Archive for July, 2011


Although not directly related to my training, I thought I’d share my strange marathon dream from last night. And, no, there’s nothing X-rated (or even R-rated) in my dream!
I’m running the Disney marathon only the first few miles take place indoors. In fact we’re running in a crowded store. And the path of the race isn’t well marked so I keep getting confused and running extra. Then I realize that I’m not wearing my running shoes. I’m running in my socks.
Next thing I know we’re running outdoors again but the trail is still not well-marked and I go the wrong way. I’m running with the last group of runners because I’m so slow. We still have quite a distance to go when I realize that I forgot to go to the Expo and get my racing bib and D-tag (for the non-runners: you pin a number to your running shirt to identify who you are and attach a “chip” to your shoe which is how the race officials know when you cross the start line and finish line – that’s how they time you). I’ve also forgotten to wear my sports watch so I don’t know what my run/walk intervals are. Even if I finish the race it won’t be official because I didn’t get my registration materials. The whole thing is a disaster!
Any resemblance to my blog post from last night before I went to bed???

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Week 5 – Mediocrity

This was another stressful week at work. My senior partner was away which left me in charge of, well, everything. It also meant that I had 3 OR days and one very full day of patients in the office. Luckily it went ok but it’s just stressful and draining.
I thought I’d better try to get my 2nd run done Wednesday just in case the week fell apart. After 2 OR days in a row (and Wednesday was full of unpleasant surprises), I was pretty done. I got home around 6-ish and decided to just run on the treadmill. I think this was the wrong decision. My logic was that I hadn’t consumed a lot of water and I didn’t want to carry water with me. Plus, being “on-call” meant carrying 2 phones and a beeper. I figured the treadmill would simplify things.
The basement was warmer than I expected and I just didn’t have it, whatever it is. My run was slow and just blah. I just felt discouraged at the end.
Today’s long run was a 3 miler. I was glad this was a shorter week as my week has taken a toll. We had a family diner breakfast early which wasn’t a brilliant plan. I was behind on my fluid intake from Friday (sense a theme) and tried to catch up some. Tom had to run to the hospital so I had 3 kids. Another fabulous treadmill run. Lucky me!
My run felt fine. I did a run 2/walk 1 ratio. Not terribly fast but did 3.33 in 45 min, including some warm-up and cool down. It felt pretty good, just slow. And I’d like to try to increase my run/wLk ratio on these shorter runs.
I’m feeling slow these days. And very dependent on my walk breaks. I don’t know if it’s the heat (today was in the 90’s again) or what. My training plan only calls for 3 runs per week. Would I be better off adding another run or two? I also feel like my mileage for the month seems lower than other runners I know. Not that I should compare but am I taking this too easy? Or should I just keep reminding myself that FINISHING a marathon is my goal and leave all the speed stuff and run/walk ratios behind?

Monday is a pretty consistent training day for me because I have my running clinic in White Plains. I honestly look forward to the camaraderie of the group and catching up with everyone. This week, however, had an inauspicious beginning.
Having 3 children in 4 years with lots of associated infertility treatments and subsequent c-sections led me to neglect my non-reproductive health. Most neglected of all was dental care. This year I’ve been slowly but surely having long-overdue work performed. This morning started off with another trip to the dentist to have a silver filling replaced. Unpleasant in the best of circumstances but made worse by the fact that the decay under the filling went down to the root. Meaning that I will need a root canal. The dentist instilled the tooth with antibiotic and placed a temporary filling. The medicine in the tooth has been “leeching” out all day. It has a horrible taste and I spent most of the day feeling nauseated. I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d make it to running clinic!
The weather today was rainy and cool. After a week of record highs, I couldn’t resist running in the pleasant temperatures. That alone got me to clinic!!! There was a modest turn-out tonight. They had some guys from New Balance demo-ing some shoes. Best of all we could run in the demo shoes and keep our shoes dry! The pair I wore were quite comfortable but, apparently, cost $140 which is more than I can imagine spending on a pair of running shoes. We did get nutrition bars, gatorade/vitamin water, and a cute gym bag in exchange for trying out a nice pair of shoes.
The run itself was fine. I’m still the slowest one in my group but I managed to run the entire 2.42 miles. We had a pretty fast pace (about 28 minutes +/- a minute). I hate that I’m so much slower than everyone else! I know if I did run/walk I would probably go faster but this isn’t a run/walk group. The rain was refreshing and I think the high 60’s is a great temperature for a run!
I think I did convince a few of my fellow runners to sign up for the Westchester Medical Center 1/2 Marathon in October so that should be fun. And I really enjoyed the post-run hanging out. I want to continue with the group but I don’t know how to do a better job of keeping up! Any advice?

This week can be summed up in one word: HOT. Record temperatures plagued our area and made everyone miserable. Merely existing was uncomfortable much less exerting oneself. What’s a marathon trainee to do? I’m proud to say that I didn’t stop training just because it was hot. I chose to run indoors but I finished my runs.
Thursday was a long day in the office. Driving home my car was still saying that the temperature was over 90 degrees. And this was at 6:30pm. Despite the lack of air conditioning in my basement, it was still easier to run downstairs than to head to the gym. I grabbed lots of water and gatorade and braced myself for discomfort.
While normally I’d like to use the mid-week runs to either work on speed or work on longer run intervals, I thought that this run should be about survival. I slowed down my speed and increased my walk intervals. Using some re-runs of Charmed to entertain me, I managed about 2.5 miles. Nothing fast or pretty but I got it done.
Saturday’s long run came with a heat advisory. Friday’s temperatures topped 100 degrees and Saturday looked no better. Tom insisted that I use common sense and run indoors. I started early enough to run downstairs. I did bring an extra fan into the basement to keep it cooler. I probably drank too much during my run (I alternated gatorade and water) but I ran my 5.5 miles. I kept my intervals at run 30 seconds/walk 30 seconds. Not a speedy run (1 hour 19 min 38 sec) but, again, I did it. I found Newsies (a Disney musical that I’d heard about and never seen) on tv. The run itself felt pretty good, despite sweating like a pig. The mileage wasn’t hard at all – which is a good thing.
The temperatures for next week are supposed to be a little bit cooler so that should be easier. Bottom line: I’m proud that I’m getting it done!

My run today started with an email this morning from Westchester Road Runner. Today was another 90+ degree day with predictions of afternoon thunderstorms. Running clinic would occur in rain but not in thunder or lightening. Given last week’s less than stellar perfeormance, I didn’t know if I should hope for thunderstorms or not! The weather reports were clear that the projected storms would do nothing to improve this sticky weather so the only benefit was no clinic tonight.
Driving home from work tonight it started to rain. Hard. But no thunder yet. At 5:30 I called the store to see if the run was on. They hadn’t heard thunder…yet…but couldn’t guarantee a run. I started changing into running clothes and heard one Clap of thunder. I picked a date with the treadmill over clinic.
Because my Monday runs are without walk breaks (although we usually stop and stretch at the half-way point), I decided to practice longer continuous runs. To mimic the running clinic I was missing.
Let me be clear that my treadmill, though in the basement which is slightly cooler than the upstairs, is in a room without a/c. Did I mention hot and extra humid?
I ran the 1st mile without a walk break but needed a few on the next mile +. I did 2.29 miles total. I was running slower to make up for fewer walk breaks. I think I’ll work on running continuously for a 5k during my mid-week runs. I am a huge fan of run/walk but want to survive Monday clinic. Speed work may be a better use of my mid-week runs but my ego needs to be able to keep up on Mondays.
I felt ok during the run but I don’t like the extreme heat and humidity. There’s a good reason I didn’t sign up for any summer races!

Week 3 Back on Track!

There was some response on Facebook with regards to the missed run this week. While I certainly appreciate all of the reassurances that I’m doing the best that I can reasonably expect to do (which certainly means I’ll miss a run or 2 on occasion), my deep-seated fear is that the missed runs are a sign that I really don’t have the time in my crazy schedule to see this training plan through. I’m a pretty determined person so part of me believes that I will cross the finish line in January, even if I have to walk (or crawl) the whole darn thing. But part of believes that trying to fit 20 mile training runs into an already full schedule is a sure sign of insanity. And that it’s not really feasible for me.
I guess when I think back over this past week, I see where I *could* have squeezed a run in. But I honestly am not sure it would have been worth the price. I’ve been so exhausted that I hardly think a 4:30am wake-up is a great idea. And I’m not excited to start a training run at 9pm, after the kids are asleep. What if I have several weeks like this during the critical portion of my training and that starts to prevent me from completing the longer runs? Then what? I think I can get myself up pretty early every other Saturday to run some longer runs but what about Tom’s long runs? What about the kids’ weekend activities, come fall? How am I going to find enough hours in the day for everything? It’s not that I think that missing one 30 minute mid-week run – the week I bought a house! – is going to ruin my training. I really think I could finish a half marathon next weekend if I had to. It wouldn’t be pretty and my time would probably be in the 3 hour range but I could probably do it. 26.2 miles? Not so much. I know that my 20 mile training run will take close to 5 hours. Where do I have 5 consecutive hours in my schedule for that? So my little freak-out over ALREADY missing a run is a fear that I can’t find the time to do this properly.
Let me step back from confessing my fears and talk about my “long” run for week 3. I was very pleased to see that Mr. Galloway only had me doing a 3 mile run this weekend. After a super stressful week – between work and closing on the house, I was pretty fried – I needed an easy weekend. The weather was perfect this morning and I was out the door around 7am. I really felt great! I ran the nice 2.9 mile loop near my house (yes, I know, not quite 3 miles but close enough). I ran faster than I realized and finished in 37 minutes. I did 1 min run/1 min walk. It just felt good. I know I’m supposed to do the long runs about 2 min/mile slower than my predicted but I think for these shorter runs I’m allowed to speed up. My average speed was about 12:45 min/mile. No pain at all.
Post-run we took the kids to the Bronx Zoo so I got plenty of extra walking in today, too!

Week 3 Fail!

It only took me until week 3 to miss a run. I’m not happy with myself nor am I proud. And, for the record, Tom missed one run this week too,
Let me share my excuses. Maybe they’ll even sound convincing!!!

Monday – Not so great 2.41 mile run in 90 degree heat.
Tuesday – Recovery day. Left house at 6:30am. Did 6 operations. Drove to another hospital to interview potential Physician Assistant. Met with senior partner and Office Administratior. Got home at 7pm
Wednesday – Zachary woke up at 5:20am. Tried to leave for work by 6:30am. Thwarted by a very poopy diaper. Really left at 6:45am. Did one small and one big operation. Found out our house closing was a GO. Raced home to get husband, go to bank for cashier’s check. Drove 45 minutes north to bank layer’s office. Spent over 2 hours buying a house. Felt like insides had been ripped out. Stopped for burger and drink on my way home. Collapsed in despair. And elation.
Thursday – Left home at 7:45am. still wiped out from closing. Saw 53 patients in the office. Went to hospital and saw post-operative patients. Had impromptu meeting with nice pediatric nephrologist. Arrived home at 7pm. Played with children while eating dinner. Desperately needed drink to help me forgot that my life savings went towards house.
Friday – Hasn’t happened yet. 5:30 wake-up (unless Zachary has other plans for me). Leave house at 6:30am. Operate and see patients. Work dinner in NYC at 6:30pm. Collapse.

I planned my run for this evening but got caught late at work. I could have woken up early this morning but I was super exhausted. I could try to wake-up at 4:30 tomorrow morning but I know that it won’t happen. So I missed a run.
Is that a big deal???

I started off the week feeling a little worried about my nagging, um, butt pain but pleased that my training was overall going well. Monday was a crazy day at work but I knew I could make it to running clinic at 6pm. I tried my very best to drink a lot of water during the day and finished closed to 48 oz. I changed into the lightest weight shorts and sleeveless running shirt I could find in my drawer and then headed over to the running store. When I parked my car in the parking lot at 5:55pm, the car thermometer was still reading 89 degrees.
I was greeted at the store by a rep from K-Swiss who was there to let us test run her sneakers. I tried on a pair of the K-Swiss Kona shoes and didn’t hate them. As a side note – on my last trip to buy running sneakers I hated most pairs immediately and settled on some Brooks. The running clinic had sent out an email a few days earlier reminding us to take it slowly and drink plenty of water on these hot days.
I was a little disappointed that my group (called the 1-2 mile group but really closer to 2.5 mile group) chose a route that is very uphill on the way out. Some people like the downhill home but I’m not a fan of this route. Especially with weather close to 90 degrees. I contemplated joining the run/walk group instead but they had already left.
Everyone who wasn’t in the run/walk group set out together. Straight uphill with no water until we returned to the store. I was NOT a happy camper. I will admit that my attitude probably hurt me during this run. One problem with starting the run with the longer runners is that they tend to run much, much faster than I can. This was not one of my better runs. At all.
I made it to the turn-around spot ok but I was definitely feeling the heat and the lack of water. As we started the run back to the store, our fearless group leader announced that we were picking up the pace on the downhill. As someone who was struggling to keep up at all, this was not happy news. I even took a few 1 minute walk breaks because I felt very overheated and dehydrated. I got pretty far behind the group before our leader turned around to keep me company. I really felt very discouraged.
We returned to the store and received a free tech shirt from K-Swiss. It’s black so not really wearable right now but otherwise cute. I returned the test shoes but I honestly liked them. I’m not ready for new sneakers yet but I might buy these next. They are very light-weight and breathable and felt comfortable. I finished my bottle of water and left for my next event. (There was a meet-n-greet for incoming kindergarten parents at a local bar so I needed to get home and showered quickly so I could get to the event. The event was very nice for those who are interested!)
I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about Monday’s run. I really, really wish we had a true Galloway training group in my area where I could do run/walk/run on my mid-week runs at an appropriate pace. I know this run would have gone better with the correct run/walk ratio for me. Given that this women’s running group is pretty much my only option for group running, I’m not sure what to do. I suspect many of the women in my current 1-2 mile group will choose the next distance up soon. Then I should be able to maintain my preferred pace and distance. Or I could join the run/walk group but they go at a pace below where I usually train. Or maybe join the run/walk group on super hot days where I struggle more? I hate to give up the companionship of the group run but I don’t want to get injured because I’m pushing myself beyond my abilities. I also feel a little frustrated that I’m not able to keep up on a 2.5 mile run when I’ve been doing well with my training runs.
The good news is that my butt didn’t hurt at all!

One advantage of my new-found dedication to actually following a training plan is that I’m trying to do a better job of realistically looking at my week and scheduling runs. This week got a little messed up because of the Monday holiday and a Thursday evening dinner commitment with the in-laws. I generally won’t run 2 days in a row (I find that I really need that rest day). Since I missed Monday, I *had* to run Tues/Thurs. Thurs evening was out which forced me to wake up early Thursday morning. Luckily it wasn’t an early day at work so a 6am alarm was sufficient.
I was able to take advantage of having my husband still home and ran outside. There’s a nice little 2.9 miles loop from my house. It was a nice morning and I saw many fellow crazies. It was a sunny morning and really enjoyed this run. I finished 2.9 mikes in 38:15 – including warm-up and cool down. It really helped me feel good all day. I wish it were easier to run in the morning more…
Today (Saturday) was long run day. Zachary woke up at 5:45am. Ugh. By the time I was up and ready to run I felt tired, sore, and had a headache. I have not done a great job of drinking water this week and I was definitely feeling that. I sent Tom to the track for his run and hit the treadmill. This was not the best run ever. I finished 4 miles in 55:07 and did an additional 0.62 miles of walking as warm-up and cool down. My biggest concern is that I’m developing a significant pain in the rear end. The pain is only on the left side and I’ve had it before. I think this is called pyriformis syndrome but I need to research it more. Great. Week 2 of training and I’m already injured. Ugh.
In the plus column both Tom and I are 6 for 6 with our runs! I think I’ll skip speed work next week and slow down a bit. Hopefully that will help this pain go away.

My 2nd week of marathon training started with a holiday – July 4th. This whole holiday thing seems to be bad for my training! Tom woke up, dressed, and rushed off to the track – leaving me with 3 kids to dress and feed. By the time he got back it was time to head over to the neighborhood 4th party followed by a party at the town pool. I was still – wishfully – hoping to make it to running clinic on Monday night. Seeing 3 exhausted kids + one exhausted husband + dinner at my mother-in-law’s house, I soon realized my plans were going to fail.
Today (Tuesday) was an operating day for me and the 1st day of camp for the older 2 kids. I was up late getting things ready and then the alarm went off at 5:30am. I was out the door at 6:30am (ok, I was supposed to be out the door by 6:30 but the kids were having a monster fight over who was going to pour Zachary some apple juice and I actually left closer to 6:45- thank goodness that summer commuter traffic is much lighter!). This is why early morning runs are not for me! I was fortunate enough to have an efficient day and was happily home by 5-ish. This was doubly lucky as I had brought the kids’ pool passes to work with me (again) and needed to rush home so my nanny could take them for an evening swim!
Today was hot and humid. At 5:30pm it was still hot and humid. I decided a nice run on the treadmill would be far more tolerable than a hot run outside. Especially because I didn’t do a great job of hydrating today. The treadmills have that clever drink holder!
I’m trying to increase my speed on the short runs, especially since I realize I can run faster. I stuck with run 1 min/walk 1 min but gradually increased the running speed up to 6.0.
My stats for today were 2.62 miles in 35 min including warm up and cool down. I felt pretty good (although eating tuna nicoise salad for lunch at 2:30pm may have been a mistake).

I’m happy to report that I’m 4 for 4 with training run! Let’s see how this works when I need to run 15 miles…
I was also reviewing my training so far this year. I started tracking my runs in February so I don’t have the data that includes my 1st half marathon. I’ve run about 160 miles this year. I realized that my monthly mileage is lower than some people’s weekly mileage! More motivation to actually run my runs!
Thursday is going to be tricky (another reason for Monday training runs- more flexibility in scheduling the rest of the week!). I have dinner plans after work so I may have to wake up early to run. Not my 1st choice but I think I can do it!