Posts Tagged ‘extra mile podcast’

So, GMR participant and colleage JMK came into my office today to tell me that she was googling for information on the course of the Staten Island Half-Marathon this weekend, and Pigtails Flying came up as the fourth result. As she is another book marketing guru, she teased me and said, “You’re using search engine optimization techniques, aren’t you?”

October 12 is a big day for running–for me, for my friends & wider running community, and for the elites. I’ve got the Staten Island Half-Marathon to race; I am secure (stupid?) enough to say publicly I’m going to try and nudge my PR a teeny bit and break 1:53:34. I’m looking for even ten seconds of improvement here.  SI is an easier course than Queens, and the temps will be much more hospitable, so if my body and mind cooperate, maybe I actually have a shot. No matter what, I am confident I’ll break my record for the course (2:22:27), so at least I’ll have that. (Did I just jinx myself?) Once I cross the finish line, I can also cross off another one of my running goals for 2008.

Additionally, I am running this half-marathon as part of the Phedippidations Worldwide Half-Marathon, which is kind of like that brilliant-yet-nauseasting marketing ploy the Nike Human Race, but (BIG BUT) the PWW 1/2 is way better–completely grassroots, 100% participant-driven, and not trying to sell you any godamned thing, except maybe a sense of accomplishment and, you know, some good clean fun. If you are registered to run a half-marathon, a 10K, or a 5K this weekend, click here to sign up and participate in the Worldwide Festival of Races. It’s FREE, easy and subversive (trust me on this one, kids). If you need additional convincing, click here to download The Extra Mile Podcast, an inspiring compilation of listener contributions about their training and goals for all the different races they’re competing in this weekend. A lot of my running buddies are signed up for the SI 1/2: DT, EN, JMK, JD, and that’s just for starters. I enjoy going to races knowing there will be a lot of friendly faces out on the course, I am sure I’ll also see my dear old TNT coaches, too.

Also on October 12 is the Chicago Marathon, the second of the three World Marathon Majors races that fall in the Fall (I couldn’t resist). I know a bunch of runners signed up for this flat, movie-star doozy; but the most important one who’ll be out on that course on Sunday is JM, one of my girlfriends with whom I skied in Utah this winter. She’s an experienced marathoner (and much faster than me), having already run Marine Corps in 2006 and NYC in 2007.  JM is not only running for a PR on Sunday, she’s running to raise money for Children’s Memorial Hospital, where she works as a social worker with children who have AIDS. She’s 75% of the way to her $1000 goal, so if any of you are feeling generous, have a connection to the cause, or just need another tax deduction, click here to donate. I promise you’ll feel as satisfied as if you just completed a speed workout if you make a donation. Not persuaded? The first five people who donate $25 or more and posts a comment to tell me so will get a free copy of A Race Like No Other. Run strong and beautiful Murph, you know I’ll be thinking of you from Staten Island.

How can I let a WMM event go by without at least a nod at the eiltes? The field will be exciting. The women’s Olympic Marathon gold medalist, Constantina Tomescu-Dita, is returning to a course familiar to her (she won in 2004 and has run it four additional times already). American Colleen De Reuck is also competing, I saw her run at the Marathon Trials in Boston earlier this year, [correction: I’ve never seen her run, have just read about her in local races.–PF 10/9/08 8:57 AM] and everything I read about Colleen makes me like her–she’s had a long and successful career, and is currently the top master’s woman in the 10K distance. Plus, she’s a Boulder, CO-based athlete. (Matt–have you seen her race? And thank you, we remember from one of your earlier comments that Constantina is also based on Boulder.) 

Big stuff, this weekend.

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My final day of running before the Green Mountain Relay this week, and I decide to order up a double.

This morning, up at 5:15 for a 4-miler. Gosh, it was so nice and cool out. There was the teeniest chill to the air, I felt like I got lucky. Plus, I knew I had the Extra Mile Podcast to listen to, so I was looking forward to that. My 4-milers around Sunnyside are two laps of the same 2-mile loop. The first one took me nearly 22 minutes, the second took me just under 20.  When I run my morning runs, I always need to readjust my speed goals, and running negative splits is one way I measure the success of the workout. Total time: 41:48.

Then I got to the office and worked like a fiend until 5:30. I think I got up from my desk once, to get a plastic fork. 

At 5:40 I left the office in my running gear, decked out in my company shirt (a nice sleeveless technical tee, with a zippered hip pocket in which I could stash a Gu, or an ipod, or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup) since I signed up to run the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge as part of my employer’s team. Dashed uptown to Urban Athletics to buy a new pair of Nike Zoom Elites, except I was reading the article about Gabe Jennings in this month’s Runner’s World and got on the downtown train. Righted myself at 42nd Street and was at UA by 6:20. Ran into an old TNT friend, who is now training for the Ironman in Panama City, FL, as well as two of my old coaches who I lurve. Made it to Bethesda Fountain for the 7 PM start in my new kicks with seven minutes to spare — which meant I started WAY behind most of the walkers in the lineup. Dude, there were 15,000 office drones running this race. And another 15,000 slated to run it tomorrow. I didn’t cross the start until 7 minutes after the gun, and my clock time makes me shudder.  My watch time was 33 minutes.  Not bad, considering I had to bob and weave past every big-butted secretary in the city the first mile and a half.  I ran the last 2 miles in under 18 minutes, just because I felt like it.  I know, I know, it’s the corporate challenge for chrissakes, I should just let it go, but my competitive juices kick in and I just want to make my time! and beat that skinny chick!  This race marked a first for me: I raced listening to my ipod. But, I had to finish up the Extra Mile ‘cast, and I knew it would keep me calmer amidst all the people walking three abreast and talking with their hands. I can’t say I’d want to run with my ipod in during a real, NYRR, timing-chip race; I still need to concentrate for those.

Oh. Did I mention it rained the entire time we were racing? As soon as I got back to my company’s table for post-race snacks, the rain stopped. Luckily my fahncy technical clothing was half-dry by the time I made it onto the subway, which the MTA chills to meat locker temps, so I don’t think I’ve caught a cold.

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Yesterday I was supposed to have material for a JJ post. Supposed to, except that at my scheduled time for my run home, the heavens opened up and it started raining so hard I risked concussion by venturing forth beneath those drops. Since I skipped my run on Sunday, opting to get rest over getting miles (but nevertheless kicking myself for missing out on such a perfect weather day), I was really itching to bust out of the office, preferably at breakneck speeds (which, in my case, would have been like break-little-finger speed). Nope, no dice, the weather dashed those plans. I changed back into my work clothes and commuted home like any other donut-eating mortal, except without the pleasure of having had my donut.

So today, come hell or high water, I was running home. 31:58 fo the 3.5 miles over the bridge. It was gorgeous–a light breeze, a soft light filtering through the evening sky. I saw a lot of runners out; there was almost a collision with a mess of bikers on the way over the bridge. I ran in my orthodics for the first time, felt kind of weird, I may need to get the next size up in my sneaker, but all in all I think they’ll work out for me. It was, as my British boss would say, “absolutely brilliant” to be out there.

I was starting to get anxious about the Green Mountain Relay this weekend, but being out there on a familiar route with a consistent time put me a little bit at ease.  I think once I get all packed up tomorrow, I’ll feel more prepared and won’t be as preoccupied with the event.  On second thought, I’ll just state my two main fears right now in the hopes of banishing them.

  1. I’m afraid of injuring myself just as I’m about to start training for NYC.
  2. I’m afraid of letting my teammates down by being slow and/or cranky.

More on this relay later, but I’m going to try and blog from the van, if at all possible. At the very least I’ll be taking notes for later; I’m also hoping to bring a Flip camera and a digital recorder. Having never met my teammates before (yes, I am that crazy), we’ll see how well those devices go over once we’ve all ran two legs of our circuits and haven’t slept or showered in 24 hours.

A cool thing I’d like to point out (to those of you who have read this far down in my post, thankyouverymuch), is that my first ever audio file submission as been included in the most recent episode of The Extra Mile Podcast. It’s kind of long — like six minutes — but I basically give a guided tour of my run home from work, past the landmarks, tourist attractions, over the bridge and into my neighborhood. Click here to read about TEM #24, and download it for free to your itunes, computer, or MP3 player.

Another podcast, RT Radio, usually has great interviews with elite runners, masters runners, and well-known coaches. However, I haven’t listened in a while since the feed to my itunes was somehow broken. In trying to get it fixed, I emailed their webmaster, and who replied back to me, but Katie Wolpert. Okay am sure this name means not much to most of you, but I knew it right away. Katie wrote a fabulous race report in the most recent Running Times, about the Momument Avenue 10k in Richmond, VA. (I would link to it except it’s not up on their site yet. You can click here to hear the related podcast, which I can’t download.) I was totally psyched to hear from her; it almost made up for missing out on a few episodes of The Lear Chronicles.

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Since I was laid low by this pernicious chest cold on Thursday, I’ve had to move down to Plan B in my training schedule for the week. Needless to say, it’s a bummer to have to cut out two work outs and shorten another. If I wasn’t so wiped out from this cold, I’d be emphatically pouting.

So: no run Thursday. No run Friday. Saturday I’d already scheduled as a rest day, but I cut today’s long run back to a five-miler, which doesn’t really count as a long run.  But it’s smart I cut it to five miles, since after the third block I had to reel in my pace and take it easy — as in, 10:34’s easy. It took me 52:47 to run the five-mile out and back route over the 59th Street Bridge. Nothing really notable about this run except that I was conjested, the hills didn’t bother me at that pace, and I was mostly just grateful to be out there even if it wasn’t the 10-miler I’d hoped for.

I listened to The Extra Mile podcast during this run, and I really enjoyed some of the entries people submitted.  One guy, from Flagstaff, AZ, told about why he started running, and his first race. I wish I could remember his name — he also podcasts in Japanese! — because I really liked his attitude. Laid back (he referred to himself as “dude”) and enthusiastic about running (“I had fun”). One day I will submit an audio file to the podcast, I promise. I want to record while I’m running, so I have to get my hands on a digital recorder from work to borrow either on a run home or over the weekend. But, I already have rudimentary editing skills, so the hardest part will be running with the darn thing in my hands.

I was reminded about the Worldwide Half, promoted by Steve Runner of Phedippidations. I really want to register for this, but it’s going to have to be last minute.  So far, the NYRR’s don’t have a half-marathon scheduled near that weekend, and I’m not tye type to just run my own route.

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Birthday Cake.  A Carvel Ice Cream Birthday Cake, to be exact.  Jealous?  Yeah, I thought you’d be.

Indulgently, I took a vacation day today.  I got up nearly as early as I would on a work day, except it was for a long run.   I’ve been looking forward to this for about ten days now; in fact, I was so excited about it last night I had a hard time falling asleep.  I’d planned on roughly 8 miles. In order to avoid the weekday midtown foot traffic, I decided to run an out-and-back over the 59th Street Bridge and up the East River bike path to 90th Street.  It was the ultimate me-time, a birthday party of one.  I listened to The Extra Mile Podcast, then switched to My Top Rated (I started in the T’s, for TK’s Birthday*).  I waved at every single runner I passed — and there were a lot of them.  I was astounded at the number of people who clearly didn’t have to be at work by 8:30 (or even 9:30) AM, as they were still running & sweaty at 9 or 10 AM.  Apart from the mom pushing her swaddled infant (or maybe it was a football? who could tell) in the jog stroller, I was forced to assume that every other runner I met on the path was, just like me, taking the day off to celebrate his or her birthday, because otherwise they’d be at work.

The sun shone proudly, the sky was earnestly blue, the river glittered at me like a topaz (the brown ones, of course).  Truly, it doesn’t get much better than this, for a birthday (or any day).  What more could I want besides a long, peaceful run, fine weather, and the anticipation of an evening meal in the company of five of my favorite people?  Why, to finish on pace for a ten-minute mile, of course!  Which I handily did (8.5 miles; 1:25:12 time).

And what would a birthday be without out some reflection and introspection?  Reflection: Pigtails affirms it’s good to be in my mid-30’s.  I wear my experience lightly: hard lessons learned over the past few years are without a doubt making this year easier.  Introspection: I’m circling the drain, but no longer floundering out at sea.  I know myself better, I trust myself more, and I see potential and beauty within myself where before I drew a complete blank.  My brother asked me on the phone the question he poses to his middle school students on their birthdays: if you could transform into half-human, half-something else, what would that other animal be?  I thought: half bird, so I could fly?  Half cheetah, so I could run?   But then I thought: I’ve worked hard for 35 years to like the aminal I am.  I think I’ll stay 100% me.

The rest of my day has unfolded nicely.  I got some stuff done around the house.  Watched HGTV as I ate leftover spaghetti pie for lunch. Walked Matilda a couple of times.  Set up for dinner (I’m ordering in Thai food for Husband, Mom, Dad, Best Friend and Best Friend’s Boyfriend). All in all, a very full day, but exactly the kind of simple-pleasures day I dream about. 

Happy Birthday, indeed. 

*What does TK’s Top Rated Birthday Mix sound like? Tainted Love by Soft Cell, Take a Chance on Me by ABBA, Take a Chance on Me as covered by Erasure (please, stop laughing), Take It Easy by Jacksone Browne, Take It or Leave It by The Strokes, Take Me in Your Arms by the Doobie Brothers (this is the most chipper song ever sung by a man begging for one last fuck), Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand, Take, Take, Take by the White Stripes, Tanto Tempo by Bebel Gilberto, Te Espero Sentada by Shakira, Tears Dry on Their Own by Amy Winehouse & Temporary Remedy by Ben Harper. Booyah!

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