This was the most fun race of the year so far. Twenty miles of snow in Maplewood, NJ. This is my kind of run.
This was the most fun race of the year so far. Twenty miles of snow in Maplewood, NJ. This is my kind of run.
I am in the Denver Airport on my way back to New York. I admit I am disappointed as to how I ran in the XC Championships. But at the same time I know I was not prepared. I have done minimal intensity work, even my long runs have been lax considering that I am also training for the Boston Marathon. But one can always hope for a miracle, well one did not appear.
I went into the race with a quad strain that had been giving me trouble on and off all year. I saw one of the best active release /chiro guys ever, Dr. Mark Papantonio of Flatiron Sport and Spine. Holy cow Mark tore into my quad and did some serious work in a very short time, breaking up stuff that I have been dealing with all year. He saw me last minute and I have no doubt he made a huge difference for the best on my run. He also sent me home with specific advice on what I need to get done. Thank you Mark!
The masters race had 67 female runners, 64 showing finishing time. The altitude is 5430 and at 7:30 the temperature was 57 degrees, the race started at 8:00 and in less than 30:00 the temp dropped to 39 degrees. I felt the temp drop but mostly I was feeling my rock solid locked down non-working quad. I wanted to quit after the first 2k loop, but I kept on, I was suffering. I ended up running a whole minute slower per mile that my half marathon time and within 10 seconds of my marathon pace, in otherwords slow and frustrating. But I solidly know where my fitness is at and I can decide what kind of motivation I have to fix it. I am honestly not sure as of today and I am okay with that.
A few things made me feel better. I met an athlete agent, his runner won 1st place. He said, “Heck you are at the Championship, even if you place 67 out of 68 you can say you ran in them.” That made me laugh. If I look at it in the flatlanders vs the altitude athletes. I solidly placed in the top 10 of flatlanders, but overall in the bottom third. I don’t want to do that again. I have one year to train and come back fighting, I am sure I can do it.
They are boarding the plane, next stop, home.
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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.
Each 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.
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.
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!
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.
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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.
It 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!