This month I have a bit of it all, 4:30am walks with my new puppy, 8pm training runs at the New Balance Armory Track, New York Road Runners Thursday Night at the races - track race, an exhibition opening February 7th and school started. Plus it is cold.
I feel like hibernating at this time of year, it is cold, last Saturday my 12 mile run was done at -4 degrees, today was almost balmy at 26 degrees, but never the less I don’t like it. Tomorrow is NYRR 1/2 marathon but I am skipping it. Right now my focus is to get quick and all my short runs would not make for a good 1/2 marathon time.
Two weeks ago I got my nerve up to run at the NYRR Thursday night at the races. This indoor meet is for track racers, those speedy folks that run sub 5:00 miles. One man in the 45-49 age catagory ran a 4:28 mile! Clearly speed is not just for the 20 year olds! I thought there is no way I am going to race on that track, despite the fact I train on it twice a week. Well I am super happy to report that not only did I race that night, I raced this week as well. I ran the mile, 3k, and 1500 meter all on a 200 meter track. Let me tell you, running 15 laps around a small highly banked track is not for the faint at heart, but I did it and ran a 12:48 3k, and I was not last, but I was lapped. It did great things for my humility and my self esteem, all very positive, it also made me very sore. But I figure it will make me stronger.
I am also training my new lab puppy, “Homer” who is now 16 weeks old ans 23 pounds. As you may suspect he is a handful but very sweet. The dogs crawl all over me during yoga which you can see in the video. House-training is not so exciting. The last walk is at 11pm and the first at 5am, sometimes earlier, so I am quite sleep deprived these days. But I think he is going to be a good running partner.
On February 7th I have an exhibition opening in Brooklyn at a new gallery. I have a lot of work to do before that day, I am way behind. But it is going to look spectacular! Everyone is welcome. My info is not up on the website as of today, Jan. 24 but it will be soon.
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It is 17º here in NYC and a beautiful sunny day. By noon it will be an excellent day for a New Years Day Run. But for right now I have two black Labrador Retrievers curled up around me and I am having my morning coffee. Last year at this time I was writing to you from the beach shack on Cape Cod and while I am enjoying heat, electricity and all those niceties of modern living I miss the shack with the gorgeous golden sunlight and endless wooded trails to run.
I was just on the New York Road Runners website registering for my spring races. I had to tame my overachieving personality and not run races in January and the early part of February and not run too many races. Right now I am running indoor speed training 2x a week and focusing on getting faster of course, but also improve my stride rate, pace, strength and over quality of my running. My ultimate goal is faster race times and stronger running. Last year I ran 4 marathons all about the same pace, this year I want to drop 10 minutes from that time, I also want to drop 1.5 minutes off my 4 mile time. To do this I am racing less and focusing more on training. Tuesday workout was as follows, 8 x 400 then 4 x 200 each interval had a 2.5 minute rest. My first 400 was my slowest, 1:36, my fourth and fifth the fastest 1:30. By the time I got to the 200′s I was running them at 40 seconds. I was tired and two days later I am still sore but a nice sore. The day before the speed training I was in the gym strength training. I did 4 sets of 15 on bench press, squats, and dead-lifts all with light weight, then an hour of yoga to stretch it all out. My hamstrings are always my weak point so I find if I weight training before running I run much better. Let’s see how that does over the next three months.
As far as New Years resolutions go, I try to avoid them or keep them more general. As I was working out my running goals which is a daily practice, not something reserved for new years, I came to the conclusion that a good resolution would be to treat myself really well in my training. To train hard but not beat the crap out of myself. To make sure I eat well and allow myself rest days, to properly prepare myself for trainings and races. To consistently do strength training as injury prevention but above all to have fun and enjoy the whole process.
Today on this New Years Day 2009, I wish you a very happy, healthy, injury free, fun, adventurous and fast new year.
Taken from the AdventureCorp email I receive every week:
“It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now, with its aches and its pleasures, is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.”
- Pema Chodron
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