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Posts Tagged ‘NYRR’

Looking Good! Oh NO!

A few weeks ago I got two compliments in the same week that “I looked good.” My first thought was, “oh, crap I am getting fat.”

Imagine my delight (reinforcing my belief that I do NOT  body dysmorphic disorder) when I read this in the 1977 Complete Book of Running chapter on “Getting Thin:

“A runner in good condition weighs not more than two pounds per inch of height. A man not more than 5-10 percent body fat; a woman is about 15 to 20 percent. ….Ted Corbitt, the former Olympic marathoner mentions in Chapter 2, “When people tell you how good you look, you can be sure you are not fit. If you don’t look gaunt you’re out of shape.” Dr. Alan Clark, the same physician cited in Chapter 2 as an advocate of aerobic exercise instead of tranquilizers, told me that after six months on a running program “friends would approach my wife in private and speak with a concerned air about my gaunt appearance and ask how long I had been ill. Her explanation-that I was long-distance runner-would leave them scratching their heads.”

James E. Fixx, The Complete Book of Running, pg. 75, 1977

In the next week I am asked if I am ill, or told that I looked gaunt I will know I am ready for the marathon! If not, I will just wing it and run as hard as I can. Surely at the finish I will look ill.

 

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I have this compulsion to study everything I am interested in, not just read books about  subjects like running and nutrition, but get degrees in the subjects. (as a professor at the university I get to take classes for free)  Today I am studying for my final in nutrition, one more class toward my M.S. in Exercise Physiology with a concentration in Sports Nutrition. I know just enough about gluconeogenesis, glycolysis, glycogenolysis, beta-oxidation,  carboxylic acid groups and amine groups  to make me dangerous.  I need a little break.

On Sunday at the NYRR Pete McArdle Cross Country Classic a funny thing happened. When I crossed the finish line the marshal told me to go to the women’s award table where I was handed a 3rd place metal. I felt a bit disappointed but more curious as to who the other women were since I did not see the main person who usually beats me. After I walked away a marshal came running up to ask me my age and when I told him he said, “you were first” handed me a new metal and  my photo was immediately taken, you can see my exuberance here. The next day I checked the results and saw I  got 2nd place but this first place Rosa Victor was very suspicious. A 49 year old female ran a 1:06 and has  never run a NYRR race before.  Rosa ran a 7:12 pace which super good for 15k XC. The time was so inconsistent with the other female runners that I thought I should reverse the name and look up Victor Rosa. Sure enough Victor has run 13 NYRR races, all cross country and all between a 6:30 and 7:30 pace. So dear NYRR you need to move Rosa Victor, female to Victor Rosa, male. He will unfortunately go down to 7th place, but I get to be the official first place winner in my AG. I have claim it when I get it.

Back to memorizing  while my rested body goes into beta oxidation and converts  my free fatty acids to multiple acetyl-C0A-molecules though I would much rather be in glycolysis, way more fun.

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Oh I’m tired. Today was the last NYRR points races of the year, a 5 miler.  I have been tired and basically re-tired from over running and burn out but I had to show up. I met my downtown running buddies, David and Patrick, for a cab ride to the start. That was rather a decadent way to start the day. We got to the park and did a 1.7 mile warm-up

While being rounded up in the corrals I saw Julie, Races like a Girl, Threlkeld. She was only two people in front of me, but I knew once we got out of the corral I would never see her again.  I had to  harass her over our latest FB antics while I had the chance. She ran super awesome today, coming in 5th with a PR, out of 186. I on the other hand got kicked down to 19th! Well at least I didn’t totally fall apart and puke all over like the guy next to me. He puked 3x at the finish.

Honestly I didn’t know what to expect. I eroded my aerobic system with way too much anaerobic work and just too much running from June-October.  Since Nov 1  I have done minimal running.  Then two days ago I joined Five Points Academy. It is a Muay Thai fight gym with awesome strength and conditioning classes every hour. Being the high achiever low thinker that I am, I took 2 kettlebell classes in two days just prior to the race and a core/abs conditioning class on top of that. I started the race with an ass of steel, or maybe it was  an ass of cement. I felt like I was trying to move solid stumps. Ah, so I got kicked out of the top 10. Just wait, after 10-12 weeks of aerobic work coupled with kettlebell class, if I can’t kick some ass I am throwing in the towel or finding a coach that will keep me in line, fit but not over trained. I am so sad that Coach Roy Benson retired.

David and I cooled down with a 4 + mile run back to the East Village where we went to our respective homes and made hot chocolate. yummmmmm.

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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 stopped procrastinating and making  excuses like, “How can I do a track workout after  doing  manual labor in the hot sun all day?” and got my butt to the Santa Fe Striders track workout. The workout was 400 meter, 3 x 1600 meters, 400 meters. That did not sound too bad.

I had no idea what to expect, who I would be running with and what pace would I run at 7000′ which is another 1000′ over where my house is. Normally I would base these on McMillan and run  7:12 to 7:27.  I had not run in a week due the smoke from the fires nor had I done any fast work since coming here.  I drove the 42 miles to the Santa Fe High School Track.

I was met by Jim Owens, president of the Striders. He is a friendly and welcoming man. He let told me about the club; there can be anywhere from 20-30 runners at the workouts including the Kenyan. Kenyan Caroline Rotich, NKE who won the 2011 NYC 1/2 with a time of  1:08:52 is a regular and in the summer  so is Rae Baymiller who at age 67 and a  CPTC member ran a AG record of  1:34:28 also in the NYC 1/2.

We did a 2000 meter  warm-up, then lined up to run the 400. There were far more women than men and I was 2nd women, trying not to kill myself with 93 seconds,  similar to what I do in NYC. 400 meter recovery, then the 1st 1600. I jumped in behind the same women, Jennifer, but soon became the 3rd which was fine,  I hoped to pace off someone but I was too slow.  The first lap was 1:40 but by the 2.5 laps my mouth was as dry as the desert, my teeth felt like there were curling around my teeth and splitting apart, I felt like I was pulling a giant tractor-trailer filled with anvils, finished, 7:22. I couldn’t help but reminisce that at the end of May  during the Brooklyn 1/2 I was running  7:30 and chit chatting away with my friend Jamie. One done, 400 meter recovery. Second 1600, I went out more cautiously, first lap 1:50 and finished it in 7:40, a big difference from 7:22 but more manageable. I still felt like I was running in a deep pool of thick tar.  400 meter recovery and the last 1600. My goal was to match the 7:40, damn this is hard. I am breathing like I was having a heart attack and I am pretty close to it with a 177HR but I finished 7:40. Can I match the last 400 with the first, yes, that seemed easy in comparison but the last corner I felt the bear on my back and my whole body was rebelling. Am I running backward?

Once I was done I felt like I never ran. The strange thing in the heat and altitude is it feels impossible to propel my body forward, I have to work so hard, but once I stop it is as if I never ran in the first place, I was not even sweaty. Striders do tempo runs on Thursday and I had not planned on driving the 85 mile round trip 2x a week but the group is so nice and I met so many super great people that  I will go back for tempo. I felt awesome to run with a team again.

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Hilary Lorenz, GPS Running Drawing 50" x 60"

This post is not about running exactly, it is about the artwork that I am making based on running or more exact based on the GPS trails of my runs.

This is a drawing in progress that traces my running routes via GPS. I  devised a system of drawing that color codes workouts such as long runs, tempo runs, interval runs, etc and traces each one on the map at the completion of the run. There will be a whole series such as “The New York Marathon” that just traces my race, or “March” which is all the runs that I completed in March. This drawing contains  just over one month of runs beginning in October.  The runs are as short as 200 meter interval work up to 22 mile run runs from the Lower East Side of Manhattan up to the west side George Washington Bridge and back.

These photos show me working on the actual drawing and various states of completion. I will continue on this piece for approximately 6 months. Also you can see two completed pencil drawings that are a one-day route.

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I got my MRI results. My extreme calf cramp make a small tear in my gastroc and appears to have ruptured my plantaris tendon. However the report also made mention of a “prior plantaris tendon rupture.” Either way I no longer have one nor need it. I have been going through aggressive treatment, acupuncture, massage, ultrasound ever day since Friday plus two days of sauna/ice baths. Thank goodness I put piles of money into my flex spending account. It is there for just such an emergency. Too bad I can’t use it to hire a dog walker.

Friday I could not walk one step. Today I walked several miles and was on the stationary bike for 30 minutes as a trial. I still have a bit of a cramp in my calf but I am clear to try out a run tomorrow. My Acupuncturist Bruce Mandelbaum also a very accomplished runner, said he has never seen anyone heal as fast as me. I think I do get injured a little too often but my docs always tell me they can’t believe how fast I heal. Also thanks to my Chiropractor Jamie Blau and Massage therapist Monica Polanca. Monica was amazing working on Easter weekend both Saturday and Sunday gave me  the best massages I have ever had, spending maybe 40 minutes in my calf alone trying to get it to settle down. The are all part of Upper West Side Chiropractic in NYC, on Amsterdam and 74th street. Jamie the Director of UWSChiro does not work on weekends but she came in just to do ultrasound therapy on my calf Saturday.They are just the best!

So will I make it to Boston? Coach Benson said I need to be able to run a 20 miler 8 days before the race. A tough proposition no matter how you put it. I don’t want to become more of a lunatic than I already am, so just in case I am looking int May marathons probably in Canada where it is cool. I am just taking each day as it comes and we will see what happens. Boston will be there next year.

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Tonight my friend and teammate Megan came over. She picked up my 3rd place age group trophy and 2nd place woman’s team metal from New York Road Runners. It is always very exciting to get some new hardware, but as I wrote about in an earlier post it was not such a good race so my enthusiasm was a bit damped.

I have just five weeks left for Boston. Running is going well, I feel like I am ready to run it already. I rarely feel like that. I am glad I have 5 weeks one of which includes a 22 miler and one a 20 miler, so I think I am going to have a really good marathon. My room is booked and now I just need to find a dog sitter so that I do not need to drive mine 2.5 hours upstate, which is what I usually do.

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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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