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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Marathon’

Booked flight to New Mexico.
Booked boarding with my favorite dog wrangler and trainer Kat Berger.
Booked my labral tear repair surgery

Today I saw my orthopedist, Dr. Donald Rose. I knew already what was coming. I had my followup MRI done last week on my left hip which has a stress-reaction injury on my femur. My first MRI was in May and  I am surprised that I was not 100% by now. I have run a little bit, starting with 100 meter jogs and spending 5 weeks to build up to a mile. Talk about a slow build-up. But I was bugged by a nagging ache along the inside of my hip-bone that intensified whenever I squatted down.  I kept digging at it thinking it was my psoas but it never changes.

On August 27th I went for my follow-up MRI. When I got the report  I went into a rage and depression. The second report included “unchanged ganglion cyst and  tear at the base of the anterior labrum.” What do you mean “unchanged” there was never a cyst nor a tear reported! Dr. Farzam Kashanian at Lenox Hill Radiology read my May MRI.  He wrote about three vague sentences and my injury did not sound too bad. But when my doc looked over those films he said it was much more severe than Kashanian stated. The report was less than 2/3’s of a page. My second MRI read by another doc in the practice (I have look  his name up Greogry ??)  is two pages long and not only details the tear, he specifies which film sequence it is in. He compared the two films stated what is unchanged or changed. Oh man I am pissed. I would have had this taken care of back in May. But rather I sat here all summer healing my bones while the tear is what is holding me up. So now I am going to NYC Hospital for Joint Disease Sept 14th to have that fixed and then going back to the 100 meter build up.

Hopefully it will be better than that. I had a friend get both hips done. The first one she was on crutches one week, the second one she walked home with a cane and was off it the second day. The good thing is you have to work the leg immediately, no sitting around. I asked if I should board my wild dogs and  the doc said, “no, it will be good for you to hobble around with them and if they are too strong, get a friend to walk them and you hobble along side.” In other words I hear 30 minute surgery, go home, sleep an hour, get up and get the leg moving.

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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 decided to give my Tanita Body Fat / Body Water Monitor a test. Lately my weight has been fluctuating between 117 and 121 within a 24 hour period  which is highly suspicious. Normally I am pretty solid at 118 with a 18% body fat, it can be as low as 16% and as high at 19% depending on how much water I am drinking. The lowest I have ever gotten in the last two years is 14% at 113 pounds, normally a couple of weeks around  marathon time.

If  I am well hydrated the Tanita tells me my body fat is lower. So to put myself in a good mood I drink a liter or so of water, then weigh myself an hour later. My fat will be down, but a liter of water weighing 2.2 pounds  my weight will be up, but that bothers me less.

Because I was born with an obsessive brain I often calculate the hypothetical performance benefit I will have running  marathons at a lower weight. And with Boston  8 weeks away I might want to consider putting aside this bag of pretzels if it will make running easier and faster. So how do I know how much extra fat I am really carrying around and is my scale right? Ah ha! Today I had an appointment at Brooklyn College’s Kinesiology and Sports Medicine lab to be measured in their Bod Pod. The Bod Pod is a funky space pod looking contraption that one sits in wearing weight compression clothing, usually shorts for guys and shorts and sport bra for women or a speedo type swim suit. After a digital reading of one’s weight, you sit in the airlocked  pod. It uses something called Air Displacement Plethysmography to determine the percent of fat, fat free mass, fat mass in pounds, fat free mass in pounds, body mass, body volume and body density. I found it cool to know that if my body was liquified I would fill  51 liters.

It was no surprise that I am classified as “lean with lower body fat levels than many people”   The weight specifics on my scale was right, I weigh 118.517, 94.163 pounds of that are muscle, bone, organs and water or 79.5%;  24.354 pounds are fat which is 20.5.% Hum, that is more than my scale says, 24 pounds of fat? Yuk!  To put it in perspective, to live,  women need essential fat, 12% – 15% meaning I could weight as little as 109-112 and still function. But what is function? Does that mean I can still run 40-65 miles a week? Probably not for any length of time. But what if I lost 3 pounds or 2.5% body fat. I have read in many articles that for a 1 percent loss of body mass, primarily as body fat, there will be an approximate 1 percent increase in running speed. To put this in perspective, if you currently run a 10K at a pace of eight minutes (8:00) per mile, losing 5% of your excess body fat will improve your time to 7:36 per mile (8:00 x 0.05 = 24 seconds faster; 8:00 – 0:24 = 7:36). Consequently, you will run the 10K about 2.5 minutes faster, and your marathon about 11 minutes faster. That is something to think about.

I always want to run faster. I have no problem going out in blizzards, rain, cold, or heat to run. But, especially, after a 20 miler, my body is like a magnet being pulled into the bodega to get a pint of ice cream. Food is much harder to control. But maybe as an experiment, just for 8 weeks I can give it a try. 1% of fat = 1% faster? Well let’s see if I can put away the pretzels.

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My last post ended with my run on the Alter-G and a new stress fracture. Today, three months later, 2 days shy of 12 weeks I am running.  Most days my foot does not hurt, except when I am walking my very unruly dogs who jerk me all over.  All this time off since May 26, the first break, has given me a lot of time to think, to lay on my sofa and be depressed and  be pissed off and think of what I want to change in my life.  Now it is fall and all those races which I thought I would run were cancelled, but I smartly registered for Boston the day I canceled my NYC marathon.

I knew I could write my own training plan, but I wanted to be sure. I was ready to work with John Henwood when I read an article by Coach Roy Benson in Running Times. Something in it make me  call Roy and discuss my breaks and my approach back to racing. I was so taken by Roy that I wanted to work with him, to collaborate, his words, on my training plan. I have never felt such confidence in any coach or any training as I do now with Roy. I started the plan October 19th after clearance from my doc. It began with running a total of 110 minutes over four  days for the week. The plan incorporated my swimming and rowing workouts. I was thrilled to begin again and I just had to trust the plan and that I would come back. My first 25 minute jog  at a 9:00 pace felt like I was pushing a bolder up a mountain. I was not sweating, or heart pounding, it was just that my body did not want to move. In these last five weeks I have seen some  9:45’s  and even 10:00’s when I ran two days in a row. But my longest run was on Sunday, a full 60 minutes. The breakdown was 8:30, 8:40, 8:29, 8:31, 8:00, 7:19, 9:30, 7:53. That 8:00 – 7:19 I met a runner along the way and ran with him, though he left me at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge with a huge hill to climb and tired legs, that is where the 9:30 came in. It was rough, but I was so happy.

From now until the end of January I will be base building, no speed work, no repeats, a few steady state and a lot of general aerobic. I have it in my mind that I just want to have fun in Boston not worry about my time goals. I will leave my time goals behind, expect that I want a PR of course. Some really exciting news is that I will be doing a few long runs in Iceland. In January, I am flying to Reykavik to meet my Dutch artist friend Miek for some big hiking and a day at the Blue Lagoon.  then we are off to the Netherlands and our annual big sea walk, a 7 hour walk along the North Sea. It is Miek’s 65 birthday and I have not seen her in two years. She is a physical power house and I am really looking forward to our big walks. One year we were both guests of the Miskolc Museum of Contemporary Art in Hungary. Every morning we got up at 7:00 am, robustly walked 8k to the hot springs, bathed for 2-3 hours, then walked or jogged back to the studios to work. It was one of the most fantastic summers ever.

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Appleton, Wisconsin. I spent the last three days as a visiting artist at Lawrence University. My old pal Ben Rinehart invited me as part of their lecture series program. Ben and his partner Josh moved her two years ago leaving NYC for a full-time teaching job which in a matter of days snowballed into the American dream of home ownership and fatherhood. Once Ben signed his contract he and Josh found a wonderful house just 1.5 miles from campus with a sweet yard and lots of space, something one only dreams about in NYC unless they have the cool 1.2 million, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment. And just as they were getting moved into their new home a wonderful new opportunity came upon them to adopt a beautiful son, who they named Harper. So this weekend was my first trip to Wisconsin, the first time seeing their new family and visiting the house. It was one of the most wonderful weekends I have had in recent memory.

The weekend began with a full schedule of a group critique of art students at Lawrence, followed by lunch with faculty, individual critiques with students in the afternoon, a public lecture, gallery reception, then dinner. It was intense, compact and extremely rewarding. The caliber of students at Lawrence is extremely high. The students are some of the most thoughtful and well-researched kids I have ever met. During our critiques they would tell me who they have read, what artists they are looking at and all the additional research they do from the point of view of art, biology, sociology, economics, etc. They are smart, they know that art does not happen in a vacuum and they conduct through their library, in book, film, and visual documentation. They are able to explain what the goal is of their work and they achieve. Many of these kids are double or triple majoring and have three, four and sometimes five minors. They are high achievers.

The exhibition of my work supported the lecture that I gave about my running, hiking, and making art. Sometimes when I give talks there are things in my brain that I think I communicate but I actually don’t’. I showed a lot of photos, perhaps too many but I did it in rapid succession to illustration the collection of images I made for my future work.

The next day after the best sleep I have had all year, I got up to run. The weather was perfect, 41 degrees, dry and mild sun. It was to be a slow, muscle relaxing 8 miles. I started out trotting along the sidewalk, running along the river, and over each of the bridges in Appleton. I did not keep track of my time, and I had not even broken a sweat when I check my watch. I had already covered 6 miles at a 7:39 pace, which is faster than the last 10k I raced. I was thrilled and it was a big boost to my confidence since the NYC marathon was just one week away. I went back to the house and did 30 minutes of yoga.

Later in the day after Joshua, Ben and Harper returned from the neighbors birthday party we loaded up the car and headed to the outlet mall, an extravaganza of North Face, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Eddie Bauer and a whole slew of other stores. I scored big time, coming back with two new pairs of pants, four sweaters, flannel shirt (I was in the Midwest after all I need a some flannel), and three long sleep black t-shirts, all for $150. That alone was worth the flights.

That night we went to dinner. Eating in Wisconsin feels like a foreign country, it is very odd that everything contains milk and meat products. The day before at the university lunchroom I saw adults drinking glasses of milk, I did not know anybody over the age of 10 drank glasses of milk. Anyhow we went to a Mexican restaurant, which is always a good bet, being that two of us are vegetarian. One can always get beans and rice, ahhhh, with exception of here. I did not even think to ask if the beans were prepared with lard and sure enough they are cooked with ham. No big deal just take the beans out of the burrito and use roasted vegetables and rice, that is unless the rice is made with chicken broth – grossssss. So that removed the rice as well. But the dinner did come with a salad bar and I was excited to get some greens. At first I saw a big bowl of iceberg lettuce and thought, oh god this cannot be happening, but right behind the iceberg was a nice bowl of deeply colored mixed greens. As I started to pile on the broccoli, I saw cheese shreds in the broccoli, why in the world add cheese to broccoli, but unfortunately it did not stop there, it also had some kind of meat product, ham or bacon mixed in with it. There was no vinegar and oil dressing only creamy milk based junk. It was all meat, all the time. I could not help but think about my recent studies in clinical exercise physiology and diabetes. I am sure the rate is high here as it was pretty obvious the obesity rate was. I had to tease Ben, who really likes pork, but he is very slim, that he could get chicken gravy or pork gravy on poured over his meal. Umm yea, give me a pork and cheese enchilada smothered in pork gravy. Other meals we had over the weekend were very tasty. I had a delicious tofu bulgogi at a very popular Korean restaurant and a nice vegetable and angle hair pasta with lots of artichokes, olives and sun dried tomatoes. I did however ask to have it prepared with olive oil rather than butter. The thought of butter made me visualize a bowl of melted butter with pasta floating in it all runny and soggy. That was probably not the case at this rather expensive restaurant but I was not about to take any chances and since I am not a dairy eater, I was not going get sick. Yes I am a troublesome dinner outside of NYC but if my eating habits can keep me running strong, ward off arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, and possibly cancer I will do anything I can to keep healthy. Plus I see no reason for eating animals.

I spent Thursday though a very early Sunday morning in Wisconsin. It was tremendously relaxing and I had the best sleep I have had all year and the best run. The noise and the light of my apartment in NYC, while I am deeply conditioned to it, have an affect on how well I sleep. The getting up at 6:30 to take the dog to the park always feels a bit tiring, yet I easily awoke well rested at 5:00 today to catch my plane. I am excited to get home, but I miss Ben and it was great to see him. Being at Lawrence really makes me examine my the University where I teach, comparing the students, the administration support, the budgets, the enthusiasm and involvement of other faculty, the ultimate university community where everything is about investigation, ambition, involvement and excelling. It was an inspiring environment and far less stressful than being at a tuition driven university with little administrative support and with students who need more recourses than the university can offer or perhaps should offer for people that are expected to operate at a standard university level. It gives me a lot to think about.

Now I am on the plane from Chicago to New York. When I get back my dog will be eagerly awaiting me and Kat, a friend and trainer of Conrad may be at my apartment with her two dogs who stayed there while I was away. I have a paper to work on for exercise physiology, and a few miles to run to keep my legs going. Whatever I am working on, I have the NYC marathon in the back of my head with high hopes for cool and dry weather.

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I have been corresponding this last week with two new friends, both of which qualified for the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. It is a little secret that you do not have to wait in line with the lottery system for the NYC Marathon but rather you can qualify by time in either a 1/2 marathon or a full marathon. I will post those tomorrow and long with a number of other tips on cost efficient ways to getting to Boston or New York.

One reason I am in a big hurry is that I have to get to my studio before I go to the University. I have an exhibition in Appleton Wisconsin at Lawrence University this weekend. I am exited to get in the fresh air and see my long time pal Ben Rinehart who is a new Professor there.

Lastly on the update, I am finally getting over a hideous cold I have had since running Chicago, and I ran 6 miles at pace yesterday and did some strength training. I am gearing myself up to do it again, in NYC on November 2. The nice cool weather will help me reach my goal much better than the 85 degrees in Chicago.

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October 12, 1930, 86º was the record high temperature for Chicago, October 12, 2008 the temperature was 85º and I was attempting something called running. That is what it felt like. When I signed up for the Chicago Marathon with 10 of my Front Runner Teammates, I thought there is no way the terrible conditions of 2007 can be repeated – well maybe not quite as bad but it was bad.

My goal 3:45,  conservative, I ran my first marathon last year a 3:49 in NYC on a  harder course, plus now I am  stronger and fitter. I thought maybe I could even do closer to 3:40. I decided to run with a pace team, the pace being 8:35. At the start the temperature was 64º and we immediately entered a tunnel which was about 10 degrees hotter and it was hard to breath. The pacers went out way too fast, the first mile was 8:01, the second 8:15 and at the 10K mark we had 1 minute 20 seconds in the bank, not a good idea. I decided to back off from them at about the same time two women joined me and we decided to run together all with similar goals. I started to feel like this is a little too tough so early in the marathon, I passed the 9 mile mark, rounded a curve and just before the 10 mile mark I saw the bank clock, 85º. Oh, God, and it is less than 1.5 hours into the marathon. This scared me a bit and maybe psychologically pulled me down, but I kept thinking 3:45, 3:45.

At the 1/2 marathon mark I came across a cluster of very fit, very thin tall 20-30 year men with 3:10 pace on their shirts,  all walking, there were 3:20’s, 3:30’s, 3:40’s and 3:45’s and even some 3:00’s around me, all walking. There was a girl who passed out on the side of the road being fanned by strangers, a man vomiting on the other side of the street, another getting a cramped massaged out of his leg. At mile 14 I should have been at 2:08, but I was at 2:10. I thought maybe I could make 3:50, but before I knew it the 3:50 paces passed me up, with almost no one in their group. At mile 16 I wanted to cry or walk, I thought if I get to the water station I will walk through it as I drink my gatorade, I did. Then I ran water station to water station. At first I walked through the gatorade, then ran to the water and drink it. By mile 20 I walked through the gatorade, and the water, but mile 24 as I was looking for my family I thought I may not even make it under 4:00 hours so what is the use, I will stop and chat and maybe just leave to go eat pancakes, but I did not find them so I kept running. Just before mile 25 I wanted to walk so bad I thought, I will run faster to get to the water station, I ran a 8:15, oh good water. Then on to mile 26, my sisters came running out, I got my legs moving from a dismal 9:30 to a 9:00, then as I rounded the corner to the finish line, I checked my watch, 3:57, I had to get there before 4:00, I ran as fast as I possibly could. I did not look at my watch, believe me it was slow, but I just had to get across that line, I did 3:58. Oh what a horror, people down everywhere, people vomiting everywhere.  I hear a wonderful familiar voice call my name, my teammates where laying in fetal position on their heat shields under a tree. Three were unaccounted for. One super strong runner had dropped out at mile 20 and was held at the medical tent for 2 hours, two others we were unaccounted for.  It was a hard day.

But unbeleivable three of my Front Runner teammates got PR’s. One Peter McGrane got his first sub 3:00, what a monster, also Mike Terry and FaTai got PR’s! Most of us where 10-20 minutes off our time, it sucked.

So today, one day after the marathon I will cross train with either deep water running or swimming I am not sure yet. I just want to be stronger. I have three weeks until the NYC marathon, maybe there I will get my PR, but with only three weeks, I have one to rest, one to workout and one to taper. We shall see…

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