Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Everyone's An Expert

This afternoon, my friend Christy and I will be meeting with a running coach. I am looking for someone to critique my form (which I know is awful) and give me feedback and tips on my current training schedule. For you see, I know my own personal/professional limitations. Although I have been a certified aerobics instructor and have done aerobics for 20 years now,I know that there are times in my life I need to seek the input of someone who has more training/education/experience than me on a certain topic.
Sadly, no one give me this professional courtesy.
For you see, I am cranky today, because once again, no one views me as the nutrition expert. Four years of undergrad work, a year internship at Yale, my masters in human nutrition and 11 years of work experience-and, well, everyone else is an expert in nutrition. Clearly, since we all eat, everyone must know everything about food.
Don't get me wrong-I definately don't know about all aspects of nutrition-no one can. That's why there is specialization. But come on, give me a little bit of credit. Please.
I was trying to come up with other examples, similar to "just because you eat, doesn't make you a dietitian."
Leave it to my sister to amuse me and cheer me up:

Everyone breathes, doesn't make them a respiratory specialist
Everyone poops, doesn't make them a proctologist
Everyone spanks their Cooley (or bum, as normal people say) , doesn't make them an exotic dancer
Everyone talks, doesn't mean they're saying anything important.

Or as Joan Cusack says in "Working Girl"-
"Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna. Never will."

Monday, June 29, 2009

One Down, Only 15 More to Go!

My mother likes to remind me that "the road to hell is paved with good intention". I really wanted to give an update last week of my first week's progress, yet life got in the way. So better late then never.
Last week was my first week following the Runner's World Marathon training plan. I have chosen the 5 hours marathon plan, but have tweaked it, because the running times are a little too slow (yet the 4 1/2 hour marathon plan is ironically too fast). I look at the plan for the week-2 miles, 2 miles, 3 miles and 6 miles. That's only 13 miles-I'm used to pushing through 24 miles minimum each week. Which, BTW, don't ask me where this magic "24 miles" has come from. I considered myself a woman of science, and try to make evidence based statements. But this "I have to run at least 24 miles each week" has no basis other than being pulled from the location on my body where the sun doesn't shine. So I decide to let go of this and follow the plan.
The first day I run the 3 miles. And despite having changed the pace times on my Garmin (its a magical watch that tell you anything and everything you would ever want to know about running), the thing is still beeping at me. And not in the usual beep of "Speed Up" (aka "Move your buttock faster woman")-this is actually beeping for me to "Slow Down". Continued tweeking is in my future to reduce the annoyance factor of a beeping watch.
The next day, I run 2 miles, walk another 1. See, I'm only running 2 miles like I'm suppose to (this is called justification). I'm extra ok with this, because my sister and I head off to NYC to partake in a workout with my favorite aerobics instructor of all time, Cathe Friedrich. This woman is the smallest person I've ever seen-and I'm not talking height-although she's small in that aspect too. I swear, her waist is the size of my 6 year old. Although I love having my picture taken with her, it makes me feel giant-like a giant who is going to eat her. But its nice to have a afternoon workout, since running only 2 miles left me wanting more.
Friday I run 2 miles, doing hill repeats the entire time. I have no choice, as my mother's neighborhood is composed entirely of hills. It was extremely muggy, so running only 2 miles was fine. I walked another 2 just for good measure.
Sunday, I'm home, back to the land where the roads aren't as hilly, so I complete my 6 mile run here. Nothing thrilling to report about this one. Oh, other than it started pouring during my run, so I ran home, got a kitchen towel, and a plastic bag for my watch-and just kept at it.
One week down, 15 to go. Next stop, meeting with the running coach.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Step by Step

So now, the plan for Boston is in place. Here are my steps:

1. Sign up for Hartford marathon-to get one marathon under my belt before Boston

2. Apply and be accepted for a bib via Komen for the Cure

3. Inform Danny Wood of my plan

4. Oh yeah-train and run 26.2 miles

5. "Don't you know the time has arrived" -ok, I had no more steps and I figured this was only appropriate with the "New Kids" theme going

Well, like my things I have mapped out in my life, I needed to go out of order. Obviously, I would have love to secure my bib before telling Danny, but when opportunity knocks, I must take it. So this past Friday (June 19th), I was doing the meet and greet at the NKOTB concert in Mansfield, MA. Yes, it was my 4th one, blah, blah, not of relevance here.
My plan was as follows: I was going to go into the meet and greet and tell Danny I needed to talk to him about something. I was going tell him that I was going to run Boston in memory of his mother. I figured he'd ask if I had ever done anything like this, so I was ready to read off all of my running credentials, such as 3 halfs, 15+ 5 and 10K's and Hartford in the fall. As I played this moment in my mind, I got very emotional, as I hoped to convey to him a little about my past, how as a kid I would cry when I had to run a mile in school, so for me to voluntarily run 26.2 was beyond my wildest dreams.
Things didn't go as I planned-yet again. There was some mass confusion, usual for these M&G, and I kind of started the conversation at an awkward time, but I really didn't have any other chance. I told him I was going to run Boston in memory of his mom.
Danny: "Boston?"
Lisa: "Yeah-you wanna run 5 of the miles with me?"
Danny: "Screw that."
Lisa: "Come on-if each of you ran 5 miles with me, then I'd only have to run 1.2 on my own."
Danny: "Nah, I'm gonna do the walk in September instead. Are you gonna do that?"
Lisa: "Um, no. But I'm gonna write a blog and I will send you the link so you can see my progress, and, and, and"
Check out the above pic-this is me trying to get it all in. As you can see, I'm midsentence in the pic.
I'm such a loser. This was my chance to spill it all, get it all out there to him, my passion about this, my dedication to running and this cause. And I couldn't even tell you how I ended the conversation. Ugh.
Onward and upward-this week starts week one out of 16 for Hartford Marathon training. And I'm ready. This will put me on the path to completing Step One-"We can have lots of fun..."

The Grandiose Boston Marathon Plan

After watching this year's Boston marathon (BTW: it was at work, with the sound off until my boss came in and saw what I was doing), I decided I really, really want to run Boston in 2010. Part of the allure of the Boston marathon is that you have to qualify for it. For my age group-I'd have to run (and maintain) an 8:25 mile. Yeah, I currently can't even do that for my 5K. So qualifying isn't gonna happen. My only option is being a charity runner. "Real" runners (aka those fast enough to qualify) think this is the "cheater" way to get into Boston. Hey, I'm gonna raise $3000 which I am financially responsible for if I cannot raise and STILL run as far as you will be running-I see nothing that resembles "cheating" in this scenario.
As this plan evolves in my pea-brain, I stumble upon the GREATEST IDEA ever. I will combine my love for running with my undying love for New Kids on the Block. I decide I will inquire to see if I can run Boston for the Betty Wood Breast Cancer Foundation (http://www.rememberbetty.org/). This foundation has been created by Danny Wood of NKOTB, in memory of his mother who died of breast cancer. I email the foundation, after agonizing over what to write. The women who is in charge of the emails send me a lovely thoughtful response, saying that since they were a small non-profit, they cannot secure bibs for Boston, but that I should see if I can get one through Komen for the Cure.(http://ww5.komen.org/) I email them, and they said they were in the process of obtaining bibs for 2010, so I needed to check back in the fall. So now I sit and wait....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oldie But Goodie-The Story of my First 5K

Before I start my marathon aspect of this blog, I decide to repost something from my dusty old MySpace page, from Oct 2006. Its very touching to me at this point in my "running career", as I've come so far-and hope to go (literally) even further.

Saturday, October 14, 2006
I'm Tired Because I Ran a 5K, What's Your Excuse? Current mood: accomplished Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
I work at UNH and every time I open my Internet Explorer on my office computer, the webpage was taunting me-"UNH Homecoming 5K".
Hmmm. Inspired by my sister-in-law Erin, who is currently doing the "Couch to 5K" running program, I was mildly interested in this taunt from UNH. Could I do it? I've been running/walking for awhile now, nothing long distance, and the continuing increased weight of the 2 girls I push in the carriage makes it rather hard to push my running threshold.
I decided I'd do a trial run on Thursday. I mapped out 3.1 miles using the internet, then decided to also check my pedometer. I did 3.5 miles in 47 minutes. Not great, not terrible. I call Erika.
"I did the run in 47 minutes. It's better than the person who came in last at the UNH 5K in 2005."
"Yup, they were 62 years old though."
I asked Cassandra what she thought of mommy doing a race.
"Mommy, I don't think its a good idea."
"You're not a very good runner."
Ah, my confidence was being boosted by the minute.
I told Josh I was thinking about running. "Well, who will make breakfast for Marina then?" (His sister stayed over after watching the kids on Friday night)
"Umm, how about you? And that's not the point of this conversation."
Needless to say, I went into this with not too many people thinking it was the greatest of ideas.
I drove the loop on Friday, cringing at the hills, but excited at the prospect. I signed up-worse case, a $12 donation to UNH. Not that they don't already have enough of the Hetrick/Corman moolah.
I woke up at 6 on Saturday morning, nervous as all heck. Mind you, we were out until 11 or so at a 5 course, cigar dinner. The perfect pre-run meal. Marina was nice enough to offer to watch both girls, but I decided to take Kaylee with me, as I don't know what to do with my hands if I'm not pushing a carriage, and at least she doesn't yell "Run faster" like her sister does.
My goal: Not to come in last. That was all I wanted. That was all that mattered. Low expectation, just not to be 300 out of 300.
I start at the end of the pack, as I don't want to be in anyone's way with the carriage. But within the first 5 minutes, I quickly realize I am last. Crap.
I keep running. I run the first mile, slowly passing people. I keep running. I have now passed a fair amount of people, but I can still see them close behind.
Every water station or cop stopping traffic, I yell, "Come on, cheer for me." They do-and it just makes me run even faster.
At one point, I start to cry. I became overwhelmed at what I was doing. Here I am-a person who has spent over 1/3 of their life out of shape, a person who weighed 82 pounds in the first grade, a person who was on the JV volleyball team just so they had someone to warm the bench for the other players-running a race. I quickly realize that crying is taking up too much of my needed oxygen, so I stop.
I see the final road. The cop cheers me on (with prompting, of course). As you come around the final lap, they annouce you.
"188, Lisa XXX from Dover." I sprint to the finish line. 37 minutes. Not bad for an old lady pushing a carriage.
And I wasn't last.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Market Square Day 10K

I ran the Market Square Day 10k in Portsmouth, NH for the second time. Last year, it was my first time running a 10k, and I was happy with my chip time of 1:02:07 . (I love races with starting and finishing mats.) This year, my goal was to complete it in under 1 hour. 10K's haven't been that plentiful in my racing career, so I had done only 2 others (Saunders and New Year's Day 10k's) since. Although I didn't meet my goal, I still set a new PR for a 10k at 1:00:48, which is a 9:48 mile.
Mental notes for next year-although hilly, always a straight away once you get up the hills, so you can always catch your breath. Also, once at the top of the last hill (where the Children's Museum was)-the finish is at the end of the downhill, so start to gun it once the hill is over.

Also, the second time this year I was bib #2-many people asked who I knew that helped me get that number. Just like to register early!