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