Training Blog

Gone and Ran a Marathon.

The Experience:

What can I really say? The London Marathon was exhilarating. It is the largest annual one-day fundraising event in the world. Running with 38,000 people who all believe in a cause is humbling. It is also distracting in all the best ways. I spent my time watching charity supporters whoop from the sidelines, reading my fellow runners' pinnies and by mentally calculating how many unique causes there are in the world. The London Marathon is where runners don 'fancy dress' aka costumes for their cause. It is where I saw a barefooted Jesus running with a cross and a giant nipple costume advocating the importance of breast exams. It is where Rhinos were seen charging over Tower Bridge in an effort to draw attention to the endangered species. And it is where an impressive number of strange Guinness World Records are set. It is hardly just a Marathon; it is pride and energy and goodness all set to a beautiful backdrop..

 On Tower Bridge -- mile 12.5

On Tower Bridge -- mile 12.5

From the gun, it took me about 20 minutes to cross the start line and then it took a few miles of fellow-runner-dodging before I was able to settle into my pace while the mass of runners thinned out. I spotted Malcolm & Margaret (Waves Trust) around mile 8.5 and waved to my first team of supporters. I stormed Tower Bridge at mile 12.5 with energy and gusto; a moment when my little American heart felt fully British. I was ecstatic to see my friends at the halfway point on the bridge. I pulled off to the side for a hug and a 'hi' and to motion at the scene around me. In awe, I knew that this was the stuff memories are made of. Running on I saw another set of friends at mile 14; friends I haven't seen for months equates to additional exhilaration. Running into their arms, I gave some sweaty hugs before moving on again. I saw the same groups again at mile 17, 22 and a sudden unexpected appearance of a friend at mile 23 rendered me speechless as all I could do was wave and smile and gasp as I ran past him. Lucky he spotted me. 

I was bowled over from the energy along the Themes from miles 23-26.2, where I ran directly at Big Ben (!) with the London Eye to my left and an unending crowd to my right. I was giddy. And my Anglophile heart soared. In the last mile(ish) stretch of London pavement, I ran past Westminster, through Green Park and by Buckingham Palace. As I rounded the statute of Queen Victoria to the Finish Line I had a flashback to 2011 when I was a spectator on that very corner watching the Marathon. And then I ran 'like Bill Nighy was at the finish' and with a short speed up I was done. I had gone and run a marathon! Goal achieved. I stopped to take the official photo and walked on to collect my bag and find my friends. My time? I wasn't sure, I hadn't been tracking myself. I'd had to tap into the app to find out.

I made my way down the Mall to find my two groups of friends had come together, arm in arm, wearing shirts that spelled out Tori. I stopped in my tracks and was quite literally speechless. I had half expected myself to cry at the end but I think I was more personally touched at having completed 20 miles in training. After all what was another 6? Instead, I was streaming with adrenaline, oozing with happiness and drunk with gratitude for having an amazing cheering squad, Team Tori as they dubbed themselves. There was no moment to reflect, that came later.

 The obligatory medal biting moment (which I don't fully understand) and group photos ensued; evidence of memories collected. Then with high spirits, proud friends and stiff but working legs, we set off for the Waves post-race reception followed by pints, pubs and dinner with even more friends. Lucky me, I had fared pretty excellently. No bathroom needs, no chafing and I still had all my lovely manicured toenails! I had run 26.2 miles in one of my favorite cities in the world, surrounded by good friends and supported afar by many more.  My only weakness, quite literally, was my Achilles. The tendon had inflamed around mile 6. 

Total Monies Raised:

£2,182.21 (with gift aid: £2,219.96Above and beyond by goal. More to come about the team total and where the money is going...

The Verdict

Would I do it again? I would. For me, it isn't about the running itself, it is the experience - the place, the vibe, the crowd, the friends and the cause. I don't think I could ever run marathon's for the sake of running. I need it all. And that may be a tall order to fill. I do know that I'd love the opportunity to beat my time as I was a bit disappointed. Next time I'll take into account the time it takes to get away from the mass crowd and  fellow-runner-dodging. And now that I'm back in New York, I've started physical therapy to heel the inflamed tendon and to prevent future problems. This week the sports med doc told me my left leg is slightly longer than my right causing hip alignment problems in long distance running. Who knew? #Runningproblems

The Evidence:

For Watching Virtually

So here it is! Time is drawing close. On Sunday April 26th, mass start is at 10:10AM so depending on when I cross the line my time will begin. 

If you want to follow me, you can go to the Virgin Marathon Page which will have a link to track runners on or download the app. 

I have no hopes but to finish and have fun. The colder and cloudier the better - fingers crossed. The hotter and sunnier the slower I'll be. But ce la vie. My end time doesn't matter, I'll be out there collecting memories. 

My Running Number: 40645
My Name: Victoria Kuhr
The App: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/london-marathon/id978343907?mt=8
The websitehttps://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/
The excitement: TOWER BRIDGE! Running over that beauty. 
The outfit to look for: The Waves Logo (front & back), race number on the front and the American flag on my back. Why an American Flag you ask? Aside from being American, this flag waved from the back of my bike as I cycled across the country in 2001. So why not fold it up and stick it to my shirt? Why not indeed.  

Monies Monies

Yesterday, at work, at our weekly meeting,  two of my coworkers decided it would be a GREAT idea to get the whole team to bet on how long it would take me to finish the marathon. I refused to give them my 'ideal' time (who needs that pressure) so they wrote out 5 minute increments and handed out randomly. Then everyone ponied up  $10.00 -- $5.00 to the pot and the other $5.00 to Waves Charity. Not a bad boost to my fundraising... 

On to the fundraiser - here it is folks -- $617.00 raised from last Tuesday's Happy Hour at Mother's Ruin who renamed a Moscow Mule to the 'Guardian Mule' and put it on the mixed drink board for my guests and regular bar patrons alike! SLURP. I owe a huge thank you to my coworkers and friends who stopped by for a drink or two.. I couldn't be any happier with the success of the night. Roughly translated that is about 415 GBP. 

Lastly, when I cycled across the country in 2001, I regretted not cycling for a cause. Admittedly I didn't think about it at the time, nor did any of my fellow cyclists, until strangers started asking us along the way why we were biking 3,000 miles. In one small town, I distinctly remember the local paper interviewing us. A cause? We didn't have one. We were 16 years old biking to bike. So nearly 14 years later I'm thrilled to be undertaking another challenge for a great cause. 

And there's still time to donate. 6 days away (eeekk) Stephen Fry and I put together this video. Please watch, I love his British speak. Plus, I mean Stephen Fry advocating on my behalf.. 

https://www.myfundraisingfilm.com/view/ae634da2-1842-41ef-a82c-099387f7d7b2

From Mother's Ruin: 

1) Former Coworkers Reunion 2) Vodka induced 3) My Uncle Frank and myself! 

Perspective

Last Friday my Achilles Tendon started bothering me. Thinking maybe it was the 20 miles, so I took some time off running to ice and rest my ankle. I tried to rationalize that since I'm in tapering mode, it shouldn't be so bad to cut down on mileage, but still not running was making me nervous, which caused me to think about the next 14 days ahead. I had a lot of life to get through first and a lot on my plate and not running was not something I wanted to be doing. But if my ankle didn't improve, resting it I knew was key. Sigh.  

So naturally when I passed an antique shop in Chelsea, with this hippo sitting on the sidewalk. I thought BINGO! This is what the next two weeks feels like...

The next morning I woke to a comment from my 13 year old nephew, Seabass:  So proud of U Aunt Tori
And as cheesy as it is, my heart melted because my 13 year old nephew told me he was proud of me.  It's kind of humbling and felt like a big hug was being sent to me. 

And like a light bulb, I had some perspective, which was reiterated by the Universe this past week. From the book i'm reading 'Born to Run,' to the advice I received from coworkers and runners who have completed marathons: HAVE FUN. Come with a good attitude and be happy. Enjoy it. So if you ask me my goal time, I don't have one. My goal is to have fun and throw love at my Achilles Tendon so it too can enjoy the 26.2 miles. 

 

This is the story of a foam roller.

This is a story of a foam roller. 

One of the first bits of running advice I received was, 'Get yourself a foam roller.' So I did. I marched myself to Paragon Sports and asked an employee which foam roller was the best. The knobby one? The short, smooth and stout roller? The long and lean one that had softer foam? The foam that was rock like? I asked fellow runners. I Googled. There was no definitive answer, no consensus of opinion. In the end the short blue roller ended up in my possession. I figured if I felt the need to bring it to London, it was short enough to fit in a bag. Logical. 

And so I brought my new roller home. I removed it form its plastic and I tried it out. What ensued was comical. I rolled off the roller. I found it shortness in length a problem. I had no idea if I was 'rolling' correctly. And I soon realized that rolling took upper arm strength, muscles I lacked. But I tried again. I read running magazines, I YouTubed a few videos. I tried to see the correct position to roll. And I wondered how the the heck one gets to the inner thigh, balance and roll adequately. I fumbled. Basic running stretches and yoga poses were easier to handle.  And so I left the dark blue roller on my floor, staring me in the face while I stretched the good ol' fashioned way.

Many friends would inquire how training was going. My coworkers saw me after my long runs gruff at the thought of climbing stairs or sitting in a chair. 'I'm great I'd say, it's going well. My thighs are a bit, um, tight though.' And every time they same reaction, 'Oh do you use a roller?'

Then this past Tuesday I took a day off work to run a glorious 20 miles. (What a way to spend a vacation day -  but run I did.)  From Central Park, stiff legs, tight thighs, I inched home happy at what I had accomplished and perfectly aware how vital it would be to stretch out my aching muscles. And yet, my exhausted self had no desire to use its last ounce of energy to roll. My arms ached, my hands had swollen fat and my body wanted a break. I sat on the couch staring at my bookcase, right at the spot my little blue foam roller sat comfortably waiting for me. He teased - 'You need me.  Yes, now more than ever.' 

 Salty Post-Run Happy Face

Salty Post-Run Happy Face

So I stooped to it's level. I winced as I rolled my quads and hamstrings. The most important muscles to roll outright hurt. Next my back, but it welcomed the released of the knots. Then I switched to that darn inner thigh. Womp, fell off. And with that, my patience was gone. My last ounce of strength had dissipated. And my arms screamed you need to use weights. Thighs of steal and arms mush. Bottom line: rolling is itself its own little workout. 


FYI - If you're reading this from the New York City area, come have a at Mother's Ruin (Spring and Elizabeth Street, in SoHo) on Tuesday 4/14 from 6-8pm. 100% of proceeds go to The Waves Trust. Mother's Ruin was kind enough to let me host my fundraising event + it's one of my favorite bars. 


 

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

WHAT A WEEK.
In order of importance I have 5 things to share:

1. Bill Nighy. You know, Bill Mack? YES. And this is what happened.

(Setting: Outside the John Gold Theater post-performance of 'Skylight.' Bill Nighy walks over to where Tori and Becky are standing to sign autographs. Bill is by Tori)

Tori: I'm a huge fan! (Thinking, wow where did that come from)
>>Bill looks up at Tori.
>>They make eye contact.
>>Tori floats up to cloud nine, while Bill's response is lost in the air.
>>Bill signs her Playbill, Becky enters.
Becky: Tori is training for the London Marathon!
Bill: Wow, is this your first marathon?
Tori: Yes it is
Becky: She loves London. She wouldn't run it anywhere else.
Bill: I've always admired people who can run a marathon, good luck!
>> The three take a selfie 
>> Bill moves on to other theatergoers
Becky: Tori, he just wished you good luck!
Tori: He did? Did I say thank you?
>>Tori has vague recollection of replying to Bill that this was in fact her first marathon. Good thing Tori has Becky who is traveling to London to watch said Marathon and can retell life changing story. For when Tori floated to cloud nine, she stayed and the rest of the conversation with Bill was lost to her. And in fact, she is still up there. Hasn't come down yet because her old British soul has sprouted wings.


2. I am now halfway through my fundraising goal at £918 raised! :) This is for all the ANONYMOUS donors and a play on The Thomas Crown Affair. I cannot THANK YOU in person or by email or with a warm fuzzy hug, so this THANK YOU is for you. 


3. I ran 18 miles! I ran 18 miles! My Nike App died at 17.8 but I kept going.


4. Warning. Caution. Consume at your own risk. In my attempt at finding tasty running 'fuel' I ate one of these gummy sticky chewy CLIFF Shot Bloks on said 18 mile run. I spit it out because I could not chew it let alone, chew, breathe and run. It wasn't until after my run that I noticed, that chewy Blok took out my filling and cracked my tooth. Now my tooth needs a crown! (No pun intended to the above video title. but maybe?)


5. Today, Thursday (happy thursday) I wore my WAVES shirt on my evening run. Test run - get it?
Test run. 

Bonus 6. I was promoted last Friday at The Guardian. The Guardian IS a British Company, so worth the mention ;)

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

With exactly 1 month to go, that's 30 days or 43,000 minutes, I'd like to take a moment to say a BIG thank you.

For all the support I have been given during this process - donation, emails, suggestions, tips, general running advice and for all the encouragement - this post is for you:

  Sometimes an in-person hug isn't possible, but this is the huge hug I mean to give. 

Sometimes an in-person hug isn't possible, but this is the huge hug I mean to give. 

thankyou.jpg

11:46 PM on Wednesday, monies raised £748 and nearly £900 to go...

 
 

Murakami Review

Realizing I never reviewed the book. If you missed the initial post can be found here:  Murakami and Tori Kuhr

I see the association between my writing and Murakami's style; it's very tell the story and the thoughts. I see why Max made the association between our writing styles.

In a nutshell, I enjoyed the book but I found Murakami's writing all over the place. I was utterly confused at points because I did not have a clear picture of where Murakami was in his story timeline or how certain events were connected.  However, when he was describing a moment it was great. I was forced into his memory and I could see clearly the details of the story he was painting. His transitions from chapter to chapter, not as clear. And lastly, his smugness bugged me. Granted, he is the first person to say that he doesn't think many people would like his personality and in a big way that translates onto the page. A boastful man's training trials and tribulations, wins and PRs are not that inspiring to read.

This quote. This quote is a golden nugget for a tough running day:

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.” 

Bottom Line: Relatable to an extend but scattered order. Good to pick up if you like reading about running or triathlon training. 

Now, that I've put down the Murakami and I have picked up 'Born To Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen'  by Christopher McDougall. Another great book recommended to me by multiple good friends who are all runners. And funny, with the recommendation they all said the same thing: this will motivate you. And now that I am in the home stretch of training, motivation and the mental challenge of long runs begins!



Fuel.

Running fuel,  fueled my great 15 mile run on Saturday! 

Yes, the banana looks a little sad.  But I stand by it all. Peanut Butter is the way to the heart and provides energy for a long run. The banana too. And while it was my first try at running with sports fuel and water, I can't say for certain the 'magic beans' made a difference in my energy level, they sure did taste good!

Splat

Warning: This post is about spit but don't be off-put. 

Looking back on it, it seems incredulous, but at the time it was a way to get out of working the summer. When I was 16, I opted to cycle across the United States. Two months on a bicycle. Two months camping, cooking and carrying my life on two wheels. 

On this male dominated trip, I learned one 'skill' which I was awfully proud of: spitting properly. And by properly I mean, the same way that Jack taught Rose how to spit off the Titanic; the in the throat projectile spit. I'm unsure how I came to learn this 'skill.' It could have been due to the long hours on a bike or the natural need to spit while exercising, but it was a necessary art to learn. And what I mean by art is this, one must first cough up the throaty gunk and then take care to notice ones surroundings; the direct of the wind, the surrounding scene and by god the people close by. Then turn your head to the correct angle and with a little strength spit. On a bicycle this takes place in a matter of seconds while moving; quick speeds. And to have all these factors line up perfectly, no misjudgments, is the art of spitting correctly. 

This ability of mine became a bit of a boasting point as I grew older. For some people, it's burping the alphabet (gross), for me spitting was something I was rather proud of. So much so, that in the summer of 2010 when I ventured up to the Cloisters with a new male friend of mine, I found myself brag of this skill as we wondered around park surrounding the Cloisters. And this naturally lead to the, 'really, how?' And of course, because this was an absurd thing for me even to mention, I then couldn’t stop laughing to actually spit properly. 

Flash forward 5 years to this past Sunday. If it's not snow or rain in New York, its high winds; winds that caused me to wonder if I was really running or possibly flying. But at the start of my run, I was going up against the wind which felt like I was pushing up against an invisible wall. What a way to run 12 miles. Well as will happen with running, the need to spit arises. Now spitting while running is an entirely different process. I mean, you have to think about it the same way, but slightly more strategic as typically more people surround you or pass while running. On Sunday, I couldn't tell you if it was because I was tired or if I was amazed how windy it was, but I didn't think. I took one big throaty hock and I spat...straight ahead into the wind-wall. And I watched in mock horror as my spit came right back into my face. Smack! Gross. But laugh I did. Hysterically; I couldn’t stop. Luckily I was wearing sunglasses which prevented a worse experience. And luckily for me, there was nobody near me to witness this incident. It seemed I was one of the only crazy people attempting a windy run. But replaying it in my head, BAM! Into the wind-wall and right back in my own face. It happened in slow-motion. It was slightly gross. And it was funny. I should have been disgusted, you may be reading this. But if you had witnessed it, you too would have laughed.

Eww did you really think i'd post a photo of that? Nah. Just my bundled up wind-protected self-post run. 


I Just Want to Feel This Moment.

If it's not snow in New York, apparently it's rain? But a lovely 48-53 degree rainfall, which means it's practically spring outside! All day Tuesday there was sunshine and then around 4pm clouds gathered darkening the sky. Mentally I had planned for a glorious evening run and when I checked the weather later the afternoon (I really should do this more frequently) I saw rain at 90% chance starting the exact time my run would commence. What to do?  Rain un vs. treadmill? Yes. Rain run > treadmill.

And so I went home to make myself rain run ready! Armed, with the gratitude fuel from the generous donations I've been receiving from friends, family and Guardian family + the rational that it might just run on Marathon Day (hey it is London) I set off for Central Park. And as I amped up my music, Christina Aguilera belted,  'I just want to feel this moment.' I thought to myself 'Yes! Rain on my face and it is still a glorious run.' Pitbull echoed 'feel this moment.'

 

I'm bacccckkkk!

I'm back! Back back back! And by that I mean back outside! Between the snow on Tuesday and the snowstorm on Thursday, the weatherman promised a 43 degree day on Wednesday! Unheard of. So I made it my priority to bust out of work at a decent time to make it to Central Park before dark for a long overdue outdoor run. And i'm happy to say, I AM BACK. Although its always more difficult to run outside, I somehow did my best mile in a long time. And since I'm easing myself back in to outdoor running, I stopped after a few miles when my muscles started to tense up. 'Best not to over run and get shinsplints.' The constant advice in my life (thank you all!)

The park was virtually empty except for us die-hard runners. It was dusk and the city was shrouded in a foggy sad fluffy blanket. The clouds were spurting silent drops. But it felt good to be outside. It felt good to sweat and have the wind cool me down. It was nice to run up inclines and on pavement and past people and have the surroundings of New York to occupy my mind. It was glorious. Glorious bits of running I love that one just does not get in a gym. 

This last photo is the snowstorm on Thursday. Just for a reference on New York Winter 2015!  

 

Haruki Murakami & Tori Kuhr

Read me, this post screams!

Two weeks ago, my friend Max, inquired how my training was going. I gently nudged him to read my blog. Upon reading he commented, 'Very Murakami.' Not having read any of Haruki Murakami's works (Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles etc), I was unsure of his writing style. Sussing out Max's comment, I asked, 'Do you like his writing?' Which he responded ' It can be good.' (cryptic, I thought). He then pointed me in the director of 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,' a memoir Murakami wrote, as you can guess, about running. (Intriguing, I was now curious.) As a writer himself, I value Max's input, but I was unsure if this comparison was a compliment or not. Maybe it was a simple observation? What is Murakami's style of writing? Must look into this further, I thought.

And further I did. I purchased a copy of the book while at the Brown Bookstore (an university independent bookstore, yes) last weekend when I was visiting a very snowy Providence, Rhode Island. And today, after finishing 'The Things They Carried,' (Side note: read it. Tim O'Brien's storytelling is superb) I picked up Murakami and began, only to put it down 10 pages later so I could draft this post. Granted, I don't know how the book will turn out or what is to come, but while reading these first pages, I felt Murakami  had extracted my exact thoughts and feelings about running and life and translated them onto paper. Only he did this in 2008 when the book was written and they are entirely his own feelings. Kindred spirits? I'm getting ahead of myself. In reading said pages, the bonding moment with Haruki Murakami went something like this:

  • Murakami writes that he isn't competitive, doesn't really enjoy team sports or feel the need to beat others or lose to them
  • Me: That sounds like you
  • Murakami writes how long distance running is about endurance, not speed. It's about the miles logged not how fast they are accomplished
  • Me: Wow, yes I agree, that sounds like you
  • Murakami writes, long distance running fits his character and how he functions, which is why he took it up in the first place
  • Me: Yes. Ding ding.
  • Murakami writes that long-distance running is about setting a personal challenge and goal
  • Me: It is all true. Completely true.

 I enjoy running, much like cycling because it tends to be a solitary sport. I could run with a friend but I don't normally. In marathon training a lot of people choose to train with a friend or group, Strength in numbers?  But I tend to think that when I make a pact to run with someone else it is too easy to back out of the commitment, say if we're both in agreement that it is too cold out or are too tired.  But if I'm running with me, myself and I, then  I get a rush of guilt when I back out of running. My commitment is to me and canceling on myself feels like crap. After all, I'm really all I've got. 

  •  Murakami: 'I'm much more interested in whether I reach the goals that I set for myself...'
  • Me: YEP. 
  • Murakami: 'In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you use to be.' 
  • Me: Self-improvement? Challenge accepted. Feeling a sense of accomplishment? Check. Sense of pride? Yes, please. 

It was at page 10, mulling over Murakami's words that it hit me. When is his birthday? A quick Google search brought me to Wikipedia.. 'Yes,' reading aloud, 'Just as I suspected, he was born January 12, 1949.' Just like me, Haruki Murakami is a Capricorn. I guess there is something to be said of astrology traits. 

 Ambitious.  Self-disciplined. Driven.  Capable of great endurance.  (And a loyal friend)

(http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/zodiac-sign-workout/?page=10)

 The Man Himself. Haruki Murakami

The Man Himself. Haruki Murakami

 
 Action shot!

Action shot!

 


Let's Pause for a Laugh

I think the phrase is 'better late than never.' Well, due to a series of unfortunate incidents, my running has slowed to a crawl over the past two weeks and thus my post. First, due to the slipper streets of New York and a bruised knee. I took a few days and did a few short runs. And then the weather dropped, the snow fell and it became too cold to even try to run outside. A few indoor treadmill sessions, which left me feeling bored. Then in a succession of events this past week, the chilly dip in the weather lead to the balloon of my tonsils and a full on cold. In a weird twist, I got a shard of wood stuck in my foot where the podiatrist had to go digging for the rather large splinter. Suffice it to say, the cold has kept me coughing and out of work, the splintered foot, off my feet, and now the pink eye. I have to laugh though. What an eventful week it has been! I'm hoping that come Sunday, when the temperatures are suppose to rise to 40 degrees(!), I hope to be able to run outside. Albeit it is suppose to rain but rain it might on race day. I might be a few weeks behind, but i'm optimistic about catching up.

PS. my intent is not to chronologize my maladies of the past two weeks but to say, there have been some roadblocks in my path to my next running goal, 13 miles. And although it puts me slightly behind, with the extra rest, I'm ready to race forward, maybe just at a steady tempo until i'm caught up! (And Chronologize is a word) 

 

Next Up...adventures in foam rollers

 
 Having experience both the treadmill & microwaving, I think this is pretty dead on. But I'd have to side with the treadmill. 

Having experience both the treadmill & microwaving, I think this is pretty dead on. But I'd have to side with the treadmill. 

A New Sensation

Sunday was a fun outdoor run day. Being Superbowl Sunday, I dawned my blue running gear in support of my chosen team. And as my coworker kindly phrases it, 'socially committed myself' to supporting The Patriots. (Socially not emotionally would be his distinction of commitment during this prime-time football event). Well, being from New England naturally I was all for the Patriots (good thing too since they wooooon!) So on the crispy winter afternoon I dawned my blue running gear and headed out into the 38 degree chilly air. (Side note: the air felt like it was at the highest, 30 degrees).

Running. Running. As I got to mile 5, I was in a groove and present in the moment. And by present, I mean I began to notice my stride and my body. My legs and thighs were numb, toes perfectly icy, and my fingers were chilled, and yet the size of sausages (swollen from running). Mentally, moving up from feet to my core, a bit of a shock, my core was hot And yes, I was sure under my layers - vest, long sleeves, shirt - I was sweating. Sweating in 38 degrees. But those arms were definitely stiff in their poised running position, which I am almost certain is an advantage in not feeling the fatigue of my body (for better or worse). And with the assessment of my appendages, I realized that the tip of my tongue, exposed to the frosty air, was on it's way to becoming an icicle, while my bottom lip was gradually entering the numbing state my nose had already succumbed too. What a sensation, a sweltering core and icy limbs; what a juxtaposition.  

And as I ran,  I had to snap this photo, because this was my view: 

 
 Blue Running Patriot, of the New England Variety, 2015

Blue Running Patriot, of the New England Variety, 2015

 Snowy February 1st, Central Park, Manhattan, 2015

Snowy February 1st, Central Park, Manhattan, 2015



Something Big Is Happening.

3 hours sleep. 9 mile run. snow on the ground. I feel like a super trooper, maybe even a real runner. yea, maybe i've moved on from being a just a cyclist. i run. the below is my view, and to the left is my power song. he may be a teeny pop kid but what a running tune. one short n' sweet post. 

(Sunday, January 25, 2015, 38 degrees, sore)


PomPoms have magical running powers.

 

My socks have pompomsAnd because i'm wearing these magical pompom socks, I am happy. And because I am happy, I have the will/power/focus to run... 8 miles. It wasn't exactly easy. But it was at least 38 degrees outside. There were a few snowflakes and all my muscles were frozen over by the end, but that run was beauty. See, running around the outer lower loop of Central Park, I came to the following conclusion: it is the prettiest park in the world. I'd sooner call Bryant Park my favorite, although once outranked by Regents Park and St. James with the ducks, Central Park is the most diverse & surprising. Maybe it was the birch trees popping against the moody sky or maybe it was the snowflakes or the partially frozen over pond, but Central Park twinkled. Yes it did. As vast as CP is, I know it now like the back of my hand. Navigating the Ramble, to the Harlem Hill from Hell (as I've aptly named it) to Bethesda Fountain and the Poet's Walk, right on down to Alice in Wonderland. I'm happy to call this my running backyard. And I was happy to be running in such a lovely place with my yellow pompom socks.