Awesome Sauce

This morning's run: 2.65 miles in 25:52 - average pace 9:43! So pretty much my fastest run ever. Boom. 

I went out wayyy too fast. I blame the iPod. I never run with an ipod but I needed a change of pace/ some motivation and since it was light out, I figured it would be safe. It definitely helped, except for my dying on my last mile. I really need to learn how to pace my shorter runs, or buck up and suffer through the pain of pushing myself hard. Also, maybe it 's time I invest in a pace watch (as soon as the Soleus 2.0 comes out). 

I think it helped that I took yesterday as a stretching/foam rolling day instead of running, to help my recovery from my 10 miles on Saturday. Since I only have about 30 or so minutes each day to realistically devote to a workout, I opted for some hardcore stretching, and I'm SO glad I did. It felt great and clearly it made a difference today!

However, cats are terrible workout buddies. All they do is lounge in bed with you and tempt you to get under the covers and snuggle with them. Hardly inspiring motivation. Yesterday, Charlie kept throwing himself down in front of the foam roller and demanding to be petted. It was really cute. 

Also, is it allergy season already? I have been sneezing like mad after I run lately and could probably be a test rat for Allegra. Ugh. I have never had seasonal allergies like this before!


Balancing Act

I've been feeling rather on the outs with running lately. I think there are a lot of factors involved - school has been tremendously stressful and my workload has been nothing shy of overwhelming, and I have hit the point in the semester where I am perpetually sleep-deprived, and given any opportunities for free time, I will always pick sleep. I know once the semester and the bar exam are both over, I will likely sleep about 12-14 hours a day for a week in order to recover. But until then, I just have to make peace with the fact that I am not going to feel good or rested pretty much ever. Adding to the cycle is the fact that when I'm tired, it's much more difficult for me to eat healthy. Clearly this is a vicious cycle, because the more crap I eat, the more sluggish I feel, and the less likely I am to go for a run. I remember that I felt this way for about two months prior to the marathon as well. The one thing that I would have liked to change with the marathon was my conditioning - I felt like I was not in quite good enough shape to push myself as hard as I wanted. I am a little worried that this will be the case with the half. While I know that I'm in significantly better shape now, and running half the distance, I would still like to get in 1-2 more runs a week, and get my weekly mileage up between 15-18 miles a week. Right now my high weeks are about 14 and I'm getting in about 3 runs a week. Not terrible and a definite improvement from the marathon training, but still room to do better. I just keep reminding myself that I won't be a law student forever, and as long as I try to stay reasonably healthy with my diet and exercise that I will be able to maintain a level of fitness and sanity that is much needed for the next few months. But damn  it if I hold my self-expectations too damn high!


Whine to the Finish

I had 8 miles planned for the morning, but even before I got on the train, my brain started to crank up the cranky. I bought new running shoes last week, and they're a little bit too big. Not terrible, but enough to be noticeable. Although if anything, it may have affected my stride positively - or maybe that's just because they're new and cushion-y. I was pissed at myself because I've worn them twice now and can't return them, and may be stuck ordering both an 8 wide and 8.5 regular on zappos and trying out both in my apartment, then sending one pair back. Or both. They're adorable shoes, too... because clearly the style is the crucial aspect of shoe/runner compatibility.

And then it was flurry-ing all morning in the park. My hands were cold. Things felt hard. I was pretty sure I was holding like a 15 minute mile pace. Ugh. I had really wanted to hit 8 miles today so that I would be back where I needed to be distance-wise for the NYC half. But I was SO ready to call it quits at 6. And then at 7. Definitely moments of sheer torture. But I hit 8 (almost - 7.86...close enough) at a 10:30 pace, to boot. And just like that, all of the agonizing moments I felt all throughout the run seemed so inconsequential, so trivial. And I came home with a smile on my face, proud to have gutted it out and pushed myself so far this morning. Sometimes the crappiest runs are the most rewarding.


Aches and Pains

I feel like every time I go out for a run, I have a new pain cropping up. First, it was my right knee/IT band. Two weeks of no running later, it felt great. Then a few weeks ago, my right peroneal tendon in my foot started making some noise. I took a week off and it felt better. Then last Sunday, after a week off, I busted out my badass PR in the Gridiron race. Things felt kind of rough after that, and school reared its ugly head, so I ended up being out for another three days. Today was my first run after the race in my very hilly neighborhood. Everything hurts right now - my left achilles feels sore, my right IT band is not painful but tight/present, and I feel like my chest is going to explode. It could be the new shoes I'm breaking in, or the fact that I've lost some fitness, or stress settling in my joints, or all three. It just doesn't make it any less frustrating! I miss my carefree runs where I'd go for two or three miles and come home feeling like I owned the world. Lately I come home and don't have enough ice packs for every place that hurts.


I still exist!

I am just in the land of the 6th-semester-law-student. It's not pretty, trust me.

Just a couple of little notes since I haven't had time or energy for much deep introspection lately:

1. New running shoes!!! Brooks Defyance 5 (does it annoy anyone else that they spell "defiance" wrong?) and trying out some gorgeous pinkish-red Brooks Glycerins! Thank you Brooks, for your large(ish) selection of wide-width shoes for my feet that like to make like a pancake and spread out on any run longer than two miles.

2. New PR! I ran the NYRR Gridiron 4 miler on Sunday, and finished in 40:13 - over two minutes faster than the last time I ran that race (or any four mile race, for that matter). It's hard for me to believe that six months ago I was struggling to finish a full mile all running and would barely break 12 minutes, and now I can fairly regularly push my splits very close to a 10-minute mile. (The 10-minute mile has been the gold standard for me in terms of running speed for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure why. But I've always measured my ability to "be a runner" at my proximity to that magic split).

3. Upcoming 5k! In March, I'll be running the Shamrock 5k up here in WaHi (Washington Heights) one of my other favorite races. I'm particularly excited about it because if things continue the way they have, I may be able to post a sob-30 minute 5k for the first time in my life. For someone who has always been more comfortable with long slow distance than speed, it looks like my mornings doing speedwork at the track have paid off. (Hangs head in shame for sleeping in and missing it this morning...)

4. Which brings me to my last, less exciting, piece of news: injuries. Of which I have had many. I think that's par for the course for someone like me who lacks the physical comfort to keep up with her intensity, but since last December I've had a pain in the ass IT band flare-up and peroneal tendinitis in my right foot. And I took this morning off to give my IT band another day to recover from Sunday. It's not hurting me yet, but I think that if I push it any more this week, it will be rather upset. Also, I am SORE from my ass-kicking race, and buried neck deep in schoolwork. It;s all about balance, right? I know that the last few months of law school are going to be full of stress and less full of good, recovery-inducing sleep, and that I need to be very aware of the type of running I do - more easy, enjoyable, stress-clearing miles, and less high intensity, needing-lots-of-recovery miles. It boils down to being able to listen to my body and know that while I will continue to run when I can, it just isn't and can't be a priority that takes up too much of my time and energy. Which makes me sad, but I think I'll live.

I'm running the NYC half marathon on March 18th - the day before my 27th birthday - and at this point I know I'm behind on my training. But in registering for the race I knew that training was going to get the short straw to a lot of other things, and that's ok. Although I had originally wanted to try to break 2:30 (and still very well may), my ultimate goal with the half is to have fun and finish without any injuries. After that, I'll be taking a break from longer distances and keep doing the shorter NYRR races in order to get my 9+1 automatic bid for the 2013 NYC Marathon (which I will run on my first wedding anniversary! What a lucky and understanding guy I have!). I have a pretty lofty goal set up for myself for NYC, and will have a full year to make it happen: a sub-5 hour marathon. Pretty wild, eh? Just the thought of running NYC again makes me so excited, and has definitely gotten me out of bed for early morning runs more than once recently.

And now, back to the grind - but if anyone is wondering about NY intestate distribution of a will or the provisions of UCC article 2, I'm your girl.