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Posts Tagged ‘New York city marathon’

In 2011 I was schedule to run the NYC Marathon but I burned myself out running in New Mexico. I was new to the altitude and hot sun. I just could not get myself together in time to run in November so I postponed to 2012.  This year 2012 I was on a good track. I ran smartly over the summer in New Mexico, I was ready to finish off the next 10 weeks of training in NYC. Well of course you all know the NYC Marathon was cancelled.

I am avoiding all the political fighting about it but I will say I have very mixed feelings. I hoped it cancelled only for personal reasons. I had been sitting in the dark and cold for a week. I was one of the many of 1,000 of people in SoPo. (South of the power grid in NYC) I was highly stressed and I could not imagine pulling off running a marathon.  On the day it was to take place 1,000’s of runners showed up in Central Park to run 26.2 anyway. I planned on only 20, but quit at 18. My knee which never hurts, hurt. My whole body ached. I woke up the net day feeling like I was hit by a truck. I felt terrible.

The night before that run I got a call from Megan Coryat, President of Front Runners New York. She was calling with great news. The Brooklyn Marathon organizers was offered two competitive slots, one male, one female to NYC teams for the Nov. 18th event and they offered me the female slot. I was thrilled, honored, and suddenly terrified because I felt like I need to produce.The course is brutal. It just might be the hardest thing I ever run. The whole marathon takes place in a 3 mile park with steep 1 mile long hill. It is lap after lap of that mile hill. I know my legs will be screaming. I have run 10 miles in that park and it was hard!

The problem now is I have a terrible cold. I had terrible burning in my lungs last week after a run then as of Sunday I felt pretty bad. I came home from work Monday and took a nap then ran an easy 3.62 miles. The running felt r good, but as soon as I stopped I was coughing up a lung.  If could get this crap out of my lungs I might be okay, but so far nothing is moving. Today I did not run. I got acupuncture, herbs and cold pills. I took a hot bath  to take the chills off, ate hot soup, and I am now drinking hot tea. I have 5 days. But I do  need to run 3-4 miles on each of those days. I am keeping my fingers crossed, but I am feeling like I should give up Fall Marathons. Run a spring marathon and focus on short distance in the fall. My last two marathons seasons are really a bust. I am going to hold out all the way until 8am on Sunday and hope that I show up at the start line. I will show up on the start line.

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Williamsburg Hipster

In woke up this morning at 5am, after being at a dinner party until midnight, wondering why I god’s earth did I think it would be fun to sprint back and forth over the Williamsburg Bridge at the crack of dawn. I text my always ready for an adventure  32 year old running buddy, “David, doesn’t sleeping in sound good?” I immediately get the reply, “race, then go back to bed.” darn

The first annual Bolt the Billyburg, is a 2.75 race beginning in Brooklyn at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge, run up, over and down, then back up over and down. But it starts in Brooklyn so I ran over the bridge to get there, a nice warm up. The race was super well organized by Mikal Cook, Rouge Runners Production. It was Mikal’s first time organizing a race and he did an awesome job. He has to be a runner to do this so well, though I know nothing about him. It was a small very friendly group, everything was like clock-work. Afterward we went to PIPS- Art and Table Tennis Space and  received cool t-shirts, the winner and slowest guy got a hoodie and there was PBR and water.  At 8:00am I would sleep the rest of the day if I drank  beer  so I stayed with water.

I am confident that I was the oldest runner. After all, Billyburg is the home of the young hipster set. But don’t let my grey hair fool you, I can kick the ass of many under 35 year old dudes, and I did. Yea, grandma got respect at the end, boys coming up saying how I blew by them, a PT telling me what good form I had as I came down the final 200 meters at 5:30 pace. That is not a fast pace if your only running 200 meters  but after running 2.75 miles up from 0 elevation to 400 twice, back to 0 then 400 again, I was moving. Here is how it looked:

Bolted the Billy

We started in two waves and I went in the second. I spotted who my competition would be. David tells me I could win the women’s race, my main concern: Do not get beat by the pink skort. I let pink skort go in the first wave and I would chase her down, and I did. But thinking our waves were 1 minute apartment, I was wrong, I did not push quite as hard as I should have. Pink skort beat me by 6 seconds! Crap.  Oh but it was a fun. The race was two hours ago and my lungs are still burning.  For almost 3/4th mile  you climb, then the fast downhill, and another almost mile climb. David came in second and I came in second. The winning guy ran 16:??, David ran 18:?? I ran 20:43, averaging a 7:30 pace overall, the last guy coming in around 24:00.

At the beer and cheer  I met a girl from my hood who I made a running date with, then David and I tucked our butts back in and walked briskly back over the bridge to Manhattan.

Lastly, today is October 15th. I have just one more run to do today and I will have completed 50 runs in 50 days!! Woo Hoo

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 I woke up this morning and said to myself, “I am not running the marathon.”

This is not totally out of the blue. I have been contemplating it the last couple of weeks because frankly I have no fire in my belly to run it. The idea may have started  back in May when I was awarded a slot at the Venice Biennale to run on the Allora & Calzadilla “Track and Field” sculpture in the American Pavillion.

My time is immediately after the marathon. I spend the past two weeks trying to find the best flight,  it looked like I would run the marathon, rest 4 hours and  on an 11 hour flight, have one day of rest then run 4 times a day for the next 8 days.  I can hear the sighs. Then last Saturday I ran one of my worst 1/2 marathon on history waking up the next morning with a stuffed up head and hacking cough that I still have.

And there were still  unanswered question. Why is it that every run I do I feel like I am fighting my body? For any of you that follow this blog you know I started asking this question back July when I was  in New Mexico. I had a theory that all my runs in NM were all anaerobic. So does that mean I short-changed my aerobic fitness? Could I be overtrained even though I was running under 30 miles a week?  Maybe I a undertrained because I never did runs over 13 miles – but those miles were at 13,000 feet? So I ran more once I got back to NYC, 230 mile in the last month and I still feel like I am fighting my body,  I am not tired or sore but I am cranky with major anger issues.  This calls for expert help.

I called Coach Roy Benson. I very sadly learned he has retired from personal coaching but we could still chit chat on the phone and meet up at the Millrose Games! Coach is a smart one all right and boy will I miss him. He asked me how long was I running in NM before it got easier? “What do you mean? It was suppose to get easier?” If I wasn’t such a numb skull I would have called him before I went to NM to train. Apparently I should have thrown away my watch and ran  really slow, working only aerobically until my body got used to the high altitude. Only then should I start to push the pace. A good indication of that would be the ability to run at a mile pace 30 seconds slower than what I run at sea level for an extended period of time.(that is the calculated physiological difference at 7200 feet)  For example before I left NYC an easy long run would be 15 miles at  8:45 – 9:00 pace. There if I trained right what would feel easy would be 9:30’s for 15 miles. Yea, I didn’t do it that way. I pushed every single run as hard as I could. What a dork.

Coach said, “Hilary you know the answer to this, throw away the watch and only slow jogging for the rest of the month. You have an obligation in Venice and you can’t show up all broken. Only jogging! And if a few weeks from now you get the idea to start running harder, call me, I will put you back in place.” Gosh Coach, I am really going to miss your sternness.

I need someone like that in my life every day! “Hilary you cannot marshal a race and run a race that happens at the same time! Hilary you cannot write a review for an exhibition that you have to go see the same day you are running a 20 milers and have friends in from the Netherlands that you are taking to dinner and still spend 3 hours walking your dogs!” In my mind I think, “oh that is so fun yes I want to do it, and that would be fun too I want to do it” and so on and so on. I don’t overbook myself because I think I am super woman. I overbook, overrun, over everything  because I think it will be fun. And it always is, but stressful because too much fun is not fun.

Back to Venice. I booked my ticket to fly out on Saturday Nov. 5th  and by  4pm Sunday I will be  wearing the USA Olympic Uniform and running onto a WWII tank. I just might pee myself with excitement.

Dang I am feeling so happy I am going out for a little jog with my dog.

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Fifth Avenue Mile, I beat both women to my right by 4 and 5 seconds.

I just have to say something about this because it is getting weird. Two things happened over the summer. One, I stopped dying/bleaching my hair and let it turn all gray and two, I spent the whole summer lifting and carrying rocks, thus I got stronger and perhaps I look “better”. I could add I spent the summer in New Mexico, which is far more relaxing than New York.

Okay, that is the setting. Since I came home on August 25th I have gotten a highly unusual amount of comments, “You look Great”  to the point I have become  suspicious. Today while getting fit for new running shoes at my favorite specialty store, which will remain nameless,  the sales woman started asking me questions after I tried on the 5th pair of shoes. I told her exactly the shoes I had and why, what  I liked or disliked. I told her I like light weight neutral shoes which she had great recommendations. When she brought out big soled heavy shoes I told her I wear 7.4oz shoes for my long runs. To which she asks, “How long is your long run?” I tell her, “18-22″ miles. Then there is a silence followed by, “You look really good, Don’t you have  aches for pains?” To which I say, “Well thank you but no I do not have any aches or pains and I prefer a lighter shoe.” Then she asks me if I am training for anything. There may just well be people who run 20 miles every Sunday for fun and not part of any training, but I am not one of them. I am training for the NYC marathon. She seemed kind of bewildered.

This finally got me thinking. I  look good but so do 1,000’s of other women in New York. Just check out my NYRR 5th Avenue finish. This is a very small cross section of the 328 women racers, 40-49,  I would give anything to have a stomach like Shelly Flowers from Juniper Florida, the woman to my right.  Despite her fab looks I beat her by 4 seconds though. Is it their youthful long blond hair that goes with their youthful great bodies? Does my gray hair say I am old? How old do people think I am? Do people think you self destruct after 25? I am really confused.

The other day I was walking the last block to my apartment after a run and a nice looking young guy I pass says aloud but clearly to himself, “nice calfs.” I just smiled to myself.  Because I have gray hair I am suppose to be old fat and crippled?By the way I grayed when I was in my 20’s.

Because this was such an awesome race pic and I am standing relatively erect, I still have a bit of a hunch, I am adding a close up picture.
This race was just a couple of weeks before my 47th birthday, I am 116 pounds, 16.5% body weight and in the top 15 of all the milers in my age group. On my 87th birthday after I run the NYRR 5th avenue mile, I hope that when I download my photos Shelly Flowers will still be to my right and by then my posture will improve.

Hilary Lorenz near the finish of the 5th Avenue Mile

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I feel better after counting the number of days I have been back in NYC, 16, because I am having long run trouble and anxiety.  The marathon is 10 weeks away and I have not done a long run, only medium 13 miles. This weekend I was to run 14, but it was so hot yesterday I postponed it to do today at the Labor Day Marathon. I quit after 7 miles along with a lot of other people.
I woke up with a bruise on the top of the foot at the base of my 2nd and 3rd toe. My foot  has hurt since last week when I rode my bike with thin soled shoes over clipless petals, I could not find my bike shoes. I am also going from trail running in the dry desert to asphalt running in the humidity. It’s killing me and I just don’t feel the urge to fight it. I am laying  low, icing my foot for the rest of the day.
The good news is my track workouts are awesome, a piece of cake really. The more I am running the more I believed I worked my anaerobic system hard but not my aerobic. It makes sense knowing how I stressed my body in  New Mexico. So what does that mean for the NYC marathon? Well I’ll see. I do not want any more broken bones and  I am not going to run if I think it is going to take 4 hours, I see no sense in that either. Not to knock people who run over 4 hours, I just don’t want to put my body in that kind of stress for running for so long. I still have time to see what happens, but my enthusiasm is not where it should be. I need some long run buddies.

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I have been back in NYC for one week and I have experienced an earthquake  and a hurricane. Fortunately the hurricane did not do a lot of damage in NYC, but the surrounding areas got hit pretty hard.

In anticipation of the big storm I met my friend Les to do a 13 mile run on Friday night. It was really fun running in Central Park after dark with a nice cool rain. We ran until about 9:30pm that night. I woke up a bit sore. After 12 weeks of soft sand and nice trails the cement is a bit tough but I am sure I will get used to it quickly. I had an awesome run pre-hurricane on Saturday. It was raining then too, but it was nice and cool.

On Labor Day is another wonderful Holiday Marathon in the Bronx. I can’t wait. That will be a good day of some hilly, dirty, running. While I really miss the New Mexico mountains I am embracing the wet cool weather of NYC.

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I planned on driving back to NYC today, but, I didn’t run yesterday and I can’t run during my 4 day drive because of the dogs so I am staying an extra day, to run and “stuff.”

Conrad rolled in some cooking oil the neighbors threw out, then in sand so he is a big mess and needs washing. The car is packed but I have a slow leak in one tire, that needs repair.  I have all kinds of excuses to stay. The biggest is, if I arrive in Manhattan  Friday there will be no parking, I will have to carry my stuff several blocks because I can’t leave it in the car or my car will be broken into, so it is best to arrive Saturday morning when it is quiet.

Today begins the 12 week countdown to marathon and I have 7 x 1000 plus 2 miles warm up and cool down to do. If I can get up really early I can run 8 in the a.m. but it is pretty unlikely since I will be ready to drive.

That is all the news for today, I want to spend the rest of my time outside enjoying the dry desert air.

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I learned some good lesson yesterday while running the Alpine Vista Trail at the Santa Fe Ski Basin. The trail starts at 9,988 feet and goes continuously  to 12,024 in just 5.83 miles. That is a 6.6% grade.

I started out what I thought was very conservative knowing our high elevation and that the mountain only went up, no switchbacks or leveling off.  One of the guys and I took the lead of our group and we were all alone. At about a mile and a half I said “man, racing up this must be brutal.” There is a race in October called the Big Tesuque Trail Run.  He replied, “we are at race pace.” I looked at my garmin and said, “we are running 13:00 miles.” He said, “yes that is race pace going up.” And this is from a guy who is lightning fast. I looked up results from last year, the male winner was Mike Ehrmantraut – 1:25:40 (7:19 pace) his marathon pace three months previously was 6:06, not a PB, but to give you an idea. Lead woman was Rachel Earley – 1:31:28. The two slowest people ran 3:30 and 4:47 and they were 80 and 82 years old respectively!
A person can haul ass going back down the mountain, that is if they did not stupidly wear minimalist  shoes. Lesson No. 1. I wore my much loved New Balance Minimus but the rocks tore through my soles bruising my feel and sending tears to my eyes on more than a few occasions, so my downhill was slow and cautious with the exception of the last 1/2 mile when one of the women who blew me away on the downhill came back to help me out.  It was smooth at this point and we ran 7:30’s to the finish. Note to self, buy good sturdy trail shoes.
But here is the lesson I did not expect. As I was trotting up the mountain, my first partner took off and left me, one of the guys that had previously not been in sight came up behind me and actually walked by me. Huh? While I take the “I think I can” cho-cho train attitude and kept chugging along, Jim does a walk/run combo. He alternates about every minute or so.  When it is super steep or hugely loose rock gravel he walks. So I joined him. Heck if he was going to walk by my trotting I was going to try his method. It was awesome. Because we walked, my legs and hips got stretched out and when we ran, we  ran, not just shuffled. My time for the last two and most difficult miles was a whole minute per mile faster.  I was faster walk/ running than  trotting. So how does this effect HR training paces? Interestingly my heart rate fluctuated between 153 and 158, there was no large dip because we alternated so quickly and walked on the toughest areas.  That kept me right around my 80% MHR, which is  a bit harder than I need to run for  aerobic endurance, to metabolize fat, build capillary density, and facilitate more blood and gas transport. The real beauty of these tough runs is that while my mileage is low, especially for marathon season training,  my time spent running is good.  Last week’s run was over 3 hours and this weeks over 2 hours, so I am getting the time in and I feel that I am  greatly reducing my chance of injury by running short distances on the mountain rather was long, 18+ miles on the road.
I followed up my run with coffee and a brownie from the Chocolate Maven in SF and met my friend Lisa for a hike in La Bajada, NM to check out some petroglyphs. Here is a link to a meet-up groups photos. We hiked on our own, but being in direct 99 degree sun in the middle of the afternoon took it’s toll and we were out of them in under 3 hours but it was extraordinary.

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Running – I knew it was close but I chose to ignore it. The NYC marathon is just 14 weeks away and I am far behind in my training. I can salvage it but I need to kick my butt into gear and get my long runs in. Since I haven’t even been doing medium runs, I can’t jump from 6 to 18 miles per run immediately so I broke it down. Not ideal but the 2x a day works great for me in a built up or coming back from an injury. I have the time and I don’t mind going out for a couple miles in the morning and evening. So Sunday I did a 5 mile trail run, came home had a snack, scratched the dogs and later went out for 10 miles on the road. The 10 miles sucked. I was in glycogen depletion from the prior day’s mountain hike combined with eating very little carbs. I never feel like eating after hiking so I pushed my body to use fatty acid which ultimately is what long runs are for. In fact that is the new research going on, glycogen depleted runs, but man do they suck.   Monday was rest. Today is track.

I will head into Santa Fe high school to meet the Striders for:
4 x 200
3 x 400
2 x 800
1 x 1600
100, 200, and 400 recovery laps.

Hummmm, since the 200’s only have a 100m recovery I have a feeling they are rolling. Damn those kill me. I need extra rest in the altitude, track is hard enough at sea-level. But I really need the track workouts here. Since everything is slower at 7000′ with the exception of 200’s and 400’s and maybe 800’s I have to keep the neuromuscular transmitters working so that I can keep pace back in NYC.

Home- I got my appliances today! Yea. I put everything together but I am not so sure of the pipe that comes into my house that is attached to a propane tank. It looks pretty sketchy, plus my electric outlet doesn’t work so until I hire an electrician to fix things I still will not have a stove. An electrician has been recommended to me by two different people, but it is the same guy who wired the house just 5 years ago. I have three outlets that don’t work, I have rolling shorts between ceiling lights,  I have wires coming in and not hooked to anything and constant power surges. If that is good I would hate to see what poor is. I am naively  thinking that my bad wiring is just a fluke. I also have a surveyor coming to put in corners on two of my lots. Almost all of my land has markers but the lot between the neighbor and I do not. I want to put up a fence for privacy and make sure it is only on my land and not his.

Hiking – this weekend I will get in two peaks, hopefully, if the SF forest opens. Saturday it is Tesuque peak, 12,040’ and Sunday Pecos Baldy. 12,529. The Peco’s hike is 18 miles  and will take about 9 hours and the Tesuque is only 7 but both are very steep and it will take about 5 hours. For fun I will wear my HR monitor to see if I can get in a 70% aerobic range. Going up it’s possible, especially steep climbing at that altitude. It would be very possible if I ditched the group and trail ran it, but it is against group protocol to go off on your own. And by group, it is seldom more than 4 other people, but you do need to observe the rules, which mostly are don’t be a slacker and make people wait for you . That is the biggest no-no. That is not my problem. I always want to run ahead! Of course I will have to do a run of at least 13 miles which is on the low side for this late in training but if I do any more I will get hurt. The big hikes will help some but of course it is not running.

Parting Thoughts. I am returning to NYC soon. This makes me sad because I love being outdoors but I also look forward to being clean and seeing my friends. I can never seem to get clean here, myself or my house. Everything is covered with a layer of sand. I will also like the convenience of walking across the street  to get a pint of ice cream at any hour instead of driving 6 miles and having to do it before 7pm because the store closes. I love the quiet but I do miss the plethora of cheap services you can get at any time in NYC.

 

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I have had a lot of people ask me if I am sad when I sell a drawing. I always find this a ridiculous question and want to ask them if they ever tell their boss not to pay them because they enjoy their job. Fortunately I love my job and I get paid for it. If I never sold work  I could never pay the rent on the studio or buy supplies. Plus I would end up like the Collyer Brothers with thousands of papers stacked floor to ceiling. I want my work out in the world, in homes, in museums, etc.

I have to admit though I will miss this drawing a bit. I sold it last night to my teammate and friend Blossom, hence the title, “Boston for Blossom.”

I gave you previews of this drawing some months back. “Boston for Blossom”  traces, literally, my rehab runs after breaking my foot in 2009, (my first major running injury) up to the 2010 Boston Marathon. It is a 7 month journey beginning with  alternating 400 meters walk/ run on a soccer field, to 22 mile runs along Manhattan’s west side many months later.

The process is very simple, but  time consuming. After my run, which I wear my garmin 305. I download my data to my Gramin Training Center, from there I upload the data to garmin connect. I output the mileage from garmin connect to google earth. I hook my computer up to a video projector and project the maps onto the large 60″ x 44″ paper on my wall, 10 feet away. I  draw over the map lines with either black, red, pink watercolor or pencil. Track work is almost always red, tempo runs usually pink and long runs black. Pencil, put in there for extra texture are recovery runs. Yes there are a couple of black loops on the track and this does not include every mile I ran for those seven months. But it does include the most important ones.

Blossom came and got the drawing last night and it is on it ways to Dot at Rabbet Framing in NJ. They are my favorite framer in the metropolitan area having framed over 30 pieces for me in the last couple of years, including one over 120″ long.

I now have room on my big wall to start a new long-term drawing. This one will be methodically color coded and include ever single mile I run from October 1 on. I am not sure of the end date but I have an exhibition in March that it could show up in.  I will also do a few “one-off’s” that is drawing that are of a single time run or race.

When you get sick of those terrible Brightroom photos and want to commemorate your race or your training in a high art kind of way, impress your friends with your athleticism and culture, call me, perhaps we can make a deal and you can have your very own GPS drawing.

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