Thursday, April 30, 2009


As Lam pointed out (thanks, Lam!), my half-marathon this weekend is actually on SUNDAY; not on Saturday! This means I can get in an extra day of recovery time before hitting the pavement on race day! Hahaha, I have no clue why, but Wilson and I were CONVINCED that the race was on Saturday (despite weekly emails from the race organizers referring to race day as "Marathon Sunday"). How pissed would we have been to show up at Penn Station in time for a 5:00 a.m. train Saturday morning only to find out we were 24 hours early for the free ride to the race?! HA. Get it together, Irish! And thanks again to Lam for pointing that out :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Well, a whole day has passed, and I'm sure you guys must be DYING for an update regarding my ill-timed bug (ha). Well, the update at this point is that I am cautiously optimistic about running on Saturday (notice I used the word "running" instead of "racing"). My cold/flu* illness thingy has moved mostly to my chest . . . and I swear it's because the yuckiness is finally on its way out of my body. Right? Right?! I sure hope so anyway.

The good news is that the only other half-marathon I've ever run was completed after very little training and while suffering from a bad sinus infection. I walked a lot of it and finished in 2:19:xx. Thus, even if I take it ridiculously easy on Saturday, I should be able to come up with a PR. And hey, it'll just leave me some room for improvement (and thus, another PR) when I run the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 30. So, you see . . . everything is working itself out (assuming this crap does, in fact, get out of my chest by Saturday--fingers crossed!).

In other news, I am an idiot and gave myself a bit of a concussion yesterday. I'm sure you all must be shocked to hear that (or not). Here's the story: In one of my most graceful moments yet, I flung myself onto the bed yesterday . . . only I misjudged where I would land (I blame my brain-crushing sinus congestion). I ended up smashing the back of my head into the window sill, which is situated just behind the bed (yay, tiny NYC bedrooms that you can barely fit a full bed into!). I blacked out for a split second, and then came to in LOTS of pain. I was convinced I had to be gushing blood from the back of my head. But in some sort of Tuesday miracle, I touched the spot of impact and there was no blood (See, Mom! I told you being hard-headed has its advantages!). I immediately ran to the kitchen and grabbed an ice pack to put on my head (depending on who you ask, I may or may not have failed to get the freezer door shut all the way, leading to the spoiling of large amounts of food--but whatever, I'm sticking to my story that the cat is responsible!).

So yeah. I was kind of woozy all day yesterday with a crazy ass headache and was all kinds of nauseous. I know you're supposed to go to the doctor at times like those, but I really did keep a close watch on myself to make sure I didn't fall over dead or anything. Today, I still have a headache, but the rest of my symptoms have faded . . . so I'm officially convinced I'm okay.

In fact, I'm so okay, I even made it to the gym at lunch to get a little bit of cycling in. I didn't really push it at all (my pissy lungs wouldn't allow it), but it felt great just to move a little bit. I followed 25 minutes of cycling up with 15 minutes of core work. I finally feel almost kinda-sorta like an athlete again.

The plan for the rest of the week is to rest, rest, rest . . . and hopefully I'll magically feel 100% better by Saturday and the two week taper will allow my rested legs to fly through the course, earning me a 1st place finish! Whoa, that's not what I meant. Perhaps I hit my head harder than I thought! What I meant to say is that I will take it NICE and EASY in the race on Saturday, and enjoy every moment of it :)

Happy running!

*If I hear another joke about how "uh oh! Maybe you have swine flu," I swear, someone will lose his/her head!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bad Timing

When I was a kid, I missed countless holiday parties at school as a result of the fact that I'd get SO absurdly excited about them, I'd end up making myself ill. Ask Mama Irish. I missed more of them than I attended--Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Halloween--you name it, I was home sick. At the age of 10, I can remember being devastated about having to miss a soccer game because I was SO excited to finally face our rivals that I (again) got sick. Do we see a trend here?

I am signed up to run the Long Beach Half Marathon in New Jersey on Saturday. I have been looking forward to it for months. Unfortunately, my job tried to kill me last week, and I worked a horribly stressful and exhausting 13-hour day on Thursday followed by a 16-hour day on Friday. I also just so happened to come down with some sort of horrible sinus/chest illness right around that time. Coincidence? I think not. So maybe this time around my getting sick is not a direct result of my being so damned excited about this race, but still . . . it sucks.

I took Thursday and Friday off as rest days because--well, let's be honest--it's hard enough to fit in running when you're working 13 or 16 hours a day and feeling well. When you feel like crap? It's just not going to happen. Saturday, Wilson and I made it to the Run for the Wild 5K run/walk in the Bronx Zoo (full report to come). Then, on Sunday, I attempted a "long run", knowing full well that I might have to stop in the middle of it if I felt too crappy. Well, lo and behold, Wilson and I ended up cutting the run short at 7.5 miles (we'd originally set out to run 12). At that point, it was all I could do to hold even a 12:00/mile pace, and I knew it was just silly to push it, especially considering the record-setting heat.

So . . . yeah. I'm sick. And I haven't run much lately. And I have this half-marathon on Saturday. And I know that I have to come to terms with the fact that I might not be able to run said half-marathon if it's going to in any way harm my overall goal of training for and running a good race at Rock N Roll Seattle. Isn't that just the story of my life?

I promise I'll try to be more cheerful next post . . . but I really just needed to vent.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back on the Speed Train

Wow. Y'all just never cease to amaze me with how supportive and kind you are. I never imagined I'd get the response I did with that last post. I more just wanted to put it out there since I'm sick of not admitting the fact that I am DYING to run Boston someday. But seriously . . . I love you guys. Your responses had me all teary-eyed and weepy! Somehow you just always know what to say. Thank you for the encouragement and the advice you give me on a daily basis. I appreciate it more than you could ever imagine!

On to training. I decided to tempt fate and try an interval workout last night. Although the schedule told me I should be running a 10-minute warm-up followed by 6 x 800m and a 10-minute cool-down, I didn't want to push things too hard. I figured it might just be a good idea to ease myself back into the speedier stuff, while keeping a close watch on the piriformis/leg issue. So, I scaled the work-out down a bit and tackled a 10-minute warm-up, followed by 4 x 800m and a 15-minute cool-down. The interval splits looked like this:

1. 800m at 7:36 pace
2. 800m at 7:42 pace
3. 800m at 7:42 pace
4. 800m at 7:36 pace

It felt good! My leg got a little bit sore towards the end of the last interval, but all in all, it felt really good. I'm thinking I might just be able to get myself back on track in terms of the speed/tempo runs. So hooray for that!

Tonight I am due for some cross-training--and speaking of cross-training (wink, wink)--I really wish I had the adorable, pocket-sized "Exercise Anywhere" cards by NURU that Aron is giving away on her blog! Check out the contest here! You've got until midnight (Cali time) on April 29th to enter. Fingers crossed that I win!

Happy running, everyone :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boston Fever

What is it about the running of the Boston Marathon that always makes me so darn anxious to get there myself? Um because, you guys, I have a confession to make: I REALLY want to be a member of that club. There, I said it. I want to be a cool kid. I want to know what it's like to finally prove to yourself that you've made it in the world of running. I want to know what it's like to run past the screaming ladies at Wellesley. I want to know what it's like to take on the Newton Hills. I want to know what it's like to be able to tell people that you have, in fact, run the Boston Marathon.

I have no doubt that some day I will be at the start in Hopkinton; but until then, I'm trying to be patient. You see, my body is beat up, you guys. It's really beat up. Years of intense, high-level soccer have left me with the rickety joints of a eighty year-old. In fact, when I was in college, I thought it just might be impossible for me to complete a round of marathon training, let alone finish a full marathon. I've disproved that theory, and there's no stopping me now. Well, except for my joints. I have to be nice to my crappy, fragile joints. I have to take it slow.

First things first, I'm going to get through my "second first marathon." I call it that because I don't really count my first marathon. Or let me rephrase that . . . I count it; it just wasn't a good indication of where I'm at with my running. Conditions that day were such that I couldn't run my race. I finished over an hour slower than expected as a result of some wicked heat exhaustion and a lot of walking. So I'm starting over again. I'm training for my second first marathon, and it's important that I keep that in mind throughout training. I've had silly sub-4 hour ideas floating around in my head, but I really just need to go out there and do my best. Then, I'll use that result to gauge where I'll go next.

Until then, my Boston dreams will have to wait.

Congrats to all the fabulous Boston finishers out there! You are all an inspiration--more than you could ever know. I look forward to joining you . . . some day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Week Full of Miracles

You guys, this week was a huge week for me! Why, you may ask? Well, because I FINALLY made it out of bed to get some (okay, fine . . . two) runs in before work! I didn't mention this--most likely because I was seriously embarrassed by the way my alarm clock had been kicking my ass every morning--but for the past two weeks or so, I had been trying like crazy to get up early and get my runs done with. But . . . I am not so much a morning person. Actually, let me rephrase that: I tend to get very violent whenever anyone or anything wakes me up before I am actually ready to get up. It is for this reason that the alarm clock is situated far out of my reach and all alarm clock duties have been relegated to Wilson. But I digress . . .

Monday, I took a rest-y/stretch-y day in an attempt to get my hammy issue moving in the right direction. Then, Tuesday morning, the alarm clock kicked my ass. Thus, I spent Tuesday night in the gym on the treadmill, trying my best to deal with the boredom that comes with completing an "easy" run on the 'mill (especially on one where the tv was broken--ugh). I made it a mile and decided to mix things up a bit. On came the hill program. In the end, I completed 1 mile easy + 4 hilly miles at a nice, easy 9:49/mile pace.

Wednesday, some sort of miracle happened and I was actually able to drag my sorry butt out of bed for an easy 4-miler. I purposefully didn't wear my garmin nor a watch and focused on just taking it easy and enjoying my morning run. It felt SO good to have it out of the way, and sure, maybe I was a zombie come 3:00 in the afternoon . . . but it was totally worth it. I'm convinced that the only reason I made it out of bed that morning was the fact that I was still experiencing some sort of runner's high from my hilly treadmill run (which had taken place not even 9 hours prior to my wake-up call).

Thursday, I woke up exhausted and was convinced I just couldn't make it out of bed for a run. After laying around for a good 20 minutes, I finally convinced myself that I needed to keep the morning run trend going or else getting my butt up early the previous day would have been a complete waste, and I'd have to start all over. Thus, I was up and at 'em for another 4-miler at some sort of watch-less easy pace. It was SUCH a beautiful morning, I was really happy I made it out. And hey, I may have been late to work as a result of my procrastination, but considering I was forced to work until after midnight last night, I think we're even.

Tonight I have an indoor soccer game (at 10 p.m.--ugh, past my bedtime!!!) for my co-ed work team. Let's pray I don't find a way to injure myself!

And speaking of injuries . . . I think I figured out what's wrong with my "hammy". Thanks to my personal orthopedist (webMD, obvs), I figured out that I have piriformis syndrome, which is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve and therefore, causing pain down the back of my leg. It actually makes sense because a) my left bum cheek has been feeling a little funky, and b) my so-called "hammy" pain isn't actually in one spot--there are a handful of sore spots down the back of my leg. To confirm that this was the case, I performed a test that I found here:
When I performed the test, it hurt when I did the foot flexing thing. Thus, I have my diagnosis. I've been working on doing some piriformis stretches lately and it really does seem to be helping. So hopefully this silly booty problem will remain under control so that my legs can be happy and run lots and lots of miles!

Happy Friday, everyone! :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Week 5 Training Recap

I hope everybody had a very happy Easter weekend! I owe y'all a recap of week 5 of Seattle RNR training . . . so here goes!

Monday: Rest Day. I sat on my arse and watched television once I finally got home from work around 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday: After work (8:30 p.m.) treadmill workout. 10 minute warm-up + 3 x 1600m + 10 minute cool-down. This workout almost got the best of me--I REALLY wanted to quit after the 2nd of 3 repeats--but I decided to fight it out, considering I'd cut both of my key runs short during the previous week. I completed the first 2 intervals at a 7:54/mile pace, and pushed the last one to 7:48. While I was happy to have survived the entire work-out, I noticed some hammy pain toward the end of the third interval that I wasn't so happy about. I figured it was nothing.

Wednesday: dun dun dun . . . I woke up, still feeling some tenderness in the hammy region. I thought about cross training, but decided to take it easy and just do some good stretching to try to help alleviate some of the hammy badness.

Thursday: I had 6 miles on the schedule (2 miles easy + 3 miles at short tempo pace (8:05) + 1 mile easy), but wasn't quite sure whether pushing the pace was such a good idea, considering my apparent hamstring issue. Wilson and I set out after work with the plan that we'd try the tempo pace when it came time, but slow back down if it caused me any pain. Well . . . it only took about half a mile of tempo pace for the back of my leg to start screaming at me. I held on for another quarter of a mile before I decided I was an idiot and needed to slow the pace back down before I REALLY did some damage. We dropped back down to easy pace and finished the six miles. One thing to note is that we DID run down and then back up the infamous "Watchtower Hill" in my neighborhood. This hill is one steep ass monster, let me tell you. It's less than a tenth of a mile long, but boasts about a 20% grade incline. I was pretty darn winded by the time we got to the top, but I think it was good for me . . . made me feel like the run wasn't a total wash, since I couldn't run tempo pace. I think I'll have to use this hill for hill training more often!

Friday: Rest day. Although, now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure hitting up the Atlantic Terminal Target in Brooklyn should be considered a rather intense form of cross-training. Let me explain. First you have the trillions of flights of stairs you have to go up . . . and down . . . and up . . . and up again . . . and up yet again in order to get there from the subway. Then there's the fighting through massive crowds of uncivilized people while carrying as much as your little arms can manage to stuff into a shopping basket. Then there's the lugging your many purchases through the stair-heavy, construction-littered obstacle course to the subway and the six block walk to your apartment from the subway. It is for this reason that I generally avoid the place at all costs (I seriously wish all of the Target lovers out there could see this store--I swear, it would break your heart to see the permanent state of disarray and general lack of merchandise this store holds--it breaks my heart EVERY time!). Unfortunately, though, I waited until the last minute to do my birthday shopping for Wilson (his birthday was yesterday--happy birthday, Wilson!) and was left with no choice.

Upon finally arriving home with my treasures, I hid them in the ONE closet in our apartment (so sneaky!) and put some gnocchi on the stove. Let me tell you, the gnocchi combined with Wilson's homemade pesto was quite a delicious dinner! I headed to bed a bit nervous about the long run I had ahead of me the next day.

Saturday: Long run day! When I went to bed the night before, the forecast was calling for rain, rain and more rain. Wilson and I woke up around 6:30 a.m., grabbed some coffee and turned on the news. I was excited to see that the weather people were thinking the rain might actually hold off until noon-ish. Woohoo! Some good news indeed! But then I was hit with some bad news . . . Wilson was going to skip the run to clean up the apartment in preparation for a visit from his fam and to get a head start on his school work. Boo hiss. I tried with all my might to convince him to come out with me just for a bit, but to no avail. Ah well . . . I'd survive. I downed my coffee and a granola bar and headed out the door around 7:45 a.m.

I was happy to see that there was no rain. But uh, that certainly didn't last long. Not even a quarter-mile into the run, it began to pour. So much for the rain holding off until noon! I knew I was in for an interesting run, but I didn't let it get me down. I took off in the direction of Prospect Park, determined to get in all 15 miles of my long run.

What's weird is that I don't remember all that much from the run. I remember forcing myself to start super easy. I remember being soaked within ten minutes of the start of my run. I remember seeing a guy walking like eight dogs somewhere around mile 4. I remember stopping for some sports beans and water right around mile 5. I remember the rain beginning to blow sideways around mile 6. I remember my left earphone going out around mile 7, and my right one going out around mile 8. I remember really wishing that hadn't just happened since I was really into the podcast that was playing at the time. I remember feeling like I could run forever starting around mile 9. I remember stopping for another sports beans/water break around 10.75. I remember seeing a man on a unicycle, walking his dog somewhere around 11.5 ( I SWEAR I was not hallucinating). I remember passing several other people (who must have been on long runs themselves) multiple times throughout the run . . . and thinking that we were all pretty badass for completing long runs in such horrid weather. I remember wondering whether the "ladies" were showing through my soaked white top/white sports bra combo (good one, Irish!) and then realizing I didn't really care. I remember being confused by the fact that some serious uphill climbs towards the end of the run felt no different than running on flat ground to me. And then before I knew it, the run was over . . . and I was back home right where I started.

I ran into my super (a chain smoking, non-exercising type of fellow) as I entered my building--he was getting the trash together right out front. I waved goofily and said hi, and he looked at me like I was completely nuts, pointing to the sky. I laughed and said, "Nice weather we're having, huh?" He shook his head in disbelief and responded with, "Get out of those wet clothes before you catch pneumonia!" So I did . . . and got right into an ice bath! Probably not what my super was thinking, eh? Ah well.

I followed the ice bath with a nice, hot shower, then got dressed. What I really wanted to do at that point was to take a nap, but considering Wilson's mother and her boyfriend were going to be getting in for a visit in less than an hour, I decided I'd better get my clean on instead. So I poured myself a cup of coffee and did just that. Vacuuming, bed-making and kitchen scrubbing ensued. My reward was a fun (but exhausting) weekend full of stories, margarita cupcakes (note to self: post this delicious recipe soon!), beer, yummy food and catching up. Not a bad weekend if you ask me.

Now, you may be wondering what ever came of the hamstring issue . . . well, it did start to hurt me a bit somewhere around mile 12 of my long run. Luckily, it never got to the point where it was so painful I had to contemplate stopping. As my leg was pretty sore yesterday, I took the day off in lieu of cross-training. I'm thinking just to be safe, I'll run easy this week and lay off the intervals/tempo runs. At any rate, I'll leave you with the statistics from Saturday's marvelous (but VERY wet) run.

15 miles in 2:25:33 for an overall pace of 9:42.

mile-1: 10:00
mile-2: 10:04
mile-3: 9:52
mile-4: 9:45
mile-5: 9:52
mile-6: 10:01
mile-7: 9:51
mile-8: 9:44
mile-9: 9:50
mile-10: 9:25
mile-11: 9:16
mile-12: 9:36
mile-13: 9:37
mile-14: 9:23
mile-15: 9:16

Hope you all had fabulous weekends! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Irish's Comeback

Well, I won't beat around the bush here. As the title of this post suggests . . . I did, in fact, make a comeback and totally managed to rock my long run this past weekend!

I got home from work at almost 9 p.m. on Friday evening and downed some whole wheat penne pasta with grilled chicken, spinach and portobello mushrooms along with about a gallon of water. It was delish. And? I was tired. After unwinding a bit in front of the boob tube, Wilson and I headed to bed with the alarm set to go off around 6:30 a.m.

The alarm rang and we groggily climbed out of bed, eager to grab some coffee. As we sat watching NY1 and caffeinating ourselves, we planned the route we would tackle. Have I mentioned yet that this was Wilson's first long run since running the Austin Marathon on February 15? Yes, you read that right. Wilson had run only a handful of times in the nearly two months since his first marathon, covering a total of probably 15-20 miles. Considering he is signed up to run the Long Beach Half Marathon with me on May 2nd, we figured it was probably about time for him to get back out there (ya think?!). Thus, we decided we'd head over to Prospect Park and do our respective long runs loop-style. Wilson would simply run as far as he felt like he could manage, while I'd cover the 13-14 miles I had on the schedule.

We got dressed, used the facilities and were almost ready to go when I realized I hadn't eaten breakfast (doh!). I asked Wilson if he was going to eat anything and he responded that he would just eat some sports beans before heading out. I was nervous about not eating, but I figured I'd give the sports beans a shot too, since I didn't want to have to wait for food to digest. So? Off we went.

We took off on the 2.4 mile trek towards the park, and were not even a half mile into the run when we began to feel raindrops. "PLEASE NO; NOT AGAIN," I thought aloud. Luckily, it was just a tease, and the drops were gone as quickly as they'd begun. Still, we had upwards to 40 m.p.h. winds to contend with, and I knew it wasn't going to be a "walk in the park" (hahahaha). We ran on, and before I knew it, we had reached the park entrance. We stopped to stretch out a bit before continuing on.

Well, no sooner had we stepped foot in the park then we realized there was a bike race going on. This left just a narrow lane open for foot traffic and non-race bikers. GRRR. Oh well . . . that's part of living in a big city with limited park space. What confused me, though, was why on earth the racers felt the need to cut into our tiny coned off lane every once in a while; as though having 2/3 of the road blocked off for them somehow wasn't enough. I can't even count the many times I said to Wilson, "that guy just cut the course. He should be DQ'd." (I'm sure he didn't get sick of that at all). While I was a little worried that one of the bikers might just run right over us, watching the race did prove to be a pretty decent distraction!

Just when I almost started to think I didn't mind the bikers, they had to go and ruin it. A random dog ran out into the road in front of a pack of the bikers, which I'll admit sucks and is seriously dangerous. Luckily, the owner and one of the volunteer course marshals were able to pull the dog off the course just in the nick of time. But seriously? The string of insults and obscenities that flowed from these bikers' dirty mouths seriously pissed me off. A) They must not have been cycling very hard if they had all that breath to be screaming at the course marshal, and B) They were yelling at the wrong guy! It would be one thing if they had directed their ire at the idiot dude who let his dog off the leash amidst a bike race. But no, they chose to berate the poor volunteer course marshal, who got his ass up at the ass crack o' dawn and stood for hours in less than ideal weather conditions just to enable them to hold their silly make-believe Tour de France bike race (who the hell wants to ride a bike around a 3.35-mile loop anyway?!). In response to these jerks, Wilson and I started a chant of "Aaaaasshooooles!" I swear, if I could have caught up to them and tackled them all to the ground, I would have. But unfortunately, I kind of still had a long way to run. If nothing else, I have to admit that this encounter certainly made me even more appreciative of runners . . . people who actually take the time to THANK their volunteers, rather than cuss them out!

Anyway, back to the task at hand. We stopped to take a fuel/water break somewhere around mile-5, and I could just tell that Wilson wasn't having the best time ever. I asked him if he was okay, and he made a joke about not realizing how quickly one could lose fitness after a marathon. I asked what his game plan was, and he responded that he would finish the loop of the park and then head back home for a total of about 8 miles. I finished the loop with him and then we parted ways as he exited the park and I continued on.

Our splits together looked like this:

mile-1: 10:05
mile-2: 10:04
mile-3: 9:45
mile-4: 9:40
mile-5: 9:41
mile-6: 9:45

Well, I don't know what happened after Wilson left, but all of a sudden, I could not keep my pace down. I was flying, and it felt like I was exerting next to no effort. This seems to happen to me a lot during long runs . . . I eventually get into a groove where I am running much faster, but my perceived effort is the same--or even less than it was at the beginning of the run. But seriously? This was out of control. Check out my splits for the remainder of the run:

mile-7: 9:11
mile-8: 9:19
mile-9: 9:16
mile-10: 9:18
mile-11: 10:45 (I was a huge wimp and walked up a huge hill in the park during this lap because the wind was blowing in my face at about 40 m.p.h., and I just didn't have enough juice left to fight it)
mile-12: 9:02
mile-13: 9:09

See what I mean? That's 13 miles in 2:04:58 for about a 9:37/mile pace. Other than some sore hips and legs, I really did feel great. As you can see, I ended up completing the low end of my goal range--13 miles--but that was more a product of my own poor math skills than my inability to complete the distance. Ha, oopsies! I finished up 13 miles, walked about a third of a mile home to cool down (I'm superstitious about finishing my run right on the mile--it's seriously stupid, I know), and then immediately chugged some Gatorade upon arriving home. As my legs were rather angry, I figured an ice bath couldn't hurt; but having never actually taken an ice bath, I was scurrred! To make matters worse, Wilson had just gotten into the shower when I got home, giving me ample time to sit and think about how horrible the ice bath would be.

And? It was. I didn't even bother with ice . . . I simply filled the bathtub with freezing cold water from just the cold faucet. I was convinced I was freezing to death. Check it out (haha, and yes, those are my kashi crackers on the side of the tub--as I said to Wilson, who made fun of me for bringing crackers into my ice bath with me, "Lay off me, I'm starving!") :

I kept begging Wilson to let me get out of my ice bath, and finally, after what seemed like FOREVER (but was probably about 5 minutes), he let me get out. I got ready for the hottest shower of my life . . . but when I undressed myself, I noticed that my sports bra had apparently attacked me during me run. I had no idea! Check out the damage:

Ah well, such is the life of a female long distance runner, I suppose.

After getting cleaned up, Wilson and I celebrated by heading to the Mets new stadium, Citi Field, to take in a preseason game against the Boston Red Sox (Wilson's team--I'm a Cubs girl, naturally). It? WAS FREEZING! We stayed until they took the starters out, and then left somewhere in the middle of the 6th inning. BRRRR! That wind was just brutal! I was totally wishing I had a better camera than the one on my blackberry . . . you guys would NOT have believed how much trash was all over the field! It was hilarious!

Of course, Sunday ending up having the type of warm, sunny weather that would have been perfect for a ball game. Oh well. We made the most of it by going for a nice, long walk throughout some of the neighborhoods that border ours. Oh, and I also scrubbed the bathroom from top to bottom, which in my book, scores me extra cross-training points! The best part of the day was that I wasn't sore AT ALL. As painful as ice baths are, I'm starting to become a fan, you guys. I'm becoming like a real, crazy runner who takes ice baths and loses toenails (yep, that one just happened too). Who would've thunk it?

Whew . . . so there you have it! My magnificent return to not sucking at running. And to think, it only took me a week to post this! I seriously need to find more time in the day . . .

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lies, Lies, Lies

What is it with me and all the crazy lies lately? Not only did I lie about being famous; I also lied about posting a training update at some point on Friday. I'm sure you all were simply beside yourselves that I failed to get it done (riiiight), so I'm going to attempt to make up for it now with a mega-update of last week's training (minus my long run, which will be a separate post--because I'm a jerk like that) .

Monday: I rested. Oh did I need it!

Tuesday: On the schedule, I had a 10 minute warm-up + 5 x 1K + 10 minutes cool-down. Sadly, I had to cut the workout short after just 4 of my 5 repeats (and let me tell you, getting that many in felt like a pretty huge victory). I just REALLY struggled with this workout . . . but more on the reasoning behind that later.

Wednesday: It was my 27th birthday and, I have to admit, I was quite tempted to take the day off in honor of the day of my birth. But instead, I decided to use my extra free time (I got to leave work at 6:15 p.m.!!) to get a good cross-training session in. I hopped on the rowing machine at the gym and felt awesome right from the start. At one point, a dude got on the rower next to me, and he was the type that just couldn't seem to keep his eyes on his own display. He kept glancing over at my display, and frankly, it was all I could do to keep from laughing at him. He looked like he was trying with all his might to keep up with me, but I was seriously smoking him (not that I'm competitive or anything). Dude lasted about ten minutes, and then gave up and moved on to a different machine. I kept on a' rowing and covered 10,050 meters in the 60 minutes I was at it! Not bad for a workout I considered skipping!

That night, Wilson and I had planned on going out to dinner at a nice restaurant in our 'hood . . . but I am the ultimate weather wimp, and it was raining and gross out when I got home. I begged him to let us stay in and just order a pizza, and he responded with, "it's your birthday! If that's what you want to do, that's what we'll do!" I'm a simple girl, really! We enjoyed our pizza and worked on catching up on some of our tevo'd Lost episodes (we were WAY behind!). Before heading to bed, I opened up my presents and was most thrilled to discover that Wilson had gotten me RECOVERY SOCKS! In fuchsia! Hooray! :)

Thursday: I don't know how turning 27 took so much out of me, but my Thursday run was just a total nightmare. The schedule read 1 mile easy + 4 miles mid-tempo + 1 mile easy, which I didn't think would be all that difficult. But I ended up having to cut my run short again . . . this time, REALLY short. I only completed 1 mile easy + 1 mile mid-tempo + 1 mile cool-down. I did force myself to get in about 15-20 minutes of serious core work afterwards, which I suppose is something. But I was really bummed about the run (or lack thereof) portion of the workout. I just felt beyond exhausted . . . like to the point where it simply was not physically possible to fight through the fatigue.

In all fairness, both of my crap "key runs" last week were most likely a result of the fact that I was seriously exhausted. I'm not sure whether I mentioned this, but due to an ongoing project in one of my matters at work, I had been working from 9:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. every night (except my birthday, thank goodness!) for almost three weeks; not to mention working every day of every weekend--I hadn't had a day off for three weeks! While the work wasn't super stressful or anything, I think just being in "business mode" for that long without a break really got the best of me. When it came right down to it on Thursday, I knew it was probably best to give myself a break. It is still really early in training, and I knew it could be a mistake to push it too hard. I really think I made the right choice to call it quits when I did.

Friday: Rest day.

This leaves us with Saturday and Sunday, respectively, long run day and a cross-training day. Would I make a come-back? Would I fall short yet again? You'll have to wait to find out! I'll refrain from giving a specific time/date for when you can expect to find out, as I don't want to make a liar out of myself (again). Just know, it will come . . . soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Almost Famous

You guys, I'm famous! And also, I'm lying. But hey, I did get interviewed over at the Runners Lounge for Open Mic Friday. I know you must be DYING to learn more about me (ha!), so if you haven't already, you can check the interview out here.

Update on training coming later on today. Get excited!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On the A-List

Did you guys know I went to the New Balance Fall 2009 Preview Show in midtown Manhattan last week? I did, I did! Let me tell you, it’s not every day you receive a special invitation to attend that kind of event . . . but thanks to the generosity of Amy and Tom of the Runners Lounge, I found myself on the A-list. Of course, the one thing standing in the way of my opportunity to rub elbows with the folks of New Balance was my silly job. Luckily, I’m awesome at lying, and I also have no shame. I told my various teams that I had a “very important doctor’s appointment of the womanly variety.” (The co-workers on my various teams are predominantly male). And it worked! Because let’s be honest, who the heck would touch that one with a ten foot pole?

Anyway, on to the show, shall we? Peter, Laura and I, the lucky NYC loungers who attended the event, met up out front and headed inside unsure of what lay ahead of us. Would we hear a lot of in depth technical language we couldn’t understand? (Not too much). Would the New Balance people figure out that we are actually novice runner/writers, and not particularly influential in the running world? (Perhaps). Most importantly, would we get any free swag out of the event? (Time will tell, but all signs point to yes!).

The elevator doors parted and we stepped into a small showroom lined from floor to ceiling with all kinds of New Balance sneakers. My shoe addiction flared up a bit, and I found it very difficult to pay attention to what anyone in the room was saying. Thus, I missed probably the first five minutes of conversation. Oops! Luckily, unlike myself, Laura and Peter are actually professional human beings capable of holding a conversation in just about any setting. They gave the NB representatives all kinds of awesome info about Runners Lounge, and made us all sound REALLY cool and important! Great work, you guys!

After these introductions and a brief discussion about the fall line’s general goals and focuses, we moved onto the goods. Boy was I shocked to see that models were going to be involved! But indeed they were. As you might expect, NB chose the sexiest, fittest fitness models you could possibly imagine to show off their apparel. This came in handy, since I obviously look just like them . . .

Now, as the author of a style blog (, I am one of those people who is way too concerned with superficial things; i.e. how my clothes make my ass look. Naturally then, I took on the task of writing up a review on the women’s apparel side of things. Without further ado, here are the highlights of New Balance’s Fall 2009 women’s apparel line:

• The introduction of X-static. This is the silver-based fiber Laura mentions in this today's Runners Lounge podcast.* I don’t really get what this stuff is, but it sounds pretty fancy. I mean, NASA uses it . . . so it’s GOT to be awesome, right? It’s supposed to be anti-static, anti-odor, anti-microbial and thermo-dynamic. I heard it even does your taxes for you . . .

• Lots of pockets! This one’s huge for me, since I prefer to carry approximately 78.2% of my personal belongings with me when completing long runs. Also, I’m not exactly sure why this is such a good thing, but a lot of the pockets are hidden within seams (the NB folks seemed excited about this, so I’m going to trust that it’s a good thing). Now that I think of it, I guess hidden things can be fun . . . think about jelly donuts!

• Color, color, color! I loved the colors used in the fall line, you guys. First of all, there was a fierce turquoise-y teal in the women’s line that I loved, loved, loved. Second of all, the men’s line had some colors that were a refreshing change from the usual reds, royals, grays, blacks and whites. My favorites were a deep olive color and a yummy burnt orange color. Sexy!

• If we’re not going to be responsible and run with ID on us, New Balance is going to MAKE us responsible, darn it! They’ve included a tag in much of their fall line that can accommodate “In Case of Emergency” info. It’s built right into the pocket, meaning you can’t possibly lose it or drop it in the toilet. If you’re like me, you definitely can’t remember your own phone number after 18 miles of running, so this little nugget could really truly come in handy!

• Feminine details. Again, this is one of those things that I’m taking New Balance’s word for . . . but now that I think of it, the female models didn’t look manly or anything, so the feminine details thing MUST be true!

• Two words: Phantom Waistband. I love this idea. In fact, it’s such a great idea, I’m not sure how it’s possible that this is the first I’ve seen such a thing. It is simply a fuzzy wuzzy fabric that covers the inside waistband of their shorts and actually feels good against your skin. Brilliant!

• 360-degree reflexivity. This too seems like a no-brainer to me, but considering how often NB pointed out that the clothes had it, I think it must be a new idea . . . anyway it certainly makes sense for running brands to want to keep their runners alive and well. If their customers die, they’re no use to them! But hey, even if NB has some ulterior motives, I appreciate the fact that they’ve got my back (and my front and also both of my sides!)

So there you have it. Those are the “mentionables” that really stood out to me during the show, and also the things that I think you, my fellow runners, would be interested in knowing about New Balance’s Fall 2009 line. This stuff hits stores sometime between July and August, so keep an eye out for it!

Oh, and before it starts to seem like New Balance bribed me to get such a positive review, let me point out that the folks never emailed the press materials to us reviewers! Can you believe it? Don’t they KNOW who we are?! I apologize if anything I said is inaccurate and/or just plain wrong, but I was counting on that info, NB! What’s up with that? I thought we were homies?

Still, it was obviously a very wonderful experience, and I’d love to do it again in the future should New Balance or any other brand want me to review their stuff (wink, wink)! Thanks, Tom and Amy! You two are the best!

I leave you with the three measly photos I took at the event (oops--was a little too busy taking notes to take pictures! I'll have to work on mastering that type of multi-tasking in the future!)

* Yes . . . Amy, Tom, Laura, Peter and I recorded an entire podcast about our experience at the show. If you haven't already, check it out! Again, here's the link.