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Posts Tagged ‘NYC marathon’

I planned on driving back to NYC today, but, I didn’t run yesterday and I can’t run during my 4 day drive because of the dogs so I am staying an extra day, to run and “stuff.”

Conrad rolled in some cooking oil the neighbors threw out, then in sand so he is a big mess and needs washing. The car is packed but I have a slow leak in one tire, that needs repair.  I have all kinds of excuses to stay. The biggest is, if I arrive in Manhattan  Friday there will be no parking, I will have to carry my stuff several blocks because I can’t leave it in the car or my car will be broken into, so it is best to arrive Saturday morning when it is quiet.

Today begins the 12 week countdown to marathon and I have 7 x 1000 plus 2 miles warm up and cool down to do. If I can get up really early I can run 8 in the a.m. but it is pretty unlikely since I will be ready to drive.

That is all the news for today, I want to spend the rest of my time outside enjoying the dry desert air.

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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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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 was off 4 days from running because my hip flexor went a little crazy but I was getting it worked on and it was going well.  I went to the track, not to run but  do a few walk through drills, marching instead of skipping, etc. I had a straight knee and when flexed my foot it felt like a bullet tore through my calf. I could not walk, I could not massage it out. I couldn’t do anything but I could circle my foot which was my limited knowledge test that I did not rupture my achilles. There was a team workout out and I almost went to them to see if they had a doc or trainer  because I was stuck 1/2mile from home. But I didn’t. I am also one of those people who refuses to ask directions if lost on the highway.

I was able to slowly walk lightly on my heel and I got home. Unbelievable pain. I had to lay a towel on the floor, kneel on it and use my arms to pull myself across the room. It was hideous. Friday morning I went to see my docs, while doing diagnostic tests my muscle went into a huge contraction state that felt like a vice grip around my entire calf. My chiro was holding my leg, I went white as a ghost and almost vomited from the pain,  you get the picture. She had a grave look on her face, but still she thought there was a minor tear but not serious as the condition of the muscle felt good.  She consulted with the podiatrist in the practice and grew worried that a tear would go into a rupture so she sent me Friday night to the MRI. If there was a tear the podiatrist recommended casting it. I freaked when I heard that and broke down sobbing for the 10th time in two days.

Then I called my Coach Benson. I love this man. His incredible years of experience and phenomenal way of explaining things “brings me right back off the ledge” as he likes to say. Here is the very abbreviated scoop on tears and spasms. Distance runners rarely get achilles/calf tears, sprinters get tears when they are running at high speeds in a fatigued state. There needs to be a high level of lactic acid build up and the sprinter is in an anaerobic state. It is common for distance runners to get a spasms, Charlie horse, due to dehydration and electrolytes being out of balance conversely you can drink way too much water and wash out all your salt. In my case I had begun drinking 2x as much water in the last week, because somehow I thought it would aid in healing my hip, and since I was not running I eating very little, and no salt. To support this water-logged mineral deficient theory I got out of bed Friday night and kneeled onto my towel to pull myself across the floor, sexy right?, and for about 3-4 seconds my other calf went into a mild spasm.

So what does Coach say to do. First take aspirin to thin the blood then take 100% RDA of calcium, magnesium, and potassium and stop drinking so much water. Coach said all those water commercials claiming we need 8-10 glasses of water a day is nuts, we need 8-10 of liquid; liquid is juice, water, tea, watermelon, even coffee and wine. Of course not recommending drinking 8 glasses of wine and coffee as your liquid. Next massage. On a scale from 1-10, 10 being the pain is so bad you will fly off the table and punch the massage therapist, it needs to be an 8. It will hurt very badly but the muscle fibers need to be relaxed. And light stretching. The problem is once this spasm gets out it will feel good to walk but once I start running it could come immediately back, therefore,walking, then light running with walk breaks, daily massage and keep the minerals coming.

So while there is a sigh of relief that my muscle is not torn, though I do not have MRI results to back that up yet either, I am walking a bit today. You might be thinking what a big baby it is only a charlie horse. Well do this. Have a friend stand next to you with a Ruger loaded with hollow point bullets let the person shoot you in the calf. That is what this felt like. Full disclosure,  I have never been shot with anything stronger than a b.b.gun. I may have the most extreme taper for a marathon, no running or a couple of weeks, but hey, I can go to Boston and have a great time running, and who knows maybe I will PR. And if you are wondering what the heck I was doing with a b.b. gun, I grew up in Michigan and in those days it was a common Christmas present for 10 year olds.

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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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I can’t believe that I still have 8 weeks and  350 miles to run before the marathon.That is pretty nice since I am already feeling good about it. Yesterday I had a 20 miler to run and Saturday  I had to move my art studio. One of the reasons I have not posted much is that I had to move out of my studio.  I have been spending my non job, non running time with building a new space and  preparing for the move.  After 8 hours of hauling boxes on Saturday I had 12 hours to rest before my run.

My brilliant idea was to run at the Rockefeller State Park in Westchester, NY just 30 miles north of the city. There is an excellent website by Joe Garland that lists all the trails. I read Joe’s description of the trails and figured it would be an excellent change of scene. Plus running 20 miles on asphalt is not ideal, whereas trails are always super fun. I called ahead to see what the trail conditions were.  I was told the cross-country skiers where having problems because they were hitting dirt patches. How my brain actually processed this information was, “it is mostly dirt and a few snow spots.”

After a 40 minute drive I arrived at Rockefeller and paid my $6.00 parking fee, there are many alternative free parking places as well as metro-north transit. I jumped out of my car and hit the Sleepy Hollow Trail. A nice downhill, 100% snow and slush. After about one mile I turned onto 13-bridges loop. I will spare you all the gruesome details to say, there was no dirt and only about 800 meters of mud in the whole 20 miles. At mile 9 I was so frustrated with the slow pace of slipping and sliding in the snow that I almost quit, but I knew I would hate myself if I did. Joe said in his website, “The Rockies has very few flat stretches. There are loads of little ups-and-downs, often in switch back format.” That did not scare me, I like running hills and come on it is NY how hilly could it be? Well at the end of my run, I had covered 5948 feet of ascents and 5886 of descents. Between the hills and the snow it took me 30 minutes longer to run than it should have. And while 30 minutes does not sound like much time to regular people,  those of you long runners out there, know what 30 minutes means at the end of a 20 milers. Let’s just say I could have completed a good fast marathon in the time it took me to run this 20. Joe was  accurate in describing it as loads of little ups and downs. The other thing is there are no long stretches. You do not get  5-10 mile trails but rather lots of twists and turns sharing 26 trails over about 1100 acres. At one point I ran into a cow barn, and later a pig farm. That was kind of cool. This is a beautiful place to train-when the snow is gone. This would be the perfect spot to run a 5-10 milers, but for me I like nice long stretches rather than running around in circles which I felt like I was doing.

So my goal to save my feet from the pounding of the asphalt was completely sabotaged by the snow. My feet were soaked early on, blistered, and water-logged.  I have never seen them look worse, but today, today they feel great and I am a bit tired but feel strong.

I can’t wait to run there again.

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