Saturday, March 21, 2015

New York City Half Marathon

Last weekend I raced in the NYC Half Marathon. It is one of the three biggest races I have been in.  I went down on Friday and made a 3 day weekend of it.  Love NYC and I hadn't been in awhile so it was great.

I arrived with my friend early on Friday.  We left stuff at the hotel which was right in Times Square and headed off to the expo.  The expo was good although it wasn't as big as I thought it would be.  I got a couple of shirts that I liked a lot and a new waist pack.  One of the shirts has the race course on the back in case I forget where I ran.

Then we became tourists by first going to the top of the Empire State Building. I have been up a couple of times but it was a clear day and there were no crowds and no lines!
Then we played near the jumbo tron (???) in Times Square for the Revlon Ad.  You keep showing up and it is addictive to try and get the best picture. It was hard! Here are a couple of the tries. I have the hood on.

We ended up at the ticket booth getting tickets for a show Friday night even though we were already going Saturday night.  We got tickets for If Then with Idina Menzel (did I get that right?) which is ending soon. It was superb. I enjoyed it so much!  Saturday night we saw Aladdin and IMO you can't go wrong with Disney on Broadway.  

Saturday we spent a lot of time trying to figure out where the race was ending and where to meet.

 I don't like that this race didn't have a family meet up area.  Sat. was rainy and cold so trudging around trying to figure this out was a pain. Then we went to just below Central Park to hit up F.A.O Schwartz, the Apple store and Nike. We also went to the Public Library which has the most fun store.  I was exhausted and ready to go back and rest before the show.  

I must admit I was nervous about getting to the race in the morning.  I changed my mind several times about how I would get there but ended up going up very early. I took the Metro and got off not quite where I should have but it all worked out.
I was in wave 3 which was the last wave to start. It was much colder than predicted so I did not have the clothes I wished I had.  It was cold waiting and I never took off my throw away top.  Once I was ready to I thought about hitting the windy road along the river and decided to keep it on. Smart move!

Once we began I was finally running through Central Park which has been on my bucket list for so long!  I was in heaven.  There were 20,000 runners in the race but it truly wasn't too crowded.  We ran through CP for a few miles and yes it was hilly.  Then we went into Harlem for an out and back before going back into CP.

When we were going back through CP I spotted the only person I know from NYC. It was Ali (the one who blogs) and I have only met her once. But I yelled to her and told her I was Emily's mom and she went crazy.  She was spectating and cheering on runners. Her enthusiasm left a smile on my face for several miles.  Then we left Central Park. I was looking for a bathroom without lines and shortly after we left I found one. Score.

Then it was up 7th Avenue on the way to Times Square which was incredible.  I loved this the most by far which surprised me because I thought Central Park would be my favorite. But Times Square with no traffic and people cheering you on......epic!

We turned and ran down 42nd Street which was great.

I was not running fast but I had a pace I wanted to maintain.  My long runs had been so so so slow that I was a bit worried.  I had been running a mile and walking a minute and had planned to do this during the race but I felt so good I didn't.  I have been having a lot of trouble with my knee but it didn't bother me at all during the race.  It was going to be a very tight time getting back to the hotel to catch the shuttle to the airport. I had this in the back of my mind throughout the race.

Then we turned onto the West Side Highway which runs along the Hudson. It was open and windy but I was okay.  I loved all of the course.  We went through a tunnel which was pretty cool.  This is a picture of coming out of the tunnel.

I thought I was still doing well but my last mile was slow.  

I did finish in the time I wanted, somehow met up with my friend and then we took the Metro back. I was freezing and sore.  Stairs were a problem.  The worst part was the walk back outside in the wind to the hotel.  We got back and thankfully there was time to change before the shuttle got there. I made it by about 10 minutes.  

Then it was a long day at the airport but our flight wasn't canceled although that was in some question.  

Overall I loved this race. I wouldn't do it again (probably).  It was expensive and there are lots of races out there. Next year I 'd like to do the half in DC that is the same weekend. Plus the race is on a Saturday which would be more relaxing.  I'm glad I did it though, it was a great weekend.  

My knee has given me a lot of grief since the race. I have not run since. I have a PT and a chiropractic appointment this week (long story).  I am discouraged as I have been working on it for awhile and cut back my training considerably.   It doesn't hurt to run generally but getting up after sitting or sleeping and driving are the worst.  I have two more halves in May.  I don't care about them AS MUCH as this one but I do care.  It's time to heal.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Running in Snowy Maine

I spent a few days in Maine and did some winter running there.  Man, do they have snow.  In fact our first day there, we were literally snowed in for awhile. It was fun to laze around and not be able to get out.  I had brought my coffee maker anticipating this so life was good.

Yeah, I could have gotten through this snow but being snowed in was
so much more fun.
After we got shoveled out I went for one of three snowy/cold runs in Maine. I just dressed for it, put on the Yak Trax and loved it.  There was so much snow!  The banks were unreal.  I ran by Nubble Light every day and took multiple pictures. I think it is a law that you can't pass it without taking a photo.  I knew where there was an open hotel with clean bathrooms about half way so that was good.  
It did not feel like -22 at all.  

I was fascinated by all the snow and one run I took pics of a few of the summer places no one would be
visiting anytime soon.

One of many pics I took but this is the one NBC news wanted to use.

Signs also amused me - the ones you could still see.

There was one sunny day where the ocean was just stunning.  I was also fascinated
by all the colors of the water and the ice in the ocean.

This is one of many big banks. Driving was tricky because you had to get out in the
road to see.

We did a little shopping  and I had lobster rolls every night.

Then I came down with this rotten cold I have now and I was ready to come home.  

I've had some good runs at home too although my knee has been bothering me. I went to the PT yesterday and I was rather encouraged by her assessment.  I was very worried she was going to tell me not to run. My NYC half marathon is a month away!  I am not running right now because I am in bed feeling less than stellar but I am hoping to be back at it tomorrow.  There is supposed to be snow here over the next few days but  I am going to try to do one speed work session on the TM and my long run outside. I do love snow and Maine was like it used to be with such huge amounts of it!  I know they are sick of it but it certainly worked for me!

Hope you are all healthy and running and doing what you love.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Polar Cap Four Miler

Another year of running the Polar Cap Four Miler - another age group win!  I have run this race 8 years in a row and I have won an age group award every year. I thought this year might be the year I didn't win but I got 3rd!  Darlene beat me by a lot and she was second.  I have definitely slowed down even though I am doing speed workouts, tempo runs and pace runs.  I am not bothered enough by it to do more. I will keep trying. I did not meet my goal of 10 minutes a mile. I was 10:10.  It was a better pace than my 5K on New Year's Day so that is good!

It's a pretty course although hilly. Some years it is terribly cold but actually this year it was pretty perfect. I think it was around 20 ( a heat wave.) I got there early because roads were bad in Vermont and I wanted to be sure I had enough time. I listened to some great podcasts on the way and saw a nice sunrise. It was all good.

After the race I went to shop at Target and two of the outlets. It is always a treat to go to Target. I picked up a few things I needed. (cough, cough)  I resisted a running jacket so that is good right. I made it up to the cash register with it but then told the cashier I wouldn't be getting it.  

Tomorrow I need to run 10 and it supposed to be snowy. I'm looking forward to it. I was going to drive to Middlebury and run there for a change but I am guessing the roads might be bad so I'll do my "new" route here.  It is bound to be pretty.  

Last Monday we had a snow day so I got another great snowy day run in.  I truly thrive in those conditions. I am not fast, just having the time of my life.  Here are a few pictures from that run.

Yep, it's my kind of weather.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Do You Take Chances/Risks to Get Your Run In?

I posted this picture from my run last night and got a lecture from a relative.

I posted: The roads were too bad to do my usual errands so I did my Saturday run tonight.  It wasn't as cold as tomorrow will be but my phone did shut off due to the cold.  I love running in a storm so that was a win.  I misjudged time so I was in the dark near the end. I was glad to reach my road.

She posted: That's not sounding safe. Roads too bad to drive, so cold you lose your phone and in the dark. In  a storm.  Where it is not safe for drivers. I have the funny feeling you wouldn't want your kids in the same conditions.

Okay, I did respond to her.  Not all of this did I say to her but I gave a very polite response saying the only thing that bothered me was the dark.

First - she is mistaken if she thinks I have influence over my adult children and decisions they make to work out.  I know that Emily is in situations I wouldn't dream of putting myself. I'm thinking in particular of her multi rim Grand Canyon run and her 100 miler that went up and down mountains and she had to scale some scary rocks and there were many scary creatures around.  Did I encourage her not to do it?  No, it is who she is.  She is an adult and makes her own decisions.  If asked I would answer but I don't volunteer. If I was very worried I would but....?  I get it.  I ride my bike and many bicyclists are killed on the road. I am not going to let that stop me. I have told friends, if it happens to me I was doing something I love. I am not willing to live that careful a life.

Yes, the roads were too bad to drive.  So I didn't. But I had my Yak Trax on and traction was good.When cars came I stepped to the side. (Okay, mostly)  I went on roads not busy at all with traffic.

Yeah, my phone died which bothered me because I couldn't take pictures.  I did think I couldn't call my husband (who knew where I was and what I was doing.  I told him not to worry until 6.) I put my phone in my mitten and got it to turn on again. 

Personally, except heading into the wind gusts I was toasty.  For a Vermont winter.
Saturday (today) was bitter bitter cold.  I am so glad I did this last night.

As far as the dark that didn't thrill me. Many of you run in the dark.  I don't like to.  I altered my route as it got darker and didn't go down  one road I planned to.  I didn't even stop and pee!  The snow helped a lot.  I had a flashing arm band. Stupidly I had not brought my head lamp.  The thing with the dark is I watch too much Criminal Minds and imagine too many awful things happening from humans. The roads I was on are pretty isolated.  I did see cars. One stopped ahead and that put many thoughts into my head.  I ran by it and just kept going.  I imagine they were waiting for someone from a house in the woods as they never went back by me.  I will say I ran too fast for the light and the conditions. I am lucky I didn't fall.  I felt like I had great footing and just went for it.  It was mostly downhill at this point.  I got to my road which is more open and "friendly" so I went in a loop on it until I had my mileage. (I'm that person.)  I knew I was doing a mile more than last week but I had thought I had done 7 last week and needed to do 8. I went on the same route and extended it but I was shocked when I saw 9 miles.  Part of the problem with misjudging the time.

In a storm .  Completely guilty. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE running in a storm. It exhilarates me.  I can't really describe how much I like it.  Vermont winter storms and running just float my boat.  

So there it is.  To me .........a  chance worth taking.
Here are a few more pics from when my phone was working.

This is near the beginning.

This sheep bleated as I went by so I went back to say hi and take a picture.

A beautiful spot where I seem to keep taking pictures from different angles.

It was starting to get dark but not too badly yet.  I was hoofing it for  me!

The top picture was just before I finished. I got home and was tired but felt great!  

Friday, January 30, 2015


Here's a quick update of sorts.

Reading - The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scott.  Not recommending it. I'll finish it but that's about it.

Reading - I always  have  a "gym book" going to and I'm loving this one.  I heard this guy speak in Alaska and he was very entertaining.  The book is just as good with fantastic pictures.  Cold Hands, Warm Heart by Jeff King.

Watching - Snow fall outside my window.  The porch light is on, it's dark, and snow is falling.  A truly beautiful sight in my opinion.

Eating - kind of Paleo, kind of whole 30.  Dinner suggestions needed. Trying to take off weight I gained this fall.

Listening to - Serial.  Loving it.  I have 4 episodes left and I'm saving this for my long run(s) as a treat!  Any recommendations for similar podcasts?

Trying - to cross country ski again.  Last weekend I went south (to Peru, VT) and met friends from my Alaska trip to cross country ski.  I had never gone to an area and paid but it was very fun. I did fine and sort of want to get new equipment to do more.  It was fun being out in the woods enjoying the winter I love.  It was so great to connect with people I met last summer and see them again.  I spent the night and went to the ski lodge for game night (be still my heart, I LOVE GAMES), and a good meal. It was a great time.

Frustrated with - my body.  My knee still hurts although it is improving.  I have made an appointment with a PT but can't get in for a bit. Oddly it feels fine when running.  Sitting is not good at all.  It stiffens up.  I also have a sore elbow which has gone on for more than two months. I know exactly how I did it and wish I could relive those ten seconds. It is certainly taking it's time to get better.  I will get my money's worth from the PT.

Indifferent - to the Super Bowl.  Sorry. I'll watch some of it with my husband but really?

Loving - going to the movies more.  Again, any recommendations?

Enjoying..... Vermont's beauty.  It's making those long runs much more enjoyable.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Running and Upcoming Trips

I'm almost done my 4th week of training for NYC half marathon.  BUT my knee is bothering me. It seemed better so I ran again and it still seemed better but today it hurts. Hate injuries.  Hate them. It is so hard not to run.

This is from my hillier route.

Today I ran inside because it was -16 and I am not that hard core.  It still hasn't warmed up much and I am huddled by the woodstove.

I am trying to run new routes or at least not run in a long time routes and I am really enjoying it.  My route at home is much hillier now but I definitely needed to change it up some.  I am actually kind of liking the treadmill too.  I seem to like it better when I am on a training plan.  I certainly push myself harder.  Come on knee, play along.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to go to the movies more.  Isn't that a smart one? Today we went and saw American Sniper. Part way through there was a fire alarm. And did I already say it is freezing out?  We were probably out there about 15 minutes - much harder when you're standing still.  The good news was we got back in and finished it. I didn't want to come back another time and watch the first two hours again.  Many people left.

School is going great.  I love my class this year. The two grades I work with are full of such good kids. What a difference it makes in your attitude going to work.  We're studying the rain forest which is fun and very motivating to them.
This is from when I was leaving school the other night.

I have not one but three trips planned.  One is my usual trip to Maine in February.  One is a weekend in NYC to run the half. We already have show tickets for Saturday night.  Not the best for the night before but I'm not going to be walking away with any of the prize money.  The third one is for a biking trip over April vacation with the same friends from last year. We'll be biking from Pensacola to New Orleans.  The sister of one of my friends is going to be the sag wagon!  

Hope all of you are healthy. The flu is nasty stuff around here!

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 by the numbers

I swam more than twice as much last year. I took a long break this fall where I didn't swim at all. 

Last year I tried to hit 1000 and didn't quite make it.  Glad to do it this year. This is way under old totals but that was before I threw biking and swimming into the mix. My body likes the 4 days of running better than the 5 or 6.

Last year I had no goal but almost hit 2000.  So that became this year's goal.  I wasn't sure if I would make it since I was gone to Alaska during some prime biking time.  But I also upped my days per week from 3 to 4 once back and it was pure pleasure to make time for it.  

Numbers Pure and Simple
 17 Races Done
2 halves
5 triathlons
2 duathlons
1 virtual
5 new races - something I like to do

12 Age Group Awards
Sounds ridiculous but it's true - benefit of being older
3 of the awards were first place

1 National Qualifying Race
I qualified for the age group national championships in triathlon
Like I said - it's great to get older

2 races with family members
This is way down.  :( 

One race a month at least except for April
Love this one too.  One of the ways I do new races.

6 states biked in
Alaska, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Virginia

One Century Ride
The same as last year.  Loved it.


I already did one race with my husband. It was fun but freezing! And I was slow! So why was it fun?  I guess I just like to race.  I am trying to run more on different routes and change it up. Tomorrow I have an errand in another town so I am plotting a new route.  Finding some love in running right now which always surprises me when I get it back because the running love is so absent when I am biking.

I want to keep racing, hopefully one a month.  I want to ride 3000 miles. Is that possible?  Not sure but I'm reaching high.  I want to tri in a new state.  I want to run 1000 again with a little extra. I want to keep not letting those scary weeds get the better of me and continue to tri.  

Happy New Year!