Today was a day of big accomplishment. C and I woke up before 8, prepped and then painted the big wall in our living room. We did two coats of deep navy and then painted inside a shelving unit near the bathroom. I also painted one wall in my room a stormy grey and painted my desk a light grey. After all that, I went out to do my last long run. With the taper, I only had to do 8. It’s wonderful that I’ve now run 8 as my short runs, so doing it for the long run felt like a breeze. Speaking of breeze, it seemed to be against me the whole way, but it kept me nice and cool. I really love my new location because I get to run along the west side more. The running path there is amazing. After my run, C and I took down the painter’s tape and rearranged the furniture. And after allll that, I finished up my homemade Halloween costume and went out for the night. It was a fantastic and productive Saturday.
I went to PT today for the first time. The PT office is right down the hall from the orthopedic doctor I went to, so it was very convenient. The therapist’s name is Oscar and he is fantastic. So intelligent and so nice. He has run a few marathons so I felt even more confident listening to his advice. After we talked for a bit, he felt around my knees. As my cousin Maura guessed, it was actually my IT band that was causing the problem. A strain of the tendon had caused my kneecap to move slightly out of place, which was causing the pain. He assured me that with some stretching I would be fine to run the marathon. I’m sure my grin was from here to New Jersey I was so excited to hear that.
Once he determined the problem, he got down to business. I sat with a heated blanket over my knees for ten minutes to warm them up. Then he did 5 minutes of a heated ultrasound on my left knee. Apparently this sent heat internally, but I wasn’t supposed to feel it on the outside. It didn’t start to hurt until just before he was done, so I was relieved when it was over. After that he massaged the IT band around my knee. It hurt, but felt amazing afterward. He showed me how I should ice after running, about which I’ll probably post on Saturday. Then he got down on the floor and showed me how I should stretch my IT band on a roller. They have one at the gym I can use, but since I’m moving tomorrow and am canceling that membership, I may just buy one to keep at home. After that he taped my kneecap into place and we scheduled a few more appointments. The PT office was incredibly kind and made sure to tell me that because my co-pay is pretty high I should feel free to not attend every session if it’s too difficult. I told them I would think about it. I will hopefully do at least two more sessions before the marathon, maybe one more and one after, we’ll see how things go. Either way, I left the office in a little less pain and with infinitely less weight on my shoulders!
snot rocket - (noun) when you plug one nostril with your finger, and blow out of the other nostril with everything you have, sending a snot projectile out of the nose.
Once the weather dips below 70, my nose starts running the second I do. This morning’s run was no exception. I was psyched to be out running but went slow to take it easy on my knee. I was able to do 6 miles with a bit of throbbing, but I wasn’t buckling over, so I was quite happy. However, I kept having to breathe really strongly through my nose to prevent it from pouring down my face. Lots of runners will tell you you have to perfect the art of the snot rocket, described and demonstrated by David Beckham above. Now, David Beckham is stunning and even he looks DISGUSTING doing this. There is absolutely no way I would ever do that. I cannot even imagine doing it myself, let alone in front of and surrounded by tons of people. So gross! So from now until spring I will be running with a handful of tissues as always. Much classier to dab with a tissue than blow snot out onto your fellow runner’s shoe.
Yesterday I really wanted to get in my 8 mile run but also really didn’t want to hurt myself. I went to the gym and started with 30 minutes on the treadmill. It hurt a decent amount, so I decided to hop onto the elliptical, hoping the lack of thumping would lessen the impact on my joints. Unfortunately, the movement itself wasn’t doing anything good for my knee. After 15 minutes I hopped off to do some strength training (which I have been neglecting and need to get back into). Going to the orthopedic doc today, hoping for some good tips.
Speaking of good tips - the New York Road Runners has created this mile by mile guide for spectators. Be sure to share with your family and friends!
The Marathon, Mile by Mile
Miles 1–2: Staten Island and the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge Sorry, the start of the race on Staten Island is closed to spectators. Tune in to NBC4 New York for live coverage of the start.
Mile 2: Bay Ridge Spectators get their first glimpse of runners is the pack comes off the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge. Crowds are relatively sparse here, and the view is spectacular!
Miles 3–8: Fourth Avenue This five-mile stretch of the race has more than 30 official entertainment spots. Position yourself near one of the bands for double the fun.
Miles 8–9: Fort Greene to Clinton Hill An official cheering station and the merging of three lanes make the eight-mile mark at the Brooklyn Academy of Music a hot spot for watching the race. Enthusiasm continues up Lafayette Avenue, where crowds can be less dense.
Miles 10–12: Williamsburg As the race makes a sharp left onto Bedford Avenue, the route crosses South Williamsburg—traditionally a Hassidic Jewish neighborhood—before crossing into the hipster haven of Williamsburg. McCarren Park is a popular vantage point.
Miles 12–13: Greenpoint Further off the beaten path than Williamsburg, the miles through Greenpoint on both sides of the Pulaski Bridge (which is closed to spectators) are populated by loyal Brooklynites.
Miles 13–15: Queens The Queens portion of the race has enough onlookers to be exciting, but not so many that you’ll be uncomfortable. Plus, Queensboro Plaza offers easy access back into Manhattan via several subway lines.
Miles 15–16: Queensboro Bridge Spectators are not permitted on the bridge, but the lead-up to it is a popular spot from which to watch the race.
Miles 16–19: First Avenue These are some of the most crowded miles of the course, but some say the sight of runners coming off the bridge is worth the six-person-deep crowds. Spectators tend to thin out above 96th Street.
Miles 19–21: Bronx Only one mile of the marathon course is inthe Bronx. Many runners may hit “the Wall” at this point, and they rely on cheers to carry them through.
Miles 21–23: Harlem and North Central Park Harlem’s vitality and enthusiasm make it a high-energy place to watch from. You might also see the elite athletes staging breakaways.
Miles 23–24: Fifth Avenue A slight incline makes this a grueling part of the race for runners. Throngs of spectators provide a much-needed boost.
Miles 24–26.2: Central Park and Central Park South Crowds will be dense but very enthusiastic inside the park; be prepared to bump elbows with strangers.
Beyond the finish: Upper West Side If you’re meeting a runner, designate a spot beforehand. The further north you go, the easier it will be to congratulate your tired loved one.
For cross-training today I really wanted to ride the bike at the gym rather than yoga. I wanted to get in some quality time with our book club book - Water for Elephants which I am really enjoying. Unfortunately, with walking to work, working late, training for the marathon, moving and trying to see my friends, I haven’t had tons of time to read. So, popping onto the bike to read for an hour was perfect! Also, I knew this would be easy on my knee. I was right on all accounts. The hour flew by and I am now desperate to continue reading. I ended up reading more before bed (which was really late because of packing) and was unable to get up early this morning for my run. Guess that means a run tonight! Too bad I bounce way too much when I run to be able to read, maybe I should get the book on my iPod!
Put on the new orange laces that ING sent me. Love how neon they are. They remind me of Essie “Bright Tights.”
Saturday morning my schedule was to run 20 or 22 miles, depending upon how I was feeling. Niketown’s running group was doing a 16 mile run so I figured I could run there, run with them and then run back. On the run there old blisters got opened up and my feet were being sliced. The bandaids I had on kept coming off and I was worried I’d be in too much pain to run, but fortunately once we got going I was ok. They planned for us to do Queensboro Bridge repeats, we would run there from Niketown and do three laps (to Queens and back) and then run up the east side running path. The wind coming back to Manhattan was INSANE! There were points where it felt like we weren’t moving at all. Good practice for the big day though, especially since mile 15 of the race is going over the bridge to Manhattan. I felt great the whole time but noticed a dull pain on the outside of my left knee while we were on the downhill slopes of the bridge. We all stopped at a little playground under the bridge before heading to the east river running path and got some water. When we started up again the pain in my knee was crippling. After a few yards it felt better, but any time I had to pause at a light, it felt like someone was taking an axe to my knee. Not good. Definitely not good as we made our way back to Niketown and had to stop at lights at almost every avenue. I stretched with the group and then headed home. I tried to start running again and almost buckled over in pain. Really not good. I ended up cabbing it home and only got in 17 miles.
I talked with my cousin M today, the physical therapist, and she gave me lots of great advice. She’s sending me some stretches tomorrow and suggested I see an orthopedist. Hopefully I can get an appointment this week or next and they’ll be able to help me out. She told me to keep up with the ice and Advil and that I have to take a break from running if it hurts too much. I’m really hoping this run will be the exception and everything else from here will get better. Will continue to update.
Wooo. I did it. Due to the darkness in the morning and the late work nights I planned to tackle my Thursday run in the evening. I was proud of myself for resisting beers at Booze Trolley (a fabulous happy hour we have every Thursday at work) but I had several Baked by Melissa cupcakes at our surprise baby shower for Jenny and a pretty big lunch from La Esquina during a production house showcase. Needless to say, I had a full belly ready to run 11 miles. At this point it was raining and getting pretty late so I had to take it to the gym. I hopped on a treadmill and planted myself in front of the TV for a while. I was able to catch the end of the live 30 Rock and watch the whole Office, so that kept me entertained. Other than that it was a bit of channel changing. 11 miles on the treadmill is pretty boring, but that made me feel even more accomplished when it was all over. I stretched and then walked home in the rain.
(my eggplant parm didn’t look as pretty but this is what I was thinking of on my run)
All I could think about during my run was eggplant parmesan. Seriously, I was fixated on it. Trader Joe’s has these great frozen eggplant cutlets that I had in the freezer so I figured I could make a feast. But then, when I got home I was suddenly no longer hungry. I knew if I didn’t eat I’d either feel really ill shortly or wake up in the middle of the night famished. So I heated two up and topped them with salsa and made a soy/strawberry/spinach/chocolate sauce smoothie for “dessert.” I felt good after eating both and only made it about two chapters into my book before passing out at 10:30. Successful night!
My schedule’s a bit off this week due to the race (and my long run) being on Sunday and with work being insane. I was able to get in six miles today and decided to make it an interval run on the treadmill. The darkness of the morning has been pushing me to the treadmill and I only just realized daylight savings is the day of the marathon! So crazy. Anyway, the run went great, watched the Chilean miners being rescued on the treadmill and did some of my PT.
Today I wore the shirt from the Boston Half. I was pleased to see it was a long sleeve technical shirt, since the race fee was so high. I always manage to pick up a shirt that’s a bit too big (see above), I guess I should have gotten the XS rather than the S but being a bit big is definitely better than a bit small. Wearing the race shirt within a week ofa race always brings a smile to my face. I love when people register the date on the shirt and realize you just did a big distance and are back working out a few days later. It kind of makes me feel invincible.
In 26 days I will be running 26.2 miles in the NYC Marathon. As I’ve mentioned before, lately I’ve been getting a bit emotional in my runs. The longer runs have allowed me a lot of uninterrupted thinking time and I’ve frequently reflected on the many things in my life for which I am thankful. In keeping with the 26 theme of the last two days, here’s my list of 26 things for which I am thankful. This is in no particular order, nor are the reasons for each item the only reasons, each has many.
my parents – for being incredible parents, role models, friends, everything. They make every victory sweeter and every misstep easier.
my brother and sister – who have always been more athletic than me and are being good sports about the fact that I can now outrun them. (just kidding guys, you are my best friends, I love you)
my extended family – my favorite running partners, nothing compares to Falmouth Road Race day, running 7 miles with my family, past my cheering family and then partying with them for the rest of the day. I wish we could do it every weekend.
my friends – they understand that when I Irish-goodbye from bars it’s usually due to a race the next morning. They have been continually supportive and are ok pushing brunch back an hour so I can get an extra few miles in.
my coworkers – the only way I would survive my job, their support helps me to get up early in the morning despite working late nights all week
my notres – my girlfriends from high school and I got to know each other mostly because we all played soccer back in the day and many of us dabbled in track. Through them I have an amazing support system from girls who not only know the terrain, but know me.
Camp Casey – such an incredible charity that is changing the lives of children with cancer and their families while simultaneously changing mine by letting me get involved.
my health – knock on wood, I have always had good health and have been fortunate to stay healthy.
the blender – mixing something hearty and nutritious (and cold!) after a run is the way to go.
Bloody Mary’s and Eggs Benedict – nothing tastes better after a long run
good attitude – this has gotten me through every hiccough along the way
Rick Kates – my high school track coach who always pushed us, though at the time I thought he pushed me to hating running, it was really the sprints I hated, but long runs I love. I still remember some of the lessons he taught.
the physical therapy plan my cousin laid out – I can feel the positive effect this has had on my knees.
the New York Road Runners – their races have catapulted me into loving running, it’s so great to have the feeling of community that I get through NYRR.
Hal Higdon’s plan – having a plan laid out for me has been a tremendous help.
9:30 start to my workday – without this there is no way I would be able to fit in longoer morning workouts, which would then cut into my after work social life.
my iPod – music is not a crutch but a motivator, I have so often moved my feet (and hands) to the beat and gotten through a workout faster than anticipated
frozen waffles, bananas and peanut butter – my perfect pre-workout meal. So simple, always on hand and easy on the stomach.
Nike+ - this little tool has helped me train since my depth perception is terrible, it’s also so helpful when I need to make sure I’m keeping pace
Central Park – such a gorgeous place to train, being surrounded by hundreds of people makes you feel like a part of something
East River and West Side running paths – they make running in southern Manhattan possible
Body Glide – no explanation necessary.
Lactaid – chocolate milk is the best recovery and thanks go lactose free milk, I get to enjoy it!
Yoga to the People – their donation based vinyasa flow yoga classes have made me love yoga and it’s been the perfect cross-training.
Twitter – I have learned so many little running/nutrition/training tips through Twitter. It’s also allows a quick browse so I don’t waste time reading something not of interest.
God – without whom, none of this would be possible.
I turned 26 today. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I would be running my first 26.2 mile marathon after turning 26. I have never been superstitious, but I always like looking out for patterns in numbers. Usually as I run I break the miles into different fractions. It keeps my mind busy and I like being able to check off different fractions as I go. I’m glad I was able to get in such a great workout yesterday because today there was just no time. I am off to do a little bit of bedtime yoga and then get a good night’s rest.
I’ve found lately that while running I’ve gotten a bit emotional. I don’t know if it’s all the endorphins flowing through my blood, but I can’t help but feel incredibly grateful and happy. I received lots of kind messages today from family and friends, spent time with family and friends this weekend, enjoyed a cupcake treat with coworkers and spent a relaxing evening with my roommates. What more could I want for my birthday? The theme of gratitude will continue tomorrow, but I couldn’t let today go by without expressing how happy I am.
This photo is about 23 years old, love my little bro (and little sis but I couldn’t find a cute photo).
Sunday was the much anticipated Boston Half Marathon. I was really excited for this because I haven’t yet run a race in Boston. Since I didn’t start running til after college, all of my races have either been in Hingham or down the Cape. Also, in addition to being my first Boston race, it was the 10th annual race on 10.10.10. I’m a huge numbers geeks so I thought that was awesome. My dad was kind enough to drive me in, so I didn’t have to worry about finding parking or anything. The route started in Franklin Park, went on the Arborway past Jamaica Pond to the Fens, back to Franklin Park into the William H. Devine golf course and through the zoo and ending in White Stadium. Doing a mile in the zoo was pretty cool, I ran past ENORMOUS camels and make some lame joke to myself about the usual camelbacks on races are the water backpacks.
I was feeling pretty good so I was trying to stay under a 9:00 mile without hurting myself. At the end, I realized I was very close to my PR (1:53:10 in the NYC half) and wish I had just gone 2 seconds faster each mile and beaten my PR. Oh well. I learned a lot in this race that I will apply to the NYC Marathon. 1. Even if you’re freezing in the morning (it was 41 degrees at start) you will warm up during the race. Bring clothes to toss at the start. I also want to grab gloves to throw away because I couldn’t feel my fingers for 2 miles. 2. Always go to the end of the water station. Nobody does and you can easily keep running and drinking. 3. Wrap my ankles, I always get blisters, no matter how good the socks are. 4. Pack my stuff as early before as I can. I forgot my Nike+ iPod sensor and my wristband. Though fortunately not essentials, I missed having them. Very glad I got to do this race, great preparation for the NYC Marathon. And, I’m very excited because like with this race, my father (and then my mother too) will be at the finish line cheering for me. Their support has been priceless and I can’t wait to do them proud.
Me holding my medal. Huge nerd, Dad made me do it.
With daylight savings time being later this year and the weather being pretty grim, mornings have been very dark! I decided to take my run to the gym and plopped myself in front of ESPN for a little while. The run went well, I just find myself getting a bit bored. The marathon is exactly a month from today and I feel like I am READY! Let’s do this! I feel like I did in college when I had studied like crazy for an exam and just couldn’t study any more. The class wouldn’t be for another few hours and I was just so antsy for it to start. In terms of exams, I wanted it to start so it could be over sooner too, but with the marathon it’s more that i’m so excited for it! I cannot wait to run through the 5 boroughs and watch the cheering fans watch me (and tens of thousands of other people!)
In honor of today’s 1 month countdown to the big race, here’s a list from Hal Higdon of tips for the marathon.
1. Skip the Chili Booth: One year at the Expo a long line formed before a booth near mine offering free chili. The lines at Porta-Potties the next day probably were longer too. We all eat pasta Saturday night, but beware what else you eat and drink. And limit time on your feet. Scott Clark of Indianapolis suggests: “The convention floor is tough on the legs. Sightseeing Saturday also might not be a good idea.”
2. Plan carefully race day: Arrive early to allow yourself plenty of time to get to the starting line. You will encounter crowds at the toilets, crowds at baggage check, crowds walking to the start at even medium-size marathons. “With all your fears about running 26 miles,” warns Mark Felipe of Arlington, Virginia, “the last thing you need is stress over getting to the start on time.”
3. Carry Plenty of Clothes: Be prepared for any weather. “Cold” when you wake up in the morning-or even standing on the line-may turn to “hot” by Mile 20. Make your final racing gear decision as close to last minute as possible. “Wear less than you think,” advises Kousik Krishnan of Glenview, Illinois. “Bringing throw-away clothes to the line will allow you to stay warm while waiting for the gun.”
4. Follow the Right Pace: Position yourself back in the pack, and don’t worry if you “lose” a few minutes because of the crowd. Starting slow can work to your advantage. In a survey of experienced marathoners, 78 percent recommended joining a pacing team, if available. “If your pace group falls behind at the start, don’t worry,” advises Chicago pace leader Amanda Musacchio of Villa Park, Illinois. “Lost time can be made up gradually.”
5. Enjoy the Race Spectacle: A marathon contains not only 26 miles of pavement, but also many precious moments. Bands. Balloons. Friends and total strangers cheering. Fellow runners with funny shirts. “Engage the crowd,” suggests David R. Fried of White Plains, New York. “Spectators love to support runners who wave.” For a first marathon, running a fast time is less important than having a good time.
6. Find Time to Focus: Acting playful has its limits. At some point in the race, raising your hand for one more High-Five drains too much energy. “When you get to the last miles,” says Paula Sue Russell of Findlay, Ohio, “think about all the positive things in your life, nothing negative.”
7. Smile at the Finish Line: According to MarathonFoto’s Gerald Swanson, four times as many runners buy photos at marathons vs. shorter races. Make yours a memorable one. Don’t punch your watch until after crossing the chip mat where photos are taken. Regina, Saskatchewan resident Kris Damm of St. Charles, Illinois remembers her mother complaining about her running the marathon. Nevertheless, Proud Mom framed Kris’s finish line photo and hung it on the wall.
8. Thank the Volunteers: ”If not for the volunteers,” suggests Paul Gottschalk of Evanston, “marathons would not be as much fun as they are.” Thank also friends and family whose support made your marathon so special. And don’t be embarrassed to wear your medal to work the next day. You earned the congratulations you will receive.
10 things every beginning yoga student should know
All the running this weekend finally hit me and I was exhausted this morning. However, I knew how amazing a good stretch at yoga would feel so I got my butt out the door at 6:30 and walked through the drizzle to class. I had a new (to me) male teacher and class went well. There was one guy in the class that groaned so loudly it made me wicked uncomfortable. I’m all for letting go, but if you’re distracting others, calm it down! Hopefully he and I won’t be in the same class again.
Check out below for a great list from Elephant Journal with the 10 Things Every Beginning Yoga Student Should Know.
1. It doesn’t matter how flexible or inflexible you are. Really. Being flexible won’t make you happier. There’s no prize. Stop suffering and learn to love the body you have! 2. Don’t get hung up on how you look in a pose. Everyone else in class is focusing on their own pose. They don’t care how you look (unless you’re wearing a thong). Let this be your first lesson in ego management. 3. It’s OK if you don’t know what the Sanskrit words mean. The only people in the room who do are teachers or big yoga dorks. 4. It’s not religious—unless you want it to be. Your practice should be unique to you. You’re allowed to make it as spiritual, religious, fitness oriented (or not) as you want. (If someone tells you otherwise, please have them call me.) 5. Yoga is an art form, a science, a lifestyle and a philosophy. But more than anything, it’s a way to get to know yourself better. And that’s something that benefits us all. 6. Everyone gets the left and right sides mixed up sometimes. Don’t be embarrassed when this happens. If your teacher corrects you, just smile. There’s a good chance she’ll say “left” when she means “right” later in the class. 7. It’s cool to fall down. The first time I fell on my face while attempting an arm balance, I was mortified. Now, when I get a big red mark on my forehead from diving head-first into my mat, I consider it a badge of honor. It’s how you learn. Laugh at yourself and move on! 8. No one cares if you can do a Handstand in the middle of the room, or touch your foot to the back of your head, or some other advanced pose. Just start where you are, and your practice will build over time. You’ve got the rest of your life to master the poses — for now, just breathe. 9. Your teacher wants you to ask for help. No one understands the temptation to hide in the back row and pretend to be invisible more than I do. But believe me when I say yoga teachers LOVE to answer your questions. Your teacher really wants to help you with your pose, answer your question about philosophy or explain what that Sanskrit word means. So if you don’t understand what’s going on, ask! 10. Keep coming back. When you’re new to anything there will be moments of frustration and discomfort. Despite what you might see on TV commercials, hatha yoga is usually not the same as going to a spa to get pampered. It’s hard work. It can be exhausting — physically, mentally and emotionally. At times you will want to throw up your hands and quit (or at least curse out your teacher for making you hold that pose you hate). Don’t. This is where the healing happens. Breathe into it, and come back tomorrow. You’ll be glad you did.
Today was the Go Outside on Governors Island 10K. I had convinced my soon-to-be roommate Chanelle to do it with me months ago, but that was before I realized it would fall the day after I was scheduled to run 20 miles. I really wanted to do it, but thought I’d judge how I felt that morning. I woke up feeling great! No stiffness at all. So this lucky duck headed to the ferry and took my first trip to Governors Island. Chanelle’s friend Caity and her father joined us and the four of us started the chilly 10K together knowing we’d shortly split up. The race was a series of three loops that took you all throughout the island. It was the perfect first trip and very interested race because there was always something new and different to see. The island has a great history and is now home to many different events in the summer, I hope to be able to check them out next year.
Pictures to be posted soon, hoping to get them from Caity!
With my schedule saying 20 miles today, I decided to get my bum up to Niketown to go on their group run. Nike’s Run Club is an awesome way to start running (they always have a run/walk group) or to do your long runs with a group. The pacers are so nice, always making sure people make it and are very encouraging. Groups leave from Niketown 3 days a week and they always send out several distance and pace groups. Unfortunately, because of my shin splints, my schedule is a bit off of everyone else’s. So most people today were doing an off week of 13 miles. Making the best of the situation, I decided to run with the group down the West Side Highway to South Cove and back to the store. To get in more miles, I didn’t turn to the store but went up into Central Park. There was a half marathon going on, so for a few miles I had to avoid it, after that though it was pretty smooth sailing. Until my knee started throbbing. At this point, I had already run 18 miles and decided it wasn’t worth crippling myself for the rest of the weekend. I walked the remaining two miles back to the store and continued on with my day.
The group I ran with along the West Side highway was a couple and another woman who started talking to me around mile 5. I’m not a big chatter during runs, especially not of distances I have never run before, but she was awfully sweet. She told me this would be her fourth marathon and offered some encouraging words. One thing that really gave me hope was something she heard from Mary Wittenberg, the CEO of NYRR. Apparently, after the 18 mile training run two weeks ago, Mary said that if you can do the hills of Central Park for 18 miles, you can definitely tackle the marathon. That was a HUGE relief. I have been afraid of my brain getting in the way and second guessing myself since I won’t ever run 26.2 miles until race day. But knowing that 18 miles of those hills may have been equally challenging was comforting. I enjoyed that run and am now even more excited for the race! Glad I was able to chat with that kind woman during our run.