Monday, June 26, 2006

New York New York

My weekend away in New York was scheduled around the fact that Saturday's run was only 4 miles. That I figured I could run alone. But as I mentioned in my previous post, I actually got to run with TNT New York.

TNT NY gave me a greater appreciation for our tight-knit little group in DC. They have 400+ people registered for this season and three coaches. This may explain why they don't have pace groups set up -- it's just half-marathoners and beginner, intermediate and advanced marathoners. I never found the half-marathoners so I just set off on the appointed run - 5 miles from Riverside Park to Chelsea Piers and back.

The Route

After a high-five from TNT Coach Ramon at the turn-around point, some words of encouragement from marathoner Wanda, who runs in honor of her sister and a really LOUSY mile 5 I was done. (An hour and 9 minutes for those of you keeping track). A low behold just as I was missing TNT DC, bleep goes my cell phone with a text from Stro!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Over hill over dale...

... oh I don't remember. Something about dusty trails and caissons?

Last Saturday marked our first hill training day. Good skill to have, awesome training especially since some of my peers will be running the San Francisco Women's Marathon. I can honestly say I thought about that one for oh about 4 seconds. San Francisco used to exhaust me walking around on business trips - but to run 26.2 miles there?!? You have to be kidding.

At any rate I digress -- hill training = good. Repeat the mantra think bathing suit ready bottoms. But less than 1/4 mile into the route? We were out in Arlington, running on the Custis Trail - up and down the hills for 1 1/4 miles. All I can say is the conversation at the back of the pack was good because I felt the hills but I didn't want to give up.

Tuesday morning I had the bright idea to run early - beat the heat and all that. Something about sleep deprivation made me forget that my home route takes me down the hill, through part of the Maryland section of Rock Creek Trail and then into a Kensington neighborhood. Let me tell you Bexhill Rd. isn't flat. But I chugged up those hills, got to my two mile point and thought what in the heck I am doing?!? I finished less rather than was more a brisk walk back to my starting point. But hey it was 0530 - I haven't done that on a regular basis since Hopkins crew practices.

I am off to New York this weekend and lest you think I will be slacking I am happy to report 1- my first thought was where am I going to run? and 2- I have been spared running alone. TNT DC has connected me with TNT NY's marathon training program. We will be running in Riverside Park - look for a full report later.

If you'd like a look at another TNT blog check out Daphne Runs
Definitely a good read...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Patience is a virtue

From a very young age I remember being told that patience was a virtue -- and when I was being particularly frustrating that I seemed to have been born without it! Flash forward two decades and well, nothing's changed. Thursdays I run with my buddy Stro in Dupont Circle. Urban running is well, an exercise in patience -- you reach your stride and you have to wait for a damn crosswalk to go in your favor. Tonight as we neared the end of our run (3 miles in 43 minutes with a 4:1 run:walk ratio) I was doing the impatient thing. First I did the New York cross (cross the street because the light is your favor that way because you like the feeling that you kept moving -- the efficiency of this is highly questionable I know) but then I did something I have done in major world capitals (ok except Singapore) -- I jaywalked! BUSTED. The fine policemen of our nation's capital have been given a mandate to crack down on jaywalkers. Stro and I couldn't decide what pissed this fine officer off more -- my jaywalking or the fact that I was not carrying a photo identification. (I do wear my TNT emergency contact tag on my shoe). I talked my way out of it and escaped the $20 fine. But on the walk back to the metro I waited for every walk sign...

A reminder of why I am doing this...

This came in my weekly coaches email courtesy of our mission captain. It's a poignant reminder of why I chose to do this - for kids...

The Kati Fisher Story

One girl's selfless spirit inspired hundreds of people in her hometown and across the country.
Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 11-year-old Kati Fisher traveled from Massachusetts to San Diego with her father Rick in 2001 to watch thousands of Team In Training (TNT) athletes run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. From that point on, and in an effort to find a cure for leukemia so that other people would not have to suffer from the disease, Kati set a goal to join TNT and run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon when she was old enough. This year, Kati would have turned 16 and would have been ready to race, but tragically she lost her battle with leukemia in March 2004.
Kati's determination to help others inspired many people in her hometown and across the country to do the same. Today, Kati's father, Rick Fisher, kept his daughter's dream alive. Along with 75 TNT members from "Kati's Dream Team," Rick completed the race in a time of 4:31:53 wearing a special race-timing chip registered in Kati's name. By wearing the chip, Kati and her father crossed the finish line together and Kati is listed as an official finisher.
Kati never wanted any charity, she wanted a cure for Leukemia. In that spirit, Kati's Dream Team ran with her, not for her.
~Taken from the Rock N Roll Marathon Website

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Running the Mall

Today's run started at the Senate Parking lot, headed out to the Mall, down Constitution to 14th Street and back to the parking lot. Good news - at the water stop at the parking lot we were over half-way home so to speak. Bad news after the water and/or Gatorade it was back out to the Mall, to run the last 2 miles. I have never been so happy to see 7th Street in my life! It was not a good day for people needing bathroom breaks - they are setting up for the Folklife Festival on the Mall but all of the portables were locked! We joked that this may have accounted for a pretty quick pace on the part of some. I finished 5 miles in about 71 minutes...

I have finally acquired a watch with 2 interval timers so that I can run my recommended 3:1 ratio without needing to depend on someone else's watch. I happy to report that I managed to set it myself -- with one amusing mistake -- I didn't realize it would count down hours so my first attempted setting was 3 hours! I hit start to verify it was working and instantly saw my mistake!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How Can your resist this face?!? & Buddy Runs Continued

When I decided to run the half marathon, my dear friend Wendy offered to take a picture of her daughter with a sign that said "Run Kate, Run!" Since part of the reason I am doing this is because of children, I couldn't pass up her offer. Sahara's dad Brent will be doing a century (100 miles) bike ride with TNT Portland. So Sahara's next shoot is likely to be pedal daddy, pedal!

Update on Saturday: It was the five miles and I did finish. I adjusted my run:walk ratio down to 3:1 and that seemed to work out well. Every Saturday I go and come home and say "that's the furthest I have ever run..." which is a cool feeling.

The weather goddess has been kind to us -- tonight was the kind of night that makes running a pleasure -- 70ish degrees and a great breeze. Oh and the scenery wasn't bad either. Sahra one the TNT team captains hosted a run on the National Mall. We run up the Mall, around the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol, down the other side of the Mall, around the Washington Monument and finished on the Mall. Truly a very DC thing to do. There were no run:walkers there tonight so I ran with less formalized walk breaks. Thursday night I have a chance to run at Iwo Jima... which is tempting. Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Behind on Blogging & Buddy Runs

Since I have a loyal fan base of at least two readers I shall attempt to make up for not posting last Saturday.

Coach Rich, bless his heart (I say that now but this was not what I was thinking at 0800 last Saturday), has temporarily put the half and full marathoners on the same training program. So I showed up thinking I would be running 3 miles and got to run 4 miles as an extra special bonus. Since my last 5K (for you non-math wizards that is 3.2 miles) was in 1999, I started over-thinking - 4 miles - I can't do that. ACK! Ah but yes I can due the miracle known as run-walk. My group did a 4:1 running to walking ratio and I have to tell you the first 2 miles didn't seem so bad. Mother Nature flipped the switch on summertime Saturday morning so the last mile was not exactly fun. But I did it. Now if I only I could stop being so cerebral about distance.

Tonight I did my first mid-week buddy run. Today's high temperature was 88 degrees and the thunder and lightning has been holding off all day. Truly ideal conditions to ponder a 3 mile jog and certainly grounds to talk one's self into running indoors on the nice cushy treadmill. Ah... but as Mom always pointed out when someone is there waiting for you to show up you show up, even when you really don't want to. The lovely and gracious Stro proven to be an excellent route planner and the rains held off until we were done running. We certainly weren't speed deamons but how can you be when you have to wait to cross the street and it feels like a zillion degrees outside.

Saturday's schedule says 5 miles for marathoners. If it turns out to be 4 for the half marathon group I will consider it a lucky bonus.