Saturday, October 15, 2011

How I'm capping 2011

I was pretty down on running last time I posted. So, I took a little more than a week to not care about it too much and reset the system physically and mentally. That week allowed me to give a lot of other much more important things the attention they needed and deserved. I was given a tough assignment at work and I really wanted to shine. I wanted to attend Lauren's matriculation ceremony and spend time with her mother who was in town to visit. Not to mention the continuing challenge of assimilating and learning life in Manhattan. In no particular order, we took in a Broadway show, found some delicious new restaurants, enjoyed a night out with Mr and Mrs. Contario who were in from Geneva, and another night out with Mr. and Mrs. Mainwaring who were in from Charlotte. We discovered a CSA that will provide us with local produce each week (See Lauren's blog for some of the culinary creations). And we did something that is quintessentially New York; that is, get the hell out of New York. We took a weekend in Chappaqua (not far away, but not the city) to breathe fresh air, drink good wine and drive a car for a change.

Of course, during that time, I got over my fight with running and started to develop a plan for the rest of 2011. I'm pretty excited about it, so I am going to share it here. Next weekend, I'm running the inaugural Rock and Roll 10K in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I have never run a Rock and Roll race, but the reviews are always glowing. I did a 5K in Prospect Park back in July, and enjoy the terrain even though it is a little hilly. My friend Marcie is flying into the city to run it, and her being there was really the kick in the pants I needed to sign up.

The next weekend, I have a complimentary entry to the Poland Spring Marathon Kick Off Five Miler in Central Park. This race was a recent addition to the calendar. I had no plans to race this weekend, but a free entry into a sold out race is tough to turn down. At this point, I am not sure whether I will race all out, or run a solid tempo because the following weekend is the race I'm really excited about.

I signed up for the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K thinking it would be more of a fun run than a competitive race. A lot of people from office are running it, and I figured it would be a good time, no pressure kind of situation. Then, I got to thinking that I never really achieved what I wanted to achieve in the 5K distance this year. Usually, the 5K is reserved for spring and summer, but since I am not doing a marathon this fall, I figured why not go for broke. NYRR is bringing in a solid elite field for this race including Dathan Ritzenheim, Molly Huddle, Deena Kastor and Lopez Lamong to name a few. I'm hoping the atmosphere is enough to bring a PR.

On November 20th, it's a return to Van Cortlandt Park where I ran in high school and college for the Fred Lebow Cross Country Championships. The Urban Athletics team is primed to put up a good showing, and with our deep field, it would be an honor to be in the top five.

The stretch of races will wrap up with the Newark Turkey Trot 5 Miler in Newark, NY on Thanksgiving. I ran the race a few times in High School and college, but haven't run it since 2002. I believe 2001 was the year I was handed a subpoena at the finish line. It's the 35th anniversary of this small town and event and perhaps the final time it's going to be run. I'm excited to get to run on my home turf and perhaps, if I am lucky, hang with Jesse for at least a couple of miles.

Then, December is going to be a rest month. I'm going to try really hard to not do any workouts or run more than 50 miles a week for the entire month. I'm not good at self restraint, so this will likely be the biggest challenge. But, I know it's smart to give the body some ample rest, especially with a grueling Boston cycle beginning in 2012.

For now, the training is going well. I'm working out on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the Urban Athletics team. I did a mile repeat workout where the times ranged from 5:11 all the way down to 4:57. I did a two mile repeat progression workout that started at marathon pace (11:29) and ended with a 10:34. The fitness is there. I'm hoping to salvage the season.

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