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Posts Tagged ‘New York Marathon’

 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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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.

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I have been back in NYC for one week and I have experienced an earthquake  and a hurricane. Fortunately the hurricane did not do a lot of damage in NYC, but the surrounding areas got hit pretty hard.

In anticipation of the big storm I met my friend Les to do a 13 mile run on Friday night. It was really fun running in Central Park after dark with a nice cool rain. We ran until about 9:30pm that night. I woke up a bit sore. After 12 weeks of soft sand and nice trails the cement is a bit tough but I am sure I will get used to it quickly. I had an awesome run pre-hurricane on Saturday. It was raining then too, but it was nice and cool.

On Labor Day is another wonderful Holiday Marathon in the Bronx. I can’t wait. That will be a good day of some hilly, dirty, running. While I really miss the New Mexico mountains I am embracing the wet cool weather of NYC.

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Running – I knew it was close but I chose to ignore it. The NYC marathon is just 14 weeks away and I am far behind in my training. I can salvage it but I need to kick my butt into gear and get my long runs in. Since I haven’t even been doing medium runs, I can’t jump from 6 to 18 miles per run immediately so I broke it down. Not ideal but the 2x a day works great for me in a built up or coming back from an injury. I have the time and I don’t mind going out for a couple miles in the morning and evening. So Sunday I did a 5 mile trail run, came home had a snack, scratched the dogs and later went out for 10 miles on the road. The 10 miles sucked. I was in glycogen depletion from the prior day’s mountain hike combined with eating very little carbs. I never feel like eating after hiking so I pushed my body to use fatty acid which ultimately is what long runs are for. In fact that is the new research going on, glycogen depleted runs, but man do they suck.   Monday was rest. Today is track.

I will head into Santa Fe high school to meet the Striders for:
4 x 200
3 x 400
2 x 800
1 x 1600
100, 200, and 400 recovery laps.

Hummmm, since the 200’s only have a 100m recovery I have a feeling they are rolling. Damn those kill me. I need extra rest in the altitude, track is hard enough at sea-level. But I really need the track workouts here. Since everything is slower at 7000′ with the exception of 200’s and 400’s and maybe 800’s I have to keep the neuromuscular transmitters working so that I can keep pace back in NYC.

Home- I got my appliances today! Yea. I put everything together but I am not so sure of the pipe that comes into my house that is attached to a propane tank. It looks pretty sketchy, plus my electric outlet doesn’t work so until I hire an electrician to fix things I still will not have a stove. An electrician has been recommended to me by two different people, but it is the same guy who wired the house just 5 years ago. I have three outlets that don’t work, I have rolling shorts between ceiling lights,  I have wires coming in and not hooked to anything and constant power surges. If that is good I would hate to see what poor is. I am naively  thinking that my bad wiring is just a fluke. I also have a surveyor coming to put in corners on two of my lots. Almost all of my land has markers but the lot between the neighbor and I do not. I want to put up a fence for privacy and make sure it is only on my land and not his.

Hiking – this weekend I will get in two peaks, hopefully, if the SF forest opens. Saturday it is Tesuque peak, 12,040’ and Sunday Pecos Baldy. 12,529. The Peco’s hike is 18 miles  and will take about 9 hours and the Tesuque is only 7 but both are very steep and it will take about 5 hours. For fun I will wear my HR monitor to see if I can get in a 70% aerobic range. Going up it’s possible, especially steep climbing at that altitude. It would be very possible if I ditched the group and trail ran it, but it is against group protocol to go off on your own. And by group, it is seldom more than 4 other people, but you do need to observe the rules, which mostly are don’t be a slacker and make people wait for you . That is the biggest no-no. That is not my problem. I always want to run ahead! Of course I will have to do a run of at least 13 miles which is on the low side for this late in training but if I do any more I will get hurt. The big hikes will help some but of course it is not running.

Parting Thoughts. I am returning to NYC soon. This makes me sad because I love being outdoors but I also look forward to being clean and seeing my friends. I can never seem to get clean here, myself or my house. Everything is covered with a layer of sand. I will also like the convenience of walking across the street  to get a pint of ice cream at any hour instead of driving 6 miles and having to do it before 7pm because the store closes. I love the quiet but I do miss the plethora of cheap services you can get at any time in NYC.

 

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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.

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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.

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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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sea_pods_ptownI am laying in bed, two dogs stretched out around me and I am coughing like crazy. My brain is in overdrive with teaching too many classes, taking too many classes, my exhibition opening and obsessing about running. So one at a time.

Exhibition. On Saturday I am showing at a new gallery in Brooklyn New York, Shop Art Gallery. It is very exciting, the gallery just opening in December. I delivered the show today, brand new 2009 etchings some combined with digital photographs plus watercolor drawings.Shadow Bird 2 Delivering the exhibition is a huge relief as I have been printing and cutting and framing like crazy, sleeping less than 5 hours a night. The opening reception is Saturday February 7, 2009 from 4-7pm. Come on by.

I was fighting a cold but I lost. I began getting sick on Friday and thought I would be fine to race on Sunday in Central Park the Gridiron Classic 4 miler. Five thousand, two hundred and sixy eight people came out in the nice 30 degree weather. Yes that is 5,268 runners. It was a tough and crowded race, I did not do as well as I wished but I did place 13th in my age group, not bad but I want to be in the single digitsl. I have been working out twice a week with Front Runners. I have not been doing much mileage mostly under 30 per week,  a far cry from the 50-65 I was doing last year at this time. I also hired the expertise of runner and coach Lowell Ladd an NCAA All-American (10,000m), one of the top ten Americans at Boston Marathon twice (2002 & 2003)  runner-up finish at 2005 Steamtown Marathon. and first place in the 36th Annual Harrisburg Marathon, 2009, to help me out with my training. Right now I am trying out a four week plan to get started so that we can see how each other works. My current training was a mix of my most excellent FR coach Kelsey Louie, an amazing  short distance runner,  workouts from  Pfitzinger ‘s marathon schedule and strength training from my favorite PT’s at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy. Pete and John fix me up and help me to work on all my weak points. They are responsible for putting some muscles into my skinny distance runner legs. I am at a point that I need to have someone put everything together, look at what I am doing and validate or rewrite it.  I speak to Lowell once a week on the phone and plan my running, right now the focus is tempo runs.

School. Oh. Yes I am working too much, don’t most people. I will not go into the details but I have way too many independent students who are not  independent. In the classes that I am taking I have an annotated bibliography to write – something we never did in art school and a whole lot of catching up since I missed yesterday and today because I was sick.

So until next time, happy running, go see some art and hire experts to make your life better.

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new-year-dayIt is 17º here in NYC and a beautiful sunny day. By noon it will be an excellent day for a New Years Day Run. But for right now I have two black Labrador Retrievers curled up around me and I am having my morning coffee. Last year at this time I was writing to you from the beach shack on Cape Cod and while I am enjoying  heat, electricity and all those niceties of modern living I  miss the shack with the gorgeous golden sunlight and endless wooded trails to run.

I was just on the New York Road Runners website registering for my spring races. I had to tame my overachieving personality and not run races in January and the early part of February and not run too many races.  Right now I am running indoor speed training 2x a week and focusing on getting faster of course, but also improve my stride rate, pace, strength and over quality of my running. My ultimate goal is faster race times and stronger running. Last year I ran 4 marathons all about the same pace, this year I want to drop 10 minutes from that time, I also want to drop 1.5 minutes off my 4 mile time. To do this I am racing less and focusing more on training. Tuesday workout was as follows, 8 x 400 then 4 x 200 each interval had a 2.5 minute rest. My first 400 was my slowest, 1:36, my fourth and fifth the fastest 1:30. By the time I got to the 200’s I was running them at 40 seconds. I was tired and two days later I am still sore but a nice sore. The day before the speed training I was in the gym strength training. I did 4 sets of 15 on bench press, squats, and dead-lifts all with light weight, then an hour of yoga to stretch it all out. My hamstrings are always my weak point so I find if I weight training before running I run much better. Let’s see how that does over the next three months.

As far as New Years resolutions go, I try to avoid them or keep them more general. As I was working out my running goals which is a daily practice, not something reserved for new years, I came to the conclusion that a good resolution would be to treat myself really well in my training. To train hard but not beat the crap out of myself. To make sure I eat well and allow myself rest days, to properly prepare myself for trainings and races.  To consistently do strength training as injury prevention but above all to have fun and enjoy the whole process.

Today on this New Years Day 2009, I wish you a very happy, healthy, injury free, fun, adventurous and fast new year.

Taken from the AdventureCorp email I receive every week:

“It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now, with its aches and its pleasures, is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.”
– Pema Chodron

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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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