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ImageHere is my cool as a cucumber Boston Marathon 2014 finish. I had the best run ever (not timing wise but fun wise) with my Santa Fe Strider buddy Andy. Andy and I had not made  specific plans but we knew we were in the same wave same corral. I honestly had no idea how the race would go because I had not done any tempo  or track work. But we worked together and really enjoyed ourselves. This is Andy in motion, me waving behind him. Kind of a funny photo. Image
I ran a decent amount including the Costal Trail Run’s Canyon Meadow 50k trail race in Redwood Regional Park, Oakland California where I won the 40-49 AG and came in 4th female overall in March. That was cool! But I had not done any marathon pace runs. I did not wear a watch, ran by feel and ran with Andy. I finished with a 3:49 (my qualifying time is 4:00) and was  happy with that. We ran very consistent up to the Newton Hills, and then it was just so damn hot we were both baking in the sun. I made a new friend, Ayako Yamazaki who is an awesome runner. We were both staying at the Chinatown hostel which I highly recommend. Super friendly, super cheap, Leed certified building, great food! I reserved a bed in a room for 8, Ayako and her friend were also in the room. It turns out both of us are running Pike’s Peak Marathon in August. Unlike me, she trained well all winter long and our times certainly reflected that. She did great. I can’t wait to meet up again in Colorado.

So guess what? My next sabbatical starts officially on as of May 28th, and goes until August 15, 2015! I began this blog 7 years ago during my first sabbatical. So my plan outline for the next few months:

June – Artist Residency at Matfield Outpost, Matfield Green, KS
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une – Art Printmaking in Abiquiu, NM (running with Santa Fe Striders)
June 28/29 travel to Loveland, CO for my USA Weightlifting, Sports Performance Coach Certification (Olympic lifts)
July – Art Printmaking in Abiquiu, NM (running with Santa Fe Striders)
July 27th – Run on the Volcano, Trail 1/2 in NM.
August- Art Printmaking in Abiquiu, NM (running with Santa Fe Striders)
August 17th – Pikes Peak Marathon
Sept – Art Printmaking in Abiquiu, NM (running with Santa Fe Striders)
October 4 – Exhibition Opening, The Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs, Matfield, KS
Lecture at KCAI
Drive to NYC
Install show at Wave Hill
Wave Hill opening October 18, Artist talk November 16
November 22 – JFK50 mile
Show comes down December 7
Drive back to KS, then NM.
There will be a stint in Espanola, Ontario, Canada, need to confirm dates where I (and my dogs)  get to be  guests at the Anishinabe Spiritual Centre where my good friend Fr. Teo Ugaban is a priest. Teo was one of my art students at Parsons school of art way back when. I am especially excited because Teo is coming to NYC this weekend. I have not seen him since he left for Sri Lanka, 3 years ago. He was my first guest for PrintSocial. And hey I just learned that Instagram stole my title, PrintSocial. Should I send them a cease and desist letter?  I have had it a hell of a lot longer than them. 

I am sure additional races, more trips, and assorted goodies will be included in here, but I wanted to touch on the main points. IN about a month Downtown Brooklyn Journal is coming out. I designed the cover and have an 8 page spread of my work in the middle. It is going to be really cool!

Here are a few pics on what I have been doing but just wait, there is so much more:
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Before I left New York for Michigan I picked two books to take with me, Deep Survial by Laurence Gonzales and Running the Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano. Being here for a few days now I have to laugh at the perfect combination of my choice.

It is not exactly deep survival driving 814 miles with dogs to spend a few charged holidays with the family, but the trip  requires some risk management.  Deep Survival is far more extreme,  it looks at who lives, who dies and why,  in various outdoor adrenalin induced adventures. For anyone who loves to read about the wilderness, adventure and life altering decisions it is a fascinating read.

Next I am into the first 100 pages of Running the Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano who were University of Colorado running teammates. You may have read reviews that it is unlike any other running book and it is. It is self-help, motivation, spiritual guidance, deep reflection all rolled into one. But what stands out is the runners common thread to reject the idea of living a normal or average life. It  talks about one’s biggest fear being wasted potential. Wow this book is for me, especially right now in my cross roads of mid-life but always wanting more.

I have always had the philosophy, the fear, and the determination to not have regrets on my deathbed. Growing up, my father  talked about how much he hated his job. We would get in discussions of,  “Why do something that you hate so much?”  I vowed then to never be in that position, that I would never do something that would make me profoundly unhappy. He said he did it,  “because of you kids”  to support us and send us to college. I must be really selfish because there is no way I would “waste” my life doing something that I hated, maybe that is why I also vowed to never have kids.  I am not sure why he hated his job but what was tough to see is how it affected his entire life.   I learned some big lessons from those talks, mostly I never want to feel like I perceived  he felt.

For me not having a family of my own is my best choice, I can do what I want and I have. I traveled all over the world, almost all of it paid for by an arts organization, the government, or another country’s cultural department. I have lived  in mountain huts, beach shacks, super deluxe houses, monster apartments and single rooms.  I gave talks and had exhibitions worldwide. I am a tenured professor and I am the chairman of a university department.  I have a second home in another state that I get to go to in the summer. I am making the best choices for me, for who I am. That looks great on the checklist of accomplishments but it is no big deal to anyone who has some passion and a little persistence. It is time for something more.  Enters “Running the Edge.”

Running the Edge is about more, better, and never settling, in ones’ running, education, career, friendships, family, and passion. Running, that is easy to never settle to always chase a new PR. Education that is easy too I love to learn and constantly take new classes.  Career is not so clear. I am an artist, I am  a professor. I am not totally keen on where I teach and I want to make it a better and more competitive department with stronger students and better studios. Or is it that I want to move to a place with stronger students and better studios?  Or maybe I want to leave all together and do something new and different or take the risk of only making art? Or maybe as a money job, I don’t “work” in art anymore and I work in physiology, exercise testing? Then at the end of the day I can go to my studio and make art without having to dump the frustration of teaching art to people I believe are less motivated than they should be? Not making the decisions is passive and I find myself passively waiting for a new opportunity to come through the email to point me in a new direction. Wow that is hard to admit, if I had a friend doing that I would scold them up and down to get their ass out there and make a change and tell them how pathetic they are for not being pro-active. Hilary, you are pathetic, get your ass out there and make a decision to change what you feel is not the very best.

Now I feel better.  I am eager to continue reading Running the Edge. I love the stories that are recounted by  Goucher and Catalano, they make perfect sense to me, the risk and the reward.   What a great end of year reading to move into the better, faster, stronger, smarter me next year. Just the planning of it gets me excited.

So this year in talking with my dad who retired over 10 years ago but immediately went right back to work as a part-timer at the very same job he hated tells me, “Sure I still get mad at my job and I work more hours that I should, but it gives me something to do, some place to go, it keeps me active and thinking and engaging with people.” I will still wonder why that place is not what I would think of as more appealing but maybe it is what is appealing to him, plus it is not my life, it is his.   Now the job is on his terms and he is calling the shots. That is where we all need to be, calling our own shots, making everything what we want it to be and doing what we want to do.

Happy New Year to all the Distance Mavens and here is enjoying a relentless pursuit of excellence in everything.

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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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When people get ready to go see a performance they look in the closet to see which black shirt they will wear. Is it formal, maybe the button shirt? Is it casual, perhaps the organic cotton t-shirt? But I was reaching into my closet wondering trail shoes or road running shoes. Sounds more like I was going running right? Well, kind of, but not really.

I was getting dresses to go see, ENDURE:  A RUN WOMAN SHOW that begins at Brooklyn’s Old Stone House in Park Slope but takes place in Prospect Park. Before I go any further I must tell you, everyone who has ever run a race, everyone who is running a fall marathon and everyone who has ever even thought about running a race or a marathon or is in any way interested in running or dynamic theater has got to go see ENDURE.

 To began I was at Brooklyn’s Old Stone House getting my entry number. Each ticket is a clever race number that you pin on your shirt. Your race captains hand you a cued up I-pod to hang around your neck. It is playing an original score composed by Sweden-based singer-songwriter Christine Owman. The beats of it made me want to jump around and start running. It was relaxing yet engaging at the same time. I really don’t have language to describe music so I will say it was really cool.

 We start walking along 3rd Street toward Prospect Park, springing along to the music behind out race leader, Producer Suchan Vodoor.  Each time we saw a person walk or jog by we’d think, “Is this is? Are they an actor?” We walked into the park paying close attention to what is happening around us. We stop. A voice comes on. It is Melanie Jones, Canadian writer and performer of ENDURE. She is talking about racing, about lining up. We see a beautiful woman, a runner not too far from us. There is a countdown, 5,4,3,2,1 we are off. We are asked to run to the end of the trail. We see the beautiful runner dash behind some bushes, we want to chase her, to see who she is, where she is going.

 As we follow we are lend through the woods, down pathways, over trigs and down hills. But don’t worry if you are not a runner, walking is also very much encouraged and anyone can participate.

 Melanie physically leads us as we listen to her thoughts on the I-pod. Those thoughts that every runner has, excitement, self-doubt, pain, but what makes this really special is that she shares all those things we don’t talk about. Like “hey perfect little pony tail, perfect running, I am going to bury you.” Well not exactly those words but words to that affect, words that a “nice person” may not say but deep inside we are not nice, we are there to conquer, picking our nemesis and attacking!  We are taken on a ride, a run, that moves up and down from depression to exuberance, from being the weirdo to being the coveted, from being a non-runner to a marathoner. Quoting from her press release:

 ENDURE is inspired by Melanie Jones experience – training for and completing her first marathon.  “During a long run or a race, every human emotion comes up at one point or another:  rage, bliss, boredom, despair, peace,” remarks Jones. “That, to me, was incredibly rich dramatic ground to draw from…” Admittedly, when she first began her training, the prospect of running 26.2 miles nearly killed her.  But eventually, she learned that simply putting one foot in front of the other could save her life.

 This is theater in a whole new form. The audience becomes part of the piece; it goes far beyond “audience participation.” The more willing you are to interact the more you get from the show. For a runner you get pulled in every direction of the marathon distance and the months of training  leading up to it. You get a lot of surprises, especially because it is set in Prospect Park. A scene that takes place on a park bench may now be occupied by an old man feeding squirrels or near the  finish line a bride or a perhaps piñata will be waiting for you.

Here is a short clip:

 I have been thinking about this show every day since seeing it. I recall it on my long run. I recall it doing my repeats on the track. The show is themed around the marathon but it is about a whole process of evolution, the changes we go through and adaptations along the way. Melanie  takes us up and down and around, emotionally and physically unfolding the narrative in a powerful way. You will not get any better marathon motivation than you get from attending ENDURE.

 ABOUT COLLISION PRODUCTIONS

 Collision Productions, Inc., founded in 2010 by Kym Bernasky and Melanie Jones, is a dynamic artistic partnership focused on the creation and development of innovative new work by crossing artistic disciplines. Collision craves (and creates) environments, works of art, and experiences that are transformative, uplifting, life-affirming…and magical.

 ENDURE: A RUN WOMAN SHOW
September 24 through October 23
Saturdays and Sundays – 10AM & 3PM
Old Stone House, Park Slope Brooklyn
Tickets $25
(Ticket Office on 3rd Street at corner of 4th and 5th Aves.)
Run Time:  70 Minutes

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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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