Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - the year that changed me! Bring on 2010

As Kari and my story began a long time ago with a year in Belgium (which I continue to say was the most formative year of my entire life) it came back together with the intense training for our first marathon. I am so happy to say that the goal of running that marathon only sparked one of the most amazing series of events - events that unfolded very quickly this year.

Kari and I had barely started our training for the Paris Marathon a year ago today. As I recall, I was still very early in my training - so early that I was still barely able to tell people with a convincing face that I was in fact training for, and planning to complete, the Paris Marathon in April. With many hours staring into the screen of a treadmill, I spent a large majority of the first three months of 2009 imagining (with unbelievable clarity) the start at the Arc de Triumph, the run through the city, the finish with my friend Kari. I can't believe that we actually did it - (and I am even more shocked that I decided to run another marathon 6 months later.)

I am so thankful, and quite shocked, at the circle of friends that we have made as a direct result of this blog and our training. You all know who you are and the roles you have played in this fantastic year!

Soo- Goals for 2010????

1 - If this is going to be a year of running (as I have stated in earlier posts) then it is only fitting that I will be starting the year with a half marathon in one of the coldest parts of the country with my father-in-law and my friend MaryKaren. I plan on bringing in the year at a run - a slow run - but a run none-the-less. 

2 - I am going to run a race in every month of the year (be it 5k, 10k, 15k, half, or full) IT WILL BE DONE!

3 - I am going to take much of the material gained from the book Born to Run (complete book review to follow) and hold it close. Hubby and I will be starting the year with a month-long trial run at vegetarianism. (much like Ms. Fool stated) This will be very much a trial. I need to be leaner and meaner if I am going to run run run like I want to. It is worth a try and the arguments are compelling. I will blog it all.
I hear you about being leaner and meaner in 2010. I'm with you on that one. -Kari

4 - I am going to run 2010km in 2010 - you do the math, it's a reasonable goal.
I did the math. It's exactly 1248.95 miles. -Kari

5 - I am going to make this year of running one that embraces the social element of the running community. - Jenn, LimaRuss, Judi, Melissa, MaryKaren, Krista, Jewelz, Kari, and anyone who wants to join in - let's run together. Finishing time is not important to me - let's run 'em together!

6 - I want to be as good of a cheerleader for all of my running pals as they have been for me. Let me know the details of all of your races - if I can't be there, I'll blog my support - (ask Minken and Michael, I send one hell of a gift package)    You'll feel Atalanta's strength.

6 - This was started as a team blog and it will continue to be a team blog. I will continue to train for whatever races that my partner is going to run - heck, I may even go for a 26.2 run on the day of her marathon - JUST BECAUSE THAT'S HOW WE DO THINGS HERE.
You said it, Partner! I'm with you, too. I'm doing my hangover half-marathon a day late, though. Forgive me.

Is there anyone out there who wants to join our team???? JUST SAY YES!!!!

Here is hoping that you all have a 2010 like my 2009 - it was amazing (thanks to all of you!)
Ditto on that! Happy New Year! -Kari

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Next Destination?

Reading about all those cool races that the folks Stateside are doing makes me a little homesick. I wish I could get out to the States to run with you guys. Ho hum. I fear, however, that given my present career change and consequent economic situation (which I am confident is TEMPORARY), I may not be able to partake in any destination marathoning anytime soon.

All this should make Minken feel better, though! Perhaps by the time he escapes from Nigeria we will be able to line up a race where the whole gang can come. When will it be, Minky? Just name a city. We'll work it out.

Until then, Laura and I will just try to keep up with each other. I will do my best best best to run a halfie this weekend and send all of my good vibes to the Hangover Halfies on Friday.

I'm going to comb over your race schedule, Laura, and see what races around here I can schedule in so that we can keep running together with a somewhat common goal...

I know I've been bellyaching about living abroad today, but here's one good thing about it.

THANKSGIVING ON DECEMBER 30. I'm having a party tonight. I got a little turkey, making some stuffing, mashed taters, and there we go! Ok, paper plates are not elegantissimo, but who cares. No Thanksgiving purists here!!!   If Sweetie gets back here with my celery, I'll finish things up and go out for my Turkey Trot!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bruce Springsteen and everything else.....

Michael - YOU WERE RIGHT, okay? Is this public enough for you? tee hee.

It seems that many months ago, our dear blogging friend and fellow Rochester Marathoner, Michael, came all the way from Cali to tell me about this book, Born to Run. He had already invested in the Vibram FiveFingers, and was begining the transition from 'western-modern' running shoes to the full-on VFF running style. I had tried the barefoot running thing, and I enjoyed it just fine, but my trepidation regarding the flat feel, achilles, etc.... convinced me that the gel heel cups nestled inside my Saucony's were the only answer for me. My only recipe for future running endeavors. Kari has read the book, Ms. Fool has read the book, many of my FB friends have read the book .....THEY ALL TOLD ME TO READ IT and I'm mentioning now for all of blogland to see (I WAS LATE TO THE PARTY)  

Well.... I read this book and now am not entirely sure. (I'm going to formulate a full blog posting on this book, as it has soooooo much more to offer than just the questioning of be continued....)

While I have been holed up in my library for the better part of the last three days with an annoying sinus infection (knew I would have one as I always have one the week before a race and Albany Hungover Half is on Friday ----- damn you!!!) While I have been sitting here finishing this book, several things have occured.

1) I e-mailed LimaRuss after our Sunday 10-miler. His birthday was on Monday and his plan was to run 5 miles and complete his 1000th mile for the year. After wishing him a happy birthday, congratulating him on his accomplishment, and asking how it went - I URGED HIM TO SUBMIT HIS STORY for our blog. (this is the third or fourth time I've asked him to write his story, I think I'll get it this time....thanks Mrs. LimaRuss for adding the pressure) to be continued.......

2) I have pondered my goals for 2010 - aside from a long list of half marathons and 10ks, I have some other ideas. Ms Fool, Kari and I need to get our minds together before these are revealed.  to be continued.....

3) I made arrangements to meet up with my friend, and fellow marathoner, MaryKaren, on Friday to run our half-marathon together. It is going to be drastically cold, but that is fine with us. (I just learned that she has a new pair of fleece-lined running tights to try out. I am excited that my father-in-law will also be joining us for this cold event. I doubt he will be a slow as us, but Mary Karen and I have decided that we will run together - this will be all about running-in the New Year with a friend who became a marathoner in response to Kari and my training for Paris.  to be continued....

4) LimaRuss has requested that I add one more event to my 2010 schedule. There is a 50-mile relay race around the beatiful and scenic Canadaigua Lake. He, Judster, Mrs. LimaRuss, and I are slated to form a team for this race.... YAY TEAM LIMARUSS!!!! to be continued....

5) I just got a request from a former high-school track teammate who has become a friend on facebook. It went something like this: need to shed some lbs. Have convinced some gals at work to run the Rochester Marathon. Advice for a non-runner who is going to run the marathon in September?  Of course, I'm totally stoked that yet another friend has caved to the mysterious "Laura effect".... add another notch on the belt, one more person is joining the marathoning club.  (this is something that I am sure LimaRuss will talk about in his guest post) I told my friend to sign up for the marathon as soon as she can (so as not to back out), get Hot Hal's book ASAP, call me, and stick with her friends for support.  to be continued......

As you can see, I have a lot of things to get done, so off I go.... Baby We Were Born to Run.....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Well that Stinker!!

Way to show me up, Laura, by doing a 10 miler with Limaruss and company!! You better repeat that distance with me next weekend! I'm not doing this thing alone, you know!


Just kidding. GREAT JOB! YOU KICK ARSE! (I'm not kidding about next weekend though)
Mwah! Thanks for keeping me motivated, Partner!

Training has Begun...zzzzz!

Training has officially begun... with a rest day (yup, this is my kind of plan!!) I calculated wrong, I guess. I imagined that training would start on the Sunday that marks 18 weeks until the big day. Of course, I didn't actually consult the plan before deciding this. I just used a regular calendar. Whoops!

Today was supposed to be Day One, and a nice LONG run, so ran it yesterday (just call me over-achiever!). I did this because I already had a plan to run with some friends (and their kids, who, SMOKED us adults, by the way!). I tacked on a couple of miles at the end to come up with a decent 7.7 miler. SURELY enough for a long, especially on WEEK ONE of the 18 WEEK PLAN! But that all depends on what plan you use, apparently.

My brilliant idea was to use the easiest plan possible with the most running days (as in shorter runs more often and a long on the weekend, rather than 3 longer runs) and three 20-milers, which I think are the best preparation for the full marathon distance.

This plan looks like the answer to my prayers. It is also the one I based my training on for Paris. I always go back to Hot Hal... he works for me. The first long is 10 miles, though. Crap.

Oh well. At least I get a week to get mentally prepared for it. Ugh.

I'm happy though. It's nice to have something to look forward to. And training rocks.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Training Starts December 27th

Sorry I haven't been blogging, but luckily my partner has had lots to report! Thanks for holding down the fort, Laura!

I'm still not sure what 2010 has in store for me, runningwise, but, one thing is for sure. The Bavisela on May 2nd. I am very excited because Michael B will be here to run it with me and my good friend Klementina's birthday is that day and it will be her first half marathon. That should be exciting.

With this in mind, actual training starts on December 27. That gives me 18 weeks of Hot Hal Higdon training to look forward to. I will base training (loosely) on his intermediate plan which includes three 20-milers. It worked for my for Paris, so I'm going to stick with it.

I'm planning on a nice half-marathon three-peat on March 23 in Sezana, Slovenia, as well. Part of me (a big one) really wants to do Venice in October. The rest of me doesn't want to commit. Plus, that one fills up. Who knows if by the time I decide there will be any places left...I might have to leave it for the year after.

The most tempting marathon of the year remains Chicago, because my girls (Jewelz and Laura) are running it. But I'm broke. Sigh. Need to look closer to home this year.

Anyway, everyone else is starting to train again, I better too. Can't wait to get my camelbak out again and hit the trails!

Udine "Telethon" 24-hour relay

The pictures above are from last Saturday's 24-hour relay race in Udine. I was on a 24 person team that took turns running around and around the historic center of the city for an hour at a time. I was on the Rotary team, and our number, 2060, is the number of our Rotary district. For every loop each of us made, the Rotarians in Udine gave 5 euros to the Rotary Polio Plus Foundation. I ran 12 loops, my friend Lorella, who is also in the photos above, ran 13 loops. Her very fast brother-in-law, who is the guy on the left of the first and third photos, did a smokin' 14 times around. My Rotary club decided to match the money as well, so for an hour's worth of running, we were able to raise some nice bucks for charity.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm a skort girl - and not ashamed to flaunt it!

I know that it looks like I'm ready to play tennis when I hit the asphalt, but truth be told, I can't even swing a racket! I've endured hours of heckling from some work buddies when I've emerged from the lockerroom headed for the workout room decked out in my running skort. (all in good fun, I'm sure) Truth is - they are awesome to run in. I'm always looking for fun and exciting skorts (not that I ever buy them, of course. I'm a die-hard BLACK skort wearer.) BUT I envision a day when I will break from my black-skort-mold and wear a pair of these - WOW!!!!  or even these - BAM!!!   LOVE LOVE LOVE 'em. (thanks, RunningLaur for helping me find this awesome site.)

There may come a day when I even decide that this look is one I can support - not any time soon, but I like the thought! I don't know if I'd be taken seriously as a runner if I showed up to a race in one but then again, I deal with that in my skort.

Happy Holidays! Get out there and RUN, you know I will.

(on that note, I am planning to run with a few friends this week - trying to get a head start on that anticipated holiday-food-coma-anti-exercise-mood.)

Russ - can't wait to see you hit 1,000 miles for the year!
Amy and Jenn - let's hit the pavement this week (sooner than later)
Everyone else - let's do the virtual mile challenge on the first day of winter (monday) Sign up here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let's Race - come on, I'm doing it.

Anyone up for a vitrual mile? Let's run this together  - shall we?

Winter Misery One-Miler!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Neither Rain nor Snow nor Sleet nor Hail Shall keep me from my running (for CHOCOLATE!)

It is no secret - I love chocolate. I love it more than just about anything on the planet. I love it a heck of a lot more than running - (truth.) I've grown to love running (love the friends, love the feeling of being done, love the fact that I can do it....etc...) but I just plain love chocolate.  My friend, Selby, sent me an urgent message via Facebook this afternoon. By URGENT, I mean:
Hey, my son just got home from Belgium and he has a package for you.
That could only mean one thing!!!! CHOCOLATE.  I responded, QUICKLY

I'm just about out the door for a run in your direction. Should I bring a backpack?
(please say yes, please say yes)

Just large pockets - come on over
Out I went in this:

I told you - nothing keeps me away from my chocolate. I ran all the way there, chatted about Belgium for about 15 minutes, put my Cote d'or Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts in my pockets and ran home. I think I deserve a piece or two...... mmmmmm.

God, I really wanted to blog about my plans with my uncle (next on my list of plans for 2010...) more on that next - where did I put that chocolate???

Get out there and run, folks. ENJOY!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Always run your home race - or races!

Adding to my previous post on plans for 2010, I shall place this weekend of fun on the schedule.  I know there are a lot of Rochester folk out there reading this blog - anyone interested in kicking off the running season with the Flower City Challenge?

Run the Roc
Tri the Roc
Du the Roc

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Time to Motivate - bring on 2010 - JUST SAY YES style!

I hit the road today for an almost 10 mile run. I finally felt great. I distracted myself from my cramping hamstrings by thinking about ways to motivate myself to run a bit more than I am right now. I thought back to the days when I ran because Kari was running and I knew that we were about to run Paris Marathon together. I had to train because I wasn't going to let her leave me in the dust. So, as I ran through my aching ass (cause it was really aching) I began formulating a plan for 2010.  (if for no other reason that to drop the unmentioned amount of lbs that I have gained since April. eh hem...)

I have been in front of the computer screen for the better part of three hours coming up with a 'wish list' for the next year. I want to share with you some of my thoughts.
1 - I want to run as many half marathons as I can. I love the distance, I respect the distance, I'm not scared of the distance, and I am motivated to stay in 'half-marathon-shape' for the year 2010.

2 - I want to run every event/race with someone - I don't ever want to run a distance over 10 miles without a friend to talk to and laugh with .... motivation goes a long way. Running can be a lonely sport (and that isn't always a bad thing) but I want it to be a fun sport for 2010.  I want to make memories with some of my running community friends - we are a fun bunch of people.

To these ends, I have begun to formulate a plan (this is not an ABSOLUTE plan, this is just a starting point.) BUT, the deal is this: if anyone decides to run any of these events with me, the plan will start to take shape.  SO - take a look at the list below and let me know if anyone is ready to register - I'm with you.

  • 1st - Albany, NY - Hangover Half Marathon
  • 6th & 20th - Snow Cheap Trail Running Events - Cobbs Hill Park, Rochester, NY
    (hard to find many races in February-March in Upstate New York, but here is what I am going to do)
  • 3rd - Snow Cheap Trail Running Events - Cobbs Hill Park, Rochester, NY
  • 13th - Lake Placid Half Marathon - Lake Placid, NY
  • 19th - (tentative date) Niagara-on-the-Lake Half Marathon - Ontario, Canada
  • 11th - Boilermaker 15k - Utica, NY *I won't be able to run it this year, but YOU SHOULD!!)
Alright, this is where I stop - I have lost the focus to look to November of next year.  I think that the majority of these are doable as far as cost and running distance. I know I am missing some fun events like the St. Patty's Day races and the Turkey Trots, and the Pumpkins in the Parks, but those will not be missed - I'll run those, too.

Come on, folks. Let's hear what you have to say - WHO'S GOING TO JOIN ME???