all, I just had fun with the workout. Not even realizing how many miles I put in.

Distance: 11.2 miles
State of Mind: I hope clothes keep coming off.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spent the day finishing up what took close to three months to create, had a sense of relief coupled by a strange feeling of being deflated the whole day. Not something I want to relive anytime soon.

Was able to rush out of work to meet up with S for a dark, wet run. She wanted to go longer, so we headed down to the cemetery. I rarely run the cemetery, so it felt fresh & new...although the PF in my right foot was acting up the whole time. There is something quite different & unique about my relationship with S, I feel closest to what is unsaid in our relationship than what rolls off our tongues during our runs together.

Distance: 9.7 miles
State of Mind: I feel it coming...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When I was 19, I moved up to a small town in Alaska for a summer to work at a fish cannery with a girlfriend of mine. We worked 18 hour days, spending the other 6 hours eating/showering/sleeping. It was difficult work (not necessarily mentally) but I had to change myself a bit to get through the experience. Lately, that experience has been on my mind as the status of my current job has changed quite a bit. Similar hours, similar self changes being made.

So I knew it was important, no matter what weather, to get outside & try to force a little balance on myself. From the start of the rainy/windy run, I could tell my body wasn't the same so I decided to take it easy & keep it under 10 miles. The weather was quite disastrous though, at the end of the run I was wind blown & drenched with street water. I guess that's what forcing does to you.

Distance: 8.3 miles
State of mind: There has to be more, I just can't see it clearly

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

There is no feeling quite like stretching out over a track for a speed workout. It is something that I remember doing back in my early teens on a loose track & something that brings me back to the Santa Barbara CC track along the ocean where I spent so many hours running against the bright sun. Red Hook track is no different, even though it does have a very vacant feeling.

Met up to do 800's, I tried my hardest to run the second lap faster than the first with mixed results. Here are my results: 3:16, 3:16, 3:14, 3:18, 3:17, 3:17. The goal was 5k pace, which I ran a bit ahead of...but still behind all the rest.

Distance: 4.5 mile warmup, 6x800's, 5 mile warmdown
State of Mind: Very much under control

Monday, March 8, 2010

The warmth lately has felt so great. I guess that's the thing about seasons, it makes you appreciate what came before & what is coming after. Only to be renewed again each year.

Ran with S & G tonight, getting in a talkative, somewhat flirtatious, outside loop followed by a shorter, transverse inside loop. Running with G helps show me the lighter side of things, kind of how they happened in 8th grade. But present day, for sure, things are quite different.

Distance: 8.25 miles
State of Mind: Another step in the right direction

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Up early excited to meet Scott Jurek. Met up with a small group of runners (20 or so) at GAP to take in the celebrity. I tried my hardest to insert myself into a conversation with him, which was somewhat success. His eyes sparkled when I talked to him, which made my heart jump a beat. After brief introductions, the group of us went on an interesting route through the park, nothing unforgettable. But still the park. Ran home with S to give her brother a little affection before zig zagging my way out of Crown Heights back to a safer, slightly more desirable neighborhood.

Distance: 7.5 miles
State of Mind: Nice mileage this weekend.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Urban running at its best, I headed out this morning to tackle a multi-bridge run with the group. For snapshot purposes, here is a run down of the bridges we ran over: carroll street -> brooklyn (twice) -> manhattan -> williamsburg -> pulaski -> queensboro/59th street. Which means we ran through endless neighborhoods & five boroughs: brooklyn -> manhattan -> brooklyn -> queens -> manhattan.

The weather was a bit chilly, with beautiful clear skies. We all took turns taking the lead, chatting together or running solo with our own thoughts. We ran down gorgeous Carroll St. in Brooklyn, chaotic pedastrian settings in Manhattan, an ideal waterfront park & even some mechanical sparks falling on us in Queens. Ending our running journey back in Manhattan with UES fur coats & lengthy lines at Starbucks.

Distance: 17 miles (the last mile or so was from Atlantic Ave to home with S)
State of Mind: One of those unforgettable days...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Making tough tough decisions lately, but trying to do what is best for me. Ran out of work to make yoga practice to try to balance out the craziness in my life lately. I think I am at a point where I am doing very little great & just getting by with good. I couldn't invest my whole self into the practice, but I definitely broke down a few walls & came out feeling like a better person.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Trying to make the right choices...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Felt a 50lb guerrilla on my back tonight during my run. It is strange how little I know my body after all our years together. With two days of seemingly easy running, I should have been able to pull out a good run...but to no avail I barely was able to hold down a good clip running after M & Z.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: a little beyond control...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

After a long day of travels to WDC & back for work, I promised myself that I would try to get outside for a few minutes to balance myself out a bit. Headed to the park to try to meet up with coaches speed group, but ended up just running by myself. It was actually a bit lonely, the park is so different when you are surrounded by friends. As I headed home, I ran into a few members of the group that were warming down...so it wasn't a complete lost cause.

Distance: 5 miles
State of Mind: squeezing it all in

Monday, March 1, 2010

Excellent moonlit run with G in the park tonight. Full of friendly, honest, open chatter. We ended up doing a loop through the bottom of the hill & turned around to finish the loop, meeting up with a friend of his on the way up the PPW hill. Felt great to get a few miles in on a usually dim Monday.

Distance: 8 miles
State of Mind: mind tired, legs full of energy