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Showing posts from January, 2011

My dirty secret

I could not say this out loud anywhere in New England right now or I'd probably be shot, but I am still excited for snow. I love snow. Even this winter when the piles are threatening to take over the town and we're spent more time shoveling the driveway than anything doing anything else. I love it even though it's made my long runs more difficult and I'll probably have to run in the middle of the main road until May because nothing else is clear. Even as they are projecting another 26 inches over the next 2 days and I've been on hold with Jet Blue for an hour trying to reschedule my flight. It's worth it. Because snow lets you glide across a silent field and feel the warm sun contrast with the cool air on your face and feel impossibly fast and light. Because snow lets you bomb down a mountain and lean over so far on your edges that you are defying gravity. Because snow lets you make an improvisational sled and feel like a kid again even though an hour ago you w…

I feel good

I just did a 22 miler and I feel good! Which is good, because I needed this last long run to feel good after my last failure of a run. I should just go with it and be happy, but we all know that I like to over analyze. So during my run I thought about WHY I was feeling good.
1) I ate well yesterday. I ate 3 solid healthy meals with lots of fruits, veggies, and protein. I also drank a lot of water (thank goodness I had an aisle seat because that meant I had to get up to pee about 6 times).
2) I got a decent night's sleep in a bed. I only got about 6 hours, which is not a lot for me, but it was uninterrupted sleep in a bed. Quite a few of my long runs were done immediately after getting off a red-eye. Not fun.
3) I ate real food before the run and stuck to gel during the run. After listening to a few interviews with the Hammer Nutrition guys I decided to try their advice for a lot of my runs. They said that if you don't have 3 hours to digest a meal before you run, you should just …

East vs. West

I have always been a loyal east coast girl. I love the snow, I don't mind the cold. But the more time I spent in California, the more I am starting to consider that life here isn't so bad. I was home in Boston last weekend and spent about 3 hours shoveling my driveway in an attempt to make it wide enough for my car. The 2 problems were that the snow 2 week old snow had hardened into chunks of ice, and that the snow banks were so high that I had to fling every shovelful up over my head. My back hurt a LOT for days. Then, Sunday the high was about 10 degrees without the wind chill. I did not do my long run.

So this weekend I am determined to snap out of my new California wimpery, and do my long run no matter how cold and/or snowy it is. Time to suck it up girl. It will not be 60 and sunny in Antarctica.

Over-trained?

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I got to go skiing in Colorado last weekend, which is something that I have wanted to do forever. You'd think I would have been ecstatic. Not only was I skiing on incredible terrain, I was with a friend who really likes to ski. He wanted to spend long days on the slopes and try every run. Then, he was still interested in running at night. It should have been perfect.

Except that I was tired and grumpy. My quads were screaming at me from the first run. I didn't want to try any of the incredible back country runs. I didn't want to go in the glades or in the powder. I didn't want to run at night. I was snappy and crabby and probably not a whole lot of fun to be with. It wasn't until the very last day (and 4 days of no running) that I felt like myself, ready to attack the mountain. It's a sign that I am very ready for marathon training to be over,.



Is Geography Destiny

I am reading a great book called Cutting For Stone in which the main character asserts that geography is destiny, that is that where you are born dictates the course of your life. It is an idea that has stayed with me since I read it. For the most part I agree. Being born in the United States, I had a lot of opportunities that I might not have had. I had access to a high quality, free education. I had good health care. I had a safe, ample food supply. I had indoor plumbing. Simply by being born when I was, I was able to grow into a healthy adult with minimal effort. But the struggle of simply growing up in more challenging environments is what makes some people into better, stronger people. Would the African runners be as successful if they were raised eating Cheetos and playing video games?

It is true on a smaller scale as well. I have a deep love for the Maine coast that comes from being raised there. I love the cold water and the wind, I love the snow, and I love solitude because th…

In a Fog

I'm back in Santa Rosa after 2 wonderful weeks of working remotely from home. My body had finally gotten used to being in a single time zone for more than 4 days, and is not happy with the time zone. Yesterday morning I was in a fog, literally and figuratively. The figurative fog was resolved with massive quantities of coffee, but I'm still struggling with the literal fog. The issue is that I'm running in the dark and it's frequently warm and foggy. The fog makes the light of my headlamp reflect right back at me, so I can't see where I'm running or what is around me. I'm going to be pretty annoyed if I roll my ankle on a bump in the road because I can't see it. Plus, since the attack I like to periodically stop and scan around me, but I can't do this in the fog. I nearly jumped out of my skin this morning because I thought I saw a person lurking on a corner. As I got closer I saw it was actually a stop sign. Looking at my heart rate graph after the …

Ratty T-Shirts and Old Socks

As part of starting the new year with a clean slate I decided to clean out my closets. I was fairly ruthless when it came to work and casual clothes and shoes, quickly filling 3 bags. However, when it came to getting rid of old race shirts and socks, I just couldn't do it. This is despite the fact that I have a massive quantity of both and that most of them are in terrible shape. The shirts have pit stains, a permanent sweaty odor, and many are streaked with stains from cooking or housework. The socks are equally bad- worn throught at the heels and toes, gray instead of their original white, and not so fresh smelling. But each sock and each shirt has a memory, or has done something for me. There are the socks I wore to do my first 20 miler and my first marathon, the socks that I did a mud run in, the socks I won at Reach the Beach. There is the long sleeve cotton shirt from my first Trek Across Maine, the short sleeve shirt from the 5k I did with my whole family, the too big ugly …