plans and things

i entered the workweek feeling refreshed from a long weekend of naps, good food (i made challah bread from scratch), and two rest days from running (saturday and sunday).  whenever i take more than a day off from running i get bummed out, but i know that rest days generally good for me.

coach jenny from runner’s world published this column that highlights the benefits of running less.  while i’m not training for a full marathon (and likely never will), jenny’s thoughts are on point:

As I coach aging runners, I focus their training based on how their bodies respond and handle the stress. In many cases, this means running fewer days per week. I also use this strategy for younger runners who are more prone to injury and burnout. We’re all different.

the runs i have been going on this week are gauged by how i’ve been feeling, rather than focusing on breaking PRs and running long distances.  mostly, i’ve been running easy.  this has all been in an effort to alleviate the soleus pain i have in both legs from overuse.  after 12 easy-ish miles this week, i’m happy to report that i’m feeling much better!  no more whining, no more limping!

below are just a few things that happened this week:

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on tuesday found eight dollars in cash in an old jacket pocket at work!  this went toward a sofritas burrito bowl from chipotle.  unexpected money well spent.

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i took some work colleagues to peloton fitness on wednesday morning.  i placed 4th!

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i was able to head out on thursday with the wonderful melissa of healthy happy broads to run down the west side highway before the start of the workday.

also on thursday, i scored pairs of reebok, mizuno, and newton running shoes, and i’m trying them out over the weekend.  the newton shoes are the ones i’m most stoked about.  i’m a forefoot runner, which means my heel doesn’t strike the ground while i run.  newtons are designed for this kind of running, so i’m hoping to see a difference in how i perform. i’m planning on getting a long-ish run in on sunday around brooklyn.

while i’m psyched to get out and about this weekend, i’m also slipping into a sort of nesting mode. chilly fall weather is months away (our AC is still on full-blast these days), but i’m already thinking about cooking soups, stews and casseroles in bulk.  sunday night is reserved for at least one of the three things i’m thinking about cooking up.  this kale and white bean stew looks to be the one (with vegetarian “sausage” of course).

next week, i’m going to check out equinox’s new program, precision running. all of this takes place on the treadmill, which i am loathe to run on when it’s perfectly nice outside.  but!  if i’m going to be spending time on the treadmills this winter during the crappy weather days, i’ve got to find ways to use them right.

today’s a rest day, so i’m going to channel all of the energy i have into cleaning the shit out of my apartment and rearranging ALL THE THINGS.  wish me luck.


california screaming

84.4 miles down.  4 days to go.

friday of last week was flyday.  i also took that day as a rest day to recover from the week’s mileage (18.66).  i didn’t get to sit still, though–there were trains, trams and planes to catch.  the flight itself was uneventful.  nolan and i watched crappy in-flight movies and took lousy half-assed naps. we got in to SFO pretty late, but since this was nolan’s first trip to california, he was wide awake and super stoked. todd was there to greet us after we landed, and we were reunited as a family for the first time since late june!

on saturday morning, we had brunch at cancun, and took nolan on a tour of uc berkeley (todd’s alma mater).

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handsome boys.

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the weather in northern california takes some getting used to.  the sun is warm, not hot.  the air is cool and dry, not swampy.  i totally underdressed for the day’s activities, having come from nyc where it’s generally hot and swampy.   i made sure to stand in the sun whenever i got the chance.  i’m such a temperature wuss.

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not complaining, though.  it’s lovely here.

now that i’m almost through with the 100 miles in 30 days challenge (friday’s the last day), here are a few things i’ve been experiencing:

  • skinniness. i’ve lost weight.  family and friends are telling me i look thin.  i’ve been eating constantly, but it hasn’t been enough to keep up with the sudden increase in mileage.  problem solved, though–i’m in the bay area this week.  more sourdough bread and mexican food for me!
  • soreness.  i’m trying to keep injury at bay, so i’ve been holding back on fartleks and speed work. it’s hard because i really love sprinting
  • smelliness. my running clothes reek.
  • annoyance.  i hate my running playlist.  i’ve been too busy to swap out some of the songs i keep skipping over.  time to troll spotify and find new music.
  • longing.  i miss spin classes and other forms of exercise.

when i’m finished with the challenge, i’m going to scale it back and run every other day which should be about 60 miles a month.  what with nolan entering high school, and new routines for the fall, i think it’s a realistic goal.

we’re in california until sunday. i’ve got burritos to eat, 15 ish miles to run, and picturesque places to visit.  hopefully i’ll be somewhere pretty when i hit 100 miles.

i’m closing this entry with one of my (and everyone else’s) favorite dead milkmen songs that quotes other songs:

awesome & terrifying

58.08 miles down.  11 days to go.

on friday afternoon, i packed it up and hopped on a bus heading to maine. everything they say about greyhound is true.  it is truly the worst bus line to take.  the a/c busted on the first leg to boston and the driver was rude to everyone . the second leg of the trip ran over an hour late, and involved bellowing barefoot babies in diapers scampering up and down the aisle.  i also had the displeasure of sitting next to an insufferable woman.  she kept invading my personal space with her elbows of valyrian steel.  i was poked in the ribs five times!   it got to the point where i had to mash myself up against the window.

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oh so uncomfortable.

i took pictures to pass the time i spent pressed against the glass.

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as a kid, i used to pass this place on my family’s many trips down through boston from new hampshire where i grew up.  i always knew that we were “almost there” when we’d pass the iconic sand & gravel co.

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i was relieved to jump off of the bus in portsmouth, nh. sweet freedom!  farewell, lil’ miss pokey-poke and the diaper twins!  goodbye, smelly bus!  my dad picked me up at the station, and together we made the rest of the trip up to wells, maine.

once we arrived, i jumped out of the car and reunited with nolan. he looked like he grew over five inches since he left in july for grandma and grandpa’s. when i went in for a hug, his shoulder collided with my forehead.  surreal.

after settling in and unpacking, i wrangled my feet into my running shoes. desperate to shake the afternoon’s travel off of me, i took off down the lane, little dust clouds blooming behind my heels.

i took a hard left onto mile road. i’ve driven down mile road from my parents summer house to the seawall countless times, but i’ve never experienced the road as a runner. i could smell the familiar metallic scent of the saltwater marsh, delivered on the wind that skimmed across the tall grass. inspired by the scenery, i uncorked my earbuds and ran to the droning sound of chirping crickets.  i also chose to ignore the mild pain jabbing my calves while i made my way to the seawall.

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somehow, the coast of maine always manages to pull its shit together just in time for me to take a picture of it.

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i tried pulling my own shit together here as well, but i wasn’t as successful.  todd took a photo of himself while running earlier that day in berkeley, california, so i thought it would be cute to make an east coast/west coast photo collage. it didn’t come out so cute. i laugh-cried over it for a few minutes, as did todd.

the run itself was a fast one, and i was happy with my splits, but i was hurting.  it felt like my calf muscles were tearing away from my bones with each step i took.  i forced myself to take a rest day on thursday, but leading up to that point, i had run 9 days in a row.  rookie mistake.  of COURSE i hurt.  i didn’t give myself enough time to recover.

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after eating dinner, nolan, my sister and i walked over to the scoop deck ice cream shop.  it’s a yearly tradition of mine to reward/punish my gut with three large scoops of delicious black raspberry ice cream.  no regrets this time around.  a pound of ice cream in the belly is good for recovery, right?

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post ice cream shenanigans.

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i spent saturday hanging out with the family, barbecuing and playing with my baby niece.  in the late afternoon, i headed out for a run on the beach at low tide.  a slow run. from the very start, i was feeling sore in the calves.  while i happy to be running on the beach with the ocean wind at my back, i was kind of bummed out.

on sunday morning, we all headed to drakes island.  instead of sitting on the beach, nolan and i chased each other down the jetty. the gaps grew increasingly wider between the rocks on our way to the end, so i slowed down quite a bit halfway through.  nolan, however shuffled across them barefoot like it was no big deal–it’s both terrifying and awesome to watch as a parent.

sunday’s miles had me skittering over a groaning, old treadmill in my parents bedroom. boo!  but yay–it felt better on my calves!  but still, boo!  i have over 40 miles to run before the end of the 30 days challenge on august 22nd.


i’m worried, sore, and annoyed, but i think i’ve got this.  i am going to have to run the rest of those 40+ miles like i handled those rocks on the jetty–very carefully.

weekend offloading

13.12 miles down, 26 days to go.

after i decided to opt out of potential thunderstorms in central park on saturday, i plotted out a replacement run around the perimeter of nearby prospect park. i started out minding my speed, picked up my pace for the third mile, and then suffered a bit from heat exhaustion at mile four.  i got the shivers!  in eighty degree heat! my running app plotzed (because, human error) and i had to restart it once i realized it had gone silent on me.  i took the last mile to cool down (which i rarely do).  after pratfalling through the door of my apartment, i mentally high-fived myself over those hard-won five-plus miles.  

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nico swoops in to lick my swampy-sweaty face while i stretch, post run on sunday.

sunday’s run had me slapping the pavement around fort greene park with my new balance trail runners.  they feel great both on the trails on the road, but i’ve been wearing them exclusively these past two weeks, and i’ve got to switch them out for another pair of shoes to keep the risk of injury down.  i have a pair in mind, ones that have been slowly disguising themselves with little dust bunny beards under my bureau.  anyway, the run itself was way, way better than sunday’s run.  i managed to do the following:

  • craftily avoided a collision with an equally petrified oncoming runner as we both squeezed past each other through a crowd of tourists
  • spit on the sidewalk several times without accidentally spitting on myself–a very practical runner’s skill
  • hit a lucky streak of running with the traffic lights so that i didn’t have to stop at every crosswalk
  • hit an unfortunate unlucky streak of running with the traffic lights so that i didn’t have to stop at every crosswalk
  • beat my 1K PR–five minutes!

oh!  and yesterday, i made this handy-dandy spreadsheet to track my mileage for my 100 miles in 30 days caper. this is a great way to see it all laid out.

it’s monday, and it looks like i have a busy work week ahead of me.  i’m hoping i can get about twenty-ish miles in by next sunday.  in addition, i have a spin class at peloton in chelsea, a conor oberst/dawes concert in central park on tuesday, and sleep…i think getting those miles in by week’s end should be doable, if not an eyebrow knotting game of schedule-tetris.