Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March mileage

2015 miles so far:

January: 197
February: 231
March: 281

Total: 709

I wanted to hit 300 for this month, as well as a 100 mile week, but neither were in the cards. Still, it is the highest monthly total of my life, so still something to be happy about.

Now let's hope these miles pay off in a few weeks...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Three weeks

We're getting closer and closer to the Boston Marathon...

I have officially requested two personal days for the day of the marathon and the day after.

My Boston Marathon runner's passport and other items have arrived in the mail.

And I just hit 700 miles for the year:

We're officially three weeks out, and with yesterday's long run, I am officially in the taper period of training.  Normally I prefer a two week taper, but because I am leaving for Germany on Thursday and will be there for ten days with my students, I just won't be able to run as much as I want.  It will be a bit of a forced taper.

I still have a lot to do between now and Marathon Monday, but one by one things are falling into place.  The important part is I survived the hardest part of training.  Now I just have to keep focused for a little longer.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

No rest for the weary

I am, shall we say, fairly overwhelmed these days.

  • Last week my high school was saddled with the state test du jour known as PARCC.  "Farcical" does not begin to describe last week given the amount of technical glitches experienced and the feeling of building the plane while in the air, but what bothers me most is the instructional time lost in preparing for/administering this monstrosity.
  • Our Student Growth Objectives (SGO's) are due tomorrow.  Starting last year, teachers are expected to administer both a pre-assessment (in November) and a benchmark assessment (in March) in two different classes, grade each assessment, chart the growth between assessments and compile the data in a spreadsheet, summarize the information and upload each component to an online portfolio.  Students are expected to demonstrate growth between the pre-assessment and the benchmark assessment, and a certain percentage of growth must be met in order for the teacher to be deemed effective.
  • The end of the third marking period is next week, and with it comes an enormous amount of grading to do, grading I could have finished a long time ago were it not for PARCC and SGO's.
  • Our Reflective Practice Portfolios (RPP's) are due on April 17th.  This is an online portfolio comprised of seven different categories, each requiring videos/pictures/documents with accompanying written reflections.  The bulk of our year-end evaluations hinge on this.
  • I spent the majority of my time in-between classes today playing phonetag with a parent.  She was concerned about her son's grade in my class, and when I finally made contact, I had a great deal of trouble understanding her thick accent.  I may or may not have agreed to tutor her child every day for the rest of the year.  This is why I prefer e-mail.  I am a writer at heart.
  • In exactly one week, I am leaving for Germany for the umpteenth time in my life.  I am leading a group of 11 - one other chaperone and 10 students - to both Berlin and Munich.  I have been spending countless hours on the phone with various German officials, organizing parent meetings, collecting payment, e-mailing random PDF forms, negotiating prices and working and reworking the itinerary.  I am slightly dreading the trip because it is going to wreak havoc on both my nutrition and training.
  • Because I am leaving for Germany on April 2nd, and Stevie is leaving for Florida on April 1st, we need to get our taxes done and mailed in the next few days.
  • I am currently in the middle of the biggest week of mileage of my life.  I'm going for 75 miles. The hunger and exhaustion are simply mind boggling, to the point that I snapped at a coworker last week.  Though I don't believe my actions were completely unfounded, she hasn't spoken to me since.
  • We are trying to sleep train Neale, and while he has made great progress in the last few weeks, he still wakes up several times a night and cries solidly for longer than my sanity can handle.  Letting him cry also makes me feel like a goddamned monster.

And that's where I'm at right now.  Just trying to keep my eye on the prize and my head above water.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday 22 miler

I ran a thousand miles today for my long run.  It was really only 22.  It was sunny, slightly windy, and warm enough to wear shorts.  I managed to complete the whole thing with no other fuel than a bottle of Nuun and one small Larabar.  Took me just over three hours.

My first Boston Marathon is just under a month away.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2015 Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k Race Report

Ran the 10th anniversary Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k this morning.  Not sure how many times I've run it, but here are the race recaps since I started this blog:


I didn't run it in 2013 because Stevie and I went to New York City that weekend.

This is one of the premiere 5k's in the state of New Jersey and typically sells out its 1,000 runner field well in advance of race day.  It starts and finishes at my alma mater and spends a good portion of the race on the town's main strip.  With few turns and a mostly flat course, so much talent shows up that you pretty much have to be an Olympian just to crack the top 100.

Check out the promotional video they made for this year's race:

There was concern about whether the race would even go on given yesterday's snow, but race officials assured everyone last night it was still a go.  Sidewalks were still covered with slush this morning, but the main roads were clear, if still wet.  I've been training in this stuff all season so it was of little concern to me.

I brought Neale to the race with me and handed him off to my dad at the high school before placing myself in the crowd at the starting line.  I was feeling good.  I'd gotten a decent amount of sleep, ate well last night, hydrated properly this morning and was wearing just the right amount of clothes.

As soon as the race started, however, I immediately felt fatigued.  Of course I've been training for a marathon, not a 5k, and my legs have a lot more miles on them as a result.  The 10 I did yesterday in the snow probably didn't help either.  I thought I was slowing down a bit but couldn't tell because I wasn't wearing my Garmin.  The clock at the first mile marker wasn't working, either.

I found a little left once I passed the 2 mile marker and tried to pick up the pace again.  Once I hit the main street again, it was just a mad dash to the finish trying to pick off as many runners as I could.  I was happy to see the clock still at 19 as I approached the finish line.  My official time was 19:28, good enough to beat 2011 me, but not quite enough for 2012 me.

The finish line was pretty much a pile up of people from my Wednesday night running/beer club (a who's who of Who's Up regulars, if you will).  We joked that if the team competition was simply to finish as close together as possible, we would have won hands down.  We all finished in the 19:30 - 20:30 range.  But not good enough to take the team title.

I found my dad and Neale and introduced them to some of my running friends, then took a picture with Neale in front of the South Jersey Athletic Club tent:

It was the first race of mine that Neale ever attended, and I hope the first of many.  I hope that someday we can run races together, and he'll eventually fulfill his legacy of taking down my own PR's, just like I took down my own dad's over the years.

Today's 3.1 miles also put me at exactly 600.1 miles for the year, so when I got home I took another picture to commemorate the moment.

And every year, the owner gives out wrist bands at the store after the race.  The wrist bands are good for an open bar at The Irish Mile down the road from the race.  He picks up the tab for every runner who shows up as a way of celebrating the store's anniversary and just to say thank you to his customers.

You had me at open bar.  See ya at the Mile...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Winter's swan song

Winter decided it didn't want to go out without a fight and dumped a few inches of snow on South Jersey throughout the course of the day today.  Not quite as much as last time, but enough to make me ball my fists in consternation like a villain in a superhero movie.

So I spent the first day of spring this year running ten miles in soggy, heavy snow.  I've been running in just shorts lately, some runs even just a short-sleeved shirt, and couldn't believe I had to dig out all of my usual winter running paraphernalia again.

I did my standard 10 mile route that takes me through the woods a bit and up every hill I can find in South Jersey.  Took me 1:29 to finish.

March 20th: who would have thought?

I'd like to think that with this last snowstorm, the worst of winter is finally behind us.  Maybe now people will finally stop calling me crazy for running outside.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday night run party

Almost every Wednesday, I head two towns over to the Haddonfield Running Company for their weekly group run.  I've done this group run off and on for the past decade, but only started going regularly a little over a year ago.

As I've mentioned before, some of the guys started an informal club called "Who's Up?"  Each week someone new brings the beer for the entire group, leading to the eternal question and our club's name.

Some nights we just drink our beer and head home, but other nights, like tonight, end up as an impromptu party.

I love the Haddonfield Running Company for so many reasons, and one is their penchant for partnering with local races and national shoe companies.  Tonight saw Brooks, the ODDyssey Half Marathon and their beer partner Sly Fox all setting up shop in the store.

I had volunteered to be up this week, but wasn't sure how much beer I would need since I knew Sly Fox would be there.  Turns out they were only giving out 4oz. samples, and when I opened the cooler I'd brought, everyone descended upon it like vultures.

Also, Ron won a freaking pair of Brooks:

And Larry's wife made us amazing baked goods, which has become a regular occurrence.

I love this store and I love this group.  Even if they take the group picture without me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Boston Marathon Wave and Corral

Thanks for the input about the Boston Marathon jacket, everyone.  I'm definitely leaning towards buying it now, but I still haven't pulled the trigger yet.

In other Boston Marathon news, bib, wave and corral numbers have been posted.

They put the fastest runners in the front and assign them the lowest bibs.  I'm told these become a bit of a status symbol, with the lowest bibs/waves indicating the fastest runners.  #5005 out of 30,000 runners isn't so bad, eh?

Starting in the first wave also means I'll be starting close to 10:00, meaning an earlier finish, meaning I can have my first beer that much sooner.  Priorities.

Just over a month away!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

To buy or not to buy?

Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, trolls and narcissistic millenials, pervy old men and gamer misfits: I need your help, for I am in crisis mode.

I cannot decide whether or not to buy this year's official Boston Marathon jacket.

When I first qualified back in November 2013, I thought it was a given.  I knew I was going to buy the jacket and wear it proudly amongst the running hordes come April 2015.  While there is plenty of Boston gear to buy, the jacket is the one must-have; the status symbol to alert others that you belong to a special club.

But then I got a look at this year's edition, curiously dubbed "Night Flash":

I was not crazy about the color scheme.  But who cares, right?  It's not about what it looks like, it's about what it represents!  And we'll all look ugly together!

But then I saw the price: $110, not including tax and shipping costs.  That's when I started to have second thoughts.

On the one hand, Boston is going to be an expensive weekend, and why tack on another big ticket item when there are plenty of other, cheaper souvenirs to be had?  With a baby at home, I'm trying to think more frugally than ever, and this seems like an unnecessary expenditure.

On the other hand, this could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime event.  I have no idea if I will ever qualify for Boston again.  Even if I do run it again, I will never have another chance at my first, and the jacket would be a great way to commemorate it.  And I have no doubt I would love the feeling of strutting around Boston while wearing it.

Just call me Natalie Imbruglia, because I am torn.

So what do you think, denizens of the internet?  Yay or nay?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

500 miles

I had scheduled another 20 miler today, but I decided to put it off for a few reasons.  I ran 68 miles last week, and the exhaustion has started to get to me.  I had an especially hard time getting out of bed this morning, which is not normal for a Sunday when I've had a decent amount of sleep the night before.

Various life stressors have taken hold as well, including increasing work demands and the ubiquitous lack of sleep from living with a baby at home.

And on Friday I started to feel a strain in my left calf that continued to last night.  I wanted to give myself a chance to rest it and not aggravate it further.

I know calling off the 20 miler was the smart decision, because listen to your body and blah blah blah... But it doesn't make me feel any less guilty.  Runner's guilt is strong, and we put the most pressure on ourselves to succeed.

I did, however, fit in a simple 5 miler, and with those 5 miles I passed the 500 mile mark for the year to 501.

1/4 of the way there!  Here's to the next 3/4 of the challenge, and staying healthy through the year!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The snow run to end all snow runs

Received word at 4 o'clock this morning that school was cancelled for the day.

Except for those in warmer locales.  Sorry, you will never know this joy.

When I woke up at 6, I saw nary a snowflake on the ground.  I assumed our superintendent had blown the call, and we had wasted our final snow day of the year.  We only get three built into the schedule, and after that we have to start making them up.

And then it began.

The snow didn't let up for the entire day, coating my area of South Jersey in about 8 inches.

But you know where this is going... I had to go running.  I had 10 miles planned for the day, and saw no reason to cancel the run on account of a little snow.

Stevie took a picture of the snow before I headed out.

Me: Oh great, now you're going to put that picture on Facebook telling everyone how crazy I am.
Stevie: Well I was just going to text it to Sheila, but now it's going on Facebook.

I had a massive breakfast burrito for breakfast, and was finally ready to run around 3pm.  It wasn't as bad as the last time I ran in the snow, mainly because most of the sidewalks and streets were already cleared by the afternoon, even as more snow fell.  Most people had stayed home or were now home for the day, so I had few cars to contend with.  I had the peaceful, quiet streets to myself.

Because it was still snowing pretty hard, I wore my old ski goggles.

I ran out to Haddonfield so I could run in Crows Woods on a small network of trails.  I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the woods are in the middle of or just after a large snowstorm. Absolutely breathtaking.  And I had the entire place to myself.  This is one of the few times I wish I ran with my phone so I could have taken pictures.

When I returned home after 10 snowy miles, I was tired and cold, naturally, but filled with a deep satisfaction at having conquered the elements.

It was an exhilarating run, and not without its challenges and hardship.  But as with anything in life, the greater the effort put forth, the greater the potential for reward.

And now nothing in life will possibly taste as good as the porter I am going to drink tonight.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

20 miler #2

I ran my first 20 miler of this marathon cycle a few weeks ago.  I then dropped back to 16, then back up to 18, and today I completed my second 20 miler.

I managed to get out the door by 9am, which means I finished before noon.  This is probably my single greatest achievement of the winter so far.

Post 20 miler.

February is in the rearview, but its weather lives on.  A light snow fell during the last five miles.

This was probably my first long run of the entire training cycle in which I didn't think "oh God, when will I be finished?"  When I did finish, I thought about how easily I could have kept going.

It was a nice confidence booster.

March is going to be a long month, but it will all be worth it on April 20th.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...