Archive for October, 2011

Week 17 – Oops!!!

Week 17 started off poorly, as so many of my training weeks have been recently. I returned from Boston on Monday and missed running clinic. Tuesday I had to take my son to a doctor’s appointment after work and was racing home to make it on time. Wednesday was a long day in the OR and Thursday a long day in the office. Plus, I had delusions of doing my long run on Friday – my 40th birthday. Instead I slept later than intended and missed the early morning opportunity to run. I didn’t have patients scheduled and hadn’t decided if I’d go to the office or not when my children made the decision for me. While listening to the whining, “I’m not going to school if you’re not going to work!” I quickly dressed to office-appropriate clothes and headed out the door! I left work after lunch for a long-overdue manicure/pedicure before heading to my children’s instrument lessons.
My training schedule was a little messed up by my recent half marathon. Mr. Galloway had intended for me to run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Disney, which took place one week before my half marathon. Unfortunately the Jewish Holiday schedule, my job, and my family felt otherwise. While I would have LOVED to run W&D on the 40th anniversary of the opening of Magic Kingdom in Disney World, it wasn’t meant to be. I had tried to re-work the training schedule to reflect my half marathon a week later but apparently I had gotten confused. I had it in my head that this weekend was supposed to be a 17 mile training run. I was obsessing over how I was going to manage.
Saturday was going to be a crazy day no matter how you sliced it. Nathaniel, my eldest, went home with my parents on Friday night so I didn’t need to worry about him. Tom would drop Jessica off at Hebrew School at 9am but then Tom needed to make rounds at the hospital and then head to Long Island for a bris (my husband is a mohel – someone who does ritual circumcisions for Jewish baby boys). He wouldn’t have usually agreed to a bris on this day but this was another doctor with whom he works. The father of the baby is super nice and really, really wanted Tom to be the mohel. My fabulous nanny was babysitting for Zachary’s best friend and offered to pick up Zachary at 8:30am for a play date. Which meant I had to finish my “17 miles” in time to pick up Jessica at 11am from Hebrew School and run her over to ballet. After ballet I had to pack my bag (and probably Tom’s bag, too) so we could catch at 6:55pm plane from JFK to go to Florida. Things were not looking good for our hero!
I woke up later than I intended and started the day off crabby. I was pretty stressed about the fact that I was never going to manage 17 miles, pick up Jessica, get to ballet, buy Tom a carry-on bag with wheels, take Jessica out to lunch, and finish packing in time for my flight. I also had been feeling pretty sore since my half marathon and hadn’t really had a good run yet. I hopped on the treadmill around 7:30-ish and decided that I would finish 10 miles and be ok with it. My first stop was after 4 miles when my nanny arrived to get Zachary. Another 2.25 miles later and I had to stop to talk to Nathaniel on the phone. I finished the 10 miles in about 2:20. I walked several of the miles due to muscle soreness. More importantly I finished in time to shower, dress, and pack before picking up Jessica.
When I went to check off my run on my training calendar (posted on the wall by my computer), I realized that I had switched my weeks. This week was supposed to be a 6 mile run and next Saturday the 17 mile run. OOPS! All that stress for nothing! I would have easily finished 6 miles without a worry.
For the record – I bought a really nice bag for Tom while Jessica was at ballet (and she was a star – even earned an extra sticker for knowing ALL of the French ballet words that they’ve learned), Jessica and I had a wonderful girl lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, and Tom and I easily made our flight with time to spare. I ate lots of pasta at lunch so I didn’t have any post-training crabbiness which I get when I underfuel. And most importantly Tom and I had a fantastic, albeit short, trip to Florida! All in all a success.

After running 13.1 miles last weekend I found some persistent soreness in my quads. I decided to take it easy this week to recover. On Saturday I decided to get back to it with a 4 mile run. I’m currently in Boston for the American Academy of Pediatrics Conference. I tried to get out of training this weekend by almost forgetting to pack my running shoes. Fortunately I realized my mistake before heading out the door.
Although my hotel offers running maps of the area, I decided it was easier to just go to the gym. I foolishly left my headphones in my room so I was without the benefit of tv or music. I quickly realized that my quads have not yet recovered. I did run/walk for the first mile and then finished at a fast walk (4.0 to 4.1 miles/hour). I was completely bored and debating giving up when I was rescued at 3.25 miles by a phone call from my children. Yay!
Hopefully next week I’ll get back up and running…

Race Day

I’ve finally realized that I’m never going to get caught up on blogging if I don’t skip ahead to the present. Let me quickly summarize the last few weeks….
I finally dropped back to the run/walk group at my Monday running group. To my surprise I found it to be about right for me!
Then I had a sick child and missed a lot of runs, including one weekend 4 miler and many mid-week runs. I did manage a 6 miler last weekend at 13 min/mile pace.
That pretty much bring me to today’s race.
I missed both mid-week runs this week and developed a cold in the process. I then spent the week obsessing about the weather reports. Somehow the temperature got warmer and warmer each time I checked. The race day high was predicted to be 84 degrees – about 20 degrees higher than ideal. Add Yom Kippur to the mix (I didn’t fast this year – I used the “I’m not Jewish and I’m running a race tomorrow” card). My pre-race meal was a Break Fast complete with bagels, lox, and cream cheese.
I picked up my race “packet” yesterday. I say “packet” because it consisted of a plastic bag with a t-shirt (which is actually quite nice – white short-sleeved tech shirt that actually fits!), a bib, and 4 safety pins. No papers. No race expo. Pretty simple. I picked out my outfit last night and attached my bib. I went with the lightest weight possible over fashion. It pained me to leave the running skirt home but my goal was to avoid any risk of chafing.
This was the first race I’ve done that was truly local. No 3am alarms or early morning trains into NYC. I figured I could leave home at 7:15 and still get to the race an hour before start time. I woke up and showered (Why? Habit? Wake-up?). I got dressed and made sure I had my race gear – iPod with arm band and headphones, spibelt with fuel and iPhone, Galloway run/walk timer, bad-a$$ headband to keep stray hair away, etc. I wasn’t feeling hungry but drank a glass of chocolate milk and grabbed the last (and very sad looking) banana for the road. I grabbed a Gatorade but drank very little on the way over.
I parked in the County Center lot at a cost of $5. There were plenty of parking spaces even though there were already lots of runners out and about. I left my race bag in the car along with my sweatshirt (it was still in the 50s at this point) and walked over to the festival area. They had a DJ going and a festive atmosphere. I bumped into a woman from the running clinic and we hung out. She mentioned indoor bathrooms in the County Center so I ran off to have my last encounter with indoor plumbing.
They started the half marathon walk division 30 min before the runners. We were all starting together – no corrals. I didn’t want to start in the back because I knew I would be really slow and didn’t want to feel too far. I picked a spot in the middle and at the outside. I realized run/walk would be challenging until the crowd thinned and I was a little worried.
I decided on a run 1/walk 1 since that’s where I’ve been training and I wasn’t really feeling well-enough to push too hard. For the first interval I ran 2 min – just to not get trampled. I finished the first mile slightly faster than 12 min, which was faster than I wanted to go. Shortly after the first mile – and during one of my walk breaks – a man from a local running group came to talk to me. At first I thought he was “training” some of the newer runners from the group – sort of a team-in-training thing – but it soon became clear that he had noticed my run/walk intervals. Apparently he had injured his calf on a trail race last weekend and immediately had a flare-up. He thought about dropping out when he noticed that I was taking regular walk breaks. He had an epiphany that he could probably finish if he joined me. So I found myself a race partner!
My wonderful family was waiting for me around mile 2. Definitely a highlight! The aid stations were well-stocked and often staffed with enthusiastic children. There were not a lot of spectators so I was glad to have a running partner. The race went down the Bronx River Parkway for 6.5 miles with a turn around at Scarsdale Road. My running partner thought we were last but we found that by the halfway point we were passing lots of people. The beauty of run/walk! Around mile 5 we saw one of my Residents running the other way. He leaped over the divider to say hello. That was fun.
The second half had more uphills. We gave ourselves some extra walking for the uphills but added some run time to make up for it. The heat was definitely a factor on the back half of the race. I also had some stomach discomfort – maybe smoked fish isn’t ideal pre-race food? – which bothered me for most of the race.
My new friend and I finished together – 2:41:55 for an average of 12:23 min/mile. Not my best but not my worst. I wasn’t even last in my division! And my lovely resident was there to see me finish (thank you Aaron, if you read this). And a big thanks to Peter Gross who was a fabulous running companion even though we never met before!
My new medal is nice. Not Disney medal nice but still a nice addition to my budding collection.
I felt really crappy after the race. Under fueled and dehydrated. Even though I fueled and drank throughout. Maybe it was just the heat? I found some water and coconut water, bananas, etc. I had some chills, too. I finally felt well enough to drive home.
Lessons learned:
1. Keep up with my training.
2. Work on leg strength. My rate limiting factor is leg muscles. Hills, here I come.
3. Re-fueling is an all-day phenomenon.
4. Run/walk works. Believe.
5. DLF > DNF >> DNS. Dead last finish is greater than Did not finish which greatly trumps Did not start. (credit to W.I.S.H. Team) I may be slow but I’ve successfully finished 3 half marathons this year. While several hundred people finished before me today, several million never even started the race!

The problem with having the kids back in school is that there are lots of activities going on. On Monday, September 12th was the Elementary School picnic. No running clinic for me. And mid-way through the picnic there were torrential thunderstorms complete with hail. I wasn’t sorry to miss running clinic in that weather!
I got a Tuesday treadmill run done. Nothing great. Nothing terrible.
I missed my 2nd mid-week run. Again. See a theme here????
Saturday I was slated for 13 miles. Really???? I decided to try a run 30 sec/walk 30 sec approach since I was feeling rather undertrained at this point. My goal was to finish, regardless of time. And I did. In less than 3 hours. And I felt pretty good. The run was another treadmill special with Disney Junior as entertainment (nothing like running for almost 3 hours while trying to amuse a 3 year old – try it sometime!). I took a quick bathroom break/water refill at the end of each hour. And I wasn’t destroyed afterwards.
At this point I know I can finish my October 9th half marathon. I don’t think I’ll PR (personal record) or anything. In fact, I’m suspecting it’ll be my slowest 1/2 marathon time yet. But we’ll see….