A Great Long Run

March 30, 2008 at 3:56 am | Posted in Buffalo Marathon, friends, Long Run, Marathon training | Leave a comment

A great day for a great run!  The person I was supposed to meet for the first time was unable to join the Kellmans and I today – too bad but maybe next time.

I had such a fun long run on this sunny Saturday.  The first 7.2 miles I ran with Matt and we talked and talked and talked.  We talked about mutual friends, about racing (he’s a racing machine), about careers, about the Boston Marathon, about the NYC Marathon.  You name it, we talked about it.  Before I knew it we were back at his house in 1 hour 32 seconds.

Next, Karin and I ran 10 miles broken into two 5 mile loops with her house as a water stop.  This was the first time I’d ever done a long run like this and it was great!  We, too, talked and talked and talked but about girl things, memories from college (I’ll never share these on my blog!), men, kids, etc.  Another great couple of runs.  Our first loop was a slow 43:00 minutes but our second loop was 42:00 minutes

I finished my last 2 miles from the Kellman’s house but alone in 16:38.  Honestly, I felt better when I finished than I did when I started (I think this is a good sign).  Now, I just have to stay injury-free until the Buffalo Marathon on May 25.  To do this, I really need to let my body lead and not get caught up in the mental trap of “just a couple more miles won’t hurt!”

Total miles for today: 19.2

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Tomorrow’s Long Run

March 29, 2008 at 12:41 am | Posted in friends, Long Run, Marathon training, Wish list | Leave a comment

Just a quick post to say that I’m looking forward to meeting some friends tomorrow for my 19 mile run.  (Actually, I’m meeting a new potential friend for the first time, so I’m a bit nervous!)  Running long is always more fun when done with others – especially 19 miles!

It seems like many Rochester runners are heading to Boston in a few short weeks.  I pray that they’ll have a great time and a great run.  I also pray that I’ll be joining them next year!  Just have to keep my focus on Buffalo and pray that the surgery I’m having Friday doesn’t set me back too far.  My doc promises that I’ll only miss a week to 10 days of running and I’m holding him to his word!  (Pssst…crossing my fingers, toes, legs, eyes – anything that can be crossed – right now!)

My Friend, Karin

March 24, 2008 at 5:35 am | Posted in friends | Leave a comment

While checking out the new GRTC website earlier today I ran across this picture of my friend, Karin (pictured in the center), and taken after the Rochester Marathon 2007.  What a great day!    Sometimes I just can’t believe how lucky I was to meet her! 

karin-and-i-at-the-rochester-marathon.jpg

Tough Day at the Races!

March 23, 2008 at 12:13 am | Posted in Half Marathon, Racing | 2 Comments

Until Friday morning I was undecided as to whether or not I’d run the CATS Half Marathon at Mendon Ponds Park today. Karin’s lovely email helped me make my decision. Yes, I crawled..er, ran it. This is by far the hardest half I’ve ever run – it’s literally one challenging hill after another.This is how my morning went.

1:20 – Wake up. WHAT! It’s only 1:20! I’ve got to go back to sleep!! Please, stop that thinking, Mind!

3:00 – Finally dozed back to sleep. Ahhhh!!

7:30 – OH MY GOD! IT’S 7:30..I’VE OVERSLEPT!! No time to eat, no time for coffee, no time for anything but a very quick shower.

8:00 – I think I have everything I need – GU, hydration belt, ipod – let’s go!

8:20 – Arrive at race but still have to register. But where’s registration? Out of the back of a car. No wonder this half only costs $20!

8:45 – Find Karin and sit in my car and wait for the race to start. Man, it’s cold 22 degrees!

9:00 – And we’re off! But much too fast. I tell Karin that we’d better slow down as the course gets really, really challenging with one hill after another. However, we’d don’t slow down and run the first 5 miles in 39 and change. Actually, Karin runs ahead as she’s feeling good at this point. Realizing that I just can’t keep that pace, I slow down. Around mile 7.5 I start to feel pretty good again. At mile 9ish I run into Karin who’s not feeling at all well, so, we agree to stay together and we slow down our pace considerably. (When I say that this is a tough course, I mean it’s a TOUGH, kick-your-butt course!!) Poor Karin is really, really hurting at 10.5 miles and tells me to go ahead. We hug and I take off finishing in 1:57:02 – one of my slowest 1/2s ever. Also, one of the most challenging races I’ve ever run!

As always, I’m glad I ran the race but so disappointed with the way I ran it. I know better than to run fast at the start – I only end up bonking in the end!

Cheers to Great Writing

March 21, 2008 at 6:52 am | Posted in Early morning run, Marathon training, Writing | Leave a comment

There are so many things I never write about myself.  My love of cereal, my complete and total disdain of cucumbers, my love of great literature, my dislike of little jobs like emptying the dishwasher.  Today I realized that the only subject I write about is running.  That can get old for you readers, huh?

(Speaking of running, today I did a double session – morning run of 4.25 in 34 minutes and an afternoon run of 5.25 in 41:05 – plus I went to a kickin’ spin class.  Phew!  Just had to get that off my chest!)

So, I think I’ll share a bit about my love of literature.  Right now I’m reading for the second time a wonderful book by Elizabeth Gilbert called Eat, Pray, Love.  This memoir is Gilbert’s account of the time following her divorce when she traveled to Italy, India, and Indonesia.  Really, it’s like reading a travelogue.  Her descriptive style and dry, humorous voice make me feel like I, too, am visiting these countries and befriending her friends. 

When I read wonderful writing (including my students) I like to write great quotes in my journal.  From time to time, I revisit these quotes and I find I use them in my own teaching.  Sometimes I just read them and savor the language and meaning of each. 

Because I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing so much, I want to share a couple of quotes from Eat, Pray, Love.

On page 150, Richard from Texas says to Gilbert, “See, now that’s your problem.  You’re wishin’ too much, baby.  You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”  I can relate totally to this quote.  How many times I’ve wished for a better time at a race, courage to initiate conversation with people I didn’t know well, and countless other things.  Instead of wishin’, I just need to start doin’ and that takes backbone!

Gilbert writes a list of “Instructions for Freedom” on Page 184.  My two favorites are #4 and #10.

4. “Your wish for resolution was a prayer.  Your being here is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out–on the outside and on the inside.”

10. “When the past has passed from you at last, let go.  Then climb down and begin the rest of your life.  With great joy.”

Irish Blessings

March 18, 2008 at 5:46 am | Posted in St. Patrick's Day | Leave a comment

Dear Blogging Running Friends,

Today is my holiday and so I’ve included one of my favorite Irish blessings just for you! 

Go to fullsize image

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Deep peace of the running waves to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the smiling stars to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you
AN OLD GAELIC PRAYER

Always Thankful

March 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Attitude, Early morning run, Marathon training | 5 Comments

Lately I’ve been thinking that gratitude is a choice.  Really, if I set my mind on negativity, it’s so difficult to be thankful.  But doesn’t it always seem to be easier to see what’s wrong in life than it is to focus on what’s right?  Peace appears to be a direct result of gratitude; therefore, I’m really trying to plant thoughts of thanksgiving in my brain while weeding out the negativity.

Take yesterday morning as a very superficial example (I say superficial because, really, folks, there’s so much more to life than running).  I woke up at 4:25, as I had planned, to run my 17 miles.  My initial thought was, “Oh man, I just want to go back to sleep – I don’t want to do this!”  Immediately, I recognized the impact my thoughts could have; namely, no run and then self-loathing for being lazy.  So, I switched my attitude and thought, “Well, it will be great to get some fresh air this morning, especially with few people on the road.”

So, I set out for my long run just before 5:00 am.  Running easy for the first 14 miles allowed me to notice much more of my surroundings.  I counted 7 deer along my route, took note of the dawn, focused on the feeling of snow against my skin (yes, it snowed here yesterday morning).  Since I was getting tired and needed to run the final 3 miles faster, I used my mental energy to charge my run at that point. 

When I finished my run I made note of the peace I felt.  Again, I was thankful that I’d done it.  In fact, I’m always thankful for running after I run.

The point is simple.  I’ve never met a person that hasn’t claimed to want a life filled with peace (myself included).  Ever striving to find peace forces me to analyze the steps necessary to obtaining it.  I think gratitude is the beginning.  Letting go of negativity may be the next step, but I’m not sure.

One Race Down…

March 16, 2008 at 3:43 am | Posted in Change, friends, Racing, running | 1 Comment

Today’s weather was perfect for a race (40°) and nearly 1,000 runners turned out for the 2008 Johnny’s Runnin’ O’ the Green – a fantastic showing! 

Prior to a race I usually run 3 to 5 miles and do yoga.  Not today, though.  Instead, I warmed up with three of my closest friends Karin, Kathy, and Jean-Paul for 1.25 miles just before the race.  Although it was strange to not run longer in the early morning, I think this helped me.  Also, I didn’t run with music today and I will say that I missed my tunes. 

I ran the 5 mile course in 39:01 (according to my GPS, not sure what the clock said) and placed 10th in my age group. A bit disappointing, but it is what it is.  As always, it was great to spend time talking with friends after the race.   

Following the race, I ran couple of cool-down miles with Karin and her husband, Matt. 

A Weekend of Running

March 15, 2008 at 5:31 am | Posted in Early morning run, friends, Long Run, Marathon training, Racing | Leave a comment

A busy weekend looms ahead – laundry, cleaning, packing, and, oh yeah, running.

Tomorrow’s 5 mile Runnin’ of the Green marks the first official race of the spring running season in Rochester, NY.  I’m looking forward to seeing my girlfriends and, hopefully, running with my friend, Karin.  The predicted weather forecast looks favorable and my legs are feeling fresh but in my mind I’m just looking to have fun.

Sunday I’m scheduled for a 17 mile run with the last 3 miles at goal pace.  Since it’s Palm Sunday and I’m expected to be at church by 9:00 to sing for 10:00 Mass, I’ll be up before dawn to complete this run.  I’m looking forward to shuffling along the streets of my town in the early hours before most folks are even contemplating rising from their sleep.

A Few Quick Thoughts to Run With…

March 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm | Posted in Happiness, Reflection | 3 Comments

“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.” – Zen Saying

“The harder you work, the luckier you get.” – Gary Player

“Bid me run and I will strive with things impossible.” – William Shakespeare

“The human body can do so much.  Then the heart and spirit must take over.” – Sohn Kee-Chung

“Ability is what you are capable of doing.  Motivation is what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it.”  -Lou Holtz

“The will to win means nothing compared to the will to prepare.”– Juma Ikangaa

“What I am doing – nobody cares.  It’s just personal satisfaction.”– Kenny Moore

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