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Monday, February 28, 2011

Mother Nature, why hast thou forsaken us???

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Boy, they aren't kidding.

I don't know the details, but SOMEONE or SOMETHING in the Northeast really got on Mother Nature's last nerve. 

Don't look at me; I sure didn't do it.

I know it's hard to believe but we actually got more SNOW on Sunday.  Imagine that???  Because, apparently, we haven't had enough. 

Somewhere along the line, we forgot that we are "Hearty New Englanders".  Aside from skiers and snowboarders, I think the majority of us is waving the white flag, offering sweet surrender and begging for mercy.

Yesterday was my long run day.  I had a 14 miler on my schedule.  I did check the weather forecast ahead of time, which was calling for 1-4" of snow overnight, ending early Sunday morning.  So, I did my normal easy six miler on Saturday, seeing no reason for changing things around.  I mean, really.  After the winter we've had, 1-4" is nothing.

And that's true.  However, I woke up to well over 5" of snow on Sunday morning and there was no end in sight.  In fact, it snowed until 11:30 a.m. before it decided to beat feet outta here.


Truly, at this stage in the game, there is really no point in getting upset about it.  As I've mentioned in prior posts, we can't control the weather (and it's abundantly clear that those tv weatherpeople aren't very good at it either).  Running 14 miles takes energy.  Do I really want to squander it by bitching and complaining about more snow?


So, embracing the whole, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" philosophy, I got myself dressed and headed over to the gym. 

Yes, the gym.  Where the treadmills are. 

Is it my preference to run in place for over two hours?  No.  But, I had to make the best of what the current reality was.  And, my current reality was snow covered roads that probably weren't very safe to run on.

So, I went, armed with my big bottle of gatorade, iPod and sweat towel.  I did my 14 miles. 

And I'd do it again if I had to.

Because, some days, you just have to do the best you can with what you have.  In other words, make the most of the cards you're dealt.  Because, a full house or a straight flush is just around the corner.

I promise.

Today is February 28th.

Spring begins in 21 more days.  This too shall pass.  It always does.

In the meantime, I'll train however I'm able and make the most of the options I do have. 

It can't snow all the time.  Eventually, even Mother Nature will want to get a suntan.

Keep the faith, peeps...

Monday, February 21, 2011

One of these things doesn't look like the other

This time last year, I had four races under my belt:  Hangover Classic 10K, Boston Prep 16 Miler, Bradford Valentine 5 Miler and the LOCO Half at the Hamptons.

This year, I have NADA.

That's right.  Haven't...raced...a step.

Don't get me wrong.  I've been running.  I've done intervals.  I'm "training".

But, this time last year, I was still chasing that "elusive BQ" time.  This time last year, I had an agenda.

This year, I only have to collect my reward:  show up in Hopkinton on Monday, April 18th and just "do my thang".

I'm taking it one day at a time, here.  I wake up every day and look at my "schedule".  I think about what I want to do that day.  If it coincides with the schedule, great.  If not, I've managed to be okay with that too.  I'm making it up as I go along; flying by the seat of my pants, if you will.  Yesterday, I was only supposed to do 10 miles.  Instead, I did 12.5.

Stuff like that.  Spontaneity.

This is new for me.  Not only do I feel like I have to follow a training schedule to the letter but, I'm also a recovering "control freak" who always feels like she has to be "doing something".

This year, I just want to be Cyndi the runner.

And I think I like it.

I don't feel a need to "prove myself" or "accomplish anything".  I still have residual ambivalence about racing.  I'm still separating what I want to be from what I think I'm supposed to be.  And I think I'm doing very well.  There is plenty of time to figure it out.  And I don't have to try so hard.

From now until Boston, I'm just planning on going with the flow and making each run as enjoyable as it can be.

You won't be finding me in any race results on least for now.

Just keep an eye on the roads.

Look for the bouncing, blonde ponytail.

And the look of contentment.

That'll be me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Six and a half weeks...

...since beginning my low HR experiment (see my post about "to get faster run...slower?).  I ran 8 miles outside on an unseasonally warm day (by February in New England standards) and hit the motherload:  an average HR of 146 bpm.  Here are my garmin stats:

Great Eight by cyndilou1971 at Garmin Connect - Details

I am feeling good about running slow.  I think it's making a positive impact on my conditioning.  I can't wait to see how it affects my race paces.  Fun!

Two months and one day until the Boston Marathon.  I'm feeling good, building a kickass aerobic base and am looking forward to the next run whenever and wherever it is.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Calling All Generous People

I am pleased to announce that I am a part of the 2011 New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Boston Marathon Team.

I think I've mentioned in the blog once, twice, or fifty times, that I had a dream to qualify for Boston.  I had run it twice for charity (2008, 2009), but decided that I wouldn't run it again until I could be there "for real" as a BQ'er.

That dream came true for me on May 30, 2010 at the Vermont City Marathon when I crossed the finish line in 3:43:30, which was 2 minutes and 29 seconds faster than the 3:45:59 required for the F35-39 age group.

When registration opened on Monday, October 18th, 2010, I got right on my computer and registered.  I paid the $130 entrance fee, submitted my qualifying time and, voila, I was in.

Easy Peasy.  No muss, no fuss.  I was in on my own merits.  I didn't need the help of a track club or a charity to get me a #.  I got it myself.

Sooooooooooooo, why am I running for a charity?  Why am I raising money when it's not a requirement?

First of all, I think it's great to raise money just because, well, you want to.  I only need to come up with $750, compared to the $3,250 minimum that is mandated by the BAA Charities.  Secondly, I heart my New England Patriots and I think it'd be a wicked BLAST to be on their marathon team.  I'm going to run it anyway.  Why not align myself with the best football team in the country?

(Sidebar:  Yes, I realize that the Green Bay packers won the Superbowl.  I still think the New England Patriots are the best team in the country.  This is my blog and I can say whatever I want.)

Lastly, I think anyone can deepen their running experience by bringing meaning and purpose to their races, whether they are "qualified" or not.  What better way to give back than to do something that I love doing?

And now, we have come to the part where I am going to throw myself at your feet, begging and pleading for your money.

Okay, maybe I'm being just a TAD dramatic.

But, I'd love it if you would visit my fundraising page:

Check it out. 

And donate...but only if you feel like it. 

Thanks for your support.  Whether it be in word or deed, it's acknowledged and appreciated.

“Our deepest need is for the joy that comes with …knowing we are of genuine use to others.”
-- Eknath Easwaran