FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Friday, September 4, 2015

Left You Hanging!

16 miles
Four 4-mile runs
Course plotted

Two 10 oz bottles of Powerade
Honey Stinger Waffles
Gatorade Chews
Frozen Powerade and Powerbar Wafers in the car.


the best beverage after a long run, besides iced coffee!

Done. We ran 16 miles in 4:02:37. I ran when I felt I could. I walked when I needed to. Charlie estimates we walked 50%. I feel like I ran more than that. Envisioning the miles as four separate runs helped tremendously. The last two miles were hard, but in that last mile I still had several short run intervals. I would just call out a mailbox or telephone pole or stop sign and get myself to it. I didn't feel like death warmed over at the end. I could have even walked another mile. It would have been slow, but I could have dragged my ass the distance. Our total moving time was about one minute less than 4 hours, which means we managed the 15 minute pace we need to keep for the 18 miler on the 20th. I am worried about the hilly course of Central Park, but I will just try my best to do it.

It's hard to believe that after running 16 miles, there will still be 10 more miles to go on marathon day. That's going to take more physical and mental work. I decided we're running the Inaugural Suffolk County Half Marathon on my 44th birthday, which is a week before the Central Park run. Scheduling these races were a good idea to make me get the miles done. After the 18, I want to do the requisite 20 miler and a 23 miler. Galloway's plan calls for a 26 miler 3 weeks before the big day. I am not sure that's something I want to do. It will take a huge toll on my body and I also want to leave a couple miles to stretch for in NYC. What do you think?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Four 4-Mile Runs

So it was absolutely perfect timing that in my Facebook feed this morning, Women's Running magazine posted a link to an article about Mental Tricks For Long Runs. Thinking about running 16 miles gives me the excited "butterflies in your stomach" feeling, but it also scares the bejeezus out of me at the same time. In the article, the author breaks her long runs up into manageable distances. She took her 20 mile training run and divided it up into four 5-mile runs. You only concern yourself with the section of the run you are in. You do not think about the one you ran, nor the runs you still have left to do.

A 16 miler becomes four "easy peasy" 4-mile runs. After reading the post, I plotted our course. It's basically the half marathon course we've been doing. I am still hoping for those ocean breezes to make the run more pleasant. We will park in the same spot, run a 4 mile loop south, out over the bridge, around the beach and back to the car. From there, we will run 4 miles north to the Dunkin Donuts (using it only as a mile marker hopefully), zig zagging a bit through one development. The third 4 mile leg will be the reverse of the second, back to the car to refuel, and finally repeat the first leg out and around the beach for our final four miles.

When you take such a daunting task and nibble at it in human bites, it no longer seems that scary. I mean, I can't eat an entire layer cake in one bite, but if I take a forkful at a time, it will eventually make its way to my stomach, right? ;)

 Here's the course:

Gonna have to figure out how to get rid of the extra .08 miles! Ain't nobody got time for that!!

I truly am hoping this technique will do the trick. Why did it take so long to think of it this way, though? How do you get through long-ass runs?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

6 Equals 16, Right?

I am sure with that new fangled common core math I can make that equation work out, but when it comes to long runs, it ain't happening. I have a bad tooth. I have ignored it. And it's my own damn fault. Just another result of my old bad habits of eating sugary crappy food late into the night without taking care of my teeth. Last night this toothache was a pain like no other.

I took two extra strength Tylenol at 9 pm, just before bed. I was up at 1:30 am and just could not shake the pain. I wound up propping up all my pillows to try and sleep upright. I ran through 'The Four Seasons' three times on the DVD player. I held an ice pack to my jaw. I didn't want to take more meds or something stronger because I want them to work when I really need them. DUH. That time was LAST NIGHT!

When the alarm went off at 6 am all I could think was "F*CK THAT!" I went downstairs and informed my husband of the night I had (We mostly sleep separately. Don't worry. It works for us since Charlie worked nights for the first 10 years we were married and I just need the WHOLE bed.). I managed to prop myself up on the couch and sleep. I slept TWO whole hours. The pain goes away during the day and when I am upright. Doesn't make sense, right? I am completely pain free right now, and I haven't had a pill since 11 am. Things that make you go "hmmmmm".

So I suggested we run at the gym, side by side, on treadmills. I honestly didn't have any intentions of doing 16 on a treadmill. Can't imagine that at my gym. The TVs are preset on certain channels and there is no playlist long enough or fun enough to keep me going that long. After my great run on Friday I decided I would top that. I set the walk interval speed at 3.7 mph, set the run interval speed at 5.2 mph (a tenth of a mile slower than the last run) and after a 5 minute warm up at 3.0 mph (cool down was the same) I had at it. I did a one minute walk at 3.7 mph, a 35 minute run, two minute walk, 15 minute run, two minute walk and a 9 minute run to finish 5.5 miles in 1:04:42!! I only walked 5 minutes in a 65 minute run. That's an 11:46 pace!! I know my last run was at an 11:36 pace, but that run was two miles shorter. I'm gonna kill the first five miles of the marathon! And then it will kill me!

Next week's agenda.... 16 miles.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Anxious Anticipation

It's Saturday afternoon, which means I am about 14 hours away from my long run for the week. Tomorrow's distance? 16 miles. I am both excited to take on the task and worried about all the things that could happen simultaneously. The last two weeks of runs have been pretty good, in my opinion. My last longish run wound up being the last training run for the Suffolk County Marathon on the 13th. It was supposed to be two 5 mile loops in the town of Babylon, along the bay, but for some reason it was changed to the 10k trail course of Southard Pond Park. Charlie switched his late night so he could run with me and our friends Laurie and Kim. It was a tough course, lots of gravel and horse manure to maneuver around. We managed to do 7.45 miles in 1:46:53. The best part was the BOGO drinks after the run at Mary Carroll's.  I'm not a drinker, but that Angry Orchard hard cider was one of the best I have tasted!!

Laurie, Kim, Charlie and me (PIC courtesy of Laurie!)

The morning of the 16th I ran a 10k on the treadmill in 1:17:01. That's a 12:24 mile. Then after another treadmil1 run on Tuesday, yesterday I managed to do something I haven't done in what feels like forever. After a 5 minute warm up walk at 3.0 mph, I set the jog interval speed to 3.7 mph and the run speed to 5.3 mph. I walked for 1 minute at 3.7 and then ran for 25 minutes STRAIGHT at 5.3 mph. I then took a 2 minute walk break at 3.7 and finished my 40 minute run with 12 minutes at 5.3. That's only 3 minutes of walking in a 40 minute period, if you're doing the math! I did 3.45 miles in those 40 minutes and managed to average an 11:36 pace!

That's a major improvement for me and something I need to transfer to the streets when we are out on our long runs. Of course there is a difference between treadmill and outdoor running AND sustaining a pace for 5 miles versus 15, but I feel if I can improve those initial 5 miles, miles 15 and 16 won't seem so bad. If I can continue to push myself on my weekday runs, then eventually the first 10 miles will be stronger, and the marathon possibly won't drag on forever! The reason I am most concerned about this is that damn 4:30 course limit on the 18 mile marathon tune up run we have coming up on September 20th. With that being said, my 16 miler needs to be done under 4:00!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Third Time's The Charm!

Sunday was a great day for a long run, even with the sun blaring down on us. I decided Charlie and I would run the Hope Runs Here Half course and then add a bit more to hit my 14 mile mark. We parked at my niece's house, which is on the course, and headed out to William Floyd Parkway from there. Thankfully my Garmin found a satellite rather quickly and our warm-up walk was included in our total distance.

 At 7:45 am we got going, starting at about the bottom left of that rectangle, under mile marker 4. We then went up that block and headed south towards the beach and over the bridge. The ocean breezes were absolutely mahvelous and exactly the opposite of what the conditions were on that half day! I just ran as far as I could and then would walk a bit. I wasn't using my Gymboss with the 2:1 interval. Charlie said he thinks I am running further without it since all I seem to do is anticipate the beeps of the timer to start and stop. It made the run more enjoyable without all that noise!

The incline of the bridge seemed like nothing compared to the hills we've been running on in Selden. We were able to run up it both going into and out of the beach. We ran passed the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial and out along the perimeter of the parking lot. We continued out, back over the bridge, up WFP and made our left, heading back past the car (I should have stocked it with cold drinks!!), along Grandview and the beautiful Great South Bay. Once we were back on the highway we made another left turn into the neighborhood just south of mine.

Unfortunately, the street we turned onto borders the Wertheim Wildlife Refuge and the biting bugs were out in full force, just like the first time we attempted a 14 miler! We got away from that area as quickly as we could and headed into the Smith Point Estates, where the streets are nice and wide and lined with gorgeous homes to ooh and aah over. The best part about a nice neighborhood like that? SPRINKLER SYSTEMS!!! We ran through them as often as possible.

I had an idea of what our mileage was from knowing the course, so I did not look at my watch AT ALL. It was hard for me, but I wanted to be far enough along on the run to know I *would* get it done. We wound up burning through our beverages pretty quickly so we decided to make a pit stop at Dunkin Donuts and get that really refreshing unsweetened iced tea lemonade. We were only about a mile from the house at this point, and my plan was to run up to the house for more fluids, but I know me. It might have taken too much effort to leave the front door again. We filled up our bottles and I dumped some ice in my sports bra. HIGHLY SUGGESTED! And my watch was at nearly 8 miles at that point, in under 1:50, with the stop.

So back on the road, heading south on WFP and we decided to veer off the half course and start zig zagging up and down the blocks in order to rack up the miles. I slowed down some. The next 4 miles were done in a bit over an hour. My goal was to get the 14 miles done in the same time it took us to do the half marathon, which was 3:25:17. We hit mile 12 at 2:57 and my left calf started cramping, we were out of fluids, again, and it was now almost 11 am, full sun in effect. So we stopped at 7-11 and I got a Vitamin Water and we walked the last two miles, slowly. We got to the car at about mile 13 and just kept walking up and down the block, passing it four times.

Finish time of 3:39:03, but with the two pit stops we had a moving time of 3:35:36.

I need to work on both my endurance for the runs and my walking speed to hold a 15:00 mile and under for the TCS NYC Marathon 18 Tune-Up run on September 20th, which has a 4:30 course limit. It will hopefully be cooler but because it's in Central Park, it will be 3 hilly 6 mile loops. I am concerned but we'll be back to the hills course on Sunday for more hill training. I am going to attempt to get there once a week until that race and at least every other week until the marathon.

For now I am celebrating the fact that I made it through that mental blockade of going past the half marathon distance. I may possibly have more road blocks on future runs, but I need to remind myself of how far I have come since my knee injury and who I am doing this for- both myself and the EJ Autism Foundation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mental Road Block

I don't know what it is but going past the 13.1 half marathon distance just scares the ever loving shit out of me, and so instead of just doing it and getting it over with, I pussy foot around it. Two weeks ago, 14 miles was on the Galloway schedule. We went to the refuge and chaos ensued. The bugs got the best of us and we called it a day after 5+ torturous miles. Last Sunday we didn't run long at all because Charlie was recovering from a fall at work and a nice gash to his head. 14 had to get done yesterday.

So I hemmed and hawed over the best way to tackle 14 miles. I conferred with Charlie and my friend Laurie. OPTION 1: Run a 7 mile out and back run westward on Montauk Highway? That's kind of boring, a bit dangerous and I wasn't quite sure of the availability of restrooms and convenience stores along the route. OPTION 2: Head to the Selden Hills course, run the 10k course then a flat-ish 4 mile out and back course on Bicycle Path. Advantages to this plan of attack were running with others on the course and using the car as home base for fuel replenishment, but I still don't know about the bathroom situation, and would I even want to run a mile let alone 8 after the hills?... or OPTION 3: Run my local neighborhood for as many miles I can get and then go out onto Montauk Hwy for the last few out and back.

I chose door #3.

The benefit of running local is if I feel like death warmed over I would be close to home and all the comforts of it (read: TOILET!). Another advantage was most of the side streets by me have been repaved, so running is more pleasurable and less treacherous not having to dodge this winter's potholes. Instead of using my Gymboss and the 2:1 run/walk intervals, I decided to run the length of the side streets, which is about half a mile, then walk the cross streets. This method worked pretty well for the first 6 miles. I managed to get them done under 1:30 and then 8 under 2:00. I had a couple Gatorade chews and experienced my first Honey Stinger Waffle. We stopped several times to enjoy many of the neighbors sprinkler systems. It was going well and I was pretty proud of myself.

Then the overwhelming desire to drink something COLD and refreshing came over me and I needed water, with ice, and a straw. So we headed back towards home and Dunkin' Donuts. We got a large lemonade iced tea and walked. I was ready to call it quits at 10 miles, but I was feeling great, actually enjoying myself and Charlie's company. I turn into a happy camper while walking. We agreed we weren't going to attempt to run after walking so much and with fluid-filled bellies. I managed to get us home at 12.05 miles. I felt good enough to continue, but with our stops along the way (chatted with a friend and cousins) we were already out for 3+ hours, so we called it a day.

Am I looking back on the run and wishing I just did the 14 miles? Of course. I might have been able to run another 2 miles, zig zagging my way back to DD at maybe 10 miles, then walking the 4 additional miles. Charlie just asks "How much are you planning to do today?" and sets it in his mind to do it. I bargain and finagle my way out of it. And I am the only one who suffers for it. I SO wanted to be able to write the post "I DID IT! MY FURTHEST DISTANCE EVER!!" But that will be for another day. Next Sunday is our son's birthday, so we're going to head back to the hills for that challenging 10k course, knowing it won't take us forever and a day AND will be great preparation for the bridges and Central Park hills of the NYC Marathon course. So August 9th it must be.


Mistake #1: I rested the entire day on Saturday, but I went to the gym on Friday and got on the rowing machine for 15 minutes. I haven't rowed in a while and although I loved it, my hip flexors and shins were pissed at me. They were still tight yesterday morning.

Lesson: Don't do anything new a few days before long run day.

Mistake #2: July is hot and humid on Long Island. And guess what? It gets hotter the later in the day it is! *GASP*

Lesson: Try your damndest to get out before 7:45 am.

Mistake #3: Got all my gear together and filled my two 10 oz hydration belt bottles full to the brim with Gatorade. 20 oz of piss warm Gatorade is not enough fluid for 3+ hours of activity in said hot and humid weather.

Lesson: Either create a loop course to make pit stops at home to refill fluids or plant a stocked cooler on the course or make a quick pitstop on the course.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

101 Days

Gulp. Double gulp. 101 days until the NYC Marathon. Training? This shit is hard! Now I know why only 1% of the population has finished a marathon. If it was easy we'd all be doing it. So far my longest run was the half we did on June 14th. That was a challenge to say the least. Running a fall marathon means training in the Long Island heat and humidity. I don't want to turn into a whiny bitch, but my 5' 175 lb body was NOT made for running in those conditions! I melt like the Wicked Witch of the West out there!

Since the half, my longest run/walks have been 10.65 miles (in 3:02) on 6/28, a 10k (in 1:30) on the Selden Hills course on 7/5 and 7.85 miles (in 1:47) on 7/16 with my running buddy Laurie. The 6/28 run involved a lot of walking, but the 10k and 8 miler were pretty strong runs. It was my 2nd 10k on the hills and Charlie's 1st. That course is no joke, and I think running slow and steady shorter distances on it will prove to be better training than trying to go long on the flat area around my neighborhood. The huge hills are a mental challenge that I really need to stay engaged and NOT talk myself out of getting it done. Plus, the course is about a 20 minute ride from our house and a gaggle of people are always out doing their runs, so it's a lot like the atmosphere of a race, without the entry fee!

We're Hillbillies!

My buddy Laurie and I doing the Suffolk County Marathon 8 mile training run in Sayville

According to Galloway's plan I am behind, which really helps add to the stress of all this. Last Sunday we attempted a 14 miler in Wertheim Wildlife Refuge only a few blocks from our house. We were nearly abducted by the multitude of insects inhabiting the hot and humid woods along Carman's River. It was really funny at first since Charlie was bombarded pretty much the moment we got on the trail. And then they started attacking me. Not so funny. We tried our hardest to get the hell out of there and the 1.5 mile loop somehow turned into 4 miles. It was like being in the hedge maze of 'The Shining.' That run felt like the biggest waste of time, but we got out there and did 5.5 miles in about 1:30. I don't know exactly because somehow my Garmin didn't shut off and it managed to add 1.7 miles to my distance while sitting on the kitchen counter???

We didn't even attempt a long run this past Sunday because Charlie had a little mishap at work the Tuesday before. Apparently he was stocking a warehouse shelf and fell about 10 feet off the ladder, knocking his head either on the ladder or the concrete floor. He had a really nice gash in his left eyebrow and was gushing blood. He refused medical treatment or a ride home. I got the pleasure of observing him for signs of a concussion and watched him sleep when it was time for bed. And the next morning he had the perfect purple eyeliner on his upper lid. Now it's a complete shiner, reminiscent of Petey from 'The Little Rascals.' He was forced by his boss to see a doctor on Thursday before he was permitted to return to work. Other than a horrific scar, he's going to be okay.

I'm Spanky!

I've been pretty consistent with getting to the gym to either do a short run or cross train. I <3 the adaptive motion trainer. It's a combination of a stepper, elliptical and arc trainer that gives my hips a great stretch and continues to strengthen my legs without any impact whatsoever. If I'm not on that, I'll put in some time on the arc trainer or elliptical. The silver lining through all of this is I've lost about 18 pounds since February 16th. Of course those were pounds I found with inactivity and overeating during my year hiatus from running. This truly is a never-ending journey! I want to be down another 10 pounds on marathon day, which is about 3 pounds a month. Doable. No- DONE! No excuses. Please hound me on My Fitness Pal- my screen name is lindak71.

Today I signed us both up for the 18 mile Marathon Tune-Up run on September 20th (Charlie's 49th birthday) in Central Park. The course is 3 six mile loops complete with aid stations. The course limit is 4 hours and 30 minutes. That's a 15 minute mile average. Sounds doable, but I need to step it up the next two months to get there. My first 5 or 6 miles are strong and consistent, and then I start listening to that nagging voice in my head, screaming at me "THIS IS HARD!" "I FEEL LIKE SHIT!" "MY LEFT CALF IS ABOUT TO START CRAMPING!" "HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS FOR 26.2 MILES??!!??"

My friends who have completed the NYC Marathon previously continue to tell me that the palpable energy of the city and the 2,000,000 spectators will get me through it when I don't think I can. I pray they are right. And when I don't think I can do it, I need to put one foot in front of the other for all the people who WISH they could, including all of the kids that the EJ Autism Foundation, the charity I am running for, helps support here on Long Island. The BEST news I have to share with you all? Due to the tremendous turn out I had for the paint night/raffle event I hosted this past Friday, I ACHIEVED MY GOAL!!!! My friend Geri with Let's Party 'Artsy is a great painting instructor, and 28 friends and family members came to support my cause, painting a beautiful red sunflower, as well as purchased hundreds of dollars worth of raffle tickets for prizes donated by RoadID, Albionfit, Fusion Life Brand, Tupperware, The Pampered Chef, Bulu Box, Martha Clara Vineyards, Sayville Running Company, Kay Cameron Jewelers, Unique Fitness (my gym!) and Vanity Hair Salon. I am SO grateful to everyone who wants to help kids diagnosed on the autism spectrum as well as help me realize my dream of running the NYC Marathon with Charlie. I need to remember each and every one of you who helped while I am out there pounding the pavement. I shall not squander this opportunity and your generosity!!

All my friends and family's masterpieces!

I continue to fundraise.... My NYC Marathon Fundraising Page