Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Road Blocks

Why does life pose such challenges? Is there a simple answer to that? Yes? No? Depends on the context right?

Life isnt easy. Whoever said it is has a really good outlook on things. I had this goal - something I really set out and trained and dedicated my time to achieving - Qualifying and Running the 2011 Boston Marathon. I was 19 days away from achieving that goal. Yesterday, registration for Boston opened and it closed in a record breaking 8 hours. 8 HOURS! Unbelievable! I couldnt believe it when I heard it. Its times like these that make me wonder why things like this happen. I know and truly believe that everything happens for a reason, but why did this happen?

I sat up all night thinking about how the race closed out so fast; how if I had only run a marathon a week before or a month before or just anytime before. I thought about how I havent really set a goal in a long time that I was 100% dedicated to and how I felt so proud to be doing this. I thought about what could possibly be the reason behind this race closing out so quick. I cried, I stared into space, I tossed and turned with anger and disappointment.

The funny thing about all of this is last night when Coach Brian and I walked home from practice, we had a pretty deep heart-to-heart post the breaking of the Boston news. We talked about 'looking at the positive in things'. How there is always some good in whatever the bad may be. This goes back to the 'everything happens for a reason'. So after wallowing in my misery, I remembered this little conversation and started laughing at myself. Alicia-- there is a reason why Boston closed out so quickly; I may not know what it is now, nor in the near future. But somewhere along the line of life there is a reason.

Life throws you curve balls. and yeah sometimes they leave you extremely disappointed. But what now? Am I not going to run NYC to qualify? Absolutely NOT! I am going to go out there with all my heart, run my race and still qualify. Instead of 2011, it will have to be for 2012. And I will have every calendar notification ready to go off the morning registration opens for Boston 2012. Outlook, Blackberry, day planner, sticky notes hung in my cube, countdown counters, mental notes... you name it! But do you know what else? This makes me want to run this marathon with more heart and soul than I intended. 3:40 is a qualifying time, so why not shoot for a 3:35. Say some prayers, give me some luck folks! 3:35 is the new goal...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wait, how many days???

So summer's here and gone... Fall is definitely upon us! What does that mean??? Fall running apparel!!! Cute jackets, arm warmers, spandex come out of hibernation, hats... the stuff that makes running a fashion statement.

As much as I am a sun bunny/beach bum, I am loving this time of year. Fall in the City is absolutely spectacular! To describe the fall here, its too hard to just write about. You have to experience it. The weather is perfect, the people all have smiles on their faces, the street fairs, the sales, and aaahhh duuh... FOOTBALL SEASON IS BACK! and of course its MLB Playoff season and the Yankess made it to the post season, AGAIN! Gotta love the dynasty!

Not only is the fall good for all the reasons above, but the Marathon is in sight. 32 days away from today! Soo exciting! Asics is one of the largest sponsors for the ING NYC Marathon. Every year they set out this huge campaign and this year's might top lasts. Check out the Asics marathon website, http://www.asicsmarathon.com/en/index.html and check out the Internet Marathon. It 'runs' you through the journey of the 26.2 (42.195 Kilometer) journey we will embark on November 7th. The pain, the joy, the exhaustion, the thrill... its all there!

If that isnt enough, Asics also put up an iteractive map of the course. Take a peek, I did! it has totally vamped up my excitement. Its a lot of ground we cover.. woah! http://www.asicsamerica.com/nycm/map.htm

So... since race day is so close and Fall is upon us, its time to think about the 'Race Day' apparel. 2 million spectators all eyes on you, another 315 million watching on tv.. hmm... gotta look your best because you just never know who your going to run into, he he he :) Man oh Man can you tell my priorities are straight?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


So this summer has been a whirlwind. Trying to keep my head straight, my sanity and my physical well being has been quite the challenge. I am one of those major superstitious freaks that reads into everything as a "sign". Turning 27 back in April all I could think about is, 'man, the luck I have had the past couple years couldnt get any worse. 27 is going to be a good year.' So would you call the pessimism or optimism? As much as I like to try and convince myself as being an Optimist, Im not. But its definitely something I have been working on. So, in my 27th year of life, I have encountered so many obstacles I never would have though would have occurred. I have fallen in and out of love and learned that you cant change someone, they have to want to change themself (touche!). I wasted so much of my time playing this game of cat and mouse I lost sight of what I really wanted out of a relationship and the insignificant things that really dont mean much.

I have seen loved ones hit rock bottom; something I used to be so ashamed to keep a secret. Seeing a family member lose control of their life and let a disease consume them might have been the harshest reality to face. I used to run away from all the issues, but still be the front end of the reprocussions of this downfall. The funny thing about all this is, trying to keep this a secret from the friends and loved ones around you is virtually impossible. They know, so why hide it... its okay to admit fault, even if its not yours. I have experienced the pressures of dropping everything in my life to help others. I put my life dreams on hold to get my mom the help she needed and to get her life back in line. I have experienced a family literally crumbling at the seams. The effects a disease has over an entire family runs full circle, not just the people who witness it first hand.

So my superstitions stand... In the back of my mind, I had this feeling if I had a negative thought about my 27th year, then I will have all these crazy things happen to me.

This year has been such a learning experience. I realized that sweating the small stuff and dwelling on all the negative things in my life are just, well, a waste of time. Running has been this outlet; its allowed me to really contemplate what has occurred, how I should handle the situation, what I will do to persevere, and... well get out all that aggression. So during several of my mindless runs this summer, I realized I need to stop worrying about others. Things will happen that are going to be beyond my control. If they affect me, then dont look it as some negative issue; look at it as a test. If I can persevere and work beyond it, then its a lesson not some horrible problem. Pounding the pavement paved way to a new perspective; work toward what you want. Why let others bring you down? what is it going to do for you? Nothing! Why let someone elses negativity or problem interfere with your goals? So, instead of waiting until New Years and setting some New Years resolution, I set 'New Day resolutions'. Every day, I wake up and set a goal for the day. Whether its something like, smiling at a complete stranger, or not over indulging in sweets or sending thank you cards and emails to those who have donated to my charity, or an even bigger goal like trying to figure out where I want to be 5 years from now, but I set something. It puts things in perspective on a personal level. How do you move ahead if you cant make yourself happy first? Perseverance is my motto... without a little, you cant grow. So, in retrospect, 27 has been a pretty fab year!

Muddle it over, tell me what you think...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Clumsyness at its finest...

Ummm... I know I am a blonde and pretty much define what a blonde is, but seriously? I need to get it together!

Typical me once again have an Alicia moment. I was being super lazy one morning and didnt feel like looking for parking before work, so I drove down and parked in the garage by work. I put my claim ticket in my bag and went about my typical ground hog way of a day and walked out about 5:15. I hopped into the elevator by myself finally relaxing from a busy busy day when the elevator stops at the 4th floor and 2 very attractive guys hop on... that caught my attention! Hot damn! ha!

Like a gentlemen, they let me off the elevator first and we walk out of the building and across the street at the same time. Looking for my claim ticket, not paying attention I walk full force head on into a pole!!! hahahhaaaa (Cracking up at myself thinking about it!)
Those 2 guys I told you about? yeah, well they were walking right in front of me and witnessed the whole thing! I mean, I walked square into this parking pole so hard it rattled and I thought I knocked my tooth out. The guys turned around and asked, "are you alright?" and all I could do was laugh and say yes. To make the moment more embarrasing, one of them turns to me and says, "Well we know you work at Credit Suisse." and they both start laughing and walk away... who does that!?

This was probably the 2nd most embarrasing moment of my life... second to the Infamous "TREADMILL" story. I had a bruise on my forehead for a week. Honestly, I am amazed how I function in society sometimes... Like my Bff always says, "Lee you got the brains but when it comes to common sense, you got none!" ohh maaan I am definitely my own comedian.

Queens Half marathon

3rd Boro in the Half Marathon Grand Prix series!

When most of us think of Queens, whats your first thought? the comedy show King of Queens? Thats mine. And sure enough, the race was in Corona Park. So, was my experience as nice as the show portrays it to be? HA NO! Waking up at 5am, the temperature was already 85 degrees with a forecast to reach the upper 90's with 80% humidity. Yowzas!

The start of the race was in Corona Park... Okay... I get it... its a park. Soccer fields, some fountains, tennis courts, a big giant globe, ya know, a pretty nice NYC park.

Enough of the nice things about this race. This race was absolutely miserable! From the moment the race started until the end, it was probably the most miserating race I have ever done! the course looped in and out of all these crazy streets and through some foreign terrain. Every road we went down, we came back up. They were painting some fountain, so all you can smell was turpentine for like a mile on the way out and for the last mile coming back to the finish. We ran through a swamp parallel to a highway, they claimed there was going to be music "all" along the course but it was only at mile 6... Oh, and did I mention it was like 90 degrees already? uhh yeah! Any PR's? no. about 10 min off the norm to be exact.

What I can say about this race is that I finished it. I felt great considering the circumstances and really took it easy not to "race" this race. I felt accomplished and so did all of my teammates. We all felt as if we finished that race in the oppressive heat and humidity, we can conquer much much more!

All in all, the day was great! Jackie Vanessa and I planned a weekend down the shore and couldnt wait to get out of the city for the weekend. A stinky car ride over the Verrazzano bridge, through "The Rock" and into Jersey to spend the weekend with Ken and Sue. We spent an awesome day on the boat lunching in front of Bon Jovi's house waiting, or should I say stalking him with Ken's binoculars to see if he was home; cruised the bay; watched some prissy rich kids party on their boats; tried to swim a little and ended the day with a nice Jelly fish sting. Good thing we had beer! Wash away the pain with a little Amstel Light please...

A nice run in the summer heat followed by another road trip. This is definitely a benefit to living in the City. You can ALWAYS escape for the weekend, whether mentally through a run or physically to basically anywhere...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Celeb citings.

So I always get the question from family and friends, "do you ever see celebrities walking the streets of New York?" and ususally they are disappointed with my answer. "No, not at all. Plus I wouldnt know one if I tripped over one." Umm yeah. basically...

The opening night of Shakespeare in the Park I was strolling through passing the Great Lawn and the Public Theatre passing all these people dressed to the nines sipping cocktails with a jazz band playing tunes oblivious to the fact that tons of stars were among NYC's elite crowd. So of course, Im barreling down the hill to our "TFK meeting spot" and who crosses my path? Bette Midler with a s**t eating grin on her face because Im staring right at her like I know her from somewhere... typical me, I dont realize who it is until about a minute and a half after I walked past. Next up--Liev Schrieber. Chillin' on the bench by the entrance, blended in with the common folk. No one approached him, no one stopped and stared. Just let him be. Pretty cool. Not LA style... no papparazzi or crowds making a scene. My favorite scene that night was watching Kevin Spacey get an escort on the back of a club car up to the show. No need to walk when you can hitch a ride on a club car! Good for him! Supposedly tons of celebrities came out for the opening night gala. And yet, Im standing in a pair of spandex shorts, tech tee and sneakers stretching like some poorly dressed 80's aerobic instructor. Ohh the life! hahaa!

So, there ya go! I do sometimes (but verrrrrrrrry infrequently) see celebrities strolling the streets.

Next citing? the Womens Mini 10K. You might not think its a celeb citing, but I got to meet Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe; two highly talented and respected marathoners! The 2 women came out to NYC for the annual all womens race to support and run with us women. Kara and Paula are both preggers, and believe it or not, due on the same day!!! They came out on that hot June day to have a "fun run" and enjoy themselves, no racing! Seriously, these women are such an inspiration. They are proud of the running community and embrace the support of their fans. After the race, we got the chance to meet both of them, and ahh duhh... us picture whores... our picture taken with them! Kara is so cute! the little preggo mama can crack jokes like no other! Paula and her little accent, soo sweet!! These women are the top american runners and yet they were out with us and talking to us, giving hi-fives, signing autographs and welcomed all of their fans wishes and words of praise.

Okay so Im all celeb'd out. That was overkill for me, haaa. I never see any famous people and I seel all these up close and personal in a weeks time, pretty sweet!

Dont ask about the race. it was awful. First time I have ever felt sick to my stomach and stopped in a race. Awful! I cant eat bananas before a race ever again! the ringing in my ears, the tingling in my fingers and the dry heaving on Harlem Hill was enough to make me never want to eat a banana again! Hopefully that was my first and last bad race. I dont like knowing I can feel like that during a run. I never felt like that during swimming... and I used to do race after race after race over 3 consecutive days. Major lesson learned! Exnae on the Monkey Fruit.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

what do you get when you mix work, social life, family, 30+ miles of running, and gym sessions piled into one? lack of sleep and total burn out. Delirious.
Man, I love summer. there is nothing like the long sunny days, hot weather, shorts tee-shirts and flip flops! ahh... who am I kidding?? thats not why I love summer... who cares about the little things, its the big things! Yankee games, Happy Hours, long hot runs, Concerts (oh yes, Bon Jovi x2 baby!), outdoor dinners, some races, World Cup (who knew soccer was so flipping fun!!) and of course ROAD TRIPS! Squeeze these into a jam packed day of work from sun up to sun down, a little gym action or a run, trying to keep up with family and friends outside of NYC and maybe a little "me" time is exhausting! literally. Over the past month or so, I have come to realize I have been trying to do waaaaay too much and need to learn to say "No" sometimes.
I was tired.. very tired. Alright outright exhausted! I ran a race every weekend for a month on top of 3 practices a week. Throw in there a Half marathon too.. my body was screaming, take a break before you hurt yourself! So finally I did.
That break didnt come before some great times though! One especially great time was the weekend of Fathers Day. My dad is my life! He deserves the world! Hard working, and needs a little spoiling once in a while, so I coaxed him into coming to stay for a weekend. What better way then say, "hey dad, so I really really want to do the Prostate Cancer run on Fathers day, how about you come in and spend the weekend here so I can do the run? Ill pay....?" Of course I got a yes... YESSS!! Papa-dukes is coming to my 'hood! So that saturday morning of our Dad's day weekend, I had my first Team for Kids group run, and then needed to volunteer for a few hours with the Foundation I help support through work. (again note--another thing packed into my busy life!) Pops came in early, so the Jac attack, a.k.a my roomie took him under her wing and took him for Cervesas and World Cup; thanks Jacs! With that said, I had quite the appetite and took dad to Luke's Lobster for infamous lobster rolls. Delish! Headed to Dugout Days sponsored by Delta airlines in Madison Square park, played some games, won some, lost some, got some free drink vouchers for my next flight and watched the Subway Series on the jumbo screen in the park. It was so fun! No better way to spend a hot summer day in the city then watching the Yanks play the Mets with some beers, and crossing your fingers hoping your raffle ticket number is the winning domestic round trip travel vouchers! Too bad they werent...

The rest of the day was spent at a wine tasting that we stumbled across, a little air conditioner installation and a fantastic dinner in Chelsea. After all the walking, a little Pinkberry, and my upset stomach, I think it is safe to say, I wore dad out.
The next morning was Fathers day.. the Prostate cancer run. Holy mother it was a scorcher! Hottest and most humid day of the year. The news actually advised staying indoors in a cool place, not to do any strenuous activity. Ehh, not for meeee... off to the race. 5 miler here we go... I told myself I wasnt going to race it, just pace it; and I failed that attempt. Running that race meant so much to me! Running with so many dads that were survivors, supporters, mothers and children, grand dads and grand kids. Everyone was out for the same reason, supporting the cause. So, of course I raced it! Zoomed right by dad too! He didnt even see me coming, I scared him when I yelled hi and waved in his face. Oh gotta love the chuckle he gave me seeing his face, hahaaa. After the finish, I ran into 3 of my closest coaches. and yep, got yelled at. Well not technically yelled at, but lectured. Especially by Asteria. She told me I am trying to do too much, I have too much potential and I am wearing myself out. I need to take a break before I hurt myself. I wanted to be like, "ahh duhh! I have only been saying that for 2 weeks now" but its my own fault for keeping at it. After her serious chat, the only thing I can think of doing was eating and taking a nap. And thats what I did... little Gracie Mews pancakes and dad's 3rd breakfast of the day, I sent him home and crashed for a few hours.

Buuuut........ the weekend didnt stop there! (I mean, did you really think the story was going to end that easily? ahh no!) I abruptly woke up at 2:20. I was supposed to meet Vanessa and Jackie at 1:15 for the World Cup in Little Brasil. I literally run out of the house and fly downtown to meet them to find them screaming at the score of Brasil's first goal at some bar I cant even remember.. about 4 Caipirinha's later, some serious World Cup excitement and a Brasil win, we headed to our second home... Cascabel for what else? Carnitas Tacos.. .oohh delish! and a free round of drinks because we are there so frequently. Oh help us when they move next door to the bigger space! No hour and a half wait? Hello! Tacos por favor! hahaa
Okay okay, then the weekend was over. Seriously exhausted just thinking about it. and typing about it :)

So on that note.. another story in another post.

Hasta proximo tiempo, Amigos!