Monday, August 29, 2011

Yea! Running with a friend!

I had a 18 mile run on the schedule today.  And I ran part of it with my friend Beth who I had not seen in a long time!   Man!! What a difference conversation makes! It was a great run!!
I usually run by myself.  Whenever I get a chance to leave the house and get on the road, is when I get it done.  As my workouts have gotten longer I have had to do a little more planning to figure out when and where to go.  Beth and I had wanted to get together to run all summer but between vacations and work schedules  and kids we never even had a chance to plan anything. 
So with a week of summer left we finally made plans.  After some quick math we decided on a meeting area and I planned how to get my additional miles in before and after I met her.  We ran nine together trying to catch up on everything going on in our lives.  Hopefully this will become a weekly thing.  Nine miles isn’t nearly enough time to catch up with someone who you have known for over twenty years. 
 It was fun to run with a friend. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hidden Workout

When visiting the monuments on the national mall with children you might not want me to lead the way.  Why?  Well first of all I don’t mind “winging it”, no plan no problem.  Secondly we are going to walk at a good clip and I am not going to get tired.  Third I have no idea how far we are walking and I expect my kids to make it anyway.  Can yours?  Sure we can stop for photos here and there, that’s a must with me but are there restaurants on our route?  That wasn’t part of my research.  By the way did anyone know the reflecting pool was being renovated?  Bummer!

How far did we go?  I had read that the length of the mall was something like 1.3 miles end to end but I did not realize this was just near the museums.  It did not include the trek from the Washington monument all the way up to Abe’s chair and everything in between.   It was not until we got home from vacation that I decided to map out our Friday adventures and figured out that a group of eight of us, (two eight year olds and two five year olds) We walked at least seven miles before attending a baseball game that night.  No wonder everyone was tired and cranky as we watched the Yankees lose at Camden yards that night.  I felt a little bad about it but I also was pretty proud of my kids.  And now I don’t feel so bad about the Big Mac Meal and the ballpark hot dogs. 
To be fair we were trying to salvage a trip that would be shortened due to Hurricane Irene barreling up the east coast.  Our five day trip would now be three if we were to see what we wanted, attend two baseball games and get on the road before the storm hit.   And I knew my kids could do it.  No worries.  If you are traveling with another family it is another story.  Ooops!  Sorry!
I hope everyone is safe and dry.  I know I am grateful Irene went easy on us here in the Hudson Valley.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earthquake? Hurricane? Lets Go!

I am sitting in a Quallity Inn in College Park Maryland staring at my daily mile maps trying to figure out a six mile loop thru the University of Maryland for tomarrow. 

Yesterday’s earthquake (that I did not feel at all 60 miles north of NYC) and Irene's imminent arrival up the east coast has not stopped this family of four from our mini vacation to Washington DC and Baltimore.  On the schedule tomorrow is a trip to see the Nationals play the Diamondbacks. 

Before that happens I need to get six miles in.  I picked this hotel because not only is it a safe area but it is one block from the University of Maryland.  As a HS Counselor I will get a chance to get another official visit under my belt.  I’m looking forward to it since its move in week and I love the feeling of a college campus.  It always brings me back to the excitement I had returning to Cortland each August!  (I might need a little Peace Frog and Pearl Jam on the I-pod tomorrow morning)

But the stressor in my rear view is I am already trying to figure out if our new friend Irene will allow me the weather to run my scheduled 18 on Monday when I am back in NY.  I’ve already moved it from Sunday to Monday since we are supposed to see the Yankees play the O’s at Camden Yards that day and there be no way I am doing that in unfamiliar territory!

The reality of the whole situation is that we will probably be cutting it short and find ourselves racing Irene back to NY before she slams into the coast.  Until then I will be looking at the weather constantly and hoping I don"t have to tell two little boys we may not see the Yankee's play on Sunday :(

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fitting it in.

Its noon on Saturday and Pete and I are both home with the boys. Normally this would be the time that I’d grab my opportunity to go get the quick three miles on my schedule done and over with.  But it’s August in NY and that means heat and humidity.  It’s not the hottest day but I am not a fan of the sun directly overhead during a run.  So now as I clean my closet I will be thinking about when I can do it.  Worst case scenario I can bang 3 miles out on the Elliptical downstairs.  I do not enjoy that option.  Maybe I should just go now anyway since the boys keep figting when they are supposed to be cleaning their room!
I already know how my Sunday runs fit into the routine.  All year long Pete leaves to go train a client at 10am.  So depending on the length of my Sunday run I adjust my time to get up and out of the house before they all wake up and he’s got to go. My routes all go to and from the house so I pick a direction and I go.   It’s good because I am done just as their days begin but boy sometimes I really have to drag myself out of bed to get going

This is getting tricky as my longer runs emerge.  I like to go to the rail trail for ten or more miles because it is clearly marked, relatively flat and there is no traffic to deal with.  I got lucky when I ran 16 a week ago because his client had cancelled and I was able to take my time.    Tomorrow I only have 10 so I guess I can resurrect an old route that stays close to home. 

The HS track in late August.

I can't sleep for some reason and of coarse I've now been up on the internet reading and thinking about everything that needs to get done around the house and before school starts. 

We leave for vacation on wednesday so I am crazed thinking about how to run while in a strange area.  But worse is the tuesday track workout that needs to be done before we leave.  Last week was very frustrating!! to say the least. 

I waited until the evening becuse I was tired in the am and because of the heat.  Bad move. 

Preseason captains practices at the HS made a dreaded track workout all that much more challenging.  It was obvious as I approached the track that the Soccer team was working out.  Those that were not part of the scrimmage at the time were juggling and passing the ball on the track.  They moved when I ran thru so no big deal. 
After about 2 laps of my warm up I could tell that Cheerleaders were assembling to practice as well. 


I started my mile repeats and did they move as I went by?  Oh yes they left a whole lane for the community at large to share. After Mile three, I mentioned to one girl, who seemed to be the captain that they would all fit in the rubberized area just beyond the end zone.  ( Ya know the area that during the spring would have the high jump and be pretty busy but at this time of year is wide open!-- That is where I made my team practice when I coached)  She responded "Oh yeah we would,  (giggle) I don't think anyone wanted to be in the sun". 

OK great keep blocking the track for me the other runners, daily walkers and taxpayers in general.  I will continue to step over your leg, onto the grass and proceed down the straightaway hoping to not get pegged by a stray soccer ball kicked by a promising freshman.  I will have to really figure out how Tuesday will work out for me. 

Official HS practices begin on Monday and finding a usable track will be crazy! 

Man am I looking forward to taking the dog out with me tomorrow and only worrying that she might trip me. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Decision to do it!!

I've spent the past eight weeks following a training plan for a full Marathon. 

I don't know when I decided a marathon was no longer "crazy"  Sometime in May I texted my sister-in law in Lake Tahoe and asked her if she would run the Vegas Marathon with me.  I knew she ran the half with her sister last December and had been considering a marathon.  She said yes.  Perfect! One week before I turn 40 I can run a marathon on the strip. 

I felt good about it. Psyched a bit actully!

But then started to think about the expense and the time it would take to travel to and from Las Vegas.  And what am I completely crazy?  December in a HS Guidance office?  I can't take two personal days to fly accross the country, run 26.2 miles turn around and fly back and THEN coherently write high quality letters of reccomendations to Colleges and Universities all accross the country upon my return.  And what about baking cookies,helping Santa with the boys stuff!?!  This could be the last year MJ believes!!

I was getting stressed just thinking about how December feels, at home and at work,never mind the epic running part.  Bit occurred to me that the Craziness of this scenario was no longer the Marathon part!

Sooo I checked the trusty web and found some alternatives.  I'd have to jump into my training immediately but there were drivable options....before I turned the big 4-0!

So October 16th --Atlantic City NJ, Hartford Ct or Syracuse NY.  

I checked the date counted backwards and started training the last week of school.  I am going to run a half in mid September anyway so even if I decided its a bad idea I'd be ready for that right?  

But as the summer trucked along in all its horrendous humidity I continued to get up early to squeeze in my workouts.  Before I dropped the boys off at camp, earlier each day to do what I needed to do.   I could not wait until it was Sunday and time for my LONG RUN!!

A Marathon seems to be the only OBVIOUS thing to do now.  13.1 just is not enough to shoot for this summer.  That was soooo last summer's goal!!

I have yet to register but on monday night I looked into the logistics and decided to really do it.   I NEED to do it!

I run mostly by myself so I wanted to start getting my thoughts down somewhere as I log the miles.  So after reading a whole bunch of great blogs this past year or so, I decided this is the perfect way to record and even share with other runners out there! 

If you are here reading thanks and welcome to my journey!