Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Odd 1.9

Today there were runners... runners I say!

I've gotten in the habit of my (w4+r6)2+w5 being a walk to the local track with a run around the 1/4 mile, a walk around the 1/4 and a jog home. I've gotten used to doing this early enough that I'm often the only person on the track. It's a good thing.

Today there was a pack of 3 people doing speed work and I felt like the turd in the punch bowl as I ambled around my lane getting my mileage in. Normally faster, fitter runners don't intimidate me at all. I'm used to admiring the gazelle like creatures nature and the universe use to inspire me but today the universe taunted.

Or I should say, the runners' looks did. As the fast split shorts, jog bra skinny babe blew past, I got a "get off the track" look. I know the look from the gym I used to go to when I went right after the work crew hit the machine before heading out for the meat markets of Allston and Boston. She was followed by two runners. The man actually shot me an "atta girl" smile but the other woman gave me a look similar to the first one.

It's one of the first mornings I felt glad to leave the track for my jog home. The universe must have felt my heaviness because the dust mop was out early. His owner said he was busy examining a stick when she said it was about time for me to come running past and the dog jumped up and ran towards my direction. A couple of belly rubs and ball tosses later, I was feeling better.

I still have my chops at home too. In the 10 minutes it takes to toast my eggo, I made coffee, packed my lunch and poached an egg just at the timer dinged.

I'm off to school, most likely to be in a first grade room. I love first graders, they're still full of hugs and smiles. I don't know if I could teach them day after day, but on days like this, I prefer their happy faces to surly 4th and 5th graders who are chomping at the bit to join the "big kids" at middle school.

So another 1.9 miles and some fuzzy belly rubs are in the books on a fall day and life is pretty good as I finish my coffee.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It feels a bit more like fall

Yesterday's run was not good, the humidity felt like worst of summer. This morning was a different story. This morning it was still humid but it felt and smelled like fall. The scent of leaves and bursts of color made this morning's quick run delightful. Today was w5+r10+w5 and it was really comfortable. Given yesterday's struggle, it was a sweet surprise to just be able to run.

This is the first time that I'm thinking the Tufts 10k in a couple of weeks may not be out of the question. I'll decide after Sunday's trail run. If my ankle feels strong after that and I'm able to continue training, then I'll go for it. If not, there will be other 10ks and races to run. Right now, I'm feeling pretty good about things but I have to remember to take it easy so I don't hurt myself again. One step at a time... one step at a time. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The difference between walking and running

For me is about .25 miles this morning. This week is another (w4+r6)2+w5 week. The humidity was as bad as some of summer's worst today and breathing was not easy. As a result, the second run segment ended up being a w4+r4+w2+w5. Also, as a result, I was about a quarter mile shorter of what I normally do in that time.

I won't sweat it too much as tomorrow's the first time I move from a walking chunk with a little touch of running to a chunk of running. We'll see how it goes.

Hopefully the humidity breaks tonight and we're back in the right season again. It may take a few days to get there... we'll see. In the meantime, if you think that minute or two doesn't make a difference, think again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I love a surreal run every so often and today's (w4+r6)2+w5 was certainly surreal. There are battling weather fronts around us that produced this incredible fog bank today so in the quiet dawn. Again the gates to the high school track were open so I took a quick detour for a couple of laps. While there, I couldn't resist catching a quick shot of the school from the opposite side of the track.

The blanket of fog quiets everything while you're out there. The sound of cars are muffled, and other runners would suddenly appear and disappear in the fog. While out running through the streets and on the track, I couldn't help but think of the nuggets of some SF stories that involve a runner coming out of the fog from seemingly no where with something that could change everything we know. A tool, a weapon, a disease, a message... it was the perfect setting for that one mysterious stranger to change life as we know it.

In the end, there were no mysterious visitors or messages. Just a couple of dog walkers, runners and the rare car as I wound my way home.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Share our Strength

Today is Weight Watchers Lose-a-palooza where Weight Watchers will donate $225k for every million pounds lost and $1 for every mention of Lose-a-palooza today up to 75k on social media. One of the organizations receiving the donation is No Kid Hungry part of the Share our Strength campaign which I totally support.

Today was (w4+r6)2+w5 and it was harder than what I thought it would be. I got to run 1/2 mile around the track as the gate was open this morning. It was nice to run on something flat and level. It also meant I pushed myself a little harder in some ways. Sure there really weren't any hills this morning, but that meant I felt I needed to move a bit faster as a result.

In the end, it was a good run on a crisp morning. I'm feeling good and strong as I keep on keeping on.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's fall

You know it's fall when you need a long sleeve shirt for your morning run. Yesterday was that day.

Yes the calendar says there's another week of summer, but the temps are starting to drop and it was below 60* when I headed out the door for my (w5+r5)3+w5 for 2.5 miles. Unlike the other day where the uphill run was a labor that left me huffing and puffing, I was able to comfortably do a longer loop as the sun began rise.

It was the first time in a while I saw other runners out and about, so it was nice having company on the roads before traffic picked up for the day. Not only that, in looking at my stats, I realized that I'm running at a good pace these days. I still have quite a way to go, but it's nice. Tomorrow I start the next phase where I build to running more than walking and it shouldn't be long until I get to the speed building weeks.

I'm back on the road again, and it feels great.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recovery Run

I forget how much giving blood takes out of me. After such a confident and good run on Sunday, I was disappointed at how hard today's run was. On tap this week is (w5+r5)3+w5 but what happened was a (w5+r4+w1)+(w5+r1+w4)+(r5+w5). Now granted the toughest stretches were the uphill stretches (surprise surprise surprise), but I kept going.

We'll see how it goes on Thursday or Friday.. I'm still trying to figure out the best days for running around my work and school schedules. But it's clear I still need to recover a little because my body wasn't fully ready for the strain of running uphill.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today is a new day, time to make a new start

Those words really stuck with me in my run today. The oversaturation of 9/11 coverage has left me somewhat numb. Like so many others, my heart broke that day as well; however, I fail to see how rolling around in the grief and anger then wrapping myself in a flag will make things better.

On 9/11/2002 I made my son's talit for his Bar Mitzvah. He had asked for a black, Jimmy Buffett talit. I found a rainbow of batik fabrics and worked in a piece of fabric I had saved for years from his first "big boy" quilt I had made for him. The rainbow was an echo of the first baby quilt I made for him. I spent the day watching MTV talking to teens about what they learned, how they had coped, where were they at after a year of change. On 9/11/2003 and every year since, I have given blood on this day. I would rather give life in honor of those who lost theirs on this day than wave a flag and scream "never forget."

Never forget what? The anger, the fear, the shock?

I said something to my boys that day, which started with, "I have to tell you something but I want to start by telling you Auntie Weasel and your cousin Randy are safe...." I then told them what happened and reminded them that the men who flew those airplanes into the towers were bad people. But just like the IRA bombers were a reflection of the people in Ireland, nor were these people a reflection of all the people from their faith and country. I still believe that.

This morning, the Dalai Lama posted these words to his face book page: "We need to learn from our painful memories of September 11th and become more aware of the destructive consequences that arise when we give in to feelings of hatred. This tragedy in particular has reinforced my belief that fostering a spirit of peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding among the world’s peoples and faith traditions is an urgent matter of importance to us all. We must therefore make every effort to ensure that our various faith traditions contribute to build a more caring, peaceful world."

He is right.

So today, I ran to my "Running Inspired" play list and did (w5+r5)3+w5 for just over 2.5 miles.

Now I'm going to go give blood before I celebrate my parents' 65th wedding anniversary. Go forward and live your life in peace and honor, not wallow, in the memories of those who fell today.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


When I run in the rain, I think about how I'm efficient. At least that's what I tell my students when they show shock that I run in the rain. "But it's raining?!" they often exclaim. That's when I say, "Well, look at this way, at least you don't have to take a shower when you're done."

I got my (w3+r2)5+w5 in early. I wore my bright safety yellow jacket as I ran in the dark morning as I was out there, alone. No cars, no other runners... just me, my music and my thoughts. I start back at my school today as in school support. Tomorrow I start my class for the semester. As a result I needed to clear my head so that I start the year.

But I also need to head out and pick up some coffee as we have none in the house.

So much for being fully efficient. :)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Halfway Point, you have (six) weeks to go

If, like me, you run with a Nike+ device, then you know the voice. It comes on halfway through your run and tells you "Halfway point, you have (x) (parameter) to go."

I have been doing this for five weeks and this is week six. While frustration still sets in at what I can and can't do compared to what I once could do, the reality is I am halfway there. This week is the (w3+r2)5+w5 week. Next week is the (w5+r5)3+w5 week. After that it's odd intervals to get your body up to speed and such. I have a goal fo the Tufts 10k again this year. I don't know if I'll make it or not, but it's the goal.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Good Run

Today was a good run, tough but good.

The problem with restarting a walk to run program is that frustration of pushing your limit at 4 minutes of running when there was a time when I could run 5 or 6 miles without thinking. Now I'm pushing myself through four minutes of running. My first time through years ago it was "Woo hoo! I can run for 4 minutes!" Now it's like, "C'mon body, you know how to do this!"

But I have 2 miles in today and feeling stronger. I have a run scheduled for tomorrow and a rest day Saturday. Next week school starts so I need to push myself out the door earlier as school starts Tuesday which means traffic in the area by 7:30 am. It won't be long before I'm running in the dark wondering what happened to the sun. But until then, I'm out in the morning to get another run in.