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 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!

Well, this happened this morning

Proof of Insanity – Philly Half Marathon – Signed Up!

Nothing quite like the Fourth of July to get you amped up to run 13.1 miles. It makes a little bit of sense though seeing as how many patriotic events happened in Philly! This will be my first trip to the City of Brotherly Love so expect many shots of me standing on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with my finishers medal when it’s all said and done! Thankfully, I have managed to talk three of my friends to do this race with me. Should be a great time if my legs don’t fall off halfway through the race!

Having a few people over tonight to celebrate the 4th. We keep hopping up to the roof to see if any of the Hudson River fireworks shoot up high enough in the sky to see them here in Queens.

Astoria Fireworks

Thankfully, just in case we don’t see any of the Manhattan fireworks, Astoria already gave us a great display on Thursday night, complete with a performance by the Astoria Symphony. The whole gang met up to hang out and watch the show. I know I’m super biased to my home neighborhood, but the fireworks display was pretty amazing!

The next day, after a blissfully short few hours in the office, I headed home and met Em, Nick, and company for a short bike ride into our next door neighborhood / up and coming hotspot Long Island City for dinner at The Creek and Cove. This is quickly becoming one of our favorite pasttimes, and this restaurant didn’t disappoint! So cute! We made all sorts of plans for the summer and shared some delicious pitchers of margaritas. It was a perfect summer evening!

Creek and Cove - Yay for outdoor patios!

Creek and Cove - How pretty of a night was it??

 

Saturday, I headed out to the theatre for the matinee. Then I did some SERIOUS damage at Lord and Taylor. Thanks Broadway paycheck! Then, met everyone back at the Broadway Theatre were the fam and friends were making a visit to Sister Act. Hooray! They all had a great time (of course!) and I was glad to be able to share my new job with the crew!

Sunday, I worked the matinee and did some work in the office, then was planning on heading to another house in the neighborhood for some pre-4th grilling. The weather didn’t quite cooperate, so we moved the party down a little closer to the heart of Astoria and our fearless friends grilled out on the balcony! We won’t let a little rain get us down.

In short, it has been the perfect holiday weekend with great friends, amazing food, and a little work thrown in to keep me honest. 🙂 Looking forward to getting ready for the 4th tonight! And on that note, I’m going to run a few miles to my friend’s apartment to feed his cat, then off to the store to start the shopping / cleaning festival before the party begins. Hope you all have a lovely holiday!

 

 

Weekend in the Blink of an Eye

Wow. How is it Tuesday? I forgot how fast time flies when you are able to leave the house for longer than it takes to get the mail (note: technically not even leaving the house). This weekend was a whirlwind of activity, so let’s catch up, shall we?

Friday had me working my first full day at my new home at 321 Theatrical Management. Technically, the office was closed (omg, SUMMER FRIDAYS), but of course, no rest for the weary company managers. We had a super productive afternoon where I learned all about bill paying, trade requests, weekly checklists, house seats, and other assorted glamorous tasks that make the running of a musical operate smoothly. After a full day, we headed to the theatre to make the rounds. Once the statement was signed, I came home, had some dinner and a glass of wine while I wrote this ridiculously long post, and finally packed my bag for my day trip out of the city taking place Saturday morning.

Saturday, I woke up bright and early to head to Em and Nick’s place to get picked up by our good friends to head out to the Poconos for our first annual (hopefully) choir retreat! We spent all day eating / drinking wine / singing / swimming in the lake / eating / drinking wine / singing. Basically, it was my idea of heaven. Plus, the scenery couldn’t be beat:

Seriously, there is nothing like escaping the summer heat of the city to spend a day with great friends and actual fresh air. Loverly.

After an exhaustively fantastic day, we rolled back into Queens, and I promptly fell asleep in preparation for the longest. Sunday. ever.

Sunday am started at the insane hour of the runner, which I loke to call 6am. Seriously, SO EARLY. Which, of course, meant I was waking up every half an hour thinking, wait, is it 6am now? How about now? Now? Ugh. The worst!

In any case, once 6am actually rolled around, I got up and got dressed. I spent awhile packing my bag for post-race, which included singing at Mass, working in the office, covering a show and heading back to Astoria to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones. Seriously, can you imagine me thinking about all this stuff at 6am? Not pretty.

Anyway, I finally got out the door, brought my stuff over to Em’s so Nick to bring it to rehearsal for me after the race, and realized, I was probably cutting it a little short for the subway, so I jumped in a cab (feeling not guilty about it at all: yay employment!). I arrived in the park around 7:30am (ugh) and waited to meet my new CM who happened to be running the same race! Hooray for team management running a little Portugal Day 5 mi. He also was super awesome for picking up my bib and running tag for me, since I was out-of-town all day on Saturday. best. ever.

We met up, I grabbed my bib, attached my running chip thing-y, he headed up to the fast corral, and I headed to the back of the corrals because, well, because technically I’m a jogger. It was quite warm in the park (NYRR says 71 with 63% humidity – ugh). But, despite the heat and the sleepless night, it wasn’t too bad of a run. I walked the hills a little because I didn’t want to die of heat stroke. I finished the run strong though.

Race Name, Date Dist.
(miles)
Gun
Time
Net
Time
Pace
per Mile
Overall Place/
Total
Finishers
Gender Place/
Total
Females
Age Place/
Total
in Age Grp.
Age-Grd.
Time
Perf.
%
Portugal Day
June 19, 2011
5.0 1:04:04 56:50 11:22 4155 / 4630 1412 / 1713 345 / 403 56:41 42.6%

Not too bad.  My lap times were:

Mile 1 – 10:20
Mile 2 – 10:35
Mile 3 – 11:49
Mile 4 – 11:48
Mile 5 – 10:46
Mile 5 ish – 1:29

Obviously, I need to work on my stamina for those mile 3 -4, but given the heat, I’m pretty happy with the result.

CM and I met back up at the end of the race and waited to see if either of us won a trip to the Lisbon half-marathon (boo – we did not), then I jetted my sweaty, gross self off to the east side to head up to choir rehearsal which was starting in a short 25 min from my finish time.

I met up with Nick, who handed over my ridiculously heavy bag of music / flute / makeup / clothes / shoes and whatever else my sleep deprived mind needed to pack at 6am. Thankfully, St. Iggy’s has a shower in the third floor bathroom (who knew?), that I was able to jump into for about 5 seconds before throwing my nice church clothes on and heading into the choir room.

After Mass, I headed downtown to the office to go over a few more notes. We covered the matinee, then our tired legs headed back to the office to finish the week ending reports. I think we both had hit the wall by that time, so it was great when we decided our end of day treat would be frozen custard from Shake Shack. Um, I could hardly even wait to get out the door before I had devoured it. Delicious.

I headed back to Astoria to take a quick catnap before Game of Thrones. Seriously, it was like a Mac truck ran over me. Exhausted. Before I knew it, it was time to head over to Em and Nick’s and join my friends for the final viewing of the season. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint, and I was able to stay awake through the entire thing. Win.

Trudged home and fell asleep like a winner. Thank goodness for that.

Monday, saw me enjoying my first day off of the new job. I spent it watching reruns of The Good Wife. Thanks Tivo. Then, I noticed that one of my friends had mentioned on FB that he was at the gym, so hoping he had the day off, I texted to see if he wanted to grab lunch. He was, and we did, and it was a brilliant day of catching up and chatting about work and laughing. In short, an ideal way to spend a beautiful Monday afternoon.

I headed over to get some much-needed Tully time and then helped Em grade papers (she lovingly asked me to “help company manager her teaching.” Love it. She totally won me over by promising Domino’s and wine. Love.

So, there you have it. What happens when I find employment and don’t write my blog entries as I should. Epic-ness.

What about y’all? Did everyone have a good weekend? Where’s your favorite place to day-trip?

Mid-Week Catch Up

OK, it is my hope to recap the first half of this week in today’s entry so that we’re all caught up on my life. I’m sure most of you were waiting with baited breath.

Monday

As previously mentioned, I spent the better part of the morning waiting for Time Warner to come out a repair whatever was going wrong with my cable. After about 30 seconds, the guy had everything fixed, and my life could resume as normal. Then, I hightailed it over to my sister’s so I could have my Tully time. I mean, can you imagine not wanting to spend every second of your day with this puppy face?

Best Dog Ever

Love.

Then headed to the city to grab drinks and a giant German pretzel, which I fully counted as my dinner. It was so delicious. To make up for that potential error in judgement, I came home and did a quick 2 mile shake-out run to uncoil from the 10k on Saturday. To my amazement, I finished the 2 miles in 20:36 making it my fastest time ever. I think the lesson learned here is that beer and pretzels make me a better runner!

Tuesday

Tuesday afternoon had me in an interview with a fancy Tony Award winner. And trust me, her office is FANCY. It was hard to pay attention when I could see the green trees of Central park straight through the conference room window!

I came home for my afternoon of Tully, then as evening rolled in, found all my friends gathered around my sister’s living room to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones (which everyone loving allowed me to pre-empt for the Tony Awards on Sunday night). I’ve mentioned our little commune in Astoria before, and nights like this just reinforce how much I love it! It’s the perfect mix of rabid fans, clueless watchers, (I’m afraid I fall into this last category, always asking, “wait, who is this again?”) playful pups, and well, and vodka. I rarely laugh as much as I do when gathered in this group. It was a great night!

Wednesday

Wednesday started off as a pretty normal day. I spent some time with Tully, returned a few phone calls, sent out a million resumes, and moved a wardrobe up three flights of stairs. Oh right, that last part was maybe not so normal. One of my friends is relocating to Manhattan and was looking to give away his wardrobe. Since Cousin Susan is still living out of her suitcase on the floor since arriving here in February, I jumped on the opportunity to help remedy that situation. For whatever reason, I completely flaked out on making any plans to actually move the wardrobe, so thankfully Gail came to the rescue and rented a Zipcar, and she and my brother-in-law headed out to pick up the wardrobe. After hauling it downstairs, Nick, Cousin Susan, and I dragged that heavy thing up the three flights of stairs into my living room. Hooray! we celebrated our victory with wine (naturally). Pics tom come once Sus and I get it reassembled. It’s pretty cute!

Okay, whew, that catches us up to Thursday, which was a pretty epic day. Hoping to get that entry written later today.

NYRR Mini 10k Recap

And we’re back! Thankfully, it took Time Warner all of 30 seconds to find the problem with my cable, and after two days of watching Arrested Development and Return to Me (not an awful way to spend the evening though, to be honest), we’re back online just in time to check-in on a never-ending loop of 27 Dresses. Ugh, maybe I should KEEP the cable off.

Anyway, where were we? Ah yes, the NYRR Mini 10k. I should probably start by saying my training for this 10k was probably less than ideal. I managed to give myself the worst sunburn that I can remember last Saturday out in Long Beach. Seriously, I must have been putting the sunscreen on in my sleep and completely burned the backs of both of my legs. They were so sore, that running was just out of the question, probably not the best way to go into a 10k. Also, I had some random things happen on Friday that sort of knocked me out of my mental game, so that didn’t help either. Nor did the glass bottle of pinot grigio my cousin and I used to make the day turn around a little help my race tactics; however, it did help my mental state, so, thanks Sus for a great Friday night.

So, with that being said, I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, showered, ate two slices of toast with peanut butter, and made my way to the city. I sort of love the races more than the running themselves. Just the camaraderie of the event is so cool. For instance, I was on the train headed into the city, and another fellow runner got on, saw my number, smiled at me and said, “hey, good luck today!” Runners are nice people!

This 10k is women only, and if you think that would make the crowd at the starting line any smaller, you would be so mistaken. Upwards of 7,000 women took to the streets along Columbus Circle and Central Park West to start the race. Pretty awesome. I started the race off pretty strong for me, clocking in my fastest 5k ever at 34.10. My playlist was killer, y’all. Who knew that “Strongest Suit” from Aida would make me kick into gear so hard! However, once we made the turn into the park and I saw the crest of those brutal hills, my body just shut down. I seriously couldn’t run any further. The 96% humidity didn’t help matters, nor did my second slice of toast (nor the pinot grigio, but whatever). My calves were super sore and I just had no energy left, so I ended up walking the hills, which was about mile 3 to 4. Then I sort of walked/ran the last 2.2 miles.

As a swimmer, I’m more than used to individual sports. I know that so much more of it is mental than it is physical, and I couldn’t help but sort of laugh to myself at just how out of it I was during this race. I felt defeated and tired. I tried to shake it off, but once you are mentally in a certain state of mind mid-event, it is so hard to change that. So, I just chalked the entire event up to experience, remembering that it wasn’t that long ago I wasn’t able to run more than a mile, so I’ve still made it a long way. Plus, I got a great pink shirt AND my very first running medal. Exciting. Many kudos to my far-away coach/mentor/college roommate Jamie, who’s been a running machine since I met her. I sent her a text saying I had to walk a lot of the race, and she told me just getting out of bed and finishing the race is an accomplishment! Made me smile at the end of a long morning!

After the race, I headed back to Queens and spent the afternoon with my sister and brother-in-law and their spastic puppy Tully, as well as Tully’s bff Olive. Tully’s crazy puppy energy combined with Olive’s adolescent angst was entertainment for at least two hours. Then we watched lots of The Daily Show reruns and a random episode of Wipeout. Seriously, I can’t watch that show at all. I’m just wincing every moment of it. Finally, I headed home to begin the Arrested Development marathon with Sus. Really, quite a lovely day.

I’m scheduled to run the NYRR Portugal Day 5 mi race on Sunday morning. I have a choir retreat in the Poconos on Saturday (eeeeeek! so much singing!!!!), so we’ll see how I’m feeling when 6am rolls around on Sunday!