Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...and Boy Has it EVER!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to New England!

The snow in these parts has been outta control! We have had 27.3 inches of snow already this month and we are expecting 6-10 inches more beginning tomorrow into Thursday. Hooray?! Suppose that depends on who you ask. Skiers - REJOICE! Runners - Not so much.

We have had training runs, in spite of the slop, each of the last 3 Saturdays. I did not run on the 8th (sore hip), but there was snow, and slippery, unplowed roads, and the team ran. From the report I got back from Andy and Ana (I was lucky enough to play with their 3 little beauties while they ran), everyone enjoyed the run.

On the 15th - it was cold. I am not talking about 30 degrees cold. I am not even talking 20 degrees cold. I am talking 1 degree. As Pam noted - it was one lonely little degree as we set out for an 8 mile run through the city. Andy has been really great about checking the safety of the roads we run given the weather. We were able to cover 8 miles on 3 roads - it was a little slushy and snowy in some spots, but overall, it was a beautifully freezing, sunny day. I loved every minute of that run - even the icicles on my eyelashes! I was afraid I would be underdressed and I hate running in hats, but the under armour/sweatshirt combo was perfect and the hat was a good choice!

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I won't lie - I tried, my hardest, to get Andy to switch the run to a swim. The weather man said Saturday was going to be the "coldest day in years"! Since we all know how accurate weather men are, Andy said no. He said "Please - Let's try it. It will be FUN" I agreed, reluctantly, and stopped my "please can we swim inside where it is warm" push and figured I would head out and if it was miserable, I would just turn around.

I spoke to Pam about it. We were scheduled to run 9 miles last weekend. Because Pam is not allowed to make any start/stop decisions about her run within the first 3 miles, I told her we would run at least 5 miles and if it was horrible we would turn back. Obviously, Pam is a smart lady and was not buying my math logic since we would still have to run back the 5 miles. :) At this point, we didn't even know what our route would be because Andy hadn't checked out the roads yet to decide. Wasn't it fun when we finally got it - up and back, 4 times, on Main St. Uh...excuse you? That's right kids, we left the Y, ran down Main St. to Highland St., turned around and ran back to the Y, turned around and did it again. 4 times. I kind of felt like I was running a relay race, except I had to run all the freakin' legs for myself.

It ended up not being that bad. Ana and I had talked as we got going about how it meant running the "Chandler St. to the Y" piece of Main St four times. We both really hate that stretch. We are aware that it is mental, but there is nothing worse than coming down Chandler knowing you are so close to being finished, only to turn the corner and have to run up that silly little hill to get back to the Y. Yes, we are whiny and yes, we don't care. :) The best part of this run, hands down, was getting to see all of our teammates multiple times while we were running. Most of the time, the slower runners see the backs of the faster runners for a few minutes at the start of the run and then not again until they finish, but Saturday we all got to see each other - fast, slow, walking, running - whatever - A LOT! There were high fives, words of encouragement, heckling, whistling, and by the end - a whole lot of blank-stare head nods.

This week is a cut back week (well, unless you are training for the MV 20-Miler). 7.5 miles for the group Saturday and some speed work on Sunday. I really can't wait to get back to Worcester this weekend - even if it did just get another foot of snow dumped on it overnight.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Q1 Race Schedule = Pure Insanity

Well - looks like we have some updates to the ol' Q1 race schedule - some on purpose, some outside of my control. Updates are in red.

I was recently updating my calendar o' races and Oh. My. God. I am pretty certain I have lost all semblence of sanity when it comes to this whole running thing. Seriously, for someone who hates running as much as I do - I certainly plan to do a whole heck of a lot of it over the next couple of months. The list below includes races for which I have already registered as well as those for which I plan to register and run. It's a good thing I have the team - and, soon to be fellow bloggers, Pam and Jill to be crazy with me!

2/19 - Martha's Vineyard 20-miler

2/27 - Hyannis Half Marathon (1/3 in a series that gets me a fancy "I ran all 3 Half Marathons" jacket)

3/5 - Irish 5K (1/3 in a series that gets me a fancy "I ran all 3 5K's" long sleeve tech-shirt. aka "Tour de Patrick")

3/6 - Black Cat 20-mile Relay (thank goodness for relays!) - This one's out. We decided, as a team, to eliminate this for a variety of reasons. Maybe next year.

3/13 - Celtic 5K (2/3 of the Tour de Patrick)

3/19 - St. Pat's 5K (3/3 of the Tour de Patrick - and yes, this will be run on the way down to NYC for the next day's race)

3/20 - NYC Half Marathon

3/27 - Eastern States 20-Miler/Half Marathon - The team is still keeping this as an option, but I can no longer participate because of a family commitment. I will find something to replace it.

4/3 - Portland (ME) Half Marathon - The race organizers moved this silly race again and we can no longer participate. FOOLS! Again, maybe next year.

Here's hoping for an injury-free Q1-2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hangover Classic 5K/10K - 1/1/11

WHOA! What a GREAT day!

We headed up to Salisbury around 10:15 for a 12:45 race. We couldn't have asked for better weather. I mean, honestly, who would have thought a New Years Day race would be run in temperatures nearing 60 degrees? Certainly not I! The day was beautiful, the 15 of us (and the 3 kids) were ready to go! Lots of talk about who would be dunking after the race. Yes dunking. Yes in the ocean. Yes in January. As great as it was that the temperature was near 60, the water was only 37 degrees. You can bet your bippy that we were all going in (some took a little extra convincing, or shoving, depending who you ask).

I had intended to run the 10K but my hip is pretty sore these days and I am not willing to lose weeks of running for 6 silly miles, especially with all of the races I have scheduled in the next few months. That said, I veered off and ran the 5K course. I covered it pretty quickly and caught up with Ana.

We decided to get our Ocean Plunge out of the way immediately for fear of being too cold to do it when our teammates finished their 10K. As scary as the cold water was, Ana and I held hands, counted to 3 and took off running to the water. Which, I might add, reminded me of when we were younger and horsing around at the Cape. I am so glad it was Ana that I ran into the ocean with the first time. Yes, the first time. I went into that freezing cold water THREE times! First with Ana. Then we all did it together as a group, but John hadn't finished yet, and no one dunks alone, so Andy and I went in with him for a third time.

Jill and Pam and I are planning to run a bunch of races together this year. Here is our post race photo from Race #1 of 2011!

We didn't all get the Ocean Plunge Glasses, because they ran out, but I would have splashed into that water even if I didn't get something for doing so! What a great day with even GREATER people!