Empire State Half Marathon

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control.

Let’s rewind, last week I just felt terrible. Every day was just blah – we were training straight through so no taper and was not I running that much: they way my training worked out was four miles everyday besides the race and my workout. I just kept trying to focus on what I could control, which basically meant work. After my workout on Wednesday, I knew I was good to go if I could just stay relaxed and rested the rest of the week (more so mentally). Especially because Friday consisted of driving to Syracuse and back (for my bib#) and then take the team solo to Princeton. It was going to be a lot of driving before the race but I was trying not to think about it.. In fact it working was keeping my mind off my race as I had to oversee 12 College-Aged women in an tiny van. Talk about trying to not freak out.

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It’s kinda cool, I was thoroughly annoyed when I found out you could pick it up race morning- UGH!

So saturday arrived and we had two races for the girls, one at 10AM and one at 12PM. The goal was to try to leave at 1PM. This is when Lisa’s nervousness and anxiety started to set in as I had to drive back to Ithaca and then jump in my car and drive to my parents. It took us an HOUR to get our of Princeton. I was NOT a happy camper and I’m sure the girls new it- as much as you can try to always be in a good mood around them, they can often notice when something is off, especially with me. Eventually we made it back and semi quickly (thanks to my incredible need to get someplace ASAP & my anxiety).

Dropped the girls off, jumped in my car and I was off. After being an emotional wreck for 30 minutes, (thanks emotions, just what I needed the night before my race.. UGH!) I put on some music and tried to ‘relax’ the best I could. Finally got home and got dinner- oh yeah it was 8pm and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.. Eeep! (Shout out to Mom for picking me up Chipotle.. Woot woot!!). The best part about getting home was seeing my PIPPY PUPPY- He always makes me feel better. OF course he was so excited to see me, wagging his tail uncontrollable, lots of kisses and sure enough he was ready to snuggle with me! In less than 20 we were on the floor cuddling away…

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This is my Pippy, he makes me happy. I miss him so much.

 I did not force him either.

I did not force him either.

Finally I was in bed ready for sleep at 9:00PM which was perfect for a solid 8 hours of sleep before a 5:00AM wake up call.   I actually slept really well probably from the emotional stress I gave myself over the course of 2 days (typically, I never sleep well at home on the first night). I was up bright and early at 5:00AM, kept trying to get myself to move around and not sit down for breakfast. Lots of moving, some kisses from pippy and some hugs from mom left me feeling relatively relaxed before we (mom and I) headed to the ball stadium for the start and finish of the race. The big worry at that point was no PRP (I’ll let you figure that out). But of course when we got to the stadium, I was ready to go and headed straight to the Porta-potties- 3 times in an hour 😡

I warmed up a 50 minutes before instead of an hour because it was REALLY chilly and CRAZY windy (yes, it was crazy- Remember when I said it was windy mmmk?). I only had about a 10 minute warm up- which felt TERRIBLE. I tried not to focus on it. Just went through the motions, listening to some music (yes.. there may have been Call Me Maybe..), doing some drills. The timing of my warm up was perfect! I had less than 10 minutes before the start. Just time to stay loose and do strides. Found mom a perfect spot so I could ditch my clothes before the start (I’m pretty sure she thought I was crazy) and the last thing I told her was ‘it is what it is right?‘. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go and that mantra actually stayed with me the whole race. It was also probably the best piece of advice I could give to myself hahah. I nestled into a nice spot on the side of the start line so I wouldn’t have to jump between people at the start, ditched my clothes to mom and then we were offfffff.

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The start! You can see my in my sweet Oiselle threads!

The race plan was supposed to be 15 minutes ‘feeling’ like I was running a normal run, then 4 * 10 minutes at steady state w. 2 minutes running easy, then race the last little bit. Well let’s say it was a good thing I did NOT look at Garmie.. because I would have freaked out. The run ‘like you are running a normal run’ was at 6:33 pace. Let’s say that was the EASIEST 6:33 pace of my life.

After the first 15 minutes I started the first steady state portion, then I threw the race plan out of the window as I was feeling good and was staying with the top women (I am still competitive after all!!). We had a HEADWIND for what seemed like FOREVER. It was definitely at least for the first half. But I told myself ‘it is what it is’ (catching the theme yet?) and tried to nestle behind someone so I wouldn’t have to fight the wind. For the first half of the race I felt pretty good, focused on staying relaxed and smooth. I was with the 2nd place woman up until about mile 7. Then my legs were just not with the mind. I was trying not to panic.. I remember telling myself this was over a mile after they started aching in wineglass and I ran well there. So I just kept chugging along. [Disclaimer: It took me a few miles before I realized people were  hiding behind me, not sure how well it worked though. I used men ;)]

The course was an out an back on the parkway, so when the achy feeling first started, the majority of the race was heading towards the turn around. Everyone was so supportive and offered amazing encouragement. I felt bad because I would’ve smiled and liked to look into their eyes (for thanks) but the sun was in my eyes and all I could do was grimace (THANK GOODNESS there were no photographers at that point!). Just kept putting one foot in front of the other. At some point another woman passed me. I tried to break out of my rhythm but couldn’t. So I went back to just one foot in front of the other. Oh and the wind came back when we left the park.

This is when I got crazy and started being silly.. by being silly I mean questioning everything about my running and why I decide to do this. Fortunately that was only for a few minutes then I snapped back out of it 🙂 GO LISA! At this point we were a little under 2 miles to go, and I just kept waiting to see the stadium. When I did I just tried to finish as strong as possible 🙂 Which I did.. 4th Female (again- this is the third time!) with a 1:26:14 which is a 43 second PR. I was happy, it took me until after the massage to realize what I had ran.. and under what circumstances my life decided to throw at me at that moment. However after that I was FREEEEEZING again and had to run around like a lost kid to try to find my momma–speaking of, what a GREAT fan, she broke speed limits to find me, stood in the cold and wind, then drove me to the grocery store for bread, apple cider, and coffee creamer- BEST mom ever 🙂

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Good thing you can’t see the pain face!

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I’m pretty sure I was thinking ‘why is the finish line SO far awayyy’

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Donezo!! Look I was having FUN!

There was ONE mishap. I got the WORST blister. I could feel it for the last 4 miles. I just kept praying it wouldn’t pop. It didn’t.. PHEW but as soon as I stopped running, every step consisted of a squishy feeling. BE aware you may want to stop reading.

IMG_3225It doesn’t look bad, but it HURT! BUT — trust me. I am NOT complaining by any means 🙂 I’ll take a blister any day!

This race leaves me VERY excited for the RnR Half in January, I’ll have a few days to relax before and not have to drive 12 hours- but the best part is that I still have 3 months of training to get under my belt. I can’t wait for what the next phase of training brings my way. FIRST, we have the 3rd Annual Surowick Family Turkey Trot 5k (which is part of the Baldwinsville Turkey Trot). Obviously it’s one of my favorite races 🙂 Here’s to the next few months!

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Sinking and Soaring

Life is beautiful because it is a controlled yet chaotic dance of ups and downs where we are blessed with the ability to sense those pains and pleasures equally.

Well, I believe we left off with me being so excited (like BEYOND) excited about going for a long ride with Alex last week. Welp. It was absolutely wonderful, the colors, the temperature (it was like 78 in OCTOBER!?) and of course the company 🙂 We kept it pretty easy and did one of our favorite rides from IH&F. Side Note- I’m still baffled at how there is always a load of traffic when we ride up 96. I mean a TON. It always impresses me, we even went at 10:30?! How is there so much traffic at 10:30AM!? They make me so nervous, oh well. Here’s some wonderful pictures.

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Anddd we both still have our numbers from Peasantman

So naturally, something is going to come along and TOTALLY mess with my MOJO. This would be my sunday long run (10/6). It was terrible, but worse than terrible, it was just down right completely and utterly terrible. Next time I should know better than to stand at an Expo for total of 18hrs on a gymnasium floor (Fri & Sat) and then expect my legs to work for my long run on Sunday AM. I’m pretty sure I hit every emotion but positive ones on this run. There was swearing, grumpiness, depression, and even tears.. on the side of the road. Yes. I had to stop on the side of the road and sit down and cry. This was not fun. But like all good things, the bad ones end too. I made it through (barely) but almost just threw in the towel and walked home from buttermilk (I guess that’s a big thank you to myself for scheduling a running mechanics class at 10am, in which I needed to rush home to get to on time). But I survived.

Well, I was pretty bummed about my long run, but that didn’t last long before I had to reset and get ready for my run workout of the week. I was a tad nervous about this workout 3*10min (1st: 5SS, 5T; 2nd: 4SS, 6T; 3rd: 3SS, 7T). Needless to say, this was one of the best run workout I’ve had probably in years. I kept wanting to push SS (was already running about 6:30ish pace) and then was trying to keep Tempo in check too. In any rate, at the end of my third set, I was feeling good, legs a little tired but aerobically was feeling great. I checked Garmie (my trusty garmin watch, yes he has a name. After all he keeps me company quite a bit, we have a love-hate relationship) and he was telling me I was running 5:55 pace. I almost squealed, yes SQUEALED in the middle of my workout. I was overjoyed. One- because I was sub 6 and it felt relatively easy and two- I’ve been having some problems feeling as fit as I was in college. In college, I would run 6 min pace and it would feel pretty easy, SO this made me very happy. It also has me feeling more excitement over the Empire State Half Marathon next weekend, before I was almost dreading it.

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Sunset after the workout 🙂

THEN the next morning I pr-ed with the time spent on the trainer, not that this is something to brag about or a milestone for most people, but I was on the trainer for 2 hrs straight. Longest by 30min! JACKPOT. This is really encouraging to me as I am going to spend a lot of time on the trainer this winter. Thus, I was pretty darn excited. Watched some HIMYM (how I met your mother) and the season debut of American Horror Story. The second show was quite interesting, it definitely kept me entertained. Erin came and caught up with me before work too. It was nice. The only problem is the 6 hours of sleep before and the 9 hour shift at work I had to follow. Proud to say, I made it through to the next morning with ANOTHER great workout session.. I’m letting the suspense set in becauseeeee…..

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Trainer ride! I think I’m thinking: ‘my butt hurts.. this show sucks.. how many more minutes? Don’t look at the clock AGAIN!’

I woke up thursday AM and went to the POOL. Yes, folks, I made it to the pool again (this is big news!). Not only did I make to the pool, I hit some of the baby steps to actually SWIM, yes I ACTUALLY swam.. and I lived. A lot of the pool sessions right now are just doing drills to work on my balance. So, I just started with the drills, back and forth for about 20 widths (once I got in, it took me FOREVER.. it was so COLD). Then I said, heck, why not and started the drills for half and swam for half. It was so exciting, I really wanted to start jumping up and down on the pool deck and asked if anyone saw me SWIM.. but I didn’t a) want to draw attention to myself (already SUPER UBER self-concious about my swimming) and b) I wasn’t swimming full widths yet.. So I’ll wait to jump on the pool deck. Here’s what really went down that I was super excited about, I was able to breath much better when swimming freestyle (side note: I NEVER SWIM FREESTYLE, its ALWAYS breastroke..) and not hyperventilate which also means I am getting better at exhaling under water. THEN I got a rather large mouth full of water, instead of the normal panic I swallowed it and then took a breath on my next stroke and breathing must have been easier because I was more balanced!!!!! Look MOM I can KINDA SWIM like a triathlete.. well.. maybe I better not get TOO far ahead of myself.. but its progress 🙂

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PROOF I’ve been swimming, hello attractive goggle lines

Since the pool I’ve had some alright sessions, now I’m just quite tired (not really sleeping either but such as life). Today was a pretty solid long run and then went out on the bike which was really nice. Shook the legs out and somehow managed 17.9 mph in the wind 🙂 Now it’s time to get adjusted tomorrow AM (WOOT Gerrit solves everything) and rest up before taking the team to Princeton on Friday night and then the race Sunday. Wait.. did I say race.. no I mean workout. Yes, workout 🙂

Smiles on Smiles

‘Life is not about making others happy.  Life is about sharing your happiness with others.’

The last few days of training have been absolutely incredible (yes.. even saturday’s when I had to wake up and get my car.. I was still smiling at the end). I have been fully enjoying every session, smiling and having fun again. It’s been almost 6 weeks since I have felt this way (right before Peasantman). Friday was my first true workout back from Peasantman. I was little intimidated. However, I told myself it was going to suck anyways and I would survive (If I didn’t get lost)… Welp. I survived but was slightly panicked because I DID get lost! I stayed composed and relaxed and still avg 6:15ish pace for my pickups AND managed to get back to the hotel (I was in Boston with the team). SUCCESS in my book as it was early morning without a planned route.

Saturday wasn’t spectacular but once I was out the door at 7:30 AM (which I STRUGGLED with, thank you 1 AM arrival to my bed) and about 20 minutes in, I was smiling at the beautiful colors in the gorges as I ran through Buttermilk state park. I was SO thankful that it was an recovery day as I DID NOT have to RUN back up the gorge. A big PHEW in Lisa’s mind.

Sunday was spectacular. A great long run (where I finally felt normal– don’t forget we had the relay last weekend) running through cornell with a mix of road and trails, the last three miles were 20:30 (accidentally- didn’t change effort and part was in trails). Following the run was a short ride. I cannot talk about how beautiful and perfect this day was, the sun was shinning, the wind was low, the clouds were fluffy AND the leaves were changing. Perfect in my book! Eeep!! Get me on my bike and let me go. Fortunately, I had some wonderful company so I wouldn’t crush my ride. Woot Woot for recovery! Basically I was LOVING life!

Monday wasn’t terrible. Decided I wanted pancakes when I woke up instead of going for a run (just wasn’t in the mood for a variety of reasons). Thus needed to run after practice. It was a PERFECT evening for a run! Cool, crisp, and a beautiful sunset. I was quite pleased with the decision to wait.

NOW, Let’s get to today (sorry..I had to build up for how I was feeling). I was BEYOND excited to run when I woke up this morning. Woke up 2 minutes before my alarm, SCORE! Now, this is a hillier run from my apartment but an absolute scenic run. I told myself to take it easy (or tried to tell myself). Then I got excited and couldn’t control my excitement for the scenery.

View number 1 after a real steep uphill. I was so overjoyed and Happy. So perfect.

View number 1 after a real steep uphill. I was so overjoyed and Happy. So perfect.

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A total panoramic fail but I like how it turned out.

Moving on.. after this there’s a the start to a 2+ mile down hill.. which has my FAVORITE view in Ithaca (or one of them). I was so giddy, I must have had to goofiest grin on my face.. (thank goodness I was solo, it was 8:00am, and I live miles outside of Ithaca).

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I was grinning ear to ear.

Then comes the beautiful country side that makes Ithaca 10 sq. miles of surrounded by nothing (though I hate that little knock off).

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This does NOT do justice of my favorite ‘hidden’ view of Ithaca.

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Hello Sun! 🙂

Moving on, still on the downhill.. grinning like an idiot…

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Gosh. Fall is my FAVORITE

The rest of the run was like this, me running downhill, smiling, enjoying every minute.. until I came up to the last hill.. then my legs were quite tired and ready to be done. Fortunately, my excited-ness continues as I get to RIDE for hours tomorrow along Cayuga Lake with the colorful leaves (and Alex of course!!!) and I get to swim (not so excited about that… blahh). However, it will be another awesome day of training in the books and I am floating..