Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New York?

I am a New Yorker.  I have lived my whole life in Suburban NY.  The Big Apple has always been just a short car or train ride away.   I do NOT Live Upstate Jim Cantore, just about an hour outside the city.  But after these past few days it is clear that I am not close at all.  We were extremely lucky after Super Storm Sandy.  We spent all day Monday glued to the Weather Channel watching the storm’s path, waiting to see where it would make landfall.  They kept saying this storm was not going to be about the rain but about the wind and the storm surge.  For us that meant the usual power outage that we were prepared for and to my husband’s delight we would hopefully not take on any water in the basement. 
We were glued to that TV watching the coverage in disbelief realizing the brunt was most likely going to go right around us.  We watched until the power went out at 10:30.  We were amazed it stayed on that long.  Waking up on Tuesday I was prepared for a long day of reading and stovetop gas cooking for me and DS playing for the boys.  But only two pages into my book, we heard a click, looked up to see the display on the cable box and it was displaying the time!  UNREAL.  How was this possible?  We always lose power and we usually lose it for days!  I think the boys were disappointed that there was power.  They were looking forward to unrestricted hand held video game playing.  They did not realize the potential devastation we had missed.  I was relieved to not lose any food and to be able to flush the toilet. Then we started to watch TV again. 

HOLY COW!   Roller Coasters washed into the ocean!  Subway system out.   Streets flooded all over the television.  The Surge for sure was the main issue!  Once again I was glad we live where we do.  Far enough from the coast and high enough over the Hudson River.  

Deserted station yesterday, just a mile from my house
My sister sent me a text that morning asking if we had power.  Then she said “What is going to happen with the Marathon on Sunday”?  I had not really thought about it.  It was Tuesday and this is New Your we are talking about.  The race does not take place in Lower Manhattan.   But then I thought about it further.  The subway system?  Parts of Brooklyn and Queens that are low lying.   Will it happen? Who Knows?  If you read any of the comments on the New York Times or even several facebook groups you will find that there are people with really strong opinions about this upcoming race.  Some say no way it should be run because resources are needed elsewhere.  Others talk about the need for the influx of money spent in the area because of the event.   It is disrespectful to the people of NY to run it.  It is disrespectful to the people of NY not to run it.  I live local.   Have the luxury of waiting and seeing what decision will be made about this now controversial race.   My plan was to take my son to his soccer game and then pick up my bib on Saturday, sleep and make my way to the start.  I can’t imagine having travel plans, hotel reservations and nonrefundable everything.  I understand that there are a lot of issues here.  I feel so disconnected from it even being so close.  Right now a third "snow" day from school feels weird since everything here in my immediate area is normal.   
I think I will be running on Sunday but it will certainly not be the same race it was expected to be. If for some reason it does not run I will be very dissapointed but putting it in perspective I really do not have the right. 

Wait and see. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm Day

It’s Monday and I am not at work.  I am not writting letters for the November 1st Early college deadline.  I am sitting on my couch waiting for the Frankenstorm to hit.  I have canned food, water and candles ready.  I am watching the weather channel and waiting for the power to go out.  But I can’t help but notice the weather beyond this storm for Sunday is sunny and low 50’s !  (I am not weather stalking, I just happen to live just north of NYC and they keep showing the seven day forecast).  OMG could it be better in NY for me to run 26.2? I think not!
Oh but guess what?  My knee hurts.  it hurts alot. That’s fun with six days until the marathon! I see alot of ice in my future.  Not coming from the sky but in the form of ice packs on my knee.  Lucky for me I bought 8 bags of ice in preparation for this storm.  Hopefully the pain will go away when Hurricane Sandy does and nothing including my home and knee will be worse for the wear.  Until then I hope everyone in Sandy’s path is safe and you all have a Happy Halloween. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Run the Farm 5 mile Trail Race

I will say it right up front.  I don’t know what I was thinking signing up for a trail race just two weeks before the New York City Marathon but I did. 
If you have not run a trail race it involves; running up rocky, rooty, leaf covered trails. There is mud, there are downed trees, there are boulders and single track paths.  Sometimes there are foot bridges, open meadows and hills that seem almost vertical.  It takes constant mental as well as physical concentration to constantly scan the ground ahead of you and quickly react to the inevitable trip and then perform the “catch yourself before you face plant dance or break something” move.  The amount of times this happens over the course of the run is amazing.  Standing at the finish line seeing bloody knees and limping bodies you can spot those who tripped and didn’t quite ”stick the landing”. 

So why the hell would anyone do this?  Well because it is SO much fun! 

I ran my first and only trail race last spring.  The leathermans Loop was a 10k with two waist high water crossings and a mud bog that claimed over a dozen sneakers and made you laugh as you tried to wade through the mess.  

I knew these possibilities going in and I did it anyway.  Run the Farm is the “Sister Race” to the Loop.  No river crossings, seemed much tamer when I heard about it.  I did not run it last fall because I did not know how I would feel one week after my first marathon.  I really wanted to do it this year.  So I registered.  It was a beautiful day.  Thankfully minimal mud and wet leaves. 

You start in the barn yard of the farm, running right past the animals into the woods.  There are no mile markers and water stops.  Instead there is bag piper playing by a lake and Deer and rabbits running right with you.   You run up and down the trail, looking for the opportunity to pass the person in front of you while not twisting your ankle.  You hurdle trees and carefully straddle rock walls.  Spectators only appear in the last half mile as you reenter the working farm and are greeted by the turkeys and pigs as well as the kids lining up to give you high fives.  You are happy with a ten minute pace for the first time in years, knowing that trail race distances hold PR times all their own.    

 Luckily I came out of the race without a scratch.  Hopefully I didn’t tempt fate and I get through these next two weeks healthy.  Trail running is on the back burner until after November 4thbut I think it gave me that boost I need to get through these last two weeks before the marathon.   

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Poorly Executed Long Run That Went Wrong

I had every intention of running this long run in its entirety in one shot.  My last two long runs were broken up due to necessity and I really wanted to get 22 solid miles in as my last long run before NYC.  I even made a point of letting my husband know that I’d be taking longer on Sunday than usual so that he could move his usual 10am client to later.  We would be going to his mother’s house later that day and I would not have to cook after 20+ miles.  Nice plan.  Going into last week I felt good knowing I took care of that detail.    

I am busy.  I am sometimes scattered.  I like to “wing it” rather than plan too much.  I squeeze my runs in everywhere.  At times this backfires. 

Wednesday I ran from the church after I dropped my boys off at religion.  I pick up sweaty and disheveled but hey I’m not looking to impress anyone.  Thursdays plan was similar except the location was from the ballfield. I figured I had a good solid hour to run maybe more before I had to take one of the boys to scouts.   I felt good.  Not behind on any miles for the week at all.  But then things out of my control, namely my own flesh and blood started to mess with my planned time. 

It Sounded something like this:

Daddy: “Get ready for practice".

Five minutes pass Boys are in the center of the roomhalf naked, surrounded by sports apparel

Me: “Get you stuff together so we can go”. 

B: “Mommy where are my baseball pants”?

Me: “I don’t know, where did you take them off”?

MJ: “ I can’t find my cup”!

Me: “Well I know I didn’t wear that”!

Daddy: “ What the heck are you two doing?  Why are you not dressed”? 

Both boys: “I can’t find my…..”

Daddy:”Well it’s your loss.  The later we get there, the less time you have to practice”!

(Selfish panic moment set in, I want my hour to run!)


I ended up only having a half hour!! I was pissed.  I ran out fifteen minutes and back fifteen.  I grabbed MJ from the field and headed out into traffic across town to his cub scout meeting.  When we arrived at his meeting he was grumpy and I was annoyed.  As the meeting went on they discussed the upcoming weekend trip.  I was excited to spend some one on one time with Michael.  At the end of the meeting I asked his leader what time we needed to leave on Saturday.  She looked at me and said “We are going on Sunday.  My son was so happy.   “Now I don’t have to miss my game”! 

Me, notsomuch  OMG!! WTF!!  How did I miss that?   How was I going to run 22 miles, be showered and changed and to our destination 40 minutes away by noon?  No way I could drive over to the trail to meet Beth.  Forget the ice bath, stopping at the house to refuel will take time too!   Aaack  !!  The sun does not rise until 6:45 am these days!! 

I’d figure something out.  Maybe Pete would go with him. 

Saturday was a long full day of sports followed by the visit to my mother in law that we moved to Saturday due to the trip.  She was making meatloaf and home fries.  Nice after a cold day on the baseball field but not exactly the carbo-loading I was looking for.  I hadn’t given what I’d eat too much thought throughout the day.  Not good.  So much for the “dress rehearsal “ aspect of the last long run.  I ate trying to convince myself it would have to do and I enjoyed the apple pie too

When my alarm went off at 6am it was pitch dark and pouring.  I snoozed a few times and hoped the sun would come up each time I opened my eyes.  By 6:45 I was up and getting dressed but it was still so dark.  By the time the dog and I got out the door it was 7:10. I ran and ran.  Self talk and chatter, Calculating my route in my head.  How far should I go before I head home with the dog?  Am I actually going to go far enough that I should take a gel this morning? How many can I really fit in?  I was home at nine miles, quick pit stop and dog switch and I was off on a shorter loop.  Wookiee can’t run as far as Calli so would have to go back to the house again.  Then what direction should I run?  Damn it I need to get sandwiches for today!  I will never have time.  What is this?  Almost twelve if I head home now.  Wait, 12 now and ten later could work right?  Yes that sounds good go home now shower and get what you need to get done and not run around late like a crazy person.   That works. Good it’s a plan.  At least I am more than halfway done right?  Not ideal but it will work. 

So I went out and helped my scout earn his Naturalist badge on a beautiful sunny October day.  I came home and made dinner.  It was dark by the time I was ready to hit the treadmill for some on demand episodes of Revolution and Parenthood. 

But guess who didn’t want to run for ten miles?  Guess who did not want to work at all?  MY TREADMILL!!!! What the HELL!!  It was on.  It was making a funny sound but that is it. 

I call a Do OVER!!! 

Now what do I do?  My husband the lapsed Strength and Conditioning specialist and non runner says it’s no big deal It’s not like I am going to be “graded on an assignment” and I have been running plenty.  He does NOT. GET. IT. 

I think I might attempt a do over tomorrow.   The boys have no scheduled activities.  Pete is home to get them off the bus. 

What would you do?