Redemption Run

Whoa! People love a story about horrible runs! Thanks for all the positive shout outs on my down in the dumps run this past Sunday. Extra special shout out to my cousin Maura who is ALSO training for her first marathon about 850 miles away in Chicago. She’ll be killing the Chicago Marathon on October 13!

I suppose the biggest lesson I learned in sharing the worst moment of my marathon training ever was that it is in fact not my worst moment of marathon training. It’s just a part of marathon training that everyone has to deal with. (thanks to my personal running guru / college roommate / all -around amazing person, Jamie for sending me continued wisdom via text from the great state of Texas.)

So, with that in mind last Tuesday night, I laced up my Brooks and headed back to the crowded pavements of NYC for my redemption run! Running at rush hour in midtown New York City is an exercise in patience and stop-and-start motion. Thankfully, while I was flying down W. 44th Street (in my imagination), some runner dude passed me (actually flying), so I just kept him in sight and followed every dart and dash movement he made. Thanks, speedy stranger running guy!!

As I trekked up the Queensboro Bridge, I was gifted this amazing view of the East River.

The East River as seen from the Queensboro Bridge

The East River as seen from the Queensboro Bridge

Not too shabby.  I circled back through Roosevelt Island and made it home just in time to shower and welcome my mom who had just arrived in NYC to help prepare for the arrival of Baby Lowe, who is due on the 23rd.  It was a great way to shake off the bad feelings of the past few runs and look forward to the next 6 weeks.

Recaps to come:  16 and 18 miles. Wowsers.





When a Run is the WORST

I read a lot of running blogs. Most of these are written by people much faster and seemingly much more put together than I feel in my marathon training. It’s hard for me to imagine that they ever have a run that goes a horribly as my last long run went on Sunday; however, when I look back through their archives, I’m reminded that even if their idea of a bad run is at a pace I couldn’t imagine in a million years, the feelings appear to be the same.
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Recap: Week 1 (June 10 – 16)

Just to catch up, here’s a brief look at my training thus far.

Well, I had been weighing my options as far as choosing a training program for the marathon. I looked at online programs, my good buddy Hal Higdon, and read a million recaps of other people’s accounts of training for their first marathons. In the end, I decided that adding a little bit of meaning to my miles would be a nice way to ease my way into the rigorous schedule that training for a marathon would require. After speaking with a few of my friends, I made the decision to run with Team for Kids. TFK is the official charitable organization of New York Road Runners, which I’m happy to support. NYRR has guided me through miles and miles of training always being there with their water stations and brightly colored corrals, not to mention all the medals and t-shirts, so it’s awesome being able to give a little back to the organization that has given me so much. In addition, TFK is a great organization. The money raised by Team for Kids members goes toward New York Road Runners youth services which provide free or low-cost school- and community-center based health and fitness programs to children who have little to no access to regular physical activity. These programs currently serve nearly 100,000 children each year in more than 400 schools and community centers in New York City, nationally, and in Africa. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to support fitness programs for kids??

Anyway, so on Friday, June 14, I made the commitment and clicked the registration button. Shortly thereafter, I received my first email stating that training had just begun! Thinking I was going to be doing a 16-week plan, I thought my training wouldn’t begin until after the 4th of July, but nope, it looked like my first official run of marathon training would be a 5 miler on Saturday, June 15.

So, Saturday afternoon, while spending a beautiful day in Spring Lake, NJ with some of my very favorite choir peeps, Tully and I took off in the bright summer sun for 5 miles. Shockingly, hydration IS important to feeling good when you run. After about 2.5 miles, Tully and I had to circle back by the house to take in a little water and salt (potato chips are good sources of sodium, right?) I finished the final 2.5 without my canine buddy, and was thankful the back half of the run felt much better.

So, that was it. 5 miles in my first week of training. Not a shabby place to start.


And we’re back.

I’m not even going to look back in the archives to see the last post on this blog. I’ll just assume it was a million years ago and leave it at that. However, I’ve been given homework by my new running coach telling me that it is important to journal the process of running your first marathon, so here I am.

A little fast forward catching up since we last spoke: I ran the Philly Half, then ran 6 more. I worked in a tent in Boston, then happily made the journey back to my beloved Great White Way on a fantastic show called Once.

And thanks to that 8-time Tony Award winning show (#humblebrag), I have this unusual thing in my life called stability. So follow me here for the next 90 days as I recap the highs and lows of training for the NYC Marathon.

PS I’m running with this amazing organization called Team for Kids. Support me here!

Did You Feel That?

Hey blog fans! I’m sure most of you are used to my, um, sporadic blogging schedule, so it will come as no surprise to anyone that I haven’t updated in a month. To those that it does surprise, hey, have we met?

Anyway, do y’all remember when there was an earthquake here in NYC yesterday? I mean, seriously, I do consider myself somewhat of an expert now. I mean, to be fair, I slept through my very first earthquake. I was pretty upset when I woke up in Coventry that morning to realize that everyone else in the company had felt it, but I had totally missed it. At that time, I was like, whoa 5.2, that is some serious earth quaking. I fully believe that God in his heaven was like, heh, heh, heh, can’t wait for future Susan to see what I am capable of. Oh, hey 9.0 earthquake while I’m in Tokyo with a company of 50 (100 if you add the children’s chorus we picked up in Tokyo), yes, you have made your point, and I can see that 9.0 rocks way harder than 5.2. Oh, also, I would like to concede complete victory to nature after experiencing the 250 odd aftershocks in the five days following March 11. You totally win, nature. We humans are just along for the ride.

So, this is why yesterday while we were sitting at our desks and the building started swaying, I got an all too familiar feeling in my stomach. Confusion ensued though because I work in Times Square and not Hollywood. Yes, I realize that all you Californians laugh at our East Coast freak out to some 5.8 earthquake felt here in NYC because you guys are the kings of earthquakes, but I also feel that if all of a sudden we moved the sprawl of Los Angeles into a 1 mile radius and called it Times Square at rush hour and had to read all your Facebook postings of how f’ing hard it is to walk to work when tourists can’t seem to stop the practice of stopping eight-across and twelve-deep on the corner of 49th and 7th to read what’s on the TKTS board (hint: it’s NOT Book of Mormon) , then we’d have an equal opportunity to roll our eyes.

But, I digress. In any case, I felt the why-is-this-feeling-so-familiar-to-me swaying of 321 W. 44th St. and my heart raced into warp speed. Thanks to my former ROA pal who reminded me that all was okay since I was at home and everyone was speaking English! Quite a change from March. But I must admit that after Facebook confirmed that it was in fact an earthquake (like true New Yorkers, we tried to log onto, but sadly, it was jammed. I totally needed my news from Pat Kiernan, my NY1 hero, who is on vacation, sadness!), I must say, I felt a very strange sense of “wait, how many of these did I go through in those few short days in Tokyo. How on earth did we survive that??” I mean, I immediately had to text my Joseph… ACM to say, “did you feel that.” Which was the phrase repeated most often in those days after the Tokyo earthquakes, as you were never quite sure if you were going crazy, or if the hotel / train / ground / Starbucks was, in fact, still moving.

We all eventually returned to our desks to laugh at everyone’s first “everyone’s ok” postings transform into super snarky and jaded updates for the next hour our so (or if you’re the producer of my show, the next three minutes upon which we promptly returned to our accounting and marketing duties), then people would just mention throughout the day, “hey, remember when we had that earthquake?”

Anyway, what a random New York event. I wonder if people will remember it like the blackout or the transit strike. Both of which were total ridiculous experiences to go through, but, as they tend to do, united us all as New Yorkers bonding over how f’ing long it took to get home that day…

When it Rains, it Pours

I mean, seriously, isn’t it amazing how a day can run it its course from one place to another? I mean, maybe I’m being a little extreme, but today was one of those days where nothing big happens, but all those little things add up and suddenly you’re like, “um, when can I go back to bed??”

I started my day in an amazing mood. Like birds helping me get ready for work a la Cinderella-style amazing. I’m not really sure what spurred my good mood, but I’m prety sure most of it was caused by Spotify. I know that Google+ has launched, and I got on board like the techy-geek I am, but truth be told, I don’t really know what to do with it. But SpotifySpotify, I can get on board with. I’ve been reading about it on my geek bible blog Lifehacker for over a year now, so when it finally came over to the US, I hopped onboard (via an invite from Klout – who tells me I am an expert on puppies?!  Um, thanks Tully. My sister having a dog for two months has made me an expert – obvi) Anyway, Spotify uploaded all my music, synced it all to my fancy droid and was basically making me the happiest person ever all morning. So, I was hop, skip, jumping to work this AM, even stopping to give directions to two very lost people on my way to the subway. Running up the stairs with a good 45 min to spare before my 11am meeting, I was making amazing time. Time enough to grab some breakfast and an iced coffee on my way into the office when all of a sudden I was faced with the dreaded announcement + orange tape that there were no trains running locally into Manhattan.

WTF, MTA. Are you kidding me?! As I stood on the Astoria-bound platform (for all you non-New Yorkers, I was now waiting for a train to take me AWAY from the city, further into Astoria before being able to switch to an express stop and wait AGAIN for a train to take me into Manhattan), I texted my CM having just no idea how long it would take me to get to the city. The thought of grabbing a cab crossed my mind, but my history tells me that it would have just taken more time. An HOUR later (I should note here my normal commute is about 20 minutes), I was finally rushing toward Times Square and into my office on W. 44th St. Seriously MTA? Day ruined. It was 11:10am and I was totally late for my meeting. Ugh!

Have I mentioned how much I love my job? Seriously, I have enough stories about the shows I have worked on to fill a book (right, Mom?), and I feel the universe is finally rewarding my CM perseverance with an amazing opportunity. Not one that I want to blow by being 10 minutes late to a producer meeting! UGH, MTA!

In any case, I ran into the office and discovered the meeting had been cancelled. I suppose it was good news, but I was so frazzled by my commute that I was a mess. I sat down at my computer, and after having to update my computer access so I could update my QuickBooks file yesterday, could no longer access any of my network files. Seriously? No Quickbooks, no union reports, no anything. Cut to my phone ringing off the hook asking questions that I could only solve with network access, and I was just slowly descending into the depths of an irrational hysteria. I decided I just need a little coffee, to settle down into some sort of a work mode. I went to the kitchen, poured my coffee, added milk, took a sip and @(*$&!@(#&!#, the milk had gone bad – hold it just a second, why is everything in this fridge warm and tepid? In the Heights reference? Anyone? No one? (I feel I should mention at this point of my blogging, my computer/Spotify randomly, out of nowhere, started playing “New York, New York.” Awww, Spotify wants me to remember what I’m doing here during my rant of the ridiculous events of the morning! Thanks Spotify!!)

Anyway, to say the least, I was a hot, hangry mess. Sorry, Sister Act!

I managed to finally pull myself together. I got my drives remapped on my computer, my CM got everyone out of single user in Quickbooks, I printed checks, I stickered payroll labels, I finished union reports, and I filed workers’ comp claims, and most importantly, I ordered lunch! All in all, it turned out to be a very productive day, but it just never felt like it came together. Eventually, I headed to the theatre, where all was totally fine for a Wednesday night, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was totally out of my groove. I mean, all was business as usual, but I just felt like I couldn’t get it together. Don’t you just hate those days?

I was supposed to cross-train / run two miles today, and I just couldn’t do it. I headed home in the heat and was in my pjs in a record-breaking amount of time after walking though the door. Cousin Susan bought Coronas (actually Coronitas, since I’m in half-marathon training), and they totally won out the night (also, Golden Oreos, but let’s not focus on that). After the ridiculously horrid four mile run I had last night, it was a lovely night off. I have the day off on Friday, so I felt switching out my 2 mile run from today until Friday was the best thing for my psyche.

Naturally, after typing all these things out, none of them seem like a big deal. I suppose it was just that kind of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days that we all have every once in a while. I will put off on the moving to Austraila part for now, but am fully heading to bed immediately to avoid any sort of Groundhog Day occurrence of this day again tomorrow.

Good night all from Astoria, where the N/Q trains are not running locally into Manhattan from 10am -3pm again tomorrow, so plan accordingly!

A Normal Sunday Night at Home

Just a snapshot of life here at the house of Susanx2:

I walk in from work. Cousin Susan is in the living room in her brand new dress from Bloomingdale’s in the dark watching a Lifetime Movie about J.K. Rowling.

I sit down on the couch and am crying in less than 5 minutes. Damn it, Cousin Susan! I can’t deal with her publishing her first book and getting off food stamps. She just loves to write! She went from poverty to one of England’s wealthiest people in three years. She created an entire world from her imagination while drinking coffee in Scotland. She succeeded against all odds. Tears, tears, and more tears.

Next: I need to order dinner, meanwhile, Cousin Susan is trying to rent a movie On Demand:

Cousin Susan: All I want to watch now is Harry Potter.

Me: I CANNOT focus on movies right now, I’m dying of starvation. Can I order a milkshake for dinner?

Cousin Susan: Oh, order me a soda

Me: What kind? Wait, I think I have arthritis in my left wrist.

CS: You don’t. I want a Diet Coke.

Me: It’s merely a matter of time before I get arthritis. Everyone in my family has arthritis. Wait, maybe I just slept on it weird.

CS: There is a marathon of Harry Potter movies on ABC Family right now, maybe we’ll just watch that.

Me: There MUST be something else on tv. Isn’t The Holiday on??

CS: I want to watch the Oprah: Behind the Scenes when JK Rowling was on.

Me: That isn’t on Netflix. I need you to calm down with the Harry Potter obsession.

CS: Is there anything about Wicked on Netflix. I want to see “For Good” from Glee on it.

Me: *cannot handle, but dying of laughter* I’m blogging this entire conversation.

CS: QUIT BLOGGING ABOUT ME, I like to remain a mystery.

We decide on New in Town starring my favorite person on earth Harry Connick, Jr. and also Renee Zellweger. I’m certain it’s a mistake, but, we can’t agree on anything else, since I’ve already seen The King’s Speech and all the Harry Potter movies.

Update: we made it about 12 seconds through the movie before turning it off. Outrageous Midwestern accents and a thoroughly horrific Renee Zellweger haircut. For the love of GOD Netflix. Could you please get your lawyers on getting the rights to movies on demand that people actually want to watch?? Infuriating.

Update #2: We next queued up The Fighter. We are nothing but women of mystery here in the 11106.