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.