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Has it really only been 10 days since I posted my goals for 2016? It is feeling like months ago. How am I doing on them? Well, lets see.

1. Master the pistol squat
I got pretty excited about this. I worked on it 1-2 times a week during a TRX workout. I have not put specific focus into the pistol, but I have been working ankle flexibility and regular squats to help make it happen.

2.  Get  StrongFirst Certification
I am registered for the 9 hour technique course on January 17 at Five Points Academy in Manhattan. I am looking forward to it. I am also taking kettlebell class 3x a week right now. I plan to do more as I work it out with my running schedule. I don’t want to burn out doing both.

3. Race the WhiteFace Skymarathon.
I am registered for the Skymarathon at Whiteface in the Adirondacks and I have a coach who is working me out daily.

4. Race the Marquette Trail 50 in MI
I am registered for the Marquette Trail 50, a now sold out trail race in Michigan. But, two friends just got into the Leadville 100,  through the lottery, Leadville 100 is probably one of the most coveted  racing in the country, that takes place in Colorado the same weekend. One friend I paced at the Javalina 100 got in, and, well, I would love to skip my race to pace her to a 100 mile finish. I will still get in my 50 miles, but in the mountains of Colorado and with a super fun friend.

5. Build a canoe by hand.
Until I secure my class, which will be with Hilary Russell, there is a great fundraiser for a canoe at Yestermorrow School.  It is a beautiful hand built canoe, a narrow passage 14, only 22 pounds, made by Mr.  Russell. For only $10 you can enter the raffle for a  $1400 canoe. If you have never heard of Yestermorrow, and you are interested in design and hand-built, you must check it out.

I have been working with Coach Sean Meissner at Sharmaulta for just about 4 weeks. My distance is increasing and the quality, fast running, is increasing even more. I had a few days of painful lower back, high hamstring which created undue anxiety and emotional stress that made me overall cranky but I ran 14 miles yesterday in a pretty relaxed state and feel good now.

All in all my goals are remaining S.M.A.R.T., I can measure progress and build all my other life events around it, like putting up an exhibition. I have an exhibition of printed and cut paper going up in Brooklyn at LIU, over the next 8 days and I have application out for grants and residencies to carry through to 2017. I feel like I am honing in on a few things and it feels pretty darn good.

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hilary_bolder

Hilary at Bald Peak, Adirondack Mountains, NY Dec. 2015

It  turned midnight for my friends in Lake St. Clair, Tasmania, in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Happy New Year! Yes, of course Happy New Year to all in Australia, but I have friends in those four places and want to make a particular shout out to them.

I do not make resolutions but I do make goals for the year. They are nothing crazy, they are  measurable, reachable goals that involve developing skills and strength through practice.  These goals only make my life more rewarding by having a healthy strong body but they are also really fun and will involve 6 months or more of practice each.  So in particular order:

  1. Master the pistol squat. 
  2. Get  StrongFirst Certification
    This is not so that I can teach Pavel Tsatsouline method of kettlebells, but to prove to myself that I can develop the strength to do 100 kettlebell snatches, 12kg in 5 minutes. along with perfect form in the

    • Swing (one 12kg bell)
    • Turkish Get-Up (one 12kg bell)
    • Double Clean (two 12kg bell)
    • Press (one 12kg bell)
    • Double Front Squat (two 12kg bell)
    • Snatch ((one 12kg bell)
      There is a 30% failure rate on those that can even make it to  certification day.
  3. Race the WhiteFace Skymarathon,
    So when I say “race” I don’t want to just participate and run it, I want to run it hard and do well. Thanks to my new coach, Sean Meissner at Sharmaulta I am feeling really good about this. I have worked with Sean for just 2 weeks now, but I love how he puts together a training plan.
  4. Race the Marquette Trail 50 in MI
    Same as #4. Additionally having a coach, I can focus on the work I need to do, running, and not think about planning my run schedule. Plus a coach can see far more clearly when their athlete needs to be pushed or needs to back off. This is hugely important to me.
  5. Build a canoe by hand.
    This takes a lot of skill, none of which I have.  I identified two canoe building teachers, one at the Adirondack Folk School,  the other at the Bershire Boat Building School. What I especially like about the Bershire school is that the man who own’s it is named “Hilary.” Many of Hilary’s boats classes are  solo lightweight canoes for easy carry and would be awesome for Adirondack canoe camping.

Of course there are other things I will do, other races, personal bests I want to beat, but right now they are not specific or measurable, two requirements of a good goal, as in S.M.A.R.T. defined as one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and timebound.

After being in a boot last year for my broken foot and getting  weak, I am all about strength focus and having fun. Being that my goals involve skill makes them all the more interesting. What are your S.M.A.R.T goals for 2016?

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Michelle Holland and Hilary Lorenz on the road to Chimayo

Michelle Holland and Hilary Lorenz on the road to Chimayo

Right now I am having the most fun running I have had in a long time. Despite my continued right leg burning muscle shut down on uphills that I have been dealing with for three years, training has been great! I think this is the first time that I have had a training partner my own age, my own ability, training for similar races and able to run 3+ times a week together on road, trail and track.

One thing I always wanted to see, or do, in New Mexico is the pilgrimage to Chimayo. Considered one of the top 10 Catholic (of which I am not) holiest places in the word, over 12,000 people walk to the church, the Sanctario, on Good Friday. It turned out Michelle, who has lived in Chimayo for about 15 years always wanted to run it, but never had anyone to do it with. So this year, my first full year in NM, she and I ran. People walk from over 100 miles away, some dragging enormous crosses, many with commemorative t-shirts.  And while it seems that it would be a  somber event, come on, Jesus was crucified, people were really friendly, joked, and then ate Fritto pie and roasted corn at the church. We ran 13 miles, went home and ate almond butter and banana on gluten free toast. It was delicious.

We continue to go to the Pojoaque track to do workouts. Yesterday was 6 x 3:00 at 7:00 pace with 2:00 recovery. I still find it hard. My  HR, that was at the lower end of tempo, I was 20 beats below my max, but every time I get to 7:00 pace, around 165HR, my leg goes wild and shuts down about 2:00 into it.  We cut back a bit, but it did not help starting at a 6:30 pace. It can be hard dialing that pace in on the track. We ended with 7:15 average and at 6,600 ft, I will take that in a heartbeat! Nine more weeks to the Roswell Senior Olympics!

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A month ago a friend was helping fund raise to send senior athletes from Taos country to the State Senior Olympic Games in Roswell. (yes the place of all the UFOs!). I  donated artwork to help raise money for the qualified athletes get to the games. Two days later I came home to an official looking form held down by a rock at my front door. It was an entry into the Senior Olympics. Wooaaaahhhhh, Senior Olympics, you must have gotten the wrong house.

Well my friends Senior Olympics start at age 50. Yes, 50, that scares and freaks the crap out of me. But two encounters about the games in a week from two very different people, hell, why not listen. There was a phone number on the paper, I called and talked to Carol, an extremely exuberant women (a friend of a friend of a friend) who said, “Hilary, you have to sign up immediately, the forms are due now drive it to the city office building today”, a 45 mile round trip. I did. I met he head of recreation for the county and he too was wildly enthusiastic. He said they have 2 workouts a week, the county fully supports the program. They will bus us to Roswell for the State Games and there was a meeting on Sunday about the regional qualifiers.  Okay, I signed up for the 800, 1500, and 5k. I may do the 10k.  I have the opportunity to learn and practice a bunch of other stuff; shotput, javelin, airgun, high jump, long jump. But I would probably hurt myself and not be able to run.

At Sunday’s meeting I met the other runners,  it was all men. But they told me I must contact Michelle. She is one of their stars. She is 6  or 7 years older than me but ran a 44:51 10K in the 50-54 AG at State.  My best 10k is 45:48. and that 44:51 is the state record. I feel a challenge coming on. ( it is still at a higher elevation race which will slow me down) I checked the National Records for the 5k. I have always wanted to run a fast 5k, but I have not done training specific for that. The National record is 18:55, I will never see that. But I can get to the top 10, the slowest is 21:20. National Games are not until 2017, qualify in 2016. I will also represent NM.

After slogging around the last three months trying to make my long runs, it was not happening, and I am not running Boston this year. On  Friday I got in my first track workout in over 8 months, 10 x 200 with 200 rest, Saturday 5 miles EZ, Saturday, Sunday 1.67 mile warm-up followed by 2:00 fast, 1:00 slow to very slow x 9. This was done on rolling, mostly uphill roads at 6200 ft. I woke up today, excited to do another  run. I am excited to run again. I want to run short and fast. I want to race. Friday I am running with Michelle. We will coordinate our training for state. I want to see UFOs.

Senior Olympics? Bring it on! My next chapter in life, compete for 50 freakin’ years! That is my next life goal.

That is me on the left, I took great pride in beating the two lovely ladies with the really nice bellies on the right. They too could be at the senior Olympics! I want to feel that rush of running short and hard again. And I will. And I will be back in NYC for the 5th Avenue Mile 2015, sub 6:00.

Fifth Avenue Mile

Fifth Avenue Mile

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I am often judgmental of the articles on how to  keep motivated during marathon training or just running in general was ridiculous. If you are not motivated, doesn’t that mean that you just don’t want to do it, and that is okay? If I want something I am going to do it. If I am not that excited for something, I am not going to do it. Pretty simple.

When I am in NYC, I will run every time someone calls me which can be twice a day.  I will run in NM every time someone calls me (thought that never happened until very recently). When I am motivated I will get up at 5am and drive 100 miles, round trip, to run with friends in SF. I will rent an apartment, even if I only live there on the weekends to run with friends, to cut down on driving time. I love to run alone too, but not every day and not 15-20 miles and not on the side of a busy two lane road or getting chased by dogs.

Boston is still 8 weeks away but I have lost interest, not motivation, but interest in completing my training, boarding the dogs and flying out to Boston. I missed two 20 mile runs already. At first I thought my 4 hours of XC skiing could cover part of that, plus I had a 2.5 hour run on the trails, but it is not the same as 20 miles on the road. I realize the real joy I get, is in training with my friends, the shared pain of hard runs, long runs, cold runs, sweating bullets runs. Don’t get me wrong, I want a PR, I want to run hard. When I can’t run hard, it is just not as fun.

I like  hours of X-C skiing on the weekend, snowshoeing, daily hikes with the dogs and yes running. But I don’t want to wake up every morning and think about what my prescribed workout is, I just want to run and explore so that I can have time for my other activities, like making art which is my profession.  I have a fall exhibition to work on now.

I met a guy a couple of years ago on a 50k run who told me he never raced, but he ran all distances and mostly ultras.  I was out for a 17 mile run and met this group on the same course, so I joined them, and completed 50k because I enjoyed being with them. I could not understand just running to run and not racing. I run to race or do I? I thought training in NM would be the best and yes it is pretty darn sweet especially in the mountains, but I am not getting fitter.  I like to blame it on the altitude, I love reaching new levels during a training cycle, but it is not happening. I honestly don’t know, maybe I lost my motivation or was that my interested?

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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.

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When I am not actively running, I think about running. The toughest part about being in my NM hideaway is all the chores I have, like table making, fence building and weed pulling, not to mention my pretty extreme isolation. So to remedy almost all of things I bring you my first Desert Functional Fitness  video:

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