Yep, Still Hating Winter.

There is no doubt in my mind that I have seasonal depression, on top of the anxiety and (normal?) depression I already have. Stick a fork in me, I am already done with winter (fall?whatever) and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Especially here in New York where one day it’s humid and 55 and the next day it’s barely 30 degrees with a windchill even lower. 25 years on this coast and I’m still not used to it. California, I’m looking at you by age 29.

Okay, I like a few things about this time of year. Boots and coats are some of my favorite wardrobe pieces. Comfy sweats and hoodies at night are the perfect end to a long day. My favorite thing has to be the drop dead gorgeous views of Central Park, though. This morning was chilly and rainy, but the park looked amazing and it will not look this pretty for much longer.

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This week has been nothing of note. We got our new bed delivered Wednesday though and it’s amazing. It’s really really high and hard to get into, but we have so much storage underneath now! Not to mention it’s quite a difference sleeping on a queen mattress vs a futon. I’ll take a picture of updated room once we get everything together. I’m now going to try to get into decorating/organizing a little more!

No workouts since Tuesday, but I am determined to make this weekend my return to training. Can I call the last month my “off-season” or is that too short? I’m really not good at casually working out. My casual workouts turn into sleeping in every morning! It’s hard enough to get motivated in the cold winter mornings so I’ve got some races planned for the winter and I pray that’s enough to get my ass out of bed. Seriously, I promise you you have never met someone more lazy than me. Laying in bed being comfortable and not moving is what I was born to do. Ugh, I hate it and love it.

Anywho, races for the rest of winterhell include:

Race to Deliver 4-miler: This Sunday. No time goal, of course. Let’s just pray I maybe don’t have to walk like in last weeks race. Will run a few before/after for a total of 7 or 8.

Ted Corbitt Classic 15K: Saturday December 14th. This is the morning after my work holiday party. Guess who won’t be drinking any champagne this year? That’s probably for the best though…

Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate 10K: Sunday December 15th. I, of course, love the idea of 2 fun races in one weekend. That just means more pizza and froyo for me. However, I’m not totally sure I will do this and I’m not signed up yet. But I do need all the motivation I can get and having a race ensures I will workout that day! Do I sound pathetic and desperate yet? Good. That’s my point.

Central Park Hot Chocolate 10-Miler: I literally JUST saw this posted and screamed! Not signed up yet but this would be my first race of 2014 and a good training run for my half marathon just 2 weekends later. I’ll most likely be signed up by Sunday 😉

Fred Lebow Manhattan Half: I have a maybe goal of running a half marathon every month in 2014. My roommate told me I’m a nut case for this last night. I agree. This will kick off the first month of that lofty goal! Can we please pray that it’s at least above 20 degrees that morning? Ugh, I hate you January. OH this will also be race 1 of 5 that will qualify me for the 2015 NYC Half Marathon that is next to impossible to get into. Woop.

(Can we insert how much I wish my legs would allow me to do 2 half marathons in a weekend? There’s a half the day before the Fred Lebow half but I wouldn’t even dare. Or would I?)

NYC Runs Central Park Half Marathon: Not signed up yet but this is probably the only half marathon in NYC in February. Gotsta do it.

Let me just stop there because in my world, I consider March 1st spring even if it continues to snow into May.

Do you have any winter races planned?

What keeps you motivated in the winter? If you live somewhere where winter doesn’t really exist… well, I hate you.

Grete’s Great Gallop 1/2 Marathon!

This week has been a little crazy so I apologize for the lack of posts! I’ve been in exhaustion city since running the half on Sunday but I’m starting to feel human again. Here’s a little recap for ya!

I wrote last week about how I wasn’t really feeling motivated to run, and I honestly woke up Sunday morning feeling the same way. I drank my water and coffee, ate my 1/2 banana and PB, put my Polar heart rate monitor on and headed for the subway. The race started on the east side of the 72nd St. transverse in Central Park so it was relatively easy to get to. As per usual, I was in the porta potty line 1 minute before the race began but since I’m not fast I always have about 10 minutes to spare way in the back of the corrals. That’s a perk of being slow, yes?

When I signed up for this race back in August, I was dreaming of a nice chilly start to the race being that it was in October and all. Well, 2 minutes of being outside Sunday morning and you were drenched in sweat from the thick humidity and mist. I was glad I had hydrated so well the day before and morning of and I am particularly happy with how I hydrated through the whole race. I carried a Nathan’s hand held water bottle about 3/4 or a little less full and sipped it every 5-10 minutes until I ran out of it at mile 9.

nathans

This size fits my iPhone 5 (with no case on it), my credit card and ID, and a little baggy of Swedish Fish.

I felt pretty great mentally and physically for much more of the race than I expected. The one mantra I told myself when I would start to get anxious at how much time I had left was to “stay within the mile you are in”. I have read that many times and it helps so much! I would just focus on being in mile 4 or mile 10 and get through that mile. I kept my music off until the 6th mile for a little mental break in the miles, too. Dedicating the harder miles to someone is really helpful too. I thought about my grandma for all of mile 8 when one of her favorite songs came on my playlist- Unforgettable by Nat King Cole. It brought tears to my eyes and an instant sense of motivation!

This course was 2 full loops of Central Park and let me just tell you… it’s Wednesday and the soreness in my quads is still making it very painful to walk down any stairs! Hills on hills on hills. I fueled with Swedish fish at mile 4 and mile 8 and didn’t feel like I needed any extra energy. Swedish fish are amazing and a cheap source of sugar for a long distance run!

I stopped to stretch out my calves and left IT band 3 times and while I wish I could get away with not doing that, I just don’t want to risk an injury. I wait until the tightness is pretty bad to stop so I don’t feel like such a wuss but it definitely feels like a necessity to do.

Finally mile 12 came and as it usually goes, it was the worst mile of the whole race. I almost stopped to walk about 300 times but instead I ran slower than I’ve ever run before. It honestly barely felt like I was moving my feet but soon enough I saw Brenda and John near the final .10 of the race. It gave me the boost of adrenaline I needed, and I sprinted my way through the finish and somehow managed a smile!

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I pretty much want this picture enlarged and framed in my room. So proud that my 2nd half marathon is complete! I actually finished 2 seconds slower than my first one in May but it really doesn’t matter to me! Finishing is all I’m concerned with 🙂

Finishing time was 2:29:17. Pace of 11:24 per mile. Rockin’ the 11’s like it’s my job, right Erika?! 😉

I had to go into work right after for a few hours, and had 0 appetite until I got out of work. I forced down a plain bagel with a little butter, a coconut water, and a pumpkin muffie from Panera brought to me by a co-worker! My heart rate monitor showed that I burned over 1800 calories during the race so this wasn’t nearly enough to refuel but I made up for it later! Mussels, fries, and my first BURGER in 348347329 years. NOT a good idea but I also knew that going into it…

Sorry for the dark lighting!
Sorry for the dark lighting!

Delicious, $5 mussels from Brindle Room.

I had a craving for a burger so bad I could have died. I’m more or less allergic to red meat (I don’t know what else to call it when every time I eat it it gives me a 2 day long stomach ache?) so I haven’t eaten it in a long time. I’ll usually have 1 or 2 burgers a year and it has to be EXTREMELY worth it. I knew the portion was really small and John doesn’t toss around lightly what he considers the best burger in NYC so I went for it.

burger w/ blue cheese & caramelized onions
burger w/ blue cheese & caramelized onions

Seriously worth every bit of pain that followed. YOLO?

I then proceeded to collapse in bed only to have to wake up at 4:30 AM to travel 4 hours to get my hair done. Let’s leave that for tomorrows post 🙂

I’ve rested Monday, yesterday and today out of pure exhaustion so I’ll have a chance to run twice before Sunday’s half marathon! Am I crazy or am I crazy?!?

Have you ever ran a half marathon? Thoughts on the distance?

Percy Sutton Harlem 5K

Is there seriously anything better than finishing a race that you met or exceeded your time goal for and feeling the runner’s high all day?! I really don’t think so. I even had to come right to work after and I’m STILL having a great day after!

One of the best parts of this race was that it was only 10 minutes or less from my apartment, directly off my subway line. I woke up at 6:00 A.M., laid in bed for another 30 minutes then got up, drank water and an iced soy espresso, foam rolled and was out the door. I got there a little too early for once in my life but enjoyed the absolutely gorgeous/perfect/amazing Saturday morning.

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I got my bib and t-shirt and sat on the grass for awhile with an hour to kill. I ended up having to use the porta potties 3 FREAKING TIMES. The nerves, which I barely felt compared to my other races in the past, I guess did me in. It was absolutely disgusting (the porta potties, as they always are) and I hate having to use them but ya do what ya gotta do. I ate a small banana about 40 minutes before the start, did some warm up drills and jogged a little bit, then got into my corral.

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I look like complete poop but I was tired. Also, I will never be someone who has amazing hair that looks good in a pony tail. It drives me crazy. Anyways! Go time.

As usual, I spent the first mile weaving in and out of people who should have started in slower corrals. No offense since I’m not exactly speedy gonzalez but know your speed and understand that people who are faster don’t want to waste time trying to get around you. The first mile was also really, really hilly. I did great on those because I train in Central Park, so I was able to get up and around a bunch of people and settle into my “groove”. Wearing my heart rate monitor, I had planned to keep it between 160-170 and figured that would bring me somewhere under a 10 minute mile for the shape I’m in right now. Um, no. The hills, hotness, direct sunlight, and nerves had my heart rate almost never below 170! It felt uncomfortable but not AWFUL so I never really slowed down. I looked at my RunKeeper app a few times and somewhere around 2.5 miles I realized I could go sub-30 minutes which was my goal. My heart rate was already 180 something or I think I could have sprinted and got it closer to 29 minutes, but I was SO happy with coming in at 9:40 average pace miles!

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The race was great. The course was beautiful and I never knew Harlem was so gorgeous and historical looking! My left leg didn’t bother me during the race at all, but I’ve been in pain all day with my hip down. I’m going to ice, foam roll and compression again tonight and aim for 7 miles tomorrow morning, super slow, before ALLIE comes to spend the day with me!! Tonight John’s taking me out for Thai food to celebrate followed by froyo, so this is basically the greatest weekend ever. 🙂

Hope you are having an amazing weekend! Have you ever ran a 5K?