Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Called Sloth, My Friend

Sickness overcame me three weeks ago. Last week, I went back and hit the pavement a measly four times (although the fourth run was a 22 miler) and this week, I seeped back and did only 3 workouts, 2 of these being runs. Slowly, I feel my weight line increasing and my body becoming heavy when I do the small workouts I do. Is it the amount of work I have? I was able to always squeeze in a run when I had work coming out of my ears. What's the issue then? It's laziness.
It's so very easy to sit and play Assassin's Creed II, eat a pumpkin pie, and pretend to be studying for something I really don't care about. It's challenging, however, and good for me to push my body physically. Marathon day is approaching and this is NOT the healthy way of approaching this challenging day.
So this week I will force, I will squeeze, and I will do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING I can do workout EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yes, not five times, not days this week. It will be difficult and it was suck (I promise you) but this is the only way of me getting back on my feet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Learning Our Limits + Pushing Passed

I felt it today.  Foot strike after foot strike.  My mouth wide to filter the build up of saliva and the cold air.  But my heart did not race as when I push the line of a 5k.  I felt good, alive, and healthy.  I kept telling myself, "Keeping it up...20 minutes...10..." I've been pushing the envelope in running for the last two weeks more than I've ever pushed myself.  I've been able to maintain a 7:30 (marathon) race pace without falter and I don't think that's the finale.  There's more in this little body.  When I run at this speed, my body and brain say DEEPER but my legs do not receive the message.  It's typical and the solution is more training at that speed.  
I've learned some limits in these brief weeks.  One of these being my weight.  When I began racing, I was preoccupied with being under 100 pounds.  Now, I'm more preoccupied with making sure I fit into my clothes and getting the nutrition my limbs need.  But there are other limits that are self imposed that I need to push passed.  Sub 7 half marathon pace?  I know it is in me.  I just have to find her and pull her out.

Today's Mileage: 6 miles at 45 minutes + change (7:30 pace)

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Beauty of Running

We often thinking of running as a sport of sweat, stink, phelm, etc, etc.  However, I often think of it is as a pure sport of beauty.  Look at Kara Goucher.  Is it difficult being that beautiful and be able to pound the pavement at the pace she does to be able to be 3rd at the Boston Marathon this year?  Not really.  But I think it all has to do with sport (as well as genetics).  Running keeps us young, fresh, and able.  Of course, if you respect the boundaries of your physical form and treat it with rest and nutrition when needed, it will benefit it even further. As long as we do this, our bodies will treat us in return by keeping us cheery faced and beautiful.  
But then again not all of us are sub 3 hour marathoners and have coaches like Alberto Salazar (I did have a coach named Alberto and he was Cuban...but...not close). So we have stay satisified with looking decent on a day to day basis, feel almost perfect (life isn't so), and deal with tons of stress that causes us to run and not the other way around.  So, may we always look to running as a beautiful thing and us as beautiful devices within its enchantment!  And of course to think of running as a necessity rite of passage to the fountain of youth.

Today's Mileage: 9.2 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes (8:04 min/mile pace)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reflection In Sans Running Shoes

I have a love - hate relationship with cross - training days.  When they are inserted in my training week, they are by the time that my legs have flat out rejected me; they are craving rest and yet I cannot provide it.  Today was my XT day.  By time I've finished 30 minutes of my cardio session, I'm dying for it to be over with.  I look over at the treadmill and want to pound at it with all my force.  My knees will not appreciate the feeling.  So, instead, I will stick with my 1 hour and 15 min BOREDOM and await for the freedom of the wind in my face tomorrow morning....hoping that its sun will peek its head.

In a meanwhile, a burrito and a diet pepsi after my workout will do me good.  How graduate school has changed me.

Today's Workout: 30 minutes mod. cardio on elliptical, 20 minutes on stairmill (mod), 25 minutes light - moderate.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


One more semester.  That's all I need to finish up this drudgery of now unnecessary work.  I am so ready to be cut loose and be part of the clinic 100% - not just half my foot in the door.  I also want time to place running back in its level of priority.
And it's been so a trend for the past week +.  Tired, almost feverish, unable to wake in the morning, but able to run the mileage needed.  But by 9:00pm or earlier, I can already see myself crawling into the bed, moaning with happiness with my head on my pillow, and smiling at the deliciousness of the covers over me.  On the bus on the way back home today, I slept and almost convinced myself when at home that I would do the same.  But no...I challenged myself and went from the run I needed to do.  F-ing awesome job!

Today's Mileage: 8.5 miles @ 8:07 min/mile pace 

And now, as I write this, I feel totally zonked...the bed approaches faster and faster.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Cold and I Can't Care

Liz the Runner has been ousted, my friends! Yes, I am the girl you can count on to run a ridiculous amount of mileage per week.  However, last week, everyone else was doing the mileage for me as I sat on my student butt and did papers on Cuban health policy and studied for Orthotics.  I would log on to Facebook and I would hear friends say, "I ran 18 today! I ran 19...BLAH BLAH"  Walt would say, "I'm glad I'm resting." But I was trying to grin through my jealous grin. How I wanted to be out there pounding the pavement! Especially after I treated myself with a  new running toy - a GARMIN. I've lovingly renamed it "A Rabbit's Best Friend, " because it is.  Today it basically yelled at me for running too fast.  Actually, I set the virtual partner for a slower pace than I should be running (8:30 pace).  Boo on that! But imagine my thrill.   Hitting the pavement in 40 degree weather with the dawn just breaking.  Sexy. Awesome. Powerful. But it makes the rest of my day seem like nothing.  And makes me look forward to the rest of it...

Today's Mileage: 8.25 (1 hr 10 minutes)

Today's Message: That L knee feels like its about to pop! Need to do some strengthening + stretching tonight while watching Heroes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

15 miles makes hip go pop

I just moved into my new home. I will not downplay how I feel about it: I'm in love with it. Not only is it peaceful and quiet, but I am able to get everything I need to do...done and finished...more efficiently thanks to the tranquility around me. Since I'm half a block from the park, I also get to run away from the crowded streets of my 5 years of training previous. So Sunday...

Sunday's Mileage: 15 miles.

It kinda went like this...9: ok, I have like an hour left I think. That's ok, I can make it. 11: I feel great! My knee pain is gone!, 13: two more!! God, I feel like throwing up. 15: ::ingest some gummy bears: God, these taste like crap! And I read in Galloway's Bible that you know when you ran too fast when you finish your long distance and you plop onto the couch afterwards. Well, I *tried* not to. I kept myself entertained by putting things away and then going for small dinner with the osito. But it left me out of commission for Monday's run. Not that I had one planned anyway, but just from a break from all the studying. And it wasn't because I was sore. It was because of damned left hip of mine. I need a good stretch and a good strengthening program as well.

So, today's workout...

Today's Mileage: 6 miles on treadmill + 30 minutes on elliptical

And my hip felt fine until mile 5 where I started feeling that 'pokey' feeling on the back of my hip. I just hope it's a tight piriformis saying hello and not something psycho like an AVN or stress fx.

Friday, September 4, 2009

This is why I'm not in the Military

With the move, first week of grueling classes (and by grueling, I mean sitting on my butt for 6 to 8 hours a day...HELLO ISCHEMIA!), and maintaining a good training regime, I am tight for time and running days. So, today I decided to combine the joy of commuting prior to my 8am class and running. You get me running 9 miles from Jersey to New York via the GWB...with a 10 pound backpack; so it taught me two valuable lessons. (1) Pacing...I can't run sub 9 min/mile with a backpack jostling behind me; (2) don't EVER gain 10 pounds. It will suck on my knees.

But one of the joys I had in this straining boot camp sessions was seeing deer coming onto the sidewalk to greet me near Panera. Suprisely, it was not scared of me. With the sunrise and orange and yellow hues shining onto the pavement, I realized it was worth waking at 5:30am for an intense run.

Today's Mileage: 8-9 miles (not sure)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Being Tired Doesn't Help

Doesn't it blow when you are doing *awesome* in your exercises for the week, and all of sudden you go through the day feeling like the dumps, go home to do more work, and then wake up feeling better but drained of all possible desire to get out of bed?  Yes, blows for me.  I had an awesome work out yesterday in the morning.  I never felt better! But slowly, as the day crept forward, sitting in the same classroom, in the same ungodly painful chair, my throat started acting funny.  "Oh God. Not now."  I'm in my peak of training, I'm in the middle of moving to a new apartment, and I just started classes.  I decided eating a little more will help.  So I ate 500000 times before getting home, at home, and then in the laundromat as I did almost all the clothing Walter and I have amassed in our former apartment.  I felt better.  Laid down.  Alarm rang at 5:10.  Look at myself.  I look like utter crap.  I FEEL like crap! Back to bed.  No workout.  

6:15 second alarm rang...out of bed...slowwwwwwly.  Clothes, bag. Out the door.  Bus.  Fat Free Muffin (What the f am I thinking..I need real food).  Subway.  French toast and fruit (why the heck this tiny piece of french toast has bananas in it still eludes me greatly).  And now here I am, an hour early for class, with tiredness written all over my face.  Even caffeine didn't help at all.

So new change of plans.  Go home after class and rest until Walt and I need to visit BB&B to get the things we need for the apartment.  Hit the hay by 9 or earlier.  Get up early and go for a run prior to 8am class.   I just feel uber sleep deprived right now.

Yesterday's Mileage: 7 miles with 5 paced at 8:50; + 10 minutes of spinning and + 10 minutes of weight lifting

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Month, New Plans

In the midst of crazy school work, I need to find time to attach myself to my marathon goal. Before, it was just to complete one. Now, with the possibility of doing well, my sights are on Boston qualification. If I can do complete this, on my first marathon ever, it would be a dream I never thought possible.

But while I dream big, my injuries are getting bigger. This is evidence of the hard core training I place my body through. My left knee is beginning to become achy - not its usual brother of the right. As a PT I have self - dx''s all coming from my hip. However, there's also the annoying medial shin pain. After hearing about stress fxs during my 9th million hour in class, I began to poke over the area...No pain. And though I know more than my name what I am suppose to do, I don't do it...stretch, ice, REST. Nope. I just keep on running, stubborn as I am. Then I decided to tie myself down and recover...NOW! I will complete the rest of the mileage this week on treadmill (17 miles broken up into 3 days). Take Saturday off. See if my body can weather a long run or an 8 miler. Then proceed the following week with 0 mileage....all Xtraining. It will suck but it's better than having this pain continuing.

Yesterday's Mileage: 6 miles at sub 8:30 pace. I learn how to keep my COM closer to the ground and not expend so much energy and it worked!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

She's So Heavy...or at least her legs are.

Today was the weekly long run. There was no excursion planned to a real-life chocolate factory or extreme dining out afterwards. Instead, I was content in just having someone running along side me (even if it really was behind me). For the 6 years of my running career, I rarely have an individual who is willing to do the distance and speed with me. Oh who cares about the yummies that could be waiting for me at home! What matters is the familiar sound of the pavement being hit behind me, around me, and realizing that the one I love is supporting me all the way...and I him.

Mileage: 13.1 miles from Jersey to New many people can say they run in two states?

And all I can smile at was the prospect that last year I was running in 5 towns. I see myself crossing the New York/New Jersey line for free after passing those same 5 towns.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wiped Out

Here... before I digress on the 'loveliness' of today's workout, let's recap the week:

+ 30 minute pool session

+ kinda an emotional day...working out took a back seat

+ 7 mile run
+ 30 minute pool session

+ 6 mile run
+ 30 minutes weightlifting
+ 20 minutes on the elliptical
+ 10 minutes walking

+ 30 minutes pool
+ 4 mile run

This is in addition to the 11 mile run done on Sunday.

So other than sabotaging my diet this week with cereals dripping with honey and bread, bread, and more bread...and don't forget the 5 slices of pizza I ingested along with the soda ICEE I downed on my 'emotional' day...I also managed to decrease my mileage. That's fine. It's all part of the training. 26 miles only this week is needed. So my focus has been in my swimming. You can spot me out in the pool. I'm the one choking on my spit. But day by day, I see my improvement. Today though felt like that best. I was able to enhance my speed while not sacrificing my technique. And although my technique can use some improvement, it is much better than my 1 lap, breeeeeeeeeeeeeeak, 1 lap, breaaaaaaaaaaak. Now I swish in the water...1...2...3...breathe...1...2...3...breathe. Now do it faster! And faster! And whoa, are those endorphins??! I thought I only got that in running.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

VC + Friends + Max Brenner's chocolate = best Sunday EVER

What can power Walter to run a 8 1/2 min/mile pace 4 times around Van Cortlandt's famous hilly terrain? It's the magic word: chocolate! I tried to follow suit, but my 9 mile trip yesterday left me a bit winded. I climbed the rollercoaster of hills three times, followed by some trips up and down the famous Graveyard Hill. By the time I was in my last mile, I realized why it was called Graveyard. I probably could have run longer but my calves yelped in pain. I quickly backed off and stood at the sidelines.

It was movitating. Every two or three miles, out popped a friend - Walter, Courtney, or Jason. All like habitants of this wonderous place. We would talk, run together, or simply just encourage. On a Sunday, it's the perfect way to build some mileage.

But then came the reward. On weekdays and other words, always...Walter and I would pass by a place that was intoxicating with odor of Aztec's findings. However, its appearance was always masked by a crowd waiting a hour or more to sit. But today, it was ours for the taking! At Max Brenner's, we indulged on some brunch - a big pat on the back transferred to our screaming stomachs instead. And that's when Walter introduced me to the most divine concoction dreamed and made real. M-o-c-h-a F-r-a-p-e. Sure, stick to your Starbucks lame attempt of gastrological beauty. This was the stuff they partied and dipped themselves with on Mount Olympus. Perfect for refueling atheletes. Ok, so it's 700 calories each....egg whites for dinner then :\

Mileage: guesstimate at about 10 miles (three repeats of 5k course + 1 mile warm up)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blessings from Heaven

Runners sometimes stop and wonder. Even if it's for a split second of your PR. "Maybe I'm doing more harm to my body than good..." You've heard it. "Your knees...your hips...concrete is bad for you." And, trust me, being a physical therapist doesn't help to tame that notion.

So you run...and you keep doing it. You try to be "good" by alternating surfaces - cement, grass, gravel, track rubber, etc. You go further by alternating distances - five mile tempo, twelve mile recovery, etc, and etc yet again. But, still, through all that, you still wonder should be being something else for your body. Sure, you don't smoke and probably drink once a while (::hands up:: five glasses of sangria for me last night...but it's been an uber long time) but will you be meeting up with an Ortho in the next fifteen years to discuss arthroplasty?

It was about the sixth mile. I made the turn around the track and there was my answer. A sky whited out as if the heavens went missing from the eyes of mortals. From the emptiness cried forth a torment...the third I've been stuck in the last month of running. But this was like none other. As I ran faster now...quarter...half...and then a mile...the rain only comforted me. No blinding by the wind, no bogginess in my clothing; it was as if God Himself came as a cloak - riding me and encouraging me on. Three miles later, I felt whole and alive once again.

So, twenty years from now when I meet my Ortho for that double knee replacement I'll tell him how difficult it is to disappoint the Big Guy Upstairs - my biggest fan.

Mileage: 9 miles...hoo-ray!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Treadmill Suckage

There's something hindering and jailing about a treadmill. Maybe it's because all you can do to alter the movement is your stride length. Maybe it's because you pour buckets of sweat in just 2 miles being in stationary position. Or maybe it just is unrealistic - where are the hills, the dogs you gotta jump over, and the friends you wave to along the way? Ok, so it can be altered by adding inclines, trying to jump over your Ipod when it falls onto the treadmill, and talking to your gym friends (which I don't have apparently)...yes, it can all be done with vitamin D deficiency.

Bing bang boom I got my mileage done early and complete:

Mileage: 5.10 miles on treadmill with about 7 mph pace.
Additionals: 20 minutes weight training, 20 minutes elliptical

But onto something positive! As I swished right leg and then left, my ponytail going crazy side to side, I took a glimpse at the black tight - wearing ninja to my left. I look down to her stomach. FLAT! Finally, I'm getting back to where I need to be...and feel ooooh so good about it

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tri-ing to Be Left Alone

Union City hasn't woken up yet; and those members of its city that has are off to work. I line my body up in black and red speedo, swivel my goggles behind my head, and snap a small pack around my waist. Despite the stiffness in my neck and grogginess in my eyes, I know coffee will be on its way... I just need to finish my workout first.

So my feet hit the pavement. Even in my half - alert phase, I realize what is going on around me. Cat - calling. Whistling. Half - thought - out comments. By the time I finish my first mile, I'm irate. "The next bastard that says anything will get a plate full of it!" And so it happened. I get a "Que bonita" and the guy gets back a "Fuck off, jerk off." I think he stopped in disbelief - that or he had no clue what I said. Either way, I finished off my mileage towards the pool to begin my swim. Alone at last. Just me and the water.

So what is it? What causes men to say comments as that? Do they seriously think I'm going to stop and smile or what? When I was in high school, my gym teacher would take the girls outside for running practice. She would tell us, "If I man makes a comment, just smile. Don't get mad! Take it as a compliment." Well, what she didn't know was I was going to turn into a very serious athelete that abhors my activities not taken seriously. Do you think I want to be running in my bathing suit and shorts outside? NO. But I have to. It's my sport so f-ing take it seriously.

As for my workout, I am still plagued with this neck pain. It's in the traps! I feel it...its trapped underneath the muscle like a mouse tucked into a roll of blankets. Stretching helps...and playing Fable II for three hours straight doesn't. Running is so - so. It's tolerable. Two more days; if not, I'm getting another PT's opinion.

Mileage: 6 miles
Additions: 30 minutes freestyle. Yay! I did 10 successful laps where I didn't choke!