Sunday, August 5, 2012

Funny how things change

Four years ago I didn't really eat healthfully. And I definitely didn't work out. I sort of watched the Olympics, but mostly was interested in the swimming and Michael Phelps like just about everyone else. I didn't watch or care about any running events because I didn't know any of the people, I didn't really know any of the events, and I didn't run. The marathon wasn't even an item on my bucket list.

Four years later...I've run two marathons and am training for my third. I woke up today (a Sunday!) at 7:20am to watch the Olympic women's marathon. I missed the first hour but watched the last hour and was actually incredibly excited. Sure, like the last Olympics I didn't really know any of the runners (other than the incredible US women), but this time around, I am a runner and a marathoner.

Twitter on the left, marathon on the right.
Oh and it was also playing on my phone in case there were commercials.
These women are an inspiration. While I will never be an Olympic marathoner, it is incredible to watch them and see what you can achieve when you dedicate time, effort and a whole lot of guts to an event - not only on the day of, but in the preparation leading up to it. I might not have all the time in the world to train, but if I put in effort and guts into every run, workout, and rest day (yes, sometimes those also take effort and guts...), I'll be able to say that I did my best when I cross the finish line on October 7.

After watching the marathon, I had 10 miles on the schedule at marathon pace plus 15 seconds. I'm aiming to break 4 hours, so I wanted to stay around a 9:24 pace. It was so hot and humid out that I made a deal with myself: run 5 miles sub-9:24 and then you can run whatever you want for the rest. I did that - ran 5 miles sub-9:24, then ran 2 miles in the 9:30s, but then ramped it up again for the final 3 miles for an average pace of 9:20 over 10 miles. It wasn't the prettiest (literally, as I had to take off my shirt 2 miles in), but I'm pretty damn proud of today's run.

I chased that run with some Ikea assembly, which I did while watching the men's 10k (AMAZING race!) and women's triathlon - two other events I didn't care about at all four years ago. Yes, I've also watched gymnastics and swimming like I did in 2008, but it really struck me today how much things have changed in four years. Seems to me they are headed in the right direction.

During the marathon today, the announcer quoted Alberto Salazar who had said something that stuck with me, something that I think I need to have framed and put on my wall: "What does it take to be a good marathoner? The willingness and capacity to suffer." Well Salazar, just call me willing and capable...hopefully this will turn me into a good marathoner, too.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Has it really been two months?

Why yes, it seems that it has. I know all 10 of you reading this were waiting with bated breath for me to post something, and here I am! Posting! After two whole months (sorry about that). You see, the past two months have been busy to say the least. And I only got internet in my apartment yesterday after two weeks without it, which made it a little bit more difficult to post.

Quick June recap: June somehow now seems ages ago, doesn't it? Let's see if I can sum it up...

  • Went to a Figure 4 class that my friend Lisa (who used to work at Equinox and now is off at business school) put together, attended with a lot of friends and chased it with 16 Handles (natch). I felt like this class was better than the first time I went in May when Laura arranged a class, but my booty still burned like nobody's business.
  • My parents came to visit in mid-June. We did a lot - saw Clybourne Park, ate dinner at Red Rooster, brunched at Colicchio & Sons, walked the Highline, visited the 9/11 memorial, and walked across part of the Brooklyn Bridge. All in all it was an excellent visit filled with delicious food, fun times, and lots of walking.
  • Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls performed at my company's staff meeting. My 13-year-old self was freaking out. And yes, he played "Slide" AND "Iris." 
Johnny and me, chatting about
how awesome 1998 was
  • I visited Cape Cod for the first time in my life and I didn't want to go back to New York. I went there for my friends' wedding and it was really activities (boozy boat cruise!), gorgeous setting (a resort right on the water), a beautiful ceremony (perfect conditions, amazing background), and all around fun times ("Call Me Maybe" might have come on a few times...and we definitely ALL danced all night long). I also managed to eat my first-ever lobster roll AND run 8 miles with my friend Shawna (not necessarily in that order). It was week 1 of Chicago Marathon training and I still managed to get my run in! Woo!
  • Visited the Met with Lani and her husband and finally got to see Cloud City - we also enjoyed cocktails on the roof and wandered around the museum for quite some time. 
Cloud City on the roof of the Met
  • Ran my first NYC sports-bra-only run when it was blisteringly warm out. It made a hell of a difference - I stayed much cooler throughout the run. Shockingly, absolutely NO ONE CARED that I was running around NYC in my sports bra and shorts - SO surprising, I know! The worst part was when I most definitely saw Miranda Kerr running along the West Side Highway - I actually passed her on my way up and again on my way down. No matter how you slice it, seeing a supermodel run in just HER sports bra is gonna make you question why you decided it was OK for the world to see YOUR stomach...but c'est la vie. 
Embracing the sports bra run
That's it for June...July is next! Then I'll start talking about all things marathon (since I'm actually almost 7 weeks into training...). Till next time!