26 August 2009

off to burning man!

i'm signing offline for a few weeks - i'm first flying to portland to run hood to coast with a bunch of friends. it's a 197 mile relay from mt hood in oregon to the coast. apparently, there's a huge party at the end which sounds like a blast. wooohooo! the day after we finish, i'm heading back to portland, grabbing a rental car, picking up rachelle's bike, picking up rachelle, grabbing food and water, and making the 11-12 hr drive down to BURNING MAN! we'll be dancing, making art, hula hooping, meeting rad people, revelling with pink hair and fairy wings and costumes...i can't wait!

18 August 2009

PRE LOVE & Other Running Quotes

It seems when I was younger, I had a bit of a Pre-obsession. I found a bunch of quotes I used to have on my wall in a box in my parents' house the other day; here are some of the best for your runners out there to be inspired by.

You think, 'Why should I do this? i don't have to run this hard.' But that's when I think about them. They keep me going.

Running is the only sport. The rest are just games.

I'm going to try to work it out so in the end it will be a pure guts race, and if it is, I am the only one that can win.

Life is thirst.
--Leonard Michaels

You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.

I'm not afraid of losing. But if I do, I want it to be a good race. I'm an artist, a performer. I want people to appreciate the way I run.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift.

Being fast has nothing to do with speed; it's how much pain you can handle.

Some people create with words, or with music, or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, "I've never seen anyone run like that before." It's more than just a race; it's a style. It's doing something better than anyone else. It's being creative.

08 August 2009

overnight training run at harriman -- followed by a 5 mile road race

Despite just having started training again post Vermont 100 miler, when some of my trail friends asked who's up for a long overnight run in Harriman Park, I immediately said yes. I wish I had done an overnight training run prior to Vermont.

We met on the Upper East Side at 6pm. Garth quickly quipped that he was one of the few men in Manhattan with duct tape on his nipples that evening. Hmmm, I'd be willing to bet he was one of the only ones. After setting up our aid station a.k.a. dropping our water around Mile 10 (which we'd pass twice), we headed to Tuxedo and began the trek after 8p.m.

Headlamps were immediately in order, and I was pleased with my fabulous Myo-XP. The trails were very rocky, technical, hilly, with lots of walking, careful foot planting (and inevetibly, tripping). My stomach somehow felt okay, and I began gelling every hour. Lisa led the four of us (she knows the trails best, and she's the fastest), and Lisa, Scott, Garth and I stayed fairly close -- Lisa and I chatted much of the time, and even if we couldn't hear Scott and Garth as clearly, we could always see their headlamps.

At Mile 10, I ate my first Mojo bar ever (wow, they're pretty awesome), and felt good. It was strange to be running so late, but I wasn't that tired. I still was going strong. Every so often, we'd run across this open rock face, and see the clear amazing starry sky -- it was truly beautiful.

I was happy to see no wildlife except for lots of deer. (I'm afraid of being eaten by a bear, so I'd rather not see any while running.) We heard coyotes at one point, and I tried not to think about the fact that I was running towards their howls. Step, step, step. Careful plod.

When we looped back past our aid station again, I took a 5 hour energy shot. My energy didn't soar like it has other times, but I felt less sleepy. As the run went on, my coordination (okay, so I normally don't have very much) was shot and I found myself doing the butt slide down several steep rock declines.

We finished sometime after six, and celebrating by changing into dry clothes (dry running clothes for me) and eating. I didn't eat that much, but drank a good deal of water. We drove back to the city, high on our great run but exhausted.

At this point, a sensible person (But would a sensible person decide to go running for 10 hours overnight? Probably not.) would go home and go to bed. Instead, I went straight into Central Park and met up with my team, North Brooklyn Runners, for the team championships. I ate some of my pbj on bagel, and my stomach started feeling wrecked shortly after. Great...I hoped I wouldn't throw up.

After cheering on the boys, the women's race went off. I felt so ill but pushed out a first mile in 7:20. Respectable. I decided not to kill myself, but to push myself on every downhill; otherwise, I could chill/try not to vomit. That strategy worked, and I finished just over 38 minutes. I was pleased, considering I did it on no sleep and a 10 hour trail run the night before.

We hung out in the park for a bit, and headed to the subway. This is where I should have gone home and showered and went to bed. Instead of going to bed, I headed to McCarren Park, where my team had a yummy picnic. Despite my sworn hatred of tequila, my friend Matt handed me a mango mint margarita he made -- I drank two and and relaxed in the sunshine with good friends and fab runners.

And then I took a nap.

02 August 2009

lessons learned from the vermont 100 miler

The Vermont 100 Miler (#vt100) was my first hundred miler, and since finishing two weeks ago, I've thought a lot about what I could have done differently. My goal was a sub-24 hour finish, which I know I could have done had everything been aligned -- but everything wasn't aligned. When you're running 100 miles, you're not thinking very clearly. Now I am and thinking back on a few things I know I'll do differently next time...

  • Take ibuprofin if you need it. My feet were swelling ridiculously, and while I was carrying ibuprofin with me, and had some in every drop bag, I didn't take any. I chalk it up to cloudy thinking.
  • When you're sleepy, take caffeine. I had some in my drop bags, but I probably should have carried some with me. I didn't take it b/c I didn't want to, and at one point, I was swerving across the path (good thing I wasn't a car or I would have hit something).
  • Don't talk to your pacer for a while before. Mecca caught me up on some good stories, gossip, etc., which was great when I was sleepy.
  • Change your socks. I almost changed my socks earlier, and wished I had -- I never would have had swollen, rash-covered, blister-covered feet if I had. I thought my feet were fine, and the pain didn't start until mile 55 or 60 or so. So next time -- I'm changing my socks frequently.
  • Bring an extra pair of shoes - a half size larger. A friend recommended this to me, and I thought, "Spend all that extra money...and how can I size myself in a shoe a half size larger?" I wish I did. With my allergic reaction, my feet swelled up so big that I couldn't get my feet into anything other than flip flops for a few days. No joke: the Monday after, I couldn't stuff my foot into my Birkenstocks and had to go home from the doctor's in a surgical boot.
  • Baby wipes would've made me feel fresher.
  • Eat. My stomach was wrecked and I decided I couldn't eat gels but I wished I tried to, or tried something other than all the solid food I was eating.
  • Drink less. I drank so much I was stopping every 20 minutes -- good thing I was running with guys who were stopping the same. I ended up gaining 4 pounds between mile 47 and 70! This also could've had to do with the eating all solid foods thing.
  • Bring toilet paper. I was peeing nonstop, and there's not toilet paper hanging from the trees. I was using leaves, and I told Mecca, "It'll be a miracle if I don't get some sort of infection after this race." Yay for miracles.
I'm sure there are other things, but these are a few of the things I've learned. I had a blast, and I'm so glad I met so many amazing people and had a great support crew. I can't wait for my next -- and yes, there will be a next -- 100 mile run!