Welcome to the new look here. This blog is now for my fitness thoughts.
Everything else (Hockey, Comics, Wrestling, Assorted Nerd-dom) will be at Friday Night Tights, whenever Kevin, Marc and I get back to writing. Soon, yes?
Anyhow: Welcome to RunBklyn. I’m your resident snarky asshole and host.
This journey has been humiliating, trying, and the most rewarding thing in my life. I’ve made many more great friends who have helped me along, pushed, prodded, tricked and cajoled me into doing things I never thought possible.
This weekend marked one year since my first race, which was an abject disaster. It was the Take Your Base 5k, and I finished, barely… in a horrific 47:48.
The important take aways there were 2 fold:
1.) I could gut my way through an awful lot of pain, more than i thought I could overcome.
2.) I was way more out of shape than I thought. As the song goes. “I didn’t know I was broken until I wanted to change.”
So I got serious. I joined a gym after telling my Soul Elephant I would never. She was right. I doth protest too much. I have since switched gyms and joined a rec center too, and began consulting a personal trainer… so. yeah.
My diet is still not where it should be, but it’s improved a ton.
My endurance is better, and I’m leaner. I’m down 25 pounds from where I started, and half way to my goal of 185.
I’ve run a dozen or so races this year, always challenging myself. Recently, I’ve made a serious breakthrough, aided by my endurance and a better understanding of my own strengths and limitations.
So, there was the Take Your Base 5K this weekend. And the day before was the Pride Run, a 5 miler in Central park, and the tentpole event of Front Runners New York, the LGBT Running club in NYC of which I am a member. I HAD to do this race. It was so me.
There was one problem. I had tickets the night before in PHILADELPHIA for round 1 of the NHL draft and the opportunity to meet a great many friends at the event. I had to be there, too.
The thing about me is… there are very view ideas too ambitious for me to not take a shot at. I would see the Islanders pick at 5, and after my friends teams picked, I’d depart, grab a bite, and get to bed before tearing ass out of Philly at 3am.
the best laid plans…
It all started according to plan, despite nightmare traffic down to Philly. I met TheActiveStick (FINALLY!), my trio of favorite Caps people, and even got to say hi to Mr. Mullet. We checked out after pick 21! All good.
I was mid cheesesteak bliss with the dearest of friends, Ginger, when we were informed the Isles made a trade. My heart was racing. My beloved team was hockey-ing. They traded up back into the first round to select the biggest lightning rod in the draft, Mr. Josh Ho-Sang. My GM then went defiantly on TV and challenged the media. He was rolling up his sleeves (I had no idea we’d come out guns blazing in Free Agency). This geeked me out too much to sleep. A late night stop at Wawa and I had my pre-race snacks, good to go.
In the wee hours, I bid Ginger adieu and tore ass back up I-95. My car shimmies when it goes 80, but apparently purrs like a kitten at 105mph.
I swung by the office, got the last of my race gear I forgot, and got to Central park to stretch and get mentally ready.
The thing about New York Road Runners organized races is yes, they are insanely expensive… but they are in-arguably among the best organized in the country. What an awesome event.
Mile 1 was me repeating mistakes of my past, coming out guns blazing in 10:43, which is pretty damn fast by my standards. Mile 2, i pulled back and had to scale stupid ass Cat Hill, and it took me 11:55. This is where knowing the Park came home to roost. I knew if I saved it then and now, I’d have more gas in the tank on the downhill that was looming. Mile 3 I turned it back on, 10:56, Mile 4, i was winded, the sleep deprivation was probably a factor… 11:35. I took stock of where I was, saw that with 1 mile to go a PR was in reach and I went for it despite a final uphill that seemed intent to break me. 11:20. 57:05. a 5 mile PR by 12 minutes. I take that. I pondered what tomorrow would bring.
Since my foray into running, I had never attempted 2 races in 2 days. This seemed dumb, I wasn’t ready for this. I wouldn’t have attempted it, but my hockeymom hoodwinked me into thinking she was doing both. How could I say no to one of my mentors? Jerk.
So as I was stretching and pestering her and the kids, I pondered what I’d have left. She’s a cheetah, but she’s nursing a bad injury and pushing the stroller, so I tell her I’m taking off and going for a PR.
My legs were heavy. this was a dumb idea, but what the hell. 11:01 opening mile. not bad by my standards. 2nd mile, i crank it up and get in at 10:51. Third mile i close at 11:13. Interestingly enough, my per mile is faster on what i percieved to be dead legs? Okay. This 5k is a PR too, by just short of 8 minutes, and an improvement of nearly 14 minutes over the same race the previous year. I’m ecstatic.
On the way home i’m glowing over the phone to soulmmate elephant, and she says try a speed trial of a mile. Do It. I point out that November Project’s PR day is this week, and what the hell, I will.
November Project is a fitness community unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. Hockey Mom dragged me along, and I quickly felt like I belong. It’s such a wonderful experience, and assuredly responsible for my increase in stamina, to a large degree.
So, I feel like shit for the Wednesday NP workout. I’m dead. Legs aren’t firing. I’m cramping. I shut it down early. I will do that during training. I WILL NOT quit a race if I can walk, but I will shut down a training run or session to prevent a serious injury. I was pissed. I told hockey mom. I was angry at myself. I drove to work to check on the staff for a bit, hydrated, and stewwed at myself. Then I walked to the track in my park, in 91 degree heat with a humidity percentage of Satan’s Asshole in the air and decided I was PRing this mile. I got the watch ready to go… then grabbed more water. It was fucking hot. Was this a good idea? No, my legs were DEAD. But what the hell, I’m a stubborn asshole. Away we go.
I did a mile, with no walk breaks. I ran a whole mile continuously, a feat I’d only managed once before. And I did it in 9:44. I FINALLY cracked the ten minute plateau. And comfortably. I sat next to the track drining all my water and cackling to myself. I sent the Elephant a picture of my watch, and got an all caps reply, rare for one so composed. She was beaming. I felt accomplished.
I bite of more than i can chew. I plan, I come back and take another crack at it. I fall down, but I dust myself off and get back up. I’m more resilient than I ever thought possible, and I’m getting better every day.
THREE PRs IN A WEEKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!
Oh and the softball team is 2-0 and my ERA is a fucking 2.50. DEALING!
Catch up with y’all soon.