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Full Stats

I just got the full stats from NYRR on the Holiday 4 miler.

26 degrees, 52% humidity, and wind 10 mph

1727 men, 2032 women for a total of 3759 runners. By NYC standards that is a small race!

There were 100 women in my age group.  I came in 8th place! Not bad, but next time I’ll be in the top 5!

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My first race back after a 6 month break.

My first race back since May. The Holiday 4-miler in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. My plan was to be conservative on the first mile to warm up my legs and not burn myself out. The first mile was all uphill followed by a nice downhill. My body felt good, nice and easy running,  checking out the people around me. I focused on mile two to three to use the down hills to my advantage. Mile 3 is always hard to keep focus and keep pushing the pace.  I felt very heavy. I felt a couple of people attach me to and rather than let them suck some of my energy I focused on grabbing theirs and soon lost them. Mile 3 – 4 was all concentration to keep the pace. I got a small cramp under my right rib cage in the last 1/2 mile. I felt a few dry heaves wanting to come out in the last 500-600 meters but calmed them down. I focused hard to keep the pace going to the end but felt like I was really pushing without much reward. Mile 4 is all uphill with the last 400 meters being the toughest. I had no kick that I was aware of. So what is the verdict of my current fitness levels? I will let Coach Roy handle that but here are my stats with the run distance  since I never run the tangents and have extra mileage:

mile 1 – 7:31, mile 2 – 7:18, mile 3 – 7:14, mile 4-7:32 and the last 140 yards – 7:08. for an average of 7:23 pace, 4:08 miles – 30:10 total, my current weight is 120, 17.5% body fat. That is 3 pounds heavier and 2 minutes slower than my April 4 miler, but only 10 seconds slower than my February ’09 4 miler. And guess what?! It is 16 seconds faster than my 2008 Holiday 4-miler.To top it off it was 26º!

I am okay!

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A hand printed custom log book I made.

It is 28º in Manhattan and I just finished pinning my number to my shirt, restringing my shoe laces into my racing shoes, and laying out my outfit for tomorrow morning’s New York Road Runners Holiday 4 mile. The race is taking place in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, it will be my first race since May 16, 2009. My first race back after breaking my foot and I am looking forward to it. The first race since working with Coach Roy Benson. Tomorrow is simply about gathering information about my fitness level, or so I can tell myself. On Sunday it will be 8 full weeks since working with Roy, beginning with 15 minutes runs and a 110 minute week with a slow and careful build up to this week’s 33 miles. It may still be low mileage for most of you, but let me say, I am healthy, pain-free, and enjoying every minute of every run. And I can just keep building.
Today while riding the subway it  dawned on me how lucky I really am to have a terrific number of supportive people around me. I have teammates that I run with anywhere from 18 to 72 years old. On any given day I could beat either in a race or they could beat me. But together we are sharing what we really love to do, run-and beat the other teams- and to share that with such a huge age range of friends really is a gift.
Before getting too sentimental and speaking of gifts. I made a  slew of hand printed journals this week. Using natural tone moleskin 64 page journals and printmaking processes I made over 100 journals with images of my original drawings and photographs and I made running journals. I sold out almost everything but you can still place an order. If you are interested send me at email at hilary@hilarylorenz.com. They are $5, $10 or $15 depending on the size. Check out these images:

My labrador and one of my drawing on these small journals

Large lined journals

My sales table with book press

Each journal is unique and hand printed by Hilary Lorenz.

My table of journals

A range of hand printed journals.

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I hoped that at week 1o of my stress fracture healing  I would be able to run the New York Road Runners Team Championships. I knew it would not be a great race but an okay race. I began my rehab running back on July 14 and it is now August 8th. One week ago I did my first continuous 30 minutes of running and on Monday I ran 4 x 1 mile. But no way am I ready.

I began cross training the morning after breaking my third metatarsal all the way through. I deep water ran 5 days a week, rode my bike everywhere  and began swimming lessons. I  swim with a masters team 3x a week and do strength training. I work out about 2+ hours a day in an attempt to keep fit and to make it easier when I started running again. My runs began over three weeks ago with a 5 minute walk and a 1 minute run x 5. progressing until I was running 30 continuous minutes. I have done this 7 days a week for over three weeks.  So it should feel easy right?

The reality is my body feels like a rigid piece of metal. My upper body feels like it moves independent of my lower body. My trunk does not seem to connect with my legs and each step  takes effort and thought. My form is crap. My first real test  was the 4 x 1 mile. I waited until dark because it was  hot and humid. I jogged over to the 6th street track which is 1.06 miles away. My pace  on the track was 7:29, 7:28, 7:24, 7:59. I do not know what happened on that last one but it was such a big jump that I stopped there. I had thought about doing 5.  I  noticed my shadow as I ran and it appeared that I might have a  limp. My last two 30 minutes continuous runs averaged 8:15 pace. I would like that to be my marathon pace! To put things in perspective my 10k pace is 7:20 and my 4 mile pace 7:00.

Back in May running a fast cross country pace  felt very free and loose. I love that feeling of running up and down the steep dirt hills. But today’s run over the Williamsburg Bridge I had to focus on each step. Honestly, I  wanted to stop. My foot did not hurt, but my body  did not feel like it could  move. Going up the steepest sections I felt depressed when my garmin read 9:55 pace. Hopefully it was a malfunction or I pulled it together because my average at the end of the 3.5 mile run was 8:40. The pace is not bad for an easy  run, but  it was not easy, and that is frustrating. It is not taxing on my aerobic system and I barely sweat, but moving my legs feels very mechanical and labored. I came home and did 30 minutes of yoga which reinforces to me how much stronger  my muscles are;  now if I could just figure out how to make them move again. I know it takes time and I am happy I can run continuously. But for those of you with stress fractures, just know it can feel like you are learning to run all over again.

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Six Week Update

Excellent news. Dr Donald Rose said my stress fracture showed “significant healing.” I cannot run on land  for another 4 weeks. But this afternoon I get to pretend I am a pro-runner by doing my workout in a State-of-the-art HydroWorx® 2000 8’ x 16’ therapeutic pool with an adjustable floor, underwater treadmill, jets and cameras. I will make a video for you. It is very cool. I fantasize about putting one of these in my NYC apartment.

Today is the start of Badwater, make sure and check it out. It was already 127 degrees.

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Scotland
I put off updating my blog because I did not want to admit that I ran myself into the ground and have been given a forced leave of absence. One thing I have never really worried about is stress fractures. I am not sure why I did not worry, a huge number of my team mates have or have had them and now it is my turn. After a robust spring of setting new PR’s in the 10K, 45:51, the 4 mile, 28:27 and Cross Country 23:03 I got sidelined on Memorial Day. And I had such an awesome X-C race on May 18th. With over 100 runners, two college teams and one high school team I came in 5th female overall and first in the 40-49 AG. I won a carrot muffin! That was the best race prize ever – well not really I do like winning the money.

My week went like this. Thursday  I raced X-C, Friday I ran 8 miles easy, Saturday I ran 10 hard, Sunday 8 easy  and Monday I was out for a 15. At mile 3 the ball of my left foot hurt so I stopped, took off my shoe and loosened it up. But instead of feeling better it  hurt, so I put my shoe back on and walked home. During the walk I knew I broke it. The whole way back I was planning which doctor I would call, what PT’s I would schedule and what my workouts would look like.

At 8:30 Tuesday morning I called Dr. Greg Rock who was recommended by Coach Kelsey. I saw him at 11:00 and he was far more interested in  doing bunion surgery  than any boring old fracture. He finally let it go when I said, “I have the NYC marathon in November, Boston in April, and Trans Rockies in August, when do you suppose you would remove the bunions which cause me no pain what so ever.”  He x-rayed my foot  but nothing showed up as predicted. He will x-ray again on June 9th. But he said, “I know right where it is, HERE,” and pinched my third metatarsal. Gee, I hope seeing me almost hit the ceiling confirmed that.  I did not push for an MRI,  I could not walk so it really did not matter. If the next  x-ray does not show the callusing on the bone I will get an MRI. I saw Rock all of 4 minutes and walked out with my tail between my legs and a boot on my foot.

After hanging out at home with the dogs on Wednesday I put everyting into order. Dogs had to get boarded in upstate NY since I cannot walk them. PT evaluation set for thursday with rehab on Friday. Book pool rehab with second PT the following Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And swimming every day. I love my health care professionals! I love NYC with all it’s amenitites!

When I got up Thursday, I made a  feeble attempt to walk the dogs. I only took them to the corner and back upstairs. The PT I saw is at Long Island University where I teach. I went there because I wanted to use the super cool therapy pool. An endless pool with a elevating floor, video camera, an underwater treadmill to 8.5 mpr, 7:04 pace, and it is 94 degrees. I am really looking forward to running 7:00 pace at 94 degrees with water resistance! And since we have a great fitness center  I went early and worked out in the gym and swam for an hour.

Rain Soaked FinishMy main concern is not losing fitness so I have put together a regiment of deep water running on the Pfitzinger schedule. I am also doing PT 3-4 times a week, strength training to varying levels 5 days a week and swimming at least 3 days a week.  I will take advance of this time to become a better swimmer. Other things that I have managed to accompish in my “down time” is get a hair cut,  get new glasses, clean my apartment and grocery shop, you know (or maybe you don’t) those things “normal” people do. If you asked me why I think I got a stress fracture I would say, I have been eating  poorly meaning; very little, not taking my supplements, not getting enough sleep, and basically not taking care of myself. I had a bad cold  for a week which kept me out of work and in bed, except for when I woke up and ran.    So did it just happen out of bad luck,maybe maybe not.  I neglected my self care, I knew it and others saw it and had commended, my boss in particular.  So now I have lots of self care time.

A final note. The two photos on this page are from two different 10k races a couple of weeks apart.  It rained like crazy during both races and  we got soaked, all 7,000 – 8,000 runners yes that is 8,000 per race!

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Finish of North Face Endurance Challenge

Finish of North Face Endurance Challenge

I just got home and I am grinning from ear to ear. Today was my first mountain trail race the 1/2 marathon at Bear Mountain, part of the North FAce Challenge Series. There is a five star ranking series on this race, elevation change 4 out of 5, technical terrain 5 out of 5, overall difficulty 5 out of 5 and scenery 5 out of 5. How hard is it to run a trail race as compared to a road race? I looked up the results from2008 the first over all male, Oliver Obagi ran it in 2:15, a 10:22 pace,  the first overall female professional ultra distance runner Nikki Kimball ran it in 2:25 an 11:07 pace. In the 40-49 year old women the first place women, Judy Stobbe ran it in 3:15.  The first place non-prof women was 2:52. This was going to be a hard race!

I do not have trail running shoes and the trail is all rock and rivers. At the last minute I decided to wear my hiking shoes. Heck I have no experience doing thing, I am not sure what to expect besides mud and rocks, and if it took Nikki Kimball 2:25, when her last road marathon was 3:08, I am going to be out there for a while. We were told that there would be 3 aid stations so we needed to carry provisions. OK I am ready.

All night I watched the thunder and lightning but by 9:00am race start it was just raining. A total  308 people, 234 men and 74 women,  lined up, I was standing with my friends Rachel, Claudia and Les. The horn went off and we ran, no walked, ran, walked. Hey, what is going on? It was a  crowded and the first mile as it went up hill people were already walking! To get around them and find some space that mile was a big chuckle taking  just under 12:00 minutes to complete. Wow if they are walking already it is going to be a long day. In no time though I found some space, I lost my teammates, one ahead two behind,  and I was just out for a trail run. I came across the first aid station and on to my first 1000 foot climb. Piece of cake, this really feels good. The pace got much quicker and I fell in with a group of dudes. From running cross country I know I can always kick their ass on the uphill, but they can kick mine on the down hill and that is how it went most of the race. But at one time it just got a out of hand. There was an 800 foot direct downhill of  rocks, suddenly the dudes were flying down the hill and falling, taking out each other like it was a bowling alley, sliding down the wet mud, hitting the rocks. It was a too much. I decided I need to run away from them which I did. I moved forward and fell into a group of older duded that I ran with most of the race. Now when I say older, most are still under 35. It seems that trail racing is a young guys sport, there were only 14 women in my age group. At New York road race there are often 300+. We had some big steep climbs, at certain points there was a string of men about 8 deep all walking. The trail was extremely narrow so I just fell in behind them and walked, took the time to eat a gel and drink my water, the pace was down to 14:00. But the time we got to the top, they were ready to rest so I motored on. One of them  emerged about one mile later and passed me.

A very happy Hilary running the trails

A very happy Hilary running the trails

I was smiling whole race. It did not matter if it was up hill, down hill, running though shin deep water, over a mile of sharp rocks. Okay the rocks did really hurt, in this particular spot there was 4 miles to go, I had a major blister under my left bunion and the rocks were killing it. But I got off the rocks, and onto a beautiful wide path and running all alone in that last three miles, I managed to clock some 7:30′s. I took it easy, I never felt stressed, never tired, never frustrated. It was beautiful the whole way. Early on I got my fall out of the wall, tripping on a rock or my feet on a downhill. I rolled up like a little pill bug, did a complete left to right should hip roll and came right back onto my feet. One women that I did see early on, immediately asked if I needed help, the dudes just kept going. I am glad I ended up beating them all, HA! It was around mile 4.5 that I fell because my shoes were already soaked and they got very loose. I stopped after that to tighten them up. This is probably one of the downsides of running in hiking shoes, but they  protected my feet, that and my crew style wool socks. With my skinny legs and short black socks I looked like a little old man but the knees down.

I am checking out my GPS, I had 5646 of ascent and 5730 decent. The course was changed from last year and made easier, I mean faster.  My friend a 5X iron man, runs every intense race and tri across the country and many in European races said this was by far the hardest course she had ever run. It did take me a long time, 2:39, but I am totally happy. Out of 308 runners I was very middle of the pack, 172. Of the women I was 30 out of 74 and of the 14  40-49 year old’s a solid 7th.Judy Stobbe who won my age group last year with a  3:15 ran a 2:29 this year and came in 5th. She may be more experienced this year, but most likely this was a  reflection of the course change. The majority of the women, 32 of them were 21-29. Of the 234 men, 95 were 30-39. There were only 2 men over 60 and no women. At 44 years of age I am an old timer in this crowd. Was it slow, sure, but I had a great time.  I was not racing, I was experiencing. I was learning how to trail run, what it is like, and let me tell you. I may never go back to the road again. This was a blast. I love being covered with mud and dirt and smelling like some god awful swamp creature. I am wearing my scraped leg and bruised write like a badge of honor. I had plenty of energy to run hard the last couple of miles, and picked off 5 guys in my last mile. It took me an hour longer than it would have taken me on the road, but it was so much more fun you can’t imagine. I honestly was not ready to leave the woods, I would have ran it again. Speaking of that, next year I am doing to 50K. That is in preparation for the Trans Rockies, a 6 days, 113 mile multi-stage race through the Colorado Rockies. I got an email just last week from a women asking me to be her partner – you bet I could easily get used to this.Hilary at Finish of 1/2 marathon

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A 72.2% AG race

Last Sunday it was a beautiful 45º day with the winds a mild 7 mph. I was in Central Park running the 4-mile race, Run for the Parks. There were a total of 5751 people in this race, 2919 men and 2832 women, 267 of which were in my age group, 40-44. My previous best in the four mile were in 2008 one week before the Boston marathon and following intensive training and a taper, then two weeks ago I bettered that time by 9 seconds, going from a 29:29 to a 29:20. Today I secretly hoped to go below 29:00 but since I just raced the week prior it was a lot to ask.

But this race I began differently. I knew last time the rolling hills at mile 3 slowed me down, so on Tuesday I ran 5 ½ miles of fartleks back and forth over that mile strip, 1 minute at 7:15, 1 minute at 8:45, 20 times. When I began the race today I was relaxed and had a plan of how I wanted to run the race. I was going to experiment and not worry about the outcome. I was going to do what is normally discouraged, put a lot of extra effort going up the hills, push forward and do multiple surges of speed over the whole four-mile course. Well I was so busy going over my plan and not looking at my watch I had no idea what pace I was running, but it felt easy. It felt maybe slow, I was not sure. It was not too stressful. I did get a very bad side cramp during mile three and every time I tried to push the pace on the downhill it hurt a bit more. I decided that I did my plan I will maintain through the fourth mile and kick it in the best I can in the end. I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch, 28:27, 53 seconds faster! Was it that it I could finally race in shorts, was it the wine I drank the night before, (I almost never drink) was it some miracle that happened from one week to the next? What I am convinced of it was my brain. It was having a plan, relaxing and not worrying about the outcome, but about “how to run the race.” It was not about what place will I get, (6th by the way at a 72.2% AG!) but about the tactics of running such a race. It was fantastic.

HIlary Lorenz race finish

I tried to keep my first mile the easy, but at the same time get out of the crowed start. Of the 5751 people, I was lined up in the first 1200. I ran the first mile at 7:10, then as the street cleared and the road went downhill I hit the second at 6:45. It felt good to get out of the crowd and really nice to have that pace. My finishing overall pace was 7:06. I pushed up the hills and picked out targets on the back of people’s head and charged after them. It worked, it all worked and it was a joy running over that finish line. This Saturday I have a 10k race, I am excited to set out my tactics on this.

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new-year-dayIt 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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Where have I been?

hilary_10kToday is the day after Christmas. I knew it had been a while since I made a post, but I did not realize how long until I checked in today. In the last 28 days I have been too obsessive to sit down and write a post. That happens sometimes, I get fixated on a project, like the finish of a marathon, what the next race will be, the start of the 5 month indoor speed training season,  and thinking I wanted a second dog.

Of all those obsessions the dog won out and I spent hundreds of hours looking at petfinders, talking with rescues, to ultimately buy a black lab from a Hunter’s Pride in PA. It is too long a story to recount, but I got the little guy on Sunday. I can already tell he is going to be a good running buddy. House training is not going so well. He can hold it for hours outdoors just to wait until he is inside where it is warm to pee on the floor.  He has only been here for 4 nights and he will learn.

no_name

I ran two races since the NYC marathon. Both were after we started speed training on the indoor track and both races were the slowest I have run. My 4 miler was really depressing and being 25 degrees  was not the excuse, but I will throw it in there anyway. It was just a bad running day and perhaps my body was acclimating from the previous workout which was  Tuesday 5 x 1000,  400 meter recovery run and Thursday 12 x 200 with 2 minute static rest. I like that I can get faster in these winter training months, but running on the banked 200 meter indoor track is not always so fun, especially for a distance runner.

Last week I finished my semester teaching, 4 art / media clases plus an independent study. I also had my own final to take in Exercise Physiology, a two day strength and conditioning conference and the CSCS exam. The CSCS is defined as, ” The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) is for professionals who design and implement strength training and conditioning programs for athletes in a team setting.” The certification is also common among Physical Therapists and Clinical Exercise Physiologists who work in cardiac rehabs centers. I am moving in to a multi career field, artist, Professor and Exercise Physiologist. All things that I love, okay teaching I don’t always love,  but it does pay the bills and being tenured is pretty awesome.In the near future I would like to  train masters female runner in particular but also anyone who is seriously interested in their fitness and sports. I don’t want to train people that simply want to look good, that is too easy and a bit boring. Training for competition is far better and ultimatly one get’s an even better body anyway.

I will not find out the results of my CSCS exam for 8 weeks but I am not holding my breath. I was not prepared well enough for it. Rumor has it that only 65% of the test takers pass it on the first round, I may not be in the that 65%, I just  to wait and see. Humility is always  good training to instill learning.

The next thing I want to think about are my goals for next year. First will be my racing goals, then my art career goals, followed by general lifestyle goals. But as I look around what is foremost on my mind is how much I want a weekly house cleaner! Especially now that I have two dogs. That would be a good lifestyle change – quality of life increase when I do  something fun like running, biking, hiking with the dogs instead of sucking up hair from the couch.

The next post I plan on telling my goals and since it is public does that make me stick to them any better? We will have to see. Until then happy running, happy holidays, and I wish everyone a Healthy, Happy, and Fun Filled New Year.Hilary Lorenz

my_new_dog

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