Sunday, October 22, 2006

Marcia Learned Some Valuable Lessons Today..

(As in Brady..)
Here goes kids:
1. If you're driving in your car and suddenly feel overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness and depression, try changing the radio station; I don't know what my Vassar college dj was playing, but the singer made Morrissey sound like Goldie Hawn on crack

2. You'll never grow up or be happy until you feel selflessly protective of someone else (this came to me in this weird dream where I overcame a fear of heights by being lifted in this ride 50 feet in the air with a toddler, and my total focus was on making sure the kid was safe)

3. If you hate your job but are having a tough time quiting, take on a second job that you really hate, then quit it, and you'll really appreciate having only one job that you hate! (Is this one obvious?)

4. Don't think that if you passed a certain person in a 10k race at mile 5-1/2, you're going to do it each time! Even if you can run the last 400 meters in 1:16..

5. Crispin apples are: a.delicious; b.another reason to be proud of living in New York

6. No matter how bad things get, never EVER watch Laguna Beach, and if you somehow are forced to against your will, make sure you don't watch a marathon of Laguna Beach episodes.. You will definitely suffer irreparable brain cell loss as well as an odd desire to wear strawberry lipgloss

7. It's OK to watch Flavor of Love, especially to offset the effects of the waspy above mentioned program, but please refrain from watching numerous repeats of the same episode.. I know New York's sassy confrontations are particularly irresistible, but who are you kidding.. You just couldn't pull it off.. Could you?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Queen Grete's Great Gallop

To be transported in total darkness on a Shortline bus from a sleepy commuter town into the pulsing heart of NYC at 6 am.. Is a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning. I was really excited and thankful to be able to compete in today's 1/2 marathon. I had a year plagued with stop and go training due to a recurring muscle injury, and to wake up race morning feeling healthy and ready to test my stuff was really a great feeling. I arrived in Central park with that same thought I always have before a Central Park race.. What the hell is a transverse and will I know if I'm on one?? The park is a city in itself, taking up 6 miles of city space, closed to most vehicular traffic on the weekends.. And just my favourite part of the city.. So the only person I remember talking to before the race was Ginette Bedard, a 73 year old runner who beats most people in races a quarter her age.. She was exiting a port-o-potty (a runner's favourite pre-race hang-out.. 1. because it's warmer and 2. because that way you don't have to wait on a long line for one!) so I did what any normal person would do, went right over to introduce myself to her and see what her gameplan was for today's race.. She said something about wanting the whole thing to be over already, and I really couldn't blame her.. It was starting to rain pretty hard, and the race hadn't even started.. I made my way to the starting area (with over 4,000 runners today, getting there early made a lot of sense).. And then the sky just opened up.. I stood under a tree watching the poor suckers standing on the starting line getting totally drenched.. Then I sprinted to join them before I missed the start myself.. I cramped in near the front.. There was a small group from team Los Compadres that were hovering under a piece of plastic for cover, and they invited me to join them.. So I did.. It was so cute, I was kind of hoping we could all run this race huddled as this little unit, and each share the responsibility of finishing the race with a good time.. Ah, that would never work.. Racing is such an independent sport, each runner has to constantly monitor his own stress level to make sure he's pushing just enough.. For me for that day and that point in my training, I planned ahead of time that pace would be a 7:15 minute per mile .. Off we went.. I felt good and ready for this race.. I was ticking off the first three miles all close to my goal pace.. Then I saw Wanda, another master's woman from my team.. She was ahead of me.. I figured she was starting too fast, because I always beat her in races.. I saw a couple of guys w black t-shirts on with big 'H's' on the back, NY Harriers.. I had talked to one at the start of the race, he says he hasn't raced since Brooklyn back in March.. You could have fooled me I thought.. Every down hill I passed them and every up hill he passed me.. We talked a little.. I was surprised how comfortable I felt, nothing like last year at this race.. More than 1/2 way into the race Wanda passd me again! I was really surprised, and considered chasing her, but I felt now I was really running right at the threshhold point of my stress level.. I checked my watch, and knew I could maintain this pace to keep my goal.. I got to the 12th mile and realized that I had to really pick up the pace if I wanted to break 1:35.. I ran very strong and did my fastest mile with a 6:58.. Still didn't break 1:35.. Ran 1:35:03.. Had the chip time been displayed at the end and not the gun time, I would've seen that a bigger effort was needed, and I would have broken 1:35.. No matter.. I was thrilled that I did end up averaging 7:15 per mile! There's nothing more satisfying than training hard for months and months, having patience through the injury healing process, and then achieving your goals.. I really like that race, it's so well organized, and it's in honour of Grete Waitz, who won the NYC marathon a record 9 times.. She was at the post-race ceremony, looking fit enough to win the race again, and telling us not to blame Norway for our terrible weather today.. Typical Libra, wanting to be in everyone's good graces.. Of course, if a city names a race and a festival after you, I guess you can assume they approve of you.. I felt content enough to not even think about any desire to have a race named after me..