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June 2006 Archives

June 15, 2006


I've been lacking it of late. Now that I'm officially halfway through Week #1 of my marathon training program, I'm feeling absolutely zero desire to run. I'm still getting out there and making it happen, but it's taking such an enormous effort to drag myself out to the park every morning. I'm actually surprised by the fact that I managed to get in a run every day last week in Colombia, finishing up with a very respectable 44 miles. Once I get going, it's not so bad, but the getting out there in the first place feels more like a chore than a passion.

Hopefully though, this is temporary condition that will pass of its own accord. I'd attribute it to jet lag, except that Colombia is only one hour behind us. I got a little bit of a boost last night though, when I rallied myself out to the park after work for one of the summer media races. It's similar to the Corporate Challenge, but just for media companies, so it's just a couple hundred people racing 3.5 for fun, instead of a distressing mass of slowly-moving humanity. There's still a lot of stroller dodging involved, but it's kind of fun and novel to run any non-NYRRC event.

And I even won a trophy! A scary, red plastic montrosity that I love for the very fact that you rarely see anything so hideous. The prismatic 70's disco stars are probably my favorite feature, but it's really hard to pick and choose from all its wonderful qualities.

I was actually the leading woman for the first half of the race, but I could hear that there was another girl breathing hard, right off my shoulder. I vaguely hoped that it was just a really effeminate sounding man, but two miles into the race she pulled up even with me and I had to start hoping that it was a really effeminate looking man as well. I was working hard the entire race, so when she pulled away with about a half mile to go, I just had nothing left to push the pace.

Still, it's hard to beat myself up too, too much, when I did run 6:12 pace and bettered my last time in this race by more than a minute.

I think I just need to take a deep breath and remember that it's a long road I'm traveling. The next four months are going to be tough ones, but the ultimate goal is one that has been important to me for a very long time. No one is forcing me to do this, so I suppose if I really start to hate it, I'll just stop.

June 18, 2006

Week One: 69 Miles

6/1215 miles8:12 pace
6/13Rest Day
6/14 #17 miles8:22 pace


6 miles3.5 mi. race @ 6:12 pace
6/15 #14 miles7:52 pace


8 miles8:21 pace
6/167 miles8:27 pace
6/1715 miles8:05 pace, muggy
6/187 miles8:22 pace, very hot

I'm actually quite pleased with this week's effort. The hardest bit at this point is thinking about doing it 17 more times. Granted, there are a few easy weeks in there to keep me sane and healthy, but there are also some undeniably intimidating long runs at marathon pace.

Speaking of pace, I dropped my average mile time by about :30 this week. Part of that might be coming off of a week of running at altitude and part of that is a conscious decision to up the intensity a bit. Either way, it hasn't felt like a huge increase in effort, so I'll stick with this pace for a few weeks before dropping to my goal pace of 7:52 (or one minute over 3-hour marathon pace) for my normal, every day mileage.

It really is saying something that I'm comfortable running not too much over 8 minute pace though, since this is the week that summer really came to New York. The past few days have been hot and muggy and I haven't put any effort into running at cooler hours. My Saturday 15-miler was actually begun just after noon. My next goal race is another half, just about three weeks away, so I figure that I might as well do what I can to acclimate. Odds are it will be a hot and sweaty 13 miles, but since temperature is a decidedly democratic factor, all I can do is prepare for it just as well as anyone else might.

June 21, 2006

The Much Ballyhooed NYC Half

So at noon today, New York Road Runners opens registration for their big bells&whistles, hoo-hah, super-fantastic, incredible New York City Half MarathonTM. I was actually rather psyched to run a race in Manhattan that strayed beyond the boundaries of the park, but then Monday, one of my running pals pointed out to me that it's going to cost a whopping $60 to register. I do recognize that the logistics of running a race through Times Square are going to necessarily incur more costs, but I'm definitely feeling a little less hip to the idea now.

Road Runner members have been sent an e-mail alert warning us that we had better sign up as soon as we are able: "With the field limited to 10,000 runners, we expect a sell-out, so set your alarm for noon EDT on June 21 to sign up." I suppose that might very well be true, but my schedule' s not hurting for halfs this year and I'm inclined to stick with the ones that cost eleven bucks to run.

If I'm in town, I'll be happy to go cheer of course, but it turns out that August 27th is also the date of the Columbus, Ohio half marathon. I figure, if I'm going to be running their full marathon in October, it might be nice to participate in their lead-up half as well, just to feel a little more like a local runner when the big race rolls around. I suppose that you could argue that once I add that race's fee to the couple hundred bucks that it will cost to fly out there, I'm engaging in a bit of false economy, but dammit, it's a matter of priciple. And besides, in Columbus I get to visit with my Grandma...and who, I ask, can put a price on that?

June 25, 2006

Week Two: 69.5 Miles

6/199 miles8:25 pace, hot
6/209 miles7:52 pace, a bit cooler, humid
6/21rest day
6/22 #14 miles7:58 pace


9.5 miles8:36 pace, MUG-GY!
6/239 miles

8:15 pace

6/24 #17 miles7:53 pace


7 miles7:31 pace
6/2515 miles8:19 pace

June 27, 2006

Running Resumed

I didn't really plan to not run yesterday, but my body was strongly advising me in that direction. The last two weeks of high mileage have just left me feeling beat up, particularly in the neighborhood of my right shin, so it seemed prudent to take a little break. I'd actually planned instead to spend an hour on the trainer, but I still had some incompleted career-oriented goals from the weekend hanging over me, so I ended up with a true rest day.

This morning's seven-miler gave me a nice change to pick up the pace and stretch out my legs. The shin was still talking to me, but I gave it a refreshing ice 'n advil cocktail afterwards, so hopefully all is forgiven. Tomorrow's plan is a relaxed niner and Thursday I'll go for a double, probably an easy seven in the morning and a track workout that night. Then Friday morning I'm off to Leominster, Massachusetts for the wedding of a cousin that I don't even know. Surely there must be someplace to run around there, but I'm going to have to do a little online research to see what's out there. (Jackpot!) I'm not planning on running anywhere near 70 again, but I would like to make it to at least 50 before launching into my real easy week starting Monday.

June 28, 2006

Rainy Days And Wednesdays

It takes a lot longer to get through a run when you slow down the pace, but it sure is much easier on the body. A little gentle stretching, a couple of advil and soon I was enjoying a leisurely, pain-free jog along the peaceful and unpopulated paths of a rainy Central Park. I'm still planning on keeping close tabs on this sore leg 'o mine, but as long as I'm careful to integrate enough rest/recovery time into my schedule, I'm hoping the situation won't turn critical.

There's a saying in New York that you can have a satisfying career, a fulfilling relationship and a great apartment...but never all three at once. As runners, we apparently feel the need to add yet one more variable to the mix, giving fate just another means of screwing with our health and happiness. Is it flirting with disaster to try and have all four cylinders running smoothly at once?

It really is sort of a pointless question though, since the one area I really need to improve upon, the job, might very well disappear right out from under me within the next several months. Unsatisfying is one thing, but non-existent is quite another. Such a scenario might be very good for the running actually, but without question, it would be very, very bad for the apartment. For the moment though, it gives me plenty to think about when I run.

The latest occupational windmill that I've chosen to point my joust at requires me to submit a 5-7 page expository writing sample on a topic of my choice. The obvious subject matter for me is the running, but it's such a difficult topic to address without sounding obsessive-compulsive-insane to the average, garden-variety reader. They say you should write what you know and it is "what I know" probably better than anything else in this world, so it's hard to think of anything more appropriate for me to pontificate on. This will definitely require some thinking, but then...I guess that's what long runs are for.

June 29, 2006

My New Toy

This big, cylindrical chunk of inorganic chemical material is hopefully what's going to keep me from getting injured this summer. I unwrapped it yesterday after waiting weeks and weeks for it to arrive in the mail. It was out of stock and backordered and I'd almost given up on it completely, but then...there it was, in all its three-foot-long, crimson glory: my new foam roller.

The great thing about having one of these is that now I can perform self-myofascial release. What is self-myofascial release, you might ask, and is it appropriate to be reading about at work?

Myo refers to muscle, fascia to the tissue that surrounds the muscle fibers. By putting pressure on tender areas along the muscle tissue, the golgi tendon organs (I know, it all sounds so dirty!)help trigger the relaxation of the muscle spindles, helping to dissipate the adhesions, increase blood flow, and enhance overall movement.

The instructions that come with the roller say that to release the knots or adhesions with a foam roller, you must put pressure on the knots for 20-30 seconds while breathing. I love that they need to tell you that, but it's totally true. For a girl that's been running as much as I have, even applying a relatively light pressure to my calves or ITB creates a really unique level of pain and yes, it does inspire the impulse to hold one's breath.

I really enjoyed (in a sick sort of masochistic sort of way) the exercises I tried on it last night, but I think I'm going to have to be careful not to overdo it with my right calf. It's like there's a solid, painful knot right in the center of the muscle when I massage it against the roller and it just felt the worse for wear when I ran on it this morning. I'm going to stick with it for a while though, in hopes that gentle persistence will loosen those stubborn fibers without actually doing any new damage. I'll work on it a little more tonight and probably in the morning too, but I'm going to resist the urge to actually bring the foam roller with me this weekend to the wedding in Massachusetts.

About June 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Change of Pace in June 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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