runnerd excitement!

I’m EXCITED today! Let me give a quick run-down on the reasons why….

1.) I am meeting Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano tonight! And having dinner with them! So pumped. I’m such a nerd. They are coming to town for an event Saturday at 11 AM at the Princeton YMCA, where they will talk about their book Running the EdgeThe event is sponsored by a long-time customer of ours at the store, Tracy, and her fitness organization Bee Fit with Tracy. She graciously invited me to have dinner with them since we are partnering with her for the event! I was really disappointed when I learned that I cannot attend the actual event on Saturday because I have CPR training at the same exact time…and it is non-negotiable that I attend the CPR class on that particular day for reasons (also exciting!) that I will share very soon. Because of other very exciting plans on Sunday morning, I cannot work Sunday and therefore must work immediately after the class Saturday, or else I’d catch the tail end of the seminar at the YMCA. Phew. Anyway, I’m super excited to meet them both tomorrow evening, and I will try my best to keep any starstruck runnerdiness to a minimum (how do you do it all the time Megan?!). I suppose wine will help (or hurt?).

Speaking of the Gouchers, and runnerd status….

Image

2.) Kara Goucher did it! She signed with Oiselle!!! I had a feeling this was going to happen, with all the talk flying around (no pun intended) that she would follow in Lauren’s footsteps. In an interview with Competitor, she admitted to being turned down by Sally at first, then persuading her to come to a symbiotic, nontraditional deal. I thought this was especially interesting and speaks to the fact that she’s following her heart, and gut feeling, rather than a seven-figure offer (!!!). Although on a much smaller scale, this is the way I strive to make decisions in my own life, I believe that no matter the hardships and sacrifices I have to make along the way, staying true to myself and what I want and believe in will consequently be worth it if what I want is to live a happy and genuine life. So, kudos to Kara. Any decision that involves two or three rounds of tears and questioning one’s entire future is one that deserves the utmost respect.

3.) The Boston Marathon is one month from today!!! It’s starting to feel a little more real to me. Of course, I’ve entered that phase where I’m like, don’t do anything stupid, don’t do anything stupid all day every day, but I’m doing a pretty good job staying sane yet still training hard. My 15.5-mile run Sunday in between “long long runs” ended up being at a pace that was faster than I’ve been running for long runs – more on par with my long runs from the fall, which was nice. I went to a new chiropractor Wednesday, and it was a great experience. It was obvious I needed some adjusting, so I’m glad I was able to get in there and realign myself for the weeks to come…it’s nice to run the next day and not feel like I’m making anything worse! And, now that my specialist co-pay has somehow become $15 instead of $40…well, I just might be seeing a chiropractor at my leisure from now on. Cheers to that (and to being under 27 and my dad’s new job, I suppose?). I did two workouts this week, both of which felt really smooth. The second was a little rough because I had to alter my route (for 3 x 2 miles with 0.5 mi rest…same ~10 mi loop I did pre-Philly Half actually). More specifically, I got kicked off the towpath by construction workers. I was really pissed about this at the time actually, because getting off the towpath meant running on the side of a pretty busy road with a slanted, almost non-existent shoulder I never would have chosen to run on, ever. It also meant doing the last hard two mile stretch all uphill into the wind and in the sun as opposed to on a flat dirt path. Oh well. It was one of those workouts that made me stronger, I suppose. I ended up averaging 7:14 for the entire thing; much better than the 7:28 I ended up averaging when I did the same workout in early November. My fastest two-mile stretch was the middle one, probably because I was so angry at the guys on the trucks and also had to stop briefly to climb through bushes…13:19. The other two were “eh”: 13:49 mostly uphill and 13:59 all [unexpectedly] uphill. My recoveries and warmup and cooldown ended up being faster than normal, which made the entire run faster, 7:30-7:45 for those miles (oops?). In an effort not to get worked up again over the towpath thing, since I know the men were probably improving the path in some way, here’s a little PSA to drivers: move over a little more than you think you should. Runners are paranoid, and it may not be entirely their decision to run on certain busy roads. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, or just happens. They’re there. So, slow down and move over a little more so you don’t scare them half to death.

Part of the loop (downhill section) we did for our interval workout Tuesday. First time on a soft surface in sooo long!

4.) Long run plan for Sunday: 20.7 miles to Lambertville! You may recall that I ran to Lambertville (actually New Hope, PA, then back over the bridge) last February. It was one of my favorite runs of the year, and this year I’m doing the whole thing! It will also be the longest run I’ve ever done in training, and the longest run I’ll do until April 21. You bet I’m looking forward to this year’s recoverosas, but only as much as those Sourlands hills.

Image5.) Yoga + beer. Well, I’m not excited for this anymore because it already happened. But I was. Also, I found out it happens every Thursday night, so I suppose I could always go again if I ever find I’m lacking excitement in my life (not for awhile at this rate…). Last Thursday I attended a yoga class at River Horse Brewery in Ewing with friends. The yoga wasn’t the hardest, but  I was challenged to do some things I haven’t done in awhile, which was invigorating. I was able to do Bird of Paradise for the first time ever. I remember a couple years ago I tried and it didn’t make any sense at all; my legs just didn’t want to do that move. This time, it happened really naturally and that in itself was super exciting to me! (I didn’t get my leg straight up, but it was a start…marathon-training hamstring status, what can I say….)

Running friends! Jane was the one who told me about the event. As usual.

Running friends! Jane was the one who told me about the event. As usual. 

View from the "yoga studio."
View from the “yoga studio.”

They said they'll fill anything...waterbottles, pitchers....

They said they’ll fill anything…waterbottles, pitchers….

…and of course, I did sell the girl who poured us our samples her shoes before the Philly Marathon. Of course.

6.) Trade a movie for a song? As you may know, I get super excited over songs that often get stuck in my head during runs. I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately though. Any suggestions on what to listen to in preparation for my long run this weekend to call to mind if I happen to be alone in the countryside are much appreciated. In return, I will provide you with a stellar movie suggestion. This film has been referenced over and over by a regular group run attendee at the store, and he finally gave me a copy of the DVD when he learned I still hadn’t watched it yet. I ended up watching it on my bike trainer in my shed in the pouring rain the other night, and it was awesome:

Must see.

Must see. I f I knew how to write that in Italian I would. 

 That’ll do for my exciting news for now!

 

tempo and trivia

I finally did a tempo run! You may not understand, but I have been itching to do a tempo run for about a month. Tempos are truly the only workouts that get me mentally prepared to run races longer than 5k. The only reason I waited so long is because I am just doing all the Princeton Intervals workouts, and none of them have been tempos so far. I need to look at the schedule and plan when I am going to do a longer tempo, as in, 5-7 miles…because that needs to happen before the half marathon. If not for my legs then for my head. A short tempo is a tempo nonetheless, and that is what was scheduled for Tuesday night.

One of my favorite movies. No shame.

One of my favorite movies. No shame.

The full workout was a 20 minute tempo at our usual 533 meters/lap loop, plus six sets of one minute hard, one minute easy. For the tempo, I thought I would aim for 6:40-6:45 pace. Last year during a similar workout, I averaged 7:15. I knew I was in much better shape than that now, so I thought that range would be a good goal for just 20 minutes. For the record, I wasn’t in beast mode like I seem to have been the past three weeks at workouts, just because I was really tired and my stomach was feeling strange. It may or not have stemmed from the recoverosas (and lack of water). I took it one lap at a time though, and split my watch at each lap. I consistently ran 2:13-2:14, but slowed to 2:17-2:18 towards the end when I got separated from the three people I’d been running alongside at the beginning…and eventually chasing. I was at 20:09 after 9 laps exactly, which is when I stopped .That brings my distance to just about exactly three miles, meaning I averaged 6:43 pace. I’ll take it. It was my goal, after all. The song I ended up having stuck in my head? This. An awesome song…I’m loving it right now…but for a tempo? Really? I guess there are much worse songs, at least I like it (no pun intended). Last week, for the record, Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” matched my interval pace exactly. I guess you run faster when you feel like you are running away from a tornado.

The on/off minutes were much more difficult than the tempo. Weird, right? My Achilles got angry again, making me think it’s something that’s arising only when I try to run close to six minute pace, somehow. I’m not sure how many times I made it around the loop for that portion of the workout…but I guesstimated about 4.75 times, making my pace average to a little over 7:00/mile.

I love you. Even more post-workout.

I love you. Even more post-workout.

I got in a long cooldown, which helped loosen my Achilles and shake everything else out too. A quick shower and a fast walk later, I joined everyone at the Ivy for dinner and trivia! One Tuesday a month after our workout, we have happy hour at a local bar/restaurant. We usually go to my favorite place in town for this, Winberies, but even I could use a night away from it sometimes. The Ivy Inn, the notorious Princeton dive bar, recently passed all inspections and is licensed to serve food! I pitched the idea to the group of switching things up and going to the Ivy for “happy hour” this week, and then staying for trivia, and it was well received…at least, except for a couple people who still do not trust that they passed inspection. Anyway, I was starving by that point, and my first bite into my burger (I repeat, I was extremely hungry) and sip of beer was like the best thing ever. Side note about beer: Have you tried the Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber Ale yet??? I had it in New York City a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to see it on tap at the Ivy! This just may dethrone Harpoon UFO White as my fave. If you read the description on Blue Moon’s site…it even describes me – ha.

We were Team Fartlek, and we ended up coming in third place! I think there were nine teams, so that’s pretty legit. We were a great team together – runners know so much random stuff, and all of us there that night had different areas of expertise, it seemed. One of the questions was, “The Brannock device is a non-medical device used to measure what body part?” Ummm that was easy. I say, “can you pass the Brannock” at least once a day at work. True story. Only me, I suppose…but hey, we obviously got the answer correct! The winning team was Team Moist…I had friends on that team though, so the weird name choice aside, congrats to them!

I’m so glad I made my food+trivia plan a reality, and everyone had a lot of fun! I capped off the night by taking a couple quick turns at the pool table, and I magically ended up making a shot. That’s cool. So far, there have been no reports of illness following our debut with the Ivy’s food. They’re definitely still newbies at the whole deal, as evidenced by my receipt, if you can call it that (likewise at spelling):

ivyreceipt

Now, if I had changed my shirt halfway through dinner, would I be exempt from paying?

Speaking of the Ivy, Justin Timberlake was here! On a Friday in December, Princeton was buzzing with excitement, as JT and Ben Affleck came to town to film their new movie, Runner Runner, due out in the fall! Unfortunately, I was holed up in the library instead of at work aka in the center of it all (got to do what I’ve got to do…), but I did run over to the Ivy after my evening run to snap some pictures! There are no celebs in the pictures, as far as I know, just extras and set people. But, Justin is inside, so that’s still pretty cool! I love being in on the action! I don’t go out to the movies much ($$$), but you can bet I’ll be seeing this one the week it’s released!

Crowd outside the Ivy.

That’s cute. We’re nice people!

Trailers!

Trailers!