Wednesday, December 23, 2009

you must be crazy!!

I used to make fun of people who ran in the cold, used to think they were nuts. Like they had something seriously wrong with having such desire to run in the cold... but, you know what... its really not that bad!!!

My dad has asked me the past 2 weekends, the same question I would have asked those people I used to consider crazy. "How can you breathe?, Dont your lungs hurt?" My answer, "no you can breathe, its fine, you really dont feel the cold after the first mile or so." And then I get his signature laugh, "haaa" and a "I dont know how you do it."

So after my routine Saturday morning chit chat with Dad, I got to thinking - you know what - running in the cold is actually pretty nice. Yes, it is very cold out. Yes, I cant feel my toes or fingers for a bit. Yes, you do still sweat, and Yes, it does take a while to warm up. But after all the inital whines and cries about being cold, I actually really enjoyed my run. I ran the Ted Corbett 15k in Central Park this past Saturday before the whopper of a snowstorm. The air was still and silent. It was definitely as the saying goes, "the calm before the storm."

Friday night, I took a ride up to NYRR's offices to pick up my bib and souvenier with a fellow runner. Actually, an avid runner and triathlete. On the way up, we talked about how much they loved to run in the cold, that it was his favorite time to run. Meanwhile as Im listening, Im thinking I would never CHOOSE to run in this weather, but I wasnt backing out of the race either. I already paid for it, so I better get my moneys worth!! So - back to saturdays thoughts - I thought about everything we talked about regarding cold weather running. Yeah, its different, but you dont have pounds of sweat running off of you, there isnt any humidity, and... well... there really arent that many runners on the road.

Aside from cold weather running, I realized I have a true passion for running. Now that I am not running with TFK (for the time being - until Spring time) I still keep in touch with some fellow runners. Fellow runners who were supposed to run with me in the bitter cold on Saturday... Its okay I understand. Peoples tolerance for cold varies. So, I wound up running alone. Which is fine because by start time, waiting in the corrals, I am usually not with any running mates anyways. But my point is, I did this on my own. I didnt back out because everyone else did. I wanted to go, I wanted to do it, and I did. And damn, I felt good!!! consistent sub 8:15 miles for 9.3 miles. guess what that means... on track for some major improvement and an achievable goal of qualifying for Boston 2011!!!

Next obstacle... how do you run on Icy grounds??!! :) just kidding... Ill stick to spin and elliptical.. NO INJURIES PLEASE!!!

Oh, P.S. I once again stalked the internet in search for tips for cold weather running and stumbled on a few websites... this one is a fave:

Runners Rescue has great basic tips. Its a great site for people like me who just need the idea of what and what not to do in cold weather.. or just in general when it comes to tips and inforation. check it out!

Till the New Years Midnight Run...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

winter wowes?

Do you know when things become such a routine, so mundane, you look forward to a change? Well by October, I felt that way about the darn Bridle path in Central Park. I was so ready for a break from that wooded dirt path, I thought I would never miss it.

Once again... I proved myself wrong... In the frigid rainy cold last weekend, I found myself meeting Sid and Asteria for the Saturday morning run. And where else? but the Bridle path! 6 miles of running and all I could think about is maaaannn... I missed this path! Yes, I missed the bridle path the one place that I complained about most this past running season. What I realized was that it really is a runners haven. The rolling hills, the dirt beneath your feet - its so much easier on your knees. Especially in the cold. Believe it or not, running on the road is extremely hard to do in the winter. The ground is frozen, your muscles and joints are cold and stiff so running on the dirt makes it easier both on your joints and muscles and your feet too!

You know what else amazed me out there? The fact that NYC has so many dedicated runners. There were tons of people just like me trying to get their run in before it started to down pour. Huge motivator for me! I am trying to get back into the swing of a running routine, but I hate the cold!!! This definitely helped - if they can do it, why cant I???

Yesterday, I ran the Holiday 4-mile run in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Woah Nelly! Was it cold! 26 degrees to be exact. Strategy for this? "Sprint it out! Its Friggin Freezing!" 5,000 runners were just as crazy as Maggie and I. It was so cold, that when people took the little water cups at the fluid stations, the water was freezing as it hit the ground. It was like a sheet of ice! Coach Neil asked me this question, "so, does this mean your crazy or just dedicated?" (referring trekking it out to Brooklyn in the frigid cold to run.) My response - "CRAZY" But whatever, it was fun! Running in below freezing temperature with sub 7:30 min miles... who can say they did that???

Running in the cold is quite an experience. Especially when I of all people cant stand the cold. So, I run to to find out how to run in the cold. 10 tips - I think I listened to 3 of them... Many runners and professionals tell you not layer up, but seriously, how do you not?? I know once I get going and warm up, Im sweating but if I cant get warm Im MISERABLE!!! So, I change right after the run to keep the chill out. Pros tell you not to worry about speed in the winter, its all about maintenance. so, I dont run hard, I just go. Well when I go for that matter. Motivation is so hard in the winter... the best way to stay motivated is to have a partner. Like runners world says, you cant back out if you have a partner. Perfect example, the race yesterday... I totally wouldnt have gone if Maggie wasnt going. Good thing we planned this together... no backing out! Good thing we coordinated to go together!

Hmm.... I wonder what other tips Ill find...

Adios Amigos!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

post-marathon depression

I always hear about this Post-marathon depression. I knew when the marathon was over, I would be.. well.. depressed. For weeks and months, I spent 2 nights a week and either Saturday or Sunday running with TFK, then 2 other nights a week crosstraining. The marathon was my life, the people, the coaches, the park -- and then it ended. Post marathon depression. Yes, Its there.

It is now one month and 3 days after my first marathon and can still say I am looking forward to doing it again next year. I did not run for 4 weeks after the marathon. I aggravated my IT-Band and Dr Long advised me not to run. So I think I was more bothered by the fact that I was told not to basically be stupid and run for a bit, and also because all the sudden, I wasnt trying to cram in work, social life and training all at once. A month later, a 20-lb turkey, Apple cream pie, cherry pie, and mashed potatoes later; I ran. I ran and ran and ran... Probably not the best strategy after not running for weeks, but it just felt so good! So, the good new is... IM BAAACK!!! I have signed up for 3 races so far. December 12th - Holiday 4miler in Prospect park, December 19th - Ted Corbitt 15k in Central Park and (drum roll please...) the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run on December 31st! Yes, you read right... running through the New Year! Why not start it off right??

Cant wait to get back into the swing of things... I miss running. Knowing I can put on a pair of sneakers and tights and pound the pavement allows me to escape the stresses of every day life, enjoy the outdoors and socialize with good friends. So keep posted! theres more coming... I knew it wouldnt be too long before I got back on the road!!

love ya all!!