Saturday, October 31, 2009

Start spreading the news...

...I'm leaving today...for the New York City Marathon!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Attention WalMart shoppers!

Today I went clothes shopping at an unusual place for me: WalMart. I went there to get warm sweat pants and tops and jacket and hat and gloves... it's all for the almost 5 hours when I leave my hotel on Sunday morning until I actually start running. The temperature should be about 50 degrees but that 's a bit cooler than the near 90 degrees it's been here in Florida so I need to do what I can do to acclimate. I read a study that said that 50 degrees is the perfect temperature to run a marathon since at 50 degrees, the body doesn't have to expend any extra energy to cool down or warm up. If that's the case, looks like it will be perfect marathon weather!

I also had my last run today. It was wonderful - a five mile run in Wickham Park right before sunset. Everyone from the running camp was wishing me good luck in the NYC marathon. One woman had already run NYC and told me it was fantastic; one man said NYC was on his list.

So all the work is done. No more training. It's just going to be me and the streets of NYC - and 40,000 of my friends! Counting down...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Music to my ears

I love running. I love just about everything about it - the more I run, the stronger I get, just being outside for hours and feeling like a kid again, playing around, the competition at races, the camaraderie at running camp. But - it does get a bit lonely. When I am actually running, I need to be by myself, since no one else runs exactly my pace at the time I choose to run.

But Larry solved the loneliness problem for me. He bought me an I Pod, which he loaded with over 2.000 songs. I choose "shuffle" as my option, which means one minute I am running to country music, the next to Broadway show tunes, later to rock and roll or blues or African music or opera or classical or pop... The songs don't stop so why should I?

Now I look forward to my long runs, just wondering what song I will hear next. Hearing "New York, New York" right after I learned I got in to the NYC Marathon was cool. Running at sunrise on Tropical Trail while Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" plays in my ears is inspiring. And when I hear "Friends in Low Places" or the Ohio State Marching Band or Cirque de Soleil or any one of the other hundreds of songs on my I Pod, how can I not help but think of Larry who has helped me with my running in so many ways?

When I run the NYC marathon on Sunday, I won't have my I Pod. It's highly discouraged. And, there are over 130 bands on the course, so I won't be lacking for music. But I bet there will be many songs that in some way will remind me of Larry...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back on Track

When I lived in Philadelphia, one morning I took the train from Center City into the suburbs for a meeting. As I waited on the track for the train, I realized I was one of maybe a half dozen people waiting. When the train from the suburbs arrived, hundreds of people got off the train, and we few urbanites got on.
I realized I was off track. Most people take the train from the suburbs to the city in the morning, then reverse the proecess in the evening. But I was young and recently out of school, so I was living in the city. The suburbs could wait.
When I got injured, I felt like I was off track again. When I was finally allowed to start running again, it was more like a run/walk, and after a few days I was up to 18 minutes. That same day, my fellow Fred's Team runners were running 18 miles.
But I stayed the course and kept on going. Finally, by last week I caught up to Fred's Team. I ran 13.1 miles on Friday with no problems. This week I am tapering the exact amount as everyone on my team. I am back on track. New York City, I am ready for you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cowboy up and play hurt

My leg still hurts. I was injured on August 2, and yep, it still hurts. My doctor said it should hurt until March. That's how long it will take until I am fully recovered. But I made a commitment to run this race on Nov. 1 and I will do it. I signed on as a charity runner and I will fulfill my commitment.

I am fortunate that now I can run, albeit slower. So I am not going to set any world records, or even a PR, on November 1 in NYC. But I am going to try to run the whole race if I can, and if I must walk, walk as little as possible. If I have to walk the whole race, so be it, and I'll just cross the finish line at sunset and then walk to the restaurant where everyone else is waiting for me. I just hope they save some appetizers!

I know a doctor who went to work sick, because he had dozens of patients who were waiting for him. At one point during the day he was so sick that he had to excuse himself, go upstairs to another floor of the hospital, get IV fluids pumped into him, then went back downstairs to work. He made a commitment to see his patients and he fulfilled that commitment.

I know a lawyer who had major emergency abdominal surgery. Less than 2 months later, when she still could only eat small portions of food and couldn't even sit up straight for long periods of time, she took the Professional Responsiblity portion of the Bar Exam, a one day test. She took it sitting in a slanted position, not in the best of health, but she took and and passed

Sometimes life doesn't give you optimum conditions, but you don't quit. You cowboy up and play hurt. You just do it and get it over with.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A tale of two marathons

I'm getting at least 2 emails a day now about the NYC marathon, which is in 12 days. Barb and Ed and I email almost daily; there are so many plans to finalize! And either Fred's Team or the New York Road Runners emails me almost every day about details of the weekend. I am getting more excited by the hour!
But I will need another mountain to climb so I am already wondering what my next marathon will be. It is good that I pick it now, because in the hours and days following a marathon, I am not exactly thinking about running another marathon. Right after I finished the Disney Marathon in January, all I could think of was that I needed a new and different hobby, and stamp collecting (putting stamps in books while sitting on a soft couch) sounded like a very good idea at the time.
I checked to see which marathons this year had the highest percentage of Boston qualifiers. For the last few years, besides obviously Boston, the Bay State State Marathon and the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon have been second or third. This year MHR Marathon came in second and that's the one I want to do next year. It's mostly run on bike paths in the woods, with the trees at their peak period for leaf changing, with the river in the background. It reminds me of some of the beautiful bike paths Larry and I have bicycled on in the last year around the country. And it's a slow downhill race with only 700 runners, the second week in October, when the weather should be cool but not cold. Sounds ideal!
The MHR marathon is very different from NYC's race, which is the world's largest marathon with about 45,000 runners, an urban path, 2 million spectators, 130 bands... and 10 people, family and friends, who I will share the weekend with. I know no one in that part of upstate New York, and instead of noisy good times with 10 people in Italian restaurants each night, I'll be spending the weekend by myself. But, I'm sure I will have a great, albeit very different time, at the MHR Marathon, as I hope to in NYC in 12 days. 2 NY Races in 1 year, two very different experiences, both great times I hope...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cost Analysis

Cost Analysis of my run this morning:

New Newton running shoes: $155
Temperature at start: 65 degrees
Distance run: 10.2 miles
First long run in 2 and a half months: priceless

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My celebs

So far I know of two celebrities who are running the NYC marathon - Ed Norton and Anthony Michael Hall. I wrote about Ed in a previous blog. Anthony I read about in Runner's World magazine. He's the actor who played Goose in Top Gun, Tom Cruise's sidekick who doesn't survive, aka "Dead Meat". He also plays a doctor on the TV show House. When House was a really big show (not sure if it is currently still on the air or not), Anthony ran the Chicago marathon, but had to run under an assumed name so he wasn't bothered by crazed fans. This time, Anthony said, House isn't that big a deal so he doesn't mind being identified. I bet there are other celebs running NYC with me but they are running under assumed names. Like Katie Holmes (Tom Cruise's wife) two years ago, after they finish they'll unmask themseleves to the public and their adoring fans.
You know what? I don't really care if there are any celebrities running my race. What impresses me are the athletes who are running, be they the professional world class athletes or hobbyists like me who might have an interesting story to tell about how they got to be able to run the world's largest marathon. Those are the stories that should be published in People magazines - real life adventure stories.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cool runnings

I've spent most of the last week travelling to four different universities for a graduate school tour with my son. I told just about everyone, especially my friends here in Florida where the temperature is still reaching the mid 90's by mid afternoon, that I will enjoy running on these midwestern campuses, with the trees turning brilliant colors of red, orange, and yellow, and with cooler temperatures.
But, although the trees were pretty to look at, the weather was not fun to run in. It was cold in the morning - temperatures were down in the 40's. It was also raining most of the time we were in Illinois and Indiana. My boasts of running on pretty college campuses, watching the students walk by with their backpacks and optimistic views of the future, were merely boasts. I found myself running in basements in student unions on treadmills.
But then we hit Maryland. On a cool sunny morning, temperatures in the 50's, I set out for my run. The trees with their changing leaves, the colonial brick buildings, the students with backpacks - they were all there. I was having so much fun it took me about 1/2 hour to figure out I had neglected to turn on my running watch and Ipod. I ran up hills and down into the central quad's fields. Just before I completed my run, I ran one lap on University of Maryland's outdoor running track. I felt like a college track star!
Much of life isn't exactly what you imagine. I imagined an intense 4 month training course for my NYC marathon. But I got injured Aug. 2 and spent the next 2 months unable to run. I'm only now gearing up as everyone else is tapering down. But just like everyone else, I'll line up at the starting line on the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge ready to give it my best shot. New York will be my Unviersity of Maryland.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

I live in Florida, and enjoy running outside 12 months a year. It's rare that I have to wear anything warmer than a tank top and running skirt to run in outside, it's just almost always warm in Florida.
Not here. I'm in the midwest this week, and it is COLD. Still 90 degrees at home, but in the 40's here in the morning. I am freezing here!
On the radio this morning as we left Chicago I heard the local disc jockey say that the weather forecast for Sunday morning, Oct. 11, the day of the Chicago marathon, was temperature in the 30's - AND snow flurries.
And I was considering running the Chicago marathon this year!
Instead, I am running NYC 3 weeks later!
What was I thinking? I'm a Florida girl, I run inside when the weather dips below high 50's.
Well, the only way I can look at it is, if it is cold in NYC on Nov. 1 (cold for me, anyway) I will just have to run as fast as I can to get the marathon over as quickly as possible.
Here's to a PR in NYC!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paula is in!

Today Paula Radcliffe, the current world's record holder in the woman's marathon (2 hours 15 minutes!) announced that she will be running the New York City marathon on November 1, 2009. So not only will I be running with the top American male marathon runner, Ryan Hall, and a bunch of other men who are tops in the marathon world, but now I'll be running with the world's best woman marathon runner!
I need to work on those intervals...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why 26.2 miles?

The first marathon was a run of 25 miles by a Greek man named Pheidippides who ran from the town of Marathon to Athens, to tell the Athenians that victory was at hand for their troops. Unfortunately for Pheidippides, as the story goes, he fell to the ground right after his announcement and died.
The first 3 modern Olympics had marathons of about 25 miles in honor of Pheidippides' run. But when the next Olympics were held in England, the Princess of Wales wanted the start to be moved to Windsor Castle so she and her children could catch the start of the race. Then, her mother-in-law, Queen Alexandra, had the bright idea of ending the Olympics right in front of the royal box in the Olympic stadium, necessitating almost an entire extra lap - 385 yards or .2 of a mile.
The last mile of so of a marathon is very difficult. At mile 25 of the Disney Marathon, I thought about the English royals and wished, for once, they had not gotten their way!