Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Countdown to Race Time

Hilary Lorenz Cross Country Here I am in Boulder. I had a nice little spin on the Flatiron Golf Course. They really did an amazing job getting that course ready, I have not run on a grass golf course since high school; NYC XC is run through the woods on dirt with lots of up and down hills. This course is flat,  soft, and at altitude, 5400 ft. I am having anxiety dreams like crazy. I am excited to run but also afraid of humiliation. I know it is crazy, I race because it is fun, but I still fear looking bad, though today I learned  a lot of other people feel the same way.  While jogging on the course I met several masters runners, male and female all worried about being last. I wish I had an idea of what I will do. My 1/2 marathon in Sept was run at 7:19 pace, XC should be faster but the conditions are totally different, plus I had a crazy quad flare up again. I met a coach/writer from Masters Running Magazine. She asked if she could interview me, and of course I said “yes” but after the conversation I started thinking about the time I told her I hoped to run, well let me say I have never run 6k, and for some stupid reason I thought it was 4 miles, it is only 3.7, suddenly the pain of it all seems so much for acceptable.  I should out perform the time I naively told her.

If nothing else I have the good round number 30,  for my front and F45 for my back, my last year in the 45-49 group. Sucks to be at the top of the age group but I will still get my ass handed to me by those older. Today I saw the famous Kathryn Martin on the roster. I can’t wait to see her kick a lot of ass out there.

Here is my racing plan. Three loops, conservative first without being left behind,  faster on the second, and the third I will  surpass my most advanced pain threshold. I am not wearing a watch and I will just feel my body work. I hope I can sleep tonight.

USATF XC BoulderEach year when I see the cross country championship listed I want to run, but I don’t sign up. Each year I also think that I want to train specifically for xc since it is my favorite race. This year I finally signed up, but I did not train specifically for the race. In fact with all the snow and cold in NYC, my training is not great.

My friend Mardi moved to Boulder in October from NYC  and since I cannot make any trip unless I have multiple reasons to go, this was perfect.  I also fantasize a lot about living in Boulder, running out my back door into the mountains with  my dogs, chilling out all day in flannel  drinking coffee and making prints in my storefront studio. Now I get to see what Boulder, the fittest city in the country really feels like.

The championships are run in several heats, women separate from men, masters, juniors and seniors all separate. Of the masters AG mine is the largest, the 45-49 year olds. I almost chickened out when I looked up the other’s 5k times, they range from 17:00 to 20:00 and the higher end times are at altitude. For longer races most run around a 39:00-42:00 10k. my PB is 45:00.  The exception to that would be Colleen de Rueck who at 49 ran  a 2:39 marathon, 1:23 half and 38:00 10k last year. She is still one of the fastest women around. With the $35,000 in prize money, the best will be coming out. Jenn Simpson is running, I can’t wait to watch her in the senior heat.

My plan for the race; Get to bed early, eat a good breakfast, run as fast as I possibly can and be thankful that I get to participate in such a rewarding sport. Okay, I will still be self critical but  I am aware that I am self critical and I am also aware at how lucky I am to be able to run my ass off around the country.

Sponsor Me, Please!

Image
I have a 70 pound dogs stretching himself over my lap, kicking at the keyboard. I think he knows this is our last night of house sitting and the end to his morning runs in the woods and my afternoon runs along the river. Back to the city and back to the parks and back to 24 hour convenience.  As a city dweller we are huge consumers of convenience; coffee, bagels, pizza, beer, not to mention all those dinner deliveries. So what if you gave up just two mocha lattes and two beers this month? What does that have to do with my running blog. Well, a lot.

I am raising money and I am asking you to donate money. No, it is not to keep me in running shoes, it is for the The One Fund – Boston, though contributions made to One Run Boston, a 4,000 person running relay from L.A. to Boston.

First, what is The One Fund? Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Menino formed The One Fund Boston on April 16, 2013, the purpose of which is to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during the Boston Marathon bombing.

Second, What is The One Run for Boston? The One Run for Boston  is first ever non-stop relay to run across America from Los Angeles to Boston. Organized by three Brits, ORFB became a symbol of hope and positivity that inspired a powerful grassroots movement that continues to unite the running community. Last year, it’s first year, I helped to organize several runners  blaze through mile after mile in the high desert of New Mexico.

One Run for Boston Abiquiu, NM

One Run for Boston Abiquiu, NM

This year ORFB in it’s second year, I am running two stages of the event, both in New York City. I am so proud to be part of such am amazing team of runners. And guess what? We are going to raise $1,000,000 by April 13, 2014, the day the baton arrives in Boston. Will you help? No amount is too small and skipping those two lattes and two beers,  is, oh, about $20,  and it is so easy  to donate, just  click here and it will go to my One Run fund raising page. Then just one month later I will be running the 118th Boston Marathon!

Our 2013 ORFB Team

Our 2013 ORFB Team

Want to learn more about One Run Boston, meet Danny Boy Bent, the charming and extraordinary hard working guy, along with Kate Treleaven, who makes everyone feel like the most important person in the world. It is Kate and Danny driving this incredible effort to help those directly affected in the 2013 Boston Bombing, will you be a part of that help?

And that awesome picture of me at the top was shot by Da Ping Lou. Looking for a great photographer, contact Da!

Thank you friends, thank you for helping those whose lives were so profoundly changed by the Boston Marathon bombing.

Winter Sports

If only I had a photo of the beautiful trail I have been running, maybe I can get one this week. I  spend the last week at Julie’s, Races Like a Girl, who lives in excellent proximity to some nice open trails. My go to this week has been the Bronx River Pathway in Westchester just north of the city. The Pathway consists of three paved segments: a one-mile loop in Mount Vernon; a 3.6-mile section from  Bronxville to Scarsdale and a 5-mile section extending from Green Acres Avenue in Hartsdale to Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. I have run most of it in both directions, but after a stellar snowstorm on Friday, I got to break trail by running in snowshoes. I have never run in snowshoes but found it delightful, slow but really fun. I had no shortage of cardiovascular strength but hip/quad strength or lack there of was a bit of a challenge.
My second event of the week was taking a belay class at Brooklyn Boulders. I thought about learning to climb for some time, in a more official way than being send to the top of a mountain and having to boulder to the top with only the fear of dying keeping me clinging to the rock face. I thought a solid set of skills was far more wise. I needed to be belay certified before I could enroll in a training program class offered by CRUX  an LGBTQ Climbing group, at Brooklyn Boulder. I wanted to climb with CRUX for some time and figured I might as well take it full on, I had the option of coming to a newbie night to try it out, but instead I bought a belay class, a month of climbing, the training class and years’s membership. If I am going to do something, I do it. After the 2 hour belay class I stayed for 3 more hours of climbing. CRUX also  gave a bouldering lesson, but by that point my brain was so fried from anxiety, adrenaline, and exertion I couldn’t do much.
It was Friday that I snowshoe ran then climbed. I thought by the end of the night I would need to be put into a medically induced comma from the extensive pain of two totally new sports, but turns out I am fine, in fact I feel great.
Tonight I checked out the running routes listed on Joe Garland’s RunWestchester, I am thinking to run the New Rochelle Loop from Bronxville tomorrow. If I am reading it correctly that is the hilliest of the routes, something I prefer in my runs, though the run to Long Island Sounds looks great, and easy to navigate. I could also do that Tuesday and Monday hop on over to Van Cortlandt Park for a 5k or so snowshoe.
I don’t know what I will do when I have to go back to my job.  There is just no time for working, because in between all my sports I am working on several  new linoleum blocks. The one thing I look forward to going to work for is printing these new babies. If they turn out well, they will be in my Kansas exhibition at the Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs.

Happy New Year

ImageIt is the last day of 2013. My dogs are asleep and I am lounging on the sofa after a nice little run along the Bronx River. I am house sitting for a friend in Yonkers, 21 miles north of my apartment. While 21 miles is not much distance, about a 3 hour run, it is like night and day. My dogs are getting 1-2 day wild runs in Bronxville at Scout Field, and i am running along the Bronx River Pathway, which is a great path along the river with ample space to run in the dirt along the side.  I am also very close to trails, so the next 17 days here I will be hitting the trails and relaxing in this great house.
Tonight, I have no grand New Year Eve plans beyond working on my linoleum prints. I am almost done with a 24″ x 30″ block. It is my plan to get 6 done while here so that I can go right into printing when the new semester starts.
So Happy New Year to you and I wish you lots of great adventures in the New Year!

Wrapping up the year.

Image
Christmas is just two days away and it is hard to believe the warm weather in New York City. This weekend on solstice I had a great run from my home across the Manhattan Bridge through Brooklyn and back over the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan. It got so warm I had to take off my shirt. I had to admit it does feel pretty good to be running shirtless in December, but I do miss the snow.
Image

I am planning my 2014 running calendar side by side with the exhibition schedule. I decided to head out to Boulder to see my friend Mardi and run the USATF Cross Country Championships in February. In March I go to California to see my friends Audra and Loren and run the 50k Canyon Meadow Trail Run with Coastal Trail Runs. It is just outside of San Fran in the Redwood Regional Park. April I have the Boston Marathon, then nothing until Sept. I will run the 5th Avenue Mile and then go back to Utah for the Big Cottonwood and repeat the JFK50 in November. That should pretty much do it, but I am sure I will do a few small races in between those. I would really like to run more cross country.
Image

I have two solo exhibitions in October, one at Wave Hill in New York which I am preparing for now and one in Kansas at the Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs, Matfield Green. I will most likely head to New Mexico in May sublet my Lower East Side Apartment. Do a load of artwork and climbing in CO, then head to Kansas and work my way up to NYC for two months. If all works as I have planned I will be on sabbatical from June 2014 until August 2015. In 2015 I am going to Australia for a bit, and hopefully have an exhibition and run the Overland Track Trail Race. I am about to send out a few applications for exhibitions around the US and I am pretty excited about that.

Over the last few years at work I have been taking courses in the graduate program of Exercise Physiology and realized I just about finished my M.S. degree, so next semester I will take my remaining courses and complete it. I also just completed my NASM-CES class and will take my certification this week along with my NSCA-CSCS certification and next semester my NASM-PES certification. I will be a super certified M.S. Exercise Physiologist with stength/conditioning and nutrition concentrations. That is pretty exciting, so who knows if I get tired of teaching, actually tired of all the administration paperwork is more accurate, I am explore new options.
Image
Wednesday I begin house sitting for a friend and I am very excited about it. It gives me much close access to trails, plus a lot more room to move around in. She has a real house. The dogs are going to love and so am I. I will have three weeks to focus on craving blocks for new artwork. It is going to be a great time.

JFK50, My first ultra

Image

I  looked back over my FB messages to see when Zander Ross messaged  me to sign up for the JFK50 even though I never run an ultra, it was April 23rd.  I am extremely susceptible to suggestion and signed up. I spend the summer running in New Mexico, nothing crazy but making sure I did a medium run, 1.5 hours give or take on  a rolling dirt bike path Saturday and 3 hours or so on Sunday in the mountains. I hit up every ultra friend I had for advice because until then I mostly only heard about vomiting, diarrhea, bonking or falling and inflicting some terrible injury. I did not want any of that to happen to me. I continued my training through the fall, getting help from Coach Owen Anderson for the final eight weeks. I  only ran one race in the Fall, the Big Cottonwood half marathon in Salt Lake City with a personal best of 1:34.

I rode to Maryland with four of my Front Runner buddies catching up on all the gossip as I had not seen any of them in over a year, since I changed clubs to run with the Dashing Whippets Racing Team.  They had all run JFK50 and knew the course telling me what to expect. Tim who was not running this year crewed which was a huge mental boost. I had no idea what shoes to wear, I was told the first 15 miles on the trail had big, sharp pointed rocks covered by leaves. Since I always have foot pain and did not want to break any bones I played it safe with my La Sportiva Helios which  have excellent grip but are still light.   I quickly fell in with a group of runner as we negotiated the single track. It was slow and I wished I had done training on quick footing and agility, it would have made a huge difference on this terrain. Toward the last 4 miles of the trail section I fell in with 5 women and we grooved through the last stretch. It was a rarity to be in a pack of women at a race and it made it extra fun.

I emerged from the trail and saw Tim right. He had my bag with my Saucony Fastwitch shoes and Injinj socks. It felt so good to change my shoes and socks and get rid of my hat. Tim helping me with my chip, giving me a big hug and sending me on my way. I found after the trail my cadence was high but my stride length was dismal. I played around with trying to get my knees up to doing a fast shuffle as I entered the flat tow path section. I alternated jog / walk which I saw everyone else doing. At a certain point around mile 23 I though what if I just run faster and see how I feel. I felt so much better, fast is all relative because it was only around a 9:00 pace. As I got closer to mile 30 I had a stabbing pain in the outside of my right knee and the walking became longer and jogging shorter. (the pain had started developing much earlier, perhaps around mile 20 but did not affect me too much yet).  I had not planned for mechanical error and wished I had brought duct or KT tape to plaster my patella down and stretch my IT band. I asked for tape at the aid station and there just happen to be an ambulance that had stopped to chat. The did a super job of wrapping me all up with a nice hot pink band and I was back on my way.

A little something about the aid stations.There are 14 in total and they have everything you need. There is no need to carry supplies except for maybe a handheld water bottle. I carried and ate dates and papaya and grabbed a couple handfuls of potato chips and three cups of hot soup broth. I also took Hammer Electrolytes. One aid station was all decked out like Santa’s village filled with Christmas cookies, lights, and Santa himself. Every station had water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, potato chips, PV&J sandwiches, many had boiled potatoes, soup, hot chocolate, gummy bears, m&m’s, cookies, coke, power bars, electrolytes and more. Because of my slow pace and wanting to finish as fast as possible I never stopped at aid stations, I grabbed what I needed, usually water, thanked them and kept going.

By the last tow path aid station, mile 41 I was power walking 100%, not because I was tired but because my knee hurt so bad if I ran, no pain with walking.  A group of volunteers where there to put orange reflective vest on us before we hit the open road for the final stretch.  I tried to run  the road  but it was not going to happen, my knee wanted none of it.  I passed a young really strong looking man with a very painful looking walk, he told me he wore the wrong shoes and his feet were a bloody blistery mess. I soon passed two more young guys crawling up the hill who were in total exhaustion. I came to the 8 mile sign. The road was rolling hills and would have been a beautiful run. I was full of energy and a bit frustrated that I could only power walk. I was calculating my time and figured I could easily finish in about 70 minutes if I could run slow, but after trying a couple times I knew I could only power walk so I did it with a vengeance. It was remarkable how many people I passed. We would pass each other back and forth as they run / walked. I thought of the tortoise and the hare, clearly I was a tortoise but more often than not, I would be the one who continued as they stopped.  I huge reward was catching up to a man I met the night before, it was his 32nd  time running the JFK50. What a hero, he said he planned on running 35 and that would be it. There were a large number of runners in the 70′s and talk about inspiring! At mile 5 I passes a woman maybe in her early 20′s. A friend came out to run her in, she seemed really down. Her friend was talking her back up, saying you just have to finish the last four miles in an hour, and I was thinking good god an hour to finish 4 miles, I need to step up my power walk and get this done. I was trying to keep it as close to 12:00 pace as possible.  I stayed optimistic the whole race, I never had a doubt, I never went to a bad place, nor did I vomit, dry heave, poop my pants or have any other ugly stuff. From the first day I signed up I said, no matter what it would be like a long day of hiking and I just wanted to finish within the cut off. But in those last couple of miles I thought that this is so stupid, I am only a couple miles away and I am walking. I am walking as fast as I can but I want to run, I did not come out to walk this, couldn’t anyone do that? Well probably not and it was not to beat myself up, but all my muscles felt good, my energy stayed even, I was happy, but my right knee / IT was not cooperating and that was frustrating.

At the four mile mark we came to an intersection. There were loads of people cheering in the 35 degree cold. People were saying, “thank you for running our race,” “thank you for running through our town,” “Hilary you have just 4 miles, 4 and your are done, you got it.” At several points along the way, I would hear “Hilary you look great” “Hilary great job.” The spectators would bring out the printed race program, quick look up our number so they could learn our name and call it out. Talk about dedicated support! At every step of the race I felt as if I was wrapped in a blanket of love.

In the last half mile as I entered the town  emerging from the dark was my friend Tim. What a sight at this 10+ hour mark. He talked to me as I power walked my last bits. I chatted as I felt my hip flexors start asking, “are we done yet?” We turned the corner and Tim dropped to the side telling me to, “go get your glory.” At the top of the little hill there were huge bright lights and I hear, “Hilary Lorenz from New York City, congratulations” over the loud speaker. Suddenly my face contorts all up as I try not to cry. I look to the ground because I know it is being televised and I did not want to break down sobbing before I hit the mat. I did not expect that to happen. I had no strong emotions during my time out out there, I just thought it was fun.  I crossed the mat and a man said, “you can stop now.” My power walk was in stuck gear and I had I had to be told to stop. A women pulled off my orange vest, another gave me a medal. I started walking away and Tim was there to see that I returned my chip from my shoe. I had not, I did not see where to do it. He took it off me, laced my shoe back up and we went into the warm gym.

There Zander and Richard were, the arrived about 30 minutes ahead of me. We ate pizza and hot chocolate. I was shaking uncontrollably from the cold. I had shorts on and while the day was perfect from about 38 to 46 it was now down to about 35 degrees, dark and very windy. I had a terrible time trying to stir my hot chocolate because I was shaking too hard. After some food, and smiles all around, big laughs and congratulations to each other and to those we came in with it was time to walk the 3/4 mile to the car. Oh dear god it hurt. My hip flexors stopped working and I could not pick up my feet, my entire body was convulsing from the cold. I hung on Richard’s arm like a 115 year old woman.  People coming to pick up friend and family were saying, “congratulations” and I could not even respond I was so mentally focused and getting to the parking lot which I could not even see it was so far away. But once in the car with the heat on and the 30 minute drive back to the hotel my legs relaxed and I was able to walk again. I took a really hot bath, put on sweats, made hot miso soup and climbed into bed. Finally I was warmed up, walking fine and feeling good. The boys, seven in total from our group went out to drink margarita’s which I took a pass on to watch HBO and enjoy the kindsize bed without my two Labradors taking up all the space.

I slept great that night waking up Sunday feeling good. The right side of my knee still aches. I taped it up which made all the difference. I met the all the guys at breakfast and heard their great stories, everyone was successful.  One friend, Steven will be running Lookout Mountain 50 miler in three weeks, he did awesome at JFK running it under 7.5 hours. 

I certainly hit my goal of finishing. I also hit my goal of qualifying the the Overland Track 82k Race in Tasmania and Western States 100 for 2014 lottery, now over.  However the JFK50 will no longer be a qualifier in 2015 and at this point I do no want to run 100 miles. It is just nice to know that I can qualify. I still have a weird conflict about the amount of walking, but it is what it is.

Will I do this again? Absolutely. It is really fun, I know that is hard to believe but it is. I can easily take one hour off my time as long as I can avoid mechanical errors and I plan to do this by working my posterior chain for the next year, taking the stress of my hip flexors and IT band and doing agility work. But I am so thankful to the many many people that helped me, this was a very rewarding day and now I am going to convince other friends to join me next year. Monday as I get ready to go to work, I will feel as if I was wrapped in that blanket of love.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 806 other followers

%d bloggers like this: