Archive for March, 2010

For those of you who are keeping track, yes, I am still on course for completing the 7 sister race, a 12 miler on May 2.

Tanya and I went for a training run on Sunday. According to my half-marathon schedule, I was to run 10.5 miles. Instead we visited the sisters  (7 peaks on the Mt. Holyoke Range–see the photo above) which was going to give us a more exact measure if we can do it. We went out for an hour and six minutes and it took us 4 more minutes on the way back. I have no idea how far we actually went since there are no markers to speak of, but we probably made it about three-quarters of the way. We did it! We probably visited about 5 of the sisters and I felt great.

Tuesday’s update: my left quad was completely sore. Nothing else, just that. Tender to the touch. I was going to do some squats and lunges but my leg was telling me otherwise. Today:  I’m all good! Next long run: about 8–10 miles. Or the sisters.


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On a not-so-slow day yesterday (more of a procrastination day), I took a look at the nytimes.com library of videos. I searched for “women’s sports”. Not surprising that one needs to search for “women’s sports” as opposed to “sports” which implies “men’s sports”. Anyway, here are a few good videos I came across:

Sara Hall
wow. She’s a gazelle. Since I’m always on the lookout for good cross-training techniques–this is a good one for running form

Women’s Surfing
very interesting dynamic of old school vs. new school.

knee workouts
not women related, but great for the ol’ knee

again, old school vs. new school. And a discussion on women’s pro payouts evolution.

The women of parkour
This one is for Zevey.

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Below is an email my sister Susan wrote to a friend after her 50k run last weekend. I love the energy in her writing—made me feel like I could run that far, too!

It was SO AWESOME!! I’ve been meaning to give you the update! You SO have to do this one next year. It was gorgeous scenery–you are in the American River canyon, going up and down gently rolling single-track trails, some wider fire trails, some crazy ass steep hills (imagine speed hiking up the middle of a dry waterfall route — rocks and roots and all!), about 20 creek crossings, serious mud, mud, mud — it was quite the muddy adventure and I loved it! I really did. I was thinking about you and Christine the whole time. I think you’d love it. My pace turned out to be 4 miles per hour (finished in 7:42), which is the same as Skyline to the Sea, but I liked this run way, way, way better. We really lucked out because the day of the race, the sun was out (cold at the beginning –32–but warmed up to 50). The day before it rained nonstop for 24 hours. That’s why the creeks were so high and the course was so muddy. At first, I tried to side step the mud and water, but then you just have to go with it and get muddy and wet. At one stream crossing, the water was up past my knees! But it felt good — ice cold water. And by the time you were five minutes out of it, the water in the shoes disappeared. I did have a funny mishap: around mile 6 my shoe got completely stuck in the middle of a downhill mud pile and my foot came out of the shoe. I pulled over to the side and a runner behind me got my submerged shoe and gave it to me. My sock was dripping with wet orange mud, so I just took it off and ran w/o a sock for a mile till the aid station. I sat down and was like ok I guess I got to deal with a gross wet sock for the next 6 1/2 hours. But, the best thing happened: one of the aid station folks came over and asked what I needed. And I held up my sock and said, “I need a sock!” And she went to her truck, grabbed a pair of her socks and gave them to me! How cool  and nice is that. I wore her one sock on my right foot and kept the “spare” one in  my pocket. I tossed my gross one in the garbage. 🙂

As for my body: nutrition wise — totally fine. Drank water and Gu Brew (got this at the aid station…I definitely like Gatorade better). Had Gus like every 30 minutes. Didn’t eat more than a little piece of banana and a PB&J square…wasn’t into solid food. Had 3 pit stops on the run (two of which were serious!). My left tibialis anterior (sp?) tendon flared up here and there, but never more than for a few minutes or so, and always on the downhill parts. So, I was very pleased with the minimal pain factor. However, after the run, when I was walking back to my car, the tendon totally flared up and I was in super pain. But, it subsided that night. It did get swollen. I actually ended up getting Xrays last week and here’s the scoop from my chiropractor (who herself is a competitive biker/runner:

“The Radiologist sent the report.
“Post traumatic deformity of the distal tibia is noted with mild narrowing and distortion of the tibiotalar joint.  No acute abnormality is identified.”

So….looks like it is related to your injury years ago.  After your race, access how it is….if still painful, I would see an ortho for an eval.  I will see you later this week.
Let me know how it feels after today’s run.”

Would I go back to Way Too Cool and do it again?? HELL YEAH! 🙂

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What does play mean to me? It’s the moment I forget my body has limits, my life has a beginning and end, my world is fraught with problems. It’s the moment I remember the beauty of breathing, the joy of blood coursing through my veins, pounding in my ears. I love to jump off docks, surf the waves, gallop through fields on the back of a horse with my daughter, climb mountains and overlook the valleys and whoop and yell while i skip down the other side.

I played soccer, basket, softball, gymnastics. I skied, rode horse back, figure skated, and danced as a child. It was still unusual to have girls teams in my area and the coaching was barely non existent. Our coaches didn’t really want to be coaching a bunch of girls and they let us know it by not showing up or leaving during games. It was hard to play games against boys teams when we were still trying to figure out the rules but it made us feel like rebels and badasses when we were having a good time. When I was a teenager I took up cross country running in order to try and balance the way ballet made me feel. I think I was trying to gain strength and appreciation for my body instead of constantly scrutinizing it’s shortcomings. I remember realizing while running trails that i was enjoying myself finally and especially on the hills.

Currently my play revolves around running. I play baseball with my kids and ski as much as possible as well. Nothing feels so good as looking out over a mountain and flying down it  or achieving that perfect feeling carve.  Usually when I am running the play feeling sets in around mile four. That’s when I have sorted the noise in my brain, and my body has gone into auto running mode.

The other day as I was running I was contemplating boredom when the snowfall suddenly got heavier. I was running under a snow laden tree and turned my face towards the ski and the snow was swirling everywhere. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to cry with joy or yell from excitement.  That feeling of deep gratitude and physical pleasure comes most often for me when I am running.
Currently my stay motivated plan includes signing up for half marathons, marathons and challenging races.  I also try and remember that badass feeling I had as a girl and remember my time is limited on the planet so why waste it not having fun.

I also feel strongly about playing with my kids and in front of them. I want them to know they get to have fun all through life, it doesn’t end when you get a job.
There are many, many women athletes I admire, some of the most inspiring are those overcoming adversity like Sarah Story, or the myriad of disabled skiers who kick but on the mountains. I admire my friends who remain committed to enjoying themselves and using their bodies.  I ran a half marathon last week and felt I ran hard and well.  Right on my heels was a very pregnant woman who scooped her toddler up at the finish line she had it going on!

Primarily though I think my love of play comes from my father, a lifetime committed good time haver. I grew up watching him ski race and play with his friends and he is still at it just as strong today.  Thanks Dad for the great example!

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Sorry about the confusion. The last post, Women Who Play Hard, is part of a new series of guest “post-ers”. I didn’t move to New York nor am I as hard-core as Gina! If you want to be a guest post-er—just send me note—I’d love it! Also, please look for our next in the “who are we” series…from Tanya Rapinchuk due out this week.

Next time I will make it more clear in the header who is writing the articles. (suggestions welcome as this is a new blog and I’m a new blogger. Eventually I’ll be creating my own site with better navigation—time permitting!)

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