Friday, March 31, 2006

cherry blossoms, here again

So the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is two days away. I have trained myself silly with speedwork and long runs (peaking with a 13 miler two weeks ago). I ran that 8K three weeks ago to get a sense of my speed ability -- and was on track to run sub 1:20 for the 10 miler.

Now I have been sick all week -- as has Iz. (Abraham seems to have skipped the whole snotty nose, low-grade fever, coughing fit thing. No fair! He has no race to run!) I wasn't deathly ill or anything, and I am getting better and was hare-brained enough to wake up at 5:30 am to get a little 4 mile run in ("a little" 4 miles because I am supposed to be tapering, after all).

But there is no way I will be at peak strength on Sunday morning. And I am really disappointed. Maybe I am being silly -- I can run it just fine at a slower pace. Barring something extreme, I have no fears about not finishing. But I actually took my training seriously. I had aspirations! Sure, I'm no world-class runner. At my best, I am a front-of-the-middle of-the-pack runner. So why should I care? Ah, because I do.

Okay, the goal now is to enjoy the race, right? Just kick back... I can talk myself into this... maybe... After all, it's not a marathon (which is much more involved and daunting).

Actually, I did run fast last year, but I was tired and uncomfortable much of the time (I had gotten very little sleep, interrupted by 11-month-old Iz, who didn't sleep through the night until he was well over eighteen months old) -- I wanted to do the same speed, but have fun doing it...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Preview of What's to Come

Our little 2 1/2-year-old Doodles has suddenly morphed into a teenager. Truly. Note the various conversations we've all had with him lately, shades of the conversations we'll be having ad nausem for the next fifteen and a half years:

At 7:57 a.m.
Me: Doodles, it's time to get ready for school.
Doodles: I don't want to go to school!
Me: Doodles, you have to go to school. Now, is Mommy going to get your jacket on or do you want to put your jacket on?
Doodles: I don't want to go to school! LEAVE ME ALONE!

In the bathroom
Dad: Okay, Doodles, let me help you get your pants off. Do you want me to read you a book while you're on the potty?
Doodles: I need PRIVACY!

In the car after a disastrous departure from a friend's house.
Me: Doodles, that was not okay. When Mommy says it's time to leave, we have to leave.
Doodles, silent in the back seat, looking out the window.
Me: Doodles, do you hear me? When Mommy says we need to leave, we have to leave. If this continues, we won't be able to go back to Grape's house anymore.
Doodles, still silent in the back seat, looking out the window.
Me: Doodles, do you hear me?
Doodles: I don't want to talk.

Oh, joy. And I'm looking forward to when Sweetie Pie can talk? What am I, crazy?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

For our Colorado friends

Just received this email from Title 9 Sports (my absolute fav. comfy clothing store):

Get ready, Get set….Go!

Today is the day to start your 9-week training plan for our 4th annual title 9k! We've got beginner and intermediate training plans waiting for you, so come and sign up now.

The details:

Where: Boulder, Co

What: Our 4th annual t9k (that's about 5.5 miles) on dirt and trails around the
lovely Boulder reservoir.

When: May 14, 2006 Mother's Day!

Who: Y'all! First-timers, moms with a kid in tow, elite runners or world class skippers, scooters, and wigglers!

The full scoop: Sign up now and check out the details for this year's run!

The race looks like a ton of fun. Wish I could come out there and run it!

Monday, March 13, 2006

St. Patrick’s Day 10K (8K), March 12, 2006

What issue (or issues) does Washington, DC, have with races?

Sure, the Marine Corps Marathon remains untouched, but it seems like almost every other race has been modified, eliminated, or moved to Haines Point (and who wants to run every 10K on Haines Point?). Some have been affected by security concerns, others by complaints about road closures, and yet others by sponsor issues.

I have run the St. Patrick’s Day 10K almost every year since I moved from New York City to Washington, DC. (I didn’t run it in 2004 when I was eight months pregnant with Iz.) This year, just a week and a half before race day, the race organizers were forced to change it to an 8K. I don’t know the full reasons, and these race organizers are fantastic (The Capital Running Company). But they said that they couldn’t get permission for the course – a course that has gotten permission for 18 years in one form or another.

I had a great race – my fastest time in years (37:16 – imagine what I could have done with a 10K…) – and at least the race actually took place, unlike the Jingle Bell 10K, which was eliminated (and it followed the same course as the St. Pat’s, hmm…).

But the troubles and changes got me thinking about other races that have been messed with:
  • The Georgetown Classic 10K course, which started on M Street and went up into the residential neighborhoods, had tough hills but was interesting, different. Then Georgetown residents complained about road closures (I can’t help but think the wealth of those rusty wheels made them more effective), and the course was changed in 2001 to go into downtown DC, which was fine. As of 2003, the race has disappeared.
  • The Sallie Mae 10K, which used to make a nice, flat loop around downtown, now goes out and back along Haines Point. Sure, it is fast, but so boring.
  • The half-marathon that used to be held downtown in September is gone, too. (I never even got to run it!) I don’t remember its name or the reasons for its disappearance.
  • The Washington DC Marathon was held one year and cancelled the next. But this was the fault of the organizers, who were a for-profit entertainment company and s*ucked – they didn't care about the runners.

So, are DC races cursed?

At least the Capitol Hill Classic 10K still covers a fantastic course that actually goes down and up Capitol Hill.

I hope the Army 10 Miler (which was affected in 2005, but I hope that was not an omen) and the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (which I’m running in three weeks) stay the same – those courses kick a*ss.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Now that's just mean!

I have waited weeks and weeks and weeks for warm weather to return to DC so that I could resume my runs. Well, the warm weather is here (for now)! But, do you know what else is back? Bugs! The bugs are back! And the faster you run, the more bugs end up in hard to reach places! As the title suggests, that's just mean!!! I am going to keep running anyway. That will show them. Bring it on Bugs!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I did it!

I ran today! I actually went outside and ran! I am so excited!

When I tell peopel I haven't ran in a while, they usually look at me funny and insist "You ran a marathon!" But that was, um, over 4 months ago. Also, I honestly could have walked it in less time than it took me to run. That being said, I got a bit frustrated that I have become so non-athletic. So, I decided to swallow my pride and whip out some old "beginner" videos: yoga, tae-bo, budokon. It's boring, but it has been very effective. I can lift my legs now. I feel like a marionette!

Today I left the house with the beagle and headed for the 1 hour loop around my neighborhood. Sure, even the parts I ran, the 13 inch beagle with her 4 inch legs was still walking. That part could be considered embarrassing. But it's a start. That is what matters. Everyone needs to start over again sometimes. Oh- and I knocked 5 minutes off of my loop-around-the-neighborhood time!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sexy, Comfy, Cool

Studly Matthew McConaughey was quoted in the March 13, 2006 US Weekly as saying, "I think people are most sexy when they are not putting on airs...or trying to act like anything other than themselves." I will remember that next time I am out running errands, walking through parking lots in old sweatpants and glancing over my shoulders for those secret cameras from What Not to Wear.
It's not that I always wear sweats. In fact, I usually have on very cute yoga pants! My new job requires me to wear dress shoes about one day a week, and I just don't think stilettos are appropriate for pulling a wagon around the block. I could wear jeans, but, let's face it, even the most generously cut jeans these days would leave a plumber blushing when it comes time to play on the floor with a tot. And I just don't want to deal with fingerpaints on my favorite casual tee.
I am hopeful that most of the people who see me at Whole Foods are thoroughly envious that I just got done/am on my way to working out at the gym while they have to go back to their desks. You see, even if I did not make it to the gym, I try to portray the image that I have. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. However, if you want to nominate me for What Not to Wear, I won't argue.