Saturday, December 23, 2006

Thanks, Santa

Since the marathon I haven't had much to say regarding running. I was training and learning a lot, and I had experiences to share. Now it's over, at least for the time being, and my running experiences have been, well...uneventful. I still go, but most has been on the treadmill because it's been so cold in the morning and, even though I have the gear, I'm too lazy or too chicken to run outside. But, a wonderful thing happened: THE HOLIDAYS. I am in Tampa, as I am every year at this time, and I've been running outside in shorts and a t-shirt just about every day. It's great, and it'd be better if it wasn't so humid. It's not even that humid; living in NY just makes me more sensitive to the difference in the air, I guess. But, I have been running a lot, and I've been doing minor weight work, along with ab work. Very minor. I'm letting myself have a break from the intense workouts of the past year. As long as I run just about every day I don't feel guilty.

Since I'm getting married in early 2008 I'm going to get on a rigid workout / diet so I can lose about 6 pounds, have tighter abs and arms, and a great ass so I can look amazing in my dress. Speaking of, Kiersten and I tried on dresses and the hips I normally hate I did not hate as much. Maybe I will get something really fitted and sexy.

Happy New Year! See you then!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

5 Miles In The Park

In my winter Nike gear I made my way to Central Park set to do the five mile loop. Dressed all in black I ran in the 48 degree sun. My pace was a little faster as I was so excited to be out in the park.

I usually start on the east side, as I did today, and come back down the west side. Now, the west side is not fun whether you're going up or down. It's inclined both ways with little relief until the 70's. The east side has Cat Hill, but the reward there is a decent downhill and mostly flat streets until you get up to the top of the park. But, the west side--never fun, and little reward. Okay, I guess the reward is running it.

Kirk took me to Brooklyn today. Right in front of the Moonstruck house at 19 Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights he proposed. And, I said yes through many tears and laughter. It was an exceptionally romantic moment without being cheesy. I'm so happy, happier than I thought I'd be. I felt ambivalent about marriage, but as soon as he asked I was suddenly so sure. It feels right. I'm looking forward to planning the wedding, and, even more than that, I can't wait to build a life with Kirk as married people. I'm even considering having a baby. It's amazing how one decision can change your world. These big life things I was so blase about are suddenly important to me.

I think I'm gaining weight. Not training is wearing poorly on me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

West End Girl

Yesterday I was back on the streets, iPod in hand, Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back" encouraging my less than sexy back up an incline between 96th and 99th streets. West End Ave. is very hilly. But, in the mornings, it's much quieter than, say, Broadway or Amsterdam Aves., so I endure the hills so I can have a somewhat people / traffic free run.

I haven't been back to the West Side Highway since the day before the marathon. I don't like getting over there by myself; the blocks on 55th between 10th and 11th are sketchy, usually littered with porn. One morning Alison and I were heading to the WSH and right on the corner of 55th before crossing the street were pictures of vaginas. They were ripped out of a magazine or something, and they were all over the sidewalk. It was surprising, like seeing a cockroach. Out of nowhere--vaginas. Surprise!

I ran 3 miles in Central Park on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, so the park was crowded. The leaves were falling, making the street slick and dangerous, but pretty.

Slowly, I am progressing up to 25 - 30 miles a week. And, I'll start working out with Anthony again in December. We're focusing on abs. It's the only part of my body I worry about, and the only place I didn't loose much weight when training for the marathon. My belly taunts me: "Run all you want, but we'll NEVER let go of the fat. NEVER! Muuhhhaaaa!" (That sounds funny if you say it in Truman Capote's voice.)

I ordered my marathon pictures from BrightRoom Photography. Is it me or are their prices way over the top? They boast high quality pictures, but, really, $21.00 for one 5x7? Really? I'll make a final judgement when I get them, but, they better be laced in crack. That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006



It's been three (almost four) days since the marathon. I want to write about it, but I've talked about it so much now that I feel drained. Some brief words, then I'll let the pictures do the talking.

I did it. I ran the whole thing, save for a walk through a few water stations. I did exactly what I'd done in rehearsals: run, gel, drink. The first 10-15 miles were exhilarating. The energy from the crowd was so intense I didn't even feel like I was running. It felt like a crazy party in 52 degree weather and the entire city was invited. People shouted my name as I passed, I slapped hands along the way; it was fun! I didn't think about the miles until much later.

We managed to see most of our friends along the way, starting near the end of Brooklyn, where we saw Ron, then in Queens coming off the Pulaski Bridge we immediately saw Karl and Laural who decorated themselves with pictures of me on theor heads which made me laugh so hard. Then, we got near the Queensboro Bridge and the Sunnyside crew was in effect, armed with homemade signs that I loved. It was a great boost right before entering the long, dark, silent bridge. Entering Manhattan the crowd noise came blasting at us before we even saw them. Quickly upon entry we saw Kier, Jess, Scott, and Kirk and that was a huge rush. Paul and Bixby surprised me at mile 18.

I felt hydrated and energized the whole time, but by mile 21 my foot and ankle pain really started to bother me. I never hit a wall, but miles 21 through 26.2 were tough. I got so irritated, like I wanted to jump out of my skin. We saw Anthony around 22, Nicole sometime therafter, Marianna between 23 and 24, along with another appearance by Ninon and Dan. This was all so helpful, but nothing made the last miles easier. The end could not come fast enough. But, Alison and I crossed the finish line strong; we even had a party afterwards.

Everyone at the party asked if I'd do it again. Absolutely. I wanted to finish in 4:30, but the two bathroom breaks messed us up. So, next year I'll try for that or faster.

I think I'll start running again on Saturday. I did go to the gym this morning. I feel great, aside from sore quads. I'm not overly tired, either. I want to go to bed now, so I'm off.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Last night I was in bed by 10:20p.m. and up at 5:30a.m. to meet Alison at 6:00 for a two mile run in 38 degrees of cold air along the dark West Side Highway. I think the cyclists are crazier than the runners; even at 6:00a.m. they dominate the rec lanes. Gotta admire them for that.

This weekend feels like Christmas. I left work early on Thursday to meet Jessica and Kiersten at my place. Then, I shuttled them out to Brooklyn where Ciara graciously designed iron-ons for Marne, Alison, and I. As that was happening some sign decorating was going on along with the eating of the pizza. Yesterday morning Kier, Jess, Kirk and I hit the Marathon Expo, which was pretty freakin' cool. I'm still amazed by the number of people who travel from other countries to run this. It's part of what makes it so special. What I'm trying to say is there were a lot of people at the Expo who didn't speak English and I wanted to hug them all. Before anyone accuses me of reverse whatever, I wanted to hug the English speakers, too. I want to hug everyone! I'm having a Roberto Benigni moment, excuse me.

I think Thursday at the Expo must've been insane, because Friday was pretty calm. I walked straight up to the section where my number was and didn't have to wait in line. When I gave the woman my name she passed me my number. Not feeling terribly emotional before this moment I was shocked that as soon as she handed it to me, smiled, and said "Good luck", I got so choked up I had to bite the inside of my lip to keep from crying.

I'm going to cry again when my credit card bill comes in the mail and I see how much $ I spent on Asics stuff! Oh, and I bought some more stuff from Running Divas, whom I'd never heard of until yesterday. I look forward to exploring their website soon and going broke. They have such cute women's wear, nothing you'd actually run in, but sporty clothes you can look cute in and let everyone know you're a running diva. Or a lunatic. I think they're actually the same thing.

Tonight we're dining at Puttanesca with Karl and Laural for some delicious pasta.

I'm not nervous. I feel ready. I feel very peaceful, what I'm guessing could be described as "zen".

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Two of my three sisters descend upon me and my home tomorrow afternoon, so tonight I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods. $110.00 later I'm trying to carry five heavy bags by myself to my place which isn't very far under normal circumstances; under the weight of whole foods it's at least seven miles away. I hail a cab and I'm home in four minutes... $6.00 and four minutes.

Alison and I met at 6:30 this morning instead of our usual 7:00. We've committed to meeting tomorrow at 6:00a.m. Arrrgghh. Is this a wise move? Should I be getting up that early, work most of the day, go to Ciara's for t-shirt transfer fun, and get up early on Friday? Will lack of sleep help me sleep better on Saturday? That's the plan, in a way. I want to be able to sleep on Saturday. If I'm exhausted maybe I will.

I did sleep last night, thank goodness. And, oddly, I feel much better than I've felt in awhile. The acid reflux isn't as bad, or maybe I'm just getting used to it. I'm going to believe that getting a fair amount of sleep is the cure-all.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Happy Halloween!

Over the weekend I pulled out some old long sleeved "Chappelle's Show" t-shirts and a pair of "Stuckeyville" sweatpants that I won't mind discarding on the Marathon trail. One thing about working on t.v. shows--they all give out gym wear as gifts. So, I won't need to make a trip to the Salvation Army to buy disposable clothes. Check that off the list.

I ate the last of the oatmeal this morning. And, the bananas were too ripe to eat, so I had to pitch them. I'd planned a trip to Trader Joe's anyway. That'll happen after work. Check that off the list.

Kiersten and Jessica arrive Thursday. That means cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, and getting Kiersten a belated birthday gift. I think I can do some of this tonight and tomorrow.

The key is to stay focused and calm, and not let excitement and anxiety get in the way of enjoying the week. So far I've been okay. Last night I was in bed by 10:00, asleep by 10:30, started waking up at 5:15a.m., but stayed in bed until 6:33a.m. when my alarm went off.

Met Alison this morning at 7:00. Tomorrow we'll meet at 6:30. Then 6:00 on Thursday. This will be good practice for Marathon morning when I'm sure we'll be up around 4:00. I'm anxious just looking at it.

And now for the part where I talk about something completely unrelated. I'm reading a good book called "The Russian Debutante's Handbook" by Gary Shteyngart. I know it's good because the little I've read so far keeps me coming back, but I can't say it's really sinking in just yet because I'm busy thinking about (insert the word "Marathon" here).

Is "Heroes" a good show? I can't tell. It seems interesting, but do I want to follow it every week? I'm already committed to BSG, and I feel it's enough to sustain my need for serial sci-fi drama.

Look at that! I talked about entertainment for a whole 2 paragraphs before my mind drifted back to running! Yes, they are short paragraphs, but it's a start.

NIKE makes these fantastically comfortable dri-fit shirts that I LOVE. And, they come in an aray of rich, bright colors. I sound like a commercial. I know NIKE has been in trouble for their sweatshop practices. But, I love their clothes. They make the best clothes for women. No one else I've found so far really cuts clothes properly for women's bodies. It's embarrassing! Women have been athletes now for, what, like hundreds of years? And no one but NIKE has figured out how to make flattering yet functional clothes for the ladies?!? So, NIKE has my money. I even like some of their running shoes. Ciara is also a die hard NIKE fan, as I might have mentioned in a previous post.

Clothes: $100.00
Oatmeal and Bananas: $2.30
Knowing where all your shit is the day of the Marathon: Priceless

Monday, October 30, 2006


We ran the Poland Springs Marathon Kickoff 5 mile yesterday morning. I wore my brand new running pants that I got, along with some other winter gear, from NIKETOWN on Sunday, thanks to Ciara who, very awesomely and patiently, accompanied Alison and I to the store and gave us her 40% off discount! If that's not cause for a "Woo-Hoo" I don't know what is. So, my winter running wardrobe is looking good; I have no excuse for not running outside December - March.

It's very important to do a long run in your Marathon clothes before the Marathon so you know they're comfortable, if they cause chaffing, and how well they breathe. With that in mind, I bought new clothes that I've run in maybe once for, like, a four miler. Okay, my shorts have been through two 20 mile runs. They're great--just a little chaffing around the waist band, but nothing a little Body Glide can't handle. I bought a red shirt that maches my shorts and a long sleeved shirt to wear for the start. And I got a new hat. Everything matches. So, if my clothes start bothering me, well, at least I'll look cute, dammit.

We're going to Ciara's place on Thursday night to put our names on our shirts. Last night at Uma's Bill asked if I was going to put "Chief" on my shirt. I think I'll put "Go Erica!" on the front and "Chief" on the back.

Am I competitive? Alison says I am. Maybe, but I don't think I am competitive with other people; I compete with myself. At races I'm not concerned with Alison's time, or Ciara's time, or anyone's time. I think about my time, about what I can do, and what I want to do to feel like I had a good race. If I'm feeling strong and think I can run a little faster, then that's what I want to do. When I have an injury, like the IT band pain I dealt with earlier in the year, I "take it easy" as they say. I'm not one to put myself in jeopardy, but I hate taking it easy. I do. And, I'm not going to take it easy if I don't feel like it. So there! Seriously, though, it's not in my nature to back off. I'm always pushing, even just a little bit, to see what will happen. If I run a little faster, what will happen? If I take a left instead of a right, where will that lead me? I don't like playing it safe. And, if that means I'm competitive then so be it.

My Mom is like that. She quietly and confidently goes after what she wants. And, she's humble about her accomplishments, but she doesn't shy away from praise. I know she's amazing, and so does everyone around her. I think when someone is confident, but somewhat reserved about what they've achieved it can be sort of threatening or intimidating. Why is that?

It's going to be cold: 52 degrees for the high with 10% chance of showers. Sunny, but cold.

Thursday, October 26, 2006



Oh my GOD I'm tired! Please, someone just give me a cot and a blanket so I can crawl under my desk at work and take a very long nap! Coffee doesn't help. Nothing helps. Getting to sleep at a decent hour might help, but that never seems to happen. I was smart, though; I planned nothing for next week, so, except for work, I'll be able to get home by 6:00, eat by 7:00, and crash in front of the t.v. I'm going to bed by 9:00p.m. every night next week so I can practice getting up at 4:00 or 5:00a.m.

How is it that people don't know the distance of a marathon? Isn't it taught in school during the Greek Mythology unit? I feel like it's pretty basic knowledge. I knew and have known that a marathon is 26.2 miles since I was a kid. The fact that so many people have asked me "how long is a marathon?"--should I find that troubling and a reflection of the poor quality of our educational system in this country? Or, am I being a snob? Once, an actress who shall remain nameless, asked me how long a marathon was and I told her; then she asked what my longest run was, and at the time it was a 1/2 marathon, which I told her; she then asked how long a 1/2 marathon was. Okay, I sympathize on one level because I, too, and bad at math. But, come on, it's basic math!

I'm grumpy today.

I don't know how to contain my excitement / anxiety. All I want to do is talk about the marathon, which is driving my co-workers crazy. I'm trying to think about other things, like writing projects, politics, and shopping, but I can only sustain those thoughts for brief moments before I find a way to relate them to running: "I hope Barack Obama runs for president. I wonder if he attended the Chicago Marathon?"

Since we're on the subject of politics, I think I'd quit my job and work for Obama's campaign if he decided to run. The thought of him as Prersident of the United States gets my heart racing as much as thinking about the marathon. (Damn, I did it again!) I like Hillary. I LOVE Barack. I worry that someone is going to try to assasinate him. I had that fear after his DNC 2004 speech, the one that had me and all my friends crying like babies. If I worked for him I could be responsible for keeping the staff in shape. Campaign staffs always get fat and eat lots of crap and drink tons of coffee. I could make everyone get up and run 3 miles before stuffing their faces with egg mcmuffins.

Monday, October 23, 2006



I'd like to take a moment to pay some serious love and respect to New York City. Training here has been such an amazing experience. Sometimes when I'm running along the Hudson I have to slow down and take it in: wow, I live here! I run here! We all complain about New York--it's too expensive, it's crowded, it's cold. But, everyone wants to live here. I don't know where else I'd go and be as excited, happy, frustrated, anxious, content, peaceful as I am here.

This is a beautiful city. It's also an ugly city, especially in the Bronx. Okay, let's not lie, the Bronx ain't pretty. At least, the one mile we have to run in the Bronx is very unattractive. On Sunday we did the last 10 miles, starting at 59th and 1st. It was a great run with a big turn out from my running groups TRIPLE TOWN THREAT (Ciara, Marianna, Marne, Jeremy, Erin, I'm sure I'm forgetting someone) and TEAM GORGEOUS (Amanda, Sasha, Andy, Nancy). Crossing the bridge into the Bronx was very cool. My runs, as I said, mostly take place in two areas, so not only was the course different, I also got to leave Manhattan, which, mentally, was a nice change. However, someone needs to put some garbage cans on the street corners in the Bronx. So much litter! I'm sure they'll clean it up for the race, but the fact that people live up there with garbage all around them is pretty depressing. What a difference a few garbage cans would make.

Once we got back into Manhattan it was only 6.2 miles to the finish. And, when I saw the finish line, man, I got so choked up. Even writing this now gives me heart palpatations. I cannot believe I'm running the marathon. There have been moments during my training where it's hit me like a lead weight that this is real, I'm making this happen. And, seeing the finish line on Sunday (the bleachers are already up) was a huge rush.

The last 10 was great. I felt strong. And, this was one of the only runs I've done where there weren't water stops, so we ran the whole thing. It's good to know I can do that. I carried a Gatorade with me, and sucked down one GU which was enough.
Psychologically, this was a great run. I know what to expect for the last hour and a half, which is a good feeling.

I bought my marathon shirt yesterday. I guess I have to run the race now.
Shop at Jack Rabbit Sports. They give NYRR members a discount on clothes and shoes. Very cool.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


17 days and counting

The other night Alison called me and said "20 days to go!". I couldn't sleep for the rest of the night I was so excited.

On Saturday, October 14, we ran our last 20. Alison and I met up with Nancy, Lisa, and Marne at 7:30a.m. at the Park (with a capital "P"). Let me just take a moment to acknowledge the wonderful friends we've met through running. There's Ciara (marathon #3 for her this year and a friend for about five years now) and the whole Triple Town gang; Amanda, Sasha, and Nancy who we met in running class; and Lisa and Marne who Alison met in running class. Running with a group of positive, fun people makes a world of difference, and, last Saturday was huge.

So, we started at the west side of the Park at the entrance on 60th and CPS. The plan was one 6 mile loop, two 5's and a 4. I had two Gu's with me. I'll digress for a moment and say that I've discovered the Power Gels have way too much sodium for me; Gu works much better despite it's unfortunate name.

Our group was pretty gung ho except Lisa, who is just over training. She's a really strong runner and, typically, runs faster than us, but I think she's just beat. I was worried she'd give up somewhere along the way, but she didn't. Marne, unfortuantely, had to bail around mile 8ish due to IT band and knee problems that got worse as she went. Poor Marne. She's been trying to shake this for awhile; she has drugs, sees a PT, ices, but it's not gone away. She swears she's meeting us this weekend for our 15 miler, but I'm concerned.

And, I've also been worried about Alison, who's IT band problems have turned into tendinitis of the glutteous maximus. She's doing these marathon stretch sessions before and after every run, plus icing her butt and knees. Okay, yes, it's kinda funny, the frozen booty and all. But, I must admit, I have had moments of real concern. If Alison gets worse and can't run on November 5, I will be crushed. I want to cross the finish line with my main woman who has gone through every minute with me, and if she's not there it won't be the same. So far she's not even talking about bailing. I'm so proud of her. I think several months ago she might have considered it, but now she's really dedicated. I remember last year she'd come up with every reason in the book why we shouldn't run the marathon. Now, she gets pissed off at her doctor if he even suggests she can't run on an injury! I love it!

This last 20 was leaps and bounds ahead of the 20 before. It was fun! We talked the entire time, which kept me from focusing on my burning belly (around miles 6-7), my frozen hands (it was pretty cold and I didn't have feeling in my hands until around mile 15) and the very slight pain in my right ankle. Nancy told us all about her boyfriend, who she's madly in love with; Alison talked about her dating life; Lisa talked about her non-dating life; I talked about GREY'S ANATOMY, which made me cry last week. The end of the episode when Izzy reads the letter from Denny and you hear his voice? It was so moving. I miss Denny. Why'd they have to kill him?

At the end of the run I felt great. No real pain. I was tired, of course, for the next two days, and I skipped working out on Sunday. But, I really felt, and feel, that if I had to run the marathon now I could.

We finished in about 3 hours and 38 minutes, which is consistent with our other 20s. I'm beginning to think there's a real chance we'll finish the marathon in 4 hours and 40 minutes. If we stay at our current pace it should be no problem.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006



Second 20 mile run. By myself. I'm not going to lie--it was hard. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I just felt drained. I took my iPod with me as I was worried about how I'd stay engaged without Alison, but, wouldn't you know it, the batteries died around mile 10. So, there I was, stuck carrying my iPod in my hand with another 10 miles to go.

I have a love / hate relationship with Central Park. I feel it's my home away from home, my church, my nemesis, my support. I know the loops too well, I know the cat is going to be there taunting me, I know the west side incline on the north is going to frustrate me and I'm going to want to give up every time, but I keep going because I won't let it defeat me. When I hit mile 10 (the same time my iPod gave out) I decided to add a loop around the reservoir just to shake things up as I was really starting to hate the park, so at mile 13 I turned into the entrance of the reservoir around 86th street, hit the fountain, waved to that dude who I'm not convinced is really alive, the old man who has run many marathons and they have information about his life posted, why can't I remember his name? Anyway, I started mile 14, thought I'd do three loops and finish the last two on the street. After the first loop I was irritated with the reservoir, I was tired of being in the park, I just had to get out of there. So, with 5 miles to go I ran down the east side, back up the west and exited out 72nd street.

On the street I discovered my irritation wasn't just with the park, but with everything. The sounds of cars, the people walking down the street, the smells of the vendors. Everything was bothering me. I wanted to scream or hit someone, or laugh really loud in an obnoxious, scarry way. But, I trudged on, one foot in front of the other. I tried to think of how I'd feel when I finished; then I thought about what I'd eat for dinner. My knee hurt. I had a horrible cramp in my side. Around the last two miles I passed a man who felt compelled to encourage me, I must've looked like I was in pain. He said "You can do it" and, while I appreciated the support, I wanted to punch him. It wasn't personal. I was just tired and pissed off for no reason other than I was at the end of a really hard run, and the end wasn't coming fast enough.

At my street I "crossed the finish line" and walked to my door just a few steps away. As soon as I got in the elevator I cried. It was the first time since I started training that I really questioned why the hell I was doing this. I collected myself before entering the apartment as I didn't want to scare Kirk with my tears. I was fine, just emotionally and physically run down, literally.


Last week the long run was a 13 mile, which I did by myself in the park. I had two glasses of wine the night before, started my run around 10:30a.m. and it was the longest run of my life! The week before I ran 20 miles and felt great. Last week I could barely crank out 6 miles before I was ready to call it a day. I pushed through and completed the mileage, but it was not fun. So, I'm not drinking anymore. I think I was dehydrated from the wine. Plus, it was unusally hot and humid for late September.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I can't believe it! I ran my first full 20 miles over the weekend! Aside from some soreness in my quads and minor pain in my lower back, I felt great. And, I slept great the rest of the weekend. I was so tired the rest of the day (even after numerous naps) and still felt tired on Sunday, even after a solid nine hours sleep.

The night before the run (which was organized by NYRR) I ate pasta with red sauce and turkey meatballs about three hours before going to bed. And, I was in bed by 10:00p.m. I did sleep. I thought I'd be too nervous, but I calmed down and managed to sleep almost 7 hours.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


August 27, 2007
Central Park to Battery Park

As usual, I could not sleep before the race. Overwhelmed with anxiety, I sat up on Saturday night until after 1:00a.m. watching "The 40 Year Old Virgin" (how I love that movie!), my stomache burning so much I felt sure I was going to vomit. Kirk and I ate at Jake's Saloon and I had salmon, cous cous, and asparagus for dinner. Lesson: do not eat anything but pasta the night before a race. I'm sure the salmon was too much for my system to digest. Anthony (my trainer) warned me not to eat anything too complicated. How complicated is salmon, really? I guess more complicated than I thought.

When I finally got to sleep around 1:30 my stomache had settled down, but when the alarm went off at 5:00a.m. it was back to burning. I took a swig of Pepto, to no avail, ate a little pasta (which, I learned later, also not a smart move. Why did I distract from my typical ritual of dry toast before the race?), stretched, did some breathing to help my stomache, and rolled out my IT bands on the foam roller.

Alison and I met in front of the Holiday Inn at 6:00a.m, and caught a cab to 87th and 5th where we met Ciara, Marne, Jeremy, and Erin. It was overcast, probably in the high 60's - low 70's, nice and cool -- a perfect day for running as the humidity started off nice and low. It started raining pretty hard around the 7th mile, but it slowed down around mile 8 to a steady rain
instead of the torrential downpour it had been.

Kirk's the best boyfriend ever! He was in Times Square looking for me at 8:00a.m., in the rain, instead of in our very comfortable bed. He saw me and yelled my name which was fun to hear amongst the cheering crowd. Mariana also came out, balloons in hand, to cheer us on.

I lost Ciara, Jeremy, and Marne around mile 8 at a drink station. Alison disappeared after mile 4. I saw the gang (minus Alison) ahead of me for a few minutes and thought about catching up, but my stomache was cramping so much that I needed to back off. I was hanging pretty tough until mile 10 when I hit a mini "wall" and thought I was going to have to stop. Fortuantely, there was a drink station between 10 and 11 and I took advantage by grabbing a Gatorade and walking through. Once I got back to running I felt much better. Mile 12 was a little tricky: I was so ready for the race to be over by then! My feet were killing me--I think I need new shoes. My Asics have taken a beating as I've worn them for both 1/2's I've done this year, plus most of my training runs. It'd make sense that they're a bit worn out. As tired as I thought I was, as soon as I saw the finish line in the distance I kicked into high gear and crossed strong. I don't know where I found the spare energy as I ran this race faster than I've run any other half. As cramped and uncomfortable as I felt I somehow found the power to kick it in the last 800 meters.

I reconnected with everyone in Battery Park and found out that we were all within a few minutes of each other. I think Marne, Ciara, and Jeremy finished in about 2:03 or 2:04; I finished in 2:05:31; and Alison finished in 2:07:14 (I looked up our scores). So, there wasn't a huge difference between us which means we're all pretty even in terms of training. My pace was 9:34 per mile.

My goal for the race was 2:05, 9:30 pace. I can't believe I did it. I knocked 8 minutes off my fastest time. All this training is working, I guess. On to the next running adventure.

Friday, August 25, 2006


71 Days to November 5
NIKE Half Marathon
Sunday, August 27
Goal: 2:05

I skipped running class due to rain. The last time I ran in the rain I got sick and I can't afford to get sick right now. Rain during the marathon will be fine. I can get sick after November 5.

It was a smart choice to take yesterday off from running (I did weights in the morning) as I was feeling pretty beat. The four miles this morning were nothing. Wow, if you'd told me two years ago that a 4 mile run would be a cake walk I'd not have believed it. Now, I look forward to the short runs because I know the long run is coming. This weekend is 13.1 miles for the NIKE Half Marathon which I'm totally psyched about. First time ever in NYC. I'm already planning how I'll get to sleep on Saturday night, as I'm anticipating serious anxiety and sleeplessness. So, I've got my Tylenol PM all ready to go and I want to be in bed by 8:00.

Kathleen massaged me Wednesday night. I wish I could afford massages every week. I was so relaxed and slept like a rock. Problem is I am not getting enough sleep. Lately, I hit the bed and I'm out which is really unusual for me as I'm prone to anxiety attacks, but these days I can't keep my eyes open for more than two minutes once I'm in bed. Yeah running!

Carb load, carb load, hydrate, hydrate. That's my mantra this week as I prepare for Sunday. I can't wait. I set a goal of finishing in 2:05, which is about 8 minutes faster than my fastest time. Why do I get nervous when I set a goal? If I don't make it it's okay, nothing bad will happen, the earth will continue to spin, the day will go on. So, why do I hesitate to make the goal, and why do I hesitate to tell anyone about it? I'm strong, I'm prepared, I'm tough. There is no reason why I should be afraid to set pace goals.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Training Week 11:

I don't feel like getting dressed. I'm finding it hard to put on nice clothes these days. Fortunately, I have a job where I can wear shorts and flip flops, but it's not like me not to want to wear a cute dress, cute shoes, cute whatever. I never go out looking awful. The hair gets done, the mascara goes on, mani / pedi -- check. Just can't seem to get it together in the wardrobe department, and I totally blame marathon training. How can I want to wear anything but comfortable clothes when my muscles are all irritable? My lower back is always a little achy, my quads are always talking to me, my feet (despite the pedi) are jacked up with blisters, peeling skin, and soreness. I'm always tired and always hungry. So, why the hell am I doing this? Why do I put myself through the early morning West Side Highway run? Why do I spend hundreds of dollars on gear, my trainer, my pt, massages?

Gotta say I've got some kick ass Tina Turner legs goin' on. I'm not losing weight, but my body is starting to look like an athelete's, and I'm totally diggin' it.

Met Alison at 7:15a.m. for a 5 mile run up the WSH. This week's been tough. Yesterday had to run 5 miles and I just wasn't in the game mentally or physically, but I plowed through. Today the only reason why I didn't die of boredom was because Alison and I talked the whole time. Plus, fighting the bicycle traffic keeps things stimulating.

This weekend: Nike 1/2 Marathon! First time ever in NYC, we'll be running the park, then through the early morning streets down to Battery Park. Is it too ambitious for me to try and beat my 2(h), 11(m) time?