Archive for April, 2010

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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The Big Picture

I just got done writing out races and goals for the year. Since I can’t run Boston due to my calf injury it looks more and more like I will go to Canada which is kind of exciting. My only hesitation is I have an excellent 50 mile backpack with the best friends imaginable in NH that weekend. So I will have to see how it plays out.

This is what my year looks likes and you can get a glimpse of how I lay out my goals so that I don’t go crazy.:

Sunday May 16, Pocono Mountain, PA – (I think this may be to soon) http://www.poconomarathon.org/
A downhill course, it is almost all rolling hills with comparatively very little flat running with an uphill finish. Starts at 1945 feet elevation and ends at 400. Large drop from mile 11 – 20.  Total of 411 finishers – very small race
Hi              65°F
Lo              42°F
Marathon Guide, all say excellent volunteers and support but all the downhill running, then the uphills at the end kill one’s quads. I am not a fan of this. It is what I hate about Boston. But low key and near home.

May 7 – North Face Endurance Challenge, 50K trail race, Bear Mountain, NY Goal: Easy jog walk training run. Have a fun and finish.

May 30, Ottawa, Ontario Canada Goal: Improve my consistent 3:49/3:50 marathon time

Ultimate Goal: 3:38
Very Happy Goal: 3:45
I’ll take it goal: 3:48:30
(Some day I will get there goal 3:30 – the real ultimate goal)

According to my teammate: First half is gently rolling, the final half is down one side and back up the other of a Canal. About  2000 marathoners, but a half-marathon starts a little later so that there are simultaneous finishers, but it’s still not crowded. limit of runners when ½ and full combine: 4, 500

Hi              70°F
Lo              50°
Excellent reviews on marathonguide – 7 weeks to train Cons: did not see any in the reviews – Expense of going to Canada Bonus: If healthy could still run the North Face endurance challenge 50k on bear mountain as a training run May 8th! I love this place, I ran the ½ marathon last year and didn’t want it to end.

Goals for the year ———————————————————————————

VanCortlandt Park, NYX-C Series – I love these races! The winner gets a carrot cake! Goal: Win lots of carrot cakes! May 27, June 10, 24 July 8, 22, August 5, 19

June  26 – New York Road Runners, Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run 5 mile race – Goal: 36:00 Goal based on April 2009 4 miler 28:17 and 10k 45:51

August 7th New York Road Runners, Team Championships 5MGoal: under 36:00

August 22-27 Transrockies, CO Goal: Have Fun and to Finish http://transrockies.com/transrockiesrun/news/
Fully supported, 6 stage, 113 miles, singletrack and forest road trail with nearly 25,000 feet of elevation gain, reaching altitudes of over 12,500 ft.
last year days broke down to 20, 10, 24, 14, 23, 21 miles per day

October 10            Mohawk-Hudson River Marathon Goal:  RACE lower time from Spring marathon

November 7            NYC Marathon, Goal: Goal:  Have Fun, Maybe Pace a friend

There are a few assorted NYRR races I would like to do also, but this is what my focus is.

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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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I was off 4 days from running because my hip flexor went a little crazy but I was getting it worked on and it was going well.  I went to the track, not to run but  do a few walk through drills, marching instead of skipping, etc. I had a straight knee and when flexed my foot it felt like a bullet tore through my calf. I could not walk, I could not massage it out. I couldn’t do anything but I could circle my foot which was my limited knowledge test that I did not rupture my achilles. There was a team workout out and I almost went to them to see if they had a doc or trainer  because I was stuck 1/2mile from home. But I didn’t. I am also one of those people who refuses to ask directions if lost on the highway.

I was able to slowly walk lightly on my heel and I got home. Unbelievable pain. I had to lay a towel on the floor, kneel on it and use my arms to pull myself across the room. It was hideous. Friday morning I went to see my docs, while doing diagnostic tests my muscle went into a huge contraction state that felt like a vice grip around my entire calf. My chiro was holding my leg, I went white as a ghost and almost vomited from the pain,  you get the picture. She had a grave look on her face, but still she thought there was a minor tear but not serious as the condition of the muscle felt good.  She consulted with the podiatrist in the practice and grew worried that a tear would go into a rupture so she sent me Friday night to the MRI. If there was a tear the podiatrist recommended casting it. I freaked when I heard that and broke down sobbing for the 10th time in two days.

Then I called my Coach Benson. I love this man. His incredible years of experience and phenomenal way of explaining things “brings me right back off the ledge” as he likes to say. Here is the very abbreviated scoop on tears and spasms. Distance runners rarely get achilles/calf tears, sprinters get tears when they are running at high speeds in a fatigued state. There needs to be a high level of lactic acid build up and the sprinter is in an anaerobic state. It is common for distance runners to get a spasms, Charlie horse, due to dehydration and electrolytes being out of balance conversely you can drink way too much water and wash out all your salt. In my case I had begun drinking 2x as much water in the last week, because somehow I thought it would aid in healing my hip, and since I was not running I eating very little, and no salt. To support this water-logged mineral deficient theory I got out of bed Friday night and kneeled onto my towel to pull myself across the floor, sexy right?, and for about 3-4 seconds my other calf went into a mild spasm.

So what does Coach say to do. First take aspirin to thin the blood then take 100% RDA of calcium, magnesium, and potassium and stop drinking so much water. Coach said all those water commercials claiming we need 8-10 glasses of water a day is nuts, we need 8-10 of liquid; liquid is juice, water, tea, watermelon, even coffee and wine. Of course not recommending drinking 8 glasses of wine and coffee as your liquid. Next massage. On a scale from 1-10, 10 being the pain is so bad you will fly off the table and punch the massage therapist, it needs to be an 8. It will hurt very badly but the muscle fibers need to be relaxed. And light stretching. The problem is once this spasm gets out it will feel good to walk but once I start running it could come immediately back, therefore,walking, then light running with walk breaks, daily massage and keep the minerals coming.

So while there is a sigh of relief that my muscle is not torn, though I do not have MRI results to back that up yet either, I am walking a bit today. You might be thinking what a big baby it is only a charlie horse. Well do this. Have a friend stand next to you with a Ruger loaded with hollow point bullets let the person shoot you in the calf. That is what this felt like. Full disclosure,  I have never been shot with anything stronger than a b.b.gun. I may have the most extreme taper for a marathon, no running or a couple of weeks, but hey, I can go to Boston and have a great time running, and who knows maybe I will PR. And if you are wondering what the heck I was doing with a b.b. gun, I grew up in Michigan and in those days it was a common Christmas present for 10 year olds.

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