The Summer of Suck

Yesterday, I ran the 3rd NYC Half Marathon (presented by Nike). Starting near E 85th Street, it consisted of slightly more than one full outer loop of the park (run clockwise - mama has issues with that direction, and boy do I need to tackle them), exiting the park and running down 7th Avenue, hanging a right onto 42nd Street and then finishing southbound on the West Side Highway.

It sucked.

We had been placed in starting corrals based on our projected times. I chose to move further back to run with a friend, as I had no intentions of actually racing this half, just using it as my long run for the weekend. I spent the first 7 miles running with my friend. It was probably the worst thing I could have done to either of us, since for those 7 miles neither one of us was running our own race. I was holding her back on the uphills while she was pushing me too hard on them (with my itty-bitty legs, it takes entirely too much energy to power run up a hill; I slow down, conserve energy and then fly downhill). Therefore she lost critical time in the early miles, while I lost crucial energy that I needed for the second half of the race. She finally wised up and left me on the last hill in the park (good girl). By this point, I was tired and feeling a bit off - I was sweating, but chilled, and I knew that wasn't a good sign.

We exited the park after about 7.5 miles and made our way down 7th Avenue. It was a strange feeling to be running in the center of a road that I'm so familiar with, and probably the only really neat part about the race for me. Once we turned down 42nd Street towards the river, the course just got so boring. If you're not familiar with NYC and 42nd Street, once you get further west than 8th Avenue, it's not particularly thrilling. Buildings and construction. Oooh ;)

The cold sweats had passed, but I was thirsty. I forced myself to stop at approximately every other water stop for Gatorade and water (in a half marathon I will generally only stop once or twice), slowing my pace down even more .

I made the turn onto the highway and realized that running on concrete is no fun at all (talk about energy vampirism)! And I wasn't particularly thrilled with the view (the prettiest parts of the highway are further north). It was flat, it was straight, and I just wasn't having any of it. When I came upon the 2:10 pacing group and realized just where I stood in terms of finishing times, I had two choices - kick it up significantly for the next 4 miles and hope to finish (slightly) sub 2:10, or just lean back and enjoy the remainder of my morning. I knew that I wouldn't be happy with 2:10, and that at this point I'd be beating my legs up if I went for it. So, I turned on the autopilot and cruised to the finish in 2:12:11 (10:05 mm avg). My current PR is 1:54:42 (8:45 mm).


In retrospect, there were a lot of factors involved in my less than spectacular performance. I'm still struggling to find the balance between CrossFit and running, and as such my times have slowed a bit. Of course, I hadn't trained for this half, but then again - I rarely afford them the respect they're due and have had my best race times completely unprepared. Not smart, I know, but it's how I've done it. In addition, I hadn't even so much as pretended to taper or rest - so my legs were far from fresh. But the most prominent factor affecting my race was that fact that there came a point where I just didn't care anymore. I wasn't excited and the course didn't thrill me. So I gave in and just stopped racing.

Which brings me to the most important thing that I learned yesterday: I am a great runner. But as a racer there's plenty of room for improvement.

As for the race itself - NYRR and Nike did a great job with the race (with the exception of the packet pick up), don't get me wrong. It was very well organized, and they took great care of the runners in terms of heat management. Truly impressive. And the spectators were great (something I'm not at all accustomed to- thanks Maria!). But as far as a destination half marathon? Worth the $75 entry fee? Eh, not so much. The NYRR Grand Prix series is far more enjoyable, in my opinion.

Will I throw my name into the lottery for next year? Probably. Why? 'Cause I'm an idiot, of course.

Excuse Me!

100 Day Burpee Challenge

Courtesy of CrossFit Santa Cruz, I've embarked upon the 100 Day Burpee Challenge ;) Basic premise is that "we do one burpee on day one and add one each day until we get to 100 burpees on the 100th day"!

The rules can be found by following the link above to the CrossFit Santa Cruz site - I started on July 23rd, with a "buy in" of 55 burpees that day. When all is said and done, I will have performed 505o burpees. Yes, I know. Crazy. I never claimed otherwise.

Along with the details and rules of the challenge, CrossFit Santa Cruz has posted a pictorial to school the participants in proper burpee form. 6 points. Very specific.

However, if you'd like a much more entertaining view of this basic move, I invite you to watch the following video of Mike Rowe of TLC fame. It's a 5 point burpee (he's missing the overhead clap at the end), but it's pretty fabulous...

A Shoe-In

Shoes. Beautiful, unique pumps. Funky sandals. Basic flip-flops. Sneakers. They all have a place in my heart. If only I could find them in my closet!

My feet are truly an extension of my personality - especially in terms of clutter. As of late, whenever I delve into my closet for a pair of shoes I can only find one. One shoe, always scattered far from its mate (which, no matter how much of a mess I make searching for it, remains lost). I know it's there, somewhere. I certainly didn't walk back into my house on one leg, so the shoe made it over the threshold. However, in my haste to "put it away" (throw my crap in the closet), one shoe always seems to get lost in the shuffle.

A lot in my life gets lost in the shuffle, the least of which being shoes, clothing, and the really cute onesie I just bought for my imminent niece/nephew! I have no one to blame but myself - sometimes it's simpler to push things to the side in order to make room for something new. Tuck it out of site when it's not relevant to the moment, or leave something difficult for a different day. While this proves to be the simpler approach in the moment, it always develops into an unending source of difficulty later on.

In life, as with my shoes, I need to learn how to put things away where they belong.

Mommy really did know what she was talking about.

Dear John,

Oh, sugar. Though you can rot my teeth and jiggle my tush, my love for you will never truly die. But you know as well as I do that our relationship can never amount to more than the occasional fling. Cruel, I know. But better to cherish what short moments we have, relish in their deliciousness and move on before resentment rears its ugly head.

This weekend was one of those stolen moments - you were my constant companion, the perfect party companion. It was so kind of you to greet me in Baked Aboard chocolate chip cookies during my flight on Friday. At brunch, you looked beautiful in your cinnamon buns, and your red cake was lovely. Your strawberry cake and ice cream dessert was a perfect fit Saturday night - you certainly know how to make the most of what you've got. And thank you so much for sending me off with more Baked Aboard cookies during my return flight - it helped pass the time.

I will admit that I had a difficult time saying goodbye. I pulled you in for one last cinnamon and pastry fling before bed - I am so weak to your charms after hours in an airport, arriving home long past midnight. But it was a momentary weakness, and it is time to say goodbye.

There will always be a place for you in my heart, and occasionally on my plate. But for now it's time to go our separate ways.

Until we meet again, I remain
Yours Truly.

Follow The Yellow Brick Road...

...I'm off to see the Wizard!

Well, actually, I am off to spend the weekend in Kansas :) As always, I have packed the running gear in the hopes of hitting the trails in Overland Park (any bets on whether or not they make it out of my backpack?).....I'd have liked to check out the CrossFit affiliate in Kansas City as well, but they don't offer workouts on the weekend. So, I am left to my own devices - looks like it's going to be a tabata weekend!


What could possess a seemingly normal, attractive person to walk past a row of sinks after using the restroom and leave without washing their hands?

For weeks now, I have noticed that one particular woman just walks right out the door after flushing. I've never "seen" her, as I'm usually still in a stall when she leaves. But through the little slit in the door, I can tell that she's well dressed, with long dark hair and nice shoes. But dirrrrrrty hands.
Today, I finished before she did. And as I stood at the sink, scrubbing away, she walked past me and out the door.
One can only hope that she simply goes back to her office and uses something like Purell. Or sandpaper.
But why not at least pretend? Go through the motions? It would bother me to no end if someone thought that my personal hygiene was so lacking that I didn't even wash my hands after using the potty.
I think she's also a "squatter".