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Happy New Year

Hilary post run with Conrad in Canandaigua Lake, NY

Happy 2010. I just spent an amazing 13 days in North Western New York, in the “Finger Lakes” Region on Canandaigua Lake. Each day  I ran a gentle 6 miles over the rolling hills. But today, New Years Day, was the best and most beautiful of them all,  12 miles over ungroomed snowy trails. The run is part of a semi defunct rail trail system. Based on my experience no one has walked, skied, or run the path since it was made. I was  alone in the woods surrounded by frozen ponds and hills. What could be better?  When I finished my run back to the cottage I jumped in the lake to sooth my quickly tightening muscles. It was too cold for the dogs to get in and I did not truly experience how cold it was until I was a little more striped down indoors. My tights were freezing on my legs as I walked out of the water. Here is the goofy video of it for you. Wishing everyone a joyful and healthy new year.

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X-C

Just a quick update on the X-C training running. I came in second place in my age group. I guess that kind of puts things in perspective as per worrying about placement. Even if I did race it and ran all out I could have never come in first. The winner on the 15k has a 7:02 pace, I could not have done that. But it feels kind of wierd and cool to come in second while actually be trying to run slower.

This is my first 40 mile week. Boy it feels good. It was over 6 days of running, three of which were done at steady state. Finally I am feeling really good again.

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Rain, sleet, ice, mud, 25 degrees. A perfect day to enjoy a 15k cross-country race. My scheduled run  was 9 miles so I took advance of the NYRR race in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. It was excellent brain and body training as I was not going to race after racing yesterday, nor am I in shape to run a 15k X-C well. Mainly I do not want to chance injuring myself but I love running in the woods.

We waited in the usual mass start group, the rain pounding down harder than ever. Instead of lining up in the front and shooting off like a cannon,  I lined up in the very back and trotted my way through the first mile or so staying in the back of the pack and not worrying about getting boxed in. I just went with the flow and it was very relaxing.   It was raining harder ever minute and it was cold but it felt great to have no agenda but to enjoy my miles. Normally I run my 5k X-C at a 7:00 ish pace, my last race ranged from 6:40 – 7:15, but today I wanted to stay around 9:00, my long run pace. I forgot my Garmin so I kicked my feet along and checked the clock after each lap of the park, promising myself to slow own if I was running faster than planned. I ran all three laps  consistently while trying out my new red  Saucony Kilkenny X-C flats. Man, I love those things.   I could scamper of the steep rain-soaked hills like it was nothing.  I love running x-c so much that I had a little wish to run a 4th lap.

In the final stretch, coming out of the woods it is all flat dirt  for about 300 meters. My legs were a bit tight from the hills so I decided it was a safe place to unwind. Most people were pretty tired by then, so as I quickened my pace I passed 6 people who I had strategically stayed behind to keep my pace in check. But I really needed to unwind and it was a good feeling to leg it all go in the last 200-300 meters. I am not sure of my time since I did not have a watch, and I did not start right out when the gun went off, but I would say I was around 8:50 pace which was my target range.

Now the time it took to get home on the subway in dripping wet freezing clothes and thaw my body out in the hot tub was a whole other story, that took a long time, about a 40k.

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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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