Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Front runners’

Forest Road 100, Youngsville by Robert Frislie.

Friday’s run on Forest Road 100, Youngsville photo by Robert Frislie.

In the past I have been fanatic about my run training. I haven’t gotten lazy, but based on all my marathon times, there is minimal time between a 45 mile training week max and 70 mile training week max. In fact my 70 mile weeks yielded some of my slower times. I have been a bit casual about my training this winter, especially when I get the chance to go skiing which I do every Saturday or hiking, which I did today. Last weekend, when I did not post, I was out snow shoeing. I will do my long run, this week 16 miles, (making it a medium run in the big scheme of things) on Monday.

I planned on running 16 miles on Friday so that I could ski for 4+ hours on Saturday and hike Sunday. I drove about 30 miles to a forest road that leads up a popular mountain called the Pedernal in Youngsville NM. (That dark peak on the left of the photo is the Pedernal the red is where the road goes.) The asphalt road has been tearing up my feet and I just can’t run on it. I spend all day on dirt, so even 10 miles on the road really affects me. I parked on the side of the dirt road, it was hard packed and dry. I began my run up, and up and up. This was killing me as the incline was only up the mountain. In less than 4 miles the elevation changed from 6100 ft to 7200 ft. The dry clay road turned into mud, then 100% snow. I  felt defeated and knew I was not going to run, or crawl 16 miles and I turned around and ran back down. That down was fun. The scenery on forest road is spectacular. I did not bring my camera but I found this photo by Kevin Wolfe.31892220

I am feeling ambivalent about going to Boston. I have now for two weeks. I had so much fun last year. I ran with my NM buddy Andy for 23 miles of the marathon. I made a new friend, Ayako, at the Hostel and we planned on staying together again. I rode Amtrak from NYC to Boston with a bunch of my Front Runner Buddies and hung out with my Dashing Whippets Racing Teammates at the expo. But now I am out in NM. I love it out here and I am not so sure I want to board the dogs, make the ridiculous series of flights to get to Boston and spend the money when I can be out here running in the mountains. No matter what I will keep up the training, but I am kind of looking for an out. I don’t know, we’ll see. Maybe I will feel different after I get a few 20 milers completed at altitude. It is rather daunting. Next Sunday I will do a mountain run with my Santa Fe Strider buddies, that should shake some thoughts loose. I love to run with people, it is a great social outlet, doing this alone is a little lack luster and nerve racking. I get attacked by dogs on the rural roads, and stupid guys in pickup trucks throw beer cans at me. It is hard to stay excited when I know I will face both of those things every time I go out. But the bottom line is, I love to run. Until the next post, stay outdoors!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Image

I  looked back over my FB messages to see when Zander Ross messaged  me to sign up for the JFK50 even though I never run an ultra, it was April 23rd.  I am extremely susceptible to suggestion and signed up. I spend the summer running in New Mexico, nothing crazy but making sure I did a medium run, 1.5 hours give or take on  a rolling dirt bike path Saturday and 3 hours or so on Sunday in the mountains. I hit up every ultra friend I had for advice because until then I mostly only heard about vomiting, diarrhea, bonking or falling and inflicting some terrible injury. I did not want any of that to happen to me. I continued my training through the fall, getting help from Coach Owen Anderson for the final eight weeks. I  only ran one race in the Fall, the Big Cottonwood half marathon in Salt Lake City with a personal best of 1:34.

I rode to Maryland with four of my Front Runner buddies catching up on all the gossip as I had not seen any of them in over a year, since I changed clubs to run with the Dashing Whippets Racing Team.  They had all run JFK50 and knew the course telling me what to expect. Tim who was not running this year crewed which was a huge mental boost. I had no idea what shoes to wear, I was told the first 15 miles on the trail had big, sharp pointed rocks covered by leaves. Since I always have foot pain and did not want to break any bones I played it safe with my La Sportiva Helios which  have excellent grip but are still light.   I quickly fell in with a group of runner as we negotiated the single track. It was slow and I wished I had done training on quick footing and agility, it would have made a huge difference on this terrain. Toward the last 4 miles of the trail section I fell in with 5 women and we grooved through the last stretch. It was a rarity to be in a pack of women at a race and it made it extra fun.

I emerged from the trail and saw Tim right. He had my bag with my Saucony Fastwitch shoes and Injinj socks. It felt so good to change my shoes and socks and get rid of my hat. Tim helping me with my chip, giving me a big hug and sending me on my way. I found after the trail my cadence was high but my stride length was dismal. I played around with trying to get my knees up to doing a fast shuffle as I entered the flat tow path section. I alternated jog / walk which I saw everyone else doing. At a certain point around mile 23 I though what if I just run faster and see how I feel. I felt so much better, fast is all relative because it was only around a 9:00 pace. As I got closer to mile 30 I had a stabbing pain in the outside of my right knee and the walking became longer and jogging shorter. (the pain had started developing much earlier, perhaps around mile 20 but did not affect me too much yet).  I had not planned for mechanical error and wished I had brought duct or KT tape to plaster my patella down and stretch my IT band. I asked for tape at the aid station and there just happen to be an ambulance that had stopped to chat. The did a super job of wrapping me all up with a nice hot pink band and I was back on my way.

A little something about the aid stations.There are 14 in total and they have everything you need. There is no need to carry supplies except for maybe a handheld water bottle. I carried and ate dates and papaya and grabbed a couple handfuls of potato chips and three cups of hot soup broth. I also took Hammer Electrolytes. One aid station was all decked out like Santa’s village filled with Christmas cookies, lights, and Santa himself. Every station had water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, potato chips, PV&J sandwiches, many had boiled potatoes, soup, hot chocolate, gummy bears, m&m’s, cookies, coke, power bars, electrolytes and more. Because of my slow pace and wanting to finish as fast as possible I never stopped at aid stations, I grabbed what I needed, usually water, thanked them and kept going.

By the last tow path aid station, mile 41 I was power walking 100%, not because I was tired but because my knee hurt so bad if I ran, no pain with walking.  A group of volunteers where there to put orange reflective vest on us before we hit the open road for the final stretch.  I tried to run  the road  but it was not going to happen, my knee wanted none of it.  I passed a young really strong looking man with a very painful looking walk, he told me he wore the wrong shoes and his feet were a bloody blistery mess. I soon passed two more young guys crawling up the hill who were in total exhaustion. I came to the 8 mile sign. The road was rolling hills and would have been a beautiful run. I was full of energy and a bit frustrated that I could only power walk. I was calculating my time and figured I could easily finish in about 70 minutes if I could run slow, but after trying a couple times I knew I could only power walk so I did it with a vengeance. It was remarkable how many people I passed. We would pass each other back and forth as they run / walked. I thought of the tortoise and the hare, clearly I was a tortoise but more often than not, I would be the one who continued as they stopped.  I huge reward was catching up to a man I met the night before, it was his 32nd  time running the JFK50. What a hero, he said he planned on running 35 and that would be it. There were a large number of runners in the 70’s and talk about inspiring! At mile 5 I passes a woman maybe in her early 20’s. A friend came out to run her in, she seemed really down. Her friend was talking her back up, saying you just have to finish the last four miles in an hour, and I was thinking good god an hour to finish 4 miles, I need to step up my power walk and get this done. I was trying to keep it as close to 12:00 pace as possible.  I stayed optimistic the whole race, I never had a doubt, I never went to a bad place, nor did I vomit, dry heave, poop my pants or have any other ugly stuff. From the first day I signed up I said, no matter what it would be like a long day of hiking and I just wanted to finish within the cut off. But in those last couple of miles I thought that this is so stupid, I am only a couple miles away and I am walking. I am walking as fast as I can but I want to run, I did not come out to walk this, couldn’t anyone do that? Well probably not and it was not to beat myself up, but all my muscles felt good, my energy stayed even, I was happy, but my right knee / IT was not cooperating and that was frustrating.

At the four mile mark we came to an intersection. There were loads of people cheering in the 35 degree cold. People were saying, “thank you for running our race,” “thank you for running through our town,” “Hilary you have just 4 miles, 4 and your are done, you got it.” At several points along the way, I would hear “Hilary you look great” “Hilary great job.” The spectators would bring out the printed race program, quick look up our number so they could learn our name and call it out. Talk about dedicated support! At every step of the race I felt as if I was wrapped in a blanket of love.

In the last half mile as I entered the town  emerging from the dark was my friend Tim. What a sight at this 10+ hour mark. He talked to me as I power walked my last bits. I chatted as I felt my hip flexors start asking, “are we done yet?” We turned the corner and Tim dropped to the side telling me to, “go get your glory.” At the top of the little hill there were huge bright lights and I hear, “Hilary Lorenz from New York City, congratulations” over the loud speaker. Suddenly my face contorts all up as I try not to cry. I look to the ground because I know it is being televised and I did not want to break down sobbing before I hit the mat. I did not expect that to happen. I had no strong emotions during my time out out there, I just thought it was fun.  I crossed the mat and a man said, “you can stop now.” My power walk was in stuck gear and I had I had to be told to stop. A women pulled off my orange vest, another gave me a medal. I started walking away and Tim was there to see that I returned my chip from my shoe. I had not, I did not see where to do it. He took it off me, laced my shoe back up and we went into the warm gym.

There Zander and Richard were, the arrived about 30 minutes ahead of me. We ate pizza and hot chocolate. I was shaking uncontrollably from the cold. I had shorts on and while the day was perfect from about 38 to 46 it was now down to about 35 degrees, dark and very windy. I had a terrible time trying to stir my hot chocolate because I was shaking too hard. After some food, and smiles all around, big laughs and congratulations to each other and to those we came in with it was time to walk the 3/4 mile to the car. Oh dear god it hurt. My hip flexors stopped working and I could not pick up my feet, my entire body was convulsing from the cold. I hung on Richard’s arm like a 115 year old woman.  People coming to pick up friend and family were saying, “congratulations” and I could not even respond I was so mentally focused and getting to the parking lot which I could not even see it was so far away. But once in the car with the heat on and the 30 minute drive back to the hotel my legs relaxed and I was able to walk again. I took a really hot bath, put on sweats, made hot miso soup and climbed into bed. Finally I was warmed up, walking fine and feeling good. The boys, seven in total from our group went out to drink margarita’s which I took a pass on to watch HBO and enjoy the kindsize bed without my two Labradors taking up all the space.

I slept great that night waking up Sunday feeling good. The right side of my knee still aches. I taped it up which made all the difference. I met the all the guys at breakfast and heard their great stories, everyone was successful.  One friend, Steven will be running Lookout Mountain 50 miler in three weeks, he did awesome at JFK running it under 7.5 hours. 

I certainly hit my goal of finishing. I also hit my goal of qualifying the the Overland Track 82k Race in Tasmania and Western States 100 for 2014 lottery, now over.  However the JFK50 will no longer be a qualifier in 2015 and at this point I do no want to run 100 miles. It is just nice to know that I can qualify. I still have a weird conflict about the amount of walking, but it is what it is.

Will I do this again? Absolutely. It is really fun, I know that is hard to believe but it is. I can easily take one hour off my time as long as I can avoid mechanical errors and I plan to do this by working my posterior chain for the next year, taking the stress of my hip flexors and IT band and doing agility work. But I am so thankful to the many many people that helped me, this was a very rewarding day and now I am going to convince other friends to join me next year. Monday as I get ready to go to work, I will feel as if I was wrapped in that blanket of love.

Read Full Post »

Image

After months of training the weekend finally arrived that I will run my first 50 mile race on Saturday November 23rd. I had three great months of running in New Mexico with the Santa Fe Striders over the summer, nice trails, great mountains, heat and altitude all rolled into one. I have been in NYC for the past three months, putting in plenty of 20 miles runs, a few 25’s and a 30, tonight I just had a handful of 400m intervals, but almost all on pavement.   The picture above is from the Blue Line Run done a couple weeks before the  NYC marathon and along the same course.

I signed up for the the JFK50 back in April through the urging of my friends Zander and Richard, at least that is how I remembered it, and together we will run it. Zander has run loads of 50s and both Zander and Richard have run over 100 marathons each! Despite their vastly superior experience I think we will be a good match physiologically to run this whole thing together.

I called on many ultra runner experienced friends, Joe, Michelle, Gabrielle,  Hideki, Tim and in the final 8 weeks Coach Owen Anderson. I had used Coach Anderson’s 30 days to a marathon finish plan for both a marathon and a half and PR’d both like crazy so I thought he could be me to the starting line fit and quick footed. Joe, Michelle, Gabrielle, Hideki and Tim provided me with a huge amount of information on eating and their GPS data, this was really crucial. I am not afraid to cover 50 miles, my only concern is making myself eat which is a constant problem. My pack is filled with dates, figs, bars and a couple emergency gels. But the best weapon I have in my back of tricks is my new beard hat!

Image

This awesome baby was hand crochet by my student Ruth. Yes it is warm, but it also makes me feel all fuzzy and happy inside and that happiness is what is going to carry me across the finish line with a smile!

Top 10 men last year came in between 5:34 and 6:12 and top 10 women 6:12 to 7:32. Many of these are professional sponsored athletes. People have up to 12 hours to complete the race which begins on the
Appalachian Trail and runs for 14 miles, then a gravel/dirt tow path for just over 26 and finally a road. The trail is technical and rocky and of course be slower, but I think they is a good way to start. I want to finish until 10 hours but honestly I have no clue what to expect, I just ran a 1:34 half marathon on September at altitude, but it was also a lot of downhill and on road. So here is to new adventures. Wish me luck!

Read Full Post »

I feel better after counting the number of days I have been back in NYC, 16, because I am having long run trouble and anxiety.  The marathon is 10 weeks away and I have not done a long run, only medium 13 miles. This weekend I was to run 14, but it was so hot yesterday I postponed it to do today at the Labor Day Marathon. I quit after 7 miles along with a lot of other people.
I woke up with a bruise on the top of the foot at the base of my 2nd and 3rd toe. My foot  has hurt since last week when I rode my bike with thin soled shoes over clipless petals, I could not find my bike shoes. I am also going from trail running in the dry desert to asphalt running in the humidity. It’s killing me and I just don’t feel the urge to fight it. I am laying  low, icing my foot for the rest of the day.
The good news is my track workouts are awesome, a piece of cake really. The more I am running the more I believed I worked my anaerobic system hard but not my aerobic. It makes sense knowing how I stressed my body in  New Mexico. So what does that mean for the NYC marathon? Well I’ll see. I do not want any more broken bones and  I am not going to run if I think it is going to take 4 hours, I see no sense in that either. Not to knock people who run over 4 hours, I just don’t want to put my body in that kind of stress for running for so long. I still have time to see what happens, but my enthusiasm is not where it should be. I need some long run buddies.

Read Full Post »

I have had a lot of people ask me if I am sad when I sell a drawing. I always find this a ridiculous question and want to ask them if they ever tell their boss not to pay them because they enjoy their job. Fortunately I love my job and I get paid for it. If I never sold work  I could never pay the rent on the studio or buy supplies. Plus I would end up like the Collyer Brothers with thousands of papers stacked floor to ceiling. I want my work out in the world, in homes, in museums, etc.

I have to admit though I will miss this drawing a bit. I sold it last night to my teammate and friend Blossom, hence the title, “Boston for Blossom.”

I gave you previews of this drawing some months back. “Boston for Blossom”  traces, literally, my rehab runs after breaking my foot in 2009, (my first major running injury) up to the 2010 Boston Marathon. It is a 7 month journey beginning with  alternating 400 meters walk/ run on a soccer field, to 22 mile runs along Manhattan’s west side many months later.

The process is very simple, but  time consuming. After my run, which I wear my garmin 305. I download my data to my Gramin Training Center, from there I upload the data to garmin connect. I output the mileage from garmin connect to google earth. I hook my computer up to a video projector and project the maps onto the large 60″ x 44″ paper on my wall, 10 feet away. I  draw over the map lines with either black, red, pink watercolor or pencil. Track work is almost always red, tempo runs usually pink and long runs black. Pencil, put in there for extra texture are recovery runs. Yes there are a couple of black loops on the track and this does not include every mile I ran for those seven months. But it does include the most important ones.

Blossom came and got the drawing last night and it is on it ways to Dot at Rabbet Framing in NJ. They are my favorite framer in the metropolitan area having framed over 30 pieces for me in the last couple of years, including one over 120″ long.

I now have room on my big wall to start a new long-term drawing. This one will be methodically color coded and include ever single mile I run from October 1 on. I am not sure of the end date but I have an exhibition in March that it could show up in.  I will also do a few “one-off’s” that is drawing that are of a single time run or race.

When you get sick of those terrible Brightroom photos and want to commemorate your race or your training in a high art kind of way, impress your friends with your athleticism and culture, call me, perhaps we can make a deal and you can have your very own GPS drawing.

Read Full Post »

Rain, sleet, ice, mud, 25 degrees. A perfect day to enjoy a 15k cross-country race. My scheduled run  was 9 miles so I took advance of the NYRR race in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. It was excellent brain and body training as I was not going to race after racing yesterday, nor am I in shape to run a 15k X-C well. Mainly I do not want to chance injuring myself but I love running in the woods.

We waited in the usual mass start group, the rain pounding down harder than ever. Instead of lining up in the front and shooting off like a cannon,  I lined up in the very back and trotted my way through the first mile or so staying in the back of the pack and not worrying about getting boxed in. I just went with the flow and it was very relaxing.   It was raining harder ever minute and it was cold but it felt great to have no agenda but to enjoy my miles. Normally I run my 5k X-C at a 7:00 ish pace, my last race ranged from 6:40 – 7:15, but today I wanted to stay around 9:00, my long run pace. I forgot my Garmin so I kicked my feet along and checked the clock after each lap of the park, promising myself to slow own if I was running faster than planned. I ran all three laps  consistently while trying out my new red  Saucony Kilkenny X-C flats. Man, I love those things.   I could scamper of the steep rain-soaked hills like it was nothing.  I love running x-c so much that I had a little wish to run a 4th lap.

In the final stretch, coming out of the woods it is all flat dirt  for about 300 meters. My legs were a bit tight from the hills so I decided it was a safe place to unwind. Most people were pretty tired by then, so as I quickened my pace I passed 6 people who I had strategically stayed behind to keep my pace in check. But I really needed to unwind and it was a good feeling to leg it all go in the last 200-300 meters. I am not sure of my time since I did not have a watch, and I did not start right out when the gun went off, but I would say I was around 8:50 pace which was my target range.

Now the time it took to get home on the subway in dripping wet freezing clothes and thaw my body out in the hot tub was a whole other story, that took a long time, about a 40k.

Read Full Post »

A hand printed custom log book I made.

It is 28º in Manhattan and I just finished pinning my number to my shirt, restringing my shoe laces into my racing shoes, and laying out my outfit for tomorrow morning’s New York Road Runners Holiday 4 mile. The race is taking place in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, it will be my first race since May 16, 2009. My first race back after breaking my foot and I am looking forward to it. The first race since working with Coach Roy Benson. Tomorrow is simply about gathering information about my fitness level, or so I can tell myself. On Sunday it will be 8 full weeks since working with Roy, beginning with 15 minutes runs and a 110 minute week with a slow and careful build up to this week’s 33 miles. It may still be low mileage for most of you, but let me say, I am healthy, pain-free, and enjoying every minute of every run. And I can just keep building.
Today while riding the subway it  dawned on me how lucky I really am to have a terrific number of supportive people around me. I have teammates that I run with anywhere from 18 to 72 years old. On any given day I could beat either in a race or they could beat me. But together we are sharing what we really love to do, run-and beat the other teams- and to share that with such a huge age range of friends really is a gift.
Before getting too sentimental and speaking of gifts. I made a  slew of hand printed journals this week. Using natural tone moleskin 64 page journals and printmaking processes I made over 100 journals with images of my original drawings and photographs and I made running journals. I sold out almost everything but you can still place an order. If you are interested send me at email at hilary@hilarylorenz.com. They are $5, $10 or $15 depending on the size. Check out these images:

My labrador and one of my drawing on these small journals

Large lined journals

My sales table with book press

Each journal is unique and hand printed by Hilary Lorenz.

My table of journals

A range of hand printed journals.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: