Wednesday, December 26, 2012

pick it up, shake it, throw it on the ground

 2012 was a year where I decided to relax. I wanted to enjoy the things that I do and in general I did that.

 2013, will be different. I have stricter goals for the upcoming year as an athlete, in my career, and at home. A year of structure, highly focused on a few main goals.

 1st, change my physical dynamic. I have never worried about carrying some body fat, My goal though is more than a vanity project it's about changing my physical make up overall. My reason is to become a faster runner it's as simple as that. I want to run faster to do that there needs to be less of me.

 2nd, I have running goals the most important for me is to finish under two hours for a half marathon. The last time I trained for a half to achieve this goal was  the 2010 S.I. half, this was also my first ever half marathon and I missed it by 5 minutes. I was happy with my achievement but bummed that I didn't achieve my goal. Looking back though I know what I did right and what I did wrong. I did a lot right but the biggest thing I did wrong was not taper. i did an 11 mile run one week before the half. I should have done that two weeks before.  Big lesson learned.

 Since that time I am a completely different runner, I have done more training runs over the 13.1 mile mark than I can even count. Now it's time to revisit the half marathon as a test of my ability not just a fun thing to do.

 Two main targets for me regarding the half. 1, revisiting the S.I. half and beating the 2:00hr mark.
2,  The 2013 Wine and Dine half at W.D.W. this is my absolute main focus for 2013. The Wine and Dine is a night time half held around Nov. 7th. The only issue is that all Disney runs are crowded so I could get bogged down behind a crowd, no excuses though I want 1:50:00 for the Wine and Dine.

 Lastly at home, getting rid of debt. We have systematically been doing this for a while but suffered a set back this year. My personal goal for next year is to eliminate 75% of our debt by this time next year.

 2012 was great 2013 is going to be better.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Yoga....that's some bullshit

 "You know, I really want to get back into yoga.I was in really great shape when I was doing yoga" "You lose a lot of weight doing yoga."


 Here's what was going on. You were younger, had more time, more dedication, and probably less kids. This is why you were able to go to yoga 4 to 5 times a week and why you were happier with the way you looked. Now.... a little older, a lot busier, kids! we all know how overwhelming kids are. Busier job and your a little softer around the edges.

 Yoga once a week ain't gonna cut it.

 You can not smoke, drink, over eat, live a very sedentary lifestyle and then mosey over to a yoga class, half ass your way through it and then reward yourself with a mimosa and eggs benedict at brunch.

 You know those yoga practitioners who are in great shape? They live that lifestyle, not just 1hr. a week but all day everyday. They are the ones who are in great shape from yoga.

 I'm using yoga but it could be anything. Zumba, cardio, weight training,  etc. etc. A part time attitude will get you no where.

 It takes complete dedication to make the change you want to make.

 One hour a week ain't cutting it. You know it, it's an excuse to not really change.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The final review of the S.I. Trail Festival.

 When you finish a race at Willowbrook Park you know you are close because you can see the carousel through the trees. It can be a beautiful sight if you are exhausted or an inspiring one if you are flying. I was definitely the latter on Saturday. I finished this race feeling strong.  I wish I could say it's from a perfectly executed training plan but more than likely it was because I was way to cautious for the first third of this race.

 So I crossed the finish line and I never felt stronger after finishing a race again not a good thing in my book. I finished, hung out, started to feel kinda gross as 15 miles of sweat and muck began to stick to my skin creating a barnacle like feeling. Luckily I had a change of clothes in the car.

 As we waited around for the 50k crew to start making there way back I was introduced to Lime A Ritas! A fantastic concoction that doesn't taste like a margarita or a lime beer but as a product itself it's pretty good. Funny that when I first tried it I wasn't digging it but I quickly learned to enjoy it. I learned a lot of other fun stuff as well. The funniest to me was the mystery of the man of the Greenbelt.

 As we waited around for "Stupid" Pete and "Dumb" Andy to finish, terms of endearment I assure you we saw this strange little creature straight out of the Hobbitt come out of the woods.  A tiny man, bald, with white side burns and moustache. He was wearing a shiny planet with the planets emblazened all over it. He reminded me of the old magician Doug Henning. So this magic man appears out of nowhere and we notice that he has a 50k  bib on. He starts heading down the course again but then detours into a very nice caravan. I don't know if he ever came back out or if he used some Hobbitt magic and transported himself on top of High Rock.

 We labeled him "Jim Greenbelt" the steward of the Greenbelt.

  A group of ladies finished who ran the 25k as they did so one of our club members started staring daggers, apparently they knocked this member over ass over tea kettle at the start of the race but didn't finish until almost an hour later.

 One of the ladies from the group started standing around with her hands in the air. We of course ask whats the haps and she says "Look at how swollen my hands are" I of course tell her "I have no idea
what your hands look like normally."  At the time this was hilarious to me, as I write this I still find it amusing.

 The nick names "Stupid Pete" and "Dumb Andy" were also created with the help of Lime A Ritas.

 Lastly the "S" in S.I.A.C. now stands for  Sexy Overload, The Sexy Overload Athletic Club.

 Goodnight Ladies and Germs!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trail festival review part 2

 As we continue our review of Saturdays race our fearless hero is about to renter the dark and dangerous Greenbelt forest. The section of red/yellow trails next to the golf course is mainly a descent but it does roll up and down on its way down the hill. The fog was still thick at this point and now in the distance someone was using a chainsaw chopping up wood I hoped, as I passed a couple of runners I commented that I hoped no one pops out of the woods with a mask made of some front face.

 Luckily I made it through there safely and proceeded up the back end of the yellow red trail headed towards the Nature Center. I actually slipped here but no biggie. Some schlub said something about "All you hurt was your pride, hiyuk hiyuk" Another trail runner mentioned that a little slip like that was no big deal. If your not slipping out at some point during a trail run then you are hiking not running ass hat! Anyway, I am getting close to the long descent on the white trail the scene of the crime where I shoved Plymouth Rock into my heel the week before race day. As I began the long descent I am ultra alert because there are tons of loose rocks on this part of the course. Luckily I made it through safe and sound and pressed on.

 Down the white trail and up the long, winding hill behind High Rock where the path was changed from last year. The new section sent us right up an are that constantly has water runoff streaming down it. I immediately thought of Corey Ferritti and his sparkly shoes. How he must have been howling in protest over getting his shoes dirty.

 In High Rock we circled around the Green Trail which was immaculate! Crossing over the street to Moses Mountain which we skipped this year because i think it was to slippery or something or other, who cares why really. There's that little hill past Moses Mt. that I nick named Lil' bastard it's a short hill, not very steep but it always ends up at a point of the run where you are already a little tired so you feel this hill. Up the step hill and then down towards the Nature Center where the eventual winner of the 10k shot past me one way and then seconds later shot by the other way.

 At the last water stop I screwed around to long and lost a minute because i wanted to refill a water bottle, with only  two miles out I didn't need that water.

 The home stretch is a two mile descent and with the energy of the 10kers coming up behind me I picked it up and finished pretty strong. in hindsight though there were a lot of sections where i should have pushed harder. This is my issue, I am afraid to push to hard during racese because i don't want to bonk out and not finish. This is the main thing i have to deal with in 2013.

 Part 3, the after party in my next report!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The best recap ever of today's Staten Island Trail festival pt.1

Today started out late last night really with me sitting in front of the teevee watching the drama "Sons of Anarchy". I never saw it before which of course means I watched three episodes in a row which  then meant that I didn't get to bed until 1:30 in the morning....not wise but damn that show is good.

 Anyway the alarm gets me up at 6:30am and I feel fine, I shuffle my way into the bathroom where I laid out my clothes the night before and I get dressed.....pretty standard so far I know. The damn dogs start warbling for food so I herd them outside, feed em and proceed to the race.

 The roads and the traffic were horrible. I barely made it. With tires screeching I slid into a spot Duke boys style, ran to the desk grabbed by bib pinned it right to my time to mess with the shirt and joined the group with seconds to spare before we were sent off................................................. Nah, the roads were fine, no traffic. Plenty of parking, I casually walked to get my bib, walked back to the car got dressed, I didn't forget anything, I actually over packed...BORING

 Okay, we line up. I am maybe mid pack which is perfect for where I always finish a race mid pack dullsville. There is a new exciting phrase coined today by Lebow "Get some trails!" oof that was a dud Matt, good idea but that catch phrase has its own catch phrase "P.U."

 Were off, I start out slowwwww i'm playing it safe early on for a few reasons. First, my left heel that I smashed into a rock last Saturday feels fine now but I'm thinking about the later miles and I want it just as strong then. Second, I know the course, it's a deceiving incline for the first few miles so I don't want to over do it to soon, "blow my wad" as they so eloquently say. Lastly, I am a slow runner and a notoriously slow starter this is why I really dislike 5k's they are all about starting out fast and hard and staying there. I am not good at that.

 As annoying as I was that I was getting passed, a lot I knew I was doing the right thing by chillin'. My heel began to protest and it recruited my left calf to do the same, not enough to worry me but enough for me to feel it. There's something about the first couple of miles of this course that I hate running on but as soon as I cross over the stream I start to click into a rhythm, usually. Sometimes I need to cross the street but today was a stream day so by the time I got to the first street crossing I had a hunch I was going to enjoy today's race, and boy was I............? suspensful isn't it...

 Right! Yay! Sure shuffling over those slimy boards was scary as I had images of my foot slipping off and snapping clean off but that obviously didn't happen. What did happen though was me having to pee very badly, so as I was running up the white trail hill behind the nature Center I noticed that I was all by myself sooooo I did the bow legged run, I whipped it out, and I peed. I will spare you the steamy details but I was laughing out loud as I did my own trail marking. My next problem was that I was overheating, 3 miles in and I was burning up so I pulled off my singlet and my long sleeve shirt tied it around my waist and threw the singlet back on. At the first aid station I threw the long sleeve down and told the volunteer that I will pick it up on the way back and that "It had better be there, got it sister!!!" then I tore off up the trail feeling the beautiful, cool, foggy/misty air on my skin. It was like I was in a Oil of Oley commercial. My long locks flowing, baby deer and bunnies playing along the side of the trail.

 Removing that shirt was a terrific idea, I liken it to a big engine that was being choked of air and finally that has a steady stream of cool or even cold air running over it. Keep it cool, keep it classy. There is a small stretch of single track right after the uphill next to the Nature Center that is ever so slightly down hill. It leads you to the multi use trail, this little stretch is one of my favorites. It's flat as in very few roots and rocks which allows you to open it up a bit. Today it was gorgeous on this section, the fog flowing through the trees and the overcast skies all meshed together perfectly.

 On to the multi use trail, a perfect spot to really open it up and make up some time. Not so much for me today though, even though my heel wasn't in any pain it wasn't happy when I tried to push it so I kept at a good pace figuring that if this is where I can run without hurting my heel than so be it. More amazing scenery along the multi-use trail but the next section on the course is the most technical and had the highest possibility of slippage so I prepared myself.
 Two left turns later and I was headed to the cliff, this is the section of trail the runs above St. Andrews Church it is very technical, has a steep angle to it, and today it was slippery to boot. The slippey condition was do to the.......rain obviously it was from yesterdays rain what else could it be. I made it through but the sideways shuffle wreaked havoc on my heel, and it started to feel ouchy, I believe that is a technical term. Coming off of this cliff and running towards the golf course is about the halfway point I believe so i am going to stop this one here and start anew later. It gets a lot funnier later I promise.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dodging a bullit...I hope

Today I had time to stop by the Nature Center and do a  quick loop to test my left foot and make sure I will be okay for Saturdays 25k event.

 The verdict is very promising, I walked to the trail entrance and simply started running. The first thing I noticed was that i felt nothing at all it was if my foot had no injury at all. "Hallelujah, I'm good." I thought but just to be safe I kept creeping along as to not activate the heel boo boo.

 Whenever I thought I felt a twinge coming on I would focus on form, making sure to land mid-foot so my heel stayed safely away from and obstruction.  What I then noticed was that the trail that wraps around the nature center was in amazing shape. It was super clean from everything including leaves. For me starting over basically with this trial run having this trail so clean was a great help as the chance of stepping on something that I didn't see was basically eliminated.

 I was going to just do a tiny loop but I felt good so I decided to stretch it a tad and i headed down the white trail. The same section that tried to do me in last saturday. I descended own extremely carefully and as I emerged from the section that bruised my heel along with my pride I knew that all I had to do was do the same thing on sat. and even though I might lose a minute of time i will be stronger and pain free for the flatter, faster sections that are coming up later.

 I did notice some fatigue in both calves but i believe that is more from not running since sat. morning.

 So, things look good. I feel ready for Saturday I'm looking fwd. to it and that's all I care about really.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stone soup, stone free, stone bruise

 Interesting thing happened to me as I was running the final mile and a half of a training run for Saturdays 25k race. I was headed down a large descent that is part of the white trail. I have been on this section of trail many times over and I know that is becomes very rocky so i was diligently watching my foot placement so I don't twist an ankle one week out from race day.

 Well, I can honestly say that I absolutely did not twist my ankle during yesterdays run BUT as i so expertly planted my left foot as to not twist it i missed the pointy rock that was camouflaged  by the leaves. This rock, nay this horn of Lucifer itself met up and oh so gently kissed my left heel with the tenderness of a sonic boom.

 I hoped upon hope that I could run through it but it was very apparent that I should stop running. Listening to my body I walked back to the truck and headed home. I staying off of my bum hoof as much as possible but besides that theres not much else i can do. Switching back and forth btw. icing and heating is said to help some but apparently a Stone Bruise just has to heal itself.

 My plan is to run on Saturday if I can't I can't.