Do you “like” to run hard?

I really don’t.

I always knew I run my easy runs too slow, my long runs too too slow and I do my tempos and intervals with very little enthusiasm. I realized this morning, when a friend was dragging me through a fast half mile (which was probably at 9mm) that I just don’t like pushing! Ever!!!

Two weeks ago, when I was in Florida, I run with two coworkers that were, as they said, slower than me. Compared recent times, and I felt safe, it’d be a fun easy run… and then they took off at a “can’t talk” pace for what was an easy run for them. I run with Kettia often, and even years before when there was a gap in our race times, she’d make me cry in training runs. Even this past winter, I run with her group in training for the NYC Half, and even though I ended up racing faster than them, I was crying and dragging during the long runs… Kettia says I show up for race day. I know I don’t like pushing hard, so I limit myself to the races for that.

I DO NO LIKE RUNNING HARD.

I DO LIKE WHEN MY “EASY” IS “FAST”, that’s what I would call a good performance. But that, obviously, takes a lot of work to achieve… I’d even say that my fastest times were easy, and I was completely relaxed. It felt nice.

Right now I am at SLOW AND EASY, meh. And I know that I need to run hard to get fast… it’s gonna be tough. Or slow.

I know some of you go hard (at “can’t chit chat” pace) even for easy runs. My husband, for example, doesn’t even know what slow or easy mean. He goes all out in every run. I call him “one-speed-Juan”. He’d go out at the same hard pace whether he was doing 7 miles or 18, to end up just walking back (suicide pace works?). I’d measure my effort by heart rate, or by the talk test… I can go fast, only when it feels easy… Most of the people I know are the opposite though, they take off, always, like it’s a race. Ugh.

Am I alone here? Or do you also prefer to go out hard, have a better workout, train like an animal, get stronger/faster; if so, did you always enjoyed it or is it something that you learned to like over time?

I just like to do a running tour and watch people and birds and trees and bop to my music! I wonder if there is a way to wake up the beast in me or the competitive in me? I have ZERO of that!

Fort Lauderdale Run #asseenontherun

Not bad so far… Glad I didn’t look at the temperature before I headed out!! The best part: this is my third run in 3 days straight!!!! I AM BACK BABY!!!!

What happens (FAST) when don’t run for days/weeks

I figured I’d put on weight, but that is really all I thought about. What would happen…?

This is my mileage for the last two months: </

  • Week of April 28th: 10 miles
  • Week of May 5th: 10.2 (Scotland 10K and 4 miles)
  • Week of May 12th: 13.1 (Brooklyn Half)
  • Week of May 19th: zero miles
  • Week of May 26th: zero miles
  •              May – 23.3 miles total
  • Week of June 2nd: zero miles
  • Week of June 9th: 6.2 miles (Mini 10K)
  • Week of June 16th: 3 miles
  •            June – 9.2 miles so far

That’s 42.5 miles in 8 weeks, average of 5 miles a week, though I had a whole 3 straight weeks of zero. 

What happened!

In three days you feel the difference, physically and mentally:

  • There is no more tone in your legs and your skin feels different. It’s disgusting (how do non-runners live like that??)
  • Everything makes you tired
  • You’re confused about food, it’s NOT fuel anymore
  • More confused: do I care about everyone on my facebook feed talking running?? I don’t. I really do not.
  • Even more confused: What do I do with all this free time not thinking about running? Am I a traitor? WHO am I??? Where am I going???

After a few weeks of completely giving up, which is what I did, you bounce back to a new normal:

  • I stayed the same weight. how? well, it turns out that once the runger was gone, I had not many reasons to overeat.
  • Also, I used to eat something before and after every run, once those snacks were gone, you get rid of some calories!
  • Your body becomes a bit more stable, you’re not tired (from runs) and hyper energized (from runs): you’re in a constant lull of the same flubby thing (blah!)
  • You find other things to do. There’s soooo many other things to do. Like watch a ton of soccer for example!
  • You’re happy you don’t have to wash your hair so often
  • You really don’t care about anything running related. And wonder why you ever run: It’s soooo strenuous!
  • I have zero muscle left, everything makes me tired. Somehow I still have the same weight.
  • After not having a period for, like, 10 years, I got it every other week for those two months!!!
  • You realize you need some other sort of exercise. I don’t like anything else but started walking a lot more (also, I had visitors so I had to walk them everywhere!)

I am sort of in a balanced state where I don’t hate it anymore, and miss it a bit and wish I could get back in a routine but it feels hard but I want to. I miss being outdoors. Stay tuned. Seems like things are starting to turn back… ;-) I run yesterday AND today…!!!!!!

#DriventoRun: Bear Mountain & Greenwich Runs with my @Buick Verano!

As a blogger, I get very random offers to try products. Sometimes they’re interesting, sometimes it’s stuff I would buy anyway, and sometimes things I’d never even bother to try. But when Buick emailed me to offer me a CAR, (A CAR!) I had no clue what to think or do.

First, I don’t drive. Also, I live in NYC: where would I put a car…? And where do I take it? The point of living in NYC is that everything is right there, or delivered to you!

But I thought about it… thought about it… my parents were coming to visit. My dad has been working with cars all his life, with racing cars and then as Quality Director at one of the big big brands (okay, Volkswagen) so he loves trying new cars, and examining all the details… I asked Buick if he could drive it, they said yes, so I mapped my runs for the whole weekend, they’d get outside the city, drive a bit and see other things besides buildings and pavement. Exciting!

The Buick Verano, from the Buick website: www.buick.com

The Buick Verano, from the Buick website: http://www.buick.com

Well, where did we go?

Saturday Trip – Bear Mountain, New York!!

I got a fully loaded Buick Verano, with all the stuff, a full tank, an easy pass, all hand delivered to a parking garage with no stress!  All we had to do was show up, THANKS Buick.

I figured I wanted to stay within an hour or two max. My dad doesn’t speak English or know the car so we wanted to limit the stress. He got along with the car just fine in 2 seconds!! And my husband acted as GPS and sign reader! I rested in the back ;-)

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (1)

The car was pretty…!! super comfy and it had a console that had more apps than my 32GB 5S!

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (2)

Soon, our landscape went from shiny buildings to quiet roads and a lot of green. Pretty, pretty.
Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (3) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (4)

Bear Mountain is approximately 50 mins away from NYC. I had been there just once before, to run the North Face New York 50K Endurance Challenge, a great race through the trails. But I had never just gone for a run or to see the landscape.  There is an observatory on top with views of the park, the Hudson Highlands and Harriman State Park. Which is exactly what I thought my parents could do/visit while I run!

As I don’t know the park that well (and having gotten lost in mountain trails before, with DISASTROUS and TRAUMATIC effects…) I figured I’d take the main road up to the top (the observatory) and use the main road and the trails: the Appalachian and the Major Welch. I’d meet them at the top after they peruse the area and picnicked breakfast.

They dropped me off and off I went.

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (5) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (6) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (7) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (8) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (9) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (10)

I CLIMBED a bit. I even passed many bikers trying to go up in such steep mountain… it was SO nice! As it was early, there weren’t many cars either, just mostly cyclists and hikers. I took off towards the trails when I identified them in the map. It was quite clearly marked anyway.

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (11) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (12) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (13) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (14) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (15)

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (18) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (19) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (20)

The road was great but the trails were FUN! I love that I could zip in and out of them and feel safe.

Soon, I reached the top. Well, not “soon” but later, at some point.  According to my mapmyrun, I climbed 1,254 feet in less than 4 miles!!!!!!!

I saw them parked there and they were visiting the Tower. I caught up! (Finally! WATER please!)

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (17)

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (16)

The observatory was a great find, though my legs were fighting the 4 floors up by then, but the views were fantastic!!!

Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (21) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (22) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (23) Bear Mountain Buick Verano drivetorun (24)

I’d do it again…! I’d love to go in with more time (and more gear) to get lost in those trails…

Sunday Trip – Greenwich, Connecticut!!

Well, where else I can go within an hour or two? I did a little search and I found this town which apparently has the nicest “homes” in the whole country!! Why not run in a “small” town with really nice views of the sea, boats, and mansions? (the question would actually be “why go back to your tiny apt in the city?” after, but that’s a sad post!)

We left early, as usual, to avoid traffic, and mostly, the runger (my crazy hunger caused by the run).

The mapmyrun route is here, and as you can I see, I run pretty much through EVERYTHING (these pictures might out of order!): there was a park, there were trails, there was the sea, there were boats, there were houses, there were BOAT-HOUSES… even dinosaurs… really!

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Most of my pictures were bad: I need to start stopping to take pictures! I was only able to post the ones that were not blurry but I hope you get the sense of the place… there was a LOT of people running!!!!!! You can see them in some pictures! I either picked a popular running route or many people run there!

It was quite different to my usual runs… I was running through a neighborhood, which I never do (I am usually in Central Park or by the water), by really nice boats/houses, it was QUIET (what is THAAAAAT?)… so so so different, energizing, inspiring, and fun…

And what were my parents and husband doing while I run? I figured they’d be having fun at the Bruce Museum (the picture of the dinosaurs!!!) but no, they followed the bee-line of Ferraris to a local car fair, three blocks away… unbelievable!!!! They couldn’t believe I hadn’t planned it.  My dad was jumping with joy.

More event info here, pics from 2013.

All in all, we had a fantastic weekend, with two trips to places I wouldn’t have access if it wasn’t for the very generous Buick offer… My dad was quite pleased with the car, talking about suspension, the correct proportions of things, the way things worked, all in waaaay more technical terms I could understand.

I am starting to think there is something to getting out of the city on the weekends and having runs like that, in different places to keep you motivated and energized… still, you can always count on one of these to make you happy happier:

roll

Mini Double!

Because a few of you pointed it out, yes, you’re NOT seeing double. And wow, you guys have some memory!!

Both pictures from the NYRR Gallery

From the 2011 Mini 10K (Race Report here)

Mini 10K NYRR 2011

From this past weekend 2014 Mini 10K (Race Report here)

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I got a ton slower (45 mins in 2011 to 1:03 in 2013), is that ok??? I’d like to think I am better at picking lipstick colors now though.

Race Report: NYRR Oakley Mini 10K – my 100th RACE!

As you might have read, I lost most of my running mojo some time back and I have been quite off. But, I had signed up for the mini… and my parents were in town and wanted to see me race. Also, the mini is like THE quintessential race… I have done it every single year since I started running, in 2007, so that’s EIGHT in a row. I love this race.

Okay, why you say? There’s not cute boys to look at, you say! Yes, no boys, but can I just tell you a secret?? This is, shhhh, OUR race… We just race with our girl, we bond, we all support each other, we do it for us. Yes, it’s sexist to have our own race and to keep the race going shows that we’re still not equal to men, or exagerates that we need special treatment, but you know, let’s take it while we have it! Plus, this race smells better in general. And… we all know it, we women pace BETTER. Yes, it’s true, men are just too emotional to pace off. I know I can just click behind another girl with my pace and sleep to this finish here. That doesn’t happen in the other races…  You KNOW what I am talking about… you know.

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Love that I always get a 500 something number for this race

As my parents were visiting, Saturday morning we all woke up around 6:30 and walked to the start. It was hot and humid already and got this sight:

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NO EXCUSES. oh oh.

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yes, I am wearing the tutu

The day before my friend Florencia had called me to see if I was around NYRR as I live super close. I had forgotten she was running!!!!! We decided we’d run together. Made me SO happy to know I could run with her!!!!! We’re besties, and what else could a mojo-ed out runner than a friend to chill with at a race? EH> well, maybe frozen pops all the way but Flor would be good enough! I then heard from Sole: “I want to have a fun race too!!” yeah then!! The three argentinians would be pacing and lolling up and down the park at a festive pace. Plans UP!

Headed to my corral, blue, and the great thing is that the stage is right there… many pics were taken!

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Martina and I

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Patricia and I

Then the NYRR photographer snapped a picture of a few of us there for the site, link here.

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full size craziness:2014-06-15 11.03.41

Soon enough the speeches start!

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Mary Wittenberg

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Kathryn Switzer

Deena Kastor at the NYRR Oakley Mini 10K

Deena Kastor

josh cox at the NYRR Oakley Mini 10K

Spotted: Josh Cox!!!

Desire Linden at the NYRR Oakley Mini 10K

Desiree Linden (nee Davila!)

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Nina Kuscick

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Spotted: Greg Welch (If you don’t know who he is, my iron-husband would yell: Ironman World Champion, etc etc!!)

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Boston Strong!

Soon it was 8 am, muggy as hell, and Peter Ciaccia was giving us clearance on the roads. We were just a few minutes late, 3 or 4, which is unusual for NYRR races but I was getting hypernervous. Why? Oh WHY? My heart was pumping scared.

Em, I hadn’t run in over a month and I was towards the front of a crazy fast 10K full of olympians. Of course I moved back like 4 corrals; I moved towards the back of the stage and let everyone go while I waited for Sole and flor, I was NOT about to get trampled at one of the fastest women road races!! but… wow, my heart was ready to jump out!

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Peter Cha-Cha we love you!!!!!

Two-three-4minutes later or something, Flor, Sole and I get moving, while we chatted. I knew Juan and my parents would be on 72nd, on the west and then the east sides. So my first goal was to run 5 blocks to see them.

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that was easy. Mom having a super emotional (and patriotic) moment. Juan snaps away.

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I snap back. We all hit each other!!! (I swear it was hot!)

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My dad, already overheating too!!!!

 

 

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Jeremy and his Jeremy-baby!

Sooo, I love that stretch we run in Central Park West. We NEVER run outside the park and it’s so nice and historic and amazing and museumy, ah, love it. But that’s when I usually go out too fast (because, hey, no men means I get places up high in the first corral with the ultra fast women, SHIZZZZ ensuing pace!) and then it’s sooo painful going into the park at 90th to climb that stooopid Harlem hill. This time, it was breeze. Only, there was no breeze, so I was overheating (also probably because I have no muscle and I am made of nutella and wafers and cookies these days. It was like I couldn’t breathe, doing a 10 minute mile pace. KindaRIDIC. Still: FUN.

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So, I caught up with Meghan, from my previous job at TNT and we run and chatted for like half a mile. That’s what I miss about running the most, not that it shapes me into a perfect 10 (hahahhaha!!!!) but the social aspect of it. I get to see all my friends (plus all the other people I know) in the funnest environment. I don’t drink so I am not the bar type and you really can’t eat with everyone (not the way I eat!) or have time to hang out with everyone, but you CAN see eveyrone, at the same place, doing something fun: RUN A RACE. Heck, I miss THAT. A LOT.

When I tell people I hate racing they don’t understand why I do it so much. Because THAT.

See?

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Even Flor (on my right) looks happy and we were both looking for a frozen pool by then!

Miles went by easily, mostly chatting in Spanish (the three of us are Argentinians, go figure!), laboring up the hills a bit with the humidity (note: when you’re out of shape, you feel it a LOT MORE! thousands of kudos to the people who are just starting to run, it’s HARD work!! Please do stick with it, it gets a LOT LOT easier) –I need to get back to “easier” please!).

We had two cups of water at miles 3 and 4, we were melting. Then, back at 72nd, now on the east side, we saw the Dashing Whippets, plus Juan and my parents. Spot the flag!

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with one mile to go, they cheer you into 5 minute mile pace and then you realize you need to calm the EFFFF down!

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easy way to get everyone’s heart rate spiking to the final sprint! Loved the 9+1 reference Fred!!!!!!! From left: Ned, Fred, David, Tom and a Whippet I haven’t met yet! (click on pictures for full res, you know you want to!)

 

HIGH something

HIGH something. What is up with my face?

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Took a shot of my partners in (slow and fun) crime. 

We finished, so hot and ready to be in a cold shower, and went straight to drink 4 cups of water. YUM.

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i think we all HATE carnations. YUCK. a towel or a wipe would have been better.

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my parents right at the finish and us. And guess what we did with the carnations!?!?!

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ah, boys are SO ok after the race! OR an IronMan.

We had to ship out of town soon so we didn’t hang out for too long at the post race, which is my favorite to hang-out at! We headed straight to brunch at EJ’s which by then was pretty empty, yey for a fast table!!!! but first we scored a few pictures of the winners/record breakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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NOT US

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Juan too excited, with Greg Welch, if you, again, don’t know who that is (it’s ok, I didn’t either!!!), here

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Mandatory visitors’ shot

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Hand is visible!!

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Because Tom.

Now… this was my SLOWEST 10K EVER at 1:03. Even in my slowest times when I was starting up I never even went over the hour… Pace was even slower than the Brooklyn Half a month ago (which was my last run!). Nothing surprising how things are turning here.

My 10ks:

prs

Look at the last 3 for this year, emmmm. No excuses, as the Mini bibs read:

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I need that bib. I live that bib.

There is no excuses. It is what it is and I am who I want to be. Pace usually represents something. Sometimes your body can’t cope with the brains demands for speed and gives up. I am in a period where my brain has given up and the body has no reason to push at all. Could my body have gone a bit faster? Possibly. But my brain is not in it.

Now I have no other races up ahead in the close future, like I had Scotland, Brooklyn and the Mini to force myself to go do. I didn’t run in between them. This was my SLOWEST RACE EVER with a 49% age grading. A 10K. Insanity… We shall see now. But I did go out for a slow-short 3 mile run last night… Who knows.

#OakleyMini10 done. My HUNDREDTH

And my 100th race is done. Managed to run the whole thing with Flor and Soledad, probably on my slowest 10k ever… A bit hot but so much fun, the pictures are the proof! More soon, off to have a weekend!!!