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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sometimes one battery must die in order to recharge another

I am happy to report that since my last blog entry, I've managed to stay relatively upright while in motion. The scrapes and cuts are healing since my last glorious escapade in the great outdoors.

Speaking of the great outdoors, can I just say brrrrrrr? Mother Nature, I am begging mas, no mas! However, being the hearty New Englander I am, I laced 'em up and headed out the door for a training run early this morning, wearing layers that would rival Ralphie's little brother in "A Christmas Story" (I can't put my arms down!).

Did I also happen to mention that I'm a slave to technology when I run, particularly when I'm running alone? I have the heart rate monitor, the GPS watch, the am I high maintenance. Normally, I don't consider myself to be a very anal person, but when it comes to running, I've timed 99% of EVERY training run or race I've done since 2003. I always HAVE to know how far I go and how fast it was. Call me crazy. It's one of my quirks (I have many).

A few weeks back, I found myself to be in a bit of a funk. I felt tired, listless, frustrated, slow and sick. All classic symptoms of overtraining. This is my 3rd marathon in one year and distance running can be very taxing on the body, not to mention the psyche. As much as I love to run, I was beginning to feel like I was in a bad relationship. Must...keep...going...can't...stop...running. After all, I had taken on this huge commitment to train and fundraise for the Lazarus House, a very worthy and admirable charity. How can I fulfill this promise if every step is an effort???

Aside from scaling back the miles a bit, I wondered what else I could do in order to restore that fire in the belly. One of my dear friends suggested I "leave the watch at home" for a while. You know, just get out there, enjoy the scenery and don't worry about my time. Stop and smell the roses (well, slow down and get a whiff as you pass them, really). Run just for the sheer joy of it. I said I'd think about it. That was a couple of weeks ago.

I walk outside to put on my gps watch and "BATTERY LOW" ominously appears on my display. Hmmmm, I thought, that's odd. Well, I'm sure it'll last long enough for my run.

So off I went. All of a sudden, I look down and the watch is completely blank!!! The horror, the HORROR!!!! What do I do? I have no idea how long I had been gone or how far I had run...I just kept moving. The OCD started kicking in. Mentally retracing my steps while formulating plans to drive the route afterwards began to flood my thoughts. Then, it hit me.

I was enjoying it. I could have been out there 5 or 15 minutes. I didn't really know. And it was okay! I ran for a while longer enjoying my tunes. When the time came to go back home and get ready for work, I chuckled to myself. I may not have followed my friend's advice, but it ended up following me instead!!!

So, I guess, sometimes, one battery must die in order to recharge another. I felt accomplished. I felt free. I felt good! And I still haven't driven the route. Yet. ;-)

As of today, I'm up to $1,311 in donations for the Lazarus House. Thanks to all who have contributed to that number. If you are in the position to help me make a difference in the lives of many deserving, needy people, please visit my webpage below:

Only 23 more days until Spring. Whoo hoo!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The blood...the sweat...the tears (like tear/rip, not tear/cry)

Well, I have to say that my training has been going pretty well so far. I ran a 20 miler with Christine on Friday, late morning. I planned the route this time, so no treks through the snow (ooh, sorry...just HAD to throw that one in). The first few miles were rough...both of us couldn't imagine how we were going to get through it. See, once you make the transition into distance running (at least in my experience), it takes you FOREVER to warm-up...kind of like when you see people running the 5K course BEFORE the gun goes off? Yeah, like that.

Thankfully, it got better as we went along. With only two necessary stops (thank you, Dunkin' Donuts), we did it in 3:10. Both of us were relieved to have it done and out of the way so we could enjoy our holiday weekend (thank you, Presidents Day). In fact, the main reason we ran on Friday was because I was getting out of Dodge for the weekend. Cyndi's had it with this @#$&* cold so she was off someplace tropical.

Yup, you guessed it. New Jersey.

Okay, so it's not the Bahamas, but hey, there wasn't a patch of snow to be found in the Garden State and it was in the mid 40's the entire time I was there. I needed a brief respite from the ravages of winter in New England. Besides, it's where I'm from and I have family there. And I stay for free. :-)

So, now I will explain the title of my blog.

I ran 6 miles on Saturday morning, fairly tentatively and slowly since I had done 20 miles the day before. At the end of the run, I felt pretty good and energized. So, I figured I'd run the same course on Sunday and see if I felt any stronger.

I never saw it coming.

I'm about 1.5-2 miles into my run where the sidewalk goes from concrete to uneven stone and brick. Cyndi's got the iPod going and is daydreaming as usual when all of a sudden...

I FELL! Seriously, I fell. My shoe must have caught in the gap between stones and I lost my balance. It's a's a, it's just clumsy old me wiping out for all the world to see. Like all the cool stuntpeople (being politically correct here) do in the movies, I wiped out in style, rolling over mid fall and landing on my back on the grassy/dirt part of the sidewalk. Of course this HAD to happen at 9:45 a.m. on a Sunday when EVERYONE in Cranbury, NJ was out and about. In true New Jersey fashion, NO ONE stopped to see if I was alive and well, so I jumped back up and started running again. About a minute or two later, the embarrassment began to fade and I am thinking to myself, "okay, does anything hurt? Did I pull a muscle anyplace?" I felt the random twinge here and there, but nothing major.

At the end of the run, I went back to my cousin's house to survey the damage. I think I lost about four layers of skin from my right knee and I have this bitchin' scratch up the lateral side of my shin. Makes me look tough, sorta. But, I am no worse for the wear. Just another day in the life of training for the Boston Marathon, my friends.

I am happy to report that I'm up to $1,250.00 for the Lazarus House. If you haven't yet checked out my personal webpage, please check it out below:

If you are in a position to contribute, I would welcome your support.

Another snow/ice/rain event is in the forecast for tonight. One month and three days until spring. Bring it, Mother Nature.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why can't we have it all?

We were so excited. Like children on Christmas morning.

The weather prognosticators were forecasting temperatures in the upper 40's for Sunday, February 8th. Shoot, it might even hit FIFTY degrees! That is equivalent to getting 13 bagels for the price of 12. Bonus! Christine, my excellent training partner, and I were debating: shorts or tights? Shorts or tights?

Well, we opted to go the safe route and wore the latter. However, we ditched the traditional winter hat and headwraps for dri-fit baseball hats instead. It's going to be in the 40's we said. Who NEEDS to cover the ears????

We met at the local gym near my house around 9:30. After lacing them up and emptying our bladders once or twice (hey, all runners know that feeling), we hit the road. We were chatting away the first 3-4 miles, remarking on how nice it was to see the sun and how much lighter we felt with half the layers that are normally required on a long run in the winter. And then, the wind came.

If anyone within reading distance has ever enjoyed, endured or suffered through a run on Route 111, you will immediately begin to sympathize with us. The second we turned on that road, it was as if we entered a wind tunnel. Not only had we entered a wind tunnel, but we were going up, and up, and up. It wasn't one of those "in your face, beotch!" hills where it's short and steep. No, not this road. It is a gradual incline that goes for about, oh, I don't know, almost a mile, perhaps???? Imagine someone wrapping a large elastic band around your waist and pulling as you try your hardest to run away from them. Yeah, that was how our 3 mile stretch of 111 felt. Christine had the brilliant idea at one point of running in front of me in an attempt to shield me from the wind. What a doll. Did I mention that this doll is 100 lbs. soaking wet?? Yeah, so we determined that wouldn't work. But, it's the thought that counts. ;-)

Once we hit 7 miles (our schedule called for 12 today), we got off of that blasted road and ran through some neighborhoods. There were occasional gusts (at one point, Christine's baseball hat flew off her head. She had to go running after it. ;-) But, we dug down deep and sucked it up. At one point she cried out, "Why can't we have it all????", meaning we were fortunate enough to be enjoying seasonally warm temperatures. However, the sun took an extended coffee break and the wind was working overtime.

Why can't we have it all?

I'm reminded every day, by my endeavor to raise money for Lazarus House, just how fortunate I am. The economy has affected all of us in some way. We've had to make some sacrifices and forego some things. But, I always know where my next meal is coming from. I always know where I'm going to sleep at night.

As of right now, I've been able to raise $1,115.00 towards my fundraising goal of $3,000.00, thanks to the kindness and generosity of family, friends, co-workers and people with big hearts. If you haven't yet donated and would like to contribute, here is a link to my personal webpage:

Now, I'm going to have some birthday cake with my friend, Sarah. Peace, my friends. Until next time.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dashing through the snow...

I'm telling you, I couldn't make this stuff up if I TRIED.

So, Christine and I were planning on 18 miler for yesterday. She is like the "Mapmyrun" and "USATF" queen...she had our route done like two WEEKS ago, she was so excited..

Side note: This is the young lady who I ran 10 miles in that snowstorm with a few weeks back. Her idea, mostly, although I'm glad I succumbed to peer pressure.

Okay, now, back to our story.

So, we're running and talking, and running and sniffling and running and fueling. About 15.5 miles in, we turned on this road that was supposed to keep going. Um, it didn't. Yup, just stopped, with a big pile of snow at the a dead end road. My running partner looks at me and says, "I swear the road kept going on the map. I SWEAR." So, Christine asked a couple of people who happened to be outside how to get to this road we were looking for since it appeared we were stuck. The husband (boyfriend, man of the house, whatever he was) says, "well, if you go down here, take a left, go to the end, take a another left, run down 102, blah, blah, blah...turn, turn, turn...there is the road. Or you just walk through the snow and follow the snowmobile tracks and there it is."


So, we look at each other and say, "okay, thanks" to the man. And we commenced climbing up the snow bank and started stomping through the woods in the snow. It went something like this "walk, walk, walk, SINK...walk, walk, walk, SINK..." It was like snowshoeing with ballet slippers on. Kinda made you suck wind in a different sort of way.

This went on for about 1/3-1/2 mile, we think...not too sure, because my GPS kept autopausing and autoresuming. It does this if you don't maintain a fast enough pace. Well, excuse meeeee.....

The good news was, we did find the road, we didn't fall down and break any bones and made it back to her house in once piece.

Next time, I am planning the long run. Love ya, Christine!

Just checked my page and I'm up to $1,105! If you haven't donated yet and are able to contribute, I could use your support! Go to: