chimera pursuit

i woke up this morning with the memory of a vivid dream dribbling slowly away from my mind.  in an effort to capture it, i rattled it off to todd in broken sentences as soon we were both awake.

the dream involved running.  not away from anything, not out of fear.  i was just out on a regular run, outside on a dirt road in the woods. while everything else seemed normal, my legs felt like they were moving through jello. each time my feet would hit the ground, they would quiver and then sink into the road a few inches.  eventually i surrendered to the challenge and continued to trudge clumsily up the hill.  at the crest of the hill, i found myself ocean-side with impossibly high cliffs looming overhead. this is when i became aware that i was dreaming.  the realization rushed in like cold draft under the door, gently knocking me back into my senses.

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while it’s jarring to remember a dream so vividly, this dream in particular sent me reeling a little.  it reminds me of a time before i started running. as a fairly idle person in my mid-thirties, i’d paralyzed myself into thinking i couldn’t be a runner–i was too old, too busy, too out-of-shape, too broke to afford all of the fancy gear, too tired, and too insecure.  there were too many too’s!

this morning, instead of relenting and sinking into the ground, i hustled up that sticky hill in my dream because (through hard work and patience) i’ve overcome those too’s.  what a tremendous, waking-life realization that is.

looking ahead, kind of

while january is the beginning of the calendar year, i consider labor day weekend an unofficial kick-off to a brand new year.  i’m largely absorbing this year’s “new year” though my family since next week nolan starts his first day of high school, and todd begins a new semester of teaching.  i’m twitchy with anticipation!  after trudging through a particularly swampy summer, i’m looking forward to chilly weather, sweaters, and apple picking.  this is all very premature, of course.  nyc takes longer to transition into autumn weather than it does where i was raised up north.  getting all psyched up like this right now is like immediately biting into a sizzling slice of cheese pizza.  shit needs to cool down first!

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i’m already nostalgic about last week

northern california provided the perfect kind of weather for running last week–70 degrees, sunny, and almost no humidity.  i’m missing it already, but i can be patient.  nyc will dry off and cool down soon.

Continue reading “looking ahead, kind of”

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:

push it

21.57 miles down.  23 days to go.

tuesday’s mid-day run had me beating a few PRs for the 5K distance (26.01) and the mile (7:55). as with most of my runs, i usually feel crappy during the first mile (and then feel better by the second).  with this in mind, i was pleasantly surprised at how good i felt the moment i scrambled out the door. i darted gleefully past the glossy galleries on 26th street, snaked my around an obstacle course of delivery trucks, and skipped nimbly over uncurbed dog doo.  it felt like i was running with completely different legs.  fast legs. i hotfooted it across the west side highway, ran down past the chelsea piers and back up again to finish up four miles.  i made it back to the office a breathless, happy mess.

with tuesday’s PR crushing run behind me, i headed to peloton cycle on wednesday for a lunch-time spin class. while i usually don’t track my cadence or output with my rides, i think i pushed it a bit further this week because i had a particularly knee-wobbling struggle back up to the office.

toward the end of the afternoon, i opted to move my desk to sit closer to my team.  i ended up in a better spot, conveniently located next to the office gym. stretching and/or weight lifting at any given moment throughout the day? yes, please!

before taking off for the day, in keeping with my 100 miles in 30 days plan, i mapped out a slow and steady run-commute home.  the commute pretty much covered the same ground as tuesday’s run, but instead i planned to keep run-forrest-running down the highway and then grab a train for the rest of the journey home.

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my “slow and steady” run ended up being a faster run than i planned. nowadays it’s hard for me to run at what i consider an easy pace.  i have to learn how to do this if i want to be able to run longer distances without prematurely falling apart.

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even though i hauled ass, i was able to stop myself and snap a photo of the glimmering hudson river before sunset.

after i finished my run, i made the mistake of immediately hopping on a train without cooling off. i couldn’t stop sweating!  every once in a while, i would briefly lock eyes with one of my fellow commuters looking mildly concerned for me. or scared of me.  or both.

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later (like a total lunatic), i sprinted the half-mile home from the train station.

today’s a new day.  only 3.3 miles on the docket.  friday, i run the central park loop.

also, since this song was probably running through your head while reading this, here you go:

 

analysis paralysis and why i hate(d) jocks

it took me months to finally find a name for this website, then a week to buy the URL, and then another week, it turns out, to finally publish my very first post.  analysis paralysis is what they call it.  so instead of carefully and painstakingly drafting out a perfect post, i’m going pluck one from the trap that is my mind, hoist it over the side of the boat and into the water, tethered to this lame mixed metaphor.

what you see here is a mildly embarrassing school portrait taken of me in 1991.

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Continue reading “analysis paralysis and why i hate(d) jocks”